A/N: Firstly, let me just send you all one huge apology for taking half a freaking year to write a chapter. It's a tad shorter than usual, only 13 pages, but fear not because more is on the way (and soon, should this semester not be too crazy). Secondly, thank you to each and every one of you that read this chapter and haven't given up on my story. It makes my day to see the hits go up or to see someone add or review this. I'm sorry for not being a better author to you amazing readers.

Enough of that though. Here is a loose recap of the story so you're not completely confused. Also, a token disclaimer.

Disclaimer: I own nothing herewithin, except for maybe the angelification idea thing.

Chapter 1: A brief teasing chapter meant to pull you into my story. Dean admits that he has extensive issues and contemplates his newest problems, namely his inability to sleep and the inexplicable desire to defile innocent Castiel.

Chapter 2: A flashback to a hunt gone wrong in Fountain Green, IL. Dean, Sam, and Castiel go to the small town to investigate a peculiar case. With the help of a local hunter, they deduce that demons are behind it and they head to the demons' hideout.

Chapter 3: Flashback continued. Team Freewill plus local hunter duke it out with the demons. Dean is cornered, drugged and taken to another part of the house by a pair of demons and they begin to cast a heavy duty spell on him, cutting his gut wide open in the process. Castiel bamfs into the room and smites the demons, but has expended his Grace and is forced to give Dean his own blood in order to save his life. After drinking the angel blood, Dean is mostly healed but must still spend a few days recovering in the local hotel, which is where he begins to notice that Castiel is glowing like a lightbulb and he no longer feels the need to sleep. The local hunter stops by to bid the men adieu and to give Castiel her research on the spell that had been cast on Dean, and it is then that Team Freewill makes the grisly discovery that the spell was one of demonification. However, since Dean swallowed angel's blood and not demon's, Dean is beginning to change into an angel. What a twist!

Chapter 4: In which Team Freewill scrambles to reverse the angelification spell, Dean flirts shamelessly with a bartender under the pretense of finding out info on the vampire coven they're hunting, and Sam admits his vehement hate for Gabriel. Dean and Cas have been spending an increasing amount of time with each other now that Dean doesn't need to sleep and they are most definitely growing closer. Dean would have you believe that they're growing closer in a totally friendly, manly way, but only time will tell. Out of options, they summon Gabriel and ask him for help, much to Sam's chagrin. The Trickster, who is loath to help the Winchesters but needs to fix Dean if he wants the Apocalypse to happen, offers to escort Sam into the deepest depths of Hell for the tail of a demon that could revert Dean to his human self, maaaaybe.

Chapter 5: In which Dean is a protective ninny and has to be convinced by Gabriel to allow Sam to go to Hell. Gabriel reminisces on the first time he met the Brothers Winchester when they were children and comes to realize that their lot in life sucks major balls. Begrudgingly, he swears to Dean that he will protect Sam at any cost whilst traipsing through the circles of Hell. The Trickster also admits that he is unsure about what exactly the cure will do. The tail of the demon Malacoda, the embodiment of Truth, could either: 1. turn Dean into a baby, 2. turn Dean into his normal, human self, or 3. do absolutely nothing and allow Dean to become an angel. Sam and Dean say goodbye to each other and Gabriel takes Sam somewhere private. Sam learns that in order for his soul to survive in Hell, he must begin drinking demon blood again. He agrees to break his sobriety in order to save his brother and, under the influence of the blood, has a steamy makeout scene with the Trickster before Gabriel's rusty morals make them stop. Castiel hides Sam's physical body inbetween dimensions where it can't be found by Lucifer and Sam and Gabriel embark on their journey to Hell.

Chapter 6: Dean and Castiel share a fluffy, sweet moment alone underneath the stars and Dean begins to realize that their broship is edging closer and closer into the land of bromance. Gabriel tells indecent amputee jokes and contemplates how terrible it is to have a crush on Samsquatch while Sam desperately wishes to get away from the Trickster and to get this all over with. Dean and Castiel go to fight the coven of vampires and, of course, their surprise attack fails. Upon seeing Castiel injured and near death, Dean accidentally releases his Grace and smites all the vampires in one glorious burst of light. Afterwards, in the hotel, Dean lays on the same bed as Castiel (he insists it was because he could only see the tv properly from Castiel's bed), and they fall asleep holding hands. D'aaaaaw.

