Disclaimer: I don't own anything I've put in here. Wish I did...

And...this was cross-posted on deancastiel on LJ. I swear I didn't steal it from myself.

August 21

Castiel was sulking; there was really no other word for it. He was in the backseat of the Impala, arms crossed over his chest, and a pout on his face. His head was leaning against a rain-speckled window, the cool temperature drawing his focus away from the brothers bickering in the front seat.

He never would have guessed he would have bad luck as a human- though he really should have considering the bug bite from his first stint as one- so it came as a shock that he would be cursed on his first hunt.

He had distracted a witch just as she was cursing Dean, the glass potion ball flying from her hand into Cas' chest, it had exploded and the unexpected force had knocked him down. As soon as Dean managed to kill the last witch, he and Sam were beside him.

Dean's immediate barrage of questions about Cas' well-being went unanswered, but not for lack of trying. Castiel spent a good ten minutes "screaming" until his throat was dry and sore, but there was never a sound.

For the last hour the conversation had been circling: Dean told Sam Cas wasn't ready for a hunt yet. Sam told Dean Cas would be fine. How was Sam to know it would be a coven of five witches instead of four? What good was all that schooling if Sam can't do proper research?

If Cas still had the power to, he would have taken their voices away- stupid witches and their voice-stealing potions.

Two months of combating Dean's "mother-hen" tendencies- down the drain.

He sighed, grateful his breathing at least still made sound.

"Got something to say, Cas?" Dean snapped, his eyes fixed on the rear-view mirror.

Cas met his eyes briefly before shaking his head. None of the dozens of things he wanted to say would come out, even if he wanted them to.

So, Cas was spending the ride back to Bobby's doing his best to remember the spell while simultaneously ignoring the Winchesters and the tightening feeling within his chest.

. Cas jerked awake as someone shook his shoulder. He must have fallen asleep, he realized, as he took in the sight of home.

A smile twitched on his lips, Singer Salvage yard was indeed home now. Bobby, for all his griping, had readily accepted Cas as his newest "son" when he left Heaven after the Second War.

So now, the seemingly unending string of "idjits" and "what were you thinkings" was reassuring.

Dean and Sam took off for a local library- and probably a bar if Dean's cursing was anything to go by- while Cas stayed with Bobby for home research.

Cas leaned against the desk and placed his head in his hands. Sighing, he focused on the dull ache in his chest.

A bottle being set beside him drew his attention to Bobby. He smiled and nodded, taking the beverage happily.

Bobby sat across from him, drinking from his own bottle. "Alright, Cas, I need you to tell me everything you can about the spell and its effects."

He gave the older hunter a dark look and Bobby rolled his eyes.

He grabbed a stray notepad and a pen, "I mean write it out."Grabbing the pen and paper he quickly began scribbling out the details.

In the end, though, there wasn't much: Five witches, potion ball, intended to hit Dean, voice loss.

He handed the list over to Bobby and flushed when he heard him snort.

"Great. That helps narrow things down."

Sarcastic, Cas had learned, was Bobby's default tone.

When Sam and Dean returned they decided to try attacking the problem again in the morning.

Castiel's sleep was fitful, the whole night he tossed and turned- barely able to sleep for the growing pain in his chest.

August 22

The next day was spent poring over various tomes and searching the internet for any curses involving loss of voice and potions.

The list was long, and by lunchtime they knew they needed another clue to even have a hope of narrowing it down to a manageable length.

Dean grumbled as he threw a book on the table. "I'm going to make a sandwich or something."

He left the room and Cas watched him go. He sighed before scribbling a note: 'Perhaps we should take a break. We are all on-edge and tired.'

Bobby grunted and moved into the kitchen; Cas looked over to Sam and raised his eyebrow in question.

Sam smiled reassuringly, "Don't worry Cas, I just want five more minutes."

Cas nodded and moved to stand when a sharp pain flared just below the ribs on his right side. He hissed and his hand flew to the area. He took shallow breaths and soon the pain ebbed but his vision was spotted.

"Cas? Are you alright?" Sam asked loudly, drawing attention from the two men in the kitchen.

There were heavy footsteps and then hands on his face, turning him toward concerned green eyes. He simply stared and continued regulating his breathing as Dean inspected what he could, one hand brushing his hair back so his eyes were visible.

