The roar of the Impala silenced as Dean killed the engine. He got out of the car, exhausted from the sixteen hour drive he had just finished on top of being awake for the past two days, and saw a man passing out pamphlets and talking to the passing people.

Great. Just what I need, some religious nut bag.

"Have you given any thought as to God's plan for you?" The man asked Dean.

"Too freaking much pal," Dean answered as he brushed past him, desperate to get to his hotel room.

When Dean was alone in his room he looked around and sighed to himself as he looked at the empty extra bed. He missed Sam. He wanted him to be there, but he knew they were both better off away from each other and Sam had done the right thing when he walked away a few weeks ago. Dean shook his head, bringing himself out of his thoughts and called Cas to check in.

"We're talking about the colt, right? As in the colt?" Dean asked in disbelief.

"We are," Cas confirmed.

"That doesn't make any sense. I mean, why would the demons keep a gun around that, uh, kills demons?" Dean wondered, curiously.

"What!?" Cas yelled into the phone, as a loud tractor trailer passes him. "What Dean, I didn't...I didn't get that," he finished.

Dean laughed. "It's kinda funny talking to a messenger of God on a cell phone. Ya know, it's like watching a Hell's angel ride a moped," he said, amused.

"This isn't funny Dean. The voice says I'm almost out of minutes," Cas said, annoyed that Dean isn't taking this conversation more seriously.

"Okay, alright. Uh look I'm telling ya Cas, the mooks have melted down the gun by now," Dean responded honestly.

"Well, I hear differently. And if it's true, and if you're still set on the insane task of killing the devil, this is how we do it."

"Okay, okay. Where do we start?" Dean asked, giving in.

"Where are you now?"

"Kansas City," Dean answered, as he stretched across the bed grabbing his room key. "Century hotel room 113."

"I'll be there immediately," Cas answered, matter of fact.

"Whoa-whoa-whoa, c'mon man," Dean objected. "I just drove like sixteen hours straight. okay, I'm human. There's stuff I gotta do."

"What stuff?" Cas asked, suspicious and slightly miffed.

"Eat, for example and in this case sleep. I just need like four hours once in a while, okay?."

"Yes."

"You can pop in tomorrow morning," Dean said as he took the phone away from his ear.

"Yes. I'll just..." Cas started to say, but Dean hung up on him.

Dean put down the cell phone, turned out the light and laid down. He was asleep only a short while when his phone woke him up. He reached for it in the dark and put it up to his ear without opening his eyes.

"Dammit Cas I need to sleep," he said annoyed, as he answered.

"Dean, it's me," the voice on the other end responded.

"Sam?" Dean asked, as he opens his eyes and looked at the clock. "It's quarter past 4."

"This is important," Sam said.

"Okay, What?" Dean asked, as he got out of bed.

"Lucifer came to me in a dream. He says I'm his true vessel and this other guy is only temporary or whatever," Sam explained.

"So, you're his vessel huh," Dean said, as he got a beer out of the mini frig. "Lucifer's wearing you to the prom," he finished, leaning against the counter.

"That's what he said."

"Just when you thought you were out they pull you back in, huh Sammy."

"So, that's it? That's your response? Sam asked, questioningly.

"What are you looking for? Dean asked.

"I don't know. A little panic maybe," Sam answered, uncertain.

"I'm a little numb to the earth shattering revelations at this point," Dean responded casually, then took a swig of his beer.

"What are we gonna do about it? Sam asked.

"What do you wanna do about it?"

"I want back in for starters."

"Sam..."

"I mean it. I'm sick of being a puppet to these sons of bitches. I'm gonna hunt him down, Dean."

"Oh, so we're back to revenge, are we? Cause that worked out so well last time," Dean responded sarcastically.

"Not revenge, redemption."

"So, what you're just gonna walk back in and we're gonna be the dynamic duo again?"

"Dean, I can do this, I can. I'm gonna prove it to you," Sam said pleading.

"Look Sam. it doesn't matter," Dean said, losing his sarcastic tone and replacing it with a defeated one. "Whatever we do, I mean, it turns out that you and me we're the fire and the oil of the Armageddon. On that basis alone we should just pick a hemisphere, stay away from each other for good."

"Dean, it does not have to be like this, we can fight it."

"Yeah you're right. We can, but not together. We're not stronger when we're together Sam. I think we're weaker because whatever we have between us love, family whatever it is, they are always gonna use it against us," Dean said, trying to do what he thinks is right when he really just wants his little brother with him again. "And you know that," he said, his voice saddening. "Nah, we're better off apart. We got a better chance at dogging Lucifer and Michael and this whole damn thing if we just go our own ways."

"Dean, don't do this," Sam said desperate.

"Goodbye Sam," Dean said and hung up the phone.

Dean wanted more than anything to call Sam back, but he didn't. He told himself they were better off apart. No matter how much he loved Sam they had to be away from each other. They were the two fighting forces that would end the world as it stood. Dean always thought the world would end bloody, but he assumed he and Sam would go down fighting it, not be the ones helping to destroy it.

But that was a long time ago, before he knew there were angels, before he knew the devil was real, before he knew God was real. He missed the days when he and Sam would just hunt things. He wished they could just fight a wendigo or go back to when he first found out vampires were real. He didn't believe it at first, it was too funny to him. Now he was stuck in the middle of the battle between Heaven and Hell and that was something he never thought he would have to fathom.

Nine months passed and they still hadn't found the colt. Cas' initial intel led them on a wild goose chase. Dean was still convinced it had been destroyed. He couldn't think of any reason why demons would want to keep something around that could kill them. Cas was more hopeful. The first time they searched for a week straight, taking them from one end of the country to the other with no luck. Dean almost snapped on Cas when he said they'd still look when they got a chance after Dean demanded he get back to hunting, but he stopped himself. He had lost Sam. Cas was all he had left and he didn't want to lose him too.

"Dammit Cas, I don't wanna hear about the fucking colt right now. I just wanna sleep," Dean snapped, as he collapsed on the hotel bed.

"Dean, this is serious. This demon was directly infiltrated in Lilith's circle. He says she had the colt," Cas said.

"Look, I know it's serious," Dean said, as he propped himself onto his elbow, his voice softening. "We will follow this lead, okay, but what day is it?"

"It's Thursday."

"Yes. And when was the last night I slept?"

"Monday."

"Yes. I'm tired, Cas. I need time for my human needs that we talked about, just gimme a few hours."

"Oh right, my apologies."

"Good night Cas."

Dean had always found Cas' uncertainty about humanity to be endearing. He was like a small child who was learning all his tasks. He didn't know or understand many things humans take for granted as the common norms. Sometimes, like when Dean needed sleep for example, that became annoying, but more often than not Dean found it to be very innocent.

Cas was new to all life's experiences and saw the world in a fresh light while most everyone else in the world that light had been turned off years ago. Cas was the only light Dean had left in his life. But since Cas had come on the road with him full time Dean had tried to teach Cas to be somewhat human. Not enough to stop being Cas, cause Dean loved him for it, but enough for Cas to somewhat understand the human he was now with 24/7.

They started off small. Dean made a list of "human needs" that he would have to take care of on a regular basis in order to stay alive. Dean was a simple guy so the list was short; food, drink, sleep, bathroom, and sex. Cas was pretty sure sex wasn't actually a human need, but Dean assured him that they'd both be a lot happier if Dean got sex on a regular basis. That led to a three hour discussion of why it was better to be happy. From what Cas had seen of the world so far he was positive happiness was not on the list of human needs either.

The lead Cas had on the colt actually seemed solid. They found out the gun was with a demon called Crowley. Crowley had a posse of eight to ten demons and lived in a house with a pretty good security system for humans and he'd covered the property in anti-angel magic so, Cas had to sit this one out. Dean knew he'd have no problem getting in, but though he should have some back up, so he called Jo and Ellen.

"Why do I always have to be bait?" Jo whined.

"Cause you're the cute blonde chick and that little black dress doesn't fit me," Dean answered, with a smirk.

"I don't see why you can't tell them your car broke down and I come in and back you up," Jo countered.

"They may be demons, but they're still guys. They ain't gonna care if I broke down. They'll tell me to fuck off."

Jo went up to the security gate and pressed the intercom button. Dean was right. They ate it up and opened the gate right away. Two demons came down the driveway to Jo. They thought they had found their night's entertainment when Dean and Ellen appeared and Dean stabbed one before slitting the other's throat.

"Thanks. Now you two get out of here," Dean instructed.

Jo started to protest. "It'd be better shot if we all went in."

"Dean, we'll back you up if you want," Ellen said.

"No. I'm not having your blood on my hands. I just needed to get in, now go," Dean urged.

Jo looked as though she was going to argue, but Dean gave her a look that he meant it and Ellen led her away. Dean got into the house without interruption. He pulled up an area rug and spray painted a devil's trap on the bottom. He called out to Crowley.

"Can I help you boy?" Crowley asked calmly, as he walked into the room with a drink in his hand.

"You can tell me where the colt is," Dean said harshly, eyeing Crowley who was moving closer to the rug.

"Down to business then," Crowley said, in the same calm tone while leaning down and flipping the rug up. "Bloody hell, do you know how much this cost?" He asked annoyed.

Dean looked at him unsure. "Where is it?"

"Why, is this what you're after?" Crowley asked, taking out the gun from the top right desk drawer.

"Yes," Dean said steadily.

"A few conditions first."

"Like?" Dean asked.

"Well, first I want a promise you won't just shoot me, and second I want you to kill the devil with it."

"Okay, I'll bite. Why do you want the devil dead? He's your creator, right?" Dean asked, suspicious, but interested.

"What about the first one?"

"Okay, deal. I won't kill you."

"Good. Now about the devil, he is hell bent on wiping you humans off the planet, yes?

"Yeah." Dean agreed.

"Well, after he's done with you he's coming for us. He thinks even less of us then he does you people."

"Why? He made you." Dean asked with disbelief.

"Because, he's an angel. He thinks the only beings that have the right to live are angels and God. They were here first and should be here last. I just want to go back to how things were. I'm in sales dammit. I just want my share of souls and the world to continue to rotate," Crowley explained.

"Okay, I'll buy all that. One small problem, I don't know where the devil is."

"I do."

Dean had the colt. After all this time he was finally going to kill the devil, or die trying. He decided that if he lived through this he would definitely go back to kill Crowley. He'd made enough deals with demons and had let them in his life too much. He wasn't about to make the same mistakes with Crowley.

Jo and Ellen insisted on coming to the final showdown. Since Dean was adamant about not involving Sam they said he'd have to deal with them. They weren't going to let him do it alone. They, along with Cas, spent what was probably their last night alive at Bobby's house.

"So, Cas what are you gonna do this weekend?" Dean asked. He was slightly drunk.

"We hunt the devil tomorrow. This is our last night on earth," Cas said certain.

"Cas, that was uh, I was looking for a distraction there."

"Oh, I'm supposed to lie. Aww, it'll be okay. We'll go see a film," he said, putting his hand on Dean's shoulder, making his best attempt to reassure him, but not being at all convincing.

"It's okay Cas, thanks. It's actually oddly comforting hearing you say stuff us humans learn to keep in. Tact is apparently completely foreign to angels," Dean said, only half sarcastically because he actually did like the fact Cas would always be honest with him.

"You're welcome Dean. Glad to help," Cas said, as he turned to walk out of the room.

Dean looked at him shaking his head with a smirk. He had never been able to make Cas understand sarcasm. All alone, he considered calling Sam.

Cas is right, we'll probly die tomorrow. I should at least talk to him, say goodbye. Tell him I'm sorry, that I should never have come to Stanford and got him, that all this is my fault...fuck, what difference would any of that make?

Dean didn't call Sam. He drank more and passed out in Bobby's guest room. The next morning Dean woke up to the bright light of the sun in his eyes. He got out of bed and went to the bathroom. He made his way downstairs and the others were all in the kitchen. Bobby was making breakfast, Jo was cleaning a gun, Ellen was drinking coffee and Cas was staring out the window.

They drove up the cities empty main street looking for any signs of life, There were none. Dean took out his cell phone, there wasn't any service. He parked the Impala and they all got out of the car.

"Reapers," Cas observed, as they reached the street corner.

"Reapers, plural?" Dean questioned.

"How many?" Ellen asked.

"Where?" Jo asked, as she looked around.

"A great deal, they're everywhere. I'm going to see why they're here," Cas answered, before he disappeared.

"Oh, I'm sure they're here to welcome us with open arms. Not many people make their job this easy," Dean said sarcastically.

"C'mon Dean. We got work to do," Ellen urged.

They walked the city with guns in hand, ready for whatever was around the next corner. When Dean saw Meg standing in the middle of the road all alone, he knew it wasn't a good sign. Demons never traveled alone and this town had been wiped out. There was definitely something bigger here than a second rate evil bitch like Meg. She said her father wanted to see Dean.

They had come here to kill Lucifer, but this was too easy. They all sensed it was a trap. Meg hadn't been alone after all. She had Hellhounds flanking her. They refused to come with her so she sent the beasts to attack. The three of them started running and Dean was knocked down by a Hellhound. Jo was immediately at his side shooting salt rounds into the beast with her shotgun. One of the others got to her, slashing its claws into her abdomen.

"Jo!" Dean screamed, as he ran to her side picking her up in his arms.

They found shelter in the town's hardware store. Dean chained the doors and covered all the doors and windows with rock salt while Ellen tended to Jo's wounds. That certainly wouldn't keep them out forever, but it did buy them some time. As soon as he was finished Dean rushed over to see how Jo was.

"How bad is it?" Dean asked with concern.

"It's pretty bad. These bandages are holding in her intestines. We gotta get her out of here sooner rather than later Dean," Ellen said, in a strained tone.

"Look, I'm not going anywhere," Jo struggled to say. "I can't even move my legs, there's no way you guys can get me outta here and still make it."

"Jo, don't you talk like that!" Her mother scolded.

"Jo, we'll be fine. We'll make something to carry you out on. We're all leaving," Dean said, trying to sound hopeful, but he had gotten a good look at her wounds and didn't think she'd last more than a few hours.

"I'm not stupid. I can see how bad I am. There's no way I'll last the night and I won't get you guys killed trying to rescue me. But I can still help," Jo said, trying to keep her voice firm.

"What did you have in mind?" Dean asked.

"We make a bomb. I stay back to detonate."

Dean was always one to fight to the bitter end. He would never leave a man for dead who hadn't already stopped breathing. He wanted to protest and tell Jo no, but she was his friend and a hunter, he respected her enough to honor her final request. Dean and Ellen gathered all the supplies they needed and got to work on the bombs.

Dean knelt down next to Jo. "Okay, this is it," he said, trying to keep his voice steady, the tears in his eyes welling up. "I'll see you on the other side, probly sooner rather than later."

"Make it later," Jo said, handing Dean a shotgun attempting to smile, while holding back tears of her own.

Dean put the detonator in her hand and held both his hands around hers. They gave each other a mournful look and Dean kissed her on the forehead. He pulled away looking into her eyes again, Jo fought to keep the tears in. He leaned in and kissed her on the lips tenderly. Then he looked away and got up. Ellen decided she would stay behind with Jo. They tried to tell her to go, but she was adamant about not leaving her daughter alone.

"Mom no," Jo protested.

"I'm not gonna leave you here alone. You got me Jo. Besides, someone has to let them in," Ellen justified.

"Ellen," Dean urged.

"You get going now boy," Ellen demanded. "And Dean," she said turning to face him. "kick it in the ass."

Jo getting hurt and Ellen sacrificing herself all for the same cause, none of it mattered at the end of the day...at least not in a way that made any difference for why they got that way. After Dean left the hardware store he got half way down the block before he heard it explode. He turned around to see the building engulfed in flames and kept going forward. The whole thing was a set up. One of Crowley's demon posse was a Lucifer spy. He told him Crowley gave Dean the colt and this location.

Lucifer was long gone before anyone stepped out of the Impala. He left Meg and a number of other stunt double demons to get the colt from Dean, but gave them direct orders not to kill him because he was Michael's vessel and he would kill him when destiny wanted it. Dean of course, did not give up the colt without a fight. He took down four demons before they knocked him unconscious. Cas found him in the middle of the road bloody and beaten. He transported them both to a hotel in the middle of nowhere. He laid Dean on the bed then sat on the opposite bed and waited for him to wake up.

"What? Where the hell am I?" Dean asked confused, as he started to sit up on the bed.

"Idaho. The cheery potato motel," Cas answered.

"Cas?" Dean said, uncertain as he tried to focus. "Where were you? I thought you were dead. Why the fuck didn't you help us? Jo and Ellen are dead!" He was becoming more and more agitated and the last statement came out in a yell.

"Dean calm down. I can explain," Cas said softly.

"Explain? Explain why you left us alone or why you didn't come back when we needed you? Or how those demons jumped me and took the colt and you still didn't show?" Dean was standing up pacing the room flailing his arms around furious.

"I was trapped. The demons led me to a ring of holy oil and as soon as I stepped into it one set it aflame. I couldn't get out. You know angels cannot cross holy oil. I only escaped because one of the demons set to guard me came too close and I used him as a bridge," Cas explained in a calm even tone. "I'm sorry about Jo and Ellen."

"Oh," Dean said quietly, looking down at the floor. "I-I uh I'm sorry. I'm just, I couldn't..." he paused for a long while having trouble with what he wanted to say. He took a few steps and stood in front of Cas who was still sitting on the end of the bed. "I couldn't save her, Cas. There was nothing I could do. By the time I turned around the Hellhound got her. And Ellen insisted on staying with her. And I let them down. Cas, I fucking let them down. They were there because of me and I failed. I let everyone down." By this point Dean was on his knees and a few tears were streaming down his face.

"Dean, there was nothing you could have done. They knew the stakes were extremely high and we'd most likely all die, they wanted to come anyway. They believed in what they died fighting for. They believed you could fight him. It's not your fault it was a trap," Cas said, kneeling down and putting his hand on Dean's shoulder, trying to comfort him.

"Exactly Cas, we were all supposed to die. ALL of us. I shouldn't still be alive. This was all supposed to be over!" Dean was almost in hysterics, he was sobbing freely now.

"You wanted to die?" Cas asked in surprise. He had assumed they all would, but he thought Dean was being brave for the mission, not trying to commit suicide by Lucifer.

"Yes dammit! And I should be. I was supposed to die fighting the devil. That's how it's supposed to be, right? I mean, I'm supposed to win according to your douche bag angel buddies up there, but I'm supposed to win when Sam is Lucifer. Well, I can't do that. I'm not going to kill my brother so I'll let this Lucifer kill me and this whole thing can be done with."

"Dean, you can't lose to any Lucifer," Cas started to explain, when Dean cut him off.

"Why cuz that's not my destiny? That's not how your God wants it?" Dean ranted, as he got back to his feet.

"No Dean, because you're not Michael. This isn't your fight at all. Michael must fight and kill Lucifer and you and Sam must be Michael and Lucifer's vessels when this happens. If you or Sam were to die as humans before this fight you would just be brought back to life," Cas explained.

"Wait, are you telling me I can't die?" Dean asked in disbelief.

"Oh, you can die and you have. You will just be brought back to life like before."

"Like when you saved me from Hell?"

"No, it's much easier than that. When I saved you your soul was in Hell, the other times its been in Heaven." Cas stated matter of fact.

"Wait, what? Other times, how many times have I died?" Dean asked in shock.

"Technically, in this reality, just a few."

"In this reality?" Dean asked, more confused than before.

"It's not of import. It wasn't real."

"Okay, then how about the few times I died in this reality. Are any of them of import?" Dean asked sarcastically.

"No, not really. You were brought back."

Goddammit! I'm really gonna have to work on him and sarcasm.

"Cas, when the fuck else have I died?" Dean asked bluntly.

"Well, most recently was about a month ago. That house in Indiana that you went through a second story window with a demon. You woke up assuming you just knocked yourself out. Really you broke your neck and were brought back."

