Pairing:Dean/Castiel, mild Sam/Lucifer
Warnings: Michael!Dean, mild violence
Summary:Immediately following 5x14 Dean says yes to Michael, which will lead to the destruction to humanity, too. Now Sam, Castiel and Bobby have to find a way to extract Michael from Dean – and gain an unlikely ally.
Disclaimer: Supernatural and all its character’s and places belong to Eric Kripke. Also, I have no intend to make any money with this. This fic is purely for fun.
A/N:Title stems from a quote by William Congreve
Many thanks to my beta thelovelylurker
‘Some help, please?‘ Dean heard steps behind him, knew without doubt who it was that was standing behind him. He forced his voice to be more normal, because even though Cas had seen him much worse didn’t mean Dean wanted him to see him like this.
‘Not now, Cas. You should be with Sam.’
‘I worry about you.’
‘No, you’re not.’ Dean turned around only the find Castiel mere inches away from him, watching him with big, concerned eyes.
‘Stop it, okay? It’s done.’ Dean replied slightly angry. Five minutes for himself that was all he had wanted. Five minutes away from Sam’s screams and Cas’ awkward reassurances.
Castiel laid a hand on Dean’s shoulder but there was nothing of the slight shiver that usually ran through Dean’s body when Cas touched the mark there. It hurt when he realized that Castiel’s powers were apparently failing him even faster if even that small connection between them wasn’t forged anymore.
‘I know that it had to be disconcerting for you to see Sam and me like that when you were not affected yourself but regardless of what Famine said he was lying.’
‘Cas-‘ Dean started but Castiel wasn’t finished:
‘You are not dead inside. And you will end this, I’m sure of it.’ Dean leaned his forehead against Castiel’s shoulder.
‘I can’t do it, Cas. It’s too much.’
‘I can help you, Dean.’ There was something slightly off about Castiel’s voice when he whispered those words in Dean’s ear: a light and easy undertone where Castiel’s voice was usually deep and grave.
‘It’s easy, Dean.’ Castiel’s lips brushed Dean’s ear: ‘Just one word. Think about Sam. How much he has to suffer. I can cure him. I can keep him safe, Dean, so that he’ll never have to say yes to Lucifer. Let me help you Dean. ‘ He paused shortly: ‘Think about me, too. About what will happen when I’ll finally fall. Do you want that to happen?’
‘No.’ Dean’s voice broke around the syllable.
‘I’m an angel, Dean. I will never lie to you. I will never betray you.’
‘Sam-‘ Dean choked, his brother’s screams too vivid in his ear.
‘I’ll keep your brother safe, Dean. I promise I will. Will you let me help you?’
Castiel kept staring at the place where Dean had left the room in front of the danger room seven minutes ago when suddenly the door to the danger room burst open. Sam staggered out, looking unwell but better than before. He was followed by Lucifer. Castiel grabbed the still slightly dazed Sam and pushed himself between Sam and Lucifer, ready to fly as soon as Lucifer moved.
‘What did do to Sam?’ he demanded to know from the devil.
‘I helped him.’ Lucifer’s voice wavered with anger. ‘What did you, Castiel? Do you really think that this way they’ll let you back to heaven? After everything you’ve done?’
‘What are you talking about?’ Castiel wanted to know.
‘How did you even know we were here?’ Sam added, who seemed to recover by the minute.
‘I can feel my brother in every plane of existence. I need your consent, Sam. In this vessel I’m not powerful enough to fight Michael in his true vessel.’
‘But Michael’s vessel is Dean-’ Sam protested.
‘Dean consented!’ Lucifer threw up his arms in an unusually violent gesture.
‘Dean would never do that,’ Castiel replied in a sure voice.
‘I don’t know how you talked him into giving in and I don’t care.’ Lucifer growled at Castiel: ‘But you could at least give me an equal chance with Sam.’
‘I would never advise Dean to become Michael’s vessel,’ Castiel growled right back. He looked gloriously angry at the mere implication of such an action. At times like this Sam could see what made Castiel so appealing to Dean. Lucifer, however, was unimpressed.
