After the Fall

Chapter 25

Sam was settled on the couch awkwardly trying to feed Angelica and wearing more formula than was making it into the baby's mouth. Mary was unpacking several Walmart bags full of baby items on the conference table. John and Dean were trying to figure out the instructions to put together the baby furniture that Mary had insisted on buying.

"Aww look at this domestic little scene. You Winchesters are so cute." Gabriel said as he, Henry and Castiel entered the conference room.

Henry made his way over to the couch and sat down taking the baby from Sam. "So this is my new granddaughter? She's cute as a button."

Gabriel snapped his fingers putting together the furniture. "Let's not get sidetracked by the fact that the sprout is cute Henry. We have something important to discuss remember?"

"I get the feeling that we may not like what is about to be discussed." Mary said with a frown setting a frilly dress down on the table. "What's going on?"

"Perhaps Dean will require a bacon cheeseburger and pie at this point?" Castiel suggested.

"Let's not resort to bribery until we have to Cas." Gabriel said. "Henry might be able to reason with him after all."

"Okay, what do you feathered asshats want now?" Dean asked earning a smack from Mary.

"Language Dean, Your baby sister is in the room." Mary said sternly.

"In that case," Gabriel snapped his fingers and Angelica disappeared. "Gertie and Kevin are keeping an eye on her. The language is only going to get worse from this point."

"Just spit it out, what now?" Dean asked.

"We require your assistance Dean, but we fear that you will not be willing to give it. It would require you making a deal." Castiel blurted out.

"Whoa, wait a minute. Sam is like second in command of hell; he can just order demons to do whatever. Why would I need to make a deal?" Dean asked.

"It's not a demon deal; it's a deal with Death we need you to make." Henry said. "We need you to get Death to bring Samael back for us."

"You want me to sell my soul to Death?"

"The last time you sold your soul; you gave the apocalypse a kick in the ass and started the ball rolling. Nope you keep your soul. You agree to become a reaper." Gabriel explained. "But a special reaper. You would reap the souls of supernatural creatures and take them to Purgatory."

"Purgatory? Been there, done that, got the tee shirt; no thanks." Dean said.

"The situation would be different in this case, Dean. You would hold dominion over all the creatures in Purgatory, including the Leviathan." Castiel said. "Even Dick Roman would have to bow to your authority."

"That doesn't change the fact that you want me to make some sort of deal with Death." Dean argued. "Besides, I thought you douche wads had a way to bring Samael back."

"We would have to pretty much spit in dad's face to do it." Gabriel explained. "I don't particularly want to push the envelope any more than we already have."

"Dean, our father has been lenient in what actions we have chosen to take so far, but to bring Samael back using the ritual that Metatron gave to us would be a blasphemy that we all fear will not be overlooked." Castiel said. "Yes this ritual does require you to make a deal with Death but this deal would also gain you much. You would be to Death much what Sam is currently to Lucifer."

"Wait, he'd be like Death's heir or something?" Sam asked.

"Sort of. You pretty much are the heir to the throne. When Luci's not available Crowley reports to you, Jack calls you with updates and Spicy asks you for orders which has freed Lucifer up to take care of what we're going through now with Abaddon. And even when we finally get this whole thing taken care of, he's the Morningstar, that means responsibilities upstairs he needs to take care of and you get to pick up the slack when that happens." Gabriel explained. "We're talking about Deano pretty much doing the same thing, but for Death."

"What makes you think he'll even go for something like that?" Dean asked.

"Death seems to hold some affection for you Dean. This would not be the first deal you have made with him since he did agree to retrieve Sam's soul from the cage for you." Castiel said. "Since then you have gone to Purgatory and you have laid eyes on more than one reaper in their true form. I believe that is a part of why Death is more indulgent towards you."

"So just because I can see those ugly sons of bitches, I'm supposed to agree to be Death's bitch?" Dean asked.

