Rain drizzled down upon two figures as they stood across from each other, wide eyed, teeth bared in gruesome snarls as they circled each other in the dark alleyway. They were both panting, blood dribbling down the man's face as he faced the woman.

"You know what you must do, et you still have not done it." the woman spoke in a high, cruel voice. Her bright green eyes looked over him once more a she paced, eyes never leaving his, blonde hair dripping wet. A chilly wind followed, more rain falling upon them.

"You cannot fight this." The woman growled. "You think you can, but you can't. We will find you again, and we will take you back." She warned, watching water dot the man's trench coat as he looked back at her, alarm in his blue eyes.

"It will get done." He said, his gravelly voice echoing around the ally, blue eyes lowering to the ground.

"Do not ignore us," the woman growled, leaning in close to him, emphasis on each word as she spit them through her teeth. "Sooner or later, it will happen and you will have no power over it." The woman said. "This is your one chance. You have once week to set things straight."

With a blink of an eye, she had vanished, leaving Castiel alone in the dark.

. . .

(Two days later)

Weariness tugged at Dean's bones as he sank onto his motel bed, exhaustion weighing the hunter down as he closed his eyes. One eighteen hour drive down, another case to go. Dean almost groaned at the thought of it. Sam had been going non-stop with the cases, bringing him once after another. Some nights, Dean was lucky he got his four hours. They went State to State, city to city.

Dean knew Sam was only looking for Dean's trust, but right about now all Dean wanted to do was shove Sam in a closet somewhere and take a long nap. Warm waves of sleep began to wash over Dean, gently lapping at his bruised and broken skin, licking the pain away.

They had a run in with a violent spirit on their last case and with Dean's luck; he got the brunt of the abuse. The spirit had been a murder victim who was killed in a particularly cruel way. The killer had first slit the woman's throat before beginning to disembowel her slowly.

If it hadn't been for Castiel, Dean would've been a bloody mess on the basement floor of the woman's old house. Dean opened one eye, looking around the room slowly in search for his coated friend. Where the Hell was Cas? He had been behind the Dean the whole time as they walked to the motel room, where did he go?

He slowly got up, moving with care, his aching joints protesting as he got off the bed, rubbing a hand over his face. It was silent in the motel room and Dean figured he may have gone to find Sam or something, but something told Dean this wasn't right.

Grabbing his jacket, he slipped it on before opening the door. The cold North Dakota air stung his eyes as he looked around the empty parking lot for Cas. His hand automatically went to the hand gun he kept at his belt as he looked around.

"Cas!" He called, listening intently. He would usually come to call, but now Dean stood alone. That was a bad sign if Dean ever saw one. A high pitched sound of pain caught Dean's attention, the sound coming from around the corner near the soda machines. Dean picked up his pace, gun held firmly in front of him as he rounded the corner, hiding behind the soda machine. He stopped, listening, pressing himself to the side of the machine.

"Castiel, this is it. The last time." a high voice said.

"I will not - " Castiel's retort was cut off by his gasp of pain, followed by a dull thud as he fell to the ground. Dean's hand clenched around the gun as he prepared to spring out and shoot whatever was attacking him.

"You care to much and you're headstrong. Angel's were created to obey. This is a simple task that you do not even have to complete yourself, yet you -" she cut off, seething in her moment of annoyance.

"You have until the end of the week, Castiel. No more games."

Dean leapt out from behind the soda machine, gun raised high as he looked for the woman. She was gone, Castiel laying on the cold cement, blood trickling from his mouth. Dean rushed over to him, laying his gun down as he looked around.

"You bitch." he murmured, rolling Castiel over. She had gotten him good. No doubt she was an Angel, and they weren't exactly on Dean's good side. All they were to him were Dick's with wings.

"Cas. Cas buddy." Dean shook him once before attempting to hoist him up.

"Dean." he murmured, blinking his eyes once before going limp. Dean held him up, looking around once more. Cas had been weak to begin with, but an Angelic beating didn't exactly help him at the moment. And where the Hell was Sam?

