Summary: Season 8 Finale – Sam's spine was not actually being ripped out through his mouth. It just felt like it was, causing pain and paralysis while taking Sam's breath and his ability to speak. Dean shook his head, refusing to believe he had just stopped Sam from killing himself in this third trial only to watch his little brother live the rest of his life wishing he was dead.
Disclaimer: Not mine
Warnings: Usual language and spoilers for events in seasons seven and eight
A/N: I think you know by now that I like to put my own spin on things. "What if..." is sometimes my favorite phrase. So, strap in. Here we go...
I stood beneath an orange sky with my brother standing by. I said, "Brother...in your love, my salvation lies." ~ Alexi Murdoch
He was leaving.
His work here was done.
After three years of falsely prophesying, after the past six months of pretending to translate the "demon tablet", he deserved a fucking break.
Because keeping up the constant pretense of who he was supposed to be was exhausting; keeping up with his own lies was draining.
And don't even get him started about having to tolerate the arrogance of hunters and angels.
Kevin snorted and shook his head in disgust at the memory of Dean and Cas appearing out of fucking nowhere several hours ago in the Men of Letters bunker with an "angel tablet" in hand; ordering him to translate it or else...that it was his duty...and blah, blah, blah.
Like Kevin had any duty beyond leading them astray; like his loyalty was sworn to anyone but Metatron.
Like any of these tablets were real; like any of these slabs of engraved stone really meant anything; like demons or angels would ever write down their thoughts for others to read.
That wasn't how this worked.
Dean and Cas could growl and threaten and manhandle him all they wanted.
But in the end, these tablets were still useless; were nothing more than well-constructed props in a carefully planned, perfectly orchestrated play for power.
Because the real tablets were in a different location; the real tablets had been translated before the beginning of time by the true Keeper of the Word, the Scribe of God.
He was the one calling the shots and pulling the strings.
He was the one scripting every single word that Kevin spoke.
He was the one who knew the real outcome of the trials.
Metatron may have been a recluse, but he was also a fucking genius. Had been silently watching and waiting and scheming for countless years for this moment. Had thought of everything; had covered every detail and loophole. Was the master of illusion – his words creating whatever reality he commanded. Humans and angels and everything in between bending to his will as he had manipulated every interaction, every situation to lead to this moment.
And now here it was – the gift of revenge to Metatron, from Metatron.
It was beautifully mind-blowing how each piece of this puzzle had finally clicked into place; how each word written and spoken had woven together to produce this.
Kevin nodded appreciatively.
It was an indescribable honor to be the one trusted enough to help turn the pages of this literary masterpiece; a story that would be read and studied and pondered for all eternity – an account of this day when the angels were cast from Heaven.
Kevin was living it even as Metatron was writing it.
And that would never stop being awesome to the high school kid who had been lucky enough to be cast in the role of false prophet several years ago; who had been struck by lightning in his room and had been living a lie ever since.
Kevin smiled to himself. "I would like to thank my friends and family for their support..." he announced as if he was accepting an award for his stellar performance, his voice echoing through the silence of the Winchesters' bunker as he finished packing his bag.
Kevin snorted at his own words.
Because his friends and family were dead – some literally, others figuratively since they ceased to exist to him.
And that was fine.
He didn't need them and didn't miss them.
He had bigger and better things to pursue.
In fact, the current chapter of this epic story was due to end any second.
The dramatic turn of Metatron assuming power and complete control over Heaven and then casting the angels out.
Kevin was just waiting for the sign.
The false prophet checked his watch.
"Should be any time now..." Kevin commented, giving a final glance inside his backpack and confirming that he had grabbed everything he had been instructed to steal.
Most importantly, all of the Winchesters' journals – Henry's, John's, Dean's, and Sam's; along with a few specific books from the Men of Letters library...and of course, Kevin still had the key to the actual bunker itself.
That was a surprise.
Metatron would be pleased and would chuckle about the stupidity of humanity when Kevin told the angel that Dean had willingly given him the key.
Dumbass, thy name is Human.
Kevin smiled at the classic Metatron one-liner and zipped his backpack, shouldering his load and climbing the steps of the bunker; reaching the second level just as a red light suddenly glowed on the wall.
