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29 December 2009 @ 05:07 pm
[fanfic] World Without End, Amen - Chapter 11  
Title: World Without End, Amen
Chapter: Eleven
Author: tiptoe39
Fandom/Pairing: Supernatural, some understated Dean/Castiel
Rating: PG
Summary: Bobby and Sam's plan, from day one, was to get to this moment. And only Dean has the strength to get them beyond it.
Spoilers: Up through 5x10.
Previous Chapters: here.


World Without End, Amen  - Chapter 11

A long moment of silent gaping passed before Dean found his words. "Sam. Sam, that's you in there. How in the hell did you do that?"

"It's a long story." Sam's presence felt illusory, like it might slip away at any moment. His features convulsed in regular tics, little pieces of Lucifer trying to slip through the momentary hold Sam had on his body. "Dean, listen. I have to tell you something."

But Dean's mind was already reeling. Rage coiled up inside him, and he shoved Sam backward. "How could you have left me behind like that? Do you have any idea how badly that hurt? How..." His voice weakened. "How scared I was?"

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Dean, but we had to. Bobby and I, we had a plan. We had a spell to cast. But listen."

"A spell? You couldn't have told me about that?" Incensed, Dean decked him. Sam went careening back through the air, crumpling on the ground and grabbing his face where the punch had made impact. "What the hell were you two up to? What did you think I'd do, just say, oh, OK, I guess that makes me king of the mountain? And the next thing I know Bobby is dead--" He nearly choked on the word. "--and you've let Lucifer in? What the hell, Sammy?"

Sam had grabbed the bedpost and was struggling to his feet. "Don't you get it?" he whispered. "We believed in you. We knew you could lead them. But you weren't going to take responsibility until we made you. It was our only choice."

Dean seethed. "That's not fair. You don't get to decide that for me. That's not fair."

"Life isn't fair, Dean." The same words he'd said a million times, in the same dark tone, but something about them commanded respect this time. Dean softened, looked at him critically but was silent. "It wasn't fair that Bobby had to die. It's not fair that you and I are being used in some angel fight. What matters isn't what's fair. It's what works. And this worked. Look. Lucifer's in here, but I'm in control."

"Why'd you let him in, Sammy?" Dean's face was close to crumpling. "Why?"

"Because I was supposed to," Sam said. "And because now I know why."

Dean just shook his head. It didn't make any sense. None of it did.

Sam's tone was urgent. "Dean, listen. Bobby traded his life for information. Something that can end this whole thing. It has to do with--"

And he seized up as though he were choking on his own voice. His face strained, his hands rounded into claws, and his whole body vibrated as though someone had plucked a string within him. The air was full of some undefinable sound, a hissing and a stirring of wind and dark things. Dean shouted his name, but could barely hear himself.

When it all stopped, all at once, the face wasn't Sam's any longer.

"None of that," Lucifer said with a dour grimace.

**

Two weeks ago

When the last corner of the photograph had gone brown, then amber, then black, Bobby harrumphed and looked up at Sam. "That's done, then," he said.

"Bobby." Sam put a hand on his shoulder. He could see the trembling in the man's jaw.

But Bobby waved him away. "Your brother's flown the coop," he said, looking around briefly.

Sam shrugged. "You know Dean," he said, but it felt like a lame excuse.

"His timing's perfect."

Sam started. "'What?"

Bobby locked eyes with him. "I want to show you something."

And all business again, Bobby wheeled over to his desk and pulled a sheaf of papers out of a bottom drawer.  The papers were full of his dark, blocky scrawl, practically soaking with ink. When Sam squinted in the dim firelight, he could make out pieces of a dozen arcane languages and the names of at least three pagan gods and mythological creatures. "What is that, a spell?" he said, leaning forward.

"Or something approaching one. I haven't been sitting around watching my soap operas while you boys were out there fighting."

Sam put up his arms as though surrendering. "I never said you were."

"No, of course not." Bobby hunched over, his round cheeks pinking. "Anyway, with all this talk of vessels, I went back and tried to figure out if there's a way to keep Lucifer or Michael or whoever from getting their hands on you two."

Sam thought back to what Jimmy Novak had said, what he'd done for the sake of his family and the world. "There isn't," he said, "is there? It's not like a demonic possession, where you can get the demon out and bring the human back."

"No, there's not," Bobby said. "There's nothing in any of the mystical lore about preserving a human soul when an angel comes a'knocking. That's one of the reasons they have to ask first, because they do knock your soul out of commission, and they can't do that without your say-so. But then I started looking at other ways to make a soul stick around after the body's no good."

His meaning struck Sam sideways, and he flinched. "Wait. You mean... haunting?"

