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Title: Checkpoint (Los Desaparecidos, Chapter 1 of 6)
Fandom: Supernatural
Author: tikistitch
Rating: PG-13
Characters/Pairings: Dean/Castiel (eventually); Sam, Bobby, Rufus, Ellen, Jo, Crowley
Warnings: AU. Cursing. Some hints of Dean/Jo, so if you loathe that pairing, steer clear.
Word Count: 4,000 for this chapter.
Summary: A dystopian AU where the United States is an authoritarian regime run by mysterious overlords. John Winchester disappeared when Sam and Dean were very young so the boys were not raised as hunters. Then one day Dean has a chance encounter with a strange homeless man who may be more than he seems.
Notes: I think this will be five or six chapters total. Unless no one reads it (the usual fate of my stories) in which case I will simply hit it on the head with a shovel and bury it in the back yard).

Dean's stomach tightened as soon as he glimpsed what was up ahead. He knew all he needed to do was keep his damn mouth shut and just smile and nod. But shutting up and going along happened to be the two things he was worst at.

He eased off on the Impala's throttle. Just mellow out until your sorry ass is through the checkpoint, he told himself. This was the reason he didn't live in the city. The main reason. Too many of them.

A line of bright orange cones constricted his open highway down to one narrow lane. Dean slowed the Imapala to a crawl and cranked the window down. He cruised into the short line of cars and waited his turn.

Suddenly there was a burly arm sticking in his window. “Papers,” came the electronically modified voice. This was one of the Deathtroopers. Or at least that's what Dean called them: black kevlar-padded suit crowned by a smooth black helmet. Dude didn't even bother to raise his visor. They never did. Whether suited up like this, or in the normal uniform with their reflective shades, you never saw their eyes. Never. Not Ever.

Dean wasn't quite sure why this little detail bothered him so much, but it did. He silently handed over his papers: license to drive, the Impala's registration, permit to buy gas for the vehicle, his visa to come into the city, another visa to get back, blah blah blahdy-blah.

The officer straightened up and stepped back, one hand on the papers, another on the gun in his belt. While Dean affected nonchalance, secretly gritting his teeth, the dude (or lady, who the fuck could tell under all the padding) gave the car a once over. This was bad. His single least favorite thing was when they gave him shit over the car. He watched the others sauntering back and forth, cocky as hell, weapons at their hips. He wondered how tough they'd be without all that gear.

The black-gloved hand was back near his window. “Is this vehicle fully licensed?”

“Yes sir. You have my papers there, sir,” said Dean. Sir? Well, it was a guess, but it wouldn't hurt.

The goon gave the papers another inspection. Put up your fucking visor, said Dean's brain. Then maybe could read the fine print, idiot. The Deathtrooper beckoned for one of his buddies, and now there were two helmets pressed together mulling over the stacks of government forms.

Dean raked a sleeve over his forehead. Sweating. This was taking too long. You didn't wanna show the cops you were nervous: they took that as a sign of guilt. They took anything as a sign of guilt.

But suddenly, Dean was looking at a handful of papers in his face. He grabbed them and looked out his window. A black gloved hand gestured for him to move it. He didn't delay. Tossing the papers to the passenger seat, he put it in drive and punched the gas.

He checked the rearview and realized why they had finished with him. The next car back. He hadn't even noticed them driving up behind them. They had surrounded the car, and were dragging the driver out, kicking and screaming. Not a way to behave with these guys, Dean thought.


The passenger side had opened, and as Dean watched, eyes glued to the rearview now, a figure darted away. Bad, bad, BAD idea. Poor son of a bitch.

He forced himself to fix his eyes to the road.

And cringed at the report. Several guns. All firing.

Poor dead son of a bitch.

Dean had left the Impala parked on the street a couple blocks away because he couldn't stand shutting her in the basement parking garage. But that meant enter Sam's dingy office building at the front door. It was usually pretty boring, but not today. Today there was a shabby homeless dude, off to one side, holding up a hand painted sign that read REPENT THE LORD IS NIGH.

Dean smiled. Poor crazy bastard. He cast his eyes around: for once, no cops. He decided to play Good Samaritan, even though he suspected it would do nothing. With one final look over his shoulder, he altered his path to near where the guy was standing.

