Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural or Vampire Hunter D. Written for fun, not profit.
A/N: Written for Undead Big Bang's mini bang round.
You don't have to know anything about Vampire Hunter D to read this, as it's highly AU for that 'verse, since it's a re-birthing/re-imagining of the mythos. It's also AU for Supernatural post-Season 7 (it was outlined before season 8 started). If you don't know about VH:D, you can pretend I invented this future Dean escapes into. This story is based on a rather crazy dream, and I thought it would be a fun concept.
Purgatory flashback scenes are in italics.
A thanks to crazyfoolstiney at Live Journal for the art used as the image.
On a Horse with No Name
It didn't begin here, but it would end here, in this place, if not in this time:
Birthed in blood, into a world of darkness, the man once known as Dean Winchester tucked the glistening blue pendant into the fur tunic he wore across his chest and took up his sword, prepared to move from one battle to the next.
The flash of light, the scent of death, the hunger of their kind brought the monsters to meet him, and he could hear their every move in the black forest surrounding him.
These beasts were nothing new—in Purgatory he had noted the rise of their kind, the mutants, the hybrids, the abominations. They had been created, and not by Mother. Werewolves stood twice as tall as a man these days, their blood mixed with black dogs, their breeding leaving them fit for slavery. Spirits had lost their human forms, becoming physical, levitating globs of ectoplasm, shooting electricity as they moved, consuming living flesh right off the bone, killing without motivation—demons didn't need Hell to make themselves anew. And vampires…Vampires had perhaps changed most of all. Dean knew that better than anyone.
Even in another afterlife, rumor of change met him, from tongues he often severed. He had been expecting this world, so absent from the one he'd once lived in. Still, it came as a shock, a numbing, hope-destroying surprise, to actually see it.
The metal flickered against the stray strand of moon-glow as his blade sliced through flesh one time, then again. Wet plops sounded, announcing that the former occupants of Purgatory were alone and that two more souls had gone to take their place in the beyond. The fleeting peace that found the hunter after a fight settled over him a moment before growing wings and leaving him with his thoughts.
"How long?" he asked.
The evening air stirred the metallic scent of the bisected mutant corpses, his former greeting party. His eyes lit with the barest hint of hunger as the scent of the beasts' last human meals spilled from their steaming bellies, but he held the bloodlust back with the sobering realization of what it represented: victims, the likes of which there were none in Purgatory.
"How long has it been?" he asked again.
His voice was still deep but different from the one he remembered having in his dreams. It felt like a stranger's words leaving him. This new voice, smooth and aged, was one he hadn't used much over the centuries. Castiel, though, made up for the difference, talking enough for the both of them…talking for the both of them, on occasion.
"Ten thousand years, give or take a century—I quit keeping count ages ago." The night's answer was followed by a cackling, harsh chuckle, the laughter of the long mad. "Why? Do ya have a hot date, Dean?"
The hunter looked down at his left hand. If any other being had been on the receiving end of that penetrating stare, they would have curled in on themselves. Though rage, anger, disappointment, fear, had always been so close to surface, his emotions always showing through his mask when he'd been fully human, a wall of coldness had long since taken their place. It was one of the last of many changes that had turned him into this…this new creature, this fusion of Purgatory and humanity.
The intended recipient of that hard glare, though, didn't so much as wince. On Dean's left hand, below fingers which had grown long and pale, a face formed in the lines of the palm. A wide mouth, dark eyes, a lump for a nose—it was the best Castiel could manage without a vessel of his own.
"What?" the angel snapped, from the folds of the hand. "Regretting all those decades spent teaching me sarcasm?"
Dean was silent a moment longer before he answered. "You called me by name."
Castiel frowned, as close to regret as he could reach. "Oh. I forgot about the bounty on our heads—ten thousand years, and we're still hated. Must be doing something right…That's what you would have said once. Would have said everyone still wants a piece of your ass. Remember?"
Dean's eyes were already elsewhere, studying the horizon. Listening to the world, taking in its scent, watching for movement, awaiting certain danger.
Castiel sighed. "D," he finally said. "I'll call you D—it's about time I get to repay you with a bad nickname of your own. D the dhampir. Fitting."
Dean winced, the faintest of expressions in his eyes, but Castiel followed it, the lipless curl of his mouth twitching. "You knew coming here wouldn't change what you are," the angel said, with an almost accusing tone. Then, more quietly, "We should never have returned."
