He was sitting there and he was not thinking. The one thing he knew… that he had to do was not to think. Not to think about what just happened in front of his eyes, that very scene that keeps playing, with no recovery period or pausing. That very scene which did not indicate that it was planning on slowing down for even a second any time soon or ever again. That very scene that stored itself right next to all the others that came before it, those which have the same outcome to them even if they didn’t share the same sequences of events. That same scene that keeps on repeating itself like there was no purpose for it except that very thing, repeating itself on a loop, begins again even before it rewind itself from the start, over and over again.
Torturing him, keeping him trapped into that moment. Mind frozen and heart full of despair.
He lost him again, lost Cas again. And it doesn’t feel like he can make it this time, it never felt like he can get through the moment before, the moment in which he lost Cas. he’s always been trapped in them, reliving them over and over.
Always losing Cas.
His heart doesn’t seem to be able to take it, make it. Skip that moment to the next.
It’s too much, too heartbreaking a moment for him to be able to walk past… he just can't do that just yet, not now. And from what he can tell from what he could actually gather of his shattered feelings, he doesn’t believe he can ever skip. It’s just the same as the others before… he can never escape the feeling of Cas fading from his life like he wasn't even there if not for a heart, Dean’s heart, he left barely alive and constantly breaking and rebreaking till it reaches the stage when it can fade from the very fabric of the world, just he saw Cas fade.
So he’s not thinking. He’s sitting sobbing and still… and he’s not thinking.
There’s a voice, it’s coming from some place far.
It’s something ancient, it seems, something he heard once or hundred times before. It echoes… echoes with memories along the sounds. And they’re all from the times he had been before… they had been before, Cas and him… always together till pulled apart. Always belonging till they’re ripped apart, never meant to be until they made it so. Until they made the choice. Again and again and again…
And, It’s all there in the voice.
It’s calling to Dean from somewhere, calling him to break the loop, to stop the sobs, to stand on his two feet and go make everything right again. Go get Cas and never let go this time. Never let go again. And if the world is to end, it’d end with them both in the same plane of existence, alive and… well if not well then together... just existing together one last time. At the very most and never the least, they would be together , and if that’s how it ends so be it.
But the voice is willing him to fight. To fight to get them all out, to get them all free. And somewhere deep, somewhere under the waves of the still overpowering disbelieve, the ever present longing and the not even yet processed surge of grieve, there’s that part of him that have its hope intact still, a part that refuses to believe it’s the end of all and that's the story, their story, is over.
A part that’s not ready yet to wave the white flag in defeat. Nor it has the desire to surrender to the overwhelming stream of hopelessness flavored with despair.
But the rest of him…
The rest of him is still under the effect of his whole world ending before the end. The rest of him still trying not to think too much about it all. Because the hurt is too fresh for him to deal with, to unpack and make sense of.
What he needs ـــ still need ـــ was… is… not to escape nor dive head first into the emotional abyss, because he doesn’t dare make that move, he doesn’t think he can make it out if he does go there. Last time he didn’t make it on his own. Last time the cosmic balance intervened. But this time he saw just a minute ـــ hours ago...! ـــ its speaker and presenter disappear along with Cas. this time no one's here to refuse him the jump.
So he wouldn’t make it.
The voice, he hears it, and it speaks in a tone he can get… it’s telling not to make the move not to give in just yet.
He just doesn’t seem to be able to prevent the sobs from breaking out of him and into the empty air.
Was it a minute ago… or was it hours?! When that empty space was alive with Cas' being filling every single gap in between its atoms.
He doesn’t know what to do… he doesn’t want to leave but he knows he can’t sit still and just... stay for much longer.
He knows it deep within. But he can’t really make it out just yet.
He doesn’t want to lose himself into that moment’s void but he finds it really difficult to resist.
Because the knowledge there is still new, even if he remembers that he did know all about it sometime ago… before.
that loop! It’s not easy to escape that one either.
And it's not that he didn't know what he wanted, what he always has been wanting. He did... he does... he's known for a while now, it's just the fact that he didn't believe that he had a way to have it. to have him. and after what just happened now, and all that ever happened before that, he still doesn't have any idea on how he can reach Cas there. How to make it so that he can tell him once and for the rest of this universe' s existence, for whatever length of time that may be, that he always had him, always did. That Dean belonging with him, to him, was a given from so long ago, and that Dean had given that right freely, and wholly, in a way he never had the power to give anything to anyone before or after that.
