A/N: First of all, thank you so much for the wonderful feedback, makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. Now get ready for the terrible excuse you knew was coming: a few days after posting the previous chapter my computer literally died, taking with it five finished chapters for Break My Wings. Needless to say, it sucked, but now I'm back on track and I hope you're all still eager for more. I have plenty.
This chapter is split in two so the next instalment will be out shortly.
Chapter two - A talk with the old boss
Then his non-existing eyes hardened, "What the hell do you want?"
"First of all, this is not an ideal place to have this conversation." As soon as the words had been spoken there was a resonating sound of what Dean assumed were two hands clasping together, followed by a quick intake of breath. It was as if gravitation had suddenly decided to make an appearance, grabbing hold of his ankle and throwing him downwards.
Suddenly the scenery changed as a flash of boisterous bright light swallowed the darkness and the hunter found himself inhaling fresh air into his lungs for the first time in what felt like a lifetime.
Dean felt his heart skip a beat as he braced himself for the impact that apparently never came.
"The hell?" Dean's hoarse voice choked out as over-sensitive lids forced themselves open.
Afternoon sunlight assaulted green eyes as their automatic reaction was to start scanning the area, making Dean hiss at the unpleasant sensation when the attempt failed. He recognized the feeling. It was a sensation similar to when he'd first escaped from the Pit, as if his eyes just now experienced daylight for the first time in months, which in all honesty had been the case back then.
As the delicate orbs slowly began to adjust Dean averted his gaze towards a pair of slightly scarred hands. There was a story behind each and every one of those carvings and he was happy to realize that he knew all of them by heart.
Dean uttered a sigh of relief, he was once again in a solid form and thank, well, God for that he supposed. The whole out-of-body experience had begun to tear on his already messed up sanity.
Satisfied after giving himself a once-over just to make sure that he indeed was unharmed and in his own body, the hunter took in his surroundings in a state of confusion. Just where the hell had that bastard sent him?
Dean quickly realized that he was standing in the middle of a huge landscape, which in all honesty seemed like it was cut out from a very girly fairytale, butterflies included. Still, there was no denying the sheer beauty of the place, probably comparable to the garden of Eden if he were to be truly honest. Not that Dean would ever willingly use the word "beautiful" to describe a place that made him want to puke at the same time.
Every tree, straw, rock, flower. Everything, had a faint glow surrounding it. The color scheme in itself was also unnatural and piercingly bright, seeming as surreal as chokingly present to his eyes and mind. It was like being introduced to an unknown drug that made everything look more stunning than he knew it to be.
The hunter coughed awkwardly as he felt mildly misplaced in this landscape of purity. The way the mild breeze made everything move with such graze caused a sickening feeling to form in the pit of his gut. Though similar, this was definitely not heaven. It felt untouched, as if Dean was the first human to ever set foot on these grounds. One thing was certain, he was not about to hang around candyland for much longer. Now, if he could just locate the yellow-brick-road and get the hell away from here…
"Do not be frightened." Dean spun around at the sound of another voice, finding himself face to face with a middle-aged man standing a few feet behind him. The human look-alike sort of reminded Dean of an old college professor, well… according to Sam's description since Dean had little experienced with the world of academia and grades. For some reason he had expected a black suit and a British accent. Why? Hell if he knew.
"The earth once looked quite similar to this, you know." The voice seemed distant as he gazed up at the mesmerizing, swirling stars Dean had willingly decided not to acknowledge.
Dean swallowed with difficulty as he finally locked eyes with the creator. The voice had been less powerful, the human form almost a comfort, but the way everything seemed to pull towards the other form was alarming.
Fear however, was not an emotion he could bring himself to feel at the moment. Not after what he'd just been through. What could possibly be worse than being eating alive by ugly jellyfish? The ancient geezer would have to be extremely creative to top that. Then again, he was God… Alright, he'd admit to being mildly concerned.
The hunter finally cleared his throat, feeling surprisingly calm about standing face to face with the being he had only a few moments ago doubted even existed anymore. Like everything else in this messed up place of beauty, the man had a glowing aura surrounding him. His golden eyes was currently watching Dean with what looked like mild amusement. Dean resisted the urge to grit his teeth.
"I take it this isn't heaven then?" Dean asked offhandedly, letting the anger subside for now. He had to admit he was curious. How many angels had seen this dude again? Four? Not exactly a candidate for the father of the year award.
The older man broke eye-contact as he returned to gaze up at what he probably thought was a masterpiece. Dean was not about to disagree. "No. This is simply something I had created for the occasion."
