Chapter Nine: The Boys Are Too Refined ((The Hush Sound))
The castle looked like it belonged to some mad scientist from an old horror movie. It was topped all in dark spires, ink black against the late afternoon sun. The building itself was made of dark green, forest green brick to be exact. Sam didn't think they made bricks in forest green, but that was hardly the most important thing to be focusing on at that point.
The party stepped through the wrought iron gates also green, for some reason that separated the castle from the remainder of the town. The gates weren't locked, although it took the combined effort of Sam and Castiel to push one side open enough for them to get through. The difficult part of getting into the castle wasn't the gate, however, but getting in the door.
This was only a problem because the guard posted by the door wouldn't let them get a word in.
He was sitting directly in the middle of the castle's looming dark green double doors, a folding chair propped up against them. An older man, more or less Gabriel's height, brown hair mixed with grey on both head and beard. He looked more like a trucker than a guard, but the hunters had yet to see anyone around this place that actually looked dressed for their occupation. A few layers of shirts with an old hunting vest atop it, worn jeans and a scuffed cap. He crossed his arms, giving the group a deadpan stare as they came up from the gates.
"What the hell do you all think you're doing?"
Sam went first. Sam was good at talking to people. Especially angry people.
"We uh, we're here to see Chuck."
The man's face didn't change. "Oh, I thought you were here to sell cookies."
Castiel blinked. "Should we have brought cookies?"
Dean almost laughed. But laughing would hurt in his current condition, so he didn't. "Sarcasm, Cas."
" Sam continued, running a hand through his hair. A nervous habit both brothers seemed to share. "We were kinda told to come here. Cuz apparently he had some visions and told some people to bring us here, to Purgatory, and we're kind of anxious to get home."
"The guys to stop Lucifer and Crowley?"
Sam nodded. "Exactly."
"Thought there was only supposed to be two of you."
"Oh, well, we kinda picked up some others along the way."
"How do I know you're not all demons?" The man looked the younger hunter down, pulling a small silver flask from his vest pocket.
Castiel frowned, turning to Dean. "Why does everyone keep assuming that?"
Sam started to reply, something rather intelligent about demons and their nocturnal habits which technically wasn't true, considering Meg and Ruby had ambushed them mid- day when the guard shook the contents of the flask onto him. Sam blinked in surprise; getting splashed right in the face by what he thought was water.
He sputtered, licking water from his lips as he stared at the guard, silently wondering if there were any sane people in Purgatory. But then his training kicked in.
"Holy Water. Right. Good call." He wiped his face.
The man only moved past him, splashing the rest of them one by one. When he was finished, his flask was empty, angel and human alike were wet, and no one was a demon. Although Gabriel let out a yell when he was splashed, and the guard had a knife to his throat before the archangel could grin and say "Just kidding!"
He got an extra splash of Holy Water to the face for that stunt.
Still, he didn't seem convinced enough to let them in. Dean was losing his patience. He had a headache the size of Kansas, and every so often his head would sway. Standing here arguing with some old guy was not helping matters. He stormed past his brother.
"Look, you know we're not demons, and who else would know about this bullshit mission? Just let us in! We need to talk to Chuck about getting out of this mad house, and there's a very good chance I could pass out again first. Besides, I should tell him that we already dealt with Lucifer!"
The man stared. "You killed Lucifer?"
Dean nodded before he thought better of it, pressing a hand to his temple. He was getting tired of being asked that. He caught sight of the charm in the corner of his eye, holding it up for the guard to see. He figured if anyone would be alright to see it, it'd be one of Chuck's guards.
The guard looked at the charm, surprise finally replacing the bored expression. He grabbed Dean by the arm, pulling him closer to inspect the charm.
"Bobby, are you picking on solicitors again? You know what Chuck said about that!" a female voice piped up.
The window beside the doors opened, and a girl popped her head out, studying them all. She rested her chin on a hand, her light brown hair falling over her shoulders and out the window.
The guard, Bobby, sighed in a long- suffering manner. "They ain't selling nothing, Becky, they wanna see Chuck."
"Oh." She leaned further out the window, pulling at the ledge to keep herself hanging. "Why?"
"I guess these are the guys that Chuck sent for to deal with our little civil war problem."
Her eyes widened, staring at them. Sam in particular. "What?! Oh my god, why didn't you say so! Hurry up and let them in!"
She ducked out of the window, only to appear a moment later, pushing one of the doors open. The group stared in confusion as she bounced excitedly from one foot to the other. She all but reached out to grab at them, but Bobby held her back, stretching an arm out.
"Cool it, Becky. You'll scare them off."
"Oh, c'mon!" she huffed, glaring harmlessly at him. "I couldn't scare these guys off. They're used to much worse than me."
