The demon appears inside Sam’s sanctuary having prolonged the trip there as long as he dared. Common knowledge amongst the ranks—the Boy King personally dismantled everyone involved in its construction to protect its anonymity and the mechanisms that kept it in constant, undetectable motion.
What he was capable of now that the angels were dangling his brother in front of him—
He squints his eyes against the bright sunlight streaming into the room, meatsuit’s pulse pounding in his ears. Stripping wooden panels off the wall and paying him no attention as he approaches slowly, is the Boy King.
“There was a specific request you had for the evening?” his eyes linger on the shoddily deconstructed walls before taking in the rest of the room. Some cheap artwork and an even cheaper looking bed have been set up in a corner. The whole thing reeks of some roadside dive of a motel.
Sam frowns at his work and mutters, “Tired of this minimalist crap and tired of looking at these fucking walls.” His head snaps up suddenly, turning toward the demon, working hard to remain still under that inscrutable, yellow gaze.
“Bring me someone interesting and then get out,” Sam says disdainfully. “I’m sick of spending all day conversing with cowards too.”
“What exactly do you mean by interesting—“
“Not a fucking demon!” Sam roars at him. He’s gone before Sam takes another breath.
Alone again, he bends down to pick up one of the framed paintings he’d been collecting through the night. This one was a landscape of the Rio Grande, framed by orange, canyon walls. Dean broke one just like it on a hunt in Colorado. Vengeful spirit of a boy that slammed Dean right into it.
He’s lost in the memory when a drably dressed woman in chains materializes behind him. Setting the picture back in its spot, he gives her a glance over his shoulder. Big, defiant brown eyes glowing with hatred. When she almost manages to spit in his face, he grins broadly.
“Just what I wanted,” he notes, perking up. “Have a seat.”
A chair screeches across the floor and crashes into the backs of her knees, forcing her to sit. Sam lays his hands on her thighs, leaning in close. “Got a name, witch?”
“It doesn’t mean anything anymore,” she rasps without emotion.
Sam takes the opportunity to rifle through her thoughts for some background, occasionally giving her a glance as she internally sees him pull the memories apart.
“You had a husband. For two-hundred years? And they said the institution marriage was dead,” he quips.
“It is now. And so is he. When your beasts caught us extracting intel out of the demons we’d been catching.”
“Why did I leave you alive?” Sam questions, curiosity genuine.
“Why else?” she turns her gaze to his, “For your demons to play with.”
Sam brushes a lock of her dirty hair from her face and she recoils. “How’s that working out for you?”
“About as well as I imagine your brother being back is going for you.” Sam straightens up and inhales deeply but doesn’t lash out. “Walls can be thin for a witch,” she finishes, rubbing it in.
“Pray for death, play the martyr, whatever. But you won’t get it from me. Not today.”
She glares in silence before starting angrily, “Then what do you want?”
“For you to prove yourself useful,” with a gesture, the chains binding her power loosen. In a flash, she is on her feet, watching him warily.
“What is this?”
“A sign of good faith. Do you want your chance to help the humans or not?”
“If it means bringing an ounce of satisfaction to your miserable existence, absolutely not.”
“Noted,” Sam rolls his eyes. “But you’ll do what I ask regardless. Because if you decide to pull some little bullshit rebellion, I will take it out on the humans and I will be seeing your lovely face again to put how truly ready to die you are to the test.”
He studies the play of emotion on her face, the way the rage wins out. It doesn’t take long before the prospect of revenge on every piece of shit demon she can get her hands on prompts her to bite out an agreement. Sam nods approvingly.
“I want you to deliver a message.”
Distant fighting makes the hard, frozen ground beneath Dean’s feet tremble. Bending his head, he can hear fragments of individual people barking out desperate orders, some of them going silent soon after. It starts to pour into his mind, every fall and every scream, and he’s not used to being able to take in this much, digs the heel of his hand into his eyes to shut it out.
A hand slaps onto his shoulder, jolting him back to reality. Bobby is peering at him, crinkled map they’d been poring over the past hour forgotten.
Dean pointedly avoids his gaze, turns to the supplies chest sitting open in the middle of the tent and starts rooting around.
“You cleaned out the last of the hooch this morning,” Bobby says matter-of-factly, going back to the map.
“Cheap crap barely made a dent,” Dean complains.
“Be lucky you got what you did. It ain’t easy to come by and your souped-up angel appetite ain’t making it any easier,” he glances up with eternally prying eyes. “You holding it together?”
He doesn’t need to attach Sam’s name to the question.
