Hunting Humanity XI

BY : greenwizard
Category: Supernatural > Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 895
Disclaimer: I do not own the Supernatural universe. I don't get any money from this story, only entertainment.

Dean and Liam entered the house. Sam was waiting for them in the living room. “Get anything worked out in your session?” Sam asked them.

 

Liam turned to Dean, not looking happy. “I don't know. Did we?”

 

Dean sighed. “I really don't think I need to be there while you work out your problems.”

 

“You...” Liam growled and moved to turn away.

 

Dean grabbed his upper arm and pulled him back. “I know. Look, how's this. I heard you.”

 

Liam kicked off his shoes and moved to sit on the couch by Sam. “Using a cliché therapy term isn't what I hoped for, but I guess it's a start after only one session.”

 

“What do you want me to say?” Dean was getting frustrated as he sat on his husband's other side. “I know what your problem is. God knows you've yelled it at me enough times.”

 

“But you don't do anything to try and make the situation better.”

 

“What do you call going to that shrink with you? Do you honestly think I would have done that if I didn't care?”

 

Liam thought about it for a minute and sighed. “No, you wouldn't have. But you didn't talk much.”

 

“I didn't have a lot to say. I listened to you talk. Liam, I'm sorry that I don't know how to put your mind at ease. You are the only serious relationship I've ever had. I don't know why I'm so drawn to you, other than God said it was meant to be. But just because I don't understand it, that doesn't mean it isn't real. Most people don't understand the supernatural, but we spend our lives fighting it.”

 

Liam gave Dean a small smile and touched his knee. “What you just said helps a little.”

 

Sam's phone started ringing and he pulled it out to see who it was. “Mom,” he said as he got up and headed into the library to talk.

 

“Wonder what she wants,” Dean said as he watched his brother leave.

 

A few minutes later Sam returned. “Pack your bags.”

 

“Mom in trouble?” Dean asked.

 

“She wants our help,” Sam answered. “Well, technically, a hunter associate of hers asked her for help, and she thinks more bodies might be a good idea.”

 

“Okay,” Dean nodded as he got up. “Hope it's nothing major.”

 

The next day they were driving through a small town. “Mom said she wants us to meet at the diner,” Sam said. “And then we'll do our thing.”

 

“If it's just this one demon why do we need so many people?” Dean wondered out loud.

 

Sam shrugged. “I don't know. Hey, maybe she just wants to see us.”

 

“Maybe,” Dean didn't seem convinced. “You've been unusually quiet,” Dean glanced back at Liam.

 

“I feel something,” Liam seemed uneasy.

 

“What?” Sam asked.

 

“I don't know. Somehow I think this whole thing is a bad idea.”

 

“You think we should jump ship now?” Dean asked.

 

“No,” Liam shook his head. “Your mom will probably go ahead with it anyway. Better if we're there just in case.”

 

They pulled up to the diner, and Mary and her friend were waiting for them. “Hey, Mom,” Sam greeted her as he got out of the car.

 

“Sam. Dean. Liam,” she gave each of them a little nod. “Wally,” she motioned to her friend.

 

“Hi,” Dean shook his hand.

 

“These are my sons.”

 

“Glad to meet you. She said a lot of good things,” Dean said.

 

Wally gave them a little nervous smile. “Yeah, right back at you, man. Your, uh, your mom’s real proud of you boys.”

 

Castiel then joined them. “Thanks for coming. I know you’re busy,” Mary greeted him.

 

“Well, not really,” Castiel answered back.

 

“So, what? No luck with Lucifer’s kid?” Sam asked.

 

The angel shook his head. “No, Kelly Kline, it’s like she just disappeared.”

 

Wally's eyebrows raised at that. “Lucifer’s kid. That’s a joke, right?” Everyone turned to give him a very serious look. “It’s not a joke.”

 

“Alright, ramblers. Let’s get rambling,” Dean motioned for them to head into the diner.

 

“Lucifer has a kid,” Wally mumbled to himself as he followed the others.

