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. 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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Dean stares at the smug little man. No freakin’ way he just went through this … torture … because of this immature, waste of space, douche bag.
“Another game show? This is Your Life, Crack Edition?”
Gabriel smirks. Walks around them to peer down at their dead younger selves. Pulling a tissue from his pocket he wipes fake tears off his cheek and blows his nose. “Very Romeo and Juliet.” He looks toward Sam. “Guess that makes you Juliet?”
Sam bitchfaces, but keeps his temper in check. Good boy, Dean thinks. This asshole deserves one in the kisser but right now he’s holding all the cards.
“What do you want?” Sam asks, voice dead serious.
“Me? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Want me to go?”
Dean wishes with all his heart he can just say, yes. Instead he waves his hand around the room. “This? The Time Traveler’s Brother … ‘S yours?”
Gabriel looks offended. “Puhleez. I can do better than this with both eyes closed. Where’s the spark? The subtlety? The joie de vivre? Nope. This reeks of amateur. And I don’t like others playing in my sandbox. Especially when they don’t even bother to clean up their toys.”
At this last, he nudges the bodies with his boot.
“Get away from them,” Dean snarls.
Sam steps closer to him, touches his arm for a second. Dean knows that losing his temper with this bozo is dangerous but dammit, this SOB does not touch these bodies.
Dean looks at himself and his brother lying dead together on the floor. The dickwad is right … Romeo and Juliet does come to mind. If he can imagine the blood being gone he thinks it reminds him of when they were really little and used to curl up around each other sharing a motel twin bed. Was good, he can’t help but think. You did good, Dean. You held your brother and never left him alone. Maybe he should have done this at Cold Oak. Spared himself Hell. Saved Sammy from Lucifer.
No, Lucifer isn’t getting Sam, not as long as Dean still is breathing. He takes a tentative, shallow breath to confirm that, in fact, the still breathing part is still true.
Sam is watching Dean and catches his gaze. Dean sees understanding. He thinks Sammy is remembering the safety of sleeping together, too.
“Cas says Kimaris sent us here,” Dean tells Gabriel.
“Cas, eh? Little brother still obsessively searching for Daddy?”
“Yeah, well your other brother keeps trying to drag me to Hell.“
“What can I say? I guess you don’t have the market cornered on brothers who turn dark.”
Sam stirs and Dean suddenly feels defensive for his brother in a way that he hasn’t in a long time. He wonders which brother he’s feeling this way about … the live one standing next to him or the dead one embracing him on the ground? The way they’ve fallen it’s like Sammy is trying to protect him from something. He pulls his eyes away from them and forces himself to stay focused on the archangel.
His leg is hurting again and he shifts, trying to keep the muscle tremors from becoming cramps. Sam notices.
Sam pulls over a beat-up chair for Dean and he sits. With the adrenaline out of his system the discomfort is rapidly ratcheting up into lip-biting painful. But he almost wants to stand anyway, he finds looking up at Gabriel unsettling. Not that he's not been the shorter one since about Sam hit sixteen. But standing next to Sam doesn't make him feel shorter. Must be a big brother thing. But it's not. It's a Sam thing. And he's missed it. Except now, Sam is standing beside him with a determination he hasn’t seen since before … well, before Hell.
“So what happens now?” Sam cuts to the chase.
They can dance around this all night but either Gabriel saves Dean’s life or he doesn’t. Unless he can just stay here? Relive the past three years anonymously. No name, no responsibilities. No Zu-Zu’s petals. Damn if the idea doesn’t appeal. A clean slate. What would he do? Rest, comes the instant answer. Just rest.
Of course, this idea works best if Sam stays here with him. But why would Sam stay with him? If they couldn’t go back to their time his brother could go back to school, have a real life. Call Dean on his birthday. Maybe visit on Thanksgiving. Or would Sam stay? Dean honestly doesn’t know the answer. But that’s not the question right now.
“What would you like to happen?” Gabriel asks.
Sam looks at Dean, eyes opening wide , silently conveying … is it possible that Gabriel will help us? Dean shrugs slightly. He doesn’t trust the archangel. He’s been a trickster way too long.
“Cas said that everything would reset if I was killed,” Sam offers. “Like none of this ever happened.”
