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Summary: Even as a hit man and a messenger, Balthazar and Castiel manage to having something in common with the angels their gang has been using for decades.
Word Count: 3856
Characters: Balthazar, Castiel, Gabriel
Pairings: Balthazar/Castiel
Tags: Death, Violence (not graphic), Blood


Castiel’s vision blurred as his eyes shifted slowly to the left, the police lights streaking into a fading line, the sirens morphing to a low drone. An unnamed weight kept him frozen, and his body felt heavy as he turned. It was a feeling of panic… of excitement. Then everything zoned back in, in a sudden speed of movement, car sirens squealing harshly, gunshot piercing the dark air and the atmosphere thick and clouded with the cold breath of violent killers around him.

Castiel wasn’t even supposed to be here… he was the runner, the paper boy, the bottom of the pile and trying to crawl his way up. A man out of place.

There's a soft brush of fingers and Balthazar is there, gentle but firm, pressing a small pistol against his palm, staring intensely into his eyes for a brief and heated moment. Balthazar’s other hand curled firmly into Castiel’s hair, pulling him forward in one quick jerk and planting a biting, desperate kiss against his numb lips. Then he’s gone, vanished into the dark chaos of the brawl. Just a blip of noise fading away, not a single man but a member of a higher power, a corner piece of a jigsaw already falling apart, but Castiel’s eyes still followed him, unblinking and hot until he feels they would crack like hot coals.

