FIC: And Now, With Dragons! [NC-17, 3/3]

Please see the first chapter for warnings, pairings, and other information.



It was early evening when Sam suggested that they do a quick pick up of spring water and then think about sleeping arrangements for the night. Everyone agreed and they headed toward a gas station to refuel and to grab their third component.

Everything was going well enough at first. Jess offered to fuel up the car and Dean agreed, but only after she swore not to put in any of the cheap stuff. It was nothing but the best for his Baby. Jessica made the three finger sign to swear on her scout’s honor. Dean glared at her in response, before retreating to the store, grumbling every step of the way. Sam shared a laugh with her and followed Dean in to get the restroom key.

Sam had just come back from around the side of the building when he knew that something was wrong. Jessica was gone from the Impala and the nozzle had been replaced in its slot in the fuel dispenser. A quick check of the backseat came up empty. Sam whirled toward the store itself and could see that chaos had erupted inside the building. The Dragons were flying along the aisles, blowing bursts of fire, and Jess was taking shot after shot at what look like people, but they weren’t slowed down much by the gunfire. And Dean, Dean was swinging a short, pointed knife that caused the people to light up briefly inside and then fall to the ground, presumably dead, when he stabbed them. It was all that Sam needed to see to get him moving and drawing his own gun to join the fight.

Sam burst through the door just in time to pull Jessica out of the way of a flying shelf one of the people with black eyes had thrown toward her. Demons.

Several of the demons were set on fire and fell to the ground to be consumed by the flames. Sam watched bitterly as the demons smoked out of their meat suits before they roasted all of the way through. The Dragons took every opportunity to chomp, claw, and burn any part of the demons that came close to them. Between Sam and Jess’ gunshots and Dean’s new knife, they ended up with ten bodies and ten lives lost around their feet.

Sam, Dean, and Jess gave no voice to their sorrow for the humans that once were, but their shoulders slumped forward heavily from the burden they’d all picked up together. In the near silence of the occasional flap of wings, Dean stepped over the corpses to take two bottles of spring water from the case at the back of the store. Sam returned the bathroom key to the counter and Dean set a five dollar bill on the counter next to it. They took one last look around and then ducked out of the store to head back to the car. No one spoke until they reached the entrance to the freeway.

***

“I looked up the next big park to take Mira, Ehren, and Adarsh hunting. It’s just across the bay if we take the Golden Gate Bridge. We can be there in half an hour if the bridge is still intact and traffic’s not bad. Did we want to do that first or get a room first?” Sam asked everyone in the car.

The general consensus was that they should get a room first and then go hunting after everyone was settled. Dean suggested the place he and their father had stayed the last time they were in town. At Dean’s suggestion, Sam asked his brother why he’d never seen him on the campus before the world went to hell.

The passing question blossomed into an argument that ended with Dean’s admission that just because Sam hadn’t seen him, doesn’t mean that he wasn’t there. When Sam demanded to know what that meant, there are several moments of angry silence and glares before Sam asked again.

“Dean?! What is that supposed to mean? You said that ‘just because I didn’t see you, doesn’t mean that you weren’t there’. What? Were you stalking me?”

Dean rubbed his hand over his eyes as he reached a red light.

“We weren’t stalking you, all right!”

“We???”

“Me and Dad. We weren’t stalking you. Dad would just suggest that we swing by the campus to check up on you when we were in the area. That’s all, okay?” Dean said crossly and turned into the parking lot of the Surf Motel.

When Dean stopped the car in front of the office, Jess shot out of the backseat and fled to the relative safety of the main office. Sam and Dean flicked their eyes in her direction in misplaced annoyance before turning back to one another.

“So, what you’re saying is that you didn’t write, call, or Heaven forbid, stop by and see me, but you would stop by the campus and watch me . . . with Dad? Dean, that’s the very definition of stalking! You do know that that, right? I mean, obviously not. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be explaining it to you right now!”

“We weren’t stalking your precious ass. Dad and I just wanted to check up on you, make sure that you were still alive and hadn’t gotten your throat ripped out by some ghoul or something, all right? Can’t your real fucking family be worried about you for two seconds?”

“Well-“ Sam began, but was quickly cut off.

“And don’t you give me that shit about us not caring about you when you left, either. We needed you, man. I needed you, Sam.”

At the sarcastic twisting of Sam’s mouth and the bunching of his eyebrows, Dean hissed in frustration before he continued on.

“And not just for fucking around, either! I can get ass from anywhere, but I can’t just go out and get another brother, okay? And Dad never, not once, said dick about replacing you or not caring that you were gone. We were pissed, but we still cared and I will always give a damn about you, okay?”

Dean’s snarl was interrupted by the sounds of Jessica’s knocking on the window and the excited chirping from the backseat. Jess opened the door and slid onto the bench seat.

“All clear in here?” Jess asked tentatively with her door still open, ready for another quick getaway.

“Yeah. Yeah. We’re all right,” Sam said quietly.

That was all the assurance Jess needed to close the door and direct Dean where to park the car. Once everyone’s bags were settled inside, Sam pulled up the driving directions for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Fifteen minutes later, they were on the two-lane street that led into the park and were admiring the hills and foliage along the way. Dusk was quickly approaching and the various parks were certain to be closing soon, which Sam thought was best for their intentions.

