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] [Chapter 9] [Chapter 10] [Chapter 11]
Sam stopped midway on the steps. He would have figured he'd been seeing things if not for the identical reactions from everyone in the room. The bullet fired from Deputy Owens' gun had been a direct hit. It should have pierced Dean's wings, or at least his shoulder, as well as hitting whoever might have been directly in front of him. Instead, it lay at his feet while Dean remained perfectly fine.
The shock wore off quickly. Sam kept his gun aimed at Owens as he descended the stairs. The others, also breaking out of their reverie, pulled their guns on the deputy. None of them seemed overly concerned with his presence, aside from the older robed man beside Dean.
His discerning eyes studied Sam's every move as the others surrounded Owens. "You're the other one?"
Sam looked to Dean. When Dean gave a loose shrug of approval, Sam nodded.
The man waved his hand for him to join them.
Sam descended the rest of the stairs and stepped down on the cold cement. The other officers in the room had now taken an interest in him, or he should say his back, and even seemed disappointed when they didn't find what they hoped to see.
Sam rolled his shoulders. Their stares made him uncomfortable.
"Let me see them," the man said.
"The freak rosary beads," Dean said.
Sam understood. He dug into his pocket and withdrew the beads, tossing them to the man. The darkness on his face intensified as he studied the symbols on the beads. That darkness grew into a hot anger, and forgetting Sam completely, he crossed the room to shove the beads into Owens' face.
"Old magic." His voice had a bite that startled Sam. "Very old magic. How did you get this?"
"Terry." Dean whispered out of the side of his mouth as Sam came to stand beside him. "He runs this town or something."
Owens kept his chin high despite the semi-circle that surrounded him. Everyone was so intently focused on Owens, including Dean, that none of them paid any attention to Sam as he stooped to pick up the dented bullet.
He ran it over in his palm, trying to come up with any logical explanation that would put his mind at ease. He knew he had none.
Instead, he slipped it into his pocket and turned back to Owens.
"You overwrote the protection magic on your beads," Terry said, more fierce than before. "You betrayed us. Why would you try to break the barrier?"
"They'll protect us when the end comes," Owens said. "We give them what they want and they'll go away. We'll be free to do whatever we want." He let out a nervous laugh. "Can't you see that is the best way to go? They torment us every day. We're prisoners in our own town."
"So, you're making deals with demons?" Sam asked.
Dean snorted. "Do you know how stupid that is? Dude, you're looking at a free pass straight to Hell."
Owens paled even more.
"Take him upstairs," Johnson said. "Make sure it's a secure private room. I want people inside and outside. I'll be questioning him myself."
One of the officers from the group nodded. They grabbed Owens, cuffed him, and pushed him to the stairs.
"Take Reggie with you, too," Terry said. "Get him some treatment and make sure he's comfortable. Johnson, you and your daughter stay with me. The rest of you can leave. I need some time with our guests."
Sam shifted his weight and set his jaw as he watched the group leave. He tried to catch Dean's eye, but he wouldn't look at him.
"Where did you find these?" Terry asked.
"Devil's Creek. Not far from the murder site."
Terry nodded. "It's old dark magic. It's lucky you found that."
Johnson had a grin on his face. For a second, Sam thought he looked proud. Maybe his shoddy search job hadn't been an accident after all.
"You don't think Owens was involved with the murders, do you?' Daria asked.
"Most likely," Sam said. When he saw her lips twitch, he offered her a supportive hand to the shoulder. "I'm sorry about your friend."
She nodded. "I know. Thank you." She sighed and squeezed his hand.
Dean glared at him.
"Sheriff Johnson believes you are the two that are meant to claim what my family has protected for generations. If you truly are the ones, you'll know where to go and what it is." Terry paused. "Do you?"
Sam exchanged an uneasy look with Dean. They both had no idea what was so important about this town and what it had to do with angels and demons. Sam theorized the place could hold a weapon or maybe an artifact. Maybe it was an important seal in and of itself. But the truth was that neither one of them knew for sure.
"We don't know," Sam said. "We're not the ones you've been waiting for. I'm sorry."
Johnson shook his head and stared at Dean. "I don't get it. I was so sure."
"Like we told you, we're just two guys. This," Dean said, motioning behind his back to the stationary wings, "we don't know what those are and why they got through your barrier. But we came for the murder, nothing else."
Terry nodded. "Let's make sure this complication never happens again."
Sam looked at Dean. He figured that was the best apology they were going to get. Judging by Dean's annoyed expression, he knew he was right.
