Breaking Free

The Deal

For the first time in many years, I was able to fall asleep. And God did it feel great. At first.

“Why are we doing this again?” I looked up expectantly at Dylan. He had managed to drag me out to the woods in the middle of the night in search of a ghost.

Now for any normal person's standards, twenty five was way too old to believe in ghosts. But over the past few months we had been seeing some pretty weird things that could only be described as supernatural.

“Because this thing has already killed three people, one of them was my cousin. And since you are practically the only person I can talk to about any of this without sounding like a madman, I had no choice but to bring you along to help me get rid of it.” He smiled at me, letting me know not to take it personally and he was joking about the last part.

“Well that’s not entirely true. I do think you’re a madman.” I gently shoved him with my shoulder as we continued our hike.

“And yet here you are.” He half questioned, half acknowledged.

“Here I am.” I agreed. “If I didn’t come with you, you would probably do something stupid and manage to get hurt.” He gave me a small smile and shrugged in agreement.

“What if he isn’t even buried out here? And how do we know these Ghostfacers even know what they are talking about?” We had been walking around for at least an hour with no signs of a grave marker.

“Ah, dear Abby, you have no faith. Leave it to you to question the plan after we already started. Just trust me. I know some guys that told me they have the right idea.” I rolled my eyes, smiling slightly at the nickname.

Not too long after, the temperature suddenly dropped thirty degrees. “I think we are close.” I whisper as I take a few more steps forwards.

I was really starting to regret coming now. I could have talked him out of it if I had tried. We were only slightly deeper in the woods than where they had found the other bodies. At the moment the forest was closed off, we weren't even supposed to be out here in the first place. But Dylan had wanted to get rid of the bastard that had killed his cousin. The two were as close as brothers, so it was understandable that he would want revenge.

But still, if I had trusted my gut feeling and obeyed the yellow ‘caution: do not enter’ tape around the woods none of this would have happened. The whole mess could have been avoided if we turned around now. But of course I must not have been thinking properly because we had no such luck.

“Here,” He pointed to a tree that had a name carved into it near the base and an area of dirt that looked like it had been dug up and refilled because of the lack of weeds and grass. “Start digging. Hurry.” He tossed me a shovel and we dug. Surprisingly it didn’t take too long to get to the body. I gagged when I saw it. It was only a year or two old and still had a lot of the skin and flesh clinging to the bones.

I reached into my backpack and took out the salt while Dylan got the gasoline, and together we poured it over the body. I turned to Dylan just in time to see a transparent figure throw him into a tree. He fell to the ground, unconscious.

“Dylan! Oh you son of a bitch, you’ll pay for that!” I light the match and threw it on the corpse before it could do any further harm. After watching the ghost burst into flames, I ran over to Dylan’s side.

“Come on, wake up.” I checked for a pulse. Nothing. ‘No, this is not happening. No, no, no, no, no.’ His neck must have broken when he hit the tree. Tears started to form in my eyes as realization dawned on me. I couldn’t lose him. No, I wouldn’t lose him.

I ran out of the forest quickly, hoping and praying this would work. If ghosts were real then demons had to be real too, right? I came to the nearest crossroads, doing what was expected to summon the demon. I buried the box and waited.

“Hello sweetheart.” I turned to find a man in a rather expensive looking suit walking towards me. “The name’s Crowley. What can I do for you?”

I bit my lip to hold back a sob. “My friend, he got hurt. We were in the woods and something happened. He...He’s dead.” My voice cracked. I mentally cursed myself for showing signs of weakness to a demon. “Please, heal him. Bring him back. Please.”

Crowley smiled an evil glint in his eyes. “Of course darling, of course. But first, we have to make an agreement. I’ll give you one month and then you join me. How does that sound?”

“One month? I thought it was traditional to have ten years after making the deal?” I asked, confused.

“In a normal situation, yes. However, this is anything but normal. You are not the average girl Abigall Spiers. So, do we have a deal?” He was starting to get impatient. I nodded and kissed him quickly, before he could change his mind or lower my days more. “See you in a month.” With that he disappeared.

I ran as quickly as I could back to the place in the woods. I reached him, panting and out of breath. “Please work, please, please work.” I chanted as I kneeled in front of him. What was only a few minutes in reality felt like forever as I waited for him to come back to life. I flung myself into his arms as soon as his eyes started to open, sobs racking through my body.

“Hey, you okay? What did I miss?” His arms wrapped around me, holding me close. He tried to comfort me by rubbing small circles on my back.

