Chapter 17 Stairway to Heaven

Okay so a thousand apologies to all of you who have been waiting so patiently. There really is no excuse except I suck :/ But don't worry because the wait is over! This is the last chapter YAY! Enjoy, and be sure to let me know what you think!

Sam was in a different place. He'd never been here before, it was brittle and cracked and broken, and he hated it. The sounds of the outside world trickled down to where he was at the bottom. They were blurry and unrecognizable, but a gut feeling told him that he knew those voices. Voices? They were voices? Yes, he decided, voices of someone he knew, but who, and why couldn't he get out of this hollow place? Sam walked across the dry, unsympathetic ground, and headed towards the only object in this barren land. It was a sink and mirror, he realized as he got closer. There was a razor sitting on the edge of the sink, Sam picked it up. "What am I supposed to so with this?" he wondered out loud.

"You're supposed to kill yourself." Sam nearly jumped out of his skin. He looked in the mirror. Instead of his reflection it was Madeline's he saw.

"Madeline? What? Where am I, what is this place?" Instead of answering she reached out of the mirror and plucked the razor from his hand.

"Here, I'll show you." In one quick, flitting motion she slid the razor across her neck. Sam gripped the sink till his knuckles turned bone white.

"I'm insane." Madeline smiled at him and handed the razor back, he took it with shaking fingers.

"Now you try." She said, as the blood poured from the fatal wound on her neck. Sam turned and ran from the mirror and Madeline's demented laughter followed him. "Its the only way you'll get out!" She called after him. He gripped the razor tightly and felt it cut his palm.

"Sam." He looked towards the voice. It was Castiel, he looked like he had contracted some kind of terrible disease. His face and hands were covered in oozing sores and his coat was crusty with blood and other things. Sam couldn't believe his eyes. Last time he had seen Cas he had threatened to kill them and now he was here in this crazy dream world.

"Cas, wow, um, what are you doing here?" Cas looked off into the distance as if finding some invisible answer written on the horizon.

"This is a dark place Sam, you should not stay here." Sam laughed sarcastically.

"Yeah Cas, I'll just take the next plane back to reality." Cas squinted at him, and for a moment everything was as it was when Cas was a friend and not a monster to be killed.

"I don't understand what you mean." Sam smiled, he sounded so much like his old self that it hurt.

"What I mean is, I don't know what this place is, or how to get out."

"It is a place inside your mind, deep down in your id where all the darkest impulses and desires are stored. It is somewhere between uncontrollable rage and insanity." Sam stiffened and felt his stomach drop a few feet.

"How do I get out?" Castiel shook his head.

"That I do not know. This place is very... foreign, I do not understand it." Sam swallowed hard.

"Madeline said I had to kill myself."

"Do you trust her?" Sam shook his head and answered cautiously.

"I did when she was alive, but if this place is what you say it is, then I don't trust anything." Castiel put the pieces together.

"Not even me." Sam nodded.

"Not even you." Cas sighed and looked out at the horizon, then he looked back at Sam.

"I'm not here to save you Sam." Sam's eyebrows shot up.

"Your not."

"No. I need your help." Sam laughed and then saw that Cas was serious and said incredulously.

"How can I help you when I'm stuck in here?" Cas shrugged.

"I don't know, but I thought it would be better to appeal to you than-"

"Wait a second, appeal to me? What are you being held against you will. This was your choice, Cas. You chose to take all those souls."

"The situation was more complex than that." Now Sam felt his blood begin to boil.

"You killed thousands of people! What's so complex about that, Cas?"

"I had hoped you would be more understanding." Sam sighed.

"Yeah well, so did we."

"I know what I did to you was wrong, and I, I regret it very much."

"You regret it? Really Castiel? After all you did to me all you can say is you regret it?" Sam pinched the bridge of his nose and tried to calm down. "Look Cas, I'd like to help you, but even if I could I wouldn't know how." Castiel fixed his blazing blue eyes onto Sam.

"You are a Winchester Sam, you will get out of here. When we meet again say this prayer and that will help you." Cas leaned in and whispered the prayer. Sam's eyes widened with disbelief.

"But Cas, that would-" But the angel was already gone. Sam ran wildly away from that place and tried not to think about what Cas had told him. How the hell was he supposed to get out of here? This place went on for miles and miles, there was no end in sight.

"Sam! SAM!" That voice forced him to stop in his tracks. It wasn't muffled, it rang out clearly in his mind, and he knew who it was.

