Supernatural: Length of Chain (19/22)
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!
Jo often wondered why she had never convinced her mother to move to the beach. She supposed that the bar had been the reason, and all the memories associated with it. But still, Jo loved the beach.
Of course, right now, it was dark, and the particular stretch of sand she was on smelled like dead fish. The khan worm had given her, Malcolm, and Nell quite the run around, being much stronger than they had anticipated—and Jo liked to note how neither Castiel nor Crowley had mentioned that to them. But they finally had the man, Shane Davis, cornered underneath a dilapidated dock. All three were armed with various weapons, Jo sporting a sawed off filled with rock salt bullets, and Malcolm and Nell both carrying machetes that gleamed in the half-moon's light. Using the barrel of the gun, she waved the demons into position, indicating that one should take the left while the other should take the right.
The dock was broken and fallen in on the far side of it, making a wall of sorts. The possessed man had run right inside, trapping himself. Or it could be a trap. But what the khan worms had in strength, Jo was quickly seeing they lacked in intelligence. That apparently came with being new to the world as a species. The three of them trekked slowly underneath the still upright section of the dock.
A scuffling noise drew Jo's attention to the back left of the dock, and Malcolm turned the flashlight he carried in that direction. Shane—a short man, standing probably at about five foot five, his shaggy blond hair falling into his wild brow eyes—whirled and growled at them.
Jo took aim, acutely aware that this was a man possessed and not a real monster. Her thoughts flew to the story of Bobby's and the Winchesters' first encounter with one of these things. She fired off a round, hitting Shane in the right knee. He cried out, falling forward. But that didn't last long. The cloud of sand he had kicked up had barely had time to settle before he was up again, ready to attack. Nell rushed forward, swinging her blade fast, cutting him at the shoulders, elbows, back of the knees, and his feet. She stopped in a form that Jo had only seen on TV and in movies, her arms thrown back and in a crouch, like she was some sort of karate master. Shane fell down again, and this time, didn't stand up. The demons took the initiative, rushing forward and grabbing him. With the possessed man between them, they vanished. Jo lowered her gun, sighing. A second later, her two demon companions were back.
"You took him to Crowley?" Jo asked.
Nell huffed. "What did you think we were doing here, Jo? Having fun?"
Jo shook her head. "He's just a human possessed. Crowley's going to torture him. He doesn't deserve that."
"Oh, yeah," Malcolm laughed, "I'm sure you and your hunter buddies think of that when you're grilling a demon for information."
Jo bit her lip. She hated it when one of them made a valid point. She shook her head.
"Just take me to Crowley, okay?"
"Yes, ma'am," Nell groaned, striding forward—the sand making that odd rubbing noise it does as she walked over.
She put her hand on Jo, and in the next moment, they were in the prison. Jo thought it funny that Crowley had not thought to move locations since his fake death. But, why go through all the trouble of moving all those monsters he still had when the Winchesters thought the location secure?
Nell vanished right after dropping her off, and Crowley turned, Shane now freshly strapped into a gurney that was vertical. The King of Hell arched a brow at her, jerking a thumb over his shoulder at Shane.
"Nice job. You can go now," he said.
Almost automatically, Jo turned to leave the room, when she paused. This was a rare opportunity. This was the closest Crowley, Jo, anybody, had gotten to Purgatory. And now the King of Hell was about to drag out any little tidbit he could about the place, about Eve, out of the newborn monster. She turned back around.
"Actually," she said as Crowley seemed to be hooking up some jumper cables to a car battery, "I think I'll stay."
He tested the metal on metal, sending golden sparks falling to the floor. Then, laying the two cables aside, he turned, brow arched.
"Did I hear that right? You wanna watch?"
He sounded incredulous, downright disbelieving. But Jo nodded, stepping farther into the room.
"Yeah. I do."
He laughed, stalking toward her.
"My, my… I must be rubbing off on you. You really are beginning to enjoy torture, aren't you, darling?"
He backed her against one of the cement walls to the left of the door, gripping her shoulders. He shoved her back, pinning her there with the entirety of his body. She could feel his breath on her face again as his yellow-green eyes seemed to twinkle darkly at her.
