Word Count: ~24,600
Warnings: loose interpretation of Greek and Christian mythologies (both within and outside of canon)
Summary and Author's Notes: At the masterpost.
Dean frowned as Sam gripped the knife in his hands. “I still don’t like your chances, going after Lilith with that.”
“If something goes wrong, you’ll be out here,” Sam reminded him. “You said you could kill her while she’s topside, didn’t you?”
“I should be able to, yeah. Other demons are a snap, but she’s got a little more juice than they do. I could exercise her, at the very least, to keep her from slaughtering you.”
“That’s comforting, thanks,” Sam muttered. He’d hardly made eye contact with Dean since they’d left Chuck’s house to find the motel where Lilith would supposedly be coming for Sam. Sam had refused to let the opportunity slip by; he wanted to take Lilith out, once and for all. Dean had gone along with him, though the tension between them was palpable.
“I told you I’m on your side, and I meant it,” Dean reminded him, and Sam stared at him for a moment before nodding.
“I believe you. I shouldn’t, since you’ve done nothing but lie to me for months. But I believe you.”
“I only lied about one thing. And you weren’t exactly forthcoming with all of this apocalypse shit,” Dean pointed out. Sam shrugged.
“Guess not.” He licked his lips, glancing at the door. “Alright, I’m going in. I doubt she’ll just stroll up to the door when she could pop inside, so you wait out here. If you hear me call for you, or if it sounds like I’m choking on my own blood or something, come in.”
“Will do. Good luck.”
Sam nodded and let himself into the room. Dean leaned against the building between the door and the window, closing his eyes and just listening.
He sensed her as soon as she arrived, his gut clenching at the feel of having her so close, just on the other side of the wall. He grit his teeth, hoping his presence wasn’t as clear to her as hers was to him, and waited – finally hearing a shriek that prompted him to burst through the door.
Lilith didn’t spare him a glance, even as he kicked the door shut behind him. She and Sam were a few feet apart and he had the knife pointed at her, but she didn’t seem to notice. Her eyes were wild with fury.
“You’re clean, I can feel it,” she hissed. “Azazel’s blood is all that’s left in you.”
“I can still kill you,” Sam said, waving the knife, though he looked more confused than confident. Dean looked between them, not understanding any more than Sam seemed to be.
“That thing can’t kill me.” With a quick jerk of her hand, the knife was ripped from his hand and flung to the side. “You need the blood; you have to free my father!” she screamed, red in the face. Even in a grown woman’s body, Lilith was the same as she’d always been – a grotesque, diseased child, who was currently in the midst of a temper tantrum.
“Where’s Ruby?” she demanded. “I’m going to kill that lying little whore; she said she would train you, get you strong enough to kill any demon, even me. You’re the only one who can, but what use are you like this? Weak, worthless!” she screeched, and Dean winced at the sound.
“So Ruby was working with you?” Sam asked, glancing at Dean.
“Do you think that stupid bitch could have thought all that up herself?” Lilith laughed bitterly, and in an instant she was fuming again.
She glared at Sam for a moment and then paused, her expression changing just as quickly as it had before, which Dean found downright creepy. Her head tilted to the side and a sweet grin spread across her face, the knife flying up into her hand.
“It’s not too late, Sam,” she said, and her skin crackled as she drew the knife across her forearm. Blood seeped from the cut, droplets rolling down the body’s pale skin and onto the floor. “Drink. You can still get strong enough. Don’t you want to be strong again, Sam? Don’t you want to kill me, get revenge on me taking your daddy down to hell?”
Her smile widened as she continued, “How long was he there before your little angel friends saved him and took him back to heaven? A full year? That’s one hundred and twenty years in hell. They carved him up every day for one hundred of those, and finally broke him. ‘The first seal shall be broken when a righteous man sheds blood in hell.’ We turned Daddy into a monster. And you should have seen him with a knife, Sammy. The way he tore up those souls – it was artistic, really. I was moved.”
“Shut up,” Sam demanded, his voice low and pained.
“Does that bother you? I know it does, Sam. And you want revenge, just like you wanted revenge for your mommy. For Jesse. I’ll send you demons, Sam, give you all the blood you can drink, and when the time is right, you can have your revenge. And Lucifer will be so grateful for you setting him free. The power you felt with the blood? It’s nothing compared to what he’ll give you. I know you want that, Sam. Such a weakling all your life, Daddy bossing you around. You finally felt strong, and you’ve never loved anything more.”
“Killing you is the last seal?”
She nodded and held out her arm, stepping closer to him. “It’ll be so easy, once you have enough. Just like the others. Drink, Sam.” He grabbed her wrist and she laughed, tossing her hair back gleefully.
“Dean!” he shouted, and Dean rushed forward, pressing one hand against the side of her head and one on her back. He concentrated on pushing the demon from the body rather than even trying to kill her, and her head fell back as the smoke poured out. He caught the woman’s body as it collapsed, and checked the pulse. Miraculously still alive; just unconscious.
