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Skin To Bone

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Castiel stumbled through the door and mumbled something incoherently under his breath. The angel was at his wits end. He believed in Dean more than anyone or anything that existed in their world. To see Dean throwing away his fight broke his faith...and his heart. If this was the end of the world, he never wanted to endure it. At least not while sober. He couldn't sit by and watch Dean willingly agree to become Michael's vessel. All the sacrifices Castiel made for Dean seemed to slowly slip away down the drain.

"Cas?" Dean called out as he turned from his bag on the bed. He was packing while Sam headed up the street to pick up some supplies. "Hey man, you okay? You don't look so hot." He murmured as he walked over to the angel and tried to steady the swaying man.

Castiel growled and slapped away Dean's hand. "I wonder why, Dean. I wonder why I do not look so okay." He stumbled again and Dean grabbed on to his shoulders to help. "Let go!" Castiel fought.

Dean raised a brow at the light stench of alcohol that was emitting from his friend. "You've been drinking? Cas, I think you're drunk..."

Castiel rolled his eyes and tried to get his balance under control; easier said than done. "I am not drunk, Dean. I’m fine."

"Yeah sure, it must be a little of the holy juice rushing through your veins.” He huffed and loosened his grip on Castiel’s wrists. “Why in the hell were you drinking?" He asked, pulling him over to the bed. Before he knew it, he was shoved back towards the mattress and Castiel was tossing punches.

"CAS! WHAT THE HELL?!" Dean shouted as he blocked a few of the punches to his face. It was sudden and actually caught him off guard. Castiel was doing so good after he returned from Purgatory. He wasn’t sure what was going on in Castiel’s head now but he knew that the angel was definitely living in the past.

"I RISKED EVERYTHING FOR YOU, DEAN. EVERYTHING!" Castiel yelled. He had finally snapped.

"Cas, stop!"

"I believed in you! I rebelled against my father...against my brothers and sisters. For you. FOR YOU, DEAN." Castiel drew his arm back to throw another punch but Dean grabbed his wrist and swiftly flipped their position.

"CAS!" He pinned the angel’s arms above his head against the wall. "Relax, Cas! You're drunk."

Castiel glared up at him. He couldn't fathom this emotion that was swelling up inside of him. He wasn't even sure if it was anger that he was feeling. It was mostly disappointment and hope eating away at his sanity. Dean was his shining light in the darkened cave. Hearing him talk about giving himself up to Michael made him weak inside. Weaker than he'd ever felt before. "Why are you giving up, Dean? After all we've done and everything we’ve been through together? After all we've given up?" He whispered softly.

Dean stared down at him. How was he to answer that? He was confused- well Castiel was the confused one. "Cas, I--" He couldn't do this. "Cas, I didn't. We beat Lucifer, Michael, and the Leviathans."

He closed his eyes and heavily sighed. He wasn't thinking straight because he had Naomi in his head manipulating what he thought. She was making it seem like Lucifer was scrambling memories and making him see things that weren't there. The alcohol wasn't helping either.

Dean didn't know what to say from there. He understood the effects that were going to happen after Purgatory but he wasn’t so sure that’s what was happening. He was in an unbearable quandary. "I'm sorry Cas but that was little over a year ago. Don't you remember taking the memories from Sam? And you and I…in Purgatory?"

Castiel wanted to just kick and thrash until he was loose but he just kept still, staring up at Dean. What was happening? "Sorry. I'm sorry." He was slowly losing his mind. The worst memories were becoming his living nightmares. The apocalypse, him breaking the wall in Sam’s head, the mistake of assuming the position as God. Everything was coming back to him and it hurt.

Dean released his grip on the angel and fixed his shirt. There was nothing else to say. All he could do was continue to remind Castiel that Lucifer was altering his mind and that everything was going to be okay.

Castiel eyes drifted over Dean's expression. "Dean," he whispered. "I don't remember. Why can't I remember?"

Dean froze there, lips parted but his words consumed by his thoughts. "Cas, before you remember anything we need to get you sobered up. Come on." He backed away from Castiel and pulled the angel off of the wall. He was trying to keep calm because freaking out wouldn’t help at all. Something was wrong because the day before Castiel was fine and suddenly he was unraveling. He would get to the bottom of it but one step at a time.

"Where are we going?"

