Title: Drained Batteries
Author: Disasteriffic Kaz
Info: A hunt for a poltergeist goes horribly wrong when Sam and Castiel are trapped together. post 6x19 "Mommy Dearest" hurt/limp!Sam, hurt!Dean
Author's Note: This was a little bunny that bounced into my head today and multiplied. :P Hope you like it!
Beta'd by the always awesome JaniceC678 :D– Friend and Muse's co-conspirator.
**Follow me on Facebook as "Disasteriffic Kaz" for frequent fic updates or just to chat!
~Reviews are Love~
Sam walked slowly through the maze of corridors under the old hotel, shining his flashlight into each little room as he passed. The basement was huge, spreading the width of the hotel above, and he needed to reach the west side of the building. He tightened his hand around the gris-gris bag he held and moved faster. Eventually, the poltergeist they'd come for would figure out what they were up to. He knew Dean was up on the second floor doing the same and hoped the reason it was so quiet down there wasn't because the spirit was harassing his brother. He turned yet another corner, having to duck under a bundle of heating ducts and sneezed with the dust.
They just happened to be in town on another job when the renovations on the place had started and stirred up the poltergeist. Two workmen had died already. Sam was determined there wouldn't be a third. He pushed open a door into a long, empty room and frowned. He shined his light along the walls and ceiling and then stopped when he realized a large, metal door sat open in the middle of the floor. Pipes ran up the walls from under the floor and Sam leaned over, aiming his light down into the hatch.
"Huh. Old boiler tank maybe?" Sam said softly to himself. He pulled out his compass and checked, seeing that he was headed in the right direction, and started to go around the hatch. There was a soft flutter of something at his back and a short of puff of cold air. Sam spun, jerking up the shotgun he held with his flashlight and heaved out a breath. "Shit, Cas!" He said in surprise, finding the angel suddenly behind him. "We have got to put a bell on you or something."
"Sam." Castiel looked hurriedly around the room and then at him. "What are you doing down here alone?"
Sam raised a brow. "There's a poltergeist in the building. Dean and I are cleansing it." He held up the gris-gris bag to show him. "What are you doing down here? Dean's up on the second floor, east side, hopefully."
"I have heard…rumors that several demons are coming after you," Castiel said bluntly and nodded at the shocked look on Sam's face. "Apparently, they are…unhappy with things in hell and wish to use Azazel's chosen to take over."
Sam shook his head and raised a hand. "No way. That can't…how would that even work?"
"They plan on force-feeding you enough demon blood to make you a threat and, for some reason, seem to think you will join their cause." Castiel shook his own head slowly in dismissal of the idea. "I know you would not, but it seems they are desperate."
Sam groaned. "So…with Crowley dead, there's a vacuum of power and they think they're gonna fill it with me?" He couldn't help but laugh at that and rolled his eyes. "I didn't play nice with Lucifer. They should know better."
"We must leave." Castiel felt a sense of urgency…of something wrong in the room. He couldn't tell Sam that the information had come from Crowley, still alive, or that it was him the demons were intending to overthrow.
"I need to finish this." Sam held up the little bag again. "The poltergeist…the guy was a cultist in life and he's mean as hell in death. He's killed people, Cas. Just let us…" He broke off as a strong wind erupted in the room, whipping his hair into his face and staggering him. He felt Castiel grip his arm to steady him and then they were both picked up and falling. Sam grunted when he hit the ground, the air knocked from his lungs. He fought off the need to pass out and slapped a hand down on his wildly spinning flashlight as a loud clang resounded from above. "Crap," he groaned and had a feeling he knew what had happened. He turned the light up and sure enough, the poltergeist had dropped them into the boiler tank and closed the hatch, some ten feet up.
"Cas?" Sam coughed. The dust from their hasty landing choked him for a moment while his eyes watered and he reached a hand out, helping the angel roll over. "You alright?"
"That…was unpleasant," Castiel said evenly. He stood and brushed dust and grime from his coat and then pulled Sam to his feet. "Are you harmed?"
Sam shook his head and got his breathing back under control for the most part. "No. Just banged up. Ok. How about you zap us out of here?"
Castiel nodded and put a hand to Sam's arm. He closed his eyes.
Sam watched and waited and saw the angel's eyes pop open in something like shock. "Cas? What's wrong."
"I cannot get us out." Castiel said it slowly, looking around the dimly lit tank while he let his other senses examine their prison, and he could suddenly feel them - angel wards. The outside of the tank must have been covered in them, and closing the hatch had been like turning a key, the final piece of the puzzle locked into place. He was powerless to escape until someone opened that hatch. Inwardly, he raged. Only one person could have done this, arranged this. Crowley had set him up for reasons he didn't yet understand, but he would.
