Chapter Thirteen: Conscience Killer ((Black Rebel Motorcycle Club))
When Sam came to, he was still in the passenger seat of the car. His head was killing him, and it was entirely too quiet. He remembered the Hellhounds, and a wreck. He guessed that one of them charged the car head on. This was completely in theory, since he couldn't see any of the damned things. If it weren't for the eerie silence, he'd be worried they were still outside the car. There was something wet along the side of his face. He blinked his eyes open and touched fingers to his temple. They came back bloodied. That definitely explained the headache.
Nothing seemed broken, however, and he considered that to be extremely good luck on his part. The driver's side was empty, and the door was hanging open. The passenger door on Dean's side was open as well, and Gabriel was missing. He pushed his own door open, and he wondered how much of a tantrum Dean would throw over his car getting messed up.
Technically it wasn't his car, only a replica Chuck had lent them. But Dean would see it as his for the time being, and that meant a death sentence to anyone who messed with it.
Sam slid out of the car, looking around. The sun wasn't down yet, so he hadn't been out too awful long. At least there wouldn't be anyone on the road for a little while longer. He wondered where everyone else was. They wouldn't have left him unconscious in the car.
The hunter caught sight of movement in the backseat, where he'd seen Castiel's coat in his brief assessment. It moved again, and he realized it wasn't just the coat, it was the angel himself. He'd been curled up into a ball and so still that Sam had assumed it was just a lump of trench coat. He hissed a curse, pulling the door open.
The angel let out a groan, uncurling his limbs. He was still in his seatbelt, which he shakily undid. Sam helped him out of the car, looking him over. He didn't seem to have any injuries, aside from the bandage on his arm. A few of the cuts had opened up with the crash, and the bandage was a little on the red side in places, but not enough to be too worrisome.
Castiel blinked up at him. "Sam, you're bleeding."
"Yeah, I know. I'll take care of it. And your arm. We gotta find Dean and Gabe first though."
His eyes widened. "They're not here?"
"When I came to, it was just us in the car. They could've gotten up and went for help or something." He flipped open his cell phone, dialing Dean's number. It rang for awhile, before going to voicemail. It hadn't worked since coming to Purgatory, but he figured he would try again anyway.
"I don't think they would have left us here alone." Castiel frowned, and Sam agreed. "The Hellhounds
The younger Hunter had worried the same thing. "I dunno though
if they'd been attacked, there'd be a lot of blood. The road's clean."
It was. The car wasn't as badly damaged as he'd first thought. The front bumper was bent in the front, but it would still drive, he was sure. There were no car parts lining the road, or broken glass. And certainly no blood.
"Gabriel said that Crowley sent the Hellhounds," Castiel said softly, looking down the road. "Do you think he kidnapped them?"
"It makes sense," Sam dabbed at his temple with a sleeve. "But why didn't he just bring us all?"
"We were both unconscious, correct?"
"I guess so."
"Perhaps we were just left for dead."
The thought unnerved him. Still, it was their best theory at the moment.
"Okay. We'll go on to Crowley's then. If they're anywhere, they'd be there."
Castiel nodded, but looked unsure.
He shrugged. "It's not like we've got much else to go on anyway. But before that, we should get you patched up again before you bleed through that bandage. Dean'll kill me if I let something happen to you." He smiled teasingly.
Sam was fairly sure angels weren't supposed to blush. He was apparently wrong.
It took Sam a few minutes to get the first aid kit out of the trunk, changing the bandages on Castiel's arm and taping some gauze over the cut on his own forehead. Castiel helped him with that part. He swallowed the last of the Advil, hoping to banish the headache he'd picked up. Offhand, he hoped no one else needed painkillers, because they would but sorely disappointed. Pun intended. Luckily, it looked like the Hellhounds hadn't disturbed anything in the trunk; all their weapons were still there. The front of the car looked roughed up, almost like it had hit a deer or something. But it was drivable, and Sam slid into the driver's seat. The angel took over his spot in the passenger side, making sure to buckle his seat belt.
After turning the ignition twice, the car started. Once he was sure nothing important was going to fall out under them, Sam guided them back on the highway and back on course.
Dean woke up to someone poking him. He was not amused.
He groggily slid his eyes open, finding Gabriel to be the offender. Not that he was surprised in the least. He batted the archangel's hand away from where it had been prodding his cheek.
"What the hell's wrong with you, stop that!"
Gabriel didn't look perturbed. "About time."
Dean sat up, taking in their surroundings. The room they were in was dark, slightly damp, and full of boxes.
are we in somebody's frigging basement?"
It was a small room, hardly the size of a bedroom. The walls were brick and the floor was stone. Everything felt slightly wet. Even the air surrounding them was humid. A single light bulb hung from the ceiling, casting a dim light over everything. Dean wondered if that was on purpose, to make things look more spooky. There wasn't any furniture in the room. Dean had been lying on the floor, but something had pillowed his head. Looking down, he saw Gabriel's jacket. He didn't comment on it.
