Chapter 1: Prologue
Beta'ed by the lovely l-niania: http://l-niania.livejournal.com/
Artwork by the fantastic lonewined: http://lonewined.livejournal.com/9308.html
this was part of the Debriel Minibang back in 2012. It's completed, and I'm posting an updated version. I had a fantastic beta and an artist working with me whose links are posted in the summary, so go give them some love!
"And So I Wait" is still in the works, but I am slammed with work right now, and dealing with some health issues. It's made busting through the writer's block difficult, so this work is a 'hang in there guys' until I can get some IRL things under control.
<3 you guys!
artwork for series by lonewined
Legacy of Longinus
Agent Sully was bored. When he was hand picked for the SCP he knew the risks involved; the many gruesome ways other agents had died depending on the detail. It was an exciting but intimidating detail, but Sully was prepared for a life of risks, quick decisions, and facing the death of himself and his teammates. Hell, he was in the middle east; one of the most unstable regions of the planet!
What he did not expect was the monotony. Every day it was the same thing; watch SCP-001. For the benefit of the 3 agents stationed there, the Gatekeeper did sweet fuck all. Just stand there, legs slightly apart, head down, hands resting on the hilt of that weird flaming sword that was propped point down in the dirt in front of him. Even watching his wings shift in number from only 4 to practically thousands had gotten tedious. As for the invisible gate itself? You only knew it was there if you were told where to look, and even then you had to concentrate on believing it was there. Sure, he knew the stories and all, that the gate to Eden was at the mouth of the Tigris and Euphrates, but he left those tales behind when he gave up Catholicism. When he first saw the gate it made him question his decision, let alone his very eyes. After the first day on surveillance Sully had recanted his atheism and began rereading the bible starting with Genesis.
After 4 months staring at the same thing day in and day out, the awe wore off and it just got old. Paperwork would have been better than this. At least he would be doing something. However, that was left to the agent in charge here, not a “greenhorn” like Sully.
He yawned and stretched, and felt a few cracks shift up his spine from sitting in the chair for hours on end. At least the SCP Organization provided semi-comfortable chairs for computer surveillance. While going closer than 1 kilometer to the Gatekeeper was 100% lethal and anything that didn't breach the perimeter was perfectly safe, no one debated the distance of the hidden bunker being 30 kilometers away. That thing didn't move but it was still dangerous. Sully leaned back in his chair to get the last few pops out of his back and took a swig of coffee before looking at the screen again. Yup, same ol' Gatekeeper, and a guy that was...
A short, thin stranger in a Hawaiian shirt and faded dark blue jeans confidently walked up to the SCP as though it were a friend or relative. Despite the stranger’s small stature, even through the screen Sully could almost feel the power emanating from the man. The agent's instincts flooded his system with adrenaline; he may not have consciously known it, but something primitive within Sully recognized the danger he was in.
He hit the speed dial for Special Agent Rorick, the lead of the three man surveillance team. Thank God he swallowed his coffee before he saw this or Sully would have spat the liquid all over the screens! “Sir? This is Agent Sully, we seem to have a situation. A man is approaching the Gatekeeper.”
“You know the damn thing will just incinerate the fool with that sword of his when he gets close enough, Agent.”
“Yes, sir. But he's breached the red zone. And...sir, it looks like the man is talking to the Gatekeeper.”
“I'll be right there.” The line went dead, and Sully hung up the phone. When his eyes turned back to the screen, every single hair on his body stood on end. The man and the Gatekeeper had turned and were now looking toward the direction of the bunker. In fact, it seemed as though they were staring right at the Agent himself. Rorick burst into the room, demanding what the hell was happening but Sully could only point to the screen. The man beside the Gatekeeper had raised his hand, and seemed to be waving sadly at the men watching the camera feed. Agent Rorick watched in horror as the Gatekeeper raised his sword. Sully tightly gripped the rosary in his right pocket.
The bunker was incinerated before either man could run for the door.
Gabriel winced as he felt a twinge of remorse over the death of the three men in their shelter, but he didn't want them to see any more then they already had. If they used anything like the 'little black box' on airplanes, any data of his visit may have survived the blast. The Archangel looked up at Ridwan, the Gatekeeper of Eden.
“Would you like me to make sure that all recordings of our visit are erased?”
It makes no difference to me, Archangel. Whatever they see, they cannot change the course of fate. Gabriel smiled as the dulcet voice spoke in his mind. Of course that would be his answer. The face looking down at the archangel was featureless and radiant, but the voice expressed concern. Do you think your plan will work, Gabriel? They are human, but from what they have demonstrated I believe their knowledge of the occult is vast. They may know enough to be very dangerous to you.
“I know, brother. But what they have...it's lethal to keep on this planet. Hell, most of the stuff in SPC shouldn't be in human hands, but this object in particular has no business being on Earth. I have to break in and retrieve it. Thank you for letting me know they have the Lance of Longinus. We thought Petra's Al-khazneh would be the safest place; I was unaware that archeologists had broken through the hidden chamber deep inside the treasury itself. When the Host hid it there after the second world war they thought the humans would never discover it. If the SCP have the spear and recognize it for what it really is...” Gabriel shuddered. “They think they know what they’re dealing with, but it’s like giving a bunch of monkeys a grenade. You know one of them’s going to pull the pin by accident. If the wrong person falls under its influence or it falls into Crowley’s hands then we’re in real trouble. The Organization’s intentions are right and they have quietly saved Earth’s ass a few times, but they're only human, and humans are fallible things.” Gabriel smiled slyly up at his brother. “But they do know how to throw the best parties. However, since they’re not mature enough as a species to handle the weapon, and things are still a mess in Heaven, I think hiding it in Eden would be the best choice, don’t you think?”
I agree, Gabriel. If you bring it to me I will let you pass into Eden to hide the Holy Lance.
The archangel looked back beyond Ridwan’s figure at the opalescent gates and the beautiful garden that lay behind it. The sight made him homesick to the point that it was almost impossible to look away. Ridwan crouched and Gabriel felt a large hand gently pat his head; even though Gabriel was older, his vessel only came knee high to his brother's flickering form and made the angel feel like a small child next to the long-suffering Gatekeeper. “Well, that spear’s not going to walk here. I better go get it.” Gabriel offered an upbeat grin up at his brother and hoped the other angel couldn’t detect the sadness in his thoughts from his musings.
I wish you the best of luck on your mission. A small zephyr escaped the towering figure’s ‘face’, causing a gentle breeze to ruffle Gabriel's hair. I miss our talks. I look forward to the day when I can go home.
“I do too. I will try to see you more, Ridwan.” Gabriel patted the leg of his brother in farewell before flying off. The Gatekeeper gave another small sigh, then returned to his familiar stance. Always vigilant, always at the ready.
It was a perfect location to store a dangerous holy relic.
The facility was close to the north pole on an island surrounded by glacial ice, far removed from any trace of civilization. It was connected by a series of tubes the bunkers branched out from a central hub then joined to each other in a way that reminded the angel of a wheel gear. Gabriel stood outside and felt the tug on his grace from the Lance of Longinus thanks to the blood of Christ that still anointed the spearhead. Oh yeah, he had found the place all right.
Breaking into the compound had been so stupidly easy for someone like the archangel that it was almost boring. He had cast a glamor on himself to fool anyone who came across him into thinking that he was one of their own, whether it was an agent, a guard, or even a janitor off to clean something or other. Some of the people waved to Gabriel, and he cheerfully returned the gesture as he headed down the sparse gray hall towards his objective. he could feel the pull become stronger. Ridwan had been right; the Lance was here!
He let his grace direct him down the maze of corridors until he came to a steel door guarded by a large black male armed with an M4 carbine rifle. Gabriel gave the man a huge grin. “Hey there! Can you do me a solid and let me in? I’ve been asked to take the relic to be tested in the lab."
“You know I need to see your ID card before I can let you in, sir." The guard’s piercing stare assessed Gabriel quickly. This one suspected everything that caught his gaze. A great quality in a soldier, but not so good for Gabriel and his glamor. It was time to up the ante. “Of course," Gabriel smiled. “It’s in my pocket here somewhere." As the archangel pretended to pat his pockets for his ‘ID card’, he waited until the guard’s eyes were distracted by his searching before his hand snapped out to grab the man’s wrist. His other hand grabbed the man’s jaw tightly to catch his gaze and, as Dean Winchester would say, ‘Jedi Mind-Whammy' the man. “I found my ID. May I go in?”
“I was never here.”
Gabriel looked the guard over one more time, taking in his slightly weary stance. “And start taking multivitamins before you come down with scurvy or something.”
“Good boy.” Gabriel let go of the guard’s wrist and stepped back. The brick wall of a man shook his head as if to wake himself up. “Sorry, sir. I think I need to start taking multivitamins or something. Wanna keep sharp, ya know?” He swiped his keycard on the lock, pushed open the door, and stepped aside.
“You’re doing a good job, corporal. I’ll be sure to put in a good word for you.”
“Thank you, sir.” The guard nodded and closed the door behind Gabriel, following standard procedure. The Lance may have been listed as ‘safe’, but no one took chances in the Organization. People died when they didn’t follow protocol. The guard had heard too many horror stories to justify that. As Gabriel heard the lock click into place behind him he smiled to himself and looked at the spear on the pedestal ahead of him.
As he had thought to himself before, this was all too stupidly easy.
What Gabriel hadn’t known was how well versed the Organization was in angelic lore, and that they took no chances in guessing who exactly would come for the Lance. They ruled out no one. When Gabriel lifted the spear from its holder, the fluorescent lights went out and were replaced by ultraviolet lighting. The black-light illuminated two things, the floor-mat sized devil’s trap below him, and the Enochian warding script that covered the wall, ceiling, and even the floor around the Seal.
He was trapped.
<SCP-001: Dr. Clef's Proposal>
Chapter 2: 1
Dean and Sam had won. The weapon had worked and the 'head' of the Leviathan had been destroyed, leaving the others to explode in gooey fashion across America. For once everything had gone according to their plans without a hitch, and despite being covered in black muck the brothers Winchester had been victorious. It was such a shock to them that for a few minutes they kept their weapons ready, checking the rooms to make sure the enemy were all gone.
The hunters had learned to never trust anything until they were out of ground zero. Once they were sure the situation was mostly under control, and with Prophet and Angel in tow, there was nothing left to do but to torch Sucrocorp and get the hell out of dodge.
It was halfway out of the city, with the Impala chugging away from her battle-scars, that the four of them finally started to relax. While Castiel's garrison had been eradicated, and with Castiel was definitely in no shape to take up Prophet-sitting duties, they all agreed to return the boy to his home. Surprisingly Kevin had kept Dick Roman's letter of recommendation in all the chaos, and Sam was busy imparting his wisdom about being a freshman in college. Dean listened to his brother sounding happier than he had in a long time, while Dean's best angel friend regaled him with useless facts about the migration patterns of African swallows versus European swallows.
Dean huffed a laugh, asked if either bird could carry coconuts, and set the cruise control for the drive ahead to Kevin’s house.
A month later everything Dean thought he knew about the supernatural was turned inside out.
It started with a visit from Castiel. The morning sun was shining in Rufus's cabin and the two brothers were settling in to look for an easy hunt in the area. Sam had broken his wrist in their last hunt with a pissed off poltergeist that had clearly overstayed its welcome in a family home. While Dean was grabbing cereal the angel showed up in the middle of the main room still sporting the trenchcoat / in-patient look since his escape from the hospital. However, instead of his eyes being bright with childlike wonder after communing with the bees or Japanese snow monkeys or whatever Dean figured he was off doing nowadays, they were haunted.
“Cas? Everything alright, man?” Dean was more than used to the angel popping in unannounced now and then, but the expression was one he hadn't worn in a long while. So much for an easy hunt, he thought.
“Gabriel has gone missing.”
Dean nearly spat his coffee while Sam came quickly into the room, his face half-covered in shaving foam. “Did you say Gabriel?” Dean burst out. “The very dead archangel that sent us to TV-land, killed me over a hundred times,” Sam made a face at that, “Then took on Lucifer and lost? That Gabriel?” Dean was hoping that Castiel had developed a sense of humor and had just pulled his first prank on his human friends.
“The very same,” replied Castiel.
“How the hell did that happen?” Sam asked, and Dean finally got a good look at his brother. “Planning on joining a carnival with your 'he-she' act there, Sammy?” he laughed.
“Shut up, Dean. What if he's serious?” Sam grumbled, but returned to the nearby bathroom to finish shaving the rest of his face.
“I am,” Castiel replied, ignoring the banter. “Why would I not be serious? Do you think I would not be concerned for my brother?”
“Cas, it's just...he hid for so long before and he's supposedly been dead for several years. Were we wrong in thinking that? Besides, how do you know he's in trouble anyway?” Dean replied and took another sip of coffee. He nudged a chair out from under the table with his foot and motioned for the angel to sit down. Castiel folded his hands in his lap and took a moment to focus. It made Dean sit up and pay more attention; if the angel wasn't taking sudden tangents into weird facts on the mating habits of squirrels, then this was big. Sam returned at that moment, clean to his particular standard, and sat down to catch the story. Before Dean gave in and asked Castiel what the hold up was, he spoke.
“Gabriel was dead. I felt it; we all did. It wasn't just a cloaking of his whereabouts like before. There was...a hole inside us all where he used to be. Like a part of us had died.” A flash of anguish passed over Castiel's eyes at the memory, then it was gone like the flicking of a light switch. Dean could sympathize; even though Sam was alive the hunter still woke in a cold sweat from dreams of his little brother falling into hell. Dean shook his head to clear the horror from his mind and refocus on the angel in front of him.
“Cas, do you know what brought him back, or why?”
“No more then I know for sure who brought me back from oblivion to help you take down Lucifer. It was more than likely our Father, but for what reason it has not been made clear to us. Even after his resurrection Gabriel did not return to the Host. He has not hidden from us this time, but he insisted he claimed he had 'business to take care of'. The Host does not know more than that. No angel can force Gabriel to do anything; With Michael, Uriel, Raphael, and Lucifer gone he is now the most powerful archangel in existence. None but our Father can order him to return to Heaven.”
Dean considered the information carefully. It didn't sound like Gabriel had gone incognito, or Castiel wouldn't be so worried. “So now that he's back you believe he's in trouble instead of hiding again?”
Castiel nodded. “You know Gabriel well enough that he wouldn't have even bothered to tell us he had heavenly business. He would have just walked away. Gabriel remained unhidden until his presence was suddenly cloaked from us. It is my belief that the last angel to have seen him is aware of where he is.”
“Who was it?”
“Are you familiar with Eden's Gatekeeper?”
Dean frowned. “Genesis, right? After Adam and Eve ate the apple they got kicked out, and an angel with a big flaming sword was sent to keep anyone from getting in.”
“Yes,” Castiel nodded in return. “Ridwan has been there since humanity's fall, and will remain until the end of the Earth. It was he that called me to the Gate. Ridwan said that he had overheard the humans guarding him talk about a successful mission to the ancient city of Petra in Jordan. They had recovered the Spear of Longinus and were keeping it safe in a secret location in the tundra of North America. Gabriel decided to break in and steal the spear. It is Ridwan’s belief that humanity would never be mature enough to handle the relic and asked Gabriel to retrieve it. That was one month ago. He has no idea if Gabriel has been killed or captured, but Gabriel would not take the Lance for his own and disappear. He is too concerned with the Lance falling into the wrong hands. I would go myself, but when I checked the location Ridwan said the spear should be, the housing is now covered with Enochian warding script. I assume this is new if Gabriel was able to break in and this 'mission' of his is the cause of his disappearance.”
“Wait, what's so special about the lance?” Dean asked.
“This was the lance that had pierced the side of Christ during his crucifixion by a Roman Soldier named Longinus,” explained Sam. “The story goes that they were going to break his legs, but saw that Jesus was dead and stabbed him to be sure. Water and blood came out, which was considered a miracle. I'd have to look up why.” He got up and retrieved his father's journal from Dean’s kit bag.
“The blood was a sign of humanity, and the water his divinity,” supplied the angel.
“Thanks, Cas,” smiled Sam to their friend as he came back to his chair. “Anyway, it says here in dad's notes about the Lance that when Adolf Hitler was 19 he was led to the relic in a museum, and he became obsessed with it. I guess it's been held by over 45 emperors. The founder of the Teutonic Knights that Hitler based the SS on had also possessed it at one point. Hitler would stare at it and enter a trance where he would view the global rule of the Third Reich, with himself as its leader. So whoever has the lance, not only gets a vision of his potential to rule the world but actually, has the means to achieve it.”
“Didn't they do this plot idea in 'Constantine'?” Dean quipped.
“Maybe this SPC group saw the same movie, and didn't want Keanu Reeves getting involved with the spear,” Sam said as he closed the book.
“Who's Keanu Reeves?” inquired Castiel.
“Remind me to show you Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure sometime, Cas.” grinned Dean as he patted Castiel on the shoulder. “So, who are these SCP guys, where is the lance, and how do we grab it and get it to Eden?”
Castiel cleared his throat and looked up at the Winchesters. “I have a plan. It involves a bit of computer work on your part Sam, and Dean posing as a federal agent, but the ends justify the means.”
“Oh, so nothing we haven't done before then.” Sam smiled wryly as he fired up the laptop.
SCP-1829 was rapidly becoming bored of his cage. That was his designation now, and it pissed him off that they couldn’t think of a better name other than The Angel. It was thoughtful of them to provide basic furniture, a TV, and books to keep him entertained between tests, but a cage is still a cage no matter how they covered the bars.
And wow, when it came to the ‘bars’ of the cage this place had done their homework. The same Enochian script etched deep into the walls, ceiling, and floor with machine-like accuracy as in the room with the Spear. That suggested to The Angel that there was a laser somewhere attached to a laptop with some very arcane knowledge programmed into it. And, joy of joys, The Angel had his very own moat! It was a pencil thin line that ran the circumference of the room 2 feet away from the walls and was filled with flaming holy oil. The only time they extinguished it was to let some poor bastard in an orange jumpsuit to enter the room to do some light housekeeping or to let a scientist do a few tests, and that was only after they shut the door.
So unless the door was open which created a gap in the warding and the holy oil was also extinguished, The Angel was stuck in Hotel Freak-show. As a certain human he knew would say, “awesome”. He knew he was lonely when of all the humans on Earth he was missing Dean Winchester. The man was a pain in the ass, but no angel could resist the radiance of his soul. Angels couldn't help but be drawn to it, like a moth to an electric bug-zapper. He picked at the side ties of his hospital gown while his feet played with the hems of the matching gray pajama pants. At least he wasn't bare-assed for their amusement, but he didn't doubt that could change at a moment's notice.
The door unlocked with a clank and in stepped a man in a lab coat, followed by another man in a suit. The door shut, and that was when the holy oil was doused with a ground level fire suppressant from under the floor to let the two humans pass by. “And how are we today, 1829?” Lab-coat asked.
The Angel remained seated on his bar stool. “Same as yesterday. Tired of this place. Any chance of getting some cute entertainment in here?” he waggled his eyebrows at the scientist.
“Really, 1829, if it wasn’t for the warding and the oil I’d think that the only thing keeping you here is the door.” said Lab-coat.
“How do you know it’s not?” replied 1829. Suit stood by silently while Lab-coat got up and went to a side closet door in the cell’s wall beyond the moat. He pulled out a small cart that had a laptop, jars, and stainless steel instruments. The Angel cringed as he returned with them. So it was to be one of those visits today.
Suit turned on the laptop while Lab-coat looked on. “Can you manifest your wings for us, 1829?”
“You know the last time you made me do that I turned one of those orange wearing guys into barbecue. Threatening me with a holy oil shower was cute, by the way.”
“That’s why we send the D-units in first when dealing with new SCP. We have to see what kind of a threat they are. Death Row inmates come a “dime a dozen” in certain American states. Offer them a chance to work off their sentence and they’re fighting each other to get on detail. They’re usually dead in a month, but at least they get to travel the world and see new and interesting sights. Even if some of what they encounter is the last they’ll ever see alive.”
“Wow. I’m surprised you guys haven’t won the Nobel Peace Prize for your humanitarian work here. Give them a bit of hope and they’ll do anything. Are you sure you don’t work for my Dad?”
Lab-coat took a syringe out and prepped it. “I take it you’re talking about God. Frankly, I’m surprised at the blasphemy coming out of your mouth. If you hadn’t been able to step out of the Devil’s Trap I would have thought you were a demon. Give me your arm, please. I need to take a blood sample.”
1829 sat unmoving on his stool. Suit crossed the room to a button on the wall and put his finger over it. The Angel visibly flinched; a holy oil shower was not a nice way to start the morning. For a rare item, either these guys had stock or they knew someone who could make the stuff because these assholes seemed to use it like water.
“Do it, or you know what will happen.” said the Suit.
“'It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again', am I right?” The Angel sneered. “If you two mutton-heads had ANY clue who you were dealing with...”
“Then give us your name!” Lab-coat gushed excitedly. “We’ll give you a bigger suite, and maybe convince some of the more attractive female D-Class to give you some company.” Lab-coat arched an eyebrow as he looked over the captive angel. “Or perhaps a male would be more your taste. Considering the highly un-angelic things you’ve been saying, I wouldn’t be the least surprised.”
“Bite me, Dr. Strangelove." Gabriel bristled, and he stuck out his arm for Lab-coat.
Chapter 3: 2
Trigger Warning: Violence, Rape/sexual assault.
While Gabriel doesn't experience this, he is forced to watch which might bother some people. So please feel free to skip his part at the end of the chapter.
“So...Agent Jones. Do you have any questions about what we do here in the Foundation? I know the Canadian Arctic sounds like a shitty detail, but believe me when I say that on top of an exceptional benefits package you will be protecting your country, and the world, from the horrors only a child’s nightmare or a psychotic’s hallucinations could dream up. That is no lie, Agent.”
“Yes, sir. My father was a marine in Vietnam, and he would say never underestimate your detail, no matter how bad it sounds. Unless it’s latrine duty.” Adam joked with the Major. The man across the desk chuckled and shook his head. Yeah, that sounded about right. The Major leaned forward and placed his meaty hand on the manilla file of Agent Adam Jones.
