Author: Cobalt Mystic (NOTE: this is also being posted under my SPN ID where applicable)
Pairing: Spike/Xander, Dean/Castiel
Spoilers (SPN): let’s just call it S4 and be done with it, yeah
Feedback: Just play nice, and try not to do any permanent damage, k.
Disclaimer: Just playing with the pretty kittens. If they were mine, Cas and Dean would be going at it in front of the camera and Sammy would have stayed dead, so yeah… Unfortunately, neither set are mine, but I will gladly groom and bathe them before sending them back home to their Daddys (aka Joss/Mutant Enemy/et al, Kripke/McG/et al, and a bunch of other corporate-type ppl, who are, in other words, not me).
Beta: My beautiful kitty_alex who loves to correct my mistakes, and not only planted the seeds of Dean/Cas but continues to feed the fire, AND has the guts to tell me when my writing sucks!
Warnings/Squicks: boy touching, schmangst, further abuse of Robert Frost poetry
Summary: Dean’s back, Seals are breaking, angels are angsting, and Spike is the voice of reason- why yes, it is the Apocalypse!!!!!
AN1: This is a sequel to Miles to Go a Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Supernatural crossover. With the exception of vampires assume that the SPN laws of demonology and spooks apply.
AN2: Useful information…
- Comics? What comics? We don’t need no stinkin’ comics!
- This verse went AU during AtS S5 @ Damage - this means (among other things) none of the Blackthorn arc has happened and there is no Illyria.
- John Winchester is alive.
- Sammy stayed in law school; never got picked up by Dean.
On the Frost!Verse
- Spike and Xander were formally Mated @ a year and a half- two years before this fic takes place
- Spike’s nickname for Dean is a reference to Vampire Hunter D and not a simple shortening of Dean.
AN3: Takes place roughly 5 yrs after Miles to Go, in other words current SPN timeline.
AN4: I have messed about with the order of some Seal related events from SPN- this was intentional.
AN5: Title and chapter headings are taken from Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken
A girl, no more than fifteen-if that, advanced on Spike. Her dark auburn hair tied back in a neat ponytail held by a hot pink schrunchy. She was angry- a face that young shouldn’t hold that much hate. “You did this to me,” she snarled. “You let it happen.”
The vampire’s already below normal blood ran cold as he recognized the young girl- a Potential. One who’d died at the Vineyard, the same night Caleb had taken Xander’s eye.
This was all too familiar.
But he’d been there when the First had been defeated. He’d died a fiery, painful death in the process. The chilled blood in his veins began to boil; he was not a puppet, the First was gone, and whatever this was, would not lead him down that path.
Snarling Spike slipped into his gameface, he couldn’t be sure the girl was solid, but he wasn’t taking any chances. “Not this time, bitch.” The vamp delivered a roundhouse kick to the apparition’s head- it barely moved. “Bollocks.”
The blonde ducked the girl’s swing, “Come on princess, taught you better than that.” Pulling a knife from his duster as he rose, “Moves like that no wonder you didn‘t make it. Probably best for the survivors you bought it when you did.”
“Monster,” she screamed as she charged the vampire, only to dissipate into smoky wisps as she impaled herself on Spike’s salt treated knife.
It didn’t matter how often he saw that, it unnerved him- a body shouldn’t exist then not, even a ghostly one. He only had a moment to think about it before a more important thought hit him- “Xander.”
Spike took off for the room they shared with Dean.
Just as Spike rounded the corner towards their room, his cell began to ring. “What?!” he barked, still at a dead run, aiming for the reassuring outline of the Impala parked in front of their room.
“Spike? You okay?” Xander asked, concerned by his vamp’s sharp tone.
“Will be in ‘bout five seconds.”
Xander’s answer came in the form of a white topped, black blur barrelling through the door and into him, knocking him onto the bed.
“Uh, you two want some privacy? I can wait in the car,” Dean offered, clearly amused at the display.
Coming up from his exploration of his lover’s mouth, Spike fixed Dean with a fierce stare and an accusatory finger. “No, you’re staying right there,” the blonde commanded.
“O-kay, you do remember the whole voyeurism gig’s not for me, right?”
“Yeah, Spike, can we not traumatize Dean anymore than possible? Or me for that matter?”
Seeing the two men truly were alright, Spike teased, “Wankers. Don’t let a vamp have any fun.”
The two mortals laughed, breaking what little tension remained.
