Well here it is, the end. I hope it hits all the right notes and doesn't disappoint anyone, it just about did it for me. And thanks to everyone who reviewed, you're the reason this actually has an ending.
Jimmy and Amelia Novak renewed their wedding vows a month after he returned. The ceremony was small, a few mutual friends, Amelia's parents and one or two work colleagues. If any of them cared that the gathering was held in such an out of the way corner of the neglected church, they made no comment to the couple.
Jimmy had already told Amelia everything he could remember of their time apart. That conversation had taken a long time. From the moment Castiel had released him, on his own lawn in front of his own home, until he and his wife had fallen asleep on the couch. He told her about the end of the world, the moment he had blinked out of existence as Castiel became human, about knowing through the angel, that someone else was taking care of his family.
Although he'd lost some of his love for God and all associated beings, Jimmy had been too far inside Castiel's mind not to realise how aggrieved he felt at breaking up his family.
Neither of them could hate Castiel for assuming Jimmy's role.
And so they held the ceremony that re-established their marriage underneath the tiny figure of 'Castiel, angel of abstinence and sorrow' knowing that all they had experienced in their years apart was not his fault – but that their reunion was entirely down to him.
Castiel stayed within Heaven for a very long time. Not forever as he had thought, but ,long enough for the world to change and change again. It was centuries after the death of Dean Winchester before he set himself inside a vessel again.
Reordering Heaven took time and a great amount of sacrifice and effort. Though Castiel was a soldier and used to such things. He was rarely absent from his duties, focusing wholeheartedly on the restoration of an order he had once believed in.
Without the presence of Jimmy Novak he lost the last worrying dregs of feeling. For a long time, longer than any human mind could comprehend, Castiel felt nothing, save for his devotion to his cause and his absent father.
After that time had passed, leaving Heaven more or less regimented once more, and Castiel to maintain the workings of the Garrison, a change came about. It was slow to become apparent, but gradually the returning warmth of emotion reached a place it had never occupied before.
For the first time in centuries Castiel felt loved. Undone by the sensation of being unconditionally, irrevocably held by the affection of another being. For the first time in all the time since his creation Castiel felt the overwhelming presence of what he had been designed to love.
He became the fifth angel of all those created, to experience God.
There were a great many things to suffer through before they could come close to happiness. Castiel's experience at Camp Chitaqua remained as a kind of barrier between them, a catalogue of memories he could barely explain. Dean was still reeling from the last few months, from the phone call he finally made, in line at a diner, waiting for coffee. Telling Lisa he was sorry, that he was never coming back, at least not to stay. She understood, and left Dean wondering what he'd done to deserve someone like her.
Maybe it was a 'saving the world' deal.
He still has no idea what he did to deserve Cas.
Lying on the bed together, sipping the hot, and not entirely crappy brew, Castiel frowned slightly.
"You bought me my first cup of coffee." The way he says it leaves Dean in no doubt that they're talking about the other Dean, and not himself.
"Really?" A non-committal prompt, whatever Castiel is telling him it's the first memory he's willingly shared. The former angel nods.
"Really. A few days after I fell. Sam was busy, we had breakfast at the diner near the motel." His voice is small, but awed, as if he'd forgotten such a good, normal thing had happened to him.
Dean lets his free hand stroke the shorter hair at the nape of the other mans neck.
"And you..." he looks Dean in the eye, "You took me to get new clothes, you taught me how to shave..." He smiles, a small smile but it's there. "Five years and you never stopped teaching me stuff. How to shoot, how to swear, how to drive..." Dean kisses his jaw carefully, softly, smelling like coffee and feeling stubble rasp against his mouth. Castiel's hand rests against the back of his head, absently petting him as Dean moves his mouth down his throat. He feels Castiel swallow nervously, but the other man doesn't pull him away.
"After Sam" he says quietly "what happened after Sam, it wasn't you... none of us were right." Dean wraps his arms around the slim, still bruised body beneath him and kisses him carefully on the mouth. Castiel kisses him back, light fingers stroking gently at his face. He pulls away, looking slightly surprised and almost...new, broken open and comfortable and something clenches in Dean's chest because he did that. He let Castiel out of whatever hell he's been in.
The former angel's mouth is barely touching his own, blue eyes fixed on his when he says, "I think I've been in love with you, for the last five years of my life." Softly, almost surprised by his own words. Dean kisses him again.
Because he's never been good at this stuff, but he wants to give Cas something of what he feels for him. He knows that the other Dean, the Dean that showed Castiel what it was to be human, to be alone and afraid of what it is you want, would have told him. Would have loved him if he hadn't lost Sam. If he hadn't been convinced that loving someone gave them that much more power to hurt you.
If. Would. Might. Should.
But it isn't too late. They're both still alive, both a little broken but not enough to matter.
And the world isn't ending.