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Sweet Dreams

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          Cas never would have pegged Dean Winchester as the type of man to just… leave. He never would have guessed that Dean was someone to say things he didn’t mean, considering the amount of unfiltered devotion and impressive loyalty he showed Cas. Cas especially never thought that one simple, seemingly tiny and insignificant post-it note could cause so much devastation. So much confusion, so much betrayal.
     

       Yet, Cas waited and Dean still never called to say that he was okay. He never even called with so much as an explanation as to why he did what he did or where he went.

      I'm sure you never will, Cas often thought, yet he still hears the ticking of time, can feel it passing through his fingers, and with every second, Cas hopes to god that Dean will knock on his door, or bump into him at their once favorite café.
 

       It’s been ten months since Dean left Cas. At the point, Cas doesn’t even care if Dean came back and never explained what had happened or where he had left to. Just come back, he thinks. Just come home to me, he pleads. Cas doesn’t even know how to find Dean, he doesn’t know where to look. Dean left no clues but a small note and Cas is starting to realize that his once lover doesn’t want to be found. Maybe he just wants to be gone.

       Or maybe he’s hurt, or even worse, lying dead somewhere with no one around to know. But Cas doesn’t think about that one. Dean has to be fine, he has to be, so again, maybe he just wanted to be gone.
  

     Sometimes, if Cas thinks hard enough, he can remember the low rumble of Deans voice in the morning, the way his arms felt around Cas' waist. Other times he can feel the strands of Deans hair in Cas' fingers and the way Dean used to tell Cas he loved him, so much. He remembers telling Dean that, he too, loved Dean, so much.

  

     


 


                                              *****

MONTH TEN 10:00 A.M

Left with Sam for a few days. Don't worry. I love you so much, more than anything.
-Dean xo
     

      No matter how much time passes, no matter what kind of mood Cas is in, his eyes always find their way to the yellow sticky note on the fridge. I should take it down, Cas thinks to himself. All it does is bring him down and make him sad. Shouldn’t he be passed feeling that by now? It’s been ten months.


      “I’m gonna take that down,” he says to no one in particular. The words hang heavy in the air as he builds up courage and walks towards the fridge, the words only coming down to hit Cas once he reaches out to pull the paper off of the metallic surface.


      Take it down? What am I thinking? He thinks and his mind filters through the few things he still has of Deans. He reckons he doesn’t have much as he can only really think of some of his clothes and a few pictures Dean kept of the once happy couple. 

      No way is he taking it down, even if it has the power to put him in a sour mood because, he can’t deny that upon seeing the note, a small tingle of hope courses through his body.


      I love you so much, more than anything.


      Dean wouldn’t leave for nothing if he meant that. Cas had to believe that Dean left for an important reason, and he has to believe that one day, he’ll come back. Castiel still had faith in the man, even when the voice in his head screams out that it’s quite obvious Dean wants to be gone. He wants to stay gone.


      In a poor attempt to distract himself, Cas finishes packing his school bag before heading to his last lecture before Christmas break. However, the thought of spending the holidays alone for the first time ever and without what Cas is even now certain is the love of his life, stops Cas mid-pack to look up and out of the window of his flat.


      It has began to snow quite steadily, he notices, and Cas really wishes a certain Chevy Impala was there to drive him to school. He wiped a few loose tears that he didn’t realize were shed, and zips his backpack closed before shrugging the heavy pouch over his shoulder.

      Maybe Dean will come home in time. Maybe not.
                               

                                             ****

       Halfway through his twenty minute trek to the lecture hall on campus, he not only wishes he wore more than a sweater, but also wishes he had eaten something as his stomach grumbles a cry of hunger. He brushes it off until the desire to eat something grows into a tiny pain. He decides that he at least needs some coffee, not having time to sit down and eat something. Coffee it is, he thinks.


      The only coffee joints on the way to his destination would be some crappy gas station coffee, or the smooth, delicious coffee from Deans old work. He knows which one he wants, but goes with the one he can handle.


