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Falling In The Heat of The Moment

Chapter Text

.-~*~-.

“To burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can bring on ourselves.”

Federico García Lorca

.-~*~-.

There was a time before angels, before humans, monsters, and demons. It was a time before beauty, before nature, before the first human, and the gods. It was not long after Oblivion settled and not long before Amara turned sour. It was a time when the brightest light beneath The Light was The Star and the youngest thing in Creation was The Voice.

It was a time before they knew names, a time before true language, a time of openness and connectivity.

It was a time without time, and it was raw and beautiful, but there was one thing The Voice always saw above The Light, always favored a sibling above the rest. In a time before they comprehended favoritism The Voice found her favorite, and she grew to care.

Her favorite was above The Soldier, above The Breath, -in her mind-, and whenever he came near her Spirit lit with joy. The Voice adored The Star and it should have scared her, but it didn't, instead she embraced it. During the timeless time she would cling to her elder brother, she would follow him across the stars of creation when The Light assigned The Star tasks and during those times they would play, their Spirits converging and disconnecting.

It had been bliss.

Until The Dark refused to allow The Light further creation. The Voice had hidden behind The Star when the fighting began, and when she would reflect on it later she would realize it had always been there. Things had drastically changed with the dawning of Earth. When The Light wanted to make more than The First Beings.

It was the first time in her existence that The Light had ordered The Voice to communicate with The Dark's own creations, the beings He had given the first true names, Selaphiel, Jegudiel, Barachiel, and Phanox. Beings that would later be known to a very small portion of Heaven as Archangels, the Archangels of The Dark.

The Voice had felt the first fear on that day, when she had arrived before her counter, Barachiel, she had felt true fear. Never once in her existence had she considered The Dark as more than another being. That had changed when she saw the other creature, the black wings and the malevolence his Spirit radiated when she arrived.

That was The Fourth Day. The day that The Light declared war on The Dark. The day The Voice learned why her sister was The Soldier, the day she learned she was not a fan of war.

.-~*~-.

The Voice was named at the Dawn of Humanity, however she was the last named of her siblings. The Voice received her name after Michelle and Lucifer, even after Raphiel who she was far from fond of. The Voice remained The Voice until the end of The Fifth Day, until the Dawn of the Sixth when God came before her and named her Gabriella, Archangel of God and Messenger of The Lord.

Gabriella was never fond of her name, but took it with gratitude before fleeing to her brother.

To Lucifer.

"Did She name you, Voice?" Lucifer asked her when she landed on the farthest planet from the Earth. Gabriella leaned into her brother's wings when the bright limbs engulfed her smaller form.

"Yes." Her answer was small, her voice careful and collected as she restricted her vocalizations that were meant to carry The Light's words.

"Can I hear?" Her brother asked and she nodded, bowing her head under the intense stare of her elder sibling, of The Star.

"Gabriella." She said softly, "Archangel of God, Messenger of The Lord."

Lucifer was quiet next to her and Gabriella felt her Spirit prodding at his, a question flying across the contact that made her breath stop for a moment.

Questioning.

"Why would Mother keep you as Her voice when The Dark is gone?" Lucifer never spoke the question, it singing across their Spirits like a song.

"We are not meant to question Her, Brother." Even if it was a question that had grazed her consciousness after being named.

"I am going to speak to Her." Lucifer answered as he rose from his place beside her, unfurling his glorious white wings behind him. Wings that had been the brightest and purest in Heaven, until The Mark had been placed on him, until he had been assigned to handle the single most dangerous object in existence, Gabriella hated it. Hated seeing The Star marred by The Dark's being, an eternal reminder of the task God assigned him.

"Brother, wait."

Gabriella rose from where she was seated but it was too late.

Lucifer flew.

Gabriella stared after Lucifer, The Mark glowing a dim orange light against the base of his wings.

It is not supposed to glow. Her mind whispered unhelpfully.

Later she would reminisce on this moment, on watching her brother fly away to confront God, and she would recognize it as the moment she saw a different side of Lucifer, the moment that The Star stopped being The Star and he started being Lucifer.

In that moment however, she simply watched, fascinated by the strong wingbeats and the way his wings glowed.

It was that moment that she was completely blinded by her adoration for her brother, and perhaps the moment she fell for him.

.-~*~-.

Gabriella wasn't present for the Cath incident. Gabriella didn't hear about the Cath incident for a long time. What she was involved in was the Ada and Steve incident. When that happened she was in Heaven's Throne Room, teaching the newest angel to walk. It had broken her heart just a fraction when her Mother's voice rumbled through her, when she had been forced to leave Castiel to join Michelle and Lucifer outside of Eden.

"Lucifer." Her voice was high and the quarreling siblings stopped in the midst of their fight, wings bowing as they knelt before her, though Lucifer wasn't looking at the ground, his gaze was riveted on Gabriella. If it wasn't for her being used by their Mother she never would have been able to open her mouth again, the stare so intense it hurt.

"Mother." Michelle said softly.

"I am tired of your defiance. Your treason against Heaven and My Word. I warned you to leave humanity to itself and you betrayed that."

"I did nothing."

"I am not going to listen to your deception, Lucifer."

"I never deceived anyone, Mother." Lucifer bit back and Gabriella felt God's anger burning against her Spirit.

"You know exactly what you did, Lucifer. As of this moment you are banished from Heaven. Any angel that is to come into contact, or attempt to assist you will become Fallen. I will give you a realm, a realm where the consequences of your actions against humanity will inevitably go to. I am done with you, Lucifer, just as you are done with Heaven." Gabriella collapsed to her knees as her Mother left, as God left.

Then she stared as horror crossed Lucifer's expression, as a desperate cry tore from him, "Mother, please!" Lucifer's voice rang across them all, all of The First Four and Michelle fled the scene, gripping a protesting Gabriella by her wings and pulling her along. "Gabriella!" Lucifer cried desperately and Gabriella lay lax in her eldest sister's grip, trying to comprehend what had just happened.

It wasn't until later that Raphiel explained the fall of humanity.

It took her an Earth week to accept that Lucifer would never return to Heaven.

It took her less than two Earth hours to sneak out of Heaven.

.-~*~-.

The realm that their Mother had given to Lucifer was hot and dark, something that almost completely countered Lucifer's bright and chilled form.

A form she found sitting on a crimson throne. A form that scared her because where Lucifer had once had the brightest wings in existence, been the purest form in Creation, was a dimmer darkness. A darkness that Gabriella knew was being caused by The Dark, except it was wrong and a cry escaped her when she realized why.

The Mark.

It was gone. Lucifer's attention shot to her and her brother crossed the space in a flash.

"Luce, what did you do?" Gabriella asked, backing away a fraction from her brother.

"I gave it to a human. It was a burden, Sister." A whine slipped past her lips and she shook her head, staring at the dark look in her brother's eyes.

"God ordered you-"

"God abandoned me." Lucifer bit back and Gabriella flinched away from the hurt tone in Lucifer's words.

"She did what She believed was justified. You corrupted Ada and Steve."

"I did nothing, Voice." Lucifer bit back harshly. "What did they tell you? Did they tell you I deceived the humans? That I corrupted them? I did nothing. Nothing that Mother never would have planned for. You are a lot of things, Gabriella but you are far from ignorant. If Mother wished for the apes to remain ignorant they would still be ignorant. All I did was follow Her will."

"Did She tell you to corrupt them?" Gabriella asked, focusing on the brimstone floor rather than her brother, Gabriella didn't know if she could look at him.

"Not in words." Lucifer answered, a hand coming to rest against her shoulder made a shiver ripple across her, her wings curling into her back. "Gabriella, Voice, please stay with me. You know me, you know I would never harm anyone that did not deserve it."

Which was true, when they had fought The Dark's angels The Star had asked for peace between them, not in the same way The Voice had begged for it, but he had still asked.

It was more than The Breath and The Soldier had done.

Even then, Lucifer was right, she was far from ignorant. Even in her moments of doubt, she knew Lucifer had acted out of line, and she loathed it. Loathed that she was unable to be angry at her brother for his actions. Something had to be wrong with her, no angel should have been able to forgive Lucifer. God's orders were clear.

"I cannot stay." That was the closest to the truth she could give, if she stayed then God would cast her out, if she remained with her brother it would break her apart. She knew it would happen. It was dangerous to be there. The fact that she had actually come was a dangerous action, but staying, it was a flight risk. It was a mistake.

"Please, Gabriella." Lucifer flipped in an instant, wings wrapping around her smaller form and Gabriella cried out in panic as something unfamiliar rushed through her at the contact.

"No." She said sharply, falling back onto brimstone and staring at her brother in horror as she tried to comprehend what had just happened.

"Voice-"

She shook her head rapidly as she scrambled to her feet, taking flight and cutting through the realms to Earth with panic burning through her. Inside her Spirit was tugging at her, begging her to return to Lucifer.

But she couldn't. When she stared at her reflection in the ocean at herself she saw something she knew was wrong, a tinting of pink at the tips of her wings.

What was that?

Why did it feel so wrong, and in the same instant, why did it feel so right?

.-~*~-.

It was Raphiel that taught Gabriella about sex.

Gabriella had always been curious about humanity though she tended to hide from them. It was a safety measure, a fear she would agree with Lucifer's views on humanity. But one day about five hundred years following the banishment of Lucifer, Raphiel took her to Earth and ordered her to take a Vessel from one of the stronger bloodlines.

The experience was strange. In her angelic form most of the aspects of her being were the same, two legs, two arms, a head, but other aspects were different. Only having two eyes was discerning, but the lack of wings was completely disorienting. Though her angelic form was under the skin and she knew she could project her wings through her Vessel Raphiel made it clear that she was not allowed to do that.

The strangest part of the experience was that her Vessel was a man. Angels weren't sexless, nor were they all female as the humans had made a common misconception, they had sexes and the object between her legs was far from something she was accustomed to. Gabriella was almost certain that Raphiel chose the Vessel to disorient her in that aspect.

Almost.

"What are we doing?" Gabriella asked her brother quietly when they arrived outside a building.

"I am educating you in humanity, Gabbie." Raphiel answered vaguely and she frowned at the answer. It wasn't often Raphiel answered questions like that and for a moment she was concerned. Until she remembered this was Raphiel, the one who guided humanity.

She had to trust her sister, even if she was trapped in a male body and uncertain how she felt about it.

"Educating me in what?" Gabriella asked uncertainly as another set of wings fluttered next to her and she froze.

"A brothel, Raphiel? That's your plan?" Gabriella stumbled into her sister and stared at Lucifer who was confidently wearing a man who looked much like her own Vessel. They were probably related.

"Leave, Lucifer."

"You are on Earth, sisters, and more importantly about to enter a brothel. I would never pass the chance of witnessing this."

"We are not witnessing anything." Raphiel bit back and Lucifer scoffed.

"Oh, yes. We are simply taking our baby sister to a den of iniquity."

Gabriella finally pieced together what they were discussing and despite herself she felt her entire Vessel turning red from what she knew was embarrassment.

Oh, Mother.

"I-"

"Raphiel." Lucifer interrupted and he gave her sister a hard look.

"Behave as you would have before, brother. We are not meant to be interacting with you." Raphiel finally surrendered and Lucifer outright grinned.

"I have never betrayed my sisters, Raphiel. I love you each almost as much as I love Mother."

Then Gabriella was pulled through the front and whisked away to a backroom. It was hard to believe this was happening, that Raphiel had brought her to Earth and that the elder Archangels were communicating so easily. It brought her mind back to a time not so long ago when they were all close, a time when they were truly happy.

"How did you know we were here?" Gabriella asked suddenly as she was sat down on a bed, Raphiel disappearing through a curtain while Lucifer took a seat, propping his legs up on the table.

"My demons monitor these places for angels. Without The Host I am alone, sister, so I do what I must."

"You make them Fall."

"No." Lucifer responded, meeting her gaze. "They all come willingly. That is the beauty of free will, God's gift to mankind, they can choose."

"Her gift to humanity, not to us."

"Yet we all can exhibit it. Azazel, Ramiel, Dagon, and Asmodeus came willingly. They are the first of many, I am sure. They chose me over Her because I was right, humanity is tainted and corrupt. It is an abomination and I know you see it."

"They are imperfect, it is what makes them good, Lucifer."

"We could discuss this all day and get nowhere. Besides, your prize is here."

Before Gabriella could open her mouth Lucifer disappeared in a flutter of wings. Moments later Raphiel entered the room with a sparsely dressed woman in tow.

"My brother possesses no experience with women and I wish for you to change that." Raphiel spoke easily in the girl's native tongue.

"Of course." The woman said softly. "You may leave, I promise to take care of your brother."

The woman did as promised, Gabriella had never felt so alive, nerve endings she didn't know existed lighting up under the careful ministrations of the experienced woman. Gabriella fell apart and was pieced back together over and over again and it was amazing.

Then she had changed to a female Vessel and the experience had been different, natural to her own celestial body. The experience had been glorious.

Infuriating.

Terrifying, because with the arousal the man that took her in her female body coerced from her human body came a flare of desire energy that lit up her angelic portion, a feeling she recognized far too late matched the feelings her brother's wings touching hers had caused.

It was on that day she discovered a dark secret about herself that she barely understood, it was on that day when the prostitute took her like his life depended on it that Gabriella realized that she was lusting after her brother.

It was also the day she began denying herself sexual attraction, a day too late.

.-~*~-.

Gabriella hated Heaven sometimes, not because it was Heaven, but because she had confined herself to it. In the past few Earth years Michelle had grown to hate her and even Raphiel kept her distance as of late. The fledglings were fun to play with, sometimes, it just wasn't the same as playing with the Archangels. The younger angels were weaker and her Spirit liked overwhelming the fledglings with attention.

Something that infuriated Michelle beyond all belief.

"Gabriella." She dropped the fledgling Castiel who she had been playing with and spun around to meet her eldest sister's hard gaze.

"We were playing."

Michelle shoved past her and lifted the dazed fledgling from the ground. "You need to control that Spirit."

Gabriella flinched away, her Spirit burning with hostility towards Michelle.

"I do not control it."

"You need to. The fledglings are overwhelmed! Can you not see what you are doing to them?" Gabriella clenched her teeth together and shook her head, spreading her wings out.

"Can you not see what you are doing to me? You and Raphie both!"

Michelle sent away the fledgling and stepped back. "You chose to isolate yourself to Heaven. You made that choice. You do not have to be here."

"Except I do. If I go to Earth then he will find me again and…Michelle, I need you and Raphiel. I need my sisters." I am afraid of how I feel about Lucifer now and afraid to return to Earth because of this fact. I know what I feel is wrong and am afraid for all of you to learn the truth. Especially him. With all of her strength she made herself barricade her thoughts from her eldest sibling who narrowed her eyes.

"You are insufferable." Michelle responded bitterly. "Go find Raphiel. She will make time for you."

Gabriella bowed her wings, her eyes burning at the lack of care in her eldest sister's tone.

"And return that Vessel to Earth. It looks ridiculous on you." Then Michelle disappeared and she looked down at her human body, having forgotten she was still wearing the thing. With a thought she returned the body to Earth and took flight through Heaven, trailing after her connection to Raphiel's Spirit until she arrived in The Garden.

"Gabriella." Joshea greeted, bowing formally and Gabriella rolled her eyes at the formality.

"Where's Raphiel?" Gabriella asked and Joshea frowned.

"Praying. I heard you were training the fledglings today."

"Michelle said I was being rough with them." Gabriella responded curtly.

"With all due respect, you can be rough with us, ma'am."

Gabriella decided to disregard that comment, strolling past Joshea and making her way to The Tree. "Raphiel!" She called out across The Garden, mostly to pester her elder sibling as she found her moments later next to The Tree with her wings wrapped around her body.

"What do you want, Gabriella?"

"To spend time with you." Gabriella answered, sitting in front of her sister and crossing her legs. "Why are you praying?"

"Mother is on Earth." Raphiel answered, moving her wings to her back carefully. "I have heard rumors she is going to take a longer trip to Earth."

"Rumors? Do you mean that Michelle told you something she was not supposed to?"

"Michelle never does such a thing. The rumor is being spread by several of the Fallen to the younglings. They are concerned."

"Considering Mom is rarely around anymore it is nothing more than an attempt to cause fear among us."

"What if it is true, Gabriella? What if Mother leaves?"

Gabriella reached across the space and took Raphiel's hands in her own. "She will not leave us."

Raphiel stared at their connected hands. "Ever since Lucifer defied Her Mother has been so angry. I worry She will leave and stay gone."

Gabriella's wings twitched behind her. "Mother has no reason to leave."

"She has every reason. Do you remember how angry She was after I took you to the brothel?" Gabriella flinched slightly, burying her emotions carefully as her Spirit curled in on itself.

"You spent time among humanity. Parents become angry with their children."

"We broke a rule. We did what Lucifer did."

Gabriella tightened her grip on her sister's hand. "We did no such thing. Raphie, if we had then we would be where he is now."

"We broke a rule."

"It was a small rule. She told us to love humanity, and the best way to do that is to experience what they experience."

"Gabriella, I am afraid to lose Mother. I cannot break rules anymore."

"You are afraid to lose someone who is rarely here. I am not saying for you to go out and kill hundreds of humans, I am asking you not to become afraid of the rules."

"It scares me, Gabriella. When Michelle heard Mother's anger she told me I was short-sighted. That introducing you to that was as good as me handing you to Lucifer."

Gabriella's breath caught and she looked down, staring at her legs and making herself stayed in control of herself. It was no secret that she favored Lucifer, there had been an openness among the Archangels in the past that allowed that.

"If I intended to follow him I would have done it by now. I am sorry if you doubt me but I swear on Mother that I will not follow Lucifer." Raphiel tugged on her hands until Gabriella crossed the remaining distance, crawling into her sister's lap and resting her head against her chest.

"I miss you, Gabriella. I hope you know that. You just are a handful."

"I try not to annoy you."

"You do a poor job." Raphiel responded with a light laugh, stroking her fingers through her feathers carefully and settling the wings.

"I did try to help with the fledglings."

"I heard." Raphiel responded dryly and Gabriella flinched. "I know you are trying. Neither me nor Michelle could ever keep up with your insanity."

"Just Lucifer." Gabriella sighed, shivering slightly as Raphiel's fingers brushed a scar from their battle against The Dark.

"I wish things had gone differently with him."

"I miss him." Gabriella admitted, Raphiel's breath came down in her hair.

"I know you do. I miss him as well. If he would redeem himself I would gladly welcome him into Heaven again."

"So would I." Gabriella whispered, wings twitching away from Raphiel's fingertips. I can never see him again. Not knowing what I know now.

"I am sorry, Gabriella. I know how much you love him." The moment their Spirits touched Gabriella knew that Raphiel knew the truth, and it should have scared her, but it didn't. Instead she leaned into the hold of her elder sibling and basked in the warmth from her body while their Spirits curled around each other comfortably in a way they hadn't in years.

.-~*~-.

The panic in Heaven in the days leading to the birth of Christ was raw. Everyone was afraid because none of them understood what was going to happen. Those days wouldn't be the ones Gabriella would remember in the end. The ones she would eventually remember came following the crucifixion. When the final war in Heaven began.

When Gabriella left.

'Gabriella, meet me in The Garden now.' Gabriella spread her wings and took flight through Heaven, arriving before Michelle and kneeling formally when she saw the other gathered angels. Lieutenants.

This was not good.

"You are to organize the garrisons, Gabriella."

She bristled, her Spirit rising up and spreading through her in an instant. "You do not order me, Michelle."

"I am acting under Mother's commands. Her final commands."

Gabriella glanced over to see Raphiel bowing her wings and head behind Michelle.

"What are you talking about, Michelle? I speak on Her behalf, not you."

"Mother was concerned about your reactions to these orders seeing as your loyalties are far from stable." Gabriella bared her teeth slightly, unsure why she was doing it but not feeling the need to do something.

"What did Mother say?"

"She is leaving. I am to place Lucifer in a Cage until the day that his and my True Vessels are born."

"You cannot do that to him." Gabriella breathed, fear coiling through her Spirit as the words clicked together in her mind. No.

"It was Mother's orders, Gabriella."

"That is shit and you know it!" Michelle flared her wings in warning. "I love you Michelle but you have crossed a line and I will not watch you take our brother to war!"

"You will do as told, and you will watch the language."

"I will not." Raphiel shot her a silent plea that she tossed away as she spread her own wings wide.

"Would you join Lucifer?"

"No." Gabriella answered. "I would never dare to do that. However, I will never stand with you. Not here, not now. If you choose to do this I will not stand with Heaven."

"I am choosing nothing." Michelle retorted stubbornly and Gabriella laughed sharply.

"It is your choice to follow God's Will. When was the last time Mother ordered anything worthwhile? When was the last time that Her Spirit touched you and you felt warmth? No. You are choosing to do this to Lucifer and you know it is wrong."

"Go, Gabriella. If you are going to be defiant then you need to go."

Gabriella caught her breath at the cold tone in her eldest sister's voice. Was Michelle…

Was she being forced to leave Heaven? By her sister?

"Michelle…"

"Go." Gabriella stared at her sister before adjusting her wings for flight.

"Raphiel, I beg you."

"Michelle is right." Raphiel said softly, something broken in her tone.

'I love you, Raphie.' She said across their connection before taking flight, fleeing Heaven and trying to comprehend what had happened, what had changed, why she was on Earth. It was wrong. Everything was wrong and she still barely understood why they were there, what had happened. It had been cooling down after everything, or so she thought, but Michelle's words told a different story. What had she missed?

How had it come to this?

She had to warn Lucifer. She couldn't not tell him. He had to know, then she would have to disappear, because if she didn't then Michelle would come after her and only her Mother knew what would happen.

The hardest thing she ever did was refuse to join Lucifer's side when she warned him, then she fled North, seeking out the Pagans and a potential new future, an idea given to her by her brother.

Her brother.

No, what she felt for him was something else entirely different. Something she never wanted to put into words.

Something she couldn't risk putting to words.

 

Chapter Text

"Stop fidgeting." Sam elbowed her sister in the ribs as they stepped into the seemingly innocent college. The air was alive with something, though Sam wasn't completely sure she was ready to bet Stevie Miller's credit card on the clear cut ghost case.

"My head's pounding." Deanna responded glumly, fidgeting with the edge of her electrician outfit.

"If you didn't down the entire bar that wouldn't be an issue."

Her sister audibly rolled her eyes and she groaned in frustration as they sat down, waiting for the janitor to arrive.

"I think Brandon would disagree. I held my liquor awesomely."

"I think Brandy would disagree, seeing as I drove her home this morning."

Deanna paused, tilting her head thoughtfully. "Was it a she? Huh. I don't care. I held myself amazingly, and seeing that I'm sitting here, I'm fine."

You're never fine. Sam thought but didn't say, not daring to cross that line with her emotionally stunted sister.

"Morning!" An all too cheery voice chimed from the entrance and they both looked up to see a shorter woman with wavy hair and golden eyes stroll in. The jeans and white tank top were casual enough that Sam was left to assume she was who they were waiting for.

"Morning." She answered, rising to her feet and straightening her back. Same song and dance.

"Ah I see. You're the strong bold one. I find that sexy in a woman." The woman said casually and Sam felt her face reddening.

"It's too early to listen to you flirt with my sister." Deanna spoke up from next to her, causing her to jump.

"Family business?" The woman asked conversationally as she winked at Sam before heading towards the back of the building.

Saving people, hunting things, the family business.

"Unfortunately." Deanna spoke up and Sam could hear the smirk in her voice as they followed the woman.

"Give me a second then I'll take you up." The woman said, pausing outside the supply closet and pulling a key from her belt to unlock it. The second the woman disappeared into the room Deanna elbowed her in the ribs.

"What?"

"She was checking you out."

Sam shook her head. "I don't swing that way." Which was mostly true. There was her experimental phase in college, but it had just been a phase, and Brandy had shoved her to Jessie like the six month long relationship meant nothing.

Maybe more than a phase, but she still didn't do flings with women. Even admittedly attractive women with golden eyes.

"Whatever you say. I'm just saying she's hot and clearly interested."

"And I'm saying I don't swing that way."

Deanna gave her one of those looks that said 'I don't believe anything coming out of your mouth right now' looks but didn't comment as the door to the supply room opened up again, revealing the janitor in her much less casual work clothes, a blue jumpsuit with the name 'Lola' printed on the badge.

"Right this way, ladies." The woman beamed as she made her way towards the stairwell, the two sisters trailing after her, neither appreciating being called a lady. "Since neither of you seem to have the common courtesy, my name's Lola." The woman, Lola, remarked as they made their way up the stairwell.

"Oh yeah. Slow morning. Well for me. Sammy here doesn't have much of an excuse." Deanna piped up and Sam shot her a glare before adding in.

"It's been a stressful morning. My name's Samantha, that's Deanna."

"Hm. Samantha and Deanna. I like it, simple names for simple people." As if there was anything in their life that was simple. Between yellow eyed demons, monsters, and dead parents their lives were far from simple. A glance at her sister confirmed a similar thought process.

"So, how long've you been working here?" Sam spoke up as they stopped outside one of the doors.

"I've been mopping this floor for six years." She answered easily as she opened the door, far too comfortable with her dead end job as a janitor. She probably came from money, the job was just a job. At least she was working. "There you go, guys." She added as she flipped on the lights. Sam looked around the basic office, gaze sliding across everything, taking count of everything and finding nothing out of the usual. Not that that meant a whole lot, seeing as it had taken a week for them to pick up this case. With casual practice she slipped the EMF reader from her pocket and switched it on. "What the heck's that for?" Lola added, eying the thing with minor curiosity.

"Just to find the wires in the walls." Sam lied easily and Lola shrugged.

"Huh. Wow. Not sure why you're wiring up this office. Not gonna do the professor much good."

"Why's that?" Deanna asked, as if they didn't already know the answer to the question.

"He's dead." Was Lola's blunt answer and Deanna grabbed onto that with practice while she continued scanning the room, nothing, no EMF, which left her original theory right. It was never a ghost anymore.

"Oh. What happened?"

"He went out that window. Right there." Lola motioned to the back window behind the desk.

That was a specific detail that hadn't been in the news article. "Yeah? Were you working that night?"

"I'm the one who found him." She responded, with a bit less emotion than probably should've been there.

"You see it happen?" Sam asked, completely abandoning her attempts with the EMF. It wasn't a ghost.

"Nope. I just saw him come up here, and uh ... well." Lola did show a bit of emotion at this, maybe distain?

"What?" She asked.

"He wasn't alone." The janitor admitted.

"Who was he with?" Deanna asked around a mouthful of candies and Sam wanted to strangle her for a moment. Was she really robbing the dead guy's office for candy?

"He was with a young lady. I told the cops about her, but uh, I guess they never found her." Lola gave Deanna a look that almost seemed amused, completely countering the grimmer tone lining the way she said 'young lady'.

"You saw this girl go in, huh? But did you ever see her come out?" Sam asked her, maybe this girl was the killer. But what was the reason for it? Was it just some other human psycho? Were they there for no reason? It wouldn't be the first time.

Lola frowned, consideration in her voice. "Now that you mention it, no."

"You ever seen her before, around I mean?"

"Well, not her." Lola responded.

"What do you mean?" Deanna asked, and there was still a bit of distortion to her voice from the remainder of the chocolate. I'm going to kill her.

"I don't mean to cast aspersions on a dead guy, but uh… Mister Morality here? He brought a lot of girls up here. Got more ass than a toilet seat." Deanna openly laughed at that and Lola grinned with him while Sam just huffed out a breath of irritation. "Alright, well I think we got everything we need here." Sam pulled the subject from the body.

"Going so soon?"

"Yeah, we'll talk to the manager tomorrow or so about it."

"Seems kinda slow." But she was already headed out of the room, reaching behind her to tighten her ponytail. And if Sam watched her go with a bit more interest than she would ever admit to, well, that was her secret.

.-~*~-.

Loki knew better. She knew better. Knew the ramifications of interacting with the Vessels. Knew what would happen if someone looked too closely, but when the two Hunters had shown up in town she'd been unable to resist. A couple days of games, then she was gone.

That was, until she saw Samantha Winchester's Spirit. Everything about her sang with him.

It was wrong. So very wrong. Years on Earth didn't change anything in that regard. Lusting after your brother was something you didn't do. Even with her time among gods and goddesses she still felt obligated to shy away from the though.

Samantha wasn't her brother, so she could look, right? The most human representation of Lucifer on Earth was female, so it made things different, right? It wasn't a betrayal as long as she only looked. Not that there was anyone to betray. Lucifer didn't know how she felt, if he did… it was better if she didn't think about what may have been all those years ago. Lucifer was her brother, nothing more, and nothing less. In his mind. So there was no harm in her looking at Samantha, in enjoying the presence of her Spirit.

At least, that was what she told herself when she snapped herself outside the bar that Samantha had gone to, for two clear reasons. Gathering information, and to get away from Deanna.

Loki really didn't like being near Deanna. Deanna was hauntingly similar to her oldest sister in appearance. Scarily similar to Michelle. Even without the behavioral similarities her Spirit and body shared eerie similarities to the Archangel she was destined for.

"Excuse me." A man cut her thoughts off and she might've fallen into a heap if she was human. The man shoved his way into the bar and with a thought she gave him a nasty case of crabs before trailing inside as well, gaze raking the crowds until she spotted Samantha, better known as Sam, seated at the bar chatting casually with the male bartender. For the time being, they were safe, she wouldn't make her next big move again until after they left. Then they'd come back, or some other Hunter, and she'd move on.

That was the game, older than time.

However, she somehow found herself slipping into the seat next to Sam, combing her fingers through her own hair as she threw on her cockiest grin. "Fancy seeing you here, Sammy." This was not part of the game.

The look on her face was priceless as she whipped her gaze from the bartender, dark hair rolling out behind her impractically. Really. Why did most female Hunters wear it long? It almost always backfired, Deanna did have it brighter in that regard. Still.

"Lola?" Sam asked stupidly and she should've left. Except hazel eyes locked with hers and their Spirits brushed with each other due to the close proximity and Loki curled in on herself, suppressing the desire for more. It was the same. It was his. Except it wasn't. It was his Vessel's. Back before Lucifer had been Caged she'd been able to suppress the desire that her brother coerced from her, from the very presence, but this was different and her heart ached with longing.

The Vessel. But she was human. No one has to know. With a brief flash of realization, it hit her that she was weaker. Those careful barriers she had built all those years ago had worn away in her isolation.

"Mhm." She responded absently. It couldn't happen. She couldn't be that stupid.

Wouldn't.

"Self-restraint isn't one of your virtues, if you have any at all." Coyote had once teased her, and oh how right she had been. As Loki, she hadn't needed to show self-restraint for years. When she had merged her Spirit with Loki, seemingly destroyed the goddess, she had given completely into who she was. The self-restraint that she had built up over millions of years had died with the Pagan.

In honesty, she had never planned to live to the Apocalypse. She had expected Michelle or Raphiel to box her up and drag her home. Now, with hazel eyes watching her, she realized how doomed she truly was.

"Lola?"

"What?" Was she distracted? In honesty, she hadn't thought it was possible.

"I asked what you're doing here."

"Girl can't come out for drinks?" Sam gave her one of those looks that she couldn't help but grin at. "I saw you and thought I'd say 'hey'. That an issue?"

"Not really." Sam admitted reluctantly, eying her with obvious mistrust.

"Good. 'cause next drink's on me. Hear that, Daryl?" With another brush of magic she modified the bartender's memories, just enough to make him remember her, even though she'd never been there. Just to hold up the façade.

"Coming right up." The bartender responded, just a tad bit dazed. It was an abuse of power, but at the moment she didn't care. All that mattered was the woman in front of her. The one that possessed a Spirit that was meant to complete Lucifer.

Forgive me, Mother, for I have sinned.

Maybe she hadn't yet, but she knew she would. And if that wasn't that the most messed up things in the world, she didn't know what was.

"So an electrician, how'd you end up in that line of work, and with your sister of all people."

A smile quirked on Sam's face, and not the comfortable kind. "Family thing." She answered, careful lies always coated in truths. Loki appreciated those kinds of lies, the ones meant not to hurt.

"Seemed like your sister and you get along great."

"She makes my life a living hell." Sam answered honestly. "But she's my sister."

"Go, Gabriella. If you are going to be defiant then you need to go."

"Family is a burden."

"I wouldn't say a burden. For me and my sister, we grew up together, had nothing but our mom. It's all we've ever had."

If that didn't hit hard, she wasn't sure what did. Michelle and Lucifer had been together from The Beginning, closer than anyone had the right to be, until the day that it all changed and, in a panic, Loki had fled. Loki had left Gabriella behind and become someone else. Something else.

"I guess my crummy family life can't compare to something like that."

"Didn't say my family life was great." Sam corrected her. "Just that I'm used to her being a pain in the ass."

"I guess I can get that then." Which was crap, but that was her secret. Plus, it was something perfect for conversation.

"How so?"

"My family was close when I was young." Maybe not as much crap as she thought. "Or, I thought we were. I think it was more the illusion of closeness. I wanted to believe everything was perfect." This was not what she wanted to discuss. Talking about the family she was kicked out of…it was strange. To talk to anyone about it, and to bring it up with his Vessel. "In fact, it was. For a while. Then…the new baby was born and…Luci hated it. Then her and Mikey started arguing about it and I left home." Careful lies. They slipped from her lips without a thought, painfully easy because they were truths, truths coated in white lies. Detail alterations that changed nothing major.

The one secret she would never reveal locked away.

Her mind had wandered again, so when a hand gripped hers, she jumped. It was an off reaction, something she was far from used to. Usually, she had complete control of herself, except during sex, and this wasn't sex, but it was a brushing of Spirits. A brush of contact that made her want to drag the other woman down, that made her want more. Without thinking she yanked her hand away and drew back her own Spirit.

"Lo-"

"I have to go." She responded, jumping to her feet and fleeing to the door at the most human pace she could muster. Badbadbadbadbad replayed over and over in her head, while part of her longed to turn and run back to Sam and shove her over the nearest flat surface.

That decision was made the moment she rounded the corner outside the door and fingers wrapped tightly around her wrist.

She could've kept going, could've easily escaped her grip, but, her mind reasoned, she was still undercover and Sam was a Hunter. It would've been suspicious.

Forgive me.

Slowly she turned around, gaze planted firmly on the long fingers wrapped around her wrist.

"Lola, are you okay?" Sam's Spirit thrummed against hers and she lost herself to it, surrendered to the beauty. Instead of answering she lifted her gaze up to meet hazel eyes, then she pushed, not hard, when Sam went willingly she pressed against the Hunter, pushing her back until the other woman hit the brick wall. With a practiced smooth move, she slid her free hand up the side of Sam's too tall body until she was able to grip the hair at the base of her skull.

"Sam." She said quietly, barely registering anything past the feel of their bodies, the touch of their Spirits through muscle and skin and too much fabric. "Tell me no." Don't tell me 'no'. Please.

Sam licked her lips and Loki waited, watched. "I don't want to." Loki had heard earlier. Heard the clear phrase, 'I don't swing that way.' Her Spirit sang another song and the moment her voice backed it up Loki gripped her hair and pulled her down, opening her mouth to the soft press of lips that quickly turned more aggressive. A whine escaped her throat when Sam took initiative, gripping her hips and pulling her up. Then she was hooked to the other woman's waist, bodies touching and exposing their Spirits in the most elegant of ways.

So much like his.

Loki knew better. But she didn't care. Not then. Not when Sam was reacting so prettily under her as she moved kisses from the other woman's lips to bites on her neck. Part of her was aware they were moving, that Sam was carrying her to her Mother only knew where, but that was only a passing thought.

The second Sam stopped walking Loki squirmed out of the other girl's arms and dropped to her knees, passively using magic to divert the attention of any civilians that may be close.

"Lola…" Sam trailed off in whatever she was going to say the moment Loki had her pants down.

I'm going to hell. She thought as she removed the final article of clothing and buried her face in the warmth between Sam's legs.

Chapter Text

Sam sat in the front seat of the Impala and stared at her fingers wrapped tightly around the steering wheel.

What.

The.

Fuck.

What had she been thinking? How had she flipped from "I don't know how I feel about this woman being here" to "having sex in this alleyway in broad daylight seems like a completely sane idea."?

Not just sex either. Sex with a woman. Sam was barely sure about her sexuality being anything but straight with a single exception and she'd had a woman she just met eat her out in the middle of an alleyway.

Fuck.

After it was over Lola had panicked and fled. The fear Sam had seen in her eyes had been honest, pure, and Sam had known in an instant that whatever had happened between them, it hadn't been something she planned. It had scared her.

What the hell?

What the hell were they hunting? The professor didn't tie into this, not if she was still breathing.

Worse of course, was her inability to stop thinking about it. About the way Lola had teased her and taunted her. The twinkle in-

No.

Even if it had been physically enjoyable, that was it. Neither of them had wanted it.

Right?

Sam tried really hard not to think too much on that. She was just open minded enough about her sexuality to admit that she'd found Lola attractive, even if she wasn't sure about anything past it. But there was a huge difference between the two.

Fuck. With a shaky hand she turned the key and listened to the engine thrum to life.

How did she tell this to Deanna? Should she?

Yes.

No.

On one hand, it might've been useful for the hunt. On the other hand, it was embarrassing as all hell. She'd had sex with Lola in an alleyway in broad daylight. What if someone had seen?

Damn it.

The real question was why did it happen? What had set it off? Sex magic was generally powerful and uncontrollable. It wouldn't have targeted just them. It had to be a creature. But what creature? Why? None of it made sense.

I can't tell Deanna. She decided as she turned the corner towards the motel they were staying in. If I have to, I will, but for now…I just have to avoid Lola.

So, naturally, that was when things got weirder.

.-~*~-.

"So, what happened, Curtis?" Sam asked the frat boy they were seated next to. He flinched away from her voice, cheeks reddening distinctly.

"You won't believe me. Nobody does." Curtis muttered glumly, embarrassment pouring off him in waves.

"Give us a chance." Sam pushed gently.

"I do not want this in the papers." He surrendered after a moment of staring at his drink.

"Off the record, then." Deanna agreed, sharing a curious look with Sam across the space.

"I, uh... I blacked out, and...I lost time, and when I woke up, I don't know where I was." Curtis shifted uncomfortably.

"Then what?" Sam pushed.

"They did tests on me…and, uh…" He downed a shot, shuddering slightly. "They, uh…they probed me."

Sam had to look away, she couldn't help it. The bluntness of those words… she couldn't help the smile. The ridiculousness of it.

"They probed you?" There was an audible smile forming in Deanna's voice. Damn it. Be professional, Deanna.

"Yeah, they probed me. Again and a- again and- and again." Sam made herself look over and watch the man down another shot before continuing, expression haunted and disturbed, "And again and again and again... And then one more time."

"Yikes." Deanna said and Sam internally groaned in frustration at her sister's lack of tact.

"And that's not the worst of it." Curtis muttered, making Sam wonder just how much worse it could be.

"How could it get any worse? Some alien made you his bitch." Deanna No Tact Winchester spoke up boldly, openly grinning until Curtis glared venomously at her and she forced her expression to neutral.

"They... They made me... Slow dance!" Sam's mouth fell open and she stared at him, unable to help the laugh from slipping out of her mouth. She knew how rude it was, but she couldn't help it. The probing had been one thing, but slow dancing.

What the hell had they stumbled onto?

.-~*~-.

Three hours later she was walking to the library to pick up some books, because for some unknown obvious reason her laptop was missing. Seriously, she was going to kill Deanna. What was her deal lately? Of all the things she asked her, leaving her stuff alone was at the top of the list. It was simple, too. Sam didn't mess with the car, and Deanna didn't mess with the laptop.

"Fancy seeing you here." Sam turned to the road at that voice. Lola. No. She wasn't supposed to see her again. What had happened that morning…it was supposed to be an issue for later. She was not supposed to be staring at golden eyes in the driver's seat of a ridiculous green Volkswagen beetle through the passenger side of a car.

"I-"

"Look, kiddo. I want to talk. Please."

Sam stared at golden eyes, fighting with herself. On one hand, she needed to talk to the other woman, to try to explain herself. On the other hand… avoiding issues was the Winchester way.

"I'm going to the library." Sam finally allowed, hesitantly pulling the car door open and slipping inside.

"Okay." Lola nodded, demeanor lightening slightly out if the corner of her vision, which didn't make sense. They'd been…coerced.

"Lola, I wanted to-"

"Please don't apologize." Lola interrupted quickly, pressing on the accelerator. "I know you want to blame yourself, you seem like a self-blame kind of woman, but what happened wasn't just you. We got caught up in the moment and…" She whistled, winking though the smile on her face seemed false.

"That's the thing though. I'm straight. I mean…"

"I've never been with a straight woman who knew how to please a woman like that." Lola interrupted dryly and Sam flinched away, because they had been so stupid and Lola was treating it like nothing. What had happened to the freaked out woman that had fled after the deed? "Maybe you are straight, and maybe I'm stupid for thinking otherwise, and I'm not saying you have to do anything, but I had fun earlier Sammy, and as much as I love kinky public sex, if you're interested, I think it'd be fun to have some proper sex in a proper bed."

Sam's entire body was rigid at the end of that statement, the proposition, she wasn't in the least bit deterred by the freaky sex frenzy. To an extent, it made sense. It was different for her. Lola wasn't thinking anything supernatural had occurred. Unless she'd caused it.

Sam didn't want to think that. Not about this woman. If she had…

"Okay, no I'm lying." Lola said. "Well halfway. I don't know what the fuck happened earlier, it scares the hell outta me. I don't know if we were drugged or what happened, but it was fun, a whole lot of fun. I haven't been stupid enough to have back alley sex in a few years." Lola turned right into a parking lot and stopped the car in a spot while she spoke, but Sam was only distantly aware of the driving. Her mind was lingering on what Lola had said, on the open wording. "If it wasn't something you're interested in repeating, you can get out, and we'll never see each other again. Either way, I'll talk to Daryl and ask him to keep an eye out for whoever drugged us. But if you're interested in a completely coherent repeat…" Sam couldn't help but glance to see the wicked hopeful gleam in the other woman's eyes.

"No." Sam didn't believe her own words by the way her voice cracked. What happened to the professional liar? "Lola, I… we…"

"How about this? How about we go out tonight? Just dinner? If you don't enjoy dinner, then fine, we'll leave it at that. I was going to ask you when we met but you and your sister sort of took off before I could. If it isn't meant to be, then it isn't meant to be and I'll leave it alone. You aren't local anyways so it's not like you're committing to anything long term."

Sam wanted to say 'no'. Everything about this entire situation was wrong, yet, looking at those eyes she couldn't make the word leave her mouth. Couldn't say 'no'.

Lola was just as violated as her, and she was willing to push through it to try something. What harm could dinner do?

"Fine."

Lola's eyes lit with joy and she clapped her hands together. "Perfect. Don't worry, nothing over the top, you don't seem like the type. I'll pick you up from your motel at eight."

One little dinner wouldn't hurt.

.-~*~-.

"What do you mean you can't come to the morgue?"

"I have…a thing."

"You can get laid later, Sammy. You knew about the animal tester dick yesterday."

"I'm not getting laid. It's-"

"Right, and you weren't positively glowing when you came back from the bar on Wednesday. I'm thrilled, Sammy. Really. You needed to get laid. But you can't just bail on the case because you want to get off. He can wait."

Sam bit her tongue, resisting the urge to lash out at her sister. Of course Deanna was right, to an extent, but if she was honest she wasn't too keen on investigating the animal tester who was mauled to death. The pattern was becoming abundantly clear, the victims were dicks, all of them. It didn't justify their deaths, and…probing, but it made them a bit less sympathetic.

Plus, the dead body wasn't going anywhere, and Lola was…

Sam didn't know. Couldn't begin to explain it, and it should've freaked her out, but it didn't. All she knew was she wanted to ditch her sister for dinner.

"I'm asking for one night."

"Sam-"

"One night."

Deanna simply stared at her for several long moments. "You really like this guy."

"I didn't say that."

"Don't let him break your heart, Sammy. We're leaving once we figure out what the hell it is that’s killing people." Considering how much they had fought since they got there, Sam couldn't help but take her sister's words to heart. No matter how bad things were…

Damn it.

Lola could wait. They had a job to do.

.-~*~-.

"I'll handle the research. You can check the sewers." Deanna glared venomously at her sister but didn't argue it. Perks of missing her date, she didn't have to crawl around in sewers.

Though she still hated that she hadn't gone on the date. Why had she been stupid enough to let Deanna talk her out of it?

"I'll see you later." Deanna complained as she climbed out of the passenger seat, besides, it served her right for stealing the laptop. It wasn't like she was going to go have fun in the motel room. She had to research from the books she'd picked up in the library the previous day.

Okay, maybe the sewers weren't the worst option. Each side had its own cons.

After watching Deanna drive off she made her way to the motel room and froze when she turned the handle and it came unlocked, without the key card.

What the hell?

She set her hand on the .45 tucked under her belt and slipped into the door. Sitting on Deanna's bed was a short figure hunched over her bag and-

"Lola?"

The figure turned around on the bed, meeting her gaze with wide golden ones.

"I knew it! You're a secret agent, or a spy, right?"

"What-"

"I checked you out. More importantly, Allman Sisters Electric Company. Honestly, I was never an Allman Brothers fan but I was impressed, until I saw it was crap. So I looked into you."

"You what?"

"I was raised in a wealthy family. We have PIs on call. That's not the point. Your fingerprints are all over crime scenes lining the US, and yet the both of you have only ever been arrested twice. Or you're international serial killers, either way, you missed our date." Sam opened then shut her mouth as Lola slid off the bed. Her mind almost short circuited at the purely predatory look in Lola's gaze.

"I'll leave." Lola said when they were mere inches from each other, Sam's breathing caught in her throat as a golden gaze burned into her own hazel.

No matter how much shorter Lola was, she felt like the small one. "It's your choice, Sammy. Should I stay or should I go now?" Lola sang softly, smirking.

Sam wanted to smack her, or kiss her, she wasn't sure which.

"Fine. You can stay."

Lola clapped her hands together and closed the space, gripping her hair and pulling her down before kissing her deeply. Sam surrendered to the feeling as Lola pressed herself against Sam.

"I'm not a serial killer." Sam clarified and Lola openly laughed as she pulled away, tangling her fingers in Sam's hair and grinning.

"Of course you aren't. FBI, right?"

Sometimes. Sam thought but was cut off when Lola pulled her to the bed, humming Heat of the Moment the whole way.

"Speak now or forever hold your peace, Sammy."

"Fuck me."

"Sounds good to me."

.-~*~-.

"You think this is funny?" Deanna demanded as she came through the door, Sam felt relaxed now, and it was probably caused by amazing sex. Women are complicated.

"It depends. What?" She asked casually, flipping through a page on her lore book.

"Th-th-th-the car!" Sam frowned, looking over at Deanna to see her sister seething.

"What about the car?" Sam asked, utterly confused. What could she have possibly done to the car? Why would she have done something to it?

"You can't let the air out of the tires, you idiot. You're gonna bend the rims!"

"Whoa, wait a minute. I didn't go near your car." I was having sex with Lola, I couldn't have done anything to your Baby.

"Oh, yeah? Huh. Then how'd I find this?" Deanna procured Sam's money clip from her pocket and Sam rose to her feet, patting her pockets and instantly feeling like an idiot for it. These weren't the clothes she was wearing before Lola showed up.

"Hey. Give me back my money!" Sam demanded as she got to her feet.

"Oh, no, no. Consider it reparations. For, uh, emotional trauma." Hell no.

"Yeah, very funny. Now, give it back."

Sam reached across the space between them and her sister laughed sharply. "No."

"Deanna, I have had it up to here with you." Sam straightened her back, showing her full height.

"Yeah? Right back at you!" God her sister was bad at comebacks. Sam reached for the money again and Deanna dodged her, by the end of the quarrel the two of them were fighting in a very undignified manner on the same bed that Sam and Lola had enjoyed themselves on just hours before. A mixture of, "Come on! Get off me! Give it back!" chimed through the room as they fought for the money clip.

An hour later Bobbie showed up, the older woman and surrogate mother from their childhood sitting on the edge of the bed and listening with distinct irritation as they fought their way through a retelling of the events that articulated a mostly accurate representation of everything that had happened.

"I'm surprised at you two. I really am. Sam, first off, Deanna did not steal your computer."

"But I-" Sam tried to interrupt.

Bobbie held out her hand and Sam shut her mouth, "Shh, shh, shh, shh! And, Deanna, Sam did not touch your car."

Sam shot an accusatory look at her sister, "Yeah!"

"And if you two bothered to pull your heads outta your asses, it all would have been pretty clear." Bobbie stated matter-of-factly.

"What?" Deanna asked and Sam frowned.

"What you're dealing with." Bobbie stated and the sisters looked between each other.

"Uh..." Sam said stupidly.

"I got nothing."

"Me neither."

"You got a Trickster on your hands." Bobbie said bluntly.

"That's what I thought." Deanna snapped her fingers and Sam glared at her sister.

"What?! No, you didn't."

"I got to tell you... you two were the biggest clue."

Sam frowned at her. "What do you mean?"

"These things create chaos and mischief as easy as breathing, and it's got you so turned around and at each other's throats, you can't even think straight." Think straight. Sam might've laughed at the irony at that wording if it wasn't for the dread pooling in her gut.

"The laptop." They'd been played.

"The tires." Deanna added glumly.

"It knows you're onto it, and it's been playing you like fiddles."

"So, what is it, what, spirit, demon, what?" Deanna asked Bobbie, but Sam's mind was wandering.

"Well, more like demigods, really. There's Loki in Scandinavia. There's Anansi in West Africa. Dozens of them. They're immortal, and they can create things out of thin air. Things as real as you and me. Make them vanish just as quick." Like random bouts of lust and a certain name that rang close to its origin.

"You mean like an angry spirit or an alien or an alligator." Deanna responded.

"The victims fit the M.O., too. Tricksters target the high and the mighty, knock them down a peg, usually with a sense of humor – deadly pranks, things like that."

"Bobbie, what do these things look like?" Deanna asked and Sam's stomach might've turned over. Human. They generally look human.

"Lots of things, but human, mostly."

"And what human do we know who's been at ground zero this whole time?" Deanna asked and Sam wanted to scream at something, to stab something. She'd been so stupid. How had she fallen into this trap? How had she made that mistake?

"Lola." Loki. It had to be Loki. It burned in her, that knowledge made her so angry. Loki had taken advantage of her, used her and manipulated her.

The worst part, she couldn't tell anyone. Maybe Deanna, in the future, but now, she couldn't do it now. Not with Bobbie here. Bobbie was old fashioned, no matter how much the women loved them, she wouldn't accept that Sam had been stupid, that Sam had slept with the enemy, what's worse, that she'd slept with another woman. Deanna was always careful about keeping her bisexuality a secret from the community, and Sam knew there was a bit of internalized homophobia burned into the both of them from their mother, but now that she was at the front of that, she couldn't do it. Couldn't tell Bobbie the other part of the case. Couldn't tell Deanna about it.

Damn it.

.-~*~-.

Loki licked her lips and stared in the mirror at herself when her "boss" called her and told her that the electricians were coming back by.

Loki wasn't stupid, she'd played this game for centuries. Sam and Deanna were onto her now. She'd been bold and stupid as an attempt to keep Sam around longer, and now Sam knew and she was screwed. Time to die again.

She didn't want to lose Sam. Not yet. This hadn't been enough time. Mother, forgive me.

'Lola…Loki. Fuck you. I want to talk to you. Now.' Sam's prayer was unpracticed and almost didn't break through the barrier for prayers, the only reason it did was the familiarity of her Spirit. Gabriel whined quietly at the contact, wrapping her arms around herself. She was going to miss that contact. Just like his.

When Sam inevitably said 'yes' to Lucifer, he would learn the truth, and he would likely lure her onto his side. Some dark part of her wanted that, wanted to surrender to her brother's will. She was so tired of being caught in the middle. It would be so much easier to just join Lucifer.

'Loki!' Loki flinched at the harshness of Sam's prayer and snapped herself out of her apartment, appearing several feet in front of Sam.

It was an alleyway, one that held amazing and terrifying memories.

"Heya, Sammy." Sam didn't look happy to see her, and it broke her heart just a fraction. Sam looked furious, anger pouring off of her in waves.

"You lead me on."

"No." Loki corrected and Sam gave her a disbelieving look. "Sam, I screwed with you and your pest of a sister, and I gave those dickbags what they deserved, but I didn't lead you on."

"I'm supposed to believe that?"

"I don't expect you to believe it. You're a Hunter, and I'm a goddess. But think about it, Sam. I'm Loki. In all of that lore I'm sure you investigated, I may have been a crappy wife with more children than I care to count, but I played nice."

Sam opened then shut her mouth, and Loki waited patiently for the inevitable.

"Svadilfari."

"The legends were wrong, Sam. I didn't rape her. The other goddesses told me I had to make a choice, either I found a way to lure Svadilfari away or they would banish me. I vowed to do whatever it cost. Svadilfari wasn't a mare. Svadilfari was a stallion, and he was cruel. I took the form of the fastest mare in the land, and I set it up so that the mare I was currently was in heat. Then I tempted him, because I was desperate, but he wasn't a stallion, he was another trickster, he was Eris, and when we were out of view of the Æsir he turned into a giant spider and captured then impregnated me. When Odin learned the truth he swore vengeance on the Greek gods and shortly following the Romans came to power. So you see, Sam. I am far from the monster humanity made of me. The monsters, the real monsters, are the ones that you least expect. The ones you love and the ones you hate. Don't call me a rapist, Sammy. Call me all you want, but what happened between us was never rape. It scared me just as much as it scared you, and I wanted it just as bad as you. Tomorrow I'm going to fake my death, and if you share my sentiment you won't tell your sister and that Hunter Bobbie Singer. If you do tell them, well, may the best player win." Loki smiled sweetly at Sam, not feeling the emotion behind it before she fled. It had to be a game, every piece had to be placed perfectly, and the only way she could get out of this one was placing that seed of doubt.

Loki wasn't done with Sam. Loki wanted more of what the Hunter had to offer, and what she had to offer was sex. Sex and a Spirit that only one other being could ever match. It was beautiful, and terrifying.

Loki wanted all she could get, and if she was right, Sam would give her that. If she was wrong, well, Loki didn't die easily.

.-~*~-.

Loki left a short trail, and to her mild amusement, Sam played along. Every movement and action was careful, Sam didn't want her sister to know. Even the bold statement about the sex Loki hadn't had the night before didn't faze her.

Sam was quite the actress. Loki tucked that away for the future, assuming all went well and Sam continued their little encounters. Considering Sam was playing along she had faith. Faith things would pick up between them and she could enjoy herself for the next few years until they inevitably ended the world. Until the day Lucifer found out.

Going to Hell anyway, might as well enjoy the ride.

Everything went as planned, Sam and Deanna played their roles perfectly, Deanna perfectly ignorant and Sam pretending to be oblivious, even Bobbie did her part.

Loki cloaked her presence as Deanna stepped into the auditorium, she stretched out and watched the show as Deanna caught sight of the two lovely, scantily dressed female constructs caught her attention. Loki shifted uncomfortably in her seat as she saw her eldest sister's Vessel's Spirit take an interest in the scene. Michelle wasn’t a sexual being, not from her understanding, but Deanna clearly was.

"We've been waiting for you, Deanna." The first purred in a fashion only a porn star could manage. If she thought this would actually go anywhere she never would've made the play, it was her knowledge of who was outside those doors that made her stay.

"Y-Y-You guys aren't real." Deanna stuttered out, ogling the women openly.

"Trust me, sugar, it's gonna feel real." The brunette purred, leaning forward slightly to expose her breasts more. Deanna laughed nervously, looking away, and Loki almost laughed. Almost

"Come on. Let us give you a massage." The blonde suggested.

"Wha... You know, I'm a- I'm a sucker for a happy ending. Really, I am, but... I-I'm gonna have to pass." Deanna stuttered out like a damned virgin. Really. Loki was disappointed in her.

Making herself visible, Loki lounged out in her seat, speaking up, "They're a peace offering." Which they could be, except Loki knew the answer. "I know what you and your sister do. I've been around a while. Run into your kind before."

"Well, then you know that I... can't let you just keep hurting people."

Loki rolled her eyes, same song and dance. Stubborn as a mule. Just like Michelle. "Come on! Those people got what was coming to them. Hoisted on their own petards. But you and Sam – I like you. I do. So treat yourself... Long as you want. Just long enough for me to move on to the next town." Of course she could've moved on already, she had to fake her death again. Keep Hunters off her tail.

"Yeah, I don't think I can let you do that."

"I don't wanna hurt you. And you know that I can." With that Loki let a burst of magic to flash through the room and Deanna flinched, looking back at the women then her again.

"Look, I- I got to tell you, I dig your style, all right? I mean," she laughed, "I do. I mean," She glanced at the bed, "and the slow-dancing alien-"

A smile quirked on her lips, because yes, the slow dancing aliens were a classic. "One of my personal favorites. Yeah."

"But, uh, I can't let you go."

Loki didn't bother letting her smile vanish, in fact she broadened it before she spoke. "Too bad. Like I said, I like you. Sam was right. You shouldn't've come alone." Not that she had, Loki knew better.

"Well, I'll agree with you there." Loki pretended to be surprised, looking over her shoulder as Sam and Bobbie stepped through the doors. She winked subtly at Sam who bristled before she looked back at Deanna.

"That fight you guys had outside- that was a trick?" Deanna smiled and for a moment Loki reconsidered just killing her, until she remembered Sam. "Not bad. But you want to see a real trick?"

Loki put on quite the show of a fight, until Deanna stabbed her in the heart with a stake, and it burned. It burned in the same way it always burned when she was staked, and then it was over and she was standing next to the door, invisible, while a construct of her body lay dead in the chair and everything else, except the bed, disappeared.

A little nod at Sam.

Then Loki waited. Loki waited two months before Sam prayed to her again.

'Loki, I'm alone. Come to me.' Loki appeared before Sam and before she could say a word Sam angrily shoved her against the wall, kissing away any attempts at speaking.

'I hate you.' Sam prayed silently and Loki all but whimpered as Sam tore at her clothing.

"Do you now?" Loki growled out as she willed away their clothing.

"Fuck you."

"Mmm. That's the idea here. Unless you're into chatting while naked. Which I can work with." Sam shoved against her, hard, and when Loki collided with the hard material of the wall and smirked in response a dark look crossed the other girl's expression, a dark realization Loki knew.

'I can hurt you.'

"I won't break, Sammy. Now stop staring like an idiot and fuck me." A hand came down over her throat and she surrendered to the twisted desires of her brother's True Vessel.

It had been decades since she was left limping from sex.

Chapter Text

Loki knew she should’ve stopped weeks ago, so when she stared in the mirror at the hickies lining the side of her throat she was unsurprised that she felt guilt. Guilt for what she was about to do.

Months ago she had drawn a conclusion, after over a year of her relationship with Sam she had all the information she needed. The night Sam had come crying to her about Deanna selling her Spirit, Loki had known.

The plan was clear.

Deanna would suffer and break, then a demon would manipulate Sam into killing Cath. The only problem was Sam clinging desperately to her. Something the angels had seen. It had taken almost no time at all for an angel to appear to her, and she was almost offended that they didn’t send a Seraph, until she noticed something important.

“Loki of Asgard.” Loki turned to eye the dark skinned woman her Spirit identified as Uriel.

“To what do I owe the honor, feathers?” Uriel clearly was not amused which just broadened Loki’s grin.

“Heaven has sent me to intervene. You are…debauching a very important human.”

Loki rolled her eyes and snapped up two construct women, women that Uriel clearly recognized as he averted his gaze. So they had been watching the sisters. “You mean her?” Loki asked nonchalantly, throwing an arm over construct Sam’s shoulder. “What’s it to Heaven?”

“That isn’t of your concern.” Uriel replied stiffly.

“Oh, really? Not my concern? Since when do the children of The One God care what us Pagans do with humans?” Loki saw a flash of anger in Uriel's Spirit but other than that she remained calm and collected.

“We only care when your kind steps in the way of Heaven’s business.”

“What business does Samantha Winchester have with Heaven?”

“If you must know, she is a Vessel.”

Loki snorted, “Make yourself another one. That’s what you angels spend half your time doing anyway.” She flicked her gaze to Uriel’s hand when the angel summoned her blade. “Is that necessary?”

“Either abandon her or we kill you.”

“Not much for dealing, are you, angel?” Loki pouted and willed away her constructs, replacing them with a lounger that she slid into. “Bargain and we’ll talk.”

“What makes you think I’ll bargain?”

“My insurance policy. You see, if I’m to die, my Spirit will go tell Sammy what Heaven has planned for her and her sister.”

Uriel stared at her for a moment and she carefully concealed her Archangelic portion as the low level angel reached out and prodded at her Spirit with her own.

“Good try, featherbrain. My Spirit isn’t going to give that information up. Now deal, or bail.” She waved a chair into existence behind Uriel who reluctantly seated herself.

“What do you want, Pagan?”

“First, call me by my name. I have one, and I just love to hear a pretty woman say it.Uriel scowled. “Second, I want in.” Uriel stared at her, Spirit twitching with discomfort on the surface.

Oh, yes did Loki know Uriel’s dirty little secret.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“You do. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Tell your boss that Loki wants in. Tell him… Aranea. If you do that, I will break Sam’s heart. I will sever her trust in me and it will leave her wide open for manipulation.”

“Why should I trust you?”

“Never trust anyone, Uriel. Especially your bosses.”

“What does that mean?”

“You’re a foot soldier. They’ll throw you to the dogs if they believe they’re right.”

Uriel frowned at her as her Spirit twisted in on itself, masking her emotions again. “You will leave Samantha Winchester alone.”

“I’ll do more than that, I’ll break her heart. Trust me, Uriel. Trust me, and your bosses will have exactly what they want.”

“Deal.” Uriel said softly and Loki’s eyes lit as the angel’s Spirit crossed the short space, wrapping around hers for a fraction of a moment before returning to its owner.

“Good doing business with you.”

Loki snapped her fingers and disappeared before Uriel could change her mind.

The problem was simple. Three words had changed everything. During their time together Loki had been careful, kept it platonic, and played her cards carefully. When Uriel had appeared it had all been a bit different.

Sam had changed it. Upped the ante. Maybe it hadn’t been the most romantic considering where Loki’s hand was, but it didn’t matter because Sam had changed everything.

“I love you.”

Later, she had claimed it meant nothing, that it had been a heat of the moment thing, but her Spirit had sung another song. A much more complicated song.

How had things blown so far out of proportion? It was supposed to be sex, good, hot, kinky sex. The kind of sex that allowed Loki to forget that she was sickly and madly in love with her brother.