Sam was sucking in heaving breaths, staring at the blood that was dripping down and seeping into the carpet. Dean carefully laid the woman on the bed, getting up to grab a towel out of the bathroom so he could wrap up her arm. When he came back out, Sam was sitting on the edge of the opposite bed, his head in his hands.
“I think she’s going to be okay,” Dean said after a moment, listening to her breathing. Sam didn’t move. “Did you know the angels had saved your father?”
“No. Cas never mentioned it.” Sam laughed, but there was nothing happy about it. “Who knows, even he might be using me to start the apocalypse. Apparently I’m not too good at recognizing it when I’m being lied to.”
“You lost your dad, Sam. You were vulnerable, and Ruby took advantage of that. It isn’t your fault.”
Sam ignored him. “I would have done it. I wanted to kill her so badly. And she was right, I do want revenge. I would’ve killed her, and started the whole fucking apocalypse, because I was stupid enough to trust a demon.”
“Good thing you’ve got your pagan god of a best friend to clean all that up for you then, huh?” Dean joked, and Sam finally looked at him, startled. He laughed, nodding and running his fingers through his hair.
“All I ever wanted growing up was to be normal, and look at me. I couldn’t be more of a freak if I tried.”
“Bet you could. You can do anything you set your mind to, Sammy.” Dean leaned over to lay a hand on his knee, giving it a gentle squeeze to offer silent support. Sam smiled, looking over at the woman’s body.
“We should probably drop her off at the hospital. And I think we’ve lost our deposit, at this point.”
Dean waved his hand over the blood stains, smiling as they disappeared. “Nothing a little bit of magic can’t fix.”
“Well, look at you. Lord of carpet cleaning,” Sam teased, though his expression was still grim. He helped Dean get the woman up off the floor, and together they carried her out to the car.
When they woke up the next morning, Castiel was standing at the foot of Sam’s bed.
“Christ!” Sam shouted, rousing Dean from his groggy state of partial consciousness in time to see Sam nearly roll off his bed.
“No, Sam, it’s me,” the angel said, his face pinched with worry. Sam panted, rubbing a hand over his face.
“Yeah, Cas, I know. You just scared me. Fuck,” he muttered, and Dean pushed himself into a sitting position.
“Where’d you get off to yesterday?”
“I was called up to heaven,” Castiel told him, seeming a little less disgruntled at having to directly address Dean than he had the day before.
“Yeah? And how are all your feathery friends doing?”
Castiel shifted uncomfortably. “Not well. There were some who wanted Lucifer freed because they agreed with his philosophies on destroying the humans. They were… taken care of, but I recently discovered that many of the angels want him freed so that he and Michael can have their final battle. They want the apocalypse to occur.”
Dean frowned, suddenly serious. “Don’t they know what kind of destruction that would bring? The showdown alone would take out millions, maybe billions of people. And then if Lucifer wins, he’ll probably torch anybody that’s left. If your host of heaven wins, the whole planet turns Stepford.”
“They expect Michael to win,” Castiel confirmed. “They want to create heaven on earth so they won’t have to witness any more sin.”
“Or any more free will. They can’t just do that! That’s what your father says he wants?” Dean asked. Castiel was quiet for a moment.
“Our Father left heaven a very long time ago,” he said. “But I, along with some of my brothers and sisters, don’t believe this is what He would want. He created the humans as they are, and told us to bow down to them. I don’t agree with those who want the humans to be any different than He intended.”
“So we’re all on the same page then, right?” Sam asked. “None of us want Lucifer to end up topside.” He frowned, biting at his lip. “But Lilith isn’t going to just give up. She’ll keep coming after me, trying to get me to kill her. As long as I’m around, it could still happen.”
“Don’t talk like that, Sammy,” Dean warned, and Castiel nodded.
“It would be unproductive to entertain thoughts of your death. The angels who want to start the apocalypse could easily send you back to earth.”
“Well what else can we do, then? We can’t kill her, obviously, and even if we somehow find a way to keep her from getting to me, she might just figure out some other way to die and break the final seal. We’re totally screwed.”
“Not totally,” Castiel objected. “My brothers and sisters and I found a ritual that we think will work. It would create another cage in hell, much like Lucifer’s. If we can trap Lilith, then she won’t be able to break the final seal.”
Dean frowned. It was good in theory, but wouldn’t be in practice. “Angels don’t have the juice to do something like that,” he said.
“Angels wouldn’t be able to perform the ritual, it’s true. But we believe you could, Aidoneus. Dean,” Castiel amended, and Dean’s eyebrows rose as he thought about it.
“I would have been able to at one point, but I don’t know if I could now. I don’t have control of Hades anymore – I don’t even have believers anymore, apart from a very rare and usually pretty odd few. Most of the power I had, I used for my bondmate.”
“You mentioned that yesterday, with Chuck,” Sam said, curious. “Your ‘bondmate’. What does that mean?”
