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Whumptober 2021

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8 minutes, 30 seconds

 

Mary clutches at the iron bars of the cage, shaking them back and forth so hard her bones rattle along with the motion. Nothing happens, of course, but she’s not going to just sit there and wait to be blown up. Across the room Castiel has struggled into a half-sitting up position and is similarly tugging in vain at the metal contraption around his legs. The silver bars are twisted from his feet to up and over his knees, keeping him pinned in place.  

They pause for a moment, at the same time, both looking and not looking at each other. They know this won’t work. No matter what they do,  they’re going to die here.

Then they go back to pulling and straining their tired arms anyways.

 

7 minutes, 12 seconds

 

“This is the fun part, you see,” Ketch said, holding up a small black remote in his hands. “Yes, I saw you nick my pocketknife, Mary, but what you’re in isn’t some shoddy pair of American handcuffs. This is the only thing that open the cage, dear, but you'll never reach it.”

“Let us go,” Mary growled. “Or my sons will find you and that’ll be much worse for you.”

“Oh, trust me, it doesn’t get much worse than this. Hope keeps a man a live, but it’s quite the experience to watch it starve right before your eyes.” He placed the remote control down on the table beside the ticking timer and then glanced at his watch. “I really must be going. Wouldn’t want to be caught in a lethal explosion, now would we?”

“Mary.” Castiel’s voice breaks her reprieve. “Throw me the pocketknife.”

 

6 minutes, 01 seconds

 

“That won’t work,” she says after several seconds of watching Castiel stabbing at the metal rods around his legs.  “I think…it’s welded to the floor.”

“It appears so.” His voice is strangely calm but taunt. He stops the hopeless attempt and stares at the small blade. From the firm set of his jaw and the quiet look of acceptance in his eyes she understands that this is the part where they say goodbye. He’s going to say something like he did in that barn with Ramiel, except this time there’s no one to fight for them and no one to save them at the last minute.

She decides to beat him to the speech. “Castiel.” The softness in her voice makes him look up. “Sam and Dean, they think of you as family. They love you.” Tears burn against her eyelids but she carries on. “And I do too.”

He nods. “I know. That’s why we’re going to get out of here and get back to them.” His voice is so steady that it's frightening. As if he knows something she doesn't.

Castiel turns his attention back to his legs and starts using the pocketknife to rip his pants legs open.

“How--what--what are you doing?”

He doesn’t answer.

5 minutes

 

She finally figures it out when he finishes cutting away the last of the pants fabric above his knees.  “Castiel. Cas," she repeats when he ignores her. "You can’t--you can't do that.”

He gives her with a weak smile. “It’s okay, Mary. They’ll grow back.”

“Are you sure?”

“We’re going to get out of here,” is all he says. His hands move quickly, peeling off his overcoat and then stuffing it into his mouth. He risks a glance in her direction, a brief second that lasts much too long, before he raise the pocketknife high and then drives it down into his leg.  

“Don’t!” She hears herself cry out too late. The single syllable is instantly drowned in red.

Blood spurts out, spraying every which way like a cheap horror movie shot but it’s real, slick and dark and gurgling across the linoleum floor. The thin silver glint of the blade flashes up and down, echoing against the sound of wet flesh sucking and splitter. The folds of the coat stuffed into Castiel's mouth darken with saliva drooling out from clenched teeth; the fabric mutes the sound but not the flex of his throat or the bulge of his eyes as he screams and screams.

Mary clamps a hand over her mouth and feels the shape of her dropped jaw. She slams her body against the bars, like she can force her skin to pass through the iron and bring her to reach him. The crack of bone pierces through her skull and Castiel’s shoulders jerk back violently, almost throwing him flat on his back. He struggles up again, his hand hesitating in the air for only a second before he brings the knife down into his other leg.

She stops breathing at the screech of the second bone snapping.

Castiel flops over onto his belly. The coat falls from his slackened jaw and he stares at her with wide, blood-streaked pupils. His torso smears a thick river of red across the rom as he drags himself forward on his elbows. Mary. His lips form the word but only a rush of crimson bubbles pour out. 

She reaches out a hand to him, stretching until she feels the metal cutting into her arm pit.

When Castiel gets to the table in the middle it takes him a few tries to be able to push himself up enough to grab the remote. As soon as his thumb hits the button and the click resounds Mary bursts out, scrambling so fast she collapses on all fours before rising up to run and then dropping back down her knees in front of him.

“Cas, Cas, Cas,” she chants frantically, hands hovering all over but not touching him, not sure where to land where it won’t cause him agony. From the corner of her eyes she sees the neon numbers on the explosive sitting in the middle of the room.

 

2 minutes, 33 seconds.

 

Her body kicks into action immediately. She gathers him up in her arms and flees, bare feet charging across the white hallways and colliding into every corner as she swerves sharply. The shrill beeping of the bomb is on her heels, growing louder with every second until it feels like it’s clawing at her ankles. Her jeans feel damp and she wonders if she got hurt somehow before she realizes that Castiel's severed stumps are still pouring out blood.

They’re just a few meters away from the flashing neon EXIT sign when the air suddenly inhales sharply and then collapses.

Mary ducks, curling her body around Castiel as they are hurled into the wall.

 

0:00

 

When the shrill ringing finally dims and her eyes clear, she finds herself still breathing. That’s the first good sign. Swiping the dust from her face she glances around and sees patches of green and blue in the distance. The outside. The world they’d been shut off to for weeks, one she thought they’d never see again.

She hears a shuddering gasp beside her and looks down to see Castiel slowly untangling himself from her body, neck craned back and nostrils flared, straining to breathe. The shredded flaps of his thigh skin slide across her lap as she clings to him while trying to hold onto the wall and stand up.

“Don’t let go,” she breathes, keeping one arm tightly around him. “Stay with me.” Her eyes run quickly over the rubble around them until she spies a rifle lying under a cracked boulder. She has no idea who or what’s awaiting them when they step out but she’s not going to give them any mercy. The weapon is still loaded, and she braces it between her bruised palms. “Cas? Are you okay?”

He nods against her chest. “Wait.” He shifts back and forth and then heaves himself around to hang over her shoulders, arms looped around her neck. From his right sleeve he draws his angel blade and brandishes it boldly. “Let’s go home,” he says, blood-stained teeth chattering.

Her feet carry her forward, stepping around crushed glass and broken stone. Her pants are drowned in blood, turning stiff in the broad sunlight. Castiel has one arm wrapped around her neck so tightly it's almost choking her. Every time he exhales blood dribbles from his lips, making sticky lines trail down her spine. Her heart hammers like a cymbal, reverberating loud enough to break her ribs but she keeps walking. They’re getting out of here, and they’re getting out alive.