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.
Hezekiah had taken Daphne and Jo to Daphne's vacation cabin in the mountains. Castiel made good time getting there and approached with caution, half afraid he'd find that Jo had killed Hezekiah.
She hadn't. Jo was brandishing the knife at him, warning him to stay back.
Castiel didn't reveal himself immediately, though he knew Hezekiah was aware of his arrival. He decided to watch a moment.
Daphne was sitting on one large rock, her arms about her raised knees, looking calm and a little bored. Her glance flicked his way and she raised two fingers in a tiny wave. He remembered that she could see him like Hezekiah could. The only one here who couldn't was Jo.
Hezekiah kept his hands raised, palms facing Jo. "I didn't abduct you. I don't mean you any harm. Why won't you believe me?" Castiel could hear the exasperation in his voice.
"You grabbed me by the waist, brought me who knows where and threw me on the ground."
"We're in Colorado," Daphne supplied. "That's my cabin." She pointed at the building. "I mentioned it earlier, remember?"
With a shake of his head, Hezekiah let loose a noisy sigh. "I wouldn't have dropped you if you hadn't tried to scratch out my eyes."
Jo took two steps to her right. "You abducted me. I had every right to maim you and have every right to kill you if you come any closer. Stay back."
He rolled his head on his neck in a weary manner. "Come on! Have I done anything else? Have I acted in an aggressive manner? Have I threatened you?"
Castiel thought Hezekiah wanted to threaten her right about now.
"You took me from the battle. I didn't even get to do anything except see angels appearing. Why? Why would you do that?"
"To protect you. I told you. I took you and Daphne to protect you. What part of 'I mean you no harm' don't you get? Most people would believe an angel. Most people wouldn't try to kill the person who took them to safety."
"Most people didn't have Raphael raise them from the dead to be a babysitter. Most people don't know all of the shit Zachariah and Michael put Dean and Sam through, not to mention, you're not a person, you're a freakin' angel."
"Oh, geez!" He rolled his eyes in an extreme display of emotion that was uncharacteristic of angels as a whole.
Interesting, Castiel thought. He shouldn't be like that. Perhaps it would be best if he observed Hezekiah a bit more closely.
"Castiel, will you get out here and tell her?"
At his name, Jo began to look around the clearing.
He appeared and waited for her to put the knife away and step to him. "Hey, Jo."
She pursed her lips. "Hey yourself." She straightened her jacket and looked him up and down. His clothes hadn't mended and cleaned themselves and he wondered if they would or if he'd still need to do laundry. Probably the latter. "I take it the battle is over."
"Raphael is defeated and Gabriel can go rule heaven?"
"I'm guessing Sam and Dean are okay?"
"What are you supposed to tell me?" The calm in her words was a dangerous sort of calm that indicated she was close to losing her temper.
"That I ordered him to take you to safety when he took Daphne."
"I couldn't bear the thought of losing both you and Dean in one battle." He looked down at the ground as though ashamed of himself, waited, then took two quick glances up to see if she was buying that or not. He worked that expression for all he could.
Jo closed her eyes for a few seconds, then opened them and reached up, cupping his face in her hands. Her thumbs swept across his cheeks. "Sweetheart, I appreciate the concern, but don't do it again. I'm a big girl. I can take care of myself and it wasn't your decision to make."
"Okay." She released him. "Tell your buddy Gabriel that, too."
"Gabriel isn't my buddy and he had nothing to do -"
"Sure. He's only your superior. I've heard what angel superiors consider good moves to make. Dean and Sam told me a lot, as did you. Remember?"
She was right, really. Overall, Michael had made some rather questionable decisions, as had others. He gave a solemn nod, though he hoped Gabriel wouldn't make a habit of behaving like Michael even if he had Michael's job. "I'll tell him."
Daphne slid off the rock and approached. She gave him a quick hug and a smile. "So, who wants a drink of water or something? I'm going in to freshen up and then we can go back. Anyone? Jo? Hezekiah? Cas? I have bottled water and tap. It's well water, but it's good."
