A/N: Hello everyone. This is something I wrote because I was wondering about the consequences of Cas not having an anti-possession tattoo. It can be read as either friendship or pre-slash. I hope you like it!

Disclaimer: No part of Supernatural or its characters belong to me.

It had been three weeks, two days, and twenty-two hours since Dean Winchester had kicked Castiel out of the Men of Letters' bunker. Though the first few days had been rocky, the fallen angel was now doing fairly well on his own. He had a job at a Gas-n-Sip, and though he was only making minimum wage, he was never as cold or hungry or lost as he had been in his first few days of humanity. He had found an old woman, Rosemary, who was willing to give him shelter in her spare bedroom, and in return Castiel bought her groceries and took care of her house and garden. She had shown him some of the astonishing kindness that Castiel was beginning to associate with the human race.

He tried to share that kindness with others, especially those who came into his store. He often gave granola bars and water to the homeless who came in to use the restroom, taking the money from his own meager pay. He remembered those who had shared with him when he had nothing, and he endeavored to be as good as them. He had been a failure as an angel, and he was determined to be better as a human.

But the woman who came into the Gas-n-Sip that day was clearly not homeless. She was clean and well-dressed, and she carried herself with an air of regality that Castiel was used to seeing in the angels. She looked around the otherwise empty store, and Castiel wondered if she was lost.

"Can I help you, ma'am?" he asked. The red haired woman turned to him, a smile pulling up the corners of her mouth.

"Possibly," she replied, striding towards him. She looked him up and down, smile widening. Castiel wondered if she was sexually attracted to him. That had happened a few times in the past three weeks, but Castiel had never responded to the flirtations, the memory of his disastrous encounter with April still too fresh in his mind. But apparently that was not what this woman was after. "You really should have gotten an anti-possession tattoo instead of all that fancy Enochian."

"Excuse me?" asked Castiel, a chill creeping into his stomach.

He reached towards his waistband for his angel sword, but before he could grasp the cool metal blade, the woman took his chin in an iron grip and yanked him forward across the counter. She opened her mouth and a filthy black torrent of smoke rushed out of it. The vile tide rose up around Castiel and crammed itself down his throat, choking him, suffocating him. Every cell in his body shied away from the pure evil taint of the demon. He felt himself being crushed, stamped down into a back corner of his mind.

How dare you, he tried to say, but the words would not leave his chest. Panic rising, Castiel tried to fight, to shout, to pinch himself; anything that would have told him that he had not just been overtaken by a filthy demon. But it was useless. He had completely lost control.

Oh, I've dared to do a lot more than this, sweetheart, the icy voice whispered in his head. And this is just the beginning. The plans I have for you…

What do you want from me, you filthy creature? Castiel asked, still struggling to free himself from the smothering control.

You'd better watch how you talk to me, the demon snapped. I am a Knight of Hell. You are a pitiful excuse for a human.

Abbadon, Castiel realized, remembering what Sam had told him about the demon that had come from 1958 and killed Henry Winchester. Dean had mentioned that she was organizing an army, filling the power vacuum that Crowley had left.

So you've heard of me, said the demon, sounding pleased. Well I've heard of you too, Castiel. Word on the street is that you're the best way of getting to the Winchesters. I thought I'd test the theory out.

Castiel could feel Abbadon searching through his head, examining his memories. He knew what she was after, and he struggled to block all thoughts of the Men of Letters' bunker. He would not lead the demon to the Winchesters and Kevin, would not expose his friends.

Nice try, Cassie, but you're not that strong, said Abbadon. She easily broke through the wall that Castiel had tried to construct, reaching every single memory that he had. So your boys really did find the Men of Letters, huh? Figures. Just when I stomp out one generation of those pests, another one takes its place. Although I must say, I'm looking forward to taking care of those boys. Handsome, aren't they? I think I'll take my time destroying them. It's been a while since I had a little fun.

