Title: Meg and Benny's Excellent Adventure
Pairings/Warnings: Meg/Castiel, implied Meg/Jimmy Novak, mentions of Sam/Amelia, show-level violence
Summary: Meg and Benny go on a roadtrip. Pretexting, hunting, LARPing, and bickering over music in the car ensue.
Meg landed the car a few blocks away from their designated meeting spot. Since it was daylight, Benny had been ordered into the back seat to hunker beneath a blanket and slather yet more sunblock on himself. Claire rode shotgun, her hunting pack clutched to her chest like a shield. Meg wove through the streets and out onto a rural dirt road amid a patch of forest. She cut the engine but left the radio playing some Norah Jones.
“Seriously?” Claire asked. “No Midian or Slayer?”
“I’m a demon, not a goth wannabe,” Meg said. “But this isn’t for me. It’s for Benny.”
Claire arched an eyebrow in perfect imitation of Meg. “Of course it is.”
They only had to wait for two minutes before the Impala rolled up, sleek and black and gleaming. Dean climbed out of the driver’s side, and Sam unfolded himself from the passenger side.
Meg stepped out of the car first. “Hello, boys.”
They were both aiming guns at her in an instant.
“Meg,” Dean said. “Back from the dead? Didn’t think that was an option for demons.”
“Like you’ve never done it,” she said.
“Tracy said Claire Novak wanted to meet us,” Sam said, stepping in before childish unpleasantries could be exchanged. “Where is she?”
Claire hopped out of the car.
Dean blinked. “Claire? Claire Novak?” He looked confused.
“It’s been a few years,” she said, rolling her eyes. “I’ve grown.”
“You look –” Dean fumbled for words.
Sam pressed his lips into a thin line, disapproving. “You look like a hunter.”
“Not a hunter,” Claire said flatly, “but living practically.”
Dean collected himself, drew tatters of his old bravado over him. “You wanted to meet. What’s up?”
“I need to find Castiel,” Claire said.
Sam and Dean exchanged looks.
“Is that a good idea?” Sam asked.
“Last I heard, he’d lost his grace and was roaming the wastelands as a human. Or rather, he’d stolen someone else’s grace temporarily. It’s probably run out by now,” Claire said.
Dean raised his eyebrows, turned to Sam.
Sam coughed unsubtly. “Actually, Castiel has been re-graced. For now.”
“With his own grace?” Claire asked.
Sam shook his head.
“Then call him, please,” Claire said.
“If he’s been re-graced, we could just pray to him,” Meg said.
Dean pierced her with a sharp look. “He may not answer. He’s been picky about that lately.”
Claire looked at Sam. “You have his phone number, right?”
Sam started to reach for his cell phone, but Dean held a hand out, stopping him.
“No offense,” he said, “but Meg is dead, and you...how do we know you are who you say you are?”
“Everyone who ever looks at Claire Novak knows,” Meg said. “She’s Jimmy Novak’s daughter. Are your eyes working?”
Dean looked chagrined for a moment, flicking a glance at Claire.
“How do we know you’re really Meg?” Sam asked, straightening up. So he was backing his brother’s play.
“You continue to wound me,” she said. “I help you end King Dick, and you let me rot in Crowley’s clutches for a year without bothering to look for me, let alone your own brother. Then I take an angel blade to the chest for the team so you could get the angel tablet, and when I finally claw my way out of Purgatory, you treat me like a pariah? Remember, demons aren’t second-class citizens.”
Sam flinched; Meg had taken a shot below the belt by reminding him of his time with Amelia. That boy really needed to learn to assert himself and stand up for his own self-care.
“Purgatory?” Dean echoed. “That isn’t where demons go when they die.”
Meg arched an eyebrow. “How do you know where demons go when they die?”
Dean had no answer, but his stubborn expression remained.
“I need to talk to Castiel,” Claire said. Her grip on her pack was white-knuckled.
“For all we know,” Dean said, “you’re both demons, and you’re here to end Castiel. Why the hell would we help you?”
