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The Devil's in the Details

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    PROLOGUE
Being caged like a rabid, baby-eating pitbull for millennia tends to weigh on a person – or an archangel, in this case.
    
Days spent watching His creations through the looking glass, rattling the bars uproariously at each and every fumbling mistake they made, seething in silence while trying to understand their appeal. What made them perfect to Him? Why would He cast him aside in favour of such foolish and violent creatures? Many questions he pondered aloud throughout the ages; the abyss providing no answers, as per usual.
    
The creation of the soul was something to marvel over, he must admit; grace could never compare to the presence, the personality of the soul. They shone so brightly, like lively stars all wrapped up in fragile and fleshy prisons. Sometimes, he could almost understand the appeal; though he quickly squashed those thoughts whenever they dare appear, unable to bring himself to even consider a change of heart. What is this, a knock-off Disney movie?
    
It was rare he took the time to pay the unfortunate ones in his domain any mind. They were damaged goods, after all; tainted by their own humanity and destined to be born again, but not in a fun way. Demons were nothing more than glorified storm clouds, draping themselves in wickedness and malevolence because anything but would be too ‘human’. He was amazed really, how something so breathtaking, so wondrous could be twisted so easily.
    
It was a surprise then, when one of these corrupted souls managed to capture his attention. He absolutely thrived on gossip, drinking it up like lifeblood in his long, tedious days of captivity. It was a real shame no one was mouthy enough to pay him a visit.
    
Learning about the so-called Righteous Man's fall took longer than he would have liked, though he could only to so much within the cage. The story of the Winchesters was an interesting one, to say the least; a family-fuelled tale filled with death, betrayal and unwavering loyalty. He could relate, go figure – the big man was a writer, after all, always pandering to His niche audience.

Everything was going to plan, his brothers and sisters would likely make sure of it. He shouldn't care, nor did he when he gave Azazel direction all those years ago, but now? His desperation for freedom, to walk the earth and raise hell seemed childish. Why not aim bigger

Derailing fate itself was rather ballsy, especially considering the track record of the Winchesters, but who better than the devil to try it?

It took all of his power to reach out, to practically raise the dead from within God's ye old cockblock of a cage. He felt burned out, like a melted candle wick, though satisfied his efforts were enough.

And they were.

Maybe a bit too enough.


How long had it been?

Screaming himself hoarse as the demon (Alistair, the bastard so politely introduced as he cut into him like a Porterhouse) tore into him day after day, begging and pleading and crying out pathetically for someone, anyone at all to help him despite having no one else to blame but himself for his current state.

Dean wished he could say he remained strong, didn't let the constant torment and abuse of his body or soul or whatever the fuck he was now; he wasn't, he was a reckless dumbass that couldn't bear to let his brother suffer the same fate. Even now, when his skin was barely hanging on by a thread, or more aptly, muscle tissue, and his limbs had long since been cast aside to use as meaty chewtoys for the hounds, he couldn't help but think of that hippie-haired dork. When he was slipping away, bound for another round in a freshly cooked up and specially made meatsuit, he wondered if Sam was alright; maybe he's happy now with a white picket fence and a shiny, new law degree and all, or maybe he's exactly where he is, suffering for eternity – figuratively or literally, it made his stomach churn.

The cycle never changed, it never needed to – any new torture method hurt like hell, same as the rest. Dean never got used to it. After years of hunting, gaining scars and broken bones like trophies, he thought it'd be no big whoop. He'd seen it in the movies; a little teeth-pulling, finger breaking, nothing he couldn't handle. Clearly, he was wrong.

Another day, same happenings with the same question put forward at the end. And every damned day, he would give the same answer and spit at his ugly mug. 

It was no different, until it was.

An ear-piercing screech cut through the sound of his own screams, not that he could even attempt to cover his while chained. Dean surmised it was something new they were trying, but judging by how even they recoiled and smoked out (as if they had somewhere to be), they must've bought from the wrong catalogue.

It kept getting louder and louder, until it felt as if the sound were coming from directly beside his ears, the blood clogging and drying inside them doing nothing to muffle or lessen the noise. His eyes were scrunched closed, face screwed up in a pained expression of irritation, feeling like his head was going to explode at any minute – and then it stopped, only to be replaced by a blinding light. Then, nothingness.

The next time he heard that sound was in a gas station in Pontiac, Illinois after freeing himself from his own grave. Shards of glass crunched beneath his boots as Dean picked himself up off the ground, eyebrows furrowed tightly, wary and vigilant as he should be. He shouldn't be here, he was dead. Christ, he was in Hell just a few hours ago, for crying out loud!

Dean let out the breath he didn't even realise he was holding, stance relaxing ever so slightly as he realised nothing was currently trying to kill or attack him. It was only in that moment of semi-calm that he noticed the dull throbbing on his arm. Downing another half of a water bottle, he hesitantly ventured to the mirror again where he'd checked for hellhound scars that somehow weren't there. He lifted up his sleeve, frowning as it revealed some sort of symbol he didn't recognise that looked like it had been seared into his skin, like a brand. “The hell .. ?” The hell, indeed.

Dean Winchester is saved, ahead of schedule and by the wrong angel.

Chapter Text

    CHAPTER ONE 

The angels were expectedly furious, confused but furious nonetheless. Whispers started to arise around the possibilities; it could of been divine intervention, it could of been demonic happenstance, this and that to explain away their miscalculation.

What they hadn't accounted for in their incredibly naive theories was a disgraced archangel with a bone to pick, evidently.

They had to put Michael's Sword, the Righteous Man, back in the pit to set things straight and they would do it without fail, lest they keep stalling their brothers revival and death for any longer. 


Had he finally lost the plot? In his tiresome years of solitary confinement, had he finally succumb to madness and delusion or was he truly roaming the Earth freely? ‘Time would tell,’ he supposed.

Finding a vessel was the first hurdle, one he passed with flying colours. “I'm an angel,” he had said, soft and comforting, donning the man's late wife as a catalyst for his own agenda.

“An angel .. ?”

Hook, line and sinker.

“My name is Lucifer,”

Well, almost.

“Sure, naturally, um ..” The man, Nick, nodded slowly, expression falling as he processed what was just said to him, “Could you do me a favour there, uh, Satan and remind me to quit drinking before I go to bed?”

A meatsuit with a sense of humour; how adorable. It had been so long since he'd last held a conversation with anyone, it was almost nice wasting time away chatting like so – he didn't have that time to lose, though, so getting straight to the brass tacks of things was all he could do, unless he wanted the angels find him first. Weak, vulnerable and vesselless. “I'm here because you're special, Nick. There are very few people like you.”

“If it's all the same to you, I'd like to wake up now, thanks –”

Please, listen. I .. need your help.”

