Learning To Smile Again.

Sam slept silent next to Dean. Unfazed by the events that had just happened. The Ventala were dead, Krissy and her father were on the road to a normal life… Dean should be happy about it, but as he drove down the highway, the smile that he'd been trying to keep on his face slipped.

He couldn't keep this to himself anymore. There was too much for him to hold. Even when he had kept things from Sam or when he had to make the decision to say yes to Michael. Nothing compared to this pain. It was one thing to have lost John, Mary and Cas… but this was Bobby. The dirty, old drunk that Dean had taken as his father figure for years.

Dean stopped at the side of the road and turned off the engine. He got out of the car and closed the door silently, not wanting to wake Sam. With the gravel crunching under his feet, he went to the back of the car and opened the trunk. Taking out a medium-sized wooden box, he opened it and his brows knitted together a little. Dean took out the trenchcoat from the box and closed the box and the boot.

He leaned against the boot of the car and hugged the folded material close to his chest. He inhaled deeply, trying to catch the imaginary wisps of Cas' scent and he choked out a sob. "C-Cas…" he looked up with tears in his eyes, "I need you."

A light breeze blew through the trees and tenderly caressed Dean's face. A cool wind in the middle of summer was odd, but Dean was past trying to explain some things. He closed his eyes, imagining that it was Cas' soft touch. The wind seemed to grow a little harder on his face and he thought he heard a whisper in the wind.

Opening his eyes, Dean looked straight ahead of him and his eyes widened. "C-Cas?" Dean exclaimed and the figure smirked, "Always the tone of surprise, Dean."

It couldn't possibly be Cas. Dean saw him bite the big one himself. But every fiber in his body told him otherwise. Everything in his mind screamed that it was Cas, but whatever rational part of him told him that it was some kind of apparition or stress taking over.

Cas walked towards Dean but it seemed like he was floating. His face was clear as glass, no cut and bruises, no blood or lines of tiredness. Everything about him was perfect. He was clothes in an impossibly white robe with a gold rope loosely tied around his waist. he had his mildly surprised smile plastered on his face and his ice-blue eyes swam with love.

Dean swallowed and his mouth parted, but before he could say anything, Cas has him in his arms, pulling him close and kissing the hunter on the lips. Dean's head went sweetly silent and everything that mattered didn't matter anymore. He wrapped his arms around Cas and he felt Cas' always invisible wings wrap around him, creating a protective cocoon of love.

For what seemed like a lifetime of eternities, they shared each other's touch, not saying a word, but telling each other how much they missed their love. Through their kiss and the gentle touches and caresses, the weight of Dean's problems was slowly lifted. Cas took it all away with just being there.

They let go of each other when the need for Dean to breathe became too much, but they didn't let go of each other. Dean looked up into Cas' face that seemed to be strangely illuminated and smiled, a tear coming down his cheek.

"When you need me, Dean," Cas said, his voice like sweet honey, flowing out like a song, "All you have to do is call me."

Dean's brows knotted and he buried his head in Cas' chest and sobbed. He couldn't hold back to flow of tears. He tried to, but they just came harder. Cas wrapped his arms and wings around Dean, and Dean felt himself rise off the ground a little, but he didn't care. He just held on to Cas and sobbed harder and harder.

"Let it out, Dean," Cas said, rubbing soothing circles into Dean's back, resting his cheek agains the side of Dean's head, "I'm here, my angel."

After a while, Dean calmed down and slowly looked up at Cas. The angel just smiled down and him and kissed his forehead. "Talk to Sam about it, Dean. Do not shut him out," Cas said quietly.

"I don't want to, Cas," Dean said and let go of Cas a little, as he did his boots slowly touched the ground again, "You know I can't do that."

Cas laughed a little, "Dean, you've always been consistently infuriating to me, you know." Dean smiled and shrugged, "You never said you didn't like it," he said. Cas shook his head and took Dean's hand in his, gazing at Dean's green eyes, "Dean, I know what that man told you, about learning to smile, but you cannot learn how to do that by yourself. You have to let people in, like how you did for me."

"You're different, Cas," Dean said, turning away, but Cas took Dean's chin in his hand and made Dean look at him. "I'm different, yes, but Sam is your brother and he knows you better than me." Dean raised his eyebrow, "You know me plenty, Cas," then his look turned pleading, "Cas… please, Sammy's going through enough with Lucifer playing house in him… I can't put this on him too."

Cas put his hand on Dean's shoulder, over the handprint that both of them knew was there. "Dean, things may come out as you predict, but things will be different if you don't. You may lose your brother to your own stubbornness." Dean's head cocked to the side a little, "Wh-what…?"

A small smile crossed Cas' face and he held Dean's cheek in his hand, "Tell Sam, Dean. There isn't anyone else that can help right now."

"You're here now, right?" Dean said, but Cas smiled and shook his head. "I'm but a fleeting memory of the real me." he said and leaned hugged Dean again. Dean closed his eyes and hugged back and heard Cas whisper, "It's time to go back now, Dean."

He opened his eyes and he was at the side of the road again, hugging the trenchcoat to him. Cas wasn't there, but Dean knew that the moment that they both shared was real. He smiled and shook his head, "Still can't say a proper goodbye, huh Cas?" He turned and hid the coat away in the trunk again and as he closed the trunk, he felt the cool wind again. "I love you… Dean," he heard a whisper, and he glanced around and went back into the car, hands in his pockets.

He closed the door and looked at the sleeping form of Sam. He still couldn't comprehend how Sam was taking this so coolly, but he chuckled to himself and started the engine. He knew that this road to recovery would be a tough one, but he was ready to go through it.

"Love you too, Cas."