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Paved With Good Intentions

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“  I lost my head, you couldn’t come, this loss to my brain almost feels like a gun. 

-Cut Up Angels, The Used  

 


 

 

The light from the blast was searing; even Raphael, the only Archangel who was left remaining on Heaven or Earth, had shielded his vessel's eyes, blinded by the power that had corrupted Cas.

The light itself felt tainted. Dirtied and evil due to where the power came from; which just so happened to be Purgatory, home to the kind of evil that wasn't found in humanity. The state of dread it sent Dean into was one that was unexplainable in words; one that made the hunter want to curl up into a ball and weep. But he couldn't do that; because he needed to save Cas from himself.

Crowley has vanished almost as soon as the light had faded away. Dean hadn't been paying attention to the cocky bastard; his main focus was on Cas as he stared down Raphael. "You can't imagine what it's like. They're all inside me. Millions, upon millions of souls."

Cas raised an eyebrow at Raphael, his gaze darkening. "Now what's the matter Raphael? Somebody clip your wings?"

"Castiel, please-" The archangel pleaded. His vessel's body stood tall, but you could easily see that he was terrified. "You let the demon go... but not your own brother?"

Cas tilted his head, an unfamiliar emotion on his face. Dean wouldn't have been able to recognize it if he had tried to. Maybe a mixture of both sympathy and pride. "The demon I have plans for. You on the other hand..."

Cas lifted his fingers and snapped.

The archangel was obliterated, scattered across the room in a splatter of blood. His blade clattered to the ground, bloodied too. If Dean hadn't been either as terrified or shocked as he was, he would've found the situation almost ironic. It was the same was Cas had died when Lucifer had risen, and the same way he had died at the hand of Lucifer.

His eyes were wide as the angel turned to him. Cas didn't spare him a glance, instead inspecting his hands. A small smile spread on his lips, quirking up on only one side of his mouth. If Dean didn't know any better, he would've called it happy, but this wasn't like any of the rare smiles the angel had wore since he met him three years prior; this was one more malicious and cold, one that didn't meet the angel's eyes.

Cas looked up from his hands, that terrifying smile still dancing across his lips, and spoke. "So, you see. I saved you."

Dean's eyes met Cas’. This wasn't the Cas he knew; this wasn't the Cas who had rebelled against Heaven for him, the Cas who had given everything just to protect him- and Sam. This wasn't the Cas he had fell for, in his own way. This wasn’t Cas- hell, Dean wasn’t even sure he was Castiel, the angel who was only loyal to the Heavenly Host. This Cas was just oozing fear and power; in a similar manner that Lucifer had.

His voice quivered in the slightest as he responded, both of his hands trembling as he raised them in surrender. "Y-you sure did, Cas. Thank you."

Cas turned away from Dean, momentarily examining the blood that's plastered the wall as if it was a piece of art he had worked on for years; which, Dean realized, was partially true. Cas had worked so hard the past year in trying to defeat Raphael, and Dean hadn't even bothered to offer him help. The realization struck him like a train, but he had to shake it off, as Cas had begun speaking again.

"You doubted me. Fought against me...." Cas turned back to Dean's direction, taking a step towards him and ignoring Bobby beside him. The smirk had grown on the angel's lips, both corners of his mouth quirking up. "But I was right all along."

Dean glanced to Bobby, the older hunter's gaze searing into his own. "Okay, Cas. We're sorry..." He gestured vaguely with his hands, gnawing on his lip. He tasted the familiar crimson of blood, and swiped his tongue over it before continuing. "Let's just... defuse you, okay?"

Cas scrunched his eyebrows, narrowing his eyes at Dean. "What do you mean?"

"You're full of nuke. It's not safe." Dean explained, clenching and unclenching his right fist. If he couldn't talk Cas down from this, he'd lose him too. Dean wasn't sure he'd be able to survive losing Cas, especially in this horrifying way. Cas sucking up every soul in Purgatory just to defeat Raphael and save the Winchesters. "So, before the eclipse ends, let's get them souls back to where they belong."

Cas shook his head, scrutinizing Dean under his gaze. Dean couldn't hold eye contact with him; the blue of his eyes, the blue that only had to be a sliver of Heaven, was faded. Darker. It sent chills down Dean's spine. "Oh no, they belong with me."

Dean clenched his fist, the tightest he had yet. He swiped his tongue across his lip again, tasting the familiar coppery tang of his own blood. "No, Cas. I-It's scrambling you brain." He raised his left finger, twirling it around his temple for emphasis.