“Your father’s a smart man, Adam. But back to the matter at hand, the dangers of this place is no lie. However, what is a lie is your identity. Never mind that your alias is the guitarist from Tool, which happens to be my favorite band, and your transcript is a complete forgery. You’ve never been to Quantico. I doubt you’ve stepped on the grounds of Penn State, much less seen it first hand. I’m guessing the only thing you’ve managed is graduating with a GED, with an exceptional talent for making weaponry in shop class. I say weaponry, and not bongs, because I know who you really are, Dean Winchester. We have been keeping tabs on you since your brother put Lucifer back in Hell.”
“It was a sawed off shotgun I had made in shop class, and how the fuck did you know about that?” Dean’s mask dropped and it was his death-grip on the arms of his chair that kept him from lunging at the smug looking Major 'Asshole' across from him. The Major grinned and sat back, pleased at ruffling the feathers of this half of the infamous Winchester brothers.
“Well for starters, it’s our job to follow leads. We’re the SCP; we Secure, Contain, and Protect anything weird that humanity can’t handle, and things the world should never know about. When the strange weather started coinciding in places with incidences of violence due to demonic possession and cattle mutilation, we checked it out. We only found out after Sam had successfully sealed Lucifer and Michael in his cage and you had ‘retired’, so to speak. We got the rest of the back story from Carver Edlund’s Supernatural books. My daughter loves those, by the way.”
Dean deflated into his chair. “Fucking Chuck. If I knew where he was I’d wring his neck.” When he sat back, the Major’s affability was gone, replaced with a harder edge to his eyes.
“Dean, the reason why I don’t dump you buck naked in the arctic ocean dosed to the gills with an amnesiac is that you require no training other than our protocols here at the SCP. You have had years of weapons instruction under your father, you and your brother have stopped several XK apocalypse scenarios along with a huge list of things that go bump in the night with no army and an acceptable loss of civilian casualties,” Dean winced at that, “and you have the balls and the bat-shit craziness to infiltrate our organization with a masterful forgery. You were only caught because I recognized your face from our file on you, and your pseudonym fit the MO of you and your brother. Where is Sam, anyway?”
“He’s staying with a friend until he can get on his feet. Sammy wanted to leave the hunting life, and I wanted to keep going; it’s all I know. I thought maybe I could get paid for it instead of living out of my car, you know? I won’t tell you where he is, though. I want him to start living a normal life.”
“Fair enough. I know how protective of your brother you are.”
Dean narrowed his eyes. “Is there anything you don’t know about me? Sperm count? Favorite breakfast cereal?”
“Boy, you really shouldn’t ask questions you don’t want the answers to.” Major Sampson smiled, and it sent a chill down Dean’s spine. This was the smile of a man who’s seen a lot of weird crap in his day and looked like he had captured most of what he had seen if it hadn't been stuffed and mounted in his 'man cave' at home. Gordon Walker had that same look when they had bagged their first vamp together, and it still haunted Dean’s dreams. Sampson could clearly handle himself. “Now, do you want in, or should I dump your ass outside Iqaluit?”
“I still want in, Major. I think I can be a great asset to this place.”
“I know, Agent Winchester. Now, seeing as you passed your physical and psych profile with flying colors, let me brief you about your first assignment.”
Dean left the Major’s office with a blue, sealed folder stamped “Level 5 Clearance Only” and headed for the office of Agent Yorman. The last hour had given him a slight headache with the mind-blowing failure of his secret identity, followed by the fact that they still wanted him in. Dean was still to start at the bottom with the other new recruits to be properly trained in how the SCP worked, but he would be their new intern specialist in the supernatural. Anything weird that didn’t have to do with physics, biology chemistry, or outer space - basically anything that fell outside normal science - and whatever had a religious or cultish feel to it would be left for Dean to assess.
‘Bobby would’ve loved this place’, Dean smiled himself, ‘No one would escape being called an ‘idjit’ if they brought him something they couldn’t classify and it turned out only to be a wendigo.’ The thoughts of his dead father-figure and mentor were bittersweet and swung his thoughts to his brother and his angelic friend. While Dean was in the facility, he would be cut off from any communication to the outside world. The Foundation was ridiculously paranoid about information leaks. In his information packet he was informed that all calls were monitored, as well as all internet activity. Dean would not be able to speak in code for everything going on, and Castiel was unable to 'bamf' his way past security thanks to the crazy amount of angel proofing along the exterior of the facility.
Dean was essentially on his own.
The twists and turns of the labyrinthine base were starting to frustrate Dean. The maps were old schematics framed on the wall that did little to make sense of the layout. There were so many rooms in this place! Much more than what was needed for the staff here. It made Dean wonder what else they kept here other than the spear and a few weird objects. Did they warehouse living entities here? Could Gabriel be somewhere in one of the bunkers? If they were using angelic warding to repel anything from peeking inside or to steal the Spear, what else did they have in their arsenal that could keep an archangel here if they wanted to? It was something that the hunter filed away in his brain to think about later when he had the chance. Right now, he had a meeting to get to.
He just had to find the room first.
Dean rounded the next corner and collided with two agents. “Hey! Sorry, man!” said one of the pair as the other picked Dean off the floor. “The blind spots here are murder if you don’t watch the mirrors at the corners.”
“Oh, to avoid running into people, right?”
“More like to keep from running into something if there’s a breach. It’s easier to avoid being taken down by a hostile if you can see it first.”
“Walt, don’t scare the new kid.” The taller one said. He held out his hand for Dean to shake. “He’s Walt Carson, I’m Andrew McCloud.”
Dean grabbed the hand and shook it. “Dean Winchester. Man, this place is something else. I'm surprised I haven't run into Hellboy here.” he grinned.
“He's with another agency,” said Andrew. Dean tried to hide the burst of excitement he felt. “Wait...he's real?” Hell, if vamps were real, why not Big Red? His inner fanboy jumped for joy; that would be so awesome!
“That's classified,” Walt replied with a smirk. “Stop teasing the new meat, Andy. The kid just got here.” Andrew laughed. Dean smiled with embarrassment; of course, they were joking. These two seemed all right if they could be friendly with new agents. In a dangerous environment, camaraderie wasn't just good for morale, a man would be more likely to watch a friend's back then someone who was just another co-worker.
“Guys I hate to run off, but I’m trying to find Agent Yorman’s office. Do you two know if I’m close?”
“Down this hall, turn right, and it’s the first door on the left. Don’t worry, we all get lost here in our first month. Andy here used to carry a ball of twine with him so he could find his way back to his quarters.” Walt chuckled. The other agent smacked him on the back of the head. “I did not!” Andy argued.
“Thanks!” Dean grinned as he took off down the corridor. When they were sure he was out of earshot, Walt turned to Andy. “Do you know who that was?”
“Guy said the name was Winchester. Why? Should I know him from somewhere?” asked Andy.
“I just didn’t know the SCP was hiring Hunters now.”
Andy and Walt continued on towards the mess hall. “Is that some sort of a special agent, Walt?”
The agent's face looked grim. “Do a search of ‘Hunters, Apocalypse, XK Scenario’ on the mainframe, Andy. You’ll find all you need to know. If Winchester’s here that means he’s either killed off all of the worst of the worst out there, or the worst of the worst is now in here with us.”
“Considering who we have here already, that’s fucking terrifying, man. I think I’m going to look over my will during rec time.”
“Yeah, I think I might too.”
Despite the itching sensation in his skin and the overwhelming fatigue he felt, Gabriel was being wheeled down the hall to one of the other SCP cells in the compound. He was in a special cage made out of strong tempered safety glass, big enough for him to stand in and turn around in, but that was it. The cage was made special to attach to his cell door, and when the door closed all six sides trapped him inside as they were all carved with wards. Thankfully their forward thinking meant that they had installed as a secondary platform for Gabriel to stand on instead of the warded floor, otherwise it would have been like standing on an electrified fence. All told, it was like a mini, mobile version of his cell. This place really wasn’t taking chances with him.
He was getting sick of seeing those angel-proofing marks. They would keep him out of an area, but not from leaving it. These chumps had figured that if the wards were facing into the room then an angel was trapped by not being able to go through to another area. That clever assumption had been right, and Gabriel had to hand it to them for their out-of-the-box thinking. At least the D-class workers cleaned Gabriel’s cell while he was out, and brought him new movies and books that he asked for and had been cleared for his use. The angel was looking forward to the next box set of The Big Bang Theory. That show was funny as hell, but the best was the expression on the scientists' faces when he asked for The X-Files. The sour looks he had gotten had been priceless.
Finally, they arrived at their destination. The door had a small plaque on it that labeled the contents inside as ‘SCP-205‘. Two guards posted on either side of the door stepped aside for Gabriel and his entourage of agents, doctors, and scientists. The door was opened and Gabriel’s cage was wheeled inside before the humans retreated quickly and shut the door behind them. Soon a voice crackled over the intercom set up in the room beside the observation window. “SCP-1829, you are to observe and report back to us what you see in this room. If you are attacked by anything, you are to defend yourself with extreme prejudice. Do you have any questions?”
“Yeah. Can you let me out of this thing?”
“Negative. If they get inside you will defend yourself from within the box.” replied the voice.
“That’s stupid! How the hell do I do that?” Yelled Gabriel at the window.
“You’re an angel. Use your imagination.”
Gabriel flipped off his audience and turned to the room. The entire cell was painted gray, and on the far wall, two flood lamps shone their light against a projection screen. “I spy with my little eye, something that is...wait...that's odd.” The angel peered through the etched tempered glass of his prison. The two lights had nothing between them and the screen, but a shadow of a human woman was cast against the white background as if she was standing there. “I see a shadow. There's a woman with long flowing hair wearing a dress of some kind. Well, not for long anyway 'cause she's taking it off. Kinky. What is this thing?”
“Just keep telling us what you see.” the scientist answered. He was a doughy man with horn-rimmed glasses. He seemed like the kind of guy that a train could hit him and he'd die taking notes on the experience. Gabriel shrugged and watched the woman undress.
Gabriel had seen a lot of things in his day, but what he witnessed next...well, this was definitely new. They were obviously demons, but the way they manifested themselves didn't make any sense. “Two, no, three shadows of horned guys have just shown up. Definitely, guys 'cause they don't have breasts, but there's no wedding tackle on any of them. They haven't noticed me yet. Maybe they're stuck in a time loop because they don't seem to sense me, and they definitely should know I'm here. The one demon...shit...that girl isn't going to survive this. I'm not describing this to you; look through the window, you can see what's happening to her!” Gabriel barely restrained his wings from manifesting and arching above in anger. The three demon shadows were savagely violating the shadow of that girl, and Gabriel was trapped like a bug in a jar.
“You're being recorded, 1829. Report.”
Gabriel gritted his teeth, furious at being helpless to stop what he was witnessing. “Fine, they're making their own private snuff film over there. The girl's not going to make it. They're beating her. The one in front is making her gag on his dick, which is weird because he clearly doesn't have one. They must be possessing three poor bastards while they're doing this. The girl isn't moving now; her spine has gone slack. Now they're bending her backward...farther than she should...by my Father, they've snapped her in half! Why are you making me watch this!”
“Fuck you guys! If I get out of here I swear I'll throw you in here with these three demons and let you make a report on it!” Gabriel looked on in horror as the three standing shadows tore apart and savaged the now dead shadow girl. His fist pounded on the glass walls and shocks from the wards ran up his arms. This was madness! Time loop or not he couldn't stand by and continue to watch this. It all felt wrong; there was something the humans were keeping from him.
“Kill 205-1” came the voice from the window. The lamp on the left shut off, and Gabriel got his wish. The figures stopped. The three demons let go of the pieces of flesh they had and turned as one towards the angel. The shadows were intact, except for where their eyes should have been. Those were red circles that shone with their own light.
“The eyes are new,” a second voice remarked from the intercom. The doughy one took the microphone and spoke to Gabriel. “1829, report. What are they doing?”
“They see me now. They look pissed off. Let me out and I can take care of them for you, at least for the girl's sake. Her soul...she's going to relive this hell unless someone stops it.”
“Are you saying that the shadow of the girl is a spirit of some kind?”
“That's exactly what I'm saying, Doc. And these demons are holding her soul here. They're not done with their fun yet and they'll keep reenacting their party like a TV rerun until they are bored with it, or until someone intervenes.” One of the shadows was getting larger, as though the figure was approaching the light source. Soon it blacked out the light entirely before it disappeared, leaving the two remaining demons staring at Gabriel.
Wherever it went, it was a good guess it was heading towards the angel. Thanks to the wards on the cage he couldn't leave, but they could definitely get in. The demons were not housed in corporeal forms; the tempered glass was nothing to pass through, and bagging an archangel would certainly earn these three brownie points in Hell. Trapped with his powers suppressed, Gabriel stilled his mind and concentrated on sensing the three entities in the room.
“What are you doing, 1829?” Dr. Doughy-guy asked. The angel remained silent, feeling out the target. He cursed his bad luck; he would be letting the scientists know another part of himself, but his neck was on the line and he had no room to maneuver. The angel blade slid into Gabriel's right hand from inside his sleeve.
There! It was inside the cage now. The angel reached out in front of him and grabbed a horn while he plunged the sword deep into where its face should be. The tip made contact with a warding glyph and sent what felt like an electric shock through the sword and into Gabriel. As the sword was a manifestation of his grace, he felt it into the core of his true self as the ward repelled his very being. The demon bellowed in his face from blow before it fell back and out through the glass, dead.
Gabriel knelt on the floor, trying to shake the shock of the rebound in his grace from the ward. He looked up to see the shadows of the two remaining demons growing larger.
“Kill the power to 205-2.” The remaining spotlight clicked off, and the room went black.
Chapter 4: 3
SCP-682 was recovering from his relocation. The disgusting humans had burned most of his flesh to nothing in order to make him weak enough to move to his new 'home'. He made sure to destroy as many of the pink vermin as possible, but they still shoved him in a crate and shipped him off to the Arctic Circle. He had overheard the humans calling the place the Reliquary Armed Research Facility 52. 682 called it a temporary setback.
The Foundation, at a loss with what he truly was had categorized him as the unkillable reptile. They obviously had no idea who they were dealing with. He could certainly be killed, but mankind was too stupid to figure out the means to do it. His strength accelerated healing, and his ability to reanimate even when reduced to a skeleton proved this easily.
682? The voice was musically asexual in an Italian dialect, and it was in his head along with an image of a white, old baroque frowning theater mask. There was only one object that could do that. The Creature concentrated on the telepathic threads connected to his mind and followed it back to the source.
035, you are also here ins this godforsaken place? I am curious as to why the Vermin would be so stupid as to put us both in the same facility. If the cursed theater mask was here, then the Foundation was betting that they had enough firepower to keep the most dangerous of the SCP contained.
Ah, but you see 682, hubris has always been the Achilles heel of mankind. They think that they have the ability to contain us through weapons. Even their research is only to find a way to wipe us from existence.
The monster could practically 'hear' the pouting coming through the voice in his mind. That mask and its dramatics. You speak of the obvious, and you are already boring me. What is it you want?
I only wish to meet you, my profane friend. I was hoping that we could plan an outing together and travel the world.
At this the Creature laughed outright, enjoying the absurdity of the idea as much as the view of the sudden scramble of the guards on the other side of the observation window. They scattered so quickly at the slightest sound from him for their guns and their notes. He turned his attention back to the conversation. Oh? And how would we accomplish this? Ask them for a day pass and a shuttle bus?
A dark and ominous giggle filled his mind, and it made 682 shudder deliciously at the terrible 'sound' in his head. My dear, I have been here longer than you. The humans have let their wits wander near me, and I have become privy to all sorts of delights that they hide in the ice. There is an object here, a powerful relic that I wish to give you as a gift. The Lance of Longinus. You help me plan our escape, and I promise that the Holy Spear will be in your fetid maw when we leave. All I ask is that you take me with you as I have no arms or legs, or even a body to allow me to leave on my own.
The Creature was intrigued The Lance was here within his reach, and all he had to do was wear that blasted Mask out when he escaped. There had to be a clause to this deal. What's the catch, Mask? You fry my brain to cinders, let my body rot and hope a human will pick up both you and the Spear out of curiosity? You're daft if you think that would work, especially in the middle of nowhere!
No, my dear playmate. I will grant you regeneration if you wear me. If they actually DO find a way to kill you, I will heal you faster than your abilities are able to, to the point that you will seem impervious to any weapon. Again I cannot leave unless you take me off. I only ask that you bring me to a town, and let me find my own way.
That is all? asked 682.
That is all.
You have a deal, Mask. When I am fully restored, I will take you with me and you will get me that Spear in trade. Now, what is it you have in mind as a plan to escape this shit-hole?
Agent Joseph Yorman read over the report of the haunted flood lamps. SCP-205 had been neutralized and was currently going through another 6-month cycle to determine if the demons were dead, or if they would manifest along with the shadow of the girl. Her shadow had reappeared again as though nothing was amiss and was going through the motions of the supermodel's daily life. Maybe her spirit could finally find peace, but they had to be sure all the same.
Assumptions were deadly in this place. Joesph had witnessed that too many times to count inside the Organization.
As for SCP-1829, they had gleaned an interesting artifact from the angel. When they had turned on the flood lights all the shadows were gone, and 1829 was curled in a small ball at the bottom of his cell. Even unconscious his body seemed to instinctively pull away from the walls. The silver short sword that lay beside the angel was a nice surprise as well. Designated 1829-2, with the angel now labeled 1829-1, this 'angel sword' was being kept in a separate room when it wasn't being fawned over by the science team in the bunker. It was too soon for any reports on the tests being done on the blade, but he was looking forward to reading them.
Meanwhile, the angel had been returned to his cage, battered but still alive. Even though 1829 had insisted that he didn't need a bed because he never slept, they hadn't removed it for this reason. They anticipated that the angel would be damaged in one of the experiments, and left the bed if he needed to heal. Currently, he showed signs of improvement; the scratches were all but gone in half an hour, but bruising and the deeper wounds had yet to disappear. Also, the shaking remained in his hands when he reached for an object like a book or the TV remote control while redness similar to a mild chemical burn was spreading up his arms. Something in the way they were confining the angel was clearly interfering with him healing completely, and the last experiment had accelerated the problem. That couldn't be helped, but it must be taken into consideration the next time they let him interact with another SCP. For now, the angel had been classified as Euclid; highly intelligent and unpredictable but cooperative for the time being if given the right motivation through correctional means.
As long as the wards held the angel in his Unit everyone in the facility should be safe. Well, as safe as you can be sitting on a nuclear warhead surrounded by monsters.
There was a knock at the door, and Agent Yorman called the person inside. “Ah, Mr. Winchester! I'm Agent Joseph Yorman. I see you have something for me. Place the folder on the desk and take a seat, please.”
Dean looked over the man on the other side of the desk. The Englishman couldn't have been more than Dean's age, and despite the slender build, he seemed to be in fairly good shape. Curly blond hair sat angelically on his head while blue eyes peered at the hunter from behind his glasses. The agent looked like he should be selling books or teaching in a lecture hall, not protecting the Earth from all manner of craziness. Then again Dean learned long ago that appearances could be deceiving.
“You are here because I like to meet the new agents before I send them off base, and in your case, as you are apparently being fast-tracked by Major Sampson, that is especially important for the safety of this mission. I make the teams that go bring in potential SCP or check in on the ones that can't be moved to a facility and must be contained at their location. This detail involves the latter scenario. While you have no field experience with us, according to your file you have more than enough familiarity with the supernatural that we are giving you the chance of skipping on-site SCP watch as part of your training. If what your file says is right and you've stared down the devil himself and lived to tell about it, you don't need to be hanging around here with the new recruits learning how to speak Latin. You will be leaving in 48 hours for Brighton, England. In the interest of maintaining secrecy and because as a new agent you only have a level 3 clearance at this point, you will be debriefed on what we are tracking when we arrive at our destination. Do you have any questions for me?”
“Just one. I wasn't told how long my training will take since I figure I'm still on probation here as the new kid on the block. When will I be allowed to take my own assignments?” If he was being fast-tracked, maybe there was a chance that Dean could get out sooner than expected with the Spear. If he could only get outside and away from the wards, he could call Castiel to retrieve him and the relic before they knew he was gone.
The other agent was pleased with what he perceived was Dean's eagerness to get involved with the SCP. “Chomping at the bit, eh? I like the enthusiasm. Naturally, you are not allowed to leave base without being assigned to a team, especially at the beginning. Can't have the new boys defecting if they don't like the job and talking about what they've seen. Once you have completed training and have proven yourself to be loyal to the Foundation, you'll start to be assigned your own cases and create your own teams to go off base. For agents, training takes at least three months of field work, but any chance of off base activity with your own team starts after a year if you're tapped to lead one.” Joesph noticed the quick flash of panic in Dean's eyes. If the man hadn't been trained in observation, he would have missed it. “Once you're in the Foundation, it's like the movie Men In Black. Your old life outside is in the past. The only difference is we're not fiction, and you get to keep your name.”
Dean's mind was racing. What the hell had he gotten himself into! How was he supposed to get the Spear and escape? Three months was a long time. It would give him a great chance to learn the place, but he was in the middle of a glacier in Canada. It wasn't like he could just walk to the nearest camp and ask for a lift if he was being monitored all the time. Castiel better have a plan B for this scheme or he was so screwed! He tried not to let his anxiety show further as he sat back and smiled easily at Agent Yorman. “Well, I have a little brother out there, and I would like to talk to him again sometime. We kind of left on bad terms, you see. I guess a year isn't too bad for radio silence. It might be long enough for him to cool down.”
The other agent nodded with a chuckle of his own. “I have a sister like that. Stubborn as a blindfolded mule in a snowstorm. By the time I saw her again two years had passed, and she had gone from thinking I was an annoying prat to a long lost beloved brother back from the dead. You'll see, Dean. Once the higher ups know you're dedicated to your work, you'll be able to reconnect with your family again.”
