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Rating: SPN/DA Crossover - PG - Gen – AU in the year 2020 clap your hands and believe!
Spoilers: General (for all aired episodes)
Disclaimers: SPN & DA & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Two worlds collide and all three explode.
Alec lost the sound of the restless howling the further he climbed up through the tower’s core.
There was a strong wind coming down the steep passageway, the blowing smog that hung hundreds of feet over the city caught by the open wreck of the saucer and channeled down the stairwell like an engine funneling exhaust. When Alec finally ran out of steps he was out of breath, the blurry sight of the observation deck swimming in and out of focus until he could stop the stutter in his lungs.
The place looked pretty much the same as the last time he’d seen it.
For a 1962 architectural tribute to the glorious future, the monument to mankind had seen better times. No societies of historical preservation were wasting their time trying to keep the paint job authentic when most of the city was being swallowed whole by its own sewer system. Most of the windows that lined the saucer were missing and only half were replaced with a thick plastic tarp. The material was ripped and torn from the constant wind, flapping like rags through the panes across the walls and ceiling. Like every other floor he had passed on his way up, the deck had been gutted by a few decades of squatters.
“I’m here,” Alec whispered into the murk. “And I know you can see me.”
With one last glance towards the dark stairwell, he took a deep breath. Until his backup made it up the 848 steps, this was going to be a solo operation.
“Max?” he ventured in a louder voice. “Max! Where are you!”
He paused by one of the broken windows to look down at the glow of the city lights.
Max used to escape here all the time for some solace. It had always annoyed him that she acted like it was some magic spot in the clouds that she could pretend to be alone. But to her defense, the old landmark wasn’t trespassed very often. Besides a few brave artists that liked to beautify the saucer with panoramas of spray paint, no one came up here unless they were thinking of jumping off.
“You hiding, Ames? You scared of me?”
A ripple of static answered him this time, brushing against his brain like it wanted to more than just to touch. Alec thought of the trick he and Sam had pulled off on the street below and wondered if he was still protecting himself from White in the same way. Bracing himself for anything, he took another careful look around the large round room.
It appeared deserted but his new senses could detect another heartbeat.
The sudden sound of Max’s voice made him stiffen up, his battle stance loosening joints and tightening muscles.
Her silhouette slowly separated from a shadow under one of the windows. Seated at the bottom of the empty frame, she gave him a small friendly wave. Alec had had no idea what kinds of weird crap he was going to find during a hell’s gate ceremony but Max sitting around enjoying the view wasn’t one of them.
“Quite a turn out down there, huh?” she leaned back and rested an elbow on a knee. “White says when this whole thing really gets started it’s gonna get even more busy. You know, limited seating and all.”
Alec stepped closer, aware of her battle readiness even at rest, and felt all the fear he’d stifled threaten to take over again. He clenched his jaw when her eyes became visible with the rest of her bruised face, but there was no glossy black from pupil to retina. The vacant fierceness to her gaze still wasn’t hers though. Neither was the subtle twitch of her smile.
She pointed at the glitter of the city below.
“Anyone left in the sectors are going to start running to the check points to get out,” her laugh was breathless and strange. “Then it’ll be easy to pick them off, one by one. Like an assembly line.”
Alec searched the dark for any sign that this place was going to be used to tear open a doorway to another dimension. It would have been nice to see a stone altar dripping with blood complete with red candles. But there was nothing to be seen but left over trash and broken beer bottles.
“I-It’s okay now,“ Alec stammered. “I’m here to—“
Alec gave up on explaining and just put up his fists.
“I knew you’d show up eventually,” Max sighed and got to her feet. “Ames kept having his doubts but I kept telling him, just wait. Alec is like a roach. You can’t keep 494 out of the good stuff no matter how hard you try.”
“What’d they do to you, Max?”
“Ya jealous?” she asked.
Alec winced when he saw the smile grow on her ruined face. They’d spent some quality time breaking down X5-452. Dismantling her physically in ways that only a transgenic could survive. He couldn’t even begin to think what they might have done to her head.
“You’ll be just like me soon,” she said. “I thought my Manticore implants were good but ever since I handed over the controls I’ve gotten all sorts of nifty new upgrades. I can see and hear everything now. I could even hear you down there saying goodbye to daddy.”
Alec stepped closer.
