Supernatural: Length of Chain (13/22)
Author Name: Patriciatepes (Patricia de Lioncourt @ fanfiction.net )
Characters: Jo, Castiel, Crowley, with an assortment of others in minor roles
Pairing: Castiel/Jo/Crowley triangle; with Jo/Crowley not being remotely romantic
Chapter Links: Prev | Next
Warnings: (For complete, whole story) Torture, swearing, blood play, knife play, sex, noncon, dubcon, fighting, monster death, character death
Summary: SPN Season 6. Jo Harvelle remembered dying, a hellhound at the cause. Imagine her surprise when she wakes up, a cursed necklace about her neck that binds her to the service of the current King of Hell, Crowley. When Castiel appears, she's sure that she's saved… only to learn the truth. Now, bound by a beautiful, cursed antique, Jo must do as Crowley orders, hunting for the answers to accessing Purgatory… or else.
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural or any related characters. They belong to Kripke. No money made here. Art by the awesome casper_san.
Author's Notes: Written for the spn_hardcore_bb. And also for the hc_bingo wild card square, using torture. OMG, I so didn't expect this story to be as long as it turned out to be. Just a quick note on the rating: yes, there are some scenes that definitely require that rating. Granted, there are also several scenes that are of a much softer nature. A nice balance I would say. Also, huge thanks to my awesome friend and beta Kimmi! And to twisted_slinky for cheering me on as I outlined and helping bounce the many issues I encountered off her. Also, that thanks extends to my artist, casper_san, who was just super awesome. I know she was just as busy as I was trying to do other challenges while doing my art, so yes, huge thanks! Drop by her art masterpost and give it some love! Hope you enjoy!
Trolls. Jo just couldn't wrap her head around it. She was after trolls. Or troll, singular, if she was being honest. A few months ago, if someone had approached her, telling her that trolls—along fairies and the like—were real, she would have laughed it off and asked if they believed in Big Foot too. But Jo was caught up, fairly so, in the recent events that transpired outside the walls of Crowley's manor—and in the lives of Sam and Dean Winchester. She had heard of Dean's little encounter with the realm of the fey. And she had heard all of the details on what had transpired inside the prison, about how Samuel had committed a grave betrayal… leaving his grandsons in the hands of whatever the hell Crowley wanted to throw at them. Crowley had actually told Jo to take Samuel with her on this troll hunt, and Jo had—in just so many words—told him to shove it up his ass. She'd stick with Malcolm and Nell. Crowley hadn't even bothered to use the necklace on her for that one. He had just smiled.
So now, Jo, Malcolm, and Nell were in Colorado—in the mountain caves just to the north of a town called Loveland, to be specific—hunting a troll that had been causing trouble. Jo might now believe that trolls exist, but that still had not stopped her from giving a little scoff when Crowley had given her the assignment. That had earned her a spell with the necklace, burning away at her bones as it always did when activated, and Jo had a feeling why Crowley had been so pissed at her scoff. He was grasping at straws. They had no more leads on alphas—either they'd caught all the ones still alive or the ones they had missed were deep, deep in hiding. Crowley was losing things he could torture about information about Purgatory, which tickled Jo pink. But then the King of Hell had remembered his little birdies, as he called them, telling him of Dean's encounter with the fey—creatures notorious for flitting in and out of dimensions. And then came the troll, which was currently terrorizing the citizens of Loveland by doing such things as steal, damage, and kidnapping. Of course, most of those things could have been waved away as just normal humans, but the kidnapping… it was always young children. They would go missing for days, sometimes a little over a week, and then they would be found wandering out of the forest, each with their own fantastic tale to tell. All of them told of an ugly, short creature, barely taller than themselves—and most of these children ranged from ages seven to eleven—who talked and grumbled at them a lot, and made them do a lot of manual labor. When they had completed their task, they were sent home.
Jo almost didn't want to bother the creature. Yes, she was caused a feeling of deep ick at the idea of a creature snatching children to basically use as slaves, but otherwise… this troll was no worse than a somewhat bad human. But Crowley had appealed to Jo's dormant maternal instinct, saying that she would save so many children a lot of horrible nightmares if she brought to troll to him.
Sighing as she now trekked up the rocky, narrow foot path that led straight to the mouth of the cave, Jo glanced over her shoulder at her two demon companions. Malcolm seemed to be preoccupied, sniffing the air as if he could already smell the creature, but Nell caught Jo's glance.
"What's your problem?" the fiery-haired demon snapped.
Jo huffed. "Nothing. Just seeing if you two were keeping up."
