Title: Fall Again for Love

Disclaimer: Don't own 'em. Just playing in the sandbox.
Characters(Pairings): Sam/Lucifer pre-slash, implied Dean/Castiel
Warnings: Uh...I really can't think of anything I need to warn for, so.

Lucifer can't find him. Hours and days spent searching for the bright flame that was his vessel-to-be's mind. A week, three, spent torturing demons to try to get some rumor of the Winchester's passing. And with each minute that passes and lengthens the time since he's last seen Sam, last felt the way his mind wraps around his thought-form, last heard the voice that now haunts his own dreams…with every minute, he gets more and more desperate.

Not being able to find Sam is not acceptable. There should be nothing separating their minds. He should be able to slip into the human's dreamscape with a thought.

But he can't.

And he doesn't know why.

There is nothing he can think of that would be able to block Sam's mind from him. Nothing he has ever heard of with the power to sever such a powerful bond without him knowing.

And to think he'd left their last meeting with harsh words and a bleak promise of 'soon.' Now, he'd give everything he has just for a moment in which to tell Sam he is sorry. Anything for just a chance.

But he wishes in vain and when he closes his eyes, Sam's hate-filled eyes stare at him, blame him for everything and he cries out that it's not his fault, that he didn't ask for it to be Sam, that he'd change all of it if he only could…And then he breaks down and weeps, hot tears for everything that has happened since the beginning of time.

He searches in vain.

Sam is nowhere to be found. If Lucifer didn't know with absolute surety that Sam Winchester was not dead, then that was what he'd be forced to conclude. Everything he's tried has turned up nothing but memories that are too old, not recent enough. Nothing since the last time he'd seen Sam.

It's been four months.

It feels like forty years.

Then God returns.

Lucifer is playing at being human, sitting in a coffee joint and sipping at a mug of the bitter liquid, when God sits down across the table. He blinks at his Father, then sighs. He's not surprised and he's not scared.

He's just tired.

God sips at a mocha latte and watches him, doesn't say anything. Lucifer shrugs.

"It's what was supposed to happen. You know that. I made my choice and you let me. End of story."

God takes another sip.

"Alright! I'll admit I didn't think the consequences through all the way. Not like I really could, you know," he says, petulant. "Remember? Not omniscient? Certainly didn't see this happening."

He sighs again. God refills their drinks.

"I…I'm not sure I would choose differently, if given the chance," he admits softly, leaning his head on one hand. "I mean, don't get me wrong. Hell's not a happy place and I certainly didn't like being locked up all those millennia, but…but if I hadn't made the choices I made…would I have ever met him?"

God doesn't answer.

"Yeah…" Lucifer stares down into his drink for a long moment before glancing up at his Father. "Hey, Dad? Can I ask you something?"

God nods indulgently.

"Why…why can't I find him?" And the words reopen the wound he thought had long since scabbed over and the pain is suddenly fresh and real and thick in his throat. "I can't find him, no matter how hard I look and…and I don't know why!"

God smiles, then, but before Lucifer can ask why his pain is happy, God touches two fingers to the angel's forehead.

The coffee shop disappears and Lucifer is suddenly on the shore of a large lake. To his left, there's a dock and someone's sitting at the end, a fishing pole held out over the water. God's gone and Lucifer takes a step towards the person on the dock, but voices from behind him prevent him from going further.

"Dean! Lunchtime!" And Lucifer turns to look at the man he'd spent four months (forty years) looking for. He takes a moment to just look, the sight alone a balm to his wounded soul.

Sam doesn't look much different physically. His hair's a little neater, a little shorter. He stands a little taller, as if some heavy burden had been lifted from his shoulders. But other than that, he doesn't look any different. Except he does.

Lucifer thinks it might be the aura of utter contentment that he projects, that makes Sam look so different to him. Or maybe the wide, carefree grin that Lucifer has never seen on that face. Or maybe it's something else, something indefinable, that has changed the human so completely.

Sam doesn't see him.

Neither does the little angel trailing behind him. Castiel, Lucifer thinks. Dean's angel. The angel and the human walk right past Lucifer, as if he didn't exist.

And maybe he doesn't. Here and now, maybe he doesn't really exist.

And that hurts, the thought that he's been given this only to have it be just a vision, something can't acknowledge him. But it's a small hurt and easily ignored.

He trails after them as they head towards the dock and Dean, who's coming to meet them. He watches as they set out a blanket and a picnic on the grass, under the warm sun. He listens as they chatter about nothing and everything and he slowly learns and pieces together what must have happened.

Four months ago, apparently the day after his last night with Sam, God had returned to Heaven and quickly sorted things out up there. There had been some major misinterpretation going on and nothing had been done right, including the apocalypse. God had swept the planet clean, erasing the effects of what had happened so far and putting things to where they should have been. Humanity as a whole lived several years in a blink and no one but these three and a few select others knew anything about what had actually happened.

God had arranged a little chat with the brothers Winchester. They had been given the choice to decide what happened to Lucifer. Dean had deferred that honor to his brother alone, trusting him at last.

Sam had looked at him and sentenced him to four months and forty years in a hell of his own, had specified that Lucifer not remember God's return and the events that followed. And Lucifer had not protested.

Couldn't have protested. Because even at the end, he would remain true to his word and give Sam everything he could. And if his own damnation was what was asked of him, then so be it.

And Lucifer now, having just learned of all this, does not hold it against the human, nor does he regret his choice.

The humans and angel finish their meal and head back to a sprawling house that Lucifer hadn't noticed before. He follows after them, nothing but a ghost. Sam is the last to go inside and the human hesitates, one hand holding the door open. As if drawn to it, he slowly twists around, looks right at Lucifer standing a few feet away.

Lucifer swallows. "I'm sorry," he says. "I'm sorry. Goodbye."

And Sam looks at him for a long moment, then shakes his head. "No," he says and suddenly Lucifer can't bear it anymore.

Turning, he starts walking away. Away from this Sam Winchester who is and isn't his Sam Winchester. Away from this dream that isn't a dream, but is a nightmare for an angel who Fell for love only to find that love had Fallen with him.

Away from this vision of happiness, of what should be and is, of everything that he can't have, but wants so, so terribly.

The hand on his shoulder startles him, but when he is pulled around to see hazel eyes looking back at him with intent, he can't feel fear. Only a terrible, terrible love that has passed through Hellfire and come out the other side bruised and burned and scarred and hurt, but alive.

"No," Sam says again and Lucifer burns with the pain that word brings now. "No. Not goodbye." And suddenly Lucifer can't breathe, can't look away from what he sees in the eyes that see him so clearly.

"Not…goodbye?" he echoes faintly and he's sure that voice isn't his own. Sam quirks a half-smile.

"Not goodbye," he confirms. "Hello."

And Lucifer Falls again for love.