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Road to the Apocalypse 2/5

Part I: Carnival Freaks and Reality Reeks


Sam ran a hand through his hair and sighed. “No, there isn’t any trace of either one of them in the entire area, Bobby,” he said into the phone. “I spent half the night going over the area and didn’t turn up anything.” As he listened to the older hunter on the other end of the phone, he typed a few things on his laptop and checked a website. “Well, at least we know it couldn’t have been the O-dokuro. I know we ganked that thing, it blew up right before they disappeared. There wasn’t anything left of it either. Not a trace of anything I could even salt and burn. Besides, if it would’ve gotten either one of them, it would have left behind flesh, and I told you, I found nothing.”

“Yeah, well I figure it was something more menacing than your average ghoul, boy,” Bobby barked through the phone. “Not too many things we’ve run into so far that can take out an angel.”

Except another angel, Sam thought to himself, as he remembered Chuck referring to Raphael blowing Cas up like a water balloon of chunky soup. Though he hadn't seen evidence of that either. "I think I'm out of my depth here Bobby.

“I'm going to need help on this one," Sam reluctantly admitted.

"I'm not going to like this, am I?" Bobby asked.

"I don't like this Bobby," Sam confessed. "But I really don't see any other option right now."

"Exactly what kind of fool idea do you have in that noggin' of yours?" Bobby pressed.

"I'll let you know when I pull it off, Bobby. Talk to you later." With that, Sam hung up the phone and wondered if calling out for an archangel, who hadn't wanted to be one for a long time, would get him the same results that calling out for Castiel did. Especially after the condition they left him in the last time they had seen him. Sam did have one thing going for him though. This particular archangel had always wanted to teach him a lesson or get him to play his role. If Sam could play that to his favor, he might just get the help he needed.

Taking a deep breath, Sam called out. “Gabriel…Gabriel, if there is any chance you are out there listening…I need your help.” Sam groaned inwardly. Did he really just admit to that, after all this particular angel or Trickster had put him through? “Anyway…if you are willing to help me, I…I am willing to make you a deal.”

“That is the lamest excuse I have heard for a prayer since Turkey Jackson asked for help when he was sold as a slave in Morocco back in 1942, but he changed his tune as soon as he realized his new ‘owner’ was a beautiful princess who wanted to marry him. Before he changed his mind, he was willing to give me a camel. I would have rather had some M & M’s. Did you know that they had only been around for about a year back then and were only available to the U.S. military? Good thing I acquired this particular vessel about that time, not that it would have stopped me, but it still came in handy. You haven’t offered me anything tangible yet though, just some kind of flimsy deal. And I don’t even see candy lying around here anywhere to sweeten the pot.”

At the sound of the incessant chattering, Sam spun around in his chair to see the archangel casually leaning against the frame of the bathroom door, quietly sucking on a lollipop as if he had been standing there the whole time he had been talking to Bobby.

"Not the whole time, kiddo," Gabriel said with a smirk, crossing his arms over his chest. "But long enough to know you are in over your head. But then again, when aren't you?"

"You! Stay out of my head," Sam remarked in frustration, as he pointed at the angel. "Or you can just forget about the whole thing."

"What whole thing?" Gabriel chuckled, shoving his hands in his pockets as he strolled closer to the hunter. "I know you need help, but other than sticking around to toy with you, I don't see what's in it for me. It's not like you have offered me anything yet or that we have come to any sort of arrangement."

As Gabriel raised a hand preparing to snap his fingers, Sam held him off. "Wait...just...I'm sorry, okay? Just hear me out."

"You've got one minute, Sammy," Gabriel said, waggling his eyebrows as he made a clock appear on the hotel table. "Can you Beat the Clock? Time's a-wasting."

“It’s Sam,” the hunter sighed as Gabriel gestured to the clock that was now quickly counting down the seconds. “Fine. Dean and Cas have disappeared. We took out an O-dokuro that was responsible for several deaths in the area, and as soon as we ganked it, Dean and Cas were gone….without a trace. If it were just Dean….but with Cas gone, too…I’m thinking it would have to be one of your brothers…or something bigger than them, if that is even possible, to be able to take out Cas without leaving any signs. If I am going to find them, then I need your help.”