‘As if Dean Winchester would have ever given his consent without your approval,’ he scoffed.
‘I have done no such thing,’ Castiel repeated. Lucifer opened his mouth but froze before he could say anything. He leapt aside and brought Sam down with him when Dean suddenly appeared in their midst.
‘Michael.’ The emotion in Castiel’s voice was impossible to name as his tone gave nothing away.
Michael in Dean’s body didn’t even look at him when he said coldly, ‘Don’t stand in my way Castiel or you will share Anna’s fate. I will not tolerate any more of your transgressions.’ He was focused on Lucifer, who had slowly risen to his feet again. Carefully, as if not to upset Michael.
‘Brother,’ Michael said with an unpleasant smile. ‘It seems that your vessel has been more resistant to your charm than mine.’
‘That is because I never relied on your trickery. Manipulative is an unbecoming feature on an angel. And I thought Gabriel was our kind’s worst offender.’ Lucifer sounded teasing but Sam could see him clenching his fists to hide the trembling of his fingers.
‘I will end this here.’ Michael told his brother: ‘And paradise will finally come.’
It happened all at once. Castiel disappeared. Lucifer attacked Michael and suddenly Sam sat in the driver’s seat in the Impala, the keys in his hand and Castiel next to him.
‘Drive.’ The angel told him.
‘Drive, Sam.’ Castiel pressed on: ‘Michael will not spare either of us.’
Sam drove out of Bobby’s yard at a neck-breaking speed that Dean would’ve hated him for.
‘What the hell just happened there?’ He asked Castiel after a while, when he had calmed down enough to rethink what he just saw.
‘Dean consented to be Michael’s vessel.’
‘Because my brother used your brother’s desperation and desire to keep you two safe to manipulate him.’ Lucifer’s voice came from the backseat. Sam very nearly skidded the Impala into a ditch.
‘God.’ He gasped when the car came to a sudden halt.
‘Not quite.’ Lucifer replied smugly, back to his old self now that Michael wasn’t around. Sam saw Cas glaring at Lucifer disapprovingly for that comment.
‘What happened to your face?’ Sam asked when he noticed the long gash on the side of Lucifer’s face. Blood was running down his neck and coloured his s white shirt red.
‘I told you, Sam. Nick here is just an improvisation. He rots away faster each time I use my powers.’ Lucifer was hypnotically calm when he met Sam’s eyes in the rear-view mirror: ‘I need you to say yes to me, Sam or my brother will kill us and then there’ll be nothing between earth and paradise.’
‘Don’t listen to him, Sam.’ Castiel still glared at Lucifer. ‘You simply wish to take revenge on humanity.’
‘If Dean was tricked the maybe we can make him take back his consent. Is that possible?’ He asked Castiel: ‘I mean that would be it, wouldn’t it?’ Castiel was about to answer when Lucifer’s laughter startled them both.
‘Is that what my brother told you?’ He laughed: ‘That there’ll be no repercussions for you after being used as a vessel?’
‘Michael used our father as a vessel to talk to Dean and our father was fine.’
Lucifer rolled his eyes and sighed as if he couldn’t believe that such stupidity was humanly possible.
‘You didn’t realize who I was until I showed you even though I wore the face of your dead girlfriend for a week.’ Lucifer pointed out: ‘If Michael told your brother that he would be fine then he meant fine in paradise.’
Sam looked at Castiel.
‘It is likely that didn’t tell Dean the truth.’ Castiel agreed.
‘Great.’ Sam ground out and started the car again: ‘So now we only have to find a way to get Michael out of Dean without turning Dean into a vegetable in the process.’
‘We will find a way.’ Castiel answered without hesitation.
He looked at Lucifer who was still sprawled out in the backseat and staring disinterestedly out of the window.
‘Don’t you have somewhere to go?’
‘I found you, Sam. I will help you. Also, together Michael will find it harder to kill any of us.’
He went back to staring out of the window.
‘Are we seriously protecting the devil?’ Sam whispered loudly to Castiel.