The Impala crawled along the road until they reached an isolated area of the Presidio. Over 200 types of birds could be found there throughout the calendar year and Sam knew there was no better place for them than this. Sam, Dean, and Jessica slid out of the car and collected their falconry bags and pistols from the trunk. Mira, Zippo, and Ehren flew out of the backseat from Jess’ open door to circle overhead. With a call that all was clear, the Dragons settled on the car’s rooftop and awaited the attachment of their equipment.

When every anklet, jess, swivel, leash, and gauntlet was in place, Dean locked the car and the group walked into the woods. After a quick search of the area, the Dragons were set loose on the unfortunate bird population of California. Sam, Dean, and Jess waited in the looming darkness, speaking little, and were insanely grateful when the Dragons returned with fresh kills on their breath and nothing in pursuit. Sam had never been so happy to leave a National Park without incident in his life.

The drive back to the motel was a quiet one. Eyes met and darted away. The baby Dragons excitedly bounced on the bench seat and described the delicious meals they’d enjoyed. When the Dragons started comparing the dying screeches of the birds versus the tastiness of their innards, the humans unanimously called a halt to that direction of the conversation.

When asked why, they told their Dragon Allies that they’d heard enough for the time being. Ever obstinate, Zippo insisted that since the humans would never experience the joy of the wind under their wings and fresh bone, blood, and flesh in their mouths, it was the Dragons’ duty to fill them in on what they were missing. At that, Dean stared hard at Zippo in the rearview mirror and told the Dragon that in no lifetime would they ever need that information and maybe everyone should go back to being quiet. Humans and Dragons alike silently agreed and the rest of the trip back to the motel was spent in brooding silence.

***

Sam told Dean that he could have the bathroom first to clean up, but to give he and Jess a moment to empty their bladders before he hopped in the shower. After Sam and Jess each took their turns in the bathroom, Mira, Ehren, and Adarsh expressed an interest in exploring the immediate area. After promising not to be seen and to stick to the shadows, Sam opened the door and allowed them out into the night. He wished them luck and told them to have fun.

Once done, Sam found himself sprawled on his bed with Jessica molded against him. His hands instinctively went into her hair to draw her mouth to his. Their sweet kisses quickly gave way to nipping teeth and exploring hands that cupped one another through their jeans and fingers that found their way underneath the hems of tee shirts.

Sam allowed Jess to push him onto his back while she straddled his hips. She ground down against his growing erection and Sam wondered if they could be quiet enough not to draw Dean’s attention from his shower. If anything, he hoped that his brother would be attending to his own needs and would take a while. Sam watched Jess’ shirt slip over her head and her bra come into view.

He let himself to be moved and positioned as Jess stripped them down and returned to her place on his lap. She took her time running her hands over their bodies and circling her tongue around Sam’s nipples. Jess drew the tender flesh between her teeth as her hands stroked his cock and gently rolled his balls in her palm. When she felt satisfied that Sam had suffered long enough, she positioned herself over him and slid down the length of cock until she’d taken every inch of Sam inside of her.

Sam groaned in approval as she begin to move, slowly building a rhythm that had him clutching her hips and thrusting up into the wet heat of Jess’ body. His world narrowed to the slap of flesh and the bouncing of Jessica’s breasts in time to her every rise and fall on his dick. Sam could feel the beginnings of his release snapping at the edges of his consciousness and focused on the tingling heat of anticipation as he finally gave in to instinct and slammed his hips up hard to meet Jessica’s.

Jessica shook in his lap as her own orgasm overtook her and forced a loud moan past her tightly pressed lips. The sight of Jess finding her release as she used his body for her own pulled Sam over the edge with her. The last thrusts of his hips had Sam spilling inside of her and calling out Jess’ name like it was salvation itself. Sam collapsed back on the bed, sweating and pulling Jess down to rest on his chest, and let the moment of bliss and the thought that all was right in the world take him away into the fog of unconsciousness. Before he could fully succumb to their shared petite mort, Sam was startled awake by the sound of his brother’s voice.

“Not bad. I’ve been waiting to see that since I found out that you’d managed to land Jess as your girlfriend. And let me tell you, little brother, you two did not disappoint.” Dean chuckled and finished pumping his fist along his dick, milking the last of his orgasm from his body. With little thought to spare, he wiped hand on his towel and eyed the couple on the bed.

Jess tiredly opened her eyes and Sam could see that she was muddling somewhere between screeching and hiding and complete resignation. It was obvious that Dean was after her in some capacity from the start, but great sex had a way of draining away one’s ability to function. Sam took that moment to speak for the both of them.

“Dean! Get the fuck out of here! I’m serious!”

“What? If you didn’t want me to watch, why’d you decide to loudly fuck while I was still here? Anyone would have thought that was an invitation.”

“You were in the shower and I didn’t think that we were that loud.”

“Well, you were, but I’ll give you lovebirds a minute to cover up, okay?”

Sam curled his arms protectively around Jess and growled out an ‘okay’ and told Dean to take his peeping eyes back into the bathroom. Jess sighed heavily, pushed herself off of Sam, and began the search for her underwear. Sam joined her in the hunt and helped her get dressed. It was just like Dean to stick his nose where it wasn’t invited, but Sam couldn’t help but admit to a tiny part of himself that he liked being watched by Dean. Not only did that part of him liked being watched, it flourished at the thought of Dean’s praise for their skill.

With each snap of Jess’ bra hooks, Sam wondered if he was being greedy to want both his brother and his girlfriend as one package, when they were in the middle of a war to save their planet. He was still trying to decide when Dean reentered the room. He was dressed and eying their slightly rumpled clothing.

