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28 December 2009 @ 05:07 pm
[fanfic] World Without End, Amen - Chapter 10  
Title: World Without End, Amen
Chapter: Ten
Author: tiptoe39
Fandom/Pairing: Supernatural, some understated Dean/Castiel
Rating: PG
Summary: Castiel lets his feelings show. Sam welcomes Lucifer to his new apartment. Nothing is what it seems.
Spoilers: Up through 5x10.
Previous Chapters: here.

World Without End, Amen - Chapter 10

At last.

At last this vessel full of power and primed from birth with hatred and resentment of the world he'd been so horribly forced to deal with.The life he'd run from, unsuccessfully, the destiny he couldn't escape being the very thing that ensured he'd be ready to accept that destiny when this glorious time came. Sam, a being within a cage, the only power to break out coming in his acceptance of Lucifer into his heart and soul and mind.

It was all his now.

So why in the hell was he so disoriented?

He combed through Sam's memories as though they were trunks of treasure stuck up in an attic. On one he saw a picture of Sam's mother, framed in fire. The mother he had never gotten to know, who had been taken from him in an injustice that could never be corrected. But when he opened it up he saw the dream-figure of her ghost, he saw the unexpected knowledge that she had been a hunter, and these were not memories that dripped of bitterness. They were golden, framed in love and appreciation, and he couldn't touch them.

A trunk, then, with Jessica's name and picture on it. Full of a life that could have been. A career, a family, that he would never have. His whole life had to ache with the absence of her, surely. Then why, when he lifted the lid, did he see the knowledge he'd gained in those scant few years at college, still shining and useful to this day? Why did the things Jessica had said to him, those pearls of wisdom that got him through his darkest times, still shine with the luster of yesterday's memories? They were too bright. He had to lock them away again.

All right, then. All right, so the life that he'd been denied and the women Azazel had taken from him were perhaps not the treasure trove of rage and bitter power that Lucifer had imagined. It was a shame Azazel was not still alive so Lucifer could kill him for his lackluster performance. But that was neither here nor there.

The biggest and most ponderous trunks of memory were still unopened. Those were the ones that bore the pictures of his father, of his job... and in the middle, the portrait of his brother. There would be enough rage and bitterness here for Lucifer to thrive on. Surely.


"He's said yes." Castiel repeated. "Sam has let Lucifer in."

"You're crazy." Dean shook his head. "Sam wouldn't." But this was Castiel, and Cas wouldn't lie to him, and... "Why?"

"I don't know."

Dean lunged past him and sprinted forward. Castiel turned quickly and grabbed him by the arm. "What will you do?"

Dean's feet itched. He struggled in Castiel's grasp, but the angel's hands held a strength that came from somewhere other than the physical. "Let go!"

"What will you do?"

"What I have to." Dean wriggled. "Whatever the hell I have to, Cas, let go."

"Will you say yes to Michael?"

Castiel looked petrified. The color had drained from his face. Dean recognized his fear and relented for just a moment, long enough to face him. "I don't know," he said.

"Don't." It was a whisper laced with dread. "Don't, Dean."

Emotion. It was sheer emotion in Castiel's eyes, in the trembling of his features. When had he ever looked like this before? Dean's heart was breaking a little looking at him.

Impulsively, he grabbed Castiel and pulled him into a rough embrace. Warmth seeped into him. "I'm sorry, Cas," he murmured into the angel's shoulder. "I wish I could promise you. But it's Sam... I have to do what I have to do, you know?"

In response, Castiel's arms went around him. Dean gasped. The embrace felt like power, intense power and intense emotion, enough to knock his breath away. Castiel's hands were hot on his back, and his mouth was close, whispering into Dean's ear, a voice that Dean had never heard waver, and now it was trembling with emotion. "I have no idea where my Father is," Castiel whispered. "All I have left is you."

