Sam surrendered himself to Lucifer in Detroit as had been foretold, and though Dean had acquiesced he could not accept it. Sam was willing to sacrifice himself and spend eternity in hell to save the Earth, proving the faith that Eros had in him. But Dean was determined to do whatever he could to save him. He headed to Lawrence after talking to Chuck and arrived to see his two brothers facing off in the cemetery.
Lucifer turned to Dean as he arrived, "Even for you, Dean, this is a whole new mountain of stupid."
"Don't I know it," Dean replied. He turned to Adam, "Adam, I am so sorry that you have taken the burden that was meant to be mine." To Lucifer, "I had to be here to say good-bye to my brothers and to offer myself to Michael. Michael, I will allow you to have the first string, if you promise to protect Adam and give him what Uriel promised. I suspect the true vessel, willing, would be better and it would let me save one of my brothers."
Lucifer's eyes glittered. Though he could hear Sam inside screaming "NO!", Lucifer wanted to destroy Dean as well as Michael. A dead Dean would break Sam and punish him for not giving in sooner. He could care less about Adam. "Do it Michael. This is the battle foretold. There is a certain symmetry in Michael and Lucifer and Dean and Sam. If you take him, I will guarantee the brother's deal as well."
Michael wanted Dean, there was no question. He was the chosen vessel. Though he could use Adam, it was not the right fit. "I do not want an unwilling vessel. Will you accept me?"
"I am not thrilled about this," Dean confessed. "But I cannot let Adam do my job, suffer my fate. He has never been part of this. He and his mother were victims. Dad wanted them free from this and I agree. I willingly surrender my body to be your vessel. Let's kick some ass."
A bright light shone through Adam and then through Dean as Michael switched vessels. "Thank you, Dean," Michael said for the benefit of Lucifer. "I am ready."
Before the two archangels could engage, a figure materialized between them, John Winchester. Lucifer immediately turned cold and said, "John Winchester, you do not belong here. You are not wanted."
John laconically replied, "I am here to talk with my sons, before you two assholes destroy their bodies and their souls."
"John Winchester, all the angels of heaven have been searching for you. You are no longer needed. Leave or suffer the consequences," came from Michael.
John leaned against the Impala that Dean had driven to the cemetery, "You two have been waiting to kill each other for millennia, you can wait until I have my say with my sons."
Lucifer was determined to keep Sam under control and had no intentions of letting John speak to him. "You cannot speak to them."
"Then I will have to speak with you two," replied John. "You two guys are idiots. Lucifer, you turned away from your father and have spent millennia angry at him. The chance he gave you, you have squandered. Worse. You have misused the power and authority given to you by God."
"My father caged me like a criminal in that hell pit."
"He barred you from heaven and earth, but you created hell. You could have made hell anything you wanted. You were in charge of the souls of those humans judged not ready for heaven. Instead of creating a place where they could be made whole, you broke their souls; you warped them; and with each soul you warped, you damaged yourself."
"If that were so, why didn't my father tell me?"
"He did. He told you to cherish humanity. He told you, you could learn from them. Humans are not your masters they are your teachers and you are their protectors."
"We are angels. There is nothing that humans can teach us," spat Lucifer.
"Will you never listen to our father?" Michael demanded of his brother.
John shook his head, "Michael, you are not guiltless in this. Lucifer says humans can teach nothing, but their most important virtue is always overlooked and its lack is a fatal flaw in both of you and almost all angels. Castiel has learned it; Anna overdid it. You need to learn and master it: doubt."
Neither of the archangels understood. "Doubt is a virtue humans have that angels lack," John reiterated. "Lucifer, you doubted your father. Yet once chastised, you never doubted your decision; you never examined your own actions. Michael, you did your duty and cast Lucifer from heaven and earth, but you never examined your actions to cut him off. He is your brother and could not come to you. But God never forbade you from visiting him; from reaching out and helping your brother.
