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Sam Winchester, King of Hell

Chapter Text

“There will be no new king of Hell!”

If Sam Winchester had had the knowledge of what was to come, he never would have said those cursed words, never would have taken the path of death and destruction that it brought. He never would have inadvertently claimed the throne for himself. 

Except now he was powerful, indestructible, untouchable. Now he was… he was who he was always meant to be. There was no one to stop him, no one in his way. For the first time in his life he was free. 

So maybe… maybe he would still do it. Maybe he would still claim the throne, become the king he was always destined to be. 

He just wished Dean was still here with him. 

 

Xxx

 

“Enough! There will be no new king of Hell,” Sam yelled, the room falling silent as everyone looked between him and the former king of Hell. “Not today. Not ever. And if anybody wants the job, you can come through me. Understood?” He waited for a response, trying and failing not to show how tired he was, how much everything had been taking a toll on him. “So what’s it gonna be?” He asked at last. The demons all smoked out immediately, and Sam couldn’t help but smirk as he said, “that’s what I thought.”

The hunters regrouped, collecting lost weapons, but none of them too harmed to return to the bunker on their own. They all filed into their cars, following each other back towards the bunker.

Except Sam and Cas, who watched them leave. Or more, Sam watched them leave, and Cas watched Sam’s soul. 

“Sam,” Cas said, the hunter turning to face him, “are you… ok?” It wasn’t that something was wrong with Sam, but that something wasn’t right. 

“Yeah, yeah I’m fine,” Sam replied, unwilling to admit how breathless he actually was. Dizzy, even. 

“Sam,” Cas repeated, more firmly that time, demanding answers with that one word but saying nothing else. 

“I’m fine, really Cas. I’m probably… tired. Yeah, just tired.” Sam gave the ground a small smile. “Maybe this is old age catching up to me.” Well that wouldn’t that be great. 

“Sam. You’re thirty five.” 

“Thanks Cas,” Sam replied, Cas’ blunt words forcing a laugh from his lips. 

“But you are sure you’re not feeling… off?” Cas asked earnestly, his eyes betraying his confusion at Sam’s state. 

“Why?” Sam questioned, freezing up. “What’s wrong with me?”
“Nothing,” Cas said at last, unable to pinpoint what was different. “You’re just… I’m sure it’s nothing, but your soul is just… stronger.” 

“Stronger how?” Sam asked, on edge once more. After all, anything to do with his soul automatically had him on edge nowadays. 

“I’ll let you know as soon as I do.” 

Knowing that they would get no further, Sam got into the Impala, Cas following him only moments later, still trying to puzzle through what was going on, Sam tense for the whole ride back because of it. 

“Look, Sam,” Cas said when they pulled in at the bunker. “I know this isn’t ideal for you, but I’m sure it’s nothing wrong. And anyway, you’re under enough strain right now so- so let me worry about this, and you focus on Dean.” 

“I’ll try. I’ll try Cas,” Sam sighed, running his hand over his face. “But if you see anything, anything at all, then I need to know. Got it?” 

“Of course.” 

 

Xxx

 

The next day yielded nothing new, just that strange strength and that breathlessness that Sam couldn’t seem to shake, his whole world titling more and more beneath his feet until he dragged himself off to bed. 

He didn’t wake up for five days. 

Mary sent nearly everyone out on some hunt or another, leaving the bunker devoid of all newcomers except Bobby. After all, Sam wasn’t moving and no one knew what was going on. 

Except Cas, who had disappeared all of a sudden on day two, leaving with nothing but a stricken expression and a brief “I’ve got to go.” From then everything had been blanketed with fear, whether it be research or waiting for some news or watching over Sam and Nick. 

Sam, who was burning up, who was practically comatose, who had shown no sign of life outside a pulse. A thankfully strong pulse. No one knew what to do, what to think, other than try and figure out what the fuck was wrong with the man. 

Then he woke up. 

“Jack?” Sam asked, blinking rapidly to try and clear the blur in front of him. “Jack is that you?” 

“Sam!” The nephilim cried, his call bringing everyone else running. 

“Sam, how are you feeling?” Mary asked, trying to feel for a temperature as Sam climbed to his feet. 

“Fine, I’m fine,” he insisted, despite everyone’s disbelieving looks. “Seriously, I feel… I feel great, actually.” 

“Sam,” Mary said, hand on his shoulder, “it’s been nearly a week.”

“What?” He asked, eyes wide, taking a step back. “No that can’t- no I- I honestly feel fine. Better than fine, even,” Sam continued to insist. 

“Sam-” Jack said, but sam quickly interrupted him again. 

“I’m fine.”

They cleared out eventually, Bobby leaving to watch Nick, Mary dragging Jack away to make some food. They left Sam alone in the silence, not trusting in his words but trusting their eyes; he was in no danger of dying from something physical, and they had run every possible test for a curse or something. Sam was… well he was perfect, really. Physically perfect. 

Mentally though, that was a different thing entirely. 

Mentally he was a mess, because he hadn’t been asleep for five days. No. He’d been trapped inside his head, seeing Hell, seeing the demons, everything burning up and reforming, bigger, better. His mind was full yet empty, too big but too small. He was everywhere and nowhere. 

And when he woke up he could feel it. He hadn’t felt it since… the blood. Demon blood. Ruby. It was the same power, flooding his veins and filling every piece of him, and it was more than anything he’d ever felt. Except Lucifer of course. 

But unlike Lucifer, this power was all his. 

This power was all of Hell, there for him to manipulate and control. His head was all full of Hell, telling him exactly what was going on in Hell, exactly where all the demons were. His demons, he now knew. 

He was the king of Hell. 

“Sam,” Cas said, entering the room whilst Sam was too preoccupied in his too big head. 

“Cas, what’s going on?” Sam asked, knowing that the angel would know. 

“Sam,” Cas said in that way that meant ‘I know exactly what’s going on but you don’t want to know’.

“Just spit it out!” Sam yelled, not realising he was shouting until he saw Cas flinch. 

“You claimed the throne of Hell,” Cas replied, unable to look Sam in the eye. “You’re the king, but you know that.”

“I don’t want it,” Sam replied, confirming Cas’ words. 

“Too late. You claimed it. It’s yours.” 

“Cas-”
“No Sam!” Cas yelled, that spark of grace making Sam fall silent. “You. Rule. Hell. I have spent the past few days scouring the earth and Hell to see if I can change it, to see if maybe, just maybe I was wrong, but I’m not. You are the king.”

“Cas,” Sam said, “I know. I know what I did and I can feel it inside me, but you were watching my soul. I know you were. What is wrong with my soul? ” He was shouting. He didn’t care. 

“It’s going black,” Cas spat, leaving with that look of disgust. It wasn’t for Sam, though, but for himself; if he hadn’t met with that demon then Sam would be pure human, but he had made a mistake and now Sam would pay. 

Sam though… Sam didn’t know that. All he knew was that Cas was once again disgusted with him, couldn’t stay in a room with him, could barely look at him. 

Sam Winchester. The boy with the demon blood. Now it was Sam Winchester, King of Hell.

Chapter Text

The changes were small at first. 

Sam’s time unconscious had prepared him for the changes, his body adjusting to prepare for the coming influx of power, but no one could survive the whole power of Hell flooding into them at once. Because of that, the changes came gradually, slowly, but no less terrifying. 

The first change were with Sam’s senses, his sight improving, hearing range increasing, even his sense of touch seeming to get better. Next came better reflexes, Sam being able to sense when someone was coming towards him far before anyone else. 

After that he decided he needed a hunt. ‘“Mary and I can take this one,” Sam said by way of warning before moving to leave the bunker.

“Sam,” Cas said, grabbing his arm before he could depart. “Are you sure that’s wise?” 

“I’m sure,” Sam snapped, disappearing immediately after that. 

The case was a simple salt and burn, no one willing to let Sam take anything more taxing after his ‘health scare’, no one but him and Cas knowing the full truth. Except he hadn’t planned on being able to sense demons, let alone know that they were nearby. To make matters worse, a pair of them came to help out, luckily whilst Mary was away. 

“Your majesty?” One said, Sam opening the motel door to find the two black-eyed men just standing there. 

“What do you want?” Sam asked, blood running cold. 

“We came to help,” one said. 

“We are here to serve you,” the other added. 

“I’m not your king,” Sam said, only a slight tremor to his words. 

“You claimed the throne sire. It is yours, and every demon knows it,” the first said. 

“No. No I claimed nothing. Someone else can have it,” Sam said, moving to shut the door, but the second demon blocked it with his foot. 

“Well that is why we’re here, sir,” said the first, a smirk marring his face. “You can’t claim the throne unless you kill the king.”
“And you’re standing in my way,” the second demon said, raising his hand to try and throw Sam across the room. 

Only it didn’t work, and Sam’s instincts kicked in and had him returning the favour, the demons flying through the car packing and breaking concrete. It had just felt so easy to draw on the power of Hell, to throw them with powers he hadn’t used in so long. It was just like riding a bike, all of it coming back to him as he raised his hand. He killed them with Ruby’s knife, though, needing to do something the human way in the middle of all this, well, Hell. 

“Sam?” Mary asked, having seen everything from the car as she returned, climbing out, horrified by what she’d seen.

“Mum, please, just let me explain,” Sam pleaded, hands raised. 

“Get out of him,” Mary demanded, raising her gun to Sam’s head.

“I’m not possessed!” Sam cried. “It’s me, all me.” 

“Prove it,” Mary spat, Sam pulling out his flask of holy water to splash it on himself. He wouldn’t admit that it tingled slightly, but it proved to Mary it was him. “Explain. Now.”

Sam took a deep breath, lowering his hands and firmly keeping his eyes on the tarmac. “When we went to save Cas…” He didn’t want to say it; that would make it real. But it was real, and he couldn’t hide from it forever. “I accidentally made myself king of Hell.” 

“You’re the king of Hell?” Mary asked, hand unconsciously coming up to her mouth. “And these demons?” She asked. 

“Tried to take it from me,” Sam muttered, a flare of anger with an unknown source rising up. 

“So I take it that all that research we’ve been doing into what happened to you was useless? It was all from being king?” Mary said. 

“Yeah,” Sam admitted. 

“Get in the car. Tell me everything.” 

They drove home, Sam telling Mary the whole story, right up to the recently developed powers he now had. He’d expected her to react with the same disgust as Cas, or to shoot him, or to do something other than what really happened; she placed a hand on his shoulder and said, “We’ll get through this. Together.”

 

Xxx

 

Sam didn’t understand it at first. It was like half-formed shadows were moving around the bunker, always just out of his sight. He didn’t want to, but eventually he went to Cas, needing to know what was going on since there wasn’t a book in the bunker on what-to-do-when-you-are-becoming-the-king-of-Hell. 

