A/N - Just a quick little one shot for Season 9. I was thinking about Ezekiel and I just don't trust the guy (though I really hope I'm wrong). This awful thought came into my brain and I decided to share it, even though it really hurt my heart. Could be read as a character death, though I don't picture it ending that way if it were to continue into a full on story, so mind the warning please, I don't want to upset anyone. I always cry like a baby when I read those stories.
Disclaimer - I don't own any of it.
Dean came into the bunker library, not surprised to see Sam already sitting at the long table, a cup of coffee steaming in front of him. He had been getting up earlier and earlier it seemed, his increasing good health seeming to stall and reverse in the past couple of weeks and making it harder for him to sleep. Dean had every intention of having a chat with Zeke about that as soon as he surfaced again and it wasn't going to be a pleasant one. They had a deal, dammit, and while he didn't trust an angel much more than he did a demon, at least a deal meant something to a demon.
"Heya Sammy," Dean greeted, plopping into the chair across from his brother's hunched form.
"Mornin'," Sam greeted in return, glancing up just enough for Dean to see the dark circles under his eyes. Those had almost been gone, it was heartbreaking to see them back again.
"You're up kind of early, aren't you?" Dean prompted.
Sam just shrugged. "Couldn't sleep and I got tired of just lying there."
"Sam, you need to sleep. Those trials did a lot of damage and only getting a few hours of shut eye a night isn't going to cut it," Dean warned.
Running a weary hand through his hair, Sam leaned back with a sigh, the light catching the sallowness of his skin. "Yeah, I got that Dean, but there isn't much I can do about it. I was doing all right there for a while, now I'm not. I don't know what happened, I'm just trying to deal with it the best I can. The trials didn't come with a "How to care for your broken body" manual since I was supposed to die and all," he explained wearily.
Dean needed to speak to Zeke and he needed to do it now. The trick was getting the angel's attention without alerting Sam. He'd already slipped up a couple of times. Even sick, Sam was too sharp to keep messing that up.
"I think I need to speak to someone about how you're feeling," he said meaningfully, looking intently into Sam's eyes.
Sam's brow furrowed at Dean's stare, and he chuckled. "What, a doctor? We've gone over this, a doctor isn't..."
With a flash of blue from Sam's eyes, his posture straightened, all the expression falling away from his face. Zeke had arrived.
"You want to explain this relapse?" Dean didn't waste any time. It sent shivers down his spine seeing the angel speak through his brother's body. He didn't even want to think about the guilt that filled him.
"I did tell you that the more I used my powers for other things, the slower it would take to heal your brother," Ezekiel explained in his infuriatingly calm voice.
"Yeah you did, but at last count, you haven't healed anything more than a paper cut. Even after you brought Charlie back, Sam was still doing fine. So what is this?" Dean asked, getting more suspicious by the moment.
For a moment, the angel said nothing, just stared at Dean with narrowed eyes. "I get the sense you do not trust me," he finally said.
"You're picking up on that, are you?" Dean said with heavy sarcasm. "Maybe I would trust you more if you did what you said you would do and healed my brother."
Ezekiel sighed. "I explained that this would take time…"
"Time yes, forever no. And this getting worse again crap? That's not working for me," Dean said coldly, leaning forward in his chair. "Now you do as you promised and heal my brother or I'm going to tell him what's going on and find some other way to heal him up after he ejects your ass."
"I wouldn't advise that," the angel stated flatly.
"Your opinion doesn't count," Dean returned.
For a moment, the human and angel stared at each other, one glaring with clenched jaw, the other with Sam's normally expressive face smoothed into an emotionless mask.
"I'm not going anywhere, Dean, and until I want to, there is very little you can do to make me," Ezekiel said firmly.
Dean thought he had been upset before. That was nothing compared to what those words did to him. That definitely sounded like a threat. He stood then, kicking back his chair, and reached across to grab Sam's shirt and pulled him forward over the table. He knew the angel allowed Sam's body to move, that he could have stopped Dean easily, but it didn't buy him any points.
"Oh I can make you all right. I got a really pretty picture I can paint on the wall to send your charred feathered ass who knows where, so I think you better start fulfilling your side of our bargain," Dean threatened.
"You don't care that your brother will die if I leave his body?" Zeke asked, curious.
"I care, but he won't die. I'll find another way. That's what I do. You aren't doing it so I don't see the point in keeping you around. Quite frankly, it creeps me out that you're just hitching around in there like a parasite. I won't miss you."
"Yes, you will, when he's dying. But I have no intention of leaving," Zeke said with finality, breaking Dean's grasp on Sam's shirt with carefully applied pressure to his wrist. Zeke stood before him, tall and unconcerned. Before Dean could respond to that little bombshell, he continued on. "Since we're coming to an impasse here, let me explain some things to you so you will understand. Vessels are becoming much harder to find. There was never a situation that called for every angel to be on the ground at once and vessels that can contain us are few and far in between. Because I have been healing Sam and myself, I have lost any chance I could possibly have of finding a vessel that will last me. They have all been taken."
Dean was starting to see where this was going with rapidly rising dread and horror and he cursed himself for not considering the possibility sooner. He knew he lost all sense when Sam was in trouble, but this was really screwing the pooch something serious.
"You never had any intention of leaving him, did you?" Dean whispered brokenly, praying that Zeke would say differently.
"Of course not. You and your brother are perfect vessels, built to contain the most powerful of us. You could certainly contain me," Zeke said with a quirk of his lips that could only be described as a pathetic attempt at a smile.
