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Hell's Daughter

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The demon Abaddon, knight and aspiring queen of Hell, cackled as she pinned Dean Winchester to the wall of a hotel penthouse. "A boy and his blade," she taunted. "And still no match for the new queen." Abaddon clenched her fist and Dean slammed back against the wall. "So, first you'll die painfully. And then Crowley will watch his son die -ditto- and then the king himself." She chuckled. "And Blade destroyed. That's quite a to-do list."

Dean struggled furiously. If this bitch thought she could defeat a Winchester, she had another think coming.

Suddenly, the doors burst open and a tall figure strode into the room. Surprised, Dean lost his grip on the First Blade and Abaddon used the opportunity to yank it from his hand.
"I suppose that would be your brother come to rescue you from my evil clutches," she sneered, turning around and flinging out a hand to shove the person she presumed to be Sam against the opposite wall. Shock colored her face when the unexpectedly female figure standing in the doorway refused to budge. The only sign that Abaddon was trying to affect her was a slight ruffling of the strange woman's short red hair.

"Hello, mother. Long time, no see."

Abaddon paled and her mouth opened in shock. "Christine?" she whispered, starting to reach her hands out to the woman. "I- I thought you were-"

"Great entrance, Chrissie, love. Wonderful timing, as always." Crowley interrupted as he clapped slowly from his chair.

Dean scowled. Crowley knew this lady? Who was she?

The woman-Chrissie- smiled affectionately at the king of Hell. "Fergus! It's been a while. How's things?"

Crowley snorted. "Just fantastic, as you can see. I'm sitting in a penthouse chair with a damned devil's trap bullet in my shoulder," he snapped. "How do you think I'm-"

Chrissie cut him off with a motion of her hand, then turned to the other woman. "Abaddon. Mother. It's been a while. I hear you've been naughty these past few months."

Dean snorted. "Just peachy. Exactly what I need. Another demon to kill."

"Hmmm." The strange demoness pondered the statement. "Actually I prefer cambion if you will, antichrist if you must. I'm not quite a full demon. Although I do spend some of my free time in Hell." Her eyes flashed for a moment, flicking not to the usual demonic black, red, or yellow, but to a strange, dark blue color.

"Christine!" Abaddon crooned, beginning to look impatient. "Come, daughter, join me, and we can rule Hell together. Just like we always wanted."

The cambion shook her head. "No, Mother, just like you always wanted. I never wanted a part of ruling. Not that you stuck around long enough to know that. "

Chrissie waggled a finger at her mother, and the First Blade flew out of Abaddon's hand and into her own. She stowed it in the bag hanging over her shoulder, then waved a negligent hand at Dean, who was still pinned to the wall. He flew off the wall and slammed into a chair, ropes materializing and wrapping around his arms, tying him to the chair. Finally, she turned to face Abaddon, and snapped her fingers. The self-proclaimed Queen of Hell shrieked as the floor grew up around her like a tree, immobilizing her and covering her entire body up to the shoulders. She screamed in frustration, rage simmering in her eyes, as she struggled in vain to get free.

"You bitch," Abaddon shrieked, "You'll pay for this, Christine!"

Chrissie's eyes narrowed. "No, Abaddon, I will not." she casually flicked her hand and a sword slowly materialized, a large, silver-colored thing that vaguely resembled a cross between an angel blade's shine and bone's porous solidity. The sapphire-colored jewel on the pommel sparkled in a strangely hypnotizing manner and Dean could almost swear the eye carved into the hilt winked at him.

The woman addressed the demoness. "Abaddon, you never gave a shit about me. You only wanted me for the power I might bring after I grew up. You dumped me with my nanny and ran off to murder the Men of Letters. Then you followed Henry forward in time, and I spent fifty-five glorious years growing up without you, living with Nana and Meggie and Fergus and Morte. When I got word that Mummy Abaddon had popped up and was wreaking havoc again, I figured I might as well join the boss fight."

After she finished ranting at Abaddon, the cambion stalked toward her mother, waving the hand not holding the sword, and the floor released Abaddon. The demoness stumbled, then caught herself, drawing a wickedly sharp blade from her sleeve and taking a fighting stance against her daughter. She rushed forward, stabbing the cambion in the chest with the knife, then stepped back, eyes gleaming expectantly.

Chrissie laughed, plucked the knife out of her body, and flung it to the side, forcing Crowley to lean back nervously as it whizzed by him and thudded into the wall. "Oh Mother, you really think that's going to hurt me? Truly?" Her eyes began glowing blue and a strange aura crackled around her body. "I'm the cambion daughter of a Knight of Hell. That thing is a toothpick." She cackled. "If you truly want to hurt me, Abbadon, you need the First Blade, this-" she raised the now-glowing silver sword in her hand-"or, possibly, an angel blade. I don't know; I've never been stabbed with an angel blade."

She turned toward Dean and Crowley, raising an eyebrow. "What do you guys think? Would an angel blade kill a Knight of Hell?"

Dean stared at her, incredulous. Crowley shrugged. "I suppose we'll have to test it out once this is over. Speaking of-" he nodded toward Abaddon.

"Oh, right." Chrissie turned back to the demoness, who had backed to the other side of the room. In a flash of movement, the cambion stood directly in front of her, sword raised. "I almost forgot about you, Abaddon." She thrust the sword into her mother's heart, stabbing through the body into the wall behind.

Abaddon screamed, bones flashing orange and white, and light streamed out of her mouth and eyes, "Nooooooooo!" She slumped over, the blade lodged in her chest the only thing keeping her body pinned to the wall. Chrissie tugged her sword out of the body, cleaning it with a snap of her fingers, and slid it into a leather sheath on her hip.

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Chrissie tugged her sword out of the body, cleaning it with a snap of her fingers, and slid it into a leather sheath on her hip.

"So." She walked over to Crowley and crouched down next to him. "Demon trap bullet, yes?" Crowley nodded, and she placed a hand on his shoulder, then pulled it away, and the bullet flew out of the wound, embedding itself in the ceiling. Crowley sighed. "Much better, love. Now," he stood up and walked over to Dean, "What are we going to do with Squirrel, here?"

"Do? Oh, Fergus, I'm not going to do anything with him. You, on the other hand…" the woman stalked toward Crowley, teeth bared in a facsimile of a smile.

"Now, hold on there, love," Crowley held up his hands in nervous pacification, "no need to be hasty here."

"'Hold on?' 'No need to be hasty?!'" she growled. "You killed my best friend and the closest person I had to a sister, Fergus 'love.' You knew what she meant to me; but no, you just had to get your revenge cause she stabbed you in the shoulder. If you weren't family I might kill you myself! You've had it coming for a long time. So, I think it's high time you went to visit Uncle Luci downstairs."

Crowley's eyes widened, and he shrank away from her outstretched hands, a pleading look on his face. "No, no, no, please don't, Chrissie, please."

A snarl ripped from the cambion's throat as she snapped her fingers. Crowley turned into a plume of dark smoke, and he sank, screaming, through the floorboards, banished to Hell.

Chrissie turned to face Dean, smiling pleasantly. "I'm sorry about all that. It's very nice to see you, Dean Winchester!"

Dean glowered at her disbelievingly. "You just… tied me up, killed Abaddon, and banished Crowley to Hell with his meatsuit, and it's 'nice to see me'?! Who the hell are you, lady? What are you?!"

"Oh! I'm terribly sorry," she laughed, hurrying over to Dean. She waved a hand absently. "I've been watching you so long I forgot we hadn't already met. At least, not in this form." Chrissie snapped and her face shifted, hair turning dark, face widening into familiar features.

