Sam Winchester, an all-around gentleman, had settled in the new world to make something of himself. Back home he wasn’t much of a gentleman, in fact, he wasn’t much of anything. More of a street rat and an orphan than a gentleman. But anyone could be anything in the new world, so he convinced a wealthy merchant to take a chance on him and train him in the ways he could make a name for himself. He traveled with the merchant to the new world and decided this was the place for him.
The merchant’s name was Robert Singer, but he mostly went by Bobby.
“Merchants are the new nobility.” He would always tell Sam as he taught him the trade. With regular bathing and new clothes, Sam looked the part. Kid was a natural. Soon he could sell just about anything, Bobby leaving him in charge more and more as they both grew older. Sam was a fine young man with his eye on the prize. It was no surprise that the lifelong bachelor left his business to Sam when he passed, Sam was the son he had never had.
Sam moved the business to the new world soon after, bringing his brother, Dean with him. Soon they were thriving business partners with bright futures ahead of them. They seemed unstoppable until a new trade entered the port city they resided in: slavery.
Slavery was a blight upon the land. Just like anyone could make it in the new world, anyone could be a slave. People Sam had grown up with on the streets appeared in the new world with collars around their necks and chains around the wrists and ankles. No one safe, neither rich or poor. Sam and Dean made enemies when they announced they would not support such a wicked trade, but they made far more allies. They were powerful enough, thanks in part to Bobby’s legacy and also in part to their own, to sway the other merchants to do the same. Slavery was driven out, but not before Sam and Dean rescued as many slaves as they could and freed them. They hired and trained many of them, helping them either find employers or start their own enterprise. Their city was thriving even more, much to the chagrin of the traders who had hoped to choke out the city that stood against them.
“It looks like we’ll make this quarter.” Sam announced as he went over the paperwork. “Even with the expenditures of your trip.”
“Sam, we make every quarter.” Dean scoffed. “And I’ll be back before you know it. Castiel promised me he’d look out for you.” Sam held back a laugh, knowing well that Castiel would much rather be looking after Dean.
Castiel Novak, the forgotten son of a forgotten noble, was one of Dean’s dearest friends. It was no secret to everyone except for Dean that Castiel would love to be more than friends, but Dean was oblivious and Castiel was shy when it came to the matters of the heart. He was brave, a former soldier who had deserted the army nearly to his death. He had deserted because of new orders that commanded the death of women and children. He had never wanted to join the army, his father had forced him into it and then forgot all about Castiel. Castiel had escaped before they could get him before the firing squad, running to the new world to start over. He had been employed by the Winchesters as security and as a personal bodyguard when the need arose. He was more family than friend now as the years steadily ticked by. They had all been in the new world at least ten years and business was booming.
“Is he still upset he can’t go with you?” Sam asked. Dean rolled his eyes.
“Yes.” Dean sighed. “He still won’t talk to me unless it’s about business.”
“He’s going to miss you!” Sam laughed. “And I will too, but this venture is too good to pass up.”
“I know, it’s why I’m going, our profits will double.”
“Just be safe. The slavers are trying to get a foothold there as well. My research tells me they’re set up on the north side of the island.”
“Then I will stay on the south.” Dean promised. “I won’t let you down, Sam. You gave me a chance when you could have taken this all and left me on the streets. I will see this through for you.”
“For us.” Sam put his papers away. “And maybe Cas will talk to you when you get back.”
“Yea, Yea.” Dean nodded. “I’m off to say goodbye to him now.” He stood up and fame over to Sam. “Bye, little brother, see you in three months.”
“Be safe.” Sam pulled his brother into a tight hug, resting his chin on his shoulder. “Love you.”
“I know.” Dean pulled back, tugging on the ends of Sam’s long hair. “Put your ponytail back in before someone sees you looking all rough around the edges.”
“Yes, Dean.” Sam rolled his eyes, but did as he was told. It wasn’t worth risking how far they had come. They had to abide by how Bobby taught Sam to act and dress. “Bye, Dean.”
“Bye, bitch.” Dean snorted loudly, slamming the door behind him. Sam suppressed a smile at the old nickname. Those days were far behind them, and yet, not far enough. The streets were no place to grow up.
“Bye, Jerk.” Sam whispered before he headed out. He had work to do, work to oversee, future works to plan. Dean would be back soon enough and it would be like he had never been gone. Except that wasn’t what happened, that wasn’t what happened at all.
“He was supposed to come back today.” Sam said softly. He and Castiel were standing at the docks, staring at the ship that had left with Dean and then returned without him. “Do you think he’s okay?”
“I’m sure he’s fine.” But the way Castiel gnawed on his bottom lip said otherwise. “He’ll write.”
“I’m sure you’re right.” Sam forced a tight smile. “Well, he’s not here, so we might as well get back to the shop.”
“Sam, he’s fine.”
“Come on, Cas.” Sam shook himself free from Castiel’s touch. He was sure it was meant to be comforting, but if he was in need of comforting then something was terribly wrong. They returned to the carriage and Sam drove them back to the familiar green door that meant they were home. Work was home for the Winchesters, living in the back of their main store even though they could afford a very nice home. Work was home for Castiel too, living in the farthest room overlooking the alley. He had never shaken his need to be able to escape quickly if the need overtook him.
“I’m heading to the street vendors.” Castiel took off once the carriage came to a halt. Sam pondered for a minute when he had become someone who owned a carriage instead of someone who tried to cross streets without being hit by any carriages.
“See you tonight.” Sam turned his attention to the horses, unhooking them from the carriage and leading them to the stable nearby. He owned the stable too, but one day, when they finally got their own place, he’d have a stable for just his horses. They deserved it. There was Impala, Dean’s horse, as impetuous as her owner. Sam’s sweet Jess was more mellow, balancing Impala out on his wilder days. Sam loved both of the horses and took such good care of them that his brother mocked him for it. Dean. Sam felt his absence deeply. He hoped Dean was okay wherever he was. He hoped this was just another one of Dean’s dumb adventures where Dean got too drunk, had too much sex, and would come back to laugh at Sam’s silly worry.
He walked into the store, washing his hands before he stepped up to the counter.
“Master.” Sam flinched at the title.
“I told you not to call me that.”
“A man left this for you.” One of his employees pushed an envelope across the counter. “He threatened me if I didn’t get it to you.”
“Are you okay?” Sam’s eyebrows furrowed and he picked up the envelope quickly. He ripped it open quickly, peeking inside. This particular employee had been rescued from the slave traders. Sam hoped they weren’t back. He hoped he wouldn’t have to fight them on his own.
“Where’s Master Dean? I thought he was returning today.” Sam didn’t correct him, his heart racing far too fast, the blood rushing in his ears, almost drowning the man out.
