AUTHOR'S NOTES: Think of this as the recap at the start of the season finales of SPN. Since there's a lot going on in this fan fiction and not everyone wants to re-read whole stories, I decided to pull some of the more important bits from 'Family Ties' and 'And Fi Makes Three'. Each scene is seperated by a page-break line, FYI.
So que up your favorite 'Supernatural' songs and Carry On, My Wayward Son!
SUPERNATURAL: And Fi Makes Three
The Road So Far
"Who is Fiona Brendon?" Ziva asked, the name not ringing a bell from any of their cases.
McGee went back over to his own computer and typed the name into the search engine, pulling her stats up onto the large plasma screen.
"Very nice," Tony replied, admiring the woman's picture.
"Fiona Brendon," McGee reported. "Currently a Marine Corps Staff Sergeant."
"Currently?" Ziva repeated, slightly puzzled.
"Due to be promoted tomorrow at 11am," McGee replied.
"But what's her connection to Gibbs?" Tony wondered, looking at the plasma screen.
McGee continued to look through Fiona's records and finally, his eyebrows raised a bit. "How about this for a connection?" With a few deft keystrokes, he brought up a photo taken in Kuwait. Zooming in on the photo, he looked at Tony and Ziva.
"That's Gibbs," Ziva said pointing to a younger-looking Leroy Jethro Gibbs on the left.
"So who are the other two?" Tony asked, curious.
"Guy on the right is James Brendon," McGee replied. "And in the middle is John Winchester. The three were best friends years ago."
"Fiver?" Gibbs asked, looking curious at the nickname.
But instead of smiling, Fiona looked saddened as she looked at Dean and Sam before turning to Gibbs. "You remember when Dad and John dropped us all off at your place when Kelly was 7?"
Gibbs remembered that time well as it was right after James Brendan had saved him from a vampire nest. "I remember," Gibbs replied, simply.
"Well, Kelly wanted to read the book 'Watership Down'," Fiona went on. "And Dean, Sam and I started reading it with her and we all did voices for the characters."
"After that," Sam said, picking up the story. "Kelly called me 'Hazel' and Dean 'Bigwig'."
"And I got stuck with 'Fiver'," Fiona finished.
There was something building deep within Sam as he kissed every inch of Fiona's skin, his big, rough, hands caressing her body with surprising tenderness. He could almost feel whatever it was burning hot with a warmth that seemed to touch his very soul, shining light on the darkness that he knew he carried deep inside him. Sam needed this more than anything else in the world, the addiction even stronger than the pull of demon blood.
Fiona had seen the darkness in Sam's eyes the other day. A darkness she'd seemed almost afraid of, most likely brought on from hunting without Dean…
Or was it? Fiona couldn't really care at the moment as she felt wave after wave of bliss wash over her, wiping away the horrible memories of Iraq and the reality of her father's murder.
This was what made life worth living, she knew as Sam kissed her bare hips. And this is what she would hold onto forever, apocalypse or not.
Fiona was surprised when she found Ziva sitting in the living room of her townhouse. "Thought you'd be checking in at NCIS," Fiona replied, tossing her jacket onto a chair.
"I wanted to talk to you first," Ziva replied, following Fiona into the kitchen and accepting the beer she offered before sitting at the kitchen counter. After a moment, she said, "On the way back from Pamela's house I had time to do some thinking. About what you and the Winchesters do and everything that has happened." Meeting Fiona's eyes, she added, "I think I should come with you. I think that being a hunter is better use for my abilities than being a federal agent or a Mossad officer."
Fiona considered that for a moment as she sipped her beer. But after a while, she said, "Ziva… Until I was 18, hunting was my whole life. I never really knew anything else. And then I became a Marine and the idea of going back to hunting seemed unreal." Shrugging, she went on. "My point is… the only thing I remember ever being able to really hold onto was my family. Ziva, you would make a great hunter. Anyone would be a fool if they didn't recognize that."
Setting her beer down she added, "But if you have something—anything—to hold onto here… then you should stay. This life doesn't allow for putting down roots, Ziva. I'm sorry. And if you come with Sam, Dean, and I… you'll lose what you have here."
Dean didn't care what Tessa made of his confession as he went on. "The pain of losing my father and Sammy… I just… I wish I had gone with you for good."
Tessa thought about that for a moment and then asked, "What about Fiona?"
Narrowing his eyes at the reaper, Dean asked, "What about her?"
Tessa's smile was sly as she went on. "You can't tell me you haven't been just a little happy about being with her again."
Dean thought about that for a while and finally shook his head. "No," he admitted. "No, I can't say that." Thinking about Fi, he added, "It's just… when I'm around her, part of me feels like I'm her big brother, too. But also…" He felt just a little embarrassed admitting it. "It's like she's the older sibling and when I'm with her I know that she's going to help make everything okay again."
"You think I want to do this?" Sam asked, going to sit on his bed. "This is the last thing I want." Not to mention the fact that he'd promised Fiona that he'd stopped the demon blood for good. "But I need to be strong enough. I need to be able to save Dean and Fi."
"Bobby thinks we should let Sam out of the panic room," Dean snapped, irritably, his tone and stance making it clear that it was not an option while Sam was detoxing.
"Hell, no!" Fiona said, shocked that it was even a question. Looking at Bobby, she asked, "Why the hell would you even think of suggesting that?"
"Look," Bobby replied with a defensive tone. "Sam can kill demons. We're on countdown to the apocalypse and this isn't the best time to have our best weapon locked up!" Looking from Fiona to Dean, he sighed. "Look, I love Sam like he's my own son. I do. But maybe he's here instead of being on the battlefield because we love him too much."
