Warnings: This story contains major spoilers for season three and season four of Supernatural. Minor spoilers for seasons one and two are also included.
Summary: In the city of lost souls, Spike is the one who ends up found.
Thank you A.J Hofacre for all of your help. I really appreciate it.
Dialogue from season four of Supernatural is used.
Sighing, Bobby hung up the phone. He’d just gotten off the phone with several of his contacts, and the reports that had been coming in over the last few days were disturbing. Not to mention the rumors he was hearing, the questions he was being asked. Bobby knew word spread quickly, hunters were worse gossips than hormonal teenage girls, but he’d hoped they would have more time…
“Hey, guys,” Bobby said, gaining everyone’s attention. “Got some info you might want to hear.”
“What is it?” Dean asked, coming to stand before the other man, arms crossed over his chest.
Bobby took in Dean‘s haunted gaze and weary countenance, and sighed. It wasn‘t like he was the only one feeling the weight, but Bobby knew Dean. He would take it all on his shoulders; it was what he’d always done. “From what I can tell, demons are on the move.”
“And let me guess,” Buffy said. “They’re coming here.”
“Some are,” Bobby said with a nod.
“Why?” Sam asked.
“Seems they’ve heard whisperings of Lazarus here,” Bobby replied nodding towards Dean. “Though, from what I’ve been told, they either want to see if the rumors are true, or they’re going to ground.”
“Something big’s coming,” Dean said, eyes focused downwards.
“We need to find out what‘s causing this,” Sam said. His gaze rested solely on Dean.
“You think this is tied into Dean’s resurrection?” Buffy asked. Sam nodded.
“Guess the sooner we find out who worked the mojo, the sooner we can figure out what’s causing our other problems,” Dean sighed, rubbing weary hands over his face.
“Willow,” Buffy said. “Think you can work your magic and find us some answers?”
“I can try,” Willow said. “I’m going to need Dean, though.”
“As long as it’s not permanent,” Dean replied.
“It won’t be,” Willow said, her voice gentle. Everyone watched intently as she came to stand next to Dean, and pushed up his sleeve. Placing her hand over the scar on Dean’s shoulder, Willow closed her eyes. It wasn’t long before Willow jerked her hand away with a startled yelp.
“What was it?” Buffy asked, her voice filled with worry.
“All I got was a name,” Willow said, voice shaky. “And a strong warning to look no further. So I didn‘t look.”
“What name?” Bobby asked.
“I haven’t heard that name before,” Bobby said, tone thoughtful.
“Well, you’ve got a name,” Ruby said, her tone bored. “That’s all you need for a good summoning ritual.”
“She’s right,” Dean grumbled, hating to admit that Ruby was right about anything.
“Not so fast,” Bobby said, tone firm. “We don’t even know what we’d be summoning.”
“He’s right,” Angel said. “That’s why we use every protective ward we know before we summon this thing.”
“And that’s my cue to leave.” Ruby stood, pulling her jacket on.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Buffy asked, arms crossed.
“I believe I just said I was leaving,” Ruby replied, the snark in her tone matching Buffy‘s.
“And why is that?” Spike asked, coming to stand next to Buffy.
“Because unlike you two,” Ruby said, gesturing towards Dean and Spike. “Protection symbols and I don’t mix.”
“Let her go,” Sam said with a sigh. “She won’t go far.”
Once Ruby was gone, Buffy turned towards Dawn before letting her gaze flicker towards Xander.
“Got it,” Xander said as he stood and placed his hand on Dawn’s shoulder.
“Oh, come on,” Dawn grumbled. “I’m not a kid anymore.”
“Don’t argue, Bit,” Spike said. “We don’t know what we’ll be getting and your sis doesn’t want you in harms way.”
“Fine,” Dawn said with a roll of her eyes. “But you so owe me for this.”
Once they were gone, Buffy took a deep breath, letting it out on a weary sigh. “So, lets get started.”
They worked in near silence, checking and rechecking to make sure each brush stroke matched the picture held in their hands. A few hours later the lobby of the hotel looked like a group of occult loving vandals had attacked it. Symbols from every culture were painted on the floor, the walls, the stairs, and thanks to Willow, even the ceiling.
“Right,” Dean said, his gaze scanning the room. “The sooner we get this over with, the sooner I can get a beer.”
“All right everyone,” Bobby said after shooting Dean a pointed glare. He knew this look well. Bobby had always known when Dean was bullshitting. “Stand back.”
