Right, so, the title of this is taken from the musical of the same title. Both because it's appropriate and because this fic is written in the same style as the musical. I think this might be my first ever episode tag. I hope you enjoy it!
When the end comes, Castiel isn't surprised that Dean feels nothing.
It's been awhile since Cas sensed anything in Dean. Not for the lack of trying. No one in the camp knows their fearless leader as well as Cas. Cas is always watching and even his lack of angelic insight doesn't matter when it comes to Dean. All the rest fall away, but Cas will always know Dean because he is the one who sewed Dean's soul back into his body all those years ago. All the rest parade by faceless and nameless, but Cas will always know Dean.
Dean is sending Castiel to his death.
Neither of them particularly cares.
"You never really wanted me to be your constant," Cas says cheerfully as Dean hands him an extra Glock. "You already had one and you lost him."
There is just enough feeling left in Dean that he tenses his shoulders. He doesn't like talking about this, about them, but Cas knows he's just hours off his own end and if nothing else, Dean owes him the right to speak his mind.
"What the hell are you talking about?" Dean barks, but they both know exactly what Cas means.
"Man oh man, did I ever put you back together wrong, brother," Cas says because he knows how much Dean hates that term of endearment.
"How to make a Dean Winchester. Mix together extra measures of anger, guilt and fear. Add a dash of hypocrisy and stir well." Cas grins at him. "Had I the chance to do it again, I think I would perhaps stir in a little less guilt."
"Then I guess all this is your fault," Dean sneers. Cas wonders if Dean is actually pissed at him or if it's just his normal ever-present anger. "If I could have created you, I think I'd add less self-pity."
"You did create me, Dean."
It's the first time he's ever said that to Dean. Cas doesn't really believe it. It would be convenient to blame Dean, but Cas is the one who couldn't let go and move on, the one who imprinted himself on Dean and didn't know how to be without him.
So Cas is surprised when Dean's head jerks back and Cas feels in Dean a flicker of honest emotion. For a brief moment, the walls thin, almost to the point of breaking and Cas feels the punch of endless grief living inside Dean. He feels eyes on his face and for the first time since it all ended two years ago, Dean is really looking at him.
"Cas," he breathes.
"Don't," Cas says and there's no humor in his voice now. "It's too late for that."
He doesn't think he can bear it if Dean chooses that moment to remember how he used to feel about Cas.
The emotion flares white hot for an instant, then fades again, lost forever. Dean is as cold as years alone and Cas almost cries with relief. Their deaths will be so much easier if Dean is numb.
"It's time," Cas says and when he grins, Dean is already looking away.
He loses Dean's attention for the last time.
He doesn't expect it to be like this.
It's not the sex. His restless imagination provides plenty enough scenarios that he's more than ready for the sex. Even without having touched another man in this way, Dean knows how it'll feel to have Castiel's slender angles pressed against his body and he knows that despite his feelings for Castiel, he'll be freaked out by the experience. He expects Castiel's eyes to widen with fear and desire with each new sensation. Dean even correctly guesses that sex with Cas will only increase the protective affection he feels for him.
It's what happens afterwards that Dean didn't anticipate.
The sex is over, but Dean can't stop touching Castiel. He can't stop kissing him and running his hands over the body he's just getting to know. He's not tired. He's not anxious to get away. Instead, he wants closer and he wants more. He wants Castiel. He wants to climb inside Castiel and stay forever, so that even when they are apart, they will still be together. The only way Dean knows how to do that is to memorize Castiel's taste and his scent, to trace the lines of his body until Dean knows them better than his own.
Dean's rarely spent this much time just lying with someone. He likes the way Castiel looks from this angle, with one cheek pressed against a pillow and his hair made messy by Dean's fingers. The first time Dean pauses kissing Castiel in favor of searching his gaze, Castiel smiles and slides his palm against Dean's cheek.
"So this is sex," he says, voice wrecked, but happy.
Dean rolls Castiel back, pressing him into the bed and kisses him again.
"No," he says against Castiel's mouth. "Maybe. I don't know what this is."
