Recently became a hardcore Supernatural fan. I don't know how it happened. I'm obsessed.

One shot. Season six spoilers. Sam has his soul back, but Death's price for his soul is much bigger than just Dean spending 24 hours in his shoes.

Disclaimer: I don't own spn or profit from this in anyway. I have no interest in money, just trench-coated angels.

Dean places his fingers upon the little girl's head, feeling the way is saps the life from her. She's so small and innocent, no matter how many times he does this taking children always turns his stomach. He closes his eyes as the heart monitor flat-lines, he doesn't want to watch this. Doesn't want to see the confused girls face when she emerges from her body or the devastated single mother holding her hand by her bedside. The mother begs for her daughters life, Dean wants more than anything to not have to take it away, but it must be done.

"What's going on?" The innocent voice asks. Dean finally opens his eyes, the little girl is quite pretty. She would've been a looker if she had the chance to grow up.

Dean sighs, mentally counting down the days before this deal is over. "I'm sorry, it was your time." Is all Dean says. When he really doesn't know what to say, times like this, those are his lines. It's better than telling them straight up, 'Congratulations, you're dead!' Sammy would be better at this, he's more in tune with people's emotions. Dean's not sure how to express his condolences when all he can focus on anymore is when he's going home.

At first, it wasn't like that, not at all. Dean felt like a monster every time he had to send someone to the reapers. But overtime, he learned that these people die anyway, whether he's there or not. If he tries to prevent someone's death, it always ends in more pointless death. The deaths that occurred from him breaking the rules are on his head, those are all him. He knows the rules now, he's been doing this long enough to know that it's a vicious ride that can't be stopped or rerouted.

Instead of hate for Death, he feels sympathy. Even if the guy is an emotionless horsemen of hell, this still isn't a fun job to do for eternity. Dean hopes it will be worth it in the end, that his brother's soul will remain intact after his job is complete. According to Death, Sam's currently fine. More than fine. Dean doesn't exactly trust Death, but he has to believe him to keep himself from going insane.

He only has two weeks left. Just two weeks and the ring falls off, Sam's soul gets to stick around, and he can go back... Wherever back is.

The little girl, now dead girl interrupts his thoughts, "Do I have to go? My mom..." The little girl looks sadly towards her mother, who is now bawling uncontrollably. Dean has to look away, it's a heart wrenching sight.

"I'm afraid so, sweetheart." Dean's tone is sympathetic as the little girl takes his hand. Dean isn't really sure how it works, but the girl finds her way, eventually disappearing before Dean and he's onto his next job.

Dean has the hang of this by now, he knows and feels where to go next. It's not even a conscious thought now, he just goes wherever Death's mojo takes him. Thanks to Tessa, he's now an expert in reaping.

"Hello Dean."

Speak of the devil and she shall appear, "Hey Tess. Why you here? To give me an award for finally cooperating?"

She smirks at him, Dean caused a lot of problems for her in those first few months, but he likes to think that by now they are almost friendly coworkers. "Believe me Dean, I wish I was here to give you an award. If you manage this next job with a smile, I just might give you one." Dean stomach twists at that. How would the next job be any harder than the ones he's already faced? He's watched children die, families, he's even taken a few babies as Death's bitch. He's faced the worst, what could possibly be so bad?

Her sarcastic smirk falls into a sad smile, "I'm sorry. Really, you're not going to like this next one Dean."

Dean swallows the small lump of fear in his throat, "Alright. Well, let's get it over with. But with my award, I want a two week vacation." He says with a smile on his face, letting himself hope for the possibility of an early freedom.

Tessa nods, "Sure Dean, I think I might be able to arrange that." Dean's eyes widen, maybe he'll get to see Sam sooner rather than later.

Tessa offers her hand, gesturing for him the follow her wherever shes about to be zapped too. With just a touch both her and Dean are somewhere else. Dean sees nothing, an empty warehouse. Boxes line the walls, planks of wood, pipes, and other construction materials are strewn across the warehouse. No sign of life...or death.

