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Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Supernatural Christmas Carol Chapter 13

Authors: Lady Laran and Tisha Wyman Warnings: Bad language and violence. Spoilers: Season Five - so if you’ve not seen it, be warned a few things are a bit weird.Disclaimer - We do not own Supernatural nor A Christmas Carol. The show is owned by Eric Kripke and the book is by Charles Dickens. Neither of us has rights to this nor have we earned anything by doing this. We’re just doing this for fun. Oh..we also don’t own Christmas at Ground Zero or any other carols that might be mentioned. This is a story of healing, family, humor, and horror. Sounds like a typical Thursday night on the CW. (Of course, the CW has gone bonkers and moved them to Fridays, now. We shall see.)

Final Visitation and Revelation

Dean knew too much had been thrown at him. He was worried about Sam. He was affected by the hauntings last night, but not like Dean had been. John was for both of them, but Sam had had no personal attacks. Dean didn't like the thought. Truth be told, Castiel and Bobby were worrying about that as well. Dean made eye contact with both men, could see the concern, and knew they all had the same thought. He grew a little restless. Sam concerned him. He hoped Sam had grown strong enough. Either way, Dean was not deserting him.

Castiel put his empty cup away, coming back in to sit near Bobby. The air grew colder and the men looked at the clock as it moved backwards towards 1 a.m. Dean sighed, stood up and walked towards Sam.

"Here we go again," Ben muttered. "I'm really hoping to end this tonight cause I am so damned sick of this asshole."

Dean smiled and bit his lower lip. "Yeah. I actually want that Christmas and I bet you would like a normal one."

Bobby nodded. "I agree with you, so kick ass idjits."

Dean laughed for a minute, clapped Sam on the back, and waited to see what came at them.

The room went ice cold again, signaling another haunting. Dickens sighed, looking both tired and worried.

Dean moved in even closer to Sam. Cas edged closer to Ben. Bobby waited, figuring he was going to be watching everything again, if they were taken out.

Again, the mist approached. This time the two figures were more personal. Ben inhaled sharply, recognizing the form of his brother, while Sam took a step back. This was something he hadn't wanted to face. Dean was angry. He started swearing at the top of his lungs at the necromancer, figuring they were being watched. Bobby didn't recognize her but had a feeling this wasn't good...not good at all.

"Bobby, throw me some silver bullets just in case I need them."

A case of them was pressed into Dean's hand.

"Thanks, Bobby. Dean walked back to his brother. "You're not going through this alone, Sammy. I'm not letting you."

Sam swallowed hard, staring at the ghostly image of Madison.

"It's alright, Sammy. What you did, she asked you to do. Remember that. The real Madison would thank you."

"I know," he whispered hoarsely. "But it doesn't make it any easier."

Castiel looked at Ben. "Will you be all right?"

"I don't think so, Castiel. That's my brother."

The necromancer was slowly causing the angel's temper to fray. This was beyond wrong now.

Bobby could watch both groups and interact if he wanted to. They had not been removed in any way as of yet.

The cold turned bitter, sharp, and then the scenery changed for both groups. Bobby swore. Like before, he could see them but not interact unless he tried to drag them back. The scenes had to be carried out in hopes of someone seeing a familiar face.

Castiel looked at Ben. "Focus on the surroundings to find the necromancer. I will handle your brother."

The brother came forward. His neck and portions of his body were mangled, his throat torn out.

"Ben? Why didn't you come with me? I might still be alive if you had had my back."

The angel responded, keeping the spirit's attention focused on him. He'd learned a few things about the home owner during his time sitting with him. "Your brother has a medical condition which prevents hunting. You are aware of this and should not haunt him for that."

The spirit laughed. "He's a Scrooge. We are hunters. Others have hunted while suffering worse. You know nothing about us, Angel. You shouldn't even be here. Maybe someone will send an adversary after you to stop you from interfering. The older hunter is going to need you." The spirit laughed again.

"I am here to protect my family, something you should recall as being an important task."

"Ben is not your family, Angel."

"He is a friend."

"He may be but you will have to choose, angel. The hunter will need you next haunting. You will make your choice. We won't leave you out."

Castiel hoped Ben was looking, taking advantage of this. "Oh no? Perhaps not but my decision was to accompany Ben this time."

