Dean Winchester was not a coward. He never was.

That's just a fact.

So when the school bullies came to the motel for the revenge they'd promised, Dean just grabbed his jacket and left the room, intending to go face them.

"Dean, were you goin'?" came his six year old brother's voice.

Dean glanced out the window again. He didn't have much time before they got in. Giving his brother his best prepared smile, he shrugged. "Outside. Why don't you go watch TV? Batman's on today." But the little boy didn't move. Dean sighed. "Don't worry, I'll be back soon. Promise."

Sam smiled a little. "Okay." He just said, going to sit on the couch. Dean got out quietly and locked the door behind him. Dad wasn't supposed to be back before tomorrow night, and Dean wasn't about to risk Sammy's life.

He took his time to get down the stairs. He wasn't really looking forward to having his ass kicked by a whole gang. Sure he could – and would – fight, but what's a lone ten year old to do against at least seven guys over sixteen? Even though he had a knife, he didn't stand a chance.

He got out of the motel just in time to face his attackers. The smaller one snorted. "So, Winchester, ready to die?" he laughed.

"Not by your hands." Dean replied, and he couldn't help being inwardly proud of the way he kept his voice steady. He wouldn't give them the satisfaction of witnessing his fear. "Cause frankly, why would you call your buddies if you could do the job yourself. Oooh," he said, feigning to suddenly remember, "That's right, you can't. I kicked your ass."

The other boy was already shaking with anger. That got Dean very pleased with himself. So he decided to go on. "Hey man, what can I say? That's what you get for messing with my brother." He looked at the other boys. Man, they were huge. He could deal with two, maybe three of them, but he would never get them all. So he decided to try and dissuade them. "Who are you guys, anyway? His puppy dogs? You just follow him around and attack when he commands? Atta boys."

When he found himself with a black eye and a throbbing jaw, being chased into the woods by one very angry gang, he decided that maybe it wasn't such a good strategy. He'd lost his knife in the process, but it wouldn't have done much good anyway : the others had plenty of weapons. Razor blades, knifes, baseball bats, chains… None of them looked really appealing to Dean. So he kept running, comforting himself with the thought that he'd at least managed to break two noses and three fingers. He could hear them yelling after him, promising him a slow, painful death. He sure was fast, he knew that. But he wasn't sure how long he could keep up that pace.

He was soon answered though as his foot got caught in a root and he came down hard. The bullies easily caught up with him, laughing at his clumsiness. One of them grabbed him by the collar and shook him hard. "Not so proud now, are ya?" he laughed in the twelve year old's face. Dean could taste metal in his mouth, probably from his newly split lip. He collected all the blood and saliva he could and spat it the boy's eye. The bully let go abruptly, anger coloring his features. "That's it, little guy. You're gonna pay."

But just as he raised an angry fist, something caught his eye and he stopped short. There was a man standing there, silently glaring at him. The man was tall, about 6 foot 2, had dark hair and piercing blue-green eyes. Something in his eyes and composure made him look downright scary and threatening. The man slowly walked to position himself in front of Dean, making the bullies take a few steps back. If he were to be perfectly honest, Dean would say that the man scared the hell out of him to.

The man kept staring at the bullies until they couldn't take it anymore and they ran away. Then the stranger turned towards Dean, slightly tilting his head to the side. "Are you alright, little one?" he asked. The boy just nodded, not trusting his voice to hide his uneasiness. He slowly got to his feet, still holding the man's gaze. This seemed to amuse the stranger, though. Then he started to walk away. Dean just stood there, watching him leave. The man turned around and frowned. "It is your right not to trust me, Dean. But if you want to get out of these woods before the night, I suggest you follow me."

That being said, the man started to walk again. Dean looked around, unsure of what to do. Yep, he was deep into the woods and had no idea how to get out. Granted he hadn't been given much time to take his marks, but he didn't really feel like spending the night in these woods either. He ran a little to catch up with the man. He didn't come to walk beside him, choosing to stay a few feet behind instead. They kept walking quietly like that for a while. The man never turned around to make sure the boy followed him, but somehow Dean was sure the man knew he was there.

Before Dean knew it, they were out of the woods and facing the motel. The man turned to face Dean again and held out his hand. The boy looked down and was surprised to see his knife in the large palm. "I believe this is yours." It wasn't a question.

"Thanks." Dean said. He looked at the motel and saw Sam looking at him through the window. The little boy seemed relieved to see his brother, but at the same time surprised at the sight of the person with him. The two brothers shared a look and Dean smiled reassuringly at Sam.

Tearing his eyes from his brother's he turned to the stranger. "So who're you anyway?" But only the whisper of the wind answered him. Bewildered, Dean looked around. The man couldn't have gone far. He was there a second ago! He looked back at his brother who seemed just as surprised as he was. Shrugging, Dean got back into their motel room.

"What were you doing?" Sam asked the door as his brother locked himself in the bathroom.

"Ah, you know, getting some air." Dean replied absentmindedly. He was looking at his own reflection. The boy staring back at him had no trace of a fight. No black eye, no bruise, no split lip, no nothing. Dean shook his head in disbelief. It just couldn't be.

Outside, Sam wasn't done just yet. "Who was this guy with you?"

"I don't know Sam." Dean replied as he got the shower running, hoping his brother got the message.

"And how did he do that?" Get the message. Right. "Disappearing I mean."

"Dunno." Maybe he was a spirit, Dean thought. Then he shrugged this idea. Way too vivid. He thought.

"Maybe he was an angel!" Sam piped in happily.

That thought made Dean laugh. Yeah, right. Angels.


"It was you, wasn't it?" Dean told the celestial.

Castiel frowned. "What are you talking about?"

"Twenty years ago, when I got chased into the woods by those bullies. Some weird guy randomly came and saved my ass. When I got back at the motel I didn't even have a scratch. It was you?"The angel didn't reply, but he had a very small smile playing on his lips. That was all the answer Dean needed. "Man," the hunter laughed, "To think that I've actually met you twenty years ago!"

"I didn't think you'd remember." Castiel shrugged. "You were just a boy."

"You kidding? You scared the hell out of me that day!"

Castiel looked appalled. "I'm sorry, it wasn't my intention…"

Dean laughed again. "Ah, forget about it, fly boy." Then a thought made him frown. "Wait a minute. I thought you guys hadn't come to earth in two thousand years."

The angel smiled sadly. "I wasn't supposed to come that day. But…"

"But what?" Dean prompted.

"But you would have died if I hadn't. And it didn't seem fair to me." That left Dean speechless. "I got into trouble for it, though." The angel said, unnaturally trying to lighten the mood.

"Yeah, I bet." Dean snorted. "Hey, what about the guy you possessed?"

"Christian?" Castiel asked, and Dean chuckled at the irony. "I asked for his permission and told him what I wanted to do. I brought him back home right after I was done."

"Well…" Dean said, "Thanks for saving my ass. Again."

Castiel smiled. "That's my job."

The end.

As for Christian, I don't know if I did a good job at describing the guy, but I was thinking about Julian McMahon. Hence the name :)

So, what do you think? Just let me know, I love reviews!