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Title: And I Have Been Redeemed and Resurrected
Author: [ profile] serotonin_storm
Fandom: Supernatural
Rating: NC-17
Character/Pairing: Sam/Dean, Lucifer/Michael
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Word Count: 2636 words
Warnings: Incest. Some graphic descriptions.
Summary: “Shhhh,” Lucifer says, smoothing a hand over his hair soothingly. “You can sleep now, Sam.”

“There are conditions,” says Sam.

Lucifer's smile is indulgent. Welcoming. “I'd expect nothing less from you, Sam,” it replies. It leans back, crossing its muscular arms over its chest, casual and expectant. “Go on. I'm curious.”

Sam swallows hard. He forces his eyes to meet Lucifer's, struggles not to flinch in disgust at the site of him. The body it wears is in tatters now, decomposing slowly, skin sloughing off at its temples and brushed with bruises, both angry and new, faded and sickly yellow. Its limbs twist at unnatural angles, one foot turned completely around without so much as Lucifer's notice. Sam's body fights futilely with him, but he refuses to look away.

This is something Sam needs to see.

“Dean and Bobby,” he says finally, firmly, squaring his shoulders. “Dean and Bobby stay safe, or no deal.”

“Now, Sam!” Sam takes a step back as quickly as it takes a step forward, and it's a vicious dance. “I feel like a reasonable man,” it says. Sam can't help but scowl angrily at the thought that this—this thing considers itself a man in any sense of the word, “but you only get one welcome gift. I know you're not greedy, Sam. You can see that this is asking too much of me.”

Sam's eyes flicker shut, leaving him horrifyingly vulnerable for the half a second in which he is unable to force them back open again. What's left of his family is solid, whole, in his mind, and for a one terrifying moment, he lets himself feel the desperate, aching need not to do this, to walk away now and die with the rest of the world.

But if Sam dies, so does Dean, and he owes it to his brother to protect him now, now that he's so broken and it's all because of Sam.

The breath Sam takes wracks his body like a hurricane; he's shaky, his teeth chattering. He forces his answer out, pushes the name past the confines of his throat, where it threatens to choke him.

There was never any question who it would be.

Lucifer steps forward again, and this time Sam stands his ground. “There, there,” it says, cupping a hand against the side of Sam's neck and stroking it as gently and softly as if it touched the wing of a butterfly. “Don't be afraid,” whispers Lucifer. “I would never hurt you.”

“I'm not afraid,” Sam hisses, but it trips from his mouth as a stutter, and Lucifer simply smiles again, fondly this time.

“I accept,” it proclaims. The words echo with finality.

“Wait!” Sam says desperately. “Wait. Don't you have to seal it with a kiss?”

It laughs in genuine amusement. “I am not a demon, Sam. I don't need to adhere to such—trivialities. I can if you want me to, of course, but between you and me—” It lowers its voice intimately here, breath warm against Sam's ear. “—I'm not sure how much more poor Nick can take. Most humans are built to be so... fragile. You, though, Sam—you're a masterpiece! You're a weapon like no other.”

Its body slips away suddenly. It cocks its head and looks at him, considering. The skin above its eyes drips from its face as if it were merely drying paint on a page, congealing on its lashes.

“You're right, though. You deserve a kiss.”

As it leans towards him, Sam catches a flutter of movement from the corner of his eye, and suddenly everything he'd worked so hard to block out comes barreling back, a freight train slamming into him, and he sees again: He sees the bodies that litter the streets, blanketed thickly by an undulating swarm of rats. The civilians—men, women, children—each taken apart to varying degrees as if being studied, some stripped of their faces and skin, their muscles on display like grotesque diagrams, some picked down to their very bones. Hellfire burns all around them, and the few unlucky bastards who survived the massacre scramble and scream, unharmed by the fire and yet still burning.

Sam wretches.

“Shhhh,” Lucifer says, smoothing a hand over his hair soothingly. “You can sleep now, Sam.”

Sam's body struggles and kicks against his will, but Lucifer subdues him with a single disappointed look. He feels Lucifer's lips press against his forehead, fleeting.

Then the world fades away around him, one color at a time.

He comes to in a convenience store in Idaho. The floor is littered with broken glass and bleached-white bones, and Sam blinks and finds himself looking straight into Dean's wide eyes.

Except it's not Dean. His brother isn't in there; Sam can sense his absence as instantly and painfully as if it were a gaping hole in his chest.

“Michael, my Brother,” he says—only it isn't him, of course, and Sam understands all at once that Lucifer woke him up to watch the world shatter to pieces around them. To watch it welch on the deal.