“By the way, ten years sure is a long time,” Max cracked a shoulder and flexed a fist. “You sure those guys really were looking for a family reunion? Because with this gate all greased and ready to go, I’d think they’d only show up now to make sure you didn’t screw everything up.”
“I gotta ask,” Alec forced a smile back. “Do these demon packages always come with a free side of babbling? Because every one I’ve met so far sure likes to run at the mouth.”
Max’s smile faded into a grim angry line. “You think the Winchesters are going to adopt a demonic transgenic and go for a family road trip?” she demanded. “Christmas Eve and birthday parties? Are you really that fucking stupid, Alec?”
Alec tensed when her anger brought her into the weak light pooled in the center of the room. He had no delusions about the hope of matching her in full physical combat. And with the added bonus of whatever she was juiced on now, he had no idea if he could hold his own for even a few minutes despite her injuries. But he knew one thing. As long as she was talking she wasn’t trying to kill him, and that bought some time.
“I’m the stupid one?” he added a small laugh that never failed to annoy Max in any incarnation. “I’m not the one making deals.”
Alec felt sick as soon as the words left his mouth. If Max’s indoctrination was anything like his encounter with Meg-Demon then he knew there weren’t a ton of options involved. There was only manipulation and pain. And when the minds of Manticore got creative they really knew how to get the most stubborn of their progeny into cooperation mode.
“The Winchesters are gonna use you like the tool you are,” Max hissed. “Maybe like a pet blood hound to keep in the backseat. When you’re a good boy they’ll let you run out on a chain to sniff out all the corpses.“
“Shut up,” Alec didn’t like the tremor in his voice. “It-It's not like that."
“We are your family,” Max pointed at her chest. “This is where you belong.”
He didn’t see her coming, just felt her weight as he was savagely knocked to the ground. Every defensive strike his body automatically engaged in was deflected, his arms forced down over his head with only one of her hands. Alec struggled for a few moments before knowing brute force was a lost cause.
“Max,” he breathed around the grip crushing this throat. “W-Whatever they did to you, it’s not too late, we can leave, we can get out of here—“
“Shhhhh,” her finger pressed against his mouth. “Ames White gave me what Manticore never did. He gave me a choice.”
The distinction of White being somehow apart from Manticore momentarily confused him. “He’s going to kill people, Max,” Alec gasped. “Everybody we know is going to be dead if we don’t do something!”
“Not everybody,” Max said quietly. “White said he’d save Logan. The others too if-if I did what he said.”
“He’s lying!” Alec tried. “You have to listen to me!“
The determined look in her dark eyes faltered but her fingers continued to squeeze at his larynx. Alec’s vision whitened as his air supply was pinched off and stars began bursting behind his eyes. But then her crushing hold suddenly went slack. To his dazed disbelief he watched her sit up and work her shaking fists into his jacket.
“A-Alec, I’m sorry,” she drew in a shuddering breath “I can’t stop it now. I can’t—“
“All right, it’s all right,” Alec repeated it over and over to her. “I’ll get you out of here.” His own trembling hands smoothed back her hair as she crumpled on top of him. He could get them both out of here if she let him. Logan would know a way to help her and if he didn’t then his father would know what to do. Alec rolled over onto his knees, and shouldered Max up close. He didn’t know how long she was going to play nice and he had to move fast.
But pure animal instinct made him go very still.
Alec felt a chill wash down his spine and knew they were not alone. He didn’t have to look around to find the man that had brought them all here. Ames White was standing just a few yards away in the doorway Alec had come from. The agent was dressed in a pressed suit, hands placed causally in the trouser pockets. But his attention wasn’t fixed on them.
The agent was looking at the colorful graffiti that covered the walls.
“Have you read this?” White asked in disgust. “It’s written all over the place.”
The wall beside them was one layer after another of spray paint but one quote had been carefully etched out over the scrawl of the rest. It was one of the passages by TS Eliot that Alec had been made to memorize during his studies as a child.
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
“Poets,” White growled. ”Don’t you just want to tell the miserable bastards to look on the bright side every now and then?”
Max sagged against Alec’s side and clutched at his arm. Alec realized she was trying to stand up but she couldn’t. Her body temperature was skyrocketing along with a sulfuric scent coming off her skin that made Alec want to spit. Ames White was using the ‘key’ to open his gate and it seemed to be a slow process that didn’t involve any Indiana Jones props.
