Rating: PG-13 (language, violence)
Summary: As hard as he tried, Dean couldn't erase the fact that it was his little brother he was preparing to shoot. Evil!Sam, captive!Dean, and the end of the world as we know it.
Spoilers: Through 4.14, "Sex and Violence".
now I don't believe and I never did
that two wrongs make a right.
if the world were filled with the likes of you
then I'm puttin' up a fight. I'm putting up a fight.
putting up a fight. make it right. make it right.
After working nonstop for what had to be a couple of hours, Sam and the demons looked almost done with their preparations. Dean had been unable to tear his eyes away. It was like watching a train heading full steam for a collapsed bridge. The idea of summoning a demon wasn't unheard of; put a devil's trap down before you started, and you might get some useful information. But this was clearly beyond a simple summoning, and there was nothing resembling a devil's trap in sight. Combined with what Sam had said earlier, there was no question what was going on here.
He was planning on summoning Lucifer.
Sam was clearly directing the action, although he wasn't speaking a word. Every once in a while, a demon would look up at him as if they were listening and then get back to work. Dean periodically strained at his bonds, trying to get to that paperclip that he'd put back in his pocket like a moron. Like he could pick all the locks without anyone noticing, being up on stage as he was. Still, if there was anything he could do to stop this from happening, he was going to be all over it.
Then, as the final lines were being drawn, there was a loud noise from the hallway outside the back of the auditorium. Sam lifted a hand, and the lights in the room abruptly dimmed. Dean turned his head to see a dozen demons running up the aisle, the rear doors crashing open before them. There were brief sounds of a scuffle, then a flash of light so bright he had to turn away.
In the center of the stage, Sam had drawn himself up to his full height, hands clenched into fists at his sides, muscles tensed, ready to handle whatever came in that door. Dean felt pride well within him at the sight, followed swiftly by horror. With everything that he'd seen, how could he be proud of this man who stood before him, who'd let evil into his heart and was preparing to let absolute evil into the world?
Because this is Sam, he said to himself. Because this is still your brother and you know that even if you had the Colt in your hand right now, it would take more than you have in you to pull the trigger.
The unnaturally-bright light dimmed. There was a pause, and then a lone figure walked through the doors and into the room. It was a teenage girl, fuzzy pink sweater and tight jeans drawing the eye of everyone in the room as she sauntered down the aisle, hips swinging. She was followed by a seemingly endless line of demons with obsidian-black eyes who fanned out to line the back row of the room. By the time she reached the front of the auditorium and climbed the steps to the stage, Dean was not surprised to see that her eyes were not the soulless black of her followers.
They were milky white.
"Lilith," Sam said in a flat voice as she came to a stop before him. "This is new," he added, looking her up and down with a lecherous expression Dean swore he had never seen on his brother's face.
The teenager let out a giggle. "I wanted to try something different. There's all sorts of fun things I couldn't do before that I can now." She looked down at her body and ran her hands over her jean-clad hips. "Her parents named her Grace, you know." A dark smile curled the corners of her pink mouth. "Bet they never thought she'd grow up to claw their eyes out."
Only then did Dean noticed the dried red-brown stains lining her fingernails.
Lilith tossed back her long blond hair and looked back and forth between Sam in his black clothing and Dean in his chains. "I didn't know you boys were into this sort of thing." Her tongue ran around her lips. "Can I play, too?"
Sam let out a scoff. "Why are you here?" he asked sharply.
"Like you don't know," she retorted, white eyes rolling. "Silly boy. To kill you, of course."
Before Sam could react, she flung up one hand, a stream of white light shooting out from her palm in Sam's direction. From the rear of the auditorium, a dozen demons followed suit, lines of white arcing towards the stage and the tallest person standing on it.
"Sam!" Dean shouted, instinct taking over as he saw his brother being attacked.
The younger man staggered back a step, raising his hands in self-defense. But the beams of light kept growing brighter and brighter until they enveloped Sam completely as Dean watched with his heart in his throat.