The hunter lowered his hand to his side, stepping through the remains of the monsters and up the hill. In the distance, he could see an orange glow, coming dawn, and it set his white face afire. Once, he had appeared to be a reasonably young man with terribly old eyes. That much had not changed about him. But the rest…
It had started so slowly he hadn't even noticed the smoothness of his face, the unnatural youth of it, the eerie beauty growing in his fine features, until the transition was already upon him.
"True sunlight," he said, some small tremble in his voice. Even as he anticipated the pain he might feel at its touch, the sight stirred in him a remnant of pleasure he'd not felt in ages. Purgatory had day, just as it had night, but there was no sun, and the light didn't heat the skin like it did on the human plane. "I don't know how it will affect me."
"You'll be fine," the night assured. "And if you're not—well, at least you know I'll be here. I'm always here."
'Thanks, Cas,' Dean could hear himself answering, in his old voice. This new voice never spoke at all.
In Purgatory, time didn't pass slower or faster, but it felt as if everything were moving at lightspeed, because, to survive, that was exactly what one must do: move. Keep moving. Never, ever stop to consider how short the days made of dusk have always been or how long the lively nights stretch on.
His feet crushed the leaves below as he slid from a boulder's top, flying through the air and landing in a roll on the forest floor. A split second later, he was at full speed again, not needing to see the creature's snake tail to know the direction in which it went. These days, he moved on instinct alone. It guided him without fail…
There had been a time when weariness had threatened him, when human frailty had been a looming cloud, promising to fall upon him, eventually. One day, he had paused at the creek on the edge of his territory and noted his wavering reflection. Reality had finally set in, and he had seen the truth of matters. He wasn't tired. Not at all, not physically. He had been, after he'd first arrived, but that had been too long ago.
Now, he was solid, strong. And different.
In Purgatory, one didn't age. Not that it was designed for a human soul, much less a living human body, so he wasn't sure if that was supposed to be the case. But the fact remained that he didn't get any older. Of course, he hadn't noticed at first, only barely noting that his cheeks stayed shaven, his hair short, just like they were the night he'd arrived.
So, finding a difference was…wrong. But there could be no mistaking it. His skin was smoother than it had ever been, pale and ceramic, his freckles fading into the white surface. He looked younger, younger than he had been when he'd left the human world.
He'd let his fingers touch his lips, but didn't want to check to see if…
Dean saw the whipping tail raise in time to leap into the air over its slicing blow and fall into a crouch on the other side of the beast. A spray of green blood hung like a cloud of mist, the only evidence that his short knife had found purchase on his way down. The creature screeched out an ear-piercing sound.
It had stopped to do so; it had tried to pause in the constant motion that was Purgatory. And Dean would have its life because of one misspent moment.
He lowered his head, his eyes dark with concentration, body tense with restraint as he tried to make this hunt last. If he made the fight take longer, he could pretend he was still simply a man, the hunter he'd always been, instead of a killing machine. Soon, he knew, he wouldn't be able to do so.
Purgatory had tainted him.
No, that wasn't true… Purgatory had found what he'd hidden within himself and set it free, made it stronger. His own world, and its living monsters, had been what had tainted him over the entirety of his life.
On that day, at the water, he'd remembered what he'd been, if only for a little over a day: a monster, a vampire. The Campbells' cure had saved him. Would have likely kept him a man for an entire lifetime, but it hadn't been a true cure, just a treatment, which faded from his system with time. The creature it left him as was no real vampire but something different altogether, and he wasn't sure if the potion he'd taken, the fairy touch on him, or simply the Winchester curse was to blame…He was not quite human, not quite monster.
The one person who should have been able to give him answers would not—he was out there, of course, but never did he embrace the hunt or acknowledge the changes taking Dean over. No, it was his prey, the naga, its feminine torso curving back to greet him, who first called him by his new breed's name.
"Finish it, dhampir," she hissed, between her dripping fangs. Her black eyes had softened, the grimace leaving her for only a moment as their gazes locked. She swayed, transfixed by him. "I've never seen such a beautiful monster…"
Dean raised his knife, stepping down on the bleeding stump of her tail, and took the only comfort he could, the kill.
Black metal caught the sunlight. It was all slick angles and masculine hardness as it moved, stretching its legs out to approach him at a trot. It was a perfect model, barely used, with only a few scratches on its underbelly, either from the ting of rocks or blades or lasers. One of the blemishes almost looked like a letter, an initial scratched in by a determined hand.