“Cas,” Sam said, not as kindly as he normally would, “I need an explanation.”

“What’s happened?” Cas asked, searching Sam’s soul for that demonic stain immediately. It was small, barely a speck against the glorious white shine of the rest of it, but larger than before. “What did you do?”
“Nothing,” Sam spat. “I’m not going darkside. Don’t worry about it.” He didn’t even try to hide his discontent. “It’s just,” he sighed and ran a hand over his face. “It’s just that I think I’m seeing things, and I don’t know if it’s because of the king thing, me going crazy, or something serious. You’re the best person to come to for this.” 

“Can you describe it?” Cas asked, wary of Sam’s emotions, and the destruction they could bring. 

“It’s like something is stuck just outside my view,” Sam admitted, unsure how to best describe it. 

“Can I- Can I take a look?” Cas asked, raising his fingers but stopping just shy of Sam’s forehead. 

“Just do it,” Sam said, Cas forcing his way in a moment later, not pulling away for some time. 

“It’s a ‘king thing’, as you said,” Cas said, still unable to use air quotes properly. “But not a bad thing; you’re simply beginning to see my true form. You’re seeing my wings.”
“And they go through the walls?” Sam asked, pulling away. 

“I have told you before, my true form is larger than my vessel. My wings are huge, and they aren’t affected by physical objects such as your walls.” 

“Oh, ok,” Sam said, relieved that it wasn’t something too bad this time. He turned to leave Cas to his own devices, but he was stopped by Cas calling him back.

“Sam? I don’t know what you think, but I am here for you,” the angel admitted with as much sincerity as he could muster. 

“I’m becoming a demon, the King of Hell. You’re an angel. I’m not surprised that you’re disgusted by me,” Sam bitterly said. 

“I’m not disgusted by you, Sam,” Cas said, his brow furrowing in confusion. “I am grateful to you for what you did for me; you saved me, at great personal cost. Whatever comes of this, I won’t ever be disgusted by you.” 

“But… I know you’ve been avoiding looking me in the eyes, and you can barely stand to remain in the same room as me,” Sam said, phrasing it almost like a question. 

“I’m ashamed of myself,” Cas admitted, “and of what my stupidity cost you. I am here for you, Sam. We all are, and I promise you that you will come through this as yourself.”
“Could you- could you do something for me?” Sam asked, only slightly hesitant in asking.

“Of course.”
“If I start to change, to become more of a demon and go darkside… kill me. Promise me that you will kill me before I can hurt someone.” 

Cas almost didn’t answer, but one look at Sam’s distraught face made up his mind for him. “I promise.”

Chapter Text

He was beginning to see Cas’ wings. Wings. He just… it was one thing to know that he was becoming more monstrous, but to have something very inhuman now constantly around to mock him? This was- this was something else. 

But he couldn’t deny the beauty in what he could now see; Cas had two jet black wings, ones that were long and sleek, the wings not meant to be on this plane of reality and so not quite adhering to physics; when spread, they pushed through the walls, furniture, people. Cas could be in the library and Sam would see them from the kitchen. Slightly disconcerting, yes, but they really were beautiful. 

But they were also so pure, and that was something he knew with all certainty. Every time he got too close to the iridescent feathers he felt a degree of wrongness, in which it was as if he were being burnt from the inside out. He was all too aware of the taint he carried in those moments, too aware that he was truly becoming the abomination Cas had first seen him as. It was because of this that he began to avoid Cas, instead opting to spend time with Mary, the pair of them researching as much as possible, Mary going out to chase down demons and such for information; Sam no longer thought it to be a good idea for him to be out amongst demons, lest more try to take the crown, or worse agree to follow him. 

Despite all she was there for him, all she did to help, Sam couldn’t help but realise that Mary’s promise of being ‘in this together’ wasn’t all he’d hoped it was; she was doing her best, but he could never explain how impure he felt now, how tainted he was compared to others, how even being near to Cas - and Jack too - brought forward every fear he’d ever had about himself and what he would become. 

“Sam?” Bobby called out, his gruff voice startling Sam from his spiraling thoughts. “Group of us heading out, lots a demons in Nebraska that need some sortin’.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Sam answered, half distracted still, “I’ll uh- I’ll see you when you get back.” He didn’t deserve to be with them, to have them defer to him, to be called ‘chief’ by some. 

“You uh- you holdin’ up, boy?” 

“Yes, no don’t worry about it,” Sam replied in earnest, getting to his feet and leaving a mountain of books behind as he left the library for the first time in days. 

“Ok, well, jus’ make sure you sort whatever this is out.” Bobby didn’t know, because Sam wouldn’t be able to stand seeing the disapproval in his eyes, even if he wasn’t his Bobby. 

The hunters left, Sam waving them off, and he was left there in the bunker with only Cas and Jack. Cas, who was remaining to help with research, and Jack, who was too new to being human to be able to go on a hunt, and even then, Sam was convinced that something further was wrong with the boy. 

Something wrong with Jack. Something monumentally wrong with Sam. Someone making everything go wrong with Dean. 

But it wasn’t the angels causing problems now, but the demons. Sam knew that it was his fault that more and more demonic omens were cropping up, but he couldn’t do anything to stop them. Well, he could, but he wouldn’t. 

He wouldn’t claim the throne outright, take his ‘rightful’ place and rule, control the demons. He couldn’t do that. 

For now, him and Mary would try to stop what was happening to him, Jack and the other hunters looked into finding Michael and Dean, and Cas worked between the two groups.

 

Xxx

 

It was itching, itching, itching under his skin, begging to be used, to be let out. It was bag enough that Sam was woken from his sleep, pressure ever building behind his eyes, his head threatening to explode. 

He knew what it was, knew what to do, but he wouldn’t do anything that could relieve the strain. No. He wouldn’t help that stain spread. 

He wouldn’t tell anyone yet, but as well as seeing pieces of Cas’ true form, he was also beginning to see differences in himself; there was a glow emitting from his body, as well as everyone else’s, but he could see that there was one spot right in the middle of his chest that was much darker than the rest. 

It was wrong, black, dangerous, and it was begging to be released. 

He wouldn’t, though. He couldn’t give in, couldn’t use it as it so begged to be used. Not now, not ever.

But it was itching, itching, itching, and it was so, so tempting. 

 

xxx

 

“Sam?” Cas asked, Sam being locked in the bathroom, staring at that dark spot in the mirror. “Sam, you have to come out of there.”
“Yes, just- just give me a minute.” He couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think, could only see that spot, feel the dark, the taint. 

“Sam, what is wrong?” 

“Nothing, just please, one more minute.” Sweat was everywhere, his hair plastered to his forehead. He needed to breathe, couldn’t breathe, needed to breathe. It was everywhere, pushing and pushing and itching and itching and demanding to be let out. 

“Sam!” 

“One minute!”

He hadn’t meant to shout, to let out as much anger in those two words as he did. He had just reacted, done what felt natural, and he’d given in just slightly. The mirror cracked, a spiderweb distorting his face. 

Cas bashed the door in at the sound, finding a hopeless Sam on the verge of a breakdown as he stared at his broken reflection in the broken glass. “I didn’t mean to,” he whispered, the giant so small in that moment. “I didn’t- I didn’t mean to.” 

But he’d done it, and he’d given in to the stain, and he’d used his power. And that one bit helped the stain grow. 

 

Xxx

 

“How do you reverse the claim?” Mary demanded of the latest demon, one that had been possessing an older woman. 

“You don’t. You just pass it on,” the demon replied after some persuasion. 

“How?” But Mary knew the answer already.

“Kill him. Kill your precious little boy and take it yourself.” The demon laughed, and she remained laughing as Mary plunged the knife into her chest and watched as the demon flickered and died. 

There would be a way. There had to be a way. 

 

Xxx

 

“Cas, is Sam there?” Bobby called down the phone, the latest hunt wrapped up. 

“He’s asleep right now,” Cas replied. In fact, Sam had done little more than sleep and stare at the mirror in the week following his incident, Cas being careful to keep Jack away and Sam alive. 

He wasn’t doing very well with the latter. 

“Is there anythin’ you wanna tell me about that boy?” There was an undercurrent of anger there, one that the hunter was failing to conceal. 

“Um, no?” 

“Bull. You can’t lie, angel, so tell me right now what’s wrong with tha’ boy!” 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Cas slowly replied, shutting his eyes as everything began to crumble. 

“Well here’s what I know; we go in against them demons, and we start killing our way through ‘em. Some of ‘em, though, thought to start talking to save themselves, started yellin’ about Sam, and how he was their new king. We get one, take it away, and they start talkin’, spillin’ everything about how the king of Hell is one Sam Winchester. Did you know any of this?” 

“Robert,” Cas attempted to placate.

“No don’t you ‘Robert’ me. Is it true, yes or no?” 

Cas took a breath, then another, praying to an absent father that everything would turn out ok. “It is, but that’s not the whole-”

But Bobby had hung up, hearing enough and not wanting excuses. 

“It’s true,” Bobby said to the band of hunters, all of them from the apocalypse world having gathered in a run down bar. “Let’s go gank the king of Hell.”

No one protested. Instead, they cheered.

Chapter Text

Michael had heard the news. News that his vessel’s brother would be ruling that shithole. It was perfect, what with the brothers’ codependency granting him the perfect opportunity to control the new king. If he bade his time, waite before enacting his plans, he could have the demons under his control as well. 

After all, Sam Winchester would never harm him whilst he remained in Dean.

 

Xxx

 

“Stop, Sam,” Castiel commanded, watching the hunter attempt to hold himself together by tearing himself apart; research had never failed him, and it wasn’t about to start. There was an answer somewhere in the bunker, and he would find it. 

He wouldn’t stop until he did. 

It had been forty-two hours since the mirror incident, since the stain last grew, and Sam had spent every second of that time in a library, burying himself beneath enough paper to suffocate. Cas and Jack had brought him food and water, both often going untouched, but eventually Cas had ordered Jack to bed too, the nephilim too pale to remain awake. 

But Sam didn’t notice; he was too busy killing himself with all the research, and he wasn’t going to last much longer. 

“What was that?” Sam asked, Cas having repeated himself twice before Sam acknowledged his presence. 

“I said, you need to stop,” the angel reiterated. 

“No, no I can’t,” Sam mumbled, returning to his books. 

Cas sighed as he reached out and plucked the book from Sam’s hand, the hunter giving him a black eyed glower, before his eyes returned to their normal hazel hues. The hunter’s eyes had been going black for a few hours now, the new change occurring whenever his emotions spiked, but Cas wasn’t about to tell him; Sam deserved to keep his humanity for as long as possible, especially when this was his fault. 