“It’s not an official term or anything,” Dean told him, thinking of how best to explain. “There was a man I fell in love with in the eighteenth century, and I didn’t want to live without him. I couldn’t just make him immortal, but with the right ritual and enough power, I could… tie his soul to mine, you could say. He still gets old and eventually dies,” he explained, trying to push back the memories of Samouel’s body going limp, or Sawyl’s eyes losing their light. “But he’s reincarnated, eventually. When we meet again, he starts getting his memories of our lives together back. That’s what happened last time, anyway.”
Dean shifted his gaze to Castiel. “If I had him with me, our power together might be enough for the ritual to work. I don’t know if I can swing it on my own, and I don’t know when he’ll be born again.”
“Would the magic be at all tied to the last body he’d been in?” Castiel asked. “If you went to his grave, could you get enough of the power back to use it?”
“I don’t know,” Dean said, honestly. “I’ve never tried. If I did try, I don’t know if it would break the bond. He might…” He swallowed hard. He couldn’t say the words out loud – that using that power might mean Samouel never came back. He’d feared that enough as it was, losing him when he’d been so young. “I’m not even sure where his gravesite is.”
“You weren’t with him when he died?” Sam asked.
“I can feel it as soon as he’s born, but it takes me a while to pinpoint the exact location. The last time he was reincarnated was in 1983, and he died before I could find him. Only six months old. Exactly six months, actually.”
Sam blinked. “Exactly six months? You’re sure?”
“Of course I’m sure.” He’d been all Dean could think about for twenty-five years.
“The psychic kids,” Sam breathed, and Dean quirked an eyebrow.
“The demon blood thing?” Dean asked. It was a bit of an odd segue. “Could they help us get enough power for the ritual?”
“No, I mean he might have been one of the psychic kids. Or was supposed to be, anyway. Azazel came to all of us when we were exactly six months old so he could do his blood thing. If the parents came into the room, he burned them up. Your, you know, ‘bondmate’ might have died in the fire.”
“So you’re saying the love of my life was burned alive by a demon,” Dean deadpanned. “That’s great, Sam. Thank you for that.”
“I- No, I didn’t mean…” Sam flushed, looking away. “I just meant, we tracked down all the kids who had house fires on their six-month-birthdays. We could find them again, and maybe find where the essence of power or whatever is.”
“There’s not enough time for that,” Castiel interrupted. He was looking between the two of them curiously, and Dean waited for some sort of explanation. He didn’t get one. “How close did you get to finding him last time?”
“Not sure. I know he was somewhere in the Midwest.”
Castiel nodded. “If you got close enough, could you still sense him enough to track him down? Find the last place you felt him?”
“They couldn’t have buried him too far from where he died,” Sam agreed. Dean wished they’d stop talking about it. His stomach was in knots at the thought of them asking him to do this.
He didn’t have much choice, though. They had to do whatever they could to get Lilith off the board. Samouel couldn’t come back to the world if there was no world to come back to.
“I might be able to.”
After Castiel left to start gathering the ingredients for the ritual, Sam and Dean showered and dressed before hitting the road. Dean didn’t trust that he could track down Samouel’s latest incarnation by having an angel bounce them around the midwest – and part of him just wanted to put off finding the grave, if there was anything to find. As selfish as it was, he hoped their search wouldn’t turn up anything usable.
They stopped again that night in Missouri, and Dean felt mostly sure that he would at least find where Samouel had died. The sense had been getting stronger as they moved through the states, and he started off the next morning with a heavy heart.
Sam had fallen asleep by the time they reached Lawrence, Kansas, in the afternoon. Dean could feel the magic that tied him and Samouel together almost as strongly as he remembered feeling it when his bondmate had been alive. He didn’t have to focus, but let instinct guide him until he was pulling up in front of an empty house with a ‘For Sale’ sign in the front yard.
He climbed out of the impala, slowly walking towards the house. It was definitely the right place – where Samouel had taken his final breaths in his third incarnation. Where, if Castiel’s plan worked, he might have spent his very last moments on the earth. Dean drew in a shaky breath and rubbed his hands over his face, going back to the car to knock on the passenger’s side window. Sam jolted up and blinked sleepily at Dean, who couldn’t help but smile, even as his chest ached.
He pulled the door open so Sam could get out. “This is the place,” he announced. Sam looked at it, blinked, rubbed his eyes, and then looked at it again.
“This is where he died.”
“This is it.”
“He died here, in this house, in 1983.”
Dean’s brows furrowed. “You want me to draw you a picture or something?”
“What day in 1983?”
“November. The second, I think. Middle of the night,” Dean recalled.
“That was the night my mother died,” Sam said, his eyes locked on the house.
“Yes. She interrupted Azazel while he was giving me his blood, and he killed her. On the night of my sixth-month-birthday. In that room.” He pointed to the room to a second floor window of the house, and Dean stared at him, taking a moment to process the words.
“It is as I suspected.” They both turned to Castiel, who had appeared beside them. “Dean, could the demon Azazel’s blood have cut off the connection you felt to Sam? Not broken it, but masked him to you?”
