Title: My Brother's Keeper
Antichristmas gift written for: ladytiferet
Rating: Gen, R
Warnings: blood, violence
Spoilers: up through all aired episodes of season 6
Summary: "Sam and Dean freed Lucifer and Michael from the Cage. Nobody knew why. Nobody knew how. The Winchesters had consumed the archangels, swallowed down their power and turned it into something terrifying and new."
This is not a good day, the demon thinks to himself.
"You know the rules." Dean Winchester says, "You stay down in Hell. You don't come up here unless we send you here." Dean looks over his shoulder at Sam and asks, "Did we send this one up here, Sam?"
The demon feels a shudder run down his spine when Sam Winchester turns to him. Sam looks at him, with one yellow and one white eye. They change based on Sam's mood, or so it's said. White is bad. Yellow is bad. Come to think of it , there probably isn't a 'good' - only different shades of danger.
Sam doesn't speak. He doesn't have to. Sam wants and a demon obeys - it's just that simple. If Sam wants you to cease existing, you will. If Sam wants you to hop around on one foot singing 'There Was an Old Lady' you will. If Sam's hungry, all you can hope for is a relatively quick death.
Dean's lip twitches into a momentary half smile, and he holds up a small scythe. Dean took it from Death himself, or so the story goes.
Sam and Dean freed Lucifer and Michael from the Cage. Nobody knew why. Nobody knew how.
The Horsemen came for Lucifer - two to kneel and two to kill. What they found instead was one dead, empty vessel - a half-brother, or so it's said - and Sam and Dean full of unholy grace. The Winchesters had consumed the archangels, swallowed down their power and turned it into something terrifying and new.
Nobody had seen the Horsemen after that. Of course...you can't kill War, or Famine, or Pestilence, and you certainly can't kill Death.
Maybe the Horsemen left on their own. Maybe the Winchesters figured out a way to trap them in Lucifer's Cage. In the end, it didn't really matter. The Horsemen were gone, and the Winchesters were here.
The demon looks at Dean and tries not to show fear. Fear just makes Sam hungrier.
Sam's eyes flicker, the white shifting to yellow and the yellow shifting to white. He steps closer to Dean and waits.
"My Lords," the demon tries, "I-"
Dean laughs. "Lords! Did you hear that Sam?" Dean grins at his brother.
Sam tilts his head and watches the glow from his eyes reflect off the scythe's blade. He turns around suddenly and stretches out his right palm toward the empty highway. A large circle of fire forms on the asphalt. In its center stand three bewildered angels.
Dean closes his eyes for a moment, sighs, and then walks over to the trapped group, handing Sam his scythe as he goes by.
Sam stares at the scythe in his hand and turns back slowly towards the demon.
The demon feels Sam's hunger reaching for him. For the moment, he has all of Sam's attention. Hell's King stands before him, and suddenly all the demon wants -all he has ever wanted- is to stay in Sam's presence forever and ever. He won't be that lucky, he thinks sadly.
Sam brings the scythe up towards his own throat and presses the curved, sharp edge of the blade to his skin. Sam doesn't bleed. He can't. The demon's throat bleeds instead an offering and Sam inhales slowly.
The demon is given the highest honor he could have ever hoped for. This is a great day the demon thinks, as he gives all of himself, every last drop, to his King.
Dean looks at the angels through the flicker of fire and asks, "So, how stupid are you, exactly?"
Karael bites her tongue (her vessel's tongue, more accurately) before answering, "Dean Winchester, we mean you no harm. Please, release us."
"Release you? From what? You can't handle a little holy fire?" Dean scoffs and sticks his hand into the flame. "You were trying to use that demon as bait." He pulls his hand back. The fire dances around his fingertips until he makes a fist and snuffs out the tiny flames. "Did you really think you could sneak up on us?" Dean chuckles.
Behind Karael, Phanuel flinches and takes a step back.
Dean looks at him and says, "Wow. You're just - totally spineless now, aren't you?" He steps through the fire, into the circle, and grabs Phanuel by his throat.
Bariel moves to help his brother - reaching for Dean's arm, but that's as far as he gets before he's pulled violently backwards through the wall of flame. His vessel's clothing, hair and skin burn, and he screams in agony.
Bariel lands roughly on the highway. His screaming cuts off suddenly -through no conscious act of his own, and he finds he can no longer make any sound at all. He blinks through the smoke and sees that he isn't burning anymore.
Bariel's vessel has been heavily damaged. As he studies his left hand, which is covered in red, angry blisters, he hears footsteps approaching.
Phanuel feels the snap of a tendon in his vessel's neck as Dean's grip tightens. He waits for the inevitable crunch of bone and tells himself, 'Angels are the agents of fate. We fear nothing.' The truth though, is this - fate is dead, and fear is something he has become all too familiar with since the Brothers declared war.
Dean's eyes are green, Phanuel notices. He had expected black, or red or something else entirely, but not ordinary human eyes.
The Brothers aren't human, not anymore. Nobody knows what they are, exactly. Nobody knows how to hurt them. Everyone that has tried has failed.
Once, a long time ago, a group of angels surrounded Dean on one of the few occassions he was by himself (Dean was never truly alone, not really). Dean was in an automobile, driving. It was unusual, but also far too rare an opportunity to miss.
Dean had stopped the large, black car at an old gas station. He was attempting to work one of the pumps. There wasn't any gasoline left of course.
Seven angels were sent to attack Dean. Only one returned, his vessel bleeding, leaking grace from a thousand tiny wounds. All he said, over and over, was: "I heard him speak. I heard his voice."
The Brothers were never apart after that.
'Sam Winchester is tall', Bariel thinks as he looks up at the denim-clad legs in front of him.
Sam crouches down next to Bariel, and with two long, bloodstained fingers, tilts Bariel's chin up. Sam looks at Bariel with black eyes. He looks at Bariel the way a lion would eye a steak.
Bariel tries to close his vessel's eyes, but the left lid is melted and uncooperative. He doesn't want to see anymore. He doesn't want to look at this Abomination - former vessel of the Morningstar, human, demon, madman, god.
Sam parts his lips, and whispers "Bleed."
Bariel feels his vessel start to break apart. His grace loses hold on the flesh and Bariel finds himself being pulled out into the open. His grace spills liquid from his vessel's eyes and mouth and spatters onto the ground, forming small puddles of light.
Sam dips his right hand into the grace, pulls it back and watches the light dribble off his fingers.
"Sam! Stop playing with your food!" Dean yells from nearby.
Sam's expression doesn't change, but he releases his hold on Bariel's grace, stands up and heads back to the circle of fire.
The flame parts as Sam enters the circle, and closes behind him. Sam looks from Phanuel to Dean and back.
Dean smiles at Phanuel. "This one's a thinker, Sam. His brain just won't shut up."
Sam brings his grace-stained hand up to his mouth and runs it across his tongue, leaving long parallel streaks of light across his cheek. He looks at Phanuel - listening to his thoughts.
Phanuel has only one thought left. Let it end.
Karael swallows back the bile rising in her vessel's throat and does the only thing she can. She falls to her knees, closes her eyes and says, "We surrender."