Occasion? And just where exactly did Dean fit in this crazy wonderland?
"So…" Dean started, , "This isn't where you've been spending your afternoons ignoring the Apocalypse, huh?"
There was a short moment of silence and Dean used the offered pause to stretch his unnaturally sore neck.
"I have a proposition." The man had obviously made the choice to ignore the snide remark, taking a few steps towards the hunter as his eyes lingered just barely at the sky before they were once again locked with Dean's, making it nearly impossible for the hunter to look away.
Another pause as Dean gave a blank look. "…So you admit that you've been ign-"
"Your continued insolence will get you nowhere, Dean."
"Look, I'm not one of your holy bitches and I'm definitely not interested in any of your propositions." Dean spat coldly, his eyes narrowing with distrust as the anger returned full force. Like hell he was gonna do any more favours for a no-good God who hadn't bothered to lift a finger during Armageddon.
The expression on the other man's face didn't stir as the golden orbs continued to focus on Dean's own, now tinted with mild curiosity. Once again, it pissed. Dean. off.
The man sighed softly, as if Dean was nothing more than a stubborn child incapable of understanding grown-up stuff. "I understand the anger you must feel. You are human, after all."
Dean couldn't help himself and a dry laugh forced itself past his lips. "Plenty of people would disagree with you on that." He stated humourlessly.
The older man scratched his cheek carelessly and disturbingly human before continuing. "Despite many thinking human emotion to be a great flaw, I find it surprisingly useful and… fascinating. Especially when it comes to you, Dean."
Dean continued to eye the man with an expression he hoped would convey how useless and utterly stupid this conversation was to him. Didn't quite seem to work.
"Your anger, your guilt, the love for your brother, it makes you capable of doing extraordinary things. Have you not noticed? How truly special you are? So unlike the majority of mankind. You are imperative to my plan, the only one I will use." The man said calmly, clearly fascinated while looking like he had all the time in the world. The Winchester on the other hand was not known for being patient.
"And by special you obviously mean stupid, naïve and suicidal, but hey, that's just how I was raised." The hunter smiled ironically.
The older man chuckled. So God did have a sense of humour? Who'd have thought?
"Oh, and by the way. Not. interested. in being. Used. Just so we're clear on that."
"Noted." The older man nodded. "But hardly your choice if I truly wanted to exploit your… talents."
"Right." Dean whispered through clenched teeth. "So… you say you understand my so called 'anger'? Dean asked, more like stated, just as calmly, his eyes twitching with suppressed fury. "Personally I wouldn't use that particular word since I believe that rage, or well, slightly strong resentment towards an incompetent higher power would be more fitting, but hey that's not important. And I also suppose," Dean paused as a frustrated grin broke past his lips, "that since you're so awesomely understanding, you also do get that you're a pretty huge part of the cause as to why I'm pissed off in the first place, right? Or do you simply not give a damn that your absence almost lead to the end of the fucking world?"
Oh yes, He was quite correct. Anger was at the moment the predominant emotion Dean was experiencing. Although that didn't mean there weren't other factors taking residence in his very core, just waiting for a chance to dominate him and explode. He just chose to ignore them for now.
"You quite obviously do not understand my intensions."
"True, but that's just cause' you work in mysterious ways, right?" Dean said in faux amazement. Such a delightful feeling it was being on the brink of insanity, and this time he seriously contemplated jumping over the edge.
"I never expected you to understand, Dean, not yet. However, you are correct. I had no part in the meticulous planning that went into getting Michael and Lucifer ready for one of their juvenile fights."
Dean rolled his eyes. "Damn right you-"
"-Yes, yes, nor did I intervene when my children were close to succeeding.
But you see, I am not here to justify my actions, or lack of thereof, to you. I brought you here because I am in need of your assistance."
"Figured as much already." Dean exhaled a weary sigh. "You're wasting your time. I'm done. If you want something fixed then call Bob the builder or snap your friggin' fingers, cause' I'm done."
More silence. Dean bit the inside of his cheek for composure and resisted the urge to groan. Oh, these awkward pauses were slowly killing him. He realized in that moment that he actually preferred the company of Death compared to this asshole and it forced a smirk to appear on his face. He was so gonna buy that guy a hundred cheeseburgers if he zapped him away from here within the next ten seconds.
"…So you say." The man hummed. "But it is an inherent quality of yours, Dean. Not being able to give up if given enough hope. You might believe that it is hopeless, that you simply do not care anymore. You have in other words become… cynical. But if I told you, that there was a slight chance you could restore order to both Heaven and Earth, would you not be curious as to what I have to say? Would you not want to make this happen?"
