A/N I wrote Close quite a while ago. I wrote a second part [listed as such on AO3] to finish off the story and finally got around to posting the rest of it here. This is a Sam/Lucifer story. Lucifer is female in this and the first part is more fragmented than the second chapter due to what's happened and the first chapter is fairly short. It starts off while Dean is in Purgatory and is AU from the end of season seven. I hope you enjoy this and thanks for reading!
So close but yet not quite. How clever, Father.
She looked around, the suffering was ripe around her, her skirt just missing her ankles and the mud and misery at her feet. People reaching out to her and she refused them.
This misery, this was not her. Never her. They made it themselves.
She walked on.
The stench of industry filled her, the billows hanging low like a cluster of clouds confused as to why they exist here. She was tired when she heard it. The sounds of violence. They had become ingrained in her. That was how these things acted, was it not?
Her feet responded before she could command them not to. Upstairs in a building that was still half remaining. A safe hiding spot, her thoughts supplied. She could hear it, the smell of it was wrenching. Living in their own stench.
There was no defendable reason why she came through the door and saw him. All curled up in the corner with his arms over his head, weeping and rocking. So small, and images there, of a brother long ago that loved her and would hold her when she felt alone.
Noises from another room, and she followed. The illness in the air, the blood splattered on the wood barely holding together, as she pushed on the door.
The woman was weeping, silent, and ripping her own nails out on the floor. Those eyes turned towards her, the sudden influx of light, a hand reaching out as the man growled, waved a gun about. Blood from her head dripped down in long, slow strands, her face wet and stained.
The sound of the gun should be infuriating, deafening but she didn't care. It didn't stop her as she came forward, with teeth and bloodthirst. It had been so long since she'd torn into one of these damnable creatures and she was hungry. His screams echoed against the worn, rotting building well.
It was a compliment he could be as devastated as the destruction wrought by his hands.
She found the small ball of fur under a trash bag, trying with little success to get food. Carefully, she picked it up, teeth barely in, and she petted it. A purr, a rumble of how empty it was, desperate and wanting something, anything.
She could relate and opened the bag, its eyes becoming wide behind this restaurant.
Dreaming, she knew enough for that. The man was watching her, amused. His arms were crossed and she could see the whole desert around their one bare-limbed tree that he had taken up residence in.
"You make it hard on yourself."
Her tongue cleaved to the roof of her mouth as she watched him stir, speaking as if he could command an ocean to appear around them. So thirsty, she had never felt her tongue so dry.
Something like kindness mixed with far more malice shifted in his face.
"Why should you get relief when we are trapped for your sins?"
It was so cold. She opened her eyes. Snow was falling. The warm ball of fur against her and she felt pieces slid away more. Once, once she had known who she was. It had seemed clear and bright but here all she knew was cold.
She moved, cradling the small animal against her, wanting him to not wake up. They found an overhang. The cold didn't come so full force here and she wrapped the few layers she had on her tighter.
A loud sound, something that rumbled and stopped nearby. A man. She watched as he got out of the car, hidden in their secret area, back from the light. If he just looked and moved on it would be okay. They would be alright, as his boots hit the puddles.
Eyes feel on them and she pushed herself back into the shadows more. She didn't need to exist. She shouldn't. Something heavy in her. Memories of things she couldn't hold onto, like this man's name, as he crouched in front of her.
"Hey, it's okay. Do you need help?"
Sorrow was full, and she bowed her head, unable to talk because she hadn't spoken a word for so long that they had left her.
They were warm. She and what the man had called Nermal. She was uncertain as to why he would call the kitten that but it seemed fitting all the same. Pieces of herself sliding away faster and faster. So much of herself lost to something she couldn't name as the man didn't sleep much. Paced, stared at all books she felt she should be able to read but could not now.
Sometimes they lined up and she could see the meaning behind the symbols before it shattered.
"Running doesn't help," the man in her dreams told her.
She woke up to dawn and the kind man who said his name was Sam offering her coffee.
His brother. He had lost his brother and a friend and she stared at the books, trying to make it come back to her. She could read these texts he slaved over. She didn't know where they were but she knew it was safe. Nermal slept in her lap, growing bigger and fatter from indulgence.
The brother had disappeared. Sam had told her that much and she knew there was an answer locked up inside of her.
"Confront it," the man on the dead branch in the desert told her, and she knew she was asleep again.
His face twisted, something merciful, as he slipped off the branch and came towards her.
"Be who you were meant to be," he whispered to her. "Who you always were."
She woke on the books. Sam was at the stove, turning around and making apologies for the noise of cooking.
The books were clearer now as she began to put together the fragments of his brother.