"But, you weren't even with me. You were helping Bobby in Oregon," Dean said questioningly.

"I didn't bring you back, Dean."

"Then who did?"

"God."

"Bullshit Cas," Dean snapped. "God doesn't give a damn or he'd be helping.

"Maybe saving you is helping. God knows more than we do, Dean."

"Exactly. God is supposed to be all knowing, all powerful and he just sits up there on his ass," Dean ranted.

"Look Dean, I know you're upset but..." Cas started, but Dean cut him off.

"Upset!" Dean yelled. "This isn't just a bad week, I didn't get a flat tire and my girlfriend didn't fuck another guy. I'm a lot more than upset! I'm fucking fried here man. I should just quit. Say fuck you angels and Lucifer. I'm sitting this one out."

"Then Lucifer will destroy the world," Cas stated.

"I don't care!" Dean yelled."

"And you're just going to give up?" Cas asked surprised.

"I'm not giving up Cas, I'm failing! I can't ice the devil. I let everyone down all I ever do is let people down. I let my dad die. I got Jo and Ellen killed. I'm the only reason Sam is even back in this life! I made him come with me to look for dad and his girlfriend got killed. He was out Cas. He had a chance at a normal life, at being happy and I took that away. He's all I have in the world and I can't even be around him because I'm gonna get him killed," Dean's confessions left him weeping into his open hands. He had never actually said any of that out loud to anyone before and it made it all feel so much more real to him now that he had.

Cas couldn't stand seeing Dean like this anymore. He wanted more than anything to take his pain away, but he knew wiping his mind was wrong so he tried the human way, he tried to comfort him. Cas knelt down beside Dean and put his arms around him pulling him into his chest. Dean stiffened in shock at first, but slowly loosened up and embraced Cas back. All his depression and loneliness overcoming him, he sobbed into Cas's shoulder.

"Sam isn't the only one you have, Dean. You have me," Cas said, as he held him tightly and ran his fingers through Dean's hair. "I'll always be here for you."

Dean wasn't sure what was going on exactly, he'd never been this intimate with a guy before. Hell, he'd never been this intimate with a girl either, but he felt comfortable in Cas' arms. He held onto Cas and didn't want to let go. He felt peaceful for the first time in as long as he could remember. He was so comfortable he fell asleep right there in Cas' arms.

Look it was just a really bad night. My friends got killed and I admitted all that emotional crap out loud. It was tiring, of course you fell asleep...but why the hell was I so relaxed in his arms? Why does part of me wish he never let go? Dammit Dean stop being such a pussy. You had an emotional breakdown that's it. It'll never happen again.

Neither of them spoke about that night the next day or the day after. Two months passed and everything was back to normal. Cas' pep talk stuck and Dean was back on board with killing Lucifer and not with any help from Michael.

Dean was driving the Impala down an empty dark road when he spotted a young boy setting off fireworks. He recognized the boy as a younger version of his brother and stopped the car. He got out and went over to the boy. They talked and laughed and set off fireworks. This scene was very familiar to Dean. He remembered it from his childhood. It was Fourth of July one year when their dad was on a hunting trip. They burned down that field. Dean got back in the Impala and began to drive off when Cas' voice came over the radio.

"Dean!"

"Cas?"

"Yeah, it's me."

"You gotta stop pokin' around in my dreams, I need some me time."

"Listen to me very closely. This. Isn't. A dream," Cas said seriously.

"Then what is it?" Dean asked.

"Deep down, you already know."

Dean thought for a minute and remembered. He was dead. He got shot by a hunter who blamed him and Sam for the Apocalypse.

"I'm dead," Dean said somberly.

"My condolences."

"Where am I?"

"Heaven."

"Heaven, how did I get to Heaven?" Dean questioned.

"Listen this spell, this connection it's difficult to maintain. What do you see?"

"What do you mean what do I see?" Dean asked, still in shock.

"Some people see a tunnel or a river, what do you see?"

"Nothing, a dash. I'm in my car, I'm on a road."

"Alright a road. For you it's a road, follow it." Cas said, then the connection cut off.

Dean followed the road to a house. In the house he saw his mother. It was their house in Lawrence. She made him a sandwich with the crust cut off just like she used to before she died. Dean knew he had to talk to Cas again to see what he was doing here, but he wanted to be around his mother just a little while. After they had lunch he went off to try to contact Cas. Suddenly this bright white beam of light was in the room with him. Dean wasn't sure why but he felt he should hide from it so he got behind the couch.

"Cas!" He called, as he hit an old radio in the living room, "Cas!"

"I can hear you," Cas answered, his voice coming from the TV.

"Cas hey, something just happened, there was this weird beam of light."

"Don't go into the light," Cas instructed.

"Okay, thanks Carol Anne. What was it?" Dean asked.

"Not what, who. Zachariah, he's searching for you. You can't say yes to Michael if you're dead so he needs to return you to your body."

"Great, home sweet home."

"No, you don't understand. You're behind the wall. This is a rare opportunity."

"For what?" Dean wondered.

"You need to find an angel, his name is Joshua."

"Hey man, no offense, but I'm kinda ass full of angels. You find him."

"I can't. I can't return to Heaven," Cas said, slightly annoyed.

"So, what's the deal with Joshua?"

"Rumor is, he talks to God."

"And, so?" Dean asked unsure.

"You think maybe, just maybe we should find out what the hell God has been saying?" Cas asked, more annoyed and with some new found sarcasm that he had been learning from Dean.

"Geeze, touchy."

"I just need you to keep following the road. The road will lead you to the garden and Joshua will be there and he will lead us to God."

Cas was sure if God found out the angels were trying to cause the Apocalypse that he would stop it. Cas didn't know why he wasn't already aware of it, but he and Dean had been trying to talk to God for months...well mostly Cas was because Dean still wasn't all too convinced there was a God and even if there was he didn't think God would care. After Dean found Joshua he was more certain that God actually existed and positive that he didn't give a shit what was going on down on earth. After talking to him, Joshua sent Dean back to his body and Cas was waiting for him. Dean told him everything that had happened.

"Maybe Joshua was lying," Cas said, desperate to hold on to some hope.

"I didn't get the bullshit read off this guy, Cas, I think he was telling the truth. God knows and just doesn't care," Dean said plainly. He didn't want to give Cas an I told you so tone because he could see he was hurting.

"Why? Why wouldn't he care? I don't understand," Cas questioned, shaking his head in disappointment.

"I don't know Cas," Dean said quietly. He knew it was a bad answer and he should give Cas more, try to make him feel better, but he honestly couldn't think of anything. He opened his mouth to say something, but Cas disappeared.

It had been three days since Cas took off and Dean was worried about him. He knew Cas was crushed that God was a dead end. Cas had all his faith in God making things right again and Dean knew it. But God let him down and now they'd have to fight this alone. Dean didn't believe Cas would abandon him. He promised he'd always be there for him.

"Cas!" Dean yelled, from the middle of his hotel room. "Cas, answer me, please. We can still do this," Dean pleaded.

"Still do what?" Cas asked, as he appeared in front of the door.

"Kill Lucifer."

"Right. And just how do you suppose we do that?" Cas asked, as he stumbled walking forward.

"Cas, are you drunk?" Dean asked surprised.

"No. Yes."

"W-what? How?" Dean stammered.

"I found a liquor store," he said in a defeated tone.

"And?" Dean urged.

"And I drank it. It is not of import," Cas said annoyed.

"Cas, don't do this. It's not over," Dean reasoned.

"What? I'm dealing, or coping, whatever you wanna call it. I learned it from you," Cas said, dismissively, but the last part stung Dean. It was true. He drank away his problems, but one reason he cared for Cas was that he was so unlike himself, he wasn't damaged and broken and self-loathing...at least he didn't used to be.

"Cas, I know how you feel," Dean said, taking a few steps toward Cas so that they were within arm's reach. "You're talking to a guy who spent most of his life wanting his dad to be there for him. You get used to it," Dean lied, trying to comfort him.

"It's a lie Dean." Cas said, in an even tone.

"I was just trying to make you feel better," Dean said a little defensively.

"Not what you said. My life. I've spent it trying to serve him, honor him and when I need him the most, he isn't here. I'm not his son. I'm not an angel. I don't know who I am," Cas looked at Dean in such despair it almost broke Dean's heart to keep eye contact.

Dean didn't know what to say. He didn't just want to feed him the "it'll all be better tomorrow" bullshit, but he didn't have any reasonable counter to anything Cas said and if he really believed what he said it wouldn't matter anyway. Someone can tell you the sky is blue, they can even show you pictures but if you don't see it yourself you won't believe them. So, Dean did all that he could do and put his arms around the broken angel pulling him tightly into his warm body. At first Cas just stood there rigid, but Dean was persistent and after a few seconds Cas put his arms around him too. Dean rubbed his back soothingly.

"You're Cas. You're a bad ass angel who is gonna help this slightly alcoholic monster hunter ice the devil," Dean said, with a smirk to his face and confidence in his tone. "I'm here for you, you got me Cas," he finished, in almost a whisper.

Dean rubbed his cheek against Cas' hair. He brought his head back gliding his face against Cas'. He felt a chill at the touch of his stubble. He brought his face a few inches from Cas and looked into his eyes. The deep blue eyes stared back at him like they were seeing into his soul. For all Dean knew, they were. Dean brought his hand to Cas' face and touched his fingers to his cheek. Before either of them knew what was happening their lips were touching. After a few seconds Dean pulled away and shook his head.

"I-uh, I mean..." Dean started nervously, but couldn't think of what to say.

Jesus fucking Christ! What the hell was that? The fuck am I doing kissing Cas? Why the fuck did I want to?

Cas tilted his head to the side and looked at Dean curiously without saying anything. This made Dean more nervous.

Ah shit, look at the way he's looking at me, I totally freaked him out. Now he thinks I'm into him. Am I into him? Why the hell would I kiss him? Why do I really wanna do it again? Dean, fucking say something before he takes off.

"I'm-I'm sorry Cas. I fucked up...I don't know what I was thinking. I didn't mean it, it was a mistake," Dean stammered, trying to explain.

Cas went from looking curious to looking hurt. Dean saw the sadness in his blue eyes before Castiel turned away from him. They were both silent for a long moment before Cas finally spoke.

"It's fine Dean," he said, with disappointment clear to his tone.

He's upset. He wasn't upset when I kissed him he got upset after I said I didn't mean it. Did he want me to do that? He clearly wasn't sorry I did. Why do I want to touch him so much? Why can't I stop imagining how his lips taste? Goddammit Dean, this is wrong. He's a GUY and he's a fucking angel but he's a GUY...I'm not gay. I've fucked how many chicks...Okay, but if I'm not gay why do I wanna rip his clothes off right now? Fuck, Dean you're such a pussy.

"You okay Cas?" Dean asked, pulling himself out of his thoughts.

"Yes," Cas said, turning to Dean. "I'm fine," he finished, in an even tone.

"Good. Can uh can we just forget this happened then?" Dean asked, avoiding eye contact with Cas while fidgeting with the hem of his plaid shirt.

"Of course."

A month went by and as promised they both acted like nothing happened. They both stole glances of each other when they thought the other wasn't looking, but they both did it so often the other knew, nobody mentioned it. Dean felt guilty for lying to Cas and hurting his feelings but he wanted to get rid of these feelings, not embrace them. As far as he was concerned Cas believed him when he said it was a mistake and they were back to normal.

Dean thought the best way to be normal was to sleep with as many women as he could pick up at the bar after cases and drink himself under the table every night. Cas tried to keep all contact between Dean strictly business. He didn't know what was going on and why Dean affected him the way he did. Angels weren't supposed to have feelings. But Cas knew when it came to Dean he did a lot of things he wasn't supposed to. Dean had gotten him to take his first drink, see his first movie, watch his first ball game, see his first naked girl...he rebelled from Heaven for Dean.

Maybe it wasn't supposed to happen, but like all the other firsts Dean had pushed him into maybe Dean was pushing him into his first real feeling. He had nothing to compare it to but he knew the feeling was love. He was physically different when Dean was around, he could feel his grace burning hotter in his chest. He wanted to be around Dean in any way possible so if Dean only wanted to be friends Castiel was going to be there for him like he promised.

"It's Famine," Cas said.

"Are you sure?" Dean asked.

"I wasn't, until this last body. I checked the others at the morgue and all their souls are missing as well. And it would explain this," Cas said, gesturing to the cheese burger in his hand. He'd been eating them all day. His vessel Jimmy apparently had a weakness for red meat.

They had come to town involving a case where a man and woman seemed to have literally eaten each other to death after a date. Dean had joked that 'love hurts' when he read it in the paper, but Cas didn't understand the reference. Since they'd gotten there another couple killed themselves in a murder suicide by gun, a man had made his stomach explode eating too many Twinkies and another drank himself to death. Cas gave Dean a judgmental look when they examined that body, but he ignored it.

"Great, another horsemen. Awesome," Dean sighed.

"We have to kill him before the whole town is infected. It will only spread from there."

"Let's do this," Dean said, as he clapped his hands together.

Dean went to the hospital and waited for the soul to be collected from the latest victim. Cas appeared a few minutes later with a bag full of cheese burgers.

"Are you serious?" Dean asked, looking at him.

"These make me very happy," Cas said, with a smile and a mouth full of food.

"How many is that?" Dean asked, curious.

"Lost count. It;s in the low hundreds," Cas answered casually, as Dean looked at him in disbelief.

"What I don't understand is, what is your hunger, Dean?"

"Huh?" Dean asked unsure.

"Well, slowly but surely everyone in this town is falling prey to Famine, but so far you seem unaffected," Cas explained, while eating the burger.

"Hey, when I want a drink, I drink. When I want sex, I go get it. Same goes for a sandwich, a fight," Dean shrugged.

"So, you're saying you're just well adjusted?" Cas asked.

"God no, I'm just well fed."

Just then the demon came out of the hospital and they followed it to where Famine was held up. He was hauled up in a diner surrounded by demon guards.

"You wanna go over the plan again?" Dean asked, but Cas was too involved in his food and wasn't paying him any attention. "Hey happy meal! The plan."

"I take the knife, I go in cut off the ring hand of Famine and meet you back here in the parking lot."

"Well, that sounds foul proof," Dean said, but Cas was already gone.

After about ten seconds Dean decided it was taking too long so he went in after Cas. Dean snuck into the kitchen and saw Cas over by the booths on his hands and knees eating raw hamburger. Famine's hunger had over powered his vessel.

"Cas!" Dean loudly whispered, trying to snap him out of it when he was jumped by three demons. They beat him and brought him into the dining room where Famine was.

"Cas," Dean said in angst, as the demons dragged him.

"The other Mr. Winchester," Famine greeted Dean.

"What did you do to him?" Dean asked, nodding to Cas.

"You sicked your dog on me. I just threw him a steak."

"So, this is your big trick huh, making people cucu for coco puffs?" Dean asked.

"Doesn't take much. America, all you can eat all the time. Consume consume, a swarm of locus in stretch pants and yet you're all starving because hunger doesn't just come from the body it also comes from the soul," Famine explained with indignation.

"Funny, it doesn't seem to be coming from mine," Dean shrugged with a smirk.

"Yes, I noticed that," Famine said curiously. "Have you wondered why that is? How you could even walk in my presence?" Famine asked, in a self-righteous manner.

"I like to think it's because of my strength of character," Dean answered with a glare.

"I disagree," Famine said, and he approached Dean putting his hand on his chest. Dean struggled as Famine's touch burned inside his chest.

"Yes I see," Famine laughed darkly. "That's one big deep dark nothing you got there Dean. Can't fill it, can you? Not with food or drink, not even with sex."

"Oh you're so full of crap," Dean said eying him.

"Oh, you can smirk and joke and lie to people, lie to yourself, but not to me. I can see inside you Dean. I can see how broken you are. How defeated, you can't win and you know it, but you just keep fighting, keep going through the motions. You're not hungry Dean because inside you're already dead."

Dean said nothing. There was nothing he could say because it was true. But as true as it was he wasn't going to let this son of a bitch win. He stomped on one demon's foot and head butted the other to get free. The other three demons in the room quickly surrounded him. Four of them held him down while the last started beating him.

"Cas!" Dean screamed, as he struggled to get free with no effect. "Cas, don't let these bastards kill me! Cas fight it!"

Suddenly Castiel snapped out of whatever hold Famine had and took control of his vessel. He knocked the demon beating Dean across the room and put his hands on the two holding Dean's arms burning them to death. The other two quickly ran off while this was going on. Cas turned to Famine and did what he had originally come in the building to do, he cut off his ring rendering him practically powerless.

"Can you walk?" Cas asked, as he helped Dean up.

"Yeah, I'm fine," Dean said, but stumbled before all the words were even out. Cas grabbed Dean's arm to hold him up.

"You're not fine," Cas asserted, and put Dean's arm around his shoulder supporting his weight as they made their way back to the Impala.

"You scratch her and we're gonna have words angel," Dean warned from the passenger seat, as he held his side. He was sure he had a few broken ribs, cracked at least. Cas had insisted he was in no condition to drive and while Dean knew he was right he still had to protest, cause that was just Dean.

"I'm an angel of the lord. I can drive a simple machine," Cas said confidently.

"Yeah, yeah. How long ya gonna pull that angel of the lord stuff on me?" Dean asked sarcastically.

Cas got a serious look on his face as he thought hard about this question.

"I-I'm just messing with you Cas," Dean said light heartedly.

"I know," Cas said quietly.

They drove the rest of the way back to their hotel room in silence. Cas looked deep in thought and Dean wanted to ask what he was thinking.

It couldn't be that angel comment, could it? I've busted his balls about the angel stuff before. He's never been so sensitive about it. But what else could be buggin' him?

Dean was more stable by the time they got back and was able to walk to their room himself. Cas insisted on helping Dean tend to his wounds though. Cas was stitching a large cut on Dean's bicep when he spoke.

"I may not always be one Dean," Cas said seriously.

"Be what, an angel?" Dean asked surprised.

"Yes. I can feel it lessening already. Someday I may not be an angel at all."

"Wait you can feel it lessening? What the hell does that mean?" Dean asked in shock. He'd never considered the possibility Cas could be anything other than an angel. It shouldn't be that much of a stretch for him because he had already known an angel who became human. But Anna had chosen to give up her grace and Cas was making it sound like he was losing his.

"I already lost the power to heal and go back to Heaven at will. I'm not supposed to be here Dean. Angels aren't supposed to be on earth any longer than their mission calls for. My mission was to help stop the seals from being broken. After all the seals fell I was supposed to stay in Heaven. You were supposed to say yes to Michael and kill Lucifer. The world was supposed to become paradise. None of that happened because I rebelled and you said no to Michael. This is all new ground. We're rewriting destiny right now," Cas explained.

"Just because I won't say yes to Michael you're angelness is decreasing?" Dean asked distraught.

"No Dean," Cas said, shaking his head, frustrated with how Dean turned everything into his fault. "It's because I didn't do what I was supposed to. I defied what has been written by helping you try to stop Sam from killing Lilith. I was supposed to stay in Heaven and watch the Apocalypse. My angelness, as you call it, is weakening because I didn't do that and I continue to stay on earth."

"Helping me," Dean said guiltily, looking down.

"No dammit, because I have to," Cas snapped, annoyed he was doing it again.

Dean looked at him in disbelief. He'd only heard Cas curse a few times and it was never directed at anyone like this time.

"But why?" Dean asked, not understanding what he meant. "I thought you said you were supposed to be in Heaven. Why would they make you stay?"

"Nobody's making me stay here Dean, "Cas said, his tone softer. "I have to because I can't leave you," he said, the last part avoiding eye contact. He couldn't see the rejection on Dean's face.

