If you missed Part Two, it’s here: https://atomicfeminist.com/2017/10/31/supernatural-manic-pixie-god-girl-part-2-dean-gives-god-a-bad-name/
Not save Crowley?
While there had been many a time in his life where Dean would have loved to watch the demon fry, he couldn’t quite help himself. He focused for a moment
He felt a sickening sensation, the kind that you get when you drive too fast on a hilly country road after a night of too much tequila. And then it stopped. Dean realized to his very, very, very great dismay that he was back in Hell. He could smell the brimstone. He had, apparently, without intending to, transported himself and his pitiful little party of Gods and misfits right smack dab into the center of Hell. And what was worse, far worse, so, so very very, again, totally very much worse, was that before him was a cage, and the cage door hung open. Wide open.
Lucifer was free.
Sam grabbed Jovi by the arm and shook her. “What have you done??” Dean couldn’t do a thing to stop him because he wanted to do the exact same thing. God, that dumb bitch, she had had Crowley free Lucifer! He felt rage, a surge of rage and it was like no rage he’d ever experienced, a flare so intense it was terrifying and he wanted to destroy everything that was pissing him off right then and he wondered if this was maybe the downside of being God. That you felt things way stronger than you did when you were a human and had the ability to react to those feelings, badly. And immediately. Thus you had to have a lot of self-control all the time for people to be safe around you and he had never been a guy with an excess of that.
Lucifer and Michael/Adam, apparently chock full of energy upon exiting the cage they’d been sealed in for the past several years, had attacked Crowley and killed him. Still kneeling over the body, they were ripping what was left of poor Crowley to shreds. Sam shook Jovi again, so hard her teeth rattled. Dean realized he could feel Jovi pulling at him like a magnet and he suspected that that no matter where he went, even if they were at two different ends of the galaxy, he’d always be able to feel that little tug. He realized that she was scared and he felt goosebumps rise on the back of his neck. Through their link he knew somehow that being in Hell weakened her, and as a result she was incapable of stopping Sam’s assault, and that she was afraid.
Luckily, after quickly testing his limits, he found that he himself was unaffected by Hell for the most part. Maybe a little around the edges, but still fully functional. He grabbed Sam’s wrist and removed his arm with a perhaps a little more force than Sam expected. Sam pulled away with an accusing expression and rubbed his arm. Such a pussy.
Dean had no time to salve his brother’s ego. He immediately turned his attention to the quickly deteriorating Jovi. The recriminations could wait. “What’s wrong, Jay?”
Her voice was thin and high and on the verge of panic. “I can’t stay here long! Hell is where I put everything that hurts me! It’s like my kryptonite!”
“What about me? I feel fine?”
“I don’t know. You’ve known Hell before, it might make you better able to withstand it. Like an inoculation?” God, she looked terrible. No faking, she was getting weaker by the second.
Lucifer’s attention had been drawn by Sam’s presence. “My vessel.” Lucifer grinned threateningly as he rose to his feet and started towards Sam, who was unfortunately currently inhabiting the only vessel that could truly contain Lucifer’s essence without being totally destroyed in the process. Sam gulped and Dean felt a surge of adrenaline.
Castiel intervened, pulling out his angel sword. “No, brother.” As he came closer Dean realized that Lucifer’s meatsuit was disintegrating by the second. He needed Sam in order to survive and while Dean knew he couldn’t take Sam by force against his will, Lucifer was persuasive and Sam had agreed once before. Dean had the horrifying, hopeless thought that maybe it was destiny, that maybe he was destined to be the hand of God and Sam was destined to house Lucifer and the whole nightmare they had already prevented once – the world ending around them as he and Sam fought the final battle of good vs. evil, not on the same side but on opposite teams – was just about to start up all over again. Maybe there really was no escaping that destiny for the Brothers Winchester.
“Lucifer. Stop.” Upon hearing her voice, Lucifer beamed with delight, with amazement. Lucifer was absolutely brimming over with joy at seeing Jovi. The fallen angel quickly jumped to conclusions about her purpose, and who could even blame the guy? Lucifer clearly assumed that she’d come to rescue him, that all was forgiven and they could be a big happy family again. Then the chilling thought came that maybe it was actually Dean himself who had jumped to conclusions about Jovi’s intentions.
