Characters: Sam, Dean, Lucifer
inspired by this fantastic prompt by khakigrrl
Start with the classic death/disappearance fic. Sam or Dean (I'll leave it up to you) dies sometime between the pilot and 3x01. The other brother angsts and searches or mourns or searches and mourns, but are unable to bring back the lost brother.
That's all preface. The meat of the story is AU Season 5. Somehow, everything else has been manipulated by demons/angels to bring Season 5 to the same starting point. (Remember, it always had to be Sam.)
Into this setting, seasons 1-2 Sam (or Dean) is brought back to life by Lucifer (or Michael). He is shocked by how his surviving brother has changed from the person he knew before dying/disappearing. He is also not at all prepared to deal with the raised stakes of an impending apocalypse and angels and/or Lucifer pressuring him to say "Yes".
Dean opens his eyes and closes them again. It's bright. It's too damn bright. He covers his eyes with his hand and tries to open them again. He sees a sliver of light, sky blue and he blinks over and over, waiting for the image to change.
He can't be seeing the sky-- not really. It has to be a trick. It has to be, but...Alistair said 'No more tricks.' It was the last thing he'd said before-- Dean pinches the bridge of his nose and tries to remember, but he can't. He was in Hell. He should be remembering Hell, but there's nothing. There was a name, a few seconds ago, but it's gone now.
Dean sits up and looks around. He's surrounded by dozens of felled trees. He stands up slowly and looks down at the dirt he was lying in. There's a plain, wooden cross. There's a noise from behind him, ruffling wings, and Dean whips around.
"Hello, Dean." says the man.
Dean stares at the stranger and feels ice run down his spine. He's cold, he's so cold, and he hasn't been cold in a long, long time.
"Who are you?" Dean asks.
"I'm an angel."
"An angel, right." Dean scoffs.
"My name is Lucifer."
"Stop following me." Dean snaps.
"Dean. I'm telling you the truth. I wouldn't lie to you." Lucifer says again.
Dean stops and turns around, "Right, so-- not only are you an angel but you're friggin' Lucifer?" Dean shakes his head, "At least think of something original, man. I mean, come on, you really expect me to believe the Devil looks like some average--" Dean gestures at Lucifer "soccer-Dad, or whatever you are?"
Lucifer looks down at himself and frowns, "Yes...this is...less than satisfactory. This isn't who I'm supposed to be. That's why you're here Dean, that's why I raised you."
"You--" Dean swallows, "you what?"
"Let's go see your brother." Lucifer says, patting Dean on the shoulder.
Dean feels dizzy, and he can't see. Wherever he is now, it's dark. He blinks as his eyes slowly adjust, and he looks at his new surroundings. The walls around him are covered in sigils and wards, but Dean only recognizes a handful of them. Most of the windows have been boarded up, but there's a weak sliver of sunlight coming in through a window in the back. There are voices nearby. Dean walks towards them, until he can make out what's being said.
"...you weren't supposed to bring him here." Sam says
"You said you wanted to see for yourself. You wanted to be sure he didn't remember, right?" Lucifer sighs.
Sam makes a low growling noise, "I don't want him to see me like this."
"Well look who's self-conscious all of a sudden." Lucifer laughs, "What was your plan then? Were you-- you weren't going to try to take a look yourself, were you? Like you did last week with those three--"
"Those were demons, " Sam snaps, "and I was was angry."
Lucifer laughs again, "You sure were. There was barely anything left to clean up. You can try that trick again on Alistair-- I tucked him away for you, just like you asked."
"Who's Alistair?" Dean asks, as he enters the room. It stinks of sulfur, and Dean looks around in the faint light until he sees two silhouettes standing a few feet away. "Sammy?" Dean says, and steps through the doorway.
"Dean." Sam says, and takes a step back.
Lucifer walks forward and smiles at Dean, "Your brother's happy to see you, Dean. He's just upset he didn't have time to tidy up." Lucifer moves past Dean and back into the front room, "I'll give you two a few minutes to catch up."
Dean walks further into the dark room and heads towards the far wall. "Sammy?" he says again.
"Hey Dean." Sam says, softly. He takes a few steps forward, and then, moving quickly, closes the rest of the distance between them and grabs Dean in a rib-crushing hug.
Dean pats Sam's back and has a weird moment where he realizes that Sam's not even a little bit scrawny anymore. Dean doesn't know how long he's been gone, but Sam feels like he spent at least a year or two doing push-ups.
Sam lets go and steps backwards again, into the dark. He smiles, but it's all sorrow, "What do you remember?"
"I remember shooting that yellow-eyed son of a bitch. I remember telling you I had four and a half hours left before my deal came due." Dean stops and licks his lips, "I remember you punching me and..."
"...and then the Hellhounds took you." Sam says, looking down at his feet. "I watched them tear you to pieces. I couldn't do a damn thing to stop it." Sam looks back up at Dean. "What happened after that?"
"I-- I was in Hell..." Dean tries to meet Sam's eyes, but it's too damn dark to see them, "but I don't...I don't remember anything. I just remember this light and then I woke up in the middle of nowhere, with some dude telling me he's Lucifer."
Sam breathes a sigh of relief, and then takes a deep breath. He walks toward the door, stops next to Dean and says "I'm glad you're okay." Sam turns towards Dean and Dean looks into his brother's black eyes.
Dean stumbles back and spits out, "Christo!"
Sam doesn't flinch, he just looks back at him, sadly, and says, "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry for everything, but...at least I did this. I got you out...and I'll keep you safe. I promise."
There's a slow, clapping noise from behind them. "That was beautiful, Sam. Very moving." Lucifer says, "Now, I held up my end of the bargain. Let's get to yours."
"Sammy?" Dean asks, and his gut feels like it's filled with lead. There's a horrible sound that brings Dean to his knees. He covers his ears in pain as everything around them fills with a terrible light.
"Sam," Lucifer says, "That's Michael. I told you we wouldn't have a lot of time. We have to hurry. You want to keep Dean safe, don't you?"
Sam nods, looks at Dean and smiles again. Then he turns towards Lucifer, and says, "Yes."
on to part 2