They don't do it the way you're supposed to. They fight their way through Hell, they tear the seals into pieces, and the days turn into weeks turn into months until Sam is so exhausted he can barely stand.
He can feel it, when they reach the Cage. It's a pulsing that goes down to his very bones, pulls at him and makes him want to press himself to the walls of it.
"What is that?" he asks, in a whisper, and Azazel says, "I told you you were special."
"Does it have to be me?" he asks, because he's so tired, he doesn't think he still has the strength.
"It has to be you, Sam," Azazel tells him. "It can't be anyone else."
The final seal is harder to rip apart than any of the others, leaves him red-faced and panting, and he can feel sweat trickling down his brow. From the corner of his eye, he can see the look of triumph and approval on Azazel's face, and he realizes that he still doesn't know whether his approval is validating or horrifying. When the seal lies in pieces, he stops, unsure of what to do, but Azazel says, "Go on," and he opens the door to the cage and steps in.
Lucifer is waiting for him.
"Sam," he says, and Sam is briefly taken aback.
"You don't look like I was expecting," he says.
Lucifer smiles. "What were you expecting?"
"I don't know," he says, "wings and too many eyes, I guess. Horns. You look—normal." He's startling average-looking, shorter than Sam, but not by much. His hair is blonde and unruly, sticking up at odd angles; his clothes are middle-American, Target-chic. But he doesn't look like he'd fit in at a Target, somehow, his hands clasped behind his back, studying Sam like he's just found the toy he's been looking all over for. Not-quite human, more-than human.
"My true form would be nearly impossible for even you to perceive without it destroying you," Lucifer says. "This is an approximation; I thought you might find it more comforting than wings and too many eyes. This form would be my next vessel."
"Would be?" Sam asks, but Lucifer just smiles and doesn't answer him.
The door swings shut behind him, and Sam looks back in alarm.
"It's not locked," Lucifer reassures him. "I just thought we could use some privacy."
"Privacy?" Sam says.
"I wanted to talk," Lucifer says, looking suddenly unsure of himself. "If you wanted. And you look exhausted. I thought you could use some rest."
Sam looks bewildered. "I thought—I thought I was helping you get out."
"You have," Lucifer says. "But I've been patient for a very long time. I've been waiting for you. The door will stay open; we don't need to leave immediately. Time is fluid down here. We have as much of it as we need."
"Are you sure?" Sam asks, still feeling caught off-guard. "I mean—this is Hell. Wouldn't you want to leave as soon as possible?"
"It's alright now," Lucifer says. "I have you." He watches Sam, licking his lips in a hungry sort of way, and Sam instinctively takes a step back. He wavers on his feet, briefly, and Lucifer moves forward, his face open with concern, reaching in to steady him.
"You're exhausted," he says. And he scoops Sam up in his arms, holding him as though he weighs nothing, and he thinks about protesting, but he can't summon up the strength. He feels like he's being cradled by something soft, something like feathers, and the thought seems silly, but. But. He wants to ask, to know what it is, but he can't even bring himself to open his eyes.
He's distantly aware of Lucifer carrying him through twisting passages and up flights of stairs, before laying him gently down in a bed, whispering, "Sleep, Sam. We'll speak when you're rested."
It's not exactly morning, when he stirs and wakens, because there's no such thing as morning down here. Or rather, everything is morning, such that it's nearly impossible to discern the passage of time.
Lucifer is watching him when he sits up, and Sam wonders if he's just been sitting there the entire time he's been asleep, watching him sleep. "You're awake," he says, and his smile is terrifying and beautiful. "Come with me," he says, "there's much we need to discuss."
He helps Sam out of the bed, guides him with a hand on the small of his back. It's uncomfortably intimate, and Sam doesn't quite understand it.
The Cage seems to have been designed by an architect who was slowly losing their mind. Lucifer guides him through an endless maze of tight staircases and dark hallways, until he opens a door, and they're outside. Not outside, exactly, but there's lakes, and cliffs, and dark sand beneath his feet. There's no sun, and it's too dark to make out details; he realizes with a sudden shock that nearly all the light in the place is emanating from Lucifer.
It's surprisingly peaceful, and he finds himself toeing his shoes off, stretching his feet in the soft sand.
"Walk with me," Lucifer says unexpectedly, wrapping his hand around Sam's and tangling their fingers together. Sam's first instinct is to pull away, and he has to suppress that desire. In any case, Lucifer drops his hand after a moment, perhaps sensing his discomfort, and folds his hands behind his back with a sigh.