Then a dark spot appeared in the center of the light, a black hole that slowly swallowed it up, growing larger and larger until Sam's form became visible again. His hands were held out at shoulder height, fingers spread wide, his face calm. Dean soon realized with a shock that the darkness was coming from Sam's hands, shooting out from his palms and absorbing Lilith's blast and those of her followers.
More than that, the darkness was soon surrounding her, pressing in on her like a living thing. She put up a second hand, and soon tendrils of white light and pure darkness were writhing around each other in the space between her and Sam. Dean shrank backwards against the wall, not wanting any part of the freaky light show coming near him. He watched as the two combatants made eye contact, and then as if by mutual agreement, both lowered their hands and the standoff ended.
Along the back of the room, Sam's demons started to move forward, but he held up a hand, and they stopped. He gave a satisfied smile. "What did you think was going to happen, Lilith? You couldn't kill me before. And there's no way in hell you can touch me now." He chuckled. "No way in hell. Get it?"
Her eyes narrowed. "Looks like you can't hurt me, either."
"Oh, we'll see about that," Sam drawled. "Now really, what are you doing here?"
She swept a hand out to indicate the markings on the floor. "Been a busy little beaver here, haven't you?"
Sam looked at her for a moment and folded his arms across his chest, his brow lowering. "You're trying to cut in on my game."
She scoffed. "You've been breaking seals." Her voice slipped back into a childish register. "I was having fun doing that."
"I was getting bored waiting for you," Sam retorted.
"No, that's not true," Lilith said, moving a step closer. "You were trying to stop me from breaking them. That's not very nice."
"Was I?" Sam asked with an arched eyebrow. "You got Samhain through."
"You killed him," she pouted.
He shrugged one shoulder. "Still broke the seal."
Even pressed against the wall like he was, Dean felt a shiver run down his back. Had Sam been playing for the wrong side even then? Was that why they had been too slow to stop the demon's resurrection?
"Ask yourself this, Lilith." Sam paused. "Why do you want Lucifer free?"
The smile that lit her face was as cold as ice. "Because he doesn't deserve to be in the pit. He's never deserved it. All he did was stand up for himself." She gestured at Dean as she went on, "We're better than mere humans, Sam, and you know it. We're more powerful, more alive. All he did was believe in that and try to act accordingly. And for that he's been made a prisoner for millennia, been suffering in a way no one else has ever had to do. He deserves to be out and free, taking his rightful place in this world." Her eyes were blazing passionately as she finished.
"Lady, we're not talking 'Free Willy'," Dean burst out incredulously.
"Shut up, Dean," Sam snapped. Then to Lilith he said, "So, you think you're gonna be his favorite or something?"
She drew herself up to her full height, which was almost a foot shorter than Sam. "He knows of my plans. He approves of them. When I have set him free, I will rule at his side. King and Queen, together for eternity."
Nausea roiled Dean's stomach, memories of what Lilith had done to him during his first years in Hell rising up like bubbles in a cauldron. As if picturing her on the loose wasn't bad enough, the thought of her holding power over the whole Earth was enough to make him sick.
Sam's flat voice broke into his thoughts. "You really are a stupid bitch, aren't you?"
Across the stage, the disapproving look on Castiel's face at Sam's choice of words was so utterly irrelevant that Dean almost laughed out loud. Dude, if that's what you're objecting to here...
"He's called the Prince of Lies for a reason," Sam continued. "There's no ruling at his side, no sharing of power. It's all or nothing. That's it."
Lilith's pretty face twisted into a scornful frown. "So what does that mean? You're going to challenge him?"
Sam didn't reply, and Dean felt that cold knot in his stomach twist even tighter.
"You are," Lilith breathed out. Her eyes flickered to Castiel and back. "Unless this is all a trick."