Dean wished with all his heart that he could trade places with his brother. He'd even go back to Hell if it meant he could save his brother's soul. "Sam, Cas told me that I can't save you," Dean admitted. "I don't know what he was talking about but what I do know is that for a while, I saw that Fi meant more to you than Ruby. She meant more than me." He tried not to actually cry in front of Sam as he said, "So you've got to do this, man. Because when this is all over… I want to see the two of you together. I want you and Fi to get married, have kids. Let me and Bobby worry about the apocalypse and Lilith. You don't belong in this, Sam."
"Dean, I am the only one who can stop Lilith," Sam insisted.
"Why?" Dean asked, wanting to slap Sam for not listening. "Because some demon bitch says you are? Guess what? I've had angels telling me that I'm the only one who can stop this. For all we know, this is just some giant power play that neither of us can win."
After nearly half an hour of calling, the trenchcoat-clad angel appeared, looking a trifle perplexed at who had summoned him. "Fiona," he said in greeting.
"I'm only going to say this once," Fiona said, brusquely. "Whatever plans you halo-guys have for Sam and Dean, it ends now."
"With all due respect," Castiel said, his tone even. "You do not have the power or authority to dictate—"
But Fiona wouldn't let him finish. She grabbed the angel by the lapels and slammed him into the nearest car. "What I have are two friends who are in no shape to take down Lilith. So either you help me do it, or you find me someone who can."
"You do not have the means or the strength to defeat Lilith," Castiel replied in his usual monotone.
"Because I don't have demon blood in me?" Fiona said, barely controlling her anger. "Well, then let's move on to Plan B!"
When Fiona let him go, Cas cocked his head, studying her intently. "You would give your life to spare the Winchesters?"
"What, you angels don't believe in self-sacrifice?" Fiona said, frowning. "Thought you guys were all about loyalty."
Cas didn't say anything for a moment as he considered what Fiona was asking of him. She would go face Lilith and likely meet her death. "It's not that simple," he said, trying to make Fi understand. "You can not kill Lilith."
"You give me one good reason why I can't," Fiona said, coldly. "And I'm not talking about the company line. I'm not talking about how I don't have Sam's powers."
"I can't help you get to Lilith," Castiel replied, feeling ashamed that he was taking the coward's way out. Seeing the icy fire and anger in Fiona's eyes, he sighed, praying for forgiveness. "But I know who can."
"Thought we should have a little chat," Zachariah explained, and while he was smiling, there was a look in the angel's eyes that clearly stated that he wanted to rip Dean limb from limb.
"Yeah?" Dean asked, looking around the room. "What about?"
"Your friend, Fiona, has thrown quite a wrench in the works," Zachariah explained, watching the hunter's every move. "You see, tomorrow night—midnight—Lilith is due to break the final seal. Of course, it's not so much about timing as it is… location, location, location."
"Castiel!" Zachariah said, angrily. "Do you mind explaining just what the hell you're doing?"
But even as the senior angel spoke, Castiel had finished the sigil and pressed a bloody hand against it, vaporizing his superior. Turning to Dean, he said, "You have to get to Sam and Fiona now."
"What, at the convent?" Dean said, still surprised by the angel's actions.
Castiel nodded. "I can't go. Fiona has apparently ensured that she will be alone to confront Lilith."
"So she ganks Lilith before the bitch can break the final seal," Dean said, breathlessly. "Isn't that a good thing?"
"Lilith is the final seal!" Castiel replied. "She dies, the end begins."
A look of horror spread over Dean's face and he said, "Then what are you waiting for?"
Castiel touched Dean's forehead with two fingers and once the young hunter was gone, he waited for the wrath of heaven to descend upon him.
Inside the room, Fi ignored her friends' voices as she stared at Lilith. "Just tell me why you killed my mother."
"Oh, don't you remember?" Lilith said in a mocking tone. "You were in the car, too. Both of you were supposed to die."
Lowering her knife, Fiona frowned as she said, "Why would you get my mother pregnant just to kill her and me?"
"Because after you were born," Lilith replied, watching Fi's every move, waiting for the right moment to escape and teach the young hunter a lesson she wouldn't soon forget. "—we found out that you would be the wrench in our plans. So you had to go."
Lilith/Fi raised a hand and Ellen and Bobby went flying back out into the hallway, the chamber doors slamming shut behind them. With another gesture, Dean was pinned against the wall, the knife dropping to the floor. "Get out of her, you bitch!"
"Aww," Lilith said, walking up to Dean and slowly tracing the outline of his face with one hand. "What's the matter, Dean? Don't you like me anymore?" Sensing Sam moving to attack her from behind, with a flick of her wrist, he, too, was pinned to the wall. "You know, Fiona's really disappointed you two came here," she went on, looking from Dean to Sam. "I mean, she knows Dean's too weak and broken to kill me and Sam, well… Fiona would do anything to keep your precious soul intact."
"Fiver, fight her!" Sam said, trying to reach Fiona somewhere.
Fiona plunged the knife into her gut and felt Lilith's existence fade from her own as she fell to the ground, blood pooling out of her from the knife wound.
Dean couldn't move, couldn't breathe. Beside him, Sam was crying, silent tears falling down his cheeks.
"Sam! Dean!" Bobby said as he and Ellen burst into the room. They looked at the still form of Fiona and then at the Winchesters.
It was then that Ellen noticed the blood from Fiona twisting and winding in a circle. "We gotta get out of here, now!" she said, quickly.
