Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural or any of the characters in it.

Something is wrong. Dean can feel it prickling under his skin, even as he lies in half awareness, not having made it to sleep yet. He's alert and tense immediately, one hand already reaching under his pillow to close around the hilt of his knife. Instinct runs deep, especially in the Winchester family.

Dean vaguely wonders if they could still be called a family.

The motel room is dark and silent, absent of the usual sound of the youngest Winchester's snores. Even in the darkness Dean can tell that his brother is gone, out with Ruby, commonly referred to as "demon bitch", the name bestowed to her by Dean with the amount of affection shown to a rattlesnake.

He was alone. Again.


Dean pushes away the familiar sinking feeling pooling in his gut and swings his legs over the bed, swiping his hand across the wall until he finds what he's looking for and light floods the room. Everything looks in place, except for the obvious.

Dean clears his throat and rips his gaze away from the empty bed next to his and ignores the resounding "Where's Sammy?" reverberating in his head. He's been doing that a lot as of late. Instead he reaches for the light again because he's still so goddamn tired and he really wants-


Dean nearly jumps out of his skin and barely avoids stabbing himself with his own knife as…something drops into the room and onto the floor on the other side of Sam's bed, knocking a lamp off the nightstand. The lights flicker and the television turns on, causing the hair on the back of Dean's neck to stand on end. He stands still for a moment, straining to hear anything and expecting for one of the dicks with wings to appear and start barking orders at him. But to his relief nothing happens and eventually Dean relaxes. Barely. The television clicks off and the lights steady and everything is silent. The hunter grips the knife tighter and edges around Sam's empty bed (Where's Sammy?) to investigate. His hands tremble and the weapon drops to the floor at the sight before him.

Castiel, his angel, is writhing in pain on his side on the dirty motel carpet, bloodied and torn. The once beige trench coat is now in tatters and stained dark red, the patches of crimson growing larger by the second. For a moment Dean can't grasp what he's seeing, because angels aren't supposed to bleed like that. They shouldn't bleed at all, not on the floor in a shitty motel, not ever. But that's all everyone seemed to be doing these days, bleeding and bleeding until they were either an empty shell of what they used to be or dead. It's all so wrong.

Castiel's shirt is ripped open, one large gash running across his abdomen from side to side. The wound is very deep and it looks horrible. Cuts litter the angel's face and both of his shoes are missing. Dean can see his toes enclosed in the stockings curling with the pain, but that isn't what he's focused on because Dean glances at Castiel's back and he can suddenly see them. He doesn't understand why because they certainly weren't there a second ago. His breath hitches uncomfortably in his throat and his brain freezes because he can see Castiel's wings and he can't decide if it's the most beautiful or tragic thing he's ever seen in his entire life, on Earth and in Hell.

They're massive – almost too big – somehow managing to look unbelievably heavy and light at the same time. He's sure they would have been blindingly white, if not for the fact that they are completely drenched in blood. Patches of feathers are missing in places, though the ones that are left look as if they could fall off at any second. One of the appendages is lying under him; Dean is sure that it's causing him pain, but he really doesn't think Castiel is aware of where he is hurting, only that he is hurting. Dean can relate.

At the angel's pained gasp Dean springs into action and drops to his knees beside Castiel's shaking frame, well out of the way of the one wing that lies bent and broken, stretched out away from his body. Shaking a little himself, Dean reaches out a hand and rests it against a spot on the side of Castiel's neck, one of the only places devoid of blood. In response deep blue eyes roll up to meet green, hazy with unrelenting pain and pleading for something Dean isn't sure he can provide. Swallowing deeply the hunter quickly retrieves a towel from the bathroom and holds it to the gash on the angel's abdomen, wincing slightly when Castiel shudders weakly at the touch and tries to move away from the pressure, only managing a soft and low groan. His free wing twitches pathetically and Dean bites his bottom lip after watching a few feathers drift to the ground and disappear before his eyes travel back to the angel's pain ridden face. He has to get him off the floor, which is definitely easier said than done. He keeps applying pressure to the wound until the blood flow is stemmed before deciding to try and get Castiel to Sam's bed.

