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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How do you fight Death?
Bobby, you see her, the reaper … you’re talking to her?
Dean’s heart stops that very moment. He sees the older man clutch his chest, fall, moan in pain. Dean drops to his knees at his side, holds Bobby’s head. Bobby looks at him one last time, eyes glazed but peaceful before shutting them.
“He’s gone Dean. The reaper has left,” Cas says softly.
“No,” Dean hisses. She can’t … she didn’t. He knows that Sam is there, on Bobby’s other side. That maybe he wants to hold Bobby, too, but Dean’s holding on and can’t let go … can’t let this happen. He rocks the older man in a grip so hard it would bruise if he’d been alive. His father. Ellen. Jo. How can they be dead? When it should be him …
He sinks his head onto Bobby’s still chest and whispers, “No.” Why did you do it? You can’t make deals with these monsters. I’m not worth it, Bobby -- I’m not -- I’m like them. You don’t know. You can’t know what I did, what I am. For this you sacrificed yourself, to keep me from where I belong. Shoulda stayed dead, then all those good folks would be here, today.
“It was his time, Dean.”
“Bring him back! Now. Right now. You bring him back, you hear me … Lay your hands on him and put his soul back!” He screams at the angel, mindlessly throws anything his hands touch, glass is shattering he is shattering.
Cas steps back as Dean attacks him. “I am sorry, Dean. I cannot. I never had such power. His was a natural death. Try to underst—“
Dean hears one word.
Natural? Nothing in Dean’s entire existence has been natural, his life is made up of nasty, rancid, putrid things that pollute all they touch and destroy everything he’s ever cared about … And it is in him. Something came back with him from Hell and visits him at night reminding him where his soul belongs.
The demon comes up into the light and turns on Cas, razor sharp. The sanctimonious angel that should have left Dean to rot where he belongs.
He shoves Castiel against the wall, ignores the eyes that forgive him even as he imagines himself reaching down and ripping Cas’s heart out … so that it stops fucking caring about him.
“Dean. Cas can’t do anything. Stop, please.” Sam is there, wants to touch him, is afraid ...
Dean’s heart stirs a moment, but his demon is still strangling him and he shakes Sam off.
“You’re wrong!” Dean yells at Sam. “He can. He … brought me—“
Castiel does not try to resist Dean’s murderous fury. “When I pulled you out of hell you were not supposed to be dead. And even so, I wasn’t alone, Dean, all the hosts of Heaven were with me. We fought the Devil’s legions to free you. God has work for you. You don’t belong in Hell.”
How could Cas think this? He was there, he saw … even as Cas struggled to pull him from the pit, Dean had wielded one last slash to the worthless soul in front of him …
You did belong in Hell. You liked it. Loved it. The angels don’t know who they picked as their so-called savior.
“I hate you! I hate all of you useless dicks! That man … Bobby deserves to live … not me…“
“Dean ...” He cannot take the sorrow in Cas’s eyes.
“Fucking idiot. Don’t you know I liked it there, got off on it? Send me back and save him!” Dean’s hands are at the angel’s throat, the world is red rage.
Cas’s eyes are filled with such sadness that Dean thinks he might vomit on the spot. He releases his grip and walks away without another glance at Cas, brushes past Sam and knows he’s supposed to care, Sam loved Bobby, too. But he doesn’t care. His own black eyes are staring at him … taunting him, reminding him of how worthless he is and this time he isn’t fighting because the demon is right, the demon is him.
Stupid old man. Thought you could trick Death. He stands over the body, staring down. He stops seeing it. Stops hearing Sam carefully saying “Dean … “ It’s quiet and dark and nothing exists, nothing hurts, nothing even is. He is so tired. He can stop. Just rest.
It’s soothing and warm and tingly and he thinks for a minute that he’s fallen into a warm bath like when he was little. Lights flicker as if someone is taking flash photos only the flares are coming from inside of him and the warmth is turning hot and it’s starting to burn and what the fuck …?
“Cas, what’s happening?!” Sam’s voice is far away, unnaturally high. Scared.
Dean says, Sam, I’m coming … But he’s not moving, not speaking, because nothing works.
He looks around for this new voice except that would mean controlling his body and he’s not doing that any longer. Lights shoot out all over the room and he knows he’s about to become a meat puppet and end the freakin’ world and he shouts out the only name that can help him … “Sam, SAM!” But the words are stuck in his head, don’t come out his mouth.
“No!” Sam screams. “Michael can’t have him. Cas! You said Dean has to agree. Has to say yes!”
Yeah, that’s right … you heard him … Get out. I didn’t say yes. He’d remember that part, wouldn’t he?
