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Heavens Graceful Hands

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Castiel slipped past the gates of hell, stomach churning at the fact he was in hell. He knew he had a job to do though. Dean Winchester, The Righteous Man and Michael's vessel, was stuck in hell after selling his soul, and he had broken the first seal only a month ago in human time. So Castiel had been sent to venture into the pit and retrieve his brothers vessel and bring him back to the surface of Earth to fulfil his role in the apocalypse. Brother verses' Brother. A story recreated. That's all they had told him.

Castiel stalked through the dark corridors and sounds of screams and groans echoed in his ears as he shielded his presence from hell's eyes. He followed his grace's indication towards the Righteous Man, the duty given to him since he was the one with the power to find him simply with his will. One of the reasons he was chosen in the first place, as it was foretold in the story of reaching the final Paradise for humans.

Before Castiel eyes the corridor changed and he blinked in confusion, frowning slightly. He wondered if his newly acquired vessel would be able to handle going through the pit, but he shook it off. Jimmy was a devoted man who would endure much for his fathers orders, just as Castiel would. He was sure the man would be an angel in another reality. It also made sure he didn't burn out the eyes of his charge.

Castiel gingerly followed the corridor, screams piercing and sharp as he got closer to the darkly shadowed the doorway. His lips felt dry and cracked from the dry heat, and he wondered if he'd bleed if he moved them to speak. Humans did, so would he now that he was in a vessel?

Castiel stepped through the doorway, greeted with the sight of blood, flesh and organs, the smell of metallic blood and body waste overpowering his human senses. He resisted the urge to gag, something he had never experienced, and looked around. The screams weren't coming with Dean Winchester's soul, as he expected, but he could see how ragged the soul was even as it slowly skinned the shrieking man. His presences made the Righteous Man freeze in his torture, looking up at him.

He could see the jaded forest eyes, ones that reminded him of the Garden in Heaven. His father would be amazed by the beauty yet horror that was kept in the mans soulful eyes. The soul opened his lips, looking pained even as he tried to speak, lips bleeding from biting.

"Are you next?" His voice was deep and hoarse, scrapping against his vocal chords. It pained Castiel to see his brothers vessel like this.

"No. I am Castiel. I'm here to grip you tight and raise you from perdition." He hoped the man would not resist his words.

"I thought I made a deal to be the torturer not the tortured..." Dean's voice sounded almost fearful as he looked down at his bloodied hands, ignoring the whimpers of the tortured soul on the table.

"You won't be either. Come with me, we have work for you." Castiel offered his hand to the man.

"'We'?"

"God and his angels." Dean scoffed, placing the knife down on the table. Castiel tilted his head in confusion.

"There's no such thing. If there was, why would God leave me in hell in the first place?" He said bitterly with tangled anger.

"The Lord has many jobs, but you are needed now." His hand still reached for the soul.

"...Sam sold his soul for me, didn't he?" His eyes darkened with sorrow. Castiel tilted his head again.

"Sam?" He frowned. "No soul will be exchanged. God has ordered me to retrieve you and take you back to your body so you can fight in the apocalypse."

"Apocalypse?" Dean's eyes widened as he grabbed the Angels shoulders. "Is Sam okay?!"

"Your brother...? He is alive." Castiel took the souls hands off his shoulders, still holding one in a gentle grasp. "We must go now. Father expected me in heaven soon."

"You're...re-aliving me? Giving me another chance without someone else's ass on the line?" Dean's hand slipped from his grasp and he frowned, brows furrowing gently as he stepped closer to the tainted yet bright soul.

"You don't think you deserve to be saved, do you?" He was still and unresponsive and yet Castiel knew just from the projecting hatred and shame. Castiel's hand rose and fingers brushed again the strong jaw of the character before he turned away from the other, not watching the reaction from the soul. "We must leave soon before the gateway closes." He instructed and Dean nodded jerkily, still seeming a bit dazed from disbelief as he followed Castiel out of the room...Only the corridor was askew the moment they stepped in Castiel's human feet slipping beneath him.

He snapped towards Dean and gripped his wrist on instinct as they fell. His wings were frozen in shock as they descended into black. He did, however, wrap them around the both of them as protection at last minute, Dean's soul pressed against his vessel, colder than an actual body would be.

Castiel felt winded when he met the ground, a crack resounding in his ear as pain flared through his wing. He hissed with pinched brows before he relaxed, a soft whimper escaping his lips.

"Why did you-" Dean didn't bother finished his sentence as he slipped from Castiel's arms. He was used to pain, why would the Angel be bothered with saving him. Then again he was an angel, apparently.

Castiel sat up with a grunt, hand moving to his injured wing. He couldn't leave hell without flying up to gateway between hell and earth. They were stuck until his grace and time healed his wing. He felt disappointing failure curl deep in his chest. Is this what vessels made you feel? His lungs felt crushed with the emotion and his eyes burned. He blinked away the shame.

"You okay?" Dean questioned hesitantly.

"Yes and no. Yes, physically I will be fine in a few hours, but no because we can not escape without my wings." He sighed, grooming dust out of his wings.

