I hated it when Dean had nightmares. They were natural, with the lives that we led there was no reason for us not to have nightmares. I'm surprised mine have subsided at all. There was nothing supernatural about them, they couldn't hurt him, they were dreams.
But I knew exactly what Dean was dreaming about. It was Hell. It was all that Dean ever dreamed about, now that he was out and it was something that I could do nothing about. I couldn't wake Dean up, Cas had tried that and been attacked for his efforts. So I had to sit there, sit and watched as my brother was tortured, or torturing, in his sleep, and I could do nothing about it.
Well, there may have been something I could do. I pulled out my cell phone and called the nerdy little angel.
"Cas?" I whispered, "It's Dean, he's having one of his nightmare flashbacks. Could you wake him up?"
"Where are you?" Cas's voice sounded even more gruff than usual.
"Uh, the Luxury Motel in Bristol, Tennessee. Room 146."
Cas sat on the edge of Dean's bed as he hung up his phone, looking down on the sweating, squirming human. Cas didn't seem to be fairing well himself and he was sitting oddly, as if he were hiding something, not sitting straight as rock like usual.
"You okay?" I asked, still being quiet.
Cas only nodded and that couldn't have been good. There was something wrong and he was a horrible liar. He wouldn't look at me, his eyes stuck on Dean's wild face. Dean was cursing under his breath.
"Cas, what's going on?"
"Your brother is having flashbacks of Hell. You know this."
"You know that's not what I'm talking about."
Cas shrugged, extremely humanly. Then he turned and I could see the expression on his face. It wasn't often that he showed any emotion, it wasn't like he was really good at feeling things, but there was a readable expression there.
He was scared.
"Sam, I would like to apologize." He started. I couldn't take my eyes off of him, whatever he was apologizing for, it was big. What had he done? "I did not come here alone."
He shifted and that's when I saw what he was hiding. His shirt was bloody and sticking to him awkwardly, the white of it destroyed.
"What happened?" I demanded.
His fingers were trembling as he unbuttoned his shirt, pulling it open so I could see. There was a sigil carved into his gut, a circle with Enochian symbols inside.
"They marked me. Now they can find me until I am fully capable of healing." He explained.
"Well, can't you heal now?"
"This was done with an Angel blade. It will take time."
We stood there, staring at one another. Here he was but he was betraying us. I'm sure he didn't mean to, he'd only come because I called him, but he wasn't fixing Dean and he knew that he was being followed.
"What do you plan to do?" I asked
"I have a plan. It will take a lot of my energy though and I need your full cooperation."
"It doesn't seem that you gave us much choice."
Again, silence and staring. So this is what Dean must have felt like every time he tried to talk to Cas. I just wanted him to tell me what was happening, what he was planning. It didn't look like he would be sharing that information with me though.
The fear was gone from his face when he finally took his eyes away from mine, looking back over at Dean. "They're here." He grumbled.
And then they were. Five angels, all standing around Cas, with their blades drawn. None of them looked happy. Cas stood, between the angels and us, leaving me direct access to the door.
"Take your brother outside as fast as you can." He ordered, "Go Sam, now!"
I didn't have to be told twice but what could I do? I couldn't risk waking Dean up, then we'd have two big issues on our hands. Cas didn't seem to care about that and, really, getting killed by angels was a bit more pressing. I grabbed Dean and threw him over my shoulder, hearing a few soft grumbles but otherwise he didn't stir. I hurried towards the door, the angels approaching Cas slowly. I looked over my shoulder one last time before heading out into the night. The angels were almost upon Cas and he just stared at them emotionlessly. Then, as if completely planned, he collapsed.
I ran. The angels didn't even bother with him, they just chased after me. I couldn't stop. I ran, taking three steps at a time down the stairs and over to the Impala. I threw Dean, a bit more roughly than I would have liked, into the backseat and took the driver's seat myself.
The angels were on us, way too close for comfort. I shoved the key into the ignition and slammed down on the gas, peeling away as we rushed away from them. There were four of them, not five. Looks like one of them had stopped to kill Cas after all.
Cas was their brother, maybe they'd care too much about him to kill him? But no, that wasn't likely. He'd had to kill his brothers, lots of them, to assure that we'd be safe. No way were they going to spare him if he was in their way. He was dead, he had to be. I should have done something, grabbed him too when he collapsed (what was that, anyway?) and pulled him out, but I didn't, I didn't even stop. What kind of dick was I to leave him there?
No. I couldn't think about that. I had to keep focused. Where could we go? Where could we go where the angels wouldn't follow us? Sure, we were protected, those Enochian symbols on our ribs, but they would still be hunting us down, still be trying to kill us, possibly more ferociously than before.
I ended up stopping alongside the road between towns. We couldn't get inside a town, too many people; someone might recognize us and call the whole of the host on us. No, we would be safer out here.
I shook Dean, he still wasn't waking up. Something was wrong.
Hell. It's terrifying, even to angels. I do not like to return here, but it is a better arena than on Earth, where civilians may get damaged. That was not something I had been concerned with before. Not only would Hell be safer, but a dream of Hell, that was safer still.
