Title: Hope's Last Breath
Fandoms: Supernatural/Torchwood/The Avengers/Doctor Who
Pairings/Characters: Dean/Sam/Castiel, Jack/Ianto, Coulson/Clint, Tony/Bruce, Natasha/Pepper, Thor/Loki, Steve/Darcy, Balthazar/Gareth Jones, Bobby, Marion Jones (OFC), Andy/Tosh, Owen/Maria Hill, Nick Fury/Donna Noble, Rhys Williams/Kathy Swanson, Martha Jones, the Doctor
Summary: Greek Mythology says that when Pandora disobeyed the Gods and opened the box, all the world's evil was unleashed but hoped remained inside. Unfortunately, hate found Pandora's Box and destroyed it. Out of his depth, Nick Fury has no choice but to seek help from others who have knowledge of and experience with this kind of stuff. But without hope in the world, it's only a matter of time before humanity falls into chaos.
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural, the Avengers or Torchwood but I do own Gareth and Marion Jones
Throughout time, humanity has always had legends, tales and myths of how evil became known to mankind. The one that offered the most hope for men was that of Pandora and her box, for when all the evil escaped into the world of man, one stayed behind and that was how hope came to be.
This cautionary tale stands as a beacon to remind us all that even at our darkest, lowest moments there will always be hope. But what would happen to us if hope was destroyed? Without hope there is no faith and love, to lose hope would let evil run unchecked.
Humanity was about to learn what life would be like without the slightest bit of hope in the world. It would be a time when heroes both known and unknown would rise up and remind the world that just because you can't feel hope doesn't mean it's not still there.
Long forgotten and buried by the sands of time laid the ruins of an ancient temple, and housed deep within it rested a single artefact of untold and incalculable value. Not that it would look like much to the untrained eye because after all, what secrets could dusty old jar from Greece truly hold?
Like the swirling grains of sands carried upon the wind, the shadows carried Evil upon it. As those shadows coalesced and created the outline of a man, two unholy red eyes gleamed in the darkness and a terrifying smile curled the corners of its lips. It was a smile that promised horrifying consequences for anyone who dared to look upon its wearer.
"So this is where you have been hiding yourself." He spat out his words with pure menacing venom. "Do you know how long I have been looking for you?" His question was asked in an what some would consider a friendly, conversation-type tone as he moved closer to the ancient jar.
"Ahhh... I see you have no answer. Well, I'm not surprised you're staying silent. The world today is so full of hate that as I get stronger you get weaker." The cruel lips curled into gleeful smile. "Hope is dying and I'm here to speed it up!" As he held out his palm, the darkness was cleaved in two to reveal a simple-looking unadorned dagger. It was impossible to miss the aura of pure malevolence flowing from the blade in psychic waves.
Hate felt the unasked question and he gazed with loving admiration at his weapon. "Ah, yes, this little beauty, do you like it? It was the first blade ever forged for the sole purpose of killing a man in pure hate. It's been used since the beginning of time and now it contains century upon century of hate all stored in this little beauty. Eons of murder right here in my hand, just waiting to be unleashed."
He leaned in closer, lowering his head and resting his cheek against the jar; he sighed as the cool clay of the caressed his skin. He kept his voice low as if he were confiding a secret to a friend, "The best part about this is that your little angels are all going to be helpless, completely unable to stop the chain of events from happening. There is nothing they can do that will help when humanity falls into an endless whirlpool of chaos."
With a graceful flourish, Hate lifted the lid off the jar and instantly shielded his eyes from the glow of pure goodness and light that appeared. "It's been a long time, my friend, and I offer my apologies for not visiting sooner." A mirthless grin twisted his lips again. "Sorry this reunion is going to be so short, but it's time for mankind to finally embrace their true darkness." Hatred poured forth in waves as Hate raised the dagger high above his head. "Let hope, faith and love die and let mankind fall into the darkness that lies deep within their souls!" he intoned in a frightening voice. Then, crackling maniacally, he plunged the dagger downward with all his might.
An Earth-shattering scream of agonising pain agony echoed throughout the empty temple as the spirit of hope exploded into a thousand rays of pure light before being consumed by the depths of true hate that existed in mankind's nature.
Hate watched with untamed glee as his own dark emotion devoured hope and he rejoiced as his hatred of everything good in the world spread out like a massive destructive tsunami that engulfed all angels of hope. Mankind was now without hope, and it was time for chaos to reign supreme.