After what felt like forever, I had finally calmed down enough to talk. “I’m sorry. Just, it threw you into the tree and you blacked out. You wouldn’t wake up and I guess I panicked.” I felt bad for lying to him of course, but I couldn’t tell him the truth. He would probably start yelling at me for how stupid I was and how I should have left him there.

“Well I’m fine now, okay? I’m not going anywhere.” He smiled down at me and helped me up. I sighed slightly in disappointment. I had felt so safe in his arms. But he was safe, and that’s what mattered.

True to his word, Crowley came exactly one month later. He came for me on the twenty third of August, the last day that I was supposed to be alive.

My friend Laura had just got a huge promotion and we had all gone out to eat to celebrate. We lived in a small town called Kirtland Hills, Ohio, with a population of just under a thousand so pretty much everything was close enough to walk to. It was around nine at night when we left the restaurant and started to head back to Laura’s place to hang out. Since we were walking and didn’t need a designated driver, all five of us were pretty tipsy. The restaurant had great wine and we had gone a little overboard with it.

We were walking past an alley way when I first saw them. Big and black, empty eye sockets and razor sharp teeth and claws stood two hellhounds. My friends, having not been the ones to make the deal, saw nothing. That would explain why they looked confused when random wounds appeared on my body and started to bleed. It only took them a second to realize I was dying and they all started screaming in panic. Dylan rushed to my side, trying to support me as the hounds attacked again, this time they pulled me down dragged me into the alley to finish me off. I held back the screams of pain, not wanting to worry my friends further. At least when the cops would ask them about my death what they saw could probably be excused due to the alcohol consumption.

My vision went black. The last thing I saw was Dylan’s terrified expression. When I opened my eyes, I was surprised to realize my body was back in one piece. But unfortunately not for too much longer. I was strapped to a wooden table, unable to move and a demon with glowing green eyes stood above me in the cellar. “Hello. I am Litvack. We are going to have some fun.” He smiled evilly as he pressed a knife into my skin and began the first of many torture sessions.

I sat up, panting heavily. ‘It was just a dream.’ I told myself to calm down, waiting for my heart rate to return to normal. I silently thanked myself for training myself not to scream in hell, at least now I wouldn’t be waking up Sam and Dean with my pathetic nightmare problem.

‘Five thirty. Too late to try to get back to sleep.’ I think disappointedly as I glance at the clock on the night stand. I get a quick shower then try to look as presentable as I can in my old dirty clothes. I folded Sam’s sweats neatly and placed them on the floor next to the pull out couch.

Me, being who I am, couldn’t sit still for long. I didn’t turn on the TV because I didn’t want to risk waking up the boys. I paced back and forth from one side of the room to the other for a few minutes until I saw Sam’s laptop, still opened from last night, sitting on the small circular table by the door. Curious, but mostly just bored and looking for something to do, I walked over to it. I moved the mouse a little to wake it up then I opened Google Chrome. Might as well see what kind of events I missed over the last three years. I had been scrolling through the internet for about two hours before I heard either of the boys making any noise indicating that they would be waking up soon. I quickly exited the website and moved away from the laptop just in time to see Dean sitting up and opening his eyes.

“Morning.” He mumbled as he grabbed a change of clothes and walked over to the bathroom. Twenty minutes later Sam was up and in the shower with Dean pounding on the door for him to hurry up.

“Sorry about my brother. He takes longer to get ready in the morning than a girl, I swear.” Dean said, giving up on yelling at Sam and sitting across from me on the other bed.

I smiled slightly enviously. I never had a sibling to fight with. I never had someone who would be there for me no matter what. “It’s fine, I don’t mind waiting.”

Dean nodded. After a minute of silence he shifted his weight and asked almost nervously, “Can I ask you something?” When I nodded he continued. “How are you so okay with this? You get dragged out of hell and allow two men and an angel to basically kidnap you and you haven’t freaked out once. I mean when I got out of hell I was alone. Lost and confused with nowhere to go. It took me forever to get over the nightmares that woke me up every night. They still keep me up sometimes. And yet here you are, seemingly perfectly normal. You don’t seem to be affected by any of this. How is that possible?”

I was shocked that he had asked something so personal after just meeting me, but I figured I owed him this much. He had given me a place to stay and allowed me to tag along with them after all. I thought carefully before answering. “Well when I made the deal I knew what I was getting into. I knew the consequences but I did it anyways. It was for someone I cared about so I figured it was worth it. Honestly I never thought I would get out for real. But then I did somehow and you two showed up out of nowhere like a gift from heaven offering me a place with you guys. Don’t get me wrong, I probably will be plagued in my sleep by the memories of what happened, but I guess that's something I’ll have to deal with. I’ve taught myself how to shut up so hopefully I won’t be screaming in the middle of the night and waking up you and your brother. I learned long ago to be thankful for what you had because it can always be worse. I just hope you don’t get sick of me too quickly, it would kinda suck to be kicked out before I find another place to stay.”