‘Lucifer is right. If Michael kills him then our chance to stop the Apocalypse is gone.’ Castiel answered in an equally hushed voice: ‘Until we have found a way to extract Michael from Dean without hurting him it will be better if we stay together.’
‘You know that I can hear you, right?’ Lucifer, bored from the backseat, asked, ‘Where are we going anyway?’
‘We’re picking up Bobby.’ Sam answered.
Bobby, of course, was less than thrilled about the whole story. And he was adamant about not letting Lucifer anywhere but in the danger room once they returned to his house. Both Castiel and Lucifer were sure that Michael had already left.
Lucifer walked into the danger room with an air of ‘let’s humor the human’ and looked around curiously.
‘Nice touch.’ He said and pointed towards the sigils that kept angels away: ‘Castiel’s work?’
‘Some of it.’ Sam answered.
‘Maybe you humans aren’t as hopeless as I thought.’ Lucifer said while his fingers traced the sigils on the wall.
He smiled at Sam before Sam closed the door and shot the bolt before climbing upstairs again. He saw Castiel outside, next to the Impala with a hand on its roof. It was a gesture Sam had seen quite often with Dean but it was the first time he saw Castiel doing it.
‘Hello, Sam.’ Castiel took his hand from the Impala.
‘How are you doing?’ Sam wanted to know.
‘I could ask you the same question. You have taken this whole situation very calmly.’
I’m going to punch Dean for being so stupid first thing when we have him back.’ Sam confessed: ‘But I’m afraid if I let go now I’ll do something stupid.’
‘We will save him, Sam.’
‘Cas, can I ask you something? Are you and Dean...’ He trailed off, not sure how he should ask an angel if he was sleeping with his brother.
‘We have a sexual relationship if that’s what you’re asking.’ Castiel replied. He looked at Sam: ‘That doesn’t surprise you.’
‘Not really.’ Sam grinned abashed: ‘It was kind of obvious how you two feel about each other.’
He put a hand on Castiel’s shoulder: ‘Come on. I have an idea to save Dean.’
Three hours later, with every single book that covered anything on the topics of angels, possessions and Enochian spread over every flat surface, Castiel and Sam hadn’t really moved beyond the sigil that banished angels. To use that sign had been Bobby’s idea, but of course it wasn’t that easy.
‘It’s not that easy to modify a sigil,’ Castiel explained.
‘And it won’t help with sealing a part of Michael’s grace into Dean’s body,’ Sam added.
‘You should try a grace phial.’ Lucifer sauntered into the room, neatly avoiding all the books on the floor, as if he shouldn’t be ten feet underground with thick walls of iron, salt and runes between him and the rest of the house’s occupants.
Of course none of them had thought about how Lucifer had opened the danger room himself just a few hours ago.
‘How did you get out?’ Bobby wanted to know.
‘Some of these sigils are younger than me. They hold no power over me.’ The gash on Lucifer’s temple still oozed blood.
‘You mean like the thing Anna had?’ Sam asked, picking up Lucifer’s earlier idea of grace phials.
‘Who?’ Lucifer asked back.
‘An empty grace phial is nearly impossible to find.’ Castiel brushed Lucifer’s idea off.
‘Are you the brain damaged angel?’ Lucifer asked exasperatedly: ‘We’re supposed to be observant, but then you also took the whole ‘kneeling to Adam’ thing a bit too literally.’
Castiel was in Lucifer’s personal space in a blink.
‘As long as your help does not prove to be valuable nothing prevents me from leaving you to Michael and taking my chances to save Dean on my own.’ Castiel threatened in a menacing, low voice.
Lucifer put two small glass cases on the table in front of Sam.
‘Azazel and Turiel were killed by you and your brother before they could reclaim their grace.’
Sam carefully picked one of the phials up.
‘So we seal Michael’s grace in this thing, paint the sigil on Dean and everything will be fine?’ Somehow that sounded too easy.
Hilariously, Castiel and Lucifer in the same moment said, ‘It won’t be that easy.’
They stared at each other for a second until Lucifer visibly conceded to Castiel, who said, ‘Michael will not let me get close enough to him to do this without distraction.’ All eyes then settled on Lucifer.
