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SPN fic: 'Heaven Can Wait' [PG-13]

Title: Heaven Can Wait
Characters: Cast of thousands: Tessa, Mary, John, Ash, Jo, Ellen, Meg, Gabriel, Crowley, Lucifer, Michael
Rating: PG-13
Author's Notes: Written for the spnland 'Chrysalis' challenge. Thanks to Steven and morganoconner for the beta.
Length: 1,500 words
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW.
Spoilers/Warnings: Spoilers up to 5x22. This is an afterlife fic, so plenty of canonical death.
Summary: The funny thing about my version of the Roadhouse, Ash mused, is how empty it is.

Mary stood in the window of the old nursery and watched her boys drive away, curled up tight so that Sam couldn’t sense her. The poltergeist had burned her, burned her again. Even though she knew she was nothing but spirit, with no body to feel pain, she ached.

“Mary,” said a voice from behind her. Mary turned. It was a reaper, but this one had taken the form of a young woman with dark hair and kind eyes.

“They’re safe,” the reaper said. “They’ll look after each other.”

It was true; she could tell that they would. And even though this wasn’t the life she'd wanted for them, John had trained them well.

“Are you ready to go now?” the reaper asked.

Mary didn't trust its gentleness. This reaper was just like all the others that had found her since the night the Yellow-Eyed Demon had come to collect on its Deal. Mary felt the flames spring up around her. She welcomed the pain, and the power that came with it.

“My boys are good hunters, but they don’t know what’s coming after them,” she snarled, the walls shaking around her. “I am not out of this fight.”

The reaper smiled. “Who said anything about leaving the fight?” And maybe there was something different about this reaper, because there was something sly in her eyes, as if she were enjoying a good joke.

Mary listened, and in the end, she said yes.

It was over. For 23 years of his life and 100 years of his death, John had been trying to kill that son-of-a-bitch, and now it was done. John had grabbed Azazel. He’d held its slimy, hate-filled essence for just long enough for Dean to use the Colt, and it was over.

Only, Dean had made a Deal. Alastair had said so. John hadn’t believed him. But he could see it now, a black mark carved on his boy’s soul. Dean would go to Hell. The demons, they would – his mind flinched away from the memory of the things the demons would do to Dean.

He felt wrong, sick, all the torments of hell and the demon’s essence eating their way through him. But he had to. Had to…

“John?” a gentle voice spoke. It was a girl. Not a girl. A reaper who looked like a girl. “You can rest now. You’ve earned it.”

He looked up. Rest sounded good. But no, he had to … the Demon? No, the Demon was gone. There was something else. Something he needed more.

Demon smoke streamed across the landscape. In the distance, a wolf pack howled.

“Mary. I need to find Mary,” John remembered.

A cool hand rested on his forehead. “I think that can be arranged.”

The funny thing about my version of the Roadhouse, Ash mused, is how empty it is.

Once he’d cracked the Enochian network and started burrowing into other’s people’s private heavens, Ash found schoolteachers and nurses, musicians and artists, scientists and pro-wrestlers, CEOs and garbage men. Even a few record producers, which Ash personally thought might be an oversight on the part of the angels. But no hunters. Sure, Sam and Dean kept popping up like some kind of celestial Whack-a-Mole game, but aside from them? Nada.

Ash had worried there was some kind of ass-hat bureaucratic red-tape bullshit keeping his people out of Heaven, but when he hacked into St. Peter’s database, Jo and Ellen had a full-access pass. They were listed as no-shows. Nobody’d cared enough to go looking for them – what hotel goes out of its way to bring in guests who’ll trash their rooms, demand to see the management, and then kick their asses? But there was a new sheriff in town, and Castiel was real worried about Jo and Ellen.

Even with official backing, Ash couldn’t find them. It wasn’t until he ran into Aarti, this awesome dead Hindi hacker chick, that he got clued in. There was a whole other network that the angels knew nothing about. And that’s where Ash found them. That’s where he found all of them.

Just off the Sinai Peninsula, a tourist was bitten by a shark. With blood in the water, and more sharks closing in, he was saved by a pair of dolphins who drove the sharks away so the man could be rescued.

Jo sped towards the surface. She leapt into the air, body held in a perfect, joyful arc, and then crashed back down. She slapped the surface of the water hard with her tail in celebration of their victory, and then dove for the bottom, where Ellen was trailing a school of cornetfish for their interrupted breakfast.

Meg drove up to the gates of the cemetery in Wyoming that held the Hell Gate. Rumor downstairs said the Gate was guarded by a pair of hellhounds, but she’d always had a knack for commanding hellhounds.

The Winchesters had locked Lucifer back in his cage. Well, there was more than one way to kick-start an apocalypse, and Meg had discovered a ritual that would allow her to unlock the Gate without the Colt. Let’s see how Dean coped with a few million demons out to recreate Hell on Earth.

Meg slit her meatsuit’s wrist, let the blood drip down her fingers, and knelt down to start drawing the necessary symbols. There was a low, rumbling growl from behind her. Meg stood up and spun around.