"I think one of them will be destroyed, angel. It will be your choice. You can't protect both of them. Will you obey the hunter and protect my brother, or will your love for the hunter make you save him?"

The angel tilted his head, then smirked. "You, restless one, have just clued me into something important. Thank you for that."

The ghost looked confused. "I've have only said what I was told. He would not give himself away."

And there was a second clue. "Bobby, if you can hear me, end it please."

Bobby rolled over and pulled Cas and Ben out of the area they stood. He turned back to see if anything was occurring with the brothers and the woman. So far, Sam and the woman stood staring at one another. Dean was tense, his gun now loaded with silver bullets, his eyes searching everywhere and seeing nothing but the two with him.

Sam's heart was aching as he looked at the woman he'd fallen for. "I wish the necromancer hadn't found you, Madison."

"I do too, Sam. I love you. I don't want to hurt you, but being here does that, doesn't it?"

"It does because you deserve to be at peace. I know I deserve being haunted. I've done a shit load of bad things. I just wish you hadn't been dragged into this."

"Sam, can you just kill me one more time? Let me go?"

Dean walked between them. "No, he's not gonna do that. If it needs to be done, I'll do it. He's been through this once and no necromancer is doing it to him again."

The only way to put you to rest, Madison, is to take care of the necromancer," he answered softly.

"You can't end it, Sam. You won't find him. He's got strong magic."

"No one is perfect, Madison. A hint, something to help us find him. You're strong, you always have been."

"He's a man, Sam. He's young, handsome, and he's very angry...very jealous. Be careful..." Madison started screaming. Sam started to run forward and Dean grabbed him and held on as Castiel dragged them out.

Sam collapsed against his brother, trying hard to keep from crying. He was grateful to Castiel for pulling them out. Dean pulled Sam into his arms, holding him close and whispering soft words into Sam's ears for him to hear only. Dean did not let him go. They fell to the floor when Sam collapsed. Dean looked up at Castiel with tears on his face.

"Get a small shot of whiskey, will you, Cas? Just a small one. Sam doesn't handle it real well, but he needs it right now."

Ben did it before Castiel could move, not wanting Sam to be without his family members.

Ben handed Dean the glass with a small shot of whiskey in it. He held it to his brother's lips. "Come on, Sammy. It's not a lot but it will help. I promise." Sam took a small sip, shuddering. Dean slowly got his brother to drink the whiskey, and kept cradling him.

Bobby moved to be near the brothers and Castiel was kneeling near his adopted siblings to lend his silent support.

"It's alright, Sammy. It's gonna be alright. I know it hurts. I'm not leaving you. Bobby and Cas are both here. We're not going anywhere. You got us."

"We are, son. You did well; you stood up bravely and got some information out of her. It hurts but it'll fade a bit after time."

Dean looked at Bobby. "I was so in tuned with Sammy, I didn't catch it. What did she say?"

"Cas got some information too." He looked at the angel, who nodded. "We're dealing with a male, not a female. This individual is also orphaned, abandoned, or from an abusive/neglectful home. He didn't understand that while I would choose to support my brothers, the rest of the family would also be there to support Ben as well."

"Okay, that's important. I remember her describing him. Mr. Dickens does Madison's description fit him?"

Dickens nodded...obviously fighting the compulsion in order to answer.

Dean watched the ghost. The information was important. The necromancer was hoping to destroy them and there was only one haunting left. Christmas was not far away and they needed to catch him tonight. Dean was concerned about what the last haunting would be. The man wanted Winchesters out of the way. That meant dead.

Ben frowned. "There's a few people I know that fit that description."

Dean sat with his legs stretched out in front of him, with Sam's long body extended across him. Sam's head was on Dean's shoulder and Dean was still holding him close. He looked at Ben. "Who, Ben?"

"There's an elderly gentleman, an acquaintance of my grandfathers. Also a guy my brother and I went to school with...he works as a gardener here. I hired him because he's a whiz with plants, pay him rather well too."

"Okay, you wouldn't have a picture anywhere of these men?"

"In the office, same with the other two." He rose, heading towards his office quickly. Once he was gone, Bobby set a hand on Sam's shoulder. "How're you doing, son?"

Sammy was quietly sobbing on his brother's shoulder. Dean gave a helpless glance at Bobby but did not let go. He held on with all that was in him. Castiel and Bobby were there, simply lending support through gentle touches, hoping to comfort him.

