Dean felt as though he could kick himself in the head for all that had happened since that fateful night when Castiel had left. He had walked inside after watching the former angel disappear into the night and he had debated. He had debated going after him. He had debated screaming his name one thousand times in prayer until he came back, then Dean remembered his friend wasn't an angel anymore so he wouldn't hear him. It was just like that song they had danced to. He was watching the world changing around him and never ceasing to do so all while his own was turning upside down once again.
When Gabriel had told him of what was really going to happen to Castiel, Dean being of sound mind and able body almost always broke down. He had never broken down in front of anyone like that, no one but Sam. The tears that had pricked in the corners of his eyes had felt like knives piercing into his eyes. His body had shaken a little and he'd had to leave the living room and go to his room. Once he'd gotten there he'd promptly screamed and trashed his desk and thrown everything to the floor. Gabriel had explained why Castiel had resisted the urge to tell Dean why he had to leave, but it had still hurt. He had remembered Castiel's words.
"I'm lying to you right now about I'm really leaving, but I need you to trust me that the truth would hurt you far worse than a lie."
Somehow Dean had felt as though he could challenge that one.
Eventually Dean had gotten over it for the most part and he had continued his semi-normal life with Sam. Charlie had left for the convention one week after the bombshell had been dropped that night and had promised to check in. Gabriel had flown off, claiming that there was a lot he had to work through on his own. He had told the Winchesters that they should seriously consider making him a permanent ally and both Dean and Sam had agreed. After such words had been exchanged Gabriel had hugged both brothers and disappeared.
Sam had kept Dean busy with a monster of the week. Each successful hunt had made Dean feel a little better, but no amount of monster guts and underground charitable work could make the hunter forget his friend. But that was just it, Castiel had always been more. Dean had wanted to tell him that night after that dance. That dance had brought up so many memories and feelings that Dean hadn't felt since his first love. Even now as he thought about it, he felt those feelings mixed with regret. He regretted not telling Castiel while he had the chance and now he'd never have that chance ever again. That was what had kept Dean up at night every night since the former angel had left. He had believed from a young age that things were meant to happen, secretly he'd believed this forever without telling Sam, and now he didn't know if he could anymore. He hadn't been able to accept yet that Castiel leaving was for a reason. He had hoped that one day he'd have that answer.
One Year After Castiel had left...
One day he and Sam had been driving back from a fairly local hunt, which for them meant it was in the same state as the bunker. They had decided to stop for lunch somewhere. Dean hadn't known why, but something had drawn him back to Lawrence. It was as if the universe had held a giant billboard sign up in the sky telling him to drive there. It was like his foot hadn't had the least amount of control on the gas pedal and his hands had had a mind of their own when they'd moved the steering wheel in the direction of the Lawrence exit. It had been months since Dean had been to Lawrence with Sam or Castiel. The roads hadn't felt foreign though. Dean had felt like he was supposed to drive them that day. When they'd arrived at the location Dean had hoped was still there they'd been met with a big surprise. The diner had been booming, there had been people coming in and out endlessly through the doors of the establishment. Dean had let a smile grace over his face for the first time in one year. Sam had smiled too as they'd made their way through the doors, hoping to find a table.
The second surprise had come when they'd looked in the direction of the counter.
"Welcome to Cas'." A familiar voice had said and Dean's stomach had dropped to his feet. Sam's too.
Castiel had walked up to them, with a notepad in hand and a full smile on his face. He had been dressed in a blue long sleeve shirt, blue jeans, and black vans. His name tag had displayed the nickname Dean had given the angel years ago. Dean had stared at him with hope that the angel would recognize him, but no such luck had been thrown upon the hunter that day. Castiel had seated Sam and Dean at the table near the window they'd sat in both times Dean had been here with both of them and then he'd taken their drink and food orders. When he'd come back Sam had asked the questions.
"What happened to the owner of this place," Sam had asked. "Jack?"
"My employer unfortunately passed a year ago," Castiel had replied. "He left the place to me and allowed me to change the name to my own. Which I am eternally grateful for, see I wandered in here without a trace of where or who I was and he seemed to recognize me. He even said a name "Cas" which I assumed to be mine and he; well he took me under his wing until his death."
"That's great," Dean had finally spoken up. "Cas..."
"Thank you sir," Castiel had replied, it had felt weird to be called 'sir' by the former angel who had been Dean's best friend when he'd remembered being Dean's best friend. "I hope to work here for a long time."
"I'm glad you found something then," Dean had kept talking on impulse. He'd just wanted to say something, anything, to Castiel. "It's good."
"I like to think someone up there is watching out for me." Castiel had motioned to the sky with his eyes.
"He is," Dean had nodded with assurance and had basically melted all over again when Castiel had smiled in response and walked off to help other customers. Dean had kept talking even though he had walked off. "Trust me Cas. He is."
Their food had come and while Sam ate Dean had kept watching Castiel. He had thought about going up to him and trying to talk some sense into him. He had debated once again. He had debated trying to get Castiel to remember him and Sam. To remember his life before this, but something had stopped Dean. Because when Dean had thought back about all they had been through since the angel had pulled him from Hell, since they'd fought countless evils like the angels themselves, the Leviathans, the monsters and Metatron. He'd thought about one year ago and all Castiel and he had been through then and all that the former angel had done for him. As he'd watched Castiel talking to customers, smiling, and laughing he'd thought about one more thing. He'd thought about their story, the story of the angel afraid of falling and the man afraid of flying and how they'd met in the middle and had become the most unlikely of friends. How he'd fallen in love with an angel and now that he sat alone with his thoughts he could finally admit that.
Finally, he'd thought about how happy Castiel was in that moment and how Dean was alright with that. The former angel now had another chance at life and now he could live it without care or fear. Dean had felt a bit envious, but ultimately he had to lie to himself and put aside his own feelings and be happy for Castiel. Because that was what love was about?
That, however; didn't mean that Dean had to stay away. He'd agreed with himself that had to let Castiel live his life. But that hadn't stopped him from parking his iconic Impala in front of the diner once in awhile each month. That hadn't stopped him from becoming a regular at the diner, his face known by all when he entered the town and that certainly hadn't stopped him from coming in just to hear those words that had started this whirlwind of a life he'd had with his friend, the friend he'd follow down to Hell and back and he certainly had. The words that Castiel had learned to say with a smile every time and memorize again like a script in the best movie Dean had ever seen:
To which Dean would reply with an equally happy smile:
A/N: So that's it. That's how Supernatural ends. I hope you all enjoyed my interpretation and wow...I have to say thank you to everyone whose read and reviewed this! It makes me so happy that you all took a genuine interest in a story that I didn't know where I was going with it when I first published it and now I've ended up here. I feel like I'm letting go of a child. But I'm proud of this and I hope many others enjoy it as well. With that being said, it's been a thrilling ride doing this story and I'll see you all in my other ones and the many new ones yet to come.