Chapter 7: To pass the time in Hell, Gabriel sings horribly and sends flirtatious prank texts from Lucifer to Sam's phone. Sam reaches his breaking point and tackles the archangel. A heated tussle of words ensues and Gabriel offers to ward Sam's dreams to keep Lucifer out of them. Sam agrees to it, taken aback by the angel's sudden willingness to help. Later that night, they get into the same bed (Sam wants to believe that he doesn't like sharing a bed with Gabriel, but he secretly likes how the Trickster's hands feel in his hair) and Gabriel protects his dreams. Meanwhile, on the mortal plane, Dean fucks up royally with Castiel. On his neverending quest to convince himself that he does not have a thing for the falling angel, Dean becomes royally sloshed and takes that cute bartender from before home. Even though she's hot and willing, he can't stop thinking about Castiel. And when Castiel appears in the bedroom as Dean and the bartender are going at it full swing, Dean realizes he's made one hell of a mistake.

Chapter 8: Castiel contemplates the confusion that comes with newfound emotions and comes to the conclusion that he had misinterpreted Dean's signals and actions. He decides that while he may love and cherish the elder Winchester, he will respect the fact that Dean does not feel the same way. Unless Dean admits his feelings to the angel in crystal clear clarity, Cas will be a friend only to him. Dean, meanwhile, abuses his newfound Grace to send texts to his ovary-laden brother for advice and comes to the earth-shattering conclusion that he is maybe sorta kinda in love with Castiel and decides to profess his love (but in a very manly, non-gay way). Before he can tell Castiel how he feels, however, the angel tells him that he wishes to be friends. Heartbroken and pissed, Dean storms off to get shit faced. Castiel, bless him, is oblivious. Meanwhile, Sam is startled to find out that his brother has a thing for the Holy Tax Accountant, but has bigger things on his plate. Time goes by much faster in Hell, so what has only been a few days on the surface has been months and months in Hell. In that time span Sam and Gabriel have become very friendly and trusting of each other and Sam has honed his awesome demon blood powers. Sam wakes up one morning curled up against a firm body and, in a half awake and horny stupor, starts something that Gabriel doesn't want to end. When Sam wakes up completely and realizes he is about to have sex with an archangel, he freaks and backs away but Gabriel, who has wanted this ever since they met on that college campus, offers to become friends with benefits, no strings attached whatsoever.

What oh what will Sam decide? And what peril will poor heartbroken Dean get himself into next? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...

Chapter 9: Tattered and Crumbling

Being an omnipotent being, Gabriel really should have been able to think out the consequences before asking Sam Winchester if he wanted to participate in incredibly devious and blasphemous sexual acts with him. In the seconds it took before Sam answered his question, he contemplated the situation he had just thrown himself into.

In the beginning, when Gabriel had masqueraded as a TV repairman to meet the Winchesters, he had found it incredibly upsetting that he felt so drawn towards the youngest boy's soul. It wasn't attraction—that would just be perverse—but it had seemed like something within Sam's soul had cried out and struck a chord within the archangel's. The Trickster could see all the trouble he would get into as he grew older, how he would never be able to do anything that would appease his father and would eventually just give up trying to make him proud. Gabriel could see that there would be a night in which Sam would say goodbye to his father and beloved brother and leave for Stanford, his ticket to a job that would offer benefits, not hard jail time or a lifetime membership at the nearest insane asylum, a permanent place to call home, and perhaps someone he could live a regular, apple pie life with.

It must have been the similarities that made Gabriel want him so bad. Sure, there was an undeniable ocean of differences between them, but it had been an incredibly long time since the archangel had managed to find another soul that was so much like his own. Once upon a time, he had grown sick of the way things were in his crazy family and he was sick of the job his father had given him so he bailed and headed to Earth, where he made a place for himself in the Norse pantheon and things were...okay for a long time. He liked most of the gods there—Christianity really needed to quit being so harsh on them because they were a lot better than what the Good Book made them out to be. But even though he loved his new role of Trickster, Gabriel had distinctly felt that there was something missing in his existence. He had tried endlessly to fill this newfound and painful hole within himself—women, men, alcohol, confections, sordid affairs with other gods, he had even ventured into Hell to try to fix things with Lucifer, but his brother was already too consumed with petty revenge to heed any of Gabriel's reasoning and pleas. After all of those things had failed miserably, he felt he had no other option but to perfect his new visage of Loki, so he mastered the art of just desserts over the centuries, even after he left the Norse realm to wander Earth disguised as a mortal. Whatever he desired he conjured. Whoever he wanted, he got. It wasn't hard to get a person to like you when all their thoughts and personality traits were so easily laid out in their head for you.