No, growled Castiel, fear squeezing his chest. Because he could sense Abbadon's thoughts as well, could see some of her plans for Sam and Dean. Don't touch them. Don't you dare. I will tear you apart.

Now that would be interesting to see. How exactly are you gonna do that, flyboy? 'Cause it seems to me like you're pretty powerless in this situation. I'm going to use you to rip your boys to shreds, and there's nothing you can do about it.

Castiel threw himself against the edges of his mind with a snarl, beating against the bounds of the demon's control. But the creature just laughed. This was ridiculous. Sam had overcome the Devil himself when he was possessed, and Castiel could not even handle a simple demon. True, perhaps the world was not on the line this time, but everything that Castiel cared about was. But try as he might, Castiel could not recover an inch of control from Abbadon. He felt the demon curl their shared lips into a smile as he finally gave up, sagging into the corner of his mind in defeat.

That's better, the demon said. Now how about we go pay a visit to those dashing boys?

Castiel could only watch from inside as Abbadon strode out of the small convenience store, shrugging her shoulders to get used to her new body. Though the vessel had originally belonged to Jimmy Novak, his spirit had been gone for a long time. Castiel had been in this shape for so long that it felt like his own, and he loathed the feeling of utter wrongness that his possession was causing.

Then Abbadon took another step forward and everything went dark. For a moment Castiel feared that the demon had put him to sleep to prevent his intervention, but then the world reappeared around them and he realized that they had simply translocated. Odd; the sensation was nothing like the flying that Castiel was used to, and that he feared he would never experience again. But when he saw where they were, all thoughts of flying faded from his mind.

Please, Abbadon, he begged, as the demon surveyed the hillside that housed the bunker. She smiled as she fixed her eyes on the door that would lead her straight to the Winchesters. Don't do this.

The demon simply laughed, enjoying his panic.

They won't even let you in, said Castiel, a spark of hope igniting within him. They cast me out. They don't care about me anymore. They won't open the door.

We'll see about that, Abbadon told him. She snapped her fingers, and another demon appeared.

"I see that you were successful in your mission, your highness," said the new demon.

You make them call you 'your highness'? asked Castiel disdainfully. Abbadon ignored him, speaking instead to her subject.

"You know what to do."

What-? Castiel began as the demon nodded and approached them. But the thought was cut off as a burst of agony exploded in his leg. The demon had kicked it forcefully enough to snap the bone. The fallen angel would have screamed, but Abbadon was in control of his mouth, and the pain did not seem to bother her.

But boy, did it bother Castiel. The demon continued to pummel his body, landing kick after kick on what felt like every inch of his skin. The fallen angel was certain that human bodies were not designed to sustain beatings like this. But he understood Abbadon's plan. Despite Dean's new apathy towards Castiel, there was no way that he would turn the man away in this state. Dean was far too honorable for that.

Eventually, Abbadon seemed to be satisfied with their condition. She held up a hand and the other demon ceased the assault. In the absence of new pain, the agony of Castiel's injuries flared up with fresh force, stunning him. Had Abbadon not been breathing for him, he was fairly certain that his lungs would have stopped functioning, especially since it felt like they had been pierced by his broken ribs. Even the demon was forced to spit out the mouthful of blood that had gurgled up in their throat. Then she squeezed their fist shut, and the demon that had been attacking them choked, gripping his throat as his eyes widened in fear. A light sparked and flashed from within his body, and Castiel recognized the sight of a demon dying.

He did what you asked, said Castiel. He could not have cared less about the demon's life, but he was surprised that Abbadon was killing her own subject.

He laid a hand on his queen, replied Abbadon unapologetically. Just because I commanded it doesn't mean he can get away with it.

