Supernatural Hellatus Relief, Part 18

 

Here is Part 1, if you’re just finding this story. Here is the previous chapter.

WinDarkness

THEN 

The bunker falls under attack. Sam and Dean say yes to Lucifer and Michael.

 NOW

18

Devil in the Details

All of my wrongs and all my wicked ways

Will come back to haunt me, come what may

For all of the songs I hope to write some day

Looks like the devil’s here to stay

Placebo

 

“Dean.”

He heard Cas’ voice echoing through the ringing in his ears. It took a moment for his eyes to cooperate and open. Memory returned next as his gaze found focus. Cas leaned over him looking more worried than usual.

“Dean, can you hear me? Are you there? Are you …You?”

“Yeah Cas, I’m here. And yes, I’m me.”

Suddenly it felt like was on crystal meth or there was a rocket set loose inside him. It was a feeling of infinite power, ten-fold from how he’d been wearing the Mark.

Interesting, Michael said inside his head. You have a warding sigil painted on your heart. Carved, I should say.

Yep, Dean answered. Call it insurance.

We don’t really have time for this. Look up.

Dean had already looked up and saw the great swath of black clouds swirling overhead. “Yeah, yeah, just cool your jets a minute.”

Cas frowned at him as he helped him up when he didn’t really need help at all. Dean was a coiled spring on crack. Cas squinted at him. “I, uh, I don’t know what jet propulsion has to do with anything—”

“Never mind, Cas. It’s all right. I’m fine.” He turned to Sam, hoping against hope that the same would be true of him.

Michael had a laugh over it. Oh Castiel. Still as thick as ever.

He knows what Netflix is, so he’s not as dumb as you might think.

And what is Netflix? Michael asked and Dean could feel the internal frown.

See? You don’t know everything.

Touché. He looked out at the world through Dean’s eyes. Interesting choice of locations.

Wasn’t my idea, Dean told him.

Hurry it up. We’ve got work to do.

Dean ignored him – or as best as he could, which wasn’t exactly possible. He wondered if he might explode. On second thought, he supposed he could, since it had been known to happen, doubting instantly that he was strong enough for this. He marveled over how Sam had stood it at all. He checked his hands and arms to see if there were any telltale signs of his skin dissolving, at the same time as lurching over to Sam’s side. So far so good. He was still whole and in control. He felt more than saw Michael roll his eyes.

Please hurry up.

Tell that to your comatose brother over here, Dean snapped. Or better yet, shut up for a second.

A moment of silence and then, One.

Michael thought that was funny, but Dean saw Sam start to stir and bent down to him. “Sam? Sammy?”

“Oh God,” his brother groaned, rolling onto his side. He looked in pain. “He’s really … He’s really pissed off.”

Let me talk to him, Michael said. He’s going to tear Sam apart from the inside out if you don’t. You can take back the wheel any time, Dean. That sigil ensures it. I’ll even let you listen in.

Dean saw the sense of it, and felt confident enough of the warding to go through with it. With his brother curled up on the ground in obvious agony, the choice was already made, but then another thought crept in; one he didn’t want to consider. Is he going to have to drink demon blood to deal with this?

Michael paused to consider it. That’ll depend on Lucifer. He’s not a demon. He’s an angel. But he’s also cursed. There’s inherent evil in that, but if Lucifer so wishes, he can protect Sam from those ill effects. I’ll put in a good word.

It was difficult, more than he thought it would be, to let go, to cede control of himself to someone else. It felt very much like allowing the Mark to consume him, only this was about a hundred times worse. Michael asked him to look up again and he got the point.

Taking a step back, as if moving into a different room but one within his own mind, he switched places with Michael.

Then Michael, who was fairly short on having much patience for the pace at which things were happening, had to convince Sam to do the same thing.

Tell him, Michael said and handed it all back over.

“Sam. Sam, it’s me,” he said, crouched beside him and took him by the arm. “Michael needs to talk to him and you have to let him.”

