Dean's furious and terrified and exhilarated all at once, his veins thrumming with adrenaline, blood drumming in his ears as he reaches for Sam and tries to pull him away from the white light welling up and bringing with it the very worst kind of trouble imaginable. Lucifer. They've really fucked things up this time, between the two of them, and Dean's pretty certain that there won't be anyplace they can run where he can't find them – but that doesn't mean Dean can't try.
“C'mon, Sam,” he says, his voice hoarse with fear, but Sam shakes his head. He's staring at the weird spiral of blood on the ground like he's hypnotised by the light streaming up out of it. Dean grabs hold of his shirt front with both hands and shakes him. “Come the fuck on, Sam!' Dean snarls, desperately – and then his fingers go suddenly loose and soft and frightened, the hair on the back of his neck prickling when Sam turns to look at him, the movement weirdly slow, like the air around him has grown thick as honey. And Dean's getting a terrible feeling about this. “Sam?” he says.
“You were too late, Dean,” Sam says, and his voice sounds like it's coming from the other side of the room, weirdly distorted and a tiny bit out of sync with the movement of his lips. “It was always too late.” He looks lost, and oddly wistful, and very, very young. It breaks Dean's heart. “I'm sorry.” He pulls back out of Dean's grasp like there are thousands of invisible strings tugging him away, and steps closer to the light.
“No!” says Dean, horror making his breathing hitch. He steps closer, reaching out again, determined to drag Sam's ass out of this place if he has to knock him unconscious first. “No, Sam, we just gotta -”
And that is when the light explodes out into a brightness so intense that it devours everything just as surely as shadow would, a light that blinds rather than illuminates. Dean cannot see his own hands in front of him – everything is pure, brilliant, excruciating whiteness. And with it comes a silence so absolute that Dean knows that he must be deaf – that it must be him that's damaged, because nowhere ever had an absence of sound so total. He stumbles forward, flailing wildly, reaching for the brother he can no longer see, his breath coming in great rough sobs that he can feel but cannot hear.
“Sammy!” he screams – and he feels the air push out of his lungs, feels his lips shape it into a word, but what comes out is silence.
And then nothing.
“And you're the one they thought could defeat me?”
It's Sam's voice. Almost Sam's voice. It's Sam's voice without Sam's accent or intonations, and there's a weird reverberation to it too, as though the sound were being spoken in some vast, echoing hall and not this cramped room.
The terrible brightness has gone, and Dean can see and hear once more. He scrambles to his feet and looks up, and then he wishes he were deaf and blind. Wishes he were dead.
“Take me!” he says fiercely. Not 'What happened?' Not 'Sammy?' Not 'No!' None of those pointless denials or stumbling stupidities, because Dean knows what's happened, Dean can see perfectly well, and he's not going to waste time screaming or bitching.
“Take me,” he says instead. “Let Sam go, and ride me instead, you evil son of a bitch. I'm the one you want.”
He doesn't think twice about going in all guns blazing, about hurling insults and making his voice cocky and unafraid – until the thing looks out of Sam's eyes at him, and his words strangle in his throat. There's a weird luminescence to the whites of Sam's eyes, like they're almost glowing, so bright they're almost blue, and his irises are a flat, lightless black, like holes cut out of the surface of his face, windows onto a whole universe of darkness. He's giving off that same static crackle of electricity, that hot, clean scent of otherness that Dean associates with angels – that same sense of something vast and powerful just barely held in check.
He's smiling. Lucifer is smiling with Sam's mouth. “What can they have been thinking?” he asks, his tone mild and full of wonder. “They honestly believed that you could stand up to me? That you would be their saviour?” He shakes his head. “They have given me the world.” He tilts his head slightly in a gesture that reminds Dean painfully of Castiel (who is probably dead now, the poor dumb schmuck), and looks up at the ceiling. Looks through the ceiling and beyond. “Are they truly that naïve, or have they simply stopped caring?
Dean makes an ugly choking sound, his breath hitching again, and he realises that he's weeping like a little kid, tears sliding down his face and his nose thick with snot. All for nothing. All for nothing, everything he's ever done, everything he's ever suffered or sacrificed; everything Sam's ever done, and their Dad too. All for nothing. He scrubs fiercely at his eyes with his knuckles and wipes his nose on his sleeve, and then he wonders whether there would be any point in pulling the gun from the back of his pants and shooting the fucker in the head. But bullets and blades made no difference to Castiel – and besides, Dean could never shoot Sam.
“Take me,” says Dean again, roughly. “Not Sam. He's – he's innocent. You don't want him. He's no good at this stuff. I'm the one you want. Take me.”
Lucifer looks at him curiously, his mouth drawing wide into something too cruel to be a smile. Something hungry.