His vision finally cleared and his breathing returned to normal and he nodded, hoping to convey that he was fine.

Dean turned toward Sam, "What the hell happened?"

Sam shook his head, "Dude I have no idea. He just tried to stand up and suddenly…"

He voice faded away and his eyebrows drew together. Sam's calculating gaze looked over Cas.

"How long have you been in pain, Cas? Since you got cursed?"

Cas closed his eyes tight and tried to focus through the remaining pulse of pain and think. He nodded.

Dean's hand on his face slid to Cas' shoulder and gripped- hard. "Seriously? Dammit, Cas, didn't you think that maybe that was important?"

Cas glared and grabbed his notepad: 'As I recall I was hit and thrown by that curse. Human bodies maintain aches after such experiences.'

Dean made a few hand gestures that may have meant "I'm going to strangle you" or "I can't believe how stupid you are," but he moved to stand in front of the window before any words actually came out.

Sam cleared his throat, glancing warily at Dean, and began speaking. "Uh, Cas, if this pain is being caused by the curse that actually narrows the list a little more."

He sounded hopeful, and went about clicking through the internet. His eyes went wide as he came across a page, and he appeared to be contemplating the information.

"Well that makes sense…" he said to no one in particular.

Dean turned from the window and glanced at the article Sam was inspecting. He snorted, "Really, Sammy? Getting in touch with your inner twelve-year-old girl?"

Sam wrinkled his nose, a clear "Bitch-face #42" (or, "shut up and stop teasing me, Dean") if Cas ever saw one.

"I didn't say anyth-"

"The Little Mermaid, Sam, come on!"

"It fits!" Sam snapped, "The pain, the voice loss- if you have a better idea I'd love to hear it."

"How about we don't place our money on Disney movies and keep looking."

"Actually, The Little Mermaid was originally written by Hans Christian Andersen in Denmark in the 1800s…"

Cas rolled his eyes at their squabbling the same time that Bobby muttered "dear lord" behind him. He shook his notepad to gain their attention. When that didn't work, he looked helplessly at Bobby.

A loud whistle shut the Winchesters up as they covered their ears.

"Alright you two, stop your bitchin'. Sam, what's the lore on this?" Bobby had his 'no nonsense' voice in action, now.

Sam gave Dean a smug look before looking to his beloved Mac once more.

"There's not much, unsurprisingly. Mermaids only exist in the Atlantic and Mediterranean- and they aren't seen often even there.

"But the occurrence of loss of voice and sensations of pain isn't that…uncommon. I'd have to do some deeper research."

Sam sounded so unsure but Bobby, though understanding, simple said, "Boy, you got until the end of the day to figure this out."

Cas helped Bobby prepare for dinner while the brothers both researched more; Sam for curse precedents, Dean for other possible curses.

Unfortunately, as the sun sank lower in the sky it became more likely that Cas was, indeed, acting out the role of Ariel in this little farce.

"Alright, go through the list of commonalities again." Bobby said wearily.

"Uh," Sam shuffled his notes to organize them, "Okay, so the previous cases all experienced loss of voice and constant pain that got progressively worse. Pain killers were ineffective. The survivors all swore they got their voices back after," he grimaced, "True love's first kiss."

He set his notes down and pinched the bridge of his nose, "Each victim had one other similarity- some degree of unrequited love."

"Hold on a minute," Dean spoke, for the first time since they decided to embrace the possibility of the LMC (Little Mermaid Curse- Dean refused to call it that). "Victims? Are you telling us this thing is gonna kill Cas if he doesn't find his…princess charming or whatever?"

Sam nodded. "Seems like it. Those whose curse wasn't broken died at sunset the fifth day."

Dean's expression grew stony, "Son of a bitch."

He stomped off into the kitchen, again, for yet another beer; though the sound of clinking glass suggested he was grabbing something stronger this time.

Cas tried to hide his grimace of pain as Dean left, but to no avail. When he looked back both Sam and Bobby were wearing pitying, knowing looks.

"Cas…is it Dean?" Sam asked hesitantly.

Terror flooded through him as his greatest secret was laid out for his family's scrutiny. He closed his eyes and nodded.

Death was worse than being scrutinized like this…right?

