The first building Crowley took him to was a complete bust. Death wasn't there, and there were no traces of where he'd gone. They had less than twenty minutes until the city was toast and the man of the hour had disappeared.

They drove into town to take a look and the storm still raged around them as people went about their lives. They had no idea what was about to happen.

"So what? Do I call in a bomb threat? A thousand bomb threats? How do I get three million people out of Chicago in ten minutes?" He turned to Crowley and he was gone from the seat. "Right." Dean looked out his window and saw him across the street, pointing into a small pizza place.

"I can't hear you." Idiot.

"I said, I found him." He was back in the car. "Death, he's in there."

Dean looked to the small restaurant and got out of the car. "Are you coming or…" he looked back inside and the car was gone.

"Ditched by a demon, imagine that."

He tried not to groan out loud as he saw Dominic standing beside the Impala; he wore a casual black suit and was adjusting the buttons on the sleeve. "What the hell are you doing here?"

"Thought you could use some back up, apparently I was right."

"She called you." He pushed the door shut.

"No, she sent me a text. She was just concerned about the 'help' you would get from Crowley."

"Wonderful." He grumbled; though in actuality he wasn't that pissed to see him. Facing the Horseman of Death on his own was probably one of the dumbest things he could claim in a long time.

"Look at it this way, if things go bad, I can get you out."

"Unless death fries you up too."

He shrugged. "Then we're both screwed aren't we?"

Dean eyed him but decided it wasn't worth the battle; there wasn't enough time. They headed across the street. "What's with the suit?"

"I had a date. Let's get this over with huh? It's gonna be a good night for me."

"Isn't that sweet."

He just smirked and opened the door of the restaurant. Inside, there were several patrons now laying dead, face down on their tables. On the far side of the room, a man in a suit sat with his back to them, calmly eating his meal. Hello Death. Dean tightened his grip on the scythe but it suddenly became hot in his hand. He looked down to see the handle burning red and he dropped it to the ground.

"Thanks for returning that." The weapon appeared next to him at the table. "Join me gentlemen, the pizza's delicious."

He looked to Dominic, who looked just as confused and nervous about the situation as he was. They approached the table with caution.

"Have a seat." He told them calmly. They didn't argue. "It took you long enough to find me. I've been wanting to talk to you Dean."

"What can I say? Mixed feelings about that. So is this the part where you kill me?"

Death looked at him with an expression with no explanation other than boredom. "You have an inflated sense of your importance. To a thing like me, a thing like you, well, think of how you'd feel if a bacteria sat at your table and started to get snarky. This is one tiny planet, in one tiny solar system, in a galaxy that's barely out of it's diapers. I'm old, Dean, very old. So I invite you to contemplate how insignificant I find you." He gave them each a slice of pizza. "And don't think because of your…bloodline…son of Lucifer, that you weigh any more notice."

"Yes sir." He took a bite out of the pizza, not so much to appease the horseman, but to assess if anything had been done to it before Dean ate it. "This is good pizza dude, try it."

Dean looked at him and sensed that it was safe, so he bit off a piece. It was pretty good. "So I gotta ask. How old are you?"

"As old as God. Maybe older. Neither of us can remember anymore. Life, death, chicken and egg, regardless, in the end I reap him too."

"God? You'll reap God?"

"Oh yes, God will die too."

He straightened up. "This is way above my pay grade."

"Just a bit."

"So why am I still breathing? Sitting here with you, what do you want?"

"The leash around my neck, off. Lucifer has me bound to him, in some unseemly little spell. He has me where he wants, when he wants. That's why I couldn't go to you. I had to wait for you to catch up. He made me his weapon. Hurricanes, floods, raising the dead, I'm more powerful than you can fathom and I'm enslaved to a bratty child having a tantrum."

"Thank you." Dominic pointed out. He wasn't the only one with such feelings of adoration towards Lucifer.

"And you think…I can unbind you?"

"This ridiculous bravado again, of course you can't. But you can help me take the bullets out of Lucifer's gun." He leaned forward and showed him the ring on his finger. "I understand you want this."


"I'm inclined to give it to you."

"To give it to me."

"That's what I said."

"But what about…Chicago?"

He sighed. "I suppose it can stay. I like the pizza." He took the ring off his finger. "There are conditions."

"Okay, like?"

"You have to do whatever it takes to put Lucifer in his cell."

"Of course."

"No, whatever it takes."

"That's the plan."

"No plan, not yet. Your brother, he's the one that can stop Lucifer, the only one."

"Wait, you think…"

"I know. So I need a promise. You're going to let your brother jump right into that fiery pit." He extended the ring to him. "Well, do I have your word?"

Dean swallowed. "Okay yeah, yes." He held his hand out.

"That better be yes Dean, you know you can't cheat Death." He placed the ring in his palm. "Now. Would you like the instruction manual?"

"There's an instruction manual?"

"There is a specific set of steps to make the rings open the box. You probably want to write this down."