“He was never innocent, this one. He's special. He's been waiting for me to fill him up his whole life. He wants it.” Lucifer licks Sam's lips, runs his tongue wetly over his teeth and around the inside of his mouth as if chasing something delicious, and his smile deepens. “I can still taste the blood of his last kill. Poor little Cindy. She wept and screamed and begged him not to do it, your fine, high-minded 'innocent'. And then he killed her with these hands, and he drank her dry. Such a sweet girl.” He's watching Dean as he speaks, his lips curling. “And it made him feel so good, Dean. Made him feel powerful. Made him hard.” He cups Sam's crotch, still smiling. “He's never been innocent. He's always been mine.”
“Don't you listen to him, Sammy,” says Dean, half-sobbing – because Sam's got to be in there, right? Sam's not been extinguished, not just fizzled out like a mosquito hitting one of those electric bug killers, tiny and helpless and gone. Dean can't tolerate that idea. “That's nothing,” he says, willing Lucifer to listen to him. “So he killed some helpless civilian? That's nothing. He's not a monster. He thinks he's so fucking dark – he doesn't know the meaning of dark. He's a baby. But I know.” He pulls himself up straighter, squares his shoulders. “I've done things he doesn't have words for, things he couldn't begin to imagine. Things that would make him gouge his fucking eyes out for the horror of it. Take me. Take me instead. Fucking take me, and let him go.”
“Because Alastair broke you so thoroughly?” Lucifer's looking at him now, like he can see inside Dean's head. “Because he tore you into filthy little puzzle pieces and put you back together as something new? Because you loved it, Dean?”
“Yes!” He never wanted Sam to know. Oh, he's told him the truth, the barest sketch of it, but, oh, God, how he prays that Lucifer doesn't show him. Because it's one thing to hear the words, but it's something else entirely to see it, to live it. To know just how creative he had been in his cruelty. To know how much pleasure he'd taken in doing things worse than any monster, any demon, any ghost they've ever hunted. Oh, his soul is black, and if Sam had ever understood how monstrous Dean had let himself become, how sullied he still is, he could never have looked at him again. That's why Dean's been fighting so damn hard to keep Sam clean, to keep Sam from walking down that dark path. He understands it too well.
“Take me,” he says, hoarse and desperate. “Not Sammy. Take me.”
Lucifer looks him up and down, his face thoughtful. “Why did Michael think you would ever go up against me?” he asks, sounding politely curious. “You would never raise a hand against this form, would you? How could they misjudge so badly?”
“They don't understand love,” says a voice that Dean knows. It's a familiar voice, rough with exhaustion, but it takes Dean a long moment to realise it's Castiel. Who apparently isn't dead, after all. Dean turns his head, and is shocked, in a distant way, to see how thoroughly beaten all to hell the angel looks. No coat, no shoes, and his jacket has been burnt half off. There's a lot of blood. A lot of blood. He looks like he got set on fire, then run over by three trucks. He looks like shit. And he's talking about love.
“They have been trying to push the Winchesters apart for months, believing that if they exert pressure in just the right way, in the end Dean will turn on Sam.” He looks profoundly ashamed. “I did not know, in the beginning. Later, when I discovered the truth of their plans – I was shocked, but they convinced me that it was the will of God, and I helped them. But it was never His will to set brother against brother.” He draws a ragged breath and steps closer, and Dean realises, belatedly, that Castiel is trying to draw Lucifer's attention away from him. Trying to draw his fire. He's done it himself so many times – gotten the monster to pay attention to him, hoping it'll let the poor idiot civilian run away, or just make the monster hold off from killing them for a bit, and buy him time to think of something.
He doesn't think this is going to work on Lucifer.
“What do you know of love, Castiel?” Lucifer demands. He sounds amused.
Castiel steps closer, putting himself between Dean and the creature that isn't Sam. “I know that Dean Winchester would never turn on his brother. I know that he would die first. I know that he would let everyone else around him die first. He is – constant. Zachariah and Michael and all their fellows – they have forgotten what it means to be constant, and so they think that if they manipulate him well enough, he will betray Sam in the end. Because that is what they would do. But he will not. Not for the the fate of the whole world. Because he loves Sam best, and his heart is pure.”
Dean laughs at that, choking on the sound, and Castiel turns away from Lucifer and looks at him for the first time. “My heart isn't pure, you idiot,” Dean says, feeling something shatter inside, something he hadn't realised was brittle. He thought Cas knew him. He honestly thought that Cas had understood how monstrous he was, had seen what he became in Hell, and trusted him in spite of it. But Castiel doesn't understand him at all.
Castiel's expression is painfully earnest. “Yes, Dean. It is,” he says. “You give yourself too little credit.” He turns back to Lucifer. “And that is why you have no need to kill him. Because he will never raise a hand against you, so long as Sam lives inside your skin. He is no threat.”
Lucifer is watching Castiel hungrily, and Dean could almost feel angry at being overlooked like this – at being considered no more threat than the cast-off shells of Ruby and Lilith that sprawl on the ground in their own blood.