Dean took Cas's chin in his hand and turned it toward him. They looked into each other's eyes. Dean could see how unsure Cas was. He clearly meant what Dean thought he did. Cas couldn't leave because he needed Dean. Dean figured he didn't say it out loud because he didn't want to freak him out and while he'd never say it out loud either, Dean needed him just as much. He didn't know when it happened, or even if there was a specific moment, maybe it was just the result of many moments, but Dean loved him, and apparently Cas loved him too.

"I don't want you to," Dean said, as he moved his hand from Cas's chin and put it against his cheek.

"I would never," Cas affirmed.

"Famine was wrong you know," Dean said, as Cas looked at him curiously. "Most of what he said was true. I'm fucked up, but I'm not dead inside...not completely anyway. There's one thing that still matters."

Cas stood there perfectly still not wanting to make the first move because he didn't want to make any assumptions and because frankly, he's never done anything like this before and didn't know what the first move was exactly. Dean had never had a problem taking lead in any sexual situation and this one was no different.

He brushed Cas' bottom lip with his thumb and then leaned in to kiss him. First he sucked on his bottom lip then he pushed his tongue into the angel's mouth tasting him. Dean let his hand go from Cas' face up into his hair. He grabbed hold of it and pulled him in closer. Their bodies were firmly pressed against each other. Cas was so warm. He felt warmer than people and a lot warmer than the other angels he'd had contact with. But Dean figured that was appropriate since Cas was special. Cas' left hand explored Dean's healthy bicep while the other was caressing Dean's neck.

They separated, looking into each other's eyes lustfully both inhaling deeply, catching their breath. Dean guided Cas backwards out of the bathroom and pushed him onto the bed. Cas lay there propped up on his elbows as Dean climbed on top of him. Their lips picked up where they left off. Dean's thigh was between Cas's legs and he could feel his need growing. Dean smirked to himself. Over the years tons of girls had begged him for it, he never gave any thought to having the same effect on a man.

Dean unbuttoned Cas' shirt and rubbed his palm over his firm chest. His lips slowly moved from Cas's mouth down his neck to his bare chest, biting and sucking along the way. Cas let out a moan and sharply sucked in air.

"Dean please," he begged.

"So needy," Dean laughed, as he undid Cas's belt.

He felt Castiel's hard cock in his hand. It was the first time he'd touched a dick other than his own. He figured he should be repulsed, but feeling how hard Cas was for him really turned him on. He stroked slow and soft at first then faster and harder until Cas came yelling out Dean's name in the process.

"So, I'm guessing that was a first?" Dean smirked, as he propped himself up on the pillow next to Cas.

"Many firsts," Cas said catching his breath. "Now it's your turn," he said, as he pushed Dean against the bed and straddled him.

So much was different yet the world still seemed the same. It had been a little over a year and a half since Dean last spoke to Sam. He was sure when he first told Sam they needed to stay away from each other that he wouldn't last a week, but one hunt lead into another and weeks became months. It had been about six months since Cas and Dean's relationship became completely different and totally the same all at the same time. Dean was still the one thing Cas couldn't live without and to whom he'd stick by to the bitter end. Cas was still Dean's best friend who he could tell almost anything to and his back up when he needed.

They still hadn't had any luck finding the colt. Bobby contacted every source he could think of and everyone they knew but nothing ever panned out. The colt was always on the back of their minds, but Cas and Dean continued to hunt the simple things, as Dean now referred to them. They hunted a wendigo in Minnesota, a shape shifter in Nevada, a werewolf in Maine. The latest was a nest of vampires in Washington...Dean was greatly amused by this.

"Looks like Twilight will have to do some recasting," Dean said with a smirk, as he cleaned blood off the blade of a large bowie knife.

"I don't understand that reference," Cas said, in a solemn tone, still angry with Dean because of earlier at the nest.

"It's okaym Cas. That's a good thing this time," Dean smiled, trying to get back in the angel's good graces.

There was a close call for Dean when they raided the nest. Dean acting first and thinking second as usual showed himself before they planned because one of the vampires was about to feed off of a young girl. Dean jumped out and offered himself instead. There were four of them and they all went for Dean at once. One got a good bite out of Dean while Cas was handling the other three. When they had helped the girl get home and were alone in the Impala Cas started yelling at Dean. At first Dean was so surprised by his emotional outburst he said nothing. Then he brushed it off with a joke like usual and Cas started giving him the silent treatment.

"Son of a bitch," Dean muttered in pain, as he took off his jacket.

"What is it?" Cas asked concerned.

"I don't know. It's something on my back. I'm cut or something."

"Let me see," Cas asked, as he stood behind Dean.

"It's fine Cas, quit babying me," Dean snapped.

"Hold still," Cas ordered, as he pushed Dean against the wall he was leaning on and lifted up his shirt over his head.

"Whoa Cas, I like it when you get all demanding. You're getting me hot," Dean smirked. Cas couldn't see his face, but he was sure Dean was pulling one of his dirty half smiles with a perverted hint to his beautiful green eyes that he loved so much.

"You have a large deep wound below your shoulder. This needs stitches," Cas said, dismissing the remark.

"Ah C'mon Cas, how long ya gonna be a little bitch? I'm sorry, okay? Now can you stop being pissed at me?"

"I'm not angry with you, Dean. I'm frustrated you are so careless," Cas said, as he stitched Dean's cut.

"They were going to kill her Cas. I just reacted," Dean explained.

"Yes they were, but what if you had been killed because you just jumped in there half hazardky?" Cas asked, his voice strained even talking about the possibility of Dean's death after the fact was upsetting to him.

"I can't stay dead, remember? A vamp drains me and the angel dicks bring me back," Dean said amused.

"I'd rather not test that theory unless absolutely necessary Dean," Cas snapped. "I'm done."

Dean turned to face Cas. "Look Cas, I'm sorry I stress you out, but you know me. I've always been an act now kinda guy and I've always been in this life threatening work. I've been almost getting myself killed long before I knew I had angels on my ass," Dean said, trying to comfort Cas, but being completely honest.

"I thought you liked angels on your ass," Cas said, with a dirty look.

Dean smiled at him. He'd been trying to teach him to be more human and not take things so literal. Hell, the first time Dean said he was coming Cas asked where and when they were leaving. Since he first met Cas Dean realized there's a lot of things humans take for granted.

He figured teaching Cas American mannerisms was like teaching any foreign person, but it was hard. One night Dean came back to the motel room after a liquor run and said it was raining cats and dogs outside. Cas looked at him in utter shock, muttered something about it being impossible for the poor creatures to survive the fall as he went to look out the window. So, Cas using slang, and dirty talk on top of it, excited Dean.

"Angel. One," Dean emphasized each word.

Dean grabbed Cas' hand and entwined their fingers then he leaned in and kissed Cas on the lips hard and passionately. Cas eagerly kissed back. He ran his hands over Dean's warm bare chest, stopping in places to fully take advantage and feel the firmness of the hunter's body. Dean shivered under his touch and this turned Cas on. All the times they had been together and they both still treated each time like it was as exciting as the first. Dean had one hand wrapped in Cas' usual tussled hair gripping it tight and the other reached for Cas' belt.

"Bed now," the angel demanded, in a low gruff tone.

"Yes sir," Dean smiled, and obeyed.

Dean propped himself up on his elbows watching Cas approach him. Dean could see the lust in his eyes and it turned him on. He had been shocked to find out Cas was a virgin and even tried to get him laid at that whore house, but in hindsight he kind of figured why that didn't take. Cas didn't even know what sexuality was as an angel in Heaven and Dean assumed once he figured it out on earth those feelings were directed at him.

Cas crawled on the bed and hovered over top of Dean. He pushed Dean down on the mattress and started kissing him. He began at his lips. Dean had the must luscious full lips of anyone Cas had ever seen. He could spend hours just kissing and licking them. Cas couldn't imagine anything tasting better. Then he moved slowly down Dean's neck breathing in his scent and laying light peck as he went along. Dean's smell was comforting and familiar. He smelled like old leather and a natural musk that Cas swore was unique all to Dean. Cas became rougher when he reached his solid chest. He started sucking and lightly biting. He got to Dean's stomach and began licking in small circular patterns teasing him.

"Fuck, Cas. Goddammit," Dean breathed desperately. Such blasphemy used to bother Cas, but since his father had seemed to abandon everything he'd created and was letting the world go to Hell Cas figured he'd take his moral high ground on another topic.

"Patients!" Cas ordered sternly, looking up at Dean with a lustful smirk.

He continued teasing Dean another minute or so then went back to his mouth. Their bodies firmly pressed together Cas could feel Dean's increasing heartbeat. He had his thigh in between Dean's leg rubbing it against his hardness, his own bearing down on Dean's leg Cas searched for an angle that worked for both of them. He clearly found it when he heard Dean call out his name. Cas continued grinding against him hard while kissing him deeply. Cas had his left hand tightly gripping Dean's upper arm where he held onto to raise him from perdition as Dean dug his fingers into his back below his shoulder. Dean tensed underneath him about to climax and Cas whispered in his ear harshly.

"Now you're my little bitch."

That was all Dean needed to push him over the edge he was so close to anyway. Cas followed shortly after. Cas rolled off Dean onto the bed and they both lay there in silence for a minute. Dean turned to look at Cas who was staring up at the ceiling. He put his hand on the angel's bare stomach and lightly slid up his chest. Cas held Dean's hand in his and moved closer to him on the bed. Dean wrapped his arm around Cas pulling him into his chest and put his chin on Cas' shoulder. Soon Dean was asleep and Cas was just laying still with his thoughts.

A month or so later they were at Bobby's place doing research. They were dealing with a new breed of monster lately. Dean had never given much thought to where the things he hunted came from, but it turned out they, like all creatures, had a creator. Each demon species had an original, or alpha as they had been calling them and the alphas source was something referred to as the mother of all evil.

Dean thought it sounded fake at first, but after catching and later killing a few alphas Dean started to take her more serious. The one good thing about the alphas they captured was that they freely talked about their mother. He thought they'd have to fish it out of them somehow, but to the contrary they were ready and willing to talk about their mother as if they were any normal proud child.

Of course they did so because they believed Dean and any other hunter for that matter, was no match for her. They learned Eve, that was her name, had escaped from Purgatory and was not happy because some piss ant demon named Crowley was trying to find a way into her Purgatory to pillage souls. Dean had no idea why, but he was going to find out.

"Bobby c'mon, I need to know something that'll gank this bitch," Dean said in frustration.

"Dammit boy, I'm trying here. There's a tone of shit to go through and very little information," Bobby snapped.

"Well, I can't just sit around here all day. I'm going to find Crowley. At least kill something today," Dean said anxiously.

"Dean, do you think..." Cas started and Dean cut him off.

"Cas let's go, now."

They drove in silence most of the way. Dean had gotten it out of a demon who was close to Crowley's circle where he was holed up. Dean wanted to know why he wanted to open Purgatory and if he knew anything about Eve but even if Crowley wouldn't talk Dean figured just killing him would still put this day in the good column.

"Dean, I'm concerned," Cas said softly.

"Yeah well, what else is new," Dean said dismissively.

"You don't understand. Souls are like currency in a way. If he gets any from Purgatory he will have greatly increased power," Cas cautioned.

"He's a demon, he already has power. How do the souls change that? Why haven't other demons tried this?" Dean asked.

"A regular demon wouldn't need souls. A cross roads demon can only use the souls he makes deals with. It makes no sense for Crowley to want these souls unless..." Cas paused mid explanation because he realized in horror why Crowley would want a large amount of souls. The only way they would be of use to him is if he were running Hell and with Lucifer's absence, it made sense.

"Unless? Unless what? Cas c'mon," Dean demanded impatiently, then he looked over at Cas and saw his expression. Cas had become a lot better at actually relating on his face what he was thinking, sometimes Dean missed him being completely stoic.

"Unless he's the new leader of Hell," Cas finished.

"Crowley, leader of Hell?" Dean questioned in surprise. "But he was just some random demon."

"Not exactly, Dean. He was a very high ranking cross roads demon and with a little initiative he could have had a lot more followers."

"Awesome," Dean said, rolling his eyes.

"Dean, I don't see how this is in any way a good thing," Cas stated, looking at him confused.

Dean shot him one of his "Really Cas, really?" looks and Cas realized.

"Oh, right. Sarcasm. My apologies," Cas said, slightly embarrassed. He had been doing so well lately, but old instincts died hard.

They never did find Crowley that day, but a left over demon at the house they had been sent to confirmed Cas' theory before he burned the life out of him. Crowley was running Hell and wanted souls so he'd have more power. Dean knew it wouldn't be a smart idea to let him get it so it was more important than ever to find this Eve bitch. But now instead of just ganking her they needed to find out how she got out of Purgatory to begin with and how to make sure nobody opens it again.

Six more months passed and they still hadn't found the colt, Eve or Crowley. Dean's whole life revolved around looking for things that he couldn't find and he was pretty fucking frustrated to say the least. There were two things keeping his head above water; Cas and him and Sam saying no to Michael and Lucifer. Dean was surprised how easy being with Cas was.

Dean had never even looked twice at a man that way before and still hadn't besides his angel. He had nothing against people batting for the other team, but he considered himself solidly straight. He still was attracted to women at the bar on a regular basis and flirted all the time, it was just his nature. But he hadn't strayed from Cas in the year since they got together. Attraction to other women was there, but desire wasn't. He got everything he needed from Castiel.

The one thing he did really miss was Sammy. He looked forward to the day this whole Heaven and Hell shit was over with and they could go back to hunting the simple stuff. He sometimes wondered what Sam would say about him and Cas. He knew he'd get shit over it, but in the end Sam would say he just wanted Dean to be happy or some other mushy girl crap like that and Dean would call him a bitch and Sam would call him a jerk and all would be back to normal.

According to the news the world was going to Hell. Dean scoffed at the comparison.

"Yeah right douche bag. You ever been to Hell? Well, I have and it's worse," Dean said, to the TV annoyed. "I love how people say things like, it's a living Hell, or you've been through Hell. No they haven't. As far as I know I'm the only one who's actually been there," he ranted.

"I don't believe they're actually claiming to have been to Hell, Dean. It's one of those "expressions" you're always trying to explain to me."

"Yeah, and apparently I'm failing horribly at teaching you sarcasm," Dean huffed.

"To the contrary, I think I'm doing quite a lot better on that front. Oh wait..." Cas paused, as he realized he'd just missed a very obvious dose of it.

"Oh Cas." Dean smirked, as he shook his head. "Don't ever lose that."

"Lose what?" Cas asked confused.

"Exactly," Dean said. "So, what did you find out?" He asked, changing the subject.

"Nothing of import. My sources were less than informatory to say the least," Cas answered disappointed.

He had gotten a semi lead on Crowley's location and thought the angels would be of some service, but very few would even speak to Castiel anymore let alone help him. The angels viewed him as a traitor. He was supposed to watch over Dean, that was his assignment but actually caring for him sickened them. Most angels viewed humans as beneath them and Cas treating one of them like an equal was not something they were willing to excuse.

"Yeah, I figured as much. They're pretty hell bent on seeing the world end so why would they help me save it," Dean said bitterly.

"We will find a way Dean. We always do," Cas said, putting a hand on Dean's shoulder.

"Yeah, well it'd be nice to have a little help now and then," he said, still annoyed, not turning to face the angel.

Zachariah had tried a number of times to get Dean to say yes. He offered him anything in the world he wanted, threatened him with everything he could think of, he even tried reverse psychology, but Dean never budged. Zach tried to convince Dean the world would be better off if he said yes. Lucifer would fry the planet, at least their way the world would be destroyed but everyone would be at peace.

Dean told him they could help him save the world if they wanted, but they just wanted to let it end then at least people would all die free and not be stepford bitches. Cas didn't understand the reference nor did he really understand Dean's argument. Cas couldn't figure out why being dead and 'free' was better than being at peace. Dean tried to explain freedom to Castiel. He said since angels were trained to be God's obedient little bitches he might not understand right away, but there was no question, freedom was the better option.

About two months later they caught a break. Bobby had found the way to kill Eve in some pre biblical text he had locked away. They needed Phoenix ash, the only problem being there weren't any of the damn birds still alive. Cas started searching for one. He'd been gone for three days when he suddenly appeared back in the hotel room not two feet away from Dean.

"Dammit Cas!" Dean jumped startled. "We talked about this...personal space and sneaking up on me and all that." While he'd seen Cas appear and disappear more times than he could count it still freaked him out when he didn't know it was coming. He had enough shit jumping out at him on a daily basis. He didn't need Cas doing it too.

"My apologies," Cas said, and took a large step backward.

"Oh no no no. Closeness isn't the issue now, just don't be sneaking up on me," Dean said, as he reached out and pulled Cas to him by his shoulders.

Cas put his hands on Dean's shirtless chest and Dean put his arms around him as they kissed. It was a deep long kiss. They'd been away from each other longer than they ever have been since they got together. It was really too fucking long in Dean's opinion. He'd gotten so used to falling asleep pressed against Cas that he tossed and turned all three nights. He would never tell Cas this and called himself a pussy for it, but he missed Cas as much emotionally as he did sexually, it was just sexually was winning out at the moment.

"I was just getting in the shower," Dean breathed.

"Maybe I can be of some assistance," Cas said, with a side smile.

"I'm sure I could use a hand," Dean said, eying Castiel's used lips.

Dean walked into the bathroom and turned on the shower as Cas followed behind while shedding clothes. Dean took off his jeans and boxers and stepped into the shower, Cas joining him seconds later. Cas watched in awe as the hot water splashed into Dean's body and flowed down like a waterfall. After all this time he was still taken aback by the sight of Dean's naked body and just how damn close to perfect it was, if not actually perfect.

"What are you looking at?" Dean smirked.

"Utter magnificence," Cas stated, without hesitation.

"Dude you're so gay," Dean teased.

"Yes Dean, I'm very happy at the moment."

Dean shook his head and let that one slide. He of course meant something different, but he couldn't deny he was pretty happy right about now too. He took a step toward Cas and brought his hand to his cheek. He gently ran his fingers down past his neck and then pressed his palm up against Cas's chest and pushed him against the tiled wall. Dean grabbed the container of soap from the shelve poured some into his hands and began lathering up Cas from the neck down.

His hands roamed his soft smooth body. Cas took the soap and began doing the same thing. They were both covered in foam and Dean grabbed Cas by his dripping wet hair and pulled him in for a hard kiss. Cas slipped his arm under Dean's and grabbed his back. They stayed like that for a few minutes their kissing growing more intense and creating a desire for much more. Their bodies pressed together each feeling how much the other wanted him. Cas reached down and took hold of Dean's throbbing cock.

"Ah fuck," Dean muttered.

Cas then flipped their positions and pushed Dean into the wall. He trailed kisses from Dean's lips down his body slowly, taking time to suck and bite along the way. Cas got to his knees and took hold of Dean's hard dick. He leaned forward and first licking and teasing the head then taking it in his mouth he began sucking softly then harder.

"Son of a bitch," Dean gasped, as he banged his head against the wall about to come.

Cas finished him off then got back to his feet. He looked at Dean and the look he got back confused him.

"Was that not a satisfactory performance?" Cas asked, slightly worried.

"No, no. That was fucking awesome," Dean assured him. "You just still surprise me, that's all."

"How so?" Cas asked, relieved and curious.

"Well, for one thing, if I didn't already believe you were an angel that woulda convinced me."

"Because?" Cas urged.

"Because the way you give head is truly a gift from God," Dean answered, with an evil grin. "Which is ironic cause the other thought that comes to mind is that you suck dick like a porn star and that is so not heavenly."

"God's gifts are plentiful," Cas said, with a lustful hint to his gaze.

Yet again he surprised Dean. There was a time he would have gotten hell for such blasphemy, but now Cas freely joined in and it was hot. Dean quickly started to become aroused again.

"I am such a bad influence on you," Dean smiled.

"If I'm going to Hell I might as well do it thoroughly."