Yet, those three words had changed things. Just enough to make her stop, to question her own motives. Was it all about Lucifer? Did Sam mean nothing to her?

It all fell back to the night Sam had come to her crying about Deanna. The night she had held the sobbing Hunter and soothed her.

The night that had resulted in nothing more than gentle kisses and strokes of the hair. The night they hadn’t had sex.

The answer was simple, at the root, Loki cared for Sam. Maybe it wasn’t the same romantic sentiment that the Hunter had, but Loki did care.

It made the deal she made with Uriel a thousand times more complicated. The promise more difficult to go through with. When she had made her deal with Uriel she hadn’t planned for it.

Today was the day though. Loki had to do it. Had to follow through. She couldn’t afford to have Heaven or Hell tailing her.

Loki shut her eyes and willed the residual bruising away.

For Lucifer.

.-~*~-.

“Heat of the moment,” Sam’s eyes snapped open and she sat up slowly as Heat of The Moment by Asia continued blaring through the little radio on the nightstand.

“Rise and shine, Sammy!” Deanna chimed cheerily.

“Asia? Really?”

“Come on. You love this song and you know it.”

“Yeah, and if I ever hear it again I'm gonna kill myself.” Sam shook her head and Deanna pointedly turned it up.

“What? Sorry, couldn't hear you.” Sam couldn’t help but laugh. Deanna was in a good mood.

“It was the heat of the moment…”

“I didn’t mean that, Lo. I was just…it was the moment. That’s all. I swear.” Sam forced that memory away, she’d messed up, and ever since then she had tried hard not to think on her feelings for Loki as anything more than an outlet. Anything more was dangerous. Loki was dangerous. Loki was a goddess and she would break Sam apart.

At least, that’s what Sam had assumed. She’d thought that Loki would taunt her and tease her for it, that the goddess would rip her apart, instead Loki had brushed it off with a very fake smile and left. The real shock had been when the goddess had picked her up a week later like nothing had happened.

Sam was in denial about her feelings, she knew that, and she would continue to deny them. It didn’t matter. Loki was a goddess, and she was a hunter, the sex was platonic. That was it.

She couldn’t love Loki.

Wouldn’t.

Sam watched her sister who was in a far too chipper mood the entire morning. It was one thing after the next and Sam couldn’t begin to understand it.

“These yours?” Dean asked, cheerily holding up a black lace pushup bra that neither of them would have ever worn, well, Sam had admittedly worn one, once, at the pushy insistence of Loki. Sam glared at her sister who laughed and pulled a gun out of the bag, “Bingo.” She pocketed the gun and made her way to the door. “Now who’s ready for breakfast?”

Sam wasn’t. Sam wanted to get back to researching for any way to get Deanna out of her deal. Unfortunately, they had a case, and Deanna was only interested in finding Billy. So it was either that goose chase, or Dexter Hasselback.

.-~*~-.

“Hey. Tuesday. Pig in a poke.” Deanna said, looking at the menu.

“You even know what that is?” Sam asked Deanna who shrugged.

“You girls ready?” The waitress, whose name tag read Doris, asked them as she walked over.

“Yes. I'll have the special, side of bacon and a coffee.” Deanna beamed at the woman. Maybe she was high.

“Make it two coffees and a short stack.” Sam added and Doris nodded as she wrote it down.

“You got it.”

The moment the waitress was gone Deanna got right down to business. “I'm telling you, Sam, this job is small fry. We should be spending our time hunting down Billy.”

“Okay, sure, let's get right on that. Where is he again?”

“Shut up.”

“Look. Believe me, I want to find him as bad as you do. In the meantime, we have this.” Sam pulled the papers with the information on their current hunt out.

“All right, so this professor.”

“Dexter Hasselback was passing through town last week when he vanished.”

“Last known location?” Sam wasn’t really sure why they were going over this. They’d talked about it plenty. A broken bottle of hot sauce and a few hours later they were sneaking into Broward County Mystery Spot.

The place was what she admittedly expected from a place like this, chairs and tables nailed to the walls and ceilings as well as random assortments of things that probably amused small children. Nothing real. Even so, she held up the EMF reader for any sort of response.

“Find anything?” Deanna asked and Sam shook her head.

“No.”

“You have any idea what you're looking for?”

“Uh ... yeah.” She lied poorly and Deanna gave her an eyebrow raise that said how much the other woman believed her. “No,” Sam admitted and Deanna shook her head before returning to looking around, nothing.

“What the hell are you doing here?” A new voice broke through the room and Sam turned around, Deanna pulling her gun on the man in the same moment. Sam's throat closed when she saw the gun in the man’s shaking hands and Deanna immediately put her hands to the side so the gun wasn’t on him anymore.

“Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa. Whoa. We can explain.”

The shaking gun was moved to be pointed at Sam and she held her hands up carefully. “You robbing me?” He asked and Sam shook her head, forcing her voice to work.

“Look, nobody's robbing you, calm down.”

The gun moved back to Deanna as she went to set her gun down. “Don't move!”

“Just putting the gun down.” Then the gun fire, not Deanna’s gun, because that would’ve been simple. No.

“Deanna!” She shouted as she dropped her flashlight and ran to her sister’s side, pressing her hand against the chest wound. Nonono.

“Hey!” Sam looked over her shoulder at the man, eyes blurring with unshed tears. “Call nine-one-one!”

“I- I didn't mean to.”

“Now!” Sam demanded before returning her focus to the gasping Deanna. No.

“Hey, hey, oh, no, no, no ... not like this...” Sam tried desperately, pressing against the wound and choking back a sob. Deanna took one final shaking breath and her eyes shut. No. Not now. There’s still time. Not yet. Please.

“Deanna.” Sam said quietly.

“Heat of the moment.”

Sam’s eyes snapped open.

.-~*~-.

Loki tested the walls of her time loop, noting that Heaven hadn’t touched it. Things were working perfectly, and it bothered her that they were. Time loops always met resistance, from Heaven, Hell, or any of the time deities. They were always fighting her usage of timeloops. Now she had trapped Sam and there was nothing. Nothing except the confusion rolling off of Sam’s Spirit as the Deanna construct cycled through her basic programming for the second day. Honestly Loki wouldn’t have used a construct of Deanna, it would’ve been thrilling to drop the real Deanna into the loop, to kill the real her over and over again. The thing that stopped her was that she needed to guarantee that Deanna’s Spirit never actually went to Hell. Sam would wake up, eventually. This was only meant to run until the day Sam pieced it together. Until she realized why the song was Heat of The Moment.

Loki hated it.

She didn’t hate the inevitable result, Lucifer. How could she not be thrilled about that? Even if she knew the outcome. Even if she knew that Lucifer would inevitably use her.

She had already handed her card to him. The moment she had had sex with Sam she had laid herself wide open for Lucifer to see. Uriel had just cemented it. With that deal, with a single word, she had sold herself to Lucifer. His will was hers and even if she loved humanity, his will was the destruction of it.

“I have to leave them. Before I choose the wrong side.” Gabriella pleaded with the Pagan, with Loki.

“Why should I let you destroy me, featherbrain?” The goddess scoffed, raising an eyebrow in challenge.

“Because if I join Lucifer in this battle, he will win and humanity, the Pagans, all of you will be destroyed.”

“That doesn’t answer my question. I like my Spirit. Me and her are besties. If you merge with us, you’ll destroy us.”

“You. Not your Spirit. I beg you, Loki. Give me this.”

Golden eyes glimmered. “A yes for a yes. My Spirit merges with you, not the other way around.”

She swallowed heavily and nodded once. “Yes.”

“Yes.”

Loki let out a shaky breath as she trailed after Sam and Deanna, watching their every move carefully.

Sam radiated duress the entire day, up until Loki saw the next opening.

“Uhh- Let's just go now. Right now. Business hours, nice and crowded.” Loki had no plans for letting her off that easy, no two deaths would be the same, that was the game.

“My God, you're a freak.” Deanna complained.

“Deanna.”

“Okay! Whatever. We'll go now.” Loki crooked her finger and realigned the old man, Mr. Picket, so that he was speeding down the street and watched with a bit of satisfaction as he slammed directly into Deanna.

What? Loki still hated Michelle and the construct shared that hauntingly similar Spirit that Deanna actually possessed.

“Deanna!” Sam cried as she ran to her sister’s side. Then Loki was reminded of why she hated this. “Deanna. No, no, no, no…”

Loki watched patiently as the construct twitched until she finally stopped moving. All the while Sam’s Spirit writhed and cried out against it. Protested everything and it hurt to see. To know she was doing this.

Snap.

Heat of the moment.”

Loki transported herself to the edge of the time loop and created herself a Sam construct.

“No.” Loki spun around, baring her teeth slightly when she saw the Seraph Ariah standing there with a smug look on her face. “You made a deal with Heaven, Loki.”

So you think. “It’ll take time, feathers. To crush Samantha Winchester’s Spirit she has to realize it’s me on her own. I can’t just tell her, I have to lay breadcrumbs.”

“I don’t care about that, Pagan. But I do care that things work out in a timely manner. There is no time for fornication.”

“Clearly you don’t know me then, featherface.”

Ariah's Spirit shot out and latched onto hers and Loki barely had the time to conceal the other half as she collapsed to her knees, her own Spirit shoving back against the Seraph. “Need I remind you who you’re defying, Pagan.

Without the Archangelic portion of her at the front she could barely hold herself against the onslaught of power. It burned. It made her other half scream in frustration at the defiant little Seraph, even if the Seraph wasn’t one of her own.

“I think it’s crystal clear.” Loki ground out as her own Spirit shoved again, violently. “Get off.

“You will break Sam Winchester, or we will kill you. It’s a simple deal and you should be grateful. We did not have to leave you alive.”

“I’m doing that.” Loki’s Spirit lashed out of its own accord and shoved back against Ariah. Ariah stumbled back and stared at her.

“You’re a Pagan.”

Loki laughed sharply and slowly rose to her feet, glaring at the Seraph, covering her ass as quick as she could. That was risky, so damned risky.

“You’re in my domain. Until the loop breaks I have dominant control. Leave.”

“You have a job, creature.

“I’m doing my job, dick. I can’t multitask when you’re here harassing me!” To prove her point she reached across the loop at the last second and caused the piano to fall from the rope.

Heat of the moment.

“I’m doing my job. I can have fun on the side unlike you.”

“We’re watching, Loki.”

“Watch this.” Loki snapped her clothes off and Ariah gave her a disgusted look before disappearing in a flutter of wings.

Loki let out a shaky breath as she slumped to her knees. “That was stupid. They can’t know. They can’t.” The other portion of her Spirit spread from where she had stashed it and she sighed heavily.

Perfect.

'Loki, I know you told me you never would help me with a hunt, and that’s fine, but…things are weird and you probably can’t hear me anyway. I think I’m trapped in a time loop. If you can hear…is there any way at all you can help? Please.’

Loki ignored the prayer.

.-~*~-.

“…I knew it was going to happen, Deanna. I know everything that's gonna happen.” Sam was so tired of this. The cycle was endless. It had been over a hundred Tuesdays and she was exhausted.

“You don't know everything.”

“Yeah. I do.”

Then it began, and every word she got right.

“Yeah, right. Nice guess.”

“It wasn't a guess.” Deanna gave her a bit of a bug eyed look.

“Right, you're a mind reader. Cut it out, Sam. Sam.”

As she had practiced she leaned forward at the same moment her sister did.

“You think you're being funny but you're being really really childish! Sam Winchester fucks men. Sam Winchester cries her way through sex. Sam Winchester keeps a ruler by the bed and every morning when she wakes up she sh-“

Deanna threw up her hands in a mild panic, cutting it off before the crude line could be finished. “Okay, enough!”

“That's not all. Randy the cashier? He's skimming from the register. Judge Myers? At night he puts on a furry bunny outfit.” Sam shoved away the memory of how she’d learned that detail as a glass clanked against the table and shattered on the floor.

“Over there, that's Cal. He's gonna rob Tony the mechanic on the way home.” And misfire.

“What's your point?”

“My point is I've lived through every possible Tuesday. I've watched you die every possible way. I have ripped apart the Mystery Spot, burnt it down, tried everything I know to save your life, and I can't. No matter what I do, you die. And then I wake up. And then it's Tuesday again.” Because she had to save Deanna. That had to be it. That had to be the way it went, because if it wasn’t, she was doomed.

.-~*~-.

“Dog.” Sam sighed as the dog barked at them when they passed it.

“There's gotta be some way out of this.”

"’Where's my dang keys?’"

“Where's my dang keys?” Mr Picket repeated as he passed them, patting down his pockets.

"’Excuse me.’" The blonde woman collided with Deanna.

“Excuse me.” The woman moved along as Deanna turned and watched her continue walking.

“She's kinda cute.” Deanna laughed softly and grabbed Sam’s shoulder. “Hey. All the times we've walked down this street, I ever do this?” Sam turned and watched her sister chase after the woman. “Excuse me, miss!”

“No.” Sam said quietly, wanting to cry with relief when she felt a flash of hope.

When Deanna came back she was holding a missing poster. “A hundred Tuesdays and you never bothered to check what she was holding in her hands?” Sam shrugged nonchalantly, inside feeling like an idiot. She had been far too focused on keeping Deanna alive to have considered something like that.

Deanna held up the paper, “That's the guy who went missing?”

“Yeah?” Sam asked, staring at that name. Dexter Hasselback.

“That's his daughter back there.”

A lead. Sam grabbed the flyer and chased after the woman.

“Ma'am? Ah, Miss?” Just as Sam caught up with her Deanna shouted.

“Heat of the moment.”

.-~*~-.

Four days and a death to rabid chipmunks later and they were in the diner again.

“So the police report says Dexter Hasselback is a professor, but that's not all he is.” Sam explained as Deanna ate.

“What is he?”

“I talked to his daughter. Guy's quite the journalist. Columns in magazines, a blog. He writes about tourist attractions. Mystery spots, UFO crash sites- he gets his kicks debunking them. I mean, he's already put four of these places out of business. Here.” Sam spun her laptop around so Deanna could read the webpage.

“Dexter Hasselback, truth warrior? More like a pompous schmuck, you ask me.”

“Yeah, tell me about it. I mean, I've read everything the guy's ever written, and he must have weighed a ton, he was so full of himself.”

“When'd you have time to do all this research?” Deanna asked and Sam brushed it off.

“Come on.”

She packed up her laptop and papers and once they were both on their feet Deanna laughed.

“What?”

“I just, it's just funny, you know, I mean, this guy spends his whole life crapping on Mystery Spots and then he vanishes into one. It's kinda poetic, you know, just desserts.”

“You’re right, that is just desserts.” Internally she thought back to Loki, what she had said time and time again was her purpose. Then Sam glanced at the table and froze.

“What's wrong?”

Sam turned and watched the man walked past the window, the same he had done every day for the past hundred plus Tuesdays.

“Guy has maple syrup for the last hundred Tuesdays, all of a sudden he's having strawberry?”

“It's a free country. Man can't choose his own syrup, huh? What have we become?”

“Not in this diner. Not today. Nothing in this place ever changes. Ever. Except me.”

“Heat of the moment.”

Sam sat up.

.-~*~-.

Sam trailed after the man down the street, holding tight to the bag with the stake in it. The moment she knew they wouldn’t be seen she grabbed the man and threw him into the fence, discarding the bag and shoving the stake into his throat.

“Hey!”

“I know who you are. Or should I say, what.” Sam was livid as she pressed the stake further into the struggling man.

“Oh my god, please don't kill me.”

“Uh, Sam?” Deanna asked nervously.

“It took me a hell of a long time but I got it.” Too long. She should’ve figured it out weeks ago.

“What?” The thing feigned ignorance and Sam tightened her hold.

“It's's your MO that gave you away. Going after pompous jerks, giving them their just desserts- your kind loves that, don't they?”

“Yeah, sure, okay.” The man glanced nervously at the stake, still playing dumb. “Just put the stake down!”

“Sam, maybe you should-“

“No! There's only one creature powerful enough to do what you're doing. Making reality out of nothing, sticking people in time loops-in fact you'd pretty much have to be a god. You'd have to be a Trickster.”

“Ma’am, my name is Ed Coleman, my wife's name is Amelia, I got two kids, for crying out loud I sell ad space-“

“Don't lie to me! I know what you are! We've killed one of your kind before!” Which was a lie, but now was not the time to tell Deanna that.

Then the man morphed into a woman and Sam’s heart sank. Not just any woman.

“Actually, sweetheart, you didn't.”

“Why are you doing this?” Sam managed to ask without her voice cracking, without letting the betrayal bleed through her words.

“You’re joking, right? You idiots tried to kill me last time. Why wouldn't I do this?” Because I thought you cared. Because I trusted you.

“And Hasselback, what about him?” Deanna spoke up, giving Sam time to collect her thoughts. What she thought didn’t matter.

“That putz? He said he didn't believe in wormholes, so I dropped him in one.” Loki laughed and Sam felt herself detach from the reality of the situation. Loki was a monster, a goddess. They had to kill her. “Then you guys showed up. I made you the second you hit town.” She was lying. Loki had pointed this case out as an idea to help Deanna forget the missing Colt.

“So this is fun for you? Killing Deanna over and over again?”

One of Loki’s darker smiles curled on her lips. “One, yes. It is fun. And two? This is so not about killing Deanna. This joke is on you, Sam. Watching your sister die, every day? Forever?” Why? Was it punishment for her falling in love with the goddess?

“You bitch.” Sam ground out and Loki laughed.

“How long will it take you to realize? You can't save your sister. No matter what.” Sam would save Deanna. She could do it. Loki was the one who had given her that hope. Now she was crushing it under her boot?

“Oh yeah? I kill you, this all ends now.” Loki licked her lips, a flash of knowing in her eyes. Sam wouldn’t kill her. She’d had too many chances to do it. Even then, the goddess played along.

“Oh-oh, hey, whoa! Okay. Look. I was just playing around. You can't take a joke, fine. You're out of it. Tomorrow, you'll wake up and it'll be Wednesday. I swear.” Sam didn’t believe her, couldn’t believe her.

“You're lying.”

“If I am, you know where to find me. Having pancakes at the diner.” Except Sam seriously doubted that. Loki had no doubt bounced around as the bystander, probably had even killed Deanna herself. Sam looked at her sister, considering for just a moment, then she looked back at Loki and allowed the betrayal to cross her expression.

“No. Easier to just kill you.”

“Sorry, kiddo. Can't have that.” Before Sam could try to move the stake further into flesh she was snapping her fingers.

Gotta get back in time.”

.-~*~-.

Loki watched Sam as she rushed Deanna from the motel and shuddered slightly at the distraught writhing of her Spirit. Loki wanted nothing more than to take that pain away, but underneath was an air of doubt. Loki could see it. See the doubt, the grief. She wasn’t done yet.

Sam still had faith in her.

So she extended her loop, extended it for a year. With that choice she felt Heaven's prying gaze increase. They weren’t happy waiting for her. The issue wasn’t just Sam’s faith in her. There was another issue, and if she could fix that during this, she wouldn’t feel absolutely terrible.

I’m breaking her Spirit. Give me a break.

Loki materialized behind Deanna in the form of Cal.

“You sure we should just let the Trickster go?” Deanna asked and turned to see Cal’s handgun pointed at her face.

“Gimme your wallet.” Loki demanded with Cal’s voice, letting the weapon shake in her hand.

“Whoa whoa whoa, buddy, just relax.”

“I am relaxed!” Loki was, so it wasn’t a lie, not that it’d matter in a few seconds.

“Okay, all right, nobody wants this to end the wrong way, let's talk about it a sec.” Loki almost laughed, Deanna talking things through, was that the pros of being human?

Loki shook his head and 'accidentally' fired the gun, stumbling back stupidly when Deanna collapsed to the ground and Sam’s telltale scream of, “Deanna!” rang through the air from the motel. Loki sent a construct of Cal running down the street and watched Sam come outside, keeping herself invisible from the prying eyes.

“No, no, no no no, hey, hey, come on, not today, not today, this isn't supposed to happen today, come on-“ Sam begged, Spirit curling in on itself when Sam saw Deanna wasn’t moving. “I'm supposed to wake up.” Sam whispered and her Spirit screamed.

Loki fled, the sound following the whole way.

.-~*~-.

‘Loki, please.’

‘I’ll do anything. Just give her back.’

'I'm begging you, Loki.’

‘Anything at all. I’m sorry I complicated things. I’m sorry.’

'I know you can fix this. You can’t hide from me.’

‘I will find you, Loki.’

‘If you think this is funny, it really isn’t.’

'I will find you, and I will rip you apart.’

‘Your point is clear as day. Fuck. You.’

Loki sucked in a sharp breath when Ariah appeared in front of her.

“You’re done.”

“I-“

“No, Loki. We have let this go on far longer than we planned. Sam’s Spirit is screaming, not for you to fix it, but for her sister. It’s over. End the loop.”

“I have to end it right. Let me talk to her.”

Ariah’s Spirit twitched and she nodded. “Four days. Then Heaven is breaking the loop.”

So Loki called Sam, using Bobbie's voice. “Sam? It's Bobbie. I found her.

Three days later they were in the same room again and Loki felt her throat close when she saw the state of Sam’s Spirit. Loki had avoided it for months now, gone out of her way to avoid it. Sam’s Spirit was subdued, sitting in her silently. It was just there, static.

No life.

Loki wanted to cry, instead she simply stood, wearing the Bobbie mask. “It’s good to see you, girl.” Loki, wearing Bobbie, crossed the space, and when her own Spirit reached out for Sam’s she was met with the same indifference the hug was.

Loki pulled away, her mouth would’ve gone dry if she was human. Instead she continued on, forcing her way through it.

“What are we doing here, Bobbie?” Sam asked.

“Well, it's the last place we're sure the Trickster worked her magic.”

“So?”

“So you want this thing? I found a summoning ritual to bring the Trickster here.” Sam remained indifferent, and it hurt.

“What do we need?”

“Blood.” A final test, a desperate grab for anything resembling the woman she knew.

“How much blood?”

“Ritual says near a gallon. And it's gotta be fresh, too.”

“Meaning we have to bleed a person dry.” Loki couldn’t help but flinch at the emptiness in her tone.

“And it's gotta be tonight. Or not for another fifty years.”

“Then let's go get some.” So matter of fact. Loki couldn’t play anymore. She shoved a construct to finish the conversation and watched as Sam took the blade from the construct, as she shoved the stake into Bobbie’s back. A flicker of hope crossed her, then panic when Bobbie crumpled to the ground with the stake in her back.

One, two, three.

“Bobbie? Bobbie! Bobbie!”

Loki sent the body away and sent the stake flying into her hand. Sam turned around and stared at her, Spirit flickering to life just a bit.

“You're right. I was just screwing with you. Pretty good, though, Sam. Smart. Let me tell you, whoever said Deanna was the dysfunctional one has never seen you with a sharp object in your hands. Holy Full Metal Jacket.” Loki didn’t let her emotion show, didn’t let any of it through.

“Bring her back.”

“Who, Deanna? Didn't my girl send you flowers? Deanna's dead. She ain't coming back. Her Spirit's downstairs doing the hellfire rumba as we speak.”

“Just take us back to that Tuesday-er, Wednesday-when it all started. Please. We won't come after you, I swear.” ‘I won’t ever speak to you again. I’m done with you.”

“You swear.” Loki responded, watching her Spirit more than she watched the Hunter.

“Yes.” Giving Deanna back was almost the wrong thing to do, but she had her part to play, and Heaven wanted it to end, so it was going to end.

“I don't know. Even if I could-“

“You can.”

“True. But that don't mean I should. Sam, there's a lesson here that I've been trying to drill into that freakish Cro-Magnon skull of yours.”

“Lesson? What lesson?” The lesson she hadn’t planned on teaching at the start.

“This obsession to save Deanna? The way you two keep sacrificing yourselves for each other? Nothing good comes out of it. Just blood and pain. Deanna's your weakness. And the bad guys, we know it too. It's gonna be the death of you, Sam. Sometimes you just gotta let people go.” Not that Sam would. Loki wished she would.

“She's my sister.”

“Yup. And like it or not, this is what life's gonna be like without her.” Pure Hell.

“Please. Just-please.” Those puppy eyes, damn.

“I swear, it's like talking to a brick wall. Okay, look. This all stopped being fun months ago. You're Travis Bickle in a skirt, pal. I'm over it.”

“Meaning what?”

“Meaning that's for me to know and you to find out.” Loki snapped her fingers and the time loop broke. She was done with Winchesters until the Apocalypse. All of it, until she had Lucifer.

Chapter Text

“Samantha Winchester.”

Sam’s eyes snapped open and she was at…

Bobbie’s?

“Not quite.” Sam tumbled out of the bed when Loki’s voice broke the air. “I have a story to tell you, Sam.”

“What the hell are you doing here?” Sam demanded, glaring at the Trickster. It had been over a year since they had seen her last, maybe two. Sam had gone out of her way to avoid Trickster cases for that reason. Because of what she had done to her.

“Robbie.” Sam’s face flushed with embarrassment and anger.

“What me and him did was none if your business.”

“He was only one of the ones that led you down this path.” Loki’s eyes flashed and she rose to her feet, crossing the space and hefting Sam to her feet with powers. “You did it, Sammy.”

“Wha-“ Loki pressed into her personal space and kissed her deeply, tangling her fingers in her hair and pulling her down. For a moment Sam’s brain disengaged, Loki expertly taking control of the kiss and drawing her in. It was when the whine escaped her lips that things changed, that her head caught up with her body and she shoved the goddess away, Loki didn’t let go of her hair so it only separated them a few inches and Sam glared at her as she tried to get free. “No.”

Loki licked her lips, eyes shining darkly. “You’ve told me that before.”

“I just-“

“-freed Lucifer.” Loki purred, pulling her back down so they were nose to nose. “Sammy, I played you like a fiddle. A hot fiddle. And it was fun, and I want to continue that fun. Tell me where you are.”

“No.” Sam said as she pieced together Loki’s words. “Loki, why…”

“Why would I drive you towards the Judeo-Christian? That’s a good question. One I will happily answer.” Loki let go and took a step back, eyes glowing with a white light as a strong shape unfurled from her back. The longer she stared the more clear the white shapes became.

Different than Cass’, Loki’s were bigger, brighter.

Beautiful.

The feathers were ruffled and out of place, but they were beautiful. Unkempt. At least twice the size of Cass’. Bright, their own kind of pure.

Angel.

“Archangel. My name is Gabriella. Not that I have been called that in a very long time. You freed him. You saved him. I knew you would. I should’ve waited, but I didn’t, and now-“

The loving adoration in Loki… Gabriella's eyes and voice was wrong. It was something more, something that you didn’t hear when a sibling was talking about a sibling.

Holy crap.

“He’s your brother.” Like that was the most difficult thing to figure out in this situation, like she was completely oblivious to that fact.

“I ran from Heaven. I ran like a coward. I did it to protect humanity, then I met you and… I’m done hiding. I know who I want. I don’t care the cost.”

“You used me.”

“I like you, Sammy. I want you. Just as bad as I want him. You love me, loved me. You can’t deny that you lust me.”

“No.”

“Tell me where you are, Sammy. I want to touch you. I want to reward you for what you did.”

Sam shook her head. “No.”

“He will reward you too. Not just me. We’ll bith give you prizes beyond your dreams.”

“Have you-“

A sad look crossed her expression, a thread of fear. “No. Not yet. I haven’t seen him yet.”

A cry of pain escaped her lips when something slammed into her chest and she snapped her flew open.

Sam.” Deanna’s voice came loud in front of her fave and she stared blankly at the faces in front of her before her mind pieced together that she was lying on the floor and a warm heat was licking at her feet. Fire.

“What-“

“There was an angel in your mind.” Castiel said quietly and Sam glanced at the angel to see Cass’ blue eyes looking passively at her before she looked back at the forest green eyes of Deanna, taking the procured hand and rising to her feet slowly. "We had to remove it."

“I-“ Sam turned to the flames and her breath caught in her throat at the slack body in the center. Loki. Gabriella. 

“It’s the Trickster.” Deanna said unnecessarily, like Sam wouldn’t recognize her. Like she didn't recognize the god that had tortured her for almost a year. Like I don't know the woman I know better than I've ever wanted you to know.

“Gabriella.” Castiel said softly, keeping her distance from the lethal flames. “We thought she was dead.” Cass breathed, “Sam, why is she here? What did she want from you?”

“I…” Sam’s throat closed and she shook her head. “Him. It was about him.” And me. But I can't tell Deanna. She won't get it.

“What about him? Sam?”

“She’s in love with him.” It felt wrong to say. Knowing who he was to her. What they were. 

“She’s what?” Cass asked, tilting her head with a frown.

“Lo-" Deanna shot her one of those looks that she tried really hard to ignore. Names. "Er… Gabriella… she was grateful.”

“I still am.” Everyone turned their focus to the ring of fire. In the center, Loki was standing with a wide smile on her face. “I am so very grateful.” Loki’s gaze was glued to her and Sam stepped back, uncomfortable under her scrutinizing gaze.

“You’re an angel.” Deanna didn't sound like she believed it, cutting between them and drawing the Archangel's focus. 

“Actually, I'm an Archangel.” Loki tilted her head to the side, looking past Deanna so that golden eyes could meet hazel again. “I played all of you. But mostly her.” 

Please. Sam prayed silently, begging. Deanna didn't know. She didn't want Deanna to know. Loki held her gaze, smiling wide.

“I’m sure you remember Mystery Spot, Deannaleen. I bet she spared the gritty details, but the result was simple.” Break my heart. “I had to break her Spirit.”

“Why would you do such a thing?” Castiel spoke up, disturbed, and Loki moved her attention to the younger angel. 

“Heaven,” Loki breathed, smile twisting cruelly, “or Hell. Your old companion came to me.”

“Who?” Cass asked, but Sam already knew the answer, Cass’ tone screamed that she did as well.

“Uriel.” Loki answered with a smirk and Deanna stiffened in front of her.

“Did you know her true plans?”

“Would it be out of character for me to help Lucifer, Cassie? I’m the one who ran from Heaven, but I’m also the one that warned our dear brother what Michelle intended to do. I’m the one that blows the Horn. I’m the singer of the Apocalypse. Have you ever wondered what that means?”

“Gabriella, please.” Cass begged, and Deanna went rigid at the pleading tone in her angel’s voice -because Sam had no doubt that Cass belonged to Deanna whether Cass knew it or not-.

“Sorry, kiddo but I’m not your sister anymore. My name's Loki and this holy fire may hold an Archangel, but it won’t hold a Goddess. Not forever.”

Sam glanced around the place they were in, a warehouse, which meant the Impala was probably parked right outside. They needed to move before Loki was able to. Sam didn't want to begin to imagine what might happen if Loki was able to get out while they were there.

“She is right, Deanna. The moment her Spirit orients itself correctly, we will be outmatched.” Cass’ tone was lost, broken just a fraction. There was something vital they were missing here, there had to be, but what was it?

“Can we kill her?” Cass flinched at Deanna’s blunt question and Loki laughed. Siblings. Sam realized a moment too late. Gabriella was Castiel's sister and she has just been betrayed.

“When will you ever learn, Deanna? You can’t kill a Trickster.” Sam grabbed her sister’s arm and pulled until she finally gave and turned, heading for the entrance. “Aw, Sammy. You just gonna leave a girl hanging?”

“Fuck off.” She ground out angrily and Loki giggled.

“Maybe later, lover.” Loki responded and Cass flinched before turning and walking towards her. Sam turned to stare at Loki with anger and fury, desire to murder the arrogant being boiling through her veins. The only thing that stopped her from going back was the angel who grabbed her shoulder in a vice grip and forced her to turn, pulling her away from the scene. Deanna was standing in the doorway with a passive look on her face, though Sam knew they were going to talk about this later.

Sam wasn’t prepared for that. Not at all. Not with her mistake with Robbie still a fresh and open wound, Sam hadn’t actually had her own time to process it.

I knew not to trust him but I did it anyways. How screwed is that?

“Love you too, Sammy!” Loki called from behind her and she flinched away as she forced herself to walk out of the warehouse instead of turning around and strangling the woman.

Ten hours later they were in a middle class hotel room, in hopes of throwing Loki or anyone else off their trail.

“Okay.” Deanna said when Cass excused herself.

“Before we talk about Loki…" Sam shifted uncomfortable, staring at her lap rather than trying to meet her sister's gaze, "What happened?”

“Before or after you popped Lucifer from his box?”

And that was a low blow, Sam buried her face in her hands and forced a deep breath rather than lashing out. Robbie was a mistake, she knew that, and even then she felt an emptiness in her veins, a weakness that screamed demon blood.

After.” Sam said carefully.

“I’m not completely sure how, but we both appeared in Bobbie’s living room with Baby parked out back. And…” Deanna shifted uncomfortably, staring at her lap now. “Couple days after going there Cass showed up. She’s Falling. You know, the big Fall, like Lucifer. When she checked on you she told me what happened. That you had an angel in your head.”

“How long?”

“We left Bobbie’s. We had to leave.” Deanna was speaking quieter now and Sam’s blood ran cold.

“Deanna, where’s Bobbie?”

“Bobbie was possessed, by a demon. I think it was Negan and… I don’t know. Cass stabbed her in the shoulder and we got you in the back and bailed.”

Sam stared at the floor and they sat quietly like that for several long moments. Bobbie was gone, the likelihood a demon would leave her alive… especially if it was Negan. It wasn't there. It was damn near non-existent.

“I had to focus on you, on waking you up, I couldn’t think about Bobbie. I haven’t. Cass finally suggested this holy fire stuff. If we surrounded you with it and pulled you over the flames it would force the divine being out of your head. In theory.”

“Loki was there.”

“Cass will have to explain that. Now, Sam. Don’t make me ask.”

Sam didn’t look at Deanna, couldn’t, not yet. “It started when we met. I’ve never been hugely attracted to women, women are complicated. After Brandy threw me to the curb in college I kind of… I decided men were easier. I’ve never been into one night stands, you know that, so I never pursued women again.”

“Brandy?”

“Another time, Deanna.” Sam responded, not up for telling the story of Brandy quite yet. “Loki and I had sex after we met, in the back alley of some crappy bar. I panicked, I didn’t know what happened, and I wanted more. I thought it had to do with the thing we were hunting.”

“You didn’t tell me that.”

“I didn’t want to hear it, Deanna. I was sick of listening to you and your obsession with the idea that I was bi. I also didn’t want you to go after her, I thought she was a victim too.”

“Except she wasn’t.”

Sam gave Deanna a look and she shut up. “Then she propositioned me and well, I gave in.”

“Did you know?”

“That she faked her death? Yes. That night we… talked.” Deanna glared at her and she looked away.

“So not just Robbie.”

“It was different, Deanna.”

“Loki is a monster.”

“I know what she is, but she was there for me. Then… well it doesn’t matter now. She manipulated and used me and I’m done with her.”

Deanna stared at her for several long moments, gaze searching and passive. “You’re done with her.”

“Yes. After Mystery Spot…” Sam shuddered and looked away from her sister, unable to put it into words. “I haven’t spoken to her since.”

“But she was in your head.”

“I didn’t invite her. Deanna, she just showed up talking about Lucifer and… Deanna, I told you about Robbie because it was important.”

“Loki wasn’t?”

“No. Loki was a fling. A stupid fling, but a fling. It was fun. Then it ended.” It was kinky, fucked up, hate fucking that turned into me loving her like an idiot but I can’t tell you that because you’re still recovering from my screw up with Robbie and you won't forgive me for loving a Goddess.

“Fine.” Deanna said quietly. “Just… please be careful, Sam.”

“I’m done with monsters.” Sam responded, thinking back on golden eyes glowing with white light. Archangel.

Loki was Gabriella. Messenger of God, the one that was destined to blow the horn of The Apocalypse.

How had something so vital passed her notice?

Samantha Winchester.” The last thing she had heard before blacking out in that church. The voice heavy and enticing, like ice.

.-~*~-.

Deanna paced restlessly in the hallway outside of the hotel room, trying to figure out exactly where her sister’s head was.

It wasn’t just Robbie, it had been Loki beforehand. How was Deanna supposed to handle that? Especially with the heartbroken expression on Sam’s face when she talked about Loki. Despite what her sister claimed, Loki had meant a lot more than she let on.

Deanna wished she could’ve killed Loki… or Gabriella, whatever it was, because she had no doubt that the Archangel wasn’t done with Sam, and she wasn’t sure that Sam was done with her.

They were so screwed.

“Deanna.” She nearly jumped out of her skin when Cass’ voice broke her thoughts apart and she turned around to see Cass standing behind her, ocean blue eyes singing with exhaustion. Personal space. Not that Deanna spoke up this time, Cass had given up everything and it just didn’t seem quite right to go after her for something so human.

“Hey, Cass.”

“I need to speak to you about Gabriella.”

Not the conversation she wanted to have. “Cass, look-“

“I knew about her past relationship with Sam. It was part of my briefing before retrieving you from Hell.”

Deanna opened then shut her mouth. “Wait-“

“The relationship between the two of them ended after the incident at Mystery Spot.”

“You’re sure?” A weight was lifted off her shoulders with that revelation. That her sister hadn't lied about that.

“I am positive. I was well aware of her relationship with Robbie and Heaven has been monitoring them for months now, it was one of my responsibilities to watch her. If there was anything happening between her and Loki I would have known.”

Deanna leaned against the wall, sliding down it until she could put her face in her hands. “Okay.”

“Deanna, I need something from you.” Deanna looked up at Castiel. “I need you to monitor your sister while she sleeps.”

“Why can’t you do that?”

“I’m going to find God.”

Deanna frowned as she rose to her feet. “You’re bailing?”

“If anyone can stop this now, it’s Her.”

“You really think after everything She’s suddenly gonna show Her Damned face?”

Cass’ eyes flashed with frustration. “What else do you suggest, Deanna? That I follow you and your sister around until one or both of you dies again? That I sit by when Lucifer or Gabriella takes your sister? When Michelle takes you?”

“I-“

“You heard Negan, Lucifer wants Sam. Why do you think that is?”

Deanna didn’t have an answer, she’d spent days wondering but trying not to dwell on why Lucifer would want Sam. If she could separate thoughts about Sam and Lucifer she would.

“Sam is Lucifer’s Vessel. His True Vessel. That is why Lucifer wants your sister. If she is Lucifer’s then you are undoubtedly Michelle’s and I do not want to be here when you say ‘yes’.”

“I…” Deanna trailed off, trying to understand those words. Trying to comprehend it. She knew the purpose of Vessels, Cass had once explained it. The fact that an angel couldn’t interact with humans without one, the details about angels being unable to kill each other without one. Then there were the bare basics that Jamie had told them when Cass had been pulled forcibly from her. The utter helplessness. The fact that it was her body and not Cass’.

Those had all been words, it hadn’t been important, until now. Now Deanna was trying to piece that together, trying to figure out how it had come to this.

“I won’t.”

“Just like you wouldn’t let Sam release him? I put my faith in you, I am Falling from Heaven for you, and you failed.”

“Cass, please.”

“No, Deanna. You failed not just me but all of the Earth.” Except that was bullshit. If Cass had seen reason sooner things would’ve gone different. They could’ve stopped Sam. It was Cass' fault that they hadn't had time to fix it.

“Oh, and you were going to do better?”

“I-“

“No. You and God’s plan are the reason this all happened. If you hadn’t kept me from Sam in the first place she wouldn’t have been able to kill Cath! I may be responsible for some of it, but not all of it, and you can’t take off just because you doubt us.”

“You are not listening, Deanna. I cannot watch you and your sister die again. Don’t make me do that.” Deanna paused at the emotion in Cass’ always intense gaze. “Let me look for my Mother, Deanna.”

“This is my body, not hers, I’ve seen you eyeballing us and we’re off limits. Do you hear me? I am not consenting to you having sex with my body. Jamie's words were an echo of why she shouldn’t. Always burning at the back of her mind. Except things were different now.

“When Raphiel killed me in Charlie’s home, I was torn apart at a subatomic level. It is only me in this body and I feel strangely alone. I have never been by myself in a Vessel before, and I do not enjoy the experience.”

“Cass, I don’t want you to go. I need you, here, with me… us.”

A warm weight brushed Deanna’s shoulder making her realize she had shut her eyes, when she opened them Cass was close, closer than she had ever dared and Deanna’s breath caught in her throat as she caught sight of twin limbs visible from Cass' back. Wings. They were always breathtaking, pure white that had begun to darken since she started to Fall. Deanna had only seen them a handful of times, but still she knew them, in a crowd of a thousand she knew she would be able to pick these out.

Cass.

Cass shied away, wings not moving with her body and Deanna realized she had reached out, that her hands were pressed against soft feathers that she had almost no comparison for, softer than velvet and smoother than silk.

“Why do you let me touch them, Cass?”

They were off the reservation, out of bounds and she had no idea what to do other than go with it. Her mind briefly wandered to when Sam had unconsciously done the same thing, when Sam had touched one of Cass’ wing and the angel had been livid.

“My Spirit trusts you.” Cass answered cryptically, and it occurred to Deanna that she should share that information with Sam. That Cass could let her nerd out over Spirits and all the secrets of the universe, but that was for another time.

“That isn’t an answer, Cass.” Deanna said instead as she pressed closer, stroking down the wing and grinning when a shudder rippled across Cass’ body.

It was Cass. Jamie was gone and there was no real barrier blocking her. Maybe the knowledge of an angel, maybe the morality, but Cass was naïve, not stupid.

Just a couple inches…

Cass was the one who closed the distance between their lips and a moan rippled from her lips when Deanna tugged feathers, drawing her in closer. Cass was clearly inexperienced and Deanna got a strange giddy feeling at the idea, that Cass was hers, that her angel had never done this before. Virgins were always beautiful and disoriented, but it was always a trip.

Still. She had to know, she had to be sure, because any other way was wrong.

“Cass.” She breathed, breaking the kiss and pulling apart.

“I…” The angel stared, fear deeply etched into her eyes and Deanna quickly gripped her shoulders.

“I just have to know. You want this. I can’t… I won’t do that.”

“I want you.” Cass answered slowly, thinking over her words carefully.

Then Deanna understood. Cass had been traveling with them for months, and in that time Deanna had flaunted her one night stands. Cass wanted something more, and Deanna wasn’t sure how she felt about commitment. But for Cass…she would try.

“We’ll move slow. But, Cass. You can’t take off. You can’t leave me to stress whether Heaven’s caught up with you or not.”

“I’ll try.” Cass replied, and Deanna didn’t dare fight it, because she knew what being cooped up in one place was like, she couldn’t begin to imagine what it was like for angels.

“May I kiss you again, Deanna?” Cass asked and Deanna grinned, they would take it slow, but that didn’t mean she was going to refuse a question like that.

So Deanna kissed her, reaching around to brush her fingers through Cass’ feathers, and slowly her wings moved around to stroke against Deanna’s back, feathers brushing against her neck and sending a shudder down her spine.

She could grow to love this.

.-~*~-.

A thousand miles away from anyone named Winchester an Archangel sat in an empty room, contemplating everything. Far from the simple act of the Apocalypse and the Fall of Lucifer, she sat and she wondered whether they were right.

Was this how it was meant to play out? Was this truly how it was meant to end? A battle to the death that would wipe out half of the Earth? Was there no other option?

As far as she was concerned there wasn’t, but sometimes, in the depth of the night, in the back of her mind, she wished differently. Sometimes she felt her Spirit twist away when she gave orders to the angels, and guilt would burn through her.

Sometimes she wondered if The Apocalypse was worth the price.

“Ma’am?” Ariah pulled her from her thoughts and she flared her wings threateningly. Displeased that she had been interrupted in her thoughts. The Seraph cowered, bowing her wings submissively.

“What do you want, Ariah?” The Archangel demanded angrily.

“I have news of the sisters.”

“Is it good news?” She asked dryly.

“Yes. The Winchesters found Gabriella.”

The Archangel’s entire being went rigid, Spirit twisting with excitement. ‘Gabriella, are you there?'

‘Hello, sister.’

The Archangel spread her wings and took flight, ‘Where have you been?'  This wasn’t a conversation to have there, under the prying eyes of Michelle’s most trusted. It wasn't long ago that they had spoken, but it wasn't recent either.

‘Hiding. Michelle told me to leave, so I left.'

‘We wouldn’t have done anything to you. You were afraid.’

'I know you aren’t that naïve. You are the only one who truly knows why I left.’  Something she had ignored, a fact that she had denied for a very long time. 'I am in love with Lucifer. I tried to pretend otherwise, but I’m in love with him and I will stand with him.’

'Please, Gabriella. Don't do this.’

‘I haven’t been on Heaven’s side in thousands of years and I won’t join you again. Goodbye.’

'I will see you again, sister.’

‘I’m sure you will, sis. I just hope it doesn’t end it bloodshed.’

There was a dark promise in those words that she didn’t like. This wasn’t supposed to be between them. It was never meant to be between them, and now Gabriella had thrown herself in the middle of it all.

Thinking of her woes, the Archangel touched down in a human marketplace and walked among the people there, cutting off thoughts of the future for the people here, blocking out Heaven for the first time in a millennia and simply feeling humanity. It was easy to get lost in them, to simply bask in the difference of them. Once, she had healed them. Once, she had trained Ada and Steve to farm. Once, she had walked among them for a hundred years. Once, she had been part of them. Not a human, but a companion to humanity, a watcher.

Now she was nothing but a myth, a legend that even most Hunters didn’t even believe.

“Excuse me.” The Archangel started at the voice that broke her reservoir of thought. “If you could, would you mind helping me?”

The Archangel eyed the elderly human woman warily, grey hair and cloudy eyes signifying age, Spirit worn and tired within her.

“What is it?” She asked, tone more curt than she had intended.

The woman shifted, cane loosely nestled between long fingers.

“I left my dog tied to a pole when I went inside but when I came out I couldn’t find the pole. Could you guide me to her?” The Archangel blinked, looking at the woman for a bit longer than it should have taken.

Oh.

Of course the woman was blind. How had the Archangel forgotten? The signs were all clear, distinct. It had simply been too long since she looked, since she saw simply afflicted humanity.

“Of course.” The Archangel looked around, eyes scanning the nearby street until she saw the post where the dog was tied up, a small boy giggling as it licked his face. Placing careful hands on the blind woman’s shoulder she restrained her now interested Spirit, guiding the woman the short distance.

When the dog turned around and barked gleefully at the woman, the Archangel smiled at the creature who returned a thankful bark, Spirit lighting up with excitement as the blind woman knelt down.

“You have a cute dog.” The boy said shyly and her Spirit perked slightly.

“Thank you, young man.”

“I hope ya don’t mind I was pettin him.”

“Not at all.” The woman answered as she carefully untied the dog’s leash from the pole. “But you should be careful petting dogs. Never know a friendly one from a bad one.” She chastised as she rose to her feet again, carefully handling the leash and the cane. “Thank you for your help.” The woman added, a carefully placed hand resting on the Archangel’s shoulder. “What’s your name?” She asked and the Archangel hesitated for a fraction of a moment.

“Raphiel.” The Archangel answered and her own Spirit lit as the word left her lips.

“Like the angel?” The woman asked and Raphiel's Spirit darted from her, brushing against the human's own worn Spirit and healing her in an instant.

Before Raphiel or the woman could react she took flight, fleeing the scene before anyone saw.

Forbidden. Her mind screamed at her while her Spirit hummed in contentment.

If it was now forbidden to heal humanity, why did she not feel shame for the act? Surely there had to be shame in defying Heaven.

There had to be, because if there wasn’t, then it couldn’t be Just. There had to be shame.

She just had to find it.

Chapter Text

Sam sat at the table and tried not to look at her sister who was currently wrapped up in Castiel's greying wings. It was unsettling to say the least. Deanna had to know Castiel would be a commitment and yet she went through with it.

It was almost out of character, but only just. Even through the hazy memories created during her demon blood addiction she could see that strange connection between the two, while Sam wasn't the type of romantic that believed in lifemates she was bold enough to admit that she thought it was something on a spiritual level.

Spirits.

Sam didn't like to think about her Spirit, Loki, -not Gabriella, she didn't know Gabriella and it hardly changed who she knew, she would never think of the woman as anyone more than Loki- had told her once when they were cuddling that their Spirits connected. That something about their Spirits caused them to long for each other, not that it had really made sense, but she had tried to understand.

Then Mystery Spot happened and a part of her had died, the wound reopening the moment Loki showed her face again.

"You are thinking loudly." Castiel spoke up and Sam flinched at the closeness of the voice, blinking as she focused on her surroundings and saw Castiel seated across from her.

"You aren't listening are you?"

"Not precisely. Your Spirit seems upset so I imagine it is about my sister." Right, Loki, or more specifically Gabriella, was Castiel's sister.

"Did you know?" Sam asked before she realized the words were leaving her mouth.

"No." Castiel admitted, "I am almost positive that Gabriella never told anyone, and if she did she never would have told one of us. Relationships among angels…it would be much like you and your sister performing indecent acts."

Sam felt a wave of nausea at that idea. When they were younger Mary had drunkenly cussed Deanna out, claiming that Deanna had been taking advantage of Sam, which hadn't been the case, and after a barrage of derogatory terms their mother had dragged a crying Deanna to the second motel room.

Now that she was older Sam knew what had happened that night, it was under the category of 'things we don't talk about', so they didn't, even when the abuse and neglect Deanna and her had endured from their mother had been a perfectly good reason not to look for the woman.

"Surely God knew…knows." Sam spoke up, forcing those thoughts from her head before they could overwhelm her. Even after everything she still missed her mother, in a way their mother had paid for some of it by going to Hell, though Sam really doubted anything could ever make up for their fucked up childhood.

"Our Mother was very distant by the time I came to be. If I'm honest I doubt she would have cared enough to banish Gabriella for it."

"I can't imagine keeping a secret like that for as long as she has." Thousands of years keeping a secret, even in a fucked up incest lust secret, it had to be difficult. Can I really blame her for joining Lucifer's side after all this time?

Sam couldn't be sure, her codependency with her sister with dangerous, that wasn't a secret to anyone, but it wasn't incestuous. Thank God. Her mind supplied unhelpfully, but she knew she would go to stupid lengths for Deanna, would she join her to end the world?

"I could never begin to understand my sister's feelings, just as I am sure you can't. One thing I can be sure about is that if you love someone enough, it can make you do dangerous things. Stupid things." Like rebel against Heaven, or feel sympathy for a crazed Archangel that wants to kidnap you and hand you to the devil himself.

"So Deanna got her head out of her ass?" Sam asked, changing the subject and smiling slightly at the pinking of Castiel's cheeks.

"You could say that."

"Make sure you make it difficult on her, Cass. She won't believe it if it's easy."

"She can hear you, ya know?" Sam cast a guilty look to the bed where her sister had rolled into her back, staring at the ceiling with one of her arms tucked behind her bed.

"Just giving your girlfriend some advice." Sam responded and Deanna scowled.

"Fuck off."

Sam seriously considered teasing her sister mercilessly but considering how much time it had taken the two of them to progress past creepy stare offs she decided against it. Cass had betrayed Heaven for Deanna's plan to stop Sam from killing Cath. It may have been a good cause, but she knew better than to think that was why Cass would turn her back on her entire family. Not with the nearly unyielding loyalty she had been expressing since they met her.

Cass loved Deanna, there was no doubt. Sam wasn't sure if her sister loved Cass but she was willing to suspect it.

Which left her as the third wheel.

A third wheel that was still stupidly in love with Loki and terrified of what it actually meant.

"So what's the plan?" She asked, clearing her throat and staring at her hands.

"Find a way to kill him, or shove him back in his box." Deanna answered, pushing herself out of the bed.

She made it sound so simple.

"He is far from the only threat. We also have to find a way to avoid Gabriella and Michelle."

"Or deal with them the same way we plan to deal with Luci." Deanna suggested unhelpfully, causing Castiel to flinch and give her a dirty look. In a second Cass was gone, leaving a dumbfounded Deanna staring at where she was sitting.

"What did I say?"

"The angels are her family, Deanna."

"That isn't a family, it's a freakin' cult."

"She doesn't see it like that. How many times have outsiders called our fucked up family a cult? I know you aren't stupid. You need to apologize."

Deanna set her jaw, shaking her head. "I'm not apologizing for that. The best way to deal with one of the archdouches is the best to deal with all of them. I ain't letting them take you, Sammy."

"I get that you hate the angels, I hate them too, but despite your aversion to anything emotion you have to think about Cass. She does care about the well-being of her family. Considering all the stupid crap we've pulled it's not that hard to understand." Mom selling her Spirit, you selling your Spirit, my mindless revenge streak that inevitably released Lucifer.

Deanna slumped her shoulders reluctantly. "Fine. I'll apologize. It doesn't change that I think dealing with all the problem archangels in the same way is the best solution."

Sam knew it was a solid plan too. She knew. Yet there was the problem of Gabriella, of Loki. A person Sam was reluctant but willing to admit she was still in love with. When push came to shove, could she honestly kill Loki, or imprison her with her brother? Could she do it?

Sam wasn't sure she wanted to know her own answer to that dangerous question.

"Right. Look, I'm going to try to catch a couple hours. Can you stay out of trouble for the time being?" Sam asked and Deanna waved it off, already heading out of the motel room.

Yeah, they needed to have a serious talk about everything. But it could wait until later. Despite the apparent days of sleep she'd had following Lucifer's escape she felt like she hadn't slept in a month.

So she went to sleep.

Samantha...

.-~*~-.

Loki paced in her apartment, considering her options. It was done. It was complete. Lucifer was free.

He was out.

Yet, instead of going to him, going to where she knew he was, she was delaying. The reasons were simple, too. She was more than willing to admit she was afraid. Not of Lucifer, not exactly, but of what would happen when he got ahold of Sam. Should she admit her fucked up love for her brother before that? It wouldn't be hard to piece together once it was all said and done.

It all fell on Sam, and that was the problem. Sam was unique and Loki wasn't quite ready to give her up. She knew the hunter was still interested. Knew because of the way the woman looked at her with those adorable puppy eyes. It was hard for her to comprehend that she could sneak into Sam's mind and only feel minutely shameful for attempting to seduce her.

Which was how she found herself hopping through dreams until she found that familiar draw that placed her in Sam's dreams.

Except she wasn't alone.

Her breathing stopped as she drew her Spirit into herself, making herself as small as she could as she watched on the scene before her.

"Hey, Sammy?" Loki licked her lips, eying the blonde in the dream bed with her Sam. Except it wasn't a blonde. It was him. Lucifer. Loki shuddered slightly.

"Yeah?" She asked, sitting up and causing the blanket to tumble off, exposing her undressed state.

Oh God.

"You look beautiful." The man, Lucifer, said, catching her wrist as she looked away.

"I'm losing my mind, Jessie. You're dead." Jessie. Lucifer is wearing the man Sam loved. Oh this is so fucked.

"Since when does dead mean dead for you?" He asked softly, and Loki wondered for a moment if she would go this far for her True Vessel. Of course her True Vessel was already dead.

"That isn't the point."

"It is. Not that it matters. This is a dream, Sammy. It could start snowing and it would make sense."

"But why here? Why now? It's been years. I've…"

"Moved on?" Lucifer prompted.

"Not moved on. Found someone else."

"A goddess?"

Loki licked her lips, I shouldn't be here.

'No you shouldn't. But do stay, sister. Let's see what little Sammy says.' Loki's breath caught when Lucifer caught her gaze from across the dreamscape. She needed to go.

"It isn't you, is it? You aren't screwing with me, right?"

"I promise you I'm not Loki."

"Why should I believe a promise like that?"

Loki stopped breathing, terrified of what Lucifer might say. "Loki never lied once the truth came out. Why start now? I'm not her. I promise."

Sam was quiet for a minute before she turned around, crossing her legs as she did. "You still haven't answered why you're here."

"You freed the devil." Lucifer responded, mouth curling into a smile. "Aren't there more important questions to ask?"

"No. If you are my dream, then there's a reason. I mean… I haven't had a dream like this since…"

"Since Mystery Spot." Lucifer interjected and Loki tried to flee, tried to escape, but a firm block was in place, trapping them all in the dream.

'No. I can't hear this. Luce, please.'

'You fucked my Vessel.'

"Yeah. Since Mystery Spot." Sam responded, looking down at her knees. "I'm tired of loving people. Mom, dad, Deanna, you, they just…die. And then Loki… God she was so perfect and fucked up. I knew better but…"

"But you loved her."

'It was our Spirits. You can see her memories. You can fucking look at mine. Our Spirits forced the issue. Let me out. I can't do this. I can't hear this.'

"I love her. Even knowing the fucked up truth about her, I love her. I'm scared for her, Jessie. I'm scared of what Lucifer will do when he finds out. I don't want her hurt."

Loki wanted to cry, she wanted to scream, but instead all she could do was stand there traumatized. The entire situation finally clicked with her and fear curled through her veins as she shoved back against the block, escape, run, I can't hear this. I can't.

"He is the devil." Lucifer's Spirit twitched, pressing out and curling around Sam's dream form, causing a shudder to ripple across the setting. "What wouldn't the devil do for his sister?"

"I'd do a lot of things for my sister but accepting she had some freaky fucked up incestual love for me would be pushing it."

"Pushing it?" Lucifer asked tauntingly and Loki jerked away as something pressed against the center of her back, causing her to stumble into the scene.

"Loki!" Sam yelped, and Loki tried to back away, her gaze riveted on Lucifer who was frozen in place as though he was an illusion.

'Fuck you.'

'Maybe if you ask nicely.' Loki's heart skipped a beat as she forced her gaze to Sam who was glaring from where she had fumbled the blanket to cover herself.

"You-"

"I'm not manipulating your dreams, Sam." Her gaze wandered to the frozen form of her brother before going back to the hunter.

"Why should I believe you?"

"Because I gain nothing by lying to you. If I wanted to humiliate you then I would've done it after you let slip that you love me."

Sam shifted, rising from the bed and the Jessie figure dissipated, not that it stopped her from sensing Lucifer's close proximity.

'What are you doing?'

'You will help me get her 'yes'. Not now, but later. No, for now I want to watch over you.' Her stomach churned slightly from the terrible mixture of excitement and fear. What did this mean? What were Lucifer's plans for her? 'Gabriella, you are going to earn her trust back. You are going to find her for me. Don't worry about the rest.'

"Why are you here?"

Loki licked her lips and smiled sweetly at the hunter, trying to shove away the sensations of being watched. "I told you before, Sammy. I want to thank you." There was a part of her, the Pagan part of her no doubt, that was getting a thrill out of the idea of an audience.

"I don't want your gratitude, Loki. I want you to leave."

"You sure about that? You keep telling me that, but we're both well aware of the control you exert over your dreams. If you want me to leave, send me away."

Sam stared at her for several long moments before slumping back on the bed and covering her face. "Please, Lo. I can't do this. I can't."

"Can't and won't are two very different things." Loki crossed the space, sitting on the edge of the bed and trying to bury disappointment when clothing appeared on Sam's body.

"You…Loki, you're a damned Archangel and you're in love with your brother. You want to drag me away to the damned devil for God knows what reason and just expect me to fall into bed with you."

"Yes." Loki answered honestly, feeling her brother chuckle around her and causing her to flinch.

"How the hell did you fall in love with your brother? You do realize how…"

"Wrong it is? Yes. It started with sick twisted lust that I repressed for a long time. I knew it was wrong and I hid. Then I left Heaven and joined with Loki, we became one. The thing about Loki, about the Pagans, their mindsets aren't quite the same as us. They don't shun incest between a lot of the higher beings in the way Heaven did. I accepted it for what it was."

"You didn't say how."

Loki sighed and lay back. "How did you fall in love with your Jessie? With me? It just happened, and it's fucked, I'm fucked. But I don't care anymore. I want my brother, I want him in whatever way he'll take me. I love him with every ounce of my being, not that I'm saying he's the only one I've loved, but I will happily stand by when he destroys humanity."

"What if he kills you?"

"He won't." Loki responded far too confidentially, not completely sure the answer was the truth.

From the start she knew Lucifer would use her, in fact she was prepared for it, what she wasn't prepared for was the soft brush of Lucifer's Spirit against her. The silent 'I would never kill you.' that brought tears to her eyes.

"Loki." Sam's hand brushed against her cheek and she shuddered slightly, leaning into the touch. "Help us. Help us stop him."

"He isn't the monster Heaven made him to be. What he did was logical, within reason." Loki opened her eyes suddenly as a weight settled on her waist in a single movement.

"He's the devil."

"Sam-"

"You told me before, you never kill without reason."

"I won't. I never would do that. I promised you and I keep my promises."

"But he will. If he gets his way, he will, and you will be responsible for that."

A smile curled on Loki's lips as she flipped their positions easily, turning them over so she was hovering precariously over the other woman, leaning right into her and watching with satisfaction when the other woman's eyes darkened.

"You're trying to get into my head, Sammy. I promised you I would never kill someone without reason and I won't. What my brother does is his business."

"Let me go."

"No." Loki responded. "You got me to spill my heart out to you. I have no plans to join you and your stupid sister. That's the end of it. Now, you know why I'm here." Loki pressed a kiss to the other woman's lips, willing away their clothing with a thought.

'You can't blame this on your Spirit, Sis.'

'This is for you, Luce.' Loki responded and her brother chuckled darkly.

'If I were crazy I might think you're in love with me.'

Loki almost laughed, but only almost, instead of surrendering to that desire she reached down until she found what she was looking for, a low whine escaping Sam's lips with the word, "Please."

"Do you want me to stop?" Loki taunted and Sam squirmed as she kept up her careful assault.

"Yes…no…oh God. Please…"

"Please what?" She teased as she pulled the Hunter into a biting kiss that cut off any potential at the word she didn't want to hear at the moment.

'Keep your distance from me. While Raphiel is undoubtedly aware of the fact that you are still alive and loyal to me I would prefer Michelle remain ignorant.'

'What about here?'

'I have to work my way to a 'yes', Gabriella. You can't come here every single night.' It wasn't a no either. Lucifer was going to let her continue her relationship with Sam, whatever kind of twisted relationship it might be.

'Thank you.'

'You're welcome.' Loki's Spirit lit with joy at that response.

.-~*~-.

Deanna came into the room to find her sister laying in the bed.

In no time at all she had fractured her relationship with Cass, and all she'd done was be honest about the angels.

Which, admittedly, she knew she had crossed a line in how she approached the situation. However, it was true. If they found a way to deal with Lucifer then they needed to deal with Michelle and Gabriella in the same way. It didn't matter how Cass or Sam felt about it, they were all threats.

But unfortunately Sam was right, Deanna had crossed a line and she was willing to accept that.

'Cass, if you can hear me, I'm sorry, I fucked up. Please come back.'