“On an adventure.” Sam murmured, shoving the contents of the envelope back inside. “Tell no one of this. Find me immediately if that man comes back.” He started to head towards his, Castiel’s, and Dean’s private rooms. “Oh, and send for Mr. Novak. I need his service immediately.”
“Yes, Master.” The man bowed and was off in a flash, stirring dust as he sprinted down the dirt road down to where the street vendors gathered. Sam let out a heavy sigh, staggering back to his room where he quickly poured himself a drink. He rarely drank, strong drink being one of Dean’s vices, not Sam’s. But as the day would turn out, Sam needed something stronger to process the news he had just received. Dean was not okay. He had been kidnapped by the slavers and they were demanding a trade off: influence for Dean’s safe return. Oh, Sam should have paid extra to send Castiel with Dean, then this thing would have never happened. Why did he always have to be so frugal?!
“Sam?!” Castiel was at the door, looking worried, dusty, and sweaty. Sam didn’t have time to scold him on his appearance, handing over the contents of the envelope. Castiel pulled out the photograph with shaking hands, recognizing the man in it just as Sam had. “Dean.” Cas choked. “Who would-- how?”
“They have him and they want us to let us into our city to get him back.”
“They can’t return him in the condition they took him in.” Castiel ran his fingers over the sepia photograph. “They hurt him, Sam.”
“I know.” Sam started to pace. “I don’t know what I should do. I want to storm over there and take him back.”
“Do it and take me with you.” Castiel replied with fervor. “We could sneak in easily enough. Between my survival skills and your street charm, we could find him and get him out without surrendering our city to those wicked bastards!”
“Very well.” Sam nodded. “I will leave the business in Charlie’s capable hands. We must leave at once. We don’t have much time. I’ll send a letter in reply, hopefully stall these awful people.” He sucked in a sharp breath. “We will save Dean in time, yes?” The only time Sam Winchester seemed fragile was when his brother was in danger or his brother was the one putting him in danger. Either way, Castiel didn’t like it and vowed to do all he could to keep Sam from such precarious fragility. If Sam broke down, there would be no saving Dean and there would be no business. Sam was the driving force of a great deal of many things. The younger WInchester brother just seemed clueless to how much he got accomplished. The city would suffer in his absence, but they would be okay. They had good leaders and mostly good citizens.
“Of course, Sam.” Castiel reassured him. “We won’t rest until he’s safe.”
“Thank you, Castiel.” Sam pulled his dear friend into a hug. “I am so glad I can count on you.”
“I will go book our tickets now, under aliases of course.” Castiel was solemn as he went his way. Sam decided to pack and then chart their course once they got to the island Dean had been visiting. The north side of the island was the last place any abolitionist wanted to be unless they were freeing all the slaves, but if he wanted to find his brother, that was the place they had to be. Sam looked at the photograph Castiel had placed on the table one last time before he grabbed it, crumpled it up, and tossed it into the fire. The image captured Dean with a vacant gaze and bloody back, practically nude, wrapped in a slaver’s chains.
Hopefully there would be enough of Dean left to find by the time they got there.
While Castiel and Sam were sailing over on their way to Illa de la Mort, the island Dean had never returned from, a sex slave named Gabriel was getting ready for the day. The only thing special about this new day was that Gabriel was getting a new master. He wasn’t excited about this prospect, having led a somewhat pampered life with his current master, but then his current master died and Gabriel was sold off like the rest of the estate. He had been sold off to a nasty man named Virgil who didn’t bathe regularly if ever, who also owned the falsely advertised business down on Main Street, Virgil’s Virgins. Virgil had already taken Gabriel’s mouth for a test drive and it had taken Gabriel days and lots of alcohol to stop gagging at the thought.
So he was a little dramatic. Honestly, he was allowed to be after the clusterfuck his life had turned out to be. It was never supposed to be like this.
“ ‘Ello, slut.” Virgil greeted him at the door. Gabriel sniffed, turning his nose up at the disgusting man. Virgil laughed anyway, grabbing the chain that was attached to Gabriel’s ankle. Gabriel loathed that chain with the entirety of his existence. It had prevented more than one escape in the beginning. Gabriel hadn’t always been a slave and it had been his own foolishness and a treacherous brother that had laid him so damn low. Gabriel was Virgil’s now.
Gabriel expected to be put to work right away, but Virgil wanted him for himself. Soon he was under him more than not until Virgil bought a new whore and send Gabriel on to work the streets as a prostitute. The streets were dangerous, especially down by the docks where Virgil had him stationed, but it wasn’t nearly as suffocating as servicing his disgusting owner. Not that the sailors who took a liking to him were much better.
Gabriel was deteriorating fast. He was dehydrated, starving, and weak when a gentleman landed in the harbor. Gabriel knew the likes of gentlemen didn’t look his way, not that he was much to look at to begin with, not with the commoners using him like the whore he was right on the street corner. But this gentleman stopped, watched, and waited until the sailors had their fill and dumped Gabriel on the ground like the used trash he was.
“Good day to you, sir!” The gentleman called out, a strange twang in his accent. “Who is your master? I want to inquire into purchasing you.”
“Ah, of Virgil’s Virgins.” The gentleman nodded. “Very well. Get on your feet and lead the way.” Gabriel pushed himself up shakily, hoping he would make the journey back to Virgil’s in one piece. He shoved his long shirt down, hoping to cover his ass since his pants were long gone, tatters on the street somewhere. “Ah, modesty. A quaint trait for a whore like yourself.” Gabriel bit his dry, chapped lips to keep quiet. He had never fucking asked for any of this. This was the hand life had dealt him because he had tried to do the right thing for once. Never again. He stumbled in the dusty street, but righted himself, and kept going. Everything was going to change today. He just didn’t know if it was for the better or not. Probably not.
But as days turned into weeks and weeks to months of luxurious treatments, Gabriel started to wonder if he was wrong. His new master, Asmodeus, had shaken Virgil up so badly, he had given him Gabriel for free. Asmodeus hadn’t done anything to Gabriel other than to pamper him. He was cured of any communicable diseases and nursed back to health. He was starting to look and feel like his old self again when the first odd request came for his blood. He was cut and his blood dribbled down his arm into a cup.
“We don’t need a lot.” The servant soothed. “This is how we check to see if your treatments worked.” Gabriel was pretty sure they had, but he didn’t like thinking too much on that, didn’t like thinking about how he got half that shit. Damn sailors and their inability to wrap anything up properly!
“Okay.” Gabriel shrugged it off and chalked it up to the rich, weird people being rich and weird. The new world had it all.
