Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural or the characters therein, they were not of my creation.

A/N: I began this story with the intent of it being a oneshot, however my creative ambitions got the better of me and now, not only does it have a prologue, but everything and everyone has a backstory. Go figure. Rated M for sexual content & swearing. Dedicated to my gorgeous friend who constantly inspires and encourages me. I hope you all enjoy it as much as i am loving writing it.

Twelve years ago...

Chaos. This was chaos. Here and now, standing in the middle of a room half blown to hell, the clang of shotgun shells hitting the concrete floor like rain, young men bleeding and yelling and pulling triggers over and over for the little voice in their ear that screamed at them, preached at them about the greater good, the significance of one life against millions. The frightened, pleading eyes of the young mother on her knees, clutching her child to her chest, begging for her life as her world fell apart around her...this was it. The culmination of three years without self, without free thought, without purpose other than that of a vessel for the intent of the powers that be. It all came down to this. A steady hand pointing the barrel of a 9mm at an innocent woman, finger resting solidly on the trigger. The young soldier eyed his target, the screams of his brothers a dull murmur behind the thud of his pulse hammering in his skull.

Pull it. Pull it, and give up the last shred of the weak, pathetic child he had been. The one who had never been good for anything, the one who could never get it right. The one who could not even save the person closest to him.

Pull it. Pull it and be something.

The blades of the chopper circling in over head beat in time with the blood coursing through his body. He gripped the Beretta tighter against the sheen of sweat on his palm, meeting the terrified stare of the innocent with one of blank resolve. And as he squeezed the trigger, putting a hole through both mother and child, he could have sworn he heard the scream of the boy he once was giving way to the warrior, the weapon, rising within him.

Castiel Novak turned his back on the limp bodies of his victims, holstering his pistol as he made his way out through the rubble. And as the chopper carried them away from the scene of the massacre, he knew the pleading eyes that he had so readily put a bullet between would stay with him for the rest of his life.