Title: Saving Grace
Description: Once, he was an angel...
mummyluvr - December 19, 2008 08:58 PM (GMT)
Title: Saving Grace
Summary: Once upon a time, a human glowed really bright and went up to Heaven. Why? Because she was once an angel. Well guess what, honey, so was Lucifer. So what’s to stop him from trying to do the same?
Rating: PG-13 (language)
Warnings: Death of minor characters (as in, not Sam or Dean)
A/N: Regarding the summary, isn’t that a plot hole? I thought it deserved pointing out. In fic form. So sue me (don’t really, Kripke, ok? Love you, buh-bye).
A/N2: So I decided to take a break from writing angel!porn to write this very special gen story that’s bugged me every since 4.10. But, like a lot of my stuff, if you read with slash-goggles firmly in place you might see some Dean/Cas sneaking in around the edges. Because they love each other, ok? It’s practically canon. Gosh!
Disclaimer: I don’t own Supernatural, or any of it’s characters. Sissy Angel Trees and Bottles O’ Grace also © Kripke and Ko.
Black eyes shone from a pale face as the girl smirked at the figures hidden in the shadows, barely even pulling on the ropes that held her tight to the old chair. “About time you boys showed up,” she said, her voice sickly sweet, eyes sliding back to their normal blue-green. “I mean, I was starting to think I’d have to come and find you myself.”
“Well, glad we could save you the trouble,” one of the two men said, stepping into the small shaft of light that filtered through the room’s single window.
Fear flashed across the possessed girl’s face. “It’s you.”
The hunter raised an eyebrow, assessing her, letting the small leather-bound book he’d been clutching to his chest fall to his side. His partner shifted in the shadows, growing either restless or nervous as time passed and the demon remained trapped in the girl’s body on the earthly plane.
“You know him?” the voice came from the darkness, rough with inbred hatred.
“Oh, sweetie,” the demon replied, “everybody does. We’re just waiting for him to step up.” Her eyes darted between the man shrouded in shadows and the one bathed in light. She laughed. “It’s funny, you know? The role reversal here.”
“Hilarious.” The book was raised, held to the light, and opened to a marked page. “Now, I’m giving you one chance to save whatever you have left of your soul. Tell me what you’re planning.”
“Not planning anything,” it said, twisting the girl’s face into a sneer. “Besides, I’d heard you two chuckleheads had an informant or two for this stuff. Why take the time and trouble to catch and torture a poor grunt in an abandoned cabin when there’s a church right up the street?”
Two heavy footfalls brought the shadowed figure into the light. Two more brought him within striking distance of the possessed teen. He leaned down, hands folding around her thin wrists, over the ropes that he’d helped tie. A nod signaled his partner to start the exorcism. “He asked you what you know, bitch.”
“Obviously more than you,” she said, twitching as the sound of muttered Latin filled the small room.
“Tell us where Lilith’s going to strike next.”
“You honestly don’t know?”
He leaned closer, snarling at her, sickened by the reek of sulfur that surrounded her. “You tell me what you know, and we might just let you go.”
The demon grinned. “You big softy. Hell made you weak.”
The exorcism stopped as the flat sound of skin-on-skin echoed through the cabin. “What do you know?” The hunter asked again.
“I told you. More than you.”
A glance over a leather-clad shoulder, and the warm sounds of Latin again filled the room. “What are you getting at?” He was getting desperate. They all knew it. He was running out of time.
The girl’s eyes flashed black, her mouth twisting into a sadistic smirk. “Where’s your pretty angel, Dean?” she sneered before her head jerked back and the demon was pulled into the pits of Hell, leaving the Winchester brothers alone with a teenaged corpse.
The diner where the brothers finally stopped to get some lunch was one state and two hours from the cabin where the exorcism had taken place, and they had barely spoken to each other since salting and burning the girl behind the old hunting cabin.
The lights in the restaurant were bright, reflecting off the white tabletops and dirtied tile floor. A booth toward the back beckoned and they made their way to it without even looking at each other, sliding into the seats and slumping down, looking as inconspicuous as possible.
There were only four other patrons in the diner; a mother and her teenage daughter, who reminded them both too much of the girl they’d just buried, a man about their age with dark unruly hair and his back to them, and an older gentleman who kept giving them dirty looks.
“So,” Dean said, leaning forward across the table and shooting a glare of his own to the old man, “what do you think?”
Sam shrugged. “Demons lie. They say cryptic stuff to make us sweat and then they laugh about it in Hell.”
“Yeah, but we haven’t heard anything about Lilith or the Apocalypse or anything trying to break Seals in nearly two months.”
“And, we were practically being smothered by nosy smiters with invisible feathers before that. Doesn’t that seem a little weird to you?”
Sam shook his head. “I think you’re just overreacting.”
“Dude, I woke up once and he was watching me sleep. Now, poof, and nothing.”
“Well, what do you think happened?” the younger man asked, glancing over his shoulder, looking for a waitress and failing to find one. “You think they stopped it and just forgot to tell us?”
“What, then? You were kinda God’s golden child for a while there, Dean. I assume that doesn’t just stop without warning.”
Dean sighed and looked away, at the rest of the diners, the people who were blissfully unaware that the end of the world was looming closer every day. “I dunno. Maybe He just… lost interest?”
Sam laughed, the noise cutting harshly off as Dean swung his head back and leveled a hurt gaze at him. “You’re serious?”
“You think the angels left because God lost interest in you? Because He maybe found some other insignificant speck of dust under the fingernail of a giant to poke at for a while? Honestly?” There was laughter in his voice, but Dean’s face was deadly serious.
“That’s what happens,” his brother explained. “People lose interest, just don’t give a crap anymore, and then they leave.”
Dean shrugged. “Story of my life.”
Sam opened his mouth, mind still searching for an appropriate response, but was saved the trouble as a waitress finally appeared. “What’ll it be, boys?”
Both men glanced at their menus. “Burger,” they said together, Dean requesting extra onions and a slice of their best pie, as well. With a smile, the waitress turned and walked back to the counter.
As soon as she was out of earshot, Sam leaned across the table, having finally come up with a good enough response for his brother’s thinly-veiled admittance of self-esteem issues. “God doesn’t just give up on people.”
“I’m not like everyone else.”
“Yeah, you got a Get-Outta-Hell-Free Card. That’s gotta mean something.”
“Passing fancy,” Dean muttered, leaning back in his seat and crossing his arms over his chest. “It’s over now and we’re outta the loop, I guess.”
“Don’t you think somebody would have-?”
“No, Sam. I don’t think they have e-cards for this. Nobody’s gonna drop by and tell us we’ve been replaced. Maybe instead of exorcising every random demon we find, we should ask your girlfriend what she knows.”
Sam shook his head, seeing the change of subject for what it was, but unwilling to keep pushing the issue. “No. She hasn’t called in a while. Maybe they really did stop it. Maybe Lilith is dead or they’ve got all the Seals covered or something.”
The waitress returned with a tray of food, a bill, and a forced smile. “Will that be all for you boys?”
“Yes, Ma’am,” Sam nodded, flashing a smile of his own and hoping it looked genuine as she turned and walked away.
Dean sighed, watching her go. “Think they’d want to tell us if the Apocalypse had been averted, though.”
The younger man rolled his eyes and threw his hands up in surrender. “All right, fine. God hates you and the angels are ignoring you. They got tired of playing with you and decided to just leave you hanging instead of sending you back to Hell. Is that what you wanted to hear?”
There was no response other than a slight narrowing of the hunter’s eyes as he stared into the diner. He tilted his head a bit, watching something with a great bit of attention, before finally sliding soundlessly out of his seat and moving across the tiled floor.
Sam watched him go, curious, but knowing enough not to ask any loud questions when Dean was in stealth mode. The older hunter walked up to the man who’d been eating with his back to them- the man who was suddenly in a hurry to leave.
The stranger stood, his back still facing the brothers, and ran a hand through his wild mop of hair. He pulled on a dark jacket and pushed in his chair, and Sam realized suddenly that he was trying especially hard not to turn in the Winchester’s direction. And that just screamed all kinds of wrong.
Following Dean’s lead, Sam slid from his seat, ready to play back-up if needed. He fingers itched for a gun, Ruby’s knife, any kind of weapon, but the mother-daughter team and the grumpy old man were still there, now staring at them, and murder was typically frowned upon in public. They would have to settle things on the demon’s terms.
It had to be a demon. Dressed in a white t-shirt and dark jacket, faded blue jeans, and tennis shoes, there was no reason for Dean to go after the guy unless he’d seen the telltale black flash in his eyes while watching the waitress walk away.
Dean finally caught up with the possessed man and grabbed his arm, stopping him in his tracks just before he reached the door and the freedom of the small town’s main street. The hunter forcefully spun the man around, turning the demon to face them, and gasped.
So, yeah. That's chapter 1. 9 more to go. Comments/reviews are always welcomed. Thanks for reading!
mummyluvr - December 21, 2008 12:08 AM (GMT)
*crickets* Wow. Have I really been gone that long? Guess so. Still takes more than being ignored to keep me away, though :)
The two hunters sat across from the angel, three cups of cooling coffee on the table between them. “Explain,” Dean demanded. “Now.”
Castiel ran a hand through his hair- front to back, then back to front- pushing it up before smoothing it out. It looked like he might have recently gotten it cut. It looked different, anyway.
The angel glanced over his shoulder, toward the door that led to his freedom, before directing his gaze back to the brothers. He sighed, defeated, and slumped back in the seat that Sam had previously occupied. “I fell.”
“What?” Sam asked.
“You’ve gotta be kidding me,” Dean muttered.
“I assumed you knew,” Cas said.
“We haven’t seen anything but demons in the past two months,” the older hunter said. “How would we know?”
“No, I mean… someone should have been sent. Unless our forces have become so depleted…”
Sam leaned forward. “You think Hell’s winning?”
“I don’t know,” Castiel shrugged. “I’m in the same boat as you two. Heaven typically frowns upon the fallen.”
“So why’d you do it?” Dean asked, ignoring the scathing glare that Sam sent his way and the sharp connection of his brother’s foot with his shin under the table.
Castiel stared at him for a moment, and it was almost like nothing had changed. Like they were back in that painted-up barn, the angel blood-stained and shot, leveling that wide-eyed gaze at him and asking questions that hit him where it hurt, cut him deep, without even realizing it. “Why do you think?”
