Dean had refused to stay anywhere near the hotel after their confrontation with Sam. Instead, he'd helped Michelle to the Impala and sped off, driving nonstop till they returned to Bobby's house.
Bobby had immediately run to them, with a first aid kit, already guessing that Sam wouldn't be returning with them. He'd taken care of them, let them rest for the night, and the next morning had gone on a rant about how stupid and stubborn Dean was being. He'd been given a rundown of what had happened, of what Dean had said and done, and was more pissed at him than Michelle.
"Dean?" Bobby shouted, "Dean! You listen to a word I said?"
"Yeah, I heard you," Dean stated, staring out the window, "I'm not calling him."
"Don't make me get my gun," Bobby threatened as Michelle leaned against the doorway, staring down at the cup of tea in her hand, lost in thought.
"We are damn near kickoff for Armageddon, don't you think we got bigger fish at the moment?" Dean responded, turning to face him.
"I know you're pissed," Bobby said calmly, looking between him and Michelle, "I know he's hurt both of you, bad, and I'm not making apologies for what he's done, but he's your…"
"Blood?" Dean cut in, "He's my blood, is that what you were gonna say?"
"He's your brother," Michelle said quietly.
Dean sighed, "I tried to help him," he looked up at Michelle, "We both did but...look what happened."
"So we try again," she stated, "I promised I'd get Sam back, but I need your help to do it."
"It's too late," he shook his head.
"There's no such thing," Bobby cut in.
"No, damn it!" Dean glared at the man, "No. We gotta face the facts. Sam never wanted part of this family. He hated this life. Ran away to Stanford the first chance he got. Now it's like déjà vu all over again," he sat heavily in a chair, "Well, I am sick and tired of chasing him. Screw him, he can do what he wants."
"You don't mean that," Michelle shook her head slowly.
She was pissed at Sam too, of course she was, she was hurt, she was tired, and she was devastated by what he'd done and been doing...but she was a stubborn bitch, her time in the pit had reaffirmed that at least. She was NOT about to lose Sam completely, not to RUBY of all people, and not without a damned fight! She knew why he was acting out the way he was, the fucking demon blood he'd been guzzling, it infected him. The more he drank, the worse he'd get, the farther he'd fall, the less Sam he'd be. If she could just get that cleared out of his system, he'd see what he'd done, he'd see what he'd become, and he could come back from that. The Sam he was now...it wasn't the Sam she knew he was, it was the blood warping and twisting him. In order to get him back... she had to clean him out first. And she knew she wouldn't be able to do it without Dean's help.
"Yes I do," Dean glared at her, "Sam's gone. He's gone. I'm not even sure if he's still my brother anymore. If he ever was."
Bobby stared at Dean a moment, furious that he was giving up. A moment later he had tossed his belongings off his desk and advanced on Dean, forcing the younger man to stand, "You stupid, stupid son of a bitch! Well, boo-hoo, I am so sorry your feelings are hurt! Are you under the impression that family's supposed to make you feel good?! Make you an apple pie, maybe? They're supposed to make you miserable! That's why they're family!"
"I told him, 'you walk out that door, don't come back,' and he walked out anyway!" Dean argued, "That was his choice!"
"You sound like a whiny brat. No, you sound like your dad. Well, let me tell you something. Your dad was a coward."
"My dad was a lot of things, Bobby, but a coward?"
"He'd rather push Sam away than reach out to him. That don't strike me as brave. You are a better man than your daddy ever was. So you do both of us a favor. Don't be him."
Dean turned around and looked out the window as Bobby stormed out of the room. Michelle took a step forward to speak more to him, when suddenly she felt like all the color was draining from the room. She gasped and turned around, her eyes widened…
Dean turned around, hearing Michelle gasp, only to see himself in a large, ornate, waiting room. The walls were white with gold trim and accents, marble tables and statues, flowers and paintings everywhere, the table stocked with hamburgers and beer.
"Hello Dean," Castiel said, standing before him, "It's almost time."
"Time for what?" Dean asked, but Zachariah appeared.
"Hello, Dean," the angel smiled, "You're looking fit."