"Oh," Cas sighed, eyes flickering from Dean for a brief second before snapping back. "I'm not finished yet. Raphael had many followers and I must..." He paused, that cold, dead smile growing once again. "Punish them all severely."

"Listen to me..." Dean glanced at Bobby. The older hunter was already looking at him. He took a shaky breath, focusing back on Cas who stood, arms crossed and waiting for Dean's response. "Listen. I know there's a lot of bad water under the bridge, but we were family once. I'd have died for you... I almost did a few times. So if that means anything to you... Please- I-"

I love you.

Dean cut himself off, correcting his almost slip-up. "I've lost Lisa. I've lost Ben. And now I've lost Sam." The 'because of you's had laid untouched on his tongue. "Don't make me lose you too, Cas. You don't need this kind of juice anymore. Get rid of it before it kills us all." Get rid of it before it kills you.

Dean's eyes flicked to the doorway behind Cas, where Sam stood, using the wall as a support to hold himself up. He must've found his way to them; of course Sam would put himself in danger to help his family, especially when his mind was shattered. The walls were broken. Poor Sammy. He shifted them back to Cas, pursing his lips in anticipation. He wanted to scream, call out to Sam and tell him not to kill Cas, but he knew that he need to be stopped. He wanted to scream the three unsaid words that just couldn't make his way out of his mouth; the three words that had been torturing him since the angel had first shown Dean his wings.

Cas kept his gaze cool, his eyes narrow. "You're just saying that because I won... because you're afraid. You're not my family, Dean. I have no family."

The words struck Dean like a blow to the face. You're not my family, Dean. I have no family. "I lo-“ The flow of words was stopped by a dam in the form of Sam plunging Raphael's blade into Cas’ chest. Dean gasped, bracing himself for the blast of white light and pair of wings that would be seared into the ground.

But it never came.

Cas sighed, looking down at the silver blade impaled through his chest. He reached behind him, ripping it out with a horrid squelch, and examined it for a second. He set it down on the metal table beside him, a soft clang echoing through the room.

"I'm glad you made it, Sam... but the angel blade won't work. Because I'm not angel anymore." Cas turned his head to Dean, rolling his shoulders back. He smiled, closing his eyes. When he opened them, they were staring directly into Dean's, and glowing an ethereal shade of blue; his hands, that's had once rested at his sides, had been raised into fists and a thin layer of power surrounded them too. "I'm your new God. A better one. So, you will bow down and confess your love into me, you're Lord... or I shall destroy you."

 

 

Chapter Text

 

  

 

 

  If God’s the game that you’re playing, then we must get well acquainted, because it has to be so lonely to be the only one who’s holy.

-Playing God, Paramore

 


 

Cas’ gaze seared into Dean; his blue eyes, the ones that seemed so much more dull and foggy than they once had, piercing through him. As if he could destroy Dean with a single though- which, he probably could now that he took in every soul from Purgatory. Cas’ eyes narrowed into slits, watching as Dean’s eyes flickered to behind him. 

Sam was staggering, barely able to hold himself upwards. He leaned on the table that Cas had discarded the angel blade on; the blade that was now useless to him. It wasn’t able to harm him, and he could do so much more that he ever could have. That thought sent shivers down Dean’s spine, the tingling sensation spreading throughout his body. This wasn’t Cas. 

Bobby was the first to make a move; he slowly lowered himself to the ground, positioning himself in a kneel. He kept his gaze on Cas, wavering a bit, but almost barely noticeable. Dean had known Bobby well enough to know that he was scared. “Well, all right then. Is this good, or you want the whole ‘forehead to the carpet’ thing?”

Bobby turned his head to Dean, raising an eyebrow incredulously. “Guys?” Dean opened his mouth to reply, but found himself snapping it shut and following Bobby’s motion. He wasn’t even sure what he would have said to Cas. Nothing he could say could bring him back from this power-conquest. 

Sam began to kneel too, his legs trembling as he sunk to the floor. “Ca-“

Cas shook his head, scrunching his eyebrows together, in a human-like manner. That surprised Dean; the so called ‘New God’ still doing things that Dean had taught him. “Stop. What's the point if you don't mean it? You fear me. No love, no respect; just fear.”

Dean watched as Sam slowly began to stand back up. He stayed where he was, not allowing his eyes to fall off of the angel- the thing that had replaced his angel. “Cas...” Sam began, his face overtaken by a mixture of what Dean assumed to be pity and fear; two very different things that seemed to fit perfectly together in this situation. 