 

They went inside and found a table fairly out of the way, but big enough for everyone. After a few minutes an attractive waitress came to take their orders. Dean of course noticed her, but he also noticed the look on Liam's face and quickly turned his attention to the menu. “I’ll go with the cheeseburger.”

 

“Hey, what’s the, uh, wifi password here?” Sam asked the waitress.

 

“Extra cheese,” she answered.

 

“No,” Dean shook his head. “Just, uh, as it is, is fine.”

 

She gave him an annoyed look. “That’s the password. Extra cheese.”

 

Wally put his menu down. “You know what, that sounds good. I’m gonna change mine to a cheeseburger as well. Extra cheese. I wanna carbo-load.”

 

She gave him a strange look. “Cheese isn’t a carb.”

 

“Cheese isn’t a carbohydrate,” Castiel echoed the statement.

 

“Steak and eggs. Bloody,” Mary gave her order.

 

“Same as her, only not bloody,” Liam said.

 

The waitress wrote all that down, then turned her attention to Castiel. “And how about you, handsome?”

 

“Um,” Castiel looked a little flustered, but quickly studied the menu. “Sunrise Special, please.”

 

“Nice,” she smiled and walked away.

 

Dean gave the angel a proud look. “Oh, dude, she is into you.”

 

“Dean...” Mary gave her son a sharp glare.

 

“No, this is good. We’ve been looking for teachable moments. This...”

 

“Can you do something with him?” Mary looked to Liam.

 

“Nope...” Liam sighed. “I could hit him, but I think I'm starting to cause brain damage at this point.”

 

“Hey!” Dean was offended by the comment.

 

“Maybe you should listen to me better.”

 

Mary's phone beeped, and she took a quick look at it. “Everything all right, Mom?” Sam asked.

 

Marry nodded. “Yeah, just a hunter, needs some help.”

 

“Another one?” Dean raised an eyebrow at that.

 

“Can’t have too many friends in this line of work.”

 

“I suppose that's true,” Liam agreed. “It's just important to make sure they're the right kind of friends.”

 

Sam was trying to look something up on his laptop. “The internet here sucks. I downloaded all the bunker’s files to a new archive, but we’re not getting any signal, so I’m-”

 

Dean interrupted by making a snoring noise. “Nobody cares. Cas, here’s the thing you need to know about waitresses, okay? They get hit on all day long, so you gotta bring your A game. But, upside? They always smell like food.”

 

Liam smacked Dean on the head. “Shut up about the waitress, and quit trying to live through Cas!”

 

“I'm...” Dean tried to argue, but the angry glare in his husband's eyes shut him up quick.

 

Mary banged her hand on the table. “Screens down, eyes up, shut up.” They all turned her attention to her. “Okay, here’s what we know. Our target keeps a tight schedule. He leaves every day at 8:00 pm. and gets back exactly at 8:45.”

 

“What's he doing?” Dean asked.

 

“Night fishing,” Wally answered the question.

 

Castiel was a little confused. “Wait a minute, you called us to kill a demon that likes to fish?”

 

“Yes, I did. Look, guys. This is all new to me, alright? You got a rugaru problem, hey, I’m your guy. But demons? Hell. Look, I was just passing through and I heard about some cattle mutilations.”

 

“Classic demon sign,” Sam said.

 

Liam's eyes narrowed. “But he likes to go fishing, and you guys thought all of us were needed? I don't like it.”

 

“I started to dig. A lot of virgins go missing around here too,” Wally added.

 

“Classic horny demon sign,” Dean mumbled.

 

“Like Wally said, he doesn't have a lot of experience with demons,” Mary explained. “And I figured the more of us the better.”

 

“Okay...” Liam sighed.

 

“Incoming,” Sam mumbled quietly. The waitress brought their food, and gave Castiel another flirty grin before waiting on another table. “Alright. Internet’s up. We’re in business.”

 

Wally just looked at his plate. “I’m so nervous, I don’t even know if I can eat.”

