Warnings: (For complete, whole story) Torture, swearing, blood play, knife play, sex, noncon, dubcon, fighting, monster death, character death

Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural or any related characters. They belong to Kripke. No money made here.

Author's Notes: Written for the spn-hardcorebang. OMG, I so didn't expect this story to be as long as it turned out to be. Just a quick note on the rating: yes, there are some scenes that definitely require that rating. Granted, there are also several scenes that are of a much softer nature. A nice balance I would say. Also, huge thanks to my awesome friend and beta Kimmi! And to Twisted_slinky for cheering me on as I outlined and helping bounce the many issues I encountered off her. Also, that thanks extends to my artist, Casper-san, who was just super awesome. I know she was just as busy as I was trying to do other challenges while doing my art, so yes, huge thanks! Drop by my livejournal at (remove spaces) patriciatepes. Livejournal. com and give the art some love! Hope you enjoy! Also, I'd like to add that I've gotten really behind on review replies, so what I'll do is on the very last chapter, I'll reply to everyone who reviews it. Thanks, however, for the great reviews thus far!

Chapter Eighteen

Nell and Jo popped up right in the middle of the sitting room. Crowley stood behind his desk, bent over some piece of parchment. He grinned as he looked up at them.

"Ah, here's my two favorite girls," he said, coming around the desk.

Jo could feel Nell beam at this, and she strongly resisted the urge to gag. Crowley smiled at the demon woman.

"Thanks, darling. I'll take it from here," he said.

Nell frowned, but nodded, vanishing in the next second. Now, reclining back on the desk, Crowley sighed.

"So much time without a check in… what have you been up to, Miss Harvelle?"

Jo rolled her eyes. "Honestly? I wanted more information about Purgatory. Information that neither you nor Castiel seem to have or to be willing to give to me. So I was torturing some vampires, and then Balthazar popped in to chat. That's it."

Crowley's eyes widened. "Huh. Honesty. That's a new one from you. But you're learning. As I'm sure you've guessed by your confession, I already knew all of that. But good for you, girly. Just for that, though I am royally pissed off that you've been wasting my time, I'm going to skip the torture session and get straight to the point. I need you on a hunt."

He turned around, picked up the parchment, and handed it to Jo. A bad rendering of what looked like a monster tapeworm was the only thing visible on it. She glanced up.

"Who drew this, a five year old?" she asked.

Crowley chuckled. "Sadly, that is Malcolm's handy work. But, if you'll look past the poor art skills, there's a greater importance here. Eve's decided to get creative. And when Eve gets creative, she creates new monsters. And the newer the monster, the more connected they are with their Mother. I hear that Dean has dubbed this thing the Khan Worm. I want one."

Almost as if on cue, Castiel, followed by Malcolm and Nell, arrived in the room. Castiel glared over at the two demons, ultimately ignoring them as he turned to Jo and Crowley.

"There has been another sighting of a man possessed with the worm," the angel said.

"Ah, perfect. I'll be sending my best girl after it, then," Crowley said, moving forward to pat Jo on the back.

Jo was too tired to even pull away. She shook her head, crossing her arms.

"How do I fight this thing? You said it possessed people?" she asked.

"It's weak to electrical currents. The more voltage you hit it with, the more likely it is to crawl out of the body it is in control of."

Jo rolled her eyes.

"Pefect." Turning to Crowley, she added, "Why not send your 'best guy' after it instead?"

Crowley nodded. "A perfectly logical question. The answer being that Samuel Campbell is now roasting in my pit."

Jo's eyes widened, and she said nothing for the longest time. As if Crowley thought she had not comprehended what he had said, he clarified, "He's dead, darling. I've just been to collect on his contract."

Jo shook her head. "What? What happened? What contract? He sold his soul to you?"

"Yes, he did. In order to bring his beloved daughter back to life… but the catch was that he had to help me get into Purgatory first. Nobody reads contracts anymore… isn't that sad? But, as you can see, I'm still not into Purgatory, and he went and got himself shot by one of his grandkids. Sam or Dean… I can't remember which one. And now he's down in Hades, having a grand ol' time," Crowley explained.

Jo's hand wrapped around her stomach as she backed away, feeling ill. Samuel had been working for Crowley because of that? Because he wanted his daughter back? It hit her like a ton of bricks, like she finally understood him. Sure, she still didn't agree with any of his choices… but she understood them now. Sucking in a steadying breath, she looked to Castiel.

"How did it happen? Why did Sam—Dean, whoever—shoot him?" she asked.

"They believed him possessed by the worm," the angel explained quietly.

Another revelation… the Winchesters had already taken on one of these new monsters. Jo's feeling of despair switched quickly to concern.

"Are they okay? Sam and Dean?"

"Yes," Castiel responded. "However… Rufus also lost his life in the hunt."