Except he thinks maybe he does because Castiel pulls Dean in and Dean feels safe. Castiel's hands slide up his back, his fingers curl over Dean's shoulders and Dean feels wanted. Castiel's lips press to his mouth, his chin, his neck, warm and soft and Dean forgets what he's missing. He shifts again, slides neatly between Castiel's legs and Dean forgets everything he's lost.
Castiel kisses him and Dean has everything he needs.
The first time happens eleven months after Dean stops sleeping with Castiel.
There's no real reason for the wait. Cas knows Dean never intended to come back. It's not misguided hope. It's just that sex means Dean. Dean was the first and only human Cas ever needed in that way. After Dean leaves his bed the last time, Castiel never again feels that sense of delicious urgency, the electric jolts of need twisting over and around love and familiarity.
It takes him nearly a year to realize that needing someone is different than wanting someone.
Castiel meets her a few weeks after he breaks his foot. His days blend one into the next, unchanging. He is mostly alone. Chuck visits to bring him food and anything else he might need. Every now and again, another of their group will stop in and check to make sure he's still alive. They bring news and Castiel has to hear it second-hand when Dean is nearly stabbed in the stomach by a demon.
It's all pain and loneliness and boredom. It aches, Castiel aches to reach out, to be home again surrounded by light and love and family. He craves speed and power. The emotions aren't worth it. The joy only makes the sadness deeper and harder.
He yearns for freedom.
The closest he'll get to freedom is forgetting. The drugs are good. His human body gives him pain, but it will also accept chemical numbness. Castiel spends most days floating between the two. If he shuts his eyes and leans his head back, it's almost like flying.
When he realizes the only other time he felt that way, Castiel decides to start searching.
Her name is Bianca and she visits his cabin to deliver a sandwich because Chuck's occupied with multiple food runs that day. Castiel supposes she's pretty. Her hair is long and black, her eyes are brown and her body is small, but curvy. These details hardly matter. The only thing Castiel cares about is the feeling, the explosive rush of climax and if he doesn't really need Bianca, he at least wants that feeling. He senses with his fading powers that Bianca is thinking about someone else when she responds to his clumsy advances and he's glad of it.
When she sinks down on his cock, it feels like fire. It surges through his veins and the last coherent thought he has before giving over to sensation is relief that Bianca is as different from Dean as possible.
A week later, she contracts the virus and is shot in the head by someone in their group.
Castiel feels regret, but he doesn't wait long to find someone else.
He hears from Chuck a few days later that Dean stayed the night with a woman named Danielle. It's the first person Dean's fucked since Castiel, he's certain of that. It wouldn't have surprised the Castiel of four years ago that Dean waited till Cas moved on to find someone.
This Castiel is baffled.
He would feel jealous if he weren't positive Dean didn't love her. Instead, he's grateful. Dean always was good at fucking the pain away. Castiel hopes he feels some relief. It would be more than Castiel feels. The drugs and the women, they are only a distraction. A momentary deadening of nerve endings he should have never had. Because when he pauses long enough, just a second, it crashes into him again, filling him up. Loss and failure and crushing defeat. He's been abandoned twice over and he needs more absorbing sensation with each passing day to overcome even a brief taste of this misery.
It's not about winning anymore. All he has to do is cross the finish line and then he can rest.
Just a few more brief tastes and he'll be free.
The first real test happens in a bar in Lincoln. They're between cases, but Castiel is away, hitting up all his usual sources for information. All Dean can do is wait. But their motel room is far too empty and Dean's got the kind of deep thirst only quenched by good whiskey. So he skips out and drives to the closest bar. It's a dive, dark and far emptier than it would be on a Saturday night if this weren't the friggin' Apocalypse. But it's got plenty of booze and people willing to serve it, so Dean doesn't care. He grabs a seat at the end of the bar and when the waitress pours him a shot, Dean tells her to leave the bottle.
Three shots later, he catches movement at the edge of his vision and turns to see a gorgeous dark-haired woman sitting at his side. Her smile is sweet and sad and when she lays a hand on his arm, it sends a shiver up his spine. She quirks an eyebrow at the bottle. Dean laughs and offers her a drink. No reason to drink alone, after all. The waitress brings her a glass and when the woman throws back her head to swallow the drink down, Dean is mesmerized by the way her smooth pale throat moves.
