Heads up, this fic is 3 parts long. Thanks to everyone who's been reading so far!
A few streets away from the vandalized motel room, there is a tiny lime-green Mazda parked by the side of the road. A man with a duffle bag slung over his shoulder walks up to it, and picks the lock, casual as you please, because if anyone's walking past this deserted street they're not gonna look twice at someone who looks like they're getting into a car they own. Common sense, really, in a dishonest, conman kind of way. You could say this man is a natural at that, or maybe just long practiced. He slides into the driver's seat with a grimace and ratchets it back as far as he can. Then he casually glances out the window to check for passers-by, finds no one, and gets to work fiddling with the wires.
The car finally starts with a lurch. The man shifts into second, then third, flooring the pedal as he jerks into fourth. He drives out of town hoping no one sees him driving this piece of shit because he's having enough trouble with his reputation right now as it is.
Dean drives for about four hours before the stolen car runs out of gas. He abandons it on the side of the road next to a cornfield, hauls his duffle bag out of the passenger seat – he doesn't like to drive with nothing in shotgun - and starts walking.
That last conversation with his brother keeps running through his head, on endless replay – the one where Sam turns his back on him, and doesn't care what he says, and just walks out that door and leaves again. And what really sucks – what really sucks is he knows Sam was completely right to do it. Dean, he thinks, trying out the concept, you're a demon. You know the type - black eyes, flinches at the name of God, Sammy's favourite snack. He wonders if he'd go back to hell if Sam managed to exorcise him.
Cas let him go, but if he's honest that's all Dean's got to go on now. If he could convince Cas, though, could he convince Sam?
It starts to get lighter and the sun begins to beat down, warm weather for this time of year. Dean adjusts the strap of the bag, which feels like it's starting to wear a groove in his shoulder, stomps particularly vengefully on a daisy growing on the side of the road, and takes stock. He's got a duffle with a few weapons and clothes. His one and only cell phone's dead because that is just how fucking fantastic his life is right now. He needs somewhere with internet, somewhere he can look up Impala sightings and track Sam down and think of someone to call who can help who won't splash him in the face with holy water - and that shit really does burn like freakin' battery acid, who knew – as soon as they see him.
"Christo," he tries muttering under his breath, and hisses. Ow. He can feel the black sliding down like a third eyelid. This…how did he even get here, tothis? He is too goddamn tired for this.
Dean rubs his knuckles into his forehead and keeps walking.
After a while he hears the sound of an engine rumbling in the distance and decides he's sweated through his t-shirt enough already. He wanders out to the asphalt, crushing some more innocent roadside flowers because he can and he damn well feels like it. Then he sticks his thumb out and waits.
The truck's headed away from the town it happened in, which is good enough for him. Dean's satisfied when it slows as it approaches and rolls to a halt in front of him. The driver winds the window down, engine still growling idly, and sticks her head out.
"You need a ride?"
"Yeah, that'd be great."
"Where're you headed?"
"Ah, nowhere really," he says, "just...civilisation, y'know."
"Alright," she says. "Well I'm going to visit a friend who's working in Buxton right now, so I'll take you that far. Sound good?"
Dean's already heading around the bonnet and sliding into shotgun. "Absolutely. Thanks." She shifts into first, making the engine roar, and they move off with a jolt.
"My name's Helena," the driver says after a while, breaking the silence. She's about Dean's age or younger with olive skin and muscled arms, wearing a summer dress with pink flowers on it. He might've taken a shot at hooking up if he weren't so tired right now.
"I'm Rob," Dean says, thinking it's probably better not to be rude to the person giving him a ride, or he might get dumped on his ass on the side of the road. He feels sorry for her for a moment; just figures she'd pick the hitchhiker with enough issues to literally kick-start the apocalypse. "So who're you visiting?"
"A friend of mine from college. She dropped out years ago but we kept in touch. She's got a pretty interesting life - knows about all kinds of things you wouldn't believe."
"Hmm, I can believe a lot," Dean says. He drums his fingers on the glovebox then quickly removes them when they start turning red and itching like hell. Must be plated with iron or something - that or he's allergic to the air freshener.
If Helena notices, she doesn't let on. "Huh, how's that?"
"My brother and me, we travel around. See some pretty weird shit."
"Sounds interesting. What kind of stuff?"
"Believe me, it's fascinating," Dean says, winding the window down. "You ever heard of Chatty Belle up in Wisconsin? World's largest talking cow. Makes you proud to be American, I tell you."