There was a long, period of silence. It made him antsy; if he had a physical stomach, it'd likely be doing backflips right about now. The archangel had stooped so low as to ask the very beings he despised for help, like this man would even understand the significance. He was reaching, he knew he was, but what other choice did he have?

After speaking his peace, or promise of it, he waited. Patient and expectant, though he was anything but, until finally, Nick broke the quiet with a sharp exhale. His tired, blue eyes looking to him as if he were some poor mutt on the side of the road, in need of a little mercy. It may be true, but it offended him still.

“.. What would you need me to do?”


“A what?”

Dean yanked the book out of Sam's hands, eyes darting across the page in disbelief while the other looked on with equal amounts of confusion. “It's called a ‘Devil's Trident’. It's a major warding symbol for the most part, and it's also heavily associated with the –”

“If you say Devil, so help me God.“ Dean gave him a pointed look with raised brows, jabbing his finger towards him, legitimately exasperated at the idea.

“I'm just saying, Dean, what if ..”

“‘What if’ what, Sammy? What if the freaking Devil busted me outta hell? Nuh uh.” He took a swig of his beer and settled back on the couch like a lazy house cat. Sam sighed, continuing to leaf through the book like they'd done this routine a million times, which they likely have.

They had taken up lodgings with Bobby in the dingy motel Sam had been staying in after their emotional reunion, both deciding they needed to focus on finding who or what smuggled his ass out of hell. And no, Dean would not be accepting Satan as a viable answer anytime soon.

“You boys dig up anything?” Bobby asked, nursing his own brew with a stony expression, which prompted Sam to blabber on about his findings and then for both of them to cast shared looks of concern towards him. 

“Alright, quit lookin' at me like I'm a damn death row inmate. Whatever it is, we can handle it; always have. Bobby, d'you find anything?”

The older man huffed and pursed his lips at his stubborn denial, as if it were so hard to believe things like angels and the Devil existed, but still gruffly replied, “Yeah, got a friend few hours down the road from here, a psychic. Figured she was our best bet in finding out what the hell we're dealing with.”

“What're we waiting for then, huh? Let's hit the road.” Chipper for a man whose literally gone to hell and back.


After a long car ride, brief minutes of uncharacteristically lighthearted chit chat and some inappropriate insinuations later, they were finally there. Pamela was all beauty and smiles, but she knew her way around a seance; this wasn't her first rodeo and probably wouldn't be the last, either. Jesse didn't know what he was missing, obviously.

The ravenette instructed them all to join hands after throwing a sigil-marked cloth over the table. Dean visibly hesitated when she asked for something their mystery monster had touched and reluctantly shed his flannel, rolling up his shirt sleeve to reveal the mark branded across his upper arm. It was an ugly, raised and scar pink trident with an x and a line through it; he could feel Sam and Bobby's pitying looks on him as the woman placed her hand over it, but he didn't return their gaze. 

“I invoke, conjure and command you; appear unto me before this circle.”

Pamela repeated sternly, seemingly at thin air. Dean couldn't help but peek, looking at the others then around the room with disbelief as nothing happened.

And then the TV flickered to life, static clouding the screen and a sharp but low pitched sound filled the room. He could feel the room shaking beneath them, barely noticing when her expression changed from determined to complete mortification within seconds, then to something steely that didn't quite fit her personality.

Lucifer? Please, I'm not buying it, buddy. I conjure and command you, show me your face!” Her voice gave off no indication of the dread that filled the room. 

Sam's face was pale, etched with unsettlement he hadn't witnessed since the yellow-eyes made a fiery appearance back in their lives as he repeated the name back to her. “Lucifer?”

“Yes. It's whispering to me, telling me to turn back but I don't scare that easy.” She continued chanting with her eyebrows furrowed together in concentration. The room was rumbling violently now, the sound deafening and the temperature dropping severely.

“Maybe we should stop –”

“I've almost got it! Show me your face, show me your face now!”

All the candles were simultaneously put out, replaced by a familiar blinding light that sent all of them in a scramble to cover there eyes and get down. An unintended guest to their little unveiling party. Guess who?

Chapter Text

    CHAPTER TWO 
Contrary to popular belief, the devil doesn't run hot like hellfire. Spending so many years tucked away in the celestial time-out corner, alone in every sense of the word, had snuffed out the very flame God himself looked upon with such fondness. Cold, shadowy and foreboding; all accurate descriptors for his ever looming presence.

Lucifer wasn't optimistic he'd ever find that same spark again, the one he'd had so long ago, back in the glory days of the dawn of creation. He always resided in self-pity as that was all he ever had to comfort him, which now, was a suffocating safety blanket that enveloped him wholly as he hid himself from the world again. 

Every precautionary measure that could be taken, he took without care for his wounded pride – wardings, banishing sigils, hex bags, anything that he could get his hands on without alerting the upstairs (and downstairs, for that matter) neighbours. Occassionally, a due-diligent aqquaintance of his dear vessel would fly by said precautions, offering support and sympathies that the archangel wanted to cringe away from. Playing nice wasn't his forte, but he would have to learn quick if he wanted to keep his status as a free man.

Prison cells are eons more depressing than the cage would ever be; they don't even get cable!

Lucifer had been boredly flipping through an old copy of Busty Asian Beauties, legs propped up by a box full of stuffed animals and building blocks, when he felt the pull of someone calling for him. He dropped the magazine in his lap with a huff, annoyed and on edge. He had expected that he would have to deal with his missing passenger and their obsessive need for answers sometime, but he figured he'd at least get a bit of a vacation before hand.

The Righteous Man's soul was flickering bright with crumbling defiance when he found it amongst the chains. Lucifer never ceased to be disappointed in the fragility of humans, minds and bodies so easily broken; he briefly wondered if The Righteous Man could put himself back together again, though he did most of the work himself. Painstakingly restoring a human body and placing a burning soul inside it from the confines of the cage wasn't exactly an easy feat.

Lucifer didn't have to wonder for long. The second he appeared before them, dazzling light of grace and all; he could sense the broken man among them, drowning in memories and self-loathing. He sighed, let the room fill with tentative silence, before watching them all draw and point their tactically concealed weapons towards him. What a warm welcome.

“Not even a hello? Gotta say, I'm disappointed.”

Taking a step towards them was obviously the wrong move as Dean – the sad, broken toy solider – moved in front of the other three protectively, the cold barrel of his colt resting against his forehead. He didn't care what or who this thing was, it jeopardized his brothers life and therefore had to die. It was reckless, not knowing what kind of crazy he's up against, but when was he known for being the smart one?

Sam was the first to speak, after the angel of course, placing a steady hand over the gun and casting a stern look towards Dean. He was logical enough to think that the thing, the devil, before them wouldn't go down so easy and therefore try and stop the wasted effort. He gulped slightly, gently wrenching the weapon away from his brother, distrusting gaze trained firmly on the new arrival. “Are you really .. ?”