Maybe there was more going on here than met the eye, maybe Jovi had done all this deliberately to bring about the Apocalypse since they’d maybe screwed her out of it the first time. Dean tried not to think about how many times she’d said she’d tried to destroy herself before and especially not all the times she’d tried to destroy the world before. Literally, not figuratively. Old Testament, that was the OLD Testament. Right?
Then she burst into glow and while it was just as beautiful as it had been the first time he’d seen it, Dean found himself totally immune to the effects, just as she had promised him he’d be, which was very reassuring. He did not have to worship her, and that meant she really had made him stronger than she was for whatever reason and that meant that the Apocalypse would not be happening, at least not today.
Dropping to his knees before Jovi, Lucifer gazed at her in adoration. Even on his knees he was nearly as tall as she was and they were pretty much staring right into each other’s eyes. Dean felt a dark pulsation of an emotion he could not identify but it was like a lot of hot blisters formed on the inside of his torso and painfully popped one by one by one quickly like fizzing bubbles in Alka Seltzer. “My Dark Lady has returned. You’ve brought me my vessel, my lady, thank you.”
Jovi answered with cold amusement. “No, Lucifer. I haven’t.” She turned to Dean, deferential. She was deferring to him – again, very reassuring, the body language there. Dean felt reassured despite all evidence to the contrary. “Can you heal this vessel? And make it last? It…it suits him, I think.”
“Do I have to?”
“Well no, of course not, remember? But I would appreciate it. I have a plan, I promise.” Dean still hesitated. “If we don’t heal this one, he’ll just find another one. Ruin someone else’s life. Like Sam’s. Remember how much trouble that was the last time?” Reluctantly, Dean started glowing. He somehow managed to direct it away from Jovi, so she didn’t have to do the whole worship thing, pushing it all at Lucifer. He wondered vaguely if she might’ve done the same; directed her glow away from him and towards Lucifer, perhaps tricking Dean into thinking he was immune to her when maybe he actually wasn’t? But he pushed that thought away. She seemed so nice, so sweet, so genuine, he couldn’t help but trust her, even though he knew it was probably stupid and naive for him to feel that way. Later. He’d figure it out later.
After a few moments of not-so-tender ministration, Lucifer had healed. It turned Dean’s stomach, doing something to help the creature that had inflicted so much suffering on his family. So he turned his attentions to healing Crowley, or he tried to anyway. As fast as Dean could heal him, Michael…or was it Adam…ripped Crowley to pieces again. The screams were awful, even for someone who had seen and heard as much torture as Dean had. Jovi clapped her hands over her ears and winced. Dean focused his intentions like a magnifying glass concentrating a beam of sunlight to melt a hole in an old Pat Boone album. The archangel wearing the body of Dean’s formerly dead half-brother responded to Dean’s command and finally stopped the attack on Crowley’s rapidly healing body. He crawled over to grovel at Dean’s feet, leaving a trail of Crowley behind him. Once he managed to get Crowley put back together again, Dean refocused the glow back onto Lucifer, double strength, and allowed Adam…or was it Michael…to rise.
Crowley scrambled to his feet as well. He was disoriented at first, but he caught up quick, and after gaining his bearings he hurried to Sam and Castiel, who were nearest to him. “We need to get out of here. Every beastie in Hell sensed that gate opening and they’ve all come a-running to serve Lucifer!!” Then Crowley noticed Lucifer was kneeling on the ground beside him and jumped. “Aaa! Did you know he was here?” Dean couldn’t help but laugh. This was one strange situation he’d gotten himself into. If only it was just himself and not everyone else, too.
Lucifer, in the meantime, had realized what had happened, what Dean had become, what Jovi had turned him into, and was stricken. Wounded. Deeply wounded. Dean took pleasure from it. Lucifer sent Jovi an accusing glare – Dean could see him working out the calculus and the implications – and Lucifer then beseeched Jovi plaintively with a strangled voice that bordered on a whine. “No. You haven’t. My Lady??”
The howls, screams and cries of the creatures in Hell grew ever nearer. Jovi seemed distracted, staring off in the distance as if judging how far away they were, and she swallowed, which did not seem to be a particularly good sign. “I have. I’m sorry.”
Lucifer inspected Dean with disdain. “A human. Of course, a human. That human!!!”
“There are two of us now, Lucifer. I’m going to set you free and if you misbehave, Daddy’s going to take you to the woodshed.”
Dean shook his head, confused. “We can’t set him free?” Whatever this plan of Jovi’s was, he wanted no part of it. This was most definitely a Bad Idea.