"Well, how 'bout this? 'The suite life of Zach and Cas,'" he smirked a bit, but at their blank faces his smirk fell, "It's a...never mind. So, what is this? Where the hell am I? Where's Michelle?"
"Call it a green room," Zachariah shrugged, "We're closing in on the grand finale, here. We want to keep you safe before show time. Try a burger. They're your favorite. From that seaside shack in Delaware. You were 11, I think."
"I'm not hungry," Dean glared, "And you never answered, where's Michelle?"
"She's fine," Zachariah waved him off, "No burgers? How about Ginger from season 2 of 'Gilligan's Island?' You do have a thing for her, don't you?"
"Tempting," he deadpanned, "Weird."
"We'll throw in Mary Ann for free."
"No, no. Let's...bail on the holodeck, ok? I want to know what the game plan is."
"Let us worry about that," the angel smiled, "We want you...focused, relaxed."
"Well, I'm about to be pissed and leaving, so start talking Chuckles."
"All the seals have fallen," Zachariah sighed, "Except one."
Dean's eyes widened, "That's an impressive score. That's...that's right up there with the 'Washington Generals.'"
"You think sarcasm's appropriate, do you?" he glared, "Considering you almost started all this? But the final seal...it'll be different."
"Why?" Dean frowned.
"Lilith has to break it. She's the only one who can. Tomorrow night, midnight."
"We're working on it," he waved him off again.
"Well, work harder."
"We'll do our job. You just make sure you do yours."
"Yeah, and what is that, exactly? If I'm supposed to be the one that stops her, how? With the knife?"
"All in good time," he smirked.
"Isn't now a good time?"
"What, in you?" Dean laughed, "Give me one good reason why I should."
Zachariah stormed over to him, "Because you swore your obedience. So obey."
Dean looked past him at Castiel, who looked down at the floor guiltily. And that was when he realized, he'd been tricked.
He didn't know how long he'd been in the room since Castiel and Zachariah had left. He'd tried calling Michelle on his cell, but no one picked up. He was debating trying to call Sam, see if he'd have better luck, and was pacing out his decision.
"Ah, screw it," he sighed, dialing his brother, only to get voicemail, "Hey, it's me. Uh..." he cleared his throat, "Look, I'll just get right to it. I'm still pissed...and I'd bet Michelle is too, and we both owe you a serious beat down. But...I shouldn't have said what I said. You know, I'm not dad. We're brothers. You know, we're family. And, Michelle…she really loves you, you know? And no matter how bad it gets, that doesn't change anything. Sammy, I'm sorry."
He hung up and turned around to see Castiel standing behind him, "You asked to see me?" he asked.
Dean cleared his throat once again, "Yeah, listen, I, uh, I…I need something."
"Anything you wish."
"I need you to take me to see Sam."
"Why?" Castiel frowned.
"There's something I gotta talk to him about."
"The B.M. I took this morning," Dean shot back sarcastically, "What's it to you? Just make it snappy."
"I don't think that's wise."
"Well, I didn't ask you for your opinion," he glared.
"Have you forgotten what happened the last time you met?"
"No. That's the whole point. Listen, I'm gonna do whatever you mooks want, ok? I just need to tie up this one thing. Five minutes…that's all I need."
"No," Castiel sighed.
"What do you mean, no? Are you saying that I'm trapped here?"
"You can go wherever you want."
"Super. I want to go see Sam."
"Fine, then take me to see Michelle," he negotiated.
"I...can't," Castiel looked down.
"Why not!?" Dean shouted, getting frustrated.
"I am...uncertain...where she is," he replied hesitantly.
"How the hell do you not know where she is?" Dean demanded.
"Zachariah is keeping her location private. Just as yours is to the others."
Dean shook his head, a horrible feeling settling in the pit of his stomach at the thought that only Zachariah, an angel he really didn't trust or care for right now, knew where she was, "You know what? Screw this noise. I'm out of here."
"Through what door?" Castiel asked.
Dean turned around to face him but looked back to see that the door he'd been heading for was gone as was Castiel, "Damn it!"
