Fanfic: The Road to Detroit is Paved With Hell
Beta: borgmama1of5 – World’s best editor and all-around muse! Thanks to zatnikatel for the encouragement.
Summary: Post-Abandon All Hope. Lucifer wants Sam to say yes. He wants Dean back in Hell. And he's tired of playing nice. Sam and Dean will never know what hit them.
Spoilers: Set in Season 5. Follows 5X10 Abandon all Hope
Genre: Gen, H/C, Angst, Hurt!Dean, Limp!Sam
Characters: Sam, Dean, Castiel, Bobby, Lucifer
Rating: T (mature themes, strong language)
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural or any of its characters. They belong to the CW and Eric Kripke -- who'd best treat them well
Author's Note: Story is 18 chapters plus epilogue (approx 55k words). Complete. Will post over several days. Show has been/will be in hiatus for 8 weeks. But we know the boys aren't just sitting in a motel room waiting to go back to work stopping the Apocalypse. My beta says I have filled in the missing weeks, which is not what I started out to do. But the original six chapters just kinda took off ...
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art by beckieb
“Where is Sam?”
“I don’t know.”
Cas’s eyebrows rise. “Again?”
Dean doesn’t reply. He fears if he starts speaking it will turn to snarling, which will turn to shouting and end in a barrage of venom that might never stop. He sucks in a deep breath. In his wildest nightmares he’s never imagined anything could hurt him again as much as Alastair in the pit. Dad held out for a hundred years. I’m not you, Dean … It’s a hot poker through his heart. No. Enough. Just needs to remember Sam chose to leave and move the fuck on.
“It’s okay Cas. We’ve gone our separate ways. For the best.”
Cas continues to look confused. “But you said that you needed your brother. That he kept you human.”
Dean snorts. “Not anymore.” He doesn’t have a brother any longer.
“Where will you go?”
Dean thinks Bobby. It’s the first, the only thought he has. He wonders for a second if Sam might head there but decides no. Sam doesn’t need anyone. He won’t seek out other hunters. He’ll stay alone. Dean knows this is smart. Keep away. Keep them alive. Good tactic. He should stay away from Bobby, too. But he’s not Sam. It’s the one true thing his brother said.
He turns to Cas. “Thought I’d check in with Bobby. See what’s up with his tracking of Death. I saw her, you know, in Lucie’s dream. Gives new meaning to Dr. Death. Bobby said she’s working her way around the country in a pentagram.”
Cas nods. “This is prophesized.”
Dean stares. “Chuck?”
“Yes. He shared this with me. I was with him while you and Sam …”
Cas drifts off. Dean figures his friend doesn’t know what to say about Sam. For the best. Over is over. What’s dead should stay dead. For once … Dean’s going to follow his own advice. Still … Dean looks at Cas. “Wanna come along?”
Cas looks at him with that intensity that Dean has come to depend on despite himself. The same look the angel first gave him a lifetime ago when he asked Dean if he believed he deserved to be saved. He can almost answer yes when Cas looks at him this way.
“Yes,” Cas answers. “Want me to drive?
Dean stares. Realizes Cas just made a joke. A darn good one at that. Wants to laugh. Tries to at least smile because the effort of that sentence is the nicest thing anyone has done for him in forever.
“Not just yet Knievel. But you can ride shotgun.”
It’s a long drive to South Dakota. Dean’s not sure if the angel plans to stick with him the entire way. Looks over a few times as they pass farms and fields and huge empty patches of nothing. Cas stares ahead, rigid, straight. Not for the first time, Dean wonders what the angel thinks about. He knows Castiel misses his family. That leads to an onslaught of bitterness so he decides it best to think about something else. Dean is aware that Cas’s powers continue to fade. He’s starting to feel the effects of alcohol. Which reminds Dean of that last night with Ellen and Jo. Damn it’s hard avoiding these mental mine fields.
