Cross To Bear

This Can't Be Happening

Surrounded with nowhere to go, it was the second or third time that day Cas saw no exit. This time however there were monsters all around them. To make that even worse Meg was one of them, Dean was with him and he had no idea what the other demons were doing to the rest of the school. It was easily the worst day of his life.

"You're a lot smaller than I pictured," One of the demons lifted the tip of Cas' wing before he pulled it in. He didn't know how he was controlling them; he didn't have time to figure out the details of his body at that moment - he was too focused on the beasts closing in. The way they looked was incredible and if they weren't real he would've been more interested in getting details. The most he could figure out in his panicked mind was that they were all different. Every creature was unique, the scars in their skin, the marks on their faces, and even the shapes of their bones. Some were partially decayed, others had full bodies of skin but their skin wasn't made the way Cas' was, or Dean's.

"He's a fledgling, of course he's small. Look at him, just got his wings." Another laughed; the sound chilled the air around them. Cas wanted to shrink into himself; nightmares of what he'd seen with his grandfather came back to him in sharp flashes. All he could think of was Dean's body in his arms, the bodies littering the yard and blood everywhere. It was happening again. People were dropping like flies, limbs littered the schoolyard and he felt useless.

A demon flew overhead and slammed a student into the wall at incredible speeds; Cas didn't get a chance to see who it was before they were flattened. His stomach tightened and he felt weak. People were thrown from the building, some gutted right there on the lawn, some of them were near him but not near enough for him to help.

He was terrified. Cas no longer had words to describe what was going through his mind or Dean's. It was chaos and it was maddening. He wanted to scream, to disappear, to be gone from all of this. He wished that afternoon could've been like the morning Sam was hoping for, could've been as promising as Jet was an hour before. He wished none of this was happening but he couldn't stop it. Trying to focus on all of it would ruin him; he had to focus on one thing at a time.

Dean kept closer to him and Cas tried to shield them with his wings, his heart pounded heavily as all noise was drowned out by screams. He had to protect Dean, he had to protect himself. He needed to find Sam and Jet and their parents.

Or was it best if he left?

The people all around were being attacked, mauled, thrown against the building and trees repeatedly - blood was everywhere.

No. If he left now it'd only continue. He should've gone already, he should've left when Death spoke to him but he didn't. He didn't leave to save them, so he had to do it now.

All Cas could remember were Death's words, he needed Castiel to live. Cas wanted to say he didn't care about Death's warning, that he didn't care whether or not he lived. But if he didn't do what was needed, if he died prematurely then where would his loved ones go when they died? Or all the people left out in limbo now? He needed to survive, to fight and free the other angels. If he could do that then they'd do the fighting for him.

But he didn't know how to fight, he'd accidentally knocked Dean out a window and that one time he sent both Dean and Jet flying into walls. That was it; he had no clue how to defend himself. But he did know one thing; they had to get out of there.

"Let me take him," Meg spoke up again, as unreadable as always. Cas stared at her past the minions between them, his eyes narrowing with anger and confusion.

"No offense, Meg, but your father says he doesn't want you dealing with angel-boy here." The demon Cas thought didn't have a mouth spoke up, it's face split vertically from right between its eyes to the base of its neck. Cas felt Dean's disgust boil to the surface, enough there for both of them. Though Dean had a little more than disgust in him, he was confused. He couldn't see Meg's face; she still hid in her human form while the other demons didn't hesitate to show their true selves.

"My father doesn't know what he's dealing with. I found him; I should be the one to take him." She protested fiercely and somehow gave Cas the sense that she was on his side. Maybe she was playing both angles and would betray him, but he didn't think so. She'd never showed any sign of it before, in fact he knew that she liked him so why would that change now?

"You found him but failed to bring him in. Azazel needs someone he can trust."

Meg snarled, her eyes were large but solid black. Cas hated her new face; he hated the way it looked nothing like the girl he knew. But that was something he'd have to get used to, this was what she looked like. He didn't have the time to really look; later on he'd try to learn it.