Dean was surprised by the unexpected pep talk from the Englishman. However, it still didn't make his situation any easier to solve. “Well, that's the only question I have, other then what do I need besides a change of underwear and a toothbrush.”
Joseph handed over an envelope. “Your orders are in here. They have itemized what you are allowed to take with you. Everything listed is needed, other than the field kit that you will be provided once you reach your destination. Good luck on your first assignment, Agent Winchester.” The senior agent held out his hand. Dean stood and shook it before he left the room. For such a dangerous place, the people seemed pretty decent. Then again, it was only his second day on base.
Suddenly the halogen lights flickered, and a high-pitched frantic beeping sounded in the hall. The door to Joseph's office opened and the agent stepped out as he pulled a sidearm from its holster. “Containment breach. Something's escaped its cell, Agent. Stay with me, do as I say, and you'll get through this just fine.”
“With all due respect, sir,” Dean said as he drew his own gun, “I've handled a lot of bad shit. I should be all right.”
“The stuff we keep here makes demons look like kittens, and as far as we know none of them can be killed. Until we know what's escaped, stay with me and keep quiet.” The tone of Joseph's voice had gone from cool and calm to cold and sharp. He was in no mood for show-offs, no matter how much alleged experience they had. The sirens continued their shrill beeps as they stayed low against the wall and crept down the hallway. Joseph slowed at the corners and checked the mirrors before he would motion to Dean that it was safe to continue. After several corners, the agent suddenly stopped and froze. He pointed two fingers to his eyes, then pointed up to the mirror; look up there.
Around the corner and at the end of the hall a figure pulled itself from a shadow on the wall where the lights had failed. It's maniacal eyes and lurid grin made Dean's breath catch in his throat. A gruesome head pulled away from the wall, followed by its ancient rotting body which seemed to taint its surroundings and made the very walls corrode from its touch. A shaky leg stepped onto the floor, followed by another before it started to stalk down the right hallway. After a moment the agent let out a breath along with a curse. “Damn it, I hate that thing. Dean, watch our surroundings. As you saw, it likes to emerge from walls. Given half the chance it'll pull it's victim back in with it, and if that happens you're considered MIA. No one survives that.” They could hear gunfire ahead of them and Dean cursed his luck at not having a chance to test his Glock. An untested firearm was always a crap shoot. “Do bullets do any damage at all?”
The agent shook his head. “It's more of a deterrent. We can wound it, but that's all. It'll disappear into a wall before more than a few shots are...LOOK OUT!” Joesph pushed the other man out of the way. Dean heard a yell as he bounced off the wall, but when he turned to see if Joe was all right he found himself alone in the hallway.
All that remained was a rust colored stain on the ceiling where Agent Yorman had stood.
Chapter 5: 4
Author's note: This creature is a sadistic, messy thing. The link for SCP 106 is at the bottom. I'm a huge horror fan, and this creeped me right out. Regardless, he's one of my favourites, and I had to put him in this story.
Dean got up quickly, watching all around him as he made his way towards the sounds of the other agents. Apparently, the now missing agent Yorman had yelled loud enough that they were running towards him.
“I heard Joe down here!”
“Sounds like he was with someone.”
Dean made his way slowly around the corner with hands up to keep the others from shooting him. “Agent Yorman's gone. Whatever the hell that thing was, I think it pulled him into the ceiling. We have to get him out of there.”
The other men went silent. One flipped open a cell phone as the others kept an eye on the surrounding walls, floors, and ceilings. “Major? Yes, it's Agent Jameson. It's 106 again, he's breached containment. Yes, we've already set the bait in the new cell sir, but it took Agent Yorman instead.”
Jameson listened to the phone and the men started to move down the hall. The sirens continued their incessant warning cry as a soundtrack to their march. Everyone tried to stay away from the shadows as much as possible. Dean noticed one of the agents he met earlier in the hallway was with them and he bumped the other man's shoulder. “Walt,” he whispered, “What bait are we using here?” Walt looked grim. “Human. We use D-class. You know, the death row guys? SCP-106 usually goes for men between 18 and 24. It don't usually go for anyone older, but why it took Joe...”
“Shit! Move!” Dean yelled. Hands reached out from a shadow cast on the wall by a chair and grabbed at Dean's jacket. He slipped it off and lunged away from the decrepit form as it pulled back quickly into the wall with an enraged shriek. Dean ran to catch up with the team. The ungodly wails seemed to continue on in another area nearby until Dean realized that the cry was not of rage, but of agony.
Before Dean could take off in the direction of the cries, a guard rounded the corner at full speed. He stopped short before colliding with agent Jameson and saluted. “Sir, the corridors have been cleared of staff. We have added more bait to the cell to see if that'll bring it into the enclosure.”
“Good work. Stay with us until the SCP has been contained.”
More bait? Were they using another poor son of a bitch? This was insane! “What about Yorman?” asked Dean. “Are you sure we can't get him back?” Agent Jameson cast a hard glare at Dean. “Son, once people get pulled into whatever place that fucker pops out of, they're gone. If they come back at all, they're like corn dolls; dried up husks that still blink and breathe but dead within the hour. This thing hunts for sport, not for food. We secure them in a new cell that'll hold off corroding for a while, then wait until the bastards get out again.”
“That's it? You just wait until they escape? There's nothing in this place to kill it!?”
“What, you think you know something that we don't, rookie?” Jameson growled. Dean met the glare and nodded. Another shriek echoed down the hallway; it was getting closer and was nowhere near the pain-filled noises of the two injured and terrified convicts. It definitely wasn't heading towards the bait. The thing seemed to want to hunt instead, and the prey was the small group of agents crouched in the hallway intersection. The men took off again, watching each other's backs with growing worry as it seemed that the normal containment procedure may not work after all.
Dean looked beside him to Agent Jameson. “I'll need salt, iron, silver, holy water, the goddamn kitchen sink of sacred shit that you got here.”
“We have an angel,” said a voice from behind him.
Agent Jameson spun around to see who leaked that high-level information. No rookie should know about that! The agent looked at the blood-flecked man in the lab coat. Haunted eyes stared back evenly at the agent; clearly, he didn't care who knew, not after whatever he had seen had painted his lab whites like a crime scene. “Its behavior has altered, Agent. It's not going for the bait. We brought in the second man, and it's not working. It...took my lab partner. Slashed him open with its claws from throat to groin, then it...reached into his guts and pulled him into the ceiling by his spine. Jesus, I don't know if I'll sleep again after seeing that.” He took a breath to steady himself as another shriek echoed down the hall. “If the angel will help us, then we should use him.”
Dean, along with the rest of the small group was stunned. An angel? The hunter wondered if they really had managed to capture Gabriel after all.
The Agent in charge took a moment to consider the idea, then flipped open the phone and dialed. “Hello, Major? Jameson again. The bait isn't working. It's been suggested to use SCP 1829. I'm requesting authorization to retrieve him from containment. Wait. No, one of the scientists leaked the intel!”
One of the men grabbed at the doctor to pull him away from a rapidly growing patch of rust on the floor, but it gave way before he could move. The doctor grabbed for the guard and instead of hoisting the doctor free, the guard ended up being pulled in along with the other man. A malevolent cackle erupted from the gash in the floor before it sealed tight.
“Major, 106 just took two more men. We need the angel.” Jameson said into the phone. They were down to three agents now; Dean, Walt, and Jameson, as well as a lone guard. The alarm had ceased it's shrill beeps and the lights were starting to short out and flicker, causing shadows to appear and disappear without a pattern. There was nowhere to run. A second later Jameson closed his phone and started down the left hallway. “We have permission. The room is this way.”
Dean's heart clenched in his chest as the quartet ran full speed through the labyrinth of corridors towards the cell where the angel was contained. Did they really have Gabriel? Was it someone else? “Who do you have sir?”
“The angel won't say his name, Winchester,” replied Jameson. Dean prepared himself when he caught a glance at who was beyond the glass in the door. His breath caught in his chest at what he saw.
Gabriel looked awful. The archangel's angry red skin on his arms and hands was a horrible contrast against the white room and the gray hospital clothes he wore. Dean remembered seeing Castiel when he had fallen from Heaven near the end of their battle with Lucifer, but Gabriel looked beaten and about to fall over. Something here was draining Gabriel of his strength, and Dean started to wonder if any of them would get out of this situation alive. “You know this angel, Winchester?” asked Jameson.
Dean nodded. “We have history.”
“You sure he'll be up to this?” Walt asked as he looked through the glass. “He ain't looking so hot, Dean.” Jameson was grabbing the mobile angel containment unit from beside the door. Dean could see the Enochian etched into the glass, and knew instantly why Gabriel couldn't leave, and why no other angel could see in. The Foundation really had done their homework on how to keep a pet angel. Dean turned to Walt and shrugged, trying to keep his poker face in place. “I don't know, Walt.”
A scream sounded down the hall from behind and Agent Jameson turned to Dean. “You think he'll help you?”
“Let me put it this way, sir. The first time I met him he tried to kill me. The second time he killed me over and over in a Groundhog Day movie scenario just to prove a point, and the last time he took on Lucifer to my sorry ass...and lost.”
“Flip a coin, sir. You'll get better odds.”
Agent Jameson cursed silently, then shook his head and swiped his keycard in the lock.
Chapter 6: 5
“Well, what's this? You guys going to torture me with Christmas Carols today?” A voice croaked as the four survivors entered the room with the unit. Jameson shut the door behind them. As Gabriel looked at their faces, when his eyes reached the eldest Winchester he seemed to collapse inward. “Et Tu, Deano? You've joined with this merry band of assholes? I didn't think you hated me that much, not after risking myself for you and your brother. Which, your welcome, by the way.”
The hunter didn't know how he should feel at seeing the angel again. There was anger there at the countless tricks he pulled on Dean and his brother, but he was also happy to see him alive. The dick did take on Lucifer near the end of the fight and that kind of made him a member of Team Free Will, even if Gabriel was a late-comer to the battle. There was also sadness at seeing the archangel and former trickster reduced to this neutered state. It was like seeing a lion in a small wire cage, unable to roam free as nature intended it to.
"He's kinda chatty, isn't he?" whispered Walt to Dean. He nodded back, broken from his thoughts, then took a step towards the angel. "It's a long story, Walt," he replied. Dean bet that Gabriel would appreciate him not letting slip the angel's name to the group. Names were powerful things, especially in summoning rituals. If they knew the name of the archangel, Dean was betting they would use it to control Gabriel. No group, especially one that uses people for monster bait, should ever have that much power. "I think you can guess why we're here, shorty," The hunter said to Gabriel.
"Yeah, my spidey senses were tingling. I could feel what was happening out there. So someone let the 'Old Man' go AWOL from his cage, and now you want me to clean up your mess, right? Well, as you can see I haven't been feeling very well lately."
"What happened to you?" Dean could smell the holy oil that had recently been extinguished to let them all in the room. The cinnamon odor was practically burning his nose. Who knew what the long term exposure was doing to Gabriel? Whatever it was from the looks of things it wasn't good.
Gabriel pushed himself up to stand and picked at his examination gown. "I lost a fight, kid. Why? Do you actually give a crap about me for a change?" There was no way he was going to let his poker face slip and let Dean see the relief Gabriel had felt at seeing him again.
Agent Jameson butted in before Dean could answer. “Enough of this, Angel. Men are dying out there. Are you going to help or not? If you are, get in the Unit.” Dean shot a glare at the other agent. If this unit had anything to do with why Gabriel looked like crap Dean would shove Jameson in it, rank be damned!
Gabriel considered the scene, and the sudden anger pouring off the Winchester. If Dean was going to pick a fight with the big guy over little old him, then maybe he should try to see what he could do for the mutton-head of a hunter. Besides, the creature stalking the halls was way too dangerous to be loose, especially with such a piss poor way of how they were containing the damn thing to begin with. Gabriel stepped between the two men, and gently pushed Dean back before looking at Jameson.
“You won't need that sideshow cart. All that residue from the holy oil you guys insist on burning has messed me up for flying. I doubt I have enough juice to escape if I wanted to. I'll give it a shot, but I'm not promising miracles, bucko.” Gabriel moved past them towards the door. Dean followed and stood behind him while Agent Jameson swiped the card in the lock and let them all out in the hall.
Gabriel moved to stand in front of the men. “Stay here gentlemen. I got this.”
“So where do I fit in with your plan?” asked Dean. The hunter started moving down the hall but Gabriel took his arm to stop him. “Sorry kiddo, it's just us big boys playing in the yard today. You're staying back here with the others.”
“Like hell I am! You don't look like you're in any shape to do this alone.”
“Aww, you do care!” Gabriel batted his eyes at Dean to tease him, but the man wasn't going to be distracted by an angel with a weird sense of humor. “There's no way you're going out there by yourself. This is what we're going to do. I'm going to use myself as bait, then you're going to gank its ass before it pulls me into wherever it comes from.”
“Are you nuts, Dean? You're not a piece of cheese for a mousetrap! I can't guarantee on getting you back if you get pulled into its dimension!” As if to punctuate what Gabriel said, the lights shut down at the end of the hallway. It was now or never.
“Like that's ever stopped me before.” Dean smiled, then looked at his arm. “You can let go of that now if you want.”
Gabriel dropped his hand, and Dean thought he saw the angel blush. “Maybe you're right. Being bait is a stupid idea anyway,” said the man. Then he ran as fast as he could into the dark.
When Dean was halfway down the unlit hallway he stopped; Gabriel caught up with him seconds later. “You moron! Get over there with the other kids or you're going to get killed!” The angel pushed at Dean but the hunter was having none of it. “You're going to need bait. The thing likes the taste of long-pig, remember?” Dean looked up at the ceiling. “Come and get me you bastard! I'm finger licking good!”
There was a snort of laughter beside him from the archangel. “Nice to see you haven't changed, kiddo.”
“Missed me, eh shorty?” Dean was kind of glad Gabriel was beside him. The angel said his mojo was depleted but Dean knew Gabriel could deal with this and save the day. That, and Gabe may be a pain in the ass but he still had an awesome sense of humor if his tricks were anything to go by. Dean looked around as his eyes started to adjust to the dark, but missed the almost fond smile on the angel's face.
“I missed you like your bro misses having 'the clap'.”
Dean laughed. “I'll tell Sam you said hi...” Dean felt them before he saw the hands that grabbed his shirt and yanked him sideways into the wall, and the world went dark.
“No!” Gabriel panicked as he watched the dimensional rip close almost instantly behind Dean. He barely contained himself from using his own fingernails to scratch at the brick to get to the man. The other agents ran up to where he stood; Jameson's face set in stormy rage at the disappearance of another agent under his command.
“Where's Winchester?!” he demanded. “So help me if you planned this...”
“You'll what, Agent? Kill me? That won't get him back. Dean's lost on a different plane of existence. The only way to reach him is for another rift to open up. Now, since you geniuses stole my sword I guess I'll have to do this bare handed. I'm going to sit here, and you three are going to head back to my room. If you're smart, one of you will have my sword ready for me if I make it back. Radio whoever you have to for back-up. I'll return if I win.” Gabriel rolled his shoulders, then sat down on the floor near the place where Dean had disappeared.
“And if you don't succeed?” Said one of the other agents. Gabriel could hear the slight shake in his voice. Poor guy was probably never going to sleep again after today.
“Fuck if I know, buddy. Abandon ship?” Gabriel replied with a shrug. Agent Jameson shifted for a moment, unsure as to whether he should stay, or follow the angel's plans. With a roll of his eyes and a muttered 'fuck it' under his breath, he ordered the remaining men back to Gabriel's cell and shut the door. The resounding silence became thick in the angel's ears. 'Father, please let this work!' he silently prayed. At this point, he was willing to try anything.
Gabriel sat alone in the black of the hallway and tried to calm his racing thoughts. Each time he stilled his mind to concentrate all he could think of was Dean. His smile, his laugh, his jokes, and his care for people he didn't know. There even seemed to be a sign of concern for Gabriel himself, and the angel suppressed a self-depreciating chuckle at this. Yeah right...the Righteous Man gives a shit about the angel turned pagan. He must be going insane from loneliness if he was looking to Dean Winchester for company.
The harsh breathing in his ear snapped him back to reality. Shit, he really should have been paying attention! He fought the urge to turn and attack the thing breathing wetly on his neck.
The thing smelled of rot, disease, and the promise of madness.
“Angel, come play with me...” it hissed in his ear.
“Game on, you freak. Winner takes it all.”
The thing cackled in Gabriel's ear and dragged him through the wall into its world.
If the thing thought that Gabriel's abilities had been diminished to nothing because of his captivity, it couldn't have been more wrong. Gabriel played at being defenseless and allowed the vile monstrosity to believe it had the upper hand. While the angel didn't have his sword, he did still have his skill in combat and used it to break free from the creature's talon-like fingers.
The dimension was infinite. It was similar to spelunking without caving gear, but in a chasm where the walls were made of vomit and one-way mirrors that looked into a multitude of different rooms. Gabriel found that if he thought of going in a certain direction his surroundings would shift around him instead of his body moving through space. It was a strange way to think, but out of necessity, Gabriel learned quickly how to master it. The fiend's howls were hammering in his skull, and here it clearly had the upper hand. His only hope lay in the assumption that if the creature preferred to keep his prey in this area, then Dean would be close. The angel looked around frantically, reaching out with his senses as much as he could before he remembered the sigils on Dean's ribs that hid the hunter from him. Gabriel cursed his luck as the cloying scent of decay and bile of his surroundings threatened to overwhelm him.
Finally, he detected it; the distinct energy signature from a human. Working with half a hope that it was Dean, Gabriel followed it to the source. To his surprise he found two bodies, both alive but mummified in a way that their facial features were unrecognizable. It was as though the creature had given both men a face made of paper mâché. Father only knew what the rest of their body was like.
Gabriel bet that because one of the men's energy signature seemed closed off to him then Dean was in front of him. Grabbing both figures by the arm he hauled himself up and willed himself away from the area. Gabriel felt the surroundings shift as he searched the so-called 'walls' of the chamber for any sign of a rift. Out of the corner of his eye, he heard the muffled shouts of that damnable Agent Jameson, and Gabriel 'moved' as fast as he could towards the source. “Hang in there boys, I'm taking you home.”
Before he could reach the rift, the monster appeared again between him and his way back to Earth. It screeched at Gabriel and the men he was hauling, and the angel could have cried with relief when he felt them both flinch. At least they were still alive, which made Gabriel more determined to get them back to the base. With a yell he did something that the creature did not expect; he barreled towards it. The angel figured that with its prey always running from it, the last thing that fucker would expect was for someone to head towards it!
They shot through the other side of the rift and landed hard on the concrete floor of the base. The impact made the angel lose his grip on the two men as he landed on top of the creature. Before he had a chance to panic, someone pressed the angel blade into Gabriel's hand.
The rest happened so fast that if Gabriel wasn't an archangel he would have no idea how he was able to pull it off. One moment an agent, maybe Jameson himself, was giving him back his sword, and the next moment the angel had stabbed down; straight into the heart of the abomination. Gabriel willed the grace he could spare through the blade and into the foul thing, feeling great satisfaction as it exploded.
The resulting black ichor rained down on Gabriel, Dean, Agent Yorman, and Jameson. The angel slid the sword up into his hospital shirtsleeve and pulled himself towards the two men he rescued. He grabbed for the one that he felt was worse off, and willed his grace to heal the tissue damage to the body he held. Somewhere in the background, Jameson was calling the others for a medic. Gabriel let go of Joseph Yorman when he was sure the man would live, and sure enough, the papery coverings of his face were breaking off to reveal new skin underneath. Before lingering too long to watch, he moved to the other and after giving the form the same treatment. He could have wept when he saw that under the horrific mask the creature gave the man was Dean's face. He was unconscious and dehydrated, but alive.
Gabriel didn't even know the tears were on his cheeks before gentle hands pulled him back and helped him up. Richard Jameson said nothing but instead picked up 1829 when the angel's knees gave out and carried him back to his cell.
Chapter 7: 6
It had been two weeks since the breach with SCP-106. The word on the base was that it had been neutralized by 1829. Dean found out about it when he finally woke up from his coma. The doctor talked about it as though it were a recap of the Superbowl.
“I guess that Scip took a shine to you, Agent Winchester. He looked pretty upset that you were taken. Saved your life too; both you and Yorman. All four of you barreled out of the wall like you were shot out of a cannon, then as soon as Jameson gave that Scip the sword he stabbed down and 'boom'! 106 burst like a wet bag of garbage!”
Dean decided that the doctor clearly needed to get out more. “'Scip', Doc?”
“Oh, sorry Dean. I forgot you're new here. Scip is slang for an SCP subject or object. We don't go around calling them SCPs since that term refers to how we contain them. However, not all of us are privy to the number system, and even less on what we keep here. So, they're just generally referred to as Scips.” The doctor said as he checked Dean's IV bag.
“Huh, that makes sense, I guess. So, ah, doc...how's Yorman?” Dean watched as his IV bag was replaced with a fresh one. Doctor Marcus seemed to calm down at the question. Clearly, Agent Yorman didn't fare as well as the hunter did, judging by the sober expression.
“Joe was worse off than you when they brought you both in. He's still in a coma, but he's faring pretty well considering how long he was in the rift. Usually, when someone disappears in there they're 'MIA'. Joe was in there for over 40 minutes; by all rights, he should have been dead. Whatever your Scip did not only saved his life but made sure that he wouldn't spend the rest of his days looking like an Egyptian mummy. You too, from the looks of things. Although it sounds like your Scip didn't fare so well...” The doctor looked around quickly before he lowered his voice. “Agent Jameson carried the Scip back to his cell. One of the other agents said 1829 collapsed. None of the lab techs know what's making him sick, but he's not getting better. You didn't hear that from me, agent. Got it? Thought you'd want to know since he saved your bacon.”
“Yeah...thanks, Doc.” Dean swallowed hard. His guess was that taking out that fugly living bog-man thing had done a number on Gabriel. If he was still being exposed to holy oil on a daily basis, chances are he wasn't going to get any better. The angel didn't deserve this, especially after he not only saved Dean's life but another man that Gabriel didn't even know.
