Kneel or die, to be or not to be. The answer was evident. Only it wasn't. If it were only his life on the line, fine go ahead, but Bobby's and Sam's were hanging in the balance too. Damn, the kind of mess they got themselves into, and why did it have to be Cas?

Sam felt like yelling in frustration but he didn't have the energy for that. The stupid blade hadn't worked and now they were out of options, well out of plausible options anyway. He hoped Dean could think of something because he didn't know how long he had before the adrenaline helping him now left him completely. He was already starting to feel sweat running down his neck; man, he couldn't believe the way things have turned out. It was as if his brother wore a -betray me- sign on his back. He was glad Dean couldn't read minds or Sam would've been kicked by said brother already. Dean had forgiven him a long time ago for the whole Ruby fiasco. He understood that Sam hadn't done anything on purpose, that he thought he had been doing the right thing; just like Cas…

The situation was looking grim and about to get worse. And why did they always end up with trouble beyond their human abilities to solve? Then again, they have always managed to bounce back somehow…Speaking of, Sam was looking a little green there, swaying a bit where he forced himself to stand. No surprise there, Sam was a fighter, always had been. But Dean also knew his brother had been in a coma not 3 hours ago and that his stubbornness wasn't going to help him much longer. What could he do? They were trapped and Dean was fairly certain they had run out of angel friends to save their asses. One thing was for sure though; he was never going to kneel before the guy who had shown such disregard for Sam's life. And suddenly he realized that he had made up his mind: Winchesters fight to the end. However, before he could do more than take one step forward, the thing wearing Castiel's face spoke again and this time it was to throw a curve at the unsuspecting hunter.

"Get out of here boys, now!"

"Did he just tell us to get out of here?"

"I believe he did." Answered Bobby equally nonplussed.

Great, they were going to be hunted now. It was good to know they could always count on their infamous luck.

"That's a direct order Dean." Said Castiel, but this time something stirred inside the oldest Winchester, something long forgotten. He didn't know what it was or why he felt compelled to listen to it, to obey. He didn't have time to process that however; his little brother apparently decided that enough was enough and to Dean's dismay, he started falling face first to the floor. Sam would've hurt himself had it not been for the former angel's quick reflexes. Castiel made sure that Sam was more or less steady on his feet before addressing Dean once again. There was a note of urgency now.

"Take your brother outside as fast as you can! Don't look back." Dean felt numb. He knew he had the ability to speak, to function like a normal human being but at that point he was sure his mind had disconnected from his body altogether.

"Now Dean! Go!" Body and mind decided to take separate vacations so instinct took over. Dean half carried, half dragged Sam outside -"I gotcha Sammy, I gotcha"- while Bobby, at Dean's hasty orders, made sure nothing blocked their path.

The voice coming from Castiel assured them he would protect them until he couldn't anymore.

Next thing Dean knew they were back at Bobby's. Sam was comfortably sleeping after assuring his freaked out big brother that he was fine, just tired. If only. It didn't matter anyway; he was going to make sure Sam really was fine. He's helped his brother before and he will do it again. No matter what. He'd tried to get some sleep himself but every time he closed his eyes, echoes from the past kept colliding with the night's events preventing him from getting any sleep whatsoever.

"When did you have time to bring it back?"

The youngest Winchester's voice rang loudly in the silent morning. It was just after 7. He figured his brother wouldn't be able to sleep much, but he was glad he had slept through the night without waking up disoriented and scared more than once. But for Dean that was one too many.

"I just got here actually. I wanted to make sure I got there before anyone or anything could get near her." He said while patting the Impala lovingly. That wasn't the real reason; he never would've left Sam's side to go check on his car, but he didn't feel like sharing his ideas with Sam just yet. It had been a waste of time anyway, the place had been clean, no sign of angels, demons or wannabe gods.

"How did you even manage to tow it back here?"

"Not the first time I've done it Sam."

"The first time with busted ribs."

"You noticed that?" It wasn't really a question so Sam didn't say anything. "Fine. I didn't have to do anything so you don't have to worry, truth is, when I got there, my baby was all ready to go. She even held her complaints until we got here." He didn't want to think who had helped him with that. "I'll fix her right after breakfast." He paused uncertainly. "You alright?" He'd tried to sound casual but even someone who didn't know him as well as Sam did would've picked up on his anxiety. He did get a half smile from Sam at that.

"I'm good man. How about you? Any other injuries I should know about?"

"Nah. Just bumps and bruises."

Sam didn't look convince but let it go. "And Bobby; how is he?"

"He's a tough guy, barely a scratch on him."

"Glad to hear that." He hesitated before continuing. "Hey Dean,"

Dean didn't like that tone of voice. It meant they were about to have a chick flick moment. Man, couldn't Sam wait until he's had at least a cup of coffee, or ten, Irish?

"It was him, wasn't, it?" Apparently not. Good to know his luck was still intact. After last night he was beginning to wonder.

"He who?"

"You know who Dean. It might not have been his voice, but that guy was definitely not Cas."

"No kidding."

"You know what I mean. The only time I've ever seen you follow an order without question was when dad was the one issuing it." So Sam had come to the same conclusion. It wasn't surprising really, he had always been a smart one his Sam. "It's possible right? I mean, maybe that's the reason he wasn't in Heaven, maybe he had been in Purgatory since the devil's gate opened and when Cas absorbed all those souls, dad got away from that place too. Maybe mom's soul was there trying to help out as well." He finished a bit subdued knowing Dean wasn't a fan of talking about mom.

"Are they never going to be able to rest?" Dean surprised himself with the raw pain he felt vibrating from his very soul. Their parents should have been able to find peace but instead, they were forced to keep fighting even in the afterlife.

"We'll find a way to free all those souls, free our parents. We know dad will give us the time we need to get ready to face the Castiel-lookalike."

"What makes you so sure that-," He took a deep breath "dad will be able to keep fighting?" That I will be able to keep fighting.

"Dad told you he would, didn't he?"

Dean was glad to hear such trust directed at their father. "Yeah, he did." But still, how can he be sure that their parents won't give up the fight? That Sammy won't check out on him; that he'll be able to prot-

"That's what we do."

A shadow of a smile crossed Dean's weary face, "damn straight," and was rewarded when his younger brother mirrored his grin. That was the Winchester way.