He remembers Alastair calling him a work of art once, but he's not sure on the exact phrasing as his ear drums were flooded with blood.
He also remembers Alastair calling people canvass to be worked on, improved.
He likes to think himself more of a collector than a painter.
He's collected three thousand and fifty two hearts, twelve thousand and sixty seven pairs of eyes, six hundred thousand livers (he likes that nice round number), ten thousand and three throats, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pair tree.
Sometimes he'd reap the same part from the soul over and over again just because he liked how that soul reacted or looked when he collected it.
Sometimes he wouldn't touch them for days. Leave them waiting, not saying a word but smiling.
When Castiel came down and raised Dean's soul, he left behind the part that he acquired in Hell. The part that grew around of his soul, that fed off him like a leach made of ash and screams. Castiel cracked through that and pulled everything human back to the surface.
Word reached Alastair that an Angel had cut his way through their walls and snatched a soul away from them, he knew. It wasn't hard. He knew art when he saw it, and he could not believe they'd let something like Dean find its way into his presence. So he knew who they took.
But when he reached where his pupil Created to see such an absence, he found such a bright beautiful creature remaining. If he had breath he would have sucked it in at the brilliance of it.
Fools, he thought, fools these Angels be, leaving behind what they did. They should never have given them a weapon which no longer had a safety.
Alastair never made it to see Lucifer walk the Earth, so he never say his pupil take the reigns of Alastair's work and create something new.
Dean joyously took the open position of Master Instructor when Alastair was finally smited, and for one soul, only one, he carved them up as his Master would in honor of a fallen hero. After that one, the rest bled in ways that defied beauty.
And when Lucifer called upon him, he answered and walked the Earth.
"I want you to make chaos." Lucifer told him to which Dean smiled back.
"I don't make chaos. They're supposed to look the way I make them."
Lucifer smiled and told him to go and have fun.
Dean uses the bodies of innocents to work through. An eighteen year old alter boy. A twenty two year old virgin waitress. A seventy three year old grandmother who raised foster children.
When he slaughters an entire town, he feels a sense of accomplishment as any collector would at completing their set. It's perfect. Everything is in its place, but in this moment of perfection he realizes he needs something new.
He pretends to be one of the dead bodies in the town when it is discovered in the morning, and he has a hard time keeping himself from laughing at the faces the badges make at the scenes laid out for them.
It's when they're gone that he feels a presence that he hasn't felt in over a year.
Dean gleefully makes a decision.
When he traps Castiel there are butterflies in his stomach.
"Oh, Hello Castiel. The things I'm gonna do to you."
Castiel says nothing to him and never does the entire time Dean works on him, which is a considerable while because he gets something out of the Angel he hasn't gotten in a while. Something he misses, see, the Angel doesn't die, so no matter how hard he goes, he can continue on and on and on.
But here, on Earth humans break so tragically easy and they don't go back together again. He's got one shot at them and that's all folks.
He leaves Castiel for himself to find and moves on in search of another angel.
They are trickier to trap but even better to collect things from.
Then somewhere, sometime after dozens of Angels he runs into himself, and he sees what Alastair was talking about.
He was beautiful, all that rage and power feeding him.
"Hey Dean, long time no see. How's Cas?"
They weren't prepared to meet him, he sees. Dean moves in front of his brother,
"You don't touch him."
"Oh come now, you know me better than that," he looks at his brother, "Sammy's just about the only one safe ain't ya?" He sees confusion on his brother's face and laughs, "Dean Dean Dean, you haven't told about me have you?"
Dean shakes his head,
"Don't what? Tell him what I would look like if it weren't for this meat suit I'm wearing? Guard your ears little brother, here there be dragons."
"I'll stop you."
"Good luck, oh, and say hello to Cas for me."
And he's gone.
He's got some time before his latest trap is sprung, and idly wonders what would happen if his other said yes to Michael. He knows they're still connected, knows that his other dreams of what he does.
He wonders how he could trap Michael if he ever got the chance.