"That angel is mine." Meg growled out the words as she killed her kin standing closest to her with a five inch blade Cas hadn't seen on her. It was so fast he could hardly register that one of them had been slaughtered right there. In the seconds that followed his mind raced, the monsters were going to close in now, they'd attack and then what? The best he could do was use what he had; keeping Dean alive was his priority. How could he save Dean? How could he save himself?

Cas curled his wings in close, waiting for the demons to come at him. They wanted their prey, they wanted a live angel to drag down to hell and unseal it, so they moved toward him all at once. Cas wished it were like a video game or movie where one came at him one at a time, but he was rarely so lucky.

In his current situation, however, he had the advantage. In a flash his wings flared out again and mimicked the moment he'd throttled Dean out the window. Several demons went flying and Cas had to take advantage of the sudden opening around him. "Come on!" He shouted and dragged Dean with him, his hand firmly gripping his brother's forearm. Whatever Meg was doing he'd have to trust that she could handle herself.

"Hey! Cas where are we going?!" Dean didn't know what was going on either but at least he had the mind to go with what Castiel was shouting at him. "We need to find Sam!"

'I know that, okay?!' He thought dismally as he rushed away from the swarm behind them. As he ran around to the entrance again he saw even more demons. The ones flying about were mostly the size of an average man, some a little bigger and some smaller. There were a few that appeared small but they were extremely far away. The ground had erupted around the east side and partially beneath the school, and something was coming out. A giant hand the size of at least two Castiel's emerged (he wasn't sure how big he was including the wings so he ignored that part of himself when sizing this thing up). It reached out of the ground and pushed on part of the school to help climb up; it'd been hiding in the earth's crust for some time because it looked like some of the land had grown onto it.

"The angel!" It bellowed below them and made the ground shake. Cas lost his balance; with an earthquake and a very strange new weight on his back his usual clumsiness was amplified. He hit his knees and had lurched forward, one hand pressed against into the grass to catch himself. What was happening? "The angel is here!"

"C'mon, Cas!" Dean hadn't let go of his arm but didn't quite fall to the ground with him. "We gotta move! Let's go!"

Cas' heart raced as he watched the creature's head lift up from the hole, sunken eyes too small for its face, no lips and a peeled back mouth - it was ugly. It pressed its weight down onto its hands to climb up, the ground beneath one pressed into the earth while the other crushed the portion of the school it had rested on.

It was like a dream, the world slowed down as Cas realized how many students were in the building, in that part of the building. They were dead. He watched the walls crack under the pressure of this beast pushing itself from

Dean stared suddenly silenced, "That was the cafeteria..." his words were heavy and his heart sinking fast with them. "Jet was..."

"He's alive," Cas filled the strangled pause as fast as he could, "I can still feel him, he's alive. He's not in there." Castiel dragged himself to his feet but another earthquake rattled the area. Both he and Dean toppled over that time, their legs unusable and their equilibrium being shaken like one of James Bond's drinks.

"We gotta get to Sammy!" Dean shouted above the events around him but it didn't matter how loud he could be. Cas could barely hear him over screams and the sounds of the earth breaking. Their time and their world in that moment all rested on the monsters crashing through the air.

"We've been waiting for you, angel!" The beast had risen up, taller than the school but most of its body mass went into length. It was like a dragon though he'd sooner describe it as a humanoid serpent with legs. Its face was grotesque at best and nearly made him throw up at worst. Cas' limbs felt weak and his heart hadn't slowed down, wouldn't slow down. This thing had crawled from deep in the earth, a hole no wider than it was but incredibly far down.

"Cas!" Dean yanked on his arm again and Castiel, for a few seconds, didn't know what to do. His brother dragged him toward the front of the school but Cas couldn't move his legs. The beast in front of him opened its enormous maw and laughed, its hand swiping down at them.