How does Sam do it? Of course that thought is also forbidden. Dean’s brain feels like Swiss cheese. It’s missing pieces that at one time made him who he was. He’s bifurcated now. Trifurcated, if there is such a word. He hears Sammy teasing him about knowing a big word. Stick to the Swiss cheese. Easier analogy. He listened in school once in a while. Enjoyed English class not that he ever admitted that to anyone. Fucking liked Shakespeare, truth be told. Dude told a good story. He turns toward Cas.
“You ever read any of our literature?”
Cas seems intrigued by Dean’s question. “Yes. Some. I found some of your literature fascinating.”
Dean’s taken aback. “My literature?” Except for his journal Dean didn’t own any books.
“Well, periodicals,” Cas explains.
This time a smile does make it all the way to Dean’s lips. Not quite his eyes, but it’s a start. ‘Literature’ and his periodicals don’t usually end up in the same sentence.
“There were some interesting interviews,” Cas elaborates.
And this time Dean chuckles outright.
When his stomach starts growling Dean stops for food. “I can wait in the car,” Castiel volunteers.
Dean grins at him. “You could also come in with me.”
Dean settles in with his double bacon cheeseburger, aware of the cute waitress’s odd stare at his non-eating companion. “Food allergy,” he tells her.
“Could you eat?” he asks Cas when she is out of earshot.
The angel looks down at the Formica table top and then back to Dean. “I don’t need nourishment.”
“That’s not what I asked. I know that. But could you eat? If you wanted to?”
“Why would I want to?”
Dean chomps lustily into the burger. Muffles out, “Cause it’s fun.”
“Like alcoholic beverages?”
“Yep. Kinda. Well, less buzz. Unless it’s ice cream.”
Cas continues to ponder him like he’s the most interesting curiosity in the zoo. Dean sighs. Just as well. If Cas starts to eat then he assumes the food will have to eventually come back out and there’s no way he’s explaining that to the hapless angel. Took all he had just getting him to put on a pair of sweatpants to sleep in.
The waitress is a bouncy redhead with all the right curves. Temptation comes over him. He watches her wiggle her ass as she makes her way toward the counter. He looks up to see Cas watching her. Cas’s eyes seem sad.
Dean raises his eyebrows questioningly at Cas’s troubled look.
His companion nods toward the redhead. “Reminds me of Anna.”
“Were you … I mean do angels, you know … hook up?”
Cas smiles. “Not in the human conjugal sense.”
Dean takes another bite and follows it with a swig of soda.
“Anna enjoyed you,” Cas says.
Dean sputters, nearly choking on his drink. “What?”
“When you and she … that night in Kentucky. She told me she enjoyed it very much.”
Fighting back a blush Dean says, “I see.”
“She told me I should try it.”
Dean’s eyes open wide. “Sex?”
Cas hesitates a moment and locks his eyes on Dean. “No, you.”
Dean turns the color of the ketchup-mayonnaise mix dripping out of his burger. He squirms on the vinyl seat. He’s sensitive enough to know that it’s his turn to say something. But for once, Dean Winchester is speechless.
“Cas …” he starts unsure of what else to say.
“It’s fine, Dean. I understand. You prefer women.”
“I think so. I just do not know if that is all I … It is alright, really. I did not mean to make you awkward. You are a beautiful man, Dean. You should know this. It is not a surprise that Michael has chosen you. My brother is also very beautiful. There are not many humans who could contain him. You are very special.”
A very special meat suit. He understands that Cas means well, has complimented him. But Cas is blind when it comes to Dean. After Hell … beautiful is not a word he would use to describe himself. Not that it had ever been a word he’d use.
Dean pushes the remainder of the burger away. His appetite is gone. He likes Cas. Is the only friend he has left outside of Bobby. But he doesn’t like Cas like that. He can’t. It’s just not who Dean is. The last thing he wants is for Cas to decide they shouldn’t travel together any more. Maybe it’s chickenshit, but he doesn’t want to be alone. Because try as he might there aren’t a few minutes that go by when he’s not wondering if Lucifer is getting closer to Sam. And if no matter what Dean does he’s still gonna end up in that run down rose garden staring up at the Devil’s shoe.
