A/N: This is my take on how the finale would have gone down, if Sabbath was in the show. Having taken it chiefly from Sabbath's POV, it's allowed me to skip over a lot of the episode and focus on the scenes that directly involved Sabbath...so hopefully it still flows alright. I've really enjoyed slipping Sabbath into these episodes and making him part of the Winchester's lives and I'll be continuing that next season.
I've also expanded on the end of the "episode" here, from how it ended in the show. Mainly because it allows me to see where the episode itself leads us next season without me spoiling anyone with my own speculations. I hope everyone enjoys this and and always...I have to thank Tara and Deb for thier tireless support and help. I also want to thank everyone who reads this 'verse and asks for more. It's a labour of love that I'm happy to share. I'll be posting a vid by the end of the week for Sabbath too which can be found at my website or Bam.
And lastly.... Christie?? This one's for you.....
The world as Sabbath had known it, was gone. Black was white, up was down. Sam was gone. Bobby and Dean were fighting. Amidst it all, Sabbath had watched and waited for a sign of what to do, how he could serve Dean best right now. Ever since they had returned from trying to find Sam, Sabbath could sense the change in Dean. Something had happened. Something after everything had gone dark for the dog. Sabbath could recall attacking Sam, then nothing beyond waking up in his Master's arms, confused by the tears on Dean's face.
Coming back to Bobby's hadn't helped at all. There was no comfort to be found there. Just more questions and short words fired back and forth before Dean had seemed to shut down altogether. He seemed broken and although Sabbath couldn't understand the words coming from Bobby and Dean? The emotions contained in them were crystal clear.
Pain. Regret. Betrayal. Frustration and anger.
Sabbath had barely moved from Dean's side the whole time. Sitting at his side when he was still, pacing a foot behind his Master if Dean started to pace around the room himself.
The explosion when it came from Bobby had Dean quickly moving to his feet and Sabbath adopting a protective stance between them. His lips drew back to reveal razor sharp canines that Sabbath hoped he wouldn't have to use on the older man, but Sabbath wasn't allowing anyone to hurt Dean again either.
But there were no punches thrown here. Just more angry words that Sabbath would never understand. Losing Sam had hurt both men deeply, that much Sabbath did know and he wanted them to band together. He wanted them to form a pack and hunt Sam down again, make him rejoin the pack, become family again. Even though Sabbath feared Sam now, the memory of that last fight emblazoned in his mind.
One thing was certain. Dean needed Sam. It was that simple.
And then everything had shifted suddenly. Bobby's was gone and in it's place was a bright, white room that was ornately decorated and smelt…Off. That was the only way Sabbath could describe it. Every sense was on high alert, the whole feeling unsettling…even when Dean and Sabbath turned to find Castiel waiting for them.
Sabbath cocked his head at the angel's voice, grateful at last to have someone there at last who he could understand and communicate with. Maybe now he would know how to help Dean. Castiel had to know where Sam was. He had helped Dean before, now he could help again.
But it was clear by the look on Castiel's face, that whatever was coming? The reason Dean had been brought here? Wasn't a good one and that had Sabbath sticking close to his Master, brushing against his leg and being rewarded by Dean's hand coming down to rest on his head, calming him.
"It's almost time."
Time? Time for what? Whatever it was? Sabbath had a bad feeling about it.
Well, this had gotten old fast. Real fast. Pacing the same room -- no matter how decorative and eye catching the artwork was supposed to be -- was not how Dean wanted to be spending the end of the world.
"They could have at least given us a freaking ball or something, huh boy?" Dean looked back over his shoulder to where Sabbath had finally laid down. He had to give the dog one thing. He was always on guard, watching Dean's every move. Even now, as he lay with his head on his paws, Dean had noticed Sabbath's eyes tracking each step he made. It was comforting in a small way to know someone had his back right now. Not to mention, the company was more than welcome since Castiel had done his usual Houdini disappearing act.
"Maybe even a milk bone or something for you?" Dean groused quietly, turning back to the painting in front of him. He couldn't remember when he had eaten last. Bobby's? Yeah, that had to be it. While Sam had been going through detox in the panic room, Dean had vague memories of Bobby thrusting a turkey sandwich at him and demanding he eat something. It hadn't sat well, but food was food.
Giving up on staring at the painting in front of him, Dean turned to start pacing again, maybe see if he could find a way out even…and discovered that what had been a bare table? Was now sporting a platter of burgers and a large silver bowl packed full of beers in ice.
Approaching cautiously, Dean cast a quick look around, wondering how he had missed that little delivery? Burgers and beer? What was next? Would one of the paintings slide up to reveal a hidden plasma screen with pay per view on it?
Dean slid a beer out of the ice they were packed in and looked at the label. His favourite kind…typical. A bribe didn't really work any other way, did it?
Sabbath was up on his feet and padding forward mere seconds before Dean heard the last voice in the world he wanted to hear right now.
"Hello, Dean. You're looking fit."
A chill swept down Dean's spine briefly before he lifted his head, noting that not only had Castiel returned? But he'd brought his boss. Great…one big happy reunion. "Well, how bout this? The Suite life of Zach and Cas."
The joke went straight over the angels, garnering nothing a slight frown from Castiel and a bemused, puzzled look from Zachariah.
"It's uh…" Dean began to explain before he realised they would never get it anyway. "Never mind. So what is this? Where the hell am I?"
"Call it a Green Room." Zachariah was so damned pleased with himself. "We're closing in on the grand finale here. We want to keep you safe before Showtime."
"Try a burger, they're your favourite." Zachariah picked up one of the wrapped burgers and offered it to Dean. "From that sea-side shack in Delaware, you were eleven I think?"
Sabbath's tongue washed over his muzzle, the smell of the burger reminding the dog that it had been a while since he'd eaten. If it had been Castiel standing there with the burger, Sabbath might have tried to see if the angel would offer him some. But this angel? He had a vibe that Sabbath didn't like and it made him uneasy to see the angel so close to Dean, even though he was trying to appear one of the good guys.
"I'm not hungry." Dean wasn't about to be bought that cheaply, not when the end of the world was coming down on everyone and Dean was still cooling his heels here.
"No?" Maybe a quick change in tact would work with Dean? He had such simple needs after all. "How about Ginger from season two of Gilligan's Island? You do have a thing for her, don't you?"
Ginger? Man, the images that suddenly filled Dean's mind as he thought about actually having some time with one of his childhood crushes. For a brief moment, Dean could almost imagine a tiny YED sitting on one shoulder telling him to go for it while a miniature Castiel was shaking his head on the other. "Tempting…" For all of about three seconds before it really sank in what they were offering. Would it actually be Ginger? Would she be her real age? Dean's face screwed up a little then. "Weird."
"We'll throw in Mary-Ann for free…"
Okay, that went beyond weird into downright freaky territory. Since when was Zachariah so damn interested in Dean's sex life? "No, no, it's uh.." They needed to get off that subject, pronto. "Bail on the holodeck, okay? I want to know what the game plan is."
"Let us worry about that. We want you…focused, relaxed."
Sabbath nudged Dean's hand, feeling the shift in his Master's mood. Dean was done with being patient and Sabbath was ready for whatever would be asked of him.
"Well, I'm about to be pissed and leaving, so start talking, Chuckles." Dean wasn't accepting the company line anymore. Look where that had gotten him already. Sam was gone, Dean still had no idea what he had signed up for. This whole situation was bogus as far as he was concerned and unless he got some real answers? He wasn't doing jack for the big guy upstairs.
Sabbath backed up a step as Zachariah walked past Dean, lifting his lip ever so slightly at the vibes from the angel again. He looked over towards Castiel, wanting some sort of acknowledgement from the angel, but all he received was the slightest shake of a head. Castiel wanted him to stand down. Fine…but only until Dean said otherwise…
"All the Seals have fallen, except one." Zachariah informed Dean, dropping all pretence of niceties now and getting down to business finally.
