Hey y'all :):):).

I just found this story in one of my files the other day (I can't even remember writing it) and I decided to put it up to make up for lack of updates - I just haven't had any time at the moment so... =/.

I assume this was written when I got to thinking about Castiel raising Dean from Hell and thought that, although angels are very powerful beings, I doubt that if it was so easy to simply teleport into and out of Hell to save a soul, why hadn't they done it already? And so, this is a version showing their actual struggle as they laid siege to Hell to fly through it and reach Dean.

Summary:- It wasn't every day that angels willingly plunged into the fiery depths of Hell - Castiel and his garrison lay siege to Hell in the hope of saving Dean Winchester's soul before the destruction of the first seal.

A list of the angels in Castiel's garrison will be at the end of the story =].

Anyways, hope you all enjoy!!!


Playlist:-

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - Godspeed

Beastie Boys - Sabotage

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - You Better Pray

Thriving Ivory - Angels On The Moon


Silent footfalls fell on heavenly ground, each pair of feet in perfect synchronisation with those of their wandering partners. Each step was weightless, barely gracing Heaven's floor beneath them – out of respect for their sanctuary.

The garrison moved as one, passing countless other angelic creatures: bright eyes sincere and heads bowed in acknowledgement. Many knew that the group of soldiers upon who they looked so favourably today may not return to them again tomorrow.

Their task was not to be an easy one.

At the head of the graceful garrison walked a beautifully ethereal being, head held high and expression impassive. His eyes, stunning sapphire orbs, glanced briefly at the others who surveyed them and he inclined his head at their support.

We may not return; they know this.

Behind him followed his second-in-command, proud and towering. His gaze, much deeper and more sincere stared straight ahead, occasionally lowering to the back of their leader's head reassuringly. Sensing the glance, the lead angel sent a small thought of gratitude at his older brother's watchfulness.

With attentive sensitivity, he emphatically touched the spiritual entities of his garrison behind him, being welcomed openly and respected for his concern. He would do his best to see that their mission was completed with few casualties. After all, they were kin and to see one fall always brought sorrow.

"Castiel."

Stopping, spine straightened, the head of the small group inclined his head to his superior. "Zachariah," he replied, holding the elder angel's penetrating stare. "The garrison is prepared."

"Good." Zachariah, with an air of unmistakable authority, studied each individual angel that stood loyally behind Castiel. He took in their stature, even gazing into each individual glowing grace to see if the young leader had chosen his companions wisely.

In truth, Zachariah had disagreed with the higher council's decision to appoint Castiel as leader of such an important garrison. It wasn't that the angel was weak, far from it in fact. Yet, he was a youthful creature: softer when he should have been a hardened warrior, compassionate when at times he should have been indifferent…

But, the elder angel found himself thinking as he snapped wise eyes back to the enticing ones before him, there was no denying that Castiel was indeed an admirable angel.

With a nod of approval, Zachariah gave them his blessing, "May our Father watch over you in your mission. May you complete it with honour and return to our gates once more."

As one, the garrison lowered their gazes at the words. "Amen," they spoke in unison, voices singing across the quiet crowds of angels that had arrived to bid them farewell.

Zachariah reached forth, clasping Castiel's shoulder strongly. Steadily, the young angel met his look, patiently waiting for his superior to speak. "Today is not the day for a battle. As soon as you retrieve him, you leave. Do you understand?"

"I understand."

And, with an expression that Castiel was unable to identify, Zachariah released him and left them to their fates.

Again, the angelic fleet advanced, the tall heavenly gates looming ahead of them, shielding them from what they were soon to face. Steadily, they began to open, revealing the exit to Heaven and the pathway towards their destination.

Light flowed mesmerizingly out of the gates, casting a warming glow on the world below that humans would only regard as a bright burst of sunlight on an otherwise cloud-filled day. They wouldn't understand the significance of what they were truly being witness to.

It wasn't every day that angels willingly plunged into the fiery depths of Hell.

