Gabriel laid a map of America on his make-shift alter. It wasn't certain that Beelzebub was in the States but it was as good a place as any to start.
He dipped his fingers in one of the bowls in front of him and then held them over the other, letting the mixture of Dean and Lisa's blood drip off into mint-infused holy water. Then he closed his eyes and concentrated, only opening them again when he smelt the paper of his map start to char.
When he found the spot that was burning he frowned and then went to retrieve a map of the state they were living in. Placing it on the alter he repeated the process of dripping the blood in the water, then raised his eyebrows at the result he got.
Gathering up the map he headed for the living room where the others were waiting. "Hey, guys." They looked around at him expectantly as he wandered in. Sam had positioned himself and the kids between Dean and Lisa but Cas was still swinging between pissed off and smug from one second to another. "You're never going to believe this."
"You found him?" Dean asked, his expression suspicious.
"He's about four miles away," He flung one arm out in an easterly direction. "Over that-a-way."
There was silence for a moment as he was stared at. Sam was the first to recover his composure. "Well, we did move here because of all the Demon sightings."
Gabriel considered that. "Point." He dropped down next to Sam on the floor and spread the map out on the coffee table. "He's right here." Tapped the burnt spot. "Which means Beelzebub will almost certainly be there to."
"So what are we waiting for? Let's go get him back." Surprisingly that wasn't Dean being impatient, it was Lisa and her outburst earned her frowns from both the Winchester brothers.
"You're not coming with us." Dean told her, obviously trying for that tone of voice that meant there was automatically no argument; he wasn't very good at it.
"I bloody well am. You're not leaving me here while you go and rescue my son." The determination in her voice actually made Gabriel like her a bit better, but then he liked most people who wouldn't take Dean's bullshit.
"It'll be dangerous."
"It'll be safer and quicker if there's someone going on this rescue that Ben actually knows, so he won't try and fight you too." Dean tried to interrupt her but she didn't let him. "You last saw him when he was eight, for a few days. He doesn't know you, Dean." Dean deflated and stopped trying to talk over her.
Sam spoke up, a contemplative frown on his face, "Okay Lisa, you've got a point, but then who's going to stay here with the kids?"
For a minute there was the busy silence of frantic thought and then Gabriel had an idea. "You know what? I think I know just the person for the job."
They left the kids running around giving Karya the grand tour of the house, well, Joanna running around giving the tour, Robert being carried around occasionally interjecting the odd word here and there.
"I always thought dryads couldn't leave their tree." Sam whispered to Gabriel as they crept around the back of the warehouse Ben was being held. Gabriel wasn't sure why they were trying to be all secretive because he was going to have to kick Beelzebub's ass at some point no matter how they went about this rescue but Dean was being a stubborn bastard.
"Common misconception," Gabriel whispered back, "Mostly they just don't want to. They don't have the same sense of time as humans so they just don't get bored, and their trees are the most comfortable place for them to hang out."
Dean turned back from his position creeping along in front of them to glare them into silence. Gabriel rolled his eyes but stopped talking; they'd reached the back door and he could sense the boy inside.
Alone. Which was either really lucky or meant that the whole place was rigged with traps and detectors, things to tell Beelzebub someone was tampering with his secret weapon and things to keep intruders from escaping until Beelzebub could come deal with them.
Gabriel glanced over and met his brother's steady gaze. From the look in Cas' eyes he was thinking the same thing and knew just as well as Gabriel did that it was never going to be the former.
"Gabriel and I will go in first." That was Cas' do-not-mess-with-me voice, unfortunately Gabriel was pretty sure it had never worked on Dean and Cas knew it too, which was why he didn't give Dean a chance to voice the annoyance on his face. "There are no Demons in there guarding Ben, which means there will be other defences. Gabriel and I are the only ones who can sense and disarm them."
Gabriel put his hand against the door and tuned out Dean's attempt to argue as he concentrated. There were wards on it but he got rid of them easily, the sigils that would notify the warder if the wards were breached were harder because he had to isolate them first. By the time he refocused his eyes the other four were quiet and staring at him, slightly disconcerted Gabriel pushed the door open and stepped inside, his senses on high alert.
