OK. So I know I'm not the only one out there wondering why the heck Castiel wasn't the one to give Dean the kick in the pants he needed to get himself together. This is just a one-shot that looks at the discussion that might have occurred between Castiel and Zachariah explaining why he wasn't there.
Two men stood in the middle of a vast forest. Both looked out of place amongst the trees and wildlife around them. One was dressed in a clean dark blue business suit. The other wore dark dress pants, a white dress shirt, a loosely tied neck tie, and a light-colored trench coat. What the casual observer would not know, however, was that the two men were actually both angels of the Lord. The first man in the dark suit was Zachariah. The second man was Castiel. Zachariah was Castiel's superior and it was apparent that he was concerned about the angel under him.
Zachariah looked at the angel walking beside him. Castiel looked tired, defeated. Not the powerful angel he knew Castiel to be.
"Castiel, you have grown weak," Zachariah said somberly.
Castiel nodded his eyes downcast. "This… this mission has not turned out as I had expected…"
"With the young Winchester?"
"With Dean… with the seals… with Uriel…" His voice trailed off at the fallen angel's name.
Zachariah sighed and slowly shook his head.
"Uriel made his own choice and it was fortunate that he was stopped before he could do more damage…"
"But who has he turned? Do we know if we continue to have traitors amongst us?"
Zachariah's eyes narrowed. He paused and looked harshly at Castiel.
"Why are you so full of doubt, Castiel? You dispatched the traitor. Even if others had turned, they will soon recognize the error of their ways and repent. Why do you distrust your brothers and sisters so?"
Castiel stopped walking and his gaze remained on the ground. He closed his eyes and sighed.
"I trust our Father. I know He remains loving of His children. But…" His voice trailed off.
"You are letting yourself develop emotions, Castiel. I had hoped that time would remedy the problem, but clearly it hasn't."
"I am sorry, Zachariah. I… I do not mean to have such doubts… I just… to see the suffering that Dean Winchester is going through…"
Zachariah stared incredulously at Castiel.
"Is this what this is about? Dean Winchester? Castiel, you have your orders. You know what your job is. You keep him alive and make sure he does his duty to help bring the Apocalypse to an end. Those are your orders, Castiel. You have raised Dean from Hell. You have managed to keep him alive thus far. Now, you must make him accept his role and begin fighting for us. You must go to him and make him see his purpose."
Castiel looked around the forest for a moment; the normally calm face had lines of worry creasing the surface. He finally shook his head.
"I… I don't know what to tell him," He said softly. "I don't know how to make him understand."
Zachariah let out a frustrated sigh.
"Very well. Then I will deal with the Winchester. You need to take some time to compose yourself. You've let this human get to you, Castiel. Your judgment has been compromised. I will put Dean back on his path. Once that is done you can resume your post."
Castiel nodded somberly.
A flutter of wings and Zachariah was gone. Castiel bowed his head, feeling defeated.
"I'm sorry, Dean," He whispered softly.