"Castiel," came a deep voice from behind the leader as they passed through the shimmering gates. Listening carefully, Castiel tilted his head slightly to the side, waiting for his comrade to continue. "Are you not afraid, brother?"

With a barely perceptible crease of his brows, Castiel resumed staring ahead as they passed out of Heaven, walking above the human world on pure rays of light.

"Fear is a distraction that I would rather avoid," he eventually replied, voice calm and collected as he felt his siblings follow close behind him.

"You did not answer my question."

Shining eyes blinked once in pronounced lethargy. "I feel it is of no consequence, Uriel. We will enter their dominion regardless of our feelings upon the matter and I do not believe that such emotions would grant us any assistance should we try to clarify them."

Behind him, the taller angel quirked a small smile of appreciation. He said nothing, but Castiel knew that he had answered well, perhaps even as a true leader should.

Hearing Heaven's gates close behind them, Castiel stopped, feeling the garrison come to a halt behind him. He lowered his head, gazing into the swirling light that separated them from the humans: a void between them. Steadily, the light began to disperse, becoming more translucent with each passing moment until the angels could finally see what lay beneath them.

Castiel remained motionless, surveying the world below with a calculating expression. They would have to literally fall into the world below to break past the demons' defences and slip through the void that led to Hell.

"Is everyone certain?"

The question was spoken out to each individual angel behind him as he stared down towards the ground so far below. He felt Uriel tense behind his shoulder and heard the other warriors edge closer, answering with their brave actions.

"Paschar, Sariel," spoke the shining angel, feeling their intense gazes upon him as soon as their names graced his lips. "Do you see the way?"

Both angels breathed in slowly, despite not needing to inhale any air. Their eyes fluttered closed, faces smoothed out peacefully as their minds yearned forth to formulate the path that they were soon to carve through the cruel pits below.

Their eyes opened at the same moment, flashing briefly with a pale light before returning to their natural irises. "The way is set, Castiel," Sariel announced and both he and Paschar instantly projected an image of their course into the other angels' minds.

Castiel watched with glazed eyes as he was shown their path, cutting through despair and torturous screams towards an isolated area. He studied the suspended chains, following them upwards as they twisted and overlapped in a disarrayed pattern.

Abruptly, he stopped, eyes on a man screaming in agony. Hooks were impaled through his body, ripping harshly through soft flesh and pinning him there, barely even able to writhe in agony without causing himself more unwanted pain.

The angel's eyes narrowed, taking in the now sobbing figure before him. "You are certain this is him?" he questioned in his mind, an uncomfortable sensation that he identified to be uncertainty digging at his stomach.

"Dean Winchester's presence is here," Paschar's soft voice filtered through his consciousness. "There have been no signs that the first seal has been broken. Therefore, his suffering and torment must still be consistent. We still have time to prevent the beginning of the end."

Nodding in satisfaction, Castiel drew back, banishing the image of the broken man away into the recesses of his mind. He turned swiftly, facing his garrison seriously, regarding them each in turn.

Pausing before speaking, knowing that a preparation task would still be unable to prepare them for the full torments of what must lay below, Castiel began: "This mission will not be easy. As soon as the demons discover our presence, violence will be unavoidable."

At this, Uriel huffed slightly. "Those vile stains deserve what's coming to them."

"Yes, but I need not stress how outnumbered we will be. The only advantage we will truly have during this siege is the element of surprise. After that, our chances will decrease rapidly. We are strong, but thirteen angels cannot defeat an entire legion of Hell's creatures."

The warriors nodded in comprehension, faces emotionally blank. They all appeared fearless: the type of enemy that you would never wish to find yourselves pitted against.

Castiel held their attentive stares. "We have one objective: save Dean Winchester. That is all we need to accomplish. I want everyone in and out of there as swiftly as our wings can soar. No unnecessary delays…" With that, he glanced at Uriel who simply looked away, fists curling in anticipation for a smiting that had been long in the making.