“Okay, Sam. Let me have it,” Dean said and sighed in defeat.

Sam directed Jess to sit on their bed and for Dean to sit on his before he responded.

“Dean, it’s like this. You can’t just barge in anytime that you want. If we knew that we’d be so loud or that you’d get out of the shower so soon, we wouldn’t have done anything while you were here. But it just got the better of us. So, we need to set some boundaries.”

“Boundaries?! Sam, I used to nail girls in my bed while you were in the same room all the time back when we were kids, because I was hoping you’d come over and join us. Instead, you just laid there in your bed jerking off, so I thought that’s what you wanted. You fuck, I watch, I jerk off.”

Sam huffed out a sigh of annoyance and rubbed his hands over his face. “That was then and this is now. We aren’t kids anymore. I know what you want and I know what we had, but it isn’t just us anymore. I have Jess now and her feelings need to be considered and respected. Who’s to say that she wants you watching her have sex, man?”

“I would,” Jessica cut in. “I would say if I want Dean to watch me have sex. And the fact is that it’s tempting. It was a little weird at first when I realized that the two of you were sleeping together at some point and Dean seemed to want to pick up where you guys left off. It was weirder still when I realized that Dean seemed to want both of us together. But, I love you, Sam, and I can see that you love Dean. I can also see the way he looks at you and I’ve seen the way he looks at me.

“Dean, if you’d have just asked us first, you might have received a yes. But you chose to sneak in where you weren’t invited. Part of me wants to pack my shit up and go home, if it weren’t for the fact that we might not have a home to go back to if we don’t see this thing through.”

Sam watched the up and down bob of Dean’s head as his nodded his understanding at the floor. With his shoulders drawn up around his head, Sam thought Dean resembled a dog that knew what was coming to it after it had stolen its master’s dinner. Sam was so furious with Dean, but he would do anything to make that look of dejection go away and to try and bridge the chasm between his past and his present.

“Dean, look at us.”

Sam waited until he and Jessica had his brother’s attention.

“I want to make this work, but this is something that needs some thought and some time. I care about you and Jess and if we could work something out, something that would let all of us be happy when this crap is over, I’d be thrilled. Until then, let’s see how this mess with Lucifer’s Cage plays out. I’m not telling you no, but I am telling you not to spy on us anymore. Are we clear?”

“I’m definitely not telling you no either,” Jess promised. “I just think that it’s something that we should talk about first. Sam and I live in Stanford and you’re always on the road. Are we going to do the long distance thing or will you stay with us? Are you ultimately just after Sam or are you just after me? These are things we need to know before any of us makes a decision that will affect all of our relationships.”

Dean nodded his head slowly and said, “I’m not just ‘after’ you guys. Sam’s one of the most important people in my life and I like you, Jess. A lot. You’re a good Hunter and a decent woman. There is no one I’d rather see my brother with, if he wasn’t with me. We can get the whole me being on the road thing figured out after we put Lucifer back in his Cage like you both said.”

Dean stood up and brushed his hands off on his jeans. “For now, who wants some dinner?”

Jess offered him a hopeful smile and said that she was starving. Sam concurred and looked around for the Dragons. They should have been back by now. Just as he was giving in to worry and Dean was telling them about the best places to eat nearby, the sound of knocking came from the door.

Thank God.

Sam’s relief lasted right up until Zippo flew into the room with a severed hand in his mouth and Mira and Ehren following suit with their own human body parts in tow. The Dragons set their bounty down on the table and turned expectantly to the humans for comments or congratulations on their excellent hunting. When no comments were forthcoming, Zippo took that moment to explain.

“We nabbed these parts from two demon Allies and a Dragon hybrid. They had the place staked out and probably weren’t expecting us to be out on patrol. But there they were and here parts of them are now.”

Zippo grinned proudly and beat his wings against the air. Mira and Ehren added their own details to the tale and the humans dutifully offered their congratulations on the Dragons’ fine work, before quickly moving on to the business of disposal.

Jess suggested wrapping the body parts in plastic and dumping them in a dumpster far away from their motel. Sam and Dean both suggested that they make use of the ocean that wasn’t far from them. When Jess reminded them that the dumping site needed to be far enough at sea that the hand, fingers, and ears didn’t simply wash up on the beach by the next day, they all settled for burying the body parts in the next suitable patch of land they found.

With that settled, dinner was back at the forefront of conversation and Dean volunteered to go pick something up. Before he’d even pulled away, Sam and Jess got on to the job of cleaning up the Dragons and their table. No need for pieces of uninvited guests to join them for dinner, after all.

The task of clearing away the Dragons’ cache took less time than Sam had anticipated, so he clicked on the television and beckoned Jess to come join him on the couch. They settled together, side-by-side, while the Dragons flew over and landed on the back, arm, and seat of the couch. They had tuned into the local news just in time to see the on-going mass of natural disasters that seemed to be conquering the globe. Detroit, in particular, seemed to be hardest hit with both floods and fires decimating various parts of the city.

There were still no survivors from the collapsed islands of Hawaii or any of the other places that had fallen into the sea. The State of California was doing its best to clear the mud and rock slides, as well as fill in the sinkholes that still remained open.

By the time the news had reached the story about California’s residents spotting large Dragons flying over the state and Disney being blamed for the sightings, Dean had returned with chili cheese dogs, tater tots, and milk shakes. Food was divvied up, the television was turned to face the table, and seats were taken.