“Maybe you're right. Maybe I don't need to kill Michael's chosen warrior. But what if I want to kill him? Nice and slow. Send an unmistakable message to those idiots who stood against me, who let me rot in Hell for millenia.” He's watching Castiel with a calculating expression that reminds Dean uncomfortably of Sam's secretive face these past months. “What if I'm looking forward to seeing how quickly I can break him?” Lucifer glances past Castiel, his gaze raking Dean assessingly. “He withstood thirty years with Alastair, didn't he? He should be an uncommonly fine toy.”
Dean shudders. He can't help it. “No, Sam,” he whispers, in spite of himself, remembering the horror of Azazel inhabiting his father. Meg in Sam's body. Bad enough to suffer as Alastair had made him suffer, but to have it done by Sam... “Please.” His voice cracks with despair. “You have to fight him. You're strong, Sammy. You can do it.” He doesn't allow himself to consider the possibility that Sam is gone already. Sam cannot be gone. (Although – wouldn't that be merciful? Wouldn't that be better, for Sam's sake? Oh, but Dean cannot bear the thought of a world without Sam. So Sam must be in there still.)
Lucifer's snaps around, his uncanny black eyes settling on Dean with a cold stare that brims with power; something more terrible, more pure than any monster or demon or spirit Dean has ever seen. Something vast and pitiless that makes Dean flinch away reflexively. He very nearly loses control of his bladder – and that's something that hasn't happened since he was a kid carrying a gun too heavy for him, too small and young to be expected to face the monsters, but facing them anyway because his Daddy told him to. “Sammy can't come to the phone right now,” Lucifer says icily, in Sam's own voice.
The thing in Sam turns back to Castiel, and Dean is ashamed by how grateful he is to have that burning regard concentrated on someone else.
“You have rebelled against the host,” says Lucifer, slowly, as though he is only now understanding this. “You are here on your own. They will not follow. They will not defend you.” His eyes narrow. “You would not side with me when I led the uprising.” He tilts his head slightly, looking fascinated. “You speak of constancy - you were always constant, Castiel. Loyal to a fault. But you have defied them now, and let yourself be exiled. You have made yourself vulnerable. Why?” He sounds sincerely puzzled, and Dean finds time to feel suddenly sick with guilt at the enormity of what he has made Castiel do. It seemed pretty clear cut at the time: stop being a patsy for Zachariah and the other dicks; save the world. Kind of a no brainer. He hadn't really thought about it from Castiel's point of view until they were at Chuck's – and he'd only had a few seconds to start to understand how huge this step was before Castiel flung him here, and then the shit was hitting the fan and there was no time to think about anything but saving Sam. But – rebelling against God. Being exiled from Heaven. Because of Dean. Fuck.
“Why?” asks Lucifer again, when Castiel does not speak. he steps closer to Castiel, looking at him with a different kind of intensity, like he wants to take Castiel apart and find out how he works. Castiel looks very small in front of Lucifer. In front of Sam. And he looks like he's already gone ten rounds with Godzilla too, the poor bastard. It's kind of pathetic, really. But he still lifts his chin and meets Lucifer's questioning stare with quiet dignity.
“For Dean,” he says, without looking at Dean to see how he takes this announcement. “Because he asked it. Because it was the right thing to do.”
Lucifer is very close to him now, and he's looking at Castiel like he's something unexpectedly delicious. “You love him,” he says, delighted and incredulous. His laughter rolls around the room, echoing and discordant in a way that doesn't really fit with the acoustics. “Oh, but this is priceless! I never had you pegged as one that would fall for lust, Castiel. I thought you disapproved of the Grigori? I thought you were above such things? And yet here you are following in their footsteps, lusting after one of their descendants! One of Azazel's by-blows, no less. How wonderful and unexpected!”
Dean is crimson with embarrassment, his cheeks burning. And it's kind of amazing that he still has the energy to spare for feeling embarrassed, but it seems that somehow he does. And – and unless he's very much mistaken, it sounds like Lucifer just claimed Azazel was his great great great great granddaddy, which – no fucking way that's possible. That's even crazier than the suggestion that Castiel has the hots for him.
“You mistake me,” says Castiel, with remarkable calm. “I do not wish to copulate with Dean Winchester, or any human. I am not interested in the sins of the flesh.”
Dean kind of wants to say “See!” but he's finally found somebody he really, really doesn't want to provoke, so he just stays quiet, and cheers for Castiel in his head.
“Is that so?” says Lucifer, and his expression is enough to make Dean shrink even further back against the wall. He knows that look. Alastair used to get that look a lot, when he was thinking of new ways to break Dean.
“But maybe I am,” says Lucifer, watching Castiel. He drops his hand down to cup Sam's crotch again, obscenely. “Maybe I am interested in the sins of the flesh.” He steps closer to Castiel, and then turns to look Dean straight in the eyes, and gives him the kind of lascivious smile that Dean dreams of seeing directed at him by pretty waitresses and hot lady cops, but has never ever imagined he'd see on Sammy's face. He recoils. “Maybe I am interested in bending him over this altar and fucking him raw with his brother's great big cock,” says Lucifer, watching Castiel. “After all, I need to celebrate my return to this physical plane, don't I? And he's such a pretty little toy. I bet he'll scream and writhe and weep and beg very prettily underneath me. I bet he'll feel hot and tight and sweet wrapped round my prick. What better way to show Michael and his followers how seriously they've erred than to rape their precious little saviour and then slit his pretty throat?”
