A Finger on the Scale @missethompson
Is It Really a Swan Song?

Thana knew the summoning was coming before Dean, Castiel and Bobby could get back to Singer Salvage. She was already sitting in Bobby's office chair when they walked inside, Bobby and Dean holding some of the necessary items to summon her. Dean dropped the things in his arms, grabbing his gun, cocking it and aimed it at Thana's head before he realized who he was aiming at.

"Thana?" Castiel asked from the doorway.

"Hello Castiel, Robert, Dean." She said in turn and stood from the chair.

"What are you doing here?" Dean asked as uncocked his gun and put it away.

"You were going to summon me, thought I'd save you the time, effort and ingredients." Bobby stepped past Dean, his arms still full.

"'Preciate it." Bobby grumbled and walked into the kitchen to put away the ingredients they'd bought on the way back from Detroit to summon Thana.

"Do you need the run down, or do you already know what happened?" Dean asked as he scooped up the things he'd dropped when he'd spotted Thana and set them down on the end table before flopping down on Bobby's couch.

"I've got the gist. You did as father told you and Sam wasn't strong enough to fight off Lucifer."

"Yeah, this perfect plan went sideways." Dean grumbled and Castiel shot Dean a glare.

"It was not the result we were hoping for." Castiel said, trying to sugar coat it. The fear was strong in him while Dean was defeated and he was too upset to care about who he was pissing off. Lucky for him Thana found his lack of filter amusing. Thana gave the two a smile. Bobby walked into and stood behind the couch.

"So what are we doing?" Bobby asked, eyes scanning Dean and Castiel before his eyes flickered to Thana, unsure what to really expect from her. Castiel and Dean seemed to have high hopes for her aid, but he wasn't so sure. They'd had high hopes when Castiel had first pulled Dean from hell, but that had led them here with angels and demons on their ass.

"You're going to the final show down boys." Thana said calmly as she leaned back against Bobby's desk.

"But we have no idea where that is going to take place." Bobby said. Thana shot him a smile.

"Perk to being the Reaper in Charge, where there's death or a possible death, I know about it. Stull Cemetery."

"Stull Cemetery? That's the bone yard just outside of Lawrence. Why there?" Dean asked raising out of his slumped position and taking his head out of his hands to look up at Thana.

"Well isn't it just poetic when things end where they began?" Thana replied. Dean and Bobby stared at her blankly while Cas seemed to be in deep thought.

"I suppose the poetry would be in the metaphorical circle of life. Where their lives begin is where one of them should die." Cas said after a moment. Dean and Bobby turned to look at Castiel in disbelief while Thana smiled with a nod.

"Exactly Castiel. Stull Cemetery also happens to be one of the possible openings to Lucifer's cage. That's why the cemetery has such a reputation for the supernatural. Mary and John ending up in Lawrence was no coincidence. It was a part of God's twisted poetry. He had a thing for circles, a life that literally creates a circle, beginning and ending in the same place, it's his typical M.O." Thana explained. Dean and Bobby's eyes shifted to Thana while she spoke, never losing the disbelief in them. It amazed them just how much planning and calculation had gone into Sam and Dean even being born, let alone the rest of their lives up until this point.

"God had a thing for circles?" Dean asked, not even believing the words that came out of his mouth, let alone the stupidity of what they meant. He could practically feel his head spinning like he was the chick from the exorcist. Thankfully with a lot less pea soup and screaming, but still sickening in it's effects.

"Ahmm." Thana hummed with a nod.

"Just think about it. The sun, the moon, Earth, the other planets, they all orbit in circular motions, water droplets, most of your organs are strings of circles, angel halos and the human soul, all just a few of God's physical creations. When it came to creating each soul's story, he loved creating metaphorical circles in people's lives. Being born and dying in the same place, what you love most is what kills you, all those little ironic things and they all have you traveling in circles, always coming back to the beginning, even if it's not a physical location." Thana explained.

"You've got to be kidding me!" Dean exclaimed, jumping up from the couch and beginning to pace.

