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The Wanting Comes In Waves

All Sam/Dean, All The Time

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Adjusting Fate

Fic: Adjusting Fate (Sam/Dean NC-17) Part 2 of 2

adjusting fate
Back to Part 1

Three men in dark suits and hats walk on the rooftop of one of the tallest buildings in Boston and stand at its edge.

“Big night for us, gentlemen. Everybody ready for the final Seal?” Castiel asks, looking at the other two.

They all nod in agreement.  Castiel looks more closely at Gabriel, “You look exhausted. You should take a vacation when all this is finished. You have earned it.  I really mean it this time, we would not be here if you had listened to me before.”

Gabriel answers, “I'm not sure the kind of tired I am can be fixed by just a vacation.”

With a dismissive wave, Castiel says, “Everybody needs a vacation. Even us. All right, let's get this back on track.  No more screw-ups.”

In Boston, Sam and Dean have a fight, a knock-down, drag-out fight about Ruby, the demon blood, Sam’s obsession for vengeance, Dean’s reluctance to be honest about Hell and why he won’t touch Sam anymore, everything.  Dean says a lot of stuff he shouldn’t have ever said out loud, and so does Sam.  The second Sam goes out the door, Dean is pulling himself up off the floor, wiping off the blood and trying to figure out how to get him back, so he can talk to him just once more.  Sam’s got it in his head that he has to kill Lilith, Ruby’s convinced him that it will end all their problems.  But something about it doesn’t seem right to Dean, and he doesn’t trust Ruby because she’s a demon, even if she did save Sam while he was stuck down in Hell. She just seems too invested in it all, Dean doesn’t see the upside for Ruby, so she’s got to be up to something.

Dean and Sam get kept separated over and over, Dean struggling to get back to Sam after their fight, but the Adjusters keep putting obstacles in his path, the elevator gets stuck in the hotel, the car breaks down, a bridge is out, one thing after another.  But Dean doesn’t give up and he doesn’t stop. Something about the Adjuster’s insistence about keeping them apart is tripping all of Dean’s alarm bells.  There’s a feeling of urgency and importance that he can’t ignore, he’s got to get to Sam.

Dean yells at them in the street when he sees their suits and fedoras, “You can keep trying but I’m not ever gonna stop!”  Dean notices that when things go his way, there’s a bright flooding sunlight that seems to come over everything, so he figures he’s on the right track.  There’s something comforting and inspiring about that sunlight, like someone’s cheering him on.

Finally, on a sunlit-flooded motel room corridor, not far off one of the main highways out of Boston, Dean catches up with Sam, a Sam who glowers and frowns and looks so unlike himself, so unlike the man he loves more than anything in this world.  His worry goes off the charts, and his words come rushing out, “Sam, finally, I caught up to you.  It’s been hard to find you, but I just want to say one thing. Will you at least listen?”

Sam looks at him skeptically, crosses his arms across his chest and nods almost imperceptibly.

Dean takes a deep breath and starts, “Look, I'll just get right to it. I'm still pissed, but I didn’t mean what I said.  I'm not Dad. We're brothers. You know, we're family. And, we’re more than that.  And... no matter how bad it gets, that doesn't change. Sammy, I'm sorry.”  Dean sees his brother’s face soften and change into one he finally can recognize again.  Sam’s about to speak when suddenly, Castiel and Uriel appear and walk Dean right out the door, Sam’s shouts about the angels bringing his brother back right now! ringing in Dean’s ears.
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The Adjusters have finally given up, frustrated by Dean’s insistence.  Dean is brought to the Beautiful Room once again by Castiel and Uriel, and left there alone.  After pacing for a long time and knocking all the knick knacks off the fancy tables he finally sits in one of the way too comfortable chairs.  All he can think about is Sam and where he is right now, with Ruby, or if the Adjusters have done anything to him.  On the off chance that Sam’s trapped in another room in this place, he yells, “Sam! Sam! Can you hear me?”  Over and over until he’s gone completely hoarse.

“Frustrating is it not Dean?  Hello, I am Zachariah.”  A tall, older man in an expensive black suit and fedora asks from behind him.

