Dean Winchester was sitting atop a hill's slope of grass in the nearby park. Leaning against a large oak tree, he watched the summer sky. The sun was beginning to sink lower as he gazed, and the breeze was tickling his face. It hadn't been this beautiful in a long time. After his return from Heaven, all hope was now lost, and they were circling ever closer to the end with no options.
But right now? Right now was absolutely beautiful. And he knew that at least until the sun went down, he could have this. He let his hands play in soft, damp grass. And nobody to share this with, he thought with a pang in his chest. He distracted himself by shifting his gaze downward. He watched the children play below him, their numbers dwindling as their mothers took their hands to take them home for the night. He thought of his father, he thought of Sam- the Sam he knew before all of this crap. When things weren't so very screwed up.
One of the smaller boys with a short shock of blonde hair was shouting a little louder than the others, throwing wood chips violently around the playground for no apparent reason. Dean smirked. Familiar, Dean thought bemusedly.
"Hey, kiddo! Time to go home for dinner," Dean heard faintly. The owner of the voice was a dark-haired man who approached the small boy… upon seeing his father, the child laughed and ran after him. The ache in Dean's chest worsened as he felt a slight shock run through him. Too damn familiar…
His eyes burned, and Dean suddenly felt more lonely than ever. He drew his legs up towards himself, rested his arms on his knees, his head bowed, waiting for the moment to pass. The breeze tickled at him gently again, and he heard a ruffle within the air.
Startled, Dean's head shot up. Cas was standing over him, now blocking his view from the scene below. He looked tired but steady. As soon as his eyes settled upon Dean's face, concern took over him, quite obviously. Now embarrassed, Dean looked away.
Dean laughed, trying to shove everything within him downward. He looked to his side, down at the grass.
"Hey, Cas. Did you need something? Some new big bad? Good, because I was feeling pretty useless sitting h-"
"No, Dean. I have no news or urgencies to bring to you."
Dean was still staring at the grass, but now confusion was setting in. It was quiet, save for the gentle rustling leaves of the tree sheltering them, and the soft laughter of the few remaining children on the playground. His brain searched for something as he saw Cas shift in his peripheral, but he didn't look up.
And that's when he felt a warm hand on his shoulder. He slowly shifted his gaze away from the grass, and allowed himself to look. And naturally, was Cas sitting next to him, with his hand gently placed upon his shoulder (in fact, the same shoulder that bore the mark the Angel burned into him). Dean felt a small spread of warmth throughout his body, and wondered silently if this was his own stupid emotions or if this was Cas' doing."I know you are not happy right now, Dean," the angel muttered solemnly. His cerulean eyes were studying Dean's face with a certain softness, which Dean was certainly not used to. He couldn't help but stare breathlessly, his green eyes lost in Cas' momentarily. And he realized, he was being comforted.
He immediately bristled at this thought, his defenses setting in.
"Not a lot to be happy about, Cas. But we'll figure something out. If not, we'll die trying. And something will work out for someone, it…" He cleared his throat a little, "It has to."
Cas' head titled slightly as his brows knitted, the intensity of his eyes never wavering. And Dean would be damned if he couldn't look away, couldn't help but notice how endearing this was, how warm that hand was on his cotton tee shirt.
"That is not what I meant, Dean."
These words shot through Dean's defenses, like quick bullet. He felt something within him fall a little as he tugged at the fabric of his jeans absent-mindedly.
"Then, what do you mean, Cas?" he asked, his voice sounding far more vulnerable than he would have liked.
Cas' lips parted a little as he gently reached from Dean's shoulder towards his cheek- which Dean started to pull away from, but Cas wasn't having that. He steadied Dean by putting his other hand on his arm as a reassurance, nodding slightly. Dean's green eyes relaxed a little at this, and Cas' palm rested against his face. This was a far more intimate moment than he could have fathomed between he and Cas. His heart was beating fast and he felt some discomfort, but he couldn't deny the warmth growing in his chest at this simple action. Cas' looked thoughtful, and he spoke softly and carefully…
"You're return to heaven was painful. And I know you were hoping to see your father. And he wasn't there… not even in your memories, was he?"
