*Disclaimer* I own nothing of Supernatural...this is purely fan-made... because I have way to many feels...

[Anyways, its Finals week... which means alot of extra time for me(they serious give us way to much time for these tests) And guess how productive I was during my free time! Yeap, thats right... I thought about the 8x10 SPN promo... So, free time + horrible heartwrenching promo + music apparently = this... No idea... this idea just popped into my mind and I thought about it during my 20 free minutes after my test was finished, this was the result. I hope you enjoy reading it! Please let me know what you think, I love comments! =) ]

Isolation

The full moon shone down on the earth casting everything in a beautiful silvery glow. Not that the vampire needed the light to see, not that it mattered much whether the moon was full or new. Not like the vampire was looking at anything anyways. Benny sat on a moss covered log, his face in his hands. That was it, it was over. Elizabeth had watched him tear out the hunter's throat. No doubt other hunters would be coming to find him… he knew hunters had their connections… It would only be a matter of time before the news reached Dean. Heck, perhaps it would be Dean himself who came after him. When it came to survival… Would Benny fight Dean? Could he fight Dean? He couldn't blend in anymore, once a hunter caught your scent, they had it for life. He also couldn't join a group of vampires, he was sure the news of his nest's slaughter was had gotten lips moving, and even if he were accepted, he wasn't about to go back to drinking people. All he could hope for was a life of solitude, alone and secluded from humans and vampires alike. Vampires were not solitary creatures.

Benny sighed, his body relaxing along with the exhale, his shoulders slumping. He stiffened at the flutter of wings; it was a loud sound, a soft and delicate sound, but with power behind the action. He swore he smelled blood, but the scent was gone so quickly he had to conclude he imagined it, focusing instead of the sound of wings. An eagle perhaps, its powerful shoulders helping its claws reach their prey before it disappeared into a burrow. He furrowed his brow, no, he could tell this thing was huge just by the sound of the wings, and that was why he stiffened. He raised his head, the drive for self-preservation keeping his body tense, the recent events making his eyes tired and less than interested in defending himself. He straightened out of his half crouch and relaxed slightly, a confused look on his face, when his eyes fell upon the angel. 'Dean's angel' he thought, remembering him well from their time in Purgatory. The angel looked very different, he was no longer dirty, he still had on the trench coat [now cleaned] but instead of white [under all the dirt] pants and a T-shirt, he had a white dress shirt, a blue tie, black slacks, black dress shoes, pretty much a complete suit, unbuttoned and un-ironed.

"Hey, hot wings" Benny said, though the term 'hot wings' was used with a hint of affection. From what he'd understood, the angel hadn't made it out. When Dean had brought him back he hadn't been with him, [he knew how inseparable those two were] and he hadn't seen the angel around ever since. He hadn't really needed any of that however; the look on Dean's face was enough. The only question now was, what was the angel doing here, how had he gotten out, when, and, did Dean know?

Benny opened his mouth, about to ask the angel just that, when the dark haired man began to tilt forward. "Whoa" Benny said, shooting up from his seat and taking a step toward the angel, though he appeared to have steadied himself. "You alright there, hot wings?" Benny asked, taking another step forward. The angel tilted his head in an awkward manner, gazing up at him. There was something about the look in his eyes, it wasn't right… He took a step towards him and stumbled, nearly falling [more like collapsing] to his knees. His stumbling brought him to a tree trunk, his shoulder slammed into it and he steadied himself, leaning on it heavily for support. He slowly straightened up and pushed away from tree trunk.

Benny found himself reaching for the angel, as if to help steady him, or to put a comforting hand on his shoulder. There was just something about him… now that he wasn't jeopardizing his escape from Purgatory… The angel looked, innocent, and in need of, not protecting per say, but similar to it. It was true that he was only slightly shorter than Benny himself, a hardly noticeable difference, but he was slighter. His vessel wasn't exactly imposing. He, especially right now, had a look of pure innocence, almost child-like in a way. He remembered having to save him from the Leviathan back in Purgatory; he was less than invincible, while in Purgatory he was usually the one at the end of the line, falling a bit behind. He was starting to see why Dean was so protective of the angel… When he wanted to, the angel could sum up enough power to make most of the creatures in Purgatory tremble, but when he wasn't in a fight he looked no more dangerous that a puppy. Right now he was staring at Benny with wide blue eyes, his head slightly tilted, his eyes looked confused and his face was open, revealing most of his thoughts. He clearly had no idea what he was doing here, or where 'here' was.