Dean's eyes widened. "Pamela?" Chrissie chuckled. "Only for a little while. She was a fascinating woman, and very strong in both body and mind. Unfortunately, she still couldn't survive Castiel popping into her head, so when I noticed Cassie's accidental smiting of our favorite psychic-sorry, second favorite-I decided to drop in and be helpful. To be entirely honest, I thought-"

Suddenly, the doors burst open again and Sam Winchester ran through them, brandishing a demon-killing knife in one hand and panting with the effort of presumably running upstairs. "Pamela?" he gasped, catching sight of Chrissie, who had turned toward him. His gaze flicked past her onto his brother, still tied to the chair. "Dean! Are you ok? Why are you tied up?"

"Oops!" she blushed in embarrassment. "Sorry kiddo, I forgot to untie you." She snapped her fingers, face returning to normal as she did so, and the ropes binding Dean slithering away into the chair. Chrissie turned back to a confused Sam, who had yet to put away the demon knife, and held out her hand with a small smile.

"Nice to finally meet you, Sam Winchester. Well, as myself anyway. You've already met Pamela 2.0." Sam stared at her, nonplussed, and glanced at his brother before reaching to shake her hand.

Dean interjected, "This is Chrissie. She apparently took Pamela's place after the real Pamela was killed trying to contact Cas the first time. And she just killed Abaddon, who is actually her mother."

"Oh," Chrissie waved a hand, "If you're going to identify me by family members, I'd rather you call me 'Henry's daughter,' or," a glint appeared in her eyes, "your aunt.

Our-" Dean managed, incredulous, "our aunt?" He turned to Sam. "We have an aunt?!" Sam gaped at her. "You're… Henry Winchester's daughter? By Abaddon?

"Oh, yes," she explained. "It's a long story, but about fifty years ago Abaddon seduced Henry using Josie's body and his wife's appearance. I was the result of that nasty trick of hers, and since she could feel that I would be powerful, she decided to keep me. Of course, her little time jump left me all alone with Nana, my nursemaid. She raised me, along with Meggie, Fergus, and Morty."

"Wait, Meg?" Sam questioned, "our Meg?"

"And Fergus is… Crowley?" Dean added, sounding mildly disgusted. "Crowley raised you?"

She laughed. "Yes, Crowley raised me. He's like a very grumpy vodka uncle. He taught me how to make a deal, how to tame hellhounds, and how to set up lingerie stores as a tax shelter in the Bahamas."

"And Meg?" Sam frowned at her.

Her expression soured. "She was my foster sister, my Meggie, long before she was your Meg. Her real name was Megara, you see, and she had a fondness for meatsuits with similar names. She's how I found out about you two, shortly after you met."

Dean scowled. "Shortly after we met, she tried to kill us. So does that make you a good guy or a bad guy?"

Chrissie's face lightened and she snorted in amusement. "Well, I'm not exactly a good guy; I just committed matricide, after all. But I'm certainly not evil, and I have been doing you both some favors."

The older brother scoffed. "Favors? What have you ever done for us? We've never met you before. If you knew we were your nephews, why didn't you show your sorry ass and help us out with oh, I don't know, the apocalypse!"

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The older brother scoffed. "Favors? What have you ever done for us? We've never met you before. If you knew we were your nephews, why didn't you show your sorry ass and help us out with oh, I don't know, the apocalypse!"

"'Help you?' I've done nothing but help you! Who convinced Gabriel to stand up to his family, who chatted up Death to do you a solid?" Chrissie splayed her hand across her chest, thumping for emphasis.

"Me! Who do you think got you that holy oil in TV Land, Sam? It certainly wasn't your brother. And you, Dean, did ou really believe you and Benny and Cas got through Purgatory by yourselves?" The cambion began to glow a dark, emerald blue as her temper flared, forcing Sam and Dean to step back and cover their eyes.

"Please. That place is filled with angry, hungry, centuries-old monsters and you wouldn't have made it two minutes if I hadn't kept most of them off you. Most recently, I killed Abaddon for you. Yes, maybe you would have gotten free eventually, but the first time you kill with that Blade, Dean… it will change you. You'll start to crave it, long for killing, thirst for blood… and from there the only path is turning into a demon. After you die. So hey, I guess I haven't ever done anything for you. If you really don't need my help I'll just see myself out."

"Wait!" Sam reached out and grabbed Chrissie's arm as she whirled around to stalk out of the room. She turned glowing blue eyes on him and he flinched back at the fury he saw there. "What do you mean, 'turning into a demon'? Why would Dean become a demon?"

She sighed and slumped her shoulders, eyes flickering back to normal. "Ever wonder how Cain's been around so long? It's the Mark. It changed him into a demon and it'll change you too, Dean. You won't be able to handle the blood it demands from you and eventually it will kill you. It's just a matter of time now that you have the Blade. Or rather, had the Blade. I'm not giving it back unless and until you need it."

"So, we can remove the Mark, right?" Sam asked worriedly.

Chrissie shrugged. "I don't know. There may be a way to do it, but if there is I don’t know it." Her face brightened. "But I know who might! Let me just go find Rowena." She snapped and disappeared in a puff of dark blue smoke and a *whooshing* sound, leaving the brothers staring in bemusement at the spot where she had been standing.

"Rowena?" Dean scoffed after a moment. "Who's Rowena?"

Sam shrugged. "No clue." He looked around, noting the demon corpses strewn about, then reached to pull his brother up from the chair. "We should probably get out of here before someone else shows up."

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"Rowena?" Dean scoffed after a moment. "Who's Rowena?"

Sam shrugged. "No clue." He looked around, noting the demon corpses strewn about, then reached to pull his brother up from the chair. "We should probably get out of here before someone else shows up."

-------Two Days Later------

Sam and Dean looked around as they drove up to Castiel's base of operations, taking in the long, boring office building where the rebellious angel had set up his headquarters.

They walked through the doors, the trench-coated angel carrying a box full of evidence from the smiting incident. A female angel strode briskly over to Cas, grinning, and saluted him. "Commander," she intoned.

"Oh, it's just creepy," Dean muttered, glancing around the cubicle-filled room.

Castiel gave Dean a chastening look. "Sam, Dean. This is Hannah."

The woman's smile faded. "The Winchesters. I've heard so much about you."

Dean grinned smugly. "What can I say? Cas is a fan."

An angel in a red shirt walked over, taking the box out of Castiel's hands. "I'll start to examine this evidence."

"Y-oh, um." Hannah interrupted Dean's mumbling. "Sir, this morning, Josiah wasn't at roll call."

Sam stared, incredulous. "Uh, roll call? You hold, uh, roll call?"

Cas frowned. "They like to hear me say their names."

Dean grinned rakishly and chuckled. "I know a couple women like that." Sam glared at him scoldingly.

"No one's seen Josiah since Ezra was murdered," continued Hannah. "We think that-"

"You think Josiah's the killer, that he's the mole?" Sam questioned.

"Well, who else? We searched the grounds, but he's vanished."

"Not without wings. He's an angel, but he's still got to travel like he's a human, which means walk, drive --
means he's gonna leave a trail," Dean mused.

Sam walked over to an unused desk, sat down, and pulled out his laptop.
"All right. What was his vessel's name?"

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Sam walked over to an unused desk, sat down, and pulled out his laptop.
"All right. What was his vessel's name?"

They had tracked Josiah to a Gas 'n' Sip through his vessel's credit card when another angel called them over to a computer station. "Commander. I have something. This phone's memory chip has a video time-stamped just before the explosion."