Dean, you called for me. Said you wanted it all to stop. I’ll make it stop, we will end this. Together.
Michael. No. No. No. This is a mistake. He never intended, never … For fuck’s sake, couldn’t he even be allowed to be tired without the world ending?
Okay, douchebag, listen up. I did not say, yes. I didn’t sign the permission slip. Now give me back my body.
“Sam. Dean must have said yes.”
What?! No, Cas … you know better. Sam …
“Michael can’t have him. Stop this.” Dean hears Sam’s frantic plea to Cas. “Stop this, tell him, talk to Michael, explain. Dean’s upset, shaken. Bobby was like … a father. Please, oh God, please Michael can’t take him from me.”
“It cannot be undone. If Dean said yes then Michael will have his vessel. Armageddon begins.”
I didn’t say goddamn yes! Sam … don’t listen to him. You have to believe me!
“But Dean didn’t say anything! He was crazy, hurt, but I don’t believe … this is bullshit … he didn’t say yes. Cas … Tell Michael to let Dean go.” Sam is yelling at the poor angel nearly as hard as Dean had a minute? ago.
That’s it, Sammy. I knew you’d know. Cas, do something. Angel to angel.
Cas! Can you hear me? I didn’t say yes. I’m not saying yes. No permission. This is bodysnatching … against the angel handbook, right? Tell Michael to go home.
Michael, this isn’t right. This isn’t how Father intended—
Father isn’t here now, Castiel. You know what’s at stake. We cannot wait much longer.
This man is a not a puppet. He has free will. We never take a vessel unless we are given permission, invited in … Michael how could you—
“Sam … something is wro—“
Castiel. My brother. You mean well, but your affection for this human is corrupting your judgment. You are misguided. You must go and seek divine guidance.
Cas vanishes in a heat flicking flash. No! You bastard. You know he’s right. I did not invite you in. Now get out.
Dean radiates angel light, abruptly he can see out of his eyes again and is nearly blinded by the whiteness radiating off the pale walls in splattered slashes. Sam stands in front of him. Dean tries to meet his brother’s eyes but he can’t control his own. Tears are running down Sam’s cheeks and his arms are out wanting to touch Dean but afraid of the light shining through his skin. Dean struggles to move, to reach Sam, but he has no arms, no legs.
“Dean, can you hear me? It’s Sammy.” His brother’s voice is breaking.
I’m here, bro, I’m right here. Dick won’t let me out. Sam, I don’t know what to do.
“Fight it. I know it hurts. It’s so wrong and you’ve been through so much. But you can’t quit. Can’t … leave. I just got you back. We just became brothers again. Dean, please, tell me you can hear me.”
Dean feels tears burn behind his eyes but knows that they aren’t flowing, aren’t really there. Shaking he pushes and tries to punch himself free but no muscles, no nerves respond to him. The burning increases and he’s certain if he ever gets out of this he’ll have crispy fried organs.
A few more minutes and there will be no more pain, my son. Don’t fight it. The joining will soon be complete. You will experience Heaven’s grace.
Yeah, well, your grace can go screw itself. I want my meat suit back.
You said yes, my son.
Dean’s veins thrum under his skin. I did not say, yes! And stop calling me son. I’ve had two fathers – AND YOU AREN’T ONE OF THEM.
There is such regret in your soul. You seek peace. Wish to rest. And … find redemption. I see. Yes, so much pain. Suffering. By your hands. Accept me and you will be at peace. You will be forgiven. You can rest and let me carry your burdens.
Dean falters. Is Michael is right? The demon is quick to rise and accuse. It’s more mercy than you showed those souls under your lash, remember their eyes, how they screamed, how you shivered in ecstasy with each drop of blood? You should be punished. You don’t deserve this life. Don’t deserve to be saved.
This, what Michael offers, would it make him free of his sins? He’s fought his darkness since before Hell. Has always been afraid of what he was capable of, the things he’d do, for his family, for Sam. Been fighting it always.
“Dean … if this is about Hell. What you did there … The angels, God, everyone, Dean … everyone has forgiven you. You don’t owe any more. I know you’re still in there. Forgive yourself. Fight this.”
Sam’s voice touches him. It’s almost as if his brother knows what Michael has offered. Accept Michael. Gain peace. Redemption. But lose his brother.
Michael, I made mistakes. I know what I did. But … I didn’t deserve Hell.
My brother said the same thing.
I’m nothing like Lucifer! You’re twisting everything. You know this isn’t right. I was tired is all. Maybe I did quit, for just a moment, but I never said … Dean senses a flash of – satisfaction.