Dean clenched his jaw and gazed out the window, up at the cloudless sky. Yeah, as far as he was concerned, they were right back in that freakin’ barn. And he still didn’t deserve to be saved. “So,” he said, maybe a little too loud, “the angels shut us out, and the demons are still planning the Apocalypse. That’s great.”
“We’re right back where we started,” Sam mused. “Yeah, great.” He looked around the diner to find more than just the grumpy old man staring at them. The place was filling up fast, and they couldn’t risk being overheard. “We should leave.”
Dean nodded and threw down a wad of cash for the food and coffee. “Yeah. Gettin’ claustrophobic. But you’ve got a point. Hell’s winning and we’re up a creek.”
“Maybe not,” Cas said, standing up and following the brothers as they exited the diner. “I’ve been watching for signs and omens, trying to track the few Seals I knew about. There haven’t been any major surges in activity recently. If nothing else, the battle has come to a stalemate.”
The older hunter shook his head and slid in behind the wheel of his car. Sam got in beside him. They both looked out at the angel. “Get in,” Dean said.
“I don’t want to burden you,” Castiel began.
“Oh, buddy,” Dean smirked, “you moved past ‘burden’ the day we met. Besides, we need to talk.”
With a glance over his shoulder, the angel climbed into the backseat of the Impala and Dean pulled away from the diner.
“Ok,” Sam said, wasting no time in getting straight to the point. “Tell us everything.”
“Everything?” Cas asked, brow furrowing in confusion.
Sammy nodded. “Where’ve you been, how’ve you been tracking demonic signs-”
“And what the Hell did you think you were gonna do once some big-time demon reared it’s ugly head?” Dean supplied. “Because, no offence, dude, but you kinda got your ass handed to you when you had angel mojo on your side, and now?”
Castiel narrowed his eyes, in annoyance rather than confusion this time, and sighed. “That was just the one time. If I had a nickel for every time I’d saved you… or did you forget the whole Hell-thing?”
Dean raised an eyebrow and glanced into the rearview mirror. “Wow. How hard did you hit your head when you fell?”
The former angel turned his attention back to Sam. “I fell nearly two months ago. A month and two weeks, actually.” He glanced over at the back of Dean’s head again. “For personal reasons.” Back to Sam. “My first thought was to come and find you two, but I didn’t want to be a burden.”
“So, where’d you go?” Sam asked.
“I went to a shelter.”
“Dude.” Dean spun in his seat, nearly driving them off the road before Sam could grab the wheel. “No way. You totally should have found us.”
“I thought I’ve been a burden since the day we met, Dean?”
“And I thought you would have learned not to pay attention to anything I say. Ever.”
Cas shook his head. “It was fine, really. A roof over my head and three meals a day. Besides, I could observe, learn the basics.”
“Still,” Dean muttered, finally turning his eyes back to the road. “We coulda helped with that.”
“It didn’t take that long. Besides, I found a more permanent residence within a week. There’s a priest I knew from before. He’d been helped, and had given his life in service in return. He was a hunter. A friend of Jim Murphy’s, I believe.” He shook his head again. “Anyway, Daniel took me in and agreed to show me the ropes, teach me to hunt without Divine Intervention.”
“But if you fell,” Sam said slowly, wondering just how much of a personal subject this was, “why would you want to keep fighting? Why not just do what Anna did?”
“Yeah,” Dean agreed, glancing over his shoulder- only briefly this time. “How come you’re still wearing Tax Accountant?”
Castiel dropped his eyes, his face reddening. He scrubbed a hand over the back on his neck before cording the fingers through his hair. “The man- Thomas- has been dead for a while now. He was given his reward. And I… I was selfish, I guess. I wanted to remember what I was, I wanted to remember everything. I wanted both worlds.” He looked back up at them, chewing on his lower lip, the action so human that both brothers barely suppressed twin gasps. “I justify it by saying that I wanted to fight. To keep fighting. That was only a small part.”
“All right,” Dean shrugged. “So you got yourself stuck inside some middle-management type. That’s cool. He know how to handle a gun?”
“He didn’t,” Castiel grinned. “But I do.”
Dean leaned up against the outer wall of the motel he and Sam were calling home for a few days, his hands shoved in his pockets, eyes staring out over the parking lot without truly seeing anything. He sighed as the door opened and Castiel appeared, standing beside him and mirroring his relaxed stance in a way that the hunter once thought to be impossible.
“So, Sam got you all caught up?” Dean asked.
“Yeah.” He sighed. “I heard you two talking. Back in the diner.”
Castiel nodded. “I’m sorry. I thought… it was selfish.”
“No. You know what’s selfish? Thinking that Jesus love you. Thinking that people need you and want you and that maybe when they say that you deserve something, they’re right. It’s thinking, for even just a second, that maybe you were wrong all along.”
“No. It’s seemingly disappearing off the face of the earth without a trace only to pop up in a diner two months later with a crappy explanation about where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing and why.”
“Dude. Did you just say crappy?”
Cas shrugged. “Learned it from you. That, and drinking.” He smiled.
“And, uh, where’d you pick up the whole readable emotions on the face thing?”
“From you. Everything, actually, stemmed from you, somehow.” He followed Dean’s gaze, looking out at the few cars in the lot. “I fell because of you.”
The hunter flinched. “Yeah, I figured that out.”
Castiel leveled that deep blue gaze at him again, confused. “What do you mean?”
“Look, we’re not gonna force you to stay here, or anything. We just wanted to know what was going on, and when I saw you in the diner…”
“No, I’ve got it. You didn’t want to put up with me, so you gave up Heaven, shirked your duties, and viola. No more Dean Winchester. And, hey, that’s cool. Sometimes I wanna dump my handsome ass, too.”
“But to lie about it? Right to my face? I mean, I know you’re not in my head anymore, Cas, but you’ve gotta know me well enough by now to realize that I can figure this stuff out.”
The angel sighed. “No, Dean. I fell because you made me realize that there was more to life- to eternity- than blindly following orders. You showed me things I’d never thought about before. Things like love and kindness. Things that I’d been told- by Uriel, mind you- didn’t exist among humans. And I couldn’t have that before.”
“Yeah?” Dean asked, still not convinced. “Then why’d you try to run at the diner?”
“I told you. I’m not used to being a burden on people, especially those I care for. And you’re right. I do know you, and I knew that you’d want to avoid this conversation if at all possible. You forced my hand.”
Dean grinned. “You really fell for freedom and love? Dude, that’s pathetic.”
“What should I have fallen for?”
“Or coffee. Maybe sex. But I’d definitely fall for pie.”
Castiel smiled, the sorrowful mood completely dissipated. “I wouldn’t expect anything more from you, Dean.”
“Hey. Just because I wouldn’t be willing to give up Heavenly bliss or whatever for a few sissy concepts doesn’t mean I’m a complete degenerate.”
“So you believe me?” Because he needed to hear it, needed to know that he hadn’t done some great irrevocable damage by committing his first selfish act.
“Well, I doubt you would have picked up on lying so quick.” A smirk. “Guess I have to believe you, then, don’t I, Castiel?” He glanced down at the shorter man. “Hey, you got a name? I mean, like, a normal one? From this millennium?”
Castiel raised an eyebrow and glared at him, but the annoyed expression quickly melted from his face. “Actually, I’ve been going by Cas.”
Dean shook his head. “Man, that’s pathetic. Come on. We should head in.” He walked into the motel room, Castiel following closely behind in companionable silence, and stopped in his tracks. “The Hell? Two months of silence and all of a sudden we’ve got angels coming outta our-”
Cas cut him off by grabbing his arm and tugging him roughly back toward the door. Uriel turned his attention from Sam, who was standing by the television, and glared. “Well, if it isn’t the other mud monkeys. How I abhor the plural.”
“What do you want?” Castiel asked, passing Dean and entering the room to stare the angel down.
“To send a warning,” Uriel said. “The final Seal is about to be broken.”
“Final? There were still-”
“That was nearly two months ago. Much has changed.” The angel’s face contorted into a sneer. “You were not the only one to run with his tail between his legs.” He looked over Castiel’s head to Dean. “Someone would have been sent to tell you, but things have escalated lately and we were overwhelmed and understaffed.” Back to Cas. “By no fault of our own, of course.”
“What do we have to do?” Sam asked.
“You will do nothing,” Uriel said, voice soft and forceful in the small room.
“How do you expect us to help?” Castiel questioned.
“This job is for Dean alone.”
The hunter shook his head. “I’m not doing anything without Team Totally-F*cking-Awesome backing me up. Sorry, pal.”
“This is not a matter that concerns them.”
“End of the world.”
“You don’t understand.”
“What is it?” Cas asked, breaking up the dialogue. “The final Seal?”
Uriel sighed. “The Seal of Judas.”
“Judas?” Dean stepped forward to join his brother beside the television.
“I know who he was. What I want to know is what he has to do with these two.”
“The Seal of Judas,” Castiel explained from his spot by the door, “is also known as the Final Betrayal. What Uriel doesn’t realize, however, is that if I were the Seal, it would have broken months ago.”
The angel glared at him for a moment before turning to Sam. “The boy, then.”
“What are we trying to prevent?” Dean demanded.
“A betrayal,” Uriel said. “Of epic proportions. One trusted and loved turning to darkness. The sin of Judas. That will release the Beast.”
Three sets of eyes turned to Sam, who squirmed under the attention, squaring his shoulders and jutting out his jaw. “It’s not me.” When he turned back to the angel, Uriel was gone. He looked to his companions. “It’s not me.”
Dean nodded. “I know. What did I tell you about angels, man. Dicks.” He sighed, glancing over at Castiel. “So if it’s not either of you two, then who is it, and how do we find him?”
The former angel shrugged. “I don’t know.” He practically collapsed onto the bed nearest the door, staring up at the ceiling. “It could be anyone, really. Most likely, though, it’s someone with a lot of power. Someone claiming to be good. Someone people trust.”
The brothers sat on the other bed, gazing at the wall. “Well, that narrows it down,” Sam scoffed, “what with a new president taking office and all. Let’s not forget all the good folks in the military. World leaders. Hell, might as well extend it to school teachers, parents, anyone who can do damage.”
“This was so much easier when we were going after specific demons,” Dean muttered.
Castiel sat up suddenly, eyes wide. “Sam, where’s Ruby?”
mummyluvr - December 21, 2008 08:47 PM (GMT)
“Any minute, now.”
As if on cue, the door was broken down and three men came charging in, shotguns aimed and loaded full of rock salt. The two demons simply stared at them and smiled.