Red – the color of blood, the color of war and judgment in Scripture.
Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other...
"Revelation 6:4," Kevin easily identified, knowing the Bible as well as any true prophet since falsehood was often rooted in truth.
Think on that.
Kevin twitched a smile as the light continued to glow its red warning.
It was the sign he had been waiting for.
And it was a fitting sign of what was happening, of what was to come.
Red...the red horseman – peace snatched by fallen angels roaming the earth with their own agendas.
It was poetic that the verse typically associated with the apocalypse could also be connected with this moment – a different kind of apocalypse.
Kevin nodded at the parallels and glanced down below as various other lights began to switch on, various tracking machines doing the same; the entire bunker erupting in a buzzing hum.
This was it.
It was happening.
This chapter was ending now.
And it was as exciting as Kevin had imagined.
The false prophet continued to watch the independently operating machines down below and then flinched when a piercing alarm began blaring from the wall.
Kevin scowled over his shoulder – because holy shit that was loud – and then glanced at the red light still glowing before directing his attention to different red lights...the ones suddenly appearing in clusters on the illuminated map table.
Three guesses as to what those lights represented.
"And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority...but left the place where they belonged..."
Kevin turned, recognizing the voice behind him...and the verse.
"Jude 1:6," he replied, raising his voice to be heard over the alarm that continued to blare.
Metatron smiled and nodded. "Well done, good and faithful servant."
And he wasn't just praising Kevin's knowledge of the Bible or his ability to identify any verse quoted to him.
Metatron was praising Kevin's role in this.
"Matthew 25:21," Kevin told the angel, unable to stop himself from labeling that verse as well.
Metatron chuckled, like an owner amused by the pet he had taught tricks, and then gestured to the hoopla of the bunker – the proverbial bells and whistles.
"Too flashy?" the angel asked, his tone and expression indicating that he was enjoying himself; that he had waited most of eternity for this moment.
Kevin smiled and shook his head. "Nothing is too flashy to announce the new King of Heaven."
Metatron nodded his approval of the ass-kissing response, reminded of why he had chosen Kevin as the false prophet; of why Kevin was his favorite pawn.
Because this kid knew his role; knew how to play the game and advance the plot; knew how to move the story forward.
This kid would go far.
Or least far enough until he was no longer needed.
Then he would be discarded and replaced, a practice commonly used by writers to keep the story interesting.
Metatron nodded at his inner monologue, at his plans for Kevin, and then sighed. "Well, enough of that for now..." he grumbled about the alarms and lights and snapped his fingers, the crisp sound instantly silencing the bunker. "There. That's better."
Kevin hummed his agreement and waited.
Because that was part of his role - to wait for Metatron's orders.
The Scribe of God called the shots.
After all, this was his story.
It always had been.
Metatron clasped his hands in front of him and glanced around the bunker. "The place hasn't changed a bit," he commented fondly, as if he was visiting his old stomping grounds for the first time in a long time.
Kevin frowned. "You've been here before?"
Metatron shrugged. "It was years ago..." he responded, his answer vague and dismissive.
Kevin sighed at the angel's familiarly secretive behavior but said nothing.
Metatron smiled, sensing Kevin's frustration. "So, tell me..."
Kevin arched an eyebrow and shifted the backpack on his shoulder. "Tell you what?"
"About your day, of course..." Metatron replied like an interested parent, sounding as eager as he often did during his and Kevin's daily phone calls.
Not a single day going by over the past three years without Kevin having to report his progress and provide details about his interaction with the Winchesters.
And then days ago Metatron had pretended that he had never even heard of Sam and Dean?
It was all part of the master plan - the lying and the spying and the scripting.
Say this instead of that in order to achieve this result.
Every sentence a line previously written with each word carefully chosen for maximum impact.
Every action blocked and choreographed.
It was exhausting, like performing a play 24/7 for the past three years.
Yeah...he definitely deserved a fucking break.
But Kevin knew his break would be brief - these past few hours in the Winchesters' bunker and maybe a few more minutes now before it was showtime again.
The story never stopped until Metatron ended it.
And in some ways, Metatron's story was just beginning.
Kevin sighed again.
"Tell me all about your day," Metatron repeated, still staring at Kevin. "And then I'll tell you about mine..."