He nodded understandingly. I wonder what he went to hell for. Ah well, I’ll ask him later. I’m not that great at heart-to-hearts. “Don’t worry; you're not the worst company so I guess we can tolerate you for a while. Stick around as long as you like. We’ll start a club, ‘team we’ve both been to hell.’ Hooray for tortured souls.” He raised an imaginary drink as a toast and I ‘clinked’ my imaginary glass against his.

Sam walked out of the bathroom with his freshly shaven face and perfect newly washed hair. “You two ready?” He raised his eyebrows at our pretend glasses but said nothing. Nodding, we stood up and went out to the car.

‘Well, welcome to day one in my new life of being a professional hunter.’ I thought as we drove off.

Dean parked the car close to the doors of a fairly large mall. He handed me a credit card. “Here, get what you need. Depending on the case and cover we chose you might want to get a few fancy dresses or suits or something professional. Don’t worry about the cost, it ain't a real card and won’t cost us a thing.” I smiled gratefully and accepted the card.

Sam unlocked the door and I got out. “We will be back in about two hours. We are going to go to the other side of town and get you all the ID’s and everything you will need. Have fun, don’t get into trouble. If you see a demon, stab them with this and run.” He pulled out a knife with a wood handle and something in another language carved into the blade.

I thanked the boys, put the knife in the inside pocket of the jacket Dean had lent me, and walked off into the mall. I walked into the first store I saw and bought a change of some clean clothes. Then I changed into them in the bathroom and disposed the dirty torn up clothes I had been wearing, except for Dean’s jacket of course. Finally feeling clean, I walked out of the bathroom and continued my shopping. I walked into coach and purchased a large duffle bag with multiple zippered pockets, a purse, and a backpack.

I finished my clothes shopping fairly quickly and wandered over to the jewelry store. I never was much of a girly girl, but I usually always had a cross necklace around my neck before I went to hell. A simple yet elegant silver cross caught my eye and I bought it and put it on. It hung just below my collar bone. The cross used to just represent my faith, but now that I was back on earth it symbolizes so much more. I had met an angel, and a different one had most likely dragged me out. Now I was with the Winchesters it was a reminder of what I had done, what I had been through, and all the good I was going to do by helping them kill demons.

I sat outside on a bench and folded my new clothes and placed them in the duffel bag along with the toiletries. In the backpack I put the books I had bought and a notebook so I could write down information we gathered on each job. I made sure to leave room for weapons, knowing that the boys would probably give me more than a knife to defend myself on an actual case. In the purse I put my wallet, pepper spray (who says only demons can attack you?) and a few packets of salt I took from the cafeteria.

I didn’t have to wait too much longer for the boys to show up. Dean pulled the car up to the curb, nodding in approval as he saw I had all my stuff already packed. I jumped into the backseat, setting my bags on the floor by me feet.

I passed the credit card back up to Dean. “Thanks. You got everything you need?”

I nodded. “Yeah, I’m all set. Thanks again, for everything.”

“No problem.” Sam handed me a yellow envelope. “Here, this has all I.D’s, badges, and credit cards you should need.” I thanked him and took it, organizing the cards into my new wallet. He also handed me a pretty nice cell phone. “I already put a few numbers in it. It has mine, Dean’s, Castiel’s, and Bobby’s. We know other hunter’s, but you don’t need them right now. You can just add them in as you meet them.”

I thanked him and grabbed Sam’s knife out of my pocket and gave it back to him. “So where are we going now?”

“There have been a few freak accidents down in Connecticut that could be worth checking out. Or we could call Bobby and have him find another hunter to take care of it while we get you ready for your new life as a hunter.”

I nodded, wouldn’t hurt to actually know what I’m doing before I dive head first into it. But I didn’t want to slow them down either. “We can take the case, I’ll just observe or something so I can get the idea of what to do. Best way to learn is through experience after all.”

We drove in silence for about thirty minutes before Castiel appeared with another man next to me in the back seat. I jumped, not used to people suddenly appearing out of thin air. The brothers seemed unaffected, this must happen a lot. Joy, another think I had to look forward to.

“Hay Cas. Gabriel, it’s nice to see you again. I wasn’t expecting you to stop by yet.” Sam barely looked up from the map he was holding.

“Cas.” Dean nodded in acknowledgment at his angel friend, making it obvious he was ignoring Gabriel.