The news anchor was just telling her audience that there had been no conformation, nor any denials, on whether Disney was behind the Dragon sightings for an upcoming ride, when a goofy smirk took over Dean’s face.

“Hey, Sam!”

Dean waited until Sam, and even Jess, had turned from their hot dogs to look at him. With a jerk of his hand holding his milk shake and a chortle of self-amusement, Dean sang to them about the ways in which his milk shake brought the boys to the yard and how they would need to pay him to teach them his skills. Sam rolled his eyes and Jess snorted into her own shake in response. Dean threw his head back and laughed, half-chewed food in his mouth and all, when Jess informed him that she could teach him a thing or two and he’d do well to pay attention if he wanted to keep any boys satisfied.

When dinner was consumed and the table was cleared by Sam and wiped down by Jess, Dean got out his cell and dialed Bobby’s house number. Several rings led straight to voice mail, so their Dad’s cell was called next. Their father answered on the first ring and told them that he and Bobby were already on the road. They had been in touch with quite a few others in the Hunter’s Network and had put together where the final battle was to take place.

Between the mythology and the movements of monsterkind, they’d deduced that they needed to head to California itself. Bobby ran their theory past Pamela and she confirmed what they had figured out with what she saw. After she had finished describing her vision for them, she told them that there couldn’t be a better place to decide the fate of the world’s end than a beautiful graveyard in a town called Paradise.

Information on their numbers that were headed toward the fight was traded for information on how far along Sam, Dean, and Jess were on the key. When everyone seemed assured by their collective progress, goodbyes were exchanged via speakerphone and Dean put his cell phone away. Sam seized the lull in conversation to volunteer to provide them with their fourth component. Jess helped him collect blood from his palm in a glass from the bathroom and cleaned his wound when they were done.

Dean looked on in mild interest, noting the way they worked together and how easily they’d come to fit together. Sam felt his brother’s eyes on them while they worked and strangely enough, he didn’t feel the least bit perturbed by the scrutiny. In fact, Sam found himself smiling when he glanced between his brother and his favorite woman in the world.

Yeah, they just might be able to make this work.

***

A slim hand slid over Sam’s shoulder and traced the path of his arm down to his hand. Sam smiled as their fingers interlocked and he turned over into Jessica’s embrace. His sweet girl. She was all that he needed in the dead of night when his past became too much to bear and the future that lay ahead of him wanted to freeze him where he stood; neither moving forward nor backward, but pushed into action regardless.

“Hey, baby,” Jess said with the sweetest smile on her face. “What are you doing, Sam?”

Confusion flickered across Sam’s mind at the odd question.

“What do you mean? I’m lying here with you.”

Sam reached up and brushed the blonde curls away from Jessica’s face and rested his palm against her cheek.

“You’re running away, Sam.”

“Running away how? I’m here and I’m not going anywhere.” Sam brushed his thumb across Jessica’s lips and smiled as she kissed his thumb in return.

“You’re running away from what I need from you.” Jessica pressed her body closer to Sam’s and swung her leg over his thigh.

“What do you need? Sex? Dean’s in the other bed. Can’t it wait until we get back home?”

Sam checked the other bed, only to realize that they are alone in their single bed motel room. No Dean, no Dragons, just them and the sheets they were lying between.

“Dean, who? It’s just me, baby, and I don’t want to see you waste your life this way. You think that you can just live forever with your head buried in the sand?” Jess stroked his face and smoothed her thumb over his chin.

“Buried how?”

“By fighting what you were born to do, who you were born to be. Why are we struggling so hard to keep you from Lucifer, when things would be so much easier if you just said ‘yes’?”

Sam sighed and he wondered, for only a moment, if she was right.

“I love you, Jess, but you’re wrong. I was not meant to help evil, but to fight it.”

“What makes you think that letting Lucifer in would be evil? What makes you think that
Lucifer is evil? Because of some stories you read in a book? Because the rodents you call humans told you so? No, baby. Let’s think this through.”

Disturbed by the turn their conversation was taking, Sam gently removed Jess’ leg and drew away from her. Her face appeared open and sincere, but her words were all wrong. This was not the Jessica he knew. She would never say these things to him. When she reached for him again to draw him back to the comfort of her breasts, Sam threw off his covers and sat up. He sat on the edge of the bed, facing away from Jess to give himself a few seconds to clear his mind.

“Have you not seen what he’s done? Have you not seen the millions that he’s killed? No. I was not born to help him kill millions more. There is reason to hope. You
can decide your own fate and choose your own path.”

Jessica’s hand swept his hair away from his ear and traced the skin she found there.

“No, Sam. You can’t.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“Because it was written and it shall be so. Your own father freed me to allow me to get to you.”

Jess’ hand moved from his ear to his shoulder and it felt as though her hand was rippling as it went. A shot of panic overtook Sam then and he turned to face his girlfriend, only to find himself in bed with a man with short, sandy blond hair, sad eyes, and a look of bleak determination on his face.

Sam lurched backward out of bed and retreated across the room.

“That’s right. You know who I am.”

“Lucifer.”

“You are a hard one to find, Sam. Harder than most humans, even though your location should be open to me. I‘m guessing that those pesky Dragons are somehow shielding you from me. I don’t suppose that you will tell me where you are?”

“What do you want with me?” Sam circled around the bed toward the door.

“I want to give you a gift. I want to give you
everything.”