‘Oh great! Just throw me to the wolves.’ Lucifer crossed his arms over his chest: ‘I won’t be killed after aeons in hell just so you can have your fucktoy back.’
Sam’s mug missed Lucifer by inches and shattered against a wall.
‘Shut up!’ Lucifer met Sam’s glare with an appreciative glance.
‘Keep that anger, Sam. I-You’ll need it.’
‘You said that you would help us.’ Sam reminded him angrily.
‘I keep my word.’ Lucifer said adamantly.
Sam attacked Michael before he himself knew what he was doing.
'Sam!' Castiel yelled but was too late to stop him, so he pushed Sam out of the way of Michael's attack. Sam grabbed Lucifer's arm, who lay bleeding on the ground with some kind of sigil blistering on the skin of his vessel's stomach, and dragged him away. He shielded his eyes against the light and when he looked up again, Dean was heavily leaning against Castiel.
Sam let go of Lucifer and ran to his brother.
‘Dean?‘ He asked.
Contrary to his earlier words Sam hugged his brother first and only punched him after letting go.
‘You stupid jerk.’ He yelled at Dean: ‘What did you think you’re doing!’
‘I thought Cas was-’ Dean stared at the angel at his side. ‘That wasn’t you in the yard, wasn’t it?‘
‘I didn’t leave the basement.’ Castiel confirmed.
‘Son of bitch!’ Dean cursed – and winced. He lifted his shirt and revealed the banishing sigil carved deep into his chest and stomach: ‘Ow.’
‘I’m sorry that I had to hurt you, Dean, but I had to make sure that Michael would leave your body.’ Suddenly Castiel’s face fell: ‘It isn’t working.’
‘What?’ Sam and Dean asked at the same moment. Castiel gestured to Dean’s stomach.
‘The remains of Michael’s grace are healing the sigil. When it’s gone nothing will prevent Michael from taking control over his vessel again.’
‘How long?’ Sam asked.
‘Ten hours. Maybe.’
‘Okay...What the hell happened here?’ Dean wanted to know. Sam told him everything minus the bit with Lucifer. He had already noticed that the fallen angel was gone. Dean was suitably impressed that Sam, Bobby and Castiel had come up with their plan in less than a day, even if it hadn’t worked as well as they had wanted it to work.
‘Sam, there is Lu-‘ Bobby stopped when he saw Sam shaking his frantically over Dean’s shoulder.
‘Lots of books to be put away,’ he finished instead.
‘You scared us all, boy,’ Bobby told Dean in a very annoyed voice that still told him that he was glad to see him as himself again.
‘It’s not working, Bobby,’ Dean said. ‘In a few hours Michael will be back in my body.’
‘It worked the first time. Maybe the sigils just need to be stronger-‘Sam said but Dean shot him a look.
‘Don’t, Sam. Okay? Just don’t. And don’t say yes to Lucifer just because I did. Promise me that.’
‘I won’t,’ Sam answered.
‘So,’ Dean said in a deliberately light tone: ‘how about some pie and beer before I’m being used as an angel condom again?’
‘Hey, Sammy,’ Dean said when he stepped out on the porch, a beer in his hand.
‘Hey,’ Sam answered: ‘Where’s Cas?’
‘I don’t know. He said he would come back later.’ Sam thought that Dean sounded like he was trying hard to conceal that Castiel’s sudden disappearance hurt him.
There was a long, comfortable silence between them. Dean drank his beer and they both simply stood there, doing nothing.
‘He told me,’ Sam said after a while.
‘He told you?’ Dean asked incredulously.
‘Cas told me about the two of you.’
‘What happened to honesty?’ Sam needled just because he could.
‘Hey man, it’s not been that long,’ Dean protested.
‘How long has it been then?’ Sam grinned when he watched Dean squirm. So apparently it had been longer than Dean was strictly comfortable with admitting.
‘That long, huh?’ Sam grinned: ‘You getting attached?’
Dean caught Sam’s expression and they both broke out laughing. Sam slapped him on the back.
‘I’m glad for you, really.’