Dean knows this isn’t good, whoever this person who just appeared is, he stands up and asks, “Whatever happened to free will?”

“We actually tried letting you all have free will, we have a long history of stepping in and out, letting humanity try, but it has not worked out quite yet.  Maybe in a few hundred years we will try another experiment.  The fact is, you do not have free will Dean, you have the appearance of free will.” Zachariah says, taking a few steps closer.

“You expect me to believe that? I make decisions every damn day.”  Dean protests, striding towards the man even though he wants more than anything to be as far away from this being who is radiating otherness and even more of that otherworldly power than the other adjusters he’s met so far.

“You have free will over the little things, which toothpaste to choose, whether to buy this car or that one, but humanity on the whole just isn’t strong enough to handle free will, so we handle the important things for you.” Zachariah waves one hand indicating little things of no big importance, frivolous enough to be left to humans to decide on for themselves.

“If you’re supposedly handling the important things you’re not doing a very good job are you? The last time I checked the world’s a pretty screwed up place.”

“If we had left things in your hands, it would not still be here.” Zachariah says as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world.

“So that’s it then, there’s some reason why I can’t be with Sam that’s more important than what we feel for each other.”

“Yes, exactly.” Zachariah agrees.

“And the reason is?” Dean asks.

“Really none of your concern, I doubt you could comprehend it all.”

“Try me.” Dean says in a flat voice that barely controls his intense anger and frustration.

“The Plan called for you and Sam to go your separate ways after killing Azazel, Sam was never supposed to have been killed, you certainly were not supposed to have sold your soul, and you most definitely were not supposed to have fallen in love.”

“Well, too bad for you, we did.”

“I am aware.  And that is what we are fixing right here, right now.” Zachariah says with a small smile that makes him look like a shark about to feed.

“You’re keeping me away from him when I could stop him from releasing Lucifer.  Why?” Dean asks, desperate for an answer that will make some sense.

“Well, The Plan always did call for Lucifer to be released, in fact in the revised Plan you were to be the one, but not for another twenty years or so.  Sam was supposed to be out of your life, a lawyer with a family who you never even met.  So we are just accomplishing the main thing tonight.  We will just get our next Apocalypse a little earlier than scheduled.”

“This is crazy.” Dean says, shaking his head in amazement that all these Adjusters running around with their machinations, meddling in everything are just going to welcome the Apocalypse. Again.

“I know it sounds that way to you.  But rest assured, there is A Plan, and we have got it all under control.”

“Not if the whole damn world is ending! That doesn’t sound like any kinda control to me!” Dean shouts.

“Dean, this is not the first Apocalypse that we have managed, and it will not be our last.  Think of it as a planetary reset, it is necessary medicine for the world to continue.”

“But, the people, what about all those lives?  Just snuffed out? No big deal?”

“Yes, exactly. And it all begins anew.  Humanity gets another chance, we wait and see if we will still be needed here or not.  Do not worry about not understanding it, it is all a large-scale issue for one human to comprehend.  Just know that by you and your brother’s hand, you have ensured the world stays on Plan.”

“Fuck your stupid Plan.  I just want to get to Sam, please, just let me talk to him.”

“No Dean.  You will stay here for now.  It won’t be for much longer. Be patient.”

“How can I be patient? You’re ending my whole damn world!  Please Zachariah.”

“Goodbye Dean.”  Zachariah picks his hat up from the table and puts it back on and walks out a door that wasn’t there before.  Dean runs to it and tries to follow.  But the doorknob won’t open for him.

“I’m sorry Dean, he’s really bad at explaining things.” Says a familiar voice behind him.

Dean turns to see Gabriel leaned up against the opposite wall, “Yeah he’s even worse than that Castiel guy.  Listen, Gabriel, you’ve got to help me.  Please, if I could just get to Sam.”

“Dean, it’s got to be this way.  I know it’s hard to understand.  It’ll be better in the end.” Gabriel says.

“No, it won’t.  Gabriel, all those people, all the ones you love to watch, all the families, they’ll all die.  And for what?  Some Plan that someone wrote somewhere ages again.  All those people living their lives will just be gone.  And you won’t let me even talk to Sam.  You’re a bunch of pussies, cowards, hiding behind your hats and your Plan.”

