Challenge WOW: Fold

Summary: Set immediately after On the Head of a Pin. Castiel finds Dean broken and in agony. NO SLASH!!!!

Word Count: 808

All Alone With My Demons I Am

Sam left almost as soon as they got back to the motel room. Dean sat on the edge of his bed in the silence, so used to Sam's absence he barely noticed anymore. He chucked the painkillers the doctor had prescribed behind him, landing with a light thump on the bed. He tore the hospital bracelet off his wrist in disgust, throwing it to the ground. He took a long swig of the bottle in his hand before bowing his head, feeling the gnawing at his heart and his gut. It had dulled in the months he had been out. The pain had been bearable. Now it was back, stronger, harder, tearing, making him wince and hiss in literal agony.

What have I done? He thought helplessly. God, what did I do?

Alastair's voice rang through his ears, saying it over and over again,

So shall it break, so shall it break, so shall it break…

He took a deep breath, shuddering, shaking. The room felt so empty and cold. And he was so alone. Castiel left him in the hospital. Sam left him when they got here.

He sat in the silence, drinking.

"Dean," a voice said suddenly. His head snapped up. Castiel was standing in front of Sam's bed, his face unreadable.

"What do you want?" Dean asked, his voice still gravelly, standing and dropping the bottle. His aching muscles screamed in pain when he did.

"Are you alright?" The angel asked stoically. Dean clenched his jaw and his fists.

"Do I look alright to you?!" He bellowed. "I just found out I started this mess! You made me torture again, do you what that did?! Do you know how much that hurts?!" Castiel bowed his head, guilt in his eyes. "And now I have to stop the apocalypse! I can't do it, Cas, I can't do it!"

"You have to," Castiel said blatantly. Dean shook his head, wiping his eyes.

"You don't get it do you? You don't know what I was like before Hell. I was stronger. Maybe then I might have been able to do it. But I'm weak now, Cas. I'm WEAK! I CAN"T! I CAN'T!" He started sobbing against his will, putting his hand on his chest to maybe stifle some of the pain.

Castiel stood there, unsure of what he should do.

Dean fell to his knees, worn and tired, pushed to the brink, angry, grief stricken, scared and in pain.

"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," he cried, completely and utterly overwhelmed. "I can't, I can't…"

Castiel took a few steps forward, still confused.

"I didn't mean to, Cas," Dean sobbed. "I didn't mean to."

"I know you didn't, Dean," Castiel said truthfully. He was standing over him now. Dean looked small and scared and alone. The sight made Castiel's chest ache.

"I can't do it," he breathed. "I'm not strong, I'm not strong enough, Cas, please!" Castiel gingerly put his hand on the back of Dean's head, hesitating at least three times before he did.

Dean kept his head bowed, crying so hard his ribs hurt. It was all coming out now, all of his tears and pain and agony he had kept bottled inside. Castiel could feel his pain, understood how broken his mind and heart were.

"Dean, you are strong enough," he assured, bending down in front of him. "You can stop this, I promise." Dean didn't answer, just cried harder.

"Forgive me," he gulped. "Please, please, Cas, forgive me." Castiel flexed his jaw, frowning. He didn't know what to do, or say. So he did the first thing that came to his mind. He slowly pulled Dean into a hug, folding his body against his. If it was possible Dean sobbed even harder, hugging the angel back.

"You've been forgiven, Dean. You were forgiven the first time you asked," he said. "I am sorry for what we made you do to Alastair. That, that wasn't fair to you."

Flashbacks of Hell, his own shrieks in his ears, other screams echoing from his knife, Alastair's laughter dissolving into his own, that was all he could hear right now.

"It's my fault, it's all my fault! I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry…God, what have I done?" He choked. Castiel thought for a moment, trying to remember what it was humans did to comfort one another.

"Shh…" He said softly, slowly rubbing Dean's back. "It's alright, Dean. It's going to be alright. Shh…"

"I can't stop it, Cas. I can't-"

"I'll help you," he promised. "I'll help you stop it, Dean. You aren't alone."

Dean continued to cry, and Castiel held his beaten charge, comforting him to the best of his ability, and trying to make sure that his worst fear wasn't realized. He made sure Dean wasn't alone.


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