"You're telling me God screwed Sam's and my lives all to hell for a circle?" Dean was angrier than he could ever remember being, but Thana merely shrugged.

"It's a little more complicated than that. Writing out somebodies story is a long drawn out process. It probably wasn't his initial intent, but by the time he was creating your 6 or 7 times great grandparents, God was no longer in need of my help when outlining a soul's life, so I can't say for sure." Dean looked at Thana for a moment like she had lost her mind before giving one last tug to his hair and changing the subject.

"Alright, so Stull Cemetery. What are we supposed to do when we get there? Lucifer already beat Sam in the battle of strength." Dean questioned and again all eyes fell on Thana for answers.

"You'll have to break through to Sam. If you can reach Sam, make him aware, then he can take control of his body again. I'm not saying it'll be easy or even for long, but it would be long enough to open the cage and jump in."

"How the hell are we supposed to get through to Sam?" Dean asked uncertain in the actual task at hand.

"I'm sorry Dean, but for that I don't have an answer for you. You're his brother, you know him better than anyone. If someone could get through to him, it would be you." It was a lie, the truth was that Thana knew exactly what would get through to Sam, but she couldn't tell Dean, if she did then he would repeat them like he was reading off a script and it won't work and nobody wanted that. Dean looked ready to have a panic attack at the task set before him.

"You better get going. Michael and Lucifer aren't going to wait forever to duke it out." Thana warned, breaking Dean out of his growing panic for the moment. The three men in front of her nodded and quickly headed for the door. Thana smiled as she watched the car pull away, catching glimpses of the new possibilities that had arose with her small intervention. From Singer Salvage she disappeared back into the veil and got to work. She had plans to set in place. Lucifer would survive the battle and she had every intention of holding true to her threat and making Lucifer regret that God had even thought to bring him into existence.

Hours later the chatter picked up as Lucifer and Michael arrived on the battle ground. With a grin Thana herself appeared in the field and stood off to the side like a spectator at a football game. Michael looked surprised at her presence while Lucifer was angry. Neither angel was happy to see her, but Michael was the only one to bother with pretense.

"Thana? What are you doing here?" Michael asked, though she knew he had a good idea, she was a reaper after all.

"I'm the referee, boys. Loser goes home with me." She said, setting the terms with a dark smile that sent a shiver through both of the archangels. Both shifted under her gaze, they were both fully aware of the rules of this match, the only way this ends is with one of them dead. Michael turned to face Lucifer fully.

"Are you ready?" He asked.

"As I'll ever be. A part of me wishes we didn't have to do this." Lucifer lamented, not commenting on the small part of him that secretly hoped to die as Thana waited on the sideline with baited breath.

"Yeah. Me too." Michael agreed. Lucifer became furious once again.

"Then why are we?" Lucifer demanded.

"Oh, you know why! I have no choice, after what you did –"

"What I did? What if it's not my fault?" Lucifer demanded again.

"What is that supposed to mean?" Michael asked angrily moving closer to Lucifer.

"Think about it. Dad made everything. Which means he made me who I am! God wanted the Devil." Lucifer defended but Michael wasn't having it.

"So?"

"So why? And why make us fight? I just can't figure out the point."

"What's your point?" Michael asked, irritated with Lucifer's questioning.

"We're going to kill each other. And for what? One of Dad's tests. And we don't even know the answer. We're brothers. Let's walk off the chessboard." Lucifer reasoned, but Michael was too set in his task to truly listen.

"I'm sorry. I-I can't do that. I'm a good son, and I have my orders." Michael produced his sword.

"But you don't have to follow them." Lucifer argued.

"What, you think I'm gonna rebel? Now? I'm not like you." Michael took another step.

"Please, Michael –" Lucifer begged but it fell on deaf ears.

"You know, you haven't changed a bit, little brother. Always blaming everybody but yourself. We were together. We were happy. But you betrayed me – all of us – and you made our Father leave."

"No one makes Dad do anything. He is doing this to us." Lucifer continued to argue in vain.