"I'm fine," Hezekiah replied.
"I'd take a bottled water for the road," Castiel told her.
"It'll take us, what?, five minutes to get back across country to them?" Hezekiah crossed his arms. "How exactly are you going to drink it on the road? We fly."
"It's a figure of speech and it'll take nearly twelve minutes for the trip."
"Ooh, twelve whole minutes. Will we be needing a rest stop for you halfway?"
This was a new addition to Hezekiah's personality and after he said it, he seemed bewildered, eyes widening and lips parting.
Jo blinked, snorted and said, "I could use a drink." Her tone indicated she wanted something stronger than water. If she was hoping for a beer she'd be disappointed. Daphne really didn't drink alcohol. It hadn't just been something she'd told them.
When Jo and Daphne were in the cabin, Hezekiah turned to him and said, "You lied to her. Why? It was Gabriel, not you. He's the one gave the order to Nia and she told me to take care of it."
What was the best way to explain? "Because me worrying I'd lose her and Dean in a single day is easier for her to swallow than Gabriel saying she's a distraction to Dean. She'd hate it and assume Gabriel thinks she's useless, which he doesn't. He was merely worried Dean and I would be more concerned for her safety than getting the job done. Me having that sort of reaction is realistic."
"She is a distraction, but Dean is one to her. They distract each other. Plus Sam distracts Dean, Dean distracts Sam, they all distract you…. How do you all get anything done in that condition?"
"What angels call a distraction is incentive to win the fight. The idea that not winning would end up killing those you love is a good reason to do your best. No matter what stories you hear, Hezekiah, love - that distraction - is what put Lucifer back in the cage. The love Dean has for Sam and Sam for Dean. It's strong. Love is strong."
Hezekiah's jaw tightened in what Castiel recognized was a movement to conceal a yawn.
He slid his hands in his coat pockets. "Are you okay?"
Hezekiah wiped a hand across his forehead. "Sure, yeah, I'm fine. I'm good."
Droplets of sweat were appearing. "You're sweating."
"You're not fine."
"Of course I am. How else would I be?" Irritation flashed in his blue eyes.
"You're not well."
"I'm good, okay? Drop it. Let's just…let's do this, okay? If it's all over, I want to take Jo and Daphne back and go back to my house."
"Why do you want to go back to your house?"
"Because, I'm…." He trailed off and looked away.
"Because you're tired? You wish to rest?"
He didn't reply.
Jo emerged from the cabin and approached, two bottles of water in hand. When her glance fell on Hezekiah, it lingered, eyes narrowing a fraction. Cas thought she was noticing the same physical things he was.
Hezekiah shouldn't be sweating. Angels didn't sweat. Regular angels anyway. Castiel did, but he wasn't the usual angel anymore, was he? He stepped even closer to Hezekiah, focusing his attention first on the outer body, then on the molecular level. He could see several things were amiss. Not only was Hezekiah sweating, he was rubbing his temple like his head hurt. Inside, there were strange changes to him and his vessel. They looked to be merging….
Oh, crap, he thought, suddenly grasping what Gabriel had meant about him watching over the angels on earth. He hadn't meant just looking in now and then, had he? He'd meant watching over every single angel that would be changing like he had. How had Gabriel understood that Castiel wasn't an isolated change? "You're not fine. You're petulant and your head hurts. You feel the need to argue without knowing why and you don't understand what's happening or why you're feeling this way."
Hezekiah gaped at him. "So?"
Castiel looked at Jo.
She smiled and handed Castiel one bottle. "Stock up on migraine pills, Hezekiah. I think you'll probably be having a few soon."
"Migraine pills?" Hezekiah shook his head. "I don't understand."
"You'll be having some urges," Castiel told him.
"They're perfectly normal." Jo shrugged. "You're going to go through puberty is all." She uncapped her bottle, took a drink, and recapped it. "Daphne will be out in a minute and then we can head out."
Fear rippled across Hezekiah's face. "What do you mean by that, Jo? Puberty? But I'm not human. Only humans go through that."