Alec realized with a flare of panic that he didn’t know what to do to stop this. How was he supposed to stop something that he couldn't even see? Squeezing his eyes shut, he listened through the jumble of static in his head for some sign of his father’s voice. He eased a hand into his jacket and felt the weight of the colt.
“Do you believe in prophecy, 494?”
Alec blinked in confusion up into the agent’s pure black eyes.
“All of this was always meant to be,” White leaned against the verse on the wall and crossed his arms. “This world will fade away quietly until no one knows where hell starts and earth begins. Our plan takes years. Our plan is the one that will work.”
“Yeah, I know all about the plan,” Alec muttered. “Breeding, keys, locks and whatever—“
“Not my father’s plan. Sandeman was a fool.”
Alec’s mind was suddenly assaulted with new pictures and words.
“Oh, all of Hell has factions and it gets crowded at the top,” White grinned. “Sandeman was never my boss. Neither was Azazel.”
Alec groaned as images of Colonel Lydecker flashed with his eyes boiling an angry yellow. His true name of Azazel had been withheld from all the human beings that had served him. Alec searched White’s face for any sign that a human still existed underneath there somewhere. All Alec saw staring back at him was alien and cold. There was nothing left inside this shell, the demon had smoldered inside the flesh for too long and burned it all away.
The colt lay heavy and cold in his lap.
White ignored it and knelt down to look him in the eye. “My boss is on the fast track to success and She has a much better take on how to run this miserable planet. Not with mongrels but with Her Chosen.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
Ames White was nonplussed by the blasphemy. “Her children are down there waiting to become an army. Some will go into government. The church. The military. Even the entertainment biz. We are waiting all over the world to take our places as this planet’s ruling elite.”
“You’re out of your fucking mind.”
“Don’t worry, 494,” White patted Alec’s cheek hard. “You’ll get your chance to serve Her. In fact, we’ll need a powerful one like you for New York City in a few years. But we can keep you nice and comfortable until then.”
“Yer a fancy half-breed too, right? So why don’t you do it?” Alec snarled. “Sounds like a great big fat honor.”
“Sorry. Not my destiny,” White sighed. “I have another role to play.”
Alec was distracted by something flickering overhead. There was another source of light in the dim room that wasn’t coming from the outside. It looked like he’d been all wrong about the lack of embellishment in the ceremonial ribbon cutting. Along with the graffiti there had been something else carved into the walls, floors and ceiling. Bright molten red ran fluidly through the twists and curve of symbols like blood, lighting up the room like a neon sign.
“You see 494, I wasn’t born just to die.”
Max cried out and slumped heavily in Alec's arms. He tried to hold onto her as she writhed, sobs tearing from the back of her throat as the light oozed down the walls and began to flow across the floor.
Ames White smirked. “I was born to reign.”
Alec steadied the revolver and aimed it at the center of the agent’s forehead. White studied the old pistol before smiling at the transgenic indulgently. Clearing his throat and adjusting his silk tie, the man prepared to speak.
Alec stopped him with a raised hand. “I know what you’re gonna say,” he assured him. “Your death won’t stop a thing? Why waste a perfectly good mystical bullet? The gate will be opened regardless of your brain splatter and so on and so forth…?”
White’s gaze narrowed.
“But I’m okay with all that,” Alec told him. “See ya on the other side, Ames.”
He had a fraction of a second to enjoy seeing the agent’s eyes widen before he pulled the trigger. He had another few moments to watch the man’s body fall lifelessly to the ground before the room soundlessly ignited. Then all he could see was the fire. Groping in the rain of flames he found Max’s body and hauled her up. He started moving where he knew the stairs were, the roar and boom of the air ripping overhead deafening him to nothing but the jagged sound of his own breathing.
But in the middle of the chaos he heard a far off voice.
“Sam?” Alec heard himself rasp. “Sam, I couldn’t stop it. I couldn’t—“
This way, Alec...
