The cool metal of the bridge feels roots him in place as a ripple pulsates from behind him. There’s no mistaking this presence. It feels so surreal that Dean can hardly bring himself to turn around and face him.
It stands to reason that he’s here. Though Dean hadn’t prayed yet, he knows his longing trailed behind him, like a trail of breadcrumbs.
Dean grins. He can’t help himself. Because he feels the happiness welling up in his chest. Because he knows exactly who is hovering over his shoulder… like a little angel.
“Hello Dean.” That gruff voice says.
Instinctively he knows who was lurking behind him. Watching him since he entered Heaven and biding his time. Dean knew. He kind of felt comforted by the presence. But seeing him…
Seeing him after all that they’ve been through makes Dean weak at the knees. One hand remains firmly latched onto the railing and he thinks it’s really fulfilling its purpose of not letting someone fall off the edge. Or maybe not.
Seeing Cass here in the flesh… it makes him realise that he’s been free falling for a while. And that he doesn’t want to stop.
Breaking himself out of his shock, he propels himself into Cass, smashing into him and actually making him stumble a few steps back as Dean crashes into him. With a hitched breath Dean clings to him.
Cass is here.
Cass is real.
His fingers bunch the ever present trench coat as Dean lets himself sag into the angel.
The one who died for him. Who gave it all for him. The one who thought so highly of him.
And there’s so much he wants to say, but the only word that makes it out his mouth is: “Cass.”
Over and over.
Because Dean still remembers the black sludge taking over his body, dragging him away. He remembers the hollowness that followed and the space that suddenly disappeared upon hearing Cass’ voice.
Dean can hardly believe he’s real.
But this is Heaven.
Of course Cass is here.
Dean feels like an idiot - a blubbering mess - for clinging to Cass like this. But when he tries to pull back, he finds that the angel’s arms are around him, trapping him in a deadlock. Not that he wants to move anyway.
“I’ve got you.” Cass whispers, his breath tickling Dean’s ear.
And ain’t that the truth. When there was no one else in their corner… Cass had their backs. After everything he stuck with them. His loyalty had gotten him killed so many times, yet he kept coming back.
He always comes back.
“I missed you.” Dean says after a long, but poignant, silence.
“I did too.”
Slowly, reluctantly, Dean untangles himself from Cass’ embrace. “I never said thank you. For what you did. You saved me.”
You made me think I deserved to be saved.
With a gentle smile, Cass places a hand on his chest, right over his heart.
“So thank you.” Dean says, staring directly at his friend.
Licking his lips, he tries to find the right words for what he’s about to say.
“Cass - I - what you said -”
The angel looks a bit crestfallen but he doesn’t withdraw.
“It’s okay.” He says softly. “I’ve made my peace with it.”
“What’re you talking about?”
Cass cocks his head. “With you. With our relationship. I don’t expect you to - you’re not obligated to - to change things between us because of what I said.”
“I do love you, Dean.” Cass says firmly, “But I was more than happy with what we had.”
When Cass stares at him with those big blue eyes Dean mentally wills himself to say something. Because he sure as hell isn’t letting this moment pass him by a second time.
They may have all the time in the world, but Dean feels he’s been wasteful enough.
“I wasn’t.” he blurts, drawing a shocked, slightly hurt look from Cass.
He rushes to clarify. “I mean I wasn’t happy with what we had.”
Gee, Dean, that sounds a lot better. He mentally kicks himself.
“What - what do you mean?” Cass sounds so meek and hesitant and all because Dean is dancing around something he still can’t accept.
He’s dead and he still can’t say it.
He searches Cass face as he absorbs his revelation.
“More.” he repeats, staring at Dean blankly.
“Yeah, Cass.” He breathes. “I want more and I’m tired of pretending otherwise.”
Now Cass just gapes mutely at him so Dean rambles on. “I mean we’re dead man. We died. Well you’re kinda alive I guess, but we’re here. Together. And I want more with you. I want to try. We - we can figure it out. Right?”
Dean breaks off when he realises that Cass has gone glassy eyed.
So Dean rests a hand on his shoulder, gently drawing the angel back to the present.
Cass deserves the world after everything that he’s done. Dean might not be able to give him that, but he can give him something he knows will make him happy. Because Cass deserves to be undeniably, unabashedly happy. He deserves to laugh and smile and make all the bad jokes he wants. He deserves to feel free. He deserves to be himself - no more hiding, no more doubt. Just Cass.
Dean’s heart swells at the thought and he steadies himself because he knows what he wants. And he’s finally ready to let himself have it.
He feels free enough to let himself have it.
Cass’ words resonated within him and he finally feels worthy enough to have it.
“You deserve to be loved.” He says, in a way that can’t be misinterpreted. “Let me love you.”
And then Dean does the unthinkable. He leans in, staring at Cass’ lips. Those pink lips that suddenly look so intimidating. Lips that barely have a chance to form the word ‘yes’ before they’re being attacked by Dean’s lips.