Fighting to stay focused and keep thinking, to not give into the panic starting to swirl through him and close up his throat, Dean stumbled back from the table, knowing there was a knife somewhere behind him. He had no intention of harming Sam. His only chance here was to banish Ezekiel from Sam and then get to work finding another way to keep Sam breathing.
Ezekiel clearly knew what Dean was doing, shooting over the table before Dean had even managed more than a handful of steps. His hand immediately closed around Dean's throat, shoving him back against the shelf of books behind him. Zeke didn't look so unemotional now. He looked smug and satisfied and Dean wanted nothing more than to wipe it off his face. As soon as he could get free. Dean fought vainly to unwrap those steel like fingers from his throat, to pull air into the tiny passage that was left to him, but darkness was starting to fill his vision, stealing his strength.
"If you hadn't pushed this, you would have had more time with Sam. Now, he'll never see the light of day again. Congratulations, Dean Winchester. You killed your brother. Gave him up to an angel. Again. But do not worry. I do not have the nefarious plans that Lucifer had. I merely wish to live a life," Ezekiel explained. "Sam and I have that in common."
"That supposed to make me feel better?" Dean gasped out, the words guttural and harsh.
"No, I doubt anything will make you feel better about this, but it is the way it must be."
"I'll get you out of him. I know how and I'll track you down anywhere you go, earth, heaven or hell to get you out," Dean promised, fighting to stay conscious.
Ezekiel let him go abruptly and Dean fell to his knees, bent over, gasping in air past his tortured throat to fill his starving lungs. If he could just get to something sharp, it would only take a couple of short minutes to create the banishment emblem. He just had to distract the big guy first.
"You know, I believe you Dean. I don't think you will stop coming after me and that just sounds exhausting. I don't want to kill you, I'm an angel after all," Zeke sighed.
"Yet, you have no problem killing my brother," Dean bit out.
"He was already dead, Dean. He was dying when I stepped in. Had I not, he would have died in that hospital bed. My conscience is clear." He leaned down in front of Dean's kneeling form, eyes sympathetic. If they didn't belong to his brother, he would claw them out.
"So I will not kill you and I refuse to endlessly go through subpar vessels, so I will offer you a choice. As I said before, both you and Sam are perfect vessels. So I offer you a trade. You say yes to me, I release Sam. I will fully heal him before I go, of course, and continue my own healing inside of you. Since you are healthy, it will go much faster."
Dean couldn't breathe again, but it wasn't because an angel was choking him. Give himself over to an angel? "Just until you're healed, or…"Dean started, already knowing the answer.
"This would be permanent. At least until heaven is opened back up. I'm sure your brother will find some way to make that happen eventually. I'll try to leave as much of you intact as I can," Zeke assured him.
Dean's head was already shaking in the negative at just the thought of it, but inside he was starting to feel backed into the proverbial corner. "You think my brother won't hunt you down? He's not just going to let you have me!" Dean threw out.
"He will if he doesn't know. I think leaving him to sleep for a couple of days would only help in the healing process and would give me plenty of time to go elsewhere. I've always wanted to visit Europe. I doubt he'll have the resources to find me there. He won't have the advantage you do of knowing of my involvement and I think that will give me the needed edge to stay ahead of him. So Dean, what is your decision?" Ezekiel prompted.
He would never see his brother again, no matter what he chose. True, if Zeke took off with Sam's body, Dean knew he would catch up to him eventually, but how long would it take? How long would Sam be buried inside, not alive, not dead, just in stasis? Would there be any left of Sam, or would the angel burn through it all? How could he even think of doing that to his brother? He got Sam into this, he let the angel in. There was no way he was going to let Sam suffer the consequences.
Dean could feel tears starting to burn in his eyes, the tremble of his lips. He'd gambled and he lost. The one good thing to come out of it was that Sam would be healed. He'd already proven that he could live a normal life, he'd done it with Jess, with Amelia. He could have that again, would have it again. Dean knew Sam would search for him, maybe even for the rest of his life, but at least he would be alive, go on to have a family. Hell, maybe it was a gift to step aside, give Sam a chance at what he always wanted. Besides, there was always the chance that heaven would be opened up again soon and Dean would be free.
"Before I decide, I want to see him," Dean demanded, working to rise to his feet.
Ezekiel shook his head. "No. I cannot take the chance that you will warn him."
"I won't!" Dean cried out desperately. He had to see Sam again, he couldn't walk away from him without saying goodbye. Without saying something meaningful one last time. His last words to his brother couldn't be him harping on Sam about getting more sleep.
"I am sorry, Dean, but it is a risk I cannot take." Zeke truly did look sorry, but that wasn't any comfort to Dean's shattering heart. For a moment, he could almost pretend that it was his brother staring down at him.
"A note. Can I write him a note?" Dean asked hopefully.
"That would imply intent. I want no clues left behind. Your decision Dean, or I will take your brother and be on my way. The chase can begin."
The world was falling around him, giant pieces of it sloughing off to crash into his soul, tearing it apart. He should have known this would happen. There was a hundred percent success rate on everything they believed in or hoped for going to shit. He wouldn't put this on Sam, he wouldn't make his brother pay for his decision. He trusted Sam more than anyone alive or dead and he knew Sam would find him. It wouldn't be like it was with Purgatory, Sam would know he wasn't dead and he wouldn't stop looking until he found Dean.
Sam was a goddamn bloodhound when it came to hunting something down when his heart was in it and he would want to find Dean. His little brother was going to deal him a serious ass kicking for this.
Whatever dark place Ezekiel pushed him into, he would do whatever he could to hold onto that, so there would be something left of him when Sam found him. It's all he could do at this point.