Sam said, “Christo.”
Meg flinched. Claire rolled her eyes.
Sam and Dean exchanged looks again. They hadn’t lowered their guns.
“Looks like we’re at an impasse.” Meg crossed her arms over her chest. “We want Castiel. You won’t give him up.”
“Not an impasse,” Dean said. “We can still shoot you both.”
Meg scoffed. “Like you’d shoot an innocent teenage girl.”
Dean looked Claire up and down again. “Well, we’re all inside a giant devil’s trap. Your demonic powers don’t work in here.”
Meg waggled her fingers at him. “You really have the memory of a goldfish, don’t you, Squirrel? You remember the last time you boys got me in a devil’s trap? I was riding Sammy at the time. Wasn’t as effective as you thought it would be, was it?”
A muscle in Dean’s jaw twitched.
“We don’t want to hurt Cas,” Claire said. “We want to help him.” She turned to Meg. “Play your card already.”
Dean raised his eyebrows. “Card?”
“Something to sweeten the deal,” Meg said. She called over her shoulder, “Batter up!”
Benny stepped out of the car, shook out his limbs, popped his collar. “Don’t objectify me,” he said, amused. “I might be sweet, but I sure as hell ain’t ‘something’.”
Dean’s gun wavered. “Benny?”
“In the flesh, thanks to Dark Thorny over here,” he said.
A muscle in Sam’s jaw twitched. He lowered his gun a fraction.
“Claire got us out of the slammer, actually,” Benny said. “We’ve been helping her gather ingredients for a spell. A spell to help Castiel.”
“What kind of spell?” Sam asked. “Where did you find it?”
“In a spellbook,” Claire said. “And a spell to restore his grace. His true grace.”
Dean frowned. “His grace was all used up slamming the pearly gates and turning angels into kamikazes. Crowley said the spell was irreversible, and the angel tablet is useless without a prophet. Pretty sure the angels wouldn’t have given it to us anyway.”
Meg glanced at Claire; she didn’t even twitch at the inaccurate mention of the world’s lack of a prophet.
“Yeah, like Crowley’s so trustworthy,” Meg said flatly. “Besides, we’re not trying to reverse Metatron’s spell. We’re doing another spell entirely.”
“C’mon now,” Benny drawled, draping an arm around Meg’s shoulders. “Don’t make all my hard work for nothin’.”
Dean looked from Benny to Meg in disbelief. “You two?”
“Fought our way through Purgatory together,” Benny said. “Went through an awful lot of bother to help Miss Claire with her spell. Now, are you going to help us or not?”
Dean and Sam locked gazes. Dean raised his eyebrows. Sam shrugged, nodded.
“Fine,” Dean said. He holstered his gun, shook out his limbs. Then he clasped his hands and bowed his head. “Castiel, who art somewhere, maybe in Heaven, can you beam down so we can talk to you?”
There was a sound like the beating of mighty wings.
Castiel stood before them, dressed as he had been the first time Meg met him – rumpled tan overcoat, loosened tie, messy dark hair. Blue, blue eyes.
“Cas!” Claire lunged at him and threw her arms around him.
Benny reached out instinctively to try to drag her back, but Meg stopped him, shook her head.
Castiel staggered from the sudden impact of teenage girl, but then he curled his arms around her, ducked his chin down to her shoulder.
“Claire,” he said. “I’ve missed your prayers.”
“I thought you were dead,” she said. “After I saw you, when you were God – I thought you were dead. Like Dad.” Her voice trembled.
Castiel glanced over his shoulder at Dean, who mimed patting someone on the head. Castiel patted Claire’s hair cautiously.
“By the time I found out you survived, you’d lost your grace, and I knew you couldn’t hear my prayers, and I didn’t know how to find you.” Claire’s voice was choked.
Sam said, “How did you find out he’d survived?”
Claire stepped back, gazed into Castiel’s face. “I read about it, obviously. In the Winchester Gospels.”