She is exactly the kind of girl Dean likes. The kind that invites herself to a man's drink and gives him a coy grin as she runs the tip of her fingers along his wrist. His eyes trail down her body, all curves and tight clothing. His mind makes up the story and he sees how it could so easily go. A few moments of flirtatious exchange, a charming invitation and he'd spend the night in her bed.
"So what's your name anyway?" she asks, her voice warm and playful.
"Dean," he answers. When she leans forward, he can smell her, a faint floral scent.
"I'm Bianca," she says. "Are you alone tonight, Dean?"
Any other time, any time before, the man he was would already be making his vision a reality. Dean's never been one to deny himself beautiful women. But when Bianca bites her lip and peers at him with her lovely brown eyes, he doesn't even consider answering another way.
"No, sorry, Bianca," he says with an apologetic smile. "I got someone expecting me."
"Oh," she says and maybe she's a little disappointed, but Dean can see she's not too upset. "Well, in that case." She holds up the shot glass. "Cheers."
They toast. Bianca thanks him kindly for the drink and he watches her walk away, eyes on her swaying hips. A low thrum of arousal pulses through his groin. Dean holds onto it, sees no reason to waste it and when Castiel returns to their room that night, Dean's waiting for him. He pushes Castiel onto the bed without another greeting and even though Bianca started this, it's Cas that Dean wants.
Later, while they lay side by side, Castiel's fingers stroking Dean's palm as they stare at the ceiling, Castiel asks Dean what inspired his aggression.
"I just missed you," Dean says and it's the truth. He doesn't feel guilty about leaving out Bianca.
There's nothing wrong with looking as long as they always come back to each other.
"You have my permission to miss me more often," Castiel says. His tone is serious, but that's how he teases and it makes Dean laugh. He catches Castiel's hand and tugs it, asking silently, wanting Castiel's weight pressing him into the bed. Castiel obliges without protest. He straddles Dean's hips and leans forward, his chest covering Dean's and his hands sliding under Dean's shoulders. Dean is surrounded by Cas, just like he needed.
"Will do," he agrees, his fingers spreading and carding through Castiel's hair.
"I'll always miss you when you're gone," Dean promises. His mind betrays him for a moment, flashes an image of Sam's face, wearing the shocked hurt Dean remembers seeing there the last time they met. He tightens his hold on Castiel and buries his face in Castiel's neck.
He'll always miss Castiel when he's gone because Dean loves him.
But also because he's the only thing Dean has left.
Dean and Castiel 2012
Dean's waiting in their room, back turned towards the door, staring blankly at night falling outside the window when Castiel returns with information on the virus outbreak. It's the first time he's been away in almost a month. The first time he's had the power since his last flight. Dean doesn't move when Castiel appears in the room and stumbles into the wall, sagging with exhaustion.
"Dean?" he asks in a worried tone.
"He said yes," Dean says to his own vacant expression backlit on the window's glass.
"Who said yes?" Castiel ask as he rubs away a pain in his chest, his face a picture of confusion.
Another beat of confusion, perhaps prolonged by disbelief, then Castiel's eyes fall closed.
"Oh Dean," he murmurs. "Oh Dean, I am so sorry."
"Right," Dean says, swallowing hard around the word. He's as still and cold as a statue. No movement, barely even a stirring of breath. Castiel pinches the bridge of his nose, blinks away useless tears and steps forward, hands reaching for Dean. The tips of his fingers scarcely brush the worn fabric of Dean's coat when Dean jerks away from him, spinning around to face Castiel for the first time.
"Don't," he barks, jabbing a finger at him. "Don't you fucking say you're sorry to me like you know how this feels. Like you know," he gasps, reaching for air that won't come. "I killed him, Cas. It's all my fault."
"And you think I don't know how that feels," Castiel says. Stillness gathers around him, as if Castiel is afraid moving will let everything he's feeling come tumbling out in a violent rush. "You seem to forget that I've killed a brother as well. More than one."
"It's not the same thing," Dean says derisively.
"Yes, that's right. I'd forgotten," Castiel says, folding his arms over his chest and staring at the floor. "You never really considered my family a real one. I chose you over them and I was just supposed to forget about them." His eyes flicker up, stone cold. "I'm sorry, Dean, but fuck you."