But then it became a weekly thing and it was starting to take a toll on Gabriel physically. He always felt like he was a little weak. The servants catered to him even more but he never could shake that feel of extra vulnerability. And then Asmodeus requested him in the bedroom. Gabriel had to have his realization that this really wasn’t the life he wanted with his new master balls deep in his ass, and then Asmodeus latched on to his neck, teeth sinking deep, and Gabriel could do nothing but gurgle weakly as his master drank deeply of what blood he had left.
“Delicious.” He heard a husky whisper briefly before he passed out. Then he had to endure another round of pampering and treatments for another month before he realized this was his life now, a constant monthly bloodletting and fucking with time to recover after. It wasn’t the worst gig, but Gabriel had a sinking feeling that this was going to be the rest of his life. He wanted to be a free man again. He had never wanted this existence— it had been forced on him by a jealous, crazed relative.
This was his existence now, boring, until a new man was brought to the house, a slave by the looks of him. He was roughed up pretty good, something that made Asmodeus angry. They called him Dean.
“Azazel, this is not how we win our war with the Winchesters!”
“I don’t know, it felt pretty good. Besides, now they’ll take our threats seriously.”
“We are no closer getting into that island than we were months ago.” Asmodeus snarled in frustration. “We gave you one job to prove yourself…”
“Hey, I got him!” Azazel was Asmodeus‘ youngest sibling, the last one to join the family business. They dealt in people and whoever blocked them from the prosperous island had made a large dent in their sales. Gabriel heard a lot when he was recovering.
“And that will be enough to redeem you, this time.” Azazel admitted defeat and Dean was handed over to Asmodeus’ care. He was soon taken care of as well as Gabriel with one exception, this Dean was now a free man. Gabriel couldn’t help but be a little jealous, avoiding him at every chance. Dean didn’t talk much even though Asmodeus tried to engage him often. He was content to stare off in the gardens or in his rooms. Gabriel was sure he was broken until he realized that he liked to do the same.
Anyway, things started to get really interesting when Gabriel was sunbathing in the gardens and a tall man broke into the unsuspectingly. He gaped down at Gabriel who propped himself up on his elbows and quirked up an eyebrow.
“Can I help you?”
“I-I.” Oh, yea, Gabriel was stark naked, not that it bothered him any. “I’m looking for my brother.” The man blurted out, trying not to take in all that was laid out. Asmodeus had drank from Gabriel the day before, drank more than Gabriel and his caregivers thought possible. Even if Gabriel felt uncomfortable, he wasn’t moving to change it. He lay back down before he fell, relishing the hot sun on his skin. He felt cold after the feeding, cold, dizzy, and weak.
“I’m not him.”
“Please. His name is Dean. He was taken almost a year ago. I’ve been looking for him for months.”
“What do you want with Dean?”
“You know him??”
“Yea, he lives here.” Gabriel had more reasons to dislike Dean. Asmodeus had shared him with Dean and Dean had taken him like they weren’t formed from the same muck. His freedom had clearly changed him. “He’s a guest of Asmodeus.”
“He was kidnapped.” The stranger supplied.
“Last I knew he was free to go.”
“Do you think he’s capable of acting on his free will to act on that freedom?” It was an odd question but it did what it was supposed to do, it made Gabriel think. Dean might be free but he didn’t act free. He fucked Gabriel because Asmodeus told him to. He was little more than a puppet.
“No.” Gabriel finally admitted. “He came in pretty bad shape. He’s recovered in body but not so much in his mind.” The tall man frowned. “I’m Gabriel by the way.” He introduced himself.
“I’m Sam Winchester.” Now there was an interesting tidbit. Gabriel had never known Dean’s last name but this confirmed it, that the brothers that had pissed his master off so much were real. They were here. They were against slavery. “Will you help me, Gabriel? I have to save my brother!”
“Only if you save me too.”
“It’s going to be hard just sneaking one person on the ship.” Sam made an apologetic face but Gabriel was not going to be so easily swayed.
“Then I can't help you.”
“Ugh, fine, we’ll manage. We’ll take you too. We have to save Dean..”
“You’re telling me.” Gabriel commenter dryly. “Come back tomorrow and we’ll talk, the farthest Garden.”
“Why not now?”
“Because I can’t walk there on my own today.” Gabriel snapped.
“What’s wrong with you?”
“It’s nothing.” Gabriel snapped. “Just not at my full strength right now.” Sam paused, really looking at Gabriel. Gabriel flinched, recoiling from the gaze.
“They’re hurting you.”
“It’s nothing. I’m a slave! I’m a whore! It’s what people do to us!” Gabriel yelled. He yelped when Sam grabbed him, picking him up easily. “Don’t hurt me, oh god, don’t hurt me.” He clung to the man’s shirt for leverage more than anything
“I’m not going to hurt you.” Sam whispered, holding him close. “Now show me where Dean is. We’re doing this and we’re doing it now.”
“Wait.” Another man burst into the garden. “Wait for me!”
“Hush, Castiel.” Sam reprimanded him. “We’re getting Dean, now play it cool.”
“Castiel is a weird name.” Gabriel commented, not letting go of Sam’s shirt. He knew that name, knew it well, but it wasn’t time to comment on that now. There was no chance that this man was the Castiel he had known; he didn’t even know who he used to be, forget those he had known back then.
He guided them from Sam’s arms. He didn’t like being carried, didn’t like being pressed against Sam. He was massive. He was strong. But Gabriel appreciated not having to drag himself around. He was super lethargic, just wanted to sleep until his blood count went back up. He got them to Dean’s room, poked his head in to make sure Asmodeus wasn’t there. He visited Dean often, trying to convince him to join them. He gave him every pleasure and comfort, like Gabriel. Dean was like a doll and a dog. They gave him orders and he did it, everything except move against Sam and the free people on the other island. “He’s in here and he’s alone.” Gabriel let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding.
“Your scars.” Sam was studying him when he looked back. “How did you get them? They look almost like bites, but the teeth are like nothing I’ve ever seen before.” Gabriel scoffed.
“I’m sure.” Gabriel avoided looking at Sam. “Look, Dean follows orders, so I’d save the tearful reunion for the boat, okay? Just tell him it’s time to go and he’ll follow you all the way down to the docks.”
“Okay.” Sam looked to Castiel. “Cas, can you? I’ll meet you both outside of the gardens.”
“You’re not going in?”
“I know you’ll take good care of him.” Sam smiled. “Gabriel’s right. I’ll save the reunion for later. We need to get everyone out.”
“I won’t let you down.” Castiel promised.
“Hurry.” Gabriel couldn’t explain his strange surge of anxiety. He just knew they needed to get out and they needed to get out now.
Sam carried Gabriel to the place they had broken into the garden. He boosted him up over the wall, glancing down over his shoulder. There were shouts coming from inside of the house, like the whole household was in an uproar. He looked up at Gabriel with wide eyes.