‘Dean. Sam.’ Castiel was back, as usual standing about an inch away from Dean.
‘Hey, Cas,’ Sam acknowledged the angel. ‘I’ll help Bobby with all those books.’
He left them, wandering back inside with a small smile on his face.
‘Look, Cas, what I said earlier-‘
‘You thought that I advised you to give consent to Michael.’
‘I thought that you knew that I would never do such a thing.’
‘I thought that if you said it was okay then it would be. Pretty stupid, huh?’
‘Yes, “pretty stupid,”’ Cas said in the voice he used when he copied a phrase from Dean. Dean laughed and put a hand on Cas’ arm.
‘Thanks for trying to save me, though.’
‘It is not yet over.’ Castiel said seriously. ‘Neither Sam nor Bobby nor I will give up on you. One day I will rescue you without fail.’
Dean looked at his watch.
‘Four hours left. Want to use them?’
‘I believe your usual bed in this house is occupied.’
‘Occupied by whom?’
‘Sam’s...books. We ran out of space.’
‘Uhm, so, some motel?’
‘I have a better idea.’ Castiel smiled and touched Dean’s forehead with his fingers.
Sam found Lucifer on Dean’s bed in the room he and his brother usually slept in when they stayed with Bobby .A bandage was awkwardly wrapped around his stomach.
‘Did Cas do that?’ Sam asked pointing at the bandage.
‘I have not yet outlived my usefulness,’ Lucifer answered ironically.
‘What did Michael do?’
‘This sigil makes my vessel rot away faster. Without Nick and without you I have nothing to play against Michael when he uses the Host to destroy Hell and wipe out Earth.’
‘So you want to kill us all and Michael wants to kill us all. Great.’ Sam muttered.
‘We all die. You. Me. Does it matter how you die?’
‘That is your lousiest attempt to make me say yes so far.’
‘You are not easy to please,’ Lucifer answered.
‘Maybe that has something to do with the fact that both you and your brother want to destroy everything.’ Sam took another look at Lucifer. ‘You knew that the sigil wouldn’t hold.’
‘I told you I want to give you everything and you wanted this so much.’
‘What I wanted was Michael out of Dean’s body, not a chance to say goodbye. Go!’
Sam left with a last angry glare at the fallen angel and stormed downstairs.
‘That was fucking brilliant.’ Dean half-laughed, half gasped in exhaustion against Castiel’s naked skin. ‘I knew you were holding out on me.’
‘I was unsure of how much your body would be able to endure,’ Castiel confirmed.
‘Well, we definitely know now that I can take you.’ Dean grinned smugly, then laughed, ‘Heh, ‘take you.’’
‘I believe that is what Sam called ‘an incredibly lame pun.’’
‘That’s it. No more spending time with Sam. It’s bad for your attitude.’
‘I think of it as expanding my humanity.’ Castiel kissed Dean deeply, his hand casually brushing against the mark on Dean’s arm which sent a shiver through Dean. ‘I thought you’d approve.’
‘Oh, I definitely approve.’ Dean kissed him hungrily: ‘As long as you don’t do it with Sam.’
‘Your anxiety is unfounded,’ Castiel reassured him. He frowned at the fast fading cuts on Dean’s chest. ‘We need to get dressed,’ he said quietly.
When Castiel came back to Bobby’s place after he had dropped off Dean somewhere, Sam felt very much like offering the angel a hug, desperate as he looked. Dean hadn’t wanted Sam to come with them, saying goodbye rather here than wherever Castiel had left Dean.
Castiel had promised Dean they wouldn’t give up so early. Their idea had worked, it just needed some modifying.
‘Did you find something?’ Castiel asked as soon as he appeared between the stacks of books.
‘Bobby has an idea,’ Sam said with a small amount of hope in his tone
‘An angels grace needs to be left inside the body. The Enochian inscriptions are adamant on that. So any angel would do.’
‘The inscriptions indicate that, yes,’ Castiel confirmed. Both he and Sam looked curiously at Bobby.
‘So if we get Michael out of Dean’s body and another, weaker angel inside at the same time and seal that angel’s grace in the remaining phial we can save him.’