They watched the computer screen avidly as a video showed a man walking into the ice cream parlor and ripping open his jacket to reveal a sigil carved into his chest. Castiel made a noise of shock as the man, clearly now an angel, pulled out an angel blade and stabbed himself in the chest crying, "I do this for Castiel!"

The Winchesters and the other angels stared at Cas in shock and disbelief. "What… the hell was that?" Dean frowned in concern. Cas wouldn't-he couldn't- he wasn't that kind of person anymore. After the Leviathans and Purgatory… Dean's best friend couldn't be going dark side again!

"I don't know. I didn't -- I would never ask an angel to sacrifice himself to kill innocents. I'm going to be sick," Castiel seemed green at the gills. Dean sighed in relief. Obviously, there wasn't any motivation for Cas to kill random humans.

Sam coughed awkwardly. "Cas, why would an angel blow up a Colonel Scoop's in your name?" Sam frowned at his friend. Cas couldn't be behind this, right? Sure, they'd had problems with the quirky angel before, but those had all been under the influence of Leviathans or Crowley. He couldn't be doing anything like that again, could he? Cas had promised he wouldn't go seeking power the way he had before.

Hannah interrupted him. "That's not what he was doing. Roll it back." The angel manning the computer rewound the video until second in command pointed at the screen. "There. That was an angel -- Esther. She's one of Metatron's."

Sam turned back to Cas, worried. "So, this was some kind of hit?"

The seraph looked lost. "I… don't know," he answered.

"Stop saying you don't know," Dean growled, looking at his friend in worry and betrayal.

"You can't think I would allow something like this," Cas pleaded desperately.

Dean frowned at the angel. "Cas, I know-"

"Of course we all know Cassie would never do anything like that!" A cheerful voice butted in suddenly, making everyone except Castiel jerk in surprise and pull out a weapon.

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Hey y'all! Just an FYI, I edited a bunch of stuff on here and changed around some things. So, if you didn't go back and read the notes on chapter one, here they are:

I decided to condense my fic so far into several longer chapters, and to keep the trend from now on. I tried to keep as many comments as possible, which meant editing chapters instead of deleting them, so it was a bit convoluted for a while there, and the comments may not make sense in the chapter they're posted on. So, edits will probably be fewer and farther between, but longer and hopefully easier to read. I also edited my previous writing and changed the wording and spacing in a few places. I didn't change anything plot-wise, however. If you already read everything up to October, just skip ahead to chapter 5. Enjoy!

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"Of course we all know Cassie would never do anything like that!" A cheerful voice butted in suddenly, making everyone except Castiel jerk in surprise and pull out a weapon.

They turned around and were greeted with the sight of Chrissie holding what had to be the world's largest lollipop. She waved the massive confection in emphasis. "Dearest Uncle Castiel has a bleeding heart the size of Sam Winchester and would never, ever make his precious little soldiers run suicide missions." Chrissie sauntered forward to drape an arm over Dean's shoulder, twirling her candy in one hand.

Sam's mind raced. Had Chrissie followed them here? Did she have some way of tracking them? How had she gotten past the other angels and the warding that must surround Castiel's base?

Cas gave the cambion a small smile. "Hello Christine. How is Limbo?"

Chrissie shrugged. "Eh. It's the same as usual, really. I still get the occasional murderous hunter, although you'd think by now they'd know not to fuck with me on my own turf."

Dean scowled in confusion and pushed her arm off of him. "The hell is 'Limbo'?"

She chuckled, then ambled over to Castiel to lean on his shoulder instead. "Limbo, dear nephew, is my own fabulous den of liquor and luxury."

Sam coughed. "You run a… nightclub?"

"Yes indeedy, Sammoose. And a verrrrry profitable one too. Allows me to keep my little… side business… open." Chrissie flourished both hands, the confection in her left vanishing with a *pop*.

Sam frowned at her. 'Side business'? He wondered silently. What kind of 'side business' could a half-demon nightclub owner run that required significant outside revenue and the secrecy with which she spoke? Gun or drug smuggling? Human trafficking? Non-human trafficking?

"… I don't want to know, do I?" Sam muttered.

Chrissy laughed again. "Probably not, Samsquatch. But I will tell you that it's definitely not nearly as bad as you think." She glanced at Hannah and the rest of Castiel's angels, all of whom were holding angel blades pointed at her, and flapped her hand at them. "Oh, put those away, feathers. I'm not going to hurt your precious Cassie. He's an old friend."

Castiel nodded once and gestured to his angels. "Christine speaks the truth. She is… certainly not harmless, but perhaps could be characterized as friendly." He turned to the cambion and cocked his head. "Is there any news from the Chain?"

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Castiel nodded once and gestured to his angels. "Christine speaks the truth. She is… certainly not harmless, but perhaps could be characterized as friendly." He turned to the cambion and cocked his head. "Is there any news from the Chain?"

Chrissie's face sobered. "Yeah, I've got news. For one," she pointed at the computer screen, still showing the video from the ice cream parlor- "your little friendo there was seen consorting with Metatron shortly before his… shall we say untimely demise."

Sam's eyebrows shot up. "How do you know? And, uh, what do you mean by 'consorting'?" And what was 'The Chain'?

"The Chain is Christine's network of spies and informants among the supernatural and hunting community. It enables her to keep track of both allies and enemies, including Metatron," Cas explained. "She runs it, among other things, through Limbo."

Dean guffawed. "You run a spy network through a nightclub?"

Chrissie raised an eyebrow. "Why not? People are always going in and out; drugs both legal and illicit change hands; alcohol is always pouring. And tips are an easy way to fudge the income. It's the perfect front."

Castiel frowned at them. "Could we please return to the topic? Christine, what did you find out?"

Chrissie nodded. "The rogue angel's… body art… was a spell, triggered by the death of the angel into whom it is carved. When he died, it caused his grace to explode outward like an angelic suicide bomb, smiting pretty much everyone and everything in the immediate area. From what I can tell, Metatron found it in the Angel Tablet."

"But why?" Sam muttered, thoughtful. "Why would Metatron kill one of his own angels, and how did he convince Oren to kill himself?"

Chrissie clicked her fingers. Her appearance shifted suddenly, taking on the exact likeness of Castiel down to the last hair. "How do you think, Sammykins? Illusions are easy for someone as powerful as Metatron is when he has the Tablet."

It was strange, hearing the cambion's voice come out of what seemed to be Castiel's body. Sam looked at the two Castiels, shuddering. God, that was creepy. They could be twins.

Cas cleared his throat. "The question remains, why would Metatron use illusion to kill one of his own angels?"

Chrissie laughed humorlessly. "This is war, Cassie. He's trying to discredit you. If word got out that you supposedly used your own soldiers as suicide bombers? Angels would flock to Metatron."

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"This is war, Cassie. He's trying to discredit you. If word got out that you supposedly used your own soldiers as suicide bombers? Angels would flock to Metatron."

The angels' faces reflected their shock as they stared at their commander.

Hannah stepped forward, reaching out one hand in an aborted attempt to touch Castiel. "Commander, does this abomination speak the truth?"

Chrissie snorted. "Gee, don't hold back on my account. Say what you really think. And of course I'm telling the truth; I'd never lie about something this important. I may be half-demon, but I'm not actually-"

Sam cleared his throat, interrupting her indignance. "Uh, maybe we should…" he gestured to the computer screen "… do something about this information? We still need to find Josiah, right? And for all we know, there could be more like Oren out there. We need to figure out who they are and stop them."