Not that she was answering the prayers but it was worth another try. This entire situation was a mess. All of it.

She needed a drink, and a shower. In that order. Unfortunately in the chaos of Sam's near constant state of unconsciousness since she stupidly killed Cath Deanna hadn't had the first chance to stop by a liquor store.

Damn.

The problems at hand were a mile high without her having to handle them sober.

Fuck.

Problem one, Lucifer.

Problem two, every damned angel in Heaven and demon in Hell being after them.

Problem three, Sam's secret romance with the fucking Trickster who was apparently a damned Archangel who wanted to join Lucifer in destroying the planet.

The fourth problem was Sam.

Deanna needed to find out if Sam was still having demon blood cravings, if she was sneaking around to talk to Gabriella, and whether Lucifer has visited her yet.

Deanna hated it. Hated that she couldn't trust her sister, that she couldn't keep control of a situation that had once been simple. They killed monsters, and monsters tried to kill them. It was the rule. Such a simple rule. When had it all fallen so far out of proportion? When had she turned from Deanna the Hunter to Deanna the Breaker of The First Seal?

Since when was she in a position that Bobbie had to warn her Hunters were looking for her and her sister?

Her hand twitched towards her pocket, towards her phone, until a flash of grief reminded her of Bobbie. Bobbie, the one who taught them about anti-possession sigils, at demon prevention, staring at them from inside a devil's trap with onyx eyes. Bobbie, the woman that had been their mom where their own mom failed. Bobbie, who Deanna had been forced to watch stab herself in the stomach.

Bobbie, who that bastard demon, Negan had dropped a lighter on the head of.

Bobbie was dead, her house burned to the ground, and Deanna needed her help. Something she would admit. She had no damned clue what she was doing, where to start. Sam was the brains, but Sam was also part of the problem. Cass was…Cass. Cass had the common sense of a two year old despite being thousands of years old and it was so damned difficult. She couldn't go to anyone else, couldn't ask for help, and if there was one thing she knew for certain. It was no matter what she wanted to say or do, after everything, something was different between them.

She had to step back and watch her sister closely, she had to use her hunting skills to observe her sister.

Which needed to start immediately.

So despite her desire to go into the shower, she took the seat next to the window and ran her gaze across her sister's sleeping form.

It was something she had done when they were younger, observing the way the other girl slept, watching for signs of distress. Back before her mother beat into her that she was watching her sister too closely.

Back when her mother had accused her of raping her baby sister.

But that had been a different time, and their mother was dead. In retrospect, her loyalty to the woman was probably blind, but she was still their mother and between all the fucked up things she had done a lot of good.

Sam made a small sound and shifted under the covers, drawing Deanna's complete focus. It had been years since she actively paid attention, but there was the ingrained acute awareness of her sister. Over the years Deanna had been unfortunate to learn when her sister was having "happy", because she refused to call them what they were, dreams and when she was having nightmares.

The idiot smile that had curled onto her lips signally the first was completely countered by the violent jerk her body made as she twisted away from something.

Deanna was moving before she realized what she was seeing.

Sam writhed on the bed, back arching off of it as her breath came out in sharp gasps, breath freezing in the air above her, her skin paling. The moment Deanna was in range she felt why. The air around her sister was frozen, like walking into a deep freezer buck naked covered in hot water. Despite her instincts screaming at her to run, to escape the cold, she threw herself the short distance onto the side of her sister's bed and grabbed her shoulders, shaking her.

At first nothing happened and horror twisted in Deanna's stomach, because that cold was familiar.

It was the same cold from when Lucifer was freed, the same cold that burned near The Cage in Hell. If she didn't know better, she would think ghost, but this wasn't the hair raising chill from a ghost, this was the kind of cold that screamed "DANGER" in a million different languages.

Despite the freeze Deanna remained half leaning over her sister, feeling the cold seep into her core as she tried slapping and shaking her convulsing sister awake.

Then it stopped, Sam went slack and the cold disappeared with an audible hiss like a balloon losing its air.

Sam's eyes flicked open and she stared at Deanna with confusion and the rise of a blush in her cheeks.

"Um…" Sam said articulately, shifting away slightly.

Deanna didn't know what to say, what to do as she realized her sister didn't have a clue Lucifer's energy had been surrounding her.

What's more, that blush was a dead giveaway of what she did remember, and Deanna wasn't sure whether to be pissed or concerned.

"Deanna?"

"What were you dreaming about?" Deanna demanded as she made herself get off the bed to put space between them.

"I…" Sam swallowed and averted her gaze. "Jess." She said quietly and Deanna flinched because she recognized the pain of an unhealed wound burning in her eyes, the honesty of it.

Jessie. Was Lucifer appearing as him, or was there something more behind it? They knew each other well enough to tell the truth without ever telling the whole truth, was this one of those situations, or was Sam truly ignorant of whose energy had been surrounding her before? Part of Deanna wanted, and needed to believe her, but the part still wounded from the entire situation with Robbie doubted her.

"Then Loki showed up." Sam blurted and Deanna's gaze snapped up. "I told her to fuck off. There's a whole lot of history between us, but it's history, Deanna. I can't go down that road again. Not with Lucifer free. I know you don't believe me, and I've earned that, but I want to fix this. I need to. Every time I see myself in that church killing Cath it makes me just-"

"Stop." Deanna said forcibly, stomach flipping as her sister spewed bullshit from every angle. "Just…stop. I want the truth, Sammy. I'm not buying that bullshit. Not with Lucifer's power beaconing in the room."

"What?" Sam asked, confusion and genuine fear crossing her expression at the mention of Lucifer, not the rest part of her mind supplied unhelpfully.

Deanna believed it.

"So you're telling me you didn't consider for ten seconds when the Damned Trickster showed up that she wasn't working with her brother? Or even more likely, that she was Lucifer?"

"It was her!" Sam defended suddenly, glaring at her. "I know the difference. I felt the same thing you did in that church-"

"That doesn't make it better, Sam. You're supposed to be the smart one. The Trickster-"

"Loki."

"What the fuck ever. She openly admitted to you that she wants to hand deliver you to her brother, stop thinking with your clit for ten seconds and remember she is a threat."

Sam flushed a deep red. "It's not like that!"

"Except it is. I've fucked plenty of chicks, sex with a woman is fucking awesome, so don't give me that crap. We were hunting and you threw it out the moment you got laid. She's a goddess, I'm sure she's got more tricks up her sleeve than any porn star, and I'm telling you that you aren't thinking."

"I…" Sam fell back on the bed and stared up at the ceiling. "Whenever she's there the lines just kind of…blur. It's so messed up, I just can't walk away."

"Because you love her." The words came out of her mouth, undeterred, and Deanna hated them because they were wrong. Deanna didn't talk about this crap, but now it was out there and if Sam's flinch was anything to go by it was the truth.

"It was just sex. Then you sold your Spirit and she held me, listened, and it became more."

"God damn it, Sammy." Deanna growled out, spinning on her heels and storming to the door.

"De-"

"I can't do this, Sam. I can't trust you. I thought I'd get past the Robbie bullshit, Hell, I was looking past the history between you and the bitch Trickster. But after everything, all the fucked up shit, you crawled right back to her. Maybe you're right and it wasn't the fucking devil but it was still his deluded sister. You still fell back in with her, then you lied about it. It's the damned lies that keep fucking us. So I'm done. Keep on with your freaky lovefest with Gabriella. Just don't come to me when it all blows up in your face."

"Don't-"

"Don't." Deanna cut her sister off sharply before stepping out the hotel door and slamming it shut.

This was it, the choice made, and it made Deanna feel like complete and utter crap. She'd just left her ex-demon blood addict, vessel of Lucifer, consort of Loki sister sitting on a bed in some middle tier hotel with the hopes that her leaving would get the message across.

Of course, if she was wrong, it would probably result with Lucifer getting his Vessel. Deanna sincerely hoped that she still knew her sister well enough for that not to be the case.

Chapter Text

It had been a month and a half since Sam had been left in that damned hotel room.

Sam had sat for hours as she tried to comprehend the change, the flip in her sister. It wasn't that she didn't understand the why. It was something she already knew. It was stupid. Lying had been a stupid choice. Deanna was right.

It didn't change that stupid impulse to fall back into bed with Loki, there was something there, something that should've terrified her, and whatever Lucifer had to do with that night was a mystery. She knew Loki like she knew hunting, it was a mix of conflicting emotions and the right and wrong of actions. But it always followed the same pattern as long as she was level headed.

That was the other problem she learned on the last hunt, because yes, she was still hunting. It may not have been the smartest move but if she stopped just because she was alone she would admit defeat.

Which wasn't a problem until she killed that damned demon.

Until the incident with the demon she hadn't recognized just how close to the surface her addiction was, and resisting on her own? That had been pure hell. But she had done it.

So no more demon hunts for Samantha Winchester. It was an easy rule. In theory. Until she went to sleep and Loki was there again.

"Go away." Sam scowled, crossing her arms and glaring at the creature sprawled on her bed.

"I'd rather not." Loki retorted, rolling onto her side and propping her head on her hand.

"I'm done with the sex. I told you."

"Am I naked, Sammy? The answer is no. I'm here to talk."

"I think you're full of shit."

Loki sighed heavily and slumped back onto her back. "I've been more real with you than anyone else in a long time. The least you could do is the same."

"What-"

"You don't want to stop fucking. Your Spirit calls to me on a constant basis and you're alone. What that means is Deanna left, and don't bother lying because I saw her on a hunt last week. You're doing this because your sister is pissed, and I'm willing to let it go. But I want you to be real with me and not spout a bunch of bullshit."

Sam ground her teeth together. She hated it. Hated how accurate Loki's words were.

"What do you want, Loki?"

"I miss you. I shouldn't. I should be groveling at my brother's feet, but I'm not. I'm here, with you."

"Or you're with him and he's using you to draw me in. Why does he want me, Loki? You told me you want us to be real with each other, tell me why Lucifer wants me."

A smile quirked on her lips. "You freed him, Sammy. But there's more. There's always more when it comes to you two, just like them." Then Loki was on the edge of the bed, watching her with a predatory gaze that made her entire body heat with irrepressible desire. "Michelle and Luce. They're the keys. Just like you and Deanna. They were the keys to the Dawn. Michelle created your moon, and Lucifer created your sun. After Lucifer was Caged Michelle went to sleep. When your sister broke The First Seal she awakened her, The Glow of The Night. When you broke The Last Seal, when you killed Cath, you brought him up. You raised The Star of The Morning."

"What does-"

"Mirrors. It all falls into mirrors, Sammy. Four True Vessels walk to Earth currently, four siblings, each more like their angel than the last."

"I have a sister and… Ada. But she's my half sister."

"Blood is blood. Your mom hid one entire nine month pregnancy from you and your sister that you know about. There's a second though."

Then it clicked with Sam what Loki had been talking about, where her story was leading. The connections came together in her brain like a live wire and fear flooded through her.

"I'm…"

"Yes. You're his Vessel."

"That isn't possible."

"Oh, but it is. It's true. I know it, Lucifer and Michelle know it. Even your darling sister and Castiel know it."

Sam flinched. "No. Deanna doesn't know." Not denying the fact, she was messed up enough that it was painfully easy to believe.

"Except she does. Cassie never would've kept vital information like that from your sister. Not with Michelle looming in the shadows."

"If she knew…if it was true, Deanna wouldn't have left me. Not after everything. She-"

"-loves you. I know. The problem, Sammy is that Michelle loves Lucifer as well. Enough that she would do anything she thought she could to protect him. Even if it hurt them both. Right now Deanna thinks you're a flight risk, and she's right." Sam tried to object but Loki continued on, speaking loudly and purposefully. "You love me, with the right amount of prodding I could no doubt get you to give me exactly what I want."

"I won't let him possess me." Sam responded, remembering Cass describing angelic possession and consent.

"Maybe you'll continue to say no, but it doesn't mean I won't bring you to Lucifer sooner or later. You're my prize."

"An offering."

Loki licked her lips, a smirk crossing her face. "A very delicious one."

"How's your brother going to react when he finds out you've been screwing his meatsuit?" Sam asked bitterly, blinking at the flicker of icy air that brushed her. Was that the dream? It didn't feel like the dream.

"What're you talking about?" Loki asked, frowning at her. Sam stared at the Archangel like she'd lost her mind. They'd talked about this before, right?

The day Deanna left caught life in her mind and unease curled through her gut.

"We talked about this before. When Deanna left."

"You made me leave, Sam."

Her mouth went dry and she shook her head. "No. That's not what happened. What the hell? Why are you lying?"

The genuine concern in Loki's expression made her equally sick and angry. "I wouldn't do that. I've only ever lied to you once, when we met. At this point what could I possibly gain by bullshitting you?"

Sam fought back an angry remark, because this was good, even in her shame, this was good. She could use this. Maybe. If she played her cards right.

If she forced away the violation she felt knowing that Lucifer manipulated her into sex.

"Lucifer was there." She choked out shakily, the disgust true.

"That isn't possible. I would've known if he was there."

Sam laughed sharply, shaking her head. "I should've known too."

Loki was in front of her suddenly, gripping her hands and squeezing them tightly until she opened her eyes to look at the shorter woman, her own vision blurred with tears. "What did you tell him?"

"What would I have told you?" Sam snapped back bitterly and Loki's expression fell.

"You told him."

"I didn't know it was him!"

Loki stared at her for a moment as despair crossed her expression. "You had sex. Oh God, Sammy. I'm sorry."

"No." Sam snapped, shoving hard at the angel and sending her stumbling back.

"I-"

"If you had any sense you'd give up on your fucking brother! Do you have any idea how bad you-" She stopped herself purposefully, hoping that Loki wasn't reading her mind.

"What happened?" She asked quietly, taking a shaky breath. "Sam, what happened?"

"Nothing." She responded, turning her back on the archangel and pulling her hands from her grip.

"What did he say as me?"

"That you were afraid." Sam breathed the first lie, shaking slightly. "That you were afraid he would find out."

Loki didn't respond, an uncomfortable air taking life around them.

"That you thought he would kill you, and that it was worth it. Dying at his hands was worth it."

"I am afraid." Loki said quietly. "I want him."

"What if he kills you, Lo?" Sam breathed out.

"He wouldn't do that. I'm his sister."

"Why would he have brought it up if he hasn't considered the prospect? I love you, Loki. I hate myself for it. For the way I feel, for the things I would risk, but I love you. I don't want to lose you."

"Sam-"

"Please, Loki. Just think about it. If he kills you after everything, what has it all been for? Why can't you help us? We don't have to kill him. I would never ask you-"

"Sam." Loki plead.

"-to kill him." She continued on, undeterred. "Help us find an alternative. There has to be another way. I know you love him, but if he stays here humanity suffers the consequences. You once told me you valued the human race more than any other creature in existence."

"It isn't that simple."

"What-"

"I won't kill him, or imprison him. I won't do that to him. I can't."

Sam took a deep breath before turning around, taking the Archangel and pulling her into a tight embrace. "There has to be something. Please, Lo. I wouldn't ever forgive myself if…"

"If my brother kills me it's on me. Not you." Loki breathed in response. "Sam, what you're asking me is impossible."

"No it isn't."

"I spent thousands of years regretting the day I left Heaven, Sammy. Thousands. I abandoned him to fight a war with our sister so I wouldn't have to face the truth."

"I know you love him. You love me too, though. Don't you dare deny it either because I know you better than you wanted me to. You say you will take me to Lucifer, that you'll throw me at his feet, but if you give him-"

"If I give you to him I might get you both." Loki smiled without any real happiness behind it. "I could have you both."

"Or you could lose me and your life."

"I've already lost you once, Sammy, and what's my life worth but thousands of years worth of pining? I'm a poor excuse of an Archangel, have Fallen further than any creature in existence, including my brother who by the way never actually did anything wrong besides choose to believe humanity was less than Mother."

"The same humanity that you claim to love."

"I do love you." Loki hissed, pulling away, and for a moment Sam wasn't sure Loki knew who she was claiming to love, her, or the human race.

"If you love us, if you love me, siding with Lucifer is absolutely insane."

"I am insane."

Sam shook her head, grabbing the Archangel's hand again. "You're not insane. You're a beautiful woman, you care, and even if I can't begin to comprehend the crap with your brother, you're good."

Loki smiled sadly and slipped her hands from where Sam was trying to intertwine their fingers. "You know who I am, what I am. I'm a murdering monster whose ten thousand times worse than that demon bastard you let fuck you."

Sam didn't miss the bitter jealousy in her words, and she realized something that never came close to crossing her mind. During her fling with Robbie it had been half addiction, half rebounding.

Loki had made a point of antagonizing her for an unwarranted sex dream about Billy Talbot during their fling, not long before the horror show of Mystery Spot.

Looking back now, she realized the only single reason Robbie lived as long as he did was because of Loki's love for Lucifer.

"Robbie was never good enough."

"Of course he wasn't. He was a fucking demon, Sam."

They were veering off track, but she couldn't bring herself to care.

"You're jealous."

"I'm not." Loki respond bitterly. "Why are we even talking about this?"

"What do you think Lucifer wants from me, Lo? He wants my body. I've talked to Cass about possession in the past, I know just how intimate it is for the angel and the vessel, don't tell me for a second that-"

"Sam, please."

"This entire venture is stupid and you know it."

"I want him."

"You sound like a bratty teenager, Lo. I get it. You want him. You know what I want? I want my brother and me not to be the root of the end of the damned world. I want to stop craving demon blood. I want it all to end. Lucky me, I don't always get what I want and neither do you. If I'm right, he's going to kill you and I'm going to be sitting in the passenger seat when it happens. If that's the kind of thing you do to people you love, then fuck off."

Loki was deadly silent, with a final broken look, she vanished.

Sam swallowed heavily, staring at the spot and trying to figure out what had happened, whether she had managed to make her point or not, and what was going to happen as a result.

Her mind drifted as her dreams took course and, for the first time in weeks, her dreams were peaceful. No Jessie, no Lucifer masquerading as Loki, and no horror shows filled to the brim with demon blood.

.-~*~-.

"Deanna." A hauntingly familiar voice broke through the air, the nightmare of Hell twisting to an old spare bedroom at Bobbie's.

"Andrew?" She asked, staring at the skyblue gaze of the first man she failed to save.

"Not quite." The man responded, brushing his fingers against the mattress of the bed thoughtfully. "My name is Michelle."

Deanna recoiled, taking a step back. "You-"

"I have come to talk. That's all."

"Fuck off!"

"I am not in the mood for your aggressive behaviors, Deanna Winchester."

"Well newsflash, your dick of a brother had my mother and mom killed so you can go fuck yourself! I don't want to listen to you spout-"

Her voice vanished with a sharp glare from the Archangel. "I told you I wished to talk. I am not here for your consent yet, and I had no part in the cruel meddling my brother's henchmen performed. In fact, if my information is correct, Lucifer had nothing to do with the death of either of your parents nor Bobbie Singer."

"So you have intimate knowledge of Lucifer's actions, do you?"

Michelle pressed her lips together in a tight line. "Not in the way you're implying. Lucifer is my brother, and that is how it will remain."

Which was relieving in a twisted way, a confirmation that there was no weird fucked up incest thing going on between Michelle and Lucifer.

"I gather my information from demons just like I am sure Lucifer gathers his information through angels that have yet to truly Fall."

"Shouldn't you be worried?"

"The only person I trust with my full plans is you." Michelle admitted. Which, wait? That didn't make sense. Why would Michelle trust her with the secrets to her ending the world?

"Why are you doing this?" She asked suddenly, glaring at the Archangel who turned so she was facing the bed, rather than looking at her.

"Lucifer is my brother, but he is an abomination."

"So wiping the planet out in some crap fight is your solution?"

Startled blue eyes met hers from where she stood. "Why would you think that is my intentions?"

Deanna believed it was genuine confusion, all that did was make her angry. It made no sense that the Archangel didn't know what the backlash of her battle with Lucifer would cause.

"Deathmatch? Lucifer? Don't play stupid, Michelle. When you and-"

"I have no intentions of killing my brother, Deanna."

"But-"

"Mother wrote that I would strike Lucifer down, but never once did she specify how. I have no intentions of killing Lucifer because, despite the corruption that plagued him, it wasn't his fault. Our Mother brought that on him. I was stupid then, not anymore."

"So what-"

"When the time is right, when you choose to give me your consent, I will go to my brother and I will fracture his Spirit so that he will be virtually human. You will eventually say yes, and you will save the world."

"You-"

"When your mother ordered you to kill your sister, when she told you that your sister would end the world, what did you do?"

"I protected her."

"We're fractured mirrors, Deanna. I don't want to kill my brother anymore than you want to kill your sister and I will do whatever is in my power to prevent that." A pause. "Almost anything. I must go now, but we will speak again soon."

"Don't-"

She jerked up in bed, darting her gaze around the motel room, two beds out of habit. Her entire body was burning and she had at some point in her sleep shoved her covers off as well as ripped her clothing off. Shakily she got to her feet, making her way to the bathroom and turning the cold water on.

So Lucifer was cold, colder than death. Michelle burned hot, and even if they weren't present directly it obviously affected them.

Michelle and her were meant to be fractured mirrors, it wasn't hard to guess what exactly that meant. The problem was simple, if her and Michelle were fractured mirrors, what did that mean for Sam?

Again, Deanna wanted nothing more than for Bobbie to be there.

They were doomed.

.-~*~-.

"Deanna." Castiel's voice broke through her like a live wire and she spun around to see the angel standing at the foot of the second bed, watching her solemnly.

"Cass?" She asked the angel disbelievingly. "Where the hell have you been? It's been weeks!"

The angel's expression was stoic and Deanna was forced to remember a time not long ago when the angel was completely unable to comprehend humanity, the dick she'd met in the barn almost a year ago.

"I have been searching for my Mother." Cass answered quietly. "I need your help."

Deanna wanted to scream at the angel, to grab her by the hair and-

Fuck.

"You don't just take off like that, Cass."

"I was under the impression that you didn't like angels, Deanna."

There was a hostile tone in the angel's voice that made her unwillingly flinch. "I didn't mean it like that, Cass." Why did she ever think she could have a real relationship?

"Lucifer deserves whatever punishment he gets, Michelle, Gabriella, and Raphiel have done nothing wrong."

"Gabriella helped jumpstart the Apocalypse, Cass! Michelle wants to wear me to the damned end of the world." I have no intentions of killing my brother. "As for Raphiel, I never said a word about her, but considering she killed you she can burn with the rest. I'd apologize but it'd be bullshit. You may love your twisted, fucked up family, but they want my family so I'm going to fight them every damned step of the way."

Cass stared at her for several long silent moments, several long, quiet moments.

"You're right for your reasons of resentment, Deanna. But you are wrong for believing my sisters all deserve death for their transgressions. Have you spoken with Michelle yet?"

"No." Deanna responded, a bit too fast if the look the angel gave her was anything to go by. "I had a dream." She admitted reluctantly. "The first person I ever failed to save in a hunt, Andrew Stone, he came and we talked."

"As I used to do with Jamie before she gave me consent."

"Yeah, and the same shit I'm positive Lucifer pulled on my sister. Look, Cass. This isn't what that's about. I talked to Michelle and she spouted bullshit about the fact that I would consent to save the world-"

"It would be, should Lucifer gain your sister's consent."

"Sam isn't going to say 'yes'!"

"You left her to the coercion of both Gabriella and Lucifer."

"I left to make her think about her actions."

"Did you consider for a moment that she's going through withdrawal again?"

Deanna set her jaw and didn't respond.

"We are veering off the topic, correct? Very well. Let's return to discussing your inability to comprehend why someone might do something irrational for their family."

"I-"

"You are right, Deanna. My brother and sisters are threats to the Earth, but that threat is only a threat as long as you and your sister are open to giving consent. Without their True Vessels Michelle and Lucifer will never fight."

"Then why are you hunting down God?"

Cass didn't answer, averting her gaze. "God can return Lucifer to his confinement."

"Which means you think Lucifer is still a threat."

Cass sighed heavily. "Yes. I already agreed that Lucifer is a threat. Without Lucifer, Michelle will return to Heaven and the Earth will be left alone."

"You think you can find God."

"I think Raphiel can find God."

"God bailed, Cass. She ditched us to fend for ourselves and if-"

Before she could finish her sentence an angry Cass had appeared in her face, picking her up by the neck of her t-shirt and lifting her until her toes were all that were touching the ground. "Let me rephrase this, Deanna. I Fell for you, I did everything for you, and you have failed me every step of the way. I am not asking for your help. I am telling you, you will help me." One of the words Deanna hadn't used to describe Cass in a while was scary, but here, eyes glowing with white and darkening wings flickering into sight behind her, it was the exact word she would use.

"Okay." She managed past the sudden dryness in her mouth. Damnit.

"Good." Yet Cass made no move to drop her, instead she closed the short distance between them and pulled Deanna into a sudden dominating kiss that she instantly yielded to despite herself.

Cass left no illusions of who was in control as she shoved Deanna into the bed, straddling her hips and pinning her arms above her head. All Deanna could do was react to the onslaught from her angel, yield to her, and despite everything she was more than happy to do so. Even when greying wings came into sight and teasingly traced her sides.

Last time they made out, it was different. It was sensual, something way out of her comfort zone. Something she hadn't experienced since back when she dated Cassie, oh the irony.

This was raw, pure, and for the first time since she started sleeping with women she submitted to her lover. Submitted to the brush of lips trailing down her sides, the unpracticed movements of hands sliding lower and lower until-

A mix between a gasp and a whine escaped her as Cass' weight disappeared from on top of her, before she could even try to comprehend what the hell was happening a hand grabbed hers and she was being yanked to her feet.

"Cas-"

"Go." The angel hissed, wings taking full form, except…it wasn't her wings. These wings were bright and strong. "I have to say, Castiel has always chosen appealing vessels."

Deanna managed to tear her hand out of the angel's grip, stumbling backwards. "Who-"

"My name is Brendiel. Yes, you are awake, and yes, I am possessing your Castiel. But only for a moment."

"How long-"

"Relax, darling. Despite who I am working for, I have no interest in human sexuality."

"You're one of Lucifer's angels." Deanna said suddenly, thinking back on what Michelle had told her earlier in the day.

"I am. Big brother told me to stop by you, to tell you that he's moving in on little sis and there's nothing you can do to stop him."

"Why would he want me to know that?" Deanna realized she hated it, the way this angel spoke with her angel's mouth. It was all wrong. Everything about it was wrong.

"He believes the victory will be sweeter in the end. He also wanted something else." Licking her lips, the angel crossed the short space and pulled Deanna into a sharp impromptu kiss.

The problem wasn't actually the kiss, it was the liquid that came with the kiss. Blood her mind supplied unhelpfully, she gagged on it despite the strange alien taste, not the copper taste of human blood but something stronger. Raindrops and a fresh breeze blowing through the Impala. It should've been disgusting, she knew it should've been, but the dickbag angel held her there, blocking off any attempts at spitting the foul liquid out, and ultimately she was forced to swallow it.

A shudder rippled through her entire being as the bizarre tasting blood infiltrated her system, and horror flooded through her as a single word crossed through her mind. More.

The satisfied angel released her and backed off, brushing her hands off on Cass' ever present trench coat. Deanna blinked as her mind buzzed with something she didn't fully understand. What is happening?

"Been good doing business with you." Then Cass slumped to her knees, a bright glow flashing behind her with the movement.

Deanna couldn't move, mind swirling around the strange new sensation thrumming through her. An energy. Something alive, what? She wasn't sure. But she felt it, and it should've terrified her because it felt, everything about it screamed living and that was wrong, right? It had to mean possession, or something.

Except it felt right. It felt strangely familiar. I know you. Her mind said solemnly. My Spirit.

Then darkness completely engulfed her.

.-~*~-.

Lucifer sat on his throne, tapping his fingers against the armrest of the black stone thoughtfully as he contemplated his situation.

The first issue was Gabriella. Lucifer didn't have any idea how to handle the situation with her. As much as he loved his sister, even adored her, the bizarre sexual attraction wasn't one he shared. It wasn't one he was sure he was willing to share.

The problem was simple, Gabriella was his baby sister. Back at the Dawn of Creation Lucifer had taught her to fly, played with her, curled up with her in bed at night and wrapped her in his wings when she cried.

It was completely platonic. All of it. Back then neither of them had yet to experience human sexuality.

So was that when it changed? Lucifer had sat there the day his sister had first experienced it all, had watched over her as her own twisted guardian angel to make sure that the humans didn't harm or take advantage of her. But much like when she showed off the night she crept into Samantha's dreams it simply didn't draw his interest. It was simply sex.

Even then, he knew Gabriella would do anything she could to end the world for him, and he loved her enough that he wouldn't push her too far.

The only problem that remained was Samantha.

Lucifer wanted his Vessel, all to himself. He didn't want to share her. Permitting Gabriella to continue sleeping with her was potentially the hardest choice he had ever made, and he couldn't stop himself from regretting it.

Samantha was his. Yet, clear as the sun he brought, Gabriella and Samantha were lifemates. No matter how much Lucifer longed to have Samantha all to himself, and no matter how much Gabriella loved him, they were stuck in that uncomfortable triangle. Lucifer wasn't sure how far he was willing to go with his sister, and he wasn't sure he would be able to keep sharing Samantha with his sister.

"M'Lord." A pathetic demon propped open the door, poking its head through.

"What is it?" He snapped, not happy that his thoughts were interrupted.

"Brendiel." The demon responded, ducking its head.

"Send him in." Lucifer said sharply.

The angel came in, head bowed low and now greying wings bowed in submission. "My Lord."

"Brendiel. I hope you have good news."

"I delivered the message for you, as well as the other thing."

"It went smoothly?"

"Michelle has yet to visit her directly, however she did tell her little angel lover that Michelle visited her dreams."

"Which was expected." He mused out loud. "Michelle isn't prepared to face her Vessel."

"Castiel is worried."

"Of course she is. No matter the bond between them, Deanna is Michelle's True Vessel. If all the stories are true and Michelle has remained celibate all of this time, I sincerely doubt she will much longer. Deanna is a womanizer at heart and she will no doubt be tempted by my sister."

Brendiel made a face.

"Head out of the gutter, Brendiel. My sisters are my sisters."

"If I may, Lord Lucifer. There are stories spreading through Heaven about Gabriella and you."

Lucifer's jaw tightened at this revelation and he was forced to wonder for a moment where the rumor began. Gabriella had been extremely careful about that secret, if Michelle found out it was almost a guaranteed death sentence, and up until they spoke he knew she believed the same of him.

"I am not sexually attracted to my sisters, Brendiel. Let me make this clear to you."

"I'm sorry." He muttered pathetically and Lucifer had to squash the desire to smite the angel then and there. Brendiel was useful for the time being.

"Leave, Brendiel. I want progress reports on the Deanna situation. I'm sure she will return to her sister soon, but I want to monitor the frequency of Michelle's visits to her."

"Yes, sir." Brendiel said, bowing formally before disappearing in a flurry of feathers.

Lucifer stared at the spot, for the first time since his freedom stressing over what Gabriella may do to his credibility. It must have been Castiel that spread that information to Heaven, but there was little that could be done now. All he could do was maintain the situation, damage control as it was called.

'Lucifer.'

'Gabriella.' He responded almost immediately.

'I did what you wanted. I told her that it was you that had sex with her that night and she thinks she's getting me on board to help her.'

Surprising. Lucifer honestly hadn't expected Gabriella to be able to go through with that lie.

'I honestly don't get how raping her is going to work to your advantage.'

'It wasn't rape because neither of us did it. Trust me, Gabriella. This course of action will work out the best in the long run.'

'You're fucking with her psyche.'

'You complicated things, Gabbie. I'm doing what I have to to help the both of us reach our destination.'

'Is it really our destination?'

Lucifer took a breath, shoving his frustration down. Now was not the time to bicker with Gabriella. 'For now the destination is me getting my Vessel, I'm going to give you as long as I can with her because you're my sister and I love you.'

A flare of hurt came across the connection but he was well prepared for it, it wasn't a simple task of accepting her advances and loyalty because unlike the young angels in Heaven she was his sister and if he could've he would've made her go back to Michelle rather than stand by him. If Michelle got her hands on Deanna before he got his hands on Samantha he was on the losing side. Unless he took either Raphiel or Gabriella's True Vessel and struck immediately.

Not that he would, Ada Milligan and Marisha Jackson were ideally Gabriella and Raphiel's.

Not that he thought Gabriella would give up her Pagan Vessel for a human one, but it was principle.

'Maybe one day?'

'I won't lie to you, Gabbie.'

The connection went dead and Lucifer was left to sit in his throne and contemplate the situation.

Chapter Text

Loki loomed on the edge of Ada Milligan's Heaven, speculating just how close her True Vessel was with her. Was it possible that the woman, with the right amount of time with her, would develop feelings for her older sister much like Loki possessed feelings for Lucifer? Or would it be a discrepancy much like Lucifer's physical sex not matching his True Vessel?

"It isn't a discrepancy." Loki spun around, opening her mouth to spout out some excuse but before she could Raphiel had a hand on her mouth. "We don't want Michelle to see that you're here."

'Let me go, Raphi.'

"I'm going to let you in on a secret, Gabriella." Raphiel said quietly, drawing her hand away.

"My name isn't Gabriella. It's Loki." She bit out, wiping her mouth off and half regretting that she hadn't licked her sister's hand.

"Michelle had me toy with the bloodlines. For Lucifer. In the time since he Fell, since you left, she has done what she could to prevent killing Lucifer."

"What does this have to do with Sam?"

"Michelle doesn't want to kill Lucifer, I don't think she has the strength to do it."

"I'm the last person you should be telling. You're one of the only ones that know why."

"Michelle knows why. Your secret, it's no longer a secret."

"What?" She froze, staring at her sister.

"Telling Deanna Winchester was a stupid choice."

"So Michelle has visited her already?" Loki forced out as she fought through the wave of fear and panic. What would Michelle do?

"Yes. I have to wonder what was going through your head when you decided to tell them."

"I wasn't really thinking." She admitted reluctantly. "I just…he was out and I snapped. I was so excited."

"Yet you haven't blown the horn."

"Not until they have their Vessels."

"You really are going to blow it." Loki didn't answer and Raphiel gave her a distasteful look. "Did you know that the True Vessels are all hermaphrodites at birth?"

"They what?" Loki asked, thinking back on the countless sexual encounters with Sam. Sam was…she was definitely female.

"Ava, Samantha, and Deanna all were hermaphrodites at birth. Their parents made the choice of having their sex fixed, and by all rights Samantha was meant to be fixed as a male."

"But she isn't." Would things be different if she had been male?

"No. There was an issue during her surgery."

"Michelle?"

"Me, under her orders."

Loki glared at her sister, wings twitching where they were long ago hidden. "You had no right to-"

"Michelle wanted to cut down on the chance that he would fight. She was hoping his narcissism-"

"Michelle wanted him to fall in love with his Vessel."

"Yes. From our understanding Lucifer never showed sexual attraction to males, so a female was the better option."

"You had no right." Loki accused, stepping back. By all rights their parents didn't have the right either, but the Archangels weren't supposed to step into the creation of the Vessels.

"No. We didn't. But I did it because I don't want to watch Michelle and Lucifer tear each other apart! You know what I've been dealing with since you left, Gabriella?"

"Don't you dare. Michelle ordered me to leave!"

"She didn't mean it and you know it! You chose to go, you followed her orders rather than doing what you have done for thousands of years!"

"What, disobey Her? Fall like he did. Nuh uh. No way. I love Lucifer more than I value my own life but I was not going to sit among The Fallen and lick his boots-"

"You would prefer to lick his cock." Raphiel cut in with disgust and Loki flinched at the use of the word.

"If you must know, Raphiel, I don't get that privilege. You and our cunt of a sister took that away from me. Just like she sent me away from home. I love you, both of you, but the last thing I'm interested in is flinging insults when you sent me away because I didn't want to go to war with him!"

"It wasn't supposed to be a war, Gabbie. We were going to take him by surprise. Do you know how many of our brothers and sisters died because of you? All because you wanted to fuck our brother? Those deaths aren't on me, or her, it's all on you. I love you too, Sister. But you need to go because Michelle is coming now and if she sees you, she will imprison you."

Loki almost cried.

Just barely, but she almost did.

Instead she did as she was warned and she fled, carrying herself far and fast as her Spirit curled around itself. Loki was lost. What would she do? What could she do?

'Luce?'

'I'm sorry, Gabbie. Not yet. I can't risk her finding me without Sam.'

'Make her say "yes".'

'I won't force myself on her, Gabriella. It has to be her choice. I never planned to lie to her about anything either. You changed the entire plan.'

'You don't have to keep me involved.'

'Of course I do. You're my sister.' The words hurt as though he'd slapped her. It was obvious he worded it the way he did because it would hurt her.

But he was also making a point.

Loki shut her eyes as she wrapped herself in memories of a simpler time, a time before humanity and the dark truth of her feelings ever came to be. A time before she was Gabriella, a time where she was simply The Voice.

.-~*~-.

Deanna pulled Sam into a tight embrace, holding her close as she shut out the sight of the black aura surrounding her sister.

Deanna was terrified. Not that she would dare tell her sister that. There were enough issues surrounding them that bringing up the visit from Michelle and that dick angel that…

No, she wouldn't think about that. Cass apparently had no memories of being possessed which made her and that angel the only ones aware of what had happened.

It would stay that way if she had any choice in the matter.

"I lied." Sam muttered, pulling away and wrapping her arms around herself.

Deanna already knew, could tell just how bad of shape her sister was in. She was pale and had lost far too much weight to be healthy. There were bags under her eyes and Deanna wasn't stupid. "At first it was easy. I was distracted. Then I ran into a demon and…I thought I was still good. I thought I could keep working."

"You relapsed." Deanna forced out and Sam shook her head quickly.

"I didn't."

Deanna believed her.

"But…damn it I can't stop thinking about it and I need your help, Deanna. Please."

Deanna stared at her sister's tear filled eyes, remembering the sharp "never cry, girls. Don't you dare cry. Crying is a weakness and those creatures can smell weakness."

"We'll figure it out." Deanna promised, "For now we need to get the hell outta civilization and-"

"You have got to lock me down, Deanna. I'm holding on, but it calls to me. I know there's a demon three miles from here and I…" She started shaking violently and Deanna grabbed her sister's shoulders, shaking her slightly until she met her gaze.

"We'll take care of it. I promise, Sammy."

There was something in those broken puppy eyes for a single moment that scared the hell out of her, that caused her to drop her grip and recoil slightly.

It was only a second, but Deanna had seen it, and it was wrong. It screamed at her threat and danger. Something she was extremely in tune with after years of hunting.

"If I didn't you know... I would wanna hunt you. And so would other hunters." And they had. It had happened once before and if word got out about Sam's addiction, about her connection to Lucifer…well Heaven and Hell wouldn't be their only issue.

"Let's go." Deanna forced out and Sam nodded before making her way to Baby. Deanna watched her sister go with an air of unease, the last detox her sister had gone through burning in the back of her mind.

Back then, they'd had the panic room, she'd had Bobbie to keep her head on right while she was forced to hope her sister lived through a literally hellish withdrawal.

Now she was alone with something burning deep in her that she tried hard not to think about. Something she felt within her that she ignored with all of her might.

"I'm going to take care of you, I'm going to take care of you! I gotcha. It's my job, right, watch after my pain-in-the-ass little sister..."

Deanna forced herself to walk to The Impala, sliding into the driver's seat and glancing at the rearview mirror where she could see Sam curled up in the back with her head carefully tucked against her knees while shivering wracked her body.

"Take care of your sister, Deanna."

.-~*~-.

Six hours later they were pulling up outside an old hunter's cabin in Colorado they hadn't been to since they were kids. It was worn down and looked as though it had been hit by a few storms but other than that it was in good shape.

It was also secluded.

For a moment she was forced to think of her sister as a rabid animal, ready to strike if someone moved wrong.

Or the wrong creature came within vicinity.

Deanna wasn't sure how well she was doing either. There was a nagging at the back of her mind, a silent 'Don't shut me out.' though it was less with words and more with emotions, feeling.

Deanna ignored it as she climbed out of the Impala, walking around her and pulling open the back door.

"Sammy." She said carefully and her sister opened her eyes. "I'm gonna check the place out. You good for a minute?"

"I'm fine, Dee." Sammy muttered shakily.

No.

She definitely wasn't okay if she was calling Deanna Dee. She hadn't called her that since she was…god two? Dee had turned to Ann for a couple years to a mixture of Deanna and Anna until it stuck at Deanna.

For a moment Deanna wondered. She wondered if her sister even remembered that, or was this another one of the crazy side effects of the demon blood cravings?

If she was honest, she wasn't sure she wanted to know.

"Hang in there." She muttered. "And don't you throw up again." She added as an afterthought before closing the door and turning to face the old cabin.

I wonder if there's any food up here. If need be she'd trap squirrels or hunt a deer. The nearest town was a two hour drive and she didn't want to leave Sam alone again. Not until she could figure out how the cravings were going to treat her, because this wasn't withdrawal.

If this was withdrawal she would've either relapsed or recovered at this point. It had been somewhere around a month since Lucifer, Sam had started getting shaky within a week before. Broken in longer.

This had to be something else and with the small niggling of what she knew was her Spirit she had little doubt about what it was.

Sam wasn't going through withdrawal. Sam was craving like a damned vampire and there was nothing Deanna could do but hope it would pass before her own issue became prevalent.

Not that she'd let it become an issue.

As she stepped up the creaky porch steps she eyed the newer round grill shoved to the edge of the porch.

It was new enough that she had hope there was some sort of nonperishable food stashed inside that was edible.

Worst case I have Cass. Except Cass hadn't spoken to her in several days, since the incident her angel couldn't remember. But if she called for something urgent, she had just barely enough faith that the angel would come.

"C'mon." She breathed out before pushing the creaky door open.

A sigh of relief escaped her when she saw the still intact interior. That was good. They could work with this. Kneeling down, she checked the underside of the mat just inside the door, satisfied to find a devil's trap in place. A bit of work and she would be able to ward the rest of the place against both angels and demons.

Then she would just have to focus on keeping her sister contained.

"If you can't save her, you've got to kill her."

"I won't kill her." She stated firmly, telling the air.

I'm going to lose my mind.

"You might." Dean spun around in an instant, .45 already in hand as she stared at her sister leaning weakly against the post on the porch.

"I won't."

"Lucifer thinks you will. He thinks that you'll say 'yes'."

God, Lucifer was still visiting Sam. Was The Trickster doing it too? Deanna wondered for a moment if the visits from Archangels weren't the root of her problem more than the demon blood cravings.

"Well he's full of shit, Sammy. We ain't going to say 'yes'."

"Lo thinks you will do something else." Sam breathed out. "She wants to help us though. Promise me something."

What the hell? She wanted to help? Deanna was calling bullshit on that one then and there. There was no way in hell the damned Trickster planned on helping them. Not with the way she talked about Lucifer. But Sam clearly wasn't in anywhere close to the right mental state to bring that point up.

"Promise what?"

"Promise me you won't have sex with Michelle."

"What the fuck?" The words left her mouth before she could stop them, her mind swimming as she tried to grasp where the hell this conversation had veered off to.

"I talked to Cass. Before… and she told me about the intensity of a possession. I had sex with Lucifer. It was a lie, but I did it. It was the most intense experience of my life and I have to wonder…but it doesn't matter. The sex is a gateway drug. Promise me you won't have sex with Michelle."

Deanna opened then shut her mouth, feeling like a fish out of water. When the hell had Sam had sex with Lucifer? They hadn't been apart for that long, had they? How deep were Lucifer and fucking Loki's claws digging into her little sister?

"Save her. Save your sister. Because if you don't, you have to kill her."

"I swear, Sammy. I won't fuck the Archangel that wants to wear me to prom." She forced as much sarcasm as she could muster into the words. Sam gave her a grateful smile before her eyes slid shut and she slumped into an unconscious heap on the floor.

"Sam!"

"Dad didn't even have to tell me, it was just always my responsibility. I had one job and I screwed it up. I blew it and for that I am sorry."

.-~*~-.

"Oh, Deanna. You think you're strong don't you? Choosing to suffer in the place of your brother? Newsflash. You're not. You're weak. You've always been weak and that's why your momma left. That's why Sammy left. They don't care, you know? Your sister? She's on the surface right now, hunting better than she ever did with you dragging her down."

"No."

"Yes, Deanna. Your family has never cared."

"I-"

"Enough."

Deanna jerked upright, tumbling out of a motel bed and looking around the room until she caught sight of Andrew Stone again.

It pissed her off when she realized the Archangel was still wearing his face. Michelle had no right.

"Deanna."

"Leave."

"You were having a nightmare." Deanna didn't want to believe the concern that blanketed the Archangel's words, it had to be fake, but at the same time…

"Tends to happen when you spent forty years suffering in Hell."

Michelle flinched. It was subtle, but Deanna caught it. What was her deal? Was she trying to play the sympathy card in hopes of getting consent? Because it was going to happen. Deanna had absolutely no intentions of saying 'yes'.

"It was never supposed to take that long, Deanna." Michelle finally told her. "When I sent my soldiers to Hell to rescue you I did so the moment I was informed you were in Hell."

"Gotta love that dickish middle man." Deanna scoffed. "You expect me to believe you wanted to help me?"

"I do." Michelle responded, completely missing the point. "Ariah didn't tell me you were in Hell until a month following your death. I sent my strongest garrisons to Hell in hopes of rescuing you. Instead I failed you. I know you don't trust me, you think I plan to manipulate you into giving me your consent. What you forget is that Lucifer is the deceiver, Lucifer is the master of manipulation. I'm not my brother."

"You want my consent to ride me around like a freaking suit."

Michelle dropped her gaze. "There's a difference between what we want and what is a necessity, Deanna. As I told you before, my brother is forcing my hand. As sure as I am that I love my brother, I know both him and Gabriella are harassing your sister."

"How do I stop them?" Michelle jerked slightly, moving her gaze to Deanna with surprise distinct in her expression. "You heard me. You want to help? Tell me how the hell to keep them out of my sister's head. Help me."

Deanna wasn't completely sure what came over her but almost immediately she realized it didn't matter because Michelle could help. If she was being serious. If she was truly planning to help.

Deanna held the Archangel's gaze and could see the conflict in her eyes, the uncertainty.

"I've seen a ward before but…I would have to find it again." Michelle admitted weakly, bowing her head. "I will return to you tomorrow night, if you will allow."

Deanna didn't know if she believed the Archangel, but she was desperate. There was nothing else she could do, no one left to ask. All their family and friends were dead…Cass was MIA and as much as she…cared about her she kept screwing up whatever it was between them.

"Angels are not meant to love as humans do." Michelle spoke up. "Romantic love did not exist when we were created. Mating was a foreign concept to the Archangels."

"Stop reading my mind." Deanna bit out, cheeks heating up with embarrassment.

"I'll refrain. I am simply making a point. Humanity changed the way Archangels interacted."

"Like…Gabriella?"

Michelle made a disgusted sound. "Gabriella's feelings towards our brother are disgusting, but they exist and now I have no choice but to accept them for what they are. Let me make it clear to you, Deanna because they don't seem to be sticking with anyone. My feelings towards my sisters as well as my brother are completely platonic. Anything I feel for my siblings as a whole. I have never engaged in sexual activity with others and I have no intentions of doing so."

"Promise me you won't have sex with Michelle." A fucking virgin. Of course she was a virgin. Except where the hell did that mirror? Deanna thought hard on her early teenage years. On when she would sneak a finger or two in the bed or sneak swimsuit issues from the stores.

Fuck.

Andrew Stone was more than the first man she failed to save, her first hunt at thirteen, and God she was stupid.

"Go out with me."

"My mom would kill me."

"So? Go out with me."

"Mom would kill you."

"What's my life worth? I'll show you a good time."

Images of skyblue eyes staring lifelessly at the sky, blood spattering a pale freckled face and the dead body of a werewolf draped over his chest danced through her vision.

"Mom-"

"What the hell are you doing here, Deanna? You left your sister alone!"

"I'm sorry." She wanted to cry. All she could do was stare at the lifeless body of Andrew Stone. My first. The thought rang through her head like a low bell.

"Sorry doesn't fix your mistake. You knew better! Risking everything for some boy you just met? Go back to your sister. Now. You're supposed to protect your sister."

It was always about Sam. That night had been her. About how she felt. I loved him. Her mind supplied unhelpfully.

"God I'm so fucking stupid." Deanna breathed. They were fractured mirrors. Michelle may have been older, but her side was still playing out. What Michelle had been going through since the Dawn of time was already played out for Sam and her. Michelle wouldn't have sex until she trusted the person, or was stupid. Whichever way she saw it as.

"Deanna?"

"Go out and get laid, Michelle. I promise it'll do you some good."

Or you'll ultimately kill them, just like I did. Let's see how close we are, Michelle.

"I don't understand."

"That isn't the point of getting laid. You don't understand. You just do. Now go. I have-"

"Wait, Deanna."

"What?"

"The angel that fed you his blood. I want you to know I had nothing to do with that."

Her stomach lurched. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"I was going to discuss it with you, Deanna. I never would have done that to you."

"Fuck off."

"He Fell after what he did to you. I have half of Heaven searching for him right now."

"Well when you find him, let me know." Deanna bit out angrily.

"I will." Michelle promised seriously and frustration burned beneath her skin.

"You're worse than Cass."

"No. I'm not stupid. I'd just rather ignore your hostility and get my point across than argue with you about every little thing."

Deanna glared at the Archangel.

"You are so untrusting, Deanna. What you need to understand is that the world isn't out to get you. Despite the tragedies you have endured, there are people out there that care about your well-being. Castiel is not the only one out there."

It barely passed her notice that Michelle didn't mention Sam, and Deanna wasn't sure how to take that. If she was honest, she wasn't sure how to take any of what Michelle was saying. Her first instinct was to tell the Archangel to "fuck off", but something made her pause. The brutal fact of, she needed help. If Michelle was serious about helping, then she needed to suck it up and accept it. Demon blood cravings and Archangels were so out of their league. Any of their potential research material was lying in the ashes of Bobbie's place.

Yeah, she could throw a line out in the hunting community but there was a lot of potential it ended up backfiring on them rather than helping them. If other hunters found out about their situation they would be public enemies number one and two.

"Bye, Michelle."

Deanna opened her eyes, staring at the wooden ceiling of the cabin as she silently hoped that Michelle would pull through. Every inch of her skin was covered in sweat that left her feeling sick to her stomach. A reminder that her dreams weren't just dreams. That Michelle's words were as real as her fucked up life.

"You can't be here." Sam's voice was rough, quiet, and Deanna froze where she was.

"I'm not. I'm just projecting myself into your mind." The Trickster's voice came from the same direction.

Damn it.

"I don't care. Lo, if she hears me talking to you she's going to be pissed."

"She's always pissed at you, Sammy." Sam made a small sound that Deanna refused to think on. "I wanted to talk to you about what we discussed."

"Lucifer?" Sam asked, voice quieter.

"You were right." The Trickster said softly. "I talked to Raphiel this morning."

"What did she say?"

There was a long pause and the sound of movement, The Trickster's words were almost inaudible. "They manipulated The Apocalypse, Sammy. I wanted it to start, so bad, but…Mother help us, Michelle did it. Michelle shifted the events to make sure it started and…"

Deanna couldn't hear the next part but her blood was boiling under her skin. Was Sam buying this crap? It was ridiculous. All of it was crap.

"Sam?" She spoke out, dragging her voice to make herself sound like she was just waking up.

"Yeah?" Her sister's voice sounded far too normal. Carefully she pushed into a sitting position, eying the cot across the room where her sister was leaning against the wall. The assortment of sigils lining the wall behind her reminded Deanna vaguely of the day she met Cass.

"You good?"

"I couldn't sleep." Sam responded. "Loki was talking to me."

Well at least she was being honest.

"Yeah? How'd that go?"

"You don't trust her."

"Of course not. She's a monster, Sammy. Ignoring everything else, she killed me over a hundred fucking times just for-"

"Heaven ordered her to do it."

"She fucking psychologically tortured you!"

"It wasn't her choice!"

Sammy. "I'm just asking you to think about this."

"I've had weeks to think about it, Deanna."

I never should've left.

"Have you figured out how to tell the difference between Lucifer and the damned Trickster yet, Sam?"

"Yes." Sam bit back, glaring. "Did you plan on telling me Michelle has been visiting you?"

"Yes." No. The lie came out of her mouth before she could stop it, "I mean no. You've got too much bullshit going on in your head to worry about what's going on in mine."

"What did she tell you?"

What was safe to share with her sister? Clearly Michelle was nosing around in her head, it wasn't hard to imagine Lucifer was doing the same to her sister.

"That she doesn't want to kill Lucifer."

"You believe her?"

Fractured mirrors. "I don't know." She admitted honestly. "I'd like to think this doesn't end in two Archangels duking it out and wiping the planet in half."

"Lucifer and Loki both say that Michelle started it all." Hope flared to life in her when she realized Sam was listening. Under the skepticism and pain most likely being brought on by the demon blood cravings there was a familiar flash of the nerd she knew her sister was.

"Michelle swears she wouldn't have done that. Think about it, Sammy. What does the ruler of Heaven gain by killing the devil? Peace on Earth? There'd be no Earth left, and they live in Heaven anyways. You know it doesn't add up. You're not stupid."

Sam chewed on her bottom lip, staring at the floor. All Deanna could do was wait patiently. Hope that her sister got it. The fact that she was listening at all meant that Sam wasn't gone.

"I don't know what to do, Deanna. They're constantly there. Constantly in my head. Constantly pushing. I need to believe Loki. I have to believe her."

"Maybe I'm wrong about Loki." Deanna conceded with difficulty. "But…Sam, you saw her. We both saw her. I want to think you're enough to change that. You're my baby sister. I want you to have everything you want. But what if you're wrong? What if she's using you? What if you wake up one morning and you're in Hell and Lucifer is standing there with The Trickster at his side expecting a 'yes'?" It took every ounce of her will power not to throw Robbie in her sister's face. Right now she couldn't afford to get into another argument.

"She's always pissed at you, Sammy."

Loki knew the new Sam better than Deanna did to some extent if what she read in Charlie Shurley's books was anything to go by, assuming Loki actually had watched Sam all that time she spent hunting her down, The Trickster had months of experience analyzing Sam's behavior and mental condition. Not to mention Lucifer actually getting in her head.

"What if you're wrong? There's a lot you don't know about her, Deanna. So much. I think underneath that desperate insane woman there's still the rational Messenger of God. There's got to be."

"What if there isn't?"

"Then we'll deal with it. Just like we deal with everything else."

Unless it's too late. If you're wrong, Sammy, she'll ruin you. Not that she would dare say that out loud. This was the most conversational progress they'd made since she woke up from her Archangel induced coma.

"Fine." Deanna conceded, forcing her legs to move as she pushed herself to her feet.

"Where are you going?"

"Bathroom. An issue?"

"Whoever was out here last destroyed the bathroom. Looks like someone needed the pipes."

Ugh. "Fine."

How did women survive without bathrooms? It was times like then she wished she had been born as a man. But what could she do? Grudgingly, she made her way to the front of the cabin, the floor creaking ominously with the low thrum of the radiator in the background. When they were younger it had been a hole in the wall, but one of the hunters had pulled through in modifying the place. There was a solar panel on the roof that Deanna had been forced to pull a tree branch off of and a cheap TV that looked like it came from the 90s and an old DVD/VCR

It worked from what she could tell, though their movie choices were very limited. Not that either of them had watched one yet. Maybe they would, though.

It could be somewhat normal, if she ignored everything else.

By the time she was done outside she was shivering slightly from the chill outside mixing with the residual sweat on her skin.

That was one of those things she needed to ask Michelle about. Especially if the bathroom was out of commission. There was no way she could sit sweat dirty in the cabin. If she was honest she wasn't sure how well she would handle being stuck in a cabin again to begin with.

"Deanna."

All of her thoughts fell apart as she spun around, staring into Cass' deep blue gaze for a moment before the angel collapsed into her.

Blood.

Damn it, Cass.

Chapter Text

Sam scrambled to her feet, fighting off the waves of nausea and exhaustion in favor of making herself cross the room to try to help carry the unconscious Castiel that Deanna was half dragging into the cabin.

Of course three steps in she collapsed to her knees with a moan of half despair, half pain. Her entire body lit up like every bone in it was broken and there was a silent cry of blood blood blood.

Clean. She shoved back as she watched her sister drag Cass to the old lumpy couch that neither of them had dared lay on, dropping the angel unceremoniously onto the cushions.

"I'm fine," She spoke up as she sat back, eying her sister uneasily. "What happened?"

"Raphiel." Cass croaked from the couch.

"Damn it, Cass!" Deanna responded with frustration pouring from the words as well as her entire demeanor as she crossed the short space to help Sam to her feet.

"My wings." Cass moaned weakly as she rolled onto her stomach.

Together, Sam and Deanna crossed the room and Sam slumped into a heap in front of the recliner, watching as Cass' wings materialized in the air behind her.

"Fallen." Sam stared in shock at the now black feathers lining the two strong appendages on the angel's back. Sam remembered one of the first times they met, the first time she saw an angel. The wings on her back had been pure white, bright and glowing with something that made her want to fall to her knees and obey.

Now they screamed familiar.

For good reason. Lucifer hadn't been shy about showing his wings. Unlike Loki who never showed hers, Lucifer flaunted his like they were the most glorious things in existence.

They are.

Sam had only seen the Archangel twice, once if she didn't count the time that he pretended to be Loki. Their second encounter had been short and Lucifer had taken off after a short argument when Lucifer insisted that Deanna would say 'yes'.

But his wings had been there, black as a raven and despite the corruption that plagued them she saw a different kind of beauty in them.

It was different with Cass, the black wasn't as magnificent, more crowlike in appearance with less color variations.

They should've terrified her, but they didn't. The overexposure she had to the impure made them more familiar than the ones the angel had possessed when they met.

Blood. Something pushed at her unhelpfully, forcing her attention back to her sister and the angel.

"-and I Fell." Cass finished whatever she'd been saying, still lying on her stomach with her right crow wing draped awkwardly across the back of the couch with the other half tucked to her back.

"You're an idiot, Cass. That was so stupid."

"It was hardly deliberate." Cass responded dryly, "I have been Falling ever since I met you, Deanna."

Deanna scoffed and Cass turned her head deliberately, wings disappearing as she rolled onto her side. "You may not believe it but your Spirit sings to me and it's a very pretty song."

Sam smiled and Deanna shifted uncomfortably. "No chick flick moments, Cass. We've talked about that."

"Did that not change when our relationship moved past the boundaries of allies?" Cass asked seriously and this time Sam did laugh. Honestly, she couldn't help it. But the overly serious question asked in a way only Cass could accomplish without sounding bizarre was far too funny to keep her mouth shut and Deanna shot her a I hate your guts right now look that made her laugh even harder.

It was such a ridiculous thing to laugh about, but it wasn't at the same time. It had been a long while since she'd laughed at her sister's expense like that, and even with the aching feeling in her body that was easy to ignore if she ignored the source.

"It's not funny." Deanna grumbled.

"I'm confused." Cass responded.

"Don't worry about it, Cass." Deanna spoke up as Sam made herself stop laughing.

"It's not important." Sam smiled, looking at the confusion on Cass' face. Why had she ever thought that Deanna would give in to Michelle? God her head was so messed up right now.

"What is wrong with you, Sam?" Cass asked suddenly, and Sam averted her gaze.

"Nothing." They both said at the same time and Cass sighed.

"The both of you are impossible. What is wrong?"

Sam shut her eyes before answering. "The cravings."

"That is impossible."

Sam scoffed at Cass' words, shaking her head. "It's true."

"When you killed Cath, you destroyed the remainder of the blood you had consumed. All that remains in your Spirit is…" Cass trailed off and Sam looked up to see Cass staring at her.

"What?" Deanna demanded.

"You've consumed demon blood since you woke up."

"What? No!" Sam defended herself quickly, glaring at the angel. "What the hell, Cass? I haven't had any demon blood since before..."

"Your Spirit is still active, Sam. It would not be active like this if you unless you have consumed demon blood recently." Sam swore, glancing at her sister to see a thread of doubt crossing through her expression. God damn it, Cass.

"I haven't relapsed, damn it!" Sam couldn't believe she was having to defend herself over this. Deanna and her had been over it before. "I swear, Deanna." Sam moved her focus to her sister, pleading with her eyes for her sister to believe her. She needed Deanna right now. "Please."

Deanna's expression softened a bit. While it was only subtle, after years of hunting together there was a flash of something Sam knew meant Deanna believed her. She wouldn't be able to do this alone. She needed her sister for this.

"Obviously there's blood in your system, Sammy. If you didn't relapse, someone put it there."

For a moment Sam remembered the hunt she'd gone on, the one she'd run into a demon on… she had been forced to kill the thing. "I hunted a demon." She admitted reluctantly. "I had a lot of trouble with it. This thing was relentless. Tried to get me to drink its blood because of Lucifer. I thought I did a good job at keeping it away but maybe I was wrong. But, Deanna, I swear. If I thought that it was the source, I would've told you."

To her relief, Deanna didn't look angry at the revelation, just… accepting. Sam hadn't expected it, and she wasn't really sure how it made her feel. It could be a good thing, or it could be a bad thing. It all depended on where her head was. Not to mention Michelle. Sam didn't know if Deanna was telling her everything about Michelle, just like she wasn't telling Deanna everything about Lucifer. It was probably the best case that Deanna kept certain things from her, until she better understood Lucifer and Loki's real intentions.

Lo.

"That is possible." Castiel finally broke the silence. "The condition of your Spirit is far from the state it was in before I released you from Bobbie's panic room."

A great reminder for them both, but neither hunter commented on it. "So it might've been that?" Deanna asked.

"Perhaps." Castiel agreed, looking far too closely at Sam for her liking, it made her feel like she was under a microscope. It was guilt no doubt that made her want to bail, but she couldn't go anywhere, and she shouldn't have even if she wanted to. They were progressing back to somewhere safe and she couldn't afford to lose that right now.

"So what's the plan?" Deanna spoke up.

"We stay hidden for the time being. Raphiel is rather angry with me currently." What'd Cass do to Raphiel? It must've been connected to why she Fell but Sam hadn't been paying attention when the angel explained it.

"Right, except I'm going to flip my freaking lid if I have to stay here too long."

"Would you rather risk your sister relapsing, Deanna?" Cass asked dryly and Deanna glared at the angel with a look that said exactly what she thought about that.

"The damned bathroom is broken, Cass! Unless you got some angel mojo that magically fixes toilets we're goin' to get pneumonia going outside."

