Miss part one? It’s here https://atomicfeminist.com/2017/10/31/supernatural-manic-pixie-god-girl-part-1-dean-does-dead/
Sam began drawing the summoning circle. Castiel waited nearby, silent and staring. Sam had the distinct impression that Cas didn’t approve of this latest resurrection. He had tried to warn Sam that it was theoretically possible to bring someone back too many times and that Dean simply had to be approaching that threshold, if not over it already. But Sam blew him off because this wasn’t Pet Sematery, ok, it wasn’t a freaking Stephen King book they were living. Dean had been fine all the other times he’d been brought back and he’d be fine this time too. So Castiel had no choice but to go along with it.
As he continued the circle, Sam ran through dozens of scenarios in his mind. He had no idea what he could possibly offer the crossroads demon in exchange for his brother’s life this time, I mean seriously what more did they even have to offer up at this point, but he figured he’d play it by ear. Demons always wanted something, they were predictable that way.
But before he could start the ritual, Crowley appeared, in full British tizz. He kicked the circle away. “You shouldn’t do that, Sam, all willy-nilly like that. There’s no guarantee it will be me who shows up.” Sam didn’t respond, just waited expectantly for Crowley to suggest his deal. Because there would be a deal. Sam just knew in his gut that somehow, some way, Crowley could fix everything. “I’m a busy man, you know, can’t just drop everything whenever you Winchesters do something stupid! Because that would be a full time job!” Crowley would know what to do. He always had an ace in his sleeve, a terrible bargain to offer. Something. He always did. Sam didn’t totally get the thing between Dean and Crowley, the friendship if you could really call it that, but he knew that for some bizarre and inexplicable reason, Crowley would move mountains for Dean’s sake. But Crowley had no mountains to move. He turned his wrath on Castiel instead. “You were really going to let him go through with this…this…insanity?”
“I didn’t know what else to do. What else could I do?”
“You are the sorriest excuse for an angel I’ve ever known. Did they neuter you somewhere along the way, or were you always this pitiful?” Castiel blinked slowly in response. Castiel was not what one would call comfy with verbal sparring. Castiel was not exactly glib.
Sam intervened. “It’s my choice if I want to make a deal, Crowley. Now let’s do it.”
“I can’t help you. I’ve been trying, already. He’s…he’s gone!”
“What do you mean, he’s gone?”
“I can’t sense his presence. He’s been…erased. I felt him at first, a displaced soul, and I could have worked with that. But then he just vanished! Poof, totally off my radar!”
Castiel seemed puzzled by what Crowley was saying. “A soul cannot…vanish?” Sam agreed. The whole concept was ridiculous, against the laws of God and nature. Souls went places, they left a trail of bread crumbs behind them that you could follow to find them.
“I know that, Castiel, don’t you think I know that? A soul cannot vanish, but a soul HAS vanished. He’s gone, I’m telling you! Gone! Not heaven, not Hell, not in Purgatory, not in the Veil. Dean Winchester is gone. And I mean gone!”
Sam shook his head, trying to piece it together. “His body disappeared too. Where could he be?”
“I…don’t know. This is outside of my experience.” Crowley looked a little upset about it all. The Dean and Crowley bromance thing got so weird sometimes.
But then Sam felt a rush of power and a moment of nothingness. Before he could even panic he found himself in a desert somewhere in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by a sea of sagebrush as far as the eye could see. Castiel and Crowley had been transported as well and they looked around, disoriented. Dean and some strange pink-haired woman stood in front of them and they seemed to know each other already. The woman was confused. “Why’d you do that for, Dean?”
“Because I can.” Dean and the woman had a good laugh about that for some reason. Sam realized that Dean was glowing, emitting some sort of really spectacular light, and in the next heartbeat realized he desperately needed to be on his knees before that light with his face practically planted in the ground. The weird part was how much he liked it, how badly he wanted to be down on the ground, how it felt so right. “Heh. Eat dirt, Sammy!” Sam heard a nearby thud as Castiel apparently joined him in his prostrate pose. The woman did, too. Then nothing. Sam recovered his self-control enough to turn his head just enough to glance Crowley’s direction. The demon struggled, tried to fight it, grunted and writhed, but eventually even he too had to assume the position. “Oh for…” Dean seemed temporarily struck by the weirdness of the situation. “God’s sake?”