"Cas? Cas, this is going to hurt, but I need you to hang in there, okay?"

Dean's hands hover over Castiel, unsure of where to touch. Rolling him over would agitate his wings and the elder Winchester really didn't want to cause any more pain. But to his surprise the wings flicker briefly and then disappear, much like their sudden appearance. Dean's eyebrows knit together in confusion but he jumps on the opportunity quickly, placing one arm under Castiel's knees and the other around his back. He moves to lift the angel but ends up straining, finding that he was surprisingly heavy.

What the hell? Castiel is a lot of things, but fat is not one of them. Dean huffs out a breath and finally straightens up successfully, moving over to the bed. He gently sets Castiel down on his back and sighs deeply, looking down at his friend. The angel seems to have passed out from the pain (or blood loss), so Dean carefully removes what is left of the trench coat and jacket and throws them in a corner of the room to be forgotten immediately. Castiel's shirt is saturated in blood and Dean pales considerably, vaguely wondering if it was possible for an angel to be bled dry.

Now close enough to see the gash across Castiel's abdomen, Dean realizes how serious it is. The wound looks like a pulpy mess and the skin is torn ragged.

Is that…

Dean claps his hand over his mouth at the realization that he can see Castiel's stomach. If that's not something worth barfing over, it looks like someone…or something stuck their hand into the wound and just moved it around, almost like they were searching for something.

Dean clenches his jaw and finds a pair of scissors to cut the shirt off, hell-bent on saving Castiel.

Me saving an angel. Who would've thought?

Dean pulls himself together and gets to work, wishing more than ever that his brother is there with him.

After three grueling hours Dean declares his task done, slumping into a chair beside Castiel's still form and sighing wearily. His hands are stained red, his wrists are sore from where Castiel gripped them while in the throes of pain and he's still so goddamn tired. The last thing he needs is a severely injured angel falling out of the sky and into his motel room, especially not Cas. Never Cas. But here he is, lying on dingy motel sheets covered with who knows what, looking like death warmed over. Dean managed to stop the bleeding and clean him up a bit, but he couldn't do much with the gash and the angel still looks terrible. Ghastly, even. And the worst of it is that Castiel hasn't made a sound or movement since Dean placed him on the bed. The only sign of life is the slight up and down motion of the angel's chest. But what's even worse than that is the fact that Castiel hasn't healed himself. At all.

And that really, really worries Dean, because if the angel hasn't healed himself yet then maybe he can't. And that means that something is seriously wrong, something Dean can't even hope to fix because it's an angel problem and Dean has no clue what to do with those kinds of problems. Dean had tried calling Sam but received no answer. And if that didn't piss him off-

Castiel's eyes are open suddenly, bright and glassy, focusing on Dean immediately. The Winchester startles and almost falls from his chair because this is the most Castiel has moved in three (felt like six) hours and there's something so raw and desperate in that gaze and it's all so wrong. There's supposed to be calm and quiet intensity within the blue orbs, not agony and despair. Castiel's mouth opens and he struggles to breathe for a moment before rasping out one word that Dean shouldn't be able to hear because it's so soft it might as well be a breath in the wind. But he does hear and his heart lurches up into his throat.


Dean is up and at Castiel's side in a second, about to reach out but before his hand even twitches the angel's back arches hard up off the bed and Dean is momentarily terrified that his spine will break. That thought barely registers though, because the next thing Dean knows is that Castiel's mouth is open and a sharp burst of his true voice fills the room, causing Dean to slap both hands over his ears as he watches in horror as his angel starts to fall apart in front of him. Wide and panicked blue eyes are focused on Dean again, and the hunter realizes that Castiel has no idea what the hell is happening to him. Another shout of angel voice is dragged out of Castiel's mouth and he shuts it abruptly, obviously struggling to keep it closed. Instead he bites his lip so hard it begins to bleed. Dean realizes that he's doing it for him. The thought gives Dean little comfort because Castiel's skin suddenly seems paper thin, and before long the veins all over his body are visible. But that isn't the part that scares the holy hell out of Dean. No, it's the fact that his veins are black.

Poor Cas. Should I continue with this or is it a lost cause?