AN: Wow this is really angsty for something I planned out not to be. But when Dean started hearing Cas's confession I just couldn't stop. Also any suggestions for characters you want in here, even dead ones, please suggest. If this seems a little rushed, well really I'm just writing this as it comes to me with only a vague idea where it's going. Like The Cage this was just a random idea. It'll obviously be multi-chapter and honestly I pretty much just wrote Destiel without meaning to, but not really sure what pairings to have so any sugegestions for that are welcome.


Chapter One

Dean Winchester realized he was cursed somewhere between Azazel hitting the Impala with a semi and his first death. He really should have expected something like this. After all his life had pretty much made it quite clear that with the exception of Sam and Bobby, for the most part, that anyone he got close to would do one of three things a.) die, b.) leave him, or c.) betray him. And if fate felt he was in need of an extra special mind fuck some combination of the three. So back to being surprised. He really shouldn't. Hell, Sam and Bobby had been saying something fishy was going on before hand. Yet, when Castiel quoted Bobby, Dean was so shocked by it. So caught off guard by the betrayal and just hurt. He knew Sam and Bobby were too, but they didn't feel it like he did. He could tell. Neither of them felt it like a deep searing wound and ache that was almost comparable to losing Sam, but at the same time it was totally different. Dean had believed in Castiel. Placed a faith in the angel he hadn't felt since he was a child and his mother would tell him about angels and God assuring him they would be watching over him. The loss was shattering and Dean enraged along with the pain. He reveled in the rage something familiar and much less devastating. But even that couldn't last. And he was left with the knowledge his friend, his only friend, because as much as he loved Sam, he'd always been something different, something too much like a mixture of brother and child to be his friend. Bobby too was too much a parent to be a friend. Castiel was all he'd had.

And he was gone.

Dean had gone to sleep to escape the reality of Castiel-Cas, his best friend, his Angel-being the enemy, but even then he couldn't escape.

Castiel didn't notice him looking up from where he sat on a stone bench in the snow covered park they were in. Dean scowled a bit of anger flaring in him. He was sick of all this damn pain and angst the Angel had caused him. If he was going to betray them he could at least have the decency to leave Dean be. Just for one night so he could process it. Furious the Hunter started stomping towards Castiel, it was only when he was almost next to him that he realized the Angel was speaking.

"You know I've been here for a very long time. I remember many things. I remember being at a shoreline, watching a little grey fish heave itself up on the beach, and an older brother saying, 'Don't step on that fish Castiel. Big plans for that fish.' I remember the Tower of Babel...all thirty-seven feet of it, which I suppose was impressive at the time. And when it fell, they howled divine wrath. But come on dried dung can only be stacked so high. I remember Cain and Abel...David and Goliath...Sodom and Gomorrah. And of course, I remember the most remarkable event-remarkable because it never came to pass. It was averted by two boys...an old drunk...and a fallen angel. The Grand Story. And we ripped up the ending and the rules...and destiny...Leaving nothing but freedom and choice. Which is all well and good, except...Well, what if I've made the wrong choice? How am I supposed to know?"

Dean starred. He'd never seen this side of Castiel. THe Angel was showing his emotions clear as day and there was so much confusion, mixed in with the admiration and affection he mentioned Dean, Sam, and Bobby with, and the relief at the aversion of the Apocalypse, and even the almost after though of including himself. Dean opened his mouth to speak. He didn't know what he was going to say, but it didn't matter. He couldn't. Dean tried again, but nothing. Then he tried to take a step foreword, but realized he couldn't move. He felt more than heard someone appear beside him. He found himself only able to move his head enough to peer at the arrival. It was an Angel he knew. When he saw him though he would have jumped if he'd been able.

Joshua, Dean thought recognizing the Angel from Heaven's Garden who'd claimed to simply be a Gardner. The Angel placed a hand on Dean's arm as Castiel looked up pausing his speech seeming to realize he was being watched. Dean waited for Castiel to say something, anything at the appearance of Dean and Joshua, but he didn't. Didn't even seem to react at all despite the fact his usual piercing eyes were starring straight into Dean's. Castiel frowned to himself and turned away, leaving Dean to stare at his slumped shoulders in surprise. Dean looked back at Joshua suspciously.

Just a gardener my ass. Dean thought at the Angel accusingly. Joshua gave him a small smile, but it quickly vanished.

You can't interfere Dean Winchester, your purpose is to listen. Joshua answered in Dean's mind making Dean mentally growl at the invasion. Joshua ignored this and gave Castiel a pointed look.

What does it matter? Dean snapped refusing to look at Castiel. Joshua gave him a look of bemusement.

You need to understand. The Angel answered.