“What could you possibly say to Sam to get him to understand?”

“Just let me try, you’ll see.  Give us a chance.  Please Gabriel, if you ever thought you wanted things to be different, maybe this is it.  Maybe we can change how it works.”

“I don’t know Dean.  Let me check something.”  Gabriel pulls out his leather folio and opens it, a blinking moving schematic shows several lines and cross points moving and reconnecting interweaving in a complicated dance.  “According to this there’s a small possibility here.”  Gabriel points at one spot where a red line and green line come close together.  “What the heck.  It’s all going to restart again if you fail.”

“Thanks Gabriel, I swear you won’t regret this.” Dean says fervently.

“It’s really not up to you Dean, but just, try your hardest please, because it will be really unpleasant for me if you fail.  So you’ve got to wear this hat to get through the doors.”

Gabriel explains that the Adjusters (wearing their hats), are able to move from place to place on Earth through any and all of the doors; that they all know the maps of where to go, how to get from here to there.  To get to Sam in time, he’s going to have to go through a long series of doors.  He shows Dean the specific doors to look for in another page in his folio on a sort of map, describes them all in detail and quizzes Dean on the order until he gets it right.  Finally he mentions that Dean has to always be sure to turn the doorknob to the right, never to the left.

“What happens if I turn it to the left Gabriel?” Dean can’t help his innate human curiosity.

“You don’t want to know.  Just don’t okay?  So when you get to Sam, you’ll only have a few minutes to change his mind, maximum. Then they’ll come, Zachariah and the rest. They’ll reset you, probably both of you, and you won’t even know each other, in this world, or in the reset.   I won’t be able to be there and help because you’ll have my hat.  You ready?”

“Yeah, I guess.  Thanks.  For uh, giving us a chance.  Me and Sam, humans and all.”

“I don’t know why but I’ve always had a soft spot for you humans, not many adjusters agree with me, but a few do, we think you have more potential than The Plan gives you credit for.   And you and Sam have proven to me over and over that The Plan isn’t the only thing that works to change things for the better.  Through you I’ve seen that there’s something about specific human relationships that involve deep love that is more powerful than anything The Chairman could ever conceive of.”

“What, you’re saying our love that can save the world?” Dean asks, laughing at the thought.

“Pretty much.” Gabriel says, so matter-of-factly, his brown eyes twinkling.

“Huh.” Dean can’t even comprehend that really, and doubts that it’s true.  All he wants to do is get to Sam, see if this last chance will work or at least see him again before it all ends.

“Go get him Dean.”  Gabriel takes the grey fedora off his head and reaches up to put it on Dean’s.

“I will.”  Dean steps up to the ornate door, puts his hand on the doorknob, he turns back to say “Thanks Gabriel.”  He turns the doorknob to the right and steps through.
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Dean moves through door after door, running down Boston’s city sidewalks, through building lobbies, restaurant kitchens and finally opens a large oaken door into what looks like an abandoned stone chapel.  He registers three people, but only has eyes for Sam.  Taking the demon killing knife out of his jacket he strides towards Ruby and Sam.

“Dean, what are you doing here?” Sam asks, completely surprised and not really all there since he was in the middle of subduing and ending Lilith.

“Sam, killing Lilith is the last Seal!  You can’t do it, it’ll let Lucifer out of his cage!” Dean yells with all the urgency he can muster, seeing that Sam’s not really with it, his eyes look so unfocused and strange.

“What do you mean?” Sam asks, so confused, not sure what his brother is saying or how he’s even here at all.

“C’mon Sam, just do it, you’re almost there!  You’ve almost got her. Lilith took Dean to Hell!  Kill Her!  Do it Now! Don’t stop now after everything!” shouts Ruby desperately.  She can’t spare any power to hold Dean back as she’s using it all on Sam.

“Sam, listen to me, if you still love me like I love you, you’ve got to stop.  Ruby’s been lying to you this whole time.” Dean pleads, hoping that using the “l’ word will get Sam’s attention.

