daylight_darknight: (Team Free Will)
[personal profile] daylight_darknight
This was part of a much bigger fanfic, but after struggling with it for a while, I decided this was the only part I really liked.

Title: Through the Cracks
Characters: Sam, Castiel (sort of), Dean (small cameo)
Rating/Warnings: PG for relatively tame descriptions of hell and vague references to torture.
Genre: Drama, Angst
Word Count: 743
Spoilers: Up to and including 7x17
Summary: One night, a few weeks after he’d escaped the hospital’s mental ward and returned to the Winchester’s semblance of normal, Sam had a dream.

Through the Cracks
By Daylight

One night, a few weeks after he’d escaped the hospital’s mental ward and returned to the Winchester’s semblance of normal, Sam had a dream.

He dreamt of hell. He knew it was hell even though every last memory of his time spent there had been wiped clean away, just like he knew that the part of hell he was dreaming about wasn’t the cage where his soul had been tortured for over a century.

This was somewhere else.

The hell he dreamt of was one of dark caverns and burnt forests where blood flowed in rivers like lava. And demons were everywhere, demons of blood, and bone, and shadow. They were hard at work on a host of condemned souls chained and tortured by an iron so cold in burned. The background soundtrack was a constant cacophony of screams.

And Sam moved through this hell searching for something. Everything he touched burned him as if it was made of fire. The rocky ground burned his feet. The ash in the air burned his lungs, but he kept going. The demons clawed at him. They wanted to pull him apart and drag the pieces down to the darkest depth, but he fought them off and he kept going. He had to find what he was searching for.

This was a memory, Sam suddenly realized as one does in dreams. And as also happens in dreams, his perspective suddenly changed and he was no longer the one searching in hell, but watching the one who was.

It was Castiel, but he wasn’t wearing his borrowed human body. This was his true form. Sam recognized it as him though he couldn’t tell you how. He couldn’t describe it to you either. All he could say was it was large and there was light and there were wings.

This must have been when Castiel rescued Dean, Sam thought as he continued to watch.

Eventually, Castiel came to some sort of a square structure. It stood out amongst the chaotic surroundings. Each flat surface of its roof and walls was made of a single sheet of mirrored glass. The angel circled the building once, twice, but when he found no entrance, he began to pound at the walls, and kick, and claw. The walls showed no sign of yielding, but Castiel kept at it for hours, or maybe it was days, or weeks.

Then when it seemed that Castiel was nearing the end of his strength, a crack appeared in the wall. He immediately pushed an arm through, the walls bending around it as if they were made of water rather than glass. He pushed the arm through as far as it would go reaching for whatever lay behind the wall. Whatever it was he must have found it, because he began to slowly pull his arm back out. The wall warped once more, the crack widening enough for the body of a man to emerge.

There was resistance, as if something on the other side of the wall didn’t want to let the man go, but Castiel held on tight and pulled harder. Suddenly, there was a flash of light and the resistance disappeared. Castiel tumbled backward, the man falling limply into his arms.

That’s not Dean, Sam realized as he got a better look at the man.

Castiel cradled his burden gently and began to fly up, and up, and up.


Sam felt a hand on his shoulder. He opened his eyes and remembered he wasn’t in hell. He was in their stolen car of the week, a 1985 Chrysler station wagon that smelt of mold and Cheeze Whizz. It was night, they were pulled over at the side of the road, and Dean was looking at him expectantly.

“Your turn to drive.”

Sam sat up trying his best to shake off the remnants of the dream. “Right.”

Dean looked him over. “You okay?”

Sam meant to say he was fine, dismiss Dean’s concerns, but he found himself asking a question instead. “Do you remember Castiel pulling you out of hell?”

Dean opened his mouth, and then shut it again and looked away.

Sam knew he shouldn’t have asked. He knew his brother liked to bury all memories of hell as deep as he could. But he needed to know.

“Sometimes,” Dean began reluctantly, “I think I do.”

“What do you remember?”

Dean shrugged. “Just wings and feathers and light.”

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