The woman with Dean replied, her voice muffled because she was speaking into the ground. She was eating dirt too, apparently and Sam wondered if she liked it as much as he did. It seemed really wrong to enjoy doing something you didn’t even want to be doing, that you were doing against your own will. “It gets annoying, doesn’t it. Almost immediately. Only Lucifer liked it. That really should have been a red flag.” Whoever she was, she knew Lucifer, and while Sam was certainly thrilled to see Dean seemingly alive and well, him showing up with someone who had historical dealings with Lucifer seemed like an entirely bad sign. Dean shut off the glow – boop Sam felt it when it happened – and he found he was able to retake his feet. “Eventually you’ll learn how to shut it off and keep it off until you want it.”
Castiel and Crowley had climbed to their feet as well. Crowley was brushing dust off his black suit and muttering to himself about dry cleaning bills. The woman, whoever she was, remained on her knees, although sitting upright, perching on her heels like a low chair. Sam sent a glare at the kneeling stranger. He sensed that she was trouble, just a vibe he was getting, that her appearance was a very bad omen like one single small black cloud on a distant horizon. “What’s going on, Dean? Who is that?”
Dean sent a querying look to the woman, as if he really didn’t know how to introduce her. As if maybe he didn’t even know her name. “I don’t really have a name, I guess. There was never anyone to give me one. I was alone from the very beginning. What the humans call me, that isn’t really a real name, is it? It’s like a title. And it’s hard to spell.”
Crowley made a sound of horrified protest. He apparently knew who, whoever this was, was. Sam was relieved to see that Cas still seemed confused, that he wasn’t the only one left clueless. Crowley made as if to transport himself away to whereever it was Crowley went when he wasn’t around, but found that he was stuck right where he was, which he liked even less than dust all over his black suit. Sam realized with a start that Crowley could have easily just demon-dry-cleaned his suit and if he couldn’t do that and couldn’t disapparate, whoever this stranger was had enough power to shut down Crowley. In other words, a LOT. Dean scrubbed his eyebrow with the back of his thumb and looked sheepish. “Are you asking me?”
“I am. If you don’t mind.”
“Seems like a huge responsibility, naming someone forever, and you’re making me do it in a split second in front of a crowd?”
“You brought us here, not me. I would have stayed in the meadow a little longer. I need a name.”
“What if you hate it?”
“What if they laugh?”
The woman eyed Sam, Castiel, and Crowley. “Don’t laugh, guys.” Who was this person? A person who didn’t have a name? But had a title? What did that even mean?
“I promise nothing.” Crowley. The woman laughed.
“This is, uh…” Dean had a moment of frantic mental fumbling. Then he grinned and Sam figured he’d stumbled his way onto a name that he liked. “Jovi.” Gawd. Seriously. GAWD. SERIOUSLY!
The newly named Jovi laughed and extended her arms in a “ta-da” gesture. She liked it. She liked the idiotic terrible classic rock name that Dean had pulled out of his ass. Sam decided that he wanted answers, right away. “No. Dean. Seriously. Who IS that?”
“Sammy, I’m uh, I’ve been. Huh. It’s too weird to say out loud. But it looks like I’m moving on here. Getting kicked upstairs. Way upstairs. She, uh, changed me into something…not human.”
“There’s gotta be a way.” Sam was undeterred. “There’s always been a way.”
“Only because she let there be.” Dean glanced at the woman and Sam was dismayed to realize that his brother didn’t look unhappy. “There’s no going back, is there?”
The person/creature Dean was calling Jovi shook her head. “I don’t know how to change you back, Dean. It would probably kill you to try it, and I would have to go away again, to rest. I’ve been gone too long as it is.”
Dean tried to elaborate for Sam’s benefit. “I don’t think I belong in this world, anymore.”
“Not in your traditional capacity, anyway.” As Jovi spoke, Castiel began to stare at her with awe. He had figured it out too, who it was they were dealing with, and what exactly had happened to Dean. Sam wracked his brain trying to put it all together.
Sam stepped forward and gestured with his head. He needed to talk to Dean privately. Dean agreed and they stepped a few paces away. “Can’t we stop her? A spell, or?”
“Not this time.”
“You sound like you don’t exactly want to.”
“Not this time. Sammy, listen. Not. this. Time.”