Sam let out a soft laugh and shook his head. "Not likely, sweetheart," and he sounded so much like Dean that the older man stared. "They don't want me." He gestured sharply at Castiel, who slammed his eyes shut and grimaced as if in pain. Sam paused for a moment and lowered his hand, and Castiel slumped back against the wall, breathing hard.
Then Sam turned back to Lilith and added, "If I'm already condemned because of this demon blood I've got, I figured might as well give it a shot on this side. And I never did like doing anything half-assed."
"Sam, how can you—" Dean started to speak, but as Sam's hand shot out towards him, he was horrified to find no sound coming out of his mouth. He glared daggers at his brother, but the younger man was focused on the girl standing in front of him.
Sam was opening his mouth when he froze in place, eyes going distant. An instant later, Lilith took up the same position, both of them looking like they were picking up some kind of broadcast that only they could hear.
Then a cry split the air. "No!" Castiel shouted out, anguish twisting his voice and making Dean's blood run cold. Around the auditorium, demons were murmuring to each other, the ones in Sam's camp casting wary glances at Lilith's crew along the back wall.
"What is it?" Dean called out, glad to have his voice returned but afraid that he already knew what was going on.
"Sam, you have one more chance," Castiel said, desperation coloring his words. "Only one chance remains for you to turn aside from what you have been doing and repent."
"One more, huh?" Sam didn't look away from Lilith as he spoke. "You little whore, you came here to distract me while your minions were out taking care of business."
The corner of her mouth turned up. "Oops."
"Oops, huh?" Sam's nostrils flared and he took a few slow steps to his right, a familiar expression on his face that indicated the wheels inside were turning. "You've had this all planned out, haven't you?"
She eyed him closely, turning to face him as he moved. "You know I have."
"Mm-hmm." Continuing to pace, Sam was now directly opposite Dean, who could clearly see the coiled intensity lying just under the surface of his brother's skin as he moved. Something was going to happen, and Dean was suddenly very afraid of what it might be.
Especially now that there was only one seal left.
Sam was speaking again as he continued to move. "So you've known what all the possibilities are." He waved with one long-fingered hand. "All the seals there are to choose from."
Dean could see the wariness in Lilith's expression. She clearly had no idea where Sam was going with this, but she spoke confidently. "I know it's why you're keeping an angel chained up," she retorted.
Dean's fists clenched, and he looked over to see a resigned expression on Castiel's face. Had he known that was why he'd been brought here? As a final sacrifice to bring about the end of the world? Dean set his jaw. He would be damned if he let either one of these bastards touch Castiel.
But Sam was still speaking slowly, almost hypnotically. "So you don't know. You don't know that one of the seals involves removing something from the Earth that has been around for as long as humans have. Something that has provided temptation and misery and death over the entire human lifespan. You don't know that it is part of the balance between Heaven and Earth and Hell, and that destroying it means rending that balance and bringing about the end of days."
There was silence in the room except for Sam's footfalls and the boards creaking under his feet as he kept walking around Lilith. Then she crossed her arms over her chest and demanded, "What the fuck are you talking about?"
"Language, little girl!" Sam admonished. He'd paced a complete circle around her, drawing the eyes of everyone in the room as he did so, and when he came to a stop, the lack of motion was almost dizzying. A knowing smirk tilted up the corners of his lips. "I'm talking about you."
Shock flashed across her young features for an instant before she tossed her head back with a laugh. "You've got to be kidding. You send me to Hell, and I'll be back here in less than an hour. The barrier is so weak right now it's almost paper, and—"
"I'm not talking about an exorcism." His tone stayed calm and soothing, but Dean detected an undercurrent now that hadn't been there before. Then Sam reached behind him and pulled out the Colt, aiming it squarely at Lilith, and the underlying note of triumph rose and solidified in his voice. "I'm talking about your end."
Dean stared at the gun. Sam had crossed right in front of him while he'd been walking in a circle, his back within a few yards, and Dean would swear on the Impala that the weapon had not been in sight. How had he been hiding it?
