WARNING: There were of couple f-bombs dropped so please tread carefully.

A/N: Just a one shot that's been pestering me to breath life into it. Set after 6x17 but before Frontierland. Unbetaed so all mistakes are my own.

Disclaimer: Just playing in Kripke's and Gamble's sandbox. I promise to return everything in one piece. Mostly.

With that said, please, enjoy!


Bitter Is The Wound

By: JustShy


A snap of fingers, a smirking cold face, and Sam was dead. Just like that. Gone so quick, Dean didn't have a chance to scream his name. A gentle flick of Raphael's hand and Sam was slipping to the floor, boneless, breath stolen from his chest, the light extinguished from his normally bright eyes.

"SAM!" Dean shrieked, crumpling to his knees at his brother's side. Quivering white hands pawed urgently at Sam's neck, chest, arms, gathering his sibling close. Hauling the heavy body against him, Dean clung with a frantic wildness, his stuttering, gibbering mind refusing to accept what was right in front of his eyes, locked firmly in his arms.

"Sammy," Dean sobbed, shaking Sam with a stern rattle, his lolling head rolling loose on his shoulders, wobbling against Dean's chest like a marionette with it's strings cut.

Dean keened.

"No. Nononono. No. Sam! Please, no. Please. Just got you back. Nooo. Sammy..." Tears welled and slipped down the freckled slopes of his cheeks, before falling and beading upon Sam's cooling skin. Face twisted in anguish, he pressed it against Sam's, squashing their cheeks together as he burrowed against his brother's neck, attempting to sink beneath the beloved flesh and disappear along with his brother. Great shuddering heaves tore through Dean's chest, ripping breath and sanity from his body. His heart shredding and disintegrating beneath despair's leaden weight, he brokenly pressed his nose and mouth to his little brother's pulse point, willing it to flicker, to surge in response. The artery was silent, still, like it's owner and Dean could do nothing but inhale the grounding, homey scent that was purely Sam. A clean mix of spicy aftershave, the two in one shampoo/conditioner Sam always favored, and the familiar, earthy fragrance Dean could remember from a lifetime of shared cribs, motel beds, clothes and space. The smell of home.

"Sam," he moaned, choking on wave after wave of tsunami sized sobs. He slowly rocked his brother where he knelt, not giving a lick who saw them or what they thought. Nothing else mattered except Sam. Not the angels. Not God, Eve or the war in heaven. Not even Dean mattered anymore. How could he if Sam was gone?

He wasn't aware of how long he sat there, clutching his dead brother, breathing him in, and stroking the soft curls at the nape of his neck. His body was contorted protectively around his precious burden, terrified of letting go. To let go would signify that this was real. Final. Letting go just wasn't acceptable.

His soul crushed sobs had tapered off into breathy utterances; words of love, reassurances, and promises, whispered without sense or direction, trickled into deaf ears. Words he never would have spoken before, were now given freely, as if simply speaking them aloud would will life back into Sam. He didn't care how crazy he must sound, how over the edge his nonsensical babbling must appear. That ship had sailed the moment Sam was ripped from him.

Again.

Tears still streamed with no promise of ceasing. His face and Sam's neck were slick with them. He could feel cramps seizing in his back from the shielding curl he had assumed over Sam. His legs and ass had long sense fallen victim to numbness from the listless frame crushing them. Dean didn't feel inclined to move.

A rustling stirred from behind him. He heard the distinctive flapping of a heavy trench coat and immediately identified the new arrival without lifting his head. Castiel.

Light footsteps approached him. "Dean?"

Dean ignored him, possessively tightening his grip on Sam as if the angel was planning on stealing him away. Castiel moved into Dean's line of sight and quietly knelt down. Cas's face was as stoic as ever but his eyes were burdened with emotion. Cerulean eyes, swarming with tears, gazed at Sam's peaceful face before sorrowfully flicking up to assess Dean's turbulent greens.

"Where were you?" Dean rasped, throat raw and coated with the tears and mucus left over from sobbing and screaming.

