Shotgun

Art by @diminuel. Used with permission.

Shotgun

A Supernatural story by Jennie @DeanIsntFine
With inspiration from @Diminuel


Dean scowled at his reflection in the shop window. Son of a bitch. This outfit.

He didn’t know which was worse: Being mind-raped by the most powerful archangel in two universes, or being tarted up like some cut-rate mortician in a bad gangster flick.

God, I look like a douche.

Of course, wardrobe was the least of his problems right now.

He was stuck riding shotgun in his own meatsuit -- aware, yes, but not in control.

Dean sensed Michael’s thoughts, perceived them as a sort of background noise, a muttering that rarely came through clear. Dean understood that the archangel was still badly damaged from the partial smiting he’d suffered at the hands of his younger brother.

But he still had his wings. And he still had designs on Dean’s world.

Dean felt Michael’s desire like a thirst. As the two walked down the rainy street as one, Michael’s gaze drank in everything that was alien to him in this place -- alien, yet wonderful.

He craved it all. The souls he could save. The riches he could plunder.

Power, control. To rule over… everything.

To create heaven on Earth.

Dean couldn’t help shuddering at the thought.

All those years ago, Dean had refused to accede to his Michael’s plans to lay waste to the planet. The slaughter of millions -- cloaked in righteousness, sure, but all just to settle a petty score between God and his sons.

Back then, Dean had clung to his own free will, had stabbed fate in the face. Sammy had paid the price, had ended up in the cage, but they’d won. They’d won because Dean had stood his ground.

And now he’d gone and said “yes.”

This time, it was a battle that only Dean could fight. And now Lucifer was dead. Sammy was free. Jack was safe. If Dean could go back, he wouldn’t change a thing.

But there was a price. There always was. And now Dean was paying it.

***
18 hours earlier

Michael leaned against the support post in the war room, battered and bleeding from his eyes. Dean turned to face Cas, whose pained expression sent a searing stab through his chest.

“Dean…” Cas tried to protest again. “You can’t do this. After everything…”

Dean reached out to put a hand on the angel’s shoulder, just like he’d done all those years ago by the side of a highway, when he told his friend, his protector, to never change.

Cas had given up everything then to help Sam and Dean beat the angels, stop the Apocalypse. To fight for free will. And Dean knew Cas would give anything now to stop him from making the choice he wouldn’t make then. To stop him from saying “yes.”

Dean gave a small, sad smile, and Cas knew his answer. He knew there was no other way.

“Dean. At least let me come with you…”

“No.” Dean cut him off. “No, Cas. You have to stay. If this thing with Lucifer goes sideways, well…” He looked around sadly at the bunker that had been his home -- the only real one he’d had since the home of the small boy he’d been went up in flames.

“If this doesn’t work,” Dean said, “Sam… Jack…  and I? We’ll be gone.” His voice broke, and he cleared his throat. “And you… you, and Mom and Bobby… you’ll be the ones left to stop all this. You’ll have to keep fighting.

“They’re going to need you, buddy,” Dean said, and tried again to smile. “Somebody’s got to keep them all in line.”

Castiel looked down, then back into the eyes of his friend. There weren’t words.

Dean clapped the angel’s shoulder, gave it a slight squeeze. He let his face go stone cold again and turned back to the fading archangel.

“All right, you bastard. You remember our deal? I’m driving.”

Michael’s eyes were defiant, but he nodded.

“Then let’s do this,” Dean said. “Yes.”

***

Back on the rainy street, dressed like Edward G. Robinson’s undertaker, Dean recalled the light, the surge, the rush of pure power he’d felt as Michael entered.

He remembered rising, slowly, and looking down at Cas, who squinted and shielded his eyes.

And, God help him, he remembered thinking how small Cas looked. How weak. How insignificant.

Then, with a powerful beat of black wings and no time left to lose, Dean and Michael had left the bunker behind.

***

Michael had homed in on Lucifer quickly, and he and Dean materialized in the old church in an instant.

Dean admitted that he felt a certain gravity, the weight of destiny perhaps, as he stood and faced off with the devil, as he unfurled Michael’s wings. Fate was something he’d spent his life rejecting, but even to him this battle, this showdown, did feel… inevitable. Predetermined.

Michael had felt it too, of course. Even though he’d already bested his version of Lucifer, he was more than ready to kill his little brother a second time.

Dean spared just a moment to check on Sam and Jack. They looked banged up, and Jack was bleeding, but they seemed OK. Sam seemed to understand right away what was happening.

“Dean?”

“Hiya, Sammy.” Dean wanted to be sure his brother knew he was at the wheel.

He had thrummed with power and fury as he launched himself at Lucifer, his brother’s tormentor. Dean didn’t need Michael’s help to stoke the years of rage he had built up during the Winchesters’ seemingly unending ordeal with the devil.

Rage for Sam. Rage for Cas. And now, rage for Jack. He had to protect his family.

The devil had to die.

And then it had gone sideways, as their biggest fights always seemed to do. Dean had lost the blade, and he was done. Even Michael’s power couldn’t counter Lucifer, supercharged with Jack’s stolen grace.

Then Dean heard Sammy call his name, and suddenly the archangel blade was there, in his hand. With all he had left, he lunged upward with the blade and plunged it home. He saw the devil erupt in a gout of flame, his unearthly shriek echoing through the abandoned church.

And then it was over -- Dean doubled over in pain, Jack frozen in doubt, Sam gasping with relief. The sheer look of it on his face was almost more than Dean could bear. It was the one thing they never talked about: Sam’s time in the cage. It weighed on him. To see him free of the burden was… It was like a miracle.

“You did it!” Sam was incredulous.

“No,” Dean said. “No. We did it. We did it.”

A moment. A millisecond of triumph.

And then that greedy bastard Michael had welshed on the deal.

***

Now the archangel strode down the street in his shiny new meatsuit. His sword. He chuckled at the thought. What was a sword but a tool? It was nothing without a warrior to wield it.

He was that warrior. And this world would fall beneath his blade.

Dean caught wind of that thought, and he fumed. Time for a little uncivil disobedience.

From deep within his mind, where all his musical memories were etched, Dean conjured up the wild, dissonant strains of Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused.”

He focused hard on pumping up the volume, letting the song fill all the spaces in his head. He thought of the countless miles and hours driving Baby, the blacktop unspooling beneath him, Sam by his side. The boundless night sky wheeling above.

Even inside the prison of his mind, he felt free.

The niggling distraction of the grinding chords brought Michael to a stop, right there in the middle of the busy sidewalk. A passer-by later swore he saw the oddly dressed man’s eyes flare blue.

“DEAN.” Michael’s voice was suddenly loud and clear, booming across Dean’s consciousness.

“Your part in this little road trip of ours is nearly over. You’re still here because I’m healing. I need you. But once I’m strong enough, I’ll take what I want, and you’ll cease to exist.

“I’ll have control. I’ll have it all.”

Dean steeled what was left of his will.

“Well, for now, I’m still here, you son of a bitch. And this time, shotgun picks the music.”

Inside Dean’s mind, Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” played.

And it was cranked to 11.

Comments

  1. This story was inspired by the attached art and fills in some blanks from the Season 13 finale, "Let the Good Times Roll." It has helped me to think of Dean fighting Michael from the inside. I hope you enjoy it.

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    1. HEX! I'm so glad you found me! Miss you. <3

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