The angel knew four things: his body was wet, his body was cold, the ground smelled like home, and it was very, very dark.
There were more things, endless things, that he didn't know. Wouldn't be able to tell anyone if he was asked. How long he'd been here, for example. When he'd found himself out of the water and curled up on the shore. How he'd survived. Why he was alone. Why he couldn't hear his brothers and sisters far away behind the sky.
Every once in a while he forgot who he was, exactly, and panicked until it came back to him.
He knew he was alive, at least, but he couldn't remember how to move. Everything hurt, a blazing and endless agony, so fiery and searing that he could almost forget it.
He'd seen creatures in this kind of pain before. He knew that most of them simply lay back and let it kill them for a moment of peace, but he couldn't for the life of him remember how to die.
His body was wet, and from what he could tell—in the lucid moments between flares of angry aching—it was naked, as well, and the angel couldn't bring himself to care.
His body was cold; he could feel the grass tickling the gooseflesh on his vessel's arms. Bitter cold and bitter pain and perfect agony.
The ground smelled like home, and it took him what felt like days to realise that home meant a long black car and two boys , and it took him what felt like another week to realise that the water on his cheeks was different from the water that lapped at his feet. It was salty. Tears , the word was. Weeping .
It was very, very dark.
The angel lay in the mud on the shore of the public water reservoir, face-down in the dirt. His breath was shallow; every rise-and-fall of his ribs made it feel as if they were cracking, little by little. After a long time he identified the scent of blood mixed with the smell of the ground and realised later that the blood must be his.
He wanted to scream and rake at his body to cast off the itch and the stabbing in his wounds, but his arms and legs and hips and neck refused to move. He screamed inside his skull instead, long and howling.
He screamed a name. Dean . Over and over until it lost any meaning.
The angel knew four things, and he knew one more: that if he was alone for much longer, he would die here. Flicker out and fade away like a candle flame. Snuffed. Whispered away.
Perhaps he slept.
When the air changed, he barely registered it. The mud had dried to the side of his face—he felt it pulling at his flesh, another itch to agonise over—and, blissfully, the feeling had fled from his fingers and toes. Inch by inch of relief. Of course, it only made the fire more torrential everywhere else.
The angel didn't comprehend that anything was different until he heard, very distantly, as if a thousand miles away, the slamming of a car door. A long black car . And then feet on gravel, and the clanking of the chain link fence, and a long pause hanging over the wind, the bitter cold wind, and then a hoarse voice shouting out over the endless repetition of the water:
My name , he thought, far back in the darkness, and when he felt the warm calloused hands on his cold, cold body, he finally let himself drift into unconsciousness. Beautiful, painless, and blissful.
The darkness didn't change.