“I said stop,” Cas said at last to explain himself. 

“Fine,” Sam replied with a sigh, getting to his feet and stretching, back popping with the movement. Indeed, the moment he stood up the floor swayed beneath his feet, vision blurring as too much blood rushed to his head. He hadn’t even realised how hungry he was until cramps overtook his stomach. 

“Come on,” Cas instructed, bringing Sam to the kitchen, watching as he made himself a sandwich. Neither spoke until Sam polished off the plate and downed a beer and a coffee. 

“There’s no lore,” Sam said at last. “Not on humans becoming king. There’s a lot on the hierarchy of hell, and how demons take the throne by killing each other to pass on the power, but it’s never happened to a human before.” Cas didn’t have a response, so the silence stretched on until Sam said, “I think we should try the cure for a demon, but on me. We can see if… if that does anything.” But he was really just grasping at straws here; Sam had gained the power as a human, so curing him of something he didn’t have yet would do nothing. 

“I spoke to Bobby,” Cas said at last, gaining Sam’s full attention. “He called, and he knows; a demon told him on their hunt.”
“When was this?” Sam asked, attempting to tamper down on the inhuman rage building from Cas’ silence until that point. 

“Yesterday. I didn’t want to worry you.”
“Ok,” was all Sam could say; he didn’t want to risk another outburst. “Did he sound… angry?”

“Yes, but he hung up before I could explain.”

“Ok.”

A tense silence hung between them, both suddenly finding the table to be the most interesting thing in the world.

“Sam-” Cas began, but he cut off, unable to come up with a phrasing for his next suggestion.
“Just spit it out.”
“I think you need to learn control of your powers.” 

Sam’s mug shattered in response, conveying all the hunter needed to say. “No,” he said firmly. “No, I’m not- not giving in. I can’t.”
“Sam, they won’t go away, and you will hurt someone if you don’t learn to-”
“No, Cas,” Sam repeated. “I won’t. I won’t!” The lights flickered, and Sam looked down at the shattered ceramics in the quivering light, knowing that Cas was right. “I can’t,” he whispered, and it hurt to see how small Sam had become, almost attempting to fold in on himself. 

“Sam,” Cas pushed, and Sam looked up to meet his eyes, “you have to do this. I will be with you, every step, and if it goes wrong… if it goes wrong, I will end it.” I will end you, went unspoken between them, but they both heard it all the same. 

“Ok,” Sam said at long last, that word becoming all he felt he could say. 

He’s king of Hell. Ok. He’s becoming a demon. Ok. He has to learn to control his monstrous powers, despite what he did with them last time. Ok. 

Everything was just ok, because if it wasn’t, he would lose himself to the darkness pushing out, threatening to consume him the moment he cracked, the moment he wasn’t ok. 

“We can start tomorrow,” Cas said, not happy at the idea of any of this. “You need rest now.” 

Sam simply nodded, leaving the kitchen without another word. 

He didn’t have a restful sleep, nightmares plaguing him. He saw Hell, saw himself with black eyes, sitting on a throne of blood, more of a monster than the twisted souls at his feet. He saw Dean, impaled on a knife, Sam’s own hand holding the blade. Cas, twisted into a pile of flesh on the floor, lifeless and very dead, Jack next to him. Mary’s blood stained his hands, her head on a different side of the room to her body. 

All of them, killed by him. 

Sam bolted up with a gasp in bed, covers flying off him. He took steadying breaths to calm his racing heart, stumbling into the bathroom when he felt stable to splash water over his face. Gritting his teeth, he looked up, right into the mirror. 

He looked like a man who hadn’t slept, pale with dark shadows beneath his eyes, the growing signs of stubble along his jaw. But that wasn’t what he was looking for; he could see his soul more clearly now, the brightness of it shining from within, pulsing through his skin. But it was ever more dark, that stain creeping through him, spreading and pushing and defacing his very being. 

He breathed deeply, but anger and fear overtook him, his fist pounding into the sink. Porcelain cracked, knuckles broke, blood spilled. Eventually Cas came running, Jack close behind, to find Sam slumped against the wall, slow tears leaking down his face. 

“Please, just kill me,” Sam begged in a moment of weakness. 

“No,” Cas growled, startling Sam. “No. You are Sam Winchester. You don’t give up. Not now, not ever, and I will not kill you when you have a chance, not if I have a say. So, get up, and I will train you until you can control your powers, and we will find a solution.” He left in a flurry of beige material, leaving Sam with the pain of his hand. 

“What’s going on?” Jack asked, kneeling down to help Sam. 

“I’m the king of Hell,” Sam admitted, unable to look the boy in the eyes. 

“Oh.”

“Oh?”

“Should I- should I say something else?”

Sam sighed. “No, I guess not.”

“You know, a wise man once said that it’s our choices that define us.”

“That was Dumbledore,” Sam groaned, cracking a smile. 

Oh. Well, you choose to be a hero, you save lives, so even if you’re the king of Hell, that doesn’t make you a monster.” The boy looked over at him, a toothless smile lighting up his face. Sometimes Sam was jealous of Jack’s naivety, at how he thought he could fix things with a quote and a grin. 

“I don’t think I can make this a good thing.” He was being a coward, he knew, but he’d made too many mistakes to be able to risk going down this path again. The last time he’d done it, he started the apocalypse. Nothing good ever came of demon powers. 

“Well,” Jack said, thinking hard, “if you’re king, can’t you make sure the demons don’t hurt people?”

Sam was about to deny it, but then he actually thought about what Jack said. Could he? He was king, he was meant to rule them, and if he tried hard enough, he could have the demons return to hell, keep them away from people. Sure, he’d have to stay down there, but it wasn’t as if he didn’t deserve it now. 

“That- that might work,” Sam said at last. 

It seemed a quote and a grin might actually have done him some good after all.

Chapter Text

“Cas, teach me, please,” Sam said, going to the angel in the library as soon as he woke the next morning. 

“I’m glad you’ve chosen to do this,” Cas replied, gravely nodding at the new king. 

“Yeah, yeah,” Sam absently said, trying to convince himself he was doing the right thing; he could save people, stop the demon deals with those who didn’t deserve it, make sure the demons couldn’t hurt people. He could do this. He could come out as himself. 

“Angels began their training by finding their grace. I believe we should do the same here.” Sam nodded along with his words, dreading what was to come. “If you could try to visualise your power as an… additional limb, then I believe you will have a better chance at controlling it.” 

“I don’t, um, I don’t need to do that visualizing stuff,” Sam admitted, his demon blood days giving him those foundations.

“Ah yes.” Cas nodded, taking into account the new information, before continuing in a droll voice. “Focus on drawing it out, then. If what I have heard is true, then as king, you will be able to draw from Hell and the souls within it. I suggest you try to distinguish between your own power and the soul power first.” 

“Ok, ok,” Sam muttered, closing his eyes as he had done with Ruby all those years ago.

Throughout his life, Sam had become very accustomed to what his soul felt like; he’d spent a hundred and twenty years as but a literal tortured soul, whilst at the same time passing a year and a half without it. During the trials, he’d damaged it further, and he dug down deep, feeling his soul through and through until he found that unwelcome stain on it that held the power.

No, not unwelcome , Sam thought. Not anymore.

“Got it,” Sam announced at last, hissing through his teeth at the power flowing through his veins. 

“Now lift the pencil,” Cas said, and Sam opened his eyes to see the pencil on the table. It was just as they’d trained Jack, before he’d lost it all. 

Sam did just as Cas asked, the pencil flying about the room. It was just like riding a bike. 

“Good Sam,” Cas praised once Sam set the pencil back down. 

 

~

 

Pencils, appels, breakable plates and glasses. Sam sent them all around the room with practiced ease, raising them as high as they’d go, dropping them, then suspending them a hair from the floor before they could break. 

Looking at the world from two perspectives; one where he was human, seeing it all at face value, and the other with sleek jet black wings that crossed through walls, the glow of grace pushing through skin and the draw of hell pulsing beneath his own. It was a world where he avoided mirrors and Cas, wanting to avoid every reminder that he was a monster.

Teleporting one foot, ten feet, across rooms, into town. It was just like flying, although slightly less controlled, a bit more rocky. Eventually he was taking Jack with him, granting Jack the illusion of power again, Sam taking him where he liked at a word. Mary inspired the pair to take a trip to Disney World. No one said it, but both Sam and Mary knew it was a way to give Jack some happy memories before his time was up.

Jack and Mary took small, local hunts. Sam and Cas continued to train.

Jack deteriorated each day, but they tried to fix it. Sam felt the stain grow each minute, but they tried to forget. 

Eventually, they couldn’t.

 

~

 

The bunker door didn’t make a noise as it opened. Maybe it should have banged, clanged, smashed down; that would have been more fitting for what followed. 

Bobby Singer rushed in, gun at the ready, twenty hunters behind him. They reached the library before anyone could raise an alarm, finding Sam sitting behind a mountain of books. They chanted spells designed to slow demons, but Sam found they barely tickled, and he felt his power begin to flare up, begging to be used. 

Sam called for them to stop, Jack froze, Cas drew his blade and Mary her gun. The hunters didn’t care, aiming their own weapons right at Sam, preparing to fire. 

Shots fired, aim true, and Sam reacted. He gave into it. He didn’t mean it, but a pencil and a knife had very little difference when it came down to it; both were pointy at one end, sharpened regularly, comfortable in Sam’s hand. 

A knife, one right on the table, flew into Bobby’s head, Sam’s outstretched hand aiming it. 

He didn’t stop there, because it felt so good. Bullets fired, Sam stopped them, his gun in hand with a thought. Each hunter fell in turn, falling either by Sam’s gun or his knife.

It was brilliant, the rush coursing through his veins one he wanted to feel again, the darkness within singing. The thrill of the kill had never been so prominent, so glorious, the power as good as ever. He craved the feeling again. 

And then he turned around. 

“Put them down, Sam,” Mary tried to placate, hand steady as she pointed it at her son, but eyes shining with tears. 

“Mum?”
“Now, Sam,” she ordered. 

Jack couldn’t believe it, Cas had suspected it. 

But Sam did let the weapons drop, swallowing audibly. Realisation settled over him, dread building in his stomach. “I didn’t mean it,” he whispered, unable to draw breath. 

“Sam, just- just come with me,” Mary begged, lowering her gun but not putting it away. 

Sam nodded, taking heavy steps toward Mary. She sat him down and took the chair opposite him, her gun on the table between them. Jack sat beside him, whilst Cas remained standing. “Explain why, Sam,” she begged, not daring to look at the bodies littering the floor nearby. The blood was too strong, though, and the new king could practically feel it on his hands. 