“Run!” He ordered before turning back, running into the house. Gabriel didn’t run, frozen to the spot, eyes glued on the door to see what would happen to his rescuer. Damn idiot! Asmodeus was going to catch him and drink his blood… but at least it wouldn’t be Gabriel’s. Castiel and Dean burst through the door to the gardens, Dean clearly confused but running with all his might. Gabriel quickly scooted back along the wall to make room, Castiel and Dean both vaulting up with ease.
“I-I need help down.” He stammered, not wanting to inconvenience them. Castiel eyed him but slid off the wall, making sure Dean got down okay first before he opened his arms up for Gabriel. Gabriel glanced back at the door, noticing the voices sounded farther away. Fucking idiot with a savior complex. Sam had led Asmodeus’ men away from their escape route. With a smile, Gabriel pushed himself off the wall and into Castiel’s ready arms. “Sam led them away. Why?”
“He’s an idiot.” Castiel grumbled. “I’ll get him out tonight. Once you two are somewhere safe.” Well, that sounded ominous and nice all at the same time. Castiel hoisted Gabriel up much like Sam had except he was shorter and Gabriel was more of a strain. “Come on, Dean, follow me.” Dean obediently followed, Gabriel keeping an eye on him just in case.
Meanwhile, back inside Asmodeus’s mansion, Sam found himself trapped. It didn’t take long for the goons to subdue him and drag them to their master’s lair. Upon arrival, he was bound securely to a chair as Asmodeus took his time to appear.
“Samuel Winchester, how nice of you to drop in.”
“Where is my brother?” Sam strained against the ropes holding him in place. Asmodeus chuckled darkly.
“Why he is my guest! Perhaps, if you behave yourself, Samuel, I’ll let you see him.”
“Why should I trust you?”
“Look, unfortunate business has passed between us. You spurned us and our ilk.” Asmodeus bared his teeth as he laughed. “But I never wanted Dean to be hurt. Our brother Azazel was in charge of that mission and frankly, he bungled it up like the likes none of us have seen. I’ve been keeping Dean here as my guest, allowing him every pleasure like the little golden minx you saw in the garden. You know, if we decide to be friends, I’ll allow you to even have a go at him.” Asmodeus leered. “But Dean was severely injured in my brother’s care, Azazel’s unrepentant but we knocked some sense into him. Dean is mending but slower than I hoped.” Sam got the distinct impression that Asmodeus was actually being truthful with him.
“What were you hoping for?” Sam asked, settling down some. Asmodeus regarded him for a minute.
“We were hoping to barter. Dean for entrance into your city, to come on your precious island, but Azazel damaged our perfect bargaining chip.”
“I still want him back. He belongs with his family. I’ll give you the harbor, nothing more. You cannot land, but ships may exchange in the shelter of our harbor.”
“That’s gracious and all, but I really can’t accept anything less than entrance into the city. Besides, you and your brother are not exactly in the place to be determining the terms, now that we have you both.”
“I see.” Sam bit his lip. “The whore in your garden.”
“Yes, Gabriel.” Sam continued. “He had strange bite marks on his body. Do you know what caused them or did he have those prior to his stay here?”
“You saw those?” Asmodeus half-smiled although his eyes were cold.
“I did.” Sam straightened his spine. “It didn’t look like the bites of any dogs that I’ve seen.”
“It’s because they weren’t.” Asmodeus smiled. Sam noticed his men stepping back, clearing out the room. “It’s a pity you saw them, Sam. I was starting to like you. I think we would have worked well together.” He lunged across the room before Sam could protest that they would not work together everl and then sharp teeth were at his throat, stealing any chance he had to speak. He gurgled weakly, falling back, getting a feeble blow off before his head glanced off the floor, the weight of Asmodeus on him before he blacked out.
Meanwhile, Castiel paced the length of the ship’s cabin. He was supposed to be with Sam, sailing home. Now Sam was gone. Dean was back: basically nothing but a shell of the man Castiel had known and loved. Castiel couldn’t help but mourn that Dean. On and on he paced, Dean and Gabriel watching him carefully as slaves often do when in the presence of an unpredictable master.
“Okay, here’s what we are going to do.” Castiel turned to the two, well, for lack of a better word, slaves. “You two stay here. If people bother you, Dean, I want you to pretend to be the master, yell at them for disturbing you and your slave. Be convincing but don’t hurt him.” Dean looked over at Gabriel and Gabriel shivered. Gabriel didn’t like the look in Dean’s eyes; the look that promised he’d obey everything Castiel said. He hoped no one would bother them. He didn’t want to be at the mercy of that man again.
“We’ll be good.” He piped up when it was clear that Dean wasn’t going to say anything.
“Don’t leave this cabin or you risked exposing us all. You’ll end up back with your masters or worse.” Dean swallowed hard, the only sign that he heard Castiel’s warning, before he turned away. Castiel gave them one last hard look before he started packing a few things: mostly knives. “I’m going to get Sam out of there and then we will leave.”
“Yes, master.” They recited in unison. Castiel locked the door behind him. The only other people with the key were the people they paid for passage. He slipped off into the night, leaving them to their own devices.
“Get on the bed.” Dean pulled Gabriel over, not that the smaller man had much say in the matter. He was too weak still. Dean hauled him up, depositing him on the side against the wall. “Lay there. I’ll make it look convincing if anyone comes in. I know just how to do it.” Dean ran his hand down Gabriel’s arm. He shivered again, even in Castiel’s borrowed clothes as Dean’s fingers wound underneath the thin fabric, to the chilled flesh underneath. “Don’t be so shy, whore. We’ve done this before.”
“I don’t want to do it again.” Gabriel heard himself say. Dean dug his fingernails into Gabriel’s skin.
“Only if we’re disturbed.” Dean stopped his exploration, turning over in the bed, pulling up the coverlet. Gabriel let out a shaky breath, unable to stop the tears streaming down his cheeks. He clenched his eyes shut, forcing himself to breathe. Castiel would be back with Sam and this would all be over soon. If not, well, throwing himself overboard was always a viable option.
Castiel sneaked in with the ease of a well-trained soldier. He had many skills at his disposal, most of which he hoped to never use again. But if it meant a chance to save the Winchesters, he would do what was necessary. However, after a thorough search of the house, Castiel was still empty-handed. He started combing the gardens, and there he found Sam, in the very last one, the one they had used to sneak Dean and Gabriel out. He was strung up like a puppet and Castiel feared the worst when he saw the blood. Sam’s chest was still stirring, so Castiel pulled out one of his many knives to cut him down.
“Cas.” Sam whispered. “Run.”
“I’m getting you out.” Castiel set his jaw.
“He’s--Cas--go.” There was so much Sam wanted to say but he couldn’t with the way his throat was practically gaping. Castiel paused to tie a wide strip of cloth he tore from his shirt around Sam’s wound. “He’s not human.” Sam managed. “Run.” Castiel smiled.