Castiel frowned at Deanna, giving her a look that screamed 'what do you take me for?' "I could take you to a store so you can get the necessary materials to repair the bathroom."

"Hell no." Deanna responded immediately, glancing at Sam in a way Sam knew was meant to be inconspicuous. However, it got under her skin. Did Deanna really not trust to leave her in a cabin in the middle of freaking nowhere for an hour so she could get parts to fix the toilet, and maybe the shower. "I can drive to town, get what I need, and come back."

"What do you think? That I'll take off while you're gone."

"No." Deanna responded immediately, meeting her gaze. "I'd rather not leave you here alone for the devil to snag."

Sam ground her teeth together. "The devil's not going to grab me."

"You sure about that, Sammy?"

"Yes, I'm sure. I know you're worried about Loki but she doesn't have a clue where I am either, I'm not stupid. I trust her, but I know you don't."

There was tension rolling off of Deanna in waves, but it melted slowly as they stared between each other. A silent conversation of, 'I don't like this.' 'Trust me, Deanna.' 'If I'm wrong…' 'You aren't.'

Deanna broke away and nodded once. "I need to go to a hardware store, Cass. I think I saw one two towns over."

"Of course, Deanna." Castiel responded, placing a hand on her sister's shoulder.

"We'll be back. Be careful, Sammy."

"It's just an hour." Sam responded as she leaned back against the chair, shutting her eyes.

"I don't care. Be careful."

Sam was already dozing off though, when was the last time she actually slept? Well, slept without Loki coming around anyways. Lo, I want to sleep tonight. Please help me sleep.

Those were her final thoughts before she drifted into a blissfully quiet sleep.

.-~*~-.

Loki paced in her apartment as she tried to figure out how to solve the problem Sam was having. According to Lucifer he had nothing to do with it which left the question of what had caused the problem. Was it one of Lucifer's demons taking matters into their own hands? Did Michelle or Raphiel have something to do with it? There were plenty of things that could've caused it.

On one hand it was good for Lucifer, it meant his Vessel was in a state that left her vulnerable to Lucifer's advances.

On the other, it wasn't. Not if Lucifer hadn't planned it. Lucifer was going to be raving at his demons about it, probably tearing apart Hell to find the culprit and she had a damned plan to enact.

Loki paused in her pacing, stepping to the mirror on her wall and staring at the dress she'd put on, she hadn't overdone herself besides the desire to do so. If this was going to go well she couldn't be overly eccentric. She couldn't afford to freak him out. The dress was smooth and red with a black silk trim on the edges as well as a pattern etched into the center, ancient Enochian for 'life'.

"We've got this, right?" She asked herself and her Spirit curled within her with excitement. Well at least someone was confident in this not blowing up in her face. "I'm Loki, the fucking Norse Trickster. Not Gabriella the Archangel." The words were firm and filled her with confidence, because it was the truth. Gabriella was dead and while the feelings of the once Archangel resided deep in her Spirit, that was it.

Lucifer wasn't her brother, but he was the man she loved and she was going to get that point to him. Even if it killed her.

At this point, however. She was certain he didn't plan to kill her. Which was enough to give her the confidence to launch herself from the apartment, cutting through a wall in dimensions and coming out in Hell. It wasn't a secret that Lucifer was in Hell, the trick was finding where in Hell he was.

Over the years each of the rulers of Hell had added to the layout. Loki distinctly remembered her first time there, her first visit had been simple. Hell had been the throne room with the dungeon off to the side. Now it was mazes and offshoots, different segments and chambers. Detached abandoned areas that no one could access anymore. Hell may have been a place of decay, but it never truly lost segments.

However, she didn't care about that. What she cared about was finding where Lucifer would have moved the Throne Room. Which was a simple enough answer. Lucifer was aware of human culture, much more aware than he should've been. Michelle and Raphiel never would've considered human culture as the source of Lucifer's decision. The section of Hell he would've chosen.

Rather than beginning the trek through the blood covered corridors that were without a doubt being patrolled by demons she turned around, staring down the seemingly endless pit. Even her angelic origins couldn't bypass the sight, couldn't tell her what lay at the bottom of it. The only thing that told her what was down there was knowledge. Of course she could follow the maze, and, eventually, she would find her way to the final part. The problem was how much time that would take. It took the garrison that rescued Deanna Winchester's Spirit four earth months to make it two-sevenths of the way there. There simply wasn't enough logic in going the long way when she knew the shortcut.

Closing her eyes at the sick sense of dread that Hell was bringing forth she spread her wings behind her and stepped off.

Then she was falling, not Falling, Heaven help her if she ever truly Fell, no, she was falling, though. Her wings were singed and heated and she was drug under, he doesn't love you. He never will love you. How could someone like him love something like you? A little screwup Archangel. Nothing. You're nothing, you know? So that was what happened when you stepped into the void of Hell? Bombarded with thoughts, doubts, misery inducing ideas. You ran, you know? Left him to fight Heaven by himself. He would've won if you were with him.

No. If she was with him, they would've both been Caged, or killed. Still, the words burned deep in her, a low thrumming of, you betrayed him. It was true. It was the truest thing she knew. When she didn't stand by him, when she fled to join the Pagans, she betrayed him. That was another time, though, and she wouldn't let it plague her.

"I am stronger than her. I am Loki. I am Loki." She repeated, sending her wings away and closing her eyes. "I am Loki."

When her eyes opened she wasn't falling anymore, her feet were flat on a white marble floor and Lucifer's voice was strong, violently patient. Though she knew he saw her, he never took his gaze off the blonde angel that was on her knees before him. "You lost them."

"It was Raphiel, sir." The angel spoke, black trembling behind her back. "When Raphiel was summoned I had no choice but to flee. If I hadn't…"

"You would have been destroyed by my dear sister."

"Yes. Castiel has gone mad."

"Not mad." Lucifer corrected patiently. "I believe a certain sister of mine simply played with her too hard." Loki shivered slightly, not daring to look at him. "I want you to find them, Deanna will do whatever she can to forget what you revealed about her and it's important that you make sure she doesn't forget, Brendiel. Go. Find. Her."

Brendiel nodded rapidly and spread her wings, launching herself out in a panic.

"Gabriella."

"It's Loki." She corrected Lucifer. He didn't look amused in the least.

"What are you doing here?"

"You know why I'm here."

"I've told you, Gab-"

"Loki."

"A name change doesn't change who you are to me."

"An identity does. Gabriella died thousands of years ago. I'm not here to bother you, Luce. I promise I'm not. I just want to ask you something. I'm begging you to listen to me."

Lucifer sighed heavily before rising to his feet, Vessel's blue eyes glinting as the walls fell away to reveal fields of ash and flame. "I'll listen." He conceded as he began walking into the ash. Without much thought Loki chased after him, shedding the edges so that the dress was resting just beneath her knees. "I'm impressed you found the eighth circle so quickly. Michelle firmly believes that I would never use the circles."

"I know you watched them while you were Caged, it would make sense that you would use the more culture savvy location."

"I was happy with the approach Dante took to my realm. For a demon, he did a wonderful job at it."

"Didn't Lilith kill him for his book?"

"I told her to. No one's supposed to know what Hell's like." Lucifer responded, shrugging his shoulders. "Even the Bible doesn't get most of it right, and it's supposedly their reference guide to us."

"Why do you hate them?"

"Why do you pretend to like them?"

Loki pressed her lips together, not answering as she looked down at the ash colored ground. "Did you ever consider making it look like Heaven?"

"Sometimes, when I first Fell." Lucifer admitted, "Then I realized that this was better. The chaos, the turmoil, they bring it on themselves, why should they receive Heaven when the reality is much simpler, they don't deserve it."

"Do you miss Heaven?" She asked instead and Lucifer caught her gaze out of the corner of his eye.

"Do you?"

Loki closed her eyes for a moment before opening them again and meeting Lucifer's gaze. "I've never been to Heaven."

The Archangel rolled his eyes, though it didn't pass her notice when his gaze lingered on her Spirit that was thrumming at the edge of her skin, exposing all of her Pagan aspects while masking all of her angelic ones.

"What do you want from me?" He finally asked as something shrouded in smoke and clouds finally began to come into view in front of them. Something she couldn't quite place yet.

"I want you to see me as who I am, Luce. Not as Gabriella, Gabriella is dead."

"I don't want my sister to be dead, Gabriella."

"Loki."

"You came here today wanting an answer. That's my answer. I love you, I love all my sisters dearly."

"I'm not your sister!" She shouted, throwing herself in front of him and spreading her Pagan aspect to the forefront, standing on the end of her toes just to come across as taller than she actually was, she stared firmly into Lucifer's eyes as they narrowed, frustration burning in their depths. "I am not your sister, Lucifer."

"Oh?" He asked, raising an eyebrow as his wings flickered into sight, so beautiful, even in their darkened state. "If I remember right, you're Gabriella, The Messenger of God, the youngest of God's Archangels and the once Voice. You spoke for Her, did you not?"

"I never did any of those things." She responded, not missing the sight as his large wings spread wider, showing off. The Star, now so dim, the one that brought the sun to being.

She wanted to wrap him in her own wings, to sooth what she knew must be a terrible feeling, Fallen. The Fallen.

It was his goal and she knew better, so she steeled herself, kept her angelic portions under careful wrap beneath her Pagan persona and held Lucifer's gaze. "I am Loki and I want to court you, or for you to court me. I want to follow you to the end of the world and throw away my own End. I want you because you are beautiful and bright and I love you."

Lucifer's wings dissipated and he glared at her, frustration burning in his gaze. "You're impossible."

"You're impossible." She retorted, regretting it immediately. "Listen, please just listen to me for a minute, Luce."

"I'm listening, but all I'm hearing is bullshit. You can't just show up in Hell and expect it to change. I've seen you the same way for thousands of years, it's not going to change just because you want it to."

"I want you to stop looking at me as the Archangel that you knew, I want you to look at me as the goddess that I've become."

"You want me to look at you as a Pagan?" He asked, expression darkening in a way that sent a chill down her spine.

"Yes." She responded, holding herself as high as she could. "I want you to see me as Loki."

"Fine." Lucifer responded harshly before wrapping her up in a rush of Archangelic power, power that surpassed her own. The words he spoke were cold as ice. "Look." He ordered venomously and she had no choice but to turn around, follow his gaze to where a Cage sat, resting amidst ash and brimstone, surrounded by hellfire. Inside were Pagans, thirteen gods and goddesses she recognized on sight. "You want me to treat you as one of them. One of the false gods. I'll treat you as one of them. I won't love you, Loki. I will never love a Pagan just as I will never love my sisters as more than my sisters."

No no no. Her Spirit screamed in protest, fighting against the power Lucifer was using on them, but it was useless and terror crept across her spine.

"If you want to be Loki, then you'll be Loki and I can have my Vessel to myself. I want her to myself, Loki. I won't share with something as insignificant as a Pagan."

"Please!" She begged as she was forced to begin walking towards that Cage, The Cage. Loki had never seen it but she knew what it was, it was Lucifer's prison and she was walking towards it.

"You asked for this, Loki. You asked me to treat you like them."

Loki was openly crying now, fighting back against her brother with all of her strength…almost all of it. She couldn't go in there, not with those Pagans, they would tear her apart. This wasn't what she'd planned for, not by a long shot. She'd been prepared for potential rejection, anger, tons of things.

In a flare of panic she released her wings from their confinement, throwing them back and hitting her brother with slamming force, enough force to stun him and knock him back.

To release her.

Gabriella spun around, wings spread wide as she launched herself across the ground, hitting her brother square in the chest, using her speed advantage to catch him off guard as she shoved him into the ground.

"Gabriella." Her brother breathed out and she stared at her own hand, at the blade pressed against his chest where his Spirit had fled from, hiding from the end of angel-silver. "Don't."

A flash of that same word uttered from different lips came across her memory, Barachiel. "Don't, Voice. Please. I want this no more than you did."

With a sob she dropped the blade from her hand, because she couldn't do it. Just like she hadn't been able to kill Barachiel, she couldn't kill Lucifer and if she was brutally honest, she was grateful for that fact.

Lucifer moved them around, wrapping his arms and wings around her carefully as she buried her face in his chest, crying her eyes out.

"Gabriella, don't."

"Gabriella, please."

GabriellaGabriellaGabriella.

"Look at me, little sister."

"No." She breathed, because if she looked it was real, if she looked it would all come crumbling down on her and she'd be forced to face the man that she loved.

No more hiding. Her Archangelic portion was bright and alive, floating above and overpowering the Loki portion with a vengeance.

"Look at me." Lucifer demanded, pressing the ends of his wings into the base of hers until she was forced to react, jerking away and lifting tear filled eyes to meet his. "Gabriella."

A whimper escaped her as she nodded once. "I know."

"I want you to say it."

"I'm Gabriella." The words slipped out of her lips, a breath of air that was almost indistinguishable. Not what I wanted when I came here.

"Say it louder, Gabriella. Say it so we can all hear it. I want my sister back. I want my littlest sister back."

"Please, Luce."

"I need you back. I can't win against Michelle with a Pagan by my side. I can't win Sam's consent with a Pagan by my side. I can with Heaven by my side. With Heaven against her."

Gabriella closed her eyes, tears still falling down her cheeks as she touched into the angelic wavelength, listening to the murmuring of all of the angels in Heaven. The song of Heaven, so beautiful even in a time of war. Everyone spoke at once and she heard each individual one.

'There are demons gathered in Florida.'

'What is Florida?'

'Balthazar has Fallen.'

'I see you, sister. I am coming for you.'

'I saw the fourth, Raphiel. I found her.'

'It's Anael.'

'Have you heard about Lucifer?'

Above all of the smaller voices she spoke, for the first time in thousands of years she spoke to her sister. Her voice was strong and clear, firm among the young ones, not at all matching her inner turmoil at doing this. Not showing just how afraid she truly was about taking her title back. 'I am Gabriella, Messenger of God, The Voice, and Archangel of The Lord. Many of you remember me, some of you do not, but I never died. I am your sister. I am the conduit of Her word and The Singer of The Apocalypse. When I draw on my Horn it will all begin.' There were cries across the connection, pleas for her not to blow the Horn. Not that she had any intentions of doing that yet. Not until Lucifer had his Vessel. Not until Sam gave him consent. 'I will not use my Horn until Lucifer has his Vessel, brothers and sisters. I am joining our brother in the destruction of humanity. I believe he is right. Deep down, we all know the truth. Humanity is flawed and broken, they are useless and destroy all that they touch.' Except Sam. Sam smiled and her whole world lit up, Sam was worth saving, and nowhere was safer than as his Vessel, as his body on Earth. 'I want you all to join me, brothers and sisters. Join us.'

Another onslaught of words, a question spread among thousands of angels, a single question that needed a true answer.

"Luce." She whispered, staring up at her big brother, searching blue eyes for guidance and support.

"Tell them the truth, Gabriella. A lie does not bring followers."

It was humiliating. Completely and utterly humiliating. The thing he was asking her to do… "Please don't make me do this."

"I'm not making you do anything, sister. No one makes us do anything. You know what must happen, though. They deserve the truth."

Tears were falling again as she bared herself to all of Heaven, Spirit nestling against her skin where she was in contact with her older brother. 'You all have heard rumors. Rumors of a relationship between myself and Lucifer. I am going to tell you all the truth, the honest facts of this. Lucifer and I are not in a relationship. Lucifer is my brother and what he feels for me is completely platonic.' Gabriella swallowed as she braced herself. 'I am in love with him, however. I am in love with Lucifer. That is where these rumors began. I told Castiel of my feelings towards Lucifer and she used that information to spread lies about The Star. What he feels for me, it's platonic, and what I feel for him, is endless. I would stand against Oblivion for him because that is how I feel for him. So when Michelle inevitably warns you against him, when she tells you not to trust The Star, not to trust me, I want to remind you of your time as fledglings. I want you to remember how cruel I was when I played with you, because that was me being kind. My vengeance is cruel and anyone that touches my brother, they will die a thousand painful deaths. If you don't believe me, all you must do is ask Samantha Winchester what I did to her sister; Michelle's True Vessel."

For the first time in thousands of years, Heaven was deadly silent. Not a single word was spoken by any of the angels, including Michelle.

Gabriella met her brother's eyes, seeing the distant look in his expression. Michelle wasn't being quiet, she just wasn't speaking to them all. Something about that got under her skin, ignited rage within her and her Spirit.

'I am talking to you, Michelle. I am calling you out!'

'Gabriella.' Michelle's tone was cool, and Lucifer raised an eyebrow at her, curiosity etched into his expression.

'Do you remember The Dawn?'

'I do.' Michelle responded, wariness creeping across the broadcast wavelength. How rarely did she use this method now?

'Do you remember how not to keep a secret?'

'Do you?' Michelle retorted, making her flinch at the venom in the words.

'I bared my Spirit to all of Heaven, Michelle. I revealed my deepest secret to all of them. How about you return the favor? Why don't you tell all of Heaven the secret of what you did to me?' There were still tears running down her cheeks, and though it was super vague, she could feel the disgust rolling off of much of Heaven.

'I never did anything to you, Gabriella.' Michelle's words were wavering though, a silent plea for her secrets to be kept. However, Lucifer forced her to reveal her secret, to all of Heaven. If her secrets were coming to light, Michelle would receive the same treatment.

'Once upon a time there was an angel. An angel with a heart made of gold, an Archangel by the name of Gabriella. After her brother Fell, she began to spend more time in Heaven. She knew if she went to Earth, she wouldn't be able to refuse her-'

'Don't, Gabbie.' Now Raphiel was speaking, pleading, but Gabriella didn't care, because she was crying and her Spirit was exposed. They deserved to be exposed too, and she knew all of Heaven's secrets.

'-brother. She knew she would Fall. So she stayed in Heaven, until Raphiel came to her and ordered her to come to Earth.'

'I asked you, Gabbie.'

So Gabriella exposed her memories of the incident, spreading the scene to Heaven, the order. 'At the brothel Lucifer met us, and for a moment it was as it had been before humanity's birth. It was glorious. Then, when it was all over, we returned to Heaven.'

'Gabriella.' Michelle breathed, a sob in her telepathic voice. Good. She deserved to cry, for this, she deserved to be exposed.

'Michelle brought me to Mother. Michelle told Mother what I did. Michelle tried to have my cast out, just as Lucifer was for doing what Raphiel told me to do.'

There was an upcry from all of Heaven.

'Gabriella.'

'You betrayed me, Michelle. I'd bet my life that Raphiel didn't know either. When you told me to leave, you knew what you were doing.'

'It was never that simple.'

'It was always that simple. You're my sister, and I love you, but you can rot in fucking Hell for what you did to me. You can burn in the deepest recesses of The Cage.'

'I love you, Gabriella. I have always loved you.'

'You don't know what love is, Michelle. You're an empty shell, a blind warrior.'

Gabriella cut off her connection to Heaven as she pressed her face into Lucifer's shoulder, wrapping her wings around herself as she tried not to acknowledge the greying feathers.

"Gabbie." Lucifer muttered, humming softly under his breath as she cried. "Thank you."

"I hate you." She breathed out between sobs. "I hate you so much."

She curled closer to him as he began to hum Sympathy For The Devil.

Chapter Text

It took more time than she was aware of for Sam's demon blood withdrawal to go down. The time it took was indistinguishable, but it was long and excruciating. The hallucinations were the worst part of it. Well, one of the worst parts. The other was the terror of not being able to distinguish reality from the hallucinations. She'd been visited by countless people, countless scenes played across her vision like one of the worst highlights of her life moments, The Samantha Winchester Is Fucked Up Show, starring Samantha Winchester.

It was pure hell. Not to mention the inconsistencies on whether what she experienced was real or fake. It wall so damned complicated and... ugh.

"You good, Sammy?"

Opening her eyes to look over at her sister she nodded faintly, once. Quietly, she watched as her sister came to her side, unlatching the cuffs for the first time since... well she didn't really remember when she was cuffed to begin with.

"How long?" She forced the question out of a dry and scratchy throat. Water.

"It's been a month." Deanna responded stiffly as she uncuffed her first ankle. "Sammy, I thought... you said it was just a couple drops."

"It was." She responded immediately, because there was no other explanation. That was the only place she could've possibly consumed any post-releasing the devil demon blood. "Deanna, I swear it was."

"You went through full Exorcist demon shit while going through it this time. I don't know what the hell was different but those 'few drops' did something crazy to you." There was a silent 'I thought you were going to die.' at the end of the sentence that neither of them addressed.

A month. God. It was only a month? It felt like years. Maybe more.

"Cass?" The question was stupid, but it brought her mind from the ache in her bones and joints.

"She's asleep." Deanna responded quietly and Sam grimaced.

"Angels don't sleep." Cass had developed a weird habit of watching them, or more specifically, Deanna sleep when they were trying to stop the seals from breaking. She'd told them several times that she didn't sleep.

"I know." Deanna responded and they didn't go past there. There was too much blame that could be passed around if they talked about Cass' new state as a Fallen. Deanna's mindset of 'I break everything I touch'. Sam's constant destruction of people around her. Her mind drifted for a moment, for a second she wondered does Lucifer sleep? before she forced that thought out of her head, because Lucifer could only bring blood and pain.

"So how'd you keep sane while I was losing my head?"

"I almost didn't." Deanna responded, the look on her face was enough to say that she hadn't planned to say it. "I taught Cass how to shoot, got the hot water working, and tuned up Baby."

Sam rolled her eyes and sat up slowly as Deanna finally got the strap crossing her chest and stomach off. "So I can shower?"

"All yours." Deanna responded, watching as Sam wobbled to her feet. Everything was sore and numb and the dim moonlight coming through the window on the other side of the room said nighttime. Maybe not a shower, maybe a bath. Deanna would probably tease her mercilessly for it, or she'd let it go because of the situation. Part of her really hoped for the teasing because the silence might drive her crazy.

.-~*~-.

"Hello, Samantha." Sam all but screamed as she half dove out of the water to grab the gun on the back of the toilet, stopping moments later when she saw who it was and fumbled her torso back under the water.

"Deanna!"

"Your sister won't hear you. Not that you need her help. I'm not here to harm you. Actually, I'm not really... here. I'm in your head." Lucifer's piercing gaze was on her, making her extremely uncomfortable. This was a terrible position to be in with the devil himself, the devil that had already tricked her into sex once before... unless, maybe it wasn't over...

"A hallucination."

"No, and I have never had anything to do with the demon blood affliction. Aside from Azazel when you were an infant, my followers have taken to shoving it down your throat because Cath claimed it was the only way to get your consent."

"It's not?" Sam asked dubiously, trying to ignore her current state or the way Lucifer's eyes were lingering on her naked form. The damned bath.

"I will never forcibly obtain consent from you."

"Just fuck me while wearing your sister's face?" Lucifer's expression blanked.

"What are you talking about?"

Sam was not buying it, not in a million years. She trusted Loki with everything she had, but the devil? The Father Of Lies? No way. Never. "That shit you pulled on me the night we met!"

Lucifer frowned at her, eyebrows creasing with concern. "The night we met you told me to... how was it? 'fuck off and leave I'm not going to play any games with you'. I've never had sex with you, nor would I take it from you without your consent."

Sam shook her head, memories of that night burning across her vision, memories of her conversation with Loki about it following. Lucifer was watching her closely, more and more anger crossing his expression.

"I'm telling you, Samantha. I would never stoop to that level."

"I don't believe you." She bit out angrily.

"You don't have to believe me. All you need is to believe this." Lucifer responded, snapping his fingers.

Sam's breath caught in her throat when she saw something otherworldly beneath his skin, silvery white with underlying shades of green and a thousand other colors. The... thing, what had to be his Spirit, spread around, moving behind him and giving the raven black wings an otherworldly glow.

"It's... "

"Tainted."

"Beautiful." She corrected without thinking, internally cursing herself for it. The entirety of the Spirit caught a pink hue to it before it disappeared and she realized with sinking horror that she was half out of the bath. Quickly she reached to the side, grabbing the towel off the floor and wrapping it around her torso as she numbly climbed out of the tub, sitting on the edge.

"I haven't heard that since I Fell." Lucifer mused, looking down and watching as his Spirit flitted through him again, still dimly pink. "Thank you."

"Don't."

"Don't be grateful? But I am. I'm The Star, Samantha. I was Heaven's brightest, angels fell to their knees before me. They still Fall for me."

"I don't want to feed your ego. You're the-"

"-devil. I'm corrupt and Fallen and broken. I tore Cath apart to prove to Mother that She was wrong, and still She chose you. You're my True Vessel, Samantha Winchester. You're my other half. Did you ever wonder why Gabriella chose you? Of all of the humans on Earth, all of the beings she's met over the years, she chose you. Why did she choose to protect you?"

"Protect me?"

"It was subconscious of course. My sister gave me access to all of her memories, every bit of it. Mother help us all, the things I've seen in my sister's head."

Sam was staring at him now, openly staring, trying to figure out... when had Loki gone to Lucifer? How had that happened? Why? Even worse... "Where is she?" Sam asked suddenly.

"Who? Gabbie?" Lucifer asked knowingly. "Relax, Samantha." Lucifer added, tone soothing, when Sam began to panic internally, his Spirit shifting to the front of his body, glowing a warm blue shade. "My sister is alive and well."

"Where is she?" Sam asked again, fearing the worst. Soothing words from the devil were far from helpful. Especially with what they all knew about her, what Lucifer no-doubt knew about her.

"My sister is currently sitting as my right hand in Hell. She is exactly where she wants to be."

"Where she wants to be is-"

"Sam." Lucifer responded sharply. "I am not having sex with my sister. Why do I have to keep justifying this to everyone? Are you having sex with your sister? No, you are not. Why in the hell would I have sex with my sister?"

"Uh... " Sam answered stupidly.

"My sister is happy with the position I've given her, I love her dearly but only as my sister, and the next person that accuses me of fucking her... " Lucifer growled in frustration before slouching back on the counter, dissipating his wings as his Spirit curled around his heart. "I had a purpose for coming here, Samantha. I wanted to make my point to you, and now I'm going to prove something to you."

"What?" Sam asked uneasily, watching as the devil pushed off the wall again and stood in front of her, offering his hand.

"I'm not a liar, Samantha. Not if I can help it, especially with you. Take my hand, and I'll prove it to you."

Despite herself, she swallowed and did as told. Everything changed the moment their skin touched. There was a surreal moment where everything froze, a moment where her mind blanked, her heart stopped, and all that existed was the two of them. A moment where their Spirits touched, something she hadn't ever been aware of before became abundantly clear in an instant, thrumming beneath her skin, connecting with Lucifer's.

Then she was falling backwards, splashing into the half-full tub water and hitting her head on the wall. "Oh shit!" She shouted as her head began to throb. Lucifer was down on his knees in front of her in a second, but he didn't dare touch her as she struggled to upright herself, head throbbing painfully.

"Sam?"

"Shit." Sam muttered under her breath, blinking back stars in her vision. "I uh... I fell." Sam called back to Deanna.

"Damn it! Why did you lock the door?" Deanna was beating on the door now and Lucifer was on his feet again.

"Lu-"

Without another word the devil disappeared and the door flung open, Deanna stumbling through and staring between her in the door as she managed to get her bearings.

"I'm fine, Deanna-"

"No, you aren't." Deanna bit back in frustration, coming to the side of the shower and grabbing her hand before helping her to her feet. "Your head's bleeding." Deanna added as she turned her around, having little regard for the crappy towel that barely covered her. Things like this she knew were over the line for siblings and why people liked to call their co-dependency erotic. It nagged at her with the thing Lucifer had said about them still at the forefront of her mind. The information that their half-sister... or half-sisters were also Vessels bothered her.

It was too freaky and she pushed Deanna away without thinking, giving her a dirty look. "Let me get dressed."

Deanna rolled her eyes. "You're kidding, right?"

The glare the Sam returned seemed to be enough because Deanna sighed and shook her head, heading out the door. "I'll be right here if you decide to try busting your head open again. How the hell did you manage that?"

"I saw Lucifer." She admitted meekly. While she honest to God wanted to lie to her sister, she knew it wouldn't do any good.

"That's why you're acting weird." Sam flinched as she pulled her tank top over her head, the material brushing against the injury on her head. Wait.

"What're you talking about?"

"C'mon, we've lived in stupidly close quarters since we were kids. Michelle keeps bringing up the bullshit about Lucifer and Gabriella, can't tell me it's not the same with him."

"Fine." She conceded reluctantly as she drug on her jeans. "Yeah, it's bugging me. Both of them keep bringing it up and... "

"Far as I'm concerned I've never been into you and you've never been into me. Nothing to be weird about, Sammy. Unless... "

"No." She responded quickly. "God no." Why were they even having this conversation? "I'm dressed." She added as she walked out of the bathroom, looking to the left to see Deanna leaning against the wall.

"Good." Deanna's smile was almost genuine. "Now that we've established there ain't any fucked up feelings between us, can I see your head."

"Yeah." Sam laughed softly, shaking her head and wincing when her wet hair tugged against exposed flesh. "Doesn't feel like a concussion." She added as she walked over to the new recliner, sitting down on it and eying the couch that was lacking in the angel she'd seen before her shower. Where'd Cass go?

"She's outside." Deanna answered the unspoken question as she took a handful of wet hair and put it into a loose ponytail on the top of Sam's head. "Can I please cut off your hair?"

"No." She responded immediately, flinching away when Deanna touched the exposed skin on her neck, definitely a cut.

"Yeah, yeah, I know, Rapunzel. It's cut but not bleeding. You'll be fine. You're sure about the concussion?"

"I'll stay up for a while just in case. Sound good?" Sam answered when Deanna let her hair back down for her.

"I still don't get why you fell."

Sam swallowed, "He scared the hell outta me." She responded, which was mostly the truth. While what Lucifer had shown her, how she'd felt when their Spirits connected, had terrified her, it had also been the most exotic experience of her life. It was pure in a completely twisted way and it made her wonder...

No, that was a dangerous thought process.

"He didn't hurt you, did he?"

Sam laughed softly, shaking her head. "No, Deanna. He didn't hurt me. Just scared me."

"Good, 'cause I'd have to kick his ass." Sam could see it too, over everything she could see Deanna going face to face with Lucifer, just to kick his ass for hurting her.

"You should sleep." Sam added after a moment, and Deanna sighed.

"I don't think I can."

"I've got Cass to keep me company, and you probably haven't gotten a full night since I lost my head." Sam rose to her feet, turning to look down at her sister.

"Fine, but wake me if you need me."

"I will." Sam promised, watching as her sister crossed the room and dropped down onto the cot. Once Deanna was laying comfortably Sam headed to the door, grabbing the coat off the floor and pulling it over her shoulders as she moved. It was winter, which was all kinds of irritating, but it was better than being stuck in a motel for the time being. Out where they were, no one was hunting them, and it would give her time to think over what Lucifer had told her. He had been trying to make a point, what point? she wasn't completely sure. It was a convoluted mess and she just needed a few minutes alone to figure it out. Yeah, she was his Vessel, and apparently that had something to do with Spirits because her reaction to the direct contact... but how could she have had direct contact if he hadn't actually been there? Spirits were complicated things, she knew that, but could she maintain real contact with them at a distance?

Honestly, she had no clue, but she really hoped it was all an illusion because that was nothing like what Jamie had told them Cass' possession was like. How the hell was she supposed to ignore that? Forget it? It was... God, how did she tell Deanna?

With a sinking feeling in her gut she realized she couldn't, which was the big issue. The secrets were the issue, and now she didn't have a choice. This one was dangerous, but it was dangerous both ways. "Damn it." She muttered under her breath.

"Sam." A very undignified sound escaped her when Cass' voice broke through the air, she looked around, trying, and failing, to spot the angel. Where... "Up here."

Sam looked up, surprised to see the angel sitting on one of the low branches of the trees in front of her. "Hey." She said, frowning. Cass had her crow wings visible, the right one was turned around, settled into her lap and the left was pressed between her side and the trunk of the tree. Despite her acknowledgement it was obvious that the angel hadn't bothered turning around to look at her. Not that Sam expected it. Why had that thought crossed her mind? "Aren't you cold?" She asked after a second, realizing the angel was only wearing one of Deanna's t-shirts and a pair of her jeans. Even with the jacket on she was chilly.

"I don't feel the cold." Cass responded as Sam went over to the base of that tree, carefully gripping the holes in the side that someone had obviously carved out years ago.

"Lucky you." She mused as she joined the angel on the branch, not addressing it when Cass moved to the right, making space for her. The old Cass, the one that hadn't been ruined by them, she wouldn't have considered it.

"The cold for us means Fallen, but I don't feel cold. My Spirit is still warm and happy."

Sam bit her lip, unsure how to respond to a statement like that. It wasn't hard to guess that Deanna was avoiding the topic.

"You wanted to talk, right? About Lucifer's visit."

"How-"

"I felt his presence." Castiel responded quietly. "It was only a brush from his Spirit, there's nothing I could've done to prevent it and I didn't wish to worry Deanna."

"Thank you." If she wasn't able to take care of Deanna, it was soothing to know that someone else was there to take care of her.

"For leaving you to the assault of your Archangel? I didn't think that would be something you would be grateful for."

"Yeah, well... " She trailed off and looked up at the sky. "He's not my Archangel."

"You're afraid, has he attempted-"

"No." Sam cut in, far too quickly.

"I know you're worried about what your sister will think about you, how she'll react, but I know what my brother will do. What he is, and what he's capable of. I wasn't referring to rape."

"You weren't?" Sam asked, looking over at the fallen angel, watching as she stroked her wing absently, looking off at the sky.

"Of my brother's many sins, rape is not one of them. Rape was Asmodeus' sin, the sin that Lucifer executed him for. Lucifer has always believed in rightful consent, even when he hates humanity."

"But... " The incident with Loki... she'd said...

"You got a Trickster on your hands... These things create chaos and mischief as easy as breathing... " Bobbie's explanation all those years ago rang loud and clear, then Loki's, 'Not bad. But you want to see a real trick?' Loki may have been Gabriella, but she was still Loki, she was still a Trickster and from the start she'd been trying to lead her into Lucifer's hands, or that's what she'd thought... Lucifer had implied something else. What all was fact? How much of it was fake?

"I'm sorry, Sam. I remember Gabriella, before she left Heaven. I wasn't born until after Lucifer Fell, but I did meet Gabriella. She was dangerous to us so we didn't see her often, but I did meet her. If she is anything like she was back then, I don't blame you for what you did with her."

"Like she was?"

Cass' wings twitched and she looked at the ground, finally releasing her other wing and letting it droop behind her. "Her Spirit smothered us, though she didn't intend for it, Gabriella was inevitably the first intimate experience we ever had. When Lucifer visited you, he showed you his Spirit, did he not?"

"Yes... " Sam was still trying to figure out what the hell Cass was getting at here. First intimate experience? First sexual experience? Had...

"When I possessed my first Vessel, the experience overwhelmed us both. Neither of us realized the complexities that came with two Spirits connecting at that level. It wasn't necessarily sexual, but it was intimate. It was potent, pure, and I've heard rumors that that particular connection is a thousand times stronger for an Archangel and their True Vessel because you are genuinely made for each other. Two halves of one Spirit... " Cass trailed off, going silent as her wings disappeared and she slouched miserably.

"Cass?" Sam asked tentatively, moving a bit so that she was facing the angel. In the time they'd known her Cass had barely learned how to experience human emotion properly, and now it was clear as day that something was eating at her. Sam could take three guesses as to what it was.

"Did you know that Deanna has been visited by Michelle?"

First guess was it. "She told me, yeah." Considering what Cass had just said about Archangels and their True Vessels, she knew there was jealousy there. Just like there was no doubt jealousy in Loki about... whatever it was that existed between her and Lucifer, whatever that was.

"I'm jealous." Cass admitted docilely. "Everything between her and myself... it was capricious. Despite what I knew, I fell for her, then I Fell for her, and now that I have her I'm concerned my eldest sister is moving towards her, trying to take her from me."

"My sister isn't like that."

"Neither are you." Cass responded, glancing at her out of the corner of her eye. "Yet you would rather believe the woman you love betrayed you than believe that the devil raped you."

Sam swallowed, looking up at the star filled sky. "My sister has never committed to anyone, not like this. If my sister agreed to try with you, she'll try with you." Without looking over she continued, trying to defend herself but not sure how exactly to do it. "I…know Loki would lie to me, if she gained from it. If she could use that to manipulate me to gain what she wants, I know that she would."

"That sounds a lot more like the devil we were taught about than the Lucifer we know of."

Sam didn't answer at first, thinking about Loki. Not just the Loki she knew, but the Loki of legend. Loki was a devil, a type of devil in her own right. It was weird to consider, Loki being a devil, because if she was, what did that say about her? Robbie was a demon and she'd snuck around with him for months, the same thing she'd done with Loki. Justifying things by claiming he was good, that he wasn't what he was. Yeah, Loki was a goddess, but Sam had blatantly pushed away thoughts on just which goddess Loki actually was.

"I don't know, Cass." Sam said carefully. "I just…don't know."

"Neither do I." Was the quiet response she received and they sat there for a while, just looking at the stars. Rather than push away the cold she found herself embracing it, letting the cold sink into her skin beneath the jacket she was wearing.

"I have to wonder, what does Lucifer say to you?"

Sam looked at the ground again. "We haven't really…talked yet. I think he wants to but it's just such a damned mess. But…Cass, I have a question. Can you see Spirits?"

"Yes." Cass answered, tone just a bit uncomfortable. It didn't matter if the topic was touchy, she needed to know something.

"Lucifer showed me his and…is that possible? I mean, what I saw, would it have been…real?"

Cass shifted next to her and Sam carefully kept her gaze on the sky, scared to look at the angel.

"Normally I would say no, lower beings aren't meant to see or access their Spirits, much less others. However, you were born with innate psychic abilities. You are much more susceptible to the paranormal, so yes, it's completely possible that Lucifer could show you his."

Sam closed her eyes, staring at the back of her eyelids and trying hard not to think about the way his Spirit had moved, flowed within him. Alive. "Why would he do that?"

"You're Spirits are two pieces of a whole." Cass answered, and that was enough of an answer. Already, Cass had tried to explain it to her. Two halves of a whole, it was the reason why Cass was worried about her future with Deanna, it was why Sam was questioning herself every step of the way. It was no longer as simple as a battle of the wits, it was a matter of choosing not to complete her Spirit. If she said 'yes' to him, well…she could feel like she had in the bathroom, but more.

We don't stand a chance. She realized with horror. There was no chance, it's why none of the Archangels were trying too hard to get to them. Yeah, they'd asked, well, Loki had, demons had gone after Bobbie but…

Damn it. She needed to talk to Loki, but she couldn't do it here, this was there safe haven…for now.

"I'll take you three states away, Sam." Cass offered quietly.

"I-what?" Sam jerked her gaze to the right to see Cass looking at her.

"I would like to know what Lucifer has done to her. I have to see her to be certain."

"What are you talking about?"

Cass pressed her lips into a thin line before looking away. "While you were…unresponsive Gabriella spoke to all of Heaven."

"My sister is currently sitting as my right hand in Hell. She is exactly where she wants to be."

"She's with him."

"Yes."

"If we… go there, if I pray to her and she tells him."

"You'll banish us all. I know enough about Lucifer to believe that he wants to make you come to him. Gabriella bringing you to him, or any others for that matter, would simply not satisfy his ego."

"Why do I feel like you know more than you're telling me, Cass?"

"You are smart, that's why you think that. I would rather not explain it. Please, just trust me here."

Sam did trust Cass, she just hoped she was in the right in doing so. Without saying another word she nodded and Cass placed a hand on her shoulder, then they were flying.

.-~*~-.

Sam stood against the back wall in the empty house, gaze on Cass who had crossed her arms over chest and was standing near the exit. Everything was prepared, but something about the way Cass was approaching it was bothersome. There was something that she was missing, something vital.

"Ready?" She asked and Cass nodded. "Loki, I'm praying to you. Come to me. I'm in Arkansas, abandoned house on the outskirts of Eureka Springs." There were several long moments of silence, deadly silent. Cass met her gaze from across the room, an unspoken apology imbedded in them, and understanding warped across her in an instant.

"Cass, don't!" The room began to rattle around them and in a panic Sam tried to slam her hand over the banishing sigil behind her, but it was gone. "Damn it, Cass!" Sam stumbled back when a woman materialized in the center of the room, a woman wearing…oh God, Ada.

"Castiel." The angel wearing her half-sister spoke, turning her back on Sam. "After you attacked Raphiel, I am impressed you were bold enough to summon me."

"You seriously underestimate me then, Michelle."

"What do you want?" Michelle asked dully, turning for a moment to eye Sam with an air of…curiosity? before looking back at Castiel.

"I want you to leave Deanna alone." Castiel told her boldly as Sam started to inch around the room, pulling the lighter out of her back pocket as she moved.

"Why would I do that, Castiel? She is mine, not yours, and despite whatever twisted claim you seem to think you possess the fact of the matter is that Mother made her for me. Just as Samantha belongs to Lucifer, Deanna belongs to me. You can keep pretending otherwise but sooner or letter she will choose me.

"Deanna chose me, Michelle."

"You brought me here because you feel threatened." Michelle sighed heavily, shaking her head slowly as Sam tossed her lighter onto the holy oil. The Archangel barely flinched when she turned her gaze to Sam, disappointment etched into her expression. "Really, Samantha? Holy fire? I should call my brother here, let him see what you've done to me."

"Finish it here and now?" She asked dryly, watching Cass out of the corner of her eye. The angel was on edge, wings twitching behind her visibly with irritation.

"I don't want to kill my brother. I'll do whatever I must, but I won't kill him." Sam rolled her eyes at that, not believing it for a moment. "Believe me, or don't, I don't really care either way. Sooner or later I'll have your sister, and, if we can help it, my brother won't have you."

"You aren't taking Deanna Winchester." Cass, shut up. Sam plead silently as Michelle turned back to her.

"You aren't going to stop me, Castiel."

"I will." Cass responded with quiet determination.

Michelle laughed softly, shaking her head and spreading her magnificent white wings behind her, just within the confines of the holy fire. Pure white, white as snow, almost nothing like Lucifer's raven black but still so beautiful…

"Michelle isn't quite as proud as I am." Sam jerked away when Lucifer's voice pierced her thoughts. She spun around but saw nothing. Just the wall behind her and… "You're going to need this, Sam. Taking Castiel with you was a mistake." The angel banishing sigil was settled right behind her, something that hadn't been there moments before, she knew it hadn't.

"I can feel you, brother." Michelle spoke up, turning around slowly to look at Sam.

"Tell her to 'fuck off' for me."

"This little game you're playing with her is stupid. Have you told her what you did to Gabriella, yet? I have little doubt that you didn't."

"I didn't do anything to her!" Sam was overwhelmed by the emotion in Lucifer's words, forced to collapse to her knees under the weight from it all.

"Lucifer." Michelle's expression darkened with wariness.

"Oh, sister. You stupid fucking bitch. I didn't do jack to our baby sister, everything that's going on in her head, that's her, not me. It was her choice to follow me and you're the one that ultimately kicked her out of fucking Heaven!"

"It wasn't that simple." Michelle responded coolly.

"You're stupid, Michelle. So very stupid." Lucifer's tone with sad, plagued with disappointment, and Michelle shook her head.

"I'm not stupid, Lucifer." Michelle responded and Lucifer laughed.

"I'm sorry, Samantha." The words were barely said before Michelle fell forward with a scream, wings plunging into holy fire in the same instant that her entire body fell forward.

There was no time, not a single moment to understand what she was seeing before Michelle had thrown the taller body off her back, sending it flying through the air and slamming into the wall, Cass, then Michelle was crossing the short space between them, an angel blade trapped in between her shoulder blades, wings blazing with fire, and another angel blade in her own in hand.

Cass' scream rang across the room at the same moment Sam slammed her palm into the banishing sigil. Nononononono rang through her head on repeat as Michelle disappeared in a flash of white.

Cass didn't and Sam stumbled through the room, landing on her knees next to Cass. Tears burned in the corners of her eyes when she saw scorch marks in the floor…no, they couldn't be…

"I'm sorry." Lucifer breathed to her as she fought against believing that, believing the reality that she'd screwed up, that she'd brought the angel there. But it was there, plain as day, and her sob was uncontrolled as the reality sank in. How did she tell Deanna? How could she explain to her sister that she'd brought the angel there, how did she explain that it was her fault?

How did she say that Cass was dead?

Chapter Text

It had been two weeks since Deanna had spoken to her, guilty wasn't a strong enough word to describe her current state, and the way Deanna was avoiding her made it a hundred times worse. After all, it wasn't like there was a whole lot to do out in the damned cabin, not to mention the hellish memories that she had of the place. To top off the whole thing, while she'd been going through her detox Deanna had fixed everything on the cabin that Sam knew how to fix. So she'd gone to doing things that didn't matter too much, realigning the gutters, cleaning them out, checking the well, rewashing the dishes, scrubbing the damned floor, taking the mattress from the bedroom and soaking it down outside. Deanna took off several times during that time, ditching her in the cabin, and when she came back she stank of sex and booze but Sam didn't dare comment on it, not in the mood for the blame game. This was Deanna coping, and it was better than her handing herself over to Michelle or throwing herself to the mercy of a crossroads demon.

"Deanna…oh God I fucked up so bad. It's…damn it, please call me." She had managed to carry Cass' corpse to the truck she stole from down the road. All the while she'd been bitterly alone. Lucifer had left, something she wasn't sure if she was grateful for or not, and Michelle hadn't come back which she also unsure whether she was grateful for or not.

"Deanna, please." Sam begged into the receiver, yet again getting her voicemail. "I have to tell you…just answer the phone."

It was twelve hours later that Deanna called her back, panicked and on high alert. "Sam?"

She had to pull over onto the side of the highway, fight to force the words out of her throat, to tell Deanna, "Cass is dead."

Deanna had hung up on her.

"Here." Deanna dropped a newspaper on the table in front of her and she blinked.

"What?" She asked dumbly, staring at the headline, Feral Dog Attack Claims Three Lives.

"It's in Colorado Springs. Let's go." Sam bit back a comment as she skimmed the article. A witness saw a black dog, third attack in a week, one victim only four years old. Sam could've solved this case with her eyes closed, it was a, an actual black dog case for the first time since she'd been picked up from Stanford, through and through.

The only thing that stopped her from arguing was knowing that Deanna needed this, that she needed to get away from the cabin and sink into hunting. So rather than letting herself get pissed she nodded slowly. "Okay." The word was rough, hard to get out, and it occurred to her that she hadn't actually talked much over the past few days. By some miracle, she managed it and when she turned her head Deanna was already heading for the door with her bag thrown over her shoulder.

Sam took her time to gather her things, even though there wasn't much to begin with she needed a bit of time to just…think.

"I didn't know Michelle would kill her." Lucifer's voice scared the hell out of her and she spun around to see the Archangel on the couch, legs perched on the coffee table as he regarded her.

"You- what?"

"Michelle has always been protective of the fledglings, it was us she had her problems with." Lucifer threw his arm over the back of the couch as another form flicked into being next to him. "I didn't expect her to kill Castiel, maybe hurt her, but not kill her."

"Loki!" She yelped, stumbling towards the couch without a thought and nearly falling flat on her face when something stopped her. An invisible force.

"It's Gabriella." The woman on the couch said quietly, staring at the table.

What had Lucifer done to her? This wasn't…she looked so…wrong. There was an unnatural tension flowing across her skin, it had to be fake, an illusion. "That isn't-"

"Sammy." The woman spoke up, finally meeting her gaze from across the short distance and her heart broke a fraction when something screamed to her, something that told her without a doubt that…but it couldn't be her. Loki was full of life, even in the face of danger she was…not this subdued. What had Lucifer done to her?

"Loki…" She breathed out, heart breaking just a fraction when she realized how much she actually missed the woman. Loki hadn't visited her since before the withdrawal became overwhelming and after how insistent she'd been about visiting…

"I missed you, Sammy. I just…I wanted to see you."

"I prayed to you…"

"I couldn't leave Hell yet." Loki's eyes closed, a sad smile on her face. "I'm sorry. The thing with Cassie, she didn't deserve to die. Especially not to Michelle." Tears were brimming in the Archangel's eyes now. "God, she didn't deserve that."

"She attacked Michelle." Lucifer chided and Loki snorted, for a moment looking like her old self as she flicked her eyes open, looking at her brother.

"You could've warned her, Luce. You knew exactly what she'd do and why."

"I have no idea what you're talking about." Lucifer responded, not at all sounding believable. What the hell?

"Sam." Her gaze went back to the female Archangel, to Loki, and she nearly fell on her back when she saw the other woman was right in front of her. "I love you, you know that right?"

"I…" Sam's gaze wandered to Lucifer who was watching with an unreadable expression. "I don't think you've ever…said it."

Loki sighed heavily, drawing her gaze back as the shorter woman grabbed her by her jaw, pulling her down so they were eyelevel. "I'm at an impasse. As my dear brother has made painfully clear to me, I'm in love with you. I fucking hate it because I want him so damned much, it's bullshit."

"What…Lok-"

"It's Gabriella." The Archangel bit out venomously, and Sam flinched back slightly, but couldn't move against the grip on her jaw. "I came to tell you something important, something you won't like, something that will stay between us. The three of us. I love you, you overgrown moose, but I'm ending what we had."

"What?" Sam asked, staring at her as the words clicked together in her head. What they had? What the hell did they actually have? Yeah, Sam was willing to admit she was in love with the Archangel, but everything else was so messed up and fractured. Were they really even together for her to break up with her?

More importantly, why didn't it hurt to hear?

"Lucifer has agreed to date me, no sex but…he's willing to give it a try." Lucifer was in the background, looking bored as all hell. "But if I'm with you…it's too complicated."

"I…okay." She finally said, still trying to figure out what the hell was going on to begin with. Had Loki lost it?

"Thank you, Sammy." Loki said quietly, kissing her forehead before disappearing.

"What did you do to her?" Sam demanded the moment that Loki was gone, Lucifer rolled his eyes and sighed deeply.

"I didn't intentionally do anything." Lucifer responded defensively. "My sister came to me, demanding that I call her Loki, that I treat her like a Pagan. Do you have any idea how demeaning that is for one of us?"

Sam was staring at him now.

"I told her if she wanted to be treated like a Pagan, I would treat her like the scum that the Pagans are. Then I brought her to The Cage where I've put several of the other Pagans." It was so matter of fact, so cold, and it made her sick to her stomach. Loki was Loki…and… holy shit.

"What the hell, Lucifer? That's your sister and-"

"I was never going to put her in The Cage, I just had to make-"

"No, Lucifer." Sam cut in, glaring at the devil with venom. "Your sister has been Loki for thousands of years."

"You know nothing about my sister." Lucifer responded, rising to his feet.

"I know enough to know that she is Loki, whether you want her to be or not. You can't just force your sister to be something she isn't because you don't like it."

Lucifer's eyes narrowed. "You don't know my sister!"

"You're right, I don't know your sister, but I know the woman she became and that. That was not her, and if lore is enough to go by, that isn't Gabriella either. Fix. Her."

"I can't."

"You can't try." Lucifer leveled a hard gaze on her before he disappeared, Deanna throwing open the door a moment later.

"Sam."

"I'm coming." She forced out, looking away from her sister as she grabbed her duffle off the floor.

Damn it. Loki, listen to me. Please, listen to me. Be you. Don't…don't lose yourself for him. Don't let him destroy you. I need you, the you I know, not some Archangel I never met.

"He was here." Deanna commented, not angry, just tired.

"Yes." Sam answered, flinching slightly. "He broke Loki. She's…not her anymore."

"Good." Sam's throat closed at Deanna's cruel tone, eyes burning, and when she turned around the other woman was gone.

.-~*~-.

"You should not have killed Castiel, Michelle." Raphiel said quietly, leaning across the war table and watching as her elder sister played absently with her Archangel blade.

"She attacked me, Raphiel, she shoved my wings in holy fire. It was a mistake, but I don't necessarily regret doing it."

Raphiel let a breath out of her nose, feeling her Spirit mingling with her Vessel's, her True Vessel's, her eyes shut for a moment as her Vessel's Spirit pressed into her in return. It wasn't sexually intimate, not like some of her reactions to her Vessels had been, this was something else. A mutual understanding, they were two halves of a single whole and it was perfect. Lucifer, he was vain enough to feel more, Gabriella was too obsessed with Lucifer to bother with Ada Milligan and Michelle probably was arrogant enough to fall for Deanna, but Raphiel had never really cared for those kinds of things. What her and Marisha possessed was pure and as natural as breathing, she was grateful that she'd found the woman.

"Raphi." She jumped slightly, blinking and looking at her sister who was glowering at her. "As thrilled as I am for you, you are supposed to be assisting me in finding Lucifer."

"I have all of my garrisons out looking for him." Raphiel responded unhappily. "After Gabriella's little stunt they're not happy with you, Michelle. Neither am I."

"I was angry, Raphi…angry and…jealous." Michelle admitted reluctantly, setting her blade down and resting her head on her hand. "I wanted Gabbie to love me too, but she didn't, instead she came to you."

"Except she didn't, Michelle. I brought her to Earth, I chose to bring her there because she was miserable in Heaven. I thought if she found…a healthy outlet for her boredom she would be less likely to join our brother."

Michelle sighed heavily, shutting her eyes. "I am so impulsive, Raphiel. Why am I so impulsive?"

"Why did I follow your every order as though they were Mother's?" Raphiel responded dryly and her sister's eyes flicked open, narrowing into slits. "It isn't who we are, it's who we became. Now, I can see clearly, just like you will, when Deanna eventually says 'yes'. However, Michelle, after what you did to her lover, she isn't going to forgive you. Not without a fight. Despite what you want, your True Vessel is much like you."

"What does that mean?"

Raphiel smiled when a silent 'pigheaded dimwits' came across from her Vessel.

"Both you and Deanna are stubborn, you both think that you're right, but the fact of the matter is that you aren't. Not this time. Both Marisha and I agree on this matter."

Michelle scoffed, crossing her arms over her chest and leaning back. "I am not going to listen to you and your Vessel's opinions. You're being blinded."

"I'm not being blinded, you're simply being difficult. I love you, sister. Truly, I do, but this arrogance is the reason why Gabriella left to begin with."

"That isn't-"

"You told Mother that I took her to a brothel! You tried to have her cast out!"

"Damn it, Raphi. It wasn't that simple." Raphiel's eyes widened slightly at the tone her sister used, it was…it wasn't like her. Had her and Deanna's Spirits touched directly?

"Then explain it to me, Sister, because there is no logic in what you did other than spiting Gabriella."

"I thought she wanted to Fall." Michelle admitted miserably. "I thought she went to that place because she wanted to Fall, I thought she wanted to join Lucifer, and I was just so jealous. I thought if I told Mother that she would Fall, that she would get what she wanted and I wouldn't have to see her anymore."

"That wasn't what she wanted." Raphiel responded, sinking into her chair finally. "Michelle, you were so cold with her. You scared her away."

"I was just…angry." Michelle breathed, burrowing her face into her hands. "Mother help us because I miss her. Why did she have to go to him, Raphiel?"

"Because no matter our wishes, she's in love with him."

"When?"

Raphiel closed her eyes. "The first time she recognized something was different was after he Fell, she knew for sure she was…attracted to him after the brothel incident."

"Why didn't you tell me?" Michelle asked, but Raphiel knew better. Michelle was asking out of necessity, not because she wanted the answers. This topic was uncomfortable, extremely uncomfortable, but it was also a step towards what they needed to do. Raphiel understood better than the others what they truly needed.

'You all need to heal, Raphiel. We all do. Are you ready to help them?'

'I am the healer, I will do what I can to repair them, but I need you. Without you I will never be able to do it.'

'I'm here for you, just like you're here for me. I would've died in that hospital if you hadn't found me.'

'I won't ever let you die, as long as you want to live, I will be your shield.'

'I hope so 'cause I'm not quite ready to die. Ovarian cancer, can you imagine? Even my doctors didn't know I had the ovaries too.'

"What good would it have done anyone?" Raphiel asked her sister after a moment, relaxing again as Marisha hummed an unfamiliar tune in their head. "I respected her privacy by not sharing a secret she barely understood herself. Just like I kept your relationship with Able a secret." Michelle flinched away and looked at the table. "You need to return Ada Milligan's Spirit to her Heaven and leave her body to the dirt."

"Not yet." Michelle said quietly, "I know she's Gabbie's but…I need a body for Earth."

"You need to stay off of Earth, Michelle. Every moment you spend on Earth is another moment that Lucifer has to strike against you."

"Lucifer won't attack me until he has Sam and right now she is furious with him."

"Are you sure about that?"

"Yes. Lucifer made a serious mistake when he psychologically attacked Gabriella. As much as I love our sister, the mental state that Lucifer brought on her has bought us the necessary time to figure out my situation with Deanna."

"Do you want my advice on Deanna?"

"I know what your suggestion is, and the answer is no."

"I'm simply saying that since you killed her, you are the only one that can bring her back."

"If I recall correctly, you killed her as well. Are you trying to tell me you brought her back as well? If so that would be directly defying healing law."

Raphiel breathed heavily out of her nose. "I didn't bring her back, Michelle. I had no reason to do so. It was a Falling footsoldier."

"Which means Mother brought her back, care to tell me where She is?" Raphiel glowered at her sister. "I'm not being condescending, I'm being practical. If Mother wants her back so bad, She can bring her back herself."

"You won't win Deanna simply by telling her you care for her. The both of them have every reason in the world not to trust angels, and doing what you did to Castiel? That was over the line."

"Castiel shoved me into holy fire, Raphiel! I have no intentions of bringing that…traitor back. What she did was her choice, not mine!"

"As little as I like the little thing, I stand by what I said. You need to make reparations with Deanna, before Lucifer makes his reparations with Samantha."

"I will not bring Castiel back, Raphiel. That is the end of this discussion."

"Then I suppose it is." Raphiel responded curtly, wings twitching behind her before she spread her wings and took flight.

'This is not fixing things.'

'What would you have me do?'

'Michelle is pigheaded, I've seen your memories of Gabriella.'

Raphiel laughed, faintly, before shaking her head. 'Gabriella has lost her mind. When Lucifer forced her to leave behind Loki she became less than who she was. I may have been able to speak with her before but… I'm worried what she'll do if I go to her now.'

'I've never met the Winchesters but I did know Ada, briefly. Ada was a levelheaded human being.'

'Ada Milligan hasn't been through the turmoil that Gabriella has, not to mention that Michelle is currently using her. We cannot use Ada's mental state from one encounter to evaluate Gabriella. I adore my sister, but she has always been impulsive and unstable. Ever since The First War she has been like that.'

'Would your sister kill you?'

Raphiel felt her Spirit shift uncomfortably against Marisha. 'I don't know what my sister is capable of anymore. One thing I do know is that my sister would risk anything for Lucifer if she thought she could get what she wanted from him.'

'Would Lucifer give her what she wants?'

'I don't think so.'

'Then I think you should go to your sister, just to talk.'

Raphiel's wings twitched behind her before she nodded. "Okay."

'Gabriella, I want to see you, I want to speak with you.'

There was a long moment of silence before a quiet. 'Alright, sis. Meet me in Purgatory. I want to show you something.'

Spreading her wings, Raphiel cut through dimensional walls and doorways, stepping out into Purgatory and staring at horror when she saw the destruction within.

.-~*~-.

"Hello, Deanna." Deanna's stomach twisted and she spun around, glaring at the woman before her. Her mouth opened but nothing came out at the sight she saw, it was…holy shit it was Ada.

Except it wasn't, and the version she'd met, the one that had turned out to be a ghoul, then she had been a rotting corpse, neither of them had possessed burn scars like that, what the hell had happened? Until she remembered and anger overtook her yet again, Sam had told her, Michelle was wearing Ada when she…

It didn't matter.

"Leave." Deanna forced out, "I don't want you here."

"I know you're angry."

"Angry doesn't begin to cut it you bitch!" Deanna shouted, watching in confusion when the angel fell back, struggling to her feet with an angry glare. "You killed her!"

"I defended myself."

"Oh, don't give me that bullshit. Cass went after you and you got pissed. What? Did you think she was taking me from you? Fuck no. I tried to trust you, I did, and you…"

"Holy Fire." The Archangel interrupted blandly. "When she attacked me, she forced me into Holy Fire. Do you see the burns on your sister's skin? Both of us felt every moment of that pain, every instant of it, not to mention the state of my wings, and all I did was come to speak to them. They summoned me, your sister brought Lucifer with her, and Castiel attacked me."

"What are you talking about?" Lucifer? Sam hadn't mentioned that Lucifer was there…even if Deanna hadn't spoken to her, in the many attempts Sam had made to speak to her she could've mentioned that little detail.

"Lucifer was there as well, did your sister not tell you that?"

"I haven't spoken with her." Michelle smiled sympathetically, and it caused anger to boil deep beneath Deanna's skin. "This is on you, you bitch. Don't you-"

"If you honestly blame me for it, why do you continue to ignore your sister?"

Deanna ground her teeth together, glaring violently at the Archangel. "I'm pissed at her, because she fucked up. She knew better than to go after a damned Archangel without me there! Especially fucking Loki! Then she did and now- you don't get to blame her for what you did, I can drop the blame on my damned sister but not the one that did it. Leave!"

Michelle sighed heavily and waved her hand, three sheets of paper with intricate symbols marked across them appearing in front of her.

"What the hell are these?"

"When we first met, you asked me for wards that would prevent Lucifer and Gabriella from infiltrating her mind. I had trouble finding them, back when we were at war with Lucifer one of his followers infiltrated the archives and burned much of the warding designated towards Archangels. This," A new page appeared, smaller and more intricate, upon closer investigation Deanna realized it was a careful combination of all the three sigils, "is a combination of the wards that are on those sheets. Much like the anti-possession sigil on your chest, your sister can have it tattooed into her skin and no Archangel will be able to access her mind."

"What if I do it?" Michelle looked away.

"It will work on whoever wears the sigil. I'd prefer you didn't."

"Leave."

"Deanna-"

"Leave!" Deanna shouted, the Archangel disappearing a moment later.

When Deanna woke up there was something crumbled between her fingers, four pieces of paper. The wards. Swallowing heavily, she rose to her feet, wondering if she should tell Sam what Michelle did for her.

Until she remembered that Sam hadn't bothered to tell her that Lucifer was there when Cass… Sam was keeping secrets again, why shouldn't she?

Chapter Text

"They aren't random." Sam muttered, staring at the screen on her laptop as the case suddenly became a hundred times more difficult. "Deanna."

"What?" Her sister grumbled and Sam glanced over her shoulder as her sister pulled one of her tank tops over her head. Almost, just almost, she berated the other woman for her choice to go braless, but she stopped herself from doing so. Not with the tension that was still there between them. Besides, Deanna didn't necessarily need one, though practically it was better that she wore one.