The buzzer on the clock went off as Sam finished his spiel. He looked up at Gabriel expectantly, who now decided to ignore the clock and grill Sam further. “And the part about the deal?” Gabriel asked, hopping up to sit on the table. As he crossed his legs, he folded his hands on top of his knees and looked at Sam expectantly. “Because you still haven’t sold me on why I should help a muttonhead with his own solo act.”

“Of course,” Sam scowled, beginning to wonder why he had even bothered asking the angel for help. “Because you would never do it out of the chocolaty-nougaty-goodness of your heart.”

“Aw, Sam. I am touched,” the angel cooed, placing a hand over his chest. “You know me so well.”

Sam rolled his eyes as he continued. “So this is what I am offering. The last time we played catch a tiger by its tail, you wanted me to play my role…to become your big brother’s vessel? If you help me find my brother and yours, you will have me as a captive audience the entire time we search for them. You will have your chance to convince me. I’m not promising I will say yes, but you will get your opportunity to sell me on it.”

Gabriel raised an eyebrow. Sam Winchester had just offered him the opportunity to let him sell his idea to the unassuming hunter. The kid had no clue what he was in for. A wide smile split Gabriel’s face as he answered him. “I think I can live with those terms.”

“Really?” Sam asked in astonishment. It had almost been too easy. “Okay then, we have a deal. But I am not kissing you or anything.”

Gabriel burst out laughing. “Kiddo, I am not a crossroads demon. I do not expect a kiss to seal the deal, though a Snickers bar would be nice. Who have you been hanging out with that would give you that impression, Crowley? Just put it there, pal; keep me well stocked in candy and we’ve got a deal,” Gabriel said as he offered up his hand.

Sam just shook his head as he took Gabriel’s hand in acknowledgement of their deal. “So, where do we begin?” he asked as he closed his laptop and started to throw his things in a duffel bag. He wanted to get on the road and find Dean and Cas as soon as possible. He didn’t want to waste much time on this considering he would be spending it with a Trickster.

Gabriel just waggled his eyebrows and said one word. “Ohio,” before quickly adding, “After you stock up on candy for me, of course. Not that I can’t get my own, but a deal’s a deal, after all.” Then he started humming a song that sounded familiar to Sam, but he couldn’t quite place it. However, when Gabriel belted out the line, “Where we're goin', why we're goin', how can we be sure, I'll lay you eight to five that the answer’s a bit obscure,” Sam nearly changed his mind then and there. But that didn’t change the fact that Sam had few other options. He needed Gabriel’s help to find Dean and Cas.

So Sam decided he wasn’t just going to go along for the ride on whatever adventure the Trickster had up his sleeve. He might need Gabriel’s help, but that didn’t mean he was going to let the angel run all over him. Sam Winchester was going to lay down some ground rules for how this mission to find their brothers was going to go.

Before he laid down the law with the archangel though, he had a question. “Why Ohio? Do you already know something? This is my brother we are looking for, so I don’t want you to keep anything from me.”

Maybe the kid wasn’t as smart as everyone thought he was Gabriel thought as he sighed. If he lied to Sam, he would probably see right through it. So, he told the truth. Well, a partial truth. “You haven’t figured it out yet? How many times have you run into me in Ohio? It is my ‘home away from Home’ so to speak. It is where I keep all my best supplies hidden. If we are going to avoid my family while looking for Cas and Dean, it is the best place to start.”




Gabriel should have realized it wouldn’t be so easy to bend Sam Winchester to his will. First of all, the kid had a list of conditions a mile long. Some were minor annoyances. We drive; we don’t fly, not even via Angel Air. Don’t put your feet on the dashboard. Don’t throw trash in the back seat of the Impala. Others were a little harder to tolerate. We stay focused on the mission, which means we don’t pick up any women. We pay for things. We earn our keep. We don’t play tricks on people or give them their just desserts. Especially that last one. He was currently sitting at a bar in a small town in Nevada, their first stop on their way to Ohio. He was nursing a strawberry daiquiri while watching Sam go in for the kill on his latest victim, as he was hustling pool. How in Luci’s recently departed confinement that wasn’t tricking someone was beyond him. Seems the Winchester had a unique sense of morality. Or a convenient one.