"That's an impressive score, that's…" Dean found himself speaking to Zachariah's back now. "…That's right up there with the Washington Generals."
"You think sarcasm is appropriate, do you? Considering…" Turning slowly to face Dean, it was clear that Zachariah wasn't finding the comment amusing in the slightest. "You started all this?"
That was a damned low blow that killed any humour Dean might have attempted, sarcastic or otherwise. Beside him, a soft growl rumbled forth from Sabbath. He had no idea what Dean had said to upset this angel or what exactly was meant by Dean starting any of it, but there was menace in Zachariah's tone that Sabbath disliked. He really was no different to that other one called Uriel.
"But the final seal." Zachariah patted Dean on the shoulder as he passed him, ignoring any supposed threat the dog thought it posed to him. It was a dumb animal, it could hardly understand what it was up against. "It'll be different."
"Why?" Dean had to turn on the spot to follow Zachariah, his hand once again brushing Sabbath's head to silence him. There was a gravelly sound to his voice now that stated he wasn't liking what he was hearing and it helped to still Sabbath further.
"Lillith has to break it." Zachariah was smug again, a smile playing across his lips as he spoke. "She's the only one who can. Tomorrow night, midnight."
"Where?" Finally, Dean was on to something. He had somewhere to start. Maybe a chance to find Sam and stop whatever the kid thought he was going to be able to do. Whatever that demon slut had convinced him of.
"We're working on it."
"Well work harder." How could they not know where the final seal might be broken? What the hell sort of boy scout operation were these guys running? This was God and his infinite wisdom? Dean would've had better luck throwing a freaking dart at a map right now.
"We'll do our job, just make sure you do yours."
"Yeah and what is that, exactly?" Dean demanded. "I'm supposed to be the one that stops her. How? With the knife?" It wasn't exactly a strong plan if that was all they'd come up with.
"All in good time."
"Isn't now a good time?" What the hell was this? Zachariah was starting to sound like a freaking fortune cookie now and the last remaining vestiges of Dean's patience were rapidly disappearing.
"What? In you?" Dean wasn't about to be doing that when they were treating him like this. "Give me one good reason I should." It was meant to elicit a reaction from Zachariah…and the moment the angel started walking towards him? He knew he had pushed a button. Just maybe not one he necessarily wanted to push. He tensed up automatically, feeling Sabbath tensing in turn.
"Because you swore your obedience." There was almost a swagger to Zachariah's step until he was face to face with Dean, looking down on him with the superior air of a higher being towards a lower one. He had to give this mortal something, he didn't look away when challenged. "So obey…even that animal beside you can understand that simple command."
It was a dig that Dean didn't appreciate at all, looking over Zachariah's shoulder to where Castiel was standing. What the hell had Cas gotten him into here? Just what the hell had he sworn his allegiance too?
Castiel lowered his gaze from Dean's, making it clear that he wasn't getting any help there. Dean swung his green eyes back to Zachariah, trying to ignore the knot forming in his stomach. Just what the hell had he signed up for?
The room was getting smaller.
At least, that was how it was starting to feel for Dean. Small, enclosed, the walls almost moving in as each hour past and he was stuck in here. But then, how could he even be sure how much time had past in here? Maybe time moved different here? Whatever the deal was, Dean was done with waiting. His mind kept coming back to the same thought over and over again as he paced, his cell phone held in one hand.
Just what was his brother doing? Was he really going after Lillith? Every fibre in Dean's body told him that was exactly what Sam was going to do. The kid was going to go in there, half cocked and bouncing off the walls on fucking demon blood, all because Ruby was playing Pied piper.
Sabbath was following Dean around the room, nervous energy keeping the German Shepard dancing back and forth in front of him as he picked up his Master's growing frustration and worry. A short high pitched bark caught his attention and Dean glared at Sabbath before snapping. "I know, okay! I want out of here too."
Sabbath's ears dropped, his tail tucking in instantly as he flinched away from the sharp tone and Dean closed his eyes for a moment, feeling like an ass. "Come on, Sabb, don't give me that look." It was like dealing with a genuine, furry version of his brother.
Walking away to give himself some space, Dean was tapping his phone against his hand, weighing up what to do. " Ah, Screw it."
He wasn't letting this happen. No matter how much he might not have liked everything Bobby said? The man had been right about one thing. He wasn't Dad. In the days and weeks after Sam had left for Stanford, Dean had argued with his father about calling Sam, even driving out there and making him see sense. But Dad wouldn't budge on the matter, snapping at Dean that Sam had made his choice, that he'd been the one to walk away and John was done with it all. Dean had given up trying to talk to Dad about Sam, finding it too painful for them both in end.
Dad had been too hurt, too stubborn to go after Sam and Dean could see now that his brother was just the same. The pair of them had hurt each other by refusing to buckle. Well screw that. He wasn't Dad and he wasn't letting Sam's stupid pigheadedness get himself killed. Dean needed Sam to know he hadn't meant what had been said.
Flipping open his phone, he pulled up Sam's number and dialled it, waiting and praying that Sam would answer the damn thing. No such luck. It went through to voicemail. "It's Sam. Leave me a message"
Even hearing Sam's recorded voice had Dean's gut knotting up. This had to get through. He had to fix this before that stupid little recorded message was all he had left of his brother, just like Dad.
"Hey, it's…me. Uhhh…" Great start there. He wasn't fighting to find the right words at all. Bang up job already. " Look, I'll just get right to it. I'm still pissed…and I owe you a serious beat down. But…"
Sabbath had laid down, his head on his paws as he watched Dean pacing the room again. Staying out of way was all he could do right now while Dean spoke into that little plastic thing again. The softer, apologetic tone had Sabbath's tail ever so gently thumping on the floor even if the words were lost on him.
" I shouldn't have said what I said." Not those words. Never those words. They'd cut Sam to the bone the night Dad had bellowed them in pain and fury, now Dean had added salt to the wound by echoing him. "I'm not Dad. We're brothers…you know, we're family. And uh, no matter how bad it gets, that doesn't change."
Dean felt sick as he thought about the amount of times he had assured his brother that he was just Sam. That he wasn't like Max Miller and all the others. Desperate to take that pain from Sam's eyes and connect with his brother again. Instead, he had become the one to drive that wedge between them with one angry word that Dean wanted to take back.
"Sammy, I'm sorr--" A beep cut off the message, slicing his apology in half and leaving Dean feeling even more helpless than ever. Would Sam get the message in time? Would he even listen to it and believe what Dean was trying to say to him? Dean closed his phone and slipped it into his pocket, catching sight of Sabbath out of the corner of his eye. "Hey…"
Sabbath's tail thumped a little more against the floor but he didn't move.
"Hey, come on." Dean crouched down, slapping his thigh lightly. He'd screwed up royally with Sam. The least he could do was apologise for snapping at Sabbath. The dog was the only thing he had left at the moment. Another few heartbeats passed before Sabbath cautiously got to his feet and crept forward to Dean.
"C'mere…" Dean slapped his thigh again and then pulled Sabbath into his arms, hugging the dog close while one hand slid through his fur. "I'm an asshole. You didn't deserve me biting your head off, dude. Not after everything you've been through lately. We've been through. I'm sorry…okay?"
Pulling back, Dean lifted one eyebrow questioningly as he met Sabbath's deep brown gaze. "Forgive me?"
Sabbath pushed in, washing Dean's face with thick, wet lashings of his tongue to show that while he'd never know what was said? The heart of the message was understood and accepted.
"How bout we think about blowing this joint and finding Sam, huh?" Dean gave Sabbath one last pat before he stood up again. There had to be some way out of here.