"What do you mean, you can't?" Sam asked in confusion. "Just, you know, do your thing."
"I…do not understand, Sam." Castiel floundered for a moment, looking for a means to not give himself away. Everything he was doing was to protect the Winchesters and all of humanity. He was doing the right thing, of that he was sure, but he knew they would not understand; not yet. "You said the poltergeist was a cultist in life."
Sam nodded. "Yeah; black arts, human sacrifice, the whole nine. Why?"
Castiel seized what could pass for an excuse and hoped it would be enough. "Then he would have been conversant in symbology. This room must be warded against angels. I can feel them in the walls. The sigils preventing me from…doing my thing."
"Dammit!" Sam pushed the gris-gris bag into his pocket and pulled out his cell. He flipped it open and groaned. "No signal. How about yours?" He watched Castiel do the same with a shake of his head and looked up at the hatch. "Ok. Dean will wonder what's going on eventually and come down here. He'll find us." He left unspoken the possibility of Dean also falling afoul of the poltergeist himself, and just hoped to hell his brother was on his game today. He looked over at the angel and then up at the hatch and smirked. "Doesn't mean we can't try and get ourselves out in the meantime. If I lift you up, you should be able to reach."
Sam chuckled. "I'm bigger."
"I am an angel of the Lord," Castiel pointed out, but had to admit, they would no doubt be more stable with him standing on Sam's shoulders rather than the other way around. "Alright."
"See if you can turn the wheel on the hatch." Sam bent and, with some stumbling and cursing, managed to get Castiel standing on his shoulders. He grunted under the weight and clasped his hands around the angel's calves to steady him. "Can…can you reach it?"
"Yes." Castiel got his hands up and on the wheel on the underside of the hatch but attempting to turn it proved fruitless. He put all his strength behind the effort and succeeded in bending the wheel but not moving it. "I believe this is what you and Dean refer to as a…supernatural lockdown."
"Dammit," Sam cursed. "I was…afraid of that. Ok. Come…come down. Jump." He rolled his shoulders in relief once Cas' weight was off them and coughed again, rubbing a hand over his forehead as a headache sprang to life. "Hey, Cas. If, uh…if the demons find us in here. Can you still…are you alright to fight even with the angel warding?"
Castiel nodded and narrowed his eyes, watching Sam and not liking that he suddenly looked dazed and in pain. "Sam? Are you well?"
Sam nodded, keeping a hand to his head. "Headache." The floor seemed to tilt under him and he swayed, grabbing out at the arm Castiel put around him to keep him upright. "Oh…ok, maybe…maybe not. What's happening?"
Castiel opened his mouth and then went to the floor with him when Sam's legs crumpled under him. "Sam!" He supported the young man with an arm across his chest when he curled over his stomach. He could hear Sam wheezing for breath and swallowing hard over and over while he continued to hold his head.
"Don' feel…feel wrong. Cas?" Sam's head was swimming, and he was in serious danger of throwing up suddenly as the nausea rose up to choke him. The pounding behind his eyes was bad enough his vision was blurring with spots and he couldn't seem to think clearly. He sagged into the angel, unable to hold himself up any longer. "S'happen…happening?"
"I don't know, Sam." Castiel supported Sam's weight easily and said a silent prayer that Dean would hurry and realize something was wrong. He couldn't understand what was happening. There was no reason for Sam to be reacting this way. He closed his eyes and tried to 'sense' the room through his vessel, searching for something that would affect a human but not an angel.
Sam moaned softly, feeling the air clog in his lungs. His head hurt badly enough that he could focus on nothing beyond that, and then, blissfully, he passed out. He woke again and was startled to find himself lying on the floor being held by Castiel with one of the angel's hands held to the side of his face. "Cas?" His voice was hoarse, but the confusion he'd been feeling seemed to have lessened.
"It's alright, Sam. Try not to move." Castiel said and managed a smile to try and offer confidence. "Dean will be here soon."
Sam nodded and brought a hand up to his head that was still beating with an incredible headache. He tried breathing deeply and evenly, but it only seemed to make it worse, and the confusion quickly returned. He was tumbling into unconsciousness again without even realizing it.
Sam opened tired eyes to look up at the angel still holding onto him. He didn't how long they'd been trapped, couldn't keep track of time between episodes of passing out, but a new worry stole over him as he realized how…drawn and tired the angel looked, that Cas was looking more exhausted each time he opened his eyes in the dim light. "Cas?"
