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Apocalyptic Love Songs 13

Sam stared at him, blinking in the rain, and then shrugged a shoulder and said, “I’m done arguing about this with you, Dean. Azazel gave me these powers for a reason, and I know the reason now. It’s to remake everything. Heaven, Hell, Earth — I can do it. God doesn’t care — He’s been lost to us for who knows how long. I can leave Lucifer in his cage and take his place. All I need is this.” He held the cup to his chest. “This and a little of my blood, and everything will be so much better. I’ll make it better.”

“Whoever told you this was lying, Sam,” Dean said.

“Why should I believe you?”

“Because I saw it, Sam. I saw you. You do this and the whole world will suffer until the end of time.” He took a deep breath. “Stop this, Sam. Stop it or I’ll kill you.”

“You can’t,” Sam sneered. “You’re too weak, Dean. You love me too much. Love has always been your weakness.”

“No,” Dean said softly. “Love has always been my strength.” He threw himself at Sam, feet slipping on the wet stones of the courtyard, and knocked him to the ground. Sam grunted and the cup rolled from his fingers, making Sam growl with anger. He wrestled Dean off him and tried to crawl to the cup, as Dean pulled him back and crawled over him. Dean shoved Sam back with a foot and scooped up the cup, and cradled it against his chest as Sam yanked on his left leg hard enough to make Dean see stars.

“You can’t stop me, Dean!” Sam shouted.

“Maybe not,” Dean said and got to his feet, panting, with the cup still in his hand. “But I can try.” He stepped into the labyrinth.


They say, during the Good Friday services in Grace Cathedral that year, people prayed with a fervor they’d never felt at Easters past. They say the officiant said a prayer she’d never said before and never said since, a prayer for strength and safety. They say people wept, more moved by the Spirit than they could recall being.

Some blamed the strange events in the world in the last week. Some blamed the storm outside, that sounded like Mother Nature herself was lashing against the stone walls.


When Dean looked back over his shoulder, he could see the cathedral, the park across the street, even Castiel’s body still lying on the wet pavement. When he looked ahead, however, he could see only walls of gray stone leading onward, no doors, no corridors.

He tucked the Grail into his elbow and began to run. It was a labyrinth, not a maze — he knew there were no dead ends, no false passages to lead him astray — but still it seemed the faster he ran the longer the initial passage became, until finally he stopped to get his breath and rest his aching body a moment.

“Dean!” he heard Sam shout from somewhere far behind him. “You can’t hide in here!”

“Watch me,” Dean muttered and started doggedly running again.

A few more minutes of this, with Sam shouting behind him — sometimes sounding closer, sometimes sounding far, far away — Dean stopped again and tried to think. Running was getting him nowhere — when he looked behind the view of the cathedral was exactly the same — so maybe the answer was to do something else.

Dean closed his eyes and slowly breathed. He held the cup loosely in his fingers, and then began to walk, his other hand on the wall to guide him. He put one foot in front of the other deliberately, stopping every few steps to just listen and breathe.

He felt the wall curve under his fingertips, just slightly, enough to tell him he’d come through the first part of the labyrinth and was into an exterior part of the path. He opened his eyes and looked behind him, and smiled when he saw the cathedral was no longer in his view.

“Don’t fail me now,” he whispered and closed his eyes again. He took the next curve and the next at the same slow, steady pace, forcing himself to keep going whenever he heard Sam’s angry shouts.

Walk with trust, he thought. You won’t get lost.

In the back of his mind he knew Castiel was injured — that the vessel could be dying this very moment — but he forced himself not to think about it. First the world. Then his lover.

The wall abruptly stopped and Dean opened his eyes. The path opened to a small chamber shaped like a rosette, with eight small niches circling around. It was quiet here, as if the storm outside was far distant, and bright enough to feel like day.

He held out the Grail. “Okay,” he said, “you’ve brought me this far. Now what do I do?”

There was a shimmer, and he was not at all surprised to see the Fishers, dressed like queens and looking quietly pleased. “Dean,” Maya said.

“You knew all along,” Dean said.

“We didn’t know. We know very little. We hoped.”

“How do I save him, Maya?” She didn’t answer, and he said, “Celine? Sophie? Tell me how to save Sam.”

“You know the answer,” said Sophie.

“You know the question,” said Celine.

“You’ve always known,” said Maya.

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