Category: Gen, Drama, Humor, Angst, AU, wing!fic
Spoilers: Through It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester
Series: Playing the Angel - While Sam and Dean continue fighting to prevent the Apocalypse, Dean inexplicably manifests a pair of wings. The brothers must work together to figure out what is happening and reverse the act before the changes overtake Dean completely.
Summary: Dean manifests wings for the first time, which complicates the case the brothers are investigating.
Word Count: 32,244 (Total)
A/N: This series is obviously AU, but will follow show canon as closely as possible. Each story can be read as stand alones, but it might make more sense together. I may occasionally post out of order.
Disclaimer: See previous posts.
[Chapter 1] [Chapter 2] [Chapter 3] [Chapter 4] [Chapter 5] [Chapter 6] [Chapter 7] [Chapter 8]
Dean twisted his head to see the pretty girl from the diner pointing a pistol at his back. Further down the hill, the town sheriff had his shotgun aimed at Sam's chest. Dean wasn't really sure how they'd snuck up on them, but given the fact both he and Sam had been preoccupied with other pressing matters, he wouldn't be surprised if they'd been ready to jump them for the past few minutes.
"Hey Sheriff," Dean said, trying to ignore the foreign sound of his voice. "Problem?"
Sheriff Johnson ignored him for now, keeping his attention solely focused on Sam. "What are you doing out here, Detective Tate?"
"Just searching the woods for any additional clues."
Johnson arched his eyebrows and glanced over to Dean. "That's some unique investigative techniques you have there."
Dean felt his face grow hot, but not even the heat could warm his frozen body. He shivered.
Sam cleared his throat. "It's not what it looks like."
"Isn't it now?" He jerked the barrel of the gun toward the hilltop where Dean remained tangled. "Get up there now."
Dean watched Sam nod and lift his hands, but not before he pocketed the rosary beads. The two climbed up the incline to the thick patch of brush and saplings where Dean and the girl stood waiting.
"Where's your partner?" Johnson asked.
Sam gave Dean a quick look but his face refused to break. "He's still in town."
"Hmm." Johnson didn't seem all that convinced. Dean had a sinking feeling this was going to get a whole lot worse.
"I called the main office. You know, check up on your history so I could better help you folks." He paused and narrowed his eyes. "Seems like they never heard of you."
Dean let out a nervous chuckle. Sam gave him a warning glare. Instead of saying another word, Dean sighed and gave his shoulder a shake to try to dislodge the wing, but the damn thing refused to move.
"There must be a mistake," Sam said.
"No mistake." Johnson's voice grew hard. "You aren't who you say you are, and now I find you out near the site of a murder with a young girl all by your lonesome. Doesn't look good to me." He snapped his fingers at the diner girl. "Get her out of there."
"Whoa," Dean said, and as he held out his free hand to keep her away, the free wing flapped with confusion.
The girl frowned, her eyes searching for the sound of the noise, but the spell held, keeping the wings concealed from sight.
"I'll do it myself," Johnson grumbled and nodded for the diner girl to watch Sam. Johnson came up behind Dean, and with a swift tug, yanked him out of the thorny overgrown bushes.
Dean let out a cry as the thorns ripped at the thin skin that lined the wings. Johnson seemed a little unnerved by Dean's shout, and maybe a little more unnerved as one of Dean's invisible wings smacked him in the face, but that didn't stop him from bringing Dean into the open.
He bit down the pain, the wings pulsing from the scraping and irritation. The pain only worsened when he realized Johnson was about to search him.
"Kinda funny," Dean said, raising his hands. "Cops outsourcing to diners is a new one for me."
"You think you're smart?"
"I'm a regular Veronica Mars." Dean winced as the sheriff frisked his back, just missing the wings, and pulled the gun off his body. Hard. "Dude, that's sexual harassment. I can sue."
Johnson said nothing as he removed the rest of Dean's weapons. After he was done checking them both, he shoved Dean toward Sam and urged them down the hill.
Sam and Dean moved toward Devil's Creek, keeping their hands visible. With Johnson and the girl following directly behind them, armed and appearing all too eager to use their weapons, they decided to play it safe. For now. First chance they got, Dean was giving Sam the signal for them to bolt.
By the time they reached the bottom of the hill, Dean was starting to feel tired and sluggish. He wasn't sure if it was a side effect of the spell or maybe the wing ordeal was wearing him out again.
He looked to the side and saw Sam watching him.
"You okay?" Sam asked.
