Dean came to with a start, already despising angels and their stupid zapping.

Blurred veins etched through his field of vision whenever his unfocused eyes blinked open. He forced himself to relax and breathe, despite the faint bubblings of annoyance building up inside him already. When his eyes properly grabbed onto reality, he recognized the veins as trees, trunks bare until about thirty feet up, leaning over him as if to see if he was alive. The branches of needles clustered closer to the top, retreating from the unnatural intruder lying at their feet. Shattered sunlight wriggled between the branches, almost as though the clustered were a second layer of clouds. Dean slowly brought himself up and rubbed his eyes, his hand brushing against the beginnings of a beard.

He sat back on his hands and blew out through a pursed hole in his lips. "Hey!" he called. "Didya finally invest in a sense of humor?" A crow squawked a ways away. With a final exhale, he stood and brushed his back, removing the litter of leaves and other loose vegetation. Dean slowly turned over his shoulder until he'd seen every angle of his surroundings, each one no different from the last. Hands searched his clothes, trying to find a gun, but all of his pockets were empty of even a single bullet. It was an uncomfortable feeling for him. He rolled his shoulders and started walking.


Forest flattened into a cornfield after only a few minutes of walking, and a road was visible about a half mile from the coniferous forest face. "Cas! Cut the crap! Knock it off!" Dean's voice echoed around the field. The sky brightened as he crunched through the weeds, each step fraying his sanity more and more. This wasn't like him. Cas didn't do stuff like this. Hell, the worst thing he'd done was smash a few windows with a pulled finger. He wouldn't go this far.

He stopped and looked around. It looked like an American landscape, maybe midwestern. "Gabriel?" he tried. Silence.

His first mission upon arriving at the highway was to find a sign. The closest marked the empty road that split the neighboring fields as Highway 12, and he recognized the sign as Wisconsin-make. Dean growled and turned around to see a car whiz by on the opposite side and honk. "Screw you, too," he muttered, rubbing his face.

Dean rolled up his green sleeves and began down the road.

The dulled slap of his shoes echoed rhythmically, punctuated occasionally with the roar of a car. Dean prepared himself for the next car to whiz by, but was surprised when the car slowed and came to a stop next to him. "Needa lift?" asked the woman, her arms resting on the steering wheel at the forearm and a smile arcing under pulled-back hair. Dean smiled and reached for the door.

He came to on a bed of needles, staring at the trees above him and swallowing an echo of a "thank you."