Stir crazy. That's what it was. They were trying to drive him stir crazy by leaving him in here for hours on end. No music, nothing to read. Just those damn burgers and beers that Dean wasn't interested in. Not that he hadn't found ways to try and amuse himself. A few minutes of tossing burgers like Frisbees had gone some way to alleviating the boredom and frustration. Of course, it had also helped to give Sabbath something to eat. Just cause Dean wasn't hungry, didn't mean his dog had go without too.
But the pile of burgers just kept replenishing and soon Dean was bored again. Sabbath had lost his appetite too, keeping himself occupied by sniffing around the room for a way out. But there was nothing that indicated it to him. No fresh air from beneath a doorway, nothing. The double doors to the room didn't lead outside. Sabbath knew that much.
Dean had gone back to pacing, checking out the artwork and other stuff decorating the room. A slender statue of a porcelain angel was sat on a side table and just for the pure satisfaction of breaking something, he tipped it over, watching it shatter the instant it hit the floor.
"You asked to see me?"
This whole popping up unannounced deal was wearing on Dean as he turned and found Castiel behind him. Great, what was he? Museum security? Was he about to tell Dean he was paying for that statue he'd broken? Glancing guiltily down at the broken remains, Dean wondered what something made by angels was worth? A ticket back to the hot seat? He cleared his throat then, hoping what he was about to ask wasn't in jeopardy now. "Yeah, listen I, uh, I-I need something."
"Anything you wish."
"I need you to take me to see Sam."
"There's something I've got to talk to him about." It was a simple enough request, Castiel had to see that, surely?
Apparently not. Once again, Dean's patience was wearing out way too fast thanks to all this angelic twenty questions crap they were playing. "The B.M. I took this morning." Dean snapped back sarcastically. "What's it to you? Just make it snappy."
"I don't think that's wise." Castiel turned away as he spoke, clearly uncomfortable with the request.
"Well I didn't ask you for your opinion." Dean took a step forward, pushing into Castiel's personal space more and being rewarded with the Angel finally meeting his gaze again. Castiel took his own step forward, clearing not backing down.
"Have you forgotten what happened the last time you met? Last time I broke the rules to save Sabbath. Next time you won't be so lucky." Castiel glanced down to see that Sabbath was sat beside Dean, his head cocked in confusion at his words. He was glad that while Sabbath understood him? The real meaning of what had happened was still lost. Sabbath would never know he had died, or even the meaning of such a thing. Dean wouldn't get that chance if Sam attacked him again. If Dean was killed, he was lost to them forever this time and Castiel couldn't allow that to happen.
"No. That's the whole point." His brother trying to choke him to death? Finding Sabbath lying dead and knowing it was Sam who had killed him? That he'd given his life to save Dean from his own brother? How was he ever forgetting that? But that didn't change things. Dean needed to fix what had happened between him and Sam. Before the end of everything they ever knew. "Listen, I'm gonna do whatever you mooks want, okay? I just need to tie up this one thing. Five minutes -- that's all I need."
Dean lifted his head, looking Castiel directly in the eye then, his tone a little more frostier now that it was clear he'd have to play hardball. "What do you mean, no?" His eyes narrowed ever so slightly as alarm bells started ringing in his head. "Are you saying that I'm trapped here?"
"You can go wherever you want."
"Super. I want to go see Sam." Dean reiterated firmly.
"I want to take a walk." It was time to test his boundaries, see what was allowed and what had suddenly become off-limits, because those alarm bells weren't just ringing now, they were screaming in his mind.
"Fine, I'll go with you." Castiel's voice remained deep and calm. All too happy to comply as long as it was within the guidelines of what was allowed.
"You know what? Screw this noise, I'm outta here. C'mon, Sabbath." Dean snapped his fingers as he pushed past Castiel and headed for the double doors behind him.
"Through what door?" Castiel asked, causing Dean to turn and look at him. When he looked back a moment later, the doors were gone, replaced with a wall that looked like it had always been there. A table decorated with an ornate sculpted candelabra of a woman was sat in front of it, the candles all lit and burning brightly.
Sabbath's sudden barking alerted Dean to the fact Castiel was gone again. They were truly trapped now. "Dammit…" Sparing a glance towards the ceiling, Dean wondered if saying that sort of thing was only asking for more trouble?
This was so not going to plan. It didn't matter how hard Dean smashed the wall with the pedestal he was swinging, it repaired itself again without so much as a scuff mark. He ran his fingers over the surface, trying to find a scratch, anything. Nope. The wall was as perfect as you'd expect something made by God to be.
Behind him, Dean could hear the sound of breaking glass and metal ringing loudly as it hit the floor again…and again. Sabbath was apparently testing boundaries himself.
"Son of a bitch." Dean growled, tossing the pedestal to the floor. How the hell was he supposed to bust out of here if he couldn't leave a mark on the wall for more then 20 seconds?
"Quit hurling faeces like a howler monkey. It's unbecoming. And tell this animal to behave before I make it do so myself." Zachariah had appeared without warning behind Dean and judging by the look on his face? He wasn't impressed at all to find Sabbath standing on the table, amusing himself by knocking the beer, food and table ornaments to the floor like a spoilt child.
"What can I say? He's about as happy with your hospitality as I am." Dean shrugged his shoulders, before he clicked his fingers. Sabbath complied immediately, jumping down from the table and slipping back to his master's side as Dean stalked towards Zachariah. "Let me out of here."
He was over this place and it's bullshit. Sam was somewhere out there, riding around with the hell bitch. Dean needed to find him, pronto.
"Like I told you; too dangerous out there. Demons on the prowl."
Dean wasn't buying that crap. "I've been getting my ass kicked all year. Now your sweating my safety? You're lying. I want to see my brother."
"That's…" Zachariah let the words hang on his tongue as if he was weighing his options. "…Ill-advised."
Ill-advised? Everything was turning to crap and this dick with wings was still treating it all like it was another day at the office. Dean wanted to smack that look off Zachariah's face right there and then. "You know, I am so sick of your crap riddles and your smug, fat face."
A growl echoed through Sabbath as he stepped a paw forward at the tone in Dean's voice, inching himself forward to become a barrier between his master and the threat before them. He was going to back up Dean against this angel, no matter what. That was a pack did, they looked out for each other.
Dean's temper was rising fast. Towing the line with Zachariah and Castiel had gotten him nowhere. He'd played their games, sat in their freaking Green Room or whatever they wanted to call it. Now he wanted answers. "What the hell is going on, huh? Why can't I see Sam? And how am I gonna ice Lilith?"
Zachariah sighed then, as if he was dealing with a child throwing a tantrum who needed to have the rules explained yet again. "You're not…"
Dean's eyebrows shot up at those words.
"…Going to ice Lillith."
"What?" That didn't make sense. What the hell had they brought Dean here for then if he wasn't going to be killing Lillith? How was that stopping the Apocalypse from happening?
"Lilith's going to break the final seal." Zachariah turned and walked away, still talking over his shoulder to Dean. "Fait accompli at this point. Train's left the station."
Dean couldn't be hearing that right. The final seal was getting broken? Then what was all this for? Why had they been fighting so hard to save the seals if they were going to be broken anyway? A soft whine from his side had Dean's hand reaching down to brush over Sabbath's head, seeking both to settle the anxiety he could sense building in the German Shepard and to calm himself too.
Zachariah had taken a seat on one of the large ornate couches that lined the room, looking as smug as ever. He was enjoying every minute of this, watching Dean finally comprehend that things weren't going the way his tiny little monkey brain thought they were supposed to be.
"But me and Sam, we can stop…" Dean paused then, feeling his stomach turn to ice as the pieces fell into place. He'd argued with Sam that he was the one chosen to stop all this, when the truth was? There had never been any stopping this. They had both been played like a couple of chumps. The look on Zachariah's face said it all. He'd been waiting for Dean to catch up. " You don't want to stop it, do you?"