Dean was attempting to break through the wall with a pedestal but every time he paused the wall repaired itself, "Son of a bitch!" he yelled.
"Quit hurling feces like a howler monkey, would you?" Zachariah appeared out of nowhere, "It's unbecoming."
"Let me out of here," Dean demanded.
"Like I told you, too dangerous out there," he smirked, "Demons on the prowl."
"I've been getting my ass kicked all year. Now you're sweating my safety? You're lying. I want to see my brother. I want to see Michelle!"
"You know, I am so sick of your crap riddles and your smug, fat face. What the hell is going on, huh? Why can't I see Sam? Where's Michelle? And how am I gonna ice Lilith?"
"You're not," Zachariah sighed, "...going to ice Lilith."
"What?" Dean frowned.
"Lilith's going to break the final seal. Fait accompli, at this point. Train's left the station."
"But me and Sam and Michelle, we can stop..." Dean cut himself off, realizing what was happening, "You don't want to stop it, do you?"
"Nope. Never did. The end is nigh. The Apocalypse is coming, kiddo, to a theater near you."
"What was all that crap about saving seals?"
"Our grunts on the ground…we couldn't just tell them the whole truth. We'd have a full-scale rebellion on our hands. I mean, think about it. Would we really let 65 seals get broken unless senior management wanted it that way?"
"Poor name, bad marketing, puts people off. When all it is, is Ali/Foreman. On a...slightly larger scale. And we like our chances. When our side wins, and we will, it's paradise on Earth. Now, what's not to like about that?"
"What happens to all the people during your little pissing contest?"
"Well...you can't make an omelet without cracking a few eggs. In this case...truckloads of eggs, but you get the picture. Look...it happens. This isn't the first planetary enema we've delivered," the angel glanced at the vase Dean was eyeing, "Uh, no, Dean. Probably shouldn't try to bash my skull in with that thing. Wouldn't end up too pleasant for you."
"What about Sam? He won't go quietly. He'll stop Lilith."
"Sam...has a part to play. A very important part. He may need a little nudging in the right direction, but I'll make sure he plays it."
"What does that mean?" Dean glared at him, "What are you gonna do to him?"
Before the angel could get a word in, there was a banging noise from the side of the room. They turned to see Michelle standing in a doorway, having just kicked in the door. Dean glanced back at Zachariah to see him staring at Michelle in utter shock and disbelief. He looked back at the girl, who was now advancing on the angel, and his eyes widened.
She looked horrible!
She was bleeding from various wounds, her clothes were torn and slightly singed, she was limping, and he could clearly see the paths of tears from her eyes as they cleaned her dirty face.
"You send me to Hell one more time you bastard and I swear to God I will find a way to kill you myself," she spat at Zachariah, pushing him back into a wall, " Now, GET OUT!"
The angel disappeared suddenly and Michelle staggered back. Dean caught her, completely shocked by her words. That bastard, that God damn bastard, had actually thrown her back into the pit! He wished she hadn't ordered him away as he wanted to kill the angel as well.
"CASTIEL!" she shouted, staring up at the ceiling, "Get your ass down here now!"
Dean flinched as Castiel appeared, Michelle was in no mood to be calm or polite…not that he could blame her.
Castiel's eyes widened as he saw the state she was in. He moved forward but Dean stepped back, pulling her with him, causing Castiel to stop, "What happened?" he asked her, staring in horror.
"Like you don't know," Dean glared at him. Were all the angels in on Zachariah's little plan?
"I was in Hell, thanks for asking," she replied, "Zachariah's doing."
"No," Castiel shook his head furiously, "No, he wouldn't…he wouldn't risk…"
"Apparently he would," Michelle cut in, "Now you have to get us out of here and to Chuck. Now."
He frowned, "I can't…my orders…"
"You really want to test where these orders came from Cas?" she glared, "Do you? 'Cause you know as well as I do that if I order you to get us out and you're able to, then you're orders certainly didn't come from God right?" he frowned but nodded, "I'm willing to bet everything you've been told since you were pulled up to Heaven was all a bunch of lies! It's just a way for your bosses to keep us all in line! You know what? People, families, they're all gonna burn if you don't take us to Chuck now!"
