I am so sorry this has taken so long. I have no excuse. Enjoy and thanks to everyone who reviews and followed the last chapter.
The group spent the next three hours going through all the boxes Castiel and Dean found in the cabin. They had managed to map out where all of the main bases were, as well as finding detailed reports of experiments that the hunters were carrying out on the angels. When Sam noticed that Gabriel was beginning to get upset at the reports he decided to call it a night, proclaiming that Gabriel and Balthazar needed their rest. Dean agreed as he noticed Adam had fallen asleep over one of the reports, and Balthazar was just as close to falling asleep in the armchair in the corner.
Since they were low on beds Dean and Sam moved Adam gently onto the sofa, covering him up with a blanket that Bobby passed them. Sam then helped Gabriel up the stairs to their room, closely followed by Castiel who was letting Balthazar lean sleepily on him. Castiel turned to look over his shoulder at Dean silently questioning him if he was going to sleep? Dean held up a file in his hand and nodded towards the kitchen to indicate he was going to stay up and do a little more research. Castiel just nodded to let him know he understood and continued to help Balthazar upstairs.
Balthazar was barely awake, which worried Dean. The angels were acting way too much like humans for his liking. Both Gabriel and Balthazar had admitted that the hunters had injected them a few times with something. However, what it was they had no idea. All they knew is after they had been injected their grace began to be suppressed limiting their angelic abilities, and pretty much leaving them human.
Moving to the kitchen to grab himself another coffee, he sat at the table and took a gulp, sighing slightly as the caffeine kicked in. He placed the mug next to him and rubbed his eyes trying to focus on the reports in front of him. These hunters maybe sadistic bastards but they sure kept detailed paperwork of their activities. And by activities Dean meant the different methods of torture the hunters used to see how the angels would react and what was the most painful for them. The more Dean read, the more he wanted to be physically sick.
The bastards used every torture method in the book, and took great pleasure in writing down the angel's reactions. Dean was also starting to think that the tapes they found in the boxes were going to contain some disturbing recordings that he decided only needed to be watched as a last resort.
He finished the file he was reading and tossed it aside before grabbing a thick leather bound journal from the box next to him. He held it in his hand noticing the post its sticking out of the journal, which reminded him slightly of his dad's journal. He flipped it open and began reading. However, he had to reread the first few pages 5 times before he grasped what he was reading. Sitting up straighter he began furiously flipping through the pages, skimming the pages quickly. Before slamming it shut in triumph. The journal was a detailed account of the grace-repressing serum the hunters had developed to make the angels powerless. From what Dean could tell from his quick glance, it had taken a while, and many alterations to the serum, before the hunters found one that had worked. He stood up and decided he would pass this on to Sam. He was the brains of the family, he would understand the chemical and medical jargon the hunter had used more than Dean would. He would be more likely to come up with an antidote.
He smiled to himself. Finally something good had come out of this. Now all they had to do was shut the rest of the torture chambers down, and save as many angels as they could along the way. Especially Samandriel. Dean knew his brother would be distraught if they couldn't save the angel in time. He could see how attached the young man was to the angel.
Dean walked from the kitchen into the living room just in time to see Adam startle awake. He had obviously had been having a nightmare and was attempting to catch his breath.
Adam jumped slightly at Dean's words. He hadn't noticed Dean standing in the doorway.
"Uhh yeah. Just nightmares, ya know." The young man tried to shrug it off, but Dean could see the fear still in his brother's eyes.
Dean moved and sat next to Adam and the sofa, and gave his shoulder a comforting squeeze.
"Was it about hell? Cause I promise you I had plenty of them once I got back."
Adam shook his head at the question.
"Uhh yeah. Been having them the last two weeks. Ever since Samandriel was taken. I guess he must have been keeping the nightmares away when he was with me. He must have been using the last of his grace to keep them away. No wonder he always looked so weak."
Dean saw the guilt spread across Adam's face and took pity on his brother.
"Or maybe you just felt safe with him. I used to get nightmares all the time but whenever Cas was in the room with us I never had any, and it wasn't because he was using his grace to mojo them away. Trust me, I asked him. The reason Samandriel was so weak was because those bastards were torturing him, and because they were injecting them with a serum they created to purposely make angel's weak." Dean held up the journal in his hand to prove his point.