Inside him, something he'd thought was dead stirred to wakefulness, memories of another machine floating to surface. It had been a nomad's home as well; it had been his home, a silent companion more than a tool of his trade. He missed it.
Baby. He wouldn't speak the name. He wouldn't give it away again, either.
"Fella like you can't go wrong with a cybernetic horse, no sir-ree," the shopkeeper said, voice quaking, despite the words. The old man swallowed hard, too nervous to approach. He stayed at the back door, hand out of sight and no doubt on a weapon. Dean understood the reaction. It was the same greeting he received whenever he wandered upon humans. They seemed both pulled in and terrified by his presence. "I—I can make you a good deal if you're lookin' to buy."
Pulling free a small bag of coins, Dean wordlessly tossed it at the man and saddled his cybernetic steed.
"Anything else I can get you?" the shopkeeper asked. But the man was already stepping back into the dwelling.
Dean gave a slight shake of his head and his long hair pulled free of the cloak around him, catching the breeze. He'd grown it out at Castiel's insistence after his first encounter with sun-sickness, to keep his white skin from the harsh rays, and where the light hit the long locks, they turned dark. Now, there was barely a hint of the blonde shade he'd been born with; there was barely a hint of anything reminiscent of Dean Winchester anymore.
The shop door slammed shut in reply, the sound of a lock sliding into place loud enough for him to hear. His left hand snorted.
"You overpaid," Castiel noted.
Dean felt those words should have been his. On some days, he was certain the angel simply spoke the things he wanted to hear from his new co-owned host, but neither of them ever acknowledged as much.
"They're all scared of you," the hand continued. "Or wanting to screw you—obviously the future is filled with lower standards."
Dean rode his horse away from the town, ignoring his friend. If any passerby heard, they'd likely think he was talking to himself, no rare madness in this day and age.
"Fairy tales," Castiel said, as soon as they'd passed back into the wilderness of the Frontier. The angel's tone was difference now, not a hint of teasing in the words. "They all believe in fairy tales. Even this…Nobility." He spat the word with no small amount of disgust. "The vampires have made their own mythology, their own stories to explain how they came into existence…Their own religion. A world war in place of a would-be Apocalypse? Aliens instead of angels? Funny shit. There's no telling what else they believe—next time, get a room at the inn so we can hear more of the gossip."
Dean shot a look down at his hand, remembering a time when those words and that gruff, crazed tone would have surprised him. He couldn't recall why exactly, though. Castiel had been like this far longer than he had been like anything else… "The Noble I killed mentioned someone called the Sacred Ancestor."
It had been dumb luck that he'd stumbled upon a traveling Count and managed to take the vampire down so easily. He'd stolen the vampire's clothing, black wrappings that hugged him tightly, fitted armor from a regal age he'd somehow missed, and a wide-brimmed black hat that blocked out the light better than the hair flowing down his back. And, of course, he'd taken the vampire's wealth, too.
"Yeah, he also tossed around 'Dracula' while he was name-dropping." Castiel chuckled, then stopped, as if he suddenly remembered Dean's missing sense of humor. "You're thinking it's the Alpha who started this mess?"
Dean ran his free hand over the smooth metal of the horse, patting it gently, as if it lived. "He'll have answers."
Castiel was silent a moment. "Sure he will," he finally said, softly. "Do you really want to hear them though? Something bad happened to the world, D—something bad enough that even the monsters came up with stories to make them feel better about their pasts. Something so bad that we haven't been able to conjure a single demon—at least not one of Hell's making."
Dean didn't answer. He only leaned forward, pushing the machine faster. Castiel was right, but the angel didn't seem to understand that those answers were why Dean had escaped in the first place. After all, they'd both known this place would be no better than Purgatory, and, here, they had to watch the innocents die along with the beasts.
By comparison, Dean had left his Paradise behind. But, for a reason.
Death was to be feared, even in the afterlife.
It had not been Dean's immediate fear, of course. Disoriented, surrounded by creatures all lusting for his blood, the adrenaline of his fight with the Leviathan already draining, he'd felt a tremor of terror, mostly because he realized, only minutes into his arrival, that he was alone. More so when Castiel, his single companion, disappeared, leaving him to the beasts.
The angel didn't come back. Sam was not there. His world had abandoned him.
As he ran through the forest, though, that was when he realized that death was still to be feared. He was a human. A human soul in a living body. What happened when he died? Would his soul pass from Purgatory, on to Heaven? On to Hell?
Or would it remain here?