Ruby stepped forward, shaking her head to clear a few stray strands of hair from her eyes. “Sammy,” she cooed. “How nice of you to finally join us.”
His eyes darted from his lover to the child that stood behind her and back again. “Tell me it’s a trap.”
She lightly pushed his arm out of her way and pressed herself against him, staring up into his eyes. “It’s a trap,” she whispered, sliding her hands up onto his chest, palms open, trustworthy. “But not for Lilith.” Her eyes flashed black as Sam flew across the room and connected with the wall, his gun skittering across the floor.
Two shots went off, both aimed at the child, who deflected them with an easy wave of her hand. “Oh, Dean,” she said, eyes turning milky white as she smiled up at him. “I missed you so much!” She ran toward him, arms outstretched, but Cas stepped between them, shotgun raised and eyes narrowed. The little girl crossed her arms over her chest and pouted, stopping about a foot from them. “Now where’s the fun in that? I don’t get a bodyguard.” She jerked her head to the side, sending the former angel flying into a corner. “That’s better. I like it more when we play fair.”
“You stay away from me.” Dean growled.
“Silly. We’re gonna be best friends now.” She smiled. “Ruby says so.” She leaned comically to one side, looking around Dean to watch the scene playing out on the wall behind him.
The hunter shifted slightly, keeping both demons in his sight. “You bitch,” he directed at the one who was gazing up at his brother with lust in her eyes, “you sold us out.”
“Yeah.” Ruby spun, her eyes flashing, glaring, glowing for a moment under the fluorescents that had been hung from the ceiling of the warehouse they’d found her in. “What’s your point?”
“I trusted you,” Sam muttered, struggling to free himself from the wall.
The demon laughed. “Sammy, come on. I’m a demon. You didn’t really think Lilith would let me out that easy, did you?”
“You can still come back to us.” Four sets of eyes turned to see Castiel struggling to his feet. “You can still redeem yourself. We can offer you protection.”
“I’ve seen your protection,” she scoffed. “I’d rather live as a traitor than die by your hands.” Again, something flashed across her eyes, something rippling through the pools of black, smooth and shiny.
“Say it again,” Lilith coaxed. Ruby opened her mouth, but was cut off by the sound of rustling wings. Uriel was standing in the midst of the scene, his eyes roving over the three humans and two demons. The child smiled. “Let the games begin.”
Uriel stepped forward slowly, the movement calculated, his eyes never leaving Lilith’s face. “You will not break the Seal. Lucifer will not be allowed to roam free.”
“That’s what you think,” the child said, looking up at the angel with malice in her eyes. She stood still and let Uriel approach, watching him with great interest as he reached out and caressed her face, his large hand moving from her cheek to the top of her head.
“You couldn’t break the Seal yourself, whore,” the angel muttered, his face screwed up in concentration, “what makes you think that this underling can?”
“Because, silly,” Lilith hissed, reaching up and grabbing Uriel’s hand, snapping his wrist and twisting his arm with unexpected strength and speed. “God and Adam were the only ones who trusted me. Both sides believed in her.” She tugged on the angel’s limb, pulling him to his knees. “Once more,” she whispered, “that’s all it takes. Her third denial.”
“Could have sworn that was Peter,” Dean said as he swung his shotgun at her, connecting the stock firmly with the side of the demon’s head. Lilith stumbled, maintaining her grip on Uriel, and glared up at him.
“Tired of shooting?”
The hunter leveled the gun at her. “Depends. You gonna let him go?”
Lilith simply smiled, her eyes flashing white again as her hand began to glow with the same white light that demons seemed to have become so fond of in the past year. Dean fired off another shot without hesitation, but the bullets didn’t hit the girl, just stopped midair and fell harmlessly to the floor.
Uriel screamed as the light intensified and threw Dean backwards into a wall. He slid down to the floor, unable to regain his feet, and looked over at Cas, who was staring at the demon with fear in his eyes.
That was when Dean realized what was happening. He’d never thought to ask before how angels could be killed, had kind of taken for granted the fact that they were just always there, and now he was watching one being murdered and there was nothing he could do about it.
He looked across the room, searching for Sam in the haze of murderous light. Sam had the knife. Sam had powers that he wasn’t supposed to use. Although neither of those things had worked on Alastair, maybe they could work on Lilith. Maybe they could save the asshole of an angel that had gotten them into this mess.
Sam, he saw, was otherwise occupied. Ruby had pressed herself up against him, her hands running up and down his chest, her mouth latched onto his as he fought to get away from whatever force was powerful enough to plaster him to the wall like that.
The angel screamed once more as the light reached an impossible intensity, shining like a small sun in the warehouse, and then burnt out abruptly. The body that Uriel had been using dropped to the floor, lifeless.
“That was fun,” Lilith said, turning from the still form on the floor to look at Dean and Castiel. “Now, who’s next?”
Dean pushed himself up onto his hands and knees and crawled across the floor to the fallen angel. Things were looking bad. Things were looking very bad. “What now?”
“We fight,” Cas shrugged.
“Tried that,” Dean muttered.
Lilith turned her attention back to Sam and Ruby. “Maybe I should start with you, Sammy? Doesn’t that sound like fun?”
Ruby finally pulled herself from the hunter’s face, smiling up at him. “I’m sorry, Sam,” she said, leaning up once more to nip at his chin.
The hunter pulled away. “You can still save us. You can still save yourself.”
“Nope. Don’t think so. I’ve chosen my side. You should choose yours.” With that, her eyes slid back to black. The demon stepped away, smiling, to stand beside Lilith. Again, something flashed across the black, something that shimmered and shifted and stayed, molding and melting until Ruby’s usually black eyes shone silver in the light.
The earth under their feet began to shake, startling the demons into releasing Sam and shocking the two humans on the other side of the room into attempting to stand. Something deep in the ground rumbled loudly, causing Ruby’s new eyes to widen and Lilith to giggle like the sadistic maniac she was.
Dean leaned against the wall for support and looked over at his own companion. “What’s going on? Cas?”
Wide blue eyes turned toward him, chilling him to the bone. “The end.”
mummyluvr - December 22, 2008 06:15 PM (GMT)
The ground continued to shake, small cracks forming in the concrete floor of the warehouse, growing larger by the moment as the sky outside turned a sickening shade of green and the wind began to howl, shaking the metal siding. Lightning flashed and thunder roared, sharp light and sound splitting the sky, threatening to blind and deafen the group huddled in the eye of the storm.
The roof shuddered above them, shingles snapping. Dean looked up, the scene striking him as comfortingly familiar. He almost expected an army of angels to appear and save them all.
Shingles flew from the roof, metal flying off into the wind as rain began beating down on them. Lilith turned her face to the sky. “It is done,” she whispered, shedding all pretense of childlike innocence. “You have lost.”
Dean felt himself collide with concrete that was more pebble than solid rock as Castiel dove sideways and tackled him out of the way of a collapsing section of wall. The whole place was coming down as earth and sky split.
Across the room, they could see Ruby fall to her hands and knees, her attention finally turning from Sam long enough for him to scramble away. He crossed the room, sticking close to the wall and avoiding falling shingles and sections of steel and concrete from the collapsing building to stop beside Dean and Cas. “What the Hell is going on?”
“The Seal was broken,” Castiel explained, struggling to be heard over the roar of the wind and the crumbling of the ground. “Lucifer has been freed.”
With a final loud crack, the floor beneath them split, opening to reveal a gaping chasm of red light. The world went silent for a minute- the wind stopping its roar, the lightning and thunder ceasing, the breath catching in the humans’ chests- before a cloud of oily black smoke erupted from the hole, swirling through what was left of the warehouse, creating a dark tornado.
Dread settled over them, hanging on their shoulders, landing in their chests. They had failed. Despite it all, despite following Heaven’s orders, learning to fight as mortals should, and being pulled from the depths of Hell, they had failed. Lucifer was there, on Earth, spinning in a cloud of despair and death and destruction before their very eyes.
The cyclone calmed, the smoke settling on the ground between Ruby and Lilith, and began to change. It shrunk, bubbling down, and solidified, forming mass and muscle and dark skin as they watched. It paled, became recognizable, became human.
It opened its eyes- the whites glowing bright in the destruction of the storm, the irises an unearthly violet- and smiled. He glanced down at himself, his smile widening as his eyes took in the sight of the baggy jeans, dark t-shirt, and hooded jacket that had formed from the smoke. “Well,” he muttered, smoothing out the clothing, “I always did like to keep up with the times.”
He looked back up, running a hand through his short blonde hair, his eyes settling on Lilith. “Babe,” he breathed. “Aren’t you just cute as a button?”
Lilith smiled up at him. “I can find a different body, if you want. One more pleasing.”
Lucifer stepped forward, settling a hand on top of her head. He knelt until he was level with her, still smiling. “I know how much you like the kiddies. Shame we couldn’t have any of our own. Got close, though. We still tried. You’re fine just the way you are.”
He reached out with his other hand, cupping Lilith’s face, and pulled her in for a kiss. Sam, Dean, and Cas knelt by the wall, watching in fascination and frozen- by fear or demonic telekinesis, they couldn’t tell.
The male demon moaned, breaking the kiss for a moment to look into his lover’s milky white eyes. “I’ve missed you,” he said.
“Missed you, too,” Lilith cooed.
“Why’d you take so long?”
She blinked. “What?”
“The Seals, babe. What took you?” He ran the pad of his thumb over her cheek, smiling, looking deep into her eyes, fingers cording through her hair.
“The other side got in the way,” she said. “It wasn’t easy, you know.”
Lucifer nodded. “Neither was waiting in Hell.” With a quick flick of his wrists and a flash of his eyes, her neck snapped, killing host and demon in an instant. “And I’m not a patient person, Love.”
He released his hold on the now-dead body, his head cocking as it fell to the floor with a hollow sound. The demon stood and looked around, as if really seeing his surroundings for the first time. His eyes lit on Ruby, cowering in the corner, and he smiled.
“My Judas,” he whispered, sauntering over and holding out a hand to help her back to her feet. Her silver eyes shone up at him, untrusting, for a moment before she reached out and took his hand. “I believe I owe you, my dear.” He pulled her up and rested a hand lightly on her back. “I need your help to get acclimated. Much has changed, I’m afraid.”
Ruby nodded, her sliver eyes trained on the ground, body shaking violently under the creature’s touch. “Of course, my lord.”
Lucifer smiled. “Such formalities. Please. I have a name.”
