Characters: Sam, Dean, Lucifer
Rating: PG 13 (language)
Warnings: Coda for 5X14; spoilers for Season 5 up to episode 14
Genre: gen, h/c
Disclaimer: Not mine
Word Count: 2700
Author’s Note: A huge thank you to my betas, callistosh65and ancastar…
Summary: It was the same old dream. Just Sam and Lucifer, sitting on the shore along the sea of molten glass.
It was the same old dream. Just Sam and Lucifer, sitting on the shore along the sea of molten glass. There was fire in the distance, the funk of sulphur in the air, and the hissing splash of brimstones falling into dark water.
“Nice place to visit,” Lucifer said calmly. And then the bastard smiled. “Good choice, Sam.”
Sam knew from experience that Lucifer would stick around until he got bored—strong emotions were only a diversion. So Sam tried to tamp down on all his terror and fury that had nowhere to go. It was a lesson he’d learned when he was a kid trying to piss off his dad.
Whatever it took to piss off the devil…
But that wasn’t fair. It had been a long time since he’d thought about Dad like that.
Sam drew his knees up to his chest and looked away.
“Sam, you can’t ignore me forever.”
If that was what it took, that was exactly what Sam planned to do.
Lucifer reminded him, “You chose this place.”
Yeah, Sam chose this place because of all the hellish future visions that Lucifer had offered this was the most pleasant. All the people were gone for one thing. Take out burning flesh, and Sam had learned he could deal with just about anything. The dreams were Lucifer’s gift to his chosen one—that’s the way the asshole had put it the first time he forced himself on Sam.
He’s gonna repay you in ways you can’t even imagine…
Ruby had been sincere when she’d told him that, mere seconds before her death. Sam had actually come to understand that demons told the truth more often than they lied.
Sam was pretty sure that Lucifer believed he was doing Sam a favor by showing him the big picture.
In past dreams, Sam had tried everything he could think of to wake himself up—jumping off cliffs into hellfire, drowning himself in a river of blood, or simply lying down and waiting for the Earth to swallow him. Nothing worked. He couldn’t escape, couldn’t wake up. Nobody was going anywhere until Lucifer decided to release him.
The devil was so patient—eternal beings were maddening that way. And Sam knew that this shared vigil beside the defiled sea was Lucifer’s idea of a vacation.
“You’ve had a hard day,” Lucifer said gently.
“Please let me go back.”
“I just want to talk about what happened. You drank demon blood—you wanted it. That was a big step for you, Sam.”
Great. Even the devil wanted to do an intervention.
But there was no escape from what he’d done, even in sleep. Sam could taste the blood, a taint that all Bobby’s holy water couldn’t wash away.
“I won’t say yes to you.”
“You did today. You said yes again and again.”
“I know it, but I stopped,” Sam mumbled, profoundly ashamed. He closed his eyes, unwilling to look at his accuser any more.
“You try so hard, Sam. You work so hard…suffer so much. But you were born for this. You know it’s true. You can feel it.”
The blood hunger still rumbled in Sam’s belly. He hugged his knees to his chest even tighter, trying to ignore it. “Why won’t you just kill me?”
“I don’t want to kill you. I want to save you.”
“It will be over soon. You and I will end this…all this pain, this suffering. We’ll bring this sorry world to its knees and start again.”
Sam just kept his eyes closed. Wouldn’t answer.
“Poor boy. You never had a chance, did you?”
Sam hated the sympathy more than anything else. “Please let me wake up.”
“Your body is in pain.”
“I understand that,” Sam said, opening his eyes to glare. “I’m in detox—I just have to get through it. But it’s my problem—I’ll deal with it.”
“You can’t exorcise something that’s a part of you. There is nothing wrong with you, Sam. It’s the rest of the world that is fallen. It has been corrupt from the very beginning. You’re the promised one, the one who—”
“The one who’s the vessel for the glory that is you.” Sam tried to keep his voice from shaking. “I get it. But you don’t get me, not unless I choose it. And I’m not going to. So please let me wake the hell up and get back to my fucking detox.”
Lucifer smiled indulgently like Sam was some kind of adorable child. “I hate to see you suffer for nothing.”
“Then don’t watch. It’s my choice—that makes it something.”
“There’s nothing you could have done differently. It should be a relief to know that this isn’t your fault.”
Dean and Castiel had told him the same thing on the ride to Bobby’s, but Sam didn’t want to hear it from them either.
“Not my fault,” Sam echoed disdainfully. “You know, I’ve made every excuse there is for everything I’ve done, but let me tell you this. All this…” he glanced at the burning sea. “If I say yes to you…all this is on me.”