"Sleep, Sam." Castiel spent a fraction of energy and tumbled Sam back into unconsciousness because it was a kind thing to do, he thought, as Sam went heavy against him once more.
Dean had made quick work of placing the gris-gris back on the second floor and had run up to the third and last floor. He'd found the north wall of the hotel and quickly kicked a hole through the dry wall. He bent and grinned, fully expecting the customary blast of light as he shoved it inside and frowned when nothing happened.
"What the crap, Sam?" Dean stood and frowned in concern. Sam should have had has bag in place long before. Dean went out to the hall and jogged to the stairs. "Sam?" He called loudly but got no response from any floor. He took out his cell and dialed his brother and began to worry in earnest when it continued ringing and then went to voicemail. "Sam, where are you? I'm coming down there to find you."
Dean started down the stairs and knew in his gut that something was wrong. He had a vivid flashback to the day they had cleansed their old home in Kansas, to finding his little brother nearly strangled to death on the floor, and mentally kicked himself again for splitting up, but Sam had told him he could handle it. He snorted. Sam had flat called him out for being traumatized by that day, and Dean…hadn't been able to argue. But he knew he wasn't the only one traumatized by close calls. He knew for a fact that his little brother had trouble hearing a dog growl without flinching and needing to get his eyes on his alive and kicking older brother.
"Sam!" Dean yelled when he reached the second floor and leaned out over the balcony to look down on the foyer below. "Sammy!"
Dean shouted in shock as he was picked up by some unseen force and tossed into the open air in the center of the stairs. He seemed to hang for a long moment and then fell. "Shit!" The floor rushed up to meet him and darkness took him while someone laughed softly nearby.
Castiel looked down as Sam's eyes fluttered open once more, and, as he had done a dozen times now, he spent a small amount of power to send him back to sleep before he could become confused, ask questions, or realize what was happening to him. He allowed himself to slump over Sam, never taking his hand from his face as he monitored his condition and waited for the moment when he would need to heal him again. He'd been healing Sam over and over for nearly two hours. It had taken Castiel a few minutes the first time Sam lost consciousness to discover what was happening; the boiler tank was filled with a gas. Colorless and odorless, he'd been unsure what it was, but Jimmy's mind had supplied the knowledge that it was likely carbon monoxide.
Sam was being poisoned to death by the simple act of breathing, and Castiel was draining himself to keep him alive. Each time Sam neared death, he loosed his power into him to heal him and save his life, but each time it was becoming a little harder. Each time he was able to heal Sam a little less. Even an angel of the Lord had his limits.
He felt Sam weakening, felt his heart begin the stuttering rhythm that he was growing far too used to and sent his grace flowing through Sam once more as his breaths slowed to almost nothing. "Breathe, Sam," Castiel said in a rough voice, heavy with exhaustion. Breathing, of course, was what was killing him slowly, but there was no help for it with him unable to whisk them safely away.
Castiel's face drew into a hard line with the sure knowledge that, somehow, Crowley was behind it. The king of hell had orchestrated this, and Castiel would find the reason why if he had to personally take the demon apart a piece at a time. He put his attention back on his charge while his breathing strengthened with Castiel's aid and hoped this would not be one of the times Sam's body went into a seizure. Those times…were hard on the angel. It was why he was doing his best to keep the younger Winchester unconscious, even at the expense of power, because Sam suffered each time it happened, in pain and in fear, and he couldn't just watch it anymore.
"I'm sorry, Sam," Castiel said softly and wished he could explain everything to him. He knew that if Sam died down here because of him, Dean would never forgive him. Dean's wrath would likely be the end of the angel, and Cas wasn't sure he would even fight back.
He listened to Sam's ever more labored breathing, watched the lines of pain deepen between his eyes, and tightened his arms around him as Sam's body began to hitch and jerk. "I'm so sorry."
Dean woke with a groan, rolling to his back and wrapped a hand around his aching head. "Shit." He sucked in a breath when he felt blood under his hand and carefully opened his eyes. He was lying at the bottom of the stairs in the foyer, and he suddenly remembered being thrown. He moved slowly with a chorus of groans and curses until he regained his feet and had to grab the bottom of the banister to stay on them.
"Sam?" Dean looked around and saw no sign of him. "Asshole…friggin'…poltergeist!" He staggered away from the stairs and down the hall that led to the basement. His brother was down there somewhere and couldn't be in good shape if he hadn't come for Dean. He glanced at his watch and his brows rose in dismay. He'd been unconscious for at least two hours. "Son of a bitch."