The angel lifted his right arm, wrapping it around his waist, his shoulders hunched, as if he were tired. Yeah, right now he didn't even look capable of defending himself. Benny was wondering if he should call Dean when the sound of ragged breathing caused him to refocus his attention on the angel. He was nearly doubled over, clutching at his waist as it if were the only way to keep his guts in though there was no injury, no blood. His shoulders shook and his left arm came up to press against the tree trunk, his body followed, leaning to the left until his bowed head rested on his left forearm, his eyes were squeezed tight. "Dean" he whimpered softly, as if begging for help, he seemed oblivious to the world around him. There might not be blood, but he was clearly in pain, Benny strode forward, reaching for the angel's shoulder with his right hand and fishing for his cell phone with the other.

"Castiel?" Benny said, resting his hand lightly on the angel's shoulder, the angel stiffened, as if the name were jolting him awake, or as if Benny's touch burned. He pushed off the tree trunk, forcefully, clumsily, causing Benny to take a step back, before turning to face him. Benny jerked back as if slapped; he stumbled back with surprise at the look on the angel's face. It was nearly demonic. Castiel tilted his head, as if studying him, his eyes were narrowed, the corner of his mouth pulled up in a crude joke of a smile, it looked more like an attempt to bare his teeth. Benny's eyes widened, there was something so very wrong here, however…insane the angel appeared the most concerning part were his eyes. They were completely blank. Yes, they were narrowed, but in the eyes themselves, it was as if the body was empty, this was only a machine, it could narrow its eyes and bare its teeth, but nothing would hide the fact that it held no life behind its eyes.

"What did they do to you?" Benny asked, referring to Purgatory. Had the Leviathans caught up with him after the portal failed to be angel-friendly? Had he just gotten out now? How had the little seraph, Purgatory's little [and only] beacon, faired with the vampire and hunter gone? Castiel jerked back as if hit with an involuntary muscle spasm. He slumped and his facial features relaxed, his mouth was slack, partially open. He continued to gaze ahead, however, unseeing. He twitched, swaying on his feet a bit. Blood began to ooze out of the corner of his left eye, as if he were crying. He blinked and the tiniest bit of awareness filtered into his blue orbs. "Naomi" he said, his mouth barely moving. His eyes shifted, gazing at Benny. Benny couldn't shake the feeling that the angel was only half aware of his presence. "Naomi… no" Castiel said, his voice lower than a whisper. His body began to tremble, "No…no, no, NO!" the angel screeched, shutting his eyes tightly. His hands flew to the sides of his head, where his slender fingers threaded into his hair, clutching it tightly. He shook his head from side to side, his face taunt, as if in pain. Benny stared at the angel for a moment, eyes wide. He was unsure of what to do, he was sure that if his heart still beat it would have stopped by now. His hand unfroze first, resuming its task to find his cell-phone. He yanked it out of his pocket and began to dial, while at the same time moving toward the angel, who had collapsed to his knees.

"I won't do it… I won't do it… I won't do it… No… no…nononononono" Castiel was chanting, over and over again. His eyes were now open, they stared straight ahead, wide like a deer caught in head lights, or a rabbit just as a hawk sank its claws into soft and furry flesh, its escape impossible, its death certain. He did not look frightened, that phrase did not give the expression of absolute terror on his face any justice. Unable to form words anymore, his lips simply mouth them, over and over, fast and faster. It almost seemed as if he were mouthing 'Dean, Dean, Dean, DeanDeanDeanDeandeandeandean' over and over again, his eyes shifted rapidly from side to side. His entire body began to tremble. Benny didn't know what to do, how to help. "Hey… hot wings… Castiel" Benny tried, his voice soft and slow, as if he were speaking to a frightened horse, knowing the spooked animal might bolt at any moment. Castiel's lips were parted; he was drawing ragged breathed in through his mouth, he was rocking back and forth, though the movement looked a bit awkward because of the tremor that had overtaken his slight body. His eyes gradually focused and slid over to rest on Benny. It could hardly count as progress, however, as at the same time his quaking worsened [enough to cause his teeth to chatter] and his pale fingers clutched at dark hair harder, more frantic than before. Benny could see it was taking everything the angel had to hold himself in one piece. He couldn't help but feel a bit of protectiveness over him, he didn't appear a powerful and wrathful angel, more like an abandoned and frightened child.

"Castiel, listen very carefully" Benny spoke slowly, as if to a four year old. "What happened? Who did this to you?" he asked, placing his right hand on Castiel's left shoulder. The phone was clutched in the palm of his opposite hand. "She… she said…. But… no… I don't want to… I told her… I told her… I told her no…I told her no…" Castiel began to trail off, his eyes going unfocused once more. Blood began to flow from the corner of his eye once more, as well as out his nose. Castiel's face contorted in pain, he grimaced, curling in on himself. The blood trailed down to his mouth, smearing his front teeth, and dribbled down his chin. Castiel took a few deep [and incredibly shaky] breaths through his mouth. "I refused" he repeated, "She… she wasn't happy… she didn't like that… She said I had to be fixed… said I was broken…" he trailed off once more, curling tightly into himself as if he had just been punched in the stomach. "Who? Who is she?" Benny asked, both out of curiosity [he was getting pulled into Castiel's story] and because he was sure Dean would want a name.