But Sam Winchester was different.

There was something about him that made Gabriel want to put away his Grace and truly build something with him, without any shortcuts or cheats. Though the reason was unknown to him, the archangel wanted Sam more than he wanted to set elaborate illusions for sinners, more than he wished for the End of Days, and perhaps even more than he craved sugar. It was a terrifying thought to grapple; angels hadn't really been made to love and they definitely weren't supposed to have inter-species couples, but maybe the centuries of paganism and life on Earth had altered him so much that he couldn't honestly call himself an archangel anymore.

All he knew for sure was that he needed Sam and there was nothing he wouldn't do to get him, short of tricking him.

Gabriel began to worry that he was developing an alternate personality.

He watched as Sam thought out all possible pros and cons of hooking up with an archangel turned Norse god and ooh, if that man didn't stop biting his lip in that seriously hot way, Gabriel would really have no choice but to pounce on him and take advantage of him. He should have just kept his stupid mouth shut earlier because Sam wouldn't have stopped and they could be sitting on cloud nine right now, but that Winchester was just too much of a tease.

Believe it or not, Gabriel hadn't really planned for any of this to happen this morning. He had actually been enjoying a light slumber (Unlike almost all other angels, he had learned over the centuries how to sleep, but it still wasn't what humans would call a full slumber. It was just a glorified, extended catnap, but the Trickster lived for moments when he could actually close his eyes to the chaos and rest.) While he slept he could easily keep track of all energies and presences around, so he was aware that the incredibly large and warm man was crowding his personal space, but since the archangel was currently in that euphoric half-awake haze, he found that he just could not be troubled enough to summon up his dusty and largely unused scruples to stop that delectable grinding before it turned into something that the Winchester wasn't ready for.

So when things reached critical mass and the Trickster couldn't really claim sleepiness as an excuse, and when something suspiciously like guilt began to shift his innards about uncomfortably, he knew that he needed to put a halt to this train of consequences before he was tied onto the tracks before it by a very angry, confused, and muscly Sasquatch-human hybrid.

And really—he meant to stop it completely. Scout's honor. See, the thing was...there was just one eensy teensy thing that kept him from calling it quits.

He wanted Sam more than he ever had before; each and every one of his vessel's nerve endings were dancing with fire and need, and Gabriel's patience had been corroded and worn away by his centuries of instant gratification. He had tried to contain himself—truly, he had—but there was only so much any one archangel/Norse god could take.

So he naturally held the mortal down and offered him an opportunity he'd be an idiot to refuse, knowing full well that said mortal wasn't and idiot and would almost certainly agree to it.

If Pops was watching all of this right now, he probably wouldn't be too pleased. However, Gabriel had been committing misdeeds and disgracing his family for centuries without retribution, so it seemed evident that Dad had left the building, left the whole freaking world behind, without a care. That said, there was close to nothing that the archangel wouldn't do. When a person was so high up on the chain of command like Gabriel was, and when the only person he had to answer to suddenly ditched his post, there were no longer any rules to follow and no consequences for anything. When he had first fallen from Heaven and down to Earth he had been just as much of a stick in mud as Castiel had, but as time passed and he gradually realized that God didn't give two shits about what he did, or what anybody did by the looks of it (Gabriel cited the monstrosity that was Justin Bieber as recent proof), the Trickster had lost his sense of consequences and the feeling that was his guilt virtually faded into nothing.

This morning was the first time in eons that Gabriel had done something to rekindle those nearly forgotten sensations.

He knew that it was wrong, perhaps even shameful, to bribe Sam Winchester into a relationship with him. He found nothing amiss with a casual sexual relationship, but something inside him cried out at the disservice he was doing to Sam by not informing him of his true intentions. Sure, the archangel wanted sex—who the hell wouldn't? Just look at the man. But he wanted more than the press of flesh. It seemed that after an eternity of avoiding relationships and closeness of any kind like the plague, Gabriel's soul now yearned for someone solid, someone permanent, someone he could count on to be there in the morning.

Why he seemed to be convinced that Sam Winchester was the one still evaded him, but he figured that sometimes there could be a rhyme without a reason. It wasn't okay that he was bribing this unwitting mortal for selfish personal gain. Gabriel knew and admitted this—he just wanted it too bad to follow his own advice.

