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The Smell Before The Rain

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“You killed my son.”

One sob. One wretched, wrenching sob. A sob that sounded like God had reached down Cas’ throat and tore it from the depths of his entire existence without mercy.

It was terrible. Even Dean, who had held a gun to Jack’s head not two minutes ago, had to look away and reach up to press his fingers into his eyes at the sight of Jack’s empty, burnt corpse lying prone on the ground under Cas’ shaking hands.

“Bring him back,” Dean choked out, dragging his hand down his face, pressing into his mouth as his lips trembled. “Bring him back right n—”

“You were going to kill him,” Chuck sneered, the lightness to his tone gone, the playful glint in his eye absent, evaporated and gone like everything else Dean thought they knew about their world. “Your job was to kill him but you’ve made the choice to destroy my perfect ending! Do you even know how many times I’ve had to re-write this ending!? I’m tired of it! Exhausted. Why do you always do this!?”

Dean and Sam stepped back involuntarily as Chuck stepped towards them, no longer looking small. He looked horrifying and powerful, a crackle of thunder booming over their heads, grey clouds rolling over them and pulling colour from their world. Only Cas seemed unshaken by the power crackling off of Chuck. Instead, he seemed entirely lost in grief, pulling Jack from the ground, pulling him into his arms as he collapsed onto his hip, holding the smouldering corpse to his chest and staring at the ground like he wanted it to swallow them both.

Or take him instead of Jack.

“You killed him,” Cas whispered brokenly, a tear rolling down his face and soaking into Jack’s messy hair as he pressed his cheek to his head.

“He was a plot device,” Chuck hissed, lightning flashing behind his eyes—a minuscule glimpse of the all-powerful God that was vibrating under the skin of that meatsuit.

“You were all plot devices.” Spit settled on his lip as he hissed at them, pupils widening, his expression deranged. “I’m finished with this story. I’m finished with you.”

Dean was, despite everything he’d ever been, too frightened to speak for the first time in his life. Everything had been fake. God had orchestrated everything—Heaven, Hell, the apocalypse...what the fuck was real? And now, he was going to crush this world in his omnipotent fist and there was nothing Dean or Sam or Cas could do about it because God wouldn’t pull their strings to orchestrate his own death.

“Are you going to end this world?” Sam whispered as quiet as a breath—but the world was eerily silent—no birds, no cars, no rustling trees. Not even the roll of thunder anymore. Dean dared to look over and saw that Sam’s face was white, his eyes round like saucers. He looked like a boy. A small terrified boy. “A-Are you going to end it like you ended the others? T-The other stories that didn’t work out?”

As his fists curled at his sides, flickers and shocks of electricity and magic building within his fist, Chuck’s eyes darkened as he tilted down his chin, fixing Sam with a look of pure hatred. “No, I’ve put too much time into this universe to see it go to waste. I’ll make new heros, I’ll write them better than I wrote you. They’ll make use of this universe. I will.”

“And us?” Dean said, gesturing to his brother and Cas, feeling helpless. “You gonna kill us?”

“No,” Chuck rumbled, his pupils so large they looked black and bottomless. “No, I’m going to throw you into a forgotten universe, one that failed, too. Another where you failed, where you can’t mess things up any worse. And there you can rot with the others that I left behind. In a universe that you already fucked, and there you can truly revel in the emptiness of a Godless world. Isn’t that what you always wanted?” Chuck asked, laughing bitterly. “A world with no God? With complete freedom? Well...enjoy it, you useless sacks of meat.”

“Send us wherever you want,” Cas breathed, eyes glassy and shining, unseeing as he rocked Jack. “You’ve destroyed everything. Taken everything. Ripped us apart. You killed him. Nothing matters anymore, does it?”

His fingers raised to his shoulder, fingers pointed to snap together, Chuck leaned towards Cas and said, “Don’t worry yourself over a child, Castiel. Where you’re going? You’ll surely just make more.”