Castiel lowered his eyes. Tentatively, he reached out and palmed Sam's forehead with a featherlight caress. Dean's heart clenched at the gesture. Cas, who he couldn't remember willingly initiated touch with Sam, was stroking his brother's forehead with sad reverence. He watched intently as Cas's thumb smoothed across Sam's brow, tracing protective sigils into his skin. A quick glance revealed that the angel had closed his eyes and bowed his head. Hope stirred feebly in his chest until he realized that Cas wasn't returning his brother but praying; Praying for Sam's soul, praying that he was at peace. Anger sparked so hot and volatile and so abruptly, Dean was surprised Cas didn't recoil from its intensity.

"Cas, where were you?" He gritted, strongly tempted to pull Sam free from Cas's touch.

Castiel's eyes snapped open, blue orbs still thick with sorrow. Guilt flashed briefly across his features before the blank mask shifted back into place. Retracting his hand, Cas slowly straightened and fixed Dean with a decidedly cool, inscrutable expression across his countenance.

"I was where I needed to be."

Something dark, deep and barely held together snapped within Dean.

"Where you needed to be? Cas, we needed you here! Sam needed you here. We were fucking ambushed on a job you sent us on! Your place was here!" Dean sputtered angrily, gently extracting himself from Sam. With hands that belied his anger, he removed his jacket and tenderly pillowed it beneath his brother's head before flying to his feet.

"I am sorry about what happened to your brother, Dean. I am. But you cannot blame me for what Raphael did. Balthazar required my assistance. He was cornered and-."

"Fuck Balthazar! My brother is dead because you weren't here. He died because you needed us but couldn't be bothered to show up yourself!" Dean wasn't aware of crossing the five feet of space separating them until he caught himself looming imposingly over the angel, jabbing a ruthless finger into his chest to punctuate feeling. Removing his finger, he backed off slightly but didn't stand down. Dean couldn't bring himself to feel remorse for his actions. Sam was dead and Cas's presence could of done something to prevent it. The angel's lame excuse was unacceptable. Not when his brother was laying so still and silent behind them. There was no forgiveness potent enough for that.

Bristling, Cas drew himself up to full height and met Dean's stormy stare head on. Stance firm and unyielding, Cas ground his jaw and moved a step closer, flashing eyes peering unflinchingly up into Dean's face.

"I don't think you understand how crucial it is that we win the war in heaven. If Raphael succeeds and the Apocalypse is set back on track then the destruction will be tenfold what it would of been had Lucifer and Michael had their way. It will be hell on Earth, Dean, in every literal sense. So forgive me if the pressing weight of the civil war takes precedence over your brother."

Dean lashed out, swift and devastating, exercising no restraint or thought as he rolled a hard one across the shelf of his friend's jaw. The firm thwack of flesh striking flesh echoed in the cavernous room as his fist caught the unprepared angel. Something shifted with a pop in Dean's hand and a piercing pain radiated from behind his knuckle all the way to his elbow. Brushing the pain aside, he cradled his throbbing hand, not quite willing to uncurl his fingers from the balled fist it was molded into. The blossoming agony of loss blooming in his chest like a toxic flower, immensely dwarfed the sharp twinge of a busted bone.

Though he was caught off guard by the attack, Castiel wasn't even the slightest fazed. What would of laid a normal man flat only just rocked his medium frame. As immovable and as impassive as Muhammad's mountain, he allowed his head to snap to the side from the blow, considerately lessening the damage to the distraught Winchester's hand. He did, however refuse to bow to Dean's wrath.

Seething with a fury so searing and smoldering, he literally felt the flames of it licking up his throat from the roaring inferno in his belly, scathing a caustic trail in it's wake. Even at Sam's most demon blood fueled, spit on my grave and kicked my dog, sky high level of pissed, had he ever been as enraged as Dean was in that moment. Dean's anger made Sam's temper look like a spitting kitten in comparison. Friend of not, angel or dick, he would of liked nothing better than to relieve Cas of each and every one of his feathers, one painful pluck at a time until the angel knew and understood the agony gaping its ugly maw in Dean's heart.

"Fuck you, Cas. Fuck you! I don't care about your fucking civil war or the fucking apocalypse. Raphael can raise hell and the world can burn for all I care. Fuck it all," Dean hissed vehemently, breathing harsh and heavy.

"You don't mean that. You would not be acting this way if your brother's death wasn't influencing you," Castiel responded softly.

