Wolfram & Hart
Title: A Legal Way Out
Disclaimer: None of these characters are mine.
Notes: Thanks to Vesica.
"We're going to see a law firm who might be able to stop you from going to Hell and you're going to turn up in those jeans?"
"No, no suits. Unless you're planning on getting yourself a job there."
Sam ignored his brother's sly comment and began packing their formal suits back into their bag. "It's just..."
"Are you about to say something about making a good impression?" Dean snorted. "Somehow I don't think a suit is going to make any difference. And just because they've had a change in management doesn't mean they're going to change the terms of the deal. Don't you go in there thinking that. I thought lawyers were supposed to be sneaky devious bastards."
"I wouldn't know," Sam said quietly. "I never made it to law school."
Dean caught the look on his brother's face. "Well, I expect you to go. Put all this behind you. There's no one left to punish for this so don't go looking. Just make the most of it - get on with your life."
"Dean!" Sam was astonished. "How the hell do you expect me to do that? Just to pick up the threads of my old life and move on without you?"
"You were managing pretty well before," Dean said. "I don't want you doing this without me Sam. This isn't your life - It never was. I forced it on you; I got Dad killed; I got you killed." He smiled mirthlessly. "Hell, I've got me killed. You've got a second chance. Don't screw it up."
Sam was shocked into silence, a silence that lasted well into the next day, right up until they reached the polished glass doors of Wolfram and Hart. The Winchesters took in the high storied building and the well-dressed people streaming in and out.
"Sam?" Dean whispered. "I hate this."
"I know you do. But we've got no choice."
"Dean Winchester?" a blonde woman called his name and Dean nearly jumped out of the leather sofa he was perched on. Sam rose more steadily and laid a calming hand on his brother's shoulder.
"Follow me, please."
Dean and Sam followed the blonde towards a bank of elevators and she stabbed her red painted fingernail at the top button. No one spoke as the elevator rose steadily upwards to the top floor.
"Here we are," the woman stepped out and pointed down a corridor. "Mr. Wyndham Pryce will see you now."
"I thought we were seeing someone called Gunn?" Sam questioned. The woman's expression changed slightly.
"Mr Gunn is.... unavailable at this time. Mr. Wyndham Pryce has taken over this matter."
She stepped back inside the elevator and the doors closed smoothly behind her, leaving the Winchesters alone in the corridor.
The two men turned to see someone standing at the other end of the corridor. He was beckoning to them.
He had disappeared back inside his office by the time the Winchesters reached him. He shook both their hands and offered them coffee, accepted by Dean but not by Sam.
"I'm Wesley Wyndham Pryce - call me Wes. It's good to meet you both."
Dean was wary of the direct blue-eyed gaze and the firm handshake and his eyes slid down to see a scar peaking out over Wes' collar. Wes smiled, not a pleasant smile, and tugged his collar up slightly to hide it.
"That looks painful," Dean said nervously.
"It was." Wes handed him coffee, black and strong, and took his place behind his desk, motioning for the Winchesters to settle themselves in the chairs opposite.
"I understand that you have a bit of a problem, Dean. Do you mind if I call you Dean?"
Dean shrugged a little, unwilling to say too much.
Wes lifted a manilla file from his desk and slid it over to them. "Your file, Dean. I have another one here on Sam. You've made quite a name for yourselves. No wonder you only got given a year . The quicker you're off this mortal coil, the better."
Wes caught the confusion on Dean's face. "You thought, perhaps, that your soul wasn't worth any more than that?"
Dean nodded very slightly.
"I think you underestimate yourself. Knowing full well the sacrifice you were making, the Crossroads Demon played a dangerous game with you. It knew how desperate you were, that you would agree to anything to bring Sam back. You were granted a year of freedom in return for Sam's immediate resurrection. Correct?"
"Souls are high currency in Hell. Did you know that? A normal soul that might end up there anyway – well, the Crossroads Demon could afford to give them a little longer up here in return for the certainty that they would end up in Hell. But heroes' souls - they're worth a lot more. And your soul Dean Winchester, well…" Wes leaned back in his chair and observed the young man who was hanging on his every word. His brother was leafing through the file he had handed over but Wes could tell he was listening just as keenly. "Have you ever heard the phrase 'Never trust a demon'? Very much true in this case. Quite a coup for the Demon who sealed the deal with you. Sadly for her the agreement was then passed to ourselves and due to a change in management we have started to review old deals which aren't quite, shall we say, on the level."
"I'm sorry. I've got no idea what you're talking about." Dean was nothing if not blunt.
"He's saying that they have the power to review the deal. Right?" Sam looked at Wes for confirmation.
"He's saying that the Demon took advantage of your grief and made you a crappy deal, that really your soul is worth more than a year."
"Tarnished." Wes clarified. "That was what she called you, wasn't it? A gutter soul?"
Dean squirmed uncomfortably.
"And you never questioned it, which leads me to think you could do with some time in therapy." Wes smiled, a genuine smile this time. "In terms of demon currency, Dean, your soul is gold. Untarnished. Pure. You were aimed for a better place."
Sam stared across at Dean who was staring at Wes, desperately trying to comprehend what he was saying. Wes knew the impact of his words and knew he had to tread carefully.
"Now, the change in management of this firm allows us to do certain things although we can't upset the status quo too much. Do you understand what I'm saying?"
"I do," Sam said when Dean didn't speak.
"So I can release you from your deal but I still need something from you. Everything has its price Dean. You understand that, don't you?"
"So I'd like to offer you a different sort of contract. You and your brother, a 1 year contract to reflect the original deal, you work for us for a year and then you're free to do what you want. We can give you both a decent salary. Sam, I can offer you a place on the trainee course if you want one. Your LSAT scores are certainly high enough."
Wes pushed a sheaf of papers over to them. "This outlines the details. I'm going to leave you for a while to talk this over, but I need a decision today. This is it. There is no negotiation on this." Wes' tone became more kindly. "I am trying to offer you a way out, Dean, without tipping the balance too much. Just the fact of you two working for us would be enough to keep the balance. What you do for us doesn't matter..."
He could see that Dean was not taking any of this in.
Wes nodded at Sam. "Call me when you've decided what to do."