Castiel overheard and chimed in. “Not this time.”
Crowley concurred. “Not this time. Bloody hell. Two of them, now. And one of them’s HIM. Gah!” Crowley often made that noise. Must be British or something.
“What do you all mean? Not this time?”
Dean shook his head. “Just figure it out, already, dude, everyone else has.”
“Sorry, I’m dense. It…it…Dean, it seems like you’re giving up on me here.”
“Look, here’s the thing. I’m exhausted, Sam.”
“Then…then go to Tahiti for a couple weeks!”
“And if I did, I’m sure while I was there, there would be some Tahitian demon running amok and I’d have to spend the whole trip learning to say rock salt in Tahiti-talk.” Dean paused and Sam detected a vibe, angry, frustrated, burned out; Sam could relate to the feeling, they’d both gone through it a hundred times before. It went away eventually if you ignored it hard enough, it always went away. Eventually. “Sammy, listen, I don’t want to do this any more!”
“You live to do this!” It was temporary, that was the thing. If you didn’t quit, if you didn’t let yourself wallow in it, the feeling would go away, it would get better. It always did.
“Yeah, but it’s not….much of a life, Sam. Is it? Do I look happy to you? I’m turning into one of those old hunters that gets people killed. Just a drunk, bitter, burned out shell of a person with a sawed off shotgun in one hand and a flask in the other. And I don’t want to get you killed.”
“Dean, you won’t. We’ve come this far together, don’t be giving up on me now.”
“It’s not giving up, it’s moving on.”
Sam stepped away, throwing up an arm in frustration. Dean couldn’t quit. It was ridiculous. It was a totally insane concept for Dean to quit. How many times had they tried to quit between the two of them and it never worked, maybe for a week or a month, but quitting never stuck. He turned away, trying to think of the magic words to undo whatever it was that was happening, only to wind up face to face with the Jovi person…no, being. It was obviously some kind of being, not a person. Sam needed to remember that and not think of it as a person. She smiled brightly. “Sam Winchester, my faithful servant, I won’t leave you here alone. Your brother can be replaced.” Her faithful servant? I think NOT.
“You can’t…replace, my brother!”
“I know that, I’m not stupid. But I won’t leave you alone, either. I think you would make…a lot of trouble…if I did that.” She blinked and stared off into space for a moment. “At first I thought a woman, but I’m not sure that would be enough. You’re kind of an odd duck?” Whatever it was, being, person, whatever, Jovi turned to Crowley. “Crowley, you seem to be about two pages ahead in the script here, why don’t you go and do what you already know I’m going to tell you to do. I’ve given you the ability.”
Crowley looked down, surprised to find he was holding an unusually large key in his hand. It had a rainbow of ribbons attached to the handle. Whatever lock it opened, Crowley was less than pleased by the task he had been assigned. “Because they will kill me if I do?”
Jovi smiled and for some reason Sam suddenly felt exceedingly nervous. “I am the resurrection and the life, Crowley. If they kill you, I’ll just bring you back. It’ll only hurt for a minute.”
Crowley sucked air in through his teeth. “Bollocks.” He prepared to leave with a bitter expression, then hesitated with a curious look on his florid face.
Jovi was slightly perturbed that Crowley had not left to do her bidding. “Question?”
Crowley gestured Dean’s direction. “Did you make me like him? Care about him?”
“No, Crowley, I did not make you like him.” Crowley responded to this news with annoyance; he would have much rather have been forced to like Dean against his own will. “But I did make you, and Castiel, protect him. At all costs to yourself. Kind of explains a lot, now doesn’t it? Sometimes deus ex machina really is deus ex machina.” Crowley and Castiel reacted to this news with different flavors of surprise. Sam, who felt suddenly like he might have connected the dots, sent a confused, questioning look first to Castiel, who replied with an awed expression, then to Dean, who confirmed the truth with an embarrassed shrug. Sam felt stunned as the pieces fell into place. It was…she was….but then that meant that Dean was…and that simply could not be. “But you liked him all on your own. I don’t make beings like each other, Crowley. That’s not really my thing.” Crowley accepted the explanation, even though he didn’t much like it, and vanished.