And that was how an archangel-turned-trickster and a mortal found themselves tangled up in the sheets of a silken bed somewhere deep in a forest of Hell, weaving a web of delicate glass and fragile trust. The slightest wrong move, the smallest of misgivings, and that web would shatter and tear them apart.

Sam's hazel orbs roved Gabriel's body, his brow furrowed in frustration as he fought to make a rational decision. The archangel wanted to kiss and lick and bite that frustration and ration away and had to stave off a soft growl of desire.

"I've decided," the mortal said quietly, his voice a bit cracked from the adrenaline.

It seemed that Sam's life had taken it upon itself to make every single day crazier than the last. Just a couple years ago he had been killing monsters and demons for a living, plain and simple. Then his brother started the Apocalypse, and they were scrambling to keep it from happening. But then Sam majorly screwed things up by accidentally letting Lucifer out of the Cage, and then Team Freewill rushed to kill him without getting manhandled by the angels. And right when he thought that things couldn't possibly get any crazier, Dean managed to get himself turned into an angel. Awesome. Fantastic. The next thing he knew, he was going to Hell with Gabriel the fucking archangel, of all the people in the world, to find some impossibly strong demon's tail to remedy their latest fiasco.

And now Sam found himself underneath an archangel with smoldering olive eyes and a smirk so devilish it really shouldn't have been possible for him to have, and Sam was considering his offer of mind-blowing sex very carefully because he had the distinct feeling that this could either make or break him in the blink of an eye.

The younger Winchester had never really cared all that much about the gender of his partners. College was for little more than experimentation and copious amounts of cheap beer, after all, and regardless of what Dean claimed, he had certainly lived it up while at Stanford. That said, Sam usually found that he wound up with women simply because it was less of a hassle. It was easier to date a chick than to date a guy and have to constantly live under the scrutiny of the "horrible sin" they were committing, or whatever. Besides, he got enough crap from Dean about being a girl as it was—he really didn't want to give his brother any more ammo than was necessary.

That would no longer be an issue though, if their conversation last night was anything to go by. If Dean was cutting himself a bit of angel food cake, surely Sam could too, right? Sam was still trying to wrap his mind around that whole conundrum, but he couldn't afford any time to contemplate it when he had a very hungry, very horny archangel pinning him down and waiting impatiently for him to answer his question.

So back to the plight at hand: sex with the undercover archangel with no strings attached or what would definitely be an awkward friendship after this. The Winchester looked Gabriel over, taking in his vessel's shaggy brown hair that was just the perfect length to run his fingers through, those olive eyes that were burning with a light human in its lust and yet completely other-worldly in its intensity, the way his plump lips were curling into a devilish smile as he watched Sam plan out their next move. The Trickster was gifted with a downright flawless physique, and that on top of the way Sam could already feel his Grace thrumming through his vessel was murmuring soft promises of bliss incomparable.

Gabriel had said that it would be "a way to pass the time, nothing more," and he may have been infamous for his pranks and jokes, but Sam had not a shred of doubt that he would keep his word in this case. This was a matter that even the Trickster would take seriously.

So as long as Gabriel kept to his word and this stayed a strictly friends-with-benefits deal, Sam figured that it would be alright. It's not like they could ever have a relationship—the archangel still wanted the Winchesters to do their parts to end the world, which was why they were in Hell at the moment. Besides, the angel had ditched his family and currently delighted in hopping from place to place, ensnaring sinners in his elaborate, ironic deathtraps. He didn't exactly scream "good relationship material."

Perhaps this would be the way to make both of them happy. Though Sam didn't really want to admit it or give it much thought, he had come to enjoy his time with the archangel and he'd be lying if he said he wasn't attracted to the Trickster on at least a physical level. They could have amazing, earth-shattering sex and at the end of it, they could just walk away like it didn't happen. Everybody would wind up happy.

"I've decided," he said quietly.


Having concluded that words were no longer necessary, Sam grabbed him by the waist and tugged him so that they were flush against each other, and then swallowed Gabriel's gasp in a deep, voracious kiss.

The archangel froze for the briefest of moments before suddenly coming to life underneath the Winchester's supple fingers, and Sam had a handsy, grinding archangel on top of him, plying his senses with kisses that left Sam gasping for air and grasping futilely to reality, teasing him with altogether scrumptious friction and flesh.