"What?" Jo gasped.

Crowley sighed, and he tapped his foot impatiently. But right now, he could go shove it up his ass.

"Bobby became possessed by the worm… he attacked and killed Rufus."

Jo felt her heart break. Rufus? Rufus was dead? Rufus, the hunter that was the whole reason she had made it out alive when War had turned that town on one another? He had been a good hunter, and an even better friend in the short time she had known him. Now she really did want to vomit, and she almost doubled over with the feeling. Beside her, Crowley sighed again.

"This is all very sad and everything," he said, as if bored, "but it's time to go to work, darling. Go fetch me one of these worms."

Jo whirled, shaking her head. "No."

"No?" Crowley asked incredulously.

"I'm not going. Not yet. I'll go when I've had the time to…"

But she left the sentence hanging as she felt a sob well up in her throat. Turning, she stalked out of the sitting room. Before she was out of earshot, she could hear Crowley beginning to call after her, but Castiel stopped him.

"She'll be a better hunter once she's mourned, Crowley," he explained. "Torture won't speed up that process."

"Fine," she heard the King of Hell snap. "Let her have her bloody girl time."

"Meanwhile, I might have a plan to aid us in our endeavor," Castiel began to explain.

Jo was gone before she heard any more. And, at the moment, she didn't care. She reached her room, slamming the door behind her, and threw herself on the bed. Pressing her face into a pillow, she cried until, her body tired, she slept.


Jo awoke with a gasp, a strange dream still haunting her thoughts. She had been in California… on some sort of hunt. And she hadn't been wearing the necklace. Actually, if she thought hard enough, she had never even died. The hellhound had never chomped her, holding tight to her soul. She sat up in her bed in Crowley's manor, gripping the comforter as information flooded through her mind. Then, as she remembered a telephone call from her mother—her living mother, her married-to-Bobby mother—she crawled from the bed and turned on her laptop. As soon as the calendar loaded, she gasped again. It had been almost a week since she had learned of Rufus's and Samuel's deaths. The dream… her brain searched itself, digging up the information about the Titanic. Her mother had told her about a hunt Sam and Dean had been on, concerning the fact that the ship had never hit the iceberg… and that it had thrown everything out of wack… and, although this knowledge hadn't been given to her by her dream, she knew whose fault it was.

"Castiel!" she screeched skyward. "Castiel, get down here now!"

The tears were streaming down her face before the angel had even appeared. And before he could speak, she raged at him, beating her fists into his chest, throwing punches and kicks. He took it only partially, letting a little less than half the hits connect.

"How could you?" she cried. "How could you do that to me? To us? I was free, damn you… Mom… Mom was alive! How could you do this?"

He grasped her gently by her shoulders, prying her off of him. His eyes were sad, obviously remorseful.

"I'm sorry," he said softly. "I was simply trying to… to—"

"Win?" Jo snapped.

Castiel looked away. "I've told you before. My winning this civil war in Heaven is of the utmost importance. If I don't win…"

Jo jerked herself free, glaring at him as she backed up an extra step.

"Blow it out your ass, Castiel. You can't do that. You don't have the right to play with human emotion that way. You're not God."

He looked perplexed at her statement. "I've never claimed to be."

Jo growled. "You just can't do this. There won't be much left of me if shit like this keeps happening."

Before he could respond, Crowley appeared in the room, all smiles.

"Well, Cas, that was a fun little vacation you sent us all on this past week," he said. "Shame your ex had to go and ruin it for all of us."

Castiel's confusion deepened. "My ex what?"

"Girlfriend?" Crowley ventured. "Atropos?"

The angel shook his head. "We've never dated. In fact, I've never been in any romantic relationship."

Crowley's grin was cruel. "Ah, that explains the constantly constipated look on your face. Happens when you've got no one but yourself to make time with, if you get my meaning."

Castiel was slowly shaking his head when Jo groaned. Crowley turned to her, mock sympathy written all over his face.

"Ah, what's wrong, darling?"

She rolled her eyes. "Stuff it, Crowley."

He held up his hands. "Fine. Forget I asked."

She crossed her arms. "Look, I'm ready to go after that stupid worm now. Anything to get away."

Crowley laughed as Castiel looked just a bit bashed by that statement. But, at that very moment in time, Jo couldn't give two shakes about Castiel's feelings. After all, it was clear he didn't care about hers either.

"The worm is in Miami. Apparently likes the beach and sun. The man it's possessing is named Shane Davis, and he lives in downtown. Malcolm and Nell are both ready to go when you are."

Jo arched a brow at him. "How did you find all of that out?"

"This week wasn't a paid vacation for all of us, you know."

Jo sighed as she walked toward the door of her room.

"Some vacation," she muttered as she left both the angel and demon behind.