Dean closes his eyes, and draws a deep breath, and then another, and tells himself that Sam won't let that happen.
“No,” says Castiel, and there's an edge of soft desperation in his voice that Dean has never heard before. “Please. Please do not do that.”
“Are you going to make me a better offer, little brother?” asks Lucifer, never taking his eyes off Castiel. He's standing close enough to punch him now, or yank him up into a kiss.
“My allegiance,” says Castiel, in a voice that trembles only slightly. “I will pledge myself to you of my own free will.”
“Free will? I thought you told me once that there was no free will for our kind? That there was nothing but loyalty, and faith?”
“I have free will,” says Castiel, hoarsely. “Dean has shown me that. I have given all my life to loving God and following His commands. Following what I believed were his commands. But – now I know that they were not.” He hangs his head. “I do not know God's will, but I swore to protect Dean Winchester, and I will not be forsworn.”
Lucifer laughs again, delightedly, and Dean flinches from the sound. “Why should I not kill you, little brother, vessel and grace and all, and fuck your precious little mortal over your bloody bones? You know that you were never any match for my strength. You are no threat to me, Castiel.”
“No, I am no threat. You could kill me easily. But you could not win me over to your cause, not for anything but this. Promise me that you will not kill Dean Winchester, or cause him to be killed. Promise that you will not hurt him, or cause him to be hurt. It will be no hardship for you, I think, to abandon such a whim. But it will win you my allegiance, freely given, and that is a more potent symbol of your victory than my death, or the torture of this fragile mortal man.”
Lucifer looks thoughtful at that. He flicks a glance over at Dean, and then looks back at Castiel, and Dean has the sudden feeling that what Lucifer beholds when he looks at the battered figure before him is not what Dean can see; that Lucifer does not notice Jimmy Novak's wiry body, his hair sticking out in all directions, the blood smeared across his chin or the bruises blossoming across his cheekbones. That Lucifer sees something else, something beautiful and immortal, something shining and graceful and older than the earth. Something winged.
“Yes,” he says, and the syllable has the finality of the tumblers in a lock falling into place. “I accept your offer, Castiel. Little brother. Your unquestioning obedience in all things, in exchange for the life of this human.”
“And you will not hurt him, as you threatened to do,” adds Castiel. “Nor suffer others to hurt him. That was the deal. Dean Winchester's safety in exchange for my allegiance.”
“Don't you trust me?” asks Lucifer in Sam's voice, with a parody of injured feelings.
“I know you,” Castiel says.
Lucifer smiles. “And yet you would give yourself to me to use as I will, to save this pretty broken toy.” He glances over at Dean. “He isn't worth it.”
“He is worth everything,” says Castiel, simply, and Dean's heart clenches in his chest, because that isn't true.
Lucifer's smile widens, terribly. “You may yet think better of that, little brother.”
“I shall not.”
“Then, yes, let it be as you say.”
“Cas! No, Cas, not for me!” Dean whispers, feeling horror curdle in his veins as Castiel sinks to his knees before Lucifer – before Sam! - and kisses his hand in fealty.
Castiel turns to look at Dean, and his eyes are infinitely sad. “Dean, I am truly sorry,” he says. “This is my fault. I should have told you the truth as soon as I learned it, and trusted in you.”
“Don't do this, Cas,” says Dean, his voice harsh and horrified. He has enough things on his conscience already. “Don't do this for my sake.”
“It is done,” Castiel replies.
Castiel looks him right in the eyes. “It was me,” he says. “It was me that set your brother free from the place you had him trapped and safe. I did as I was bid, and allowed this to unfold. This is my fault.”
Dean stares. For a long moment he simply cannot comprehend the words, and then helpless fury sweeps over him. “You fucker,” he says, his voice thick with loathing. “You evil, spineless son of a bitch.”
Castiel closes his eyes. Lucifer laughs. “He despises you now,” Lucifer says, like this is the finest of all possible jokes. “Oh, wondrous. Wondrous! He hates you with all his heart and soul. Why did you tell him?”
“He deserves the truth,” Castiel whispers, his eyes upon the floor. “There have been too many lies. I would not have him reproach himself on my account.”
Dean turns his back on them both, hating all the angels and demons, and Castiel most of all. He'd trusted the fucker. He'd trusted Castiel, like a gullible fool, and Castiel had served Sam up to Lilith on a silver platter. Lucifer is welcome to him. They deserve each other. So much for that, then – Dean's not going to waste any more time feeling guilty about anything that happens to Castiel. Instead he concentrates on trying to take advantage of this little space while Lucifer is distracted, trying to come up with some way of getting Sam free. There has to be away, although the tattoo that's been so successful against lesser demons has been no match for the Morning Star. But something has got to work, something can defeat him – and Dean's the one the prophecies say can make it happen. He just wishes he had some idea how.