Honestly? Sam couldn't have been happier.

Well, that's what he had thought before the Trickster traced a magically lubed index finger tenderly around the mortal's pucker before delving into it with said digit, anyways. He couldn't help the soft exclamation that escaped his lips at the slightly burning but entirely welcome intrusion.

Gabriel cocked his eyebrow amusedly and tried very, very hard to squelch the annoyingly inappropriate pride that had burgeoned when he realized he was finally making Sam quiver with ecstasy, and they had hardly started the foreplay. His vessel's more than ready dick was pressed against Sam's inner thigh and the Trickster rutted shamelessly against the mortal as Sam rocked his hips towards him in a desperate attempt to draw that finger in deeper, to descend fully into madness.

Now the angel was completely overloading his senses with his fiery touch and it was all the youngest Winchester could do to bite down on his lip and tug almost viciously at Gabriel's honeyed locks, all the while writhing against him as if his life depended on it. He sought to fill that void inside him with more of the molten pleasure pooling around his navel.

When the Trickster finally struck Sam's prostrate with three fingertips, the hunter let out an approving hum as electricity shot through his core. But when Gabriel tapped that bundle of nerves again with a dab of Grace, the mortal couldn't stop the mewl that was magnified by the cave walls while he fought his hardest to keep from ending this amazing fuckfest way earlier than scheduled. Whatever Gabriel had done—Sam had never felt anything so fucking good in all his life. It felt like the angel had managed to suck, lick and nibble every single inch of his flesh in that one moment and it left him breathless and begging for more.

"Again," he breathed out, and Gabriel felt a shiver pass through himself when he saw the animalistic hunger glinting in the mortal's eyes.

The Trickster obliged his lover and hit that sweet spot harder, with a touch more Grace. He watched as Sam's body arched of its own accord and the hunter let out a strained cry that was as unabashed as it was pleading. Seeing this mortal crumble and fall apart before him made a soft keen fall from the angel's plump lips and he knew that he wouldn't be able to last much longer if Sam was going to keep making those tremendously beautiful sounds.

Sam rutted against Gabriel's hand, seeking more of that same full-body euphoria but sighed discontentedly when he felt the blessed intrusion retreat.

"Don't worry, Sammy," the angel murmured, giving a few slow tugs to his aching, primed cock as a smirk grew on his lips. "That was nothing compared to what I'm gonna make you feel in a second."

He positioned himself right at the hunter's reddened opening and took a deep breath to steady himself while Sam dug his nails into Gabriel's back, dragging him down so that their chests were touching. The archangel pushed in at a rate that was as tortuous as it was mind-blowing and Sam gasped as he felt himself stretching to accommodate Gabriel's girth. He had never been bottom before so this was entirely new territory to him, but Jesus Christ, it was the best feeling in the fucking world to be filled by something so warm and solid and nearly humming with the sort of power and energy no mortal could possess.

The Trickster had known that Sam had never been on the receiving end of things before so he made sure to take his time at first. He wasn't always the most merciful guy around but he knew that if he ever wanted this to happen again, he'd have to be on his best behavior this time around.

Each inch deeper was grueling perfection and the angel found himself biting his lip as he sucked in unnecessary air in one long, soft hiss, fighting against the all-consuming urge just to fuck the hunter senseless. Sam's channel was so tight and hot that Gabriel felt like he could explode from all the pleasure and when he finally bottomed out and came to a shuddering stop inside the hunter, he opened his eyes to see the voracious, ecstasy-hazed hazel gaze of his lover locked on his visage.

Sam took a couple deep breaths of air and attempted to gather what miniscule bits of restraint he had left that would keep him from rolling the angel underneath him and riding him until the sun rose.

It took a little bit to find the right rhythm, that flawless tug and pull that made the air between them sizzle with passion and their nerve endings ignite in a firestorm of lust and hunger. Sam grasped at the archangel's hips, squeezed his ass while he arched his back and moaned deep and low in the back of his throat when his lover slammed into his prostrate, making his entire body tense up as electricity blazed inside his core. So long...it had been so long since the Winchester had managed to find anyone who could unravel him in mere minutes like this that he was already close to plateauing. He just needed that little extra push—

He looked up and a jolt of excitement ran through him when he saw the way sweat curved gracefully down Gabriel's knitted brow, as he heard the soft grunts that escaped his lover's lips with each new, full thrust. The desperation in the Trickster's gaze spoke for him—he was just as ready as the mortal.

