“Knowing all you know, would you risk yourself again to raise him up, Castiel?”
Groaning heavily, Bobby steels himself and says, “Every time he comes back from the dead, the dark side, or even just craziness, you think, ‘Here’s one more chance,’ but the truth is, Dean, every time he falls, that’s one less chance you have to tell him, and eventually, you’ll have wasted them all.”
“Through all the layers of hurt and lies and betrayal between you and me, the fact we’ve somehow become family will never change, Cas,” Dean says, “and so, if you ever hurt Sammy again, I’ll find a way to end you, but anything else- once I have some time to cool down, I’m going to be there for you.”
Cas prays for a sign, and when his phone rings, it’s Dean saying, “Hey, Cas, listen, uh, if you aren’t busy, do you think maybe we could go for burgers or something and just, uh, talk?”
“Oh, please, as King of Hell, I’m the closest thing to the devil there is, and you made a deal with me for the sake of him, so, try to sell your, ‘I’m not in love with the squirrelly hunter,’ to someone who doesn’t know better.”
“Say you’re right,” Dean says to Bobby, “now, give me one good reason why I should ever take such a chance.”
“Cas, that was great,” Dean says with such a smile, Castiel instinctively realises he’s on unfamiliar, highly dangerous ground.
Bobby isn’t sure whether dealing blood-addicted Sam was worse or not than trying to have this particular conversation about Cas with Dean.
“Dean, listen to me,” Cas pleads, and when Dean does, Cas realises he’s truly been forgiven.
“Sam’s life or your angel’s freedom,” Dean is told.
“Cas, put your shirt on, the amount of pale makes me worry Jimmy might have been a vampire,” a rather red Dean mutters while looking determinedly around the room.
“Because, if there’s one thing your dad and I agreed on, it was that you and Sam needed to be tough.”
“And maybe he did, but for me it was never about being able to gank demons or hold your own in a fight, it was about, you find yourself so stupid in love that you can’t breathe right without someone around, you take the risk, even if you think you know they don’t feel the same, even if it means society is going to condemn you, even if you’re terrified of what me and Sam and your dad would think, you still man up and take the risk.”
Winchester, Castiel is the first thing Cas reads when he regains his sanity and looks down at his hospital bracelet.
“Even the freakishly tall, idiotically oblivious and naïve moose can see it,” Crowley continues.
“Yeah, and in this hypothetical situation of me loving an angel who's almost destroyed the world and hurt Sammy once, do you have any idea how the price of me doing something like laying it all out might be?”
“Too high for you to not do it,” Bobby answers.
“Hello, Dean,” Cas greets, and the way everything inside Dean calms down sets off a different set of alarms inside.
“Cas needs his own room,” Dean says when he and Sam move into the batcave.
Dean tries not to think about the fact Cas made him brand new, once.
“Here’s a prepaid cell, so you can keep in contact with us,” Dean tells Cas.
The stars in the sky highlight every freckle on Dean’s face, and Cas wishes they could stay underneath them until he could count every single one.
He knows Dean wouldn’t take such a sentiment as a compliment.
“Dean, it’s summer, let him keep his shirt off,” Sam traitorously interjects.
Sam suggests Dean help Cas with sunscreen, and Cas replies, “No, the skin might redden slightly, but my vessel won’t get sunburn.”
Cas watches Dean and Lisa playfully dancing around the kitchen and yet again realises he can’t involve Dean.
“In the end, it’s your call, but I promise you, son, if you lose all your chances, you’re never going to be able to face a mirror without seeing a coward,” Bobby finishes.
“The martyrs nailed to crosses didn’t give their lives so that loving relationships could be condemned,” a struggling young woman is told by a pale, blue-eyed man.
Cas removes the hospital bracelet from his wrist but doesn’t throw it away.
Fingers means healing, palm means destruction, and Dean is left utterly bewildered when a gentle palm pressing against his cheek means the pain is gone but he’s still undoubtedly alive.
Sometimes, Sam wants to say, ‘Stop being what Dad wanted, and be whatever you are, Dean.’
He can’t handle my true voice, Castiel realises when Dean Winchester starts bleeding.
Cas’s coworkers debate and take bets on what Cas and man who occasionally comes in to talk to him are to one another.
He never told Sammy, but he had plans to reopen Purgatory, just long enough to slip back in.
There were times Dean would touch the handprint, and when it was gone, he still occasionally found himself reaching up to hover over where it once was.
When Sam suggests they all go swimming, Dean starts to wonder if his brother might be possessed or otherwise under the influence of something evil.
Benny hopes, for his own sake, the angel this hunter will do anything to save is still alive to be saved.
Sells of beef jerky and pie always go up when Cas’s mystery companion appears.
“The next time you turn human, we’re going to Las Vegas,” Dean randomly announces.
“Dean, please,” Cas says, and Dean has no choice but to comply.
“Do you really think having a pet angel gives you an advantage over me,” a monster demands.
Cas stands in the shadows and watches the brothers sleeping.
“I always come when you call,” Cas reminds him.
Sam’s sleeping soundly in a recliner, and next to Cas, Dean’s head has drooped down onto Cas’s shoulder, and as some nonsensical Western plays on the TV, Cas wonders how long he’ll be able to keep such a wonderful feeling of contentment.
He’s certain it won’t last long.
“What is with angels always wanting to scorch the earth,” Dean demands of Cas.
When Cas apologies for being a bore again, Dean says with bemused sincerity, “Cas, you’re never boring.”
Even at night, Dean moves around too much to give Cas a chance to properly study the freckles.
“Just a minute, Cas, I need to talk to you about something.”
In the end, Dean reaches his limit of only being able to breathe right when Cas is around and knows he needs to act before he loses one more chance.