When he next saw him, Castiel would look at him, and Dean would realize the angel had known that night the answer to those questions. It had been the reason he'd left him, unwilling to watch, unwilling to perform the deed himself. Unwilling to be the one to grant Dean the one safe passage out he knew of—the one to Heaven. Dean didn't know he wasn't supposed to run, to fight, to survive, until it was too late.
"Purgatory is in your blood now," Castiel had told him, a confession, decades later.
Those had been the words that had finally stopped Dean from trying to find freedom. If he was becoming a monster, this was where he belonged. He embraced the afterlife, the eternal hunt, not willing to return home as the hunted.
Centuries. It had been centuries since the angel had called for him, centuries since Castiel had acknowledged him with anything but regret and pity pitching his low voice. But this cry was filled with anguish.
Dean heard it in the distance, too far away for a human to ever pick up on, and forgot the prey he was stalking, making a mad dash to the hillside, where the sound had come from.
Now that he was listening, he could hear more than the angel. He could hear beasts. Many beasts.
Dean felt it, a thud in his chest as his heart seized, knowing instinctively what had happened. It was inevitable that the monsters would lose their wariness of the heavenly creature, and that Castiel, so long lost inside his own mind, would do nothing to stop them.
Still, seeing it happen was something Dean was not prepared for.
He rose over the ridge in time to hear the wet rip of flesh, smell the fresh scent of blood misting the air. A pack of hounds as big as bulls growled and snapped at something laying flat against the creek's pebbled banks, fighting each other for the chance to dig into the meaty vessel.
The sight triggered something inside him. Dean moved without thought, tossing his stone-tipped spear at the closest of the creatures before pulling free his knife. His vision went red, and when it returned, he was hunched forward onto one knee, covered in gore. The corpses of the hounds lay on either side of him, their dark blood spilling into the trickling water behind him. In front of him lay shredded remains, almost unrecognizable from the beasts but for the slivers of reddened clothing.
Dean splayed a hand on the angel's head, closing his remaining eye, as if he could picture the vessel's face, whole and staring up at him. "Cas, I'm—"
He hesitated, feeling the heat under his fingertips. It wasn't the warmth of a body, but the essence of an angel. Of a lost angel.
Dean winced, almost hearing the man's voice in his head. "Cas—I'm not a human anymore. I can't…I'm not a vessel." He swallowed, bitter, ignoring the hot burn at his palm, where it rested against the body—the angel's whispers filled his head. "It's alright, Cas. Yes—you have my permission. I'll carry you, if I still can."
Rumor and instinct had led him here. There were other castles, ones still occupied by their Nobles, ones which required a hunter, but this place, long abandoned, had drawn his attention, in part because it was one of the oldest amongst them. And in part because legend said the Sacred Ancestor himself had once lived inside.
The complex was ancient, a thing of myth, known and avoided by humans for miles around. The skeletal remains littering the grounds was evidence that braver souls, or perhaps simply greedier thieves, had tried to enter it and failed. The scars on its high walls were proof that even nuclear blasters had done little good in getting past its security. The castle might have been empty, but its defenses were obviously still active.
Sword strapped across his back, Dean approached with a caution that didn't show on his face or in his walk. The blue pendant in his right hand glowed gently. He'd left his cyborg horse outside, not wanting it destroyed by a false step, but his approach was not stopped. A netting of laser beams showed themselves when he reached the front gate. When he took another step, they promptly powered down. A clicking sound warned him to look up, but it was only the main gate slowly opening, the slick metal bridge, over what must have been a camouflaged mote, sliding out and hitting the earth at his feet.
He stepped onto it, and it retracted automatically, pulling him into the compound.
"Huh." Castiel's breathy note came out surprised. "You sure the owner's not home, D?"
Dean remained quiet, surveying the area. The outside of the castle had been an illusion, the gate appearing to open up into a courtyard. Instead, he found himself inside a dark, cavernous room, the door behind him already shut. With a hiss, lights activated along the high, pitched arches, casting an eerie glow over the ceiling and sending shadows over the slippery marble floor beneath.
Once perhaps, this room had been filled, but now it was empty but for a control panel at the center, looking oddly out of place. It stood at waist height and a few feet wide, as if it were a sacrificial altar, awaiting its occupant.
"D, you can still step away from this. This Sacred Ancestor…he's not here. He's not creating monsters or hurting people anymore either. Whatever it was he did back in the day, whatever he did that caused this world to be like it is, he's not doing it anymore, and finding him won't fix anything. He's not your prob—"
Dean curled his hand into a fist to stop the angel from speaking, and simply stood in front of the display a moment, considering his options. Finally, his fingers loosened.