Bobby sighed, "Of course it is. Christ Cas, why couldn't it have been Sam or another angel? Hell, a demon? Dean's the most stubborn man I know- he's not going to believe an ex-angel loves him. He'd probably bust out the Holy Water and try to exorcise us!"

"It wouldn't matter even if we told him." Sam said quietly. "It has to be true love, Bobby. It has to be a kiss. And, he has to realize it on his own."

Bobby shot him a dark look, "Say again."

Sam looked hopelessly at him, "Dean can't just be told, he has to figure it out and work out his own feelings. The most we can do is help Cas...hint."

The look on Bobby's face clearly expressed how likely he thought hinting was to get the job done.

Cas hissed and waited for the pain to pass. Finally able to breathe again, he wrote out a note.

'I will need suggestions.'

If he was finally forced to show his hand and tell Dean about, well, everything, he needed to do it right. Or else he might die…again.

Sam looked incredibly uncomfortable as he explained a few ideas. "The key is to make Dean realize it on his own. You can't just come out and say it- he knows about the time limit so it might not count."

Cas nodded, the pain was greater now, but still tolerable. Dean still hadn't returned but the clanking and banging sounds echoing from the car lot suggested he was dismantling a few junkers. The sun was setting and there was nothing more he could do tonight.

Cas scribbled another note: 'I'm going to watch a movie.'

If a bottle of Jack went with him, no one said anything.

He was halfway through one of the five movies Bobby owned when Dean joined him. He silently filled the glass Dean extended before settling back into the couch.

Dean sat beside him, drinking silently. Cas turned to stare at him- just like he used to before he needed to blink. It hadn't surprised him when he discovered a name for the feelings Dean inspired in him. It made sense after all; he had rebelled against his home and brothers for one person. Regardless of the outcome, he had never felt regret for doing so.

Even when Dean tried to turn away from "the plan," Cas had fought on. The Second War caused hundreds of tragic losses, but he fought for the Earth and people Dean cared for.

Dean met his eyes; there was understanding there as he smiled tightly. "It's what might be your last few days and you choose to watch Sixteen Candles? You've been spending too much time with Sam."

Cas shrugged, it was better than a lot of the other movies he'd been forced to watch in the last six months.

Dean smirked and shook his head, his arm moved to rest on the back of the couch.

Well, if it had to happen, he might as well start now. The movie was nearing the end when he decided to go for it.

Slowly, he leaned into Dean's side and brought his head onto his shoulder. He kept his eyes shut tight, not wanting to face the rejection and pity sure to come.

At least this way he could pretend he and Dean were like the couples in those "chick flicks" and could be this close.

At least this way the ever-sharpening pain was pushed back in his mind, behind a wall of warmth seeping into him from Dean's body.

His heart stopped hammering when a hand ruffled his hair. Hope, agonizing hope, flooded through him.

"Don't worry, Cas." Dean murmured, brushing his hair a bit more. "We'll find your 'Jake Ryan' before it's too late."

He was grateful his sob remained silent.

He let himself be lulled to sleep by Dean's steady breathing.

August 23

When Cas woke up the next day, he was huddled on the couch under Bobby's best blanket. Dean must have covered him up before going to his bed.

He stretched lightly and glanced out the window, he'd slept pretty late- he didn't have time to waste. Sighing he tried to roll off the couch, only to have pain shoot through him once again.

It really was getting worse. He stood, panting, and made his way to the kitchen, he leaned against the door jam, breathing heavily. He'd hoped Dean would be there, but instead Sam sat alone, looking at him with worry-filled eyes.

"Cas? Has it gotten worse?"

He nodded and shakily moved to a chair. He sat as Sam rushed to get him coffee and a piece of toast.

When he received his breakfast, he smiled gratefully before sipping some of the bitter liquid.

Sam shifted nervously, "Dean left."

Cas' face fell. Dean left? Knowing that he needed help, Dean still left?

Sam looked horrified, "Not for long! He just kind of snuck out on a day job early this morning. Bobby said he'd be back by tonight."

Cas nodded, still feeling morose. How was he to gain Dean's love and kiss if he wasn't around?

Sam, it seemed, had a plan. "We're going shopping as soon as you're ready. We have baking to do."

