Saying that Bobby Singer was surprised to come into his living room at five thirty in the morning to find Dean Winchester with his tongue in the mouth of an Angel of the Lord who they'd literally burned on a pyre not ten hours before would be an understatement.
It was a bit, shall we say, jarring.
He stood there at the bottom of the stairs for minutes on end, eyes wide, trying to decide if he should get his shotgun or retreat back up the stairs to give them privacy.
Castiel saw him first and greeted him with a kiss-flushed smile and a, "Hello Bobby."
Dean whirled around, he let loose a relieved laugh and blurted, "Bobby, look! It's Cas!" Bobby didn't respond, he was incapable of words.
The standard Holy Water test was done. And salt. And silver. And after Bobby was sufficiently convinced Cas wasn't evil, he clapped a hand on his back and told him he was glad to see him back from the dead. It was clear from his eyes that while he meant it, his mind was still working through the impossibility of the whole thing.
Forty minutes later Sam awoke to find someone perched calmly on the side of his bed. When Sam's eyes finally blinked the 'dead' angel Castiel into focus he shot up and back against the headboard gasping, "Holy crap!"
Across the room Dean erupted into a fit of laughter. Poor Sam was baffled.
"Sorry Sammy, I couldn't resist," Dean said, breathless with his amusement at the look on his brother's face as his eyes darted back and forth from Dean to Cas.
"Your brother can have a very dark sense of humor," Castiel smiled at Sam, who was looking at him with terrified and confused eyes. "It appears that you were right in assuming that Gabriel should have had the power to heal me. It turns out he was fully capable of raising me from the dead. As you can see."
It sank in slowly, but eventually, Sam was overjoyed. He even awkwardly hugged the former angel.
Later that night Dean and Castiel were laying together in the bed in the spare room, warm and comfortable and exhausted. There were the preliminary Welcome Back to Earth niceties between the four of them before Dean and Cas essentially excused themselves for the day. They'd locked the door behind them and not been out since. This first reunion had been overwhelming and so sweet and so raw in its unhidden desperation, Dean and Castiel both doubted if anyone had ever felt anything like it before. It felt like magic. This was the first time they were together where nothing could be mistaken for friendship or favor or basic need. As they lay there after, Castiel turned Dean's hand over in his own, examining it closely, memorizing every detail.
Dean said quietly, as he was leaned back lazily against Cas' chest, "Castiel, the mortal man, back from the dead..."
Cas laughed lightly.
"You know, if you had never jumped, we would never be here."
Castiel thought about that, but said nothing. He knew it was true.
"I'm glad you did," Dean said. It was a big deal for him, to say it out loud.
"As am I."
"Hm," Dean laughed to himself. "Cas, 'normal dude'." He thought about how strange it would be to think of Castiel that way even now. "You're not gonna become some amphetamine-popping, orgy-throwing, hippie-type guy are you?"
Castiel simply tilted his head ever so slightly, as he always did when he could make absolutely no sense of Dean's rambling. "Why would I throw an orgy?" Castiel asked.
After Cas came back, there were no more mystery-ailments. There was no more sneaking around, creeping through the house in the middle of the night to get to each other. There was no more hesitation and no hiding what they were to each other.
And it wasn't perfect.
Sometimes they made each other crazy-mad. Occasionally they would even come to fisticuffs, both being so stubborn. More often than not, those fisticuffs transitioned bizarrely easily into sex, which transitioned into a clumsy post-coitus apology from one or the other.
There was some emotional fall-out over the depth of their feelings once they came to terms with the fact that holy crap it's love, and then, holy crap it's forever. Neither of them had actually been in a long-term relationship before and knowing they'd immediately plunged into that was daunting. Not every problem could be solved with sex, but by god did they try.
Cas still had a lot to learn about being human and Dean had a lot to learn about allowing yourself to love. But being together was what they'd both wanted and never realized was right there in front of them.
Even when Castiel found himself faced with the oddly easily-made decision of giving up his Grace and he had gripped that charm tight and took the plunge into mortality, he didn't yet realize the true extent of why.
Late one night, after several months of humanity with the Winchesters and Bobby Singer at his side, Castiel glanced over at Dean sprawled face down across their bed, looking sweeter in sleep than he ever did awake. His beautiful face was smooth and vulnerable and completely without worry. His jacket and a sawed-off were thrown haphazardly on the dresser. In the quiet of the night, the rhythm of Dean's breathing beside him felt like the the most perfect thing in creation. Thinking back to the way they'd been before his Fall, Cas laughed quietly at his own naivety. He ran a hand through sleeping Dean's hair and shook his head, still smiling. He never thought he'd end up here. He never knew to hope for it. But he thank Heaven he dove into this.
Grace for Dean?
Best. Trade. Ever.
Holy mother of crap, it's finally done! Considering this started as a one-shot I'm pretty jazzed that it turned into all this.
Sorry, sorry, sorry for killing Castiel! - but it was a happy ending! So I hope you forgive me.
Anyway, THANKS SO MUCH to anyone who reviewed or added this story as a favorite. I'm new to posting so I really appreciate it. You guys are awesome for being super nice and enthusiastic. It always makes me really happy to see when someone likes the story.
I think there shall definitely be more stories to come...