Hell's Angels

Chapter 3

“This isn’t a garage, it’s a dump.” Balthazar said, frowning in disgust as he inspected his surroundings. The other angels had matching looks of displeasure.

“Hey! You don’t like it, you can go back to that crappy fast food restaurant and face Heaven. Alone.” Dean said.

“Fair enough.” Balthazar said.

Dean lead the way, as the angels followed behind him. For once, he had a bounce to his step and it almost felt as if he was alive again. Almost.

“Just a warning, Bobby can be a little...forward when you first meet him.” Dean explained. “So be prepared.”

Just as they reached the front door, it swung open and a rifle was pointed directly at Dean’s face.

“Bobby!” He said, seeing the familiar face past the gun. There was no response.

“Dean, you’re a ghost. He can’t see or hear you.” Castiel reminded him. Dean’s spirit sank.

“What did you say?!” Bobby asked, pointing the gun down at Castiel. “Who are ya’ll and what’dya want?”

“I’m Castiel, angel of the Lord.” Castiel said. Bobby laughed.

“Nice try, but angel’s ain’t real.” He said. Dean shook his head.

“Tell Bobby that you’re with me.” Dean said. “Tell him that I’m alright but that I’m a ghost.”

“Bobby, this may be hard for you to comprehend-” Castiel began, but Bobby cut him off.

“How did you know my name?” He asked.

“Dean told me.” Castiel explained. Bobby was silent. He looked away from Castiel to the other angels, then glared down at Castiel.

“I don’t know who you are, or what you want, but you have ten seconds to get off my property.” Bobby said.

“I knew this wouldn’t work.” Gadreel said.

“Bobby! Bobby!” Dean cried. He tried to touch Bobby. “Bobby! It’s Dean.”

There was no response from Bobby. He started to count down from ten. Dean felt the frustration building up, getting ready to explode. He came all the way from Heaven, and he had already lost Sam, he wouldn’t give up on Bobby.

“Bobby, put the damn rifle away!” Dean cried, venting his anger. Bobby froze, and looked around wildly.

“Dean?” He asked quietly.

“Yes! Bobby, it’s me.” Dean said, but Bobby couldn’t hear him. Bobby looked back to Castiel.

“What did you say about Dean?” He asked. Castiel’s eyebrows scrunched together in pity.

“Dean is here, but he’s a ghost.” Castiel said. “It’s all very complicated, but we need refuge from Heaven and Dean suggested we come here.”

Dean, if you’re really here,” Bobby asked. “Where did I take you and Sam when your father was on a case and it was your ninth birthday?”

“Chuck E Cheese’s.” Dean said with a smile. “And Sam puked in the ball pit after eating two pizza pies by myself.”

The angels all looked very lost. Castiel answered Bobby.

“My god.” Bobby looked ready to faint, but then regained his composure. “Dean, you stupid boy! What the hell are you doing down here? You’re supposed to be up in Heaven being pampered by cherubs.”

“Yeah, well babies in diapers isn’t too far from the truth.” Dean said. The angels scowled at him. “If you spent three months in the Waiting Room, you’d say the same thing.”

“There are currently some problems in Heaven.” Castiel said.

“Well, ya’ll better explain inside.” Bobby said. “Although, I’ve never met angels before. Ya’ll want anything to eat or drink?”

They all shook their heads. Bobby led them into the house, with Dean walking right beside him. He was about to ask Bobby for a cold beer, when he remembered he couldn’t touch anything in the physical realm.

“Heaven is currently in a civil war because we’ve run out of space for souls.” Castiel said. “Heaven plans on leaving the souls in the Waiting Room forever. We refused to accept that, so we were exiled on threat of death.”

“Hold up. What’s a waiting room?” Bobby asked.

“The Waiting Room.” Castiel corrected. “It’s a waystation between death and salvation.”

“And the chairs are uncomfortable.” Dean said. He had a pained look on his face just remembering. “And there aren’t even any magazines to read.”

“Yes Dean,” Castiel agreed. “Precisely why we must free the souls and deliver them, if not to Heaven, at least somewhere other than the Waiting Room.”

“So it’s like Purgatory.” Bobby said.

“No,” Castiel said. Dean noticed his face grew darker. “Purgatory is a myth. We’ve been fighting to free souls and find a solution but…”

“Let me guess, you aren’t doing too hot, and now you need somewhere to hide from Heaven.” Bobby said. Castiel nodded.

“And clearly Dean has been helping ya’ll, and suggested you come here?” Bobby asked. Castiel nodded again. Bobby shrugged.

“Well, friends of Dean’s are friends of mine.” Bobby said.

“I knew I could count on you, Bobby.” Dean said.