And there was beach-front property available in Hell, too.
Kevin shook his head, knowing that scenario was more likely than Metatron telling him anything.
Because as Kevin had been informed numerous times before, false prophets – and all other characters in this story – were on a "need to know basis".
And most of the time, Metatron didn't think anyone needed to know anything except their part.
Kevin swallowed and nodded at the sing-songed warning, recognizing the polite threat in the angel's tone.
Because Metatron only looked meek and harmless; his quiet voice and almost constant smile meant to mask the evil within.
But Kevin knew the true nature of the Scribe of God; knew that Metatron was not to be fucked with.
Which was why Kevin needed to start telling the angel what he wanted to know...or else.
Kevin shifted nervously where he stood, readjusting his backpack on his shoulder and clearing his throat. "Well..." he began. "I mean..." He glanced around the bunker, his anxiety increasing at the possibility that the Winchester brothers could return any second. "Shouldn't we do this somewhere else? Sam and Dean could – "
" – Sam and Dean are occupied right now," Metatron interrupted confidently and crossed to stand beside Kevin, leaning against the railing that bordered the second level; further threatening his false prophet just by his physical proximity. "I assure you. We have time to swap stories."
Always with the story references...
"So let's hear it..." Metatron continued, staring at Kevin and making it clear that he would not ask again.
The Scribe of God wanting to ensure his script had been followed for the crucial scene that had led to the angels' demise.
Kevin sighed. "Um...okay..."
He fidgeted where he stood, having not expected to give his report now.
Besides, wasn't it obvious that things had gone as planned?
Kevin sighed again.
Metatron blinked expectantly, his unseen pen poised to jot notes if needed.
"Well, I met them – "
" – and by 'them', you mean Sam and Dean?"
Kevin nodded, accustomed to the Scribe of God always being a stickler for details.
Metatron returned the nod. "Carry on."
Kevin swallowed. "I met them under that sign..."
"Ah, that sign..." Metatron commented fondly and chuckled at his own cleverness for having found the billboard with a larger-than-life portrayal of Lucifer. "Foreshadowing at its best, don't you think? A sign featuring a fallen angel...get it? A fallen angel predicting a fallin' angel."
Metatron chuckled again.
Kevin smiled. "Yeah. I get it," he replied and laughed lightly, having forgotten how uneasy Metatron made him feel whenever they were actually together. "In fact, even Dean said something about me hiding the demon tablet underneath the devil."
Metatron arched an interested eyebrow. "What was your response?"
Like they were running lines for a play...
Kevin shrugged, feeling the backpack lift on his shoulder. "I just said that was I delirious when I buried it."
"And they bought that, yes?"
"Good," Metatron praised. "Then what?"
"Then I put the tablet together..."
"Did it light up?" Metatron asked, checking the effectiveness of his special effects.
"Yes," Kevin confirmed. "Just like we planned. The magnetic field worked...the two pieces just clicked together. And then the tablet kind of flashed a little. It was good. Very believable."
Metatron smiled, enjoying the story. "Your performance has been very believable," he told his false prophet. "Outstanding, really. You have advanced this plot by committing to this role for years now. We're talking method acting at its absolute best. Even your own mother believed you..."
Kevin nodded, aware that he should feel something about his mother being dead...but he didn't.
The bitch had been a pain in his ass, especially over the past three years.
Good riddance that Crowley's demons had finally done what Kevin had often wished he could do - kill the old woman.
There was a beat of silence.
Speaking of Crowley...
"Oh. We've been so busy with the trials and wrapping up this chapter..." Kevin commented. "But thanks for saving my ass, by the way. You know...when Crowley was strangling the crap outta me."
Metatron waved a dismissive hand, like a neighbor being unnecessarily thanked for a favor. "Don't mention it," the angel replied and paused. "Thank you for pretending you didn't know me when you woke."
Kevin shrugged. "Just delivering my lines."
Metatron nodded his agreement.
There was another beat of silence.
"Okay..." Metatron sighed, getting back to business. "After the tablet was magically snapped together, then what?"
"Then I gave it to Sam," Kevin reported. "And then Dean gave me the key to this place...and – "
" – whoa," Metatron interrupted, holding up his hand. "Key?"