Sam stops dead in his tracks, searching Dean’s face for answers, hesitating because he’s heard Dean’s plea, and he wants so much to just drop everything and run for his brother’s arms.

“No Sam, don’t stop, you’ve got to do it!” Ruby yells, pushing Sam towards Lilith who’s lying on the stone floor up against the altar.

“Don’t push me Ruby.” Sam says in a voice suddenly menacing and full of dark power.  He turns and holds her still and nods at Dean.  Dean gets the silent message and steps forward thrusting the knife into Ruby’s heart and turning it.  She flashes out and dies in Sam’s arms.  He lowers her to the floor and turns his attention to the unconscious Lilith.  Instead of killing her, with Dean’s help he draws a devil’s trap with Ruby’s blood on the stone floor in front of the altar.  Sam feels the power surging through him, reaching forward to kill Lilith, barely in control. “Dean stand back, I’ve got to…”

“Don’t Sam, don’t kill her.”

“Not going to, but you gotta get back.  Not sure if I can stop.”  Sam barely manages to say through gritted teeth, like he’s holding onto both his consciousness and humanity.

Dean sees that his eyes have gone black, shiny demon black and his heart sinks.  Maybe he was too late.  Again.  He steps forward and plasters himself to Sam’s back, holding onto him tightly and saying “Sammy, I’m not going anywhere.  I’ve got you.  Sammy, come back, please, you’ve got to come back to me.” Over and over again in increasing desperation.

Sam shrugs him off a little, but not completely, and reaches both hands outstretched towards Lilith lying there on the floor in the devil’s trap, the power flows out of him and the bloody markings of the trap light up with a sickly green-yellow glow, it gets brighter and brighter, forming a big circle, then a solid sphere all around her.  The devil’s trap markings glow and pulse in the sphere, moving ceaselessly over its surface.  Sam drops his arms and collapses, like a switch has been flipped to off.  Dean just barely holds him up enough to keep him from hitting the floor.

Dean lowers him down slowly and quickly checks Sam over.  His pulse is going way too fast, and he’s breathing shallowly.  Dean feels filled with despair, that whatever Sam’s done might have stopped the Apocalypse, but harmed him permanently.  He holds Sam’s face in his hands and kisses him on the lips, and begs one more time, “Sammy, come back to me. Please.”  He feels Sam take a deep breath and let it out on a sigh, his whole body relaxing.

Sam’s eyes open slowly, the demon black disappearing as Dean watches with a cool wash of relief.  Suddenly Sam is there again.  “Dean?”

“You okay Sammy?” Dean asks, still holding Sam’s face in his hands.

Sam reaches up and covers Dean’s hands with his, like he’s trying to see if Dean’s real, “Yeah, I think so, what happened?”

“You, uh, went full Vader, and did something to Lilith.”  Dean takes his hands away from Sam’s face and points to the glowing sphere beside them, where they can faintly see Lilith’s body lying on the floor.

“I did that?” Sam asks with incredulous surprise, sitting up with a groan.

“Yeah, doesn’t look like you killed her, maybe trapped her?”

“You said killing her was the final Seal.  So this means no Lucifer?” Sam asks.

“Nope, you saved the day dude.” Dean says proudly.

“More like you did.  How’d you even find me?  And why are you wearing a hat?” Sam asks, tugging on the brim of the fedora.

“It’s a long story.  Come on, we have to get out of here before they come.” Dean stands, pulling Sam with him, supporting Sam around the waist.

“Who comes?” Sam asks as Dean guides him towards the door.

“Adjusters. Angels.  Whatever. I’ll explain on the way.  Are you with me?”  Dean asks, his hand on the doorknob, other arm around Sam’s waist.

“Yeah, of course.” Sam answers, immensely glad that he finally can mean it again.

“Here goes nothing.”  Dean turns the doorknob to the left and opens the door onto a beautifully elegant long hallway.  Marble floors, wood paneling, high ceilings, the works.  They step through and see some men in suits and hats walking through an entranceway far down the hallway.  Dean turns and starts walking them quickly the other way.

“Dean where are we?” Sam whispers.

