A/N: Not quite happy with this but I figured I'll never be happy with it so I'm just holding my breath and going with it. This chapter pretty much assumes a familiarity with The Song Remains The Same. I haven't written regularly in years so expect a rocky ride. Thanks for your time.
Chapter 2 - Lies & Sacrifice
Sam Winchester sat dejectedly upon the edge of his motel bed. His mind was whirling with the information Castiel had just revealed to them. Anna, once their ally, sought his death. And why? To stop the devil from launching the apocalypse into full force. Could he really blame her? Could he deny the rightness of the solution. After it all it had been his thoughtless, foolish actions which had brought them into this disaster.
He could not stop the question that slipped from his lips, "So, uh, th..the plan to kill me...would it actually stop Satan?" Sam's hesitant words drew Castiel back from his preparations, the angel's regard snapping to him.
"No, Sam. Come on," Dean cut in sharply before Castiel had any chance to form an answer of his own.
Sam ignored his brother's outburst, focusing firmly on the angel, his eyes wide with desperation. "Cas, what do you think, does Anna have a point?"
Castiel looked steadily at Sam Winchester, this human he had just professed to be his friend. Sam's voice had been an incongruous mix of hope and despair, his eyes begging Castiel for this truth, even as his brother's eyes begged for denial, be it truth or falsehood. Cutting his eyes to Dean briefly, Castiel answered in the only way he could, borrowing the older brother's words, "No. She is..uh...Glenn Close." A certain amount of tension flowed from Dean's shoulders and somehow Sam just suddenly looked so lost. Castiel couldn't bring himself to be sorry for the lie, so unnatural upon his tongue. There were many ways to protect his friends, both of them.
Castiel had lied.
Sam didn't know why he was so certain, but there had been something in the angel's reaction that rang untrue. Killing Sam would work and Cas wasn't ready to face the wrath of Dean were he to tell Sam that. Right or wrong though his musings might be, Sam found himself wondering if it mattered, if he could take the chance that it would not work.
He had made so many mistakes on this path which had led to heartache not only for himself and his brother but for the entire world. He wondered if ever in the history of the humanity anyone had made such a wide sweeping error in judgment. With a huff of bitter laughter, he contemplated asking Castiel, with his unique vision of history, but concluded that the angel was just as likely to play it safe in answering that question too. Damn, but his brother had an angel scared to cross him. It wasn't news to Sam, not really, but it would have made him laugh if everything had not been quite so grim.
What remained now was to decide what to do with his knowledge. He'd have tried praying to Anna, see if his words would have crossed time to reach her in 1978, unlikely though it seemed, but he was worried that Castiel would hear his thoughts. There was little doubt in his mind that Castiel would not hesitate to inform Dean just where his brother's thoughts were wandering. The leash he would undoubtedly find himself on would be short to the point of nonexistence.
So he bided his time and remained ready to take any chance that came his way to make things right and keep his family from danger.
They had not quite reached the garage when the three Winchesters heard a telltale crash from within its walls. Dean pulled the angel blade from his jacket, light glinting over it's liquid sheen as he ran into the building. Sam followed, stopping as his brother charged forward, hastily cutting a line across his own palm and beginning the careful sweeps to draw the angel banishing sigil against the nearest wall. It was their back up plan. If Dean wasn't able to kill the determined angel, if things looked as if they were going to go south.
Sam was only half aware of his brother's failed attack on Anna, concentrated as he was on the sigil before him. But his stomach flipped painfully as shattering glass and the heavy thud of his brother's body hitting ground warned him of danger.
Sam turned, ready to complete the final step of this back up plan, until he saw Mary grasp the fallen blade. He watched in reluctant admiration as the woman who would be his mother met Anna with the ease of a practiced hunter despite her years out of the game. Dean had told him she was a hunter, but until seeing her move, react, he just couldn't comprehend the full extent of it. This woman who had been built up almost as an idol throughout his lifetime was taking on the aspects of a living, breathing hunter. It was staggering. Her movement was fluid and strong and she seemed to be holding her own against an angel.
But that told Sam one thing. Anna was weak. Mary may have been a good hunter, maybe even a great hunter. But so was Dean, and if he was honest with himself, so was he when it came down to the technical aspects of the job. But neither of them had ever faired all that well against an angel in an all out physical fight.
The hitch in the plan which had Mary, not Dean, facing Anna was just what Sam had needed though. Dean, after all, would have seen right through Sam's intentions in the next moment. His brother really did know him too well.
So as the confrontation shifted, Mary's body crashing cruelly into the windshield of a car, angel killing blade clattering loudly on the cement, Sam decided to gamble. "Anna!" Sam shouted, bringing the intense gaze of the angel upon him. His bleeding hand was poised over the bloody mark on the garage's dingy wall. He saw her eyes flicker to the marks he'd drawn, almost nervously.
Anna turned her back on Mary, unconcerned with the former hunter now that she did not have the angel blade in hand. "I thought Castiel was keeping you away from me, Sam." Her voice was conversational. Undoubtedly, of the angels they had met, Anna was the most human. After all, she had been mostly human for twenty some years. But she remained an angel. Powerful. Righteous. Dangerous. But maybe, just maybe, he could play on her humanity, on the weakness from time travel and being cut off from heaven, which had her struggling to slaughter a few insignificant humans.
"Anna," he said this time softly. "Don't hurt my family. Don't hurt Dean. I will go with you if you just let them live." His soft, warm eyes met hers, speaking nothing but sincerity, beseeching that part of Anna which had had a connection with his brother. "This is taking more out of you than it needs too. Please."
His eyes flicked quickly to Mary, who was steadying her husband as he struggled to rise. Sam took in this vision of his parents as they were, heart warming slightly at who and what they were, would be. The closeness they shared which he had only ever seen the shreds of in his father's grief. If this was the end for him, he was glad that he had been allowed the gift of this in his final hours. Steadying each other, they watched Sam and the angel, unsure and frowning. Mary seemed about to speak.
As Anna moved towards Sam, eyes narrowed, he tore his gaze from his parents to meet her approach. His hand wavered over the sigil, dropping as he saw acknowledgement in her eyes. A breath of relief slipped past his lips, and he canted his chin towards Mary. "Tell my brother I'm sorry," his voice was broken in its grief, for what he was doing to Dean, not for himself.
Sam Winchester stepped forward to meet Anna, steadier than he had hoped to be as he walked to his doom. He didn't notice Mary's sudden movement as she went for the angel blade. But it was too late, for as Anna came close enough to touch, she reached out to Sam, both disappearing in less than a breath as she touched him.
John and Mary Winchester stared in stunned disbelief, their harsh breath the only sound in the now still garage. And outside the wall, Mary heard the shifting of broken glass, her throat tightening in dread. She remembered the quiet tragedy of Dean's eyes five years ago. Despite her feelings about his reemergence in her life, she did not want to be the one to tell him he had lost one more thing.