Sam finally dozed on Dean's shoulder, emotional exhaustion catching up with him. Dean looked up at Bobby and Castiel. "I don't know if Sam is gonna be up to the third haunting. I may have to go this one alone, guys. Bobby, I need you to keep a close eye on me if that happens."

Castiel shook his head. "Bobby will accompany Ben this time. I will remain at your side."

"What's going on, Cas? These have been easier except for the emotions."

"The ghost in the last one seemed determined that one of you would break. I will not leave you to face that alone. Bobby is skilled enough to go with Ben."

"Break? Come on, Cas. I faced my worst demon today in John Winchester. What could possibly be worst than that?"

The angel was quiet. "I believe it will be something that will affect both you and I, Dean."

"He's coming after you, Cas?" Dean frowned. "But what could come after both of us?"

"I believe it may have something to do with our battles recently."

"You mean the apocalypse?" Dean was concerned now. If it involved Cas, it was powerful. Most likely more then Dean could handle alone. He looked at Cas' face. The angel was worried. Dean watched Bobby and Ben talking as Bobby told Ben he'd be with him. "Cas, who do you think is coming?"

Castiel took in a slow breath. "There is one thing that weighs heavily upon you and I..the outcome of finding another alternative for you in regards to combating Lucifer."

Dean mouthed one word. "Michael."

The angel nodded, a look of weariness and concern in his eyes.

"Cas, you gotta go. You can't win against him. I don't know how this guy can control an archangel. Damn...maybe he's not. Maybe he told him where we are. Cas, you gotta go."

"Absolutely not, Dean. You are my brother in heart, and I will not allow you to face him alone."

"Cas, I can't afford to lose you. Not like this. You are a brother to both Sam and me. I don't want you dying because of me. I will have to do it alone. He will kill you. You told me he was more powerful then Raphael and Raphael killed you once. I don't know how to find God to bring to you back."

Bobby spoke up. "You two idjits are overlooking something. An archangel is not going to listen to a necromancer. That's like an anthesis to them."

"That's true, Bobby, but an archangel is looking for Cas and me. If a necromancer wanted to get rid of us, what better way?"

"If that's the case, we're all screwed, Dean, cause he's already homed in on this. However, I think it's a spirit probably disguised as one because Michael would've been here before now."

"You are probably right, Bobby. He would have been here already."

The older man nodded.

Dean looked up at Bobby. "But that can be real bad, Bobby. He won't wait for me to invite him inside of me, will he? He might try to possess me instead? If he's not the archangel?”

Castiel spoke up. "Spirits can do that. Michael requires an invitation. You will be all right."

"If it's not Michael? But if it is, you aren't."

"If it is, I'm dead regardless if I stay or leave. He could follow me at will."

"Okay, Cas. We go together then. Will you help me put Sam to bed. He's out cold. Exhausted."

Castiel nodded, helping Dean with Sam. It wasn't often he saw the younger one so upset. "We will have to find a way to make this up to him tomorrow."

"Yeah,. Not sure how to do that for Sammy, but we'll figure something. Maybe take him to Starbucks and get you both sick on hot chocolate."

Bobby tilted his head. "How about a movie tomorrow?"

"That would be fun. It's been ages since I saw one. We can discuss it tomorrow. After this is all over. Ben, you okay?"

Ben nodded, frowning over the pictures. Once Dean and Castiel returned, he handed the photos to them to look over.

Dean looked at them and pointed to the one with the garden tools. "I recognize him."

Bobby frowned. "Where?"

"He sold us food at Dickens on the Strand. Remember him, Cas? You and I got the food."

Castiel looked at the picture. "It was him. He helped the woman who served us."

Ben sighed. "Most everyone tries to contribute in some way. Granted, I pay him all year round but most of my employees try to participate in the festival."

"Yeah, but he was also at the concert. I remember him at a couple of the stores we went to. Look at the pictures, Bobby. He was at the book store we went to to buy cds."

"Ten million dollar question is why did he zone in on us? It's not like he'd have recognized us."

"I have no idea. But we unloaded the Impala the other night getting Christmas gifts out. It's possible he might have followed us and saw the weapons. He knows about hunters. Ben's brother was one. He might have thought Ben hired us or something."

