Joshua and Sam were with Benjamin Mosley in one car while Dean, Caleb
and Missouri were in the Impala. Dean, as The Guardian, was able to
contain his thoughts from Missouri, and Caleb could put up blocks.
He felt bad for Missouri, but she would try to get through to Caleb and
Dean, ask forgiveness. Unfortunately, Missouri was feeling bad for Sam,
throwing him pitying glances and rubbing his shoulder in support. It
did not make him feel better. It made him feel weak for giving in to
temptation. No matter what anyone said to him about Famine being
powerful, he felt he had taken ten steps back. More blood on his hands.
"So the crowd will be safe?
"Yes," Benjamin replied with a tone of a teacher. "Did I prove myself?"
Sam fingered the medicine bag around his neck. Benjamin said as The
Triad they could protect the crowd, however, they would need to be
grounded. The medicine bags would provide that.
"It is good for a defensive position," Joshua answered, gripping the
steering wheel. "And the ability to test it with myself, Missouri and
you was helpful."
It made Sam wonder how Joshua had interacted with Malachi Harris.
Benjamin and Joshua had not so much worked together as Joshua
confirming what Benjamin was putting together, and re-iterating that a
previous spell had failed.
"Everything will need to be tested in the future due to the unique
circumstances of this Triad." Benjamin said the word unique as if it
was a dirty word. To him it probably was because it meant a demon
Sam did not want to instigate another fight. Benjamin was difficult to
get along with. "Do you have a way to make sure he stays in the room,
doesn't blink away?"
"I created a sealant that will block him from leaving, but an exorcism
will still be needed, or the knife can be used," Joshua added.
Sam was trying to stay away from killing people, preferring standard
"I never thought that blade would turn up in my lifetime," Benjamin
said, rubbing his chin. "I have seen more than I ever wanted."
Sam didn't say that Benjamin Mosley was assumed dead, and they did not
believe he was going to turn up either. Sam was trying to be less
hostile than Caleb, Dean, and Joshua. It did not take much effort. He
also wanted to spare Joshua. Ruby had been a demon, and still he had
followed her. Demons were not meant to be trusted. "My brother will
tell you we are filled surprises."
"So my daughter told me." Benjamin's rich timber contained a reprimand.
"Was she in contact with you?" Joshua asked. It took years for Joshua
to warm up to the Winchesters and Caleb. Vice versa, too; Sam used to
see Joshua on the fringes of their family unit, not included in it. Sam
had also been jealous of Joshua; he got to have the normal job, a
lasting relationship. The pangs still hit him.
Benjamin, though, was not familiar. As the current leadership of The
Triad, they had inherent trust in each other, making it difficult to
welcome new comers. Joshua was not giving in to Benjamin, even though
he would be under his tutelage.
"Yes, not in person, and not at first while my wife was alive,"
Benjamin replied. Sam wondered if the man was filled with regret. Sam
was remoreful about the way he had treated his father and abandoned his
family while in college. He knew all about running away.
"Once the old Triad had passed and Jim became the successor, named
Missouri as The Advisor, why didn't you make contact?" How Sam wished
he had called his father, especially the grimmer things became.
Benjamin settled further back, gaining some distance between them. "I
thought I could live quietly with my knowledge. I didn't want to offer
temptation to the new Triad."
"What were you doing?" Joshua asked from behind the wheel where he was
guiding the car through his familiar streets.
"I was a bookseller."
Sam sighed internally, thinking about the peacefulness, away from his
bloodlust. "Did you miss it?"
"I missed the camaraderie, the family, doing something with a purpose."
Benjamin ended; he tugged on his seatbelt as Joshua pulled into a
"And your wife?" Joshua asked. Sam looked at Joshua, who was going to
get married, have a wife and a connection. Sam could not see marriage
in his future anymore. Like Caleb, he was scared about passing along
his demon genes.
Benjamin opened the door. "I missed her, too."
Caleb and Dean had turned the corner ahead of them. They were going to
escort Missouri in separately.
"Are you sure he's going to be here? Not run away?" The elder Mosley
frowned. He was a part of their plan but didn't understand demons as
well as they did. Benjamin was doubtful of them. He had been away from
The Brotherhood too long, losing his faith and implicit trust in The
Triad. Caleb had opened the door for Benjamin.
"Yes, and he's expecting us, just like we know he'll be here, too," Sam
explained, waiting for Benjamin to go in first. He was the one
unfamiliar to Nicholas, along with Missouri. Dean and Caleb came around
the corner with Missouri between them.
"He's a publicist for Hell. He has quite an ego, and those people in
there are not going to reject him, or so he thinks," Joshua added.
"Are you talking from experience?" Caleb asked, his brows lifting.
Really, that comment was to be expected. Sam saw Joshua walk into it.
"Don't sit next to me." Joshua made sure there was space between him
and his stepbrother.