“Believe me, Dean, he causes just as much trouble locked up, if not more. I locked him up because I was lazy, not because it was the right thing to do with him. Sigh. I was just…procrastinating, I guess. Putting it off but I can’t put it off any longer. Take us back, Dean, please. All of us. We’ll sort it out later.”
Dean tried to do the reverse of what he’d done before, to back them all right out of Hell again, but nothing happened. “Um? I’m not sure I know how.”
With a start Dean realized that Lucifer was aglow with a dark version of the light that Dean and Jovi possessed. Jovi gave Lucifer an annoyed look. “He’s opposing you.” Dean struggled harder, but nada. Jovi looked sternly at Lucifer, but not without affection, as if he was a naughty little boy caught with his hand in the cookie jar. “Would you stahp?” She almost smiled as she scolded the fallen angel. Scolded him! Dean would have vastly preferred she smote first and asked questions later.
Lucifer grinned. “No.”
Dean sent Jovi a panicked glance, feeling his control slipping. “I thought I was stronger.” As if to prove that supposition entirely wrong, Lucifer rose, one foot and then the other.
“You are. But he can be very tough to beat down here. He feeds on it. Subdue him, if you can.” Easy for her to say. Dean and Lucifer began to grapple, both physically and also using their opposing powers. Seemed pretty unfair given that Dean had had his powers for about 3 minutes and Lucifer had had his for eons, but whatevs. They pushed and prodded at each other, testing limits, probing for weaknesses. Dean could sense that he was stronger, but Lucifer didn’t seem quite as subject to the laws of physics as Dean did. He was slippery, oily, gooey, greasy, hits just seemed to slide by him and through him without making much of an impact. Jovi turned away as the horde of monsters just reached them. She raised a shield and the beasts of Hell threw themselves against it, trying to breach it and get to their master’s side. “Crowley, take Sam Winchester and begone. Protect him at all costs to yourself. Hide him, if Lucifer gets out and we don’t.”
And we DON’T? Like, we may not get out of here? Dean found the idea that he might not escape Hell to be just as unappealing in that moment as it was when he was mortal. If not more so. He would have very much liked to ask Jovi a question or two but then Lucifer got a slimy cold hand around Dean’s windpipe and gave a squeeze.
“Yes, ma’am.” After he spoke, Crowley grimaced, plainly annoyed by his sudden, inadvertent obedience. “Bloody Hell.”
Sam raised a hand to try and stop Crowley. “No, wait!” But his protests were ignored. Crowley disappeared with Sam, and Dean felt a palpable sense of relief knowing that at least Sam was out of the line of fire.
Even though she was battling hard to maintain her shield, Jovi spoke calmly. “Michael, Castiel, subdue Lucifer.” But Dean could sense through their connection that it was an act; underneath her calm, she was shook and shook hard, and he was concerned by how pale she’d grown. Nearly gray, and drawn with effort. She was sweating and trembling. He had to get them out of Hell, and fast.
But how could he with Lucifer’s hands around his throat?
Castiel, wielding his angel blade, started toward Lucifer. But Adam…or was it Michael…stopped Castiel with a hand on his arm. The archangel smiled, sinister. “You know, brother, the funny thing about Lucifer is, he can be very persuasive. We had a lot of time together in that cage, Castiel. And some of the things he says makes a LOT of sense. The Dark Lady reappears, and what does she bring us? A human as a new God? Really?”
Castiel’s eyes widened with near-panic as he realized. “Michael has been corrupted by Lucifer!!” Michael/Adam kicked Castiel in the chest before Cas could make a move. Castiel flew through the air into Jovi’s shield, then dropped hard back onto the rocky ground. He didn’t stir. Dean would have loved to help, he really, really would’ve, but Lucifer had his thumb in Dean’s eye and was pushing down really, really hard.
Jovi’s calm demeanor began to crumble. She did the only thing she could think of to do and Dean realized as she did it that he should have thought of it himself. “Castiel, I elevate thee to Archangel of the Lord!” Her voice cracked bad and Dean realized with dismay that she was moving beyond fear straight into panic. She hadn’t been kidding when she’d said she didn’t know what she was doing, that she wasn’t all-knowing.
So much for having a plan. Eh. Plans were for pussies anyway.