Walking up to the bowl, Bobby started the ritual. His words were smooth and fluid, rising and falling in a steady rhythm while he tossed in various ingredients. Everyone held their breath, waiting for any sign that it had worked. Minutes passed and nothing happened. The group slumped, disappointment filling the room.
“Well that was a bit of a lark,” Spike said as he hopped up onto the counter.
“Just because there were no fire works, doesn’t mean the ritual didn’t work,” Bobby snapped. “Sometimes these things take time.”
“You sure you did the ritual right?” Dean asked. At Bobby’s murderous look, Dean held up his hands. “Sorry.”
“How long should we wait?” Sam asked, glancing briefly at the clock on the wall.
As if in answer to Sam’s question, the windows and doors started to shake. What sounded like a fierce wind sprung up outside. Everyone huddled together, back-to-back, eyes scanning every inch of the lobby. The front doors suddenly blew open, startling everyone. A figure dressed in a suit, tie, and beige trench coat walked through the doors. The man had short dark hair and a solemn expression. As he walked the overhead lights blew, causing sparks to rain down on the group. When he’d reached the main floor of the lobby Dean stepped forward, shotgun raised.
“Who are you?”
The man turned his gaze towards Dean. “I’m the one who gripped you tight and raised you from perdition.”
Dean was silent for few minutes, the man’s words echoing inside his head. Spike stepped forward and placed a hand on Dean’s shoulder.
“You’re Castiel, aren’t you?” The man turned, briefly giving Spike a nod.
“And my memories?” Dean asked, his voice a growl. “Did you get rid of those while you were gripping me tight?”
“That was not my doing,” Castiel said. “But I knew it would happen.”
“Gee, thanks,” Dean said, and then he pulled the trigger. The blast didn’t faze Castiel. Sam and Bobby fired off more rounds, though they had no more effect than the one Dean shot off. Buffy and Spike attacked as one, but Castiel seemed to have little trouble knocking them aside. They didn’t get up from where they had landed. Angel leapt forward next. He ended up crashing into the lobby desk next to Buffy, unconscious. Willow tired to cast a spell, but nothing happened. He simply looked over those who remained, and then raised his hand. They all fell to the floor while Dean remained standing.
“We need to talk.” Castiel‘s eyes were focused on Dean. “In private.”
Dean’s shocked eyes roamed over his friend’s still forms. When Castiel took a step forward, Dean shifted so that he was between Sam and Castiel. “What did you do?”
“They are alive,” Castiel said as he came to stand before Dean.
“What are you?” Dean asked, fear in his eyes.
“I’m an angel of the Lord,” he answered, his voice carrying his conviction that no other answer was possible. Dean couldn’t contain his snort of disbelief.
“Yeah, right.” Dean‘s words carried his anger, his fear. If this thing had hurt his friends, his brother… “And what are you supposed to be? The holy tax accountant?”
“This, is merely a vessel,” Castiel replied gesturing towards his body.
“You’re possessing some poor bastard?” Dean asked, eyes wide. His grip tightened on the gun even though he knew it was useless against the being before him.
“No,” Castiel answered. “This man, is a devote man. He actually prayed for this.”
“And I’m just supposed to believe you?” Dean couldn’t contain his skepticism. As far as he was concerned, angels, and God, did not exist.
“That is your problem, Dean,” Castiel said. “You have no faith.”
Suddenly the remaining lights started to flicker again. Dean took a step back, eyes darting around the room. A flash of light nearly blinded him and Dean could clearly see the shadowy outline of wings spreading out behind Castiel.
“What…how?” Dean asked, his voice shaking as hard as his body. He didn’t notice when the shotgun fell from his hands.
“Because God commanded it,” Castiel answered. “Because we have work for you.”
“And where does getting dumped in the middle of Los Angeles with no memory fit into this scheme of your’s?” Dean asked.
“We needed to keep you safe, for the time being,” Castiel replied. “And the Powers That Be agreed to aid our cause.”
“So, I drew the short straw then.” Dean’s voice was rough, narrowed eyes filled with desperate fury.
“We were not supposed to meet just yet,” Castiel replied, his dark eyes scanning over sleeping the group before him. He took in the symbols painted on the walls, ceiling, and floor of the lobby, all meant to protect those within. All no threat to him. “You were supposed to have more time to adjust, but events are coming to fruition faster than we thought.”
“I can’t believe this,” Dean said, shaking his head. “What if I hadn’t found Spike that night? Then what?”
“You were not left unarmed.” Castiel gave a casual shrug.
“That’s not the point!” Dean yelled. “You had no right to do that to me. And now you come in here, and expect me to jump just cause you say so?”
“You don’t understand,” Castiel said. “We thought by placing you with William that you would have time to heal until the proper time came.”
