Title: Under the Influence of Djinn
Summary: AU: The Djinn siblings created a terrible detailed nightmare for Dean out of revenge, nearly killing him, Lisa, and Ben. With Sam alive, Castiel missing, and Campbell cousins in tow, he tries to pull himself back together.
Disclaimer: Supernatural was created by Eric Kripke. No disrespect in intended with this work of fan fiction.
The angel in charge of casting Castiel from heaven crossed her arms and perused the motel room. It was no heaven by any stretch of imagination, yet she supposed he'd be at home there since it was rather like those places the Winchester brothers frequented.
As soon as Castiel was laid out and his companion set in a chair, she made a flicking motion towards heaven with a finger. "Go," she ordered her two helpers. When they seemed inclined to argue, she raised a brow and used a sterner tone that had them scrambling to leave. "I said go."
She waited long enough to make sure she was truly alone and no agents of heaven or hell were near before removing a knife from her jacket. The angel moved to the bedside and stretched out a hand, fingers touching Castiel's forehead, then cheek and chin.
Funny, how being as close to human as he could get didn't change his presence. She would have thought it had. She would have thought he'd seem like a human and he didn't. He simply wasn't human, no matter how much Raphael had wished it upon him. Taking his powers didn't make him human, it made him an angel without powers. He was still recognizable as Castiel and would be as such to any who'd known him. What made him him was present.
Lowering her face close to his, she studied him. The features were Jimmy Novak's, the presence Castiel. And yet…. She peered closer, nose nearly touching his skin. His being was taking ownership of the body. She could see it on a cellular level, that knitting together more firmly of the two, as if he was being transformed. Curious. Would he actually end up human when this was completed? Was that what this meant? His battery had been drained before by his own action, but this was different. This was something that she didn't recall ever having been done before. There could well be side effects of this sort.
She moved back a fraction, returning her hand to his forehead. "In time," she whispered. "Sleep well, Castiel." Placing the knife in his coat pocket, she turned her attention to his companion.
The woman was…sufficient. Sufficient only was what Raphael wanted for Castiel. Too bad that one wasn't aware of the hidden strengths of the chosen companion. The angel hadn't bothered to enlighten Raphael. After all, he hadn't asked. Why should she volunteer information that wasn't asked for? It was Raphael's problem if that bit him on the ass later.
Her, she reminded herself. Raphael had a female vessel now.
Touching her fingers to the woman's forehead, she sent her into a deeper sleep.
Castiel did have allies and while they were hardly the conventional sort, it was somehow fitting that they weren't the expected ones. He and the Winchesters were certainly brothers beneath it all that way.
She straightened. "In time," she repeated and returned to heaven. There were pieces to maneuver before all was ready.
They were having the talk. Or were going to anyway, if Lisa would ever get around to the topic. Dean knew it was coming. What else would it be after both she and Ben nearly died because of him?
"Spit it out, Lisa." He could see the hesitancy in her eyes and added, "come on," in a harsher tone than he'd intended. Really, he just wanted to get it over with.
She flinched. "Fine. I didn't want to do this now, but…." She crossed her arms, looking very uncomfortable. "We're not working, Dean. You and I know it, Ben knows it. Hell, I think even your brother and cousins can see it. We're too different from the people we were back then and whatever hot spark we had just isn't there anymore. Hasn't been. We're wasting each other's time."
The bitch of it was that he couldn't even argue with that assessment. He'd half wanted to leave the past month himself. The thing that had stopped him was the question of where to go. The only places he'd had were related to hunting and without Sam he hadn't wanted to go back. He'd known they weren't working and hated that fact, but had to concede that maybe he wasn't ideal as a boyfriend at present. Grief, depression, nightmares, and a ton of other issues she couldn't begin to understand didn't make him the most desirable of packages. Sam returning didn't change half of that and Dean couldn't be the sort of man who enjoyed the everyday normal life, no matter how much he wished he was that man.