"You're a monster, Lucifer. And I have to kill you." Thana was amazed with how much like Michael Dean truly was and hearing the arguments from Lucifer through Sam's mouth. If Dean had given in like he was suppose to then this would have been exactly like watching the two human brothers fight.

"If that's the way it's got to be… Then I'd like to see you try." Lucifer pulled out his own sword and the two archangels squared up, both tensing for the other to make the first move. Michael was about to strike when the loud rumble of a car and the blaring of music became too loud to ignore. Both brothers paused to look toward the black impala driving through the cemetery toward them.

*Gunter, glieben, glauchen, globen! All right! I got something to say! Hey it's better to burn out! Yeah! Than fade awa-a-a-y all right oh! Gonna start a fire!* Blared from the car and Thana had to stop herself from laughing at the ridiculousness of Dean's song choice and the perplexed expressions of the two archangels.

"Howdy, boys." Dean says brightly as he climbs out of the car.

* We're gonna burn this damn place down! Ooh, ooh! Down to the ground.* The music continued to blare, though the angels didn't seem to find the irony in Dean's music as funny as Thana did.

"Sorry. Am I interrupting something?" Dean asked casually. Dean moved toward Michael and Lucifer.

"Hey. We need to talk." Dean said seriously as he looked toward Lucifer.

"Dean. Even for you, this is a whole new mountain of stupid." Dean continued to stare at Lucifer's face.

"I'm not talking to you. I'm talking to Sam."

"You are no longer the vessel, Dean. You got no right to be here." Michael declared angrily.

"Adam, if you're in there somewhere, I am so sorry." Dean apologized, but Michael only glared.

"Adam isn't home right now." Michael said harshly.

"Well, then you're next on my list, buttercup. But right now, I need five minutes with him." Dean looked away from Michael.

"You little maggot. You are no longer a part of this story!" Michael yelled. Castiel and Bobby appeared a few feet away, Castiel holding a Molotov cocktail made of holy oil.

"Hey, ass-butt!" Castiel shouted before throwing the bottle at Michael. The bottle shattered and Michael screamed as the burning holy oil temporarily burnt away his vessel and sent him away temporarily. If wasn't for the display of violence that had accompanied the line, Thana would have laughed.

"Ass-butt?" Dean asked confused, yet amused. Castiel gave a small shrug.

"He'll be back – and upset – but you got your five minutes."

"Castiel. Did you just Molotov my brother with holy fire?" Lucifer demanded and Castiel shrunk into himself.

"Uh...no" Castiel tried and this time Thana snorted in a very unladylike like way at Castiel childishness.

"No one dicks with Michael but me." Lucifer snapped his fingers and Castiel exploded, his vessel raining down on the field in bloody chunks. Dean and Bobby stood frozen horrified by the display of Lucifer's power.

"Sammy, can you hear me?" Dean asks.

"You know... I tried being nice… for Sammy's sake. But you… are such a pain… in my ass." Lucifer said in walking closer to Dean to grab him by the lapels of his jacket and throws him into the windshield on the impala, shattering it. In a sad attempt to defend Dean, Bobby fires two shot, one into Lucifer's back and the other into his chest when he turns around, but they only serve to piss him off more and Lucifer snaps Bobby's neck with a twist of his wrist.

"N-o-o-o-o!" Dean cries out.

"Yes." Lucifer says as he grabs a hold of Dean's legs and pulled him from the hood of the impala and lands a solid punch to Dean's jaw propelling him back into the impala. Dean spits blood while trying to reorient himself.

"Sammy? Are you in there?" Dean asks desperately.

"Oh, he's in here, all right." Lucifer lands another punch.

"And he's gonna feel the snap of your bones." Lucifer continues as he punches Dean again, sending him to the ground.

"Every single one." Lucifer hauls Dean up off the ground.

"We're gonna take our time." Punch after punch lands to Dean's face, Dean's face becomes bloody and swollen and he had all he can do to cling to consciousness as he clings to Sam's jacket.