“Seriously, Penfold, what was with the grand entrance?”
“Ghostie,” Spike shuddered. “Got jumped by an irate former Potential.”
Dean and Xander shared a look.
Spike’s ice blue eyes darted between the two men, “Somebody wanna let me in on what the bloody hells is goin’ on,” he demanded.
“You talk; I’ll pack.”
Nodding once, Xander began to explain, “John called. Seems there’s been a rash of hunter deaths. Violent and angry deaths.”
“Like a dead Potential blaming you for her death?”
“Yeah, that could do it,” the dark man agreed, “but why would a Potential go after hunters?”
“Maybe there’s more than one ghostie,” the vampire offered.
“Same conclusion Dad and Bobby came to,” Dean interjected, grabbing the last of their bags. “You two make a last sweep, I’ll check us out.”
As the door closed behind the hunter, Xander turned to his vampire, “You okay?”
“’ course I am, pet. Why wouldn’t I be?”
“Uh, maybe because you know as well as I do, when and where that girl died. And I know you, my bloodthirsty bad ass, well enough to know you still blame yourself for everything that happened with Caleb.”
Spike smiled sweetly at his lover, the man who knew him so well, better than he knew himself sometimes. “Yeah, nothing seeing you and D in one piece didn’t cure.” Giving his boy a quick kiss, “Let’s get out of here, see what the others have come up with and beat this thing.”
When they arrived at the junkyard, John and Bobby were already ensconced in Bobby’s anti-just-about-everything panic room up to their necks in research.
“You boys alright?” Bobby asked as the three men piled into the small room.
“Well, we’re still here- all body parts accounted for,” Dean assured the elder hunter.
“That’s good to hear.”
Dean turned toward the warm familiar tone of his father’s voice to see a proud smile covering John Winchester’s face. The younger hunter quickly turned away from the sight as the now commonplace feelings of shame and self-disgust began to wash over him. He couldn’t bear for his father to look at him like that- not after all he’d done and the pain he’d caused.
“Dean,” John squeezed his son’s shoulder, “…”
Whatever else the elder Winchester may have planned to say was cut-off by the matter-of-fact inquiry of the blonde vampire. “So, what’re we up against and how the hells do we kill it?”
With a soft snort Bobby began to explain what they’d discovered so far. He told them about the scar both, he and John, had seen on the ghosts they’d encountered and that it marked those conjured as part of the Rise of the Witnesses- yet another Seal that had been broken.
Eventually, with the five of them working together, comparing notes and ideas, they were able to identify and perform the rite to quiet the raised spirits.
It had been a long day, leaving both mortals strained and exhausted. Thankfully, there was a motel down the road from the salvage yard and the Winchesters and Co. were welcome faces. It took some doing to convince John and Bobby that the trio would be better off at the motel, but a shared look between the resident hunter and the vamp quickly settled the debate- some things even a seasoned hunter like Bobby Singer did NOT want to know about!
As soon as they entered their motel room, Spike drug Xander into the small bathroom to clean him, treat his wounds, and, most importantly, snog his brains out. By the time they returned to the main room, Xander was all but asleep in the vampire’s arms.
“How is he?” Dean asked, slightly concerned that the vamp was carrying Xander.
“’s fine. Bumps and bruises. More tired than anything at this point.”
“Yeah, ‘m sure, D,” Spike reassured the agitated hunter. “Just go get yourself cleaned up- ya look like hell, mate.”
Dean rolled his green eyes, “Yeah, yeah, very funny,” flipping the blonde off good-naturedly before closing the bathroom door.
When Dean emerged, his two companions were asleep, wrapped around each other. Laying in his own bed, Dean stared at the cracked ceiling tiles, trying not to reach for his flask to dull his memories enough for him to sleep.
If he stared long enough and hard enough his vision would begin to blur and unsaid words whispered on the air would float around him in a voice like rolling sand- harsh and smooth, able to destroy even as it brought out beauty. As his vision continued to lose perspective, cracks became the outline of black wings and eventually the comforting warmth of deep blue eyes. The wings of his angel, so often the last thing Dean saw before he fell asleep.
Castiel appeared, as he did with increasing regularity, the moment Dean was asleep. Like some living gargoyle, the angel sat on the hunter’s bed simply watching over him.
Occasionally, Castiel would stroke his charge’s face or hair, the angel’s fingers lingering against the warmth of Dean’s skin or the softness of his hair.