"More or less, yeah." Bobby shifted the papers and pulled out one that was fashioned like a crude diagram. In the center, a human body - on one side, a grave; on the other, diamonds each labeled with the word "Soul." "I've done a bit of reverse engineering, I guess you could call it, on some of the things we know about souls that get stuck on earth. We know as long as the body or DNA of a dead person isn't burned, they can appear in that general area. So if Lucifer kicks you to the curb but your body's still around, and if I can get the kinks in this spell worked out --"

"I could still haunt him." Sam's eyes widened. "Even possess him. While I'm still alive."

The concept was deceptively simple. Angels and demons wrestled for control of human souls, but it was technically possible for those souls to eschew both those choices and end up stuck on earth, attached to a piece of their physical self, as a spirit or ghost. They were quite literally lost souls, and both Heaven and Hell had lost their hold on them. So if they could figure out a way to get similarly lost, they'd have all the freedom to take control of living bodies, including their own -- in a way neither angels nor demons had any power over.

But the spell was more complex. It would require Sam's body as a central focus point, but he also had to split his DNA up into enough discrete pieces that his soul would have plenty of anchors to hold on to if Lucifer managed to expel it from his body as a whole. Sam's soul could bounce back from any one of those, latch on to Lucifer's body again, and take control. It would probably be disorienting as hell, but if Sam focused, he could be more annoying than a recurring infection.

But first that required his DNA to be scattered. So the plan was this: Bobby would take several dozen locks of Sam's hair and plant them in a ring around Lucifer's lair, a process he called "putting down roots." As long as Lucifer was within that ring, Sam would be able to possess his body. There was an incantation, too, a binding spell that would keep Sam's soul tied to his body for a short period of time. There was no guarantee the whole thing would work, but it was a chance Sam felt he had to take.

He didn't fear it. He'd gone into the astral plane before, and he'd been possessed. But Dean was different. He had a different perspective, different experiences and a different attitude about his body and his soul. So, as he helped Bobby gather up the components of the spell, Sam began to think long and hard about whether to let Dean know they'd decided on this. He didn't like keeping secrets from his brother, but Dean's plate was full right now. Besides, Sam was starting to suspect Dean was keeping his own secrets.

When Lucifer said he was in Lawrence, Sam knew, in an instant, that this was the time. Ghosts were stronger in places that meant something to them, in places where their memories were strong. If they could cast the spell in Lawrence, and if Bobby could make sure Sam's DNA was everywhere, he would be stronger than anywhere else. It was just a matter of getting there, and that meant keeping Dean occupied. And as annoying as it was to leave Dean to be a hunters' rock star, it was the best possible opportunity.

**

Now

"Sam." It felt like shards of glass were embedded in Dean's throat. "Sam, fight him."

"No, Sam, don't fight him," Lucifer snapped, back in control. "Well, that's a clever little thing you and your late friend pulled off. What is that? A crude pagan haunting? Nice try." But then his face twitched, and when he pulled himself together, he looked significantly less calm. "That's it. Enough with the party games. You're dead."

He lashed out at Dean, but his fist stopped short of cracking his skull. He yelled with outrage, then cupped his hand. A bolt of pure flame appeared and grew there, and he lobbed it at Dean, but it fizzled into nothing before it could scorch his skin. Attack after attack, fire and electricity and sheer muscle, thrown at Dean, and each one died out just in time to leave him pristine and untouched.

Bewildered, Lucifer clutched his head. "What did you do? What have you done?"

Dean stood back. He wasn't sure of the specifics, but one thing was clear: Sam was still alive and kicking in there. God bless him, he'd actually pulled one over on the devil. Impressive. A small grin played over his lips. "And what was your plan B, douchebag?" he said. "If you couldn't kick Sam out of the apartment. No backup if he ended up too strong for you?"

"Sam is gone. He's dead," Lucifer said with a growl.

"Doesn't look like it from here, pal."

Lucifer snarled. "I stepped on his soul and crushed his will with my bare hands," he said in a low voice. "There is nothing remaining here but a shell for me to command."

"Really?" Dean grinned fully now. "Because someone's sabotaging your mojo, and I don't think it's the Tooth Fairy, so to speak."

Lucifer lobbed another ball of fire, but his body seized up despite him, and he missed wildly. Dean sidestepped the bolt, letting out a laugh as flame scorched the wall and died out. "You can't control him, can you? You can't get your greedy little paws around him. He's in there, and he's keeping you from offing me, and there's not a thing you can do about it." His fists were starting to itch again. He could feel belief, and hope, racing through his blood. They were going to win. They were going to beat him. Or at least they had a chance.

Then Lucifer smiled through his rage. "Still," he said, "looks like he can't stop me from hurting you."

He struck Dean, hard, knocking him to the floor. Dean grunted in pain, wavered a moment on all fours, then tried to climb to his feet. He didn't make it. A kick, sharp and heavy, doubled him over and sent him back down.