“I just, just reacted,” he managed to force out. “They were trying to shoot, and I just-” He choked on his words, but he had to continue, had to feel something more than the rightness of what he’d done, even if that were guilt. “I felt the power, and it wanted to be used so I used it. I simply… gave in. I acted on instinct.” 

“In that case…” Mary began, thinking on her next words. “Ok, in that case, I want you to stay with either me or Castiel for the next few days, just so we can keep an eye on you, and no more powers.”

“Yeah, yeah ok,” Sam replied, those words becoming his mantra. 

But nothing was ok, because the bodies were still there, he was still the true king, and that killing had felt so right. 

Out of curiosity, Sam did as Cas had instructed and felt within himself for his power, for the stain. It was practically half of his soul, and for the first time he found he didn’t care.

 

~

 

“I think we need to look elsewhere,” Cas said to Mary, the pair hiding in the war room whilst Sam remained in the library, hidden beneath useless lore. “We need to do something drastic.”

Mary sighed, crossing her arms. “What do you have in mind?”

“I believe an archangel could take the power without killing him, or an archangel’s child.” 

“Jack has no power, if you’ve forgotten,” Mary spat, concern for the boy spilling through her icy resolve; Jack could hide it well, but she’d heard the coughing. 

“But Michael is still out there. With Dean.” 

“I haven’t forgotten, but he’s disappeared completely. I don’t even know where he was last.” 

“No , but we have more chance of finding him than a solution,” Cas said, and Mary had to admit he was right. “I believe that we can find Michael, see if we can make a deal with him to siphon the power from Sam.”

“And have a superpowered Archangel run around? No way, Cas.” She shook her head in earnest. 

“No, not an archangel. If we can subdue Michael, force him to take a different vessel, we can set up a similar arrangement to Asmodeus and Gabriel; we can take Michael’s grace and give it to Jack, depower him completely.”

“Cas, I don’t… I’m hearing too many ifs here. I don’t think it will work.” 

“We have to try, though, and if we do this, we can get Dean back as well as Sam. Mary, please.” 

She took a long inhale, hoping she wasn’t about to make but another grave mistake to add to the Winchester legacy. “I guess we’re going after Michael, then.”

Chapter Text

“Sam?” Mary called, coming into the room, and Sam quickly made himself look busy, and not at all like he’d just been eavesdropping. “We have a plan.”

“Um, yeah, ok,” Sam said, putting down his useless book. “Shoot.”
“We can get Jack’s power back, and he can take your power, put it into someone or something else.” 

“How?” He really pushed the eagerness, despite the stone dropping in his stomach. 

No. No it needs to go. I don’t want it, Sam reminded himself, pushing back against the wave threatening to consume him.

“We were hoping to set up something similar to Asmodeus’ arrangement with Gabriel.” There was so much hope in Mary’s eyes, hope she could save her sons, hope for a future free from crowns and archangels. “We need to get Michael, take his grace, give it to Jack.” 

“We need to find Dean,” Sam stated, nodding as he got to his feet. “Ok, I can start searching then.” He began to make his way to his room, to his laptop, Mary following close behind. 

Sam went over everything Mary had said, and he had to admit it was a good idea; have Jack siphon off his power, give it to either someone or something else. Maybe they could find the new Crowley themselves, make sure they were a controllable demon, keep them in the dungeon under lock and key. 

It was a good plan, but there was one small issue; Sam wasn’t sure if this was something he could give up.  

No. I can. It goes. It has to go. I don’t want it. 

But it was so good, so right, whenever he tapped into that power. A power that grew each day, whether he wanted it to or not. 

He was having trouble looking at Cas nowadays, the blinding light of an angel being all he could see whenever he was near him. In the mirror, he was no longer Sam Winchester, but a shadow of him. The power had twisted him, his soul blackened and twisted in places, the monster beneath his skin ever expanding. Then there was what he could hear; whisperings in the back of his mind, demons seeking their king, looking for guidance. Souls begging for mercy, salvation. Hellhounds howling as they hunted their prey. He could hear Hell, and though it terrified him, it was also enticing. 

No. Not now. Not again. I’m no being that. Not a monster. 

Not a monster. 

“Sam?” Mary asked, a hand on his arm, startling him out of his thoughts.

“Sorry just- just zoned out there,” he muttered in reply, lengthening his stride to march on ahead, to the room that was quickly becoming his prison. 

Mary and Cas meant well, but they were suffocating him. Sam hadn’t missed how Jack mysteriously would be called to do something whenever it looked like he was to be with Sam for a long period of time.

“Look, Sam, this will work,” Mary insisted. 

“I know, mum,” Sam replied, despite his doubts. 

It was as if the power knew it was to be removed, making itself known, rising up and begging to be used. 

“And we can find Dean, too,” Mary continued, oblivious to what was happening to Sam. Well, oblivious to what was really happening to him. “This will all be over soon.” 

“I know.” Sam yawned, big and fake. “I might actually just catch a few hours, if that’s ok.” 

“Of course,” Mary replied sympathetically, making to leave. “Make sure you come find us when you wake.” 

And just like that, the door shut, and his power rose up, and knew that he didn’t want to lose it. 

I can use it for good, Sam justified, a hand raised towards a book, slowly bringing it over. I won’t be a monster, don’t have to be king. Another book, and then his laptop. He sat on his bed. I can control this, make sure it doesn’t consume me. The lights flickered, and he flinched. I’m not a monster, not a demon, just Sam Winchester. He sent the books flying around the room, letting off the edge on his power, raising them high and catching them before they hit the ground, amusing himself with what he could do. 

But that wasn’t really what he could do, was it? 

He had the power of a king, not a court jester. Yes, he had used them in  a destructive way once before, but he had learnt since then, knew how to ensure that didn’t happen again. Besides, he’d already shown he had reflexes better than anyone. 

He could use the power for good, save people, hunt things, and in the process he’d work that edge off. Maybe he’d hear something about Michael whilst out, see if his new status would get the demons talking. 

A few taps at away a keyboard, and he found a hunt in Arkansas, demonic omens everywhere. Perfect for the demon king. 

I’m not a monster, Sam thought, taking one last look in the mirror. Half his face was a monster, the other half a human. He only hesitated a moment, but that pull was so strong, so tempting. I won’t use much, won’t become unbalanced. 

And that was it. 

Sam hadn’t tried teleporting himself before, but he’d experienced it enough to know how it felt; like taking one giant leap. With that in mind, he pictured where he wanted to go, and took one giant leap to North Little Rock, Arkansas. 

 

Xxx

 

The moment he arrived, he knew something was different. He walked around the town for a 

bit, trying to find what was out of place, until it all centred on a man in a coffee shop, watching him with black eyes. 

He could sense the demons. 

The man bowed his head, and Sam went in, sat down, and prepared to put on a good show for answers.

“My king,” he said with two voices; the balding middle-aged man he wore, and their true voice layered underneath. 

“Don’t call me that,” Sam cooly replied. 

“Of course, Sire.” That was worse, but Sam would put up with it, get information, kill the demon, then leave. 

“What do you know about Michael?” Sam asked when it was clear the demon wouldn’t say anything else. 

“Nothing, Sire. He’s gone quiet, underground. But I do know where he was last.” 

“Where?” 

“Chicago.”
“I was in Chicago with him,” Sam growled, anger overtaking the cool calm mask he’d had before. 

“No, no! He returned!” The demon cried, terrified of the wrath of a king, and a Winchester at that too. “He was there three weeks ago, killed all the demons in the city. No demon has gone there since.” 

“Thank you.” He was thanking a demon. He was actually thanking a demon. 

It’s an act, all an act. Act like a king, be treated like a king, then kill them. Well, he’d acted like a king, and been treated like a king. Time for the killing. 

“Come with me,” Sam ordered, rising and leaving, leading the demon down an alley. The demon’s body lit up orange, flashed, crackled, then fell, the demon within dead. 

And Sam kept walking, snapping once more to return to the bunker. 

Except he didn’t appear in the bunker. Not in his room, nor the kitchen, nor the library; he showed up outside, right where the warding began. 

He snapped, then snapped again, each time finding himself on the border of the wards. His breath came too fast, mind working in overtime but coming up with nothing. He snapped once more, bringing himself to as close to the front door as possible. Carefully, very carefully, he pushed forward, finding the warding to push back at him, but not deny him entry. It was uncomfortable, to say the least, but doable. 

So he went forward, opened the door, and stepped inside. 

He’d expected anger, worry, fear. What hadn’t expected was for Cas to drop the stack of books he had been carrying and stare up in horror. 

“Sam,” he breathed, eyes wide, “what did you do?”

Chapter Text

“Sam?” Cas asked, when Sam didn’t move. “Sam, you… it is you, right?” He had to ask, because that was not Sam Winchester’s soul. What sat within that body was the twisted, blackened, demonic core of a demon. And attop Sam’s… attop it’s head, the crown of a king. 

“Yeah,” Sam replied, unable to take his eyes off the angel. The angel… Cas… but it wasn’t Cas; it was a swirling mass of pure energy and light, almost blinding in its glory. Sam couldn’t see the details of his form, but every now and again a tail would emerge, or a head, or wings. He was beautiful. “Yeah it’s me, Cas. What’s wrong?” He tried to play the situation off as completely normal, as if he hadn’t just run away… and been unable to re-enter properly… 

“What did you do?” Cas growled, glaring at the king as he descended the stairs. 

“I took a hunt. Michael’s back in Chicago.” He tried to walk past, tried to leave, but Cas caught him by the arm. 

“You accepted the crown,” Cas hissed, barely an inch between their faces. “You accepted what you are! Do you have any idea what that’s done to you? To your soul ?”
“I didn’t accept anything!” Sam yelled back, easily removing himself from Cas’ grasp, barely concerned by how easy it was. 

“Oh really? So you didn’t behave like a king? Didn’t command demons? You weren’t treated as a king, accepted by your subjects? You didn’t accept the power, and take it all in?”

“I just took a hunt! I didn’t ‘accept’ anything, only used what I have to my advantage.” Sam was sinking into his rage, his power responding to his emotions. 

“Then why is your soul black?” 

Sam’s lips parted, eyes widening as he took a step back. “What?” He asked at last, his throat resembling a desert. 

“Your soul is black - purely demonic. I hope you’re happy.” 

Cas walked away, unable to look at what had become of his friend. He passed Mary on the way out, that blinding light no longer assaulting Sam’s eyes. The king turned, watching Cas head to the kitchen, a stone dropping into his stomach when he saw Mary in the door. 