“You should tell him,” Spike’s smooth accent unmistakable even in a whisper.
Castiel’s eyes flew open as he turned to face the voice. The angel was surprised to see understanding and concern in the vampire’s crystal gaze. “I can’t. It would not be appropriate.”
The blonde carefully disentangled himself from his Mate. “Come on Clarence, outside.” Spike pulled on his jeans and a tee, then jerked his head toward the door.
Hesitantly, Castiel nodded and accompanied the vampire outside.
Closing the door quietly, Spike led them to the Impala. Leaning against the car that was the closest thing any of them had to a home, “Don’t give me that inappropriate bollocks.”
“It’s not ‘bollocks’,” Castiel replied, rolling the unfamiliar word an his tongue.
Snarling, the blonde lit a smoke, “Why? All that love for all God’s creatures rot?”
“Yes,” the angel’s gravelly voice acknowledged as if it was the most obvious and natural thing in the world, “exactly that.”
Castiel’s brow furrowed as he tried to fathom what had the vampire so adamant. “William, I-”
The angel’s use of his given name, irksome at the best of times, incited a fierce glower from the blonde.
Raising his hands in a placating gesture, Castiel tried again, “Spike, I understand. You-”
“No,” Spike spoke quietly, “you don’t understand. We see how you are with him. I see you watching over him every night. I feel when you ease him to sleep.”
Steel blue eyes widened in surprise, “That shouldn’t be possible.” A demon might notice his presence, possibly even sense his influence, but not be aware of his purpose.
Spike chuckled at being able to shock the angel, “Relax, Clarence, I haven’t fit the mold for over a century; I’d be surprised if I started now.
“Doesn’t change the fact that you care about ‘im. I’m guessing more than you think you should.” The blonde’s eye rose in a subtle question.
Castiel’s eyes went blank as he stared forward like a soldier at roll call, “An angel of the Lord is a warrior, they do not feel as humans do, their love is constant and equilateral.”
“Yeah and vampires are only demons inhabiting a human shell, we have no ‘spirit’, and can’t love or feel any true emotion.” Spike crushed the remainder of his cigarette under his boot, “You’ll have to forgive me if I find that a load of crap.”
Castiel stood quietly, processing the vampire’s words and being more than a little disturbed that he saw the correlation.
“Cas, you need to tell him at some point; the sooner the better ‘cause, trust me,” the blonde turned sad, thankful eyes on their room, “you don’t often get a second chance.”
Bright and early, there was a resounding knock on the motel door.
The lump on the far bed growled and curled tighter around his human.
“Spike, I need to get that. It could be important,” Xander chastised, trying to extract himself from his vamp cocoon.
“D can get it; ‘s for him anyway.”
“He’s in the shower, Bloodbreath.”
Spike quirked an eye, “Again?”
“Please, like you really blame him. For an evil vampire you are awful fond of your creature comforts,” his lover teased.
There was another knock on the door, followed by, “Dean? Xander? Coffee‘s gettin‘ cold.”
Dragging himself out of bed, Xander opened the door. “Hey, John.” He stepped back from the doorway to let the older man enter.
“Thanks,” John ducked his head in salute. Darting his eyes around the room, he took in the Spike-lump, and the closed bathroom door and the sound of running water. “He in there?”
“Yeah, he should be out soon. If not we’ll send in a search party.”
The darker Winchester chuckled. “You take good care of him.”
“No, you do.” John smiled a sad self-depreciating smile. “I see the difference in him.”
Xander squeezed the man’s arm in silent reassurance.
“Has he said anything about what happened?”
The one-eyed Californian shook his head, “Not yet.”
John merely nodded his understanding.
The sound of the water being shut off cut through the thick silence as the three men waited for the younger Winchester to emerge.
Dean had woken up feeling dirty, like he did most mornings. ‘That’s the thing about Hell,’ he thought, ‘it gets into you. Not just under your skin, but inside. Maybe it was always there, maybe people are just naturally evil; maybe I’m naturally evil.’
For weeks, when Dean awoke and felt like this, he’d try to drown or at least dull the feelings with booze, but he knew how much it affected Xander. And Xander was as much a brother to him as Sammy, in some ways more so- Xander gave him hope- which was why this morning, instead of reaching for his flask of fire water, he opted for the motel’s lukewarm shower water. It was a choice Dean had been making more and more often in recent weeks. It might not be so good at dulling the pain of the past, but at least it kept him from causing more pain in the present.
