Chapter 9: Death of a Demon
It had been a day since Dean had parted ways from John Constantine and the woman who called herself Zed. Right now he was hunting a creature that was reported to be a black horse with wings. He didn't believe one word of it, but after the past few days, he's had he decided to at least check it out. However, he was currently taking a break from hunting as it was driving him up a wall. So his first stop was a dinner for some much-needed food therapy. He was in the middle of eating pie when he noticed a young woman, with blonde hair and a baseball cap tucked into the backpocket of her jeans, walked in. Right behind her was a boy with black hair and green eyes. They both wore casual clothes. After deciding they weren't a threat Dean merely shrugged and returned to his pie. However, when the girl spoke, his attention was reacquired. Normally, he wouldn't be that interested in spying on people's conversations. However, she said something that got his attention.
"Fine, short break and then we leave. I shouldn't need to keep reminding you that we have to get to Camp Jupiter as fast as we can, we've already lost enough time because of classes. Everyone else is probably already halfway to the Roman camp," she said, clearly impatient.
"Don't worry, they have Reyna and Frank and the rest. They are seasoned demigods, they can hold the fort until we get there," the boy reassured her, he placed his arm around her shoulders.
"I don't like it. Athena's kids always plan ahead but I can't plan without all the variables. The radio silence is killing me," She glanced around and her eyes settled on the bathroom sign and then started to pull away from him, "Maybe you should try to IM the camp? Or you know what, I'll go, you eat, and then we leave. No more stalling." He grabbed her hand before she even took two steps.
"Hold on. Like you said, there's radio silence. If it had lifted we would have heard something the moment it ended."
"I know." She stepped back towards him, "I don't like not knowing."
"Who does?" he replied in answer.
"What can I get you kids?" the waitress nearest to them asked as they sat down.
Dean narrowed his eyes and kept watching them subtly as he ate his pie. They mentioned Camp Jupiter… that meant they're probably demigods. His brother probably might still be at the camp … no, no point thinking of him again. A hunt is a hunt. He should try to be professional. He'll have to follow them later to see if they would lead him to anywhere significant. Flying horses were from Greek mythology right? Plus, they might have other demigod contacts nearby and it might be useful in his later hunts. As soon as he was done eating his pie, he paid for the meal, with an additional tip, and exited the diner. He then headed towards his Impala and when he reached it, he opened the door and sat down in the driver's seat. After he shut the door, he sat back as he waited for the two possible demigods to exit for him to follow them.
It didn't take long, they rushed out of the diner, or at least as fast as they could without looking out of place. Once they were far enough away he started driving the car after them.
Earlier in the Underworld...
"Nico, what brings you here so soon? I hear there has been some skirmish at the Roman camp," Hades quipped as he stood at the portico watching the new dead arrivals many still dressed in armor from battle.
"We have a huge problem, or multiple problems-," Nico said breathlessly with his hands on his knees to stop him from falling over, "Firstly, Sam's possessed, we need to exorcise the demon but not sure how to begin to do so. I don't have that kind of power and it isn't Athena's domain. We need Dean, but I have no idea where he is."
"And so you assume I would have an easier time locating him," Hades states, "that I can do. But why would I be able to extricate an eidolon from his host?"
"It's not an eidolon, it's a demon that's possessing him."
"Even more so," Hades said, "I do not possess control over demons, and if I try, then I might begin a feud with the god responsible for them. Why should I risk a cross-realm diplomatic incident over a demigod. The council is barely functioning, if I should any sign of ill-will I risk ruining any future cooperation between the realms. I assume the demons, as you mentioned are from the Judeo-Christian realm?" He paused and Nico nodded in confirmation. "Well then, I can't risk the King of Hell's anger, that place has enough changed regime changes to guarantee this incident to result in problems later when some demon decides he wants compensation from the God of the Underworld-"
"I know it's complicated but Sam is Dean's brother, do this for him," Nico began saying, "I promise to help in the next negotiations to make up for this, you could try to make the King of Hell swear an oath on behalf of Hell into infinity as part of a deal or something. The camp needs good news, and Sam is a valuable fighter in this war."
Nico looked at him pleadingly.
Hades considered this, "Is Sam contained?"
"Yes," Nico said somberly, "Athena put him in stasis."
"Good. This will give me time to negotiate with the council, maybe I can get them to support me, they will help to keep the pressure off this realm should the Judeo-Christians try to crack down on cross-realm meddling."
Nico closed his eyes in relief for a second, "So, what about Dean?"
"I will give you his location once I know that I can provide some good news that you could tell him amongst the dreadful news. What was the other matter you wanted to discuss."
"Oh right," Nico said slowly feeling a chill come over him for some reason, "I thought I might get lost while shadow-traveling, it just felt wrong, it's not usually so…confusing, if felt like everything was out of place, and not in the I'm-leaping-across-continents type of feeling but the camel-through-the-eye-of-a-needle kind of feeling."
Hades considered his son's words and then carefully chose his words, "Perhaps the gods are not the only ones feeling out of sorts and working double duty. It may be that the Mist is not used to so many different realms converging on one location or is deliberately manipulated to maximize chaos. The perceptions of other things from other realms that are not your own might have been warped as if in a funhouse mirror and so when you were travelling through that mirror you felt that confusion all at once."