"Nope. Never did." Zachariah was glad to drop the charade at last. "The end is nigh. The apocalypse is coming, kiddo, to a theater near you."
"What was all that crap about saving seals?" Dean's mind went back to the night that Castiel had appeared at Bobby's. How angry and hurt the angel had seemed be at the loss of his fellow angels…and now Dean was supposed to swallow that this was how it was meant to be from the start? Just part of the game plan? Was Castiel a part of all this too?
"Our grunts on the ground -- we couldn't just tell them the whole truth. We'd have a full-scale rebellion on our hands. I mean, think about it. Would we really let 65 seals get broken unless senior management wanted it that way?"
There was such a casualness to the angel's voice as he spoke. Dean felt gutted, knowing that this was the side he had sworn allegiance too. Trusting them with the same blind obedience he received from Sabbath. Why hadn't he questioned them more? Because of Castiel? Because Dean had figured that Castiel would be the one to be straight with him while Sam was lying? "But why?"
"Why not?" Zachariah sounded like he was stating the obvious. "The Apocalypse.." He spread his hands like a showman as he spoke, making Dean think of some douche bag in an office meeting discussing the latest marketing idea for the company. "Poor name, bad marketing -- puts people off. When all it is Ali/Foreman. On a... slightly larger scale. And we like our chances. When our side wins…and we will…it's paradise on earth. Now, what's not to like about that?"
Dean felt like the bottom had dropped out of his stomach as he listened to Zachariah talk about the end of the world as though Dean should be happy about it. Glancing from painting to painting, looking at the horrible images of suffering souls and devouring demons, Dean wondered how accurate they would be for the average joe caught in the middle of all this? "What happens to all the people during your little pissing contest?"
"Well... you can't make an omelette without cracking a few eggs. In this case... truckloads of eggs, but you get the picture." Zachariah almost seemed to be enjoying himself as he stood up again, taking a couple of steps towards Dean and ignoring the snarling fleabag at the boy's side. "Look... it happens. This isn't the first planetary enema we've delivered."
Dean briefly wondered if Noah had copped this very same conversation on the bow of the Ark? Had he felt the way Dean did right now? He spied a small cherub statue to his left, hearing Sabbath's growl lift in turn with his own temper. The dog might not have understood what exactly was happening, but Dean knew he was picking up on his own feelings of betrayal and horror. Zachariah was rapidly climbing the douche bag ladder, second only to Ruby now.
There was definitely some appeal to the thought of grabbing the statue and wailing on Zachariah with it. The same appeal Dean had found when he had punched Uriel, as pointless and painful as that had ended up.
"Uh, no, Dean. Probably shouldn't try to bash my skull in with that thing." Zachariah warned. "Wouldn't end up too pleasant for you or the mutt here. Which, if it doesn't start minding it's manners? I'll turn it inside out. You want to see the inside of your dog, Dean? I can even keep the heart beating for you.."
"Sabbath, back off." Dean ordered, feeling like he was scrabbling for purchase here in a pool of quicksand. He slid his fingers around Sabbath's collar and drew the dog back, feeling the fight leave the German Shepard as he did so. Dean was screwed…beyond screwed now. "What about Sam? He won't go quietly. He'll stop Lillith."
That was the one thing Dean could be sure of right now. Revenge was driving his brother still and Lillith wasn't going to get away from him. Even if it meant Sam dying…and that was looking like an absolute surety now that Dean was stuck in here. He was trapped and Sam was facing the biggest evil of his life alone. No…not even alone. He had Ruby with him, which was the equivalent of the kid playing Russian Roulette with a fully loaded gun.
Zachariah inhaled deeply before continuing, "Sam…." The name came out almost lyrically as the angel spoke it, nodding his head thoughtfully. "…Has a part to play. A very important part. He may need a little nudging in the right direction, but I'll make sure he plays it."
Nudging? In the back of Dean's mind, the Russian Roulette continued for Sam and the pit of ice in his stomach turned to razor blades, cutting and stabbing him at the thought of his little brother being nothing but a pawn in all this. He stepped closer to Zachariah, needing answers. "What does that mean? What are you gonna do to him?"
The devastation Zachariah could see in Dean's eyes was pathetic. "Sam, Sam, Sam…Marcia, Marcia, Marcia. Forget about him, would you?" Zachariah placed his hand on Dean's shoulder, acting like the benevolent coach talking to his star player before the big game. "You have larger concerns. Why do you think I'm confiding in you? You're still vital, Dean. We weren't lying about your destiny. Just... omitted a few pertinent details. But nothing's changed. You are chosen. You will stop it. Just... not Lilith, or the Apocalypse. That's all."
Not the Apocalypse? How the hell was that making him vital? Vital for what? Watching the world as he knew it get torn apart in some freaking biblical crossfire? That was his destiny? Cause right now Dean didn't feel like he was destined to do jack shit except lose everyone he loved. Everyone he had ever known. "Which means?"
"Lucifer." Zachariah gestured towards the painting before them and Dean turned to take in the sight of a figure in black armour spearing a demonic looking creature on the ground. Sam probably would have known not only the name of the damn painting, but who painted it too. Dean just wanted to know what the hell that ugly ass painting had to do with him?
"You're going to stop Lucifer. You're our own little Russell Crowe, complete with surly attitude." Zachariah made no attempt to hide his smile now. "He had a dog too, you know." He nodded towards Sabbath, smirking slightly at the way the animal cocked his head attentively. This was what the end game was all about and Zachariah was expecting Dean to be impressed with the task they were giving him.
Dean couldn't take his eyes off the painting, even as Sabbath nudged his leg, puzzled by the stillness he sensed in his master now. Were they serious? They saw Dean as that dude in the painting? He was expected to kill Lucifer himself? No stopping the Apocalypse before it happened…oh no, he was supposed to take on the big guy. The freaking saviour of all demons…after he was walking the earth, pitch fork in hand.
"And when it's over... and when you've won…"
Won? Dean slowly wrenched his gaze away from the painting, turning back to Zachariah as he continued his sales pitch.
"…Your rewards will be... unimaginable. Peace, happiness…"
Peace and happiness at the cost of the world. Was Zachariah even hearing himself? How the hell could he be smiling about all this? Dean was still trying to digest it all, flinching slightly as Zachariah slapped his shoulder, all smiles still.
"Two virgins and seventy sluts.." That had Zachariah chuckling now as he walked away past Dean, turning his back on him. "Trust me -- one day, we'll look back on this and laugh."
"Tell me something."
Zachariah paused then, listening to Dean.
"Where's God in all this?"
"God?" Zachariah didn't bother turning as he spoke, letting his voice carry over his shoulder. "God has left the building."
Dean started slightly as he was abandoned a moment later, Zachariah just disappearing to whatever freaking place they had booked to watch the end of the world, he guessed? Great, he was alone again. Stuck in this room that was now wall to wall freaky ass paintings that were giving Dean the creeps. He looked over at the painting Zachariah had so proudly shown off. That was really supposed to be him? "What the hell is that supposed to mean? God's left the building?"
Sabbath nudged Dean's hand, then gave a short, attention grabbing bark that finally drew Dean away from the paintings and hand him crouching down next to the dog. Sabbath could feel the tension radiating off him in waves and licked his face furiously, trying to reassure Dean. This room had them both on edge and Sabbath just wanted to get away from here. Go somewhere safe. It was obvious that Sam was in danger too and they needed to find him.
" I know, dude, I know. We gotta get out of here…" Dean agreed, rubbing Sabbath's chest and trying to think of an escape plan. They weren't keeping him here like some sort of stooge.
Dean was pacing the room again, trying to use that strange little device to speak to Sam. At least, Sabbath assumed it was Sam. That was the only name apart from Bobby that he had ever heard Dean say when he used that little thing and since they had come here, Sam was the only one that Dean wanted to see.