His breathing is a deafening echo in his ears, skin tingling with electric awareness, and he blinks. Turns. Shoots into the dark.

~~~

“Here boy, another job for you.” Cas’ boss called over to him, and he felt like a dog being called. It no longer bothered him; after doing this job for so long he knew how dangerous being a runner really was and the opinions of others stopped bothering him. “Address is on the top. Payment for a job well done. Maybe one day you will be able to say the same.” Cas tried to bite his tongue, but was saved when another colleague in the corner intervened.

“Was that the double cross case? How did that play out in the end?”

“From what I heard he shot the guy in the kneecaps right in front of his daughter, then made him kneel and beg for him to spare his daughter’s life. Shot them both in the head when he got bored. Probably not before he had a bit of fun with the girl, right lads?” They both burst out laughing; Cas slinked away without them noticing.

It’s not that Cas didn’t understand the world he worked for, it’s just he preferred to stay in his part of it. Safe, comfortable, routine. Delivering parcels and messages, extra-long lunch breaks at White Castle where they brought him his usual, and home in time for sports updates on the radio.

He contemplated what he would make for dinner as he knocked on the office door. “Rent collector!” he called, using the code he thought was too obvious by now to even be worth using. “Balthazar?” he asked, as someone opened the door.

“Are you one of the ones trying to kill me or pay me?”

“… Pay you?”

“Ahh good, come in then.” Cas was unsure what to do once inside; usually he just hands over the package and leaves (what sort of rent collector gives money? He really should talk to someone about their code).

“Drink?” Balthazar held up a bottle of something- it was hard to tell what they were drinking these days.

“It’s 2 in the afternoon.”

“Congratulations, you can tell the time. Good for you.” Balthazar smirked, as he poured out the ambiguous liquid into two glasses. “A toast to me, a job well done.” He winked, before downing his drink. Cas was conflicted about drinking during work hours when there was a knock at the door.

“No chance you guys decided to pay me twice?” Cas shook his head slightly, confused. “Then they’re here to try and kill me. Come on.” He spoke, his tone eerily calm considering the situation he was in. Balthazar downed Cas’ drink as well, before grabbing his arm and dragging him out the back window.

“Where are we going?” Cas panted- all his walking didn’t give him stamina enough to keep up with the other’s pace.

“Madam Arlington’s, she’s got a room we can rent for a few hours.”

“We’re going to a brothel?” Cas gulped.

“It’s not a brothel, it’s a motel.”

“One that you pay for by the hour?”

“Yes.”

“So it’s a sex motel?”

“Why are you trying to make this dirty? Face of an angel, mind and body of a whore, I swear.”

“Excu-“

“We’re here!” They walked in, Cas tripping over himself as Balthazar still had a firm grip on his arm.

“Hello boys.” A woman greeted them, smiling warmly; an anachronism in this world. “Who are you hiding from this time Balthy?”

“Don’t you worry about it, we’ll just need to be here for a few hours.”

“I bet.” She said, glancing at Cas. “Need me to phone anyone for you?”

“Of course not, I’m fine on my own,” Cas protested, finally getting his bearings. She sighed and handed over a set of keys.

“So what now?” Cas asked once they were safely inside their room. Bored, he pulled the curtains open to let some light in before Balthazar smacked it away roughly. He scowled, rubbing his hand as he retreated from the window.

“Guess we just have to amuse ourselves. What do ya say, Cassie? They don’t call me Johnny tight lipped for nothing.” He winked again at him. Castiel gulped.

“I wasn’t aware anyone called you that, I thought your problem is you don’t know when to keep your mouth shut.” He watched Balthazar’s bright eyes darken suddenly.

“Harsh words from the cugine.”

Castiel opened his mouth, to retort or apologise, he wasn’t quite sure, but Balthazar had launched himself onto the bed and was rifling through the drawers.

“Well if you’re not going to be of any fun, guess I’ll have to resort to my usual.” He twisted to sit against the headboard, and Cas made out a flash of gold leaf in the gloom.

“Is that –”

“Oh you want to talk know?” Balthazar shot coolly from behind the hard bound spine. “What’s the problem? You think because I clip guys for points I don’t care about the Good Book?”

“You just don’t seem the type.” The Bible thumped to the floor and Balthazar folded his hands behind his head, grin firmly back in place. Castiel guessed that had been a compliment.

“You know,” the killer on the bed drawled. “I imagine there’s only one thing that’s been in as many hotel rooms as I have. The Gideon Bible. I must have read through it a dozen times.”

“Learn anything?”

“Certainly. Do you know how many times angels are made reference to in these pages?” He hauled the book back onto the thin duvet. “Two hundred,” he continued, tapping out a march with his nails on the front, “and seventy three. Now all those times gets a guy thinking. What would you gamble are the jobs most accredited to angels?”

Castiel’s eyes darted from Balthazar’s face to the book and back again, not entirely sure how the conversation had arrived at this point, nor really what the point was.

“Praising God...?” That grin again.

“You’d think so, but that’s the boring part, no,” he had swung up onto his knees, with almost a childish glee in expressing his theory, shifting to the foot so he was barely an arm’s length away. “Angels... are assassins.”

Castiel stared.

“You’ve heard of Sodom and Gomorrah?” Castiel nodded in response. “That shithole was nothing. An angel is sent to kill 70,000 in the first book of Corinthians. The second book of Kings has an angel slaughtering 185,000 soldiers. Hell, they say it’s God versus the devil, but it was an angel that chucked him out of the pearly gates. Satan’s an angel himself.”

“I get it,” Cas mumbled, suddenly feeling a little sick. He had been staring at his knees, and started when Balthazar gripped his shoulder. He hadn’t noticed him leaving the bed.

“No, I don’t think you do, because that’s only one of their jobs.”

“And the other?” Balthazar’s grip tightened.

“Messengers. The word ‘angel’ means messenger.”

Oh.

“Oh.” It was a small sound, but Balthazar caught it. He let go, spinning on his heel to investigate the kitchenette.

“‘Oh’ is right. Do you see, Cassie? We may be running with the crooks who took the name - ‘The Angels of Detroit’, fuhgeddaboudit,” he spat, and a shot glass five feet away plinked neatly. “But we, us...” he turned, arms wide. “We may as well be the real deal.”

There was a silence, and he continued to nose, occasionally lobbing something that caught his eye onto his coat, spread on the bed. Cas’ eyes returned to the glowing curtains, listening to the sluggish traffic three floors below. Except something was breaking the monotony. Not a siren, or a horn, or even a stalling engine. A ripping roar was coursing through the hot air, cutting through it as though it were butter. He jumped up. Balthazar hadn’t heard, or didn’t know what he was hearing, and didn’t react until Castiel looked outside.

“I told you not to do that!” he snapped, as a chink of sunset fell across the counter.

“It’s Gabriel,” Cas breathed, pressing his forehead against the grimy glass to see.

“Ah,” Balthazar sounded mildly interested. “The messenger of the Lord himself.” When Cas turned to frown he was simply met with another grin. “Gabe gets all the intel in the Book. Virgin Mary, the coming of Revelation, start to end. Is there any chance he is not here for us?”

There was a knock on the door.

“‘Parently not.” Balthazar vaulted the counter and in two steps was in front of Cas, eyes on the door. “You heavy?”

“I’m – what?”

“Packed. Loaded. Safe.” Castiel’s hand fumbled and there was a click.

“Wow, a six shooter. They really care about you.” It was wrenched from his hand and Cas felt a Beretta being pressed into his palm.

“Will I need this?”

“Have you met Gabriel, Castiel?”

“I’ve seen him.”

“But he’s never given you any news.” Balthazar inched forwards. “Take it from me, if he’s not visiting you to give an invitation you can’t refuse, he’s here to land a pile of shit on those shined shoes.” Cas opened his mouth, but Balthazar had reached the door.

“Balthazar.” On the surface, the smirk of the man in the doorway could have matched Balthazar’s muscle for muscle, but when Cas looked closer – something he never thought he’d dare to do – they looked nothing alike. Cold, golden eyes found Cas over the killer’s shoulder. “And you have company. Good. It’s all hands on deck.”

“He’s not a hand,” Balthazar said in a low growl.

“Looks like one to me. Orders are friends, family, associates, anyone who gives a damn who they pay their protection points to, all have to head to the north line.”

“What’s north?”

“Hellhounds, my friend. They’re holed up in a house of the unholy pleasure, clear breach of territorial agreement, and it’s going to be our pleasure to smoke ‘em out. Wheels are waiting. Bring your goomah.” And then he was gone. Balthazar slowly turned his head, and smiled, ever so faintly.

“Jesus, Cassie. Did you have him in your sights the whole time? No wonder he paid attention.” Castiel blinked, then let the gun fall to his side. In two steps Balthazar was face to face with him again.

“Not even a tremor,” he murmured, laying a hand on Castiel’s grip. He studied the wary blue eyes once more. “You may survive yet.”

Without letting go of the hand, he made for the door.

The edges of their territory that the Hellhounds had chosen was at least half an hour away, and Balthazar made use of that time. On their way out of the car, all Castiel could think of was his training; the proper way to hold a gun, gauging the recoil, where to shoot to kill and where to shoot to injure. Balthazar, for his part, seemed like he was preparing for a night on the town. Castiel guessed that once you’ve killed a few dozen men, murder was about as commonplace as moonshine.

“Need a smoke, kid? You look spooked,” Balthazar commented, his lips quirked up in that same damned smile he always wore.

“I’ll be fine,” he replied, the Beretta in the inside pocket of his jacket weighing him down like a cement brick; this confrontation might as well be the ocean, for all that he felt like he was drowning.

Balthazar stared at him for several moments before he replied. “You ever kill a man, blue eyes?” Castiel felt the colour drain out of his face, mostly because of his nonchalance rather than the subject itself.

“I’m an errand boy; they didn’t give me a Beretta for a reason,” came his tight-lipped reply.

“It shouldn’t come to that, but if it does, think of it as bringing eternal peace to troubled men.” Balthazar’s grin spread, baring his teeth. “That’s what I tell my priest, anyway.”

How could Castiel not be enraptured when he said things like that? He was always charming in the worst situations, somehow debonair in spite of (or perhaps, because of?) the blood on his hands. There was a thrill creeping up his spine, adrenaline making his muscles tense for the inevitability of the fight and Castiel didn’t even realize he was smiling until Balthazar’s laughter brought him back out of his head.

“’Atta boy!” He tilted his head back, his laughter more carefree than Castiel could have expected from a hit man, but Balthazar had always surprised him.

“I want you to teach me. I want to do what you do.” The words were out of his mouth before he realized it, and Castiel knew it was the heat of the moment making him brave. It wasn’t his place to say anything like that – he’d get moved up when his superior’s thought he was ready.

Never a man to stand on custom, though, Balthazar leaned forward, his knees knocking against Cas’, boxing the blue-eyed man against the door. “Being what I am requires a certain amount of intimacy with death and violence, Cassie. You can never lose your composure.”

Ignoring their driver, Balthazar flashed Castiel a wicked grin, one hand popping the top buttons of his shirt, the other shifting to rest against his thigh – he could always say he was testing Cas’ mettle if anyone asked. “Do you think you can do that, blue eyes?” His breath ghosted over Castiel’s collarbone, and the darker haired man shifted, swallowing heavily.

Remaining perfectly still, Cas managed to nod, his heart a drum in his ears. He couldn’t process Balthazar’s last words until the blond shifted away from him, the car door creaking as it opened. “Good. We’re here.”