"I was broken" Castiel said instead. "Was… am… I am broken… was broken… broken…" Castiel tilted his head up to look at Benny's eyes; it was quite awkward, as he was still curled up into himself. "She… she was going to fix me…" Castiel smiled sadly "She was going to take my free will" he said, the clearest thing he'd said since he stared talking. "Angels aren't supposed to know emotions, choice… perfect little soldiers… no free will… Naomi was going to make it all go away" he added, his head dipping forward again, his voice slurring, speaking too quickly or too quietly. Benny stared at him, "I'm sorry" he said, though he wasn't sure he'd understood even half of Castiel's insane rant. Castiel stiffened; he raised his head and tilted it. He gazed at Benny with unseeing eyes, somewhere else entirely. "No you're not" he said softly, sounding more like he was repeating something someone else had said, like a bird, not really understanding the words, just knowing how to pronounce them "You don't know the feeling."

Castiel's face broke into a pained grin [more like a grimace] before he screamed and dropped to the floor curling into a fetal position. He trembled violently, his eyes rolled with fear. More blood began to spew from his eyes, nose, and ears as he fought whatever was tormenting him from the inside. Benny jumped back, arms flailing to keep him balanced among the roots and damp leaves. He caught sight of his phone in his palm, quickly finished dialing the number and pressed send. In front of him, Castiel twisted into himself and into the ground with pain, his hair filled with leaves and twigs, his ragged breathing was desperate as if he couldn't get enough oxygen. "Dean!" Benny shouted as the phone went to voice mail. "You son of a bitch" Benny couldn't help but murmur. "Dean! Somethings wrong with your angel! He just… poofed… or flew, or something, in here… he's muttering nonsense… something about a Naomi… he's pretty messed up, he seemed to be in a lot of pain… and is bleeding a lot" he said. He glanced back at Castiel just in time to watch him, curled into himself on his forearms and knees, cough up blood. It splattered on the leaves, and then continued to stream out the corner of his mouth. Castiel collapsed on the ground, fatigued from this intense experience already, but was soon twisting and churning into himself once more. Even from here Benny could hear him muttering "No, no, no…no, no" to himself as he clutched his sides, or his head, as if to keep himself together. He withered in agony, his eyes rolling half-way into his head. "Dean… I don't think… I don't think he's gunna make it" Benny added into the phone, just as Castiel, collapsed onto his right side in a fetal position, and began to cough up more blood.

Benny could feel the exact moment everything changed. Whether Castiel lost the fight, or simply gave up was unsure, but it was over. Castiel went completely slack, crumbling like a rag doll on the ground. His eyes became unfocused, unseeing, staring straight ahead at nothing. Benny held the phone tightly; the angel appeared to have died. He took a step forward, his hand pulling the phone a few inches from his ear, to take a better look. Castiel blinked and his eyes zeroed in on Benny. Slowly, unnaturally, the angel pulled himself to his feet. He stared Benny for a moment. With a sound of fluttering wings he was standing right in front of him, his hand flashed up, gripping Benny's throat tightly and raising him up so his feet barely brushed the ground.

XxX

"Hello again, Castiel" Naomi said, her arms folded neatly over her desk. "I'm Naomi." Castiel looked around, confused [as always] by the room he'd just appeared in. "Where am I?" Castiel asked. "You're here to help us, Castiel, though, so far, you haven't been doing your job very well" Naomi answered from behind her desk. Castiel narrowed his eyes as he became even more confused. Before he could speak, however, Naomi stood up. "You've been given specific instructions Castiel, orders… yet you do not follow them" she said, walking around her desk. "But… I've… I haven't received any orders" he answered. Naomi smiled a professional smile, nothing warm or sisterly in the facial expression. "None that you are conscious of yes… but, somehow, even without knowing your orders, you still manage to disobey them… to do as you please… as the Winchester asks" she continued. She walked up to Castiel, he backed up slightly, but she followed.

Naomi pressed on until Castiel's calves hit the arm chair. With a light push, the confused angel fell on the chair. Naomi leaned over him. "You see, Castiel, Heaven still has an agenda… we still have plans… You are part of them…you are helping… but the Winchesters keep getting in the way" she said. She watched the confused expression leave Castiel's face, replaced by wrath… ah yes; the angel was as protective of his pets as was said. "Don't worry, Castiel" she said, placing her hand on his shoulder and gently pushing him down until he complied. "I do not plan on hurting the Winchesters, as that would not solve our little problem, would it?" she said. Castiel tilted his head once more "What problem?" he asked. Naomi simply smiled and touched her palm to his head, cupping his temple. She watched his eyes roll into his head as her brother did something that was very rare among angels, he lost consciousness.

