My little slice of limbo

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SPN Gen Mini Bang: Expectations - Part 2
continued from Part 1
back to Masterpost

Dean played with his glove. It was strange. He never considered this "Sword" thing as more than just a title and his vesseldom. But it had to be more, some aspect of it, at least. Because the IWC gave him all the information they had about the glove. And he had read what happened to normal people who touched it.

Was he perhaps some kind of Squib? He didn’t have any supernatural powers of his own, but perhaps he should have had them through genetics? Who knew if everything Sam had done had been the demon blood? Perhaps some of those abilities had really been his, just activated or amplified... And a part of him would never admit to describing himself in Harry Potter terms.

He put the glove on and moved his hand experimentally. The leather fit snug against his skin, but had enough give that it didn't disturb him in any way. There hadn't been any explanation as to how this weapon worked, just that it was meant to be wielded by him. Guns had always come natural to him, but he had no idea how this thing worked.

Without thinking about it, he copied the move of his brother, hand open and out, ready to push energy outward or focus demonic presences. Not only was there no reaction, he also didn't feel anything different. Perhaps he needed a demon to try it out on? Or on whatever it was meant to be used against...

He looked up when somebody sat across from him. Willow, the Wiccan that had brought him here. She put a coffee before him and carefully prepared her own tea.

"I don't think we thanked you for doing this for us. You know you don't have to."

"Yes, I have to." He drank his coffee, hunter and witch both thinking about the coming battle.

They had decided to go in with just a few Slayers, a magic user and Dean as a surprise attack. They didn't know how the glove would work and needed to keep enough forces some distance away as a second line. Dangerous, but it was their only shot. The creature responsible was completely different from anything the Scoobies ever saw before. Nothing harmed it and it laughed at their attempts at stopping it. The attempt to get him via magic had ended even more abruptly. They needed all the help they could get.

# #

The changes in hell were still... unsettling to Castiel. Yes, hell had been horrific and grace scorching, but this eternal waiting of the denizens was depressing even for an angel. On the positive side of things, a soul needed a lot longer to change from hellbound to demon through this process. And Castiel knew for a fact that not everything about the old hell had been changed: The eternal waiting was reserved for standard souls. The big sinners still got the whole traditional hell package, torture and brimstone included. It was interesting what it did to demons, these creatures who had mostly come to integrate the torture into their very nature, to be denied everything and forced to stand in line with the not-yet-transformed souls. In its own way this was even worse for them and a part of Castiel admired Crowley's creativity for even thinking of it.

Still, after opening the senses of his bonded grace he knew that Dean was not in hell. Neither in the waiting line nor in the classical dungeons. It wouldn't have been possible for Crowley to ward the human enough had they been on the same plane. So, not hell.

Who else had the capability and would have the audacity to kidnap his personal human? Not Raphael, had the archangel done something like that he would have gloated the moment he had him and they would have heard of it had the Righteous Man landed in Heaven. No, somebody else.

# #

"I'm surprised to see you here, brother." Balthazar drank expensive champagne and looked to the scantily clad people lounging at the pool. In spite of him being a dominion angel, a soldier of heaven, this war business was not something that came natural to him. Drinking at a bar and planning to debauch somebody sounded like a lot more fun. While he had chosen his side in this war and worked for Castiel, he still found time now and then to indulge in his hobbies. Now that he had given the weapons of heaven up, Raphael was not personally interested in him anymore. It rankled his ego, but made his existence so much easier.

"I'm searching for Dean Winchester."

Of course, everything was about the human.

"He was taken from this plane of existence. I can't find him."

Okay, this was interesting. Somebody who could do something like that could be of interest for their war effort. Was this a potential ally or a potential enemy? Balthazar realized that Castiel thought he had taken the human. The idea alone was insulting. "I don't have him, brother." He offered his glass to the other angel, but he was already gone.

# #

Cas thought about other possibilities. Who would have the interest in taking Dean and at the same time the capability of warding the human against him? Yes, Dean had the sigils that warded him against angels, but Castiel's grace had kind of bonded to Dean's soul in hell, the hand print scar on Dean's shoulder being nothing more than a manifestation of that bond. He couldn't use it during his slow fall and even with being reinstated he would need more power to work around the sigils than was wise with Raphael still running around, but he needed to do something.

The angel remembered something else. It wasn't something the Winchesters had talked about, but during his invisible visits with the Winchesters he had seen a new book Dean kept in his duffel, directly with his hunting journal. There hadn't been any words printed on the green leather so he didn't know what it was about, but it was a start.

# #

Sam looked unhappy as Cas went through the duffel to fish an unknown book out. The way they lived they didn't have a lot of privacy, their duffels were hands-off in normal situations. But this wasn't a normal situation. And Sam would do anything to find a clue to his missing brother’s whereabouts.

Sam opened the book and frowned. Long and complicated words he couldn't even read, followed by phonetic transcriptions. What was that and why would Dean need it? Cas needed just one phrase to not only recognize the language, but also the phrasings. Incantations dealing with fairies, the language was Gaelic. There was only one reason Dean decided to study up on Fairies: He could see them. When had the human been to Avalon and why hadn't Castiel known about it?