'No!' Cas' mind and soul screamed out as he pulled away from Dean and swatted the other teen with his wing again. Dean sailed across the yard, away from him and away from the demon's reach. Castiel was relieved; despite the fact that he was bashed over by a huge hand he'd managed to save Dean from it. He hadn't, however, expected the force to knock him out for a few seconds. Cas' eyes wouldn't open and his body wouldn't respond. It was only for five seconds but those were the longest seconds of his life.

"CAS!" He heard Dean screaming for him, it was muffled and distant but he heard it.

"Dean..." he groaned but it was weak, not loud enough for Dean to hear him. He opened his eyes, blurred vision greeted him but he tried to focus. Where had he landed? Where was Dean? Cas sat up slowly, his felt his bones shift and pop back into place he hadn't realized had been broken. Parts of his head felt wet and warm, he was bleeding. That hit should've killed him, it would've killed Dean but he'd prevented it.

"Cas are you okay!?" Dean called to him again and Cas looked in the direction of his voice.

His eyes started to focus; he could see Dean shakily standing several feet away from him. Dean was standing, he was a little bruised up but he was okay. Tears welled up in Cas' eyes, "You're okay," he breathed and tried to pull himself up.

A shadow dropped down from the sky, hovering above Dean as the teen struggled to stand.

Castiel's heart froze again.

He could hear Dean shout as the demon lifted him off the ground, he could feel himself trying to stand but some of his bones hadn't healed yet. Dean cried out for him, for help, to be put down and he cursed loudly. Castiel staggered, he'd stood up but he hadn't paid enough attention to the monster that had knocked him down the first time. The beast brought its hand down again, pinning Castiel to the ground, wings stuck under its weight.

Nothing around him felt real anymore. Cas felt like there was fire in his back, his wings burned and his soul lit. "Get off of me," he demanded but the monster didn't listen. "Remove your ugly feet from me, now." The creature's hand lit up, Cas knew it was because of him. He didn't know what he was doing; it was like when he'd shouted at Death the first time.

Energy surged through his limbs and he placed a hand on the demon's skin. It was rough, dirty and more than anything he wanted it off. It shrieked a piercing sound that shattered glass and shook the ground again. Cas saw something resembling lightning shoot through the creature's arm, it stemmed from where his hand laid and sparked each time it burst through the skin. In seconds the entire monster was filled with his light, it shone out of its orifices and started to eat away the flesh.

Another power surge finished the job. The beast exploded, chunks of it flew everywhere in a flash of light and a bellowing scream. Cas gasped as the aftermath settled, the reality of his situation dawning on him more and more.

He could sense terror in the people around him, he could sense Dean - Dean was unconscious now. The demon that held him had knocked him out. Cas looked up to see the creature had backed away significantly, and rightfully so.

"Give him back!" Castiel shouted and flapped his wings, he didn't know how to fly but he was hoping it'd just come to him like the other things had.

"I've got a better idea," The demon grinned and looked at Dean, his damsel in distress, "How about I don't kill him and you stay there."

Cas arched his wings, he could tell his eyes were glowing; he could do it on purpose now. "Don't test me, monster. Give me my brother back."

"Ah ah ah, no sudden moves, angel, or I'll kill him. You can pick him up in Purgatory." Its last words echoed as it bolted through the sky, Cas tried to go after him but he couldn't figure out his wings. They moved and could flap but he only knocked himself around.

"C'mon!" He cried out in frustration and tried again, "Why won't you fly!?" He smacked a few demons aside as he nearly threw a temper-tantrum over it. By the time he figured it out the other demon was long gone. Castiel flew over the school and stared after the last demon's trail, he'd lost him. Dean was gone.

You can pick him up in Purgatory. The words scarred his mind and burned into his brain. Purgatory. Where the fuck was Purgatory? He pressed the palms of his hands to his eyes, what on earth could he do?


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