"Right, that kind of fascinating," says Helena. "Can't say I have."
There's a slightly strained silence. Dean is not in the mood for conversation.
"It's not actually a live talking cow," Dean adds after a moment. "Uh. It's a statue thing."
"Thanks for, uh, clarifying," Helena says. "So - you've…got a brother?"
"Sure do," Dean says.
When he doesn't go into detail she says, "I've got two younger ones. Piss me the hell off on the best of days."
"Amen to that. Mine's younger than me too, and…well."
He stares out the window a bit, and thinks eh, what the hell. And thinking isn't what he wants to be doing right now but it's not like he can help it 'cause there's this niggling doubt at the back of his head – what if this isn't a mistake? What if there's a demon in him, just hiding? Or worse, what if he's the demon, what if something made all those years of hell catch up with him and now he's just a puff of black smoke in his own meatsuit?
"We've had our share of issues. Couple of huge fights lately."
She nods slowly, eyes on the road.
"Is that why you're by yourself?"
"Yeah." He looks out at the cornfield for a moment, waving gold and obnoxiously cheerful next to the road. It starts to piss him off so he stares at the duffle resting awkwardly on his lap instead.
"Forgot to take my turn with laundry one time too many."
She grins. "Oh yeah, I can believe that."
"Watch your mouth," he says jokingly. "Not all my fault, either. He's gassy as anything. I swear, they can tell on Mars when he's had extra beans."
"God, I can sympathize," she says. "Like I said, got brothers."
Dean rationalizes that he's never going to see this person again after she's dropped him off, so if he keeps talking it won't count.
"Something happened that's frustrating as hell. As in…he's got every reason not to trust me on this but it still really sucks that he doesn't." He fiddles with his sleeve. As if the apocalypse wasn't enough, this had to go and fuck everything up. Things weren't getting better, exactly, and he isn't really imagining a beautiful future, but things weren't heading to that garden with Lucifer at the end of the world, or Dean thinks so anyway. Things were…better than last year, at any rate. Dean and I, we're not like we were…
"And he's going to try and do something terrible to fix it. I can't let him. I wish he could, I dunno, just see I'm telling the truth. I wish he'd just know. You know? So…so yeah, I guess I'm running." Dean drags a hand over his mouth and sighs. "Ah shit, I'm sorry. Didn't mean to unload my issues all over you there."
"No trouble. Got a few brother issues myself. They're having this huge fight right now. Ideological differences. Thought family'd be stronger than that, but...apparently not." Her lips quirk. "You know?"
"I know," Dean says. He feels kind of open and exposed now, like he's let loose all his secrets and now they're floating around in the like skywriting somewhere in the atmosphere for anyone to find. Feeling a little panicky, he doesn't say anything else for a while, and pretends he's asleep.
After a while he actually drifts off. He can tell, because there's a voice whispering in his ear, the one that he stubbornly ignores whenever it comes to him in his sleep. It is telling him some bullshit about his filthy twisted demonic soul.
Not a demon, he says. How stupid do you think I am?
It was only a matter of time, the voice says. Your own brother looked you in the eye and called you a monster, didn't he?
He thinks I'm possessed. I know what that means, do you? It means he thinks there's a demon riding around in here, Einstein. So no one in this situation is to blame for any crap they may pull. You get that in your head yet?
But you're not. Oh, Dean. Dean Dean Dean. You're as one hundred percent you as you've ever been.
Did you do this to me? Is that you, Zachariah, you dickbag, what the fuck?
You're all wrong. Your brother's never going to believe it's you. Something about those shiny black eyes really seems to be putting him off. Bit hypocritical, honestly, but can you blame him?
Oh, just shut up, you asshole.
Everyone thinks you're a demon, it says, and who's to say you aren't? You? As if whatever you think has ever counted - and it's kind of scary how he actually can't tell who thought that for a moment. You aren't fit to be human, inside and out. What are you trying to convince Sam of? What do you expect him to believe in?
Dean can't answer for a moment. Then he says, Us.
What does that even mean? Here's a better idea. Say yes, Dean, and you can save the world, blemished soul or not. Say yes and you'll be wiped clean of sin. Don't you want redemption? For you and your brother. This is how you save him. He doesn't have to die. Just say –
The truck goes over a pothole and Dean jerks awake.
The sun's going down, but the heat's really starting to get to him. He shifts uncomfortably and scrabbles around in the duffle on his lap for a drink bottle, then remembers he drank it all before he got in the car. He groans and knocks his head back against the seat.