Kevin smiled, having known this detail would interest Metatron.
The Scribe of God always knowing what Kevin would say and do because the angel had scripted his words and actions.
But the words and actions of others not specifically scripted by Metatron - like Sam and Dean - were a constant source of entertainment for the angel.
"Well...my, my..." Metatron mused. "Those Winchesters are just full of surprises." He smiled. "Let me see it."
"Sure," Kevin agreed, having expected that order, and pulled the key from his coat pocket.
"And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom..." Metatron quoted, taking the key from his false prophet.
"Matthew 16:19," Kevin responded.
Metatron nodded. "This is good," he declared, staring at the key. "This is very good," he added and pocketed the key for his own purposes. "What else? Did you get the journals and the books?"
Kevin patted the backpack on his shoulder. "In here."
Metatron nodded again. "Good. I miss the library in this place," he commented nostalgically and then sighed. "What else was said?" he asked, referencing the roadside rendezvous with the Winchesters.
Kevin shook his head. "Not much. After I took the key, they were walking away, and I told them that they were doing the right thing."
Metatron chuckled. "Spoken like a good prophet..."
Kevin snorted at being described as such. "Yeah, I guess. They seemed to buy it."
"Of course they did," Metatron replied. "You're perfect in this role. My words paired with your acting...we're unstoppable, kid."
Kevin smiled nervously at the praise.
"Okay. So they left, then you came here, and...?"
"I was just, you know...chillin'."
Metatron scowled at the slang.
Kevin cringed. "Sorry. I mean...um...enjoying my leisure time."
Metatron nodded his approval of the correction.
Kevin swallowed. "But then Dean and Cas showed up with the angel tablet."
Metatron chuckled once more. "Ah, the angel tablet. Gets funnier every time I hear it..."
Kevin twitched a smile. "I even asked them if it was a joke..."
"Because the joke was on them..." Metatron finished.
Kevin's smile widened. "Exactly...but they didn't get it."
Metatron rolled his eyes. "Of course they didn't."
"Cas answered that no, it was the Word of God."
"Of course he did," Metatron agreed dryly, still leaning against the railing that bordered the second level of the Winchesters' bunker. "When actually, none of the angels would know the true Word of God even if it bit them in the ass...which is why it has been so easy to pass counterfeits all this time. Nobody knows what the hell they're looking at...or for."
He shook his head in annoyance.
Kevin sighed. "Well, Dean told me to translate it because that's 'what I do'."
"That's what he thinks you do," Metatron corrected.
"And you said...?"
"I told them that I had never even seen the angel tablet..."
"...and how could I translate it in six hours when half of the demon tablet had taken me six months."
"Excellent," Metatron praised. "I love how you always stick to the script, Kevin." He paused. "Did you remember the part about your dead mom?"
Kevin nodded. "Yeah. I said the whole 'six months and a dead mom' line. And you were right. That was good."
"Dean is always sensitive to references about dead mothers," Metatron informed. "Very effective. Always remember that."
Kevin nodded again. "And then I told Dean that translating was not what I do, it's what I did."
"I just love that reversal of word tense. So powerful when making a point..."
"Yeah," Kevin agreed. "But then that total dick grabbed me – "
" – wait, wait...which one?"
Because at last count, there had been two on the premises – both Dean and Cas.
Metatron smiled at the nickname, feeling the small vial of glowing essence in his pocket. "Ah, Castiel..." He paused. "I assure you that he will no longer cause trouble," the Scribe of God told his false prophet about that particular ex-angel. "Continue."
Kevin tilted his head Metatron's comment and then clenched his jaw, freshly pissed at the scene he was about to describe. "He grabbed me and lifted me up and told me that I was never out of this. That it was my duty, and that I was a prophet of the Lord..."
"...and that I would be a prophet always and forever, until I ceased to exist and then another prophet would take my place."
Because actually...that part was true.
Kevin would be kept around to spread falsehoods as prophecy until it was time for another character to take his place.
And so the story would be written...
There was a pause.
"Then what?" Metatron prompted.
Kevin shook his head. "Then Cas threw me into the table with the angel tablet and asked if I was clear about the task before me."
"And you said...?"