“Save your strength.” Castiel patted Sam, stepping back, pulling a longer knife from his belt. “I’ll take care of him.”
“Oh, you will?” Asmodeus’s teeth gleamed in the dark but Castiel had been ready. The knife struck true, severing the slaver’s head from the rest of his body. It toppled down, quickly followed by the rest of him. Sam made a startled, questioning noise.
“We should talk about the things I have seen as a soldier, Sam, but after we get to the ship.” Castiel retrieved Asmodeus’ head, cutting his tongue out before he set up a makeshift pyre. He cut Sam down, lit the pyre, and then got the two of them over to the stables where they stole a horse and made down to the docks, returning to their ship which then left at dawn, a mere four hours later.
When Castiel and Sam burst into the ship’s cabin that they were now sharing with two other men, Gabriel and Dean were so startled they woke up from a sound sleep.
“Clear the bed.” Castiel ordered, his voice gruff and commanding. Gabriel fled first, pulling Dean behind him. He was weak but plucky. Castiel could still see the young man he had once known, somewhere behind those sad, scared eyes. Castiel helped Sam over. Sam’s breaths came in raggedly as he lay down, his eyelashes fluttering shut. He moaned in pain, his bandage already stained red. “Gabriel, come help.” Gabriel hurried over from the end of the bed. “You know what to do with this.” He handed over Asmodeus’ tongue.
“What is that?” Dean’s eyes bulged wide.
“I’ll need water.” Castiel handed Gabriel the cup of fresh water he had nicked before boarding. Gabriel sat by Sam’s side, the tongue soaking in the cup clutched between Gabriel’s thighs, unwinding the bandage around Sam’s neck. “Shit.” Gabriel left the bandage gaping open as he saw the damage. He wasn’t all that sure how Sam was even alive right now. He grabbed the tongue, squeezing the excess water off before he gently pressed it along the outside of the major damage. Sam groaned but held as still as he could. Gabriel made fast work, dabbing and wiping as much saliva-infused water along the wound. The skin was already starting to knit itself back together and the pain was starting to subside.
“What is happening? What happened to Sam?” Dean asked. He knew who Sam was, had a vague idea about Castiel, and only remembered Gabriel from his bed.
“A vampire tried to tear his throat out.” Castiel responded. “The only thing that can save him by accelerating his healing is the tongue of the vampire that did the mauling.”
“Vampires aren’t real.”
“Well, that one isn’t anymore.”
“You killed Asmodouche?” Gabriel lifted his head, a startled look on his face. “He’s old.”
“Cockiness will get us all killed in the end.” Castiel shrugged. “He rushed his hand and I heard him coming. I got lucky. Sam got lucky. How is he healing?”
“It’s almost all closed.” Gabriel replied. “The scar tissue is forming.”
“It’s just a thing with these kind of creatures.” Castiel couldn’t help but be matter of fact about the whole thing. Asmodeus was not the first creature he had killed and he probably wouldn’t be the last. The slave industry was probably the only way he had escaped detection for so long. “They are usually their own antidote.”
“You done this before.” Dean guessed.
“You never told us.”
“What was there to tell?” Castiel gave Dean a sad smile. “Go rest.” He nodded to the bunk beds in the wall. Sam would keep the bigger bed nailed to the side of the wall. “Gabriel, bunk with Sam. Make sure he survives the night.”
“No pressure.” Gabriel smiled though, scooting towards the wall. He wrapped the throw blanket around his shoulders before tucking Sam in more securely. The taller man was sleeping now that the pain had eased. It would take time, but Gabriel thought he had a chance to make it. Hopefully he hadn’t lost too much blood. Gabriel curled up at the end of the bed, deciding to sleep while Sam slept. Castiel put the tongue and cup away, knowing there was a chance they might need it before he nudged Dean over and slid into the bunk with him.
“I am not going to service you.” Dean started to protest.
“Goodnight, Dean.” Castiel rolled his eyes, rolled over, and went to sleep. Dean was shaken but he collected himself. He glanced around the room, at the lanterns still burning bright, and decided they were better off with the lights still on. Everyone else was asleep or in the process of falling asleep, lulled by the rocking of the ship. Dean knew Sam and Castiel came for him, he remembered them, but he couldn’t quite separate them from the masters that came before. Sam and Castiel would never use and abuse him, right? Well, he wasn’t going to take that chance. Plus he needed to keep an eye on that golden whore, the one who led them right to him. Bitch was social climbing and Dean knew someone would have to remind him of just where his place was.
The voyage was uneventful in terms of sailing, but the four men were getting tired of such close quarters when they finally docked on the familiar shore of their home. Well, it was Sam and Castiel’s home. Dean and Gabriel were still the strangers here, even Dean who recognized all the places, but not the man who looked back at him in the mirror.
Castiel took Sam home, Gabriel and Dean trailing behind them. Gabriel looked out over the thriving city, looked ahead to see the two men that saved him, and then left, disappearing down a side alley. He was thankful, but he wasn’t going to be anyone’s whore ever again. This was a free island, a free city, and he was now a free man.
He ran as fast as he could at first, bare feet kicking up clouds of dust. He spun around in the middle of the market, a little laugh of glee escaping him. He was free.
“Where’s Gabriel?” Sam asked after he was settled into a rocking chair by a thankfully unlit fireplace. Castiel looked around, but didn’t see him anywhere.
“He ran off.” Dean informed them. “The whore ditched us soon after the docks.”
“Dean, don’t call him that.” Sam frowned. His neck was still tender and he had not regained his strength yet. He had lost a lot of blood. He was now starting to have nightmares. “I wish he didn’t go.”
“Why?” Dean wrinkled his nose. He refrained from calling Gabriel a whore again but it was what the smaller man was. He was weak.
“We could have helped him.” Sam replied, pulling the blanket up around his shoulders that Castiel had just passed to him. “We could have made sure that--”
“Sam, I’m sure you have no problem getting sex.” Dean shook his head in disgust. “We are better off without his kind. You’re better off. The last thing you need to do is fall in love with someone who literally trades their time and body for money. You’re influential and rich with a bleeding heart-- an easy target if you ask me.”
“This bleeding heart came to save you. Don’t make me regret it.” Sam blinked back stinging tears. Every day since they had found Dean, it had been one reminder after another that they didn’t get the real Dean back. It was like they got his body, but none of his heart or soul. “Castiel, I need to speak with you privately.” Dean glared, but retreated into his room, locking the door behind him. Castiel had barred the windows, making sure he couldn’t escape, not after all the trouble they went through to get him back.
