Everyone seems to have accepted Sam's decision to trap Lucifer in his body and drag him back down into the Cage.
All but one, his big brother.
If Dean Winchester ever merited an Oscar for his poker face, it was while he was listening to his little brother’s plan to take Lucifer into his body, then throw himself and his demonic passenger into the Cage.
‘I can do this, Dean. I NEED to do this. It’s all my fault and it’s only fair I’m the one to pay the price.’
Sam postulated his cause with all the sincerity he was capable of, enhancing it with sad puppy eyes and soft persuasive tones, knowing Dean would be completely opposed to the idea.
It had been taking form in Sam’s mind ever since he’d freed Lucifer back in St. Mary’s Convent. The enormity of his guilt was weighing him down and like an avalanche sliding down the mountainside, it threatened to submerge him completely.
He needed to make things right. Sacrificing himself seemed the only way to atone, and save the world from the threatened Apocalypse too.
Outwardly it seemed Dean was paying silent attention to Sam’s passionate speech, to his little brother’s perceived need to do penance for his addiction to the demon blood, for shacking up with Ruby, for their Mom’s death, for every fucking thing that had happened to the Winchesters. But internally he was seething with rage.
Dean understood, however, that Sam felt the urge to do this, to expunge his feelings, wallow in his guilt, and Dean let him get it all out. It was cathartic, healthy.
So, while all Sam could see was his big brother sitting quietly at his side, his expression unreadable as he absorbed Sam’s words, internally Dean’s anger continued to build, his body infused with hate and vengeance for all those who’d contributed to bringing them to this point. To the point where Sam was willing to commit suicide, jump into the Cage and face torture for all eternity.
Something Dean was NOT going to allow him to do!
'It’s my decision to make, Dean. I don’t want you to try and dissuade me.'
Sam turned towards his sibling, and Dean almost lost his façade of neutrality at the slight tremble in Sam’s voice. His baby brother was terrified at the idea of falling into the Cage, but he was trying his best to appear granitic and fearless for Dean’s sake.
Fuck that! was Dean’s inaudible comment. Sam wasn’t going to be the sacrificial lamb sent to the slaughter to pay the price of all the mistakes committed by a bunch of pricks, including himself, the angels, demons, even his mother back in nineteen seventy-three!
There was NO way Dean was letting his brother shoulder all the blame. In Dean’s mind Sam was the purest of them all. He hadn’t asked for any of this, not Azazel, not the blood, not to be Lucifer’s vessel!
Sam was his little brother and it was Dean’s job to protect him, even if he’d fallen down on the job more than once.
But he’d make it up to Sam. He’d be the brother Sam needed.
Though neither he nor Sam had ever mentioned Ash’s comment back in Heaven about them being in fact soul-mates, Dean perceived the truth of Ash’s words. Without Sam by his side, Dean’s life was empty, void.
He had no intention of letting Sam carry out his suicidal plan. Now all Dean had to do was come up with one of his own!
It wouldn’t be easy and he didn’t have much time.
If the worst came to the worst he’d kidnap his brother and throw him into a cell somewhere. Let Michael and Lucifer do their worst. They wanted the Apocalypse, to kill the mud-monkey humans, devastate Earth? Fine. On their heads be it.
God had left the room, abandoned his Creation, left his angels to act like dicks. Well it wasn’t going to be the Winchesters who were going to pay the ultimate price.
'Dean!' Sam’s voice brought him out of his reverie. 'Have you been listening to me?'
'Every word, Sammy.'
'You’re sure you want to do this?'
Sam gave a mirthless chuckle. 'No. It’s the last thing I want to do, but it’s the only answer. The only way to get rid of Lucifer and stop the Apocalypse. I need you to back me up on this, Dean.' Sam’s voice had that little tremor again, the one that shattered Dean’s heart, the one which told him his little brother was terrified yet determined to do what he thought was right.
Dean looked his brother in the eye and lied through his teeth. 'If it’s what you want Sam, I’m not going to stop you, but I can’t tell you I think what you want to do is all right.'
Sam nodded. It was the most he was going to get from Dean. And he’d take it.
'I guess we should get some sleep,' Sam said with a wry grin.
'Yeah, guess we should,' Dean agreed.
Without waiting for Sam to follow, he stalked off. He wasn’t going to listen to any more of his brother’s self-sacrificing spiel.
Sam was NOT going to die tomorrow. Period.
Pushing through the door into Bobby’s house, he made a bee-line for the library.
Bobby peeked out of the kitchen as Dean strode by, but the young man had no time for the hunter.
Earlier Bobby had accused him of preferring to save Sam than stop the Apocalypse. Well, good for you old man, Dean mused. You were spot on. Fuck the apocalypse, fuck the angels and demons, fuck everything.!
Dean hadn’t replied to the older man back then, feeling somehow betrayed that Bobby would even consider and consent to Sam’s sacrifice!
He could understand Castiel and Crowley being happy to use Sam as a scapegoat. Castiel had called his brother an abomination and for all his apparent change of opinion, Dean was sure he still viewed Sam as such, so sending Lucifer’s vessel off to the cage with the devil probably seemed fitting to him.
Crowley on the other hand wanted Lucifer out of the way so he could rule happily over Hell. Then, he was a demon. What did he care about Sam or Dean.
No, Bobby’s behaviour had been the one to rankle. He shouldn’t have been so on-board with booting Sam into the Cage, even if there didn’t seem to be any other solution.
So, Dean was on his own here. The only one prepared to save Sammy.
Everyone, including his baby brother himself, was willing to let Sam Winchester die to save the world. Well fuck that!
When Sam rolled into bed it was almost dawn. The kid had remained outside probably enjoying what he thought was his last night on Earth, studying the twinkling stars he’d never see again.
Dean himself had given up with Bobby’s books. Nothing jumped out at him, no reveal in flashing neon lights to present him with a way of saving his brother.
He took stock of the fact that there remained only one. Tomorrow he’d take Sam and restrain him, far away from any temptation to jump in the Cage.