"Make it work," he said. It wasn't a request.
Castiel's voice came out shaky, the growl in it forced. "And what makes you think I know anything about the technology here?"
Dean only cocked his head, brow raised. They both knew that the control panel didn't resemble anything they'd seen in the human world outside. And they both knew it was less machinery than mystical at work here.
"Fine," he angel huffed. "Let me see it."
Dean didn't acknowledge the answer but reached out, placing his left hand over the display. The flat surfaces of the panel began to shift up and down, resembling misshapen keyboard buttons. Something beneath sizzled, as if it were about to catch fire. Castiel sighed.
"There's not much here—outside of the what's keeping the castle secure, the information has been wiped cleaned…"
Castiel was quiet a moment. "No," he said. "I'm not. It's been wiped… But for a few fragments and an image. Dean, it's not too—"
"D," the hunter corrected, his voice nearly at a whisper.
A sigh sounded from his hand again, this one laced with sympathy. "Fine. There is a mention of the Alpha in the spell keeping this place running, but it's nothing you're going to like—it's basically a description of the castle: '…this temple, in honor of our Father, who fell the seed of the Alpha and bore into life our kind, the Noblest of the Beasts.'"
"Then the Sacred Ancestor was never here," D said, after a moment.
"Really, that's all you're taking from that? What about the part where the Alpha isn't who we're searching for?"
D silently turned, stepping back toward the gated door.
"What? Now you're not even going to ask about the image? Or are you afraid of what it might be?"
The dhampir hesitated at the angel's words, turning back to the display. Without another word, it lit up, projecting an image high above. The hologram rotated midair, a three dimensional form of a bare-featured brass face, two horns splitting out the sides of it head. Dean knew it, every feature of it, because he'd spent most of his time on Earth with its duplicate around his neck.
"It's the symbol of the Sacred Ancestor," Castiel said. "The one he chose…But, you're not surprised, are you? You knew. You knew it wasn't the Alpha who did this. You already knew it was him before we ever left Purgatory, didn't you?" Castiel paused. "How long?"
D pulled his cold eyes away from the display, and the image disappeared, casting them into darkness. "Since before you ever started talking to me again, before you took me as your vessel. I hunted a vampire…It told me. The world was collapsing in on itself, Cas. The demons left, and the angels, all that remained of them, came to take back the Earth. All that was left to defend it was the monsters—so he used them. That's all he did. He used them, created a new breed to save the world…And when it was all done, that new breed decided they'd earned the right to rule it."
The gaping room was quiet, haunted but for the ghosts.
When the angel's voice returned, it had lost its accusations and taken on a tone Dean still remembered, that of pity. "Sam always had the best of intentions."
Dean winced. Resolve, the first true expression to cross his face since he'd left his afterlife, filled his eyes. "I'll find him."
"If there's anything left to find," Castiel agreed.
"There is," Dean assured, gripping the blue pendant more tightly. His instinct was to pull his sword, to run his fingers over the grip and remind himself of why he was here, but he remained still. "He's out there, Cas. And, I'm still a hunter—I'll find him. Eventually."
"And then what?"
Dean hesitated, just the barest hint of the man he'd once been in his voice. "I'll save him," he whispered.
"Or kill him?"
Dean tucked the pendant back under his armor. "Who's to say there's a difference anymore?"
They called the flashes of light breaking the twilight sky "breaches," and by the time they started to appear, it was already too late for them to be of any use. The first few breaches were rare, at least a hundred years between each one, but they became more constant. Some were extractions, taking beasts from the depths of Purgatory and into the remains of the human world. Other breaches left behind those same creatures, made new by experiments and rejected by their creators. All were forced, unnatural occurrences.
Dean had decided long ago, when their purpose first dawned on him, to never seek them out. He was where the monsters roamed, and here he would stay, with his like.
Tonight, this breach was nearby. It lit the sky with white and ended within the blink of an eye. Dean was hunting a beast when he saw it above, felt the sting of energy ripple through the forest, shaking leaves from the trees.
"Someone's searching this place," Castiel said, from within his new vessel. It was not the first time he'd made the declaration and there was no awe of insight within the words. It was a simple comment, meant only to entice the man he wore into speaking.
Dean ignored the voice, the way a madman might, but held out his left hand, letting it suck in the static air and absorb that lingering power. The angel had learned many such tricks throughout the ages, but Dean only made use of the ones he could use on his hunts.