“Hey, you! You might wanna move out of here,” he said quietly and apologetically, being very careful not to meet the guy's eyes. No telling if he would start screaming or preaching or what. “If the cops spot you holding that sign, they'll kick your ass. Or worse.”

Hearing no reply, Dean risked a glance over. The homeless dude fixed him in a stare. Oddly, up close the eyes looked sharp, not out of focus as Dean had expected. He looked quite intelligent, actualy. Not quite knowing why, Dean dropped his gaze, staring at his own shoes for a moment, blushing slightly. There was something unnerving about this guy.

Dean nodded, and started to leave.

“The Lord has plans for you, Dean Winchester.”

Dean stopped dead. He turned around to look at the Jesus freak, but the guy just smiled enigmatically.

Don't get involved. This voice was definitely inside his head. He had misheard. He must have. Dean took his own advice, turned around one more time, and made for the entrance of Niveus Pharmaceuticals, LLC. There was the rigamarole once again of showing his papers to the receptionist, but then calls were made, and after a time, the elevator door opened, and heard the familiar voice, and was swept into the all to familiar bone-crushing hug, and it was all worth it, every last bit.

“Let's, uh, go take a walk,” suggested Sam hiking a thrumb towards the back of the building. Dean nodded. This place always made him nervous. Instead Sam led him through a broad corridor and around to the back of the building. It opened on a park-like area. Well, a park surrounded by razor wire and armed guards, but what could you do?

Several people dressed like office workers were out eating their lunches. “So, how are you?” Sam asked.

“I'm fine.”

“I mean, really?”

“I'm really fine,” persisted Dean. “Was there a reason you called me out here?” he asked as Sam found a bench by a small pond, isolated from anybody who may have been listening.

“You know, oddly enough, I just remembered it's Dad's birthday. He's 52 today.”

“He would be. If he was still around,” said Dean.

“We'll find him,” said Sam. “I think we will, some day.”

“Even if he's alive, I don't think he wants to be found, Sammy. That's why the bastard ran off.” Dean leaned over and picked up a smooth, round stone, and skipped it in the water. There were ducks gliding in the pond.

“They disappeared him, Dean,” whispered Sam, his eyes darting around. “You know as well as I do.”

“You didn't know him like I did. He wasn't the family type. Before Mom died he was always taking off.”

“Dean, you know they take people away. Ones they don't like.”

“So, you wanted me here so we can argue about the old man? Again?”

“Actually, no,” admitted Sam. They both watched the ducks for a moment. “I guess I need some advice from my big brother.”

“Have you ever taken my advice?” sighed Dean.

“I'm doing some vaccine research,” Sam continued, oblivious to Dean's snark. “We're not being told who the client is, but everybody pretty much knows it's them.”

“They need a special vaccine?” asked Dean, scudding another rock.

“Yeah, that's what got me thinking too,” said Sam, looking concerned. “I thought maybe they were gonna try some bio warfare. But on who?”

“Canada I suppose?” said Dean, looking around to make sure he wasn't overheard. They always seemed paranoid about an invasion. The border was locked down: had been for years. But Dean had always suspected that was more to keep people in.

Dean kept his suspicions to himself.

“Well, I thought that for a while,” said Sam. “But lately, we've gotten some blood samples to work with. Dean, nobody will say anything, but they're strange.”

“Strange how?”

“Strange in just about every way,” said Sam. Dean was bending down to grab another rock, and Sam suddenly had his head down there too, fumbling on the ground. “They're not human.”

Dean straightened, rock poised in his hand, not breathing. Sam sat up too and sent his rock skipping off. Dean chanced a look over at Sam. Dead serious. “You've gotta be mistaken. It's a mistake, right? Sometimes those tests work wrong.”

Sam shook his head. “Tested and re-tested and re-tested. Until the damn machines broke.”

Dean felt his heart poundng in his chest. It was true. But it couldn't be.

Sometime, long ago, and before he'd run off, Dean remembered his dad telling him telling him about it: another world, full of blessed things, and cursed things. Angels and demons. Ghosts and ghouls and things that go bump in the night. Vampires, and werewolves, and maybe even fucking unicorns.