He picked up his pace, using the wall to keep him upright each time the pain and dizziness tried to take him to his knees. Dean pulled open the basement door and took firm hold of the railing, determined to not end up bashed at the bottom of this flight of stairs. Dean reached the bottom and scowled at the halls leading off in three directions.
"Sam?" Dean shouted and waited, hoping to hear an answer but there was nothing. "Dammit." He took out his flashlight and flicked it on, pointing down what he thought would the west hall and smiled when he saw his brother's footprints in the dust on the floor. He brushed the back of a hand over the side of his face to clear the blood out of his eye and started down the hall, following the trail.
"Sammy! Answer me, dammit!" Dean would tear the place apart a brick at a time if he had to find his brother, because he knew there was no good reason that Sam wouldn't have found him in two hours. Whatever had happened to Sam…it was bad. When the hall branched, Dean kept with Sam's footprints, grateful the kid had massive feet. It made it easy to see them in the meager light. He turned again and found himself in a long empty room with pipes running up out of the floor and along the walls. Dean kept his light on the ground and followed the trail and staggered to a stop near a hatch in the center of the room. There Sam's prints stopped and were joined by a second set, and then both seemed to vanish.
Dean aimed his light at the hatch and a sinking feeling came over him. He went to his knees next to it and banged the flashlight on it while he got a grip on the wheel. His eyes narrowed and he leaned back to shine the light, blowing out a breath in surprise when he recognized an Enochian sigil. "What the hell's going on?"
A sound broke the silence, and Dean realized it was a voice calling out from beneath the heavy hatch. "Hang on, Sam!" Dean yelled, wincing as his own voice echoed back to him and took hold of the wheel again. For a moment, nothing happened and it felt as though something was holding it in place, but then it turned, and he spun it hurriedly until the catch released. Dean pulled the hatch up, groaning with the effort and shone his light down into a large tank. "Sam?" He blinked twice when his light showed him the bottom. "Cas? What the hell are you doing here?"
Castiel saw Dean's face appear above and didn't bother yelling from below. He gathered Sam to him and used what was left of his power to whisk them both to Dean's side. "Dean," Castiel gasped, grateful the man was already kneeling. "Hang on." He took hold of Dean's shoulder and transported the three of them outside and onto the ground beside the Impala.
"Cas?" Dean held his head as the dizzying trip made it spin. "What's wrong with him?" He leaned over his brother, still held by the angel but Castiel didn't give him up.
"Not…not yet. I need to…" Castiel tightened his hold on Sam and let the very last trickle of his strength seep into him, hoping it would be enough. "Gas…in the tank," was all he managed before darkness took him.
Dean gasped as Castiel slumped suddenly sideways, and eased him to the ground. "Cas? Sam?" He put a hand to his brother's throat and felt his pulse beating strongly, if erratically, and then did the same to the angel, but…he was angel. He didn't even know where to begin to tell what was wrong with him. "Ok, this sucks."
Castiel opened his eyes and realized he was lying down on a bed, staring at the ceiling of a motel room. He sat up, relieved to feel his strength returning and not surprised to find Dean sitting on the edge of the bed beside him with his brother. "Dean."
"Cas!" Dean quickly stood and took one of the angel's arms, helping him to his feet when he moved to get up. "What happened? What did you mean about gas in the tank?"
Cas brushed at his coat and looked down at Sam. "The tank was filled carbon monoxide gas. I kept him alive until you found us, but only just." He bent over the younger Winchester and put a hand to his face.
"I haven't been able to wake him up," Dean said and scrubbed a hand down his face. "I've been trying for hours, but he just…he doesn't sound good. I was about to take him to a damn hospital."
"That will not be necessary." Cas took hold of his returned power and let it flow into Sam as he had so many times before and nodded when Sam's eyes flew open. "Hello, Sam."
"Cas," Sam glanced around the room, eyes narrowing in confusion when he saw where they were and that Dean sat next to him. "What…what happened?"
"You'll be fine now." Castiel assured him and put a hand to Dean's head, sending another thread of energy into him to heal the wound to his head. It was the least he could do considering what he had almost cost them and could never tell them. "I must go."
"Whoa! I wanna know what the hell happened down there!" Dean protested loudly.
"Sam will explain."
"But…" Dean trailed off as the angel vanished and threw his arms up. "Awesome." He rubbed a hand over his head that no longer hurt and decided at least Cas had done that before taking off. "So? What did happen down there?"