Castiel nodded. "That might do it."

"Well, now we need to catch him. If he's in the dreamscape, he's got to be able to be spotted."

"Yeah, question is how."

"If both groups are still involved in the dreamscape, the one he's in keeps an eye on him. Know where he is at all times. When the other is free, they go after him, pull him out. Cas, can we do that with a necromancer or do we need something to hold him?"

"If he's in the dreamscape, the chances are that it's an astral projection. We won't be able to hold him."

Bobby nodded, scratching his beard. "So we do this. We use this last time to ID him. If it is this guy, we track him down and have a friendly discussion with him in regards to his activities."

"Okay, but we find him tonight. I want some time to spend with my family this Christmas. Not chasing him. We do this tonight. Ben, you know where he lives?"

"I know where all of these live," he answered. "Bobby has the right idea. Now that we have a list of 'suspects,' we can see if we spot any of them and we'll have our culprit." He fished something out of his pocket, dry swallowing a pill with a grimace.

Dean left the room, came back with a glass of water, and handed it to Ben. "Don't try to choke down something you need to work right away."

He took a grateful sip. "Thank you."

"I take it that's one reason you didn't follow some of your family into hunting," Bobby asked and Ben nodded in silent response.

Castiel was talking with Dickens, who was still with them. "Are you sure you can not identify the necromancer from the photos, or give us a hint that is not under his control?"

The ghost shook his head. "I cannot. wary. This one..has generations of hatred in him. Ben and his brother broke tradition. This one is bound by tradition."

Dean sat up, alert. What do you mean by tradition? This doesn't have anything to do with the pregnant witch? Are we talking hunters or becoming hunters? What do you mean by breaking tradition? What tradition?"

Ben's voice was soft. "The Scrooge family has several traditions since the curse. The young brothers hunt, the older protect and continue the family line. I was born with a faulty my older brother took the role of hunter. Our tradition was broken with this generation. As for whoever this necromancer is...maybe this is a family tradition too."

"Then it's not necessarily the witch's family we are dealing with here? It could be something else dealing with hunting and your family?"

Castiel shook his head. "I believe the witch passed on the magical traditions to her offspring as well as her hatred of the Scrooge family. It just escalated into necromancy instead. It's a darker art."

"Okay. Why care if they change the tradition? Damn, you have no heir to pass down the family traditions. The necromancer will have no one for his heirs to go after. It's over with you and him."

"I do have an heir, Dean. My brother had twins; they're visiting their maternal grandparents for the holidays." He was quiet for a moment. "They're four years old...and I'll be damned if I'm going to have them go through the same torment my brother and I went through."

"Then, if the traditions go on after you, why hate you for a change you couldn't help? Is he insane, Dickens?"

"The master's birthright is that of hatred..generations of hatred. As long as the Scrooge blood line continues, the hatred will not die."

Bobby frowned. "Oh damn..this is gonna be one twisted son of a bitch. The mistress is sent away, gives birth to an illegitimate child. She teaches the child magic of some kind and hatred of the father that wouldn't acknowledge them. Bastards were not treated well back then. It's a hatred that's grown from one generation to the next."

"So we're dealing with generational curses? That's not a good thing, Bobby. We are in for a major battle. If there's one thing I know, it's that hatred can eat you alive."

Castiel spoke up. "The curse may be something as simple as a marking spell so each generation necromancer can find the next generation of Scrooge. This could very well be generational stalking."

"How do we break a marking spell, Cas?"

"If it is there, it can be broken. I will need to think on it after we determine if it is there."

"What do we need to do, Cas? How do determine if it's there.?"

"Probably trick the necromancer into confirming it."

"Well, now that's gonna take some doing."

The air started getting cold. Dean could SEE his breath. He looked up at the clock and swore under his breath as the hands went back to 2 a.m.

Castiel moved close to Dean while Bobby did the same thing with Ben. "Remember the faces, boys. He's gotta be there," was Bobby's words of advice.

"Cas, he won't go after Sam, will he?"

"I do not know, let's hope not. With him being asleep, it's possible the ghosts will not focus in on him."

"Yeah, I don't like leaving him unprotected, but Sam can be a light sleeper usually. It's just that with what happened and a whiskey, he might not be."