It was rare for humans taken by the Fae to get back, so when had that happened and why had they let him go... Or maybe they didn’t really let him go, after all. Maybe they had taken him back? It would certainly explain Castiel's problems in locating him. "Your brother went to Avalon. When was he there?"

Sam gave him a puzzled look as he held the unfamiliar book in his hand. "I don't know what you’re talking about. Avalon?"

Bobby took the book out of Sam's hand. "That was a few months ago. They sent him back within hours, too aggressive for them." Probably a good thing that Dean's instincts ran amok when that happened. Bobby had read up on fairies in addition to giving Dean the book to memorize how to banish them. The setup had screamed of the Fae of the Unseelie Court, nowhere a human wanted to end up. If they had taken him back, he had a real problem.

The angel took that in and flew away without prior warning, leaving the humans standing there. Time for a trip to Avalon.

# #

It was interesting, going on a hunt with that many people. Dean was used to having to think of one, perhaps two or three other people.  Now he was in a group with eight Slayers and one Wiccan, who all had the order to keep him alive – and to keep a distance from his gloved hand. Strange didn't even begin to cover it.

At least he was away from that strange watcher, Andrew. The guy had the same unsettling lack of personal boundaries as Cas, coupled with an extreme case of geekdom. It would have been funny had Andrew not focused on him.

Other than the manpower, another great thing about the IWC was the simple fact that you were always surrounded by females. All types, all ages, all knowing about the real world out there, all capable and the majority of them going out night after night and kicking demon butt. It was a dream come true. If he weren't still mourning the loss of his relationship with Lisa and Ben, he would be in paradise. A real one, not the hell of eternal re-runs. Faith even offered him an in-depth demonstration of all those slayer muscles. If he ended up being stuck in this dimension, he would most likely take her up on that offer...

# #

The place where they would have their little showdown was pretty unremarkable. The same generic building that could be found anywhere in the world.

From one second to the next he felt the familiar air displacement

# #

Faith pulled her weapons at the figure that had materialized before them. A guy, blue eyes, dark hair, rumpled suit and tie, trench coat.

"Cas? Why are you here?" Dean stared at the guy and his reaction made clear that he knew him.

Did that mean that he was safe and she could stop pulling her weapons on him or should she put him down before it was too late? It would be good to get some information here.

"I have no intent to harm you, Faith Lehane."

Okay, that was creepy, the whole complete name thing without anybody telling him. And he could say whatever he wanted, didn't mean Faith would just believe it.

Dean seemed to realize that. "Faith, this is Castiel. He is an angel."

An angel? She stared at the figure before her. Yes, she had heard that angels possessed humans but this guy was so... unlike anything she had imagined about angels. Knowing that Dean was the deluxe housing version for an archangel and he was a hunter of all things supernatural, Faith had expected other angel vessels to also be more hunter-like, or perhaps the military or law enforcement type - in other words, people who kicked ass professionally. This guy looked like he belonged in an office.

The angel looked Dean over. "It took me considerable time to find you. You should not be in this dimension."

Dean shook his head. "Yeah Cas, I should be in this dimension." He shrugged the flannel off, holding his right hand out to the angel.

# #

Castiel took a step away from him once he recognized what he was seeing. "This has been lost. It was thought that it was destroyed in the first war against Lucifer." He knew better than to touch it. With the latest events it was better to play it safe.

"You know it? Do you know how it works?"

The angel didn't move. "It is yours, so it was never used. The Enochian makes Winchester's Glove a weapon against non-corporeals. Touching a demon while wearing it rips the demon out of their host."

Dean understood perfectly. Non-corporeals: demons, the few ghosts who possessed people and, from the way Cas acted, angels. Faith didn't seem to see the big deal behind it, but in this dimension demons were totally corporeal. When they killed a demon they actually killed a demon, not the poor S.O.B. who had been used as a meatsuit as well

Dean took that information and went in the direction they had planned, totally ignoring the people following him. They still had to find the one who wanted to destroy this world.

# #

Cas stared at the bound being before them. She had the clear other-worldliness that marked her as Not-Human but didn't feel like something the Slayers would be fighting for. "It is Azrael." The angel had practically whispered this sentence, stuck between being riveted by her being there and appalled by her condition. "Azrael, Angel of Death."

Faith looked at the lean female form from a new perspective. "So this is... Death."

"No, this isn't Death. I met Death," came Dean’s answer.

Castiel watched his sister and tried to gauge her metaphysical status. "Azrael is the Angel of Death, she is neither Death nor a Reaper. She hears the prayers of people while they die and can cross into hell to rescue a deserving soul who truly repented." With Azrael at their side it would have been easy to get Dean out of hell before he broke the first seal. Had somebody captured and bound her here for that reason, to force the apocalypse on them, or was it something else? Like a few other angels, humans had wrongly named her an archangel. This wasn't the case, but her task in heaven still gave her a special role. She shared this odd placing with Jehudiel, Uriel, Barachiel, Jerahmeel, Raguel and Metatron. Not archangels, but still higher than other angels, and in questions concerning their specialties, even higher than archangels. To see her here explained a few things about the moves in the war against the demons other than just the conspiracy. Who would dare to imprison and bind her?