Furious with himself, Sam grabbed a handful of sand but dropped it just as fast. It felt like smoldering coal, and he expected to see blisters rising on his palm. But this hand was untouched. It looked like nothing, but it hurt like hell.
“Until you say yes,” Lucifer said, “all that pain has nowhere to go.”
“Leave me alone.”
“I’ll never leave you, Sam.”
“God, kill me now…”
“Castiel is still looking for God, isn’t he? How’s that working out for him?”
There was no mistaking that bitter tone. Nothing like bringing up the name of a certain eternal father to piss Lucifer off. Sam waited for the inevitable rant, but it didn’t come.
Lucifer was still sitting there quietly, watching him. “Your body is in agony. You’re running a fever of 105, you’ve been seizing for the past several hours, and you’re currently lying in a puddle of your own waste.” He leaned in. “If you don’t care about yourself, you should think about your brother. Don’t you think Dean deserves a vacation—while you get some sleep?”
“Dean’s not with me…” Sam started to say. But he was confused. He couldn’t remember much after the clang of the iron latch sliding into place, but he remembered wanting his brother. He remembered screaming for Dean. “He locked me in. I—I asked him to.”
“You don’t know your brother very well, do you? Did you really think you could keep him locked out?”
“I know Dean,” Sam retorted, out of habit more than anything else. “I knew him,’ he amended. Sometimes it was easier to tell the truth.
“He’s never going to let you go… That’s the problem—you’re only hurting Dean by drawing it out. But you know that if you said yes, all that pain would end.”
Sam choked back a laugh. “Do you seriously that’s going to work? Is that how you talked a third of the angels into falling out of Heaven? Seriously?”
But then Sam didn’t feel like laughing any more. There was something about the way Lucifer was staring at him…
It was too easy to treat Lucifer like a joke, but evil was not funny. Sam felt the horror of it all wash over him again. He had brought this upon the world. There had to be some way…something he could do to redeem it.
Walking away had never worked before, but Sam couldn’t stay, not with Lucifer wanting in. Satan’s lust was a violation Sam felt to the marrow of his bones. He just had to get away, and he was starting to push to his feet when he heard it.
“What the hell, Sammy?”
“Dean?” Sam gasped, but he didn’t have a chance to turn around because Dean was right there, grabbing hold of his arm and hauling him up.
The sand burned the soles of his feet, but Sam didn’t care…he was too surprised. It made no sense—Dean had never showed up in these dreams before.
“What is he doing here?” Lucifer pointed at Dean.
“What the hell is he doing here?” Dean parroted back, still holding onto a fistful of Sam’s shirt.
Sam looked back and forth between the two of them. His dreams were always nightmares, but this felt like one of Gabriel’s television shows instead… some bad soap opera about a jilted spouse confronting the other woman.
“Dean—tell me you didn’t take that dream root shit again,” Sam pleaded, trying to hold Dean back.
“I didn’t take anything—I was just cleaning up your crap, and then nothing. I’m here, and you’re hanging out with Satan. Seriously, what the hell, Sam? Is he real? What’s going on?” He looked around and frowned at the horizon. “Why is the ocean on fire?”
Sam tried to put his own body between Lucifer and his brother. “You need to get out of here. It’s not safe.”
Dean tried to shove him out of the way, but Sam wouldn’t budge. He had no idea what damage Lucifer could actually do to Dean, but Sam knew that dreams could be deadly.
Dean turned his glare on Lucifer. “So this is how you woo him? Burning oceans? This place reeks.”
Lucifer shrugged diffidently, but Sam knew he was mad. “This was Sam’s choice. I show him the possibilities…he chooses where he wants to visit.”
Sam held out his hands beseechingly. “Trust me, this was the best of the bunch.”
“Great,” Dean grumbled. “So how do we get out of your little scenic getaway?”
“I need to wake up.”
Dean grimaced. “Trust me, you don’t want to do that. It took me forever to get you to sleep.”
“I’d rather be awake, Dean. I deserve whatever happens to me. But you don’t.”
“Sammy, cut the crap…”
“It’s the truth, Dean.”
“It wasn’t your fault.”
“No excuses this time. You’re not doing me any favors.”
“Just knock it off with all the self-pity shit. Sam, I swear—”
“I’m not feeling sorry for myself. I’m not.” Sam needed to explain to Dean how it was, but his brother had gone quiet. “What is it?”
“Where did he go?”
Sam hadn’t even noticed, but Lucifer was gone. “Guess we weren’t paying enough attention to him. Sometimes, he does that.”