"No matter how angry they are with one another, no matter how much they may hurt each other, my sons have always understood that caring for each other is more important than anything. That caring spills over into every part of their lives. Even after the terrible things I said to Sam, he forgave me. I told him never to come back, but he did, and I was never happier. Lucifer, your father would welcome you back if you would go to him.
"Surely, Michael, in the millennia Lucifer was barred from you, you could have gone to him. All you had to do was examine your decision to cut him off and then you could have rethought your attitude. Because you would not help him, he languished in his own misery."
Michael still did not get it, "You think I should have gone to hell with Lucifer?"
Lucifer turned on his brother, "You could have come to me? You left me to rot there and did nothing?"
Michael was appalled at his own lack of insight, "I didn't think about it. It was your decision to be apart."
John interrupted, "Neither of you understand that you can still help one another. God always meant for you two to grow, but you have been stuck in the same place since the Fall. You are, practically speaking, evolutionary dead ends."
The two angels roared anger and turned their combined wrath on John. Sam and Dean trapped inside their own bodies were horrified at the suddenness and viciousness of the attack. As they attempted to struggle with their captors, the angels stopped their attacks since John seemed to be completely unaffected.
"You are not John Winchester, reveal yourself," shouted Michael furious that he could not even defeat a human.
Standing next to John was Eros. "It is time for you two to stop this fighting and be what our father wants from both of you."
Lucifer was almost beyond coherence in his anger, "Cherub, how dare you interfere? This is the business of angels. We will destroy you and all your kind."
For the first time, Michael agreed with his brother. This was no business of the cherubim.
"First of all guys: you can't. You have always thought yourselves all powerful, but compared to us, you are barely above humans. Secondly, I am here to give you another chance to get things right. Lucifer, you could voluntarily give up your vessel and return to hell and undo all the harm you have done. Michael, you could go with him and aid your brother in his true work of helping human souls reach heaven."
"You don't have the power to force us," said Lucifer. "After all I've done to leave that prison, I will never go back."
Michael agreed. "I'm not going to hell. I am my father's good son. I will not share my brother's just punishment. And he is right, you can't force us."
Eros shook his head sadly, but had been prepared for that answer. "I think you are wrong. I think I could put you there without breaking a sweat. But this struggle is between you and the humans. They will have to send you there."
Suddenly, standing next to John was Mary. Then the angels noticed others: Ellen and Jo, even Ash and Pamela from heaven; Bobby and Castiel were there; then others the Winchesters had saved and protected; and others they had tried to save but for whom they could only provide justice. All these people the boys had helped were there in the cemetery; they all knew each other and the boys could feel and see them though the angels tried to prevent it.
When they appeared everyone understood what was happening. They knew that Dean and Sam were possessed by Michael and Lucifer. They understood what was at stake even before Eros told the archangels, "These are the people that Sam and Dean have helped through the years. They are here to lend their strength to the Winchesters. You have taken them and trapped them in their own bodies. But their bodies are not yours."
Eros then whispered in a voice meant for the captive Sam and Dean, "Remember."
Immediately, they remembered his visit and more importantly the night of joy they had after Eros left. Sam and Dean remembered the night they shared under the protection of the cherubim and their hearts filled with a ferociousness of purpose. The two archangels felt the bliss the two men had that evening and were overwhelmed by the depth of feelings bolstered by the strength lent to them by all those present. The archangels could no longer contain the brothers and they were expelled from the bodies they had blackmailed their ways into.
Using the support of all present so they could share in the actions, the power of Eros held Michael and Lucifer. Eros caught Sam's eye and said, "The rings."
Sam reached in his pocket and threw the rings to the ground, while Eros intoned the spell. A gaping, black hole opened where the rings were and the two archangels were pulled into the pit. With another incantation by Eros, the hole closed and the rings were left on the ground where they were tossed. A scattering of applause began and soon everyone present was cheering. Sam and Dean were hugging each other violently while their family and friends gathered around them.
Eros magnified his voice to be heard over the din. "When you return home you will each remember what happened here. You will remember how you were part of Sam and Dean Winchester stopping the apocalypse." With that most of the people disappeared.