The doctor took the swallow as thirst and brought a cup of water with a straw to Dean's lips. At that moment Major Sampson decided to make an appearance at the curtain. “Hello Agent, it's good to see you're awake.”
Dean tried to sit up and failed, so he settled for a salute instead. The Major nodded at the attempt. “At ease, Winchester. You're not in the military. You're also going to tear out your IV if you're not careful. Doctor,” the Major looked over at Marcus, “I need to speak to Dean about his mission off base.” Doctor Marcus nodded with a promise to return and check on Dean before dinner. Once Sampson was sure that they were alone he closed the curtain.
“Dean, I'm glad to see you're alive. I've been assured Joseph will pull through, but as you can imagine, this changes your first assignment. We will be offering you both a Class-A amnesiac if you wish it, so you don't have to remember what happened. I prefer those working for me to stay sane, and sometimes removing traumatic memories from an incident is the best way to achieve this.”
Dean nodded, “Thank you, sir. You've seen my files, though; you know I've been in worse places than wherever-the-hell I was. Besides, I was unconscious for the most of it, thank god. I didn't wake up until an hour ago.” The Major smiled at that, apparently relieved. Dean was starting to wonder how many men and women they lost to 106 before Gabriel had killed it.
“That's good to know, Agent. I'll send in the scientists handling the file for 106 to debrief you on your experience, even if you say you can't remember much. The information will be invaluable if in case, god forbid, we run across another one of those things again. But I'm going off topic here. Dean, you're no longer on the off-base mission. As of this moment, you're sole duty is to care for SCP-1829. You will be responsible for making sure that his wounds are treated, and that you report all your conversations with the agents and technicians assigned to him. Because you will be attempting to gain the entity's trust, you will not be present when he is removed from his enclosure. I think it goes without saying that associating you with positive experiences will help foster this bond.”
“Sir, are you wanting me to make friends with 1829” This is just getting weird, Dean thought. Yeah, Gabriel saved him, but now they wanted him to be all buddy-buddy with the guy? The tests and interviews were probably revealing nothing, so they were guessing and getting a bit desperate. The hunter didn't like it; Dean didn't betray those he was loyal to and they were asking him to do exactly that. From Gabriel's unhealthy appearance to Dean's new 'mission', it looked more and more like the Foundation believed they were above the Geneva Convention or any moral code. Hell, they used prisoners as live bait for 106, and knowing the chain of command Dean knew that it had been approved by Sampson. The SCP Foundation and Dean were playing for the same team in hunting monsters and saving people, but their methods were almost as sinister as Gordon Walker, and that guy was nuts! Dean needed to get himself and Gabriel out of there, fast.
The Major nodded at Dean's reply, “Exactly, Winchester. Your interactions with the entity will be recorded. That way if it should give you some information about itself or why it is here we will have it on tape. When you are clear to leave Medical, you will have one hour to clean up in your quarters before you report to Dr. Lefton for instructions. Do you have any questions?”
Yeah, do you guys have any morals at all? Dean wanted to say. Instead, he went with “No questions, sir.”
“Excellent. Oh, and good luck, Agent Winchester.”
Five days after Major Sampson gave Dean his new mission, the hunter was released from Medical. An hour later Dean swiped the keycard to Gabriel's room and waited for the green light to signal that he could enter. To say his nerves were strung was an understatement. Dean couldn't place a finger on why he was feeling anxious about seeing the angel again, but he figured it had something to do with having to befriend Gabriel in order to betray his trust. It just didn't sit well. If anything, Dean figured that Gabriel would be able to sense the deceit from the get-go, the angel being a former Trickster-god and all. Clearly, Dean was going to have to do something creative to make the Major happy. If Dean was really lucky, maybe he could find out something useful to get both Gabriel and the Lance out of there. He could imagine that Sam was climbing the walls as he wondered what was happening to Dean during this forced radio silence.
The lock disengaged and Dean opened the door. Gabriel sat in his recliner as a laugh-track sounded from the TV he watched. “The lab guys said that an agent was going to be in to give me a sponge bath and interrogation session. I didn't know it was going to be you, chuckles.”
Dean's steps faltered for a moment at the sight of the angel. He was a mess. Gabriel sat there bare to the waist with the hospital gown by the recliner, his skin mottled and angry in appearance. Dean once had a rash break out on top of the worst sunburns he had ever experienced. He figured that might come close to what the angel was feeling. It looked like it would hurt just to move.
“That's one nasty diaper rash you have there, buddy.” Dean tried to joke, but his heart wasn't in it. He couldn't make light of this situation; it just sucked all around. The hunter shrugged out of his suit jacket and laid it over a nearby chair before he rolled up his sleeves. There were some towels and two large bowls of water on the table. He had been told that one contained holy water to cleanse the wounds, and the other was distilled water for rinsing the cloth. Just in case Dean forgot which was which, the lab techs had helpfully labeled the bowls for him, but he knew that with the ever-present residue of holy oil anywhere this wouldn't heal Gabriel so much as keep the damage to a minimum. Dean mustered a smile on his face and patted the other chair with his hand. “All right, feathers. Let's do this.”
Gabriel glared at Dean, then pushed himself up off the recliner. He was glad Dean was all right, but the guy could have at least said thank you for saving his life. He took a moment to be sure of his balance before walking, then bit his lip as he made his way over to where Dean stood. He saw the look of sympathy in Dean's eyes and his step forward, and Gabriel scowled like a wet cat. “Don't help me, Winchester. I got this.”
Dean nodded. Sometimes one had to fake being strong just to feel a little bit of control. God knows how many times he had to do that in his lifetime. When Gabriel sat down they both let out a sigh of relief. The hunter reached for a soft washcloth and dipped it in the holy water before gently dabbing it on the angel's shoulder. Gabriel flinched, then relaxed as the water started to clear away the residue from the burning oil.
“You know, I never got a chance to thank you. For saving my life.”
Gabriel continued to look ahead. “You're welcome. That's two you owe me, by the way. And before you ask, the first one's for taking on Lucifer by myself.” Well, I think I underestimated Dean, thought Gabriel. It seems he isn't as much of an ingrate as I pegged him for.
Dean flicked Gabriel's ear lightly in response. “Hey! I've saved the world a few times. I think we're even.” Play it light, Winchester. Try to get him in a good mood.
“Joining your little crusade got me killed, genius. What makes you think we're close to being even?” Gabriel tried to turn around to face Dean and hissed as his skin pulled. The man pulled his hands away for a moment to let Gabriel settle, then resumed cleaning off the residue. The cleaned areas still looked red, but they no longer had a cinnamon taint to it. The towel was definitely going to be a permanent shade of reddish brown after they were done. When Dean was sure that Gabriel had calmed down enough, he answered as honestly as he could. “I saved Kali for you.”
“All right, that's half of one.” Dean could see Gabriel's cheeks widen slightly from behind. The angel was smiling, and that was a good start. It also made something clench in his chest that he wasn't about to address. That feeling was going in the 'repression box' he had in his mind. Dean rinsed the cloth out in the distilled water, before dipping it in holy water and starting on the other shoulder. Gabriel sighed and shifted in his seat from the feel of the cloth scraping against his skin. “How's the other guy?”
“He'll be okay. I'll tell him you asked about him when he wakes up.” Dean replied.
The angel nodded carefully, “Tell your friend if he wants to thank me that a box of chocolates goes a long way in saying he cares,” he smirked. Hey, at least he could try to score free sweets out of the whole mess.
“I'll be sure to pass that along. Who knows? He may actually do that if he can clear it past your entourage in lab-coats.” said Dean. They lapsed into silence after that, lost in their own thoughts as the man worked methodically and carefully on Gabriel's skin. At the start of his task, Dean was pretty uncomfortable with the whole idea. It's not that he hadn't done this before; when he was a kid caring for his younger brother was automatic for him. He would bathe Sammy, make sure he was fed, clothed, and cleaned up any scrapes the kid had acquired over the day. Now obviously Sam didn't need Dean to do that as an adult, but sometimes a hunt went wrong. Sam might have his back scratched up from a particularly angry poltergeist and would need the wounds cleaned out. On a few occasions, Dean had been beaten to hell and back and it was Sam that had to tend to his injuries. Dean and Sam looked out for one another both during the hunt and afterward; that was just how they operated.
Dean decided he would look at this the same way. Gabriel had been hurt and needed a bit of help, just like he would take care of Sam after a bad hunt. Dean could wrap his mind around that and almost be in familiar territory with it. The only problem that Dean failed to foresee was that familiarity didn't breed contempt in this situation. There was a little part of Dean's subconscious that was enjoying this. The task was quiet, methodical, and an odd blend of gentle and sensual that he usually saved for trying to impress a late-night conquest instead of giving an archangel a fucking sponge bath of all things. But that was Dean's life; it was weird, and when it wasn't bizarre enough his brain would find any way to crank the crazy up to eleven.
There was only so much Dean could do with Gabriel sitting in the chair so after a time he motioned for the angel to lie down on the bed. Getting Gabriel to remove his pajama pants wasn't a problem; in fact, the angel seemed to get some sort of kick out of Dean's embarrassment, and the hunter's insistence that he would not look away from the ceiling until he was sure Gabriel was face down on the bed. Finally, he signaled to Dean that it was safe with an “All right, you spoilsport. But you missed quite the view.”
Dean rolled his eyes, then pulled over the table and his chair before he re-wet the towel in holy water. “I think I'll get over it, shorty.”
“You're loss, Deano.” Gabriel turned his head to look at Dean. It reminded the hunter of a lazy cat sunning himself on the floor. The golden eyes watched him carefully; his body seemed relaxed but Dean knew that they were waiting to see what the human was up to.
Gabriel, not being one to beat around the bush when he got bored, got straight to the point. “They sent you here for a reason, and not just to be some sort of eye-candy for me. Whatever they want to know, their old games aren't working and they think a familiar face is going to get it out of me. So what do they want, kiddo?” Before Dean could reply, Gabriel held up a finger to quiet him. “Be careful what you say next. I'll know if you're lying. I may not have my strength, but I still have a few tricks up my sleeve.”
Dean nodded; the Major was going to kill him, but there was no other way. Besides, telling the truth may make Gabriel more co-operative then trying to con information out of him. Dean's consciousness silently cheered at the moral victory while he rinsed the towel. “They want to know things, like your name. But you're no 'Rumpelstiltskin'; I can't con you into anything. I know you'll tell us when you're good and ready.”
“They're going to be pissed at you for letting me in on their game plan.”
“Maybe, but they put me in with you for a reason, and that's because I already have a 'working relationship' with you,” Dean replied as he started on the legs. He was really trying not to think about the wiry muscles under the cloth. Come on brain, stay up in my head here!
“They make it sound like we worked a few shifts at McDonald's flipping burgers together.” There was a note in Gabriel's voice that made Dean think that the angel was on to him. The man kept his head down and stayed focused on his work. “Something like that. But like said, no one's ever going to find out anything about you unless you want to give it up. If I get reprimanded, fine. They can try something else and see if they get farther ahead.” Dean looked up despite reason telling him not to. Instead of a teasing smirk, he saw a calculating expression, but there was also a warmth in the gold eyes that he didn't expect to see. The angel broke into a wide grin as he came to some sort of decision.
“Well Deano, since you've been so honest, and because I like you,” Gabriel wiggled his eyebrows, “Go ahead and ask me something. But I get to choose whether or not I answer.”
Dean gave it a moment, then broke into a grin of his own. “So how many seasons have you seen of The Big Bang Theory?”
“Really?” Gabriel laughed. “That's it? I thought you were going to ask me something more serious, like how I ended up here!”
“Would you have told me if I had asked?” said Dean.
“For those mutton-heads recording this for posterity? No. But, even if we weren't being watched I wouldn't say. It's too important, and I'm a firm believer in plausible deniability. If anything got a hold of you and got the information out of you somehow, we'd all be screwed.” Gabriel sighed, his good mood gone again. “It probably doesn't matter, though. If you're working for them now, I'm never getting out of here.” The angel turned his face away from Dean and stared at the wall covered in sigils.
Dean suddenly wished he could let Gabriel in on why he was with the Foundation and give the angel a bit of hope. However, as Gabriel had pointed out, 'Plausible Deniability.” They couldn't get any information from the angel if he didn't know it to begin with.
Dean wrung out the washcloth in the rinse water, then wet it again in the other bowl. “You know what?”
“Maybe I should just tell them to call you Emo, or Edward.”
Gabriel's head turned to look back at the hunter. “You do that and I'll make it that every time you step in the sunlight you sparkle like a pretty little princess crown. Can't go hunting monsters when your skin glitters like a New York pride parade.” Gabriel smirked. “Although, it might look good on you, Agent.”
“Careful now. Those guys are recording everything. They may think you're flirting with me.”
“What if I am?”
“What?” Dean's hand stilled on the small of Gabriel's back. The angel laughed as he saw Dean go as still as a rabbit caught in the high beams of a car. “Gotcha! The look on your face, Dean! You're all 'oh no! My masculinity!'”
Dean grumbled, then with his eyes closed he motioned for Gabriel to roll onto his back.
Dean was dreaming.
It was one of those dreams where there were no images; only sensation. He couldn't see who he was with, but oh he knew the body so very well. The skin was soft and tasted of spun sugar at a carnival. As he trailed his kisses lower on the torso he could feel hips roll impatiently underneath his own, and hear a voice like amaretto, sweet and smooth.
Dean's hands found their way to their mark easily enough, feeling up the peach-fuzzed thighs until they found their goal. They stroked and teased and the voice sighed out approvals and pleas and'Dean, Dean, Dean!'
He knew his lover was close and the overwhelming need to taste drove his head down to catch the warmth that flowed over his hand as the voice whimpered above him. Dean's tongue worked to get the last traces; savoring the essence that went down easy like honey and the best damn apple pie in the world. His hips pressed down eagerly as a gentle hand carded through his hair. So close... almost there...
Dean woke with his shorts sticking to his groin in a way that hadn't happened since puberty. Gabriel's name was on his lips and the angel's bedroom moans rolled through his mind.
He knew without a shadow of a doubt that he was well and truly screwed.
Chapter 8: 7
Dean knocked on the door to the Major's office. If he had a hat it would be in his hand, as the person who told Dean he had been summoned looked like the hunter was headed for the gallows instead of an office.
“Enter,” called Sampson from the other side. Dean took a breath, steeled his nerves, and strode in with all the confidence of a man who had faced down Death several times and lived to tell about it. However, he was pretty sure Major Sampson couldn't be appeased with a deep dish pizza from Chicago. “You wanted to see me, Major?”
“Sit, Agent Winchester.” The Major didn't look up from the file as Dean took a seat. If that was the report on his last two weeks with Gabriel, then this wasn't going to be a friendly visit. Actually, Dean was surprised he hadn't been called in sooner; his time with Gabriel had revealed nothing of use to anyone. The only information Dean had gotten out of the whole situation was that his dreams hated his guts and cold showers were becoming a normal thing. Dean never really had an issue with gender when finding someone for the night. He preferred female company, but once in a while, he would go back with a guy if he had a particular itch that needed to be scratched, so to speak. Angels were uncharted territory and Anna didn't count; she had still been human at the time. With these dreams, meeting with Gabriel on a daily basis had become more and more uncomfortable for Dean, and there was no outlet here for him to take the pressure off. The personnel kept him so busy on the base that at the end of the day he collapsed exhausted into his bunk.
Yet those three hours with Gabriel were the highlight of his day. The rest of his time was in the paranormal and supernatural science labs, answering questions for the lab technicians. What those guys didn't know could fill a book, but what they did know would have stuffed a library to capacity. Not that the hunter was going to clarify all their inquiries about the supernatural, but Dean was more than glad to clear up any bad information for them. Anything related to Gabriel, the Spear, and angels in general were off limits. However when it came to the run of the mill metaphysical evil like vampires, werewolves, and ghosts Dean was glad to provide his take on the things. Dean was starting to find that having his brain constantly picked for solutions was starting to get on his nerves. Handling information was more Sam's speed, and just thinking about his brother brought a wave of homesickness in Dean. He stamped it down along with everything else he had been feeling and waited for the Major to look up.
Finally, the man behind the desk acknowledged the hunter’s presence with a glance and a nod. Dean wasn't surprised to find Sampson's expression was as neutral as Dean's own best 'poker face'. “So Winchester, it seems this debriefing is a bit overdue. As you can see I've been getting your reports, as well as the ones from the lab handling 1829. They've been saying a few interesting things. You and 1829 are getting quite close, am I right?”
Dean kept himself relaxed. He had to underestimate what the Major read so he didn't give himself away. “Yes, sir. You asked me to become friends with 1829...”
“Yes, Agent.” Interrupted the man. “And you certainly have achieved that. More than that, from what I'm reading here. It seems some of the technicians observing the sessions tend to think that you're starting to become very comfortable with this angel and he seems to be playing off that, even encouraging it. Now, we don't care about orientation here; that's for politics and we work above any government or religious organization. Personally, I don't give two shits about where you stick your dick as long as it doesn't interfere with the job. Sometimes, it's the only way to get the job done. I'm sure you've heard stories about Procedure 110-Montauk? We can order personnel to keep silent, but there's still the rumor mill. Let me assure you, Winchester, that all the unpleasantness of Montauk is true.”
Dean's stomach threatened to rebel as his jaw clenched at what the Major was saying. Surely he wasn't recommending...
“I can see by your expression that you're thinking we're going to tell you to do exactly that. You're wrong, Agent. That's not needed here. The protocol which doesn't officially exist except in rumor only, as you well know, is an extreme case. Also, the FBI called you a lot of things but a sexual sadist wasn't one of them. What I want from you is to continue with what you're doing. Keep him interested. You may think that we're not getting anything out of him, but he'll slip. The Foundation is patient, Dean. From the look of him your angel may not have all the time in the world, but in this case, we do. Keep pressing him on where his sword is, and what his connection is with the Lance.”
Dean kept his voice as even as he could. He could not blow this chance now to give Gabriel a break. “About that, Major. Is the holy oil really necessary? I mean, with all the angel-proofing on the walls, ceiling, and the floor, he's not going anywhere. The residue coating his skin is toxic to angels. I've never seen one contained this long in burning holy oil. Wiping him down every day is just slowing down the effects. It would go a long way in getting him to trust me if we get rid of it.” If there was ever a moment to help Gabriel heal enough to escape, this was it. Hopefully, the Major would take the bait and Gabriel could start to heal and they could both leave with the Lance. Alone neither Dean or Gabriel had a chance in hell of getting themselves and the Lance out, but if they teamed up they might have an edge. At least, that was his hope.
The Major leaned forward in his chair, his hands clasped on that damn file. “Do you see what I mean, Dean? You care about this thing. His well-being has gone beyond being your job; you want him to get better. Maybe well enough to break out. I've seen the Florence Nightingale Effect before. I've had to terminate a few Agents because of it, and I don't mean giving them the pink slip.” The major let this information sink in for a moment before he continued. “I will keep the holy oil lit. We're in no danger of running out if that's what you're going to suggest next. You get his name, and why he was here for the Lance, and anything else that's useful before he becomes too incapacitated. If we should encounter more angels in the future, we need to be prepared. The Foundation already suspects that the humanoid entity dubbed SCP-001 near the junction of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the Middle East is an angel. I will not tell you why it is under surveillance; you do not have the clearance for that information. However, with 001 and 1829 both being angelic according to the definition by Abrahamic religions, it would be foolish of us to think that there wouldn’t be more out there. I do not know what kind of angel 1829 is, but that is where you come in. You need to find this out for us, by any means necessary.”
Dean could feel his cheeks hurt from how hard he was clenching his jaw. It was taking everything he had not to punch the man, grab Gabriel, and run; to hell with the Lance. But even if they got out the fact that they were on a glacier in the middle of the Canadian Arctic was a cold reality, and Dean couldn't guarantee that Castiel would come in time before he froze to death with an incapacitated Gabriel in tow.
“Agent Winchester, did you hear me?”
“What? I mean, yes Major?”
“I said you're dismissed.” Sampson was studying him like he was one of the creatures they kept here. Dean nodded, got up, and headed off to the labs. He had to act normal. If the Major started to suspect that Dean was planning anything, he wouldn't just be in trouble. He would be dead.
After Dean left, the Major picked up the phone and dialed the leader of the team responsible for overseeing 1829. “Doctor Lefton, it's the Major. Yes, I had Agent Winchester in our office. I have made him aware that we have observed a closer relationship between him and the angel, and that he should encourage any romantic interests between him and 1829. No, he doesn't suspect that we have anything new on 1829. Winchester has been informed that we have time to wait for 1829 to respond. However, Dean has two days to get either the angel's name or his reason for trying to take the Lance. After that, we will start using Dean as leverage to make the angel cooperative, is that clear?”
Chapter 9: 8
Dean enjoyed hanging out with SCP-073, also known as Cain. That's what the man called himself, and the hunter had no problem with letting the guy keep his secrets. Walt and Andrew warned Dean not to ask Cain about his metal arms and legs, or the strange tattoo on is forehead; apparently, Cain became upset whenever anyone mentioned them. He also couldn't remember how he got the metal appendages to begin with, so it was a moot point anyway. However the tattoo seemed more personal, and Dean could respect that. From what Dean was able to gather about Cain from the two agents, he was a resident 'Scip' who had the special privilege of walking free on the base because he was useful and enjoyed helping the staff. Cain was a genius when it came to linguistics, especially dead languages. His odd mannerisms, polite and soft speaking voice, and almost alien gestures reminded Dean of Castiel to the point where the hunter would actively search him out during lunch and sit with him. Even with Cain's Middle-Eastern heritage, his piercing blue eyes made Dean do a double-take as though his brain were hard-wired to equate that eye color with his celestial friend.