“We can fix this,” she vowed, swallowing around an immense lump in her throat. “We can- we can do something. We can make sure this all goes away, and we can get Dean back, and we can fix Jack, and- and-”

Sam exploded. “Did you ever think that maybe I don’t want that? That maybe, just maybe, I want to keep these powers? To use them to finally, finally, finish the job? I can fix this world, remove all the demons. I can do that now! And what, you all want it gone because it’s not human? Well news flash! I’m not human.” He allowed his eyes to flash their new demonic black; he had control, mostly, but he was a vortex of rage upon rage upon rage, ever building, diminishing morality keeping it in check, and too much power tied to it. It was inevitable, really, that it burst out in a shockwave of power, all the lights going out in one go, plunging them into darkness with an explosion of electricity. 

Alarms rang, Cas’ grace flared up, and all of Hell felt the power of their king.  

When the backup generator kicked in, and the lights returned, Sam found his mother pointing a gun at him, tears soaking her cheeks. 

“Mum?” He asked, wavering for but a moment.

But Mary knew not what to do; this was her son, her son. And he was a monster. But her son. 

Sam made the choice for her, because between one moment and the next, he was gone. 

 

Xxx

 

“Is there anything we can do?” Mary asked, hunched over the war table, unable to take her eyes off her gun. She’d been pointing it at her son moments ago. Her son. “A cure, anything?” She’d offer herself up to Michael if that would give Sam even a chance of regaining himself.

“There is a cure,” Cas began, just as broken as the woman across from him. “I don’t think it will work, though, because it will only cure him of being a demon, not from holding the power. I fear we’d be right back where we started.” 

“But it could work, right?” Jack asked, too pale, too hoarse, from his seat besides Mary. “I mean, this is Sam . We have to try!”

“We will. We will get him back,” Cas promised. After all, they’d beaten worse odds before. 

Except before, they’d had at least one of the brothers. Now… now there was just a poor excuse for an angel, a nephilim without grace, and a hunter considering alcoholism to cure her suffering.

“We have to try,” Mary said, refusing to give in to the vice around her heart, one that tried to make her give in, sink into the abyss calling her name. “We have to.” 

 

Xxx

 

Sam didn’t have a destination in mind, per say. He more just… had a feeling, one that pulled him somewhere he was wanted, somewhere that whispered a sort of comfort. 

It turned out that that was the call of Hell.

“My king,” a demon said upon Sam’s appearance, the black-eyed beast dropping to one knee. 

“Don’t call me that,” Sam growled once again that day. 

“Yes Sire.” 

Sam quickly realised he would lose the battle for a more normal title… but then, he was a king, and if he was to control the demons, then he’d have to act like one… 

He didn’t know where he was going, but he didn’t let that stop him, for he set off in a random direction, passing by cell after cell and rack after rack, each containing a soul. He was desperate to free the souls, to do as Jack had said, and make Hell a place for punishing the wicked… but he had to be the king to do that, in more than just name. 

He could do it. He could make Hell what it should be, bring the demons in line, and once he’d done that he could return home, live as he’d done before. Even better, he could use the demons to find Michael, find Dean, and then everything would be perfect. 

He just had to play his role. 

He kept walking, following that pull, allowing it to lead him. It wasn’t a surprise, really, that he ended up in the throne room. Demons, hundreds of them, had assembled packed into the room, spilling out into the corridors, desperate to catch a glimpse of the new king. They’d left a path for him, though, right through the middle. 

The throne stood atop a raised platform, ornate and ominous, regal and powerful. Sam’s heart beat faster and faster, every step carrying him towards what a part of him new would be his downfall. 

Closer, closer, step by step, until his fingers brushed the arm of the seat. 

The closer he was, the stronger his abilities grew. Even touching it sent lightning through his veins… he didn’t want to know what sitting would be like. 

Instead, he turned to address the room. “You all know who I am,” he began, looking as many of the demons in the eye as possible. “And if you know who I am, then you know that I have no mercy when it comes to demons, especially when you hurt people.” If any of them noticed a slight hesitancy before saying ‘demons’, they didn’t notice; he’d nearly said ‘your kind’, but then that wasn’t quite accurate anymore, was it? “I will be making changed around here, and if anyone disobeys, or even toes the line, then I will personally kill them.” He didn’t know what to say next. Did they want him to make a full speech? Tell them the changes then and there? Should he let them go, bring in the changes slowly, allow people to continue dying whilst he worked? Or did he do it all at once, and risk being killed before he could do anything to prove himself good? “Now leave,” he said at last, the demons either smoking out or rushing to escape his presence. 

Sam didn’t dare move until everyone had left, at which point he released a breath he hadn’t realised he’d been holding. Swallowing, he turned, facing the throne. 

His throne. 

Looking around, Sam tried to delay the oncoming moment for as long as possible, doing one final check that he was alone. He was. 

I can do this, he thought. I can be king, and control the demons, and keep who I am. I won’t lose myself. I won’t hurt people, won’t be a proper demon, won’t lose who I am. I won’t. I can do it. 

So he turned, and he sat, and the power that had been within him before was nothing compared to the eternal expanse of energy that had just been released inside him. It was pure bliss, and he found himself spearing down into it all before he could muster up a single thought. 

He’d been addicted to power before. Once a junkie, always a junkie, and he realised just how screwed he was. 

 

Xxx

 

Michael was an archangel, and that came with just a few benefits. One of which, was that he knew the exact moment when the new King of Hell accepted their power, and then he also knew exactly when they took their seat on the throne. It was quite useful. 

“Finally,” he sighed, the hybrid monsters before him looking slightly confused. Raising his voice, he said, “I want all of you to send word that you are to attack and kill all humans within the Chicago area. Let’s make some noise.” 

The trap was laid, and soon he’d have a King of Hell trapped. 

The leader of Heaven, of the monsters, and soon to be of Hell, too. He was doing well.

 

Xxx

 

He had his own quarters in Hell, funnily enough. It was something Sam had probably known subconsciously, but never properly thought to ponder. 

They were lavish rooms, too; a canopy bed that fit him, heavy wood furnishings holding all sorts of things he didn’t want to touch, and a wall of books containing at least five hundred tomes. No demon but him entered his quarters, and that was by far the best thing about the room. 

And he needed that alone time, because his room had a full-length mirror. 

He’d looked into it and nearly drawn his gun, because that was not him looking back at him. The monster within the glass was twisted and burned, scarred all over and broken so that it was all jagged edges and sharp points. Smoke as black as his eyes fell off him in waves, shrouding him in a cloak of night. This was what he’d made himself into, what he’d become as a result of his actions. 

He could have done it, could have handled looking… different. He could even take not being human anymore, if it hadn’t been for that crown. 

Because atop his head sat a crown he had seen in his nightmares; it was the crown of the King of Hell, as designed by the first king. By Lucifer. 

The archangel had known what he was doing when fashioning the crown, because what better way to say “fuck you” to God, than to bend your halo into the symbol of your corruption?

He wore Lucifer’s crown. 

Fuck.

Chapter Text

“We can- we can-” Mary stuttered, breaking beneath the weight of all she’d lost, the war room walls too small to hold her grief. “We can find Michael still, right? I- I mean, we can hunt, and Michael can fix Sam, and Jack can fix Dean, and- and-” She looked frantically to the other two. 

Cas starred past her, whilst Jack shook with tremors. How had it all gone so wrong, so fast? 

“Jack,” Cas said, finally breaking out of his head, “you need to go to bed.” 

“No I-” he began, but broke off coughing. He was so pale, his lips purple, unable to hide the crimson in his mouth. “I’m ok. I can help.” 

“Jack,” Mary sighed, a hand on his shoulder, “go to bed. You- you’ll feel better afterwards.” Lies lies and lies, but she didn’t know what else to do; they had no experience when it came to grace-less nephilim. 

It took some pushing, but eventually Jack left, and Mary was once more alone with Cas. 

“Can we summon him? Could we do that?” She didn’t want to even think about Sam’s situation, let alone treat him like what he was. She couldn’t even use the word. 

“And then what? If he’s here, then he can torment us whilst we continue to struggle.” It was hard for Cas to say so, but it had to be said. “I think we should leave him, let him do as he wishes, and continue working on the cure.” 

“Leave him to rule?” Mary asked, unable to compute what Cas was saying. “He- He’s- Cas, I can’t do that. He’s my son.” 

“He’s also a demon. He’ll enjoy torturing us, even if we manage to restrain him.” 

He’s my son! ” Mary spat the words with so much venom, Cas almost physically recoiled. “You can’t expect me to abandon him.” 

“What about Jack?” Cas growled, getting to his feet and walking out. 

“Cas, wait. Wait!” Mary called after him, but the door slammed, and the angel was gone. 

 

Xxx

 

The throne room was completely empty, no longer filled with the angels that had made up the wondrous halls. Heaven wasn’t what it once was, the power constantly failing, the angels all but destroyed, and yet still Cas called on them. 

“Castiel,” Naomi said by way of a greeting. “We cannot help you.” 

“You don’t know what I am here to ask,” Cas countered, nowhere near comfortable being around the bitch. 

“You want to cure Sam Winchester of being a demon, which you can’t do without siphoning his power from him. We have no way to that, so we can’t help you.” She wasn’t trying to be unhelpful, but that was the way it had to be. 

“What about Michael? Do you know where he is?” Naomi flinched, and that was enough. “Where is he?” 

“Right here,” an all too familiar deep voice called out. 

Cas backed up in shock, drawing his blade as he retreated from the corridor, and the echoing steps coming ever closer. 

“You see,” that voice continued, smirking with lips that weren’t theirs, “I quite like your Heaven. It’s much more… empty, than my last one. Too many angels there, too many people to rule. But here? I can practically start all over again. If you comply, I’ll even let you live.” Michael smiled, no kindness in Dean’s eyes, only the ice that accompanied a lost archangel. “What do you say, Castiel?” 

“No.” He raised his blade, a snarl ripping up his throat. “You get out of him right now.

Michael almost gave him a pitying look. Almost. “How much do you care for this vessel, Castiel? What would you give for me to leave it?” 

“Nothing.” That was a lie, though, and a blatant one at that. 

“Really? So you wouldn’t mind if I stopped protecting the soul? If I… smothered it out?”

Cas held steady, not moving an inch. He watched as Michael’s power gathered, as he prepared to release himself entirely, and burn Dean out in the process. 

Dean. The hunter who still wanted him back, despite all he’d done to destroy him. The one who still stood by his side, who’d die for him. “Stop!” 

Michael smirked, and he took a step forward, then another, then another, until the tip of Cas’ blade pressed against his chest. “You won’t hurt me, will you? You can’t, not whilst I’m in here.” 