“I don’t want
anything from you,“ Sam snarled in response.

“I’m so sorry, Sam. I- I really am. But Nick here is just an improvisation. Plan “B.” He can barely contain me without spontaneously combusting.”

“What are you talking about?”

Lucifer stood and slowly moved toward Sam as he brought his palms together. “You’re the one, Sam. You’re my Vessel. My True Vessel.”

Sam’s pulse thumped heavily against his veins. This couldn’t be. He had done everything right and here they were regardless.

“No.”

The nod of Lucifer’s head was filled with certainty. “Yes.”

“No. That’ll never happen.”

“I’m sorry, but it will. I will find you,” Lucifer told him and stepped closer still to Sam.

They exchanged places and Lucifer began to walk Sam backward toward the bed.

“And when I do . . .”

Another step forward.

“You
will let me in. I’m sure of it.”

“You need my consent?” Sam asked, boggled by the way that the Devil himself was not bragging about forcing his way into Sam’s body, the way he’d let himself into Sam’s mind.

Lucifer crossed his arms and puffed out his chest proudly. “Of course. I’m an angel.”

Sam chuckled at the irony.

“I will kill myself before letting you in.”

Lucifer rolled his eyes as he said, “And I’ll just bring you back.” Lucifer exhaled heavily, as though dealing with a difficult child.

“Sam. My heart breaks for you. The weight on your shoulders. What you’ve done. What you still have to do. It is more than anyone could bear. If there was some other way . . .” Lucifer gave a sad shake of his head, resigned to their fate together. “. . .but there isn’t.”

Lucifer took another step forward, a step closer into Sam’s personal space.

“I will never lie to you. I will never trick you. But you
will say yes to me.”

Sam shook his head in denial. How could he resist the pull he felt even in his dreams? There was something here, an unexplainable attraction that he felt was drawing him closer and closer to the fallen angel before him.

“You’re wrong,” Sam said with more bravery than he felt.

“I’m not. I think I know you better than you know
yourself.”

Sam’s voice broke as he uttered his next words. “Why me?”

“Because it
had to be you, Sam. It always had to be you.”

Sam stared down at the floor, his emotions and fears broke through the protective walls he built to separate himself from his old life and what he thought he’d become if he stayed on the road with Dean and their dad. All of the sorrow he felt at always knowing that he never belonged, that there was something innately
unclean about him flooded through him.

When he felt that he was collected enough to look into the face of his worst fear, he brought his eyes back up to meet Lucifer’s. But it was too late, he was already gone.


Sam jerked awake and sat up in bed. Dean was passed out in the other bed. Jess stirred in her sleep and reached out for him. Still shaken by his dream and not knowing if he was truly awake, he backed away from her touch. How could he be sure that this was real this time?

The Dragons snorting out steam as they slept and Jessica’s passing moment of confused hurt told him that he’d returned from the land of dreams back to the land of nightmares. Sam carefully laid himself back down and reassured Jess that he was merely having a bad dream, but that all was okay and that she could go back to sleep.

He closed his eyes and pretended to drift off, but it was a long time before Sam was able to separate how good Lucifer’s hands and offer had felt when they were wrapped up in the package of the woman he loved and a man he’d never met.

***

The next morning dawned bright and way too early for Sam’s tastes, but they had to head out on the road. They had also heard from their father and Bobby that morning that the Dragons had been in contact with other Hunters and other friendly, ancient Allies they had awaken for this sole purpose. Some, John had said, were of the Fair Folk and others, none of them knew the correct names for what they were. Still, John and Bobby had been assured by Malek that they would all fight as Allies and the last defense against Lucifer and Hell’s Horde.

Last night’s dream was still eating away at Sam when he slouched down into his seat and blew off Jess and Dean’s questions about what was troubling him. When Dean chuckled and slapped his chest while asking if Sam hadn’t gotten enough beauty sleep before the big battle, Sam batted his hand away. He wasn’t anywhere close to being ready to joke about the very real prospect that Lucifer could find him no matter where he was and wear him down. As exhausted as he still felt, he refused to go to sleep and let the Serpent back into his brain.

They made the three and a half hour drive up to Paradise with little incident, which Sam found to be the strangest thing of all. The roads between San Francisco and Paradise were suspiciously free of sinkholes, debris, and even traffic snarls. It was as though Hell was rolling out the red carpet for their favorite guests. They all knew a trap when they saw one and even Jessica said as much when they didn’t have to take a single detour.

But trap or no, they were going to see this through. There would be no going back now that every piece of the key was in their possession and everyone had signed their lives to this cause.

Sam admired the beautiful trees and flowers along the edge of Paradise Cemetery. He kind of thought that he’d like to be buried some place this nice when he died, if they didn’t have the need to burn fallen Hunters, that is. The Dragons pushed their faces toward the windows and used their superior vision to pick out the double gazebo they saw people and monsters gathered around in the distance.

Dean suggested that they wait until they saw the others arrive before getting too close. They had all agreed that it was a good plan, right up until a Dragon hybrid carrying a chupacabra in its claws dropped down onto the hood of the car. Dean put the car into Drive and stomped down on the gas pedal. The hybrid and its passenger flew off, leaving them slightly shaken and cementing the fact that this battle would begin whether they were ready or not.

