The Nightmare Before Twilight

Dean started to clean the horrible wounds on Castiel's body with a rag soaked with peroxide. The angel gasped in pain and looked up at him, confusion and pain in his fever struck eyes.

"Wh-why are y-you hurting m-m-me?" He breathed. Dean gently touched the angel's forehead.

"I'm not trying to hurt you, Cas, I promise. This'll make it better, okay?" He said softly. Castiel's lower lip trembled as he looked up at the hunter, that same raw trust in his face. "It's gonna be okay." Dean assured.

He cleaned the rest of Castiel's wounds without further incident. Until he looked at Castiel's hands. He hadn't noticed them before, the large deep red circles that were bruised around the edges.

"Cas, what happened to your hands?" He asked. Castiel shut his eyes, whimpering at the memory. Dean went on a hunch and pulled the sheet he had draped over the angel up, revealing his ankles. Dean winced and put the sheet back. "What the hell…Stigmata?" He said. A tremor went through the angel's body as he nodded. "That sick son of a bitch."

"Sam could you get me some water?" Dean asked. Sam nodded and went to the sink. Dean wrapped the angel's hands and ankles, trying not to imagine what Castiel had gone through.

Castiel was still trembling violently when Dean pulled out the materials to stitch up some of the deeper cuts. Sam sat the glass of water on the nightstand.

Castiel was calm until Dean started applying the stitches. His eyes opened at the sudden discomfort. He saw the hooked needle and cried out, tensing and trying to pull away from him.

"D-don't! P-please, Dean d-don't hurt m-me, please!"

"Hey, hey, easy, Cas, easy," Dean said. Castiel didn't look at him. His eyes were on the needle in his skin. "Hey," Dean lifted the angel's chin, making him look at him. "It's just stitches, Cas. It's a good thing. I know it stings, but it really helps, okay?" Sam nudged Dean's shoulder with something hard. He turned, recognizing the whiskey bottle in his brother's hand.

"Thanks, Sammy," He said, taking the bottle from him and unscrewing the cap. He carefully picked up Castiel's head and tipped the bottle into his mouth. "Just a mouthful, okay?" He said.
The angel drank without question and began coughing when he swallowed.

"Burns." He rasped. Dean nodded.

"I know, I know," He said. He poured a little on the wounds and grabbed the needle again. "Feels a little better, right?" He asked. Castiel nodded. He shut his eyes and turned his head away from the sight.

Dean hated that he was making Castiel feel this way, that the sight of the needle itself scared him. But he understood why. He understood the feeling very well. He remembered what he felt when he picked up a knife for the first time when he was out. How he wanted to run and cower when someone threatened him with a blunt object or a blade. Loud noises bothered him too. But it passed after awhile…almost completely…Almost.

Castiel winced and whimpered, burying his head deeper into the pillow.

"Shh…It's okay, it's okay." He soothed, rubbing his forehead. Sam stood off to the side, waiting to be useful in some way.

Dean finished with the rest of the wounds and covered them. He lifted Castiel's head again, grabbing the cup of water off of the nightstand next to him. Castiel groaned and turned his head away.

"I d-don't want an-anymore."

"Shh…It's just water," Dean assured. "I'm not givin' you anymore, alright?"

As soon as the water passed through his dry lips Castiel instantly began drinking rapidly.

"Easy," Dean said. "Easy." Castiel paused once to breathe, and then attacked the glass again.

"Relax," Dean said quietly. "I'm not gonna take it away from you, Cas." The angel drained the glass in less than two minutes.

Dean lied him back down, feeling his forehead again. He coaxed Castiel's mouth open and slipped a thermometer inside. 104.6. He sighed, shutting his eyes for a moment.

First things first, He thought. He needs clothes.

He dressed Castiel as carefully as he could, making an attempt not to scare him. After half a dozen reassurances the angel made an effort to relax. When Dean tried to slip a T-shirt over his head Castiel cried out and shrunk away from it. Dean put it back in his bag without any sort of question. He moved to lay the angel down when Castiel hugged him again. Dean hugged him back without any hesitation.

"Thank you." Castiel whispered. Dean nodded and set him back down on the pillows. Castiel winced deeply, hissing and arching his back off of the bed slightly.

"Cas, what's wrong?!" Both Dean and Sam exclaimed in unison.

"Dean, step back," Castiel said softly. "Please! …Sam…get back, please!" Dean scrambled off the bed and backed to the far wall with his younger brother.

Castiel screamed as his back arched once more. There was a flash of light, bright and blinding.

When it faded two bloodstained white wings stretched out next to him, almost touching the walls on either side of him.

Dean and Sam looked at them, wide eyed and almost disbelieving. Castiel's chest heaved, as if in relief from some heavy burden. He kept his eyes closed, his forehead creased in pain.

Dean dared to step forward first. He looked at the bloodied feathers, understanding what exactly happened to them. He sat down next to the angel like he had been.

"Alastair did this to them too, didn't he?" He asked. Castiel whimpered and nodded. "Will they heal?"