“You've cheated me of my prize, Castiel,” says Lucifer, in Sam's voice, very soft and dangerous. It makes Dean shiver, but he refuses to look up or spare any crumb of pity for Castiel. “So let's do this properly. I think this calls for a baptism.”
“You do not baptise your followers,” says Castiel, confusedly. The sound of his voice stirs cold fury in Dean again. He glances over his shoulder and sees that Castiel is still kneeling like the pliant little soldier he is. Spineless, chickenshit bastard.
“Are you arguing with me already, Castiel? Is this your definition of unquestioning obedience? Because if you want to break troth with me, I shall have no reason to restrain myself from taking my pleasure with your angry little darling instead. And I should so like to see him bleed and squirm. It's what he's made for.”
“No,” says Castiel, too fast, his face white. “No, I am not questioning you.”
“I am not questioning you, My Lord.”
“My Lord. I am not questioning you, My Lord,” echoes Castiel, unhappily.
“Good. Because I am so taken with the notion of a baptism to seal our little pact. It seems amusingly appropriate, in a place such as this.” He glances around him at the shadowy walls of the abandoned convent, and smiles. “For starters.”
Dean looks away, wondering where Lucifer's going to find holy water. But that can't be right, of course. He turns it over in his head, and wonders what Lucifer would consider appropriate for a baptism? Spit? Blood? Urine? There's a sharp metallic slither so incongruous that it takes Dean a long moment to realise that it's the sound of Sam's zipper being lowered. He turns sharply and then winces at the sight of Lucifer tugging Sam's erection free.
“Don't touch him, you sick fuck,” Dean says, outraged in spite of himself – although he isn't sure whether it's more on Sam's behalf or Castiel's. Lucifer looks over at him, his dark eyes half-lidded as he jacks Sam's cock lazily in one hand and cards the fingers of the other through Castiel's hair, like he's petting a dog. Castiel looks painfully ashamed. Dean had never expected to see him blush.
Lucifer licks Sam's lips. “It should have been you, Dean,” he says. “You'd have liked it, wouldn't you? Just like old times. Just like being Alastair's favourite again. I could break you so beautifully, Dean Winchester. Alastair learned everything he knew from me, but he was never in my league.” And it's Lucifer, which is terrifying enough, but – he looks like Sam. He is Sam. Sam, who pinned him to the ground and tried to choke the life out of him. Sam, who has become a monster despite all of Dean's efforts. “It should have been you.” His gaze darts down to Dean's mouth. “It still could be.”
Dean draws in his breath with a terrified hiss. He's trembling. “You promised,” he whispers, shamefully, clinging on to that. “You promised Castiel.”
Lucifer smiles, and he looks down at Castiel's face. His eyes are lowered to the floor, refusing to watch what Lucifer is doing to Sam's body. “Why, so I did,” he says agreeably, and then jerks Castiel's head back roughly with long fingers tangling in his hair. “No interest in the pleasures of the flesh, little brother? Such a pity. I hope you're a fast learner. I don't like clumsiness.”
Castiel looks up at him miserably through his eyelashes. “Please don't,” he says softly, and Dean feels an unexpected stab of pity in spite of all his resentment.
“Open your mouth, Castiel.” Dean watches Castiel swallow hard, and give a tiny, imploring shake of his head. “Oh, brother, brother – you don't get to say no. Not to me. Don't get carried away with your discovery of free will, my sweet. You've sold it to me. Now open your mouth, unless you truly mean to break our covenant so soon, and hand Dean Winchester over to my tender mercies in your place. Is that what has become of all your precious constancy? Is that all your love is worth?”
Castiel closes his eyes and opens his mouth, and Lucifer shoves Sam's erection between his parted lips. Sam's big – Dean's not made much of a habit of checking out his brother's junk, but living as closely as they do he can't help knowing that Sam's pretty damn big – but Dean's never seen him erect before. It's kind of daunting, and Lucifer doesn't give Castiel a moment to get used to it. Dean watches, mesmerised and appalled as Lucifer slams in deep, deeper, all the way down Castiel's throat, forcing it open, making Castiel choke and spasm and suffocate around Sam's cock, his nose pressing into Sam's flat belly, his eyes bulging wide and wet as he moans in astonished pain. His lips, stretched tight around Sam's flesh, are already torn, and there's dried blood on his chin from whatever the archangels put him through. Now his mouth is bleeding afresh. His hands flail around for a moment before closing on Sam's thighs for balance (or perhaps, reflexively, in an attempt to push himself away and get free) as Lucifer grips the back of his head and pounds viciously at his face.
Dean's seen plenty of horrible things in his life on earth, but he's not had to watch anything like this since he escaped from Hell. Since Castiel freed him from Hell. Dean finds, to his surprise, that his pity outweighs his anger after all. “Oh, Cas,” he murmurs, shaking his head. “I'm not worth this.”