The markings were even more appalling. Somebody had put bastardized Enochian sigils on the vessel’s body. It forced the angel to stay in the vessel and stopped her from using her powers at the same time. Castiel couldn't help her, the sigils prevented helpful interaction. "Azrael, who did this?" he addressed her clearly, but carefully.

The female angel opened her eyes, but needed some time to focus on the other. "Abbadon," came her whisper and both Cas and Dean froze at that info. Why would he do that, what would he get out of keeping her here?

"He was so angry about father, the humans and their ignorance, the way it all played out. He thought if he made sure that the apocalypse happened, the human race would destroy themselves one way or another, it wouldn't even matter which side would win. It would prove the experiment of humanity was a failure and father would have made a mistake."

Like Cas already reflected, Azrael could have gotten Dean out of hell in no time at all. After the first seal had been broken there hadn't been any reason to keep her contained.

Dean thought back to what he knew about Abbadon: One of the princes of hell, a general of destruction. Hadn't been very active in the last few centuries. According to water-cooler conversation in hell, he had been otherwise occupied, a personal project. The denizens highly anticipated his coming back to active duty.

"Sorry, but who is this Abbadon? I know the name sounds familiar," asked the Wiccan.

"In the war, before Lucifer was cast down for rebelling, some angels took his side. They were cast out with him. Abbadon was one of them."

An angel. It explained why the IWC hadn't been able to do anything against him, in this dimension there was no holy oil and the only angel sword on their side was the one Cas had with him. And with Azrael bound in her own vessel. Dean hesitated. He had an idea but would it really work?

# #

Azrael looked up when she saw the human kneeling before her. He held his gloved right hand up so that she could see it, but kept it at a safe distance. "I don't know if it will work, but we can try."

She nodded, knowing this was her best chance and steeled herself against the pain. The human would rip her grace out of her vessel through the bindings. If it worked she was free and could go on to heaven. If it didn't, then they would have to see what happened with her grace. Perhaps she would die, but it would still be better than this existence, being unable to do the work her father had created her for.

Michael's vessel laid his gloved hand on her shoulder, cradling her form carefully with the other. Whatever happened now would mean the end of her suffering. "Thank you."

# #

"Close your eyes" Faith followed the order immediately but saw gleaming light through her eyelids. After everything was dark she opened her eyes again.

A quick look to her slayers made clear that everybody had followed the order. She wouldn't have wanted to actually see the eyes burning out of somebody’s skull.

The body of Azrael was still and lifeless. "Did it work?"

Castiel held his head to the side, concentrating on something they could neither hear nor see. "She returned to heaven. After some time to heal, she will be as powerful as before." Not only was this good for Azrael, this was proof that they could win this. They just needed to sneak Dean near enough to Abbadon and with one touch the danger would be over.

"Cas, if I touch Abbadon and force him out of his meatsuit, can you force his grace in the right direction or will he be able to stay here as a non-corporeal entity till he finds another vessel?"

The other man thought about it for a moment. "There are no vessels in this dimension. I will take his grace to heaven the moment you extract him."

# #

In hindsight the battle had been anti-climactic. Something to do with the fact that a mere touch was enough to end this. For the humans it ended with a spectacular lightshow even through their closed eyes and after everything was settled, both angels were gone. They were just left with the highly traumatized human who had been Abbadon’s vessel.

The IWC would look after him, do whatever they could to help him acclimatize to this strange culture and century. Or if he couldn't do that, find him a place where he could live as near to his heritage as possible. With the majority of dimensions available to them, finding something suitable should not be such a problem.

Azrael had released the soul of her vessel centuries ago, there had been no need for both of them to endure this. Sad as it was for the human, it reduced their duties to body removal, a time honored tradition and specialty of the IWC, both during and before the reign of Travers over the old council.

# #



"Back to your war?"

"Yes, back to the war on the home front."

"You know you are always welcome to come back. Red is dying to get more info on your monsters and kinds of magic."

A hesitant shrug. "Nah. I have things to do. Cas hopes that when he brings me up to heaven with the glove, Raphael and the other angels will have to accept that this was the plan all along. And even if they don't, that glove is a powerful weapon against angels on earth. They will think twice about messing with my brother and me with that thing around."

A grin.

Dean slipped his glove on and held on to Castiel with the other hand. One second later, both were gone.

Just her luck: Great guy, wrong place, wrong time.

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That was a fun crossover. Cool concept :)

Loved it!, great xover :D

Well done

Very nice. Well thought out. I always enjoy fics where Cas searches for missing Dean.

Great! I really had fun reading, thanks for sharing.

And Giles keeps on cleaning his glasses. XD

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