They return from a hunt. Innocents died, again. An hunter died, again. And Dean is so used to the concept of death that he can't understand why it hurts every damn time. He remembers when he hasn't been able to save his father, his departure leaving a hole in his chest. He remembers all the time he couldn't save Sam, his pain breaking his world apart. He remembers his friends, gone forever. His fault, again. And Dean was so sick of it all, so sick of death, of being useless, of dancing around a bullet. When Castiel tries to comfort him that night, Dean let him, but he can't stop the tears from running freely down his face. He's broken, the pieces of his soul scattered on the floor, and he can't be fixed. The angel keeps holding him and all he can think about is the sound of his heart shattering.
"It will be alright" - he says, and Dean doesn't believe him.
Dean has a nightmare one night. He dreams of his time in hell and even after all this years, it hurts just the same. He tried to bury the pain a long time ago but of course it's still alive. It will always be alive, eating him from inside like fire consumes a moth that keeps dancing around it. Because Dean doesn't really want to run from the grief. h thinks he deserves damnation for all his sins. He keeps hearing his own screams and he can't understand why he isn't still there to rot. Why heaven should have saved someone like him. He is doomed, forever. As soon as he wakes up though, the angel's arms are all around him, keeping him safe. His voice whispering silent promises and alluring hopes to his deaf ears.
"It will be alright" - he said, and Dean doesn't believe him.
When Castiel falls, Dean feels dead inside. Losing him is like losing the only good part of him. A feeling of numbness spreads all over his body, reaching his heart. If he had one spark of faith left, he surely loses it in that moment. And suddendly it all gets dark. Because when you're so used to see the sun next to you, no candle can replace it. It hurts to walk. It hurts to think. It hurts to breathe. The silence spreads like a disease, because when you're so used to hear the voice of an angel, no whisper can replace it.
"It will be alright" - Sam says, and Dean wants to punch him in the face.
When Dean needs a win the most, Castiel returns to him. And suddendly, the voices are back, the colors are shining brighter than before, and the sun is finally warm again. The angel holds Dean closer than ever, like he never wants to let go, and Dean is tired to fight back the tears.
"It will be alright" - he said.
And this time, Dean believes him.