Zubeneschamali (zubeneschamali) wrote,

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Fic: Final Straw (6/9)

Title: Final Straw
Author: Zubeneschamali
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".

Disclaimers and beta thanks are in Chapter 1.  Previous chapter is here.



now love can not be called in to question.
forgiveness is the only hope I hold.
and love – love will be my strongest weapon.
I do believe that I am not alone.


A few minutes later, the last of the preparations were complete. Dean saw with alarm that the position of some of the candles on the stage floor had been moved a little so that there was a kind of pathway leading towards him. He looked up to see Sam striding towards him before stopping a few feet away, giving him a measured gaze. "Don't fight it, Dean," he said. "It'll be much easier if you give in."

"Like hell!" he shouted back, tugging at the chains as if they'd magically break. "You think I'm letting anyone in here with me, you're freakin' crazy." Obviously Sam was freakin' crazy, not only planning to summon the most badass demon, but to put him inside Dean's body. If he had any doubt that his loyal, sensitive brother had vanished, it was gone now that he was apparently expected to share his hell-tarnished soul with the devil himself.

He'd rather die first.

"I told you already, you don't have a choice," Sam replied. "Let it happen, Dean, and everything will go much more smoothly. Try to fight..."

And then Sam pulled out the Colt and pointed it at him.

Dean's heart leapt into his throat. He hadn't expected to get death as an option. "What the hell, Sam?" he choked out. They'd been in this place before, in this very same place, him staring up the barrel of his own gun at a brother who wasn't quite himself. He swallowed and stared at the taller man, the words coming like an echo of the past. "You think you can kill your own brother?"

"Just a precaution," Sam answered, taking another step forward. "In case someone is uncooperative."

"Damn straight I'm gonna be uncooperative," he shot back. He glared for a moment longer before closing his eyes and picturing a wall. A solid brick wall, stretching as far above and to the sides of him as he could see. He put that mental wall between himself and Sam, and he tried to clear his mind of everything else.

Brick. Solid, red brick. All the mortar is tight. All of the bricks are solid. No chinks. Good, solid brick.

The laugh that came out of Sam's mouth was harsh. "Dumbass," he said. "You think that's going to do anything?"

The brick wall in his mind suddenly dissolved as a wave of water washed over it. Dean opened his eyes with a gasp, looking at his brother to see black eyes staring back at him. "Time's up," Sam said.

Then he opened his mouth and started chanting in a language Dean had never heard, not in decades of chasing down obscure rituals and hearing long-unused syllables pour forth from Sam's lips. The harsh consonants and short vowels sounded like they were catching in the other man's throat.

Dean supposed it was too much to hope that he choked.

After a moment, the chant was taken up by the demons on the stage, and they began to light candles in a pattern, starting with the ones nearest to Sam and then moving outwards. The overhead lights in the auditorium dimmed, and soon only the flickering of candlelight lit the room as the chanting went on.

Dean wanted to put his hands over his ears to block out the awful sounds. Across the stage, Castiel looked like he was in pain, wincing with almost every word that was spoken. He was staring at Sam, his lips moving, and although Dean had no idea what the angel was saying, he recognized prayer when he saw it.

Then his attention was caught by something else, and his skin started to crawl. A cloud of dark smoke was forming between him and Sam, writhing and pulsing in the candles' glow. The curtain at the back of the stage began to undulate as a breeze swept by, growing into a stronger wind that swept around the room, sending the candles flickering. The cloud thickened and darkened, forming roughly into a human shape.

Knowing it was useless, Dean desperately pulled at the metal cuffs again, his wrists slick with his own blood but his hands still too wide to fit through. Sam's voice rose higher, his right hand still holding the Colt steady while his left stretched out over his head. The last of the candles was lit, and the chanting ended on a harsh, drawn-out note. Sam closed his hand into a fist, and the room went still.

Dean stared at the dark, roiling cloud, trying to call up that image of a brick wall again, wondering if the tattoo on his chest would even slow it down. It lifted slightly upwards as though it were taking a breath, paused for a moment...

And then it shot backwards into a wide-eyed Sam.

"No!" Dean cried out, watching as his brother toppled backwards, hands reaching up to his face, the Colt clattering to the floor. The last of the dark smoke passed through his outstretched fingers, and Sam flung his head back, grimacing and straining against the thing that had just forced its way inside of him.

Dean watched in horror as Sam fought the possession, bucking and shaking on the ground, cries and growls escaping his throat. The younger man rose on his hands and knees, his entire body shuddering, then slowly staggered to his feet. His eyes were closed tight, but his head whipped back and forth, a visible sign of the internal struggle taking place.

It was obvious the minute that Sam started to falter, because the shackles around Dean's wrists and ankles clicked open. He cast a quick look around, but none of the demons seemed to notice, their attention all focused on Sam. Dean spared a glance for Castiel, who was likewise quietly stepping out of his bonds, before looking back at the man in black at center stage.