      Crappy gas station coffee it is. And it’s a shame really, that he has to choose that coffee. Once upon a time, Cas wouldn’t have even considered anything else than Deans work. He used to look forward to seeing Dean in work mode, apron on and brows furrowed in concentration. Times have changed, he guesses. Not necessarily for the better.

      Castiel walks into the significantly warmer gas station and heads straight to the coffee machines after nodding his head in what was supposed to be a greeting to the clerk. 

     Cas waits behind some scronny man whose taking much longer to grab his coffee than it should. His eyes scan the gas station as he patiently stands in line, when his gaze lands on a tall guy whose standing infront of the beers with his back to the coffee machine.

      He bears a black winter coat, a grey hoodie and short-ish dirty blonde hair. And, no, it can't be, it just can't, but Cas can't help but stare at the tall figure who seems to be wearing clothes that look just a little bit too firmiliar.

      Dean.

      No, Cas thinks. It can't be. But... can't it? 

      What are the chances that Dean would be buying beer, of all things, at a place he knows Cas never usually goes to, wearing attire that could very well be Deans? Cas didn't really know if he believed in coincidences. He didn't think he did. 

      But he should've, because the guy turns around and is so not Dean which means that Castiel just wasted brain cells on his little inner monolouge and made himself very, very sad. 

      

1:00 P.M

      After an exhausting three hours of continuous note-taking, Cas is more than ready to head to his flat. It’s more than he can say for most days. He usually dreads going home to the empty apartment, but today he was content to just change into comfy pants and just sleep.



      So, that’s what he did.
                                             

                                          ****
      Cas was sitting in their living room with Deans head lying on his lap. Cas' fingers had found their way to Deans hair, as they always do, as they sat watching reruns of some HGTV show. Snow was falling quite heavily outside, which brought Dean to make the executive decision of making hot chocolate in Christmas mugs while they lazily cuddled and watched the television. Not that Cas was complaining.

      Cas felt warm and happy all over, living for days like this where both lovers would just embrace each other’s company without question. Cas cherished every second of their relationship and valued times like this.
    

      Dean suddenly reached for the remote that was lying on the coffee table. He muted the home improvement show and rolled over onto his back to look at Cas with full attention. His green eyes looked happy and warm as well, as if they were simply a reflection of Cas'. 

      A small smile made its way onto Deans face when his eyes met Cas'.

      “What?” Cas said softly, a soft smile also making its way into his face. Deans smiles, big or small, were always contagious.

     “What’d’ya want for Christmas?” Dean asks as he reaches behind himself to grab a hold of Cas' hand, which was still playing with Deans hair. Cas didn’t understand why Dean asked that. He already told Dean that he didn’t want anything and he meant it.

      A small smile still playing on Cas' lips, he spoke, “Seriously? I already told you, I don’t want anything. Not really.”


      “Not really?” Dean challenges, “What does 'Not Really' mean? 'Cause I’ll get you anything you want.”

      “I think you know what it means,” Cas answered, smirking slightly.


      Before Dean could respond in the reoccurring memory Cas often dreamt about, Cas was ripped from his unconscious state to an unapologetic pounding at the door.


      What the…? Who on earth is knocking at my door, Cas thinks as he checks his watch, at 9:00 at night? Soon after thinking that though, he realizes that normal college students would still be up at this hour, especially considering the circumstances of Christmas break. Still, they can’t cool it with the knocking? Not all of us are extraverted and nocturnal.

      A tired, highly unimpressed Castiel swings the door open to reveal the annoying culprit. Cas already had an idea of how he was gonna chew this person out, but the words were caught in his mouth as he saw the figure standing in his doorway. And this time he was sure he was seeing the real deal, not some freakish look-alike.

      “Dean..”

Chapter Text

      Why did you leave me? Cas thought. I loved you and you left me.

      Part of him was angry and frustrated and confused. He thought he definitely had the right to be.