"Eventually," The angel breathed. "These wounds are unholy, and they were received in an unholy place…It hurt just to be there, Dean. I am unsure when they will heal. But they will, faster than any normal human's would. But not as fast as I'd like." Dean nodded.

"You need to rest, Cas. I know how tired you are, you have to sleep." He said.

Castiel looked at him, his eyes fearful.

"It's alright. I'll be right here." He promised. He grasped the angel's bandaged hand for reassurance.

Castiel's sleep heavy eyes drooped closed, and stayed that way soon.

"He has no idea what to do, Sam." Dean whispered. Sam sat on the bed opposite him.

"I know. I don't understand what he could have possibly done to deserve something like that." He said.

"Nothing. Castiel didn't do a damn thing to deserve any of this. He's an angel for Christ's sake." Dean spat. Sam nodded.

"I'm gonna get a room next door," He said. "There's no room in here." Dean shook his head.

"Don't," He muttered. "I probably won't sleep tonight." Sam sighed that bitchy sigh of his that drove Dean nuts. He knew there was a Mom lecture coming before he even started.

"Dean, you need to sleep. It's not going to help either one of you if you stay awake." He said.

"What if he wakes up?" He said.

"You're right there." Sam said pointedly. Before anything else was said he walked out of the motel room, bag in hand.

Dean stayed awake for as long as he could, but fatigue got the best of him soon enough and he let go of Castiel's hand reluctantly. He collapsed on the bed next to him, falling asleep in seconds.

***

He woke up a few hours later with the feeling that something was seriously wrong. And his fears were confirmed when he saw that Castiel's bed was empty.

"God, not again." He said, sitting bolt upright. He didn't have to look long to find the angel.

He stood, pain in his eyes and walked toward Castiel slowly.

The angel was huddled in the corner, curled into a ball, and looking at Dean like he was the most frightening thing he had ever seen in his life.

"Cas," He said gently, holding out his hands. "Cas, it's me, it's Dean." Castiel shook his head almost violently.

"No!" His voice came out as a tiny whimper. "No! You're a liar! What have you done with him?" Castiel shook harder and harder as Dean got closer.

"Cas, it's me. I'm not a trick, I'm not a demon, and I am not going to hurt you. I promised, remember?" Castiel covered his ears and shut his eyes.

"No, no don't do this to me, please! Do not deceive me this way…please!" He begged. Dean's heart ached at his words.

"Cas, Cas look," Dean grabbed the bottle of holy water out of his bag and splashed some on his arm. "Look, I'm not a demon."

"Lies," Castiel whispered. He was crying now. "Lies!" Dean reached out and grabbed the angel's shoulders, facing him squarely.

"Cas, Cas, if I was a demon how…how would I know about you sending me back in time? Huh, how would I know about that?" Castiel looked at him, sobs lightly shaking his body. His wings quivered along with the rest of him.

Dean could feel the heat coming from the angel's skin. This had to be a fevered delusion.

"C'mon, Cas, you're okay. I'm not a demon, it's just me, alright?"

"Dean..?" The softest whisper. Dean nodded, looking the angel in the eye.

"Yes, Cas, it's me. You're safe, okay?" The angel relaxed, uncurling from his fetal position. He collapsed in Dean's arms, sobbing. "Shh…Shh…"

"I-I'm sorry."

"Shh…It's alright, Cas. You just gotta rest, okay?" He hauled Castiel back up to the bed as carefully as he could and refused to let him go this time. Castiel cried into his chest, folding his arms to his own. "It's okay, shh…shhhh…" Dean soothed.

Castiel may have cried all night, Dean didn't keep track. He fell asleep sitting up somehow and still didn't let Castiel go. He didn't know when his guardian angel would get better, but he swore then and there that he would be there for him as long as he needed him. Because, like Castiel said, he was the only one that could understand.

***

"I can't be here long." He said. The demon nodded.

"Yes, I understand. You have your own agenda to tend to," He said. "I'm just glad you decided to listen to me. That egghead before wouldn't pay attention to damn word I said, and look where he ended up. Dead as a doornail."

"Yes, well hopefully Castiel will understand that we are stronger than he is now."

"I thought you didn't have a side, Zachariah." Alastair said.

"I don't," The angel snapped. "But that doesn't mean I can't help out one every now and then. Especially when fighting this is so pointless."

"Well said," Alastair grinned. "I may not be allowed topside anymore but I'll be happy to help anytime you need me." Zachariah nodded.

"If this message doesn't sink in this time Heaven will be taking its own actions, and under my orders this time. And without that pathetic vessel to give him that human strength. No, no he will be ours. I can guarantee it."

"You better get that in writing," Alastair said. "'Cause even the best forced lap dog can bite you."

"I doubt it," Zachariah snorted. "Castiel can't think for himself. Who would give him the reason to go against orders?" And with that the angel departed from the fiery place. Alastair chuckled and shook his head.

"Dean Winchester," He said. "You watch, Zachariah, he will make your lap dog bite." And he strode into the dark corner to which he was condemned, off to do what he did best.

END

--Well that's it for the "Nightmare" trilogy. But don't worry, i get bored a lot ;). Feedback plz!--