“I’m good,” Dean puts on a forced smile. “Carve it on my tombstone, Dean Winchester will always be fine.”
“I think you’re out of room at this point,” Bobby notes dryly. “I think we all are.” Tiredly, he rubs at his neck, vividly recalling the sharp, broken angles that had been there not too long ago, the last time he’d been brought down by Sam’s demons and the angels brought him back.
He’d stopped counting after the third or fourth.
The tent flap rustles and both immediately tense up. Dean gets to his feet, eyes narrowing. He doesn’t recognize the disheveled woman that rushes in, guards hot on her heels. Bobby blinks in surprise, but waves them off, crossing over to her.
“It’s been a while, Bobby.”
He takes in her appearance, shaking his head. “How in hell did you bust out?”
Her mouth tightens. “About that,” she reaches into a nearly torn off pocket and extracts something, keeping it invisible in her hand. “I come bearing a gift from the Boy King.”
She holds her hand out to Dean, and when she opens it, his amulet drops into his palm.
Bobby is watching him, but Dean can’t look at anything else but the black string, the symbol at its end. Everything he ever wanted to say to Sam—love, affection, frustration, and pain so bad it stabbed at his being—all of it wrapped up in this small token.
“Congratulations,” she tells him. “You’re under the bastard’s skin. Deep.”
Two hours later, Dean has packed his bag, not much he needs to live on these days, and has a Kansas map gripped tightly in his hand. Bobby enters the tent and clanks a bottle of whiskey onto the table, shrugging at Dean’s expression.
“Persuaded it out of a hoarder named Crawford. He owed me one and we’re all gonna owe you about a google, so I figured what the hell.”
A smile tugs at the corner of Dean’s mouth and he nods. “Thanks, Bobby.”
Bobby crosses his arms. “You know you don’t gotta do this alone. Hell, Sam’s been trying to off me for years, at the very least I could buy you some time.”
There isn’t any doubt what the answer will be, but he had to ask.
Dean starts to refuse, but Bobby interrupts, “Yeah, I know. Few constants left in the universe and you two needing to have it out before you kill the rest of us is one of ‘em.” He looks to the map in Dean’s hand, gets a glimpse of the Kansas header.
“You’re sure he’s there? A little on the nose, don’t you think?”
“If he isn’t in Lawrence already, he will be by the time I get there. Subtlety isn’t exactly Sam’s strongsuit these days.”
Bobby considers it for a moment. “No argument there, but he wiped what was left of Lawrence after the title fight off the map early.”
“That’s what he wants everyone to think,” Dean says with certainty, prompting Bobby to hesitate before going on.
“Look, Dean, I know if anyone is gonna get through to him it’s gonna be you, but—how can you be sure? That enough of him is in there after all this?”
He reaches into his jacket, slips the amulet over his head and feels for the first time in too long that there’s something worth fighting for and something better at the end of the line. “I know because he never stopped being Sam. I just gotta get it through his thick head.”
“What he’s done—“ he stops at the resolution on Dean’s face. “I don’t know exactly what you worked out with the angels, but it’s gotta work. All of us, we got one last leg to stand on.”
“You know me,” Dean assures, “I’ll be back here with my brother or I won’t be back at all. In that case, we’ll continue this conversation in the pit. I’ll show you the way around.”
“A cheerful thought in a world with plenty to spare,” Bobby pulls him into an embrace and sighs. “Take care of yourself, boy.”
“You too, Bobby.”
The rusty pick-up Bobby scrounged up for him reminds him of Dad’s. As he rambles down dark, cracked roads he constantly has to stop and clear the wreckage of cars and bodies from, he remembers staring at the back of that truck from his baby. Feeling like no one in the world existed but the three of them and those cars—his family.
Their parents, they were in Heaven and together as they should be now, but when Dean was upstairs, he was there alone. Alone with an echo of Sam speaking to him in his memories.
But he isn’t the lone figure on this road. Only needs his hunting senses to know that there are eyes on him. To feel the desire to pounce pouring off them though they dare not make a move. They’re his company, his distraction from the wasteland around him and the plentiful signs of his brother’s mania and cruelty.
He drives on toward Lawrence through the night.
As meager rays of sunlight begin to penetrate the thick, swirling clouds above, he slows to a stop, pulling off the road. Ahead, it terminates abruptly, a yawning chasm opening up between Dean and the other side. Where Sam must’ve started tearing down Lawrence, beginning with all conventional means of getting inside the perimeter.