“I… Maybe?” Dean said, unable to look away from Sam for long. “I did start feeling a stronger pull towards him, after he detoxed from Ruby’s blood.”
“I started having dreams,” Sam admitted, glancing at him. “After the time in the panic room. Dreams about you and me, but we weren’t here. We were speaking some other language, but I still understood it.”
“Greek.” Dean swallowed hard.
Castiel walked towards the house, and they both followed without having to be asked. None of them spoke as they climbed the stairs, and ended up facing each other in an empty room.
“This is it,” Dean confirmed, looking around. “This is where I was able to feel him last.”
“Your nursery, Sam,” Cas said, and Sam nodded. “You are Dean’s bondmate, reincarnated. This is very good news.”
“It is,” Dean agreed, a smile taking over his face as he watched Sam. He’d found him, after all the time spent in fear that he might never see him again. The Sam he’d been trying to hold back an attraction to and the Samouel he’d longed for were one in the same. He blinked, glancing at Castiel, who wouldn’t be interested in the same thing. “It is?”
“Yes, of course. Your power lies in you and Sam – you can work together to perform the ritual. I have to finish the plans.”
“Wait, now?” Dean asked. “But we just-”
“You’ll have time to copulate later,” Castiel assured, exasperated. “For now, we must stop the demons from freeing Lucifer and starting the apocalypse.”
“Right. Right, we can talk about it later. What do we need to do?”
Sam just stood there, looking dazed.
“If the dreams are memories, why do you still call me Sam in them?”
Dean glanced over at Sam, who had been silently occupying the passenger’s seat of the impala for the better part of three hours as they headed back up to Bobby’s. “Samouel,” Dean corrected. “It was his- your name.”
“It’s the same name? And that didn’t clue you in at all?”
The road they were on was straight and void of other cars for the moment, so Dean was able to shoot Sam an indignant look. “Do you know how many Sam’s I’ve met? I can’t just assume every one of them is the one I’m looking for. Besides, I was pretty sure he- you were dead. I didn’t exactly have to deal with demon blood blocking the connection with Sawyl.”
“The second incarnation. It’s kind of like a Welsh version of Sam. The name just fits you, I guess.” Dean shrugged. “The fates are funny ones. Scary as fuck, but funny.”
“I haven’t had any dreams about Sawyl,” Sam said.
“Maybe they’ll come after you get your memories of Samouel back. Or maybe they won’t come at all – magic isn’t perfect. Throw demon blood into the mix and who knows what’ll happen. The fact that you’re remembering even some parts of Samouel is a good sign, I think.”
Sam nodded, sitting up a little straighter in his seat. “I’ve been having at least three of them a night. The dreams, I mean. Sometimes up to seven or eight, ever since I- the panic room.” He still wouldn’t say the words.
“It was Ruby’s blood, I think. Even though we’d finally met, you couldn’t get the memories until you were clean. Sawyl started getting them as soon as he laid eyes on me. A lot earlier than I meant for him to – I’d been watching over him, but when I took the same boat to America so I wouldn’t lose him, he ended up seeing me. Tough for a twelve year old to end up with memories of being an old man, but he took it pretty well. You’ve got a tough spirit, Sam.”
“Twelve?” Sam grimaced, and Dean rolled his eyes.
“We didn’t pick up where we left off or anything. I waited until you’d grown up, so wipe that look off your face.”
Sam chuckled, shaking his head. “This is just… this is crazy, man. I’m the reincarnated soulmate-”
“- of Hades.”
“Do you have to say that like it’s such a bad thing? Seriously, I’m not some monster.”
“You’re definitely hotter than the Hercules version.”
Dean snorted, thankful that they were still a good distance from any other cars as he swerved, laughing too hard to keep a good grip on the wheel. “Thank you, Sammy. That’s good to hear.” He wiped at his eyes, still chuckling as he thought about Hercules. “That kid really was a pain in the ass, though.”
They stopped at a gas station in Nebraska two hours later, and Dean met Sam inside after he’d filled the tank. Sam had already begun picking out snacks since they hadn’t stopped for lunch, and Dean went about finding a few things for himself.
“Holy shit,” Sam said, causing Dean to look up. He followed Sam’s gaze, seeing two other cars filling their tanks but nothing exciting apart from that.
“I think I just saw Brady.” He glanced at Dean. “He was my best friend for a while in college; I haven’t seen him in years. Take my stuff, will you? I have to go say hey, just for a minute.”
Dean nodded, letting Sam stuff his arms with pretzels and power bars before hurrying out of the mini-mart. Dean watched him head over towards a black SUV but wasn’t able to see its owner. He shrugged, deciding on some chips and a few candy bars.
He paid for their food, the plastic bag swinging on two fingers as he left the little shop. He looked around the parking lot and then at the impala, freezing in his tracks.
The SUV was gone, and so was Sam.
“Sam?” he called out, walking to look around the sides of the building, check the backseat of the impala, and pound on the bathroom doors. “Sammy!”