The thing in Dean's body regards Lucifer with eyes that are carefully emotionless. “It is a pity,” it replies, eventually, “that the Morning Star no longer shines. You were glorious once, but you burned too brightly to survive, didn't you?”

Sam feels himself snarl, can sense the throbbing black rage in Lucifer's chest. The sensation is nearly suffocating, but it keeps Sam's voice even when it speaks. “And it's better to be lost in the light of our Father, Michael? To be nothing more than a pathetic, fawning servant?”

“I was made to serve,” says Michael, lifting Dean's chin defiantly. “I am proud to serve.”

Lucifer walks towards Michael, the glass crunching sickly under the heavy soles of Sam's boots. It holds a hand out to the angel and implores, “Then serve me, Michael. Not an absent idea, but a reality. Your Brother!”

Michael's face crumples with sorrow, then. “You fell,” it says, and the emotion in its voice too all-consuming, too deep for Sam to truly comprehend. “You fell!” it shouts, and when it flings out an arm thoughtlessly, the convenience store bursts apart with the power, the walls collapsing around them.

It stands there, head lowered, shaking with things Sam didn't think angels could feel. Finally, it says, brokenly, “I loved you, and you fell.”

Lucifer ushers him forward, and Michael presses close, resting Dean's head against Sam's chest. “You don't what love is,” Lucifer whispers. Michael grips tightly at Sam's rancid, blood-soaked hoodie and stays silent.

Sam's skin is unimaginably cold suddenly, the blood in his veins freezing, and inside the cage of his own mind, he writhes in crippling pain. “You understand,” says Lucifer, as if it feels nothing, “that I will take you with me.”

“Please,” Michael pleads. It isn't mercy that it wants; it isn't survival.

Lucifer nuzzles its face against soft, ungelled hair, then presses a kiss to the top of Michael's head. “For what it's worth,” it murmurs, and the throb of its soul, which had matched Sam's heartbeat, slows. “For what it's worth, I loved you too,” it finishes, and then, as bestows one last kiss upon Michael's lips, its black, black soul finally gives in.

Sam wonders dully, through the searing, overwhelming sensation of death, if it was worth it.

“You son of a bitch,” he hears Dean say, though he can barely process it in the face of the blinding agony that holds him under. “You son of a bitch, Sam!”

There's a hand on his chest, pressing, and it's so painful that Sam bucks against it and howls. “Sammy,” Deans says. It sounds like he's sobbing. “Don't you do this to me, Sam! You owe me that fucking much, do you hear me!”

Sam tries to answer, tries so goddamn hard, but the waves drag him under again before he can even open his mouth to say, “Dean.”

As Sam drifts in and out, in and out with the tide, Dean's voice keeps him tethered. Dean's hand against his heart holds him fast.

And when finally, finally, Sam gets his head above water, Dean is still there, angry and righteous.

“You didn't trust me to do the one thing I know how to do, the one goddamn thing I'm good at!” he spits, the first thing he says to Sam after days of silence.

Sam can sit up now, move around, stronger, and he leans away from Dean, drags his hand through his too-long hair and says, “God, Dean, you were—you were weak, and broken, and—”

“Yeah? 'Cause I think surviving fucking hell makes me a helluva lot stronger than your pansy, demon-fucking ass, Sam!”

Sam sucks in a breath. Dean is so angry he's red, and Sam knows that's his fault, knows this is his doing, knows—suddenly, clearly—that he may not have been wrong about everything, that it wasn't all his fault and somebody he'll convince Dean of that. But he was wrong about Dean, and he can't take that back.

“If I hadn't done it, you would have died, Dean,” he says, and it's not the words he'd reached for. Feels too much like pleading. “Everyone would have died.”

“You didn't get to make that decision, Sammy. That wasn't on you.”

Sam opens his mouth to speak, but every argument he can think of fails him, and Dean looks abruptly more hopeless than angry. It feels like having his heart ripped out to see Dean like that, and the worst part is—the worst part is that Sam can't decide whether he deserves to feel like this or not.

When Dean leaves, he doesn't come back.

Sam knew that he wouldn't.

His brother goes north. It was never truly hell on earth, as far as Sam can tell. Humans scurried like rats from the line of fire, fleeing to safer havens, and that's where Dean heads now. Sam follows, desperate to stay close.

Dean knows he's there. Sam can see it in the set of his shoulders, in his stride, can hear it in his voice when he speaks to the confused, scared people he comes across. The way he rubs his neck, the way he closes his eyes and breathes deeply, the way he rubs a hand harshly over his lips—it's all for Sam. It's always been for Sam. So Sam never tries to hide.