"Awww Cas, Twilight, really?" Dean whined. "I'm gonna lose my hard on here. No more watching FX when I'm out getting supplies."

"But, it's so beautiful. Their love is unbreakable."

"Oh shut up. You only like it cause that Bela chick has as many facial expressions as you do..one" Dean said.

"Stoicism is a very underappreciated trait," Cas defended, a little hurt.

"Yes it is Cas, but it only works for a select few people and angels," Dean said softly, trying to make him feel better.

Dean closed the gap between the two of them and started kissing Cas on his neck. He started to suck hard bringing Cas' blood to the surface, he wanted to leave his mark. Cas let out a soft moan in pleasure making Dean's hard dick twitch. He turned Cas around and began kissing below his shoulders. Cas had his palms flat against the tile and Dean gripped his hips tightly and pushed Cas' legs apart with his knee. Dean took one of his arms and wrapped it around the front of Cas leaving the other on his hip.

Dean slowly slid into him and Cas sucked in air sharply. The hand resting on Cas' hip moved to the front of him and found his hardened cock. Dean began stroking and soon matched it with the rhythm of his thrusting starting off slowly then quickening. Dean was close to his own orgasm when he felt Cas tensing in front of him. A few final motions and they were both spent. They stood there catching their breath, Dean wrapped his arms around Cas' waist and pulled him to his chest. He put his lips to Cas' ear and whispered.

"You're never allowed to leave for that long again."

"I thought absence makes the heart grow fonder," Cas said, with a smirk.

"But it drives the dick insane," Dean answered, while sucking on his ear.

Dean started running his hands over Cas' body and they were both ready for more. By the time they got to their actual shower the water was ice cold. They got out, dried off with towels and got dressed.

"So, did you find anything out?" Dean asked, as he sat down on the bed and leaned against the head board.

"About?" Cas asked in confusion, as he climbed into bed next to Dean.

"Uh, hello, Phoenix, ash. The reason you took off for three days," Dean said, putting his arm around the angel's waist pulling him close.

"Oh, yes right. That," Cas said, snapping back as he took hold of Dean's hand.

"Yeah that," Dean said with an eye roll. "Damn Cas I think I turned you into a sex fiend. You get a little action and forget about the rest of the world."

"I forget about the rest of the world when I'm with you Dean, no matter what we're doing," Cas said softly and honestly.

Cas may not have been the best at showing or expressing his emotions, but he always said what he meant and didn't leave any doubt. Dean sometimes wished he could be more like that. He felt everything for Cas that Cas felt for him, but he could or would never blatantly say it out loud like Cas would. The first time Cas said I love you Dean froze. He didn't say anything for a while then he said he needed a drink. The next time Cas said it he returned with I know you do.

Cas still said it on a somewhat regular basis and Dean eventually worked his way up to saying me too. Cas figured that was as close to an I love you as Dean would ever give him. He would like to actually hear it back, but he didn't hold it against Dean that he couldn't say it and he never stopped saying it to Dean because he felt it and he thought Dean could probably stand to hear someone say I love you more than just about anyone else in the world.

"I don't know about this, Dean. What if the spell doesn't work," Cas asked worried.

"Then you and Bobby will find another way to bring me back," Dean responded adamantly.

"I should just take you myself."

"Cas no. Last time you time traveled with me you almost didn't get back. You're not going," Dean said sternly.

"Look Dean, maybe he's right. I mean what if this spell don't work then you'll be stuck there," Bobby said unsure.

"Yeah and what if it kills him!" Dean snapped agitated. "There's no reason this won't work and if it doesn't you can look for something else. I'm not risking Cas on a what if."

Bobby just looked at him and shrugged. He knew better than to contradict Dean when it came to Cas. Since he'd lost Sam Dean had become just as co-dependent on the angel. Bobby always got the feeling there was something he didn't know, they had been different for a while now, closer. But Bobby just figured it was because they relied on each other so much. They were each other's only company most of the time and really were all the other had. Bobby shook his head and thought he was glad he hunted alone, less fuss.

Cas had found where a Phoenix was when he went away. The problem being, it was in the 19th century. Bobby found a spell to bring Dean back in time. It was supposed to last for twenty-four hours then he'd be back in his own year.

Dean got the ash and returned to his own page on the calendar without a hitch. It wasn't hard to find Eve. She was leaving a trail of destruction wherever she went. Cas assumed it was because she believed that nobody knew how to kill her and even if they did the only thing that could was extinct. Cas, Dean and Bobby tracked her to a small town in North Dakota where she was changing all the people into monsters. The best way to kill the cocky bitch Dean said, was to walk through the front door.

"You rang," Dean said, as he walked through the door of the abandon diner, abandon that is by humans.

"You come to kill me and you don't even have the smarts to sneak up on me," Eve wondered.

"I don't like surprises," Dean said, eying her.

"Neither do I," Eve responded, as two of her newly converted monsters came through the door with Cas and Bobby. "Take these and destroy them," Eve said, as she handed their weapons to another one of her lackeys. "Now, where did you get that ash anyway?" She asked, turning to Dean.

"My last vacation," Dean snarked.

She gave the monster holding Cas a nod and he hit him hard. Cas doubled over in pain and Dean looked at him first in shock that Cas was actually hurt by this second rate thing then his instinct to protect him kicked in and he lunged for the monster. Two others stopped him before he got anywhere close.

"Bitch!" Dean snarled.

"Careful how you speak to me boy. His angel mojo doesn't work in my presence," Eve glared at him.

Dean turned to Cas who gave him a nod of affirmation.

"So, what now?" Dean asked.

"I want something from you then we can call a truce."

"What?"

"You kill Crowley and I won't kill your friends and turn you into one of my pets," she said, gesturing around the room.

"Come near me and I'll kill you," Dean sneered.

"Fine. If that's how you want it."

Eve approached Dean slowly, standing behind him she grabbed hold of his shoulders and bit into his neck. She pulled away after a few seconds and started choking.

"What did you do?" She asked, between gasps for air.

Dean took out a shot gun shell from his pocket and twirled it in his fingers. It had been filled with Phoenix ash and he poured it into the beer he drank before coming here.

"I don't like surprises so I do certain things to avoid them," Dean said cockily. "And I did warn you."

Eve took a few more gasps for air and fell to the ground. A few moments later all the monsters in the diner fell to the ground also. Cas had his power back and quickly rushed to Dean's side and transported all three of them back to Bobby's house. Dean lost a lot of blood from Eve's attack and was weak for a few days. Cas drove him nuts playing nurse maid, but he was grateful he had someone at his side whether he wanted to admit it or not.

"Dean, what do you think you're doing? Cas asked frustrated.

"What? You can't expect me to stay in bed all day," Dean defended, as he put his head back under the hood of the Impala.

"You need to rest. You're weak, I can feel it."

"Don't angel Dr. Quinn medicine woman me. I'm fine. I'm changing a spark plug, very little hazard to my health."

"You shouldn't be out of bed yet."

"Oh really," Dean smirked, as he turned to face Cas. "Well, I would have to agree with you there."

"You know what I mean," Cas said evenly.

"I like my way better," Dean said, as he closed the gap between them. He pressed himself into Cas and put his hands on his cheeks tilting his head up and locking eyes.

"Dean," Cas protested, but Dean put his finger to his lips.

"Cas please," Dean breathed in a deep gruff whisper. That was it, that was all Cas needed to give in and Dean knew it. Cas could never resist when Dean out right asked for it, hell, he never could resist when it came to Dean.

Cas put his hand behind Dean's head and pulled him into a kiss. He bit down on his bottom lip and the stuck his tongue in Dean's mouth tasting him as he explored over the space. Dean put his hands under Cas's shirt feeling his warm firm chest. Cas was just a little hotter than humans. He told Dean that was an angel thing, but Dean insisted it was just a Cas thing. Dean pushed Cas against the wall of the garage and they separated. Dean looked at Cas with lust in his eyes and started kissing Cas' neck hard.

"Dean we can't," Cas panted. "Bobby might..." he started, but Dean found one of Cas' weak spots and he just moaned and hit his head against the wall.

Dean pushed Cas' legs apart with his thigh and pressed into his erection. Dean started grinding into him finding an angle that worked for both of their needs. Both of them wanted more, but the possibility of being caught made the faster route the better option. After they finished Dean went back to work on his car.

"So, that was your first quickie. What'd ya think?" Dean asked from under the hood.

"I didn't like it," Cas answered.

"What?" Dean asked, turning around, his ego a little hurt.

"The quickie, as you call it, was too short. I like when it takes us a long time and we had our clothes on. I'd prefer our clothes never be on," Cas explained.

"Well fuck, can't argue with any of that," Dean laughed. "I love when you put things into perspective like that baby."

"Dean, I'm still an angel of the lord. I will smite you if you call me baby again," Cas threatened plainly.

"Aww Cas, I get so hot when you're all feisty like that," Dean smirked.

"Whatever," Cas said, as he rolled his eyes and disappeared.

They spent the next few months looking for Crowley, but whatever rock he was hiding under it didn't seem like it could be turned over. Dean was waiting in the hotel room while Cas was on a supply run when it happened. It had been a little over two and a half years since he'd spoken to Sam and he would regret that for the rest of his life.

"Hello." Dean said, as he answered his cell phone.

"Why hello there brother," the voice on the other end of the line said.

"Sam?" Dean asked surprised.

"Well, you only have the one," Sam responded, in a calm cold tone.

"Sam, what is it?" Dean asked worried. He could tell something was wrong by the way he sounded and how he was talking...he was talking like...no, a cold hard lump formed in Dean's throat as he realized who he was talking to.

"Sam's not here at the moment."

"Lucifer," Dean choked out, barely loud enough to hear.

"Yes. I just wanted to call and check in. Sammy said yes last night and I thought you should be the first to know."

"How?" Dean whispered.

"Well, I've been in his head ever since you abandoned him. I visited his dreams almost nightly and he simply had no one to share the burden with. You left, essentially making Bobby chose, and you know who he did, and of course Castiel. He and Sam were never as close as you two are, but he thought Castiel was actually his friend too. It was quite sad really." Lucifer explained coldly.

"Me," Dean said, the first tears finally escaping as the initial shock was gone and the pain setting in.

"Yes you. It was nice chatting with you Dean, but I have plenty to do, a world to burn down and all. I'll be talking to you soon, ta-ta."

The line went dead and Dean dropped the phone on the floor. He looked around the room in disbelief. He didn't know what to do. He suddenly felt like he weighed a ton and couldn't support himself anymore. His legs gave out and he fell to his knees weeping. He stayed that way for over an hour before he was too exhausted and fell to the ground curling into a fetal position. He just kept muttering 'why' to himself and this was how Cas found him.

"Dean!" Cas shouted in horror, as he rushed to his side. He assumed Dean had to be hurt and searched for wounds. When he couldn't find any he felt partial relief, but then took on a whole new form of concern.

"Dean, what's wrong?" Cas asked softly.

"Why, why" Dean repeated over and over.

"Why what? Please Dean, talk to me," Cas pleaded.

It was no use. Dean wasn't there. Cas put his hands under Dean's head and pulled him onto his lap. Dean continued this way until he fell asleep.

"Sammy! Sammy no!" Dean screamed, as he shot up wide awake in a cold sweat.

"Dean! Dean it's okay. It was a dream," Cas said, grabbing Dean's shoulders.

"No it wasn't," Dean said, so quietly Cas almost didn't catch it.

"What do you mean? What happened?" Cas asked, the worry showing on his face.

"Sam said yes," Dean answered, in the same tone.

"What? Are you sure?" Cas asked in disbelief.

"He called. I'm sure."

There had been a big demon battle in Detroit. They'd taken over a small community and Sam went there with a few other hunters to stop it. He thought he'd be lucky enough to be killed and when the hunters he came with were dead he thought for sure he'd be next. He was wrong. Lucifer was there all along and when Sam was surrounded by demons thinking he was in his final moments Lucifer called them off and started talking to him. After months of being in Sam's head he finally broke him. Being face to face was just too much for Sam after all that had happened. Lucifer promised him the world and at his weakest moment Sam said yes.

Dean hardly spoke, or moved for that matter, for the next week. All he did was drink till he passed out, wake up and repeat. Cas knew it would wreck Dean when Sam eventually said yes. He always knew deep down Sam would, but never dared admit it to Dean. He regretted that now. Maybe if he had said something Dean would have let Sam back into his life and they could have stayed stronger united. Playing the what if game did no good for anybody. Sam said yes and that was that. Cas had to work on getting Dean back now.

They'd been at Bobby's for over two weeks now. Cas drove them there the day after Lucifer called, he thought Bobby should hear it from them. Dean was talking a little more and he didn't spend the whole day drinking, but Cas was still really worried. Dean refused to talk about Sam or Lucifer. Cas thought he was in denial.

It'd been a little over a month since Lucifer's call. They'd been back on the road for a few days when Cas walked into their motel room and saw Dean staring out the window. He just walked by him and sat on the couch. He'd learned lately it was better to just let Dean be the one to speak first, if at all. It was more often not so Cas was a little caught off guard when Dean did speak.

"It was because of me," Dean said softly.

"I'm sorry?" Cas asked, thrown off at first by the volume then the statement itself.

"Sam saying yes was because of me," Dean explained louder.

"Dean no, you can't blame..." Cas started to say, as he approached Dean, but was cut off.

"He told me Cas," Dean said, now at normal volume as he turned to face him. "Lucifer said Sam said yes because I abandon him, it's my fault."

"Dean, you can't believe anything Lucifer says. He will say whatever he thinks will hurt you the most and he knows that was it," Cas said seriously, looking Dean in the eye.

"Sometimes, the truth hurts," Dean said solemnly.

"Dean, it is not your fault," Cas said sternly. "You had nothing to do with you and your brother being vessels. It's in your blood line. You can't change what you're born into."

"No, but I coulda protected him. It was my job to look out for him, not abandon him," Dean said bitterly, the tears welling up in his eyes.

"You did look out for him Dean," Cas protested. "You looked out for him more than any brother I've ever seen. You went to Hell for him. If you really want to blame someone why not try God."

"What?" Dean asked in surprise.

"God. Blame that bastard. He sits up there making people's destinies and destroying families, but does nothing to help," Cas ranted angrily.

"Cas..." Dean started, as he looked at him in shock, but Cas continued.

"Dean, we asked him for help!" Cas shouted. "We fucking begged for it and he is still nowhere to be found. If he had helped you and Sam wouldn't have to have been apart and none of this would have happened."

Dean stood there for a minute in shock, not knowing how to respond. He was taken aback by Cas' outburst and in all the time he'd known Cas he was sure he never heard him say fuck.

"I'm sorry Cas," Dean said calmly, looking into the angels eyes.

"Sorry? Sorry for what? Cas asked confused.

"I'm sorry for this," Dean said, gesturing around the room. "I'm sorry you're stuck down here cause of me, I'm sorry you're brothers fucked you over, I'm sorry you're father let you down. It shouldn't have to be like this for you."

"Stuck down here cause of you," Cas repeated, shaking his head. "Dean, I chose to be down here because of you. When you were assigned to me as a charge it was my job to protect you. I raised you from Hell and watched over you. I was supposed to be grooming you for Michael, but you showed me another way, you showed me freedom. I owe you my life."

"You were a powerful angel in Heaven and now you ride around in an old car eight hours a day with an emotionally fucked up hunter. I didn't give you anything, I took it away," Dean said guiltily.

Cas looked at the hurt in Dean's eyes and felt a pain in his chest...his heart? He knew that was impossible, but he swore he could feel it. His heart didn't even beat, well it didn't need to beat. He made himself have a heart beat and breathe so he could pass in the human world. But now he could swear the heart was reacting all on its own.

"You gave me everything," Cas said firmly, as he took Dean's face in his hands.

Cas looked Dean in his eyes unsure at first. They hadn't touched each other since Dean found out Sam said yes. Then he leaned in slowly and kissed Dean on his lips. An electric pulse shot through his body. Cas had missed the feeling of those full rich lips pressed against his. They were always slightly chapped and a little rough, but they were perfect. He let his tongue graze Dean's bottom lip then the top.

Dean started to get more involved and put his hand in Cas' hair pulling him closer and deepening the kiss. Dean brought his hands down Cas' shoulders and started pulling his trench coat off then moving down the front of him unbuttoning his shirt. Cas put his hands under Dean's shirt and ran them over his chest and stomach then he gripped the bottom hem and pulled it over Dean's head.

Cas led Dean to the bed and then pushed him onto it. He crawled on top of him and their lips crashed into each other. Cas gripped Dean's arm covering the mark he had made years earlier bringing him out of Hell. His thigh was pressed into Dean's hardening erection he moved his lips from Dean's mouth down to his neck. He started sucking soft then harder moving to his shoulder he bit down a little and Dean moaned.

Cas moved a hand down Dean's chest slowly stopping at the top of Dean's jeans. The soft warm skin made Cas shiver inside. He loved the feel of Dean, he'd missed this. His mouth followed the path his hand had gone. He stopped at Dean's hard nipple and bit it, Dean muttered something and Cas kept going. When his mouth got to the jeans he stopped and went back where he came from this time using his tongue licking and teasing Dean.

"Fucking Christ," Dean breathed. "You feel so good." His throbbing hard on firmly pressing into Cas.

Cas moved his hand down and undid Dean's jeans. He pulled them down and took notice that Dean wasn't wearing any underwear, he liked it. Then his mouth returned to Dean's as he began stroking Dean's dick. His own want needing attention he began grinding into Dean's hip matching the rhythm of his stroking.

"Harder," Dean panted, close to orgasm.

Cas obeyed and shortly after they were both spent. Cas rolled off Dean resting next to him their arms touching. Dean turned to face him and put his arm around him pulling Cas into his body. Cas rested his head against Dean's chest and listened to his heart beating. Cas knew when he was asleep because of the decrease in his breathing and heart rate. Cas put his arms around Dean and held him tight.

Another month passed and although Dean was still hurting, things pretty much had gotten back to normal, well normal for a monster hunter and angel duo that is. They were hunting things and everything was pretty quiet on Lucifer's end. Too quiet. Cas and Dean knew it was only the calm before the storm. They were hunting a shape shifter outside of Reno when the angels found them.

"It's been awhile Dean," Zachariah greeted.

"Not long enough," Dean snapped. "Where the fuck is Cas and how the fuck did you find me?"

"Castiel is fine. He's back at your hotel room. Well, since you have that inconvenient angel proofing on your rib cage we had to resort to other methods to locate you," Zachariah explained, with a cold smile.

"Such as?" Dean asked.

"You're name and face have been spread around to our more loyal humans."

"The priest," Dean said annoyed.

"Yes."

"The answer is still no, you dick."

"Even with Lucifer's new fitting vessel?"

"Fuck you," Dean snarled. "My answer is no. I will still kill the devil myself."

"Dean, I must warn you, this is your last chance. We will not ask again."

"Well good, it's about time you assholes took a hint."

"I just want you to think about the consequences of your actions Dean. You will not kill the Devil without our help and he will destroy this beautiful planet you're fighting so hard to protect."

"I WILL kill him," Dean said determined. "And I'll do it without you or your God's help."

"Fine. Have it your way," Zachariah said, then disappeared.

Dean made his way back to the motel and told Cas what had happened. Cas was surprised the angels had given up so easily. He thought now that Lucifer had his true vessel they would be pushing harder than ever for Dean to say yes to Michael. A few days later Cas got a call from Raphael. He wanted to meet with Cas and talk. Cas agreed.

"Hello brother," Raphael said.

"Hello Raphael. What is it that you want?" Cas asked.

"I want you to come home."

"Home? You want me to come back to Heaven?" Cas asked bemused.

"Yes brother, that is your home. You need to come back now, we're all leaving."

"So what, I'll stay here alone. It's not like I've interacted with any of you recently since you've all abandon me," Cas said bitterly.

"It's going back to how it used to be Castiel. Angels are not meant to walk the earth amongst the humans. The higher ups will not allow it."

