Wow, okay. Long hiatus. But I'm trying guys, I'm trying.

Thanks to CherylB1964, Depressed Chibi, Bowie36, .3, and robby1925 for the reviews!

Onwards!

Chapter 7:

Drip.

Crimson blood traveled down the Winchester's arms from their chafing wrists.

Drip. Drip.

The coarse, musty rope did the job beautifully, trapping the hunters by hanging them from the ceiling. Not that it mattered. Neither of them were conscious, and hadn't been for at least two hours.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

The rusting buckets collected the prisoners' lifeblood with a rhythmic tapping of liquid hitting metal. Counting down the time until there was no hope. Until the blood would be used for insidious resurrection.

Drip.

Resistance is futile.

Drip.

The end is near.

0O0

'This is Dean's other, other cell so, you must know what to do.'

'Dean? It's Bobby. I just got word of a crap load of omens surrounding Clarksville, Tennessee. Since neither of you idjits are picking up your damn phone you must already be in the thick of it. Just, be careful out there. Call me back.'

0O0

Castiel spat out a coppery mixture of blood and saliva. It was a surprisingly human gesture, one that set Gabriel's eyebrows into his hairline. He knew first hand what prolonged exposure to humans could do to an angel, but Cas seemed as though he was changing rapidly. He used to be such a stick in the mud; he admired humans because Daddy said they were 'good', but didn't understand the sentiment he expressed. Now, while still very much a formidable warrior of Heaven, he seemed to emulate the humans that captivated his attention (and in one case, affection).

Doubt. Grief. Sorrow. Hate. Free Will. Infatuation. Love. True Love.

These were some of the things that humans carried with them, and tended to pass on to their heavenly counterparts over time. Gabriel had felt the effects of his exposure after his escape from Heaven and embraced them. He felt the thirst for vengeance, lust, and he saw the beauty of his father's creation. (Awe: Human.) He even got himself a sense of humor.

Castiel was obviously beginning to emulate the habits of his hunters. So cute. They grow up so damn fast.

That didn't change the fact the Castiel was spitting out blood. He had done it a number of times himself. Trying to shove his grace into his wings so quickly and desperately was not conducive to his vessel's health. (Determination: Human.) It tended to spew blood whenever he overtaxed its fragile human capacity. Good thing it was easy to fix.

But what was really eating at him, more than his vessel's straining organs, was the fact that he had lied to the Winchesters in order to get them to help. He had needed back up, and though he hated to admit it, the broken down ex-vessels were useful. He couldn't tell any of his brothers that he was still alive, lest he get dragged back up to Heaven, so he came to the weary humans for help.

The problem is, if he had told them the truth, that the 'god' they were trying to contain wasn't a god at all, they would have never agreed to help. (Manipulation, Ambition: Human.) It was, in fact, a wayward angel. One of the first followers of Lucifer. The Winchesters wouldn't have touched that with a ten foot pole if he had told them. He wasn't lying about the grudge, however. He had personally buried the pissed angel turned demon. If he came back, Gabriel would be Target Number One. No thanks. (Self Preservation: Human.)

But then, everything went to shit. Hell, he began to care for the gigantor. (Infatuation: Human.) He was just so awkward and broken and earnest... (Love: Human.)

He was in danger.

(Protectiveness, Worry, Self Hatred: Human.)

"Come on Cas," Gabriel declared with forced levity. "Harder," he moaned obscenely. (Humor: Human.) He redoubled his efforts to get his wings working, and saw his brother blush out of the corner of his eye.

Mission accomplished.

0O0

'Sam.'

His head pounded. His wrists ached. Just... five more minutes...

'Sam, are you with me buddy?'

The incessant calling of his name (which by the way, echoed horribly in his cranium... annoying) caused the young man to grow more lucid. He twisted his head a little to work out a lingering kink before deeming it safe to open his eyes.

Only to be met by darkness.

He opened his mouth to speak, but no sound came. He couldn't get the air to vibrate his vocal chords. It was almost as though they didn't exist.

'Hey, hey. Calm down. We're in your noggin. You can't talk. Just think at me.'

'Lu...ci..?' Sam heard a groan.

'Don't call me that. Only Gabriel calls me that and I hate it.' It could be the fact that Sam was a little out of it, but the fallen angel sounded more like a petulant child than an awe inspiring warrior. He resisted the urge to giggle.

'Where are you?' Sam called out, hiding his amusement.

There was only darkness, no sign of his friend.

'I'm here. But you should be more concerned with where you are.'

'Wrist itch.' Sam muttered to himself. He couldn't see where he was, but he could feel a lot of foreign sensations in his body. Primarily, his wrists feeling raw for no apparent reason.

'No, Sam, not Ipswitch,' Lucifer said with sickly sweet patience.

'My wrist itchs!' Sam mentally yelled.

'Oh. Yeah... That may be because you're currently tied to the ceiling by your wrists.'

'What?! What the hell?'

'Hm, I don't think we're in Hell,' Lucifer mused obnoxiously. 'It's colder than Russia for Christ sake.'

Sam groaned and gritted his teeth. As soon as Lucifer mentioned it, he noticed that it really was cold. He fingers and toes were numb, as well as his ears. Sam recognized the beginning stages of frostbite.

'C-can't you j-j-just tell me where we ar-re?' Sam snapped through his chattering teeth, a little impatiently. Lucifer sighed, and Sam could practically see the eye roll.

'Not until you wake up. It seems, since you're in a magically induced sleep, I'm trapped in here with you. So wakey wakey! It's boring in here.'

'Hey!' Sam growled, a little indignant. His brain was not boring.

'Just focus, okay? Because whoever has you trussed up like a Christmas turkey probably doesn't want you here for shits and giggles.' Sam knew he was right. Damn it, the devil was almost always right! But it wasn't just as easy as 'open sesame'. Sam had no idea of how he could break the spell. He was trapped in his own mind.

0O0

The wraith in black observed his work with a keen eye. The vessels were ready for extraction, their blood was pooling at their feet. The moon was almost all the way up... not yet full, about two days from its peak.

He efficiently pulled the deteriorating buckets from beneath the Winchesters, muttering to himself as he worked.

"Resistance is futile," he said, the words leaving a bitter taste on his tongue. "The end is near." Being incomplete, he couldn't remember why animosity was tagged onto those phrases, but he trusted his instincts. There must be a good reason.

Dipping both flickering hands into the buckets, he painted a sloppy mark onto the cement floor. His very presence in the room so close to summoning time made the temperature drop drastically so that it was below freezing. He hardly noticed. He was intent in his work, focusing on the broad strokes of red on the ground, converging into something meaningful... powerful.

The runes were complete. And soon, he would be too.

"Master will be pleased," he said wistfully, looking down at his skeletal form. It was humanoid, but barely. The coarse fabric of his cloak kept his particles together in one shape, constantly flickering from view. He had been that way for eons. But no more. No more.

A wave of his hand caused the two brothers to wake up suddenly. The taller one, whose soul was in tatters but still glowed pleasantly, seemed more aware than his older counterpart. He certainly was strong. He could see why he was Lucifer's vessel. A vessel's soul was infinitely more sturdy than a normal human's. Whatever had damaged this one's soul had been very powerful indeed.

The other brother, Michael's vessel, had a soul that looked like someone had taken a fist full of dirt and smeared it all over. It was only superficially damaged, not so much as the tall one's. But curiously, it glowed at the same intensity as his brother's.

The question was, which should he drain first?

Take time to review! Okay, cliffhanger. I know. Also, not very well written. I know. But, I have remembered my plot line (which I had forgotten for a while, so that's why I didn't update) so yay!?