A huge grey wolf was crouched, ready to spring. There was something unnatural about the animal. Meg let go of her meatsuit’s vision and examined it with her demon-senses. Oh.

“John Winchester. Well, this is unexpected.”

The wolf bared its teeth and growled louder. Were the Winchesters dabbling in necromancy now? There were ways to trap a spirit in the body of an animal, but this wolf had none of the stink of death she’d expect from such a creature.

A rush of air from Meg’s left, and something slammed into her, knocked her down. It was another wolf, John’s mate, she realized as she struggled to keep it away from her throat. Both of them were on her now, snarling and tearing at her flesh. Meg tried to let go of the meatsuit, to escape, but the wolves’ teeth were ripping into her demon-self now, and it was too late.

Gabriel looked down at his corpse, wings flash-charred into the floor of the banquet hall with the energy of his demise. So this was what happened when you took a side.

Lucifer could have at least given him a big, dramatic death scene. Like the Winchesters! Gabriel’d always kind of enjoyed watching Sammy sobbing over Dean’s body. They loved big, they grieved big. But not Lucifer. Gabriel didn’t rate a single freakin’ tear from his big brother.

And there was something ironic about this situation. Because the entire time angels and demons had battled over the disposition of human souls, he’d honestly assumed that angels didn’t have any. Angels are immortal, after all. Or they were. Until they started slaughtering each other.

A being appeared at Gabriel’s side. A construct of entropy, given anthropological form through too much time spent dealing with humans. Gabriel could sympathize.

“Your Father says you can be at peace now,” she told him.

“Yeah, no thanks,” Gabriel answered. “Dad can take his ‘peace’ and shove it.”

“You’re looking for vengeance?” the reaper asked.

“What? No,” he scoffed. “I just … I left Heaven for a reason, you know. I happen to like people.”

The reaper gave him a Mona Lisa smile.

Peninsula Daily News
September 6, 2010

Residents are accustomed to raccoons opening coolers and garbage cans. But a bold young male raccoon has recently earned the nickname ‘Bandit’ after operating a Slushee machine in front of a dozen witnesses at this weekend’s seafood festival.

“Nobody tried to stop him,” reported the booth’s owner, Carmen Simons, “We just couldn’t believe he’d actually manage it. I changed out the nozzle afterwards, for health reasons, and everybody wanted to try the raccoon’s favorite flavor.” (Blue raspberry, now officially named Bandit Blue.)

Bandit also made off with an entire Dungeness crab, a plate of French fries, and the bikini-top of a young lady attempting to get an even tan.

Crowley knew, the moment he crossed the divide, that Lucifer was out of the cage. The raging, frustrated betrayal that had formed the chewy centre of Hell for all but a single year of his long demonic existence - was gone. Crowley didn’t panic. There’d been no omens, no sign of Lucifer’s escape up above on Earth. When Crowley reached the cage, it was empty. Maybe He and Michael had finally managed to annihilate each other?

A young monk awoke with a beautific smile on his face. He gathered the two acorns that had appeared upon his pillow and went out to plant them in his favorite corner of the garden. Every day, no matter the weather or his other duties, he watered the ground around the young trees, whispering words of love and forgiveness. Over the years the trees grew tall, trunks leaning closer while their roots intertwined within the Earth, branches reaching together towards the Heavens.


( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
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Oct. 17th, 2010 05:33 pm (UTC)
This is amazing, remarkable, marvelous, superb, fantastic, brilliant, and wondrous.

Now, I want a Bandit Blue Slushee.

Oct. 17th, 2010 09:01 pm (UTC)
Yay! And I want a Bandit Blue Slushee, too. Anything that bright blue and sugar-packed just has to be good. Thanks, mrscastielftw!
Oct. 17th, 2010 05:42 pm (UTC)
♥ ♥ ♥

This put a big stupid smile on my face. Yay!
Oct. 17th, 2010 09:04 pm (UTC)
Awwww, thanks, meresy!
Oct. 17th, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC)
This was so absolutely awesome. My vote for 1st, glad to see you still placed and got most creative--and it was most creative, hands down. I just love every bit of this--how unique it is, but how it gives the characters involved such fascinating and fitting and freaking fabulous endings. And I really like how bits of interconnectedness weave through it all, from John and Mary finding each other and giving Meg her due (I wanted to cheer), and the feeling that it gives that we're seeing all these bits because Ash was introduced to the other network and discovered them. Seriously, your takes on the characters and world are always just brilliant, different, and neat.
Oct. 17th, 2010 09:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks, whitereflection! Once I came up with the reincarnation idea, I had fun poking my Muses to see where each of the characters would end up, after death.