Dean shook his head. “Chuck stopped writing years ago.”
“Chuck wasn’t the only prophet,” Claire said.
“Kevin just translated tablets.”
Meg smirked. “And wrote new chapters in the Gospels while Sam was playing house with Amelia and Dean was playing house with Benny.”
Sam bit his lip. “When was the last time Kevin wrote?”
“The day he died, obviously,” Castiel said.
Dean went white.
Meg said, “This reunion has been touching and all, but I can only be nice for so long. Can we finish up with the niceness so I can go back to making muffins out of babies?”
“Meg,” Castiel said.
He stepped around Claire, caught Meg by the elbows, and dragged her in for a kiss. It was a good kiss. Had the sneaky bastard been practicing since she saw him last?
“Hot damn,” Dean said. “Now I feel dirty.”
Meg stepped back, feeling a little dazed, and then she smirked at Sam and Dean, who both looked highly uncomfortable. Meg grinned at Castiel. “I think you owe me a pizza, angel.”
“Right! So, a spell?” Dean broke in, rubbing his hands together eagerly.
Claire opened her pack and knelt, placed a silver bowl on the ground. “The spell will reverse one action of a single archangel,” she said.
“All the archangels are dead,” Castiel said. “Michael, Gabriel, Raphael.”
“Metatron was made an archangel,” Meg said. “Remember the first time Kevin fired up one of those tablets? It was signed by Metatron, the archangel.”
“He wasn’t an archangel in creation. He had no archangel power.” Castiel frowned, confused.
“The spell doesn’t care,” Claire said. “He officially ranks as an archangel, and we can reverse one thing he did. The question is, do you want me to preserve your memories of this timeline with a spell?”
“Timeline?” Sam echoed. He started to raise his gun. “What are you doing?”
“I am going to reverse a single action of Metatron’s,” Claire said. “I am going to reverse his taking of Castiel’s grace.”
“Whoa,” Dean said. “Who knows what you’ll mess up?”
“Not a lot, I don’t think.” Claire laid the ingredients on the ground beside the bowl.
Dean spluttered. “You don’t think? Kid, you’re crazy.”
“Do you want me to perform the spell or not?” Claire asked.
Dean crossed the space between their two cars and caught her wrist. “Who the hell are you to do this?”
Claire snatched her wrist free. “Who the hell are you?” she shot back. “You decided you had the right to help power a spell you knew nothing about, and the angels fell from Heaven. You decided you had the right to let an angel soul-rape your brother. In doing so you gave Metatron his right-hand man. Metatron’s right-hand man killed Kevin. So who are you to judge my decision to save the people who I love?”
Dean recoiled like he’d been slapped. He cast a look at Sam, questioning and pleading. Was that how Sam felt? Was that how Sam saw his choices?
“So I’m going to ask one last time,” Claire said, slowly, patiently, “do you want your memories of this timeline preserved or not?”
“Will it make us crazy?” Sam asked. “Will we have two sets of memories?”
“No clue.” Claire reached for the wooden box.
“I’d rather remember,” Sam said. “Dean?”
“At least I’m giving you a choice,” Claire said.
Dean’s brow furrowed. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
Claire arched an eyebrow. “Lisa Braeden.”
“That level of cruelty is unnecessary,” Castiel said.
“You’re dying,” Meg said. “I know it. You know it. Claire knows it. I’m guessing you’ve kept Moose and Squirrel in the dark about it. These two hemming and hawing like fishwives arguing over plaice isn’t helping save you.”
Sam slewed Castiel a furrowed-brow look. “Cas? You said you were fine.”
Castiel ducked his head, looking shifty.
Claire flipped open her leather-bound book and began chanting in surprisingly fluent Enochian. Meg was impressed. Castiel was impressed. Sam looked alarmed.
Claire paused in her chanting, held out a hand. “Hairs. From each of you. Now.”