As Sam collected his winnings from his mark, he joined Gabriel at the bar for a drink. Gabriel tossed him a glance and remarked, “Nice con, Sammy. You might work your way up to helping some college kid slow dance with aliens some day if you keep it up.”

“I asked you not to call me that,” Sam glared at him, as he took a swig of his beer. “And it is not the same thing. These guys know they risk loosing their money when they play me.”

“Yeah, right. Keep telling yourself that,” Gabriel mocked. “That is why you come onto them all geeky and innocent. And what do you tell yourself so can sleep at night when you use those fake credit cards, hmm?”

Sam looked at Gabriel like he had slapped him in the face. “What? No one gets hurt when we use those things.”

 “You really have been fooling yourself, haven’t you?” the angel scoffed. “Credit card companies either don’t pay the mom and pop stores for those bills if they realize they are frauds, or if they already paid them, they have chargeback policies, where they take the money back from the store owner. So unless the business owner has insurance against mooks like you, he is SOL.”

Sam’s face flushed red with embarrassment. “I…I never thought of it like that…I guess we always thought the big banks were taking the loss, if we thought about it at all. Do you have a better idea?” Sam shot back at the angel in anger, then immediately regretted it when a shit-eating grin flashed across the Trickster’s face.

“Why, I thought you’d never ask.” Gabriel said demurely as he remembered a poster he had seen outside the bar before they had entered. A phone call he had placed while Sam was playing pool had only confirmed that it was perfect for what he had in mind. “Tomorrow, we try things my way.”




Sam was actually grateful he gave in and allowed Gabriel to drive his brother's beloved car when they pulled into the grass parking lot and he saw the tents and multi-colored flags waving in the barely-there breeze. The smell of human bodies pressed too close together mixed with corn dogs, popcorn and cotton candy brought up enough bad memories to make him want to vomit. He almost hadn’t let the angel drive the Impala but Gabriel had assured him he knew how to operate a vehicle. When Sam had pressed the issue, Gabriel explained he had learned how to drive back in the summer of 1962 from a lonely housewife in Cheboygan, Michigan in exchange for things “Sammy’s little hunter ears were too delicate to hear” so the younger man decided to drop the subject and just handed the keys over without any further discussion. What Dean didn’t know about he couldn’t kill Sam for, right?

"What are we doing here?" Sam asked, glancing sideways at the archangel though he dreaded hearing the answer.

"We are here to make money. You had all your 'rules' about how exactly we got to hustle pool in the bars, though I didn't really see much of a difference. You know what they say about a fool and his money,” Gabriel huffed as he gestured toward the fairway. “Exhibit A. So, I found us another opportunity for raking in the cash to fund our little operation."

"Except that I hate the circus," Sam muttered under his breath. "There will be clowns here."

“What’s wrong with the circus, kiddo?" Gabriel asked gleefully as the exited the car as he began to sing. “It's great, it's terrific, it's the best show on earth, nothing could top it anywhere.

Noticing Sam’s sour look the angel sighed. "Alright, alright. It’s not really a circus. It's a carnival!"

"Like there's a difference!" Sam said through gritted teeth, crossing his arms over his chest, leaning against the hood of the Impala.

"Of course there is, Sammy," Gabriel said. "There are plenty of differences between a circus and a carnival, including the fact that a carnival doesn't have clowns and this one has a freak show billed as Sam the Stupendous Sasquatch wrestles Orville the Outrageous Octopus."

Sam's eyes grew huge as he stared at the Trickster. "You...you didn't!" he sputtered. "There is NO...NO WAY I am wrestling an...an OCTOPUS....I...would almost rather say yes to your brother than wrestle an octopus!"

Gabriel looked at Sam slyly. "Isn't that the point?"

“You…you’re threatening me with wrestling an octopus or saying yes to your brother? Just to make money so we don’t have to hustle pool?” Sam asked incredulously. “I’m surprised there aren’t clowns here as well.”