How did he tell Hezekiah that he was probably becoming like Castiel? If he was, what did it mean for Hezekiah's vessel? Was the young man he'd taken over sick and would be dying maybe? If he was going to die without Hezekiah, then perhaps the man was being allowed to move on, leaving Hezekiah to take over the body and merge with it. Castiel wasn't sure how it worked with an angel that still had a proper vessel. He'd been something of a special case. It'd be interesting to study what happened to the souls of the vessels.
What he did know was that he needed to see Gabriel about this right now. As soon as Daphne returned, he grasped Jo while Hezekiah took Daphne. He prayed Hezekiah wouldn't lost any powers while carrying Daphne with him. He suspected Nia wouldn't be forgiving should Daphne die on the way back.
They didn't even have to pack up their own rooms and move anything. Gabriel did it all with a snap, moving them and the Impala to a different motel two towns away before he left. He said he'd be back soon. He wanted to see who of his main staff survived.
"Can't believe the battle is over," Sam said, sitting on one bed and taking out his phone.
"The war may be over, but I'll bet Gabriel has an uphill battle ahead of him getting the place in shape." He opened his bag, making sure nothing had been left behind. "I'm just glad it didn't end the way the Djinn dreamed up."
"From what you told me, I am too. It sounded horrific."
"It was." He still remembered the worst parts, though the bulk had faded away with time.
Everything was there and he began to unpack toiletries. He suspected they were going to be in this town a few days.
"Hey, Dean? Listen to this."
Christian's voice began to play. "Checking in. Dean's voicemail is full. Tell him that matter we discussed is real. You guys have got you a genuine lynch mob forming, slow and steady, but that's not all. Two higher up demons have apparently put out a bounty on your heads. Sounds like they've got a contest going to see who can kill you two first. Winner gets to rule hell, loser dies. Geez. You two are a magnet for this shit. Sending emails with more details later."
None of that actually surprised Dean. He'd been expecting something along those lines, because when did they genuinely catch a break of any kind? "Ain't that peachy."
"And what I tried to tell you months ago."
"The lynch mob of hunters part, sure. The demons vying for hell part, no. Don't be a know-it-all, Sam. How much you want to bet those two higher ups are Crowley and Meg?"
"You mean there's doubt it's them?"
He laughed at that and checked his own messages. There was a long one from Bobby confirming what Christian had said, then asking what the hell had gotten into Gwen. After that were messages from Rufus, Mark, and several other hunters, all wanting information on various matters. "So what are we going to do about all of that?"
"Hell if I know. Can't deal with the mob until we find out more about it. Same with Meg and Crowley."
"I agree. Why don't you see what you can find out from those contacts who will talk to you while I -"
With a fluttering of wings, Naomi and Gabriel appeared.
Naomi crossed her arms. "You may be relieved…or not…to know that Nia survived, though she went too close to heaven and was bounced back to earth. Her troops had to go on without her. She's waiting outside for Daphne to return."
"We're in good shape. Didn't lose too many. Raphael's supporters are being rounded up. I'll be dishing out punishments for the next couple days, maybe longer." Gabriel looked around the room. "Everything the way you like it in here? There are no mints on the pillows, but the amenities are close. There's a diner two blocks down to the north and a strip club four to the east. Liquor store, drug store, and grocery close enough to see the signs from your door. Oh, and there's a movie theater, too, just in case you want to catch a flick. You should stay here a few days, until final arrangements are made for Castiel."
Exactly what Dean had expected. "Sure, no, everything looks good. We talk a few minutes? You and me, outside?"
Sam probably thought Dean was going to ask about dragons, mother of all, and a few other things from the Djinn dream like he'd once told him he would. However, Gwen's phone call was on his mind far more than any of those right now.
"Sure. Naomi, answer any question Sam has while I'm gone."
Naomi didn't exactly look thrilled by the order, but she pulled out a chair and was asking for questions when they stepped out the door.