"Yeah." The archangel drew his legs up to his chest. It made him look smaller than he was. "Crowley's."
"I kinda expected more
like a dungeon or something."
"Dungeons are rather hard to keep up with," a third voice replied amicably. "Too many corners."
Dean tensed, scanning the room. Gabriel just rolled his eyes.
Footsteps echoed on the stone floor. The hunter glanced in the direction of the noise just in time for a man to step out behind a stack of boxes. He wore a black and grey suit, nicely pressed. Short cut black hair and a grin that just screamed snark. His arms were crossed over his chest as he stared the pair down with interest.
"Though, if you prefer a little more flair, I've got a torture room upstairs I could give you a tour of," he continued, accented in smart English.
" Dean growled as he got to his feet. "You knew we were coming for you. Why'd you bring us here?"
The demon shrugged. "Call me curious. I wanted to see what Chuck thought would be his secret weapon."
"And you had to drag us here in a bad game of fetch?" Gabriel snapped, sliding his arms back into his jacket.
Crowley grinned even wider. "The element of surprise, of course. Also, it wouldn't do to have you coming up here with a car full of weapons. I do have some self- preservation instincts."
The hunter narrowed his eyes. The Hellhounds, the car crash, it was all this bastard's fault. His brother and the angel left in the wreckage. They hadn't even been conscious. What if they didn't wake up? What if there had been a chance at saving them and Dean had been busy getting kidnapped by dogs for some demon because he was fucking CURIOUS?
"Sam and Cas could be dead!" Dean lunged, intent on tackling the demon and bashing his smug face in.
Before he could get far enough make a difference, he was tossed away, landing in a heap on the floor at the far side of the room. Crowley sighed, shaking his head as he lowered his hand.
"I thought you would have learned your lesson from those other two demons
we have all the power in Purgatory. Not even your angels can save you now."
He glanced at Gabriel, who leveled him with a glare.
Dean wasn't giving up, however. He was on his feet once more, running in to attack. The demon arched a brow, watching almost curiously, before flinging Dean back once more. This time he hit a wall.
Crowley stepped over to the lump that was Dean Winchester with an air of someone bored by his dog doing the same trick, kicking him as he tried to get up once more. The hunter hit the floor again, this time with a dress shoe stepping on his shoulder.
"I thought you'd be much more clever. I'm a bit disappointed."
" Gabriel started, his tone a warning.
The demon ignored it in favor of giving Dean another good kick. The human's hand snapped out, grabbing Crowley's ankle and yanking. Crowley fell, his leg pulled out from under him with a noise of surprise. He hit the stone beside Dean, stunned only for a moment before kicking against the other's grasp. His heel connected with the side of Dean's head, knocking him back.
"Leave him alone!" Gabriel was on his feet, dragging the demon away by his jacket. Dean stared at the archangel, but the surprise on his face was nothing compared to the look on Crowley's face.
"Gabe" Dean sat up, rubbing his head. Those bruises were never going to heal if he kept getting more on top of them.
Crowley came to his senses by then, waving an arm in the archangel's direction. Gabriel was knocked away with an almost indignant squawk.
Dean took the distraction as an opportunity to get up, slamming his shoulder into a pile of boxes and tipping them over onto the demon. It definitely wasn't going to kill him, but it was the first thing he thought of. The demon let out a yell before he was covered in cardboard, a bit soggy from a leak somewhere in the basement. One of the boxes split open, and a few hardbound books hit the stone floor.
Well, that had to hurt.
Gabriel stared at Dean, mouth agape. The hunter just shrugged, backing away. Any weapon you could find in a fight was a good one. Apparently Crowley felt the same way, because the next thing Dean knew, a rather large hardback book slammed into the back of his head, sending him back down to the floor.
"That bloody hurt, you bastard!" the demon hissed from under the pile of book and box.
Gabriel thought this fight was starting to get a little ridiculous. And coming from him, that said a lot.
"Fuck," Dean rubbed the back of his head with a wince.
The archangel sighed, getting up to help Dean to his feet. "Okay, look. Just get out of here, I'll deal with him."
The hunter was beginning to get dizzy again. Why did it seem like all the people he fought went for head trauma? Gabriel hauled him up by the shoulder, all but dragging him up the flight of wooden stairs toward the basement's exit.
Gabriel had his hand on the knob before Dean made sense of what was happening.
"Wait, what? You can't take him, you don't have any mojo left after that wolf thing."
The archangel rolled his eyes. "I'll be fine. You need to get out of here. Go find Sam and Cas. Make sure they're okay."
"I'm not gonna leave you here with him"
"You said you were gonna take care of Cas, remember?"
"You can't just"
"Dean, just go!" the angel snapped irritably, opening the door hard and pushing him out.