Castiel said nothing more, watching with fresh disgust as the demon finally crumpled to the ground. Abbadon waved their hand, and the body vanished. Then they turned back to the door, and Castiel remembered why he had such a sick feeling in his newly human stomach. Abbadon smiled as she used their one good arm to haul their body down the stairs that led to the entrance of the bunker. She pounded on the door. There was no response, and Castiel dared to hope that the Winchesters would just ignore them. But then Abbadon knocked again, and they heard the faint hammering of footsteps, growing louder as someone approached the door.

"What happened, Sam, did you lose your key?" asked Dean's voice as the door opened. "I was in the middle of watching-"

Dean's voice cut off, and Abbadon looked up to see him standing in the entranceway, looking around at Sam level in confusion.

"Dean," croaked Abbadon in Castiel's voice. The hunter looked down, eyes widening in alarm when he spotted their broken body. He dropped to his knees beside them, reaching out his hands to grasp them by the shoulders.

"Cas?" he asked, and had Castiel not been so certain that Dean no longer cared, he would have sworn that there was fear for him in the man's voice. "Cas, what happened?"

"Demons," choked out Abbadon. "They attacked me. I b-barely made it here."

Dean ran his hands over Castiel's body, searching for injuries. This time, Abbadon let the fallen angel's pain come out in a scream when the hunter's fingers grazed over a broken rib. Dean's face hardened into lines of anger and worry. He scooped Castiel into his arms, and though he was clearly trying to be gentle, the jostling sent another fiery wave through his battered body. Abbadon cried out again, and Dean winced.

"I'm sorry, Cas," he said, his voice husky with concern. "I'm so sorry, but I've got to get you to the medical bay. I'll get you sorted out soon, I promise."

Oh, I think you're wrong about this one not caring, said Abbadon silkily. Think how surprised he's going to be when you peel his face off.

No. Castiel struggled once more against the demon's control. Because it was real now. He was there, in Dean's arms, and he was about to torture him to death. Castiel had survived many things in his thousands of years of life, but he did not think that he could survive that. But despite his desperation, Abbadon effortlessly maintained her control. The fallen angel could hear the demon laughing at him as Dean carried them through the bunker.

"Alright, Cas, here we go," said Dean, sounding relieved as he carried his friend into what had clearly served as the Men of Letters medical facility. The hunter set Castiel down gently onto one of the narrow beds, before rushing to a cabinet and extracting supplies. "Where are you hurt, Cas?" he asked when he returned to Castiel's bedside.

"I believe they broke several bones," whispered Abbadon roughly in Castiel's voice. "My ribs are particularly uncomfortable."

"Okay. I'll give you some painkillers in a second, but I need to see how bad it is. Just hang on, buddy."

Dean squared his shoulders and began to tug off Castiel's jacket. When Abbadon let another whimper of pain escape, the hunter winced.

"Ah, screw it," he said, reaching for a pair of scissors. He cut open Castiel's shirt and the sleeves of his jacket. The cool air felt nice on Castiel's battered skin, but Dean sucked in an audible breath when he saw what must have been some truly impressive damage. Rage flared up in his eyes, and his hands clenched into fists.

"Dean?" prompted Abbadon after the hunter had been silent for a few seconds.

"Demons did this to you?" Dean asked, his voice sounding strange. Abbadon nodded. "They had better hope you killed them, because if they're still alive…"

"They're not," Abbadon told him, which was actually not a lie. "I'm not completely useless, Dean."

"I never should have let you leave," said Dean, shaking his head as he reached for the medical supplies that he had collected. "I knew something like this would happen."

Had Castiel been in control of his own voice, he would have told Dean that none of this was his fault, though he doubted that his friend would believe him. But Castiel was not in control, and Abbadon did not care about alleviating Dean's guilt.

"Where's Sam?" she asked instead.

"On a supply run," Dean replied his face becoming more strained. "You, uh, you might not be able to see him when he gets back."

"Why not?"

"It's complicated, Cas. I'm just gonna need you to trust me."