“What is it, Sam?” Castiel’s hand rested on his shoulder, causing him to look up. Every since the attack, Castiel had been more caring towards him than Sam could ever remember. He treated Sam kind of how he used to treat Dean minus the pining eyes. That was okay in Sam’s opinion. He didn’t have time for relationships.
“You said you had experience with…” he shuddered, “vampires. Are there any creatures that could take a person’s personality?”
“You’re worried about Dean. It could just be the trauma, Sam.”
“I’m sure it is, but something is really wrong with him, Cas. I had to pull him off Gabriel one of the days that you were up on deck.”
“You didn’t tell me that.” Castiel frowned. “What was he trying to do?” Sam grimaced and Castiel shook his head. “Say no more. I’ll look into my journals, Sam, but I can’t promise anything. I spent years trying to forget those creatures and then more years after that to forget I was ever a soldier.”
“Well, thank you for saving me.” Sam closed his eyes. He was always so tired, so similar to how Gabriel had been on the voyage back. “It’s been two weeks. How long will this last?”
“Hard to say.” Castiel shrugged. “There isn’t an exact science. You’re at least recovering and you haven’t turned.”
“Do I want to know what it means to be turned?”
“You’d be a vampire like him.”
“That’s a no.” Sam remarked dryly before sobering up. “I want to find Gabriel. He’s not used to a place like this. He’ll end up in trouble with the law or worse.” As well as being a haven that banned slavery, there was also no use for prostitution. Those found resorting to it were usually publicly punished and then handed over to an apprenticeship to learn a skill that was actually useful to the rest of the city.
“He will end up in trouble sooner or later and we can get him then.” Castiel told him. “I need to keep an eye on you and Dean in the meantime.”
“That’s fair.” Sam’s eyes were drooping and Castiel patted his shoulder.
“Rest. I’m going to go bring Dean out for a walk, stretch his legs.”
“Don’t let him talk to any of the former slaves.” Sam mumbled.
“Good thinking.” Castiel smiled. He glanced back to find Sam was already sleeping. Concern flickered across Castiel’s face before he went to Dean’s door and knocked. “Come on, Dean. I need to go check on the market. I need your help.”
“Fine.” Dean opened the door slowly. He was different with Sam than from how he was with Castiel. He treated Castiel with more respect which Castiel didn’t think was fair, but he knew better than to show he cared.
“Come on.” They headed out, locking the door behind them to keep sleeping Sam safe.
Gabriel wasn’t sure that he liked this place anymore. It might have looked like the mecca when he disembarked the ship, it might have been full of freedom for the taking, but it turned out that he needed skills other than fucking and sucking to access those freedoms. It was a bitter conundrum. He was free, but no means of being free.
So he tried to sneak around. He got a couple bites, earned a few coins here and there, found some odd jobs. And then he got busted giving a blow job in a back alley. It wasn’t like he wanted to be doing what he was doing, he didn’t enjoy whoring himself out. But the way the person responded… they fucking called the law on him and he found himself thrown into the dirty prison down by the docks.
He had a prison cell all to himself, not that there were any other occupants in the prison at the time. The guy he had been going down on had gotten away before law enforcement showed up. Gabriel was the one they wanted anyway. He was left in there for two days with only scraps to eat before he was hauled out into the hot sun and chained to a pole in the middle of the city square. They made him wait until a decent crowd gathered around before they began to proclaim his ‘crime’ for all to hear. Gabriel was embarrassed. He could feel it in the burning of his ears to the twisting claw in the pit of his stomach. He wasn’t a whore, not really. It was a part he had to play for a long time just to fucking survive and now all these people were judging him for it.
A hulking man came up behind him and he panicked. The man grabbed his shirt and ripped it in half down the back, leaving his pale skin bare. And there in the middle of the square, in front of all those people, he was beaten with a thin wooden rod until tears streaked down his fast and snot bubbled out of his nose.
“He will be handed over to the Winchesters for rehabilitation.”
“Of fucking course.” Gabriel groaned, getting an extra blow to the back of the knee for his trouble. He wiped his tears and snot away angrily before those smug bastards came back for him. He glared at the guard who unbound him from the post and dragged him over to unlock him from his chains. He was then marched half-naked to the front of the square. Half of the crowd had died down, only a few curious stares being directed his way.
“Come on.” It was Sam who picked him up. He bundled the oversized shirt over Gabriel’s head, dressing him quickly. “Let’s get you home.”
“I’m not sleeping with you, any of you.”
“Good. We don’t want you to.” Sam replied curtly. Gabriel glanced up and blanched. Sam still didn’t look good, heavy bags under his eyes, pale, sweaty skin. Sam saw him staring and flushed. “I’m not a hundred percent yet.”
“I can see that.” Sam flinched and Gabriel softened his answer. “I’m not yet either. Some times takes longer than others. Honestly, Sam, you’re lucky to be alive.”
“I know.” Sam sighed. “I hate feeling so weak.”
“Tell me about it.” Gabriel cackled. “All right, Sam lead the way to reformation.” Sam offered his elbow. Gabriel stepped back, giving him an apprehensive look.
“It’s this or chains.” Sam said cheerfully, nodding to the guards watching them closely.
“Thanks.” Gabriel ground out somewhat gratefully. He didn’t like being trussed up and bound. He found it triggering and he knew exactly why he found it triggering.
“Don’t mention it.” But Sam was smiling.
They took their time, leaning on each other for support even if neither of them commented on it. Gabriel decided he liked Sam better than Castiel or Dean. He was kinder, softer, friendlier. Gabriel didn’t know much about him other than he seemed like the easiest to get to know and possibly the easiest to trick into letting him go.
“Do I really have to go through with this apprenticeship or can we work something out?” He asked before they turned on to the quiet street the Winchesters lived on.
“You really have to go through with it. They’ll be checking in with us regularly.”
“Ugh.” Gabriel rolled his eyes.
“You’re lucky, you know. Our last real apprentice was Castiel.” Sam smirked. “Most people end up with the fisherman.”
“I suppose I can be a little grateful I didn’t end up there.” Gabriel allowed. They headed up the walkway. “Where’s your house?”
“We live here.”
“You know, I don’t really know anymore. Before it was to save costs and to be close, but now, well, I think it was more to keep us all close. A lot of good that did.” Sam glanced down the street. “Maybe I should go house shopping.” He smiled a sad smile.
“I can help.” Gabriel offered. “I’m good with houses.”
“Architect?” Sam guessed. Gabriel smiled, amused.
“No. Thief.” Gabriel had to laugh. There was a fondness there, remembering what were some of the terrible things that had happened to him. “I was. Not anymore. Haven’t been for a long time.”
“Maybe you’ll tell me about it sometime?” Gabriel shrugged, leaning from one foot to the other while Sam unlocked the back door.
“There isn’t much to tell. It was when I was a kid and I had to eat somehow.”
