He was finally free.
Free of all the pain that had weighed down his human soul, free of the restrictions put upon him by morals, free of the feelings that had tormented him in so many forms.
Dean opened his eyes as he heard Crowley’s invitation.
If only the demon had known how powerful he was, what he could do. He felt his strength, never-ending strength flowing through him.
He could have killed Crowley with a wave of his little finger.
But he didn’t. Not yet. Where would be the fun in that? No.
It was time to enjoy himself. He’d earned it.
All these years of looking after his pathetic little brother, picking up bottles after their father, cooking for Sam, playing both parents at once, and not free after he’d gone to university, even have gone so far as to drop by Stanford without his knowledge to check up on him...
Yes, it had been difficult.
Oh, how sweet his revenge would be.
First of all, he did his fair share of celebrating with Crowley, funny enough only now realizing what his motivation had been all along.
He wanted a friend. A lover. Someone to rule Hell with.
How delightfully pathetic for someone who had chosen to become King.
Still, there was something to be said for tormenting him with karaoke nights. And the sex wasn’t bad either.
Crowley even stuck at his side for several days. Almost quaint. But he inevitably had to check up on Hell, and that was when Dena pounced.
Or rather, when he made his way back to the bunker.
Sammy must be scared out of his wits.
He was, to the point where Cas (who was looking worse and worse, these days, and Dean couldn’t help but think that might have been important to him if his soul hadn’t been mangled beyond repair) had to hold him back and remind him they had to test him.
HE cleared his throat.
“Actually, guys... there’s something I have to tell you”.
He showed his knew eyes.
Both reared back, painful expression on their faces.
“Okay, okay, now, give me a moment. The mark brought me back as a demon, yes, but it’s still me.”
Time to pit his years of lying to authorities to good use.
“I know what it looks like, I know what I am, but Sammy – it’s me. I’m still the brother who made you PB & Js when Dad wasn’t there, I made sure you got to school on time, and if I still had a human soul, I would sell it for you again in a heartbeat”.
“Cas, come on – you saved me. You know me. Look me in the eyes and tell me I am a monster now” he pleaded, surprised at how well he was pulling it off.
Of course there was one factor that helped him.
They wanted to believe him.
Underneath the strong hunter was still the little brother who needed Dean to be okay so he could look after him, and Cas...
Cas was a whole different chapter of his own.
When he’d been human, there had always been this unspoken desire between them. Unspoken because Dena had been too much of a coward to question the truths drilled into him, that men weren’t like that, that one shouldn’t look at other guys like this.
That had changed, if his adventures with Crowley were something to go by, and he fully intended to take advantage of the fact. It was clear that Cas loved him, and not as brother, as his former self had always hastened to add.
Oh how much fun this was going to be.
But first he had to make them believe him, and he did so, using Sam’s puppy dog eyes trick and explaining that he’d been so confused he’d run away.
Thank God he had made sure there was no evidence of the killings he’d committed for Crowley (or at least the King thought he’d obeyed him. In reality, Dean would gladly kill anyone who came across his path. The Mark needed feeding).
“Dean...” Sam said slowly, tears in his eyes.
Ah, there it was, their big brother bonding moment.
They hugged, Cas looking on.
Cue the orchestra. Dean Winchester had done it again.
“We can cure you” Sam said, pulling away, “We can – “
Okay, he had to tread carefully now, or they’d realize what he was up to.
“I’m all for that, but can we move a little slower? This isn’t just normal demon juice I’ve got flowing through me. And if I ever... if I ever go darkside, I want you to take me out. But... we don’t know hat the cure will do to me”.
“He’s right” Cas said. “We have no idea whether it will work”.
“Okay” Sam replied, “So we do our research and see what happens”.
“And I mean it, guys – if I ever act weird, or do something... you have to...”
Cas stepped up to him and put his hand on the shoulder where a handprint had been what felt like ages ago, marking him as the favoured weapon of Heaven.
“Dean, I swear to you, if it needs to be done, I will”.
Only he wouldn’t.
Oh no, Dean would pull out the flowers and champagne and romance him and do what he wanted with him, and when the time came it would be too painful for him to do anything, anything at all.
The only thing that disturbed him was that he didn’t want to be a copycat. He didn’t want just to live Cain’s life all over again.
So he would do it in reverse.
Why not. It was as good a plan as any.
And so he lived a double life, coordinating between spending time with Crowley, Sam and Cas.
The research eventually led Sam to where he had made sure it must. It hadn’t been easy to fake a centuries old scroll, but he had done it, and done it so admirably that even Cas believed it.