"And," his bright eyes swivelled back to the rest of the garrison, "it is imperative that you do not stop moving. Even if one of us falls, do not stop." He put emphasis on the last three words, knowing that truthfully, he would feel ashamed had he abandoned one of his brothers in the field.

It is necessary, he reminded himself, once again studying the other angels as they silently answered in obedience.

"As soon as you locate Dean Winchester, signal to the others and leave as soon as possible. The longer we stay in Hell's perimeter, the more probable it will become that we should fail." Again, there was a collective nod. "Are you prepared?"

"Yes," they replied with vigour, determined in their task.

With a tilt of his head, Castiel turned again, glancing down briefly. He felt his long wings spread out from their furled position, pearly white feathers stretching to their full potential. They elegantly extended from his shoulder blades, dipping inwards lightly at the edges as though preparing to shield him.

He heard the rustle of feathers behind him as the garrison followed suit: a sea of pure white swimming somewhere above the clouds. Castiel blinked his ocean-deep eyes once, memorising the swift path they would have to take and preparing his grace for what was to come.

Then, bending his knees slightly, he pushed off, leaping high into the air. Before the descent, he twisted around skilfully, now facing vertical towards the ground below. Wings flicking outward, suspending him momentarily in the air, they gave one powerful push forth.

Shooting like a speeding bullet, he broke cleanly through the outer atmosphere, entering steadily into humanity's domain. Perfect hearing allowed him to listen as the loyal angels mirrored his actions, following him down without a second thought.

With his beautiful wings now pinned to his back, Castiel felt the wind whipping past him, doing nothing to slow his rapid dive. He stared with unblinking eyes as the human world began to come into clearer focus and he studied it with acute intensity.

He had always found humanity to be a fascinating species, and yet it had been many years since he had walked freely among them. There had been no cause for angels to pass into their world, but with the looming threat overhead, for the first time in so long, they would cut through it to stop the breaking of the seals.

"Castiel," he heard Sammael speak in his head, "the void is fast approaching."

And the angel saw it.

A dark wisp of smoke seemed to flicker above the earth's surface, visible only to a supernatural entity's eyes. The blue orbs narrowed, arms now flattening fully to his sides as he increased his speed, wanting to literally burst through into Hell.

The ground was approaching sickeningly fast: close enough that Castiel could even read the markings on the surface of the tarmac road, stark white against the black. He saw the deep smoke lash out towards them, as though sensing their approach and he tensed.

Before the impact, Barakiel's words whispered comfortingly to the garrison's ears – a last moment of peace as the depths prepared to consume them.

"May good fortune look favourably upon us."

Eyes flashing a blinding white, the writhing smoke converged upon them, instantly suffocating the world of humanity. Then, in a fiery flash accompanied by an orchestra of agonised screams, Castiel's eyes widened, fading back to blue as they entered Hell.

And it was worse than anything had ever prophesised…

Snapping his wings out violently, Castiel veered away as a sharp outburst of blackened fire leapt out towards them. He understood instantly why Hell was referred to as fire and brimstone – he could already feel the scorching heat licking at his form, singeing his fair feathers.

And yet, no fire resided where Dean Winchester is held, he realised instantly, blinking up at the vast depths of Hell that stretched out before him. How far would they have to go to reach the one they had come for?

An inhuman scream tore him from his thoughts and he twisted as the true form of a grotesque demon lunged at him. It leapt from the blood-soaked walls with hasty agility, a sadistic hunger lurking in its eyes as gnarled hands strained for his wings.

Raising his palm, a force of powerful energy slammed into the creature, ripping it apart instantly. Its carcass fell brokenly to the floor, exploding into ashes as soon as it hit the bone-riddled floor.

His wings beat vigorously, guiding him swiftly between the jagged crisscrossing rocks where many piled souls remained impaled while crying out to him. With a steeled expression, he ignored their calls, flipping over and dodging the endless spurting flames that reached out to devour him.

"Castiel, I believe the element of surprise has been lost already, brother."