"None of this solves our problem," Daria said. "Though, I am so getting one of those." She pointed to Dean's tattoo.
Dean grinned, moving the cord that held his amulet so he could give the tattoo a pat. That was probably the most positive move he'd ever shown the tattoo since they'd gotten them.
"You know, the demons are not going to stop until they take whatever you have hidden in this town," Sam said.
Johnson nodded, grim-faced.
Sam had considered trekking back into the woods and trying to exorcise the entire group, trapping them one by one, but he didn't know if he'd built the stamina for something that extensive yet. Never mind trying to sneak away from Dean. Besides, he knew Dean would never approve even if he had been the one to take on Samhain all by himself.
Dean sighed. "The demons, they're gonna just keep pounding you until you cave."
"Unless they think it's gone."
Dean leaned back and gave Sam a questioning look, one of those mildly condescending looks that never failed to get under his skin. "What, like trick 'em?"
Sam didn't know if his plan would work, but it was the best he could come up with on short notice. They all knew by now that the problems in this town had nothing to do with witches or Satanists. The demons, along with people like Owens, committed that murder with trademarks from witches and Satanists hoping angels or hunters would show. Maybe they had even expected Sam and Dean to be the ones to come to Dixville and wanted to use them specifically to break into town and walk away with whatever prize was hidden inside. From what Billy told him, he seemed to gather as much.
The only way they would leave these people alone was if they thought it had worked.
"Before we continue, you know whatever is said can't leave the room." Sam surveyed them to make sure they understood. "Demons will do anything to get information from you. You can't ever leave this town again."
"I never do," said Terry.
Dean frowned. "Why's that?"
"Terry's family founded this town. His great-great grandmother, Martha Jackson--she's the one," Johnson said. "She had a vision and created all the protection charms for whatever is sacred here, while Eddie built up the town. No one knows what it is. Just the Jackson family."
"I know too much," Terry mumbled.
"You're not gonna tell us, are you?" Dean asked.
Terry shook his head. "No."
Sam didn't think he would. He turned to Daria and Johnson. "It'll only have a shot at working if no one knows, and since you're in this conversation now--"
"I know," Johnson said. "But I know my duty is to this town first."
Daria sighed. "Mine too."
Sam didn't need to remind them that this wasn't a foolproof plan. There was a heaviness to the air, one that spoke of pain and suffering and of loss, not just from the recent years that ticked by, but over a century's worth of heavy burdens and secrets. Their grim faces carried that history with them every moment of every day. And now Sam was asking them to add to it.
"You'll tell the townspeople that angels came. Angels went to the designated spot and took what has been hidden here. I can't guarantee it will stop the demons, but it should divert their attention elsewhere until you can come up with something better.
"Doesn't that put you at risk?" Daria asked. "They'll be hunting you."
"They already are," Sam said.
"That isn't going to work," Terry said.
"It has to." Sam gaze's fell to one of Dean's feathers as it rested on the tabletop. "Reports of a winged man around town are bound to surface. Say he was one of the beings you were expecting. Make up the rest to fit your town's needs. If the whole town believes this, the demons won't be able to break through and find the truth. Even if they kidnap one of your people, the lie will be their reality. The only people they can't get to are the three of you. In the end, they will start to chase whatever they think has what they want."
He heard Dean groan beside them. "Super. Like we don't have enough problems."
Johnson sighed. "I suppose it's worth a shot, but I don't even know your names."
"Probably better not to know," Sam said.
Terry gave a curt nod. "The less information, the better." He paused, and then finally broke his rough exterior to shake both of their hands. "It would be best for you to pack up and be on your way."
Sam couldn't agree more. The more space they put between themselves and this town, the better. Plus, he knew they had bigger issues to worry about at the moment.
He glanced at Dean's wings. They were silent for now, but the questions they carried continued to loom over the both of them. Once, Sam had thought they were a distraction. Now he was beginning to worry that they were much more.
Sam turned to the lone feather on the table. When he reached out to touch it, he froze, stunned as he watched the feather flicker like light before it curled in on itself and vanished in a puff of white smoke. Dean didn't seem to notice.
Sam had the sinking feeling that this problem was only going to get worse.
Johnson and Daria had started to clean up and head up the stairs. They suggested that Sam borrow the van parked in the back of the station, after Terry dismissed the people he had guarding it. That way Sam could hide Dean long enough for them to grab their stuff, pick up the Impala, and sneak out of town.
Sam held back his concerns and buried them for the moment. He just had one last thing to take care of first.