All three toted weapons. Jo had a standard sawed off shotgun, while Malcolm and Nell both had machetes. They had no idea what to expect from this monster, having had very little time to do research. The moment Crowley had heard that trolls were nomadic, he had sent them packing. Jo tightened her grip on her gun as she came to a stop just outside the mouth of the dark cave.
"This is a bad idea," she grumbled.
Malcolm came to a stop on her left, Nell on her right. Both demons looked over at the huntress.
"Crowley wants the troll alive. So no getting kill happy on us," Nell said, her voice stern.
Jo shook her head. "Yeah, yeah. I'll keep your boyfriend happy."
The seemed to fluster her just enough to be funny, and Malcolm grinned in appreciation. Jo bit down her own smile as her eyes caught something in the distance, from way inside the cave. She blinked, making sure it wasn't her own eyes gone tired on her, but when it was still there, she nodded toward it.
"Does that look like light to you?" she whispered.
Nell brought her weapon close to her body. "Let's go."
She took off before Jo could argue, leaving Malcolm and her to follow in Nell's wake. Jo shook her head, grumbling as they charged, headlong and just plain stupid, into the cave. Nell pulled ahead of the other two, but she was easy to follow as the light got brighter the farther inside the cave they got. Finally, all three skidded to a stop as a most ungodly stench hit their noses.
"Argh," Nell said, pressing the back of her hand—covered by the sheer black sleeve of the blouse she wore that evening—to her nose. "What is that?"
Jo wanted to vomit. It was like all of the most horrible things she could remember ever smelling in her life—dead bodies, sewer, bile, and more—all wrapped into one glorious ball of foul. She coughed, smelling it so strongly that it seemed to invade her taste buds. Her eyes watered as she looked over at Malcolm, who kept shaking his head like he could lose the smell if he tried hard enough.
"Well, you don't see me coming into your homes and insulting you, now do you?" a gruff, yet strangled, voice said from the other side of the light's source—a large torch, burning away on the right side of the cave wall.
The owner of the voice stepped into the light, and Jo's eyes widened. It was short… about the size of a ten-year-old, and ugly. It looked vaguely humanoid, but as it nature itself had tried to claim it back. Its hair fell to its hunched shoulders, green mixed with brown, and moss and rocks covered its body… or were the rocks actually calluses? Its nose was large and bulbous, hanging so low that it almost obscured the oddly tiny mouth below it. It moved in a shuffling motion, like it couldn't lift its feet, and the closer it got, the stronger the smell got.
"Oh God," Jo moaned, backing away.
"Oh, yes, very nice. Very nice indeed," the troll commented.
Nell cried out, a fierce call to battle, and dove for it. However, it lifted a single, three-fingered hand and flung the demon back. She flew over Jo and Malcolm as they ducked.
"I suppose I should have expected this, demons after me. After all, look at the times? Such times we live in," it groaned, turning away.
"My turn," Malcolm muttered as he dove for the troll.
But he was flung back just as Nell had been. So far, the count was Troll: 2, Hunters: 0. Jo rolled her eyes. She readied her weapon, but instead of charged, she just shuffled a step forward. The troll turned and lifted a heavy brow, a large brown eye—about the size of Jo's fist, she would figure—revealed underneath it.
"Yes, yes. I figured demons would come. Been looking for monsters, I heard. Demons looking for monsters, so odd. But times are odd now, just as they are the same," the troll commented, putting its back to Jo once more.
It was sort of like playing Red Light, Green Light. If the troll looked, she stopped—red light. But as soon as its back was turned, she shuffled forward as quickly and as soundlessly as possible—green light. Meanwhile, its back still turned as Jo kept moving, the troll continued to mumbled and grumble.
"Times are changing, though… but is it change if it's been done before? Dragons are stirring for the first time in ages, going about their work. Looking for the right one, just as always. Looking for the purest, the chosen."
Suddenly, the troll whirled, faster than it had moved yet, and locked its eyes on Jo—who came to a stop faster than she had ever had in her life. It lifted one gnarled finger at her.
"The balance has shifted!" it warned. "She's coming home. Coming home to do as a mother should."
It turned back, repeating "as a mother should" over and over. Jo was close now, coming up right behind the creature. She held her breath—the stench enough to make her woozy—as she came to stand right over its head. Raising her sawed off up, she brought the butt of the gun down as hard as possible on the back of the troll's head. It grunted and went down, twitching only once or twice before going still. Jo wanted to sigh, but the smell was too much. She turned, seeing that Malcolm and Nell had rejoined her. They played a quick game of Rock, Paper, Scissors—which Nell lost, much to Jo's delight—and took their places. Nell bound the troll, groaning as she grabbed it and vanished. Jo laughed as Malcolm reached for her. The moment after his hand touched her shoulder, they were all back in the prison, standing in front of a cell that Crowley was watching Nell close, the troll still unconscious inside.