"Dean? Dean!" Sam shouted his brother's name until his voice was gone. What was happening? Where the hell was he? He knelt on the ground and uncurled his fingers. The razor was now soaked in his blood but still usable. Did he really have to kill himself to get out of here? No, no, he couldn't start thinking like that. Sam stared at the ground. How the hell was he supposed to get out of here then. He noticed something very strange. This section of ground wasn't dry and hard like the rest of this place. It was soft and spongy, like dirt the day after a storm. Sam stared at the razor and then back at the ground. He started to attack the earth, if you could call it that, digging deeper and deeper into this strange ground. Okay, okay, so this place was like a prison and this was like tunneling out. He could do this.

Dean sped across the deserted road and pointedly avoided looking in the back seat. That was where Sam was knocked out and tied up, well, in a strait jacket actually. Something about that struck him as strange and Dean asked the question he hadn't had a chance to ask before. "Where'd you even get a strait jacket anyway?" Dean asked Bobby, who was sitting in the passenger's seat, where Sam should have been, he thought disconcertingly.

"I know a guy." Was the only explanation Bobby offered. Dean glanced at the old hunter and raised and eyebrow.

"In England." He said skeptically. Bobby sneered.

"Just drive."

Dean refocused on the road and tried not to think about his brother. But his thoughts were like race cars at the Daytona 500. They circled round and round at high speeds, and sometimes crashed. This whole thing was beyond bad, and they'd been through some pretty heavy crap. How the hell were they going to fix this. He didn't think Olivia would be doing them any favors in the future, in fact they may even have to gank her later on. But what about Sam, why was the kid always in the line of fire? Even if they were able to get the old Cas back would he be able to fix Sam without all that God juice? Dean didn't know. That was the worst part of it, he didn't know anything. Sam could die, hell they all could die. It had happened before in Carthage. They thought they'd had a plan, but in reality they were just a bunch of idiots trying to kill invisible monsters with guns, and two of the best hunters he had known were dead because of it. That was the worst part. The only thing Dean knew for sure was that no matter what happened he would be the one to bury his family. It was an irrational feeling, but it came from experience, many painful experiences. They would either all die, or he would be the only one left alive.

A lighting storm had rolled in by the time they reached the mansion. Golden white fingers reached down to kill everything they touched. Dean grabbed the duffel that contained everything they needed for the night and looked up at the dark bulging clouds. A light rain began to fall; big, fat drops, and he knew it would be pouring soon. Dean glanced at Bobby who was checking on Sam. "How is he?"

"He's coming around he'll be awake in a few minutes." Dean shifted the bag to the other shoulder.

"Bobby, we can't afford to have him go batshit on us."

"I know." He said in a tone that meant he didn't agree.

"Bobby, we can't!" Dean said more firmly.

"Dean I know, all I'm sayin is; we sure could use the extra help." Dean sighed, he was going to regret this.

"Alright, undo him."

Sam had tunneled far down into the strange spongy matter. So far down that the top of the hole was only a little pinprick of light. The razor was getting dull and he had started clawing at the stuff with his hands. All of his fingers were bleeding, the deeper he went the harder the material became. He had wondered why none of the strange matter, screw it he was just gonna call it dirt, fell on top of him and clogged the tunnel. But when he had looked back he saw all the excess 'dirt' was floating back up to the surface. Sam resumed digging and mumbled to himself. "Great, magical flying dirt. That's crazy, even for you." He was tired of this. The dirt was only becoming more solid, and he didn't even know how this was supposed to help him. Sam was just about to give up when a crack of light filtered through where he digging. Scrabbling at the rock hard ground, Sam clawed the dirt away and flung it behind him. More light peeked through the crack and he began punching the ground, grunting as his fists started to bleed. Suddenly there was the sound of something shattering and he was blinded by white light.

"He's waking up, Dean, his eyes are opening." Sam blinked owlishly and then squinted up at Bobby and Dean. He was in the back of a car, lying on his back. Groaning he rolled onto his side and started to push himself up.

"Just take it easy now, Sam." Dean warned. He started to cough violently, but no one rushed to help him. "They think I'm trying to trick them, I must have done something." He coughed until his face was beet red and he could barely breath. Then Sam felt something shift inside of him and come loose. He hacked it up. A bloody chunk of meat that looked like a piece of his throat. It was something else though, something that wasn't him, something evil. Sam spat out some blood and crawled out of the car. Cool rain drops splattered on his face as he teetered unsteadily. He looked at Bobby and Dean, who both stood warily ready to either fight or help. He coughed up some blood and slime and dragged a sleeve across his mouth.

