FORGIVENESS

AND

FAITH

By: Karen B.

Summary: Season Five spoiler warning. What if they say yes? Michael vs. Lucifer. This is not a death fic.

Rated: This is not a death fic. Well, sort of, but I fix it. Other than that…I have no clue why I wrote this. Or even what the hell 'this' is. I am supposed to be working on several other lingering stories that have nothing to do with angels and demons…demons and angels. I am not supposed to be obsessing over this episode. I hate my muse. Ack!

Disclaimer: completely, without a doubt, not even close to being the great and powerful owner.

Thank you for chancing a read.

Sunshine even in rain,

Karen


Above the grassy meadow, the sky seemed endless, and the storm clouds swirled deep purple. Fringed willow branches blew haphazard and the wild- wind roared. The rain came down in droves and the normally knee-high grass was smashed, soggy, flat and cold. Lightning crashed all around, the deadly bolts full of static and colored electric-blue, followed by thunder exploding like gunfire.

Two men faced-off in the center of the meadow, under the stormy sky. They were soaking wet, clothing torn, cold, hurting, bloody and bruised. They seemed unaware of the growing storm going on around them. They never faltered as the ground shook violently. Never flinched as lightning continued to strike -- cloud to ground. One jagged bolt hit a nearby Willow, sending a giant-sized branch crashing to the grass in a blaze of fire and sparks. Still the two young men fought, violently. The clouds above began to rotate faster, a wall of rain plummeted down biting into exposed flesh, like stinging bullets.

Michael took a breath, concentrating all his strength on the sword in his hand, letting every ounce of strength surge into the mighty steel blade. The battle was a fierce one and once he'd almost thought he'd lost. Now, he had the leading edge. In absolute determination, he lunged forward with devastating power, thrusting his blade deep into the heart of Lucifer.

Lucifer dropped his own weapon, catching Michael's blade between both hands, the sharp blade cutting into his palms. Blood welled from the cuts, dripping to the wet grass, then washed away -- clean -- by the rain. Lucifer swayed, his vessel choking up a mouthful of blood. He tried to remain standing, hanging onto the end of Michael's sword, but fell to his knees staring in shock up at his avenging brother.

"I am sorry, my brother," Michael whispered, swiftly withdrawing his blade from Lucifer's chest and sheathing the weapon.

A loud crack and white-hot flash of lightning temporarily blinded Michael. When he opened his eyes again, he saw Lucifer's arms drop limp to his sides as he took in panting, little breaths.

"Gah," Lucifer's vessel groaned, death stabbing at his erratic heartbeat. He tried to breathe deeply, the action causing blood to spurt forth faster from the gaping wound. "Broth…ther," Lucifer whispered, tilting sideways as his heart slowed, blood seeping out between parted lips.

"I did not want this." Michael dropped to his knees, grasping his brother's shoulders. "Not for any of us," he said, cupping the back of the vessel's lolling head. "I did what I had to do." Michael slowly and gently guided his dying brother flat to the wet grass.

Lucifer reached up, laying a trembling hand to the side of Michael's face. "It is as…as…he wanted it to….to be," he uttered between pants, his body growing heavier. "I do not blame you, my br…brother." Twitching fingers swiped at the rain and tears coming from Michael's eyes. "Please forgive…" Lucifer sucked in a tormented breath. "Me," he gasped, his mouth working like a landed fish in a futile attempt to draw in air.

Michael inched closer, bowing his head over his brother, and gave a curt nod. "I forgive you, my brother," he said softly. "You need not even ask."

Lucifer appeared relieved. "Tha' y'u." His neck drew far back, but he kept his gaze upon Michael. "Our Father who art in…" Lucifer's eyes went wide. "I forgive…" he shuddered once."…Too," Lucifer breathed, his hand slipping away from Michael's cheek.

Michael swiftly locked a hand around Lucifer's wrist keeping his brother's cold, lifeless hand pressed to his cheek. "I know you do, my brother," Michael said, watching the blue surrounding Lucifer's lips spread over his entire face. "I love you," he whispered. "Thy will is done." Michael lay Lucifer's hand down and closed his eyes.


Dean's eyes snapped open wide, raw fear filling his entire being. He blinked through the watery blue-green haze of rain. Why was he kneeling in the wet, blood-covered ground during a thunderstorm? He blinked again and nearly tipped backward at the sight before him.

He gazed at Sam.

Sam gazed back.

"Sam?" Dean couldn't move, could only study his brother, waiting for the slightest change.

Sam didn't blink. He lay perfectly still. Pale, wet, and limp.

Drip, drip, drip went the rain.

A jagged flash of lightning briefly illuminated the area.

Crash-boom went the thunder.

Dean ducked down instinctively protecting his brother.

Sam never moved.

Sam just stared at Dean.

