Genre: Gen, Friendship/Pre-slash
Characters: Balthazar, Crowley :D, mentions of Cas (of course) and other angels
Word Count: ~1170
Disclaimer: No, I still don't own anything recognizable.
Warnings: AU from 6x15, but expect to see mentions from the rest of the season
Summary: Balthazar searches for Cas and enlists help.
A/N: Um. Nothing to say, really.
Balthazar searches the corners of the Between relentlessly, desperately. He dips his wings beneath the Falls in the outermost edges of Heaven’s realms, the boundaries between the Golden Kingdom and the Between that spreads over the layers between the worlds. The angel slides through space and casts out, seeking any sign of his brother’s presence through the first circles of the Between for what feels like ages. His wings grow heavy with worry and despair as time passes; Balthazar knows that Castiel would have called to him if he were in range. Something must have...but no, he will not let himself think that way.
He soon realizes he cannot cover all of it alone, he calls Rachel and Castiel’s other allies to attention and sends them off to various parts of the empty spaces between Heaven, Earth, and Hell. Balthazar knows Cassy would kill him to send any of their brothers under his command into Hell. Fortunately, Balthazar also has a few questionable alliances that his dear baby brother doesn’t know about, or at the very least keeps his disapproval of to a quiet murmur. (Good thing, too. A righteous Castiel is a nuisance, simply put.) And so, after he puts Rachel to rights and gets her and Castiel’s miniature army on their merry way, Balthazar starts his own crusade.
He checks in discreetly on the Winchesters, not bothering to uncloak himself as he peeks at their goings-on. Castiel would want him to keep an eye on the little wankers, after all. Daddy-dearest knows neither Dean nor Sam has the sense He gave a gosling. Balthazar counts them lucky they have Castiel and Bobby Singer to keep their sorry arses alive. When Balthazar looks in on them now, they are under Bobby’s close supervision and diligently working through a formidable-looking tower of books. He nods in satisfaction, and flits off through the currents his wings carve through space and time to make his way downstairs.
Balthazar has only been partway to the Pit before, even during the time he has spent exploring the spoils of freedom. He is fortunate not to have to Descend this time, either. Balthazar focuses his Grace and casts out. Lazily, he files through locations and faces until he hones in on the one that he seeks. His wings shift and carry him to an upscale penthouse in Manhattan. He glances about the place for a short moment, not surprised to find the absence of sigils painting the walls. Balthazar is an expected and frequent guest in any of these safehouses.
Robert Johnson is playing on an old record machine in the corner and that, frankly? Is a bit tacky. Not to mention predictable. Balthazar’s lips curl in distaste. If there is one thing he detests, it is predictability. Even before his vacation, he had always been the wild force of nature on the yang of Castiel’s calm calculating yin. There had always been a reason Anael had kept the pair of them together. It is Balthazar’s job to look after Castiel—to be his big brother and to make sure that when Castiel is off trying to shelter every human soul within the cover of his wings, someone is also there protecting Castiel.
Balthazar admits to himself that for a time he’d forgotten his job. Well, his and...no, actually, only Balthazar’s. He’d left them a time ago, and word from Castiel is that he’s dead.
"Reminiscing about Baby Brother, are we? And here I thought I might have been the one putting that twinkle in your eye."
Balthazar paints on his most provocative smirk. The demons aren’t the only ones who can play the sexually-ambiguous card. "Ah, don’t worry, darling. Still plenty of lovin’ left for you." He waggles his eyebrows at Crowley, who rolls his eyes in response as he takes a pull from his tumbler of scotch.
"You’re such a tease," Crowley says as he rises from behind his desk and quirks a brow at Balthazar. "Well? You planning on telling me why you’re interrupting my morning-cap, or did you think it’d be fun to share quaint little family stories?"
"I’m here about Cas," Balthazar says plainly, which is uncommon enough for him that Crowley’s brows shoot up and his forehead crinkles in curiosity. "I don’t suppose you’ve heard anything about our blue-eyed boy gone missing?"
"Nope, can’t say I have," Crowley says lightly with a half-shrug. "Last I checked I wasn’t on Pretty Boy Blue’s VIP list. What, Cas got himself into trouble again? Color me surprised."
Balthazar doesn’t have time for games or squabbling. He squares his shoulders and fixes Crowley with his most wrathful expression. He likes to think he sees Crowley give a minute flinch. "I don’t think I need to remind you that the reason you’re still alive is that Cas can’t find a decent way to kill you that doesn’t involve springing your little trap, and I rather enjoy our little union of convenience." He bares his teeth slightly, glowering at Crowley. "So it might benefit you to keep that pretty mouth shut unless it’s fixing to say something useful."
Crowley blinks, then smirks. He tips his glass toward Balthazar, "Wound a little tight there, mate." Balthazar exhales slowly, and drags a hand through his hair as he wonders when Castiel tainted him with that damned righteousness. "So, Castiel’s gone and we don’t have any idea where he might be. And I assume you want me to check with my old union boys downstairs to see if anyone’s caught a whiff of angel?" Balthazar waits because he knows that Crowley has more to say. "And what’s sweetening my side of the honey pot, eh Bal? I’ve got my insurance policy, I don’t exactly need Castiel around to keep breathing."
Balthazar smirks because that had been what he was expecting. "Cassy-cat is the only one who has access to the little weapon you and I taught him to build. Without him, Raphael wins."
Crowley’s mouth curls with distaste. He’s quick to catch on, Balthazar will grant him that. "And dear old Lucy’s back for Hell. I get it, Bal." His eyes winkle with devilish mirth as he immediately smirks at Balthazar in a way he knows the angel hates. "You’d make a hell of a demon, clever mind like that. All right, Bal," he says then, leaning back to settle the tumbler down. "I’ll make a few calls, kill a few underlings. We’ll see what comes of it."
"Thanks so much," Balthazar says with a mocking smile, and then Crowley vanishes into the shades of Hades. Balthazar doesn’t linger in the penthouse, having his own search to return to.
Hold out for me, Brother. I’m on my way.