 

They quietly talked strategy while they ate. “Everyone is clear on the plan?” Mary asked when they were finished.

 

Dean nodded. “At 10:45, demon comes home. Sam and I will be waiting for him. I’ll pop him with a devil’s trap bullet.”

 

“I’ll finish him off with the demon blade,” Sam added.

 

“And I will wait at the back with you in case he comes in that way,” Castiel looked to Mary.

 

“Cool. What do I do?” Wally asked.

 

“Stay hidden in the yard with Liam and don't die,” Dean instructed.

 

“It's a demon, you're wasting me,” Liam argued.

 

Dean sighed. “I don't want you... Look, you'll be right there. If things go south and we really need you, you'll do what you do no matter what I say.”

 

“What does he do?” Wally asked.

 

“Long story. I'm hoping you don't get a demonstration.”

 

“Everything is gonna be fine,” Mary tried to assure them.

 

Mary led them outside of town to the cabin in the woods that the demon called home. Castiel studied it for a moment. “Doesn’t appear to be warded.”

 

Sam nodded. “Okay. Let’s get to work.”

 

“I would again like it on record that something feels very off about this,” Liam commented as he went to take his place, and Wally followed.

 

“Where's Dean?” Mary asked Sam.

 

“Uh, he’s out stashing the car.”

 

“Okay. Can I ask you something?”

 

“Sure,” Sam answered as they entered the house and he put his gear bag on the floor.

 

“The things you told me about Liam. You know, the..”

 

“Unearthly stuff?”

 

“Yeah. You said most of the time he isn't really aware, information just kinda pops up?”

 

Sam nodded as he started spray painting the devil's trap on the floor. “Yeah, it's kind of hard to explain. I don't know how well you understand computers now, but Astiratu is kind of like a background program, an ati-virus program if you will. He's always lurking in the unconscious, dealing with threats when they happen.”

 

“Oh,” Mary suddenly looked a little worried. “Has he ever been wrong?”

 

“Not that I can remember. Is his bad feeling worrying you.”

 

“It's starting to.”

 

Dean came in with his gun, loading the devil's trap bullets. “Starting to what?” he asked.

 

“Mom was just wondering if Liam's alter ego has ever been wrong because he has a bad feeling about this whole thing.” Sam explained.

 

“Nope, never wrong,” Dean slammed the clip in the place. “Rubs our noses in it every chance he gets.”

 

“And you love him?” Mary found that a little confusing.

 

Dean motioned out the window toward the front yard. “Despite his bad feeling, he's standing out there, and if something goes wrong he'll lay down his life to try and save mine, zero hesitation.”

 

Mary gave her son a little smile. “It's good you have that. I'm gonna go check on Castiel.”

 

A few minutes later Liam watched as a man whistling a tune and carrying fishing gear headed toward the house. “Oh my god...” Liam whispered as his eyes widened.

 

“What?” Wally asked, suddenly frightened.

 

“Warn them he's coming, and whatever you do, stay right here.”

 

“Okay, but...” Wally texted Mary quick, and when he looked up Liam was gone.

 

Dean was standing at the ready when the demon came through the front door. He took the shot, but the demon barely flinched. “You mind explaining why you broke into my house?” the demon asked with an amused but annoyed look. “I know it wasn’t just to ruin the evening catch.” Dean kept firing, but the demon kept coming. Sam sprung from his hiding place and stabbed the demon as planned, but he was effortlessly thrown into the wall. The demon pulled the blade from his side and looked down at it. “Well, that didn’t work.”

 

A lightning bolt blasted through the open door and hit the demon square in the back. The demon flew across the room as Mary and Castiel entered to help fight. “That worked,” Astiratu said as he stepped through the door.

 

The demon got back to his feet and glared at his attacker. “You,” he growled. “You've got nerve, I'll give you that.”

 

“I've got more than nerve,” Astiratu replied. “Now me and you, we could fight this out, but we both know it might not end well for you. Or we can call it a draw and my friends and I will leave. Clearly we received bad intel.” His gaze settled on Mary for a quick moment.