~~~

Everything happened in a flash, the deafening sound of the gunshot, Balthazar’s cry as he went down followed quickly by a quick succession of three shots. Castiel blinked, dropping his hands from his ears as he peered around the corner at the damage. Balthazar was leaning against the side of the car that they’d arrived in. Quickly Castiel ran towards him.

“There you are,” Balthazar breathed, gripping tight to his side, hissing as he slipped on his own blood. He didn’t care that he was hurt. What mattered was that the Hellhound bigshot was dead. And that his Cassie – yes somewhere along the way Castiel had become his – was safe. “I got him,” he told Castiel when the runner caught him holding him up, he didn’t complain that the other was holding him close, too close than was necessary.

“And he got you pretty bad too.” Castiel was panicking at the sticky warm feel of blood on his hands as he shifted Balthazar, slowly maneuvering to a kneeling position. The blood was everywhere, like he’d bathed in it. It wasn’t a good sign at all. “Balthazar?” he calls the man’s name softly when he doesn’t reply.

Balthazar grins up at him, hiding the pain. He doesn’t want Castiel to worry about him. He’s been so brave, coming here with him, putting himself in danger. “It’s fine. I’m fine,” he says, but he can feel a sluggish feeling about to drag him under. He doesn’t want to go under, not yet. Not when everything is over and he has so much left to say. Balthazar perks up at the sound of the wailing sirens of the police getting closer. “Damn. You should go Cassie, get out of here.”