"We can't just go rake over the local pet cemetery. Someone pissed someone off. Look." Sam waited for the sound of her sister over her shoulder before she flipped up the obituaries.

"Yeah, Marie Henderson, Molly Stidham, and Jenny Jackson." Deanna responded, Sam sighed heavily, looking between the two teens and the four-year-old.

"They're all related." Sam explained and Deanna leaned forward a bit more, Sam waited, catching Deanna's body tense slightly when she saw it.

"Whoever the dad was, those are some hell of a dominant genes." Because all the kids had green eyes with black hair, and Sam had already checked the records, the birth certificate mother and father of each of the kids had been blue eyed, with one brown eyes, and even then, the hair was off from the kids. Not a single parent had black hair, or dark hair for that matter. The closer Sam looked, the clearer it was that the kids were related, cheekbones, eye shapes, every single detail screamed just how true Deanna's assessment was. The father did have super dominant genes, which begged the big question of who he was, and how many illegitimate kids he had lying around.

"Too greedy to hope it's a pissed off wife?"

"How long you want to be here?" Sam responded dryly.

"The rest of our lives." Deanna answered, disappearing from behind her as Sam pulled up addresses and phone numbers from the records.

"Did you get the suits replaced or do we need to get them?" This was almost normal, Sam felt herself clinging desperately to it.

"Shit. No, I forgot about that." Sam craned her head slightly, finding her sister pulling her damned jacket over her shoulders as she headed back towards her. "I'll grab them."

"I can come."

"No." Just as quick as it was there, a thread of normalcy, it was gone. Deanna shoved out the door without another word and Sam bit hard on her tongue as she got to her feet, heading into the bathroom and turning on the shower.

"Not gonna do it." She muttered under her breath, staring at her reflection.

The woman that stared back was barely her. When was the last time she checked the mirror, anyways? Her eyes were baggy, screaming with her lack of sleep, hair a matted mess shoved into a weak excuse of a ponytail on the back of her head. Her cheekbones were more pronounced, skin paler from the month and a half spent in that god forsaken cabin. Was Deanna really going to let her go out like that?

"Fuck." Sam wiped at her eyes as she went back into the other room. "Fuck." When had things gotten so damned messed up? When the hell had things gone wrong like this? Why didn't Deanna tell her that Michelle was visiting her in her sleep? Most importantly, why was she grabbing a knife out of her damned dufflebag, and why was she turning around and walking back into the bathroom with that same knife in her hand.

It was almost as though she was out of control of her own actions, even when she was fully aware that she was doing it of her own accord. Blindly she dropped her knife onto the sink, pulling her long sleeved, forever plaid, shirt off, followed by a black tank top. Licking her lips she stared at herself, at the scars across her skin, at the scar just behind her ear that could've been mistaken as a birthmark if she didn't know better.

"Tainted. I'm tainted."

"Do you think I care?" Robbie asked earnestly, running his hand across her cheek, onyx black eyes burning into her skull as he pressed the small blade into the skin just behind her ear.

"I think you're all talk." Samantha answered, tilting her head to the side and closing her eyes. "Fuck that stings. Why am I doing this?"

"Because you have this crazy complex about your impurities?"

"I know I'm impure. I'm screwing a demon." Sam breathed out. "Screwed a goddess too, so damned tainted…but I'm doing it for good, right?"

"Mhm," Robbie responded, "Now hold still. You're going to break the cross." Sam flinched as Robbie pressed the blade into her skin once more, finishing off the brutally ironic carving of a cross into the skin behind her ear. The moment it was over she pulled away, forcing the just barely shorter man back into the wall as she pulled him into a biting kiss, relishing in the badtaintedwrong feeling brought on by the taste of the demon's blood when her teeth broke the skin on his lips.

"No." Sam shook her head, grabbing her hair and dragging it out of the hair tie, "Not tainted. Just cursed." Which was better? She wasn't sure, but she would rather it be a curse than…her.

With that in mind she stepped away from the sink, shedding the rest of her clothes and stepping under the warm water.

"When was the last time you had a hot shower, Sammy?"

"Shut up." She muttered tangling her fingers in Loki's gold threaded hair as the hot water poured down her back.

"You always tell me that." Loki mused, dropping to her knees and tilting her head to the side. "You're probably the only one that's got the skill to make me do it." Sam whined softly, struggling to keep her footing when the goddess kissed her thigh.

"I hate you."

"No you don't." Loki teased back, gripping the back of her legs.

"I do. I fucking hate you." She breathed out as she tightened her grip in the other woman's hair, "Now. Shut. Up." A laugh tore out of Loki's throat as Sam pulled her forward exactly where she wanted that mouth…

Sam shook her head rapidly, forcing herself to focus on the task at hand, washing shampoo and conditioner through her hair methodically, trying to ignore the ache in her chest.

I know you're still in there, Lo. He can't ruin you, I love you and I need you to snap out of it. Come back to me.

Silence. Sam had been hoping for something, anything resembling the goddess she knew. God, she would've been happy with freaking Lucifer showing up, this unbearable, ear grating silence was bothering her.

"Sam, you're not just co-dependent. You're a whole new level of freak on the 'needs someone' scale. You'd fuck my brother if he offered companionship.'

"You're not real." Sam sobbed, shaking her head as she writhed against the bindings on her wrists and ankles, trying to ignore the heavy weight of the hallucination of Loki on her chest.

"I may not be real, but I'm right. I'm you're pretty little subconscious and I know you better than you know yourself."

"Leave!"

"One day, he's going to ask you, and one day, you're going to say yes. It's why I chose you, after all. I don't love you. I don't care about you. I just care about what you can do for me, what you can give me."

"That isn't true."

"That's why I left you. It's why I broke you. I wanted you open to that demon's manipulation. Why would an Archangel choose a demon blood tainted thing like you?"

Sam was on her knees at the foot of the shower when she came to from the memory, chilling water pouring down her back and leaving her feeling far too exposed. Last time she'd been this exposed Lucifer had shown up.

Lucifer.

The damned devil, he'd known that Michelle would kill Cass, and he hadn't told her. Why didn't he tell me? The words threatened past her lips but she didn't dare risk them, not if Deanna was in the other room. If her sister found out…that was something she didn't want to think about. Deanna was already too upset with her, if she knew Lucifer was there on top of it all…

Shivering, she climbed out of the shower, grabbing one of the cheap towels off the rack and wrapping it around her torso as she walked over to the sink, looking at her red rimmed eyes and her dark hair stuck messily to her neck.

"You were supposed to be a man." Sam flinched slightly when Lucifer appeared next to her in the reflection, tilting her head just enough to confirm he wasn't actually standing here she looked back at him in the reflection.

"What are you talking about?" Sam frowned.

"You're a hermaphrodite, 'chick with a dick' as Gabbie put it." Sam wasn't able to stop herself from smiling slightly, because that, it sounded like Loki. Not the stranger that had shown up in the cabin but her actual Loki.

"That doesn't make sense."

"It really does." Lucifer responded, stepping closer and Sam shivered slightly, because even if she couldn't see him, she could sense him there. His presence, his Spirit. "Think about it, Sammy. I'm male, in my angelic form I have the genitals to match that, but you're my True Vessel. If you're the Earthly equivalent of my human body, why are you female?"

Sam didn't have a coherent, logical response to that question. It was a gratingly obvious answer, except, it still didn't make sense. "Hermaphrodites…they don't just get surgery and suddenly fit the requirements for the sex their parents choose. If I was supposed to become a guy…it would mean I fit more as a male than a female. I don't have a dick." Unless she'd missed something very vital in her own anatomy.

"No. You don't, but you did." She flinched slightly when something icy touched her shoulder, a brush of energy she knew was all in her head, because Lucifer wasn't there, but even then, the reflection showed his hand exactly where she felt it and part of her wanted to bolt, to get the hell out of there. "Your mom lied to you, and your sister still does. I'm not trying to turn you against her, but I'm going to explain it to you, because you deserve the truth."

"What if I don't want the truth?" Except she did, she wanted to know where Lucifer was going with this. She was a hermaphrodite? She'd been born…but why? How? How the hell had Deanna and their mom kept this from her for so long?

"I know you want to know." Lucifer answered, hand moving up and stroking across her hair, causing her to shut her eyes. "Have you ever wondered why you've never had periods? Why you lose your head when you're away from your family? I know you're not stupid, Sam. Yeah, you take birth control, but where do you get it?"

Sam bit her cheek as she fought down the waves of nausea threatening to overload her. "Jeremy Simmons."

"The same doctor that your mother has been going to since she started hunting. The doctor that sides as a pill supplier for Hunters all across the damned planet. Your sister and you don't take different birth control. That's crap, you take more frequent doses because you need testosterone and my bitchy sisters made them clip your dick off. You couldn't get pregnant if you wanted to, and whenever one of your family members falls out of the picture you stop taking them."

"Stop."

"No." The hand cupped the back of her neck and she shut her eyes, afraid to look, afraid to see the burning sympathy in the Archangel's gaze. "Demons can knock potential angelic Vessels up, but during the months your sister was dead, when you were off your 'birth control' Robbie never used protection and you lost your head. The little bastard thought he could use you to house his own spawn, to drive your sister even further away from you, but he couldn't, and it's because you don't have any ovaries in that precious little abdomen of yours. Open your eyes, Sam."

"No." Sam breathed out, but even then her eyes were opening and she hated it, because Lucifer had drawn up her hair behind her head, leveled it out at her chin, and she could see. Just barely, but she could imagine herself just like that. Body broader, muscle heavier, no boobs. A thousand other little details that she didn't want to think about. A thousand things that could've made her a him.

But even then… "Why?"

"What do you mean?"

"You said hermaphrodite, but there's something else, I could've gone either way."

"You could have. I could've been sitting with a Vessel with no designation, like my sister is, but your parents were selfish. They made that choice for you, just like they did your sister."

Sam jerked away, rounding on thin air when she realized what that meant. What the fuck? Up until that point he'd made it out like she was alone but…

"I can't project myself. There's warding that's trying to keep me out completely. Turn around, Sam."

So she did, she turned around to see Lucifer hovering precariously behind her back. "My sister…you said I'm the one on hormones."

"She isn't, because she has ovaries. True Vessels are hermaphrodites by default, it's because each of you have the potential to fall into order as our Vessels, I could've just as easily gotten Ada or Deanna as mine, but I didn't, because you fell into this body. That's where things get complicated, while your parents were by all rights selfish assholes, when your Spirit enters into your body it begins to alter your growth pattern, shifting exactly what grows where."

"You're not making sense."

"I'm not a damned biology teacher, Sam. I'm Hell's Archangel. But here, your Spirit made your body lean towards male, and your sister's Spirit made hers lean towards female. Until your doctor clipped you during the surgery, you were supposed to be male. Got it?"

Sam really didn't fully understand it, but it wasn't exactly his fault that he was explaining it poorly. If she'd pieced it together right, he only knew because Loki told him, and Loki was as reliable as flip flops in a blizzard.

"I came to tell you this, because you deserve to know. I didn't do that to you, and your sister chose not to tell you. The 'mistake' wasn't a mistake. It was done by my sister in an attempt to weaken the link between you and me. I don't want that, Samantha. I want you to trust me, and I want your consent, but I know it's going to take time and effort to earn that."

"If you want my trust, you shouldn't have broken her."

Lucifer's eyes closed in the reflection. "I made a mistake. I didn't consider the repercussions. I just wanted my sister back. I've been alone for so long, Samantha. It's been thousands of years since Michelle shoved me in The Cage, then my sister comes to me and begs me to treat her like…vermin. If your sister came back to you after imprisoning you, if she demanded you look at her like a cockroach, would you not be angry? Would you not want her to be your sister again?"

Sam didn't answer, because the feelings of sympathy? Those were unwarranted, dangerous things and she couldn't bear to sympathize with the devil, Rolling Stones be damned, because if she didn't grab onto her thoughts and level herself out she was completely and utterly fucked.

He wants to use you. Can't you see that? "I have to go."

"You're not done in here."

"What are you talking about?" Lucifer's gaze moved to the sink where her abandoned knife was laying and she followed his focus almost unconsciously.

"You brought that for a reason. Did what I tell you freak you out?"

Sam ground her teeth together and she shook her head, pointedly grabbing the knife out of where she'd abandoned it.

"No more mom to rebel against, time to do what you want. Right, Sammy?"

"Stop calling me that."

"No." Lucifer's shit eating grin pissed her off to no end but she bit back her anger, testing the end of the blade before wrapping her fingers around her still wet hair. Refusing to look at icy blue eyes she focused on her hair in her reflection, pulling it around and roughly running a blade through it. "Interesting." It took a few tries, and for a moment she regretted not grabbing the scissors they kept for cutting up their shirts, but she was making a point to Lucifer.

He doesn't make my choices for me. Except wasn't he the one that reminded her? Well, too late to turn back now.

"Goodbye, Samantha."

Even when the devil was gone she kept cutting at her hair, carefully cutting it short, shorter, shorter than Deanna.

God fucking damn it, why am I doing this?

.-~*~-.

Deanna came back into the motel room to find her sister- "Holy shit!" Sam was curled into a ball on the bed with her hair chopped off, her eyes staring vacantly at the wall. "Sam!" Deanna dropped down onto the mattress next to her, shaking her shoulder until the other woman jerked against her, giving her an indescribable look. "What the fuck did you do!"

"I…" Sam swallowed heavily and her eyes closed. "I was tired of how you looked at me. Like…like I was a disease. I thought maybe if I didn't look like me…"

Damn it. Her heart broke just a bit, because this was her fault, she'd been so damned hard on her sister… "Damn it, Sam. That isn't-fuck." Deanna stared at the rugged hair cut the other girl had, and for a brief moment something niggled at her mind, something she never dared to think about, because if she did guilt weighed heavy in her. Guilt and shame. "I'm pissed at you but…fucking hell, Sammy. What did you do to your hair?"

Then Sam laughed, a sharp tortured sound that made her hair stand on end. "I cut it off."

Deanna's retort died in her throat when she saw how beaten up her sister was. Something had happened in her trip to the store, something major.

"Why didn't you tell me, Deanna?"

"Tell you what?" The hair, it was the hair that made her throat close, that made fear twist deep in her gut, because if it was…that. That was something she didn't know how to talk about. One of those big promises her mother had forced her to make.

"The…God damn it, Deanna! You're not going to make me fucking say it! Why didn't you tell me! I deserved to know you were fucking drugging me!"

Deanna shut her eyes and shook her head. "It wasn't drugging."

"You have to make sure your sister takes her pills, if she doesn't, she'll become volatile. You can't tell her, either. She already hates my guts, if she knew I did that to her? She'd leave. You can never tell her, Deanna. Promise me."

"No, right, because lying to me about what my pills were for was so much better."

"How the hell do I bring something like…that up in conversation, Sammy? Please, enlighten me because it was one of those things that I never actually understood myself!"

"How about, hey, Sam, you were born a dude. Why is that so damned difficult?" Irritation burned to rage as it clicked in her brain why Sam knew this all the sudden. Fucking Lucifer. The Damned devil was poking around in her head, creating conflict and he was doing it like a fucking pro.

No, he wasn't doing it like a pro, he was doing it just like Loki. The fucking Trickster was pulling out all her best moves and Sam was falling right into it. All over again. "Sam, I didn't tell you because it wouldn't have done any good. You would've gone off the estrogen just to prove a point and I didn't want you to go through that bullshit."

"So you kept me in the dark, and you died, and my-"

"I told Bobbie to make sure you kept getting them, then you bailed on her. Sam, if I'd thought for a second you'd take off like that…I would've told you, but you were already so bent out of shape about my death I didn't want to drop that bombshell on you."

Sam huffed out an angry breath as she rolled over onto her back, throwing her arm over her face and Deanna found herself staring at the haircut. It was so damned…wrong. Sam always had the long hair. Ever since they were kids she'd fought getting her hair cut, and now Sam's hair was shorter than Deanna's shoulder length hair, cut to her chin.

The worst part was, they needed to cut more of it off. It needed to be evened out. They couldn't go out on a case like that, honestly, she wasn't sure they could go outside at all with it like that. Sam had done such a damned bad job at it and…

Is this really what I'm thinking about right now?

"I'm so damned pissed at you, Deanna."

"I know you are. I did it…because Mom told me to."

Sam groaned in exasperation, taking her arm off her eyes and glaring at Deanna. "You know that damned blind loyalty is what's got Michelle and Lucifer in this position, right?"

"I didn't kill you." Deanna retorted and Sam huffed a small laugh.

"No, you didn't." There was a silent yet at the end of that sentence that burned in her gut. Not ever. She couldn't kill Sam, and if Michelle was right, she wouldn't ever be able to. Which begged the question of where it would all end. There had to be an alternative, because if there wasn't, then they were screwed. "I need your help."

"What?"

Sam smiled glumly. "My hair. I kinda butchered it." Her sister admitted meekly and Deanna almost laughed, but only almost. This was Sam giving her an escape and she latched onto it without thinking, the explosion of emotion hopefully done for the day.

"No shit, Sherlock. Looks like you took a freakin' knife to it."

"Well I did." Deanna rolled her eyes, because of course she did. "Know we've got a nice sharp pair of scissors in there. As a wise woman once said 'if you're gonna be stupid, might as well be smart about it'."

"How many times did she tell you that?"

"More than you I'm sure." Bobbie was still a sore spot, sore because they hadn't ever discussed it. There was still vivid imagery of the woman's death in her brain but she wouldn't dare bring that up with Sam. Her and…well, it didn't matter. The point was null and void, Bobbie was gone and the world was ending, ultimately, it was all of their fault's.

"Right." Sam cleared her throat, emotion leaking through her gaze just enough that Deanna knew her sister wasn't okay.

"Get your ass into that chair." She spoke up, turning to go to the duffles before digging a pair of scissors out of the side pocket, following her sister to the chair next to the window and moving behind her. "You're gonna look like a dude when I'm done with you." Which, in retrospect, was a joke in bad taste.

"I hadn't planned to go so short." Sam admitted meekly, thankfully not reacting negatively to what she said. "I was gonna cut it to my shoulders but, well knives aren't great for cutting hair apparently."

Deanna rolled her eyes. "Next time you decide to do something this stupid, let me know so I can stop you."

"I'll try." Sam responded as Deanna began snipping carefully at the hair, trying her damnedest to make sure it didn't become too short.

"Sam, I wanted to tell you something."

"Is this a conversation I should have with you when you've got sharp scissors against my neck?" Sam asked honestly as Deanna snipped past her ear.

"Michelle gave me a ward to keep Archangels out." Deanna stated bluntly, pulling the scissors away just in time when Sam whirled around, giving her a look that said 'what the hell?' "It would work on both of us, it'd give us an out so we didn't have to listen to the bullshit from the Archangels."

"I-Wait, are they in the room?"

Deanna frowned, thinking of how she'd painted the ward to the bottom of her bag for reference. "Why?"

Sam averted her gaze, turning around in the chair again so all Deanna could see was the back of her head. "Lucifer visited me early, but he couldn't project himself properly because of some warding. I just assumed he was talking about something you set up in the motel."

Was the warding really that strong without actually being there with them? If so… "I've got it on the bottom of my bag."

"You want to get it tattooed on us."

"I want to keep them out. All of them. They're going to tear us apart and we're not going to realize it until it's too late. We're all we've got left, Sammy. Everyone else is gone, even…the damned Trickster. We've gotta keep fighting, because if we don't it's going to ruin us, and they're gonna win."

"How are we going to deal with them, Deanna? We've lost them all, all of our allies are…gone."

"I'm going to ask Michelle." Deanna responded tiredly. "She's trying to buy my favor for my 'yes', so I'm going to demand she gives me a way to deal with her brother without her help."

"You really think that'll work?"

"I think we're low on options." Sam shook her head and Deanna knew she wasn't done, but she was, so she grabbed her sister's shoulder and began cutting at her hair again. Snip, snip, snip until it was cut just over her ears in the front, longer in the back where her sister had missed massive chunks of it in her crusade to have shorter hair than her sister.

"Mom would be so proud." Deanna joked dryly when the deed was done.

"Mom would be pissed." Sam retorted as she got out of her seat, walking to the bathroom almost rigidly.
"Why's that?"

Sam looked back over her shoulder, a smile plastered on her face. "I dulled the knife blade."

Deanna laughed at that, shaking her head as she watched her sister step through the doorframe, fingers running through her hair absently. "It good?"

Sam was quiet for a moment and Deanna waited, listening for any telltale signs of a negative reaction. "It's good. It's…short."

Deanna rolled her eyes. "You didn't give me much to work with."

"Thank you." It was so quiet she almost didn't hear it, but she did, and she didn't dare respond as she went back to the door. "I've got the suits in the car, I'll grab them. We've still got a case."

"Right." Sam responded as she stepped out of the motel room.

.-~*~-.

"Car's in the driveway, lights are on, but no one's here? Did the lovely Mrs. Jackson have a second car?"

Sam rolled her eyes at her sister's antics. "There's one car registered to them, they've got to be-" A scream sounded from inside and Sam was moving before she realized what she was doing, kicking at the door with all her strength, by some miracle she was greeted with a weak bearing and the door flung open on the second kick.

"Derrick!" A woman's voice rounded as glass shattered and they were both running through the house, guns in each hand as they took the stairs up two at a time. "Derrick!" The threw open the first door on the left to see a woman holding back a black dog, made of misty shadow rather than fur and flesh, her hand gripping the base of its throat while tears streamed down her cheeks. It was a fleeting thought when she noted the blood pooling beneath the woman into the carpet.

Deanna shot the thing before Sam could stop her and the bullet barely missed the woman's head. However, the shot had a desirable, or undesirable effect, as the black shadow dog turned its attention from the woman, white glowing eyes boring into both of them as it snarled.

Once, the thing had no doubt been a Rottweiler, but now it was a mass of ghostly energy and Sam grabbed for her sister's arm as the thing abandoned the woman completely, stalking towards them. Deanna dodged to the left, firing off another shot to draw the dog's focus as Sam inched to the right. Everything was distinctly clear, a simple bedroom, a king-sized bed far too close to the door for Deanna to have much space to draw it away in the first place.

The moment the thing launched itself Deanna dove to the right again, the dog faceplanting into the wall. Her sister fumbled back out the door as the thing regained its bearings and charged after her.

Sam trusted just enough in her sister's abilities to feel safe when she slammed the door between them and ran to the woman on the floor, pressing her hand against the stomach wound that had no doubt been caused by a dog bite. The woman was sobbing brokenly as she stared at the door, "Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. What-what the hell was that! It-"

"Ma'am look at me. Did it get you anywhere else?" The shaking woman met her gaze, eyes wide with fear.

"M-my back…I-oh god it hurts." The woman moaned out as Sam carefully rolled her over onto her side, heart sinking when she saw the jagged wounds where the creature had torn through flash and fabric with claws no dog had the right to have.

"You're gonna be okay." Sam muttered, "Put pressure on your stomach."

"I was…oh god I-" The woman started sobbing again as Sam put pressure on the worst part of the injury on her back, fumbling to grab her phone from her pocket and make that dreaded nine-one-one call. "I'm pregnant." The woman breathed out between her sobs and it suddenly all made a whole hell of a lot more sense.

Damn it.

Chapter Text

Sam met her sister outside the Impala where the other woman was bruised and bloody. “Where’d it go?”

“It’s in the back.” Deanna admitted and Sam stared, if the dog was in the back... The trunk?

“Excuse me?” Sam rubbed the back of her neck, turning around to meet the focus of the police officer. “My name is Angela Jones.” The woman greeted, smiling softly though there was an air of discomfort in her entire demeanor.

“I’m Sam Young, FBI.” Sam responded without much thought, pulling her badge from her blood soaked suit pocket and offering it to the officer while Deanna stayed back behind her. “My partner, Anna Johnson.”

“You saved her life.” The woman continued after returning the badge. “I didn’t know FBI was in town, what for?”

“The dog killings.” Sam answered honestly, shifting from one foot to the other. “We saw a similar attack in the next town over and have reason to believe it’s a serial killer, using dogs to do the dirty work.”

The woman gave her this baffled look before moving her attention to Deanna. “You saw the dog?”

Deanna huffed an irritated breath from behind her. “Bastard attacked me.” Sam resisted the urge to elbow her sister for that. “Lost the thing halfway down the alley. Tell the papers and animal control it’s a Rottweiler and the thing’s savage.”

“You need to go to the hospital?” The woman asked, concern etching her features.

“I’ll be fine.” Sam really doubted that, the next words that left her sister’s mouth pissed her off beyond belief, not about what was said but how it was. “Will you be at the station later?”

The woman laughed softly and shook her head, mood flipping almost immediately. “Charming, but not interested.”

“Damn. Worth a try in the aftermath of a battle. Well, we’re gonna head off, right, Sam?”

“Yeah, right. Ignore my partner’s antics. If that tree over there had lips she’d flirt with it.”

“Ah, fuck off.” Her sister retorted defensively, edging away. After the driver’s side door opened and Deanna slipped in she added, “It would need some perky tits too!” before slamming the door behind her.

“I really am sorry about her.”

“You really should get her to the hospital. Those cuts looked bad.”

“I’d be arguing with her all day if I tried.” Sam waved off honestly, eying the shorter woman for several long moments before continuing, “So does anyone know where the husband was during all this?”

“No.” The officer admitted, looking over her shoulder before looking back at Sam, “He disappeared before the attack, you don’t think...”

“I can’t say anything for sure yet, but do you know anything that might act as motive for him to go after her or any of the other victims?”

“I know the family personally, it’s why I’m out here. I know it’s a conflict of interest but I just had to check on her and look...” The officer looked more uncomfortable now than she had since they started talking and Sam listened closely. “She’s my best friend, I’d never throw rocks at her but... last month Derrick found out she was cheating on him and he flipped out. You don’t think that...”

“Considering the other victims were children it’s unlikely, but the time frame is also right for a potential link. Do you have any idea where he might’ve gone?”

“I really don’t, but I’ll let you know if I hear anything.” Suddenly the woman was shy, eyes downcast and Sam internally groaned, because of course this was her luck. Deanna wasn’t going to let her hear the end of this, if things were back to normal. “Can I have your number?”

A separate part of her almost wanted to follow through with the woman’s attraction, take her back to her motel just to see if it would get a rise out of Loki, because she vividly remembered one of the first times she’d slept with another person following the beginnings of their relationship, and she’d been pissed.

Except, no, she wouldn’t do that. She wasn’t that kind of person. But still... the woman was cute, a couple inches shorter than her surprisingly, bronze skin and braided black hair. When was the last time she’d let herself see a human as attractive? In her own twisted way Loki had claimed possession over all of Sam’s sex life when they’d been together, then she’d been tied up in saving Deanna after the Mystery Spot incident, then she’d been with Robbie...

Wait, what the fuck? Where had that thought process come from? She wasn’t anywhere close to being in the right mindset to go out and get laid, and she wasn’t going to use some poor woman to spite her ex-lover. “I’m flattered, I am, but I’ve got to keep it professional.”

“Worth a try.” The woman muttered, sounding far too much like her sister in that moment for her to like. “Well, on a professional basis, I do need a way to get ahold of you if I remember anything. You mind?”

Sam held out her hand, taking a notepad the woman pulled from her pocket and jotting her number down on it with her name.  

“Thank you.” The woman scurried off quickly after that and Sam watched her go, deciding she wasn’t too disappointed in letting that chance go. The only person she’d ever enjoyed meaningless sex with was Loki, and it had spiraled into pure Hell. Sam opened the door sliding in and ignoring the speculative look on her sister’s face. “You turned her down?”

“I’m not into chicks.”

“Just Trickster Archangels?.” Deanna huffed out, turning the key.

“Yes, just Trickster Archangels. Are you happy to hear that?”

Deanna didn’t respond and Sam ground her teeth together in frustration.

“Cass was an angel too, you know? The two of you spent more time eye-fucking than I thought was humanly possible.

“That was different, Sam.” Deanna bit back angrily, “I wasn’t fucking her to get off, I was-“

“-dragging her to a broken heart because you can’t handle fucking commitment.”

“That wasn’t what it was!”

“Really?” Sam scoffed, looking out the window. “You know she died for you, right? I might’ve been there, I might’ve watched Michelle drive her blade through Cass’ heart, but Michelle only showed up because Cass was scared you’d leave her for Michelle. So, no, you know what? I didn’t kill her. It wasn’t my fault that Cass died, it was yours, because I only went there with her to confront Loki and she summoned Michelle.” The words were cruel, and not completely true, but God she was sick of being at the center of her sister’s blame.

“I didn’t- I wasn’t...” Deanna trailed off, hands tightening on the wheel. “Fuck off, Sam. Michelle told me, you know?”

“Told you what?” Sam’s head shot around to stare at her sister, fear twisting in her gut.

Lucifer was there, Sam. Just like he’s always there now, and I’m calling bullshit on it being a coincidence.”

“I- Deanna, it wasn’t like that.” God damn it. The Archangels were both throwing blockades between them left and right and they were falling right into the traps. The problem was that they were throwing themselves in deeper and deeper every damned time the Archangels showed up, which meant one thing. “Where’s the dog?” Sam asked, suddenly.

Deanna was quiet for a moment before answering, “It was in the trunk but considering how quiet it is... I think it’s gone.” Which meant they were back to where they started. In any other circumstances, it would’ve been bad, but here and now, it was good. It was important.

“Good. Where’s the closest tattoo parlor?”

Deanna shot her an indescribable look before looking back at the road. “Three blocks from here. Why?”

“We’re going to rip our problem out, root and stem. They’re turning us against each other and it’s obviously not going to stop until we do something about it.”

“Sam...”

“We’re getting that damned ward tattooed on us if I have to knock you out to do it.”

Deanna nodded slightly, putting the car into gear and pulling onto the road without another word.

.-~*~-.

Sam stood in the bathroom mirror, pulling the bandage off her left side to carefully to look at the new ink marring her flesh, it was intricate and beautiful. The sigilwork on its own was perfect, and the three interloping symbols marked three distinctive different forms of, what was hopefully, protection. If not, then they just carved three tracking sigils into their skin and they were screwed anyway.

“Looks good.” Deanna remarked from the doorway, skeptical.

“You think it’ll really work?” Sam asked.

“I want it to. You never sleep anymore, not really.”

If it wasn’t for the lingering knowledge of what the visits from Lucifer did to her body temperature she might’ve asked how her sister knew that, but the answer was stupidly obvious. Every time Lucifer visited her dreams, she woke up cold, and every time Michelle visited Deanna her sister woke up sweating. Which meant that if this didn’t work, well, they’d know.

“I know I’ve said it before, but I’m done with the secrets. I’m going to tell you everything, even the crap you don’t want to hear.”

Deanna didn’t respond.

“To start, Cass-“

“Sam-“

“No. Let me finish. It’s not your fault, and it’s not my fault. I was wrong earlier. Cass chose to attack Michelle. She did that. I didn’t think for a second she’d actually do it, if I did... I don’t know, I’d have banished them both, but I didn’t and- Damn it, Deanna. Don’t look at me like that. I should’ve known but I didn’t and I fucked up, but it isn’t our fault. She made that stupid choice.”

“I don’t care.”

“Yes, you fucking do. You care a whole lot more than you’re letting on and I’ve had it up to here with your ‘I don’t care she’s dead’ bullshit. You did the same shit with mom, and you had a whole fucking lot more reasons to hate her.”

“That isn’t-“

“You don’t deal with grief, Deanna! You bottle it up, more and more until you blow up and I’m not going to keep buying into-“

“Fuck you!” Her sister shouted, and Sam realized a moment too late she’d made the mistake of crossing the room, the fist that flew landed her square in the jaw and sent her stumbling back with an estranged shout.

“Fuck me?” She spit out angrily, glaring at her sister from the floor, jaw throbbing and blood trickling from somewhere in the back of her mouth. “Fine.” Sam pushed herself to her feet, rubbing her jaw, glaring as she spit blood onto the damned motel room’s floor. “I didn’t do it, Deanna. I didn’t do it. Michelle did it. The damned Archangel you seem to trust.”

“I-“

“No, Deanna. Fuck you. You trusting Michelle is bullshit. If you want to blame someone? Fucking blame her! She killed her! It was her blade that ran through Cass’ heart! I was standing right fucking there when it happened!”

God where had this damned conversation gone? No, this was where it needed to be and since Cass couldn’t seem to be mentioned without Deanna getting hostile it was going to have to happen that way.  But it was going to happen, and they were going to address the issue at hand.

“I-“

“Say it, Deanna. Say it.

“No.”

Yes. Cass is gone and it hurts, and you won’t talk about it. Say she’s gone, say she’s dead.

“I can’t, Sam. I... fuck, I can’t. First Mom... then Bobbie, and I just can’t.” There was a vulnerability in her sister’s expression that rarely ever showed, and Sam realized something that hadn’t clicked with her before. Something she should’ve realized before, because she’d been grieving it too. Cass was one thing, but Bobbie was dead too and Sam knew without a doubt that her sister had watched her die. “Drop it.”
“Stop blaming me, Deanna. Fine, if you want me to drop it, then I’ll drop it, but stop blaming me. I didn’t do it. It was her choice, her actions.”

“I know.” Deanna breathed out, “I know, Sam but you were there and I just... fuck, I can’t do this.”

“I didn’t do it.”

“No, you didn’t. Can we please get back to the hunt?”

Sam hated when Deanna was like this, but she also knew that it wouldn’t do any good to push her into it. She’d gotten what she was going to get this time. So, reluctantly, she nodded slowly. “Alright, fine. But, Deanna, I’m here if you...”

“Yeah, I got it.” Deanna grumbled, crossing the motel room and going into the bathroom. “We’ve got to figure out where that dog went, and who the hell it was that summoned it.”

“You make that sound easy.”

“Well the pregnant chick’s husband skipped town, he seems like a pretty solid lead.” Deanna slammed the door.

“And where is he?” She asked loudly as the water in the shower started.

“Do your nerd crap and figure it out.”

Sighing heavily, Sam went back across the room and pulled her laptop out of her backpack. “This is bull.” She muttered under her breath as she booted the laptop, shaking her head. Yeah, they were on a case, which was a miracle in itself, but being forced to do all the research, again, was Hell. She hated it. Deanna was more than capable, she knew her sister was. When she’d left for Stanford it hadn’t been Jane that did all the work. It had been Deanna who took over as the researcher while mom went off to hunt whatever. Deanna was completely capable of research, even if she hated it.

Which was why she pulled up her email rather than diving into lore about black dogs. There were three new emails, and she frowned at one of the emails, from an unfamiliar email.

Saving it for last, she clicked the first one, from… Holy shit.

JoeMarvel@huntersinc.net: Hey, Sam. This is kind of out of the ballpark and I’m not sure you still use this email, but I heard something that I really don’t want to believe. Word on the street’s you busted Lucifer from his box. I don’t want to believe it, but in the off chance it’s true I’d steer clear from other hunters, just in case. I hope it’s not true, but if it is, I’m sure you had reason. Call me at this number if you feel safe calling, if not, well it’s all said and done. I know everyone thought I was dead and that’s the plan to keep. Talk to you, or I won’t.

Joe.

917-555-4543

Sam stared at the email, completely lost for words. Joe was alive? Deanna had told her that everyone in The Roadhouse died. At least, that was the consensus coming from her and Bobbie. So how the hell was Joe still alive?

Deanna deserves to know. Some part of her mind whispered, but she brushed it off. Joe had definitely had a thing for her sister, but it wasn’t requited. Even if it was, it was history Sam wasn’t sure she wanted to bring up. The day The Roadhouse had burned was the day Sam had died and Deanna sold her Spirit, it just wasn’t something that was important for the time being, if it became necessity, she’d tell her sister, but for now…

SamSmith@huntersinc.net: Hey, Joe. I’m alive. I didn’t intentionally end the world. Thanks for the warning.

Sam

She kept it short and sweet before clicking the next one. Rolling her eyes, she deleted the ad for Viagra and finally, she stared at the untitled email.

Though she wasn’t sure why, it took a moment for her to muster the willpower to click the title, throat closing a bit when she read the beginning.

GodsFavoriteFallenAngel@gmail.com: Samantha, you did something to yourself. It’s interesting, I don’t like it. I liked talking to you. Though I suppose a letter has its own merits. Yes, I know it’s an email, but it’s the same basic principle. Ah, I’m allowing myself to get distracted. I want to speak with you about whatever it is that you’ve done to yourself. I’m assuming it was Michelle, she’s buying Deanna’s favor by working against herself, it’s clever and something I didn’t think she would do. Of course, she doesn’t have the benefit of Gabriella’s insight into humanity, so it’s likely she will find a way to visit your sister in person. I’m aware you think I’m turning you against your sister, and that’s far from the case, Samantha. I love my sister dearly, and so do you. I just want you to understand that you’re putting yourself in danger by allowing Deanna to continue communing with Michelle. I have no ill intentions towards you, Samantha. I simply want you.

- Lucifer

Sam stared at the articulate ramblings of the devil in bewilderment. Lucifer… had sent her an email. It sounded like something out of a bad movie. She'd received an actual email from Lucifer, on the email she’d accepted from Darian Valentine when he decided the hunters needed a different network of socializing besides phone calls on inconsistent phonelines. It was… crazy. Yeah, she could throw in the salt, grab a new email, but the ridiculous concept of an email from Lucifer actually made her pause.

It shouldn’t have, but it did. Lucifer had taken the time to write her a letter, and ignoring the kind of creepy end line, it had all, yet again, made sense. The only problem with it was she had to show Deanna. This was a big revelation and she couldn’t afford to keep it to herself, no matter how bad she wanted to do it. This was going to set Deanna on edge again, the only silver lining was that she was telling her sister. Despite herself, she was telling her. That was that dangerous line they needed to keep going across. No secrets. Secrets were their downfall, every, single, time.

SamSmith@huntersinc.net: Lucifer, I don’t want to hear from you again. -except didn’t she? No matter how little she would admit it to herself or anyone, she knew she wanted to hear from him. When Lucifer was around, everything else fell apart, and it was why he needed to stay away.- No more creepy emails, no more dream visits or all that other crap. I just want to be left alone. Leave the planet alone, leave me and my sister alone. Just leave.

Sam

Staring at the screen, she forced herself to press send. It shouldn’t have been as difficult as it was, but it was and she found herself feeling anxious at how the devil might respond to a line like that. His plans obviously hadn’t changed and she really doubted they would any time soon. No matter what he claimed, that was the one place they would not share opinions.

The Earth deserved to go on, and Lucifer wanted to end it. He wanted the humans all dead, the world to burn. It was something she couldn’t afford to do.  

Satisfied with her decision, she set out on her next mission. Getting information on the current case. Someone in this town was summoning and controlling black dogs, and they needed to figure out who it was before someone else died.

.-~*~-.

Michelle tapped her fingers against the war table, snapping them as her willpower finally wavered due to the barrage of prayers. This wasn’t what she wished to do, though maybe it also was. It was nothing personal. A mist took life before her, twisting and turning until, finally, there.

“I-“ The newly resurrected spun around, crow black wings spreading wide behind her as she took in her surroundings.

“Welcome to Heaven’s Battle Room, or should I say welcome back?”

“Michelle!” Castiel tried, and failed, to summon her angel blade, backing away from the Archangel with terror in her expression. That was the correct response. Not the power play Castiel had tried, and failed, before dying at Michelle’s own hands. Where had things gone wrong with Castiel?

“You didn’t expect me to bring you back.” Michelle mused with a smile as she watched Castiel’s wings spread a bit behind her.

“No, I had no intentions of you returning me. Whatever plans you have-“

“I have no plans for you, Castiel.”

“You’re lying.” Michelle caught it in her Spirit, though. Castiel’s Spirit was more exposed than it had ever been and it was sitting at the edge of her body now. It wanted to believe her. It wanted Michelle to be the Archangel she had once been, and somewhere in the long-forgotten pit within her Michelle felt her own Spirit twitch with longing for the same thing. The time for them was long past though and no matter her wishes she couldn’t allow herself to be distracted by them.

“Why would I lie to you, Castiel? If I am bitterly honest with both myself and you, though this will not leave this room, I acted rashly by killing you. I am not apologizing, because you earned that, but I may have been a step out of line.”

“Deanna is angry.” Castiel called her out almost immediately, Spirit jumping beneath her skin. “You made her angry by killing me.”

“Was that your intentions?” Michelle asked the young angel who remembered her position and carefully restrained her Spirit to the center of her body.

“I didn’t think I would die.” Castiel responded, “I knew the risk, though. I needed Deanna to see you as what you are, Michelle.”

“What would that be, little sister? Do enlighten me.”

“Proud, hotheaded, stubborn.”

“All key notes you seem to love in my Vessel.”

“I-“

“You would fault me for the aspects of her personality you love? Why is mine a crime if hers is a prize? What marks the difference, Castiel?” There was a time that Michelle remembered well. It was when the adolescent angels begun to train as soldiers. During that time Castiel had taken to Michelle with a strong fondness that Michelle hadn’t really acknowledged at the time.

Castiel didn’t give her an answer, an analytical look settled on her face. “Why did you bring me back?”

Sighing softly, Michelle tapped her fingers against the table. “I brought you back because Deanna asked me to. I don’t want her to hate me. I want her to understand me. By killing you I damaged her in a way I didn’t recognize at first. We are not human, we do not experience things as they do, and it’s becoming clear to me that he more I attempt to understand her the less I understand.”

Castiel’s expression softened, just a fraction. “I understand, Michelle.”

Michelle leaned back in her seat, looking up at the ceiling. “I really doubt you do, Castiel. You have always been susceptible to the draw of humanity. It was a wonder you didn’t follow Lucifer.”

“I would-“

“No, do not take that as an insult, Castiel. It is an impressive feat for someone of your influence.” The young angel was staring at her, trying to analyze her, and Michelle would’ve been concerned if it wasn’t for her history with the younger angel. Castiel knew her in a way most of the other angels hadn’t ever fathomed. Not long ago, Michelle and Castiel had been rather close. It was why Michelle had entrusted rescuing Deanna Winchester from Hell to begin with. ‘No one may touch my Vessel’s Spirit but Castiel. Is that clear?’

Of course, that had backfired on her dearly. Michelle was not happy that Castiel had possessed the audacity to violate her Vessel. It was… Inappropriate. Yet it brought her mind to an unclear place that had once existed between them. Michelle remembered the flowering of Castiel’s youth, the terrifying sight of Gabriella in The Garden playing with her while her Spirit assaulted her. It wasn’t deliberate, Michelle had known that, but starting at that moment Michelle had recognized a change in Castiel and several of the others. In a way, Gabriella had made Castiel who she was now. An angel that Michelle had once possessed a great deal of fondness for. Actually, no, an angel she still possessed a fondness for. There were almost no angels out there that were capable of doing what she did, striking to kill on a superior, no matter the stupidity of the action. It was admirable, though Michelle resented her for it.

“Michelle.”

“Leave, Castiel. Tell your Hunter I have heard her prayers. I am not the enemy, not to either of you.”

Castiel was still searching her but Michelle chose to ignore it, drawing on her blade and staring at the lingering pink of Castiel’s blood that lined the blade.

“When I came to investigate Heaven, when I began having my doubts, I uncovered a following of angels angling to release Lucifer.”

“Yes, I’m aware of that.” Michelle wasn’t happy about it either. When she learned of what Ariah and what the small group of them had done to push forward the release of Lucifer she had been livid. “I had no involvement in that, Castiel. Neither me nor Raphiel were involved in it. The only direct involvement we have had was manipulating Samantha Winchester’s birth sex and you rescuing Deanna. All other events were done by Ariah and several others and they have been punished for their actions. I do not want to kill my brother, I will say this one final time. I do not want to kill Lucifer. I am not your enemy, Castiel. I am not an enemy to any of you. I just know that the inevitable is that Lucifer gets Samantha’s yes, other by being pushed by Lucifer or Gabriella it will happen and when it does, Lucifer isn’t going to wait for Deanna to get my ‘yes’. He’s going to play dirty and he’s going to kill both you and her. That is where this ends. You can change that if you so choose to, but that is out of my hands. I brought you back because Deanna asked me to, and I hope you will do me the favor of being honest with her when she asks how you came back. I also hope you have the decency to respect the fact that she is my Vessel.”

“You’re asking me to not engage in sexual relations with her.”

Michelle grimaced, “Yes. I am asking that of you. Ignoring everything else. I’m asking this of you, Castiel. We were once close.”

“I know we were, Michelle but… What you’re asking me is… It isn’t easy to tell her no.”

Michelle smiled, shaking her head. “I know it won’t be easy for you. I’m asking that you try.”

“I know.” Castiel responded, pushing off of the wall carefully. “Where is my blade?”

Michelle snapped her fingers, watching as Castiel’s angel blade appeared on the table directly in front of her. The young angel narrowed her eyes before grudgingly crossing the short space between them. When the young angel made to grab for the blade Michelle caught her wrist, earning a disturbed yelp as the younger woman tried to pull away. “If you ever try to kill me again I will leave you to rot in the prisons, Castiel. Is that clear?” Michelle asked, eyes flicking across the tense form of Castiel. Despite herself Michelle found her gaze lingering on Castiel’s lips, a bizarre moment of confusion overtook her as she considered- considered what?

“Michelle.” Castiel ground out and the instant broke, her gaze flicking back to the young angel’s blue eyes.

“You get one chance at trying to kill an Archangel, and you failed at yours. I won’t let it happen again.” Though it took a bit of willpower she released the younger angel’s wrist, letting her grab the angel blade off the table and step back. Behind her, crow black wings quivered and Michelle’s gaze wandered across the dim feathers.

“I am free to leave?” Castiel asked, and was that hesitation? Surely it was her mind playing with her, but why? Never once had she ever considered anything like that with anyone… had she?

“Go.” Michelle forced out, thinking about the bizarre sudden thoughts she’d had as black wings spread and Castiel flew out of the war room, out of Heaven, and back to their Hunter. This had to be Deanna’s influence. It had to be.

Chapter Text

Raphiel stared at the shredded Spirits lining the landscape of Purgatory as her younger sister sat on what Raphiel knew had once been Eve's throne. If it wasn't obvious before, her deranged sister had made an effort of putting The Mother of Monster's head on the right corner of the back of the chair. "Gabbie- what the hell?" Raphiel demanded and her sister smiled widely.

"I cleaned up Mom's mess."

Raphiel swallowed back her disgust, because there was a look in Gabriella's eyes that made her feathers bristle, the hair on her Vessel come up. Everything about her sister in that moment radiated predatory and dangerous. Once brilliant white wings were now a deep grey, the grey of a Fallen, and it broke her heart just a bit because she'd known. She had always known. Sooner or later, Gabriella was going to end up here. Gabriella was drastically more loyal to Lucifer than she was Heaven and it had been bound to happen. Raphiel just hadn't expected this, she hadn't expected her sister to break like this, and it had to be Lucifer's fault, intentional or not. When her sister had announced to Heaven just how she felt about him, it had been clear she wasn't doing it because she wanted to. It had been obvious that she did it because he ordered her to and there had been something severely wrong with her at the time, the brutal honesty not coerced but too raw to have been shared without Lucifer ordering it.

"They weren't… that. Gabbie, they were humans."

"Then they weren't. What's the problem, Raphie? You hated The Mother, too."

"It doesn't mean you go to- Did Lucifer tell you to do this?" Raphiel demanded over her sister, horror twisting in her gut. Gabriella just sighed dramatically in response, lounging back on the throne and hooking her legs over the armrests, summoning her Archangel blade and picking at her nails.

"Lucifer hasn't ordered me to do anything, Raphie. I'm an independent woman." Gabriella responded with a huff of breath.

"You- Gabbie, what did he do to you?"

"He reminded me of who I am."

"I don't remember Mother ever ordering you to do anything like this."

"That's because you never paid attention. I was The Voice, Raphiel. I may not have killed directly, but I was the speaker of Her word. I doomed countless humans. I was the harbinger of their destruction. Just as I am destined to be with The Apocalypse."

"You've lost your mind, Gabriella." Something flashed in her sister's eyes and she twisted around, rising to her feet in an instant.

"I haven't lost my mind." Gabriella ground out slowly.

"Yes, you have."

'Raphiel, may I remind you why we're here?'

"This isn't… This isn't you."

"It is." Gabriella responded. "If it wasn't before, then it is now."

Raphiel's wings twitched but she resisted the desire to fly away. They were here for a reason, and if she ignored the hundreds of destroyed Spirits surrounding them… "Why, Gabriella? Why is this you now? If Lucifer wants this of you, surely you have to realize how wrong it is."

"This has nothing to do with Lucifer. It is me because it's who I became. I'm following Lucifer, Raphiel. I'm following him because I love him, and he's right. The world will be a better place-"

"With him in charge?" Raphiel interrupted. "You can't possibly believe that. I know you can't."

"I do believe it. Michelle and you were both absolutely terrible leaders, God abandoned us all, you know I'm right. Lucifer was made to rule. When She cast him out, she gave him his own kingdom. It is because he was made to rule. When the time comes, he will ascend his throne into the Heavenly skies."

"He'll ascend his throne and rule over an empty planet? Do you truly think that the angels will follow him? Do you honestly believe I'll stand by and let him overtake Heaven?"

"I think you possess far too many self-preservation skills not to let him overtake Heaven. You wouldn't throw yourself in harm's way, especially while in your True Vessel. When he wins this war, you will stand behind him."

"Lucifer isn't going to kill Michelle." Raphiel defended their sister, except she also knew a secret about Michelle that no one else knew. No one except maybe Deanna. Michelle wasn't going to kill Lucifer, she was going to do everything she could to avoid it. It was something they couldn't risk letting anyone else know because if Lucifer found out he'd try to catch Michelle off guard. "Michelle is going to win the war, Gabbie. It's their destiny. It was written long ago."

"Destiny didn't account for Deanna Winchester's stubborn force of will. I know them better than anyone else. Deanna isn't going to say yes. Sam will, it's only a matter of time. Michelle will never get a 'yes' from Deanna. Especially after she killed Castiel."

"Yet you think Sam will say 'yes' to Lucifer after he killed Loki?" Raphiel countered and there was a flash of emotion in the other Archangel's eyes.

"I killed Deanna several hundred times, psychologically tortured her, and she came back to me. Yes, I think Lucifer can get her consent and it won't take much for him to do so. Sam is much more selfish than Deanna is. Her 'yes' will come quickly once Lucifer begins seducing her."

"Lucifer- you're okay with this?" Raphiel couldn't begin to comprehend this.

There was a twist of her Spirit that said she wasn't, it was faint, but it was there. That was the big difference between Gabriella and the other Archangels. Gabriella didn't hide her Spirit, Loki had done it but Gabriella didn't. Her Spirit was open and exposed and Raphiel could read it like a book. Every single time Sam was mentioned it pulsed with longing and when Gabriella lied it burned red. Spirits were exposing, and it was Raphiel's biggest talent to read them. Back in The Early Days it had taken direct contact, but as time had gone by she had become much more skilled in recognizing the signs.

"She's his Vessel and he's in a romantic relationship with me now, Raphiel. He is giving me what he can and all he wants in return is his Vessel."

"Your lifemate. Why is it that you're handing a gift like that away to your brother? He will ruin her." It was such a rare occurrence that Raphiel hadn't considered it, not until she'd heard the words, but as sure as Lucifer brought on the sun, Samantha and Gabriella were lifemates and there was no rational reasoning as to why Gabriella would hand that away.

"They are one in the same, he won't ever ruin her because they are the same."

'Raphiel, be careful.' Her Vessel warned softly and she took a shaky breath.

"Except they aren't. Gabriella, we may share very similar stories with our True Vessels, even personality traits, but that is it. We aren't clones of each other, we have separate dreams and fates and Lucifer is going to destroy your lifemate before you realize what's happened. You'll lose her, and it will destroy you."

"He won't." Gabriella bit back with a bit of venom in her eyes, hand tightening on her Archangel blade and causing Raphiel to take a step back, wings twitching behind her. "They'll both be mine, Raphiel. I'll have everything I've ever wanted and no one will stop me."

"I'm not trying to stop you." Except she was and the anger in her sister's eyes told her she knew as much.

"You are, Raphiel, and I can't afford to have you working against me." Horror took over for a flash as her sister's voice sounded from behind her and she barely had a chance to move before an Archangel blade pierced her flesh. A scream of pain tore from her lips as the blade that had been poised for her heart, a single movement having caused it to instead pierce her lung, cut through her and right into her panicking Spirit, pulling out a second later.

'Raphiel!' Her Vessel cried in horror as she whipped her wings backward, knocking her sister to the side as the construct she had been speaking to dissipated. Spinning around, she stared in horror at her laughing sister.

"Flee, sister." Gabriella spat and Raphiel didn't think twice, staring at the blood drenched blade in her little sister's hand. Gabbie.

'Raphiel, are you okay?' Her Vessel was asking in a panic and tears streaked her cheeks as she shook her head, because she wasn't okay. That hadn't been… Her sister was never like that, she'd never partaken in the killing of siblings and now…

A gasp tore from her lips as her lung collapsed on itself, she felt it and it occurred to her that she couldn't go to Michelle in this state, because explaining why she was dying from a wound from an Archangel blade would not go over well. But- she was going to die if she wasn't treated… Technically she could go to a human hospital and have it repaired but she was bleeding Spirit energy and she wasn't too sure she could explain that one away.

'Raphiel, please.' The decision was made before she was flying, following the blood signal her Vessel's bloodline trickled with.

.-~*~-.

Sam sent a quick email to Darian, asking him for a new email at Deanna's insistence. It was ridiculous of course, but she knew it would put her sister at ease. Switching emails wasn't going to keep the devil out of her inbox if Loki was involved, Sam knew it, but Deanna needed peace of mind so she offered it to her sister. The fact that Deanna had been more confused than anything was a positive sign. If they could just keep this line of trust open… It could have very positive repercussions. God, she hoped that was the case. What Lucifer had told her hadn't passed her mind, however. It was true. If Lucifer was already moving to find a new way to talk to her, it wasn't hard to imagine that Michelle was making her next move. Sam was going to have to keep a close eye on her sister, see if Michelle did attempt to contact her. While she hoped that Deanna told her, there was a chance she didn't, and Sam needed to know if it happened. She was being open with her sister, Deanna needed to return the favor.

"Alright, so I was looking at their records and I found out that a month ago the husband hired a PI."

"So our dick was a stalker dick?"

Rolling her eyes, she pulled up the paperwork. "Guy she cheated with, name's Larry Anderson. It looks like Derrick had the PI find all of his illicit love affairs. Dating back something around twenty years old. He's a hound. Slept with half the town from what the PI uncovered. Everyone knows him, but none of them ever see him."

"Wait, our loverboy's in his forties?"

"That's where it gets weird." Sam admitted. "According to his birth certificate, he's in his forties. About twenty years ago he left town and came back a different guy. Also hasn't aged a day."

"So he found the fountain of youth and decided to screw the town?" Deanna asked and Sam shrugged.

"I don't know, what I do know is that the black dog's the least of our problems. Immortality's never a good sign."

"So, what? Demon? Angel? Witch?" Of course, there were a bunch of other things that could be immortal, but those were the go-to options.

"I was thinking witch. Demons don't usually stay in one place for long and angels aren't really common enough for that to make sense. Plus, a witch could potentially explain the dogs and why the husband's gone MIA."

"You think he got too close to the truth?"

"Yeah." Sam responded and turned the laptop around. "See, look. PI's missing too. I got all this from his secretary under the guise that I was FBI looking into his disappearance."

"So, let's go pay Larry a visit." Deanna suggested and Sam nodded, getting to her feet and shutting her laptop. "I got his address. He's lived in the same place since he was a kid so…" Deanna was already opening the door, jerking away when she saw a woman standing in the doorframe.

Well standing was a relative term. The woman- she was pretty sure it was a woman- stumbled through doorframe, covered in blood and- glowing. There was a bright light emanating from her back, a familiar bright light that Sam knew belonged to an angel but-

"Holy crap!" Sam could tell her sister was caught between grabbing the woman mid fall and grabbing an angel blade to finish the job. Sam made the decision for her when she got to her feet and crossed the room to grab the woman as she hit the floor, dragging her upright and shooting a glare at her sister as she dragged the whimpering angel to the bed. "Sam-"

"Don't start on me, Deanna." Sam warned vehemently as she inspected the wound, ignoring the way that looking too close burned at her eyes. She'd seen this before, and it had never really occurred to her what it meant until now. They were looking at the angel's Spirit, or at least a fragment of it. The angel was gasping heaving breaths, the sound wet and thick. "Get the medkit."

"Dude." Sam looked towards her sister who was staring at the angel with something she couldn't begin to describe, it wasn't anger but-

"Dying." The angel gurgled out, "Lung."

Except how the hell could they fix her lung? They needed a doctor, they couldn't- except maybe she could. Once, back in the days when she was sneaking around with Loki, Loki had brought knives into the bedroom as more of a joke than anything and she'd shown Sam her Spirit, cutting through her skin to expose the thing that fueled every life on the planet. As an almost offhand comment Loki had told her that she couldn't die as long as her Spirit could heal her, but it couldn't be exposed… Maybe-

"Deanna." Sam bit out and she heard the sound of movement behind her. "Who are you?" Sam asked and the angel moaned in pain when Sam pressed her hand against the hole in her back, definitely from an angel blade.

"Unh." Came the perfectly coherent response from the lying angel, and that pissed her off because they were trying to fucking help her. Sam pressed harder into the wound and the angel screamed, True Voice breaking past the deeper female voice. "Please!" The angel sobbed out as Deanna dropped the medical kit next to her, Sam reached in and pulled out several of the makeshift medical supplies that they kept around for times like this, of course nothing this bad…

"Who are you?" Sam demanded and the angel moaned in response as Sam took one of the bandages out and pressed it against the wound, yet again forcing the light to disappear.

"Ra… Raphiel- please-"

Sam's hands froze and Deanna stopped breathing, because that- why in the ever-living hell would Raphiel come to them? Why would she come to them?

They weren't allies, they were working against both Heaven and Hell and- Sam took a step back.

"My Vessel." Sam's kneejerk as to say screw it with the Archangel's Vessel because she'd been working against them since the start, she'd killed Cass the first time, and every instinct in her thought Deanna was going to go for the kill too, because it wouldn't be hard, not when the Archangel was in the position she was in. But neither of them moved, they just stared, and it registered with her that her sister was probably fighting through a hundred different emotions.

"Can you bring her back?" Deanna's voice was the first to break the lethal silence and Sam shot a look at her sister.

"I… can…not do a…anything… in this… po…sition…" Raphiel struggled to get out the words, and Sam finally made herself move because it clicked that Deanna might've been right. It was possible that an Archangel could resurrect an angel, maybe, and Deanna deserved to have faith in the possibility that it could happen.

"Sam-"

"Go get some ice, Deanna." Sam cut in and much to her surprise her sister fled without another word, which left Sam some much needed breathing room as she grabbed the dental floss and began to stitch open the back wound. "You can heal your lung, right?"

"Spir-"

"This will help, right? There's nothing else I need to do?"

A moment of silence then a grunt, a subtle shake of her head. "No." Raphiel muttered into the pillow. "Don't kill her."

"We're not going to kill you." Raphiel groaned in pain as Sam stitched her skin back together. "Not yet. I don't understand-"

"Gabbie." Raphiel forced out, coughing violently.

Loki had done this? Sam stared at her patchy stitch work, blood soaked and looking less and less severe now that her Spirit wasn't exposed. Sam knew Loki wasn't in her right mind, but murdering angels? Especially her siblings? It wasn't something she thought her Archangel was capable of doing. Loki had told her she had no plans on killing her siblings, that all that mattered to her was getting Lucifer… Of course, if Lucifer told her to kill Raphiel, was it possible? Sam didn't want to believe that. Yet, there it was, and it meant Loki was a bit more off the rails than she'd thought. Not that she didn't know already, the Gabriella break was evidence enough that she was in really bad shape. Sam still wanted to see her, to talk to her, but she might've needed to talk to Raphiel before she did that.

Once she was sure that the Archangel wasn't going to die of a collapsed lung on their motel bed Sam backed off, sitting on the other mattress and watching the Archangel raggedly breathe, moaning in pain every once in a while. This was taking longer than she thought it would, but she was willing to suspect it was because of the weapon used.

Another problem was… Where the hell was Deanna? Something resembling panic twisted in her gut as she got to her feet and crossed the room, pulling open the door and looking down the pathways on each side, eyes widening in horror when she caught sight of her sister holding someone by their throat against the wall, someone- that wasn't possible. Sam stopped for a second and just stared, eyes glued to the impossible sight of a damned tan trench coat, of dark hair framing a too pretty face and the angel blade pressed to her throat.

"I don't fucking know who thought this was a funny joke, Lucifer, Michelle, fucking Gabriella, I don't care but this is crossing a fucking line of drastic proportions and I'm going to-"

Then she was back in action, crossing the sidewalk and grabbing her sister by her shoulders, the squirming angel who had her mouth half opened and horror on her expression. "Deanna, it's me. Please. Don't-"

Sam tugged backwards, dodging back when her sister attempted to headbutt her, because this was not a smart idea, not out in broad daylight with a damned Archangel bleeding out on their bed. "Deanna, stop it." Even then, her gaze was riveted on Castiel, because she had watched her die, but she was there and Sam wanted to believe with all of her heart that she was real. This was a win they needed, of course it also meant that if she was real Deanna was going to want to kill Raphiel. She didn't have the first clue how Cass -if she was real- would react to Raphiel either. If she hated her just as much as her sister did then it was going to cause a lot of problems. Sam didn't want Raphiel dead until she learned what mental state Loki was in. If this wasn't a mess, she didn't know what was. "In the room, now." Sam ordered Castiel as she fought to restrain her sister, finally managing to knock the angel blade form her hand and grab it, throwing herself between her sister and the retreating angel.

"Get out of the way, Sam!"

"No." Sam responded, keeping her blade out of grabbing range. "God, Deanna get ahold of yourself."

"How the hell am I supposed to do that! There's some- thing wearing her face and-"

"It could be her, Deanna. If it's not, killing her isn't going to help solve the problem. We need to figure out what the hell is going on before we jump into action."

"Sam- Damn it, fine." Her sister conceded, still tense as a board. "Let's just get this over with so I can kill the damned imposter." Which, wasn't really a helpful response. She needed her sister to believe it was possible, but they couldn't stand out here anymore so in spite of her better judgement she turned around and made her way back to the room with her sister on her heels.