“You grew up on the streets?”
“Briefly.” Gabriel grinned. “Guess I got lucky for a time before I ended up being sold like everyone else I grew up with.”
“I’m sorry.” And Sam meant it. “Dean and I grew up rough too.”
“I didn’t really grow up rough. Once I got caught stealing, well, shit changed.”
“They threatened your fingers.”
“Yea, yea, they did.” Gabriel laughed. “A rich guy, nice guy, really, intervened. He didn’t have any kids and he decided he’d take me in, street rat and all. Anyway, he died a few years later, probably the reason why I didn’t turn out so great. I mean he tried to save me but there are only so many ways my story could end.”
“What happened to his fortune?”
“It went to his family.” And there was a trace of bitterness sneering across Gabriel’s face. “His ‘real’ family.”
“Don’t be.” Gabriel scoffed. “It was a valuable lesson.”
“Don’t trust anyone.” Gabriel grinned again, daring Sam to contradict him. Sam was silent, ducking his head down for a moment.
“Inside.” He waved Gabriel in. “I’m feeling tired. I want to tend to your back first before I lie down.”
“Fine.” Gabriel flounced inside before he was directed to the small bathroom. “Can I just bathe?”
“Go on.” Sam shrugged. He must have noticed how Gabriel stank of prison and the streets. Gabriel couldn’t ignore how he smelled any longer, like blood, sweat, and tears. “I’ll put your clothes out for you, but please let me tend your back. You need bandaging before you try to put a shirt on again.” Gabriel thought of how Sam had dressed him earlier and realized what a small mercy that had been. It hurt to lift his arms above his head. “Here.” Sam helped him out of the shirt before he left, closing the bathroom door behind him.
Gabriel watched him go with a strange look on his face. Sam was unlike anyone he had ever met. There was no way he could have grown up rough. But there was also no way he grew up as a gentleman… he was too nice to Gabriel for that. He was too kind period. Gabriel was going to have to guard himself extra against that one. Nice or not, he still couldn’t be trusted, even if Gabriel was going to need his help to get dressed again.
Gabriel bathed quickly even though the water was warm and beckoning. He could have soaked for hours, but he didn’t want to keep Sam waiting. The other man was already worn out and honestly, Gabriel wasn’t feeling much better. The beating had knocked what progress he had made right out of him. And now he had to let Sam see the damage. He hissed as he hauled himself out of the water, wrapping himself up in a towel before he stuck his head out the door. Sam was in the rocking chair in the small sitting area, his head tilted back, sound asleep.
“Sam.” Gabriel hissed, not liking how familiar that sounded. In some part of the back of his mind, he supposed he considered himself beneath Sam. Sam was above him, a master or a client... no, not even a client. Men who looked and acted like Sam were rare. They didn’t go looking for whores— they had their pick of all the free folk.
Sam wouldn’t come looking for his services in a sketchy back alley. “Master Sam!” That also felt odd on his tongue, but it felt safer than calling to the tall man like he was a contemporary or worse, a friend. Sam certainly wasn’t one of the other whores back at Virgil’s.
“Sorry!” Sam leaped out of his chair, swaying on his feet. “I don’t even remember closing my eyes.” Gabriel came out of the bathroom with an easy grin, still wrapped up in his towel.
“I don’t miss feeling that bad off.” Gabriel reminisced. “No fun being the fuck toy and the chew toy of a vamp.” Sam grimaced.
“I’m sorry you had to deal with that.”
“It wasn’t that bad.” Gabriel shrugged and then regretted that movement as his back was becoming more and more stiff. “I’ve had way worse.”
“I’m sorry you had to deal with any of that. That’s not an easy life.” Sam had the first aid kit ready. Gabriel preferred to stand, so Sam sat back down on the couch this time. He dried Gabriel’s back carefully with a small towel before applying ointment to the raised pink welts, some which were open and slightly bleeding. Lastly, he bandaged Gabriel’s whole back to keep them clean. “How’s that feel?”
“Better.” Gabriel grunted. “Thanks.”
“Don’t mention it.” Sam started to put his stuff away. “And don’t call me master. I’m no better than you.” Gabriel just lifted up a shoulder before he sank down onto the couch. He felt exhausted.
“Clothes?” Sam helped him into the shirt first, realizing that Gabriel was fading fast. They got his arms in and then he kind of just turned into the couch, snuggling in, and falling asleep. Sam got the boxers on him at least before putting the first aid kit away and bringing over a blanket. He was so tired he was unsteady on his feet, forcing him to sit down to tuck Gabriel in. As he was going to stand up, a whole process in itself, Gabriel shifted, burrowing into him. Sam jumped, freezing in place, and looked over to see Gabriel was still asleep. It might be hot outside, but it was cold inside their small place. Sam deliberated and then leaned back, using some of the blanket to cover himself. He could use a nap too. Part of him was too delighted to move. He was thrilled that some part of Gabriel had found the ability to trust him, even if it would probably be a long time before Gabriel ever consciously admitted to it. Ha. He had no idea just how long that would take, but this sweet moment he would take. He was too tired to do anything else.
When Dean and Castiel came back hours later, they found them like that still, sound asleep, curling around each other.
TW: inflammatory, homophobic speech at the beginning.
Castiel grabbed Dean’s arm, but the foul words had already left his mouth.
“What?! You two are faggots too?!” Sam opened bleary eyes, rubbing at them before he straightened up. Gabriel was already awake, recoiling away from him, clutching the blanket to his chest. The fear in his eyes was palpable as he stared wide eyed at Dean.
“Did you know about him?” Dean sneered, jabbing a finger at Castiel who still had yet to release me.
“Do you know about yourself?” Sam sneered back, fed up with his brother’s antics. “Remember what you used to do for ol’ Alistair?”
“Do not bring him up! Do not pin your own filthiness on me!” Dean looked like he was furious enough to kill, something that unnerved Sam to no end.
“You were my introduction.” Sam taunted and Dean’s face flushed an angry red. Alistair was the reason Sam had run away and bumped into Bobby.
“I ought to—“
“I’m moving out.” Sam announced. “Come on, Gabriel, you’re coming with me. I won’t stay here and take that abuse just because he feels entitled to it. Castiel, feel free to come along.”
“I’ll stay.” Castiel kept his face neutral. “We can’t trust him in anyone else’s care.”
“I have half a mind to send him back to the vamp’s family.” Sam wasn’t serious but he was frustrated. Dean had never been like this, not even when everything went to shit. Sam was close to tears, not that he would admit it. Whatever evil had befallen his brother, he would do what he needed to do to get Dean back, after all, Dean had sacrificed so much when they were kids just to look after Sam. He could have ditched Sam then, but he didn’t. Sam wouldn’t ditch him now, not really. He just needed some space.