“Dean? Are you bothered by what I told you?”
Dean hesitates a moment, then looks Cas straight in the eye and replies, “No. Are you?”
“I can … deal … if you can.”
Cas looks at him for confirmation he has this right. If Dean was capable of falling for a man this is the one he’d fall for. Admitting this to himself feels wrenchingly honest and seven kinds of good and Dean smiles at Cas.
They head back to the Impala. The sun is lower in the horizon now, bathing the small parking lot with a golden haze. Cas walks a few steps ahead of him, and for a moment the warm light creates the illusion of a halo around the angel’s head. Unexpected emotion overcomes Dean.
“Cas … I’ll never understand why you pulled me from … that infernal place. But it’s long past time I said thank you.”
Castiel seems surprised, touched. He moves in closer and places his hand on Dean’s arm, over his own handprint as he does whenever he wishes to express something of import. It tingles as always when Cas touches it. “Saving you … was a privilege.”
“’Cause God ordered it?”
Cas’s face is so close he can feel the warmth of the other’s man breath. The angel gives Dean an introspective little smile. “That is why I believed I did it at the time.”
Dean waits for more but Cas steps back and releases his arm. The skin beneath it is instantly cold. They cannot be lovers but they have a connection Dean values more than he’s let himself admit until now. And he’s grateful because it lets him function, offers comfort, dispels the paralyzing fear that he fights with every breath. Dean does not believe in God. But he believes in Castiel.
* * *
Sam squirms in the too-tight seat there is never enough leg room and grimaces at the tenderness in his stomach. When Dean had finally gotten back in the piss-poor Ford, he’d taken Sam to the nearest hospital, not another word between them for the long ride. After some admonishments, the attendants re-stitched his wound. As they walked out of the ER, Dean apologized to him about the Baykok. There is nothing his brother doesn’t think is his own fault. Sam’d been so shocked at this ridiculous apology he’d just stared.
“We shouldn’ta been on that hunt,” Dean said. “And you got hurt.”
Sam had thought perhaps they had bigger game to track. But he hadn’t objected, certainly not aloud. Rufus needed them and they had to help their friend. To Dean he said, “Dude, you have nothing to apologize for. I went looking for the thing on my own. Got careless. Not your fault.”
If anything Sam feels guilty because he promised Dean he’d play that hunt by the book. And he’d failed. Again. So as usual Sam is the one who owes an apology and Dean is the one giving it and Sam doesn’t know what to say as he looks at his brother’s face, so he says nothing.
His brother leaves him the Ford. Another mile in the thing and I’ll start hitching my pants up to my chest and wearing plaid caps and cranking up Lawrence freakin’ Welk on the radio.
The miles stretch on now long and meaningless. His only goal is to put distance between himself and Dean. It’s different, he thinks, from his singular, revenge-fueled existence after Dean died. His world was defined by red then. Anger. Hatred. Blood. Ruby, even she was red. Heat without warmth. Purpose without meaning. And then Dean stood in his doorway.
Should have made it better. Given him back himself. But it didn’t. Too late maybe. That cold empty place had swallowed him up and wasn’t letting go. There are no colors anymore, no tastes, few sounds. It is death, he thinks. True death. Because even though Dean died he never stopped being Dean. Sam, on the other hand, ceased to exist. Months of his life blur in a string of actions that Sam was present for but not really there. When had he last felt truly present?
Instantly his mind’s back in Palo Alto hearing a noise downstairs. The adrenaline flows through him as he battles in the dark until green eyes look down at him and a rush of feeling engulfs him so that his body feels supernaturally charged. On instinct, he flips the shorter man over, straddles his legs and says, “Dean?”
