A/N:

This is my first fic ever, actually this is the first time I write a story in my life, so please be forgiving

Also, I have to warn you English is not my native language, so I'm apologizing in advance for all the mistakes you're gonna see

With that been said, I hope you enjoy! :)

Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural or any of its characters. Sadly :'(


"Wanna know why I didn't tell you about Ruby and how we're hunting down Lilith? Because you're too weak to go after her. You're holding me back. I'm a better hunter than you are, stronger, smarter, I can take out demons you're too scared to go near. You're too busy sitting around feeling sorry for yourself. Whining about all the souls you tortured in hell. Boohoo."

Sam's words kept playing in Dean's head. Is he really such a liability? Does his brother really feel like this towards him? Does he matter so little to the person he loves more than anything? Well, Sam's right, he's returned broken from Hell, weak, and, clearly, his brother doesn't need him anymore.

"Whining about all the souls you tortured in hell. Boohoo"

He's been fighting so hard against the horrible memories that, once again, he failed to see this. Sam's right, he's whining nonstop. "Get a grip, soldier! Stop being a wuss! Suck it up!", resonates the voice of his father in his head.

"You're holding me back"

"Yes, that's it, Dean, you're always failing everyone" a voice whispers in his head. Instead of helping save his brother, as Castiel told him to, he has accomplished zero, nada, and, on top of it all, he's being a nuisance. Great. Everything because he's too weak to endure what happened in Hell. 40 years is too long for you? Guess what? You were due for eternity, sweetheart, so be glad that it was only 40 years and get a grip! Stop feeling sorry for yourself and man the fuck up!

Lost in his thoughts, Dean started playing with his knife, lightly pressing his fingers on the blade. It was 2 AM, and, as usual, Sam was nowhere to be seen, probably out with Ruby. The blade rested comfortably in his hand, after all this was his weapon of choice for the 10 years he tortured souls in Hell. Without realizing, he pressed his thumb a little more forcefully and the blade broke skin, a drop of blood traveling down his hand. He stared dumbly at it. Blood, that's another thing he was used to, not just in Hell, but in all his life.

Gripping the knife, Dean went out the motel's door, walking to the back of the parking lot, till he reached a bench, in front of the woods, and sat down on it. Placing the blade against his forearm, he started to put pressure on it. "What is pain?", he thought, as, breaking skin, blood started to run down his arm. He should know what pain is, he was tortured for 30 years nonstop. Going deeper with the knife, more blood started flowing. "Is physical pain the worst kind of pain? Or do Sam's words take the prize?". Dying for his brother was easy, he would do it again, anytime, in the blink of an eye. Being tortured in Hell? Anything, but easy, and, at the same time, although it sure wasn't a walk in the park, it certainly was better than hearing that he basically stands lower than a demon on his brother's priority list. Yeah, Sam not needing him, not wanting him by his side, that was pain. Pressing the blade deeper, he realized it wasn't that bad, it didn't hurt so much, because pain like this he knew, was used to it, suffered for years worse injuries and, yet, he was still here. So he kept pressing the blade down, inch by inch. Maybe he should stop trying to forget Hell and start trying to remember it. He was used to take pain, used to be numb enough that it barely register until it got to a certain point. Alastair made sure he learned not just how to cause pain, but how to take it as well. "You see, Dean, only if you know, first hand, how it's like to feel real pain, that you can fully understand how to properly inflict it", the demon used to say. And there's another point: Sam has said he's using his powers for the greater good, hasn't he? Like this justifies he killing demons with his mind, because, this way, he kills the demon without harming the host. Well, Sam is not the only one to have dark abilities. Dean may not have powers, but he knows how to get answers from demons, he's really good at it in fact, so, if he makes sure the host is already dead, he can be useful too. It's time to stop feeling sorry for himself and, for once, use what he learned to the so called greater good Sam always talks about. Suddenly the blade stopped and he looked down at his arm, puzzled. The knife had reached bone and it still didn't hurt as much as Sam's words.

"You're too busy sitting around feeling sorry for yourself."

Yeah, that's right. He should be doing anything but feeling sorry for himself. He should concentrate on being numb to pain, keeping his problems to himself effectively, and, quite frankly, he should stop being reckless too, because guess what? If an injury or illness get out of hand, you become a burden. But he wants to quit fighting? Well, too bad, because he doesn't deserve to get what he wants. It's time for him to start doing whatever he has to do to try to stop the apocalypse. He has to remember everything about Hell, how he was tortured and how to be the great torturer he became down there. This way he can be useful, if not for his brother that doesn't want to have anything to do with him, than at least for human kind, and, well, he doesn't trust Heaven, but he trusts Cas, he's already noticed the angel is not a hammer, that his goal is to do the right thing, and he has proven to be a good friend too, one he can trust, so he should start working with him for a change.