Sam suddenly threw his head back, arms upraised, and let out a bone-chilling cry unlike anything Dean had ever heard. It was the sound of terror and pain that reminded him all too well of his time in the pit, and he gladly would have died again before hearing it from his brother's lips. The blood-curdling scream was shot through with desperation and defeat, and from Castiel's horrified expression, it was clear that he had heard it, too.

Just as Dean was about to scream out loud himself at the agony of what he was hearing, the sound abruptly choked off, leaving a silence that was almost worse. Sam staggered back and lowered his head, his arms slowly coming down to his sides as his eyes closed. The wind whipping through the auditorium died down, and the lights stuttered back on, one by one.

Dean waited, his heart pounding. He was dimly aware that every eye in the room, whether demon or angel or human, was fixed on the man who had brought them all here: his brother, who had been unable to resist the temptation of the demonic power he had called forth. And now, after weeks of breaking seals, he had gambled it all on his ability to hold back the greatest of the darkness, the very name of evil.

Suddenly, there was a faint rumble of thunder overhead, and the lights flickered again before burning brighter than they had the entire night.

Then the black-clad figure standing in front of them raised his head and surveyed the room.

Dean would have laughed at how quickly all of the demons fell to one knee with their heads bowed—except that he was suddenly terrified out of his mind. Nothing Dean had ever seen could have prepared him for this. It was Sam's face, it was Sam's body, but the being in front of him was nothing remotely like his brother. He could almost feel waves of evil rolling off him, and his stomach gave an unpleasant lurch.

Then in their slow scan across the room, Lucifer's eyes met his.

And only Dean's iron force of will kept him from dropping to his knees and hurling his guts out right there.

The eyes looking back at him were red and yellow like leaping flames around a pupil that seemed darker than black. Dean felt for a second as if the demon was looking not only into his soul but through it, turning him inside-out and discarding him like a piece of trash.

Then a terrible smile started to curve Sam's—no, Lucifer's—face. "Dean Winchester," he said in a voice that was a twisted, distorted echo of his brother's.

And suddenly Dean was back in Hell, feeling the cuts of the knives and the agony of the rack and the desperate fear and panic that had claimed him for thirty long years. All thoughts of Sam now in the hands of the darkest of evils, of Castiel across the room from him, of the Colt lying on the ground nearby, fell away as mindless terror overwhelmed him. He dimly heard a chuckle that sounded like bones being broken, but it was fast fading into the tide of memories that was sweeping over him like gallons of his own blood.

Then he did drop to his knees, clutching at his head, plunged back into the depths of what he had suffered for forty years in a way that no mere nightmare could do.

He didn't know how much time passed before he lifted his head with a gasp, surfacing out of the darkest depths of his memory. What he saw made a chill run down his spine. Lucifer was towering over Castiel, whose face radiated both power and fear as he stared back at the demon. They were speaking in low voices to each other, and from the snatches that Dean could hear, it sounded like the language from the ritual. At one point, Castiel's eyes flickered to Dean, pain clearly visible in their bright depths. When he saw that Dean was looking back, he straightened almost imperceptibly where he stood.

The being formerly known as Sam turned at that. He looked Dean up and down, and then slowly, deliberately, licked his lips.

Dean shuddered. "Exorcizo te," he called out through a desert-dry throat. "Omnis spiritus immunde—"

"You think you can exorcise me?" The voice was painful to hear, even more so when it took on a taunting tone. "You, of all people?" He started slowly walking across the stage towards Dean, the demons nearest him lowering their heads nearly to the floor as he passed.

Reaching to the wall behind him for support, Dean staggered to his feet, feeling like he'd run about ten miles in the last half hour. "In nomine Dei Patris omnipotentis—" he tried to go on.

One large hand came up towards him, and the words stopped coming out of his mouth. "Don't bother," came Sam's voice in a lower register. "Your feeble incantations are of no use here." He gestured down at his body with the other hand as he continued to advance. "Not only was I summoned by this one, but his blood called me to him. He had already been prepared for me, which means we are bonded together as one soul. There is nothing you can do to separate us."

Over Lucifer's shoulder, Dean could see Castiel's face blanch. He lifted his chin and spat back, "Sam's gonna kick your ass."

The chuckle that followed brought with it the memory of the sound of sizzling flesh. "That assumes that he wants to." Lucifer came closer, using Sam's height to loom over him, using those fire-red eyes of his to pin him in place as surely as the shackles had earlier. Dean stood with his back pressed to the wall, calling on every ounce of stubbornness he possessed to stay on his feet. He tried to put on the sneering, derisive face that he'd confronted Azazel with, but at this point it was pretty much all he could do not to run screaming in terror.

"I'm sorry I never got to meet you in person in my home," Lucifer said. He reached out and trailed his fingers down Dean's cheek. Dean slammed his eyes shut, revulsion washing over him at the demon's touch. "I understand you posed quite the challenge for one of my favorites."

Gee, I'm shocked, Dean thought at the news that Alastair had been a favorite of the king of the demons. "Good," he spat out through his clenched teeth.

The fingers paused briefly before traveling further down his face. Then without warning, the large hand wrapped around Dean's neck, strong fingers pressing into the sides. "Ah, but once you got into it, you really got going, didn't you? If I hadn't had business elsewhere, I would have loved to supervise your training personally." Dean could feel the demon's hot breath on his face as he leaned closer.

