Author: Mel aka mad_about_dan
Word count: ~3500
Rating: PG, for language
Spoilers: Up to Season 5
Summary:Dean will have an unexpected encounter that will make him revaluate his thoughts on the Apocalypse and the role he'll play in it.
The cheers of the crowds along with the clinging of bottles almost seemed liked a melody to his ears as he seated on a small chair in the back corner trying not to bust into laughter every time a know-it-all or an egocentric biker got his ass kicked at the pool table by his little brother.
Sam had been playing for over an hour now, earning himself several bucks on bets along with a small crowd of followers, whose jaws fell to the ground as they saw how easily Sam cleaned the table in barely minutes quickly leaving his opponents completely out of betting money.
Dean took the bottle on his right to his lips and took several drinks as he smiled to himself.
“You, son of a bitch!” a chubby man mumbled as he broke the pool cue in two angrily, Sam had just won the game and gotten his last fifty dollars “You, cheating jerk, ain’t gonna fool me that easily”
“Hey, if you don’t wanna lose then don’t play, grandpa!” Sam leaned over the table across him and grabbed the money that was resting on the side of the table.
People besides him applauded and cheered, looking for a fight to entertain them after getting probably too many drinks.
“Give me my damn money you-” the man threw himself over the table and towards Sam but before he could put a finger on him a loud yell made everyone in the room stay still and turn around abruptly.
“Hold on a sec!” Dean yelled loudly from the corner “before you ladies start your showdown, let me have a try”
The chubby man looked at him, the small light bulb hanging on top of the pool table barely lighted the corners of Lou’s bar leaving Dean’s face completely hidden in the shadows and making his presence unnoticed for almost anyone but Sam.
“Stay on your corner, shortie, and let grown men have a talk” the chubby man laughed at him.
Dean simply half smiled and stood up walking straight in his direction. He looked down slightly as he got to where the man was standing as he barely reached Dean’s jaw.
“Careful what you say, you may get in trouble, ‘shortie’” Dean mumbled “Now if you excuse me I have a game to play”
The man simply stood frozen in place, momentarily taken by Dean’s underestimated height. He took a step back reluctantly and then walked away.
“So what do you say, boy, done playing in the minor leagues or what?” Dean said daringly to Sam placing the empty bottle of beer on the ground near the table.
“Don’t know, ready to get your ass kicked?”
“How much, then?”
Sam smiled and took a roll of bills out of his back pocket, getting many ‘oh’s and ‘whoa’s from most presents. He passed the bills one by one as he counted them.
“If I win you’ll give me another five hundred and get the crap out of here, you win and you get my 850$” he waved the roll of bills in front of his face.
“Good, and don’t worry I know it’s past your bedtime so I’ll make it quick” Dean smiled confident.
They quickly set the table and started playing, every move had been completely planned to keep things as natural as possible while offering the spectators a show that guaranteed to keep them on the edge of their seats. That was until Dean cleaned the last five remaining balls off the table in barely two minutes.
“Aha!” Dean laughed “I guess its pay day, kid”
Sam remained on the same position, simply leaning over the empty table for several seconds and finally looking up at Dean. He walked towards his brother until they were standing barely inches away from each other, then Sam grabbed him by the shirt and pinned him against the nearest wall.
The crowd around them fired up between gasps and cheers.
“This won’t end this way” Sam yelled.
“The hell it will!” Dean yelled and then leaned towards Sam and whispered “I’ll see you in the car” Sam nodded slightly “Now get your hands off me!!” he yelled once again
Sam let him fall right before throwing the roll of bills on the ground.
“Asshole” Sam muttered as he turned around.
Dean smiled as he stood up and removed a couple of bills from the roll.
“Drinks for everyone!”
The bar was immediately filled with applauses and laughs people who toasted on Dean’s behalf, too drunk to notice they had just been robbed and this round was paid with their own money.
Dean walked towards the exit, still feeling several looks glued to be back of his head. He half smiled. They had played this same charade on so many cheap bars, earning themselves several hundreds every time. He opened the crooked wooden front doors and walked out; a freezing wind slapped him in the face as soon as he set foot outside.