"Harder," he whispered.

Suddenly they were magicked into a new position, Sam on his knees and Gabriel knelt behind him, their delicate bond still intact. The hunter didn't even have time to react to the abrupt switch before Gabriel began thrusting into him with deep, powerful strokes that hit his sweet spot each and every time, his grip on his hips sure to leave a bruise. It was all Sam could do to grab onto the metal headboard and push back against his lover's every move, matching each push with an equally strong shove that left both men reeling with the waves of euphoria that rocketed through them with each impact.

The Trickster's true name fell from Sam's lips like a broken prayer time and time again as he impaled himself on Gabriel's rock hard cock while the angel's entire body began to quiver and silvery moans of nonsense and "Sammy," but something was missing and they both could sense it. Desperately, viciously they rocked against each other in a crazed attempt to finally fill the aching pools of pleasure in their loins, the bed hitting against the cave's stone floors with the power of each and every thrust, but it still wasn't enough.

But when the archangel put just another smidgeon of Grace over his dick and surged forward to slam against the hunter's sweet spot one more time, the world stood still as an explosion of colors and sensations and motherfucking mind-blowing ecstasy rocked through every fiber of Sam's being. With a cry of his lover's name, he came fast and hard, spurting his seed all over his own stomach. Watching Sam come absolutely unhinged and feeling his hot channel tighten and quiver so much that it almost hurt, the archangel gave one more thrust before he too spilled his load, filling the mortal with it as he let himself get swept away on the wings of heady release.

They collapsed beside each other on the bed, their breaths coming in quick gasps as they struggled to regain reality. Sam looked over to the archangel-turned-fuckbuddy and took in his tousled hair and decidedly worn out olive eyes.

Hands down. Best. Sex. Ever.

The Trickster's gaze suddenly glimmered with renewed vigor as he picked up on the hunter's thoughts. "You can worship me later," he smirked, "but right now you should rest a bit more before we head out. Crossing the River Styx won't be easy."

He was too tired to glower at the angel like he wanted to, so he chose to let it slide just this once. Fingers were gliding through his hair in a soothing, gentle way and before he knew it he was being carried off by them into a peaceful dreamland.

Oh yeah, he thought right before his world went dark, I could definitely get used to this.

Dean wished he knew how to conjure things like Gabriel did. Because right now, he'd be literally drowning himself in a river of Southern Comfort if he could. Instead, he was forced to do the next best thing he could think of: maxing out three credit cards (he would probably feel terribly sorry for bankrupting Ms. Rodriguez tomorrow) at the nearest strip club—one card for the women and two for the liquor.

See, when Dean had sped off in the Impala and straight into the red-light district, he had planned to drink and fuck enough that, by the end of it, he wouldn't be able to feel anything except bliss.

He should have known that it was scientifically impossible for anything to go right for him. Looking back on his life, there hadn't really been a single goddamn thing that went like it should have, relationships especially. Why had he thought that things with Cas would be any different?

Dean tossed back another shot of the whiskey and let it slip from his hands to land amongst all the other haphazard, spent glasses that littered the bar.

"You better slow down there, tiger," one of the whores whispered in his ear as she ran a manicured hand up his arm, "or else you won't be able to play with us later."

The mortal-turning-angel nearly laughed. Thirty-some shots of straight up hard liquor, and he still wasn't even tipsy. Vaguely he decided that robbing a liquor store of all its contents might be on the agenda later on in the night.

Jezebel, a prostitute with long locks of platinum and foxy green eyes, suddenly slid onto his lap and placed her hands on the Winchester's waist casually. She leaned closer to Dean, her ample bosom about to spill out of microscopic sailor's top. Her tongue traced a warm, moist trail along his earlobe before she breathed, "How about you and me find somewhere a little more private?"

The alcohol wasn't really taking Dean's mind off of previous events, but maybe a warm body would. Handle of SoCo in tow, he allowed Jezebel to lead him by the hand through the dark club and towards the back where the private rooms were hidden. Away from all the flashing lights, loud music and prying eyes, Dean could finally appreciate this young woman's features. While he had first thought that her hair was a light blond, it was actually silver. You don't see that every day, he thought to himself. He shrugged it off though—it didn't look bad on her.

