Title: your halo's slippin' down (to choke you now)
Disclaimer: Eric Kripke owns, yessir.
Warnings: SPOILERS. Speculation, language, implied torture/violence. This is probably blasphemous, so if that bugs you, turn away~
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Dean – others.
Other: This idea had been with me for months, but I finally managed to bring myself to write it. It's AU, presumably. Enjoy this head trip! Title is from "The Noose," by A Perfect Circle. Loved that song~
It was like getting hit with a sledge-hammer to the face.
And if he was a little different afterwards, well, Lucifer just rose. He likes to think it's allowed.
The world ends in a flash of light that sears and soothes and ain't it anti-climatic that it doesn't actually end?
Dean Winchester spent the first thirty (seventy?) years of his life absolutely certain there was nothing supernatural about him. Then, Lucifer rises, Grace explodes around him, and he's suddenly not just Dean anymore.
It's really fucking annoying.
So when Sam and he get off of the plane (thanks, Father, he sends a mental prayer, and yes, I got the Loony Toons hint), there is too much new information in his head to properly process, so he just drives them in silence, cutting Sam (and the radio of their stolen car) off whenever either makes a noise that makes him think.
He'll work on this soon. Maybe Chuck knows.
Naturally, Chuck does Know – he's the first to know, isn't that neat? – and he knows enough to know that Dean doesn't want this as public knowledge.
Dean's soul aches when he learns of Castiel's death from Chuck, even though he could taste the death in the air. The vocal confirmation is the nail that seals Castiel's coffin and Dean mourns.
Then Zachariah shows up.
A normal human cannot banish angels. It's all in the blood.
If the angels had their heads screwed on right (seriously? In what universe is Lucifer rising a good thing?), they'd have noticed. Dean does notice a look in Chuck's eyes that tells him he knows exactly what Dean is thinking and agrees.
It's sort of obvious now.
Dean cannot deal with Sam now, so thank you, shut the Hell up, you can't fix this, okay, Sam, but thanks for the anti-angel hex bags.
Wait. What about Michael's sword? He knows exactly where it is, thanks. But in a castle, on a hill, made of forty-two dogs? What is Chuck sniffing?
He knows the second Bobby steps through the door it's not Bobby. He wraps himself inwards tightly, eying the demon warily even as he embraces it. He hides a grimace and stifles the urge to strip and douse himself with holy water, but only just barely. He wants to learn what demons are planning now that Lucifer is here.
They research Michael (and isn't that mildly hilarious?) and Dean mocks the artwork.
And, damnit, Sam needs to learn when to shut his fucking mouth.
After Sam leaves and it's just he and Bobby, he figures out the location of where this "Michael's Sword" is (shit, dad's weird sometimes) and the demon in Bobby puts him through a wall.
It's been a while since he's been able to see the faces of demons (last year doesn't count!) and he feels disgust swell in him with Meg and her bitches storm the room. The bitch violates his mouth and he is horrified, but plays it down by making a snarky comment.
Shit, Bobby's still awake.
He can exorcise him, and he's about to just before Bobby stabs himself. Furious, he attacks the demons, prepared to tear them to pieces just as Sam enters the room and he has to stop himself by sheer force of will.
Sam's not ready for the truth. Dean is not ready for the truth.
They leave Bobby (blood soaking their clothes) in the care of competent doctors. He prays Bobby will be okay.
So it turns out that asshole Zachariah planted the information in Chuck's head (poor bastard, those things suck) to lure Sam and Dean out into the open since they couldn't find them.
They think he's Michael's sword – his vessel.
He's ashamed to know these idiots.
They threaten Bobby, torture Sam and try to torture him (Zachariah's a bitch, his penny-ante tricks don't touch him so he bites his tongue to bleed from his mouth like he actually had stomach cancer. See, Dean knows how to lie like a rug and he's never been more proud of his acting skills in his life) for his consent to be a vessel.
Idiots. Zach has nothing on Alastair.
Just when Dean's patience snaps like a twig, Castiel (way to go, Cas!) shows up, swiftly dispatching the two lackeys with extreme prejudice. Dean pretends to close his eyes when the holy light of their deaths shine. Castiel is furious and unsettled (death does that to you), but determined to protect them, to make Zachariah fix what he broke and like a bitch, he does.
Zach leaves with his tail between his legs. And to think, Cas was still pretty low on the angelic food chain.
Castiel warns them of Lucifer and touches their chests, carving protection sigils into their rib cages. He grumbles because, yea, ow, and couldn't he have given them a bit of a warning?
Just when Dean asks the question of how Castiel was alive (acting, he already knows), Cas leaves them with two dead bodies and a headache.
He feels the moment Lucifer's vessel breaks and consents.
Bobby's so cool, Dean thinks, even in the face of a disability.
Dean talks big, confident for Bobby, even though he has no freaking idea what to do. Kill Lucifer, kill Michael if need be (ha!), and end this stupid war.
He is not ready to forgive and forget. So stop, Sam. I'm not ready.
