Dean didn't say much about the trenchcoat folded up in the trunk of the Impala. He didn't even mention anything about Cas, simply folding the coat up carefully and quietly setting the bundle in the false bottom of the car, taking a brief moment to smooth out the creases so the material wouldn't wrinkle as it dried. Sam knew this was how Dean dealt with emotional things - shutting up about them and locking them away, simply trying to keep up the bravado. Like nothing got to him. That he was invincible.
And for a few days, Dean thought he could keep it up. That if he just ignored the overwhelming truth of the situation, he could forget the angel ever existed. That Dean could simply forget how much Cas had sacrificed for him and how suddenly, he was gone. How Dean didn't even get to say goodbye.
It was about a week or so later - Dean was having trouble keeping track of time recently. There was just too much on his plate, wearing him down, making him fragile no matter how much he tried to hide or ignore it. Sammy was in bad shape, and although Dean did what he could for him, he knew it wasn't helping. Bobby was in poor shape too, the one father figure he counted on beaten badly. Dean had to be the strong one for their sakes. He had to be their angel, the one they could count on.
The television was playing low, quiet dialogue being the only noise in the hotel room. Bobby and Sammy were both sleeping deeply on the twin beds, which Dean was grateful for deep down. It was the first good night's sleep they had gotten in a while. But Dean couldn't sleep. He tried to make his mind focus on the tv, words buzzing senselessly in his head around the one thing he could think about. The only thing he could think about.
With a soft sigh, Dean reached for the remote and turned the tv off, standing up wearily. Grabbing his room key, he shoved it deep into his pocket and quietly put on his leather jacket. He made sure that Sam and Bobby were okay - which they were, expressions calm with the peace of sleep - before opening the door soundlessly and slipping out. Dean made his way into the darkness outside, cold night air biting at his exposed face and neck. But he didn't care. He took his keys out and popped the trunk, lifting the stick to hold it up as he propped up the cover to the false bottom.
There it was, just as Dean left it. Tan and worn down, material faded, almost as if someone had lived in it. Smudges of dirt and blood were smeared haphazardly, belt frayed on the edges. Just seeing it sitting innocently there made Dean's jaw clench hard, blinking as he swallowed down the sudden rush of emotions.
Dean lifted the light bundle up, turning it over in his hands and unfolding it. Oh God, it still smelled like Cas, all warmth and sharp natural musk, it practically hit Dean like a train. Dean's resolve was cracking, fisting the material hard in his fingers and pressing the coat to his face, shoulders tense as he tried to fight the tears building behind his eyes.
Dean sank to the cold ground, letting the coat drape over his knees as he clutched it to his chest. He clung to the coat, fingers tracing over the material, remembering how it looked when it hung from Castiel's body. Remembering how the angel had shielded Dean from shattering shard of glass with it one time. Letting Castiel's words flow through his memory, both the ones everyone else heard and the ones that went unspoken between just them.
"Cas, please, you gotta come back," Dean managed to choke out, words heavy and strangled sounding against the collar of the coat. Tears soaked into the thin folds of the lapel, salty stains joining the bloody ones. Never had Dean felt so helpless, so broken, so alone. But Dean just couldn't let go, couldn't accept that Cas was truly gone. Cas had deserved the world, had sacrificed everything for Dean, and now he was gone.
"Cas, you can't be gone, you understand me? You can't. You're everything Cas, you and your damn trenchcoat." Dean paused, as if waiting to see if the angel would answer, closing his eyes so he could hear better. Even the softest of whispers, Dean's ears were straining for it.
"Silent treatment, huh?" Dean chuckled shakily, tears streaming down his cheeks. The silence was heavy in the cold night, and Dean's voice was getting louder, words mangled with grief.
"Damnit, you promised you'd be here Cas, you promised. You fucking promised!" Dean screamed up to the heavens, voice raw as he clutched the limp trenchcoat to his chest, trying to will Cas back into it.
"If you want your damn coat back, you gotta come get it. So come on Cas! Come back!"
And for a split second, Dean thought he heard a flutter of wings, a soft rush of wind stirring his hopes as he looked around, heart pounding against his ribs.
But there was no one. Dean was alone, scar on his shoulder dull and empty of any grace. Dean and a dirty trenchcoat.
Because that's all it was now. Just a trenchcoat.