Sam grinned at his brother. These at ease moments were so fleeting and
came at the oddest moments. His brother did not return the grin. Dean
had visible weight on his shoulders. It was more than being The
Guardian. No one in history had ever dealt with apocalypse; no online
psychology test could be applied.
Sam cast a glance to Caleb. When this was over, he would enlist The
Knight's assistance, but presently Nicholas had their attention. He had
the gall to wave to them when they entered.
"He could have set a trap for us," Caleb mumbled.
"He doesn't want us, and he doesn't want to draw too much attention
either," Dean answered. "Seems he doesn't like the Horsemen of the
Apocalypse too much. Bad for his business."
"Negative publicity," Joshua commented. "I imagine they make his job
After dealing with War and Famine, which forced people to do things
against their will, being gently led astray was less violent. But Sam
knew from personal experience that being persuaded made one feel
equally as violated. However, being shot by hunters for transgressions
was the worst. When he had been killed before, it had almost been
gentle in comparison to two gunshots. He at least had died in his
brother's arms, not with Dean watching his murder.
Sam eyed the front of the room. He and Dean were going to position
themselves in the front while Caleb would anchor the triangle in the
back. Missouri would maneuver the people into the triangular area for
their protection, and Joshua would be stationed by the door.
Nicholas lifted his arms, quieting the group that was talking
animatedly like old friends. "I hope things went well for you, and I'm
glad to see so many familiar and successful faces."
"Woohoo!" someone yelled out. There was comfortable, social laughter in
Nicholas smiled wide. It was contagious as those gathered smiled in
return. "You know why I like talking to all of you? Because you listen
and make your own decisions. They've been good decisions."
There was a round of applause, flashes of gold and silver jewelry on
wrists and hands in the sparse hall of the senior center.
Nicholas clapped his hands, too, at his audience. "I don't believe in
an afterlife, so I don't have to spend my whole life fearing Hell, or
fearing Heaven even more. For whatever the tortures of Hell, I think
the boredom of Heaven would be even worse."
The audience laughed, except the six of them. Sam glanced at his
brother, whose face was deceptively calm. The give away was the tapping
of his right foot in an unsteady beat.
"What is your Heaven?" Missouri focused on the man who was two metal
chairs away from him in the same row.
The man swallowed visibly. Sam knew the feeling of being under
Missouri's scrutiny. "Ma'am?"
"You," she said clearly. "What do you think Heaven is?"
For Sam his recent trip to Heaven had been images about asserting his
independence. He had to reexamine his issues. He had another
opportunity for redemption- this time to prove to Dean he was committed
to family with out the hollow excuses.
He had picked up the amulet from the trash. Sam wasn't about to allow
Dean to throw away their relationship. He accused Dean of a slew of
psychological issues when he never looked at himself
"A place where I am going to see my family that's already gone." The
man lilted his answer, looking like he was waiting for affirmation from
The man garnered from Missouri's reaction he had answered correctly;
the stranger had affirmed Dean's Heaven, too. "That doesn't sound
boring. It sounds like a blessing. But earth is not heaven." Missouri
stepped forward into the aisle. She was wearing a dark raincoat and had
removed it upon seating to reveal a rich, deep blue dress with wide
sleeves to make her gestures sweeping. "You need to reject him and
The Triad quietly got into position. Sam and Dean were taking the front
slowly. Joshua moved to the door while Caleb took the back.
Missouri pointed to Nicholas, who had taken a seat on the stage rise.
"By listening to him, you believe there is no hope to make the things
you want most in life to happen with grace."
"Amen," Benjamin answered. Although Sam thought he was inappropriate—he
ran away instead of fighting for the truth.
She made it to the front of the room with Nicholas looking at her with
narrowed eyes as if he had laser eyes to pierce her. "Life is sometimes
supposed to be difficult. It enables you to grow. We are not supposed
to have all we want, because sometimes what we want isn't what's best
Missouri moved away from him and reached out her hand to a woman in the
first row. "You may think you are weak and broken, but there are others
that are in your same condition." The woman put her hand out and
Missouri grasped it.
Missouri released the hand, walked down the row with her hand out,
using her psychic ability to attract the audience. "I sought the Lord,
and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look
to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor
man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his
troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and
he delivers them. Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the
man who takes refuge in him."
Sam recognized the words of the Psalms. The Psalms were a cry in the
midst of despair, confessing and living the human experience. Those
words were not just for those caught up with demon, but to him, to
Dean. They were humans in despair, as much as they tried to hide it.
Nicholas did a pity clap. "That's the best you got? Some Bible quotes
from David, a man who took another man's wife, and then arranged for
him to die?" He pointed to the people gathered in the room. "That's
getting your cake and eating it. Too. Plus, he was a king."
