--Yeah, I lied. Sorry. ( DeanXCas is NOT intended here, so please don't take it that way)--

The Nightmare Before Dawn

Castiel appeared outside the motel, confused as to why Dean's car was nowhere to be seen. He knew Dean was there but…

A piece of paper floated in front of his face. He wouldn't have bothered to snatch it out of the air, but it had his name on it. He read it quickly, wondering why it was written in red.

Three words. Castiel, Surrender. Alastair. Terror welled its way through him. He looked back at the Motel, clutching the paper in his fist.

"No," He whispered. "No." Seconds later he was at the door, knocking on it hurriedly.

Bobby opened the door, his brows creasing when he looked at the disheveled angel.

"Castiel, are you okay?" He asked.

"Where's Dean?" He asked, panic evident in his voice. Bobby frowned.

"You mean you don't know?" He asked.

"No!" Castiel exclaimed. "Please, where is he?" Bobby stepped aside. Castiel stepped forward.

When his eyes fell on his charge he gasped, shut his eyes and turned away. He looked outside the still open door and saw the bloodied barbed wire still under the light pole.

"No…" He said softly. "This is my fault. It's all my fault." Sam looked confused.

"What do you mean it's your fault?" He asked. Castiel didn't hear him.

"I'll kill him. I'll kill that damned son of a whore, I swear I will." He whispered through gritted teeth.

"Cas, what are you talking about?" Sam asked. Castiel looked at him, registering the piece of paper still in his hand. Reluctantly, he handed it to Sam.

Sam's face screwed up in anger that wasn't directed at the holy being before him. He looked up at him.

"Alastair did this?" He said. Castiel nodded solemnly, unable to tear his eyes away from Dean's battered body. Sam crushed the paper and threw it across the room.

"I'm sorry." Castiel said. Sam shook his head.

"You didn't know. It's not your fault." Sam assured. Once again, Castiel ignored him.

Dean's breathing was deep, his eyes closed, but Castiel could still see the damage done. He could see the bruises on his face, the bandages wrapped around his shoulder that disappeared under the blanket. The dark circles under his eyes, the gash in his busted lip, all of it. And he knew what the bandages were covering had to be so much worse. The tear tracks on the pillow underneath him made the angel bow his head.

"Sam, we need to find the car." Bobby said. Sam nodded.

"I'd go for you," Castiel said to the younger Winchester. "But I can't drive." Sam nodded again.

"Can you…?" He began, standing.

"I will stay with him, yes." Castiel said. Sam nodded gratefully and stood, taking one last look at his unconscious brother before following the older man out.

Castiel stood there in the silence, awful silence, hearing nothing but Dean's ragged breathing. He never thought he would miss Dean's usual smart remarks, or his cocky demeanor, or his defiance to everything Castiel told him to do. But all of those things made Dean Dean. That made him normal. It scared Castiel to see him like this. Scared him more than most of the things he had seen in his immortal life.

Dean moaned in his sleep and rolled on his side. Castiel went to him, instinct taking over without him truly thinking about the actions. He sat beside him on the bed, unsure of what to do.

Dean moaned again. Castiel grasped his hand, once again letting instinct take over.

"Dean," Castiel said softly. "It's alright. It's going to be alright. Just wake up."

"Don't…" Dean whimpered. Castiel's throat suddenly felt tight. "Please…Let me go…" Castiel swallowed hard.

"Dean, wake up…please." The pain in Dean's voice hurt him. Hurt him a lot. Dean's eyes opened but snapped shut again.

"'S too bright." He whispered. Castiel quickly stood and pulled the curtains closed, making the harsh sunlight a dim glow.

He sat back down, looking at his charge with fearful eyes. Dean allowed his own eyes to open.

He stared at the figure next to him, unsure why it wasn't Sam. Slowly, the man came into focus; he relaxed.

"Cas." He said, his voice gravelly.

"I'm so sorry, Dean." Castiel whispered.

"Why?" God it hurt to talk. It hurt to breathe. It hurt to blink. The angel shut his eyes and swallowed before he answered.

"They…They took you…because of me," He said. "There, there was a note that I assumed was left with you when they…tied you to that…" He took a deep breath. "It said: 'Castiel, surrender…Alastair'." He looked at the floor, unable to look Dean in the eye.

"Alastair took me?" Dean asked. Castiel nodded.

"Because of me. He hurt you to get to me," He mustered his strength and looked at him. "I am so sorry, Dean. For what they did to you. For how you feel right now," He shook his head. "I'm supposed to protect you, not…not to cause you harm. I am so sorry."

"Cas, no," Dean said, his voice hardly audible. "You didn't do this. You didn't have the knife, or the whip, you didn't-" Dean stopped, cursing himself for what he almost said. Before Castiel could ask him anything Dean suddenly arced off the bed, crying out in agony before falling back onto the bed, panting, tears in his eyes. Castiel put a hand on his forehead in a soothing gesture. Dean leaned into it, eyes closed.

The angel knew it wasn't his place to look in Dean's mind to see what he had gone through, but he needed to understand. Human emotions were a mystery to him, but he could try and understand them. But he needed to see first.

***

Dean hung there in the dark, mildly thinking that there was someone else in here with him. But maybe he was being paranoid.

He felt something brush against him. He tensed and looked around. So pointless. Something touched his face. Fingers, he recognized. He waited. Was this a dream? Please be a dream.

The fingers trailed up his arm. He tried to jerk away from them but he could barely move. The rough hand ran up and down his chest; the other was on his neck.

"Uhn!" Dean grunted, trying to wriggle away from them. "Stop it!" The hands didn't respond. The rough hands continued to explore him.