Castiel leapt back to his feet. His strength had grown dramatically and he ground his teeth in anticipation. He flew at Adam/Michael and Dean was extremely relieved to see that the two were evenly matched, that Castiel was able to match Michael/Adam blow for blow, strike for strike. Their swords clanged together and sent out sparks as they met.
Dean noticed with dismay that Jovi’s shield appeared to be weakening. The creatures of Hell attacked it again and again, and every time the area it covered grew a little smaller, a little smaller. He managed to glance at her between trading blows with Lucifer. She’d gone well beyond pale, she was ghostly, and her entire body shook with effort. Dean mustered all his strength and will and threw one punch, then another, into Lucifer’s face. He remembered Lucifer beating the hell out of him in the past and put that pain and rage he felt then into every blow. And damn, he was strong.
Lucifer stumbled back a few steps and Dean was on him before he could regain his footing. He connected with Lucifer’s eye and was supremely satisfied when the skin beneath his knuckles burst open like an overripe plum beneath a combat boot. He could actually feel the eye socket shatter. And it was a good feeling. Spectacular. Then there was movement behind Lucifer, a shimmer, something interdimensional glistening like a mirage and suddenly Sam appeared, Crowley at his side. Freaking Crowley had disobeyed orders and brought Sam back. But before Dean could react he realized that Sam had an angel blade. He sank it to the hilt in Lucifer’s back. The dark glow weakened and blinked out as Lucifer crumpled to the ground.
And then boom, there it was again. The power. All of it. Dean could reconnect and he sank his metaphysical teeth into it. He focused intently for a moment and pulled them out of Hell, an act that was surprisingly much more physical than mental or spiritual. They reappeared on the roof of a skyscraper in the middle of a city, some city somewhere, he had no idea which one, but it was a big one. It was dusk and the sun was setting and the lights were starting to come up.
Lucifer fell over sideways, injured but not dying, unfortunately.
Castiel and Michael/Adam were still fighting, and in the confusion, Castiel was distracted just for a moment but a moment was all it took, as evenly matched as they were. Adam/Michael had his opportunity and took it and he began to get the upper hand. Castiel backpedaled frantically and sent a panicked look Dean’s direction. Sam noticed and tried to call it to Dean’s attention. But Dean already knew. “Dean…”
Dean already KNEW, of course he already KNEW, but…he held up his hand, still focused on what he was doing. He had left her behind, he hadn’t meant to but he had left her behind. He struggled but he couldn’t get her. He could touch her but he couldn’t hang on for longer than a moment; wisps of her slipped through his grasp like sand through his fingers. The window he could pull her through had all but gone. The shield was all but gone. He could feel Hell creeping up around her, he could feel her resolve slipping, her heart was going so quickly, how could a heart beat that fast? “Jovi.” He could only manage a whisper and he hoped it was enough so she knew he was still there, still trying, that he hadn’t given up on her and run out on her and he never would. He decided to give it another few seconds and then he was going back for her and even if they were caught at least she wouldn’t be down there all alone.
In the meantime Castiel was barely hanging on. Sam spoke again, more insistent. “Dean!”
Dean didn’t welcome the distraction, not at all, but it triggered something within him. It was as if he was able to splitscreen his own mind. His power didn’t divide in half, it felt like it increased twofold. He granted Castiel some of his strength and Cas managed to rally, forcing Michael/Adam back easily. Dean turned his full attention to his other problem. “Jovi, listen, you have to let me get you. Come on, c’mon c’mon.” Please come on. He perceived that she did something differently then, something that let him in; she let go of that tattered shield she was holding on to and dropped her guard, and as the beasts of Hell rushed in he wrapped his will around her and pulled with everything he had. She stuck for a moment and his heart skipped a beat but then he wiggled her free like a stuck bolt in the Impala, just a little movement back and forth and she came loose, and he pulled her her up and away from the evil that was engulfing her and deposited her back into the world.
Jovi reappeared 3 feet above the rooftop and dropped, hard. She sat up and touched the back of her head. “Ow.”
Dean rushed to her side and slid to a stop on his knees beside her. “Sorry. You were putting up quite a fight there.”
“That was a sensation I never experienced before. I’ve never…had to submit to another’s will. It startled me.” She smiled, bemused. “You are stronger than me. Much.”
