Sam had that nervous smile on that he got when he really, really wanted something that he didn't think Dean was going to like. Dean didn't even have to ask what this time either.
"So," Sam started. "What do you think?"
"I don't like it."
"Well, I mean the setting isn't much, but I can't afford anything better yet."
"I don't mean the setting Sam."
"Well, I know, but I was hoping you'd be supportive."
"There's nothing to be supportive of. You get to be one of the Blood now, what do you need support for."
"You could have gone to."
"No, Sam. There's no way."
"Dean, can't you just be happy for me?"
Dean looked up from the horseless carriage over to Sam. Really looking at him now with that thing around his neck wasn't so easy. Everyone knew the Blood were like some kind of evil overlord you just had to suck up to or bend over for, and here was Sam, a new white jewel hanging around his neck.
"Yeah, I'm happy." Dean couldn't pull a smile on his face, though.
Sam's shoulders slumped. "Dean, please, don't be like this. I didn't expect it to happen either. But who knows, maybe you can go to-"
"And did you forget that if one of us goes in and we don't have any magic then we die in the process?"
"You could get tested."
"You got tested and there was nothing. And I told you not to go and you did anyway, which I'm still pissed at you about."
Sam shrugged. "I was having visions Dean. Normal people don't have visions."
"Yeah, I know, only Blood have visions," Dean said.
"Actually, apparently only the women have visions."
Dean stopped working and focused on Sam. He realized now that Sam looked actually kind of scared. "What does that mean?"
"I don't Dean. I'm starting to wish I hadn't gone."
"I told you not to."
"Not the time."
"Oh come on, it's always the time," Dean said with a smile. It was better to break the tension right?
"Dean, I mean I have problems. The people here have been looking at me strange."
"They always look at you strange. You're huge."
"No like… like I've been tainted, like they can't trust me."
"Dammit, Sam," Dean said. He closed the hood and wiped his hands. "I told you."
"I know, now I do."
"What's going on?"
"Well, besides the fact that I'm not sure that I can actually stay here anymore… and the fact that only wearing white and not even being able to be called a Warlord makes me easy pickings for… anything, oh and I'm still having visions when I'm not supposed to have."
"Okay, okay, calm down," Dean said, grabbing Sam's shoulders.
"What am I going to do?"
"Well, first we're going to be doing it, not just you." That won a weak smile. "And second… well, I say we go to the source."
"Well, we live close enough to Hayll."
Sam blanched. No one liked Hayll, and if you had lighter skin you were extra screwed. Though there had been a great influx of lighter skinned, less long lived blood for a while now to the territory.
"Yeah, don't knock it. Look, the more blood there are, the less anyone's going to see you as anything different or special. You're one in ten million or more."
"And what about you?"
"Eh, they need drivers for their fat asses to and fro."
"We don't have anything but the Impala."
"Well, then we'll charge more for them to drive in style." Dean was grinning and he knew exactly why Sam was grimacing again. The carriage was their father's. They'd driven around in it all the time when it was fresh made and new. It was a classic, one of second generation of horseless carriages. Okay, so they weren't popular anymore sense it was figured out that Landens could drive them, but they were awesome. Dean kept his in best condition.
"Dean, you don't have to go with me."
"Hey, I promised dad I would protect you, and so I will."
"I'll start packing."
"Are you certain, Pamela?"
"Castiel, have I ever not been sure?"
"No," Castiel said, rubbing his forehead.
"Hey," Pamela grabbed onto his arm fast and tight. Sometimes Castiel wondered if she even was blind. He eyes had been burned out during her struggle to get away from an attack during her moonsblood. The men had been trying to break her, but Castiel found her before she could lose anything else, and the men had died.
"Thank you for your help."
"Hey, don't you walk away from me," Pamela's grip tightened. Castiel gently rested his hand on her own.
"You offer us hope. Thank you."
"I know it wasn't what you were hoping for. I wish I could tell you Witch was coming or something."
"A male who can read webs… it's something, something we can go with."
"Do you want me to tell anyone else?"