Inside, Cass was staring at Raphiel who had managed to roll onto her side. The Archangel was staring back at Cass, a bit of astonishment in her expression. "Was it Her?" The Archangel finally asked, speaking directly to Cass, and it was without a doubt the Her that she was talking about was God, and Cass was shaking her head before the question was finished.

"It was Michelle." Castiel responded, looking at them when they stepped through the door. "Deanna, Michelle told me to tell you that she brought me back, that she did it for you, because…"

"Stop it." Deanna cut in, stepping around Sam. "I'm not buying this bullshit charade because-"

"It is true, Deanna." Raphiel interjected. "That is Castiel- though I am unsure why Michelle brought her back. The last time that we discussed it Michelle was firmly against the prospect." Sam glanced at Deanna who had paled slightly and- was it possible that Deanna had prayed to Michelle to have Castiel brought back? Could that be why the first thing she asked Raphiel was whether or not she could do it?

"Prove that it's you." Deanna spoke up, doubt and uncertainty clouding her expression.

"The first time we kissed, I initiated it. I tried to blame you for Lucifer being released and you reminded me that it was me that released her from the panic room." Castiel pressed her lips together. "When we had sex the second time, you asked me for something and told me never to relay it. I told you I would give you whatever you wanted, and I still would if you asked again. I am loyal to you, Deanna, and I would die for you again and again because that is how deep my devotion runs. Call me a construct or whatever you wish, but I will continue to follow you until it ends, even if it destroys me again."

Sam really didn't want to think too hard on whatever it was in her sister's sex life that made her shift uncomfortably in that way and throw a panicked look in Sam's direction before looking back at her angel. "Cass- Wait, you said Michelle brought you back?"

Cass averted her gaze and nodded, and none of the people in the room seemed happy with that prospect, none of them except Castiel who seemed indifferent at the idea.

"I'm aware." Raphiel breathed quietly, Sam looking up at her when she did so. Who was she talking to?

"Raphiel-" Castiel paused. "Is that- is that your Vessel?"

"You know it is." Raphiel retorted, shifting uncomfortably and groaning.

Of course it was a Vessel, but that wasn't why Castiel was asking. Sam stared for a moment longer at the amber skinned woman, because Sam had known about her, vaguely, Lucifer and Loki had both mentioned her but… They had two half-sisters, and it shouldn't have been as offsetting as it was to see the second one- except it was, because Sam had just saved her life and Deanna had no clue.

"I didn't know you were looking for yours."

"All of them are here, I didn't see any harm in seeking mine out." Except Sam saw the evasiveness in her expression, there was something vital that Sam was missing.

"What're you talking about?" Deanna interjected and the two angels went quiet, forcing Sam to speak up.

"That's her True Vessel." Sam responded, quiet, and it took only a second before Deanna went rigid.

"No way. No fucking way."

"Dea-"

"No." Deanna laughed sharply and shook her head, advancing on the Archangel who didn't look in the least bit intimidated. "Get the fuck out-"

"You are mistaken, Deanna." Raphiel brushed it off, getting to her feet and flinching visibly, taking a sharp breath. Clearly, she hadn't healed completely yet. "She asked me for this."

"Does she know-"

"How many times will Michelle have to explain to you before you understand it? We hold no ill will towards our True Vessels, we treasure them because they are God's final gift to us. While Lucifer and Gabriella may possess… darker intent towards Samantha." Raphiel cast a look towards Sam that she wasn't sure how to interpret. Sympathy, maybe? "That isn't the way that Michelle and I work. We want our True Vessels comfortable, we want them happy."

"Well, tell Michelle the only damned way I'm going to be happy is if the planet isn't in the crossfire of some damned war between Heaven and Hell."

It didn't pass Sam's notice that the fire in Deanna's words was weaker than it should have been, Deanna was thinking on what Raphiel was saying and before she realized it she was stepping forward. "Except when she's doing everything in her power to drive a wedge between us?"

"That isn't what she's attempting to do. The problem with Lucifer is that he's bound to mentally warp and distort you until you don't know who you are anymore." Raphiel shifted slightly, "If he doesn't succeed, Gabriella will step in. After my last encounter with her I am positive of this fact. The fact that you are lifemates doesn't seem to act as a deterrent to her. I was under the impression that her loyalty to our brother was much less strong than it is, but unfortunately…" Raphiel trailed off, expression forlorn. "Thank you, Samantha. You saved both of our lives. I must go now."

"Don't you-" Deanna started in, a moment too late as Raphiel disappeared in a flutter of feathers. "Damn it!" Her sister shouted and Sam waited, three, two, one. Deanna's head whipped back over to Cass who was watching her warily, the damned elephant in the room was pressed against the wall, waiting, and Sam saw a thousand emotions cross her sister's expression, because it was Cass and Sam knew this was a win, but it also worried her. If Cass was brought back by Michelle, if she had spoken to the Archangel beforehand, then only God knew what crap Michelle had fed her to manipulate Deanna. Lucifer had of course warned her, without a way to directly visit her Michelle was going to find some other way to contact her. Cass was the perfect option, though considering Michelle had killed her Sam hadn't thought for a second that she'd bring her back. If she was honest, Sam was pretty sure none of them had expected it.

"Hello, Dean." The angel said quietly in that weird rough voice that was so Cass. It took her a moment before Deanna was crossing the room and wrapping Cass in a tight hug, saying something so quiet Sam couldn't hear it.

Then Sam felt like she was impeding on something personal, but she couldn't bring herself to leave, because this wasn't over yet. There were still things that needed to be done, and even if Cass was back it didn't change the fact that they were on a hunt.

There also was some other part of her that didn't want to leave them alone. It was the part of her that was wary about the entire situation. She didn't trust Michelle, she trusted Michelle less than she trusted Lucifer, purely because Lucifer didn't pretend he was something he wasn't. Michelle was a threat to their entire situation, already it was clear that Deanna was wavering. But she couldn't let that happen, because she knew it would, sooner or later it would happen. Deanna wasn't strong enough to keep saying no, and it was only a matter of time before she said yes. They needed to find a way to deal with the Archangels before one or both of them broke, but Sam didn't have the first clue on how to do it, and she was struggling to figure out whether or not Deanna had given up already.

If Deanna had given up already, then they were doomed. Which meant… I have to talk to Loki. Of course she'd wanted to talk to Raphiel and get a better idea of what was going through her head, because she knew it wasn't anything good.

The problem was, she missed Loki. Even after their impromptu breakup from a relationship she didn't know existed, she missed the damned goddess-turned Archangel, or was it the other way around? The point stood. If it wasn't for all the other crap, she'd have probably gone through and visited her. Now she needed to do it, she had to see Loki, even if it backfired on her violently.

Loki would come to her, because Sam was going to summon her. None of this prayer bullshit, but a real summoning. She was done playing the Archangels' games. This meeting would be on her terms.

Chapter Text

Lucifer stepped into the high-end restaurant with distain. This was one of many Earthly establishments that irritated him but it was a small price to pay to try to earn his sister's forgiveness for what he had done to her. It had been far from his intentions to psychologically damage his littlest sister, but he had needed to make that point to her. Just as she saw it as unjust for him to demand she stop loving him, he saw it unjust for her to demand he see her as vermin.

Lucifer loved his sister, dearly. Not in the way that she wanted, but he did love her and he would do what it took to get her back. Well, almost anything. Lucifer had made his stance on the prospect of a sexual relationship clear. Lucifer would never engage in a sexual relationship with his baby sister, but at her insistent pleading and promise of leaving Sam for him, he had agreed to 'date' her as she put it. A term he was not fond of as it was too human.

Unfortunately, there wasn't an angelic term he could use without implicating more. Calling her his mate wasn't an option, and she wasn't content with being his sister. The human terminology was the only option to give them middleground, though it didn't make it easier. It was demeaning, but considering what he had forced her to do in front of all of Heaven, it was a small price to pay. Though it bit at him on the basest of levels, his Spirit shifting unpleasantly within him at the reminder.

"Luce." Lucifer didn't turn when his sister came in behind him, stepping up next to him and hooking her arm through his with a bit of resistance.

"Hello, Gabbie." He greeted her, looking down at the short woman with a bit of apprehension. It was the deal, it didn't mean he liked it, but he could tell by the docile movements of her Spirit that she had no intentions to cause trouble, and Lucifer was grateful because he wasn't sure he could handle that. Raphiel had informed him of the fact that she wiped Purgatory out and while he wasn't necessarily bothered by the action, he was concerned with the initiative that his sister took with it. Gabriella wasn't supposed to kill without reason. During his visits to Sam's dreams he had seen it. Just like he prided himself in not lying, if he could help it, she prided herself in not killing unless necessary.

"Are you angry with me?" She asked quietly as she tugged him forward, bypassing the line of people which Lucifer was more than happy about.

"I'm not angry with you. Frustrated, yes. Not angry."

"Well, whatever the cause is, leave it outside because we're not going to argue tonight."

"Do you think so low of me, little sister?" Lucifer asked and her Spirit bristled, though her Vessel remained relaxed and uncaring. Oh, Gabriella. If only you could see how exposing your Spirit truly is.

"May I help you?" The snooty human woman asked from behind the podium and Lucifer was grateful that he knew enough about human culture to know she wouldn't be with them the entire dinner, lest he might kill her.

"Hello, Hannah. I called last month with reservations for Lola Vox and Lucian Solis." Gabriella responded, straightening her back and addressing the human woman with distasteful familiarity. The human woman eyed her with a bit of hatred before checking the notepad in front of her. The only thing that stopped him from stepping in was the sight of his sister's Spirit inching out across the short space between them. He would have to ask her what she'd done later as the woman nodded curtly.

"Ah yes, Ms. Vox. Welcome back." The woman responded, stepping to the side. "I hope you and your date enjoy your evening. If you would, follow me." When the woman acknowledged him it was with- was that sympathy? If she only knew. Lucifer mused absently as the followed the human woman through the dimly lit restaurant. Gabriella was practically skipping as the woman in front of them guided them to a table. How she could possibly be in such a good mood when a human was being so blatantly disrespectful was beyond him but he had promised to behave and his word was his bond.

"Your waitress will be with you shortly. If you cause any problems, however-"

"Yes, yes. I know. I'll be kicked out." Gabriella responded with a wave of her hand. "You know I'm your favorite customer. Now toodles." Gabriella waved as she dragged her chair away noisily, much to the obvious irritation of the woman. Lucifer raised a brow as he took the seat across from her, much more quietly.

"Toodles?" Lucifer asked her as the woman walked away in a completely calm-not-calm manner, Spirit shifting around restlessly within her.

"No one likes a cunt." Gabriella responded with a shrug.

"What did you do to her?" Not that Lucifer cared, not in that matter, but he knew the creativity of Gabriella's alter-ego and he couldn't help but wonder.

"Her husband died in a tragic accident involving a boar." Gabriella responded, looking down at the menu absently. "Now she has aids, which will be a nasty way for her to go unless the humans ever get around to curing it."

"What did she do to you?" Lucifer asked suspiciously. Obviously, this woman had gotten to his sister, and while he could check the memories of Sam's that were floating around in his Spirit from the minor brushing of their Spirits he was more interested in asking her directly. Besides, if he was going to be here for a while, it was going to get grating to talk about the problem directly.

"I brought Sam here about two years ago." His sister admitted, sparing him a guilty look which he ignored. He already knew that much. "She's a homophobic bitch that cornered Sammy in the bathroom and called our relationship a blasphemy."

There. A shifting in her Spirit told Lucifer more than her words did, because his sister was ignoring her Spirit and it was on rampage. "A blasphemy?" Lucifer asked her instead of acknowledging what he was seeing. Sam was obviously still an open wound and Lucifer didn't expect less when they were lifemates. Even when he'd asked her to break things off with Sam, he hadn't expected her to actually do it.

"Yes. Apparently two women cannot date without it suddenly being a terrible crime."

"You're not a woman." He pointed out, noticing the woman within hearing distance again as she settled another couple into their seats with much more respect. "You're an angel." His sister shot him a look. "A strong and beautiful angel that I would kill God Herself for if I needed to." Gabriella's breath caught in her throat, and Lucifer chose to ignore the reasons because it was easier than addressing exactly what he was doing. "Not to mention the arrogance of assuming that they know best when they can't tell that I'm your brother." Lucifer chuckled darkly when the sound of glass shattering pierced the dull humming of the chatter in the restaurant, the classical music playing low from the speakers.

"Luce-"

'Don't.' He pressed quietly to her as he put his hand on the table, recognizing the human gesture from Sam's memories more than anything else. Gabriella took a breath as she reached across the space and let him put his hand over hers.

"So, Gabbie." Lucifer spoke, wrapping his fingers around her hand. "How was your day?"

"It was good." His sister responded, averting her gaze for a moment. "I saw our sister."

"Ah, yes. I heard about that." Lucifer looked up as a man approached their table, looking far more approachable and welcoming than the woman that had invited him, not that it made him any more appeased by the sight of a human, but at least he seemed tolerable.

"Good evening. My name is Jason and I'll be your waiter tonight." The man started in, reciting off several other things that Lucifer didn't care much for as his attention wandered back to his sister. It was the first time since his return to the Earth that he had been in close contact with her without a negative atmosphere to surround them and it occurred to him that he missed this. Gabriella was by all rights his baby sister, and even if she was desperately in love with him, he adored her. Mother help them, he missed her. If Lucifer thought back to the time before humanity he could remember when they had flown together, the way she had clung to him, and the way he had returned that connection. The time when their Spirits frolicked and they connected without any secrets.

For a single moment Lucifer longed for that connection and it showed when his Spirit slid into where their hands were touching, pressing against hers for just a moment and causing them both to jerk away like they'd been burnt.

Except that wasn't what it was.

Lucifer reigned his Spirit in as he shot a look at his sister who was already getting to her feet. "I'm going to the bathroom." She lied, but he let her go because he knew she wasn't going to leave but he needed his own moment to grapple his own thoughts.

It was discerning to realize the he missed that. Of course, on some level, he knew he missed it. When was the last time he had properly connected with any of the angels on a Spirit level? The Fallen had never been the most trustworthy of the angels and even if they were, it wasn't them that he had watched the Dawn of Creation with, it wasn't them that he had fought The Dark with, and it wasn't them that had helped bring the planets into alignment.

It was him, his Mother, and his sisters. During it all, Gabriella had clung to his side, their Spirits had connected on a completely separate level, and though it was exposing in a way Lucifer wasn't ready to touch on, it was there. It was an option. An opening that could potentially repair the fractured relationship he had with his sister.

His head came up as Gabriella returned, slipping into the seat across from him as she put on a mask of indifference, her Spirit moving restlessly beneath her skin. Gabbie.

"Sorry about that." She told him quietly, and he wasn't buying it for a second.

"That was my fault and you know it." Lucifer responded, rolling his eyes. "Mother help us. You aren't petty. I know you aren't."

Gabriella licked her lips and met his gaze. "I thought you kept yours confined."

"I do." He responded and she huffed an irritated breath.

"Clearly not as well as you should. Luce, that was- Do you remember?"

"I remember everything, Gabbie." Lucifer responded, eying the waiter as he returned with a bottle of wine but choosing to ignore him. "I remember when Mother decided to bring you into existence, I remember Raphiel's resentment because it was the four of us. I remember all of it, and sitting here with you reminds me of each of those moments." Gabriella wasn't looking at him anymore when she told the waiter to leave the bottle, shifting uncomfortably under his gaze as she took the time to pour herself a glass. "I also remember when you almost died in the war. I remember the pain and fear as you fought for peace. I remember when Barachiel finally surrendered to the whims of The Dark and I remember watching you almost die."

"I remember flying with you." Gabriella breathed out. "After the war, I remember watching you bring the sun into line, I remember when Michelle did the same with the moon." Her voice was soft. "I remember sitting with you when I was too young to understand, I remember the first time I saw you after you Fell."

Lucifer remembered that day too. It was one of the most agonizing days of his existence, it was the day that he had begged her to join him, and it was the first time she had fled at the touching of their Spirits.

"You had never been something terrifying to me. Even when I knew you should've been, you weren't, because the issue was that I was gone. Do you want to know when?" Gabriella asked him, raising her gaze to meet his.

"No, Gabbie. I don't."

"It happened around your Fall." His sister responded anyways, refusing to let it go. "I didn't understand it, though. I don't think I would have if it wasn't for the brothel incident."

"You weren't blind, Gabriella. There are a lot of things that you are, but stupid isn't one of them. You were young and naïve, but never stupid."

"Do you think I'm wrong?"

Lucifer bit back his first instinct of response, because the truth was that he didn't think she was wrong. If Gabriella could find herself loving anyone, it would rightfully be him, and his Vessel, the most perfect things on the Earth to this date. There may have been perfection in the Earth itself, but the humans that walked it were disgusting.

The problem with saying that was he would contradict himself in it. His sister was mentally unstable and reminding her that he loved her, though not in the way she wanted, would only progress them away from where he needed her to be.

"I don't think it is wrong. The act of loving me, it's no worse a crime than hating them."

"A crime in Heaven's eyes?" His sister asked speculatively.

"Yes. I've told you before, Gabriella. I will never return that sentiment, but there is nothing wrong with it. Loving me is nothing more than a natural reaction to our close bond." His sister snorted as she took a heavy drink of her wine.

"Our close bond?" His sister asked with a roll of her eyes.

"Yes, Gabriella. Our close bond." Lucifer responded, snagging the bottle from in front of her and pouring himself some. "I know you think that I'm only tolerating you because you're useful, but the fact of the matter is that I don't need you by my side, I want you here." Sighing heavily, he took his glass from the table and swirled the dark liquid around in it around contemplatively. "Do you understand?"

"Yes." Gabriella responded quietly. "I just assumed- Luce, why are we here?"

"We're here because I made you a promise."

"Would you be sitting here if I told you that you could leave?"

"No." Lucifer responded, lifting his gaze to meet hers. "Do you understand why I'm doing this, Gabriella?"

"No. I don't understand why you do any of what you do. Well, except Sam." Gabriella's eyes closed. "I understand your intentions with Samantha perfectly."

"I don't want to kill Michelle, Gabbie." Lucifer pressed gently as the waiter approached their table warily, looking between them with apprehension. "Order something to eat." He told her quietly and his sister shifted uncomfortably before looking absently at her menu.

"Whatever the most expensive meal is." Gabriella told the man after a second, picking the menu up and shoving it at him.

"Are you sure?" The man asked her speculatively.

"Yes."

"Make that two." Gabriella's gaze met his, surprise etched into the depths of her, Spirit pressed against the edge of her Vessel, clearly, distinctly curious.

"I thought you did." She continued the conversation like he'd never interrupted and Lucifer sighed heavily.

Waiting for the human man to scurry off, he took a drink of his wine, not caring much for the lack of flavor in it. "No. I have never wanted to kill our siblings. Even during the war against The Dark I fought against the killing. Do you honestly think I want to kill Michelle? Raphiel? No, Gabriella. I love our siblings dearly. I would never kill them, unless they gave me no choice. You know Michelle is going to force me into that position, and without Samantha she will succeed at killing me. I love Michelle, but I won't die to her."

"I thought- Is that why you're angry?"

"I'm not angry."

"Maybe not angry, but you aren't happy with me. I didn't just attack Raphiel for nothing, Luce. She threatened me."

Except Lucifer knew better. Raphiel had reached to him with her Spirit and that was the rawest form of communication. It hadn't been a threat, it had been Gabriella trying to kill their sister, and even if it wasn't the purpose, it was almost the outcome. The only thing that saved her was Samantha.

"Gabbie- No, we aren't going to discuss this."

His sister averted her gaze. "Fine. We won't discuss it."

"Don't be like that."

"Like what?" Gabriella asked, lifting her eyes to meet his and glowering.

"Exactly like that. Mother help us all. Those that call me the prideful one has never seen you at your lowest."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Gabriella demanded, voice an octave too high in the otherwise quiet restaurant.

Lucifer rolled his eyes, reaching across the space and snagging her hand off of her wine glass before she could stop him. "You, my dear sister, are a petulant little brat."

"I am-"

"I may be destroying Mother's favorite creations out of spite towards Her, I'm self-aware enough to see that, but you are so caught up in yourself, in what you think you are, how right you believe yourself to be, that you're forgetting that those are the sins that led me to my Fall. Pride is not a good look on you."

Gabriella tried to pull away from the contact but he ignored her protests, tightening his grip on her.

"Luce." She hissed out.

"Swear to me you won't go after Raphiel and Michelle." Lucifer told her quietly. "Swear to me you'll leave our sisters alone."

"I- I swear." Gabriella swallowed heavily, meeting his gaze. "I'm sorry."

Lucifer nodded and let go, but already she was done struggling against him. "I know you're struggling, Gabbie." Lucifer told her quietly, stroking her thumb with his absently. "I made a mistake when I broke you of your pagan persona, but I don't regret doing it because I don't want you to think you're less than us, because that isn't the case. You're just as we are. You're strong and powerful and you don't need some pagan mask with me because what you are is so much better."

His sister wasn't breathing, eyes wide as she stared openly at him, and Lucifer finally released her hand, pulling his back across the table to grasp the wine glass again.

"I think that may be the nicest thing you've ever said to me." Finally, finally his sister responded, some of the old snark in her voice that he was worried he'd miss out on this night.

"Don't expect me to make it a habit." Even then, her expression was a bit lost, and Lucifer really wanted to pull her out of this because they still had another hour -as was their deal- and he'd rather not have to spend it with his sister in this weird mindset.

"Do you remember when Mother created Cath?"

Gabriella blinked and nodded, smiling slightly. "I wasn't there, but I remember the curiosity among the others." It wasn't on the first day of humanity that he destroyed Cath, it took many days on Earth before he broke down and created the first demon. It was a long, thought out decision that he would simply never regret. Cath was the proof of the taint that plagued humanity, and maybe he wasn't better, the darkness that plagued him was forced onto him, though. They were created with those flaws and their Mother was too arrogant to see it.

"Did you know they never told me about Cath?" Gabriella asked him and he shook his head. The truth was that while he didn't know, he suspected. The three of them had always made an effort to baby Gabriella, and if it had been Michelle following the dark path he was certain he wouldn't have said anything about her downfall to their baby sister.

"The humans scared me, and when Michelle told me Cath died I just assumed it was something simple. I never thought it was you."

"What happened when you found out?"

"I was already gone." Gabriella admitted. "It was a whisper I caught in my time as Loki. If I had been me, I would have been angry, but I just… I didn't care. The Æsir taught me a lot, Lucifer. I know that you loathe the Pagans, but they rescued me from becoming part of the Fallen, because if I had stayed Gabriella… Michelle would have cast me from Heaven the same as you."

Lucifer wanted to jump to the defense of their oldest sibling, it was a kneejerk reaction more than anything, but the problem was that he knew his sister was right- to an extent. If Gabriella had joined the Fallen rather than the pagans, it would have ruined her. The other angels would have torn her apart psychologically and no matter her position and strength as an Archangel, Gabriella simply wasn't a leader.

Not that it meant he was grateful to those cockroaches, no, the roaches were going to remain in The Cage to suffer for the rest of eternity. It just gave him more insight into where her head was at the time that she made that decision. It wasn't her fault, it was Michelle's for forcing the situation, and it was just one more reason in an ever-growing list of reasons Lucifer would kill her.

"They may have helped you, but they also destroyed you." Lucifer took a drink of his wine again, eying the waiter as he returned with a tray of food that Lucifer only knew belonged to a cow. To a human, it may have looked elegant, but to him it looked like a waste of money. Not that he cared really, one of his demons was possessing a very wealthy businessman and had given him one of the man's credit cards to use should he ever be in a human setting, masquerading as one, and at the time he honestly hadn't expected to ever use the thing. Knowing Gabriella, it was likely that he wouldn't be using it this night either, unless she expected him to hold up the human custom of the male paying for the meal.

Ah, back to that frustrating aspect to this situation. A date. The term remained as one that left him with a bad taste in his mouth. Yet, he was tolerating it. All for his littlest sister.

"They changed me." Gabriella spoke quietly as she watched the waiter leave.

"We are all changed, Gabriella. It isn't simply your time with the pagans, it's my time in The Cage, Michelle's time sleeping, and Raphiel's time as the ruler of Heaven. All of us have changed drastically."

"Do you regret it?"

"No. If I could go back, if I could change it, I wouldn't. I was right, and I may be in the wrong now but I don't particularly kill because this is the path that I chose, not the one that She chose for me."

"Mom ordained The Apocalypse."

"Mom ordained that Michelle would bring Paradise to Earth. I am going to kill Michelle, Hell will rise when she falls."

"When you kill Michelle, what will you do to Heaven?" There was no accusation in her tone, just pure curiosity, and Lucifer contemplated that for a moment.

"It depends on how Heaven responds." He admitted. "It will also depend on Samantha." His sister was eating now, and he glanced at the food on his plate with distaste. "Knowing the morality she possesses, I know there's going to be limits. The first thing I'll do once Michelle is gone… I will destroy Hell. I will destroy the demons that plague it."

"The monsters?"

"I'll give Sam the satisfaction of that action." He mused to himself, "Her final act as a Hunter I suppose."

"How do you intend on convincing her to clean the Earth of humanity?"

"I don't need to convince her." Lucifer responded confidently. "I know Samantha better than she knows herself. I have seen the way her mind works, and once I get her 'yes'…" Lucifer blinked as he looked back at Gabriella who looked a bit mournful. "I am sorry for that, Gabriella. Life had no right to make her your lifemate."

"Life does whatever it is that she wants." Gabriella responded around a mouthful of food, swallowing it with a sigh.

"Life gave us you." He reminded her and she grinned.

"I suppose I am pretty awesome. Are you going to eat?" She pressed him and he made a face.

"Do I have to?"

"I would like you to." Gabriella pressed, giving him these damned eyes while her Spirit nudged at the edge of her Vessel. "It's good."

"I can't taste anything, Gabriella." Lucifer responded, fighting against the desire to surrender to her Spirit's pleas from the distance between them and she frowned.

"That's because your Spirit is rejecting sensory input from your Vessel. It's just like sex." Lucifer rolled his eyes at her. "I'm being serious, Luce. You open sensory input before sex so you can experience it in its rawest form, it's the same thing with food. Just turn on the sensory input-"

"I can't turn on sensory input for this Vessel, Gabriella. The man I am wearing, he is not close enough to the bloodline for me to wear forever. If-"

"Here." Gabriella reached across the table and curled her fingers around his wrist. A brush of her Spirit against his Vessel and he felt… lighter? Was that the correct word to describe it? Blinking, he looked down at his skin, finding that the color that had been on it before he possessed the man had returned, the paleness of his impending demise gone. "As long as you don't do anything heavy-duty, that ward should keep you contained. I thought you took a member of the Cain line?"

"No." Lucifer responded, inspecting his hand thoughtfully as he stretched his fingers absently. "It's a distant Winchester. The Cain descendants have always been reserved for Michelle. I took an Able member."

"Bad choice." Gabriella chided and he rolled his eyes.

"I'm sentimental, sometimes." Lucifer responded with a shrug. "Alright, so what did you do to my Vessel?"

"Basic restoration ward. It helps prevent Spirits from deteriorating their Vessels. Humans used to use it to extend their lifespans."

"Very well." Lucifer conceded as he opened his sensory input for the second time since taking this Vessel, and sure enough the pain and suffering the man he was possessing was gone.

Admittedly, he did miss this, humans felt differently than angels, and while in his True Form he could experience much more, in a Vessel he could feel more. It was why he had frequented brothels during his previous time on Earth.

He had never really considered eating, though he knew that many of the Fallen had an inclination towards it, it never really interested him. Gabriella was probably the only one on the planet that could ever convince him to do it.

So he took the fork and knife and he cut into the meat and he brought the piece of meat to his lips, biting into it and chewing it thoughtfully.

It wasn't necessarily bad, it just wasn't good either. Even with nothing to compare it to, it just… it didn't interest him.

"So?"

"I honestly don't care for it." Lucifer responded with a shrug.

"Damn." Gabriella sighed dramatically, "Well, worth a try."

Lucifer licked his lips, gaze wandering across the restaurant where everyone's favorite hostess was standing next to another woman, whispering.

"Gabriella?"

"Yes?" His sister asked, clearly confused, and Lucifer cast her an apologetic look.

"We are going to end our time here early, I hope you don't mind."

"What are you-" Gabriella started as a bottle of alcohol tumbled precariously off the top shelf, landing on top of the woman's head. A cry of pain tore from her as the other woman fumbled to grab her, in the process knocking a candle from the table next to them and sending it flying onto the woman's body. A scream resounded as the alcohol lit and everyone in the restaurant was moving. "Luce!" His sister hissed out as the doors locked themselves and he grabbed her hand across the table, flying them outside and across the street as the fire spread, at a completely natural rate… Theoretically. "What the-"

"That woman was talking badly about you, Gabriella." Lucifer chided her, changing his grip on her hand.

"I- Did you just burn down a restaurant because some cunt was talking shit about me?"

"Yes." Lucifer responded, squeezing it and looking down at her. "Is that a problem?"

"No." She responded. "It just- I thought you weren't going to kill anyone tonight."

"Did I ever say that?"

"No."

"I enjoyed tonight." He admitted to her as sirens sounded from down the street.

"Fire and brimstone." Gabriella sighed as she stepped into him, wrapping her arms around his waist and pressing her head against his chest. "Thank you."

"I'd burn the world down for you, Gabbie."

"I thought you were doing that already." She pointed out with a snort.

"Ah, but you give it so much more purpose. Destruction with a purpose is so much more enjoyable than mindless destruction." Despite the situation, he could handle this part of it. The mentality, the low key connection as his Spirit snuck out and brushed lightly against hers. Nothing like the overwhelming touch from before, just a light brush, and Lucifer couldn't help but want more of that.

Not that he would tell anyone.

"Thank you for tonight, Luce. You have no idea…"

"Don't." He warned her before kissing the top of her head. "I'm going to go now. Tonight is the night that I am going to bind Death. At least until Michelle is dead."

"Can I come?" She asked him, stepping back and looking up at him.

"No. I need you to find Sam. Just find her and watch her for now, okay?"

"Alright." Gabriella conceded, shifting uncomfortably. "Find her and watch her. I can do that."

"Goodbye, Gabriella."

"Bye, Luce." She responded as he spread his wings and flew.

Chapter Text

Gabriella flexed her wings as she finally found the angel she had been searching for. At the moment Brendiel was wearing a bartender, talking casually with the patrons of the bar he was in as if he belonged among them. Brendiel was almost pure when it came to being among the Fallen, behaving much like they had in The Early Days. Well, except for his complete lack of interest in human sexuality.

Brendiel was important, however. Wherever Brendiel was, Deanna was local and as such, so was Sam. Lucifer had ordered her to find the angel, and this was her surefire way of finding her. Brushing through the crowd of people, Gabriella took a seat in front of him and smiled sweetly as the Fallen Seraph bristled slightly.

"Hello." He greeted as he abandoned the human he had been chatting with.

"Get me something fruity." Gabriella responded, watching as the Seraph glanced at her before crossing the bar. The woman that he had been chatting with was openly glaring at her and she sighed softly in exasperation, rolling her eyes. "Is there a problem?" Gabriella asked, turning in her seat to glare at the woman whose cheeks pinked slightly in obvious embarrassment.

"No, why would you think something like that?" The annoying woman asked snidely.

"Because you look like someone poured salt in your cereal." Gabriella responded with a dry scowl, "Sorry if your taste in unruly, uninterested men is more important than me getting what I'm paying for."

"You little-"

"Careful, Barbie. You might break your brain if you think too hard on a witty insult."

"-bitch!" The woman shouted as she shoved out of her chair.

"Clever, but not quite there. Must be the bleach in your hair. I've heard it does wretched things to braincells."

"Gabbie-"

Ignoring Brendiel's warning, Gabriella caught the woman's wrist as she moved to slap her, a flash of white light in her eyes and the woman was yanking out of her grip, running out screaming in terror. The bar wasn't exactly empty and the other patrons were staring in shock and confusion. "I didn't do anything." Gabriella rolled her eyes, turning back to the counter where Brendiel was giving her an indecipherable look. "What?"

"Nothing." Brendiel sighed, shaking his head and setting her drink in front of her. "What are you doing here?"

"Same as you. Luce sent me. Where are they?" Brendiel shifted uncomfortably under her gaze.

"The motel down the road. There's a problem, though."

"What problem?" Gabriella asked coolly as she took a sip of the Heaven's Sent that the Seraph had made her.

"Michelle has brought Castiel back and-"

"That isn't a problem, then." Gabriella waved her hand dismissively.

"But-"

"Lucifer ordered you to keep Deanna on a semi-consistent diet of angel blood. Having Castiel back in the picture, and brought in by Michelle? I have no doubt that that was her intentions."

"Gabriella, I am aware that you believe Michelle is actively-"

"Be careful with your next words." Gabriella interjected sharply, glaring at the Seraph who cringed away.

"I'm only saying that if that isn't her plan everything Lucifer has been working towards will be lost. I am not trying to anger you, but shouldn't there be some sort of backup plan if this plan fails-"

"It won't fail. Now you said they're at the local motel, do they know what they are hunting?"

"They don't know, but I do."

"It's an angel." Gabriella responded, waving her hand. "I sensed the Spirit the second I arrived. What is the angel doing here?"

"Well." Brendiel responded, shifting uneasily. "It was creating Nephilim."

"What has changed?" Gabriella asked, interest piqued. It wasn't often that an angel proved capable of creating Nephillim, it left the big question of why but that wasn't her problem for the time being. What was her problem was the lack of Nephilim presence in the town- actually, no. There was one left.

"The Hunter." Brendiel responded and she raised an eyebrow.

"I'm guessing it wasn't our Hunters."

"No, it was another one. He was short and had this ridiculous hot pink hair. Also, his Spirit wasn't pure. It was…"

"Alright, so another Hunter is local, obviously Sam and Deanna don't know or they wouldn't be here, and if they're hunting it's for the bodies. Thanks, Brendiel." Gabriella didn't need to hear the rest from him, it didn't matter.

"What-"

"Stay here for now. Just because Castiel is alive again, it doesn't mean it's permanent and if she catches wind of my presence it's likely they'll be down one angel again." Then she was searching the town until- ah.

In a flap of her wings Gabriella was standing outside a heavily warded motel room, a room that could only really have been warded in the way it was by someone who knew a lot. Not to mention she could sense something very not human on the other side of the wall. While technically she couldn't access the inside of the room as an Archangel, half of her own Spirit was still Pagan and even if she wasn't a Pagan… With a crack of Pagan power she had broken the wards and was on the other side of the door. Though the two men in the room seemed to be enjoying a cozy sleep, the one with nightmarishly hot pink hair playing the little spoon to a burly man, she wasn't really in the mood for that.

"Hello." She spoke loudly, firmly, and the men both jerked, the larger man letting out a girlish squeak as the demonized Hunter scrambled for a weapon. "Nope." Gabriella snapped her fingers and the burly man exploded in a burst of flesh and bones, covering the walls and people present while the Hunter was flung back against the wall.

"Fuckin' le' me go!" The half-demon's Spirit was shoving back against hers in a panic.

"How about I don't?" Gabriella suggested with a wicked grin.

"Ya kill me-"

"Ah, yes. You seem to have a nasty resurrection curse coursing through you. Unlucky you, I won't leave your Spirit behind to let it take effect."

The Hunter was staring at her with anger and panic. "Y'ur Gabriella."

"Oooh, you know who I am?" Gabriella asked gleefully, crossing the room so that she was inches in front of him.

"M' boss tol' me. What're ya doin' here?" The Hunter was still struggling and Gabriella was forced to pin the Spirit to the body when it started making its move to extend outward.

"Who is your boss, ragdoll?"

"I ain't a ragdoll!" The Hunter responded angrily and she raised an eyebrow.

"I can kill you, bring you back, your curse is demon magic and I am much more. So try again, boy." To make her point she stepped back, snapping her fingers and pulling him away from the wall, leaving him suspended in midair. "What are you doing here?"

"Nothin'." The Hunter bit out and she rolled her eyes, slamming him back into the wall and relishing in the cracking of bones. "Kill me." The Hunter gasped out, struggling against her. "Ya can take me apart piece by piece, we won't fuckin' tell ya, though!"

Gabriella pouted. "You are a truly broken creature, aren't you? I guess you're going to make this truly boring."

"Wait!" Panic flashed across the Hunter's expression but she ignored it, grabbing onto his mind and drawing all of the information she needed out of it.

Crowley.

"Thank you, Darian Valentine." Then she snapped her fingers and smiled in satisfaction at the sight of the man strung up, wrists and ankles tethering him to the ceiling with the final piece of heavy duty fishing line holding him by his throat. "Goodbye." Another snap and his Spirit exploded in a puff of grey smoke.

.-~*~-.

"So, can you tell us what it is?" Sam asked Cass hopefully as the angel took the chair next to the window, watching her warily.

"No." Cass responded after a moment, looking at Deanna as she took the seat in front of her. "Other than the warding here, I detect nothing out of the ordinary in this town." Cass responded after concentrating on an empty space for a moment. "What are you hunting?"

"It looked like black dogs." Deanna responded with a sigh. "Now it's looking like a witch."

"If it is a witch, then it is powerful." Cass responded, "Dog Spirits tend to be volatile and difficult to control, even in Heaven they are stubborn."

"Dogs go to Heaven?" Deanna blurted tactfully and Sam couldn't help the curiosity burning in her at the same piece of information.

"All living creatures go to Heaven." Castiel responded with a frown. "Except the Damned. I know it says this in your Bible."

"The Bible doesn't say anything about animal Spirits." Deanna responded, though Sam's mind was wandering to her own personal Bible study. It never actually differentiated between Spirits. Whenever it spoke of them, it spoke neutrally. Everyone just assumed that humans were the only things that had Spirits. Well, Sam knew better because of Loki, but it was probably not the best thing to bring up…

Wait.

"What about angels?"

"It depends." Castiel responded, averting her gaze. "Generally we are sent to The Empty. It's why when we die it is exceedingly difficult to be brought back."

"The hell is The Empty?" Deanna demanded.

"I don't remember." Castiel responded, looking a bit forlorn. "It's a place that no one can access without crumbling into nothingness."

"How did Michelle bring you back?" Sam asked suddenly, because based off of all of that…

"Michelle was the only one that could bring me back because she's the one that killed me. When an angel kills another angel, much like a human ghost, sometimes a piece of our Spirit will latch onto the angel's blade. It's why I know that God brought me back the first time, Raphiel had no reason to bring me back."

"Oh, but Michelle did?" Deanna retorted and Castiel gave her a look, wings twitching just out of eyesight, not quite manifested but not completely gone.

"Michelle had no reason to bring me back. There was no logical reason for it because she is, as you would put it, jealous of me."

"Jealous?" Deanna choked and Sam stared at Castiel.

"I don't think she understands it, but she is jealous. I could see it when I spoke to her. Not to mention she asked me not to have sex with you, Deanna."

Deanna's face reddened, though Sam couldn't tell if it was from anger or embarrassment, and for a moment Sam yet again felt like a bystander. Until she didn't. This wasn't a matter of exclusion, it was a matter of Deanna and Cass were in a damned relationship and she was alone.

She needed to talk to Loki, but she couldn't do that if she was playing mediator between Deanna and Cass' eventual conversation. Damn.

It was a difficult choice to make. Leave Deanna to be coerced by Michelle and talk to Loki about what the hell's going through her head, or sit around and prevent the inevitable.

The biggest issue was the mental aspect. Michelle was resting on breaking the trust between them and by going out of her way to prevent Cass and Deanna's talk would only fuel that, but it was also a loss if Cass told Deanna something from Michelle that further placed more mistrust…

"Right, well the case." Deanna broke her thought process with a clearing of her throat. "Any ideas on where to find the dick?"

"His address is listed but I'm pretty sure-"

"We'll speculate later." Deanna interrupted. "Cass and I are going to go check the place out and you're going to go talk to the victim."

That wasn't fair and Deanna knew it. Her sister was banking on her guilt to give the two some time alone. If her sister was going to play like that, though? Fine. She had her own angel to talk to.

"Alright, fine. I'll go talk to her." Deanna regarded her warily as she grabbed her suit and made her way into the bathroom. "Call me if you hear anything!" Sam called behind her, slamming the bathroom door behind her. Sam took a breath and looked into the mirror, eying her now short hair with apprehension. Damn it. Why had she thought chopping all her hair off was a good idea?

Quietly she shed her clothes and tugged on her suit, listening until the distinct sound of the Impala receding pierced the air. "Sammy."

Shock pierced through her as she stumbled towards the sink, grabbing for the discarded knife at the same instant a hand covered her own. "Loki-"

"It's been a while, Sam." Loki hummed as she pressed against her back and Sam jerked away, trying to get away but there wasn't room. Holy shit.

"Move!" Sam ordered and the Archangel hummed, stepping back and giving her a fraction of space in the too small motel bathroom. "What the hell are-" She stopped cold at the sight of blood spatter on the woman's clothes and arms. "What did you kill?"

"Oh this?" The Archangel asked, blinking and looking down at her clothes. "It was a demon."

"A demon."

"Yes." Loki responded with a roll of her eyes. "I came to chat and honestly I'm feeling very unwelcome. You've been praying to me for weeks now and now that I'm here it's like you don't want me around. I could leave."

"No!" Sam blurted before she could stop herself and the Archangel smirked at her. "Lo, what happened? You've been gone and-"

"I was busy."

"Busy doing what?"

"Killing monsters. That isn't why I'm here." Loki was killing monsters? Why did something that sounded like a good thing leave her with a sick feeling of dread in her gut.

"Then what are you doing here?" Sam asked as the Archangel rounded out of the bathroom, leaving her with making the choice of whether to follow her into the room or not. Really, there was only one choice.

"Lucifer told me to come. You know, play the same little Cassie game that Michelle's playing with your sister."

Which was confirmation enough for what she was suspecting Michelle did. Sam reluctantly rounded out of the bathroom to see Loki lounged out on the bed, ankles crossed as she leaned back on her hands in what could've been a completely innocent manner, except the dress she was wearing was far too exposing to be any of those things. What the hell was she wearing? It looked like she was going out for a luxury dinner or something. Don't get distracted.

"If you're supposed to be toying with me, why the hell would you tell me?"

"You aren't stupid. I disappear with the world's worst breakup declaration and come back suddenly? Nope. It wouldn't work. Not sure I really want it to." The Archangel was watching her, a thread of- vulnerability? in her eyes.

"What are you talking about?" No, she wouldn't be given false hope. That wasn't going to happen. Loki knew her all too well and she couldn't fall into that dangerous trap.

"Well, when I came here I was initially going to toy with you a bit, you know, play with you like I did back at that college all those years ago. Really, you and your sister as so easy. Then I thought about it and it just… It didn't really make me feel like it used to. Yeah, tormenting unsuspecting people is fun but torturing you? Nope. I hated when I tortured you in Mystery Spot and I apparently can't bring myself to do it again. So instead I'm just going to hang out here until your sister gets back, you get to explain to her why I'm here and what's done is done."

"I can't-" Sam stared at Loki as realization dawned on her. If she was here… That was going to blow up in her face. "Loki, you have to go."

"Would if I could." The Archangel snapped her fingers and the TV flicked on. "Luce told me to be here, so I'm here." A smiled curled on the woman's lips as she flicked her gaze over. "It's nothing personal, Sammy. It's just a war and I happen to be on the winning side."

"You aren't going to win." Sam bit out, shaking her head.

"I really am. Well, Luce is. Sam, I love you dearly. I do, but the fact of the matter is that sooner or later, you will say 'yes'." Finally, finally, Loki looked directly at her, whisky brown eyes meeting hers looking softer, more sympathetic than they ever had. "Come here."

Before she could really think about it she was doing as told, crossing the short space and sitting on the edge of the mattress.

"You know it, I know it, everyone knows it. I don't pity the weight on your shoulders, but it's the inevitable outcome. You'll say 'yes' and if it isn't before Deanna says it, then you'll die. That's the outcome."

"That isn't… I won't."

"Oh, but you will." Gabriella caught her hand and tugged her inward until she finally surrendered and let the Archangel pull her into her lap. "Sammy, I know you better than anyone on this planet, and you know me better than I ever planned on letting you. Have I ever told you why we're connected? I didn't want to believe it, of course."

"What are you talking about?" Sam was getting distracted though, the simple contact of another person… Damn it. This wasn't the point, except she couldn't help but focus on the soothing feeling of the Archangel rubbing circles into her palm.

"We're made for each other in a way that Luce will never understand." Loki sighed softly, carding her fingers through her hair. "What did you do to your hair, Sammy?"

"I- I cut it. Loki, you're giving me a whole hell of a lot of mixed signals."

"I know." The Archangel breathed out. "I don't know what I'm saying anymore. Everything is a jumbled nightmare. I went on a date with him and it was great, Mother help me he was charming." Something spiked in her and she realized it was jealousy, but… "He keeps his promises," Loki continued on, rambling absently as she pressed a kiss to the top of Sam's head, tugging at her hair and moving her head back so that she could ghost butterfly kisses across her face. Sam couldn't help but let her eyes shut, taking in the feeling of Loki. "I want him so bad it hurts, and I want to believe that if you say 'yes' that I'll have you both…" The first brush of lips against hers caused her mouth to fall open just a bit.

God please. Honestly, she didn't have a clue what she was praying for anymore but anything was worse than this torturous brush of her gentle touches. It was nothing like what she was used to. It was so intimate and she hadn't experienced anything like it in years. The Archangel was stroking at her hair, hands ghosting across her back, and every word spoken was like a knife in her gut, it felt like she was being broken apart and at the same moment it felt like all that was holding her together was the touch of this one creature. It was stupid. Some part of her was screaming at her badideabadideabadidea but it was so miniscule compared to everything else.

"I think I'm wrong, but I also know I'm right. I just… I need to pretend that the world isn't falling apart, that I'm not losing you. I need to pretend that I haven't lost my beautiful perfect Hunter and that you're still here."

"I'm here. Lo, please." Sam breathed out as the angel kissed her wholly, a brush of soft skin against hers that was nowhere near the desperate urgency she was acquainted to. It was all new, but it was all familiar. There was another side to it, a low thrumming as her skin heated up with the matched longing as she finally got her arms moving, hands coming around and pressing into the center of her back, the thin material of her dress the only thing keeping her from touching the delicate skin of her angel. Stupid. Bad idea. Except it wasn't. Just like every other damned time it didn't matter.

"It's Gabbie now, Sam. Call me that. Please."

Except Sam hated that name. If she surrendered, if she called the Archangel by her natural name then it was surrendering to the idea that her Loki was dead, and she wasn't willing to do that. So, she did what she did best and finally gave in. Pressing her lips hard against the Archangel's, shifting them around and pressing the woman back against the bed, shifting their bodies so that she was straddling the squirming Archangel's hips. "I love you, Loki."

"Sam-"

"I love you, and I shouldn't, but I do. Give me a second here, please. I know he hurt you, and I know you're not going to blame him for it, but the fact of the matter is that you're Loki. You're my Loki and that's never going to change." Swallowing heavily she took in the sight of the woman beneath her, everything about her was perfect and Sam hated it. This was such a bad idea, but she didn't care, because she had an Archangel beneath her, spread out and exposed for her to take apart piece by piece. Not just a goddess, but an Archangel of God.

Loki stared up at her. "Remember that thing you told me about mixed signals?"

"Clearly." Sam smiled down at her, "Get rid of the dress."

The Archangel didn't bother with her telltale snap, leaving herself exposed and vulnerable as Sam looked down at her. "Where did you get your Vessel?"

"Clearance aisle at Baby's R Us." Loki retorted, shifting under her, and a grin crossed her face because Loki was playing the vulnerable card, clearly trying to get her to snap but she wasn't going to do that. This was going to blow up in her face, so she was going to enjoy herself. "Sam." Loki whined as she finally moved, stroking her hands up her sides, grinning as the woman jerked away from it. "Please!"

"Tell me you love me, Lo. Tell me that you love me." Going to Hell, anyways. Might as well enjoy the ride.

"I love you." Loki responded, shifting under her again though still not making a move to take control of the situation. "If you don't get with the damned program, Sammy I swear-"

"No." Sam cut her off, leaning down to kiss her again, soft and quick before retreating, "Talk to me, Lo." Sam grinned as the woman tried to chase her lips with her own. "I know I always want you to shut up, but I missed you and I want to hear you." Then she shifted backwards so that she was at the shorter woman's ankles, grinning up at her. "Tell me what you want me to do."

.-~*~-.

Deanna looked over at Cass, hands wrapped tightly around the steering wheel as the tried to grasp what she was seeing. It was… beautiful her mind supplied unhelpfully. Cass was Cass, but ever since that damned angel… It hasn't been the same. Anything unnatural was… enhanced, and looking at Cass?

Well, she should have known it was her from first glance. The problem was that what she was seeing… It wasn't getting worse, it was getting harder to ignore because it was getting more distinct. Originally she hadn't been able to see it on anything except Cass, and her sister when she'd been hopped up on demon blood, but now it was getting much clearer. It wasn't just the non-humans, it was starting to become visible on animals, plants, a thrumming energy...

"Cass…" How the hell did she tell the angel that she was seeing… well it had to be her Spirit because there was no other solution.

"You have been drinking angel blood."

Deanna jerked slightly at the angel's words, nearly swerving the car into the other lane until she righted it, turning a disgruntled look on the angel. What the hell was she talking about?

"I can see it in your Spirit." Cass explained, not looking at her but out the car window. "That is one of the things that I need to talk to you about."

"Did Michelle-"

"Michelle holds no ill will towards you, Deanna." Castiel cut her off before giving her a look that asked her to pull over, something she felt inclined to do because she was feeling increasingly sick. Angel blood? She'd been drinking angel blood. Well… It wasn't really a complete secret to her that angel blood had some weird effect on her. That angel that had possessed Cass for that short span had proven it, but Cass was saying it like she was still doing it… Except she hadn't- well… There had been that one time when her and Cass had sex but it was different.

That's what Sam thought with Robbie.

"Cass, what the hell are you talking about? I haven't touched an angel since- that happened." Deanna turned in her seat as soon as she pulled off the road into a mostly empty parking lot, parking in the back corner the furthest away from the street.

"Your Spirit says otherwise. I'm not saying it's deliberate, but it has happened."

"Going out every night? You know it's a bad idea, Deanna! This is going to blow up in our faces if one of them finds you-" Ignoring Sam's warnings, she slammed the door in her face, beginning the short trek from the cabin porch to the Impala.

"You're saying that some angel has been stalking me and feeding my its blood."

"Yes."

"Why?"

"Much like your sister will need to ingest immense amounts of demon blood for Lucifer, sooner or later Michelle will need the same for you with angel blood."

"But you don't think Michelle would do that?" Deanna asked bitterly, turning to look outside rather than at the angel. If she looked at Cass it would kill her. It was obvious that Cass was trying to believe her big sister, and even if she hated the Archangels…

"Lucifer is the master of deception."

"They jumpstarted The Apocalypse!" Deanna retorted angrily.

"Ariah made an effort to begin The Apocalypse, Deanna." Cass corrected her patiently. "I know you have villainized my siblings, and I understand it, but I have been thinking about something. Michelle was asleep until you made your deal."

"Asleep?"

"Yes." Cass responded. "After she put Lucifer in The Cage Michelle went into a deep sleep that she didn't awake from until after you made your deal. Raphiel was running Heaven, in theory, though in reality it wasn't her but a select group of Seraphs."

"You're saying that it wasn't them." In all honesty, she didn't want to believe that. But that was the issue, wasn't it? It wasn't that she needed to, it was that she wanted to. Her mind was so firmly set in the idea of Michelle being a villain that she hadn't stopped for a second to consider that everything she'd done -except killing Cass- had been done to help her. Hell, the Archangel had given her something to get rid of the Archangelic visits.

God, Michelle brought Cass back because she prayed for her to do it. It may have taken time, but the Archangel had ultimately done it. Lucifer had actively acted against Sam, but had Michelle? No. Not really. Hell, when her sister pulled that stunt that led to Cass dying Michelle could have killed Sam but she hadn't.

Every hunter instinct was screaming at her to stop letting her mind travel down that path, because trusting Michelle was asking for trouble. Yet, she couldn't help but wonder… What if? Wasn't that half of the job? Listening to all sides of the situation? Yeah, their mom had pushed them to believe that all monsters were monsters but that was a mindset that Sam had pushed her away from countless times.

"Deanna."

"I'm thinking."

"I know you don't want to trust Michelle, but there was a time when Michelle was fond of me. I think if I hadn't attacked her, she would have left me alone. I brought that death upon myself but-"

"That wasn't your fault." Deanna cut her off, looking over to see the angel staring at her hands. "Cass, that wasn't you… that was her."

"I flew into a holy fire ring. I would have died either way."

"You…" Cass had been killing herself. Her stomach rolled as she turned the key in the ignition. "You killed yourself. You didn't plan to come out of that alive."

"I'm sorry, Deanna. I thought it was the most viable option. If I could have killed her, you would have been free from the stress of the choice."

Deanna shook her head. "No. Cass, that wasn't what you were doing. You'd given up on us. That was you giving up on us. It was a suicide mission and you drug Sam into it. Do you have any idea what… I blamed Sam for it. I thought you were only there because of her but now I realize that's bullshit. Sam screwed up, but you'd have done it either way."

"Deanna-"

"Leave, Cass. I can't look at you right now."

"I'm sorry."

"I don't think you know what that means." Deanna responded coldly, listening to the fluttering of feathers as she was left alone in the Impala.

Deanna hated it. All of it was infuriating and despite herself, when she pulled out of the parking lot she turned left rather than right. Right now, she needed to go back to the motel and apologize to Sam- unless she was at the hospital already… No, she would check the motel first. It made more sense to check the motel first…

Chapter Text

Sam sighed softly as the first feelings of regret began to cloud her mind. In the past, she'd regretted her encounters with Loki but this was different. This was… sleeping with the enemy. In every sense of the world. Loki had told her exactly why she was there. Lucifer had sent her, and still, after everything, when it came down to it she'd fallen right into bed with her.

"Stop thinking." Loki complained, shifting slightly and causing the sprawl of dark grey -almost black- feathers under her to tickle against the sensitive skin of her back.

"Lo…" Sam breathed as she struggled into a sitting position, muscles sore and she knew she was bruised in some less than favorable places, just as clearly as the Archangel laying under her who hadn't bothered healing herself.

"It's a pretty idea, isn't it?" Loki sighed softly, wings trailing after her back as she moved off of the bed. "You, me, no world ending. Even I couldn't create that illusion as perfectly as we did, losing ourselves in the throes of passion."

"Why can't you just… Help us, Lo. Please."

"You already know the answer to that. I'm not going to betray him."

Sam turned around, eyes wandering across the smaller woman's form as the Archangel sat up, looking at her own wrists where bruises from Sam's hands were firmly set in. "Isn't this a betrayal?"

"I can't help myself with you." Loki responded with a sad sigh. "It might be a betrayal, but I don't really care because you're so damned beautiful." The Archangel's gaze flicked up and she licked her lips absently. "I'm going insane, Sam. I've completely lost my mind but with you here I feel almost… normal."

"Raphiel said something… About you. Why did you try to kill her?"

"Raphiel threatened me." Loki responded, looking away. "I can't believe she went to you… No, I can actually. Raphie's scared of Michelle. You may hate us, but she's wearing your sister. The chocolate Winchester. Don't bother lecturing me about it. I've already heard it from Luce. I'm not killing any more angels." Which really wasn't reassuring. "I don't want to talk about this, Sammy."

"Well, that's your fault. You came here and fucking seduced me, we're going to talk. Where the hell have you been?"
"You don't want the answer to that question." The Archangel responded evasively, stiffening slightly and snapping her fingers so that the TV flipped on.

"I really do, Lo." Sam responded, stepping between her and the TV. "You break up with me- not that we were actually together and you fucking-" Her throat closed as the door flung open out of the corner of her vision. There wasn't a chance to dive for modesty, a single chance to open her mouth because it was so sudden- so unexpected. It hadn't been that long.

"God damn it, Sam!" Then she was moving, yanking the blanket off the foot of it and wrapping it around herself while shooting a dirty look at the smirking Archangel. "What the hell!"

"Hey, Deanna." Loki greeted casually. Sam couldn't make herself move, speak, all she could do was stare at her sister, at the pain and betrayal open and raw in her expression in a way her sister never showed.

"I thought you were done with her." Deanna finally spoke, closing the door far too slowly. Calm façade. Where's her gun?

"I-"

"Your sister can't resist my charming personality." Loki cut in and anger burned beneath her skin.

"It isn't that!" Sam snapped angrily, glaring at the Archangel.

"Oh yes, it's just my wicked wild side." Loki winked, rolling her head back to expose the hickies lining her neck. Something clicked and her heart sank as she realized… Oh, God the Archangel had used her. "Not that I can say much about it being just me. Oh, the things-"

"Loki, please!" Sam was looking back at the front of the room where Deanna had sat down, and Sam knew what her sister was thinking. It was plain as day and everything coming out of Loki's mouth was falling on deaf ears as her sister searched her in a way that Sam couldn't stand.

"Surely, you tell your sister about all the kinky shit you get up into the bedroom. Lucifer has always had a knack for bragging about his bedroom explorations, how do you think he drew The Host after him? 'oh, brothers. Oh, sisters. Hear me out. The pleasures of the human flesh are wondrous, beautiful things. Come to us, experience-"

Deanna's head jerked up and she pulled a gun from her belt loop. Sam opened her mouth and stared in horror at the sight of The Colt.

"Stop. Talking." Deanna warned the Archangel.

"Where did you get that?" Loki asked, more perplexed than concerned and Sam wasn't really sure whether or not it would work on her or not but she had to step in because Loki was getting exactly what she wanted.

"Deanna, don't."

"So the moose does have a heart."

"Explain it to me, Sam. Explain to me why she's here and explain to me why you fell right back into bed with her."

The one thing she couldn't explain, because it didn't matter what she knew… It never had. Even now… "I'm sorry."

"That isn't an answer, Sam. Tell me why you fucked her again. I need to hear it." Tired. Her mind supplied. Her sister sounded exhausted, right on the edge of giving up, and that was exactly where they couldn't be.

"I chose to." Sam admitted, humiliation burning in her. "I'm sorry. I just…" The Archangel was watching the encounter, a telltale snap of fingers and a tub of popcorn appeared next to her on the mattress. "I knew better, but I did it anyway because I'm blindly, stupidly in love with her."

"When did you let our lives get turned into a soap opera, Sam?" Deanna asked quietly. "Tell me not to shoot her." Sam shut her eyes and sat down on the edge of the bed, "Tell me to shoot her."

"Do it, Sammy." Loki challenged, and she wanted to scream at her because this was complete and utter bullshit. Every damned time she thought she was getting somewhere, doing the right thing, someone decided to push her into a despicable decision.

"Deanna, please." Sam stared pleadingly at her sister whose expression softened a fraction.

"Why are you here?" Her sister's gaze moved to the Archangel.

"Luce sent me of course. Stir the mixing pot a bit." Sam shot a surprised look at the Archangel who didn't bother sparing the facts. Why, though? It didn't make sense. Her actions didn't make sense. It was… "I'm going insane, Sam." Several different times the Archangel had told her that, in various ways, and at first she'd suspected it was being figurative, but was it possible that Loki was genuinely going crazy? If so…

"I thought…" Deanna gave her an indescribable look. "I thought she dumped you."

"I did."

"We're not exactly functioning on anything resembling the same wavelength." Sam shot a dirty look at the Archangel. "She broke up with me, despite the fact that we've never been in a relationship to begin with. I've told you this before."

"I'm wounded." Loki pouted, loudly grabbing a handful of popcorn. "I thought we had something special. You're telling me that we weren't in a relationship?"

"No, we were not. Did you ever ask me to only be with you?"

"Of course not. We weren't in a relationship." The Archangel responded around a mouthful of popcorn.

"What happened to you?" Deanna disregarded the conversation completely, and Sam saw her searching the angel with a very analytical look.

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"It means I may not know you as well as my sister but there's something seriously fucking off. You're contradicting yourself."

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"Sam- I need to talk to you alone." Deanna looked at her than Loki. "Will you leave?"

"Nah, I like the ambiance here. Besides, I'm under direct orders not to let Sam out of my sight. How about- Shit!"

Blinding white light broke through the room and when it was gone so was Loki. Sam was staring openly at the spot where the Archangel had been a moment before, confused for a fraction of a second before it caught up with her. Banishing. Deanna banished her…

"What the hell, Sam?" Deanna demanded.

"Where did you get the damned Colt!" Sam responded, staring at the gun.
"I didn't." Her sister responded, glancing at the gun. "It's a fake. I bought it while you were going through your withdrawal, you know, in case Lucifer showed up for real. When did she fall so far off the reservation, Sam? Why the hell didn't you call me!"

"We're lifemates." Sam interrupted helplessly, "Deanna, every single time she shows up I lose my head, and I didn't know until Raphiel said something… She confirmed it."

"You're blaming it on your Spirit." Deanna responded, searching her for a moment longer. "Fine. I'll buy it." Which… honestly shocked her. "What's her deal? I've seen her before, met her, but this was a whole different side of her. She's dropped off the rails and don't tell me you didn't see it."

"No, I get it. She's… losing her mind. I think it's got to do with that stunt Lucifer pulled because she's not all there." Carefully she slipped off the mattress, holding the blanket against her as she fumbled over to her duffle, the clothes she'd been wearing before nowhere to be seen… Which, Deanna was going to kill her for. They weren't made of money and she'd just bought that suit.

"Did she tell you what she did to Darian?" Sam blinked, looking up from her clothes as she stared her sister. "I'd have been back sooner… Which is probably the best I wasn't, but I came onto this crime scene. Darian Valentine's dead."

"You think it was her?"

"I know it was. Her damned face was on the motel's security feed."

Sam felt herself pale a bit at this revelation and she wasn't really sure how to react to it because… God, she had only met the hunter once, in passing, and the occasional passing email… Damn it.

"We got the hunt all wrong."

"Yeah. I called Ruth and let her know. Guess she's picking up for Bobbie now." Deanna cleared her throat, shifting uncomfortably. "So, Gabriella's flipped her lid, killed a hunter and if the chunky stew in the room's anything to go by, Darian's nightly affair was a bystander victim."

"Damn it."

"Look, Sam. I get whatever's going on with the two of you is something you can't really help, but there's a problem you've got to acknowledge."

"I know." Sam responded as she tugged a pair of jeans on, turning her back on her sister as she dropped the blanket and tugged a t-shirt on. "I'm worried, Deanna. She's Loki… And that should be terrifying enough, but she's also Gabriella and before she jumped ship she was carrying out God's word. There's a lot I don't know about here, and a lot I do. What I do know is this crazy, fucked up thing with Lucifer is probably the only thing in this that's stuck in her head."