"Maybe you are getting off at this. Get tortured, or watching me torture some icky monster, and then go home and have a little me time. Release some tension," he whispered, grinning broadly.
He leaned in, and Jo turned her face away. He tsked, gently cupping her chin and moving her head back so that their eyes met.
"Maybe, if you're good, I'll torture you after this. I think you might like that. And you know what? I might like it too. After all, you made the most interesting noises when I shoved that candle into your mouth. I'd like to find out what other noises you make."
He leaned in, and Jo's head whipped away again. He lost no momentum, pulling his lips down so that they brushed the left side of Jo's neck. He even gripped the chain of her necklace with his teeth, tugging on it. Crowley had his hands pressed up against the wall on either side of her arms, and one leg shoved in between hers. She couldn't move. Her body quaked, adrenaline screaming at her to get away. Her throat felt dry as the demon trailed his lips down her flesh, causing her to shudder. She cast her eyes up at the ceiling, focusing in on the florescent bulb that buzzed above them. Behind Crowley's back, Shane struggled against his restraints, growling softly.
"If you're going to torture him, then might I suggest you get on with it?" she snapped.
Crowley pulled away, smiling at her. "Oh, Jo… you're never any fun. But you do have a point."
He walked away, and Jo tried to keep her sigh of relief as quiet as possible. Crowley picked up the clamps, testing them again with yet another rain of sparks following. Then, hooking a foot underneath of the legs of the silver table, he wheeled it closer to the man.
"Now, here's the deal," the King of Hell said, "you tell me everything my black little heart desires about your mummy and Purgatory, and your death will be virtually painless. But, should you lie to Uncle Crowley, then you get this."
With that, Crowley hooked both clamps to Shane, and Jo winced as the man screamed and wailed and seized with the pain. Crowley pulled the cables away after a moment or two, and Jo bit down another relieved sigh. However, Shane stood resolutely, doing nothing but glaring at Crowley. The demon sighed. He hooked the cables up again, letting the electrocution last a tad longer. When he released it, Shane was gasping.
"Fuck… you," he muttered.
Crowley shook his head. "Do you kiss Eve with that mouth?"
He tried again, again going longer than the session before. Jo crossed her arms, digging her nails into her flesh. Her lips pressed together, it was everything she could do not to shout at Crowley to stop. After all, this was no different than torturing a demon, right? Malcolm and Nell had had a point on that. But why did it feel different? Was it because she wanted the information just as much as Crowley? Was it because she felt as if, in this moment, she had way too much in common with the King of Hell? Her grip tightened, her nails biting painfully into her arm.
Crowley tortured it again and again, each session lasting longer than the one before. Finally, after an electrocution that lasted for at least fifteen to twenty minutes, Shane cried out.
"All right!" he screamed, and Crowley tore the clamps away.
"Tell me about Purgatory!" the demon demanded.
Jo's eyes widened as Shane huffed and puffed.
"All right. All right," he gasped.
"What is Eve doing topside? What is she after? How did she get out?" Crowley asked.
"Eve is still creating monsters," the worm revealed. She is here because of those you have killed. They told her of what you were doing. She became angered. So her faithful servants here brought her over. To stop you. And if she couldn't stop you… then she would punish you."
Jo was intrigued, stepping forward until she was almost shoulder-to-shoulder with Crowley. Crowley, for his part, looked rather smug.
"Punish me? Well, if she's so keen on doing so, then where is she? Why hasn't she tried to come after me herself?"
Shane laughed, and it came out as a rasp. "Because there is a far more effective way of doing so. You demons… so crude…"
Crowley's grip tightened on the cables. "And what, pray tell, is this more effective way?"
"The Mother is still creating. Still experimenting. She's creating bigger, better monsters with which to blanket to world with."
Something about those words made Jo's heart thud and her breathing become erratic. Shane was smiling at Crowley now in such a way that it was almost as if he could read the demon's mind.
"She'll turn every single human into one of her children," Shane laughed. "Every one. Let's see how powerful the great King of Hell is when all the souls of Earth go to her."