“That can be arranged, kiddo,” Gabriel threatened as he grabbed Sam by the arm and started to drag him through the meager crowd. “The day isn’t over with yet. Now come on, the main event is in between the Two-Headed Cow and the Bearded Lady. They are waiting for us.”




“I hate you,” Sam said between gritted teeth for what must have been the fifteenth time as they watched the flimsiest excuse for a freak show Sam had ever seen.

“Yeah, I’ve heard that one,” Gabriel reminded the hunter, not even bothering to take his eyes off the show. “You need some new material.”

Sam failed to see what kept Gabriel entertained. A man slightly taller, but definitely much hairier and more muscular than himself was up on stage, in what could be described as a large fish tank, wrestling another gentleman who was dressed in what was obviously a costume that was supposed to represent an octopus. However, it only had two extra limbs. So instead of having the required eight ‘arms’, it was clearly missing two appendages.

The fact that only two other clearly bored adults, along with their five-year-old son were in the tent watching the show along with Sam and Gabriel was an indication that the act was fooling no one. That however, didn’t keep Gabriel from heartily eating cotton candy and laughing at inappropriate times. The only other person who seemed mildly amused by any of this was the kid who was in here with his parents. Maybe that was why Gabriel was so amused; he must have the mind of a five-year-old.

“Why are we even here?” Sam hissed. “This is a waste of our time.”

“Sasquatch,” Gabriel answered and then caught Sam’s glare. “The other one, up on stage…he is…one of my contacts. He might know something about what happened to our bros. He said he would talk to us after the show. That, and you promised you would do things my way for a change when it came to earning money.”

Sam just stared at Gabriel. He shuddered for a moment at the thought of what Gabriel meant about earning money ‘his way’. But apparently, that was how things were going to go. One odd encounter with Gabriel’s ‘contacts’ after another. One opportunity for Gabriel to torture him after the next. And Sam was beginning to wonder if they would ever make any real progress in finding Cas and Dean. Sam suffered through the rest of the show and after the other guests quietly filed out, Gabriel and Sam casually walked up to the stage.

“Sumarlíđr,” Gabriel greeted the man billed as the Sasquatch, shaking his hand.

“Loki,” the man answered tersely. “I wasn’t sure you would come, after the way our poker game ended last time.”

"Hey, now," Gabriel exclaimed with a mischievous smirk. "I technically didn't cheat. That was just one of my copies that turned into a fly and buzzed around the room to look at everyone else's cards. He could have just as easily told you what hand everyone had as he did me."

Both Sumarlíđr and Sam shook their heads at the Trickster before turning to one another. “I thought your name was Sam,” the young hunter asked, referring to the poster on the outside of the tent. “Like mine; Sam Winchester, by the way. And how exactly do you know…Loki?”

“That is just a stage name,” he chuckled. “My given name would not go over well here, no? Norse is not too common these days, is it? And if it is easier, you can call me Sam. I imagine Sumarlíđr is a mouthful. As for Loki…he and I go way back. He has known me since I was a baby.”

Gabriel chuckled at that and slapped the taller man on the back. “Sumarlíđr is Thor’s grandson.”

“Thor’s grandson?” Sam repeated in disbelief. “What are you doing working in a freak show?”

“I have some of my grandfather’s strength and size, but none of his real power,” Sumarlíđr answered casually. “So this carnival suits me well.”

“The kid is kind of like a Squib,” Gabriel tried to explain as Sam stared at the archangel in dismay.

“Squid? I am not a squid,” Sumarlíđr said in confusion. “If I were, perhaps Orville would not have to wear such a lousy costume and our show would draw much more attention, yes?”

“Not squid,” Sam tried to explain, ignoring Gabriel in the process. “Some people simply have no tact at all.”

“Tact? You’re ignoring me and you're worried about tact?” Gabriel asked staring at the hunter. “You do realize that I could have both a Squib and a squid here with a snap of my fingers especially since they are both on the grounds of Hogwarts right now!”

Sam tuned out the archangel’s ramblings about what he believed to be TV land as he continued his conversation with Sumarlíđr. “But even with your size and your knowledge… you could…” Sam shook his head, leaving his own thought unfinished.

“Oh, so that is how you are going to play it Sammy. Alright, then,” the angel said as a look of determination settled across his face.  “Well then, a squid it will be.”

