Dean gets up and he feels the new power pumping through his veins, surging through his arms, buzzing in the very tips of his fingers. Everything he sees more vivid, hearing more acute, the heady smell of his own blood drying on his clothes stronger than it's ever been.

He knows part of him is supposed to be disgusted that this is what he's become; he knows that he should be repulsed, ashamed, afraid even. But he feels so steady, so solid; so alive, he's never felt alive like this. There's a thread pulling at the back of his mind, nagging at his no longer existent heart, and he knows there's some reason that part of him should be grieving the loss of his humanity, but he just can't bring himself to give a damn.

He can sense Sam somewhere in the bunker, and as soon as he blinks he's there, standing across the room from his brother, who turns and sees him and nearly falls out of his chair, until he notices Dean's eyes and then he's jumping up and stumbling backwards and,

"Dean?" Cas walks through the door, voice thick and tear tracks on his cheeks. He turns and feels his eyes flicker from black to green to black again, but Cas doesn't seem to notice- or care, because he's suddenly right there, arms pulling Dean close, holding onto him for dear life. And Cas kisses him, like it's something he's done a million times, but more like he's digging his heels into the ground and refusing to let this moment fall through the cracks. Dean feels the knot untying itself, the pieces fitting into place and he remembers why he now has no trouble hating the demon in his skin. He kisses Cas back as hard as he can, one last ditch effort to claw his way out of the pit.

"I thought you were dead." Cas whispers into his mouth, "I thought that I wasn't going to get to tell you- I love you, Dean." Cas looks him in the eyes, in the empty black eyes and says "I love you- no matter what."

Dean closes his eyes and realises- he no longer knows what that means.