A/N: This has been swimming around my mind for a couple weeks and I've finally gotten around to actually writing it. Special thanks to my Beta ~LostElvenQueen from DeviantART
It was dark and hot and Castiel could imagine that if he had a solid human form at present his flesh would be bubbling and seared with pain, as it was his grace kept him protected as much as was possible. Making his way through the darkness he could hear the call of his brother around him as they fought there was to the one they'd come for. There was also another voice pressing on him. A softer, warmer voice filled with gentleness. Castiel knew who that voice belonged to and he knew he had to ignore it at all costs. Lucifer's gentle persuasion was far more dangerous than any demon that currently tried to force him and the others out of hell.
He continued on, his grace the only light in the darkness. It was odd that everything could be seen in the surrounded dark but much like heaven, hell didn't follow the rules put down on earth. Time moved differently here. Things weren't always what they seemed. Castiel turned another corner, the calls of his brothers and sisters echoing behind him. He felt their fall ripple through his being but he fought on, a pulled he'd never felt before making him determined. In the abyss Castiel saw a figure stood on a tarmac road, a bag slung over his shoulder staring at a house and another figure that stood before it. Castiel turned to look at that form and a pain rippled through him at the sight of that scared human soul. Its light being swallowed slowly by the dark, evil that seemed to crawl over its illusion of human form.
Then it was gone and Castiel was alone once more. He continued on, no longer hearing the sound of his fellow angels it was silent but for the ever present sounds of Lucifer trying to persuade him to turn against heaven. Castiel would have smiled if he'd had form. The archangel knew nothing of the grace he was trying to corrupt. He was strong and loyal. There was nothing that could make him turn against heaven.
Dark walls surrounded him, closing in around him. He knew it was an illusion built from a human memory and he wondered what this place was. Pausing at a doorway and looked inside. This soul he'd been following through this maze, laid on a bed, another man beside him. He was bent over whispering in his ear. The bright soul was dimming beneath the thick oil like evil that was clawing at him. Castiel could hear what was said clearly as if it was not a whisper but spoken aloud.
"Save him. Nothing else matters. - But if you can't save him son. Kill him."
Then he was gone and Castiel just stared at the now empty bed. His grace rippling with an emotion he was uncertain of. He knew what had been said was sensible and true and maybe if the human had followed those orders from his father they would not be on the brink of destruction. - But he'd made the choice out of love for his brother.
~ SUPERNATURAL ~
The next time the soul was spotted it was at a crossroads. Castiel watched, unable to reach the soul. As much as he tried, something held him back so he was forced to watch from a distance as the think shadow spread further around the soul as it stood toe to toe with a demon, another illusion in this world of them. Another memory in a lifetime, all of heaven knew of this moment, the first step on this man's path to hell. This was when the deal was struck. Castiel felt the strength of this single action that would have unforeseen consequences for the man making it. When the demon sealed the deal with a kiss, the angel felt something spread through him at the sight.
The moment faded into another. They were becoming more frequent and far more painful to watch for both the angel and the human soul. This time the man stood in the center of a room, a crib beside him looking up at a ceiling, watching flames blaze up walls and engulfing furniture. The smell of sulphur mixing with burning flesh filling the air and a pair of crystal blue eyes stared down at him framed in flames. Blood and tears dripped onto the man's torn and battered features as he watched and heard the screams of the woman above him, the blackness clawing and crawling over him. Then there was silence and they were once again on a dark tarmac road watching a tall figure walk angrily away. Castiel stared at the soul as it darkened further. He knew he was running out of time, if he was going to stop the soul from being consumed completely by evil he had to act.
A voice taunted him. I'll save him if you join me. I'll let him go if you join me. Castiel forced himself to ignore the fallen archangel's voice but it continued to follow him as he fought to get to the soul. He was always in reach but could never quite touch it. The soul was darkening fast and time went on, hours, days, weeks, years. None relevant to angel or demon but the human soul clung to his knowledge of linear time.
The demon wrapped itself tighter around the quickly dimming soul, ripping it apart slowly, piece by piece while whispering for him to surrender, to beak and join him. Castiel feared for the moment he actually said yes and he knew he would if he didn't get to him. He was only human after all and it was written that he would surrender.