      You left me.

      And for what? He wasn’t sure in the slightest, and the unknown took over his thoughts and stirred up a hot anger inside of Castiels bones, a curiosity that was slowly turning dangerous, driving him insane.


      But… another part of him on the other side of things, prided itself with the fact that Dean wouldn’t leave without reason. He couldn’t. He wasn’t the type of guy to just leave, unannounced, no answers provided. Cas knew that. Dean was the type of guy to commit to something wholeheartedly. He was the type of guy that made Cas' stomach swim with butterflies, even after all this time. He was the type of guy that Cas would catch staring at him with heart eyes, out of the corner of his own eyes.

      And yeah, Cas was freakin' angry, but he couldn’t be a pessimist when the epitome of optimism stood right in his doorway.


      I loved you. I know I still do.

      With the little inner debate within seemingly settled, Cas opened the door a little more and tried to gather his thoughts, as well as some courage. Some courage wouldn't hurt, Cas thought.

      “Dean, I…” be brave Castiel. It’s just Dean. You know Dean.

      A tear slid down his cheek as he began again, hoping to benefit from his inner encouragement.

      “Why are you here?” he whispered softly, almost brokenly, with a tiny tilt of his head. So much for being brave.

      Dean only glanced down at Cas’ chest, to which Cas responded by folding his arms across it, feeling an unwelcome wave of self consciousness roll over him. Castiel noticed a small smile span across Deans face which seemed rather… foreign? Deans face seemed sad, lonely, and wow, Cas thought, he looks so tired. Why is he so tired? Why does he look like he hasn’t smiled since he left? Why is he smiling anyways?

      A thousand thoughts seemed to bombard Castiels mind, invading his ground. He just wanted to stay calm.

      “What?” Castiel finally questioned, in an once again, pathetic voice. He was very close to completely breaking down, as nothing was really there to hold him back this time. Cas seemed to have no control over himself, which he thought was rather annoying. Get a grip.

      “You’re still wearing my sweater. I always loved that one on you,” Dean stated, smile slowly fading as he remembered the happier times. His smile completely vanished though, when he saw numerous silent tear drops staining the soft fabric of his old hoodie.

      Cas was once again confused as to why Dean said that. He just didn’t understand. Did Dean come back only to observe and comment on my apparel? Cas didn’t think so.

      “Why did you leave me?” Cas tried once again, although this time, it was much louder and emotional, if the latter was even possible. He looked from the floor to Deans bright, yet sad eyes and his previous anger broke down the dam in his mind, seeping back into every pore of his being. The look on Deans face changed instantly from sadness into one of pure regret and self loathing.

      Dean slid both of his hands over the skin of his face, as if he was trying to show Castiel through actions that he was regretful, or as though he was trying to compose himself, like the contact of rough hands and soft skin would do anything.

      Or come up with an excuse. Cas tried not to think that one, but he couldn’t help it. Sorry.

      “Dean, why did you go? Why would you – how could you do that to me?” Cas could feel himself flare up with the need to know why his love left. Cas did spend ten months throwing around different possibilities. He deserved to know.

      “I deserve to know,” Cas concluded, finally making up his mind after Dean still stood, frozen, in a sad regretful stance. You don’t feel bad for him, Cas. He did this to you. Cas thought in an accusatory tone. And no, no other thoughts countered those ones, he didn’t feel bad at all. He didn’t want to just kiss the life out of Dean. Definitely not.

      “Cas… “ Dean started, stepping only an inch or two closer to Cas, also craving the need to be close again. No. I won’t give in. Cas moved back.

      “Cas please. Stop acting like-“

      Cas couldn’t take it anymore.