Cas nodded decisively. "You are correct, Sam. We should investigate-"

"Me and Sam will head to the hospital, see if we can find somebody who knew this...walking nuke," added Dean.

Cas frowned. "Hold on. These are my people. I can help."

"Well, that's sort of the problem. I mean, the Manson girls aren't gonna give us a straight answer with Charlie in the room, so just hang back."

Chrissie nodded. "I hate to say it, but Dean-o's right. If they think you ordered them to commit suicide, they're not going to talk with you anywhere near them."

"Um…" one of the angels tapped Chrissie on the shoulder. "Your bag is glowing."

Her eyes widened and she rummaged in her satchel, pulling out a dimly shining mirror that pulsed with gold light. A teenage boy's face appeared in the center when she tapped on it. "Jesse. How's things?"

The boy-Jesse- frowned urgently. "Metatron's meeting with Tyrus to try and win over the largest remaining faction of angels, and one of Cas's just waltzed up to the door. I think it's bad news."

Castiel looked startled. "I have not sent any soldiers to Tyrus. None of my people should be there. Why…?"

Chrissie cursed. "Metatron. He's trying to discredit you, so he's arranged one of your people to try and kill him with Tyrus there. We have to stop it. Cassie, you're coming with me!" With that she grabbed Cas's arm and they vanished in a puff of blue smoke. Dean swore.

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Chrissie cursed. "Metatron. He's trying to discredit you, so he's arranged one of your people to try and kill him with Tyrus there. We have to stop it. Cassie, you're coming with me!" With that she grabbed Cas's arm and they vanished in a puff of blue smoke. Dean swore.

Dean paced between desks in the main room of Castiel's headquarters.

"How long is this going to take?" he grumbled, glaring over at where Sam and Hannah were consulting a large map on the wall.

Sam sighed in frustration. Cas was gone for all of ten minutes and already Dean was freaking out. Honestly, sometimes Sam just wanted to smack his older brother upside the head. "Don't worry Dean, we'll get your boyfriend back," he muttered. "As soon as we figure out where Tyrus is, we'll go find Cas."

Dean scowled and stared frustratedly at the ground, then paced back over to the door. "I just want to do something," he growled, banging his fist on the nearest table. "I feel useless."

Sam knocked his head against the wall in exasperation. "Why don't you go find Josiah? Maybe he knows something about Metatron, and where Tyrus is."

Dean's face lit up like a Christmas tree. "Yeah, I'll track him down. Where was he again?"

Sam raised his eyebrows, surprised, then lowered them in suspicion. His brother wasn't usually this… relaxed, especially about Cas. Normally he'd be climbing the walls in frustration and picking fights with everyone in hearing range. "Dean, are you… are you alright? I know you've got to be worried about Cas-"

His brother sliced a hand through the air, shaking his head. "I just…" He ran a hand through his hair and scrubbed it over his face. "I need something to take my mind off it."

Sam nodded understandingly, inwardly gleeful. Obviously Cas was good for his brother, if Dean had managed to reach any level of emotional understanding past that of a grade schooler.

"We tracked Josiah to a Gas 'N' Sip in Colorado. You should probably start there. And, uh, take an angel with you. Please?"

Dean scowled, muttering, "I can protect myself well enough."

Sam rolled his eyes. "Just take someone with you." He scanned the crowd of gathered angels. "Would any of you be willing to go with him?"

A tall, lithe woman stepped forward and brushed braided hair out of her eyes, smirking at him. "I'll go. Not like I'm doing anything useful as is." Her voice was tinged with a soft, pleasant accent that was difficult to place… Sam wondered if her vessel was from somewhere in Africa, maybe the French part…? It wasn't important.

Hannah frowned at the other angel. "When did you get back?"

"Just now." The woman gestured toward Dean. "Since I'm the only one here who doesn't have an assignment right now I may as well go with him. We need to track down Josiah anyway."

Her superior nodded. "That is sensible." She turned toward dean and gestured at the door. "You should leave as soon as possible. Sam will call you if we find anything."

Dean led the angel who had volunteered to help out to Baby and slid into the driver's seat. She followed him into the passenger seat. Starting the engine, he glanced over at her and raised an eyebrow. "So what's your name?"

She smiled, revealing a small gem set into one incisor. "Sariel, angel of death. Pleasure to meet you, Righteous Man."

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Dean led the angel who had volunteered to help out to Baby and slid into the driver's seat. She followed him into the passenger seat. Starting the engine, he glanced over at her and raised an eyebrow. "So what's your name?"

She smiled, revealing a small ruby set into one incisor. "Sariel, angel of death. Pleasure to meet you, Righteous Man."

Sariel crossed one leg over the other as they drove. "So, Dean Winchester, what has everyone in a tizzy? Where's Castiel?"

Dean raised an eyebrow in surprise. "You don't know?"

"I was at a nearby hospital performing minor miracles until about fifteen minutes ago. I only arrived at base shortly before Sam suggested you leave. The only thing I know is that Castiel is gone somewhere and Josiah didn't drag his ass to role call this morning, which is why we're looking for him."

He grimaced. Thinking about Cas just made Dean even more worried; he tried to put it out of his mind. "Well, this chick Chrissie, says she's our aunt, pops up and drags him off to find somebody named Tyrus. Metatron was apparently involved with the angel that blew himself up this morning and was trying to frame Cas or something."

Sariel raised her eyebrows at him. "Chrissie was there? How was she?"

Dean frowned, confused. "You know Chrissie? Are you… friends?"

The angel chuckled. "Well, I suppose you could say that. It's been a while since we've seen each other though. She's busy running Limbo and I'm busy with tasks for Heav- Castiel. For Castiel." Her face clouded over at the almost-mention of Heaven. Did the angels really miss Heaven that much, Dean thought, that even the mention of it made them upset?

Dean shook his head. It wasn't his business what the angels thought or wished; he just needed to find this Josiah dude and get back to Cas and Sam as soon as possible. Then he wondered, What has Cas been doing anyway, aside from recruiting other angels? Sariel had mentioned something about a hospital?

"So…" he fidgeted awkwardly. "What have you guys been up to? You and Cas and the others."

Sariel smiled gently at him, the ruby flashing. "Well I, for one, have been healing people at a hospital near the base. Castiel's been setting us true angel tasks, not that 'soldiers of the apocalypse' bullshit that Michael and his people pulled. It's nice to feel like a real garrison again, even with our wings out of commission."

Dean and Sariel talked as he drove, catching up on what Castiel's faction had been up to since he'd seen them last and sharing stories about the angel commander. They reached the Gas 'N' Sip, talked to the clerk there, and got the address to which Josiah had asked directions. A few hours later Dean parked the Impala near an abandoned warehouse.

Sariel squinted at the warehouse, tilting her head in Cas's signature pose. Dean smirked at the angelic resemblance, then glanced around the place. "That looks like the car the guy at the gas station was talking about, right? Maybe Josiah's still around."

"Dean," she exclaimed, suddenly looking shaken. "This place is... radiating power. I haven't felt anything like this since…" her eyes widened. "Since Heaven."

Chapter Text

"Dean," she exclaimed, suddenly looking shaken. "This place is... radiating power. I haven't felt anything like this since…" her eyes widened. "Since Heaven."

*Several Hours Earlier*

Chrissie arrived at the Atlantis Bowling Alley with a bewildered Castiel in tow, hurrying over to the side of the building to meet the teenage boy standing there.

"Jesse," she muttered urgently. "What's going on?"