He let out a low whistle as he saw the inside, "This place is covered in wards. I'll go this way, you go that way." He didn't wait to hear Cas' affirmation, just started working his way around to the left, vaguely aware that Sam and Lisa were following at a distance.
They'd worked their way almost all the way round the partitioned warehouse when they finally found Ben, tied securely to a chair. He was older than Gabriel had expected, mid to late teens and as soon as he saw Lisa he called put in relief.
"Mum!" Something went click inside Gabriel's head and he swore, darting back in the direction of Dean and Cas after tossing a instruction to get Ben free quickly over his shoulder at Lisa.
"What-?" He didn't let Dean get any further than that.
"Ben had a ward on him that tripped as soon as he saw Lisa." Dean swore, Cas looked pained, Gabriel ignored them. "Get both of them out of here, I'll deal with Beelzebub." He cracked his knuckles ostentatiously.
"But-" Cas started, Gabriel interrupted him.
"Just go, this will be so much easier if he doesn't have any hostages to take." That got them moving and just in time, Gabriel could feel the demonic aura of Luci's second in command approaching fast.
He crossed his arms and plastered an unimpressed expression on his face, not flinching as Beelzebub and his goons popped in and taking great satisfaction when the Demon faltered at the sight of him.
"No," Beelzebub hissed furiously, "You can't be here, how could you possibly be here? How in Lucifer's name did your find us here?" The Demon was clenching his fists and his eyes had gone solid black.
Gabriel grinned maliciously at him, "How do you think? I tracked the boy. I had access to the blood of both his parents, it was easy."
Beelzebub narrowed his eyes, "You can't do blood magic. No Angel can do blood magic, they wouldn't dare learn. Not even an Archangel would dare learn in case they ended up cast down to Lucifer's domain."
Gabriel cocked his head to one side and let his smile slip into the kind of devilish (ha) amusement that came with his Trickster personality. He reigned in his grace and let loose the primal aura of wild forces and pagan magic that he'd cultivated through his centuries as Loki.
"Who said I was here as an Archangel?"
All the blood drained out of Beelzebub's face, "Loki." He breathed fearfully and then threw up his hands.
The burst of power hit Gabriel hard but he didn't let himself flinch. So Beelzebub had thought he could have reasoned with Gabriel the Archangel. Idiot, although obviously one that knew better than to try that with Loki, one that knew the only way he'd survive Loki was to attack hard and fast.
Gabriel deflected the attack with a wave of his hand, using the re-routed energy to take out Beelzebub's Demon goon squad. Then he pretended to examine his nails with a distracted air; Beelzebub was actually a reasonably tough opponent but he wasn't a match for Gabriel's power and the more the Demon thought he was out classed and the more he doubted his ability to win, the easier it would be for Gabriel to beat him.
Gabriel flicked a finger without looking that sent Beelzebub careening into a wall with a crash of forgotten merchandise and packaging material. He sauntered over and lifted the struggling Demon out of the wreckage, holding him against the brickwork with one hand around his neck. Gabriel allowed himself a moment of nostalgia for the time he'd done this to Dean during the TV-land incident before he lifted the Beelzebub higher and tightened his grip.
It wasn't quite as simple as it would have looked from the outside. The battle of power between Gabriel and the glaring Demon was raging fiercely on the metaphysical plane but the physical manifestation of who was winning was accurate. It took only five minutes or so for Gabriel gain enough ground to be able to twist his fingers like so and snap Beelzebub's neck.
The vessel that had been holding the Demon dropped from his grasp as the black smoke that had once been Hell's second in command dissipated into atoms. Gabriel made a satisfied sound and brushed his hands off on each other as he turned...to find the four humans and Cas all emerging from behind various partition walls.
He frowned at them, "I thought I told you guys to scram."
"Like we were going to leave you behind by yourself." Sam scoffed, moving around a gaping Ben to get closer to Gabriel.
Gabriel snorted, "Why not? I totally kicked his ass all by myself."
Their exchange seemed to have snapped Ben out of his shock because he flung his hands up, palms out. "Alright, hold it. As awesome as this whole rescue thing has been...would someone please tell me what the Hell is going on?"
"My half-sister is half-what?!"