A/N: Hello, all! So I just want to say, that I was struck SIMULTANEOUSLY by two Destiel fic ideas, one is another sort of Crack!Fic one and then there was this one, so basically I asked people to vote for which one I should write first and voila. So, short version: I'll be writing two fics in quick succession. But I'm really looking forward to writing this as I feel it will express my feels adequately, I have a LOT of feels. So, that's all really, hope you enjoy, I'm usually pretty good at updating every day. Reviews are always loved :) x
Sam was concerned. It had been three days since Lisa and Ben's memories had been wiped and Dean wasn't showing any signs of getting over it. When Dean had first explained what he'd asked Castiel to do, Sam had initially thought he was lying, or at least exaggerating. That his brother was willing to give up the only real chance he'd ever had at a normal life just so that two people he cared about wouldn't be in danger was noble, yes, but in Sam's eyes it was also selfish. Lisa and Ben had no control over their own memory anymore, and they had both loved Dean. He was depriving them of that.
It didn't seem to matter though. Dean sat on Bobby's couch three days later, his silhouette illuminated in the angel-sigil obscured windows behind him. He had been sharpening stakes with Ruby's knife methodically ever since they got back, stopping only for sleep, food and the bathroom. Sam decided enough was enough.
"Dean." Sam said in a low voice, marching across the room and looming over his brother with his impressive form. Dean said nothing. He didn't even look up from sharpening. "Dean, we need to get to work."
"I know, Sammy." Dean murmured, still not looking up. Sam waited for a few moments, almost expecting Dean to jump into action and shove the depression deep down into the corners of his mind like he always did. When it was clear that he wasn't going to move, Sam sighed and walked into the kitchen to find Bobby.
Dean was sharpening. Sharpening was fine. It was something he knew how to do, something that aided them in hunting – because you can never have enough stakes handy in Dean's opinion – and something that allowed him to think. Sam could hardly argue that he was doing nothing, in fact he was getting a hell of a lot done. In the past three days he had managed to carve thirty-three stakes, and in the process, he had had time to mull things over. Not that it had helped much, he would admit.
After about the third stake, Dean identified the feeling that was currently drowning him inside and out as utter betrayal. Dean liked to think of himself as a fairly simple guy and he was certain that almost everyone he knew, if they were ever asked to describe him, would choose the adjective 'loyal'.
Dean knew this because he was aware that there was little he cared about as much as his friends and family, and he was sure that he would go to his eventual grave defending them and protecting them with every ounce of strength in his body. Consequently, it was little wonder that Dean took it so hard when someone he had come to care about so deeply betrayed his trust and took advantage of that loyalty.
First it was Sammy with the demon blood. His naïve, reckless little brother had gone and got himself a demon girlfriend and through trusting her instead of Dean, his own brother, had nearly started the goddamn apocalypse. Soon afterwards, Dean privately thought that it must be true what they say about blood being thicker than water, because despite Dean being family, it was Ruby's blood thrumming through Sam's veins.
And now, as if the first betrayal wasn't bad enough, Castiel had decided to rip the longer leash Dean had given him to shreds and run off on his own, deciding to pair up with Crowley. Of all people. And dammit, it wasn't fair. Dean's sharpening got angrier as he thought about Castiel, and his brow furrowed in the half light from the obscured window.
Castiel was an angel. He really thought he wouldn't have to put up with this kind of shit from him. Angels are supposed to be good and decent and full of love or whatever. They are not supposed to make secret, shady deals with the King of Hell in order to defeat their enemies.
After everything Cas had done for him, died for him, saved him countless times, why did he do this? How could he do this? All Dean had ever done was trust him. It felt like his soul was bruised. Maybe it was, who knows what Cas did with him on the trip up from Hell? Dean stopped sharpening, realising he had filed the stake down to an unusable nub. Angrily, he threw it onto the pile of others at his feet and wrenched up the short sleeve of his t-shirt to reveal the faded pink handprint burned into his flesh. He used to catch sight of it sometimes after a shower, or in bed in the mornings and be momentarily dumbstruck, unable to do anything other than stare and gingerly run a fingertip over the scarred skin, thinking that a goddam Angel of the Lord did that, and he did it because he thought I deserved to be saved.
Now all Dean could think was that it would forever serve as a constant reminder of one of his closest friends turning on him.
It's like having a damn tattoo of an ex-girlfriend's name, he thought, annoyed, chastising himself when he realised he'd just compared Cas to an ex-girlfriend.
Dean pulled the sleeve back down, hiding his permanent Castiel friendship bracelet from the world, and stood up for the first time in several hours. His knees clicked as if in protest, and Dean winced, but marched forwards purposefully, sending stakes rolling around the room with a clatter. He found Sam and Bobby sitting at the kitchen table. They both looked momentarily stunned at the sight of him.