Fortunately, Dean isn’t bound to the conventional. Not that he ever was before.
Turning around, he backs up in a half-trot, judging the distance as he retreats. When the edge of the gap is hardly visible, he takes off at a run, blood pounding in his ears. He launches off the edge, kicking his legs against the sensation of weightlessness and landing with a roll to kill his momentum on the other side.
A wave of energy rolls over him as he comes to a stop, some kind of barrier that must keep anyone from walking or teleporting their way in. When he climbs to his feet and dusts himself off, Sam appears behind him.
He peers through the barrier at the canyon and Dean’s truck parked on the other side. The open road out there, in here, some kind of mock apartment or hotel room. Not what Dean was expecting, but it speaks volumes.
“What took you so long?” Sam questions, eyes particularly gleaming in response to his mood, Dean guesses. Impatient and irritable.
“Unlike what you’ve gotten used to, I don’t come running when you beckon.”
“Sure you do,” Sam shoots back, reaching out and jerking Dean closer to him by the string of the amulet. “Or you wouldn’t be here now.”
Dean loosens Sam’s grip, backing him into a wall and shoving his tongue into his mouth to shut him up. Holds the sides of his face to plunder his mouth, both of them fighting for dominance, tongues lashing along each other, seeking and wanting more. Sam loses as his mouth falls open at Dean suddenly breaking off to bite down on the exposed skin between neck and shoulder.
Dean runs his tongue along the indentations his teeth left before they disappear. Says with a mouthful of Sam’s taste, “I take it you don’t make a habit of releasing pissed off and powerful witches to deliver messages for you. Funny, since you’re not supposed to give a shit about anything.”
Sam tries to lean back in and connect their reddened mouths, but Dean holds him back. “I don’t give a shit about them,” he corrects.
Dean senses another presence in the room, finds a startled looking demon eying them. Dean looks back to Sam, whose eyes have managed to grow wilder.
“My Ki—“ he starts to gag before he can finish, whisps of his demon essence escaping his mouth. Sam gives Dean a look that says he should be watching and proceeds to rip the demon out of his host and pull him apart into sooty particles that fall to the ground in a messy pile.
Sam doesn’t let the demon scream or make a sound and annihilates him without moving a muscle or taking his eyes from Dean’s.
“I could do that a million times more. What do you want, Dean? How many do I have to kill before it’s enough?”
“I don’t have to tell you that, Sam. You know.”
Sam’s frustration is palpable. He shakes his head. “But they don’t matter. Soon, the humans will be gone whether or not I lift a finger. And it’ll just be us,” he leans his forehead against Dean’s briefly for the comfort. “Just us and a bunch of things that don’t matter. Why isn’t that good enough?”
“Because I can’t let that happen.”
Sam sighs deeply. “I think you’ll have to. Time is on my side.”
“Alright,” Dean replies eventually. “Alright, Sam. If that’s how it has to be.”
Before Sam can verbalize the confusion written on his face, Dean takes hold of his arm and a blinding light passes over them. Sam struggles against the power pulling him forward but the next time he blinks, his loft has vanished and given way to a wooded camp sight.
The air is wrong here. Like pinpricks all over his skin.
“The angels gave you more juice than I thought,” Sam looks around, “But dragging me to Heaven is the most hackneyed move ever. And it won’t change a damn thing.”
He inspects their surroundings and places the incident immediately—the night before they left to take out a skinwalker in Montana. They’d been broke and between jobs for weeks, spent most of that night drinking and fucking each other warm. He recalls not really being worried about the money though, or thinking about anything but the two of them in that particular moment.
Sam isn’t in the mood to deal with the tug of envy in his stomach the thought produces.
“You helped bring us here,” Dean points out. “Shared memory.”
Sam scoffs. “Lucifer is somewhere in here, Dean. Mowing down angels as we speak. When he finds me, I’ll be back where I belong.”
“Right, with your new family. The demon bunch.”
“I hate all of them and they hate me. Sounds like a family to me.”
Dean just cocks an eyebrow at him.
“Preach all you want, but someone had to take over. Would you rather it have been Crowley or Meg or whatever ambitious asshole was busy climbing the ranks? I had to step up and I had to do it alone because Castiel and Bobby and everyone else didn’t have the balls to do it. But I did,” he nods, “And I got what I wanted.”
“Oh, yeah? Tell me, Sam. What did you get from this that made it even a little bit worth it?”
“Payback,” he answers simply. “On the angels and the demons that have screwed with us our entire lives. They fear me now and they all pay for what happened to you.”