And for that split second every danger, every terror, every horror he’d run from returns … but Dean is there and he swallows back the lump because Jesus, he’s missed his brother and asks him what he’s doing there.
They hunt the ghost their father’d been chasing and it’s back to all nerves, all energy, all the time. Dean and he go over the edge of a bridge and he loses sight of Dean. His heart freezes until a muddy figure crawls out from below grumbling he’s okay. Sam lets out something between a cry and a cackle and feels alive. Because, man, it’s heart-pounding good to hunt with his brother like this. They make a great team.
Sam pauses in this memory lane excursion. They made a great team. All that’s long gone and buried and Dean said it best … what’s dead should stay dead. All he can do now is keep his brother as far away from Sam, from Lucifer, from all the evil sons of bitches that followed Sam his entire life.
A lingering cramp where his wound still throbs tells Sam it’s time to stop. Wearily, he pulls into a moderate chain motel. He made some cash playing pool the night before and thinks he’ll treat himself to a decent bed for a change. He settles quietly into the neat space. A single. There’s nothing to unpack but he removes his sleep clothes and places his toiletries in the bathroom. The toothpaste tube will retain its cap now that Dean’s not here to lose it and hairs will not materialize everywhere as if a dark golden cat secretly stowed in their bags to shed on every porcelain surface.
He pulls back the crisp sheets and slides in gratefully. The skeeve never seems to bother Dean. A lifetime of settling has made Dean want so little. He flashes to that old, haunted hotel in upstate New York, where the owner thought they were antiquing. That night Dean sinks into the huge, feathery soft, four poster bed like a child diving into a mound of cotton candy. His brother is four years older than Sam. But there are times when Sam thinks his brother is still four years old. They saved a little girl that job. Sam pulled her nearly drowned body out of the pool himself. In the minefield of memories, Sam allows himself this one.
He knows he’s indulging himself tonight. But in the morning it’ll be back to business. Driving to go nowhere. Living to say no. And for that Sam doesn’t need to be present. He needs just to be.
* * *
Gilded edges and baroque colors and … oh, this is new … harp music. Nobody can say Satan doesn’t have a wicked sense of humor. Sam looks around.
He can see Lucifer isn’t thrilled to be called by his failing vessel’s name but the annoyance is immediately covered up by a soft, non-toothy grin. Of course, here, Nick is radiant and full, looking more handsome and fit than he’s surely ever looked in life.
“Still, no,” Sam says with a smirk before turning to survey for what else is new. Still no door. He looks down at himself. He’s wearing what he wore to bed, a tee-shirt and ratty sweats.
Lucifer stares and Sam sees Lucifer is dressed in a pale, silvery gray suit this time. Still cheesy but better than the all white ---
Sam looks down. Oh for heaven’s sake … now Sam’s wearing Good Humor Man formal wear. Complete with hideous white old-man leisure shoes. Shoot him now.
“Are we going out somewhere?” he asks the Devil.
Lucifer grins. “I just enjoy nice things. And you look … very fine.”
Sam gets that cold prickle up his spine again. This is not a direction he wants this conversation to take. He much prefers the Devil angry, not salacious.
“Sorry about your pet,” he says trying to provoke.
“The Cerberus? You did him a favor. The old boy isn’t happy out top. He misses his play toys. Hates the cold.”
Sam can’t think of what to say to this. His life is overwhelmingly weird enough to fry most normal brains.
“Your brother made the right choice.”
Sam’s back on alert. “Leave Dean alone.”
“Sam, Sam … I have a soft spot for your brother. You know this. You do, too, and I understand this. He’s good, your brother, as is mine. Should Michael get his vessel he will be formidable. All that unyielding goodness. His way or no way. Right and wrong and strict rules that can never bend. Can never see that there might be more than one way to do something. That power can be wielded in many ways. That choice … choice is not evil.”
“You chose to use your power for evil,” Sam says.
“Ahh. So all are made to believe by my Father, my brothers. But everything is not as it seems. Did you choose to use your power for evil, Sam?”