Unseen to the human eye, angels, spirits, fairies, gods and goddess and all things of legend and myth have always walked at man's side. One of these miraculous creatures was a woman named Marion Jones. Dressed in white from head to toe, Marion wore leather pants and jacket with a tank top and knee length boots and to the casual observer, she looked like a normal woman, except for two things. First of all, there were the glorious and giant white wings that emerged from her shoulder blades and lay curled gracefully on her back. The second item of interest was a bit more unusual, although to look at her, you'd never suspect.
Marion Jones was dead.
Once upon a time, a very long time ago, Marion Jones was a mortal woman. Her mother had given her the middle name of Adain, which in Middle Welsh meant 'winged', in hopes that her daughter would someday soar above her everyday life. The elder Mrs Jones had no way of knowing just how prophetic her daughter's name would be. Young Marion grew up with hopes and dreams of settling down and starting a family, and she might have achieved them except for one thing. She was a hunter and regardless of her middle name, that career didn't promote a happy family or a long life.
But that had all changed one day when Marion met a young man named Rhys Williams whom she loved with everything she was and she decided she wanted a life with him and to grow old. Sadly, that was not to be as her family and closest friends were a monster's pains in the arse, and as a warning to them, she was sadistically tortured and then brutally murdered.
Unbeknownst to her, Marion's soul had been marked to become one of Hope's angels and with her mistress' blessing she was given a chance to watch over her brothers, Ianto and Gareth Jones, her sister, Rhiannon and her family, and her two brothers in spirit, Dean and Sam Winchester. Additionally, her newest assignment included watching over the last of the Time Lords, a formidable task in and of itself which gave Marion less and less time to keep an eye on her family. Given the Winchester's ability to track, which rivalled that of her own family, and the Doctor's penchant for getting into trouble, Marion Jones was quite a busy woman trying to keep the Universe in balance.
As an angel of Hope and a former hunter, Marion Jones was used to seeing the aftermath of worlds falling into chaos, destruction and death but nothing she had have ever been through could have prepared her for the fire that scorched through her veins. It felt like her entire body was burning from the inside as it was slowly being ripped apart. The pendant that hung from a chain around her neck had always been a symbol of hope but now it burned white-hot against her skin, branding itself into her flesh. Then, to her abject horror, the crystal shattered into tiny pieces, falling about her feet as fine dust.
"My lady!" she screamed as a feeling of intense loneliness swept through her. "Where are you?" To Marion's great dismay, she discovered that she could no longer sense the spirit of hope that had been in her since the moment she died, nor could she feel any of her fellow angels. Something was dreadfully wrong; she needed answers and she knew of only one place she could get them. "I just hope I'm not too late," she prayed and with a flutter of her magnificent wings, she was gone.
"Oh, for crying out loud! Seriously, they're on every freaking channel!"
Sam and Bobby shared a sigh as Dean's angry voice carried back to them.
Dean was sick and tired of hearing about the Avengers. "So they saved the world, big freaking whoop-dee-doo. Sam and I have saved the world multiply times and do we get any praise? No! We end up at the top of the hit list for every demon, vamp, werewolf and every other damn thing out there and that's not including the police and government agencies that are supposed to be on our side! It's just not fair!"
Even though he'd heard the story before, Sam had to admit his brother had a point. As hunters, they never got any credit for saving the day, they were always on the run from the law, and the chances of them ever being able to live a normal life grew slimmer every single day. 'Dean's right, it isn't not fair.'
Bobby shook his head. "I never thought I'd see the day when there were real honest-to-God superheroes. I know it sounds crazy, but I can't help worrying about what would happen if one of those bastards ever became host to a demon."
"Do you think that could happen?" Sam shivered at the thought of a demon with superhero powers.
"Damn right I do! Could you imagine the damage a demon could do if they got a hold of the Hulk?" Bobby didn't even want to think of how screwed they'd be if that ever happened.
"See! This is why heroes are a bad thing. They're just gonna cause more trouble for us," Dean groused from his spot in the doorway. He'd decided that if he didn't get out of the room, he was going to put his foot through the television screen, so he came to join Bobby and Sam.
Sam rolled his eyes in exasperation as he turned to face his brother. "Dean, give them a chance; they're the good guys. I thought you of all people would see this in a positive light! Having real heroes out there fighting the good fight could give us some much needed back-up."