The typical nine-to-five job bored him, keeping the schedule Lisa and Ben liked bored him, and settling into neighborhood life made him jittery. There was a hollowness to normal life that he'd never understood was present because his daydreams hadn't had that hollowness. His daydreams had been far better than the reality. The only times he'd felt alive at all had been when he was trying to find ways to bust Sam out of the Cage, which he now knew hadn't been needed, or when he'd been patrolling the neighborhood looking for anything out of the ordinary.
A part of him could acknowledge that he appeared to have been born for the hunting life. The rest of him would need to work up to coming to terms with that.
Lisa had been patient, but even her patience had an end and this was it. He ran a hand through his hair. "I know."
"I get it. I'm not exactly boyfriend material."
"No, I…." She blew out a breath through pursed lips. "Not exactly what I'm saying. You're misunderstanding me. Dean, you're a hunter. I'm not. I don't want that life and I don't want it for Ben either. Our normal apple pie life, as you called it, bores you to tears. I know that. I see it."
He inclined his head in acknowledgment of that fact. "I tried."
"I know you did, but if it's not you deep down, it'll never be you, not really. Trying to force yourself into it for the rest of your life will only make you resent it and eventually…you'll resent me. I don't want that. You need to live the life that puts a spring in your step and the only time I've really seen you completely focused and in the moment was when you were looking for ways to help Sam."
"You knew?" He hadn't realized she'd known what he was working on.
Her smile was wry. "Kind of hard to miss with some of those weird titles. Not to mention your patrols around the block that you tried to tell me were health walks. You're not into that health stuff." Pulling out a chair, she sat, her smile fading. "I did know. Dean, you deserve a woman committed to your lifestyle one hundred percent, willing to live that life with you. That's not me and I hate to admit it, because you're one of the best men I know. I'd love to be that woman for you and I can't be. I'm sorry and that's on me, you know. It's my failure."
She was trying to make this better for him, but he didn't see how she'd failed him. She'd been patient and kind, while he was the dumb s.o.b. who'd brought danger into her house and nearly gotten her and Ben killed. "Lisa -"
"I want you to listen to me, Dean Winchester. I mean, really listen because you are boyfriend material…for that woman who wants the hunter life."
He should be feeling hurt and upset, but instead, Dean felt the first weights of the past year lift from him. The lightness made him uncomfortable. He wanted to mourn their relationship and all he was feeling was relief. "You got a plan? For you and Ben?"
She glanced down at the floor. "Yes, but I'm not telling you what it is."
She set a hand on his and squeezed it. "Because this is really goodbye. You won't find us again."
"Does Sam know your plan?"
"He gave us the tools to protect ourselves and some names to help us." Leaning over, she placed a kiss beside his mouth. "We'll miss you."
Within an hour, Lisa and Ben were gone and Dean was left alone with Sam and three people he supposed he'd have to get to know.
After moving to a motel with actual amenities rather than the abandoned house with practically nothing, Gwen sat on the bed in her room working on the genealogical research Dean required to make him feel better about them all. He hadn't said in so many words that he wanted it, but it was clear to her that he needed some kind of real tie before he'd even think about trusting them.
Rather than argue, she'd gotten right on it because, quite frankly, she liked him. She wanted to be a person he trusted and if confirming they were family helped that come about, she'd do this.
There was a knock on the half-open door between the rooms. Sam appeared. "Hey."
"Hi." She looked up at him. He'd been restless since Lisa and Ben had left, as if he thought Dean was blaming him in some way for it when, as far as she could tell, Dean appeared relieved. "Dean any better?"
"Well enough to fight Christian on taking his temperature and exchange some snarky words with him."
"So, yeah in other words?"
He laughed. "You've got him pegged. He's okay, but it'll be awhile before he's himself again."
"Not surprising. He's been through a lot. I'd be more surprised if he wasn't floundering a little."
He dragged the chair over and propped a foot on the bed. "You finding anything?"
"Sam, this'll take some time. I mean, to give Dean the clear connections he's wanting, I have to make sure I have birth and death dates, marriage dates, maybe even the cemeteries so we can all go trooping out to make sure there're actual graves."