"Nothing," Kevin responded. "I just nodded and they left. Then Dean called later to – "
" – yes, I know," Metatron interrupted. "I heard that conversation."
Kevin frowned his confusion since Metatron usually knew of conversations because he had scripted most of them, but the angel rarely heard them unless...
Metatron nodded. "I was tracking Naomi at that point," he confirmed. "I heard everything in that scene."
"Dude..." Kevin breathed, remembering that moment. "When she started saying all that crap about how you were lying about wanting to fix Heaven...and how she had been inside your head..." He swallowed at the memory. "I thought that was it. I thought our cover was blown."
"Ah, ye of little faith..." Metatron scoffed and then glanced at Kevin expectantly.
Kevin chuckled at this game. "Matthew 8:26."
Metatron nodded, paused. "I knew that Castiel would not believe Naomi. Too much had happened between them. The lines of trust had been irreparably severed. And where there's no trust, there's doubt. And where there's doubt, there's me..." he proudly proclaimed. "Bending the truth to fit my story."
Kevin nodded, familiar with the ways in which Metatron worked. "But still...she just kept on and on about how angels were going to be cast out of Heaven..."
Metatron shrugged. "Every story needs a little rising action and climax."
"Yeah, well...your rising action and climax almost gave me a heart attack," Kevin commented dryly, still able to feel the tightness in his chest from that moment.
Metatron shook his head. "It was all going as planned," he assured.
Kevin didn't dispute it.
Everything always went the way Metatron planned.
And even when it didn't go as planned, the Scribe of God had scripted alternate lines to fill in the gaps and redirect the story back to his plot.
Which was why Kevin always had to memorize so many different scenarios, so the false prophet would be prepared for whatever response the other characters not under Metatron's direct control came up with...and would be able to guide the story back on track.
Kevin really did deserve a fucking award.
"Anyway..." Kevin sighed. "Then Dean gets back on the phone and asks me if Naomi was lying in her little speech – "
" – and you told him you didn't know," Metatron finished. "Just like a good little prophet."
Kevin rolled his eyes. "Just sticking to the script..."
Always sticking to the script...or unpleasant things would happen.
"Just like a good little prophet," Metatron repeated, as if Kevin's statement had only proved it.
Kevin nodded. "Yeah, well..."
He liked living.
Kevin swallowed. "That's it. Dean hung up after that, and I think you know the rest."
"I do," Metatron confirmed and gestured to the now silent machines in the bunker. "And I guess you knew the rest as well."
Kevin nodded again, remembering the signs – the glowing red light and blaring alarm.
"The angels fell."
"Like rocks," Metatron reported and grinned with pure delight. "Like flaming rocks," he added. "Wingless, insignificant little flies plunging to earth." He paused. "It was a sight to behold. I'm not even sure my words can do it justice."
Kevin smiled. "I'm sure they'll come to you," he replied, referring to the words.
Metatron nodded. "They usually do," he agreed, like the literary Pied Piper he was.
There was silence.
Kevin shifted where he stood, realizing the implications of what had happened.
"So...if the angels fell, that means Naomi is...?"
"Dead," Metatron answered. "The instrument she used to see inside my head is now buried into the side of hers."
Kevin cringed at the visual. "And Cas?"
"An angel no more," Metatron informed, patting his pocket where the vial of essence was safely tucked away.
Kevin nodded, remembering Metatron outlining all of this before the trials had started – who would die and who would live and who would never be the same.
But there was still one question.
"What about the gates of Hell?"
Kevin blinked his surprise. "Wow. So, that means..."
"It does," Metatron confirmed. "Sam is alive."
"For now," Kevin returned.
"For as long as he wishes," Metatron countered. "He is safe from death until he completes the third trial."
"Yeah," Kevin agreed. "But his condition will continue to deteriorate until the third trial is complete. I mean...that's how these trials work. After a while, he'll wish he was dead. You ever had your spine ripped out through your mouth?"
Metatron scowled. "That is not to be taken literally, and you know it," he admonished his false prophet. "Besides, Sam Winchester's well-being is not my concern," he reminded. "He agreed to undertake the trials and thus also agreed to endure their effects, however temporary or permanent they may be."