That much Sabbath knew for certain. He was curled up on one of the chairs that lined the walls, watching Dean carefully until a shift in the air alerted him to the arrival of an angel. Sabbath's head lifted up instantly from his front paws, a mere second before Castiel appeared behind Dean.
"You can't reach him, Dean. You're outside your coverage zone."
Sabbath leapt down from the chair, moving closer to Dean and Castiel, noting the way his master had tensed up at the sound of the angel's voice. Their last conversation hadn't gone well, but that could change, right? Sabbath still didn't understand why Castiel wasn't part of the pack anymore.
"What are you going to do to Sam?" Dean had been getting nothing but static on his phone. He couldn't talk to Sam, couldn't warn him…and the feeling of helplessness was drowning him.
"Nothing." Castiel moved until he was in Dean's peripheral vision. He didn't like the idea of talking to Dean's back. It showed just how divided they were now, when Castiel needed Dean to understand how things were. How they had to be. "He's going to do it to himself."
Sabbath cocked his head to the side, picking up what Castiel was saying. Do what to himself? Why wasn't Castiel helping Sam? Was it the same reason he had let Sam out back at Bobby's?
"What's that supposed to mean?" Dean finally turned, ready to confront Castiel, even as he found that the angel still refused to meet his gaze. "Oh, right, right. Got to toe the Company line." He stepped into Castiel's personal space now, silently demanding that he look at him and succeeding when Castiel finally lifted his chin. "Why are you here, Cas?"
"We've been through much together, you and I. Even with Sabbath." Castiel spared the German Shepard a glance, watching as he received a gentle thumping of his tail against the floor. His blue eyes shifted back to Dean again. "And I wanted to say I was sorry, that it ended like this."
He had to be kidding right? Dean took a moment to try and swallow that, his temper already rising. "Sorry?" He snorted softly as though it was almost amusing to hear that word before launching a wild punch at Castiel's jaw. It connected solidly, twisting the angel's head to the side and damn near breaking Dean's knuckles. He followed through, spinning on the spot thanks to momentum and turning his back on Castiel as he clutched his fist and tried not to reveal how much that had hurt.
Sabbath was back on his feet, moving back a little as he danced about nervously near Dean and Castiel. He hadn't been expecting the punch and was now waiting to see if he needed to step in and defend his master.
Dean swallowed down the pain as he flexed his hand, channelling it into his anger instead. "It's Armageddon, Cas!" He rounded slowly on the angel. "You need a bigger word than 'sorry'."
"Try to understand -- this is long foretold. This is your…"
"Destiny?" There it was again. The Company line. The same BS that Zachariah wanted Dean to swallow like a good little soldier. Well screw that. Being a good soldier had brought Dean nothing but pain in his life. He'd lost everyone and there was no way he was sitting back letting the damn world end too. "Don't give me that "holy" crap. Destiny, God's plan... It's all a bunch of lies, you poor, stupid son of a bitch! It's just a way for your bosses to keep me and keep you in line! You know what's real? People, families -- that's real. And you're gonna watch them all burn?
"What is so worth saving?" Castiel demanded then, moving in on Dean this time. The advance drew a warning growl from Sabbath that was softened by a wave of his hand towards the dog, signalling no threat. Castiel wanted Dean to understand him, not fight him. Why was he always fighting him? Even now, when he was being offered so much in return for what he had lost, Dean was fighting him and it confused and frustrated Castiel immensely. " I see nothing but pain here. I see inside you. I see your guilt, your anger, confusion." He was almost spitting the words through a clenched jaw while Dean remained impassive before him.
"In paradise, all is forgiven. You'll be at peace. Even with Sam." How could not be desirable? Especially for someone like Dean who had known pain and loss almost all his life?
Dean held Castiel's gaze, searching for the truth, searching to see if Castiel truly believed that was right? He found his answer when Castiel lowered his eyes again, unable to look at Dean. Dipping his head until he caught the angel's gaze again, Dean made his position clear. "You can take your peace…and shove it up your lily white ass."
That wasn't what Castiel had wanted to hear, but Dean pressed on, because he was far from done. It was time for Castiel to understand for once. What it meant to be human. How free will and the capacity to think for themselves, feel for themselves was worth preserving. " 'Cause I'll take the pain and the guilt. I'll even take Sam as is. It's a lot better than being some Stepford bitch in paradise. This is simple, Cas…"
Castiel turned his back on Dean catching sight of Sabbath watching them intently. Looking from Castiel to Dean, his deep brown eyes pleading with the angel to make this right again, to come back to his pack. Sabbath trusted Castiel. His instincts, his sixth sense told him he was trustworthy…so why was Castiel still fighting with Dean?
Dean wasn't letting Castiel ignore what he had to say. "No more crap about being a good soldier. There is a right and there is a wrong here, and you know it." He reached out, grabbing Castiel roughly by the shoulder. "Look at me! You know it!"
Dean could hear Sabbath becoming more vocal beside him, whining and growling softly, almost murmuring in a dog-like way that he had grown accustomed to hearing when Sabbath was anxious or excited. This was their chance. This was the one shot Dean had to get through to Castiel again. To find the angel that Dean had begun to think of as a friend when the shit had hit the fan. Until Zachariah and his winged goon-squad had stepped in and brainwashed him again. "You were gonna help me once, weren't you? You were gonna warn me about all this, before they dragged you back to bible camp." Dean searched Castiel's face again, seeing signs of the old Castiel surfacing again. The guy who had questions, who had doubts…who hadn't been such a dick and had given Dean a reason to maybe find a little faith. The guy who had broken the rules to save Sabbath for Dean. That was the guy Dean needed right now. "Help me now. Please."
"What would you have me do?" Castiel asked, not willing to look Dean in the eye.
"Get me to Sam." Dean pleaded, desperation evident in his voice now. They were so close. " We can stop this before it's too late."
" I do that, we will all be hunted." Castiel shifted restlessly as he spoke, feeling trapped. Torn between wanting to do what felt right and the orders that were ingrained in him to obey. "We will all be killed." How did that serve any purpose?
Dean didn't shrink from that. They'd pushed him to this. Forced his hand and left him nothing but this card left to play. He couldn't follow their rules, but he couldn't get out of here alone either. It was time Castiel decided whether he wanted to do what was right…or what was expected of him by Zachariah. This wasn't even God calling the shots, it was middle management and Dean wasn't bowing down to a bunch of corporate jocks with wings. " If there is anything worth dying for... this is it."
Castiel looked away without a word and Dean felt his heart sink. He shook his head in disappointment, wondering what the hell they had done to take the heart, the fire out of Castiel. Is that what it would be like to live in their so called paradise? Never giving a damn about anything as long as you followed orders?
"You spineless…soulless, son of a bitch." Dean turned and walked away, disheartened to think he had trusted Castiel to do anything. "What do you care about dying? You're already dead. We're done."
Sabbath hesitated for a moment longer, watching Castiel, giving him a sharp bark to try and understand why he was betraying the pack again. But in return, there wasn't even a look in Sabbath's direction and with a disappointed whine, he got up and followed Dean. He needed to show where his loyalty lay right now and it was always going to be with his master. His reward was Dean's hand coming down to rest on Sabbath's head, acknowledging his presence.
"Dean…" Castiel spoke the name softly, hating the feeling he had inside, the doubts it had awoken within.
"We're done." Dean reiterated firmly, not even bothering to turn until Sabbath's head turned to indicate that Castiel was gone again.
It was then that the helplessness, the loneliness, the betrayal began to hit hard. Dean felt utterly alone now, stuck in this room like some bug caught for a kid's science fair experiment. The room felt hollow, empty. Lifeless and cold.