‘Is that possible? I mean could another angel use Dean as a vessel, too? Not just Michael?’
‘Michael was the first angel.’ Lucifer had appeared in their midst, holding himself awkwardly and the gash on his temple had not only reopened but now reached down to his jaw.
‘The bloodline indicates how strong the blood of Cain and Abel is in every vessel. The weaker the blood the weaker the angel that can use the vessel without damaging it permanently.’
‘What are you doing here?’ Sam asked with barely suppressed anger.
‘Giving history lessons to your race,’ Lucifer answered easily. Damaged as his body was, it felt difficult to see him as an humanity hating ruler of hell. ‘Your plan is insane, though. The energy to drive Michael from his vessel...it would be easier if you’d kill him.’
‘Bet you would like that,’ Sam said coldly.
‘It would kill Dean,’ Castiel added. ‘That is unacceptable.’
‘Not to mention that you need an angel willing to sacrifice most of their grace,’ Lucifer continued undeterred.
‘I’ll do that,’ Castiel said immediately.
‘No offense, little brother but your grace won’t be enough to burn Michael from his vessel.’
‘No, but you could,’ Castiel countered.
‘No. No way. I helped you once because Sam wanted this but I won’t sacrifice myself for a human. This is the apocalypse. My Father wouldn’t have let this happen if mankind still held any interest for him.’
‘God is missing,’ Castiel told Lucifer sadly.
‘What did you say?’ Lucifer froze mid-rant.
‘God is missing so Zachariah and his army of jerks started the apocalypse,’ Sam told him instead of Castiel. He stared back at the apparently shell-shocked Lucifer until realisation dawned. ‘You didn’t know.’
‘You have to be wrong,’ Lucifer answered certainly. ‘My father loved humanity more than me, more than anything else he created. This is impossible.’
‘Why does that surprise you so much?’ Sam yelled. ‘Apart from Cas, every angel I’ve ever met is no better than you!’ He stopped when he saw Lucifer actually flinch and then disappear.
‘Plan B?’ Bobby asked.
‘We could ask Gabriel?’ Sam suggested. ‘He could at least distract Michael if nothing else.’
‘Gabriel won’t help us. He made that very clear the last time,’ Castiel said.
‘Maybe he changed his mind?’ Even Castiel’s look told Sam that the angel thought he was nuts. Or grasping for straws. Or both.
‘We could perform the ritual a second time,’ Castiel suggested. ‘I might not be able to banish Michael’s grace as a whole from Dean but it might work with only a fraction of it.’
‘And if it doesn’t work we’ll lose you, too.’ Sam shook his head. ‘Dean would kill me if I let you sacrifice yourself for him. He wouldn’t forgive either of us.’
‘That’s a risk I’m willing to take.’
‘What do you want here?’ Castiel asked when Lucifer appeared opposite of him from where Castiel stood next to the Impala. He felt drawn to the car because it was Dean’s and it had meant so much to him. If he had to sacrifice himself again to give Dean and the world a chance then he would do it. His Father had saved him before, Castiel was sure of that, and he would do so again if he thought him worthy of being saved.
‘I confirmed what you told me,’ Lucifer answered. ‘That our Father is dead.’
‘He’s not dead but missing,’ Castiel corrected him.
‘The Host seems to believe differently.’
‘The Host is commanded by Zachariah, an angel whose disregard for our Father’s most loved creation is equal only to yours.’
‘I heard the rumours about you. That you were killed by Raphael because you wanted to foil the plan to release me from hell.’
‘I was saved.’
‘Obviously.’ Lucifer smiled ironically. ‘The other angels believe that it was me.’
‘It wasn’t,’ Castiel replied without hesitation. ‘Whoever saved me, saved Dean and Sam from the monastery. That wouldn’t have been in your interest.’
‘You aren’t as oblivious as I thought,’ Lucifer acknowledged.
‘Why are you here, Lucifer?’ Castiel asked again.
‘I want to understand you. You’re falling for this human, for my brother’s vessel-‘
‘I’m falling for love,’ Castiel interrupted him. ‘I love Dean.’