The right hand that had been working over his chest and stomach stopped at the small of his back.

"Stop! Please, leave me alone!" He pleaded. The hands didn't hear him. The one on his neck moved up his cheek, over his lips. Dean tugged his head back, hitting the wall behind him. The hand followed him. It thumbed his bottom lip, making Dean bite down on it. The hand wasn't fazed. It roamed to the other side of his face, touching his ear and his jaw. "Don't!" He yelped. The left hand stopped. But the right one removed itself from his back. Dean waited. Then he felt it again. Running up the inside of his uninjured leg. He became fully aware of the vulnerability his nakedness provided at that point.

"Pl-please!" He choked. The hand missed no part of him. He whimpered, trying to get away again. "Mmn! Not that, please, not that!" He begged. The left hand moved to his throat, the palm centered on his Adam's apple. The hand pushed his head up, baring his neck. Dean struggled against it, but his strength was gone. Lips now joined the equation.

They pressed against his throat, making him turn his head in shame. The lips continued to move across his throat, the hands still roamed freely. And he hung there, helpless.

"No! Leave me alone, please. Oh, please, please!" No response.

They did stop eventually. And Dean had never been more grateful to be alone. He sobbed against the wall, pulling his legs together.

"Help…somebody…"

***

Castiel saw this and everything else that happened to the eldest Winchester. He looked down at Dean, whose eyes were still closed, still leaning into Castiel's soothing hand. It felt cool against his fevered face. He rubbed Dean's forehead, blinking several times to get that a cursed water to back to where it came from.

"I will find them, Dean. I will find who did this to you. And I will make sure they suffer a thousand deaths for this." He said softly. Dean looked up at him, his eyes so tired, so very tired. Through those eyes he could see the decades of Hell he had endured. He could see how old Dean really was. And this had made it worse.

"I'll be alright, Cas." Dean assured. But his voice made it hard to believe.

He heard Bobby's truck and the Impala pull up outside. Dean turned, looking at the window.

"Dean," Castiel said. Dean looked at him again. "I can make this go away."

"What?" He rasped.

"I can heal you," The angel said. "Do you want me to?" Dean nodded.

"Please." He pleaded softly. Castiel laid his hand on his forehead again.

"Close your eyes and relax." He said. Dean obeyed. Castiel concentrated on wounds, taking deep breaths and pushing his celestial energy through his injured charge. He didn't hear Sam come in. He didn't hear Sam demand to know what was going on. He continued to yell at deaf ears and it wasn't until the second after Dean was healed that Sam grabbed his shoulder and spun him around.

"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?" He bellowed.

"Sammy," Dean said, sitting up without even wincing. He grabbed the bandage on his neck and pulled it off, cutting off Sam's protests. The cut was gone, blood and all. "I'm fine."

"You," Sam looked down at the angel, taking his hand off of him. "You healed him." Castiel nodded. A long lapse of silence passed between them.

"Hey, uh, Sammy?" Dean said. "Can you go grab my bag? I'd like to be able to stand up without blinding you guys." He smirked. Sam broke into a grin against his will. He nodded and walked outside.

"Did you need something, Cas?" Dean asked. Castiel shook his head and stood.

"It can wait." He turned to leave.

"Cas," The angel turned. "Please, don't tell Sam what you saw." Castiel pursed his lips and looked down. He'd been discovered.

"I won't." He said. He turned again.

"Cas," Castiel turned again. "Thank you." Dean whispered. An echo of a pained smile crossed his lips.

"You're welcome," He said. "I just wish I could make the memories go away too." Dean nodded solemnly.

"So do I." He said softly.

There was a fluttering sound and the angel was gone.

Sam came back in, Dean's bag in hand.

"You sure you're okay?" He asked, setting the bag down on the bed. Dean nodded.

"Yeah, I just wanna know who hit me on the head. I wasn't in some alley or something. I was on a sidewalk. Demons can't erase people's memories, can they?" He asked.

"Who cares?" Sam said. "You're alive, you're okay. Why should it matter?" Dean shrugged.

"Doesn't. Guess it'll be one of life's big mysteries."

"Yeah." Sam said. Dean grabbed his bag.

"Thank God," He said, grabbing a T-shirt. "Never thought I'd seriously miss these." He chuckled. Sam tried to. He looked at his big brother, knowing that Dean was keeping something from him, bottling something up. And this time, it wasn't about Hell.

***

He walked away from the Motel after the old man went in the room, turning a corner before he nearly ran into the man he had been looking for.

"I should've known that angel would fix him." He said, seething. The man shook his head.

"I told you. We should have just taken him to begin with. Now that's a warning." The man said.

"No," He said. "This was definitely enough. Castiel will be weakened because of this."

"By how much?" The man asked. "He'll bounce back soon enough." He scowled at him.

"Thank you for the optimism." He growled.

"I'm just telling you how it is. No need to sugar coat it." There was a beat of silence.

"So you think he suspects anything?" He asked.

"Would you relax?"

"I will not relax, Alastair!" He boomed. Alastair sighed.

"No, Uriel. He doesn't suspect a thing," He said. "At least, from you. He thinks it was all me."

"All I did was knock him out and make some monkeys forget." Uriel defended.

"Yes, but it was your idea." Alastair said.

"But we're the only ones that will ever know that, right?" Uriel threatened.

"I'll take it to the grave." Alastair said, placing his hand over his heart.

"As will I." Uriel said. Alastair smirked.

"Swear to God?" He mocked. But the angel was gone. Moments later, Alastair disappeared into the crowd, grinning at what he knew he had done to Dean. He had made him his one last time.

END

--Ok, this is seriously the end this time. Feedback, please--