Thrown, his heart aching, Dean pulled back. He tucked a hand under Castiel's chin. Hey," he said gruffly, "hey. Believe in me. That's supposed to change everything, right?"
Castiel's eyes brimmed with tears. Dean's feet itched to go rescue Sam, but his eyes were held in thrall by the visage of a weeping angel. He sighed and leaned his forehead in to knock gently against Castiel's. Then, on impulse, he pulled upward to place his mouth firmly on the track of one cascading tear.

The contact broke down Castiel's resolve. His hands dropped. "I don't want to lose you, Dean," he said.

The words stung Dean's heart, and he felt his own eyes begin to itch with fast-forming tears. "Then believe," he repeated.

Castiel nodded. "I'll try," he said.

Dean found Cas' hands, squeezed them briefly, and ran for the house.


"Enjoying the tour?"

Up there in the attic, somewhere in mindspace, Lucifer saw the lanky body of Sam blocking the doorway. He was smiling, cocky, sure. Lucifer looked down at himself. He was still wearing the rotting body.

"It's my head," Sam said. "That's what you look like to me."

Lucifer's hand shot out. Sam's body slammed against the wall.

"You sure-- nngh-- you want to do that?" Sam managed to gasp out against the invisible bonds that held him up, suspended and barely able to breathe. "We're still inside my head. You might hurt yourself."

Lucifer frowned and let him go, letting him crumple onto the floor. He walked up and kicked Sam's shin, hard, drawing a shout from him. "You should be gone," he said. "This is my body now."

"But you need me." Sam staggered to one knee, still clutching his leg. "If it were just the body you needed, anyone would have done. But you need me around, don't you? Not just my powers, but my memories, my life. So here they are. Every last one of them. Take a look. They're all yours for the taking."

"I think," Lucifer said after a moment of silent staring, "that you think you have some secret trick in the back of your mind. Some hidden weapon. I like that about you, you're ambitious. You quite literally think you can beat the devil."

"Thought you didn't like that nickname," Sam said, grunting as he got to his feet.

"Semantics." Lucifer shrugged. "But angel or devil, there is one thing I'm not, and that is a stupid, brainless, shortsighted, overconfident human." A slow smile crept over his face. "So let's see your secret weapon, Sam Winchester. I can hardly wait to put you back in your place, and then-- oh, the places we will go."

"Sounds fair," Sam said. "Here it is."

And the remaining trunks of memory flew open.


Dean looked around to see Castiel standing there looking after him. He and Cas were definitely going to have to have that talk when this was done. And Dean wasn't entirely sure he was going to say the things he'd thought he would. Cas gave him something, and he wanted to give it back. Soon.

What he felt for Cas probably was love, in some sort of general sense of the world. The kind of love that Cas had said was universal, was part of God. He felt that way about a lot of people. Dad, and Sam, and Bobby, and Ellen and Jo... It hit him, then, how many people on that list were dead, and it seemed like he had to love someone else, just to keep himself from going empty inside. Well, why shouldn't he love Cas? Cas had given things up for him that Dean himself couldn't imagine. Now, whether that extended to the stickier bits of family-love or romantic-love or friendship-love was another question for another time. Just now, it was enough to know it was there, and it gave him strength.


Dean returns to your life. Breaks up your long-won freedom and immediately coerces you back onto the road, where you're forced to deal with him and all his foibles. The unfairness. The frustration.

The feeling of belonging to my family again. The memories. The knowledge that someone else knows exactly what it's really like out there, that I have someone to talk to and I'll never have to pretend I'm anything but who and what I am.


Beyond him, the hunters, now swarmed by bees, were shouting to each other and firing their guns, fighting the swarm off admirably. Dean felt bad for them. It was way easier to fight big things than small. Still, they were holding their own, and Dean had a sudden twinge in his gut. These people had chosen to believe in him, and not the kind of tacky, false faith that got a little bit soiled and it was all gone. Their faith wasn't weak enough to be swayed by cardboard symbols or simple lies. It was a force unto itself, and he held on to it.