"Well done, gang," Crowley said, applauding.
Nell was practically beaming, which was odd to see on a demon. Crowley nodded, and both Malcolm and Nell vanished, leaving him alone with Jo.
"You have a troll. Have fun with that," the huntress said, waving at the lump through the bars. "You might actually get something out of him… maybe not about Purgatory. He—it—seemed rather talkative."
Crowley turned to her, intrigued. "Oh? And what did the Chatty Cathy say?"
Jo shrugged. "Nothing much. Just something about dragons doing their work."
Crowley laughed. "Dragons? Really?"
"Yeah, and something else. It said… it said that 'she' was coming, to do… as a mother should?"
The light in Crowley's eyes was unmistakable. Pure, evil glee. It made Jo's skin crawl, and her curiosity pique. Crowley rubbed his hands together as if they were cold, his eyes trailing on the still slumbering troll.
"I might get my answers after all," he noted.
"What did it mean? You know who 'she' is?" Jo asked.
Crowley arched a brow. "I know I've told you to mind your business before, girl."
"Yeah, and I think I countered by telling you that since it's my ass on the line, it's my business."
"My, my, what a mouthy child I have," he said.
Jo could feel her face contort to express the disgust she felt. She stepped closer to the King of Hell.
"I am most certainly not your child… in any sense," she growled.
"Oh, now you're just trying to make Daddy mad," he responded.
That urge to vomit was rising in her again, and Jo knew it had nothing to do with the smell coming from the cell in front of her. She shook her head.
"What's so important about this 'she'? Who is it that that troll meant? If you know, why not tell me? I'll probably have to go after her, won't I?"
But Crowley wasn't done screwing with her. He had hit a raw nerve, and he was going to toy with it as long as possible.
"Oh, I understand. It's annoying when Daddy takes the toys away. But never you fear, Jo, you'll get to play."
"You're disgusting," Jo snapped.
"Sticks and stones, love. Besides, did Dean never try the whole 'daddy' bit with you? He really seems like the type."
Jo's face flushed red, and Crowley was just the picture of smug. He chuckled.
"Oh, did I hit on a regret? One of those, 'I wish I had' moments from before my pup tore you a new one? The diary entry writes itself, really. 'Dear Diary, I really wish that I had let Dean Winchester fuck me like the little whore I am.'"
It was bait. Crowley was fishing for her to lose her temper. Any excuse to use that damn necklace on her. And, to her everlasting shame, it worked. She pulled her arm back, ready to slam her fist into the demon's face, when he flicked his hand. She flew back against the opposite—now empty—cell, hard. She groaned, some invisible force holding her on her feet as Crowley got so close to her that she could feel his breath on her face.
"If you must know, 'she' might be the very key to Purgatory that I've been waiting for," he whispered at her.
Jo struggled, trying to slip out from underneath Crowley. But he had her in place, knowing that she was at his mercy. He smiled at her.
"Didn't you ever learn not to argue with the boss?" he said.
His hand rose up, and he let it trail down to her neck, coming to a stop on the heart pendant of the necklace. He sighed, shaking his head as he drew his hand away. He snapped his fingers once, and Jo felt the pain consume her again. She had lost count how many times Crowley had done this to her now. It really was getting old, the same pain coursing through her along the same path. In fact, it was getting almost manageable. Almost. Crowley grimaced, snapping his fingers again. The pain stopped, as did what was holding her in place, and Jo slid down to the floor.
Sooner or later, Crowley was going to forgo the necklace altogether. Of course, he'd still make her wear it as it was the surest way to ensure her compliance—nobody wants to go to Hell—but it wouldn't be his go-to torture for much longer. Jo could almost see the proverbial sand running out of the hourglass. And if Crowley was right, if this "she" that the troll had mentioned as the key he was looking for… then she had to find out more. She had to find out how to stop it all.
She groaned and Crowley stepped back. She pushed herself up to her feet, using the wall, and turned toward the exit. Without a word, she started off, but Crowley called her to a stop.
"I'll take you to the manor," he said, matter-of-factly.
She turned. "Why?"
He jerked a thumb in the direction of the troll.
"I'm going to let this thing stew in its very ripe juices for a while. Meanwhile, I've run out of any new monsters to poke and prod. So, I'm bored."