A warm, wet tongue washed over the back of his hand and Dean saw Sabbath watching him intently. "Yeah…I know, dude. I know you're here. Believe me…I wouldn't have it any other way. Least I know someone has my back at the end of the world, huh?"
But what about Sam? Bobby? Who the hell had their backs now while Dean was rotting in here?
How long had they been trapped in here now? Dean had lost all concept of time. All he knew, was that he was bored out of his brain, worried sick about his brother and going bat shit crazy as he paced back and forth. He'd had worn a trench in the floor by now, although somehow, Dean thought it was more likely that he'd wear out his boots, before he even scuffed the damn floor.
Sabbath was feeding off of Dean's nervous energy, pacing back and forth with him, waiting for a signal, anything that would give the German Shepard an idea of what to do. In the absence of calm, he looked to direction instead from the Alpha Male.
Dean could have done with that himself, right now. To have been able to look to his father for direction, for answers, for the way out of here so he could save Sam from making the biggest mistake of his life. Instead, he was stuck here…and his stomach was groaning. How long had it been since he had eaten? Hours? Days? There was no way of knowing in this place.
Pausing in front of the platter of burgers, Dean threw one to Sabbath, staring at them a moment longer before he finally gave in and picked one up.
Sabbath pawed at the burger, then finally started to wolf it down, leaving him distracted when Castiel suddenly appeared in the room. Dean was grabbed roughly by the shoulder as he was about to bite down on his burger. He was spun around and slammed against the wall by Castiel as a hand clamped over Dean's mouth to silence him.
Sabbath rushed at Castiel, teeth bared, before a mere gesture from Castiel's free hand, had the German Shepard sliding to a stop and sitting, overwhelmed with the feeling that he should trust the angel. He cocked his head to the side attentively watching, confused by what he was seeing.
Castiel slowly drew Ruby's knife from his trench coat, his eyes locked on Dean's in silent communication before Dean nodded that he understood. The hand was drawn away from Dean's mouth and he was released from the wall as Castiel pulled back his sleeve. The blade sliced through his forearm easily, thick red blood welling up instantly and spilling to the floor as Castiel dipped his fingers into the wound and began smearing sigils over the wall.
Dean stood back, recognising the markings as the blood magic that Anna had shown could banish angels.
Dean and Castiel both turned to see that Zachariah had appeared. The angel stormed towards Castiel as he hurried to complete the markings with his vessel's blood. "Would you mind explaining just what the hell you're doing?"
Castiel finished the final sigil just as Zachariah reached them. He slammed his bloodied hand into the middle of the markings, sending out an explosion of bright white energy that had Dean throwing an arm up to shield his eyes.
Sabbath yelped in fear, startled by the bright light and felt a hand grab hold of his collar before Dean dragged the dog in against him and shielded his eyes from the power of the blood magic.
Zachariah was thrown back with a cry, his body washing out as the energy hit it and banished him from the room.
As the light faded, Dean lowered his hand from his eyes, but kept a grip on Sabbath's collar, feeling the dog trembling beside him as he murmured softly to him. "Easy, Sabb…"
"He won't be gone long." Castiel informed them, knowing that the dice was cast now. There was no going back for him. He had chosen to side with Dean against his fellow angels. "We have to find Sam now."
"Where is he?"
"I don't know. But I know who does." Castiel handed Ruby's knife to Dean. "We have to stop him, Dean. From killing Lillith."
Castiel's tone was grave, the depth of what he had done, was clear. Time was against them. Everything was against them now.
"But Lillith's going to break the final seal."
"Lillith is the final seal. She dies, the end begins."
Dean finally felt the pieces falling into place. What Zachariah had meant by nudging Sam. They were going to let Sam kill Lillith, using his brother's drive for revenge over Dean's death, to start the end of the world. It was bad enough that Dean had unwittingly started all this by breaking the first seal, but now Sam was going to break the last one because of him. He gripped Sabbath's collar tightly and nodded to Castiel. "Get us out of here, Cas."
One moment, Sabbath was standing with Dean and Castiel inside the room that Zachariah had taken them to. The next? They were inside the kitchen of what Sabbath recognised as Chuck's house.
"Lady, sometimes you got to live like there's no tomorrow." Chuck was still speaking into his phone as he turned to see an angel, a hunter and a German Shepard standing before him. Somehow, he didn't think he'd like the punch line to this joke. "W-Wait…This isn't supposed to happen."
"Sir?" The voice on the phone enquired.
Chuck pulled the phone back to his ear hurriedly, flustered in front of his new guests. "No, lady, this is definitely supposed to happen, but I just got to call you back." He hung up the phone, unsure of what to say, what to do. This was all wrong…and he should know, he wrote the book on all this. " I…"
Sabbath let loose with a loud welcoming bark, his tail wagging wildly at the sight of his friend. The pack was starting to come together now. Dean, Castiel, Chuck…Sabbath just wanted to find Sam and Bobby for it to be complete again.
"H-hey, Sabbath…good to uh…see you, boy." Chuck scratched the back of his head with a nervous chuckle. "So…what are you guys doing here?"
"St Mary's? What is that? A convent?" It made total sense to Dean. You wanted to know which way a story was headed? You talked to the guy in charge…or in this case, the prophet in charge of writing their life story. Winchester Gospels…Dean still wasn't comfortable with that idea, especially with the full frontalness he'd already read about. He flipped through the pages that Chuck had handed him, trying to find what he needed.
"Yeah, but you guys aren't supposed to be there. You're not in this story." Chuck explained.
"Yeah, well," Castiel glanced at Dean. "We're making this up as we go."
"Yeah I kinda noticed that when you brought Sabbath back in the last chapter." Chuck looked down to see Sabbath tilt his head and winced. Great, how could he have forgotten that the dog could understand him? "Not that's it's not great to see you, boy."
Brought him back? Sabbath couldn't recall going anywhere? It was confusing and he wondered sometimes if it wasn't better that he couldn't understand what Dean actually said. His master was better at communicating without words anyway. A glance, a signal, a hand to still him when it was time to be quiet. These where the things Sabbath knew and understood without question.
Dean had looked up from his reading as Castiel had spoken. Making it up as they go didn't sound too good when it came from an angel. Especially when it meant that what he was reading now was useless. The pages he was holding were blank now. Whatever Chuck had seen, whatever he had written? It was all gone and Dean had no idea if they were going to succeed. The computer screen on the kitchen table began to flicker at the same time that Sabbath began to whine and bark, shifting about nervously before the whole room began to shake and shudder. A bright light and high pitched noise started to fill the room and everything around them rattled.
"Aw, man. Not again!" Chuck threw his hands over his head to protect himself. He knew what was coming and he contemplated joining Sabbath as he saw the dog duck under the table.
"It's the Archangel!" Castiel had to raise his voice for Dean to hear him. "I'll hold him off! I'll hold them all off!"
Sabbath dived out from the table, pressing himself to Dean's side as the noise and the rumbling increased. This was bad. This was beyond bad. Sabbath had felt power in the earth, in the air around them when they had found Jimmy and Castiel had been gone. But this? This was far worse. Every natural instinct was screaming at him to get out of there and he couldn't understand why Castiel was saying he would stay?
"Just stop Sam!" Castiel ordered Dean, slapping a hand to Dean's forehead as well as touching a hand to Sabbath's too. A bright light surrounded Sabbath as he heard Castiel's voice in his mind. Watch over them for me…
As the light faded again, Sabbath shook himself and looked for Dean, relieved to see his master beside him, as bewildered as he was for the moment. A deep uneasiness had settled in Sabbath's gut and he whined quietly, wondering if he would ever see Castiel or Chuck again?
Dean took in his surroundings, realising that Castiel had sent them to the convent. "Sabbath, come on." He set off down the long corridor with Sabbath at his heels, hoping to find Sam in time. They rounded a corner, following the sound of pain Dean had heard seconds before…And there at the end of the hall, just through a set of double doors, was Sam, Ruby and Lillith.