“How do I know you’re not Michael right now, pretending to be Dean? If I let him go, I’m not … I don’t think I’ll make it back.”

“You don’t,” Dean said, in answer to the question. “And you’ll make it back. The sigil is working. That’s why Lucifer is pissed. Right? Let him out. Either way, it’s what we came to do, isn’t it?”

At that, and after a brief hesitation, Sam nodded. He was close to tears he was in so much pain, but then his eyes shifted, closing for half a second, and then he was on his feet – and raging mad.

“Lucifer, stop,” Michael demanded, more than a little worried that the tenuous plan to save their home, the universe really, would all fall apart because his little brother couldn’t control his temper. Some things had not changed.

Oh that’s just great, Dean muttered, able to hear everything Michael was thinking. He supposed the same was true in reverse.

It wasn’t just the Darkness that had now blotted out the sun, rearing over their heads. The ground shook because of Lucifer’s rage. The effects of such anger on this Earthly plane would be felt for hundreds of miles around them.

“Did you expect anything less?” Michael said, grabbing hold of Lucifer and shaking him. A swath of trees that stood off in the distance blew over.

Lucifer shoved Michael back. “They double-crossed us! I’m going to stamp them both out of existence!”

“They’re only trying to protect themselves,” Michael countered. “In all this time, you’ve never played well with others, little brother. We need all of us for this. Look around you. See what you’re doing? This is your last chance, Luci. We can have Armageddon right now, if that’s what you want, but is it?”

Whoa. Hold on just a damn minute.

Just like you know what to say to your brother to make him listen to you, I know what to say to mine. You have to trust me.

“He’s arguing with you right now,” Lucifer said, sneering over it. “How can you let him? This isn’t what we signed up for.”

“He’s just talking to me,” Michael corrected. “We need them. All four of us, together.”

“Five,” Castiel said, giving them both a look, and Michael conceded the point.

“They’re smart, for humans. After all, they outsmarted both of us, twice now. We agreed to help, to do what we were always meant to do – protect God’s creation. Look up, Luci. The Anti-God is about to come down on us and destroy everything. You have to choose. Now.”

Dean was about to interject, grab Sam and suggest they expel the bastards, but he saw that Lucifer was listening. More importantly, he calmed down. The wind swirling around them eased. The ground stopped shuddering underfoot. The air lost the oppressive weight that Dean hadn’t noticed until it was gone. He breathed again.

And Lucifer nodded. “Fine. All right. Can we get on with it?”

“We need a few things,” Michael said, looking around for a flat headstone and found one a few paces away. With one sweep of his hand, leaves and dirt blew off of it to reveal a slab of suddenly pristine white marble underneath. Next he had Dean’s knife out and cut his hand open, which Dean didn’t feel at all.

Huh. That’s not so bad. What are you doing?

Calling up a relative. He turned to Castiel while drawing the blood symbol and both Dean and Cas recognized the mark as the same one Gadreel had used.

Don’t you need a few other things to make it work? Dean asked, recalling the bones of a fairy and feathers of a griffin in the mix.

Not for this particular signal, Michael said and when he’d finished he knelt, placing his palm on the sigil, and said one name.

“Gabriel.”

To Dean’s surprise, he instantly appeared, whirling around because he’d come in backward and his eyes widened in immediate fear.

“Oh holy hell,” Gabriel said, very obviously not dead. Somehow, he’d gotten out it, and in thinking about it, Dean wasn’t surprised. He backed up several steps. “Look, I don’t want any part of this. You two want to kill each other, go right ahead. I’m out.”

“Gabriel, listen.” Michael held up his hand and his brother couldn’t move. “It isn’t what you think and we don’t have time. We need your help. Where’s my sword?”

“And the staff,” Lucifer said.

Dean glanced over, blinking because he could see Sam standing sort of outside himself, like a half-ghost, and his brother looked at him in sudden relief. “You all right?” Dean asked without having to take over.

“Yeah. You?”

“Oh I’m fan-freakin-tastic,” Dean said.

“What’s this?” Michael asked, looking to his brother.