Skip/Skip/Skip/Skip/Skip/Skip/Skip/Skip/Skip/Skip

By the time Dean had finally gotten Castiel back to the room and in bed, Sam had arrived bearing Cheese burgers and information.

"Dean!" He called, shutting the door behind him. "Guess wh- What the Hell happened?" he stopped midsentence, immediately question Dean as he found Castiel, bruised and passed out.

"Man, I don't know," Dean sighed, walking out of the bathroom. "He was talkin with another Angel. Found 'em like this." Dean watched as Sam's face twisted from disbelief to questioning.

"Wait a minute, another Angel? What does another Angel want with Castiel?"

"He needed to get something in a week." Dean ran a hand through his hair. "But he didn't have to. They said it would be done for him or something. What the hell is going on?" Sam nodded, arms crossed as he looked down at Castiel once more.

"Good question."

Skip/Skip/Skip/Skip/Skip?Skip/SKip/SKip

It was several hours before Castiel awoke. He woke with a start, sweaty and panting as he looked around. His body hurt, his mouth tasted awful, like he had decided licking a rusty pole was the best idea in the world. That's when he remembered. He remembered Shauna, how she had come to talk with him again. Talk. Castiel didn't think he had ever heard a funnier joke, and being an Angel of his age, he had heard a lot of jokes.

He got up slowly, the cold air hitting his skin. He felt somewhat naked and looked down at himself. His trench coat and suit had been shed from his skin, a thin dress shirt the only thing covering him now.

It hurt to breathe and the feel of Shauna's foot against his chest came back to him as he searched for his missing clothing.

"Lookin' for these." Castiel turned around, coming face to face with Dean. He held his clothes in one hand, a bloody wash cloth in the other, his face hard and stern.

"Thank you Dean." Cas rasped, flinching at the dryness of his throat, hands reaching out for his coat and jacket. Dean pulled back, mouth pressed in a tight line.

"Wanna tell me what all that was about, Cas?" He asked, freezing the angel. He didn't speak for a few minutes, eyes searching Dean's face.

"I would rather not talk about my private affairs." Cas said in a firm voice, reaching once more for his clothes.

"But I do. Who was that chick and why was she whaling on you?" Dean took another step back, flinching slightly at the cold fire that suddenly flared in Castiel's eyes as Dean pressed him further.

"Why can't you mind your own buisness." Cas snapped, snatching his coat from Dean weakly. As he began to slip it on, he stumbled over to the bed, sitting down on it with a sigh. He looked back up at Dean, a defeated look in his eyes as he looked back up.

"You should know." He muttered. "I have to...find a mate." Cas fidgeted with his hands.

"A..Mate..." Dean trailed off. "Angel's do that?"

"A mate that stays by your side. They are devoted to you, connected to you." Cas said in one breath. "Once you become the proper age, you take on a mate that will fight by your side in battles, or journey with you when you come to Earth."

Dean's face scrunched up as he took in this information, clasping his hands together.
"And you need to because...Why not just fly solo?" He smiled at his own pun, smile disolving as he met Castiel's glare.

"We do things differently than the human's, Dean. It is proper."

"Ok, isn't there anybody you would want to be...'Connected' to?" Dean asked, stolling over to him. "I mean, some angel ought to have caught your eye by now."

Castiel shook his head, leaning back. "I feel no attraction fo any Angel's I know...But It doesn't matter, Dean."

"Why not?"

"Because that woman, her name is Shauna. We were assigned to be mates since the beginning of time. Unless I could find another person." he said with a straight face, yet Dean could see the pain in his eyes.

"Wait, are you telling me the bitch that did this to you is supposed to be connected to you for all of eternity unless you find another mate?" Dean asked, turning towards Castiel. Cas nodded slowly.

"I cannot fight it. Once we are mated, we remain by each others side and..."

"And?" Dean raised an eyebrow.

"I won't be able to have any direct contact with you or Sam."