 

The demon took a step toward him. “You only retreat from a fight you don't think you can win. So why should I waste this opportunity?” A spear appeared in his hand and he was about to strike when Castiel hit him from behind. The demon turned and easily threw the angel into the kitchen.

 

When the demon started to go after Castiel, Astiratu shocked him. “I'm the prize here, remember? If you really wanna throw down, I'm game.”

 

The demon threw an energy ball at Astiratu. He tried to dodge, but was grazed, and knocked into the couch before falling to the floor. “You used to be a prize,” the demon shook his head before going into the kitchen after Castiel. Dean tried to tackle him, but was thrown off, and then the doors to the kitchen shut.

 

Dean got up and ran over to Astiratu. “Please don't be dead,” he mumbled as he checked for a pulse.

 

The half angel's eyes opened. “You really think I'm that easy to get rid of? You and Sam find Wally, and get the hell out of here. Now!”

 

“What about you?” Dean argued.

 

“Out of everyone here I'm the best equipped for this fight, believe it or not. I'll explain later.” He gave Dean a quick kiss and hurried to the back yard.

 

He got there in time to see the demon stab Castiel with the lance, and the angel started trying to crawl away. “Where do you think you’re going, huh?” the demon taunted him.

 

“I could ask you the same thing,” Astiratu said as he shocked the demon again. It made the demon turn his attention. “You act like you're not afraid of me, but going after an angel instead? Come on.”

 

“I'll show you fear,” the demon growled and charged. He tried to stab Astiratu with the spear, but the attack was blocked and the demon thrown down. The two struggled for only a minute or so when Mary pulled up in a jeep. Astiratu was distracted by that for only a second, but it was just long enough that he didn't block another attack fast enough and the edge of the spear sliced his shoulder.

 

Astiratu screamed in pain and smacked the demon hard in the face, making him disappear in a big flash of light. “Wow...” Mary breathed in surprise.

 

Her gaze was met with angry red eyes. “What exactly in the nine hells are you trying to do?”

 

“Did you kill him?” Mary asked.

 

“No, banished. Kinda like the angel banishing spell for demons. Killing that one would take more power than I've got right now.”

 

“If he's coming back we need to get out of here,” Mary said as she tried to help Castiel into the jeep. Once everyone was in the vehicle Mary drove down the road until she found what looked like an abandoned farm. She helped Castiel inside and over to an old musty couch. “Can you heal yourself?” she asked him.

 

Castiel shook his head. “I tried. Something’s wrong. Where are Sam and Dean?”

 

“I told them to run,” Astiratu lowered himself onto the couch beside his friend. “Whether or not they listened...”

 

Mary's phone started to vibrate. She took it out of her pocket. “Oh, Sam.”

 

“Hey, where are you?”

 

“Farm down the road. It looks abandoned. Take your first left and drive until you see a barn.”

 

“Yeah, okay. We’re on the way. Are you okay?”

 

She looked over at the two on the couch. “No.” She hung up with Sam, and then started texting someone. “You can heal Cas, can't you?” she looked to Astiratu.

 

He showed her his arm, which was now looking like it had been infected and festering for days. “Kind of got my own problem. Now would you mind explaining why you had us go after a prince of hell?”

 

“A what?” Mary blinked in surprise.

 

“I thought they were all dead,” Castiel said, looking puzzled.

 

“That was the word going around, but uh...” the half angel motioned back toward the house.

 

“You're sure?”

 

“Am I ever wrong?”

 

“Good point. Do you know which one?”

 

“It's not like I ever exchanged Christmas cards with them or anything.”

 

“Guys, fill me in here,” Mary broke into the conversation.

 

Astiratu sighed and turned his attention toward her. “Lillith was the first demon, right? Well, technically, in a way, she and Lucifer had some kids. They turned them, trained them to be generals.”

 

“Like Azazel?” she was starting to understand.