"What is so worth saving?" Castiel asked sadly, "I see nothing but pain here. I see inside you," he glanced at Dean, but they all knew he was talking about humanity in general, "I see your guilt, your anger, confusion. In paradise, all is forgiven. You'll be at peace."
"How about me Cas?" she asked, "Am I worth saving? What do you see in me?"
He looked at her a long moment before his eyes widened as though he was seeing something clearly for once.
Trying his luck, Dean spoke, "You can take your peace...and shove it up your lily-white ass. 'Cause I'll take the pain and the guilt. I'll even take Sam as is. It's a lot better than being some Stepford bitch in paradise."
Michelle nodded, "This is simple, Cas. No more crap about being a good soldier. There is a right and there is a wrong here, and you know it," he looked down, "Please, help us. Don't make me order you, because you know, deep down, my order will come first."
Castiel swallowed hard and nodded.
"Good," Michelle smiled, "Now take us to Chuck, he'll know where Sam is and we have to stop him from killing Lilith."
"What?" Dean looked down at her, "But Lilith's gonna break the final seal!"
"Lilith is the final seal. If she dies, the end begins."
"When did you figure this out?"
She frowned, "I've known all along. 'And it is written that the first demon shall be the last seal.'"
"And you didn't think to warn us about that?"
"I thought if we could kill her before the other seals were broken then Lucifer wouldn't rise. The seals have to be broken in a certain order, Lilith had to be last. If we killed her before the other seals, then Lucifer would still be trapped. But now…"
Dean nodded, understanding, "Now, we need to get to Chuck's."
Castiel reached out and touched them, zapping them to Chuck's house.
They appeared just as Chuck was on the phone, seeming to order something, when he saw them, "Wait," his eyes widened in shock, "This isn't supposed to happen," he glanced back at the phone, "No, lady, this is definitely supposed to happen, but I just got to call you back…" he hung up and looked up at them, "I…I didn't write this…"
"Where's Sam?" Michelle asked, looking him in the eyes.
"St. Mary's?" Dean asked Chuck, "What is it, a convent?"
"Yeah, but you guys aren't supposed to be there. You're not in this story."
"We're making it up as we go," Michelle stated, "Some things aren't set in stone."
Suddenly a rumbling began and a bright light poured in though the windows, the sign an archangel was approaching.
"Aw, man!" Chuck stood up, "Not again!"
"It's the archangel!" Castiel shouted, turning to Dean and Michelle, "I'll hold him off! I'll hold them all off!" Michelle reached forward, hugging Castiel, as Chuck watched with a small smile on his face, knowing she was silently offering him her strength. Castiel was smiling as he pulled way, "Just stop Sam," he reached up and put a hand on their foreheads, teleporting them away.
They appeared in the hall of an abandoned convent, hearing Sam talking through a shut door at the end of the hall.
"I've been waiting for this...for a very long time," he said.
"Then give me your best shot," Lilith challenged.
They ran to the door, banging on it, "Sam!" they called, "Sam!"
They could hear someone gasping and falling down but then Sam's voice, "Dean?" he called in confusion, "Michelle?"
But then they could hear Ruby shouting, "What are you waiting for?! Now! Sam, now!"
"Come on," Michelle said to Dean, pulling him back, motioning to kick the door. They both stepped back as Lilith laughed.
"You turned yourself into a freak!" she shrieked, "A monster. And now you're not gonna bite? I'm sorry, but that is honestly adorable."
They kicked with all their might, cracking the door open just as Sam raised his hand to Lilith once more, "No!" Dean shouted, running forward to tackle Sam, but Ruby grabbed him and pulled him away, fighting him.
Sam was distracted just enough by this to drop his hand and turn around.
"Sam!" Michelle shouted, running up to him, staring at the black of his eyes, still there even though he wasn't using his powers, she felt tears collect in her eyes, but she realized, the confusion radiating off of him…it was just enough of a distraction to lower his guard. She took a deep breath, concentrating, pulling all her power into what she was about to do, she just needed him to lower his guard a little bit more, "I'm sorry," she cried, tears falling down her cheeks again.