‘I understand love,’ Lucifer said.
‘You would claim a totally overwhelming love for our Father, but it is nothing more than your own egoistic, egocentric vanity speaking. Our Father made love the greatest force in his creation in all its forms: family, friendship, compassion. I’m not falling for Dean. I live the way our Father intended us to live. If you would love our Father you wouldn’t look at his creation with such contempt. Remember Lucifer : ‘There are three things that last forever: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of them all is love.’
‘You haven’t even met him,’ Lucifer argued.
‘And yet I was worthy enough to be saved.’ He turned around to leave. He would need all his strength to save Dean and his vessel needed to rest for now. It didn’t matter if Lucifer understood or not. He and Sam would save Dean and then Dean and Sam would save Earth. Castiel knew this because he knew that his Father had brought him back to life for a reason.
Castiel stopped when Lucifer touched his shoulder.
‘What would you have me do?’
‘Lucifer,’ Michael sighed. ‘Did you really think that your plan to destroy me would work a second time?’
‘Tell me, Mikey, do you think our Father would be proud of the way you’re managing heaven? Oh, wait. Zachariah is doing that for you, isn’t he?’
‘You know nothing,’ Michael snapped at him.
‘I know that Cain was punished for killing his brother. Now that you will kill me, doesn’t that make you Cain? Do you think our Father would want that? When he loved you so much more than me?’
‘You are speaking with the words of the traitor Castiel. I will deal with him soon enough but first you have to die. Your death is righteous because you are Hell and as long as Hell exists paradise can’t come.’
‘When I see you I doubt Castiel’s words that our Father had love in mind when he created you.’
‘You always claimed that you loved our Father but so do I.’
‘I know that you loved him. And I think you loved me, but we forgot somewhere between the stars and aeons of our existence.’ Lucifer tore himself free from Michael’s force and wrapped his arms around Michael’s neck.
Over Michael’s shoulder he looked at Castiel and said, ‘Smile for me, brother, when you find our Father.’
The world exploded into white light.
Dean coughed, rolled on his side and coughed some more because of the dust everywhere. Two hands steadied him when he tried to sit up and a voice called his name but it wasn’t Castiel’s or Sam’s voice. Dean rubbed his eyes and blinked. He hurt everywhere but especially his stomach felt like it had been carved open – again.
‘Dean,’ the voice said again and Dean opened his eyes to find himself face to face with Castiel, only that he didn’t look like Castiel anymore. Not entirely at least. Everything about him was a bit more intense, plus the wings on his back were unmissable.
‘Cas.’ He coughed again. ‘Are we dead?’
‘No, Dean. We’re not.’
‘You didn’t have wings last time.’
‘That would be because you now have a part of my grace inside you.’ Castiel’s voice changed back to normal. ‘Which also means that you can hear my true voice now.’
‘Dean!’ Sam hugged him so tightly that Dean had to gasp for air.
‘Okay, okay. What happened here?’
‘We saved you.’ Sam grinned. ‘For real this time.’
‘I told you not to-‘
‘And I told you that we wouldn’t give up,’ Castiel interrupted him. ‘We love you, Dean. I love you.’
Dean didn’t answer but his grin was probably bright enough to count as a new star.
‘I think love stretches it a bit in my case.’ Sam gasped when he saw Lucifer walking towards them, a nonchalant smile on his face as if he shouldn’t be dead or at least back in Hell. ‘But apparently I’m still worthy enough to be saved.’
Sam let go of Dean’s arm and rushed towards the Devil. They looked at each other for a moment before Sam grabbed him and pulled him into a fierce hug. Lucifer’s response was even more awkward than Castiel hugging Cupid had been.
‘Uhm, Cas, what exactly did happen while I wasn’t myself?’ Dean asked.
‘I believe your brother is expressing his happiness over Lucifer’s resurrection after he sacrificed himself to save you.’
‘Lucifer sacrificed himself to save me? Why?’
‘I believe he wants to expand his humanity with Sam’s help,’ Castiel said and secretly laughed at Dean’s utterly horrified face.