Without warning, Jezebel's grip on the hunter's wrist tightened, so much so that Dean thought it would break. In an inhuman amount of time he was dragged into one of the private rooms and hurled against the opposite wall as the petite lady serenely locked the door behind them. The mortal-turning-angel groaned as he picked himself off the floor while his head pulsed with sharp pain. Was this a vamp from that coven looking for vengeance? Some other pissed off creature of the night that had a vendetta against the Winchesters? Dean smashed the bottle of Southern Comfort against the wall, leaving the jagged neck of it in his hand and at the ready to slice and dice this fucker up. Blood dripped down his hand from where part of the glass had cut him, but he couldn't have cared less at the moment.

"Who the fuck are you and what do you want?" Dean snarled.

The whore's lips turned downwards in a contrived frown. "You don't remember me, Dean? I'm hurt. I've done so much for you, taken you so many places."

"Look, just tell me what you want so we can get this shit over with," he growled. "It's been a bad day."

Jezebel smiled then, but it was an expression cold and malicious. The lights in the small room flickered and faded as the shadows of massive wings formed briefly behind the prostitute before vanishing. That familiarly frigid smirk and silver hair, the angel's wings, it all made sense to Dean now. He was a fool for not noticing it sooner. He spat the name from his lips like a curse. "Zachariah."

That false smile widened. "So you do remember me. I was worried you'd never figure out who I was with this new vessel."

Shit. Shit shit shit. Just what the hell was Dean supposed to do? Here was Zachariah, perhaps with a small garrison of angels hidden amongst the people in the strip club, and he was completely by himself. He couldn't call Castiel—it would be a death sentence to have him try to fight Zachariah, and Sam was currently in the bowels of Hell. Had they found out about his angelification? Or were they looking for where Sammy's body was? Or did they want to badger him into saying yes? Either way, Dean knew that he was backed up in a corner and there was nothing he could do to escape them this time.

"What do you want?" he ground out again.

Zachariah must have picked up on Dean's hostility because she held up her hands in a placating manner and said calmly, "I didn't come to fight—I just want to talk. You see, you Winchesters seem to have this infuriating ability to throw a wrench into each and every one of our plans. And we angels don't like having to clean up after you filthy mudmonkeys all the time. Things were looking good after I showed you how the future would go if you refused to say 'yes' to Michael, but all of a sudden we began to notice that your soul was changing. Would you mind telling me exactly how you managed to slander my race by joining the ranks?"

"Hey, buddy. I'm pretty sure you gave yourselves a bad enough name before I came along. And what's it to you how it happened? All that matters is that in a few days I'll be just like you, y'know, just not as much of a dick."

The angel's smile dropped and she glared at Dean with unbridled hatred. "Listen, you arrogant shit, I am so sick of dealing with you and your idiot brother and angel. I'm done listening to your bullshit, so I'm breaking this down to the bare minimum so you can understand me. We know that you somehow found a way to become an angel. We know that Castiel has lost nearly all of his Grace. We know that your brother has suddenly vanished off the face of the Earth, but we also know that he isn't dead because he hasn't been spotted in Heaven or Hell. We know that you've come into contact with Gabriel in the past few days. What we need to know is how you started the angelification, where your brother went to, and what you were doing with Gabriel."

The fact that the angels knew he was becoming one of them didn't come as a surprise. Dean had known that it would only be a matter of time before they sensed the change. And it wasn't shocking that they knew Cas was running low on mojo. But just how the hell did they find out about Sam? And Gabriel? Just how close of an eye were they keeping on the Winchesters? It should have been impossible given the Enochian carved onto their ribs.

Dean was careful to school his expression to hide any and all surprise or fear that may have wanted to appear. "Why the hell would I tell you?"

That smile was back on Zachariah's lips, cutting and feral, not unlike the ones the hunter remembered Alistair wearing as he found a new way to make a soul cry out in excruciation. "Because if you don't tell us, we'll kill Castiel."

That simple sentence stopped Dean in his tracks and his own cocky grin slid from his lips in an instant. They didn't know where Castiel was. They couldn't. The hex bags they carried with them at all times kept them invisible to all demons and angels. Unless all four of the bags had been sabotaged, there was no way they could have been located—

"Dean, Dean, Dean," the angel tutted, "it doesn't matter how many hex bags or sigils you carry as long as you drive such a distinct car. You're staying at the Blue Winds Motel on Orchard Street. Castiel is currently in room twenty-six, along with six of my soldiers." At this, the mortal lunged at the angel, a vicious growl filling the room as he intended to cut Zachariah's pretty new face to ribbons, but the angel effortlessly sidestepped him, chuckling. "You humans…always resorting to violence when things get complicated."