"Are you saying you'll try to force me to go back?" Cas asked, tensing, preparing to fight.

"No brother, the will is up to you. I'm saying once we leave no angels will walk the earth."

"You mean..." Cas trailed off, realizing what the terms were. He could stay behind, but he wouldn't be an angel if he did.

"Yes, that's right. You'll be one of them. I know you live among them and look upon humans as equals, but are you really prepared to become one?" Raphael asked, with a smug smirk.

"I will not leave Dean," Cas answered firmly.

"Very well then. Peace be with you brother," Raphael said, before vanishing.

Seconds later he felt it. Castiel dropped to his knees clenching his chest in pain. He could feel his grace leaving. It was like it was being burned out of him. After it was completely gone Cas felt nothing inside him for a few moments then he felt it, for the first time he felt his heart beating when he wasn't mindfully telling it to do so. After another few seconds he felt the need to gasp for air. Then the breathing happened naturally too. He laid there in the abandon building curled up in a ball for hours before he could make himself get up and leave. He walked into the hotel room and saw Dean relaxing on the bed watching TV.

"You used the door," Dean said confused.

"I'm going to have to get used to it," Cas answered gruffly.

"Cas, what's wrong?" Dean asked, turning off the TV and standing up.

"Nothing's wrong," Cas answered sarcastically. "Everything is perfectly fine and all is right in the world."

"Cas, are you high?" Dean asked, as he approached him.

"No, but I guess now I could be. No reason I couldn't," Cas answered flippantly.

"Cas c'mon," Dean urged. "What's up?"

"Feel this," Cas said, as he took Dean's hand and put it up to his heart.

"Yeah, so your heart's beating. What's the big deal? You've been making it do that since you came here."

"I'm not making it do anything Dean," Cas corrected plainly.

"What do you mean?"

"I'm human."

"You're what?" Dean asked in shock.

"The angels left and now I'm human."

"But why, how?"

"Angels aren't meant to walk amongst humans Dean. The rest of the angels left and I stayed. The rules haven't changed." Cas explained.

"Oh," Dean said, looking away. It was all he could say. He didn't out right say it, but Dean knew he stayed for him. The angels left and he chose to stay here because he wouldn't leave him. Now he truly had taken everything from Cas and the guilt made him sick to his stomach. He needed to sit down before his legs gave out on him.

"I'll need to learn some human things before we go hunting again," Cas said casually, before he left the room and went into the bathroom.

"Sure. Whatever you're unsure about, just ask. I'm here for you Cas," Dean said, sitting on the end of the bed watching the fallen angel looking in the mirror.

"How old do you think I am?" Cas asked.

"I don't know. You said a few thousand years old, right?"

"No, I mean the vessel."

"Oh, uh thirty-four or thirty-five I guess."

Over the next three months Dean answered any question Cas came up with and tried as best he could to teach him how to be human. He thought it should be easy considering he'd been human his whole life, but it was surprisingly hard. Dean realized just how many things just came naturally to humans and thinking to explain them to a former angel didn't.

Cas questioned anything and everything. As an angel he had a photogenic memory and that seemed to cross over to his human persona too so at least Dean never had to repeat himself. All the questions Cas asked would have driven most people insane, but Dean welcomed the distraction. Anything to get his mind off of Sam and the whole end of the world shit.

"Dean!" Cas yelled, as be pounded on the bathroom door.

"What?" Dean asked annoyed, as he opened the door.

"You have to see this," Cas said, as he grabbed Dean by the arm and dragged him into the other room.

Residents in Chicago and its surrounding areas have apparently gone mad. People of all ages, races and genders are attacking their neighbors. Looting and rioting in down town Chicago seems to be unstoppable. Local police have called in the national guard. Police chief Harris has no solid leads as to what's wrong with the citizens at this time but reports have been pouring in that the offenders appear to be animal like during their attacks.

"Holy shit," Dean said, in a somber tone. "Do you think...it's Croatoan virus isn't it?"

"It appears that way," Cas answered flatly. "Similar reports have been made in other countries as well."

"He's not being quiet anymore," Dean said. Cas knew who Dean meant and he also knew not to respond.

Over the next two months the virus spread quickly. It had taken over Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City, Seattle, Detroit, Miami and most of the other major cities. Dean and Cas holed up at Bobby's house. Last time Dean had seen this all the infected people up and disappeared, but he was sure something that convenient wouldn't happen again. They searched for a cure or way to stop the spread of the infection but they had no luck. The hunters that Bobby had as contacts, the ones that were still alive that is, were gaining no ground either.

"It's called camp Chitaqua. It's an old army bunker about twenty miles from here. It'll have everything we need. We should go there, Dean," Bobby said.

"Get the word out to meet there. Tell them to bring whatever supplies they can and we'll set up there," Dean instructed.

A few months pasted and word got around that there was a safe haven. People came from miles around to take refuge at the camp. Some of the hunters wanted to turn the civilians away saying they were only a liability and a waste of resources, but Dean insisted they stay. He said they'd all been protecting humans as hunters there was no reason the end of the world should stop them. So, he took them in and taught them how to fight, Dean said everyone who wasn't infected was a hunter now.

"Chuck, I need a list of supplies that are needed," Cas said, walking into the supply bunker.

Chuck had made his way to Bobby's right before they relocated to the camp. He saw they would be safe there, for a while at least. Since the angels left he still had some visions, but most of them were random and without purpose. Just the other day he had a vision he'd drop his cereal bowl, he did, but who cares. He didn't mind not being a prophet anymore because he hated it to begin with.

"Cool man. I got it right here," Chuck said casually.

"Are you high?" Cas asked, as he observed the smell of the room and Chuck's very laid back attitude and blood shot eyes.

"Why yes, very. Do ya want some?" Chuck asked.

"No-no I couldn't," Cas stammered.

"No, angel Castiel couldn't. Human Cas totally can," Chuck said, rolling another blunt and lighting it.

"What will it do to me?" Cas asked, as he took it from Chuck.

"It'll make all this suck less," Chuck answered, gesturing around the room.

Cas took a puff and choked on it. By the time the two of them had finished the blunt Cas knew how to smoke and was stoned. They were both giggling uncontrollably when Dean walked in to the room.

"What the fuck are you two doing?" He asked in shock. He'd never seen Cas giggle.

"Dean, dude we're blowing off a little steam. It's all cool man," Chuck answered.

"Cas, are you high?" Dean asked in disbelief.

"Yes. Very much I believe," Cas said, before he burst out laughing.

"Chuck, get the fuck out," Dean ordered annoyed.

Chuck got up and quickly left without a word.

"Uh-oh I think I'm in trouble. Am I going to be put on time out?" Cas asked snickering.

"What the hell Cas?" Dean asked angry.

"Chuck said it would make things suck less," Cas said seriously. Even if he was high seeing Dean angry with him was something he always wanted to fix.

"Yeah until the buzz wears off. Cas this isn't you," Dean said disappointed.

Dean was right, it wasn't Cas, at least not old Cas. Not the angel he took to a whorehouse and still couldn't get laid, not the angel who thought the people in a porno were in love, not the angel who went to Hell and back for him, but then he wasn't an angel at all anymore...he was just a human.

Angel Cas was strong and could stick it out no matter what the occasion. Human Cas was weak, he had emotions he couldn't get away from and when he got hurt the wounds didn't heal instantly. Dean had been more and more distant since Sam said yes to Lucifer. Cas had lost his grace, the world around him that he gave it up for was ending and the one thing that meant more to him than anything was pulling away. He needed things to suck less, even if just for a while.

Over the next month Cas got more acquainted with weed and was introduced to an number of other drugs. They all did as Chuck said and made the world suck a little less. The only problem was when the drugs wore off the world majorly sucked again, so then he drank a lot.

They were on a mission to Bobby's old house to pick up the books they'd left behind. It was a long shot but they thought there might be something useful in one of them. Dean wanted Bobby to stay behind at camp, but Bobby insisted that just because he was in that damn wheel chair didn't mean he was useless. Dean later thought he should have cuffed Bobby to a sink at camp and went alone.

"Cas, get down!" Dean screamed, as he jumped up from behind Bobby's old desk and pumped three bullets into the Crote behind him.

Dean knew as soon as they attacked it was a set up. They'd swept Bobby's property and it was empty, but not five minutes after they were in the house it was swarming with Croatoans. Four of the men that came on the mission were already killed. All that was left were Bobby, Cas, Dean and Risa.

"Enough," a strong deep voice coming from the front door commanded.

Sammy? No there is no Sammy any more. It's that bastard Lucifer.

Dean walked into the front of the hallway leading to Bobby's front door.

"You son of a bitch," he snarled.

"Now is that any way to talk to your baby brother," Lucifer said offended.

"My baby brother is dead. I'm talking to the asshole I'm going to kill for it."

"Your brother isn't dead Dean. He's in here," Lucifer said, pointing to his head. "I can hear him screaming now," he said, with a cold smile.

"Don't listen to him Dean," Cas said, now at Dean's side.

"Why Castiel, how nice to see you."

"What do you want?" Dean asked, glaring at him.

"I just wanted to check in to see how you were doing. The world's a scary place now for humans. Speaking of which, how does it feel Castiel?"

"Fine," Cas lied.

"Now, now little brother. You can't lie to me. It's alright, I can still see into your mind. My, my the things you have done...father would be displeased."

"Fuck our father," Cas said coldly.

"Such language Castiel. This little boy friend of yours must be such the bad influence." Lucifer said, taking a step toward Dean and Cas stepped in front of him.

"Touch him and I WILL kill you Lucifer," Cas warned, staring him right in the eye.

"Awww, how sweet. My little brother is in love. What a shame it was wasted on such a putrid human. I really must go. I have a schedule to keep. You're all free to go. I'd check on old dad over there before I let him around innocent people though," Lucifer said, with a smirk before disappearing.

They both walked over to Bobby who'd been knocked out of his wheel chair and crawled under the kitchen table. They picked him up and put him back in his chair.

"Bobby, you okay?" Dean asked.

"No boy," he answered. The look on his face made it clear what was wrong.

"Where?" Dean asked quietly.

"Here," Bobby said, pulling up his sleeve revealing a large bite wound that had broken the flesh.

"Goddammit!" Dean screamed, as he flipped over the kitchen table.

"I can do it son," Bobby said, as he pulled the gun from his waistband.

"No. I will," Dean said, as he took the gun from him.

"Give 'em hell boy," Bobby said, as he let a tear fall. "Go down fighting and take as many of those sons of bitches as you can with you."

"Yes sir," Dean said through gritted teeth, tears filling his eyes.

Dean took a few steps back pointed the gun at Bobby's chest and shot him twice. Cas stood there looking between the two of them not knowing what to say. He wanted to comfort Dean, tell him it would be alright, say it would get better but he couldn't. He didn't believe any of that.

"Get the books," Dean said, to Risa after a few minutes.

"Dean..." Cas started, and Dean cut him off.

"Don't," Dean said sternly, looking Cas in the eye. What Cas saw made his now human and delicate heart break. He saw Dean's spirt die. What little he was holding on to was gone now. Dean was hallow and empty, the soul Cas fell in love with was gone. They carried Bobby's body to the yard and burned him. It was a risk leaving themselves out in the open like that to the crotes, but Dean insisted Bobby go out like a hunter.

As soon as they got back to camp Dean went over to the Impala and smashed out all her windows. Cas watched in horror, but knew better than to interrupt. Then he took the crow bar to the hood and doors. Finally he took out his lighter and threw it on the front seat. He backed away about thirty feet and stood there watching it burn. Cas knew Dean was getting rid of the one thing that was left that linked him to who he was.

A few days went by and Cas decided to try to talk to Dean. He hadn't spoken to anyone at camp since killing Bobby. He just stayed in his cabin drinking. They kept separate cabins to maintain appearances, but Cas always ended up in Dean's or vice versa. These last few days they stayed apart.

"Dean," Cas said softly, as he entered the cabin.

"What?" Dean snapped. He was sitting at a table with a bunch of papers spread out.

"I came to talk to you."

"I don't have anything to say," Dean said, not looking up from the papers.

"Dean, I know you're hurting but..."

"But what?" Dean yelled. "What exactly is the follow up to that? Everything will get better? It's not over yet? All wounds heal with time?"

"None of those," Cas answered evenly.

"Then what?" Dean asked, standing up.

"You're not alone. I told you I'd always be here."

"I don't want you to be," Dean said, not looking at him.

"What?" Cas asked hurt.

"I can't do this anymore. I've done enough to you. It's time to let go."

"Let go, I don't want you to let go!" Cas shouted. "You're all I have Dean. I love you," he said, in almost a whisper.

"He's dead Cas. There's nothing left," Dean said, just as quietly.

"Who Sam? Bobby? They loved you Dean, they'd want you to keep going."

"That's not who I was talking about," Dean said, finally looking at him.

"Oh," Cas said disheartened. He knew what Dean meant. He was talking about himself and he was right. Cas put his hand under Dean's chin and leaned in to kiss him gently.

"I'll always be here," he said, as he turned to leave the cabin.

A few days later he heard Dean outside screaming. He went to listen.

"Yes! Yes! you bastards, I wanna say yes!" He screamed, as he looked up to the sky. "Why aren't you answering me? I'm giving in! You won you fucks!" Dean flung the whiskey bottle he was drinking from as hard as he could into the woods. The angels never came.

Six months went by and they avoided each other as much as possible. They still went on missions together and Cas was still Dean's second in command, but they kept communication almost strictly business. Cas didn't know how to live without Dean. He considered suicide, but he'd promised Dean he wouldn't leave and he couldn't bring himself to break that promise, even now.

He decided to spend as little time sober as he possible could. He went through a bottle of liquor a day, didn't matter what kind and took any drug he could get his hands on. Then one day he was walking by Dean's cabin only half way high and saw Risa leaving. Her clothes were disheveled and her hair was a mess. Cas felt like he had been punched in the stomach.

"What the fuck?" Cas asked angrily, bursting through the cabin door.

"What's your problem?" Dean asked, sitting on the edge of the bed without his shirt on, lighting a cigarette.

"Risa's my fucking problem," Cas said angrily.

"Why?" Dean asked.

"I saw here leaving here just now. It's pretty obvious what happened," Cas said bitterly.

"Yeah, I fucked her. So what," Dean said casually.

"You don't see why that would make me just a little upset?" Cas asked sarcastically.

"Cas, we're not together anymore," Dean said, standing up and walking toward him.

"I know," Cas said hurt.

"Did you think I'd never have sex again?" Dean asked.

"If you can be with her I don't understand why you can't be with me," Cas said somberly, with such a sad look that if Dean wasn't so dead inside it would have broken his heart.

"Because it doesn't mean anything. I'm just using her. I couldn't do that to you," Dean said honestly.

"It would be better than nothing," Cas said angry.

"I'm sorry Cas," Dean said. For just a second Cas saw a piece of the old Dean flicker in his eyes.

"I'm sorry too," he said and left the cabin.

That night on their supply run Cas was still upset over the whole Risa confrontation with Dean. He was distracted and that was what almost got him killed. They were raiding an abandon supermarket. Dean assigned two men to each entrance while the others went and gathered supplies. Cas was guarding the supply truck when a few Croatoans came up behind him from the woods. He saw them at the last second and fired on them, but one got a hold of his gun and fought him to the ground.

Dean had heard the shots and came rushing out. He quickly fired on the one crote still standing. Cas and the remaining one were struggling on the ground and Dean couldn't get a clear shot off. He started to panic when he heard a shot followed by Cas crying out in pain then another two quick shots and Cas pushed the crote's dead body off of him. Dean rushed to his side and helped him up.

"Why thank you oh fearless leader," Cas said sarcastically. The pain wasn't that bad because he was high on oxies.

"Dammit Cas you're fucking stoned, aren't you?" Dean accused angrily, as he put Cas' arm around his shoulder and helped him back to his jeep.

"Beep beep. Ten points," Cas said, as he touched Dean's nose.

"Fucking smartass," Dean said, as he let Cas go into the front seat.

"I learned from the best," Cas said, rolling his eyes.

Dean got into the jeep and started driving back to the camp. He knew it took a few hours for the symptoms of infection to start showing so he'd have their camp doctor bandage Cas' foot before he put him on lock down. He refused to even think that Cas was infected. He couldn't.

Cas got patched up without a problem. The bullet had gone straight through his foot. He had a few shattered bones that would take a while to heal but he would be fine, as long as he wasn't infected. Dean brought him to the restraint cabin. It was where they brought people that may have become infected on missions and where they got information out of demons they captured.

Torture. Dean was back to torturing again. It started up again a few months ago. The first time Cas walked in on it he tried to stop him. He said it wasn't the way and it was only going to hurt Dean, but he wouldn't listen. He said it didn't matter and the only thing that did was information so he'd do whatever it took to get it. Cas couldn't watch so he left the cabin and went to find the bottom of a rum bottle. Dean threw a rope up over a beam feeding it through the other side and tied Cas' hands together above his head.

"If you wanted to tie me up all you had to do was ask," Cas said, with a dirty grin.

"I'm glad this amuses you," Dean said flatly.

"Aww c'mon. You need to find the fun a little D," Cas said amused.

"I'm taking that fucking DVD player from you. People would be pissed if they knew I let you have that."

"What? I like the little red head, she's peculiar. Tell them it was a consolation prize. Get dumped by Dean Winchester and you get to use one electronic device of your choosing," Cas said sardonically.

"You're hilarious, you know that," Dean said, glaring at him.

"That's how I roll," Cas said casually.

"You have got to stop hanging out with Chuck."

"Maybe Risa will hang out with me," Cas said obnoxiously.

"What the fuck did I tell you about doing that shit before a mission? You might have gotten yourself killed. You could be infected," Dean snapped, as he tightened the ropes around Cas's wrists.

"Only if I'm lucky," Cas said somberly.

"What? You don't mean that."

"Oh really? Why is that? Tell me why exactly I don't mean that," Cas said coldly.

"Cas c'mon..." Dean started and Cas snapped at him.

"No you c'mon dammit! Tell me WHY I wouldn't mean that. Give me one good fucking reason why I wouldn't hope I was infected so you can pop a few bullets in me and put me out of my misery."

"Because it'd kill me too," Dean said calmly.

"You're already dead," Cas answered harshly. The look on Dean's face made him feel instantly guilty, but he was too angry to take it back right away.

"You're right," Dean said softly, then paused. "I am, but if there's anything at all left of me it still belongs to you. If anything happens to you I'm done. I'm telling you now Cas. I won't keep going."

Cas didn't respond and Dean didn't say anything else. They waited in there till the morning to be certain Cas wasn't infected. Dean was up the whole night watching Cas, but he fell asleep once he started to come down from the oxies and the valume kicked in. Dean had his gun in his waist band. His mind was set that if Cas turned and he had to take him out he'd use the next bullet on himself. Daylight came and Cas was fine.

"It looks like you're good to go," Dean said, as he walked to Cas.

"Oh joy," Cas said, and rolled his eyes.

"Cas please," Dean pleaded, as he got to the fallen angel. He reached his hand out to touch his cheek. Cas had more scruff then he used to, but still far from a beard. He gently ran his fingers from the top of his cheek bone down his jaw line stopping at the bottom of his chin. "You can't leave me. You promised," Dean said halfheartedly, as he tiled Cas' face to look him in the eye.

Cas felt himself melt under Dean's touch. His Dean was showing him attention again. There was still something there no matter how small it was. Cas please was all he needed to hear. Dean still needed him and there was no way he would ever abandon him no matter what he did or how bad things got. He'd stay with Dean till the very end.

"I would never," Cas said firmly, with his deep blue eyes burning into Dean's longing stare.

Dean closed the small gap between them and cupped Cas' face in his warm hands then leaned in to kiss him on his lips. They were dry and rough. Dean deepened the kiss and reached in his back pocket pulling out his switch blade. He put his hand over their heads and cut Cas loose. Cas put his arms around Dean and pulled him in tighter. They stood there kissing and feeling each other's upper bodies.