“Egotistical dick,” Dean muttered, but Sam let out the breath he’d been holding. The ocean was still burning, the sky was still falling, but Satan was gone, and it was just the two of them again.
Sam was about to sit down again and wait out the rest of the nightmare, when Dean roughly shoved him, knocking Sam onto the burning sand.
“Dammit, that hurts,” Sam yelled, sitting up and trying to brush as much sand off as he could. “What the hell, Dean?”
“How often does that sonofabitch take over your dreams?” Dean was shaking. Sam couldn’t tell if he was angry or terrified.
“It doesn’t matter.”
“Tell me.” Dean wasn’t messing around.
“Most nights,” Sam said reluctantly. “It’s okay though. He doesn’t do anything…just shows me stuff and tries to bore me into saying yes.” Sam tried to smile but failed. “I think he thought he was doing me a favor this time.”
“How is Hell Beach a favor?”
“Cause of the detox. He said he wanted to give me a break.”
“He doesn’t get to choose what happens to you.”
Sam flinched at the possessive fury in his brother’s voice.
Dean was pacing back and forth along the shore, and Sam wondered how he could stand to have his bare feet make contact with the molten sand.
“Dean—you should go back…get some rest until I wake up.”
Dean glowered at him but didn’t stop pacing. “Not leaving, dude. Don’t push it.”
“I really don’t understand how you got here. Am I just dreaming this? How do I know if this is real?”
“You’d know better than me.”
“It doesn’t feel like a dream.”
Dean sighed at that and sat down next to Sam. He waited for a moment and then said, “I think maybe I prayed.”
“Out in Bobby’s yard. Then I went back in with you, and I think I prayed some more. You were finally out, and I thought I could lie down too. And then I closed my eyes and ended up here.”
Sam stared at his brother and tried to make sense of it. Dean had been so defeated and lost when he’d locked Sam in. This Dean seemed almost…normal…or at least as normal as Dean got. But maybe, that was how it was with dreams. Most of the time, you ended up in a nightmare. But maybe sometimes, you got what you wanted.
Sam hadn’t realized how much he wanted this Dean until he’d dreamed him.
“I need to go back,” Sam said quietly. It was weakness to want to stay.
Dean cuffed him on the back of the head, but he looked so sad. “Let’s just sit for a while. Please, dude. You…you’re not doing real well…you know—being awake. You need a break.”
“That’s what he said.” Sam couldn’t stop staring at the burning water.
“They call him the Deceiver. You know that, don’t you? He doesn’t want the best for you. He never will.”
“I know that, Dean.” Sam managed to keep himself from rolling his eyes.
“Okay, but you gotta tell me what’s going on with you, Sammy. I can’t help if you don’t tell me stuff like the fact you dream about Satan every night.”
“Pot calling kettle, dude.”
“What do you mean?”
“Not eating, not fucking… famine calling you dead inside. Dean, you’re all messed up, and we’re not gonna make it, if we don’t get our shit together.”
“Freakin’ understatement,” Dean muttered.
And that was the truth. They sat for a few minutes, just staring at the sea. It almost felt like old times, when they’d park the Impala along some deserted beach and would just hang out. It had been a long time since they’d done that.
Dean turned and asked, “So what do we do?”
“I need to wake up. Get this demon blood crap out of my system.”
Dean shrugged. “What’s the hurry? I’m okay hanging out until you get enough sleep. It’s not so bad.”
“This isn’t bad?” Sam asked, choking on an incredulous laugh. He waved pointedly at the seascape of damnation.
“Well I wouldn’t want to live here…” Dean aimed a crooked smile at him. “Seriously, Sammy. Between getting immolated here and going back to cleaning up your puke and piss in that hellhole....it’s kind of a wash.”
And if that didn’t sum up their lives….
Sam couldn’t help it. He started to laugh. “Okay,” he said,
“Okay?” Dean looked highly skeptical, and Sam didn’t blame him.
“Okay…we hang out until we wake up.”
Grinning, Dean elbowed him hard in the side. “Got any sunscreen? Bet the ozone’s hell around here.”
Sam elbowed him back even harder, and then Dean grabbed him by the neck and had him in a headlock before Sam managed to shove away.
And it was… okay. They were okay for now, in this dream at least. This was his Dean, the one Sam remembered, the big brother who always saved him. It was almost too good to be true…and maybe it was. Maybe it was only a dream.
The real world was waiting, but Sam knew there were worse things than sharing an apocalyptic beach with his brother. So Sam sat next to Dean, ass frying on the sand, and watched the sea burn itself out.
He tried his best not to wake up.