The archangel was amused by the  question left hanging from his true vessels words, extending his arms out and gesturing down at himself up and down with an expectant grin tugging at his lips. “In the flesh.” He stated bluntly, confirming their suspicions and immediately putting the whole room on edge. Not much for jokes, are they?

That much became crystal clear when Dean exchanged the firearm for a silver blade and abruptly plunged it into the angels torso. Lucifer couldn't explain the rush he felt, seeing righteous determination falter into fear in those empty pools of sea green, when their little ‘miracle’ knife had no affect on him. 

Sam gave more of a reaction than he did, yanking his brother away with widened eyes. He watched the wound with wonderment as the wound healed in seconds; it didn't leave even a scratch, though was an evident knife-shaped tear in the fabric of his shirt now. He, and everyone else in that room, had no way to gank an angel nor any information to aqquire such a thing, so being the dutiful mediator and resident monster-whisperer; he decided to have a chat with it, gauge it's murderous intent and what not.

“I'm sor – he just – we just .. we've never, um, dealt with an angel before.” Sam managed to sputter out with a firm grip on the tense males forearm, wondering silently whether or not they should be bowing or something.

“An archangel.” Lucifer corrected with a snort, impassive about the attempt on his life entirely. Every story had a villain and of course, to humanity, that villain happened to be him. He couldn't even pretend to be sorry for tainting their bloodline for eternity; life without sin sounded unfulfilling, at best. His attention flickered to Dean, who looked about seven shades of torn and irritated, much like the other nameless two in the room he had long since lost interest in. “What, were you expecting horns and a tail? Sorry, pal, I save those for special occasions.”

A wink following that purposefully and vaguely suggestive statement was all he needed to earn a heated glare and a hard gulp from The Righteous Man. Duly noted.

Clearing his throat, Bobby lead the psychic out the room with promises that he'd get the angel out on his own time. She'd kick his ass if he didn't. “You jus' decided to come topside to what, say hi? What d'ya want?!” The older man held his gun higher when the devil attempted to cut him off, “And don't give me none of that sass. Save it for the comedy club, pal.”

Lucifer narrowed his eyes. He was being talked down to by something he could destroy without a moment's hesitation, it was a true low point. 

“Would you believe me if I said world peace?”

The gun was cocked.

Woah, woah. Can we just .. calm down for a minute? He saved Dean, didn't he?”

Unsure looks were passed about the three of them, until Dean finally managed to spit something out to his celestial necromancer.

“.. Did you?” His voice was quiet; the brand felt all kinds of tingly since the man appeared, but the hunter had blamed it on nerves.

The wide, close-lipped smile that broke out across the Devil's face wasn't reassuring, neither were the words that left those very lips.

“I did.”


What did it say about him, that the devil himself would go out of his way to bust him out of hell's clammy clutches?

Dean sighed, continuing to pace the floor and rub at his face, hoping this encounter was some messed up dream or the work of a monster he couldn't remember. After clearing the air somewhat, they'd hauled ass back to the motel; their unwanted angel called shotgun and passionately sang along to every Zeppelin song he put on repeat. They told Bobby to head back, he didn't need to get caught up in whatever this was, which he begrudgingly did; telling the two brothers that he'd research on their behalf and that they would be complete idjits to trust a word the devil said. 

Sam was cautious, as he should be, while Dean was downright hostile. He didn't have to be human, nor understand them in any capacity to see he wasn't welcome. The younger decided to test the waters, ambivalent but hopeful, like a child approaching a beast at the zoo.

Why did you save him? I mean, don't get me wrong – I'm glad, grateful you did. I don't know what I would've done ..” His expression held guilt, likely fuelled by the demon blood coursing through his veins. “But,” He cleared his voice and continued, “What's in it for you?”

Lucifer contemplated. The future was vast, it was painful and gut-wrenching for both brothers with every decision they made. It was cruel, to torture and torment His own beloved main characters, His human favourites that defy fate with every move.

“He asked you a question, feather brain.”

The archangel was snapped from his thoughts, rudely startled out of them by Dean slamming his hands on the rickety table he seated himself at, nostrils flaring. Terrified and still so brash, it was both noble and pathetic, a front that Lucifer didn't want him to cower behind.

“Buckle up, boys. This story's a long one.”

Chapter Text

    CHAPTER THREE 

The Winchesters were stricken wordless, glancing towards one another then back to the archangel patiently awaiting a bullet to the head in reaction to his long-winded, porous tale of celestial family drama – oh, and their unimportant fates as the men responsible for the end of the world, thrice; that was also important, he supposed.

Sam was visibly shaken, eyebrows knitted together deep in thought as he fiddled with the label of his now lukewarm beer. Unable to grasp the absolute fact he was both the devil's perfect vessel and the one that would have pulled the trigger on the world, had there not been interference. He would usually have been the one to weigh their options right now, planning around this major hiccup in their day-to-day lives – it was lucky then, that his brother was there to pick up the slack in his intellects absence, however indelicate his approach may be.

“Alright, say we believe you and your ‘sympathy for the Devil’ crap; what's your game plan now, huh? World domination?”

Dean wasn't good at hiding his emotions, or at least, not good enough to fool an angel. He was more so shaken up at the revelation than Sam, knowing he was mere days away from giving in to the constant torment, to saying uncle to that black-eyed bastard. He was situated in front of the devil now, hand on the either arm of the chair with an sardonic grin on his lips that didn't quite seem to meet his eyes. It was a shame really, he could only imagine the expressiveness those murky orbs usually held.

Lucifer pursed his lips with a thoughtful hum, pretending to mull over the question, “I was thinking of moving to LA, maybe solving crimes. The world is my oyster, Dean-o.” He shrugged simply and clapped the other man on the shoulder, unphased when he was then abruptly slammed over the table with his arm twisted behind his back – hell, even the void he spat witty comments into had more appreciation for his sense of humour than this!

Dean!”

“Oh, come on! You're telling me we shouldn't gank the freaking Devil?!”

“No, I'm saying we shouldn't be getting on his bad side, not right now. We don't know of anything that could kill an angel!”

“So we find something! We always do.”

“Hate to interupt family time here, boys, I do, but we have more important matters at hand.” In an instant, both Winchester's were sent flying against their respective beds. The archangel was pleasantly surprised that neither bed buckled under their sudden weight, given the motel's quality.

“You need me, like it or not. My brother's aren't the type to half-ass things, so unless you want to be an archangel's blunt little instrument,” The icy glare he received for using those particular words was almost enough to throw off his entire thought process, “You better suck it up.” That seemed to shut them both up, for once. Lucifer made his way to the door, feeling puny and pathetic for having to take the human route home, given the state of his grace at the moment – making a guest appearance had already taken it's toll on him, the fear of mortality rearing its ugly head. It was .. disconcerting.