"The kid better keep his ass asleep. And Dean, I want to hear about that one after this is over. Whatever happened, he hasn't gotten over it and needs help with it." Bobby was protective of them to say the least.

Dean nodded. "You know how we've been, Bobby. We don't talk much. I'm working on it."

"I know and that's a change that's got to be made. But we have to help the boy or he's never going to move forward."

I know. I knew he cared about her. I just figured, after Ruby in his life, that Madison was gone. There was Jessica who was his first real love. I thought it was still her. There was Sarah too. She's still alive. Hell, Bobby. With Sam, it was hard to know."


"We met Sarah Blake when we were investigating a haunted picture. She didn't care he was a hunter. She wasn't afraid of dying. She wanted to be with Sam. He was afraid of losing her so he told HER he'd be back one day. I told him he should marry her. You don't find women who aren't afraid of what you are and what can happen to those you love."

"Sounds like the perfect match for Sam."

"That's what I thought. She's beautiful, sexy, and very smart. Perfect for him. He never planned on Madison. Madison just happened. She turned into the werewolf and he had to kill her. She asked him to. I think he would have gotten over her fast if it hadn't been for shooting her. I think, deep down, it's Sarah. But we got to find a way to get him to open up about Madison."

Bobby nodded, then frowned as two figures came through mist again. "Here we go."

"Cas, who's he? Ben's got a reaper, it looks like but who is he?"

The angel tilted his head. "It has been a while since I've seen him but that is Michael... In a way."

"So we were right. What do you mean, in a way? A meat suit?"

"It doesn't feel right."

"Not really him?"

"A spirit bearing his face, I believe." He was watching the form of Michael with cautious eyes.

Dean did not move forward. He would face this Michael, but possession was out of the question. If this was not an angel, then it would not require permission. He was grateful for the protection he had tattooed on his chest.

Bobby was watching as well, wondering what this reaper would have for them. The reaper motioned for the men to follow him. Ben looked pale.

The older man eyed the reaper. "And why should we follow you?"

The reaper just beckoned again.

"What do you think, Ben?"

"I don't want to go."

The air moved around them and they were in an ancient cemetery on an island.

"What the hell?"

The men walked towards the grave the reaper pointed at. "Can you read the name on this, Bobby. I'd say it's around Dickens’s time?"

I can't quite make it out."

"I think we have our witch, Bobby." Ben started looking around. The place looked deserted. He sniffed the air, salt. "I think we're in England."

"Jane Elizabeth Davidson. Can't make out the dates but I think you're right." He looked at the reaper. "She's the start of all this, isn't she?"

The reaper nodded. It kept pointing to the grave. "What are we supposed to do? Dig it up or something?"

"We supposed to uncover the grave?"

The reaper nodded. "Bobby, didn't your friend remain out of the control of the reaper? The woman? The woman reaper did her job but never tried to do more then bring the boys back to normal. He's trying harder this time. He did not work on them much, but he wants them out of the way. He's putting more into them then me this time. It's never happened to me. This reaper is helping us. I've got nothing to dig with."

"And I can't dig." He looked at the reaper. "We need help here. No tools and a man in a wheelchair."

The reaper kept pointing to the grave. Ben finally knelt down and began to pull the grass off the grave and turned to Bobby, holding out his hand. "Do you have a knife?"

The older hunter handed him a large knife. "Be careful and don't agitate your condition."

Ben nodded and started digging a hole in the grave. He dug for twenty minutes and heard a clang. He stopped, wiping sweat from his forehead.

"What the hell?"

Ben dug some more and pulled out an old leather box, eaten by age. The clang was metal that had been attached to it. It had an old keyhole on it.

"Better pry it open. No telling how long that'll stay with us being we're in a dreamscape."

Ben pried at the box and heard a snap. He carefully opened the box. Inside was a mildewed leather sack. Ben handed the sack to Bobby and watched him open it.

Bobby opened it, nose wrinkling at the odd smell.

Ben looked over the older man's shoulder. He could smell the strange odor. Inside the bag were herbs. They smelled horrid after so long in the ground.

"Those aren't any good now, Bobby. The bag felt heavier then herbs."

Bobby sifted through the rotten herbs. Inside was a crystal and a medallion. The medallion was made out of pewter. Words were written on the medallion, but Ben did not know the language. Bobby did.