"Go to hell," Dean shot back, anger giving him the courage to open his eyes. He might be literally shaking with fear, but he would be damned if he was going to hide from this thing.

"Oh, that's original." The tone was almost like Sam's scoff, except for the low rumble underneath it that made Dean think of the earthquake ripping apart the ground under Palo Alto. "Still resisting, or should I say, resisting again? You know that it's useless, Dean. You know that it's useless."

He did know—probably better than anyone else alive—that no matter who you were, sooner or later, Hell would break you. And now with Lucifer risen, unless there was some divine intervention pretty damn soon, Hell was going to be right here on Earth. The demon was so close to his that he couldn't see Castiel against the far wall, but he couldn't help looking desperately in that direction.

A mirthless smile crossed Lucifer's face. "The angel can't help you," he rumbled. "Not anymore. But I'll tell you what." He took his hand away from Dean's throat and laid over his shoulder, palm lining up with the puffy scar and long fingers extending beyond it. Dean's skin suddenly felt like it was on fire, bubbling and boiling away under Sam's hand. "I think you just need a refresher. I think once you get a knife in your hand and him on the rack, it'll all come back to you."

Dean's head would have snapped back if it wasn't already being held against the wall. "No," he breathed out. "I'm not touching him or anyone else."

The grip on his shoulder grew painfully tight, the burning sensation now matched by the slow pull of his arm from its socket. "You do understand what I'm offering?" Lucifer asked. "A position at the side of what's left of your brother. Freedom from eternal pain. The power to control what you do and what happens to the others you care for." He paused, and the flames in his eyes leapt higher. "Or you will be kept alive as an example for anyone who dares to resist me. Thirty years is as nothing compared to what I will do to you."

A year ago, Dean might have weighed the offer. He might have considered the option of sticking close to Sam, hoping to get him back someday. A year ago, he might have taken Lucifer's word for what it seemed to be worth and struck a deal. But he'd lived an extra lifetime since then, had done things he knew were beyond forgiveness, and he had vowed that he would never become that person again.

So Dean Winchester straightened his shoulders, took what he figured was his last pain-free breath, and said clearly to the Devil, "Fuck you."

There was dead silence in the room. Then Lucifer took a few steps back and raised both hands in front of him, face twisted into a knowing smirk. "Sam's in here with me, you know. And he's not going to like watching you burn," he said in a low voice. "But there's nothing he can do to stop it."

Dean fought the impulse to close his eyes, watching as red-and-yellow light flickered around Lucifer's outstretched fingers. When the light formed into a ball that shot towards him, he looked back unflinchingly, hoping that Sam could see the forgiveness and love behind his terrified eyes.

Suddenly a bolt of cool blue light shot out, diverting the ball of fire into the wall off to Dean's right. He jerked to the other side, staring with wide eyes at Castiel, who had one fist raised and was preparing to strike another blow. Lucifer spun on his heel and lifted both hands towards the angel, a larger fireball forming between his fingers. It hung there for a moment, long enough for Dean to scan the stage and find the Colt lying on the ground a few feet away.

Lucifer suddenly let out a screech, and the sound was like talons piercing Dean's ears. His back to Dean, he raised one hand to the side of his head, curled fingers shaking, as the fire dissipated into the air. Dean took a tentative step sideways, then another when it appeared that no one had noticed, and soon he was standing right over the gun.

Now he could see the demon's profile, and it looked ironically enough like Sam having a vision: eyes screwed shut, fingers digging into his temples, head bent forward and pain etched across his face. He gave another cry, but this time it sounded like Sam, with the same anguish and fear he'd had as Lucifer took over. Dean froze, watching helplessly as the man and the demon again wrestled for control of Sam's body.

Another bolt of blue light flew across his vision, splashing to the ground at Sam's feet. Taking advantage of the diversion, Dean bent down and scooped up the Colt, holding it behind him as he thumbed off the safety.

Lucifer instantly wheeled towards him, arm extended, a baseball-sized fireball flying past Dean's head to hit the curtains behind him. As Dean dodged, he saw the demon lower his head again, hands coming up to his throat, a guttural cry coming forth with the fury of a thousand hungry werewolves. The smell of smoke started to fill the air as the moldy velvet curtains caught fire, and heat was soon lapping at his back, forcing Dean to move away.

Then for one second, Sam's head lifted and his sea-green eyes shone forth, clear and bright. "Now, Dean!" he shouted, his expression simultaneously demanding and terrified, his power clearly stretched to its limit. "Do it!"

Without hesitating, Dean did the one thing he never thought he would have been able to do. He'd made a deathbed promise to his father, he'd vowed to his anguished brother that he would do the right thing, he'd talked it over with himself and an angel so many times that it rubbed raw against him. But in all those conversations, he'd never deep down thought that he actually could do it.

He smoothly raised the Colt so it was aiming right at his little brother's heart.

And then he pulled the trigger.


The next chapter is here.



Tags: fic, supernatural
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