"No." Henry interrupted quietly. "You're supposed to be a Winchester. Winchesters bite the bullet and do what needs doing whether we like it or not. I didn't like missing out on my son's childhood, but it had to be done. I'm sure Sam didn't like jumping in the cage with not one but two archangels both of whom would focus their attention on him, but he did it. I'm sure your father could think of better things to do with his soul than trade it for your life, but he did it. That's what it means to be a son of the Winchester line. Seems to me you're the only one who hasn't proven you're a Winchester."

"Dean it's not so bad. I mean Belarus can get on my nerves with all his 'act like the royalty you are' lectures but things really haven't changed in any way that I can't handle." Sam said. "You were the one always telling me saving people was the family business. If this is what it takes to save people, are you going to avoid it just to prove a point? Is it that important to you that no one thinks you're Death's bitch?"

"Sammy, you don't understand." Dean started.

"No Dean, I really do understand." Sam said. "When Lucifer first popped out of the cage he was weak. Michael could have locked him back up and a lot of people we cared about would still be alive; but you refused to say yes because you didn't want to be Michael's bitch.

Then you turned around and made a 24 hour deal with Death to get me out of the cage. It's not the deal that scares you Dean, it's the commitment. It's always been the commitment because you're afraid of anything permanent. I think you're afraid that you can't keep up your disguise that someone will find out that maybe Dean Winchester isn't as brave as he pretends to be. It's why you never saw anything wrong with moving around all the time, you thrived on it because no one would ever get close enough to see the real you, the you that fears that you aren't good enough. You're good enough Dean; you just have to figure out how to make yourself believe it."

"I'm not afraid, Sam." Dean said. "I can't be afraid, I'm a hunter."

"It's easy not to fear things that you can kill." Sam said wisely. "It takes a whole different level of bravery to face yourself. Believe me, I know because sometimes I like being Lucifer's second. I like the power that I have and that scares me. But it also keeps me grounded. You have to face your fear sometime and now is as good a time as any."

"How did you manage to get through to him? Zachariah gave it his best and couldn't do it." Michael asked.

"Actually, I think it was Sam that managed to soften that hard head of Deano's." Gabriel said. "I guess he didn't like his little brother making him face a few truths. Anyhow, he's on board. He sent Cas to Chicago to get pizza."

"So all that's left is to perform the ritual." Lucifer said. "And pray to the old man that Death is willing to listen before smiting."

"You do know it's not like he can kill us, right Luci?" Gabriel asked.

"Maybe not but he certainly has the power to make us wish we were dead if he sets his mind to it." Balthazar butted in.

"There is that." Gabriel agreed. "So go track down those pickle chips. He's less likely to start smiting on a full stomach."

Castiel suddenly appeared holding a couple of grease stained brown bags and a pizza box. "I acquired the hot dogs you wished from Coney Island. While I was there the owner of the stand told me that I should visit his cousin if I was ever in the Philadelphia area. I believe that this 'Philly Cheesesteak' will also be of use as the gentleman from that Diners, Drive-in and Dives show that Gabriel is so interested in recommended it."

"If it's good enough for Guy Fieri, then Death should love it." Gabriel nodded. "Is that everything?"

"Everything except the required Winchester." Michael said. "But Sam notified me that they are on the way."

"If I'm not mistaken, that approaching rumble belongs to a certain Winchester owned bucket of bolts." Gabriel said turning to watch as the car pulled to a stop and the two younger Winchesters made their way out of the back seat, while John and Mary exited the front.

"We get a complete set of Winchesters?" Balthazar said as he appeared and sat a bag on the makeshift altar. "Oh joy."

"Don't complain," Lucifer half joked. "That's more Winchesters to hide behind when that horseman arrives."

"Alright, let's get this over with." Dean said as he made his way to the altar.

Sam placed his hand on his brother's shoulder and gave a squeeze of support before joining his parents and the angels outside of the circle surrounding the altar.

After an encouraging nod from the three angels Dean turned to the altar and dumped ingredients into a bowl before lighting them on fire and chanting. A stream of smoke rose from the bowl solidifying into the shape of the cadaverous horseman known as Death.

"I hope you have a very good reason for summoning me Dean." The figure warned. "My patience is not without its limits."

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