Dean silently consulted each of the passengers with a raise of his eyebrows on what to do next. Each of them nodded their assent as he met their eyes. The time was definitely now. Dean floored the car toward the two gazebos that were temporarily sheltering Azazel, Abbadon, and several other Dragon hybrids. Numerous demons and various types of monsters the men had hunted and killed with their father over the years surrounded the open structures, as though they were all gathered for a lovely day in the park.

The Impala stopped short of running over several gremlins before everyone was in motion. Doors were kicked open and the Dragons burst out of the car with little time to bother with equipment. Blasts of fire charbroiled everything close enough to touch the Impala or her passengers. Dean shouted a warning to watch the car, but even his momentary irritation was swallowed up by him quickly drawing his knife and sinking it into the chest of a demon that was barreling towards him.

Sam pulled out his pistol and stood back-to-back with Jess as they selected targets and fired. They moved in a circle together around the side of the car to reach Dean, who was pinned to the car by two demons that had caught his swinging arms. Shots were fired directly into their brains, which gave Dean just enough time to slit their throats with Ruby’s knife. Their meat suits lit up like Christmas, before falling dead to the ground.

Gremlins, chupacabras, and ghouls alike were shot through their hearts and heads with a steady onslaught of silver bullets. Werewolves joined their numbers on the ground with silver bullets of their own resting in their hearts.

Mira, Ehren, and Zippo chomped their way through the Horde, setting the hardest to kill on fire with great bursts of flame that engulfed their victims. Their half-relatives were not so easily slain, but their body parts fell prey to the baby Dragons’ teeth all the same. Little by little, several hybrids were ripped apart between the jaws of all three Dragons working as one.

Hell’s Horde was falling fast, but their reinforcements were faster still. Sam had just surrendered himself to prayer when he heard the growl of his father’s truck and the blasts of a shotgun tearing across the cemetery to his left. Behind their father’s truck came a parade of other vehicles. Some patchwork, others in mint condition, but they all contained Hunters that were firing into the outer edges of the crowd.

High above them, came the terrible shadows of Winged Allies descending upon the fray. Dozens of demons, vampires, and banshees disappearing between Malek’s crushing jaws as he led his fellow Dragons in their coordinated attack on the outlying lines of foes that were trying to reach the Impala.

Sam was stunned to see the surrounding woods come alive with movement. One moment there were trees and flower bushes, and the next, there stood nymphs, satyrs, and other members of the Fae he had never seen with his own eyes, but had read about. They were armed with long knifes, roughly hewn clubs made from tree branches, golden whips of light, and other weapons Sam simply did not have a name for. They ran into battle screaming for blood in a way that Sam had never imagined the Fair Folk were capable of. He, for one, would never doubt the Fae again.

Bodies smashed into one another and monsters and human alike fell dead to the earth. The Dragons’ jaws separated the battle from utter hopelessness and the clear edge they were gaining. Even though their side appeared to be losing, Sam could see Azazel and Abbadon standing serenely in the gazebo closest to them with content smiles on their faces. Sam’s eyes darted around to see what could cause a supposedly losing side to stand idle and smile as though all was right in the world.

It was then that he saw them through the parting Horde. A wave of cold air crawled along Sam’s neck and he knew that it came from one person alone. Lucifer, inside of the unfortunate, decaying Nicholas, had Ruby by his side and was headed directly toward them. It was time for him to either save them all or for Sam to write everyone’s ticket to Hell.

He got Dean and Jessica’s attention and they shielded him as he drew the sword from the car and deftly rubbed each of the components for the key upon the blade. He swung the weapon in his hand to gain a feel for the balance of the sword before he grinned up at Lucifer. His answer should be obvious when he drew his sword instead of going to his would-be master. The trickles of blood lust that were demanding justice for all who were killed thanks to Lucifer’s manipulations forced the corners of his mouth up and his teeth to clench together in a half-mad salute.

Sam raised his hand to bring the blade of the sword down into the earth and open up the Cage, regardless of who all might fall into its trap. But faster than thought, Ruby was at Sam’s elbow, holding his arm and the sword aloft. She dug her nails into his skin and began to wrestle the sword from his grip. She hadn’t had a chance to do more than pry Sam’s pinkie finger free before Mira’s jaw closed on Ruby’s wrist and freed her of the appendage.

Ruby’s mouth had snapped opened in a scream when Ehren and Adarsh closed in on her from both sides and clamped down on her throat. Working together, they bit through her neck and held her still as Dean delivered the deathblow with her own knife. Sam looked on in disgust and triumph as he tightened his grip on the sword and found Lucifer’s gaze once more.

With their eyes for one another alone, neither man acknowledged the battle that was carried on around them. Lucifer’s eyes pleaded with Sam to let him in and allow them to become the partners he longed for them to be. Sam’s heart solidified into an unfeeling chunk of stone in his chest as he shook his head ‘no’ and tossed the sword, point-first, in the ground a couple of yards from Lucifer’s feet.

Lucifer had just enough time to glance down at the trembling blade and then the words to send Lucifer back to where he belonged were on Sam’s lips. He shouted the words into the vacuum of battle and the throes of death that cried out around them and watched as the ground sank inward in front of the Devil.

The graveyard earth fell into the hole as it widen, swallowing demons, grave markers, and several unlucky Fae. The sound of unholy screeching filled the air as Hell called for its master to return home and settle himself within its walls. There was a split second of regret and longing that crossed Lucifer’s face before he was pulled forward by the vortex of wind that swirled out of the pit. Looking into those forlorn eyes, Sam almost felt that if things could have been different, he might have made them so. But he knew that it was either one fallen angel or all of humanity and there could be no other choice besides the obvious.

