Wolf in the Fold
Summary: A theory. Ezekiel is not who he says he is.
Notes: Just clearing this out of the way before I start NaNoWriMo. Not strictly 9.03 compliant, because I don't believe that just happened. Someone tell me that didn't just happen and I didn't go to bed Tuesday night feeling like someone had stabbed me with an angel blade. Or wake up Wednesday morning feeling much the same way. FIX THAT. Vague Destiel hints, therefore, but no more than the show does on a regular basis.
Of the six people, broadly speaking, living in the Men of Letters bunker at the moment, five are asleep.
From the room that has become his as well, and the body that he considers his now, once and future, the being who is not Ezekiel can taste their dreams. He savors them, running his metaphorical fingers through their minds when they are at their most vulnerable.
He lets Sam's body sleep, keeping their minds separate, carefully. Some nights, when Sam has subsided into sleep and left his counterpart alone in this body, he does not even move so much as to open their eyes. He does not need to – he is healing them both, he did not lie.
Tonight he stretches, savoring the way he fits into this body – his body – so perfectly, as he'd always known he would. Of course he does. Sam has been his since before the human was born. Every muscle, every nerve, every inch of skin feels right, despite the network of the tiniest possible cracks that he is repairing, bit by bit. But he does not need to move them any further than this tonight. Sam's body remains in bed, dreaming his own dreams.
The angel who is not Ezekiel looks forward to the day when he is secure enough to break into those. They have so much to talk about. So much he wants to say to Sam, and to do to him. For now he will only look. He was careless once. He underestimated Sam, and the ragged, reckless people who surround his favorite human boy.
He will not do so again.
Reaching out through the labyrinthine fortified castle he's decided to keep as his, soon enough, he dips into the sleeping minds of the others, unconscious and unaware all around him.
He believes in knowing his enemies, and their dreams give him such tempting ideas.
Not far away, Castiel dreams. Newly human as he may be, the broken seraph still dreams in the hallucinogenic, kaleidoscopic vision of something that could once perceive such wider spectra than any human ever could. His little brother dreams of flight, freely through dimensions beyond simple space and time and from the enemies that have pursued him since he first came to Earth. The loss and the fear that pervade his dreams are vivid and the angel who is not Ezekiel enjoys it as a sweet thing, and no less than Castiel is due.
Always in the background, other dreams give him even better ideas. He wonders if Castiel even knows what the human emotions he feels are. They give his older brother such good ideas. If he wants to hurt Castiel – and he does, and he will – then his weakness is Dean Winchester. Everything, for Castiel, comes back to Dean.
The other fallen angel has watched the dreams become nightmares, and has even risked worsening them, accelerating and exaggerating the horrors that a warrior millennia old can remember and that wait for him to let down his guard as he sleeps. When Castiel wakes from those nightmares, he has had to retreat, since Castiel – unlike others of his siblings, who have not seen him in a very long time – will recognize his touch, but he has still been able to pick out his brother's wish to not be so far away from the one he cares for most. Castiel should be one of millions. He's terrified of being alone, most of all.
He doesn't think Castiel understands what's behind that desire, just yet, or what it could be, and that is almost as appealing. They can do more to each other, in ignorance, than he could ever do to them.
He has a grudge against Castiel. He's going to enjoy repaying it, once he's sure he's strong enough that Sam won't be able to fight him off this time.
Trawling through Castiel's dreams, he entertains some dreams of his own. It's the most fitting revenge he can think of, for the moment. He plans to kill the broken little seraph, very slowly and very painfully. He thinks he'll make Dean watch; watch dear little brother Sammy torture to death the friend who loves the older Winchester so very much. He isn't quite sure which of them will break first – Dean, watching helplessly as his family falls apart forever and he learns irrevocably how much of a failure he is; meddling little lovestruck Castiel, so very, very human now; or Sam, as he watches himself do it, the last thing he'll see before the angel who owns his soul and his skin both now locks him away in a place where Sam will never be able to fight him off again.
Something of this plan must have gotten through to Castiel, because his dreams turn darker than before. The angel who is not Ezekiel takes the minor risk of being recognized to catch the fallen seraph in the dream. He won't wake up anytime soon, and when he does he won't want to sleep again for days.
He isn't worried about the real Ezekiel showing up, which would rather give him away. Ezekiel is dead. He's sure of it. He killed him.
The prophet is still a stranger to him, or would be if he didn't have access to all of Sam's memories. Almost all of his dreams are nightmares, when he dreams. More often he is too tired to sleep in any way but absolutely. His fears are of failure, of loss, of uncertainty. They bite and snap at him and he cannot even turn and fight them like the others try to. They slip away from him, amorphous and pervasive.