"Remember Hell, remember being tortured, remember being the torturer", a voice in his mind chants. He picks up the blade again and starts carving his left arm, drawing a symbol, the one Alastair, his master, passed upon him, signaling he was finally good enough to be considered Alastair's official apprentice. Going deep enough to scar, he finishes the drawing. There. Now every time his mind tries to forget, the symbol will be there to remind him. "Remember Hell, remember being tortured, remember being the torturer".

Making his way back to the motel room, he cleans the knife and goes to the bathroom with the first aid kit. The wound where he stabbed himself is bleeding profusely so he quickly cleans and starts stitching it, then he proceeds to the mark on his arm, cleaning it well too. The cuts are deep enough to require stitches, so he has to do a job good enough just to stop the bleeding, but in a way it will leave a good scar. After getting all done, Sam still hasn't come back, but it's better this way, because then he can just go to bed and sleep without having to face his brother again so soon after the episode with the siren. He falls in a deep sleep. "Remember Hell, remember being tortured, remember being the torturer". This time, his nightmares don't hurt as much, although their content are the same. Now he can maybe even label them as just bad dreams, or, who knows, just dreams, because, in fact, they are just memories, nothing out of the ordinary, looking at the majority of his life.

The next day, as Sam announces he's gonna take a shower, Dean steps out of the room to get some fresh air and, outside, Castiel appears.

"Hello, Dean."

"Hey, Cas. How is it hanging?"

"Umm, nothing is hanging, not that I know of." Castiel says with a puzzled look.

Sighing Dean says "No, Cas, I mean how are you?"

"Oh, then I'm fine, thank you for asking."

"So? What brings you here? Is it something about the seals? Sam is taking a shower, but he'll be out soon."

"Actually, I would like to talk to you."

"Ok, go ahead."

"There is.. wait, what is that on your arm, Dean?"

"It's nothing, Cas."

"This isn't nothing, Dean." Castiel grabs Dean's arm and pulls the sleeve up, revealing the symbol. "You did this. Why would you mark yourself with this symbol? You know what it means." Castiel asks with a slightly worried face.

"Yes, I know its meaning and that's the reason I did it." Dean says with a blank look as he retrieves his arm and covers the mark.

"I don't understand."

"I'm tired of fighting what happened in Hell, of pretending it didn't change me. Sam was right when he called me weak."

"You're not weak, Dean."

"Listen, the truth is I was trying to be someone I no longer am. I'm not saying I got over all that happened, but I don't have the luxury of time to dwell on things. This mark on my arm makes sure I don't forget what I've become. And what I am now is ugly and twisted, but I can use it as a mean to an end. Fearing I'm gonna loose myself this way is pointless, because I already did, it's not like I spent some months torturing souls, I spent 10 fucking years doing it, what had to change has already changed. So I'm quitting complaining."

"I don't quite agree with you, but I respect your decision. You know I'm a soldier of Heaven and, unfortunately, from time to time we have to make choices that are not the ones we would like to make. Just know I believe you're a good man, Dean, a good man who, sadly, suffered a lot in his life."

"Thank you, Cas. And.." Dean starts, looking a little uncomfortable "Well, I don't trust Heaven and none of your brothers, but I do trust you, so know that I'm gonna do what I can to stop the apocalypse."

"I trust you as well, Dean. And that's why I'm here. You made me see that some of my brothers' actions were contradictory, so I started paying closer attention, and I think you're right, something's wrong, sometimes it almost appears as if some of the orders I get are not about effectively stopping a seal from breaking."

"That's exactly what is bugging me, Cas, because the thing is angels are powerful beings and some seals could've been easily prevented from breaking. This is serious, Cas. We have to find out more about it, because if there's a chance Heaven is really up to something, I don't believe Hell is sitting around with its thumb up its ass."

"You have a point about Hell too. So what actions do you suggest we take from here?"

"I think you should keep an eye on Heaven and I should start poking and prodding around here, making some demons talk to see if I can gather some intel."

"Are you going to be fine with this? With interrogating demons?"

"Yes." Dean says with a hard expression.

"Very well then. And Dean, don't tell Sam about this, I know he's your brother, but he's still consorting with a demon and this is something really serious. I trust you, but, unfortunately, I can't say the same about your brother."

"I understand, Cas, I'll keep this just between us. And, if I'm being honest, sometimes I'm not sure to what extent I can trust Sam at the moment." Dean says as he remembers, again, what happened with the siren, when Sam used his memories about Hell, the ones his brother asked for him to share, against him.

"We will see each other later" and, with that, Castiel was gone.

Meanwhile, Sam had gotten out of the bathroom, drying his hair with a towel, and looked through the window, just as the angel appeared and started talking to his brother outside the motel room. After some time, as the angel vanished, Dean started walking to the room, his brother stopped, looked at something on his forearm, the same Castiel had held earlier, shook his head slightly and entered the room.

"What's up with your arm?" Sam said.

"What?"

"Your arm, what's wrong with it?"

"Nothing."

"Ok." Slightly odd, but okay. "So, what did Cas want?"

"Nothing, just needed to tell me something."

"And?" Sam said, impatiently this time.

"And he told me." Dean said sternly, ending the conversation.


TBC