Lilith was taking a step back, hands in the air, and if Dean hadn't been scared to death of his brother, he would have been ecstatic to see her looking afraid. "Sam, don't be ridiculous. We can talk about this."
He let out a laugh that pealed through the room. "We've been talking, sweetheart. Besides, I didn't think you were one for words when actions would suffice." He pulled back the hammer, the click resounding in the sudden stillness.
"I'm warning you—" she started.
"Too late," he replied, his eyes alight with an unholy glee. "Say goodnight, Gracie."
And Sam fired the weapon.
Lilith fell backwards to the wooden floor, shockwaves of electric flame spreading outwards from the center of her chest. Her arms and legs were outflung, head arching backward, a scream escaping her lips, followed by a billowing cloud of white smoke that shot towards the ceiling as if out of a cannon. It seemed to take forever, longer than with the yellow-eyed demon, but then she was more powerful than that old bastard had been. Then a blinding white flash filled the room, and Dean had to slam his eyes shut.
When the light faded and he opened them again, there was a teenage girl's corpse on the floor, and Sam was slowly lowering the gun to his side. His expression was grimly triumphant, his eyes flickering to Dean and back as he stowed the gun away again.
Before Dean could try to make any kind of reply, a slight tremor shook the room, and Sam swayed a little on his feet. Dean's chains rattled slightly, and he felt the wall against his back shake.
The demons who had entered with Lilith were looking around nervously. Some of Sam's minions were advancing towards them in the back of the auditorium, although most were hanging back and watching him for direction.
The floor shook again, and Sam raised his arms up from his sides. He made a commanding figure, taller than anyone in the room, his dark clothing standing out in the spotlights that were suddenly shining down on the stage. "Hear me!" he called out, and the room went quiet. His eyes darkened to black as his gaze swept across the auditorium. "The seals are broken and the day is at hand. There is no time for infighting. There are to be no calls for revenge. We must work together, all of us as one, to bring forth our Lord."
"Oh, God," Dean muttered, hands clenching into fists at hearing those words out of his brother's mouth, feeling like he was going to be sick. He looked at the Colt, for the first time in his life wishing that he had even a fraction of Sam's powers so he could grab the damn thing out of thin air.
Because now he knew he could use it.
"He's not here, Dean." Sam turned towards him, a malicious smile on his face. The demons standing closed to him started to chuckle. "There's another ruler coming very soon, though. Thing is, he's going to need a body to share." He very slowly and deliberately looked around the room. "But I'm kinda busy, and it looks like there's only one other person here who isn't already co-habitating."
And then his eyes fixed on Dean.
Dean shrank back as much as he could. "Oh, hell no," he said in a low voice, unable to keep from shaking as he spoke. "Nobody's getting in here with me." Least of all fucking Lucifer!
"Think about it, Dean." Sam's eyes were intent on his. "You and me. Side by side. Hell, you'd even be the one in charge, technically speaking." The corner of his mouth quirked up. "I'd just keep on being the little brother."
"Are you nuts? Scratch that, of course you're nuts." Dean shook his head. "It's like you told Lilith: this isn't a dude who likes to share."
"There are ways to get around that," came the reply. Sam looked at him for a moment longer, then motioned towards the blond demon who'd shackled Dean to the wall earlier to come forward.
Dean looked frantically at Castiel across the long stage. The angel's face was as grim as he had ever seen it, lips pressed together and desperation in his eyes. When he finally met Dean's eyes, his gaze sharpened. "Fight it, Dean," he called out in a commanding voice. "You have to fight it with everything you have."
Dean's gaze swung wildly back to Sam, who was busy murmuring instructions to the blond-haired demon. Then he looked at the Colt, tucked away into the back of Sam's waistband. It was only ten feet away, but it might as well have been in China for all that he could get to it.
He didn't have any freaking superpowers, and somehow he doubted the ink on his chest was going to do much good against the biggest bad of them all. How the hell was he supposed to fight off possession by goddamn Lucifer?
Chapter 6 is here.