a/n: Episode Tag: The Born-Again Identity. Not slash.

Summary: Despite everything that had went down between the two of them, Dean still couldn't find it in himself to ruin Cas's new life like the angel ruined his ability to trust anyone again.

Leaves in the Wind

Dean couldn't do it, tell Emanuel that his was really Castiel- that the man was an angel and that they were friends once upon a time. He wished that he was angry, get angry enough that it would start a fire in his belly, ignite something that had been gone for so long. But he didn't get angry, Dean never had the energy or the will to anymore. He wanted to destroy Cas, remind him of all the bad things that he did- ruin his marriage like Dean's life was in wrecking.

Cas had betrayed them; he'd broken down Sam's wall to sanity and he'd broken Dean's ability to trust anyone ever again. It was rough.

At first, Dean felt shock. Cas was alive, his friend was alive. But then he remembered that in the end, their friendship had terminated. It was still rough. Dean had never really gotten over what had happened, despite what he told Sam- and his brother knew that he was lying anyway; thankfully, Sam didn't comment on that fact.

The eldest Winchester had never felt as hurt as he did when Cas opened purgatory and when he'd went it to that river. He'd thought that he been left, abandoned even. It'd hit him hard, as hard as Bobby death had hit him. But somehow, he'd been able to push that down better than he had been about Cas.

It didn't fit right. He'd known Bobby since he was a kid, he was more of a father-figure than John had been- and he lived longer too. But Cas- Cas had rescued him from hell, saved him from Zachariah, fell from heaven for him- and without knowing it, Dean had gotten attached and started to care. It was a fatal mistake, he knew it was and he knew the consequence of it- but he did it anyway, threw caution to the wind.

He always did that. He told himself not to, but he did it anyway and then it was like his family-jewels had been shot off with a gun. Dean had been hurt over and over and over again, but he kept at it, actually believing that once, once he wouldn't get trashed. But he had and he was.

But then here Cas was, and Dean wasn't angry, couldn't find it in himself to be angry. Cas alive, true he didn't know who Dean was, didn't remember their relationship- but he was better off. Everyone was better off without remembering him; Lisa and Ben were proof of that fact.

And Cas- Emanuel- seemed happy where he was, not knowing that the world was just a bucket full of shit. He knew about Demons, but that was it and he didn't need to know more. So Dean kept his trap shut. He just needed Emanuel to heal Sam's broken brain and then he could go back to his pretty little wife.

Dean didn't hate Cas or despise him- maybe there was some, some... he just didn't know anymore. Frank had told him to smile, no matter how much he want to quit and just stop, there's no half-way in this type of job, so either stop doing it all together or smile as if everything's okay.

Everything wasn't okay, though and he couldn't smile.

So Emanuel went to the hospital with Dean and he rebuilt Sam's wall and fixed his brain. He didn't remember a thing and Dean knew that despite his own feelings, it was all for the best. And even after all the literal hell that Sam just went through, he was the one to give Dean the look of pity, not the other way around.

Despite everything that had gone down, Dean still thought that Cas was his best friend. Cas wasn't here anymore though and he just had to deal with that. Just as was with Lisa and Ben, he was better off without Dean to screw everything up and kill everyone around.

Emanuel went on his way, none the wiser- not privy to truth about himself. And despite that he didn't remember that he was really Castiel, he left Dean again.

Alone and forgotten, with a brother as equally broken as he was.

f