Pairings: Dean/Castiel, Dean/Lisa, Sam/Gabriel, Sam/Ruby, Sam/Jess, canonical levels of Bobby/Crowley and Bobby/Ellen

Warnings: Alcoholism, Repressed romantic feelings, PTSD, references in one chapter to a multitude of methods of torture (all-inclusive, but warning will be given at beginning of chapter), sexual references and scenarios


2007

Iraq,

50 miles into the Southern No-Fly Zone,

170 miles from Jordan


Dean Winchester was nowhere to be found.

There was a man of that name who, four months earlier, stumbled across the threshold to Hell with a black bag over his head. There was a man of that name who, three months ago, prayed out loud to a god he didn't believe in to just let him die. There was a man of that name who, one month back, was asked a question, the same question he'd been asked every day for three months. This same man had said yes.

Dean Winchester was no longer here. He was long gone by the time a soldier with the single name of Castiel walked across the same threshold Dean had crossed months before.

Fifteen minutes after the soldier's left boot hit that flattened ground headed into the mouth of Hell, it was back, coming from the other direction, the footsteps were heavy and dragging, for the shape of a person formerly known as Dean Winchester came with it. Deep footprints. The path he made was clear, with dark brown treads where the blood on his boots mixed with the sand.

The soldier known as Castiel blinked at the sun. There was a man to be rebuilt.