No Hell. While that sounded like a good thing without much thought added to it, Jo knew that it couldn't happen. No Hell meant a world covered in powerful monsters created by the Mother of All, and as much as she didn't want Crowley to reach Purgatory… she didn't want Eve in control of Earth either.
The worm laughed again. "I'm only the beginning."
With that, Crowley growled, attached the clamps to the worm, and watched until the black, slimy slug thing crawled out of Shane Davis's ear. It hit the floor with a very wet splat and curled into itself. A second later, it stretched back out, becoming nothing but a puddle of goo, leaving Shane to moan. Jo shook her head.
"You'd lose your position as King of Hell. Hell would be gone if Eve gets all the souls, right?" she asked.
"You would do to shut your mouth right about now, Joanna," Crowley snapped at her, tossing the cables unceremoniously back onto the table.
Jo knew he was right. She could almost feel the anger rolling off of him, but she just couldn't stop. Her mind was racing, thinking of what this would mean for everyone should Eve succeed. She had known that the Mother of All was dangerous… but she had greatly underestimated just how much.
"Cas would lose the war in Heaven… and Heaven wouldn't really have a place either, would it?" she muttered, a vain attempt at keeping the thought to herself as much as it would allow her. "Monsters would control everything."
"Shut it," Crowley warned.
But Jo shook her head, looking up at the demon. "I knew it. I knew Purgatory was nothing but trouble. What were you thinking, Crowley?"
That was the last straw. Growling to the point of yelling, Crowley grabbed up a machete from the same table the battery set upon. Jo's eyes widened, and she cried out for him to stop. But she was too late. In one fell swoop, he took Shane's head, letting it drop to the floor.
"No!" Jo shouted.
Crowley brandished the machete at her. "I told you to be quiet. Not my fault if you're too stupid to listen."
The rage Jo had been doing fairly well at controlling lately broke free, and she took several deliberate steps toward Crowley.
"You… you're a monster. And an idiot. Purgatory is too much for you to handle, and Eve is doing nothing but making you look like… like an impotent fool!"
His eyes flashed, and he snapped his fingers. The necklace—unused for so long now—roared to life, and Jo hit the cement floor hard, screaming and writhing in pain. Her body on fire, she could do nothing but squirm and thrash in place as Crowley crouched down beside her.
"I'll be leaving this going while I make my point," he said.
Tears streamed down Jo's face, and again she wondered how they didn't turn to steam after immediately touching her flesh. Her throat felt raw, and she had no words to protest as Crowley brought the machete down, making a gash down her left side. She screamed with the new pain, her body throwing itself away from it with little conscious effort. She couldn't breathe. It was too much. She wondered if she was turning blue. Meanwhile, above her, Crowley swung the machete at her again, gashing her right side. The tip of the blade caught her cheek on the way by, and she could feel the blood mingling with her tears.
"Pl-ease," she managed, choking as she tried to draw in air.
Crowley laughed. "You know, 'please' doesn't always work. I know that we teach children that it does, but even they learn soon enough that it doesn't."
Jo's whole body ached as she continued to scream against the pain of the necklace. She wanted it to stop. She needed it to… or else, she was sure that she was going to die. Her lungs burned, and she vaguely wondered how her mouth seemed to continue to produce the screams that it did. Crowley took another few swipes at her with the blade, hitting her in spots to inflict pain, but not permanent damage.
"You know what I wish?" he said after a moment. "I wish I had that black candle. You know the one. Oh, the things I could do with that thing. And the memories it would inflict? Well, when it comes to a situation like that, no other torture method can compare."
Jo was flipped onto her stomach now, and somehow she had managed to get herself to face the door. She forced her hands to listen to her, her vision blurring, and she flattened them onto the ground. Putting every ounce of strength she could muster into it, she pulled herself along the ground toward the exit as if her legs didn't work. Crowley howled with laughter above her, but she didn't care. He'd humiliated her enough. She wasn't going to have him do it again.
"Okay, okay, I just can't take it anymore. Besides, I think you've gotten my point," he said, snapping his fingers.