Dean considered his brother's words for a second and then agreed, "Well, I will admit that that Black Widow chick is hot to look at." He trailed his eyes over Sam's muscular form and a very familiar leer appeared in his eyes, "Sammy I think you should look into getting a black leather cat suit." Dean grinned as he caught the slight blush on Sammy's checks and made himself a mental note to find one as soon as possible. 'I'm sure Castiel will enjoy the sight as well.'
Bobby rolled his eyes at the two of them and was about to tell them to go find a room when a deep cold seeped into his very bones. It felt like something had reached into his very soul and had ripped out a piece of him, and he could tell from the way Dean and Sam were shivering and shuddering that they were feeling the same damn thing.
"What the hell was that?" Dean demanded once he managed to stop shaking.
Sam shook his head. "I don't know but hopefully Cas will have some idea. Whatever it was, something tells me that it wasn’t anything good."
Sam had no idea just how right he was as all across the world everyone experienced the same feeling.
"What the bloody hell was that?" Doctor Owen Harper growled as he rubbed his hands together in a vain attempt to warm them up.
"I have no idea!" Captain Jack Harkness, leader of Torchwood Three, informed him as he wrapped his arms around his lover, Ianto Jones. He's hadn't felt such a sense of total loss and despair since he'd watched the TARDIS fade out of sight on Satellite Five.
Owen rolled his eyes mock annoyance as he watched the two men cling to one another. "Really, do you have to paw Tea-Boy now of all times?"
Jack grinned brightly at his scowling medic, "But I thought that shared body heat was a medically-proven way of getting rid of a deep chill. I would even go so far as to suggest offering to share our combined heat with Tosh but I think Andy would have a problem with that."
Andy Davidson pinned Jack with a deadly glare as he wrapped his arms around his shivering girlfriend. "Damn right I would!" Since joining the team a few months ago Andy had made it a habit of showing his protective side when it came to Toshiko Sato.
Former Cardiff detective Kathy Swanson shot both Jack and Owen a dark look that promised nothing but pain. "If either of you even think about suggestion me to be your cuddle blanket I will personally shoot off your favourite bits."
Like Andy, Kathy had joined Torchwood when an unexpected opening was left within after Jack had no choice but to reassign Gwen Cooper. Her out-of-control actions had put Ianto’s niece in mortal danger and had gotten one of Ianto’s oldest friends seriously injured.
Tosh smiled gratefully at Kathy, “And then you can tell Rhys and he'll deny them some of his delicious food.” Ever since she and Andy had gotten together, Tosh had blossomed, coming out of her shell and forming a lasting friendship with Kathy. Although Ianto still remained her best friend, she'd finally found a true female friend, something she'd never had with Gwen despite working together for several years.
Kathy nodded her head. “Damn right I would and he was planning on making us some of his famous lasagne.” It was no secret that between Ianto’s coffee and Rhys’ cooking the two Welshmen could rule the world; they certainly ruled over Torchwood Three albeit with a deliciously beneficent hand.
It hadn't shocked anyone when Rhys and Kathy had found their way to each other. In a lot of ways Kathy reminded Ianto of his sister Marion, Rhys' first real love, and everyone agreed they were a much better fit than Gwen and Rhys.
Clinging happily to Jack, Ianto couldn’t help but feel like something inside him was suddenly missing and that something had just gone very wrong with the world. ‘I wonder if I should get a hold of Gareth and Bobby, see if they felt this as well; it might not hurt to talk to Castiel and Balthazar as well. If anyone has a clue as to what's happening it would be them. I just wish I could get in contact with Marion.’ Ianto had been overjoyed to discover that his sister wasn’t truly dead and he'd found her continuing presence a source of great comfort. But now, he couldn't sense her anywhere around him and that scared him; it felt like she'd simply vanished. He wished he had a way to get a hold of the Angel of Hope.
Ianto shifted just enough that he could look Jack in the eyes. “I’m going to try and get a hold of Gareth, Rhiannon the Winchesters or at least Bobby, see if they felt that too and if they have any idea as to what is going on.”
At the mention of the Winchester’s, a petulant scowl crossed Jack’s face and he tightened his grip on Ianto. Even though Jack knew beyond any doubt that Ianto was all his, Jack couldn’t help but feel the stirrings of jealousy at the mention of the two men who at one time had been Ianto’s lovers; it didn't help that the three still remained close friends. “Fine, but they better remember you’re mine,” Jack growled possessively before swooping down and laying claim to Ianto’s mouth.