"Yes," Lucifer said, "maybe I'll just leave you for dead, then. That's close enough." He twisted his fist in midair, and Dean's body rolled on the floor, thumping down face up. A heavy foot landed on his thigh, and Lucifer stood down looking at him. He slashed his hand through the air and pain flashed through Dean's vision as a huge, bloody gash opened across his chest. He cried out in agony.

"See?" Lucifer said. "I can work with limitations. I'll just let you bleed out onto the floor. Works for me."

"Boy," Dean said, grunting as he threw an arm across the gash and struggled to sit up. "You really showed me. I guess you really are in perfect control of that body."

Puzzled eyes darted to his. "What are you up to?"

"Me?" Through the haze of pain, Dean forced a smile. "Nothing. I'm just saying, you seem to be able to do whatever you want." He found his way onto his knees and squinted up at him. "Which makes me wonder: Why are you crying?"

Lucifer's hand flew to his eyes. "What--"

He drew back his fingers and looked at them.

Wet.

His jaw dropped. "What the--"

And then, as though he'd been shot, Lucifer doubled over, his hands over his chest, and wailed, an agonized scream. Sobs shook his body and he fell to the ground, his breath ragged, his shoulders shaking and his face contorted with agony. "What-- what-- what is this?" he demanded of no one. "This -- what are you doing to me?"

His head went down, knocking against the floor, and Dean braced his hand against his own wound and reached the other out across the floor toward him. "It's sorrow," he said quietly. "That's how much it hurts Sam to see me in pain."

Lucifer's head angled up. The venom in his eyes was only matched by the tortured sorrow of his expression. It nearly broke Dean altogether to see his brother's face like that. He withdrew his hand, afraid Lucifer might bite it off, and watched Sam's body convulse.

"Castiel didn't just teach me about how to fight angels," he said with a note of pity in his voice. "He also told me what it was like for an angel to possess a human. You feel when you're in one of these meat suits. Things like remorse. Things like compassion. He learned all that the hard way. Now it looks like you are, too."

"That's impossible," Lucifer whispered. "It's impossible." He scurried backward, shaking his head the whole time.

"Nothing's impossible," Dean said. "That's the one part you angels never got. You go on and on about destiny, how it has to be us, and you never stopped to think about why. Why couldn't you take this whole battle to the astral plane? Why did it have to be here?

"See, now I know why Sam said yes. Because you have to take human form, or you'll never learn anything. You'll never realize what we have that you could never have in a million years. How we work. You couldn't figure it out in that broken-down old model you were wearing. But Sam-- Sam's full of heart. And hope, and imagination. Until you were inside him, you'd never understand..."

The end of the sentence -- what it means to love someone -- went unsaid. Partly because it was too cheesy for words, but partly because it made Dean's thoughts flicker back to Castiel a minute. Again, he felt the stirring of emotion that was too intense to bear, and he closed his eyes to fight it down.

His eyes went back to Lucifer. Words formed on the devil's lips and hissed out like darts. "I hate you." A blistering scowl thrown across the room. "I hate you and your whole stupid species."

"Yeah, I used to hate you guys, too," Dean said. "But then I got to know Cas and you know what? He's a good guy. Truth is, he's... he's actually pretty special to me." He blushed briefly, then cleared his throat. "But never mind that. The point is, there's another way around this. It doesn't have to be a fight to the death. There's always another way."

Lucifer had fallen silent. His face red-streaked and his hand still clutched to his chest. His eyes blazed with the flame of a thousand millennia of captivity, with the fury that had built up in his fallen soul for eternities. When he spoke, at last, his voice was pure fire. "There is no other way," he said.

"Then I don't want to talk to you anymore," Dean muttered, and he reached out his hand.

The light poured out, illuminating them both with white radiance. Sam's skin was pale beneath it. His eyes popped wide open, and after a moment of wild darting about, locked onto Dean's. And his hand rose, wavered in the air, and clutched at Dean's palm. Together, their hands dampened the brilliance into a gentle glow.

"Dean," he said urgently, "Dean, it's me, it's me. Don't let go."

Dean's grin was sheer relief. He squeezed his brother's palm. "You pulled some weird mojo there, Sammy. Nice work."

"It was Bobby," Sam said. "He did it all. He figured out how to keep me around. He..." his eyes welled up with a fresh flood of tears.

"I know." Dean's own eyes were wet. "I know."

"He died a hero, Dean," Sam whispered. "You should have seen him."

"What do we do now?" Dean looked at their joined hands. The light was starting to sputter, starting to short out.

Sam leaned into the press of his palm, but he was starting to look pained. "My spirit is tied to this place," he whispered. "I can't leave here, or he'll take control again. Dean, you have to get Cas. I need to see Cas."

