Where's the angel?

To Dean, it seemed to be the only thing he ever said since finding himself in Purgatory. He hunted and slaughtered countless monsters, demanding to know where the angel was, slaying any beast that dared try to take Dean off his path. He didn't feel cold when he killed them. He saw lost hope. No one had seen the angel.

Then Benny came along. He helped. He taught Dean how to track and find clues; how different smells could affect their surroundings; how to find the angel. Dean refused to leave without finding him. Benny might have had a way of escaping the damned forest, but finding the angel had become Dean's priority. It was what stopped him from turning back, from giving up.

Where's the angel?

Who cared about escaping if he couldn't find his angel. Who cared about comfort, shelter, good food; if he left without the angel to fade away like a forgotten memory rotting away on the dusty mantelpiece. Dean couldn't do that. Not to him. This was the angel who never gave up on him, who was the only one that believed in him when everyone else hadn't. This was his angel, and he would go to Hell again before giving up.

And so the days went by, countless and unrelenting, but Dean had found rhythm - purity - in the woods. The killing gave him justification. His search gave him direction. Everything was so clear, and all he needed was the angel.

Where's the angel?

It was always the same line. Same tone. Clear. Benny echoed his words, just as determined to find the angel as he was although his motive differed from Dean's. He wanted freedom, not an old friend.

And you'd think, someone would find him. Someone would know where the angel was. Someone would have him. And unexpectedly, with no fights and no torture, Dean stumbled upon the stream.

Trench coat brown with mud and frayed around the edges, Dean couldn't help but noticing the change. Squatting on the bank of a stream, he saw the edge in his eyes but his face was relaxed. It occurred to Dean that all those demands, the questioning, was meaningless. Where's the angel? What angel?

Maybe, it would have been easier to have just said his name. Cas. Because that was all that was left. A being named Cas who had stopped believing in itself, and it was Dean's responsibility to restore that faith. Dean wasn't going to ever give up on his angel, his Cas. But certainly, his question remained unanswered.

Where's the angel?

Cas wasn't it.