“But I’m back,” Dean opens his arms. “So, what’s the reason now? And what about all those people? What did they do to get crushed under your heel?”
Sam shrugs. “They’re in the way.” He pauses. “They’re not you.”
Dean takes a seat on a stump nearby, runs a hand over his mouth. “There is no way that you, even you like this, thought I would be okay with any of this. What am I supposed to do with it, Sam?”
“Be pissed, fight the good fight, do what you need to do but just—stay.”
When he looks up, Sam’s eyes are normal.
“I’m not going to leave,” Dean can’t help but stare, take advantage of the sight for as long as it lasts. “Not like either one of us is gonna ever leave the other alone anyway.”
Some of the tension bleeds off Sam at that, and his eyes shutter back behind the yellow. “Good. If we’re done, I’d like to get the hell out of this place.”
Dean stands up, “Too bad. You know as well as I do that it’ll take time for even Princess Morning Star to find us in here. Plus, with me moving us around, who knows how long it’ll be before you get back to Earth.”
Sam cocks his head, studying him. “Think you could stop me from leaving?”
Dean sizes him up. “Give me some time and I’ll be able to kick your ass again.”
In the darkness, those eyes glint and faster than Dean can react, he’s thrown backwards , skidding on his ass through the pine needles. He comes to a stop when Sam appears, straddling him and preventing him from getting up. Gripping a fist full of fabric, he tears open Dean’s shirt, buttons flying off into the brush.
Sam fastens his mouth over a nipple, the frigid air in this memory making the skin peak at the first warm swipe of his tongue.
Dean arches toward him, sliding a hand into the soft mess of his hair and letting the feeling of Sam’s mouth working its way down his stomach wash over him. He lets his other hand drift down, then curls it into a fist he slams into Sam’s ribcage. The crack it makes is audible.
The wind is knocked out of Sam, and he runs a testing hand over the already healing damage, jagged edges of bone melding back into place. “Fucker.”
“You get in close, you take the risk,” Dean taunts, fingers trailing down to free Sam from his jeans. Sam watches him work, as Dean deliberately draws it out. This surreal moment of Sam standing there in worn out denim pulled half down his legs like they’d stepped back to this night in the woods, one of those rare moments when it was simple, just for a little while.
“I missed this,” Sam comments, listening in. “It was the only thing worth a damn in—“
Dean sighs and starts to press light but lingering kisses on the inside of Sam’s thighs. Hardly sexual, but so unexpected and gentle that it renders him momentarily quiet. He looks down at Dean in question.
“Sam, just—” he licks his lips, “Kill the Boy King crap for a minute.”
“Okay,” he nods slowly. Lets go. “Okay.” He pulls his pants the rest of the way off, shedding his shirt and waiting for Dean to follow suit. After Dean tosses the remnant of his own shirt into the trees he turns to find Sam’s conflicted, human eyes staring back and doesn’t have to ask how long it’s been since Sam has had them normal this often.
Dean eases himself onto the ground, Sam settling between his legs and bending to take the flushed head of Dean’s cock between his lips. Always did like to torture him, swirl his tongue relentlessly around the tip to make Dean get good and hard and fast. Didn’t matter now that Dean’s body did what he wanted it to and precisely when he wanted, but then, his body had never taken time to respond to Sam.
He groans out loud, hand flying back to Sam’s hair when Sam goes down further on his length. Slick sounds of Sam applying suction bouncing off the trees with Dean’s own heavy breathing. A phantom touch starts up along the seam of his balls, making him shift indecisively under Sam’s attention, leaves crunching underneath him as he wrestles with trying to slide further into Sam’s wet, clutching throat and away from the too much, too bright feeling of it all.
But Sam only keeps coming, swallows him down until his lips are stretched wide around Dean’s hardness and pressed against his stomach, the wiry trail of hair leading to his groin. “Sa—Sam,” his eyes roll upward and clench shut, “Need you to fuck me. Now.”
Sam obeys, sliding off Dean’s cock and wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. He jacks Dean a few times, almost staring through him, stalling. Dean brings his hand to join Sam’s on his cock, threading their fingers together.
“What’s the matter? Scared to fuck an angel?” Dean’s grin fades at Sam’s expression. The motion of his hand falters.
“Don’t leave again,” Sam says with a raw expression. “Don’t leave or I’ll take it all apart for good. Until there’s nothing. Until I find you again.”