As the pieces of the truth fell into place, Sam felt a hot surge of rage and tore into Dean, who was now…but no. That couldn’t be. But it seemed to be. Yet it couldn’t be. It went against everything that Sam had thought they were fighting for, if…And Dean was…happy? “How can you be so accepting of this? After everything? Everything she…THAT…put us through? It’s obviously done something to your…mind. Or your soul. To make you…want this. Or think you want it.”
Jovi intervened, feeling obligated to explain herself. “I…um. Well. Naturally I did something to him, Sam, I had to, to make him able to contain…himself. Otherwise he would have exploded! It’s a lot of energy for an earthly vessel on the best day, and his was coming apart at the seams. And I did do it against his will but only because I already knew he would say yes eventually and I wanted to skip all the blah, blah, blah.”
“I wasn’t talking to you.” Sam was just about fed up with the interruptions. He just wanted to talk to his brother for a minute.
Jovi squelched a laugh. “Sorry, that was cute. Someone needs to look up the word smite in the dictionary.”
Dean took Sam’s arm, pulled him away, trying to distract him. “I can’t explain it, Sam…but it feels, inevitable? Like every moment has been leading up to this.” He turned back to Jovi. “It was, wasn’t it? Inevitable?”
Jovi nodded. “I’ve been working for this moment for a hundred generations. You were literally born to do this, Dean. But it’s more than that. You earned it. You did everything right and passed every test. You followed the rules when you were supposed to and broke them when it was necessary. So few people really understand the importance of that.” She paused for a moment, girlish and coy. “And…you’re SO good looking. I know I’m not supposed to care about stuff like that, but. It’s the vessel talking. Mostly.”
Dean missed a beat before continuing. “I’m tired, Sam. I’m tired of this…of weapons and warfare and blood…being all there ever is to me. Sammy, you’ve always been more than just this. I want to be more, too.” Dean paused for a moment. “Of course you would try and ruin this for me. It figures. It just freaking figures.”
“Geez, I win the lottery here and you’re still trying to save me. You hear that tone in my voice, Sam? You know what that is? That, my friend, is rue. I am rueful. I am officially full of rue. I barely even knew what rue was before an hour ago, but Sam, I assure you, that in this moment, I know, that I am chock full of the stuff!”
Sam ignored Dean’s vocabulary breakthrough to focus instead on a flaw he’d seen in Jovi’s argument. “Wait a minute, wait just a minute here. You said he passed every test. What does that mean? A test? Was this all just a test? Our mother, was a TEST?”
This notion had not occurred to Dean. “Is that true, Jovi?”
“Is what true?” Playing dumb.
Dean, of course, totally fell for it. “That I was being tested?”
Jovi started to explain, and then stopped, and Sam caught the faintest whiff of fear coming off of her. Good. “Dean, you have to understand I just had to be really sure this time…I HAD to test you so I would know if you could handle it. I can’t give this power to just anybody. But a lot of the things…most things…that happened were totally out of my control. I didn’t make the demons. Lucifer did. Have I used them at times, yes. But what happened to your mother was NOT because of me, and I hated it. It made it harder for me to get here, not easier. And I didn’t make anybody drink demon blood…as just a random example with absolutely no value judgements attached. Free will can be a real bitch sometimes.”
Sam felt color rise in his cheeks. It felt like a cheap shot, manipulative, like she was turning her sins around on him to distract everyone from the real issue at hand, which was, of course, her sins. But before he could raise a protest, Dean sensed something. It was kind of like watching Superman hear someone call for help off in the distance somewhere, he cocked his head and his brow furrowed and he ground his teeth. Someone was in trouble. Someone needed him. Jovi apparently felt it too. They spoke simultaneously. “Crowley.”
Dean hesitated, apparently expecting Jovi to act first. But she didn’t. “Shotgun. If you don’t want to save him, it’s your call, Dean.” Typical. How entirely typical that was. She had sent Crowley on a mission for her, all but forced him into it, assured him that she’d help him, resurrect him if needed, yet she would have turned her back on him when the rubber hit the road, if Dean had asked her to. Completely and totally typical. Sam had no love for Crowley but it just seemed both totally harsh and yet so unsurprising given who they were dealing with.
God toyed with people, used them for his-now-her own purposes. And Sam was onto her.
Part 3 is here: https://atomicfeminist.com/2017/11/01/supernatural-manic-pixie-god-girl-part-3-free-range-lucifer/