“Woah, woah, woah there – where do you think you're going?” Dean yanked the angel backwards, halting his attempt to flee peacefully, “If you think we're just gonna let you walk outta here, you got another thing comin’.” He sent him a pointed look and crossed his arms when Lucifer opened his mouth to argue against the decision, both men then looking towards the mediator for his surely wise and unbiased opinion on the matter.

Sam was conflicted. He both agreed and disagreed with his brother's point; they shouldn't let the root of all sin walk the earth unsupervised, and it would help to have someone on their side who knows about angels, considering they might be on some heavenly hit list as they speak but it was still risky. What if Lucifer were to betray them, decide humanities not worth all the fuss and go back to Plan A (for apocalypse)? He chewed on his lip and contemplated, before standing tall, a classic firm Winchester expression painting his features stern.

“Dean's right,” Sam thought hell would have to freeze over before he ever said those words, but he continued, “I get it, you probably don't have the .. best opinion of humans but I think if we just try and figure this out –”

Lucifer pretended to stifle a yawn and it looked like Dean had some comment about how much of a chick he was being at the ready. So much for mediation.

“What I'm saying is, we're all in this together so can we just ..” He threaded his hands through his lengthy hair with a sigh, “Try and get along until this whole thing blows over?”

“So we're just stuck babysitting the Devil for eternity. Great, that's just freakin' fantastic!”

“Hey, blue-steel, a little less complaining about the angel that pulled your ass out of perdition, thanks.”

Sam had his work cut out for him.


Turns out, an archangel is actually a surprisingly useful tool for hunters – even running on fumes, as he is. Being an angelic lie detector and always able to tell who their mystery monster is with a single glance, much to said monsters chagrin, has it's definite perks. It didn't mean their little plan to get along was going well, though.

Dean felt on edge, like he couldn't let his little brother out of his sight and he always felt the need to look over his shoulder. He had vivid, technicolor memories painted on the insides of his eyelids, making it hard to even consider falling asleep without a bottle of something on hand. It was a mixture of distrust and fear, that he would open his eyes and find this had all been some grand illusion the hell dwellers had concocted to make him squirm; which is why Satan was surprisingly low on his growing list of concerns. Waking up with a start and finding pinkish-red orbs gazing at him, unwavering in the darkness, had become somewhat of a normal occurrence.

The hunter reacted in a flash, gun in hand and pointed outwards, breathing heavy and trying to make out the figure in the low light. He groaned in annoyance and rubbed his sleep crusted eyes when he realised it was only the devil staring back at him, sitting crisscrossed on the end of his bed like it was a completely normal thing. “Rough night?”

Dean didn't bother to provide an answer, letting his closed-off expression do all the talking for him. Instead, his eyes wandered to the empty bed adjacent to his crowded one, a frown blossoming on his lips. “Where's Sammy?” His tone was pointed and accusatory, like he was scolding a puppy for digging through the garbage can, voice gruff from disuse. It was condescending and made the thought of throwing him against the wall and wringing his neck unbelievably enticing.

“And why should I tell you?”

The sound of the weapon cocking was blissfully familiar. Lucifer suppressed the amusement threatening to overtake his features, “Don't threaten me with a good time,” He gave a lazy flick of his hand and the gun was halfway lodged in the opposing wall, much to the older Winchester's irritation. Property damage was inevitable with the devil.

Dean rubbed a hand over his face and then through his spiky, brown-blonde locks, “You can ride shotgun for a week,” He relented, before quickly adding, “And pick the music.” 

Lucifer perked up instantly, propping his elbow up onto his knee and resting his head on top of his palm. His loyalty to Sam was nonexistent, despite their natural similarities and fateful equilibrium – he knew what fate had dictated him to feel, could feel the clench of guilt in his being everytime he caught a glimpse of Dean, looking so lost as if he no longer knew his own brother. He found himself drawn to it and revolted by it at the same time, he could only guess that was the fates at work. Whether or not to spill the beans on his vessel's darling demonic girlfriend and festering addiction had crossed his mind, but he had decided it was somewhat of a need-to-know basis kind of thing.

“Sammy's got a date with .. what's her name again? Ruben? Rhubarb, Rubik's cube? Whatever. That chick.” The archangel watched as the hunters face shifted from confusion to recognition to unfiltered anger, “And if I'm right, which I always am, she's probably got him practicing his weirdo hocus-pocus right about now.”

Silence stretched over them.

Son of a bitch!”

Dean hadn't even waited until the devil stopped speaking, already tugging on his boots and jacket, tearing the place up in attempts to find the keys to the Impala. “Oh, that is cold. Keeping secrets and stealing your precious baby? What has the world come to.”

“Can it, Clarence!”

Lucifer made a zipping motion over his lips, oddly obedient for someone who derived most of his benign pleasure by annoying the crap out of others. He couldn't help but swear and kick the furniture around, feeling too hopeless for his liking. Ruby was bad news; he knew her allegiance was a double-edged sword from the get go, but did Sam listen to him? No, he would rather go be buddy buddy with a demon than listen to his own damn brother. He planted himself on the bed, out of legal options with his head in his hands, having no clue of where his sibling was or what freaky stuff the she-bitch was making him do, let alone what he himself could do to help 

Dean didn't even realise how deep in thought he was until fingers were snapped in front of his face. His scowl deepened, “What?”

“‘What’?” The archangel parroted back with a scoff, “Your brother is hurdling over third base with a demon somewhere and you're just, what, gonna sit here feeling sorry for yourself all night till he comes crawling back?” He looked bemused more than judgmental, inquisitive as if he weren't expecting to witness the infamous, unbreakable Winchester bond crumble right before his own (technically, his vessel's) eyes.

“What the hell else am I supposed to do, huh? You're the all-seeing, feathered douchebag here, not me, so unless you got a better idea –” Dean was cut off by a finger pressed to his lips, going cross-eyed in the process of following it. He crinkled his face up at the touch like a grade-schooler ruled by a fear of cooties. Offensive, but endearing.

“Okay, first of all; words hurt, man. Second, I have plenty of better ideas,” Lucifer flicked his nose and snorted at the resulting look he was fixed with, “But let's focus on getting Bigfoot back first, because your brother's safety is my highest concern.” Sarcasm laced his latter words, though disregarding Sam whatsoever brought him to a state of unease. The hunter currently on heavens most wanted list was obviously of more importance in this turn of events, but he still felt an ache of longing for their compatibility, their oneness, with every second he remained in Nick's poor husk. “All you gotta do is ask, Dean. ‘Pwetty pwease Wucifer, help me save my wittle brother from the smoke skank!’ should suffice.” Oh, how he loved pushing his luck, he's been doing it since the big bang and had no intent on stopping now, especially when it earns him such candid reactions. It reminded him of a simpler time, pulling pranks on Michael back in the silver city – though their true forms couldn't quite grasp the concept of expression, he could certainly feel the empty annoyance radiating off his older brother.