"Excuse me?" Dean's hands clench into fists at his side, but he doesn't move, not yet.
"You think no one in the world can hurt as much as you," Castiel growls. He moves across the room, lightning quick, gets into Dean's face with startling aggression. "I loved Sam too. Maybe not the same way you did, but I would have died for him. I still would."
Dean's eyes flare with hurt and burning shame and unbearable grief brings him low. His shoulders slump, the anger drains away, taking his hope along with it.
"It doesn't matter anymore," he says, his voice oddly gentle in comparison to his earlier anger. "It's over. Even the end."
"What are you talking about?" Worry re-enters Castiel's tone. "What end?"
Dean turns away, jaw muscles working hard.
"No." Castiel grabs his arm and spins him, panicked. "Dean, you can't."
"Too late, Cas," Dean says with a sick smile. "I already said yes. But he's not asking anymore."
"You...you can't be serious," Castiel says in dismay. "You'd never..."
"What's the point anymore?" Dean snaps with a glimmer of his former emotion. "The world's literally gone to hell in a hand basket. I lost Sam. Everything I touch turns to shit." His eyes change, darken in realization. "Everything."
"Dean," Castiel whispers.
"You know what, I can't do this anymore," Dean says, waving one hand to encompass them both and their bedroom.
Castiel reels back as if he's been slapped.
"You can't mean that," Cas tells him, orders him, but Dean just shakes his head and pushes past Castiel.
"I don't have time for this. We need to find the Colt and I need to find the bastard riding Sam." Dean turns at the door and looks back at Castiel. Through the sadness and regret, there's a brief flash of pure and powerful love. Then it's gone and two strangers stand together in a bedroom.
"I can't have any distractions," Dean says and he walks out the door.
Castiel stares after him for seconds stretching into minutes as darkness fills the room.
The only reason Castiel doesn't hate sleep is because Dean is with him.
He's never been unconscious before. There's never been a need for it. But as he settles further into this human body, more of its needs make themselves known. Sexual desire, fiery and insistent, comes first. Then the dull ache of hunger. It takes several long months before the slow march of fatigue rolls over him. Castiel loses this particular war of attrition one Tuesday night in late November. One moment, he is laying beside Dean in bed as Dean watches a televised football game. The next moment, he opens his eyes and the game is over. Dean is leaning on one elbow and watching him in apparent fascination.
"What happened?" Castiel asks, popping up in alarm. Dean sits up as well, placing a calming hand on his back.
"It's ok. You were sleeping," he says and Castiel can tell he's hiding the urge to laugh.
"But...I don't...I can't-"
"Apparently, you can and you did," Dean interrupts. "You were sawing logs, dude."
"Snoring, Cas," Dean says. "You're fucking loud as hell, man. I'm serious. I think you might snore with your true voice."
"I do not," Castiel protests, annoyed without knowing why. Except it's just so undignified and uncomfortable. Humans talk about sleep as if it's a true pleasure. But all Castiel feels is a loss of control and time. All his countless years of existence and the only other time he was unaware, he was dead. Sleep is too close to death. Castiel never realized.
"How do you do this night after night?" he asks, rolling off the bed, desperate to the escape the poisonous allure of further sleep.
"It's not like I know any different," Dean points out. He lays back and pats the space beside him. "Come on, man. Don't be afraid. If you're going to do it anyway, you might as well have fun with it."
"Fun? I do not consider nothingness to be fun," Castiel snaps.
"It's not always nothingness. Sometimes you get to dream. Dreams can be good," Dean says and his grin turns into a leer. "You should see some of the dreams I've had about you."
Despite himself, Castiel feels one corner of his mouth quiver. He can easily imagine the lascivious nature of Dean's dreams. But he also remembers the times he's saved Dean from nightmares of blood and fire and death. Castiel doesn't like the idea of needing rescue from his own mind.
"I don't know," he says reluctantly.
"Just come here," Dean demands. Castiel could end Dean's life without coming a foot closer, but he's powerless to resist that tone and so he goes, crawling back into the accursed bed next to Dean.
"Good," Dean says. "Now get comfortable. However you want."