He was heading into this house on his own, but he wasn't alone and had never been.


It's Dean Dad gave his life for. What makes him worthy? How can you look at Dean and not see Dad's face twisted in agony for every day he's in Hell?

I look at Dean and I see Dad's legacy. He gave his life, his soul, to keep Dean alive, and Dean honors his memory every single hunt, every single day. I'm lucky to get to stay that close to Dad's memory.


He never did get a chance to tell Bobby the truth about the charms. Would Bobby have whupped his ass? Probably, and then reluctantly agreed that it had to be done. Bobby was pragmatic like that, but he hated the fact that he had to be pragmatic. He wanted to believe in a better world. The least Dean could do to honor his memory was do his part to make it so. He swung open the front door and walked inside.

The front room was empty. The silence soaked through Dean's skin like rain. It was wrong, it was cold and unnatural. There shouldn't be a silence this complete, not when hell was waiting somewhere within. Dean looked at his palms. He had the power to do this. He would not need any archangel's help. But first he had to find Sam.


He lets you know he's sold his soul for you. Every day you're shouldered with the double burden of knowing you should be dead and he should be alive, and knowing it's all on you to save him because he refuses to lift a finger to save himself.

It's a burden, but it's also nice knowing that maybe, for once in my life, I can be the one to save him. And I don't give up, not until it's over. If I'm alive, I'm going to use my life to save him. And when he's gone, to save as many people as I can.

He thought he heard a noise upstairs. Upstairs, it had to be. He raced up, his heart pounding. His whole life had come down to this moment. This door. This door that wouldn't open. Damn it.

"Sammy!" He pounded on the door. Maybe Sam would hear him. Maybe he wasn't all gone yet. Maybe there was a part of him that was trying to help. Dean clung to that belief with every last shred of faith he had. And clinging to it, he slammed his body against the door until the frame finally cracked beneath him.


Now he's keeping secrets, and acting like the Boy Emperor of Hunterville, no less. He's the one who drove you away, who drove you here. He will learn that he doesn't get to be the king of the world.

That's not why I came. It's possible to feel two things at once, you know. You can be upset at somebody, think they're acting like a dick, and at the same time love them and want them to succeed.

See, this is the thing you get the least about humans. We can be petty and annoyed with people and complain about them all day long and we can still forgive them, still love them. Did you really think that you were getting to me? Did you think I was going to just blow up at Dean and come crying into your corner? You underestimated me, Lucifer. You underestimated all humans. Bobby and I knew what we were doing all this time.

And what were you doing, Sam? What are you doing now?

Keeping you busy, mostly. See, you didn't even notice, but Dean's here already. Look up and say hello.


He'd landed in a shower of splinters. His fingers stung from the impact and from the slivers of wood that slipped into his skin on contact. It'd hurt like hell to get them all out-- if he got out of this alive at all. Because now he was looking up at the crumpled figure of someone who might or might not be Sam.

"Sam," he said, urgently, trying to press across the floor on splinter-filled hands and drawing back in pain. He rose to his knees and crawled a few awkward steps forward. "Sam, is that you in there?"

Even if he said yes, Dean knew, it might not be the truth.

Slowly, like a snake uncurling, Sam raised his head, and a smile spread over his face. "Dean." Neither menacing nor heartfelt. Just a name. Just a recognition.

"Sam, tell me that's you," Dean said. "Tell me I'm not too late."

Sam didn't reply. Something seemed to be struggling beneath the surface, a mixture of emotions. Dean struggled another half a crawling step toward him. "It's you, isn't it? Come on, Sam."

And Sam's arms snapped up, grabbed Dean by the shoulders and threw him across the room.

"Sorry to disappoint." Lucifer got to his feet and stretched out. "Oh, this is so much better," he said, his voice dripping with ice and sickly sweet honey. "I was so sick of that other model. You have no idea." He lifted his arms over his head, took a big breath of air, and smiled like a sleepy lion, all teeth and shaggy mane. "I have to tell you, it's sort of like upgrading from a Motel Six to the Ritz-Carlton. And the amenities!"

