"Michael, you are welcome to join us. You are welcome in hell just as I am welcome in heaven." Lucifer said. "Being that it is the body of a nephilim, I would say that your presence is imperative."
"You haven't gotten this worked out yet?" Gabriel asked. "Belarus is on his way with Sam and Dean. Raphael has declined to go, and Zachariah is on his way down to join us too."
"Well your lapdog is joining us. You may as well tag along Michael." Lucifer encouraged.
"There's a complete set of Winchesters out here." Spicy poked her head in the door. "And this bald angel that looks like he's been constipated for the past century."
"That would be Zachariah." Gabriel answered. "And believe me he acts just as constipated as he looks."
"Yeah well the looks that are being exchanged between him and the collective Winchesters?" Spicy gave a long suffering sigh, "The tension level is off the scale and somebody's head is going to explode like in that Scanners movie unless one of you come out here and calm things down. It's so bad that no one has even noticed Alistair is in the room."
"I'll go order him to tone it down." Michael said. "I guess I don't have a choice in going with you. If I let Zachariah loose in hell unsupervised he'll start the apocalypse all over again."
"Let's avoid that at all costs." Gabriel said. "One apocalypse in the space of a single geological era is more than enough."
Michael made his way out the door into the oppressive atmosphere of the outer office. "Zachariah, tone it down around the fledglings."
Lucifer made his way over to Belarus and Alistair. "How did you find this body Alistair?"
"I didn't, Garth found it and notified me." Alistair said. "I took it to Jack; he's holding it until I could notify you and Sam. He figured you and maybe the dodo birds" Alistair nodded toward Michael and Gabriel, "Would be interested in seeing what he could find."
Lucifer nodded. "Okay, fledglings you can follow Sam and Dean. Michael, Gabriel and I will follow shortly."
"Should I accompany you or go with them?" Zachariah asked.
"Go with them but behave yourself." Michael said as he joined his brothers.
"Okay let's go." Sam said reaching into his pocket and pulling out three rings.
"Sammy, aren't those the horseman's rings?" Dean asked.
"All except for Death's." Sam said as he tossed the rings against the wall and began chanting.
Dean whistled as a portal opened. "My little brother has his own key to hell. That's just all sorts of wrong."
"What are we doing back here?" Gabriel asked.
"You did speak to Karel. I'm thinking there is no better way to bring your point home to him than to show him what will happen if he continues to ride the pine as you put it." Lucifer said. "There is a dead nephilim in hell, and it didn't get there by kissing Hadrian's ass."
"Scare tactics?" Michael asked. "Do you really believe this will work, Lucifer?"
"Maybe not immediately, but every bit of leverage we can bring to bear will help tip Karel in our direction." Lucifer explained. "Eventually he will realize that he has no choice if he wants to survive whatever it is Abaddon set in motion and Hadrian works to achieve. Strategically it's best if he comes to this realization sooner rather than later."
"I agree with you." Michael said. "I just don't want to push too hard and have him completely shut down to the possibility."
"So we tell him we're transferring him to Protective Custody." Gabriel said. "You have to have someplace in hell you can stash him right Luci?"
"Um yes we could always stuff him in a cage. No one gets in or out." Lucifer said. "But that would be more of a punishment."
"Not if we make sure he sees the body first. It will be logical that we would do our utmost to 'protect' him." Gabriel said.
"All these centuries calling me evil and me the devil." Lucifer snorted. "You should have tagged Gabriel; he deserves the title just for being so underhanded and shady."
"I'm not shady, I'm just practical." Gabriel said. "Sometimes you get a bit further with deception and total honesty is a big roadblock. I just prefer whichever path is easier."
"Very well, let's go deceive our reluctant guest." Michael said.
"I'll go catch up with the others." Gabriel said. "I know you told Zach to behave but somebody needs to keep him from pissing off the Winchesters."
Sam stepped out of the portal and into a long marble tiled hallway. At the other end was a mahogany door. Sam hadn't taken two steps when a group of tiny robed creatures surrounded him demanding his attention.
"Oh look Gabriel," Dean pointed. "We found all your long lost oompa loompa cousins!"
"Dean haven't I warned you not to try to be funny," The archangel said tossing a kernel of candy corn into his mouth. "You'll hurt yourself. Besides, this looks more like that creepy mausoleum from Phantasm. We've got the little dwarf creatures, our own version of the tall man;" Gabriel nodded at Sam patiently trying to calm the creatures down. "All we need now is a steel ball with a spike whizzing through the corridors."