“Dean says, he knew he could count on you.” Castiel repeated, so Bobby could hear.

“I would hope so after all those other times I’ve saved his sorry ass.” Bobby said. “So, what’s the plan?”

“Plan?” Castiel asked.

“Yeah,” Bobby said. “You idjits gotta have some sort of plan!”

Castiel knit his eyebrows together and considered it.

“I suppose we’ll need to Heaven proof this house, wait until things have died down, and then return to our base to help the wounded angels that were left defenseless.” He said.

Samandriel walked into the room just in time to hear the end of Castiel’s statement.

“That may be harder than we expected.” Samandriel said. “My contact just finished updating me on Heaven’s plans. They are really serious this time. They’ve sent assassins to find us. They’ve also surrounded the base and moved the angels to a prison in Heaven, including the wounded.

“We could still go to-” Hannah began, but Dean cut her off.

“Whoa, whoa. Go somewhere? What about the wounded angels?” He asked.

“They’ve been captured by Heaven. If they’re in a prison then that means they’re in the heavily guarded sections.” Hannah said. “There’s no saving them.”

“That’s horsecrap.” Bobby said.

“Yeah,” Dean agreed. “I knew angels were dicks, but that’s just heartless.”

“Heartless?” Hannah asked, angrily. “They knew what they were doing. Their sacrifices have saved countless souls.”

“That doesn’t mean you leave them for dead.” Dean said.

“What would you have us do?” Gadreel asked.

“Kick Heaven’s ass and get them back.” Dean said.

“We don’t have the troops for that.” Gadreel said.

Castiel put his hand on Dean’s shoulder. They locked eyes, and Dean could read a thousands words from his gaze. It was a hopeless mission. He was sorry, but they had to move on. Find more recruits. A necessary sacrifice in war.

Bobby found the whole exchange very disorienting because he could not see Dean, only Castiel staring intensely at empty air.

Finally Dean pulled away from Castiel.

“We don’t need troops.” Dean said. “If it’s heavily guarded, Heaven probably won’t be expecting an attack. And they’d assume that if you did attack, it would be large scale because that’s what you’ve been doing in the past.”

“In every attack, our forces have been much smaller than Heaven’s, but I suppose that strictly speaking, that would still be considered a large scale attack.” Gadreel said.

“Then it’d be easier for a small group to sneak in and transport groups of angels at a time.” Dean said. The group considered his idea.

“What’d he say?” Bobby asked.

“Dean proposed a small team infiltrate Heaven’s prison and free the captives in small groups.” Castiel said.

“This is ridiculous.” Hannah said. “Heaven would discover them immediately, and even if they didn’t, it would take multiple trips to rescue all the angels. That’s increased risk that Heaven will find them.”

“Actually, Hannah,” Gadreel said. “I think it’s a good idea. If we send in the more experienced angels, they’d be able to transport quite a few at a time. Better yet, if we provide a distraction raid on the opposite side of Heaven, we could divert some of Heaven’s forces.”

“Gadreel, I can’t believe you’re going along with this suicide mission.” Hannah said.

“I’ve had more insane plans that’ve worked.” Dean pointed out.

“Yes, and you died!” Hannah cried. Dean was taken aback. I don’t understand why Castiel insists on following your plans or how you even tricked your way into Heaven in the first place. You’re plan is going to get us all killed. We were having enough trouble already before you came along. But suddenly, you’re here and Heaven’s attacking our base and then you suggest we send more angels to die in an effort to save the angels you allowed Heaven to capture.”

“Hannah, that’s enough!” Castiel said.

“Look, missy. I knew Dean my whole life and he was one of the finest hunter-” Bobby said but Dean put his hand up and a chill fell across the room. Even if he couldn’t see him, Bobby felt it and he stopped talking.

“I’ve spent my life saving people, and even though I’m dead, that’s not going to stop me.” Dean said. “I’m going to save those angels, you do whatever you want.”

And suddenly empty air and heavy silence filled the space where Dean was a moment ago. Hannah stared at the ground with a look of anger and embarrassment. Castiel gazed sadly at where Dean was. Bobby looked around confused.

“Anyone care to fill me in?” He asked. Castiel dropped his eyes.

“Dean’s gone,” he explained. “But I’m going to go find him. Gadreel, Heaven-proof this house.”

Castiel disappeared too. The awkwardness weighed on those left. Balthazar looked around, clearly uncomfortable.

“I’m going to go make a martini.” He said, and left for the kitchen. Bobby furrowed his brows in anger.