Castiel sighs. He lays flat and while it's not uncomfortable, it's not quite right. Rolling to his side helps. Castiel is unused to this process. Once Dean falls asleep after sex, Castiel takes that time to speak with contacts and search for his Father. He rarely just lies in bed with regard to his own comfort. So it takes a few moments to settle and when he does, he ends up curled on his side. One knee is hitched up and his arms are under the pillow where his head lays.
"Yes," Castiel allows. He might not like the need for sleep, but he can't deny it feels very good to lie this way.
"Alright." There's some shuffling behind him and then Dean is against him, his entire body draped warm against Castiel's. "Now, I've never been much for sleeping in a big pile, but we do a lot of stuff I never thought I'd like," Dean says, his lips brushing Castiel's ear as he talks. "Besides this might help you relax and I'm here to serve."
The way he says the word 'serve', with a suggestive twist, brings heat to Castiel's face. So does the way Dean grinds their hips together lightly, the way his hands push under Castiel's shirt to settle against his stomach. But it's a very low level of arousal. Just enough for Castiel to feel Dean's presence in his blood and bones.
"It doesn't have to be scary," Dean murmurs, fingers stroking Castiel's belly. "I'm here. It's not nothingness, it's just a way to let go for a little while. Doesn't that sound good?"
Castiel grunts. He loses Dean's actual words in favor of his low comforting murmur and the familiar hands on his skin.
"It's gotta feel good," Dean continues and he gives Castiel's neck a light kiss. "You been working non-stop for however many thousands of years. It's about time you got some rest."
He makes it sound easy. The slow steady cadence of his voice flowing over Castiel is like a deep peaceful river, safe and pleasing. It's just…even peaceful rivers can rage. A pleasant dream can turn ugly without warning. Anyone or anything can walk into Castiel's mind while he's vulnerable from sleep.
"Shhh. Hey, you were doing so good," Dean says, apparently sensing Castiel tensing once more. "Don't think so hard. Quiet." He pulls Castiel tighter against his chest. "Listen to my heart beating. You hear that?"
He does. It's solid and predictable; Dean's precious life-blood pumping through his veins and it lulls Castiel. Dean's chest lifts against him, his breaths adding another comforting rhythm and this, Castiel understands. Natural patterns. Safety in familiarity. Leaning back against Dean and trusting him.
Dean says something else, but Castiel is too far gone to understand. He is safe and warm and so very tired.
They're nearly out of harm's way when Dean hears the sick crunch of snapping bones.
He glances over his shoulder, expecting to see Boyd, the new guy, on the ground, clutching his leg. Instead, he sees Castiel collapsed against a tree. His eyes are glassy with pain and his hands are clamped around his ankle.
"Castiel?" Boyd skids to a halt beside him and he looks terrified. "Oh my god, are you ok?"
"Boyd," Dean snarls. "Down."
Boyd grabs Castiel by the shoulders and throws them both to the side right as Dean opens fire over their heads. He'd been hoping they could get away without wasting these bullets, but even though the van is just feet away, it's going to take some work to get Castiel into it. This is not what he needed right now.
The remaining Croats only go down after Dean hurriedly reloads his gun and sprays another round of bullets in their face. The silence following is overwhelming.
"Castiel?" It's Boyd again. He untangles himself from Castiel and hunches over him, peering at his ankle. "Oh man, this must be broken. Dean?"
"Yeah," Dean answers without looking at him, his eyes staying on the empty forest. He wants to make sure it stays that way while they get out of there. "Help him up," he orders. "Get him to the van."
Boyd obeys quietly. Castiel groans in pain as Boyd hoists him up. The sound tears at Dean in a way he didn't expect. He never thought he'd hear Castiel like that or to see him struggling to walk. But being human isn't all sex and love and pleasure, Dean reminds himself. It was only a matter of time before Castiel got hurt. He'll just have to suck it up and deal like everyone else.
Dean waits till they are near the van before he begins to back up, gun pointed towards the way they came. When he hears Boyd finally shut the van door, he drops his weapon and sprints to the driver's side.
There's no doctor in their camp, but they have a nurse and that's good enough. Dean stops outside the nurse's cabin. Boyd offers to help drag Castiel inside, but Dean just waves him off. Castiel is Dean's problem. Always has been.
"Come on," Dean grunts, holding out an arm. Castiel only stares at it with dull shocky eyes.
