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Raised from Perdition

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“I am still not so sure about this, Tony…” Bruce shook his head as he double checked the details of the summoning ritual, “Obviously this thing doesn’t want to be found…”

Tony scoffed as he paced the floor of the abandoned barn, a ball of nervous energy, “You saw what that thing did to Maria—”

Yes Tony, that’s my point.” Bruce sighed, “That thing burned out Maria’s eyes, and all she did was look at it psychically. Are you sure you want to fight this thing?”

“I have to know…” Tony ran a hand through his hair in agitation, “You know what happened, Bruce. I was dead and burning in hell—”

“You don’t think we fucking know that?” From the rickety table being used to hold various reference books, Nick turned to look at Tony, his one eye narrowed, “We buried you, you motherfucker—”

“And I crawled out of my grave!” Tony snapped, “And I want to know who, or what, pulled me out.” He looked back at Bruce and Nick, “Let’s do this.”

Bruce sighed, but he wasn’t about to argue with Tony. He had known Tony too long to think that he could talk Tony out of anything. It didn’t help that he felt partially responsible for Tony’s death: Tony never would have made the deal with the crossroads demon if Bruce hadn’t gotten himself killed…

Of course, Nick was still bitching at them both for being idiots before he began to chant the lines of Latin for the summoning ritual. Both Tony and Bruce stood at the ready as the summoning proceeded, not sure what they would need to be ready for.

Though Tony had to admit, when he heard the booming sounds of thunder crash outside, and saw the lightning flashing through the windows of the barn, that he might have bitten off more than he could chew.

“Now we’ve gone and done it.” Nick muttered, shutting the book he was reading from, “If you two idiots get me killed, I am haunting the fuck out of you.”

“Don’t worry Nick,” Bruce replied weakly, “We’ll salt and burn you if we somehow survive this.”

“Yeah that’s comforting.”

Tony didn’t say anything, keeping his gaze focused on the barn doors, bracing himself for what was to come. They needed a plan, the best form of attack.

Of course, once the doors opened, all ideas of plans went out the proverbial window; with all three Hunters grabbing the nearest firearm and firing at the mystery shape that approached them. Though, apparently bullets (lead, silver, or rock salt) did nothing to stop (let alone kill) whatever the hell the thing was. It didn’t even flinch, continuing on its path toward them.

“Bruce, the knife!” Tony called out, looking back at Bruce. It only took Bruce a split second to reach for the demon-killing knife from the table and toss it to Tony’s waiting hand. With practiced ease, Tony spun the knife in his hand for an easy grip, turning and burying the knife into their attacker.

It was only then, as Tony stood with the knife hilt deep in the other being (how had it gotten so close?), that he realized that his knife was buried in a strong and incredibly broad chest. It was a man (or at least it looked like one), and one that towered over Tony at that. As Tony looked up, he could see a strong, chiseled jaw and smooth cheekbones. And those eyes: such a clear and piercing blue…

“I would appreciate it,” Came a clean cut voice, “If you would stop trying to kill me. I assure you, you’d only be wasting your bullets.”

The hunters froze, Bruce and Nick keeping their guns aimed at the newcomer and Tony standing, clutching the knife. Slowly, Tony stepped back, withdrawing the knife. To his amazement and horror, there was not a single drop of blood on the knife. He looked back at the stranger, “Who are you?” he asked weakly.

Blue eyes watched him carefully, “I’m the one who pulled you from perdition, Tony Stark.”

“Alright, next question: what the hell are you?” Nick interrupted, keeping his gun trained on the man standing opposite Tony.

The stranger frowned as he looked at Nick, “I am insulted that you would associate me with the depths of Hell.” He looked back at Tony, eyes staring as if they could look into Tony’s soul, “My name is Steven, and I am an angel of the Lord.”