Apparently, the way to any man's heart is through his stomach.

This is doubly true for Dean, according to Sam.

Cas followed Sam through the grocery store, pushing a cart full of various powders: flour, baking soda, two types of sugar. And a bag of chocolate chips.

Mission: Prince Eric (Dean's name, not theirs) Step One: Cookies

They originally considered regularly shaped cookies, but both agreed Dean needed more than a gentle nudge in the right direction. This was also the reason burgers had been vetoed- despite his obvious love of them.

Sam picked out the recipe and explained how to read it. He also gave a quick tutorial on using the oven.

But that was all Cas allowed him to do before pushing him out the door- leaving him alone in the kitchen. He had assisted Bobby with cooking his first four months as a human; he could do this.

So he set about making the dough, following the recipe exactly.

Or so he thought.

The first batch of cookies he placed in the oven nearly exploded- he just managed to remove them and save a gooey mess.

What had he done wrong? Ah, baking soda; not baking powder.

He tasted the second batch of dough before daring to bake any cookies. He immediately spit it out and scrambled for a glass of water.

What the heck went wrong this time?

He read the recipe and stalled, Was "tsp" the big one, or the small one? Must be the small one since this tastes terrible.

Finally, the dough looked- and tasted- fine, and Cas attempted another batch of cookies.

He rolled out the dough and cut cookies with the pink, plastic, heart-shaped cutter.

Pan ready, he placed it in the oven and set the timer. When the buzzer went off, he removed the sheet.

Apparently he hadn't spaced the cookies far enough apart and half the cookies had baked together.


Batch two didn't bake together, but they weren't finished by twelve minutes. Five minutes later, Bobby's smoke detector started beeping.

Sam came rushing into the room and removed the batteries before Cas could destroy the horrible contraption. He had to take a break then as another wave of pain hit him.

Apparently, life was determined to make him miserable.

Two burnt batches later, Cas finally had an edible looking dozen cookies.

He glanced out the window and saw the sun was setting. His heart dropped and his stomach clenched. How had an entire day gone by so fast?

He frantically began cleaning the kitchen, knowing Bobby preferred that room, at least, stay clean.

The back door slammed open and he froze.

Too late.

He turned to see who walked in; of course, it had to be Dean. Cas was covered in flour and dough, his hair was everywhere, and the place smelled like smoke.

Dean looked utterly confused; he dropped his duffel by the door and walked to the fridge. Pulling out a beer, he asked "Cas? What are you doing?

Grabbing the platter of cookies, Cas held it out. Dean eyed the cookies before smiling, "Reject cookies? Awesome!"

He took a cookie and moaned in appreciation. "Not bad, Cas. Bake more of these and even I might consider playing your 'Prince Charming.'"

He winked and left the kitchen with the cookies. Cas' jaw dropped and he sat down, he laid his head on the table and tried trying to groan.

He finished cleaning the kitchen and went upstairs. Crawling into bed, he tried to convince himself that tomorrow would work.

August 24

When Cas woke up the next morning, the pain was thrumming steadily under the surface. Thankfully, it wasn't sharp, so he struggled out of bed and dressed for the day. He made his way to the kitchen where Dean was making breakfast (read: bacon).

The hunter glanced at him before grumbling a 'morning.'

Cas narrowed his eyes at the underlying hostility in Dean's tone. Dean hadn't sounded anything more than perturbed with him since before the end of the War.

He grabbed the nearest pen and paper and wrote a quick message. Tapping until Dean looked, he handed the note over.

'Something wrong?'

A muscle in Dean's jaw twitched. "No, Cas, everything is fine."

He stomped out of the house.

Cas' eyebrows drew together and he huffed in frustration. What is his problem? He's not the one trying to force-feed someone with knowledge of his affections.

But he simply saved the bacon from burning and ate in silence. Sam came downstairs as Cas was beginning to despair again.

Cas glanced at him and passed a note, 'I hope you have a plan for today.'

Sam nodded, "Yeah, I do. You're going to go hang out with Dean, and tonight you guys are going into town for dinner."

Cas raised an eyebrow, 'That is your plan? Do you think I really have a chance of success, or are you just trying to keep me occupied until I die?'