Castiel blinked his eyes open, they glanced around them room, rolling in his head, before they focused. Naomi could pin-point the exact moment Castiel came into full awareness, he struggled to stand, to leap out of the chair, only to find he was strapped to it. He grunted, yanking his arm up and wincing when the action caused him pain. He glanced down and noticed his wrists were hand-cuffed to a chair, a different one that before. The hand-cuffs were thick and two and a half inches long, they started right underneath his wrists [actually biting into his palms a bit] and were of snug fit. He wiggled a bit more, finding it was no use, and raised his eyes to glare daggers at Naomi. She walked over calmly the professional smile plastered on her face, though this version had a hint of smugness in it. Castiel's eyes narrowed, he lunged from his chair when she stopped at the foot of his chair. His eyes widened in pain and he fell back into the chair, panting for breath, as the pain subsided. He trembled slightly, as he had been unprepared for the assault of pain. Naomi leaned forward, her hands gripping his forearms, her face very close to his. He took a few deep breaths before glancing up to meet her emotionless eyes. "What did you do to me?" he asked. Naomi noticed how his eyes had a hint of fear.

Naomi pushed off the chair and turned around, walking over to a table on the other side of the room. "I told you, you are here to help us… but you aren't being very helpful, so we have to fix that" she said. Castiel was silent for a moment; Naomi could hear him shift in his seat before he asked "Why am I bound?" Angels didn't enjoy being confined; even vessels seemed uncomfortably restricting at first. "We believed you wouldn't listen to us, and this is of major importance, a high priority- you are a key in its success" she said. "Success of what?" Castiel asked. Naomi heard him struggle against the cuffs growing more desperate and frantic [though he was an expert at hiding it] when, no matter how hard he tried, he could barely wiggle in them.

"Crowley has half of the tablet, yes?" Naomi said, though she made her statement sound like a question. Castiel nodded, looking down. "I couldn't stop him" he said softly. "Still much too weak from Purgatory" Naomi added for him. She knew he still wasn't back to his full strength, hopefully that would make this easier. "The tablet contains all information on demons, some even they are not aware of" she began. "The Leviathan Tablet was the same, and these are not the only ones, there is a tablet for every creature in existence" she said. "We want them. We must find all the tablets and keep them out of Crowley's reach. We also need the prophet; he is the only one who can translate them at the moment" she continued. "I… have not been able to locate Crowley…" Castiel began. "Haven't been able to locate him, or haven't been trying hard enough?" Naomi interrupted. Castiel straightened up in his seat, his back pressing to the chair. "Crowley disappeared-" he began. "With the tablet" Naomi added. "He might be hidden from angels" Castiel said, he glared at her. 'Does he have no respect for higher authorities anymore?' Naomi wondered, before answering herself. 'Of course not, this is the angel that stood up tall in the presence of Michael and Lucifer, who dared to challenge Raphael's rule once Michael was gone, who lead a Civil War and declared himself God. No, this angel has no respect for anything' she thought bitterly. "That is no excuse" she said, composing herself. "You have the Winchesters for a reason. Hunters have connections, if Crowley is cowering behind sigils, then you should have gotten the hunters on his trail" she said. "There are many more tablets that need finding, we need the prophet and we need the Demon Tablet. You have to get them for us, you have to return the Winchester's attention on the task of finding Crowley and of obtaining the other half of the tablet, at all costs" she said. "And when the tablet is recovered, the prophet must be handed over to us so he may find and read the remaining tablets."

Naomi stared Castiel down as he began to shake his head "I cannot allow you to do that, Kevin and his mother have made it very clear they don't want to be taken into the protection of angels" Castiel said. "And, of course, the Winchesters wouldn't be very happy, would they?" Naomi said, managing to keep the bitterness from her voice. "But this isn't about them; this is about Heaven's orders. You will find Crowley. You will get the Winchesters to retrieve the tablet and then you will bring us the prophet" she said. Castiel's face hardened. "No, I won't" he said, his voice strong and determined.

Naomi turned back to the tablet, retrieving a small object. She turned around and advanced towards Castiel. "But first" she said, her steps slow. "I have another task for you" she added. "It seems the Winchesters find themselves preoccupied in other matters… at the moment Dean's attention seems to be on a certain vampire, he's losing sight of the mission. Sam is worrying over his brother and also pushing matters regarding the tablet aside as well" she said. In fact, up until a few days ago, the Winchesters hadn't even been speaking to each other. Naomi had quickly called Castiel up and told him he had to get the Winchester's back on track. Castiel had told the brothers to 'Stow their crap' or something like that. Things had not gone as Naomi had hoped, however. Dean's mind remained set on the vampire, Naomi grew worried he'd dump Crowley's trail, which grew colder by the day, and turn his full attention on the vampire. "I need to get rid of their distractions, starting with the vampire" she said.