“Awe common Deano, don’t be so rude. You do want pie tonight don’t you?” Gabriel mock pouted as he stuck a sucker into his mouth.

The hunter rolled his eyes, silently giving in, if only for the promise of the dessert. “What do you want Gabriel?”

“Well Cas here told me all about your new little friend and I just had to fly in for a visit to introduce myself.” He turned to me, smiling brightly. There was something vaguely familiar about him. “Hi, I’m Gabriel as you have probably figured out. Archangel, ex-trickster, messenger of God. Pleasure to finally meet you, Abigall Spiers.” He held out his hand to shake and I slowly took it. It was warm, comforting. He seemed nice enough, so why did Dean seem to hate the guy?

“An honor to meet you too. If you don’t mind me asking, what is so special about me that made an archangel leave his heavenly duties just to meet me?” And to think that meeting one angel was overwhelming. Yet here I was in the back seat of a car having a normal conversation with two angels, one of them being one of the four archangels. To say I was freaking out on the inside would be an understatement.

“Well my dear, you are anything but an average human. You are special.” There was a glint to his eyes, like he knew something I didn’t. And considering he had been alive since before the beginning of time that was probably true.

“Gabriel.” Cas gave his brother a warning glare. “That is enough on that topic.” They stared at each other, changing facial expressions every so often. Could angels communicate telepathically? I figured they had finished their silent discussion when they both nodded slightly and looked away from each other.

“So if you’re an archangel that means you know things right? Do you know how I got out?” Okay, yeah, I could have waited a while before asking or trying to not seem so obvious, but hey I was curious.

“Sure I do.” Gabriel smiled brightly, honey eyes sparkling. “It was me. Your welcome.”

I stared at him, blinking slowly. “Why?”

He shrugged, looking out the window. “Like I said, you are special. Important somehow. Don’t bother asking how, I’m not sure yet. I just know somehow you are involved in all this.”

Dean practically growled at the angel. “Shut up Gabriel. She doesn’t have to be involved in anything. Bringing her into a hunter’s life is dangerous enough; we are not going to risk her life further by throwing her into the Apocalypse.”

I stared in wonder at Dean. He sure was protective. But I guess being a hunter you didn’t have many friends so you had to protect the few you did have. “Thanks but I think that’s my decision.” I turned to Gabriel. “I’ll help in any way I can, not like I have anything to lose. All my friends think I’m dead.”

Even though Castiel had been sitting right next to me, he had been so quiet I almost forgot he was there. “Do not feel compelled to do this Abigall. This life might be the one fate chose for you, but if I have learned anything from traveling with Sam and Dean it is that you can choose your own destiny.”

I nodded, I would think it over. Not like I had to decide right now anyways, right? The rest of the car ride to the motel was mostly in silence. It was almost dark when Dean pulled into a parking lot of a decent looking building. At least from the outside the rooms didn’t look like they would be complete crap. I grabbed my bag and the boys grabbed theirs before walking into the building, the angels following.

Sam glanced around at the unusually large group before turning to the desk boy. “Do you have two conjoining rooms with two queen sized beds each?”

He nodded and scanned the credit card. “Second floor, rooms 221A and 221B. Enjoy your stay.” He passes out the room keys and we thanked him and walked towards the stairs.

Once we were out of earshot of the desk boy Sam started talking. “Okay so like you said, the easiest way to learn is on the job.” He said, quoting my words from earlier. “Tomorrow we will go question the people close to the victims and try to figure out what is killing them and how to stop it. Then Dean and I will go after it and you will come back here with Cas and Gabriel to protect you. Sound good?”

I wanted to tell them I didn’t need protection, but the boys were so stubborn I doubt it would have helped. I nodded and slipped my room key into the door and walked in. I dropped my bag near the bed and walked to the door in the wall, opening it and joining the four in the other room. “So what’s our cover tomorrow?”

Dean shrugged. “F.B.I. keeping it simple for your first day. Normally they come alone or in pairs, so you can be new on the job and we are teaching you. Not a total lie.” I nodded, making a mental note of which of my new clothes looked most F.B.I approved. “Asking questions isn’t too hard depending on the person we are talking to. They will be in various levels of grieving over their lost one so you have to be able to adjust to that. Right now we are thinking that it is just an angry spirit, so usually there is some connection to the victims. Once we know who our ghost is we go to their family and ask where they were buried. But we can’t seem too suspicious so we have to throw in a few lies and questions that don’t make us look like we aren’t actually federal investigators.”

I glanced up at Sam, tilting my head. “And that’s it? It actually works and people believe you? No offence but you do relies your hair isn’t exactly approved of for the F.B.I. right? And the Impala, as beautiful as she may be, is about as conspicuous as they come.”