“.. Lucifer, please.” The acquiescence came slow and begrudgingly, stern gaze waiting patiently for the big punchline. He was desperate, but not nearly enough to believe the devil was capable of doing anything remotely considered good. To say the angel hadn't accounted for such a passive outcome was an understatement; his face contorting into a humourless, unreadable expression before an easy smile graced his expression once again. Lucifer raised his hand, fingers in snapping position (though really, the snap was more for style points than practical use), “As you wish.”

Chapter Text

    CHAPTER FOUR
While the Winchester's were acting as Satan's personal entourage, the world around them was struggling to catch up with the news. Extreme weather, natural disasters that claimed handfuls of lives, inexplicable signs of the apocalypse without so much as a single seal yet broken – everyone was undoubtedly confused, frantic for answers. Heaven, especially.

Capturing and closely monitoring the white-eyed firstborn demon herself proved to be all for naught, though it was to be noted even she was deeply unsettled by the events unfolding. Lilith was practical, self-serving; she knew what had to be done and the sacrifice it would take to release the fallen one from the shackles, to unleash him unto the world. She wasn't thrilled to discover that she herself was the final seal to be broken, but she had come to terms with it (it being her preordained death), so this was delightfully unexpected. The Winchester's were undoubtedly involved, given the disappearing act the eldest had pulled to get out of damnation but absolutely no one could understand the premature happenings of the apocalypse. The devil was most definitely not an option, caged by God himself – there was no possible chance of escape without a little nudge. Clearly, the angels didn't believe in miracles.

The higher ranked were pummeled and screamed at by the two present archangels, who seemed to be in perpetual bad moods now that their plans of paradise have been delayed. Zachariah was amongst the unlucky few tasked with finding the wrench in the gears, donning a modest meatsuit and taking the dive into the world they usually watched from afar. Interacting with mindless apes was the last thing he wanted to do, but it was a direct order and the risk of being smited outweighed his irritation.

He adjusted his lapels with a sigh before clearing his throat to announce his presence to the drunken author, two of his brethren stationed behind him with keen eyes on their surroundings. Prophets don't grow on trees, so they would prefer to keep their little operation rather discreet, lest they attract any unwanted attention; primarily, busybody demons and nosy hunters. Zachariah couldn't stand either, beings that reeked of hell and with faces uglier than any mother or god could possibly love and then there's demons conniving bags of flesh that were destined to sin from the beginning of creation. Both were unpleasant as one another.

Chuck reeled back in his chair, almost falling off the damn thing entirely, eyes darting from each suit-clad men who seemingly appeared out of thin air, then settling on the bottle of Jack Daniel's creating water rings across his paper. “AA meetings, here I come,” He murmured, taking a swig with wide eyes peering over the glass. The angel was not amused, inhaling sharply with a brief, knowing look exchanged between his colleagues. 

“Charles Shurley, I presume?” Zachariah didn't have to ask, but commonplace etiquette happened to be appreciated among humans – because teleporting into someone's home was such a polite way to introduce yourself.

“It's .. just Chuck, but yeah, I'm .. um, that's - that's me, heh.” The man in question had backed himself into a corner, frantic gaze trained on any and every possible exit. Throwing oneself threw a window in only a robe and boxer shorts seemed like a bad idea, generally speaking, so he decided on making himself look as cowardly as possible. That'll surely get the Men in Black wannabes to leave him alone, won't it?

The angel smiled, a cold smile reminiscent of a shark, picking up a copy of his titular book series and idly flipping through it, before noting the laptop that lay opened with unfinished works just barely peeking out. “You've been busy,” He commented, tapping the cover of the latest edition, the last he'd published, “Care to tell us what the next volumes about, Chuck? Some inside scoop, if you will.” It was less of a question posed, more of a threatening suggestion; they needed the information, to know what had screwed with their eternal vacation, as much as it pained him to ask for help from a shabby human that writes subpar drivel that young adults froth at the mouth over. A dark day, it was.

Chuck furrowed his brows, choking down an awkward half laugh when the suits in the back started approaching, their expressionless faces looking ever the more terrifying. He ran a shaky hand through his hair, gesturing to his computer with the other, “I - I rewrote alot of it, what I had in mind for the new books, I mean,” He slumped back into his desk chair, “I envisioned the way it would go, you know? But I dunno, it just .. changed. Like it was an epiphany or something.” He was rambling, a habit of his from having isolated himself for so long, so he looked back up again with mild discomfort and confusion painting his scruffy face, “Are you guys like .. fans or something? Did .. Did my publisher send you?” 

Zachariah was in a complete state of puzzlement, though his neutral expression gave away nothing but mild annoyance. The human was predictable, he simply wrote the destiny he saw without fail or question, so how was it that fate had managed to rewrite itself? He shook the thought from his mind, thinking it moronic; that just because the prophet saw something differently in his dreams couldn't actually mean the course of a plan spanning millennia back had been thrown entirely off it's balance. He ushered his goons with a flick of his chin towards Chuck before turning his attention to the laptop, beginning to skim through the words on the screen as the other angels kept the man from trying to run. 

The realm of fiction was vast and imaginative, but one could never have predicted such a laughable outcome. Lucifer, the fallen prince and inventor of sin, helping a human out of hell and by some twisted turn of fate, himself as well. It shouldn't be possible, couldn't be but there it was, written in twelve point font with italics overused in every sentence. Zachariah clenched his jaw, looking over the screen with an accusatory glate, “Where are the Winchester's now?” He managed through gritted teeth.

“Uh, you know they're not .. real, right? They're just characters I came up with, like –” 

The glint of angel blades as they were unsheathed were enough to make the author gulp and shut his mouth immediately, “Hypothetically, where would they be? Them and .. the Devil, of course.” He was not compensated nearly enough for this.

“Their next stop? Well, I - I guess that would be Kansas City, i - in Missouri, after the whole .. Ruby fiasco.” And with a flap of wings not of this world, they were gone.


Chuck sat back in his ratty old recliner, swirling the liquid around the glass with his lips pursed into a thin line. He had originally been planning to write himself into his series, because one can never be too narcissistic, but he also decided against that, in the end.  “If anyone were to fix the future, it would have to be them,” He sighed as he longingly eyed the room around him, nursing his drink, “This'll change things.” He stood and finished the glass with one last huff of laugh leaving him, “This'll change him.”


And he too, disappeared.