“No,” agrees Lucifer, looking up at him as he fucks into Castiel's mouth with brutal efficiency. “No, you really aren't, are you? That's what makes it so perfect.”
“Get out of my brother, you sick fuck,” whispers Dean, knowing it won't happen just for the asking but unable to keep from saying it anyway. He should be doing something, should be helping Sam get free, should be saving Castiel from this assault, but he knows that physical attacks are pointless, and he's fresh out of ideas. And – he's frightened.
Lucifer laughs, and redoubles his thrusts, and Castiel makes a series of piteous, strangled little wet sounds as Lucifer fucks into him harder. “But then how could I get into my brother? So high-minded and incorruptible, my sweet little brother. So trusting. How could I do this if I didn't have a nice warm human host full of blood and seed? You should have tried it some time.” Dean gasps, and takes another step back, bumping into the wall. Lucifer laughs. “He'd have let you, you know, even if it wasn't something he wanted for himself. He wouldn't have refused you anything it was in his power to grant. He loves you, Dean Winchester, and you still don't understand what that means. How astonishingly rare that is. Not even the Grigori fell for love.” He pauses, looking down at Castiel's face, and pulls himself back out. “That's true, isn't it? You love him.”
“Yes,” says Castiel, his voice low, without looking at either of them.
Lucifer laughs, and fondles Castiel's hair almost tenderly before slamming back in so hard that Castiel makes a high, broken noise in the back of his throat and tears spill down his cheeks. Dean doesn't know what to be more shocked by – that this is happening in front of him, that he's doing nothing to intervene, or that he is having a conversation with the devil while he watches it. “You understand that he isn't really a man, don't you?” Lucifer says, conversationally. And the thing is – it's still Sam, kind of. Dean's whole life has been spent having conversations with Sam in horrifying and unlikely circumstances, and although he knows it's Lucifer, it still feels almost like he's being teased by Sam. If he doesn't look down, if he tries to ignore what's happening, it almost feels normal. “I can see all that homosexual panic in your eyes, and it's adorable, really, given what my little brother's willing to suffer in your name. Given how selflessly devoted he is – and you're just distracted by the shape of his vessel. Upset that he picked one with an outie instead of an innie. Sweet. He's fallen from grace because of you, and you've never even seen him. You have no idea how beautiful he is.”
He jerks himself free and Dean finds that in spite of feeling angry and embarrassed and wildly ashamed on a number of levels, he still can't take his eyes of Sam's spit-slick erection as Lucifer jacks it a last couple of times with his fist before coming all over Castiel's shocked-looking face.
Dean closes his eyes belatedly and turns away, humiliated for them both.
“Baptism,” says Lucifer, thickly. “I think I'll start a new tradition. No!” Dean's head snaps back, and he sees that Castiel has lifted a hand to wipe his face clean. “No, leave it. Now strip. We're just getting started.”
“Please,” says Castiel, shaking his head very slightly. His lashes are wet with tears. “Please don't.”
“Please don't, My Lord. There is no need for this. You are beyond such petty cruelties and desires, my brother. You are still an angel, and this is a shameful use to make of your vessel, and of mine.”
“But it's fun,” says Lucifer. And then he looks up at Dean and he smiles. It's Sam's smile, bright and open and guileless, dimples quivering, and a lifetime of reflexes has Dean returning it before his brain kicks into gear and he remembers that he's grinning back at Lucifer. “Dean understands. You do, don't you? You remember how much fun it was to make them weep and choke and bleed and beg.” He glances down at Dean's crotch, and winks. “It's getting you hard, isn't it? You're imagining doing it to him yourself. Wishing you'd tried it when you had a chance. It's too late for you now, though, Dean. I don't share my toys. Well. Only with Sam here. And Sam's thoroughly enjoying himself.” He gives another huff of laughter. “Feels ashamed of it, and terribly guilty, of course, but little Castiel feels so good on his cock, Dean. So hot and wet and tight, with all his grace and glory bound up in this prison of flesh, just taking it.”
“Please,” whispers Castiel, his blue eyes imploring, and Dean feels something twist inside him. They used to beg in Hell. They used to beg and weep and bleed, and in the end, when he was no longer writhing on the rack himself, it did make him hard.
Dean's shame consumes him, and he stumbles back against the wall again, and turns to lean his forehead against the cool stone, and closes his eyes. He wishes that he were dead. He wishes that he'd died when the truck hit them, when he was meant to die. Because if Dad had lived, like he was supposed to, then this would never have happened to Sam. Dad wouldn't have let it happen. And Cas, the poor, dumb, trusting bastard, would be sitting on a cloud somewhere, strumming on a harp. Or, well, possibly he'd have been taken out by Uriel with a big shiny angel-slaying blade. But even that might have been preferable to this.