Dean sits up, pushes on Sam’s chest until he leans back enough for Dean to sit on his thighs. Their faces are aligned. “Look at me. I’m here,” he places Sam’s hand over his possession tattoo. “And there’s only one thing that can pull us apart again—you.”
Sam’s lips part with an answer that goes unsaid. Dean gives him one when he lifts himself up, reaches down and lines Sam’s thick cock up with his opening. He keeps his eyes wide open as he presses down, makes Sam look back at him as it burns so good and Sam splits him open. He holds his breath until he’s flush with Sam’s thighs again, length nestled deep inside.
Wisps of power start to pour off of Dean’s skin and Sam blinks, awareness returning. His nails dig into Dean’s ass as the tendrils grow stronger, start to enter his lungs. “What are you doing?”
“Move,” Dean grunts, tapping his shoulder.
As Sam draws out and pushes back in, Dean can feel his power pressing further, pushing right up against Dean’s prostate as his cock starts to fill the rest of him. He starts to ride, slowly, still pushing with his own power into Sam’s body.
He murmurs Sam’s name like a prayer when their power collides briefly, it makes him see stars as both their bodies try to resist the intrusion.
“Dean, don’t—“ Sam starts as he shuts his eyes tight. He stops moving, but Dean is still working himself on his cock, still penetrating Sam in turn in every way but physical. When Sam’s eyes snap open, they’re blindingly white. His insides are being scoured by what Dean is doing, the way they are from too much time spent in Heaven, but on a far larger scale.
“Can’t stop, Sammy,” Dean gasps. “This has to happen.”
The edges of Sam’s mind, his power, they’re starting to be blotted out. By voices and by pain, his and others. So many others that he can see as hazy figures all around them in the woods. They’re screaming at him, combining into an indistinguishable roar of fury and sorrow.
He can sense, distantly and as if removed from his body, that he’s going to come quickly with him filling Dean and Dean tearing his way deep inside of him. He shakes violently when he does, yells into Dean’s sweaty skin at the fiery pain of it, the wrongness. But the fullness starts to subside. Soon he’s alone again, no one speaking in his head but himself.
He lashes out, throwing Dean off of him and leaving vicious gashes all over his body in the process. “You son of a bitch. You—“
Dean’s face is hard, but his eyes betray the weight of what he’s done. “I told you, Sam. You get in close, you take the risk.”
“What did you fucking do to me?”
“Easy. I showed every part of you that you locked down when I died everything that you are now.”
Sam can’t disguise the unsettled shadow in his eyes. He was right, in the end. Right about making a grave yet inevitable mistake. No one else could have gotten close enough to do this to him. No one else could have done it at all.
When Lucifer finds him, Sam is sitting stiffly in someone else’s dusty memory, upon the stone throne of an old, English Lord. The Lord had been all too willing to relinquish it to him.
The foundations of the Royal Baron quake dangerously with Sam’s arrival. Plaster falls from the ceilings like snowflakes. The door to Castiel’s cell flies open and Sam doesn’t stop to summon aid, doesn’t want them there regardless, just waves a hand and breaks the bonds, physical and otherwise, keeping Castiel in place.
“It’s been great catching up, but the time has come to tie up loose ends. Starting with you,” Sam explains, jerking Castiel from his chair to a standing position. His hand wraps around Castiel’s bruised throat but Castiel’s eyes are strangely fixated on Sam’s.
In one of the room’s floor-length mirror, Sam glances over to find his own eyes still disgustingly brown. He scowls and blinks, clearing it away until only the yellow shines through.
“What did you see?” Castiel croaks, barely audible.
Sam is breathing hard in response to nothing, shakes Castiel roughly in his grip like a ragdoll. “What did I see when?” he plays ignorant.
“My power resides in Dean now, but what stayed with me can sense—you were touched by it.”
“I didn’t see or hear anything,” Sam states, “Nothing but my brother being taken from me all over again. Only by Heaven this time instead of Hell. So, congratulations, you can die knowing that your plan succeeded in delaying the inevitable and in pissing me the fuck off.”
He starts the process to burn Castiel out of his vessel, regrets that it wasn’t done the minute he was captured, but Castiel keeps speaking through it somehow, through the gaps between his anguished screams. As the caustic light starts to overwhelm him he grits, “No, I can die knowing the Boy King never succeeded in ridding himself of Sam Winchester.”
“Don’t fucking call me that!” Sam drops his hand, and a burst of energy careens into the wall, taking it down to rubble and blowing the windows out in the room. He blinks dumbly at the scene, then scrapes his hands over his face repeatedly, hard enough to leave marks.
Castiel looks up at him, “Which one?”