Bobby made for the door and Sam picked up Fiona in his arms while Dean grabbed the poor girl Lilith had been possessing. When Sam stopped dead, Dean gave his brother an urgent look. "Sammy, come on!"
But Sam looked down at Fiona with a mixture of relief and disbelief. "She's alive."
"What?" Sam said, almost dropping the other girl out of shock.
"Fi's still alive!" Sam said, excited.
"Then let's make sure she stays that way," Bobby said, urgently, leading the others out of the convent.
"Oh, by the way?" Willow asked as she headed for the door. "How's Fiona doing? I mean getting stabbed can't be fun."
It took a moment for the Winchesters to realize what was going on but before they could react, the teenager knocked both of them across the room.
Sam groaned as he looked up at Willow as she approached them. "It was supposed to be you, Sam," she said, sounding disappointed. "You were the one who was supposed to set Lucifer free."
"Ruby," Sam groaned.
"That's right, honey," Ruby said with a smile as she broke the Devil's Trap by the door, allowing three other demons to enter, two of whom were holding a struggling Bobby. "Now, we found your friend here when we went to finish with Fiona."
One of the other demons, a girl with black hair, raised a hand and flung the brothers against a wall before she gave them a smile. "Hey, boys. Long time, no see."
"Meg?" Dean groaned. "Great. Now that's two hell-bitches we have to kill."
"Oh, I don't think so," Meg replied with a sadistic look. "You're going to be way too distracted to deal with us," she added as she and Ruby each put an arm around the other's shoulders.
After a moment, Ruby pulled away from Meg and pulled out a gun and aimed it at Bobby, firing one shot into both of the man's knees.
Once the Winchesters were released, they ignored the other demons who quickly smoked out, instead grabbing Bobby and hauling him up and out of the hotel room.
Zachariah somehow managed to avoid rolling his eyes as he wondered how Sam and Dean Winchester had managed to live this long. "It's you, chucklehead," he directed at Dean with an obvious tone of voice. "You're the Michael Sword."
"What do you mean, I'm the Sword?" Dean asked, still not catching on.
"You're Michael's weapon," Zachariah explained. "Or, rather his receptacle."
"I'm a vessel?" Dean said, making sure he was hearing this properly.
"You're the vessel," the angel, specified. "Michael's vessel."
Zachariah thought for a moment before saying, "How about this? Your friends—Bobby Singer and Fiona Brendon—we know they're gravely injured. Say 'yes' and we'll heal them. Say 'no', Fiona will never walk again, and Bobby might end up losing one—if not both—of his legs."
The words hit Dean like a ton of bricks and for a moment, he thought about the offer. Fiona would be fine and good as new. Bobby would be healed from the gunshot wounds to his knees… But would they forgive him from making the deal?
Sam could see the conflict in his brother's eyes and he wanted so very much to tell Dean to take the offer. Sure, the angels were world-class dicks, but family had always counted above all else.
"No," Dean said, resolutely, even though it killed him to say it. He knew what he was condemning Fiona and Bobby to, but it was his choice.
"What if we win?" Dean asked. Seeing the looks from the others, he kept going. "I'm serious. I mean, screw the angels and the demons and their crap apocalypse. Hell, they wanna fight a war? They can find their own planet. This one's ours, and I say they get the hell off it. We take 'em all on. We kill the Devil, hell we even kill Michael if we have to. But we do it our own damn selves."
Once outside the hospital, Sam looked over at Dean as they headed for the Impala. "You know, I was thinking, Dean," he said after a while. "Maybe we could go after the Colt."
"Why?" Dean asked, not sure why his brother was bringing it up. "What difference would that make?"
"Maybe we could use it on Lucifer," Sam replied, going with the thought. "I mean, you said back there-"
"I just said a bunch of crap for Bobby's benefit," Dean cut in. "I mean, I'll fight. I'll fight to the last man, but let's at least be honest. We don't stand a snowball's chance, and you know that." He hated making the confession and he could see in Sam's eyes that he didn't understand why the idea was getting shot down. "Look, Fi and Bobby? This isn't like a broken arm or a couple busted ribs, okay? They're down for the count. All they're hanging onto right now is the idea that we can pull this off."
Ziva chuckled softly before ordering a mojito. When her drink arrived, she sipped it before turning to face Dean. "When was the last time you did anything to relax?"
Dean just shook his head. In truth, he felt run down and at the same time, he felt something building up inside that needed to be let loose. He needed a good bar brawl, or some big fight with some sort of monster… But thinking of the woman next to him, he figured a wild, passionate night with a gorgeous woman would also do the trick.
The two finished their drinks and headed back to the townhouse and before Dean could even lose his jacket, Ziva had grabbed him and pushed him against the wall, crushing her lips against his.
Meeting Dean at the top of the stairs, Sam noticed the look on his brother's face. It was that sly smile Dean always wore when he caught his little brother watching porn or flirting with an attractive waitress at a diner. "What?" Sam asked, frowning.
"Nothing, Sammy," Dean said a little too quickly.
Sam knew his brother only too well and glared when he realized what Dean was grinning about. "You were listening, weren't you?"
"I'm impressed, Sammy," Dean said as the two headed outside and towards the sporting goods store in town.
"Impressed with what?" Sam asked, not sure if he wanted to hear this.
Dean stopped, licking his lips and looking around as he thought of how to phrase the thought. Looking at Sam, he said, "That the two of you aren't giving up."
"Giving up what?" Sam asked, still not sure he was understanding.
