Disclaimer: Unfortunately, Supernatural, Dean, and Castiel are not mine. They belong to the great and powerful Kripke & Company. *sigh* Life can be so unfair!

Warning: This story does contain implied/Castiel-thinking-about-how-he-wants-Dean slash. Don't like it, well, too bad! What are you doing reading this then? ; )

You Really Suck at Good-Byes

It was over.

All of it. Lucifer had been defeated. The threat of Michael was no more. God had returned. The world had not been destroyed nor turned into Paradise.

Everything was how it should be. Dysfunctional, but real.

And yet Castiel felt a vast emptiness inside of him as he sat next to Dean in the Impala. It was an emptiness that surprised the angel. He should feel overwhelming joy and gratitude. His Father had saved him. His Father had healed him and brought him back, stronger and more powerful than before. Just the fact that God had finally acknowledged him after everything that had happened should have been enough.

But there was Dean.

Dean's grief permeated every inch of car. It pained the angel to know that even though he had healed the hunter physically, there was no way possible he could ever heal the internal wounds Dean suffered caused by the loss of Sam.

And yet Castiel still felt a small glimmer of hope… hope that perhaps somehow… there was some way he could heal the brokenness inside of Dean. That the affection he had developed for the man during their time together would be enough. That, maybe, just maybe Dean could return Castiel's feelings…

"What are you going to do now?"

Dean sounded tired, his voice hollow. It wasn't what Castiel had hoped to hear from him, although he knew deep down he shouldn't have expected anything else. The man had just watched his world, everything he had fought for, be taken over by Lucifer and thrown into a giant hole.

Sam was gone, and there was no bringing him back.

"Return to Heaven I suppose," Castiel replied, trying to sound nonchalant. Too afraid to say what he really wanted to.

But I want to be with you, Dean.

There was a hesitant pause before Dean replied. "Heaven?"

"With Michael in the cage I'm sure it's total anarchy up there."

"So, what? You're the new sheriff in town?"

Castiel contemplated Dean's words before smiling. "I like that, yeah… I suppose I am."

"Wow, God gives you a brand new shiny set of wings and suddenly you're his bitch again."

Castiel felt his heart sink at the bitterness in Dean's voice.

"I don't know what God wants… I don't know if he'll even return… It just… it seems like the right thing to do."

Please don't do this, Dean… please… just ask me to stay…

"Well if you do see Him you tell Him that I'm comin' for Him next."

He wasn't going to say it. The angel could feel his heart start to break inside of him.

"You're angry."

"That's an understatement."

"He helped."

Dean let out a bitter snort.

"Maybe even more than we realize."

He gave me back to you, Dean! Why can't you see that? Does that not bring you any comfort, however small?

"That's easy for you to say! He brought you back! But what about Sam? What about me, huh? Where's my grand prize? All I got is my brother in a hole!"

Of course… of course I'm not enough… it's not enough that I love you… I'll never be what you want… what you need…

He forced himself to look directly at Dean and speak pointedly.

"You got what you asked for, Dean… No Paradise… No Hell… Just more of the same."

Castiel pushed down the emotions that threatened to expose themselves. There was no reason for them. Not now.

"I mean it, Dean," Castiel continued. "What would you rather have; peace… or freedom?"

He didn't wait to hear Dean's answer. The small, confined space of the Impala had become unbearable and Castiel couldn't stand being so close to the hunter any longer. Dean would do what he had promised his brother. He'd go and live a normal. A life that would not include his angel. Castiel made sure to disappear before Dean could realize it.

"Well you really suck at good-byes, you know that?" Castiel could faintly hear in the distance.

Castiel knew he sucked at good-byes. Because saying good-bye to Dean Winchester was the one thing that hurt the angel more than anything in the world.

So this was just a little one-shot that I had started after watching the Season 5 finale, but, well, never got around to finishing. Hope y'all don't mind the flashback! : )

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