Sam Winchester,” The use of their last name put Dean at even more unease that he had been; which, he thought was impossible. Cas turned to face the younger Winchester, raising his eyebrows. He spoke like he was speaking to a child; slowly, and putting emphasis on each word.

“You have nothing to say to me; you stabbed me in the back.” Cas snapped his head around to Dean and Bobby, his tone changing. It was sharp; commanding and honestly, it was the exact voice Dean had heard in his fantasies about the Cas he had grown to love. The last- and only- time that Dean had heard Cas like this was when he was still Heaven’s ‘hammer’. Back when he had threatened to throw Dean back into Hell if the Winchester didn’t know him respect; back when he was Castiel, angel of the Lord, and not just Cas, the angel who had given everything up for humanity- the Winchester’s specifically. “Get up.”

Dean spared Bobby a glance. He took a breath, standing up from the kneel as he did so. Bobby followed, his eyes fluttering between Dean, Sam, and Cas. As if he was expecting them to say something. Dean spoke first. “Cas... come on. This isn't you.” 

The thing- because there was no way that Cas was in there- that had the face of the angel formed that godforsaken smile. Voicing what Dean has been both dreading, and hoping for. “The Castiel you knew is gone.” 

Shivers spiraled down Dean’s spine at the words. Cas was really gone. All that was left of him was the power-driven monster wearing his face. “So what, then? Kill us?”

 “What a brave little ant you are.” It tilted Cas’ head, squinting the angel’s eyes. Cas had done it so many times before; but this wasn’t Cas. It was a beast; it was every monster from Purgatory infecting the angel’s mind, essence, and grace. “You know you're powerless. You wouldn't dare move against me again. That would be pointless. I have no need to kill you. At least, not now. Besides, you were once my favorite pet before you turned and bit me. I pity you for thinking you could ever win against me, Dean Winchester.”

What are you?”  

The three words felt like they echoed through the entire warehouse, but they were followed only in silence. Dean kept his eyes level to Cas’ eyes, waiting for it to reply. “I am everything that you fear. I am God. And if you stay in your place, like the pathetic little pet that you are, I will allow you to live. If make any move against me, I will strike you down. And I will make sure that it is slow and painful, which would be more than you would deserve, especially if you committed such a blasphemous act.“

Dean barely got a chance to respond before it spoke again, the corner of Cas’ lips perking upwards. “You seem to be... unwell, Sam Winchester.” Dean followed Cas’ eyes to Sam, who was clutching his head with one hand, using the other to hold himself up on the wall. 

“I'm fine...” Sam cleared his throat, squinting his eyes shut. Dean could swear that he could have heard his brother teeth grinding together. “I'm... fine.”

“You said you would fix him! Y-you promised!” Dean knew that the real Cas- his Cas- would’ve done anything and everything possible to fix Sam. His Cas wasn’t the one who had broken Sam’s wall. This thing was; the thing that had been growing inside Cas, craving power since Lucifer and Michael had been cast down into the cage. It only grew, it only personified and took over Cas once Purgatory had corrupted him.

None of this was Cas’ fault. 

At least, that was what Dean had to tell himself to keep from tearing into the beast that wore the body of someone he needed. Someone he was afraid of telling three words- three words that could have stopped the thing from stirring inside Cas, that could’ve stopped him from striking a deal with Crowley and opening Purgatory. 

“I said that that would be the case if you stood down, which you hardly did.” It spoke to Dean like he was a child, using the same tone it had used when it spoke to Sam. “Be thankful for my mercy, Dean Winchester. I could have cast you back into Hell. You could be back on the rack right now.”

Dean closed his eyes at thought of the rack, taking a deep, and shaky, breath. Thirty years of torture, until he finally gave into Alistair. Ten years of torturing until he was finally rescued. By his angel; not the thing that was in front of him. Maybe that train of though slipped his mind as he spoke, words spilling that felt like tat were drowned out by memories of the rack. “Cas, come on, this is nuts! This- This isn’t you. You’re in there somewhere. This isn’t your fault, Cas. I know you can hear me. You can turn this around, and we can send those bastards in you back to Purgatory. Where they belong.”

The beast kept Cas’ gaze level and steady. It’s stance was unmoving, like a statue. “You will regret those words, Dean Winchester. I hope for your sake this is the last you see me. Or, our next meeting won’t end like this one has.”

It raised Cas’ fingers, pressing them together. Dean barely had time to react- or brace himself for his body to be obliterated and plastered across the room, just like Raphael‘s vessel and very essence add been- before Cas’ fingers snapped. 

