So here is another take on 8x14, I guess I just can't get enough ;) The premise of this story? Well, I just figured there had to be some reason why Dean, after surviving a year in Purgatory, couldn't get the one-up on a damn hellhound. To anyone who decides to take a look at this, thank you so much!

Disclaimer: I still own NOTHING!

He had heard Sam's call; had heard the fear that resided in his words; had heard it in the tone the younger Winchester used to express the 'bad feeling' he had about Dean's eagerness, his giddiness to jump right into the trials without any thought to his own safety.

He had heard Sam; that he believed Dean's plan was a dressed up suicide mission and that his brother didn't care whether he managed to come out of the ordeal alive or not.

He did not know what course of action, if any, he should take, however he did know it would not be prudent to talk to Dean openly about Sam's concerns; knew that it would not be advantageous to confront him; history having shown the result would be an argument followed by a level of stubbornness that would only serve to intensify Dean's resolve.

He decided to witness Dean's behaviour himself; to observe the situation as an unseen bystander, unable to ignore the worry he had heard in Sam's voice or his own trepidation that those word had conjured in him.

He now stands silently among the two brothers as they stand face to face. He listens intently to the message Dean's words convey and watches his body language as he speaks. He hears the complete conviction in his voice; hears the urgency woven within them, the palpable need for Sam to understand why he must do this alone. The words wash over him and as his intense blue eyes take in the expression on the older brother's features, it is reminiscent of the look that appeared there during their first meeting; when he had first shown himself to the human he had saved from Hell. Dean, his friend, still, after all that he has suffered and endured, holds firm to the belief that he is not worthy enough to be permitted to survive; that the privilege is to be Sam's alone.

He tracks Dean's movements as he finishes his passionate speech; as he heads off alone into the night to face the hound of Hell. The powerful and emotionally charged words still linger and have managed to silence Sam; have stopped him from voicing his own, leaving the younger Winchester speechless to stand helplessly and gaze upon the space his brother had occupied.

He gazes at Sam's expression and finds unshed tears welling in the young man's eyes.

He knows the emotions that swirl within Sam's mind, as they are the same that swirl within his.

He had never given the idea of suicide much heed, but the intensity in which Dean spoke of how he envisions his life will end compels him to ensure that the possibility of that outcome is removed.

A decision is made in that moment.

Castiel will not allow Dean to be the one who completes the trials.

The End.

A/N: I know, I kinda left it up in the air, feel free to let me know what you think and whether you feel a follow up chapter is needed. Thanks for stopping by! :)