They took a stroll outside and when they were alone, Dean leaned against one car. "Leopards don't change their spots, do they, Gabriel?"
"I suppose not." Hands in his jacket pockets, Gabriel leaned against the car across from him.
"You know, I've been thinking on the timing of that call Gwen got. Quite a coincidence that demon surfaced right then, isn't it? The news lured her away just before Cas got his powers back and we had to fight."
"Coincidences do happen." Gabriel's eyes narrowed, a tiny glimmer of satisfaction in them. "You say she was lured?"
"Mm-hmm. She got to Bobby's to meet up with him and he had no idea what she was talking about. Matter of fact, he hadn't heard from Rufus and probably won't for awhile considering they had another falling out."
"Tough break. Who could have done something like that?"
Dean looked away and back. It didn't surprise him really that Gabriel had done this. "Cut the crap. You did it. Or you ordered it. You knew Gwen couldn't let it go and, because you wanted Castiel focused on the fight and not her safety, you got her out before it started. Sort of like how you had Jo and Daphne whisked away."
"Me?" He gestured to himself with an almost comical expression.
"Probably Nia or Hezekiah, but you're not afraid to get your hands dirty, are you? Maybe it was even you who did it."
He stared at Dean a long moment, then raised his brows. "I did what needed to be done. Jo was a distraction to you and Castiel, and Nia wanted Daphne protected. As for Gwen, she was also a -"
"Sure. A distraction. Word of advice. Don't treat either of them like they can't protect themselves. Jo was the one who got herself and Castiel away from Raphael's watch detail. Her. Not Cas." Dean punctuated the statement with a finger swiped out to one side. "He helped, but it was her plan all the way and her actions. As for Gwen, she survived a demonic hit and she's a Campbell. That makes her good stock."
"It was necessary."
"Bullshit. They can handle themselves."
"Could you and Castiel? I mean, that's really what the concern was. Everyone and their mother knows how nutty you are on family and friends and Castiel, well, he's getting just as bad about friends as you are. Trust me, you would have done the same, Dean, if you'd known what was in his head about Gwen. It was a necessary action -"
"I'd prefer it if you refrain from anymore such 'necessary actions' in the future."
He made a 'psh' noise through pursed lips. "Just so you know, Gwen was letting it go. I had to nudge her into wanting to go after it. She was originally content to stay here, had these saucy fantasies of nursing Castiel while wearing this teeny tiny nurse outfit. She had him in a little gown that's not like any sort of hospital gown I've ever seen." He slid his gaze down Dean and back up. "You two definitely come from the same orchard."
"Yeah? Well, that's the pot calling the kettle black. I think we both know that you like a spicy time with two or three well endowed beauties." He shook his head. "Damn it, Gabriel. Making a call like that and sticking around for the follow through…it's a trick Zachariah would have used. You're better than that. As much of a dick as you can be, you're still far better than he ever was. You're different than the others. Don't backslide now. Just because you've got the power and position doesn't mean you turn into Michael."
"I'm always me and I always will be. She was a distraction, just like Jo. They needed to be out of the way for this fight. It's done. You don't have to like that I did it, and I knew you wouldn't. I knew they wouldn't. It's done and over. You should enjoy the fact that you still have both your cousin and your girlfriend. I won't apologize for taking an action that kept them safe for you."
"Why? Why do that? Why bother?"
"Believe it or not," Gabriel shrugged, "I like you. You're resilient. You're like a human cockroach."
"Gee, thanks. Cockroach. Flattered, really."
"You should be flattered. Those things will be the last things living on earth in the end. They survive everything. Sort of like you and Sam. The Energizer Winchesters. You just keep going and going."
He wasn't too sure he liked being liked by Gabriel. It could lead to all sorts of not so fun problems, especially if Gabriel's love for trickery reappeared. "So what's up with the," he swirled a finger in the air, "protector stuff? Why'd you insist it was nothing when we both know it's not?"
