Author's note: So, this is another one-shot from the "Insomniac Author" collection. Same night as the other two actually, guess it was a good time for writing and a bad time for sleeping. Anyhow, my brain was like "Hey. HEY YOU. You know what would be cool? Dean and Luci having a civil conversation. OOOOOH, and what if Dean was Luci's vessel, not Sam? Why don't you write that? RIGHT NOW. INSTEAD OF SLEEPING. GET UP YOU SLUG, SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK.

Ehem… is my brain the only one that does that? Probably. Either way, enjoy, and don't forget to review! As usual, I have no rights to any of this but, little deviant that I am, I'm using the characters anyway! Ain't I a stinker?

Dean blinked, roused from sleep by the soft, reassuring sound of a woman humming. A moment later she began to sing, the words and voice so familiar that Dean sat up in bed, astonished.

"Hey Jude- don't be afraid. You were made to go out and get her…"

Dean squeezed his eyes shut, and when he opened them again Mary Winchester was standing at the foot of his bed. She was in the same dress that she had been wearing for Dean's third birthday, the one in the picture that Dean kept in the glove-box of the Impala. She was smiling the same way now as she had been then, amused at the look on Dean's face.

"Mom?" Dean's voice cracked slightly. Mary's smile became sad, and she sat on the bed next to him.

"No, Dean, I'm not Mary. I thought it might comfort you to see me like this though. I didn't want to alarm you, seeing as how you've been having a rough few weeks."

Every hair on the back of Dean's neck stood up. "Who- what the hell are you then?" He glanced at Sam, wondering if he would be able to wake his brother before whatever it was could stop him.

As if reading his thoughts, the thing that looked like Mary shook its head. "This is a dream, Dean, Sam's not really here. Don't worry!" It reassured hastily as Dean tensed. "I don't want to hurt you, I just want to talk. I swear that's the truth." It tilted its head to one side in a way that reminded Dean way too much of the way mom used to when she was waiting for an answer.

"Look, can you not?" Dean muttered, rubbing his face. He figured that if the thing hadn't hurt him yet, it wasn't planning to anytime soon, and his fear was starting to give way to irritation.

"Can I not what?" The thing stared curiously at Dean through Mary's wide eyes.

"Don't bother with the whole 'I come in peace' speech. And stop pretending you're my mom. Just- just look like you're supposed to, OK?" Dean knew he should probably be a little more freaked out, but by now he was legitimately curious as well as annoyed. What sort of monster showed up in his dreams just to talk?

Mary watched him intently for a moment, then nodded. Something clicked in Dean's head and he found himself looking at a perfectly normal man, middle-aged, with sandy hair, blue eyes, and a stubbly chin, like he hadn't bothered to shave in a few days. Dean raised an eyebrow, unimpressed, and the man shrugged in response.

"I know, not very awesome or scary. This isn't my best outfit. That's why I'm here, actually." The man spoke lightly, but Dean shivered. Something about the way he said "outfit" made Dean think he wasn't talking about clothes. The stranger continued, in his deceptively relaxed voice, "Have you ever had that one suit that fits just right? No tightness in the shoulders or pants that need hemming, just that one perfect set of clothes that you look damn good in?" He smiled gently, as if trying to remove the significance from his next words. "For me, that's you Dean."

Dean was torn between wanting to run away and wanting to punch the man in the face as hard as he could. He did neither, taking deep breaths until he could speak relatively calmly. "So, you're saying that you're an angel, and I'm your vessel? For an angel, you're not all that intimidating, and the answer's no."

"Look, just hear me out," the man pleaded as Dean turned away. "There's some really crazy things going on right now, and you and Sam are, as usual, right in the middle of it. I can help you protect your little brother from what's coming. I want to help you protect your brother! Believe me, I know what it's like to see war on the horizon and know that it's your family that's gonna get torn up in it."

Dean glanced sharply at the man, whose face was full of such deep and ancient grief that it made Dean's soul quake. He turned his away quickly, feeling as though he had walked into something very personal. Groping around for another topic, he realized that the angel hadn't even introduced himself. ""So, what's your name? I've gotta call you something."

The being on the bed frowned. "This is where the relationships always start to go downhill," he joked feebly. "I don't suppose you'd be willing to call me Nick? That's my current vessel's name."

"Your name." Dean repeated firmly. "Now."

"I'd ask you not to judge me by it, but it doesn't matter, you will anyway." Straightening up proudly, the man proclaimed, "My name is Lucifer." He glared defiantly at Dean, waiting for the explosion.

Dean did not disappoint. With a curse, he scrambled out of the bed, backing away until he bumped into the table. He glanced around wildly, wondering if there was anything he could use to defend himself from the fallen angel. Lucifer stood slowly, disappointment in his features.

"Dean, I just want to talk. Knowing my name doesn't change my intentions."

"Get out of my head!" Dean ordered. As if he hadn't heard, Lucifer walked past him and collapsed into a chair with a sigh, rubbing the back of his neck as if it ached. Dean blinked. For the Devil, this guy seemed more tired than evil.