"Okay," Dean said, placing his hands on his hips and trying to sound like he was on top of this situation, "what are we waiting for? Let's get to work."
Sam rolled his eyes.
It took them a few hours to come up with a plan, and even then it wasn't a very good one, but Dean guessed that while he'd been moping – it turned out Sam thought he was upset over Lisa and Ben, which he was in part, but to be honest he knew they were far better off without him; you'd have to be an idiot not to see that – Cas and Crowley had been cooking up some schemes of their own, and had almost undoubtedly worked out that Dr Visyak was the key to the very heavily locked gate to Purgatory, meaning they were several steps, or perhaps several miles, behind.
The first part of the plan was easy. It was a race for both teams; whoever gets to Dr Visyak first wins. Luckily for Team Winchester (& Singer), Bobby was on a (cough) first name basis with the Doctor herself. As soon as Bobby managed to get in touch and find out where she was hiding, the three hunters went down to collect her and drive her to an abandoned warehouse near to Bobby's repair shop in Sioux Falls.
Funnily enough, this part of the plan ran smoothly, and despite Dean driving like an old lady because he was so sure that his own personal angel was going to appear in the middle of the highway at any moment, they managed to escort Eleanor Visyak from her far-from-inconspicuous 'safehouse', complete with pillars, a fountain and a damn peacock strutting around, all the way to a run-down, leaking and fairly grey looking building somewhere in South Dakota. Dean had to hand it to her, she did her best to look grateful to them.
But none of the men were really that worried about the first part, it was the rest of the plan that was going to be difficult to put into action. With a nod from Dean, Bobby led Dr Visyak inside the building, going to find a room to put her in for now, as they'd agreed, and cover it with as many angel-sigils as possible. The boys watched them enter the warehouse from their position by the car.
"I guess we'd better get started then." Dean said to Sam, walking round to the boot of the Impala without waiting for a reply.
"Dean, are you sure we have enough? This place is bigger than I thought."
"We have enough." Dean said firmly, opening the trunk and pulling out two large paint tins, each with viscous, golden oil dripping down the sides. Sam sighed in resignation, still looking unsure, and grabbed two more tins.
An hour later they were all in position, stationed outside the door leading to the room where Dr Visyak currently sat, awaiting her fate and trying not to get cobwebs on her outfit. The boys had gone over the plan three times with her, separately, in case she decided she trusted one of them more than the others. They were fairly certain she knew what to do.
Sam held an angel sword in his hand. He'd tried to give one to Dean, but all it had taken was one look into his brother's slightly glistening eyes, and he knew that Dean couldn't kill that particular angel even if he wanted to. Sam had given the sword to Bobby instead, and gone to stand right in front of the door.
Along with the angel-sword, Bobby also held a shotgun, filled with bullets of rock salt. He still hadn't gotten over that whole you-have-to-kiss-me-and-also-I'm-taking-photographic-evidence-along-with-your-soul thing. He was going to get a shot at Crowley if it killed him.
Dean clutched a good old iron rod. He liked to stick to the basics, and if he knew one thing for sure, it was that Demons, even King Demons, loathed iron. He was planning on leaving Cas to Sam and Bobby, although he doubted the angel would let it go down that way. Still, he could always hope. Well hope, and slice open his arm to draw a good old-fashioned angel-banishing sigil on the wall behind a piece of scrap metal over near the door.
Half an hour later and Sam started to fidget, wondering if maybe he could have got something wrong when he sent Castiel a ransom-prayer broadcasting their whereabouts and the fact they have Dr Visyak. He wished he could have gotten Dean to do the praying, as Castiel rarely responded to Sam and always responded to Dean, but he sensed that wouldn't have been a reasonable favour to ask of his brother at this moment in time, judging by the heartbroken pang of emotion that shot through his face whenever anyone even spoke the angel's name.
"Sammy!" Dean shouted back at him, with unnecessary anger, Sam thought. "Why aren't they here? Did you screw up?"
Sam sucked in a breath, ready to defend his praying skills admirably, but he was interrupted by a sudden commotion as Crowley suddenly appeared in front of the three men, and Bobby rushed straight at him with a yell, gun raised. Crowley looked shocked at the sudden cry but smirked and raised a hand, preparing to mojo Bobby out of his way.
"No!" Sam and Dean cried together, realising what was about to happen, and they started to move towards the Demon, knowing full well it was too late.
Crowley swiped his hand through the air with a flourish, smiling wickedly. Nothing happened. Bobby reached the Demon and shoved the barrel of his gun hard against Crowley's chest. Crowley was frowning and looking at his hands, too preoccupied with why his own powers weren't working to take Bobby's vengeful quest into account.