The pain of the necklace vanished, but the pain of the cuts remained. She hissed and whined with the sting of it. Crowley rolled his eyes.
"You have no idea how therapeutic it is to torture someone when you're angry. The upside to being a demon, I suppose," he mused. With a sigh, he tossed the machete back onto the table and added, "I'm sending you home, Joanna. I'll fetch you when you're needed again."
Jo gasped, still crying, and rested her forehead on the floor. She felt his hand on her shoulder, and a second later, her forehead was on carpet. She looked up, finding herself alone in her room, and let all the sobs out.
Several days had passed, and Jo was mostly healed now. Her cuts were scabbing over, and the ache in her bones had finally subsided. She was even able to shower instead of taking a bath because she could finally hold herself upright for longer than a few moments. Now, as she stepped out of the shower feeling like a new woman, she heard the usual announcement of wings in the adjoining room. She dressed and exited the bathroom to find Castiel standing at the foot of her bed.
"Sam and Dean have procured a way to kill Eve," he said by way of greeting.
Jo smiled. "Good. But… I thought you and Crowley wanted her alive."
Castiel shrugged. "Which is exactly my problem. I obviously cannot tell Sam and Dean that I wish for Eve to remain living. So all I can do is try to prevent her death at their hands. But they are making this… very difficult."
He paused here, his eyes drifting away from Jo. Her head cocked to the side, waiting as he seemed to be readying himself for something. Finally, his lips slightly parted, he turned back to her.
"I wanted to ask you… considering the importance of my winning this war… would you consider revealing your existence to the Winchesters? If they knew what killing Eve might hold in store for you, they might reconsider."
Jo scoffed. "You know, sometimes, I just can't believe you. I'd rather go to Hell than do that. In fact, you can go to Hell."
Castiel sighed. "I had supposed that that would be your answer. But I thought I would ask. I'll be joining them in the final hunt for the Mother of All."
"Good luck. Hope you kill her real good," Jo grinned.
Castiel sighed again and left. And, for the next few hours, she was rather stationary at the manor. Crowley had not called on her for some time, and other than Castiel's visit, she had had no updates on Eve.
A few hours later, however, she did get wind from Malcolm and Nell that those new monsters that the worm had promised were now on the scene… and that Castiel had even tortured one or two of them. Another hour passed rather uneventfully, before Crowley finally appeared in her room.
"Got a job for you, doll," he said.
"You want me to go after those monsters that Nell and Malcolm were telling me about?" she asked, crawling off her bed, where she was doing nothing more but enjoying a book.
"Hold your horses. That's where Castiel is, and he's got it handled… along with those Winchesters. No, two little boys made it out of the town alive… and I have it on good authority that they were not exactly human anymore."
Jo's brow arched. "So, you don't want me going after Eve? Instead, you want me to go after a couple of kids?"
"Oh, I'm not worried about Eve. I suspect she'll be mine by nightfall. But I want to examine these so-called super monsters. They don't have to be alive… I just want them."
Going after kids—monsters or not—didn't sit well with Jo. But… they were still dangerous. She nodded.
"Fine. Malcolm and Nell will be backing me up, right?"
He smiled, nodding. "Of course. They're waiting for you outside."
Jo mock-saluted him. "Yes, sir."
"Ooh," he said as she walked past him. "I like that."
Just as Crowley had said, she found her two demon companions waiting for her just outside the manor's front doors. Nell seemed rather happy to be of use, while Malcolm seemed almost bored with this mission.
"Kids, really?" he muttered as Nell grabbed Jo.
They arrived moments later in a darkened, suburban home. The living room seemed almost pristine, pictures of smiling faces on every wall. Malcolm handed Jo a weapon, a machete—which made her shudder. Nell, also brandishing a machete, motioned toward the kitchen, where the sound of crashes could be heard. The three of them walked as silently as possible through the house, pausing just outside of the room.
"I can smell you," said a voice that sounded just like a prepubescent boy.
"Come on out. Our uncle wasn't nearly filling enough," said an older boy.
The demons and Jo exchanged a look just before they turned the corner. The two boys were dark haired, and their mouths were stained red. They smiled.