“Yeah, well that part’s true. Except everything’s on hold now.”
“On hold?” Sam questions.
“Until I decide what to do with you.”
“How about you just knock over Kimaris’s sand castle and send us home?” Dean challenges.
“Is that what you really want, Dean? To go back? Lucifer’s still itching to get you back to his playground. On the rack. Or off it. Not sure what he’s looking forward to the most.”
“Dean comes back with me,” Sam says in a tone that broaches no arguments.
Gabriel rolls his eyes. “Sam, you don’t need him. You never did. I tried to show you this. Gave you example after example. You lose him, Sam. It’s what you do.”
Sam’s jaw contracts. “Not. Any. More. He comes back with me.”
“You think you have power here, boy?!” Gabriel glares at him.
Dean intercedes. Has a memory of standing between his father and his brother. Always provoking, his Sammy. “Gabriel. We get it. You’re calling the shots. Tell us our parts and let’s move this along.”
“We’re past playing games. The lesson’s over. The class is out.” Gabriel ignores Sam and looks straight at Dean. “What would you like to happen?”
Dean’s spidey sense tingles at red alert. That’s twice the angel’s asked the same question. Sam is staring, equally on edge. What’s the right answer? He feels like he’s on that Japanese game show again. Even though it’s in English he still doesn’t understand the question. And he has a feeling the wrong answer is going to get him more than kicked in the nuts.
“Shall I do some housecleaning while you’re thinking?” Gabriel points toward the bodies. “Gonna get rank in here soon. I should get rid of them.”
“No.” The word catches in Dean’s throat.
With a silent look at Dean, Sam walks over to a cabinet and pulls out two clean white sheets. He hands one to Dean. Together they carefully separate the bodies. He didn’t wrap Sam in a shroud after Cold Oak. This Sam is just a few months shy of dying there. With shaking fingers Dean closes the empty eyes. He feels the dead weight as he maneuvers the cloth around his baby brother. His chest hurts. He realizes that Sam’s movements are mirroring his own. He did this once before, Dean thinks. From the hitch in Sam’s breathing Dean can tell Sam’s crying. He feels the wetness on his own cheeks.
They finish almost in unison and slide the bodies until they are once again touching, side-by-side. Dean feels the strength of Sam’s shoulder against his own. Strong. Alive. With him. In that godforsaken room when he returned from making the crossroads deal, Sam was awkward, didn’t hug back. And then he left Sam, alone with the guilt of sending Dean to Hell. Guilt that didn’t belong to Sam. Dean used to think that love meant never letting go. His brother brushes against him again. Maybe it means side by side?
“Okay Tweedle-Dumb and Tweedle-Dumber. I hate to break this very special Hallmark moment but time’s a wastin’. Well not really, cause it’s really standing still, but you get the picture.”
Sam wordlessly helps when Dean lurches trying to stand. His leg throbs from kneeling and he needs to sit again. As he makes it to the chair, Sam speaks out.
“I’ll tell you what I’d like to happen.”
No. Dean sees Gabriel’s eyes get all bright as Sam speaks.
“I’ll bet you would,” Gabriel says. “First answer me this. Why bother wrapping them up all cozy like. Not like they’re going to feel it.”
Sam looks from the covered forms to Dean to Gabriel. “It’s the right thing to do.”
Gabriel’s next question is directed at Dean. “What was the plan? Kill Sam before he kills you?”
He nods. Has a sense that the less that either of them actually says the safer they’ll be. Hopes Sam understands this, too. For once, he’s not afraid that he’ll be the one to shoot off his big mouth. It’s a strange position to be in.
What’s the point of this? It’s not like Gabriel doesn’t know exactly what happened in that room. Probably was hiding and watching, the bastard. Enjoying the show.
As if reading his mind, Gabriel supplies, “Sammy had to hold the gun because your hand was shaking too much. He steadied it for you.”
Dean wants to throw up. He does not want to hear this.
“Want to know what they said at the end? Last words.”
“Shut up,” Sam says.
“Dean cried like a girl. But then again he always was the weaker of you two. Isn’t that right, Sam? Didn’t you say that yourself?”
Sam explodes and leaps at the other man, shoving him against the wall. Dean rises, almost goes down as his leg protests but tries to get to Sam as fast as he can before his brother gets himself smited.