Nico considered this and recalled the weird Alice in Wonderland experience feeling where his mind was scrambled making him lose control of his ability to shadow-travel until the feeling passed.
"You must be more careful when shadow-traveling, but I am sure that it will only be an issue when in the close proximity of a large convergence of multiple realms."
Nico nodded started to leave the room, "I'm going to go back to camp to see if Athena has any news about Cas," then seeing that his father was to speak again, "I'll be careful, I'll just shadow-travel near the tunnel leading to the camp instead of directly to near the city. See you later dad."
Meanwhile following Dean,...
Ed was sulking. It is not a very flattering look on the demon but after almost being killed by Sam, then being tortured by Asmodeus for backing out of a fight, and now he's supposed to follow Dean around. Should he fail- well, Asmodeus gave him the fun image of his vessel's entrails hanging from the ceiling. Partly, he's probably supposed to be cannon fodder to test out what Dean can do on his own or whatever. He was starting to think Asmodeus was trying to get rid of him. Maybe some redemptive chaos was in order? After all, he thought as he looked at the two demigods Dean was tailing, how happy could he make Asmodeus when he gets two of the seven heroes from the latest war with Gana- Gea- what's her face- the Greek Mother Nature personified.
As he followed Dean's lead, he looked around for a ladder. Climbing up the fire escape to his right he began ascending the apartment building so that he could follow Dean by jumping rooftop to rooftop and thereby hiding more effectively should Dean look at his passenger-side mirror.
He'll have to come up with a plan on how to catch all three. Maybe cause a car crash or two. By the looks of things, the demigods are trying to find themselves some transportation, they're probably heading to the nearest bus terminal or train station. He'll probably have to snag a map on the way.
Bon voyage, little demigods, the demon smirked.
Later at the train terminal, ...
The demigods were annoyed by the tail that they picked up. There seemed to be a guy following them, he was at the dinner now he was slowly following them by parking here and there and at other times just circling the street to disappear out of view. The thing that he didn't seem to understand was that they were seasoned demigods and knew when they were being followed. Well that and the fact that his car is really old and the chances of seeing a car like that makes it turn heads so by now they knew his license plate by heart from looking at windows and reflective surfaces.
"You remember the plan," Annabeth asked Percy.
"Yeah, ready when you are," Percy replied knowing full well that it was best to lose him before they get on the train. Otherwise it's unlikely that they can lose him on the train as he would easily be able to tell which station they would get off by looking out the window and follow them. "See you in a few."
"See you," replied the blonde-haired daughter of Athena.
As they split up Percy kept walking to buy some tickets while Annabeth headed in the direction of the washroom. Once behind a pillar she put on her Yankees cap and mindful of the crowd she started following the guy who was tailing them with her dagger at the ready.
Dean got out of his car, and seeing his chance, followed the dark-haired demigod before he would take care of the blonde. The old divide-and-conquer routine should work, he thought.
Dean looked around to check for openings and then hurriedly bumped into Percy.
"It's alright, you should look where you're going."
"Yeah, I'm kind of in a hurry do you know what time it is?"
"No-" Percy said automatically but then changed his mind, "I think I saw a clock back there, let me show you."
Dean found this overly helpful attitude odd but thought it was for the best as it would allow him to take the guy out. "Sure, thanks man. I'm Dean by the way."
Percy steered Dean near an empty hallway. Dean didn't comment on the fact that he didn't see a clock anywhere, but then again that's not what he was looking for.
When he saw that they were far enough away from prying eyes, Dean turned on Percy with a gun. Percy smirked back at him, "I wouldn't do that if I were you."
Dean felt a cold sensation on his neck and out of the corner of his eyes saw the blonde from earlier materialize.
No one moved, and then Annabeth broke the silence.
"Why were you following us?" she demanded.
"Heard you were going to Camp Jupiter," Dean settled on saying after a few moments.
"Why do you want to know?" Percy questioned.
After a second, Dean figured he rather not get his neck slit so, "I'm a demigod too."
The blonde's arm wavered, not everyday you get to meet a demigod older than you when their average life expectancy isn't all that high. "Why didn't you just tell us that instead of pointing a gun at Percy?"
Looking at the guy named Percy, Dean hesitantly lowered the gun, if he played this right he'll get to use it later. "No one's safe these days, didn't know how you would react."
"No one's ever safe," Percy interjected, "but if you saw that we were demigods and not monsters why the charade?"
Settling on a half-truth, Dean replied, "Heard some demigods sided with the hunters, didn't know who's side you were on."
"What hunters?" Annabeth asked while Percy just looked confused.
"You know," Dean made a gesture, "the ones that took out Camp Half-Blood." Now Dean was really glad that they met that Stephen guy.
Somewhere, in the shadows…
What the heroes didn't see was that Ed, the demon, was watching them. He was hoping for a fight, if one of them goes down, it means less work for him, and since his boss thinks so little of him, it might be a good idea to stay out of the crossfire and play it smart. However, that didn't mean that he couldn't nudge things a little.