Chapter Text

    CHAPTER FIVE
The power of flight was something to behold, though angels often took this ability for granted, not only for conveniences sake but for elegance, too. Public transportation just didn't quite match the holier-than-thou aesthetic they have going, you know?

No longer were they in the grimy sanctuary of the motel room, now in some nameless alleyway beside an abandoned warehouse fit for a cheap horror movie. Dean was visibly startled, mouth opening and closing like a fish out of water as he peered towards the other as if he'd actually get a straight answer out of him about what the hell just happened. He fought monsters of the ugliest and most disturbing calibre on a daily basis, but of course, teleportation via angelic means was where he drew the damn line. 

“Sorry I didn't offer you any inflight peanuts, short notice and all.” Lucifer cut the wide-eyed confusion short with a breezy, humourous remark, planting a firm hand on the hunter's shoulder before flicking his chin towards the aforementioned warehouse, “Baby brother's in there, pal. What're you waiting for?” He was tactfully avoiding accompanying him for the big blowout that was bound to happen, technically even fated to, that would create a rift in the brothers unbreakable bond; he had lived through his own version of that event, he didn't have to stick around to know how it will inevitably end, violent and with trust permanently broken, though that wasn't the entire depth of his reasoning. 

The archangel could feel the inadequacy of his current vessel growing, settling in and making itself known. Skin bubbling and tearing at the seams, flesh and soul hanging on by the barest of threads, trying to keep from fraying entirely. Nick was strong in his own way, and more dedicated than he could possibly deserve, thoughts often melding and corresponding with his own like they were intertwined. It was nice to have someone to talk to, someone as broken as yourself, but he wasn't built to contain something like him. He was a bit like bowling shoes in that regard, didn't fit quite right but fine for the time used. A pulse of indignation rippled somewhere in the back of their his mind.

Dean cast him a sidelong look, silent gratitude buried somewhere beneath all the distrust and apprehension, though it was evident he was hesitant to follow through on his words. He turned back towards the warehouse, in all it's foreboding and ominous glory, rubbing a hand over his face with a sigh, “You stay here; don't even think about smoking out or .. whatever the hell it is you do, you hear me?” 

“Yes, mother goose, I think I got it.” Lucifer replied and stuck out his forked tongue, something also saved for special occasions, much to the hunter's horror and disgust. It was fun to watch him squirm.

“And, uh .. thanks for this, I guess.”

Oh, if only Dean had taken a gander back as he trudged off in search of his brother; he would've bared witness to the barely-there, but assuredly genuine smile that graced the devil's lips at that sorely lacking excuse for appreciation. It's always the little things, isn't it?


A single demon sat beneath a devil's trap made of iron chains, holding the scheming duo in shallow contempt. Clammy skin glistened in the indirect moonlight, dark eyes looking up at the shaggy-haired hunter with thinly veiled amusement. 

“Where's Lilith?” Sam growled out, feeling his blood boil at the flicker of black eyes and ‘kiss my ass’ that he was given in response.

“I'd watch myself if I were you.”

“Why, huh .. ‘cuz you're Sam Winchester? Mister big hero and yet here you are, slutting around with some demon. Real hero.”

“.. Shut your mouth.”

Ruby felt the need to roll her eyes at how easy it was to get under his skin, ignoring the eruption of goosebumps spreading across her skin. She blamed it on the empty chick she was occupying and carried on, observing from afar.

“Tell me about those months without your brother, ‘bout all the things you and this demon bitch do in the dark.” The demon smirked and cocked his head, “Tell me, hero.”

It was disturbing to watch smoke spill from those very same lips, pooling and coiling around his legs before turning into ember, returning to the actual hellhole it came from without any more snide comments. Sam exhaled slowly, immediately checking the random man's pulse and nodding as he noted he was alive and breathing, unlike so many others that had been possessed before him.

Unbeknownst to either of them, Dean watched on.

With some brief, encouraging exchanges that made his stomach flutter and sink all at the same time, Sam attempted to help the thoroughly confused dude the demon had left behind. His head snapped up as the door creaked open, heart dropping as the leather jacket-clad form of his brother stepped into view. He could feel the uncertainty, the disappointment in his gaze as he stalked towards them.

“So .. anythin’ you wanna tell me, Sam?”

“Dean, I know this looks bad but please just –”

Bad? Bad doesn't even begin to cover it.”

Dean kept his eyes trained on the demonic elephant in the room, watching as she took place in holding the man up, brown eyes looking back at him in wordless challenge. He saw the Kurdish knife tucked away in Sam's belt and pursed his lips tightly, hands clenching at his sides; what he would do to be able to end that bitch where she stands, right there and now. He couldn't believe after the complete shitstorm that Satan himself revealed they'd kicked up in the future, he still chose to go further down the crooked path. It was frustrating and it hurt, that he'd rather run to some conniving demon than to him – he was far from perfect, but he thought he could at least give his little brother some sense of stability after everything they've been through.

Sam gave said demon a pointed look towards the door, a deliberate sign to vamoose lest she gets shanked by Dean's sharp glare alone. Ruby took that advice and hobbled off into the night with the man clutching onto her shoulders, dazed and confused like a newborn fawn.

“Dean, please, let me explain ..”

“Please do, Sam, ‘cuz I don't know what the hell to think anymore!” Dean looked at the other imploringly, hoping he could conjure up some reasonable excuse or explanation in that dorky brain of his. 

“We're .. I'm just .. She helped me while you were ..” Anything that Sam said seemed to fall on deaf ears, all fading into ambient noise that wouldn't go away until the older hunter finally raised his hand up; a listless plea to shut the hell up. His shoulders were slack and his expression was devoid of anything that might give away how he was actually feeling. He couldn't listen to his brother try and justify himself anymore, didn't want or need to really. He wanted to put off problem solving, find solace in the bottom of a bottle like he always did and always will do.

“I need a drink.” Dean held out his hand and once again, didn't look back once the keys to the Impala were tossed into, clutched and pressing painfully against the meat of his palm. He could still see that heartbreaking kicked puppy look from a mile away, but he kept driving until neon signs and fellow barflies kept his mind buzzing and occupied.


Being ditched like an ugly prom date was a particular low point in the archangels short stay on Earth. Lucifer squinted at the sight of the beloved Chevy zooming off into the night, both affronted and confused, but mostly irritated. He couldn't afford to make another trip himself, he barely had enough juice to get them both there in the first place – was it too much to ask for a little hospitality in return?

Nearing footfalls had him turning, pinching the bridge of his nose as his number one fan herself came into view with Sam trailing close behind, sharp features twisted by guilt and concern for his brother. ‘Oh, cry me a river, Winchester ..’ He tried to inconspicuously sneak away from the inevitable meeting, but to no avail, because apparently everyone has some devil-seeking radar that he wasn't consulted about.

