Prelude

Dean's body torn to shreds was an image that shook me to the core. I left Sam and Bobby to deal with the body as they saw fit as I walked back into Hell. There was only place that Lilith would have had the hellhounds drag Dean's soul, and that was the part that had me concerned for it meant that Dean would be in the hands of Alastair. Alastair was the worst of the torture demons. He actually enjoyed his work but that was also in part because of his age. He was responsible for most of the conversions.

I knew that since the escape of John Winchester, Alastair would demand increased security measures. It had rankled him deeply that John had remained hidden from him for the duration of his stay in Hell. Although, every time he managed to get John on the rack and slice him to pieces John had the ability to resist in part because of his innate stubbornness and in part because I was able to help him hang on to himself. I worried about Dean, because Dean was not like his father, despite his various attempts to mimic John.

This difference worried me, more than anything else. Though it was love that drove John to sacrifice his soul for Dean's life. The motives for John doing so weren't entirely pure. John couldn't face the fact that he might have to kill his own son and therefore had left that task to Dean. John also recognized that he would never be able to get Sam to turn away from the dark objective that Azazel had mapped out.

John Winchester loved his sons. This was an indisputable fact. However, he also had a very hard time showing his sons just how much he loved them. He had left them alone too often as children. Dean was the one who was responsible for everything especially Sam and that was the heart of Dean's sacrifice. He couldn't live without his brother. The pain he had felt at losing first his father then his brother tore at him like knives. This knowledge wouldn't have been lost to Alastair and therefore the knives that he would use to rip apart Dean's soul, were linked to the very weapons that Dean himself provided.

I had to save him, but there was something at the back of my mind. I felt that in all the rush to safe guard both Sam and Dean, that I had overlooked something. Something, which would tilt the balance of things away from us to Hell, and that, disturbed me even more. There were plans within plans and none of us had ever managed to decipher what it was that Azazel was up to. It was even worse that Lilith had risen from Hell and she was never a good sign to begin with. Then there was the question of Ruby. She had been returned to Hell and hopefully she would stay there. But I wondered at how resourceful she was. Things were about to become progressively worse.