"Aww, isn't that cute, a hunter and demigods working together. Who would've thought?" Ed said condescendingly.
"Hunter," Annebeth repeated, realizing that if it wasn't for the guy with the black eyes they would have been dead in their sleep come tomorrow. She raised her dagger again but not before Dean ducked out of the day of her dagger.
"Woah, wait a second. I really am a demigod," Dean tried to defend himself, "that guy is a demon, you can't trust him." Seeing that two demigods were back on edge, he tried to come up with a compromise. "Truce until we deal with him?"
Annabeth and Percy looked at him then exchanged glances and nodded.
"Truce," Annabeth replied.
Realizing that now he has three demigods to contend with, Ed tried to get away so that he could let his meddling do it's work.
Dean reached for his gun but took out a dagger instead. He didn't want to call too much attention with the loud noises that gun made. He tried attacking the demon but had to duck last minute when Percy almost took out his arm when he aimed for the demon's shoulder.
"Hey, watch it," Dean snapped at Percy. They really should have strategized before attacking. Percy and Annabeth, on the other hand, were in sync.
"I can see you, blondie," the demon laughed. He ducked and tried kicking at the feet of the blonde trying to sneak up on him.
Dean saw her materialize as she took off her cap and rolled to the side and away from the demon.
"Hades, I forgot about that," Annabeth said cursing her forgetfulness, but it's not like she fights against Hell's demons everyday.
"Carter?" Percy said in way of confirmation.
"Carter." Annabeth remembering her past battle with Setne. Looks like they had to trade weapons. She just wasn't sure if she could trust Dean. There were three of them and one of him. Maybe she shouldn't loan Dean her cap just yet, they don't even know if they can trust him.
Dean threw the dagger at the demon making him turn to not get hit by the dagger, in doing so, Percy managed to cut the demon across the check while Annabeth sliced across his tendons in his right leg. He looked like he was right handed, hopefully that would take him out.
As if waking up from a stupor, the demon realized that maybe it's not a good idea to bet that the demigods would fumble their way through the fight. He tried to stab Annabeth but she got away before he could get a hit. Ed then threw a dagger at Percy to distract him and high tailed it out of their but not before Dean saw his chance at the approaching train, taking his gun out, aimed and fired at the weakened demon.
With a bullet in his shoulder, the demon couldn't escape his vessel so he settled for smirking at Dean. If he wanted him here so bad, he might as well try to get the demigods to kill Dean, they are big shot heroes afterall. It would be entertaining to see who could take out the other first, the demigods or the hunter-demigod? That was his last thought before Dean smashed his gun against Ed's head and it was lights out.
The demigods, on the other hand, were looking suspiciously at Dean. They thought they were supposed to just kill the demon, but Dean seemed to have other ideas.
"Why didn't you just kill him?''
"I don't happen to have demon killing weapons on me," Dean quipped, "He'll be useful for information later. He seemed to be following me, I thought I saw something in my rearview mirror…"
"So now what?" Percy asked.
"The demon's not dead yet, is he?" asked Dean.
"You're not a demigod," Annabeth observed.
Dean didn't know how to reply to that. It was one thing when he was trying to off them, it's another thing when he's working with them. He didn't want to get dragged into demigod business like his brother was. He didn't need this in addition to everything else. Just when the world seemed simple it just became complicated again. What he wouldn't give for a simple existence again. "It's complicated."
"How?" Percy asked, "you either are a demigod or you aren't."
"It's complicated," Dean said darkly.
"So what, you're just going to try to kill us again when this is over?" Percy questioned him.
"Well it is my job," Dean said frustrated as he holstered his sidearm knowing that the other two would knock it out of his hands anyway. He didn't know why he didn't just lie to the demigods.
"Why? What have we ever done to you?" Annabeth snapped. The situation was difficult enough on them, and now they still have to deal, with some bigoted demon hunter.
"You exist, you cause trouble everywhere you go. You shouldn't exist. It would be simpler if you didn't." Dean said with a far away look in his eyes.
"Well too bad, we do, get over it, that's just life. We didn't get a choice on whether or not to be who we are, and for your information, we've done plenty good. We've helped stop apocalypses, and cleaned up the mess of gods on a rampage. You don't get to decide who lives and who dies. You don't know us."
"You're right, I don't. But you're not human. I take care of the monsters because nobody else can," Dean said as he stared at them, "and you demi-gods… are one of the worst monsters in this world?" he meant for it to sound like a statement but it ended up sounding like a question but he carried on, "You want to know why? It's because you look human. You're just as bad as demons and angels in my book. You play around with the lives of humans. You don't care who you hurt. We're just ants to you."
At that moment, Percy was reminded of the old remarks he kept hearing about heroes. Heroes tend to get the people around them hurt. They tend to lead people to make sacrifices for the hero that only furthers the heroes' ambitions but hurt those same people that make those sacrifices. They are leeches. Percy shook off the negativity, "That's not true. Not all demigods are like that."
"Enough of you are. You don't even see it. You're so focused on what you want that you disregard the people around you. How you destroy everything you touch. Not only that, but your godly parents tried to sell me and my brother off to the Devil to save their own asses!"
