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Fines finium (Limits)

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Part One

 

Dean was hunched over the table, his laptop open and the browser full with sites and pictures of a local lore and general mythology, while heavy rain was hitting the windows. The police reports and the newspapers about the victims were scattered on the table, also the couple of books Sam got from the library a day before. He really hated research, but they did everything else they could do. Questioned the relatives, talked to the police, looked at the locations were the people disappeared, and they still had no idea what they were up against.

They were luckily in Worthington, Minnesota (the disappearances were around the Okabena Lake, and some of the remains were also found there), so Bobby was only a bit more than an hour away. Sam was out getting food and meeting up with the older hunter so he too could look at the scene before they hit the books again if Bobby had no idea either. For now Dean was stuck with research.

He was just trying to figure out how Sam managed to talk him into staying while he went out, when suddenly his chair was yanked backwards along with him, causing him to fall from vertical to horizontal in a second. He will deny the undignified yelp that escaped him till his dying bed. He tried to grab onto anything solid to prevent the fall, while his body already jumped into action at the possible attack. He managed to grab something with his right hand, but that was not what stopped him from hitting the ground.

‘Hey there big boy,’ Dean after adjusting to the sudden shift of his body managed to focus on the archangel grinning down at him. And it was Gabriel’s arm he got a hold of, the arm that was currently holding the back of his chair with ease keeping him in horizontal position, while Dean tried not to fall off by holding on. He took a deep breath and glared up at the angel.

‘You fucker,’ Gabriel just chuckled evilly before he lifted him back into his original position. Stupid super-human strength.

‘You looked way to calm and comfy,’ Gabriel supplied as an explanation. ‘I just had to rouse you up a bit.’

‘By giving me a heart attack?’ he grumbled as he adjusted his chair. Gabriel of course just chuckled again. He circled Dean and sat up at the table after pushing some books and Dean’s computer aside.

‘Be glad I kept is nice and simple, I can be much more imaginative than this’ Dean just rolled his eyes.

‘Well, try to imagine who’s not going to get sex for the unforeseeable future,’ Dean replied.

‘Yeah, you’re not going to punish yourself,’ was Gabriel’s easy answer, before he put his hand on the edge of the table to lean a bit closer to Dean. ‘Come here,’ he invited and Dean wanted to be stubborn and ignore him, but hell he didn’t see him in days so it was hard to stay mad, so he leaned closer too.

‘You’re such an ass,’ he told him anyway.

‘You love it,’ Gabriel grinned before he reached out to put his free hand on the back of Dean’s neck to pull him closer, closing the remaining distance between them. Dean was not used to tilting his head up to kiss someone, especially not Gabriel, so it was a bit strange, but just as good as always. They didn’t stop kissing for quite some time and Dean got turned on by it as the seconds passed. The thought of his brother and Bobby arriving back at any minute successfully squashed down the up-building anticipation and he leaned back ending the kiss.

‘Sam and Bobby will be back soon,’ Dean explained when Gabriel looked at him questioningly. ‘And we got a hunt here, so I have to get back to this.’

‘Really?’ Gabriel asked. ‘You wanna geek out over books instead of sex? Should I be concerned for your sanity?’

‘I want to kill whatever it is that’s butchering people here before someone else dies,’ Dean corrected. Gabriel sighed dramatically, but didn’t start to argue, he knew Dean better than that. ‘You could help,’ Dean offered, but the angel just looked at him. ‘The sooner we know what this thing is, the sooner will be able to kill it and finish the case. And then I’m all yours.’ Gabriel seemed to contemplate this, tilting his head from one side to the other. ‘Ah c’mon, I’m totally at my limit here man,’ and no he was not whining, maybe bitching a little, but he was doing this for hours now and it didn’t get him anywhere. So he grabbed the photos of the few remains the police found and the reports about the disappearances and held it out towards Gabriel.

‘Seriously, throw me a bone here, the perfect chance to show off your awesomeness.’ Gabriel took the pile of papers with a sly smile.

‘Stroking my ego, very good Dean-o,’ he admitted. ‘It’s the second favorite thing I like getting stroked,’ he added with a suggestive eyebrow-raise, and it was Dean’s turn to laugh. But he didn’t reply since he didn’t want to start throwing innuendos, that always lead to sex and it was just not time for that… yet.

Gabriel fell silent as he looked at every picture and piece of paper Dean shoved at him, his face no longer full of humor, he seemed thoughtful. So the hunter returned reading through older articles on the web after he grabbed his laptop from the other side of the table where Gabriel put it. There was silence for quite a while until Dean heard the Impala just outside the motel room signaling his brother’s return.

And sure enough Sam entered the room not long after, Bobby right behind him. And Dean should’ve been used to the way Sam’s face darkened whenever he looked at Gabriel. Bobby seemed more surprised than anything.

‘What is he doing here?’ was the first thing that came out of Sam’s mouth and again, Dean probably should not have been surprised by it.

‘It’s good to see you too Sam,’ Gabriel greeted without looking up.

‘He’s helping,’ Dean supplied. ‘Hey Bobby, got a good look at the lake? Any idea what we might be up against?’ he asked, he really hoped Sam would drop it if they focused on the case.

‘I did,’ Bobby answered. ‘It could be a lot of things from the way I see it.’

‘Great,’ Dean murmured. ‘Hoped you might have a bit more insight.’

‘Well, there was not much to look at by the lake, and even if there was before, it was long washed away by the rain.’ Bobby explained. ‘And other than the fact that the victims were all male and some of their bits and pieces were found at the lakeside we have jack squat.’

