Dean braces his arms against the entrance, staring out across a hot, desert land of which he has no knowledge, and which spreads out before him like an ocean, never ending. Sweat trickles down his bare back, and his jeans cling to his trembling thighs like a second skin. Vaguely, he recalls the screams and coppery tang of a battle fought, the final of finals, death and destruction and the depressing knowledge that all is lost even as weary soldiers push on, because there is nothing else left for them but to fight. To fight and to die and pray to a God who does nothing but watch, that somehow it’ll all be worth it. In the end.
"Dean," the call of his name brushes against his skin like feathers, the sound of fluttering wings before the angel materialises beside him.
"Castiel," he greets, the name a gasp of air sliding from a parched mouth; his fingers curl into the stone he still grips, anchoring himself to the world. His fingers bleed.
"You should be resting," the angel speaks and Dean wants to snort out a laugh or shoot him down with a witty retort, but the tremble in his legs has reached his arms and his vision swirls as he blinks the sweat from his eyes, and he just doesn’t have the energy for any of it anymore.
"Yeah," he breathes after a moment, but makes no move to move. He cannot, for fear that he should fall if he tried.
Castiel's hands are as ecstasy to his heated flesh as they slide like cool water across his shoulder blades and over the muscles of his arms, pinpricks of strength siphoning through into his weary body as Castiel presses himself up close, chest to back, his arms stretching out to reach Dean's grasping hands; his fingers gentle and encouraging as they pull Dean’s own free from their death-grip of the entranceway.
"Come," Castiel's breath touches at his ear and Dean sighs back a moan, his head rolling to Castiel's shoulder as his fingers come free and the angel hugs their arms against his chest.
“Where?” Dean whispers, because even through he cannot remember the outcome, cannot recall being taken from the fight till he’d woken up alone and confused in a stone room in the desert with no one and nothing around to tell him just what the hell was going on, despite it all, Dean knows that they’ve lost. He knows that they’re hiding. He knows that sooner or later whatever Castiel hopes to achieve by this, it will all be in vain as the hoards of Darkness set out in search for him.
A kiss to his neck and the thoughts flitter away from him. He is only half aware that he is being walked back to a makeshift bed of stone and straw, his body lowered and overcome with the fatigue again.
“Cas?” He whispers, a frown marring his brow as he stares up at the angel with confusion clouding his mind.
“Rest,” Castiel commands, stroking his fingers against Dean’s forehead, and watching his eyes flutter and close. “Rest,” he repeats, looking away and praying for deliverance.