“You underestimate me,” Cas replied, never being so unsure of himself in his life. He tried, he really did, to bring himself to stab Michael, knowing it wouldn’t hurt him. But then, this was also Dean, and who knew if it would hurt the man? He couldn’t risk it, not for the sake of himself. 

He could never sacrifice Dean, not for his own life. 

“No, I don’t.” Michael smiled again, as if this was all some fun game, and not something where thousands of lives were at stake. “And because of that, I know that you won’t fight back. You’ll make a good little hostage.” 

Cas didn’t have enough time to blink before Michael gripped his arm, and they were gone. 

 

Xxx

 

Time moved differently in Hell. Sam knew that, had known that for a long time, but then he hadn’t truly acknowledged it before, either.

When Dean had come down, he’d heard the stories, but he hadn’t understood yet. When he’d come down the first time, such things had held no meaning, pain being the only thing for him to keep track of. But now? 

Two days had passed on earth. He’d ruled in hell for eight months. A lot could happen in a month, let alone eight. A lot could change a person. 

The first few days weren’t too bad; demons had flocked to see the new king, falling to their knees before him. If he asked to be left alone, they’d let him. If he wanted them to die, they’d do it. The powers came naturally, and he’d practiced. 

By the end of the first week, he’d stopped trying to claw that twisted crown from his head, stopped trying to part with the shiver that never left him; it wouldn’t come away, and he only ruined his soul even more. 

A month passed. He had vowed not to lose himself, and he had tried to tame the demons, but there were only so many restraints he could put on them before they fought back. Apparently, declaring that they could only deal with souls already bound for hell had been a step too far; they rebelled, and he’d had to slaughter his way through the traitors. Two days later, and deals could be made with anyone over eighteen and in their sane mind. 

Another week. He didn’t look at himself in any mirrors, all of them removed from his sight. A month. The demons got restless, in need of a change, biting at the reins Sam had attempted to tighten. Crowley’s system of queuing was the first to go, the racks returning to their former glory. They’d been tortured before, so this was just a different type… right?

Three months in, and that cold became something a part of him. The demons had no more information on Michael, and he slaughtered a hundred of them out of rage. No one saw him for two days after, but when he returned, they knew another piece of him had been lost. 

Four months. One mirror. He had to learn to accept himself, and that meant accepting what he looked like. That crown still repulsed him, though. 

Another week, and he heard of the killings in Chicago; he threw every available demon into finding Michael. He told himself he needed the archangel sorted with, because he had to make up for numbers, and there was no way he was sending out more demons to make deals, no way he was losing more demons and damning more humans for his mistake. 

Six months, and the crown was a part of him. Demons were unruly, and they made deals with whoever they wanted. They crossed him, he killed them. They bored him, he killed them. He felt like it, he killed them. The sound of the racks became soothing, the screams music, that chill a balm against the fires raging around him. 

Eight months. Two Earth days. Samuel Winchester was gone. Sam, the King of Hell, was as cruel as they came. Every ounce of his humanity burned away, everything that made him good and kind, gone. In its place, the monster that had always lurked beneath his skin. 

As it had been in Heaven, so it would be on Earth. As Lucifer had been beautiful, so had Sam. Lucifer had fallen, and Sam had followed. 

The crown was no longer quite so cold.

Chapter Text

“Here’s how this is going to work,” Michael mused, pacing around Castiel’s bound vessel. “I am going to call Samuel Winchester here, and if he complies with my demands, you will live. If not… well, you get the picture.” 

The archangel had brought Cas to Chicago, enjoying the view as the sun went down over his city of monsters. The world was his for the taking, a canvas for him to paint. He was prepared for the world to be his, and he would not stop until it was his. 

Cas glowered at Michael, despite his less than ideal position. “In the words of Dean Winchester himself, bite me, asshole.”

Michael allowed a small, condescending smile to grace his lips. “Let’s see what your fate is, shall we?”

 

Xxx

 

Sam had been enjoying himself, if he was being honest. Hell was producing demons at a brilliant pace, everyone had fallen in line, and souls and demons alike trembled at the sound of his name. 

 Blade felt perfect in his palm, the slide of sharpened metal on flesh practically orgasmic. Anything Lucifer had done to him, he inflicted on a soul, a demon, a human. He wasn’t picky, so long as he was entertained. 

Power called to him like a moth to a flame, and he drowned in the feeling of it. What would the old Sam Winchester say? What would he say about the throne, the demons, the power? About the mutilated soul, and twisted crown? 

The new Sam, the King, didn’t care.Life was good, and he was happy. That was enough. 

Except, there was this insistent nagging pulling at him, right from his very core. It pulled, and pulled, and pulled, until he had no choice but to follow. 

Heat to cold, a throne to an intricate painted trap, and demons to an archangel. Sam was not a happy king anymore. 

“Michael, I presume?” Sam enquired, summoning as much regal grace as he could. It was not something he often did, but sometimes proposing diplomacy was the better option. Sometimes. Rarely. It often resulted in blood coating his hands. 

“Samuel. I am glad you came.” Michael spoke with his head held high, and a smug twist to his smile. He gestured behind himself. “I believe you know Castiel?”  

Sam had almost missed that the angel was there, his grace practically smothered by the pulsating star that was Michael. “Cas,” Sam acknowledged, curious as to why the seraph was there; surely Michael knew he cared not for, well, anyone. 

Cas, though… he was horrified by what he saw. 

Sam’s soul was a monstrosity, something he would destroy had he not known who it was. Sam… Cas couldn’t believe how far he’d fallen, and it had only been two days. The Sam that had left was still a good man, always trying to do what was right, no matter what. He’d taken that crown, taken those powers, because of Cas. He’d used them to save his family. He’d taken the hunt to save Dean. 

The monster before him… that monster would kill him if he wanted to. 

“Sam,” Cas breathed, begging for his eyes to ben deceiving him. 

“Cas,” Sam replied. “I guess I look slightly different to when I last saw you. It’s been… a few months? A year?” 

“Three days,” Cas growled, his heart caught in a vice. Three days. Sam had become a true King of Hell, a demon of the worst kind, in only three days. What would another three do to him? A week? A year? 

“Is that all?” Sam almost looked bored as he surveyed the trap holding him, kicking at it with his foot. It didn’t chip. “Michael, you’ve got a reason to summon me here. What is it?”

“I want us to work together,” Michael began, coming forward to the edge of the trap. Sam noticed a slight twitch in his eye, and made a note to look into that. “I will take control of Heaven and Earth, and you will keep your demons down in Hell. If you refuse, I will kill the angel Castiel.”

Sam nodded in thought, despite having already made his decision. “So I remove every demon from Earth, go to Hell, and stay there… and my only incentive is the life of someone I don’t care about?” A slow, mocking clap resonated throughout the room. “You’ve really outdone yourself on this deal, but I’m afraid I’ll have to decline.”

Michael allowed for another forced grin. “I’d thought you’d be smarter.”
Sam simply sneered in response, no desire to save Cas as Michael drew his blade, and prepared to stab him through the chest. 

“If you are trying to test me, then you will be sorely disappointed,” Michael continued, waltzing around the edge of the trap, making his way towards Cas. 

“I have no use for an angel.”
“Sam,” Cas begged, praying that the king would listen, that he’s at least acknowledge his presence. Although Sam didn’t react, Michael twitched once again. 

“Then neither do I,” Michael remarked. He lunged forward, his aim true, his blade pointed towards Cas’ heart. 

Cas simply resigned himself to his fate, and prepared to return to the Empty once again.

 

Xxx

 

Dean was drowning. 

Not literally, of course, but metaphorically. He drowned beneath the sea that was Michael, beneath his powers and memories. There was so much to he archangel that Dean was squashed into the tiniest crevice of his mind, his body almost tearing at the seams. 

It was too much, and he was drowning. 

Time meant nothing, his consciousness barely aware of what was going on. Snippets of conversation here and there made their way to his conscious thought, as opposed to becoming but another weight on his metaphorical shoulders. Sometimes he even caught a thought, but mostly it was emotion. That was, if emotions were booming claps of thunder raging a war within your head, always too much to withstand, let alone comprehend. 

“Join me, and I will give you all the human hearts you desire.”

“There’s a new King of Hell.”
“Kill all the humans.”
He heard it all, but could only understand so much. He may have been built to house an archangel, but that didn’t mean he was built to survive them. 

He tried, though. He tried to claw his way to the surface, to take over, to kick Michael out of his head, but whenever he got close Michael would just throw some new emotion at him, and he’d be lost. 

Except… except then he’d heard a name, a name he always could pull out; Sam. He began to swim again, to fight to hear what Michael was saying about his brother. 

But then… that couldn’t be true, could it? Sam wasn’t… he couldn’t have… His baby brother, the one who always fought to be good, had become the King of Hell. No. No no no no no. He couldn’t believe it, not Sammy. Not his brother. Not now. 

But Michael couldn’t lie to him, not when they shared a headspace. Sam was the King of Hell. 

From then on, Dean swam harder than he ever had before. 

By the time Cas’ name was mentioned, Dean was seeing red. Michael’s biggest flaw was his arrogance, for he believed Dean to be gone, lost beneath the might of an archangel. He didn’t know that the human was still there, still fighting, and that every name, thought, word, was just another piece of full on the already roaring flame. 

Michael spoke about Cas, and Dean was aware enough to hear it all. If there was one thing he knew, it was that Cas. Couldn’t. Die. 

Michael took notice of the itching in his head, and tried to push Dean down again. Dean, in turn, summoned memory after memory of Sam, of Cas, to fight back. 

So he swam harder, and harder, and harder. He pushed himself to his limits, forcing himself to remember what it was like to have control, to move his fingers, to breathe of his own accord. 

Michael tried to smother him, Dean threw more back.

Michael drew his blade, Dean’s hand wrapped around the grip. One step towards Cas, another, and Dean could see from his eyes. The seraph had practically resigned himself to his fate, knowing Sam would do nothing to help him in his state. 

Sammy… Every memory he had of his brother, forged into a shield against the burning supernova that was Michael. Had to have just one coherent thought, to take back… to take…. To...

Michael began to lunge towards Cas, the blade moving with too much momentum to stop. Cas was going to die, and Dean was going to kill him. 

No. Not Cas. Not him. No. No no no nononononono

“NO!” Dean roared louder than ever before, breaking free from Michael’s grasp. 

Except the knife was moving too fast to stop, the might of an archangel still propelling it forward, despite the direction being influenceable. Dean did the only thing he could, and he didn’t regret it; he redirected the knife, and it found its sheath in his stomach. 

Chapter Text

Time stood still. Michael looked down, eyes faintly glowing. No one moved. He stumbled forward. 