"No creatures," Castiel announced, almost disappointed, "but…I think something else was left behind. There's a scent where the gap opened. Metallic. And magical."
Dean cocked his head, the only expression of surprise he allowed before his feet began to move, sending him at a dead run through the black. He sliced through it, forgetting the monsters he'd been so apt to find, and didn't slow until he reached the clearing. Smoke drifted up where the breach had hit the ground, leaving smoldering grass in its stead.
"Huh. That's different," Castiel noted.
Dean curled his fingers together loosely, keeping the angel quiet as he approached. His preternatural eyes narrowed on the gleam of the object, as if it were somehow foreign to him, but he knew its shape. As a man, he hadn't had much need for it, but his heart sped with sudden want—he paused, allowing his senses to search the area over, to assure no other would swoop in and steal it.
They were alone, for now, though beasts would come to investigate soon enough. The breach-flash only ever held them off for so long.
Dean used his right hand, the one that was still his own, to reach out, fingertips grazing the grip of the weapon. The sword's blade was long, even for his height, and slender, a graceful curve to its form that reminded him of a woman. It was no well-worn relic, but a thing of beauty, new and shining, and impractical in both size and shape to a normal human. But, perfect for a creature such as himself.
He pulled back slightly, as if he'd been stung, and studied it with a wary eye.
"How do you figure it ended up here?"
Dean wasn't sure when he'd released his fist, but he had. He swallowed, uncertain for the first time in ages. "It came with purpose," he said, quietly.
He knew that much to be true.
The weapon's slender cross-guard took on a similar sway as the blade, and at center, where the blade met the grip, hung an oval, blue pendant on a chain.
"That would be the magic I tasted," Castiel noted. "I'm not sure what it's supposed to do, though. Definitely has some energy in it. If I didn't know better, I'd say it was another angel's grace—only torn to shreds, which isn't possible. Or wasn't, back when I was one."
Dean didn't reply. Caution had been a lesson he'd learned repeatedly, so he lifted the pendant off with his left hand, in case Castiel needed to swallow it in a hurry. Then he moved in closer, running his free hand over the grip of the sword again, and pulling it from the soil.
His cheek twitched with pleasure—the scrap of metal he still had was pitted and worn, barely fit to be called a knife. This…this was the best gift he could ever receive.
He let the flat of the blade rest gently against the scorched grass and pulled his palm over the two-handed grip until he found the small pommel at the end. At first, he'd thought he'd imaged it, the shape carved into the metal ornament, barely big enough to see, but his thumb ran over it, memorizing the two letters in a way his mind wouldn't allow.
They were crude, the initials, like something a child might carve into a tree. Or into a hidden spot of the car he called home.
Dean could feel his pulse leaping against his neck, could taste the twang of his own blood in the back of his throat, as he pressed his thumb over the two letters again.
"You feeling okay, Dean?"
The hunter forced himself to calm, pulling the blade up again, as if there were nothing to see along its grip. The angel could feel his body's reaction, but he didn't know the hunter's mind, and Dean wouldn't let him see the mark in the metal.
The message there, after all, was for him alone. It could have just as clearly read, 'Come find me, Dean.'
He released a shallow breath.
Then it was time.
Dean had thought perhaps the creatures who'd spread their rumors about the Earth were wrong. That perhaps beasts lied just like demons—but all foul things, as it turned out, sometimes told the truth.
Words he would have once said circled his mind, but never left his lips. "I'm coming, Sammy."
He would meet the light of the next breach, the one, like all the others, meant for him.
The hunter traveled through the desert on a cybernetic horse with no name, in search. Forest or sea, Frontier or Capital, his journey was without end, another thing he learned from Purgatory.
"It could take centuries," Castiel reminded him, as he did every once in a great while.
The pair continued, the setting sun before them, the trot of the machine a steady heartbeat.
"Why is he hiding, if he wants you to find him?"
Dean, now D, stared down at his hand a moment, giving him the slightest of smiles, a rarity unseen by the world around him. Castiel sighed at the lacking reply.
"He always did have the best of intentions," drifted up from hand, a long awaited echo. "And what do we do in the meantime? Or are we just planning to circle the world, looking for odd jobs?"
Dean sat up a bit straighter, a black silhouette on the landscape. His old self, the one who was merely a man, would have said clearly, "We do what we're good at, saving people, hunting things," but D, the vampire hunter, knew actions spoke louder than words.
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed it.