"I feel like I'm wading through cobwebs," he mumbled.
This seemed to alarm Sam. "You feel that, too?"
Dean frowned at him. He hadn't thought anyone could feel the shift in the air. Going up the hill he felt lighter. Going down the hill he felt heavier. His gaze fell to the creek.
He had an idea.
"Hey, does this creek surround the whole town?" Dean asked Johnson.
"Shut up and keep walking."
Dean muttered under his breath, but sent a triumphant look to Sam. Something really was up in this town, and that something was way more important than they'd originally thought. Dean was willing to bet that Devil's Creek circled the entire town, in some form or another, with all those little bits and charms and symbols lining it the whole way. Sam knew it, too. Dean could practically see Sam's mind at work.
When they stopped at the banks of the creek, a little farther than where Dean had initially crossed early that night, Johnson gave the girl the order to cross first. Dean shook his leg and tapped his foot as he waited for her to jump to the other side, finally starting to get tetchy as the pounding in the wings seemed to spread through his back muscles. The injured one stayed limp the entire time, but the other one seemed as agitated as he was, and kept fluttering and flapping in the cold morning breeze. He kept coughing to try to cover the noise, but Johnson was giving him looks, and Sam didn't seem all too impressed.
Sam crossed next, then Dean, followed by Johnson. When they reached the other side, the four of them fell into step again, the girl and Johnson taking the rear, weapons drawn.
Dean winced and squirmed. Both the throbbing and the shivering were starting to seriously tick him off.
Sam leaned closer to Dean and whispered, "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
"I should have picked Xena. She could kick ass."
Dean glanced over his shoulder. "They're either really awesome magicians or the dumbest part of Satan's happy hour."
"Devil's Creek is a misnomer. There is nothing evil about it at all," Sam said, and Dean swore he was getting excited off the whole idea. "No birds. No animals. No sounds. It all makes sense. It's a protection charm. Some kind of barrier."
"These folks are hiding something in town they don't want no one nabbing."
"The question is, are these two working for it or against it?"
It was a good question.
Dean didn't have much time to ponder it. The girl let out a scream that pierced the quiet morning. Her cry caused him to jump and nearly topple an equally surprised Sam. When he turned, Dean noticed her face was blanched a deathly shade of white, while the gun, barely centered, wavered unsteadily in her shaking hand. Johnson's face was just as white, though instead of loosening his grip on his gun, it tightened, and his jaw became tense and angry.
Dean looked at Sam. He was staring.
Feeling that sinking feeling return, Dean looked down at his hands. His very masculine looking hands.
"What the hell are you?" Johnson asked, his nervous gaze bouncing between Sam and Dean. "How did you manage to come here?"
Dean mulled over his choice of words, but Sam jumped in before he could say anything.
"We can explain this," Sam said.
Good luck with that. Dean couldn't explain any of this to himself. There was no way they could make a bunch of civvies get the coming apocalypse or seals or dudes wearing wings.
"Are you angels?" the girl asked.
Dean shook his head, despite the wings seeming to protest otherwise. He swatted at the frantic, uninjured one.
"Not even close," Sam answered.
"We were supposed to meet the angels at a designated location, but not here," she said.
Dean stared. Now this was news to him. He searched Sam for any suggestions, but Sam just shrugged.
"Daria," Johnson hissed.
She rolled her eyes and lowered her gun. "Demons can't get past the creek, Dad."
"Neither can angels!" His gun never wavered. "Stay there," he warned them.
Dean and Sam kept their arms raised, but nothing was lost between their significant looks. Suddenly, Castiel's absence made a whole lot more sense to him. In fact, the whole damn town made more sense.
"I don't know what the hell you are, but you're going to tell me how you broke past the barrier. Nothing supernatural can break through. Nothing. Only humans can pass into this town."
Dean perked up. He suddenly felt a whole lot better about his situation, and whatever was happening to his brother. "Hear that? Only humans. You and me? We're human," Dean said proudly.
"So no more of this stupid harpy crap."
Sam glared at him.
"Why are you here?" Johnson asked, interrupting Sam's longsuffering look. "How did you get here? How did you past the barrier?"
"Because we're human," Dean said.
Johnson eyed his wings.
"That's just a technicality," offered Sam.
"Nothing can break through," Johnson insisted. Then his face fell slack. "Unless…are you them?"
"Them?" Dean asked. His teeth chattered as he fought back another wave of shivers. "What them?"