“No I’m going to stay here with you,” Castiel says adamant, he wouldn’t even think about leaving. Not after Balthazar’s kiss. No. There was something between them, something that they had not acknowledged, something that they had neglected for all this time and had only allowed to blossom in the midst of all the chaos.

“So…stubborn,” Balthazar whispers placing his hand over Castiel’s and giving him a weak smile as he leans against him getting comfortable. “Wonder what I’d do without you Cassie…” he rasped before unwillingly he slips into the dark clutches of unconsciousness.

He had minutes to shrug out of his coat and fasten it around Balthazar’s torso in the hopes of stopping the bleeding, the sound of the wailing sirens in the background coming ever closer. Castiel thought that he might make it as he stumbled away from the scene with Balthazar draped over his shoulder. But they never got away. They never made it out of the alley.

Castiel didn’t know how to fight back like this as the authorities closed in around them, weapons pointed at them. All eager and ready to fire. He knew it was useless to fight but he did so anyway. He took Balthazar’s gun, raising it as he turned to face the cops.

“Drop your weapons boy-o we got you now,” one of them said as he came forward, gun trained on Castiel.

“No. I-I’ll shoot,” Castiel threatens, firing once at the ground near the officer’s feet and making him jump.

“That’s enough, I don’t want to lose men on my team,” the senior officer says as he pulls his man back in line, then he turns to them, “You’re under arrest for disruption of peace, numerous counts of murder and other offences. Anything you say can and will be held against you, you have the right to an attorney before the trial.”

As he reaches for Balthazar, Castiel stops him his grip tightening around the senior officer’s wrist.

“He’s hurt,” Castiel growls, protective of the injured Balthazar.

“What happened?”

“He got shot,” Castiel said. “He’ll bleed to death. If you want your damned justice you would want him alive. Isn’t that right?”

The officer doesn’t answer but he tells his men to keep their weapons and they help to load Balthazar into the back of the squad car.

“Can I go with him?” Castiel asks the senior officer.

He nods grimly, “Get in the back,” he says and obediently Castiel gets into the car beside Balthazar who is propped up against the seat. The coat that is awkwardly tied around his waist is saturated in blood. He waits in the back of the squad car until the officer slides into the driver’s seat and starts the engine, driving off. Castiel doesn’t know how long it is till they get to the hospital.

He’s lucky that the senior officer hasn’t snapped cuffs on him or decided to pat him down, he can still feel the Beretta heavy against his chest and it comforts him. At least he has a form of defense. As they stop at the traffic light his eyes dart to the rearview mirror. Castiel doesn’t see any cars in the background. They have a chance. He has a chance to strike. And he takes it.

One shot through the head is all it takes. He’s made his first kill.

Shoving the officer’s corpse into the passenger’s seat, Castiel takes the wheel and floors the gas pedal, headed into the night straight for the hospital. He is a killer, just like Balthazar. And now they are wanted men.




Track Listing:

1. The Cab – Angel With a Shotgun

Get out your guns, battles begun,
Are you a saint, or a sinner?
If loves a fight, than I shall die,
With my heart on a trigger.


2. The Hoosiers – Killer

It's alright to scream
I'm screaming too,
Why'd you think I do these things I do?
For shadows haunted me like ghosts,
So I became what I feared the most

3. M83 – Midnight City

Waiting for a roar
Looking at the mutating skyline
The city is my church
It wraps me in the sparkling twilight


4. Sixx: AM – This Is Gonna Hurt

You got your hell together
You know it could be worse
A self-inflicted murder
Maybe maybe
You say it's all a crisis
You say it's all a blur
There comes a time you've gotta face it face it


5. Ellie Goulding – Guns & Horses

I left my house
Left my clothes
Door wide open
Heaven knows
You're so worth it, you are


6. Ellie Goulding – Burn

We, we don't have to worry 'bout nothing
'Cause we got the fire, and we're burning one hell of a something
They, they gonna see us from outer space
Light it up, like we're the stars of the human race

7. 30 Seconds to Mars – This Is War

It's the moment of truth, and the moment to lie,
The moment to live and the moment to die,
The moment to fight, the moment to fight,
To fight, to fight, to fight!

8. FOB – The Phoenix

Hey young blood
Doesn't it feel like our time is running out?
I'm gonna change you like a remix
Then I'll raise you like a phoenix
Put on your war paint

9. Two Steps From Hell – Heart of Courage

Instrumental


10. Breaking Benjamin – Into the Nothing

Carry the wounded and shut your eyes
All will be forgiven
None will rise
Bury the fallen and lead the blind
I will fight the loss
Dead inside


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SRS 2013 Main Round 1

October 2013

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