"I don't see anything-" Tessa shushes him when the doors to the warehouse burst open and two bodies are thrown inside. He recognizes them, a gigantic man with long hair and an angel in a tan trench coat land a few feet away from him.

"Sammy! Castiel!" Dean shouts, already running for them. Tessa tackles him to the ground, stopping him in his tracks.

"Dean no, you can't interfere." Two demons come forth, one kicking Sam in the face. Blood shoots from his face and Dean fights against Tessa's grip.

"This goes against everything! We made a deal, I made a deal with Death, I've served up my end. The deal was I do Death's dirty work and Sam stays alive!" He's done, he's so done. This was all pointless, the past five months were for nothing.

"It's not Sam you're taking Dean!" Tessa shouts, and that stills Dean's protests immediately. If not Sam then...

Castiel is staring straight at him, like he's seen a ghost.

"Dean?" Dean cannot hear his soundless question, that it is really him, but he can see it on the angel's lips. Cas sees him. He can't be here for Cas. Cas is an angel, reapers don't reap angels.

Castiel tears his gaze away from Dean to Sam, who's currently getting his face beaten in. Dean distracted for a moment because as Cas stands, it's like he's really seen him for the first time. Dean can see into his...grace. It makes sense now, all the things Cas's has spoken about regarding an angel's grace. His true visage. He can see how the light emanating from him is blinding, yet his eyes are unaffected. How his wings stretch out from him, they are black and remind Dean of a raven's wings, except a thousand times larger. They're oddly beautiful.

Cas puts a hand on the demon, light bursts from the demons eyes as it falls to the ground. Castiel helps Sam up, and Dean fights against Tessa's hold again. The other demon is charging at them. Cas turns, smiting the demon without much problem. Dean feels relief, maybe fate decided today wasn't the day for either of them.

"We have to go, Sam. More will be here in a moment." he says, turning his gaze from Sam and looking straight at Dean, "Where have you been? I searched the entire world..." Cas says, his voice shaking slightly with either anger or relief, Dean's not sure.

"Who are you talking to Cas?" Sam asks urgently, a hand on Cas's shoulder.

Cas's eyes remain on Dean, he can only stare back, captured by his gaze."Dean, he's here. He's been busy in the afterlife."

Sam's eyes widen, "Dean's dead?"

"No, he's...bound. He's bound to Death. Dean why are you-?"

"Deal to save Sam's soul, of course." Dean smiles for the first time in awhile, his brother and his angel are really here. He hasn't seen them in months.

Tessa places a hand on his shoulder, "Dean get back." She warns.

"Why? Who am I here for Tess?" Dean's frustrated, seeing them both delights and annoys him. Annoys him, because he can't join them or help them now. Is this some trick to make him slip up before the his contract's up?

"Sam, get back." Cas demands, standing in front of Sam protectively. Although Sam can't see, Dean can see the way his wings swipe protectively in front of Sam, and Dean feels pride and jealousy wrap around him. Cas has been doing his job while he's been gone.

Dean doesn't think he'll ever be able to repay him for that.

Suddenly, the room is filled with black demon smoke. Dean keeps his eyes on Sam and Cas as Tessa pushes him away from the battle zone. There's no way she can expect Dean to not try to protect Cas and Sam, it's in his blood. It's why he's on this mission and tied to Death.

He can't entirely tell whats going on in all the chaos, but its clear there are two bodies walking in the middle of the smoke, heading straight for Sam and Cas.

"Cas, at your 4 o'clock!" Dean shouts, seeing the way the demon hunts them. The demon has a blade and charges. Cas grab's it's arm, attempting to twist the blade from the demon's hand. As they battle for it, Sam grabs the blade from the demon and shoves it into his heart. The demon convulses, before dying at their feet.

Dean can't help but do a little fist pump for both of them, maybe he won't be doing any reaping on this visit. Unless the demons count.

The demon smoke starts to disperse and Dean feels a little more relaxed at each one that leaves. Tessa tugs at his arm, he nearly forgot she was there.

