Author: Alex Graves
Pairing: Dean/Castiel, Sam/Ruby implied.
Warnings: Spoiler for Season Four up to "On the Head of a Pin", angst, violence, and slash.
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural. It belongs to its creators and the network that runs it. No copywrite infringement intended.
A/N: Because for some damn reason I have to slash everyone and honestly, Wincest is nasty and Castiel is just a sad little puppy that needs some love!
Summary: Dean has the weight of the world on his shoulders. Add the fact that he started the apocalypse and the fact that Sam is turning into the very thing that they are fighting and you get a very pessimistic Dean. But when a town suffers from a girl's dreams, does it mean the end for the Winchesters and the world in turn?
I'm on a train but there's no one at the helm.
There's a demon in my brain that starts to overwhelm.
It was too much. It was all too much too fast. For both individuals. For Dean, it was the weight of the world crashing down on his shoulders. He had been feeling it for weeks, months, and if he thought real hard about it, he was sure he could say that he had been feeling the weight for years. It had been a bearable weight, one that he could rationalize. When it first began, there was only the weight of keeping Sammy safe. When he got older, the weight of strangers, few, were added on. For a while, it was simply his father and if he helped people along the way, that was fine too. Of course the weight of Sam was there. Dean knew that the weight would be there forever, even after he died. And he did.
Then there was the weight of souls. Thousands of souls damned to hell that he tortured, that he cut into and beat down. He had tried to rationalize that. After all, those souls were there for a reason and really, you had to fuck up pretty badly to get your own rack down in the pit. But then he thought of the people who were in the same position as him. And the others who he realized he had passed judgment on. And while Dean wasn't a religious man, while he didn't believe in God because if there had been a God, Dean was sure that God wouldn't have let him and his brother suffer so, Dean also believed that it wasn't his place to judge people.
On top of all this weight, came the weight of the world. Pulled out of hell for a suicide mission, the weight of the world settled on Dean's shoulders. For Dean, it was simply another weight, one more thing to add. It didn't slow him, didn't make him sink, didn't make him falter. Sure, he wasn't a fan of the angels. Castiel didn't give any straight answers to any questions Dean asked, just repeated the mantra that Dean should be thankful to be out of hell. And Dean wouldn't lie, he was pretty damn thankful. Uriel was just simply a thorn in Dean's side. A lot of talk but no action, though Dean was positive that if Uriel had the chance, Dean would have been six feet under once again.
And for a while, Dean was okay. He wasn't perfect of course, wasn't back to his old self but then again he hadn't been since his father died. Dead things should stay dead. Dean held steadfastly to this and knew he always would. And after hell, well, what did people expect? If they expected that Dean would be as gay as a blue bird than obviously they were idiots. You didn't go to hell and come out unscathed. There are reasons as to why demons act the way they do. Millennia of torture can do that to a person and Dean only got thirty years of it. But Dean was coping, he was dealing, he was beginning to heal.
And being charged with the mission to save the world from the apocalypse? Well, for Dean, that was the ultimate redemption, wasn't it? Save the world, all of humanity, and God, because there must be one now what with angels hovering everywhere, would have to give him a clean slate. That's how it should have been.
But Dean wasn't an idiot. The angels made it very clear that that rarely, if ever, heard from the man upstairs. They also made it abundantly clear that they could and would put Dean back in hell whenever they wanted. Still, Dean was okay with it. At least he'd have a chance to prove to himself that he was still good man, still a man his father could be proud of. He'd save Sammy from himself and he'd save the world from Lucifer's coming, and he'd know that his father would be proud. And though Dean would never admit it and though he knew that his father was dead and gone, Dean still wanted it. He still wanted that approval.
And then just like that, it all came crashing down. Alistair. He hadn't been strong enough and he should have been. Dean wasn't talking physical strength, as he was sure he had enough of that by mortal measures. But mentally, emotionally, he wasn't strong enough. That had become very clear in those few hours in an empty room with the thing that had tortured him and had driven him to torture those damned souls. And for what? For nothing. All Dean got out of it was the ability to finally feel all that damn weight on his shoulders. And it buried him.
For Castiel, it was something entirely different. Castiel had always felt the weight of humanity on his shoulders and had grown quiet accustomed to it. The weight wasn't what bothered him. It was how he was told to manage it. Castiel wasn't dumb. He saw the same things that the other angels saw. He knew why Lucifer fought against humanity, why he fought against God. He understood why angels fell. But he himself had been just fine. He knew why he had been made and he accepted it with the grace given him by the Father.
Lucifer, the others, they were flawed. They fell because they didn't have faith, because they didn't believe that the choices made for them by the Father were the right ones. And so they were punished. Just as Adam and Eve were punished for eating the fruit of the one tree God told them not to eat from. Angels and humans were treated the same. Go against the Father and paradise was taken from you. Castiel saw this. Others did not.
Then he was charged with pulling Dean Winchester out of hell. The seals had begun to break. The Apocalypse was approaching and Lucifer would defy God's will well before it was time. At first Castiel saw it as another job. After all Heaven had fought Hell before and won, why should this time be any different? But Castiel soon learned that this thought was horribly wrong. There were new players. Human children with demon blood coursing through their veins had not been part of the battle the previous wars. A righteous man had not broken a seal because a righteous man had not been in hell.
And Angels? They did not doubt. But things were different now. God was silent. Gates had been opened. Souls, demons, and other horrific monsters roamed the earth. And Angels doubted. And for the first time, so did Castiel. For the first time, Castiel began to feel. And though he knew it was wrong, though he had begun to hate the tightening in his chest, the throbbing at his temple, the sweat that clung the his back, the twisting in his gut, and the pounding in his heart, Castiel thought it beautiful. It opened his eyes.
For ages he wondered why humans acted so strangely. They weren't rational, did things they weren't supposed to do and for what? One moment of happiness? Of total feeling? Castiel didn't see what was so great about feeling but than again Castiel had never felt before. And now that he could? Now that he began to doubt, began to wonder, began to think he felt overwhelmed.
So when Dean said he couldn't do it anymore, that he wasn't strong enough, Castiel didn't say a thing. He didn't say that Dean had to because it was God's will. Didn't threaten another eternity in hell. Didn't do anything. Because he understood. For the first time, Castiel understood why Dean turned his head away and tried to hold back tears that threatened to fall. So Castiel didn't say a word. He figured Dean preferred the silence anyways.