He murmured the words to himself, working the translation.

"Do you know what it says? Can it help us?"

“This can break the hold over the curse that allows the necromancer to trace your family.”

The reaper released his hold on Bobby and Ben and they found themselves back in the living room. A mist covered the other end of the room. At this moment, Sam walked out of his bedroom and looked at Bobby. His eyes scanning the room, he saw the mist and his eyes flashed in anger.

"Where the hell is Dean?"

"With Castiel."

"Bobby, don't play games with me. Where the hell is Dean? If he's with Cas then where the hell is Cas?"

"They're in the dreamscape."

"What? Why didn't he wake me up? We go together in this."

Ben gave him a soft reply. "He wanted you to rest. You'd gone through a traumatic experience."

"Ben, you weren't here last night. Dean went though hell. He has not rested well since it happened. I went through one, okay. Yeah, it was traumatic, but we're brothers. That goes on hold and we do this together. Damn him, if he survives this, I'll kill him. At least beat the cocky, have to protect Sammy attitude out of him. I thought we had this settled."

Bobby hit him upside the head with a thrown pillow. "It's more of a love his brother attitude, Sam. You were really upset and he wanted to help you."

Sam's eyes flashed in anger. It reminded Bobby of Dean. Sometimes the boys could be so much alike.

"Bobby, how would you feel? You know Dean. He'd die to protect me and he would not care that I might have wanted to be in the middle of it protecting his ass."

"I'd be happy as hell I had someone who loved me enough to let me rest when I was dealing with heart break again."

For one moment, there was more Dean then Sam in in the boy. Frustration was in his face and posture.

"Damn it, Bobby! He had never wanted me to be in harm's way. Do you understand that? Why do think he went to hell? You think I've had heartbreak over women? So has Dean. You have no idea how hard it is to pry something like that out of him. I've watched him since Ellen and Jo died. You weren't there, Bobby. He kissed her goodbye before she died. That wasn't a little sister/big brother kiss. I think he loved her. He's carrying that and Ellen right now. I've at least had some time to find a place to deal in my mind and heart with Madison. It's not right with me, but this is fresh for him. I should be in there. We can't see. We can't pull them out, can we?"

"I don't know, Sam. You can try."

Sam turned abruptly and went towards the mist He began to push on the cloudiness, trying to find a way inside.

"Dean! Damn it, Dean!"

He began to beat on the cloud and it felt like a brick wall.

Great..this meant they couldn't pull them out and Bobby wasn't sure how to.

"Dean! Cas! If you can hear me, it can't be real! The spirits may have the mind of the person but it's not them and it's controlled by him. The only ones who aren't don't do exactly what he wants. Remember that! You can defeat it, whatever it is! You can defeat it! It's your mind you have to control! Don't believe in it!"

Dean stood next to Cas, watching the individual in front of them. Dean leaned over and whispered to the angel. "Well, Cas, is he or isn't he?"

"He's got some power but nothing near the archangel level," he murmured back.

"Can we beat him?"

"I believe so between the two of us."

"I don't know what we're up against here, Cas. What do we do?"

"Evaluate and see what he can do. Because I am unsure as to what skills this specter possesses."

"Well, do we talk to it or go for it? I think talking might give us some idea."

"Talk might be the best course of action for the moment. Just remember that it is a ghost and not Michael."

"Okay. It's a mind game. It's not him."

Dean stepped forward and faced the ghost.

"I don't guess you would like to tell me which one of us you're after right now?"

"Both actually." He smirked at them.

"Well, you know. I'm not easy. Cas, here, he'll make your life hell."

"I'm not too frightened."

"You should be."

The specter snorted. "Right."

"You see, I know you are not Michael which means we can take you."

Castiel nodded, eyes watchful.

The specter looked at both men. "I am going to tear the angel into tiny pieces again. You've been there once, haven't you, angel. The hunter is my vessel. I'm gonna just take you, hunter. No more waiting for invites."

The angel scoffed. "You, a simple ghost, are going to possess a human? You have no power here and well know it, spirit."

"I am not a ghost, angel. I am an archangel."

"Oh indeed? I have met most of the archangels, spirit, and you do not have the power that radiates around them."

Dean kept quiet, listening, watching the spirit's reactions.