~ SUPERNATURAL ~
Castiel didn't even realize it had happened until he was stood in an unfamiliar memory with an unfamiliar female watching an all too familiar soul, now dark completely. It still clung to its human form but eventually that would fade and then the soul would become demon like so many others. Castiel could feel the hate and anger flowing from the broken soul as it sat beside a dark haired woman on a bed. The angel knew who this woman was and why the man felt such anger towards her. The man's features were pulled tight and his eyes cold and empty. Castiel fought harder to reach him but whatever was holding him back was stronger.
He was glad he had no physical form at this moment knowing that if he did it would be ice cold and shaking at the scene playing out before him. His purity cried out for the young woman as she struggled against her father's touch. Castiel wondered why this man had not been instantly struck dead for doing such an evil thing to his own innocent child. He wondered were the justice was that this scared woman who had made a deal with a child's fear and desperation was forced to suffer in hell, to relive this torturous moments over and over. He wondered if the man was here somewhere, suffering painfully.
But Castiel's thoughts fled him as he turned to look at the man beside the bed. Dark and filled with hate and Castiel could see enjoyment in his eyes. Lucifer voice filled his mind once more. I will save her if you join me. I will free her if you join me.
Castiel wanted to save her so much it was like a physical pain but the man that was stood beside the screaming crying woman black and broken was his priority. The angel feared it was already too late but when he turned his hazel eyes towards the light that was Castiel's grace, the angel could see a plea in them begging for salvation and Castiel knew the man soul was not completely corrupted.
~ SUEPRNATURAL ~
For ten years that pleading look met Castiel's but each time it grew dimmer and more distant and the angel knew that one day it would be swallowed completely by the darkness. He feared that day more than any other. Every time a new soul was put on the rack to be ripped apart Castiel fought just a little bit harder to get to his soul. After almost forty years of watching and fighting his way to him, that man's soul felt almost a part of him, like a bond had formed between them, though they never met. Castiel could feel it growing stronger every time those hazel eyes sort out the angel's grace like it was hope itself and pleaded silently.
The angel didn't know why that final push toward his soul succeeded and in that single desperate moment he didn't care. All that mattered was getting him out. As he approached and wrapped himself around the soul of the man it had taken so long to reach he gasped in pain at the feel of that torn and broken spirit. It was barely clinging to its humanity and Castiel whispered to it, trying to calm and reassure it as it fought back against the purity of the angel's grace. It's darkened strength forcing Castiel away, making it harder for the angel to hold firm.
Castiel became frantic and it wasn't his need to do duty that was making him act so frenzied, it was his need to save this soul, this single soul that was trapped in hell because he'd loved his brother and fought to save him at the cost of his own soul. Who had fought for thirty years against a demons shadow as it forced him to relive the worst moments in his life. The man who had said yes but had hated himself for it every day for ten years, Castiel was not saving the righteous man any longer; he was saving a human soul who deserved to be saved.
Growing desperate Castiel tried once more to wrap himself around the soul but it continued to fight him. As much as it wanted to be saved, he couldn't allow it to happen. The angel could feel the fear within the man. Fear of what he'd become. Castiel tried to whisper to him again, tried to calm those fear and tell him that he was safe and the he would always be there for him. But the soul didn't listen, didn't hear and Castiel grew impatient.
Demons would discover him soon, they would try to keep the man's soul there and that made Castiel act like the soldier he was. His grace grew fierce and solid, taking almost human form. He reached out one last time and gripped the man's soul with an unwavering tight hold and dragged him kicking and screaming from his prison.
As Castiel pulled the righteous man from hell he called out to his brothers. "Dean Winchester is saved."
A/N: This idea came to me a few days ago, I was sitting watching…something, I can't really remember what and I was thinking about Dean's nightmares and I thought what did Castiel see Dean do in hell and how would that have affected him. It pretty much grew out of that. As for my idea of hell, well I figured that if heaven was all your best moments then hell should be all your worst most painful ones and so Dean is forced to relive those moments until he picks up his knife (which I took figuratively) and begins carving at others souls. I hope you guessed that the dark hair woman Dean tortures is Bela. I always figured he would have gone after her. This was meant to have a different ending but that one just didn't feel right so I ended here.
Please let me know what you think.
Thanks for reading.