Cain was a frequent visitor to the labs where Dean worked, especially if the hunter was trying to make sense of an old manuscript that was close to making his eyes bleed. However Cain would refuse to touch anything written on paper, papyrus, or anything that, as he described, had 'come from the soil'. Apparently organic matter would decay as though it were in a fast playing time-lapse film. Thankfully Cain had warned Dean before he made the mistake of passing the strange man a copy of the Egyptian Book of the Dead where the incantations were known to summon the god Anubis. A quiet “that would be a bad idea, Agent Winchester,” reminded Dean so much of his angel friend on the outside that if he hadn't have been looking at Cain he would have sworn Castiel was right beside him. So yeah, even if Cain made Dean homesick sometimes, it was the closest thing to normal Dean could get during his day.
Cain had heard of the angel that was on base and that Dean was 1829's caretaker, but that was all he knew and Cain refused to ask any more questions out of respect for Dean's discretion. The hunter wanted to tell Cain Gabriel's name and pick his brain about what the man knew about the angel. However, given the ease in Cain's willingness to please, Dean couldn't run the risk of their conversation being repeated to Major Sampson, even if Dean swore Cain to secrecy. So when Dean showed up at the lab looking like he would kill the first person to say hello, Cain figured it had something to do with the angel. Dean was very grateful for Cain's observational skills, but if there was ever a time he needed to brainstorm with someone it was at that moment. There was no Sam and no Castiel to turn to for any ideas on how to get out of this mess; Dean was on his own.
In hindsight, Dean knew he should have trusted his instincts and told his paranoia to take a break for once. He was also so preoccupied with his thoughts, his so-called 'mission', and Gabriel's care during the visits to the cell that it never occurred to him to ask the angel about the blue-eyed man with the weird marks tattooed on his forehead.
“You've been awfully quiet today Dean...ow! Stop scrubbing at my shoulder like it's a frying pan!” Gabriel could see that the human was moody, and he guessed it had something to do with the meeting Dean said he had to go to that day. From the serious look on Dean's face, it looked like it hadn't gone well.
“I made the suggestion that you would get better if they turned the pilot light off in here. They didn't like the idea.” Dean wrung out the cloth, but he was much more careful when he reapplied it to Gabriel's shoulder. The angel gave a small smile to Dean; the guy was trying, both at taking care of him and in what he hoped were the hunter's plans in getting them both out of there, but there was only so much the human could do. Gabriel's wings were astral and could not be seen by the human eye. Dean had no idea that Gabriel could barely fly now; of the six wings, only his largest two still had feathers. The secondary pair were nearly bald and the smallest pair resembled cooked turkey wings at Thanksgiving. While the holy oil residue coated his skin and the resulting damage resembled a chemical burn, the energy given off by the flames that contained him was interacting with his true form in a way that was similar to how radiation worked on humans. If he couldn't get out before he lost the ability to heal himself, it was going to kill him.
“You tried, kiddo. That's what counts. Though, you still owe me one and a half favors.” The angel tried to joke, but Dean wasn't paying attention. Something else was bothering him that day and it wasn't about turning off the lit holy oil. “Hey, Dean? It's okay. What you're doing, it helps. I can heal a bit before that crap gets all over again, and that makes a difference.” It was true; usually by the time Dean left his skin looked less red-orange and angry, and more like a light sunburn. It gave Gabriel a small window of time to use his grace to heal some of the effects to his true form. The work Dean was doing was extending his chances at surviving long enough to escape. Gabriel had to hold onto a small shred of hope in any form and try to remain positive, but both were slipping away quickly. If the angel gave into despair then he would give up trying to figure out a way to free himself and then he would truly be doomed.
Dean nodded, but worked on without responding. He just bit his lower lip in stubborn refusal to engage in conversation with Gabriel, and it was starting to piss off the angel. It was also making him bored. Between the two states boredom won over and the angel decided he had enough of Dean brooding like his Yeti of a brother Sam. Gabriel was still on his belly as Dean finished with the lower back. Usually at this time Dean would ask the angel to turn over so he could check the damage on his front side before washing off whatever residue was on the skin. Once, he had asked him why Gabriel couldn't wash his front by himself. The human clearly looked unhappy with the idea, as though Gabriel was making Dean do it just to give him a hard time. Without a word, the angel picked up the towel Dean had used; the one that hadn't been rinsed. The skin on Gabriel's hand turned red and raw so quickly that Dean had to dunk Gabriel's hand in the holy water for ten minutes. Dean rinsed out the towels much more frequently after that, and never asked the angel to handle them again. He had also stopped scowling and even seemed to accept the situation they had both been forced into. Dean would tell some of the funnier stories of hunting with his brother and a few of the prank wars they had. Gabriel would share his own tales about his days as a trickster and even gave a few suggestions to Dean about what he could do to Sam to up the game. Seeing Dean sulk was disappointing and annoying, and the angel was not going to let it continue on.
So Gabriel lay face up on the towel after the one he was laying on had been changed out. They learned the hard way about not doing that when Dean had to redo all the work Gabriel's back after he flipped over. The angel sighed as Dean carefully cleaned his arm down to his hand and with each finger. Then Gabriel gave a satisfied 'hmm' when Dean started on the other arm after he finished with the first one. When the angel outright moaned as Dean stood over him and wiped down his chest with the cloth, the hunter gave him a glare that could have made a seraph cringe. Gabriel's grin widened; he wasn't blind. With a quick flick of his gaze down he could see that this was having a certain amorous effect on Dean. Truthfully it felt good, both in how the water cooled his searing skin, and that despite looking like hell warmed over he still could turn someone on, especially Dean. It flattered the angel. It also made Gabriel wish that he actually looked like he used to and that he had his strength back. He wanted to show the hunter what he was like at full power, and to wipe that frown off his face. He wanted to make Dean as happy as Gabriel was whenever the man walked into the room, because the human had the uncanny ability to make the angel feel better no matter how crappy or tired Dean felt.
It was that last thought that made the cat-ate-the-canary grin slip on his face. This was turning into something other than a game to pass the time until he got out of here with the Lance.
“What is it?” Dean's voice broke through Gabriel's musings. He still sounded irritated, but the glare was gone and replaced with one that was more like concern than being merely annoyed. “Am I hurting you?”
“Nothing, kiddo. I'm just thinking.” He watched as Dean snorted and resumed work on Gabriel's chest. “Don't hurt yourself, shorty.” the man smiled. Gabriel stuck his tongue out at the human, but inside he was grinning. He got Dean to laugh...kind of.
“So, someone mentioned an interesting thing to me today, about something called the Florence Nightingale Effect. Is that like Stockholm Syndrome?”
Well, Dean was full of surprises today! Gabriel watched Dean's expressions to see what he was up to, but the hunter's face showed nothing but concentration on his task as he gently worked on Gabriel's stomach. Of course, that didn't mean Dean was asking an innocent question, and the angel's mind was definitely not in virginal territory as those hands moved lower. Gabriel decided to play along. “Well, Dean, when someone takes care of an injured or sick person the caretaker may fall in love with the patient, even if the patient is in a coma. Stockholm Syndrome is when someone's being held against his will and falls in love with his captor...” Oh shit! Those bastards! Gabriel grabbed Dean's wrist and the hunter looked up. He seemed to wait for something; an answer to a question he would never ask. “Look, Dean, you don't have to worry, okay? I wouldn't put it past them to plan for both of us to play the roles,” and boy didn't THAT sound like a speech he had given before in regards to Dean saying yes to Michael as a vessel! “We don't have to fall for it. Fuck 'em, right? Wait...no, that word shouldn't be used in this context.”
“No, that is the word for this situation. And you're right; we don't have to.” Dean dropped the cloth down on the cart and grabbed his jacket. “We're done. You're not going to give me anything today.” Dean grabbed the cart and headed for the exit. He swiped the card on the pillar before the ring of low-level holy fire, and was let out of the room without so much as a look back.
Gabriel watched him go as he lay on the bed and partially covered with a towel. Despite Dean's visits having been a daily routine for several weeks, this was the first time the angel felt exposed. He threw off the towel covering his lap, then removed the larger towel he was laying on, something Dean had never let Gabriel handle because of the risk of recontamination. Gabriel ignored the fresh hospital clothing on the nearby chair for after his bath. Instead, he wrapped the bed sheet tightly around his body before he lay still on the mattress. His hands burned from where he had touched the scant drops of oil on the towels, but he paid them no mind. Something else hurt even more, and it had nothing to do with the holy oil. The cameras recorded no more movement from the angel for the rest of the day.
The D-Class worker had been assigned to that creepy theater mask's room out of punishment. It was a highly hazardous job, as that thing had mind-control abilities. It could turn people crazy. But Bill had been an A-1 asshole to the wrong agent and now he had to check the chamber for 'integrity' or some shit. How was he supposed to check for something that he himself didn't have? Despite being called stupid, the irony wasn't lost on him.
No, you're not stupid, Bill. You're the only one they've let in here more than once. You're special.
Damn right he was special. He hadn't gone crazy yet.
That's right. You do a better job than anyone else watching that creepy mask.
Exactly! If Bill's own conscience could recognize his work ethic when all his life he had been told he had been a slacker, then here was proof. They let him come back to the mask. The creepy mask.
The truth was Bill found it pretty relaxing in the cell. It was quiet, and he could hear his own thoughts for a change. It allowed a man to think.
It made him wonder about trying the mask on. If you can do it fast enough, Bill, they can't hurt you. That mask has special powers. It'll make you like Superman. Then they can't touch you, and I can get you out of here Bill. I promise. I'm your only friend in here, Bill.
Bill was close enough to touch the mask. The last person who had recently taken it out of its container for testing had left the box unlocked. Bill was sure the mask had done that; subconsciously planted the idea in one of those prick agent's minds to leave it unlocked, just for him. Because the mask was waiting for Bill to rescue it.
I have been, Bill. I've been waiting for a special man like you. Please help me.
Who was Bill to say no to 'please'? Quickly he flicked the latch, opened the box, and put the mask on. Bill could hear shouting and could hear the hiss in the air as a fast acting neurotoxin filled the room, but it was too late. The toxin dissipated, and Bill grinned as he stood unaffected in the room. The mask was on, and it wasn't ever going to come off.
Wait, it definitely wasn't going to come off...it felt stuck...and his mind...it was... Bill didn't have a chance to scream before his consciousness was completely erased and taken over by 035.
Ahh...that's better. 682, do you feel like getting some fresh air? The door opened and Bill's body was riddled with bullets, but as soon as the rounds hit the flesh the holes healed. The Mask effortlessly put up a psionic shield to protect himself, and to keep those pesky bullets from hitting his new 'ride'.
The unholy laughter that telepathically returned from the Beast was the perfect soundtrack as the man formerly known as Bill ripped the guard's head clean off with his hands.
Chapter 10: 9
Everything went according to their plan. After 035 had erased Bill's consciousness and hijacked his body, the Mask made it's way down the hall towards 682's containment cell. Nothing stopped the body 035 was using to get him to his goal; he deflected bullets easily, and the guards bounced off his invisible shield without so much as a dent in Bill's skin. At the door, there was a last feeble stand by the humans to keep him from the unkillable reptile. With a muffled laugh 035 snapped his fingers and the six men exploded.
Bill's hand reached down to grab a gore covered keycard, and with a quick swipe 035 entered the cell. The Beast made its way over to 035, plucked the Mask from Bill's face with its talons, and watched dispassionately as the body slumped to the floor before he placed the ceramic grimace on his own face. With a rumbling laugh, 682 launched through the door and out into the hall where reinforcements were ready with their rifles. The Mask delighted in the ensuing chaos. If 682 wasn't running his claws through everything and everyone in their path the sight would have almost been comical. It allowed the carnage, letting its new companion get out his aggression as it directed the Beast towards the offices.
Easy now, my friend, Thought 035 to the beast. Save one for questioning. We have to find the Lance, remember?
Don't take me for an idiot, pal. The Beast replied back in its mind. Their friendship was not born of trust, but mutual need and they both knew it. The issue of a power play was not far from their minds. Despite the agreement that the Beast would get the Mask out of the building, it was a game of chicken. Someone would flinch first, and that could easily change the plans. For now, the Mask and the Beast cooperated until either one could find an opening to exploit.
The Beast tore through the line of guards that were set up to fire on sight as though they were paper dolls. The last of the men he saved, grabbing him by the throat and lifting him high against the wall with a massive paw. “Vermin, do you know where I can find the Lance of Longinus?”
The sour stench of urine met the senses of both 035 and 682. Feh! This one is useless! Thought the Mask to its companion. Perhaps he'll lead us to someone who will know. Place me on him so I can see his mind. Remember my friend, when you do he will be invulnerable to your attacks. Do not be so foolish as to give up the protection I offer if you betray me. You're only unkillable in theory, and the mongrel humans know this. Don't let their moniker for you make you think otherwise just because they're not smart enough to have figured a way to destroy you yet.
The Beast 'hmphed' his unhappy agreement. He severed the strap of the man's helmet with a scrape of a talon, flicked off the headpiece, then placed 035 on the guard's face. The man shrieked as the Mask rummaged through the guard's thoughts and memories without a care of the damage it was causing. Before brain damage had completely set in the Mask had found a tentative lead; Major Sampson.
I have our answer. Kill him and let's be off to find this Sampson. The Beast returned the Mask to his face and with a quick flick of his wrist, the talons sliced through the guard's neck. With a final wuff of disgust at the corpse 682 turned and off they went, the Mask guiding its charge down the corridor towards their new target.
Dean was angry. It was the perfectly crappy end to a perfectly crappy day. Why the fuck did he even entertain the idea that Gabriel...
Fucking Florence Whatshername. Fucking Sampson and his plans.
Dean was more upset with himself and how he had left the room. It had been a bitch move that a teenager would have done; he had practically flounced off in a huff like a chick. The boys going over the session’s footage would get a good laugh out of that show. To top off the whole girly scenario he had just dropped on his bunk with a sigh that would have done Sammy proud. Dean wished for a beer, anything to take the edge off. He had been sober for over a month thanks to this 'job', and while his liver was certainly happy with him Dean did not like thinking when he was sober. Situations like this called for drink, preferably strong liquor, and maybe a night passed out in a motel somewhere. To Dean, this mood without alcohol was generally known as a pity party, and that was Sammy's territory.
Goddamn did he miss his brother! That line of thinking wasn't helping Dean at all. Just out of sheer childishness a part of him wanted to leave Gabriel there. But that wasn't who he was; Dean killed monsters and saved people. Gabriel wasn't 'people', but then again Dean would do anything to help Castiel if he was in trouble, and Cas wasn't human either.
Who was he kidding, it didn't matter what Gabriel was. Dean couldn't leave without him.
The sirens blared in the room and Dean nearly fell out of the bed from the noise. What the fuck was going on now?
Someone opened the door and walked inside, calm as though there wasn't an alarm sounding in the base. When the man shut the door and turned around Dean saw that the normally unruffled Cain looked concerned. A worried Cain meant bad news.
“Cain, buddy? Wanna tell me what's the racket?”
“Dean, do you know of 682 and 035?”
Dean nodded; regardless of rank everyone knew of 682. The Unkillable Reptile as he had been nicknamed was notorious for being, well, unkillable for one in only that he was virtually indestructible. Nothing man-made or any known supernatural weapon could destroy him and he would heal any damage inflicted on it, no matter how severe. He was also an evil fucking thing that took absolute joy in killing anything he came across. 035 was just as bad, but for a much more sinister reason; it used paranormal mental abilities to control its prey like they were puppets. God knew what it wanted to do but Dean guessed it wasn't for the benefit of the planet. The hunter's body tensed; not looking forward to the rest of the news. “Hit me with it, Cain. What's going on?”
“682 is wearing 035 on his face and they're out looking for something. I heard it from one of the agents; they're on the other side of the base but they're headed this way.”
The Major was well aware of the situation in the compound. A hallway had been compromised before the alarm had been sounded. The entire base may not be aware of what was going on, but everyone would find out soon enough. His role was to stay put in the office for one reason only; someone had to make the call to 'sterilize' the area. Under the base were two nuclear warheads designed to trigger after the Major put in a set of codes, turned a key that unlocked a box, and pushed the big red button inside it. Sampson had been mentally preparing for this day since he took the assignment in the Arctic over a decade ago. He prayed that God would forgive him for the radioactive fallout he was going to unleash on the ice.
Down the hall bounded the nightmare from Satan himself. The Major gripped his right hand with his left, trying to still the shaking as he attempted to key in the code. He took a deep breath and punched in the seven digit code just as the door flew off its hinges.
“Hello, Major. I believe we have an appointment.” purred the Beast.
Sampson jammed the key into the lock and the box popped open. He raised his fist, only to be denied his victory at the last moment by a snap of a barbed tail against his head. The man's hand missed the detonator by inches as the Major fell to the floor, his head at a strange angle to the rest of his body.
Don't kill him you fool! Shrieked the Mask inside the Beast's head, but it was too late. They both knew that he had died on impact from the blow. The Beast growled, Don't you yell at me! I got you here, now find the damn Lance! What are you doing?! There was a quick mental battle, then the Beast's mind was absorbed by the Mask's consciousness. When they were linked 035 had time to access 682's weak points in his thought processes while the Beast was on a killing spree in the halls. The trick was seeing if it could overpower 682. If not, 682 could harness the Mask’s power of invulnerability while 035 was rendered catatonic. But the Mask had won, and its prize was a powerful body that it could use to carry the Lance and rule the world without that insufferable Beast in its mind. The reptilian maw smiled under the tragedy mask as it closed the lid on the box. There was going to be nuclear holocaust that day; just not before it found the Holy Spear.
“Do we know what they're looking for?” At that point the siren cut out, only to be replaced by a voice. The wet rasp of it almost made Dean wish for the return of the ear-splitting alarm.
“Attention, Base. This is your Master speaking. I am looking for a specific item; namely the Lance of Longinus. I know you insects have kept it here safe and sound for the day that I would rule this world. I am generously giving you 10 minutes to hand it over to me. After that, I tear this base apart. Don't fool yourselves; I will find it. You get to choose whether to die peacefully or at the hands of myself and all the monsters you have caged here. Have a nice day.”
“I thought you said there were two Scips on the loose?” said Dean.
“Two have escaped. Maybe something has happened that we are unaware of.”
“Good, because not knowing all the facts always makes this much more easy to handle!”
“Dean?” Cain looked completely out of his element, and somewhat cowed by his friend's outburst. Dean sighed; great, now he hurt Cain's feelings. “Sorry dude. It's not your fault. But we can't stay here. Master-Blaster out there is going to crack this place open like an egg if he doesn't get what he wants. I need to get somewhere, and you're going to come with me. I'm not going to leave you to face that thing alone.”
“Dean, I appreciate your concern, but I will be fine. You see, I'm actually...”
“Cain buddy, I know you're old and all, but I can't worry about you and try to stop that thing and...don't argue with me, okay? Please, just come with me.” Dean watched as his friend glowered for a moment before he finally acquiesced. “All right, Dean. I'll accompany you. Where are we headed?”
Dean opened the door and checked the mirrors in the corridor to see if the coast was clear. “We're going to see an angel about a spear.”
When Gabriel heard the sirens sound through the base he groaned and threw the sheet over his head. Perfect, this was EXACTLY what he needed now. The last time this happened he risked his butt to save Winchester and his pal from that screwed up dimension and its demon. Gabriel just didn't have it in him to get involved again. That, and whatever had escaped had a very, very dark energy signal. It had been two evil creatures, but they soon had merged and one had dominated the other. It wasn't symbiosis; the dominant one acted as a parasite and the lesser one its dormant host. When it used the base's PA system to announce its search for the Lance, a shiver moved through Gabriel that had nothing to do with temperature. The angel rolled out of bed and shuffled into his pajama pants. If he was going to save the world, he wasn't going to give a free show while he was doing it.
Gabriel turned to the camera and hoped someone was still monitoring the feed. “All right you clowns, let me out. I'll tell you everything you need to know if you let me get to the Lance first. If you don't, it won't matter anyway because none of us will be allowed to give a shit about anything if that monster has it before I do.”
The ring of holy fire extinguished a few moments later. Gabriel grinned triumphantly and headed towards the door as the green light flicked on. His grin turned to shock as he saw who entered the room.
Behind Dean was the last person he wanted on the base at that moment. “Cain?”
Chapter 11: 10
“What the hell are you doing in the Arctic? You were supposed to be in Utah!” Gabriel was dumbfounded. On top of getting out of there with Dean and the Spear, he had to deal with this guy as well? Why wasn't the angel aware of Cain's presence here all this time? He could have factored this in while trying to come up with a plan to escape! Now the whole situation had become much more complicated than before. “Cain, how long have you been here anyway? I should have known you were in this demented zoo from the moment I stepped inside!”
“Guys? What's going on?” asked Dean. The angel felt bad for him. Dean wore an expression of confusion, irritation, and exasperation that Gabriel found mirrored his own feelings on the situation.
Cain spoke up, catching Gabriel's attention away from Dean. “I came here not long after you were captured. I asked to be transferred from the base in Utah because they had some rare tablets they found in the ice here, and I wanted a change of scenery.”
“Cain, Hawaii is a change of scenery, not the fucking Arctic! I bet I couldn't sense you because of all the shit they were using to keep me here.” groused the archangel.
“Guys...” Dean tried to interject, but he failed; Cain spoke over the hunter as though he wasn't there. “What does it matter, Angel?” Cain pointed to the strange cuneiform marks on his forehead. “This guarantees my safety! Even you can't hurt me. Punishment is dealt out sevenfold on those who lift a finger against me because of God's judgment for my crime of fratricide, remember?”
“Wait, you're THAT Cain?” Dean's eyes widened at the news. The poor man had no idea that he had befriended the legendary Cain from Genesis. Gabriel saw a war of emotions play out on Dean's face from shock to betrayal and back to confusion as he tried to piece all the information together. Gabriel ignored Dean's question; Cain was not about to get away with insulting the angel here. “Oh, do NOT lecture me on Dad's plan with you. You're the reason I'm back! Or didn't you hear? Michael, your previous guardian archangel, is gone. So are Uriel and Raphael which means God had to resurrect one of his archangels just to watch your sorry ass! Guess who got tapped for the job? Me, Gabriel, that's who. Though Dad only knows why!” Gabriel could see that his name had an effect on Cain; the marked man backed down immediately out of fearful respect. 'Good, that's much better,' thought the angel. However, the cat was out of the bag in regards to his name. Well screw it then; Gabriel was tired of hiding his identity anyway.
