Title: Fire Beneath His Feet

Characters: Dean, Lucifer, Sam(mentioned-ish)

Rating: PG

Warnings: A little language, but very tame compared to the actual show.

Spoilers: Should know about Dean, Deals, Hell, Angels, and how they all connect with one another.

Word Count: 1,322

Disclaimer: I have no ownership claims over Dean...or Sammy...Or Lucifer. Ugh, what a way to ruin a good day.

Summary: When his deal comes due, Dean goes a little deeper into Hell than anyone expected.

Author's Note: So, my first non-crossover fanfic. It's another longer-than-a-drabble I'm posting to make up for how long it's taking me to finish Speak To Me(or Fragile—haven't decided on the title yet either). Lucifer is never really named, but he's there, so...have at it. It's my first time attempting to write him and I'm pretty sure I did okay.

When Dean wakes up in Hell, he can still feel the Hellhounds' claws tearing across his chest. He can feel the razors dig into his face...his arms...his legs. If he concentrates long enough, Dean swears he can hear Sam's voice begging him to hang on—to not let go. Not yet. Dean can sense an apology start to tug at his lips, desperate to be released.

Dean's rational side stifles the urge quickly, storing it away in the back of his head somewhere. He really doesn't care where. He just wants it...gone. Because the memories—that's all they are now anyway—are just too damn painful to bear. His little brother is lost to him. Sammy is going to have the opportunity to live his life out until the very end. Maybe he would even go back to trying his whole 'normal life' idea. Deep down, Dean hopes so, because Sam doesn't deserve the life Dean forced on him all those years ago, when he drug Sam away from Stanford and...Jess. Sam was going to live normal and die a peaceful death at some godawful age of ninety with too many wrinkles and wispy white hair. Then, Sam would go to Heaven.

He has to believe there is a heaven. Hell certainly exists.

An intense pain wells up in Dean's chest at the prospect of never seeing his little brother again. But he ignores the feeling, because it's better than Sammy being in Hell.

Even with his eyes closed, Dean can see the flames flickering nearby. Through his eyelids, he can see them jump, leap, and twirl in a show of lights. He reaches out mentally, trying to connect his mental mind to his body...trying to feel anything. He's cut off from his physical body, mentally numb. The thought panics him and sends his mind into a flurry of activity, trying desperately to do anything at all.

And as soon as he accomplishes the task, he wants nothing more than to take it back. Floating...unfeeling turns out to be a who hell of a lot better than it's counterpart.

Instantaneously, he feels the flames lick over his prone body, scorching it. The skin peels and flakes away, throwing him into mental agony. No matter how much he wants to, he can't scream. The flames warp, tracing a path over his scarred body. Somehow, despite the agony, his thoughts turn to his brother once more.

Better me than him.

After that, the pain seems to fade a little and Dean sighs in relief. He knows it's those words that will keep him going in the upcoming years. Hell is hell; he knew that when he made the deal. It was part of the reason he made the deal to start with. Just the chance of Sam being in Hell because of the demon blood had put him through waves of self-inflicted guilt.

While Sam was out searching for a way to save Dean from his deal, Dean was preparing himself for the worst place imaginable. He combined the torture he's endured over the years, all he broken bones, and strained muscles and yet, he's only been in Hell for a few minutes and all his preparations seem like a complete waste of his time.

Deep down, he has the feeling that he already knew that.

Dean can't be sure how long he lays there on the ground. It could have been seconds...minutes...days. Well, not days. He's pretty sure demons would have tracked him down after a day. He's made too many enemies out of demons over the last few years. They were probably lining up and buying tickets for the opportunity to put their knives to his skin. He may as well have a neon pink sign flashing 'Dean Winchester, come slice me into itty-bitty pieces' obnoxiously to the crowd. Fate or God or whatever Higher Power was out out there had screwed with his life enough that the whole sign idea is entirely plausible.

He doesn't want to open his eyes. Opening his eyes mean facing reality which, in his case, is hell. Literally. Opening his eyes, means admitting to himself that Sam isn't there anymore. But most of all, opening his eyes mean the beginning of an eternity of torture, one day after another. After another. And another. Never-ending days.

Dean mentally gives up the fight to stay unconscious and his green eyes open, shining brightly against the flames. He's observant at first, but shock filters through his features a few seconds later. What he sees isn't exactly what he expected of Hell. For a moment, he remains on the ground, shell-shocked, until he gathers his wits and stands up, immediately falling into a defensive stance. It's pure instinct; there isn't a demon anywhere in sight.

Dean finds himself standing in a...room. He's not sure what other word he can use to describe it. A cage? Bars of flame surround him on all four sides, the fire hissing and morphing around each other, making a perimeter. The fire leap and twirl, somehow seeming to be beautiful. Painful beyond imagination, but still beautiful.

But it's wrong. Hell can't be beautiful. It's Hell. That's the moment when Dean first realizes he's already lost his mind. He's completely insane. Beyond saving.

The silence is broken by light footsteps and Dean turn halfway, his eyes darting back and forth to identify the source of the foreign sounds. His hands clench, and his brain immediately begins to pump out information, preparing himself for whatever mess he's gotten himself into this time.

And then, there's a man where there was just air seconds before. Dean takes a step back at the appearance, his eyes hardening. He's already ready for a fight if it comes to it. "So, who are you?" It might've been taken as a light conversation starter if he hadn't put the distrust..the hatred behind the words. Just because he doesn't know who it is doesn't mean it's good. Actually, it probably means the exact opposite.

He isn't getting Demon vibes, which is strange in itself, but it sure doesn't mean the man has good intentions. Who does in Hell?

The man smirks, but his face is a composed mask of cool indifference, which is an odd combination. "Well," The words flow off the other man's tongue like honey. "What have we here?"

He—it?—doesn't move any closer, though Dean can tell that he wants to. The man is clearly very curious. "Are you human?"

Dean isn't sure how to answer that question at first. Now? Yes. Twenty years from now? Who the hell knows."Yeah. How about you, buddy?" At the moment, Dean wants his guns back more than anything else. He feels so completely naked and defenseless with just his hands and his knack for getting out of harmful situations as his only weapons.

The first bout of emotion plays across the other mans face. He tilts his head back slightly so his jaw is jutting out just a bit. He stares down at Dean like he's a piece of gun stuck to his shoe and ignores the last part of Dean's 'answer'. "Humans are disgusting, pitiful creatures."

Dean doesn't bother to get worked up over the condescending look."Uh-huh. I'm sure I can say the same about whatever the hell you are."

(~) (~) (~) (~) (~)

Twenty minutes later, Dean was really about ask someone why this crap always happens to him. He's barely been in Hell for a day and the insanity has already started setting in. "This is a hallucination. I don't know why I'm the one having these illusions—Sam's the freak."

"I assure you, Dean, I am not a hallucination."

Dean watches the creature distrustfully from the other side of the cage, his arms clamped across his chest. His hands itch for his guns—any of them—but he doubts they'll work on the man staring calmly back at him.

Because holy frickin' crap.

Yup. Lucifer.