Dean doesn’t know the means to how he can make it where Cas is yet, his mind is not there yet...not yet. Still the grief of the moment overshadows everything else that came after or happened before it. But he knows like he always sort of did, that even if the mere thought of his love for Cas and the fact that he now knows that Cas truly loves him in return, scares the shit out of him. That the way he feels, knows himself, he’s helpless and clueless like never before. He doesn’t quite know how to go from here, except for all the way he does.
because now that he knows, now that he aware of Cas' feelings for him along with his, aware of that there was hope for them… once, and hundred of times before. and that they were too oblivious to get the choice and the chance. they were too scared to take the leap, to jump the distance right into the depth of the cliff while armed with the knowledge that the other is there, at the deep end, ready to catch them and offer more than the rescue of the catch. He now knows that they can get their chance later, maybe a minute or months from now, when it’s all over, when they get to be free. And they’ve got to be free. Because they damn well deserve it . He hears the voice say, and it’s louder than before. It’s louder than his sobs and clearer over the clenches of his heart. And he can not dare to not hear it now.
He just can’t .
But he still doesn’t know what to think or how or when to think it, but he thinks that he can get there if he begins to try.
He’s still sitting with his back to the cold, dark dungeon's wall, the one Cas threw him at after the kiss that wasn’t, his phone stopped ringing a while back now and he’s sure, somewhere in his not aware yet conscious, that Sam and Jack are on their way to check on him anytime now, but he can’t feel his legs yet to try and make it out of here… he’s not frozen in the moment anymore, and still he can’t leave it just yet. He can relive the sound of Ca’s soft confession and recharge on how it made him whole for a second despite the hurt, he can have that for a moment yet. Just like how he still can feel the phantom touch of Cas’ palm on his waist, and how it’s starting to make him warm again after it was a doorway to the darkness of the void for what seems to be so long and not even close enough a time to scar the opened wound... but it’s warm again now, it’s giving him hope for something to come, for something more.
There’s a voice, and it’s coming from some place within.
He didn’t get it at first, but then he started to get it.
He’s got it just now.
Like he did before.
Like he always did.
they were here before, he felt it , lived it, had to come for the other side of it... and he's gonna do it again and again and again...
and this time, they're gonna make it through.
because this time, they're truly free.
this time, he's gonna get Cas back... he heard that melody before, what's following it another time around?!
He didn’t bother to clean the deep lines that dirt and tears carved into his cheeks, he knows how to go from here now. But first he got a world to stop form ending.
And so the voice had said...
After… There were quiet.
And there’s not such a need to say that he loathed every second of it, because he still does, he still hate it, and he probably will till he get Cas Back. and get him back he will. It’s only a matter of time and strategy logistic to shuffle through and long hours of waiting and wanting and hoping it’s not taking to long for him to make the plan, because they have no clue of how and where Cas is being at any giving moment and it’s to scary and nerve-wracking a thought to linger much on… so he doesn’t, none of them do. They’re just working on the ‘how’ to reach there and ‘when’ they can go about the whole logistical side of the thing.
They didn’t need to speak about the ‘who would be the one to go’ thing, because it’s such a given, no one even thought to question it.
It’s Dean’s role, his choice and his mission, his everything. It’s dean’s Cas. He's their best friend, they all have that in common, yes. And he's also a brother and a father and he's family. But most of all and above all the rest, he's the love of Dean's life, he's Dean's everything put into one celestial being who always was too much of a human to pass as one of divine's hands. The one with too much heart who also has every bit of Dean's attached to his tiniest fingers' to order and command. So getting him back… it's Dean's job to get gone, no one even needs to question it.
It’s the truest fact they know, truest as the fact that all of them are real, really there, and always were as much as they will always be.
And Dean… as much as he can’t appreciate much of anything at the moment, he appreciates that they never thought to persuade him to change his mind, make him think that there was no hope to get Cas back.
No one ever did, not even Sam who always tried to be the one with the realistic approach about the whole ordeal every time Cas was lost to them, to dean. But he never tried to do that this time around, not once.
this time after it was all back and running, after Eileen was back and warm and walking, living, breathing evidence that it all worked for at least a few hours with them. After Jack, from afar, witnessed Chuck shot himself of his own volition, with a stolen pistol, and flung himself from a cliff right after.
After Jack told them that he won’t be long, just a couple of days, maybe a few weeks at most and he'll be back with them. and after they talked with every family member, friend and hunter they knew to make sure all of them were alright and there.
And it's, from an outsider looking in, peace at last.
It was all good, they were free, but it was all so quiet still for Dean to not feel suffocating on his own thoughts.
There’s that voice, again... and this time, it’s coming from some place near.
It came again...
And it's surrounding him. All around him. He can’t escape it. Can’t mute it. And to be completely honest, he doesn’t think he wants to.