"I read the literature, dude," Dean clarified, even though the combined idea of 'Fiona' and 'sex' in the same sentence still weirded him out. "I mean, yeah, Fi can still have sex, but it's not like she'd get anything out of it, you know?"
"Dude!" Sam said, his expression equal parts disbelief and disgust. "I'm not talking about my sex life with you!"
"I'm not asking you to," Dean snapped back. Biting his lower lip as he ran a hand over his face, he sighed and said, "But after… you know… I was worried that if you and Fi couldn't have sex it might kill the relationship."
"You don't have to have sex to have a lasting relationship with someone," Sam countered.
(a/n: This bit is from a flashback scene. FYI)
"Why Bigwig?" Dean asked, frowning a bit.
"Because he's strong and tough, and he looks out for the other rabbits," Kelly explained. "And Sammy can be Hazel because he's really smart and really brave."
Fiona looked at the others, feeling just the slightest bit left out.
But Kelly seemed to know that and she beamed as she said, "Fi, you're Fiver."
"Why does Fi get to be Fiver?" Sammy asked, frowning.
"Because none of the other rabbits would have made it without Fiver," Dean replied, simply, giving the girl that was his best friend a smile.
Sam couldn't sleep.
He wished he could, and even though he tried everything he could, sleep wouldn't come. It was as if something or someone was purposely keeping him awake.
"Hello, Sam." Castiel's appearance had been all but silent and he studied Sam intently. "We need to talk."
"About what?" Sam replied, keeping his voice down so he didn't wake Jo or Fiona who were sharing one of the two queen sized beds.
"You need to know, Sam. The whole truth," Cas replied, winging himself and Sam to a field far away from the motel.
"The truth about what?" Sam asked, still confused.
"You are Lucifer's true vessel," Castiel said, succinctly.
"No," Sam said, quickly, not wanting to believe it. "No, that can't be—" Trying not to breakdown, he shook his head. "No, that's not possible."
Castiel looked sincerely regretful as he said, "I wish I could tell you otherwise."
"There has to be another way!" Sam said, quickly, trying not to think about the fact that he was the devil's chosen meat suit.
"There's only one other alternative," Castiel went on. "Fiona gave you her blood to save your life. It would be far from ideal, but—"
"'But' what?" Sam snapped, not believing what he was hearing. "So my choices are either say 'yes' to Lucifer or let Fiona do it? Why are you telling me this?"
Castiel sighed and waited until Sam calmed down slightly before explaining. "Fiona was never meant to survive. Lilith killed her mother. She meant to kill Fiona as well, but somehow Fiona survived. She is a chosen vessel, Sam. Whether it's for Lucifer or… or for you."
By now Sam was completely out of his element and he wished the angel would start making sense.
"Fiona is meant to save your soul, Sam," Cas concluded. "How she will do it is uncertain."
Loki sat down on the swing and after a moment, said, "Let me be forward here—I can't stop thinking about you. And I know that you're a hunter and killing me is high on your list, but we could have some fun first."
Fiona considered the Trickster for a moment before asking, "So… what? This is your way of confessing that you have a crush on me or something?"
"Guilty," Loki replied with a devilish grin and a shrug. "So what do you say?"
Fiona was quiet for a while before she finally asked, "Can you give me my legs back?"
Loki's smile faded, and he gave Fi a regretful look. "Not in my bag of tricks, I'm afraid."
"You know, this was supposed to have a different ending," The Trickster said, looking at the trio with newfound respect as he conjured Fiona's wheelchair. Once she was sitting down, he went on as he paced slightly. "I had this whole big speech planned about you two—" he pointed to the Winchesters. "—accepting your roles in the apocalypse."
"Why would you want that?" Dean asked, a trifle confused.
"Because I didn't understand then what I do now," Loki replied. "So… Let's start over, shall we? Hi, I'm Gabriel."
"Gabriel the archangel?" Fiona asked, floored by the sudden revelation.
"That's the one," Gabriel said with a shrug. "And as I said before—I'm tossing out the whole speech about accepting destiny. Screw destiny!" Looking at the group, he went on. "Hell… Dean, your father was supposed to be the one to break the first Seal. Sam, you were supposed to break the last one. And Fiona… well, honey, you're not supposed to be here at all."
Before Sam and Dean could ask about that, Fiona just said, "It's a long story that I'll tell you later."
"So what do you want from us?" Sam asked, still a trifle confused on the situation.
"A promise," Gabriel replied. "Well, two promises, actually. One—you end this your way. Forget the other angels telling you the only way out is by saying 'yes'. You find another way, you take it."
"Okay," Dean agreed. "What's number two?"
Gabriel smiled at Sam and Fiona and then at Dean. "Promise that you won't forget what's really important."
"So this more than just sex to you?" Ziva wanted to know. She was hoping, certainly, but she'd never been lucky when it came to love and what she had with Dean Winchester always felt too good to be true.
Dean couldn't say the words 'I love you' but Ziva seemed to understand. And after a while, he finally said, "It's a lot more."
Ziva took the beer she was offered and twisted the top off, throwing it away before taking a drink. After hearing about Lisa Braeden earlier, the question had been building in her mind. Waiting until Dean was looking at her, Ziva asked, "When all this is over… When you have a chance to settle down, start a family… Do you picture yourself with Lisa or me?"
Dean didn't say anything as he lay on the Impala's hood next to Ziva. After taking a swig of his beer, he replied, "Two years ago I wanted nothing more than to have a normal life with Lisa. But after everything that's happened…" Turning to Ziva, he added, "After meeting you… I can't imagine being with anyone else."