‘This also never happened before in the area’ Dean told him. ‘I kept looking at the history, but nothing. I’m starting to think it’s just some psycho chopping off people.’

‘If he’s helping, now would be the time to join in,’ said Sam and it was obvious who he meant, and there went Dean’s hopes of his brother focusing on the case rather than the archangel.

‘How was the weather when they went missing?’ Gabriel asked as he downright ignored Sam’s comment. Dean knew his brother would be pissed about that, and as he glanced at him his suspicion was confirmed, but he was also glad that Gabriel didn’t react. Sam then took a deep breath, visibly trying to calm himself before he answered.

‘Rainy,’ he said. ‘Like every single day in the past three weeks, I doubt that could help.’

‘Okay,’ Gabriel replied, tossing the stock of papers down onto the table and looking up at Sam. ‘There were also some dead deer in the area,’ he said then.

‘There was no sign of animal mutilation,’ Dean frowned, because they checked that.

‘Not what I said,’ Gabriel corrected. ‘Deer stabbed, shot or strangled, killed in any human way. Right before the gentlemen bit it I presume.’

‘You think the victims did some ritual?’ Bobby asked.

‘I don’t think… I know it,’ Gabriel answered easily. ‘Because that and the storms--’

‘It was raining every day, it still does,’ Sam interrupted.

‘Rain does not equal storm chucklehead,’ Gabriel told him. ‘But I guess it could be pretty hard to pick up on some extra lightning and wind and see its significance, but it fits so.’ He shrugged. The first change in his tone did not escape Dean’s attention, and he didn’t like it when it started to shift from angel to trickster.

‘Fits what?’ Dean asked.

‘It’s a Vila’ Gabriel said. ‘Or vilas, there’s probably several, not the type to go solo.’ Dean had no idea what the creature Gabriel was talking about was so he turned to Sam and Bobby. Sam was frowning and Bobby seemed to think deeply too.

‘Water nymph?’ the older hunter asked finally, Dean smiled. Trust Bobby to know his lore.

‘Nope,’ Gabriel replied. ‘Water sprite’

‘Oh you have got to be kidding me,’ Dean groaned.

‘So much for that they only live in the Balkans,’ Bobby said.

‘Well it fits with the storms, deer sacrifice and male victims,’ Gabriel told him. ‘Plus the suicide would’ve been enough to attract them to the lake.’ Dean was already searching his brain since he was sure he read about every death that occurred at the lake in the past fifty years.

‘You mean that chick that drowned a few weeks ago?’ he asked.

‘Yeah well, her engagement was in one of the papers,’ Gabriel told them; gesturing at the stock of papers he dropped down onto the table. ‘But no news of marriage, and Mr…’ he picked up one of the newspapers and started to read out loud. ‘“Harold K. White got married after only a few weeks of engagement to the beautiful Miss Kathleen Sorr…” And guess what? That’s not the now dead chick the bloke was engaged to before. Even I’m tempted to get my hands on that bastard.’ He added before he dropped the paper down again. ‘Anyhow, vilas just love to set up their base-camp where love and heartbreak turns to death, y’know murder, suicide, murder-suicide; the last is their favorite.’

‘Okay, so how do we kill them? Iron?’ Dean asked, because it pretty much added up at this point, so he was sure Gabriel was right.

‘You can’t,’ Gabriel told him. ‘Sprites are fairies, they’re invisible to humans.’

‘Yeah not to me, I got abducted to the other side by a bunch of fairies a few months ago, so I can see them.’ Gabriel’s eyebrows shut up in surprise.

‘So do we send them back to the other side?’ Sam asked.

‘You can’t,’ Gabriel said again. ‘These are elemental-type, they come and go between the two sides, and they’ll keep coming back as long as the lake is tainted by death.’

‘Okay, if you’re so damn smart then tell us how we kill‘em,’ Bobby told him. Gabriel turned thoughtful again.

‘It’s better if I just get rid of them myself,’ Gabriel said as he hopped down from the table.

‘Right, because we are so incapable,’ Sam retorted immediately.

‘No, not at all,’ Gabriel answered. ‘But tell me Sam, how long you’d be able to fight maybe half-dozen supernatural beings with nothing but an iron knife 15 feet underwater?’ Gabriel raised an eyebrow questioningly, Sam just glared at him.

‘Okay,’ Dean spoke to somehow interrupt the tense silence. ‘In that case thanks,’ he turned towards Gabriel. ‘Stab them or fry them extra crispy, whatever works.’

‘And I should bring back a fairy-head too so that your brother believes I actually got rid of them, huh?’ Gabriel asked and this time he glanced challengingly at Sam, there was a smile on his face, but Dean knew that smile way too well, Gabriel was getting pissed.

‘Maybe you really should, I’m not convinced that making us believe the hunt is solved isn’t just one of your practical jokes.’

‘Oh you want a real practical joke?’ Gabriel shot back and turned towards Sam, it was a clear threat now so Dean got up from his chair in a second to stand in front of the archangel. He put a hand on his chest and Gabriel turned his attention at him.

‘Just… gank those fairies and get me when you’re done, okay?’ he asked, because he was sure that it would be much easier to get Gabriel to stop this argument before it really started. He could distract him with the promise of sex after all.

‘Catch you later,’ Gabriel replied and he was gone in the next blink. Dean took a deep breath.

‘Dean,’ he heard Sam’s irritated voice. ‘No more stalling, we are talking about this. Now!’ and the older Winchester did not like it when his brother spoke with such a stubborn tone.