"It does have meaning, but I won't collect. No reason to. Way I see it, you've done enough. Michael, Lucifer, Raphael…. You and Sam have been busy. I'll keep you out as long as I can. I promised. I will keep my promise."
Not 'promise', but 'promised' past tense. Had that been one of Castiel's conditions? "Who did you promise?"
Gabriel ignored the question. "Things will be serious for awhile, Dean, they have to be. I have to reorder heaven, have conferences with Death and Moira about whatever Raphael did in their spheres, and I have a whole lot of crap to clean up. Parts of heaven went fully dark and I'm not sure they're even there still. Then there're the human souls that fell to earth when human heaven started going dark. Punishments to give out." He sighed and then smiled, though it was a shadow of his former smile. "I'll be back to my fun-loving self as soon as that's done."
"Not exactly a comfort. Got a timetable of sorts for all of that?"
"Maybe a year or two your time. Depends on the amount of damage. I won't know for sure until I do a full sweep."
He nodded. "Sure. You going to abide by your promise to Cas?"
"All of it. As much as I can."
"Does he understand the same things you do about your agreement?"
Gabriel pushed off from the car and stepped towards him. "He will."
"You'd better not do him wrong."
"Will you trust me?"
"Do I have a choice?"
Castiel appeared near the motel, Jo, Daphne, and Hezekiah with him. He released Jo and towed Hezekiah towards them by the arm. Daphne knocked on the motel room door and she and Jo went inside when the door opened. "Gabriel. Did you know about this?" He pointed at Hezekiah. "Were you aware of what's going to be happening?"
"Cas? What's going on?" Dean looked from Cas to Gabriel. "What's going to be happening?"
Hezekiah rubbed a hand at his stomach. "I don't feel so well. I feel…." His eyes rolled back and he collapsed to the ground.
"And now he's unconscious." Crouching, Castiel touched Hezekiah's forehead. "And he has a fever." His tone was exasperated.
"So take him into the room and put him on a bed to rest." Gabriel rested his hands on his hips. "Send Naomi out."
"I'm not an errand boy. Don't treat me like one." Anger flared in Castiel's eyes.
Gabriel rolled his eyes. "Fine. Please take him in there and send Naomi out."
In a moment, Castiel and Hezekiah were gone and Naomi was appearing beside Gabriel. "There's work in heaven that needs to be done, Gabriel."
Dean saw him reach out a few inches and stroke her hand with a finger. "There is," Gabriel confirmed in a low, intimate voice. "There are jobs to complete and old friends to become reacquainted with."
Her features softened, the slightest hint of red highlighting her cheekbones. "I have missed your…wit."
"I need you Naomi."
Dean stifled a snort of laughter. At least Gabriel didn't crush her to him like in a soap opera...or a porno.
"I need your dedication, your passion for your work."
"All yours, of course."
She was even eating it up. Unbelievable. Dean crossed his arms.
Gabriel's hand raised, brushed her cheek, and then he looked away as though struggling with something.
Dean's bullshit-o-meter was going off like crazy.
"What is it," Naomi asked, moving closer to him.
"Oh, it's just…." He shrugged. "It's Nia. I should grant her access to heaven again due to her efforts today, but, Naomi, I hesitate. I don't trust her fully and I need someone I do trust to…." He shook his head. "I can't ask you to. It's too much. I'll find someone else -"
"No! I don't mind. What do you want me to do?"
"Watch her for me? Make sure she doesn't do anything that could jeopardize heaven?"
"My pleasure. I've never trusted her at all."
"Naomi." He grasped her hands in his and pressed kisses to her knuckles. "You're my number one."
As she walked away to get Nia/Daphne, no doubt walking so she could relish her role a bit longer, Dean cleared his throat. "I thought Cas was going to be your number one."
"He's the captain, I'm the admiral, Naomi is -"
"Going to be pissed he's above her in rank."
"Maybe. If she finds out."
The conversation he had with Nia was nearly word for word to the one he'd had with Naomi. He needed her, she was the only one he could trust to watch Naomi, and so on.