“Time out!” Dean yelled, bringing his hands up to form a 'T'. Clearly, the hunter had reached his breaking point. “Let me sum this up. Cain, as in the same guy from the Bible, is under your protection.” He then pointed to Gabriel. “Something that only happening again because God resurrected you for the job?”
“Got it in one, Deano. Wow, you're pretty quick on your feet when you're not staring at my ass.”
That was a low blow. “Fuck you, shorty,” Dean growled at the angel.
“Oh really, Dean? Now you want to fuck me? I thought you had made up your mind that you couldn't 'get anything from me'!”
“You were the one that said that 'we were just playing our roles'! Or are you conveniently forgetting that part?” yelled Dean. Cain took the argument in stride. With the confidence of a man who knew nothing could harm him he walked between the two and stood between them to get their attention. “Not to interrupt a lover's quarrel, but should you not wait until later? By my counts, we have five minutes until it starts to search for the spear if it hasn't been already been given the relic.”
That sobered them up quickly. Dean swiped the keycard and held open the door for the others, then the trio crept out into the eerily still hallway. “Get me to the Spear and I'll tell you everything on the way,” said Gabriel. All that time spent arguing may have cost them precious seconds to save the world. Not for the first time, the archangel wondered what his Father was up to, and if he was paying any attention at all to this planet.
"Tic-Toc people! Two minutes until I try to find the Lance!” The PA crackled along with the hellish voice of the beast.
“I wish it'd shut the hell up.” groused Dean. “Are we close?”
They had been running as fast as they could since leaving Gabriel's cell. With the angel's injuries, the trio couldn't go as quick as they needed, but Gabriel was pushing himself hard despite the weakness of his grace and the unrelenting pain in his vessel. The angel had taken point, letting the presence of the Lance guide them through the corridors as it had when he had first broken into the compound. Cain followed, keeping an eye on the mirrors for any sign of the enemy while Dean brought up the rear of the group. They heard the noise increase ahead of them; Gabriel guessed that there was pandemonium in the base from agents and guards arming themselves while the civilians tried to find a place to take cover. Not that it mattered, they didn't have a hope in hell of getting out alive if they didn't make it to the Lance first.
“It's between us and the Lance. I can feel them both up ahead.”
“Oh, that's awesome,” Dean huffed. “I was afraid that this was going to be a piece of cake.”
That brought a small laugh from Gabriel. “I love your optimism, chuckles.” The angel was ticked off with the human but that didn't diminish his fondness for Dean. One fight wasn't going to spoil...whatever this thing may be between them. Hopefully, they would make it through this mess alive to figure out if there was anything truly there to build on.
The PA system gave a scream of feedback before its user spoke. “Two...One...Ready or not, here I come!” There was the sound of timber cracking and flying outwards against concrete followed by screams that were frightfully cut short. The Beast was loose and it was barreling down the hall ahead of them. Gabriel had to come up with a plan fast. Seeing the door in sight he grabbed Cain and Dean by the sleeves and pulled them into a utility closet.
“What are you doing? He's right at the door!” hissed Dean. Gabriel held a finger over the man's lips to silence him. He felt Dean's breath against his skin and tried not to get distracted from his planning. The human's breathing was quick and deep from running. Gabriel's imagination quickly supplied other situations where the man's lungs would do the same thing. Focus, Gabriel! he thought. “Dean, letting it get the spear isn't going to make it invincible. It'll only allow the Beast to enslave humanity. Now I have an idea, but it involves me and Cain. You're going to have to stay here,” whispered the angel.
Dean was nothing but predictable with his answer. “The hell I will! I...mmph!” If Gabriel had learned from watching movies it was that the most effective way of shutting a human up was to kiss him. The angel attacked the man's lips, regardless of Cain's feelings on being an unwilling audience. Dean struggled for a second before giving in as Gabriel gentled the kiss. It took another moment before the hunter joined in, his mouth opening to let the angel have access to play with Dean's tongue. With a frustrated moan, Gabriel reluctantly pulled away, ducking his head as Dean chased the angel's lips with his own in disappointment. He was surprised to find Dean's hands resting lightly on his waist. Gabriel allowed the man a moment to catch his breath again while he trailed his fingers along Dean's cheek, trying to memorize his features through touch in the dark. He didn't know if he would be coming back from this, and if this was Gabriel's only chance to indulge in what he wanted he was going to take it. “I'm sorry kiddo, there's no other way. Cain is the key in this plan, and I need you safe. I can't risk you, okay? You have to stay here so I can find you again.”
Cain was trying to ignore the scene in front of him. The bulb may have been off, but it was a small closet and there was light coming from under and around the door. Gabriel turned to the marked man. “An archangel assigned to protect Cain can tap into a lot of power, enough to wipe out whatever attacks him. The trigger is for Cain to be in harm's way. I'm too wrecked to do this alone, but if the Beast were to even threaten Cain's safety I'll suddenly have enough juice to take him out. When I tell you to run, you head back to Dean so I don't have to go looking for you both if I manage to kick its ass.”
“How do you know this will work?” asked Cain.
“I don't, Cain. It's just something I feel, like instinct. It must be something Dad put in me once he remade me to be your guardian.” Gabriel saw the faint silhouette of Cain nod as Dean cleared his throat and spoke. “Gabe, I'm no coward. I'm not letting you go out there alone.”
Gabriel smiled, then kissed the man again. He was starting to realize how addictive the taste of Dean's mouth had become to him and was saddened that only then he was discovering the fact. “You're not sending us to our death, Dean. You staying here will allow this to work. If he attacks you instead of Cain I won't be able to save you, and we'll all be screwed, okay? This is the only way. And with those angel-marks on your ribs hiding you from me, if you leave this place I'll never find you before my power gives out.” He saw Dean nod, then was taken by surprise as the man kissed him. “Just get your feathery ass back here in one piece.”
Outside the closet there was the sound of a heavy door being thrown hard against a wall, followed by a triumphant roar. Gunfire clattered then was silenced, only to be replaced with the wet screams of agony as the Beast tore through the guards and the agents. Gabriel nodded to Cain, then opened the door and stepped out.
Chapter 12: 11
Gabriel and Cain crept down the hallway towards the Beast, who wasn't hard to find with the amount of noise it was making. The angel made himself invisible to all but Cain and was thankful that only a tiny amount of his depleted grace was needed to do it. As they approached a hall they stopped and looked up at the mirror in the corner before they entered its reflection. The Beast was at the end of the adjoining hallway and coming towards them at a lumbering pace. It seemed as though the monster thought it could take its time to finish the job. Only hubris and confidence in its position could slow that thing down. The trail of gore it had left behind only heightened its pride and Gabriel was hoping to use that mistake to their advantage.
They saw the Mask sitting on the brow of the Beast, secured by means that they couldn't see. Gabriel guessed it was supernaturally attached and would probably be a bitch to remove. The sight of the Lance gripped in its powerful jaws made the angel cringe. It looked like there was no point in waiting for the thing to let its guard down. Gabriel tapped Cain on the shoulder, and they both walked around the corner to meet their fate.
Gabriel had kissed him.
Dean's thoughts were everywhere; on the threat outside the door, on what the archangel had up his sleeve, even on how many rounds he had in his gun, though it seemed unlikely that bullets would make any difference. However, his mind continued to circle back to that moment like a car trapped in a roundabout.
The angel had kissed him, and Dean had kissed him back. There was that rush of relief that the affection he felt towards Gabriel had been mutual, but there was also anger that they may never be able to explore it. The chances of them getting out of the compound alive were pretty grim.
The war's not lost until you lay down and die, Dean. Focus on what you have to do, not what might happen. The memories of his father's words always seemed to worm through and help him concentrate whether he wanted them or not. Even if it only succeeded in pissing him off, he would take the challenge of the advice they provided and start to strategize. It had saved his and Sam's ass on more occasion.
Still, Gabriel had kissed him, and as Dean rechecked the rounds in the gun for the fifth time he wondered if he would have the chance to do it again.
Cain rounded the corner and immediately caught the Beast's attention. It had seen the cursed man coming down the hall and stopped its lumbering to stand on powerful hind legs. The monstrosity reminded Gabriel of an angry bear if it had a long scaly tail, huge talons, and a tragedy mask sitting cock-eyed on the head of a mutant alligator. Carefully the Beast took the spear from its mouth and gripped the relic tightly in one of its massive paws. “Hello, brother-killer,” it lisped. “I didn't know you were here. Have you come to join me? Seeing as you're no better than a lab rat to the humans you are more than welcome to be an ally.” The creature idly picked at its fangs with a talon and wondered if the cursed man would fall for his trap. If the man said yes, the Beast would have one of God's mistakes as a pet until the monster tired of him and ate him. If no, then it would eat the man anyway. Win-win, as far as the Beast was concerned.
“No fiend, I will not join you,” replied Cain. Fury made his metallic fists clench and his mechanical arms shake from the nickname. “I may have killed Abel, and forever denied God's mercy for the crime, but I am still human.” Hearing this the angel beamed with pride at his charge. Way to go, kiddo! Gabriel cheered in his mind.
“Aw, why is that? Many so called humans kill their own kin all over this mud-ball of a planet, and yet you are singled out? How is that fair?” The cultured voice coming out of the abomination started to make Gabriel wonder who was really in control of that body. Was it the Mask, or the Beast?
Cain showed no fear and stood his ground, and Gabriel readied his sword. The monster would definitely not like that! “You mock me but I deserved my punishment, however severe,” Cain replied. “The difference between us is I still believe in redemption. I believe in atonement, and I believe in my humanity. You have none of these, and in my eyes you are no better to me than shit on the bottom of my shoe. You are not good enough for me to join ranks with, even if I wished to.”
The Beast bellowed and raised a massive paw to strike Cain down when Gabriel appeared in front of him and stopped the blow with his angel blade. “I figured you were dumb, but I didn't know you were that rock stupid.” Gabriel snapped. Already he could feel his almost-depleted grace tap into a flow of power like a switch had been thrown. He was filled with unbound joy at the energy that flooded his system, and a part of him was eager to test its limits. Gabriel realized he had to temper his excitement at feeling himself again for the first time in months. Despite the new-found power, he still had to win the fight and for that, he needed to focus.
The Beast stepped back and chuckled. “Ah, if it isn't God's little errand boy!”
“Back off, ugly. Cain is under my protection.” Gabriel smirked. The angel drew his blade back close to him as he dropped into a defensive stance. He could feel his wings arch behind him to protect Cain from whatever would come, regardless of the damage they had suffered. While they were invisible to mortals, the Masked Beast could see them clearly and the mess they had become. It laughed at the sight. “Oh really now? Look at your wings! I bet you can't even fly!”
Gabriel could feel his grin turn feral at the insult as the angel let the new-found feeling of confidence wash over him. He could sense the part of himself that was still a Trickster God come to the forefront of his consciousness, and it was spoiling for a challenge. “Nope, not really. But I can still fight. Now, Cain!” Gabriel felt the human leave him as Cain ran back to where Dean was waiting for them. The Masked Beast predictably moved to attack and Gabriel quickly intercepted, faster than even he could have predicted. The charge to his grace made him faster, stronger, and that was a great thing since it would take all that and more to take this bastard down.
“You can't hurt me, you foolish angel! I can heal any wound, and with this body, I can tear your wings off like the insect you are!” The thing crouched, its tail whipping furiously behind it as it readied to attack.
“Yeah, good luck with that,” Gabriel sneered. With a yell, he charged forward as the Beast pounced. In one of its outstretched paws, the spear glinted as it aimed the point for the angel's heart.
Dean was bouncing on the balls of his feet in the dark closet, growing more and more frustrated by the minute as time went on without any word from Gabriel or Cain. He knew he should try to trust Gabriel, but the plan had been built solely on hunches with little actual information to back it up. Dean hated feeling like his hands were tied, and even more, he despised being left back like a civilian or a little kid. He had never liked it when his dad left him and Sam behind to wonder if they would ever see their father again. With that thought in mind, Dean was just about to say screw it to Gabriel's order for him to stay put when there was a frantic knock at the door. “Dean! It's me, Cain!” The hunter threw the door open and dragged Cain inside the closet, then pushed the other man against the door when it shut behind them. “What's happening? Where's Gabriel?”
Cain's breathing was ragged from running and he tried to catch his breath. “Dean, don't hurt me and distract Gabriel.” Cain’s words worked almost like a bucket of ice water had been poured down the hunter’s shirt, and Dean backed off quickly with a muttered apology. Cain took a deep breath and Dean gave him a moment to calm down, despite everything screaming inside that it was taking far too long.
“He just sent me back. Dean, it has the Spear just as we feared. But when the Beast threatened me I could see Gabriel fill with so much power he glowed with it! Do not worry; he will win and return to us.” Cain said calmly. “He may be my protector, but it’s clear you’re on his mind the most.”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about! Besides, shouldn’t you be against that?” Dean hissed to his friend.
“You think I mind that you two are lovers?” Cain replied easily. “I've lived a long time, and you are not the first mortal to pair with an angel.”
“Stop saying that! We're not lovers, dammit! Just...friends, maybe. It's none of your business anyway, so stay out of it!” Dean was growing anxious and in that small closet, he couldn't even pace to burn off the extra energy. Cain's hand rested carefully on Dean's shoulder. He had no doubt that despite the protection Cain had, Dean was so wound up that his friend would punch him without a second thought. “My friend, you do him a great injustice to lie like that,” Cain said. “I was here, remember? There is barely any light in this closet and I could see, and hear, what you mean to each other.”
“What does it matter what I say, Cain? Maybe you've never seen an angel die, but I have. I've killed one of them with his own sword, and he was pretty damn strong! Gabe's sick as a dog, and he shouldn't take on that thing alone.” Dean hated feeling useless, and he fought the urge to shrug Cain's hand off of himself. What made it worse was that his friend was right. He was lying, and not just to Cain but to himself as well. He couldn't dishonor Gabriel this way.”
The hunter felt Cain remove his hand as he spoke, and his voice annoyingly became more positive than before. “Have faith, Dean. I've been threatened with death before and my Guardian has always been successful in removing the threat.” Dean started to believe that the other man resembled C-3PO more than Castiel with this congenial behavior, and it was beginning to get on his nerves. “But have you ever seen anything like this before?” asked Dean.
“I believe in Gabriel, and you should as well,” Cain replied. “He wasn't just God's Messenger, but a very powerful Archangel. His name literally means the 'strength of God'. He is a warrior and a holy protector, and not to be challenged to a fight. That Beast has no idea what he is up against!” the man was practically cheerleading at this point, but Dean knew when someone was dodging a question. “You didn't answer me, Cain.”
Cain went quiet for a moment. When he spoke again the confidence in his voice was somewhat shaken. “No, I have not seen something this powerful before, nor had a Guardian try to defend me when he was this wounded.”
With that answer, Dean made his decision. He would give the angel five minutes and if something didn't happen he would go out there and find him, promise be damned.
Gabriel saw the Spear thrust out towards his chest and moved quickly to block it with his blade. He parried it away from his heart and ducked as the Beast snapped its massive, fetid jaws in the angel's face. Dropping back, the angel held his wings close as he waited for the monster to make another move. If he could play offensive just a little longer to see how it fought, he might be able to find an opening.
“Are you getting tired, Cherub?” mocked the Beast. Gabriel smirked; if that was the best he could do as an insult the freak should stick with being an eating machine. “I was going to ask the same thing,” answered the angel. “You look a bit winded.”
“I don't think so. In fact, I feel like having wings for dinner.” The Beast growled and lunged again, trying to snap at Gabriel's blade hand to disarm him. The angel jumped back and kicked him under the jaw. “You gotta stop making jokes. You're terrible at them!” taunted Gabriel. He had noticed that it didn't like using defensive tactics; it was almost exclusively offensive, and when he tried to bite his limbs would extend back to compensate for balance which left the neck exposed. Gabriel was going to have to time a strike perfectly or he was going to be to be shredded by those teeth. The other problem were the telepathic attacks from the Mask itself. The angel had slammed down mental wards, but it was like a hornet buzzing in his ear in the way it distracted him. He couldn't let his guard down, either in his mind or with his body, and he didn't know how long the boost from the added grace would last.
The thing had finally decided to shut up and for that Gabriel was grateful. It was starting to crouch and Gabriel was thankful for his speed as the barbed tail lashed out over the monster's body straight at him. He jumped to the side and brought the blade down, slicing off the end of it. The fiend howled and within that sound, there was an inhuman scream from the Mask. Their link made the Mask feel pain, and that could give Gabriel an edge. The Beast reared back and roared, slashing angrily in front of him with the Spear. Gabriel continued to block as the Beast advanced, moving swiftly as the fiend picked up the pace. It was pissed and it was tired of playing games. Well so was Gabriel, and he was ready to finish the fight.
Suddenly there was a shot from behind Gabriel, and the bullet zipped by to catch the beast in the neck. The hole it created closed before a trickle of blood could be seen. The angel didn't dare take his eyes off the monster, but he could figure out who was the trigger man.
It crowed in delight. “Oh look, you're human's back, and he brought a friend! The worm really thinks that man-made weapons can stop me?”
“I could eat a bowl of alphabet soup and crap out a better threat than that, fugly.” Yes, there was Dean, just as Gabriel had thought and it sounded like Cain was with him. Gabriel was furious, but he also knew an advantage when he saw one. If Dean could hold its attention for a moment...
“I see,” said the behemoth. “Well, actions always did speak louder than words.” Gabriel dodged the snap of the jaws on the last sound but failed to see the limb swing around to deliver a roundhouse to his side. The angel felt the Spear puncture his vessel and he screamed as it slammed into his grace. The Lance couldn't kill him like an angel blade would, but that didn't mean it couldn't do damage. In the background, Gabriel could hear Dean's yell and the sound of more gunfire. But the all-enveloping laughter from the monstrosity began to echo in his head. The mental walls were breaking down and the Mask was getting in! Stuck like a carp on a fishing spear Gabriel twisted his body and plunged the angel blade deep into the hellion’s heart, then directed his power into destroying the Beast. The pain faded into the background as Gabriel hit the source and found that only the Mask was inhabiting the body of the thing. He funneled as much grace as he could through the blade towards the consciousness and was surprised at the resistance. Under the relentless onslaught of Gabriel’s boosted grace, the barrier from the Mask began to crack and splinter, then was finally annihilated along with the essence of the Mask itself. With no trace of the psyche of the Beast remaining, Gabriel gave a final push of grace and set the body on fire. It collapsed to the ground and roasted in the flames consuming it. The Mask, now a harmless piece of ancient plaster, cracked in the heat and crumbled to dust.
The Spear was still embedded in Gabriel's side when he turned to Dean and Cain. Still brimming with energy, the angel was experiencing the human equivalent of an adrenaline rush, and he stalked over to the pair of humans. His eyes were only trained on Dean and the man took a step back at what Gabriel guessed must have been an intimidating sight. Gabriel may not have been an avenging angel but he had carried out God’s wrath during his days as a pagan god. In short, the archangel was not one to be messed with. “What the fuck were you thinking, Dean! I told you to stay away!” he then turned on Cain. “And you! You were supposed to stay with him! Did you both lose your minds?!”
Dean approached Gabriel cautiously. Whenever his father had been angry at something foolish that he or Sam did during a hunt, the only way to diffuse the situation was to be rational and agreeable even if whatever Dean had done ended up turning the tides in their favor in the end. Dean would rather defend his decision as being the right call, but with Gabriel still on a power high the archangel was unpredictable and he decided to play it safe. “Gabriel, Cain’s fine, I’m fine, and you won. We’re all okay.” his hand reached out toward the spear. “Can I remove that? It’s kind of disturbing to see that stuck in you.”
When Dean called attention to the Lance piercing his side the ache intensified and Gabriel couldn’t hold back the grimace from the pain. He nodded and hissed as Dean’s hand bumped the relic as his hand took hold, then bit back a yell as it was removed with a steady pull back away from Gabriel’s side. The angel felt the blood of his vessel started to leak out of the open wound and found that he was having a hard time healing it. If they didn’t move quickly the boost to his grace would be gone completely and they would be trapped there. Gabriel suddenly felt Dean’s hand on his shoulder and he saw that the man’s eyes were full of concern from the sight of the blood and the way the angel was holding his side. “You all right there?” Dean asked him.
“Yeah, cupcake. Just peachy. We have to get a move on though or we’re going to end up staying for dinner.” Gabriel allowed Dean to hold him up as the angel took a hold of Cain’s shoulder.
“See, Dean? I told you he would win come back to you.” Cain reminded his friend.
“Yeah, yeah. Shut up,” he replied. Gabriel glanced over at Dean and noticed the slight tinge of red to his cheeks under the glower, and the angel smiled to himself. Now that he was out of his cell the angel was able to leave. There were no angel wards, no holy fire, nothing could stop him except his waning grace. He knew the staff of the bunker would eventually realize the lack of Armageddon in their immediate future and would come to investigate. Without another word he held on to the others and flew them all out of the compound.
Gabriel had underestimated how fast his grace would bleed out after the job was done, and how depleted it truly was. He would have been able to heal the damage to it from the stab of the Spear after a time, but in his weakened state, it was that final factor that determined their fate.
They crashed into the snow under the midnight sky several kilometers from Yellowknife. Dean and Cain were wearing nowhere near anything adequate for a winter night in the Arctic, and within seconds the cold was beginning to take its toll on them. Gabriel stretched his disfigured wings out over the humans but his ebbing grace barely protected them from the elements. Already their constant shivering was starting to slow as their bodies became numb to the cold. “Dean, I'm sorry,” Gabriel confided to him. “Please Dean, stay with me. I can’t fix this right now. You need to help me out here. Come on, stay awake!” It was maddening; the archangel could feel the elements even if they didn’t affect him, but he couldn't shield the humans from them. Cain would only slip into a coma until he was moved to a warmer environment to thaw; he would not die until the End of Days. But Gabriel's duty still called for him to protect Cain from the cold as much as he could, and that meant Dean would be sacrificed whether Gabriel wished it or not.