The hole threw out a blast of blinding white light and the sound of electricity zapping all of their hopes away with its passing. And then, remarkably, there was only a slightly stained sword still vibrating in the grass, as though the entrance to Lucifer’s Cage had never been. Sam didn’t have time to question the hows or whys, not when the fight grew nastier when the minions of Hell watched their God fall into ruin, taking all of their dreams for death and destruction with him.

Sam found himself in motion, running toward the sword and drawing it from the earth. He swung the sword around him. Cleaving through demons and Dragon hybrids alike. Their death cries meant nothing to him but uninhibited joy to his aching heart. From his own place in the graveyard, Sam watched as scores more demons and monsters fell beneath the onslaught of the Dragons and their Allies.

He had just managed to spear two ghouls through the chest on the blade of his sword when he saw Azazel and Abbadon retreat from the gazebo with barely a glance back at the mayhem they had conjured. He tried pushing his way towards them, but found his path blocked by three demons and a wraith with its spike extended. He had just cut the spike from the wraith’s wrist when Dean and Jess were there beside him, slashing, kicking, and shooting anything that got too close.

Sam, Dean, and Jess were breathing hard and covered in blood when they realized that every monster was either dead or had teleported away in defeat. A cheer went up from those that remained standing or lying injured upon the ground and was carried across the cemetery until everyone who still possessed a voice echoed it back to its creator. High fives where exchanged between thrilled humans and confused Fae. Dean, Sam, and Jess laughed and hugged one another tightly, thankful to be alive and mostly unharmed.

Their eyes immediately began the search for John and Bobby. They found Bobby on the ground with a bleeding stomach wound and John with a dislocated shoulder that looked as though it would hurt more to shove it back into place. Without missing a step, Malek flew overhead and instructed the warriors to organize themselves and their fellows into groups of the worst hurt to the least. He promised that all who had sustained life-threatening or other serious injuries would be given a measure of Dragon’s blood to heal all that ailed them. The rest with minimal injuries would be better served by human and Fae medicine.

In a shorter time that any of them could have imagined, the worst of the survivors were rejuvenated with sips of surprisingly sweet Dragon’s blood and the rest were bandaged up by the healed and unharmed. When all of the Dragons, Fae, and humans were accounted for, either dead or alive, each of the races separated to collect their dead. The Fae were the first to leave, returning to the trees from which they had emerged.

Sam overheard them speaking to one another in a high, fast language that he couldn’t hope to understand. When asked to translate what they would do with their dead, the humans were told that their dead would be offered to Nature through the roots of trees and the cool waters of fast moving rivers. All would be returned to the Great Mother that gave them life.

The human Hunters gathered firewood in the gloom of night and built pyres right there in the cemetery. With a bit of help from their Dragon Allies, the bodies of several Hunters Sam and Dean didn’t know and all of the Harvelles were laid to rest. Jess took Sam’s hand when he flinched at the ignition of Jo’s flame. They never spent as much time together as he would have liked, but he loved her like family all the same. She was the sister he and Dean had never had, but could have used to brighten the long days on the endless road.

The Dragons, however, were the lucky ones. They had lost none of their number, not even among their young. Their tough hides and quick healing made them the most difficult targets on the field. Even through their sorrow for their own losses, Dean, Jess, and Sam had to appreciate the small blessing of retaining their temporary Allies for just a little bit longer.

Sam, Jess, and Dean were a slightly unnerved to see the Dragons clear the remaining demonic and monstrous bodies by feasting upon them, but they figured that whatever got the job done and kept the civilian inquiries to a minimum would do.

When all of the Hunters’ bodies and their pyres were turned to ash and collected for spreading later, there came a demand for beer and food and a chance fuck, if they could manage it. Dean laughed and met Sam’s and Jess’ eyes. They sent the rest of the Hunters on to a bar on Clark Road called Kings Tavern they had passed on their journey to the graveyard, and turned to the Dragons that had saved them all.

“I guess this is it, huh? Or are you going to stay around and celebrate?” Dean asked, looking up into Malek’s deep amber eyes.

“Yes, Young One, this is it. We will not be staying around to celebrate with our human Allies, as we have Dragon business to attend to before we go back into hibernation for Lucifer’s next rise to power.” Malek tilted his head thoughtfully as he spoke and looked over the three human in front of him.

“I suppose that you also have your own business to which you must attend, if I am not incorrect.”

Jess and Sam blushed crimson knowing that Malek had ferreted their secret out so easily with only a glance. Dean chuckled and grinned at the Dragon leader.

Maybe.”

Dean’s eyes slid over to where Sam and Jess were holding hands and examining him in return.

“It just depends. So, what about our new Dragon friends there?” Dean jutted his chin toward Mira, Ehren, and Zippo, who were amusing themselves by flying around the heads of the Dragon Council with the other juvenile Dragons.

“I am afraid that they must return with us. You will be allowed to say goodbye and then we must move on before first light. I regret to inform you that we have been spotted by several humans of your world and it did not go as we had hoped. Your kind would do well to remember the old tales,” Malek advised.

Jess sighed unhappily and pressed her face against Sam’s arm. He pulled her into a short hug and they beckoned to their Dragon companions. Each of the Dragons flew away from their group of friends and hovered in the air in front of their newest Allies.