Belarus had stepped up to Sam's side and scattered the little creatures for the moment and Sam opened the door leading them into a richly carpeted hallway and reception area that would have been right at home in any multinational conglomerate's headquarters office. Gabriel burst out laughing seeing the reactions of those who had not been to hell since heaven had been reopened.
"This is hell?" Mary asked stunned. "It's not what I expected."
"It's not what I remember." John added.
"It's the administrative wing." Alistair said with disgust. "It's Spicy's idea."
"Puts our green room to shame don't it Zach." Gabriel said. "Makes us look like a bunch of pretentious assholes."
"That's because you are a bunch of pretentious assholes." Dean added helpfully.
Belarus quickly took charge. "Sam you might want to talk to the imps now while you have a spare moment, see if there's anything that needs your attention. Alistair and I can play host until the others arrive.
"Whatever." Dean said. "I'm heading to the library, it has a fully stocked bar."
"Come on Zach, you look like you could use a drink or two." Gabriel said. "Luci put in a humidor too. He's got a supply of the best cigars from around the world. All hand wrapped."
Dean who had been to the 'new' hell more than once led the way to the library making his way straight to the bar. Gabriel led Zachariah to a couple of chairs facing a fireplace and snapped his fingers. The angels were both holding snifters of cognac and cigars. Glancing down the archangel snapped his fingers again and was suddenly attired in an expensive smoking jacket.
"What? I may as well look the part." Gabriel said as he settled himself in the chair next to Zachariah.
Dean had pulled out a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue and a couple of shot glasses. Mary stood there looking around, bewildered at what appeared to be a formal library straight out of an old Dickens novel. Shaking her head she made her way over to the door and eased it open. She jumped when she felt a hand on her arm.
"Mary, relax, have a drink or something. Michael and Lucifer will be here soon." Gabriel said.
"I guess I'm just a bit unsettled that I'm in hell and it seems so nice." Mary said.
"It actually was Spicy's idea to set this up this way. Don't worry once we head down to the rack you will know that you're in hell. Just remember, you are a guardian and you are Sam's mother." Gabriel said. "You know that sort of makes you the 'Madonna of Hell' right?"
"What? Gabriel you know you really aren't making any sense at all." Mary said.
"Of course I am. You just aren't following. Mary of Nazareth gave birth to Jesus and she got a lot of hoopla and good PR out of the deal. After all he was the embodiment of a prophesy. Sam is also the embodiment of a prophesy one that was never acknowledged by the Church because of Luci's little rebellion." Gabriel explained. "Then we all just dropped the ball. You never got the whole 'blessed art thou among women' speech."
Gabriel laid his hand on Mary's arm and the two were standing in front of a floor to ceiling window that looked out over hell proper. "All this is a part of Dad's plan. When Lucifer told him that he had made a big mistake giving you guys free will and that you were broken, well let's just say Daddy doesn't like anyone pointing out when he is wrong. And ultimately Luci was right. Most of you tend to abuse that freedom and fall victim to your flaws but a lot of you do try to make the right choices and to atone when you make the wrong ones. Sam, Dean they are what is best in you. They make mistake after mistake but they own their mistakes. They try to fix their errors. They got that from you and from John."
"What does that have to do with this?" Mary gestured to the scene of hellfire burning on the other side of the window.
"You do know how the apocalypse was stopped. Your youngest son jumped into a cage with Lucifer riding his back and dragged Michael down with him for good measure. Sam sacrificed himself to an eternity of suffering to fix the fact that he had let Satan out of his prison. There may not have been a Judas to point him out to Roman troops for 30 pieces of silver and no heart rending prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane; but Sam willingly took up a cross anyway and the world is still spinning because of it." Gabriel said "And Sam was also raised from the depths of hell and forgiven his sins by Dad. Lucifer sees what Dad meant hell to be now and that it what it has become recently. That is not mindless suffering that's happening out there now. Souls that end up on the rack aren't being tortured just for the sake of torture; they are atoning so that one day, they can gain entry to heaven."
"And Sam?" Mary asked.
"He's their proof." Lucifer said as he joined them. "The boy with the demon blood who unleashed Satan on an unsuspecting world. Hell's Boy King that brought the end of days to the world and he has been forgiven. He not only has a place in heaven, he has a place among the host. If the one person who has committed what could arguably be called the greatest sin in history can gain redemption, so can they. And Gabriel is right. You are the mother of my right hand, that gains you a status in hell all your own." Lucifer turned to Gabriel. "Well let's go get a look at this dead nephilim, shall we?"