“I figured it would help with their separation issues,” Lucifer said with a smirk. Dean took control of Michael/his hand long enough to flip him off. “You’re welcome.”

“Smart,” Michael said. “Are you happy now?”

Sam and Dean shared a look. “No.”

“Guys,” Cas interjected and gestured upward. A vortex had appeared that looked like it would strike at any second.

“Right. Where is my damn sword?” Michael asked again.

“And the damn staff?”

“In heaven,” Castiel answered.

“Well that makes things easier,” Michael said.

“And the Orb?” Lucifer asked. Sam and Dean didn’t know what he meant by that, having never heard of it before.

At that, Cas looked uncomfortable and a little afraid. “The Orb was … misplaced.”

Gabriel quickly held up a hand before Lucifer could go off on them all again. He was about to. “I took it,” he said and then quickly added, “to keep it safe. You see, after you fell, heaven was…” He glanced skyward when Michael shook his head. “Right. Short version. Things were a mess. Balti and Raph were stealing the good stuff left and right, so I grabbed the Orb and stashed it.”

“Where Gabriel? Come on!” Lucifer snapped. Thunder rumbled across the land. Dean wondered how far.

At that Gabriel grinned, quite happy with himself. “In the safest place on Earth. The current home of your monkey suites.”

“In the Bunker?” Cas said.

“Bunker?” Michael asked, but then shook his head.

He paused a moment, concentrating and another wind blew up around them. Lucifer did the same thing and the wind turned to a roar and the trees, the ones left standing, bent right over. They both raised a hand to the heavens and a light like lightning arced down. The next instant, Dean felt the hilt of a great sword in his hand. He hadn’t thought the power quotient could get any higher, but a jolt swept through him as Michael twirled the blade, swinging it around like it was an extension of himself. Lucifer held the staff of Moses, and judging by Sam’s reaction, the same blast of energy hit him as well.

Dean looked down. A suit of armor replaced his usual clothes, golden and shining even in the dark. Not the armor of a knight, heavy and clunky, but sleek, strong, and lightweight, like chainmail, or that shiny shirt Frodo wore. He knew in a flash of thought that the black breast plate, made of some unworldly material, was impenetrable, as were the braziers on his arms. Even the boots that rose to just above knee height were covered in gold. He said a little ‘praise the good Lord above’ because there wasn’t a cape. He was also thankful for pants, leather ones, rather than a skirt like all the pictures. When Dean looked to Sam, he was adorned the same, only his armor was blazing white-silver and the two, silver and gold joined together, made an unearthly light.

Michael concentrated again, even as the Darkness above them swirled closer and closer, but he stopped, frowning because something wasn’t working. “Hmm.”

Gabriel was shaking his head. “You can’t get the Orb out of the Bunker without going there. Place is warded to the gills, against everything.”

“How did you get in then?” Cas asked, taking up more precious time.

“I stole the key from a blind guy. He never knew.” He turned to Michael and Lucifer. “I did it so the two of you couldn’t get your hands on it, because I didn’t want to see you turn it against each other.”

“And we aren’t now,” Lucifer said. “Tell us how to get it.”

“I can,” Cas said and there was just the slightest smile of self-satisfaction.

“Then get it and bring it me,” Lucifer said and Michael nodded.

Cas paused long enough to look to Sam and Dean, which annoyed Lucifer and amused Michael, but after a concurring glance between them all, they agreed.

“Sounds like a plan to me,” Dean said, taking over so Cas would know it without doubt.

The massive wings appeared first, black somehow shining in all the dark, and for the first time ever, they saw him as he was, in his true form; huge and blazing in a rainbow of color, but it didn’t hurt them to look. Like an arrow, with one swift down-stroke of wings that were now as multi-colored, he shot away, but Dean blinked after him, thinking Cas appeared for an instant like a rearing horse, only he realized there was a horn on its head.

He would have laughed, but there wasn’t time, and then he thought of something else. “Hey Cas. Check on the girls while you’re home.”

“Don’t worry. I will.”