Castiel blinked, thinking for a moment. "Do you mean Benny?" he asked, though he didn't wait for an answer. "I can't harm Benny, he's Dean's friend. Dean would have remained in Purgatory if it weren't for him" he said, beginning to shake his head once more. "No. I won't." Castiel refused, meeting Naomi's stare head on. "Yes, you will" she said. "You will dispose of… 'Benny' and get the Winchester back on track. The tablet must be found." Castiel only glared at her, he sat up straight, defiant. Naomi sighed and lifted her hand, exposing the object in her hand. The room's lights reflected off its shiny silver surface. A small smile tugged at her lips when Castiel's eyes shifted, zeroing in on the object, wary. "Castiel, do you know what happens when something is broken?" she asked. Castiel hesitated, unsure of where she was going with this. "It is replaced, thrown away because it is no longer useful" he said warily. Naomi smiled, "Yes, that may be true most of the time… But what if the object is still useful or unique… one of its kind? What if it is the only one that can get the job done?" she asked. Castiel did not answer this time. "It is fixed" Naomi said, after the pause grew too long.

Naomi leaned over Castiel, her hand resting on the chair's head rest. It leaned back, so Castiel was lying more than sitting. She positioned the object over Castiel's face. She could see the fear in his eyes. "Like it?" she asked, referring to the object. "It's forged from an angel's blade… specifically for an occasion like this" she said. "What are you going to do to me?" Castiel asked, he pressed against the chair, trying to get as far away from the object in Naomi's hand as he could. "I'm going to make it go away" Naomi said softly.

"Did you know humans have something called a lobotomy?" Naomi asked, still leaning over Castiel, hand poised as if to strike. "They do… and you know what I thought? 'How useful this would have been, when a young, lowly Captain of a small and young garrison disobeyed. When he decided he served Man, and not Heaven. When he challenged an Archangel's leadership. When he started a Civil War. When angels started killing angels. When he started working with a demon… When he decided he was the new God… When he… When he destroyed half of the ranks in Heaven…" Naomi said, her eyes stared straight ahead, unseeing. Her hand shook slightly. Castiel's expression soften "Sister…" he murmured. Naomi's eyes narrowed. She glared down at him for a moment, but she quickly composed herself. "It's okay… I understand now… It was emotion…. You always did have too much heart… and that's not your fault, but it did cloud your judgment, influenced your choices. There's something wrong with you, Castiel…" she said. "But that's okay. It's okay. I can fix it… I can make it go away. It's a bit more complicated than it is with humans, but that's what this is for" she said, she waved the silver object slightly. "We both know it can touch [and harm] grace as well as our true form. I'm not going to hurt you Castiel, I'm going to help you. I'll just scrape a little off, just a little, just enough so this… this mutation… this… this thinking for yourself, the emotions, to go away. You'll be as you were, as you were meant to be, an angel of the Lord… a servant of Heaven" she said, leaning closer to Castiel, lifting her object until it was at eye level. "I'm going to fix you, Castiel" she murmured "And then you will go find Benny, you will eliminate him, and you will get the Winchesters back on Crowley's trail" she said.

The object in Naomi's grasp looked like a solid silver tube. It wasn't. The end pointed toward Castiel sharpened, it drew itself into a fine point. It was just this side too thick to be called a needle, but no other word could describe it. It was very long. Castiel's eyes widened, he struggled in his chair, his arms pulling frantically at the silver shackles that bound his wrists. They too were forged from angel blades. So many angels had died, their blades in their limp hands… there had been more than enough. "Naomi, no!" Castiel shouted. If he had been about to say more it was cut off by his scream as Naomi jammed the needle in, poking around in his essence. This had never been done [or thought of] before. Naomi wasn't even sure it would work. Castiel squirmed beneath her, he twisted and struggled, but it was to no avail, his movement was limited. His wings unfurled and twitched, Castiel couldn't focus enough to make them do much else. Naomi grimaced as Castiel's grace withered in pain; they stabbed at her own grace as if Castiel were begging his sibling to save him from this torment. She screwed her eyes shut, every last bit and to be removed every last bit.