His nightmares fix him into loops of failure as people die around him, multiple times, unendingly. People he knows, people he loves, even people he doesn't, knowing that he has failed them and that this is his fault. He dreams of betrayal, sudden and shocking and swift, absolute. He dreams of fading away, of being useless and overlooked, ignored. A tool for someone else's use. In his nightmares, the prophet Kevin is a machine, and a broken one, churning through blood and magic as the world spins and cracks apart.
Kevin dreams of being trapped. And it never ends.
The angel who is not Ezekiel moves on.
He's going to kill the thing in the basement. Quickly, and efficiently. He's wanted to do this for a while now, and the desire hasn't lessened any. He doesn't like demons at the best of times. He never has. This one is particularly annoying. It's all the more annoying that it's in the same building with him.
It has pretensions of grandeur, an inability to shut up, and worse, the sight that everyone else in the Winchesters' limited social circle lacks, with Castiel human now. It will recognize him. He wonders how long he will have the patience to let it scream before he burns it to ashes. He wonders if it will try to bargain with him. He knows from Sam's memories what he and his older brother had tried to do, but there are some natures that can't be changed.
Amusingly, he doesn't have to invent nightmares for it. It's in its worst one, every minute of every day now. Trapped and helpless, out of options, unable to escape, the prisoner of its enemies, with more enemies waiting for it. Even hidden away within Sam, he can taste it rolling off the creature every time Sam goes near it. On some days, it's clear from other rooms, other floors.
And then there's Dean. Who doesn't sleep any better now than he did years ago. Who he has tricked into lying to his brother, pulling away from his best friend, forcing him into a cycle of deceptions and betrayals he can't get out of.
Good. The fallen angel considers this justice.
Dean's fears are eating him alive, and there is no escape for him in sleep. The guilt for every demon kill the humans hear about or see or imagine weighs on him. The lies the angel who is not Ezekiel has forced him to tell Sam snap at him. With a single threat, disguised as concern, he has ensured that Dean will not reveal his possession of Sam. He's particularly proud of that.
He never promised not to lie to Dean, and he's going to do so every chance he gets. But in some ways, what he said when he took Sam back again was true. He cannot risk Sam finding out. Because Sam got the better of him once (he still doesn't quite understand how that happened, even though he knows what Sam thinks happened). And the fallen angel is not as strong as he was. Not yet. He still feels like he was dragged through a thresher backwards – not that far from the truth, metaphorically – and can't afford a mental wrestling match with the human now. Besides, he'd like this body fixed properly before he takes it into battle.
It's delicious. He loves it. He hates Dean Winchester passionately and absolutely, because vast amounts of things are his fault, and he is going to hurt this man every single way he can without ever touching him.
Well…maybe he'll do that too, when he's finished tearing Castiel to shreds, by hand this time.
And even then, he'll leave the man alive, and probably in one piece. He might even put him back together before he makes Michael a present of the man so they can get back to what they were doing before a handful of obstinate humans and a rebel angel decided they had other plans.
Dean Winchester is at the heart of everything that has gone wrong for him in the past few years. He hasn't found a way to blame him for anything before that, but he'll think of something.
He's going to take Dean's beloved little brother away. He already has, and that's the best part. The irony keeps him quiet, patient, and as close to content as he ever comes on the long nights while Sam sleeps and the interminable days.
Sam is his.
He can listen to the nightmares and restless sleep of the others all night, and he will, feeding off them and feeding them where he can.
By and large, they make their own hells.
But Sam, now…Sam sleeps without nightmares, and without suspicion. When he wakes he'll feel better than the day before, and at the end of that day, still unaware, he'll sleep better than the night before that.
The fallen angel loves Sam. Really, he does.
But betrayal deserves to be punished, by betrayal if possible.
So he'll heal Sam – it is, after all, in his own self-interest as well – and purr to him in his dreams and sing to him in the bottom of the back of his subconscious mind as he lives his life.
In the very near future, then, it will be all the more satisfying when he takes back what's his.
Everything will be back as it should be. He's going to take Sam as his. He'll break Dean Winchester, in a thousand different ways. That killing Castiel as bloodily as possible is one of them is justice in so many ways. The thing so conveniently chained up in the basement is no threat to him now, but he'll kill it anyway, and while he doesn't know exactly what he's going to do with the prophet, just yet, he'll think of something.
…He is really remarkably clever at times.
Hidden in plain sight, Lucifer dreams.
Author's Note Again: I'm completely convinced that Ezekiel is Lucifer, because he is not a friendly, and also it's the worst possible thing they could do to Sam at this point. Please someone prove me wrong. Or write to me and I'll convince you of it. Because he is. You heard it here.