Oh if looks, thoughts or the sound of a fist clenching could kill…
Golden eyes creased knowingly. "We both know the answer to that, do we not?"
Dean snorted. "Don't you even try you righteous son of a bitch. Why don't you fucking restore order yourself this time? Then come to me and I'll let you know if I approve or not."
The middle-aged man opened his mouth but Dean cut him off.
"-No, wait. I already know, you have more important things to do, right? Like screwing over my family some more? Kill any more of our friends? Well tough' luck cause' I don't have all that many of them left!"
"And you think it is my responsibility." The man stated mockingly.
"Oh for crying out loud, It's your, excuse the expression, God damn children that keep screwing things up. It's not my fault that you failed to raise them and teach them proper manners, so yeah, take some responsibility yourself and leave me out of it. Besides, you're pretty screwed up yourself if you think one man can bring peace to Heaven and Earth."
An impatient sigh was heard from the other man's lips. "I said restore some order Dean, not bring peace. I am realistic after all, and If I recall correctly, the fiasco with the leviathans happened due to your influence on one of my children, correct?"
Dean felt a familiar sting make an appearance in his chest. Now this was a topic he wanted to avoid more than anything. Never before had he felt a greater urge to punch God in the face. "Don't even try to put that shit on my shoulders. You were the reason he went out of control. You, not me. It would have only taken two lousy seconds of your time to prevent it, but no, God had apparently left the building. How did we know this again? Oh right, cause' you decided to leave a message with your gardener practically telling us 'I'm done helping you, you're on your own'. Good times. It certainly made things a whole lot better." Dean spat resentfully.
"Castiel was not the first, nor will he be the last, angel to lose faith in me, Dean. Yet, he was the first to open Purgatory. Why is that?"
Oh yes, there it was. He could practically feel the mental breakdown pushing and stretching the tiny barrier keeping it at bay and Dean once again resorted to laughter. "You know what, fine! You want me to share the blame with him? Whatever makes you sleep at night… We both screwed up! Is that what you want to hear?"
"I am not interested in putting the blame on you, Dean. I am just trying to tell you that he had a valid point. Castiel's basic idea of free will was pure, but flawed, and thus you failed. The fact that you managed to influence him to that degree, to make him feel human emotion and eventually place his loyalties with you." The man chuckled, but it was filled with a strange warmth Dean hadn't expected. "He practically rebelled for you, a human. It was highly impressive."
Impressive? Dean blinked, a bit perplexed by the misplaced praise.
"You failed because you lost whatever connection that made him follow you in the first place. You stopped communicating."
Dean flinched as a wave of guilt he refused to acknowledge threatened to choke him. "I don't see how it matters anymore… He willingly chose to betray us. At least I tried to stop him, unlike the one with the actual power to do it."
"You cannot honestly believe that it is that easy. You do not lack intelligence, Dean."
"I don't care whether it's easy or not! The fact is that you could have stopped thousands of lives from being ruined, and still chose to stay on the sidelines. Not freaking cool! If you truly wanted to you could have stopped Ca-…" Woah, voice dangerously close to breaking there. Dean cleared his throat. "If you'd just shown yourself at that time… given him a sign that you existed, that you even remotely cared then he wouldn't be fucking-"
"-Perhaps, but then he would never have learned."
Dean gave a disbelieving look. "You're one sick son-of-a-bitch…" He swallowed as the only answer he got was a pair of exited eyes boring into him. "Look, I clearly have no intention of helping you out so save some time and do us both a favour; send me wherever it is I'm supposed to be. Heaven or Hell, cause' I honestly don't care anymore."
God seemed to consider his words for a moment.
"I will make you a deal. If you do not agree to assist me by the time I have finished explaining I will let you go. However, you cannot answer until I have informed you of my rather… impulsive plan." He mused.
The hunter frowned. "Impulsive? Oh this oath to be good." Dean muttered sarcastically. "Fine, it's not like I have a choice."
"Indeed." The man's lips quirked upwards as if amused. "As Death might have mentioned, I am in the delicate process of retiring."
"I was under the impression that you already had, but thanks for confirming the obvious." Dean retorted cheerfully.
"If I had more time I would certainly do something about that charming personality of yours, however, I find myself in a situation where postponing my retirement for much longer would be highly unbeneficial and more trouble than it's worth."
"Yeah, sitting on your ass all day must be awfully tire- Ghn!" Dean was cut off as it suddenly became impossible to breathe. His hands immediately shot up to his throat as he struggled to stay on his feet. Yup, most likely crossed a line there.