"For…for what?" he asked her, tilting his head to the side.
"I love you," she whimpered, shaking from the power building up within her, she reached out and laid a hand on his chest, "Forgive me."
Suddenly a white light appeared within her and shot out of her hand and into Sam, the force of the transfer blasted them both apart and sent them sailing into separate walls on either side of the room.
"NO!" Ruby shouted, leaving her fight with Dean to run and stand before Sam.
Sam sat up, stunned but unharmed. He looked down at himself and then around the room in confusion. What was he doing here? It was like he'd been in a fog the last few months and now it had cleared. He could think clearly, no sign of the craving he'd felt of demon blood in him. It was like he'd never even tasted it in the first place. He looked over to see Lilith leaning heavily against a stone table while Ruby stood over him.
"I…it's gone…" he whispered more to himself than anyone else, a hand to his chest as he panted, "The demon blood…it's gone..."
"Michelle!" Dean shouted, running over to the prone form of the Hunter. He scooped her into his arms, checking for some form of life, and almost cried at feeling a faint pulse.
"Damn it!" Ruby screeched, stepping way from Sam, "I knew this would happen. I knew the little bitch would dry you out."
"Wh…what?" Sam looked up at her, swallowing hard. He was still trying to wrap his mind around the fact that everything he was remembering had actually happened and wasn't just a horrible dream…oh God…the way he'd treated Dean…Michelle…he felt sick…
Ruby sighed, "At least I have a backup."
She smirked and looked to her left where a figure stepped out from behind a pillar. The boys gasped to see Jake Talley standing there. Sam's eyes filled with horror as he saw the resurrected special child that had killed him and he had killed in return.
"My special boy," Ruby smiled at him, "Finish her."
"NO!" Dean shouted, pulling out Michelle's gun and aiming it at the man, but Ruby kicked it out of his hand, "Sam stop him!"
"What?" he shook his head, not understanding, "Why?"
"Lilith isn't going to open the final seal. She is the final seal!"
Sam's eyes widened even more, "No…no!" he shook his head frantically, it couldn't be. He couldn't have been about to…
He looked up to see Jake strangling Lilith. He tried to get up but was too weak. He'd barely managed to stand and take a step before Ruby was at his side, easily holding him back.
The demon smoke poured out of Lilith's body, but Jake grabbed it in the air and squeezed it until it exploded…something they didn't know was possible. Lilith's body fell to the floor, blood pouring out of her and forming a deliberate circle on the floor.
"You did it!" Ruby shouted, dropping Sam and running over to Jake, he turned to her, only to have her slit his throat and let him slump to the floor.
"What…what did he do?" Sam was breathing heavily. It couldn't be…but as he watched the blood form a pattern, he knew, it was really happening.
"He opened the door," Ruby turned to face them, smirking at the sight of Sam weak and on his knees, Dean cradling a beaten and nearly dead Michelle, "And now he's free at last. He's free at last!" she laughed maniacally, "'And it is written that the first demon shall be the last seal.' And he bust her open. Now guess who's coming to dinner!"
"Oh, my God," Sam felt like he was going to throw up, his stomach clenching painfully. It was real…he'd almost…he'd almost been the one to let Lucifer free.
"Guess again," Ruby said, elated, "It should have been you, but I had to have a backup, I knew that little bitch," she threw a sneer at Michelle, "Would try and save you," before laughing, "You don't even know how hard this was! All the demons out for my head. No one knew. I was the best of those sons of bitches! The most loyal! Not even Alastair knew! Only Lilith! Yeah, I'm sure you're a little angry right now. But, I mean, come on, Sam! Even you have to admit, I'm…I'm awesome!"
"You bitch!" he yelled, just now realizing she had been manipulating him all along. Right from the very beginning, everything she'd done, every time she'd saved him, was to get him to trust her. She'd played on his desire to get his brother back and fueled his revenge on Lilith to get him to agree to do anything to kill the demon. She'd offered him her blood, saying it would be to make him stronger, and he'd believed her because of everything she had done, "You lying bitch!" he reached up to try and use his powers but it didn't work, he dropped his hand, grabbing his head in pain.