Would the angels come to his aid? If Dean prayed now, would it summon Zachariah, or the big bad archangels? He can't imagine they'd give a damn about Dean for his own sake, still less about Sam, or Castiel, whose ass they've just finished kicking themselves - but surely they still want to win? And Dean is supposed to be their secret weapon, right? So surely they'd not want to leave him at Lucifer's mercy like this? Surely they would come?
He closes his eyes and tries to reach out with his mind, the way he once prayed to Castiel for help. Castiel had heard, and come, and provided what help he could, although it was forbidden. He'd found a loophole. Dean really needs a fucking loophole right about now, but he can't think of any. And Zachariah, it has to be said, is about the last person Dean wants to see right now, or, well, ever – but if he can help, if he can get this evil piece of shit out of Sam and save poor Jimmy Novak's ass into the bargain, then Dean would cheerfully kneel down and sing all the hymns he's ever heard. He'd give them the Impala, give up pie and beer and sex for the rest of his life, if they would just save Sammy, damn it. Sammy and Cas.
Please, he thinks, his lips shaping words he's too scared to speak out loud. The stone is soothingly cool against his warm skin. We're here. Please come. Please help us. Help Sam.
“Oh, no, I don't think so, Dean. None of that.” And, shit, Lucifer is right there, closing Sam's hand over his shoulder, twisting him around and pressing his shoulders back against the wall. And, shit, Sam is tall. And Dean's never thought of his baby brother as intimidating in his life, but that just changed pretty thoroughly – 'cause it turns out that Sam can bring a whole lot of intimidating to the table when he's carrying Lucifer around just beneath his skin. “Do you think I'm stupid?” he breathes, dangerously, and Dean tries to shrink back into the stone. “Do you think I'm deaf? Do you think you can treat me like a bitch, Dean? Really?”
“No,” says Dean, hating how cowed he sounds, but – fucking Lucifer, man. Looking at him out of the eyes of the person he loves most in all the world. Dean has no idea how to protect himself against this. “No – I -”
“Because that was just insulting, Dean. Seems to me like you need a little lesson in good manners.” And he's leaning right up into Dean's space now, crowding him, owning him in a way that makes Dean want to put his head back like a good dog and expose his throat and whine. He knows he can be broken, now; when Alastair first got his hands on him Dean had believed he could endure anything. He knows better these days. He knows that he doesn't stand a chance against Lucifer, whatever Zachariah might think. And especially not while he's riding around in Sam. Not when he knows all Dean's most shameful secrets and knows just where to apply pressure. He leans closer, and Dean gasps when he realises what the hard, hot weight pressing against his belly has to be.“You think Alastair hurt you? You don't know about pain yet, Dean. But you're going to learn.” And his voice is almost tender, now, like he's whispering filthy promises in some chick's ear. So it's almost not surprising when Dean feels Sam's hand cupping his dick through his pants, but it still makes him whimper in protest.
“You gave your word,” says Castiel, his voice clear and strong and echoing in the quiet room, and Lucifer's head snaps up and his hand pulls away. Both of them turn to look at Castiel, shivering in front of the altar, his arms still wrapped around his chest, the pugnacious way his chin is thrusting forward almost hilariously at odds with the spatter of semen drying on his cheek. “You promised not to hurt him, or suffer him to be hurt,” he says, insistently. “You promised.”
Lucifer looks at the floor and then back at Dean, his black eyes narrowing, and Dean knows that if anyone can find a loophole, it's Lucifer. “So I did,” is all he says, stepping back lightly. “I gave my word that Michael's pretty boy would be safe.” He turns to look at Castiel, and Dean's embarrassed to realise that he can hear his own breathing rasping harsh and loud in the stillness. He's panting like he's just run a mile. He's trembling like a dog that's just been whipped. “You on the other hand – for you, I made no promises. Why are you still dressed, little brother?”
Castiel looks down at himself uncertainly. “I -” he begins, and Lucifer snaps Sam's fingers, and Castiel is naked. “Oh!” he says, and swallows.
He looks surprisingly good naked, Dean notices. Not porn star good, but still – Dean wouldn't have guessed that Jimmy had such a decent body underneath the crumpled suit and the Columbo coat. Well done Jimmy. And bad luck.
Fuck. Poor Jimmy. Dean really hopes that he's not feeling any of this. It wasn't exactly what he'd signed up for, after all, and God knows that the poor guys already been through more than enough shit at this point. Because angels are dicks.
“Sam,” he says, terrified but still hoping that somehow Sam can do something. “Sam. You've got to fight him. You can't do this. It's not right.”
“Sam's not trying real hard right now, Dean,” says Lucifer, without looking back. He's tilting his head and surveying Castiel with curiosity as he paces towards him. “He's kind of excited about the sex, to be honest. Hell, he's disappointed that it's not you. He'd have liked that.”
“Bullshit,” says Dean, showing that his survival instincts really aren't all that well honed. But Lucifer doesn't seem offended.