"Gods can be jerks, but doesn't give you the right to take it out on us," Percy replied, "and we have each other to help other demigods."
"I have no doubt about it," Dean agreed, "you help yourselves. You just don't give a damn about the humans. Every day, there are monsters out there praying on them like cattle. I lived my entire life killing monsters, and I've learned to trust my gut. My gut says you're bad news."
"We can't help everyone. We're not gods, and even gods can't do everything. Rarely can a human see through the Mist, and even then, what could they do? Start killing demons? Then who knows how many would die."
"Oh come on," Dean scoffed, "Are you really that-"
He suddenly stopped talking as he felt the hairs on the back of his neck prickle up. Dean whirled around as he pulled out his sidearm and aimed it at a shadow where something was appearing.
At that moment, Nico fell out of the shadows. Percy and Annabeth immediately went to help him up. Dean on the other hand was on his guard.
"Nico, what are you doing here?" Annabeth asked.
"Had to get a message to Dean, actually." Nico looked up at Dean smiling weakly. Well this was kind of awkward. He's guessing the demigods we're just about to sit down for tea to talk about their favorite weapons.
"Message for me?" Dean asked, "From who? Asmodeus? Tell that asshole I have a bullet with his name on it."
"Will do, if I ever see him," Nico said, "really hoping to never see him though. No, It's something else. It's about your brother. There was a battle and he's not doing well. He's been poisoned somehow and I thought you might want to know." Nico wasn't sure how to ask him to heal his brother using the power that he so despises.
"Poisoned?" Dean asked as he began thinking what would require a supernatural message. He then came to a realization he'll learn is wrong.
"Son of a bitch!" Dean exclaimed as he lowered his sidearm, "Not again! He swore he'd never drink that stuff again!"
Nico didn't want to drag it out so he just hoped Dean got the idea and just would willingly go with him. "So, then could you just like follow me and I'll take you to him?" He didn't mean for it to sound like a question or even so weakly but the dude was scary and he didn't know how to get to the point after what he heard from his father.
Dean looked at the kid for a minute as he debated on his answer. On one hand, he told Sam to never come back. On the other hand, Sam was his brother and both Bobby and his Dad told him to make it right. Something along those lines anyway. But when he's right there, it's a whole other matter. The words just don't seem to want to come out. Hopefully he'll be able to make it right when they finally meet.
"Grr," Dean grunted, "fine. On one condition. We're driving. I'm not leaving my baby behind."
Nico didn't know what to say to that. "Are we shadow-traveling or old fashioned driving because Sam… well I don't know how time-sensitive it is."
"Percy and I will take a pegasus, or the train, but you can't shadow-travel the car... can you?" Annabeth asked.
"I don't know- I'll have to try. Maybe I can have Mrs. O'Leary shadow-travel Dean?" Nico looked at Percy. Percy shrugged.
"Who the fuck is Mrs. O'Leary?" Dean asked confused.
"Family pet," Nico said, for a second he thought that Dean's reaction would be worth it. "She can shadow-travel too. She's the friendly neighbourhood hellhound." Nico looked at Percy and Annabeth, "Maybe you could go with him, he's not used to traveling that way." Nico recalled how he even get queasy sometimes.
They didn't notice, but Dean's face immediately paled when he heard 'hellhound'. He immediately flashed back to his death which involved a hellhound.
"So it's settled then?" Nico reiterated for confirmation, "Mrs. O' Leary is faster than a pegasi and I'll take the car." He looked around the group. Annabeth and Percy nodded but Dean didn't respond. "Dean?"
Dean didn't respond except to jerk his attention towards Nico. While Dean was no longer reliving that traumatizing death in his mind, his face was still paled.
"Do you have something against dogs too?" Nico tried to joke to get him to relax a bit. Nico can only take the tension for so long, it's as if they might try to kill each other the next second.
"Of course I do," Dean said, "they shed everywhere, they relieve their bowels everywhere, they're noisy, and they cost a LOT of money to take care of."
"Then how do you propose you get to California in under ten minutes?" Nico asked frustrated.
"If only Cas was alive and still had his wings," Dean muttered to himself, "then he could teleport both me and my car."
"Sorry, we're out of teleportation devices, our mechanic is out on vacation."
"Teleportation?" Dean lied, "I don't know where you got that idea from, but it doesn't matter. Look, you go your way. I'll go mine. I'm not going to leave the last thing my dad ever gave me in some airport."
"We're not leaving your car, we're going to shadow-travel it to California." Annabeth said, she was really getting tired of dealing with people's attachment to inanimate objects.
"No way, I'm not leaving my baby in the hands of some kid," Dean said sternly, "I highly doubt you have a license anyway. I'm not risking it crashing or getting impounded."
"We're not driving it, Nico's just going to touch it and then they're going to appear in the shadows somewhere in California with us right behind him." Annabeth clarified. "What's more important your car or your brother?" They didn't have time for this, Annabeth thought. Her affinity for plans clashed with Dean's ad hoc style of hunting.
"Grrrrr," Dean said in frustration. It was clear they weren't going to back down, and this conversation was just going in circles. The hunter was having trouble dealing with the three close friends who were used to working together. They're far more stubborn than his dad, and Dean never thought that was possible.
