Dean comes upon Lucifer in a garden behind the building. It figures. Lucifer, Dean has learned, has a soft spot for dramatic displays. Dean is too tired to even let loose the bitter laugh he wants to release at the scene. He has felt tired, sick and tired, for a long time.
He can hear the shots start inside and knows that the last of everyone he's ever cared about are all going to die today. He knows it is his own fault. He knows it somewhere in the horror that resides in his chest, a deep chasm that yawned wide the day he learned Sam had said yes and Dean had not been there and the angels were gone.
He raises the Colt just as Lucifer turns to look at him. He is wearing Sam's body in the strangest way, has dressed him in a white suit, affectedly dapper. Dean is almost grateful because this is not Sam. Like this, he can tell himself that and almost believe it. Lucifer leisurely takes in Dean and the Colt, and he opens his mouth to say something unbearably polite. Dean is certain of this, and can't take it, so he cuts in with the first ball-busting comment that comes to mind.
"Really? This is how you want to go? Decked out like you're Colonel frickin' Sanders?"
Lucifer tilts Sam's head to the side, and Dean is forcefully reminded of Cas--Cas from before, Castiel, angel of the Lord--but Lucifer's expression does not betray any hint of curiosity. It holds a terrible mixture of pity and poorly concealed disgust. "Dean, I have no intention of going anywhere."
Dean cocks the gun while the Devil speaks, but that is Sam's voice, Sam is in there somewhere, and Dean is horrified to feel tremors start in the hand that is holding up the Colt. Before he totally loses it, he forces himself to affect the old smug grin, feels it start and falter, flickering on and off his face. "Well, that's too damn bad."
He fires the Colt. He sees Sam's eyes go sightless, sees the dark spot blossom exactly between them. Dean feels a dim kind of relief that his aim didn't fail. The shaking worsens.
Dean falls to his knees at exactly the same moment the body crumples, a grotesque tableau of white splayed over green and brown.
Dean has thought about this moment so many times--wondered what he would feel, if he would even still be able to feel at all. He wishes he had fallen that far. He does feel, and it is the worst he has ever felt since Hell. Despair and anger and pain everywhere, welling up from the gaping hole the loss of Sam has ripped into him twice before. Now there is a third, final rupture. He was the one to do it and that makes it all the worse, adds to the frenzy that claws at him from everywhere, makes drawing every breath a fresh agony.
His lowers his face to the ground, certain if he had eaten anything recently he would be throwing it up. He thinks about never eating again, never getting up again, feels the Colt still in his hand and thinks about cocking the hammer one last time and finishing everything, even himself, once and for all. And that's when he hears it.
A deep gasping breath, a rustle, an unfeeling "Ouch, that hurt," and that's Sam's voice, it's Sam, it's Lucifer, it's Sam, and the clearest thought in Dean's head is, oh, thank God.
More rustling drawing nearer, and then the tip of one of those ridiculously white loafers pushing at his shoulder, rolling him onto his back. The Colt didn't work. Dean didn't kill Sam. Dean couldn't stop it. Thank God.
Dean opens his eyes and sees his younger self approaching, knows what he's walking into, knows what is coming for them both. He feels a small amount of hope that his younger self will realize how wrong Dean went, how wrong he always was, and his mind turns to how soon he will never have to think about being wrong ever again. Thank God.
He feels the shoe press down on his neck, feels the familiar sharp snap of a bone breaking, recognizes the quick kill. Thank--