      “Like what Dean? Stop acting angry that you left me for ten months with only a stupid note that gave me no clue as to where the hell you went or why the hell you left?” Cas’ voice was rising. His body seemed to subconsciously slide a little closer to Deans, subconsciously giving in. Dammit Cas. “Or should I stop acting pathetic because even though I waited and waited for you and you never showed, I still held onto a little piece of hope and trust that came from God knows where! Or maybe I should stop acting like-“

      “Stop acting like I wanted to leave you,” Dean but in softly, cutting off a hysterical Castiel who was throwing useless punches into Deans chest as Dean took Cas in his arms. It had been so long. Too long, some might argue.

      “Cas I .. I never wanted to leave you. Please don’t ever think that,” Dean said, still holding tightly onto Cas, who had given in and was holding onto Dean just as tight. Deans chin rested atop of Cas' head, tears streaming down his face with eyes closed shut as he reminisced about just how much he missed Cas. Cas couldn't deny it, he felt the same.

      Don’t let me go. Cas thought just as Deans mind processed the same thing.

      “I am so stupid,” Dean absentmindedly mumbled into Cas' hair. The confession made Cas’ wonder if perhaps this was Dean admitting as to why he left. Maybe he did something stupid and regrettable and couldn’t quite face Cas. Not that that’s fair, Cas thought. Not that that’s a good reason. It really isn’t.

      “Why would you think that?” Cas asked, voice slightly muffled by the cotton of Deans shirt. Cas became quite curious when Dean let out a very bitter laugh.

      “Well, I’m thinking it’s 'cause I come back to the man of my dreams after I disappeared, and now I don’t even know if I can explain why I left in the first place.”

     Huh. Cas thought.

      It was silent for a moment before Cas said anything.

      “Dean,” he said sternly, “You’re explaining.” He finished, pulling back from Dean so he could open the door to let Dean in.

      Dean stood planted in the doorway, not a muscle being moved. That made Cas' eyebrows raise as he stood behind the knob, preparing to close the door after Dean made his decision as to whether or not he'd step foot in the once too big apartment. Maybe then it will feel normal again.

      Cas' questioning gaze got Dean to spill.

      “It’s just.. are you sure you want me in there? If I were you, I would have slammed the door in my face by now,” Dean said quietly and rather uncomfortably.   

      Cas just looked at Dean. Why does he always confuse me? “Dean, this is still your apartment, even if you haven’t been home for a while,” Cas told him, noticing the glint in Deans eyes that prevailed itself at the sound of home. Cas thinks he felt the same. Home sounded really good right about now.

Chapter Text

10:30 P.M

      Cas wasn't sure what to think. Dean had spilled the dirty secret of the universe. A secret so strange and unnerving that supposedly only a tiny portion of the world's population knew about it. And those who were exposed to the 'nightmare fuel', as Dean called it, contended the monsters that as Dean explained, could take down the average person with a single strategic blow. Why would anyone want to do that? Cas kept thinking. Why would someone spend their life doing a job that could kill them bloody any moment? He was very curious. He didn't want that for Dean. Did Dean even want that for Dean?
  

        "Do you... Do you believe me? I know I sound completely off my rocker, believe me, I know. But, I- I swear Cas, I wouldn't lie to you, especially when you deserve to know the mo-" 

      "I believe you," Cas cut off. He wasn't sure what urged him to say it because, it was crazy and he shouldn't believe that vampires and ghouls truly exist, but he knows, deep down, that they must. Like Dean said, he wouldn't lie. Not to Cas. Not in their situation, where one wrong move could knock them down. They were walking a tight rope.

      And, in the scenario that Dean did come up with an excuse? Well, Cas thinks it would be much less far-fetched than the story Dean told him. Dean wouldn't stake their relationship on some crazy biblical tall-tale. Cas doesn't think he would stake their relationship on much.

      But Cas does know that he trusts Dean. He always has, and maybe Dean confessing was a test to see how far that trust ran. Cas didn't know trust could run that deep.

      I'm scared. 

      The amount of trust wasn't what scared Cas. Cas had a feeling that maybe he should feel nervous or scared by how much faith and trust he put into the man. Maybe. But he wasn't, he couldn’t be.

      I'm so scared.