Dean was lying on a rack, chained to it, and it was pulling, ripping his limbs off slowly. I couldn't pay attention to that. It had already happened a long time ago. He was screaming in pain, yes, but it was just noise, combined with the other screams of Hell.
Four of my brothers circled me, looking for the best place to strike. They were distracted though. They had not come with me into the real Hell, this was all new to them. They were shaking. Maybe they thought this whole place was real. It gave me an advantage.
"Leave, now." I offered, "I do not wish to hurt you."
Carlian, who was a little bit older than I, charged me at that. His stroke was wide and I parried it easily before knocking my blade upward, pushing it into his chest. It hurt to kill my brothers, but it seemed necessary. They never stopped wanting to kill me. Was I the only one who cared for the concept of family?
With him down the other three knew that they couldn't fight me one on one. I had two blades now, Carlian's and my own and I was almost as good at fighting left handed as I was right. The three of them charged me at once but David, who had once been my superior, was blocked off by a massive demon that was walking past. The demon noticed us, as Dean did, in that one singular moment. The dream was changed. Demons don't like angels and surely Dean had seen many of us ripped to pieces when we had come to claim him. That was what happened here. The dream demons rushed my brothers, swinging torture devices and tearing into them.
I grabbed Dean, two fingers to his temple and we were gone, leaving them in one dream as we entered another.
This dream was one that Dean enjoyed. I had caught snippets of it before, but I had never seen the whole thing. John was gone, off hunting a Rugaru, and Sam was still very small. They were at Bobby's back before Bobby had a beard and a wheelchair and he was teaching Dean how to cook a real meal. Most of the time it was just spaghetti-o's and cereal, but here they were peeling potatoes and placing them around a large chicken, getting it ready for baking.
It was probably a private dream and I knew that Dean did not like me seeing into his head so I was going to leave, return to my vessel in the real world.
"I don't think the chicken's big enough." Dean noted, looking over at the plump bird, "Cas you're going to eat with us too, right?"
I stood, not sure how to act. I do not eat, but I felt as if denying Dean what he's dreaming to be impolite. So I nodded.
"Pull on up, boy." Bobby instructed and I joined them at the counter, "We need some onions cut so we can bake them to. You know how to do it?"
"I believe I can figure it out." I informed.
There was a figure in the darkness and he was carrying something. I didn't like the look of him, or of what he was carrying. He bent forward and rapped on the window. I rolled it down, just a crack.
"Sam Winchester?" the angel asked.
"What did you do to Cas?" I demanded.
"This?" he motioned to the unconscious angel in his arms, "He did this himself."
"He did that too."
I swallowed. Why should I trust this guy? For all I knew he was lying and he had done this to both of them.
"How did you find us?"
"Castiel here. I have him, I can find you."
"That doesn't make any sense."
He dropped Cas to the ground, just letting go and Cas bounced lightly on the cement, hitting his head on the dark road. There was an angel blade in his hand and he aimed it at me, the blade right in my face.
"He thought it would be a good idea to hide out in Dean's nightmare. The others followed him. I'm afraid that they are all very dead now. That just leaves me. Wake your brother up."
"I can't. Believe me, I tried."
The blade came even closer and I finally realized that the glass of the Impala window was gone.
"You can now. They are in a peaceful dream."
I reached back and shook Dean. His eyes slowly opened, "hmm, Sammy?" he groggily questioned, "Where are we? Where's the bed?"
The blade retracted from my face and I could feel relief wash over me. I wasn't going to die. Dean was awake. But where was Cas? Surely he would have gotten out when Dean woke up, wouldn't he?
There was a scream and we both turned, seeing the angel kneeling down over Cas, shoving his angel blade deep into his gut. It wasn't a vital blow but Cas had moved slightly as he reentered his vessel and took his opponent off guard.
Dean opened the door, slamming it into the angel and knocking him off of Castiel. The angel was clutching at the blade in the gut, trying to pull it out but it seemed to hurt him terribly. I rushed out of the vehicle after Dean who was stomping on the angel's head. It wasn't doing much other than keeping the bastard busy.
I grabbed the blade in Cas's gut and looked at him. His face was contorted in pain but he was nodding, telling me to pull it out. I did and a blinding light cut into the darkness. Sometimes I forget that that is what is inside of the vessel and now it was bleeding out. Cas's mouth was open and it was pouring out of his eyes and mouth as well.
In the new light I was able to see our opponent and I ran to him, plunging the blade deep into his ribs. The angel's Grace came out as Cas's was fighting to do and it was even brighter. He stopped moving as a pair of large wings were burned into the road.
Dean turned back to Cas, holding him in his arms. He had one hand on Cas's gut, applying pressure to the wound. A lot of the Grace had faded away from his face, but it still looked like Cas was trying to keep it inside of him. The silhouette of his wings was smoking on the cement.
"Come on, Cas." Dean was muttering and I had to focus on his words to hear them at all, "We're going to make a chicken, remember? You're in charge of the onions. You can't go now."
I had no idea what he was talking about until I remembered what the angel had said. They were in a peaceful dream now. Maybe they were cooking a chicken in it. I hope they actually do get to cook one. It had been years since I'd had a good chicken.