"Fine," Dean relented, "but only because I'm tired of this conversational loop that's going on."
"Okay, I'll just call Mrs. O'Leary and we'll be on our way," Nico said.
The moment that Mrs. O'Leary appeared, Dean started to reconsider the entire thing. He stumbled backwards, away from the hellish beast and instinctively raised his gun. Percy, who only glanced up at him briefly upon Mrs. O'Leary's arrival, quickly pushed Dean, and knocking the gun out of his hands like they showed at camp, so that he didn't have clear sights of the hellhound. Dean reached for his gun and Percy gave it to him only after he quickly pulled out the magazine with the bullets.
"Dude, shooting my dog is not cool," Percy said half heartedly waving the magazine case. "I thought we went over this. We're kind of trying to save your brother's life at the moment so shooting your means of transportation to your sick brother isn't going to be doing you a favor."
"That's a hellhound!" Dean sputtered, holding his hand out for the bullets.
"And your brother is sick," Nico reminded him. "We don't have time for this. How is it that I'm more concerned for your brother than you are?" Nico really hoped that the fight Hades mentioned might not destroy the sibling's relationship. He was reminded of his sister and how he would do anything to have her back for just a while longer. It was always good to have more family but that didn't make them replaceable. Dean may have gained a father but he still had a brother too.
"Sam just needs to be tied down and get that demon blood out of his system," Dean said pragmatically, "demon blood is like a drug to him, but worse as it actually gave him black eyes at one point. And no, I don't mean bruised. I mean pure black. No whites, no pupils, no irises. However, if that doesn't work… then he has to be killed. Better he die that go do something his human soul would regret for an eternity."
"I'm hoping there's another option, Sam didn't ingest any demon blood as of late. Sam's poisoning goes deeper, which is why I'm looking into different options," Nico said worryingly. "Hades can't help, Thanatos wasn't-" but he was interrupted by Dean.
"What do you mean, 'Hades won't help" Dean practically yelled, and misquoting Nico. The least his dad could do is to help his brother after the way they left things.
"Like I just about to say Thanatos learned that our relationship with the so called Asmo-land is not the preferred neutral. If Hades takes out a demon from 'Asmo-land', it could mean war. Besides, after the last time Hades helped you, Zeus is still mad about Hades' interference. The only ones who can help Sam are us," Nico made a gesture with his hands indicating the assembled demigods, "or a representative of the Judeo-Christian afterlife. Which is why after I transport your car I have to make another stop in New York."
"Wait, what the hell is 'Asmo-land'?" Dean asked in confusion.
"Apparently the new Lord of the Judeo-Christian underworld re-named it that," Nico explained.
Well that's dumb, Dean thought dryly before his mind went back to the topic at hand.
"What's in New York," Dean asked, hands curled into fists. He was still frustrated by the situation and still ready to call on Hades to give him a piece of his mind.
"Possibly a way to save Sam," Nico replied, "I don't want to get your hopes up though, which is why you need to save your brother because option number two might not save your brother if the demon is strangling Sam's soul, but in fact, could kill him if the two can't be separated on Earth. At worst it, might send Sam to Heaven and the demon to Hell."
"We should get going then," Dean said contemplating the full weight of the situation, "but don't think that Hades and I aren't going to have a long talk afterward. And I'm not traveling with the hellhound without a loaded gun."
"And again, I say," Percy reminded Dean, "no killing my pets. I can stop Mrs. O'Leary from slobbering all over you, but no deadly guns pointed at my dog."
After Percy reluctantly returned Dean's ammo magazine to him, the demigods gave Mrs. O'Leary instructions as they prepared to shadow-travel. Nico on the other hand was heading towards the entrance of the train terminal to go find Dean's car (can't be that hard he reasoned, kind of hard not to see it) and shadow-travel it to California. After that he still needs to make a stop at NYC. Not like he can help Dean with what he needs to do. Nico's not experienced with demons and he would be of more help in talking to Cas. Once he found the car, he looked to make sure no one was looking, he saw that there wasn't a lot of mortals, shrugging his shoulders he placed his hand on the car and in a dark blur he was transported to Camp Jupiter. Hopefully the Mist would take care of the few mortals that saw him, or rather didn't seem him.
At Camp Jupiter…
Annabeth, Dean, Percy and Mrs. O'Leary appeared out of the shadows near the tunnel that Percy once walked through to get to Camp Jupiter the first time. The new arrivals were having trouble with the nausea from the trip. Once Percy raised his head to get a better look around he saw that they added more guards than last time because he didn't recall there being guards on this side of the tunnel.
The aforementioned guards almost fell over from surprise at their appearance. Mrs. O'Leary on the other hand saw the sharp spears of the legionaries and decided that she shouldn't overstay her welcome. She opened her jaws and dropped the hogtied demon to the ground as if he was a chew toy. Mrs. O'Leary promptly vanished through the shadows, her job was done here. She was excited for her reward of good old fashioned brain-eating to do in the Fields of Punishment of some renaissance Europeans.
Leaving seemed to be the right decision because the legionaries were still deciding if the hellhound was a danger to the camp or not.