      The whole concept of monsters also earned itself a spot on the 'I should be scared, but I'm not' list. Cas knows that it's a little odd that the new discovery hadn't erupted a spine-chilling scream or whatever, but he, surprisingly, had other things on his mind.

      Other things that had to do with Dean.

      My baby hunts monsters. It scares me that he has to be the one to do it.

      His head hurt.

      My baby hunts dangerous monsters who'll rip him to shreds if he isn’t careful. It scares me that any hunt he goes on could be the last.

      It hurt really bad.

      Monsters that have caused my baby torment and grief his whole life. It scares me that he has to live with a burden of his past.

      Cas could feel the tears spring to his eyes. He couldn’t keep up with the emotion. His mind was spilling over with grief and sadness, something he now knew Dean has experienced. A lot. 

      Why can’t my baby be safe? I just want him to be safe.

      “Cas? “Dean asked with a strong tone that held a copious amount of concern. Why are you concerned for me? Why aren't you concerned about you?

      “What’s the matter?” he spoke, reaching over the criss-cross formation of their legs, wiping a loose tear from his cheek. Dean spoke so softly, so patiently. He always held an undertone of love and warmth when speaking with Cas. An undertone that always, even now, provided comfort to Cas' worried state.

      Cas gently caught Dean's wrist and slowly pulled the his hand into his own, looking intently at each of Deans fingers. I always loved his hands. I want to hold them forever. 

      Dean looked somewhat surprised at the contact, but used two fingers of his free hand to lift Cas' head up, forcing the eye contact, after a moment's hesitation. The connection just made a couple more tears stream down Castiels pale complexion.

      “Speak to me, Cas. What're you thinking?” Dean further prodded, curiosity and worry sinking into each and every crack of the many scars that were littered across Deans body. A lifetime of hunting put those scars there. That made Cas angry.

      “I just… I know you Dean. You don’t deserve that. Hunting, I mean,” Cas wiped a few tears, “No one deserves it. But definitely not you,” Cas all but whispered.

      “I just want you to be safe. And happy,” Cas paused, considering his next words. “Are you happy?”

      Dean seemed to consider the question quite carefully, thinking of an answer that wouldn’t further upset Cas. However, the consideration and time Dean took to formulate his perfect response, was translated into hesitation. Why can’t my baby be happy? He thought, questioning no one in particular. Except maybe the higher powers who threw this weight on Deans shoulders.

      “Honestly? All the while I was gone, I was a depressed wreck. I really missed you and I felt… I don’t know, incredibly guilty, I guess. Not to mention I was worried that one of the things I hunted was gonna find out about you and just…” Dean trailed off, but Cas thinks he knew what meant.

      "But, right now, are you happy?” Cas questioned. I need to know.

      “I'm happy when I'm with you,” Dean answered with a small smile and a gentle touch of hands. Cas offered a small smile of his own in return. He couldn't tell if that answer truly answered Cas' question, or was merely a distraction for how well Deans general state actually was.

      So, even though Dean said he was happy, Cas couldn’t help think otherwise. He couldn't help but notice that Deans tone was a little weary, a little off. It was evident in his smile. It was present in his eyes. He could hear it in his voice.

      He also picked up on an edge that was laced into his look. An edge that had come out to play before, but only a handful of times. Cas knew he never liked what came after that look. He especially didn’t like that look when he knew that Dean, albeit explaining why he was gone, never told Cas why he was back.

      Dammit Dean.

      It made Cas’ feel so much more uneasy, so much more worried. He had just been told by the love of his life that he fights monsters with his brother in his free time, yet he knew that whatever Dean wasn’t telling him, was somehow worse. Oh god.

      Cas examined Dean a little further before confronting him, something he knew he had to do, but sure as hell wasn’t looking forward to. Oh, baby.

      “Dean.” Cas gripped both of Deans hands, a plead that told Dean that he knew something was up and please don’t lie to me about it.

