Supernatural: Length of Chain (22/22)
current song: "Fall Away" by Better Off Dad
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 | --
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 didn't know how long she'd been unconscious. She didn't figure it had been long, since when she opened her eyes, she was greeted with the sight of Crowley buttoning up his silk shirt. He didn't so much as acknowledge her as she sat up. He grabbed up his tie, putting it about his neck as the usual sound of wings filled the room. That was when Crowley smiled, the very picture of smug.
"Why, hello, Castiel," he said, pulling on the jacket to his expensive suit.
Jo pulled the covers of the bed up over her chest as she felt the angel's eyes fall upon her. He seemed to be examining her, trying to figure out if she was injured. Once he seemed to have realized that no physical damage had been taken, his eyes softened. He wanted to know if she was all right emotionally. But Crowley's gaze darting between the two of them kept him silent, and Jo remained sitting just as silently, lips tight.
"I had to give her a more lasting lesson," the demon said by way of explanation.
His smile widened as Castiel averted his gaze. Castiel only shook his head, not looking at Crowley or Jo when he spoke.
"I've captured the creature from Purgatory. She's in the prison," he explained.
Crowley clapped his hands, rubbing them together. "Now this is a good day. Let's find ourselves Purgatory, my fine feathered friend."
Castiel nodded, and Crowley vanished. Jo let out the breath she hadn't realized she had been holding. She looked over at Castiel, who still would not meet her gaze. He made some sort of odd motion, as if he was unsure of what to do with his hands. But Jo knew that he meant to indicate that he was about to follow after Crowley. Holding up a hand, she called him to a stop.
"Was it you?" she asked, her tongue wetting her dried lips. "Was it really you, in the room with me? With—"
But she didn't want to say "us," because that sounded too romantic. As if she had participated willingly. So, she left the sentence hanging, hoping that Castiel would understand. He sighed.
"I'm sorry," he said, his voice sounding as if it were being dragged across sandpaper. "I feared what would happen if I tried… if I had tried to stop him. But I should have. I beg your forgiveness. If I had known… if I had known that Crowley putting that necklace on you would've led to this, then I would have—"
Jo held her hand up again, shaking her head. "It's okay. It's all right."
He took a step toward her, his eyes pleading. "I feared for your life. Had I not, I would have—"
But she cut him off again. "I understand. Really, I do. That you tried to… help me. In the way that you did. That means the world to me."
He nodded, still looking quite distressed. But Jo had meant what she said. That small gesture to show that he was there, that she hadn't been alone… and Crowley would have killed her, sending her straight to Hell, if Castiel had intervened. She reached out, brushing her fingers against his, and she smiled.
"Thank you," she said.
He nodded once more. "I must go."
"Wait!" she called again before he could leave. "What creature from Purgatory did you find? I mean, how did you find it?"
Castiel pursed his lips, obviously debating whether it would be wise or not to tell Jo about all of it. But finally, he sighed.
"The creature is possessing a woman from long ago, a maid in the house of H.P. Lovecraft. She is going by the name Eleanor Visyak. Bobby knew of her, but has only recently discovered what she is. I took her as she was leaving her cabin that she had spelled against angels and demons."
Jo pulled her feet off the bed, sitting on the ache. She groaned, finding that her body ached more than she had originally thought. But she tried to keep the signs hidden as she talked with Cas.
"Bobby knew her? How?"
"I'm… uncertain. Jo, I really must go. If you are well…?"
She nodded, and Castiel was gone in a flash. Sheets thrown off, caring not a bit for the protests of her poor, abused body, Jo rushed to the dresser and pulled out her clothing, throwing them on as quickly as possible. She had to get to this Visyak woman. And, although she doubted that this was probable, find out as much about Purgatory before Crowley and Castiel. Maybe, just maybe, this woman would aid her in keeping it shut. In a moment, Jo was fully dressed and running at full speed out of Crowley's manor. She reached the prison in record time, slowing only so that she could sneak about a bit easier.
She jumped into an empty room as she heard Crowley, grumbling, walking around a nearby corner. She heard the flutter of Castiel's wings as the angel fell into step beside the demon.
"Can't get the bloody bitch to talk, and I didn't start slow," Crowley said as they passed by the door of the room Jo was within.
"Nothing at all? I thought you were the King of Hell," Castiel groaned.
"Hold on there," Crowley exclaimed incredulously. "I didn't say I was giving up, now, did I? I'm just taking a break to rethink my strategy."