The voice is unwavering, grounding, haunting, loud and whispering. It says: “find him… you need to find him.. you 've got to find him… you just need to… you just have to… it’s the only way you can go, it’s the only way you can escape here, it’s the only way you can run…the one way to get you free...”
And it’s like a chant. It echoes, the melody is never-ending and the harmony is made out of his own thoughts.
His thoughts… the ones which are more like a being of their own these days, they're like a single-force unit frantically urging him to never give up on finding Cas. To make sure he does locate him, find him, hold him in his arms again and never let go, ever again.
Never to let him leave again. Never to let him believe that he's not loved or wanted ever again.
This loop is the strongest yet, this one he doesn't want to let go. Or move from or escape. Not until he got Cas out.
Not until he holds him whole.
It's an old song. The one they're taking parts in and playing now. That one that always has Cas lost, him losing Cas, him searching like a man possessed trying to pinpoint where in the living hell did Cas go, where's he now, and well doesn't he respond to his calls and prayers despite all the facts that say that he can actually hear and receive them.
It's not even sad one anymore, not even tragic in all the ways the great tragedies in the world were made, there's no moral for the taking after you reach "the end" line, no melancholy to be felt or wishful thinking to be had, because it's as brutal as it is vicious... he'd even often call it cruel, and no person with a heart still beating would find in it any form of relatability or even the cheapest forms of entertainment. It'd just leave bad taste into mouths as it leaves bad prints onto minds and nobody loves either one. They’d probably find as much fun as Dean finds in it, which an any case worth mentioning, is always none.
He can’t even appreciate the irony in the whole mess of those recurring events, he can’t be appreciative of how it can be checked as an act of a bad writer in lieu of the very abstract body of divine.
How very unoriginal of a bastard god, Dean would maybe thinks… or perhaps the whole thing; them losing each other, needing to find one another over and again, them having to make a choice, make a dare, make a wish and pray that the universe would be merciful enough this time around, that it would understand...that they would be allowed to just be with one another this time ad every time after, that they wouldn’t have to sacrifice a limb, a soul’s wish and a heart desire for a world that was design to keep them apart again. That they would be allowed to stay this time. That they would be allowed to keep the other this time. That the world would leave them be this time. That he finally would…
And yet, here they’re again, one is messing on a wander into the void of the unknown, and the other is on their heel, chasing after them, starting a journey to be the other’s beacon to the way back, to the path leading back out, back home.
Dean doesn’t know, he really doesn’t, why it seems that the latter of both journeys, more often than not, is the one he has to stumble his way through, along with his self-doubt and the endless questions that always wondering if he’ll ever be enough, if he can be worthy, if he ever can be home to Cas. Same as Cas' home to him.
But it looks like it’s the hand he’s been dealt and he supposed there’s no arguing with that. Not when Cas’ life on the other side of the burgeoning, not when the meaning of his life is always lost with the other absence. Not if he wanted to actually start on with his living.
He didn’t do it before, and he will not do it now.
Again.. For one more time, he’ll do it again.
It’s an old song, and Dean just about began to realize that both of them
had to relive it again and again and again. Without hoping for much change, with all the yearning for it to be the last repeat of the rhythm, for them to be after this reprise free.
They had to live it full and whole, for them t o be able to learn from it, to grow. And maybe that's because they’re two of the most stubborn sons of bitches that ever graced the earth, maybe they're even the absolute worst of them all when it comes to being the pain in the divine’s ass while being the embodiment of everything that's worth living for in this universe.
But because of that they needed to live their journey like that. but really, Dean doesn’t even care.
Maybe he’ll do later, with Cas alive and whole by his side, maybe they’d do it together, the ‘questioning of all the things that had been and never to be again’, while longing one late afternoon on their shared bed in their shared room. And maybe they’d skip that part all together and jump to the happiness. Because damn if they didn't deserve just that by now.
But for now Dean has a mission to go through,
It’s Cas’ being ـــ dean’s everything, on the line once again, and he been damned enough times as it stands already but for Cas he would do it all again, saving and damning and standing toe to toe with god, and whichever gods left and want to take a turn, he’ll do all of it again for Cas to be at his side, for ever. For Cas to has a chance at happiness, pure unmatched happiness that one no one of them had the chance to experience before, that one that not a single person in the entire universe deserve to discover more that Cas. and he will discover it, live it, and love every single second of it, if that’s the last thing Dean get to do in his existence.
He swears it. He will get it gone.
Cas just has to wait a little longer, wait for Dean. as much as Dean is waiting for him.
And they will get there, in time, he promises that they will.