The angel stopped in front of Dean’s bedroom door. He waited for a few moments, listening for sounds, then knocked gently.
“It’s open” came the muffled reply. Cas let himself in and gently closed the door. The hunter was laying on his back on the bed, ankles and arms crossed, and was staring at the ceiling.
“Hey Cas” said Dean, looking at him briefly. “How are you Dean?”
“I’m fine. Just tired.” Dean replied after a moment of silence. Ah. The Winchester stubbornness. Which the angel seemed to have adopted himself, unfortunately.
“Are you injured ?”, Cas asked.
Dean sat up on one side of his bed. “Nothing bad.” That wasn’t true. Castiel had seen the Winchester hold onto his shoulder and wince repeatedly. He stared at Dean, who stared back.
Castiel sighed and closed his eyes for a second. “Show me your shoulder.”
“It’s fine.” Right. “Dean”, he insisted. The hunter gave him a cheeky grin. “Ah come on. You know, if you want me to strip down, there are other ways to do it.”
Not that it wouldn’t be pleasant, but that was far from relevant in this case. Heavens, this man was so stubborn. Castiel sighted then looked at Dean with a blank stare.
“Okay, okay, fine !” the hunter grumbled.
Castiel approached the bed as the hunter took off his flannel, facing the wall, to reveal a black tank top. Despite the fact Dean had winced once again, the angel couldn’t see anything wrong. Until he sat beside the hunter. His friend’s shoulder was indeed in a bad shape. Dark tendrils ran from a central entry point to his neck and shoulder. Castiel involuntarily let a gasp escape, prompting Dean to look at him. “Poisoned bullet. Ketch put some sort of paste on it. It’s way better than it was hours ago.” Ketch, of course. Ketch who suddenly supposedly developed a conscience. Castiel huffed then brought two fingers to Dean’s forehead and the injury disappeared.
Silence rapidly took possession of the room. Dean was glaring at the wall, and Castiel looking at the human. The situation wasn’t a new thing. Quite the contrary. However, the awkwardness, the tension that seemed to only grow was new.
After a handful of minutes, Castiel broke. “We will find Gabriel” he started, “then we’ll be able to get Mary and Jack back.”
It turned out this wasn’t the best thing to say. Dean shot up from the bed and looked at him, frown still in place. “Don’t treat me like a freakin’ child.”
“Well, you do tend to act recklessly like a child.” Answered Castiel. “On the spur of the moment.”, he clarified.
Dean didn’t say anything at that. To be honest, he had quite managed to keep his temper in check. If you forgot the furniture breaking in the library, everything after had been quite reasonable for his standards. He was going to bottle everything up, like usual, and later be distracted by all of it. Dean needed to voice it out. “Dean, tell me what’s wrong.”
“It’s what I said earlier” The hunter started pacing. “Every time we get close to our lives being stable, there is another problem. Every single time. I’m just tired of it, I want it to be over.”
Broken record. Castiel decided to push. “Is that why you rush into danger without thinking ? You so desperately want things to happen that you don’t take time to consider options, or risks ?”
Dean stopped. “What are you talking about ?”
Dean not knowing how to let go, he could do with. But him being that stubborn and refusing to acknowledge things ? No. “What I am –“ that was it. “ Dean you came back here only to find Gabriel and Ketch and you left with the man who tried to kill you not even an hour after. You didn’t even discuss anything with Sam. You simply decided to embark for a suicide mission because you feel guilty !”
“Who are you to tell me how I feel ?” the Winchester roared.
“I’m your friend Dean. I know you.” Castiel answered, more softly. He was momentarily distracted by his thoughts going places he didn’t want, before frustration took over him. “You didn’t even let me know Dean ! You could have died because you went there recklessly without a plan.”
“I can’t leave them there !”
“I know that. But think about this. What if you had actually taken time before going in ? Time to make a real plan to find Mary and Jack, and come back. No, instead, you just went there like a bull.”
“Well I might have gone there a second time if we still had archangel grace left.”
“So you would just have left Gabriel miserable as he was ? Also, if he hadn’t taken it, Sam and I would probably be dead and Asmodeus still walking.” Castiel was starting to loose his calm as well. He stood up and faced Dean.
“And, let’s say nothing wrong happened on this side. What about everybody else? You weren’t even sure you could find jack and Mary, and, surprise, you didn’t. What if you had died there, them not even knowing you went on a rescue mission? What about everybody here ? How do you think the people who love you would have reacted ?” Dean stiffened at the word love, typical. “Did you even think about Sam ? Claire, Jody, Donna, and all your other friends ? About me ?”