"What's that?" Adam questioned, eyebrows furrowing slightly in confusion.
"It is one of the hunter's journals. It has detailed findings of the experiments they carried out on the angels. I didn't understand a lot of it but from what I could grasp it took a few alterations to the serum before they created one that worked. It's all in here. I was going to see if Sam could make sense of all the chemical and medical jargon, because all that stuff is definitely not my forte. Hopefully we should be able to find out the antidote from this thing."
"I was pre-med before you know I died the first time." Adam admitted.
Dean snorted trying to hold back a laugh and looked guiltily at Adam.
"Sorry." Dean admitted. "It's just you must be a Winchester if you have to add on first time to make a clear what death you are on about. Not many people die more than once."
Adam laughed back. "Yeah must mean I'm a Winchester huh?"
Dean looked at Adam and gave him a smile. He could see that Adam was still scared that he wasn't accepted as part of their family and Dean wanted to make sure Adam knew that he had nothing to worry about. Adam was a Winchester. He was their brother. Now Dean had to make sure Adam knew this.
"You are definitely a Winchester, you are our little brother. Which means we are going to fight, we are going to bitch about each other, and we will protect each other. I want you to know that, you don't have to worry about us getting sick of you. You are stuck with us."
Adam's smiled brightened at Dean's speech and threw himself at Dean, hugging him tight.
"Thanks Dean." He muttered into Dean's shoulder.
"No worries little brother. Now you better get to sleep, we got a long few weeks ahead of us. I'll leave the journal here for you and you can give it a read in the morning. You are obviously the most qualified to understand it. It's nice to know I've got two brainy brothers to shift the boring research onto." Adam laughed at that as Dean stood up and placed the journal on the coffee table.
"Oh and no telling Sam about the chick flick moment." Dean said seriously. "He'll get jealous and want one." He added smirking slightly to show he was playing around.
Adam just shook his head in amusement as he lay down. However, Dean could see him glance at the journal and knew 30 seconds after he left the journal would be in Adam's hands. Dean knew how desperate he was to find Samandriel, and Dean knew he would be just as eager to do something to help if it was Cas in the hands of those sadistic bastards.
He made his way to the stairs to the panic room, deciding he should probably get some sleep himself. Throwing a good night to Adam over his shoulder, he sleepily headed down the stairs and into the panic room. The room was empty, which meant Cas was still with Balthazar. Hopefully that meant the angels had fully talked everything out.
As he was pulling off his shirt to change into his sleepwear, he heard soft footsteps coming down the stairs. He turned to see Cas enter the room. He smiled sleepily at Dean and moved to hug him. Dean pulled him close as Cas sighed gently into Dean's shoulder.
"You ok angel?" Dean questioned quietly.
"He forgave me Dean. After what I did to him he still forgave me."
Dean didn't have to ask to know Cas was talking about Balthazar.
Cas pulled back.
"I don't deserve his forgiveness but I am so happy he did. I am so happy I get a second chance to fix my mistakes."
Dean kissed Cas gently and rested his forehead against Cas's.
"You have made up for your mistakes again and again. We all make them. Us Winchesters more than most. You need to let them go or they will consume you. You are doing good now. You need to focus on that and not the past."
Cas smiled sweetly at Dean.
"I know Dean. But thank you."
"No problem angel. Now I need to get some sleep. You going to stay here or you going to go wherever angels go when everyone else sleeps."
"I'll think I stay." Cas answered. The couple both changed into sweats and t-shirt, Castiel had realised when he starting sharing a bed with Dean that sweats were a lot more comfortable to lie in than his suit.
The pair curled up on the small cot in the panic room, Dean pulling Cas close to his chest so he wouldn't fall off the edge.
Dean sighed in content and closed his eyes, when Castiel's voice broke through the silence.
"What was the journal Adam was reading? He seemed very engrossed."
Dean snorted in amusement.
"I knew he wouldn't wait till tomorrow."
Dean explained what he had found in the journal, and Castiel perked up that they may found an antidote soon. Otherwise it was going to be a slow and painful healing process for Gabriel and Balthazar.