Meg obeyed. Benny and Castiel and Sam did as well. Dean was still hesitant. Sam reached out, plucked a hair off of Dean’s head, and placed it on Claire’s outstretched hand with the others.
Claire finished chanting, and then dropped the hairs into the silver bowl. Immediately their hairs began smoking. Ah, the scent of burning hair. So nostalgic.
“I don’t feel any different,” Sam said.
“You will in just a moment.” Claire opened the wooden box. Merlin’s heart gleamed, looking as fresh as the day it had been pulled out of his chest.
“You know,” Meg said, sliding up to Castiel. “I went through a lot to get these spell ingredients for you. I killed Merlin for you. I pretended to be married to Benny for you, and he made me be nice. And, worst of all, I LARPed for you. So you better appreciate having your grace back, Clarence. I expect a whole lot of pizza, and a whole lot of moving furniture, if you know what I mean.”
Castiel nodded. “Of course. Lots of pizza. Except, when the pizza man brings the pizzas, he doesn’t get to spank you. Just me.”
Meg winked at him. “Anything you say, Clarence.”
Claire levered the heart into the bowl, then fished the jar of rosewater out of her pack. She dumped the rosewater out, then shook the tongue into the bowl. It landed with a squelch. Sam and Dean made faces.
“What is that?” Sam asked.
“A succubus kiss,” Claire said.
Dean leered at Benny. “You kissed a demon, huh?”
“Not me,” Benny said, smirking and lifting his chin in Meg’s direction.
Dean’s leer faded. “Oh. Well, that’s not nearly as entertaining.”
“I didn’t kiss the succubus either,” Meg said. “I just cut out its tongue.”
“Heart of a cambion, kiss of a succubus, and...some kind of demonic essence,” Castiel said slowly, realization dawning.
“Demon ichor.” Claire emptied the contents of one of the vials into the bowl.
“How did you get that?” Sam asked.
“It’s the opposite of the spell we did,” Castiel said quietly to Dean. “Heart of a nephilim, Cupid’s bow, and angel grace.”
“Trade secrets,” Meg said to Sam.
Claire began chanting in Enochian once more.
A sound like the thrumming and static of an impending archangel filled the air around them. The ground trembled.
“Claire,” Dean said, “what are you doing?”
“It’s just the spell,” Benny said. “Everything’s fine.”
Dean caught his gaze, held it, and something unspoken passed between them.
Sam pulled a bitchface.
“Trust me, brother,” Benny said. “I trusted you. In a big way.”
Castiel reached out and curled his fingers around Meg’s. “Thank you,” he said, “for –”
The sound built and built and built, thrumming faster and higher pitched until Meg felt a trickle of blood spill from both ears.
The world went red.
Meg came back to herself, blinking. She didn’t feel different. Not one bit. She was still holding Castiel’s hand. She had spent a year and a half in Purgatory with Benny and then come topside to...
Oh. She’d come topside to help Castiel, Claire, Sam, and Benny track down demon!Dean and cure him.
But she’d come topside to help Claire restore Castiel’s grace because Castiel’s grace had been stolen.
No. Not stolen. Metatron had stolen Gadreel’s grace, and the angels had been booted out of Heaven, and Dean ended up cutting a deal with an angel named Hannah to help heal Sam from the after-effects of the trial. Meg knew that all because she’d read the books.
All the books.
Written by Kevin Tran. Who was standing beside Sam, Dean, and a woman Meg knew was Hannah the angel, looking confused.
“Guys?” Sam asked. “Is everything all right?”
Sam straightened up, blinked. Then he turned and yanked Kevin into a crushing hug.
Kevin flailed. “Whoa! Wait! What...?”
Dean reached out, ruffled Kevin’s hair. “Good to see you, little guy.”
Kevin glared at him. “Yeah, that wasn’t at all condescending. Also, you see me every day. Weirdo. So Claire, what’s the big news? You said Meg and Benny found something while they were out on the road?”
Benny blinked, dazed.