The sound of Sam’s voice grew louder and louder until Alec stumbled and felt the cool concrete of the stairwell under his hands. He pulled Max down each flight of stairs, his eyes watering from the searing smoke as it churned and boiled down the walls. Alec dully realized that something else was rushing through the flames with them. The flitting shapes that whisked overhead were demons seeping through the gate’s cracks, fleeing their prison and rushing towards the waiting disciples below. He forced his legs to keep moving even when he could barely draw in another lung full of charred air. Max was limp in his arms, and soon the steady descent down into the orange glare convinced him that a rift had really torn open underneath them. The entrance to hell was a gaping chasm that had heaved wide like a wound in the earth that lead nowhere forever. His hands felt out the start of another flight of stairs in the smother of smoke, the railing blistering hot under his touch.
Alec staggered to his knees.
Pure adrenaline got him up two more times before he tumbled painfully down onto the slope of the steps. Max’s body was warm on top of his. He hadn’t let her go.
“Damn it,” he growled. “Get up. Get up. Get up.”
It took him a moment to realize he actually was getting up. But Alec spent a few more confounded moments to understand he wasn’t moving on his own power. He was being lifted and a wet cloth was dragged over his eyes and mouth, a momentary relief from the sting of smoke and blinding ash. Someone had taken Max from him—
“Easy!” someone said. “Take it easy!”
Alec struggled for another second, thinking that one of those freaks in the robes had found him. They were going to drag him the rest of the way to Hades if he couldn’t make the journey fast enough on his own. He twisted in their hands, hoping to send them all crashing down the next flight of stairs and snap all of their necks on the way—
“Settle down,” Sam’s voice was strained. “We got you.”
Alec stilled, his hands feeling for the face he couldn’t see.
“The girl is still breathing, Sammy,” Dean was nearby. “We gotta move. Let’s go! Let’s go!”
Alec felt Sam’s grip on him tighten as they emerged suddenly into fresh air. Stumbling blind behind his father, he knew they had somehow made it outside. They had done it. They had gotten out. But the bewildered moans of White’s followers were all around them. Thousands and thousands of the cult were all still eager to receive what they’d been promised. Alec felt their hands tear at his clothing as Sam pushed them through the crushing throng. When they were unable to go any further, his father shoved Alec between himself and Dean, closing a circle with Max at its center. Alec tried to focus his blurry eyes and could see nothing but his father’s shirt pressed against his face.
“Can you help me?” Sam whispered. “Just one more time.”
The bubble came easy this time.
He didn’t have to open his eyes to see the sphere of light spreading out from his center and joining with something larger and brighter at his side. The surge of energy expanded and extinguished the cries from the hordes around them like a soft breath to a candle flame. Somewhere behind them Alec could feel the hell gate slowly grinding to a halt on its pivot and begin to reverse its direction. The key was gone from the lock and so was all the magic to create the path. The outraged shriek of the whipping black hell’s spawn quieted as the door sealed back in their faces. As the waver of light surrounding them quietly grew and grew, Alec faded and faded until all he knew was that they were moving again.
“Am I still here?”
His father laughed softly.
The bubble of light had grown so big he could feel everything that existed within a mile around them. Every inch of pavement, each molecule of air, and everything in between was in his hands. Alec could see Logan hidden safely and waiting for them just a few blocks ahead. He could feel each beat of Max’s heart as it grew stronger and faster with every step that took her further from the tower. He could hear the steady tread of Sam and Dean’s boots on the asphalt on either side of him. Alec's own footsteps faltered and his father quickly picked him the rest of the way up... He could go higher if he wanted, the trees, the clouds, the satellites, the stars—
"That's enough," his father held him close. "You have to stop now."
Alec reluctantly loosened his grasp and as quickly as it had ballooned and stretched, the bubble swiftly receded. It rushed back to its source, shrinking rapidly into a size so small that left Alec with his hands cupped over his pounding heart. The hot flow of blood pooled over his upper lip and he licked at it, wondering if a nosebleed was the only price for popping all his own circuit breakers at once.
The streets were filled with fallen bodies. The red robes looked like blood but there wasn't a single mark on any one of them.
"We did that," Alec said. "We killed them."
Sam touched his forehead to Alec's with a pained sigh.
Feeling the last of his energy wane, Alec allowed himself to slip the rest of the way under. But before he was gone completely, an uneasiness settled among the drift of his thoughts. After it was said and done, it had turned out that Ames White had been right.
The end had been as quiet as the fall of the rain.
to be epilogued...
go to part 15 & Epilogue *Completed*