Ruby turned, smirking over her shoulder at Dean, before she lifted a hand and slammed the doors closed, cutting him off from Sam. It was the home stretch and there was no way she was letting Dean ruin it this time.
Dean jerked back slightly as he watched the doors slam. That bitch wasn't getting away with that. Not now. Not this close. He strode forward, intent on kicking in the door and feeding Ruby her own knife, point first.
This was all going to be over at last. Sam had Lillith where he wanted her and the bitch was finally going to pay for what she had done. For all the pain she had caused. Taking Dean from Sam, all those months of hunting her, desperate to save his brother only to fail. Teaching Sam that no matter how much he had promised his brother he would save him? He wasn't good enough to do so.
Well not anymore. Now he was powerful enough to stop Lillith for good. He could stop the end of the world, take back his destiny from the supposed dark path it was meant to have been and make it his own. He would save the world this time and prove that he wasn't the monster Dean said he was.
His heartbeat was pounding in his ears, surging with darkness, with pure energy that he had taken from the possessed nurse. Power that had Lillith pinned like a moth in a butterfly collection and Sam was going to enjoy every damn minute of twisting that pin and watching her writhe. "I've been waiting for this…for a very long time."
"Then give me your best shot…" Lillith sneered, looking up at him from the altar she was trapped against.
That sneer was all it took to punch Sam's buttons, knowing she had once been so damn smug before she had watched Dean being torn open. His brother's cries, his blood, the awful damage that had been done to Dean's body would be something Sam would never ever be able to purge from his mind and now all he was looking for was a little payback. Lifting his hand, he felt how effortless it was to allow that power to just flow through him. It lit up Lillith as he began to destroy the demon, making sure she would feel even the smallest slice to her demonic form. Wanting to tear and rent her open with his mind, the way Dean had been shredded by the Hellhounds.
Lillith was arching her back, gasping in unbelievable agony before him.
Dean? Sam hesitated ever so slightly, thrown by the sound of his brother's voice coming from behind him. He had to be hearing things, right?
There was barking underneath the frantic call of his name, the sound of pounding coming from the door behind him now. Sam turned towards the sound, stunned that Dean had managed to find him. That Dean was there like he always was, at Sam's back when he needed him. But was it really Dean?
From the other side of the door, Dean kept thumping his fist against the hardened wooden doors, cursing and kicking. He wasn't giving in now. Sam was right there, dammit! "Sam!!"
Sabbath was clawing at the wood, scratching at the floor, anything that could help as his plaintive bark joined Dean's calling of Sam's name.
"Dean?" Sam breathed quietly, forgetting about revenge for a moment as he became the younger brother again, wanting his brother by his side in the face of evil. But was he really there to save him? To help him stop the end of the world? Or was he here to stop Sam? Believing him to be a monster beyond redemption?
The heartbeat in his ears was churning and pounding like a drum, drowning out the sound of Dean, of Ruby as she screamed at him…everything seemed to be dull and muffled save that heartbeat thundering in Sam's ears.
Was he doing the right thing? Was he supposed to listen to Ruby? Or was he supposed to take a chance and let Dean in, let Dean help him? Confusion was filling Sam's mind and making him hesitate more and more.
And then the sound of laughter cut through it all.
Sam turned back to see Lillith laughing at him. Mocking him as though he was the biggest joke she had ever seen.
"You turned yourself into a freak. A monster. And now you're not going to bite? I'm sorry, but that is honestly…adorable." Lillith sneered at him.
Freak. Monster. Words Sam had dealt with all his life. Words that were now being aimed directly at him because of what he had become. The hand he had been forced to play so he could stop all this. So he could be strong enough to do what was needed from him. They were words that cut deeply, stabbing Sam through the soul and reminding him of how he was never going to be the man he had been, again. But it was a sacrifice he was willing to make, if it meant Lillith was destroyed forever.
His hand lifted again, Sam channelling all that dark energy, all that power, into crushing her. Renting her to pieces inside. Burning up every single part of the demon so that nothing would be left at all. His felt the moment his eyes changed from hazel to oily black, his heartbeat galloping in his chest now, thrumming through his mind like a lightning bolt as he closed his hand into a clawed shape, focussing on crushing the demon before him.
Lillith convulsed and gasped before him, like a fish fighting for air. Her back arched, her body bucking and shuddering as her chest was lit with a fiery light, before she finally sagged and exhaled for the last time, destroyed.
Sam lowered his hand at last, his chest heaving as he caught his breath. His eyes had shifted back to their normal hazel as Sam looked down on Lillith's body and realised that it was done. It was over.
Something had changed inside that room. Dean could tell, because Sabbath was growing more desperate to get through the door. As desperate as Dean. His shoulder was aching from being slammed against it and there was no doubt in his mind that it would be black with bruises by morning. If they had a morning. His knuckles were skinned too but that wasn't going to keep Dean from getting through the door.
Grabbing a tall iron candelabra from nearby, Dean headed for the door. He could see blood on the bottom of it where Sabbath was scrabbling desperately at the wood, whining and barking furiously even though he had torn open one paw through his efforts. "Sabbath, leave it!"
The dog shifted out of the way as Dean started to use the candelabra as a battering ram, slamming it again and again against the doors. Sabbath hovered just to the side, barking excitedly. Through those doors was his Sam. He could smell him. Could hear him. Sabbath wanted into that room as much as Dean.
Finally, the doors slammed open, giving way under the constant battering they had received from Dean. Without missing a beat, Dean was striding through the doors, throwing the candelabra aside and drawing the knife Castiel had returned to him.
Ruby was already getting to her feet and turning to confront Dean, sneering at his approach. Nothing could stop what they had done. "You're too late."
"We don't care…" Dean informed her coldly as Sabbath rushed towards her. All he could see was Sam lying on the floor, looking devastated, looking weak. His Sam was hurting. The man who had saved Sabbath's life. The first kind face he had ever seen. The first kind voice he had ever heard. Sam was family. Part of the pack and Sabbath was never letting Ruby hurt him ever again.
Ruby screamed as Sabbath lunged at her, sinking his teeth down to the bone and tasting her foul blood in his mouth. She moved to lift him from the floor and throw Sabbath away from her, when suddenly her arms were locked by someone from behind. Sam held Ruby tightly, struggling against not only her but Sabbath's furious attack, before Dean plunged the knife up into her body. It slid in under the ribcage and Dean twisted and pushed it further and deeper, watching the pain in Ruby's eyes, making sure she knew how much he hated her. Even as he saw the life fading from her and heard her gasp of pain, it wasn't enough for Dean. But he would settle for the bitch being dead and out of his brother's life for good.
"Sabbath, back off." Dean ordered, jerking the knife free from Ruby as Sam let her go. Sabbath moved back, still growling at the demon as she hit the ground, lifeless.
For a moment, the room was quiet. Sam and Dean both looked at the body of Ruby, before Dean's gaze shifted up to Sam, seeing nothing but guilt and devastation in his brother's eyes.
"I'm sorry…" Sam told him brokenly, tears pricking his eyes. How could he have been so stupid? He'd let himself be blinded by Ruby, because he'd wanted to believe that he could save the world. He'd screwed everything up, attacked his brother. Become a freak…for what? So that the demons could win anyway?
Sabbath stepped forward, drawn by the pain he sensed in Sam. He pressed in against Dean's leg as the floor suddenly began to shake, a brilliant light opening up from the floor beside them. The noise was horrible, the feeling of energy, the vibe that Sabbath was getting from that hole…terrifying.
He latched hold of the bottom of Dean's jacket and began to pull, wanting them to get away from there.
Dean and Sam turned towards the hole as it grew. The seal was broken, there was nothing they could do.