"Let's go." He said hoarsely and started towards the mansion. Once they finally believed that Sam wasn't going to attack them Dean and Bobby joined him. Dean touched his younger brother's arm lightly.

"Where did you go?" He asked. Sam looked at him with eyes that were half mad with some unknown terror filled hell.

"I don't know, but you need to watch out for me, because I haven't completely come back yet." Dean nodded and swallowed past the lump in his throat.

"I'll always watch out for you, Sammy." Sam smiled weakly and opened his mouth with the usual comeback, but Dean beat him to it. "Bitch."

"Jerk."

"Idjits."

Castiel was not omnipotent, much to his chagrin, but he knew the Winchester's were planning something. They'd be suicidal to try and stop him, but nonetheless he had a feeling. When he had slowly disemboweled that false god Olivia she had stubbornly refused to tell him anything about the Winchester's plan. That had been an interesting afternoon he decided, as he brushed pieces of her entrails off his coat. Thinking back to it he could have just ripped the information he wanted from her mind and then killed her with a snap of his fingers. But there was something about the slow way he had killed her that he found immensely satisfying. Watching her taste her own intestines and then choking her with them had sated a hunger within him. A hunger that he convinced himself he was in control of and not the other way around. A hunger that was caused by all the evil, malicious souls he now contained. Somewhere, beneath all the monsters of purgatory where the old Cas resided, he wished the Winchesters would try to stop him, and he hoped to God they would succeed.

At twenty minutes to midnight Castiel appeared in the abandoned mansion. He took one purposeful step and then teetered over like tall tree. Covered in the blood of a dozen innocents Castiel felt more than guilt weighing him down. Clawing at his insides screaming to get out, the monsters raged throughout his body, but there was something older behind them, something even more sinister and powerful. Castiel reflected on the past week as blood slowly dribbled out of his mouth. He never meant for things to go so wrong, but it was hard- harder than he thought- to keep an objective opinion when administering justice. It was even harder when so many dark souls inside of him were screaming for blood. Grimly Cas realized that Sam and Dean had been right all along, but he couldn't go to them now, after what he'd done to Sam they would never help him except to kill him. Cas stood up slowly and decided that it was too late to go back now. The Winchesters, his friends, would never forgive him. He started drawing the symbol on a wall to open the door to purgatory. Somewhere deep down Castiel realized that he would destroy this world, but that was okay nothing really mattered anymore.

Up on the balcony, overlooking the main hall, Sam and Dean and Bobby watched as Castiel struggled to stand and then began to draw the symbol. "You got the road flair?" Bobby whispered. Dean pulled it out in answer. The plan was to wait till Cas stepped into the large circle of holy oil drawn on the floor and then drop the road flair down to light it. They had used all the oil in the huge circle and prayed to God that it would be worth Sam's sanity. As the three hunters watched from above Dean swore quietly.

"Dammit. No, no, no, come on. He's in the wrong spot." Dean gestured at the angel as he moved about the wall drawing the complex symbols. There hadn't been enough oil to encircle the entire room, and of course Cas had picked the blind spot. Plan B started as Bobby pulled the colt out of his jacket and trained it on Cas. He would step out from hiding and try to lure the angel into the circle. It was risky, quit possibly it would get the old man killed and Dean touched his arm and mouthed. "Be careful." Bobby stepped out from behind the bureau they had been hiding behind and started to walk down the stairs. "Castiel!" He called out loudly. The angel's head turned smoothly from his work and took in the old hunter with a gun trained on him with no fear or surprise on his face. Bobby stopped at the foot of the stairs. "Step away from the symbol Cas."

"Do you think that gun can stop me, god?" The old hunter shrugged and cocked the weapon.

"Do you want to find out." Castiel smiled.

"You were a fine hunter Bobby, but here you are outmatched. I will kill you." Bobby refused to yield and Castiel shook his head. "Very well." With a snap of his fingers Bobby was lifted a few feet of the air and started choking. Neither of them wanting to watch their friend die Sam and Dean jumped out and rushed down the stairs. Sam got down the stairs first and called out loudly.