The angel watched Dean slowly open his eyes, the cold-induced confusion leaving for a moment as they focused on Gabriel's face. A small smile ghosted the man's lips despite the situation, almost as if through it all Dean was still trying to make Gabriel feel like everything was going to be okay. He watched in horror as the corneas of those green eyes turned red as they began to freeze.
“Castiel!” He was screaming out his brother's name both within his Grace and with his voice. The sound was lost in the wind and as Gabriel looked up at the northern lights he wondered if he was too weak for his brother to hear him.
The stars watched impassioned behind the curtains of white and green, and the angel despaired. Then, a dark blemish appeared against the aurora, quickly growing bigger against the backdrop of night.
Castiel dropped from the sky like a meteor towards them, and Gabriel lost consciousness as he gave in to his injuries and exhaustion.
Chapter 13: 12
Sam awoke to what could only be described as chaos.
He had been staying in Anchorage while waiting for word from Dean that he had the Lance. It had taken so long that once the cast was off Sam had found work as a bouncer at the local bar just to stay in the motel and feed himself while he kept watch for his brother's return. Meanwhile, Castiel would show up regularly and report that there was no sign of Dean around the compound.
This time when Castiel had unexpectedly appeared it was with three bodies and Sam was completely caught off guard. After nearly two months of nothing Dean was with them again and in really bad shape. Sam didn't have time to panic; he lunged off the bed towards his brother then took him carefully from the angel, and hissed as the temperature of his brother's clothes hit his bare arms. He rested Dean gently on the floor, his attention solely on saving the man’s life. Sam stripped his brother of his snow covered suit, then grabbed the blankets and thoroughly wrapped Dean's body before running to the bathroom.
“Cas, he's going to die unless he warms up!” Sam hollered to his friend. His mind frantically raced at what he needed to do. There was no time to check Dean's vital signs; he had to get his brother's temperature up. A small part of him realized that he didn't want to know if it was too late. If Sam could pretend that Dean's heart was still pumping then he could fix this. Sam's eyes were blurring with moisture and he bluffed himself into thinking that it was the steam of the water and not tears that threatened to betray his terror at losing his brother, again.
From the other room, Sam heard Castiel murmur, but his voice was too low to make out the words. He was going to ask the angel to speak up but was stopped by Dean calling Sam into the main room. The younger man quickly turned off the tap and rushed back to his brother. He noticed that Castiel was gone along with the stranger, and on the floor was Dean who was holding an unconscious Gabriel in his lap. “Sam, I need you to pick him up and bring him to the bathroom.” Dean directed him and the voice brooked no argument. As soon as Sam lifted the angel into his arms Dean was off; he threw on some clothes from his own gear before frantically searching for something in Sam’s duffel. Still groggy and confused as hell Sam could only do as he was told and brought Gabriel into the bathroom. It was a complete understatement to say the archangel was a mess. Gabriel was gaunt and his hair was frozen stiff, but his body... Sam could feel how cold and how dry it was. If he didn’t know better, from the feel of the angel’s weight and skin Sam would believe that he was holding a corpse. Sam had no love for the former trickster, but even he was turned off by the sight of the damage. The hunter didn’t have to wait long before Dean bolted into the bathroom with a rosary in his hand. It dawned on Sam that his brother was going to use it to make holy water in the bath, but for what reason, he had no idea.
“Sam, help me get him in the tub, okay?” Dean was already working on the angel’s only article of clothing, his hospital pants, without any thought of embarrassment on Gabriel’s behalf. As soon as the fabric was on the floor Dean eased the angel into the tub and grabbed a clean washcloth from the rack above the sink, and Sam was taken back at how Dean almost didn’t seem surprised by the revealed mutilation. After that, it was as though Sam was an intruder in the room as his brother focused completely on the angel. He noticed how careful Dean was with Gabriel, and how he almost had a method to how he dabbed at the raw skin with the cloth. It was like he had done it before, and many times at that.
When Sam saw Dean brush a strand of Gabriel’s hair off his face and his fingers linger on the angel’s blistered cheek, he decided that he wasn’t going to get any answers then. Over the course of the night, he heard the tub drain and refill over the next few hours, along with the sounds of quiet muttering coming from the bathroom. The entire time it was only the low, quiet sound of Dean’s voice that filtered through.
As the hunter drifted off to sleep in the antiseptic light emanating from the bathroom he wondered what the hell happened out there on the ice.
Dean remembered being on the snow and the agony of freezing to death. He recalled forcing himself to smile at Gabriel, the helpless tone of the angel’s voice ripping at him more then the wind and he wanted to make it better. He thought of the fearful golden eyes being the last thing he saw before his corneas froze and he blacked out.
The shock of being revived was quickly overshadowed by Gabriel slumping lifeless on the floor where Castiel had gently placed him. The angel had healed him completely, but he could not stay. He had to finish Gabriel’s mission and hide the Spear now that it had been found. Cain was also to be healed and hidden away now that Gabriel was incapacitated. Too much had to be done so quickly, and Castiel had to leave immediately. His friend had appeared completely stricken as he looked over at his fallen brother. “Dean, helping him requires power that I don’t have. Your injuries were nothing compared to his. The holy oil that has permeated his vessel prevents me from even attempting it; I could barely hold him long enough to bring him here, he is that tainted. If you can, please help him.” Dean nodded and called Sam into the room as he pulled the archangel into his lap. As he heard his little brother enter into the room it dawned on him that he would never get a chance to say goodbye to Cain. Even if the legendary man had killed his own brother, he was still Dean’s friend and though the idea wrestled with his very conscious, there were bigger things to worry about.
Dean threw on a pair of sweats and a tee-shirt, then grabbed a rosary from his brother's duffel bag as soon as Sam had taken the angel to the bathroom. He was quick but thorough when it came to creating the holy water and was grateful that his brother didn’t ask any questions. It barely even registered to him when the other man had left the bathroom without a word and again he was thankful that Sam knew Dean better than he knew himself. The hunter had to concentrate and not think about the corrupted skin that he was cleaning, that parts were breaking open with each pass of the cloth, or the gnawing guilt that he couldn’t have gotten them out sooner. Gabriel's skin was still burned from the exposure to the oil, but it was now blistered as though he ran naked through a shoulder-high field of poison oak. Despite the depth of the strike, the wound from the spear only trickled a bit of blood which meant that either there was a small hope that Gabriel was starting to heal the wound naturally, or he was almost exsanguinated from the injury. It also looked like the angel’s grace had been so depleted it could no longer keep the vessel nourished, and Dean berated himself at not noticing it before. He could count the angel’s ribs over the hollow of his stomach. Memories of Castiel’s Fall reminded him of how Gabriel would need to eat to keep his vessel going as he lost his grace. He could have brought the angel food if he had known he needed it, or if Gabriel had said anything. Dean promised himself that he would get Gabriel anything he wanted if he woke up.
Overall, it looked bad. Very, very bad.
“We’re safe, babe. You did it. We’re out.” Dean whispered. He had meant to say ‘Gabe’, but now he didn’t regret the slip of the tongue. It might not matter anyway; not if Gabriel’s grace was too weak to repair the damage to the vessel and to his true self. All Dean could do was refill the tub with more created holy water and try to clean the wounds.
The morning brought a tense quiet to the motel room that was reserved more for dying hospital patients than the early hour of the day. Sam turned on the sheets and saw Gabriel lay on Dean’s bed where his brother had placed him while Sam had slept. Gabriel was left uncovered except for a towel over his waist and from the looks of the weeping sores Sam knew his brother meant for the blisters to dry and heal in the open air. Dean for his part didn’t look like he had slept and alternated between sipping coffee at the table and glancing over at the deathly still archangel.
The strong cinnamon scent reminiscent to Oil of Abermelin permeated the room, and Sam was stunned to realize that it was coming from Gabriel. Whatever was leaking from the broken blisters was reeking of it, and then the hunter placed the familiarity of the smell; it wasn’t Abermelin oil, it was holy oil. He knew lighting it would contain an angel and burn them horrendously if they crossed the fire, but anything else was unknown. He was completely out of his element here. Sam shuffled over to the kitchenette in the motel room as Dean refilled his mug with the black brew and a splash of whiskey. So it was ‘Irish coffee’ for breakfast, then.
“How's your wrist, Sam?” Dean asked when Sam joined him at the table. He looked down at his right arm where the cast had been. “Good, thanks. It was taken off a few weeks ago, but the stiffness is starting to work itself out.” Sam glanced over at Gabriel. “How is he?”
“Bad. Really bad.” Dean replied. “I don’t think anyone’s seen what I’ve seen before. I’ve never heard of an angel exposed to lit holy oil for so long. Not in a small space. Not like this.” Sam watched as Dean stared at the still figure on the bed. His eyes had the thousand-yard stare they normally took on when recalling something he’d rather forget. “Castiel wasn’t able to help him, said that Gabriel was saturated with the shit. He had to return the Spear and hide Cain, but couldn’t take Gabriel with him because the damn oil stopped him from healing Gabe. I told Cas I’d take care of him. I’ve had to for several weeks now Sam, but I don’t think I can help him.”
“There’s helping the injured, and there’s what I saw last night,” Sam responded after a sip of coffee. He didn't want to bring it up, but he needed to do something to snap Dean out of his mood. Sam could recognize the signs of Dean's mind flying on autopilot, and it would only be a matter of time before the hunter did something rash. If Sam was right about what he suspected that was going to lead to trouble for all of them, and Gabriel was not worth that. Sure enough, Dean swiftly looked at his brother. “What do you think you saw, Sam?” His voice was quiet but the underlying edge to it said more than enough to Sam.
“Dean, you didn’t forget what Gabriel did to us, right? Him killing you over and over in front of me? That damn TV land he had us stuck in? He's not...”
“Be very careful what you say next, Sammy.”
Sam paused and chose his words deliberately. Dean was practically vibrating with anger. Sam decided to steer the topic in another direction. What caught his attention was how Dean was now defending the former trickster from his little brother instead of the other way around. When his brother was protective about something or someone he cared about he was like a wounded animal trapped in a corner with a cub to protect; quick to attack if the trespasser didn't take the warning growls seriously and back off. God knew Sam had seen it enough times when a bully had been making Sam's life hell in high school, and it had either ended with a serious verbal beat down or the offender picking up his own teeth when Dean was through. Watching his brother act this way for another person instead of Sam flared a spark of jealousy within him, but he tempered it. He knew if Dean suspected Sam envy at what he had usually taken for granted, Dean would close down and Sam would get nothing more from him. “What's wrong with Gabriel?” Sam asked carefully.
“They...ran experiments on him. Trying to figure out what he was, and the way they were containing him...lit holy oil and angel warding everywhere in his cell. He couldn't leave. The residue of the burning oil that was in the air got on his skin and I had to wash it off every day, but it never helped, not really. Not enough to make a difference.” Dean paused as he examined the contents of his mug. “Sam, he didn’t deserve what they did to him.”
“With all the times he screwed us over in the past, he kind of had it coming...”
“Sam, he saved my life. Twice. Plus the life of a man he didn’t know. If I’m not mistaken he also just saved the planet. All while running on low battery with chemical burns over most of his body. He didn’t have to do any of it. Gabe could have flipped us all off, escaped with Cain and left me behind to deal with the mess.” Dean pushed himself away from the table and got up to leave. “I’m going to take that shower now then I’m going to try to get a hold of Castiel. Pack up, because we're heading out.” Sam watched as his brother grabbed some clean clothes and shuffled into the bathroom. He considered asking him about who exactly Cain was, but decided it could wait until later; e had a feeling it would take a while to tell that story. Sam started to pack up, occasionally casting glances at the almost naked archangel on Dean's bed. The sound of the shower filtered out from behind the door as he approached Gabriel and really looked at him for the first time since the uproar of the night before. If the archangel's condition was somehow creating a sympathetic response in Dean that was emotionally tying his brother to Gabriel, he needed Dean to see it. Even if Gabriel had somehow 'saved the world', it would only spell trouble for Dean, and for Sam, if the angel was allowed to stick around.
Dean was brushing his teeth when there was a knock at the motel door. He heard his brother answer it as he looked at his reflection in the dirty mirror. Dean saw that could use a shave and about a week's worth of sleep, but his fingers and toes were still intact after nearly freezing to death on the ice so he found he really couldn't complain. His attention snapped to the bathroom door as Sam spoke to him from the other side. “Dean, there's an Agent Yorman here to see you. He's outside on the deck.”
Oh, fuck! Dean was hoping they wouldn't have gotten here so fast. Not if they were still trying to dig themselves out of the attack on the base and organize themselves. The hunter had no doubt that it wouldn’t have been an issue to track them down. They were the fucking SCP; they had their ways of getting information. “I'll be right there, Sam. Don't let him in yet, I'm not decent.” Code: we have shit to hide. Namely, the archangel on his bed.
Dean opened the door just as Sam pushed Gabriel into his arms. Sam may not have liked the situation, but he was smart enough to figure out that Dean meant to hide Gabriel from the Agent on the other side of the door. With a nod, he brought Gabriel in and lay him gently on the floor before turning off the light and shutting the door behind him. As much as he wanted to say something to the angel he didn't want to do it in front of his brother. He didn't feel like hearing his disapproval.
Gabriel hidden away for the moment, Dean went to the front door and opened it a crack. Beyond Joseph stood Walt and Andrew, and all three wore the same expression of fatigue and severity. “Agent Winchester, may we come in a moment? There's something we would like to discuss with you.” Yorman asked quietly. Dean stepped aside and let the men in. There was no use fighting the situation; he was just going to have to talk his way out of it. Or at the very least, do enough damage control that they would leave Sam and Gabriel alone. If that meant that Dean would have to go with them back to the base, so be it. “Coffee, gentlemen?” Dean pulled out three more cups and filled each before laying out the milk and sugar for them. The hunter made up his own before standing back and letting the others in. Despite the situation, he had still worked alongside these men and even liked them. He hoped setting them at ease could help Dean turn this situation in his favor. Diplomacy and all that jazz.
The agents quietly got their coffee and pulled the chairs back from the table to sit down. Yorman gestured to the remaining seat for Dean, then looked over at Sam who leaned against a nearby wall. “He can stay. This concerns him as well. I know very well from your file that you two come as a pair. Dean, the Major died in the line of duty during the night, and I am now in charge. The tracer in your standard issue holster led us here. I would have been by sooner, but I needed to brush up on your file before I popped by for a cup of tea and a chat.” Beside Yorman the other two agents remained silent. “Do you know what happened to 073, Dean?” asked Yorman. Dean shook his head. It was the truth; he had no idea where the hell Cain had gone. The agent's eyes scrutinized him for a moment, before nodding.
“Dean, where's the angel?”
“He's dead. He died out on the ice.” Dean allowed all the repressed emotions to flood his system, giving into the feelings of fear and anguish over Gabriel's failing health. He needed to sell the lie, even if it meant he broke down to do it. He saw the sympathetic expression overtake Joseph's face, and even Walt looked away while Andrew sipped his coffee. “I'm sorry Dean. You were both close, and what the Major asked of you was wrong. We're brutal, but not all of us are cold. That angel of yours saved my life, and yours. And he took care of our problem last night, am I right?” Dean nodded, and Joseph continued. “I am in his debt. But I am still with the Foundation. We do what must be done to safeguard this planet. If that means that a few people have to die so the whole world isn't destroyed, then that's the decision we have to make and it’s never an easy one for us. So you have a choice. There are agents incognito outside your location right now. If you say no they will grab you, your brother, and wipe your memories of the SCP...including your time with the angel. You will be flown to Washington state and deposited near Seattle with the suggested memory of a long hunt. All that time you spent with the angel will be erased. Any feelings for him that have developed will be gone. It's your call, Dean. If you agree to stay with us your life will not change much from before you became an Agent. You'll continue to hunt the monsters, but instead of searching the news and police frequencies we'll supply you with targets. We'll even cover the expenses.”
Dean glanced over at his brother for the first time since he sat down. Would he tie his life to the SCP, and that of his brother's? Was it worth being paid for hunting monsters if he might have to kill people to get the job done? Dean remembered how they had used death-row inmates as bait during the escape of 106, and he knew he couldn't do it. After everything he had done he was in no position to judge the worth of another man’s life. Sam's eyes were questioning, but he remained silent. He appeared to be waiting for Dean to make the decision; if only because the man had more experience with the Foundation. He trusted his big brother to do the right thing for them both. Dean sighed and shook his head. “I'm sorry, Joe. I'm going to have to say no. I can't have my brother involved with you guys, and I can't live with the consequences of what I'd have to do to get the job done.”
Yorman was quiet, and Dean was ready for the man to call in the reinforcements to incapacitate Sam and take Dean away. They would get to Gabriel, and it would be game over. The hunter's fist clenched as he readied for a fight. Finally, the agent nodded and smiled. “Fair enough. And considering that I'm now in charge of the base, I'm going to make a judgment call here. Regardless of whether or not you work for us, we need you; even more, we need your memories intact. Both you and your brother's. Let's just call you an outsourced consultant and we'll contact you from time to time if we run into a problem.”
“I'm not too sure your bosses are going to like that, Joe,” Dean replied. He couldn't allow himself to feel relief, not yet. Joseph stood up, along with the other two agents in the chairs. “You let me worry about that, Dean. I figure we owe you one on this and I'm sure they'll agree that this arrangement is more advantageous.” The agent suddenly smiled and gone was the severity to be replaced by the carefree grin of the curly blond Englishman. “I'm going to miss you, Winchester. You're a good guy, and one hell of an agent. Even if I was in Medical for most of your visit.” Joe reached out his hand and Dean took the firm grip with a shake. “Likewise, Joe. And congrats on the promotion.” Dean nodded, and Walt stepped up with a hearty slap on the hunter’s back. “This is a fine way to weasel out of your shifts, Winchester. Now I'm going to have to do all the running around for the lab geeks!” Dean chuckled, then reached out and shook Andrew's outstretched hand. “Andy, it's your job to kick Walt's ass at cards.” Andrew grinned, and Dean laughed as Walt lightly swatted Andrew on the back of the head. Joseph cleared his throat and the other men settled down and went to the door. “Good luck Dean.” smiled Yorman, and the three men stepped back out into the cold.
Dean felt his legs turn to jelly as the adrenaline rushed out of his system. They hadn't even bothered to check the place for Gabriel or Cain, but he wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth.
“What the fuck was that all about?!” Sam blurted out after a moment.
“I don't know Sam, but we got lucky. Call Cas and let's get the hell out of here.” Dean replied. He opened the bathroom door as he heard Sam dial on his cell phone, and he gingerly picked the unconscious angel off the floor. Once Dean could hear Sam speaking he whispered close to Gabriel's ear. “I don't know if you can hear me Gabe but you're safe. They won't be looking for you now.” Dean let his lips brush the angel's cheek lightly before he turned and carried Gabriel into the room. He took a moment to wrap the archangel in a sheet as Sam was packing the last of their things. Dean looked around the room to see anything they had missed. A rustle of wings moments later signaled the arrival of Castiel, and Dean breathed a sigh of relief. “We're set, Cas. Can you take us all to Rufus's old cabin?” The angel nodded, concern written on his features as he saw Dean was holding Gabriel in his arms. “How is he, Dean?”
“No change yet,” reported the hunter.
“His grace is still weak, but much stronger now that most of the oil is out of his system. Whatever you're doing, continue it. He may yet recover.” Castiel replied before turning his gaze to Sam. “Are you ready?” Sam nodded and shouldered his and Dean's duffel on his shoulders. “Let's go before those guys change their minds.” Castiel gripped both brothers shoulders and flew them out of the room to the cabin. The angel returned within the blink of an eye for Dean's Impala, the car being as much a tool as the man’s home before flying back to his friends.
The man standing nearby watched the black muscle car disappeared from where it was parked in front of the Winchesters’ motel room. While most people on the planet would be awestruck by a car fading away, the man had seen a lot of unusual phenomena and at this point he expected to see pretty much anything happen. He had been instructed to stand by and watch for anyone coming or going from the room, but he figured a vanishing car was just as good a reason to call. The agent waited a moment to see if anyone would leave the motel room, then dialed on his phone. “Sir? The car has disappeared, but no one has left the room. Yes, I put a tracer on it like you asked.”
“Thank you. Return to base, please.” Agent Yorman hung up the phone, then activated the locator. If he was to keep the overseers happy, he needed to keep tabs on the Winchesters. It was his trade-off with his superiors; Joseph would not be reprimanded for failing to return with Dean and the Angel if he kept tabs on the brothers. Observation may provide more information than direct interaction, and it would be far cheaper on resources in the long run if they let the Winchesters handle the angels. As for Cain, well, the man never did stay out of their sights for very long and he was not a threat to the Earth. He would pop up eventually and they would reclaim him. It had happened before, and they would do it again. As always, it was only a matter of time, and time was always on the side of the Foundation.
Chapter 14: 13
The local coffee shop in the nearby town had just started to offer free wi-fi for their customers, and Sam was taking full advantage of it. He sat with his long legs stretched out under the small round table and took a bite of his apple fritter. A brown bag containing another fritter was tucked inside for his brother; a peace offering from Sam as much as well as something to help cheer Dean up.
Gabriel was improving; his skin had healed and had lost its sunburned look, but the archangel still hadn’t moved since their arrival at the cabin four days ago. His brother had looked on the verge of climbing the walls as Dean had tried to figure out what he was doing wrong. Feeding Gabriel turned out to be unnecessary since as his grace became stronger it was more able to sustain its vessel. The sallow look to the archangel’s cheeks and the concave stomach gave way to a healthier, toned physique and Dean was happy for it, but the angel remained unconscious and neither he or his brother could figure out why. Castiel had been no help either; whatever focus he had gained during Dean’s mission to the ‘Foundation’ had waned and his attention wandered like a squirrel on the hunt for acorns. The angel had put a hand on Gabriel’s forehead as though he only had a mild fever, then shrugged and had claimed that he would wake up when he was better. Sam had to step between Dean and Castiel before the angel became a target for his brother’s frustration. Castiel merely cocked his head at something they couldn’t hear, then had vanished and Dean had yelled at the ceiling for the angel to get his feathery ass back down there. It was after this that Sam had enough. He had grabbed a beer for himself and one for Dean and dragged him out to the porch for the older man to cool off and get some air.
