AN: This idea came to me out of the blue. There will eventually be 26 chapters, one for each letter of the alphabet. Most will be one-shots like this although some may be related to each other. I will be taking requests for words so if you have a suggestion please let me know! If I get multiple requests for the same letter I'll be picking only one. Please read and review! Reviews are like crack and you wouldn't want me to go into withdrawal would you?

Definition of a Word

Written by: Dreamerswaking

Disclaimer: Sam is not mine. Dean is not mine. Bobby is not mine. Castiel is not mine. Now that I think about it I realize I don't own anything.

A is for Apocalypse

When the people of the world hear the word Apocalypse they think of a Hollywood cinematic high budgeted piece of shit film that will probably never reach the top slot at the box office, simply because it's so over done. It's either that or, if they're religious, they think of Hell-fire and brimstone reigning from the heavens, plagues of locusts, illness, and death; these are all things that people picture when they hear the word Apocalypse. It's the end of the world right? In all likelihood it going to be messy and painful.

When Sam thinks of the word Apocalypse, he associates it with those things as well, but on the forefront of his mind is the all-encompassing guilt and shame that drive him to his knees every night. Sometimes he's praying for forgiveness and absolution. Some nights he screams at the heavens until his throat is raw and swollen while his eyes ache from moisture wasted on a God that doesn't seem to care. The worst nights are the nights where he sits quietly and thinks about how easy it would be to say yes and end it all. In a horrifyingly simple equation it all makes sense. No more world means no more guilt or shame.

The devil is a frequent visitor in his dreams. He has his own V.I.P. access pass that he flaunts with an easy smile. Lucifer is sympathetic towards his plight, and yet drives the knife in deeper with every visit. Long conversations about how it has to be him accompanied by warm smiles and gratitude for an early parole date.

***SW***

The night is cool as he slips out of the house. He likes it here and that makes him uncomfortable. After what he did sometimes he wonders how he can still feel good at all. Every smile or laugh that bubbles out of him takes him by surprise and immediately makes him feel like he got caught stealing the last cookie.

He doesn't sleep much anymore and when he does it's so riddled with nightmares or unwanted encounters of the angelic kind that it isn't as restful as it should be.

They're currently regrouping and gathering info at Bobby's again. One nice thing about the Apocalypse is that it's brought them closer together. They've seen more of this place in the last few months than they have in the last few years combined. Sam has unofficially declared it in his mind to be Team Free Will Headquarters.

Sam huffs out a dry laugh as he scuffs his boot on a rock sending it careening into the brush next to the driveway. A startled yowl comes from the bushes and a tabby cat streaks out from it's hiding place. Sam's shoulders slouch. 'Great now I'm terrorizing animals, as if the rest of the world wasn't enough'.

He makes his way past the junkers and out towards the open field. There's a slight rise out a ways that in actuality is little more than a small mound of dirt but he and Dean have always called it the hill. When they were younger they'd dragged tires out and set them on top of it. Fort Winchester had been their base of operations many summers during their childhood.

Now the tires are old and cracked, their shapes crushed and the centers filled with dirt and grass. Sam stops and kneels down, folding himself down so that his arms rest on the dew damp rubber. Shutting his eyes he clasps his hands together and tonight, he prays.

"God. I know you're probably tired of hearing from me if you even listen to me at all. Sometimes I think I've said all I can say and there is nothing left and then other times I feel like there aren't enough words." Sam pauses and sighs. The grass is wetting his jeans at the knees and a mosquito is buzzing near his ear. He tries to feel the connection he had when he was younger, back when he was sure that someone was listening and his shoulders droop a little more as he feels the hollowness where his faith used to be. Taking a breath he readies himself to try again anyways because if there is even the slightest chance…

"I'm really trying. I'm fighting past the point of exhaustion and I swear I'll keep fighting but as bad as this is for me… I just… I know I've asked before but I'll keep asking… I can bear the weight. I can take this. I have to, after what I've done. But Dean… He doesn't deserve this, he tries so hard and I can see how much it weighs him down. Couldn't you just help him? I do my best but… he doesn't want my help anymore."

It seems so stupid and the words feel thick on his tongue. The night air that he thought to be refreshing now brings gooseflesh up on his arms and he tightens his muscles against its chilly bite.

"Just please keep watch over Dean and Bobby and Cass. Keep them safe. Oh! And in case you didn't know Cass is… uh.. that is… Castiel is looking for you. He really believes, and I don't want him to lose faith. Not in you. If you're everything he believes you to be then you could stop this whole mess I've made. I know I don't deserve an easy fix but the world doesn't deserve the Apocalypse I dumped on them either. Well…I guess that's all."