Sam shook his head and pushed up in the bed so he was sitting, rubbing a hand over his head in memory of the pain that had been there before. "Cas showed up. He said some group of demons was after me." He quickly told Dean all he remembered about the demons and the angel proofing that had sealed Castiel in after they'd been tossed, and his belief that the poltergeist had done it at some point in his life.
"So now we gotta be on the look-out for a group of…of rogue demons who wanna make you their poster boy? Shit." Dean groaned and stood. He went to the fridge and pulled out two beers then turned, watching carefully as Sam got to his feet. "He said the tank was filled with carbon monoxide and he kept you alive."
Sam nodded. "Ok, that makes sense. I sort of remember not being able to breathe, and…and my head hurt." He closed his eyes trying to find the memory and jerked back at the feel of a cold beer bottle against his neck. "Jerk."
Dean smirked. "Bitch. Drink your beer. We got out of there alive thanks to Cas. We'll go back tomorrow and finish cleansing the place and we'll do it together this time. None of this splitting up crap."
Sam rolled his eyes and dropped into a chair, pulling his laptop over the table to him. "Hope Cas is alright."
"Crowley." Castiel's voice growled through the room, and the king of hell turned with a smile in place.
"Cas. How nice of you to drop by." Crowley waved a hand at him. "Lookin' a little the worse for wear. Have a bit of bother, did we?" He wasn't surprised when the angel stalked to him and pulled him from his feet or when he was thrown to slap into the wall and slide to the floor. He'd expected a reasonable bit of anger. He chuckled as he got back to his feet and straightened his jacket.
"We have an arrangement," Castiel said angrily. "You leave the Winchesters alone."
"Aye, an arrangement. A deal." Crowley flicked an invisible speck of dust from his shoulder and turned his gaze to the angel angrily. "In which you agreed to leave my demons the hell alone, and ONLY then do I leave your little pets to go on their way!" He rolled his eyes and collected his temper. "Or did you think I wouldn't hear about the three you killed a few days ago?"
"They were killing people in a home for the elderly," Castiel informed him and knew by the look on his face that Crowley had been well aware.
"None of your business, mate, but…I had to teach you a lesson now, didn't I?" Crowley shrugged and went to a table with his bottle of whiskey, pouring himself a glass. "Stirred up a poltergeist in the Winchester's backyard, as it were, and then planted a little bug in your ear about…demons and overthrowing me." He laughed again. "I really am a little disappointed you bought that one." He walked leisurely around Castiel, enjoying the barely controlled anger he could see bristling the man's shoulders. "Have we learned our lesson now, angel-cakes? You cross me, you try to void our deal, and I can and will play merry hell with your boy-toys."
Castiel frowned. "I don't understand that reference."
"You don't…" Crowley rolled his eyes. "It's not important. I'm a demon, Castiel. We take deals very seriously." He snorted and moved back in front of him to look at him with disdain. "I do rather enjoy the irony, mind. You know, that it's the squeaky-clean, goody-two-shoes angels of the lord who can't keep a deal." He laughed while Castiel glared at him. "How many times do you suppose an angel's broken a deal for the sake of the greater, bloody good? Hmm?" He flicked his fingers at Cas and took a drink of his whiskey. "I'd be a little embarrassed at this point if I were you, when hell has the monopoly on being honest."
Castiel clenched his fists and swallowed back the rage. Crowley had made a point. For now, he could get to Sam and Dean long before Castiel knew enough to save them. For now, he would play along until he no longer had to. "Keep your demons away from the innocent."
"Not part of the deal, love," Crowley informed him and rolled his eyes when Castiel's glare deepened. "Alright, alright! Fine! No more demonic shuffleboard with the over-fifty crowd. Happy? Care to make it official?" He took out a tube of lip balm and waved it at the angel with a grin.
"No." Castiel shook his head, but he'd take what he could get. "I almost lost Sam in there tonight." He advanced a step on the demon to glare down at him. "That…does not happen again."
"Or what?" Crowley tossed back disdainfully. "You'll flutter me to death?"
Castiel leaned back and let a smile he had often seen on Dean flow over his face. "I'll rip your lungs out and feed them to you." He smirked, hearing the echo of Dean's voice in the comment and nodded as Crowley's eyes widened. "Stay away from them."
Crowley shook his head when Castiel vanished and sighed. "Everybody's a critic." He tossed back the rest of his scotch and clapped his hands together. Another demon stepped into the room, waiting. "Bring me another alpha."