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[personal profile] maychorian
Fandom: Supernatural
Title: Chapter 4: Me and My Friends Understand the Future (Coming Down Book 4)
Author: Maychorian
Characters: Winchester Ensemble
Category: Gen, AU, Family
Rating: T/PG13
Warning: (skip) Language. Allusions to child abuse
Spoilers: S4, previous stories in 'verse.
Summary: John Winchester has four sons, but to an outside observer, he appears to have only three. Their mission is to stop the Apocalypse before it starts.
Word Count: ~5000 (this part)
 Author’s Note: Coming Down on a Sunny Day master list, and YouTube Playlist, from whence came the titles.

Coming Down on a Sunny Day
Book 4: The Name of the Demon

Chapter 4: Me and My Friends Understand the Future

Sam Winchester ran up the steps to the apartment, three strides ahead of Dean clattering behind him. He might as well have been flying. He barely felt the impact of his feet on the concrete stairs, barely noticed the stained and cracked walls flying by on each side. He was entirely focused on the goal, on the thoughts swirling in his head, conjecture and certainty and the seeds of triumph.

The apartment was unlocked. They’d all been in too much of a hurry to bother. Not that it would have mattered—had any miscreants dared to breach their home, they would have had John Winchester to deal with. Sam rushed inside, barely allowing time for a smile at that image.

“Dad! Jimmy!”

They were in the kitchen. Jimmy leaned over to look out the wide doorway into the living room, and Dad stood by the stove, a crusty spatula held in his hand like a club. The smell of cooking meat filled the air, sending a rush of saliva to Sam’s mouth. He was already busy on the other side of the living room, though, fumbling for a notepad, a pen, the phone.

“Hey, son,” Dad said, watching Sam’s frantic rush with bemusement. “I’m making hamburgers. You hungry?”

“Sounds great, Dad.” Sam held up a finger. “Right after I get hold of Uncle Bobby.”

Dean was in the room, now, closing the door Sam had left swinging wide. “Man, that smells awesome. I’m starving. But how ‘bout you explain yourself first, little man?”

Dad raised his eyebrows at them. “You guys have a good hunt?”

In the same breath, Dean was talking. “How’s Cas—any change?”

Excited chatter broke out, everyone trying to be heard at once. Sam ignored it all, listening to the phone ring on the other end of the line. Please pick up, please pick up...

Once earlier today, he had thought the same as he stood at a phone, waiting for a voice to answer. This time it wasn't terror beating inside his chest, trying to get out. Urgency gripped Sam's heart and made his feet dance impatiently on the carpet, but he was not afraid. The answer was within his grasp, if he could only reach out and take it.

The deep voices of Dad, Dean, and Jimmy had suddenly stopped competing with each other, silence fallen in the Winchester home. Sam looked up, mildly curious. All three of them were looking at him with great expectation. Ah. They must have finished explaining whatever they'd been explaining to each other.

"Well?" Dean asked, making a motion as if magnanimously granting Sam permission to speak. "You want to share with the class? What makes you think we can figure out the demon's name now?"

"Because it gave too much away," Sam said. "You heard it, same as me."

"Yeah, but I don't think I heard it the same way. I don't have your freaky geek brain, remember?"

Sam huffed in exasperation. "Shut up, Dean. You're plenty smart, much as you like to pretend otherwise."

Jimmy gave him a smile, amused and affectionate. Sam noticed, finally, that Jimmy's eyes weren't as agonized, as fraught, as they'd been when Sam and Dean had left. Jimmy and Dad must have figured out some way to help Cas while they were gone, otherwise Jimmy would be pacing the apartment, or, worse, catatonic on the sofa. Good. They could talk about the hows and whys later—for now it was just good to have Jimmy back on the team, coherent and paying attention.

Dean groaned and rolled his eyes. "Whatever, man. You're the one who said you know how to figure out the name we need, and I still don't get it. Give."

Uncle Bobby wasn't picking up, at least not fast enough for Sam. He hung up the phone and dialed another one of Bobby's numbers. One of them would have to go through eventually. Unless Bobby had gone out for a book or something, maybe. Didn't matter. Sam would sit here listening to the phone ring all night, if he had to.