Upon hearing Uriel's words, Castiel glanced down, brow furrowing as he watched swarms of shadows seem to merge. Vicious snarling rose up towards the angels and he realised that his comrade couldn't be more correct – their advantage had already been lost.

Sensing an approaching presence, Castiel narrowed his eyes as a winged beast dove towards him, talons extended furiously. Fanning out his wings, his flight halted instantly in the creature's path, facing it head on.

He raised his knees towards his chest, kicking out with impressive force and colliding with the beast's chest. Agility on his side, his wings pushed away once, sending him neatly over the screeching body to its head. He grabbed its neck, twisting with a sharp snap before taking flight once more.

More beasts approached, but before he could react, the two angels of justice tore ahead of him, slamming mercilessly into their ranks. Munkir and Nakir were ruthless, ripping and tearing before the creatures could even issue a cry. Then, they swooped away, ploughing down into the next attacking creatures while leaving the beasts' now-wingless bodies to become gravity's victim.

Castiel sped on, his mind touching lightly against the separate members of his garrison, noting that they were all faring well. Dodging another torrent of fire, feeling in brush close against his chest, the young angel heard a shrilling cry.

No more than a second later, he found that he could no longer feel Paschar's presence…

Silently uttering a prayer, Castiel spun in the air, cutting through a crumbling archway. His speed, it seemed, was much more prominent than that of the other angels and he was glad for it. The sooner he found Dean Winchester, the sooner he could get his garrison out of harm's way.

As he soared, he restrained himself from attacking the demons below, knowing that using all of his energy in revenge would be pointless. He needed every ounce of strength that he could muster to reach the tormented hunter and raise him from perdition.

He heard Nisroc approach behind, flanking him loyally. "How do the others fare?" he asked, knowing that as a leader he must keep his sights set solely on their goal ahead, never to look back…

"Munkir and Nakir are causing a distraction, but the brave Paschar has fallen. Barakiel and Remliel were together last I saw. I have lost sight of the others, but their presences remain."

Castiel nodded to himself, satisfied. It soothed his soul enough to know that eleven of his warriors had survived so far – Paschar would be honoured when they returned, but he did not wish to pray for any more fallen soldiers of their cause.

A stab of pain stabbed through Castiel's mental link and he winced, trying to block off the emotion. Behind him, a choked gasp perforated the air and the younger angel twisted, glancing back to his comrade. His shining eyes widened considerably as he watched Nisroc falter, a rusting hook now embedded through his neck.

Castiel slowed in his progress, straightening and turning where he hovered. His gaze met the stunned green orbs of his brother, time seeming to freeze for a moment, before the chain that bore the now bloodied hook was wrenched backwards.

For a moment, Castiel forgot his own words: Even if one of us falls, do not stop. And so, determined to save the other angel, he dove, flipping once over so that he could execute a perfect head-first plunge.

Despite his speed, he wasn't fast enough, the tormenting heat hindering his abilities. He watched Nisroc slam harshly against the rock-riddled floor, his spine arching harshly as more glowing blood erupted from his gaping mouth.

Within moments, demons were converging upon him, ripping and tearing the weakened warrior apart. The cries of agony cut through Castiel and he felt Nisroc's presence slip away. Furrowing his brow, he twisted, turning back the other way and swooping past the creatures at such proximity that many were flung back by the force of his formidable wings.

He spared yet another prayer for his departed brother. The irony stung harshly at him and he pushed it away with difficulty: it was torturous that an angel of freedom should be so easily cut down and trapped.

A whistling noise dragged his attention away, but his reactions were too slow, his mind distracted by the loss of his kin. A barbed spear sliced through his right side, thankfully missing his still beating wings, but digging into his grace and trapping the weapon there cruelly.

Withholding a cry, Castiel unwillingly dipped, leaning into the spear and feeling the barbs twist deeper. He blinked rapidly, trying to right the violently spinning world as he careened out of control. The looming jagged rocks approached too fast and he fought desperately to retain control of his flight path.