“Archangels can hide their power from others, angel. You are fallen. You can not know all I can hide.”

Castiel wandered around him, eyes on the other. "Even a fallen angel can sense those of his kind."

The spirit smirked, "Maybe you can. More then likely you can't. Come to me, hunter. I want to know you better."

A silver flashed blade was drawn and the angelic soldier was positioned behind the spirit, knife at its throat.

Dean's eyes grew wide at the suddenly drawn knife. He had no idea Cas carried anything like the blade at the spirit's throat.

The spirit smiled. "Do you think it will harm me, angel? Want to try?"

His voice was cold...chilling to anyone who could hear him. "Only thing that can kill an angel is another angel."

Dean backed a step, and had his knife ready, knowing it wasn't an angel. At least he hoped so. Cas was confusing him. Confusion was not good so he stayed back, knife and gun ready.

Castiel was doing this to prove a point. The knife went in with deadly accuracy.

Dean watched a large cloud stream out of the spirit. It was not black, "What the hell!"

"Not an angel," he commented, stepping back.

"It wasn't a demon either. Hey! Why aren't we back in the suite? We're still here, Cas!"

"I know and don't know why. Release us, spirit."

Dean looked around. "We're not alone, Cas. It's not a spirit. I am not sure it's really here."

A man in his mid 30s stood behind them, near the mist wall. He had curly blond hair and blue eyes. Dean could tell that he wore jeans and a t-shirt under the cowl he wore.

"Don't tell me. Let me guess. You are the necromancer?"

His voice was soft with a hint of a drawl. "If you wish to call it that."

Dean listened to the drawl. "I can't place that drawl. If I didn't know better, I'd call that southern, not English. If you aren't a necromancer, what the hell are you? Why do you want me possessed so badly, all of a sudden?"

"Who said it was about you?"

"It's about both of us in this part, but it's Ben you want. You just like a challenge and we were in the way.”

"In the way is definitely an accurate comment. You see, I probably wouldn't have noticed you, but the contents of the weren't careful enough, Winchester. I knew you'd notice the signs and come looking so it was better to bring the fight to you."

"We weren't looking for a fight at all. We came to have a family Christmas. Something we'd never done before. Thing is, you should have checked us out before you started something."

"Ohh..I did. See, it wasn't difficult to see the register and from there, I did my research. Big bad hunters, well known in their circles. The angel's presence surprised me a bit."

"Yeah, well, you'll have to figure him out. I don't kiss and tell."

That prompted a soft laugh. "Oh yes, the smart ass emerges. I have to admit, it was rather amusing watching your reactions last night. And your brother tonight."

"Yeah, well you know, sometimes life sucks. Other times, it's worth the fight. I got over last night. My brother will get over tonight. You, however, are an interference that has to be dealt with."

"Again the trite arrogant threats. Don't you ever get tired of sounding so idiotic?"

"You think you know me? Well, you see, Cas will tell you I don't make empty threats. It might take a while, but I'll take care of you. If not me, Sammy, Cas, or Bobby will. Someone filled with so much anger and hatred, with your kind of power and asinine need for revenge over something that happened way long ago, is just plain dangerous to have around. Now, Sammy would want to talk you out of it. That's his choice. I'd just as soon get rid of you, but I told him he could do that."

The robe made no sound as he circled the pair. "Oh..but you see, I know another little secret. You hate causing people pain because you're afraid of the addiction."

"What addiction? What the hell are you talking about?"

"You like like hurting others. It's amazing what you can learn from the spirit world, hmm? Alistair's greatest apprentice."

Dean stood still. "You know there's a difference about people compared to demons. People can forgive, be forgiven. I figure that one of these days, I'll have to deal with that. Cas here says it's gonna be okay. How he knows that, I have no idea. Yeah, it could easily become an addiction. Thing is, I've seen what addiction can do to you. At this point in my life, I'm fighting a war. In a war, anything goes. If I have to hurt somebody to get what is needed to destroy the enemy, I'll do it. I may regret it later, but I'll do it. You see, regrets will always be there. You got to be alive to have them, though.

His answer was a scoffing laugh.

“Go ahead. Laughter that is not enjoyed is a great sorrow. I've learned that recently.”

"You seem to think you are wise, Winchester, but in truth, you are a lost little boy."