He crossed his arms. "You really do know Dean already."
"I'll admit I'm curious myself. I've already done plain searches on all the names we remember and I'm checking out those genealogical sites next. Here." She handed him a few papers.
"What I have so far. What we've already told him. If you think it's enough, I guess I'll stop…." She didn't want to however. Gwen wanted to see how they connected and where those connections were. Their speculation based on common names wasn't going to cut it. She wanted the hard truth.
"No, go on."
She finished signing up for the first one and, ten minutes later, glanced at Sam. "Are you going to sit and watch me work all day?"
With a blink, he put his foot down and sat up. "Um…no. Sorry."
"It's okay. I think someone already did a search. Pretty much everything I need is right here."
"Maybe." It was all neat and tidy, practically tied up in a bow and ready for her to print out. Finding the information seemed far too easy and she bit her lip, then shrugged. "I'll print all this out." Dean's obvious paranoia must be wearing off on her because why would anyone do that? What purpose was there in making it clear they were family?
Gwen set that thought aside and got a report of sorts ready for Dean.
Over the months of Jo Harvelle's death, it had never occurred to her that she might find herself alive again in a shoddy motel room with a comatose angel. She hadn't minded being dead. Death was peaceful and all the tears of life were gone. She'd been able to focus on the happy memories and recalled Ash finding her and teaching her how to manipulate her piece of heaven. She remembered trying to find her mother and understanding that heaven was really another level of existence for humans. Her body may be ashes (literally), but her soul lived on.
She'd been…conscious of where she was after Ash had found her and accepted her state. So to find herself suddenly returned to life? Sucked on so many levels.
Her body was a heavy weight, a thing her soul needed to get used to having again. Getting up from the chair she'd come to consciousness in, she went to the mirror on one wall, stumbling a little. Her first sight of herself brought a disgusted curl to her upper lip. The least whoever had raised her could have done was clean her up a little. She was a mess. Blood stained her clothes and skin and she thought it even matted her hair. Her clothes were torn and there was an anemic paleness to her skin that made her eyes seem darker.
Hunger gnawed at her stomach, thirst accompanying it. Stepping in to the bathroom, she ran tap water into the cleanest of the two glasses on the counter and drank it. Over and over, she filled the glass and drank, until she didn't feel parched anymore. The hunger could wait.
Jo gripped the edge of the counter and studied her reflection again. She looked like a shadow of her former self, a faded portrait in sepia tones. Even her lips appeared to have no real color to them. They were chapped and rough. She reached for a washcloth and cleaned the worst of the blood from her face, chest, arms, and hands, then returned to the main room.
Castiel was flat on his back, his mouth open and a snore issuing forth. Who knew angels snored? "Castiel," she called. "Hey. Want to wake up and tell me what the hell's going on?"
He didn't move, continuing to snore, and she approached the bed, really looking him over. His tan coat was tossed over the second chair. The clothes that had been pristine when she'd last seen him were hardly that now. He, too, looked like he'd gone a round or two with a hellhound. Blood also stained his clothes, only his looked awfully fresh….
Bending, she touched one spot on his shirt, rubbing it a little with a finger. It left a reddish mark on her skin. How hurt was he?
With a quick bite of her lip in indecision, she decided she'd apologize later if she upset him. Removing his tie, she set it on the nightstand, then undid the buttons on his shirt, tugging it free of his pants and spreading the edges. Her eyes widened and she hissed through her teeth as his chest and stomach were exposed.
Wounds criss-crossed his flesh. It looked like he'd been whipped and not only that, there were bruises of various colors as well. One black bruise at his ribs looked particularly painful.
Strange. Shouldn't he be healed? He'd told both her and her mom about that angel healing ability - at length.
Troubled by that, she did a quick tour of her pockets and was relieved to find she still had her money, her credit cards, and i.d.s. The cash would do for now to buy what they needed and she'd check the cards later.
Drawing on Castiel's coat, she ventured from the motel room into early morning light to acquire some necessities.