The death had never come, though. Dean opened his eyes- he hadn’t even realized they had been open- before taking in the familiar scene of Bobby’s living room. “Holy shit.” 

“Dean-“ Dean’s head turned towards Sam, who was on the ground, clutching his head. Blood spilled from his nose, and incoherent mumbles were spilling from his lips. Dean was able to make out ‘no’s, and ‘go away’s, and ‘please’s, all blending together.

Almost instantly, Dean was rushing to Sam’s side. He saw Bobby lying on the ground in his peripheral vision. “Holy shit, holy shit-“ A short-lived wave of relief courses through him as he watched Bobby’s chest rise and fall; he was still alive. 

His attention was all on Sam, now. “Sammy, c’mon, keep it together for me-“ Dean knees were on the ground, holding Sam’s body in his arms. Sam was not dying today. He couldn’t die today. Stay awake, Sammy, just stay awake for me-“ He wasn’t able to keep it together for himself anymore; a sob tore from his throat as Sam’s body went limp in his arms.

 


  

The power radiating from Castiel was enough to send armies fleeing; that was why he felt no hesitation or fear as he stood directly before his father’s throne, towering over the twenty-five, or so, angels; at least a good tenth of the only ones who hadn’t tried to force him out of Heaven upon his enter. 

He opened his mouth to speak, but instead, he closed it, looking at his hands, examining them like he had after killing Raphael. “Brothers. Sisters. You must understand; God left us long ago. He abandoned us after Lucifer’s fall because he thought that we were not perfect; that we were not what he made us to be.”

Castiel frowned, looking up and glancing around the room, taking in each angel. Most of them seemed familiar, but he couldn’t place a name to their graces. “But I see that you are exactly how you are supposed to be; flawed creatures who need a leader to tell them how to live and what to do. You need a leader. So, fear no longer, brothers and sisters; I will be your new God.”

You are no God, Castiel.” The angel’s voice who spoke echoed through the throne room. It wasn’t as strong as Castiel’s, but the angel sounded extremely sure of herself. Every head in the room turned to her, despite the hesitancy of taking their eyes off of Castiel.

Castiel raised his eyebrows, crossing his arms across his chest as he did so. “Who dares speak to me that way? What is your name, young one?”

“Nathaniel.” An opening had been made for her, so she was directly in Castiel’s line of sight. Her vessel’s gaze was fearsome, yet disappointed; both emotions fighting for dominance. 

“Ah, the gift of God.“ Castiel sighed, putting an exaggerated emphasis on ‘gift’. “Nathaniel; a useless angel like, just yourself doesn’t deserve my mercy after speaking out in such blasphemy.“ He watched her vessel’s face drop, any other emotion the vessel had ever expressed ultimately overtaken by fear. Castiel lifted his fingers, and snapped. 

Nathaniel stained the few angels that had surrounded her. She was plastered on the walls and floor of the throne room, the bright red of her blood contrasting drastically across the white of everything else. 

Castiel dabbed at his cheek, sighing as he wiped away a drop of blood that had landed on it. He took a slow step towards the throne, but nobody made any move to stop him. Castiel sat down on the throne, a twisted smile forming across his lips. A burning sensation began spreading, moving from his neck to the side of his face; like a fire spreading throughout his veins and burning him from the inside out. 

When Castiel’s mouth opened, his voice came out distorted. Mutated. The smile still played across his lips, but it wasn’t Castiel anymore. “Anybody else?”

 


 

 

“Sammy...” Sam’s eyes shot open at the sound of the familiar voice, tearing him from the welcomed dreamless sleep h had fallen victim of. “Wakey-wakey, eggs and bacey!”

Sam took a sharp inhale as the owner of the face that had tortured him- literally- appeared above him, smile plastered across his face. “Oh my God, no...”

“Miss me?” Lucifer raised his eyebrows, biting his lower lip and shrugging his shoulders slightly. He stepped away from Sam, but Sam adjusted his position, so he was leaned against the side of the sofa, keeping Lucifer in his vision. He can’t be real. He’s in the cage. He’s in Hell.  

“It can’t be you-“ Sam raised a trembling hand to his mouth, covering it to muffle the strangled sound that escaped his throat. “Oh my God.”

Lucifer shuddered, exaggerating the action immensely. “C’mon, man, can you please stop saying my dad’s name? I mean, he kinda eternally grounded me by shoving me into Hell, y’know?” He paused, tapping his chin, before adding as an afterthought, “He never even apologized for that.”

