Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I don't own anything.

Author's Note: This is my take on Castiel's side of the story. It's meant to be cannon, but seeing as we know almost nothing about Castiel (heck, I'm not even sure I believe that he really is an angel of the Lord), it's quite possible that this will end up being AU.

I sat in the middle of a wide field. It was warm with the sun shining on my face. There was a light breeze though, and I was propped up against a young oak. I had a glass of wine in one hand, but my eyes were slowly starting to drift shut. Sleep was beckoning.

Just then a figure appeared before me. Tall, strong he was the sort who would draw every eye to him the moment he entered a room. Immediately I hauled myself to my feet and nodded to him. I had a high enough rank these days that I could speak casually with him, but Michael was not one you wanted to trifle with.

"I knew you'd be here," the being said.

I tilted my head to look at him out the corner of my eye. "Are you here on business?" I asked.

"I'm afraid so. It's time. Remember the boys Mary Winchester asked us to keep an eye on? Well, Samuel's begun his trip of self-discovery."


"Castiel, it's been ten years since you last patrolled the boarder."

I raised my eyebrows. Time flies when you're immortal. "Is that so? Well, are we going to stop him?"

"I'm afraid it's a bit more complicated than that. You see, Sam died."

"Problem solved," I said, giving a light shrug.

"Hardly. It seems Dean had some difficulty coping with the whole thing. He had a little discussion with our friend at the cross-roads."

I cursed. Yes, angels can curse... we do have free will you know, but it's highly frowned upon. Michael gave me a sour look, but didn't say anything. I think he agreed with me more than he was willing to admit. "How long does he have left?"

"He doesn't. They took him about four months ago."

"Well isn't that wonderful. I'd hate to be the poor fool who has to get him back."

"Funny that you should say that..."

Looking up at him, I felt my mouth open, but no words came out for a long moment. "I should have known," I said at last.

"I'm sorry that I have to ask you to do this. Trust me, I would love to pick someone else. You deserve some peace and quiet, but the thing is, you're the best one for the job. You know it. I know it."

Wouldn't you know it? Oh well, what he was saying was true. I hadn't achieved the rank I had by failing missions in the past. More than that, though, he knew I wouldn't quit, no matter how much I hated the task. Don't get me wrong. Saving the world is good and all, but I'd seen my share of fighting. Wasn't it time for some of our lesser brothers to earn their spurs? I didn't say any of that though. It wasn't my place. "So how are we going to do this?"

"Pick a few seraphim that you trust to have your back. I hope you're as good a leader as you seem, because you're going to be storming Hell's gates quite literally."

"That's a bit of a suicide run, don't you think?"

Michael sighed. "I know. I know it is, and I'm sorry for it, but we can't exactly lay siege to the place, not yet. So someone's got to do it. I figured that you, out of all my lieutenants, had the best chance of making it out of there alive."

"How do I decide who's going to go with me?"

"Castiel, you've made tough choices before. You can do it again."

"I know. I never did enjoy them though."

"Who does? Sam's charging down that slippery slope at a full-on sprint, so I'm afraid you won't have much time to plan. I need you and your men to get there and get it done as quickly as you can."

"So how are we going to stop Sam?"

"You'll keep an eye on Dean afterwards, give him a hand. As for Sam, he has to be stopped, but violence is a last option, understood? We're no better than them if we start cutting down innocents, and Sam is still trying to fight on our side... for however long that will last."

I nodded. "It's good as done."

"Good. God bless."

"You too."

With that Michael dissolved into thin air, and I was left in an open field once again. Looking at my glass of wine, I sighed and poured it on the ground.