Sam leaned against the wall, holding the earpiece to his head, and looked up to meet Dean's eyes. "It was the way it talked in that last speech to us. Did you hear the way it phrased it? 'I have become a god.' Not 'I am a god,' or 'I was a god,' but 'I have become a god.'"

"Yeah?" Dean tilted his head. "And what did that tell you?"

"This is a creature that once consorted with gods, but wasn't one of them," Jimmy said.

Sam nodded, grateful for at least one brother who got it. Cas would understand too, if only they could ask him, and Sam's heart twinged with longing to talk it all over with him. They always had such fun.

"But now it feels that it's become a god," Dad's voice rumbled. "What else did it say?"

"Lots of stuff," Sam said. He pointed at Dean. "C'mon, what else?"

Dean rolled his eyes at being called on like a kid in class, but did his best to oblige. "It said that its name was written in tons of places, and after the Apocalypse ended the world it would be written in lots more."

"Boasting," Dad said. "It's really proud of that little trick it pulled, locking Cas in a cage."

Jimmy held out a hand toward him, as if to tamp down the rage roiling in Dad's voice. "Yeah, but back up on that. What demon do we know that has its name written in lots of places? Or maybe not a demon, but a minor god, something from antiquity, maybe?" He raised a eyebrow at Sam.

"It called itself ancient and wise, and spoke as if it had known a time when demons and gods ruled the earth," Sam said. "Remember the spell?"

Jimmy nodded, his face paling. He was already leaning on the edge of the wide doorway that led into the kitchen, but now he leaned a little harder.

Yeah. Of course he remembered.

Sam grimaced in sympathy. "It said more stuff in the same language while Dean and I were out there. I think, maybe, if I can repeat some of the syllables to Uncle Bobby, he might be able to help me figure out what language it is."

"And then we’ll know what civilization this douchebag came from," Dean said, understanding dawning. "We can get a list of names from their mythology and pantheon."

Sam nodded sharply. The phone was still ringing, on and on. Damn it, why didn't Bobby hook up an answering machine? He dropped the earpiece on the cradle and drew a long breath, trying to calm down.

Dad and Dean and Jimmy were looking at him, eager and excited. Hope in every face. Sam looked to Jimmy.

"Once we get the list, though, we're not done. We'll have to narrow it down even further. Hopefully to just one name."

Jimmy fumbled behind him for a kitchen chair and pulled it over so he could sit down, his knees suddenly weak. "You're still gonna need me to dig into Castiel's memories, or my memories of his memories, and try to figure it out."

Sam nodded regretfully. Dean looked at Jimmy, now, his face compassionate but probing. "You said you've seen...more than once... You saw the end. The stuff that happened right before Cas jumped back in time."

Jimmy swallowed. "Yes."

"The demon grabbed him then, started ripping at him. It must have been incredibly traumatic. It's possible... I know it's a long shot, but... Maybe Cas knew its name, maybe he recognized the bastard, especially if this bitch is from an ancient civilization. For all we know, our angel might have known its name from back when it originally walked the earth. The thing sure acts like it's been butting heads with Cas for millennia."

Jimmy's jaw tightened. "I wouldn't be surprised, honestly. No, I think you're on the right track. Castiel might have known the demon's name, but the events of the Apocalypse, of the jump through time that left him unconscious for months... They might have blocked it out."

"Be kind of amazing if they hadn't, really," Dean said. His voice was rough.

Sam picked up their address book and looked for another of Uncle Bobby's numbers. "We'll get the list. At least then you'll have something to work off. You won't just be shooting into the dark."

"Good idea." Jimmy took several breaths, his hands rubbing on his jean-clad thighs, fingers shaking. "Anything...anything you can gather will be a help. I'm...really not looking forward to this."

Dean crossed the room to stand next to Jimmy. He had grown taller than the oldest Winchester boy, even when Jimmy or Castiel was standing, but the height difference was especially pronounced now. Dean stood tall and straight, shoulders tight, and Jimmy slumped in a chair with his head down, dread in every line of his body. Dean put a hand on his shoulder and shook it in his roughly comforting way.

"We'll be with you every step of the way, dude. Anything you need, you just say the word."

Jimmy nodded. He didn't look up, though.