Rubbing his face in his hands, Dean sighed, he knew his father was in the outer room. Even if John hadn’t been at the motel, Dean knew he would’ve had to face him eventually. Leaning over the sink, towel wrapped snugly around his waist, Dean stared at his reflection. Jaded eyes searched their emerald counterparts, looking for any trace of the man Dean once was. His eyes caught sight of the handprint covering his left shoulder. In a sad, hushed whisper he asked the air, “Why, Cas? I belonged there.”
“Good men do not belong in Hell,” the gruff, resonating voice of the angel answered him.
“Good men don’t break.”
“All men break, Dean. Their true nature comes through in what they do after.”
Dean closed his eyes willing the world to make sense and for Castiel’s words to be true.
A soft knock jerked Dean from his stupor.
“Hey D, you fall in?”
“Keep your patch on DM; be out in a sec.”
Xander laughed and went back to join the others. He knew Dean was far from healed, but he could tell his friend would be.
Throwing cold water on his face, Dean took a deep breath and went to face his family. He entered the room to see Xander dragging a grumpy vampire out of their bed.
“Come on Blondie, let’s get you some proper food and give them a chance to talk.”
Spike wriggled free of the blankets and his lover, “Hold your horses! Don’t want me turning all toasty, do you? Suddenly, have the urge to have a pile of ash for a lover?”
The dark mortal looked a bit bashful, “You know I don’t. But you wear the damn thing all the time, so forgive me if I just assume.”
The previous year when the pair had been Mated, Willow and Fred had come up with the perfect wedding gift- a way to allow Spike to go out in daylight. It had taken a bit of cajoling and a lot of research, but the intellectual duo had managed to do it. Now, the enchanted, gemmed necklace never left the vampire’s neck; the ability to protect his Mate, even during the day, as valuable to him as Xander himself.
“Can’t be too careful. ’s not like Peaches has a stash of chips from the Gem of Amara layin‘ around waiting for someone to set them and hand them out to the good vamps of the world.”
Xander nodded, having heard the blonde’s rant on numerous occasions- usually, when he didn’t like being tossed out of bed. “Well, do you have it?”
Lazily, Spike slipped on his jeans and a tee then fingered the chain around his neck, “Yep. Guess we can go, pet.”
“Thank the gods!” Xander teased pushing the blonde out the door.
John swirled the coffee in the cardboard cup while his eldest son got dressed. “I never told you how proud I was of you.”
“No son, I need to say this.” He caught Dean with his commanding gaze. “I was a lousy father, barely around, virtually left you to raise Sammy on your own. When I was around, it was more like training exercises and boot camp, and I’m sorry. I am so proud of you.” The elder Winchester offered a self-depreciating smile, “Did my damnedest to screw you boys up, but you managed to make sure you and Sam turned out alright. Better than, in fact.”
Breaking eye contact, John rolled his eyes to the ceiling, “I wasn’t worth it. That’s why I was so angry. You never should have made that deal for my life.”
Dean sat heavily on the side of the motel bed, “Dad, don’t.”
“It’s the truth, Dean.” He chuckled wryly, “You and Sammy are my legacy,” John’s voice began shaking and he placed his hand on Dean’s shoulder, “you’re both better men, and I owe that to you. You’re the strong one, always have been.”
“I’m not strong.”
“You’re stronger than you think,” John smiled again this time meaning it fully. “I don’t pretend to know what happened and everything you went through, but I know you.”
Dean smirked sadly, “Don’t think so, Dad. I don’t even know me.”
“Dean, I know all I need to know about you. You’re my son. You come back from Hell and jump head first into the game, fighting, hunting, and if Castiel is to be believed saving the world from Armageddon. Can you not see how strong that makes you? How resilient?”
Dean’s green eyes glistened, questioning his father. “Dad? The things I did down there…” the younger Winchester shook with the strain of trying to contain his emotions.
John hung his head, knowing how hard it was for his eldest son to admit even that small piece of his time in the Pit. He squeezed Dean’s shoulder tightly, “I love you. You did what you had to and you survived. You’re still my boy and I’m proud of you.”
Looking into his father’s eyes, Dean choked out, “Dad.” That one word speaking volumes, seeking confirmation, forgiveness, acceptance.
Unhesitantly, John pulled his son to him, “Always, son. Always.”