"Just come here," Dean demands.
Castiel falls into his arms and Dean is not at all prepared for it.
Not to catch Castiel. He's more than solid enough to hold up Castiel's scrawny ass. But it's been so long since they touched this way. So many months since the last time Dean held him. He thought he'd shut himself off to these feelings, but Castiel fits against him perfectly, so familiar and so warm and Dean could have this again so easily.
He comes close, far closer than he would have ever guessed.
But the truth is, Castiel's always been better off without Dean. Any other angel saves Dean from Hell and Castiel stays safe in Heaven with his family. He never knows abandonment and grief and the pain forcing small whimpers past his lips.
"Just a few more steps," Dean promises quietly.
The nurse, Benjamin, is just as shocked by Castiel's condition as Dean, but he doesn't say anything as Dean helps lay Castiel down. Dean explains the situation quickly, then turns to leave.
"Dean," Castiel gasps, reaching out to catch his hand. "Please, don't leave. I can't...hurts so much..."
It does hurt; it's surprisingly painful and Dean can't help feeling angry. It isn't fair. He hates the power Castiel has over him, the same power Dean thought he'd erased only to discover it took nothing more than a broken bone to make it come flooding back.
"I can't stay here," Dean grinds out. "I got a whole fucking camp to take of. You'll live."
He's turned away and gone before he can see the inevitable hurt streaming across Castiel's face.
Dean falls asleep on Castiel between one kiss and the next. His sluggish motions still to a halt and his breaths become deep and steady.
Castiel is stuck under his body. It's a far more pleasant predicament than Castiel would have thought. For a time, he doesn't move, just enjoys the way Dean's body becomes boneless and heavy with sleep. It's when Dean begins to snore lightly that Castiel decides it's time to leave the bed. With careful hands, Castiel gently tips Dean to the side. Nonsense complaints slip past Dean's lips, but he goes where Castiel wants him and curls himself around the nearest pillow.
"I'll be right here," Castiel promises in a whisper, even though Dean is fully asleep instantly.
He draws up a chair beside the bed and after he settles into it, he begins to consider what they've just done. In some ways, it was inevitable. The sexual attraction between them has only grown since Castiel first felt it in the dream version of Bobby Singer's kitchen. When he chose to position himself on Dean's side, an emotional element entered the picture. The combination of love and sex proved a powerful one and when Sam left them, Dean needed that connection more than ever.
So Castiel's isn't surprised it's happened. He's not even surprised that he's given into these relatively new desires so quickly. Dean's more than someone Castiel loves. He represents a concept, a different way of seeing the world, a different kind of loyalty and obedience. Dean offers Castiel the opportunity to seek his Father's will and know His mind. He helps Castiel understand that loyalty to his superiors and loyalty to His Father are not the same.
It's unlikely Dean realizes he's taught Castiel this lesson. But Castiel is grateful nonetheless. Dean's quickly become the most important being in his life and though Castiel will never stop loving his family, he's happy to be with Dean. It feels right to stand at his side and it felt even more right to respond to Dean's kiss a few hours ago.
But still, right or not, Castiel was just not prepared to be engulfed by sensation. He didn't expect the actual act of sex itself to steal the thoughts clean out of his mind. He didn't know that Dean's touch, his lips and his hands and his body had the power to make Castiel forget. And it's a dual phenomenon. With each kiss, each loving caress, Castiel's devotion had grown. The pleasure of flesh bound them together and by the time Castiel felt his first climax building, the feelings he carries for Dean were nearly tangible, heavy and wonderful.
The other side, the physical side, is equally overwhelming. Desire raced hot and unrelenting through him, moving his body without his control. Castiel didn't know what to do with those feelings, the aching want, but his body did and he let go, allowed himself to react naturally to Dean. He gave into each impulse without reserve. As he kissed a path down Dean's stomach and listened to Dean curse, felt him writhe and clench fingers in his hair, Castiel realized Dean was doing the same thing.
Looking back at it now, Castiel understands that sex doesn't always work that way. He can't imagine it's easy to let yourself be that comfortable with a stranger. It's baffling that Dean was able to enjoy so many one-time sexual encounters.
Perhaps it's too early for this thought, but Castiel secretly hopes Dean won't want to have them anymore.
