Disclaimer: I don't own or profit from Supernatural. This will be my sole disclaimer for the entirety of this story.

A/N: Truth be told I am not a die-hard Supernatural fan. I only started watching the show in the middle of the second season due to the pitiful 2006 fall line up. Of course, I was not above noticing the attractiveness of the two brothers. wink I didn't become truly interested until I saw the episode Heart where Sam agreed to slay Madison, an unwilling werewolf. I thought the entire episode was tragic. I'm drawn to tragic. But I have to admit, it was the intro song, Carry On My Wayward Son by Kansas, for the season finale that totally drew me in. I found it to be completely devastating. The fact that no matter how hard they fight, how much good they do in the world, there will never be peace for them until they are dead, and only then will they be able to rest their weary heads. That goes beyond tragic. Its heartrending.

Carry on my wayward son
There'll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don't you cry no more

---Kansas---

Wayward Son

Prologue

The room was blindingly white. So intensely white that it seemed to have no walls, floor or ceiling. Only the sense that something was there, creating unseen boundaries. Otherwise the white expanse seemed to be endless, drifting off into nothingness. Perhaps there were no physical borders, only the psychological ones. Common sense that told you not to wonder too far in one direction.

An angel stood amidst the stark white in full biblical splendor. Snowy robes a shade darker than the room. White feathered wings edged in gold. Faceless, sexless, completely androgynous, yet powerful, determined, and more than a little pissed off.

"You cannot possibly allow this to happen." A beautiful voice, incomprehensible to humans, a ringing of a thousand silver bells. An angel's voice.

A crack of thunder, the trembling of the ground underfoot was the response. Not God. Not even angry angels spoke to God that way. No, upper management, maybe.

"Think of his years of service. Of all the good that has been done because of him."

More room shaking thunder.

"So he toyed with the Dark. It doesn't mean he is a lost cause. It is our responsibility to shepherd him to the Light. Besides if we lose him, then we will lose the other for sure."

A crack of lightning.

"Of course I believe in free will." The angel could no longer contain its absolute disgust from filtering out. "We cannot abandon him!"

Rolling thunder, cracking lightning, and a muted gong in the background for good measure.

"Well, I will not. He is my Charge. I am responsible for him. In life as well as in death."

A clap of thunder that sounded suspiciously like a snort of disbelief.

"Yes, I realize that he cheated. But cheating is such a miniscule sin." The angel was desperate, grasping at straws. Management spat back in a cacophony of weather related phenomenon. Undoubtedly, somewhere in middle America some poor farmer's crops were being pounded by the storm.

The angel sighed. "Yes, I know that this wasn't a history exam. Cheating death is a little extreme, but still, what was he supposed to do? It was his brother for Christ's sake."

Lightening crashed down, striking a few scant inches from the angel, nearly charring its white robe.

"Forgive me."

More thunder.

"Yes, I realize my place as Guardian. But if we lose him, then the other will turn for sure. Doesn't that risk outweigh the cost of disobeying the rules?

Lightening

"Yes, I realize that this wouldn't be a problem if he hadn't cheated."

A kick of wind.

"Yes, I understand that I am not allowed to interfere on the mortal plane."

A little splatter of rain

"Yes, I will abide by the rules."

The angel turned away, wings drooping until some of the feathers scraped dejectedly along the floor. As the angel exited the room through golden arches that hadn't been there before, a woman came scampering up. Dark hair, dark eyes. A new arrival. Someone who hadn't learned the consequences of eavesdropping.

"I'll help."

The angel raised a perfectly curved brow.

"Don't you have someplace to be?"

The woman looked down, digging her toe in the white floor. Was it tile or marble? Who knew? Maybe it was left over moon dust.

"Not really. I'm not to be allowed into heaven just yet and well…"

"You're not quiet bad enough for hell," finished the angel.

The woman's dark eyes darted up to meet the angel's serene expression.

"I never really did anything wrong. I mean, not consciously. It's not my fault I was infected, and I did take steps to make sure that I wouldn't hurt anyone else."

"Then why are you still in Limbo?"

The woman shrugged, looking back over her shoulder to a grouping of angels that surrounded the book of her life.

"They can't decide if asking him to kill me was technically suicide, even if I didn't pull the trigger."

"Ah." The angel didn't need to hear more, having been present during the poor girl's unfortunate demise. Had seen it all. Had been unaffected. Had been dutiful. Always dutiful.

"So as I understand it, I'm sorta on the outs. A free spirit." The woman smiled with a row of white, slightly carnivorous teeth.

The angel fought not to return the smile. Guardians weren't supposed to smile. They were supposed to advise from the sidelines, and if their Charges listened, then halleluiah. And if they didn't. Well, usually scrambled brains on the sidewalk.

It was sickening really, not having a voice. All that whispering, never being able to be heard. Never able to reach out and smack the Charge in the back of the head when they were getting ready to do something particularly stupid. Like sell their soul. Just sickening.

"So you think they are worthy?" asked the angel, sizing up the woman seriously for the first time.

"If anybody deserves to be saved, it's the Winchesters." The woman replied solemnly.

Then and there a compact was struck between an earthbound spirit and a guardian angel to save the two people who usually were the ones with the thankless job of doing the saving.