Concentrating all of his will power, Castiel snapped his wings out in synchronisation. The movement stopped his twirling momentum and he forced one strong wing beat to send him up over the cliff face. He had to flip over to avoid being impaled, instead causing a harsh gash to rip between his shoulder blades while blood spurted over his fluttering feathers.

He felt the heat of the constant flames behind him begin to ebb away and glanced ahead, beginning to recognise the surroundings from the vision that Paschar and Sariel had projected. Massing cloud above him crackled violently, flashing in an array of colours: grey and black while entwined with a deepening green.

Chains above rustled restlessly and, narrowing his eyes, Castiel thought that he could see bodies suspended above. He reached out with his mind, yearning for a specific soul, but he could not yet sense the one he had come to liberate.

He rose swiftly above a hanging chain before ducking neatly beneath another, a strain in his side making his execution less smooth than it should have been previously.

A hand gripped at the spear, knowing that the only way for him to heal would be to pull it out. He had no idea as of yet if being in Hell's domain would affect his celestial abilities, but the constant shifting of sharpened barbs beneath the surface of his glowing form was beginning to cause a more erratic flight.

With little delay, he tugged at it forcefully, tearing it free. He fell for a moment, his wings locking as fire erupted through his frame. His pale fingers tightened around the shaft of the spear, his eyes closing as he fought against the pain, determined not to let it beat him.

Snarling alerted him, the clinking of chains indicating its rapid approach. Blue orbs opened sharply and Castiel reached forth, his free hand gripping a nearby chain tightly. He held on tightly as he swung beneath it and up, letting go abruptly and flipping around.

He heard the demon roar as it leapt for him and his head rose back upright while completing his rotation. The hand holding the spear rose up: barbed end shimmering with deadly intent in the flashing light above. Watching the creature's face contort in realisation, Castiel cast the weapon forward with incredible speed.

Leaning back again, as though to roll backward once more, Castiel descended, wings spreading outward when he heard the demon's agonised scream. Then the beautiful appendages beat with purpose, shooting him forth beneath the creature's body as it writhed and began to fall.

"Castiel, my brother," he heard Uriel's voice call for him in his mind, a hint of concern lurking deep beneath the bravado. "Are you well?"

Upon hearing the question, Castiel glanced down at the sluggishly bleeding wound on his side, thick blood oozing outward and dripping beneath him as he flew. Frowning, he focussed on the injury, attempting to heal it but to no avail. A sigh whispered from his lips as he glanced back at the path that he continued to follow.

It made sense that the ability to heal would be futile in this region – after all, was that not the point of torture?

"I am fine, Uriel. I sense no distress from you and presume you to be unhurt: is this accurate of my assumption?"

The elder angel seemed to pause for a moment. "You are accurate, brother. However, I fear we have lost more warriors of the garrison than we truly expected. I myself saw Colopatirion fall a mere moment ago."

Castiel squeezed his eyes closed at the news, ashamed that his own torment had overshadowed the death of one of his brothers. As he opened his eyes again, dodging more interlaced chains, the youthful leader nodded solemnly. "Paschar and Nisroc have fallen also."

He felt Uriel's shock reverberate across their link, heard him pray in his mind, before Castiel added, "And I fear for the others. Our connections seem to be dimming with each second we spend in this region."

"I too agree. This place unnerves me deeply and I am beginning to have doubts. Perhaps there is a reason that celestial beings never before have chosen to pass through this void and lay waste to the creatures that thrive in this forsaken place." Uriel stopped, disgust feeding through to Castiel strongly, "It is imperative that we reach Winchester as soon as possible. I have lost my way from the path we must follow, Castiel. I believe the task of raising him may fall to you."

Raising his eyes to the converging clouds above, Castiel knew that he was close. Something small, like a tiny spark, flitted across his mind and he studied it curiously. As soon as it had come, however, it was gone again, but the feeling left behind filled the angel with a sense of elation.

"Castiel, what is it? Do you sense him?"

"I believe so. For a moment, I sensed his soul. He is near, Uriel. He is…"Before he could finish, a blast of telekinetic energy slammed into him, knocking him instantly off course. The tear in his side ripped wider and he grunted, clasping a strong hand to the wound on instinct.