You knew his heart was going, that he would die. Instead of warning him you let this happen. You sonuvabitch wanted to break me!
Your friend was a good man. But it was his time. We only helped him find the tools he’d need to achieve his greatest success. What he did, for you, it gave him more than you can ever imagine.
Bobby, thank you. Dean is not going to let Bobby’s gift be wasted.
I don’t know how many more ways there are of saying this. NO! You don’t have permission to use my body. Find another tailor. Isn’t there a fuckin’ harp lesson you’re late for?
Dean you need me. Together we can defeat Lucifer. Get to him before he gets to Sam. Don’t you want this?
Lucifer isn’t getting Sam.
You don’t really still believe you can defeat Lucifer on you own?
No, I don’t think I can defeat Lucifer on my own.
Then you see why you need to agree and let us—
I think Sam and I can defeat him.
Michael is curious suddenly, perhaps wondering what Dean sees in Sam. Dean feels his head tilt. Knows he’s studying Sam the way Cas, Zach, Lucifer, all the angels do.
At this, Sam’s eyes narrow in a burst of desperation.
“Do you want me to say, yes? Is that what this is about? Let’s just fucking kill each other right here, right now?! Like in Rivergrove? You know that wasn’t the right plan. You said it. We can’t win this Dean. There is no winning. Winning is not to play.”
No. God no. Sam, don’t say, yes. Never say yes. I didn’t … Michael, you’re worse than Lucifer, you know that, you sonovabitch. At least the Devil didn’t just jump in and turn Sam into a pod person. My brother sent the fuckin’ Cerberus back to Hell … On. His. Own. You flyboys catch that one? That’s my Sam and if you understand anything, then understand this … I’M NOT LEAVING HIM!
Tears stream down Sam’s face, his anger exhausted. “I can’t do this alone … I don’t want to … Dean, we’re all we’ve got, remember. You’re all I’ve got ...”
His brother falls to his knees, crying, hurting. Sam no, I’m not quitting. I swear it. We’re in this together. Let me go, dammit, can’t you see what this is doing to him. Please. Michael, I’m begging you. Sammy.
Dean sees his brother sway back and forth on his knees and it’s an odd sight, he’s never seen Sam do this before and then he understands that his brother is praying.
Michael. You’re an angel. He’s fucking praying to you. Don’t you hear it?!
No Dean. It’s not me he’s speaking to.
Suddenly, in his head, his heart, riding the waves of his blood, he hears his brother’s soft voice. Dean. Repeated like a soft litany. And it fills him, squeezes him, starts oozing out everything else until a stream of heat rises off him like fog off a sea.
The veil lifts, his eyes see on their own again, his arms vibrate, his leg hurts and he reaches down to touch the shoulder of the brother he swore he’d never let go.
* * *
Sam feels a hand touch him and if he sees Michael in his brother’s eyes he’s afraid he’s going to say yes … but they’re not the cold unfathomable eyes of an archangel, they’re Dean’s green eyes and they’re looking into him and they’re wet.
“Dean?!” He falls forward onto his hands, too staggered to think.
His brother kneels down quickly and steadies him.
“I think so, Sammy. I … Holy fuck that was weird.”
Sam feels the world shift and Dean steadies him again. He takes a deep breath, tries to stop his aching heart, tries to believe his eyes. He holds Dean’s arms for dear life. Needs to ask, but he can’t even form the words. “Are … are you staying?”
“Yeah. I’m stayin’. I told him, no. Kept telling him no.”
“But … how … ?”
“Not sure … one minute I was looking at Bobby and I just wanted out. Couldn’t take another second … Michael was waiting. Saw a loophole. Figured ‘wanting out’ was as good as a yes.” Dean stops a moment. “I’m sorry, Sam. I couldn’t take seeing Bobby … Was weak. I’m sorry.”
“Dean. No. You’re not weak. You’re … God, if you only knew what you are.”
Neither one of them releases their grip on the other. Sam thinks about what Dean has said. “So I was right, you never said yes. I told Cas that.”
“Shouted no. Top of my freakin’ lungs. Bastard was pretending to be hard of hearing.”
“That’s what I said. Cas got to Michael for a minute, said that, too. Got him kicked out of the room.”
“Yeah, he vanished. He okay?”
Dean looks worried. “I hope so.” He looks down. “I owe him an apology.”
“Cas understood.” Sam hesitates, but he needs to know. “How’d you get Michael to back off?”
“I didn’t,“ Dean says. “We did it. Together. We both prayed for the same thing.”
“You could hear me?”
Dean’s eyes are doing that naked thing that Sam cherishes like a gift. “I can’t do this alone, either.”