Daria grabbed onto her father's sleeve and shook it. "I…don't think they are."
Dean lowered his arms and slapped his legs with frustration. One thing was for sure, he was getting sick of all this smoke and mirrors garbage. Between Castiel's tests and the seals here, there, and everywhere, and Sam doing whatever the hell he'd been doing, he'd about had it with all the secrets.
"I'm no angel," he said finally. "And neither is my brother. I'm human. We're human, and that's how we go through. These..." He motioned behind his back. "Never mind those."
He felt Sam watching him, questioning him through the silence, but Dean wasn't in the mood to argue with him. Not unless he was spoiling for a fight.
"My brother's cursed," Sam told them, ignoring Dean's groan of protest. "Something's happened to him, and we don't know what, but I can assure you it has nothing to do with your barrier."
Dean didn't know how Sam could be so certain, but that wasn't what was niggling at the back of his head right now. He hated when Sam told people about their jobs -- anything about their lives--even if it was obvious these people did some dabbling in magic.
While that irked him to no end, it was the expression on Johnson's face that bugged him the most. The sheriff frowned, and it was evident he wasn't even trying to hide his confusion. Dean's belly flopped. He didn't like where this was going.
"No, it can't be."
"What?" they said together.
"This place is a magic dead zone. No spells work within the bubble."
It was Dean's turn to frown. "None? At all?"
Dean realized that explained a lot. Summoning Castiel hadn't worked at all, and neither had his glamour spell back in the motel room. Dean guessed nothing would work. Not even magic by witches or Satanists.
He stared back into the forest and thought back to the crime scene. At least it made sense why they hadn't tried anything in the comfort of their own homes.
But Sam was a step ahead of him on this train of thought. "What about spells or curses performed before coming into town?"
"You saw for yourself." Johnson waved his shotgun at Dean. "They break down. Doesn't matter what it is. It can't last in this town."
Sam gave him a smug, knowing look. Dean rolled his eyes. He hated that.
"At least we know your wings aren't from a witch or black magic," Sam said in a low voice.
"Yeah. So where the hell did they come from?"
Sam shook his head. "I don't know, but I think we both have a good idea."
Dean didn't like that idea, and apparently those who might know couldn't show their faces in town anyway. That was perfect.
He turned back to the sheriff. They had reached an impasse. Johnson and his daughter Daria no longer had their weapons raised, but they didn't move either, still struck by Dean's appearance. Neither he nor Sam moved either, not because they were afraid of an attack, but because they knew the sheriff might hold the key to unraveling this mess and were at a loss of where to go next.
"Why are you really here?" Johnson finally asked.
Sam and Dean exchanged a knowing look, but before Dean could stop him, Sam spoke.
"Have you heard of hunters?"
Dean lowered his voice to a gruff whisper. "Sam…"
Sam held up a hand to shush him, which ticked Dean right off, but Sam didn't seem to care. Johnson cocked his head and shoved the shotgun under his armpit. "Go on."
"We hunt demons, so when we heard about the murders right outside of town, we came to investigate." Sam stopped, glanced at Dean, and the two of them waited for Johnson's reaction. When he didn't break, to Dean's dismay, Sam continued. "If you have any information that could help, we'd like to try to stop whatever this is."
"I think we've got it covered."
"I think you don't," Sam said, causing the sheriff to stiffen. Dean tensed in return, his fingers itching for the other knife he had hidden on his body. "This isn't just about protecting your town," Sam continued. "This is about stopping something maliciously intent on destroying you."
"He's right," Dean said. "If you got witches and Satanists working right outside your little bubble, then you are way beyond screwed. This is way, way out of your league."
"Who are you to talk?" Johnson asked. "My family's been in this town for over a hundred years. We've made a promise to fortify this place against anything. You're just two wise guys with--" He stopped and glared at Dean. "Other issues to worry about."
Dean could feel the burn in his face as his patience dwindled.
Johnson chewed on his lip as he studied the two of them. Finally, with a shake of his head, he raised his shotgun and pointed to the trail behind them. "I'm taking you down to the station. Terry'll know what to do with you."
Dean let out a loud groan. This was the last thing he wanted. It was probably the last thing Terry wanted, too. And from the irritated look on Sam's face, Dean knew it definitely wasn't anything Sam wanted.
"At least maybe we'll finally figure something out," Dean muttered, rubbing his arms.
Sam eyed him suspiciously. "What?"
"What's so important about little ol' Dixville anyway?"