"Fresh meat," the youngest said.
The eldest charged at them as if this had been a battle cry. Jo ducked the assault, leaving Malcolm and Nell to deal with him. They took the fight out of the small, blue and white tiled room as Jo stared down the remaining boy.
"What's your name?" the boy asked.
Her grip tightened on her blade. She had thought this was going to be hard, fighting children. But there was something… dark about this boy. Definitely something inhuman, like he wouldn't blink twice at tearing anything or anybody to shreds for his own amusement.
"Jo," she said.
"I'm Ryan," he said, sounding chipper. "Is that blade made of silver?"
Jo shrugged, it didn't go unnoticed that the boy took the smallest of steps toward her.
"I don't know," she answered.
He smiled. "Doesn't matter anyway. Eve made sure none of that usual crap could hurt us."
He snarled, revealing sharpened teeth not too much unlike those of a vampire's. Jo grinned bitterly.
Ryan cocked his head. "And you still wanna fight me?"
She nodded. "Yeah. I do."
"You won't win."
"You don't know that."
A loud crash took place in the small hall behind Jo, and she heard the door that most likely led to a basement open, followed by the sound of crashing bodies down wooden stairs. She huffed.
"You don't know that."
Ryan shrugged. "Whatever."
He lunged at her, and Jo ducked, moving up behind him. He whirled, moving so fast that he seemed to almost blur. Jo picked up the nearest thing she could find—a rooster-shaped cookie jar—and hurled it at the boy. He batted it back at her, shattering the ceramic thing. He tried for her again, and she swung the blade, catching his arm. He stopped, looking at the blood already soaking into his jacket.
"That hurt," he said curiously.
"Nothing's invulnerable," Jo noted.
Jo heard a cry coming from the basement, and Ryan's eyes widened.
"Joe?" he called, and it took Jo a moment to realize he was calling for his brother, not her. He growled before snarling at her, "You're all gonna pay!"
He tried for her again, but she was ready.
"Incoming!" she shouted, catching him by the shoulders.
She allowed the force of his lunge to throw her backward into the hall, and the moment she landed, she tossed him down the dark stairs. She was back on her feet in a minute, following after.
Ryan landed with a thud at Malcolm and Nell's feet, and he seemed to be extra pissed as his gaze fell upon his brother's body… and head several feet away from the rest of him.
"Joe!" he cried.
Jo, meanwhile, ran down the stairs as Ryan struck out, sending Malcolm and Nell flying to opposite corners of the room. He turned, claws on his hands as he struck at Jo too. But she backed out of it, and when he came at her again, she was ready. She lifted her bladed, aimed for the boy's neck, and swung. Like Joe, Ryan fell in two pieces. And not five seconds later, she heard wings fluttering on the floor above. Eyes wide, Jo hissed into the darkness, "Shit. Leave, Malcolm, Nell."
"But we've gotta get the bodies," Malcolm responded.
"You can come back for them. I swear. Just go, hurry!"
She could hear footsteps nearing the basement's door, and she threw herself behind a shadow-hidden beam. She assumed that Malcolm and Nell were already gone. Risking a lot, she peeked out from her hiding spot, just enough to catch a glimpse of Dean Winchester, sighing as he found the bodies of Joe and Ryan. Shaking his head, the eldest Winchester turned and went back upstairs. But he had left the door open, and his, Sam's, Bobby's, and Castiel's voices drifted down to Jo easily.
He was telling them about how sulfur was there, and that Eve could be right. That Crowley could be alive still. They mentioned to Castiel that they found that odd, that he had burned Crowley's bones. Saying that he would look into, the angel flew away with another sound of wings. What followed shocked Jo beyond words.
Sam and Bobby were talking to Dean… about whether they could still trust Cas. They mentioned that it was a little too odd that this had happened. But Dean was defending Cas, saying that what they were proposing was too out of bounds. Jo's heart twanged.
Here she was, only feet away… She knew everything. All of the secrets, all of what Castiel was doing. Her hand rose to the necklace, grasping the heart jewel. So close… but she couldn't say a damned thing. She leaned back around the beam and sighed.