Naomi stiffened when Castiel became completely still, 'was it working?'. Castiel stared straight at her, his eye twitched, then both his eyes closed. Naomi watched his twitching wings stiffen. Castiel opened his eyes, they glowed a bright blue, startling Naomi. She pulled back; Castiel's grace burned brightly, his wings unfurled to their full length. This ability was new; Castiel had not had it before. Naomi felt a stab of bitterness at yet another reminder that Castiel was God's new favorite, despite everything. Castiel's grace glowed; it seemed to be gathering strength. "No, Castiel!" Naomi shouted, grabbing Castiel's head in her hands. His hands twitched then jerked upward, tearing out of his restraints. Naomi felt Castiel's scream of pain as much as she heard it. The cuffs had not been as simple as human restrains; they bound Castiel's grace itself in order to hold him in place, he's just torn himself free, thanks to his knew ability.

Castiel's eyes began to roll into his head; it seemed his knew trick did not come without a price. Collecting and using up so much power at once left him drained. Naomi could still feel him slipping away. Naomi snapped back at the feeling of Castiel being ripped from her grasp. She used the chair for support. She had barely had time to say "Remember nothing" before he was yanked back into his vessel.

XxX

Dean glared at Sam, who was pointedly refusing to look back at him. Dean rolled his eyes, Sam was really being immature. Really, it's not like what Dean had done had been that bad, he's just been trying to help his friend… His friend… Benny had torn Martin's throat out. He understood why, of course, Martin had threated his great-granddaughter... But…Martin was a hunter… he would have never hurt the girl; Benny should have known that… Would Martin have hurt Elizabeth? It was just too complicated… and... it was making Dean's head hurt. If only-"CAS!" Dean shouted, when his friend's eyes suddenly rolled into his head and his legs gave out beneath him.

The angel collapsed on the ground like a puppet whose strings had been clipped. Before Dean could make a move towards his friend the angel opened his eyes, wide and expressionless. He slowly picked himself off the ground and stood up. He tottered slightly, his face was blank, and slack, his eyes staring straight ahead, unseeing. "Cas, you okay?" Dean asked, the concern thick in his voice. His brow furrowed, he watched his friend closely. His eyes narrowed when something red caught his attention, they widened when he realized it was blood coming out of Cas' eye. Cas continued stare straight ahead, he swayed back and forth gently, and then he was gone in a sound of fluttering wings. Dean stared at the space his angel had occupied mere seconds ago, his eyes wide. He closed his mouth and swallowed before turning to look at his brother. Sam stared back, surprise, shock, and worry in his eyes, though it was a dulled version of the emotions drowning in Dean's green orbs.

XxX

A weird choking sound clawed its way out of Benny's throat as Castiel's steel grip tightened. Castiel lifted him up higher, his index finger and thumb dug into his throat and jaw. Benny's left hand still clutched his phone, while his right hand clawed at Castiel's in a futile effort to ease the vice grip on his throat. Castiel stared at Benny, untouched by his struggles and choked cries. "Cas-" the second half of the word was cut off when Castiel tightened his grip, Benny could only wheeze out the rest. Castiel tilted his head; his nose began to bleed again, like a faucet. Benny felt his fangs grow; he was a bit preoccupied and couldn't focus on his control. Castiel began to tremble, though Benny remained off the ground, Castiel's arm was stiff, it just quivered. The angel blinked and his eyes focused.

Benny felt the hand on his throat relax ever so slightly. Benny looked at the angel, who was breathing hard, eyes wide. "I can't…" Castiel forced the words out. Blood began to pour out of the corners of his eyes. The angel appeared to be crying blood, sobbing. He bet there were artists who would sell their souls for a chance to paint something this heartbreakingly beautiful. "I can't stop" Castiel finally stammered. He swayed on his feet, his eyes begging, though Benny did not know for what.

'He's still fighting' Benny realized. That's why the angel was bleeding. Every time the angel fought back, every time he resisted whatever was attempting to control him, he began to bleed. The angel was bleeding himself dry in his attempt to stop himself. It was obvious, from his trembling, his pained expression, his struggle to communicate, that the damage being done was much worse than simple bleeding. Benny couldn't begin to fathom what was occurring behind those gentle blue eyes, beyond the vessel, to the angel beneath.

"I… can't…" Castiel repeated, his trembling worsened, his pupils dilated. His grip tightened on Benn's throat once more. "I'm sorry" Castiel breathe, the tremors racked his body so viciously Benny could hardly believe that he hadn't fallen out of the angel's grasp. "I know" Benny said softly, kindly, right before the awareness in Castiel's eyes faded completely. An incredibly bright light began to emit from Castiel's palm. Benny closed his eyes slowly as the light began to burn his essence away. No, not his essence… only the darkness. The monster. Benny could feel the vampire, the curse given to him so many lifetimes ago, burn away and leave nothing but the humanity behind. The only problem with this was that Benny's humanity [as that of all monsters] as so tangled up with his curse, that he could not live without it. It was like expecting a soul to remain once the body had been killed off. The soul would survive, just not in this world.