"You know that you're special," he says, and Sam fidgets uncomfortably.
"I'm not so special," he says. "It could have been anyone." He doesn't understand why Lucifer is paying him this attention; all he'd done was be stronger than everyone else.
Lucifer looks wistful. "It had to be you, Sam. It couldn't have been anyone else. It was always going to be you."
"There's something you're not telling me," Sam says, feeling a chill skitter down his spine. "What aren't you telling me?"
Lucifer exhales, and looks away, stares out at the waves lapping gently at the shore. "You're the one," he says. "It was always going to be you. From before you were even born, it was going to be you. We're connected, Sam, can't you feel it?" He reaches for Sam's hand, pulls it forward and places it on his chest. "Feel it," he orders.
It's a magnetic tug, a warmth spreading its way slowly up his arm, and he has to fight to resist the pull, has to fight not to pull Lucifer in and hold him close. "What—what is that," he asks, in a choked off whisper. He wants to pull away. He wants to draw closer.
"It's my Grace," Lucifer tells him. "It's reaching out for your soul. I told you, we're meant to be together. It's not a coincidence that you're here. It was always going to be you."
It's with a tremendous effort that Sam manages to pull his hand back, eyes wide. "I don't understand," he says. There's a soft rustling sound, and the feeling from before alights on his arms again, the feeling like feathers. It brushes against his back, and he starts to pull away on instinct, but it's strong, it pulls him back in, and it's hard enough not to just melt into the touch. "Are those wings," he chokes out, and he thinks his heart is about to hammer out of his chest.
"Sam, please," Lucifer says, a quiet plea in his voice.
"You have wings," Sam says, with a touch of hysteria. "Oh, God, you have wings."
"I'm an angel," Lucifer says. "Of course I have wings." And he folds them in closer around Sam, drawing him all the way into his space.
His fingers are itching at his sides, the curiosity that was never good for him flaring up in a need to find out, to touch.
"You can touch them," Lucifer says, voice low. "They're yours, too."
And Sam doesn't even bother to wonder what that means, raising trembling hands to the faintest silvery outline of feathers that's threading through the space that Lucifer's wings occupy, stroking his hand cautiously down one. He's so close to Lucifer now, close enough to feel warm breath curling against his face. He's trying to be cautious, trying to not to lose himself or get too deep in, but he can't help burying the other hand in the feathers, can't help the way it feels like a goddamn magnet to his hand, and the tingling warmth that slides up his arm is so, so hard to pull away from. He finds himself smoothing feathers down as he strokes through the wing, pushing crooked feathers back into alignment. The wings are bright and beautiful, but they're damaged, he realizes, matted in places, feathers angled the wrong way, burned in others. Lucifer's breathing has gone ragged, and he's aware, distantly, that it's him, he's the one doing this to this beautiful creature. The wings tuck him in closer, an unconscious movement.
Sam glances towards the water, and takes a deep breath. He knows that this isn't something he's going to be able to take back, once he's done it.
With effort, he draws his hands out of Lucifer's wings, moving them to his shoulders and slipping the green overshirt down his shoulders. "Lift your arms up," he says, voice raspy, and Lucifer acquiesces, letting Sam pull his t-shirt up and over his head. He presses his palms to Lucifer's chest and pauses. Lucifer meets his gaze firmly, and Sam can tell he knows what he's doing.
"Sam," he says, and Sam's hands go to his jeans, shaking as they unsnap the button and push the jeans down his hips, his boxers next.
And then Lucifer is naked in front of him, and it's so strange how there's nothing indecent about it, no shame in it. He meets Sam's eye with impunity, unfolding his wings from around him before turning around and stepping into the water.
Sam's painfully aware of Lucifer's gaze on him as he strips off his own clothes, watching him shamelessly. There's a dark curl of approval in his eyes that makes his stomach flutter.
The water's warm when he steps in; soothing, like a bath. Lucifer's wings go to pull him in close again almost immediately, and Sam smiles, indulging him for a moment before murmuring, "Turn around so I can do this properly."
From this angle, it's clear that his wings are more damaged than Sam had realized. He brushes his hand lightly across a patch of burn scarring, slides through some crooked feathers, smoothing them back into alignment. "What happened?" he asks. "I mean—if, I don't know if I'm allowed to ask that. Sorry."