"Well, well, well…" A smooth English voice said from behind Gibbs. As Gibbs turned, the man smiled as he went on. "Leroy Jethro Gibbs. The legend himself. This really is an honor, mate. So please… What can I do for you?"
"You've heard of me?" Gibbs asked, skeptically. He kept his eyes on the demon before him, not worrying when the others would finish their parts in this. He trusted the members of his team and the other hunters to get things done and be ready to back him up when he needed them to.
Crowley smiled as he watched Gibbs. It was true that the United States Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant was a legend—even to demons. And it had more to do with the fact that it was the one soul that every crossroads demon longed to collect—rather like a rare one-of-a-kind baseball card. But Gibbs had never made a deal until now and Crowley wondered what had changed.
"I've heard of you," the crossroads demon replied, smoothly. "In fact, I have been waiting for this moment for a very long time."
"We're talking about a suicide mission," Dean pressed as he looked at the three NCIS agents. It wasn't as though he couldn't understand the loyalty. He did, but this was more than that. Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Ziva David, and Anthony DiNozzo were basically saying that they were willing to die to help Sam, Dean, and Fiona achieve their goal of killing Lucifer.
"Yeah, we've done a few of those," Tony replied, determinedly. When Dean looked ready to argue, Tony went on. "You're talking a one-in-a-million chance to save everyone and everything we've ever cared about." Looking at Ziva and Gibbs as he thought about Abby and McGee, Tony met Dean's eyes and said, "Sometimes we save a couple thousand people. You're asking us to walk away from saving millions. Call me crazy, but that sounds like something worth laying down your life for."
Gibbs was quiet, but as he looked at Ziva, he said, "All it takes for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing. You and Sam have proved that. And I couldn't call myself a Marine if I backed down from a chance to defend those I care about."
Looking upward, Bobby sighed and hoped God was in a listening mood. "You better bring them back safe," he prayed, not caring how he sounded. "You better make sure they all come back. I couldn't take it if Sam and Dean bite it, and you know that. And Ellen…" Thinking of the bullet in his shirt pocket, he made a promise then and there.
The second Ellen stepped foot in the house again, he was going to put that ring on her finger.
If she didn't come back… he'd put the bullet in his heart.
"You know…" Lucifer mused as he resumed his shoveling, glancing at Sam periodically. "I don't suppose you'd just say 'yes' here and now? End this whole tiresome discussion? That's crazy, right?"
"It's never gonna happen," Sam promised as he straightened up, looking defiant.
"Oh I dunno, Sam. I think it will," Lucifer said, going back to his work. "I think it'll happen soon. Within six months. And I think it'll happen… in Detroit." After a moment, however, he shrugged. "Of course, there's always that lovely girlfriend of yours. I bet if I make her the right offer, she'd say 'yes'."
"You go anywhere near Fiona," Sam promised. "—and I will kill you myself! You understand me? I will rip your heart out!"
But instead of being intimidated, Lucifer seemed amused. "That's good, Sam," he said with a smile as he kept shoveling the dirt into the open grave. "You keep fanning that fire in your belly. All that pent-up rage? I'm going to need it."
"Bobby?" Ellen said, surprised that he had come out here just to check on her and Jo.
But Bobby limped over to her, pulling out a small box. "Ellen, I…" He let out a laugh as the whole speech he'd rehearsed on the plane ride down fled his mind. But finally he said, "I know this would be more romantic elsewhere and if I could actually kneel, but…" He opened the box and gave Ellen a second to understand. "Ellen Elizabeth Harvelle… Will you marry me?"
Ellen was speechless, but the tears in her eyes and the smile on her face was answer enough.
Looking at Ducky as though he was oblivious, Fiona said, "I started the Apocalypse. The world is going to end because of me."
But instead of being judgmental, Ducky was as kind and supportive as always. "How many lives have you saved, Fiona? How many people are walking around because you were there? And how many could have been lost if you were gone?"
"Okay, why would Lucifer be after me?" Fiona asked, still not sure what was going on. "What, because I'm Sam's girlfriend?"
Cas caught looks from the others, but ignored them and replied, "When you gave your blood to save Sam, it made you a potential vessel for Lucifer. It wouldn't be the most ideal, but with Sam refusing, it may become his only option."
"Then why didn't you stop it?" Anna asked, still not understanding. How could the three go back and still let everything unfold?
"Because all the good Sam and I have done… everyone we've saved—everyone Fi's saved—that was all be erased. "So, yeah. We didn't do anything. Cause I figure it's better going out knowing that you did something good."
Anna snatched the liquor bottle from Sam who had been about to take a sip and took an extra long drink. "You guys are freakin' idiots," she grumbled, handing the bottle to Gabriel.
"Welcome to Team Free Will," Dean said with a smile as he took another sip from the bottle.
"'Team Free Will'?" Sam repeated, looking at Dean with a raised brow.
"Yep," Dean confirmed, looking at the group and pointing to each in turn. "One ex-blood junkie, a drop-out with 6 bucks to his name, a paralyzed Marine, two rebel angels, and an archangel turned trickster. Awesome."
Sam paused a moment and finally pulled the jewelry box out and slid it across the table to Fiona who picked it up, pulling the wrapping paper off and opened it, revealing the silver ring inside. "It's a Claddaugh ring," Sam explained. "It means—"
"I know," Fi said, quickly, pulling the ring out and looking at the two hands holding the crowned heart. Looking up at Sam, she smiled. "I love it."