Mira and Jess exchanged nuzzles of their noses and said how much the other had meant to them. Ehren knocked his head lightly against Sam’s and told him to keep his brain in shape, because he never knew when he might need it, now that they wouldn’t be around to help them. Sam smiled softly and dropped his eyes toward the ground before returning Ehren’s rather serious regard with the promise to continue his studies.

And Dean. Lord help them all when Sam saw Dean prepare to duck yet another diving attack at his head from Zippo. Instead, Zippo hovered in front of Dean and offered him a formal bow and told his Ally that he would be missed, even during his Dragon sleep. Dean pressed his lips together for a moment and smiled sadly. Without breaking eye contact with Adarsh, Dean dug into his jean pocket and pulled out his lighter. He returned the formal bow and then he did something so uniquely Dean, that Sam didn’t know why he hadn’t expected it sooner.

There were no words capable of expressing this agony of separation, so Dean flicked open his Zippo in his final goodbye.

At this, the Dragons rose together in the air and circled the cemetery one last time. They roared together and released blasts of flame into the night sky before they flew off to parts unknown.

Although Sam was heartbroken to see them go, he knew that if the world ever needed them again, they would return as quickly as they had left. He yanked his two favorite people into his arms for one last hug before suggesting that they go join the other Hunters in triumphant celebration.

***

Dean drove to Kings Tavern like he spent every day of his life there and couldn’t wait to get back. Sam smiled at his brother and hung his arm over the back of the seat to hold Jessica’s hand. The backseat seemed so much larger and lonesome without their Dragon friends there beside her. She smiled up at him and it nearly killed Sam to see the admiration, love, and joy sparkling in her eyes for him, with the occasional glance at Dean.

The trio arrived at the bar in spectacular fashion and burst into the middle of a shot shoot off. Dean demanded to play the winner, while Sam and Jess ordered drinks at the bar. They found a corner and watched the Hunters do the only other thing they all did best, drink the place dry.

When the locals took offense at the loud noise or the odd war stories or even the unrestrained consumption of “their” booze, their protests were quickly shut down by the partying Hunters. Sam grinned to see his father and Bobby toasting their good fortune with their arms wrapped around the waists of what looked to be twins. He hated to admit it or see it in action half the time, but even Sam knew that his old man still had it. And, it seemed, so did Bobby. He hated to be the cleaning staff or management of whichever motel they ended up in, because there was no telling what two old men with not a lot to lose and a hell of a whole lot to celebrate would do to themselves, their rooms, or their partners for the evening.

When the whiskey ran dry, the crowd turned to every other liquor the bar had on hand. When those bottles too ran dry, the beer on draft, in bottles, and cans were shown no mercy. When the last keg spurted out its last shots of foam, shouts of disappointment and disbelief arose from the drunken horde. The manager and bartenders informed the group of out-of-towners that they could either leave on their own or they could be escorted out by the cops. The Hunters laughed heartily at that and all said they’d leave, since the staff were such good sports and told a mean joke. Cops. Yeah, right.

Jess chuckled along with them and pinched Sam’s nipple through his shirts before going up to settle their tabs. Sam wandered over to where Dean was braced against a wall and leaning into the personal space of a brunette Hunter that he thought might have been named Tracy. He laughed as he watched his brother be rebuffed and the beautiful young woman moved on to an older man she called Irv. The sight of them walking out of the door, arms around one another, was all that Sam needed to see to throw his brother’s heavy arm over his shoulder and half-carry Dean out of the bar.

Sam waited while Jess dug the keys out of Dean’s pocket and opened the rear door of the Impala. Sam laid his brother down across the backseat and closed the door behind him. Sliding into the driver’s seat, Sam watched Jess walk around the car to let herself into the passenger door. Sam thought about trying to find a motel in town, but he figured that every room would soon be booked with inebriated Hunters and their chosen entertainment for the evening. Instead, he dug his phone out of the glove box and looked up the nearest motel in the nearest town. His ever-trusty search engine pointed him in the direction of the City of Chico, California and toward the Haven-Inn Chico. That would certainly do for one night or even two.

Twenty minutes later and several hundred drunken questions and song requests from Dean later, Sam pulled up in front of the motel. He got out of the car and booked them a room with a single king sized bed. If they were going to do this, what better time to start than now? Besides, it wasn’t like he hadn’t shared a bed with both of them before.

Sam and Jess helped drag Dean into the room and laid him down on the bed. Jess removed Dean’s boots while Sam went back out to the car for their bags and to lock up. He helped his girlfriend remove the thickest articles of Dean’s clothing, leaving him in his undershirt and boxer shorts to sleep. They then moved on to one another, carefully stripping their ripped and bloodied clothing from one another’s bodies. Grateful kisses were exchanged and they crawled into bed on either side of Dean, tugging him underneath the covers with them.

Sam sighed in contentment and threw his arm across Dean’s waist to reach for Jess. He gave a sleepy smile when her arm met his and they encircled Dean in their embrace. Sam curled his free arm protectively around Dean’s head and drew their faces together to breathe him in. He was surprised and felt a shot of hope zing through his body when Dean responded in kind and wrapped Sam and Jess in his arms in return.

Sam’s last thoughts before he surrendered to the seductive pull of sleep were that he was thankful for both of the people in his arms and proud of himself that he’d thought to pay for a weekly rental upfront. With the way they were sure to sleep tonight, Sam would count it a miracle if any of them awoke to see the light of day tomorrow.

The End



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