It had all happened so quickly, Sam could barely process; one minute he and Dean were sniping brotherly at each other - he's just responded with a 'jerk' to Dean's 'bitch' - and the next minute his big brother was lying unconscious in the middle of the road, blood pooling around his head. Everything passed in a blur. The paramedics carted Dean to the hospital, tried their best to revive him, and now Sam was sat at Dean's bedside; tubes coming out of every orifice possible, his breathing regulated by a machine, his steady pulse beeping on the monitor.
Sam was exhausted, his eyes were red and puffy from crying, his throat dry and hoarse.
"Come on Dean, wake up, please. Of all the ways you could die, you stupid son of a bitch, you had to get yourself run over! Wake the Hell up, Dean! Please!"
He sniffed loudly, wiping his nose on his sleeve whilst gripping Dean's hand tightly.
"Dean, come on! And where's Cas? Why isn't he here? Why's he letting you die? Please Dean!"
Dean woke up suddenly, unaware of his surroundings. He looked around what appeared to be some kind of waiting room. An empty waiting room. The cold plastic chairs were uncomfortable underneath him. Groaning, he sat up, rubbing his face.
Heart almost jumping out of his chest, Dean spun around. Castiel was stood, looking sombrely glad to see him. Dean took another glance around before rising to his feet.
"Cas? Where am I?"
Cas took a tentative step closer; "I believe you humans refer to it as Limbo."
"Um, technically, I suppose, yes. I think on Earth, you're what's called legally dead; you have no brain function. Your body is currently being kept alive in the hospital."
"Oh... I feel a 'but' coming on."
"Your soul is very much alive... I'm going to be frank, Dean. Without divine intervention, you're going to die."
"So get down there! What are you waiting for? Think about what Sammy's going through!"
Castiel frowned, stepping up to Dean, gripping his branded shoulder softly; "actually Dean, I have a proposition for you."
Sam had finally succumbed to his exhaustion, his face smushed in to Dean's lifeless arm as he snored softly. He was jolted awake by the heart monitor beeping frantically - suddenly the room was full of doctors and nurses, heaving on Dean's chest, shouting medical nonsense at each other as a pink-scrubbed woman tried to usher Sam away from Dean's bed, promising it'll all be okay, they're doing everything they can. Sam was too terrified, tired, and confused to ask questions or even panic. Only when he heard Dean flat-line and caught a glimpse of the defibrillator paddles did his brain catch up. A security guard appeared and held Sam back as he tried to barge back in.
Sam called to his brother and tried to break out of the guard's grip whilst doctors tried to shock Dean's heart back in to beating, eventually giving up. Sam continued to shout incoherently as the doctor called time of death, switched off the heart monitor and covered Dean with a blanket. On his way out, he gave Sam a sympathetic look, apologising for his loss before leaving. The guard let go of Sam, letting him rush to Dean's side, grabbing his hand as he sobbed in to the covering blanket.
"You stupid, stupid son of a bitch! You stupid..."
He slumped fully over Dean's dead body, his eyes refusing to stop crying, his head pounding, hard and painful, his throat hurting like a bitch from all the shouting and crying.
"How could you, Dean? You said you'd always be here for me! I've watched you die once, you can't do this to me!"
His body shuddered as he struggled to breathe. He'd almost cried himself in to unconsciousness when Dean sat bolt upright, heaving in a deep breath. Sam jumped from his seat, crying out in alarm as his supposed-to-be-dead brother sat panting, ripping IV drips from his arms.
A guilty smile spread across Dean's face; "hey, Sammy."
"I'm better than that, I'm-"
Dean was cut short by a sharp punch to the face, which if anything hurt Sam the most. Dean sat unphased as Sam cradled his hand as if he'd just punched a wall.
Dean swung his legs off the bed, standing up; "I was going to say... I'm... Well... I'm an angel, Sam."
The younger Winchester gaped in a mixture of horror and disbelief as the cuts and bruises disappeared from Dean's visible skin, his clothes suddenly lacking in blood.
"What? But how? Dean!"
Dean smirked and pushed Sam to sit down on the bed, standing in front of him; "Cas."
"An Angel? You want me to become an angel?"
Castiel nodded; "yes, Dean. It's uncommon but it's not unheard of... It hasn't happened in thousands of years."
Dean eyed Cas suspiciously; "and you want to make me one?"
"Yes! Dean! Please!"
Castiel took Dean's arm; "why not, Dean? Angels are powerful creatures, we can't be killed by most things, we're immortal! You'll be able to look after Sam much better as an angel You'll... Be with me. You could see my wings."
Dean sighed, rubbing his forehead; "but why me, Cas? You said this hasn't been done in forever, why me? And, why not just heal me?"
"I pulled strings, Dean. I went so out of my way to make this happen, I called in favours, did deeds to have more favours to call in... Please Dean, please say you'll do it... You worry me as a human. You're so fragile, any moment you could die - like now!"