She bowed her head. “My apologies, master. Lucifer.”
“Much better.” He pulled her closer, wrapping his whole arm around her, his devilish smile widening. “I think we’re going to be good friends, my dear. Don’t you?”
The lower demon nodded again. “Yes,” she whispered, voice shaking.
“Good.” He tightened his grip, twisting long, pale fingers into the fabric of Ruby’s jacket before finally letting her go. She sagged back against the wall.
Lucifer turned his attention from his newest lackey to the three humans who were still hunkered by the opposite wall, watching the scene unfold and hoping to get away relatively unscathed. With a wave of his hand, the trio was pinned to what was left of the wall that had nearly crushed Dean earlier, their bodies spread flat, faces screwed into identical glares of defiance as the ultimate evil began walking toward them.
“Well, well,” the Devil said, stopping in front of them and drawing his hands behind his back, inspecting them as if all three were paintings in a museum that specialized in cheap knock-offs. “I see we have some mud-monkeys in our midst.”
Dean growled at him, but was smart enough not to taunt. The damn thing had killed Lilith with a flick of his wrists, after all. This demon was the one that had started it all, was the one for which Hell had been created. No, he was smarter than that.
“What’s this?” Lucifer asked. “The Mighty Dean Winchester without some kind of retort? I must say, I’m disappointed, boy. I was so hoping to engage in some witty repartee before sending you back to Hell.”
“Bite me.” He was smart, but sometimes he just couldn’t help himself.
“Not my job. I’ve got puppies for that.”
“You can’t take him back,” Cas spoke up. “He belongs to God.”
The demon laughed. “They all did. In the beginning.” He stepped up to the angel until they were eye-to-eye. “Things change. They come to me willingly now. But you knew that, didn’t you, Fallen?” He glanced back at Dean, that horrible smile back on his face. “You’re both mine. And I don’t share.”
“You won’t win.” Sam this time, undoubtedly wanting to get a word in edgewise before they were all torn and shredded and sent to Hell. “We won’t let you.”
The Devil turned toward him, a look of false shock on his face. “Ouch. Now that hurt. Son.” He spun again, turning back toward Ruby. “We’re going. There’s something I need to finish and time is of the essence.”
“What about them?” she stuttered.
He shrugged. “I’m a big softy at heart. I’m going to let them live to see the end of their world. Isn’t that nice?”
Ruby nodded, pushing herself slowly from the wall and wobbling a bit as she tried to stand on shaky feet. “Very nice,” she echoed.
“That’s what I thought.” Lucifer looked back at the men he had pinned to the wall. “You can’t stop me,” he stated simply. “Even God Himself has lost that power now.” And with that, he strode out of the decimated warehouse, Ruby trailing close behind.
mummyluvr - December 24, 2008 06:01 PM (GMT)
Sorry I didn't update yesterday. Slept in, had to do laundry, and then had a Christmas party that ran really long. So, no time to post. And this might be the last post for a couple of days because all of this holiday cheer is just too much for me right now (as in... family time, y'all!) So it might be a couple of days before I update again. Happy holidays!
Sam slammed his hand down on the cheap motel desk. Dean and Castiel watched him from the bed with mild interest, the latter flinching slightly at the sound. “What are we gonna do?” the younger hunter muttered. “And what the Hell did that thing mean? Son?”
Castiel sighed, tired eyes watching him from under a lowered brow. “The Devil is the father of lies, Sam. You’ll do well to remember that. He knew just what to say to scare you and distract us. You’re not the threat here. He is.”
“Yeah, so what are we gonna do about it?” Dean asked. “Besides getting sent to Hell.”
“Lies, Dean,” Cas said. “More lies. Sam is the master of his own destiny, you are more than a hellhound’s chew toy, and fallen angels don’t automatically go to Hell. God is merciful. I thought you both had realized that by now. We need to concentrate on the task at hand. We need to figure out how to stop Lucifer.”
“Well, that’ll be easy. Let me just grab my copy of Stopping the Apocalypse for Dummies.”
“Humor,” the former angel observed. “That’s cute. You know, it’ll be hard to hide behind a smile when Hell comes to earth. When innocent people are filleted alive because we failed to act. We’re the only ones who know he’s here, Dean. We need to do something.”
“Fine, then. Let’s go find him. Take the fight to him, exorcise his ass back to Hell.”
“It can’t be that easy,” Sam argued. “We’re looking at the original demon, here. The one that started it all. An angel that fell from Heaven and was locked away in Hell to rule. And did you see what he did to Lilith? I mean, he doesn’t even need to possess a body, Dean, he made one all on his own. The guy’s a power-player if we ever faced one.”
“So what do we do?” Dean asked. “Just wait and see what happens?”
“We wait for higher orders,” Castiel said. “Wait and see what God commands.”
“You really think God wants our help?”
“Why would He not?”
Dean looked like he was going to speak, his mouth opening for a second before closing just as fast. He shook his head, turning away from the other two men to look at the wall.
“Dean,” Cas prodded.
“Two months and we haven’t heard God’s orders,” he muttered. “And now Lucifer’s walkin’ free? I doubt we’re a top priority.”
Blue eyes narrowed, as if trying to see into the older hunter’s soul. “Dean?” A hand reached out, settling lightly on a leather-clad shoulder. Dean’s body tensed momentarily before relaxing again, a small sigh escaping his lips.
Sam watched the scene from his place at the small table, wanting to help, but hesitant to intrude. Two months. Nearly two months they’d been without any Heavenly guidance or assistance, and now he was seeing the result of that. He thought it odd that he hadn’t noticed before, hadn’t seen the tension in his brother’s shoulders, the uncertainty in his eyes, the shuffle in his step.
Dean opened his mouth. His jaw hung there, unhinged, silent for a moment. “I-”
All three men jumped as something began pounding roughly against the door. Three heads turned, three sets of eyes trained on the flimsy piece of wood, the salt line they all knew wouldn’t keep anything too evil out.
They stood, he brothers rising first, their motions in synch from years of practice and tandem training, years of running and necessity. Castiel followed their lead, followed them to the shaking door, followed fluid motions with newly-honed movements of his own and wide eyes.
Two useless guns, one hand outstretched to the doorknob. No one even mentioned the fact that the free hand was Sam’s, that they all knew what he would do with it if the moment came.
The lock turned, the door shuddered, burst open, and Ruby rushed in. The demon’s eyes glinted silver, sparkling like something out of a Stephenie Meyer novel as they roved over the hunters. Sam’s hand was still held toward her.
“Please,” she muttered, breathless. “I made a mistake.”
“Understatement of the year,” Dean growled, training his gun on her.
“No,” she gasped. Her hands were out, palms up, a sign of false innocence. “Please. I didn’t think. I was scared. I want to help.”
“Like you wanted to help me?” Sam asked. All eyes turned from the demon to the taller hunter, toward the cold sound of his voice, the lack of emotion. “Because this really helps, Ruby. I’m definitely feeling the love.”
“You didn’t just think she’d let me out, did you?”
“Give me one good reason not to vaporize you right now.”
“He’s gonna kill you.” She sighed. “All of you. Tonight.”
“And why should we believe you?” Dean asked, eyes sliding back to the traitor in their midst. “After all, I thought it was more fun to watch us squirm till the end?”
“Because the Devil lies,” Castiel said. “He twists and bends the truth as all demons do. He lures you into a false sense of security and then attacks when you feel safest. Isn’t that right?”
Ruby nodded. “He wants to get you all out of the way. He doesn’t want anyone to stop him.”
“Stop him from doing what?”
“What?” Sam asked, finally dropping his hand. “Can he do that?”
“He seems to think so,” Ruby said. “He wouldn’t stop talking about it, said he’d had time to think, found a flaw in the Grand Design or something. He found a way to go back. He’s gonna kill you and then we’re going to Pontiac-”
“Illinois?” Dean asked. The demon nodded. “Why there?”
“I don’t know. He won’t tell me. Just said something about God being too trusting. Something about justice being served. I was scared, all right.”
“You wanted this.”
“I wanted freedom.” She stepped forward, coming closer to the loaded gun that was still pointed at her chest, her courage returning in the company of familiar faces that couldn’t send her back to Hell without a bit of concentration. “It’s what everyone down there wants. You should know that, Dean.”
“I never would have sold out the entire human race for a shiny new set of peepers. It’s not worth it.”
“It’s a moot point. Someone else wanted you out.” She glanced at Cas. “He all right?”
Dean flicked his gaze to Castiel, who had dropped his hand, the gun hanging limply at his side. His face had paled, eyes gone wide, mouth hanging slack. “Cas?” No response. “Something wrong?”
“Pontiac.” The former angel said, the single word spoken in a labored breath.
“Yeah. You know something? Maybe something in standard English, because I’m really not in the mood for some cryptic ‘the beginning is the end’ crap right now.”
Cas shook his head. “Pontiac, Illinois is the place where-”
Ruby began to scream. Weapons and hands were raised, bodies tensed. The demon wailed, her voice rising in pitch as her silvery eyes began to glow, to shimmer, to shine and burn and burst into a shower of sparking flame as if she’d suddenly seen an angel.
She fell to the floor, hitting her knees, scratching at the smoking holes where her eyes had once been as her body began to burn slowly, the flames rolling under her tanned skin, charring it from the inside out.
The men stumbled back as the scene played out before them with no obvious cause other than Spontaneous Demon Combustion. Ruby’s skin flaked and fell to the ground as her bones caught fire, burning bright through melting muscles. She collapsed face-first, her mouth open in a silent scream, unable to escape her comatose host.
“What the hell was that?” Sam asked as the fire continued to crackle, filling the small room with the sickly-sweet smell of burning flesh.
“That, my dear boy,” a voice answered from outside the door, “was disobedience.” A figure stepped into view, hovering behind the charred remains of Ruby’s final body. He raised his head, violet eyes gleaming from the sunken sockets of his pale face. “That was betrayal. Wish I could say I didn’t think she had it in her, but, well, I did. Depended on it, actually. Good thing I followed her, isn’t it? She’ll be more than welcomed in the Ninth Circle. Need someone to take my place, after all. Can’t trust those three numbskulls to punish themselves.”
The hunters took another step back, farther into the room, boxing themselves in, keeping their distance. The Devil smiled.
“What?” He asked. “You thought Dante was wrong? That he was tripping on acid? No. He was there.” The cold gaze traveled to Dean. “God has let many an innocent man travel to Hell in the name of salvation. Normally, though, He lets them out relatively unscathed. Maybe you’re just special. Isn’t that what your mommy always said? Still does, if I remember our last conversation correctly.”