"Don't hurt yourself, Sammy," she smirked, "It's useless. Your little girlfriend over there cleaned you out."
"The blood..." he looked up at her, realizing just why he felt so different, so much more in control and clearheaded, "You poisoned me."
"No," she knelt before him, "It wasn't the blood. It was you...and your choices. I just gave you the options, and you chose the right path every time. This was so long coming. Everything Azazel did, and Lilith did. Just to get you here. You were supposed to be the one to do it…but I had to be safe…what did you think I was really doing when I was gone? Looking for Lilith?" she laughed, "I was making you want it, and while I was with you," she glanced back at Jake's body, "I was making him want it. I played you both like a fiddle."
"Why?" Sam backed away, "Why us? Why me?"
Ruby shook her head, standing, "Lucifer needed a special child to break the last seal, you and Jake were one of them. Azazel had to find the best one, it was either you or him. Either one would have done, you both won the contest after all. I just had to resurrect him..."
Dean, hearing what she was saying, gently put Michelle on the ground and grabbed Ruby's demon-killing knife from his pocket and stormed at her.
She turned to smirk at him, "You're too late you know."
"I don't care!" Dean shouted, advancing.
Before she could take a step back, Sam stood and grabbed her arms, holding her in place as Dean stabbed her in the stomach with the knife.
Sam let go of her and Dean kept advancing, pushing her back into the wall, pressing the knife into her more. He looked over at Sam, who stepped forward, taking the knife, about to twist it, when Ruby smiled, "Hey Sam…" he looked at her, glaring, "Dean's not in Hell, Michelle took his place."
He was confused for only a moment at why she had said that, when Michelle's words drifted back to him from ages ago…the demon who held my contract was supposed to tell you what happened, I guess she didn't…his jaw tensed as he twisted the knife, taking pleasure in Ruby's pain, before she flickered and the demon died.
All that time…all that time Michelle had been suffering in Hell…he'd had the demon who put her there at arms' length. If he had just killed her when he saw her, like Dean always said they should, Michelle wouldn't have been in Hell for near 50 years. He could have saved her, all this time, he could have gotten her back but he hadn't, he'd even defended Ruby from them…if he thought he was going to be sick before, he was sure of it now.
Ruby crumpled to the floor, dead, as Sam sunk down, "I'm sorry," he sobbed brokenly, "I'm so sorry…"
Dean reached down and pulled him up, "We gotta go," he said, turning to go and get Michelle. Their eyes widened as the blood pouring out of Lilith completed its pattern and a bright light began to shoot out of the center of it, the convent starting to shake.
"Shit!" Dean shouted, pulling Sam with him over to Michelle's body. Sam, as though just seeing her lying there unconscious, went to pick her up but Dean stopped him, "I got her."
Sam flinched, Dean didn't trust him with her, and he didn't blame him.
"Let's go," he turned to Sam, Michelle cradled in his arms.
"Dean…he's coming," Sam muttered, watching as the light began to widen.
"Run!" Dean shouted, pushing his brother towards the door as the light filled the room...
To be continued...in...Heaven!
A/N: So that's all for 'Purgatory,' I hope you enjoyed this story :)
As for the whole Jake Talley thing, I figure Crossroad Demons could probably resurrect someone, so why not Jake? He did technically win that whole 'special child' battle first. If Dean hadn't made a deal to get Sam back, and Sam hadn't killed Jake, then Jake would probably have been here anyway. And since Ruby knew Michelle, knew her powers, she would definitely want to prepare for Michelle finding out about what Sam was doing and trying to clean him out. She would NOT have come all that way and not taken precautions like that :) Hope it was believable.
And I just want to take a second to thank you guys, readers, reviewers, favoriters, etc, you guys are great and I really want to thank you for all your reviews and comments. I'm glad you're liking the story so far. And I hope you'll like what I have planned for the last in the trilogy.
Check back tomorrow for the start of 'Heaven!'