Title: "Family Matters"

Author: HotforAngels

Rating: PG

Genre and/or Pairing: Dean & Castiel friendship

Spoilers: Takes place during 6.07

Warnings: None

Word Count: About 430

Summary: Takes place during Episode 6.07 (Family Matters) after Cas returns to Heaven, but before the group goes after the alpha!vamp

Dean was leaning against the side of the Impala, nursing a beer, when the sound of rustling wings announced Castiel's arrival.

Dean glanced to his right to watch his approach, surprised that the angel was back so quickly. "What's up, Cas?"

Castiel came to stand next to Dean, leaning back against the car as well. "Sam's soul is not in Heaven," Cas said, looking up at the stars.

Dean followed his gaze. "No shocker there, I guess," he replied. "Why should things start getting easy now?"

They stood there in silence, taking comfort in the few minutes of peace that they allowed themselves. Minutes that seemed to contain an eternity, and which were over much too fast.

Castiel straightened up, and Dean knew that he was about to depart.

"Whoa, whoa…wait a sec," he said quickly, pushing himself off the Impala. Cas turned to look at him.

"Uh…So, how are things up there? Heaven? I mean…you making any progress?"

Castiel looked back at Dean, an eyebrow slightly raised, like he was trying to solve a puzzle. "You are trying to make up for your demanding and selfish behavior as of late," Cas said, matter-of-factly. Dean huffed out a sigh and leaned back against the car. "You do not care what is happening in Heaven."

"No, I do," Dean said, looking back at Cas. "I do, it's just…"

"Family comes first. I understand that, Dean."

"I know you do, Cas," Dean replied, turning his body to face Castiel. "I thought about it after you left. I get that that's what you're doing up there. You're looking out for your family. I get it, I do."

Castiel continued to stare silently at Dean.

"It's just…"

"Just what, Dean?"

Dean looked Cas directly in the eye. "It's just…you're my family."

Again, those everlasting minutes seemed to stretch on as Castiel and Dean looked at one another in the dark. Two soldiers, fighting wars they thought were over. Willing to die for the causes they believed in, but desperately searching for something worth living for.

Cas was the first to look away, back at the stars. "Thank you, Dean."

Dean glanced away, embarrassed, and when he looked back the angel was gone. But Dean wasn't worried. Cas would come back. They may try each other's patience. They may let each other down occasionally…but in the end, they would always be there for one another.

That's just how family worked.

Fin.