Sam looked guilty, "Cas, you know Dean. Any mention of being anything other than straight sends him into heteronormative overdrive."

He sighed and continued, "Dean loves you, Cas, he really does. But I don't know if it will be the way you need it to be. You're family, though, and I know that if he figures it out he will try."

Cas' heart stopped- I really wish it would stop doing that- and he floundered a bit. He hadn't expected Sam to be quite that honest with him. He closed his eyes, breathing through a flare of pain.

So he was going to die in less than 48 hours and the person he most wanted to be with was going to avoid him because he was going to die and Dean thought there was nothing he could do.

Cas nodded to Sam and went to the yard, careful to bring his paper with him.

He found Dean working on the Impala- why only God would know; it was better maintained than most NASA equipment.

Apparently the late-August air was getting to Dean, because he had shed his outer shirt. Cas swallowed hard. Sweat was causing the already light t-shirt Dean was wearing to cling to his body even more.

Physical attraction had always been second to a balance between logic and emotions when it came to his dealings with Dean, but it had been an increasing problem over the last six months- since he'd become a human. He pushed those thoughts aside; better to not get those hopes up.

He walked the rest of the distance and made his presence known. Dean gave him a questioning look and he gave a half-smile. He leaned against the car, enjoying that he had the privilege of doing so, and wrote: 'Is anything actually wrong with her?'

Dean grinned, "Nah, just making sure she's ready for us to head out in a few days."

A dark look shadowed his face and Dean leaned back over the engine and mumbled "But I guess you probably won't be coming with us."

Cas froze before glaring and frantically scribbling a note. Knocking on the car, he drew Dean's attention once more.

'Giving up on me already?'

Dean looked bewildered, "What?"

Cas huffed, 'I realize my being cursed has slowed us down but I'd hoped my potentially dying was a bit more important than hunting for five days'

Dean looked angry. "Whoa now Cas, what are you talking about?"

'Why would you assume I wouldn't be with you?'

Dean's jaw clenched and he ducked down. The silence reigned and Cas was willing to leave it be for a bit. Really, it's not like pushing it would do him any good even with his limited time.

When lunchtime rolled around, Cas went inside and got food for both of them.

They ate together, Dean telling random stories about Sam and their dad; Cas would mostly just nod or laugh silently.

It was around five that he finally wrote another important note.

'It seems that this is another possible "last night on Earth." I would like to go somewhere.'

Dean read the note and quickly looked away. For a moment, Cas was concerned he would refuse, but then Dean nodded.

That's how he ended up going to dinner and then a bar in Sioux Falls with Dean. Like the rest of the day, as long as the curse didn't come up, they were just hanging out and having a good time.

Unfortunately, the drive back was tense.

Before Dean began driving Cas slipped him a note. 'Why do you think I won't be here?'

Dean's hands tightened on the keys and he exhaled. "What's there to stick around for? Jesus Cas, what are you even doing with us? Why aren't you out there finding your true love and living 'happily ever after.'"

His eyes snapped to Cas', "Unless…they're already around?"

Cas looked away, not wanting to see Dean as he nodded.

Out of the corner of his eye he saw Dean move and start the car.

Halfway home, he took out the tape Sam had given him with the message "Don't forget the body language ;)"

Leaning half on Dean all night hadn't gotten the message across apparently.

He popped in the cassette, well aware he was breaking a cardinal rule of the car. But Dean didn't say anything until the first song began playing.

"Every night in my dreams,
I see you, I feel you,
That is how I know you go on…"

Dean's knuckles turned white and he ground out "You get this from Sam?"

Cas nodded before looking out the window again.

"Son of a bitch."

Cas had to admit, the entire tape was pretty awful. Dean began fast-forwarding through the songs.

"You're here, there's noth-"

"Where do I begin, to tell a story of how great a love-"

"Hopelessly devoted to you-"

"Go on and kiss de girl-"

Dean angrily ejected the tape and threw it on the backseat.

Cas would bet money that wasn't how Sam saw this going. Step Two: Love Songs, was an utter failure.

August 25

When Cas woke up the next morning, pain was the only thing he registered. Everything hurt.

And this was how he started the last day of his life? That's pretty shitty.

He managed to grab his phone and sent a text to Dean. God, the pain had knocked him out until noon. Oh well, at least I still have nine hours until sunset.