Lucifer's wings twitch as he sighs, deep. "You can ask me whatever you want, Sam. Hell happened to them, mostly. Hell and war. And Michael."
"Michael," he says, as he works his hands through Lucifer's wings. He's hoping to keep him talking, because he can't imagine that this is particularly comfortable for him.
"How well do you know your history, Sam?" Lucifer asks. "What do you know of my Fall?"
Sam bites his lip. "You rebelled," he says. "And God had Michael lock you up down here."
Lucifer nods. "Not the whole story, but accurate enough. My Father cast me out because I would not—because I could not bow down to humanity, place them before Him. They were vicious, flawed, inelegant, and He demanded that we worship them above Him, and I couldn't." There's a thread of bitterness in his voice, and Sam wonders if he's brought up something he shouldn't have. "I loved my Father too much, and for that, He threw me out. Had Michael throw me out, had Michael beat me down and lock me up in the darkness, away from everything and everyone I loved. So that I wouldn't contaminate them." He shudders as Sam runs his hands through a particularly matted clump of feathers.
"Sorry," Sam says, wincing, "I'm sorry, I don't—do they hurt?"
"Not exactly," Lucifer says carefully. "I had nearly forgotten how to feel them. It's been—a very long time since someone did this for me." He's quiet for a moment, letting Sam run careful hands through his wings. "Thank you."
"Don't mention it," Sam says awkwardly, cupping his hands together and filling them with water, letting it run down Lucifer's wings. They're full of dirt and soot, difficult to see against their darkness, but he does his best to wash them clean, threads his fingers through each nearly-imperceptible feather to work the soot out.
When he thinks he's finished, he takes a breath, leans in, and presses a kiss to the top of Lucifer's spine. There's a sharp intake of breath, followed by a ragged exhale, and he takes it as encouragement, kissing his way down Lucifer's spine, lips straying dangerously low when he reaches the base. He straightens up, and Lucifer turns, pulling him in and sealing his lips against Sam's. "Sam," Lucifer breathes against his mouth, "Sam. You don't know—you can't know how long—"
"I know," Sam says, "I know," and he's half-hard already, thrusting reflexively against Lucifer's hip.
His eyes search Sam's, arms wrapped around his waist. "I want to know you in every way," he says. "I want to touch and taste every inch of you. I want to know what it feels like to be inside you," and Sam can't stifle his gasp. Lucifer runs a hand down his back, letting it stray down to cup his ass. "I have been waiting for you for such a long time."
It's overwhelming, a declaration of love like nothing he's ever heard. "Lucifer," he says, and takes his hand. Guides it down to their cocks and wraps their twined fingers around them, moving their hands together. The look of unsteady, unexpected pleasure on his face is hotter than he had ever expected it to be.
He doesn't fight it when Lucifer leads him back into the shallows, pushes him back into the sand, rutting almost desperately against him, the friction alone nearly unbearable. It's not elegant, and it's not exactly the best sex he's ever had, but the sight of Lucifer's wings flaring out from his body when he comes is nothing short of magnificent.
They stay there, in the warm water; the amount of time that passes is impossible to know. Lucifer can't keep his hands off Sam, keeps reaching out to touch, tangling his legs around Sam's, bringing his hands up to cup his face. He lifts Sam up and sets him on a half-submerged rock, studies him like he's a fascinating new creature, circles around him to observe from every possible angle. Lucifer looks at him like he's famished, like he's been starving for a very long time, and now that he's been presented with a feast, he can't decide where to begin.
He seems intrigued by his own nakedness, nearly as much as he is by Sam's. He stretches, lazily, like a cat, and gazes at himself with undisguised fascination. It's oddly endearing, and the look of satisfaction on his face when Sam lets himself be pulled into Lucifer's lap, lets Lucifer's curious fingers explore his body, searching for every sensitive place they can find, is even more so.
Sam leans back in the kitchen chair, thinks to himself, Hell's Kitchen, and laughs. Lets Lucifer straddle his hips and tangle his fingers in his hair, tipping his head back. Lucifer feeds him pomegranate seeds, one by one, chuckles when he becomes impatient and licks them from his fingers, chasing the heady taste of the fruit, licking every trace of the juice from his fingers.
"You're like me," Lucifer tells him, "you never know when to stop. Always wanting more, even when you're not supposed to."
Sam looks up at him, lets his mouth fall open just slightly, his tongue slipping out to trace across his lips, and is gratified by the way Lucifer's eyes go dark. Lust, he thinks, he's taught the Devil how to lust.