Dean had his one hand under Cas' army jacket, his mind flashed back to the first time he pushed Cas' trench coat over his shoulders. Cas and Dean were both a little sentimental when it came to that coat. It was hard on both of them when it got ruined and Cas no longer had his angel powers to fix it. Cas had one hand grasping Dean's back and the other gripping his hair. They stayed like that for what seemed like forever, yet over far too soon when they separated.

"Dean! Dean we have a situation in the mess hall," Risa's voice came over the walkie talkie in Dean's coat pocket.

They separated quickly startled by the interruption then relaxed realizing nobody was in the room with them. They looked at each other for a long moment before speaking.

"Well, I uh I better go check that out," Dean said, scratching his head.

"Yeah," Cas said sadly, knowing this wouldn't be picked up later.

"I'll send someone to check on you later," Dean said, as he turned to leave the cabin.

"Fucking Risa. I may have to make an exception to my no human killing rule for that cunt," Cas said under his breath, agitated.

Over the next year Cas spiraled farther down and Dean lost himself entirely. Cas could see nothing left in him. His body was still working, but inside it was empty. All he focused on was getting the colt and killing Lucifer. Along with the drugs and booze Cas decided to add women to his list of vices.

He found it ridiculously easy to get them to go to bed with him. He never gave a shit about any of them. Soon just one at a time wasn't good enough. His favorite way to bed them was pulling his ex-angel I have a higher scene than normal people card. He would read some chick's aura and she would melt in his hands. He always insisted on fucking in their cabin so he could take off when he was finished.

During his check of the perimeter Dean noticed the figure looking at the Impala. He snuck up behind it and knocked it out. When he turned the body over he was surprised to be looking at himself.

What the fuck? Another goddamn shape shifter. Haven't they already been there done that? Fuckers.

He dragged the body back to his cabin and hand cuffed him to the steps. He did all the anti-demon tests he knew of but the thing came up clean. He searched it's pockets and it was carrying the same burglary tools he did, or used to when he needed to pick locks instead of just busting down the door.

"What the hell?" The thing asked as it came to.

"I should be asking that question, don't ya think?" Dean responded. "In fact, why don't you give me one good reason why I shouldn't gank you right here and now."

"Because you'd only be hurting yourself," it answered, hoping to lighten the tension.

"That's very funny," Dean said, as he continued to put the rifle he was holding back together.

"Look man, I'm no shape shifter or demon or anything," it defended nervously as it fidgeted with the cuffs.

"Yeah I know. I did the drill while you were out. Silver, salt, holy water...nothing. But you know what was funny that you had every hidden lock pick, box cutter and switch blade that I carry. Now you wanna explain that...oh and the resemblance while you're at it," Dean said accusingly.

"Zachariah." it responded.

Dean affirmed his icy stare and stood up. "Come again?"

"I'm you. From the tail end of 2009. Zack plucked me from my bed and threw me five years into the future," past Dean explained.

"Where is he? I wanna talk to him." Present Dean asked, moving toward his past self.

"I don't know," past Dean answered impatiently.

"Oh, you don't know," present Dean said, not seeming to buy it.

"No, I don't know. Look I just wanna get back to my own freaking year ok," past Dean said annoyed.

"Okay, if you're me then tell me something only I would know, "Present Dean said smugly, as he knelt down in front of his counterpart.

Past Dean thought for a few seconds and smirked. "Rhonda Hurley. We were nineteen, she made us try on her panties. They were pink...and satiny. And you know what?...We kinda liked it," Dean answered, returning the smugness.

"Touché," present Dean responded, with a nod of approval. "So, what Zack zap you here to show you how bad it gets?" He asked, returning to the table and picking the gun back up.

"I guess. Croatoan virus, right? That's their end game?"

"It's efficient, it's incurable and it's scary as hell. Turns people into monsters. Started hitting the major cities about two years ago. World really went in the crapper after that."

"What about Sam?"

Present Dean paused and looked up from the gun and over at himself, he hesitated then answered. "Heavy weight show down in Detroit. From what I understand, Sam didn't make it," he said coldly yet clearly having issue finishing the statement.

"You weren't with him?" past Dean asked, surprised.

"No," present Dean responded, the little emotion gone and now fully cold. "No, me and Sam we haven't talked in hell, five years," he finished casually.

Past Dean both sad and disappointed asked, "We never tried to find him?"

"We had other people to worry about."

"Where are you going?"

"I gotta run an errand."

"Whoa, you're just gonna leave me here?" Past Dean asked, motioning to the cuffs.

"Yes. I got a camp full of twitchy trauma survivors out there with an Apocalypse hanging over their head the last thing they need to see is a version of the parent trap. So, yeah. you stay locked down." He finished as he turned to leave the room.

"Okay, alright fine, but you don't have to cuff me man. Oh c'mon, you don't trust yourself?" 2009 Dean pleaded.

"No. Absolutely not," present Dean responded, as he left the room.

"What a dick," 2009 Dean said annoyed.

Past Dean picked a nail from the floor boards and escaped the cuffs. He walked out of the cabin and was standing there when he heard a voice behind him.

"Hey Dean," he heard the voice call, and turned around to see Chuck. "You got a second?"

"No. Yes..I guess. Hi Chuck," Dean said unsure.

"Hi. So, uh we're pretty good on can goods right now but we're down to practically nothing on perishables and hygiene supplies. People are not going to be happy about this. So, what do you think we should do?"

"Uh I..I don't know," Dean stammered. "Maybe uh, share."

"Wait a minute. Aren't you supposed to be out on a mission right now?" Chuck asked.

"Absolutely. And I will be," Dean started to say, when Chuck looked behind him nervously.

"Uh-oh" Chuck said and Dean turned around.

"Whoa," Dean said, ducking just in time to avoid Risa's swing. The she went to knee him and he blocked it. "Easy lady," he said, as he hid behind Chuck.

"Risa," Chuck corrected.

"Risa," Dean repeated, holding out his hand to chill her.

"You spent the night in Jane's cabin last night, didn't you?" Risa accused.

"Uh...What? I-I, Did I?" Dean asked, looking at Chuck who nodded.

"I thought that we had a connection," Risa said sarcastically.

"Well, I'm sure that we do."

"Hi Risa," Chuck said, nervously as she stormed past him.

"Screw you."

"Geeze I'm getting busted for stuff I haven't even done yet," Dean muttered, as he watched her walk away.

"What?" Chuck asked, confused from behind him.

"Uh never mind. Hey Chuck, is Cas still here?"

"Yeah," Chuch said, folding his arms with a slight laugh. "I don't think Cas is going anywhere."

Dean walked up to a cabin and heard Cas' voice. Relieved, he walked through the door that was blocked with beads. He saw Castiel sitting on the floor in a circle with a bunch of chicks talking about spiritual mombo jumbo then heard something that got his attention and shocked him.

"Excuse me ladies I think I need to confer with our fearless leader for a minute. Why not go get washed up for the orgy," Cas said.

Did Cas just tell them to go wash up for the orgy? Cas knows what an orgy is? Cas has orgies now?

The girls walked by him and he entered the room. Cas had his back to him.

"What are you a hippie?" Dean asked confused.

"Thought you got over trying to label me," Cas answered agitated.

"Cas, we gotta talk."

Cas turned around to face him and what he saw made him go weak in the knees. It was someone he hadn't seen in a long time. It was Dean...his Dean.

"Whoa. Strange," he said, trying to keep calm.

"What?" Dean asked.

"You are not you, not now you anyway."

"No, yeah, yes. Exactly," Dean stammered.

"What year are you from?"

"2009."

Cas looked at him for a long moment hoping the emotion wouldn't show on his face. 2009 Dean, he couldn't believe it. That was the year he fell in love with him. He never thought he'd see him again.

"Who did this to you? Is it Zachariah?"

"Yes."

"Interesting," Cas said, cocking his head and rubbing his chin.

"Yeah, it's freaking fascinating. Now why don't you strap on your angel wings and fly me back to my year on the calendar," Dean said sarcastically.

"I wish I could just strap on my angel wings, but uh no dice," Cas said, chuckling to himself. He missed this Dean. The smart ass with a fire in his heart, ready to take on the world.

"What, are you stoned?" Dean asked, in complete shock.

"Eh generally," Cas answered, nodding his head.

"What happened to you?" Dean asked.

"Life," Cas answered. The sickening irony bringing up the bile in his throat. He used all his strength to fight off a reaction. This was his Dean. He was exactly how he should be. It was all going to go so wrong for him soon.

Dean and Cas walked out of the cabin to see present Dean pulling up with a group of guys. Apparently present Dean finished his errand. Dean watched as his future self got out of a jeep and drew a weapon on one of the men.

"Hey watch out!" 2009 Dean yelled, as present Dean shot the man in the head. The other men who got out of the jeep stared at the two Deans.

"Dammit," present Dean said, as he turned to look at his twin. "I'm not gonna lie to you, me and him it's a pretty messed up situation we got going. But believe me when you need to know something, you will know it. Now until then we all have work to do," he explained to the suspicious men.

Current Dean turned around annoyed and walked to his counterpart grabbing him and pulling him along to his cabin shoving him inside.

"What the hell was that?" Present Dean asked.

"What the hell was that? You just shot a guy in cold blood."

"We are in an open quarantine zone. Got ambushed by some crotes on the way out," Present Dean explained and his past self looked confused. "Crotes, croatoans, one of 'em infected him."

"How do you know?"

"Cuz after a few years of this I know. I started seeing symptoms about a half hour ago, wasn't gonna be long before he flipped. I didn't see the point in troubling a good man with bad news."

"Troubling a good man?" Past Dean asked bewildered. "Man you just blew 'em away in front of your own people. Don'tchya think ya freaked 'em out a little?"

"It's 2014, plugging some crote it's called common place," Present Dean answered, agitated, gesturing to the outside. "Trading words with my freaking clone, that mighta freaked 'em out a little."

"Alright look."

"No, you look. This isn't your time, it's mine. You don't make the decisions, I do. So when I say stay in, you stay in," present Dean said angry.

"Alright man I'm sorry. I'm not trying to mess you or me...us up here."

"I know," present Dean said, pouring them a drink. "

"It's just been a really whacky weekend."

"Tell me about it," Current Dean said, putting the drinks down on the table in front of them.

"What was the mission anyway?"

Dean looked at his past self then reached in his duffle bag and pulled out the gun, the colt.

"The colt?" Past Dean asked.

"The colt," Current Dean affirmed.

"Where was it?"

"Everywhere. They've been moving it around. It took me five years, but I finally got it. And tonight, tonight I kill the devil."

Dean had trapped one of Crowley's main entourage and tortured him till he said were the colt was. He and a group went out to get it from a house about forty miles from the camp. The house was surrounded by people infected by the Croatoan virus and the house had four demons inside. It was a mission three men would not return from, but Dean had the colt, he was finally had what he needed for Lucifer.

Tonight was the night they went to fight the devil. Dean went and gathered his best hunters for a meeting to discuss game strategy. He sent the group to wait in his cabin and he went to tell Cas.

Dean had Cas pressed against the wall kissing him hard when his past self walked into the cabin.

"What the fuck is this?" Past Dean asked in horror.

"Goddammit. Don't you fucking knock?" present Dean snapped and he turned around to face himself.

"Well, excuse me. I didn't fucking think you'd be rounding second with Cas," past Dean snarked.

"You've been a real pain in my ass today," present Dean said agitated.

"Obviously you don't have a problem with that now a days."

Cas, still against the wall, started laughing. Both Deans glared at him, but he continued.

"C'mon. That was funny. I get a cheap thrill outta watching you two argue," Cas said smirking. Oh and FYI," Cas said, addressing past Dean. "I'm always the catcher...unless he's really wasted and I take advantage of him."

"Cas!" Present Dean snapped.

"What? It's totally true. I never get to fuck unless you're too far gone to remember it in the morning," Cas shrugged.

"None the less, it's none of his business," present Dean said.

"None of my business. I think it's very much my business to know I'm fucking a guy," past Dean said.

"YOU'RE not fucking him, I am," present Dean corrected.

"Well obviously I start fucking him eventually. When do I turn gay?" Past Dean asked self-consciously.

"Whoa, whoa now. We are NOT gay," current Dean defended.

"I just caught you pinning Cas to the wall with your mouth and you both admitted to fucking each other. I'd say we're very gay. I wanna know when we start doing guys."

"Once again, and listen this time. We're NOT gay and we don't fuck guys. We fuck Cas...we're Cas gay," present Dean justified.

Cas started chuckling to himself. Past Dean stood there totally confused yet completely understanding because that is definitely how he'd justify something, but he was still in shock as to what was being justified. He'd never had any thoughts about a dude before...besides those damn dreams, but he couldn't help what he dreamed...or so he told himself the mornings after. Cas, his year Cas, did have personal space issues though. It looks like in the future he won't object to that anymore.

"I'm so glad I'm not that stoned for this," Cas said amused.

"You're so not helping," current Dean said, shaking his head.

"Fine. When do we turn Cas gay?" Past Dean asks.

"I don't know. A long time ago. Damn, you ask a lot of questions," current Dean said annoyed.

"A lot of questions? I asked one and I think it's pretty relevant considering."

"You two are so cute. It's turning me on over here," Cas said with a smirk.

"Shut up Cas!" Both Dean's snap then turn to look at each other.

"Aww, that was adorable," Cas said.

"Look, unless you wanna take Cas' place stop cock blocking me and get out," current Dean said sarcastically.

Past Dean looked at him at first in disgust then a curious look took over. Present Dean eyed him as he started considering what he just said.

"I'm so down for that little suggestion," Cas said, looking between the two hunters.

"It'd bring a whole new level to the phrase go fuck yourself," present Dean smirked.

"Eww gross. No way. We are not doing this. I'm not into dudes yet, remember?" past Dean said.

"Oh don't give me that shit. I remember the dreams," present Dean said.

"I can't control my dreams," past Dean said defensively.

"You can control jerking off to them the next morning," present Dean said with a dirty grin.

"It's those blue eyes dammit!" Past Dean snapped. "They're just so fucking intense and you know how he is with that personal space shit."

"Hey man, you really don't have to tell me. I'm all too aware," present Dean said eying Cas.

Neither of them said a word, they both looked at the fallen angel and ended up within reach of each other. Present Dean put his hand on past Dean's face and traced his near perfect features from an all new perspective. He lightly slid his finger tips along his jawline to his full ample lips. He grazed his thumb along him bottom lip pulling it down slightly. Past Dean stood very still and let his counterpart lead. They looked into each other's eyes for a long moment and present Dean leaned in and touched his lips to past Dean's lips. He gently pressed into them like it was his first time and he was nervous about his footing. Past Dean's body tensed but he didn't pull away.

Present Dean took a step closer so their bodies were practically touching and reached his free hand up to put it on the other side of past Dean's face. He cupped his hands over his cheeks and pulled him in closer kissing him deeper. He sucked on his bottom lip then slid his tongue across it and into his mouth. Past Dean still a bit hesitant but getting into the kiss he completely closed the space between them and pressed his body into his future self. It was warm and firm the sensation of the touch sent a chill through past Dean. He put his hand behind present Dean's head and ran his fingers down to his back. Present Dean separated from him and pushed him back a few feet into the door.

Past Dean looked at him unsure but still wanting more. Current Dean closed the gap and attacked his mouth. This time he was not gentle, he was rough and eager. Past Dean reacted the same and followed lead. Present Dean pushed past Dean's jacket off his shoulders and threw it on the floor. Then he took the hem of his shirt and pulled it over his head. Past Dean watched as his double took off his own shirt and then picked up where he left off.

Present Dean kissed from his mouth down his neck stopping at his shoulders. He kissed and sucked hard bringing the blood to the surface leaving a mark. He had one hand gripping Cas' hand print and the other pressed against the door behind them bracing himself as his body was firmly pressed into his past self. Past Dean felt both of their heart beats increasing.

He had one arm around his present Dean's waist pulling him in closer and the other running up and down his smooth muscular back. Current Dean pressed his thigh in between past Dean's legs feeling his growing need. He brought his mouth down to his chest taking his nipple in his mouth and biting in gently then rougher. Past Dean let out a groan and banged his head against the door. Present Dean ran his hand down past Dean's chest to his jeans undoing his belt and pants then reaching in and grabbing his hard on. Past Dean sucked in air sharply.

"You wanna fuck me?" Present Dean whispered sharply, into past Dean's ear.

Before he could answer present Dean had his mouth over his kissing harshly. Past Dean sucked back on his lips just as rough then he pushed him away out of arms reach.

"Yes I do," present Dean answered, his voice hoarse with lust.

Past Dean grabbed his other self by the biceps and pulled him into another deep kiss. Present Dean grasped a fist full of past Dean's hair pulling him in tighter. Their firm bare chests sliding against each other as they both moved their hands behind each other's backs. They ran their course hands all over their upper bodies. Present Dean pushed past Dean onto a table and climbed on top straddling him. He pinned past Dean's hands over his head with one hand and rubbed his chest with the other as his sucked and bit his bottom lip.

"You gotta earn it," present Dean said, separating from himself.

"I always do," past Dean said with a grin.

Past Dean knocked present Dean off of himself and the table. He quickly jumped down to the floor and grabbed present Dean by the arm pulling him to his feet. He shoved him onto the table face first. Present Dean put his palms face down on the surface, but didn't resist. Past Dean reached his hands around the front of his current self undid his jeans and pulled them down then pulled down his own. He put his knees between his legs separating them then pushed himself inside. The firm tightness was a pleasant surprise. He started to pick up a steady rhythm to his thrusting as he held onto present Dean's hips. Past Dean leaned down pressing his bare chest onto present Dean's back. The motion was creating sweat between them making their bodies slide smoothly between each other.

"Don't be such a pussy. Fuck me harder," present Dean demanded.

"I'm just getting started bitch," past Dean breathed harshly, into his ear.

Past Dean leaned back upright and put one hand on present Dean's back and held on tightly to his hip with the other. Present Dean braced himself and gripped the sides of the table as past Dean pounded into him harder and faster. Past Dean was close to climax, he leaned forward pressing his chest against present Dean's back again and reached around the front of him gripping his throbbing dick.

"I might as well give myself a hand," past Dean smirked into his ear, as he began stroking in sync with his thrusts.

"Son of a bitch," present Dean panted, as he hit his forehead on the table.

They both finished and stayed in the position catching their breath. Past Dean got up after a few minutes and pulled his jeans back up. Present Dean hopped off the table and did the same. They both took a long look at each other and smirked.

"So, does that count as incest or what?" Past Dean asked.

"We aren't related dumbass, we're the same person. I'd say it was a new class of masturbation," present Dean suggested.

Cas was still leaning against the wall and he chuckled at this interaction. Both Deans turned to look at him.

"You're so next sweetie," present Dean said, with a dirty grin.

"Cas wake up," Dean said, as he shook Cas on the shoulder.

"What? Huh," Cas said, startled awake. "Dammit, nothing good ever really happens."

"What?" Dean asked confused.

"Nothing. It's not of import. Why are you here?"

"I got it," Dean said, with a small smile.

"So, this is it," Cas said quietly, not needing to ask what Dean meant.

"Team meeting in my cabin," Dean said, as he turned to leave.

So, it was finally here, their last night on earth. Cas knew for a long time now that hunting the devil was a suicide mission. Whether the colt could kill Lucifer or not Cas knew Dean couldn't kill Sam. Whoever was in Dean's cabin right now was already dead.

"So, that's it. That's the colt," Risa said dismissively.

Cas sat down in the chair across the table from current Dean and put his feet up, relaxing, pouring himself some wine. He was morbidly curious what kind of act Dean would pull on these people to make them think they were going to win.

"If anything can kill Luciferm this is it," Dean explained.

