"I'm going to miss you so much, Cas. Who is going to hold me back, when I want to throttle, mom?" Anna whispered at her brother in between sobs.
"We're only a couple of hours away. Once we're settled you and the girls can stay during long weekends. We can text each other at night to see how our day went." Castiel clung to his sister. He kissed her on the cheek before releasing her. Anna wiped her eyes.
Loren and Katie hugged their uncle. Cas kissed each girl on the top of the head. "Take care of your mom and be patient with grandma. She's sad and lonely now." The girls nodded simultaneously. Cas' eyes became watery as he eyed the only home he's ever known for the last time. He gulped hard. Bobby passed away five minutes after six pm on the day Ruby kidnapped him. Castiel wasn't superstitious but he was convinced Bobby saved him by wheeling in his chair which ended pushing deranged Ruby through the window.
Dean finished loading Castiel's personal belongings inside the Impala. Rachel approached the young man. Dean prepared himself for a scolding. "Missouri packed lunch for you. There's a peach cobbler she baked with your name on it."
"Thanks, Mrs. Novak," Dean said as he took the picnic basket from Cas' mom.
"Thank you for my loving my son. I know I can be a class A bitch but I want what's best for my children. I've never seen Castiel so enamored of anyone as he is with you." Rachel clutched her pearls.
Dean rubbed the back of his neck. "I'll never let him down."
"I know you'll take good care of him." Dean nodded. "One last thing…call me Rachel." Mrs. Novak tapped Dean's left hand and walked away. The Winchester couldn't believe what he just heard. Maybe Bobby's passing had mellowed the old bat.
"Be careful," Rachel told her only son. She fixed an errant black lock in Cas' head. He held her hand once she finished.
"Are you going to be alright?"
"You know me I've always been a fighter and I have Missouri and Rufus." Rachel had never been an affectionate or tactile parent. Castiel wrapped his arms around her dainty shoulders. He inhaled her jasmine perfume as he sunk his head in her neck.
"I miss him tremendously." Rachel finally broke down after Bobby's death. She cried her heart out while her beautiful son held her tight.
When she composed herself, Rachel extracted herself from her son. "I'm sorry for being a terrible mother. Missouri was more of a mother to you than I ever was. My parents were distant and that is how I was raised. I should have showered Anna and you with love."
"It's never late," Cas said as he held her hands and kissed them.
"Cas, it's getting late," Dean said as he placed the picnic basket in the backseat.
Missouri and Rufus were the last to say good-bye to the boys. "You take care of our boy," Rufus pointed at Dean. The older man's eyes were watery.
"Yes, sir" Dean and Rufus shook hands.
Dean smirked at Missouri and held his hands up in surrender. "I promise to take care of your boy. Don't want you to come to Wichita with your wooden spoon." Missouri lightly hit him across the head.
She chuckled. "I know you will and he will do the same. He's crazy over you." Missouri rose on tiptoes and Dean crouched down to allow her to kiss him on the cheek. "Thanks for taking him away. The two of you need to start a new life away from all the pain."
After the news that Ruby had savagely murdered Bela and Lisa and kidnapped Ben spread like wildfire throughout Mulvane, the townspeople no longer shunned Dean. His criminal record was erased and Dean was no longer in parole. His new life working at Carver's Auto Shop waited for him. Castiel was lucky to find employment as Wichita Community College's newest Literature Professor.
The couple drove to their new hometown to search for a place to live. The stars aligned for them because the third house they were shown by a perky real estate agent was the one they agreed to rent. It was a three bedroom fixer upper with a huge backyard; the two of them would fix together. The boys planned on building a tree house for Loren and Katie.
Wolf barked from inside the Impala. Dean waved bye at Cas' family before getting into the car. "Drive carefully, Dean!" Rachel bellowed.
Castiel was in the middle of hugging Rufus. "Thanks for everything, Rufus."
"What's family for, son?"
"By the way I left dad's Elvis records and record player in your room. I know he'd want you to have them."
Rufus nodded and turned around. He didn't want anyone see him cry. Missouri strolled over to her son. "I can't believe you're really leaving, baby boy." Her voice wavered at the word baby.
"You're going to make me cry," Castiel whispered as he enveloped the woman he considered his true mother in his arms. "I love you, Missouri."
"Me, too sweetheart but you need to leave this place. I know you always wanted to. We'll stay with Rachel for a while." Missouri kissed Castiel on each cheek and patted them gently. "When's the wedding?"
"Probably in February…dad's passing is too recent. You and Rufus are expected to come and live with us next year. I refuse no for an answer. We'll fix your room up first. Dean is dying to eat your peach cobbler on a weekly basis."
"We might just take you up on your offer, baby boy. Now hurry before your man starts honking." Castiel kissed her on the forehead. Rufus came over and embraced his wife. Cas headed to the Impala and opened the front passenger seat. He gazed at his family and said one last good-bye.
Fifteen minutes later, Dean parked the car at the cemetery. He walked hand in hand with Castiel, who walked towards Bobby's grave. Cas knelt down and placed a dozen white daisies over the recently mowed grass. He traced his father's name on the marble gravestone. Dean stood next to his fiancé. Wolf sniffed the dewy grass and ran in circles.
"Hey, dad; I couldn't leave without saying bye. I want to thank you for saving us. I know you were there. Dean and I are going to be happy in our new lives and it's because of you." Cas remained kneeling at his father's gravesite for a few minutes. He prayed silently for Bobby's soul to be at peace. Dean placed his hand on the dark haired man's shoulder. Cas placed in between the daisies and the gravestone a 5X7 picture of him and Bobby at a ballgame, when Castiel was seven years old.
Castiel finally stood. The couple returned to the Impala. Wolf faithfully behind. "I'm glad Ben's father agreed for Garth to share custody of the kids. Ben really loves his uncle and Garth will be a great father figure to him and his siblings," Cas said as he leaned closer to Dean on the bench seat.
Dean slid his right arm around his shoulders. "Yeah, I'm relieved those kids finally caught a break."
"When is Adam's military leave?"
"He'll be coming over during Christmas. I haven't seen the kid in ages. Sam says he's almost my height," Dean grinned.
"Can't wait to meet him," Cas nuzzled Dean's ear. "Sam's joining us for the holidays, too right?"
"Yep, Samantha already asked for a week off from work."
The Impala drove by the "Thanks for Visiting Mulvane" sign. "Good riddance!" Dean yelled. Wolf barked in agreement.
Dean turned on the radio. Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher" played. Castiel hit him across the head. "Ow what the hell, Cas?" Dean intentionally played the CD. He stroked his hand across Castiel's right arm and hummed along with David Lee Roth.
"I did have a hot as hell English teacher in high school," Dean said. He glanced at Castiel, who was blushing profusely. He chuckled heartily.
"I love you, Dean." Castiel kissed the side of his neck and interlaced his fingers with his former student's.
Dean kissed Castiel's hand. "Not as much as I love you, teacher"
Woo Hoo! Confetti it's a parade! I never thought I was going to finish this fic. Thanks so much for your patience. :)