When the group landed at Gabriel’s hideaway, Sam collapsed on to the floor, sighing in relief. Lucifer’s spell had weakened his grace exponentially. His chest was still burning with the heat of a thousand suns, so he looked down to see what his brother did.
The symbol stretched from shoulder to shoulder and went down to just above his belly button. The bleeding had thankfully stopped, but there was dried blood all over his torso.
“Great.” Sam mumbled. “Just great.”
“I think it gives you some character.” Gabriel chimed in. Sam glared at him.
“So what do we do now?” Castiel asked.
“Unfortunately, we can’t do anything until we figure out what this symbol actually does.” Sam winced as he spoke.
“Can’t we just slash through it to cancel out the effects?” Dean asked. He walked over and knelt beside his brother. “It looks like it could work.”
Gabriel followed suit and knelt on the opposite side of Sam from Dean. “No can do, Deano. That symbol was carved into Sam’s grace, meaning it can’t be removed or messed with.”
Castiel looked away. He couldn’t stand seeing his archangel in so much pain, especially when it was caused by his own big brother.
“Cas.” Castiel was startled by Sam’s voice. He looked back to find Sam reaching out with his grace to comfort him.
“Sam, you don’t have to comfort me. You’re the one that’s in pain.” Castiel lamented.
Sam smiled weakly. “Don’t worry about me.”
“Enough with the foreplay. In case you haven’t noticed, we still have a bit of a problem.” Gabriel butted in. “If we don’t find a way to get rid of this mark, we’ll be twice as doomed. Lucifer having the power of two archangels will be enough to destroy us all.”
“How are we supposed to do that?” Dean asked warily.
“We’ll need to do research. I’ve got contacts in Heaven who can get into the archives to find out what the symbol is. Then we can figure it out from there.” Gabriel stated.
“And what are the rest of us supposed to do in the meantime?” asked Dean.
“Stay low and out of Lucifer’s sight. If we can keep Sam from him, he can’t use Sam against us.” Gabriel spread his wings out. “I’ll be back as soon as I can.” Then he disappeared.
As soon as he left, Dean let his body collapse on the couch. “Well, this is just great.”
Cas squinted. “I fail to see how any of this is great, Dean.”
“That’s not what I- you know what? Never mind, Cas.” Dean closed his eyes.
“Cas, can I speak to you in private?” Sam interrupted. He began to push himself off the ground while the seraph ran over to help his mate. Sam gave Dean a pointed look and the hunter huffed before pushing off the couch and storming out of the room.
“Anything for you, Sam.” Castiel knelt by the archangel. “Tell me what you need.”
“When the time comes, I need you to watch over Dean.” Sam reached out for Castiel’s wrist and the seraph placed it in the other angel’s hand.
Castiel sat back on his heels. “Sam, what are you saying?”
“I’m saying we need to be prepared. Lucifer is definitely going to take advantage of this binding mark. You may have to kill me if it comes down to it.”
Castiel ripped his wrist out of Sam’s hand. “No. I won’t allow this. We can’t lose you, Sam. I can’t lose you again. We will save you.”
“Castiel, we may not have a choice. If Lucifer gets my power, he’ll be virtually unstoppable and cause so much destruction. We may even have to keep Dean safe so that Michael could have the advantage over Lucifer.”
Castiel stood up. “No.”
“Cas.” Sam pushed himself up into a sitting position.
“No, Sam. It’s too dangerous.” Castiel turned around and began to make his way out of the room.
Sam forced himself to push himself onto his knees and stood up. “Wait, Cas!”
The seraph was too upset to slow down. Sam stood there watching his seraph walk away.
Lucifer wanted to giggle. He couldn’t have imagined the apocalypse going this well while he was locked away in the Cage. Sure, his true vessel might have turned out to be a bust, but having his youngest brother under his control made up for it. He had truly missed Samael, but he knew that the archangel wouldn’t support his quest for chaos, and so he had to bind his grace.
A hint of guilt flashed through Lucifer’s grace, but it disappeared just as quickly as it came. Lucifer had no time to deal with such a human emotion. He needed to focus on how to defeat his big brother.
“Dagon, how are the Horsemen doing so far?” Lucifer asked his prince.
The yellow-eyed demon looked up from where she was torturing a newly arrived soul. “Unfortunately, War is out of commission. Pestilence and Famine are on track to finish their end of the deal, and no demon has heard from Death yet.”
Lucifer tapped his finger against his lip. “Thankfully, War is not a necessary part in my revised plan. We’ve had a new player enter the field. My little brother, Samael, has come out of hiding. Somehow, when he left Heaven, he was born into my true vessel. This makes things a little complicated regarding my vessel, but I’ve figured out a new plan. Contact Famine. I need to have a word with him.”
Lucifer turned with an evil smirk on his face. This was going to be his greatest idea yet.
Sam pinched his nose and closed his eyes. He didn’t want to hurt his angel, but what he told Castiel was the truth.
He began to follow the angel when he felt a sudden, strange pang in his stomach. He stopped and looked down towards his chest, but the sigil wasn’t glowing. He started walking again when the pang hit him much harder.
He couldn’t figure out what was going on until he noticed a demon standing just outside the wards Gabriel had set up. Then it hit him.
Lucifer was dragging him out of hiding by using Famine.
He turned towards the back of the house and said, “Guys, we have a problem.”