"Sorry, aircon's busted," Helena says, smiling. "You want some water?" She nods at the glovebox and Dean's so thirsty he just reaches in and grabs the bottle there, and takes a long swig. He has a delayed reaction and it takes a few moments for him to realise what he's done wrong.
The water burns like battery acid going down and he chokes on it, feeling steam like liquid fire coiling up his throat. He knows his eyes have snapped into black as he drops the bottle into the footwell, water spilling out and hissing all over his boots, and cradles his face in his hands.
Rookie mistake, taking holy water from a stranger – but then he's never been a demon before. He doesn't know the steps to this dance, everything's been turned on its head. He finds himself wishing Sam had his back right now. There's a familiar choking feeling in his gut which he's been feeling far too often since he came back from hell, even when Sam's right there.
Helena's got a gun trained on him when he surfaces, gasping for air. Her eyes are angled between him and the road and one hand's steady on the steering wheel. She's not smiling anymore.
"I know what you are," she says. "Christ, what was with that bullshit sob story about your brother?"
Dean flinches and she presses her lips together.
"You're a hunter?" he gasps as best he can with a tongue that feels like it's been left to wither and dry in the sun for a couple weeks.
"No, but my friend is. She taught me that trick." Helena's grip on the gun doesn't wobble a bit.
"Ahh, right. Awesome." He licks his lips. "Jesus. Could warn a guy."
"Don't move. As soon as we get to her you're going straight back where you came from."
Dean can't help it – he chuckles grimly. God help him, it probably sounds like a demonically mocking cackle or some shit.
"Then she shoulda told you guns don't work on demons," he says. He's just making things worse, isn't he? "You can put that down, it's not helping."
"What do you want from me?" she spits.
"I want you to at least put the safety on. I'm a safety kinda guy." Dean looks out the window. "You know, once you've got a demon in the car, threats aren't a whole lotta good. Your only weapon's rolling around at my feet. Should've dumped me out on my ass the moment I choked on that holy water."
"My friend told me a few things," Helena says. Still bluffing on an empty hand, features like stone. "So I know you demons play with your food and are fucking awesome at lying. Sorry, I'm not dropping the gun."
"Oh, your hunter friend again," Dean says. There's something weirdly enjoyable about pseudo-demonic backtalk. "You gonna tell me about her?"
"Yeah, she's real good at killing things like you."
"Is she," Dean says absently, thinking that he is 1) a demon and unkillable without certain weapons she doesn't have and 2) not a demon, just a bit of a fuckup who's not out actually out to hurt people. Well, innocent people. Well, innocent people who don't end up as unlucky collateral damage. He's been mistaken for a monster before, but he feels even less like a hero this time.
It's stupidly amusing to him how despite all that, her completely normal gun is still capable of blowing his brains out.
"Huh. Wonder if I know her. Ellen? Tamara? Jo?"
Helena's eyes twitch to the side at the mention of Jo's name. It's a subtle tell. Dean is fucking awesome at lying, though, and so he catches it.
"Jo Harvelle?" he repeats. "Awesome! Could you get her on the phone for me?"
"Not a chance in hell."
Okay. That's not good. He tries for an empathetic response.
"You know if you shoot me, you'll be killing an innocent human being?"
"I'm serious. Well, actually, this guy ain't so innocent, but the point remains." He leans forward. "Helena, listen. If I wanted you to be dead, you'd be dead. I'm just hitchhiking."
"And this is the last time I ever take a hitchhiker in my life," she says, then snorts out a laugh. Figures she'd be the morbid type.
Okay then. Okay. Plan A scuppered, time for Plan Oh Shit Why Am I Doing This. Play demon, he thinks. Be your inner creepy evil bastard who will gut you unless you are having the luckiest freakin' day of your life and then some. He's tried more than enough begging and pleading to suit his tastes, and no one's going to listen, not with these eyes of his. Dean considers saying no more Mr Nice Guy in a dumb voice but there's no one around who'd appreciate it.
So he reaches his left hand into his duffle and takes out what usually acts as his boot knife. He slides his arm across the space between them and presses the edge casually into the side of her thigh. Not enough to cut through pink flowered cotton and then to the skin, but enough to leave maybe a threatening dent and make him feel like an utter creeper. She flinches away, gun finally wobbling, and hisses out a breath.
He smiles at her slowly, lips pulling away from teeth, and feels his eyes snap black.