But it was just a story. A story to scare a stupid, imaginative little boy into eating his string beans.

There was no such thing.

“OK, you want advice. Here's advice: keep your damn mouth shut about it and keep working. Don't tell anybody else, hear me? I don't care how much you trust them.”

Sam didn't reply, but Dean could see the frown lines.

“I mean, not even Jess. And you stop fucking around with those blood samples. Now. That's the end of it.”

“Just shut up and do my job?”

“Exactly. Sammy, you don't wanna tangle with these guys.”

“But Dean, that's my job. I'm a scientist. That's why you worked to put my ass through college. I question stuff. That's me. That's what I am.”

“Sammy. On the way here, I went through a roadblock. One of their roadblocks. You know what I saw in my rearview, as I drove away? You wanna know how many times they shot a guy? Just for breaking the checkpoint? I don't want my brother on the roadside in a pool of blood. I wanna know you're OK. You're the one thing that keeps me going, Sammy.”


“Just promise to quit fucking around with this. Promise me.”

Sam slumped down, looking sullen. Stubborn bastard, thought Dean. He recalled the pout from when they were kids. But if Sam would listen to anyone, it was Dean.

Dean looked up. Sam had just thrust a sheaf of papers at him.

“What's this?” asked Dean, sour memories of haing his papers thrust at him by a cop still in his mind.

“Your college applications,” said Sam.


“Dean. That was the deal. You put me through college, and then I turn around and do it for you. I'm still waiting on my end,” said Sam.

Dean took the papers and stared at them like they were written in Sanskrit. “It's just.... The time isn't right just now....”

“Would it take too much time away from your drinking? You're not the only one who gets worried about your brother.”

Dean sighed and nodded. “Thanks, Sammy,” he said, rolling up the papers and stuffing them in a pocket. He had no intention of filling them out. He stood up. “I should probably get going. Don't wanna be on the road when it gets dark.”

Sam sat and stared at him for a time, but then rose as well.

“How's Jess, by the way?” asked Dean.

Sam shook his head. “She's OK. I guess.”

“What's wrong?”

Sam looked gloomy. “Just the same as ever. I get the feeling she's no happy, but I have no idea why. Sometimes I think-”


“I dunno, Dean.” He looked at Sam. “It's weird. Do you ever get the feeling you're living someone else's life?”

Dean smiled wryly. “All the damn time. And I wish to hell the dumb son of a bitch would come take it back.

Sam laughed. And then they walked back into the lobby, and there was a hug, and empty promised to get together more often.

Dean was lost in thought as he made for the exit. It would be just like Sam to go making trouble. He sometimes suspected, though he hated to admit it, that's what had gotten the old man in trouble.

He looked over when he heard the shouting. It was the crazy Jesus dude. The idiot was still there. He hadn't attracted any cops, lucky for him, but there was a group of young guys around him now, taunting him. He seemed sweetly oblivious to it all.

Then one of them grabbed the guy's sign, while a couple of them knocked him to the ground.

Dean saw them kicking. The guy was curled up in a fetal position.

Don't get involved don't get involved don't get involved....

“Hey! Get off him!”

They were staring at him, but at least they had quit kicking.

“Fuck you!” said one of them.

“Get away! He's not doing you any harm,” said Dean, now striding up with confidence he didn't feel.

“Fuck off!”

And then in a flash Dean had the sign in his hands and was waving it like a bat. “No. You fuck off,” he said, very quietly.

Something about the menace in his voice seemed to unnerve them. First one fled, and then they were scattered.

Dean dropped the sign, and turned to see if the guy was OK. But the guy was gone. Dean turned around, but there was no sign of him.

“Must've run off,” Dean muttered to himself. Weird, because it seemed like they got him but good. But probably best for the guy. Now at least he wouldn't get arrested.

Dean walked the couple blocks to his car in distracted silence. He was eager to get on the road and get the fuck out of this place. Soon he was lost to the sound of the thrum of the engine and the beat of music. Leaving the city seemed somehow faster than going in, and before long, he was once again out on the open highway.

“The lord has plans for you, Dean Winchester.”

Dean nearly jumped out of his seat. He veered into the oncoming lane, which fortunately, was empty, bringing the car to a halt on the opposite side.