“Going to see The Chairman.” Dean answers, pulling Sam along by the hand.

They sneak down a few more hallways and find what looks like a large reading library with many of the adjusters sitting at beautiful wood tables, they manage to walk along the edge of it and they almost pass unnoticed until a large man steps in front of them.  “Well Dean Winchester, what a surprise. What are you doing here?” asks Uriel in his deep booming voice.

“Uriel my man, get out of the way.  We’ve got to see The Chairman.” Dean says, trying to push around him.

“I don’t think so.” Uriel reaches out to grab Dean’s arm, but Sam pulls him back and into a side hallway just in time, they break into a run and take the first doorway, pounding up the stairs and coming out onto an empty rooftop overlooking Boston.  They run to the edge of the roof and hold on to each other, nowhere left to run, sure that the Adjusters will be there any second.

“Sorry Sammy, thought this would work.” Dean says.

 “Did you really think you could just get to The Chairman that easily, ask him to rewrite your Fate?  It doesn’t work like that.” Zachariah says, stepping through the door with a menacing glower, Uriel and Castiel right behind him over his shoulder.

A hatless Gabriel suddenly appears in the doorway and walks towards them, “I’ve got a message for you.  From The Chairman.”  He hands a large manila envelope to Zachariah and waits for him to read its contents.

“I understand.” Zachariah says quietly, putting the paper back in the envelope, suddenly looking defeated and small.  He looks at Sam and Dean standing there at the edge of the rooftop, wrapped up together as if he’s contemplating what to say to them for a long time.  Then without saying a word, he hands the envelope back to Gabriel, turns away from the three adjusters and walks off, disappearing down the staircase, Uriel and Castiel following close behind.

Gabriel comes closer to Sam and Dean and looks at them with a little proud smile, “Even Zachariah has a boss.”

“Gabriel? You’re The Chairman?” asks Dean, breathless with the idea that he’s basically standing here with his brother talking to God, The God.

Gabriel laughs, “No, not me.  But you’ve met Him though. Or Her.  I mean everybody has.  The Chairman comes in a different form to everyone. So that people rarely realize when it happens.”

“Is this, this some sort of test?”  Dean asks bravely, trying not to tremble, disguising it by pulling Sam in closer.

Gabriel looks away, off into the distance, “It’s all a test. For everybody.  Even the members of The Adjustment Bureau.” He turns back to them, looking at them both in turn, “Dean you risked everything for Sam.  And Sam when you came through that first door with Dean, you risked everything too.  But you inspired me.  Seems like you inspired The Chairman too.”

Sam and Dean don’t say anything, just waiting to see if Gabriel will share anything else, this is all so confusing, Dean finally asks the obvious question, nodding at the envelope still in Gabriel’s hands, “That about us?”

“Yes.” Gabriel answers, looking at both of them in turn, smiling slightly.

“What does it say?” Dean and Sam ask in unison.

Gabriel looks down, as if he’s taking the time to think of how to phrase it for human ears, “Well it says that this situation between the two of you is a serious deviation from The Plan.”  He pulls a folded piece of paper out of the envelope and holds it up so Sam and Dean can see it.  There’s a schematic drawing with two lines crisscrossing and separating and then coming back together following twists and turns in unison, one mark blinking that indicates where they currently are.

“But The Chairman re-wrote it.”

“They can just do that?” Sam asks, so curious about all of this, it seems so far above their pay-grade.

Cocking his head to the side and smiling wider Gabriel answers, “Most people live life on the path that we set for them, too afraid to explore any other. But once in a while people like you and Dean come along and knock down every obstacle that we put in your way.  People who just seem to know, deep-down inside, that free will is a gift you’ll never know how to use until you have to fight for it.  I think that’s The Chairman’s real plan, that maybe one day, we won’t have to write The Plan any more, you will.”

Sam and Dean look at each other, relieved and overjoyed, Dean tries not to grin, holding it down to just a one-sided grin, they turn back to look at Gabriel, “Okay, so now what?”