He pulled out his cell to call Sam’s number, swearing when it rang through four times. “Fuck. Cas!” he shouted, trying again when the angel didn’t show. “Castiel! Could use some help here!”
“Fuck!” he repeated, trying Sam’s number a fifth time before giving up. He slid into the impala and called Bobby. “Bobby, listen,” he said as soon as he heard the click of the phone being picked up. “We’ve got a problem. Sam’s gone.”
Dean paced in front of Bobby’s desk, practically growling. He’d driven in both directions leading off from the gas station but didn’t see the SUV or pick up any hint of Sam, so he’d floored it to South Dakota to try and figure out what to do next.
“I just got him back, Bobby.” The hunter hadn’t been anywhere near convinced of Dean’s quick summing up of all that had come out in the open the past few days, but Dean had bigger problems. “That’s what it feels like, at least. And now we have no fucking idea where he is, or who took him.”
“You said he saw someone named Brady from Stanford. I’m looking through their records right now to find him, so quit your pacing ‘cause it’s a hell of a distraction.”
Dean huffed, dropping down onto the couch. He tapped his foot, not able to focus on any one thing in the room for more than a moment. Bobby sighed, but didn’t speak up about it.
“Found him. Brady Thompson, class of oh-five. Dropped out his junior year, it looks like. Halfway through his sophomore year his grades just tanked.”
“Maybe ‘cause he had a fuckin’ demon in him. He was behind the car, if I’d just been able to see him… But Lilith figured me out. If he’s working with her, he’d know to stay out of sight. Fuck!”
“Calm down, son,” Bobby said, his eyes still on his computer screen. “Swearing up a storm won’t help us find him.”
“Find whom?” Dean turned to see Castiel standing in the kitchen behind him. Cas looked around, frowning. “Where is Sam?”
“Where the hell were you?” Dean demanded, shaking with rage as he stared down the angel. “I was calling for you, you dick!”
Castiel’s eyes narrowed, defensive. “I was preparing for the ritual. It calls for some very rare items, which I have been working very hard to obtain. The seals are being broken at an alarming rate – we don’t have much time left.”
“Well, in the meantime, Sam’s gone missing. Probably kidnapped by demons. He’s kind of important for your fucking ritual, don’t you think?”
“Dean, I found Brady,” Bobby spoke up, and Dean ignored Cas to rush to Bobby’s side so he could see the monitor. “He’s one of the top dogs at this company: Niveus Pharmaceuticals. It only started up recently…” He sighed. “A little while after the Devil’s Gate opened.”
Dean blinked. “A demon drug company? What’s that about?”
“I’m gonna go out on a limb and say I don’t wanna know.” Bobby clicked around the company’s website until he found what he was looking for. “Closest location to where you said he picked Sam up is in Colorado.”
Castiel looked over Bobby’s shoulder at the address and then reached out to take Dean’s arm. Dean felt the tug of the angel’s power, and found himself standing across the street of a tall building with a sign that read ‘NIVEUS PHARMACEUTICALS’.
“A little warning next time might be nice,” he griped.
“I assumed you would want to get Sam back as quickly as possible.” Castiel looked almost smug, and Dean rolled his eyes.
“Don’t get snarky.” He looked through the windows of the building. “Humans on the first two floors, demons up top. And…” He squinted his eyes to focus, groaning when he was finally able to detect the runes. “Covered in Enochian warding magic.”
“Yes, you’ll have to go in on your own,” Castiel confirmed. “I can still see through the windows, however.”
He vanished without saying another word and Dean looked up through the windows, trying to count how many demons were in there. At least he knew Lilith wasn’t in there – he would have been able to sense her from that range.
“He’s in there,” Castiel said, appearing at Dean’s side again. “He’s being held on the twelfth floor, northeast corner room.”
“Awesome. Just have to get past the humans and then hope I don’t run into any demons that’ll tip them off to me being there before I can get to him. And then I’ll have to past them again to get him out.”
“He’s also being fed demon blood.”
Dean blinked, shaking his head slowly. “This day just keeps getting better, doesn’t it?”
“Oh, good. I was afraid you’d think it was a bad thing.”
“Of course it’s a bad thing!” Dean hissed, glaring at Castiel. “I was being sarcastic! Why the hell would it be a good thing?”
“Though it weakens the connection between your souls, it does make him more powerful. We’ll need as much power as we can get for the ritual to work.”
“Is that fucking ritual all you think about?”
“Somebody has to,” Castiel snapped back, actually looking angry. It was the most emotion Dean had seen him show so far. “I realize that having found your bondmate is important to you, but if Lilith’s plan succeeds, you won’t be able to enjoy it. The consequences of this are bigger than you, Aidoneus. Keep that in mind.” He exhaled slowly. “I’ll warn Bobby Singer, and then make the final arrangements. Call to me when you’ve retrieved Sam – I’ll be listening.”
With that, he disappeared.