 

“You catch on quick. Yes, Azazel was one of them.”

 

They heard a car pull up, and moments later Sam and Dean burst through the door. “What the hell just happened?” Dean asked.

 

“Where's Wally?” Mary asked her sons.

 

“Um...” Sam frowned and the brothers looked at each other.

 

“Oh god,” Mary understood what they were trying to say.

 

“Mom, where did those other demons come from?” Sam asked.

 

“I don't know,” she answered.

 

Dean walked over to the couch and noticed that Castiel didn't look good. “Wow. You look like hammered crap.”

 

“Yeah, that sounds about right,” Castiel groaned.

 

“Let's see,” Dean took a peek under his friend's shirt, and quickly recoiled. “No, hey, you know what? I’ve had worse.”

 

“Oh, yeah? When? Dean, something’s wrong. I can’t heal myself. I think the demon’s spear was poisoned. I don’t... I think I’m dying.”

 

Dean turned his attention to Astiratu. “I know I usually tell you not to, but why aren't you doing something?”

 

“I did do something,” the half angel grumbled as he showed Dean his arm. The wound had gotten worse. The veins around the cut were starting to turn black.

 

“Oh god,” Dean looked like he was about to be sick.

 

“Mom, what the hell did you get us into?” Sam asked.

 

“She tangled with a prince of hell,” Astiratu answered the question for her.

 

“What?” Dean was both confused and a little scared at that statement.

 

Before anyone could say anymore Crowley appeared by the door. “You idiots. You’re all going to die.”

 

Dean sighed. “Well, this day just keeps getting better.”

 

Mary eyed Crowley. “You’re him? The King of Hell?”

 

“You must be Mother Winchester. Pleasure. I’ve heard so much.” Crowley's attention turned to Castiel. “What’s up with Feathers?”

 

“What are you even doing here? How’d you find us?” Dean asked.

 

“Wait a second. The demons. They were yours,” Sam connected the dots.

 

“Obviously,” Crowley confirmed.

 

“They killed my friend,” Mary snapped at him.

 

“Your friend was stupid. You’re all... Do you know what you’ve done? Does the name Ramiel mean anything to you?”

 

“No,” Sam, Dean, and Mary answered in unison.

 

“Yes,” Astiratu and Castiel said at the same time. “Okay, so now we know which one he is, not that that helps us much...” Astiratu sighed.

 

“You knew?” Crowley was surprised by that.

 

“Not until I saw him up close and personal. His energy was in the house, but I didn't know for sure until I laid eyes on him.”

 

“What is a prince of hell?” Sam asked.

 

“Azazel was one,” Astiratu answered before Crowley could. “Old and powerful. Generals in the war against heaven.”

 

“And supposedly all dead,” Castiel added.

 

“That’s what we told people to stop them looking. But in reality, not so much,” Crowley explained. “Ramiel, Prince of Hell. It’s catchy. It rhymes. And he’s going to kill each and every one of you.”

 

“So if they're still kicking, how come you hold the throne?” Astiratu asked.

 

“Ramiel was supposed to be the next successor, but he wasn't interested. None of them were. My demons were there to keep people away from Ramiel. Believe me, that’s a hornet’s nest you do not want to be kicking.”

 

“Too late,” Dean said.

 

“What's happening to Cas and Astiratu?” Sam demanded.

 

Crowley shrugged. “You tell me.”

 

“Cas got stabbed with some kind of silver tipped spear,” Mary explained. “Astiratu was scratched by it trying to fight Ramiel off.”

 

“It’s not a spear. It’s a lance. The Lance of Michael.”

 

“We're fucked,” Astiraru sighed.

 

“Yes, you are,” Crowley agreed. “Nasty bit of business. Kills everything it touches. If you’re a demon, you go up in a puff of smoke. If you’re an angel, you just rot away. Sorry, Castiel.”

 

“What about if you're him?” Dean motioned to Astiratu.