Dad stepped back into the kitchen, a rush of sizzling and steam as he rescued his hamburgers from burning. "At least eat a bite, boys. We've got a long night ahead of us."

"I'm always up for burgers," Dean said, stepping after his father. After a few moments to finish gathering himself, Jimmy followed.

Sam called another number.


"Okay. Thanks, Uncle Bobby." Sam gripped the phone tight, staring at the list of names on the paper under his right hand.

The voice on the phone was gruff and sincere. "You fellas need to use my panic room or anything like that, you come straight to South Dakota. It was that angel of yours helped me build it, after all. I know he said I woulda had the idea myself in a decade or so, but I don't mind having it now, either."

Sam smiled tightly. "We're hoping we can take care of it here and now. Sooner the better."

"Yeah, I getcha. Good luck, kiddo. Tell everyone I've got your backs."

"I will."

Sam hung up the phone and picked up the list of names, staring at each—scrawled across the page in his hurried, messy script—as if he could pick out the right one just by wanting to. His fingers tightened on the edges of the paper, wrinkling it. The answer had to be here.

"Sam?" Dad stood in the kitchen doorway, his face as calm as he could make it, though Sam could read the worry in his eyes, the bend of his arm. "You should eat. I saved you a burger."

"Yeah, okay." Sam glanced up at him, then looked back to the paper.

Dad reached over and snagged his elbow, steering him into the kitchen. Dean clattered at the counter, fixing a plate, and Sam shuffled over to the table to sit next to Jimmy. He set the paper down between them and looked up to meet his big brother's gaze.

Jimmy sat slumped in his chair, his face a picture of misery. The plate in front of him still held most of a burger, only a few bites gone from it. The crumbs and the stray lettuce leaf and strand of thin-cut onion showed the way Jimmy had been moving it around, partially deconstructing it. But he hadn't been able to enjoy it, which was a shame. Jimmy usually loved his burgers, and Dad was good at making them.

Now, Jimmy met Sam's look for a bare second before his eyes fell to stare at the simple piece of notebook paper that now waited on the table between them. It was just a college-ruled piece of looseleaf torn from one of Sammy's school binders, as ordinary and innocuous as anything in the world. It was no tablet inscribed with ancient runes, no plinth in a tomb. It wasn't even an old newspaper or a dusty leather-bound tome from the depths of a forgotten library. Yet this piece of paper might carry more import to Jimmy and the other Winchesters than any of those other important documents and carriers of esoteric lore.

"Anu, Ea, Ishtar, Marduk. These are Akkadian deities."

Sam nodded slowly. "Uncle Bobby and I went over the sounds of the spell that I could remember. He was pretty sure it was Babylonian, though of course no one knows what that language actually sounded like. But all the clues seem to fit. An ancient time when demons and gods ruled, and men were only slaves to be used as their deities saw fit. How many thousands of texts include these names? There's no way to know—it's passed out of time and mind."

Jimmy nodded. He traced his finger down the line of names. "Long enough ago for a demon from that age to feel enraged at the loss of power and prestige, willing to bring about the end of the world just for a chance at glory again."


Dean set a burger in front of Sam, and he looked up long enough to give him a grateful smile. He dug in, doing his best to devour the whole thing in a few bites. They still had a lot of work to do. "Anything there catch your fancy?" he asked through a mouthful of meat and bun.

Jimmy's eyes swept back and forth, reading each name one at a time. His face was set, intensely focused on the task. After going down the entire list, though, he reluctantly shook his head. "None of them are standing out to me. Are these only the names of the gods?"

Sammy nodded, still chewing. "And a few figures associated with them." He swiped a hand over his mouth, brushing away crumbs, a smear of mustard. "If we have to get into the whole list of known Assyro-Babylonian names, that's going to take longer. A lot longer. I really, really hope it's on this short list."

"Yeah, me too." Jimmy sighed and fell still, his finger tapping on the paper, at the edge of the writing.

By now Dad and Dean had joined them at the table, listening to the conversation but not inserting themselves yet. They’d already had at a least a burger each, judging by the states of their plates, but they weren’t shy about having seconds.

"Something else is bugging me, too," Dean said, his leg bouncing relentlessly beneath table.