Dean stared at the building again, formulating a plan in his mind. With a little magic, he could get past the humans undetected and make it to the elevator. He could take it, with his fingers crossed that it wouldn’t be stopped on any other levels, to the twelfth floor, and take out every demon that stood between him and Sam. It wouldn’t give them enough time to get him out of there, and once he had him, he could tear into the demons without worrying about drawing attention to himself.
Once he was actually in the elevator, passing the tenth floor, he was starting to feel good about everything going according to plan. Until it stopped on the eleventh.
His hands flew out, palms pressing to each of the demons chests and destroying the dark souls. There was another demon a few feet behind them who turned to run, and Dean had to sprint down the hall to catch her. Her eyes and mouth sparked orange and he let the body drop, turning back to watch the elevator doors close. The light above the doors showed it was moving down to the third floor.
“Shit,” he muttered, looking around until he saw arrows pointing towards the stairs. He met two more demons on the way, his heart pounding when one of them nearly escaped. So far, he hadn’t heard any signs of alarm, so the hitch in his plan hadn’t ruined things completely.
He was quiet on the stairs, which opened into an empty hallway on the twelfth floor. He looked around at the various doors leading off from it.
“Northeast corner room,” he whispered to himself, his footsteps sounding too loud on the carpet. He was nearing the north edge of the building when a demon came around the corner, bumping right into him. Dean covered his mouth with one hand and pressed his other to the demon’s forehead, muffling his shout as he killed him. He held him there for a moment, listening carefully before easing the body to the floor when the noise didn’t draw any attention.
Finally, he reached the corner room. His hand hovered over the doorknob, trying to sense through the wood how many demons were on the other side. At least three, he figured. He’d still have the element of surprise on his side – he could take out two before the others got to Sam. He hoped so, at least. It was his only shot. If they took Sam out of the building, they’d hide him somewhere Dean couldn’t find him.
He took a deep breath, starting a countdown in his head. Three… Two…
The doorknob twisted before he could take hold of it. The demon who’d been leaving the room paused when he saw Dean, his eyes going wide as Dean reached out to his chest. Dean shoved past the demon as it fell, feeling relieved when the remaining two demons tried to rush him instead of protecting Sam. He dropped them too, hurrying over to Sam when the room was clear. Sam was sitting, his hands tied behind his back and his ankles tied to the legs of the chair. Dean released his hands first, then went for the knots around his ankles. He tried not to look at the blood smeared around his mouth as Sam blinked down at him.
“Dean. It was Brady, he’s possessed. He’s been possessed… fuck, even since college. He introduced me to Jesse, that fucker.”
“We gotta get out of here, Sammy. Castiel’s waiting.” He turned when he heard footsteps nearing the room, and two demons appeared in the doorway. Sam’s hand shot out and the demon’s froze, black smoke pouring out of their mouths and scorching the carpet as the souls fell, destroyed.
“Neat trick,” Dean muttered, getting Sam’s second leg free. He pulled Sam up, leading him out to the elevator and hitting the down arrow. He saw the lights that indicated the lift was rising in his peripheral vision, keeping an eye out for any more demons that might come after them. Four demons appeared from another hallway, a blond with a menacing smile at the front of them.
“Leaving without even saying goodbye? That’s rude, Sam.” His eyes landed on Dean. “Ah, Hades. It is you. I almost didn’t believe it.” He reached into his jacket, pulling out a sharpened stake. Dean recognized the wood immediately. “Freshly made from an olive tree, all the way from Greece. You like?”
He chuckled, shifting the stake in his grip to arm himself with it. Sam held up his hand again and Brady’s face twisted in anger as the demons behind him began to cough up smoke. One by one they fell, but Brady was still resisting, puffs of black rolling from his lips. Dean advanced on him, his hand landing on Brady’s forehead to finish the job as Brady brought the stake down.
“Dean!” Sam yelled, and Dean turned as Brady’s body slumped to the ground. He had his hand on the stake, keeping it just an inch away from piercing his chest. With a bit of magic it disintegrated, and he smiled.
“Worried about me?”
“Shut up.” Sam rolled his eyes, whipping around to face the elevator when it chimed and the doors opened. The one demon inside seemed surprised to see them, and Dean took him out easily. He tossed the body over with the others and stepping into the elevator with Sam, who was wiping his face clean with his shirt sleeve.
“Going down.” He hit the button for the ground floor, watching the lights anxiously and letting out a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding when they reached it without any stops. “When the doors open, just run,” Dean murmured. “It should just be humans down here, but the demons might’ve noticed us by now. We just have to get out and call Cas.”
“Why isn’t Cas-” Sam started, but the doors opened before he could finish the sentence.
“Run,” Dean urged, and they both booked it to the exit, startling the humans they passed. Dean didn’t stop until they’d reached the other side of the street, sucking in a breath so he could call out, “Castiel!”
They angel appeared before them, and a moment later they were whisked away to a church.
“Where are we?” Sam wondered, looking around at the pews and the paintings that decorated the walls.
Dean arched an eyebrow. “Why Australia?”