“You need to calm the fuck down,” Sam had said as his brother took a swig from his bottle. “You’re not the most patient of guys Dean, but this is bad even for you. Get a grip, man!”
The look Dean had given him could have set the cabin on fire, but Sam had met it head on. It had been like a game of ‘flinch’ where the person who blinked first would lose. In the end, Dean’s shoulders had sagged and he had run a hand over his face. “Sam, he should be awake by now. Or at least twitching or something. What if we’re missing something important? What if..”
“Dean, you’re doing everything you can, but getting pissed off at me or Cas isn’t going to help.”
“Don’t, Sam. You don’t like Gabriel, so don’t pull that empathy bullshit you do when we’re on a case and pretend you give a damn about the victim’s story.”
“I’m going to pretend you didn’t mean that because you’re feeling sorry for yourself that Snow White isn’t waking up because you kissed him,” Sam had barreled on before Dean could holler at him, “And don’t think I haven’t seen you either! You do know about the Florence Nightingale Effect, right?” When his brother had gone dead still at the question, Sam knew he had stumbled onto something significant. “Dean...what did they do back at the base?”
That was when Sam had heard everything. Oh yeah, Dean knew about the effect. And Stockholm syndrome, and how the Major had played Dean and Gabriel against each other to try to trick information out of the archangel. Sam had listened to his brother explain that they both knew what was happening and that Dean had even been ordered to 'foster a romantic relationship' with Gabriel, but they couldn’t avoid the outcome; their friendship had evolved into something more than platonic. Sam had swallowed down the bile that threatened to rise in his throat at the thought of the psychological damage this would cause. It had sounded as though they cared for one another, but couldn’t trust the attraction because of the conditions they had developed under. The added curve-ball of data that his macho, ‘ladies man’ big brother seemed to like men as well as women was secondary in light of what Dean had revealed.
When the older hunter had finished his story he was drinking his brother’s beer; Sam had passed his to Dean who seemed to need it more than himself. Then Dean had surprised him with what he had said next. “Sam, I still hated him when I first saw him, and I get why you don’t like Gabriel. If I had to watch you die hundreds of times I doubt I would have held it together long enough to get out of that demented Groundhog’s Day scenario. Not to mention he made you star in a herpes commercial, which I'm sorry bro, that's still funny as hell. But I didn’t live what you had experienced, and you didn’t go through what I had to back on that base. You didn’t see the Gabriel I saw. Yeah, he's still a snarky little shit sometimes, but we're a lot alike. When the crap hit the fan he came through. He stared that big fucker down and killed it, even with the Spear stuck in his side. If I didn't like him at the time he would have earned a lot of brownie points from me for that move. I wish you could have seen it, Sammy. It was badass!” Sam had watched his brother's lips widen into a grin that he tried to hide behind a swig of beer before he continued. “All I want is that if he wakes up, you give him a chance, okay? We were given ours when we freed Lucifer, which in the long run is a hell of a lot worse than playing pranks on some humans who probably earned it. Gabe’s gotten that chance from me, and deserves at least one from you.”
Sam was again surprised that Dean hadn't tried to manipulate his younger brother by reminding Sam of his addiction to demon blood, and the relationship he had had with Ruby. For once there had been no, 'I forgave you for that, so forgive me or this person for their sins' tactic and it had blown him away. Either Dean had truly forgiven him or his time away had given him a new perspective. Whether that was from Dean's time in the Foundation or because of Gabriel's influence Sam couldn't say, but if it was from the latter he could give Gabriel a chance to prove himself. They had sat for a moment as they watched the wind play along the tops of the trees. “Okay, Dean, you got it. But if he starts to pull his trickster shit, or he hurts you, all bets are off.”
Dean had snorted at the demand. “Sammy you’re so manly when you go all alpha male like that.”
“Shut up, jerk.”
Sam had huffed a laugh, then had turned to look at his brother. “You know I'm not against you liking guys, right? I mean, that's not why I was worried about how you've been mooning over Gabriel.”
Dean had rolled his eyes. “Yeah I know, college boy. I figured you'd be the last person to have a problem with it. It's your fault people always thought you and I were dating anyway with all the hair products you use.”
“Bullshit! You're the butchy, overcompensating one!” Sam had laughed, and Dean had slugged him lightly on the shoulder with a grin.
With the tension broken and things feeling pretty good between him and Dean, Sam had patted his older brother on the shoulder and then had stood to stretch. “Mind if I borrow the car to go to town? I want to see if there are any hunts in the area we can take when Gabriel wakes up.” It had been the right thing to say; Dean had smiled and nodded before he had drained the last of the beer and tossed the keys to his brother.
“Enjoy your froofy coffee, Francine.”
“Bite me, short-stack.”
That had been an hour ago. Sam had found something suspicious in the paper about the increase in seniors dying in a residence, but it was also flu season; the deaths could be from natural causes. He wasn’t ready to head back to the cottage just yet, he wanted to take advantage of this freedom while he had it. Sam flipped the page of the paper to the entertainment section to see if anything good was playing at the local movie theater.
The conversation with Sam had left Dean feeling good but emotionally drained. Hell, the last two months had tapped out his reserves, and he was exhausted. Once the rumble of his Chevy’s engine had disappeared down the road, Dean got up off the stairs and went back inside the cabin. There really wasn’t much to do in the place other than waiting for Gabriel to open his eyes. It was also incredibly still in the cottage. There was the slow rhythmic tap-tap-tap of the leaky faucet dripping onto the dishes in the scratched chrome sink. A squirrel chattered angrily at some unknown woodland trespasser near its tree before a bird squawked and the sound of its wings signaled retreat. It was tranquil, but with Dean’s nerves still on edge, it was annoying to the hunter who was never comfortable with sitting still for very long. After being surrounded by people for two months with next to no free time on the base, the quiet was starting to make his skin crawl. There was really nothing for Dean to do to pass the time with Sam gone and Gabriel still in a coma. The only internet available was in town, and since analog signals had been phased out and the TV was far too ancient for digital conversion it sat gathering dust in the corner.
Despite this, the sudden alone time was appreciated after four days of being under his brother’s watchful eyes so Dean decided to make the best of it and take a nap. He flopped down on the couch, sending dust motes into the air to hang in the sunlight. The hunter watched them swirl in the air as he fell asleep in the warmth and quiet of the cabin.
In the bedroom, a pair of tawny eyes opened and focused on an unknown ceiling. The room was washed in the muted glow of forested light and shadow that shifted with a life of its own. There were no blinding halogens here, and no constant glow of holy fire lining the walls of the room. The walls were warm pine, not cold and sterile white fiberglass. Gabriel stretched and felt his vessel revive after several days of stillness, then he slowly sat up and studied his body. It was half covered with a sheet, but from the chest up the skin was whole and healthy. Peeking under the covers revealed the same; everything was present and intact, and there wasn’t a scratch on him. A quick check of his astral wings revealed that while he was far from being able to fly, they were also starting to heal. They no longer resembled rotisserie chicken wings, but the flightless limbs of chicks that had started to grow their primaries. They were ugly, but in time they would be back to their former glory. Gabriel gave a brief test of his powers and snapped his fingers. The triumphant fist-pump from the appearance of a candy bar in his hand barely covered how the archangel felt. He took a huge bite out of the chocolate and chewed happily at the taste. It was bliss; this wasn’t the cheap shit the SCP provided, and he had procured it with his own power. Even though he was unable to fly, at least he could make himself comfortable. A quick manifestation of his angel blade also showed that he could defend himself, and that brightened his mood further. Still, where the hell was he? And where were Dean and Cain? The latter he could sense was far away, in a westerly direction. The man was in no peril, or there would be an overwhelming drive to seek him out. At least the little brat was staying out of trouble for once, and he could ask Castiel later about his exact whereabouts. Meanwhile, Dean was blocked from him thanks to those blasted sigils on his ribs so who knows where the hunter could be. He swung his legs over the side of the bed than with a thought he manifested a gray tee-shirt and a pair of jeans on his vessel and smiled at the result. That was much better and far less drafty. A step through the bedroom door revealed how small the interior was, and he turned in the only direction allowed that took him into the next room. The archangel heard soft snores emanating from the couch and crept silently over to investigate.
Dean was sprawled face down on the couch and his eyelids twitched without rhythm from a dream. It reminded Gabriel of when he would watch his terrier sleep back in the archangel’s lair, and he smiled at the memory. It also reminded him of the little games he would play with the jack russel while he slept, and Gabriel decided to have a little fun with the human. After all the crap he had put up with recently, the angel figured he deserved it. He lightly walked two fingers up the hunter’s spine. Dean rolled his shoulders with a sigh and a frown, and Gabriel’s lips stretched into a vulpine grin at the reaction. The archangel altered his course of motion, letting the tips of those fingers trail up and across the broad shoulders before he leaned down to blow across the back of Dean’s neck. The man shivered and moaned quietly followed by a shift of his hips into the couch cushions. Delighted, the angel crouched down next to the man’s face. “Hello, cupcake,” he whispered.
“Gabe...” sighed the hunter in his sleep.
Well, that was interesting! Golden eyes glinted mischievously as he leaned in again and ghosted his lips across the stubble of Dean’s jaw. A contented ‘hmm’ tickled the hair that feathered Gabriel’s ear, and the archangel decided to push his luck as far as it could go. He trailed his lips along the jawline, nipping occasionally until he got to the chin, then pulled back.
Half lidded green eyes stared intently at him. “Am I dreaming?” asked Dean.
“Nope. You’re wide awake, kiddo.”
“Good.” Gabriel felt a hand slide into his hair as Dean pulled him in for a kiss. He had to follow the movement as Dean rolled onto his back on the couch, and the archangel found himself half sprawled on the man before he knew it. Gabriel eagerly returned the kiss and nearly purred when Dean ran his hands along his back in a soothing rhythm which ran contrary to the passion of their lips meeting and sliding against each other. The archangel had honed his skill for millennia and so there were very few that could match his technique, but Dean had surprised him again with his talented tongue that stroked and artfully teased Gabriel's mouth. The hunter grabbed the angel’s hips and manhandled him so that Gabriel was sprawled between Dean’s legs. He could feel how excited the man was underneath him and squirmed against the hardness he felt that aligned with his own underneath his clothes. Dean broke the kiss with a gasp and Gabriel took the opportunity to suck on his lover's neck. The man was sleep-warm and smelled faintly of earth and autumn. It pulled at ancient creature's memories of his time as the trickster-god when the Wild Hunt was a very real thing and the fae hounds bayed for the great hart deep in the woods. An eldritch passion was stoked deep within him like a pagan Beltane fire and Gabriel concentrated on the wet heat of Dean's mouth before the scent of the human made him lose control. When the angel felt Dean fight to draw his tee-shirt up Gabriel did him a favor and dissolved their clothes with a thought.
Dean huffed a laugh as he found himself wearing nothing under the angel. “I see you have your mojo back,” He chuckled.
Gabriel lightly nipped his nose in return. “Should I give the usual ‘are we going too fast’ option here?” he asked.
“Fuck no,” Dean replied before attacking the angel's mouth again. They said nothing else after that. Dean’s dreams were very literally coming true right there on the couch and he was not going to spoil that with conversation. He had a lapful of squirming, mewling Gabriel and while there was little room to maneuver, Dean was more than happy to make do. They rutted against each other, lost in the contrasting feeling of friction from their skin and the slick of their sweat and precome, and absolutely high on the fact that after weeks of dancing around each other they were finally on the same page. They both wanted each other, and it sharpened their senses as they drank in the sounds, sight, and taste of one another. Dean replaced his lips with a finger, and Gabriel lapped at it greedily with his tongue only to stop with a moan when the archangel felt the man’s hips drive up into his and slide against his aching flesh. Dean swallowed the noise as he reached down with both hands, letting his damp finger slide down between the cleft of Gabriel’s ass while the other hand pulled at a cheek to give Dean better access to the entrance hidden there. The human explored the warm mouth that hinted of spices and sweet desserts while he let the digit tap and tease the bud he had found, and Gabriel swore in a language that had died before the time of Christ. Gabriel ground down against his lover beneath him before he pulled away from Dean’s mouth and lowered his head to suck greedily at one of the hunter’s nipples. Dean bucked and pulled Gabriel's hips down, while the fingertip that had been playing with his opening broke through the ring of muscle to the first knuckle. The angel howled at the unexpected breach, all his senses finally overloaded from that last act as he spilled onto Dean’s abdomen, the pearlescent fluid blending soon after with Dean’s release. Spent and sated, Gabriel rested his hands on Dean’s shoulder for a moment while trying to catch unneeded breath before he banished the mess between them with a wave of his hand. The angel felt the hands move from his hips gently up his back and Gabriel lay down, cradled by the hunter’s warm arms and between strong legs. He sighed happily as he felt Dean reach up and pull the old granny-square afghan hanging off the back of the couch over their bodies before returning the hand to rub between the archangel’s shoulder-blades. Gabriel doubted that Dean knew where the base of his wings were located, but somehow the human had instinctively found the junction and his eyes drifted closed in a haze of pleasure. They both relaxed quietly and enjoyed the endorphin rush of the afterglow, but Gabriel silently wondered to himself what to say to his friend and new-found lover. Neither of them could deny that this was ultimately what the Foundation had wanted while Gabriel was in captivity, but with the base far behind and the need for knowledge no longer a factor the angel contemplated the legitimacy of his feelings for the impish Righteous Man. Dean spoke first and confirmed what Gabriel had suspected; that the human was also concerned about the same thing.
“Gabriel, you know that whatever happened on the base had nothing to do with me wanting to be with you, right? I mean, yeah, we were supposed to play our roles like puppets for the Foundation so they could get their information, but...”
“Shh, cupcake, I know.” the angel took pity on Dean and interrupted him. Hearing the man struggle to explain what Gabriel had been trying to find words for suddenly filled him with confidence. Here was a guy known for being silent on voicing emotions to the point of being emotionally constipated to a casual observer. However, in between the lines Gabriel could hear the confirmation that his friend may actually love him despite all the shit they had put each other through in the past. “It was a fucked up situation. But you know, history’s full of people who have gone through the same thing. I’ve watched a soldier fall in love with an enemy fighter and save his life. I’ve seen a plantation master give his heart to a slave girl and ferry her and her family away to the Underground Railroad. There are a lot of Romeo and Juliet examples out there, and not all of them have a tragic ending. Sometimes things work out. We just have to accept that yeah, we didn’t get to this point by going out to dinner and a movie, but what we feel for each other is real all the same.”
“So where do we go from here?” Dean asked quietly. Gabriel could still see the uncertainty in the human’s green eyes, and decided to lighten the mood with a demonstration. “Well, philosophers have said that love and hate are two sides of the same coin.” Gabriel smiled fondly, then waggled his eyebrows as he pulled a coin from behind Dean’s ear. Dean snorted in amusement at the simple trick. “I call heads.” exclaimed the archangel before flipping the coin from where he sprawled. He caught it out of the air and plunked it down on Dean’s chest. “Huh, look at that. Love it is,” he crowed.
“Let me see that,” Dean picked up the piece of silver and examined it. “Gabe, this is a two-headed coin,” he exclaimed.
“Well you should know by now I don’t play by the rules when I want something. So kiddo, wanna go steady and wear my class ring?”
Dean tried to hide his shock behind an amused smile. That was pretty forward for a guy who worked with subterfuge like an artist with his paints. “Are you saying you love me, or that you want to take me to a malt shop on a date for milkshakes because as fine as your ass is I don’t know if you can pull off a poodle skirt.”
“Here’s the thing, Dean. This past couple of months has kind of changed my view on things. For one, I was resurrected,” He counted on a finger, then tapped the next one, “then I was captured and put in a room where if you hadn’t have come along I probably would have kicked the bucket...again.” Gabriel crossed his arms on Dean’s chest and rested his chin. “That makes someone like me want to bypass the bullshit and get straight to the point for once on something important. So yeah, maybe I kind of love you a little bit, and if you don’t I can deal with that. I can wait...” Gabriel was stopped as Dean drew him up and kissed him silent. When they broke for air, he felt Gabriel lean his forehead against his own, and Dean enjoyed that they could have this without a hidden agenda or an audience behind a two-way mirror. “I love you too, feathers.”
The beaming smile from Gabriel had no mischievous shadow to it, and Dean could see a glimpse of what the archangel was like before the Host had fractured with Lucifer’s fall. It was radiant, so carefree and open for just a moment and Dean was proud that, yes, he had brought that out in Gabriel however briefly. Dean leaned in and brushed his lips against the archangel’s. Neither of them heard the door open to the cabin.
“For the love of...No one want’s to see that!” Sam wailed from the doorway.
“Hey, Sammy! Long time no see!” waved Gabriel, while underneath him Dean groaned and covered his face with an arm. “Can you give us a minute, Sam?”
“I forgot something in the car anyway. Come get me when you have clothes on.” Sam turned and left the cabin while Gabriel’s laughter followed him out the door. The younger hunter had seen Dean cover his eyes, but under that was a huge smile while Gabriel’s laughter had held no malice at all. They both looked and sounded pretty happy, and if they were Sam could hold to his promise and give the archangel a chance. Meanwhile, he was going to eat Dean’s apple fritter in revenge and think about the cost of getting a new couch.
Chapter 15: Soundtrack
Yes, there's a soundtrack, because I'm crazy that way :3 As a side note, I did try other instrumental tracks for the second list, but they never fit as well as the Silent Hill OSTs. They were the ones that were always on in the background as I wrote. :)
Disc 1: Faaip (voice)
Prologue: In-A-Gadda-Da-Vita single edit (Iron Butterfly) – 2:55 http://youtu.be/Xv1k4Dug7_8
Break-in: Crazy (Gnarles Berkley) – 3:01 http://youtu.be/VzV9QExGFQs
Rufus' Cabin: Born on the Bayou (Creedence Clearwater Revival) – 5:14 http://youtu.be/wIjUY3pjN8E
Interrogation: The Noose (A Perfect Circle) – 4:53 http://youtu.be/BVXTmav24Wk
Agent Dean: Mama Sed (Puscifer) – 3:24 http://youtu.be/dR3ccmWmLhk
The Experiment: Hero of the Day (Metallica) – 4:21 http://youtu.be/olzz82oRCMI
SCP-106: The Becoming (Nine Inch Nails) – 5.31 http://youtu.be/U8wveDOqWaM
Dean's Song: The Grand Optimist (City and Colour) – 4:04 http://youtu.be/WZo31zMAySQ
Gabriel's Dilemma :Weightless (City and Colour) – 3:31 http://youtu.be/_2GJU0uIMTw
SCP-035: Enter Sandman (Metallica) – 5:30 https://youtu.be/d2mJUjBE4U0
SCP-682 (Union): Pet (A Perfect Circle) – 4:34 http://youtu.be/lrEP3RPgEao
The Last Stand: When The Levee Breaks – 7:07 https://youtu.be/ddpl1zl5sYg
On the Ice: See You On The Other Side (Ozzy Osbourne) 5:59 https://youtu.be/0_Qt-bFx2ws
Epilogue: Northern Wind (City and Colour) – 4:15 http://youtu.be/Uwy_8O_3mWk
Outro: Ramble On (Led Zeppelin) – 4:35 http://youtu.be/GdiN0sW-wVU
Total Time 74:34
Disc 2: Nidali (noise)
Dance The Night Wind (Silent Hill 3) - 5:21 http://youtu.be/paHEtKZii8A
Terror in the Depths of the Fog (Silent Hill 2) – 4:31 http://youtu.be/h_1lU638EOs
End of Small Sanctuary (Silent Hill 3) – 1:42 http://youtu.be/Q_e8abf_Tds
White Noiz (Silent Hill 2) – 1:23 https://youtu.be/xS6HX2m-HNY
Killing Time (Silent Hill 1) – 2:54 http://youtu.be/Jgr-ZSZSSwA
A World of Madness (Silent Hill 2) – 1:47 http://youtu.be/GwNyxeSlnPw
Null Moon (Silent Hill 2) – 2:50 http://youtu.be/sLhtDJnPKBs
Heaven's Night (Silent Hill 2) – 2:04 http://youtu.be/f8A22ulogJs
Alone in the Town (Silent Hill 2) – 2:19 http://youtu.be/aalI-pmhgb4
Silent Heaven (Silent Hill 2) – 2:13 http://youtu.be/PuNOnFa-q3Y
The Darkness that Lurks In Our Mind (Silent Hill 2) 1:16 http://youtu.be/YGUi6spQ9M0
Memory of the Waters (Silent Hill 3) – 1:46 http://youtu.be/TXD4PRKd8TM
The Day of Night (Silent Hill 2) - 1:37 http://youtu.be/44I2VB96ryU
Promise (Silent Hill 2) – 4:40 http://youtu.be/6qalGezr76o
Laura Plays the Piano (Silent Hill 2) - 1:55 http://youtu.be/i6L9Cbs0m_U
Silent Circus (Silent Hill 4) – 2:55 http://youtu.be/8qcbseac74Y
Sickness Unto Foolish Death (Silent Hill 3) – 3:06 http://youtu.be/L-Frwgx_MKc
Wounded Warsong (Silent Hill 4) – 3:12 http://youtu.be/AXhoD9MUDts
Betrayal (Silent Hill 2) - 2:30 http://youtu.be/WShknpNpHbY
Rain of Brass Petals (Silent Hill 3) – 3:39 http://youtu.be/NqA3Rb1Jzio
Forest (Silent Hill 2) – 1:43 http://youtu.be/tLq9DnkZHfU
Magdalene (Silent Hill 2) – 1:52 http://youtu.be/YEuNySeWQy0
Love Psalm (Silent Hill 2) – 4:26 http://youtu.be/Xx1XJycgU4I
Total Time: 62:08