Those were familiar words, coming from Dean. But every time Castiel ignored them, something bad happened. He had made a promise to himself never to ignore them again, but Abbadon did not seem eager to adhere to that promise. She had no intention of staying away from Sam. And now that she knew he was coming back, she had no reason to maintain her cover.

"I don't think so," she said, ignoring their broken bones and sitting up so that she was facing a rather surprised Dean.

"What? Cas, lay back down, you're going to hurt yourself," he said, pressing a hand to their shoulder to try to keep them in place.

"What more could I possibly do to myself that you haven't already done?" asked Abbadon, staring earnestly at Dean. "You let me get hurt, over and over, you let me die for you, over and over. How exactly are you going to take care of me now?"

"I'm sorry, Cas," said Dean, sounding and looking like he had been punched in the gut. "You know I never wanted any of that. Look, I understand why you're angry. I kicked you out; you have every right to be upset, hell, you have every right to hate my guts. But that doesn't change the fact that you're hurt bad, and I'm your only treatment option. So let me take care of you, please."

"No," said Abbadon with a cruel smile. She stood, despite their broken leg, and took a step toward Dean, who backed away uncertainly. "Not this time."

She launched one of Castiel's fists at Dean's face, sending the hunter reeling back into one of the cabinets.

"This time I get to be the one doing the hurting." She punched Dean again, knocking him to the floor this time. She kneeled beside him, holding him down with one hand, and plunging the other into his abdomen. Dean screamed, and Castiel screamed too, though his was inaudible. He wanted to recoil from the feeling of Dean's blood pooling around his fingers, but even now he could not break free of Abbadon's control.

"Who are you?" choked Dean as Abbadon dug her fingers deeper into his stomach. "What did you do to Cas?"

"Oh, but I am Cas," Abbadon whispered into Dean's ear. "After everything that you did to me, you're honestly surprised that it came to this? You think you deserve better? Well, you don't. You destroy lives, Dean, and now I am going to destroy yours."

"No," Dean gasped. "I know Cas. You're not him."

Abbadon sighed. She leaned forward, a cruel smile playing across her lips. She stared into Dean's eyes and blinked, and Castiel knew that their icy blue eyes had turned solid black. Dean recoiled in horror.

"No," he said again. "Get out of him."

"Oh, I don't think so," said Abbadon, her smile widening. "See, you wouldn't let me in, so now I'm going to have some fun with your favorite toy. Too bad you won't be around to see it."

"Abbadon," spat Dean, recognition and fury overtaking his paling face. A small part of Castiel was relieved. At least now Dean knew the truth. He knew that there was no way that Castiel would do this to him of his own volition. "Let him go, bitch."

Abbadon just laughed.

"Your precious little fallen angel is going to rip you to pieces," she told the hunter gleefully. "Then he's going to do the same thing to your little brother, then to the prophet brat. And it won't stop. Castiel is going to torture, and murder, and destroy. He's going to lead the forces of hell to rise on earth, leaving rivers of blood in his wake. And it's all your fault."

The naked panic in Dean's eyes mirrored what Castiel was feeling as he watched the hunter slipping away. Dean choked, clearly trying to say something, but blood sprayed out instead of words. His hand scrabbled weakly at their arm, and Castiel was reminded forcefully of that night in the crypt, when someone else had tried to force him to kill Dean. He had been strong enough to overcome Naomi's influence, and he would be damned if he could not overcome Abbadon's.

Castiel filled his mind with thoughts of Dean; of his astonishing capacity for goodness, his unwavering loyalty, his ability to make Castiel smile. He thought of his years with Dean, memories of teaching and being taught, of fighting together and fighting each other, of all the mistakes made and forgiven, of saving him and being saved by him. He would save Dean Winchester one more time.

The fallen angel slammed through the barrier in his mind that was Abbadon's power, feeling control over his limbs rush back all at once as his eyes lost their inky film. He extracted his hand from Dean's abdomen, but maintained pressure in an attempt to stop the terrifying tide of blood that was rushing from the wound.