Her teenage foster son leaned around the side of the dumpster behind which they stood and gestured toward the nearby door, putting a finger over his lips in a gesture for silence. A disheveled figure, clearly an angel by the way he carried himself, leaned around the side door of the bowling alley, watching something inside. He held an angel blade in one fist and tugged nervously at the collar of his shirt.

Chrissie swore quietly. How the hell was she going to defuse this situation? Killing the angel would probably result in the grace-bomb going off; how was she supposed to get his blade out of his hand and prevent him from dying? She found herself frowning and wishing Raea had come along; her wife was good at this sort of chess game strategizing, whereas Chrissie preferred to simply outmaneuver and out-spy everyone else on the game board, then punch, stab, or threaten the other players until they did what she wanted.

She knew almost nothing about this new angel. He wanted to die; therefore, she had nothing to threaten him with. She couldn't kill him. She couldn't beat him into submission. She couldn't appeal to his sense of loyalty… or could she?

She glanced over at Castiel, who was aiming his trademark squint-tilt at the other angel. Maybe Cas would be useful, maybe not. The other angel could be under some sort of spell or influence; she really wouldn’t put it past that rat bastard Metatron. But she could try.

"Cassie," she hissed urgently. "Can you talk to him? Convince him, order him to stop his attack? Tell him he was tricked by Metatron. He might listen to you."

Castiel squinted at her, then nodded. "I do not know if he will, but I will attempt to speak with him." He slid out from behind the dumpster, sneaking over to the other angel. Chrissie watched their conversation from her spot, sighing with relief as Cas confronted him and the other angel allowed him to wrestle away the blade. He led the angel back to Chrissie and Jesse, introducing him as Constantine.

Chrissie rested her hand on his shoulder. "What were you sent here to do?"

His eyes were wide and startled. "I was ordered to kill Metatron and Tyrus for Commander Castiel."

She swore. "Cas, explain about the illusions. I'll go deal with Metatron. Stay put."

Chrissie stalked into the bowling alley, heading straight for the enemy angel.

Chapter Text

Metatron stood inside the alley, facing the angel Tyrus in a game of bowling. The scribe was losing horribly.

Chrissie paused in the doorway, watching the two erstwhile allies dance around each other. Metatron was starting to look desperate, flinging the bowling ball with great enthusiasm but very little accuracy. The cambion suppressed a laugh at the way he wiped his brow with one sleeve.

Chrissie stood for a moment in the shadows, contemplating a plan of attack. Metatron would most likely flee if he had a chance, so catching him by surprise was vital. The only way to defeat him at her current power was to get the tablet away as quickly as possible, or to smash it if necessary. That would require a powerful blade.

She flicked a hand and Paigre appeared, its Eye blinking at the new surroundings and its voice muttering in her head. Really Christine, you could have been a little more gentle with the summoning, it complained. She gently tapped the hilt and asked it to be quiet for once, the damn noisy thing. Her companion of thirty years could be really chatty sometimes.

She took a breath, settled her stance, and burst out of the doorway into the bowling alley straight at Metatron, sword upheld, bellowing a war cry.

Metatron backed swiftly away from the advancing cambion, eyes wide. "Gadreel," he yelped, fumbling in his shirt with one hand. The traitorous angel flashes to his leader's side, confusion coloring his expression, widening into alarm as he noticed Chrissie. Metatron grabbed his arm and they disappeared with a mumbled Enochian incantation just as Chrissie reached his position.

Chrissie growled in frustration and shoved the blade back into its sheath.

"Damn it, you coward!" she yelled after the retreating angel. She couldn't catch him without wings! Now they would have to find out his plans and tail him all over again. She made a mental note to assign another agent to Metadouche guard duty.

She turned to face Tyrus, holding up her hands to show that she was unarmed. "Sorry about that, friendo. Wannabe-God there was planning an assassination attempt on you."

"Wh-what?" the angel sputtered, then frowned. "Who are you?"

Chrissie sighed and massages her forehead with one hand. This was going to be a long day.

Castiel stalked up to Chrissie and Tyrus, pulling Constantine with him, just as the campion finished explaining the situation to the faction leader. Jesse trailed behind them, looking helpless. Chrissie scowled.

Tyrus nodded to the angel of Thursday. Castiel nodded back, then pushed Constantine forward and pulled the angel's shirt off. Tyrus' eyes widened in shock.

Chrissie scowled harder. "Is anyone going to speak, or have you all decided to take vows of silence? Is there a telepathic link I'm unaware of?"

Jesse cracked up. "Mom, you really need to chill," he laughed.

Castiel raised an eyebrow and tilted his head to one side. "We do not possess any telepathic link, Christine. We simply understand each other." He gestured to Constantine, turning toward Tyrus.

"This sigil is unusual. The death of its subject appears to cause the angel's grace to explode outward and smite any living creatures in the immediate area. Metatron intended to 'save'" he put both hands up and made finger quotes "you from an assassination attempt and blame Constantine's actions on myself."

Tyru frowned, concerned. "That is dishonorable. Perhaps Metatron should not be leading other angels. Perhaps he should be dealt with."

Chrissie chimed in, face worried and tone resigned. "There's no way we can beat, or even catch, Metadouche while he has the angel tablet. We need something powerful to counter him." She sighed. "I hoped I wouldn't ever have to unseal 'that'. It's going to cause so much trouble."

Jesse stared in shock."You mean... you're going to unseal 'that'?! I thought you swore..."

His foster mother nodded grimly, and cast determined looks at the angels. "I'm going to find something I lost thirty years ago. In 1983."

Chapter Text

April 17, 1983, around midnight

Azrael clutched at the bars of her cage, staring into the darkness of the room beyond, lit only by a sliver of a moon through a small, high window, and a ring of fire around the enclosure. The sigil-covered shackles on her wrists and ankles bound her to this vessel and dampened her angelic grace; the holy fire circling the cage kept her in place.

She knew the screams earlier had come from the new toy Ishim had bragged about a few days before. He'd said it was special, unique. She wondered if this one was another unusual angel, or if her captor had managed to get ahold of a Nephilim who escaped Heaven's notice, or if he'd moved on to another creature entirely. She wondered if it was someone she knew. Azrael prayed it was not. She would not wish this hell on anyone, not even her worst enemy. Well, maybe she would wish it on Ishim.

She hoped this one would last longer than the previous one; as much as Azrael hated hearing the screams, she did long for the companionship between sessions. And when Ishim got a new toy, his focus was taken off her. He usually left her alone during those times.

The door at the left of her cage opened suddenly, letting a beam of light cross the dark room. Ishim entered with a body hauled over his shoulder, a woman in her late twenties perhaps, with long red hair and pale skin stained with fresh blood. He turned on the overhead light and crossed to Azrael's cage, flipping a switch to turn off the holy fire, then opened the cage door and unceremoniously dumped the woman into the enclosure. He shut the door and turned the holy fire back on, sneering at Azrael.

"You two should get acquainted, filthy abominations that you both are" he taunted, before turning the light back off and leaving the room.

Azrael sighed, letting out the breath she had been holding since the door had opened. No extra session tonight, then. Ishim didn’t usually double up, but sometimes he had extra time between his duties to the Host. She turned to the other prisoner, sitting down by the woman and gently lifting the head into her own lap. A quiet sob escaped the redhead's throat, a hand coming up to cover her mouth at the sound.

"Is he gone?" she whispered, eyes flicking up to Azrael's face. "Where are we?"