Gabriel chuckled. “Sam will cut his hair the day Dean ditches the car. And trust me sweetheart, neither of those is going to happen in our lifetime. But usually the people don’t question it so why should we?”

I shrugged. “Okay, fair enough. So what kind of deaths are we looking at here?”

Dean grabbed a stack of papers, setting them down next to me on the bed as he read the titles. “Here we have ‘Man Dies When Ceiling Fan Flies Off.’ ‘Woman Suffocated by Pillows.’ ‘Man Gets Stoned to Death by Son’s Lego’s.’ And the last one, ‘Man Barbecues Himself in His Own Backyard.’ Not exactly my preferred method of dying.”

I grimaced as I imagined each death. Sounded like the first one made a huge mess, that had to be a pain to clean up. “Well I always knew Lego’s were evil.” I said sarcastically, trying to get the images out of my head. “You said the victims are usually connected. Find anything so far?”

Sam turned his laptop screen to me, showing the homepage of Hawley Elementary School. “They all had kids that went here. After interviewing the families we will stop by and talk to the kid’s teachers.”

“Great, sounds like a plan.” I yawned. “Better get some sleep, see you boys in the morning.”

I lay in bed, staring at the ceiling. Well this wasn’t working, so much for sleep. I was tired, exhausted really. So why couldn’t I just fall asleep? Maybe it had something to do with knowing what would be in my dreams. I wasn’t a fan of nightmares, but then again who was? They suck. They were just another reminder of the past that you are trying to forget. I groaned in defeat, getting out of bed to get myself a glass of water. I glared at the drink as I sipped it, silently cursing myself for not being smart enough to get some Nyquil or something to knock myself out for a few hours. I made a mental note to get some next time we stopped by a convenience store.

I turned back to the bed and dropped the glass and almost screamed when I noticed the figure sitting crossed leg on it. “You know you really should not appear in a girl’s room in the middle of the night without her permission, she might think you are stalking her.”

Gabriel shrugged and snapped his fingers, cleaning up the spilled water and broken glass instantly. He popped a candy in his mouth. “I’m an angel, I pop in and out when I want. Get used to it.”

I rolled my eyes and sat on the bed opposite him. “So let me get this straight. You are an angel and you use your powers to conjure up candy?”

“I’m an ex-trickster. Tricksters and candy go hand in hand. Don’t judge, like you don’t have any guilty pleasures.”

I shrugged, he had a point. I did spend a lot of my free time obsessing over fictional book characters. “Okay you win. But don’t be selfish now, share the sugar. Can you make sour skittles?”

He smirked in an I-can-make-anything-and-do-anything-and-all-you-want-is-skittles kind of way. He raised his hand and snapped his fingers, making a rather large bag of sour skittles appear on my lap. I smiled happily and started eating my favorite candy.

“So if you can make anything with the snap of your fingers then why doesn’t Dean seem to like you?” There, that was subtle enough right?

He sighed and cast his eyes down sadly as though remembering something bad. “Dean can hold a grudge. Long story short back when I was a trickster I used my powers to play a few not so friendly tricks on the Winchesters. I was trying to teach them a lesson and I admit I could have gone a little overboard. Anyways I realized the boys were right and joined them on their noble mission. Sam for the most part has forgiven me; Dean still has some warming up to do.”

I nodded, from what I had heard earlier he had killed Dean multiple times. That isn’t exactly something you get over easily. But Sam said he didn’t remember it… It kind of sounded like Dean was looking for excuses to hate the guy. But I wasn’t going to choose a side, this was between them. Besides, they had both done so much for me who was I to get in the middle of some stupid argument and destroy any kind of friendship I had had with either of them?

“Not to be rude but why are you here? I was kind of trying to sleep before you came in all stalker-ish.”

“True, and I apologize for that. But let’s get something straight, I’m not a stalker. I just thought that you would like to actually have a decent night’s sleep. I can help with that if you want.” He looked at me with sincerity in his eyes. At least he didn’t mean anything perverted by that.

I looked at him quizzically. “You mean you can take away my nightmares? You would do that for me?”

He smiled gently. “Of course I would. What kind of angel would I be if I went through the effort of dragging you out of hell just so you could be reminded about it every night?”

I smiled gratefully at him. “Thank you Gabriel, that means a lot to me. I owe you.” I got under the covers and got comfortable in the warm bed.

He shook his head, still smiling slightly. “You don’t owe me anything Abigall Spiers.” He snapped his fingers again and my world went black, finally getting the deep dreamless sleep that I had been deprived of last night.

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