"Cas?" Dean's voice was little more than a weak gurgle, but Castiel could hear the desperate hope in it. He did his best to give Dean a reassuring smile.

"It's me, Dean," he said softly. "Don't worry. I will take care of you now."

He did not know how to keep his promise. He had never been so desperate for his lost angel powers as he was in that moment, when Dean so clearly needed them. He was useless. Dean did not seem to mind though. He smiled weakly, teeth coated in his own blood.

"You beat her," he whispered with unmistakable pride. But Castiel did not deserve that pride. He had done this to Dean, had let Abbadon hurt him. And now he could not fix him.

"Just…just hold on, Dean," said Castiel urgently. But he knew enough about humans to realize that the injury was fatal. Dean clearly knew it too. He squeezed Castiel's arm, trying to choke out more words. The fallen angel leaned closer, not wanting Dean to have to work so hard to be heard. But whatever the hunter had been about to say died on his lips, escaping in a final soundless breath as his entrancing green eyes lost their light and focus. Though Castiel no longer had his powers, he imagined that he could feel Dean's soul rushing past him, bound for the heaven that was closed to angels.

"Dean," Castiel said again, though he knew the man was gone. "Dean. Dean."

He repeated the name over and over, pulling the hunter's motionless body into his arms. It hurt, but Abbadon was still inside of him, holding him together. As he held Dean in his broken arms, a tide of grief beyond anything that Castiel had ever known rose up inside him. His head felt like it was going to explode with the force of it. He frowned when he saw a glistening drop of moisture land on Dean's cheek. He wiped it away gently, then looked up for its source. When he saw no leaks in the ceiling, he realized that he had generated the drop. He wiped at his own face in surprise, staring at his wet palm.

Tears. How very human of him. It would be Dean Winchester that made him shed his first. Rage and anguish and despair tore through Castiel, ripping more and more tears from him. He wanted to climb his way up to heaven and tear his grace from Metatron's dead grasp, wanted to feel the rush of power through his fingers as he restored Dean to full health. But he was trapped in his weak human body, powerless to help the man that he had fallen for.

He felt Abbadon clawing at his consciousness, trying to regain control, but his will was ironclad. He could not save Dean, but he would protect Sam. He owed the younger hunter an explanation and a farewell, but once that was done, Castiel would set off on his own. He would find a way to destroy the demon inside of him, or die trying. Nothing else mattered now.

Castiel had not moved an inch when Sam arrived twenty minutes later. He heard the hunter bustling through the bunker, calling for Dean. Castiel did not bother to look up when he called back, simply shouting his friend's name once and returning to waiting. He did not want to see the look on Sam's face when he entered the room; he did not think he could bear it.

"Cas?" asked Sam's cautious voice. Castiel knew the exact moment that Sam reached the doorway, because the hunter let out a strangled cry. "Dean!"

The sound was worse than Castiel had imagined. The fallen angel braced himself, not sure how he was going to get through his explanation to Sam. But then he felt a hum of power in the air.

"Castiel." While it may have been his voice, it was clearly not Sam speaking. Castiel looked up in surprise, meeting a gaze that was both familiar and alien. Alien because it was not who Castiel was accustomed to seeing when he looked at that face. Familiar because despite his new humanity, Castiel knew that he was looking at one of his brethren.

There was an angel in Sam Winchester. The thought sent all kinds of alarms blaring through Castiel's system. It felt wrong to see his friend possessed, especially since the last time it had happened, Lucifer had been the one pulling Sam's strings. But rationally, Castiel knew who it had to be. Dean had told him of the angel that had come to help them.

"Ezekiel," he stated dully. "Why are you in Sam Winchester?"

"His body was severely damaged," the angel explained. "This was the only way to heal him. Dean agreed to it."

"Did Sam?"

"In a manner of speaking."