"I never claimed to be wise. I claimed to be learning. Yeah, I was lost. You know, getting with family, opening up and purging yourself heals a lot of wounds. I don't feel so lost anymore. I figure by the time this holiday is over, Sammy and I are gonna be okay. I think Bobby and I pretty much are. Cas and I definitely are. Lost, not for much longer. I can live with that. I can look forward to a normal life with a wife and kids. I got someone I'm going back to talk to cause I think she lied to me to protect herself and others. “

“You got nothing to look forward to except anger, unhappiness, misery. I've been there. There's a lot more to life then that. People who live like that don't live to have long lives with a wife and family. You ought to consider it instead of this road you're on. There's gonna be a world to rebuild when this war is over. You ought to consider fighting with us. Instead of vengeance, help us win this and start a life for yourself. What happened, happened a long time ago, man. You weren't involved. Ben wasn't involved. That was someone else's story. Not yours."

" have no idea what it's like," he said in an angry sneering tone. "We are born in darkness, only to serve one purpose."

"No, you don't have to be. Sammy could tell you about that big time. Hell, I've been told I have to be a meat suit for an archangel. There's other ways. Curses and chains can be broken. Not know what it's like? You said you studied me. Then you know I do know. Sammy knows even better. That purpose can be changed. You don't have to do this. You can choose. If something holds you to it, we can help release you from it."

Castiel frowned at the answer they were given. "I have no choice. There is no freedom for my bloodline."

"There is always a choice, man. Sam was telling me it's in the blood and he has no choice. He's discovered that he does. I thought I had to live my life being the one nobody loves, nobody wants other then to protect Sammy and kill things, and I thought I had to be the good son and be all my dad wanted me to be. It's not true. None of it. I don't have to be those things. If you were put under a compulsion curse or there was something in your blood, there are ways and means. Let us help you. Stop the killing."

"The ancestor that started this cursed you, I can sense it now." The angel walked towards him, hand slipping in to press against the other's forehead. There was a pause and a soft cry. "This will temporarily allow you to regain sanity to think for yourself. Now, young man, take a moment and evaluate what you've been forced to do."

Dean watched the young man. "Man, a wife and kids is a dream for me. you could have it now. No hatred, no vengeance, a chance to live a life you never dreamed you could have. Think about it?"

Trembling hands pushed back the hood, revealing a pale, handsome young man with long blond hair. His face looked confused, sorrowful. "No children for me. My line ends with me. Even if I enjoyed the company of women, I couldn't ask another child to carry this burden...this nightmare."

"We can help you be released from it. Give us a chance to help. I know Ben doesn't want this between you. He'd give you a place to stay and help you too. Or you could go and stay with Bobby and let him help you. Being normal is a dream for Sam and me. One day we will have it. You can now."

"It will take about half an hour for me to set up the counter to destroy the curse she put onto her offspring." The angel gave a wry smile. "I believe your path will show itself immediately after that curse is removed."

"Will you let us do this for you?"

His voice was soft. "You can help me? Really help me? I don't know how he did it..but the voices are silent. No more angry words screamed at me."

"If Cas says a half hour, yeah, in a half hour he can destroy the curse. He's good at those things. We'll do what we can to get you a new start. Will you let us?"

The man nodded, blue eyes soft with hope. "Please..I'll come immediately..I...thank you."

The mist disappeared. Cas and Dean found themselves facing the other three.

"Well?" Bobby was looking at the two.

"He's coming. He wants the spell broken for good."

"We will have to help him."

Dean looked at Sam. "You okay, man?"

Ben sighed. "A spell? What spell?"

"Some kind of compulsion curse or something. Cas would know better."

Castiel didn't answer that, simply addressed the group. "I will need salt, four items that are pure iron, four items that are pure silver." He also listed candles of four various colors as he headed for the bag of herbs. "I will also need a room completely empty."

Bobby looked at Ben. "You got a room like that"

Dean unloaded his gun and took out four silver bullets. He emptied the gun powder. Sam went to the fireplace and got 4 of the iron utensils from the stand, and headed into the bedroom where they had the rock salt which was purer then the table salt.

Ben nodded, leading them to the room. Castiel took the salt and looked up. "Dean, will you wait for our guest?"

Dean nodded. He watched the others turn to leave.

Once in the room, the angel began to work.

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