Dean lowered his head, glaring at the figure standing in the doorway, but didn’t speak. He took another step back, to the side, catching sight of his duffle bag. Lucifer followed his gaze.
“What are you looking for, Dean? A rosary? Holy water? A Bible? Because that worked so well when Lilith visited you in your sickness.” He stepped over Ruby’s corpse, coming to rest just inside the doorway. “I know what you were thinking, Dean. Where was that angel? Well, I can tell you for a fact that he was watching, waiting for you to die. See, Cas here likes falling into Hell.” He turned to the former angel. “Felt just like home, didn’t it, buddy? Bet you can’t wait to go back.”
“Get thee behind me, Satan,” Castiel growled.
“Like I’ve never heard that one before.” He blinked, turning to Sam, who had raised his hands- one toward the Devil, the other to his own forehead. “Nice try, sport. But it’s gonna take a bit more than your magic fingers to get me the Hell outta here.”
He sputtered, suddenly, caught off guard as a bottle of holy water was splashed in his face. Immediately following the water was a shotgun shell full of salt to the chest, fired from a close enough angle to knock Lucifer backwards and out the door.
Dean slung his bag over his shoulder and made a beeline for the door. Castiel and Sam followed without hesitation. Staying behind wasn’t an option, not with the Devil regaining his balance and wiping the ineffective water from his flashing eyes.
He watched them clamor into the Impala and skid through the parking lot, burning rubber as the trio distanced itself from Hell on Earth. He smiled. They were smarter than he’d thought- smart enough to live another day, at least. If nothing else, they could prove to be fun to play with until the end.
“Just don’t go walkin’ slow, boys,” Lucifer muttered to himself, toeing the smoldering body at his feet with a malicious grin. “The Devil’s on the loose.”
mummyluvr - December 27, 2008 09:36 PM (GMT)
Hazel eyes dared to slide from the road to the rearview mirror in time to see the pale figure standing in the doorway of the motel room dissipate, turning into a thick black smoke that floated harmlessly off on the breeze. “Where’s he going?”
“Pontiac,” Cas said, leaning forward from the backseat to make himself heard over the roar of engine and radio.
“But why?” Sam asked. “What’s in Pontiac beside a decimated gravesite?”
Castiel sighed, leaning back a bit and running a hand through his hair, his eyes cast downward. He looked so human, so lost. “Pontiac is where… it seemed fitting, I guess. You see, I got to choose. Anna just plummeted. But I was already here. And Illinois is where this all started. So…”
Sam, twisted in his seat. “What are you trying to say?”
“I fell in Pontiac, Sam. At Dean’s gravesite. That’s why Lucifer is heading there now.”
“But that doesn’t make any sense,” Dean argued.
“It makes perfect sense. My Grace is still there. That’s what he’s after. That’s how he’ll return to Heaven.”
“What? By sweeping in and scooping your angel mojo out of a tree? It can’t be that easy. I mean, you guys have to have some rules or something about that.”
“Why would we?”
Dean blinked. “You’ve got to be kidding me. Nobody ever foresaw this happening before?”
“The breaking of the Seals and the releasing of Lucifer from Hell? No, Dean. We were hoping to prevent that.”
“And what about other demons?”
“What about them?”
“What’s to stop them from making off with the angel magic?”
“They’d have to find it first,” Cas reminded him.
“So? I mean, if Anna could do it-”
“Anna was never supposed to.”
“I’m just saying.” Dean sighed, tightening his grip on the wheel and gazing out at the road. “So, let me get this straight. When angels fall, most of the time, they get reborn as human babies. Except for you, because you’re special.” He glanced in the mirror, saw the angel nod, and continued. “When they fall to Earth, their Grace, the stuff that makes ‘em angels, comes too and turns into foliage, yes?” Another nod. “Kay. So, they don’t typically remember that they’re all Heavenly, so when they die, they’re treated like people, right?”
“Yes,” Castiel said. “I don’t understand-”
“Just want to clear some stuff up,” Dean interrupted. “Now, let’s say the angel remembers and wants to go back to Heaven. It finds its Grace and is welcomed with open arms?”
“That’s what happened with Anna, yes. God forgives.”
“And if a human were to stumble across this magical tree?”
Cas shrugged. “I suppose, if the human knew what to do-”
“You’d have another angel on your hands?”
“If the human were a devout person, it would be possible, but-”
“And if a demon found the tree?”
“No. The demonic energy and the Heavenly force of the Grace would cancel each other out.”
“So Lucifer can’t be going after it,” Sam said, a small smile creeping across his face.
“Lucifer was an angel,” Castiel reminded him. “There is still a place in his being, as blackened as it may be, for Heaven’s light. He and the other original Fallen would still be able to ascend if ever they stumbled across an angel’s Grace.”
“So we’re screwed,” Dean said. “He’s won. He’s taking the fight somewhere we can’t follow.”
“Not necessarily,” Cas muttered. “He’s smart. He’s probably anticipated our movements and will have created a distraction, something to keep the armies of Heaven busy while he travels to Pontiac. But maybe I can warn them.”
“How? You gonna send up smoke signals?”
“I can go back.”
The two bodies in the front seat stiffened and turned slightly to look at him. “No.”
“It’s my decision, Dean.”
“You sound like a broken record.” He sighed, again dragging a hand through his untidy hair. “It’s my fault we’re even having this conversation in the first place. If it wasn’t for me-”
“If it wasn’t for you, he would have found someone else,” Sam pointed out.
“Who, Sam?” Cas asked. “There weren’t any others, not from this century. Not since Anna. Not any that are so predictable, anyway. And it’s not exactly a common occurrence, frowned upon as it is.”
“Well, why should you have to go back?” Dean asked.
“Somebody has to tell them what Lucifer’s planning, especially if I swayed others to follow my lead. Besides, it’ll throw a wrench into his plans, stop him long enough to call in reinforcements.”
“But it’s not fair.”
Castiel turned to him, and again, it was as if nothing had changed, as if the angel was still an angel, still capable of turning back time and stopping the armies of Hell. He stared at Dean for a moment, not blinking, wide blue gaze locked. “You still feel guilty about Anna. You still think about what she told you.”
A half-turn of the driver’s head was all the answer he would get.
“She lied, Dean. That’s the interesting thing about being human. You can lie. You really think I couldn’t feel before? You think I didn’t have any free will? Then how’d I wind up here? There had to be something to get me from point A to point B.”
“Still can’t let you go back.”
“She doesn’t hate you. She did what she had to. She saved us all that day. She still loves you.”
Cas sighed. “You can’t stop me.”
“Like Hell I can’t.”
The angel smiled. “Cute. Nice choice of words. Who would you choose to take my place?”
Sam surprised them both by straightening in his seat and daring to butt into the conversation. “I’ll do it.”
“No.” Dean really did sound like a broken record.
“Why not?” Sam challenged. “You want a one-way ticket to the Pearly Gates?”
“No, I just… I don’t think…”
“Dean’s right,” Castiel said. “It can’t be you. There’s no way to tell how your blood would react.”
“Perfect,” Sam scoffed. “So I can’t get into Heaven now?”
“You can get in,” Cas grinned. “Just not with a harp.” He turned back to Dean. “That narrows it down to you.” Dean opened his mouth. “And of you say ‘no’ again, I’ll smite you.”
Instead of arguing, the hunter simply pulled up to a gas station and exited the car. Sam and Cas glanced at each other before the taller man got out and headed into the store to pay and grab something to eat, leaving the former angel alone with his charge.
Castiel leaned against the side of the Impala and shoved his hands in his pockets, staring long and hard at Dean as the other man pumped gas. “You’re going to need to talk about it eventually, you know.”
“No, I’m not.”
He sighed. “Dean.”
“Nothing to talk about, Cas.”
“You still don’t think yourself worthy-”
“You know,” Dean said, turning on him suddenly, “I don’t get it. You… you’re different.”
“Yeah, I got that from the use of contractions and the swearing. But what I want to know is why.”
“I told you already. You’re trying to distract me, Dean. You should know me better than that by now.”
“All right. You tell me what’s going on, then, Cas. Tell me what’s going through my head.”
“I don’t know, Dean. Why don’t you tell me?”
“What do you want me to say, man? That I messed up?”
Castiel narrowed his eyes. “How?”
“You told me that God had work for me, right? I was supposed to stop the Apocalypse. Well, look around you, Flyboy. It’s here. I failed. Don’t think God’s gonna look too kindly on me now.”
“God forgives, Dean.”
“Not when the person He sprung outta Hell didn’t do a damn thing He said, helped fell and angel, and then let Lucifer walk free. And I’m guessing He especially wouldn’t like it if I showed up in Heaven with my own shiny new wings-and-halo set.”
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Dean. You really think you don’t deserve to be saved? You really think that all the good you’ve done means nothing?”
“I messed up!”
“But you tried.”
“You don’t understand,” Dean muttered. “That’s not good enough. I always tried. I tried to take care of Sammy, and I tried to be good enough, and I tried to help my dad, and I tried to save the world, and I tried to hold out forever but I just couldn’t. Sam left and dad left and I couldn’t do what he wanted and the Devil’s out walkin’ around and I broke. There are people out there- demons- who were sliced and diced and turned into what they are because of me. So you can’t stand there and tell me that God forgives.”
“You tried,” Castiel said again, softer this time, “and that’s all that matters. Your eyes aren’t black. Your soul is only bruised. You would not be turned away at the gates of Paradise for one mistake- or even a thousand- not if you had tried. And, Dean, sixty years of suffering and torture is trying. I know. I saw.” He leaned sideways, nearly toppling before his shoulder found Dean’s. “I forgive you.”
Dean glanced at him, barely making eye contact before breaking it again, obviously uncomfortable. “Yeah, well. You’re not exactly in high standing anymore, are you?”
“I will be.” He pushed himself from the car and stood, looking back at Dean with a small smile.
Cas shrugged. “What can I say? I tried being human. Didn’t pan out.” He slid back into the backseat as the gas station door opened and Sam reappeared, carrying a receipt and a bag full of candy, signaling the end of the conversation.
mummyluvr - December 28, 2008 10:50 PM (GMT)
“So run this by me again,” Dean said, barely righting himself as he stumbled over his tenth fallen tree branch since entering the disaster zone of a forest that surrounded his former gravesite.