Castiel knew that meant no, but he could not muster up the strength to argue. Sam was still alive, and if Ezekiel's presence was the price, then so be it. But then the full implications of that presence sank in, and a wild burst of hope bloomed in Castiel's chest.

"Heal him," he said urgently, placing a hand on Dean's chest. "You still have your grace, your powers. You can save Dean."

"I can," said Ezekiel slowly, not moving. Castiel did not understand what he was waiting for. He opened his mouth to make the demand again, but the other angel spoke once more. "Brother, there is a demon inside you."

"I'm aware," said Castiel impatiently. The rest of what he had been going to say was cut off as Abbadon finally tore free of the confinement that Castiel had placed her in. But instead of retaking control of his body, the demon poured out of him in a funnel of smoke, disappearing through a vent in the wall. She must have known that Ezekiel would kill her if she stayed. But it did not matter. Castiel would track her down eventually. He would destroy her.

But then agony blasted through Castiel's body and he slumped to the ground beside Dean's corpse with a cry. He thought he had been in pain before, but this was something else entirely. Abbadon must have been doing more to keep his body intact than he had thought. Ezekiel kneeled beside him, placing a gentle hand on his shoulder.

"Your injuries are fatal, Castiel," he said softly. The fallen angel knew that his brother was right. He could feel the blood seeping through his chest, could see the fog of dimness growing around the edges of his vision. He knew that he was broken.

"So heal me," he forced out through bloody lips. Ezekiel sighed.

"I will, but you must understand that I am not at full strength," he said regretfully. Castiel frowned in confusion, but then he understood. Ezekiel was telling him that he only had the energy for one miracle, that he could only heal one of the men that needed his help.

"Save Dean," said Castiel immediately.


"Save him, Ezekiel," Castiel insisted weakly. "If all of the years that we worked and fought together mean anything to you, you will heal Dean instead of me."

"Are you certain?" asked Ezekiel. Castiel turned his head painfully to the side so that he could see Dean's face. He moved his unbroken arm a few inches so that he was touching the skin of Dean's hand.

"I'm certain," he said as leaden numbness began to creep through his limbs. "Please."

Ezekiel nodded, removing his hands from Castiel's shoulders and placing them over the gaping wound on Dean's abdomen. He paused, meeting Castiel's gaze again.

"Farewell, brother," he said solemnly. "It has been an honor to serve with you."

"Thank you," whispered Castiel, though his gratitude was for more than Ezekiel's words. It was for his support, his faith throughout the millennia, and for what he was about to do.

Soft light washed over the three men, and Castiel kept his eyes locked on Dean's, waiting with anxious hope for the spark of life to reenter those pools of impossible green. Tears of relief began to trail down his face as he watched Dean pull in a gasping breath, sitting up so suddenly that he nearly butted heads with Ezekiel.

Castiel did not have the strength to move his head anymore but he followed Dean with his eyes as the hunter looked around in confusion. Recollection dawned on his face, quickly followed by fear as he caught sight of Castiel's battered body lying on the floor.

"Cas?" he asked, his voice panicked as he pressed two fingers to Castiel's neck for a pulse, the other hand going to his cheek. "Cas?"

Castiel did not like hearing the pain in Dean's voice, but he could not force words of reassurance past the lips that he could no longer feel. He did try for a smile though. It did not seem to help.

"Zeke!" cried Dean over his shoulder.

But the angel was down for the count, slumped against the wall. Sam would awake soon, but there was nothing that Ezekiel could do to help Castiel. Dean seemed to realize this, because his face twisted into lines of despair, and he pulled Cas to his chest.

"No," he whispered. "No, no, no. Cas, please. Cas!"

The fallen angel could not respond, could not move, could not breathe, could not do anything but lie motionlessly in the warm circle of Dean's arms. The pain was fading now, everything was fading, but Castiel did not mind. Dean was alive, and Sam was alive, and Ezekiel could protect them both. With that knowledge, Castiel simply listened to the soothing sound of Dean's voice as the blackness that had been encroaching on him finally pulled him down into peaceful nothingness.


