Title: Idle Hands

Author: MissAnnThropic

Spoilers: Lucifer Rising

LiveJournal: miss_annthropic(dot)livejournal(dot)com

Summary: During the chaos of Lucifer walking the earth, Castiel searches out Dean.

Disclaimer: None of it's mine. I'm just a sad little fangirl that spends her days writing fanfic and watching DVDs of her favorite shows :(

Author's Note: As always, thanks go to Sierra Phoenix, and to Mel for her input.

Castiel found Dean sitting on the hood of the burned-out shell of his once-beloved Impala. It was neither night nor day. The fires that engulfed the earth threw clouds of smoke so vast they blanketed the sky. There was no moon or sun anymore. The only light was the red glow of flames caressing their own plumes of black.

It was hell on earth. It was Lucifer risen.

It was everything the prophecies had said it would be.

But that didn't make it easy to watch.

Castiel lost track of the Winchester brothers more often than not. He had a lot of work of his own to carry out making sure the purge did not get out of control. Enough righteous souls had to survive to preserve the human race when his Father ordained the cleanse of the Fallen One complete.

It would still be Dean Winchester that would send the Dark One back. When the world was clean, purified, Dean Winchester would be the light to cast Lucifer back down. Even as humans died in great numbers, the angels took care that one human lived.

Had they asked Castiel, he would have told them that it was vital that two humans live.

But Heaven could be so far removed from the lives of men. The angels did not fully understand their vices, their joys, their suffering.

They did not appreciate that men could be broken.

Castiel did not know exactly when or how Sam Winchester died. So many were killed in the purge that the death of one got lost.

None of the other angels had been as close to the Winchester brothers as Castiel. None of them realized what Sam's death meant.

As soon as Castiel found out Sam was dead, he went to Dean.

He found him on a bluff overlooking chaos.

Dean was sitting on the hood of the fire-gutted car that had once been his pride. His clothes were sooty and his expression stony.

But most devastating of all, his hands were still.

He sat staring out at the city burning. Castiel didn't remember what it used to be. New York, Los Angeles, Cincinnatiā€¦ they all looked the same now, drowning in blood and flame. Demons were gorging themselves on the plenty, on the gluttony that had become the human race.

Dean, once the relentless soldier against the horde, sat and watched the slaughter.

Castiel approached Dean without uttering a word. He knew the hunter was aware of him, but Dean acted like Castiel did not even exist.

For all his preaching and lecturing and purporting to have answers, Castiel was lost for words.

Dean finally glanced over at Castiel. Castiel had seen many shades of the eyes that flickered toward him. Angry. Confused. Desperate. Panicked. As near to divine exultation and divinity Castiel had ever brought a human.

He saw a new Dean Winchester look that day. Apathy. Sheer and utter disinterest.

Castiel looked away from those empty, soulless eyes and searched around Dean's person for his ever-present weapon.

There wasn't one.

Castiel took a step closer and said the first thing that came to mind, and it was so human. "Deanā€¦ I'm sorry."

Dean's look hardened, looked almost volcanic in the firelight from the burning city.

"Sorrier than you think," Dean answered flatly.

From the city, rising only briefly above the din, came a scream. A woman, maybe. Maybe the ecstatic shriek of a demon. Either way.

"Aren't you going to do something?" Castiel asked.

Dean sat passively on the hood of his car.


Dean sat, unmoving with an angel by his side, and watched the world end.