Castiel sighed as he picked his way over the twigs and sticks that littered the ground. “My Grace is sealed inside a tree, which should be standing somewhere around here. It will take a pure soul or a once pure soul to extract it.”
“Define a pure soul,” Sam said.
“Someone who has remained taintless. Or one who has a place in their being where the Grace will fit, a place where it once belonged.” Cas turned and fixed the hunter with a sympathetic look. “Of course, some taints are no fault of the tainted.”
“So I’ve been told.”
“And how exactly does one extract this magical angel juice?” Dean asked.
“With a simple touch,” Cas said. He shook his head. “I’m starting to see what you mean about setting some ground rules. It’s too easy.” He climbed over a tree trunk, frowning at the destruction around them. “I’ll have to bring it up at the next board meeting.”
The number of half-standing trees finally began to thin, giving way to decimated trunks. Standing tall before them was an imposing oak, the only thing in the remnant of the forest that was fully alive and covered in thick green leaves. They stood at the edge of the destruction for a moment, staring at the sunlight streaming through the tall branches.
“Dude,” Dean breathed. “That’s a sissy angel tree.”
Cas grinned, nodding toward a small hole in the ground to the left of the tree and under a makeshift wooden cross. “And that’s a horrible excuse for an escape route. You could have done much better.”
“Contractions, swearing, and a sense of humor? I just don’t know about you anymore, Cas.”
The angel shook his head. “Things will be back to normal soon enough, Dean.” He walked into the clearing, the brothers following him, spreading out on either side, flanking him at a distance.
“You don’t have to do this. We can find some other way.”
“Dean’s right,” Sam seconded. “If you really want to stay like this-”
“Unfortunately, Sam,” Cas cut him off, “I don’t think that’s an option anymore.” He pointed to the other side of the clearing, where a pale figure in dark clothing had just emerged from the trees. Lucifer gazed at them calmly, a smile working its way across his face before he waved a hand at them, sending them flying back, hurtled in three different directions, into the scattering of dead and dying trees.
They’d been separated, separated with enough force to crack tree trunks and send vision spinning toward darkness. Separated with enough force to lose each other, seeing only Lucifer as he approached the tree, his hand outstretched, lips curled into a sneer.
“Can’t wait to see what you boys have done with the place,” he muttered to himself. The smirk faded from his face as he stopped halfway across the clearing, his eyes turning to stare at something hidden within the trees, narrowing, glaring. “Samuel.”
Sam stood at the edge of the clearing, one hand outstretched toward the Devil, the other clamped tight to his forehead in what he assumed to be a sorely needed preemptive strike.
“Sammy, Sammy,” the demon cooed, turning his attention fully from the tree and to the psychic. “You really think that’s gonna work on me?” He took a step toward the hunter, smiling at the way Sam faltered. “I could break you, boy. Break you right in two.”
Sam’s hands dropped to his side in defeat. “Yeah,” he said. “I know.”
“Then why try to stop me?”
“I wasn’t trying to stop you.”
Lucifer turned in time to see Castiel break from the trees and into the clearing, running toward the tree that held his Grace at a sprint. He also saw something that the angel didn’t, another body going through the exact same motions, running desperately toward the center of the gravesite in hopes of saving the world from destruction. Both Sam and the demon realized the same thing in the same instant: they couldn’t see each other.
Dean and Cas reached the tree simultaneously, reaching out and grabbing the trunk, their fingers caressing cool bark. That was the moment that their eyes met, the moment before the world exploded in a shower of warmth and light, the moment that Lucifer screamed and fled in defeat and Sam covered his eyes out of necessity.
Dean woke up, rolled out of bed, stumbled to the bathroom, and promptly emptied the contents of his stomach into the toilet. Oh, yeah. He was feeling awesome.
He hefted himself to his feet, swiped a hand over his mouth, glanced in the mirror, and froze. He leaned closer to the glass, cocking his head to one side, unsure he was seeing what he was seeing.
His eyes. His eyes were different. They were blue. Deep, dark blue. The kind of blue that countless swooning chicks could get lost in. But that was wrong, because Dean Winchester’s eyes were most definitely not blue. Green, maybe. Or hazel. Brown if the light hit them right. But not blue. Never blue.
He blinked and they were back to normal. Green or brown or hazel or whatever. Not blue. He blinked again. Still not blue. He considered that a good sign.
Dean shook his head. Hell of a night. Hell of a dream. Angels and the Apocalypse and Grace trees and Lucifer. Wow. Wait until he told Sam. He opened the door and headed back into the room, stopping in his tracks when he saw Sam sitting on the bed with a very pedestrian angel.
“Cas,” Dean muttered, “you changed your clothes.”
Castiel glanced down at himself before looking back up at Dean. “I’ve been wearing this for the past couple of days, ever since you found me in the diner.” He narrowed his eyes, too blue, unblinking. “Are you feeling all right?”
“Oh, I’m fine. Except for the weird End of Days dreams and the vomit and the fact that my eyes are changing color. And you’re back.”
“I never left.”
“No.” Dean shook his head. “You were gone for two months.”
“Unless it wasn’t a dream?”
“Took you long enough,” Sam muttered, glaring at him. “You idiot. What were you thinking?”
Dean shrugged, dropping down onto the bed opposite them as his legs gave out under the weight of reality. “I dunno, Sam. Maybe that Lucifer going back to Heaven could be a bad thing?”
“Cas had it covered.”
“Not from where I was standing.”
“Yeah, I noticed.”
The angel nodded. “We’d been thrown to opposite sides of the clearing. We had no way of seeing each other.”
“So what now?” Dean asked. “What happens? You go back to Heaven and warn them and Lucifer gets ganked and we all live happily ever after? Or did it not work?”
Dean looked nervously between them. “How complicated?”
Sam grinned. “Oh, you’re gonna love this.”
“What?” Dean asked. “Is it still in the tree?”
“No,” Cas said. “It’s not in the tree.”
“So you’re an angel again.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m still human.”
“Am I an angel?”
Castiel smiled. “No, Dean. You’re not an angel.”
“Then who’s the angel?”
Sam leaned forward, a grim smile on his face. “This is the good part.”
“Both of us.”
Dean shook his head. “But you just said-”
“And neither of us. Grace was not meant to be divided like that, split between two souls. The schism caused it to weaken.”
“What’s that mean?”
Cas sighed. “Basically, we’re no different than Sam. We’re human. We’re just… special, I guess you could say.”
He shrugged. “I don’t know. Not special enough to be of any use to the forces of Heaven. Certainly not special enough to warn anyone of Lucifer’s plans. We’re on our own.”
“Someone’s gotta realize-”
“They’re busy,” Sam said. “We watched the news while you were napping. Guess what? The US just declared war on Korea, threatened half the Middle East with nukes, and the president is about to push the red button on Iraq once and for all. An earthquake actually started splitting California from the rest of the continent, kicking off looting like you haven’t seen since Katrina hit. A whole section of China was quarantined with some weird illness they still haven’t diagnosed, and the entire animal population of northern Africa dropped dead for no apparent reason five hours ago.”
“So? Dean, don’t you get it? Worldwide war, earthquakes, lawlessness, disease, famine. They’re all signs of the Apocalypse. Lucifer’s creating a distraction. He’s keeping Heaven busy so he can go after what he really wants.”
“But we got it,” Dean said, “so he can’t want the tree anymore.”
“He doesn’t,” Cas said, his voice tired. “He wants us.”
mummyluvr - December 29, 2008 11:15 PM (GMT)
The night sky was clear enough above the small motel that Dean could see every star, every planet, every imperfection in the universe clearly. It was beautiful. He never would have admitted that aloud, but in the silence of his mind and wrapped safely in the slight haze of the beer clutched loosely in his hand, he felt ok thinking it. It was beautiful, and it made him believe, if only for a second, that God truly existed.
The door to the room opened, spilling light onto the section of concrete stoop that Dean had claimed as his own. A shadow stretched out across the pavement- not lean enough to be Sam. An eternity ago, Dean had seen that shadow sprout wings before disappearing into nothingness, leaving him with a fallen angel who had lost her memories of Heaven. This time, the door closed, the shadow faded, and he was left with a fallen angel who remembered everything. He still wasn’t sure which was better.
The angel sat down beside him and pulled a bottle of beer from the package between them, popping the top off on the step.
“You drink?” Dean asked.
“What do you think I’ve been doing this whole time, Dean?” Cas asked. “Singing in a boy’s choir?”
“Nah, man. I’ve heard you try to sing. Definitely not your calling.” He shook his head. “What are you doing out here? Thinking of returning to your night job as a stalker now that you’ve got your angel mojo back?”
“I wanted to ask you why you did it.”
“Back to being cryptic, I see.”
Castiel sighed. “You seemed to think that gaining Grace would lead to your damnation, that God is somehow displeased with you because you failed to stop Lucifer.”
The angel turned to look at him, head cocked, brow furrowed, and Dean could have sworn he felt something pushing at the back of his mind, a slight pressure that increased just before Castiel’s nose started to bleed. He turned away, wiping a hand across his face, smearing the blood. “Dammit.”
“Dude, were you trying to read my mind?”
“That’s, like, an invasion of-”
“You’re better than him.”
Dean blinked. “I’m sorry?”
Cas finally looked back at him, eyes wide, a thin line of red still painted down his face, running into his mouth. “I saw- heard- you’re afraid. Dean, Lucifer was cast out of Heaven for his pride, for refusing to acknowledge humans for the flawed, beautiful creatures that they are. To think that you could ascend only to get cast down into Hell… do you really hate yourself that much?”
“You’re the freaky mind-stalker. You tell me.”
“I would, but,” he swiped his hand under his nose again, clearing away the excess blood. “Aneurysms are bad.”
Dean shook his head. “I messed up, ok? End of the world. Earthquakes and famine and death and destruction.”
“But it wasn’t your fault. Ruby and Lilith are to blame. Lucifer. Myself. We all played a greater role than you ever could have.” He sighed, wiping his face across his sleeve and frowning at the drying flakes of brownish-red that stuck to the fabric. “You believed that attaining Heaven would ultimately get you sent to Hell, and yet you still ran to the tree. Why?”
The hunter shrugged, staring down into his half-empty bottle. “You know, that wasn’t even the half of it? If you asked me a few months back to take your place, I would have. To feel nothing, to be perfect. But the more I got to thinking about it, the more I realized I’ve played obedient soldier enough for one eternity. But then the world broke open and everything changed and, I dunno. I could tell you that I saw Sam had him distracted and I just ran, figured what the Hell, and tried to save the world. I could say that I didn’t want you to have to go back, to risk getting yourself tossed in the Pit. Or I could tell the horrible, selfish truth and admit that I thought I might be able to stay in Heaven if I helped ‘em stop Hell. I mean, it’s nice up there, right?”