“Make it quick,” Kevin said, squirming free from Sam. “Mom’s making honey barbecue pork tonight, and Charlie’s coming over so we can play D&D.”
Claire ignored him, turned to Castiel. “Please,” she said. “My mother.”
“Of course,” Castiel said. “We keep our promises.” And he blinked away. A moment later, he blinked back, curling his fingers through Meg’s.
Claire’s cellphone rang. She answered it. “Hey, Mom,” she said. “Nope. Everything’s fine. I didn’t mean to send Castiel in so suddenly like that – I know how you hate that. But remember, the last time he dropped in, he cured you, so...yeah. I love you too, Mom. Mrs. Tran will feed me. I’ll be back in time for classes tomorrow. Meg or Castiel will bring me. Okay. Bye.” She blinked, startled. “That was...weird.”
Hannah peered at Castiel. “Are you all right, sir?”
“Just fine,” he said.
“Weird doesn’t really cover it,” Benny said.
“You’re all acting like you just got high. Together,” Kevin said flatly.
“You said you had news.” Hannah lifted her chin, looked down her nose at Meg.
“Right! News. We think someone is trying to restart the apocalypse.” Meg grinned when Sam, Dean, Hannah, and Kevin all looked horrified.
Hannah cast Castiel a pleading look. “But Joshua would never –”
“We killed Merlin the cambion,” Meg said, “but we got wind of succubi trained by Ava –”
“Yes, that Ava,” Meg continued, “trying to harvest pure maternal energy to make a new Antichrist since Jesse Turner didn’t work out so well.”
“But – the seals!” Hannah said.
“There is more than one type of first demon for a final seal,” Meg said, “and they took Bobby Singer to Hell for a reason. Better find out if any of the other righteous hunter types were taken downstairs unlawfully. Scan Heaven and all that. First seals can be made, too. After all, that’s what they did last time.”
Hannah looked shell-shocked.
Kevin grimaced. “I was worried that taking out Merlin would just make things worse.”
“But if Michael and Lucifer get out of the cage, they have no one to walk in,” Dean said. “Sammy sure as hell ain’t saying yes again, and I will never say yes to that prick.”
“They don’t need you,” Meg said. She reached into her backpack and drew out a vial, one marked “Abby”. “Demons have found a way of cloning a human vessel – sort of the way Castiel got a remake of Jimmy Novak’s vessel even after Jimmy died.”
“Does Crowley know about this, do you think?” Benny asked. He was still blinking muzzily, but they were in a new timeline now, a new world.
Meg had memories of a fun-filled pizza night after she and Benny first emerged from Purgatory. She felt a little cheated, because they were just memories, and in a sense they were false ones. She shook her head. “No, this isn’t Crowley at all. This is some of Azazel’s old guard – Jake and Ava and Max and others of his Special Kids stepping up and rebooting Daddy’s plan.”
“So...what now?” Sam asked.
“I’ll take Claire home so she can make it to her morning class on time,” Meg said, “and then Benny and I need to hit the road, see about a demon making cloned bodies. When Charlie arrives, she can set up a phone conference for all of us so we can brainstorm.”
“So soon?” Kevin asked. “You guys just got here.” He cast Claire a wistful look.
Dean kicked him in the ankle.
Meg started to reach for her keys, but then the vial began to fill with black smoke. “Ah. Abby tried to smoke out. I can restore her to a body and interrogate her in your really awesome dungeon. After some of Mrs. Tran’s famous barbecue honey pork, of course.” She reached out, grabbed Castiel by the tie, and tugged him close. “Hannah, take Claire home. I think Castiel and I need a little time to move some furniture. Benny, make nice with Sam.”
Benny grinned toothily. “I always make nice with Sam.” He snatched the keys from Meg. “I’m going.”
Meg drew Castiel into a kiss, and Dean, Sam, and Kevin all groaned. Hannah made a disapproving sound, and she and Claire vanished. Meg smiled against Castiel’s lips and said, “Beam us back to your room, Clarence.”
“Anything you say.”