He wonders if that means he's in love.
Castiel knows he loves Dean very much. He would die for Dean. Already has, in fact.
But he doesn't really know what it means to be in love. All he knows is that he wants to continue having sex with Dean and he wants to continue the kissing and holding they did afterwards. He knows he doesn't much care for the thought of Dean having these types of feelings for other people.
It probably doesn't matter. In love or not, Castiel needs Dean. As long as Castiel's with Dean, he'll have enough hope to continue searching for his Father. He'll have hope they can find a way to stop the Apocalypse.
And he thinks Dean needs him as well. Castiel doesn't pretend that he can make up for Sam's absence, but he can at least ease that pain. It would be easier on Dean if he just asked for Sam's return, but if he won't, Castiel is resolved to help fill the void Sam leaves behind.
All these thoughts occupy Castiel's mind for several hours. He needs to turn them over time and again to become used to them. Castiel's fallen into a light meditation, a wordless prayer when Dean shifts and straightens, waking slowly.
"Cas?" he says drowsily.
"Hello, Dean," Castiel answers. His eyes smile instead of his mouth. "How are you feeling?"
"Hmmm." He stretches again and yawns, giving Castiel a grin. "Pretty fucking awesome."
"Good," Castiel says. "I'm glad. I've heard the morning after sexual encounters can be awkward."
Dean snorts. "You're always awkward," he says, but it's a tease, so Castiel allows himself a small smile.
"That may be true," he agrees.
"Don't worry," Dean says as he sits up and rubs his eyes. "You're getting more human all the time. You'll get the hang of it sooner or later and we won't be able to tell the difference between you and Joe Shmoe in the street."
"I doubt that," Castiel says. It's a long way from his first sexual act to fitting in seamlessly with humanity. "But I'll try my best. I don't want to be a disappointing companion."
"No, hey." Dean's legs swing over the side of the bed and he faces Castiel. Their knees touch and it feels oddly intimate. "You won't disappoint me, ok? You're...you're...I don't know what you are," he confesses with a huff of laughter. "But you're mine and that's all I need. Just one person, you know? Something all mine. My..." Dean pauses, searching hard for the right word. "My constant."
Castiel's chest fills with a curious mix of pride and anticipation. Yes, he can do that. He can give Dean loyalty without conditions. He can be Dean's one person.
"I like that," he says shyly.
"Me too," Dean says. He lays a hand on Castiel's neck and pulls him into a kiss.
It takes no time at all for the kiss to grow heated and before Castiel knows it, he's back on the bed and Dean's making him forget all over again.
Dean's feelings are written all over his face.
He stands before himself and listens as the younger Dean berates him for sending his friends to their slaughter. Like Dean doesn't get what he's doing. This younger Dean doesn't realize how naive he really is. He doesn't understand that Dean fervently hopes his friends die. Cas was right. It's time. Time for this to be over. Helping his friends survive would be a cruelty. It's easier this way.
This younger Dean has no idea.
His words echo in Dean's ears.
The other Dean hasn't slept with Cas yet. He's still suffering from frustrating dreams and self-doubts. He's still trying to decide if he can handle giving up women in favor of indulging the sweet soft feeling that curls in his chest every time Castiel appears at his side. Dean wonders if he should warn him not to give in. If it would be better to stop the whole mess before it can start. But he's not sure the other Dean, if he himself could have survived without Castiel.
He's not sure if it matters.
Nothing he does will change the future he was dealt. Sam will still be Lucifer's vessel and Dean's failure will still make Sam say yes to the son of a bitch. He'll still be standing here holding the gun he intends to use to shoot his baby brother in the heart.
The other Dean lectures him about friends and people depending on him and he just proves he's learned nothing here. His friends depend on him to kill Lucifer, even if it means he'll need their deaths in exchange.
I'm not going to let you.
There's no time for this. Dean lashes out and it's way too satisfying to lay himself out. He feels eyes on his face and he knows if he looks up, he'll see Cas, facing his fate, but glancing back at Dean. Even now, after everything, Castiel can't quite let go.
Dean doesn't look up.
"Sorry about that," Dean murmurs to his past self. "I got a job and you're just another distraction."
He walks away toward the end.