Understand what? THat my best friend betrayed me and is talking to himself? Dean snarled not feeling very charitable. Joshua gave him a piercing look that was remenant of Castiel's only stronger, older looking.

We both know that's not who my Brother is talking to. Now listen Dean. Joshua ordered strangely firm and Dean found his head turn against his will.

Damn angels.

"I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me tell you my story. Let me tell you everything."

Dean felt a chill go down his spine at those words. He strained against what kept him bound, but he couldn't move. He didn't want to hear how long Castiel had been working with Crowley. How long he'd been manipulating and lying to them. Dean cursed Joshua to the lowest Pit in Hell. The Angel didn't even flinch focused on Castiel.

Dean was forced to listen as Castiel described the conversation in the Impala not long after the Jefferson Starships and then Castiel and Crowley's meeting afterwards.

"Crowley had a point, of course, my interest was conflcited. I still considered myself the Winchesters' guardian. After all...They taught me how to stand up...What to stand for...And what generally happens when you do. I was...done. I was over. And then the most extraordinary thing happened. I was put back. And we had won. We stopped Armageddon. But at a terrible cost. And so I knew what I had to do next."

Dean was torn between revulsion at the description of Castiel actually agreeing with Crowley and the tight feeling in his chest and dryness in his mouth that the pure intensity of just how much Castiel cared about them and how much they meant to him. It was pretty damn obvious from his voice. And then describing how he'd brought Sam back made a whole other conflict begin. Thankfulness for the attempt at saving his brother and the unpleasant memory of RoboSam.

"Once again I went to harrow Hell, to free Sam from Lucifer's Cage. It was nearly impossible, but I was so full of confidence, of mission. I see now that was arrogance...Hubris...Because of course I hadn't truly raised Sam-not all of him."

Rehearing all of RoboSam's exploits made Dean cringe and grind his teeth. He was seriously creeped out by the thought of that weird bastard watching him, Lisa, and Ben eating.

"Sometimes we're lucky enough to be given a warning. This should have been mine."

The only pleasure Dean coudl derive from the situation was the obvious fear Crowley experienced. He might have been an evil son of a bitch, but he was the smartest one so far. Unlike the others he knew the ones he should be afraid of were the Winchesters and not angels or demons. Then Castiel went on to describe spying on them. It only made Dean angry to hear about how he'd defended Castiel knowing how far he'd betrayed them as he did now.

"So they already suspected. And the worst part was Dean. Trying so hard to be loyal, every instinct telling him otherwise."

Dean felt a little startled at how acurately Castiel described his feelings, but then again, maybe it wasn't that surprising. The Angel had been spying on them. But somehow dean didn't think that was all of it. Castiel knew him. Cell phones and drive-thru orders still threw the Angel, but he knew Dean well. Maybe as good or better than Sam did.

"If there was a demon counterpart to Bobby Singer, Ellsworth would be it."

Dean grimaced both at the comparison to Bobby and the way Castiel described his cold, calculated cover up to keep them from realizing what he'd done.

"I had no choice. I did it to protect the boys. Or to protect myself. I-I don't know anymore."

Another bout of Castiel spying, making sure they didn't uncover anything.

"Hiding...Lying...Sweeping away evidence...And my motives used to be so pure. After supposedly 'saving' Sam, I finally returned to Heaven. Of course, there isn't one heaven. Each soul generates its own paradise. I favor the eternal Tuesday afternoon of an autistic man who drowned in a bathtub in 1953."

Listening to the reaction his arrival received Dean found he only focused on one small thing. Rachel's reaction. The chick liked Castiel. Seriously liked Castiel. For some reason that and the fact he was realizing how little he truly knew about the Angel ran around Dean's head temporarily distracting him from the betrayal.

"If I knew then what I know now...I might have said...'It's simple. Freedom is a length of rope. God wants you to hang yourself with it.'"

Dean felt an insane urge to laugh at those words. But it quickly faded as Castiel continued.

"Those first weeks back in Heaven were surprisingly difficult. Explaining freedom to angels is a bit like teaching poetry to fish. And then there was Raphael..."

So Cas does have a sense of humor, Dean thought wildly listening to Castiel's description of the confrontation with Raphael with interest. Dean knew he would have been shooting something if he could express the anger he felt when Castiel described the beating or at best ganking some monster. It was a hot slick fury he felt then mixed in with a ingrained deep seated knowledge that big brothers were there to take care of and protect little brothers not to kill them was another feeling of protectiveness towards Castiel himself.

"I'm not ashamed to say that my big brother knocked me into next week."

Before Dean could process his fury though Castiel was back to describing the spying and dean was reminded suddenly that this wasn't his Cas-this was he Castiel that had betrayed them for Crowley.

