No Refunds

Chapter 43

All too aware that the next wave of demons would be rapidly approaching, they made their plans quickly.

"How many outside?" Dean asked Balthazar as he threw back the bed sheets and began to pick Castiel up. His voice rang out in the quiet of the room, so silent after what had just happened. The only remaining angel was admiring his handiwork; a blood sigil on the wall that repelled demons. The room was safe.

"At least twenty. Most are at the doors." The angel replied.

"Perfect." Dean grunted as he hefted Cas into a fireman's lift. "We'll fight our way through."

"Two floors up, supply cupboard." Sam reminded Balthazar. "Everything you need for a bomb."

"Yes, I hadn't forgotten." Balthazar agreed distractedly, clearly listening.

"Coast clear?" Dean asked.

"Yes."

"Go." Sam told him, and Balthazar left, kicking through the pile of corpses at his feet. The coast was certainly clear; the hallway was void of demons, the only signs of life that of the fish in the aquarium. He had expected some stragglers, and considered the possibility that the demons had heard them talking, were waiting for them at the doors, at the supply cupboard.

~

Sam pushed the covers from the bed, grabbing the mattress and taking it to the window, glancing outside.

"See anything?" Dean whispered, peering over whilst regaining his support, careful of the unconscious body slung over his shoulder.

"No." Sam said. "Probably some hiding, but I guess they're at the front door."

~

Balthazar climbed the stairs with ease, not encountering one demon in the entire journey. None of them had dared dream it would go this smoothly. Of course, the hardest was yet to come, Balthazar knew this, they all did. He knew there would be an ambush waiting for him.

~

"Now?" Dean asked, peering out as Sam quietly opened the window.

"As good-a-time as any." He replied, beginning to feed the mattress through the window. They were a floor above ground level, and while the boys had made bigger jumps before, they couldn't risk it with a comatose body in tow. Sam shoved it, hesitating for a fraction of a second. No demons appeared. The coast was still clear.

Sam jumped first, ready to guard while Dean jumped with Cas. He had Ruby's blade clenched in his fist as he fell, and jumped up, catlike, the instant he landed. Leaping off the mattress, making room for his elder brother to take the leap, he glanced around, quickly spotting two demons in the bushes. He had been right.

He let them come to him; demons so eager to kill that they didn't bother trying to lure Sam away from the spot he was guarding. He destroyed them easily, taking out the taller one first whilst using his sheer size to keep the smaller at bay.

Dean had landed behind him, Castiel still safe on his shoulder. He readjusted the body as he straightened up, and grinned at his brother. "Demons are idiots."

~

Balthazar knew there were demons there before he saw them. Hundreds. The vast majority of the demons in the hospital had congregated here, ready to attack en masse. They had heard the boys talking about their plan, to go to the supply cupboard, to make a bomb. All it takes is one demon with good hearing to pass on the message. Crowley's fool proof plan.

They knew that the angel would be the difficult one. As infamous as the Winchesters were, they were just human. The various groups covering the doors could handle them well enough, especially whilst they were otherwise occupied defending the meat suit. The Angel, however, alone and powerful, no longer had the humans slowing him down. The hundreds of demons congregated, used logic to decide to give him clear access to a spot large enough for them to charge. One-on-one fights he could handle as if they were insects; try getting through the swarm.

There were demons hidden in the stairwell above him, ready to join the crowd, surround him. He paid them no mind, single-minded in his efforts to get to the cupboard. He didn't pause when he reached the door, pushing it open, striding through and along the corridor to the cupboard. That's when the demons became visible, appearing from behind desks and beds and corners and doors like guests at a surprise party. Some looked happy to be there. Some looked set to kill, thought it was safe to assume they all were.

"I take it you heard our little plan, then?" Balthazar asked, sensing, rather than seeing, the demons close in behind him. Completely surrounded, though a circle of a few metres around him was clear, just enough room to swing a cat.

A demon in front of him spoke. "The boys speak too loudly." He said simply. "You may as well have said it over the intercom."

"Yes, but that would've been a bit obvious. We prefer the subtle approach, generally." Balthazar smiled. "You're in my way."

"Shame that." The demon said. The vessel it was using was barely more than a child, a red-headed boy of 19 years. He'd come in for an appendectomy. Peter, his name was.

Killing demons was such an ugly business.

Balthazar pulled out the knife, ready to begin. He knew they were waiting for a signal, probably from Peter. "Shall we get this over with?" The angel growled.

The boy grinned, teeth shining. "Fine."

The demons descended.

~

The boys moved quickly to the car, taking the longer route as to avoid any demons at the doors, but reached the vehicle within a couple of minutes. Sam jumped in the front seat, starting the engine, as Dean fell into the back with Cas, landing partially on top of him and made sure all limbs were tucked inside the car before pulling the door shut. They had already started to move, the car vibrating under them, and Sam drove fast, ignoring the hospitals rules on car-park regulation and crushing a well-cared-for patch of geraniums. The birds-eye technique would avoid the demons, and it worked. Dean craned his neck, checking the hospital, and managed to glimpse a group of several dozen demons outside the exit, waiting for them. He wondered how long they'd wait.

They stopped waiting when every entrance, exit, window and crack glowed white light for a few seconds.

~

As the light died down, Balthazar looked around. Surrounded by literally hundreds of humans piled around him, he wondered how many had survived. He spared a thought for Peter, checking on him, feeling for a pulse. The angel smiled.

He also fixed his appendix while he was at it.


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