"Great. Have we got anything that can find Lucifer?" Risa asked sarcastically.

"Are you okay?" Dean asked, not really interested.

"Oh, we were in Jane's cabin last night and apparently we and Risa have a connection," past Dean piped in. As Cas sat smirking. Risa looked angrily at current Dean who ignored her and glared at his past self.

"You wanna shut up. We don't have to find Lucifer, we know where he is. The demon that we caught last week was one of the big guy's entourage. He knew," Dean explained, bringing the conversation back on topic.

"So, a demon tells you where Satan's gonna be and you just believe it?" Risa asked, continuing her sarcastic tone.

"Oh, trust me. He wasn't lying," Dean assured.

"You know this how?" Risa asked, not convinced.

"Our fearless leader, I'm afraid, is all too well schooled in the art of getting to the truth," Cas chimed in.

"Torture?" Past Dean asked judgingly. "Oh, so we're torturing again. That's good, classy," past Dean said, self-righteously and Cas softly laughed. He was watching the old Dean and he was enjoying it. The good Dean, the one he fell in love with, the one he gave up Heaven for, the one with heart. He looked at present Dean who was giving him a dirty look.

"What?" Cas asked defensively. "I like past you."

Dean rolled his eyes at Cas and pulled out a map getting back on topic.

"Lucifer is here now, I know the block and I know the building."

"Oh good. It's right in the middle of a hot zone," Cas observed sarcastically.

"Crawling with crotes, yeah. Are you saying my plan is reckless?" Dean challenged.

"Are you saying we uh walk in straight up the drive way past the demons and the crotes and we shoot the devil?" Cas asked flippantly.

"Yes," Dean said, looking him in the eye.

"Okay, if you don't like reckless I could use insouciant maybe," Cas said sarcastically. He was mocking Dean, he was a bit disappointed. He thought Dean would have come up with better bullshit than that. He was relying on these people blindly trusting him...they would, but Cas was still hoping for a little imagination on Dean's part.

"Are you coming?" Dean asked, keeping eye contact and his serious tone.

"Of course," Cas sighed disappointed, clearly Dean was not going to play. "But why is he? He's you five years ago if something happens to him you're gone right."

"He's coming," Dean said sternly, ending the discussion.

"Okay," Cas said, standing up. "We'll get the grunts moving."

"We're loaded and on the road by midnight," Dean ordered.

"Alrighty," Cas said, as he and Risa left the cabin.

"Why are you taking me?" Past Dean questioned.

"Relax, you'll be fine. Zack's looking after you right."

"No, that's not what I mean. I wanna know what's going on."

"Yeah okay," Current Dean said, as he walked toward himself. "You're coming because I want you to see something. I want you to see our brother."

"Sam? I thought he was dead?" Past Dean asked confused.

"Sam didn't die in Detroit. He said yes," Dean said, in a cold even tone.

"Yes? Wait, you mean?" Past Dean questioned.

"That's right. The big yes, to the devil. Lucifer's wearing him to the prom."

"Why would he do that?"

"I wish I knew," current Dean lied, not able to look himself in the eye. "But now we don't have a choice. It's in him and it's not getting out and now we gotta kill him Dean and you need to see it," he said, now looking up at himself. "The whole damn thing so you can do it different."

"What do you mean?"

"Zack said he was gonna bring you back right, to 09?"

"Yeah," past Dean said, still not understanding his point.

"When you get back home you say yes. You hear me? You say yes to Michael."

"That's crazy. If I let him in then Michael fights the devil, the battle's gonna torch half the planet."

"Look around you man. Half the planet's better than no planet which is what we have now," present Dean argued, raising his voice. "If I could do it over again I'd say yes in a heartbeat."

"So, why don't you?" Past Dean asked incredulously.

"I've tried!" Dean yelled. "I've shouted yes till I was blue in the face. The angels aren't listening, they just left, gave up. It's too late for me, but for you..."

"Oh no no, there's gotta be another way," past Dean interrupted.

"Yeah, that's what I thought. I was cocky, never actually thought I'd loose. But I was wrong Dean, I was wrong. I'm begging you, say yes," present Dean pleaded. What little emotion he had left in him coming to the surface as he thought back over the past five years and all that had gone wrong. Looking at his past self before any of it happened only made the present all the more real, he could see how truly different he'd become.

"But you won't," present Dean said, shaking his head. "Because I didn't. Because that's just not us, is it." What little hope Dean had of this reality being any different was gone.

"You should get some sleep. We have a long drive ahead of us tonight," present Dean said.

"Where?"

"Take my bunk. I'll make other arrangements."

"Jane or Risa?" Past Dean asked cockily.

"Neither," present Dean answered honestly, then left the cabin.

He walked out into the brisk fall air and went straight for Cas' cabin. He knew there wouldn't be any girls there. He knew Cas would hold out hope that he would show up. He knew it was selfish of him to even expect Cas to let him in after what he'd done over the last two years, but he didn't care. The person that would have cared was long gone. He justified it by saying Cas wanted this. Cas would be waiting for him to show. Cas would be let down if he didn't...all were true, but Dean wanted it just as much, the old Dean did at least.

"Are you really going tonight?" Dean asked, as he walked into the cabin and saw Cas sitting on a leather sofa.

"I said I was, didn't I?" Cas said, without looking at him.

"But you know what'll happen."

"How's that?" Cas asked curiously.

"You know when I'm lying Cas, you know me better than I know myself...literally cause time travel boy ain't got a clue I was talking out my ass in there."

"Yes, I know what you're really planning."

"Yet you're still coming?" Dean asked, somewhat surprised.

"I said I'd stay with you forever Dean. And I meant it," Cas said, finally looking up at him his deep blue eyes locking onto his.

"I don't deserve your loyalty Cas. I never have," Dean said guiltily, looking down.

"You're right. You don't deserve it, but you're wrong, he does and he is who I can't let go of." Cas admitted. He hadn't been this honest with Dean in a while, but he wasn't holding back now, not on the last night he'd have with him. Despite how different Dean was he still loved him, this him. He just missed what they both used to be.

"He's gonna do it all over again, ya know? Dumb stubborn bastard will make the exact same mistakes I did and nothing will change," Dean said, as he moved to sit next to Cas.

"Did you expect anything different?" Cas asked, turning to look at him.

"Honestly, no, but I hoped. Cas. I really fucking hoped."

"He knows Sam said yes maybe just being here will change things. Saying yes to Michael may not be the only way to avoid this outcome."

"You never give up, do ya Cas?" Dean asked, with a smile. It was an actual genuine smile. Cas couldn't remember the last one he'd seen from Dean.

"Not on you. Never," Cas said, putting his hand on Dean's thigh. The feel of Cas' warm touch sent a shiver through the hunter. It had been so long since they touched each other in an affectionate manner.

"It shouldn't have been this way," Dean said, so quietly Cas barely heard him.

"Of course, nobody would have ever thought this was the way the world was supposed to turn out," Cas said, not understanding what Dean actually meant.

"No, I mean this," Dean said, gesturing between the two of them. "I should have never pushed you away when things got hard. I should have held onto you tighter and thanked fuck I had you," Dean confessed, the tears forming in his eyes.

I shouldn't have been such an asshole and told you how much you meant to me, how much I needed you. I should have told you I love you when you said it to me. Hell, I should have said it on my own.

Cas stared at him stunned. He didn't know what to say. He hadn't talked to this Dean in almost two years, this was his Dean. Hell, it was even more expressive than his Dean. And the tears, he hadn't seen him have tears in his eyes since the day he ended their relationship. He knew he should talk, say something, but feelings took over and he acted instead.

Cas leaned in and kissed Dean on his full lips. It brought everything flooding back to his mind, all the time they'd spent together, all the time they were apart. For this moment all was right in the world, he was home. After a few seconds they separated.

"I shouldn't have let you go so easily," Cas said, leaning in to kiss him again.

"Cas, I-I can't," Dean said, pulling away. "I can't do it this way, not with you."

"The fact you're considering feelings and not just fucking me proves there's still some of you left in there."

"Not enough," Dean said, looking away.

"Well, who you're trying to protect is gone too Dean," Cas said halfheartedly.

"What?" Dean asked confused.

"Castiel is dead. He has been for longer than you even. You put me up on this pedestal I don't deserve, that I haven't deserved for a long time, if ever. Castiel and old Dean loved each other, Cas and you are incapable of it, but maybe they have something different," Cas explained.

"Like what?"

"Like despite all we've been through you still come to my cabin the last night we'll be alive, like despite all that I was still sitting here waiting for you to come. Love may be an emotion we're both too far gone to have anymore, but there's still something here Dean, something brings us together no matter what is going on around us."

"Cas you're so gay," Dean said, with a big smile and Cas saw the real Dean again.

"You've always liked that," Cas said with a smirk.

This time Dean leaned in to kiss him. Their full ample lips crashed into each other. Dean sucked on Cas' bottom lip and put his hand behind his head gripping his hair. Their hands explored each other slowly like they were committing every touch to memory. Cas put his hands under Deans T shirt and pulled it over his head. His rough hands felt along Dean's smooth firm muscular chest. Dean had his hands under Cas' shirt grasping his back. They hadn't touched each other like this in a very long time, but it seemed so natural like this is how it was supposed to be and it happened all the time.

Dean closed the gap between then and gently pushed Cas down onto the leather sofa. Their bodies pressed tightly together not sure where Dean ended and Cas began. They lay there kissing while Cas rubbed Dean's solid back. They fit together perfectly it was as if the last two years hadn't happened and they'd never been apart. They were completely focused on each other and nothing in the outside world. That is, until they had company.

"Cas, I just wanted to know..." Chuck began, as he entered the cabin then stopped in shock of what he saw.

Dean buried his head in Cas' shoulder avoiding looking at Chuck.

"Can I help you with something, Chuck?" Cas asked nonchalantly.

"I-uh, I mean...what I wanted was...Oh shit I don't remember. I saw nothing," Chuck stammered and left the cabin.

Cas felt Dean shaking on top of him. He was sure he was furious and would probly go on a rant about how stupid they were and then leave. But then he heard it, he heard Dean laughing. A real honest to goodness something is funny, laugh.

"Are you..I mean is he..does that mean Chuck didn't see this coming?" Dean asked, in between laughing.

Cas thought for a few seconds then it became really funny to him as well and he started laughing uncontrollably. They were both in hysterics. It had been a really long time since either of them had just laughed about anything.

"I guess this just wasn't what God had in mind for the Winchester gospel," Cas said, between giggle fits.

"There wasn't nearly enough sex in those books of the bible. I'm just trying to keep future readers interested," Dean smirked.

"I think we've started our own series," Cas said, looking up at him.

They picked up where they left off and Dean took Cas' shirt off. Dean put his hand on Cas' cheek and kissed him tenderly as he ran his free hand along Cas' bare chest. Dean's lips moved down Cas' jawline kissing softly then to his neck and chest kissing more roughly tasting him along the way. Dean breathed Cas in. He inhaled deeply between kissing, savoring every sense of the former angel. Cas let out a moan underneath him turning Dean on. It had been far too long since he was with Cas and he needed him now.

The making out intensified and they both shed what clothes they still had on. Their warm naked bodies entangled with each other as both of their needs deepened. Dean entered Cas slowly. Cas held on to Dean's arm tightly in his spot as he declared it. It had been over six years and Cas' hand print was still there, now he knew Dean would die with his mark still on him.

After they finished they got dressed in silence. It had been so great, such a perfect goodbye neither one of them wanted to ruin it. They both stood up to face each other.

"Think we'll see each other on the other side?" Dean asked casually.

"I have no idea where either of us will end up," Cas answered plainly.

"Oh, c'mon you were an angel for thousands of years, they gotta let you back in. I'm pretty set on where I'm going. I'm just curious if you'll be able to visit again."

"You assume you'll go to Hell?" Cas asked, heavy hearted.

"I damn well better," Dean answered, as the tears welled in his eyes.

"I wish you could have seen it. Just once," Cas said quietly, as he touched Dean's cheek.

"Seen what?" Dean asked unsure.

"How great of a man you really were Dean," Cas answered. He felt a twinge of guilt and regret over the use of past tense, but he wanted to be completely honest with Dean in what was one of their last moments together.

"I'm not nearly as sure as you are that it was ever even there," Dean said evenly.

"I'm certain," Cas answered and pulled Dean into a hug. They wrapped their arms around each other tightly neither ever wanting to let go.

Cas reached for the pill bottle on the dash board and opened it. He poured a half a dozen pills into his hand and tossed them into his mouth. 2009 Dean looked at him curiously.

"Let me see those," Dean said.

"Want some?" Cas asked, as he handed Dean the bottle and cleared his throat. He knew the old Dean would never take the pills, hell the Dean now only got high a few times but trying to corrupt him would make the six hour drive more entertaining.

"Amphetamines?" Dean questioned, looking at Cas.

"It's a perfect anecdote to that absinthe."

"Don't get me wrong Cas, I'm happy that the uh, stick is outta your ass but what, what's going on? What's with the drugs and the orgies and the love guru crap?" Dean asked, as Cas started laughing beside him, the amphetamines were kicking in quick. "What's so funny?"

"Dean, I'm not an angel anymore."

"What?"

"Yeah. I went mortal."

"What do you mean? How?"

"I think it had something to do with the other angels leaving, but uh, they bailed and my mojo just kinda drained away," Cas explained, leaving out the small detail he made the choice of becoming human for him. "And now you know, I'm practically human. I mean Dean I'm all, but useless last year I broke my foot and laid up for two months."

"Wow," Dean said surprised.

"Yeah," Cas agreed.

"So, you're human," Dean observed and Cas nodded his head. "Welcome to the club."

"Thanks, except I used to belong to a much better club. Now I'm powerless, I'm hapless, I'm hopeless. Why the hell not bury myself in women and decadence," Cas rambled on, in self-pity. "Right? It's the end baby, that's what decadence it for. Why not bang a few gongs before the lights go out? But then that's just how I roll," he finished, saying with a big fake smile.

It was hard for him not to choke on his own words during that explanation. He hadn't ended up the way he did because he was trying to have fun, he ended up that way because he was trying to dull the severe pain in his chest from being human...a pain caused mostly by Dean, but not this Dean and that distinction just made this conversation even harder. Cas was tempted to offer Dean a drink and slip some valume in it so he'd be knocked out the rest of the trip, but just as big a part that was hurting sitting next to him was in complete peace sitting next to him.

"I don't buy it," Dean said seriously.

"What?" Cas asked confused.

"The whole thing. Okay, so you become human, you're still Cas. What's with all this crap?"

Cas looked over at Dean who was eying him waiting for an answer. Dean always talked about how loyal he was to him, but Cas forgot just how loyal Dean was as well. He knew Cas wouldn't just abandon who he was. He wanted the real reason and Cas couldn't give it to him. He wouldn't accept it even if he did. This Dean still thought of Cas like a brother. A few awkward sexual tension moments, but he was far from the Dean who made the first move on Cas years ago. But he hated lying to him so he was going to tell him as much as he could to answer his questions, but leave out certain things to protect him like with the becoming human story.

"It makes life suck a little less," Cas answered honestly.

"So, that's it? You become human and look for the easy way out? No, not good enough."

"I was looking for the easy way out of the life I created before I became human."

"I don't know what you mean."

"As an angel. Everything that is wrong now started when I was an angel still. I can't blame being mortal," Cas explained, hoping Dean would leave it at that, but knowing he wouldn't.

"But how? What went so wrong that you would give up, Cas?" Dean asked, the hurt in his voice was audible and Cas felt a sharp pain in his chest. He hated letting Dean down, especially this Dean.

"Everything Dean. Look around, the world sucks. I got sick of it."

"I don't believe you," Dean challenged.

"You don't believe this world sucks?" Cas asked sarcastically.

"I don't believe that's why you turned out this way, smartass."

"I broke the rules, the main rule actually and I paid for it," Cas explained, in a somber tone. He looked like he was going to continue, but was having trouble with the words so Dean did not interrupt. "Angels aren't allowed to have emotions. Hell, they're not even supposed to want to. My higher ups had already penalized me once for showing too much feeling and being too human, but I kept going. I got too attached to something and it broke me."

"Too attached to something? You mean a person?" Dean asked.

"Yes. I fell in love as an angel. It was unheard of. The other angels had a field day judging me before they left," Cas said bitterly.

"Fell in love," Dean repeated, trying to imagine what the Cas he knew would be like in love. "Well, good for you Cas, you deserve to have someone. Fuck those angel dicks."

"The angel dicks were not the problem, my love was."

"Why?"

"Because it wasn't enough," Cas said disheartened. "I fell in love. I found the other half of me. I would have done anything for them, but everything still got fucked up and they abandon me. I couldn't live without them and since the day they left me I have been just going through the motions," Cas admitted honestly.

"I'm...I'm sorry Cas," Dean said genuinely. Cas knew he was apologizing for something completely different, but in a way it felt good to get an I'm sorry for all the things he just admitted. "The chick sounds like a bitch." Cas laughed at the comment itself and the irony.

"Thanks. So, that's it, the most cliché reason of all. I gave up because of a broken heart," Cas said casually.

"At least you put your heart out there unlike some people," Dean mumbled.

"What do you mean?" Cas asked, looking at him curiously.

"I mean, it's five years into the future and I'm still running game on multiple girls. I thought by now I'd have my shit together enough to actually care about someone else. I mean yeah, I have that unspoken thing with Jo that I kinda hoped would end in something, but here I, he is still alone so apparently it didn't," Dean ranted.

Cas was quiet for a long moment. This conversation was way too one sided. Poor Dean thinking he should end up with Jo, Jo died. He thinks he never ends up caring for anyone when the one person he loved in the world besides Sam was sitting next to him.

"You've been through a lot Dean. It was hard for you to relate to anyone after Sam said yes to Lucifer."

"You've been through a lot and you still managed to care about another person."

"Yeah, and look where that got me," Cas said, with a dark laugh.

"Touché."

They drove in silence for a while. Cas wanted to tell him so many things. He wanted to tell him how much he loved him, he wanted to tell him to let Sam back in his life, he wanted to tell him to say yes to Michael, but he wasn't going to tell him any of that. Zachariah had sent him here to show him how bad it gets and he would have to make the changes he chose to stop it from ending up this way. But being this close to his Dean was hurting too much. He couldn't stop thinking about how happy he had once been to have this Dean. Earlier with the Dean of now acting like his old self was just salt in the wounds. He had to get away from him. He pulled the truck out of the lane it was in and sped up to get in front of Dean's jeep.

"What are you doing?" Dean asked.

"I need to talk to Dean, you, now you."

"Why?"

"It's not of import," Cas said dismissively.

He got in front of the jeep and stepped on the break. He put the truck in park stepped out and shut the door. Current Dean got out of the jeep and walked up to him.

"What the fuck Cas?"

"Over here," Cas said, leading him a few yards away from the stopped vehicles. "I can't drive with him anymore."

"Look Cas, I know I'm annoying, but c'mon you drove all over the country with 2009 me."

"No, Dean, that's not why."

"Well, what's the problem?"

"He's asking a lot of questions and it hurts to much to lie to him. I could never lie to you, not even when they ordered me to."

"Fine. You take Risa, she's being a complete pain in my ass anyway. I'm feeling a lot better about using her as bait," Dean smirked.

"Dean, that's not funny," Cas chastised, thinking that's what he should do, what he would have done in the past, but suppressed a laugh of his own. New Cas was just as twisted as Dean apparently.

Risa was all too happy to switch rides, but past Dean was a little annoyed he got the cold shoulder. He was going to have to pump his future self for information now.

"That was smooth," past Dean commented, when they started to drive off.

"What? Cas got sick of you. You know how annoying we are to road trip with," Dean deflected.

"He didn't like me asking questions. He's hiding things and he knows I know it."

"Cas has many secrets," Dean said evenly.

"He told me a few."