"Crowley sent his very best, I was caught as much by surprise as the rest of them. And it left me with yet another choice. I could reveal myself and smite the demons. Of course, Crowley wouldn't like it. But on the other hand they were my friends."

Dean could vividly remember the relief he felt when Castiel saved them. Here was the proof he needed that Sam and Bobby were wrong. This was different. He wasn't going to be abandonned or betrayed Castiel was still one of the good guys. Still Dean's Angel.

The rest of the story was painful to hear. Going back through the sickening realization when Castiel had slipped with the Superman reference after Dean had felt such relief when he'd saved them. It was a surprise that Castiel had stoppped to see him and Dean wondered what would have happened if Castiel had spoken to him instead of being lured off by Crowley. Would he have left the apple pie life he'd promised Sam he'd stay with? Would he have helped the Angel?

Yes, Dean knew. Just like he knew when they'd trapt Castiel. He would have left. They could fix this.

And even after all that the first thing he did was threaten Crowley if he hurt them. Dean swallowed. Castiel saying all this meant he had doubts right? It meant there was still time. Dean was distracted though by Castiel arriving at the last time they'd spoken.

"So that's everything. I believe it's what you'd call a...tragedy from the human prespective. But maybe the human ppespective is...limited. I don't know. That's why I'm asking you, Father. One last time. Am I doing the right thing? Am I on the right path?"

" You have to tell me."

"You have to give me...a sign."

"Give me a sign."

"Because if you don't...I'm gonna ju-I'm gonna do whatever I...Whatever I must."

Dean strained. Castiel was pleading, begging for anything. He'd never actually seen Castiel beg. It was worse than him trying to convince Dean that Purgatory was the right choice.

Let me talk to him dammit. Dean shouted at Joshua. I'm here for a reason. It can't just be to here. Let me talk. I'll be the fucking sign!

No Dean. You aren't here to interfere. Our Father has plans for Castiel and doesn't plan on letting one of his oyungest children Fall like this. You are here because you have Castiel's Grace in you and need to understand this to and see this. It will effect you too. Joshua replied, sounding so damn calm Dean wanted to scream. but he couldn't he could only watch as Castiel slumped head falling at the lack of response from his Father. Finally after sitting defeated for an eternity Castiel stood face hard. He didn't get to do the blinkaway thing though because the next instant they got their sign.

One Hell of a sign.

God showed them what exactly would happen if Castiel went through with it.

...

It all hit Dean in a flash and he wasn't just watching it he was living it. Every painful moment of Castiel's choice. Of opening Purgatory. Of the results.

...

"Leviathans." Dean gasped coming to on his hands and knees in the snow. Shaking it took him a moment to realize no time had passed. He was still in the snowy park. Still beside Joshua. Castiel was still by his bench, panting and bent over now. The only differences was Dean could move now. And judging from how Castiel was swiveling around startled he could be heard.

"Dean." Castiel gasped and emotions flitted across his face. Showing more than he ever had before even during his Confession. Shame. Guilt. Relief. Affection. Sorrow. Determination. Then he saw Joshua and stiffened blue eyes widening impossibly. "Joshua."

"Brother." the other angel greeted and cocked his head to the side as if listening to something else. After a few seconds of listening he looked back towards Castiel. "Our Father doesn't like interfering, even thinks he's done more than enough, but he also feels that none of you deserve this especially not after averting the Apocalypse. You, Castiel, and you, Dean Winchester, have done everything he asked so he won't watch you or any others destroy themselves. He won't stop you, but if you and the others consent he'll give you a choice. Stay or go where he'll send you to prevent this. You won't be able to ever come back to this world, but he will not be cruel. This is a reward and a way to save yourselves and perhaps all of us."

"Where exactly are we being sent?" Dean demanded trying and failing to get to his feet. Joshua shook his head.

"I can't say, but you won't be alone. This reward isn't for you two alone. Know also that this world won't be without it's own...problems. Every placehas them. You'll be able to handle them though." Joshua told them calmly. Dean looked at Castiel and Castiel looked back at him. Not very good choices. Ditch this world or go through that?

"What about Crowley and Raphael?" Castiel questioned. "Neither will give up."

Joshua paused. "They've already been handled."

"Sam? Bobby?" Dean said.

"Your brother will be safe as will Mr. Singer." Joshua assured him.

Dean hesitated that sounded too good to be true. A cope out with all the bad guys taken down. Why now?

"What is your decision?"

Dean shared another look with Castiel and who nodded agreeing to go the Dean's choice. Like always.

Dean said what he'd sworn he'd never say to an Angel. "Yes."