So here I am at the second writing of this story. Well, technically several re-writes in but I've never done a full re-write of it. This thing that was only supposed to make it to 30k max. It wasn't any easier from the first time around. I felt nauseous editing some of the scenes. I felt like cringing every new chapter I worked on. I am including my original authors note for the finale at the bottom of this, so as not to leave anyone out (the credit bit I give), especially those reviewers who originally went on this crazy ride with me. The original authors note and 'Important' Coda are available on tumblr.
It is humbling still to look at the amount of feedback I've gotten and the private messages sent to me. I keep them close to my heart and carry them with me every day. Sometimes I'll go back and re-read them when I feel shaky. I am, to this day, made dizzy by the messages I have received from this story. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this fandom and to write for it. I still can't believe this started out with a simple prompt from a person I admired.
I'm sitting here at 6am in the morning with two of my cats running around playing explorer in my room and breaking half my shit. The sun hasn't even come up yet and I really don't know what to say. I cried as I re-wrote the story, probably more than I did the first time around since I had to analyze it much more closely. I can not believe it has been a year since I published and started writing this story. A year. Looking at my life, what it was like at the time, and what it is now... it's shocking.
As in the original authors note I hope this story leaves you with a feeling of hope. A feeling of empowerment at the end of an impossible situation. The sequel will deal with the healing and fighting process much more. I know writing this story helped me. While I was writing this story a year ago I told myself, "Cas has to make it. Because I have to make it." The amount of strength I've seen in people who have read my story baffles me. This story got me through a rough patch of my own life, and through some of my own demons that I've tucked away in corners never to be touched or remembered, and I hope that the passion reflects in the story. This story had to have a happy ending because otherwise life is just too bleak and dark.
My best wishes to everyone who has read this story and hated it, loved it, left a review or not left anything, and keep struggling through this mess we call a life. Life can be fucking hard sometimes. BE weak sometimes, crumble sometimes, just get up the next morning and MAYBE one day you can walk through some town and smile to yourself because you made it.