Their voices faded as they rounded another corner, and Jo exited the room. The smell of blood was in the air, and Jo had a bad feeling that if she followed it, she would find the Visyak woman at the other end. So she did just that, coming to the familiar set of swinging doors that led to the examination room. She stood on tiptoe, peeking through the window.
The woman was fairly tall, with her blonde hair pinned up in a respectful manner. Her blue dress was decorated by a single, black belt that wrapped where her waist tapered in, and it looked like something a CEO or some such person might wear to work. She was strapped to a gurney that was turned vertical, and her head lolled down on her chest. Jo feared the worst as she slowly pushed open the doors to enter the room.
But Visyak's head shot up, and her eyes widened.
"Who are you?" she asked. Her eyes roved over Jo, finally squinting in on the necklace as Jo's hand rose to the pendant. Looking a bit sympathetic, Visyak added, "You're not one of Crowley's demons."
Jo shook her head. "No. My name is Jo. Jo Harvelle."
She arched a brow. "Harvelle? That name sounds familiar."
"You might have heard Bobby Singer mention it. I, um, am supposed to be dead."
"Yes… yes, I remember. They brought you back, the demon and the angel?"
"The demon," Jo answered.
She took several steps forward, her hand fiddling with the necklace.
"I need to stop them… to stop Cas. I need something that will convince him that opening Purgatory isn't a way to win the war. You… you were a creature from Purgatory?"
Eleanor nodded. "Yes. And for years I've tried my best to keep it from opening again like it did when I came through. That stupid Lovecraft… he almost destroyed the world. I know that I'm a monster. Obviously, since I was in Purgatory, but I do have love for this world. I don't want to see it eaten alive."
Jo's eyes narrowed. "So… the other monsters? They want to see this world destroyed?"
Visyak swallowed, hard, shaking her head. "No. Not the monsters. Or, at least, not the ones like me. Not the ones that were created by Eve. This place is as much our home as it is yours. But… there are others. Powerful creatures that were never meant to escape."
The woman locked eyes with the huntress, a dark look casting her eyes in shadow. It was with a deadly seriousness with which she spoke said creatures' name.
"Leviathan? I don't understand."
Eleanor flexed her hands against her bonds, shaking her head. "Leviathans are what God created first. But they were too strong. They had an… an endless hunger. So God cast them into Purgatory, in order to save his most loved creatures—humans. Human flesh, Jo, is what a Leviathan craves. And they're invincible, do you understand that? Not silver, not holy water, not scripture can stop them. You can't even keep them dead if you behead them in the wrong way. They hunt in Purgatory… they're the things that us monsters feared there. If they get through… the world will truly end."
Jo felt her heart stop. As horrible as this news was, as terrible as these creatures sounded, she couldn't help but feel a sort of elation. She had it. What she had been searching for all along: a way to get Castiel to listen. Because Castiel loved humans as much as his Father did. He would never, ever, risk humanity. This would force him to find another way.
"Thank you," Jo said, taking a step forward.
"Not one more inch, Joanna," Crowley's voice said from behind her, causing her to whirl about.
He was grinning from ear to ear, shaking his head. "I would hate to have to punish you again like I did last night. Well, that's not entirely true. I would love to do that again… but I think I'd get creative this time."
Castiel stood beside him, looking like he had sucked on a lemon. Jo crossed her arms.
"I wasn't doing anything," she said.
"Right," the King of Hell said disbelievingly. "Now, scamper on, pet. Your angel friend here is about to take a crack at Ms. Visyak."
Jo's arms fell limply to her sides as she rushed up to Castiel.
"You're going to torture her?"
From behind them, she could hear Eleanor struggling against her bonds. Castiel nodded.
"It's what must be done," he said.
"Don't. Please, Cas, don't do it. Let her go," Jo said.
Crowley laughed. "Oh yes, because that has always worked."
Castiel looked away from her. "Leave, Jo. Please."
She took a step back, her gaze still pleading. But he wouldn't meet her eyes, and she sighed. She moved past him, stalking out of the room. However, just as she exited, she stopped. She stepped to the right, resting her back up against the wall. She pressed her hands against the cold stone and listened as Castiel began.
"Tell us how to open the door to Purgatory," he said in his own, monotone way.
"No," Eleanor said, so low that Jo almost couldn't hear her. "You don't want this. Please."
"Then you leave me no choice," he said.