"Cas! Hey Cas!" Castiel looked at the young Winchester with no surprise on his face.

"Sam. So good to see you. And Dean. Your here to try and stop me too. That didn't work out very well for Bobby." Dean reached out to Bobby and, grabbing his feet, tried to pull him down. The old hunter was slowly turning blue as he struggled to breath. But Sam didn't pay any attention to Bobby, he focused on Cas.

"I make an appeal to the souls inside of this vessel." Castiel's eyes widened.

"What are you doing, Sam?" Castiel demanded.

"What you told me to do. You are far from your home and cruelly bound in a vessel that cannot contain you. When this vessel explodes you will be destroyed with it. There's only one way you can survive this, go back to purgatory." Castiel stood motionless. Suddenly his head snapped back and he screamed. Sam rushed forward to steady him and the angel moaned. Bobby fell to the ground and Dean caught him as he coughed and gasped for breath.

"That was smart Sam. I can barely control them now. But this is a futile attempt to stop me and I'll-" He moaned as Sam pulled him forward a few steps and then ran to the corner of the room, leaving Cas standing in the middle. Dean got the idea and lit the road flair and dropped it on the floor. Castiel was trapped in a ring of holy fire. Then he helped Bobby halfway up the stairs to recover and Sam stepped around the fire to join them.

"Hey, you okay?" Bobby nodded and continued to regain his breath.

"How did you know to do that?" Dean asked, but Sam just shook his head.

"Cas told me. Its too complicated to explain now, but deep down he really wanted to be stopped."

"Well he's about to get his wish." Bobby said a little hoarsely as he stood up and started the incantation. Sam and Dean stepped back as the door to purgatory opened in the wall, sucking away pieces of plaster and stone. Castiel was breathing heavily now and he looked back at Sam and Dean.

"I'm sorry." He turned back to face the portal and let loose a horrible scream as all the souls were ripped from his body. They flew out of him in a yellow and red stream of light and power. When it was finally over Castiel fell to the ground and didn't move. The portal closed and the three hunters stood there breathless and all thinking the same thing; Could it really be over? Bobby knelt down to check for a pulse and looked up grimly.

"I don't think-" Suddenly a rough coughing interrupted the death sentence, and every one's eyes were on Castiel.

"That was unpleasant." He said as they helped him up. They all laughed nervously and watched as Castiel's vessel healed itself.

"You sure your okay?" Dean asked. Castiel nodded.

"I will be um human for a while, but I don't think there was any lasting damage." Dean nodded.

"Well great, that's good." Sam and Bobby knew what was coming. Dean reared back for the swing and punched the angel right in the mouth. Instead of breaking his hand like normal, Castiel went out like a light. Sam smiled.

"He should have seen that coming." Dean nodded and flexed his hand.

"Yeah he really should have." Bobby rolled his eyes.

"Come on ya idjits, let's pack up and go home. You can carry the baby." He said to Dean and went outside to the car. Sam helped his brother carry Castiel out and asked.

"Your okay with this." He nodded to the knocked out angel. Dean sighed loudly.

"Honestly no, but all things considered that turned out better than any of us could hope, and I think I will be eventually." They went out the front door and carefully carried the fallen angel down the stairs. "What about you?" Dean asked. "I mean your the one he screwed with the most." Sam smiled.

"I'm far from okay, but I think I will be."

"You know, you saved our asses back there." Sam smiled.

"Yeah, I know." Dean grunted as they shoved Cas into the the car. Once they got him into the car the brothers stood there awkwardly.

"I'm sorry about that, you know the strait jacket." Sam shrugged.

"You did what you had to man, I would of done the same thing." Dean raised his eyebrows and asked incredulously.

"You would?" Sam nodded.

"Sure, I was out of control and violent." Dean smirked.

"Who are you and what have you done with my brother." Sam laughed.

"Could you stop being such and ass and let this be a happy ending." Dean laughed as well.

"A happy ending, when did we last see one of those? All we need is a sunset to ride into." Suddenly a car horn interrupted there musings and Bobby called from the drivers seat.

"Will you two stop gabbing like to ladies at a picnic and get in all ready!" The brothers laughed and got in the car. There was no sunset, but it certainly was a happy ending.

Well there it is and I hoped you liked it. Kinda figured they deserved a happy ending. Below you will find a little button that can have a huge impact on a writer's life. That's right its the review button! So pretty please with cherries on top tell me what you think!