Once Percy got his bearing he sheepishly smiled at the legionnaires, "So could anyone point us in the direction of where my might find the praetors?"
"Aren't you kids a bit too young to be on the sauce?" Dean asked once the hellhound had left. The guards ignored him, clearly he was new.
"Who are you?" asked one of the younger legionnaires, his spear still at the ready. After the encounter with the hunters, they never knew who was a threat and who wasn't.
"Oh right, you probably don't know me," Percy realized, "I'm Percy. Those two are that's Annabeth Chase, and Dean. We are demigods," he decided to leave out the part about Dean being a hunter. "We need to see the praetors. We heard that Dean's brother is sick."
"Who?" both the guards asked.
"He means Sam," Annabeth corrected, "Sam Winchester." A guy like that probably didn't need much introductions if he was anything like his brother so Annabeth hoped that his name was sufficient.
The older legionnaire remembered hearing about the Senate meeting so he nodded, "The praetors are both at the Senate, but last I heard Sam's at the infirmary. I'm not sure if he was moved." He really hoped that these demigods were on their side, but given that Sam helped to save the camp, he figured they could be trusted.
The demigods thanked the guards and headed in the direction of the Senate building. The Roman demigods took the initiative to move the demon to the cells before he woke up so that he could be properly questioned.
All around the demigods was the evidence of the previous invasion of the camp. Bodies still littered the ground. Most of the demigods were removed but the bodies of the hunters were still being moved by armed medics. The demigods found that strange but Dean knew full well that a fight with demons, as that's what the brutal and bloody battlefield must have been, meant that the corpses weren't always empty.
As they neared the Senate they saw that people seemed to be camped close together. Percy didn't remember the camp being this busy, yet so empty given rest now appeared mostly abandoned. It seemed that the camp was too large for its own good. The defences were easier to maintain if people stayed closer together, and seeing as most had military experience, meant that everyone was always ready for battle. This arrangement made the newly arrived demigods uneasy.
The guards at the Senate stopped them before they went in. "Who are you?"
As Percy introduced the group to the new set of guards.
"Let me through, kid," Dean said sternly to the guard interrupting Percy, "I don't have the patience for niceties."
"I don't know if you noticed, but this is a military camp, and everyone here is armed. We just suffered heavy casualties. You need to make time for niceties if you don't want a demon walking through to the Senate and killing everyone inside," replied the guard who was long used to the antics of legacies thinking that a family name was going to give them higher authority. Last he needs is another Octavian to put up with.
"Yeah," Dean sneered, "armed with bread knives. Actually, you're armed with putty. Everyone knows that gold is the softest metal and the opposite of lethal."
"This isn't a bread knife," the guard calmly corrected, "this is a blade blessed by the gods, it was done so specifically for killing monsters. It has its uses."
"Still-" Annabeth interjected, knowing full well that the blades couldn't actually kill demons but didn't have time to argue with a guard about semantics, "we need to talk to the praetors, tell them it's Percy and Annabeth, and that we brought Sam's brother."
The guards recalled the last war and hearing those names before so one of them moved away from his post and said, "Follow me."
Annabeth turned back to Dean and gave him a look, "You don't know this place, we do. Try not to get yourself killed at every step for a simple misunderstanding."
Annabeth headed into the building and Percy followed after her just ready to get this trip over and done with and arrive at the finish line.
Yep, I'm gonna kill her first, Dean thought sourly. He proceeded to follow the two demigods.
As Dean approached the seated group of senators, or people dressed in bedsheets as he called them, and considered each of the members. They were all young considering the gravity of the matter. Dean figured he could take them if they tried to attack him.
"So this is Dean," Reyna stated looking at him and Dean looked at her finally figuring from her outfit that she was one of the ones in charge. Seems like Dean missed the beginning part of the demigods' conversation. "I'm Reyna and that's Frank, we're the praetors. We know you're looking for your brother so we'll keep this short. He is still at the infirmary, we contemplated moving him but Athena said there was no need to move him. The guard that brought you in will direct you to the infirmary if you simply follow him. And Dean, I know that you are hunters but this camp looks out for each other, I hope you do not intend to start trouble." Reyna knew that based on Sam's reaction and what he said about this brother that their stay won't be quiet or boring.
"Not today, sweetcheeks," Dean said, "I'm here for one purpose today, and that's Sam. However, if your kind do anything I don't like… I will not hesitate to go all Terminator on you monsters."
"I'd like to remind you that we kill monsters too," Reyna replied.
"Then do the world a favor and rid it of yourselves," Dean said darkly, "Or I will have to do my job, and believe me… I've done much worse than kill children."
"There are innocent people here. There are those that you seem to care for- mortals who married into demigod families. We are not monsters. Our roles are very similar to that of hunters."
"Then those mortals should start planning funerals," Dean said as he headed towards the door, "Anything not human doesn't deserve to live."
Dean didn't see but his statement started an argument between the other senators about Dean's stay in the camp given his behaviour.
At the infirmary,...
Athena was standing watch over Sam's bed. His condition was stable but you never know if another demon would try to have him released from his stasis.