“Seemed as good a place as any,” Castiel said, shrugging. “Your power would probably be stronger closer to Greece, but the demons will know that, too. They’ll start looking there. It took them millennia to locate the opening of Lucifer’s cage – we want them to take just as long finding Lilith’s, and longer still to discover how to open it. Hopefully by then, we will have convinced our brothers and sisters that we do not want the apocalypse.”
“Sounds like a plan,” Dean said. “So what do we do?”
“The ritual is prepared. We can begin it now, and Sam will summon Lilith here when we need her. I will help however I can. Having Sam with you will make you stronger, but most of this is still on you, Aidoneus.”
Dean exhaled heavily. “Well, I’ll try not to let you down, then. It’s only the end of the world, right?”
Castiel nodded, handing Dean a parchment so old that it felt like it might disintegrate at any moment. He gripped Dean’s shoulders and turned him to face a devil’s trap on the floor and handed him a dagger with Enochian runes scratched into the handle. He used it to trace a pentagram in front of him, reading from the paper.
“Noncf Khys, Adohy, Lonsa, Busdyr, Yayad, Yaydon. Ge-yad, Enay, Monasky; Ge-yad, Enay, Monasky.” He made the necessary motions with the dagger as he spoke, feeling Sam and Castiel’s eyes on him. He could feel the power building up, focusing it forward.
“Sam, now,” Castiel instructed, waving a hand and lighting the candles around the devil’s trap.
“Ad construgendum ad ligandum eos pariter Et solvendum. Et ad congregantum eos coram me,” Sam recited, and Castiel dropped a match into the bowl in the center. It flared up bright and then extinguished, and a young girl appeared in the center.
“Sam,” she said, the voice high from the small body. “You’ve changed your mind?”
"Lukal Y Ykzhhkal, Babage Y Edlprnaa," Dean continued, and she turned, eyes wide.
“Hades, no,” she hissed, and Sam quickly began chanting an exorcism. The smoke began pouring out from her lips, and Castiel grabbed the girl just as Dean finished the ritual. He reached out for Sam’s hand, gripping it tightly and shaking the church walls as his magic reached the underworld, light pouring up from the devil’s trap as he finished creating the cage and trapped the demon inside it.
The room calmed, and Sam looked to Dean and then Castiel. “Did it work?” he asked, and Dean nodded.
“Yeah. Yeah, she’s trapped down there.” He laughed, relief making him giddy. “We did it.”
Sam laughed with him, taking Dean’s face in his hands and pulling him into a kiss. Dean gasped against his lips, one hand fisting in Sam’s shirt and the other gripping his hair as he kept him there, moving his lips against Sam’s with a little too much enthusiasm to be smooth. When they finally broke apart, panting, Castiel was smiling at them.
“I’ll take you back to Bobby’s. Thank you, Dean.”
“My pleasure.” Dean grinned as Sam’s arm slung around his shoulder. He glanced at Sam’s hand, his smile fading when he saw the blood on his shirt sleeve. He looked up at Castiel, reading the sympathy in his eyes.
The angel laid a hand on each of their shoulders, and Dean found himself facing the salted iron walls of the panic room. The door was already locked.
“What- Dean,” Sam said, his eyes wide and scared. Dean cupped his cheek, pressing another light kiss to his lips.
“It’ll be okay, Sammy. I’ll be right here.”
It took a day and a half for the withdrawal symptoms to hit their peak, and two more days before Sam could be untied from the cot. Dean stayed at his side, getting food and water down his throat, and watching him thrash and hallucinate with a heavy heart. It had been bad enough to watch when Sam was facing the consequences of his own actions. Knowing he was suffering because he was too trustworthy – and for a hunter, he did have a bad habit of trusting people he shouldn’t – had Dean suffering along with him.
He was still feverish when they moved him to Bobby’s guest bedroom, but he was heading towards recovery. Dean wanted to do whatever he could to make Sam comfortable, so he got his bondmate propped up on soft pillows and brought him whatever foods he wanted, as long as he could hold them down.
He set aside the remains of a sandwich that Sam had been unable to finish when night fell. He curled up at Sam’s side and rubbed the man’s stomach lightly to try and soothe it.
“I had more memories,” Sam told him suddenly. “At least, I think they were memories. Everything was so choppy. But I was chasing you through all these trees, and then we had sex in a lake, I think.”
“Our first time together,” Dean confirmed, grinning and pushing Sam’s sweaty hair out of his face.
“I saw you for the first time as Sawyl,” Sam continued. “And then we lived together in New York. People just called us confirmed bachelors.”
Dean laughed. “Well, we couldn’t exactly get married. Kept your mouth shut and your head down back then. After living in this country so long, watching people head towards equal rights has been pretty amazing. We actually could get married now, in a few states.”
“We could,” Sam agreed. “It’s really strange. I always thought you were hot, and you were my best friend. The best friend I’ve had since… well, since Brady. But now I think I’m in love with you, and it feels like it’s not me that’s in love with you, it’s those other guys. But then I am those guys, there’s no doubt about it, and I know all the reasons that I love you, and I think I’m starting to feel it as strongly as they did, you know? And it’s like I’ve always loved you, even before I met you- I just didn’t know it yet.”