Dean rushed into the room as he collapsed against his pillow. "Cas?"

He grimaced and made a grabbing motion towards his notepad. Dean immediately complied, handing him his tools.

'I don't think I can move, Dean.'

If looks could kill, the glare Dean shot at the paper would have been sufficient to do so. He nodded and turned to the door, "I'll go get Sam."

He left the room, closing the door roughly behind him.

So that was it, then? Dean knew and wasn't going to say anything? He knew he shouldn't cry, nothing was over quite yet, but he couldn't help it.

He wiped away the few tears that managed to escape. There's only one chance left, he thought as he looked at his paper. He was going to write everything out and present it to Dean - Maybe it would be enough. Maybe Dean was concerned it was about the curse and Cas could convince him it really wasn't.

Sam entered the room looking concerned and confused. He sat down on a chair beside the bed. "Cas, why did Dean just tell me to come be your 'Prince Charming'?"

He was dumbfounded. Had Dean really misunderstood everything? If I ever get my voice back there will be words.

He glared at Sam, even though he knew it wasn't Sam's fault Dean was being an idiot.

'I am going to write him a letter. Would you please ask him to come see me?'

Sam nodded and left. Cas turned to a new page, completely prepared to write out…everything.

The door opened and Cas was surprised to see Bobby enter the room.

He sat on the chair and it struck Cas that he hadn't seen the man in two days. Bobby extended a fresh pad of paper.

"Sam told me you were gonna write a letter, figured you'd need more paper."

Cas' mouth twitched and his eyes burned. It hadn't felt real before now. Not with the inability to speak, not with the pain; not until this moment when Bobby couldn't meet his eyes and his voice was rougher than normal.

He blinked away more tears and wrote: 'Where were you?'

Bobby snorted and gave him a stern look, "Summoning every angel and demon we know trying to get them to break the curse. Dean went with me a couple days ago to see Balthazar and Meg- still don't know why he thought those two would be the best bets; something about you and them getting' busy?"

Cas blushed, but before he could explain he hissed and grabbed at his chest.

Today was not going to be a good day.

Bobby stayed a while longer, patting Cas' shoulder. He was about to pull away when Cas grabbed his hand and handed him a note.

'Thank you for everything.'

Bobby hugged him for the second time ever, and he held him as tight as he could. They pulled apart just before Dean came through the door. Bobby excused himself and Dean dished Cas a piece of the pizza he'd brought with him.

Spinach and artichoke, a guilty pleasure Cas thought he'd hidden from Dean. Apparently not well enough. Still, he was surprised at Dean's thoughtfulness, usually Dean would order something covered in about five different meats.

He wrote a thank you note and received a grunt from Dean. They finished the pizza and beer and Dean left him to write his letter.

2 PM

Cas began writing out every thought, feeling and memory he had regarding Dean Winchester. He poured out the frustration, hopelessness, loyalty, joy, and the love that had cause him to fall hard and fast.

He stopped and started many times, facing that rational doubt, but still he pushed on, so absorbed in his task he didn't even notice as the three other men came and left.

7 PM

Surrounded by wads of paper and holding six sheets of writing covered in crossed out lines and scribbling, Cas sent Sam a text.

When he entered, Cas practically shoved the letter at him. He looked at Sam with both desperation and determination in his eyes. He wrote another note.

'Please give this to Dean.'

Sam nodded and turned to the door, he paused and looked back. "Cas…if this doesn't work out, well, thanks for helping us. Thanks for everything, really."

Cas smiled and shook his head. He had only done what was right, after all.

He watched Sam leave and listened to him walk down the hall to Dean's room. He struggled against his pain as he sat up. He felt an intense desire to scream out and have Sam return the letter to him- he wanted to be there when Dean read that letter.

He took a deep breath and quietly shuffled out the door and down the hall.

"-he better now?" He heard Dean's muffled voice through the door.

"No, Dean, he isn't." Sam responded, somehow managing to sound both calm and extremely put upon.

"What the hell, Sam? What are you waiting for? Did you forget that Cas is in pain and dying right now?"

Sam sighed, "Of course I haven't forgotten, Dean. And what do you mean what am I waiting for? What are you waiting for?"