Dean’s shoulders slumped. “You ?”
“Well, yes. I might not be as important as others to you…” Castiel was still hurt about the month Asmodeus had him and they never suspected a thing “But you are. And seeing you gone would have hurt me as well. ”
Anger flared again in Dean’s eyes, along with something else. “That’s… you can’t say that Cas.” Dean shoved the angel against the wall. “Not when not so long ago, YOU were the one who left m- us.” His finger jabbed at Cas’ chest when he said that. ”Not when I… not when we had to burn you after I prepared your body. You talk about me being reckless and not thinking but you’re not better.” Hurt, it was hurt in his eyes. “You ran for Lucifer in the other world Cas ! We had him cornered !”
“He would have escaped sooner had I not tried !”
“We could have been ready on the other side ! We would have pushed him !” Dean grabbed the angel’s collar, his chest heaving. “Instead he stabbed you ! You died Cas. You were dead for weeks.”
A sort of desperation crept in his voice, and Dean squeezed his eyes closed. When he reopened them, they were filled with tears. The sight was like a blow to the heart. “I can’t… I can’t loose you again Cas. After what happened, I was just a shell. So don’t you dare say you’re not important to me.” Dean had come closer, if that was even possible. Their noses were almost touching, and Castiel could feel the other man’s breath on his lips. “You are important, Cas. I need you.”
Castiel didn’t know what to say, or think. Dean had been sending so many mixed signals recently. But this… He had rarely seen his friend display so much raw emotion. The angel could understand this level of desperation. “Dean”, he finally breathed.
Dean suddenly closed the distance between them, pressing hot lips against his own. Castiel froze in shock for a second, then angled his head and moved his lips. His right hand shot to grab Dean’s wrist. Dean broke their kiss first, to breathe, and cupped Castiel’s face with his right hand. The angel leaned in the warmth, which made the hunter smile.
“Dean ? Cas ? Is everything okay ? I heard shouting.”
At the sudden noise, Dean took a sharp intake of breath and Cas banged his head on the wall. Sam. As usual, with impeccable timing. What was the word again… Ah, yes. A cockblock. Crude, but completely true.
“Yes Sammy, everything is fine.” Dean still had a hand on his face, but the other had fallen along his body. “Cas ?”
The angel sighed. It was nice of the younger Winchester, but now was not the time. “I’m okay, Sam.”
“Good. Well… Try not to kill each other.” Oh, they were pretty far from it. “See you tomorrow. Goodnight.”
“Where were we, again ?” Dean asked, after they heard Sam turn into the other part of the bunker.
Castiel tightened his grip on Dean’s neck and gently put his other hand on the hunter’s hip. “I’m not sure. I think I need a little reminder.”
Dean grinned and fell on his mouth. Unlike the first one, their kiss was sweeter. No urgency, just a sensation of… coming home. Yes, that was it. They were where they belonged, at last. The gentleness didn’t last long, though. Soon, they were moving, hands gripping each other everywhere. They stopped when Dean’s knees hit his bed. He sat, and made the angel straddle his hips.
Dean’s darkened eyes echoed with a silent question. Castiel shrugged off his coat in answer, then attacked his hunter’s lips once more. They continued kissing for some time before Castiel gently pushed the hunter’s shoulders. Dean got the message and moved back on the bed while he took off his suit jacket, then propped himself on his elbows. Castiel lifted a hand to undo his tie, but Dean grabbed the piece of cloth and used it to pull the angel closer to him.
“I’ve always wanted to do this”, he murmured. Hot lips crashed once more on his, and it marked the end of Castiel’s clear memories of the evening.
Soon they were discovering each other with a renewed fervour which let their worries shine. Fingers and mouths worshipped the other, all the while helping them reassure the other they were here, alive. Their actions reflected the trust and devotion that existed, their profound bound. The peace Castiel had been seeking finally came, along with pure ecstasy as he had never known, as he watched Dean’s face contortion with pleasure and followed him instantly.
Later that night, his hunter cradled in his arms under the covers, Castiel was relaxed for the first time in months. Although Dean was on the brim of sleep, he started chuckling. Castiel hummed, wanting to know why, and the answer threw him on a loop for part of the night.
“I guess Destiel is finally canon."