Gabriel smirks at them both, steps forward and reaches up to retrieve his hat from Dean’s head, “Now, you can take the stairs.”  He grins and walks away.
When Gabriel has disappeared down the stair way, Sam says, “Dean, I’m not sure what that was all about, but thanks.”  Sam pulls him in close for a hug, one of those glad we’re still alive hugs that they occasionally have to give each other.

“For what?” Dean finally asks once he gets his breath back from having it all squeezed out.

“Risking everything for me, again.” Sam says, kissing the side of Dean’s head.

“You’d do the same.” Dean retorts, turning his face to Sam’s for a kiss.

“Yeah, I would.” Sam murmurs against Dean’s lips.

“Well that’s why.” Dean says quietly.

“Ready to make our own Plan?” Sam asks holding him tight around the waist and burying his face in Dean’s neck against the cold.

“My only plan right now is to get you back to a motel somewhere close with a big bed, it’s been too long.”

“I like the way you think Dean Winchester.”

“That’s not all you like.”  Dean slaps him on the ass and takes Sam’s hand pulling him towards the staircase door.

Sam can’t answer because he’s laughing, a free, easy laugh that Dean hasn’t heard in this whole year of darkness and separation.  And he’s so happy that he joins Sam in laughing, their laughter echoing through the canyon of skyscrapers.  They disappear down the stairway arm in arm, and don’t notice the three men in hats standing on the roof top behind them.

“I can’t believe you got away with that Gabriel.” Says Castiel, a little awe in his voice.

“It wasn’t really me.” Answers Gabriel with a shrug, “It was all them.  And The Chairman of course.”

“Now you finally going to take that vacation?” Asks Castiel.

“Yeah, think I will hang up my hat for a little while.  There’s been too many doors to go through lately.” Gabriel says.  “Keep it all together while I’m gone, okay?”  He goes through the door, leaving Castiel and Uriel on the rooftop.

“I don’t know why, but something about what Gabriel did makes me think we should change our methods.” Castiel says.  Uriel doesn’t respond, but seems to consider his statement.  They go over to the rooftop edge and watch wordlessly as Sam and Dean walk down the busy sidewalk towards where the Impala has been parked for them.  They get in and it takes off, soon disappearing into traffic.

“So we don’t have to watch them anymore?” Asks Uriel.

“No, they’re off the list.  Per The Chairman.  It’s up to them now.” Answers Castiel.

The adjusters go through the door one by one.  Leaving the rooftop finally empty once again.

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awesome!.....it's almost eerie how well their story works for this movie....angels, heaven, adjustment bureau, all the same thing.

well done....and some sweet sexin' to boot :P

Thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it. When I finished watching the movie the first time I was just floored by how the stories lined up, I wonder if Kripke had much influence on it, since he was involved in the movie?

ahhhh...I did not know that, I will choose to believe that everything and anything he does both pre and post Supernatural is some kind of Sam/Dean AU, lol, much the same way I listen to music. ;P

That's pretty much what I do, even the tv show Revolution has several of the same themes running through. And yes sometimes it is hard to listen to music without thinking "this is a sam/dean song!"

Wonderful fic! I don't know the movie at all, but I didn't feel like that took anything away from my reading pleasure. Apparently Adjusters and Angels are very much alike, and it all made perfect sense and seemed to fit just right.

I'm very fond of the idea that Sam and Dean's epic gay love for each other would actually save the world, so this was very much a fic after my own heart! Of course love conquers all, and Team Free Will could never fail! :D It just couldn't have gone any other way, why did Show just not see that?! ;)

So thank you for putting that to rights and giving us yet another amazing fic, I loved it. *hugs*

Thank you, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. And thanks for telling me that it made sense without having seen the movie, that was honestly my biggest worry, so I'm really happy that it worked for you.

Oh I really loved this movie when I first watched it and it's really interesting to see how it actually matches up with SPN. Funny I never knew that Kripke was involved. Awesome fic.

I too loved this movie, and have re-watched it several times. It immediately struck me with the similarities with SPN, I wonder if Kripke is responsible for that. Glad you liked the fic, thanks!

I really enjoyed how you wove together the show with the movie, it really worked for me! And bonus art, too. Great job, thank you for posting!

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