“You’re- you’re not real.” Sam sputtered, removing the hand from his mouth and clutching the fabric of his sleeves into fists. He scrunched his eyes shut, trying to push Lucifer away. 

He was still there. “Oh but I am real! Wait... that’s what someone who isn’t real would say.” Lucifer sighed, grabbing one of Bobby’ chairs. He turned it, so the back of it faced Sam, then jumped onto it, perching in a bird-like manner. 

“Go... away.” The words that came from Sam sounded animalistic; a growl that came from deep in his throat.

He isn’t here. This isn’t real. You’re not in the cage, Sam. He‘s still in the cage. 

“Hm... lemme think about it...” Lucifer tapping his chin in a mocking way, biting his lip and scrunching his eyes, just as if he was lost deep in thought. “Nah. I think we should have some fun. Don’t you think so, Sammy?”

Sam’s face melted into one of horror as Lucifer’s face- the face of the vessel he had grown accustomed to- shifted into Dean’s. “Hey, Sammy.”

“You’re- you are not Dean.” Sam could barely get the words out, as Dean- not Dean, Lucifer- picked at his nails, still perched on the chair. 

Lucifer shrugged, pointing a finger in Sam’s direction. “Eh. That’s technically true. You’re a quick one. I mean, I’m not Dean. I’m Satan! But the Dean you’re thinking of isn’t Dean either.”

Sam was silent for a moment, trying to understand what Lucifer meant. “What..?”

“Oh, Sammy... you didn’t get the memo?” Lucifer stuck his lip out in a mock pout, making his eyes wider, feigning innocence.  It was strange to see on Dean’s face. “None of this is real. You’re still in the cage.”

“B- but why?” Sam asked, feeling a wave of nausea and a flash of heat hit him. “Why make all of this?”

“You can’t torture someone who has nothing left for you to take away.” Lucifer explained, flashing Sam a disgustingly sweet smile. He spoke slowly, like he was trying to explain to a small child. “You see, I had to make it a mess, or else you wouldn’t believe it’s your life.”

“No...” Sam’s tongue felt like it was made of lead. He couldn’t speak; only watch as Lucifer hopped off of the chair, and stalked over to him, still in Dean’s form. 

“You know what you should do, Sammy?” Lucifer whispered into Sam’s ear; he barely noticed that Lucifer had been behind him. Sam just stared straight ahead, listening to each and every word Lucifer told him. “You should take one of those pretty little guns that Dean keeps in the car and...” Sam felt Lucifer’s fingers press against his chin, in a gesture that only could’ve been a gun. They were cold as Lucifer applied pressure, his nails digging into Sam’s skin. Sam could only imagine the grin that Lucifer graced; a twisted, malicious smirk that nothing other than pure evil could only bear. “Boom.”

Everything went dark. 

 


 

 

Castiel assumed that it was an fair penance. To be subdued to the corner of your mind, to not be in control of what your body did. It was torture; worse torture than Castiel had suffered when he pulled Sam from the cage; the things the cage had shown him, it was a wonder that Sam had even managed to stab him, after a years worth of memories of that pain had came back to him. 

The cold feeling in his essence felt strange; he had grown familiar to the chilling twinge that contaminated him, made him unholy, and this felt so different. It felt like tendrils of that freezing sensation were wrapping around the rest of the souls in his body, squeezing them until a searing heat coursed throwing Castiel’s veins. He wanted to scream, to cry out, but he couldn’t.

Let us out, Cas...

The words were garbled and distorted. It sounded like there were dozens of voices speaking at once.

Let... us... out. Let go, Cas. 

Castiel let go. 

His mouth opened, but instead of the scream that was growing in his throat spilling from it, he stared into the mirror in front of him, watching as black goo oozed from his mouth and eyes, dripping onto the ground and staining his clothes. Castiel couldn’t move his to watch what the goo was doing when it hit the ground; but he heard it. The disgusting squishes and squelches that Castiel could only imagine as the goo moving, searching for a vessels for the beasts that they were. 

His head was tilted down, angling at the sink that was below him. Castiel watched as thick, globes of goo forced itself down the sink and into the plumbing system. 

His eyes darted back to the sink, and Castiel watched as his mouth twisted into a sick, sick smile. He watched as the branches of black spread on his neck and across the side of his face, like black veins. Castiel barely recognized the thing in front of him- it was his vessel, the body of Jimmy Novak that had become his after Raphael killed him. 

“Daddy will pay for abandoning us...” His lips spoke, his eyes boring into the ones that stared back at him in the mirror. “Time to break his favorite toys for what he did to us.”