Azrael nodded and carded her hand through the silky crimson hair, soothing. "Yes, Ishim usually leaves right after a session. He still has duties in Heaven, after all. And... I'm sorry to say, but we are in Hell. Ishim keeps this building here, his 'workshop' he calls it, so the rest of the Host will be kept unaware of its existence. Needless to say, they would be rather displeased to learn what he has been doing."

Tears pooled in the younger woman's eyes and she reached up to swipe a hand over her face, letting out another sob as she saw the blood on her fingers. She wiped her hand frantically on her shirt, which was already stained with red.

"If we're just in hell, then why," she sniffed, composing herself, and continued with a steadier voice, "why can't I call Grandfather, or Nana? Or Morty, why can't anyone hear me?"

Azrael tapped gently on the girl's metal cuffs. "He carved sigils into these, they block powers." She scrutinized the symbols on the metal, frowning in consternation. "What are you? These aren't for angels, or anything I recognize. Are you a Nephilim?"

The woman smirked suddenly, an oddly familiar expression on her sharp face. "I'm a cambion."

Azrael stared at her in shock. She shook her head, then gazed warily at the half-demon. "I am Azrael, fallen archangel, guardian of the dead. Who are you?"

The redhead sat up and grinned, holding out a hand and raking Azrael with warm dark blue eyes. "Christine Sands, daughter of Hell, at your service. But you," she winked, "can feel free to call me Chrissie."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chrissie and Azrael talked through their time in the cage between sessions, exchanging stories, speaking of Heaven and Hell and family, and cursing Ishim. They traded tales of places they'd visited, books they'd read, and whispered secrets long into the night.

Azrael discovered she had much in common with the cambion, including a close friendship with Death of all people. She told Chrissie of her fall from Heaven, how she had left shortly after Gabriel had died, unable to take the fighting anymore. Unable to bear seeing any more of her family hurt.

When Ishim ripped the cambion's wings from her back, she sobbed in Azrael's arms. When he drew off part of the angel's grace and used it to control her like a puppet, Chrissie held her and cried with her for what she had lost and for what might come. They grew closer, becoming friends, learning each other's minds and hearts.

Chrissie was charming and flirtatious, but kind, and her brilliant smile made Azrael dizzy. Her seeming youth notwithstanding, the cambion owned centuries of wisdom from her childhood and young adulthood spent in the quickened time of Hell.

And yet, despite her years and her captivity and repeated torture, she brimmed with almost childlike enthusiasm and delight, and an incredible inner strength.

Although Chrissie's soul was tainted with demon parentage, she shone brighter and lovelier than any the archangel had ever seen. She was a contradiction, a conundrum, the world's most amazing non sequitur, and within a month Azrael was utterly and irrevocably in love with her.

One night, they were sitting side by side talking, leaned against the wall of the cage in the near-darkness. Chrissie turned to say something about Vonnegut, gesturing emphatically with both hands, and Azrael was utterly lost in her fathomless blue eyes. They were so deep, so beautiful, the sapphire bits in them gleaming with her passion and the light of the holy fire. She stared at the other woman in awe until Chrissie trailed off, noticing the angel's eyes on her. An odd expression crossed the cambion's face.

Then, Chrissie leaned in and kissed her. Azrael froze, the soft slide of lips imprinting itself in her mind, before she lunged forward and wrapped her arms around the other woman, sliding one hand into her soft hair and the other around her back. Chrissie pressed into her, mouth parting and urging her on, as their lips and tongues touched again and again and again.

They made love that night. Slowly, gently, whispering adoration and devotion into each other's ears, and eventually falling asleep in each other's arms.

Chapter Text

December, 1983

The entity called Thanatos, Maweth, King Yama, and most recently known as Mortimer, stared impassively at Chrissie from an armchair in her new office. His legs were crossed nonchalantly, and his fingers threaded between each other, resting on his knee. Death's air of casual elegance somehow fit the wood-paneled, antique room. The cambion, in contrast, stood beseechingly behind her desk, one hand on the gleaming surface, the other gesturing to a paper bag studded with grease stains. Azrael stood quietly in the corner, watching her friend and her lover.

"Come on, Mort, you know you can't resist the greasy goodness of fast food," she crooned. "I just need one itty bitty container, not even that big! Just enough to hide it away. Can't have the energy leaking out and trying to go back to its owner, after all."

The thin, immaculately dressed Horseman in the chair heaved a reluctant sigh.

“You want to hide it? To store it?" The entity known as Death stared down his adopted niece. "Why not just return it to its place? Wouldn't it be better served where it belongs?"

"Please, Mort, I need to contain it," she begged. "If I put it back there's too big a risk that they'd track it to me. I need to be inconspicuous; do small things, stay off their radar. I can't risk them finding me, or Raea. Heaven won't let us escape again."

Death considered her words for a moment, then nodded slowly. "Yes, I see it would be most beneficial to help you with this. What kind of container do you need? I have a number of ancient coins and vases I believe might do the job."

Chrissie let out a relieved breath and sank back into her chair. "Thanks, Mort. I think a coin would do; they're not so easy to break as a vase. Not so cumbersome either. Something real old, at least as old as the thing it needs to contain. Which is-" she did a bit of mental calculation- "around six thousand years, give or take a couple hundred. Got anything that old?" she paused. "Were humans even circulating currency back then?"

"Hmm. I do happen to have a few copper coins from Ukraine approximately 4000 B.C. which might just do the trick. Would you like one of those?" He held out one thin hand and a slightly greenish, flattened copper circle appeared in his palm, clearly extremely old yet surprisingly well cared for.

The cambion sighed. "Please. I'll just-" she waved a hand- "add a little pocket dimension onto that, if you wouldn't mind helping me a bit. I'm kinda low on juice from creating this place."

Death gave an affirmative nod, then flicked his hand and flipped the coin into the air. As it hung there, spinning, Chrissie took a small glass phial out of her pocket and uncorked it. A strange, dark substance flowed from the vial up towards the coin, shrinking and spinning as it funneled into the copper. Once it was completely absorbed, the coin fell from the air and Chrissie reached out to catch it, using her thumb to smooth a bit of smoky blue demonic essence over the surface, which vanished after a moment. "There," she breathed. "Now I'll be able to keep track of it."

After Death left, Azrael stepped forward from the corner and reached her arms around Chrissie's shoulders, comforting her. Chrissie took a deep breath and looked up at her lover. "Raea?" she murmered, placing her hand gently on the angel's cheek and meeting her eyes. "Let's get married."

Chapter Text

Chrissie stood at the entrance to Castiel’s base, preparing to do the stupidest thing she’d ever done. Heaven had never liked half breeds, liked even less her type of particularly obnoxious half breed. She was too powerful, too dangerous, too threatening to Heaven’s power. They considered her an abomination. Most of them probably wanted to smite her on principle, and the rest probably wanted to smite her because they hated her guts. There were a million and one reasons that this was a terrible idea, but there were just as many reasons she had to do it. Raea. Jessie. Fergus. Nana. April. Cas. Grandaddy. They could all be in danger if Metatron was allowed to roam free with the angel tablet, and Chrissie needed that in order to protect them. There was no one else who could do this. She needed the angels’ help if she were going to find it. She needed the Winchesters’ help.

Chrissie took a deep breath and stepped into the building, mentally preparing her words to convince the angels. She opened the door, only to find Dean, Sam, and Cas standing there waiting for her. Sam stepped forward and placed one massive hand gently on her shoulder.

“Cas told us you need help finding something,” he said solemnly. “He wouldn’t say what it is, but he trusts you. Anyone Cas trusts that much is good in our book.”

