When the Devil Takes Hold
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural.
Castiel eased himself so that his back was resting against the wall. He focused on keeping his breaths even and pushed the constant pain down. He was afraid the Winchester's wouldn't take the news well but he was more afraid of what would happen when they've tried everything and the outcome remained unchanged. However he knew he would allow them to try…to poke and prod and whatever else. If this is what they need…anything for the Winchesters.
Tired eyes tracked Dean as he paced (practically sprinted) across the scuffed floor of Bobby's living room. Dean had been adamantly spurting out any evil-combating idea he had ever come up with while being a hunter. Castiel had settled himself against the wall behind the cot in a mockery of comfort. He heard Dean's hurried rambles but the ideas that shot out of the older Winchester's mouth only washed against Castiel, grappling at half of his conscience attention. He still needed to pour focus into subduing the writhing poison inside him. If he did not let his attention falter it was manageable. He only noticed the conversation had turned because the chatter had ceased.
"Dean, Dean," Sam said standing to get his brother's attention, "Those are great ideas but we need to get an understanding of how this poison is working and how far it has progressed."
"Yeah okay," Dean said running his hands through his hair. "Is the poison tied to your grace? Worsened maybe by using your angel mojo?"
Cas registered the question but was unsure how to answer. "It seems to be, yes, but it is difficult to tell."
"Well what hurts?" Dean asked.
"Everything." The words rushed from Castiel before he could even think. He was surprised at the exhaustion in his voice.
"His wounds aren't healed," Sam explained to Dean, "It will be difficult to tell right now what is from the injuries and what is from the poison."
Dean thought for a space. "His wings weren't hurt, right Cas?" Castiel nodded. "Well flying is an angel mojo thing. If he can fly and it doesn't hurt we will know its not a mojo thing."
Sam looked at Cas from where he was standing beside the cot. "What do you think?"
Castiel thought it was futile. Castiel thought that it would just result in pain. He knew the poison was tearing at his grace, he could feel it. He also knew that the Winchester's would never accept defeat without exhausting all options. The faster he could help them come to terms with what was happening the sooner they could focus their energies on the looming apocalypse. So he simply said, "I'll try."
Dean saw a few pieces of paper fly from Bobby's desk as Cas gave his wings an experimental flap. It didn't seem to cause the angel any pain. Maybe the poison is tied to the wound and we can disinfect it…maybe his grace is still clean… "Flap on over here," he said to Cas.
With a blink of an eye Castiel went from the cot to about a foot from Dean. Suddenly Dean found himself staring into two very blue eyes. He couldn't stop the slight jump of surprise. Castiel stood in front of him and for a millisecond Dean felt relief wash over him. No adverse side effects.
As soon as that feeling was given it was ripped away as Dean watched Cas's pupils blow wide with pain, turning the angel's eyes into black disks rimmed with the slightest line of blue. Cas's lips parted slightly in a silent scream and with a slight huff of air he crumpled at Dean's feet.
The now familiar blackness cleared from Castiel's vision and Dean's face came into focus. Cas caught the end of Dean's rushed concerns-
"Sorry man, shouldn't have asked that…you're okay…"
"It's a mojo thing," Castiel said hoarsely turned Dean's words around in an attempt to add humor to their bleak situation.
Sam allowed himself a small half smile…more like a twitch of the lips. "Yeah Cas, it is." Just as Lucifer told me it would be…
"Well okay," Dean said (still playing optimist as he helped Cas up and back to the bed), "We can still try and slow this thing down."
"How?" Sam blurted.
"Well the blade Cas was stabbed with was covered in the poison…it's been a while but I think our best bet is to disinfect the wound. Maybe the residual poison is what is preventing it from healing properly." He turned back to the jug of water that had the rosary floating inside. One bag of rock salt later he had a gallon of anti-demon juice. He let the salt dissolve.
Disinfecting an old, festered, stab wound was definitely on Sam's list of things to never do again. He glanced over at his brother as he continued to pick up the sodden towels. They had removed the dressing from Cas's wound and laid him on Bobby's table. Sam had the distasteful job of holding Cas down while Dean poured the holy water and salt into the infected wound. It had not been pleasant. In fact, if Castiel had been up to full power Sam had a feeling somebody would have gotten smote.
Fortunately Castiel had lost consciousness after the second time the wound was flushed out.
Dean was still cleaning the wound and re-wrapping it. "Looks a little better," Dean muttered.
"Yeah I think it helped. Smoked a lot…that's probably a good sign." Truth be told, Sam had no idea what was a good or bad sign when treating ancient angel poisonings. But if it didn't help then they just tortured Cas for nothing. It helped…it had to have helped.
"Come help me move him," Dean's voice filtered into Sam's troubled mind. Between the two of them, Cas was soon resting underneath the old worn comforter once again.
Sam collapsed, unusually drained, onto the couch and heard the unmistakable sound of whiskey sloshing into a glass. He felt the couch depress as his brother sat down next to him.
"This will help," Dean said, not meeting Sam's eyes. "Just wait. When he wakes up he will be feeling better. I bet you anything we bought ourselves enough time."
"Time for what?" Sam was surprised at the frustration his voice conveyed.
"To figure something out Sam! To stop all of this!"
Sam heard Lucifer's voice in the back of his mind. There is a way Sam….say yes. "There is a way…" he heard himself echoing under his breath.