"Nice planning," Dean commented as Naomi and Nia left to drop Daphne and Hezekiah at her home. Daphne was going to take care of Hezekiah while he was unconscious and immediately after he woke. "Pretty slick."
"Whatever could you possibly mean by that, Dean?"
"Oh, just that you indicated to Nia that you want her to keep an eye on Naomi for you and to Naomi that you want her to keep an eye on Nia. Those two will be so busy bickering and spying on each other that they won't have time to interfere with whatever you're doing to get the place in shape and keep it in shape. You just ensured you'll have peace to work for probably centuries."
"You sound like you approve."
"It's effective." And admirable how he'd played them both. Maybe Gabriel wasn't backsliding.
"I know both of them and how they think. If I can keep the peace this way, I will. Is there anything else, Dean?"
Should he ask? It'd be nice to get those things cleared up. "A couple thing. Is there a mother of all monsters?"
"You mean Echidna? Greek goddess?"
"No, I mean a mother of all monsters. Like every monster there is. Not a regional mother."
Arms crossed, Gabriel frowned, thinking several seconds before answering. "Not to my knowledge. There are several like Echidna all over the world. She's the well-known one though. Popped out some pretty ugly things."
That was definitely news he wanted to hear. "Oh, okay. Good. How about dragons? They exist? The kind that turn humanoid, abduct virgins, and hoard gold?"
Amusement crept into Gabriel's gaze. "Aside from the komodo dragon and dinosaurs in the past, no. What have you been reading lately?"
Too bad in a way. Finding a couple, killing them, and taking their gold would have been sweet. "Last question. Is there an Alpha for every monster out there?"
"What?" He'd been ready for a 'no' and to get confirmation alarmed him.
"Sure, there's an alpha, a beginning." Gabriel nodded, gesturing with his hands. "They all started with one that either reproduced or spread what they have. How else did you think they went global?"
"Are they still out there?"
"Some are. Just like their progeny, why?"
Out of everything, the Djinn did have some truth in the dream. "Great." He saw Castiel come from the motel room and begin towards them. "That's awesome."
"What? You think you're," he pointed at Dean, "going to run into them?" He laughed. "Don't count on it. They're better at Witness Protection than I am. I'd be surprised if you tangle with any of them."
"But it could happen?"
"Let me put it this way: there's as much chance of that happening as there is Mike and Luci strolling out of the cage tomorrow with linked arms singing 'kumbaya' and calling for peace throughout the world."
"Good. Good to know."
"What's good to know?" Castiel joined them.
"Oh, just a few of the things less to worry about."
"Ahh. The Djinn matters?"
Gabriel frowned and seemed to decide not to ask. "Whatever. Conversation over." He looked at Castiel. "I need you in heaven today."
Castiel snorted. "After you saddled me with the garrison? Uh…no."
"No, I don't think so."
"I think so. You gave me your word," Gabriel reminded him. "I'm standing by mine. You can stay down here the bulk of the time. The angels who didn't follow Raphael and wish to be here may be here when they're cleared. Your friends are safe." He stepped close enough to Castiel that Dean saw discomfort of that violation of personal space flicker in Castiel's eyes. "You will abide by your promise. I choose this day for you to come work with me."
"Gabriel, I'm tired and hungry. I -"
"Suck it up," he said in a sharp voice. "I need you up there. You renege now and there are plenty of things I can renege on as well. Do you really want that?"
Dean raised his brows at that. Guess Castiel didn't get the powers of persuasion sweet talk.
A deep frown pulled at Castiel's brow. "One day, Gabriel, and then I'm free for a month."
"That's the terms."
"Fine." With a fluttering sound, he was gone.
Gabriel watched the sky and, after Castiel had apparently gone far enough from them, he said, "I may have nudged Gwen, but the information about the demon was real. You'll see it if you look for it. I'll let you decide if it's enough to pursue or tell her about." He disappeared.
It was sort of a dick move to tell him that and put it on him to deal with, but since Gabriel was an angel Dean expected it. The more things changed, the more they really did stay the same.