This was supposed to be a one-shot, it really was, and I'm ending it right after this part because I really can't justfy continuing beyond this point. The Dean/Cas angle is a little bit stronger in this one, and more on Cas's part as this is in his POV. I will say that I blame lotus-bugxm9 for encouraging me, but I really don't mind in the least.

Castiel is well aware that neither he nor Dean has approached the subject of the exchange that they shared in Bobby Singer's hospital room. He is also well aware that it is entirely possible they never will, Dean does not like to discuss such things, preferring the idea that if he ignores them, they will go away, and Castiel will be the first to admit that as far as emotional understanding goes, he is about as aware of it as a tree stump.

It has to be discussed, however, because the words are hanging over them both like a death threat and he knows that as much as Dean's words hurt him, his own also hurt Dean and that is something that Castiel has never been interested in doing. The words are always there, though, in the back of Castiel's mind and the angel knows that Dean thinks on them a great deal as well. They cannot be expected to function in this way and Castiel knows that he will have to be the one to approach Dean.

Enough, this is not a theological issue, it's strategic, with God's help we can win.

"We need to talk," he tells the human, no preamble, no niceties, the simple truth and he can see the wheels turning in Dean's mind as he tries to think of a way out of this, attempts to shrug it all off. "Dean, please."

Dean closes his eyes, sits on one of the rickety chairs with a sigh and finally turns hard green eyes upon the angel.

"Go ahead, talk."

It's a pipe dream, Cas

"I would like to apologise for my words in the hospital a few days ago, they were unnecessarily harsh and I have no right to blame you for my mistakes." The words do not come easily, especially with the memory of Dean's mingling with the memory of his own.

He sees Dean shift uncomfortably. The mistakes were Castiel's and his alone, if he had not listened to Dean, if he had not let his admiration for the man's tenacity in the face of all odds, the brilliant burn of a righteous heart, he would not be in this position now. So he stands, arms limp at his sides, and watches Dean, is not sure if he expects an apology in return or not and wonders if Dean will brush this all off, knows him well enough to know that he will likely end this as soon as he can.

I killed two angels this week, some of my brothers...

The words still play in his mind over and over, something else he could have said or done to get his point across better, that maybe he should not have lost his temper in the first place and is beginning to think that he could stand here until the end of days arrives and still be waiting for Dean to acknowledge his words.

"No, Cas, it," Dean clears his throat and for one moment Castiel thinks that he is going to reject the apology, "you had every right to..., I didn't think about, I'm bad at this," he admits and this is why the words have lingered, because neither on knows how to confront them.

I'm hunted, I've rebelled...

They still search for him, the other angels, though he has pulled himself as far into the vessel as he can, though he has made himself as low as possible without actually falling, and one day they will find him and when they do he will die, if he does not do so before hand. The important thing is that Dean survives, is that Dean understands why Castiel is so angry. Not because of all the things that he has lost, but because he is afraid of everything that he still has to lose.

And I did it, all of it, for you...

Castiel will probably never really understand why he felt that it was necessary for him to acquiesce to Dean's demands, why his stomached twisted in knots while Dean yelled and raged and demanded that he help, just simply that it did and that the roiling feeling there in the pit of his stomach lessened when he decided to help the hunter. He likes to fool himself into believing that he did it for God too.

It is a lie.

Everything that he has done since the 'green room' has been for Dean and perhaps it is ill advised and perhaps he really will die doing it all, but it will still be for Dean first and foremost. Castiel cannot think of a better reason.

And you failed...

It is not only Dean's fault, that Sam broke the final seal, and Castiel has to tell him this, even though the room has lapsed into uncomfortable silence and Dean seems to think that the conversation is over, Castiel needs to tell him that it is his fault too. Dean would have succeeded in stopping Sam, if Castiel had not let him out.

Dean is angry, has every right to be, and for a moment Castiel worries that he will be ordered out of the room and out of Dean's sight, told not to bother returning.

"Were those your orders? To let Sam go even though I'd already made my promise?"

You and your brother, destroyed the world...

"Yes, I am truly sorry, Dean," and he means it, he really does.

"So you helped them make sure that Sam and I were responsible for making sure that Lucifer got free." It is not a question and Dean scrubs a hand over his face. He is not even angry about it, seems almost too weary to be angry, but Castiel can feel his disappointment and that is somehow worse. "Guess we're all to blame."

And I lost everything for nothing...

They are, all of them and Castiel finds that he does not blame Dean for anything that he has lost anymore, that he cannot, not when Dean is doing this for him, when he is helping without throwing his opinions in the angel's face, though Castiel doubts that this will continue for much longer. He cannot look at Dean now, not with all the thoughts and the realisations swirling through him, the emotions.

"You haven't lost everything, Cas," Dean tells him suddenly and Castiel turns blue eyes back up to him, understands what he means without Dean having to say it, that he will always have Dean to turn to and whether that is because Dean feels guilty about everything that Castiel has lost, or if it is because Dean genuinely likes him. Which ever it is, the angel cannot help but feel warmed by that, cannot help but take a few steps closer, to get into Dean's personal space and peer up into his eyes so that he can see the sincerity there.

That Dean means it is important to Castiel, as is the fact that the hunter does not look away, that he meets the eyes of the angel and holds them. That means something to the angel, something more than just simple gratitude or hope.

So keep your opinions to yourself.

He has not lost everything and even if all he has is this friendship with a cantankerous hunter who seems to fluctuate between trying to break his nose and the simple joy of the fact that Castiel is alive, is as well as he can be given the circumstances. Castiel has to suppose that even if the hunter does not say it, that is what matters, that they are all alright and that somehow they will fix this.

Even if Dean does not believe in God, Castiel knows that he believes that they may be able to fix this and he clings to that, to Dean's belief and faith where Castiel has almost none. He believes in his Father, believes that he can find Him and that He will help them, but Dean believes that somehow, no matter the solution, they will eventually win. Castiel has to have faith that this is the truth because without that, he does not know where he would be.

Still, he would have Dean, faith or no, and perhaps that is what matters.

Artemis