Castiel heard his brother calling for him, but found he had little time to reply as a torrent of barbed spears rose up towards him. Straightening, wings pushing upwards lightly to keep him in a hovering position, the young angel thrust his shimmering palm outward. Light, pure and untainted, flowed from him, forming a barrier that slammed mercilessly into the murdering instruments, rebounding them back towards their owners.

As he gazed around, he saw a stream of shadowed creatures beginning to scour the hanging chains, like vermin scurrying in search of food. Before they could approach him closer, he turned horizontal, injury straining cruelly as he stretched, then forced his wings to send him forth.

Demons lunged out towards him as he passed, but he merely spun, resilient bone in his arched wings clipping them and releasing the creatures from their perched positions. He moved with untimely grace, dodging stray spears that flew towards him and blocking any telekinetic attacks that were directed in his direction.

Searching for the power lurking within his grace, his eyes flickered white before he snapped his hands open wide. Rays of light fired simultaneously forth like speeding missiles, locating each nearby demon and exploding into them, burning them alive in angelic fire.

As he soared with no intent of being stopped, the familiar spark flitted across his consciousness and he quickly grasped at it. Dean Winchester's soul was near – he could feel it.

Ahead of him, he saw a suspended man, sobbing and crying pitifully. Castiel studied him with sincere eyes, remembering the vision and instantly diving closer. His sincere eyes narrowed, taking in every aspect of the suspended man, but again, the familiar gnawing sensation persisted and he slowed abruptly, hovering above the tormented soul.

Castiel tilted his head, a brief look of confusion passing over his face. He knew he had little time to linger, but there was something wrong that he couldn't quite place. He reached out a hand to the whimpering soul, searching for the spark that had led him closer.

Yet, he could feel nothing.

With a frown, the angel withdrew his hand, instead reaching out with his mind. "Child, tell me your name," he ordered gently, watching as tear-filled eyes opened in hesitation, swivelling to glance at him. His stare widened fractionally, tracing the magnificent wings that extended from the being's shoulder blades; that kept him suspended when he should have fallen.

Impaled hands twitched, fingers reaching toward the ethereal being, "A-Are you an angel…?" he grated out through a cracking voice: broken by years of screaming. Blood splattered over his chin as he spoke and for a moment he choked on the viscous liquid clogging his throat.

"Yes," Castiel replied, bowing his head to appraise the soul carefully. "I have come for the one named Dean Winchester."

And, unless the angel had been mistaken, a look of terror passed over the soul's visage, pale complexion paling further. His chapped lips parted as though to say something, before the chains were released and the man dropped with a cry to the ground below.

The urge to lunge and stop the soul's descent was halted by his duty. He had no doubt that this soul was not the one he had come to liberate and thus, he had no business to interfere in his punishment.

However, he did watch as the flailing man fell, screeching all the way as his suspension was cut. As he stared, the spark returned and Castiel's brow furrowed as he struggled to comprehend what he was being told. The soul had vanished beneath a shroud of green clouds to somewhere unknown beneath: was that where Dean Winchester's spirit now resided?

War cries of the murderous demons in pursuit forced his decision, and without a moment's respite, he plunged into the hidden abyss.

Blinding lights flashed about him as he cut through the masses of cloud, parting them in the same way that Moses had parted the red sea. He was graceful as he broke through each barrier that separated him from the aim of his mission: the reason for their strife and suffering in this place.

The feathers upon his wings, burnt and coated in ashes, flittered behind him as he fell, one of two breaking loose after the strain that they had been forced through. His fingers once again found their way to the gaping wound and he pressed down, understanding that blood loss would result in a rapid decrease of progress.

As he neared what he supposed to be the ground, Castiel heard a scream which he identified to belong to the soul who had fallen mere moments before. He squinted through the dust and smoke, catching a glimpse of the figure laid splayed out on the ground, hands and feet impaled to the floor by dirtied blades.