“That sounds about right.” Dean felt his forehead, which was still radiating heat. “Why don’t you close your eyes and rest for a while, Sammy? Sleep off your fever.”
“Yeah. Yeah, that sounds good. You’ll still be here, right?”
“Promised you I’d stick with you, didn’t I? There’s nowhere I’d rather be.”
“Good.” Sam let his head loll to the side until his forehead touched Dean’s and he closed his eyes. He was out in less than a minute, and Dean stayed up all night watching him. His fever broke around four in the morning, and Dean dried his sweaty forehead with a washcloth, relieved.
“Dean?” Sam mumbled, his eyes fluttering open and seeking Dean out in the dark. Dean smiled, brushing his knuckles against Sam’s cheeks.
“Right here, Sammy. Looks like your fever broke. You feel any better?”
“Feel like I fell in a pool with my clothes on,” Sam said, wrinkling his nose. Dean laughed and nodded.
“Yeah, you’re kind of disgusting,” he teased, and Sam chuckled hoarsely. “You wanna get up and shower? You’ve been needing one of those anyway.”
“You sure know how to charm a guy.” Sam let Dean help him up, and Dean walked with him to the bathroom to make sure he wouldn’t collapse on the way.
He went back to the room to wait, noticing the damp spot Sam had left on the sheets. It took some searching – being careful not to trigger anything Bobby had set up that might get him blasted full of rock salt – but he eventually found fresh linens, and had just finished remaking the bed when Sam came in.
He was wearing only towel.
Dean’s eyes raked over the defined chest and arms, watching the water droplets roll down his skin. The towel hung low, Sam’s hip bones peeking out, and Dean licked his lips.
He stepped forward before he really processed what he was doing, his hands coming up to feel Sam’s pecs. One slid down to his abs while the other moved to grip his bicep, and he looked up when he heard Sam’s slow exhale.
Sam’s eyes were wide, but not scared. Dean could see the want in them, and tilted his head up as Sam leaned down, their lips meeting in a tentative kiss that quickly turned hungry. Sam walked him backwards towards the bed and Dean fell onto it, Sam climbing over him to bring their mouths together again. Their lips and tongues moved together in an eager dance and Dean let Sam pin his wrists to the bed as their hips rocked together.
“Take the towel off,” Dean begged, wanting to see more. Sam reached down and tugged at the towel until he was freed and his hands went to Dean’s clothes next, not stopping until he was just as bare.
Sam’s body was glorious from head to toe, strong from hunting, and Dean reveled in the ability to just stare at him. He took it all in as Sam’s hands roamed over Dean’s own body, forever preserved in youth.
Dean’s hand slowly slid down until he was taking Sam’s dick in his fist, stroking slowly and savoring the groans and kisses against his shoulder. Sam clung to him, a solid weight against Dean’s chest, and reached down to take hold of Dean’s cock in return.
The room was full of panted breaths and stifled moans, and Dean’s head fell back as his orgasm hit and he spilled out onto his stomach. He jerked Sam quickly, watching his face twist in pleasure as he contributed to the mess between them.
Sam collapsed half on top of Dean, breathing heavily and pressing lazy kisses to his neck. He reached for the bed sheet, balling it in his hand and using it to wipe them off.
“I just changed those,” Dean complained, and Sam just laughed.
After a week, Sam was up and moving almost as well as he had been before. The bags under his eyes were a little heavier, but he was only waking up once or twice a night (an improvement from the first few days) and he was falling back to sleep easier. Sam had a strong soul – in every life he lived – and he’d proven already that he could make it through worse.
“I sent Garth on that case in Montana,” Bobby told them over breakfast. “He cleared it up alright. Someone tipped me off to some weird disappearances in this little town in Maine – you two interested, or should I pass it on to him?”
Dean looked to Sam, who considered it. “I think I’m up for it,” he said, and Dean grinned.
“Looks like we’re in.”
Bobby gave them the articles he’d collected and they checked the trunk to make sure they were stocked up on holy water, rock salt, silver bullets, and whatever else they might need.
“We’re like one of those hunting couples,” Sam observed a few minutes into the trip.
“Yeah, I guess we are.” Dean thought about it and chuckled. “We can get motel rooms with just one bed and fuck off the adrenaline after a hunt. Seems like a pretty good deal to me. And somebody’s gotta have your giant back, right?”
“Shut up,” Sam said, laughing. “I’ve been a hunter way longer than you have.”
“Can’t argue with that.” Dean looked over at him for a moment. “What happens when you’re tired of hunting? I mean, you always wanted to be normal, right? We could have that. Get married, have a house and a dog; the whole nine, just me and you. A nice little apple pie life.”
Sam snorted, but his eyes were still fond. “With Hades.”
“So not quite normal,” Dean allowed. “But considering your life so far, I’d say it’s close enough.”