The next instant was followed by screams the likes of which Jo had never heard. She was sure that, no matter how the necklace had hurt, that she had never screamed like that. It sounded as if Eleanor's very soul was being ripped from her. Jo dug her nails into the wall, her breath quickening as the screams continued. On and on they went, and Jo couldn't pry herself from her spot, not even to look and see what Castiel was doing to her.
Because she didn't want to know. She didn't want to believe that Castiel, friend to the Winchesters, her friend, was capable of causing such a terrible sound. She wanted to cry, but she found her eyes dry as, finally, shouting the words, Eleanor screamed, "I'll tell you! I'll tell you! Just please stop!"
Jo wrapped her arms about her stomach as the urge to vomit overtook her. No. No. She wanted to burst into the room and beg Eleanor not to tell. But she couldn't. She couldn't ask that poor woman to endure even more torture.
"You need the blood of a virgin and… and the blood of a Purgatory native. And a special ritual," she said, gasping out each word.
"And that's it?" Jo heard Crowley ask.
"Yes," Eleanor said, and she sounded close to tears. "But the ritual has to be performed at a certain time. Soon."
"Where can we get the ritual?" Castiel asked.
Eleanor's voice dipped too low for Jo to catch, but after a moment, she heard Crowley laughed.
"Well, we can get part of what we need right now, can't we? Would you like to do the honors, angel wings?"
"No!" Eleanor shouted just moments before screaming out again.
The noise caused Jo to jump, pressing her back as hard as possible into the wall. Moments later, the demon and the angel exited the room. Jo's eyes flew to Castiel's right hand, which was carrying a jar half filled with blood, and he was soaked in it from his fingertips to his elbow. He paused, his eyes dimming.
"Jo," he said.
She shook her head. "Don't. You… you bastard," she snapped.
Crowley chuckled. "Oooh… looks like the girlfriend is mad at you. Come on. We need to discuss the details. We haven't the time to deal with Miss Harvelle's personal soap opera."
He hooked an arm around Castiel's shoulders and led him away. Jo remained in place, glaring after the two until they had disappeared from sight. Then, in a dash, she was back in the room with Eleanor.
The entire midsection of her blue dress was soaked through with blood, and her skin was covered in a thin sheen of sweat. Jo ran to the gurney, undoing the straps around her ankles before she moved to undo the ones about her wrists. Eleanor collapsed onto Jo's shoulders, looking at her as if she only half believed she was there.
"What… are you doing?" she asked.
"Do you know how to get in contact with Bobby? Do you know where he lives, in Soux—"
But Eleanor nodded. "I do, but why?"
"You have to get out of here. You have to warn the Winchesters. I'm going to get you out of this damned place," Jo said, half dragging Eleanor to the doors of the room.
"But… the necklace. Crowley will kill you, and I know what that necklace is," she breathed.
"I don't care. Purgatory can't be opened. You said so yourself. I can help you escape."
"No," Eleanor said, pushing herself off of Jo.
She wobbled a bit on her feet but regained her balance before Jo had to catch her. She shook her head resolutely.
"You've done enough by doing this," Eleanor said. "And I still have a few tricks up my sleeves. I'll get out. I'll warn them."
"Don't tell them about me," Jo said wildly. "I just—"
But Eleanor raised a bloodied hand, and it made Jo cringe to think that that blood was her own.
"I understand. Get away from this yourself, Jo. Thank you."
She stumbled out of the doors of the room, and as they swung open and shut, Jo watched as Eleanor vanished before her eyes. This left only Jo in the room, reeling. She stalked from the room, unsure of where her exact destination was. She roomed the halls of the prison, debating about whether or not she should go back to the manor. But she had a feeling that that would be useless. Instead, she stumbled across the cell that she had Castiel had made love in. Near the point of tears, she entered, sinking down on the bed. She gripped the sides of it with her hands so tightly that she felt the metal beginning to bite into her flesh.
Her breathing was out of control, for the first several minutes that she sat there, she simply tried to master it. Once that was accomplished, her brain just began to replay information. Leviathans, monsters that would eat the world. And all that kept them from doing so was the closed door of Purgatory. Right now, at this very moment, Castiel and Crowley were both busy gathering all the necessary items to do the world's stupidest action. She swallowed, trying to force herself to come up with a way to stop them. To stop it all from happening. But she had had months to work on this, and each time, her plans were stopped by one thing and one thing alone: the damned heart necklace. So long as Crowley had her on this leash, the only weapon she had at her disposal for all of this was pleading. She could only plead with Castiel, and try to make him see reason.