Above him, loomed a figure, shoulders hunched wearily while he held a curved blade in his right hand. The blonde head shook tiredly, before with impressive speed, he rammed the weapon deep into the soul's sternum, teasingly missing all of the major organs.

Castiel slowed, unease growing as he indentified the torturer to be human. His focus returned to the spark, now glowing brightly amidst the darkness, surrounding the blonde that had now knelt down beside the soul, cruel instruments of torture laid out beside him.

The large wings instantly fanned out, halting his movements as he stared down at the figure. Castiel narrowed his eyes, trying to find another explanation as to what his mind was telling him, but he could not. This was the wayward soul they had fought for.

This was Dean Winchester.

A pit of despair gripped at the angel, holding him tight as he remained suspended over the scene: a watchful creature as always. They were too late – the first seal had been broken. He swallowed steadily, bright blue eyes shining as he studied the man carefully.

I have failed…

Angered cries erupted above him and so Castiel dove, still intent on completing his mission after all they had risked in attempting to execute it. Without glancing back, he heard the demons break through the growling clouds, much closer to reaching him than he would have liked.

Dean Winchester seemed oblivious, blankly picking up another weapon and proceeding to carve away at the soul below him. He watched with empty eyes as he tore away at a chunk of flesh, squeezing it between his finger tips before tossing it away, hands now soaked in blood.

As he was about to slice again, he felt something impossibly warm clamp around his shoulder and frowned. All he had felt upon being dragged to Hell was cold, despite the tales of fire and brimstone that resided in the pit. But now, he felt light fill him to the brim, giving him a sense of elation: even freedom.

Glancing at his shoulder, he saw the pale, glowing hand gripping him tight and blinked, imagining it to vanish. Darkness began to envelope him, lulling him into a compliant, comforting place free of torment. Four words washed over him, replenishing him with the hope that he had never thought he would find again.

"You are safe now."

And then he sank into oblivion…

Feeling his charge sink into unconsciousness, Castiel grasped the soul tighter from where he now crouched on the flesh covered floor. He glanced up as the demons descended, converging hungrily upon him and Dean Winchester beside him.

Raising his free hand, bright light burst forth, eradicating the nearest attack force and giving the angel room to take flight. He wasted no time with this opportunity, bending his knees slightly before pushing off with earth-shattering force.

The vile creatures surrounding him screeched as he broke through their ranks, hand still tightly clinging on to Dean as he ascended with haste. As one demon drew particularly close to the soul he bore, he turned, lashing out with a violent kick that instantly smashed the evil thing's face apart.

"It is time to ascend," he announced mentally, gazing upward with unblinking eyes, "I have acquired the one we came for. Take flight swiftly and do not look back."

Forcing his wings to beat strongly again, Castiel rose faster than ever before. He wove in between the gaps in the blackened chains, never lowering his glance or taking his eyes off of his target.

Still bearing contact with the garrison, the young angel tightened his jaw as he felt Hamied's soul stutter before vanishing. A moment later, Gazardiel too disappeared from his mind, fading into everlasting darkness. Remembering that for now, the best way to honour them would be to complete their assigned task, Castiel pushed onwards with grim determination.

In truth, he understood that he should have tried to return to the void through which they had entered, but he feared that he would not have the strength to fly that far. As such, he would have to burst through into the human realm: literally breaking out of Hell.

Feeling the presence of humanity lingering above, Castiel closed his eyes for a moment, drawing upon his grace. When his eyes opened, they were glowing intensely, spreading light over his form and even to the tips of his tainted wings.

He waited as he soared closer, not wanting to open a void long enough for any lingering demons to follow. His hand tightened upon the human soul's shoulder, all the while comforting him and soothing his broken mind.

Any moment now…

His wings beat forcefully, carrying him higher and higher through endless tortured souls. With one blink, Castiel searched forth, his mind connecting with the world above, forging a link for him to follow.

Now!

His hand snapped forth, white light exploding ahead of him and smashing a doorway through into humanity's domain. With one more determined push of his wings he broke through, ripping past the barriers that separated the two worlds and tearing through.