"I hope this hurts you goddamn soul-stealing bastard!" Bobby yelled into Crowley's face, forcing the King of Hell to focus on him at last, and fired the gun. The blast shot a hole straight through Crowley and he screamed in agony, falling to his knees and clutching his bleeding chest.
Bobby backed off, panting heavily and smiling a little, holding the smoking shotgun close. After a few moments, Crowley seemed to recover enough to look up. Upon seeing Bobby, his blood-stained lips curled into a snarl.
"Now," Crowley said, breathing heavily, "why would you think that's a good idea?"
Slowly, he picked himself up off of the floor, still holding his chest, and began to move towards Bobby, a dangerous look in his eyes. He stopped short after a few paces, as if walking into an invisible barrier. He looked confusedly around him. Bobby grinned and blew the smoke away from the barrel of his gun, pointing at the ceiling to show Crowley the gigantic pentagram demon trap he had painted there earlier. Crowley let out a drawn out groan. Sam and Dean couldn't help flashing each other a quick smile. Oh yes, the King of Hell was their little bitch. At least for a little while.
"Well, yes. Excellent plan fellas. Truly." Crowley said, pacing the perimeters of his new prison to check the size. "You missed one thing though. Or did you forget? Your little guardian Angel is my new best friend now." Crowley said, looking Dean directly in the eyes and grinning. Dean's jaw twitched and he clutched his iron bar tighter.
As if on cue, there was a sudden flap of wings from nearby, and before Dean could really prepare himself at all, Castiel was standing there, next to Crowley's trap, in the same damn too-huge trenchcoat - and wasn't that just perfect? Why did he have to look like Cas, Dean's innocent, awkward friend, even after he'd done something this terrible?
Dean was frozen, and could only watch as Castiel took in the scene before him. Bobby lunged towards him, still out of breath from the Crowley attack, his angel-sword raised. Castiel looked up in plenty of time and dodged him, alarmed. He noticed Sam and Dean over by the door to Dr Visyak's room, Sam with one hand on the handle, as if staking the claim on it. Then his face grew dark. In a blip he was over at the door, and Sam was suddenly wrestling him, holding up his angel sword…
It was the only thought Dean could decipher from the thousands whirling around in his mind. It didn't make a lick of sense, but he knew he needed to stop Sam. He couldn't let this happen. There was no time for thinking things through rationally. He ran at Castiel, slamming into him with impressive force that would be enough to floor a regular guy, but Castiel was no regular guy, and the impact only knocked him back slightly from Sam, forcing the angel to focus on Dean, who had his arms wrapped around his middle in a deadly grip. For a few terrible moments wherein Dean thought he might explode from the gut-wrenching misery overwhelming him, Castiel just looked confusedly down at the older Winchester, and if he'd tilted his head Dean was sure he would have died on the spot, because God, it's like we're back in a crummy motel and I made some pop culture reference he's querying me about for the thousandth time.
Instead, Castiel found only sad, determined anger in Dean's face, and so he began to grapple with him, struggling to free himself, and fighting off Dean's sudden oncoming blows.
In the midst of the tussle, a thought lurched into Dean's face that almost made him laugh hysterically; this is the only time I've ever hugged the guy.
Castiel turned them around as they struggled together, and over the angel's shoulder Dean caught a glimpse of Sam pulling the angel sword back, as if about to plunge it forwards, an apologetic look cast half-heartedly towards him.
Dean's mind went blank and he suddenly yanked on the angel's coat lapels, pulling him away from Sam, dragging him over towards a piece of scrap metal leaning against the wall. Castiel clutched at Dean's arms, trying to wrench them away from him, and Dean felt a tremor run through him as Cas unknowingly gripped the very same spot he had down in the blistering, black depths of Hell all that time ago. He blinked away the stinging sensation in his eyes and kicked the metal away. Castiel's eyes opened wide in shock, and Dean slammed a hand against the sigil.
Castiel screamed and a burst of bright white light shot through the room; Dean felt him tremor and shake beneath his hands, saw the brilliant light glow in his eyes. He watched the light engulf Castiel from his face, down his arms, all in a matter of milliseconds. Then without warning, he felt his left deltoid burn, as if someone poured boiling acid straight onto the skin. He screamed in pain, and squeezed his eyes shut just in time to shut out the light that suddenly shot through his body.
As he welcomed the unconsciousness that began to drift over him, thankfully dulling the pain, Dean was vaguely aware of Sam, screaming at Dr Visyak to throw the flaming bottle out of the window, setting the ring of Jerusalem oil that surrounded the building ablaze, but it was too late... far too late for that. A black veil started to cloud Dean's mind, swallowing every one of his senses. He decided to focus on Castiel, his crisp, smooth trenchcoat solid beneath his hands, still clutching his scar like his life depended on it.