“Beautiful beyond description.”
“Yeah. Bet my parents are there.”
Cas nodded. “They are.”
Dean sighed, took a long swig of his beer, nearly finishing it off. “They miss me?”
“More than you could ever know.”
“Thought people weren’t supposed to be sad in Heaven?”
“A common misconception.”
“Were you sad?”
Cas took a drink before setting the bottle between his legs. He absently swiped the pad of his thumb around the rim, staring into the liquid. “I… wasn’t unhappy. Not until I met you.” He glanced back up at Dean, sensing the man stiffen. “That’s not a bad thing.”
“You fell because of me.”
“Yes and no. Anna was lying. I told you, that’s the incredible thing about being human. We can lie. Didn’t you ever wonder, Dean, how she knew she was unhappy if she couldn’t feel anything?”
Dean turned to him with wide eyes. “I never,” he glanced back down, “um, no.”
“I felt. We all did. Just not like you. Not to the extent that you do. Angels are creatures made of love, made to love. We feel love for creation, love for the Father, love for all people. We feel righteous fury during times of war. But things like hatred and jealousy and confusion and pain and panic and bliss and lust and joy and sadness and all other emotions were dimmed. They were dimmed by that love until we came here.”
“So, walking around inside Tax Accountant was like an emotional high for you, then?”
Cas nodded. “You could say that. It was interesting. And the things that I’ve seen since arriving- things like free will and humor and,” he blushed, “love… I don’t know. I’d been told that the world was a dark and scary place, and to be greeted with rock salt and knife to the chest didn’t help matters any, but the more I saw, especially of you, the more I realized that some of my brothers were just bitter. The things you experience are amazing in their subtleties. Things like taste and touch and smell. You take them for granted.”
“And that’s why you fell?” Dean asked. “Emotion and the five senses?”
“Kindness and generosity. Small wonders.” The angel looked at him. “You heard what Uriel said. I fell and others followed my lead. They undoubtedly were born again, as infants, fleeing from battle, using my selfishness as an excuse.” He shook his head. “They don’t know what they’re in for. What being human entails. Angels have the option to flee, to run scared, to fall. I know a human who believed he was running headfirst toward paradise and perdition and still didn’t stop. That’s why I fell. I was selfish once so I could be selfless for a lifetime.”
“You think I’m some kinda saint-”
“It doesn’t matter what I think. What matters is what you think. And you think you’re worthless. You think you’re a stain upon the earth. You think you don’t deserve to be saved. That’s what gives me hope for humanity, Dean. One among the many. I like to think I’m going to be a better person because I know you.”
Dean shook his head. “You really knocked your noggin, man.”
The angel took another drink and smiled. “I knew you wouldn’t believe me. But it’s the truth.” He sighed, tilting his face up to the inky sky spotted with bright stars. “Another reason to fall,” Cas muttered. “I’ve never felt so small.”
The hunter glanced at him out of the corner of his eye. “That a good thing?”
“After spending so much time feeling so big, watching and waiting, being unable to truly help in any way…” he trailed off, ran a hand through his hair. “I’ve had to watch wars, assassinations, disasters. Fires. I could have prevented any of them easily, but those were not my orders. I was told to simply watch. So big. It’s nice to finally be on the other end. To be watched, to be able to do something.”
Dean nodded. “And they’re beautiful.” He blinked. “I mean, you know, if you’re into that kind of nonsensical, poetic crap.”
Cas grinned. “Yeah. They’re very nice.”
“I mean, I never used to notice before, but everything now seems like it’s just…”
“A work of art?”
“Stupid, simple stuff,” Dean continued, his eyes far-away, staring off into the night sky. “Stuff like trees and kids and dirt. And scars and skin and scabs because there was a while there I thought I’d never actually stop bleeding.”
“Hell changes people.”
“Don’t I know it.”
“No. It changes them for the better, too. Makes them see things they couldn’t before. Makes them appreciate things. The cool touch of a hand, the kindness of a stranger, that warm thrumming in your soul when you enter a church.”
“What warm thrumming?”
The angel smiled. “You should try it now. I have a feeling you’ll like it.”
Dean shifted, finally drawing his eyes from the sky and to his companion. “So, what’s gonna happen to us now? I mean, should I be worried? I’m not gonna accidentally two-finger-whammy some random guy back into the eighties or something, am I?”
“No, Dean. I suppose some practice might be in order, just to find out exactly what our limitations are. Just to find out what really happened.”
“Take it this doesn’t happen too often.”
“An angel’s Grace is like its essence, its divine soul. It’s difficult to split, but apparently it can be done. It will have been weakened, obviously, but we might be able to salvage something useful.”
“The only way to get to my Grace and Heaven now would be to kill us, extract both halves, and reunite them.”
Dean nodded. “So, we should probably try to prevent that, then.”
“And what’s to stop him from going after any of the other angels that fell after you?”
“Nothing besides the fact that he doesn’t know where their Grace landed. He doesn’t even know where his own is. He could be searching for millennia. Killing us is the faster option.”
“Great,” Dean sighed. He raised his bottle, now almost empty. “To our last days on earth.”
Cas grinned. “I’ll drink to that.”
mummyluvr - December 31, 2008 12:29 AM (GMT)
Shadows played across the ceiling, twisting and writhing like masses of black smoke, tortured souls being poked and prodded, ripped and shredded, cut and torn, maimed by skilled hands and watched by dark, fascinated eyes. Dean turned away, looking toward the other bed.
He was too cramped to sleep, shoved in under the covers of the queen bed next to his brother because Sam had to be a perfect gentleman and give Cas his own bed. He was too scared to close his eyes, fearing what Lucifer being on the earth’s surface might bring to the forefront of his own mind. No, Dean was just fine staying awake for a while, until the urge to nod off became more than he could fight. Oddly enough, he’d been awake for nearly three hours and wasn’t tired yet.
He stared at the other bed, at the angel’s head poking out from under the covers. He was tempted to go sit beside him and just stare at him, wait and see how long it took him to wake up. Maybe freak him out a bit. Turn the tables. See how Cas liked it.
He was about to push the thin motel comforter off himself when the door to the room banged open suddenly, causing both Sam and Castiel to jump awake, wide-eyed and alert. Lucifer glared at them, a smile stretching across his face. “Rise and shine, boys. Daddy’s home.”
All three men immediately jumped up, fumbling to free themselves from the sheets that twisted and tangled around their legs. Cas dove for the duffle bag sitting on a chair by the wall, reaching in and pulling out Ruby’s knife before brandishing it at the Devil.
“Come on, kiddo,” the demon said, shaking his head. “You really think something like that will work on something like me?”
“You might be surprised,” Castiel said, moving himself between Lucifer and the brothers.
With a wave of his hand, the Devil sent the knife flying out of Castiel’s hand and across the room, past his own head to lodge up to the hilt in the wall behind him. “Oops.”
Cas narrowed his eyes. “Have it your way.” There was a rustle of feathers, and he was standing behind the demon, his body beside the knife in the wall. One hand reached out and grabbed onto the hilt, wrapping long fingers around it.
The Devil spun and grabbed the front of the angel’s shirt, twisting his fingers in the fabric. He steadied himself and tossed Cas back in the brother’s direction, smiling as his fingers slipped from the knife, which only partially dislodged itself from the wood.
“You’re weak, boy,” Lucifer sneered as Castiel crashed into Sam, nearly bowling him over. “Lost your touch. Shouldn’t give up what you might not get back whole.” He stepped forward. “Of course, I’ll be getting the whole shebang.”
He continued walking toward Sam and Cas, who stumbled back until they were pressed against the wall, apparently ignoring Dean, who was bent low and sneaking around the demon toward the door and the knife stuck in the wall near it.
Lucifer stopped, hands clasped behind his back. “Naturally,” he said, “I’ll need more than just you.” He cocked his head back and to the side, sending Dean sailing through the broken door and out into the parking lot. He turned back to Sam and Cas. “Now, where were we?”
“You can’t win,” Sam snarled.
“So cute,” the demon grinned, “how my protégé fights. Keep it up, sonny, and you might just join your brother and that little fallen angel on his shoulder down in the pit. And you will burn. I’ll make sure of it.”
Sam smirked. “Swear to God?”
The Devil laughed- actually laughed- and stepped closer, staring up at Sam with a malicious glint in his eyes. “That’s cute. Using humor to mask your fear. You know who else does that? Dean. He joked all the time, back home. Quite the kidder. Made me laugh every day for nearly twenty years before he just gave up with the jokes and the sarcasm and finally let himself scream. After thirty years, he started to play with me, Sammy. Thirty-five, and he had me laughing again.” He turned his gaze to Cas. “You’da given me a couple more years, and I could have had him smiling as he did it.”
Rolling his eyes, Lucifer turned. Dean was standing in the doorway to the room, his clothes scuffed, cheek scraped, but looking otherwise unscathed. A car drove by on the road behind him, headlights illuminating him from behind for a moment, and in that brief span of time the empty space beside the hunter seemed to darken, spreading out behind him like shadowy wings.
The car passed, taking its lights and the illusion of feathers with it. Dean reached out and grabbed the knife, wrenching it from the wall and twirling it to fit into a more comfortable position in his hand. “Now, what do you say we do this thing?”
The Devil grinned. “Perfect.” He waved his hand, slamming Sam’s body against the wall with enough force to crack the plaster. “I do so love a good challenge.” He clenched his fist, twisting his hand in the air, eyes glowing with malicious light as Sam began gasping for breath. “What do you say, Dean? Wanna play Let’s Make a Deal?”
Sam sputtered, coughing, trying to drag his hands from the wall to his throat and finding it impossible. He had been immobilized by the same invisible fore that had pinned him, the same force that was choking him.
He forced himself to look down at his brother, who was wise enough not to take his eyes off the demon. His vision began to darken at the edges as the iron grip on his throat tightened, but he saw Dean nod and lower the knife to the ground. The older man straightened up and gave the weapon a light kick, sending it skittering over the carpet toward Lucifer.
The pressure on Sam decreased immediately and he slid down the wall, hands flying to his neck, gulping oxygen back into his body in deep, needy breaths.
