When Dean wakes up, Castiel is on his cell phone talking quietly. He makes out the words "Wedding" and "Cancelled" and after a long pause, "But...Michael..."
Castiel's brother. He lifts his head from the pillow and listens more intently.
"Brother...I understand, but please...I didn't think it prudent to...yes, I'm aware." He sighs heavily as his brother speaks. "What would you have me do?" he asks finally, in a very small voice. Another pause as instructions are issued.
"You cannot seriously...Michael, I doubt that Anna would even consider a reconciliation...That isn't the point!" his voice sharpens. "Regardless of what Anna can or cannot be convinced of, a wedding at this juncture would be worse than sacrilegious."
Even as Dean does an internal victory high-five with himself, Castiel's broken voice whispers.
"Michael, please don't ask this of me."
In Castiel's ear, his brothers voice insists.
"Castiel, if you do not go through with the wedding as planned...father will do all he can to strip you from the family – we won't contact you, and your employment will be terminated." He sighs a long, heartfelt sigh. "Brother, this sin is not worth your livelihood, your family or your soul – I wish you would see that."
"I understand" Castiel murmur's leadenly. "Thank you for your concern Michael."
"I wish I could do more." Michael hangs up.
Castiel turns to find Dean wide awake.
"I take it you've been listening."
"I heard enough, yeah." Dean sits up, rubbing at his sleep ruffled hair. "So, you want to tell me what you're going to do?"
One Month Later
Dean boxes up the last of his things. The divorce is nearly final, now comes the lengthy process of moving all his things to his new apartment.
It's not all bad – he can drive his car again, all his stuff isn't confined to one out of the way room and no one complains about his music. But he does miss some things, company over breakfast, a warm body against his in the dark. Someone to talk to and coax a smile from at the end of a hard day.
Lisa walks in just as he's taping the box closed.
"This is the last of it." He promises.
"Ok" she perches on the edge of the counter. "How are you doing?"
"Shouldn't I be asking that?" Dean asks, focusing too intently on getting the tape exactly straight.
"Dean...I heard about Castiel." Lisa says, gently. "I just want you to know..."
"It's fine, honestly." Dean cuts her off, and gives her his best grin. "It'll work out."
Lisa mimics his brave smile.
"Well you can come by any time, if you need to talk." She leaves him to finish packing.
Dean takes the boxes out to the impala and drives them across town.
Two Months Later
Dean stares at the wedding announcement for a whole ten minutes before he can formulate a response. When it comes all he says is, "Son of a bitch", slowly and deliberately so he can almost taste the words.
The wedding is due to take place in what will be the sixth month since he last saw Castiel.
Four Months Later
Dean runs into Castiel by accident outside a 5-and-dime type store three blocks from his new apartment. His hand freezes as it reaches for a six pack of beer, Castiel stands stock still in the next aisle, looking at him over the bottles. He looks good, clean shaven and wearing his usual dour suit. His hair is slightly longer and he's lost the pinched, hunted look he had the last time Dean saw him.
"Cas" he says, before he can stop himself. The nickname brings a smile to Castiel's face.
"Hello Dean" He says, voice as deep and serious as ever.
"How've you been?"
"Well" Castiel's smile subsides. "And you?"
"Oh, I'm doing fine." Dean squirms under Castiel's blue gaze. "You live round here now?" It gives him something to say.
"Actually I'm out of my way, I was looking for something, it's for..." he looks momentarily embarrassed and awkward. "The wedding"
"Oh" is all Dean can manage.
"Yes...I'm sorry, I think I should go" Castiel turns as if to head for the door, then pauses and looks back with his soul deep eyes. "I'll...see you there?"
"Sure" Dean marshals a smile and Castiel disappears.
Six Months Later
"So...I guess congratulations are in order." Dean raises his champagne glass. "To the happy couple." It echoes around the room. "I can honestly say, I never thought they'd do it. I mean it." Dean says, even as a few people chuckle and the groom, whose eye he refuses to meet, shifts nervously. "There was a point where this" he gestures towards the tables draped in organza, the little sweetheart roses in all the crystal vases, the guests in their tuxes. "wasn't going to happen. But somehow, I guess God, or somebody came through, because, well – everything worked out how it was supposed to."
Dean sets his glass down on the table. He's had enough, more than enough.
Castiel's eyes are on him, watching his every move.
"I have to say, she's a lucky lady. Because she's just married one of the most trustworthy, caring, decent, men that I've ever met. Damn handsome too, I might add." Another ripple of laughter. "and I'm...so happy, to see two people so suited for each other, and I wish you all the best now that you've finally tied the knot."
Applause follows the brief speech, and Dean resumes his seat.
"That was nice." Castiel murmurs, as Sam kisses Jess at the head table. "though not the same speech you showed me yesterday."
"Sam gave me ten minutes to re-write it – practically at knife point." Dean grumbles. He brightens when Castiel nudges his untouched cake in Dean's direction.
"You're the best boyfriend ever, you know that right?"
"It's been said" Castiel smiles at Sam as he looks their way. "They look lovely together."
"And that's the gayest thing you've ever said." Dean smirks round a mouthful of cake. Castiel frowns at him and nudges his foot under the table. Dean returns to his cake. "At least now we know what organza is."
"I'll sleep easier knowing." Castiel takes a sip of champagne as Sam and Jess begin to waltz on the deserted floor.
"You know our wedding has to, like, kick this wedding's ass, right?" Dean murmurs near his ear, something small and light drops into Castiel's lap.
There's a long, deep silence.
Dean remembers the month after Castiel lost his job and his home, all the time never calling Dean for help, leaving it to a friend of Lisa's to keep him informed. It had been hard, not being able to protect Cas from his family. Even harder seeing him out looking for Sam's wedding gift, finding out that he was invited to the wedding period was a bit of a shock. But by then Castiel was fresh from a few months of job searching and de-de-gayification (lots of support groups and pamphlets offering a basic 'it's all going to be ok' perspective) and ready to see Dean for coffee.
All that, was nothing compared to this one, long, silence.
"We'll need to hire a wedding planner." Castiel whispers, finally. "I think it would be...inappropriate to rely on Lisa and Anna yet again."
"You beautiful bastard." Dean drags him into a brief, tight hug, then kisses him as deeply as he can.
"Just for once." Sam perches on the table, the dance floor now awash with people. "can it be about me? One day Dean, that's all I ask."
Dean just smirks, Castiel grins.
Sam gets it.
"So he finally decided to make an honest woman of you? Awesome." A thought strikes him. "Hey...can I be your best man again?"
Dean loves Castiel, but having to sit through another of Sam's speeches...might just push him over the edge.
Yeah, you probably all saw that coming. I thought it was sweet