Then Gabriel was pushed out right after him with a surprised yelp, falling into Dean and sending them both to the black- and- white floor of a tiled kitchen. Crowley exited behind them, stepping over the pair sprawled in the doorway. He made a show of fixing his suit.
"I'm trying not to make a mess. I'd appreciate it if you didn't dirty up my kitchen. I already have to have someone clean up the basement now."
He grabbed Dean by the wrist, yanking him up and out from underneath Gabriel. The grip was tight enough to hear bones shift and Dean hissed. Crowley inspected the charm on his wrist, although he didn't touch it.
"Take this off."
The grip got tighter, and Dean swore he heard something crack. He tried to pull his arm away with no success; Crowley didn't even look like he was putting any effort into the hold, but he couldn't budge it.
"I don't need to stand here playing around with you. Give me the charm and you're free to go."
Gabriel stared at them, but made no movement beyond scooting back to avoid getting stepped on.
"Sorry, I can't," the hunter grinned, even as he winced in pain. "Sentimental value and all, you know how it is
"Sentimental?" Crowley smirked, leaning until he was face to face with Dean. "Got yourself a little crush on Luci then?"
Well, there goes the plan of feigning ignorance about the damned thing.
"If you want it so bad, just take it."
Crowley stared at him, deadpan. "You think you're clever, don't you?"
"I like to think so, yeah."
The demon twisted the other's wrist. This time there was definitely a snap. Dean grit his teeth, growling against the pain.
"Well, I can't touch the bloody thing, and you won't give it up. What do you suppose we should do about this impasse we find ourselves in?"
"Forget the whole thing?" Dean tried, hating how weak his voice sounded.
"Nice try. Let's try that tour of the torture room I mentioned earlier, shall we?"
Without waiting for an answer, he turned, dragging the human through the kitchen by the injured wrist. Dean had no choice but to follow, stumbling along as sparks of pain shot through his arm. This definitely wasn't going according to plan.
Crowley stopped short, and Dean bumped into the demon's back with a grunt. Looking around a suited shoulder, he saw Gabriel blocking the path out of the kitchen. The archangel glared at them determinedly.
"I said leave him alone, Crowley."
"Get out of the way, angel." Crowley's tone bordered on dangerous, a clear warning. "I'm getting that charm. I already tried asking nicely."
Gabriel straightened to his full height, which was about the same size as the demon he faced off with. "I mean it. You can have the charm, but I won't let you hurt him."
"What makes you care all of a sudden?"
"Because I can, that's why."
"We agreed that anything goes, so long as I didn't touch your brother."
Agreed? Dean froze, staring at Gabriel with wide eyes.
"You're working with Crowley?!"
Gabriel flinched as if struck. "Sort of?"
The demon chuckled, suddenly full of good humor again. "Don't be so modest, angel." He turned to Dean, although his grip didn't loosen any. "Gabe here has been helping me out since the beginning. He was leading you right to me."
Dean's eyes narrowed dangerously. "We fucking trusted you."
Gabriel held his hands up. "I wasn't leading him anywhere! I thought it'd be okay since Luci was gone! I wasn't expecting Chuck to have you take on Crowley! He was just supposed to send you three home!"
"So what then, were you just looking for a chance to snatch the stupid necklace before we got whisked off?"
"That might have been easier in the long run," Crowley mused.
"So everything was a lie? All the times you helped us were just so we'd take you along?"
"It wasn't like that! I mean
it was at first. But I changed my mind!"
Dean wished Crowley didn't have a death grip on his arm. He really wanted to storm away right now. Or punch something. Preferably something that wouldn't hurt him more than what was being punched. Instead he fixed the archangel with a glare.
"So what'd you do it for?"
"What?" Gabriel stared at him. He looked pained. It served him right.
"What do you get out of it? You're selling your soul here, what do you get out of it?"
Crowley chuckled. He slung his free hand, the one that wasn't holding its death grip on Dean's wrist, around Gabriel's shoulders. Gabriel looked guilty, but didn't shrug the arm off. The demon pulled him closer.
"He's doing it because I asked him to. Isn't that right, angel?"
Gabriel didn't reply, looking pointedly away from the both of them.
"So you're what? Just helping him out of the goodness of your little angelic heart?" Dean snapped.
Crowley shrugged, enjoying this far too much. "I like to think it's because I'm a damn good lay."
Dean just stared at the demon, his jaw nearly hitting the floor in shock. "You
and HIM?! Oh that's just fucking gross!"
A fourth voice interrupted, calm and vaguely amused. "I have to agree with the human in this case. That's fairly disturbing."
Angel, human and demon froze in time, staring at a corner of the room that had been empty a minute ago.
Crowley glared at the stranger. "You."
Dean took a step back, as much as the demon's grip would allow. He'd seen this person before. There was no mistaking him. But the last time he'd seen him, the man was a corpse in a meadow.
Gabriel gasped. "Lucifer!"