“I tried to kiss him,” Dean gasped out, tugging on his hair and pacing back and forth across the motel carpet until there was a line in the carpet where his feet had trodden too many times. “I tried to kiss him. Shit. I tried to- I almost kissed him.”
“So why didn’t you?” Sam asked, finally speaking up after watching Dean pacing like a caged animal; only talking when he thought it was safe to speak without being murded by his brother.
Dean spun around, eyes blazing as he shot Sam a sharp look. “What part of ‘Cas is my best friend’ isn’t sinking in, Sam?” Dean snapped. “What the hell did I do that for?” Dean resumed his pacing. “God. He was right there. I couldn’t… I shouldn’t have been… but if I’d just… I could’ve actually… I tried to kiss him.”
Sam grabbed one of the books from the bed and hurled it at Dean as hard as he could. “Get your head out of your ass, Dean.”
“Ow! The Hell was that for?”
Sam dropped his head into his hands, muttering something that sounded like “bitch of a brother” before he was staring at Dean with a withering look. “Go back out there, and kiss him!”
“Why?” Dean asked, aghast. “Wasn’t one failed attempt enough damage for the rest of time?”
Sam gestured wildly at the door. “Then don’t fuck it up this time! Go out there, grab him, and kiss him. For the love of God, Dean. Don’t just attempt it. Actually do it.” Getting up from the bed, Sam shoved his brother towards the door. “If I have to watch this painful pining between the two of you any longer I’m going to lose it. Kiss him already.”
With that, Sam yanked open the door and pushed Dean outside, where Cas was also pacing back and forth next to the Impala. The same place Dean had leaned in and tried to kiss Cas less than an hour ago after a successful hunt that had them all on an adrenaline high; laughing and happy with the sun setting behind them and chocolate bars of victory in their hands.
Slamming the door shut, Sam dropped back down on the bed and resumed his reading on a book of spells that Rowena had given him a few weeks ago.
Twenty minutes later, the door opened and Cas walked in, followed very closely by Dean, who had a hand on the small of Cas’ back.
“Well?” Sam asked, looking up from his book.
“Dean kissed me,” Cas replied, soft and happy and completely dazed as he looked at Dean with stars in his eyes.
Dean beamed at the angel, leaning in to kiss him all over again. “Cas kissed me back.”
don’t wanna fall asleep without you
word count: 1,381 (continued under the read more), also posted on ao3
A day and a half after Cas has been rescued from the Empty, he realizes he needs sleep. But that… well, it’s easier said than done.
Even though his body is exhausted, a fatigue that makes Cas feel dizzy with its potency, every time he tries to fall asleep, his brain is flooded with the Empty; wrapping around him and pulling him down down down into darkness, into pain, into cold loneliness and complete despair.
He tries to fight through it. Tries to dig his fingers into the warm bed sheets of his bed and feel the soft pillow cushioning his head. But the comforts are short lived. It isn’t enough to fight the creeping inky blackness as it swallows Cas whole again and again.
So instead, he forces himself to wander around the Bunker until the exhaustion is unbearable; until he collapses and falls asleep leaning against the jukebox in Dean’s cave or curled up in the hallway outside of Dean’s room or in the garage with his head against the drivers door of the Impala.
He wasn't aware of it at the time. How he finds spaces that are etched by Dean’s presence or his energy. How, even in his fatigued conscience, he gravitates towards Dean’s essence.
And he shouldn’t. He knows he shouldn’t. If his brain wasn’t so fuzzy, he would scream at himself to stop falling for this agonizing torment.
Dean doesn’t love him back. Otherwise Dean would’ve said something when he rescued him… wouldn’t he? But he didn’t; he just kept touching Cas’ shoulder and repeating that Cas was home home home. And Cas can live with that. He can. He told Dean his truth, and everything else is out of his control.
That’s the hardest part though. Accepting that he isn't an Angel like he used to be. He can’t control fate and choices and destiny like he used to. Or maybe he never could. Maybe it was all Chuck. Not that it matters anymore. Not that his tired brain can process it anyway; his sleep-addled brain is unreliable and makes decisions he wouldn’t make if he were more awake.
Especially because it’s late, and now it’s a week after his escape from the Empty, and he’s leaning against Dean’s chair in the Dean cave, and now he’s seeing Dean crouching down in front of him and, oh, what a beautiful mirage he is, and oh, Cas’ heart clenches in his chest because Dean is beautiful and God, Cas wants him and he loves him and it’s too much too much too much.
The words sound unreal in Cas’ ear. “C’mon Angel. Let me take care of you.”
And that can’t be real. Because he’s not an Angel anymore. Or maybe he is and maybe he isn’t. Some powers remain and some have been sucked away by the tendrils of the Empty.
But the hands on his skin feel warm and tender as his body is floating up up up and then there’s a guided walk to his room and a hand slowly helping him into bed as sheets are tucked softly and carefully under his chin.
“I’ve got you,” lingers in the air, and Cas can’t tell if the words are spinning in his head, fabricated by his own desires, or if they were ever even spoken aloud at all.
A soft brush of lips to his forehead, a hand resting against his shoulder, and a weight lingers on the other side of the bed. “Sleep, Cas. You’re safe. I’m not letting anything happen to you ever again.”
Cas finally allows sleep to lap at his subconscious until he’s lulled into peace.
When his eyes flutter open again, the room is quiet. There’s no presence by his side. He’s in his own bed with the sheets tucked around him. He can’t remember how he got here; if he fell asleep in his bed all along, or if, in his weary state, he managed to stumble his way back to his own room before passing out. But there’s no Dean perched at the end of his bed. Just a mirage invented by his exhausted brain. It aches so deeply in Cas’ chest that he doesn’t know how to cope. It feels like it’s cracking his ribs apart and tearing his heart from his chest.