"Human hours?"

"I would figure so."

"So, days actually. At least, it feels that way."

"It is not a feeling, it is fact. Time in hell is slower then on earth." He admitted, wincing when he flexed his wing.

"Don't move, you broke a bone, right? You have to give it time to rest and mend." Dean insisted and Castiel blinked in slight surprise. He didn't think the rough and ragged man would be so kind as to help him. He must truly be the Righteous Man like Michael said.

"You aren't mad." He observed more then questioned, confused. Those in hell were usually filled with negative emotions, yet this man seemed rational...Maybe because he was used to feeling negative but pulling through. That thought made it hard for him to swallow properly.

"It can't be helped. We'll just have to hide and wait it out." Dean stood from his crouch and shrugged. That only confirmed the Angels thoughts. When the man offered his hand to him, he gripped the palm tightly and pulled himself up. Dean straightened him up when pain shot through his wing, making him stagger into the scent of musk, oil and crackling fire. For a strange reason, it reminded him of the autistic mans heaven when it changed to Autumn on the rare occasion. Almost calming and homely.

Sadly, Dean removed any contact between them once he was steady on his feet, looking around. They were on a gravel crossroad near a shabby and damaged cabin. From the projecting feelings of dread from Dean, he figured it must be one of Dean's hells.

"Crossroad...which means demons. We have to hide!" He said urgently, leading the angel away from the gravel roads and towards the cabin. Castiel's wing burned with pain, but he kept tightlipped and bore it. His grace wouldn't be able to mend it directly, he would have to wait for it to heal itself. Dean ushered the angel into the cabin and closed the door behind them, swatting away cobwebs before he searched around for salt, before realising-

"Of course hell doesn't have salt! Son of a bitch." Castiel grimaced at his tone and the underlying anger that rippled along the room. "Look like we'll just have to...use our fists if attacked?" He looked down at his scrapped and abused knuckles with downcast gaze. "Yeah..." He mumbled. Castiel watched him kick at the wooden floor of the cabin and sighed quietly.

"Do not fret, Dean. I will protect you if needs be. You are to return unharmed to the surface." He reassured.

"Unharmed, that's hilarious." Dean scoffed. "Little late, don't you think?" He snapped and Castiel felt his own frustration build at the disrespect.

"Are you suggesting something?"

"Yeah, the fact that God didn't save me earlier, only when he needed me. Selfish bastard, why bother getting me unharmed when I'm already mentally fuck-" Dean was surprised when a hand gripped around his throat, not choking, simply lifting him off his feet. The Angels eyes burned with a icy blue flame at Dean's words.

"Do not speak in doubt and fury, you should be praising Father's mercy. You may be needed, but I can always leave you here just a while longer, Winchester." Castiel growled and Dean swallowed thickly, fingernails pressing into the flesh of the hands grasping his neck. "Or leave you down here in the pit forever."

Dean nodded slightly, loosening his nails bite as Castiel let him go to feet staggering gently. Castiel took to sitting down by the wall, resting his wing gently against it. He felt Dean's bewildered gaze and looked at him.

"What is it?"

"You - uh - you're really strong." He cleared his throat. "Didn't expect it." The awkwardness practically rolled off him as he turned away from the angel to look outside the dusty window, letting a silent sigh of relief. "It's clear." He told Castiel.

"Then you should rest. My wing will take a while." Castiel said honestly, closing his eyes but not sleeping. The pain was slowly numbing a simmer of heat.

"Rest...? Like, sleep?" The change of tone made Castiel peer one eye open and he felt his stomach flutter. Dean wore a soft smile, his top teeth pressed the lightest bit against his bottom lip and eyes alight of sad amusement.

"Yes, sleep." He answered in the silence.

"I can't remember the last time I slept...I wonder if I still can." He looked desperate for the chance to black out from the horror that was his hell.

"You can." That was a lie. Castiel didn't reveal that though. Lying was a sin, but he felt like this was the reason humans made 'white lies'. Lies to protect or make another person smile. And Dean did smile, dimples in his cheek making Castiel's lip twitch up.

"Thank god. Thanks Cas." Castiel blinked at the shortening of his name, not used to such treatment. Most Angels used their full name as it was the name given to them by their Father and it was to be respected. He knew it was a sign of friendship though for humans and he could feel emotion burst within his chest, not bothering to change the others words.

"You're welcome." He saw the green eyed man strip off his jacket and bunch it up to use as support for his head. The moment Dean closed his eyes, resting on his side and curled into himself like a child, he closed his own and focused on his grace. He knew it would mean he would be in hell longer, but if it eased the Righteous Man's conscious, that was alright.

He brushed his finger tips along Dean's face, temple to his jaw, gentle and soft as he sent the man into a forced sleep. He grunted when the numbing effect on his wing dimmed and brought a stinging heat to the appendages. He bit his lip and bared the pain until it faded once more, his eyes gazing over at the hell-damned man as he rested.

"Sleep well, dear Righteous Man."

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