Neither of them expected that the nerdy little angel in the tan trench coat would become such a big part of their lives. No more than they anticipated how much they would miss him once he was gone. This wasn't the way things were supposed to go. Losing Cas hadn't been one of the outcomes they foresaw. It never even occurred to them that Cas wouldn't come home with them.

And it should have occurred to us, Sam thought as he watched Dean filch around in the brown grocery bag. We should have anticipated that losing Cas was possible.

The only reason for why they hadn't thought it a possibility was because Cas was brought back twice before by some unknown helper. Whatever the reason, when they set out to confront Cas, it was with the sole intention of talking him into returning the souls he had absorbed from Purgatory and coming home with them. They hadn't known, not at that time, about what sort of monsters Cas sucked in. Vampires, werewolves, demons, and ghouls were nothing in comparison to the monsters Cas called Leviathan in that brief moment he had of clarity.

"Dean..."

"Cas is gone, man. He ain't coming back. Not this time."

"You don't know that, Dean." Sam shook his head. "You don't know that Cas is gone for good. He could just be... lost."

"I've been down this road before, Sam." Dean popped the top off a beer and tossed it into the trash can by the table. "And I fought my way back then the same way I am gonna do now."

"Yeah?" Sam challenged. "And how are you gonna do that? Huh?"

"The same way I always do: with a ton of bullets, some Busty Babes, and a whole lotta booze." He lifted the green colored bottle and drained half of its contents in one long swallow. When he finished, he lowered the bottle and rasped, "A whole lotta booze, in fact."

"So, you're gonna do what you always do: bottle your emotions up rather than deal with them."

Of course, it was what Dean would do. His grief always turned into fury, a raging flood of bitter anger he would smother with copious amounts of alcohol, cheap women, and an insane level of violence.

"Hey." There was velvet steel underscoring that single word. "You do you, and I'll do me."

It was a veiled warning about backing off while Dean still had a small ribbon of patience left. Sam did so, but not happily.

"Whatever, man."

He opened his laptop and started searching for something, anything that would help distract Dean from the death of Cas. He acknowledged, albeit silently that doing so made him an enabler.

It wasn't like he had any other choice.

Dean was not in the mood for a lecture about how he chose to deal with his grief.

And he was too heartsick about losing another brother to fight with the only one he had left.


A/N: Hello, all! Hope this finds you all well!

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