Benny briefly wondered where he would go. Would he still go to Purgatory? Or were his choices now between Heaven and Hell? Had his killing of the hunter doomed him to Hell? Or had his switching off humans helped reserve a spot for him in Heaven? Benny could feel the last of the vampire burn away under the intense light. Right before he went, Benny thought of the oddest thing, Castiel's eyes. He realized what he saw in them now, when Castiel lost the fight. It wasn't that Castiel's eyes were unfocused. It was that they completely lacked any and all sense of emotion… Castiel's light burned off the last of him and he crumpled to the ground, his phone bouncing off his palm, and into the leaves.

Castiel's hand relaxed, letting the imp body of the vampire slip from his grasp and onto the ground. He swayed on his feet for a moment, unsteady, before his eyes rolled into his head and he crumbled to the ground as well.

XxX

Sam paced in the room; he occasionally glanced out the window, staring at the spot in the parking lot where Castiel had vanished. Dean sat on one of the beds, his elbows resting on his knees, his gaze on the ugly burgundy carpet, his cell phone in his hands. 'Come on Cas, you selfish bastard! Answer me!' Dean prayed angrily. Half an hour had barely gone by but both of the Winchester brothers felt anxious and worried. They had both seen Castiel's eyes roll into his eyes, the empty look, and the blood. They had just stood there, staring at the spot their friend had occupied, for several seconds before finally unfreezing. They had both known there was little they could do. They'd gone back into the motel to wait- and Dean hadn't stopped praying since.

'Cas, you son-of-a-bitch, I swear…if you're dead…I'mma follow you to the other side just so I can kick your feathery ass!' Dean prayed, taking in a shuddering breath. 'Just, please' Dean began. 'Please be okay' he thought, closing his eyes. This was all too familiar, and not in a good way. He remembered Purgatory; he remembered praying to Cas every night. Sometimes he'd swear he'd kill the angel himself for leaving him. Other times he simply called to him, hoping he'd hear the familiar flutter of wings. There was a brief period when he had alternated from begging Cas to just be okay, to reassuring him that he was looking for him and that he would find him. The only difference this time was that Cas hadn't just disappeared, Dean had seen with his own eyes that Cas was in trouble [angels didn't just start bleeding out of the blue] and that this time, Dean wasn't running to go look for him, he was sitting on a bed. He knew Sam had been right when he said it was pointless to try and look for Cas, when an angel wanted to disappear, he disappeared. Cas could be up in Heaven for all they knew… This knowledge didn't keep Dean from kicking himself for being unable to protect Cas.

'Cas? Cas, buddy, can you hear me? Cas… Cas, where are you? Are you hurt? What the hell happened back there? Cas? Cas! Cas, you little son-of-a-bitch, don't do this to me! Don't you dare! Don't… don't… don't be dead… please' Dean's shoulders sagged, almost as if in defeat. He couldn't… he didn't think he could take this… again. He'd just gotten Cas back! 'Cas, please' he thought, squeezing his eyes shut.

Dean opened his eyes, staring at his phone. Benny had called him several minutes ago. Dean had just let it go to voice mail. He couldn't deal with the vampire right now. Benny had left a message, but Dean had ignored that too. Benny, Martin, the whole damn business with Elizabeth, it all couldn't have been further from his mind at the moment. He closed his eyes again, he could see Sam pace from the corner of his eye, and he'd rather not. There was a sound like the flutter of wings, then Sam's surprised "Cas!" Dean smiled softly to himself before opening his eyes and raising his head.

Cas' sudden appearance in the motel did not startle Sam, he was more than used to the sound of fluttering wings. He whirled around to see Cas standing there, not hurt, not dying, not even looking as if he were being chased or if he had been attacked. Cas appeared casual, he blinked, startled, when Sam shouted his name "Cas!" and rushed over to him. Cas took a step back, as if spooked by the larger man's charge, so Sam refrained from hugging him. There was always a chance Cas might just poof away again. Sam took a deep breath and back up, he could see Cas visibly relax when Sam slipped into a more natural [for him] stance. "Cas…" Sam heard his brother say, the bed creaked when he stood up. Cas turned around just in time to be caught in a bear-hug, Dean pulled the slighter man in tight, a relieved smile on his face.

Sam looked at Cas' face, which furrowed in confusion, as the angel tried to turn his head a bit, to look at Dean, who quickly pulled away. Cas' head was tilted slightly, he clearly hadn't been expecting the hug. "What the hell happened back there, Cas?" Dean asked, his eyes narrowing as his voice taking a more aggressive tone now that the relief had passed. Cas's eyes betrayed even more confusion. "Wha- What do you mean?" he asked slowly. Dean's eyes narrowed even more, if Sam didn't know any better he'd have though his brother was mad at Cas. That wasn't the case, however, he knew Dean was frightened for Cas and was likely also angry with himself… Dean had a tendency to blame himself.

