So there's a buzz that Castiel might be the bad guy of season 7, and as soon as I heard it, all I could think of was the bit at the end of X3, when Logan kills the Phoenix/Jean...well that and Dark Willow from Buffy...

He holds the angel sword in one hand, the other empty, reaching out to the man standing before him. Around them the maelstrom is in full force, chaotic wind and energy and debris ripped up in a ferocious show of anger, of power...

Wrath, Dean...

And lightning flashes intermittently through the whole, blinding him every few minutes and casting enormous shadows of wings against the wall of restlessly circulating air and earth and rubble. Not just one pair of wings, but four, all emanating from the deceptively calm and deceptively human figure in front of him.

Castiel is without his coat, suit jacket barely visible in the darkness between lightning strikes. The shirt beneath is still white, pristine even as Dean feels the dust in the air settle into his hair and clothes, raking through and sticking to the sweat on his skin. It is dark because the sun is gone, hidden behind the dark clouds above or just destroyed altogether. Dean wonders, suddenly and sickeningly, if there is even life outside of this mini-tornado, this eye in Castiel's storm. What if everyone else is dead, if there is no earth, no sun or moon or space...just him and the body of a man that had once been James Novak. Maybe the only thing keeping Dean alive right now is the burning grace before him, his own personal star.

My kingdom come, my will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.

Castiel's thoughts are writ large over his own, tripping him up with heavenly words and blasphemy. It's like Castiel can't bear to allow Dean the space of his own mind, to let him have one thing that does not hold his touch.

The brand on his arm burns.

I am always there. There is nothing I do not see.

And again that death rattle fragment of perverted prayer.

My kingdom come, my will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.

Dean wonders what Castiel has made of heaven since the destruction of Raphael (and half of the eastern seaboard by default). He wonders if it is as wind stripped and broken as the surface of the earth below, if Castiel rules over a wasteland, king of a pile of ashes.

No.

Castiel shuts off the thought, won't let Dean have it to wound himself with.

But beneath that tyrants voice, of denial and power and the strength no archangel ever had before, another voice, soft with care murmurs...

I would give anything...not to have you do this.

This is why he's here – to kill Castiel, but to save him as well, at least in memory.

Dean slams the sword home, watching Castiel's grace explode from James Novak's tortured expression of rage and betrayal. The air burns away and the cyclone flies outward in a final lash of wrathful power.

Dean feels the flesh being seared from his bones, his fingers crumbling to ash around the hilt of the angelic blade, Castiel's own. His tears burn from his face as they fall and he knows that this will take them both.

I do this, because I love you. He thinks, while he still has the power to form the thought, the same words said by Castiel when he took freedom from them, when he enslaved heaven and earth and brought hell to them.

I know. He hears at the back of his mind. And its Castiel's kind voice, the one that once told him that much of the time, he'd rather be on earth. Would rather be with them than in heaven.

The imploding star of Castiel's grace sucks them both in, burning and freezing at once.

I love you.

He isn't sure who makes the thought, but he thinks it might be both of them.

Then he thinks nothing at all.