"I'm sorry, Dean." She whispers and Dean feels panic rise back in him as he looks back to his brother.

He doesn't know how the demon managed to surprise them, but it sneaks up to Sam's side. The blade he carries is not a normal blade, it's an angel blade. Dean breaks into a sprint, he can't do anything, he knows he will just pass straight through them, but he has to do something.

It all happens too fast, there's nothing he can do. Even if he was human.

Dean shouts, he can't let this happen. "Cas!"

Casiel reaches for the blade that is aimed at Sam's heart. The demon is quick, he turns around to Cas, pushing the blade through his heart before he can even defend himself. For a second, he almost thinks the angel's okay. He has that look on his face, the same one he had when Dean stabbed him when they first met. Cas pulls it out and shoves it into the demon instantly.

Dean thinks he's okay.

Then his grace, so bright before, starts to dim. Dean watches as Cas's legs give out and he falls to the ground, the noise sounds like a rock hitting the ground.

Sam falls to the ground with him, "Cas? Castiel, hey. Stay with me alright?" Dean can see desperation in his brother's eyes, he's sure it would be a mirror image of his own as he looks down on Castiel's fallen form.

Cas's eyes are still open, they scan over Sam's bloody and beaten face. "You are hurt." Cas, with a shaking hand, reaches out and puts two fingers to Sam's forehead. He heals in an instant.

Sam's eyes glass over slightly, "Thanks Cas, but you need to save that for yourself alright."

Dean can only stare at the exchange, he feels tears well up in his eyes. He fights it back as he leans over the angel's body, "Hey, Cas."

Cas's eyes settle on Dean's and the corner's of Castiel's lips twitch up, "Hello...Dean." He says hoarsely, the angel's clearly in agonizing pain. He can see the way his grace is fading. He doesn't have long. "I find it...amusing that you are the one assigned to take me from this vessel."

"You and me both, can you even reap angels?" He asks, grasping Cas's hand in his. Dean will not take him, he can't. He doesn't let his skin suck the life from Castiel. Cas has given him everything, sacrificed everything for him. He will not do this to him.

"Apparently so," he coughs out. His eyes are starting to sink in, if it wasn't Cas dying, he'd think the scene before him was beautiful, in a way. He can see the way the light flakes off of him, it floats up in the air around him. His wings flake away, like embers from a fire as they are charred into the earth.

"Dean." Tessa's voice rings behind him.

"I can't Tessa. I just...He's...I can't. Why? He's an angel, reapers don't take angels." He sounds like he's begging, grasping at straws.

Tessa smiles sadly, "You and I both know, Castiel is more human than angel, Dean." Dean lets out a shake breath, he does know. He knows how Castiel is the only angel who seems to care. Who seems to understand exactly what it is he and his brother are always fighting for.

"I'm so sorry, Cas." He doesn't know what else to say. He can feel Cas's grip tighten and relax in his hands, the light in him is almost out. How is he supposed to do this?

Castiel's lids suddenly shut violently and he convulses, "It hurts, Dean. I' have never..." Castiel shudders violently, his grace shakes with it.

"End it, Dean. Only you can. Normal angels would be dead by now."

"Shut up Tess!"

Dean holds firm on Castiel's hand as he rides out the pain of his grace seeping from him. Dean tries to make eye contact with his brother, holding onto Cas's other side, but the hunter is closely focused on the angel.

Sam is shushing him, attempting to comfort him, "I'm sorry, Cas. It'll be over soon."

It'll be over soon.

Sam can accept Castiel's death, why can't he?

"Do it, Dean!"


Castiel's grace is just a small spark now, "C'mon Cas hold on." He begs, he has to reroute this destiny. Dean can feel it in his heart that Cas won't be brought back this time. Castiel's lucky to have gotten this many lives, there's little chance he'll be given another.

"Please." It's almost inaudible, but Dean hear's it, Cas's little one word plea. It breaks him.

"I'm sorry." Dean touches the tips of his fingers to Cas's forehead.

His light goes out.

Thanks for reading :)