Dean was at his side in and instant, blinking and swaying on his feet as the familiar sound of feathers rustling in the breeze he’d created died down. He knelt on the floor, hands on his brother’s shoulders. “You all right?”
Sam managed a grin. “You flew.”
The older man shrugged. “Didn’t mean to.” He helped Sam to his feet, the taller brother leaning heavily against him, still a bit woozy.
“The knife…” Both brothers turned in time to see Cas appear beside the discarded blade and stoop to pick it up. He looked up at them, his eyes meeting theirs for a brief moment in time and communicating everything that needed to be said to end the war.
Dean released his brother and Sam let himself hit the wall, sliding back onto the floor as Lucifer turned and glared at the angel. “Now, that’s hardly fair,” the Devil said. “Seems to me every time Dean makes a deal, you renege. That just makes you look bad.”
The hunter used the moment of distraction to his advantage. He charged at the Devil, tackling the creature from behind and wrapping his arms around him, gripping him tightly in a Full-Nelson and tugging his sideways and backwards as he stumbled a bit. “Now!”
Castiel took his cue and lunged forward with the knife, burying it deep in Lucifer’s chest. The Devil smiled at him, head cocking at a comic angle as nothing happened. The angel narrowed his eyes, his lips pulling back in a snarl, wings unfurling behind him as the knife began to glow in the demon’s chest. Violet eyes went wide with shock.
Dean saw the light and peeked over the Devil’s shoulder, his own eyes fixed on the blade and the hands holding it in place. His gaze traveled up to the angel’s face, to the soft light now pouring off the creature. He could have sworn he heard something- a voice, soft and calming and powerful all at the same time, a voice that should have fried his brain and sent it leaking out his ears- whispering through his mind, telling him what to do, telling him how to end it.
That blood taint wouldn’t hold up under all that Heavenly power, and Cas had gone straight for the heart.
From his place by the wall, Sam saw his brother close his eyes. The younger man pushed himself back to his feet, using the wall for support, and watched. He was still weak, his neck feeling bruised and swollen, his mouth dry and his breathing labored, knees shaking. His head ached and his lungs burned and he must have been hallucinating, because he could have sworn that Dean was glowing. That wasn’t possible. For Castiel, maybe. He knew what the hell he was doing, but Dean? Dean was pulling illegal wrestling moves on the first fallen angel.
He shook his head as those shadowy wings again spread themselves out behind his brother, snapping out as if someone had cut the rubber band holding them invisible to the older man’s body. Feathers spread to brush the walls, caressing peeling paper as the glow emanating from the man increased. Dean opened his eyes again and Sam gasped. Blue.
Something in the back of his mind- some piece of knowledge gained back when things had been easier and made sense- told him to shut his eyes, to block out that glow before it turned into a scalding light that would blind him, would purge the tainted blood from his veins, would incinerate him.
And then his brother’s voice cut through his mind, clear and laced with sarcastic laughter. Be not afraid. So Sam watched. He stared wide-eyed at the two angels- that’s what they had to be now, angels- in the middle of the room, at the demon- the demon- pinned between them, the knife that was now hissing an spitting and letting off the most spectacular light he’d ever seen.
Lucifer screamed, his voice rising in a wail that shook the earth and rattled the heavens as his pallid skin began to turn and bubble. Tiny tendrils swam under the flesh, skittering under his face as fire burnt in his eyes and smoke began to billow up around him.
The knife began to spark in his chest as the glow coming off the angels brightened even more, enough that Sam finally had to squint against it. Flames built around the hole in the demon’s chest, spreading across his sternum and ribs. Smoke leaks from his mouth and nose, the corners of his eyes. He struggled, bucking against Dean’s hands, trying to get away from the blade lodged in his chest, but Cas pushed it in farther, eliciting a grunt of pain.
Black smoke surrounded the beast, snaking in a long cylinder, sliding around his body as the fire in his chest spread out to consume him, swallowing his voice, his pleas, his shimmering eyes. With a final burst of light and flame, the Devil disappeared.
Sam watched as the glow faded from his brother and the being that had pulled the man from Hell, watched as their hands fell, as they took a moment to stare at each other, small smiles flitting across their faces before they both fell to the floor, their job done
mummyluvr - December 31, 2008 08:30 PM (GMT)
All right, guys. This is the last chapter. Thanks so much for... reading? I guess?
Castiel dared to open his eyes. There was silence all around him, but light was filtering through the open door and window of the motel room. He took those things to be good signs.
He sat up, his head swimming with the suddenness of the action, and looked around. The spot where Lucifer had stood the night before was now marked by a large black stain, scorched forever into the floor. The door still hung off its broken hinges and the wall that Sam had been thrown into had nearly been shattered by the force of the blow. The brothers’ duffle bag was nowhere to be seen.
Sighing, the man- because, surely, that was all he was again- swung his feet out of the bed and planted them on the floor. His eyes landed on the bedside table. The knife, now nothing more than an intricately carved handle with a small, molten-looking chunk of twisted metal attached, had been left there for him. A lot of good it did now.
Cas turned, surprised by the sound of Sam’s voice. The hunter was standing in the door. “You’re still here?”
He shrugged. “Wasn’t gonna leave you here to deal with this mess.” He gestured around the room at the general chaos and destruction. “Besides, we’ve got some questions.”
“Lucifer’s gone,” Castiel said, anticipating the most pressing issue. “Dead. We destroyed him.”
Sam nodded, then glanced back into the parking lot. Cas could see a smile form on his face, watched him nod, and then heard Dean’s joyous whoop from outside. The older man came barreling through the door and past his brother, a large smile plastered on his face as he stopped just short of the bed. “Dude, you’re up.”
“So I’ve heard.”
Cas sighed, glancing again around the room. “I think so, all things considered.”
“Good.” Dean plopped down beside him on the bed, uncomfortably close, and stared at him. “You know, I think I could get to like this whole angel-thing.”
“You’re not an angel, Dean.”
“That’s what I told him,” Sam said, walking from his place by the door to join them in the room and physically pushing his brother away form the other man. “Dude, personal space. Ever heard of it?”
“Payback’s a bitch, Sammy,” Dean chuckled. “And what do you mean I’m not an angel?”
Castiel sighed again, picking up what was left of the knife and holding it in his hands. “Remember when I told you that a demon would not be able to ascend into Heaven using the same methods Lucifer planned on using?”
Dean cocked an eyebrow, but Sam nodded. “Yeah. Something about the way they were, their natures?”
“The taint of Hell. The angels that fell first, the ones that fell into Hell for their disobedience, retained the ability to return home because they’d always had that goodness there. The humans who chose Hell didn’t. But Hell corrupts, regardless. Lucifer and his followers were tainted.”
“That was his weakness,” Sam guessed. “The knife didn’t work on it’s own. You needed to super-charge it.”
“Basically.” He looked down at the melted blade. “Think of it as the prototype flaming sword.”
“If that’s the case, then how I was able to watch while you guys blew him apart? I mean, shouldn’t my eyes be mush?”
“Normally, but,” Castiel shook his head, “there were extenuating circumstances. My Grace had been split, and that split weakened it.”
“So what’s that mean for us?” Dean asked.
“It means we’re human,” Cas said. “Or close to it, anyway. What was left of my Grace was funneled into Lucifer until he was destroyed. If that didn’t take all of it, I’d be surprised. I mean, I feel-”
“Feelings?” Dean supplied.
Cas grinned. “I was going to say normal, but fine. Feelings.”
“So what now?” Sam asked. “I mean, that’s it, isn’t it? Crisis averted? Apocalypse solved? No more Devil?”
The shorter man set the knife back on the table and stood, actually smiling as his spine popped. Such a human thing. “Unfortunately, no. Demons need order to their chaos. They’ll be looking for a new leader, and all the higher-ups will be scrambling for the position.”
“What’s that mean?”
“It means I have work to do,” Cas said, moving toward the door.
“What are you talking about?” Dean asked, grabbing the knife and following him into the parking lot with Sam trailing behind.
“Word travels fast in Hell. More and more demons are hearing about Lucifer’s plan, and- believe it or not- think it’s a good one.”
“So, what, they’re going tree hunting?”
“Grace hunting. There might be one or two Fallen who have figured out where their Grace landed after the first war. And if Uriel was right, enough followed me that-”
“That it’ll be a free-for-all,” Sam finished as they stopped by the Impala. “Open season on angel juice.”
Cas nodded. “And as soon as one former angel finds Grace…”
“It’ll be the Apocalypse all over again,” Dean muttered, “only the battleground won’t be earth.”
“It’ll be Heaven,” Sam said.
“Which is why I have to stop them,” Castiel said. “Before they gain Heaven and destroy everything.”
“Well, you’re not doing it alone.”
“No way,” Dean seconded, unlocking the car door and sliding in behind the wheel. “Always room for one more.”
“You’re serious?” Cas asked.
“But… I have no idea where to start.”
“Neither do we,” Sam said. “But we stopped the end of the world once. Figure we can do it again.”
“So hop in,” Dean said, nodding toward the backseat. Smiling, Castiel obliged.
“You know, we need to stop back in that last town and pick up my stuff. Can’t wear the same outfit for the rest of my life.”
“That would be a crying shame,” Dean agreed. “And so unusual for you.”
The former angel settled back in the seat as the car pulled out of the lot and back onto the road. He couldn’t believe it. They’d actually done it. The Seals had been broken, the earth had nearly been destroyed, and everything he’d ever known had been turned on its head, but they’d still done it. The Apocalypse had been averted.
He sighed, listening to Sam and Dean banter back and forth over the drone of the radio. He was starting to wonder why he hadn’t gone to them sooner, why he’d felt he would be a burden. Obviously, they didn’t mind.
And that was what it was all about, what it had always been about for him. The goodness of people, finding more who were willing to give without expecting anything in return. It was why he’d tried to give a little more to his charge, to push a little harder in battle, to spend that much more time trying to figure him out. It was why, when he met Dean’s blue eyes in the rearview mirror, he smiled.
Happy New Year!
JennieC - February 8, 2009 07:45 PM (GMT)
Absolutely LOVED this story! Absolutely Fabulous!
I think you did a wonderful job taking us through the last of the seals. Great how Ruby waffled between sides, Lillith being Lucifer's toy of the moment. Having Cas fall was pretty spot on to how it could very well go. I loved the shared angel mojo... So much really good stuff without missing the brother's relationship.
Please tell me that there are no other coments because they get edited out when the story gets moved over to the finished section, because I can't imagine any other reason.
This story will rank in my top 5 for sure!