The light faded and he landed in a crouch on the dry grass, sparkling shimmers beginning to disappear around him as he relinquished his power. Closing his still glowing eyes, Castiel reached behind him to the void he had opened, carefully sealing it once more.

Satisfied that the door was now locked, Castiel raised his lids, tired blue eyes glancing around him. He studied the towering trees that surrounded him in a circle: a remnant of his explosion out of Hell. Tilting his head, he found himself admiring the beauty of the human world, even when beaten into submission by destruction.

A cross stood proudly before him, plain and absent of a name to mark the departed, but Castiel knew who it belonged to. Tenderly, he stretched forward, straightening the leaning cross that had been yet another victim of his desperate escape.

A shimmer under his hand made him glance down and the angel found himself studying the soul in his grasp curiously. The form shimmered beneath his hold, almost restlessly, as though trying to escape.

"Hush, Dean," he soothed, resting a pale hand upon the non-corporeal brow. "I am sorry that we did not reach you fast enough: that error resides with us alone." His blue orbs blinked steadily, weariness seeping into every inch of his being. "The time will come when my Father shall call upon you. Until then, you may rest."

Placing his hand onto the broken blades of glass, as though keeled over in terror, Castiel searched for the body laid deep beneath the earth. He located it with little difficulty, releasing the soul, feeling it lower into the ground in search of its human vessel.

Castiel reached out with his grace, allowing it to touch the broken body, healing every wound that had ever been sustained upon the soft flesh. He restored him to the perfection that all children bore, untouched and pure.

Yes his innocence cannot be restored, realised the angel, bowing his head for a moment. Soldiers cannot be innocents, and that is what you are.

Rising slowly to his feet, bloodied but now, uninjured, blackened wings and yet a pale complexion, the angel of Thursday glanced towards the skies. He watched as the sun broke through the overhanging clouds, casting light down upon the earth below.

He studied the sun's rays as they trickled warmly over his form, wondering if this was his Father's expression of pride. The youthful creature creased his brow, curious as to why they would be complimented after arriving too late.

Pushing the questions away, knowing better than to question the orders and will of Heaven, Castiel spread his ash-covered wings wide. Beneath the soil at his feet, the angel heard Dean Winchester draw in a ragged breath, awakening into the world of the living.

His first thought was to alleviate the human's struggle and break him out of the prison in which he was now confined, but he restrained himself. Truthfully, the angel was curious. Castiel had ripped him out of Hell too late, after Dean had already been broken and succumbed to the demons' wills.

I wonder: is there still strength in you yet?

Again, Castiel took to the skies, extending his feathered appendages and soaring high above the human world. The freedom of this domain consumed him and he revelled in its simple beauty.

A thought struck him and hesitating in his ascent towards his home, he turned to glance back at the grave below. Narrowing his eyes, he watched as a hand broke through the soil, followed by a head and a gasping mouth, drawing in precious oxygen.

With a tilt of his head, the angel nodded in acknowledgement of his charge's resilience. He then soared upwards swiftly, merely a white blur printed against the vast blue of the sky. To the oblivious people below, he was insignificant: a single ray of sunlight shimmering at the start of the day.

Knowing that his superiors would be questioning his absence, Castiel projected a single report into the minds of the waiting angels: one that would be the starting point for the preparation of a war and the battles to retain peace.

"Dean Winchester is saved."


Castiel's Garrison

Leader:-

Castiel – Angel of New Changes and Travel.

Second-In-Command:-

Uriel – Angel of Creativity.

Barakiel – Angel of Good Fortune.

Colopatirion – Angel of Liberation.

Gazardiel – Angel of New Beginnings.

Hamied – Angel of Miracles.

Munkir & Nakir – Angels of Justice.

Nisroc – Angel of Freedom.

Paschar – Angel of Vision.

Remliel – Angel of Awakening.

Sammael – Angel of Souls.

Sariel – Angel of Guidance.


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