"They've never met you."
"She's right," Gabriel spoke up, crossing his arms with a smug grin. "This is nothing. We've been dealing with demons since we got here. Hordes of them. Real nasty ones."
Becky blinked. "Um
who are you?"
Sam snorted as the archangel's face fell.
"He's a friend of ours," the younger Winchester smiled. "Castiel too."
The angel took a step closer to Dean, who only sighed because this was taking too long.
"Any way we can go over Q&A inside? I'd like to be sitting soon, before I fall down or something."
"Oh! Right, right! S- Sorry!" Becky turned an embarrassed shade of pink, motioning them inside.
They followed her in to the entry hall. The building's outside theme of greens was matched inside. The floors were marble, all manner of greens swirling around with white. Stone pillars went from floor to ceiling, jade in color. The walls were decorated with tapestries in rich colors. The hall led to a grand staircase in the same jade as the pillars. Becky led them to the base of the stairs.
"You should rest before seeing Chuck. Have something to eat, a change of clothes, get that injury looked at," she pointed to Dean's head with a bit of a wince. "I'll make sure Chuck knows you're here, and he'll see you first thing tomorrow. Bobby can show you to your rooms. If you need anything, just let one of us know, okay?"
She offered them a bright smile, and then hurried up the steps with the energy only an excitable young woman can muster.
Bobby looked less than thrilled. "Alright, let's go."
He led them down a different hall, their boots echoing off the marble floors. At the end of the hall, a new one started, this one lined with doors. He pointed to the first one, casting a look at Gabriel.
"You can have that one. Try not to be too loud."
The archangel smirked, bounding over to the door. "I'll try my best."
"I'll bet," he rolled his eyes. He gave Sam the next room, Dean the one after that, and Castiel the last. With his job done, he turned on a booted heel and left, returning to his post outside.
It didn't take Gabriel long to get bored in the room by himself. Usually he could entertain himself with his powers, but with Purgatory depleting his Grace, he couldn't even do that. He explored the room, finding clothes in the dresser that were, oddly enough, exactly his size. Like someone knew he was coming. He shrugged, deciding to waste time with a shower.
But half an hour later, he was out, dried and dressed, flopped on the bed and bored once again. So it was only natural that he decided to make a call to bother someone he took great joy in pestering.
Sam considered the clothing longer than Gabriel had. Years in the hunting business had made him suspicious of things like that. He wasn't exactly a normal- sized guy, there shouldn't be clothes in his exact size waiting for him in a room he was randomly assigned.
Or had it been random? He sat on the bed, pondering it. The man he'd met with near the club had told him that Chuck had visions. If he knew they were coming, he'd probably seen it in such a vision. So he supposed it only made sense that he'd know what to put in their rooms.
He felt a bit better about that. Enough to relax and have a nap.
Dean wasted no time in having a nice long shower, relaxing in water hot enough to burn just a bit. It soothed all the bruises he'd picked up from the fight, and he refused to give it up until his fingers began to prune. He felt so much better after that, and a quick inspection of his head in the bathroom mirror revealed no more damage than the purple bruises and cuts that weren't even worth bandaging. He could deal with that.
The clothes in the dresser were his size, but they weren't his style at all. Pressed dress shirts and slacks. He almost didn't bother with them, but his other clothes were in need of a wash, and he figured it would probably be rude to show up to dinner in them. This looked like a pretty fancy place, after all.
Still, he wrinkled his nose as he slid the shirt on. He only dressed up when he impersonated FBI agents.
Castiel, left to his own devices, didn't know what to do. He hadn't gotten a chance to ask Dean before the elder Hunter had disappeared into his own room. He guessed that Dean was busy now. Castiel didn't want to bother him, so he decided to look around the room.
Becky had said something about changing clothes. He could do that. Humans kept clothes in dressers, he knew that much. He'd never changed his clothes before, he hadn't needed to. With his Grace, he could clean his vessel's clothing with a mere thought. But humans did it at least once a day, so it couldn't be too hard.
After fifteen minutes of fumbling with buttons and belts, he was ready to retract his statement.
Sam's suspicions were confirmed when they were collected for dinner. All four came out of their respective rooms in fresh clothing although in Castiel's case, his shirt was buttoned wrong, and his tie was a mess, so Dean had to help him with that before they left. They were led to the dining room, where Becky and Bobby were already sitting. There were four other places set, two on each side of the long dining room table. Sam sat in the first seat, after prompting by Becky, and was quickly joined by Gabriel on his other side with a grin from the archangel. Dean took the seat across from Sam, and Castiel beside him, facing his brother.