Eros turned to the boys and told them to make their good-byes to their friends who had left heaven to help them. Sam and Dean embraced Pamela, Ash, Ellen and Jo in turn, and expressed how much they missed them and regretted not being able to save them. The four laughed and said they would be just fine and looked forward to the day they could all have a drink together. They then disappeared leaving John and Mary. The boys spent some time with their parents. Sam and John cleared up all their disagreements by agreeing it was the other's fault. Through the tears of laughter, they embraced and admitted how much they did care for each other. Mary and Sam embraced and exchanged loving words. But Dean and his parents spent intimate time together with little to say but how much they were missed and how much they regretted their time apart.
Eros then announced to the air, "These souls will be returned to the heaven they have earned and no angel will do anything to interfere with that. There will be no more of turning heaven into hell as Zachariah did, because as petty as he was, I am that fierce." The boys made their final farewells with promises for the future and Mary and John were gone.
"And to all the heavenly hosts and the spawn of hell, the Winchester boys get a one month vacation," Eros continued. "None of you will interfere with them unless you want the cherubim to make you fall in love with a skunk. Bobby Singer gets the same month off from any of your interference as well." With a dismissive wave of his hand there was a sudden wind that blew, gathered and raced from the cemetery and those few remaining knew they were alone.
Eros went to Castiel, "Heaven has now lost two more archangels in Gabriel and Michael. You have the most experience with humans; the Winchesters and their friends are now your charge. Redeem Bobby Singer's soul from Crowley; the deal is complete and he is to be healed." Including Bobby in the next, Eros said, "You two need to enjoy your time off and get ready for Sam and Dean's return. You have both done well." With that Castiel and Bobby found themselves back at the salvage yard racing each other to the Jack Daniels.
Other than the brothers, only one figure remained in the cemetery. Chuck came walking to the small group. Eros turned to him and said, "You have gone from prophet to witness. Go, finish the story." Chuck smiled, shook hands, lightly embraced the two Winchesters and did as he was told.
Eros went to Sam and Dean, "You did it. You took on the most powerful angels in the universe and beat them. Our father will be pleased." He raised his hand before Dean could start telling Eros what he could do with his father. "You did this with the strength of your friends, family but mostly that strength within yourselves. Heaven was only needed to show you your power, but you proved to be worthy of our trust. As you heard, the cherubim have decided to give you a month off. Castiel will come and get you when the time is up. Until then, enjoy yourselves, get some sun and relax, you earned it. I have a couple of archangels to visit in hell."
The next thing the men knew, they were on a tropical beach in a private bungalow. Dean called it their wish vacation because every small desire was met, from cheeseburgers to video games to books to pie. Cherubim vied for the privilege of watching over the two. Mainly, it was a place where Dean and Sam could heal. They were comforted by each other's presence and did not feel the need to examine the horrors in their lives. There would be time for that later, if they ever decided to do it. They talked about family and friends and each other. The last couple of days they began to talk of their future. To the horror of the supernatural world, they knew what and who they were: hunters.
When he returned home, Chuck worked on the Winchester Gospels. He then met with his publisher and explained that the story was true, but expurgated. He wanted to make sure that one day they would be complete, but did not want Sam and Dean to have their secrets revealed to the world. So the Winchester Gospels were published as "Supernatural, the Edited Gospels". He then arranged that the full version showing all the Winchesters' flaws and all their happiness would be published in one hundred years.
Chuck also arranged for all the royalties to be put in a trust that would protect his house, the salvage yard and the Winchester home in Lawrence. He knew that one day these would be shrines for people who wanted to be close to Dean and Sam. The bulk of the trust would go to Sam, Dean and Bobby while they lived so they could quit the credit card scams and the pool hustling while they protected people who knew nothing of the dangers out there. Chuck smiled as he thought of the boys with real health insurance.
When all the arrangements were made, Chuck returned to his computer to type in the last two words to the Gospels: The End.