Why wasn't his brother responding?

Sam looked bad. His face was ashen; his lips blue, hair plastered back off his forehead.

Rain pounded down, dripping off Sam's eyelashes, sliding down his face like tears. He looked dead. Was he breathing? Dean looked closer, and counted the seconds between his own breaths.

"Oh, God, no," he gasped, his mind working overtime to fit all the images together.

He felt lost, agitated. Suddenly, everything fell into place.

Fuck!

There had been someone in his mind, controlling him from the inside out. Dean had fought that someone, had called out for help, begged even. No one would help, no one came, not even the angel that had once dragged him from hell.

That someone that was inside of him had used his legs, his arms, and his voice. It hurt like hell.

"Michael, you son of a bitch!" Dean shivered hard.

Dean was still swimming in the syrup that was Michael. It sickened him. He had wanted to gag and throw up, but Michael had overpowered that human reaction for the moment. If Dean could have squeezed the bastard out of him through his ass, he would have. If he could have killed the angelic dick inside him with his own hands -- wrapped around his own throat -- he would have. Dean choked back his tears.

They couldn't beat this. He and his baby brother were powerless. Destiny ran them over like a steamroller -- twice. They'd said 'yes'. Oh, how he wanted to take it all back. To little, too late. He and Sam, both, had volunteered that one little word -- at the same exact time. Why? Jealousy. Mistrust. Fear. Anger. Despair. Rejection. Misunderstanding. Betrayal. If Dean bundled all that pent up shit into a tight ball of yarn, he had one giant, ugly monster, neither he nor Sam, understood how to fight.

Dean didn't flinch, didn't make a whimper, staring at the pool of glistening wetness covering Sam's heart. Two hot tears lingered in the corner of his eyes, but refused to fall. Instinct told Dean he should be anywhere else but here. Instinct told him he should do something. Call nine-one-one, start C.P.R., but he knew -- there was nothing, nothing he could do

"No." A sudden chill ripped through Dean as he remembered every moment and every move Michael had made using his body. He moved his fingers through Sam's soaking wet hair. "No, no, no." He seized his brother's body and yanked Sam into his arms. "You sons of bitches," he growled as Sam came to him limp and floppy, eyes still wide-open. "Don't. Please." He lifted Sam higher into his arms, holding tighter as cold terror struck through his heart. "Breathe!" Dean gave his brother a small shake, staring into the unblinking eyes. "Damn you, Sam, breathe!" He yelled louder, shaking him more violently. "C'mon, little brother." Dean's grief hit hard, like an airplane slamming into a mountainside and exploding into a million fiery pieces.

Nothing else in the world had mattered, ever, but saving Sam. He'd failed. The ache in his soul was a bottomless, black pit. Dean rocked Sam back and forth, staring into his brother's eyes that stared back and straight through him. Each ice-cold drop of rain hitting him, hacked into Dean like an axe.

"I'm sorry, so sorry," he mumbled repeatedly. He bowed his head, cradling Sam in the crook of his arm and hovering overhead. Dean's teardrops no longer lingered in the corners of his eyes. They flowed freely down his cheeks, and mixed with the rain pattering against Sam's face.

"What have I done?" Dean frantically laid a hand over his brother's unbeating heart, blood oozing up between his fingers. "Give him back." Dean felt the cold spot over Sam's chest where his heart once beat warm. "Ple…" he gagged."Pl…ease. I need him." Dean shifted, and Sam's head fell back over his arm. "I…" he slipped his other hand behind Sam's head for better support, lifting Sam up toward him."I love you. I wish I could have told…" he choked on a sob.

A bolt of lightning leapt from one tree to another sending flaming willow branches sailing through the air and landing close to where Dean sat cradling his brother.

"I rather I was dead. I won't let him go! He needs to know!" Dean shouted, and the storm suddenly stopped.

Dean gently maneuvered Sam's body down flat in the grass, slumping back, he continued to stare into Sam's wide-open, unseeing eyes. The silence around him was an excruciating sound. Dean let every quivering muscle in his body, still. He clamed his heart and his mind. A strange peace came to him. He had let his pain overshadow his love. How could he have done that? It was time to let his fierce stubbornness go.

"I forgive you, all of you. I forgive me," Dean murmured. "Just take me," he said in a low voice, giving himself over completely. "I am yours."

Instantly, a voice crawled inside his head, a voice he could not understand, but could feel. The voice was soft and tender, and touched his heart -- touched his soul. He felt odd. Like someone was here. His eyes darted left, right, then left again -- there was no one.

He thought he heard Sam call to him.

Dean jolted, his eyes meeting Sam's vacant, dead stare.

He didn't understand.

"Cas?" he frowned, glancing around again.

Again, he felt strange.