"Pull over, would you?" he says.
So if Dean ends up driving into Buxton in a car he really didn't want to steal, with a friend of Jo's he didn't want to piss off on his trail, what about it? It's not like he's in this job to make friends, anyway.
While the place isn't big, it's large enough for a bar, and he figures that's where Jo'll be working at the moment given her employment history. It's about nine o'clock by the time he's ditched the car outside the town's general store and jogged down to the place, which is called Charlie's. It's practically empty when he walks in, which is weird."
"Bad luck, we close early today," says the bartender, blonde hair tumbling down her back. She's scrubbing at a table. "See you tomorrow."
"Hey Jo," Dean says, wandering in. He picks up a dirty glass and looks at it. "Charlie's what?"
She whips around and he gives her a moment to recover, twirling the glass on the table.
"You smartass, that was so lame," she says, then takes the glass, a smile breaking out all over her face. "Hey Dean. You know, you're about the last person I was expecting to see."
"Oh," Dean says weakly. "I'm just full of surprises, huh?" He rubs a hand over his face and laughs dryly. "Oh, uh…I never did call after Duluth. I…yeah, sorry. And the War thing, that sucked. Uh…sorry."
Jo's smile twitches a little.
"Actually," Dean says, then looks around awkwardly, shoves his hands in his pockets. "I'm here because of…well, it's kinda like that."
"Uh, okay," Jo says. "You want a seat?"
Dean doesn't move. "You remember thinking Sam was a demon again when he wasn't? How it was a trick?" Then he pauses. The truth, is he seriously trying the truth? But what's Jo going to believe?
"Yeah," Jo says slowly. "Yeah, I do. Hey, about Sam. Where is he?"
"Yeah, uh, he couldn't make it," Dean says. "Listen, you gotta hear me out. God. I need a drink. You got whiskey?"
"Do you have the cash?"
He grimaces. "Mate's rates?"
She puts a hand on her hip and tilts her head. "Okay then. One beer, huh? For the road?"
"Sure," he says, bemused. "Can't turn that down."
She goes to the fridge. He follows her up to the bar and takes a seat, watching her. Too casual, Dean's hindbrain notes, she's on edge. Does she know? Did he flash those creepy-ass hellbitch eyes of his or something?
"So, uh, how'd you find me," Jo says, trying to sound relaxed and mostly succeeding.
"I was nearby and I got a lift from a friend of yours, heard you were in town," Dean says. "Thing is, I've got this problem and. Well."
"Spit it out."
"Actually, it's…I lost Sam."
"One beer," Jo says, slamming it down in front of him, and he stops talking. He's pretty damn thirsty, never did get that drink of water. The bottle's uncapped so he grabs it by the neck and is all set to just drink it – and stops.
Rule number two of being a demon, he thinks, is probably something along the lines of don't drink from beer bottles offered by hunters. He awkwardly tries to pass off the motion as just playing with it, but Jo's watching him. By god is she watching him. It's starting to make him uncomfortable.
"Something wrong?" she says. "You look thirsty."
"Listen, Jo," Dean says. Oh, this is gonna suck. "I really need your help, okay? It's Sam. He – he ran off with the Impala last night."
"Did he?" Jo says.
"Yeah. I think he's either hallucinating or possessed. Or it could just be him, you know. Off to…do something drastic." It makes him sick how the last one isn't that far off.
"Which do you think he is?" Jo says
"Don't worry, you won't scare me. Possessed?" she says. Her smile has gone all bright and hard on her face.
"I," Dean says, and decides to go for broke. "Yeah, yeah, probably. I need to track him down. Jo, you have to help me. I gotta save him."
"That's real kind of you," Jo says. "Dean."
Dean looks at her and grips the neck of the beer bottle. "…Jo?" he says.
"Maybe you should go," Jo says in a voice that's too even. She's backing away. He's losing her.
"Please – Jo!" He grabs her hand and she goes white as a sheet, jerks away. He pins it to the table, and she freezes, face twisting in panic. He can feel her pulse thundering through her wrist. Dean feels desperately awful.
"I'm sorry," he says. "Jo. You need to believe me. I need your help. I need to find Sam."
"Maybe I'd have believed you a couple of years ago," says Jo. "Before the shit hit the fan. Yeah. Maybe then."
"And not now?" he says, mouth dry.
"No, she says. "Sorry, Dean."
He closes his eyes for a moment and tips his head back, breathing out through his nose. When he opens them again, her mouth is a flat line, and then she says "Shit. Christo."