"What? What do you mean, 'what'?" Dean said. "The blacking out, the blank stare, the blood?!" he
said, getting more worked up with every word. Cas was slowly shaking his head "I don't unders- I don't know what you're talking about Dean" he said. Dean looked like he was about to start shouting, which wouldn't do anyone any good if Cas truly didn't remember, so Sam stepped in. He grabbed onto the angel's shoulder, turning him slightly so he was facing him. "Cas, what's the last thing you remember, before coming here?" Sam asked gently in that you-can-confide-all-your-problems-to-me-you-can-totally-trust-me-I'm-only-here-to-help voice. Dean glared at him, Sam made sure he stayed focused on Cas, ignoring his brother. Cas seemed to concentrate. "I… I woke up" he said, as if he wasn't sure why whatever memory he was looking was there in the first place. "Woke up?" Sam and Dean said simultaneously.

"Care to explain, Cas?" Dean asked, coming forward to stand beside Cas and Sam. Cas looked down, thinking. "I woke up, in a forest… I came right back here as soon as I gathered my bearings" Cas said, seeming as surprise and confused as Dean and Sam that that was all he remembered. "And… and before that? What do you remember before waking up?" Sam asked. Cas stared at Sam intently, as if trying to find the answer in the tall man' eyes, his face slackened as he focused on something far away. A small tremor passed through the angel's slender vessel, his eyes glazing over. "Kevin" he said, blinking his eyes, they were focused once more. "What?" Dean blurted out at the same time Sam asked "What about him?" Cas blinked a few times, glancing at the ground. "I was… I was going to… I had to find Kevin…" he said, uncertain at first but his voice quickly gaining confidence as he fit the pieces of the puzzle together.

"Okay, I'll bite… why?" Dean asked. "And what does Kevin have to do with you blacking out and bleeding from your eye?" he added. Cas blinked at him, still obviously not having a clue what Dean was talking about. "Did you… go to find Kevin, and blacked out before you could get there?" Sam asked. "No…I… I… I was going to find Crowley" Cas said, his brow furrowed. Dean's face went blank; he blinked owlishly before shouting "What The Hell Cas? Why the Hell would you do that? You could've gotten yourself killed!" Cas narrowed his eyes and squared his shoulders. Sam backed up; it was out of his hands now. "Dean" Cas began, his voice filled with power, reminding Dean it was still an angel he was talking to. "Crowley has half of the Demon Tablet, the tablet I broke… We have to get it back if we ever hope to finish this. We may not get Heaven on earth-"

"Who would want that anyways" Dean muttered, earning him a glare from Cas.

"We may not have Heaven on earth, but sealing all demons away is good enough. It's the least I can do after everythin- We don't know if Crowley can use his half of the tablet to find the other half, or Kevin himself. Either result could be disastrous, we must recover the other half of the tablet and return it to the prophet" Cas said, eyes narrowed ever so slightly. "I'm sure Kevin and Mrs. Tran are safe with Garth" Sam said, putting a comforting hand on the angel. "But it wouldn't hurt to check up on them… We can also ask Garth about finding the other half of the tablet, maybe Kevin can tune into it somehow" he said. Cas was right, the mission at hand was important, they could be closing the Gates of Hell forever… they couldn't stray off task. Sam glanced at his brother; their conversation would have to wait… Dean didn't seem to be in a conversing mood anyhow.

Dean rolled his eyes but still walked back to the bed and began to pack his stuff. How could Cas have been so stupid as to try and take Crowley on alone? Was he even at full strength yet? Dean flinched internally at the thought that Crowley might be ready for Cas… might even be waiting for the foolish child to face him on his own…

Dean zipped up his bag, "This isn't over Cas, you are never to do that again. We do this together, or we don't do it at all" he said. "Of course, Dean" Castiel said, watching Dean walk out the door and to the parking lot, his steps just a bit too quick. He was obviously still irritated. Sam pat his shoulder, "He'll get over it" he said "He was just worried, is all, we both were… You got friends Cas, don't think you have to go through anything alone" he said, giving his shoulder a squeeze before walking out the door as well. Castiel took a step forward to follow, he swayed on his feet, his right hand came up to support his weight on the nearest wall.

Warm, thick liquid began to run down from the corner of Castiel's eye. He squeezed his eyes shut and braced himself against the wall as images of light, white rooms, a silver needle, and trees flashed in his mind as well as stabs of fear and pain. "Hey Cas, you coming?" Deans voiced carried in from the parking lot. Castiel opened his eyes, his left had reached up to wipe away at the blood, he blinked at it curiously, it was gone the next moment, from both his hand and his face. He slowly pushed himself away from the wall and walked out the door, closing it behind him.