"...What about Sam?"
"What about him? I'm sure he could join you if and when he's ready... My father wouldn't plan on separating you two."
Dean began pacing, trying to ignore Cas' stare boring in to him; "I don't know, Cas. You seem to only want this so we can spend eternity together."
"Dean. You won't be like a normal angel. You'll have your feelings, your emotions, your memories... You'll be bound to the word of God, but it's not imperative you follow, I think I set a fair example of that... You'll still be you, Dean. But-"
Dean let out a long breath, turning to look at Cas; "...How does it work?"
Castiel smiled, a full, almost teeth-bearing smile, closing the distance between himself and Dean, taking his hand; "God shall be here soon. He has to be the one to turn you."
Dean's eyebrows flew up in to his hair-line; "God? I get to meet the big guy? He... He's real?"
Castiel chuckled - Dean almost fainted from how out of character the angel was; "yes, Dean. In fact, you've already met him."
Dean gaped; "you... What? ...Are you freaking..."
He stopped mid-sentence when he felt a hot burning sensation on his chest. Cas watched him confoundedly as he made pained noises, shifting his weight from one foot to the other.
"Shit! What the-"
He stopped when Cas gripped Dean's shoulder tightly, reaching under his collar and pulling his amulet from around his neck, it was glowing dimly. Another smile spread across Cas' face.
Before Dean could ask who, the doubles doors on the far left side of the waiting room flew open, a blinding white light shining through. A silhouetted figure walked towards them, Cas still smiling as Dean shielded his eyes. The doors finally closed; Dean lowered his arm, getting a good look at God. He began choking on his own spit.
"Chuck? Are you freaking kidding me?"
Chuck smiled; "hello Dean."
"You! You, are God?"
Chuck looked down over himself before shrugging, looking up at Dean earnestly; "I suppose I am. Yes."
"I should punch you until-"
Castiel grabbed Dean's arm; "Dean, stop!"
Chuck smiled; "it's ok, Castiel. I have a lot to answer for, especially to Dean."
"So what, all's well and good now? And you're going to turn me in to an angel?"
"So long as you want to."
Dean sighed and looked up at Cas, wishing the answer was written on his face; "...I don't know... I won't become one of your play-things, will I?"
"Oh, no, of course not. Not for a couple of millennia at least! Castiel will show you the ropes of being an angel."
"Show me the ropes? Like this is some kind of career change?"
Chuck laughed; "well, it is somewhat... Please Dean, I am very busy."
Dean let out a deep breath, screwing his eyes shut tightly; "...okay-yes!"
"Good. Well. Take a seat."
He motioned to the plastic chairs; Dean hesitantly went over, sitting on the edge. Chuck smiled.
"No, Dean, get as comfy as possible, because, this might sting... A lot..."
Dean pushed himself back in his seat; "what are you going to do?"
He began to get wary when Chuck rolled up his sleeves. He looked to Castiel for reassurance.
"Short version, I'm going to turn your soul in to grace."
"And-and the long version?"
"Eh, it's a bit complicated, now..."
Cas suddenly unbuckled his belt, stalking towards to Dean, holding it up; "bite on this."
Dean nodded, biting down on the black leather; Castiel shuffled behind Dean's chair, taking his hands and pulled them around his back, holding them in place.
"Try not to struggle too much, Dean. You might dislocate or break your arms, and well, that'd be a whole load more painful."
Sam stared at Dean in disbelief; "he just took your soul out and, played with it?"
Dean nodded; "then stuck it back in me, and... I just felt different. It feels... Good."
"So what about your body?"
"This? This is just a vessel, a sexy one at that."
Sam threw at pillow at his brother's head; "Dean! Be serious for a moment! It's not every day my only family dies and returns as a freaking angel of the Lord!"
Dean sighed; "ok... Well, obviously I wasn't created the same way most angels are. I already had a body, but as an angel I couldn't just inhabit it, I had to get permission."
Sam scowled; "you had to get permission from yourself?"
"You bet, he didn't give it up easily, either."
"All right! Sheesh! Look, Sammy, all I know is Cas pulled some major strings to do this, and I'm an angel now... I'm never leaving you Sam, I'll be able to look out for you, forever! And I won't die on the job either."
"...Can you fall?"
"I don't think so... But Sam, isn't this amazing! I'm your guardian angel!"
Sam sighed; "I don't know Dean... It's a lot to take in."
"Yeah, I know... But dude, I... I got to see Cas' wings, I saw his true form! And... He's beautiful, Sammy. Not in the girly 'oh he's so pretty' I mean... Like literally breath-taking, the way you describe stars or, nature... He's... I can't even describe him, Sam... He's like a million constellations of the brightest stars... He's so bright and awesome! In the original sense of the word, he is awe-inspiring!"
Sam couldn't help but smile; "wow Dean... You've got it bad."
"Oh shut up... At least I'm not corrupting him any more!"
"No Dean, you really are..."