Sighing Sam's eyelashes flutter open. He stays there for a few minutes hoping for some divine revelation and isn't surprised when all he gets is another mosquito bite. Shaking off the disappointment he makes his way back to the house, shucks off his clothes and climbs into bed. His brother is still in bed, back facing him and he grimaces. As his eyes drift closed Lucifer greets him with a smile.

***SW***

The Apocalypse is his fault. He knows it like he knows his name. Some days that's all he knows. That's what it means to him.

***SPN***

Dean misses the time when he though the end of the world was the local diner running out of pie or the few times a girl had passed him over to make eyes at his brother.

Now he know that the end of the world is angels being dicks, demons being … well themselves and betrayal coming from the person he had trusted above all else. The Apocalypse sucked ass in a major way and every time he thought he had a handle on it the sky would open up and drop another shit load of problems on them.

If asked what the Apocalypse means to him Dean would probably lie and give some cutesy remark, but inside… Inside he's a bundle of rage and hurt that leaves him feeling empty and achy inside. The Apocalypse means being double crossed and lied to by beings that were supposed to be holy and righteous. The Apocalypse means demons prowling the earth partying like it's 1999. The Apocalypse means his little brother had crossed so many lines right under his big brother's nose, it means that Sam had trusted a demon and set Lucifer free thereby dooming the world. And as if that wasn't enough, he was still an addict to boot.

Dean can admit he has never been a religious man. How could there be a God if there were creatures like wendigos and black dogs and poltergeists? How could God let little children and families die without stepping in? No. There couldn't be one.

He had lived firmly by that concept until an angel had yanked him out of hell in the middle of a slice and dice session. Now he knows there is a God and that makes it so much worse because clearly he just doesn't give a damn.

***DW***

Bobby's house is familiar and feels like home almost as much as his baby does. Here he can relax and let the weight ease off his shoulders a little. The house is dark and quiet. If he listens hard enough he can hear the faint ticking of a clock down the hall, soft snores from Bobby's room and … nothing from Sam's side of the room. Sighing he sits up and swings his feet over the edge of the bed. Sam's bed is of course empty.

Bare feet take in the cool feel of the wooden floor boards with only mild shock as he stands and makes his way to the door. Across the hall the bathroom door stands open darkness doing nothing to hide its vacancy. He silently heads downstairs and with each empty room he passes the knot of dread and worry winds itself a bit tighter.

He turns to go upstairs and put on his boots so he can continue his search outside and nearly jumps out of his skin as he comes face to face with Castiel. Dean glares at the angel and before he can even open his mouth Cass takes a step back "Personal space. Yes. I had forgotten."

"What's up Cass?" Dean asks the question even as he sidesteps the angel and continues making his way towards the bedroom. His tone is short and snappish as worry continues to coat his insides.

Frowning at him Cass watches as he attempts to locate some socks. "Sam is fine. He should be returning shortly."

Dean freezes momentarily before he sighs and sits on the bed. "Do I even want to know what he's doing?" The heels of his hands press hard against his eyeballs, warding off the headache he feels coming, before he gives up and looks at the angel.

"Your brother is not doing anything wrong."

Dean snorts out a humorless laugh and when he speaks he's surprised by the amount of venom his voice holds. "Yeah 'cause sneaking off in the middle of the night would be a first for him."

Castiels frown deepens and his voice is reprimanding, "Your brother is out in the field praying not for forgiveness but for you, Bobby and – and I to be kept safe and protected. He pours out his heart to God with love for you and you ridicule him. I do not understand your animosity."

Dean's eyes widen briefly at the revelation before he drops his eyes to rest on his hands. When he looks back up he isn't surprised to find Castiel gone. Sighing he lays back down and pulls the covers up to his shoulders turning away from the door.

When Sam returns a few minutes later Dean makes sure all he sees is the steady rise and fall of his brothers back as he crawls into the too small bed. The younger Winchester falls asleep almost immediately and so he misses Dean rolling over to study him as his eyes fight to close.

***DW***

Dean Winchester knows many things about the supernatural and more than he'd like about the Apocalypse. He knows how hard it is and how bad it can get but he also knows that the world hasn't ended until the last person is dead. As he loses the battle with sleep his last though is that if there's a chance they can stop the word from ending then a small matter of forgiving the person he loves the most shouldn't be that hard after all. And that is something he would start working on first thing in the morning.

***SPN***

AN: So what did you think? Any word Recs? Ideas for improvement? Let me know! 3 you all!