Dean looked down, and let out a gasp. Sam was moving his fingers. Little spasms making them twitch in the wet grass. "What the.." Dean noticed a bright glow coming from under Sam's blood-soaked shirt.

Using both hands, he gripped the material and pulled in opposite directions.

"Uggg." Sam squirmed weakly.

"Oh, God," Dean cried, revealing the amulet he'd thrown away months ago. It was covered in blood, and glowing white-hot. He swallowed hard at the jagged, bleeding slice he…Michael had plunged into his brother's, heart. "Sam. Hold still." He probed the area that was already beginning to close and heal by magic, correction, by miracle.

The kid's breath stuttered and faltered. "Dee…aaahhh." Sam's head lolled to one side.

"Sam. Hey, hey, you're back with me now." He turned Sam's head to him.

"Gah," Sam's whole body stiffened at the touch, his skin still tinged blue.

"Breathe, man," Dean instructed. "Sam, breathe."

Sam tried to take a breath, but only managed a sob.

"Sam! I need you to breathe." Dean crazily shoved the heel of his palm against Sam's chest, pushed down deep, and rubbed hard. "Breathe in, dammit!"

Sam sucked in one long, deep breath.

"Good. Good, boy. Again," Dean ordered.

Sam did as he was told, a glassy confused look now filling his vacant eyes.

"That's it," Dean encouraged. "You're not going anywhere, again. I won't stand for it, Sam." Dean bit into his lower lip.

"Hurts…gaaah." Sam closed his eyes.

"Easy. Easy, all right?"

Sam grimaced, panting heavily.

"Bro, you're with me, right?" Dean questioned, fearfully.

'Yes', Sam could only mouth.

"Don't you ever say that word again." Dean smoothed back a lock of wet hair that had fallen over onto Sam's brow.

Sam and Dean sat in the wet grass, both staring disbelievingly as the amulet stopped glowing, and the mortal wound completely fused, leaving behind only a scar and the runoff of blood.

Dean frowned. "I don't under…how…you had it the whole time?" He looked up at Sam, cocking his head. "The amulet?"

Sam continued to eye his chest. "Was bad?" he panted heavily.

"Dude, you were…" Dean stifled a sob, nearly gagging on the lump in his throat.

"Was the worst," Dean admitted.

"Died?" Sam asked.

Dean could only nod.

"Back again." Sam reached a shaky hand to grasp at the charm. "F…faith," Sam's lips barely moved. "Sorry." His gaze shifted back to Dean. "I…" he sucked in a ragged breath." Couldn't give up." Sam went rigid, trying to control his trembling body. "Took it from the trash…couldn't…" Sam coughed. "It was…was…"

Dean wrapped Sam in an embrace. "That friggin' fugly thing around your neck. That's what saved you…saved us," he corrected. "You did it Sam. Wouldn't give up. Kept the faith for both of us." There was a quiver in Dean's voice.

"You surrendered to God, Dean." Sam's voice seemed to gain a little more strength. "We both did. We stopped fighting the demons."

"Guess we'll never really understand it, huh?" Dean asked in a puzzled tone.

"Not sure we're supposed to. Sure it wasn't a dream?" Sam snuggled against Dean, his hand letting go of the charm in exchange for a fistful of Dean's leather. "Really happened?" he wheezed.

Dean nodded, but said nothing…he couldn't talk around the lump in his throat.

"Chest burns." Sam continued to gasp for breath

"It will get better," Dean said breathlessly.

Dean suddenly realized that the sound of thunder and crashing gunfire of the storm had turned into a beautiful fireworks display above them, and the blood-covered ground back into the peaceful grassy field gently swaying in the breeze as the sun came out.

"It's really over," Sam broke the silence.

"It's really over." Dean squared his shoulders and eased Sam back to look sternly at him.

"So, wha' now?" Sam shivered.

"We get you to a motel. Dry you off. Clean you up. You look like hell, bro."

"And then?"

"And then…" Dean jabbed a finger in Sam's face. "You better never die on me again or I'll…"

"You'll what, Dean?"

I dunno what I'll do, dude, but…" Dean paused for effectiveness. "…I will do it."

Sam smiled. "I know you will."

Dean cast a glance to the sky and mouthed, 'thank you.' He still wasn't sure what had happened here and why. This battle was over. This war, done. Good luck telling that to those that still held the scent of blood in their nose and wild evil in their eyes. Dean was sure there would be more battles to fight, but for now…for now they were going to get back to being just brothers. Maybe even take a vacation, and then go back to hunting plain, old, fugly monsters.

Dean eased Sam to his feet, and encircled his arms around his weakened brother's waist, walking them side-by-side off the battlefield.

Forgiveness and faith had not been a leap into the deep, dark abyss of nothingness as Dean had once thought, but a step into God's light.

If he knew nothing else, believing that -- was enough.

The end