Sam looked up at him, stuffing the last bit of his burger into his mouth. He raised his eyebrows, wordlessly asking Dean to go on.

"Something else the demon said. About how he had this awesome super-fantastic ally who was helping him out and was really powerful and stuff. Bitch was really happy about it, too."

Jimmy blinked. "You didn't mention this before."

Dean shrugged. "We were kinda occupied."

"We still are." Sam spread his hand over the page. "We've got business to take care of."

Dean nodded. "I know. I'm just looking ahead."

That was confidence in Dean's eyes, confidence in Sam and Jimmy's ability to suss out the demon's name so they could track it down and free Cas from his prison. It was already such a done deal in Dean's mind that he was already looking for other enemies, other potential flaws in the plan. Sam found it heartening and just a tad bit hilarious.

Dad clapped Dean's shoulder, pride and some of the same amusement prompting a chuckle from deep in his chest. "That's a good soldier. Keep an eye out for the next battle even while you're fighting this one."

Jimmy folded his hands together, frowning deeply. It pulled down his eyes and made him look older than his years. Almost as old as Castiel. "I don't like the idea of this demon having a powerful ally. You make it sound like it's not even another demon, but something greater and stronger. What could it be?" He looked at Sam. "Were there any other clues?"

Sam looked down at the table, thinking hard. Something tugged at the edge of his mind, some strange remark the demon had made, perhaps, some unconscious indication of the ally's nature. But he was unable to dive deep enough into the memory to dig it up. Too much of his thoughts—the bright, churning, sparking surface of his mind—was completely occupied with find the name, summon the demon, get Cas back.

After a moment he shook his head in distraction, his fingers tightening on the paper, pressing it to the cool surface beneath now beginning to warm with the steady pressure of his hand. "I can't...can't think of anything right now. We'll have to come back to it later..."

"After we get this bitch." Dean nodded decisively. "Yeah, we should do that first."

Jimmy blew out a short breath, then turned to Sam. He visibly straightened, pulling his shoulders back and firming his posture. His jaw clenched and his eyes were bright and full. "Let's do it. I'm ready."

Sam pushed his messy plate to the center of the table and set the paper more centrally, where Dad and Dean could read it upside down while he could see it with just a glance to the side. He turned his chair to face Jimmy more fully and reached out for his hand. "I know this is gonna suck for you. We'll be here the whole time, okay?"

Jimmy nodded stiffly, resolute but unable to speak. His Adam's apple bobbed in his throat. He accepted Sam's hand, folding it firmly in his, making the touch a lifeline between them. Then he closed his eyes.

They didn't have to discuss it beforehand to know what they were going to do—Jimmy and Sam had always had an almost instinctive understanding of each other, especially once Sammy had become old enough to be part of the family business. They had often supported each other on research and brainstorming, bouncing ideas off each other and Castiel as they dug through the bullshit to find the truth. This was just another day in the Winchester life, but with the stakes higher than they'd ever been before.

Jimmy's eyes moved under his closed eyelids, sharp and fast, as if he were dreaming. But he remained sitting upright in the chair, his hand gripping Sam's. Sweat gleamed on his forehead, the sides of his face, and his chest heaved fast and faster. Sam squeezed his hand.

"Have you found the memory yet?" he asked.

Jimmy nodded sharply, just once. His lips tightened in unhappiness.

"What are you seeing?"

Jimmy's lips moved, wrenching in a curl of distress and disgust. His teeth were clenched, and he forced the words out one at a time. "It's bad, Sammy."

Sam didn't correct the name. Jimmy could call him whatever he wanted to right now. "You're seeing the end of the world?"

"Yes. Dead angels...everywhere. Wings burned black on the earth. The Boiling. Lucifer laughing with your mouth."

A chill ran over Sammy's neck and upper back. This was what Castiel had run from. This was what none of them had wanted him to know about, though the secret had finally come out today. Sam, possessed by the fallen angel who had split heaven in the earliest days of creation, possibly before the first humans even walked the earth. Sam, the perfect vessel of Lucifer, laughing at the death of angels and the triumph of demons.

Dean made a tiny noise of shock on the other side of the table, and Dad murmured nonsensical comfort. Sam swallowed through a throat suddenly dry as dust. Jimmy's hand twitched in his, and he squeezed it again.