“I’m sorry,” Dean gasped, his breathing laboured, hands almost trying to hold in his blood around the blade. 

“Dean?” Cas asked, holding the dying man as he fell, the grace growing and growing in his eyes, cracking apart and burning up. 

Dean didn’t speak, mouthing the words he so desperately needed to say, unable to make a noise. Michael burnt away, leaving Dean nothing but an empty shell in Cas’ arms. 

Castiel had survived many things. He had fought war after war. He’d gone up against demons, angels, the Devil himself. He’d conquered Purgatory, flown through the deepest pits of Hell, dived into the Cage for but a moment. He had survived it all. 

And yet now, holding Dean Winchester’s cooling corpse… now he finally broke. 

 

Xxx

 

Sam watched with a mix of pleasure and grief.

Pleasure. Michael was dead, the archangel unable to threaten him anymore. No one more powerful stood in his way. If he so wished, he could kill Castiel in a heartbeat. 

Grief. His brother was dead. Though he felt nothing for the loss of a life, he mourned the loss of the company. He had hoped to have his brother beside him, his own personal Knight of Hell. 

But now… now he was free. One less tie to his old life, to those who could tie him down. Not that they had any power over him, but still. A piece of his freedom had just been handed to him on a silver platter. He liked it. 

He wanted more. 

With a smirk and a snap, Sam disappeared. 

 

Xxx

 

Cas knew not what to do. He didn’t cry, didn’t scream, didn’t make a noise. Blank as a wall, he lifted Dean from the floor, and he walked out the door. Down the stairs, down to the car park. He found himself a car, one with keys in the glove compartment. He carefully arranged Dean on the backseat, ensuring he’d be comfortable if he woke up. Just in case. 

It wasn’t too long a drive back to the Bunker. He made it longer. No speeding, no direct roads. He drove the long way, driving a day out of his way, if only to give himself more time alone with his thoughts and a body. 

But finally he had no choice but to answer his phone, the thing having been turned off since Dean’s death, Cas not knowing how to break the news to Mary yet. He couldn’t hold out any longer, so he turned it on, and a call came through almost immediately. 

“I’m coming back,” he said, completely blank. 

“Cas, where are you? What happened?” Mary didn’t know. Of course she didn’t. In her mind, Dean was alive. She didn’t know what Cas did. 

“Michael’s dead. I’m coming back now. Mary I’m- I-” 

She knew now. 

Michael’s dead. The archangel possessing your son is dead. The only way to kill him is to kill Dean, that we know of. Your son is dead. Dean is dead. 

She hung up, and she broke. 

 

Xxx

 

Two days. Eight months.

Week one, he took the time alone, locking all demons out of his private chambres. He told them that Michael was dead, told them to celebrate. They ran free on Earth, dealing and killing and partying day and night and day again. Sam simply sat inside, contemplating what had gone down. 

Michael was dead. He was free. Dean was dead. He felt free. He would miss his brother, sure. He’d miss the laughter, the way he had company, how there was always someone to watch his back. Sure, he didn’t actually grieve Dean, but he still would miss him. But then… he wanted that rush of knowing one more tie was dead. He craved it, in a way he’d never craved anything before. 

All his life, he’d been tied down by something; Mum’s death, hunting, Dad’s disappearance, an array of apocalypses. The only time he’d been free, back before all of this, had been when he’d gone to Stanford. When he’d cut his ties to his family. 

By day two of his retreat, he had an idea. By day three, it was written down. 

Rowena

Mary

Jack

Castiel

The list made him smile, memories of another with a similar agenda flicking through his mind. Gabriel, who had wanted to kill Loki and his sons. Now Sam, who wanted to kill his family. A hitlist of his own, one he would enjoy working through. 

Day four, Rowena’s death planned. Five, Jack and Mary’s. Six, Castiel. Seven, he emerged, and summoned his demons back to hell. 

Hell was a convenient place, bending to the King’s every whim. If Sam, say, wanted to address all the demons, all in one room, Hell would build a room big enough to accommodate. 

“Michael is dead,” he began, waiting a moment for the jeering to die down. “There are few threats to us, now, but few is not good enough. There needs to be no threat to us, and then we will be free to do as we wish.” Now that caused some more noise, and it took even longer for the demons to die down once more. “Bring me the witch Rowena, alive.” 

With that, he left, walking the halls of Hell until he stood before his throne, the horrid chair calling to him. Sam smirked, hands in his pockets as he took a seat on the monstrosity. A snap of his fingers, and he changed his clothes into a fresher, pure black suit, his crown atop his shining hair. A chill tickled its way down his neck, seeping into his very core. His smirk broadened, becoming a full on smile. 

He understood, now, why Lucifer had killed his family; it truly was magnificent to destroy your ties, to cut yourself loose and give yourself a freedom you hadn’t known you’d been deprived of. 

So why did he wish Dean were still there with him?

 

Xxx

 

Mary stood there, tear tracks down her cheeks, watching her son’s body burn. Jack sat beside her, unable to comprehend the enormity that was death, even more incapable of getting to his feet. Cas couldn’t bear to watch, but he owed it to Dean to do so. 

They had tried, so desperately tried, to reverse it, to bring Dean back. 

“Please,” Mary begged, but still Billie declined. 

“Always with you Winchesters,” she drawled, shaking her head. “You just don’t understand, do you? You don’t seem to get that people die, permanently, and never come back.” 

“He’s my son!” 

“And you need to let him go.” She didn’t mean to be unkind, but the WInchester never seemed to understand what ‘death’ meant. “I’m sorry for your loss, I truly am, but you can’t break the rules of the universe. Not anymore.” 

“We will find a way,” Cas vowed, practically growling the words. 

“Dean’s soul is in the Empty. You have no way of getting him back. I’m sorry.” Billie truly meant it, but she wouldn’t change her mind. 

So she left. 

They hadn’t stopped there. Every book in the bunker, then in the libraries outside, then around the world. They searched and searched for some sign of how to break open the Empty, of a creature that could reverse death. 

There was nothing. 

Eventually, their search ended. Not because they had given up, but because Jack was too ill to stand on his own. He was alive, still, and they needed to keep him that way. 

Mary had lost one son to a crown, another to death. She would not lose another.  

Cas, though… he started thinking… because there was possibly one being in the world who could overturn death, who had enough power to do something more than they could… 

Dean’s body burned, and Cas steeled his nerves to face Sam Winchester, the King of Hell, once more.

Chapter Text

Sam was a happy king. Ten years on from Michael’s death, one month Earth time, and everything was falling into place; his demons were off hunting Rowena, Michael was dead, and no one held enough power to stand against him. He was happy. 

Except a random demon chose that moment to crawl into the throneroom, disturbing Sam’s peace. A female crossroads demon, eyes burnt out, their moans of pain echoing throughout the room. She paused once she was before Sam.

“What?” Sam barked, a flicker of his power backing the word up. 

“The angel Castiel wishes to see you,” she cried, whimpering as her arms gave out beneath her, her already marred face pressed to the cold floor. 

“Anything else?” He stood, straightening the already immaculate cuffs of his suit. 

“N-n-no sire.” 

“Good.” Sam stood from his seat, and the demon lit up as she died. Sam ignored the message, and walked from the room. 

 

Xxx

 

“Fuck off ye wee bastards,” Rowena huffed, greatly angered by the demons on her tail. They’d been chasing her for a month, and she was tired of constantly laying down spells to protect herself. Not that they hadn’t been there already, but it grew tiresome, after a while, to have to continuously remake hex bags, if only to allow her to step outside. 

Which was why, yet again, she was running down yet another side street, the demons having found her by human means. Eventually, though, she stopped, pulling a small package from her bag, and prepared to face the demons chasing after her.

“The King wishes to see you,” yet another demon said, stopping just before her.

“And I don’t wish to see him,” Rowena replied, yet again. 

“He won’t be pleased with that.”
“Yes! I know!” Rowena cried, unable to comprehend how demons couldn’t understand such a basic idea. It probably had something to do with how she killed them all before they could pass the message on… 

Oh well!

She dropped her cloth-bound package, igniting it as it fell. The demon, along with any others in the area, quickly vapourised. A demon killing bomb, courtesy of one demon tablet. She’d taken to carrying a few around, just in case. Finally, she could return to her apartment in peace. 

Where she found a note waiting by the door. 

 

Rowena, 

We have much to talk about. Come see me. 

-Sam

 

Sam. The King of Hell. It seemed that she had no choice, really; Sam was after her, he knew where to find her, and he had the whole might of Hell at his fingertips. 

“Bollocks!” She exclaimed to no one. 

With no choice, she walked into her apartment, and prepared to go meet the king of Hell. 

 

Xxx

 

“Hello Rowena,” Sam said, smiling as he turned to face the witch. 

He’d called her to Central Park, New York. The wind chilled her face, but not her body, bundled beneath too many layers to be anything but warm. That, and also granting her the ability to easily conceal things. 

“Samuel,” she easily replied, “or should I say ‘Sire’?”

Sam smiled, one that could have belonged to his human counterpart. “You’re not one of my demons, Rowena.” 

She pursed her lips, unable to read the boy. She’d heard he was ruthless, that he’d killed Michael and Dean without flinching. He’d remade Hell, turning it into the torture it was meant to be, as opposed to her son’s strange beliefs. And yet, here he was, almost normal, if not for the distinct lack of flannel. 

“I see you’ve changed your look,” she eventually said, choosing to make small talk whilst she figured things out.

“Yes, I found that it helps to look like a king when being one.” He betrayed nothing beyond what he would have done before; same smile, same dimples, same kindness behind his gaze. 

Except he oozed power, enough so that Rowena could practically taste it.

Neither spoke for some time, instead opting to begin strolling through the park. The place was unusually empty, not a person in sight, nor to be heard.  

Eventually, Rowena gave in, and asked, “Why am I here, Samuel?”

There was that smile again, the one where he looked to the ground, as if to hide the joy so obvious on his face. 

“I’ve realised that my family is still here, and I want to see if maybe, just maybe, I still care for them.” He looked to her, tears in his eyes, and it almost broke Rowena’s heart of ice. “It’s lonely, you know. I’d much rather have someone with me, or someone to go to.” He let the words hang, waiting for Rowena’s answer. 

“What about Dean?” She spoke slowly, fighting against herself to maintain her composure. “You killed him.”
“No, no I didn’t,” Sam said, alarm written in every line of his face. “He killed himself and I- I couldn’t stop it. Rowena, please, do you know if you can get him back? He’s in the Empty, I know it. Can you get him back?” He was rambling, crying, desperate, his hand darting out to grab her arm. 

Rowena wasn’t ashamed to say she flinched at his touch. 

