--NO slash intended here, fyi--

The Nightmare Before Twilight

"Sammy…Sammy, help me."

Darkness…Silence…pain…

Castiel,

Surrender.

-Alastair

"This is my fault, it's all my fault."

"Cas, no."…

"Not that, please, not that!"…

"I can heal you…"

"Please…"

"I'll take it to the grave…" Alastair said.

"As will I…" Said Uriel.

2 Months later

"D-Dean."

"SAMMY!"

"Sammy, why can't you talk?"

Too bright…needles…And harder until it was a downright seizure…

"DEE-AANN!"

"Your brother was sexually assaulted."

"I'm…s-sorry, D-Dean."

"Shh, no, Sammy."

So humiliated, so used, so…so naked.

"It's gonna go away, Sammy…"

"Cas, can…can you heal him? Like you healed me?"

"Dean…I can't."

"Why should he have to suffer when I didn't?"

Thanks for giving me your brother, boy. He sure was fun to play with. It's a funny world we live in. I got to torture all three of you Winchesters. And one didn't even have to go to Hell for it. You better tell that angel that if he and his friends don't back down and let the inevitable happen, it's gonna get ugly. Uglier than it already has been.

Hope Sammy's doing well.

Best regards,

Alastair

"Sammy, stop! Stop, stop it!"

"I c-can't get him off, D-Dean."

"You'll get him off…"

What Alastair could possibly do next. If he only knew…

2 months later…

"Hey, pull over!" Dean said suddenly, making Sam jump. Sam twisted the wheel and slowed the Impala to the shoulder.

"What?"

"Look," He gestured out the windshield. "Is…Is that a person?"

And so it was. Huddled together in a ditch that was still filled with water from the night's previous rain. The face was buried in their knees, shaking all over. The brothers exited the car, jogging to the ditch. Dean knelt down in front of the person.

"Hey, buddy, you okay?" He asked, touching the man's shoulder. He flinched away, pressing his face deeper into his knees and whimpering.

"Hey, hey, it's alright," Dean said. "We aren't gonna hurt you, okay?" He coaxed the man's face up. Bloodshot blue eyes looked back up at him, filled with tears and completely and utterly terrified. "Cas?" Dean breathed, questioning what he was seeing.

"D-Dean?" The angel stammered. The blood left the hunter's face as he looked down at his guardian angel. His injured, scared, guardian angel.

"God, Cas, what the hell happened to you?"

"Dean!" Castiel clamped his arms around Dean, sobbing. Dean hugged him back, scared. Castiel hardly ever showed any kind of emotion, let alone this. This was too much. He looked beside him and saw Castiel's trench coat lying on the ground. He watched the sky turn black in the early evening hours in seconds, vicious lightning stabbed at the sky and thunder shook the ground. Dean could feel Castiel's heart pounding in his chest against his own so rapidly it was like humming bird's wings. His breath was quick and labored.

"Cas, Cas you gotta calm down," He looked at the angel, gaining his focus. "You have to calm down or you're gonna kill whoever's in this body with you." He knew Castiel heard him, he saw the understanding in his eyes. But Castiel's heart did not slow. His breath did not relax.

"D-Dean, I…I…" Castiel gasped.

"Shh…" Dean soothed. "Breathe with me, okay?" Dean took a slow, deep breath. Castiel copied as best as he could. Dean continued to breathe deeply, waiting for the angel to relax. He looked up at his brother, who was at an equal loss of what to do. Castiel's heart calmed to a reasonable level, his breath slower but rattling.

The rain started to pour. Castiel shivered and leaned into Dean, shielding himself.

"Okay, Cas, we're gonna get you out of here, okay?" He said. Castiel's grip tightened on Dean's shirt so much it hurt. Dean winced and hoisted Castiel up. Sam came around on the other side and pulled the angel's arm over his shoulder. As quickly as they could, the two brothers hauled him to the Impala. Sam opened the door.

Dean laid Cas down in the back seat as carefully as he could. He draped the blanket he withdrew from under the seat over him, still unsure whether or not this was a terrible nightmare or not.

"You're gonna be alright, Cas." Dean said, giving him a small reassuring smile. He started to back away. Castiel gripped his forearm with an alarming amount of strength, his eyes begging Dean not to leave.

"Cas, Cas, it's okay, relax," Dean said, gently using his other arm to take the angel's hand away. "It's okay. I'm gonna be right up there, okay? You'll be able to see me." Castiel nodded slowly and swallowed. Dean shut the car door and looked up at his brother.

"What the hell is going on?" He said. Dean shrugged.

"I have no idea. But something scared the shit out of him." He said quietly. Sam looked down at Dean's shirt, his eyes growing.

"I think they did more than that." Dean looked down, his brows furrowing. The front of his shirt was soaked in blood. As were his arms and his hands. He shook his head.

"What would hurt an angel?" He asked.

"A demon."

"Yeah, but which one? Lilith would have killed him. Alastair's dead, who did this?"

"I don't know," Sam said. "But we gotta get back to the motel room."

Dean nodded and opened the passenger side door, sliding in and looking back at the angel. Castiel's eyes were shut, his face was pale and covered in a cold sweat. He jumped when the car started, turning his face into the upholstery. Dean reached back and gently touched his hand, so as not to startle him. Despite his efforts, Castiel flinched and turned to him, wide eyed.