Did he even know about the Leviathans? Surely not. It made no sense to Jo that he would open Purgatory knowing that these creatures were there. No. Castiel mustn't know about them. Jo began to rub her hands along the edge of the metal, nodding only to herself. She had to tell him. Yes. That's all she could do… if she could just let him know what was on the other side… her first instinct would be right. Castiel would never let such a creature loose upon the world… not deliberately.
She stood, pacing the length of the small cell. Her eyes flew to the small, barred window, and it seemed as if the sun had started to set right before her eyes. The yellow light of day had faded to a deep orange and crimson. She was running out of time. She turned, facing the direction of the examination room. She had to talk to Castiel now. Before all was lost.
She all but ran from the cell, jogging down to the examination room, where the doors—oddly—were propped open. Castiel wasn't alone, and it wasn't Crowley that he was with. She ducked behind one of the open doors, leaning out and around. Her eyes widened as she realized that Balthazar was there, his back to Castiel, assuring him that he was with him, no matter what. Castiel stood, nodding. Maybe this was a good thing. Balthazar didn't seem the type to fall in with a demon… maybe there was more to this than met the eye.
But then, happening so fast that Jo barely believed she had witnessed it, Castiel buried the blade of an angel killing dagger into his brother's back. Light poured from Balthazar's eyes and mouth as he fell forward, and Jo could see the deceased angel's wings burned into the floor. Tears sprung to her eyes as Castiel only stared down at Balthazar. She rounded the door, walking slowly into the room. This was it. The point of no return… Balthazar had been saying that was on Castiel's side… and Cas had killed him. She had lost before she could even begin the fight.
"How could you?" she whispered as Castiel turned, surprised to see her there.
Tears rolled down her cheeks as she walked farther into the room, only stopping as she reached Balthazar's body. She crouched down, her fingers tracing the outline of the ashen wings before she stood, facing the living angel in the room.
"He was your brother. And he loved you. He wanted you to win," she said.
Castiel sighed. "I know. But he was going to betray me to the Winchesters. He planned to help them stop me."
Jo shook her head angrily. "Shouldn't that tell you something, you idiot?"
Castiel didn't respond, only staring at her as she continued to cry. The two remained quiet for a moment before she finally sighed, the air shuddering as she drew it in around her tears.
"It's too late for you, isn't it?" she whispered.
Now it was Cas that turned away. "I have to do what I have to do."
"Even if the consequences are too great? Cas, there are monsters in Purgatory… bigger and worse than anything on this Earth. You can't open it. They'll get through."
"And I'll stop them," he said, confidently as he turned back to face her.
"No, you don't understand. Eleanor called them Lev—"
But Castiel held up a hand. "This is the only way. If I don't open Purgatory, then I'll lose the war, and then all truly will be lost. It's been decided… long ago."
Jo shook her head. He wouldn't even try to listen to her.
"What about Crowley? You're really gonna let him have this power?"
"That… has been decided as well."
"Castiel, please," she said, rushing forward and resting her hands on his face. "Please. Just listen to me. These monsters… they'll eat us. All of us."
"They'll be contained," Castiel responded, gently gripping her wrists and moving them away.
"Please… back down. Stop this. Stop Crowley," she asked.
He locked his blue eyes upon hers. "No. No. This is happening. Like I said, it's been decided. This is the point of no return."
Jo stepped back, turning away. She closed her eyes, her tears slowing to stop. If Castiel wouldn't listen… and if Crowley wouldn't free her… then there was only one course of action.
"Then you have to kill me," Jo said.
"What?" Castiel asked.
She kept her back to him as she answered.
"Kill me. Because I can't watch you do this. I can't watch you betray your friends—your family—like this anymore. I can't watch you destroy the world. So kill me, as easily as you killed your brother. Send me to Hell, because I'd rather be there than here. Because I know you won't free me either to tell Sam and Dean."
"I can't have them interfere," Castiel said softly.
Jo's eyes closed. "Then kill me."
She heard him move closer to her, and she was careful not to open her eyes. In the time span of a single breath, she felt the knife slide into her back, and it forced out a gasp. But, more importantly, just moments before, she heard the necklace unclasp, and felt it fall down to her feet. She smiled as Castiel removed the blade. She fell forward, and as she bled out onto the ground, the smile remained on her face.
He had removed the necklace. He cared enough to do that.
She was free.
I'm not calling you a liar, just don't lie to me
I'm not calling you a thief, just don't steal from me
I'm not calling you a ghost, just stop haunting me
And I love you so much, I'm gonna let you kill me
-"I'm Not Calling You a Liar," Florence + the Machine