"You know," Dean said cautiously, every sense still on high alert, "You look pretty worn out for the guy who's supposed to be the root of all evil."

Lucifer let out a bitter chuckle. "Yeah? I bet you'd get tired of it real fast if everyone you met flipped a shit when you introduced yourself." He let his head fall back, eyes roaming aimlessly across the ceiling. "Nobody even knows what my name means anymore, it's just another word for Satan, the Devil."

"Light-bringer." Dean hadn't meant to say it, but this fallen angel slumped in a motel chair inspired more pity in him than anything else. "Morningstar. That's what it means. You were the brightest angel out of all of them." Dean shrugged defensively as Lucifer opened one lid to eye Dean with surprise. "What? You hunt monsters your whole life, you learn things."

Lucifer flashed Dean the tiniest smile, one that still managed to convey his gratefulness. For some reason, it made Dean feel vaguely guilty. Inching over to the other chair, Dean slid into it. When Lucifer opened his other eye to fix him with a curious stare, Dean growled, "Look, I'm not saying yes or anything, but I don't have to stand around all night waiting for you to leave."

They sat in silence for a few minutes, Lucifer tapping his fingers aimlessly on the tabletop and examining the ceiling once more. Dean turned his chair so that he could sit backwards on it, straddling the seat and facing Lucifer around the corner of the table. Another question occurred to him. "Why now anyway? What's in it for you if you torch the planet?"

Lucifer turned his head to gaze at Dean again, confusion and slight irritation in his face. "I don't want to torch the planet! Why would I give a crap about it one way or the other? All I want is to go back to heaven, find my Father, and apologize. Try to make amends for what I've done, somehow." He sighed.

It was Dean's turn to be confused. "Okay, so why don't you?"

"I can't. Not enough 'mojo' as you would say. Being in a vessel helps channel my power a little, but Nick isn't my vessel." At Dean's uncomprehending expression, Lucifer elaborated. "It's like trying to run a marathon in an eleven-year-old's skinny jeans. Except I can rip a pair of jeans. I bust out of this," Lucifer gestured at his current body, "before I get to heaven, and I get sucked right back into Hell."

"What, and I magically make it all better?"

"Lucifer grinned at Dean. "You were made for me, Dean. Not to put too fine a point on it, but you are the silkiest, comfiest pair of running shorts ever to cup my-"

"Ohhhhkay, TMI, thank you, I am officially grossed out. So if all you want to do is go home, how come all the other angels are so sure that you're pulling the world down around our ears?"

Lucifer was silent for a moment. "If I had to guess, I would say it's Michael."

"Whoa, like the archangel?"

"Yes." Lucifer nodded sadly. "He still thinks I want to fight."

"So why not just tell him your plans have changed?" it made perfect sense to Dean, but Lucifer was shaking his head.

"Father of Lies, remember? Even if I can get them to listen before they smite, no one is ever going to believe me. I don't even know why you believe me."

Dean had to give that one a bit of thought. It was true- if someone had told him when he went to sleep that he would spend the night chatting it up with the Devil, Dean would told them to go fuck themselves. So why did this seem okay to him?

"I guess," he began slowly, trying to put it into words, "I guess I just know what it's like for people to judge you before they even know you."

"What do you mean?" Lucifer's voice and gaze were genuinely curious.

"I'm a Winchester." Dean gave a humorless chuckle. "If there was a gene for bad luck, it would be named after our family. Between us, my brother and I have let hundreds of demons loose in the world, started the apocalypse, and been directly and indirectly responsible for the deaths of a whole lot of innocent people. I've had to start giving other hunters a fake name over the phone, just to get them to talk to me. And since they all somehow know what we look like, walking into anyplace like the Roadhouse to just hang out and get a beer is out the window, and now Bobby's in a wheelchair because of us, and-" Dean stopped abruptly, embarrassed and a little alarmed that he was whining about his problems to Lucifer, of all people.

Lucifer leaned forward in his chair and gave Dean a sad, slightly apologetic smile that made Dean's heart clench. "And on top of all that," he finished softly, "you've got the damn Devil popping up in your dreams, saying he wants to wear you like a pair of shorts." He stood abruptly, mouth tugged down at the corners in a tight frown. "I should go. You need to get some proper sleep anyway."

Dean opened his mouth to say something, although he wasn't sure if he was going to say "no, wait" or "good riddance", but it didn't matter. Lucifer was gone, and Dean was lying on the motel bed again, sliding down into dreamless sleep. Right before he drifted off, he heard someone singing again. This time, it was Lucifer's soft tenor, soothing and sweet.

And any time you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain. Don't carry the world upon your shoulders…

So! Reviews are appreciated like Johnny Walker Blue on my grave! (lol, how depressing!)

Also, do you think this is worth a little more exploration, the whole "Luci just wants forgiveness, not war" thing? And if so, how should I do it? Suggestions? What should Sam's part in this be? Cas'? Should Michael still be a great big bag of dicks like he is in the canon? Should Dean say yes to Luci? Please, give me input!