There was one hell of a pause. Dean saw the look of pent-up frustration in Castiel's eyes. A frustration that seemed to be have been building up each and every time he reappeared.

Dean sighed and sat back in his chair, cracking open another beer in preparation for the tongue-lashing he was sure to receive. "Alright, Cas, you either tell me what the hell is eating at you now, or I'm gonna trap you here until you change your mind."

Castiel stiffened visibly and a strangely disturbing smirk twisted his normally stoic expression. "First your brother, and now you? I believe you are forgetting just who I am, Dean. You both think that I would be so easy to out-maneuver." the last few words made Dean shiver as Castiel was suddenly leaning to whisper them into his ear. Damn that angel could move.

"As if I could forget," Dean retorted, hoping Castiel didn't see him gulp. He had forgotten how foreboding he could be.

"Well then perhaps you could tell me," Castiel replied, straightening. "Because I think I'm a bit lost."

Dean felt the first stirrings of anger in his chest. "What the hell does that mean? I swear, one day I'm going to have to invest in an English to Cryptic-Angel-Speak dictionary."

Castiel sighed heavily and the strain of the past year and a half finally broke through. "You are my friend, Dean. But I am at a loss as to what I am to you."

Dean's eyebrows rose incredulously. "Are… you coming on to me?" He said, smirking at his own weak attempt at levity, Castiel, however, merely regarded him stonily. "What do you want from me?" Dean finally asked.

Castiel grabbed him forcefully and slammed him against the wall. "I want you to remember that I am a friend- not Barbara Eden. I have my own problems to deal with- most of which stem from you, so you must excuse me if I do not rush to meet each and every one of your commands."

Something in Castiel's eye made Dean swallow the crack he was about to make about the angel and harem pants. "Oh right, the great war," he said with a grimace. "The last grand crusade right? Or should I call it the great excuse?"

Castiel's hands tightened around Dean's shirt, and from the soft tearing noise, Dean assumed that he had broken through the fabric. "Excuse?" Castiel's voice was gravelly- a sure sign that he was pissed. "I have lost countless followers, I have been beaten, broken to pieces, trying to protect what you and Sam fought so hard to achieve. If I lose, then Sam went to hell for nothing, and the world still ends! And yet I still make time to come and help whenever I can, because…." His shoulders slumped slightly. "Because there are times when I wish that I could go back to before- when I was still that angel perched on your shoulder. Because I need the escape. Because I am losing, Dean." He released the hunter's shirt, his hands falling limply by his sides. "And yet, no matter how much I sacrifice, it is never enough for you. You still want more. I am powerful, Dean, but I am not limitless."

Dean blinked, "I… what do you want me to do? This war is way beyond our pay grade," He said. "You want me to pick up a knife and get to slashing?"

"No," Cas sighed, the anger that had made him so frightening had abandoned him. He was the same melancholy angel that Dean was used to, which somehow seemed worse after his outburst. "I want you to remember that you are not the only one facing impossible odds. I want you to remember that I am your friend. Not your servant."

And suddenly he was gone. Dean closed his eyes, trying to forget the fleeting look of desperation that he had glimpsed in the angel.

Deep down, he knew that nothing good would come of that look.