“What about us?” Sam asked, looking up rather than after Cas, but he smiled over the angel choosing a unicorn. “Because we’re about to die here.”

Lucifer shook his head. “Not likely.”

“And what about me?” Gabriel asked. “What do you want of me?”

“Call the Host of Heaven home, Gabriel. We’ll see you there.”

Dean felt his own wings arching out behind him, a decidedly strange sensation. They were gold and gathered light. Michael bent his knees slightly. That was the only warning before he too shot off the ground with Lucifer right beside him. His wings were white. It felt all the world to Dean like being strapped to a Saturn V.

Beneath them, a piercing wail followed them and it hurt to hear. Lucifer swore. “He could have waited until we were clear.”

“He hasn’t stopped being a little prick,” Michael said of Gabriel, and then abruptly they were moving even faster, leaving the horn call behind.

“Hell’s bells!”

Michael laughed. “You fear nothing else of this world, but you’re terrified of flying. I’d advise not taking over at this particular moment then.”

“No shit Sherlock!”

Michael didn’t understand that reference, but ignored him. Light seemed to bend around them. The Darkness above shuddered, swirling in mad circles, maybe in an attempt to follow but it couldn’t.

“Why Heaven? What about Earth?” Dean asked to distract himself from the speed they were hurtling through … he didn’t know through what exactly. Space/Time? It looked like a wormhole from Star Trek.

“The Darkness has to be contained on one plane of existence,” Michael said. “Right now it’s on three. Heaven, Hell, and Earth.”

“And hopefully not the fourth,” Lucifer said.

“The fourth?” Sam asked.

“The Garden,” Lucifer said. “We can’t let it get into the Garden.”

Dean thought about his parents and his friends, who Cas had sent to the Garden. Michael heard the thought.

“That’s good actually. Find out where they are.”

“How?”

“Ask. We need to know what Heaven they’re in, what Heaven remains open to us.”

“Uh, okay. How do I ask?”

“Talk to your father, Dean. He’ll hear you.”

That made it simple at least. “Dad, where are you? Can you hear me?”

“Dean? Yes. We’re at the Garden! Under attack!”

“Where exactly? What Heaven are you in?”

John didn’t answer for what felt a long time. “That field you set on fire. With the fireworks.”

“I’ve got it,” Michael said, sharing with them all, and Dean saw it, a wide stretch of farmland with waving amber grass that in another time and place was scorched clean of life. “You two. The entirety of your life in one kind trouble or the other.”

“It was one of the best times we ever had,” Dean retorted and even smiled at the memory. Sam agreed. One of the good ones.

The next thought, unbidden and unwanted came in. This might be the only and last chance Dean would get to see his parents and his friends again. He tried stuffing that down, the impending lack of existence that awaited him, and keep it hidden from his host, but Michael was right there. He heard everything, down to all the deep, closest held fears he ever had. Every single one.

“I’ll do everything I can,” Michael answered the unspoken request, keeping the conversation private by speaking just to Dean. “On my very existence, I will. I swear it.”

“O..Okay, but if you can’t,” he said and glanced at his brother. “Don’t tell Sam. Don’t even tell me, because I don’t want to know.”

“Yes you do, but all right. I won’t tell Sam,” Michael said and Dean had to be content with that. The angel nodded ahead. “Tell them not to look.”

Dean swore at that. “Dad, hang on. We’re coming. When we get there, cover your eyes. Trust me on this. Cover your eyes and don’t look.”

He could tell John didn’t understand exactly, but that was beside the point. “You better hurry.”

Telling an angel to hurry propelled them into what looked and felt like light speed on the Millennium Falcon and Dean had to stop watching. The next instant though, they landed.

A sound like thunder, extremely loud, erupted all around them, knocking the embattled and tiny army of souls right off their feet. That was all Dean had a chance to see before Michael and Lucifer straightened. He was no more. He was the archangel. Heaven’s fiercest and mightiest weapon. Beside him the Angel of Light stood. White fire erupted all around them and the Battle for Heaven began.

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