“Dean… can we talk?” he sees Dean freeze abruptly.
“Yeah.” But it sounds as good as a no.
He knows Dean’s emotions must be raw after what he went through in Purgatory, but in truth, Castiel is on edge too. Hearing Dean run through the forest infested with monsters in tears over him hadn’t been a walk in the park.
Sam left, just a few minutes ago. Shocked out of his wits that Dean hadn’t ripped into him for messing up their plan. Even Castiel had been surprised at that; he’d been angry too. Dean had been angry as well, he could feel it rolling off his skin.
He knows he only held back because of what he’d said earlier. To show Castiel that he was trying – that he could stop his anger. Possibly to let him know that things would be different this time around… if he stayed.
And Castiel is going to stay.
There’s never been a doubt about that.
Though he left, he always came right back around to the one thing that made him feel safe. Most people presume that thing is the Winchesters, or the bunker perhaps. But in actuality, it’s been Dean’s soul. Warm, undulating and inviting, but it could turn choppy in an instant.
There’s one thing that Castiel had been dying to know. There’d never been an opportunity for him to ask without upsetting Dean. But now, since they’ve already started hashing out their emotions, he doesn’t see any harm.
“Why didn’t you call me?”
Confusion shows on Dean’s face.
Initially, he thought that he just wasn’t important enough to warrant a call. That Dean was only going to the people he loves. But today had shown him that Dean loves him too. He hadn’t said the words explicitly, but it was impossible to miss the implication, even though Dean’s panic.
“What do you mean?” Dean asks. “When you left? He shrugs, looking down into his glass. “I knew Sam was trying to get in touch with you. But you didn’t answer him, so I figured you definitely wouldn’t answer me after what I said.”
He shifts his glass slightly, to clink against Dean’s. “I always come when you call.”
A sigh leaves Dean’s lips. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t worry Dean.” He assures, “But that wasn’t what I was talking about.”
“With Michael.” He sees Dean’s face change. “And the Ma’lak box.” His voice drops as the bad memory resurfaces. The call from Sam, frantically explaining that something was wrong… that he was headed to Mary’s to figure it out. He’d begged him to head back to the bunker to start working out what was wrong with Dean. He remembers the way Sam had sat him down and explained to him gently what Dean wanted to do. The fate he wanted to resign himself to. Castiel had demanded that he talk to Dean, but Sam insisted that he could handle it.
And Castiel believed him. He followed his council right up until he couldn’t take it anymore. He donned the doctor’s outfit and hightailed it to Donatello’s side. Seeing Dean had been a slap in the face. He hadn’t even looked happy to see him. And he hadn’t even bothered to call to tell him goodbye.
“You never called me. Sam got a goodbye. Donna. You spent time with Mary.” He tries and fails to keep the bitterness and jealousy out of his voice.
Dean clears his throat awkwardly. “I was going to call you.”
“Really?” he demands. “And what were you going to say?”
“I was going to call you.” he insists. “When I was sure that I was so far away, you couldn’t catch me in time.”
“You would have told me?” his voice is hushed now because Dean hadn’t told anyone.
“No.” Dean laughs. “No way I would have told you. But… you would have known.” Dean looks at him then. “You would have insisted that I stay put so you could come find me. And… I might have listened. Then everything would be screwed. Cass there’s two people who could have convinced me to stay. You and Sam. But I knew Sam wouldn’t have figured it out. But I know you. And you know me. After one sentence I’d be toast.”
“Dean…” he swallows. “What would you have said.”
Dean stands suddenly. “Honestly, Cass. I was never going to call you.”
He finds himself at a loss for words. “But you just said.”
“I know.” Dean says gently. “But I wasn’t going to call you. I was going to pray to you.”
He looks up at Dean as his eyes flip shut. “Cass…”
His heart thunders in his chest. “I just called to say… I love you.”
Dean wouldn’t do this to him.
Dean’s eyes are still closed tightly, his hand resting on the back of Castiel’s chair for stability.
“And that I’m sorry for what I’m going to do. But please don’t try to follow me. Don’t look for me.” He sighs. “It’s better this way. I don’t want to hurt you or Sam. And I know I’m a jackass. But I couldn’t go without saying this. I mean. I think you know. You must know.”
Dean’s eyes open slightly and Castiel can see the emotion in them. The fear of rejection. The expectation. And most importantly, the love.
The only thing left for him to do, is what he would have done after hearing Dean’s prayer. He fumbles through his pockets until he finds his phone… then he calls Dean.
The loud ringing of Dean’s phone startles them both. Dean blinks at him in confusion, but answers.
“Cass?” the words echo into his ear.
“Hello Dean.” He says softly. “I just called… to say… I love you. So don’t move. I’m coming to find you. We can figure this out together. I can give you a reason to stay.”
“Okay.” Dean’s voice comes out choked as he clutches the phone to his ear. “Give me a reason.”
Castiel drops the phone and kisses him.