Supernatural © The CW.

Part Three of the Redemption series; sequel to Faith Enough for This.

Alternate Ending

tag to The End

"What did you mean earlier?"

Dean doesn't even jump anymore. He's been expecting this question ever since Cas first jerked him away from Zachariah and whatever the demented angel had planned for him. So instead of yelling at Cas to frickin' warn him next time, he simply rolls over on his bed. Castiel is sitting next to him, and his hip bumps against Cas's leg. Once again, Dean decides not to comment. "You'll have to be more specific, Cas." he mutters. "I said a lot earlier."

Cas's blue eyes are locked onto him, and he knows he's not working his way out of this one. "When you asked me not to change. What did you mean?"

Dean turns so he's not facing Cas anymore. It makes it easier to answer him. "Something Zachariah showed me on that little field trip." he says, trying to sound casual. "Guess it got to me is all."

"What did he show you?"

"Dammit, Cas, can you just drop the – "

"Dean. What did Zachariah show you?"

Dean makes a show of sighing in annoyance. Loudly. Cas still stares at him, entirely too intense, as if trying to lift the answer from his mind. Dean rolls back over and sits up, scooting back so he doesn't wind up in Cas's face. He's given up trying to explain personal space to that angel.

"It was wrong, Cas."

Cas blinks. "What was?"

"What Zachariah showed me – " Dean cuts himself off and looks away. He's been trying to forget about it, and now Cas wants to go and make him explain. Damn angel. "It was all wrong. Sam was Lucifer's meat puppet, you were high – hell, you were talking about orgies and popping pills." A shaky laugh escapes him. "You were acting like a hippy, Cas, and you were human, and I think – " He abruptly stops talking.

Cas reaches out and touches Dean's shoulder. "Tell me."

"I think I made you fall." Dean whispers. "I think it all happened because of me."

There is silence, and Dean can't bring himself to look at Cas. He just can't. So instead he examines the blanket. The stains are distracting.

"Do you know how many possible futures there are?" Cas asks abruptly.

Dean shakes his head. "No."

"Five thousand. And that's just for the next five years. The number increases drastically as you go further out in time. The only thing that's fixed is the past." Now Dean looks up at Cas. The angel has his head tilted to the side, blue eyes burning with some emotion Dean can't possibly name. It's the most he's ever seen Cas reveal before. "Zachariah showed you the future that would make you most compliant with his wishes. But he doesn't know it will come to pass."

"Then who does?"

"God."

For once, that comment doesn't earn him a sneer like it would have. Instead, Dean just nods and resumes studying the blanket. A small, almost imperceptible scowl crosses Cas's face before he speaks again. "Would you like me to show you a different one?"

"A different future?" Dean asks warily. "Another three day excursion?"

"No." Cas replies immediately. That's not what Dean needs right now. "Just a dream. But I promise you, it will be just as real a possibility as what Zachariah showed you."

Dean hesitates, but only for a moment. "Okay."

Cas touches Dean's forehead, and then he's back in 2014.

/-/

The room is small and lit only by a single low-watt light bulb hanging from the ceiling. Bobby is there in his wheelchair, backed against one wall and watching Dean as he paces the length of the other wall. "If you keep that up, you're gonna wear a rut in the floor, ya idgit." Bobby warns. Dean nods absently and continues to pace. Bobby sighs. "They're comin' back, son. You know that."

"I know." Dean finally speaks. "Still, I'll feel a lot happier when they finally get here."

"I hear ya, kid."

"Hey, I think we made good time." The door to the small room opens, revealing Sam, Cas, and a red haired eighteen year old girl with a beat up leather jacket. Sam grins at Dean. "I mean, we had Cas and Jazz zapping us places."

Dean grins and wraps Sam in a one-armed hug. Cas smiles faintly at the exchange. "I told you I'd keep him safe." he says.

"Yeah, yeah – rub my nose in it." Dean laughs. He abruptly turns serious. "So – what do we know?"

Sam's grin turns feral. "We know where Lucifer is." he says. "Since he's still inhabiting that Nick guy, he's wearing out pretty quickly. He's weakening."

The girl – Jazz – smiles. "Not that it means he's actually on our level, but at least he doesn't have the same control over demons anymore."

Dean nods. "Good. That'll even the odds a little." His eyes narrow as he takes in the girl. "When the time comes – "

"He'll be there." Jazz replies evenly. "He always is."

Bobby grins. "Good to hear."

/-/

Cas watches at Dean slips out of his future dream and into a more peaceful sleep. He smiles to himself. "I hope that eases your fears a little." he whispers quietly. "Things are going to get better, Dean. I promise you." He touches the hunter's shoulder briefly before vanishing from the room in a rustle of feathers.

Time to find Zachariah.