Past the small bubble of heat and reddish light thrown by their cautious fire, it's bone-aching cold, foggy and dim. It's always bone-aching cold, foggy and dim. There's no day, no night here. No way to mark passing time at all. Maybe there is no past and future any more. Only one grinding, crushing infernal now of eternal fight or flight. No time outs, no off-season. Nothing but one pointless death-match after another. Nobody even wins the grand prize of staying obliviously dead.
The dying part, though―that hurts every bit as much as it ever did. Maybe more. The only way to avoid it, Dean learned after that first… hour? day? night? century, maybe... Doesn't matter, the only way to have even the illusion of a moment's peace in here is to kill the other thing first.
Cas crouched and touched Dean's shoulder. "Something is approaching," he whispered as Dean lifted his head. Dean picked up his wooden spear with the fire-hardened point, rolled to his feet and checked that his razor-sharp hunk of obsidian was still secure in its make-shift sheath.
Cas moved to stand at his back, wings spread wide. The addled angel still wouldn't fight but Cas decided, after watching Dean get ripped to shreds a couple of times, that standing sentry and serving as a shield and the eyes in the back of Dean's head wouldn't compromise his pacifist principles.
By that point, Dean was grateful enough for any relief at all that he couldn't work up much resentment. He'd learned since then not to waste any energy fighting home-made monsters like resentment, anger and regret. Fighting the ones outside his head took everything he had.
Red eyes flashed through the sulfurous fog. Closing in.
Dean raised his spear, gripped his stone knife tight. "Hope I live to tell."
That whisper may have been a prayer.
Of all the monsters in Purgatory, Hope dies hardest of all.