Dean marked into the room not even looking at the guard that led him there. The guard took that as a sign to leave. Dean stopped moving as soon as he saw a woman over Sam's bed. He just had a feeling she wasn't a medic of any sort. Mostly, because she was an adult. Everyone here looked to be in their teens at the most. The only adults he's seen were in another part of the camp and clearly not as battle ready as the adolescents.
"Who the hell are you, and get away from my brother," Said Dean as he moved his hand towards his sidearm.
Athena sighed. Hunters really were hard to work with. She didn't step away, gods weren't one to back down because of a mortal. "I have been looking after your brother, I put him in suspended animation. His condition will not worsen. I will release it once we figure out how to help him. I assume you are here to save him?"
"I'm here to see how dangerous you demigods are," Dean said, "Sam is on his own."
"You would just abandon your brother this way?" Athena pressed, "aren't you the one with the ability to save him? Nico was adamant that you could."
"What could I do?!" Dean demanded, "I don't have any powers! Even if I did, I would never use them! Not even to save Sam! It wouldn't be natural!"
"Nico said you were a son of Hades," Athena said, "it would be only natural for you to use the powers that you were born with. This is not like the demons that you are so used to. The powers are not someone else's that come at a cost. Your powers are your own."
"Oh come on," Dean said rolling his eyes, "that bonehead was just trying to manipulate me. My dad is human. Not a monster."
"No. Stop acting the petulant child. Will you just set aside your daddy issues and actually save the family that has been there for you and believe in you. Sam believes in you and yet you won't even help him." Athena sighed, she didn't know how to talk to mortals about these topics, she has been told that she can be rather blunt.
"Petulant!" Dean yelled as his eyes glowed scarlet for a second.
"Look around, this camp, it's filled with demigods just like you but they have put less of a fuss than you over your daddy issues and they dealt with it at an earlier age," Athena said, "You are new to the world of the demigods but everyone here has an issue with the gods but they put their issues to the back of their mind because they are not as narcissistic as you, they don't believe that the world owes them something. They are here for the good of the community, they try to save other demigods from the monsters."
"I'm not selfish," Dean growled, "I have earned the right to demand stuff. I have sacrificed so much just to protect this world. Don't you dare assume shit about me, you bitch."
"That is not how it works. Sacrifices are made when neither option is good. Good people die either way, at least in one situation others have a chance to live. And you do not demand, you are granted gifts, one is different from the other. Some call it semantics, but there is a difference. It is the difference between monsters and heroes. Heroes do not ask for anything. Monsters try to make the world their slave instead of working with it," Athena stated. "You shouldn't have to want something in return for doing good. That is selfishness."
"I know what you are," Dean said in realization from the lecturing tone, the strange behaviour, and the uneasiness he felt, "You're one of those stupid Gods these freaks love so much. You are worse dicks than angels."
"I have lived for a long time, little demigod," Athena began saying, she was beginning to tire from his short-sightedness, there have been heroes who had lost more than him and yet they still held their heads high, "do not disregard everything I say as a toddler would when told not to touch the stove. There is a way to the world and one cannot disregard something simply because he or she doesn't like it. Immortals are not subject to the rules of humans, we know full well that we cannot live like humans, we do not expect you to like the decisions that we make. In this instance, I am attempting to help you, I, at least, hope you can understand the wisdom in letting me help you."
By the end of the woman's speech, Dean had to restrain himself from breaking her nose. He knew from experience that picking a fight with a God or Goddess without an evergreen steak wouldn't end well at all.
Athena decided that maybe Dean would never be able to change his mind after all, "I will leave but I hope you remember that you cannot change the motion of the world simply because you wish it. You'll just get crushed by it." With that typically cryptic lecture she vanished and Dean was left alone with his brother.
"Now what?" Dean asked as his mood changed with the woman's departure.
Stick your hand inside of him said a voice inside Dean's head.
"What the?!" exclaimed Dean as he looked around, "Who said that?!"
The stasis will wear off soon now that Athena has left his side. You must hurry to save him or he will wake and try to stop you.
"Whoever is talking inside my head," Dean said, "I'm not gonna fist my brother. That would be disgusting on so many levels."
For the love of-, the oddly familiar voice sounded exasperated, it's me, Hades. You need to extract the demon that is strangling Sam's soul. On your plane of existence it would appear as if it is in his body.
"Oh great," Dean grumbled, "now I have a zombie God in my gourd. Could this day get… No not going to finish that. Something bad always happens after one of those lines."
Something bad will happen if you do not remove the demon in time. Dean could hear Hades sigh. You are a son of Hades, you will be able to remove the demon, and leave the soul, Hades tried to reassure him.
"How about something bad is going to happen if you don't remove your voice from my head," Dean snapped back. In his experience, people- humans- with voices in their head was not a good sign.
Listen, I cannot visit you as Zeus forbids it, but I can help you save your poisoned brother by speaking to you in this way, Hades explained. Do you accept my help or not?
After the day that Dean has had, Dean was left exhausted and in enemy territory. If he could just have this win, his brother back, maybe just this once he could listen to Hades.