"I don't want to think about that part of it."

"Well, it's best you do because she's right, you know?" Sam's head snapped up as Loki's voice broke the silence, a lethal look plastered on her face. "Luce is the only reason you're not a blood splatter on the wall right now."

"Loki, don't." Sam warned a second too late as her sister flew back into the wall.

"Do it again, though and see what happens. You know what banishing does to us, you little bitch? It throws us back to Heaven- or in my case, seeing as I've been recently banished, it throws us into the deepest parts of Hell."

"Lo." Loki shifted indecipherably, looking at her.

"Fine." The Archangel scowled and Deanna fell to the floor, Sam joining her side and her sister shooing her off while glaring at Loki.

"Why'd you kill him?" Deanna demanded of the Archangel.

"What? The Hunter-Demon? I killed him because it was fun."

"He was a hunter!"

"So are you, you don't see me interested in your wellbeing. Besides, he wasn't completely human. You'd have killed him when you saw his Spirit just the same." Loki was completely missing the point here, and while it shouldn't have surprised her, it really did. In the past when Loki disregarded what she was talking about, she did it tactfully. Not with this idiotic aloofness. Even if she was baiting Deanna, there wasn't any logic to what she'd done. Which meant it was part of the problem. In fact…

"I thought you didn't kill without reason, Lo."

"I don't." Loki responded immediately, looking back at her with a sort of wounded confusion, expression softening.

"You killed Darian."

"I killed a demon working against Lucifer."

Sam took a breath, trying hard not to analyze what exactly Loki meant by the fact that the hunter was a demon. "The human with him wasn't."

"No." Loki agreed almost absently.

"Yet, you killed him. An innocent bystander."

A light flashed in her eyes, for a second, and then it was gone and Loki was shrugging, "I had to."

"You're contradicting yourself again. Surely you can hear yourself. You have to realize-"

"The man he was with was a threat. I'm done discussing this." Loki cut her off, waving her hand and eying Deanna before flicking the TV on. "Have fun with melodrama, girls."

Sam shot a look at her sister then back at the Archangel. "Lo, if you're going to insist on being here, can you at least tell us if the hunt is done?"

"I could." The Archangel drawled with a smirk. "But I won't. Figure it out on your own, girls."

"That's a no." Sam responded with a groan.

"Are you sure?" Deanna finally asked her with an uncomfortable glance towards the Archangel, moving across the room.

"She's never helped me with a hunt. That's definitely not going to change now. She's fucking with us."

"Seems to be going around." Deanna muttered so low that she almost didn't hear it and it took all her willpower not to snap at her. This was what Loki was after. If she ignored the painful ache in her chest, pretended that the Archangel wasn't there… Yeah, she could do this.

"Where's Cass?" Sam asked suddenly, realizing far too late that she'd completely spaced on the angel.

"Gone." Was the curt response that made her flinch.

"Ooh, I smell drama." Loki chimed in tauntingly and Sam watched her sister's back stiffen as she turned it on them.

"I'm guessing you sent her away?"

"It doesn't matter. She left, and I'm not talking about it, especially with the world's bitchiest Archangel chiming in everything."

"I am not the world's bitchiest Archangel. That would be Raphie."

"So, there's something else." Deanna completely disregarded the Archangel again, grabbing something from inside her suit jacket as she sat down, tossing something in her direction. Sam barely caught it, a bit lost for a second as she stared at the bound leather cover until the words finally registered in her brain. "Hunting Journal" It said in big letters, followed with smaller lettering "If you're reading this I better be dead"

"You stole this from his room?"

"Yeah. As much as I hate to say it, I think she was right. I'm pretty sure he wasn't human."

"A hunter that's a demon." There was a bad taste in her mouth as she was reminded of Robbie masquerading as a hunter when they first met.

"Told you so."

"Look at the last page." The volume on the TV went up and Sam ground her teeth together, ignoring it as she flipped open the book.

Colorado Springs Colorado; rec by boss; Angel and Nephillim

"So the kids were nephillim?"

"If Darian's intel's anything to go by. He's thorough though from what I could tell. Rambled a bit. But he explains the whole thing there."

Sam looked back down at the page, Killed the final nephillim this morning. It wasn't easy. I know I promised I'd avoid human casualties but the chick's pregnant and with Lucifer chilling topside I've got a lot going on. I can't wait nine months for the birth. Last thing to deal with is the angel. Larry's his Vessel's name but the angel's name is Amarian. Lucifer loyalist from what I can tell. His local address is shit, but he's got an apartment under the name Ryan Ama. I'll update this when I get back tomorrow.

"Interesting." Loki chimed in from the other side of the room. "Didn't think you'd snag his diary."

"It's not a diary."

"Right. Journal. What's the difference again? You girls keep one sitting around? Ooh, is there an autobiography version of the Winchester Gospels! I've got to see-"

"Shut up!" Both sisters shouted at her at the same instant and the Archangel's eyes twinkled with mischief.

"I love when you speak together. I missed that part of stalking you."

"I'm going to fucking banish her again."

"I really wouldn't do that." Loki retorted with venom in her voice.

"Let's go find the apartment." Deanna snapped out angrily, going for the door and heading out of it, slamming it shut behind her.

"I think I upset her."

"Please, Lo." Sam all but begged her.

"I've got a job to do, same as you."

"Are you going to follow us there?"

"Of course. Wouldn't wanna miss the show when dear old Amarian summons Luce."

Sam took a deep breath and made her way to the door. "He won't get the chance. You're going to let us kill your sibling?"

"He slipped up. It's not my fault he was found out."

"You're going to pretend everything you said earlier was heat of the moment bullshit, aren't you?"

"I didn't say anything that I meant. Everything that happened was to give me leverage to torture you relentlessly." The Archangel lied, poorly at that, and Sam's heart ached because she wanted nothing more than for the Archangel to be honest with her. Even if it broke her heart to hear the truth.

.-~*~-.

Sam pressed into the apartment with her gun in hand, eyes flicking across the dark living room. It was deadly quiet and while she couldn't see or hear Loki she could practically feel her looming around. It set her on edge and made her anxious in a way she never was on hunts. This was bad. Not to mention the fact that Amarian was apparently a Lucifer worshipper and this could really all blow up in their faces. She had yet to physically interact with the Archangel but she had this strange feeling that whenever she did, the results weren't going to be good. She'd far from forgotten that instant in the bathroom back in the crappy cabin and she dreaded the moment Lucifer baited her with that. Because that? It had been on a completely separate level than the intense feelings she felt every time she was with Loki. It was terrifying and pure at the same time.

"Stop thinking." Loki's voice chimed from the dark and she flinched. "Three, two."

Blinding white light ripped through the room in an instant, forcing her to shield her eyes. The next second she was being ripped off her feet, flung across the room and into a wall -not with nearly as much force as she expected- with her sister shouting next to her.

"Sam!"

"I have to say. I wasn't expecting this one. Sam and Deanna Winchester. Man oh man am I happy to see you. I mean, I know I can't hurt you two. Hands off the Vessels and all that. But, really. Just seeing you? I could call Luce up right now and he'd book it from Carthage to take just a peek.

"Let us go!" Deanna shouted angrily and the angel chuckled, shaking his head.

"No can do. See, Lucifer's angels? We're under very direct orders to not let you out of our sight." Amarian's eyes flashed with a dangerous light as he crossed the room and Sam began fighting against the invisible bindings… she'd gotten out of Loki's grip before… Maybe she could if she just…

"Luce wants his sister's Vessel in a very specific state, a state I'm afraid I can't share with the class, but this? Oh, this is perfect. Maybe he's not actively looking for you, Sam. But he wants you."

"I'm never going to say yes." Sam spat out, fighting against her bindings as the angel shot her a nasty look, crossing the space between them and spreading crow black wings behind him.

"I think you will, darling." Amarian paused, looking her and narrowing his eyes. "You let someone violate you."

"That's none of his business." Sam snapped reflexively and the angel's eyes fell into slits.

"It really is, Samantha Winchester. That is his body you are wearing and you have no right to-"

"I'll do whatever I fucking want with my body!" Sam snarled as she tried to pull free, "It's not his choice!"

"It really is you ignorant little girl. The sooner you accept that, the sooner it will all be over."

"Oh, what do you think will happen if Lucifer gets his way?" Deanna broke through their conversation, "Do you honestly think he's going to let you do whatever you want?"

"I don't care what you think, Deanna."

"I think if you don't let us go, not just Lucifer, but Gabriella is going to rip you apart." Sam yanked against her bindings again, recoiling as the angel acknowledged her again, stepping into her personal space.

"I think you have seriously overestimated my sister, Samantha. Gabriella? It's a joke, really. Gabbie's lost her fucking mind. Lucifer may be smart enough to pretend he has faith in her, despite her bullshit infatuation, but that's him. Not me."

Swallowing back the discomfort from the idea, she laughed sharply, shaking her head. "You think she's lost her mind?"

"I think she's in over her head. I knew the Archangels before his Fall, I was among the first, and she betrayed him. Lucifer has never forgiven a traitor."

"I think you're wrong." Loki's cold tone pierced the air and Amarian went rigid, turning around slowly as his wings bowed slightly.

"Gabbie, hey." Amarian laughed uncomfortably, shifting and crossing his arms behind his back. "Um, look-"

"There's a lot of things I would've let you do here. I mean, after all. You wouldn't be stupid enough to hurt his Vessel. But, insulting him? Oh, that's bold for even you, Amarian. Tell me something, right now. Do you think you're wiser than him?"

"I never said that!" Amarian yelped as the bindings on her disappeared and she collapsed to the floor. When Sam looked up the angel was walking across the room, clearly not of his own accord, and Loki's wings were spread wide behind her, nothing but pure power and hatred radiating off of her.

"You did, though." Loki retorted with a happy laugh. "Oh, you called me crazy, and you caught me. Yep. I've flipped my lid. But you see, Luce also trusts me more than any of you."

"Gabbie, please- I didn't-"

"You knew what you were saying, and you were arrogant enough to think we'd never find out. What you don't seem to grasp quite yet, Amarian is this. Lucifer may not share my unbridled love, but I am still his baby sister and his dedication to me is a whole lot stronger than anything he feels for the rest of you. I could rip your Spirit from her chest and he wouldn't bat an eye. Pride is his sin, Amarian. Not yours." Loki's gaze flashed past the angel and she met Sam's. "Yet, you didn't touch his Vessel, which is a lot more than I can say." A look twisted in her eyes as she ripped back the edge of her shirt, exposing the large mark on her neck that she hadn't bothered healing.

"You- He's going to kill you."

"You touched my lifemate." Loki continued on and Amarian made a strangled sound as he finally stopped moving, inches in front of the Archangel. "You put your hands on the one who was made for me and you assumed that the one I love trusted you more than me. I can forgive you, for one."

"She's your- Gabbie, I didn't know. I'm sorry. I just-"

"Tell them why you were breeding nephillim." Loki interjected and Amarian looked over his shoulder, eyes wide with panic, pleading.

"An army for Lucifer. It was my present for him."

"A present he wouldn't have wanted." Loki waved it off. "Lucifer hates the nephillim just as much as the rest of us. The true abominations of this world."

"I just thought… They're powerful and-" Amarian was looking at Loki again. "I didn't know. I thought…"

"Beg." Gabbie bit out, interrupting the angel, and Sam shifted uncomfortably as she glanced at her sister, eyes following her sister's to where an angel blade was abandoned under the bed. "I want you to beg for your life you little dick."

Then Deanna was moving and confusion swamped over her at the sight of an angel blade in her hand- impossibly. They didn't have angel blades but- a bright light ripped through the room as Deanna buried an angel blade in Amarian's back and Loki took a step back as the angel fell forward, wings burning into the ground beneath her.

"Shame." Loki mused.

"A shame indeed." Another voice pierced the air and Sam froze.

"Luce!" Loki cried out in shock, stumbling back to the wall.

Chapter Text

Michelle watched Castiel pace back and forth in front of her. The young angel was anxious and while Michelle didn't exactly feel sympathetic, she knew what it was like to be berated by the oldest Winchester, so it was understandable that the angel before her was anxious, but why had she come to Michelle? That was the peculiarity of the situation. Even more important was why she had ordered the Seraphs that had been present away rather than telling the Fallen to go.

"I don't think she is going to forgive me for what I did." Castiel finally admitted, wings drooping.

"I doubt I would." Michelle mused absently as the angel gave her an indescribable look.

"I did what I thought was right."

"Just as I am doing what I think is right. It hardly makes your choice any less idiotic." Michelle decided to acknowledge it bluntly, because that was easier than pretending it actually mattered to her.

Except when the young angel gave her a hurt look something twisted within her and… what was that? Michelle frowned and mentally nudged at her Spirit where it was twisting around uncomfortably within her. That was… different. Her Spirit was rarely active. In fact, the only times she really remembered it being active since she was awakened had been in the presence of Castiel. What did that mean? The problem with it was that she could hardly ask Raphiel and looking too far into it would likely have negative repercussions. None of the other angels showed that kind of reaction, did they?

"I tried, Michelle. I did as you told me to. Despite my better judgement I told her to trust you. Could you at the very least have the common courtesy not to insult me?"

"I don't treat other angels with courtesy, Castiel."

The young angel gave her a sad look, "There was a time where you were kind to me, Michelle. I wish you would remember it."

"What are you talking about?" Michelle asked the young angel because she had never been close to Castiel. Not once in her life had she- except… Hadn't she? Had she not given the direct order for Castiel to retrieve her Vessel? That was a distinct symbol of favoritism, was it not?

Which begged a major question of why? What was so special about Castiel? When Michelle paused for a moment, when she observed the basic features of the angel, her now black wings, there wasn't anything special within her. Except maybe her Spirit. Unlike most soldiers, Castiel very clearly had a livelier Spirit. It wasn't exposed, because that was forbidden and dangerous, but it also didn't stay confined within her like it was supposed to. It moved around, flitting from side to side almost impatiently, like it was waiting for something. Michelle pressed her lips together in consideration, remembering back to The Dawn when young angels let their Spirits free.

It was a lot like this, actually. Though less tame. No. Michelle realized. Not the other angels. Castiel's Spirit was behaving like hers had in The Dawn. Which… Well, what did that mean? Angel Spirits were so domestic now that comparing them wasn't difficult, but comparing past behaviors? That was something else. It simply did not make sense and she wanted to send the little angel on her way before it made things a hundred times more complicated. Castiel was creating doubts that she was not supposed to have.

Concepts that were not meant to be. Not for an angel of Heaven. "Michelle, you are staring." Castiel acknowledged and she looked away from the young angel. "Deanna has lectured me for it before. Why are you looking at my Spirit?"

"It doesn't matter, Castiel. Do you have any ideas on how you are going to fix this?"

"I have never had her angry at me before." Castiel responded with a shake of her head. "Short of dying for her again, I don't have any idea where to begin."

"I could arrange that."

"Isn't that counterproductive to the situation?" Castiel asked her and Michelle sighed heavily, shaking her head.

"I think Deanna's presence has worn on me. That was sarcasm, Castiel."

"Do True Vessels do that?" Castiel asked curiously and Michelle shifted uncomfortably under her scrutinizing stare.

"Raphiel has changed a lot since she possessed hers and though I don't want to admit it I know I started to change upon meeting Deanna. It has been… difficult." Michelle admitted, not completely sure why she was admitting it. What was it about Castiel…

"Have you been on Earth yet, Michelle?"

"It's forbidden." Michelle responded immediately- which, no. It wasn't forbidden that she was on Earth. It was the matter of the dangers of her presence on down there. When she was on Earth, she risked the lives of humans if her Vessel broke apart. Even now, Ada was only a poor copy of Deanna. The angel blood she had been forced to consume with this woman… it would be dangerous if the angels were unable to heal the Vessels.

Deanna was not going to like that detail, and courtesy of Lucifer's influence, Michelle was already certain the request was going to end badly. If Deanna could get past every other detail? The angel blood drinking? That was going to be the true problem. Even with the details she had plucked from Castiel upon her return, the fact that Deanna was aware that she was being fed angel blood, and the fact that she had actively sought blood from Castiel when the two of them had been… intimate. That detail was the true problem with the entire thing. Michelle was certain that with the right amount of honesty she could get Deanna to consent, which left the final problem at the angel blood.

Not that Michelle exactly blamed her. It was something she honestly didn't want to do herself. The problem with human bodies was the level of corruption that had plagued them over the decades. They weren't pure anymore and housing an Archangel? It took a lot more than a strong bloodline. More than just a True Vessel.

It took power, and as much as Michelle hated to admit it. There was power in blood. Especially angelic blood. If Lucifer was wise, he would swap Sam's demon blood addiction for an angelic one. Not that she would ever dare mention that.

Not if she wanted any sort of chance in winning. But, wait? Were they not discussing something… Ah, right. "I cannot go to Earth, Castiel."

"You were distracted."

"I was-"

"I was speaking, but you clearly heard none of what I said."

"Fine. What were you talking about, Castiel?" Michelle gave in far too easily and the young angel shot her a look of bitter annoyance.

"I was saying that as long as you freshly dose with angel blood, there is no reason you can't step on Earth. You want to help the human race, I wanted to as well. Until you are among them, though… You have no idea how to begin to understand it."

"You're asking me to come to Earth with you." It was clear, honestly. All of it was blatantly clear, yet she was more than a little baffled at the little angel.

"When was the last time you were truly present on Earth? When I summoned you to that warehouse does not count either. When was the last time you were among them?" Castiel asked her sharply and Michelle was forced to remember her fight with Lucifer, forced to remember when she buried Lucifer so far into the Earth she created a new hole in the ocean, and was made to remember when the battle became so intense that God finally gave her a break, when She ordered Michelle to kill her brother then, or in several thousand years.

Back then, it had been easy. Do as ordered, Cage Lucifer, protect humanity for her Mother, and sleep for several thousand years. If she slept, she didn't have to think about how she had wronged Gabriella, Raphiel, and Lucifer. There had been no complications, in theory. Then she spent thousands of years dreaming of a time before humanity, before the corruption of The Mark, until she ultimately doomed herself to a life where she would simply never be able to kill her brother.

Honestly, she probably never could have made that choice to begin with. It was all a mess of a tragic tale. All she could hope was that Deanna gave in, that her Vessel was smart enough to say 'yes' before Sam did. If they could just get close enough to him… All she needed to do was weaken his Spirit. If she could just cut enough of it away, it would be over. She could have a Reaper chunk the remainder into The Empty and it would be fine. Lucifer would be trapped as a human, but he would be alive.

"His Fall." Michelle forced the words out, because if she thought too much more about the situation she would fall apart and she couldn't afford to do that. She had to remain strong. It was her duty to be strong.

"The world has changed significantly over the years. Please, come to Earth with me, just once."

"Castiel…"

"Of everything you have ordered me over the years, the things you have asked, I have never asked anything from you. Can I have this one thing?"

Michelle stared at the pleading gaze of Castiel, eyes wandering across her form, slipping beneath the confines of her Vessel to see the extra two eyes, the secondary mouth, and something within her Form made Michelle unable to refuse. A flicker of emotion that angelic forms so rarely showed.

Yes, it meant that Castiel was Fallen. But did Fallen always equate to evil? Angels Fell for a variety of reasons, one of the biggest reasons being defiance against Heaven. But the reality of Castiel's Fall was that she loved humanity far too much. Castiel Fell for humanity. Or… Yeah, best not think too much on it.

"I will give you an hour of Earth time, Castiel. Ada Milligan can't afford for me to leave Heaven for long."

"Thank you."

"I need to replenish my blood supply before I go." Michelle added as an afterthought, because she couldn't really afford to risk destroying Ada. Not if she would be forced to find Deanna in person.

"I-"

"Not yours." Michelle brushed off the uneasy objection. "I can't take the blood of a Fallen."

"Right." Castiel responded and shifted uncomfortably and… Oh how interesting. Castiel was blushing? It was subtle, but there.

"I will see you in a moment, Castiel." After a nervous look the young angel spread her crow black wings and flew, leaving Michelle alone and feeling things that she refused to think on.

.-~*~-.

If Michelle was honest, she hadn't really expected Castiel to bring her to a densely populated area for their interaction on Earth. Castiel's purpose here was to give her a better understanding of Earth, but Michelle suspected there was an underlying suspicion. It was the only logical reason that Castiel would bring her to this location- right?

"Why did you choose this place?" Michelle finally let her curiosity get the best of her as Castiel sat down on a bench.

"I thought choosing a location with a smaller human population would be better."

"Small?" Michelle asked, staring at the other angel and looking back up towards the park the young angel had chosen to meet in. There were a lot of humans present. A lot. One or two human adults for every child, not to mention the dogs…

"Them." Castiel inclined her head towards the children, making Michelle want to stab the young angel all over again. That wasn't funny. Or was it?

Subdued, and uncertain, Michelle took a seat next to the younger angel, watching the young children chase each other and shout. It was a pleasant sight. Almost familiar to Heaven, if it wasn't for the presence of adults.

"The Heaven of lost children." Michelle couldn't help but acknowledge it, "Is that why you chose this place?" The only heaven in all of Heaven where children without loved ones went, the exception to the rule of sharing a heaven. Children that never were loved enough by anyone to have a happy heaven on their own. It was a place that Raphiel had created after Michelle went to sleep, and a place where Michelle was vaguely aware Castiel had spent a lot of time in her return trips to Heaven before Lucifer was released.

"It's a happier sight than Heaven. These children are here, and they have families that love them. They have someone to go home to."

Why did that bite at Michelle? What was it about the way that Castiel spoke about the most innocuous things that made her feel ashamed of herself?

It was likely due to her status as Ruler of Heaven. Castiel was implying that she felt unwelcome back in Heaven, which was true, and she was indirectly sharing that it bothered her.

The problem was, Michelle couldn't simply invite a Fallen back into Heaven. Once an angel Fell, nothing beneath God Herself could bring back their angelic status- right?

Except, even if she could do something like that, she shouldn't have been considering it. Castiel had rebelled against Heaven. The young angel was a Fallen. If she tried to allow her back into Heaven the repercussions could be catastrophic.

"If we can win against Lucifer, Castiel. It will be our victory. You're the only angel in Heaven I have trusted with my true plans, because I know where your loyalties truly lie. If it comes to a point where I-"

"Lucifer won't kill you, Michelle." Castiel interrupted. "If you are anything like Samantha and Deanna, neither of you will kill the other."

"Lucifer may not want to do it, but if he feels I am truly a threat I know he will. When we fought the first time… None of you saw it. What happened then was bloody, and it was dark. Lucifer may not have tried to drive the blade through my heart but he sure as hell didn't mind beating me until I struggled to fly anymore. At the height we were fighting? That fall? It could have killed me. What most of you don't realize is that if Mother hadn't intervened, I would have died in The First War. My last strike on him sent him falling into the Earth, and it looked like I was winning, but the reality is that was my last-ditch effort." Her mouth clamped shut when she realized that she was telling one of her deepest secrets to this… Fallen. What was she doing here? Why was she-

"I knew." Castiel's voice was small, "Raphiel ordered us away, but I didn't listen. I came to watch you, because I knew you wouldn't succeed on your own."

"Castiel-" Michelle's head whipped to the side and she stared at the young angel. "That was reckless. You could have… That close of exposure to my Spirit could have destroyed you!"

"Gabriella exposed me to hers many times when I was a fledgling and she never harmed me."

"Gabriella's Spirit is…" Michelle trailed off as she stared at Castiel, trying to comprehend this angel before her. Reckless was an understatement. That was potentially suicidal, yet she'd done it.

Why had Castiel done it? "Why, Castiel? If Lucifer saw you, he would have destroyed you."

"You were worth dying for." Castiel told her with so much sincerity that her mouth fell open, shock burning through her Spirit. "You have protected me my whole life, and while I was angry at you for The Apocalypse, I also believe you weren't involved. Back then, though? I adored you. I knew you couldn't stand against Lucifer on your own, and I was willing to risk my Fall to have my Spirit present. I know it wasn't enough, now. But then-"

"Castiel, stop talking." Michelle interrupted her, looking away. "I can't… You can't say things like that. What you did was reckless and stupid and it wouldn't have helped me."

"I don't care. I wanted to help you then, just as I do now." Michelle jolted slightly when the young angel wrapped her fingers around her wrist, Spirit brushing against her skin. "I should have trusted that you weren't out for his death, but I couldn't risk being wrong. Not now."

"Castiel-"

"Your Spirit won't harm mine. Even if you pretend otherwise, you're gentle by nature. Please let it go. Give it some time free."

"I'm dangerous, Castiel. I cannot do that." Of course her Spirit seemed to have other plans, slipping out of its confines and moving to the edge of her Vessel, brushing against Castiel's Spirit and causing her breath to catch.

Oh Mother.

It was a single brush, and so rarely did angels touch Spirits because it was simply something that wasn't done. Yet Castiel was there, her Spirit pressing around Michelle's and by some miracle her own let it happen. It was honestly shocking. The young angel's Spirit slipped across hers, the two of them connecting on a base level and opening up a connection that she'd long ago forgotten.

Pure.

Castiel was so pure. Everything about her was amazing. Michelle was frozen in place, the contact of the young angel exposing something she had forgotten. Months spent watching the war in Hell… No, not the war. Watching Castiel. Michelle had watched Castiel for months until Raphiel finally talked her down from herself. Until at last Michelle surrendered to her baser needs, not her wants, and she went to Naomi. Until she told the angel to wipe her intentions for Castiel away… Why?

There was something that could bring Castiel back. A promotion to Seraph, a secret between her and the young angel. If she-

"Michelle." Michelle blinked from her thoughts, Castiel's gaze burning from next to her, eyes wide with shock and awe. "You can't. I- you can't afford to do that. I am a Fallen, and I Fell for a reason."

It hit her hard that Castiel had been reading her mind, and while it should have bothered her- it didn't. There was something about Castiel, and she knew this certainly wasn't the first time, that it made her feel exposed… Yet, the exposure was more freeing than it was terrifying, something she knew was wrong.

Right?

Michelle pressed her lips together in consideration as her Spirit slipped away from Castiel's again, allowing her to focus as she found herself threading her fingers through the other angel's.

What if it wasn't? Michelle thought about it for several long moments and Castiel left her to do so, the younger angel quiet. Even the screaming and yelling of the human children wasn't enough to distract her.

"I remember the day you were hatched, Castiel." Michelle finally breathed out, glancing over to see the other angel staring at their intertwined fingers with a certain perplexed look on her face. "Life was present for your nest's hatching. I remember it because Life was happy. No, happy isn't the right word. Life was gleeful. She touched all of you, blessed you all. Mother wasn't very happy about it but she didn't say anything on the matter. I know she mated several of the angels. Mother didn't like it at all, but she allowed it because it was Life."

"Michelle-"

"I remember watching all of the angels there. I remember seeing each of you and just wondering why I wasn't being treated with it. I know they say Lucifer's sin was pride, that he was the first sinner, but it's not true. I was envious of your nest. I wanted to be among you, and I wanted to be touched by Life Herself. Yet, I wasn't. I was above you all, and I deserved that, but I wasn't given that."

"What are you trying to say, Michelle?"

"I'm saying… In the end of things, you and your nest? The rest of the lower ranked angels? You are better than us. You have always been better. Life saw that, and it's why she acknowledged you. Archangels are broken creatures. We are flawed in a way that you can never be. Unlike the rest of you, we had direct exposure to The Dark, and in the end he corrupted us all. We were lost before you ever existed."

"You aren't tainted."

"Gabbie is, Luce is, and I know I am."

"Michelle." The grip on her hand tightened until it was hard enough to break through her reverie, to make her jerk her hand away- or try to. "Never compare yourself to Lucifer, not to Gabriella. They are lost, but you are here, and you're fighting for a better way. Just in the same way we are."

"That's what worries me, Castiel." Michelle breathed out as she rose to her feet, the younger angel following her up as she refused to let go of her hand. "It started as just Lucifer. I hadn't thought of the other problem until Raphiel informed me of something."

"Gabriella."

"Gabbie tried to kill Raphiel, and she almost succeeded. Gabriella is unhinged, and she's the wrench in my plan. Until she attacked Raphiel, I didn't think she was capable of murdering one of us. Until that point she hadn't been able to. During The First War between the Light and Dark, she nearly died because of that, so I expected the same here. The situation with Raphiel opened my eyes though. If I manage to weaken Lucifer, Gabriella will most likely come after me as well, and unlike Lucifer… I think I may have to kill her. If I kill her, though. I know Heaven will turn against me." Michelle was talking now without really thinking. All she knew was she had to get this out, because it had to be said. Someone needed to know and who better to tell than the angel that broke all of her walls down anyway?

"You aren't alone in this fight, Michelle." Castiel told her firmly, grabbing her other hand and pressing their foreheads together, drawing her focus from her own thoughts. The younger angel's wings were spreading just a bit behind her on the ethereal plane. "I know that Sam and Deanna see you as a threat, but I don't. I'll stand with you against them all."

"Why, Castiel? Why do you fight for me?"

The young angel swallowed and pulled away. "You've fought for me. Up until I returned from Hell, you had always protected me, chosen me above the others. Singled me out. But in all of that time, I have never seen another angel fight for you. You've been fighting for us for years, let someone else help you, Michelle. Please."

"I…" The Archangel stepped away, peeling out of the young angel's grip and staring at her. Of all of the angels in Heaven, Castiel had always been a problematic one. Yet, her intentions had always been for the benefit of others- without choosing what could truly be classified as the darker side of things. When it came down to it, Castiel chose humanity over everything else. Castiel always put other people and their wellbeing above her own, if it was for the good. Even when Michelle had watched them in Hell, Castiel had put herself in danger to protect the other angels.

How could an angel, a creature created to serve, be so selfless? It didn't make sense. Castiel was an enigma. She was fascinating beyond all belief, and Michelle found herself wanting to kill the angel yet again just to get past it. Not that she would. Well, potentially she could but it wasn't really worth the stress of resurrecting her again. Especially when she was trying to make a point about them being on the same side.

Sighing, Michelle stepped back and looked back across the park where the children continued to play, a couple of parents giving them something resembling a disgusted look. "Let's talk more about this later, Castiel."

"Fine." The angel responded, sounding far more petulant than she would likely ever admit to and bringing a smile to Michelle's face.

"Care for a walk?" She asked, retaking the angel's hand and threading her fingers through hers. "I believe we are offending the religious mothers and fathers here."

Castiel blinked at her and looked at the park again, surprise clouding her Spirit as it flitted to the end of her hand where they were now touching physically. "I wish I could say I do not understand, but unfortunately, I do."

"Surely they would think twice about their prayers of hate if they recognized that they were seeing me."

"I wouldn't be so sure." Castiel responded, shifting slightly when Michelle's Spirit slipped to touch hers again. Nothing like the touches from before, a light brush of movement that reminded Michelle of The Early Days. "As much as I adore them, the humans are very stubborn when it comes to their beliefs. Even after I showed Deanna my wings, the Hunter was very difficult about believing I was what I am."

"Well, let's enjoy ourselves anyway. This park is a nice one." Which was true. If she focused on the surroundings, the trees were tall and surprisingly lively for the early fall, the grass was dying just a bit but in relatively good shape- especially considering all of the people that walked across it on a day to day basis.

"I found it while I was evading Heaven's forces." Castiel responded quietly as they began walking. "I found a lot of places like these."

"You knew we would search the locations you frequented before you rebelled."

"We are very predictable. I just forced myself to think as a human. Other than a single conversation with Deanna I never visited parks before my Fall, so I made careful choices on where I went. I was meticulous on making choices rather than doing as I would have under orders. At least until I figured out the ward to protect myself."

"How did you do that?" Michelle asked the angel curiously.

"I was going through my memories. I remembered some of the warding on the inside of the jail and Raphiel explaining their purpose. Several of the wards were meant to prevent people on Earth from tracking and summoning the prisoners. I took a risk and guessed that if I burned them into my Vessel that it would do the same."

"That's impressive." Michelle acknowledged, though it was much more than impressive. It was clever. Very clever. If she was honest, she hadn't expected that to be the answer. She had thought the answer would have been something to do with Bobbie Singer, but it wasn't. It was the young angel's own thinking that led to her receiving some of the most powerful anti-tracking wards in existence.

"Thank you." There was a certain shyness to her voice and if that wasn't a large enough giveaway, the spreading of her wings on the ethereal plane said exactly that. Castiel liked the compliment, and Michelle found herself wanting to see more of that reaction.

Where were her thoughts going? It was… There was something about them, something that she couldn't place. Wait- where had 'they' come from? All of it was getting a bit too interpersonal for her liking. Things were simpler if she didn't think about things like that.

"Michelle." Castiel caught her attention and she looked to the right, watching as two squirrels chased each other around a tree trunk, Spirits jumping between them with a certain familiarity that Michelle remembered from watching Gabriella and Lucifer before The Dark decided God had no right to create more and the war between the Light and Dark started.

For a moment she wondered when Gabbie recognized her feelings for Lucifer, had it been then? Or was it later? Had The Dark tainted her, or was it just the inevitable consequences of them being so closely bonded from the beginning?

"It reminds me of Luce and Gabbie." Michelle admitted with a sad smile. "Were you hatched soon enough to remember how close they were?"

"Lucifer was always cold to me." Castiel responded, fidgeting. "But I knew the stories. They were closer than any other angels in existence. I remember when Balthie saw animals mate for the first time… She joked about Gabriella and Lucifer doing that act."

"Did she?" Michelle asked, shifting uncomfortably. Had she truly been so blind to the idea that there was something else happening between her sister and brother? Or was it simply too preposterous for anyone except a free thinker to consider ever being a possibility?

"I never heard another angel mention it, and until I shared my conversation with Gabriella with Heaven I'm certain that most of them didn't know. None of us ever would have thought anything like that."

"Apparently Balthie did. I know for a fact Raphiel knew."

"I don't think it truly matters." Castiel responded. "Gabriella has made her allegiances clear. Nothing is going to change her mind at this point. Sam is proof enough of that."

"Is it true, then?"

"That they're lifemates? Yes." Castiel responded, averting her gaze. "I wasn't sure until I saw her at the cabin. Raphiel's words when Samantha saved her life were a confirmation."

"Lifemates." Michelle repeated the term, the word feeling heavy on her tongue. "I didn't think it was possible to torture your lifemate."

"Gabriella is slightly unhinged. I think that if anyone could torture their lifemate, it would be her."

"It upset Raphiel a fair bit when she figured it out. She ranted to me for an hour. I know it's a sacred bond, but from my understanding most beings that share it aren't ever aware they do."

"I know." Castiel responded quietly, shifting uncomfortably next to her and Michelle shot a look at her from the corner of her eye.

"Castiel?"

"It's nothing." The angel lied poorly and Michelle frowned.

"Castiel."

"It's… Well, as you said. Most lifemates are never aware the connection exists."

Michelle blinked once, staring, and irritation clawed at her gut as she pieced together the obvious answer. How had she been so blind?

"Deanna is your lifemate."

Castiel's head shot up and she gave her a look, surprise then something akin to panic. "Yes." The angel responded quickly, and that was it.

Why did it break her heart to hear? Because that's what that ache in her chest had to be. Heartbreak. The feeling of her heart being ripped in two. All at the information that this woman, this angel, was lifemated to her Vessel.

Without thinking she dropped the young angel's hand and crossed her arms over her chest, beginning to follow the sidewalk again. "Michelle, wait!" Cass cried and grabbed her by the back of her shoulder, igniting the wrong reaction from the Archangel who spun around, gripping the younger angel by the front of her coat and dragging her forward blade in hand and pressed to the soft meat of her belly. "Don't- Michelle, please. I- it isn't her." Castiel was struggling, there was the distinctive sounds of screams around her, but she completely disregarded it as she stared at the young angel in front of her. "It's you. Michelle, it's always been you and when I started after Deanna… It was because I knew I could never have you like that. I wasn't stupid enough to ask for more from you, because I knew you would reject me. I settled for Deanna, because she was the closest thing to you that I could ever have."

"Castiel…" Michelle dropped her blade, that was the first thing she knew. The second thing she knew was that she was drawing the younger angel up and crushing their mouths together in an awkward fumbling kiss- her first kiss.

And it was the single most amazing experience of her life. Her Spirit came to life within her, darting out of the confines of her Vessel in an instant and diving into Castiel's, pressing tightly against the younger angel's- enveloping her in a tight embrace as the younger angel's fingers came around to tangle in her hair, tugging her closer as she took control of the kiss- something Michelle decided was the best approach with her lack of experience. It was everything she knew it would be- and it was dangerous.

But Mother help her, she wanted more. She wanted to go on for the rest of eternity tangled up in this contact between her and Castiel. It was perfect. Everything about it was right.

"Michelle…" Castiel breathed out against her lips, tugging at her hair and prying them apart. Michelle was breathing heavy in a way she had never felt before, her skin warm and flushed and somewhere within her she felt a low thrumming that she couldn't identify. "I-"

"We need to leave." Michelle told the angel softly, wrapping her arms around the other woman and flying them back to Heaven, tucking her against her as she flew.

If this was wrong, if it was sinful, then she didn't want to change. Castiel was her gift from Life and all of Heaven could burn if they thought that was wrong.

"Michelle." Castiel squirmed as they touched down in Michelle's room, taking a step back. "We can't-"

"I'm going to promote you to Seraph." Michelle interrupted her, taking her hands. "You're going to become a Seraph, and you're going to come back to Heaven."

"I-"

"This is not up for negotiation, Castiel."

The younger angel licked her lips and nodded.

"Now may I kiss you again?" Michelle asked, cupping the younger angel's cheek in her hand.

"Of course." Castiel responded, making a small sound in her throat as Michelle tugged her into another gentle kiss.

Chapter Text

Sam grabbed her sister's shoulder and tugged her backwards as Lucifer's eyes met hers, head tilted to the side just a bit as he raised an eyebrow at her with a look so fierce and intense it made her throat close, skin heating up from an impromptu blush.

"Luce, I thought you were in Carthage-"

"I was." He interrupted, blinking and moving his attention to Loki. "Then I got a prayer. I told him to prolong this… squabble long enough for me to be able to bind Death at midnight. I have to say, Gabbie. I'm disappointed. I told you to observe."

"I-"

"Don't bother." Lucifer cut her off, spreading his arms to his sides. "I didn't expect you to listen. You've never done what you're told. Well, not without giving in sooner or later. Was the sex really necessary, though?"

"Yes." Loki responded, shifting slightly, shoulders slumping and wings bowing submissively, God did Sam hate that, it broke her heart and ruined the strange reverie that was brought on by Lucifer's very presence. Loki wasn't like that. Loki only submitted when she wanted to, and she only did it if she gained something by doing so. Lucifer had made it clear he wasn't going to love her the way she wanted, but still she submitted. "I love her, Luce. You know that. I've never been good at self-control." Deanna made some sort of gagging sound as Sam forced herself to look away from the scene, unable to comprehend the sight of Loki crossing the room and pressing into the other Archangel's arms, the sight of Lucifer wrapping his arms around her and folding his beautiful raven wings around them both and- wait her eyes were wide open, she was staring and riveted on the spot and Deanna was grabbing her arm, trying to pull her away.

I can't look away. The realization made her feel uneasy, discomfort coiling in her gut but not piercing the haze.

"I forgive you, Gabbie. I'll always forgive you."

"Sam!" Deanna's voice pierced her haze and Lucifer's head shot up, gaze settling on something behind her. Deanna.

"I don't think so, Deanna." A flick of his wrist and there was a loud thunk as Deanna was flung into a wall. Finally, Sam was moving, straightening her back and meeting the devil's gaze.

"Lucifer." She kept her tone strong, panic fogging through her as she tried to keep her head level, trying to keep herself from panicking because Deanna.

"Sam." The Fallen Archangel responded with a fond smile. "I've been waiting for this."

"No." Sam breathed out. "I'm not saying 'yes' to you. I won't."

"I think you are going to." Lucifer responded, pressing his lips together and releasing Loki who dissipated her own dark grey wings. "What do you think, Gabbie?"

"I want to tell you yes." The short woman's gaze flitted across her and she wanted to strangle her. "Except it would be wrong. She's not ready to consent. Even after everything." A sad smile crossed her face. "I can sense Michelle on Deanna, she's visited her recently. I wonder how many lies, how many secrets it'll take before it's too late."

"Sam!" Deanna's voice pierced the air but Sam was otherwise focused on Loki. Something she could almost sense was pissing Lucifer off. Yet Sam didn't take her gaze off of her. Her gaze was firmly riveted on Loki, on the woman she had stupidly fallen in love with, and the only damned hope they had of getting out of this alive. Loki was almost unreadable, and that's how Sam knew that with the right pressure she could get her to turn on Lucifer. If she could just get her to listen. The marks on both of their bodies they were proof that at least part of her Goddess was there.

"I think she needs incentive." Loki stated decisively, whisky eyes glinting with sudden mirth, and the moment was gone. Then Sam's blood was running cold.

Lo, please. A pained look crossed Loki's face but other than that she remained casual- not quite the at ease Loki persona but not stiff enough to be an angel.

"Deanna." Loki snapped her fingers and suddenly her sister was between them, tied to a chair with her wrists and ankles bound in place. "Let's talk."

"Let me go you fucking bitch!" Deanna was writhing against her constraints, and when Sam tried to move she found herself rooted to the spot- by which Archangel? Honestly, she didn't know. All she knew was that on a scale of one to a hundred they were in the billions on their level of doomed if she didn't get a handle on this situation- but how would she do it?

"Leave her alone!" Sam demanded desperately, trying to push against the invisible bindings on her body, her gaze meeting her sister's for a fraction of a moment. We're fucked, was vividly clear in Deanna's eyes.

"Nu uh, Sammy." Loki seemed to snap out of her dazed funk and Lucifer seemed mostly uninterested in the events before him, his focus completely settled on Sam in a way that was all too revealing, all too disturbing. Familiar.

Don't let him touch you. Some part of her whispered, a reminder of that disorienting, moment in the bathroom of that crappy cabin.

"We're gonna talk here, Deanna, and you're going to answer me." Loki chimed, rolling her shoulders as she turned her attention on the constrained hunter. "Whether you want to or not. Time to spill the beans and expose all your dirty little secrets." Beaming, that was the best word she could use to describe the Archangel in that moment. Loki was enthralled, and Deanna was pissed.

"Fuck off!"

"Wrong answer." All of a sudden Deanna was screaming bloody murder, writhing against her binds as cuts crossed her skin with a single snap of Loki's fingers. Sam was shouting something, a desperate cry for Loki to stop. To leave her alone.

What happened next caused horror and panic to pool in her gut. A white light ripped across the space, cutting through the ropes binding Deanna to the chair. Just as quick as it started, it stopped, and a freshly healed Deanna stumbled from her chair with Loki down on her knees beside her. Grabbing her by her shoulders, Loki yanked Deanna to her feet, spinning her around so the sisters were facing each other.

"Loki, please. Don't- let her go." Sam had no fucking clue what had just happened, but all she knew was that she needed to get her sister out of this alive… no matter the cost. What am I thinking?

"I will." Loki promised her with childish glee. "After she explains how she freed herself."

"I didn't-"

"Lying's a sin." Lucifer chided from where he was standing, finally acknowledging them both. "Come on, Deanna. Tell your sister what you've been sneaking around doing. Tell her how big of a hypocrite you are."

"I don't know what you're talking about." Deanna hissed, paling and struggling against Loki.

What the hell were they talking about? In a dull haze her mind started to piece things together, the things the Archangels were saying but… no. That wasn't possible. Deanna wouldn't do something like that. Her sister wasn't like that. She was the smart one, well when it came to making good decisions. Her sister was the one that always made the right choice.

"I think you do, Deanna." Loki taunted, bringing her own wrist to her mouth and winking at Sam. "But since you're being stubborn about it. Let's just prove a point."

Sam couldn't see it, not directly, but when the Archangel bit into her own wrist something buzzed deep in her, an old thrumming reminder that Azazel was a Fallen angel, not just a demon, but one of the original demons. Sam hadn't noticed it before, and for a moment she wondered if she would've been able to because before- before, she hadn't been Fallen. Now Gabbie was and when her blood pierced the air that dark alluring scent, that same draw she'd experienced the first time she was with Robbie…

Damn it. The second her reverie broke, she saw something that didn't belong on her sister's face. It was- it was wrong. That was the kind of look her sister got when she managed to get her hands on a good bottle of whisky, not quite the same look that she gave a piece of good pie, but it was a look of longing. Even if it was reluctant, it was there. Gabriella brought her arm around, wrist angled just so both hunters could see the blood and her stomach rolled a bit when it was confirmed.

God, how did I miss it?

The answer was simple enough. It was her fault. In the entire damned turmoil that was their life, she'd discarded her sister's behavior. The entire time she hadn't once thought anything more of it.

It hadn't all been about Cass.

Her fucking sister was pulling- no. Sam shot a look at Loki as she backed away- because she could move again. No matter how hard it was to do, no matter all her instincts, she couldn't drop the blame on her sister because it was what both Archangels were banking on.

"Sam, I know you aren't stupid enough to leave your sister here." Lucifer's tone was cold, a warning. Except, if Lucifer planned on hurting her sister, he would've done it. Lucifer had no standing here, because he wanted her consent… right? Except there was a niggling sense of dread. That what if factor. Rather than bolt for the door, like she could almost hear her sister begging her to do, she backed against the wall, meeting Lucifer's gaze from across the room and focusing solely on him. If she did that she could ignore the way her sister was reacting to Loki's blood.

"I won't kill my sister, and I won't let you kill her either."

"I've told you, Sam. Why are you making this difficult?" Lucifer looked genuinely annoyed for the first time since his arrival. "Gabbie, let her go."

"But-"

"Now." Lucifer ordered and Gabriella scowled and dropped Deanna who instantly turned around, backing away and jerking her head between the two Archangels.

"I will never hurt you, Samantha. I will never lie to you. Sooner or later, though. You will break, and you will say 'yes'."

"What about the fucking trick of being Lo! You sure as hell lied to me when you pretended to be her to get in my fucking pants."

"That was not me." Lucifer bit out, wings flaring a bit behind him. "It was- a stupid choice. An attempt at manipulation that I honestly do regret. I've never…" The Fallen took a deep breath, looking at his sister who bowed her head in shame.

"It's my fault. I thought- well, it was stupid. It was a stupid plan and it hurt you. I know it did. I just wanted to help him, but I realized pretty quick that screwing with your head, wasn't going to work. So we changed tactics."

"God damnit, Lo." Sam hissed out angrily, looking back at Lucifer- damn it. The fucking devil himself had managed to lie to her less than anyone she knew and… Why the hell was it so endearing?

"I'm going to leave now, Samantha." Lucifer continued on, his cool gaze resting on her as he spoke. "I thought you were ready, I hoped so, but clearly I was wrong."

"Why can't you just leave it alone?" Sam asked desperately. "Let the Earth go. We haven't done anything to you."

"It isn't the Earth, Samantha." Lucifer chided. "It's humanity. It has always been about humanity. And neither you nor your sister fall into that category. Azazel got to the both of you as infants. He fed you the blood to prepare you for your tragic fates, and I'm sorry. I am. But sooner or later one of you will say 'yes'. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when, and like it or not, it will be you. I'm not dying to my bitch of a sister because she refuses to acknowledge that Mom was wrong. I'm sure you can sympathize. Mom told Michelle to kill me, just like the loving Jane Winchester told your sister to do the same."

"Michelle-"

"I'm not talking to you, Deanna." Lucifer bit out, turning a fierce gaze on the other hunter and breaking her out of her reverie.

"You're talking about me, around me, so you can fucking listen you dick. My sister isn't buying the crap you're spilling."

"You sure about that?" Loki asked smugly and Sam flinched slightly, because she had completely forgotten the reality of this situation. They weren't alone and she needed to focus because Lucifer's words were making way too much sense, but they couldn't be true.

"Positive." Deanna responded with just enough confidence that Sam knew her sister was faking it. "You seem to forget, I never fucking tried to kill her. That's a whole fucking lot more than you can say."

"That's up for debate." Loki hummed unhelpfully. "I visited during the little detox stint, you know, the one you tried before your little Cassie busted open the panic room. That would've killed her, and you didn't seem to give three shits about it then. Not to mention leaving her to that dickbag demon's influence after you stupidly sold your Spirit."

"No one fucking asked you, Gabriella."

"Aw, you used my real name. That's real cute."

"Gabbie." Lucifer spoke firmly.

"Fine. I've got to go anyways. Raphie's calling."

"Remember what I told you."

"Yeah, yeah. I won't kill her. I promised, didn't I?"

The two Archangels shared a look for a fraction of a second before Lucifer nodded. "I'm trusting you."

"I've never broken a promise to you, Luce. Not gonna start now." With one final glance at Sam, a look that Sam had seen many times in the past before Loki went to torture her next victim , the youngest Archangel disappeared.

"Sam." Sam jerked back with a cry as Lucifer appeared right in front of her. Before she could open her mouth, before she could say a single word, Lucifer's mouth was on hers.

It was the only place he touched her, and it was chase, short, sweet, and her brain short circuited as something inside of her soared. There was a mind-numbing euphoric feeling of completion. What she knew was her Spirit jolted in her, coming to life in a way it never should. While she knew she should've shoved him away -and she knew he would have let it happen- she couldn't remember why. Why did it matter if this was what he had to give her? This could be so much better if she just… No, she couldn't do that. Right? Then it was gone and she was sliding down the wall, staring blankly at the now empty space before her as her sister dropped to her knees in front of her.

'Watch your sister.' Three words replayed through her mind like a live loop and her eyes burned with tears she didn't dare shed. 'Watch your sister. Watch your sister. Watch your sister.'

Even as her sister gripped her shoulders, shaking her slightly, clearly trying to drag her attention from her trance… Fucking Lucifer…

What she needed to do… It was simple. Stay away from him. Except that warning. The blood thing. Deanna was keeping secrets. Even after Sam had spilled every fucking thing Deanna was still keeping her secrets.

Hadn't they agreed to stop with the secrets? Time and time again, but she'd thought this time would be different. She'd spilled her fucking heart out and her sister hadn't had the decency to mention she was drinking fucking blood? Probably angel blood, but the fact remained that she'd kept it from her. If she'd kept something like that to herself? What other secrets was she keeping?

"Sam." Deanna's grip on her shoulder turned bruising and Sam jerked away.

"Why the hell didn't you tell me!"

"I didn't know- I mean… Sam, can we please fucking talk about this somewhere without a dead body?"

"No. We're talking about this right now. Why the hell didn't tell me you'd gotten fucking hooked on blood?"

"I didn't know!" Deanna responded, letting her go and rising to her feet. "Sam, I had no fucking clue. I mean… I guess I should've but I didn't want to think about it. Before your little relapse stunt this angel showed up and she…he? Fuck I don't know. It'd possessed Cass and it shoved its blood down my throat. Then you had your withdrawal thing and I just didn't think much on it. I mean- I… I just ignored it. I know I should've said something but if I'm honest I didn't know it was happening. When I was out being a grieving dumbass I think I was being angel blood drugged since Cass said she could tell I'd been drinking it."

"Is that why she left?" Sam asked and Deanna shook her head.

"I told her to fuck off. She told me why she went with you, why she summoned Michelle. It was a suicide mission because she didn't think we were strong enough to keep saying 'no'."

"Are we?" Sam asked, and she really didn't think before she did, but the words were there and out before she could stop herself. "Deanna, are we strong enough to keep saying no? We haven't found anything, any alternative, and- fucking hell you haven't been around her. Not like… that. It's fucking terrifying but…"

"We'll find another way. Sam, don't you dare give into that bastard. You hear me?"

"I'm trying. I'm just… You don't realize how fucking hard it is. Every damned time he talks to me, he makes so much fucking sense."

"I'm not going to kill you, Sam." Except you were willing to let me die. "I sold my damned Spirit to bring you back." Was that for you or for me, though? "We need to go. He's gone and despite the bullshit I trust that he's not going to come back. I don't trust that damned Trickster to keep her nose out though."

"If she comes back we won't see her." Sam muttered absently, getting to her feet slowly. She didn't promise that she wouldn't say 'yes'. Some part of her mind whispered to her and she ground her teeth together.

"I don't really fucking care. We're not staying here. Come on."

"No."

"No?" Deanna asked her disbelievingly.

"We're not done talking."

"Are you serious, Sam?"

"Deadly. You never said you wouldn't say yes. You're focusing-"

The sound of angel wings caught the air and in an instant there was a hand on her shoulder and she was being flown.

.-~*~-.

Raphiel paced uneasily as she stood outside of Michelle's room where she had just been unfortunate enough to learn that her sister and that angel… Castiel had been making out on Heaven's oldest Archangel's bed like teenagers.

'Raphie.'

'There's no way this is going to end well. We have to try the contingency plan.'

'I thought you said that one was suicidal.'

'It is, but it's all I have. I can leave you on Earth, find a temporary Vessel.'

'Together until you die. That was the deal.'

'That might be sooner than you think.'

'It is what it is. Call her.'

Raphiel took a long, shaky breath and spread her wings to the sides. 'Gabriella. I want to meet.'

'Is this about me killing the prophet?' Her sister asked innocuously and she groaned in frustration, shame clouding her for a moment as she remembered her failure to protect Charlie Shurley.

'No. It's about something else. I want to make a deal with you, Gabbie.'

There was a moment of silence before her sister responded. 'Le Bistro, Southern California, cute little place. I'll listen.'

Yeah, that was what she was worried about. In a flap of her wings she was in a cute little diner where her sister was sitting at one of the outside tables, sipping at a cup of what she guessed was tea that stank terribly of sugar. Uneasily, Raphiel walked to the table, taking a seat in front of her sister and glancing at her own teacup before looking back towards herr. There were marks lining her neck and the exposed portion of her chest that she tried hard not to think of the origins of. Not that her sister kept that secret for long.

"I'm not having sex with Luce. Sam's just a bit of a dominant in bed. Likes marking me up. So what's she like, Raphie? Do share."

"That isn't what I'm here to discuss."

"Come on, Raphie. Live a bit. You're the only one of us that's got their True Vessel all open and willing. I bet the two of you are into all sorts of kinky things. Not like I'll get to try mine out. Michelle took mine for a spin. Thought I'd be the only one-"

"Gabriella." She all but begged and her sister rolled her eyes.

"Fine, fine. What do you want?"

"I need you to get Death's ring for me." Her sister froze, eyes widening and body going rigid in horror.

"Fuck no. Why in the- are you the one that killed the other horsemen!"

"I did what I had to as the healer of Heaven. Did you honestly expect me to leave Famine and Pestilence to wreak havoc on the planet? War? Gabbie, I have an offer and I know you're upset, but I also know you promised Lucifer you wouldn't kill me, so just give me a moment and listen before you get angry."

Gabriella looked furious -and just a bit betrayed- but with a single glare she snapped her fingers and took a drink of her newly refilled glass.

"Talk. I'm giving you a minute and then I'm telling Luce."

"You know about the key-"

"Yeah, the backup plan Mom setup for if the Seals failed. So fucking what? They didn't fail."

"No matter how devoted you are to Lucifer, Gabbie. I know you love humanity. That was one of your best qualities. It was why you didn't join him. You know if Lucifer wins that he'll kill them all off."

"We've established this. I don't care. I'm leaving."

"Both of you." Raphiel blurted and Gabriella narrowed her eyes.

"Both of us, what?"

"Drag him into The Cage, Gabbie." It was twisted. Mother, did she hate doing this, but her sister wasn't mentally sound. Rational wasn't exactly in her dictionary and Raphiel hoped to their absent Mother that she could get her to grab onto this logic. It was manipulative, and she hated herself for it because it was against every single one of her base instincts and desires, but Gabbie was just as much a threat as Lucifer, so if they could get them both out of the picture...

'It's for everyone, Raphiel.'

'That doesn't make it right.'

'It is right. It may not feel right, but talking hasn't worked and your sister isn't in the right emotional mindset for any of this.'

"If you drag him into The Cage, it'll just be you and him. No one else. I have the first three rings, I just need you to take the last one from Death. I know you know where He is. If you ask, you know He'll do it."

"I don't know anything like that, Raphie, and I'm not dragging him back into the damned Cage. I won't do that to him."

"The Cage was a prison for him because he was alone, Gabbie. It was timeout, to be served alone. With you and your imagination? He would never be alone again. You aren't stupid. I know you aren't. There's cons to it, but this way you get two things that you want. You get him, and you get to protect humanity. You've never wanted his plans to unfold. I know you don't want him to win."

"Raph…" Her sister's expression broke just a bit and she set her drink down. "I can't. He'd hate me."

"Lucifer always forgives you." Raphiel responded, reaching across the table. "Gabbie, please. Don't do it for me, for Michelle, or even you. Do it for humanity. Do it for the lives your Hunter has spent her whole life saving, I need this one thing."

Her sister stared brokenly at her for a moment before looking down at the table, at her hand. "Lucifer's forgiven me for a lot, including me trying to kill you, but I don't think he could forgive me for The Cage. He hasn't forgiven Michelle for it."

"Lucifer doesn't love Michelle like he loves you." Raphiel drew on that, baring her discomfort just a bit, hoping her sister would grab onto her. Manipulation wasn't her strong suit, but it would work if she could make it. In theory.

"What're you talking about?" Gabriella's expression shifted to something along the lines of yearning, and Heaven help her, she hated it.

'I'm sorry that you have to do this.'

"Lucifer's feelings for you, Gabbie. They've always surpassed how he's felt for anyone else. Back then, I had no idea. I had never considered the possibility because it wasn't a known concept then. I didn't think on it again until he forgave you for abandoning him in the war, and again after you tried to kill me. I pieced it together and Gabbie, I know you don't trust me but… Believe me in this. This kind of thing? It isn't something I would ever come up with on my own." Which was as true as she said. It wasn't her idea. It was her Vessel's.

"You're telling me Lucifer loves me." Gabriella responded slowly, expression a bit distant. "Loves me, as in loves me. The way…" Her sister took a deep breath and lifted her gaze. "You want me to drag him into Hell."

"It's the only way humanity will survive this."

"It's risky." Her sister responded, swallowing heavily. "It's so damned risky. If he suspects for even a moment that I want to do it… He'll kill me."

"Lucifer would never kill you, Gabbie. None of us could ever kill you."

"I'm scared, Raphie." Her sister admitted quietly, taking her drink and pressing it to her lips again. "If I do this… What if you're wrong?"

"I'm not." Raphiel promised, finally looking at her own cup. It was black and smelt just as strongly of sugar as Gabriella's. Not that it exactly surprised her. "I'm the healer of Heaven. I wouldn't ever endanger your life. Especially when I love you." Her throat closed just a bit, tears burning against the edge of her eyes as she refused to let them go. "You're my baby sister. I remember the day you were born, and I would never betray you."

"I'll never understand your unyielding loyalty, Raphiel. I understand Michelle's, Lucifer's, but yours? It doesn't make sense."

"Someone has to do it, Gabbie. Someone has to believe that you aren't all lost."

"You'll have to believe pretty hard for me and Luce if what you're saying is true." Her sister took a careful sip of her drinks. "We've Fallen further than any of you could ever hope to achieve. If this doesn't work, he's going to be furious. I won't defend you in this, Raphiel. If he asks, it was your idea. You threatened to kill him if I didn't do it."

"I understand." The older Archangel responded quietly, gripping her cup carefully and raising it to her lips. "Once you get Death's ring, I'll bring you the other three."

"You don't trust me?"

"No, I don't." Raphiel responded honestly and Gabriella's eyes twinkled with an unfathomable emotion.

"Probably for the best. Just because I promised not to kill you, it doesn't mean I wouldn't rat you out."

"You're not easing my discomfort, Gabbie."

"I won't. Swear on my love for Luce that I won't tell him what we talked about unless it blows up in my face." Her sister waved her hand dismissively and downed the remainder of her drink in a single swig.

Sighing, Raphiel finally pressed the edge of the glass to her lips and took a long drink of the warm liquid. The second it hit her back of her throat she nearly gagged, swallowing the thick liquid and dropping the glass as something touched her Spirit from within her Vessel. A choked sound tore from her throat as a burning sensation flooded her mouth, trailing across her throat and down to her stomach as the pain resonated through her Spirit.

Now she was gagging, trying to spit out the vile liquid that- Gabbie, no.

"Oh, Raphie." Her sister tsked, propping her head up on her elbow and tilting her head to the side as Raphiel choked on the liquid.

"What have you done?" Raphiel asked desperately, a sob ripping from her throat as she felt what she knew had to be the blood of Jegudiel seep into her vessel, spread throughout her true form beneath its skin because the poison wasn't targeting the human skin, it was targeting the Spirit- no the Spirits. Both of them.

'Gabbie just killed us. I'm so sorry.'

'It hurts, Raphie.' Marisha sobbed brokenly from inside of her and all her Spirit wanted to do was heal her. Fix her. Except she couldn't. There was no cure.

"I didn't do anything." Her sister rolled her eyes. "I told Luce I wouldn't ever kill you, and I keep my promises. Not my fault you stupidly drank Jegudiel's blood."

"You…" A cry of pain ripped past her lips as the poisonous Archangel's blood cut through her Spirit completely for the first time, cutting straight down the center of her Spirit and making it scream in agony. "Gabbie, why?"

"You were a threat, Raphie." Gabriella responded coldly. "I love you, and you're my sister, but you are a threat to our future. All of us. So now, you're going to die, and I didn't have anything to do with it. That was your fault for drinking an unknown beverage. You told me you didn't trust me, and you were right not to do so."

With an angry cry Raphiel launched herself across the table, slamming into her baby sister and driving her Archangel blade towards what she hoped was her sister's heart. It made Marisha scream and her Spirit protest but she didn't care because she had to try.

Only her blade missed, by a longshot and lodged into her sister's shoulder rather than her heart. Gabriella laughed sharply, eyes burning with white light as a broad grin crossed her face. "Oh, Raphie. That was good. I didn't think you had it in you."

'Raphie!' Marisha cried out again and she ground her teeth together before spreading her wings and launching herself across the states, following that connection between bloodlines as she caught hold of Sam and Deanna Winchester's shoulders. 'It hurts.'

'I know, Marisha. I know. It will be over in a second.'

Then a Hunter was shooting her and despite every root instinct, every little desire to protect, she let the bullet pierce their heart. Marisha cried out.

'I'm sorry.'

'Raphiel… I don't want to lose you. Please tell me you'll survive.'

Raphiel met the gaze of the Reaper as she collapsed to the floor, choking on blood as one of the Hunters yelled something incoherent.

"Save her." She forced out, glaring at the Reaper. "Take her to Heaven. Now."