Dean's stomach flipped. "Cas?"

"Cas." Sam's eyes turned upward. "Dean, he's the only one who can stop this."

Dean leaned forward, his heart racing. "Sam, what is it? Tell me what it is Cas can do to help."

Sam gasped and covered his face with his hands, shuddering in pain. "I can't--" he said, then his face twitched in a series of spasms. Dean saw the faces of Lucifer and Sam trade off within that one shell, fighting, he imagined, a battle to the death inside his brother's head.

"Sam," he shouted. "Tell me. What's Cas got that Lucifer's so afraid of?"

The flickering faces fell still. For a moment quicker than a shiver, Sam's face burned through clear and bright.

"God," he whispered. "Castiel's got God."

to be concluded
 
 
 
rockstarpeachrockstarpeach on December 30th, 2009 01:04 am (UTC)
More!! Now!!!

...Please? :)
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on December 30th, 2009 01:09 am (UTC)
Tomorrow! :D
Kevin Jonesmulder200 on December 30th, 2009 01:29 am (UTC)
OMG! I was so not expecting that! Talk about a plot twist!
Tiptoe39: wowtiptoe39 on December 30th, 2009 01:43 am (UTC)
Hee hee. The big payoff is on its way. And OMG is a VERY appropriate thing to say!
ℒℴѵℯ » prepare to bleed.: NICK!LUCIFER → of course i'm an angelunholygrace on December 30th, 2009 01:30 am (UTC)
Dude. ♥

No words. ♥♥♥♥♥
Tiptoe39: love - harley & Mr. Jtiptoe39 on December 30th, 2009 01:44 am (UTC)
Awwwww. Thank you for the hearts!!!! :D
latvela: future cas deanlatvela on December 30th, 2009 02:19 am (UTC)
Sam possessing Lucifer possessing him...awesome! :D

I love Lucifer feeling remorse because he's in a vessel and because of Sam seeing Dean get hurt. This is so good.

And I've often wondered how they're going to address why Lucifer and Michael even need human forms, and you've answered it beautifully.

I love this. Sam's humanity and Dean's faith working perfectly together. Beautiful! And I love Dean thinking about Cas.

Cas has God! Is it the amulet? Or is God inside Cas?! I can't wait to find out!
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on December 30th, 2009 03:01 am (UTC)
This was really what I wanted to get it all down to -- why do they need vessels? Because human beings *are* special and *can* do things angels can't do, and until they're inside 'em they won't ever realize that. So I'm thrilled it worked.

I just wrote a coda to this fic so now there will be a bonus 13th part, even though the next part's technically the last one... augh! Why are they so adorable? *dies*
latvela: future cas deanlatvela on December 30th, 2009 03:36 am (UTC)
Because human beings *are* special and *can* do things angels can't do, and until they're inside 'em they won't ever realize that

Yes, exactly! I like the idea that angels can learn something from humans and learn the value of them too, because while angels have things that human don't have, the reverse is true as well. Love it!
miss1417black_widow1417 on December 30th, 2009 03:13 am (UTC)
AAARRRHHHHGGGH. that is as close as I'll ever get to a keyboard smash.. I swore I'd never do that.GYAHHHHH. ok. holy crap that was cool. just too Frickin awesome! You rule.
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on December 30th, 2009 03:16 am (UTC)
Ahahaha! That made my night! I'm so glad you are enjoying it. I'll put the final* part up tomorrow evening, so hope you will be there!

*Of course I've just gone and wrote me a waffy coda to the fic too...
10% literal, 90% metaphor: can you hear me now? : Castielspeccygeekgrrl on December 30th, 2009 04:11 am (UTC)
ohmygod. *flails*
Tiptoe39: squeetiptoe39 on December 30th, 2009 04:12 am (UTC)
*gleeful giggle* iloveyousomuch.

*hugs*
i dream of colors that have never been seenetoile444 on December 30th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
That was brilliant! YAY! I like that you explained why the angels broght their fight to Earth. That's been annoyingly left understated in the show. I also love these lines:

"Yeah, I used to hate you guys, too," Dean said. "But then I got to know Cas and you know what? He's a good guy. Truth is, he's... he's actually pretty special to me." He blushed briefly, then cleared his throat. "But never mind that. The point is, there's another way around this. It doesn't have to be a fight to the death. There's always another way."

Go Team Humanity! :D
Tiptoe39: Sam - Jaredtiptoe39 on December 30th, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)
Exactly! I'm a huge believer in that and I really wanted to show that being in human vessels would be an eye-opening experience for these guys. As manipulative and clever as they are, I don't think they know a hell of a lot about the warmer aspects of human feeling -- and that's a lesson they need to learn.

Last part* up in 90 minutes or so!

* oh and there's a coda too but.... you get the point.