Goddamn, that hurts – he twitches reflexively. It's like a small electric shock. He looks away, but it's too late. There's a dawning expression of horror on Jo's face.
"I can –Jo, listen–" Dean dashes backwards, putting a table between them. "Okay, I lied. Sam's not possessed. But I'm not either, I promise-"
She's advancing with the bottle from the table – fuck, did he really let go of it? Idiot. He grabs a chair. She's strong, but if it comes to straight up grappling he's got the clear advantage -
"Is it you?" she says.
"Who do you mean?" Dean fires back, playing for time.
Jo's eyes are dark and steady. She adjusts her grip on the bottle. "Are you the same –" She swallows. "Do I know you?"
"Yes! Of course, I'm Dean, damn it -"
"Then why are you here?" she says, backing up. There'll be a shotgun behind the bar, he figures, but - she won't shoot him. Probably. Maybe. Right?
"I'm not here to hurt you," he says. "I came for help." Dean shakes his head. "Okay, it's like – War. Remember War? You thought he was a demon, and he wasn't?"
"You're wasting your time," Jo says. "What kind of help do you need from me?"
"Like I told you! I need to find Sam."
"So he's not picking up the phone, huh? He knows what you are." She shifts her grip on the bottle. "Oh, I get it. You need a hostage. Bait."
Now, that could – actually work.
Dean, god help him, actually considers it. Sam doesn't know he's here. Jo could do what Dean can't. It's a shitty thing to think about, but it's not like he's got a clean record to take care of and this is Sam they're talking about here. Sam he needs to find, to save.
"No – Jo, no. I need to get to him first. I –" He runs a hand through his hair. "I will not hurt you. I swear I'm not going to hurt you. Just please…"
"Listen to you?" she says. "You're a demon, and you're in my friend."
Friend. The word makes Dean falter slightly. He hadn't thought about or seen Jo before the War thing for a good while. He'd almost forgotten he could have friends.
"Not like I've made a move yet," he says, spreading his arms wide. "Okay. Do your worst."
For a moment he thinks this is it, she's going to trust him, because a demon wouldn't take that chance, right? But she's moving before he even finishes talking, smashing the neck of the bottle open and hurling the water at him. Every droplet that hits him burns like hell.
'Course she can't see past the black eyes, no one else can. "No," he gasps. "No -" Damn it, he's so fucking stupid. He stumbles backwards. Jo advances, grabbing the rifle under the counter as she does.
Dean doesn't wait. He surges forward, shoving the table so it goes barrelling into her, sending her stumbling back. He follows it and delivers a resounding kick to her solar plexus. She's down for the count when he hauls her into a chair and takes out his knife.
He's got one more option.
"You bastard," she says, breathing shallowly, eyes wide and dark.
He shoves her against the wall, holding the knife to her throat. He breathes deep, closes his eyes. He really is sorry.
He has to sell this. She has to believe he'd do it. He opens his eyes, showing the demon for a moment, and smiles. He's done this before. He knows exactly what to say. He won't even have to try very hard. It's very easy to scare them.
"Okay, Jo. I know this is tough," he says gently. "And you know I don't wanna hurt you." For the love of god. "But you might not end up giving me a choice here. So you gotta help me out. I need you to call Sam. Find out where he is for me. Okay?"
She spits in his face. He winces and doesn't comment, then carefully reaches into her pocket. She's trembling and coming on close to hyperventilating and he thinks about 2007. Thinks about what happened with Meg. Wishes he were anywhere else on the planet right now. He can feel the phone in there and he withdraws it quickly, flips it open and finds Sam in the contacts.
He puts it into her hand.
"Okay," he says. "I just wanna know where he is. Then I'll let you go. Promise. Our great big demonic plans, uh, need you alive. Do not tell him where we are. I'm sure you can imagine a whole lot of reasons not to. Got me?" She's silent.
"Okay?" he prods.
"Okay," Jo echoes.
There's no point, Dean thinks, no point playing nice, it's too late. I'm no innocent anyway.
This sort of thing is just what people expect from him now.
The ringing stops.
"Hello?" Sam says, voice tinny on the other end. He sounds exhausted, and Dean just wants to go back to him already and make sure he gets some goddamned sleep, but he doesn't know if he can, he doesn't know if there's a groove like that in Sam's life for him to slip into anymore because that sort of thing, just, lately - hasn't.