“Yeah, well, we can arm wrestle later.” He touched Jovi and she was healed, and then she returned the favor – he hadn’t realized until he actually started healing, but he’d been beaten bloody in his fight with Lucifer and he’d bit a hole through his lower lip from sheer nerves when he’d been fighting to save her. He could still taste the blood on his tongue even after she’d healed him. He helped her to her feet and as he did, he cast a wary eye at Lucifer. The fallen angel pulled the blade from his back and sat up, coughing weakly. Dean hoped Sammy had got him right in the lungs.
Castiel and Adam/Michael were still fighting nearby. Jovi looked at them, intent, and then Adam’s body – because Dean knew somehow it was only Adam’s body now, that whatever Jovi had done, Michael had been forcibly evicted and was gone out of his half-brother at last – fell unconscious. “Why didn’t you just do that in the first place?” Dean had no answer. He didn’t even know what she’d done. At the last moment, Castiel managed to stop his blade barely an inch from Adam’s throat.
Sam and Dean exchanged a glance and rushed to Adam. Dean healed his injuries with a thought, but he kept him unconscious. Sam looked at Dean, hoping for reassurance. “Is he ok?”
“He is no longer Michael. Just Adam.” Jovi had followed them. Apparently she didn’t realize or couldn’t understand that wasn’t the answer that Sam was looking for. She didn’t seem to understand Sam, exactly. Then again, who really did, heh. Castiel’s wounds healed beneath Jovi’s touch, and Castiel gazed at her and laid his palm against her cheek, as if trying to convince himself that she was real. “It’s really me, Castiel. I know you were looking for a long time.” Castiel nodded and Dean felt a rush of happiness that his friend’s long search for God was finally over.
Ignoring Jovi totally, Sam repeated the question. “Dean. Is Adam ok?”
“You have your brother back, Sam.” Jovi didn’t seem to comprehend that having a brother, any generic brother, was not enough. “You don’t need Dean any more now? You have a brother. Adam is your brother.” Sam glared at her. She peered back at him as if looking at an unusual specimen under a microscope.
Dean mostly ignored the exchange, intent upon on healing Adam to the best of his ability. “I think he needs to sleep. He’s been through a lot.”
“He can’t remember, can he?”
Castiel ran a hand over Adam’s head. “He seems to have no recollection of anything that transpired within the cage. His soul is intact and undamaged.”
Dean felt relieved that Castiel, the expert on such matters, agreed that his fix had worked. “I took the memories away and I was able to heal his soul…”
Sam sputtered an interruption. “Does the weirdness of that have ANY effect on you?”
The weirdness did have an effect, of course, but what could you do, sit around thinking about how weird everything was? Pondering it? Wallowing in the weirdness? That didn’t make much sense given how weird him and Sam’s lives were on any given day. “…but…and don’t ask me why I know this, Sam, but I do. Adam’s quantum memory on the subatomic level is beyond my ability to repair. His brain itself can’t remember, but the particles that make up his brain, do remember, in some capacity. It’s like they were used to existence inside the cage. The trauma is imprinted upon his essence in a fundamental way that, I can’t totally erase. Time will have to do that.” Sam gave Dean a blank stare. Castiel gave Sam a befuddled glance and then mimicked Sam’s facial expression. “I don’t know either, guys, look, I just know. There will be some part of him that always remembers what happened. Not consciously, but still. A spiritual scar.”
Jovi produced a clear glass bottle of glowing liquid, a vial, you could say, and held it up to inspect it. “Naughty, naughty Michael! Just look at all the trouble you caused!” She turned to speak to Lucifer, who had managed to stand and was recovering his strength, unfortunately. “There, I unarchangeled him. He’s yours, if you want him. There’s probably a vessel out there somewhere that can contain him.” She gestured dismissively at Sam, Dean, and Adam. “The Winchester vessels are no longer available. Ocupado.”
Lucifer decided to try charm, the only weapon still available to him, such as it was. Dean didn’t think it was much of a weapon at all and hoped Jovi felt the same. “Dark Lady, please don’t send me away. I only ever wanted to be with you. I can still be of use to you. Let me serve you.”
Much to Dean’s relief, Jovi had apparently had enough previous experience with Satanic shenanigans to see through Lucifer’s insincerity. “Three’s a crowd, Lucifer. Get thee gone.” Lucifer sucked air through his teeth and scowled. Jovi tossed him the bottle full of Michael, which he caught, neatly.
After another sullen scowl Dean’s way, he disappeared.
And while Dean certainly didn’t feel good about it, Jovi had a good point – Lucifer seemed to cause plenty of trouble locked up, what more could he do free?