“Believe what you like, boy,” he says, running a hand over Castiel's bare shoulder and down his flank, not bothering to look back at Dean. “Sam's had enough of getting screwed over by the angels. He kind of thinks that it's their turn to take one for the team.”
Actually, that, Dean can almost buy. He's pretty fucking pissed at the angels himself right now. If it was Zachariah about to get bent over the altar and fucked to within an inch of his life, he'd probably think that was pretty much karma in action; turns out he's not as pissed at Castiel as he thought he was, though, because this is hurting his heart nearly as much as Sam being possessed.
“You don't have to do this,” he offers, hopelessly, and Lucifer just laughs again.
“I don't do things because I have to do them. I do things because I want to do them. That's pretty much my mission statement, Dean. Look it up.” He pushes Castiel down flat over the altar and grabs his ass with both hands, spreading the pale cheeks. Lilith's corpse lies splayed at their feet. “You were right, Castiel: this is a lot more satisfying than simply killing you and fucking the mortal What do I care about him? He's already weak and corrupt and sinful. But sullying you like this, little brother – oh, this is delicious beyond words.” Dean's not exactly an expert on gay sex, but he's experimented plenty with girls over the years, and he's pretty clear on the value of lube and preparation. Lucifer, apparently, doesn't give a shit about either of these concepts; when he shoves Sam's erection straight into Castiel he tears an anguished scream from the angel's throat that makes a cold sweat jump out on Dean's skin.
Christ. Way to lose your cherry, Dean thinks, staring helplessly. Christ. He should be doing something, should be doing something to stop it, to help Cas – Hell, Cas has helped him enough times, hasn't he? Doesn't he deserve to be saved from this? And – oh, God, Sam. Oh, Sam. The demon blood was bad enough. Dean doesn't have words for how much worse this is. He wraps his arms around his chest, hugging himself, and slides down the wall to sit on the floor, watching Sam pounding into Castiel and listening to the shattered sounds Cas makes with each thrust.
Some hero he is. Looks like the whole world's fucked.
He told them, damn it. He told them he wasn't the one.
He sits there, numbly, watching Cas writhing and sobbing on the altar, trying to think past the horror of it to start hatching some kind of plan to save all their asses, and coming up blank. And it occurs to him that if it were Sam pinned down to the altar, that Dean would be up there trying to kill Lucifer with his bare hands, come what may; and that thought sends another flood of shame rolling through him, because Castiel deserves better than this.
He isn't sure how long it lasts; it seems to take a long time, though, and Castiel's startled screams have died down to agonised whimpers by the time that Lucifer finally climaxes. This time he comes with a harsh grunt, and at the same moment the room is bathed in light and Dean blinks at the shadow of vast dark wings unfurling loudly in the air.
And it's at that moment, as Lucifer's attention is distracted, that he feels a hand grab the front of his shirt, and he's suddenly jerked up and forward through a rip in the air, through nothingness. He stumbles, and blinks, and realises that he's back in the green room, looking at a thoroughly pissed-looking Zachariah.
“Happy now?” he snaps, glaring at Dean.
Dean looks around. “Where's Cas?” he asks. “And Sam, what – you left them there? You fucking left them?”
“Oh, shut up and have a burger,” says Zachariah irritably. “Sam's fine. Sam is the vessel. Lucifer isn't going to do anything to him.”
Dean stares at him. “What about Cas?” he snarls. “Cause Cas sure as shit isn't fine right now.”
Zachariah shrugs. “And whose fault is that? Who talked him into leaving the safety of the green room and going dashing off on a pointless quest to try to stop the inevitable? He should be dead now. The archangels would have killed him, if we hadn't felt Lucifer breach the seal. That put a new complexion on things. Castiel agreed to take one for the team. Well – not so much the team, I guess – he's not really a team player these days. Maybe you noticed his pathetic crush? But he offered to provide the necessary distraction to get your sorry ass out of the fire. Whatever it took. He understood the mission. He knew it was his fault you were in danger in the first place.”
Dean struggles for words for a long moment. “He was trying to help me,” he says. “We were trying to stop Sam from accidentally raising Lucifer. How is that a bad thing? How have you twisted everything up so badly in your fucked up brain that that makes us the bad guys? You're an angel, for fuck's sake! Can you even hear yourself?”
“Yes, blah blah blah emo man pain. Boo hoo. Suck it up, champ – you're going to save the day and be a hero, whether you like it or not. Heck, if you play your cards right, your brother might even get out of it alive. Unlikely, I'll grant you, but miracles can happen.”
“What do you care? He betrayed you. He's the one who let Sam out of his cage, you know. Doesn't he deserve a good spanking?”
“We're getting him out of there,” says Dean, through gritted teeth. “We're getting them both out of there.”
Zachariah cocks his head. “So you've decided to accept your fate, then? About time.”
“Oh, I'm in.” Dean's eyes are icy cold. “You going to let me know what the plan is, Zach? 'Cause I really feel like kicking some demonic ass right now.”
Zachariah smiles. “I thought you'd never ask.”