Missouri raised her brows. "They don't want to hurt anyone. Turn from
evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. Do onto others as you will
have done to you. I know that you can still be forgiven. He knows it,
"What's better than forgiveness?" He smiled and nodded. "Happiness.
You're all happy."
And going straight to hell,
Sam thought. He would meet them there at the rate he was going. It had
been a surprise for him to be in Heaven with Dean. It wasn't what he
expected for his soul after killing people and drinking demon blood. It
had been a boon from God.
Missouri walked away, her back to Nicholas. "There are times when you
need to make a choice in your life. Follow me out this door, away from
him, away from Hell. I am not going to make empty promises of riches,
but I will promise that you will have your soul intact."
Benjamin followed her to the door; Joshua opened it, careful to keep
his work intact. Joshua held the door, Missouri leading the way.
Nicholas crossed his arms and looked smug. Sam assumed the audience
would remain, unmoved by Missouri, easier to go along with the crowd.
But one woman stood up to gather her belongings without looking back.
Nicholas shrugged his shoulders until a man got up and left. Others
filed out slowly, and Sam signaled to Joshua—they needed to protect
these people as they left the protection triangle.
The demon stepped forward, turning more menacing. Sam and Dean shuffled
in front of him, blocking his way.
The room began to erupt in a rumble that moved the chairs in a
clattering sound. The remaining people tried to ground themselves.
Nicholas was trying to blink away, his face filled with consternation.
He was unable to as Joshua's spell held.
"Hurry out!" Joshua called out.
Dean waved them on. When the last person left, Joshua barred the door
as Caleb ran forward. They surrounded Nicholas.
The demon pushed back his dark hair with the palm of his hand. "I get
this. It takes all of you to bring down little me, a corporate suit
with the same attention you gave to the Horsemen. That's rich." He
inhaled and sighed, audibly content. "You had to bring a woman into
this, too. Isn't that against your code or something?"
"You should be honored that you have our undivided attention," Joshua
replied. He seemed as though he was sizing up his counterpart. To Sam,
Nicholas was falling short. Joshua had more class than Hell's Publicist.
"Can't wait to tell the story," Nicholas said, and Sam stepped forward
as the demon tried to make his escape.
He remained in their presence; the Triad had positioned themselves
around him with the medicine bags around their necks.
"Looks like you're not going to get the chance," Caleb stated with a
"What did you do to me?" Nicholas pushed past them, lifted a hand, and
threw Joshua into some chairs.
Dean made his way over to Joshua and put out his hand. Joshua accepted
it. Once standing he dabbed his split lip with the back of his hand.
"Now I have to say I had some sort of accident to explain this at work."
Dean slapped him on the back. "Just tell them foreplay got a little
rough. Drew will be even more impressed."
"You're not helping."
Sam faced the demon. "You are unable to leave here."
The demon was making his way to the door in a panic. He was not made
for fighting, Sam assumed.
"That door is sealed against your kind," Dean informed, getting thrown
against the stage for his comment.
Caleb grabbed for the demon, placing the knife at his throat and
pulling Nybras away from the door. "You okay?" He called out to Dean.
"I'm peachy." Dean growled, making it to his feet, coming to stand
before the writhing demon in Caleb's grasp.
Dean punched Nybras in the stomach, which Sam knew was retaliation.
"Dude, you might want to rethink your career. He's," Dean pointed to
Joshua, "good at his job."
"Thank you," Joshua gave a curt nod. "He broke a lot of the rules."
"There are rules? Seems like all it takes is talk, talk, talk." Caleb
jerked Nicholas up as he growled, but did not use his ability to throw
Sam took it as his cue to start the exorcism. The words he said were
comforting, a step away from his bloodlust. They each took a verse of
the four stanza Latin rite with Joshua saying the final verse. It
seemed fitting for the publicist.
The body Nicholas was using went slack with the release of the black
dust. Caleb checked the pulse. "He's gone." Caleb shook his head.
"That blinking in and out must cause a lot of damage," Sam added. Demon
possession placed a lot of stress on the body, plus the demons usually
engaged in risky behavior. It was collateral damage.
They left through the doors; Joshua's spell not barring them from
exiting. "You should hire Missouri. She almost had me following her out
the door," Dean said, elbowing Joshua.
"Maybe she should take up the pulpit." Caleb shrugged. "She's got the
whole fire and brimstone act down." Missouri and Benjamin were waiting
for them by the Impala to be driven home.
Sam stopped walking for a moment, not wanting to go straight into the
cars. Dean pulled up near him, also not in a rush. He would drive back
with Joshua, asking to drive the Mercedes since Joshua had been
wounded, after all.
"It was a bit heavy handed, but it had the religious overtones that are
used in Middle America," Joshua replied, licking his lip with a
grimace. "Usually the North Carolina crowd is a bit more moderate."
They all needed to hear Missouri's words. An infusion of hope that they
were growing into better men. "They were just ready to hear a new