“What are you doing here .. ?!”

His tone was sonorous, a mixture of panic and anger that he wasn't afraid to display, much like his brother. Lucifer kept his arms bound around his chest, a defensive posture, raising his brows at the sheer audacity of the demon banger in front of him, “I'd love be out of your hair but you're the reason my ride just left, Ginormo.” 

Neither remembered about the meatsuit entourage acting as their audience until the man was abruptly dropped to the ground, left scrambling at the hunter's feet. Sam stared at Ruby in question as he helped the poor bastard to stand before he took off mindlessly sprinting into the distance like a drunk on speed. She looked as though she'd seen a ghost, which would significantly add to the list of pains he currently had to deal with, though he had a feeling that wasn't the case. He swallowed hard as a true lightbulb moment hit him in the head like a freight train, realising how technically this would be a family reunion – or was it more like a Frankenstein kind of deal?

“You gonna introduce me to your friend or what, Sam?” Ruby gritted her teeth and asked finally, black eyes on full display and staring down the being before them. It was unlike anything she'd ever seen, living or dead; the man was obviously possessed, but by what or whom was beyond her knowledge or expertise. The soul it was inhabiting was branded with sigils that looked straight out of some sci-fi movie, shrouded and swirling with such beautiful light and darkness that she wanted to bask herself in for whatever inexplicable reason. For once, she actually felt self-conscious knowing someone else saw her true face, underneath the layers of flesh, blood and bone.

“I don't think that's a good idea –”

“Because you're chock-full of those lately, huh, Sammy?”

Neither was amused. ‘Tough crowd,’ Lucifer observed inwardly with a huff, turning to the expectant demon with the most artificial smile he could possibly muster. He didn't need a bunch of misguided puffs of smoke trailing him around, hailing him and doing all his bidding – actually, that sounded a helluva lot better than the arrangement he currently had going but he digressed. 

“Listen, it's a long story but ..”

“I'm –” “This is –” 

They both paused to glare at each other before continuing, which was poor planning in retrospect.

“Nick. “Lucifer.”

God damnit.

Chapter Text

    CHAPTER SIX
Having the burden of knowledge spanning the past, present and future isn't all its cracked up to be, really. It sucks the mystery out of life, like an unsatisfying blowjob. It had been a tad bit cruel to leave Sam in the dark about the whole backstabbing, devil-worshipping girlfriend thing but to be fair, what is life without a dash of drama?

Lucifer slowly turned to the aforementioned hunter, face uncharacteristically void of emotion aside from a slight downward quirk of his lips, “Is this your idea of witness protection?” Sam looked confused, straightening up like he was getting ready to defend himself as he did so poorly with his brother, but he didn't even get the chance to open his mouth, disappearing with the snap of the devil's fingers. Another few blisters painted the skin of his vessel's arms an angry shade of red with the exertion, which didn't go unnoticed by either being present.

Ruby still held scepticism, that much was obvious considering she wasn't perched at his feet, relaying her undying love and loyalty for him the very minute his name was uttered. He supposed he could be thankful that her head wasn't also full of smoke. “.. Where'd you send him?” She finally offered, blinking away the darkness clouding her eyes, offering similarly dark brown orbs in exchange.

“Florida, I hear it's nice this time of year.”

Sarcasm was threaded through every word, coiled and at the ready like a snake. Lucifer wasn't weakened nearly enough that a lone demon or even a hoard of demons threatened his continued existence, though his decision to stay out of the spotlight would be jeopardized, so his guard was raised. They were gossiping, untrustworthy little things, much like their creator; he couldn't risk it, especially with the Winchester's ready to throw him in harm's way at the drop of a dime. “He's home safe.” She seemed to let out a breath of relief at the followed assurance.

“You can't be ..” Ruby spoke slowly, cautiously, “It's impossible but .. you're actually here.” She didn't even seem to believe herself as the words left her mouth, the proof was clear as day in front of her and yet, she refused to believe her eyes. The goal she'd worked so hard to achieve, after alienating herself from practically all of her own kind and even going against the queen bitch of demons herself, had been completed without a hitch. Not that she knew or understood how that came to be, she couldn't find it in herself to sweat the details; their father, the prince of darkness and king of lies, walked the Earth and that was all that mattered. She gulped, hiding her initial glee and composing herself though she felt absolutely giddy wirh excitement, ready to give Lilith and all the other disloyal bastards the middle finger right about now. 

Lucifer could feel the incoming tidal wave of promise and adoration coming from a mile away, so he held up a hand to stop it from even starting. He exhaled through his nose, breathing being a tedious habit his vessel seemed to hold onto, tossing ideas of extermination and torment of this self-important insect into the resounding cavern of his mind. His inhumanity was prevalent, but he always felt a sickening churn in the pit of his stomach at the thought of it now. The Winchester's were softening him and it showed. “Nothing is impossible, as they say.” He murmured, cold hands coming up and cupping her face carefully, like she was made of fine china. While that may be true of her meatsuit, the demon herself was more like the dirty dishes a soup kitchen racks up. A wedding band was still wrapped around his ring finger, adding to the weight against her pallid skin.

Her breath hitched, fearful and restrained as she spoke, “I know he's not ready yet,” She could barely look in the murky blue eyes of his temporary vessel, the weight of her failure hanging precariously above her, like a piano waiting to fall. She saw nothing of love or pride in his eyes and the words of an unfavorable crossroads demon repeated in her ears, “He will be, I promise. I can help you, I just –” He cut her off.

“Appreciate the enthusiasm, but,” There was no explanation, no warning before one of those same hands was thrust through her torso. The human body always ran so hot; he could feel the blood and viscera coating his forearm, rib bones digging into his skin, a prickly blanket of gore that warmed him to his very core.  He felt the desire for destruction welling up somewhere deep within him, to burn the planet down and build it up in his own dark, tainted visage. He chose to push said feelings down in a very Winchester fashion, instead focusing on how her expression morphed into childlike betrayal, wide glassy eyes flicking from the arm protruding out of her chest to his impassive face, “I don't need your help.” A jarring glow flickered across her form as he squeezed at the demon's essence, an inky blackness that contrasted beautifully well with the golden yellow illuminating her true face. He could appreciate the irony, how she died at the hands of the creator she dedicated her afterlife to, in the same fashion she'd dispatched her fellow demons alongside Sam. He chastised himself for the laugh that bubbled out of his lips.

Lucifer yanked his hand free from the meaty interior of little miss comatose with a curse at the mess it'd made, shaking the excess goop off of his head before turning his attention back down towards the corpse at his feet, “You got change for a cab?”