Dean nodded behind him, giving a corny thumbs up. Chrissie felt overwhelmed. She had expected to need pleading and threats and bribes but, this easily, they jumped into helping her. She gaped at Team Free Will for a bit, then snapped her mouth shut and gave them a mischievous grin which reminded Sam suddenly and startlingly of an old friend.

“Well then, I guess it’s time for you boys to take a trip to Limbo.”

Chapter Text

Christie and Jessie strolled into Limbo’s front bar, giving a wave to the bartender. Dean, Castiel, and Sam followed them, invisible.

The scene before them was a fairly normal looking, if unusually nice and crowded, businesslike bar full of polished dark wood and quiet piano music that was audible over the low chatter of the patrons. The bar itself was clearly very well maintained and Dean watched as the bartender mixed drinks with almost uncanny speed and professionalism, never spilling a drop despite how fast he worked. Dean was impressed, and found himself craving a good shot of whiskey, then caught himself and frowned. He’d been trying to cut back on the alcohol lately, since it seemed to worry Cas, and hadn’t had a drink in weeks. Why was he wanting one now?

“I’m just going to the back,” Chrissie told the nondescript figure behind the bar, who raised an eyebrow.

“You’re aware you have something stuck to your shoe?” As the bartender spoke, he seemed to come into focus. Where there had been a vague, unnoticeable black-clothed figure, now stood a gold-skinned creature in bright clothes. Dean abruptly noticed his… unusual choice of clothing. The blue, red and green suit was festooned with bells and feathers, and the green feathered headdress reached at least a foot into the air.

Chrissie chuckled, her eyes crinkling up in amusement. “Indeed. I’m the one who put it there.”

The odd man- no, his gilt skin and spiralling black-and-white eyes contradicted any previous impression of humanity- nodded slowly and reached over to the side to pull a lever Dean hadn’t noticed before, and a loud *click* echoed through the room. None of the patrons at the bar seemed to notice, nor did the few scattered groups of people at the tables. The sign previously marked "Authorized Personnel Only" shimmered, and changed to read "Welcome To Limbo". The door seemed to shift and morph, swirling until it resembled a curtain of mercury, flowing in ever-changing patterns on the wall. The civilians didn't seem to notice this hypnotizing and unnerving portal either.

The cambion (who seemed to get odder and odder every time Dean met her) waved to the bartender and stepped toward the portal, calling "thanks Taz!" over her shoulder.

"Taz? Dean mumbled. “Something like that is named Taz?”

Chrissie chuckled as she led them toward the portal. “His full name is Tezcatzontecatl but that’s a bit long for a bartender, and rather old fashioned. He prefers the nickname.”

Sam gaped a little. “Tezcatzontecatl… as in the Aztec deity of alcohol? You have a pagan god working as your bartender?!”

Dean sputtered out “A pagan-!” but was cut off as they stepped through the portal and into a very different scene.

Chapter Text

Castiel stood atop a bridge overlooking a lake, staring out at the water. In the distance ducks labored to take off, wings clipping the water's surface and creating ripples that spread outward like echoes. He envied the creatures their feathers. Castiel knew he was dying; it was just a matter of time before the last vestiges of his grace followed the part Metatron had ripped out to use in his spell. He wondered if, this time, it would be final. Would this death be the one from which he could not escape? Would he go to Heaven, as a human, or would he die as an angel, sent to the Empty? Castiel didn't know.

Tendrils of blue smoke drifted across his awareness. Castiel turned to find Christine standing behind him, her expression solemn.

"Cas…" the cambion murmured softly, eyes sad. "Are you doing alright?"

He dipped his head. "I am…dying," he replied, quiet. "The residual fragments of grace are barely enough to maintain this vessel at all, and soon will be entirely insufficient."

She bit her lip, looking down at her feet, then shifted to stand with her hands spread apart sheepishly. "Well, I may be able to help you with that."

His eyes snapped to hers. "How? I need some kind of grace to replenish my own. Do you have a source of it?"

"If I told you, it wouldn't be a secret, now would it?" she asked with a sly smile.

He frowned thoughtfully, slightly concerned. "Did you… kill an angel to get it? And how can you be certain it will help?"

"No, I didn't kill anyone. I've had this grace for years." Christine shook her head, slashing one hand in a motion of denial. She reached into a pocket and pulled out a vial of peculiarly glowing grace. "This is from a very close friend of mine, given rather than taken."

His eyes widened in shock. "That's… that's archangel grace," he breathed in awe. He had thought the last of the archangels dead or imprisoned. Lucifer and Michael were both trapped in the cage; Gabriel had died by Lucifer's hand, Raphael by Castiel's own, and Azrael had been killed in the first conflict between Lucifer and Michael. So which of them had given this?

Castiel examined the vial closely. It didn't contain flickers of red like Lucifer, or bronze like Michael. It didn't quite fit the copper of Raphael or the silver of Azrael. The only other option was… Gabriel. The brother he had loved the most, mourned the most. The angel who had raised him from a fledgling, who had instilled in him a wonder of their Father's creation and a love for the creatures who populated it. The warmth and light from the vial of grace emitted a feeling of home.

Christine held out the vial, her eyes flickering between navy and their human blue. "So, do you want a boost? I can give you enough to stay alive and relatively powered up for a few more weeks, then more later from other friends of mine."

Castiel considered her face, then nodded in assent. "Yes, please."

Chapter Text

She reached out a glowing finger, dripping with strands of angelic grace, and touched it to his forehead. He felt soaked in healing warmth and the presence of his brother as the familiar grace spread throughout his vessel and reawakened the near-dead scraps of his grace in a loop of energy, fluttering along the bare bones of his charred, skeletal wings.

Castiel gasped, eyes glowing bright blue-white, agony gripping his form as the grace infused into his own. Shock gripped him as he felt his feathers begin to slowly, painfully regrow for the first time since he had damaged them pulling Dean out of Hell, then lost them entirely in the Fall. They were healing. He had never expected to regain his wings; usually, once lost, an angel's wings never grew back. He had resigned himself to being forever outcast, forever half-formed, forever scarred and incomplete, but now… now he had hope. Now he had the possibility of being whole again, of being able to drift once more among the stars. And she had given him one last reminder of his most-loved, most-missed brother. It was the most precious gift she could have possibly given him.

Tears misted his eyes as he reached out and clasped his friend’s hand. "Thank you."

-------------------------------------

Castiel came back to reality with a sudden jerk of consciousness, blinking in confusion as the flashback faded from his mind and he adjusted once more to his environment. Dean, Sam, and Jesse stood to either side of him, looking equally confused and discombobulated, and Christine beamed from the front of their small group.

The cambion held out both arms wide, spinning in a wild circle as they took in their surroundings. The meadow in which they stood was wide and lush, covered in tall striped grasses of an unusual pale violet color. Far off to the left stood huge blue mountains, far larger than any on Earth, miles and miles away yet seeming as if they stood only a few yards off. Miles away to the right wound a crystalline river, the water tumbling over rocks and swirling in eddies as fish in all colors of the rainbow nibbled at bright green and blue cattail-like plants on the bank. Beyond the river, and far behind them, a thick forest of deciduous trees in gold, purple, green, and a deep navy blue swirling with silver framed the edge of the purple meadow. Castiel noticed a colossal antlered creature, far too big and too dark to be a deer, nibbling at luminescent yellow blossoms on one of the golden trees. The fragrance of the flowers, an intoxicating blend of jasmine, vanilla, and fresh pine, surrounded them.