“Damn it” he moaned as he closed his leather jacket tighter and began to walk towards the Impala.
He could hear several soft thuds one after the other coming quickly in his direction as he stood by the car.
“It was about time, Sam” he turned around expecting to find his brother smiling at him but found he was standing all by himself.
He looked to left and right searching for the source of the sound but as he was about to reach for the door handle of the Impala an excruciating pain filled him. It was as if a cold metal had just being incrusted in the back on his head, making it impossible for him to move. Dean opened his mouth with a great effort but couldn’t pronounce a word as the cold spread quickly through his body, like an infectious disease feeding on his nerves. Finally he couldn’t take it and fell to the ground unconscious.
Dean’s head hurt like hell as he tried to open his eyes once again. The air around him was dense to the point if was hard for him to breathe properly, he felt his lungs expand slowly on a calculated effort to inhale the little oxygen left in that weird atmosphere. Suddenly he opened his eyes and sat up, his eyes widened immediately as he notice he was no longer in the parking lot.
His current location was completely made of wood, from the floors and walls to the inclined ceiling, and would be completely immerse in darkness if it wasn’t for a skylight that was right above his head. There wasn’t a single piece of furniture other than the bed he was lying on and no visible exits. He was trapped. Dean placed his feet on the ground and slowly stood up to walk towards the nearest wall.
“What the hell is this?” he thought to himself as he looked at the windowless wall.
This had to be some kind of angel trick, another of Zachariah’s attempts to get to him.
“Sam!” Dean yelled loudly, desperately hoping that wherever Zach had taken him this time wasn’t far from the bar.
“He can’t hear you, Dean” a child’s voice murmured from behind him.
Dean turned around immediately and found small boy standing where the bed used to be.
“Hello, Dean” the boy said “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you”
“Who are you?” Dean mumbled confused “What is this?”
“Actually, we are now in the depths of your conscience” the boy apologized “Excuse me for taking the liberty to talk to you through your mind but I’m afraid you’ve given me no choice”
Dean and the kid studied each other momentarily. He was short and skinny, somewhere around 8 years old with blond hair and green eyes.
“As you may have guessed already I am an angel. I’m here to deliver a message from The Lord” the boy smiled and Dean wasn’t sure whether to be calmed or frightened by the sweetness in his eyes “God has a plan for you”
“Yeah right” Dean whispered his expression cold and hard as a stone “Like God and you give a rat’s ass about me, right? Like you have something for me… well guess what? Screw you”
“Dean… God is watching over you, over all of us”
“Really? Cause last time I checked none of you guys had the slightest idea of where he was” Dean shook his head “And even if you did… Has he ever cared for me? Cause he haven’t shown it… not once…”
“Don’t get carried away by resentment, Dean” the boy continued “He is and will always be watching you”
“Really? Then, where was God when my mother died? She had a greater faith than any of those self proclaimed believers and yet no one saved her. Where was God when Sam died or when I went to hell?” his voice broke mid sentence “Damn, why didn’t He stop me from breaking the first seal or Sam before starting the Apocalypse? And now… after all of that you want my help” he laughed sarcastically.
“Dean, just listen-”
“WHY SHOULD I?” Dean cut him off “Give me one good reason to do so or to trust any of you for that matter. After all, the only thing angels have done is lie to me and my brother, play us like chest pieces in a sick apocalyptic game. And you know what happened to the only angel that told us the truth?” Dean made a brief pause “An archangel wasted him! So tell me why this should be any different” he shouted out loud.
“You are right” the boy whispered as he stretched his hand forward and towards Dean.
Dean’s eyes widened suddenly. Shinning in the darkness of the room and pending from a thin string held by the boy was his amulet. He reached out and grabbed it.
“How did you get this? Where’s Castiel?” Dean whispered.
The boy didn’t say a word but simply looked over his right shoulder and towards a dark corner of the room. Dean followed the angel’s eyes right in time to see a figure walking from the shadows.
“Cas…” Dean murmured as he looked at Castiel.
“There must be another way” was all Cas said, but the look of concern in his eyes spoke for him.
“You know as well as I do there isn’t” the boy answered.
“What are you talking about?” Dean looked at Castiel “What’s going on, Cas?”