Dean was seven shades of not okay, though that wasn't all too surprising given that his end-all cure for literally anything was downing a fifth of whatever and saying he's peachy – from broken bones to being dumped by his own brother for some demon skank, whiskey was an old friend he could always rely on. Which is why he's in some beatdown bar on some nameless street, drinking cheap liquor in a clouded glass, eyeing up the pretty thing in the denim skirt ogling him from across the way. He didn't feel like finding peace between some chicks legs tonight, though. No, he was content to stay in and wallow in his own self-loathing for awhile.

“You come here often?”

A singsong voice sounded from his flank, unnaturally cold breath ghosting the shell of his ear. He almost elbowed the archangel, cursing under his breath and putting on his best imitation bitch face, “What d'you want?” His question was muffled by the rim of his glass as he tried not to make eye contact, like ignoring the devil was an option.

“Same as you. It's been a rough night.” Lucifer flagged down the bartender, ordering something and sending a playful wink his way despite the tension evident in both sets of broad shoulders. Dean seemed suspicious at that upfront answer, even choosing to ignore the blatant sphallolalia for once in favour of prying, “What the hell did you do?”

“You always assume the worst of me, Dean,” He said with a drawn out sigh, faking a pout, “I'm not that much different than you, you know.”

“Thanks, you sure know how to make a girl feel special.”

“I meant, we're both misunderstood but sure, keep up the stellar ‘comedy to cover up my feelings’ bit, that never gets old ..” The angel quipped back with a slight scowl in spite of his blinding hypocrisy, gingerly sipping at his gold whiskey (Lucifer's, really?), ignoring the claw of fear tugging at his very essence at the all too human sense of taste. Nick's unrefined palate had him coughing mildly at the burn travelling down his throat; he was a simple man, a social drinker that enjoyed a beer from time to time. Those times became all too many after the tragedy that lead him straight into the comfort of the devil's frosty embrace. He hadn't noticed how entangled in his thoughts he had become until the hunter shook him by the shoulder.

“Didn't take you for a lightweight,” Dean commented, though he could've sworn there was some small, far off beat of concern behind his unsteady eyes. “What's got your feathers in a twist?” He was now consistently side-eyeing him with every sip he took, out of worry for him or fear that today might be the day he decides smiting the human race was a better idea than he gave it credit for; either way, it was endearing.

Lucifer chugged the rest of his drink, tossing up the idea of telling the hunter about his recent .. fisting, which would explain why said blood soaked fist is currently elbow-deep in his pocket, and how he'd inadvertently screwed himself solving a very Winchester problem. He decided to let the ball roll, “I –”

A rumble overtook the cosy atmosphere of the dive, patrons panicking and bracing themselves. Dean looked at the devil with a stern gaze, accusatory, though all he received in reply was a tense expression he'd never seen the man wear before. He didn't understand, not until a familiar white noise ripped through the place, loud enough to shatter glass and shred ear drums. His hands were cupped tightly over his ears, head ducked down to his knees to avoid the downpour of lightbulbs exploding above him, but it persisted. The hunter could barely react as he was yanked into a sturdy chest, cradled close and protectively like a babe being rescued from a fire. He didn't move, couldn't really, feeling the sound rattled him to the very bone – until it was drowned out, a brief moment that came both slowly and all at once, by a single warning, “Cover your eyes.” 

It was pathetic, to feel so safe and secure in the arms of someone unanimously considered pure evil, but here he was. Dean didn't know how long it'd been, how long he had kept his head buried in the crook of the angels neck with his eyes squeezed shut, when he finally ventured to open them. He pulled away like the very touch of him burned, placing some distance between them, which earned him an eyeroll he didn't notice. It was then, that he noticed the state of the rest of the bar.

Vacant of the life it once had, bodies littered the floor like pebbles, their hazy stares replaced by empty sockets. He felt sick, fearful now. 

The doors swung open, a pair of men stepping through, unphased and laser focused on his the archangel. A younger guy in a trench coat, around his age by the looks of it, with tousled hair and wide eyes and a bigger, freckled man in a creaseless suit with a glare that would have the both of them six feet under by now if looks could kill. He turned his head stiffly, eyes never leaving the pair because he had a feeling it wasn't a coincidence they had showed up, “Buddies of yours?”

“Brothers, actually.”

Lucifer leaned back against the stool he was situated on, looking eerily calm as he looked the two up and down, analysing them. “Uriel, Castiel. Good to see you, group hug?” He offered a sickeningly sweet smile, one even the hunter could tell was fake. Dean made the slightest movement towards the side door, only to be thrown back against the countertop, held there by an invisible force he could only describe as an angelic chokehold – that got the devil to react, even if only the angels in the room were capable of noticing said reaction, a slight ruffle of dilapidated wings.

“Lucifer. Looking for a change of scenery, are we?” They weren't afraid, if the big guy's smug tone was anything to go by. He was no expert on the heavenly hierarchy, but shouldn't these guys be shaking in their boots? This is freaking Lucifer we're talking about!

“Perdition has terrible internet connection.” 

The tension in the room, now cool with the nights breeze blowing freely through where the windows once were, was palpable. “Funny,” Uriel stepped forward, dark eyes narrowing, “I'm sure you know why we're here.”

Leaning over the bar and rifling through the mess of broken bottles for some drink semi-salvageable, the archangel hummed in reply, “Big brother sent his foot soldiers to do his dirty work, as always,” He sighed, re-emerging with a half-full shattered bottle clutched in hand, pouring himself and the human alongside him a drink lightly dusted with shards of glass, “So, you're either here to shove me back in the box or –” His eyes lit up, a simmering shade of neon red, “To collect his precious vessel and get the party started. Sound about right?” 

“We .. are here to retrieve the boy, yes.” The dark-haired angel with a fixed furrow in his brow finally spoke up, eyes trained on the aforementioned hunter. Dean looked between each of the brothers, like a kid caught in the middle of his parents custody battle, huffing out a laugh that had all attention now firmly on him. He totally wasn't intimidated at all; these were just angels, who just happened to be more than happy to see him used as their brothers freaking prom dress. “Your time will come, on the battlefield,” Castiel continued with an unwavering gaze, a blade dropping from the sleeve of his trenchcoat. It was silver, or at least looked as though it was, the way it shined making it look like something out of a Halloween shop, but he had the distinct feeling that it and it's wielder meant business. “You are in no condition to fight us, brother.”

An agape expression filled with pure, unfiltered offence was cast his direction followed by a scoff, “You poor, little lapdog. Doesn't it get tiring following daddy's directive all the time?” Lucifer basked in the way the looks on their faces hardened, pacing the floor till he came before them, “Turning you insignificant bundles of grace into dust may be out of the cards but,” He pulled the human into his embrace for the second time, though now with much more room for protest (the angel thinks he doth protest too much, for that matter), “Don't you ever underestimate me.”