By far the most unusual and awe-inspiring sight, however, was the massive palace standing in front of them. It was hundreds of miles across, the towers higher than the tallest skyscraper, and the whole area larger than the biggest Earth cities- bigger than New York and Tokyo combined. The dazzling towers, arches, and courtyards of the unimaginably large castle seemed to be hewn entirely of pure sapphire mixed with an odd, silvery bone-like material. It was breathtaking.

Christine grinned at their stupefied, awestruck faces, an expression of pride and glee crossing her own. She gestured up at the castle, laughing. "Welcome to Limbo!"

Chapter Text

Dean stared at the castle in front of him, absolutely dumbstruck. Its enormous blue spires and shining glass windows reflected the glare of the two suns, bathing the entire structure in an unearthly glow. "How…" he breathed, "where are we?"

Chrissie laughed merrily, eyes twinkling with amusement. "We're in Limbo, of course! Didn't I tell you already?"

He gaped. "Isnt' Limbo a nightclub?!" He gestured around at the bright plants and trees, the crystal river, the palace and mountains. "This is definitely not a nightclub. I'm not even sure this is the same planet!"

"Ding ding ding!" Chrissie tapped one finger on her nose. "We have a winner. This isn't Earth; like I said, it's Limbo, the sixth and newest plane of existence. It's my own realm, which I created and have ruled from its inception." She held up a hand and snapped her fingers; motes of light seemed to gather from the air above her shoulder to form a pure silver crow, which squawked at Dean and began to preen its feathers.

"So this is like," Dean shifted and gestured at their surroundings, "Like Gabriel's TV Land or something? Some type of.. of LSD land?"

Castiel spoke up from the back, staring intently at the green, six-winged honeybee which had settled on his finger. "No, Dean, this is on entirely another level from Gabriel's illusions or pocket universes. This is a true realm. Within its boundaries its creator would wield absolute power. It is on the same level as Hell or Purgatory. Except," he glanced around for the first time since noticing the nearby beehive, "I cannot determine its purpose. It does not seem to contain any souls not already occupying a body."

Chrissie grinned fondly at the angel. "Good one, Cas. I'm surprised you can even sense that much, as low as you are on juice. Which reminds me," she added, "It's about time for you to get mojo'd back up. And," she winked "I think there's a couple people you'll want to meet."

Dean and Sam stared at her in astonishment, and both began "What do you-" but were interrupted when she opened her mouth and let out a shout that resounded with power, echoing over the miles of grass.

"GAAAABE! I'M HOOOOME!"

A bright, golden streak of light zoomed out of the castle, speeding toward them alarmingly fast. Dean and Sam both reached for their weapons, but Castiel let out a choked cry and the brothers whirled back toward their friend in alarm.

Tears were running down the usually stoic angel's face, and he squeezed his hands together in anticipation as the light came closer, then settled on Chrissie's shoulders and formed into a man. He was short, with laughing gold eyes and the noon light glinting off his hair and three enormous pairs of golden wings. Chrissie sighed and looked up at the archangel standing on her shoulders. "Gabriel, could you get down please?"

Chapter Text

"Nope!" the angel replied cheerfully, sliding down to sit on the taller woman's shoulders and wrapping his arms around her head so she couldn't see.

A chuckle burst out of Sam involuntarily, and he covered it with an unsubtle cough, looking down and scuffing his boot in the grass. Gabriel yelled "Samsquatch!" and flapped his wings to perch over on Sam's shoulders, wrapping himself around the human and planting a smacking kiss on his cheek. Sam blushed and mumbled a "hello" and Dean made an indignant noise of shock.

A sob escaped beyond Cas's hands, clasped over his mouth, as tears ran down his face. "Esiasacahe," he whispered, reaching out a hand toward the archangel. Gabriel's expression sobered and he slid down from Sam's shoulders, walking over to his brother and wrapping his arms around him.

"I'm back, little brother," he murmured, folding his shining wings around the shorter angel for the first time in four years. They held on to each other for a while, each basking in the other's presence, before pulling gingerly away and turning back to the others present. Gabriel spread his hands, looking sheepish. "Well," he sighed, "you've probably got a lot of questions. Fire away."

Dean stepped forward, arms crossed, and gave the archangel a mild glare. "Didn't you die? How did you get back? And where have you been, if you were alive this whole time?"

Gabriel took a deep breath before answering. Sam wondered if it was a difficult story to tell, or if he was just getting his facts in line. "I wasn't dead. Luci stabbed the wrong 'me'; I guess he'd gotten rusty after so long in the cage. Or maybe I just learned new tricks. Whatever it was, he managed to get the doppelganger and I figured that since you chuckleheads were out of danger for the moment and had the key to Luci's cage, I could book it out of there and go back into hiding. Never expected to get trapped by a pagan god with a grudge. He was about to sell me when Chrissie here," he jerked a thumb back toward the cambion, "swooped in like an avenging demon and saved my ass."

"So what happened to that… douchebag?" Sam wondered.

"He's dead." Chrissie spoke up with finality, a vicious tone in her voice and satisfaction on her face. "I killed him myself. Carved out his evil, shriveled heart and fed it to Ammit."

Sam's eyebrows traveled even higher on his face. "You're on a first name basis with the Egyptian crocodile god?"

The cambion grinned, cheeky. "He's my bouncer. Takes care of making sure no iffy characters get into Limbo, and when someone bad enough tries," she paused a moment, pondering, her mouth curving up into a Cheshire Cat smile, "he gets dinner."

Chapter Text

Chapter Text

Sam and Dean both stared at her, a little shocked and slightly disgusted.

Chrissie laughed again. "Oh, don't look like that. Most of the pagans really aren't that bad. The only ones you meet are the ones killing people. Guys like Ammit, Apollo, Taz; they're good folks, they just need a leg up. Anyway," she clapped her hands together and pointed toward the castle. "You've got some more people to meet, and we need to get started finding that damn coin."

"What coi-" Dean began, but was interrupted when Chrissie snapped her fingers and they were pulled, like taffy through a mold, and landed abruptly in what seemed to be a massive, throne room. The high, smooth walls glistened like ice, a deep navy blue with veins of silver running through it, and the tall windows situated about twenty feet up let light into the room in long, glowing shafts of gold. Enormous crystal and silver chandeliers glimmered from their chains, and a huge throne sat at the closest end of the room, standing on a dais of pure sapphire. Chrissie lounged in the tall seat, leaning one leg over the armrest and grinning at them.

Dean goggled at the… unusual chair. "Is that bone?" he demanded, concerned and mildly grossed out.

The cambion chuckled and smiled mischievously. "Of course. I couldn't resist. I mean," she waved her hand at the tall, white structure, "how many people can genuinely say they have a throne made of the bones of their enemies? It's too cool. And it's useful for intimidating people."

"Sugar, I'm home!" called a voice, and a tall, dark-skinned woman strolled into the room. Chrissie's face brightened, and she leapt from her chair into the laughing woman's arms, slinging her legs around her waist and kissing her firmly on the lips. "Hey babe," she murmured, leaning her forehead against the other woman's and closing her eyes for a moment. Chrissie opened her eyes and slid down, feet settling on the floor and upper body resting against her lover. She turned to Dean and the others, smiling beatifically.

"I'd like you to meet my wife, Raea."

The strange woman smiled fondly down at her wife and introduced herself. "I'm Azrael, archangel, and guardian of the dead. I believe you know me under another name." She smiled, revealing a glimmering gem set into one tooth that sparked Dean's memory. The angel Sariel grinned at them, and waved.