It was now or never. Sam knew he did not have much time if he wanted to save his brother. Ruby had clearly shown her true face by telling Sam all that bullshit about saving Dean's soul then bailing out in the last hours. She had clearly made up that excuse about not having enough time to train him. Sam guessed the cherub was right after all and cherubim could not lie.
Dean saw the hellhounds, two of them, snarling and growling at him and that spurred them on to make a dash through the house ending up in a drawing room. Dean had run ahead with Ruby close at his heels and Sam at the rear. Just as Dean opened the door to the drawing room Sam reached out and grabbed Ruby's collar and shoved her down. He cleared the door, slammed it closed and held it while Dean put down the goofer dust. The hounds pounded on the door but could not get in.
"Dude…" Dean looked at him with astonishment clear in his eyes.
"Well, I'd say it's about time you ditched that bitch but I got to ask, why now?"
"You said it yourself, Dean, we never should have trusted a demon. Demons lie," said Sam with a serious face. "Here, hold this!"
After giving Dean Ruby's knife, Sam started to set up the room. He shoved the table and chairs into the corner before pulling out a leather pouch from the inside pocket of his jacket while Dean stood guard near the door. He could hear the hounds growling on the other side, trying to break the door down to get inside.
"Sam, what are you doing? Are you gonna put me in a circle of goofer dust? You know that's not gonna hold them for long," said Dean over his shoulder, looking at Sam wearily.
Sam was in the middle of pouring a white shiny powder from the leather pouch onto the floor making a wide circle when he heard Dean step closer to him.
Sam looked up at him and noticed his brother's familiar questioning frown and said, "It's not goofer dust."
"Yeah, I can see that."
"It's salt and pearl," Sam continued as if Dean had never interrupted him.
"Salt and …" Dean went blank and his head tilted in confusion. "Salt and pearl? What the hell is that for?"
Instead of answering Dean's question, Sam just completed his circle.
"Sam, what ritual are you doing?" Dean asked again. His tone was hard and demanding. Sam could imagine that Dean was gritting his teeth but he still did not answer him. He continued pouring the pearly salt on the floor mumbling the spell under his breath. It had to be done perfectly and Sam only had one chance before the hellhounds broke in. He knew the goofer dust wouldn't last.
"Sam, I told you nothing can break me out of my deal and if I do, you'll be dead! That's part of the deal."
"You'll be dead soon anyway. You have no say in this whatsoever," said Sam as he put away the empty pouch and took out his pocket knife. "Dean, get in the circle!"
Dean hesitated for a moment, eyeing the pearly white circle with distrust, "not unless you tell me what ritual is this."
"We don't have time, Dean. The hounds are behind you. Get. In. Now!"
Sam's face was hard and his jaw was squared stubbornly. Dean looked at the rattling door behind him for a second and when he looked back at Sam he saw that his brother has the knife pressed up against his neck.
"Whoa whoa, Sam!"
"You are not leaving me, Dean. Get in the circle now or I swear I'll slit my own throat and follow you to hell," Sam threatened as blood slowly trickled down his throat where the blade cut into his skin.
"Alright! Alright! I'm getting in."
Dean lifted up both hands to placate Sam and stepped inside the circle carefully. Sam followed him a second later then he put the knife to his left palm and sliced his skin open. He dripped his blood onto the pearl and salt powder making another circle while the spell poured readily from his lips. Smoke rose up from where his blood met the powder. When he'd finished, the powder got shinier and emitted eerie vapors that filled the air inside the circle with white fog. Sam ended his spell by touching Dean's throat with his bloody palm. Then, he took two steps back within the circle.
The door finally broke and Ruby strolled in.
"Hello Sam," greeted the demon, smiling at him as her eyes rolled white. "That wasn't nice what you did back there. You think your little trick can hold me back?"
"Took you long enough," Sam said, turning away from his brother to face her. Once he stood face to face with the demon, Sam knew there was something different about her. "You're not Ruby."
"Oh, don't worry about her. She's back in the gutter where she belongs and I'm here now," said the demon with a rough voice. It was different to the voice that Ruby used, deeper and huskier. "Time to get down to business."
"Not after I'm done with my business," said Sam confidently, standing tall in front of Dean with his head held high. This was the demon that held the contract of Dean's deal. This was Lilith.
Lilith chanced a look behind Sam and her eyes turned round in surprise. A pleased smirk slowly formed on her lips. "Getting the job done for me, I see?"
"What's happening to me? ... Sam?" called out Dean in panic which made Sam turn around back to look at him.
There were two Deans stood in front of Sam right now. The panicking one was standing in the middle of the circle looking down at his now transparent form in confusion and a little bit of fear. He then looked at Sam questioningly while Lilith was laughing outside the circle. His solid form just stood there quietly looking ahead like a statue.
"You follow me," whispered Sam in elation and awe. "It's your soul Dean. Don't worry, she can't get you while you're in the circle. It's a pure magic even Demons as powerful as her can't do anything about as long as stands."
"Oh, don't bet on that, stupid. You don't know who I am," Lilith growled behind Sam, her hounds barking loudly and clawing the floor outside the circle, leaving scratch marks on the wooden floor.
Lilith lifted up her palm towards them but nothing happened. She glared at Sam furiously before walking around the circle scowling at the pearly white powder looking for a crack but the spell held strong.