"You may tell Ana, but no others."
"Not even the big boys?"
Castiel sighed. The big boys, the four brothers, the Arch, the four grey jeweled warlord princes who, though despite having no family lines to Hayll or the hundred families, served Dorothea. They were the leaders of Castiel's family. All of them wore darker jewels than the majority of Hayllians did, but they were all shorter lived.
"You don't trust them." There was amusement in Pamela's voice for some reason.
"They give up a lot to protect us."
"Come on Cas, you've seen what I see," Pamela said. Castiel wondered if this a place for a joke, but he said nothing. "Something's wrong."
"They put themselves in the way of her wrath every day. Any of them could be shaved or ringed and enslaved."
"But you know that it's been wrong. Our group's gotten a lot smaller recently."
Yes, Castiel was aware. "They always don't trust us. We are outsiders."
"Yes, we are," Pamela said. "But you know what I think? I think that the big boys have been playing Dorothea's game so long now that they may think it's real and not just a game."
"Don't say that," Castiel said sharply. Pamela went silent. "They give much for us, don't speak about them like that."
"Fine, Castiel, I won't. But you've got to be careful." Her hand went up, touching a silver pendant around his neck. They all wore it. They were bird wings and it was like a family crest. It meant that they were safe, protected by the Arch.
"I will be." He paused, tilting his head to one side as he always did when he spoke mind to mind. "Ana's coming."
"Ana's here," Pamela said, smiling as the door opened. They didn't leave Pamela alone anymore. She was a blood opal black widow and that made her very valuable to them and very valuable dead to Dorothea.
"Got everything you wanted, brother?" Ana smiled as she came in. She gripped Castiel's shoulder as she walked in. Ana was also valuable. She'd trained to fight with the big boys, just like Castiel had. Only a few of their sisters trained to be fighters, and so they were seen as even stranger than men like Castiel. Ana, a sapphire jeweled witch, an amazing fighter, and Castiel's big sister.
"You can go now," Pamela said.
"Have a good evening," Castiel said.
Castiel's feet didn't seem to want to let his body rest. He felt restless, thinking on the vision Pamela had shared with him. It had to be him, she'd said. He had to be the one who heard it first. He felt fear, real fear. He was only a Warlord, granted he wore sapphire like Ana, but Ana was the one in charge of security. He took over from her when she had her moontime only. He had strength, but others were more powerful… although all of their red jeweled cousins had died.
He and Ana were the strongest now. Uriel, the third in command after Ana and himself, wore green, as did others, and Pamela was Opal. The weakest they had was Samandriel, and he wore purple dusk, still more powerful than a lot of blood in the area. Most of the rest of their family ranged between Samandriel and Uriel in terms of strength. Castiel had always been middle rung. He'd never had anything important to do.
"Well, someone's worried."
Castiel jumped and then relaxed. "Lucifer, you're back."
"Yeah, just for two days, you know you," Lucifer said with a smile. He pushed away from the wall and walked to Castiel. The two fell into an easy embrace. Lucifer was the star of their family. His power was just a little darker, even than Michael's. He stuck to protocol impeccably. He was the one they all wished to emulate. Even the blood in Dorothea's court wanted to be like him, if Michael, Raphael and Gabriel's stories were to be believed. (Gabriel's stories were never to be believed, but Michael and Raphael backed him up, so it must be true).
Castiel frowned. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, just tired. You've got no idea how tiring dealing with court can be."
"Yes," Castiel said. He took Lucifer's arm and guided him toward the kitchen. "But only because you are there. She'd eat me alive."
"As I have told you often," Lucifer said, tweaking Castiel's ear. "So, what's got you all worked up?"
"Oh," Castiel said. "Nothing."
"No way it's nothing. You don't pace like that unless you're really worked up."
Castiel looked around before snapping and aural shield around the kitchen. "Okay, I'll tell, but you have to promise not to tell anyone."
"I'm all ears little brother."
"She told me about a vision she had."
"Really?" Lucifer asked. Pamela rarely shared her visions.