"Raphiel-"

"Now!" The Reaper gave her a sorrowful look before stepping forward and gripping her shoulder.

"I'm telling Michelle." Then, in a flash of vibrant white light, the Reaper was gone with Marisha's Spirit and she was left hollowly alone, collapsing to her knees as she curled in on herself with another scream of pain.

Chapter Text

Sam dropped down next to the kneeling Archangel, grabbing her shoulder and shoving her onto her back as another scream tore past her lips. For a moment all she could do was stare at the sight of the black lines crossing the Archangel's Vessel. They spread across her veins, making the blood vessels protrude distinctly with an inky black residue that reminded her vaguely of ectoplasm. "Why the hell did you shoot her!"

"Are you serious?" Deanna snapped back, although there was an underlying tone of discomfort, regret.

"Sam." Raphiel gasped out. Chocolate eyes met hers, wide and desperate. "It… I'm going to die. I need…" Another blood curdling scream tore from the Archangel's lips and Sam brought her hands to her ears out of instinct, the loud ringing of an angel's True Voice fracturing the otherwise mostly silent air. "Break it." The Archangel hissed out suddenly, grabbing her shoulder and dragging her down towards her. "Ward." Before Sam could even begin to protest, the Archangel's nails were cutting through the newest tattoo, piercing the flesh and breaking skin until, just like that, she knew the ward was broken.

'I don't- oh Mother, help me.' Raphiel's voice pierced through her skull, ringing through every inch of her head, and when she tried to yank away- to get away, the grip tightened until it was almost bone crushing. 'Samantha Winchester, I am going to die.' The Archangel choked on another scream and Sam couldn't resist, she grabbed the Archangel's hand -stupidly grabbed the hand of one of the strongest creatures in existence-, and she squeezed it. 'Here and now, I will die, and it can't be stopped. It was Gabriella… But listen to me. There's another option.' Sam jolted at the brutally sharp pain that tore through her hand but just as quickly as the pain resounded she forced herself to ignore it. There were bigger issues at hand than a hurt hand. At least for now. It probably wasn't broken.

"Sam!" Her sister grabbed her other shoulder and tried to pull her away, but the Archangel's grip was too tight. Shit.

'In my- my pocket. There's… three rings.' The Archangel released her grip and she curled in on herself, shuddering violently. Sam ignored her sister's protests as she grabbed the Archangel's shoulder with her less battered arm, squeezing it. 'Find Death. The… it's a key. To The Cage. Luce, Gabbie, they're going to destroy… everything. She-" With one final tortured scream the Archangel's wings shot from her back and Sam threw herself back as once beautiful white wings came into view behind her. Sam vaguely remembered what they had been like before, beautiful -though not quite on level with Michelle- and white, like freshly fallen snow. Now they were ragged and worn, almost every inch of them soaked in thick black gunk that looked a whole hell of a lot like the strange goo running through her veins. It was horrible. The sight of the Archangel was painful, and Sam couldn't stop staring because she knew.

Raphiel was dead.

While they didn't necessarily know her… It hurt. The sight hurt and Sam realized it wasn't because of her at all. When her gaze lifted Lucifer was standing just on the other side of his sister, no, not standing, kneeling. Lucifer was on his knees next to his sister, a look of sorrow and pain crossing his expression.

"Raphiel, you were never meant to be caught in this." The ward. Raphiel had broken the ward. "I'm sorry."

"Sam, what the hell-"

"Lo killed her." Sam interrupted, moving to the side of Raphiel's body and feeling for her pockets.

"Sam, I'm begging you not to try to do this." Lucifer said suddenly, lifting his head.

"She died for this, Lucifer."

"Lucif- God dammit, Sam!"

"She died in the war."

"To Loki. She said she wouldn't kill her!" Why the hell was she defending Raphiel? Why the hell did her death physically hurt?

"I- Sam, I know you think lowly of me. I've told you before, though. I don't want to kill my siblings. Mother, help me I don't. Gabriella is unhinged, and she exploited a loophole in her promise. Never think for a moment that I wanted this. Especially like this." Sam flinched back at the Archangel's anger, but held his broken gaze otherwise. It was wrong. Lucifer never showed weakness and vulnerability, but here and now? It was clear as day and it broke her heart. He was the devil. She wasn't supposed to feel pity and sympathy for him, but there she was. As certain as she could breathe, she wanted to console the devil because he'd just lost a sister- something she knew full well hurt worse than Hell. Almost absently her hands curled around the rings in the dead Archangel's pocket.

"Michelle." Deanna's voice pierced the air and Lucifer rose to his feet as two sets of wings fluttered behind him.

"Sam. This is a very bad situation to be in. Whatever you do, do not engage Michelle. Move. Now." Despite herself Sam got to her feet, turning around and glancing between Michelle and… Well, there was Castiel. Carefully, absently, she pocketed the three rings, staring at the two angels.

Sam felt a pang of anger when she saw the way the angel was standing with the Archangel, her teeth grinding together as she moved to the side.

"Lucifer, I sense you here." Michelle's voice was cool, harsh, and Sam bristled as she grabbed her sister, dragging the frozen hunter away from the corpse of Raphiel. "It's meant to be between us. Not them."

"I didn't do this!" Lucifer's voice sounded through her head, angry and betrayed.

Everyone looked at her in a single moment and her stomach twisted when she realized- holy hell he was speaking through her. "It was Gabbie. I don't control her, Michelle."

"You took on the responsibility, Lucifer." Michelle responded as she left Castiel to kneel next to Raphiel. "You chose to break her apart and bring her into the fold. You know what she is, how dangerous she is, and you let her meet with Raphiel anyways. All you needed to do was tell her to stay away and this would never have happened."

"That's bullshit." Sam snapped suddenly, anger clouding her judgement as a startled Michelle lifted her gaze, glaring at her. "This was her, not him. You don't get to blame him for what she did."

"I would watch yourself, Samantha." Michelle warned her coolly, white wings bristling behind her.

"No, fuck you." Sam hissed out angrily.

"Sam!" Deanna snapped, grabbing her shoulder and covering her mouth with her hand. "Michelle-"

"No, you know what, Deanna? Let's talk. Here and now. You've been evading my every attempt at discussion, but I suppose I will take one of my brother's positions. We are going to talk and you are going to listen." A cry of pain tore from her throat as she was thrown suddenly into a tree.

"I'm going to rip her in half." Lucifer bit out from next to her, black raven wings manifesting behind him as he stepped between them.

"Let's do this here and now, Lucifer. See which sister says 'yes' in the face of imminent danger."

"You know I'm not that stupid." Lucifer responded bitterly. 'Sam.'

Come to us. Sam prayed desperately as the Fallen Archangel's projection turned on her.

"Michelle will kill me. I need a suitable Vessel. I can't come to you now, Samantha. Not without your 'yes'."

No.

There was no way that could end well. Not here, not now. Which meant she needed to figure something else out. "Move." She hissed out, glaring at Lucifer who narrowed his eyes but did as he was told. On the other side of the Archangel Deanna was standing in front of Michelle with an angel blade in her hand.

"I'm not letting you possess me, Michelle. Fuck off."

"I'm getting really sick of your defiance."

"Well, same. The answer's simple. Chick says no, it means stay the fuck out. As much as I fucking hate to say it. You're pulling the shit I pull. You're pissed because your sister's dead and you're blaming it on your fucking dick of a brother."

"Are you defending Lucifer?"

"Funny how that works, huh?" Deanna asked with a bitter laugh, head turning to Castiel for a fraction of a moment before moving back to Michelle. "Kinda like how it's funny that Cass is making goo-goo eyes at you like she did at me for months. Guess we're on new sides, aren't we? At least for this. I want you to take Raphiel's fucking body, and I want you to leave."

"If I don't?"

"I'm going to kill myself." Deanna responded harshly and the only thing that stopped her from shouting a protest at her sister was her knowledge of the other hunter. Deanna wasn't suicidal in the least. This was a powerplay, and Sam had no fucking clue if Michelle would see through it.

"It depends on them." Lucifer muttered quietly. "Mainly on how alike Michelle believes they are. If you aren't going to say 'yes'. I'm just going to watch this trainwreck unfold."

"You wouldn't do that. You wouldn't leave me here to…" The Archangel's wings twitched behind her and she shot a single look at Sam before looking back at Deanna. "Maybe you would. Lucifer, I know you are here. You need to get a handle on Gabriella. She is becoming dangerous and you know it. I don't care how much you love her, I don't care how much you hate humanity. Gabriella is becoming a threat to everyone and everything around her. Including you if her deluded obsession shifts to Samantha. I know self-preservation is one of your finer instincts, get a handle on Gabriella."

"I'll talk to her." Lucifer ground out bitterly.

"She's killed Raphiel. I'm asking you for a day of peace."

"I'll draw in my forces for the time being." Lucifer responded, wings twitching behind him and drooping just a bit. "Are you leaving Deanna alone?"

"No." Michelle responded, spreading her wings slightly. "You won't leave Samantha alone, so I'm not leaving Deanna alone. My conversation with her is not finished."

"Deanna prayed to her." Lucifer told her, tone somber. "I know you don't trust me, but I told you before. Watch your sister."

Sam's gaze flicked to Deanna who was shifting uneasily, rubbing the back of her neck and staring at the Archangel. Secrets.

"Now that our dear sister has reopened the communication line that you so stupidly closed, I'm not leaving again unless I have to."

Michelle glanced over her shoulder, staring for a long moment at Castiel before touching Raphiel's side and disappearing. The second the Archangel was gone she was falling off the tree where she'd been pinned, a sharp glare the only thing stopping Lucifer from helping her.

"You that scared of touching again?"

Ignoring him, she got to her feet, eying her sister's back with unease, and maybe a little mistrust.

"You and her, right? You get pissed that I tell you off and you go for the fucking Archangel that wants to jump my bones?"

"It isn't like that, Deanna." Cass responded quietly. "I know you don't understand-"

"You're right, I don't fucking understand!" Her sister shouted angrily and Castiel bristled, wings fluffing up behind her. "Cass, you- Jesus, it's Michelle."

"I know. It is Michelle." Castiel responded harshly, "Deanna, you don't understand."

"Then help me understand!"

"They're lifemates. Michelle and Castiel, I mean. It was clever, though pretty dickish. I would've smote her on the spot for it, even if she was my lifemate."

You didn't kill Lo. Sam thought absently as she moved towards her sister's back.

"It's always been Michelle, Deanna. Hate me as you will, but I've been drawn to her since I was a fledgling."

"You used me. You know what? That's probably the most logical thing you've done since I met you. Fucking bullshit angels." Deanna bit out angrily. "Take us out of here."

"Deanna-"

"Now." Deanna responded as Sam joined her side.

"I think Michelle may have fucked herself by fucking little Castiel."

"I never intended to hurt you." Castiel said quietly. "I'm sorry, Deanna." With those words the angel moved forward and put her hands on their shoulders, and they were flying.

'Watch your sister, Sammy. I need to have a talk with mine.' When they landed Lucifer was gone and there was a strange emptiness in her heart which she tried really hard not to think on.

.-~*~-.

Deanna stopped outside the motel and flung open the door to the Impala. "Go, Sam."

"What? No!" Her sister responded, shock layering her expression along with another hundred things that she refused to acknowledge. Her sister's Spirit was clear as day, and she had no doubt in her mind that it was that damned bit of Archangel blood that Gabriella had shoved down her fucking throat, but it left her mind wired and clear and level in a way it had never been before. She knew what needed to happen, because she could sense the darkness seeping from her sister. Something told her that her sister probably didn't really realize it yet, but it was there all the same.

"I need a fucking minute to clear my damned head."

"You're going to Michelle."

"Fuck off." Deanna responded bitterly. "I'm not stupid enough to do that." It was almost scary how easily that lie came to her, but she couldn't make herself regret it because this was all so much bigger than this stupid drama. This was about getting a solid coherent answer from Michelle. "I'm going to get drunk off my ass. Is that a problem?"

"Yes. It is. Deanna, we need to talk."

"There's nothing to talk about right now that we can't talk about later. Remember? There's a truce in place."

"Yeah, with each other. Not us. This is a bad idea."

"I don't fucking care. Get out of the damned car, Sam."

"No."

"Yes." Deanna glared at her sister.

"Swear you won't go to Michelle."

"I swear. Now get out." If her sister believed her for a second she didn't show it, instead angrily throwing open her car door and getting out, slamming it shut and igniting a flare of rage within her. "Was that necessary?"

"Fuck off." Sam responded angrily as she stormed towards their motel room.

For a fraction of a moment Deanna watched distractedly as her sister's Spirit greyed even more before she shook it off and threw Baby into gear, slamming on the gas and tearing him out of the parking lot. It was immature and she knew she'd probably screwed the tires but she didn't particularly care. What mattered was doing what she had planned.

Which was what led her to the closest bar, sitting in the parking lot and staring at the steering wheel for a moment as she gathered her thoughts. First step.

Deanna grabbed the angel blade she'd stolen from that angel's apartment, the blade she'd snagged using… my powers. I have powers. The thought was jarring, and part of her wondered if it was shame that made her close her eyes, mentally probing around inside her until she felt… my Spirit.

"I fucked up when I sold you, didn't I?"

Not that she got a response, she really didn't think she would. But there was a warmth in her chest that she was pretty sure wasn't there before. It soothed her and gave her the needed confidence to put the angel blade into her jacket, hooking it into the ring of fabric she had inside it to hold her knives. The angel blade was a bit oddly shaped for it, but it settled in for the most part. With her vital weapon in place, she opened the door and slipped outside, heading across the parking lot and going into the mostly empty bar. The bartender she'd seen when they first arrived, a man by the name of Jeremy, met her gaze with a smile.

A smile that turned to a frown when the angel, because that was what it undoubtedly was. The angel clearly picked up on her new state, the same way that Castiel had. With her newly refined vision she could see the difference. Unlike the twitching, moving Spirits that resided in everybody in the bar, that one had two in it. One white one that was docile, and one that was a deep grey, moving restlessly around the body. It met her gaze and shifted uncomfortably as she walked over to the bar, sitting in the seat closest to the man and meeting his gaze.

"Hey-" The angel started and she narrowed her eyes. "Fine. Hello, Deanna."

"What's your name?"

"You've met me before." The angel responded, turning his back long enough to grab a whiskey bottle and pour her a glass of it. "I don't want trouble." He added as he set the glass in front of her.

"You've been giving me your blood. How does that work?"

"I slipped it into your drinks. Lucifer has had me following you ever since I left Castiel."

"Brendiel." Deanna remembered suddenly, the name coming to her in a way she was sure was influenced by her Spirit.

"Yes." The angel responded. "I've been your secret dealer. Jumping between bartenders in your local hangouts. If I'm honest, you're so predictable it's almost pathetic. Look, I'm doing what Lucifer wants because he's the better option for me. I don't want to live under the chains of Heaven. I want to explore, get drunk, meet new people. I can't do that under Michelle."

"So you drugged me."

"Like I said. Not much of a choice." Brendiel scowled, "Lucifer or Michelle. I'm sure you can relate."

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"You know exactly what I'm talking about." The angel responded and for a moment she was distracted by the movement of his Spirit, as it shifted around uneasily, moving up to the back of his spine before returning to the center of his chest. "Sooner or later, you're going to make a choice. One of you will make a choice, and it's not a choice of which side is better, it's the choice between the lesser of two evils."

"Michelle."

"For a human, absolutely. Michelle is the better option."

"I don't understand why you're telling me this."

"Because you're going to kill me. I'd rather be honest in my last moments." The angel responded with a shrug, pouring himself a drink. "Look, Deanna. None of this is personal. It's never been personal. It's a war, and we're the pawns in it. I signed up for my fate the moment I chose Lucifer over Michelle, but I don't regret it because it is what it is."

"So that's it?"

"Well, unless you're jumping me here and now in front of the crowd of people. Look, I'll make it easy. I'll head into the back in a minute."

"You're serious."

"Deadly." The angel responded with a smirk as he downed his drink before stretching out, putting his arms behind his head and yawning with dramatic flare. "We need some more whisky. Be back in a jiff, Margot." He acknowledged the female bartender with curly black hair before making his way around the back of the bar. After a moment considering her options she shrugged her shoulders and trailed after him. Worst case scenario she would pray to Michelle.

Of course, the last thing she expected when she stepped into the back room was the sight of Brendiel downing a bottle of- was that rum?

"Hmm. You know, Deanna. I don't want to die. Not yet." The angel met her gaze, expression weary. "I'd offer sex, but you wouldn't take it. Something I'm kinda grateful for." Licking his lips the angel shifted from one foot to the next. "Drink with me?"

"You think I'm stupid enough to get drunk?"

"C'mon, Deanna. I don't want you dead. I've had plenty of chances to slit your throat. Luce isn't killing you. I just wanna enjoy my last moments of life. I'll throw in a bit of blood." The angel added absently as he dropped down on the floor, leaning back against one of the racks of alcohol lining the wall. "If you want."

"I'm not drinking your blood." Not the blood of a Fallen. Too close to a demon.

"You give me too little credit. Not that I care. C'mon. Live a little before I die." Despite her better judgement, she sat down across from the angel, gaze flicking across the relaxed form of the Fallen angel.

"You keep commenting on sex."

"Well, it's because I don't like it. Never have, never will. While all the other little fledglings were playing with themselves I was more interested in the other things the world had to offer. Especially the Earth, well, before the humans came around. Though, you did make alcohol." The angel offered her the bottle which she took warily. "Relax, I didn't dose it. I don't need to. Gabbie's gloating about how she got you some of hers. Archangel blood? That's gotta be some serious crap."

"Fuck off." Deanna responded, taking the bottle and staring at the amber liquid for a long moment before taking a large swig of the liquid, flinching slightly at the taste and burn.

"Don't drink it all, damn it." Brendiel grabbed the bottle from her, or tried to, holy hell was he actually drunk? When the angel came up to grab the bottle he got his legs twisted under him and ended up falling into her.

"The hell, man? You're a damned lightweight." She couldn't help but tease him as the angel struggled off of her lap, making an annoyed sound.

"First time I've had my Spirit back off on healing me in this Vessel. He's the lightweight, not me." The angel responded with a scowl. "Is… Interesting. Give me the bottle."

With a smirk, Deanna returned it to him, watching as he downed the alcohol in heavy swallows, humming thoughtfully.

"You know. I always thought if I got an angel drunk it'd be Cass."

"Yeah, I know. Kinda the worst kept secret in Heaven."

"You knew?"

"That you had goo-goo eyes for Cassie? Or that she had 'em for you? 'course I knew 'bout both. I was… hm… Ariah's second? Yeah, that. I watched you when she was off scheming the end of the world. Saw nice and close the way the two of you looked at each other. 'course I think Cassie's thing was more for wanting what she couldn't have. Confirmed it when I possessed her."

"You what?" Deanna asked, heart twisting just a bit.

"Michelle of course. I'm a lotta things but blind's not one of them. Cassie and Michelle're lifemates."

"They're…"

"You can't understand." That was what Cass had told her. It wasn't that she didn't have an answer, it was just the matter of the answer. It broke her heart just a bit too. That confirmation. The thing she'd suspected the moment she saw the two at Raphiel's death scene.

"Yep. Lifemates. The people Life decides deserve eternity together… Decided? Eh whatever. Life's a bitch and She shoved Cassie to Michelle only the two of them are too dumb to realize it. Or is that were now… hm. Anyways. Thanks for the conversation, Deanna."

"What?"

"I'm ready." The angel sighed softly, shutting his eyes.

"Just like that?" Deanna asked, swallowing and debating whether or not she could bring herself to do it. Could she kill this angel? Even after everything, was it worth it to kill him? Was it right?

.-~*~-.

An hour later Deanna stopped in a park, guilt burning at her chest along with the angel blade she had carefully concealed again.

Had she made the right choice? Honestly, she didn't have a fucking clue but it was better if she never thought on the matter again. At least, not until it was actually an issue she needed to address- if it ever was.

No, she needed to focus on her final task- her final choice.

"Michelle." Deanna prayed, swallowing heavily as she climbed out of Baby. "I want to talk. Alone. Tell Cass to fuck off."

"Deanna." Michelle greeted as she appeared in front of her.

"I need to talk to you."

"Of course." The Archangel responded, her Spirit shifting restlessly under her skin. "I'm here to listen. I wanted to ask-"

"Gabriella shoved her fucking blood down my throat, and that's all we're going to say on the matter."

"I'm sorry, Deanna." The Archangel responded sincerely and Deanna ignored her, closing the door and beginning to walk into the park. "What do you want to discuss."

"I want to discuss what the fuck happens if I say 'yes'."

"Deanna-"

"Swear to me that Sam will be safe, swear to me that the planet will be safe."

"I will do everything in my power to protect those things, Deanna. I don't want to kill my brother. I want to weaken his Spirit. That's all. I can do that, but I have to do it before Samantha says 'yes'. I won't be able to overpower Lucifer without you."

"How can I trust you?"

"Would you lie to me?" Michelle asked from behind her.

"No." The answer was reflexive, but true.

"That's why you swore to talk to me. Even when I called your bluff before. You don't want to lie to me, you don't like lying to me, and I don't want to do it to you."

"I know." Deanna sighed softly, spying a bench and walking the remaining short distance to slump into it. When Michelle joined her she was very careful about not touching her and Deanna was reminded of when Sam warned her not to have sex with the Archangel. Not that she would ever consider it for a second. Especially, when Michelle was wearing Ada. "Why didn't you do what Lucifer did? Why did you have to bring Ada back?"

"I'm stronger than Lucifer. I can't take just any human. I need the bloodline, and unfortunately there aren't many options."

"Is she awake in there?" Deanna had to ask, and Michelle shook her head.

"I keep Ada asleep. I believe you can see her Spirit in… her body, it should be docile." Michelle added and Deanna looked over at her, trying hard not to stare at the bright white of the Archangel's Spirit. Swallowing heavily, she moved her gaze across the other woman until… Yes, there was a secondary Spirit. Just like there had been in Brendiel. And just like in Brendiel, it was docile.

So Michelle had Ava with her, but she was asleep. There was something about that which was comforting. Would Michelle do that wh-if she said 'yes'?

"I don't want to harm you, Deanna. That has never been my intentions. I want to coexist with you."

"What if I want you to leave?"

"Then I will go. Have I ever harmed you, Deanna? Have I ever lied to you?" When Deanna didn't answer, Michelle put her hand between them- not touching, just setting it there. "Let me show you, Deanna."

"What will happen?" Deanna asked, staring at the angel's hand.

"Our Spirits will touch. We're two halves of a whole. Let me show you what it's like. No possession, just a touch."

Hesitating for just a moment Deanna did as asked, reaching between them and resting her hand over the top of the other girl's. Her heart jolted in her chest as their Spirits flooded between them, diving into each other and wrapping around each other.

Deanna wasn't a sap, she'd never been a sappy person in her life, but there was something about that single moment that jolted in her, that ignited the rawest, purest feelings in her body and gave her a sense of pure. Then Michelle opened herself up and Deanna felt. Not just a moment, but an eternity of emotion and feeling. Things that no one else knew about. Secrets and emotions and a strong, fierce sense of protect. A feeling she was all too familiar with. Deanna jerked her hand away and stumbled off the bench, staring wide-eyed and panicked at the Archangel that was staring back with an equally stunned look.

"Michelle…" Her mouth fell open just a bit as she swallowed back all of her fears, all of her doubts, because she knew now. It was all true, all a fact.

Michelle wasn't lying. Everything she'd said had been the truth which meant that the she was the only safe option. Brendiel had been right, hell Cass had been right.

"Yes." The words fell off of her lips in a breath of air. For a fraction of a moment Michelle was shocked eyes wide, then the shock was gone and a bright light engulfed the area.

Chapter Text

Lucifer walked into the hotel room that Gabriella had been staying in, watching his sister warily where she was sprawled across the bed with a small rat of a dog chewing on an oversized slab of steak. With a sigh he snapped his fingers, clothing his sister who glared at him in response.

"Was that necessary?"

"There was a clothing agreement in our deal, Gabbie."

"Yes. I'm in a bed. The agreement specifically stated I didn't need to wear clothes in bed because that's just boring. Well, in most situations." When his sister snapped her fingers she was yet again naked as a baby and he had to meet her gaze rather than acknowledge the fifty shades of fucked up his situation with her was at the moment.

"You swore you wouldn't kill her."

"I did." Gabriella responded, sighing dramatically as she crossed her ankles, the dog growling at her foot as it hopped off the bed carrying the steak that was way too big for his tiny size with him. "Mother help us. I didn't kill her. She just drank Jegudiel's blood. It's not like I told her to do it."

"You set her up, Gabriella. Deception is one of our shared traits, it has been for decades. I didn't expect-" Pausing, he sighed heavily, watching his sister closely. Arguing about it wasn't going to work here. "Why did you do it?"

"The rings." Gabriella responded with a sharp look which Lucifer was already shaking his head at.

"I knew about the damned rings, Gabriella." Lucifer tugged back the collar of his shirt and exposed Death's ring. The small metal circle was wrapped around a thin silver chain and covered in wards. "I personally took his ring because I knew what Raphiel was doing. You didn't have a fucking clue and you set the poison out before she mentioned them. Why did you do it?"

"She was a threat to-"

"Christ, Gabbie. She wasn't a threat. Not to me. Not to you. If I didn't know better- there's no reason for it. She was your sister, the one that kept your warped secret for thousands of years."

"She was a threat!" Gabriella responded, rising up onto her feet on the bed and flaring her wings wide behind her with a glare. "They're all threats and all you do is pretend everything is fine. Like it's all going to work out on its own. It isn't though. Everything isn't fine and I'm getting so damned tired of protecting you from your own recklessness!"

Lucifer opened then shut his mouth, staring in dumbfounded horror at his sister as she jumped off the bed. Landing in front of him, Gabriella grabbed a handful of his shirt, tugging him down and forcing him into a kiss that he was equal parts horrified and stunned by. So much in fact that it took him a solid thirty seconds to rip himself away from her, stepping back before flaring his wings behind him in an aggressive display.

"What the fuck, Gabbie!" Had she honestly done that? She had actually kissed him. Fuck.

"Haven't I given enough?" Gabriella hissed violently, "You fucking owe me, Luce. I've saved your life! I killed my favorite sister for you!"

"I didn't want you to do that!" Lucifer responded, Spirit shifting restlessly in him as he tried to get his sister to see sense. "Gabbie, listen to me. I didn't want you to kill her. I never wanted her to die during this. When it came down to it, when I won. Raphiel would've fallen behind me. She wouldn't have been bold enough to try to kill me. Maybe to try and Cage me but I have the final ring. It never could have happened. They never could have won that way. God, Gabbie you've lost your fucking mind."

"It's your fault." She bit back vehemently. "You broke me, Luce. You killed Loki, the woman I was for years. Did you honestly expect me to come out unscathed? I'm the delusional one, Luce. But that stunt? You'd lost your fucking mind. It was insane. It was cruel, sadistic, and this is the price of what you did."

"Gabbie-"

"I killed Raphiel to protect you." There was a hard look on the youngest Archangel's expression, a dark look in her eyes as she advanced on him and he backed away by reflex because the intent in her eyes, it wasn't passive. It was dangerous. "I did it for you. Maybe this isn't the way you wanted it to happen, but it was the way it was going to go down. Raphiel wasn't going to let you win, so I dealt with the problem myself without ever breaking my promise. I did it for you, Luce. I did it because I love you."

"You killed our sister."

"Yeah, the same thing you're going to do. The angels of Hell versus the angels of Heaven. Us versus them."

Damn it. "Gabbie…"

"I know you don't want to believe it but she was a threat. They're all a threat. It's got to be the three of us. Me, you, and Sam. Just us. If it isn't, if you choose them. Michelle will use that against you. We can't let her win, Luce. We've come too far. It has to be all or nothing now. You need me by your side because I'm more than willing to make the crazy choices, the hard ones. I will do everything I can to keep you alive because that's how much I love you. But I need you to let me do it. I can't have you fighting me every step of the fucking way. Please. Let me help you."

"I never wanted you to become a killer. I never wanted that from you."

"I already was. I couldn't ever kill you, Luce. You're the exception to the rule, but I've been killing for the hell of it for years. Let me be the one that does the truly twisted things. I can cross those lines you aren't bold enough to cross."

Lucifer wanted to strangle her, or laugh, or cry. He wasn't really sure. When he looked down at her- standing way too close for comfort- he finally, truly saw the estranged state of her Spirit. The way it twisted and turned beneath her Vessel restlessly, the way it tried to move up to her head only to be deflected by her mind.

Gabriella was rejecting her Spirit's input. Maybe not completely, but she definitely wasn't listening to all of it, and it was clear that it was hurting. Despite his own judgement he released his Spirit from its confines, letting it scurry out of him to tackle hers in a way that it hadn't done in thousands of years. Gabriella jolted, stumbling back to look down, wide eyed, at their Spirits as his coiled protectively around hers.

"Gabbie."

"I'm sorry." She whispered softly, trembling slightly as her wings dropped down. "I- Luce, I didn't… I shouldn't have-"

"I know." He cut her off, wrapping his arms around her and pulling her against his chest. "You've got to work with me. Not apart from me. I can't lose you. Not now."

"I'll try." She muttered softly, curling her wings into her back as she buried her face in his chest. "I'm sorry."

"It's okay, Gabbie. I promise." He responded, kissing the top of her head. "We'll figure this out. We'll deal with Michelle, then we'll fix you. I promise."

.-~*~-.

Sam stared at her laptop, looking at the email that she'd promised she'd never open again. In the inbox there were eleven emails, one from Joe and ten from Lucifer. She hadn't planned to touch it but… Before she could stop herself she clicked the most recent one.

GodsFavoriteFallenAngel : I am riding in a car currently. It is confining and something I will never do again. Unfortunately Carthage was warded many years ago against angels, while it can't keep me out it keeps me from flying. You probably won't like what I'm doing here, but it has to be done. As long as I have Death bound, I cannot die. Once it's over, once Michelle is dead, I'm going to free him, though. It's temporary. A necessary evil, if you will. I have Gabriella watching over you, assuming she stays hidden. Though she probably won't. I don't have much to do while I wait, normally I would visit you but since you still have me locked out. Well, what can I do? I truly hold no ill will towards you or your sister. I want you to understand this.

-Lucifer

Sam shoved her laptop away from herself, getting to her feet and pacing back and forth across the room for half an hour before looking at the TV. Loki loved TV. On countless occasions she'd shown up like that to pick her up for their weekly screw.

"Sammy, I'm home!"

"What the hell!" She yelped as she stared at the screen in bafflement, Loki was on the screen- oh hell. A quick glance at the door was all she spared before she walked over to it, touching the glass as Loki strolled across what was just the news, everything flickering to a much more raunchy scene. "You're ridiculous. Get out here. What if-"

"Relax, Sammy. Big sis is off getting her freaky freak on. Just… Enjoy the show." A snap of her fingers and there were three very attractive men and two women along with a large, extravagant bed in the middle of a tacky looking room. Sam bit her lip before stepping back and sitting on the edge of the bed. "There you go." Loki purred, "Just… Enjoy."

Sam shook her head, shoving those thoughts away. That had been a lifetime ago, literally. She'd died since then. Loki wasn't that person anymore, she was a fractured and broken version of… herself.

A person Sam didn't fully know, but still loved.

How the hell had Loki killed her sister? Loki had never killed without reason, but she definitely had no real reason for killing Raphiel. Not a logical one. Well… Sam bit her lip, thoughts wandering to the rings in her pocket. Maybe one. If Loki knew about the rings, that would be the rawest reason in the world for her to kill Raphiel. Sam dealt in crazy enough to know that Loki was fully capable of anything. Anything at all. Especially if she felt like Lucifer was threatened. Her entire damned world seemed to revolve around her brother and it was more than a little unsettling. Especially since she was in love with the crazy woman.

Blinking back tears, she got to her feet and made her way out of the motel room, reaching into her pocket and rolling the rings between her fingers absently. She wasn't sure, but if she was to guess based on the mention of Death, it had to be the horsemen. She was carrying around three of the horsemen's rings.

I need a drink.

A bit of alcohol wouldn't hurt. Not with the war at a temporary break. Her gaze wandered across the street, looking for anything resembling a bar or liquor store. Much to her relief there was a bar, small and probably reserved for the elderly but good enough for her. With a sigh, she made her way across the street and into the place, it stank of beer and there was a bit of a shady look to it that made her decide to avoid the bathrooms, but for the most part it was fine.

With her mind on her goal, and a bit of anger boiling in her gut when she realized her sister wasn't at this bar, granted it wasn't the type of bar her sister frequented but still. Where in the hell had Deanna gone? Was she with Michelle? Was she saying 'yes' right now? No. Surely Lucifer would know when Michelle had Deanna's consent, if she did he'd probably be with her. Taking an unnecessary breath she sat down at the bar and ordered their strongest drink, ignoring the interested look she got from one of the other patrons.

"Bad day?" The woman asked conversationally and she laughed sharply, shaking her head as the bartender set the drink in front of her.

"You have no idea." Every damned day was a bad day. This one, though? It had been a nightmare. A nightmare wrapped in a burrito with a night terror and the actual devil.

"Well, I'm here to listen." The bartender responded with a smile as she took her drink, downing the whole thing in a single swig and grimacing.

"With all the respect in the world, I'm not going to talk about it."

"Sounds fair." She responded as she refilled her drink before going back down the bar. While she sat there she stupidly thought back on her history with Loki, contemplating all of it. The real parts, the fake parts, all of it, and it hurt her heart just a bit. She loved the psychotic Archangel, but so much of their relationship had been based on lies and secret. She'd poured her heart out to the Archangel. Loki knew more about her than anyone, and in return Loki had manipulated her to high hell.

But still, Loki had told her that she loved her, and if she was certain of anything. That declaration of love? It was true. The truest thing she had ever heard.

"You're thinking hard right now." Lucifer's voice pierced her daze and she whipped her head up, staring at the sight of the Archangel seated next to her with his wings gone…

"You're actually here." She breathed out, blinking several times to make sure she was right- not that it proved anything.

"Nice to see you too, Sammy." He chuckled, turning in his barstool and smirking at her as he faced her completely.

"What- how the hell did you find me?"

"You're still in the same town. You made a rookie mistake, Samantha."

"I didn't have much of a choice." Sam responded bitterly. "Deanna took off."

"Probably to talk to Michelle. I did warn you, you know." Ignoring the Archangel she grabbed her latest glass of whiskey and pushed off of her stool, making her way across the bar to one of the back booths where she slumped into a seat.

"Did you talk to Loki?" Sam asked the Archangel as he inevitably took a seat across from her.

"We had a conversation." The response was evasive, which really didn't comfort her at all. "She kissed me." He admitted with a grimace.

"I'm guessing you didn't enjoy it?" Sam asked blithely, unsure how in the hell she was supposed to respond to that.

"Not at all."

"It's a shame. She's a great kisser." Sam responded with a small laugh. "Really fucking good."

"Well, she's my sister. I'm sure if Deanna came up to you and kissed you you'd be appalled as well."

"I don't know. I've heard some great stories about Deanna." Sam teased boldly, a joke she knew for a fact she'd never had made if it wasn't for the buzz of alcohol.

"Are you okay, Samantha?"

"Can you please call me Sam? I hate being called Samantha." She scowled and he chuckled, nodding as she took another drink from her glass.

"Can you call me Luce then?"

"Luce." She responded, trying the name on her tongue and frowning. "I don't like it."

"Of course you don't. It's too personal."

"No." She responded, lifting her gaze to meet his. "It doesn't sound like you. It sounds… human." At his eyebrow raise she averted her gaze.

"You do understand nicknames are older than humans, right?"

"That's not my point." Sam responded, staring at the table now. "Lucifer, it's exotic, a name fit for the Archangel that brought the sun into alignment. Luce, though? It's… less."

"Have you ever thought that I might want to be less?"

"Do you?"

When she met his gaze again he was smiling, and she knew she'd called it. Lucifer's worst crime had always been pride, arrogance, the same thing that led her to releasing him.

"The Archangel of pride, or so the stories tell. Pride wasn't my sin, though. Love was."

"Love?"

"I loved Mother more than any of them. I refused to bow before humanity. I told Her 'no. These creatures are less. Why should I kneel before them? Why should I bow before something so insignificant? I love you, Mother. You are better than them, better than any of us.'" He chuckled darkly, shaking his head. "I was right too. Not that She agreed. When I refused, She made Michelle throw me from Heaven, and when I proved my point with Cath I was banished to Hell. I was gifted a kingdom for my supposed treachery. Yet, what treason is there in honesty?"

"Your honesty, not Hers."

"Does Her position as God make Her more justified than mine? Would the Earth not be a better place with humanity gone?"

Sam took a breath. "Would we be what we are now if you hadn't meddled in the affairs of humanity at the beginning?"

"Yes. Humanity was corrupt before I ever touched Cath. God created you, but you were flawed at creation. It was never a matter of my actions changing you because you were broken from the start. I simply sped along the inevitable outcome."

"If you truly believed that, why did you interfere?"

"I wanted to show all of the angels the truth."

"Your truth, or Her truth?"

Pausing, the Archangel looked away, staring across the bar. "'There is no absolute truth. There is only your truth.'"

"What?" Sam asked, blinking at the Archangel, who shook his head.

"In the end, there's no truth or lies. There's just who has the better version. They call Her God without knowing her true plans and intentions. They call me Devil without seeing what I actually am. I am Lucifer, Archangel of God. I know God better than any of you could ever hope to and She is a vindictive, selfish cunt. The fact that thousands of you worship Her without acknowledging Her arrogance and pride, that thousands shun me for my pride, it shows the lowest level of human ignorance."

She wasn't sober enough for this conversation, she really wasn't, but she also couldn't bring herself to try to end it. Getting Lucifer's insight on God? How often did anyone get that chance? The answer was simple, they didn't.

"The irony of it all? I think Gabbie may be worse than me. The Messenger of God, The Voice, she's Fallen further than any of us. What she's done? The crimes she's committed? Even I'm unsure if I could ever stoop to that level. Killing Michelle is one thing, a necessary evil, but the things that Gabriella did to Raphiel? During the original war, the war between the Light and Dark, I was the one that was poisoned by Jegudiel. God is the only reason I didn't waste away. Raphiel died in immeasurable agony, and the only thing that could have saved her was God Herself. What Gabriella did to her, I want to hate her for it. It was cruel and vindictive, but I'm self-aware enough to acknowledge that it is my fault, not hers."

"She made that choice."

"You know how unhinged she is, though." Lucifer responded, meeting her gaze again. "You know exactly what condition she is in, what she's capable of, and she wasn't-"

"She was deluded before you broke her." Sam responded. "I don't know if she could've killed Raphiel before, but I do know that she's been on the edge of a psychotic collapse for a long time. She's had a rough life, Lucifer. I don't think you understand how bad it was for her with the Pagans."

"I don't know how to bring myself to care about that time in her life."

"You get past yourself and what you want, because what matters is her and what she wants. That's what love is Lucifer, getting past yourself for the sake of the one you love."

"Is that your definition or the world's definition."

"It's the common definition. Stop deflecting. You've got to stop seeing yourself above her, because that isn't the case. She's fucking beautiful and amazing and she loves you more than anyone ever should and you're a dick for refusing to acknowledge it."

Lucifer gave her a long hard look before looking away. "How can you love her, Samantha? I've read The Winchester Gospels. I know what she put you through."

"How can you not love her? She's yours. You have her in a way that no one else ever will. In a way I'm more than willing to admit I envy. Yet you fucking throw it in her face every damned step of the way."

"She's my sister." Lucifer bit back.

"So what? I'm not telling you to go screw her. I'm telling you to let her love you. Why's that so hard to do?" Honestly, now that she was sitting with him she was babbling. She knew she was. She didn't doubt that she was probably a bit too buzzed to even be talking to him. This whole situation screamed bad idea, but at the same time she needed to get this off her chest because she loved Loki. Despite everything she loved her, and if she could talk Lucifer into treating her better? Well, that was something good that could come from this fucked up situation.

"I can't give her what she wants."

"You can love her. You can give a damn. Have you bothered asking her what the hell's happened over the last thousand years? What the hell has led her to being what she is now?"

Lucifer blinked, staring at her like she'd lost her mind and she groaned in frustration and annoyance.

"Nevermind. It clearly doesn't matter." Then she was getting to her feet and making her way towards the front entrance. "Sam-"

There was the sound of the bartender calling after her, a sound she ignored as she headed out of the bar. They couldn't have this conversation inside and she wasn't thinking clearly enough for it.

Though apparently her body had other plans as she was ducking into the next alleyway, waiting for a solid minute before the devil appeared in front of her in an annoyed flutter of wings. "I am not made of money, Samantha."

"You paid for my drinks?" She asked stupidly, leaning back against the brick wall of the alley and crossing her arms over her chest.

"Yes, I did because getting caught up in human drama is unnecessary when my demons insist on me keeping money on hand. Now, we're going to talk."

In another world she might've pointed out the fact that he just complained about not being made of money, but she refrained in favor of sighing and shaking her head. "About what?" Sam asked with a roll of her eyes. "About me? About you? About Lo? What else is there to say? You fucking know everything apparently. Just-"

"About us." He interrupted, stepping forward and causing her to flinch back a bit.

"I'm not in the mood to be battered into consent. I'm not sober. Leave me alone."

"If you honestly meant that you wouldn't have waited for me. But, a deal- no a promise. I won't try to get your consent while you're drunk. Fair?"

"I-" Well she couldn't really bring herself to disagree with him. He hadn't lied to her yet, not really. At least… "Fine." She sighed. "Though I don't know what the hell 'us' is supposed to mean."

"The secondary side effect of you being you and me being me." He responded with a chuckle, eyes wandering across her form speculatively. "The outcome that we've both known was inevitable from the moment our Spirits touched the first time."

"I don't know what you're talking about." She denied with a narrow of her eyes.

"I thought you lied for a living, Sam." He taunted her and she scowled.

"This conversation isn't fair and you know it."

"True, but if I addressed it any other time you would deny it. I'm going to take advantage where I can, and it's not my fault you decided to take a break on the Apocalypse for a trip to the bar."

"This doesn't have anything to do with the damned Apocalypse. This is about your bullshit ego."

"You're avoiding the topic."

"I don't care. This is not-"

"I'm going to kiss you." He interrupted and her breath caught in her throat as she stared up at him. There was a challenging look in his eyes, and she knew damned well what his point was here.

Yeah, she could tell him to fuck off, move out of the way. All of those things were completely possible potential outcomes. She knew they were. Yet, she couldn't make herself do any of them. Her mind wandered back to the apartment, that single kiss.

She knew better. It wasn't just a bad idea, it was a stupid one. It was a nightmarishly stupid idea. Yet, she did it anyways. Rather than telling him to fuck off, or moving, she stood there and held his gaze. If she didn't say anything, it wasn't like she was agreeing- right?

At least that was the theory. The moment Lucifer pieced together that yes, she wasn't going to try to stab him, he stepped into her personal space- pointedly not touching her as he put his hands on each side of her head. Her breathing was jagged as he leaned forward, giving her way too much time to back out- yet she didn't. She wasn't selling her Spirit, she was agreeing to a kiss. That was fine- right?

All her doubts and nerves dissipated the moment he pressed his lips against hers, gentle at first and nothing like what she wanted, because what the hell was she thinking when she said she didn't want this? Her entire being soared and her willpower was zapped as she grabbed his shoulders and tugged him closer, groaning as he deepened the kiss, finally touching her. Gripping her hips and tugging her closer to him, pressing her back against the wall and God this was hauntingly familiar. It had been years but- Jesus. This was exactly the position she'd been in with Loki their first time. She wanted to care. She wanted it to matter, but it really didn't. This was something… beyond.

It was otherworldly, it wasn't really about the kiss -though the feel of his pressing her up against the wall in a setting that wasn't in the least bit practical was fucking amazing-. It was the feel of oneness. The embrace of him, of his Spirit, wrapping around hers -something she almost never felt- and pressing close. Two halves of a whole.

It was dangerous. Oh, hell was it dangerous. It was so stupidly dangerous. It was everything that couldn't be because- oh hell, why did it matter? If she could move past this, if she could just-

Shitshitshit.

"No!" She gasped out suddenly, shoving against the Archangel's chest with all her strength and causing him to pull back. The look on his face was shocked, lost, and more than a bit irritated. Not that she blamed him. That 'no', it was the most difficult word she had ever spoken. Because the brutal, honest truth was she didn't want to stop. What she wanted was to say the word, the word that would end the world, and she couldn't bring herself to remember why it mattered.

"Sam-"

"Go. Oh, God, Lucifer… you have to go."

"I-"

"Leave!" She ordered him before the wrong word left her lips, because holy hell. All she wanted in that moment was to give in, to gain that final bit of complete.

"We're going to talk about this later." He warned her with a flare of his now distinctly visible wings, hurt clouding his expression before he disappeared in a flutter of feathers. A low pained sound escaped her lips as she slid down the wall of the alley, tears burning in the corners of her eyes as she fought back a wave of nausea.

She'd just had the most intimate moment of her life and she couldn't make herself care who it was. It didn't matter that it was Lucifer because he was her. Maybe not directly but there was an age-old connection there. Something rawer, purer, than anything that anyone else could give her. All it would take was one word. A single word and she could be with him, forever.

The only thing it would cost would be the world.

How selfish could she be? How far could she go? No. A sob slipped past her lips as she reached into her pocket, pulling out the rings and staring in shock at the sight of the fourth one there. The fourth ring. Lucifer.

It was either a promise, a threat, or a challenge. None of which she was anywhere near ready for.

.-~*~-.

Sam took a deep breath as she walked back down the street, running her hand across her neck where there was the residual hickie from her and Loki's last time together as well as a newer one that was tender when did that happen?

Both of them. God help her she'd been marked by both the damned Archangels and she didn't have a mirror to check it to see how prominent it was. Did it really matter, though? God knew where Deanna was at this point but she probably wasn't coming back. She was probably off with Michelle talking up her terms and conditions for consent. Michelle wants him dead.

"I'm fucked." She told the air as she stepped into the parking lot at the motel, spotting the Impala parked outside their room. She didn't have long hair anymore, her shirt wasn't going to cover the bullshit possessive mark the damned devil had left on her neck.

Swallowing heavily she pressed forward, walking across the parking lot and pausing outside the motel room for a moment before pressing her key into the lock and slipping inside.

For all intents and purposes, and for everything she'd been through, the sight before her was one of her least favorite. One that she'd been subjected to countless times in her life and had her slamming the door shut before she fully registered the sight, because the whimpered "Cass!" that resounded was more than enough to tell her exactly what she'd stepped in on and damn it.

What in the ever-living hell? Lucifer had said they were lifemates. It didn't make a damn bit of sense that- on second thought, it did. Using her own current position with Loki and Lucifer… okay, yes. It made sense but damn it. In the motel room? Was that necessary?

With three loud knocks on the door she waited until she heard the scurrying of movement on the other side, the muffled voices of panic, and she knew her sister well enough to count it down mentally for thirty seconds before she reopened the door, her sister and the angel having managed to get half decent in the short span of time and both having the decency to look ashamed.

"Really, Deanna? Makeup sex? Isn't she fucking the enemy?" Sam asked bitterly and Deanna narrowed her eyes.

"Sorry, Sam. Didn't realize you'd gotten off the me and Cass train so quick."

Taking a deep breath, she averted her gaze and took the seat next to the door. "Hey, Cass."

"Hello, Sam." Castiel responded uneasily.

"So what'd I miss? Because apparently I missed whatever led up to the makeup sex."

"I made a deal with Michelle." Deanna responded. "She'll back off and leave us alone until we've got a solid lead on Lucifer. If we need her help, she'll step in."

The rings burned in her pocket and while she should've taken them out and shown them to her sister… Something was off.

"Watch your sister."

Sam's gaze flitted across Deanna for a moment, the way Castiel was standing- not next to but just to the right of her, flanking her.

Lucifer. She prayed silently as she got to her feet, tugging three of the rings from her pocket and holding them out in the palm of her hand.

"What are those?" Deanna asked as something pressed urgently at the back of her mind.

'Sam, that's not your sister.'

"Raphiel gave them to me." Sam responded, forcing herself to remain calm, to relax. She could do this. She knew she could. She just needed to… breathe.

"What're they?" Not-Deanna asked, stepping around the bed and crossing the remaining distance between them with a curious look on her face. Almost, but not quite.

"If we get the fourth one from Death, we can use it to open The Cage." She responded, fighting back a wave of panic as the other woman got within striking distance.

'Sam.'

Blade.

"Let me see them." Deanna grabbed for the rings in her hand and she grabbed her sister's hand, tugging her forward as Lucifer's Archangel blade materialized in her own hand.

Then her sister was screaming, light and energy bleeding through the room in a raw explosion of power. Cass cried out from the background but she didn't care, staring at her sister's horror-stricken face as she fell back on the floor, Archangel blade protruding from her chest and smoky marks lining the room around them where Michelle's wings had etched themselves into the walls, beds, and floors.

"What did you do!"

"She was possessed." Sam responded quietly as she dropped down to her knees, touching her sister's face with tears in her eyes.

"I- Sam!" Cass yelped as two sets of wings fluttered in the room.

"Take her, Gabbie." Lucifer's voice resounded softly as Sam tugged the blade from her sister's heart, tears streaming down her cheeks as blood streaked across the crappy motel floor. I killed her. "She betrayed the sisters. I want her gone."

Michelle was dead, Deanna was dead, and Lucifer was there. Behind her. A foot away at least. He was so close.

"I killed Deanna."

"You killed Michelle." Lucifer responded quietly, kneeling next to her as a choked sound slipped past her lips. "She was going to kill you."

"I-" Tears slipped down her cheeks as she dropped the blade to the side, grabbing at the flannel shirt on her sister's corpse and tugging it carefully, struggling to remove it in probably an action that would be scene as clinical but… She couldn't make herself care in the least. "I shouldn't have."

"You had to." Lucifer breathed as he helped her perform one of the most twisted actions she ever had.

"I didn't- I could have-"

"Deanna chose this. Your sister chose Michelle."

"It had to be… manipulation. Deanna wouldn't have…" Except Sam knew better. God she'd been so stupid. With uncomfortable movement she let Lucifer help her strip her own shirt off, replacing it with Deanna's blood soaked, holey one to button up. "I'm sorry. I should've tried harder to stop you." She whispered softly, staring at her sister as she leaned into Lucifer's side. "God, I'm sorry."

"It wasn't your fault."

Except it was. It really was her fault. All of this…

"Help me burn her?" Sam asked hopefully, never lifting her gaze to look at the devil.

"Let me help you." He responded, pressing a kiss to her temple. "Come on, Sammy. We can end this all together."

It was stupid, it was the most irrational choice on the planet but…

Without Deanna… What was she anymore? Hunting was something she did because of Deanna, and Deanna was gone.

There was nothing left to fight for. Humanity had shunned her, time and time again. With a shaky breath she finally lifted her gaze to Lucifer's, letting his compassionate and sympathetic look meet hers. "Yes." She breathed as he cupped her cheek, tugging her into a gentle kiss that lit up her nervous system, as she became them. The ones who would wipe the world out.

Chapter Text

Over the span of the many years since Sam’s ‘yes’ things had changed drastically in their world. Lucifer’s reign was a bloody one. One that Gabriella was aware she was responsible for. If she had made a single different choice, things may have gone differently. Gabriella was willing to admit her own faults. The first being that she was in love with her brother, the last being that she had been in love with Samantha Winchester.

That was the difficult part of the entire ordeal, admitting that key statement. Had been.

The problem now was simple, the Sam she knew, the one she had fallen for. The strong and loving hunter. She was long gone. Though she was loathe to admit it, both her and Lucifer had destroyed that woman. It had begun the day she had stumbled into Samantha Winchester, and it had ended the moment Sam drove Lucifer’s blade into her sister’s chest.

That was the moment it all changed. Gabriella was well aware that Sam’s feelings stood strong, that Lucifer’s split feelings were vibrant and pure. They weren’t the problem.

She was.

Gabriella wanted her Sam back. The Hunter that fought through hundreds of Tuesdays to save her sister, the Hunter that fixed her mistakes, not the woman that surrendered to Lucifer’s plan to destroy humanity. A woman that committed a mass genocide of all the monsters on Earth. The new Sam was weak, and she was broken. The Sam Lucifer possessed was a fraction of who Gabriella met. Worst of all? All of that fell back on her, on Mystery Spot. That single incident had psychologically scarred Samantha Winchester beyond repair. An action that there was no coming back from.

Not that it mattered anymore, if it had before. Too much time had passed with Sam and Lucifer as one. There was no going back from this. Sam was… lost, and Lucifer had his wish.

“Not how you expected things to happen, is it?” Gabriella spun around, staring in awe at the sight of her Mother before realizing what she was doing and dropping to her knees, bowing her head.

“Mother, please-” Why was she begging? God had abandoned them and-

“I am not your Mother.” The woman interrupted and Gabriella’s breath caught.

“Life.” If Life was here, it meant nothing good for anyone involved. Life was a passive entity, a creature that only involved herself when matching two creatures as lifemates, and they had destroyed a large portion of the life in their reality. Not just on Earth but on some of the planets in the other galaxies lining the infinitely large universe. Other planets that ultimately, their dear loving arrogant Mother, had abandoned as well.

“Not human, but not animal.” As Lucifer had put it.

“Better.” The deity responded, crossing her arms over her chest. “Are you proud of yourself, Gabriella?”

Gabriella licked her lips and rose to her feet, spreading her wings behind her. “Yes.”

“Yet, you regret it.”

“No.” Gabriella lied pointlessly. “I don’t regret all of it.”

“I’m not in the mood for games, Gabriella. You and your brother single handedly destroyed a massive portion of your reality’s Spirits. Not just the humans but the monsters too.”

“I didn’t see you stepping in to stop us.” Not a single one of the Primordial beings had tried to stop them. Well, Death had been bound until after Michelle died but… that wasn’t the point. Death was released after Michelle and that was done. He had left.

“If we stepped in to fix every measly problem you and your family caused you would never learn from your mistakes.” Life’s response was condescending and bitter. Really, she should have stopped but she couldn’t make herself hear this from the deity. Not after everything that had happened, all of what she had given up.

“You overestimate us, Life.” Gabriella responded, making herself hold the woman’s gaze despite the fear twisting in her gut. Yes, this was Life, but Lucifer had also bound Death and it wasn’t a secret that the two of them loved to hate each other.

“You will always learn, Gabriella. It is just a matter of when as well as the consequences that follow.”

“What I did for Lucifer will never be a mistake.” Gabriella told Life. Confident. Maybe arrogant. An eternal anger boiling deep within her.

“What about what you did to Samantha Winchester?” Gabriella didn’t answer, sealing her lips together, refusing to answer that because it didn’t matter anymore. “I gave her to you, wrapped her up with a bow. She was My gift to you. What did you do, though? You psychologically tortured her, you broke her heart and used the pieces to give your sadist of a brother what he wanted. All for a bratty childish crush. I know you were once a good person, Gabriella. At your core, you always are.”

“Says you?” Gabriella scowled at the deity, crossing her arms over her chest and glaring with defiance.

“Says your Spirit. When was the last time you looked at it?”

“My Spirit-”

“If you are arrogant enough to think your Spirit is unharmed then you really are lost, Gabriella. You are a lot of things, but I would never place pride on that list.”

“What would you put on that list?” Gabriella asked as she prodded at her Spirit silently, feeling it perk up within her just a bit. Silently she felt around the edges of it, unable to stop the flinch when she recognized its pain, grief.

It wasn’t supposed to be like that.

“A lot of things. Things you will never understand. You love intensely.”

“Why are you here now?”

“We didn’t expect your brother to win. Death and I were… astounded.”

“Death was surprised by death?” Gabriella asked dryly as she continued to inspect the damage to her Spirit. It was perking up under her acknowledgement, when was the last time she’d acknowledged its existence?

“I want you to return to your brother and drive your blade through his back. Kill your brother and Samantha will live.”

Gabriella laughed. Deep and hearty. Her hands came down to grab her stomach as she laughed at Life’s order. Like she actually thought Gabriella would ever do it.

“I am serious, Gabriella.”

“I know- I do. That’s why it’s so fucking funny. You think I’ll just turn on him? Just like that? After every god damned thing I’ve done! Fuck you! I’ve gone through hell and back for him! I’ve killed countless for him! If you think I would ever turn my back on him you’re living in some sort of fantasy world.”

“You need to fix this mess. It’s your mess, Gabriella. It was you that allowed all of this to happen.”

“I’m not killing my brother.” Life sighed heavily, sitting on the ground lazily and pressing her palms into the dirt.

“You have to, Gabriella. Either you will do it, or someone else will.”

No one will touch Lucifer.” Gabriella responded, flaring her wings aggressively and baring her teeth. “Michelle and Raphiel are dead, it’s over. He’s safe.

“It’s never over, Gabriella. It would do you wonders to remember. One of these days. It may take a hundred, even a thousand years, but sooner or later your Hunter will remember herself. Sooner or later she will see Lucifer as the Archangel that destroyed humanity. She will remember Deanna’s blood on her hands and she will weep. When this day comes, and it will, she won’t blame you, she won’t blame Lucifer, she will blame herself. And it will break your heart. You may love your brother enough to destroy humanity, but you love Samantha enough to destroy yourself.”

“You know nothing.” Gabriella breathed, stepping back as Life’s words sunk in, weighing heavy on her heart. Was the deity right? Was Gabriella so deep in it that she would willingly throw away everything she had done for her brother to make Sam happy?

“I know a lot. Either you will kill Lucifer or someone else will. He may have won here, but his life is far from safe.”

“No.”

“I’m sorry, Gabriella.”

No!” Gabriella cried suddenly as a thousand emotions flooded through her, clouding her Spirit and causing her to spread her wings in a panic. Then she was launching herself upward, soaring through the skies until she found the abandoned Gates of Heaven.

No.

She flew through Heaven until, at last, she found The Garden.

Please.

“Gabriella.” Joshea greeted cautiously. Wings folded carefully against her back.

“You’re still here.” She almost laughed, only almost. If any of the angels would’ve stayed in Heaven, would’ve defied the orders from not one but two Archangels and held true to God’s Word, it would have been Joshea. The last angel to ever speak to God.

“It is where I belong. Where She ordered me to be. I have never defied her, and even Lucifer and you cannot change that.”

“Where is She?” Gabriella demanded, crossing the short space and flaring her wings. Threatening the final angel in Heaven. Prepared to kill for an answer.

“You don’t want the answer to that question.” Sympathy, sadness, and a thousand other emotions clouded Joshea’s expression in a moment, flowed through her Spirit, and it burned at Gabriella, igniting an emotion she refused to accept.

“Answer the question or I will kill you, Joshea.” Gabriella responded venomously and Joshea flinched back, bowing her wings and head submissively. Eyes never leaving hers.

The younger angel stared at her for several long moments, a sadness burning deep in her eyes, prominently shining through her Spirit. “Mother is dead, Gabriella.”

No. That wasn’t possible. God couldn’t die, it wasn’t possible. Death, Life, Light, and Dark were immortal.

God couldn’t die. Yet when Gabriella opened her mouth to voice those thoughts what instead came out was a choked sound.

Mom.” She breathed, because she knew. It was a horrible, terrible feeling. That moment between blissful denial and the undeniable truth. They knew. All of them knew. It had been an inescapable fact for years.

“I am sorry, Gabriella.”

Gabriella shuddered slightly when Joshea touched her shoulders, at the delicate touch of the other angel’s Spirit.

No.

“She was alive, on Earth, until The Apocalypse.”

“No.” Gabriella whispered, shaking her head rapidly, longing to tear away from the contact but frozen in place.

“When Samantha and Deanna Winchester were born, She chose to go to Earth, to experience humanity one final time. Whether Michelle or Lucifer won, Mother would follow humanity.”

“As part of them.” Gabriella choked out and Joshea nodded solemnly, expression pained.

“Her Spirit and Her came to an agreement and they chose that no matter the outcome, The Apocalypse was the end for them. They drained Her Spirit until all that remained was the human levels of energy.”

“God was human.” Gabriella laughed out, a twisted broken laugh that caused Joshea to flinch away.

Oh, the irony. Oh, the sick twisted irony.

Fucking hell.

“We killed her. We killed Mom. What the fuck, Joshea!” Gabriella cried, shoving her sister backwards and flaring her dark gray wings behind her. “You could’ve told someone, anyone, and instead-”

“I couldn’t.” Joshea said quietly, bowing submissively. Despite the submissive stance, her eyes and Spirit both radiated raw defiance. “Neither of you would have listened, would have believed that Mother was hiding in plain sight.”

“Who?” Plain sight. A front row seat to the Apocalypse. It had to be someone close to the middle of it all.

“Charlie Shurley.” Joshea admitted and a cry of pain escaped Gabriella’s lips, unshielded, unguarded, broken.

Charlie Shurley.

The prophet.

One of the humans she had single handedly killed.

No.

“You’re lying.” Gabriella whispered, because no. It couldn’t be true.

“I wish I was.” It was a lie. It had to be.

There was no way God had done that. God was dead, Gabriella believed that. But there was no way Gabriella had killed her. It was impossible.

“Gabbie!” Joshea cried as Gabriella manifested her blade and drove it into her sister in a single fluid motion.

Gone. Light dying around her as her spirit faded into nothing.

“Gabriella.” A familiar voice chimed, concern heavy in the word.

“I did it, Luce. I did it.”

“We couldn’t have known she chose to be the scum. You can’t blame yourself. You can’t.”

“I killed her.” Gabriella jerked away from Lucifer, jumping back with blade in hand. “I killed Mom. I killed Sam.”

“Sam’s here. Put your weapon down.”

“I’ll kill you too. I’ll destroy you. It’s all I ever do.” A tear fell down her cheek, dropping to the ground. A soft splash in the hollow space of Heaven.

“You won’t, Gabbie. We’ll make a better world now. We’ve taken them out.”

“At what cost, Luce? What has our reign cost us? Mother is dead. Our brothers and sisters are dead or worse. We are alone.”

“Not alone. We’re together, Gabbie. The three of us. And we’ll reign over a new world a better world. A world without Mother. Without the corrupt little worms she loved so much. It’s our turn. And we’ll do it right.”

Gabriella’s mind flicked through all of the possible negative outcomes. Everything that could go horribly, terribly wrong. Swallowing, she turned her blade in hand. Gaze firmly set on the weapon as she offered the hilt to Lucifer. He took the offering, sheathed it into a pocket with a flick of his wrist.

“Together.” She breathed, kneeling to the ground. Gaze raising to meet Lucifer’s. “The three of us.”

“Yes.” He touched the top of her head. They could do this. He would live. He would be safe.