"Let's move on from that," Sam said, the words sounding thready and faint to his own ears. "Can forward, to where Cas starts to jump back through time and the demon grabs him."

Jimmy pulled in a shaky breath. "Okay. Yes. Moving on."

More eye movements. This time it went on for quite a bit longer than before. Then they began to slow. Jimmy's breath calmed, his forehead smoothed out, and the beads of sweat on the side of his face began to dissipate. His hand loosened in Sam's, and, though he remained sitting upright, there was a subtle relaxation of his shoulders and arms.

Sam didn't get it. If anything, this moment should be even more distressing than the earlier part of the memory. Had Jimmy lost the plot, moved out of the memory completely? Where was he?

"Jimmy?" Sam kept his voice calm and composed, a tether to reality for Jimmy to grab. "Where are you?"

A second of delay, then Jimmy's lips moved, calm and gentle, almost emotionless. "I'm going to talk to Castiel."

"I thought you couldn't talk to him anymore."


As if anything about the way Jimmy and Cas interacted with each other was remotely "conventional." Sam huffed a short breath of amusement, but did not repeat the thought aloud. "Then how?"

"Through emotions, mainly. But...I'm trying to drag the memory along with me, down this evil golden passage. It's...jagged. It hurts my hand. But I'm pulling it with me. I'll show it to Castiel so he can help me with it."

"Will that work?"

"I don't know. But I couldn't do it on my own. The end of the memory was...too overwhelming. There was no sense of logic, no knowledge to be found in it. Only pain."

"You already tried to find the name? You didn't say anything to me."

"It was useless. I didn't bother. The only hope, now, is...this."

Jimmy fell silent. All of his tension had now transferred to Sam, though. It tightened every muscle in his body, and he sat forward in his chair, clutching Jimmy's hand in both of his. That delicious burger was threatening to come back up.

Dad leaned across the table and put his hand on Sam's arm. "Hey, bud. Relax. Jimmy did this before."

Sam looked over at him, blinking. Oh, yeah. While he and Dean were gone, Dad and Jimmy had figured out how to help Castiel, somehow, despite their earlier belief that nothing could be done. "What happened?" Sam breathed out, hardly daring to hope.

Dad shrugged. "I dunno." His lips twisted in a wry smile, his eyes dark with sympathy. "I was stuck where you are, on the outside, just hoping Jimmy would be able to do whatever he was trying to do. He talked about this same stuff, though, a golden passage, a fiery womb. Then he went quiet for a long time. Barely seemed to breathe. I was on the edge of calling 911 when he came out of it suddenly and said he'd done it, he'd figured out a way to help Cas cope."


Dad hesitated. His face told Sam that he knew how crazy this was going to sound. "He...possessed Cas, the same as Cas has possessed him all this time. While that was going on, I guess they were able to communicate. Just not...'conventionally.'"

Sam blinked. He turned back to Jimmy, watching the minute tics and twitches of his face. He could not begin to imagine what sort of inward journey was going on down there where none of them could see. When this was over, he was so going to ask Jimmy about a million questions.

He was almost afraid to say anything for fear that the sound of his voice might disrupt whatever process Jimmy was attempting. But the burn of curiosity finally forced his mouth open. "Jimmy, where are you now?"

"The...womb. Or tomb. It's more like a tomb, really."

"Do you still have the memory?"

"Yes. It hurts." Jimmy's fingers wrapped around Sam's palm, holding firm. The grip wasn't painful, and Sam was surprised that it didn't even feel uncomfortable or sweaty. It was just...firm. Maybe that, and Sam's voice, would enable Jimmy to keep talking this time, while with Dad he'd gone dark while buried down here in the depths.

"I'm here, Jimmy. Let me know when you're ready, and we'll start talking names."

"All right. Thank you, Sammy."

"Can you keep talking to me? Let me know where you are? We need to keep the connection open."

Jimmy was silent for a moment, his eyes moving back and forth, slow and steady, under his eyelids. "Yes. I think that's a good idea. I'm passing through the waterfall soon. It's going to hurt."

"Okay. I'm here."