Sam can’t answer him.
“Crowley,” Sam mutters at first. “Crowley!” he pitches up to a yell.
“Your call was heard, my King. In Istanbul,” he says, carefully keeping the snark from his tone as he takes in the destruction of the hotel, slightly agape. “How exactly do I proceed?”
“Bring—bring the witch,” Sam says dully.
“You released the witch.”
“One of the witches from another floor then,” he raises his voice in agitation. “Put the bonds back on him.”
“Plenty of steer have died for less. May I ask to what end this one is being kept?” Crowley questions, noting Castiel’s pitiful, damaged appearance.
Sam is gone with the question.
Crowley sighs deeply, rubbing at his temples with two fingers. He looks to Castiel, eyes shining in triumph, as though he were far away from this prison cell, as if he had just won. “Well played,” Crowley remarks bitterly, “Bloody well played.”
“Where the hell is he?” a demon sporting a teenaged-girl suit demands. She slaps dark bangs out of her black eyes, scowling furiously as she overlooks the ruins of a once coastal city, now surrounded by dark sand and bones.
Her lieutenant straightens a cap on his head and lets her vent before going on, “All I know is everything has ground to a halt. Everything. No one will move without his orders and if the dogs at the top have a clue where he is, they aren’t fucking sharing.”
“We can’t stay here,” she says. “We can’t stay here. The intel isn’t even complete on this hole, we have no idea what we’re walking into. I’m not getting picked off by some band of scouts because the Boy King decided to get his precious feelings hurt. Fucking human.”
The lieutenant can’t help but to glance around.
“Oh, please, I doubt he’s lurking here.”
“Then you’re willing to make the call to pull out?” the lieutenant questions, curious. “And deal with any fallout with the Boy King?”
She hesitates, but stands up straight. “Send it down the chain. If any essential operations are waiting on word from him, they’re better off pulling their asses out of the fire. I’m not about to die for him. If enough of us say the same, what’s he going to do?”
Dean steps out of his tent and halts when he catches sight of Sam listening to something beyond even Dean’s comprehension. Sam’s expression doesn’t give anything away as Dean comes to a stop at his side. They look out on scorched hills growing darker still in the setting sun, not speaking for a stretch of minutes.
“A squad just out of San Francisco is about to be destroyed by one of the angels’ roaming companies,” Sam starts, “Because they got tired of waiting for orders. The General, always been a real pain in the ass, she’s encouraging more of them to do the same. Haven’t had open mutiny since the early days,” he notes, remembering. “Not that it’ll matter in her case.”
Dean turns to look at him, but Sam keeps his gaze fixed on the horizon. “Why tell me this?”
“Because it’s your fault. Because I can’t think anymore, because this is how we get to be together, and because that god damn portal to Hell opened and you died. And now you want me to open it again, with every demon on the planet and in the pit looking to take my spot and kill us both?”
He finally looks Dean in the eye. Uncertain and searching.
“What’s left out there, the people, they deserve a chance, Sam. This might be a craphole of a world, but they should have the right to decide whether or not they want to live in it.” He throws his hands up. “Let Lucifer slug it out in Heaven and the demons rot in the pit. Let this place belong to humanity.”
“Humanity,” Sam echoes. “You know, when Lucifer was riding me, I wasn’t out the whole time. I saw him strike down Michael, I saw ground and sea and humanity burn beneath their feet. And as I watched, I thought—I should be feeling more than this.”
He shakes his head, clearing the memory. “But I was barely ever a part of this world, Dean. I don’t miss it. I don’t care about it. I just don’t.”
Dean nods in understanding. “Well, there’s one thing in it that you do. Make that block one and start there.”
Sam peers at him, eyes flickering erratically from yellow to hazel and then back. “Funny, coming from you of all people. Weren’t you ready to say yes to Michael? Hang it all up and walk?”
“Yeah, I was,” he concurs. “And it killed me. It killed the both of us.”
The demons near San Francisco are about to cross paths with the angels. Part of Sam wants to watch, savor the perverse satisfaction of being there and having the beautiful, dying light play across his face. But he leaves the thought behind and reaches over, takes Dean’s amulet in his hand to ground himself.
He’s here. Because there are a lot of things he wants and only the one he can say he needs.
“I’m packing a little more than a .45 these days, Boy King,” Dean reminds him, as Sam curls his hand protectively along the side of his neck. “And whatever we do, from now on, we do it together.”
“It’s Sam,” he corrects after a moment.
“I’d say it’s a start.”