A/N: Alright, my lovelies. The very last chapter. It's been a joy to write for you guys again, and this little breather from my own work was nice and refreshing. However, I do have to get my nose back to the grindstone, and every good thing must come to an end. I get the feeling from your reviews that you guys - for some reason - want Cas and Dean to end up together? Well, read on, and hopefully all your hopes and dreams will be fulfilled.
If your hopes and dreams are fulfilled, please please PLEASE review and tell me so. If your hopes and dreams are dashed upon the rocks and totally FUBAR*, please review and let me know so I can work on it for next time. If you read this chapter at all, please review!
Okay, I'm done now. Thanks again, guys, and on with the show!
*FUBAR stands for Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition, just so you know.
Dean walked warily through the empty corridors of the old house, shining his flashlight down the hallway. "Cas?" he called.
He couldn't find Cas.
Up ahead, he saw a doorway leading into a black pit of a room. He approached it slowly, cautiously, all his hunting instincts screaming that something was waiting for him in the dark.
But he had to find Cas.
"Looking for something?"
Dean spun around.
Sam stood there, smirking coldly, his smile not reaching his eyes. "Oh, Dean. When will you learn?" And with that, he cast his hand out and slammed Dean into the wall.
"You're not Sam," Dean grunted, feeling the sweat gather on his brow as he struggled to move.
The devil wearing Sam's skin arched an eyebrow. "So you're not a complete moron. There may be hope for you yet." Then his jaw tightened determinedly, and slowly he clenched his hand into a fist. "Of course, not when I'm done with you."
Dean cried out in pain as his insides tried to become his outsides. Tangy, coppery blood bubbled up his throat and dribbled out of his mouth.
Lucifer clicked his tongue and shook his head ruefully. "I hate doing this to you, Dean. This hurts me more than it hurts you."
"I – highly – doubt that," Dean managed grind out.
He shrugged. "Fair enough." And he squeezed harder.
"You ready to play ball yet?" Lucifer asked. He was wearing Sam's most casual expression, like he really couldn't give a damn either way.
Dean sucked in as much air as he could for a minute, and then finally managed to groan, "Fffffuck! Yyyyyyou!"
"Oh, I almost forgot!" He snapped his fingers.
Suddenly, Cas appeared in front of him, collapsing on the ground and curling up in the fetal position.
"Cas!" Dean cried. "Cas!"
Lucifer kicked Cas, and he let out a sharp yelp of pain.
"Sam," Dean sobbed, "you gotta stop… you gotta stop him…"
Lucifer smiled. "Sam's gone, Dean. For good. It's time you came to terms with that." He stepped close to Dean and grabbed him by the chin, tipping his head downwards and forcing him to meet his eyes. "Think of me as… your therapist."
Dean spat blood in his face.
Lucifer didn't even flinch. His smile just shaped itself into a furious grimace. "You shouldn't have done that." He pulled his fist back –
And another hand caught it mid-air.
"Dean," Cas barked, "this is a dream!"
Dean's head spun. How had he… He looked and saw that Cas was indeed still moaning on the floor. And yet, there was another Cas, standing here and restraining Satan.
Cas's words started to make sense.
Lucifer's hand slowly came unclenched. "Dream or not, I can still destroy you, Dean," he growled. "I'm a seed in your psyche, and you can't uproot me."
"He's not real, Dean." Cas twisted Lucifer's arm behind him, forcing him to double over. "Now take us to the Roadhouse."
Dean tried to accept that he was dreaming, but some part of him still clung to this dank hallway. He was still pinned to the wall, immobile, and there was nothing he could do about it.
Then Cas reached out with two fingers, and it all fell into place.
It was just him and Cas, alone. No Sam, no Lucifer, no Ash or Ellen or Jo.
Cas picked up a pool ball off a nearby table and studied it idly. "You have an impressive attention to detail."
"Thanks." Dean stood awkwardly, uncertain of what to say. "For the other thing, too. And… I'm really sorry. About… everything."
Cas nodded and replaced the pool ball.
"So… it's been awhile," Dean tried.
Cas turned a steady unblinking gaze on him. "You're wondering why I returned."
Dean chuckled nervously. Damn. He'd forgotten how blunt Cas could be. He'd also forgotten how electric the air got when he was around, a constant static in the atmosphere that made his skin buzz.
Cas sighed, sounding oddly human. "I apologize. I was watching your dream, and… I couldn't continue to watch that happen." He turned away from Dean slightly and ran his hand along the green felt of the pool table.
"Hey, don't apologize," Dean assured him. "I'm glad that you – see, I've been trying to get a hold of you, but since you guys aren't using the good old Bible-Thumper Hotline anymore…" He stuffed his hands into his pockets and ducked his head, suddenly self-conscious. "Well, there's a reason I was looking for you in my sleep, Cas."
Cas didn't respond at all, just pressed his fingertips harder into the green felt.
Then Dean's hand was over his, and their bodies mere inches apart. Dean trailed his fingers along Cas's abdomen, interested by the way his muscles felt under the thin fabric. The self-consciousness of a moment before had given way to a deep-seated desire to be closer to Cas, to touch and feel and explore him. "There's a lot I should tell you…" he murmured.
Cas flinched slightly, and pulled his hand out from under Dean's. He swayed backwards just a little, as if he meant to distance himself but wasn't quite able to.
"I shouldn't have come here," Cas muttered. "It was… unwise."
"I'm not at Lisa's," Dean blurted, grabbing Cas's arm like he could physically keep him from leaving. "I – I'm not staying at Lisa's anymore."
Cas's eyes rose to his, something like wariness in them. "Because I found you?"
Dean chuckled softly and shook his head. "I'd say it's more like I finally found myself." And he leaned into Cas, his mouth just a hot breath away from Cas's, waiting for some kind of green light. "I know what I want now," he whispered. "I know who I want now."
Cas murmured softly, Dean feeling his words as much as hearing them. "Does this mean –"
"Yeah," Dean breathed.
"And you want – "
"Even though we – "
"Cas." Dean pulled back a little, just enough to look into his eyes. "I fucked up, okay? Right from the start. Every time I said no was a fucking mistake. So from now on, the answer is yes. Whatever you want, the answer is yes."
The corner of Cas's lips tugged upward. "Then stop talking."
"Absolutely." And Dean leaned forward that last breath of space and caught Cas's mouth in searing kiss.
The answer is yes.