      “There’s something else, isn’t there? I know you didn’t come back just so we could catch up,” Cas spoke smoothly, softly. Dreadfully, Cas thought.

        Dean pulled both of his hands back to cover his face with his hands. What can be that bad?

      Cas wasn’t sure he wanted Dean to answer that.

       "You’re gonna hate me. Oh god, you’re gonna freak out and hate me. Oh my god. I’m sorry, Cas. Please just don’t kick me out. I came here 'cause I need you now more than ever,” Dean pleaded with fresh tears threatening to fall. Cas' mind was lost, confused, and very scared.

      Kick you out? I thought I just told you that it was your apartment too? And also, why are you speaking all over the place? Calm down baby.

       “It’s okay, Dean. I could never hate you. Not ever.” Cas tried to reassure Dean, but he knew it was a difficult task. Dean was stubborn, especially when he already convinced himself of something. Dammit Dean, Cas thought again, though this time held a more profane power.

      Dean took a deep breath. Then another one. And one more, just to be safe. Finally, he spoke in a small voice.

      “Okay… okay," he started as he gathered himself. 

      "Just hear me out before you scream at me or hit me or whatever it is you need to do. Whatever makes you feel better.” Dean was procrastinating. Just tell me, Cas thought with a pointed look directed at Dean.

      “Sam… he was stuck in some abandoned town. With some other physics. It was some sick test that Azazel set up to find a perfect solider for his stupid army. But that’s not.. it doesn’t matter," he said with a shake of his head, gaze adverted. 

      "What matters is that Sam ended up with a severed spinal cord. He- he died in my hands, Cas. It was so…” Dean couldn’t finish the sentence. A slight look of heavy sadness finished the sentence for him, and Cas thinks he understood.

      “I was so lost. I didn’t have you anymore. I lost my dad and then I let Sam die. I lost everything I had to live for.” 

      Baby, no. you’re breaking my heart.

      “I decided that if I had nothing left to live for, then I might as well make something good come out of it. I summoned a cross roads demon,” No. “She’d give me one year to live and bring Sam back.” Dean, No.

      Cas looked up at Dean, knowing how this ended, remembering hearing a similar course of action a few hours before Dean said his Dad  had died. He waited for Deans confirmation anyways. 

      The look in his eyes gave it away.
                                       

                                             *****

      Cas doesn’t sleep that night. He cried a lot, which brought tiredness upon him, but he still couldn’t sleep. Dean tried to talk to him, tried to get through to the other, but Cas wouldn’t cooperate. An hour of zero cooperation later, led to Dean kissing Castiel on the head and a whisper of an 'I'm sorry' in his hair.

      It’s not okay.

 

Chapter Text

ONE MONTH LATER

      Cas was struggling. He was struggling a lot. The only thing that ever really circulated throughout his brain was the wonder and curiosity of how Cas was going to manage living without Dean for the second time. Though, permanently, this time around.

      Soon I won’t have to wonder what it’s gonna be like. I think enjoy the mystery. I never wanted to have to find out.

      Cas remembers asking Dean how long he had left.

      “Uh.. Six months, Cas. I've only got six months and I want to spend every last second of it with you,” Dean has explained. That was a little over a month ago. Cas did not like how fast that month seemed to go by.    

      Maybe it was the holidays. Maybe Christmas and New year’s made it seem faster than it really was. Cas knew that it wasn’t the festivities that sped time up, though. He knew it was just time ticking by as it always does, as it always will. He didn’t like how time will still tick without Dean. That’s just not right.

      Cas had preconceived notions as to why Dean had come to him of all people. Why would Dean want to check boxes off of his bucket list with me? At first, Cas thought maybe Dean was seeking familiarity and comfort before he was dragged to Hell. He thought maybe Dean just needed that friendly face, that wasn’t Sam all of the time, before the was sent to the pit. 