He slammed it into park and turned to confront the homeless dude who was now in his back seat.

“JESUS FUCK. Did you sneak into my car?”

“And I have come with tidings, Dean Winchester.”

“And how the fuck do you know my name? Who the fuck are you?”

“I am Castiel, angel of the Lord.”

“You're what? Castor oil? How the fuck did you get in my car?”

“I am sorry,” said the Jesus dude, now sitting back and looking concerned. “Did I frighten you?”'

“DID YOU FRIGHTEN ME? I nearly crashed the fucking car!”

The homeless dude at least looked contrite. “I am sorry, Dean Winchester. I needed to contact you when we could not be overheard. This seemed the most expedient way,” he explained, holding out a hand.

“Get the fuck. Outta my car!” ordered Dean.

“I had hoped to speak with you, Dean Winchester.”

“And quit calling me Dean Winchester!”

Now the guy seemed puzzled. He tilted his head, like a bird might do, and frowned at Dean. “That is your name, isn't it? You are Dean Winchester, son of John Winchester brother to Sam Winchester.”

“Get out!”

“I think you might want to hear-”


“Dean Winchester, your brother, Sam Winchester, may be in danger!”


And then the guy was no longer there. He didn't open the door and crawl out. He just plain wasn't there.”

Dean sat and blinked, breathing hard. “Wait, did you say Sammy? Did he say Sam?” he said out loud. “OK, look, Casserole, or whatever the fuck you are? What did you say about Sam?”

“He may be in danger.”

Dean let out a very small scream. The dude was now sitting next to him.

Dean leaned over and poked the guy in the arm. He seemed substantial. “You said you're....”

“I am Castiel, angel of the Lord. And I would speak to you.”

“OK. OK. Castiel, angel of the Lord. Can you quit popping in and out like that? It's creepy.”

“I'm sorry Dean Winchester. I have not been much amongst humans prior to this. Perhaps my manners leave something to be desired?”

“Here,” said Dean, holding out a hand. Castiel looked curiously at the hand, obviously having no idea what to do. Dean grabbed Castiel's right hand and brought it up to shake. “I'm Dean,” he said. “See, that's how you introduce yourself.”

“All right,” said Castiel, now staring at his right hand.

“I thought you were hurt, Castiel?” said Dean. He had his first real good look at the guy now. As he had thought before, the guy didn't look crazy. He also didn't look so much like a homeless guy close up. The coat was shabby, but it seemed clean. And he sure didn't smell like a homeless guy. He could use a shave and probably instructions on how to use a comb, but he didn’t smell funky, like someone who’s been sleeping on the street. In fact he smelled…. Dean tried to place it. It was something like seawater, but lighter. The wind? How could you smell like the wind. But he just kept thinking of sweet summer breezes.

“I have repaired myself,” the angel – if that's what he was – supplied.

“You let them fuck you up, instead of just winking out?” asked Dean.

“Wlinking out? I do not see how mild flirtation might have ameliorated the situation,” said Castiel.

“It’s just an expression. I mean you didn’t do the disappearing thing?”

“I wished to gain your attention. You have a destiny, Dean Winchester.”

“Just Dean will do. And what's so bloody important about me?”

“I can explain if you will go with me.”

“Go where?”

“We'll go to see a righteous man. There your destiny will be revealed.”

“Uh, where exactly is this?” asked Dean suspiciously.

“I have placed the coordinates in your GPS device,” said Castiel, indicating the box on Dean's dash. Dean leaned over and pushed a button. Yes, it was there. Angels knew how to program a GPS? “Hmm. That's not far. But those folks up at Manners Place: they keep to themselves.” Mostly with the aid of heavy armaments, thought Dean.

“He knows me,” said Castiel confidently. “I am a friend to him.”

“So, you'll ride shotgun with me and not wink out?” asked Dean.

“We have no need of a shotgun Dean Win- I mean, Dean.” Dean stared at the beaming angel for a while. The guy seemed to be delighted to be on a first name basis with him. So, I finally meet an angel, and he's nucking futs, thought Dean. Great.