She wanted to tell this Sam that she had had an older brother once. What had happened to him became clearer to her as more pieces of herself slipped away. Except for a name. One that hammered into her more and more as the days passed.
Sam was asleep on the table, arm hanging down, and she knew it was a bad name. Everything swam together in her, mixing and mingling till she wasn't sure if this was real or if the man in her head that came in her dreams was just toying with her.
Purgatory. She wrote it on a slip of paper, sure of it even as she felt the knowledge she was capable of slid more out of view. That was where this man's brother was.
They drove. She felt the car was going faster than it should as Nermal slept on her lap. Sam was focused, eyes narrowed, as he glanced over at her. She didn't know who they were picking up and it didn't matter. Just being here, she realized, made her happy.
"Hard to explain," he had said when they had left. "Old friend. He needs help."
The landscape rushed by in a long blur as she settled back in, letting her eyes closed.
It was a child. Momentary memories of another filled her mind before they ran off like water.
"Kevin," Sam was saying as he got out of the car.
She didn't stop him. She knew beyond doubt this child was human and important. Nermal stirred on her lap before drifting off again.
"How do we get there without ending the world?"
Sam was looking at her and she didn't know. Just that these books told her where his brother was. He accepted she could read them, as though it was natural but she doubted it was. Sam was watching her, looking at her notes under her left hand.
"There is a door," she said, pointing towards a passage. "I believe we need something called a reaper."
Only a nod, Kevin asleep in a chair with Nermal, a bag at his feet.
The woman stared at her, something in her eyes like she could see something beyond what was in this alleyway.
"Tessa," Sam was saying, as though relaxing.
"You have your key," the one called Tessa said, pointing at her.
Sam was looking at her now, eyes hard and she backed up, not understanding. She didn't know, didn't know anything about a doorway. Everything before the last few months rippled together into a giant, oily pool in her mind.
"I see," Tessa said. "Why should I help?"
"Aren't they in the wrong place?"
Sam was offbeat, unbalanced, but getting himself back up and she was proud of him. Proud that he was trying for his footing as this thing they shouldn't see, stood in front of them nodded.
"Dean, yes. Don't know about the angel."
The reaper was gone, Sam looking at her like she had fallen out of nowhere, and she felt like she had.
"Remember," the man in the desert told her.
Sam was waking her, concerned in the half-light of the room.
"You were talking in your sleep," he offered, watching. "Saying you shouldn't."
She knew what it was now and shame filled her, something unknown and unwelcomed, as he put a hand on her shoulder. Nothing, none of this was earned, as she laid there staring up at him in the early hours. His brother would come back and hers was lost beyond her reach.
"Everything's okay. We're safe here."
She shook her head, letting him stroke her hair, turning her face so he couldn't see.
Tessa was prompt, standing on the side of the road with an angry man she recognized. Propped against this man was another, tired, and in worn clothes that did not befit his station.
Sam pulled up, getting out as the angry man and him hugged. She considered moving to the backseat, aware that Tessa and the other man in the dirty clothes watched her. Something was seen that was deep in her, something that the humans couldn't.
She stared at her hands.
"Hey, Sam, who's the chick?" Dean was saying as he got in, Tessa leaning on her open window.
"No name. We don't know."
Tessa was still watching her and she wanted to beg to not say, not for a little while longer because she could feel it from the humans. The adoration that she was here, the want for her to keep existing and the reaper's face took on a kindness she didn't expect.
"Winchesters, when I need a favor, I expect no balking."
She was gone, Dean complaining about fickle women as he slid against the seat, almost asleep. The one they called Castiel still watching her as Sam pulled out.
"You need to say it," the man said, back to sitting on his dead tree.
"I don't know what to say."
"Your name. You need to tell them your name."
Sam was beside her and she was awake in the dark room. He was speaking of bad dreams and how they still haunted him. Concerned hands on her and she stopped him, grabbing his wrists.
"Lucifer," she whispered. "Lucifer."
All the memories of being abandoned on the surface of this godforsaken world, almost human but just not quite, swam up. The image of the little boy in the corner, rocking with his hands on his ears. Something else she should remember but was too far away, like the man in the tree.
"Lucifer?" Sam whispered, backing away from her.
She buried her head in the pillow, refusing to look to see if his weapon was raised.
"Great, just great."
Dean was still complaining as they drove. She was in the back with Kevin and Nermal, the sun bright and radiant, and she felt something close to loss staring at it.
"What are we supposed to do?" Sam asked.
"Some leave the devil by the side of the road and keep driving, Sammy."
She sunk down more, not looking. Kevin was staring at her, something close to uncertainty and fear and something she couldn't name in his eyes. Leaning her head against the door she watched the world flow past.
"You'll come home one day," the man in the tree told her, his anger not so prevalent. "One day, we'll all go home."