“I’m sorry, Dean, I wish things could be different”
“What the hell-”
“Dean, we must talk about your role in the upcoming war…”
“Yeah, of course, I almost forgot” Dean smiled bitterly “You guys want me to be some kind of angel meat suit, right? To just let one of you walk me around… to have this big apocalyptic showdown and kill half of the population in the process”
“All we want is the greater good…”
“And how many people will die because of it?!” Dean yelled angrily “The hell no” the shook his head “I won’t have their blood on my hands… not anymore” his last words were merely a whisper “No one is perfect. We all lie and steal and cheat, means we are all doomed in your book”
“Dean…” the boy continued “It is their hearts and not their fails that will be judged” he took a step towards him “Many mistake the real meaning of the Apocalypse, it is not a punishment but a second chance for righteous men to start all over in a whole new Earth, while the ones who’s hearts have been poisoned by hate will go to the purgatory to clean themselves before receiving a second chance” he made a pause “It is not about pain or grief, it is about redemption. We are gonna save men”
“Like you are saving that poor kid you are wearing right now, right?”
“As I told you before, this is part of your mind, there’s no such thing as vessels in here… just essence, and this is mine” the boy opened his arms and as he did this his appearance changed from a boy to a young brunette “I can be whoever I wan to be” the angel said “Even someone you find more reliable… perhaps?”
After saying this Dean saw how the brunette turned into his own father. His eyes widened as he stared right into his father’s eyes.
“Get out of him!” Dean mumbled angrily.
“Dean, we need you to join us” the angel said with John’s voice.
“No, you don’t” Dean shook his head “If God sent you here he must be somewhere, besides for what I’ve seen you guys are pretty powerful… what do you need me for?”
“God is our creator, the most powerful being in the universe… do you really thing there is a vessel strong enough to contain all that power? His mere manifestation in the world could cause it to collapse” the angel paused “From my part archangels and other angels in general may be powerful, but they are just captains in the upcoming war, what we need is a general capable of guiding our forces. We need you”
“No!” Dean shouted.
“People will die if you don’t” the angel said “even Sam will and you know it”
Dean could feel a nudge on his throat making it hard for him to breathe, only imagining Sam in pain… much worst dead, resulted extremely painful for him.
“You know he is Lucifer’s vessel and you know sooner or later he’ll find Sam and he’ll break him until he agrees to let him in” the angel continued “You can destroy Lucifer now and Sam will live”
“Dean, just listen, this is the only way” Cas whispered.
“I said no, Cas” Dean looked at him momentarily and then at the other angel “Let me go, NOW!”
The other angel simply looked to the right and Dean could see a pair of doors appearing in the previously sealed wall.
“I can’t keep you here… not against your will, so you can go” the angel mumbled.
Dean didn’t say a world and simply made his way to the door, feeling as if another heavy load had just been added to his already sore shoulders.
“Michael!” Dean could hear his father yell from behind him just as he was about to open the door.
He stood frozen as he felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. He could feel a sudden rush of hot blood, anger running like venom through his veins. But what was this he was feeling? Deception… disgust, maybe? ‘It’s just anger’ he kept repeating to himself as he looked to his side.
“Don’t you ever call me that again” he whispered on a rough voice.
Immediately he took a deep breath and slammed the front door closed behind him, right before walking into the pouring rain. Dean walked as quickly as his feet allowed him to towards the Impala, which was conveniently parked right in front of the old shack. He got in and turned the key once, twice and stepped on the pedals several times but it didn’t matter what he did the engine was dead.
“Fuck!” Dean yelled as he punched the steering wheel.
Just then he looked to the front of the car and found both, Sam and the angel, who had the appearance of a boy once again, standing right before the Impala. Dean shot a cold glance at them as he felt all the muscles of is body tense. He just wouldn’t take it anymore.
“People will die if you don’t help, you gotta do this” the angel said.
“You know what?” Dean walked towards them “I’m sick of your angel and demon games and I’m sick of you always sticking me in the middle… so what the hell” Dean shrugged “So Michael… can get in whenever he wants, damn you’ve taken everything from me… but you won’t take my brother. Take my life if that’s what you want”
“That’s where you have it wrong, Dean” the boy continued “This is exactly what I’ve been trying to tell you from the start”
Dean looked at him with tears in his eyes.
