Disclaimer: - for language

A/N: - This is my first and probably last attempt at a SPN story. It's just something that occurred to me when I remembered Bobby gave Sam the amulet and asked him to give it to John. As we all know, Sam gave it to Dean instead, and it was Dean rather than John who then went on to break the first seal in hell. As much as I love Bobby, I wondered if Kripke might really be out-Kripke-ing us all this time. This little fic was the result.

End of Days

He took another shot of cheap bourbon, honey-sweet and soul and throat rasping, wishing the stuff would actually have some effect and lay to rest the demons in his head. It was all happening, just as he'd known it would, and just as the bastards had said.

He wasn't guilty so much as weary.

So tired of this long, twisted lie.

He'd lived it now for so many years; from when they'd first cut him the deal with the amulet. From the day they'd promised to return his wife and child . . . 'be our man on the inside,' they'd said.

And he had been – had done all they'd asked of him – although in the beginning, he'd hated it. Couldn't bear to see the sweet little faces of the boys and never could meet Winchester's eye. It was the elder boy in particular, especially after the cock-up with the amulet, when the younger one had disobeyed his instructions and given it to his brother instead.

It was always supposed to be the father – a righteous man, if somewhat misguided. He'd been chosen to fit into their grand design, and wear the sign around his neck. They'd been angry for a long time after that, and for a while, he'd hoped it was over, but since those days the guilt had solidified and destroyed what was left of his soul.

Since then, he'd been there every step of the way, always aware of them and watching from a distance. Even when he'd deliberately rowed with the father and had so-called cut all ties for a few years. He'd sat back and obeyed their instructions, followed orders, like a good little soldier. The enforced separation was necessary. It was a part of the overall plan.

He'd come back into their lives like they'd told him he would, just in time to help dispatch daddy. To bide his time and give directions to the cabin where he knew the family had fled. He'd done his bit after the accident and been a good friend to John Winchester, procuring all the necessary ingredients for the next crucial stage in the plan.

'Your daddy made a deal to save you, boy.'

It was his job to make sure the kid knew it, under cover of sorrow and sympathy. To screw with his mind and fill his head up with guilt – enough guilt to twist and blacken like a knife.

It worked pretty well and they were pleased with him then. Told him all the wheels were in motion. He was to be a good friend – almost a father - and teach the boys well, especially crossroads deals and devil's traps. It was around now he started to drink heavily. It helped ease the sleepless nights. It was too late to back out, and when he weakened, he would think of his own wife and child.

He realised what he'd done when the younger boy died and the covenant was truly written in blood; covering his ears at the roar of the engine, as the elder boy sped off into the night. A few hours later, he heard them, and the noise of their revelry sickened him. It was happening – all happening as written. He could hear them rejoicing in hell.

It was done.

The deal of the century was struck.

One brother's life for another.

The Winchester boy was hell bound – and the heavens wept tears from the sky.

He lost his nerve once during the subsequent year, and their punishment was swift and savage. He found himself trapped in a coma, tormented by all he had lost. She was there, they both were, eyes beseeching and filled with terror. A cold reminder of why he was doing all this. They were his all . . . they'd been his everything . . . he was damned and there was no going back.

He helped when they messed with the younger boy's head – getting him ready for the loss of his brother, watching with reluctant admiration, as they started loosening the hinges in his mind. It was obvious then both the brothers were doomed, the seeds of darkness coming to fruition. His instructions were to shadow them closely and help foster the legend of Lilith.

'Family don't end with blood, boy!'

The words had tugged at the elder boy's heartstrings. For all his pseudo-cockiness and swagger, he was more vulnerable and easier to play.

He was with them when the hellhounds eventually came . . . ripped the boy's soul away from his body, had tried to talk the younger one out of burying him and then helped him dig a shallow grave instead. His instructions were to turn a blind eye, and let all that grief and anger start to fester. To cut loose and sever connections, as the boy's heartache led him straight to his destiny.

In the days after that, the drinking grew worse, and they left him alone for a long time. He had nightmares where the eldest boy came for him with sorrow and revenge in his eyes. Days past and the clouds grew blacker, descended lower on the horizon. He squandered his hours in a bottle as the cars rusted out in the yard.

It was time then.

They told him to clean up his act.

It was close to end of days and they had work for him.

God help him, the fierce joy was genuine when the eldest boy walked in alive. Didn't believe it, of course, the boy was supposed to stay dead. There was to be no resurrection for this one. All the omens imploded like chains of dark stars, and a sense of chaos splintered the air.

Something was up, and he wasn't a fool, he caught a whiff of and could smell all the bullshit. The master plan had been rocked off its pedestal and for the first time, they were afraid and confused. No one knew how the boy climbed out of the pit – or if they did, no one was saying. They would just have to try and make the best of it. Perhaps the boy could be useful again. As for him – he was to resume his old role and go back to playing father-confessor, to report to them on anything and everything, and to find out whatever he could.

Didn't take long 'till it rocked his world.

Angels – it was friggin' angels.

He'd read a shed-load – make that a library of Enochian law, but until now, he'd never dreamed they existed. His world had been shadowed for so long now, all dark and twisted and filled up with evil. What hope there was, had long since fled out of her box, and heaven was for children and idiots, any faith he had, long-since shattered, when the demon possessed his wife.

Then an angel pulled Dean Winchester out of the pit.

It was too late, too late to turn back now. His soul was damned to bottomless perdition. He'd chosen sides and set his foot upon the untrodden path, too many years ago to be saved.

He watched as the seals broke around them and put the final touches to the panic room, adding angel wards as well as anti-demon sigils to keep them all at bay, just in case. When at long last, they returned his family to him, he would need a special place to keep them safe.

Both brothers were falling, crashing . . . and their agony was palpable and deafening. He sat there and observed from the sidelines, as the terrible endgame came into play. He was supposed to lure them both to his place, and keep the younger boy in the panic room.

Should have placed an extra angel ward on the door, so the winged- freaks couldn't help him escape . . .

It wasn't supposed to end like this, and he considers he should have known better.

It wasn't supposed to end like this – in sulphur and blood and fire.

So he drinks . . . and doesn't pray for absolution, as the sky bursts into red flames above him, and the trees flatten, scorched by the hellfire, and the earth rips from under his feet.

No - it wasn't supposed to end like this, and he knows then, the demons lied . . .


Lisa Paris – 2009