Dinner was served shortly after they took their seats. Each of their meals was different, suited to their tastes. This further proved Sam's theory that Chuck knew exactly who he had staying in his castle. There was baked chicken and vegetables for Sam, bacon cheeseburgers and fries for both Dean and Castiel, and a stack of syrup coated pancakes for Gabriel.
Becky spoke happily as they all ate, going on about how excited she was that they were finally here, and how Chuck would be so glad to see them tomorrow. She smiled extra wide every time she mentioned Chuck's name, Dean noticed. It was almost cute.
Bobby seemed a little more relaxed at this point. He wasn't as perky as Becky, although she probably had the monopoly of perky, especially in Purgatory, but he wasn't snapping at them, or tossing Holy Water in their faces. That was an improvement, at least.
"You mentioned earlier that you killed Lucifer," he looked up at Dean over his steak and potatoes.
"Yeah," the Hunter nodded, "Took him out when I got here. Jo told me. I saw the guy."
"You're sure it was him?"
Dean shrugged. "Tall, short blonde hair?"
Becky's eyes widened in awe. "That's him alright. Chuck didn't mention that
"Maybe he doesn't know about it yet?"
but you said that was when you got here, and that was what, four days ago? He should've seen it by now. Maybe he just didn't say anything." She frowned. "It's not like him to leave out something that huge though
Sam stabbed a piece of chicken a little more viciously than intended. Gabriel arched a brow.
"Well, at any rate, I figure if the problem was these two guys fighting each other like Jo said, then the problem should be solved, right? So we can just go home tomorrow."
Becky nodded. "I'm sure he'd be happy to, since you helped so much."
This seemed good enough for them all. The rest of the meal was filled with friendly conversation, and when dessert came around, Dean insisted that Castiel try the wonder that was pie. Gabriel went back for seconds on cheesecake.
Dean had stayed in a lot of motels during his time as a hunter. But he had to admit, Chuck's place had the nicest bed he'd ever slept on. Crisp, clean sheets. Perfectly fluffed pillows. Mattress just firm enough to not be too soft, but not enough to be uncomfortably hard.
It was perfection.
He sprawled out; full on the best meal he'd had since he could remember. If he wasn't in such a hurry to go home, he would be sorely tempted to just stay here and enjoy this. Letting out a pleased groan, he burrowed into the comforters, feeling for all the world like he was wrapped up clouds. He vaguely wondered if Cas and Gabriel slept on clouds. The thought made him grin.
It didn't take him long at all to settle in for the night. He'd slept on the floor the previous night, a crappy pull- out bed the night before, and the woods before that. None of those had been particularly good for a well- rested night. He fully intended to make this one count. He let that drowsy, half- asleep feeling wash over him, relaxing.
The sound of the door opening jolted him back immediately, instinct rousing him in seconds. He kept his eyes closed, his hand slowly reaching for the knife he kept under the pillow of every bed he slept in. A figure stepped quietly into the room, shutting the door behind them. Dean peeked an eye open the barest bit, enough to see the figure in the darkness of the room as it crept closer toward the bed. It reached out a hand, and Dean shot up, grabbing the intruder by the shirt and slamming them against the bed, knife held at the ready.
Castiel made a shocked noise, blue eyes staring up at Dean in wide surprise. Dean let out a sharp breath.
"Jesus, Cas, are you trying to give me a damned heart attack?!" he hissed, letting the other up. He shoved the knife back under the pillow. "What the hell are you doing here?"
The angel remained where he was, even without Dean's weight holding him in place. "I
I apologize. It wasn't my intent to scare you. I just
He looked embarrassed. Dean frowned, and then remembered Cas's sleeping habits.
"Still can't sleep alone?"
Castiel shook his head, looking away.
Dean was tired. He wasn't going to argue about where Castiel wanted to sleep. The bed was plenty big enough, larger than Balthazar's wreck of a sofa bed. And he imagined it couldn't be easy for the angel to adjust to doing human things. It was probably freaking him out a little. It was the least he could do after Castiel had saved his ass that afternoon, anyway.
He scooted over, making room for the other. Castiel sat up, tilting his head.
"You don't mind?"
"Nah. But one thing though."
"Hmm?" Castiel slid under the covers, careful to stay on his designated side.
"Why me? Why not Gabe? I'm sure he'd be better at explaining all this human stuff to you."
Castiel smiled his little half- smile. "Gabriel kicks in his sleep."
Dean rolled his eyes with a grin, settling back in for the night. "Figures."
Yay for bedburrowing...
LOL! So the Wizard of Oz Parallel finally kicks it's way into my brain. (At least it seems like it to me. Guess I'm alittle slow.)
Bobby: Damn Idjit!
Me: Bite Me, Bobby!
Bobby: Damn Idjit!
Me: Bite Me, Bobby!