Cas vows never to sleep again.
But two nights later, it happens again. Sleep clambers at his brain, making him feel dreadful and dizzy. The same mirage finds Cas as he’s slumped against the hood of the Impala. It’s so tempting and surreal that Cas wonders if it’s just another tactic invented by the Empty. Maybe he was never rescued. Maybe this is all just another torture device meant to tear Cas apart agonizingly slowly.
“Cas,” Dean’s voice murmurs, and then Cas feels like he’s being scooped up into a warm embrace. “You’ve gotta stop doing this to yourself. Just ask for help. Let me take care of you.”
There’s the sounds of distant doors creaking and then the softness of a mattress as it dips beneath Cas’ hips. Blankets are wrapped around him, and Cas reaches out to the mirage. Does his hand go through it? Or does it rest against skin? He just can’t quite tell.
“Stay,” he manages to say, voice thick with sleep, and he’s not sure if any of this is real.
“There’s nowhere else I want to be. Just here with you.”
The words wrap around Cas like wings protecting his heart, and he lets sleep consume him.
When he wakes up, blinking his eyes against the heaviness of sleep, there’s a warm weight next to him with a distinct aura that Cas knows by heart. Dean.
Oh God. It was real. Dean was there last night and every night before.
“Dean.” Cas doesn’t mean to say the name out loud, but Dean’s eyes immediately flutter open and their gazes lock. “You’re here.”
The look on Dean’s face is enough to crack Cas’ heart and sew it back together. Dean’s hand reaches out, softly cradling Cas’ face against the pillow. “I meant it when I said it last night, Cas,” Dean murmurs, so feather soft that Cas feels like he could meld those words right into his wings.
Dean’s thumbs stroke across his cheeks. “There’s nowhere else I want to be.”
Cas feels like he’s swallowed cotton balls. His throat feels thick and he can’t breathe. “This is real?” Cas asks as he reaches up to feel Dean’s hands resting on his face.
There’s a soft squeeze of fingers against the stubble on Cas’ cheeks as Dean nods. “You’re home, Cas. You’re with me. I should’ve said it days ago, but I’m not good with words. You know that.”
Swallowing thickly, Cas asks quietly, “What do you mean?”
When Dean leans down, hands still cupping Cas’ face, there’s a moment where everything hangs in the balance between them; a precipice of everything that has accumulated between them for so many years. Dean’s lips brush against Cas’, and oh. Cas has never felt something so real in his entire life.
The kiss is warm and sweet. It’s home and yet it’s something never explored. A lingering sensation of completeness mixed with a revelation of a new depth of love. Reciprocated. Whole.
When their lips part on an exhale, Cas feels like he’s floating. He reaches up to trace a finger along Dean’s nose and then across his eyelid and down to linger against Dean’s lower lip.
Dean bows his head, murmuring the one word Cas had said last night. “Stay.”
Cas feels like his heart is going to beat right out of his chest and jump into Dean’s. “I’m right here, Dean. Just you and me.”
When Dean climbs into the bed next to Cas, it heals the hole that had been gnawing at Cas’ subconscious. The reason he hadn’t been able to sleep. There was a Dean sized gap waiting to be filled, and now Dean’s here, wrapping his arms around Cas' waist and pressing a kiss to his temple. When Cas tilts his head and Dean meets him halfway in a kiss, this kiss is too good to be imagined.
“Sleep, Cas,” Dean murmurs. “I’ve got you.”
And finally, Cas believes it.
Do I have my own issues with Winchesters? Yes. Do I have my own issues with continuity and similarity to the story of John and Mary we were told in Supernatural? Yes. Am I more interested in Dean’s current whereabouts during the show than John and Mary? Yes. Am I gonna watch the show anyway? Yes.
Regardless, I’m gonna trust Jensen and his vision. This man knows more about Supernatural than any of us. So I wanna see how this plays out. I want to know why Jensen said Sam as a narrator wouldn’t work out, the most logical reasoning being that Dean’s narration is taking place while he’s in Heaven and Sam’s still on Earth. I wanna know why Jensen chose to have that one second shot of Castiel’s intro scene from Lazarus Rising, I wanna know why Jensen said he’d just have Misha bring his own trench coat in that interview if this story is supposed to be about John and Mary.
My realistic theory is that Dean’s in Heaven (despite the lighting looking less warmly lit like it did in the finale and more like Earth scenes are usually shot), waiting for Sam. Either he can’t find his parents or he did and figured they were hiding their past from him or something, and that drove him to find the truth himself. Maybe he finds the people John and Mary hunted with, or someone who will tell him the story, and that’s how we get the John and Mary scenes.
My less realistic theory is that Dean wanted to tell a story of his parents that didn’t end in a fiery death and child abusing parenting of a know nothing Hunter. As rose tinted glasses type.
I’m not sure how Cas or Sam would fit into that theory, but I’m not sure how the whole “Sam as a narrator wouldn’t make sense for the timing” if they’re hardly apart during the canon timeline. Demon Dean didn’t have Baby, so it couldn’t be then. The Samulet is on the rear view so it’s clearly post season 11. When we’re they ever apart after that??
Who knows, maybe this is some alternate reality type beat. Maybe another dimension that Dean gets thrown into and John and Mary are different.
I know people don’t like that the story diverts from the canon one. I’m not sure I like it either. But somehow all this confusion of when and where and why feels intentional. Dean wants to tell a story that wouldn’t just be a repetition of things we already know.
Honestly? I just hope Cas is in it. I miss him.