Sam realized that she would not be able to get to them until he finished the spell. He knew he could not botch Dean's deal. Dean had to go to hell to pay his due but that did not mean he had to be there forever. Dean would only see hell for a second if Sam could help it and Sam would surely follow his brother down there if he could not pull him back up. That was why he needed this spell. Sam needed to mark his brother's soul and bind him to his own soul so that when he activated the second part of the ritual, the spell would be able to find Dean's soul and pull him back to Sam then Sam would put his soul back into his body. Well, that was the plan anyway. The success of this plan was still to be proven.
Sam wasted no time and he approached his Dean's body, ignoring the way Dean's soul was looking on his every move, curious as to what he was up to now. The spell could hold the demon for as long as Sam kept the circle intact and only the caster could disrupt the circle, yet Sam had no intention of staying in that house forever. He lifted his right hand to Dean's cheek. He rubbed it lovingly with sad and soulful eyes for a moment before he closed the gap between them and touched his lips to Dean's.
"Oh, Sam, you kinky bastard! If I'd known you'd got the hots for your brother I'd have done things differently," said Lilith, taunting him with a lopsided smirk and a gleam in her eyes.
Sam ignored her. His sole attention was on his brother. Dean's body didn't react to his touch. He never even blinked when Sam kissed him but Sam heard an intake of breath from behind him and he knew Dean's soul had felt something. Sam knew the spell had put its mark on Dean's soul because he felt the faint pull from behind him. He turned his head around to look into his soul from over his shoulder. It seemed to be staring back at him. It looked taken aback at Sam's actions. Sam guessed that Dean had never thought he'd kiss him like that.
Dean looked at him in wonder while Sam only sent watery smile back at him. There was something in Dean's eyes as if he was considering some action but Sam had no time to decipher the look. This situation was already becoming more surreal with every second that passed. Sam's eyes were getting misty with unshed tears; eyes that held a thousand words that he wished to say but could not get passed his throat.
There was a smell of something burning in the air around them. The pearly salt powder was burning up signaling the end of the spell. Dean's body swayed dangerously but Sam caught him in his arms the moment he went limp. Dean's soul hovered behind him while Sam lowered his body to the floor.
"Is my body ok?"
"You're alright Dean, it's just the spell."
"Don't mean to burst your bubble Sam, but your spell is weakening," Lilith said, grinning at him. "You're coming home with my boys, Dean."
It was not only her who got excited; the hounds were growling anew. Dean's eyes followed them as they were circling outside the burning powder. Sam too heard the clicking of their nails on the floor.
"Go ahead, I just need his body intact," said Sam dispassionately, still kneeling on the floor beside Dean's body.
"What a nice brother you are! See, Dean? You don't have to worry. You can have fun in hell while I have fun with Sam. I am going to enjoy ripping his throat out and feeding his blood to my hounds. I'll send him to you when I am done."
"Quit yapping you bitch! Just take me and leave my brother alone," shouted Dean enraged.
"Oh, I will take both of you."
"And then what? Take over the world and become queen bitch?"
"You're cute. I'll let you be my bitch after hell breaks you. Your job will be only to please me," Lilith purred as she looked at Dean like he was her new toy. Sam shivered. He did not want to imagine what Lilith would do in hell when she got her hands on Dean. It was too late now; the spell had latched onto Dean. Sam could only hope he was fast enough to get Dean out of there.
Dean sneered at her and stood between the demon and Sam in a futile effort to protect him, Sam thought. Dean glanced worriedly at the rapidly blackening powder around them before he caught Sam's eyes.
"I'll get you back. I promise," Sam vowed to his brother.
"Sammy…" Dean could only look at him with a sad smile like he did not really believe it but wanted to indulge his little brother one last time. Sam could see love reflected in his teary eyes. It felt like the strongest emotion he showed Sam in all of their lives. There were so many things to say, but too little time.
Sam's skill had been proven so far. The spell had worked and Dean hadn't dropped dead like a sack of rotten meat. He'd been right. As long as Dean went to hell, the deal would be upheld. There was nothing stated in the contract about what happened after he went to hell. Sam had found a loophole.
Lilith looked at the blackening powder on the floor, grinning. She wiped it away with her power, stripping them off its protection. "Gotcha!"
White light came from Lilith's outstretched hand. A powerful force hit Sam full blast and he could only crouch down protecting his Dean's body from it. He thought he was a goner and that Lilith had finally got what she had come for, killing him and taking Dean's soul to hell but when he opened his eyes, he found himself still laying on top of Dean, no worse for wear and still breathing. Yet, he knew that the hounds had torn Dean's soul apart leaving only Sam and a soulless body lying prone on the hard cold floor.
Lilith looked down at her hands in shock while Sam patted down his body. Sam then checked Dean's body for a pulse and breathed out in relief when he found it steady. He looked at Lilith only to see the dumbfounded expression on her face when she realized that her power had failed to kill him. Sam quickly scanned the floor for Ruby's knife and found it near Dean's feet.
"What's a matter bitch? Can't get it up?" taunted Sam as he snatched the knife off the floor and stepped closer to her, pleased to see fear forming in her eyes.
"Back!" Lilith thrust out her hand at Sam's chest with no effect. "Get Back!"
"I don't think so."
Sam lifted up the knife high in the air to stab her but the demon bolted in a cloud of black smoke out of its host, up to the ceiling and out through a vent. Sam gritted his teeth, seething but then he remembered that he had more important things to do. He hastily gathered his brother in his arms and hauled him up from the floor. He met Bobby outside the house who said that the rest of the demons bolted as soon as the white light that had shone from inside the house snuffed out a couple of minutes ago. He bundled his brother inside the impala and drove away as fast as he could with Bobby's truck behind.