Kevin shrugged his agreement. "Guess so. But how is he ever going to get out of the third trial unless he completes it? The only way out is through. Even you've said that. Which means Sam can't just stop in the middle."
Metatron smiled, amused by this conversation. "The Winchesters are a willful bunch, a stubborn bloodline. Over the years, they've accomplished many things that supposedly could not be done." He paused. "But as I've explained to you before, while they are fascinating to watch and interact with, they are not my characters. Someone else is writing their story – a prophet...a real prophet. "
Kevin rolled his eyes at the jibe. "Yeah, yeah..." he dismissed, because who wanted to be a real prophet anyway? "But Sam and Dean's story is now part of yours."
"In a way, yes..." Metatron agreed.
"So that makes them your characters."
"No," Metatron replied and then sighed when Kevin stared at him. "It's complicated. While their story has indeed intersected with mine, we have different endings."
"Don't know, don't care," Metatron replied and sighed irritably. "After the next few minutes, the Winchesters will no longer be my concern."
Kevin frowned, wondering what that meant...but knowing better than to ask; recognizing the Scribe of God's expression as his cue to choose a different topic.
"Okay..." Kevin allowed. "Fine. So, what about Hell?"
"What about it?" Metatron returned. "That's not my concern, either. Nor is it yours. Hell has a new leader. Abbadon has successfully reclaimed her throne and will rule her realm as I will rule Heaven. She and I have worked well together for years. I am not concerned."
Kevin arched an eyebrow. "An angel working with a demon?"
"It is not the first time, I assure you. One must take advantage of opportunity no matter how it's disguised," Metatron wisely advised. "My alliance with the Queen of Hell is fragile but exists nonetheless. As is said in Chicago, when you're good to Mama, Mama's good to you."
Kevin blinked, unfamiliar with musicals and clueless to the reference.
Metatron chuckled. "Never mind," he dismissed. "Long story, short – now that I'm in charge of Heaven, I have bigger issues than Castiel or the Winchesters or even Hell. Much bigger issues...and so do you."
Kevin sighed, anxious about the next responsibility of his role – the reveal.
The false prophet swallowed at the thought, not looking forward to telling Dean Winchester that the past three years had been a lie; that he had known what would happen to Sam in the end...and had kept quiet; had just continued to recite his lines as written by Metatron in order to achieve Metatron's goal - complete control of Heaven.
Kevin sighed and glanced at the angel standing beside him. "Congratulations. For, you know...your promotion."
Metatron twitched a smile. "Well, that was incredibly delayed..." he commented. "But thank you," he graciously replied. "It feels good when a story comes together, when the plot advances in the way that you planned. But...as any writer knows, it is not wise to bask too long in the success of one chapter before moving on to the next."
"Which I guess is your subtle way of telling me that the next chapter starts now?" Kevin clarified, then frowned when his phone started ringing.
Metatron smiled as if Kevin's phone had rung right on time. "Indeed it does."
Kevin arched an eyebrow at the angel's knowing tone and dug his phone from his coat pocket, readjusting his backpack on his shoulder and then sighing harshly at the name on the caller display.
Kevin glanced at Metatron. "It's Dean."
Metatron nodded. "Indeed it is." He paused. "I think you know what to do."
Kevin blinked at the unspoken order. "Now?"
Metatron wanted him to reveal himself as a false prophet now?
No more practice? No more dress rehearsals for the big moment?
Metatron smiled. "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under Heaven..."
Kevin scowled. "Seriously? You're using Ecclesiastes 3:3 on me right now?"
Metatron chuckled, sometimes reminded that at his core, Kevin was still just a moody teenager. "Answer the call. It's what begins the next chapter."
Kevin swallowed, glancing back at his ringing phone.
"Relax," Metatron soothed. "Just do what you always do, Kevin. Stick to the script and let the story unfold. But first..."
Kevin narrowed his eyes as the angel reached for him, grasping his shoulder. "Oh, here we go..." he groaned, because he knew what this meant.
Metatron's smile widened. "If Dean is calling you, then he and his brother are heading back here. So, let's have a little change of scenery, shall we?" he asked half a second before he disappeared from the Men of Letters bunker in a flutter of invisible wings, taking Kevin with him.