"Oh yeah?" Present Dean asked.

"He told me he became a human after the angels left and that he found the love of his life."

Dean knew he was on a fishing expedition. Obviously Cas had told him some things, but he knew he didn't tell him the whole truth. He wasn't going to part with any information his past self didn't already know. He was stupid thinking he could outsmart himself, they knew all the same tricks only he was five years more experienced.

"Both are true." Present Dean said.

"I didn't say I thought he was lying, I said he was keeping things from me," past Dean said annoyed.

"Such as?"

"Like if the angels left, why couldn't he have just gone back with them or how about a little about the chick he fell in love with."

Present Dean let out a small chuckle at that last statement and felt a little twinge of guilt at the first.

"Who said they wanted him and the bitch left him what's to tell?"

"You're a box full of knowledge, aren't you?" Past Dean said sarcastically.

"What more do you want?" Current Dean asked agitated.

"Well, how long did it take him to become human and did he try to go back to Heaven? And who the hell would Cas fall in love with?"

"He became human as soon as they left. It was like a light switch...a little more painful though, from what I understand. No, he's never tried to go back to Heaven. Cas is loyal. Him and the person fought together and they fell for each other."

"Why would he wanna stay here? Unless..." Dean questioned, then realized his own answer. "He stayed for her didn't he? And the bitch just left, really? How cold hearted. Why did she leave?" Past Dean asked, offended for his friend.

"Yeah, he stayed for them. Ain't love grand? What did he say about why they left?"

"Nothing. He just said he fell in love and would have done anything for them and they abandon him. He's been going through the motions ever since."

"He said that?" Current Dean asked, trying to hide the hurt in his voice.

"Yeah, exactly that."

"Well, then that's all you need to know," current Dean said coldly, gripping the steering wheel tighter.

They finished the drive in silence. Past Dean knew when he didn't want to share something he wouldn't and he figured he'd still be that way five years into the future. They got to Detroit just after dawn. The city like all the others was decollate. They set up a block away from the building where Lucifer was supposed to be.

"There. Second floor window we go in there," present Dean said, handing the binoculars off to Cas.

"You sure about this?" Risa asked.

"They'll never see us coming," Dean assured her. As past Dean watched growing suspicious. "Trust me. Now, weapons check we're on the move in five."

"Hey, uh me, can I talk to you for a sec?" Past Dean asked.

Both Deans got up and walked away from the group. The others loaded their weapons and prepared to fight.

"Tell me what's going on," past Dean demanded.

"What?"

"I know you. You're lying to these people and you're lying to me."

"Is that so?"

"Yeah. See I know you're lying expressions, I've seen 'em in the mirror."

Great so mr time travel is gonna get all fucking perceptive on me now. I don't have time for this shit.

"Now there's something you're not telling us," past Dean accused.

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"Oh really? Well I don't seem to be the only member of you posse with some questions so uh, maybe I'll just take my doubts over to them," past Dean said, as he turned to leave.

"Okay whoa, whoa, whoa wait," current Dean said, trying to stop his past self from walking away.

"What?" Past Dean asked, stopping to listen.

"Take a look around you man. This place should be white hot with crotes. Where are they?"

"They cleared a path for us. Which means that this is..."

"A trap. Exactly," current Dean finished.

"Well, then we can't go through the front," past Dean said.

"Oh, we're not. They are. They're the decoys. You and me, we're goin in through the back."

"You mean you're going to feed your friends into a meat grinder?" Past Dean asked, in disbelief. "Cas too? You're gonna use their deaths as a diversion. Aww man, something is broken in you. You're making decisions that I would never make. I wouldn't sacrifice my friends," past Dean said angry.

"You're right, you wouldn't. That's one of the main reasons were in this mess actually." He left out the part where this had been the plan all along. He figured Lucifer would know when he got close and he knew he needed a few distractions, so he could get to him. There was something broken, it had been for a while and there was no fixing it. 'Cas too' started ringing in his ear and he tried to shake it off.

"These people count on you. They trust you," past Dean argued.

"They trust me to kill the devil and to save the world and that is exactly what I'm going to do," current Dean said heated.

"No. Not like this you're not. I'm not gonna let you."

"Oh really?" Current Dean asked challengely.

"Really," past Dean responded, before current Dean hit him, knocking him unconscious. Punching himself felt really good. He would have liked to deck himself quite a few times over the last few years if he could.

Dean walked back to the group and gave them some half ass excuse about where his past self was. Then he assured them everything was fine and they just needed to stick to the plan. He sent them on their way without a second thought or feeling of guilt.

"Cas wait a sec," Dean called.

"So, what really happened to him?" Cas asked.

"He figured out something was up and I told him. He said he would never sacrifice his friends, self-righteous little bastard. He's the reason we're even here in the first place," Dean said bitterly. "So, I knocked him out."

"Save everyone no matter what," Cas laughed sarcastically. "You had a lot of heart Dean. You really did," Cas said solemnly.

"You said you liked past me," Dean said quietly.

"Dean, if you think about our relationship I most obviously liked past you."

"No. What you said yesterday smartass," Dean said.

"And?" Cas asked, not knowing his point.

"I'm sorry Cas," Dean said in a whisper. "I'm sorry I couldn't stay that guy for you. I'm sorry I abandoned you," he said, taking a step to Cas and taking hold of his hand. "I'm sorry it ended this way," he said, cupping Cas' hand in his and pulling it to his heart. "I'm sorry I can't fix it."

"I know Dean," Cas said, putting his free hand over Dean's. "It's not your fault things turned out this way. It took a thousand different small decisions and actions to get us here."

"Yeah, and I'm sure I fucked up them all," Dean said sarcastically, the tears welling up in his eyes.

"This has never changed," Cas said, shaking his head.

"What?"

"You taking blame for everything. You're not responsible for the world Dean. You can't save everyone."

"I couldn't save the ONE person who mattered most," Dean said frustrated, tears spilling down.

"Sam saying yes is NOT your fault," Cas said, putting his hand on Dean's cheek and wiping away a stray tear with his thumb. "You were doing what you thought would be the best, you can't control the outcome of other's decisions."

"You know I can't kill him," Dean admitted, looking down.

"I know."

"Then why are you here? You know I'm using you as bait and you know it's for no good reason, why are you here?" Dean asked desperately, the guilt rising in his throat as he kept hearing his own past voice asking 'Cas too'.

"Because, I said I'd always be here for you and I meant it and because I won't let you die alone Dean. I won't live without having you in my life," Cas said, pulling up Dean's chin forcing him to make eye contact.

"I loved you. I know I never said it and I wished to God I had, but I loved you Cas. I really did. I still would now if I could," Dean confessed, weeping freely.

"I know Dean," Cas said and he pulled Dean into an embrace. Dean wrapped his arms tightly around Cas and buried his face in his shoulder. "You always told me in your own way. I never felt my feelings were one sided, I promise," Cas said into his ear.

They stood there just holding each other for a few minutes and then Cas pulled away. He leaned in and kissed Dean tenderly on the lips and looked into his eyes.

"It's time, Dean."

"No, Cas. Don't do it. Just go back to the Jeep and go," Dean begged.

"Only if you come with me," Cas said, already knowing the answer.

"I can't," Dean barely got out. "I'm already dead Cas, this is just my body catching up."

"I died with you," Cas said, with tears of his own. "I saw you're spirt die and mine followed. We've both just been going through the motions ever since. Let's go."

"I really miss the trench coat," Dean smirked.

"I do too," Cas smiled.

They hugged and gave each other one finale kiss then went on with their mission. Dean went around the back of the building to see Lucifer standing in a garden. Minutes later he heard the gun shots and he flinched. Cas too. He approached Lucifer and pulled out the colt.

"Hey asshole," Dean shouted.

"Now, now. Manners," Lucifer responded coolly.

"Excuse me, asshole."

"What can I do for you Dean?" Lucifer asked, with a smile.

"I wanna talk to Sam," Dean demanded, cocking the colt.

"Why you wouldn't use that on your baby brother, would you?"

"You're not my brother you son of a bitch," Dean sneered.

"Well, no, but I'm wearing his fine packaging. You wouldn't want to damage it now, would you?"

"Let me talk to Sam now!" Dean shouted.

"As you wish," Lucifer said.

"Dean?"

"Sammy, is that you?" Dean asked desperate.

"Yeah it is," Sam answered, still disoriented from being allowed to communicate.

"Sammy, I'm sorry. This is all my fault," Dean cried.

"You didn't make me say yes. This is my fault," Sam said, fighting tears of his own.

"I shut you out. I left you all alone. I was supposed to protect you."

"You thought you were protecting me, Dean."

"Then why did you say yes?" Dean asked.

"He wouldn't leave me alone. He came to my dreams every night showing me what it would be like if we both said yes and how bad the world would get," Sam explained, with an ironic laugh. "I told him you would never say yes, so it didn't matter. He promised that if I said yes he would keep you safe, that he would keep everyone we loved safe. He promised he wouldn't destroy as much as the battle would."

"You actually believed him?" Dean asked shocked.

"No, of course not, the first two years, but then things were getting so bad even with the angels still here that I started to crack. Eventually, I figured he might do at least some of what he promised and I said yes. I'm sorry Dean. I'm so sorry," Sam said, as he fell to his knees crying into his hands.

Dean slowly approached him and knelt down beside him. Dean put his arms around his little brother and pulled him into his chest.

"It's okay, Sammy. It's all going to be okay."

Sam knew nothing was ever going to be ok again, but he nodded his head and accepted his big brother's comfort. They stayed like this a few minutes then Dean felt Sam's body stiffen against his.

"Enough of that now," the voice said coldly.

Dean jumped back at once realizing his little brother was gone again.

"You bastard!" Dean shouted, as he got to his feet.

"You ungrateful little nothing. I let you have a nice conversation with your brother and this is how you thank me," Lucifer said annoyed.

"You can let him go now," Dean ordered, as he raised the colt and pointed it at him.

"Or what?" Lucifer challenged.

"Either he gets free or I shoot you."

"Go ahead. It won't do anything. And you know it, don't you?"

"Yes," Dean said defeated.

"Yet you still came here and stand in front of me. Why is that?" Lucifer asked curious.

"Sam's gone, the world is destroyed thanks to you. I just want it to be over."

"So, you came to get me to kill you because you're too much of a coward to end your own life. Disgusting human. I can't believe my father favored your kind," Lucifer said sickened.

"No. I would have killed myself a long time ago. I came here to see Sam and you gave me exactly what I wanted. I guess I do owe you a thank you," Dean said sarcastically.

"What would you say if I just let you go then?" Lucifer asked.

"I don't care," Dean answered, without the least bit of emotion in his voice.

"Odd. You're telling the truth. Of all the thousands of your kind I've seen killed thay all begged for their lives." Lucifer observed.

"They were still alive to begin with. I'm not," Dean answered, in the same tone.

"Again, you're not lying. I don't know what to make of a curious creature like yourself. Part of me wants to pick your brain, not literally, and the other wants to take mercy on you and put you out of your misery."

"Do I get a vote?" Dean asked, glaring at him.

"And a sense of humor to boot. Why I have to say I like you Dean. I see why Sam has such strong love for you."

"Please. Just get this over with," Dean pleaded.

"As you wish," Lucifer said and sucked Dean to him and pinned him to the ground and put his foot above his neck. He snapped it and then turned around to see past Dean.

"Oh, hello Dean," he greeted. Dean looked at him in horror. "Aren't you a surprise," he said, disappearing and reappearing behind Dean. "You've come a long way to see this haven't you?"

"Well go ahead, kill me."

"Kill you?" Lucifer asked. "Don't you think that would be a little redundant?" He asked, looking at present Dean's dead body. "Sorry. It must be painful speaking to me in this shape. But it had to be your brother. It had to be," he said, walking to Dean reaching his hand out to put on his shoulder and Dean shied away. "You don't have to be afraid of me Dean. What do you think I'm going to do?"

"I don't know maybe deep fry the planet," Dean said, finding his voice and his sense of sarcasm again.

"Why would I want to destroy this stunning thing? Beautiful in a trillion different ways. The last true handy work of God. Ever hear the story of how I fell from grace?"

"Oh good God, you're not gonna tell me a bed time story are ya? My stomach's almost out of bile," Dean said, keeping with the sarcasm but holding back tears from the emotions over coming him seeing Sam as Lucifer's vessel.

"You know why God cast me down? Because I loved him more than anything. And then God created you," he said choked out in disgust. "The little hairless apes. And then he asked all of us to bow down before you, to love you more than him and I said father I can't. I said these human beings are flawed, murderous and for that God had Michael cast me into hell, Now tell me, does the punishment fit the crime, especially when I was right? Look what six billion of you have done to this thing. And how many of you blame me for it," he said, with indignation and a smirk.

"You're not fooling me you know that, With this sympathy for the devil crap. I know what you are."

"What am I?" Lucifer asked.

"You're the same thing only bigger. The same brand of cockroach I've been squashing my whole life. An ugly, evil, belly to the ground supernatural piece of crap. The only difference between them and you is the size of your ego."

Lucifer smiled at him condescendingly. "I like you Dean. I get what the other angels see in you. Goodbye. We'll meet again soon," he said, as he turned to leave.

"You better kill me now," Dean called to him.

"Pardon?" Lucifer asked, as he turned back around.

"You better kill me now or I swear I will find a way to kill you and I won't stop."

"I know you won't," Lucifer said, taking a few steps toward Dean. "And I know you won't say yes to Michael either and I know you won't kill Sam. Whatever you fo you will always end up here. Whatever choices you make, whatever details you alter we will always end up here," Lucifer said, looking around the garden. The tears Dean had been fighting the whole conversation finally gave out and a tear streamed down his face. "I win, so I win."

"You're wrong," Dean managed to get out.

"See you in five years Dean," Lucifer said and then disappeared.

A few minutes later Dean jumped, turning around, startled by the feel of the hand on his shoulder. He was too emotionally drained to even try to fight so if someone or something was going to kill him, they'd succeed. He turned to see Cas standing there covered in blood.

"Cas! You're alive," Dean exclaimed.

"Not for long," Cas answered, walking past him and kneeling beside present Dean's dead body.

"Wait, what do you mean?" Dean asked.

"It's really simple for me now, Dean. I'm dead already and shortly my body will follow," Cas answered, as he stroked present Dean's hair tenderly.

"Cas why?" Dean asked, as he looked at him curiously about the way he was touching his future self. He knew his Cas would be sad to see him die, but these two were so fucked up he was surprised this version of Cas even noticed Dean was dead.

"Oh, many reasons Dean," Cas answered flippantly.

"Can I get one?" Dean asked, still confused.

"Well, first and foremost, this dumb stubborn son of a bitch right here," Cas said, gesturing to the lifeless hunter.

"But he's dead."

"Exactly. And I won't live without him," Cas said, deciding to let it all out there now. Hell, he was going to die anyway. "Remember I told you on the way here, I couldn't live without them."

"Wait, you don't mean...me, him? We're the person you were in love with?" Dean asked, in shock and horror.

"No, past tense Dean," Cas answered plainly.

"But you made it sound like you had a relationship."

"Because I did. My love wasn't one sided, Dean."

"No way," Dean said in disbelief.

"Do you really think I'd lie right now?" Cas asked, looking him in the eye.

"Well no," Dean admitted, looking uncomfortable. "Why the hell are you telling me all this?"

"Because it's too late for us. It's too late to save him, but it's not too late for you. When Zack comes to get you go back and do things different. I'm not even saying say yes to Michael, just do something different. Say yes to Michael, bring Sam back into your life, never speak to your Castiel again, anything different to change things. To stop this from happening," Cas explained, gesturing to their surroundings.

"It won't be like this," Dean said firmly. "But it doesn't have to be over for you Cas. I'm really not worth ending your life over, past me or him me," Dean said, a little guiltily.

"I told you he was just one of many reasons Dean. I'm infected," Cas said plainly.

"How can you know for sure?" Dean asked upset. The fact Dean clearly still cared about him despite all that he just told him made Cas smile inside. He knew even if past Dean goes back to his own time and changes things, cutting his Cas out of his life wouldn't be the way he did it.

"Cuz after a few years of this, I know," Cas answered and Dean heard it echoed by his future self's voice from the day before.

Cas pulled the gun from his waist band and looked at it. Flashes of the past five years went through his head. Unfortunately, he could remember everything, one of the residual effects from being an angel. There were so many things he wished he could do differently and just as many he would do exactly the same. Despite how things turned out, becoming human was not one of his regrets. Dean was right. Freedom was definitely the better option. Being human gave him the freedom to have emotion and he was grateful for that, the good and the bad. He looked up at Dean who was watching him.

"I told him it would be different," Cas said.

"I'm sorry?" Dean asked.

"Dean. He thinks you'll make all the same mistakes he did and end up exactly like this again but I know you won't. You get to go back and just seeing this will make it different."

"Lucifer said no matter what I do it'll still end up this way," Dean said somberly.

"He's an ego driven bastard," Cas spat bitterly. "I believe in you Dean. The future has yet to be written."

Cas raised the gun.

"Cas wait," Dean called and walked to him.

"What? I have to."

"No. I do," Dean said, as he took the gun.

"I can do it myself," Cas said, as he tried to take the gun back but Dean refused to give it back.

"I'm not gonna let you die alone," Dean said, fighting back tears.

"As you wish," Cas surrendered.

"Any last requests?" Dean asked, with a dry laugh, attempting to lighten the mood.

"You wouldn't want to," Cas answered, after a long pause looking deep in thought.

"C'mon Cas, just ask," Dean urged.

"I know you're not my Dean and I'm not your Cas and you and I haven't even gone there in your time," Cas rambled nervously and Dean knew exactly what he wanted.

Dean took a deep breath and as usual acted on instinct instead of thought. He closed the space between them and reached up to put his hand on the former angel's cheek before leaning in to kiss him on the lips. At first it was chaste and Dean was hesitant. Then he deepened the kiss and pulled Cas closer so their bodies were pressed against each other. At first it was weird, he'd never kissed a guy before, but it felt right. It wasn't as if he'd never thought about this before, even in his own time.

Ever since he and Sam had gone to Chuck's after Lucifer's cage was opened and Dean found out Cas was dead he'd been having these damn feelings for the feathery bastard. When he saw Cas kill those angels and tell Zachariah to fuck off he had to stop himself from squealing in joy like a little girl. First he was sure it was just because his friend was alive and he just had never realized that Cas was actually a friend as opposed to just someone he had to work with.

The night he had his first dream about the angel a few days later told him otherwise. In his typical deny, deny, deny, self-defense mechanism he chalked it up to confused emotions and the fact he hadn't gotten laid in a while. Then the first time he consciously caught himself starring at Cas' lips wondering what it would be like to taste them he cursed in his head and told himself to stop being such a girl. He was Dean Winchester he had sex with lots and lots of random women, not angels in very male vessels.

"So, how'd I do?" Dean asked, a little sheepishly.

"You did very well Dean," Cas answered, licking his bottom lip. "Thank you."

At that moment this Castiel seemed just like his Cas. He was being formal and looking at Dean intently like he always does. Dean fully blamed that damn eye contact for the dreams and wondering about how his lips would feel against his.

"No problem man," Dean answered, with a shy smile. He took a few steps away from Cas and just looked at the ground. They were both quiet for a few minutes. They both knew what needed to be done, but they needed to work up to it.

"Make it different for us. Please," Cas pleaded, breaking the silence as he took one final look at his Dean on the ground. Then he turned to face past Dean, his tears clearly being held back. Dean looked back at him raw with emotion, his eyes welled with tears of his own.

"I promise," Dean said, in a low raspy voice as he pointed and cocked the gun. Cas closed his eyes and so did Dean then he fired three quick shots. He heard Cas' body hit the ground and kept them tightly shut for another few seconds. He opened his eyes and walked over to the bodies. He knelt down next to Cas and held his hand.

"I promise," Dean whispered.