Dean reached over and grabbed him by the collar of the beige trench coat. "You'll see." He said with a soft smile. The first time he smiled in a while and it actually meant something. He ended up leading Castiel out to the Impala. Opening the door, he shoved his angel into the passenger seat then moved over to the driver’s side and started the car. "Just relax and detox. The ride is for you." He sent a quick text to Sam letting him know he would be gone for a while and would call him when he got back.

After a few hours had passed they arrived at the psychiatric ward where it all began. They snuck in of course but Dean managed to get them to the room Sam was kept in. "Try to focus, Cas. This is where you took everything from Sammy's head. You fixed him, you fixed my brother. "

Castiel looked around the room. Everything thing looked so familiar but it was making his head hurt. "Dean I’m the reason why he needed to be fixed..." He grabbed at his head. "I can't. I'm sorry." He disappeared.

"Cas! Damn it."

Dean left the ward and headed back to the Impala. Before he could open the door he spotted Castiel in the passenger’s seat.

"I keep ending up here in your car, Dean." Castiel honestly looked like a lost puppy. His memories were warped and he didn’t know what had really happened and what was fabricated in his mind.

Dean slid behind the wheel and looked over to his friend. "I want to help, Cas."

"I remember some of it. I'm so sorry for everything, Dean." He liked it better when most of it didn’t make sense. He was having flash backs to his reign as God and it was ripping him apart inside. He killed so many people, so many angels. He destroyed his bond with Dean and released the Leviathans. “I can’t forgive myself. I’ve wrecked so much havoc on this world.” He frowned and clutched at his head. He was finding it hard to focus. With Naomi yelling and forcing him to remember he couldn’t properly function at the moment.

Castiel thought it was his brother keeping the memories locked away to torture those around him but in reality, Naomi was the one who wanted to bring the past out. Knowing what he did to his friends and to his brothers and sisters was more mentally agonizing than anything and she knew that well. Castiel was getting close to figuring out what she had been doing and she needed to slow him down.

“I don’t know why I was brought back again. I didn’t deserve to be spared, Dean.”

“Cut out that self-loathing crap. I need you here fully functional, Cas.”

Castiel turned his sights on Dean. “Of all the people I didn’t expect you to comment on someone self-loathing.”

Dean just stared at him for a moment before getting out of the car. He pulled Castiel out and shoved him against the Impala. “Cas you need to snap out of it. I don’t know what’s going on with you but you need to wake up!”

Castiel looked at him with wide eyes. More memories were coming to light in his head. “S-Samandriel…” He whispered, eyes starting to water. “Dean…I killed him. He wasn’t supposed to die. I killed him!”

Dean just stood there in front of the angel. He was starting to think it would have been better to keep Castiel’s memories locked away. When Castiel was pulled out of Purgatory, he was definitely different. He had so much weight on his shoulders and immense pain in his heart. And now he felt helpless because his friend was crying. He didn’t deal well with people crying in front of him.

Still, this wasn’t just anyone. This was Castiel. He reached out and pulled him close, wrapping his arms tightly around the angel. “Damn it Cas, don’t do this to me.”

Castiel buried his face against Dean’s chest, tears staining his t-shirt as he sobbed. Everything was happening so fast and so many emotions were slipping from his grasp.

“You can’t blame yourself forever.” Dean cooed, as his hand slipped up Castiel’s back and through dark brown hair. Dean couldn’t explain this but all he knew was that he wanted to make him feel better. He wanted to take away the suffering and show Castiel that it did get better.

“How can you forgive me? You know what I’ve done, Dean.”

“And I forgave you. Ugh, regardless of the crap you did…I can’t just- you know stay pissed at you…” He was struggling with explaining this to him. Dean wasn’t one to share how he felt. He just brushed it off, buried it, and kept moving but Castiel was in dire need to hear it. “Like I said before Cas, you’re important to me and I- I love you man.” His hand dropped to Castiel’s lower back and he felt his heart thump against his chest. What was going on?

When Castiel lifted his head to lock eyes with Dean a faint ringing could be heard from the car. It was Sam calling Dean’s phone. He was getting worried.

Dean wanted to ignore it because the only thing on his mind was Cas. He couldn’t turn his gaze away from the angel. He brought his free hand up to Castiel’s face and wiped the tears from the angel’s cheek with his thumb. “Son of a bitch…” He grumbled as he leaned down slightly. He couldn’t believe what he was doing.

Before he knew it, his lips were pressed against Castiel’s.