"I would tell you to respect your elders, but you already know that. Do you have anything else you would like to share before I continue?" The man enquired almost patiently.
Dean gasped as air finally returned to his lungs and for once, he kept his mouth shut.
"Wise choice, Winchester." The human look-alike mocked.
The hunter gave a short salute while watching the all-powerful being with apprehensive eyes. Dickhead. That's what he was. Probably his true form, a huge dickshaped head.
"The question is however, do I take humanity with me or not?"
"What?" Dean managed to choke out, his eyes widening at comment.
The man gave an almost apologetic smile. "Why do you think I asked the angels to love and bow down to humanity?"
Dean shrugged automatically, "…You were bored?" He tried half-heartedly, not really up for guessing-games.
Another one of those arrogant sighs broke past the man's lips. "Your are a young species, and in order to advance you need someone to guide you onto the right path. For a whole millennia Heaven, as well as Earth, was under Michael's care and command, but with time even he lost faith and the continuance of human existence was no longer a priority. If revealing myself would put an end to this I would do it. But the fact remains that in doing so I will only give more orders which will eventually lead to disobedience when I'm truly gone. I am not interested in holding anyone's hand for all eternity. I want you to co-exist, but I do not know how. It is not you who have failed, it is I."
Once again, Dean snorted. "Agreed. So at least try fixin' it!"
"I am tired, Dean. The arrival of the Leviathans was the final straw. It is now only a matter of time before Heaven will fall and truly erupt into chaos. When they do, humans will once again be caught in the crossfire. If you do not get eaten by monsters your souls will be used as fuel in order to defeat the leviathans. In the end I will either be left with what I started with; intelligent, powerful beings roaming a deserted planet, or a few surviving angels among millions of lost human souls."
Dean looked away, refusing to see reason in what the lunatic was saying. "Why can't you just throw your pets back into Purgatory, problem solved! And we can all live happily ever after."
"Ah, but you see, it is not my problem anymore."
Dean's voice lowered dangerously as his eyes snapped back, currently trying to pierce through the man standing before him. Who's problem was it then? His? "What? Oh you have got to be kidd- Not your proble- of course it's your freaking problem! With great power comes great responsibility and all that crap, especially when it's something you created!"
"I cannot clean up after you every time you spill something, I am sure you have heard something along these lines before. How long do you think it will be before something like this happens again? Purgatory has already been opened once. All it takes in one more creature with a power complex and as you probably know, both Heaven and Hell rooms quite a few of those. If nothing changes, it will happen again and I will no longer be here. I would rather you did not suffer and avoid the mess by taking you with me."
"First of all, you haven't cleaned up shit! And second, what the hell do you mean by taking us with you?" The hunter inhaled a deep breath. 'Do not punch him in the face, Dean. It can't be worth the consequences.'
"You will simply cease to exist. It will be painless and quick. It is not the first time a species has been wiped out simply because they were too weak continue on their own. It is an act of mercy."
"You can't be serious?" Dean whispered disbelievingly as realization suddenly struck him. "… so basically, you're saying that, if I don't agree to… whatever it is you want me to do, you will wipe out humanity?"
"Correct." The other man answered, his voice as emotionless as his face.
"Yeah," Dean laughed hopelessly. "That's not very funny."
"Dean, I do not wish for this to happen any more than you do. Although, I will not force you to accept."
The hunter ran a frustrated hand through his hair as his breathing quickened. He honestly felt like crying, this had to be a fucked up dream, it was way too stupid to be real. "Oh no… No, no, no. You can't expect me to make that decision! I mean, are you nuts? Have you seen me lately? I'm borderline psychotic and you want to place the fate of mankind in my hands… That's- Wow you're on some heavy stuff, man. No…"
"-I can't do this…" Dean took a few steps back, nearly stumbling. "There's just no way. Fuck no. What are you- that must be the stupidest idea that I-"
"-Is this your answer?"
It took Dean ten whole seconds to register the question before he replied in a desperate voice, "What- no! That's not- no." He paused. "However tempting the idea of no afterlife is… You're not giving me a God damn choice! I have a lot of blood on my hands, but this… It's fucking cruel, but you obviously don't care. I'm just saying that there's no way I won't screw this up. How do you expect me to do this alone? One guy? Really? That's your brilliant plan?"
"I never said you would do it alone-"
"-Don't you dare bringing Sammy into-"
"-Please let me finish."
Dean gave a long hard look in the so-called God's direction. "Alright. But this better be good…"
A/N: I think I've written about five different versions of God and I still don't know if I'm happy with how He turned out. And before you ask, the next chapter will have Cas in it along with a few other surprises.