Hell's Green Room...
Wherever Dean was, wherever Meg had taken him, time passed strangely there. His watch wasn?t working, and he couldn?t be sure how long he?d been unconscious. He?d promised Sam he?d be back in three days. By the time he?d arrived in Illinois, it had already been two. How long he had been in Lucifer?s Green Room he wasn?t quite sure, but judging from the empty pit that was his stomach, it had been too long.
Upon awakening, he was at least relieved to find himself alone. No Meg to taunt him, no demonic doppelgangers to try and seduce him, alone in a garishly-decorated bedroom without any doors or windows and only a splitting headache to keep him company. There was nothing to do but wait, and the waiting was enough to drive him mad. Even in Hell, he?d had Alastair to keep him company most of the time. The worst of it was always the waiting. Waiting and wondering when they?d be back for him, what they?d do to him next. It was an endless cycle of torture and waiting to be tortured, with no hope of escape, until an angel had come to his rescue.
Meg had said they weren?t in Hell, which meant they were still somewhere on Earth, and all of this was an illusion. Dean had found himself trapped in the middle of illusions before, but unless he knew how to break the spell, there wasn?t much he could do about it just yet.
The first thing he did upon awakening was search the room, but he found nothing that gave him any clues as to where he was or how to escape. No doors, no windows, no nothing. Meg had made sure to strip him of anything she thought might be useful. He had no phone, no car keys, no wallet, no weapons. There was only one course of action left, and though Meg had already assured him that it wouldn?t work, he had no choice but to try. He started calling for Castiel. Loudly. At the top of his lungs, and when that didn?t work, he called for Gabriel and then Michael, but to no avail. Meg was right. Either they didn?t hear him, or they couldn?t find him. Either way, he was trapped and going nowhere fast, while precious time was ticking.
Dean knew that if he didn?t escape soon, several things were likely to happen. One, Sam would come looking for him, but that would only lead him to Lucifer, who would demand Sam say yes to being Lucifer?s vessel in return for Dean?s safety. Two, Lucifer might use Andrea and Lucas as a way of forcing Sam to say yes, since he already knew about her from Meg. Three, if Sam said no, Lucifer might try to offer Ayden a deal, similar to Sam?s. Four, eventually Michael would come looking for Dean, and Dean would have no choice but to kill Sam or Ayden in order to prevent the Apocalypse. No matter what Dean did, he was screwed. He knew his life was forfeit already, but that didn?t mean the rest of the world had to suffer for his mistakes.
There was only one thing left to do. It was risky, but if Dean played his cards right, it might just work. Without the proper ingredients, it was going to be tricky. Blood was the main component of the spell, and he had plenty of that to spare. Without the right herbs or even a match to set it all afire, he wasn?t sure it would work, but he had to at least try.
Dean picked through the pile of broken glass on the floor that Meg, in her arrogance, had not bothered to clean up, until he found a shard that had a sharp, clean edge. ?Please, let this work,? he pleaded silently with a God he doubted was listening or even cared, and drawing a deep breath, sliced the palm of his left hand open deep enough to draw blood. Once that was finished, he used his own blood to draw a sigil on the wall that represented the being he was summoning.
Dean stepped back to examine his handiwork, blood dripping from his hand onto the floor. ?Here goes nothing,? he muttered to himself, drawing another deep breath. "Et ad congregandum, Eos coram me!" he exclaimed, reciting the incantation by memory, holding his breath while he waited for something, anything to happen.
Dean frowned, a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach when after the passage of several heartbeats that seemed to thump audibly in his chest, nothing happened. ?Damn it, Crowley. Where are you?? he muttered again, expecting no reply.
?I have to say, Lucifer?s decorator is a little old-fashioned, don?t you think? Just a touch gaudy, even for the Devil,? remarked a familiar, deep, raspy voice with a decidedly English accent.
Dean turned, a crooked grin curling his lips as he recognized the demon-possessed man who?d been standing behind him. He was shorter than Dean, with dark hair and eyes, and a smug look on his face, even when he wasn?t smiling. His name was Crowley, a demon, King of the Crossroads.
?I never thought I?d say this, but it?s good to see you,? Dean told the demon, snagging a lace doily from a nearby dressing table and wrapping it around his wounded hand to staunch the bleeding.
Crowley chuffed mirthlessly and pressed a hand to his chest. ?I?m touched, truly. This is an interesting twist, isn?t it? Dean Winchester asking me for help. I assume that?s why you summoned me here. Let me guess?? He glanced around again as if to sort the situation out. ?Word on the street is that little brother wants you kept under wraps until Sam says yes, and my guess is you want out. That about sum things up??
?That sums things up,? Dean concurred, soberly. ?I assume you still want Lucifer dead,? he added. They?d been over this all once before, when Crowley had returned The Colt to the Winchesters with the understanding they?d use it to kill Lucifer. Though Crowley had his own reasons, he wanted Lucifer dead as much as Sam and Dean. The brothers had been only too happy to comply, but things hadn?t gone according to plan.
?No thanks to you and your moose of a brother. I gave you the means. I should have known you?d screw up.? Crowley blew out an exasperated breath, pinching his lips together in irritation. ?You want to do something right, you have to do it yourself.?
?The Colt didn?t work,? Dean explained. ?I shot the son of a bitch point blank in the head, and he got right back up, like nothing happened. He said something about there being five things The Colt can?t kill, and he?s one of them.?
Crowley frowned, thoughtfully. ?Well, that?s interesting,? he mused, cheerily, neither confirming nor denying if he was included in one of those five things. ?I guess that only leaves one option then, doesn?t it??
?I want him dead as much as you do, and if it takes saying yes to Michael, then so be it,? Dean replied, sounding as determined as he looked.
?Alrighty then,? Crowley said, smiling amicably, rubbing be-ringed fingers together in eager anticipation. ?Enemy of my enemy and all that bloody nonsense. Where to??
Dean considered a moment. He knew he should go straight to Sioux Falls where his family was waiting and probably worrying about him by now, but he couldn?t. Not yet. He had a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach, and before he did anything else, he had to make sure Andrea and Lucas were safe.
?Lake Manitoc, Wisconsin,? Dean answered, without another thought.
Crowley arched a single brow, having no idea why Dean would want to go there, nor did he care, so long as Dean kept his word and finished Lucifer off, paving the way for a new ruler in Hell. Crowley shrugged his shoulders. ?Suit yourself. You owe me one, Dean,? he reminded the hunter, waggling a finger at him. ?Remember that.? Crowley snapped his fingers, and the garish boudoir disappeared, Dean along with it.