“You know as well as I, that there is no way to open the Empty.” Flat. Emotionless. She couldn’t let her guard down around this new kind of monster. 

“None? You can’t think of anything? ” No anger, no power beyond the surface level stuff, nothing to say that this was anyone but Samuel Winchester. 

“No,” she said at last, with a shake of her head. She even allowed some grief into her expression. Dean was dead, Sam was… something. She may have a heart of ice, but that didn’t make her heartless. 

“What about me? Can you- can you make this go away? Is there any way, at all?” 

“No,” she said, with a shake of her head. 

He chest tightened as Sam broke, tears flowing freely down his face as he staggered to the nearest tree, allowing the trunk to be the only thing holding him up. 

“Sam, it will be ok,” Rowena attempted to reassure him, although slightly too stiffly. 

“No, no it won’t,” he cried, sliding down to the floor. “I’m- I’m stuck like this, as a monster. I need- I need you to kill me, please Rowena. Do something, kill me, please!” 

A Winchester, on his knees, begging her to let him die. 

Rowena turned away, taking a few steps from the broken man, if only to try and calm her nerves. She’d tried to keep her distance from those boys, tried to ensure she kept their relationship strictly business. But, of course, they had managed to weasel their way into her heart, Sam more than Dean. Which was why she couldn’t kill him. 

She turned, ready to face the boy. 

Only to find a knife through her heart. 

“Did you really expect anything else?” Sam asked, smirking at Rowena as she looked between him and the knife in shock. “You forgot the first rule, Rowena; demons lie.” 

She fell, but Sam swept her up into his arms before she could hit the floor, and carried her to Hell. 

 

Xxx

 

Rowena was many things, but she was no fool. 

She had known that she was likely walking to her death, so it was no surprise that she’d taken precautions, specifically those of the resurrection type. She had six lives left, just in case Sam chose to kill her. 

Except she forgot that Sam knew her, knew her ways, knew she would do something to protect herself. Hence why he took her body, stripping her of everything, including her clothes, and throwing her into a cage. 

It was in that cage that she came around, and found Sam holding a whip, and chains about her wrists, cutting off her power.

“I’m going to enjoy this,” he said, and brought it down on her bare flesh. Again, and again, and again, and again. 

It was in that cage that she died, too little blood in her veins. 

Another life. Doused in oil and burnt like the witch she was. 

The third time, Sam stabbed her to death. He didn’t make it quick, though; he tore through every inch of her body, before finally damaging her organs enough to end her life. She screamed until she lost her mouth, and then gargled blood. 

Round four, she drowned before she could even draw a breath. 

The fifth time, she came to in an empty cage, to the naked eye. To Sam, though, there was a hellhound sitting right beside the former witch. She died slowly, eaten by a monster she couldn’t see. 

The sixth time, Rowena died for the last time, with Sam’s hands enclosed around her throat, cutting off all air. Her last conscious wish was for Sam’s head to end up on a spike. 

Gone was the kind boy she’d come to care for; all that remained was a monster wearing his face. She’d been a fool to think otherwise.

Chapter Text

Castiel was getting on Sam’s nerves; he’d killed hoards of demons, but always left one survivor to deliver the same message: I want to talk, Sam. 

Sam was at the end of his rope, his demons coming to him day and night and day again to report sightings, fears, ideas. Anyone who dared approach Sam’s throne tended to find themselves dead, or at least wishing for it. 

Enough !” Sam finally roared, the demons closest to him disintegrating. “Enough,” he repeated, calm in his simmering rage. “I will deal with Castiel, and then you can all get back to work.”

Xxx

 

“Hello, Cas,” Sam said by way of announcing his arrival. 

“Sam,” Cas acknowledged, chest clenching at the sight of how far Sam had fallen. 

Black suit, blacker soul, broken crown. Sam looked the part of a king of Hell. Worse still, he held himself as one should. He’d earnt that crown with blood and pain, and he made sure everyone knew so from a simple look. 

“You clearly had a reason to call me here,” Sam led, slowly strolling around Cas. 

He’d been brought to a field barely five miles from the bunker, from where he’d once called home. So much had changed though. Sam had a new home, a new life, and soon that old one wouldn’t exist. Maybe he’d burn the bunker when all was done. 

That would be a good ending. 

“It’s Jack. He’s getting worse,” Cas admitted. “I want you to save him.”
Sam hummed in thought, ostensibly contemplating every angle, despite having already made up his mind. 

“What makes you think I can do it?”

“You are the most powerful person in this world right now. You can do it.” If Sam had been human, he would have been intimidated beyond belief. But now… now Sam would never feel inferior again. 

“Yes, you’re right,” Sam agreed, nodding  along to his words. “So what’s in it for me?”

“You get to save your son. Is that not enough?” Cas growled the words, hatred flying from every fibre of his being. And for the first time, a small piece of that was directed towards Sam. 

“He’s not my son. He’s not even yours,” Sam spat back. “What’s. In it. For me?” He spoke slowly, emphasizing each word. 

“You really don’t care, do you?” Cas practically whispered, losing hope all too quickly. 

“What gave it away?”

Cas watched Sam for a moment, waiting to see if Sam would continue. It seemed, though, that Sam wouldn’t break so easily. 

“I want to make a deal,” Cas finally said, almost shocked by his own words. “If you save Jack… you can have my grace.” 

Sam smiled. Once again, his plans had changed. 

 

Xxx

 

Mary drew her gun the moment Sam walked through Jack’s room door, her hands unwavering. “Get out,” she demanded immediately. 

“No,” Cas countered, coming through after Sam, “I invited him. He’s here to save Jack.”
“I- I want to help,” Sam whispered, forcing tears to his eyes, feeling slightly pathetic when he pulled out his puppy dog eyes. 

Mary’s hands shook, and Sam smiled.
“Stop it,” Cas growled, yanking on Sam’s shoulder. “You’re here to save Jack, so do it.” 

Sam looked to Mary, walking forward and pushing past her. “I almost had you, didn’t I?”
“You’re not my son,” Mary replied, vibrating with anger. 

Sam didn’t reply. Instead, he looked to Jack. The former nephilim lay unconscious, paler than the sheets he lay on, lips practically grey. He wasn’t dead, no, but he certainly looked it. 

Yeah, Sam could save him; he’d have to, essentially, recharge Jack’s batteries. Now, he could use his own power, but he was nice enough to use Jack’s own soul instead. 

It took some time, a bit of fiddling, a lot of Sam’s power, but a few hours later, Jack began to look slightly more alive.

“Done,” Sam finally announced, slumping into a seat Mary had vacated. 

“Done?” Mary couldn’t believe it. 

Cas, though… Cas knew he had a job to do. But first… “How do I know you’re telling the truth?” 

If looks could kill, Cas would be dead. 

“Now, about the other end of the bargain,” Sam prompted, pushing himself to his feet. “I believe I am owed? Jack is saved, after all.” 

“Cas?” Mary asked, eyes flicking between the pair. “Cas, what’s he talking about?”
“Yeah Cas,” Sam mocked, “tell Mary what you did. What did you trade away?”

“What did you do?” Mary slowly demanded, stomach crawling. 

“Jack… Jack had to live,” Cas admitted, unable to look the woman in the eye. “Sam… Sam is the only one who can save him, so we struck a deal.”

“One live nephilim, for this angel’s grace,” Sam cockily finished, strolling forward with his palm out. “Now, pay up.”
“No,” Mary growled, gun once again in Sam’s direction. “No, no he won’t.” 

“You know as well as I do, that a deal’s a deal.” 

Three shots rang out, three holes in Sam’s chest. “No. No, you won’t take it,” Mary declared, her stare like stone. 

“You people just don’t understand, do you,” Sam sighed. He shot out his hand, pinning Mary against the wall and cutting off her air supply. “Let’s be clear, Cas,” he said, turning back to the angel, who had his sword out already. “If you don’t hand over your grace in ten seconds, Mary will die, and I will still get your grace, because, angel or not, you made a deal with a demon. Understand? One.”
Cas knew he was out of options. 

“Two.”
Absolutely no options remaining, whatsoever. 

“Three.”
No miracles left. Just reality, and the consequences of his actions. 

“Four.”
Deep breath. He grabbed an empty beer bottle from Jack’s bedside table.

“Five.” 

His sword to his throat, and a slice deep enough to draw the grace out. 

“Six.”

The bottle to his neck.

“Seven.”
The grace floated out. He dropped his sword; human, once more.

“Pleasure doing business with you,” Sam remarked, dropping his hand, releasing Mary.

She rushed forward, catching Cas as he stumbled, helping to settle him down into a chair, allowing him to join Jack in unconsciousness. She kept a hand on his shoulder, making sure he was… well, not ok, but alive. Human. 

Once again, Cas had sacrificed everything because of a Winchester. Once again, he’d paid the price, and he’d lost everything. 

“Do you know what I love about being the King?” Sam asked, only Mary in a state to listen to him; Cas was practically passed out in the chair, and Jack was yet to come around. “It’s the lack of mortality. Humans… I was such a weak creature, always fighting for survival. But now? Now, I don’t think there’s anything left that can kill me. It’s freeing.”
“You’re a monster,” Mary said, blatantly suppressing her sorrows beneath anger. 

“We’ve established that,” Sam drawled. “Now, what to do with this…” He referred to the grace. “Oh, I know!” With a snap of his fingers, he summoned a jar of holy oil, and lit it with but a flick of his fingers. 

“Stop it,” Mary growled, once more attempting to move forward, but finding herself incapable. “Stop!” She could move, though, but it was as though a barrier separated her from Sam. She could still fire a gun, though. 

In one move, she aimed for Sam’s head. He only raised his hand… reversing the bullet direction… hitting her square in the chest. 

“I’d wanted to kill you on the ceiling, burning alive,” Sam explained as Mary slumped to the floor, gasping for breaths she couldn’t get enough of. “But then I thought, ‘how overdone’. I mean, you’ve die that way already, and Jess too. I wanted to take my time, like I did with Rowena. I killed her too, you know.” And he looked pleased about that, too. Mary knew she’d been hit in the heart, and grazed her lungs. She had a minute, if that, and she could barely keep her eyes open. 

Too much blood, but very little pain anymore. Maybe that was a blessing. 

“Eventually, though, I realised that I don’t care about you. I was only doing this, because you represent yet another constraint in my life. But you… I care so little, that I decided to just kill you in the fastest way possible.”

Mary looked up at what remained of her son in shock, horror, and disgust. Sam could only feel satisfaction in return. 

Mary Winchester died with an unconscious former angel beside her, and an equally unconscious nephilim on the bed, whilst the stench of burning grace perforated the air. 

Sam hadn’t even cared enough to stick around until the very end.