Cas could only imagine the confused looks on both their faces. "He made you cookies, and you made him that god-awful mix tape."

Silence. Cas slid down the wall, and sat on the floor outside the door. He listened, the pain increasing with every breath he took

"Seriously, Dean? You thought Cas was in love with me? Do you remember him saying you two have a 'Profound Bond'?"

"Well yeah, but-"

"And he wanted to hang out with you yesterday and today."


"And no matter how busy he got he would come for you."

"Yeah, and use the both of us-"

"And he pulled you out of Hell, and rebelled against Heaven- on your request."

"He was just doing what seemed right! He wants you! He never would have come back if not for you."

"Why are you so afraid, Dean? Do you really think he's going to just…leave?"

There was no response, just the sounds of three people breathing heavily. Then a scoff.

"Whatever, I'm not going to stand here and listen to you justify letting your best friend die. Whether you admit it or not you've been pissy ever since he got cursed. Maybe you want to think about why you're so upset instead of just sitting here while someone who loves you is dying just because you're too scared to admit that you feel the same way."

The door slammed shut and Sam stormed past him. He looked down at Cas, horrified to see him sitting against the wall on the floor.

Cas tried to feel guilty for eavesdropping, but he couldn't. He stood shakily and allowed Sam to help him back into his room.

If he was going to die because of a rejected love letter, he certainly wasn't going to do it on the floor like some pathetically desperate teenager in a movie. (Not that he wasn't pathetically desperate- but only because he was dying!)

He glanced out the window; he probably had about fifteen minutes before sunset. Cas grabbed Sam's arm and nodded his head toward the window.

Sam pursed his lips and said "Yeah, sure thing, Cas."

Cas sat down to watch the sunset outside, enjoying the fresh air. The sun was just beginning to touch the horizon when pain flared and a spasm ran through his entire body. He closed his eyes and screamed silently.

The pain drowned out the sound of feet pounding down the stairs and voices calling his name.

Everything went black as he fell to the ground.

August 26

Sam knocked on the door, "Dean?"

He heard shuffling inside the room before the door cracked open. Dean looked exhausted, probably up all night after what happened. He gave him an apologetic look, "I brought you some coffee, thought maybe you'd need it."

"Thanks, Sammy." Dean rasped out, carefully taking the mug before shutting the door and returning to the center of the room.

He set the mug down and sat in the chair again, eyes never leaving the body lying on the bed.

He'd barely reached Cas in time last night. He caught his body as he was falling and had frantically kissed him, hoping he wasn't too late.

Cas had continued breathing, but he was still unconscious.

Usually, this was the part where he would pray to Castiel to make things better. But Castiel was apparently an idiot in love with an even bigger idiot that he had given up everything he knew for.

Dean leaned forward, placing his head into his hands.

Cas began groaning, but he'd been doing that periodically so Dean ignored it. It was the gasping that had him looking back at the bed.

"Cas?" He sat beside him on the bed, and looked into squinting blue eyes.

"Dean?" His voice was hoarse; his throat must be killing him from all the screaming. Cas' eyes went wide at the sound of his own voice.

Dean smirked, "It's okay, Cas. The curse is br-"

Cas pulled him down and kissed him with everything he had. Dean clung to him, gripping Cas' shirt with as much strength as he could muster.

Between kisses he murmured things about Cas having girly handwriting and not being allowed to talk to Sam about music ever again.

It didn't matter that Dean was insecure enough to have a freak-out in the next few days or that Sam and Bobby would be making fun of him forever for finally realizing something this important because of a Disney Princess curse.

All that could wait, for now he just had to assure himself and Cas that this wasn't just a joke- Cas was alive and Dean loved him.

He might not be able to confess it outright, hell he hadn't even really known before last night. But he'd almost lost Cas for the fourth time, and he wasn't about to ignore everything that had happened.

At least…until a clicking sound made both men look toward the door where Sam stood with a camera and a shit-eating grin. Without a word Dean shot towards the door to destroy the offending object but ended up chasing his brother down the stairs, leaving Cas alone to hear Bobby shouting that they were idjits and needed to stop running inside the damn house.

It would take a little more work, but they'd get the hang of it eventually.

And they would all live happily ever after.

AN: Alright! There you have it- the longest thing I've ever written.