“My brother’s not weak. He’s withstood more than-- I …” Sam stops, steps back on his own before Dean has to pull him away from the rebel angel.
“I was wrong, Dean,” Sam is no longer paying attention to Gabriel. Dean thinks his brother might have more to say but not here, not in front of Gabriel. And maybe there isn’t anything to add.
Dean nods. That fight in the Honeymoon Suite feels like it happened in a different life. He’s pushed those words down deep. Once in a while they rise up to sting, but he gets now they were spoken in pain, not anger. Dean wants to make it clear to Sam that he understands this.
“Forgave you a long time ago … before that final mess with Lilith. ‘S why I left you the message. Wanted you to know.”
Sam gives him a mystified look and Dean wonders if his brother had ever bothered to listen to his voice message, not that it matters any longer, but then Gabriel interrupts.
“Oh, regarding that…” Gabriel nods, “Have to give a tip of the hat to Zach on that one. Slick. Wish I’d thought of it first.”
“Wha…?” Sam is still confused. Dean suddenly feels sick.
An iPhone appears in the archangel’s hand. He thumbs it on. “Here we go, Deano’s Kodak moment. I only wish we had some violins for accompaniment.”
Dean’s stuttered voice comes from the phone, “… I'm still pissed... and I owe you a serious beat down. But ... I shouldn't have said what I said. You know, I'm not Dad. We're brothers. You know, we're family. And, uh... no matter how bad it gets, that doesn't change. Sammy, I'm sorry.”
“’Course that’s not quite what Sammy Boy here heard, is it?” Gabriel continues gleefully, pointing at Sam, as Dean’s voice comes from the phone again – cold, hard almost beyond recognition.
“Listen to me, you bloodsucking freak. Dad always said I'd either have to save you or kill you. Well, I'm giving you fair warning. I'm done trying to save you. You're a monster, Sam -- a vampire. You're not you anymore. And there's no going back.”
For a moment Dean is in complete agreement with his brother’s desire to whip the angel’s ass back to the pearly gates and they both actually start toward him.
“Boys, boys! This one wasn’t mine! You’ll need to take this up with Zachariah. That is assuming you figure out how to get yourselves back to the Apocalypse. So tell me, what would you like to happen?”
“I’d like to win,” Sam says instantly.
Dean’s back to standing beside his brother. Gabriel is looking directly at him. Why is it so important that Dean reply to this? He senses his life depends on this answer and suddenly the future matters more than it has in a long time.
“I can see why my brother chose you. That’s the answer he’d give.” Gabriel is nodding in satisfaction.
“Sam has nothing in common with Lucifer,” But a tiny part of Dean can’t help but agree that the Devil would give the same answer.
But what was wrong with winning? Should they want the world to freaking end? Winning. What did that even mean? Dean looks once again at the shrouded bodies on the floor. Together … and dead. No future in Hell, no demon blood, no Michael suit, no Lucifer.
Technically, they had won.
“The plan was wrong,” Dean says. “It’s not about winning.”
Gabriel is staring at him intently now. Green eyes burning into his own.
He turns to look briefly at his brother standing beside him, before locking eyes with Gabriel.
“I would like,” he tells Gabriel plainly. “Not to lose.”
A small grin crosses the angel’s face. He looks up suddenly like he’s hearing someone. Dean feels something someone pass through him, surround him, seeking purchase -- a clasp from the inside out. It’s ancient and hot and prickly tendrils are trying to weave themselves through his muscles, imbed themselves and lock him down. The more he struggles, the tighter it clutches.
Sam grabs Dean’s sleeve at his brother’s tremor.
“Dean?” Sam asks alarmed.
As quick as it came, the invisible tethers vanish and Dean’s muscles strum with the sudden release.
“Was that … Michael?” Dean whispers.
Gabriel smiles in his typically cocky way. “Wanted a peek at the goods.” The smaller man walks back to the bodies and snaps his fingers. They vanish.
The archangel is done playing with them. Moment of truth.
“Will you send us both back?” Sam’s question comes out unexpectedly humble. Dean hears the anxiousness.
“Ah, that’s for me to know and you nimrods to find out.”
Gabriel snaps his fingers again. And the world goes black.
Go to Chapter 15