“Do you know how Dean died?” Bobby asked. The angels looked up and shook their heads. “As you’d expect, it was on a hunting trip. Some ghost was haunting this old wooden bridge and the surrounding woods, so Sam and Dean decided to burn down the bridge, as any good hunters should have. But something went wrong, and Sam was on the bridge when it was set on fire. Dean was on the other side, but he ran across the bridge, through the fire, and was barely able to push Sam to the ledge before the ropes snapped. The bridge went hurtling to the ground, 40 feet below, taking Dean with it.”

Hannah’s eyes had gone wide, and her jaw was tensed.

“That boy lived saving people, and that’s how he died.” Bobby said. “So don’t tell me that you think he’s some spy for Heaven that’s putting souls and angels in danger. And don’t you dare say he doesn’t deserve Heaven. Just know that when he says he’ll do whatever it takes to save those angels, you better believe he means it.”

Balthazar poked his head back into the room.

“Do you have any olives?” He asked. Bobby nodded and started walking towards the kitchen. Then he paused and looked back to the angels.

“And one more word of wisdom,” he said. “No one’s as stubborn as a Winchester.”

With that, Bobby went into the kitchen and left the angels contemplating what he had just said.

It took Dean a moment to realize where he was. The familiar smells of rust and oil filled his nose. He fought the urge to pick up a wrench and feel the grease slime his fingers so that he’d have to spend hours cleaning out of his nails, but he knew that if he tried to touch anything it would phase through his hands. Instead, he forced himself to admire the cars Bobby was currently repairing.

Dean was also baffled by why he had accidentally teleported to the garage. He didn’t do it on purpose, but that didn’t mean he was ready to go back to the house quite yet.

He jumped when he heard the crunch of gravel. Castiel had appeared behind him.

“Dean.” He said. Not angrily, or forcefully, but almost with a hint of...relief?

“Cas.” Dean replied, acknowledging his presence. Neither of them said anything for a moment. Castiel gazed around at the garage, and Dean watched him.

“I take it this is a workshop to repair broken transportation vehicles?” Castiel asked. Dean nodded and sat down.

“To fix broken cars?” Dean said. “Yeah.”

“I forget sometimes that humans must walk to their destination.” Castiel said. “I imagine it must get rather exhausting.”

“I’d say the same thing about teleporting.” Dean said. “I feel exhausted after moving 20 feet! Not to mention it’s impossible to control. I didn’t even mean to come here, or go anywhere really.”

“Teleportation, especially in ghosts, is either driven by intense anger or calmness. Clearly your emotions were high, so it was easy to teleport.” Castiel explained. “I’m sure you’ve noticed this in your extensive hunting history, but in threatening situations ghosts tend to return to places of comfort.”

“At least that makes sense.” Dean said. Castiel sat down next to Dean. He was so close that Dean could feel the steady rhythm of his breathing. Dean was surprised to even be able to hear Castiel’s heart. Dean knew it couldn’t be his own he was hearing. Castiel turned to look at Dean. Dean jumped slightly. He realized he had unintentionally been staring at Castiel for a while, and he felt embarrassed to have been caught.

“Dean, I apologize for Hannah’s words.” Castiel said, having apparently not noticed Dean’s staring. “She cares so deeply for Heaven, but sometimes it can cloud her vision.”

Castiel looked away. Dean sensed there was something more. He wondered what emotion was hiding on Castiel’s face, what was lurking behind his eyes. But Castiel’s head turned back, and his face had changed. He was once again focused on Dean.

“But I sense there is more to this than Hannah.” Castiel said. Dean instinctively frowned.

“Thanks, but I don’t need anyone psychoanalyzing me.” He said. “I’ve had enough of that all my life, I’d like to not have any in the afterlife.”

Dean immediately felt bad for the words leaving his mouth, but he couldn’t bring himself to apologize. Finally though, the heat in his cheeks got to him. But before he could say anything, he felt Castiel rest his hand on his. If Dean had been breathing, he would have stopped then. Cas’s hand was warm, lightly callused from battle, and a little sweaty. Dean was sure his was too, and he was nervous that Cas could feel Dean’s hand shaking. Dean bit his lip.

“Cas, I’m sorry.” He whispered.

“Don’t be,” Castiel said. And just for a second, Dean could have sworn he felt his heart beat. It was impossible, but he had definitely felt something. He remembered the first time he’d met Cas. His heart had jumped then too.

For a long moment, Dean looked at Castiel, who was gazing at the night sky through the open garage door. Dean followed his gaze. They stared at the scattered stars that seemed to wink at them every now and again. Dean realized it had been three months since he had seen the night sky, and he took in the view. All thoughts of Heaven, Hell, and everything in between disappeared. Dean didn’t even notice when his hand stopped shaking.

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