Takes place anytime between season 4 "Lazarus Risin" and the end of season 5 "Swan Song"

Sulfur filled the air, heat seared his bones, and the pain, always the pain. But that wasn't the worst of it, the worst was knowing he was back, and the fact that he had been saved was a dream. There was no escape as his flesh tore and burned. And the things he saw... Unable to bare the agony he screamed, a heart wrenching sound...

...And woke himself up.

Sweat covered the motel sheets and Dean moved to sit on the edge of the bed. He would need a shower after this.

He reached under the bed to find the whiskey he kept there, but the space was empty.

"Looking for this?"

Dean's head snapped up.

"Cas. You've GOT to stop doing that."

He reached out for the whiskey bottle and the angel handed it to him. He pulled back his trench coat and sat on the bed next to Dean.

"You shouldn't drink so much."

"Yeah, well, you fight demon's your way, I'll fight them mine." Dean took a drink.


"No, I was dreaming about rainbows and unicorns. OF COURSE I'm having nightmares." He took another mouthful. "What are you doing here?" His eyes looked away from Castiel and swept the room. "And where's Sam?"

"He left to go get some food, and look for more information."

Dean took another swig of the whiskey. "Well that answers question number two."

"I'm just here to check on you."

"Yeah, right."

They sat in silence for a long time, and Dean continued to drink. The sounds of crickets could be heard from outside with the occasional sound of a car driving by in the late hours of the evening.

"Thanks." Dean said after a while.

"For what?"

"For checking up on me. For dragging me out of the pit. I know I don't often show it but I am grateful."

"You should stop drinking, it's making you sentimental."

"Shut up." But he put the mostly empty bottle down.

"Sorry about the nightmares."

"Nah, don't worry about it. Nightmares are nothing to actually being in Hell." Looking at the whiskey bottle, he picked it back up. "Did you want some?" Dean asked handing it to Castiel.

"No, thanks."

"Suit yourself." Dean put the bottle back under the bed. "Ah! Well since you're here, do you mind sticking around until Sammy comes back?"

Castiel looked confused. "Why?"

"Who better to hold off dreams of Hell than the one who dragged me out of it?" He said with a cheeky smile and proceeded to lay down on his back with his head on Castiel's lap.

Castiel looked at Dean with a confused expression on his face but didn't move the Hunter.

"Thanks Cas." Dean said, his eyes closed and a sleepy slur in his words.

Castiel knew that Dean had fallen back to sleep so he whispered into his dreams. "You're welcome Dean."

The Angel stood vigil over Dean's dreams until he heard Sam unlock the door.

Sam walked into the motel and looked over at his brother's bed. Dean had fallen asleep at a weird angle but the knots of tension that were a part of him now seemed to have disappeared.

He smiled and was careful not to wake his brother.