Used to the physical display of Jack and Ianto's love the team just rolled their eyes and went about their business. Tosh immediately began checking for Rift spikes that might have occurred, prompting the strange event, while Andy and Kathy began making phone calls to the local police station and government offices to see if anyone had had the same experience as them. They didn't need the Torchwood agent in them screaming about up-coming danger to know that something was very wrong.
"Mica! NO!" As a former hunter, it took a lot to get Rhiannon Davis to panic but the sight of her youngest and only daughter laying lifeless in the middle of the living room tore a horrified scream from her lips. “Johnny!” she cried out desperately for her husband as she rushed to Mica’s side.
At the feel of the weak but steady pulse beneath her fingertips Rhiannon let out the breath she didn't realise she'd been holding. She forced herself to look up from her daughter's pale face as the pounding footsteps drew closer and Johnny, along with their son, David, came flying into the living room. They both skidded to a horrified stop at the sight of Mica's limp body.
"Mam, what's wrong with Mica?" Ten-year-old David was too scared to get any closer, and he stayed close to the door.
Johnny fell to his knees and hesitantly to reached out a shaking hand to touch his daughter; he was afraid he might hurt her more. "Rhi, what happened? Why wasn’t Marion here? She's Mica’s guardian and she should have been here at the slightest hint there was something wrong with Mica!" Johnny couldn't understand why his daughter's guardian angel had forsaken her.
"I don't know!" Rhiannon shook her head. “You know that Marion would never let anything get between her duty to watch over Mica, so something must be very wrong.” Rhiannon turned her attention to her son, "David, I want you to get a hold of either of your uncles; maybe they have some clue as to what's happening." Rhiannon saw David nod out of the corner of her eye and then rush off to do as she asked. 'Marion, where are you?' the distraught mother prayed. "Please, we need you!"
Gareth Jones, twin brother of Ianto, had gotten used to his lover, Balthazar, popping up whenever he felt like it, which was generally when Gareth was either in a state of near undress or better yet, completely naked. Balthazar much preferred the latter, which always gave the naughty angel plenty of bare flesh to ravish with undisguised hunger unless of course, Gareth threatened to use him as target practice.
Gareth had seen his angel full of lustful passion, beside himself with burning anger, and weeping from the hurt of rejection, but never before had he seen him looking so completely shattered. Worry had gripped the hunter's heart the moment the angel had appeared in his hotel room trembling like a leaf in the wind and wearing a look of pure dread and absolute fear on his face.
The angel tried to remain standing as he reached out towards Gareth. "Gar..." and his eyes rolled up into the back of his head.
"Balthazar!" Gareth flew across the distance between them as he caught the crumpling form of his lover. He knelt on the floor, cradling the fallen angel in his arms. "It's all right, I'm here." He stroked his hand across Balthazar's cheek. "You're with me now."
Focusing on the concern in Gareth's eyes, the angel managed to pull himself together. Smiling gratefully, he said, "Thanks, love." Balthazar normally hated showing weakness at any time, but with Gareth he felt more than safe to do so. "We have to go to Cardiff right away! Something has happened that shouldn't have and the world is about to become a battle ground!"
Fear gripped Gareth with an iron fist; he wasn't used to seeing the normally cocky angel so utterly broken and there was a look of defeat in his eyes that Gareth hadn't seen before. Normally by now he would be arguing with Balthazar that he was not a pet who jumped when his master told him to but this time, the haunted look in the angel's eyes silenced any argument. "Will Castiel be bringing Dean, Sam and Bobby to Cardiff?" Gareth had a pretty good idea that if Balthazar was dragging him to Cardiff it was a pretty good bet that Castiel would be doing the same with his own lovers.
Balthazar nodded his head as he tightened his grip on Gareth. "My brother has already gone to collect them. I don't know how safe any of you will be there but I think that gathering us all together in such a remarkable place has the greatest chance of bringing Marion there."
Gareth couldn't stop the jerk of surprise when he heard his sister's name. "Okaaay... not that I won't be thrilled to see Marion again, why the hell are we looking for an angel of hope? Is it because of that bizarre feeling I had a few moments ago?"
"I can't answer all your questions until we get to Cardiff for I believe that many of the answers lie with Marion. I just hope that she's there or at least with the Doctor." Balthazar prayed that his fellow angel had gotten to the Time Lord in time; "his TARDIS might be the only thing to keep her from fading away to nothing."
Although the angel was sure he'd only thought the words, Gareth hadn't missed Balthazar's slight mumble and he shot a worried glare at him. 'What does my sister have to do with all this? Oh yes, I'll be getting my answers just as soon as we get to Cardiff!'