Later, when Lucifer slips into his dreamscape, he is not surprised. Neither of them are.
Lucifer stands tall, wearing the body of his vessel – a middle aged man with blond hair and a world-weary face. He's smiling, though, and Dean cannot help but return it.
"Michael," his brother greets warmly.
Dean – Michael – Dean nods his head. "Hey. Been a while."
Lucifer nods, stepping closer. "It has," he says and approaches further, taking Dean into his arms tightly. There is no resentment of deeds in the past, no anger for actions taken against each other, just a familiar warmth. Dean grips his shirt and just breathes.
"I have missed you," Lucifer says into his neck with something that might be a sob in his voice and Dean clutches him tighter because despite everything, he is still Lucifer's older brother. It's hardwired into him to love idiot younger brothers.
Eventually they pull away, looking each other over. Dean sees eons of darkness and loneliness cloaking his other-big-little-brother and Lucifer sees Hell's scars on his soul. Together, they grieve for each other.
"You're human," Lucifer finally says after a minute of silence, tone questioning.
"You Fall, I Fall, right?" Dean returns and the line sounds so much like the one from Titanic that he grimaces in distaste.
Lucifer's sad eyes meet his. "You were with me in my prison, weren't you? A part of you."
"Yea," Dean breathes, finally being forced to deal with something he doesn't want to. "Yea, half of me with you, half waiting to be born on Earth."
"Why?" Lucifer asks, frowning.
Dean steps away, turning his back to Lucifer. "Security measures, I guess. In case," he spreads his arms, "this happens. My Grace kept you locked up so you couldn't break free from the inside." He sighs and lowers his arms back to his side. "And somewhere, there is gonna be a really big fucking tree with my name on it."
"You're soaked with Hell," his other-younger brother says eventually. Lucifer steps closer to him, turning Dean around so he could face him. Lucifer's eyes are narrowed, expression suspicious. His eyes demand why.
Suddenly angry, Dean hisses out, "None of your business."
Lucifer draws back as though he had been struck, mouth flattening. "Are things truly so bad between us?"
"Oh, I don't know," Dean – Michael – Dean snaps. "The last time I saw you, you had grabbed my wings and tried to drag me into Hell with you."
His brother's expression softens. "I was hurting," he says – an explanation, not an excuse. There are no excuses.
"Yea," Dean scoffs, "and damn me with you."
Lucifer steps towards him again. "I wanted you to join. You said no." Damn him, he looks so hurt. "But, Michael... it could be different this time." He reaches out with his hand, palm upturned. "You can help me this time, Michael. We can be brothers again. Just us, like it used to be – before the others, before the War, before everything that tore us apart. Michael and Samael, always inseparable."
Dean wants to tell him to shut up, to not use that name again because Lucifer lost the right to his God-given name when he rebelled, but he just stares at Lucifer's hand. Oh, it's so tempting – he could just place his hand in Lucifer's and let the world burn. Everything hurts so much.
But he thinks of Castiel – who died for him, of Bobby, who may never walk, of Chuck, damned to see the end of the world. Of Ellen, and Jo, and all of the other people in the world.
His head is shaking without him even noticing and he's moving away from Lucifer. "No," he breathes. "No. My name is Dean Winchester, born to John and Mary Winchester. I'm thirty years old and I spent forty years in Hell for my younger brother. I'm not Michael anymore."
Lucifer stares at him, uncomprehending and suddenly Dean is so tired, so bone-and-soul weary that it hurts to stand. His head hurts, his heart hurts, and his throat hurts. Rings of bruises from Sam's hands are still there, stark against his skin. There is just too much going on.
"This body," Lucifer suddenly says and Dean looks up, seeing him staring at his hands, "can barely contain me." There's something like a warning in his tone and Dean freezes in horror. And knowledge.
"Sam Winchester is mine," Dean-Michael hisses, eyes narrowed. "Stay away from him."
Lucifer says nothing, eyes meeting Dean's and it's such a reminisce from when he told Lucifer no all those years ago. That betrayed, that heartbroken look in his eyes had cut into his heart then and it cut into it now. After a moment, he looks away.
"On different sides again. Oh, Michael," Lucifer sighs. "What do we do?"
Dean shakes his head. "One day at a time," Dean mutters, running a hand across his head and down to the back of his neck, rubbing at the muscles there. He looks up and his eyes meet Lucifer's and he reads the unspoken cease-fire plea: give us some time to adjust. It's been so long since we were ourselves. But when we're ready...
Dean closes his eyes and nods. When he opens them, he awakes to the ceiling of a cheap motel, Sam snoring lightly on the bed beside him. He sighs.
"What is it about little brothers that always leave me behind?" He whispers and closes his eyes.
Head trip? Yes. Fun to write? Sort of. The Dean/Lucifer scene drove me out of my motherfucking mind. I wrote it, rewrote it, and repeated half a dozen times and I still am not pleased. Fuckers! Anyway, I was vaguely terrified to post this, so. This likely makes no sense whatsoever.