Sam took the ring and Fiona's left hand, sliding the ring onto her finger, the heart pointing towards her. "I'll always be yours," Sam promised, still holding Fi's hand. "And only yours."
After giving the rebel angel the cliff's notes version of what was going on, Castiel studied the hearts in question. "You're right, Sam," Cas reported, putting the cold organ back in the container. "These are angelic marks. I imagine you'd find similar marks on the other couples' hearts as well." Turning to look at Sam and Dean, Cas frowned and without warning, he put his hands over the Winchesters' hearts.
"Whoa, dude!" Dean said, backing away, quickly. "Personal space, man. I know it's Valentine's Day and all, but come on!"
"You and Sam are also marked," Castiel explained, looking a bit surprised at that.
"Wait, what?" Sam said, more than a little shocked at the news. "Marked with what? I mean, what do these symbols mean, anyway?"
"They're marks of union," Castiel clarified, indicating the two disembodied hearts. "This man and woman were intended to mate."
"Wait a second," Dean said, the original problem forgotten for the moment. "What the hell do you mean Heaven wanted us together?" he asked, indicating himself and Ziva.
Cupid still looked nervous, but when he saw that Castiel had a firm hold on Ziva, he said, "You and Ziva are soul mates. Two people so perfectly matched that they'd find themselves through anything." Looking at Sam and Fiona, he added, "And you two—Your destinies have been intertwined for millennia."
"Come again?" Dean questioned, looking from his best friend to his brother.
Anna shot a glare at Gabriel who was still stuffing his face with candy before looking back at Dean and Sam. "Famine's in town."
"Famine?" Sam repeated, feeling his stomach sink. "The Horseman?"
When Fiona woke up in the back of the Impala late that night, she thought at first she was dreaming. Especially when she realized that she feel and move her legs again. She got out of the car and just stood for a few seconds, reveling in the moment.
"I asked Dean why Gabriel or Cas didn't do that right away," Anna said, walking into view. When Fi looked confused, Anna smiled. "Healing you… and Bobby."
"I guess I got used to it," Fiona replied, shrugging, as she walked around the Impala. "I felt like it was my punishment for letting Lucifer out."
Anna could understand Fiona's feelings. But she also knew that guilt could sometimes confuse things. "I want to help, Fiona."
As Kelly gave her friends their nicknames, Dean thought about how strange it had been that Sam was nicknamed 'Hazel'. But maybe it wasn't so strange. Hazel hadn't been the strongest, but he had the heart. He risked his life over and over for the sake of his brother and the other rabbits.
"Trying to work on getting the angelic factions to put aside their differences, mostly," Celeste replied. "Some angels are rooting for Lucifer, some want Michael to win, and some just don't care."
Dean hadn't known that Heaven was in the midst of a war, but thinking on the pulls from Heaven and Hell, it made sense. "So what about you? Whose side are you on?"
"Glad you boys could make it," said an older looking black man, standing near a potted plant.
"Joshua, I presume," Dean said, approaching the angel.
"Celeste told me you'd be along," Joshua replied with a smile. "I know what you're doing here. Why you've come to see me." His expression turned grim as he said, "But I can't help you. God doesn't believe that you need his help."
"What?" Dean said, shocked. "How could He think that? He's the only one who can stop all of this. We need Him!"
But Joshua shook his head, a sad smile on his face. "No, you don't, Dean. All you need to stop the Apocalypse, you already have with you. You just need to see it." Noticing that Dean looked let down, the angel went on. "God saved you before. He sent you out of the danger zone when the seal broke. He got Fiona to the hospital and he brought Castiel back. And despite what both of you have done, you were both granted salvation in Heaven." With a shrug, he added. "It's more than He's intervened in a long time."
"Can we really stop it?" Sam asked, not sure he really believed they could anymore.
"Only He knows for certain," Joshua replied with another small shrug. "But I will say this—I'm rooting for you boys. And I have faith in you. As long as you stick together, I believe you can win."
Going to Dean, Cas pulled the amulet out of his pocket and held it out to the young hunter. "I don't need this anymore," he said, dejectedly, before winging out.
Dean looked down at the amulet Sam had given him for Christmas and rolled it over in his hands. It didn't matter that the amulet hadn't led Castiel to God. Somehow, the sight of it, or the weight of it against his shirt always reminded him of Sam—of his family. And to Dean, that mattered more than anything else in the world.
"Are you alright, Dean?" Ziva asked, tentatively, as she studied Dean. She knew that he wasn't okay—anyone with eyes could see that. But she wanted to hear him say it. She wanted him to confide in her. To know that he could trust her with anything.
"Not really," Dean said, hesitantly. "Ziva, you… Next to Sam… You are the best thing to ever happen to me. When I'm with you, all the crap I've seen—everything I've ever been through—it all goes away. Every hunt, I count the minutes until I can hold you in my arms again."
Ziva wasn't sure what to say to that. But she could also see that Dean was trying to build up the courage to say something, and the pain in his eyes said that it wasn't something she wanted to hear. "Dean, don't…"
Dean shook his head with a sad smile. "Things are about to get really bad. Really bad. But you, Fi, Gibbs… You don't have to worry, because I'm making arrangements for you."
"Arrangements for what?" Ziva asked, wishing she knew what was going on.
"The people I'm going to see next?" Dean said, pushing on because if he stopped, he wouldn't have the strength to do what he needed to. "They're not going to get anything from me without agreeing to a few conditions."