"Hey," Jo says, and her voice cracks a little. "Hey."
"Is this Jo?"
"Yeah. Hey, Sam."
"Oh." Sam hesitates awkwardly. Dean can practically see him frantically trying to think of something to say. "Uh…hi. You know, I never did apologise for that one time-"
"Yeah," Jo says, voice tight, "don't worry about that. It's fine. I was just wondering. Um."
There's a beat and then Sam says, carefully controlled, "Yeah, what?"
"We haven't caught up since the thing with War," she says, "and, um, that didn't really count, so. Where are you right now?"
There's a longer pause this time.
"Okay, sure," Sam says. "Why didn't you call Dean, though? I'd have figured…"
"Didn't have his number," she says.
"Right," he says. "So where are you?"
"I'm supposed to just be getting off work. But people keep coming in at all hours, though, it's annoying - keep wanting beer when I'm closing up and then they get handsy–"
Dean tugs on her hair in warning but it's too late, she's already managed to warn him.
"Okay," Sam says, and pauses for a minute. Silence all round. Then –
"He's standing right there, isn't he?"
Dean tips his head back. Fuck.
"It's okay," Sam says. "It's okay, just –"
"He wants to know where you are," she says.
"I can't - where are you?"
"I," Jo says, voice rising - "Sam – "
"Stay calm." Then his voice turns harsh. "You - can you hear me? What the fuck do you think you're doing?"
Dean takes the phone.
"Okay, guess that didn't work out," he says. "Sam –"
"You threatened Jo," Sam says, "you son of a bitch, you had to know what happened with – is this Meg?"
Dean had forgotten about that, actually, entirely focussed on getting to Sam, and by the time he'd remembered it was way too late.
"No, but that doesn't matter." Jo makes a move and he slams her back into the chair. "You've got – hmm, probably until I get bored to tell me where thefuck you are."
His brother breathes out.
"Okay," he says - and does, right down to the motel room number.
Dean can't tell if he's lying and that doesn't scare the shit out of him as much as it should – been there done that - and that in itself is terrifying.
"Thank, dude," Dean says, because he cannot take another minute of this, and he steps back away from Jo. "It's okay, I'm leaving. We're done here." He gives her the phone. "I'm – Jo, I'm sorry."
"Oh my god," Jo says, clutching the phone with white-knuckled hands and slumping back against the chair.
"Jo?" Sam's voice says loudly. "JO! Are you okay? Jo?"
She looks at him, eyes bright and wide, and he looks back and thinks – she looks like that 'cause she knows she's got maybe a minute to live if she's really lucky, longer if she isn't. The demon who I might as well be, who everyone thinks I am – that's what it would do. She knows.
"I'm sorry," he repeats and turns to go. Dean's nearly out the door when she speaks again, but it's into the phone.
"Yeah," she says. "Yeah, he's…I'm okay."
She meets Dean's eyes, and jerks her chin, mouth a tight line. Get out. "I'm okay," she repeats.
Sam curses loud enough for Dean to hear. "Is he leaving?"
"Yeah, he's –"
Dean lets the door slam shut behind him, and goes to find another car.
Offer's still open, Dean.
I'll be waiting. Just one little word.
It was using Jo to find his location, but didn't want him to know theirs. So it wants to find him, but it doesn't want him to find it. That means it's thinking he's going to be on demon blood. It probably doesn't want to die. It's going to want to take him by surprise.
"Yeah. He just walked out the door. He …didn't hurt me. It wasn't like last time," she says and that shuts him up for a minute. Guilt that he can't stop himself feeling is sour on his tongue.
"You do know it was screwing with you, right? Jo?"
"Yeah, I know." She pauses. "He threatened me with a knife, so."
"But you're okay?"
"Yeah, I -"
"Huh," Sam says, and ends the call.
He sits back on the bed, rubbing a hand over his jaw, and looks at the clock.
Sam, Lucifer says after a while.
"No," Sam says.
Sam, this plan is ridiculous. Just –
"You're not getting a yes out of me, not from this one. Just shut up, okay?"
The Devil is silent for a moment. Then I'm sending you something, he says. It should be here soon.
"I said shut up," Sam says, and finally, Lucifer does.
Sam checks the wards; devil's traps on the doorway and the ceiling, salt everywhere. He's just pacing around the room in a circle, wondering what to do next, when the ceiling light flickers.
There's a knock at the door. He takes out the knife and edges towards it. When he opens it, he blinks.
That's…definitely not Dean.