 

Crowley shrugged again. “Don't know. There's never been another him to test it out on. But as I said, it kills everything it touches.”

 

“No. There’s a cure. There’s always a cure, and we will find it,” Dean insited.

 

“How?” Crowley asked.

 

“We trap Ramiel,” Sam suggested.

 

“And we beat his ass until he gives it up,” Dean added.

 

Crowley shook his head. “It’s not gonna work.”

 

“We took down the Darkness, and the Devil,” Sam argued.

 

“It took you years to defeat Lucifer, and the power of God to stop the Darkness. Maybe if you had more time you could manage Ramiel. But right now, in this barn... Hey, I was growing fond of the choir boy, too. And the other one isn't so bad when he's in a good mood.”

 

“Shut up. We don’t have time for you. So either help us or get the hell out of here!” Dean shouted, and Crowley disappeared. “Yeah, figures.”

 

“Crowley’s right. You should go,” Castiel said.

 

“Cas, come on,” Dean started to argue.

 

“No, you listen to me. Knowing you, it’s been the best part of my life. And the things that we’ve shared together, they have changed me. You’re my family. I love you. I love all of you. Just please, don’t make my last moments be spent watching you die. Just run. Save yourselves. And I will hold Ramiel off as long as I can.”

 

“You mean as long as we can,” Astiratu corrected him. “I can't feel my arm anymore, but hell, I have another. And maybe enough juice left to send the motherfucker back to the depths of hell for a long time.”

 

“Both of you stop talking like that!” Dean snapped.

 

“You need to keep fighting,” Castiel insisted.

 

“We are fighting,” Sam said. “We're fighting for the two of you.”

 

“And like you said, you’re family. And we don’t leave family behind,” Dean added. “You guys are my best friend and my...”

 

Astiratu raised an eyebrow. “You can't even say the words at a time like this?”

 

Dean knelt in front of him and looked him in the eye. “You're my missing piece.”

 

“What’s the play?” Mary asked.

 

Dean stood back up. “We hit him with everything we got.”

 

“Which is...?” Astiratu asked.

 

“You got it in you to infuse some oil?”

 

“I can probably manage that.”

 

Sam poured the blessed oil in a big circle just inside the door. Mary stood ready with an angel blade, while Dean put on his brass knuckles. Everyone jumped when Crowley burst through the wall and into the corner. Then they heard Ramiel whistling as he approached. The demon stepped through the hole Crowley had made, and as soon as he was in the circle Sam lit it. Ramiel just laughed. “Toasty.”

 

Dean glared at him while pacing outside the circle. “You stabbed one of our friends.”

 

“Your friend was trespassing.”

 

“Tell us how to cure them,” Sam demanded.

 

“There is no cure.”

 

“You have any idea who we are?” Dean stared him down.

 

“I know who he is,” Ramiel pointed to Astiratu. “But I don’t care. I don’t care who you are. I don’t care why you’re here. I don’t care about heaven or hell, or anything. I don’t even care that Lucifer’s got a bun in the oven.”

 

“You know about that?” Mary was surprised.

 

“My sister Dagon, she’s taken an interest. But me? Eh.”

 

Dean sighed. “Let me guess. You don’t care.”

 

“All I wanted was to be left alone. But then you come. You steal from me. And that? Oh. That I cannot abide.” He pulled out a pocket watch. “Give me back what’s mine, or I take it off your lifeless bodies. You’ve got thirty seconds.” He pushed a button on the clock to start the countdown.

 

“Obviously we got no idea what you’re talking about.” Dean said.

 

“Twenty seconds.”

 

“Nobody took anything from you,” Astiratu insisted. “We laid a trap because...” His gaze fell on Mary for a brief second. “And now we're here.”

 

Ramiel shrugged. “Have it your way.” Ramiel pulled the lance back out and slammed it on the floor, extinguishing the holy fire. Sam, Dean, and Mary all flew backward into the wall. Ramiel went after Dean first, but Sam tackled him to push him away.