"You don't think so? We haven't payed enough? Sam hasn't sacrificed enough? I am sick of being heaven's puppet and hell's chew toy. I've given everything to save the world! I let my brother throw himself into Lucifer's cage for six billion bastards who couldn't care less. We've paid with our lives over and over again and gotten nothing but pain, death and a freaking Wall that has an expiration date for all our troubles. It's just not worth it anymore. Find someone else dumb enough to be your martyr. I'm done," Dean motioned with finality, eyes glittering with unshed tears. Just as quickly as it flared up, his anger fizzled and died a guttering death, leaving him cold and hollowed out. His temper always did burn too hot, too quick and with all the intensity of a compressed firework. Trembling under the pressure of so much raw emotion teeming with no outlet through his system, he backed unsteadily from the angel. The overwhelming urge to be near Sam was pressing incessantly on his big brother instinct. Settling himself to wearily drop back onto his haunches at Sam's side, he froze in surprise when Castiel spoke in a whisper behind him.

"I can bring him back."

Dean stiffened, whirling around to stare with slack jawed consternation at Cas. Badly suppressed hope and hesitant joy blazed in his jade eyes.

"Wha-What? You can bring him back?"

"I shouldn't. It goes against ever responsibility entrusted upon me as heaven's general. I'm not God. It is not my duty nor my place to return life to those lost. And the natural order is already unbalanced as it is..."

"Screw the order! Since when do we follow that bullshit anyway? This is Sam, damnit!" Dean's voice cracked and broke upon his brother's name. Excitement ignited, it coursed through his limbs with an eager surge, ensuring that the task of being still was next to impossible. From the ashes of his charred desires and incinerated will, rose the tiny, budding leaf of renewed hope.

Castiel knew his implores were doomed the moment they fell on obstinate ears. The look on Dean's face said it all. It was like someone had lit a glowing light from within the man, a swell of light that chased away the shadowy darkness of despair and anguish. The angel regarded the elder Winchester earnestly.

"The world doesn't revolve around Sam Winchester, Dean. Eventually, he will die and there will be no going back. What occurred today, should not have come to be at all and for that I am sorry. Sam is my friend and I do care for him but I will not sacrifice the outcome of this war for his life. I cannot risk it. We cant afford to keep playing this game. You cant afford it," Castiel urged Dean to understand, to see reason; To see past his brother and call upon the elusive logic that always seemed to flee the moment Sam was in peril. Judging by the flurry of emotions that flitted across Dean's features, Cas could tell, much to his dissatisfaction, that that notion just simply wasn't going to be.

Dean's hackles rose but he quickly tamped them down. The world may not revolve around Sam, but Dean's certainly did and he'd be damned if Sam was placed in a scenario where this could happen again. Already he was planning on sticking to the kid like ugly on a wendigo. They were going to hole up at Bobby's for a week or longer, depending on the older man's tolerance, and he was going to find a 6'4", sasquatch sized, padded, bullet, knife, angel, demon and apocalypse proof bubble and cram his little brother in it until hell or high water.

Fixing Cas with a steely stare, Dean lifted his chin in determination. "He's my brother, Cas. I can always afford it. Now bring him back."

The angel deflated, accepting the lost cause for what it was. Resigned, he cast Dean a frustrated, disapproving glance before crossing the room to the fallen Winchester. Dean briefly barred his way before relenting and allowing Cas access. With Dean hovering obtrusively at his shoulder, he touched the lifeless man's cool forehead. Peering into Sam's peaceful, lax features, he whispered a gentle apology before uttering a hushed prayer and restoring life to the still frame. As Sam Winchester arched to life beneath his fingers, the angel stole away with a flap of feathered wings and trench coats, pretending not to hear Sam's choking gasps and Dean's overjoyed bursting of "Sammy!" before fading into the night, a bitter disappointment taking up residence beneath his sternum.

END.


Well? Thoughts? Opinions? Love it? Hate it? Anything I need to work on? Currently wanting to bitch slap me for hating on Cas? I promise I'm not! I seriously adore the guy but his actions as of late have been questionable which is where this little fella spawned from.

I feel like this has the potential to be turned into a two shot but that's entirely up to you guys. Let me know!