This was quickly going from bad to worse. How the fuck was it that Dean seemed to attract nothing but calamity? Seriously, it was getting old.

The Winchester backed himself up against the wall, warily watching Zachariah as he smirked victoriously. Indecision danced in Dean's eyes and the blood that dripped down his hand hit the floor with a soft splat. That bottle had really sliced his hand up earlier…

Suddenly an idea sparked in his mind and he began setting it in motion as he spoke to Zachariah. "So you wanna know how I started becoming an angel? Some demons captured me and fucked up a spell that was supposed to turn me into a demon. But hey, I'll take being a dick with wings over being some scum-sucking monster any day, even if it's not much of an improvement."

Dean backed away from the wall to reveal a nasty, intricate Enochian spell he had hastily scribbled with his own blood. This whole understanding Enochian thing was coming in handy, if he did say so himself. He saw Zachariah's horrified, startled expression and wasted no time gloating—he shoved his hand over the seal, a triumphant grin gracing his lips.

Then, two things happened very swiftly.

An excruciating white light filled the room and Dean covered his eyes with his arm as Zachariah screamed and vanished, along with his garrison of angels at the hotel, and any other angels that happened to be within a five mile radius.

It felt as if each beam of light emitted from the sigil was a knife, stabbing into him and threatening to slice him to ribbons where he stood. Dean cried out and fell to his knees, shaking and scared. Not even some of Alistair's most inventive techniques had been as painful as this.

As the glow faded from the wall, the Winchester lay on the ground gasping for air and trying desperately to find his sanity amidst the excruciation that still ached in every inch of his body. He knew that he needed to get up and run to Castiel to make sure he was still okay, but his body needed time to recuperate from the onslaught. He cursed himself on the ground; it had been an idiotic move, casting an angel banishing spell when he was almost half-angel.

But then again, self-sacrifice was practically Dean's middle name.

He was able to pick himself off the floor gingerly after a few minutes of steady breaths and even though every fiber of his being protested it, he ran to the Impala and hammered the accelerator the entire way back to the hotel, praying that Cas hadn't been injured too.

Dean all but kicked down the door to their motel room in his haste and his green eyes cast about the room in search of his angel amongst the wreckage of the angel-bombed room. His Grace instinctively reached out in search of Castiel's familiar glow.

There it was, faint and wavering like a candle, behind the closed door of the bathroom. Dean wasted absolutely no time in hurling himself into the tiny restroom, fearing the worst.

The angel lay in a quivering heap on the ground, an unhealthy amount of blood dripping from his nose and eyes. Lacerations the vicious black and blue of bruises and broken bones marred his chest and arms, his shirt and trenchcoat scattered around in the debris. His sharp blue eyes seemed to be almost grey and his ashen lips trembled as he tried to make sound.

"D-dean," he rasped.

The Winchester was on his knees beside Cas in a heartbeat, all fluttering hands and wide, scared eyes. He had seen the angel come out of some fights pretty beat up, but he had never seen him so weak, so frail.

So mortal.

"Don't speak out loud," Dean said quickly. "Tell me what to do."

As Castiel gave the hunter a crash course via mind link in using Grace to heal, Dean's hands trembled and his brow knit with effort. Tendrils of fledgling energy leapt from his palms and into the angel's vessel to seek out its damaged parts and mend them, like a gentle stream washing away the dirt to reveal a gem. He watched as the bruises and cuts gradually faded from the angel's body as his soft blue Grace enveloped his body, focusing everything solely on fixing each and every mar. Dean knew that he had only himself to blame for this, his latest and greatest blunder that had almost ended in the death of another of his closest companions.

Why was it that everything in Dean's world was tattered and crumbling?

And why was he always one moment too late to prevent any of it?

A/N: I hope that you enjoyed this chapter. I admit, it was rough trying to get back into the swing of things and I would really appreciate your feedback on this chapter. Tell me what you liked. Tell me what you hated. Tell me what you would like to see more or less of. Tell me whatever and I'll dig it. Also, feel free to check out my other fics (they're all Supernatural ones).

Thanks for reading this far. It means a lot to me that you haven't given up on this story. I already know what I want to happen in the next chapter, so I hope to have it out in the next couple weeks. Take it easy!