The text made it very clear that the Mark of Cain transformed man into “a beast, not angel, not demon, not human upon death”
And all the talk of curing him fled out the window.
Not that it mattered. He was a nice demon, he showed them again and again.
They never heard of bodies dropping like flies in front of him.
And boy, did he ever make moves on his favourite angel.
Now of course he was careful. He couldn’t just go after him and expect him to go along with it.
No, he had to be subtle.
And he was.
How staggeringly delicious it was to watch Cas first being confused when he started to subtly flirt with him and touching him more; how he obviously went to Sam for advice, because his brother looked entirely too smug when he watched them; hoe he so very gently let himself be drawn into the lie Dean created for him, a lie where the Righteous Man had never truly died and he loved the angel who’d raised him from perdition more than he’d loved anything else.
And what a strange feeling it was, finally taking everything he’d wished for as a man when it didn’t really matter anymore. Cas was just another of his playthings.
And he lost one soon enough.
He should have known Crowley would figure it out. You could only lien to the demon for so long.
Even as he was now, Dean understood that he was one of the most intelligent beings he had ever come across.
But he also possessed feelings, and that had always been fatal for demons.
A part of Crowley knew he would die as he approached him, he could see it in his eyes.
“You lied to me”.
“Of course I did”.
“What have you been doing when you were away?”
“Playing Sam and Cas”.
“What are you going to do to them?”
“Nothing that concerns you”.
He would say that: Crowley did put up a good fight.
But there were no mixed feelings, as there might have been, once. They had been sort of allies time and time again. But Dean had said goodbye to all of that. There was no nostalgia for the man who had died when Metatron stabbed him.
There was precious little left of him in any way, shape or form.
Now that Crowley was gone, Hell fell into chaos. Dean watched it for a few weeks, then decided he might as well take over. What else was there to do? He had no interest in seeing another Lucifer wannabe show up.
And it took so little, so little effort. The demons, soon realizing he wasn’t like them, didn’t put much of a resistance once he demonstrated what he was capable of.
And all the while he was still hunting with Sam and Cas, the angel spending his nights in Dean’s bed.
Oh, how fun it was forcing a demon to be silent when the others were interrogating them about the “power shift” in Hell.
Sometimes, he had to get out because he couldn’t hold in his laughter.
He supposed some – or most – would have called him insane. It didn’t matter.
He was Dean, ruler of Hell. Dean Winchester had left the building.
This went on for a few years before he got bored; he then decided to move unto the next target on his list.
In the end, it was so damn easy.
He and Cas left for a date. Watching falling stars in an empty field, and as always the angel only had eyes for him.
Dean grinned, showing his demon eyes. Cas had long stopped looking scared or sad when he did.
“Hey, Cas” he said, “I just realized something”.
“What did you realize?” he asked, probably expecting something sappy.
“With me on the throne, you’re basically the King consort of Hell”.
The angel had never been stupid, and he understood soon enough.
His eyes widened.
“Dean? You – you rule Hell?”
Bless him. He still expected him to have a plan, to have taken the throne for the greater good.
“Because torturing souls until they become demons is fun”.
It broke the angel.
“Dean – “ he whispered, his eyes wide and full of pain.
“Yeah, let’s not do that”.
He drew his blade.
“You can put up a fight, or not. I don’t care”.
And these three words seemed to do him in completely.
He didn’t even raise his angel blade as Dean sank the blade into his chest.
It was much too easy to tell Sam how demons had attacked him, but playing the grieving widower got old after a few months.
He decided it was Sam’s time.
And so his brother went to sleep in a motel room and woke up on a rack in Hell.
“Dean – “
“Sorry, but your brother is gone” he told him.
Dean had to give him that: he held out longer than most souls before he started to scream.
After that, he became the undisputed King.
He stopped paying attention to the passage of time. It could have been decades or centuries before one of his minions alerted him that they had found a tablet in a vault not accessed for maybe millennia.
Dean had long learned to read them.
At first he couldn’t believe it.
Right there, a manual how to create and control a superhuman with special powers. Someone who could be used as a weapon.
How long ago it seemed, that night when Dad had ordered him to take Sam outside and their mother had burned.
This was what had started it all, then.
But why was the tablet here, in Hell? Azazel would have moved it to a secret location as soon as he found it, Dean was sure, and here, where any demon could stumble...
And then he realized.
Slowly, a smile spread over his face.
It had always been him, from the start.
Dean Winchester, the hero turned villain making sure things turned out as they should.
Time for a little trip into the past.
Azazel had been pretty stupid.
He probably needed his plan explained to him.