He laid a hand on her shoulder, and in a flash, they were in the manor. But, of course, they were not in Jo's room—they were in Crowley's. Jo's eyes darted from wall-mounted weapon to the tray of medical equipment on the desk. One of the club chairs that were so similar to the ones in her own room had been pulled out to the center of the empty space between the foot of the bed and the door—which was shut. Crowley gestured at her.
"Sit," he ordered.
"What are you doing?" she asked, not moving.
He rolled his eyes. "Sit, or I will make you sit, Joanna."
Jo's hand went to the necklace, fiddling with it as she did as she was told. She kept that one hand on the pendant, while the other lay limply in her lap. Crowley was busy removing his overcoat and suit jacket, tossing them to the bed. He undid the cuffs of his sleeves, rolling them neatly and evenly up to his elbows. Jo's breath quickened, becoming slightly erratic as her eyes trailed after his every move. He turned to face her now, his yellow-green eyes gleaming down at her.
"As I said, I'm bored. So, I'm going to use what precious little downtime I receive—i.e. now—to test out a little theory," he said, picking up a scalpel—no doubt the same one he had used last time.
He turned, brandishing the blade so that it caught the little light there was in the room. Jo pressed her back against the chair, her hand dropping from the necklace to grip the arm.
"What theory?" she asked breathlessly.
"That Castiel won't save you. Not anymore. No matter what," he said, chuckling.
Jo shook her head, making to stand. However, Crowley held up a hand, and Jo knew she would be in for a lot worse if she tried to move. So, she sank down into her chair, her eyes glaring at the King of Hell.
"You've already proved that theory. The last time you tortured me with more than just this damned thing," she said, pointing to the necklace.
"Not extensively," he said, pulling the blade down and resting it against her cheek. "Hell, last time I gave you a good punishment for being so rebellious, I was so pressed for time I barely had the peace of mind to enjoy it. So, this time, I plan to go far. To torture you in new, exciting ways and wait and see if your dearest feathered friend shows up to save you. But, what to do?"
He pulled the scalpel back, and Jo released the breath she had been holding for minutes now. He crossed one arm about his chest, resting the elbow of the blade-wielding hand on that arm. He tapped the tip to his lips, eying her like Da Vinci about to paint the Mona Lisa. His eyes roved over her body, making no show of trying to hide the fact that it paused on some of her more intimate areas. Grinning, he circled around the back of the chair, pulling the scalpel down to rest against her lips. He used his free hand, clasping it about her throat and pulling her head back. Leaning over her, he brushed his lips against her ear.
"You see, I'm trying to think of something special to do for you, princess, since you're such a special case. I've tortured a lot of people in Hell, and on Earth, but I've never had someone in the predicament that you're in. Even in Hell, there's some hope for rescue. Sure, it usually comes in the form of taking up the blade and torturing for yourself, but still… that means no more torture for you. But you… thanks to this," –he tapped the chain of her necklace with a finger— "you have no hope, whatsoever. You can't fight me. You're all mine, wrapped up like a nice little present."
She gulped, and she knew that he felt it on his hand. She could feel his lips stretch into a smile.
"Oh, yes, you had Castiel," Crowley said. "For a time. But now? I'm willing to wager that you're all on your lonesome with me. And I intend to make the best of it. Something truly terrible for you."
His teeth caught the side of her ear, biting hard for just a moment—long enough to elicit a hiss—before he released his grip and moved to stand in front of her once more. He surveyed her again, the look on his face like a child who had found mommy's stash of Christmas presents.
"You know the memory I look back most fondly on, when it comes to you?" he asked.
Jo looked up at him from under her eyelashes. "When your hellhound dragged me home?"
He laughed. "Oh, well, yes, but I was speaking more recently. No, the memory I think of most fondly was when I tortured you after losing Bobby Singer's soul. You remember? You had just had a shower, I think, and when I pinned you to the wall, you lost your grip on the towel."
Jo felt the heat rise to her face, and she bit her lip, hoping that it wasn't as clearly visible as she feared it was. But Crowley's smile dashed that hope.
"Yes, that's the one," he chuckled. "Let's start there. Take off your clothes."
Jo's heart stopped. She blinked, shaking her head.
"I said, take off your clothes. Don't want to damage them, do you? Take them off," Crowley explained.
"And if I say no?"
Crowley shrugged. "Then I'll cut them off. But I'm afraid that I'm not as precise with my moves that way. Might, accidentally, cut something important."