And Sam, well. Sam feels wrong when he looks at his brother. It isn't Dean he sees—or it is Dean, but it's also so much more. The anger and love he feels when he sets eyes on Dean is hard to even breathe through, and he's no longer sure what's his and what was Lucifer's, when he looked at Michael.

He wonders if there's really a difference at all.

“And the peach pie, darlin',” Dean concludes, slapping his menu shut and giving the middle-aged woman taking his order the most artificial smile Sam has ever seen. The woman, who'd looked skittish before, seems downright frightened now. She snatches the menu and scuttles away. Dean's face falls pathetically. He reaches up to rub idly at the back of his head.

Sam wants to go to him so badly he can feel it in his bones, and Dean tenses like he knows it, like he'll run right out of the diner if Sam takes one step towards him, jump into the impala and leave Sam in the dust.

Sam settles down again and watches.

A lot of the country is burnt away, pathetic and charred, but bars are the cockroaches of the architectural world and there's always one standing every couple hundred miles or so. A lot of folks these days need to drink.

Dean drinks. He drinks, he gambles—though nobody has any money to bet, really, not anymore, and abandoned hotels are pretty fucking cheap, so it's more symbolic than anything else—and he fucks. Sam feels a rage he'd never experienced before every time Dean takes some pretty, desperate girl out of Sam's sight and comes back looking just a bit more tense, a little angry like he'd thought this would do something that it hadn't. Sam thinks, this feeling is Lucifer's. This is not me. But he's never sure, and sometimes he thinks it's not true at all.

Sometimes when Dean is really trashed, so drunk he can't keep himself from tipping sideways, sometimes Dean will look at Sam again.

Sam can never tell what Dean is thinking. He's given up trying to guess, because he's starting to figure out that he always guesses wrong.

What happens next is Sam's fault. He gets tired, so fucking tired, of sitting around waiting for his brother to acknowledge him again, suddenly the ten-year-old who worshiped Dean like the he was Superman and Batman combined and the sun set just for him. He gets angry, the kind of anger that burns deep and slow in his gut, and he goes out for a drink himself.

He finds Dean spread out across the back seat of the impala when he staggers back early in the morning, arching up into the man straddling him as his wrists are pinned against the leather, neck bared in submission. He seems genuinely surprised to see Sam when Sam grabs the stupid fucker by his mullet and drags him the hell off his brother.

Sam gives him a black eye and a split lip, then pushes him roughly off what he hopes is the direction of whatever hole Dean pulled this guy out of.

“You didn't kill him,” Dean says when the guy stumbles away. He sounds—shell-shocked, and hopeful, and so lonely it's hard to even look at him.

“No,” says Sam, pursing his lips. “I didn't.”

Dean pushes his hands over his eyes, grimacing. When he lifts his head, he meets Sam's gaze, and Sam can see everything there, everything, and he knows that Dean can see it in him too. Dean looks so wrecked, so torn open and beaten, and Sam... Sam used to feel contempt for him like this, and betrayal, because this—this wasn't his big brother. This wasn't what it was supposed to be like. He wasn't supposed to want to protect Dean.

But he does. And everything was so fucked for a while there, still is, but they—they could get better. He knows it. They could move on from this. Sam can feel it as surely as any vision, even though any power he'd had seemed to have died with Lucifer and Michael.

Finally, Dean turns his back to Sam and starts to walk away. Sam's shoulders slump.

“Get in the car,” Dean says, tossing it over his shoulder flippantly like they haven't just spent months so torn up over each other that they can't even hold a conversation.

“What?” Sam blurts. “Dean, I—”

Dean is there between one blink and the next, pushing Sam back against the cool metal frame of the impala so harshly that Sam bounces back again. He grabs Sam's face with his hands and presses in, frantic and fast, and Sam grabs back, their arms crossing as they stretch, a cage between them and the world. Dean feels like Michael in one second, Dean in another, and it's a confusing whirl until suddenly, suddenly, Sam only feels his brother there.

Dean leans his head against Sam's shoulder when they come up for air. Only for breath, too fast to even really take in, but it feels like surrender. It feels like trust.

Sam lets Dean go when he pulls away. His brother rubs a hand over his chest for a moment, thoughtful, and then he taps Sam twice above the heart and turns away again.

“I thought I said to get in the fucking car, Sam,” he says, and when the driver's side door slams, it feels like coming home.
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