 

While the demon's attention was on Sam, Mary stabbed him with the angel blade. Ramiel cried out in pain and dropped the lance, but he didn't seem all that affected. Instead he grabbed the blade from her and tried to launch a counter attack. Dean hit him with a shovel, knocking him off balance for a moment. But he shook it off and reared back to stab Dean. Just before the blade hit, the tip of the lance poked through Ramiel's chest from behind. He laughed before disappearing in a puff of black smoke.

 

They all turned to see Astiratu holding the lance in his good arm. “An opportunistic bastard right up until the end,” he gave a soft little chuckle before falling to his knees.

 

“No... No!” Dean shouted and ran over to him. He checked the wound, and the poison was spreading fast.

 

Castiel let out a weak groan and black goo oozed from his mouth. Sam ran over to him. “We’re right here, buddy. Hang in there, all right? What do we do?” he turned to his brother and mom looking as helpless as he felt.

 

“Plan a nice funeral,” Astiratu said. “None of that hunter pyre crap. I want white lilies.”

 

“Stop,” Dean growled. “You're gonna be fine.” A few tears slid down his reddening cheeks.

 

There was a sudden flash of golden light, and everyone turned their attention to the corner of the room where Crowley was standing with the lance in his hands, now broken in two. “The magic’s in the craftsmanship.”

 

Castiel sat up, and Astiraru moved his now normal looking arm around. “For once I wasn't right,” he smiled and leaned in to kiss Dean.

 

“You're welcome,” Crowley said with a bit of a sarcastic tone before disappearing.

 

Dean pulled Astiratu to his feet. “See, I told you. You're both fine.”

 

“And now I owe Crowley,” the half angel shook his head. “That leaves a bad taste in my mouth.”

 

“What did Ramiel mean about somebody stealing from him?” Castiel wondered out loud.

 

“I found that a bit odd myself,” Astiratu locked eyes with Mary, which made her shutter a bit and she opened her mouth to say something before being cut off by Dean.

 

“He was a demon,” Dean shrugged. “Who knows why?”

 

Astiratu placed a soft little kiss on Dean's cheek. “You and Sam gather things up and get Cas settled in the car. We might not be dying, but a little rest might be in order.”

 

“Okay,” Dean nodded. “We'll find a place for the night and I'll...” His words trailed off as he looked at his mother.

 

Astiratu waited until he was alone with a very nervous looking Mary to approach her. “So who sent you to steal what?” he asked very directly.

 

“I didn't know!” Mary insisted. “They said he was a demon, they didn't...”

 

“And who is they, prey tell?”

 

“The British Men of Letters,” Mary confessed. “They saved you guys, and then they wanted to talk... I listened, and you know what, a world without monsters and demons seems pretty good to me. So yeah, I've been working with them, and they wanted me to get something for them. I lied because I know Sam and Dean don't exactly trust those guys.”

 

“For good reason.”

 

“Ketch says the woman who captured and tortured Sam went rogue, and was being dealt with.”

 

“That's not the only reason. Well, perhaps for Sam... But keep in mind that absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

 

“Not in your case.”

 

“I'm not human, and even I have my moments. Did they tell you what happened to the American Men of Letters?”

 

“Yeah, but the Knights of Hell are gone now.”

 

“Apparently there are still princes.”

 

Mary's eyebrows furrowed a bit. “You have a point there. Do you think Ketch knew?”

 

“Since I cannot actually read minds, I don't know. Wouldn't surprise me though.”

 

“Are you going to tell them?”

 

“No, I don't really see a reason to right now. This little misadventure is over. Just be very careful from now on.”

 

“You coming?” Dean appeared in the doorway.

 

“Yeah,” Astiratu nodded. “Your mother and I were just having a little chat.”

 

“About?” Sam asked as he came up behind Dean.

 

The half angel looked at Sam and avoided eye contact with Dean. “She just had a question about some angel stuff. Nothing important.”

 

“Alright...” Dean looked a little confused as they headed back to the car.



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