"Well Castiel, I've gotta say; not what I was expecting, but that was one hell of a story."

Castiel opened his eyes to find that he was sitting on a bench in a very familiar park. It was heaven, his favorite heaven, the one that belonged to the autistic man. Sitting beside him was an angel who was also familiar, though less pleasant.

"Metatron." Castiel could not find it in himself to be angry at his brother, not at that moment.

"Hi Cas. Long time, no see."

Castiel was fairly certain that the angel was being sarcastic, as it had only been a month since Metatron had stolen his grace.

"So this is it," Castiel said, glancing around him again. "One month as human, and now eternity in their afterlife."

"That does seem to be how it goes," said Metatron calmly.

"If I have a human soul, shouldn't I get my own heaven?" Castiel asked.

"What makes you think this isn't it?" Metatron replied. "You did love to spend time here."

Castiel took in the park with a faint smile. He had missed this place, missed the peace of it, especially when he was in Purgatory or struggling through the human world. But it was not his heaven. He was certain of it.

"We are the only ones here," he said by way of explanation. Metatron smiled.

"Fair enough," he said. "You're right. This isn't your heaven. You do have one, though. I'll take you to it, if you want, but I have another proposition for you."

"What more could you possibly want from me?" Castiel's patience was beginning to wear thin. This was the angel who had stolen his grace. Hadn't Castiel done enough for him?

"Please, Castiel, I'm not as unreasonable as you think," said Metatron. "Nor as heartless. I sent you back to earth because I wanted you to have a chance to make a your own story. And that story got cut short a little too soon. I want to give you another chance."

"You mean…you're going to bring me back to life?" said Castiel slowly.

"Unless you want to stay here," Metatron told him. "But between you and me, it can get a little boring."

"So you're sending me back out of what, kindness?" asked Castiel skeptically. Metatron sighed.

"Hard to believe, isn't it?" he said ruefully. "I know you see me as a villain, Castiel, but I'm not. Everything I've done has been in the pursuit of justice. The other angels hurt me and forced me out of my home, so I forced them out too. But you helped me. You gave up everything, albeit unwillingly, so that I could win. So now I'm helping you. You're a good person, and believe it or not, I value that." He paused, chuckling to himself. "And I must say that I'm curious to see what you do with that human life of yours. If you've managed to defeat a Knight of Hell in one month, I can only imagine what you'll do in forty years. So goodbye, Castiel. Enjoy this second chance. Do try to make the most of it."

Before Castiel had the chance to respond, Metatron placed two fingers on his forehead, and his vision went white. When he opened his eyes again, he was staring directly at the tear-stained face of Dean Winchester.

"Cas?" asked Dean in stunned disbelief. Castiel smiled.

"Hello, Dean," he said, his voice gravelly as if he had been asleep for a long time. He realized that Dean must still have been holding his body, because he tightened his grip, pulling Castiel tight to his chest.

"I told you never to die on me again," said Dean roughly.

"Sorry," muttered Castiel, his voice muffled by Dean's shirt. Dean said nothing for a long moment, just pulling in deep breaths and holding onto Castiel. He did not ask what had happened; there would be time for explanations later.

"Come on," said Dean at last, standing and pulling Castiel up with him. Sam, who had been lying on the floor, began to stir. Relief flooded his face when he saw both his brother and his friend in perfect health. He opened his mouth, probably to ask what the hell had just happened, but he closed it again with a sigh after a look at Dean's face. Dean extended a hand to help him to his feet, leading him to the door along with Castiel.

"Where are we going?" the fallen angel asked as he followed the hunters.

"To get you an anti-possession tattoo."

A/N: Thanks for reading! I would really love to hear what you think, if you have a minute. Would you want a sequel?