“But you promise not to vanish again?” Dean wasn't going out to Manners Place without an angelic guide, albeit a screwy one. Even the cops rarely ventured out there.

“No. I will not to, uh, wink out.”

Dean put the car in drive and flipped a quick U-Turn. He considered jamming the radio and ignoring his passenger, but curiosity got the better of him. “So, Castiel? How exactly to you know me?”

“I have watched over you for a long time, Dean. You and your brother.”

“I have a guardian angel?”

“Yes! You could say I am your guardian.”

“OK, so, why do I need a guardian?”

The sunny mood suddenly fell off the angel. “It's a long and sad story. You were fated to be something else, you and your brother. Something quite different than what you are today. Someone should have been monitoring the situation here more closely. Things were allowed to get too far out of hand here.”

“Uh, here meaning Washington?”

“Here meaning the earth. My father's creation!”

“Uh-huh. So, what now?”

“It is time for you to help us set things right.”

“Angels are asking me for help?” asked Dean. It seemed Castiel's answers only contained more questions. Dean decided to ask something more direct. “So, if you're an angel, where are your, you know...?” he asked, patting his own back.

“My wings? Yes, my true form has wings. It is very glorious to behold! Unfortunately, humans sometimes have a small problem with it.”

“A small problem?”

“For most people, viewing my true visage burns out human eyes. Hearing my true voice shatters eardrums. Regarding my magnificent form causes insanity!”

“Uh, that doesn't sound very pleasant,” said Dean. “Thanks for toning it down.”

“This is a human body that I inhabit,” said Castiel.

“Oh. Uh. If I'm not being rude, what happened to the human inside?”

Castiel pulled at his lapels as if he wore an ermine cape. “This was the body of a good, righteous man. Unfortunately, he was struck down by a disease. Leukemia, I believe you call it.”

Dean glanced over at Castiel again. Ah. So that would explain why he looked so damned thin and pale. “Oh. So he's dead?”

“He disdained the ministration of doctors and left his fate to God. I called to him, and asked to wear his body as my vessel. It was his last request.”

I'm in the car with a scary dead guy, thought Dean. “Wait, I thought you said if you talked to people it broke their eardrums?”

“Most humans, yes. Some very special humans can talk to us. The most blessed of you!”

Dean wondered if it was a blessing or a curse to talk to angels. But he didn't say anything.

Castiel suddenly held up a walkie talkie. Dean blinked. It didn't seem like he had been holding it a moment ago. And since when did celestial beings use walkie talkies?

“Slow down. It's here,” said Castiel.

“Here were?” asked Dean. They were currently in a forest in the middle of nowhere.

“This is Cas,” said Castiel over the walkie talkie. “I need you to lower the gate.”

“Cas? Is that you? Why the fuck you need that?” came a gruff voice over the other end. “You brought an army?”

“Just a friend. But we're driving.”

“You hitched a ride today, Cas? Well, now I've seen everything. OK, hold on!”

Dean gawped. Suddenly, a whole row of what looked like underbrush alongside the road flopped over to reveal the driveway to a narrow, rutted road through the trees.

“Up there,” said Castiel, pointing.

Dean scowled and steered the car up the narrow road: it was actually just two ruts, like something that had been run over by a caterpillar. The “gate” then rose back up behind him. Dean glanced in the rearview and saw a lot of metal spikes among the plants.

The road took many twists and turns, so he couldn't see where he was going, which made him nervous. Finally, after at least ten minutes of switchbacks and hairpin turns, he went over a small rise and came to a clearing. There were several structures visible, and various other vehicles, mostly trucks, parked out front.

Dean put the car in park and killed the ignition.

And felt the gun to his head.

“Cas?” said Dean.

But the angel was no longer beside him.

Date: 2012-07-20 07:33 pm (UTC)
juppschmitz: (Default)
From: [personal profile] juppschmitz
Ooohh, me likey!!

Pleasepleaseplease go on!

This is EXACTLY the kind of apocafic I love! Close enough to what you know and at the same time different enough to keep your head spinning. And your US dystopia is amazing. Love to hate those cops!

Also, your Cas is way beyond cool! Actually, to me he seems even more convincing as a new-to-human-interaction angel than Show!Cas did!

Thanks for this teaser!
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