Jo breathed in, deeply. She could see that his eyes were eyeing all the areas on her body where a major artery could be cut—her neck, her thighs, her wrists, her ankles. She didn't have a choice. But, then again, she knew that. So she stood, and removed the plaid, long-sleeved over-shirt she wore over the lavender spaghetti strap that evening. She was moving fast, hoping that it worked like the Band-Aid principle—the faster, the easier. But as soon as she gripped the hem of the blouse, Crowley rested a hand on one of hers.
"Slower. No need to rush, darling."
Jo laughed mirthlessly. "Is this torture or a striptease?"
Crowley's grin was serpentine. "Why can't it be both?"
Jo's stomach clenched in dread, and she lifted—as slowly as possible—the spaghetti strap up and over her head. She slid off her boots next, followed by her form-fitting, white-washed jeans. Her socks followed, as she tossed all the garments she had removed somewhere off to her left. She stopped there, standing only in the strapless, beige bra and purple lacy underwear. Crowley eyed her, and it made her skin crawl.
"All of it," he ordered.
Jo paled. Her mouth opened, her lips quivering as she tried to force out the protests that lay within her. But she could still feel the weight of the necklace on her chest, and all the terrible things that meant swam in her head. Trembling, she lifted her hands and unclasped her bra, tossing it. Bending as she moved, she slid her underwear off, her face nearly level with Crowley's crotch before she shot back upright, tossing her panties with the rest of her cloths. She wrapped her arms around her exposed flesh, her face turned away so that she didn't have to look at that lecher's grin.
"Good," Crowley said, stepping forward.
He wrapped his free arm about her waist, pulling her up against him. The silk of his suit was cold on her flesh, and she desperately tried to think about anything but what her most obvious physical reaction to that would be. Crowley lifted the scalpel and, blade down, traced a line across her jaw. She hissed as the blade bit into her flesh and her warm blood began to trickle down.
"I don't want to cut up your pretty face, to be honest," Crowley said, staring down at the body in his arms. "So it's becoming truly difficult to think of new ways to hurt you."
He pulled the blade away and tapped it on her shoulder, thinking. He held her so tightly to himself that her hands had nowhere to go but his shoulders and not even a sliver of light could pass between them. She was still determined not to look him in the eye.
"Ah, I have an idea," he said.
He put the handle of the blade in his teeth, freeing that hand. He grinned and snapped his fingers, the necklace going to work instantly. She bucked and writhed against the pain, pushing against his body as she desperately tried to free herself. But he held her tight, taking the scalpel from his teeth and cutting a "C" shape onto her chest, just above her cleavage. She screamed as the two types of pain met and mingled within her, and Crowley laughed.
"If it makes you feel any better, you can imagine that means 'Castiel' when you get that special tingle at night."
She screamed as he lowered the blade again and again, cutting her in various spots down her body. He had yet to deactivate the necklace, and she was sure this was the longest she had ever had to endure it. He made a thin slice down the side of her throat, trailing onto her chest. Leaning forward, and holding her like she weighed nothing despite her struggles, he pressed his lips to the cut, and Jo could feel him sucking at her—even over it all. She wanted to vomit, and she felt like this could be possible, due to the way her stomach was feeling.
Crowley dropped the scalpel, deliberately, into the chair behind Jo, and snapped his fingers. The pain for the necklace stopped, but the pain from her numerous cuts remained. Crowley held Jo up on her feet, pressing her against him, and now the feel of the fabric sticking to her wounds was an insult to injury.
"Do you want to know why I'm really torturing you, Joanna?" he whispered.
"Because," she gasped, "because you're a sick, sadistic bastard who gets his rocks off torturing young women?"
"Yes, true," Crowley conceded. "But also, it has to do with you. And what you've done."
Jo shook her head, feeling it more loll about than actually shake. "No. No, I've done nothing but help you recently. I came up with the-the idea to fake your death. I brought you the troll. Brought you alphas. I've done everything you've asked."
"Yes, but that wasn't for me. It was all for you. Every little act was nothing but self-serving. Everything you've done has been in your best interest, and I hate that. I hate that you think," –he jerked her roughly— "even for a second, that you've got a handle on things here. I'm in control. I am your master. And nothing, not an angel, not the friggin' Winchesters, nothing is going to change that! So, Joanna, call for your angel. Beg him to save you. He won't come. And you know it as well as I that even that is in your best interest."
Crowley snapped his fingers again, throwing her to the floor as the necklace started up again. Through her haze of pain she saw him reach for the scalpel. Her night was far from over.
But, laying there as Crowley crouched over her, she was resolved. Yes, he was right. Castiel wouldn't come to her.
But she wasn't going to ask him to.