“What, do what you do? Hunt things that go bump in the night?” Sumarlíđr asked they both watched Gabriel begin to measure the octopus tank while muttering under his breath. Giving Sam a knowing look, he continued, “Yes, I know what you do. Loki and I have exchanged stories before and he has told me of his adventures with you and your brother. At the ill-fated poker game I have mentioned, he had a particularly interesting one about you turning into a talking car, like Knight Rider, no? That reminds me, I owe you money, Loki. You must be here to collect your winnings.”

As Sumarlíđr pulled money out of his wallet and handed it over to Gabriel, Sam continued to question him. “So why not hunt, instead of living life in a circus freak show?”

“Carnival,” Gabriel interrupted shaking his head. “I keep telling you, kiddo. It’s a carnival. If it were the circus, I would be watching the Mozzarella Brothers performing right about now. In fact, that is an excellent idea, if I do say so myself. If I am bringing in a real squid, Orville can take time off, too and we will go see the Mozzarella Brothers and leave the kid here on his own.”

Neither Sam nor Sumarlíđr were sure what the Trickster was prattling on about so they continued with their own discussion without him. “Tell me, are you happy with your life as a hunter?” the man asked Sam. “Don’t you ever grow tired of killing things that never stop coming after you? I see from your face it is work that wears on your soul. I, on the other hand, can travel and see many new faces. And occasionally help out an old family friend. Speaking of which, you also came looking for information, no?”

"Yeah, about that," Gabriel said, as he turned his attention back to the two men and rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly. "Sam's brother disappeared a couple of days ago along with one of their acquaintances. I am trying to help the kid here because I owe him one. So I was wondering if you could tell me if you have heard anything recently, ya' know about strange happenings in the area, that sort of thing?"

Sumarlíđr gaped at Gabriel in silence for a moment before bursting out laughing. "You had me going there for a minute," he said, shaking his head and waging his finger at the Trickster. "Always the one with the jokes, this one. As if with your own eyes you have not seen the signs that the Ragnarök is upon us. Of course there are strange occurrences, look all around you."

Sam looked at Gabriel and shifted his weight uncomfortably before adding to the conversation. "I think what Loki meant was, has anything stranger than usual, even with, well... Ragnarök approaching...something that could make someone as strong as Lo-"

Gabriel immediately jumped in and interrupted Sam, fearing the kid was going to blow his cover. "What the kid here is trying to say is that his brother's acquaintance is actually an angel, Sumy, one who is on friendly terms with the kid and his brother and not so friendly terms with the rest of his family. And since we are reasonably sure that this is their version of Ragnarök that is going down, we think their disappearance might have something to do with that. So, in short, have you seen anything that might indicate that those winged-ass monkeys might be setting up shop in any of the places you have been to lately?"

Sumarlíđr hung his head and sighed. "No, Loki. I am sorry. I can be of no help to you. I have seen no such things as your so called 'winged-ass monkeys'. But if I do, I will tell, you, yes?"

“Yeah, yeah, you do that kid,” Gabriel said as he toed the ground in frustration. “Keep your eyes open and try to stay out of trouble, alright? And if you see your granddad, tell him I said long time, no see and let’s keep it that way.” He paused for a moment then grinned wickedly. “So, now is the time when you show Sam here your part in the act so you can take the matinee show off and the kid can earn his keep?”

Sumarlíđr smiled back at Gabriel as he grabbed Sam by the arm and pulled him toward the stage.

“Wait...what?” Sam protested, dragging his feet and trying to pull away from Sumarlíđr. “I thought earning money your way meant picking up your poker winnings!”

“Oh no, Sammy,” Gabriel answered gleefully. “I promised Sumy here that he could have the afternoon off and we would spend it together. And if I bring in a real squid, then Orville can take some time off, too. You did promise you would try things my way. So the way I see it, this is a win-win scenario.”

All of the color drained from Sam’s face. “You...you wouldn’t!”

“What? Make you do the act, or do the act with a real squid?” Gabriel asked as he pulled a face. “Of course you are doing the act Sammy! You did make a promise after all. I will think about the real squid. Filch might have a heart attack if the Giant Squid disappeared on his watch.”