“I’ve never lied to you, Dean” it said “not once. I am an angel, an archangel to be more accurate” as he said this, a pale glow surrounded him making his features clearer “My name is Michael”
Dean simply stood there motionless; his jaw fell open as he felt his blood pump faster. Was this fear?
“You found me” Dean mumbled “Thanks for the heads up, Cas”
“Dean” Cas took a step forward but Michael stopped him.
“Just listen to me” the boy continued “Look at me, haven’t you seen me, yet?”
Dean stared at the angel confused just as Michael shone even more brightly making every feature in his face clear, he was beautiful and at the same reminded Dean of the home he had had so long ago. Suddenly his eyes widened as he came to recognize who it was.
“Yes” Michael said “This is you… when you were only 7. That was the last day you saw an angel until recently, wasn’t it”
Castiel’s eyes moved quickly from Michael to Dean.
Dean didn’t say a thing but simply looked down anguished.
“Angels have been watching you ever since you were born and you know it” Michael continued “That was of course until you stopped believing in them.”
Dean could feel his eyes drown in tears, he could clearly remember the day his mother had died and how a woman had woken him up right in time to find his father coming out of Sam’s nursery and many other moments like this; he remembered he didn’t talk for months after his mother died as he didn’t want to see this people anymore, always watching him and talking to him.
“Mary always told you angels watched you, why did you stop believing?” He continued.
Tears fell down the sides of Dean’s face as he remembered parts of his childhood that took over twenty years to forget.
“Cause she wasn’t there anymore” Dean’s voice broke “Cause they always talked of faith and love and yet none saved my mother and once my father became a hunter I assumed there was no such thing as angels and that this had to be just…” Dean shrugged “some demons or ghosts haunting me the night my mother died” his jaw clenched “There couldn’t be any good”
“The truth is you’ve never been alone” Michael continued “Not really. Haven’t you understood it, yet?” as he said this his appearance changed to match Dean’s exactly “Dean and Michael, you and I, aren’t different. We are just two sides of the same coin; we are one, exactly the same person”
Dean looked at Michael perplex, what the hell was he talking about?
“I couldn’t possibly posses you, Dean” Michael said “We are the same person, two parts of one conscience split in two so that we were protected”
“This is bull” Dean mumbled.
“No it is not” Michael shook his head “All our powers were locked within me by God himself while the emotional conscience remained alive, in you. No one but God ever knew, this is part of his plan for us, it’s our destiny”
Dean ran his fingers through his hair as he tried to cope with all the information.
“I know you probably don’t understand right now, but soon you will” Michael continued “and that’s when the other part of your conscience will awake, you won’t be possessed or controlled, you’ll you be you in all possible levels. All you have to do is embrace who you are”
As Dean looked up at Michael once again he noticed his sight got slightly blurry around the edges, as if he was looking through the lens of an old camera. He rubbed his eyes repeatedly as he took a step towards Michael, but it didn’t matter how much he tried his sight just became more and more clouded.
“Wait!” Dean yelled as he stretched his hand.
Then he opened his eyes and found his hand was still stretched forward but he was now sitting on the Impala.
“We are back” Castiel muttered.
Dean looked to his right and found Cas sitting right next to him.
“I’m sorry” he continued.
“So you were the one who took me there” Dean grabbed the wheel with both hands and took a deep breath.
“Yes” Castiel turned to look at him “I thought you deserved to know everything and He agreed”
“So you found Michael…”
“No, I found God” Castiel whispered “This is your fate Dean; I just want you to know everything that comes with it and that it doesn’t matter which road you take I’m with you”
Immediately, Cas disappeared right in front of his eyes and Dean looked to the front. His amulet was resting on his right palm.
Michael’s words were still repeating over and over in his mind as he saw Sam walking out of the bar and towards the car, waving two bottles of beer and half smiling. It wouldn’t be long until the world turned into a complete chaos and his end finally came, he could feel it, but as he looked at his brother he felt hopeful and grateful that at least some things remained the same.