A pocket out of time
I don't own Supernatural. Quotes from “Swan song” are used with deep gratitude to the show's writers.
The moment Castiel was killed, Dean remembered everything: about dying, about Hell, about Cas.
Deep in the bowels of Hell, Dean had been a favorite of Alastair's, both as his torture victim and as his
assistant. Dean had been kept isolated from the other inhabitants of Hell. Others had been forbidden
to mess with him.
As Alastair's assistant, Dean had earned a few perks. One perk was a small bottle of demon-made
liquor. Even though he no longer had a physical body, a part of his Hell seemed to be that his soul
responded as if he did have one. For a few few short hours after each work shift the booze would help
him forget the horror and pain he inflicted on others. Dean knew that he was dependent on the
alcohol but figured an addiction was the least of his problems. The bottle would refill itself while
Dean put in a full shift of torturing souls.
Dean had just chugged down the last of his bottle when Hell literally shook. A dozen brightly glowing
angels invaded his cell. In one split second, one of the angels grabbed Dean and transitioned out of his
cell to elsewhere before he could blink.
The angels were chased and attacked by countless demons. All the other angels provided cover for
Dean and his angel. One by one, the squad of angels was destroyed except for the angel carrying Dean
and one protector. The last protector angel was killed as they crossed the boundary of Hell. Dean's
mind was cocooned during the journey. He slept through the whole battle.
Dean and his angel stopped in a safe place of nothingness partway between Heaven and Hell. The
angel took the time to remake the environment into something not only recognizable to a human but
something that would be a comfort to Dean Winchester personally. Of course, the angel needed
information to do so and the quickest way to get the information was to peek into Dean's mind.
The angel got the information. Next, the angel created a quiet lakeside retreat. He surrounded Dean
with sensory comforts and a cabin in the quiet woods. Dean's car, the Impala, was parked next to the
When the setting was just right, the angel took a longer look at Dean Winchester, The Righteous
Man. He seemed to be just an ordinary man who was oblivious to the workings of Father in his daily
This was the man on whom the fate of countless billions rested? The angel shook his head. At the
present moment, his spiritual body looked like that of a dirty and pain ravaged child. Father, help me to
Though Father had not been seen in Heaven for a while, this angel believed that the continued presence
of miracles, especially in human lives, spoke loudly that Father was still around. Dean was still
unconscious. A human could not deal with seeing an angel's true form. He took another quick peek
into Dean's sleeping mind and found an image of an angel from a form of visual entertainment media
that Dean found comforting. The angel changed his appearance to that of a older male named Clarence.
The angel laid two fingers on Dean's non-corporeal forehead and recreated Dean's physical body atom. Dean's spirit remained unaware as. Following his instructions literally, the angel recreated completely and accurately including the angel's vivid mark on Dean where he had grabbed Dean's spiritual body. Satisfied, the angel stood back and waited.
Dean woke sitting in a beach chair facing the lake and the Impala to his right. He looked around and saw an old man standing near him facing the lake. The man turned to face Dean and attempted to produce a smile.
“Are you God?” Dean knew he had died and went to Hell.
“You look familiar. Like from that Christmas movie that is on every freaking Christmas. If you're not God, are you an angel?”
“Yes I am. My name is Castiel and I am an Angel of the Lord.” Dean took a few minutes to silently think about that. Castiel was willing to remain silent for as long as it took Dean to understand the new information.
Dean's memories of his rescue was a jumble of lights, sounds, sensations that ended abruptly. And then suddenly he was awake, aware and alive again next to a tranquil lake. He examined his body. It looked exactly as his old one before the Hell hounds used it as a chew toy.
“Why am I here?'
“This is just a brief time and place for you to be healed before returning to Earth for your real work.” Castiel spoke simply, almost woodenly. The concern in his voice, however was genuine.
“Is Sam OK?”
“He is alive.”
Dean didn't know what to say next. Hell, he wasn't even sure of what he was feeling. He looked around. The car was clean and freshly waxed. It gleamed and seemed to grin like a puppy just awake from a nap but ready and eager to go for a romp. He smiled as he listened to the birds in the trees and watched the fish jump in the lake.
Castiel had done a good job of healing his body, Dean thought. I feel good. Beyond good. It felt like the buzz that comes after a good pitcher of beer. It felt like the best sex he'd ever had. Even just breathing felt as wonderful as foreplay. This was what living was supposed to feel like. It felt like he could actually touch the knowledge that he was Loved.
Loved? The angel? No frigging way. Dean's thoughts flew away from angels, sex and love.
“No, Dean. You are loved, not that way. The Love you received can feel highly sensual. Because of human limitations the sensations are often miss-understood as sensual.”
Dean took a long look at the angel who rescued him from Hell. He saw nothing in his eyes except
patience, acceptance and a willingness to help him in any way the angel had to power to help. So Dean
spoke from his heart about many things: about his brother, vague memories of his mother, the tough
love from his Dad.
At last, Dean spoke about his time in Hell. How he had lost so many he loved and in Hell he finally
lost himself. He knew how close he came to becoming a demon. A single tear raced down Dean's
face. The dam finally burst and tears flowed without end for quite a while.
Dean's sobbing shook the serenity of Castiel's soul down to it's foundation. He felt in Dean's pain all
the sorrow he felt at the death of so many of his brothers during Dean's rescue.
Eventually, it was time to return to Earth and the work before them both. Before returning Dean to
Earth, Castiel placed a command in Dean's mind.
“It is vital that you make free choices, Dean. You will not remember this interlude for as long as I
Dean's memory occurred in less than a second. Lucifer hit Dean the first time. In between blows,
he kept whispering comforting things to Sam, to give his brother hope and strength.
“Sammy, can you hear me?” “I'm here.” “I'm not going to leave you.”
Dean's eyes kept returning to Bobby's broken body and the fine pink mist on the dry brown
grass where Castiel had taken his last stand.
Lucifer paused during his attack on Dean, as if mesmerized by something in the car. For a moment
Dean could see that Sam was in control. Dean watched Sam toss the rings onto the grass and seconds
later fall into the pit taking Michael with him. The rings of the Four Horsemen cooled on the dry grass.
Dean, broken, bloody and on his knees, was alone in Stull Cemetery.
Castiel reappeared. With a quiet and gentle touch to Dean's face, Castiel healed all the damage from
Lucifer's beating. He was careful not to look into Dean's face too long. Castiel brought Bobby back to
Dean's eyes told Castiel that he remembered everything.