"Sammy, let's go." Dean grasped the front of Sam's jacket, instinctively needing to pull him away from the danger. He paused as Sam's hand latched onto his arm desperately, seeing the fear in his brother's eyes as he watched the rapidly expanding hole before them.
Sabbath let go of the jacket and ran for the door, barking loudly at Sam and Dean, trying to get their attention. They needed to run. Run now. Didn't they understand that? Apparently not, because they were still staring at the seal.
It was like watching a train wreck. Dean knew that it was crazy to just stand there, but some small part of him wanted to see what was rising. He wanted to see Lucifer for himself. What would he look like? Was he going to have the whole horn and pitchfork deal? Would he look like Robert DeNiro?
A sharp, heavy tugging at his jacket finally pulled Dean's attention away from the seal and he looked down to see Sabbath threatening to tear the leather with his teeth as he tried to pull Dean away from the spot. "Sam, what the hell are we doing?"
"Dean…this is my fault."
"Yeah, well we can argue about that later. When we not standing on Ground Zero. Seriously, dude, let's haul ass…we can't fight Lucifer if we're dead." Dean grabbed Sam's jacket firmly and dragged him away from the hole. "Sabbath, find the way out."
Half dragging, half carrying his brother, Dean led Sam away from the room, feeling how weak he felt. If he hadn't forced Sam to leave, there was no doubt his little brother would have sat there and accepted his fate. Well screw that. Dean wasn't happy with how things had played out and it was going to take time for Sam to earn his trust back, but the kid deserved that chance.
They'd both been played like chumps and Dean was done with both sides. He was choosing his own side from now on.
The Buick ate up the road easily enough, although Dean wasn't sure he wanted to know why Sam had balked so vehemently against taking Ruby's Mustang. They'd been lucky that the security guard's car had been nearby. Now as the miles ticked away and the night around them seemed so normal, it was hard to believe that Lucifer was walking the earth. No blood raining from the sky, no moon changing colours…everything was normal.
Except Sam. He hadn't spoken a word since they had gotten in the car, staring dejectedly out the window instead. His body was hunched in on himself, a complete picture of misery.
"Did you mean what you said?"
"Huh?" Dean tore his gaze from the road for a moment, unsure he'd even heard Sam correctly due to how softly the question had been spoken.
"The voicemail…did you mean that?"
"What? About us being family? Of course I meant that." Dean couldn't believe Sam was even asking him that.
"Family?" Sam turned and looked at Dean then, disbelief written all over his face. "Dean, you called me a monster. A blood sucking freak."
"Whoa, whoa…I called you what? Sam, what the hell are you talking about?"
"I know what I heard, Dean!" Sam pulled his phone out again, intent on proving his point. He called voicemail again, then hit speaker phone, holding it up for them both to hear.
"Hey, it's me. Uh...Look, I'll just get right to it. I'm still pissed... and I owe you a serious beatdown. But... I shouldn't have said what I said. You know, I'm not Dad. We're brothers. You know, we're family. And, uh... no matter how bad it gets, that doesn't change. Sammy, I'm sorry."
"Wait…no. That…that wasn't the message I heard." Sam stammered, confused as hell. "You were pissed with me. You called me a monster…said you were done saving me…" It had been so cold and ugly, breaking Sam's heart as he had thought that last bridge was burned. And it had deserved to have been after what he had done. He'd attacked Dean, spat hatred at his brother. And yet that message showed that even now…after all that, that his brother loved him.
" Done saving you?" Dean lifted an eyebrow at Sam. "Sammy, I'm never gone be done saving you. You're my brother."
Sam sniffed, tears filling his eyes before he looked away, nodding. His throat was closing up, robbing him of his voice.
"And before you go turning all chick flick on me? We're not done, okay? But I'm too damn tired to argue about it now. I'm gonna find us a motel for the night."
Sam nodded again, too tired to care about anything and not wanting to fight either. After everything he had done wrong, he was happy to let his brother take charge again…
The room was crappy, as was the pay per view. But to Dean, it was more home than any angel created room would ever be and finally, he felt like he could breathe. He was stretched out on his bed, resting against the bed head as a half eaten pizza was sat going cold on the side table next to him.
Sabbath was asleep with his head resting on Dean's legs, snoring slightly.
"I'm going to take a shower…" Sam stated tiredly, grabbing a towel from the end of his bed. He'd tried to choke down a piece of pizza earlier before feeling too sick to finish it. His whole body was aching and flushed with hot and cold sweats that left him trembling and weak. When Ruby had said he'd shot his load on the boss, she hadn't been kidding. There was nothing left for Sam now and the hollowed out feeling it had left within him was scary. How long would it be before he started jonesing for another fix? The thought of attempting cold turkey again was far from appealing.
"Leave the door open." Dean ordered quietly as he picked up the tv remote and flipped through channels.
"Leave the door open? What, you've got some crazy kink going now where you have to watch me?"
"Not even if you were the last dude on earth, Sam. I'll never swing that way…but you're not closing that door."
"Why? You don't trust me?" Sam challenged, pausing in the doorway, the bathroom light casting him in silhouette in contrast to the darkened main room.
"No." Dean stated honestly, sitting up slightly to meet his brother's gaze. "I don't trust you, Sam. You've done nothing but show me lately that I can't. So I'm sorry, but you have to earn that back. Starting with leaving that door open so that I know you're not in there trying to swallow a bullet or cut your freaking wrists on some screwed up idea that you killing yourself will balance out what you've done."
"No, Sam. You got played. We both did. We've both made stupid mistakes and okay…you're currently the reigning champion of boneheaded ideas, but that doesn't change the fact we can still fix things. We can stop Lucifer. Stop the Apocalypse. Together…the way we should have gone at it in the first place." Dean reached out and gently scratched Sabbath's ear as his raised voice disturbed the dog's sleep. "Go have your shower, dude…okay?"
The tv was still softly playing the latest infomercials, offering the greatest in cookware and fitness equipment, as Dean and Sam lay asleep. Sam was lying on his stomach, his arms jammed under his pillow. He had stripped to his boxers after his shower, falling asleep only minutes after he had laid down and let exhaustion claim him.
Dean was sound asleep on his own bed, one leg hanging over the edge. He was still fully clothed, remote in one hand, the other hand lying on top of Sabbath.
Sabbath's head jerked up instantly, hearing Sam's distraught voice muffled against his pillow.
Sabbath shifted slightly, edging towards the edge of the bed. He paused and looked back at Dean, his tail thumping ever so slightly as he noticed that his master was awake too, watching Sam.
It was still ingrained in Dean to be alert to his brother's voice. Especially if he was having a nightmare. It had been that way all their lives. But now as he saw the unspoken question in Sabbath's eyes, he hesitated, recalling how he had found Sabbath lying broken and bloody. Feeling that proud animal so lifeless and empty. He didn't want to believe that Sam would ever willingly hurt Sabbath. It had to have been the demon blood. Right?
But from the moment they had arrived at the motel room, Dean had noticed a wariness in Sabbath towards Sam. He shied away from direct contact with him, even though he seemed comfortable to have Sam near by.
Until now. Now Sabbath was clearly asking permission to go to Sam and Dean hesitated only a heartbeat longer, before he nodded. "Go on.."
Sabbath easily slipped from Dean's bed to Sam's, snaking himself along Sam's gigantic frame, nestling up against his back and resting his head on Sam's side. The presence seemed to settle Sam after a few moments, letting him drift back into a dreamless sleep, his muscles uncoiling and relaxing.
Dean watched his brother and his dog as they both began to breath almost in synch, sleep claiming them both. There was a long road ahead of them and Dean had no way of knowing where it would end up.
But for now. They had been given this small respite. Sam was back by his side where he belonged and together, they would take what was coming at them.
As family. As brothers.