Gabriel got up from the couch and bolted, running much faster than someone in his condition should. He burst into the shop and hid under the table.
“I heard the Winchesters took in a stray.” He heard a couple of customers comment to each other. “Did you see Dean is back? He does not look well.”
“Oh, look there’s Sam. Oh, look…”
“Shh, he’ll hear you.” Gabriel looked out from under the table to see Sam come into the shop. He was securing his hair back, lapsing back into the gentleman he had learned to be. Gabriel saw he was still exhausted and had to wonder if he had been sleeping at all. Rest was key when recovering. Gabriel would need to teach him as well as act like him more.
“Hey, ladies, can I help you find anything?” Sam didn’t sound as tired as he looked, in fact, he sounded like there was nothing he would rather be doing than helping those gossiping bitches. Gabriel found he didn’t care for that all that much.
“Shouldn’t we back asking you that?” One of the ladies laid her hand on Sam’s arm.
“Ladies, I’m not looking to settle down…” Sam flashed an award-winning smile, “but if I was…”
“No, silly.” One of the twittered behind a gloved hand. “I meant the stray you took in.” Sam looked downright disappointed in her to the point her laughter stopped. “I mean, your new associate.”
“He is getting acquainted to our way of business.” Sam’s face brightened. “He is a great asset, more acquainted with architecture than the marketplace but I am confident that he will adapt with ease.” A small smile tugged at the corners of Gabriel’s mouth. Sam almost had him believing. Sam’s fingers twitched and Gabriel realized he was being beckoned to sneak back into the apartment before the ladies set their sights on him again. He hurried back, allowing Sam to handle the customers. He wasn’t ready to face the public again just yet. Those ladies weren’t kind but they weren’t wrong. He was a stray and he was going to have to clean up his act. He didn’t want to embarrass Sam like that again, not like Gabriel cared or anything. It just wasn’t how things should be handled— it wasn’t right to bring shame to the man sticking out his neck to give Gabriel a second chance.
“Look who’s back.” Dean smugly. “I’m surprised.”
“Leave him alone.” Castiel’s tone was cold and commanding. “You’ve done enough harm for one day.”
“I’m protecting my brother from a leech.” Dean leered at Gabriel who shrank back, glancing back to see if Sam had returned yet. He was on his way. Gabriel sucked in a breath if just try to get his body to stop trembling.
“Come on, Gabriel.” Sam took Gabriel by the arm. “Let’s go look at some places.”
“I’ve got Dean.” Castiel spoke up.
“Thank you.” The grateful look Sam shot Castiel seemed to bother Dean, but then he shook it off, glancing over at Castiel’s face.
“Oh, don’t tell me you have the hots for my brother too.”
“No, Dean, I only had them for you.” That seemed to shock him into silence for the time being. The three other men hoped it would be a while before he found his voice again. Dean stammered for a moment and then retreated himself, running to the room that they said was his but didn’t feel quite like home anymore.
“Hey, you okay?” Sam asked, coming over to give Castiel a hug.
“It’s just— that’s not how I had hoped to tell him…” Castiel said more than a little sadly. “It’s not even the him I wanted to say it too. This one— he’s Dean still, but it’s like all his goodness has been stripped away, that or his filter.”
“You knew about vamps. Is there anything supernatural that can cause this?” Sam asked for the impossible because that was what he needed.
“Nothing that comes to mind.” The two separated. “But there is someone on the island I can ask. She knows far more about the supernatural than I do. She will be able to help if there is anything that can help.” Castiel didn’t sound hopeful, but Sam didn’t care. He and Dean had scraped by with far less. They could do it again.
“Thank you, Castiel.” Castiel smiled, hiding his concern. Sam was not well and he knew the brothers enough to know that Sam would risk his life if it meant getting their Dean back. It wouldn’t take much to tip the scales too far that Sam could never recover from.
“You’re welcome. Happy house hunting.”
“Thank you.” Sam smiled, feeling content for the first time in a long time. They had hope again. At the very least, they had a plan. He and Gabriel walked out of the small apartment attached to the shop and Sam felt as if every weight on his shoulders had rolled off. “I’ll send the address to you as soon as I have it.”
“I’ll be looking.” Castiel shut the door behind them, not prepared for Dean to be right behind him when he turned, with strong, inescapable hands.
Meanwhile, despite their respective conditions, Sam and Gabriel were feeling pretty good. They took a carriage to a nearby mansion with sprawling grounds, a new plantation that never opened, never had any slaves to work it. Sam knew the bank was desperately trying to sell it so he went down and struck a deal with the banker who had to live on the property until it was passed on to a new owner. There would be room for all of them and more, so many rooms that Sam looked forward to filling. He enjoyed helping people and preferred to live his life in a manner that reflected that passion.
“This is it.” Gabriel agreed whole-heartedly. It wasn’t perfectly secure but it was beautiful. He could fix the security issues. He would. Now that his lot had been thrown in with the Winchesters, the thought to betray them or take advantage of them had never crossed his mind. He was loyal, although he preferred to never admit that to anyone. For whatever reason, these were his people, minus Dean, and he would look out for them. Okay, he’d look out for Sam because Sam had looked out for him twice now when he didn’t need to.
“What is it, Ramiel?” Azazel was not happy to see his older brother, second only to Asmodeus.
“I have bad news.”
“Of course you do.” Azazel sneered. “Out with it then.”
“Asmodeus is dead.”
“What?” Azazel leapt up from his chair. “Who dared to lay a hand on our brother?!” He had almost thought it impossible with his brother’s ‘affliction.’ The Prince family was only close in that while their teeth were always at each other’s throats, they were the only ones who could hurt each other. Asmodeus’ death would be avenged.
“The Winchesters.” Ramiel didn’t seem too upset. “They also took Dean Winchester back.”
“Part of him.” Azazel smirked. “Dagon!” He called over to the next room.
“Yes, brother.” He didn’t see her appear but suddenly she was there, his sister, leaning against the door frame. “You called?”
“Do you still have it?”
“Do I?” She smirked. She pulled out her pendant that was hanging under her shirt. “I never take it off.” Ramiel squinted at the glowing light emanating from the pendant.
“I don’t even want to know as long as it helps us avenge Asmodeus.”
“It will.” Dagon’s smile deepened and Azazel shivered. She was dangerous and they all knew it.
“Ready your ship.” Azazel ordered. “Bring me, Sam and Dean Winchester, alive, and all of their friends’ heads.” She nodded, slipping away.
“Black magic.” Ramiel spat.
“We do what we must.”
“But the soul—“
“No part of our enemy is sacred, Ramiel.”
“Let’s hope you’re right, little brother, or else you’ll have quite the time at the day of reckoning.”
“Won’t we all ?” Azazel smiled. “Won’t we all?”