"She said I'm supposed to find someone." Well, people, two people, but only one of them was really important, but you couldn't get one without the other.
"I don't know… That's why I'm supposed to find them."
Lucifer smiled and ruffled Castiel's hair. "Who?"
"A man who can see vision."
"Far as I know, only Saetan SaDiablo could see visions," Lucifer said. He looked troubled now too. Castiel wasn't certain that it made him happy to know that he had every reason to be as worried as he was.
"I know, but I have to find him."
"Because he can find the tool we need…" Castiel looked around. "Lucifer, can you…"
Lucifer snapped an aural, sight and physical shield around the kitchen. "Okay, tell me."
Castiel took a deep breath. "Pamela said this man will be able to find us the tool we need to be able to free our home country from Dorothea's control."
Lucifer looked… depressed, hungry, desperate, hopeful, broken-hearted. Lucifer, in fact all of the Arch were old enough to remember their country as it had been. Castiel and Ana hadn't even been old enough to remember more than it had trees and that their father had called it their haven.
"Can I help?"
"I don't think so. I think it has to be me." Castiel probably looked as terrified as he felt, because Lucifer reached out and grabbed his shoulder.
"It will be okay, Castiel. You're good. You'll find him."
"I don't know how."
"Well… I guess you just go out and look at people. Does she know where he is?"
"Only that he's moving, but I don't know where to."
"Castiel, Pamela had given you a mission, and you have to take it."
"What do you mean?"
"You need to go, Castiel. Tomorrow. You need to leave here and go. You have to find this man."
"If they see you coming in and out then they'll get suspicious… We've lost too many Castiel… as much as I hate to even suggest it… if you die, it needs to be separate from us, away from here. I have to keep the rest of the family safe."
Castiel felt his stomach bottom out.
"Are you afraid?"
"Yes," Castiel breathed.
"Good, you should be. We're rebelling against our mastered here. But this will be the most important thing you will do in your life, so you must do it."
"What do I say to the others?"
"Who else knows?"
"Pamela and Ana and you."
"Then tell only them, and otherwise… disappear."
Castiel pulled away, looking alarmed. "But they'll think I've abandoned them after the others…"
"I know… but it also means that if someone come to question no one will know… actually, no… Tell no one. Just go. Take a few things and go now. Tonight. Now."
"Lucifer," Castiel whispered. He couldn't ever remember feeling so afraid.
Lucifer stood and dragged Castiel up into a tight embrace. "Castiel, you can do this. I have faith in you."
"Yes, truly," Lucifer said. He reached out, tucking the wing crest into Castiel's shirt. "Oh, and keep your wings hidden." Lucifer grinned when Castiel blushed. "No, go."
"Yes… try and sleep, Lucifer. Go to bed… you need to be above suspicion as well."
"I'm going," Lucifer said. He left the kitchen and headed for his own room.
Castiel sat back down. He was shaking. He was really going to do this.
A/N: Yeah… I have like no hope for this. I don't. This series is barely known and crossovers with this just sort of come to die… but I had this idea, and if anyone's read any of my other BJT fics (if you're on A03, they're on my under the same screenname) you'll know I love the stories of the unpowerful, and I've never written non-Jhinka landens before… and this is all the fault of shadowdark-kitten and princessmidna on tumblr… because they say things and then I get ideas.
A few notes: I read these books stupidly obsessively, and you may be wondering why Dean has a car… well because in The Invisible Ring it's noted that Draega is moving further and further from nature, so much so that there are now horseless carriages. They're not mentioned in any other book, I'm guessing because they either fell out of fashion or because Anne Bishop simply changed her mind on the idea. There are a lot of things she brought up in the books that go away, like special light flowers or viper rats, or other things that make appearances in the beginning and are replaced with more conventional things. But in this case, screw it, it's mentioned in the story so I'm using it.
Please, God! Don't make this be huge… because it's looking that way, and I've got a lot of ideas for this now! Also… yeah, the title's from a Christmas song because I decided the Amy Grant Christmas album was the best thing to write this to.