"You were made to rule," Lucifer promises. "My Boy King. We'll rule together, you and I."
"Because we were made for each other," Sam says, feeling slightly giddy.
Lucifer smiles, says, "You were made in my own image, and I in yours." He bites his lip. "There are things I haven't told you. Things you'll have to do for me, when we leave."
"Anything," Sam says, "anything you need."
"You won't like it," Lucifer warns him, and Sam shakes his head.
"Anything you need," he repeats.
Lucifer looks like he's choosing his words carefully, his forehead wrinkling. "I need a vessel in order to exist above ground; I can't simply be as I am."
"Like this man," Sam says, stroking his hand down Lucifer's neck.
"Yes," Lucifer says slowly. "In a sense. But it would be an imperfect solution. He could never properly contain me."
It's like trying to draw water from a stone, getting Lucifer to explain this. He's reluctant, and Sam's not sure why. "So what's the ideal solution?" he asks.
"My true vessel," Lucifer says. "The one who I was made to be inside," and Sam goes cold all over.
"Me," he says, voice shocked. "It's me. I'm your true vessel. That's why you said—that's why it was me, opening the Cage." He can feel Lucifer's gaze on him, wide, concerned, but he can't return it. "You'd possess me. Like a demon." He remembers Meg, and shudders.
"No," Lucifer says vehemently, gripping his chin and tilting his face up. "Look at me, Sam. You're so much more to me than that."
"I'm a tool for you," he says. "I thought—I thought—"
"Sam," Lucifer says, sounding heartbroken. "I'm not a demon. I can't take you without your consent. You'd still exist, you'd still be Sam. And we'd be together. Like we were always meant to be."
He can't bear this. "I thought you loved me," he whispers, flushing at how stupid it sounds, coming out of his mouth.
Lucifer cups his face gently, brings it up to his own and kisses him. It's hard, it's still hard, even after this revelation, not to give into it, to just open his mouth to Lucifer and let him inside, give him everything he asks for and more. "How could you ever doubt it?" he asks. "I love you, I want you like I've never wanted anything else."
"Then don't do this," Sam begs. "We could stay down here. You said we didn't have to leave, please, let's just stay down here."
"We can't," Lucifer says, "Sam, I'm sorry, but we can't. There are things being set in motion, things beyond my control. And it won't be easy, it won't be fun, but I need you with me. We're going to remake the world, together. We'll find God and force him to answer for his crimes. We'll take the world apart and remake it, piece by piece, and it will be better." He smoothes Sam's hair back from his face with a tenderness that he'd never have expected the Devil capable of. "I don't want you as my consort, I want you with me."
"That's not—" Sam says brokenly, "I don't know if I can do that."
"It's not what you're used to," Lucifer says. "It's a different kind of love, but it's better, I promise it's better, if you'll just let me show you." He pauses. "I can show you. How I'd worship your body. Let me show you."
There's determination in his eyes, dark determination and a deep, burning want. Sam's breath hitches, and he nods.
Lucifer guides him up stairway after stairway to the bedroom Sam had first woken up in, and the hand on his back doesn't feel quite as uncomfortable as it had once. He undresses Sam like he's unwrapping something fragile, like it's an effort to hold himself back until Sam is completely naked, instead of just ripping his clothes off and ravishing him.
Lucifer pulls his own clothes off like it's an unfamiliar task, but one that he's willing to suffer for Sam. It's strangely hot, and Sam, reclining on the bed, drinks in the image of his naked body—middle-aged, stubbly, soft around the middle. A far cry from the magazine girls he used to jerk off to.
He climbs on top of Sam, takes his hand and kisses the inside of his wrist, gently. Then kisses up the inside of his arm, letting his lips linger over the sensitive skin at the bend of his elbow, before moving to the other arm and doing the same. He rolls his hips against Sam's just once, smiling when he whimpers, and Sam decides that he finds Lucifer's self-control absolutely maddening.
Sam reaches for his hand, tries to guide it between his legs, but Lucifer pulls away.
"Not yet," he says. "Have patience. We have all the time in the world."
"You're a goddamn tease," Sam accuses, and Lucifer's lips quirk up.
"I never pretended otherwise," he says, and Sam groans, letting his head fall back against the pillow.
Lucifer scoots down the bed, spreads Sam's legs and moves so that he's kneeling between them. He kisses his way up Sam's inner thighs, his stubble leaving a tickling burn behind, and Sam squirms.