Ziva didn't know what to say, but she understood sacrifice. She knew that whatever Dean was about to do, he wouldn't be doing it if there was any other way. "I understand," she said, as calmly as she could, even though a part of her didn't understand at all. Reaching behind her neck, she undid the clasp on her necklace and took Dean's hand, putting the Star of David into it and closing his fingers around it.
"Ziva, I can't take this," Dean argued, not looking her in the eyes. He tried to hand the necklace back, but Ziva was firm as she pushed the hand back.
"To give you the strength to do what you need to," She insisted, waiting until Dean finally met her eyes. "And to remember me by."
Dean pocketed the Star of David before reaching up and pulling his own necklace off. Holding it out to Ziva, he said, "Hold on to this for me? Just in case I make it out of this in one piece?"
"Wait, that's Adam," Fiona said, looking at the unconscious figure lying on the couch. Looking at Bobby and Ellen, she added, "Sam and Dean's half-brother."
"Cas, what the Hell?" Dean asked, looking at the angel.
"Angels," Anna said, quickly as Castiel set two angelic blades on the desk, both of which were covered in blood. "They raised Adam. I imagine since he has John Winchester's blood."
"Wait a minute, what does his blood have to do with it?" Dean snapped, angrily.
"Damnit," Fiona said as she leaned against the wall, arms crossed. "That is freaky clever."
"What is?" Sam asked, looking at his girlfriend.
Fiona looked at Castiel who seemed to understand what she was thinking. When she got a nod in confirmation, Fi looked at Sam and Dean. "Put it this way," she said, pointing to the two. "You guys are Plan A." Gesturing to Adam, she sighed and said, "And I'd guess… Adam and I are Plan B."
Leaning against the hood of an old Ford Taurus, Dean sighed and rubbed his face with one hand. "Look, Anna… if Michael wears me to the prom, that's fine. I can deal with that. But if Lucifer takes Sam…" Straightening up, he paced as he spoke, his voice slightly choked. "I can't kill my brother. Doesn't matter what's happened or how deep Sam's in it, I can't do it."
"Not even to save the world?" Anna asked, intriguingly. There was no judgment in her voice, only curiosity.
Dean sighed again as he leaned against the Ford again, shoving his hands into the pockets of his jeans. "I've had one job my whole life—look out for Sam. What kind of brother would I be if I didn't save him?"
"Maybe the only way to save Sam is to kill him," Anna offered, even though she knew it was a waste of time. "Protect him by stopping him before he does something terrible."
"Yeah," Dean admitted, quietly. But as he fixed Anna with a look, he said, "But I still couldn't live with myself if I was the one who killed him."
Gibbs gave the younger man a slight smile and said, "I think you need to do what you think is right. I know I've made plenty of mistakes, but I think sometimes you just have to trust your gut."
Dean looked from Fiona to Adam to Sam. "Fine," he said, quietly, unable to keep the choke out of his voice. "You win, you bastard. Let them go and I'll say 'yes'."
"How do I know you're not lying?" Zachariah asked, curiously.
"Do I look like I'm lying?" Dean said, not caring that he felt on the verge of tears. All the years protecting Sam, and looking at Fiona like a big sister… But he had to protect his family. He had to do this to save them, including Adam. "Call Michael down, you son of a bitch."
"Better dial out to Lucifer, too," Fiona groaned as she somehow made it to her feet, her lower jaw covered in blood. "Because I promise you, Zachariah," she said, glaring at the angel. "You do this, saying 'yes' to Lucifer is next on my list."
As Dean drove the old 4-door pick-up truck Sam had hotwired, he felt stab after stab of guilt. He'd left Adam behind… He chose Sam and Fiona over his half brother. And he knew that Adam was far from okay and who knew what had happened to Castiel.
But looking from Sam to Fiona who was sacked out in the backseat, Dean said, "I owe you an apology, Sammy." When Sam started to argue, Dean pressed on. "I don't know if it's being a big brother or what… But to me you've always been this snot-nosed kid I've had to keep on the straight and narrow. I think we both know that that's not you anymore. Just like Fi's not the girl that you'd pick dandelion bouquets for when you were a kid." Dean thought for a while and finally added, "Hell, if the two of you are grown up enough to find faith in me… least I can do is return the favor."
The ballroom doors opened and Anna straightened up as she faced Lucifer.
"Anna," Lucifer said, surprised. "Not who I expected."
"Lucifer," Anna replied, pleasantly. Looking at the angel's vessel, she hoped that Lucifer didn't combust while they talked.
"So they left you behind," Lucifer mused, thoughtfully. "Typical."
"I chose to stay behind," Anna insisted. "Lucifer, I know you're angry at God. I've been angry, too. I hate that we don't get to chose what we do." Trying to stall for time, she added, "But destroying the world isn't the solution."
"You misunderstand me, Anna," Lucifer said, calmly. "This planet… It's filled with more beauty than you can ever imagine. It's humans who are destroying it."
Anna said nothing as she raised her sword. She knew she didn't stand a chance, but she wouldn't back down without putting up a fight.
Gabriel seemed almost guilt-ridden as he looked at the pyre. He didn't say anything, but Dean knew the look well. Gabriel couldn't kill his brother and Anna had paid the price. Looking at Sam and Fiona, Dean let out a sigh and said, "You know, I've… I've had my share of family fights. And I keep looking at this as the end of the world, but…" He looked at Celeste and Gabriel and added, "I keep forgetting that for you guys this is a family thing, too." Turning his gaze to Anna, he said, "And for that, I'm sorry. Anna… Cas… You guys keep giving everything and getting nothing in return."