"Sam, it's okay. It's okay. I'm here. I'm not gonna leave you." Lucifer continues the beating, not caring that his victim is gaining ground within his vessel, too busy beating Dean to a pulp to notice.

"I'm not gonna leave you." Dean repeats. Lucifer draws his fist back for another punch, but this time something stops him, he's struggling. His eyes fixed on something within the car. Dean lays half conscious on the hood of the impala while Lucifer and Sam are fighting for control of Sam's body. Even beaten and half conscious Dean could tell the moment Sam won, his eyes break away from whatever they had been locked on and his eyes are softer, pained as he looks at his brother and lets go of the grip he'd had on Dean's jacket. Without Sam holding him up Dean collapses to the ground next to the impala.

"It's okay, Dean. It's gonna be okay. I've got him." Sam comforts and reaches into his pocket, pulling out the rings and dropping them on the ground, repeating the words to open the cage.

"Bvtmon tabges babalon." The ground caves in before him and the hole become a vortex sucking in anything not strong enough to remain where it is. Sam gives one last reverent look to his brother, hating the pain that he sees there, both physical and emotional. He goes to jump in, but pauses when someone shouts.

"Sam! It's not gonna end this way! Step back!" Michael yells as he marches closer.

"You're gonna have to make me!" Sam yells back.

"I have to fight my brother, Sam! Here and now! It's my destiny!" Instead of stalling longer Sam opens his arms and allows himself to fall back into the gaping hole. Michael lunges forward, desperately trying to pull him back, but Sam grabs a hold of him instead and both fall into the black beyond below. With both angels inside the hole, the vortex stops and the ground stitches itself back together with a bright light. The horsemens' rings glow in the grass where the hole used to be and Dean leans back against the impala.

Dean was startled by the slow clap that sounded from a couple yards away. He'd forgotten about Thana. She walked closer to Dean and knelt before him. She gently reached out and touched his bloodied face, healing it. Dean blinked as the dizziness and pain left him, allowing him to focus for the first time since Lucifer started throwing punches.

"You did it, Dean. You just saved the world." She said with a warm smile, but Dean didn't feel happy, he didn't even feel relieved. Dean's eyes moved away from Thana and to Bobby's body laying only a couple feet away. Dean fought back the tears as he looked back to Thana.

"It doesn't feel like it." Dean muttered, but Thana's smile never budged.

"Give it time." Thana said gently, patting Dean's cheek before disappearing from his sight, but she didn't go far as she watched Dean's reunion with Castiel and his embrace with the revived Bobby. She smiled as Dean and Bobby headed back to Singer Salvage to rest up before Dean would continue on to Indiana to fulfill his promise to Sam. Castiel returned to heaven, a new found purpose propelling him to aid his brothers and sisters in this time of chaos.

Thana looked at the ground that only minutes ago had been a gaping hole into the depths of hell and smiled. Thana left the field of Stull Cemetery and appeared in hell. She took her time in walking down the long hallway that lead to Lucifer's cage, her heels loudly clicking and announcing her presence to the hell spawn that dared not to get in her way. The guards to the cage nodded as she passed. She paused briefly to gaze at the large cage that God himself had created for his favorite son, very similar to the cages that circuses used to hold lions and tigers, the comparison made her smile as she walked the winding path to the edge of the cage. She could see the clashing energies within the cage, knowing the damage being done to the poor vessels that held the two pissed archangels, Thana didn't hesitate before stepping into the cage, the bars doing nothing to keep her out.

Once inside she held up her hand and froze the two beings where they stood. Michael seemed happy to see her while Lucifer became terrified. She smiled, throwing up a wall within the cage, sending each archangel to a separate corner of the cage. She stepped closer to Lucifer with a giddy smile as he scrambled to his feet and quickly backed away from her, backing himself into a literal corner. Thana quickly pulled Lucifer from his vessel, moving Sam to the corner of the cage while Thana stalked closer till she stood nose to nose with the once great Lucifer.

"Hello Lucifer, I'm so happy to see you." Thana said excitedly.

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