“And the visions?” Dean asked, hating the way his voice wavered.
Castiel shrugged again. “That was part of the bargain we made with the Powers that Be. They needed a seer for their champion.”
“That’s just great,” Dean ground out, eyes flashing black. “You people just blithely play with other people’s lives, all for the greater good, and without a thought as to how this will affect the people you’re screwing over.”
“You will show me some respect.” Castiel’s stand shifted, how though, Dean couldn‘t tell. He was darker, angrier, and as still as the eye of a passing storm. “I pulled you out of hell, and I can put you back.”
Dean stared at the angelic being before him, dread settling into his bones. “You think the Powers will be happy about that? If I’m back in hell, they lose a seer.”
“They would find another.” Castiel’s words were dismissive, as if the thought of throwing him back into hell was not a bother.
“So I’m screwed either way,” Dean said, shoulder’s slumped. He turned his back on Castiel, not caring about the vengeful angel at his back. He simply didn’t care anymore.
“Dean” Castiel said, reaching forward and grabbing his arm. Dean turned, jerking his arm free. Castiel just stood there for a few seconds, staring at Dean. It made him uncomfortable, like the angel was seeing into his soul. Dean was terrified of what he might find there.
“You don’t believe you deserve to be saved.” Castiel’s words held a hint of confusion that had not been there previously. It was a stark contrast to the anger from moments before and Dean lowered his eyes.
“Well, you were the one telling me you could toss my ass back into hell a second ago.” His words came out thin and brittle.
“Everyone deserves a chance to be saved,” Castiel said.
“Even a demon?” Dean asked, hating the scared tone his voice carried, hating himself for showing just how much having a demon inside still bothered him.
“You were only made part demon to enable you to survive the Power’s visions,” Castiel said.
“And what about Spike? And Angel” Dean asked, pointing to his unconscious friends. “Do they deserve to be saved too?”
“Their cases are irrelevant,” Castiel said, eyes briefly looking over Spike and Angel’s prone forms.
“What do you mean by that?” Dean asked, arms crossing over his chest.
Castiel’s gaze rose to focus on Dean. “They are the Power‘s champions and are no concern of ours.”
“But…” Dean said, his words falling short. His memories of hell flashed through his mind. Looking down, Dean stared at his feet. His breathing was shallow and bile rose in his throat. It burned his esophagus, causing tears to sting his eyes.
“You held on for as long as you could,” Castiel said, voice soft and gentle. “And now you have a chance to redeem yourself for those acts, just as your friends are trying to redeem themselves for their’s.”
“What do you want me to do?” Dean asked. He sounded defeated; the weight of what was happening settling on his shoulders.
“Help us stop Lilith,” Castiel said.
“An angel?” Spike asked, his eyebrows climbing to his hairline.
“Yeah,” Dean said, still not quite believing his own eyes. He was leaning against the counter in the Hyperion’s lobby, hands resting on his hips. The fingers of his right hand were playing with the frayed threads of his pocket. The symbols were still scrawled across the walls, the ceiling, and the floor. Candles and flashlights sat on the lobby counter adding their glow to the few bulbs that remained intact. It was going to take them several hours to clean up, but no one seemed eager to get started.
“Isn’t this a good thing?” Buffy asked, rubbing her arms. Despite her words, she was completely wigged-out. “Cause from what I’ve always thought, angels were, you know, good.”
“Well he sure as hell wasn’t a fluffy little cherub,” Dean snapped.
“But-” Buffy started, and then stopped, letting out a tired sigh. “Okay, you‘ve got a point.”
“Angel’s are God’s warriors,” Bobby said, one of Giles’ books lying open in front of him.
“According to the Bible they razed Sodom and Gomorrah,” Spike said, rubbing his face with his hands. He still couldn’t get his mind around the fact that angels existed. He knew better than most that there were such things as higher beings, that didn’t mean he ever thought he’d meet one.
“And they are powerful enough to raise someone from hell,” Bobby said, his words seeming to carry the weight of the world.
“I don’t get it,” Sam said, confusion, doubt and grief causing a slight break in his voice. “If he’s an angel, then…”
“Why was he such a dick?” Dean asked, knowing exactly what his brother was thinking. “I don’t know, Sammy.”
“Look, why don’t we all get some sleep, yeah?” Spike said, taking in the slumped postures and dark circles marring everyone’s eyes. “We’re not going to find out anything tonight.”
In full agreement, the group quickly parted ways, blowing out candles and turning off flashlights and lamps. Tomorrow would bring more questions, but for now, it could wait.