I SO want to see Meg get what's coming to her, in caon. But until Sera delivers, I'll make do by having here ripped apart by giant, pissed-off Winchester-wolves. Glad you picked up on the threads connecting the pieces, with Tessa and Ash. (And I'm still not sure why I can't open with the Ash segment, but my fic brain INSISTED it belonged in the middle after Mary and John.) Also, Aarti, the dead Hindi hacker chick? Is a really fun OC who'll probably be back at some point.
heaven can wait - auroramama - Aug. 6th, 2012 04:46 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 17th, 2010 06:11 pm (UTC)
So strange and fascinating! Really cool idea. Love Tessa the renegade reaper at the center of it all.
Oct. 17th, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Part of the impulse for this fic came from my reaction against 'Hammer of the Gods'. So, what, every other religion is just WRONG about the afterlife? I don't think so... I tried to come up with a way of merging the different mythologies, and Tessa came to mind.
Oct. 17th, 2010 06:46 pm (UTC)
"There was a whole other network that the angels knew nothing about. And that’s where Ash found them. That’s where he found all of them."

YES! This is awesome! Extremely creative and well-done!

Oct. 17th, 2010 09:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks, borgmama1of5! Didn't you wonder why Ash and Pamela were the only ones hanging out in the Roadhouse in Heaven?
Oct. 17th, 2010 07:06 pm (UTC)
Tessa for the win. She's one of my faves. This was a clever twist. Enjoyed very much.
Oct. 17th, 2010 09:19 pm (UTC)
Tess is an intriguing character, isn't she? Thanks for the comment, sandymg!
Oct. 17th, 2010 07:14 pm (UTC)
I am smiling SO HARD right now. You have no idea. This... this is wonderful.

ETA: I finished it and immediately wished I'd written it. I love it that much.

Edited at 2010-10-17 07:15 pm (UTC)
Oct. 17th, 2010 09:22 pm (UTC)
Wheeeeee! I'm so glad my fic had that affect! *hugs you*
(no subject) - framlingem - Oct. 17th, 2010 09:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 17th, 2010 11:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, this was awesome. I can't tell you how much the thought of Jo and Ellen as dolphins is making me happy. JOhn and Mary taking down Meg. Gabriel stealing slushies and bikini tops. And the end. Made me smile. Beautiful work!
Oct. 18th, 2010 02:35 am (UTC)
Thanks, tifaching! Finding a happy ending for these characters made me happy - I'm glad it worked for you, too!
Oct. 18th, 2010 09:42 am (UTC)
That was awesome! XD
Oct. 19th, 2010 02:15 am (UTC)
Glad you liked it, nina! And what a delightful icon!
Oct. 18th, 2010 03:41 pm (UTC)
Awwww... ^_____^

Absolutely charming. Me likes.

Lovely story, lots of potential for sequels, depending on how you look at it. ;)

I like the acorns. And Tessa. I did like everything, actually, Jo and Ellen as dolphins... the wolf pair... :D Gabriel as a rascally raccoon! :D

I imagine Death flickering a fraction of an instant's attention towards an errant reaper, allowing only the implication of a rolled eye, and glancing away, uninterested in getting her back in line.

Nice job.
Oct. 19th, 2010 02:17 am (UTC)
I glad you liked the endings Tessa and I found for each of them. Gabriel was just FUN to write. And you're absolutely right about Death. He simply wouldn't care one way or the other. Thanks for the comment!
Oct. 18th, 2010 07:21 pm (UTC)
Oh this is just wonderful, keerawa. I love each and every one, and taht Ash was, of course, the one to find the hunters. That Castiel was concerned for them.

And because I love Gabriel, I was especially happy to see what you had in store for him. I'm still not convinced he was killed last season, btw. He's fakes his death more than once, after all.

Thank you for sharing!
Oct. 19th, 2010 02:48 am (UTC)
Thanks, mizface! Of course Ash would find them! Ah Gabriel. I love him, and he SO deserves a happy ending. I personally think he's gone from canon - but he lives on in fic forever!
Oct. 19th, 2010 03:09 am (UTC)
This is so amazing. I love how unique and creative you made it while still staying true the world and the characters. :D
Oct. 20th, 2010 05:12 am (UTC)
Thanks synnerxx! I had a great time with it.
Oct. 19th, 2010 03:11 am (UTC)
Love, love, love!!!!
Oct. 20th, 2010 05:12 am (UTC)
Thank you rayhne!
Oct. 19th, 2010 04:35 am (UTC)
Wow, that's weird but good. At least they find their own version of Happy Ending and explained why heavens are so empty. I guess Tessa doesn't want Sam and Dean as they keep popping up alive.
Oct. 20th, 2010 05:13 am (UTC)
*chuckles* That's a fair description of my life. I think Sam and Dean are too high-profile for Tessa to slip away with them. Thank you for the feedback, i_sudoku!
Oct. 21st, 2011 10:05 pm (UTC)
Nice! I love the idea of Ash hacking into St. Peter's database, and I like that Tessa found places for everyone to keep being themselves. :)
Oct. 23rd, 2011 06:32 am (UTC)
Thanks, zuben! You know Ash would. I come back to this story when the Show gets me down.
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( 34 comments — Leave a comment )