"What do I need to do?" Dean said stiffly. He was already looking at his brother, no sign of the demon. What was he supposed to see? What was he supposed to do? Dean poked his brother's forehead. Nope, felt human.
Focus on the feeling of wrongness when you touch his soul and imagine pulling it with all your might.
Dean immediately remembered what Cas did to his grandfather, Samual, and stared at his right hand. He positioned his hand over Sam's stomach, but he hesitated.
"This can't actually work," Dean said to himself. However, he then plunged his hand into Sam's gut and to his shock his hand entered as if Sam was made out of water. He felt around till he felt something that he judged to be abnormal. He wouldn't know for sure due to the fact he had never done something like this before, but his judgement immediately proved spot on as that something stung him.
"Yow!" Dean exclaimed, "What the hell was that?!"
Dean quickly moved his hand back in instead of waiting for an answer, and this time he plunged his other hand in and grabbed the abnormal thing with both hands.
"Come on you son of a bitch," Dean grunted as he pulled hard on the thing that was holding on just as hard, "release him!"
Dean had to place his feet onto the bed itself and pushed off the bed with his feet. Suddenly, he fell onto his back with something landing on top of him. That something knocked the breath out of him.
"I'm free," said a voice that sounded like Sam's as the something got off of Dean. Dean looked at that-something and saw a naked Sam with yellow eyes staring at him.
"Ah!" Dean exclaimed as he closed his eyes, "I didn't need to see that! Your not a toddler anymore! Cover yourself! Show some decency!"
"I'm a demon, you twat," the thing with Sam's voice said as Dean felt himself grabbed by the neck and hoisted up, "and now… I'll do the thing that I failed to do the last time. You know? At the graveyard?"
"What… talking…" Dean choked out as he opened his eyes again while the thing with Sam's body squeezed.
"What's the matter Dean?" Sam smirked, "Don't remember me?"
Suddenly, Dean was thrown through the door and outside of the room.
"I'm shocked," Sam said as he walked towards Dean, "Then again, I guess it makes sense. The last you saw me was… well, in 2007."
"No way," Dean said in realization, "You can't be him! I killed that yellow-eyed-bastard!"
"And yet, I'm alive and kicking," Sam laughed as he pulled a nearby torch from the wall, "and I'm thirsty for vengeance."
Upon hearing the commotion the two massive guards that were called for back up in the demon situation charged into the room one of whom threw her spear at the demon just as it was about to impale Dean with the torch handle. After Sam got to camp, there was an emergency team assembled to come up with weapons to harm, if not kill, the demons. One of those weapons happen to include the now blessed spear of celestial bronze with which she impaled the Sam-doppelganger demon.
Behind the demigods, Percy ran in and commanded water to douse out the demon's torch. The water ended up also pushing the demon away from Dean. The demon was pushed to the right with such force against the wall that he bruised his shoulder. The impact shifted the spear in the demon's shoulder.
"GAH," yelled the demon in pain, the spear may not have killed him but the blessed spear burned like heavenly fire that the demon will never be able to touch. He slowly pulled out the spear all the while his fingers sizzled from holding even the shaft. Those demigods really went all out.
He turned to them and upon seeing the line formation decided that maybe this wasn't the best time to take on an entire camp, "I'll be back Dean, and you'll be sorry." With that usual sensitive-demon act it charged through the wall and disappeared.
Percy checked on Dean, seeing that he's alright he reassured the demigods, "I'll tell Reyna, just go back to you're posts."
When the demigods left, Dean was still sitting still on the bed on the right of Sam. "I'm going to kill that thing," he finally said.
"I'm sure you will," Percy said but even after knowing Dean this long he still wasn't sure if he could kill something that looked like his brother, "but maybe for now you could stay to maybe teach the demigods. You're a hunter after all, you could tell them how to fight those things. With the Mist, we've never had to deal with demons before but now we don't have a choice when we're singled out."
"I'm not doing this to protect demigods," Dean replied quietly.
"I know but if we could fight them then there would be less demons for mortals to put up with. It's kind of our thing to deal with monsters."
"You don't seem able to deal with yourselves," Dean snapped back still keeping his voice low, he contemplated his next move. "I shouldn't have done this," he finally blurted out, "this was a bad idea."
"What?" Percy asked confused.
"Listening to Hades, the supernatural only cause problems," Dean said.
"Well-" Percy began saying, "as I recall you Reyna saying, a demon uses bodies, alive or dead. Either you save your brother or you lose him. The demon would have gotten out either way. Dude, you really need to learn to compromise. Not like your job makes you a saint either way, you could be a bit less high-and-mighty about the whole black and white thing."
Dean seemed to ignore him, he was off brooding again, after all not like he got anywhere with the demigods before in their conversations.
Seeing that he wasn't getting anywhere, Percy left allowing Dean to think over the consequences of what just happened.
Not long after Percy left, Dean's phone rang. He answered it only to hear one of the last people he expected to hear on the other end.
"What?!" demanded Dean angrily as he was still reacting from Azazel's apparent return.
"Hello Dean," the caller replied.
"Cas?" Dean asked shocked and in disbelief.
This story is sadly ended here. It will be concluded in a Crisis on Infinite Earths fanfic I have yet to do.