Sam flinches but stares the Devil straight in the eye. “No. I … thought I could stop you.”
“Did Dean believe in you, Sam?”
Sam looks away, the other man’s eyes are so blue now they are almost blinding. His body shimmers in soft silvery waves, so beautiful. Words from ancient texts run though his mind. The most beautiful angel in the Lord’s Kingdom.
“I don’t want to talk about Dean. He’s not your concern. This is about you and me.”
I don’t know if I can trust you anymore. Dad said I’d have to kill you, Sammy.
“I’m glad you are starting to see us like this. We will make such an extraordinary pair.”
“No. That’s not what I …”
Lucifer approaches one small step closer and Sam does not like the predatory look in the other man’s eyes.
He tries again to divert what the Devil is radiating.
“There is no pair. You take me over and there’s just you,” he reminds.
“Is this what my brothers … what your brother has told you? That’s not true, Sam. Not at all. It is true for Nick … this poor vessel’s body cannot contain me, let alone his weak mind. No, he’s pretty much gone, for the best, considering. But you Sam … you are not weak. That’s Dean talking. Telling you can’t control the power, that it will change you. But you know better, don’t you? The power is not some foreign thing. It’s inside you, it’s who you are. No Sam. You and I will rule together. You will breathe and feel it all and the wonders I will show you will pour out of your eyes and nose and mouth and you will experience delights that no human can begin to even imagine.”
Sam is drawn by the Devil’s passion, his nature, his essence until Sam realizes he’s come closer on his own. They are standing a foot apart and Lucifer’s eyes are like a bright ocean beckoning for a swim on the hottest summer day. Lucifer smiles and the room is bathed in light and Sam feels the equivalent of a thousand fingers strumming across his body, stroking, rubbing … he’s aware of his arousal and he knows that its wrong but he can’t recall why this is so and he can’t bring his eyes off the face in front of him. It feels like salvation and it’s offering … everything.
“Sam … If it feels this good when I’m on the outside. Imagine me on the inside.”
Lucifer is right in front of him now, full lips just touching the bottom of Sam’s as he brushes them sideways across Sam’s face to blow gently in his ear and Sam gasps at the pleasure and starts to tremble because the figure huddled in the corner of his mind is screaming wrong and he knows he starts to cry because he tastes salt and there are cold fingers traveling down his body, down his chest, lingering on his abdomen, drifting lower and the muscles contract at the feathery contact, despite his hysterical silent plea of no no no …
Convulsing in pleasure and pain, tremors rack through him until he feels like he’ll break and shatter and nobody would know, nobody would ever see the pieces as they melt into the colors of the rug and disappear into Hell. He has to do something, make it stop, his body is his enemy, is saying yes … God help him he doesn’t know how much longer he can hold on. The huddled figure rises, begs NO louder this time … he needs it to stop … it would be better to die … With one last push of reason he throws his head back hard, once, twice and his skull cracks with a jolt against the hard plaster until stars seem to float before his eyes and he whimpers, Dean. Make him stop. Dean …
Sam awakes in his room, tears tracking down his cheeks and he’s afraid to look to see if he soiled the bed because if he did then he doesn’t think he’ll have the strength to take another breath, but mercifully it’s clean. The sheets, his body, there’s nothing there … no sign at all of Lucifer.
On instinct he grabs his cell and his finger covers the “two” key and he depresses it a second before he remembers … he can’t and snaps it shut. He has to protect Dean. Keep Hell away from his brother at all costs. He puts the phone back on the table and sobs out loud like he hasn’t done since he was a small child. Only then Dean was there, consoling, bucking him up with jokes and words and if all else failed with a squeeze so tight that no monster could ever get past it. He misses his big brother more than he thought possible. He fishes out the bottle he bought earlier just in case.
The rough whiskey washes down his throat and he takes greedy gulps until finally the edge of the nightmare recedes, and with a third of the bottle history he passes out.