Dean swallowed as his throat tightened.
"How do you-"
Cas' gaze intensified.
"I raised you from perdition, Dean. I know your soul better than anyone," he said simply.
Dean was speechless. The ache in his chest seemed to be breaking a little. He noticed that the sun was almost down now, and the world was cooling around them. There were no children playing now. His skin was tingling, save for where Cas' hands were touching him… it was a growing warmth. He wanted to surrender himself to it, but such a large part of him had to remain strong, because…
His eyes were burning again, knowing the angel could see right through him. And he tried to off all of this in vain, his breath hitching a little, his muscles tensing, heart beating wildly within his chest. And Cas was still calm as ever, and he wondered how that could be.
"Dean," Cas mumbled.
And he was closer to Dean's face than he remembered before, they were now only several inches apart, and Dean couldn't escape any of it. The levee inside him broke, and the tears spilled over. He closed his eyes, feeling the tears spill over, followed by a warm squeeze on his arm.
"Cas, I'll be damned if I don't m-miss him."
"It's alright, Dean," Cas whispered.
"And m-mom, too. Seeing her… Oh god," he choked out, looking again at Cas, somewhat brokenly. "I wanted to stay, only because of her. Our family is br-broken, I just want it to be fixed again, Cas, I do…"
Cas' expression was pained but calm. Dean let out a few harsh, desperate breaths as a few more tears were shed, slowly dripping down his face. It was almost dark now, but Cas' eyes were as blue as ever, burning into Dean. He felt the calmness of them settle into his own soul, as a last tear escaped him. And Cas gently brushed it away with his thumb, his other hand soothing over Dean's arm, which wasn't as tense anymore…
They had been staring into each other's eyes fixedly for a while now. Dean was all too aware of his heart pounding, and Cas looked vaguely nervous now.
"Cas… why are you doing this for me?"
And he could feel Cas' breath fluttering against his wet face now, warmer than the gentle breeze that was skittering across their skin. Cas looked more solemn than ever, now. His lips parted once more, he paused before speaking quite clearly.
"Because I care for you, Dean. I care for you… very much."
Dean wore a look of slight confusion and awe at this, as Cas was now the one who looked vulnerable. Dean suddenly understood what was happening, now. What had always been there. And his eyes were now blazing into Cas', those beautiful blue eyes that were so close…
And it was Dean who closed the distance between them as he leaned forward to plant a kiss on Cas' lips. Those lips were softer and warmer than Dean could ever have imagined, and they hesitantly kissed back. Dean paused, his eyes locking on Cas', their foreheads touching. Dean's hands found their way to Cas' neck, his thumbs tracing the angel's jaw line. He heard him breathing softly and somewhat rapidly. Dean gathered his courage. If he was going to lose everything anyway, now was as good a time as ever…
"I love you, Cas."
At these words, Cas' hands fisted into Dean's shirt, his eyebrows knitting as his eyes closed. He let the words sink into him as he felt Dean kissing him again, and this time it was met with more eagerness. It was soft and slow and sweet. Cas' hands fumbled towards Dean's face, ran through his hair, gripped his shoulder. Dean led, and though Cas was new to this, he could never recall feeling anything this genuine with a woman before.
He let it all end with one last, deep kiss, and leaned back a bit to get a good look at the angel. They were both flushed, and Dean was breathing a little harder. He felt a contended weariness taking over him as he took in Cas, who was now smiling slightly. Everything within him softened at this, feeling his own happiness take over. He smiled crookedly in return. Cas reached out and took Dean's shoulders, as though to position him.
"Just trust me, Dean"
And there was no questioning that Dean should, so he let himself be guided. And Cas, sitting, led Dean to rest his head in his lap, which he gladly accepted. He let his muscles relax as he laid on his side, one arm encircling Cas while the other rested on his knee. Dean closed his eyes as he felt the angel sooth him, running his hands through Dean's hair, smoothing over his back between his shoulder blades. And Dean couldn't remember the last time he had felt so safe.