"Damnit Sammy," Dean slammed his glass down and rounded on his brother, "No one is saying yes you got it?"
Sam met his brother's cold, determined gaze and nodded. "Yeah, of course."
Dean threw back the rest of the whiskey and got up. "I'm going to see if Bobby has figured out anything new."
Sam heaved a sigh as he was left essentially alone in the living room. Dean will find a way…we will find away. We always do and this time is no different….right?
Castiel cracked an eye open and was met with a late morning sun. He pulled himself into a sitting position and rubbed a hand across his face. A glance about the room told him he was alone although he could hear the sounds of someone working in the junkyard outside. He took a moment to run a self-assessment, already bracing himself for the pain he knew the poison would bring him.
The lesser wounds on his chest seemed to be healing well and the pain from the burns had decreased. He rested a hand over the stab wound on his abdomen and was surprised to notice the action didn't cause him overwhelming pain. Apprehensively he searched within himself and accessed his grace. Pain flared upon doing this but it was much less severe as before. He let out a sigh of relief.
"Feeling okay Cas?"
Castiel's eyes snapped open to find Dean standing in the doorway wiping greasy hands off on a rag. "Hello Dean."
"You look a little better. How do you feel?"
"The pain has lessened a great deal," memories of burning, all consuming pain flared in his mind. He was being held down as they poured salted holy water into his open wound. He remembered hearing someone screaming. He swallowed thickly, "Thank you."
"Did it…you know…" Dean didn't know how to phrase his question.
"Reverse the poison?" Castiel filled in and Dean nodded. "Not completely."
"Yeah okay," Dean rushed, "But we have more time." His smile did not reach his eyes. "You need anything? I just came in here for some lunch? Hungry?" He gestured towards the kitchen.
"I do not require food Dean," Castiel answered with a characteristic head tilt.
"Yeah okay," Dean sounded unsure, "Just tell me if you change your mind." The angel did not respond which wasn't unusual to Dean. He went into the kitchen and began making himself a mostly lunch meat sandwich. He was just sitting down at the table and cracking open a beer when there was a quiet knock at the front door. Grumbling at the fact that he was the only one in the area who could easily get to the door he pushed his chair back and walked over.
He pulled the door open with the greeting dying on his lips. The porch was empty and there was no sign of any vehicle driving away down Bobby's long driveway. He stepped out but was stopped immediately when his foot hit what looked to be a very old wooden crate.
"Hey Bobby," he leant down to pick up the crate, "You have a—" but he cut his sentence short when he saw the name on the front. It was addressed to Dean Winchester with Bobby's address underneath. No return address. Naturally Dean brought the mystery package inside and plopping it on Bobby's desk. He pulled Ruby's knife from his pocket, jammed it under the wooden lid, and began to pry the box open.
"Whatcha got?" Bobby had rolled himself into the living room.
"Dunno, it just showed up," with a final yank the lid broke free and Dean was instantly covered in a foul smelling dust. He coughed and waved his hands about his face to dissipate the stuff.
"You idjit!" Bobby chastised, "You don't go poppin' open any old mystery package!"
"It was addressed to me!" Dean defended around coughs.
"What's going on?" Sam had emerged from upstairs, the tome he was reading still held between his fingers.
"Your idjit brother just popped open an anthrax box is what," Bobby spat obviously still pissed. Dean gave him an exasperated glare.
"There is no infectious disease in that crate," Castiel clarified from the cot.
"Thanks doc," Dean said sarcastically. He dug into the crate removing the top layer of packaging. Underneath lay a stack of tomes, parchments, and tablets. All were covered in different sorts of scripts. "Oh…it's just a bunch of old stuff." He hadn't hardly gotten the words out before he felt the hairs on the top of his head shift with his brother's exhale as Sam crowded over Dean's shoulder to get a look inside. Dean stepped out of the way with a look that said'all yours'.
Sam removed a tablet on top that seemed to be engraved on some sort of soft stone like limestone. "Oh my god," he flipped the tablet over to see the other side covered in script as well. "I think these are real. Who sent it?"
"No return address."
"What's it say?" Bobby had rolled himself to the desk but the crate was too large for him to see inside while in his chair.
"I have no idea," Sam said unrolling some of the parchments. "I don't even recognize some of these."
Dean looked over at Castiel. "Well luckily we have our very own angelic Enigma machine. What do you say, Cas?"
Castiel stood up slowly and walked over to the desk. He looked through the contents of the crate. "Yes these are authentic. Cuneiform, Aramaic, Hellenistic Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphics…" he continued to sift. "This is quite an amazing collection."
"Do you speak those languages?" Sam asked with a slight undertone of reverence, "Can you translate them?"
"I know all dialects of Men," Castiel said distractedly as he continued to search through the crate, "It will take some work but yes it can be done."
"Great!" Dean gave Cas a light pat on the shoulder as he went back to the kitchen to his sandwich and beer. He caught Sam's gaze as he walked by and his brother's eyes said it all. Maybe this is our big break. Maybe we can find a way to shut Lucifer back in his cage…
A/N: Ok so I had an idea and I may be changing the entire end of my story. Excuse me while I hash things out.
As always love and thanks to my reviewers! It is amazing how good a simple review can make an author feel
Side note: Just watched 8x22…if Dean and Cas don't sit down and talk about their feelings I swear...