As Sumarlíđr was showing Sam the details of his act, he paused for a moment and turned back to the Trickster. "Loki, Granddad has mentioned that some of the old ones are...unsettled by the things they have seen lately. They have even considered meeting to talk about what to do. My grandfather has no interest in any such meeting, especially since she is the one who is proposing it."

"You mean?" Gabriel asked as his eyes grew wide with curiosity. Sumarlíđr responded with only a nod. "Well, shit," the angel exclaimed. "That is one more thing we don't need."



Dean looked around at the other twenty some odd people, along with the camera crews and production people standing with him and Cas alongside the Los Angeles River and it took him less than five seconds to figure out how he got here from the woods outside of Independence, CA.

"This just reeks of your brother," Dean hissed as he looked at Cas while trying not to draw attention to himself as some guy named Phil was announcing how their ‘teams’ were supposed to search through a wall of license plates and find one of 11 Japanese plates from Shinagawa, Tokyo, and present it to Phil in order receive tickets for one of two flights from Los Angeles to Tokyo. “Are you sure your mojo is on the fritz? Because there is no way in hell I am playing my role in this little game and getting on a plane anywhere. Your brother can just bite me if he thinks I will be doing that anytime soon.”

“Dean, I have tried several times to get us out of here,” Cas replied on the verge of exasperation, as the angel wandered over to the wall of license plates, easily reading the Japanese symbols, and plucking one off handed it to the man called Phil who glanced at the pair in confusion, though Dean wasn’t sure if it was because Cas so easily solved the puzzle or because they were there in the first place. “I am either cut off from Heaven, or someone is interfering with my powers.”

“So, how did you manage to find that without any mojo?” Dean muttered, motioning to the license plate.

“Just because I am cut off from my power does not mean I am without all of the knowledge I acquired in the years of my existence,” Cas explained. “Finding the correct vehicle identification plate was quite simple once I knew what key words I was looking for.”

As the pair were handed plane tickets to Tokyo, Dean just scowled and headed toward the vehicles provided by the producers. “Damn…I won’t even be able to drive my baby…stupid modern car,” he muttered.

“If he is behind this,” Cas continued, “then knowing my brother, the only way out of this will be to follow through with the game and see where it takes us.”

“And what about Sam?” Dean demanded as he wove his way through Los Angeles traffic. “If Gabriel gives him another TV land venereal disease, I swear I will end him. Oh, hell! Now I need to bleach my brain for even thinking about all the ways that is even possible.”

As they pulled into LAX thirty minutes later, Dean was still complaining. “There is no way I am getting on to an airplane, Cas. NO WAY!”

“I see no other options, Dean,” the angel argued as they walked through the airport to get to the correct gate. “We have to follow through with this.”

As they made their way to their seats, Dean was constantly muttering under his breath about not wanting to be on an airplane and killing Gabriel the first chance he got. It was bad enough they had a camera crew following them, but with the added fuel of Dean’s verbal barrage, he and Cas drew many strange looks from the rest of the passengers. When they finally sat down, Dean fastened his seat belt, gripped the armrests and pressed his eyelids together, trying to prepare for take off, when the world around him faded to black.

Part II


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 28th, 2011 02:19 am (UTC)
Ze Mozzarella Brothers have risen from obscurity to oblivion! :D :D :D
Sep. 28th, 2011 02:38 am (UTC)
I knew you would get the Mozzarella Brothers! It Supreme,Amazing, Incredible and Collosus.I mean Stupendous :)
Sep. 29th, 2011 02:09 am (UTC)
I'm not going to ask who the Mozzarella Brothers are, but rather smirk over the fact that Gabriel is being Gabriel.

*applauds* I really like how this whole thing turned out.
Sep. 29th, 2011 04:57 pm (UTC)
Even though you have been involved in the whole thing from beginning to end, I am glad you like the final product.

As far as the Mozzarella Brothers, rather than telling you, let me show you:


And that song about the circus that Gabriel sings in this section, you might notice is the same one Micky is singing in this clip. It is the theme song to Circus Boy, the show Micky got his start in (hence the icon).
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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