      Now though, he understands that Dean just wanted to spend his last few months as he wanted to initially, eleven months ago, spend the rest of his life. That was with Cas mostly and frequent visits from Sam. He just wanted to feel that lifetime of happiness, and if Cas and Sam were what made him happiest, then Cas wouldn’t think twice about giving it to him. Sam even moved in with the couple to fulfill that happiness. I’d go to Hell for Dean. I'd go again and again and again…

      Cas also understood that maybe Dean wanted to exit life the same way he entered it. I mean, Cas thought, his first couple of years must’ve been great. Cas was right. With his parents and his brother, there was so much to be happy about. He had no past to torment and break him every minute of every day. Now, he had no future to remind him that his past would become his present again, and his present become his future. It was all one cycle.

      And that made Cas incredibly heart broken for Dean, but his understanding meant that he would shut his grief and suffering off for the moment, so he could at least give Dean the thing he deserved most.

      Cas was more than willing to give Dean anything he wanted, and he’d be everything Dean wanted until the day Dean left and he couldn’t anymore.

      And if anyone asks, no, he doesn’t cry into his hands when Dean is out getting groceries. He most certainly doesn’t research ways to possibly help Dean through many different books and websites. He'd never. In fact, he's a little offended that anyone would think that…

      Sometimes though, Cas finds himself becoming truly happy with Dean. Happy that Dean came to Cas’ for happiness. He is happy- and honored- that he is able to be there for Dean in his last few months. He's so sad, but he can’t help but sometimes also be so grateful.

      So when Dean asked Cas if he wants to go on a small hiking trip, just outside of town like they always used to, Cas doesn’t think twice about saying yes.


 

      “You ready to go?” Dean asked as he closed the trunk. Cas lifted himself off of where he was leaning on the car door and nodded his head.

      “Oh yeah. You, me, and nothin' but the wilderness? Count me in,” Cas answered before sliding into the black interior of the Impala. Dean smiled for a beat before joining him.

      On the way there, Castiel found himself regularly thinking about how excited he was. He loved nature and lived for the way Dean seemed to fit right in with the beauty of it all. He knew that the towering trees and voices of distant animals brought out the absolute best in both men. He knew that if Dean wasn’t leaving Cas in a few months, they’d both end up old and happy in the middle of some dense, beautiful forest.

      But he is leaving, Cas thought, so don’t get too comfy.

      There that thought is again. The reoccurring thought that haunted Cas day in and day out. Don’t get to comfortable, Cas. He’s leaving you and you’re gonna be left picking up the pieces of both of your lives if you do that. So don’t.

      I won’t.

      Liar.

      “What are you thinking about, Cas?” Dean asked, snapping Cas out of his doomed thoughts.

      “Oh, just um… the forest. It’s gonna be so gorgeous. Just like we left it,” Cas answered somewhat truthfully. I hope you didn’t mean 'What are you currently think about right now as I ask'!

      “Just like we left it,” Dean repeated quieter, with a squeeze of Cas’ thigh and a small, yet sincere smile.

      They were stopped at a red light, and both men took a beat of silence to catch the others gaze. His beautiful green. The most gorgeous color out there.


 

      As they pulled into the trails parking lot, and ball of excitement and… freedom pushed itself into the pit of Cas’ stomach. He watched the tall trees sway in the wind from inside the car with a huge, grateful smile. He was more than ready to push his feet into the fresh, natural ground and hike with his boyfriend until his legs were sore and eyes tired of seeing bush and trees.

      Dean looked at him from his place behind the wheel. The smile that occupied his features made Cas just that more breathless.

      “I am so in love with you,” Cas whispered as he stared, dazed, right into Dean’s loving eyes. He wasn't ready to get out of the car until he let his boyfriend know that. Dean somehow smiled even wider. God, so freakin' in love with you.

      Dean leaned into Cas' personal space and pecked him on the cheek. A sweet peck that created a wide smile of Cas' own.  

      “I am so in love with you too.”

      Let's just say they exited the car twenty minutes later with red lips and cheeks to match.