"Lucifer, please," Sam says, and Lucifer allows him to take his hand and guide it down, pressing his fingertips up against his hole. "Please," he says again, voice breaking, and Lucifer obligingly slips one curious finger inside him.
It's easier than it should be. He gasps and whines when a second finger joins the first, thrusting in and out, before pulling out entirely, and he groans at the loss. "Lucifer," he says, but Lucifer just chuckles and says, "Turn over. On your knees."
He runs his fingers down Sam's back, splaying his palms against his shoulderblades, and Sam says, hesitantly, "Will I—" before breaking off.
"Yes," Lucifer says. "My wings will be yours, too." And then his fingers are moving down Sam's spine again, down into the cleft of his ass, pressing back into him. The fingers work in and out of him, hot and slick, somehow, and he's gasping where he's got his face pressed into the pillow, knees tucked underneath him. It's the same insatiable curiosity that Lucifer's every touch is humming with, the same burning desire to know, to be inside and understand, and he takes his time, teasing Sam open. A third finger joins the first two, works into him, and he's trembling, little mewling noises escaping him that make Lucifer hum his appreciation.
Lucifer pushes into him in a long, wet slide, fingers tight where they're clutching at Sam's hips. And it's still unexpected in a way, still aches, but less than it should, and he grabs onto that aching hurt, holds it because it makes what they're doing more real, somehow. His cock is thick and aching, heavy between his legs, and God, he just, he just needs to be touched, but he won't ask for it.
One of Lucifer's hands comes up, rests back on Sam's right shoulderblade with his fingers spread, the other still on his hip, holding him in place. "I know what you're thinking," he says softly. His pace is languid, maddeningly so; he's deliberately drawing this out, like he wants to see just how far he can push Sam before he falls apart, begging.
Lucifer's hand feels like a brand where it's lying, flat against his back, a claim of ownership, and he thinks of what it will be like to have all that immense, unnamable power inside him, he thinks of Lucifer's wings—
He pushes back, tries to encourage Lucifer to increase the pace, go deeper and take him harder, but Lucifer's grip is tight, holding him in place. He chuckles, roughly. "Ask me, Sam," he says.
"Please," he gasps, voice muffled where he's got his face pressed into his arm. "God, please, just, fuck me, Lucifer, jesus—"
He can't help crying out as Lucifer drives into him, harder and faster. "I want you to feel how it would feel," Lucifer says, gentle. "Having me inside you. Finally being whole. You can feel it now, can't you? The emptiness, where there's a part of you missing." He pauses, and his breath hitches on a thrust that goes particularly deep.
"Lucifer," Sam says, voice breaking, "Lucifer, Lucifer."
"For thousands of years, I've felt that," Lucifer says, and Sam can tell it's becoming an effort for him to keep his voice steady. "That empty ache, waiting for you. You know that it's me, that I'm the missing part."
And yeah. Sam's starting to think he sees that.
"I don't want to use you, Sam," Lucifer says, voice low and rough. "I want you to be happy, I want you to be whole. And I want to be the one who gives that to you."
"I know," Sam says. "Oh."
And then there are no more words, save for the occasional fuck, and Christ, that's good, and Sam, followed by Lucifer. Lucifer wrings a gamut of sounds from Sam's throat, and he thinks he would be ashamed of how utterly shameless he's acting if circumstances weren't—well. He supposes having a fallen angel fuck you rather qualifies as extenuating circumstances.
He comes first, with a groan of Lucifer, and Lucifer, clutching tightly at his shoulder, follows him over.
"You're not ordinary," Lucifer says, kissing lightly down his neck. He pauses and exhales. "If it's what you want—we can stay down here. If that's what you want."
Sam bites his lip. Lucifer's legs are tangled around his, pulling him in close, like he's afraid if he lets Sam get too far away he'll disappear. "Will it hurt?" he asks hesitantly, feeling small and stupid as soon as the words are out of his mouth. "If I let you in, I mean."
"Oh, Sam," Lucifer says, sounding like his heart is breaking, and he lays his lips against Sam's. "No," he says, against Sam's mouth. "I'd never hurt you." He pulls Sam on top of him, lets him pin his wrists to the bed. For a long time, Sam doesn't say anything, just stares at Lucifer, breath heavy in his chest.
"Alright," he says, surprising himself with the sureness of his voice. "Whatever you need me to do, I said. When we get back topside—you have my consent."