"It's gonna be alright." He said. Castiel relaxed, closing his eyes again.

Dean faced forward, glancing at his brother before the car pulled back on the road and headed down the highway. Dean reflexively kept glancing at the rearview mirror, making sure the angel was alright. After awhile Castiel actually fell asleep.

***

"PLEASE! PLEASE NO!" Castiel screamed, writhing in the shackles that bound his wrists. The horrible, horrible instrument came at him again, light glinting off the blade. He screamed, water leaking out of his eyes. He didn't know what it was. "I BEG YOU, PLEASE! NO MORE! NO MORE!" The instrument clattered to the ground with a clang. The demon came toward him, grinning that inhuman grin.

He gasped for air, the wetness in his eyes leaking further.

"Aww…" The demon cooed. "Ickle angel's crying. Poor baby." Castiel turned away from the man's horrid face, closing his eyes.

He heard the man moving around, and he knew there was more agony to come.

"You better man up," The demon said. "'Cause I'm just getting started."

***

"Cas! Cas, calm down!" Castiel fought against Dean, screaming and trying with all his might to get away from him.

"NO! NO, LET ME GO! PLEASE, PLEASE DON'T HURT ME!" The sky responded to his voice with a hellacious clap of thunder.

"Castiel, listen to me!" Dean held his arms down on the bed, trying to prevent him from hurting himself. "Wake up, you gotta wake up! You're gonna kill this guy, please!" He was amazed at the strength Castiel had even when he was injured like this.

Finally, the angel's eyes opened, but his nightmare stuck with him.

"Please, please don't hurt me!" He begged.

"Cas," Dean let go of his arms. "Look at me, it's alright. I'm not gonna hurt you, okay? I'm not gonna hurt you. Shh…" Castiel looked up at his charge, registering that he was there.

"I, I was th-there. I, I wasn't h-here. I-"

"Shh…" Dean soothed. "You've never had a nightmare before, have you?" Castiel shook his head.

Dean turned to Sam, who was standing off to the side. They had been carrying Castiel in when he started having the panic attack.

"It's over now, it's over. Shh…" He said. There was such innocence in his eyes, such trust. It made Dean wonder what else Castiel had never experience. "Alright, we gotta get all this blood off of you, okay?" He said. Castiel nodded weakly. Dean carefully lifted him up and headed for the bathroom. Sam turned on the water and stepped out of the bathroom, feeling slightly awkward.

Dean knelt down, Castiel's head resting on his shoulder, too exhausted to lift it. Dean literally had to peel Castiel's shirt off, and that went for most of his clothes. He carefully lifted the angel into the tub, holding him up. Castiel gasped when he felt the warm water wash over him, leaning into Dean a little more.

"It's alright, Cas. Just relax."

Castiel was still shivering, and Dean checked several times to see if the water was too cold. He wondered if Castiel might actually have a fever, or well, his vessel did.

Once the blood cleared Dean could see the wounds. Wounds that he'd seen before. Castiel winced, moaning slightly.

"Shh…" Dean said, taking his attention off of the cuts, bruises and scars.

Dean turned off the water and quickly grabbed a towel. Castiel sighed, his head falling on Dean's chest, his wet hair dripping onto his shirt.

He moved Castiel to one of the beds in the room. He covered him up with a sheet and grabbed the first aid kit.

"What can I do?" Sam asked.

"We need peroxide." Dean said. Sam nodded, grabbed the keys to the Impala and walked out of the room.

Everything seemed to have gone out of Castiel. His limbs were limp, his eyes closed, he looked as if he'd been through a war that he fought by himself.

"How do you bear this?" He whispered.

"What?" Dean asked.

"This feeling…this, this…"

"Pain?"

"Pain." Castiel repeated.

"You've never felt it before, have you?" Dean said quietly.

"Not physical pain, no." The angel rasped. Dean winced.

"Cas, who did this to you?"

"Alastair." Castiel said, his voice cracking.

"That's not possible," Dean said quickly. "He's dead, Cas, he's dead."

"He's dead here," Castiel trembled. Dean looked at him, shaking his head slowly. "I've been in Hell, Dean."

"No, no," Dean said. Castiel shut his eyes, shaking all over at his words. "How long?"

Castiel kept his eyes closed.

"There…or here?"

"There."

"A month." Dean could hardly hear him.

"Four days here?" The broken angel nodded, still trembling uncontrollably. He looked up at Dean, tears in his eyes.

"You're the only one that can understand," He whimpered. "You're the only one." Dean scooped the angel into his arms, not knowing what else to do. Castiel sobbed into Dean's chest. The storm started up again outside. He understood now why the wounds looked so familiar. He'd received them himself. And from the same person Castiel did. Alastair was right. It's a funny world we live in.

"I…It was…Dean…" Castiel cried, once again gripping Dean so tightly it hurt.

"Shh…I know, Cas," There weren't words for it. Absolutely none. "I know."

"They took m-me to H-Hell…" He breathed. "Th-they took me t-to Hell."

"Who took you to Hell?" Dean asked. Castiel looked up at him.

Tbc…

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