With that, his fist went out again, and Dean was raised up from a heap and slammed against the wall.

"Sam didn't know what to do with his power," Lucifer said, the corners of his mouth turning down into a pensive frown. "He thought a little blood could enhance it, but the truth was, it was inside him this whole time. Waiting for someone who could really use it. Waiting for me."

Dean put out a hand and power flowed through it, a blinding shaft of white light that made Lucifer roar and pull back like a wounded tiger, clutching his gut. It took only a second for the roar to turn to laughter. "You have faith. That's impressive. It's a strong weapon, against the right kind of demon. Unfortunately, I'm not a demon."

His feet back on the floor, Dean stepped forward, but his brow flickered with doubt. Lucifer saw it and grinned. "You see, Dean, I have faith, too. My punishment was born of faith. So if you think you can use your white-hot self-righteousness to send me back to the pit, I'm afraid you'll find you're shooting blanks."

Dean glared at him. He raised another hand, but the light that poured from it was weak.

"And now he's losing faith in himself." Lucifer clucked his tongue.  "That's the downside of it. The minute it doesn't work the way you want it to, it becomes completely ineffectual. Doubt's a bitch, isn't it?"

The lights were starting to flicker. Somewhere downstairs, a TV switched on and roared a steady haze of static in the background. Dean could feel his back prickling with gooseflesh, and a phantom wind seemed to be blowing at his neck, cooling him. His skin tingled.

Lucifer looked up and around. "Michael's in the building," he said. "Are you going to say yes, Dean? I thought you were determined not to do that. Although I really couldn't blame you at this point."

"Yeah, think I'll pass," Dean spat.

"Then what exactly was your big plan?" Lucifer's head cocked in a distinctly Samlike nod. Dean's stomach turned. It was even harder to look at his brother's body when it was acting so like his brother-- and so wasn't him. Grief churned in him, and he lunged at Lucifer, landing a solid punch in his gut. Lucifer just laughed. "You didn't have one, did you? You thought you could come in here with your magic holy light of faith and take me out. And if that didn't work-- you had no plan B."

He reached out then and grabbed Dean by the neck, dangling him like a rag doll. His hand slid up to close around Dean's windpipe, slowly, steadily choking the air out of him. "Sam would be so disappointed in you, Dean. Then again, maybe he was used to it. After all, going off all half-cocked is what you excel at, isn't it? Frankly, I think he was trying to emulate you. I think that's what made him rush on down here to meet me. Think about that a second. Trying to act like you is what got Sam killed." His eyes narrowed. "You should take it as a compliment. The very last compliment you'll ever get."

Dean struggled, but his vision was starting to blur around the edges. He couldn't speak, could only glare at the face that wasn't Sam's. He could call for Michael now, he thought desperately. He could ask him to come in, take his body, do whatever he wanted, just kill this son of a bitch who'd taken his brother, destroyed him. But pride still resonated in his empty chest, as strong a sting as the lack of air, and he just couldn't. Sam's hands were cold metal around his neck. His lungs were bursting, and his limbs jumped uselessly against the wall, too far away, too little power, too close to death--

--and then, it stopped.

Stopped, and Dean slumped to the floor, gasping, his hand clutched protectively around his windpipe.

Lucifer was staring at his hand. Stunned. "That's odd," he said quietly. "That should have killed--"

And then his features shifted. And Sam was there.

His face, his presence shone clear and sun-bright through the face that had been Lucifer's. And his voice was clear, too. "You can't," he said. "Not in this body. You will never be able to kill him as long as I'm around. And like it or not, I'm going to be around for a very long time."
to be continued

Tiptoe39: castieltiptoe39 on December 29th, 2009 01:08 pm (UTC)
I know, he's heartbreaking, discovering himself like this. Annghhh. Thanks for your comment and glad you're enjoying!