A moment later, Jimmy gasped, his body stiffening in the chair. His face went completely blank, his hand frozen in Sam's. For a few seconds, stillness and silence reigned. It was like the connection between Jimmy's body and his mind had been cut. He didn't even breathe.

Then it passed, and Jimmy slumped down again, breath pumping out of his lungs in a long exhale. Sam pressed his hand close and warm.

"You okay, Jimmy?"


The hairs on Sam's neck prickled, and he cast a wide-eyed glance at his father and other brother. Dad and Dean were gaping, wide-mouthed and paralyzed. They felt it too. They heard it too.

It seemed like Jimmy's voice was echoing. That was impossible. Surely that was impossible.

Sam swallowed. His voice came in an awed whisper. "Where are you, Jimmy?"

"I am with Castiel."

It was. It was echoing. Jimmy's voice echoed to them from far, far away, the thin, all-too-human sound of it rebounding and reverberating inside some immense space. It was astounding to Sam that those fragile vibrations managed to cross the impossible, unknowable distance back to them at all.

"Tell him we miss him," Dean blurted. Because of course he did.

Jimmy's eyes twitched. "He knows. I'm sending him love from all of us. He feels it."

Sam nodded. "Okay. Good. Do you still have the memory?"

Jimmy's hand twitched, and discomfort crossed his face again. "Yes. We're working on it. It hurts."

Sam forced himself to be still and silent, letting Jimmy and Cas do their thing. Part of him longed to be with them, down there in the psychic depths, in the cosmic immensity of whatever space they were occupying. Part of him was aware that he probably wouldn't be able to handle it, though. Jimmy and Castiel had built up their trust and their flawless teamwork over more than a decade of constant intimacy forced on them by these bizarre, unprecedented circumstances. None of the other Winchesters could begin to deal with this situation.

They would just have to trust the adopted Winchesters to figure it out between them.

A shiver passed over Jimmy's frame, as if he trembled in a distant wind. His eyelids moved; his nostrils flared. Sam held his hand and waited.

After what seemed like centuries, eons, but couldn't truly have been more than a minute or two, Jimmy spoke again. "The names."

Sam glanced at his list. "Anu. Ea. Ishtar."

Jimmy's eyelids moved but did not open. "None of those."

"Marduk. Shamash. Atrahasis."


Sam read down the list, pausing after each name, waiting for Jimmy, and Castiel through him, to mark the one that resonated with the memory. He wasn't surprised when none of the gods were it.

But as the names passed his lips, one after the other, and Jimmy shook his head at each, as the list dwindled line by line to only a few names... Sam chewed the inside of his lip and squeezed Jimmy's hand, hoping and hoping that this was it, this was the one. If the name wasn't on the short list, this task was going to be much, much harder.




Jimmy shook his head.


Silence. Jimmy was still for a moment, then tilted his head in that stiff, curious way that so much embodied Castiel. It made Sam's neck-hairs prickle to life once again. This wasn't only Jimmy, but it wasn’t only Castiel, either. It was the two of them, both in one, communicating in the same body, the same motion.

The room was frozen, dead silent. They all held their breath.

"Nur-Ayya," Jimmy/Cas said. "Who was he?"

Sam glanced at the list, but there was no further information, just the name. Still, he thought maybe he remembered the name from his own studies, from the Epic of Gilgamesh, perhaps, or...

"A scribe," Sam said. "He was a scribe."

Dean blew out a breath. "His name is written on more texts than exist in all the libraries of men."

Dad nodded. "Right. At the bottom. Where the scribe's mark goes."

"And all of them lost now," Sam said, a harsh note of triumph dragging his voice out high and sharp. "All those tablets and scrolls buried in the sand or burned at Alexandria. He's nothing, just a footnote in history."

Jimmy/Cas nodded, slow and proud. "Nur-Ayya. That is the name of the demon."

"That's it.” Sam clasped his hand tight in exultation. “You got it."

"Come on back now, Jimmy," Dad said. He rose from table, strong, broad hands pushing him up off the solid surface. Dean was already gone, on the other side of the room gathering what they needed for one more hunting trip before they slept.

"We've got it from here."

Previous: Book 4 Chapter 3
Next: Book 4 Chapter 5
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