"Killing Lucifer isn't working," Gabriel pointed out. "But maybe we can trap him."
"Trap him?" Sam repeated, frowning slightly. "How?"
Gabriel looked a bit reluctant to explain, but finally, he said, "The Cage is still down there. Little work and a lot of luck… we might just be able to shove Luci's ass back in."
Dean looked surprised and even though he thought it was just another suicide mission, he figured it best to jump on board. "Great, so how do we book Lucifer a one-way ticket back to Hell?"
"The rings from the Four Horsemen," Celeste replied, darkly. "If we can get our hands on all four, then we can open the cage."
"Well, we've got War's and Famine's," Dean said with more optimism than he felt. "We just need Pestilence and Death's rings."
"Oh, is that all?" Sam said, derisively.
"Say we get the cage open," Sam said, calmly. "Great. But then what? We just lead the devil to the edge and get him to jump in?" When Fiona didn't say anything, he pressed on. "What if we lead him to the edge… and I jump in?"
"Let me tell you about my experience with being possessed by Lilith." Brady rolled his eyes and looked bored, but Fi pressed on. "I was stuck in my head watching every little thing in super hi-def."
"You think this is news to me?" Brady said, derisively. "Trust me—Brady has been hollering and screaming at me ever since I took him over."
Fi smiled and nodded. "Yeah, but the funny thing is… as much as Lilith was in my head, I got to see into hers as well." Fixing the demon facing her with a look, she added, "As long as you've been in Brady… Wow. I can't imagine the things he knows about you."
Dean looked at Fiona, Bobby, Ellen, and Jo and said, "You guys knew about this? About Sam's genius plan to say 'yes' to the Devil?" When everyone gave looks of confirmation, Dean gave them all a look of blindsided disbelief before he snapped, "Well, thanks for the heads-up!"
Death ate in silence for a moment or two and finally, he replied, "I don't want to destroy Chicago. I've become quite fond of the pizza here." He held up his right hand, showing off the ring, and added, "I understand you want this."
"Yeah," Dean said, hesitantly.
"I'm inclined to give it to you," Death said, looking as casual as could be.
"Um…" Fiona was reluctant to ask the question, but sucking it up, she asked, "Why would you want to help us?"
But instead of being annoyed by the question, the Horseman seemed to almost smile. "I'm older and more powerful than you can imagine and yet Lucifer has me bound to him through some unseemly little spell. If I help you, then you can imprison him again." He removed the ring and held it out to Dean. But as the hunter stared at it, Death added, "There are conditions."
"Okay," Dean said, not really caring about that. "Like?"
"You have to do whatever it takes to put Lucifer back in his cell," Death stipulated.
Dean wasn't fazed by the condition and nodded a bit too quickly. "Of course."
"Whatever it takes," Death emphasized. He knew that the so-called 'Team Free Will' didn't have a set plan, only a pile of half-baked ideas. Sam Winchester was the only one who could stop Lucifer and the only one who could stop Sam was his brother. "You don't have a plan—not yet. The only way you will be able to stop Lucifer is to let your brother jump right into that fiery pit."
Fiona licked her lips and pushed her half-eaten pizza away before leaning forward and resting her arms on the table. Death seemed curiously interested, particularly when Fiona said, "I want to know… what you know about me."
"I have need of you," Death replied, quickly. "You see, Fate has been trying to collect you for some time—to correct the Natural Order." Leaning forward again, he added, "But without you, things would be far worse than your friends can imagine."
Fiona thought back and realized what Death was saying. "Pamela… Ellen and Jo… They'd be dead?"
"Along with countless others that you've saved in one way or another," Death replied, nodding. "And more importantly, without you, there would be no way to save Sam."
Fiona was confused about that. "Wait, you said that Sam had to say 'yes' to Lucifer and jump in the cage."
"I did," the Horseman confirmed. "But you have the ability to save his soul—"
"What does that mean?" Fiona said, her tone frustrated.
"To be someone's soul mate," Death explained, calmly. "—means that you cannot be whole without them. You share their very essence because their soul is intertwined with yours."
Fiona considered that for a while, and although she found the explanation somewhat cryptic, she also found that she understood. "So even if Sam is down in the Pit… if he's truly my soul mate, then…"
"Then Sam's soul would be bound to you," Death concluded, grateful that the hunter had caught on quick. "Protected from the tortures of Hell."
Fiona looked down at her left hand and the Claddaugh ring pointing towards her. "Did you know that this used to be considered an Irish wedding ring?" she asked, looking at Sam. "That if two lovers wear them, their souls are joined forever?"
Bobby knew how hard it was for Dean to admit that his little brother had grown, but he knew that it was even harder for Dean to step away from being the protective older brother. "Look, Sam's got a darkness in 'im. I'm not saying that he don't… But he's got a hell of a lot of good in him, too."
"I know," Dean said, looking down at the table. He was reminded of one of the schools he and Sam had been in when they were kids. It was a Catholic school, and one day, the teacher had asked each student to write a one page paper on what they considered made someone a 'good man'. Dean had written some bullshit that the teacher had swallowed, but looking back now… If Dean had to write the paper all over again, he'd have written about Sam.
"Then you know," Bobby pressed on. "—that Sam will beat the Devil, or die tryin' That's the best we could ask for."
And there it was.
The thing that scared Dean to the depths of his soul.
That if Sam said 'yes'—win or lose—he would be gone.
Bobby knew it and he took a breath, waiting for Dean to meet his eyes before he asked the question. "So I gotta ask, Dean. What are you really afraid of? Losin'? Or losin' your brother?"