Wow. This journey has been amazing for me. This was my first extremely long fanfiction, in which I actually received feedback. It was such a pleasure sharing my story with everyone of you. I appreciate your comments and your amazing criticism. I really cannot express enough how grateful I am to have all of you people reading my story. Sadly, all things must come to an end. I didn't think everything would fit into one chapter, but it did. There is an epilogue as well.

This will definitely not be my last story, so if you want, feel free to keep hanging on :)

Chapter 13/13. Word count: 4,897

Dean noticed his hands were shaking before he got out of the Impala. He tried to calm down because this was no time to lose control. Part of his shakiness was caused by the worry for his mother, and the other part was due to the lack of alcohol in his system. Dean had to be strong, though. He couldn't afford to think of himself in a time like this.

Inside the hospital, Dean saw his brother sitting in a chair in the waiting room, with Ruby at his side. It was plain torture having to stand the sight of them together, but what Dean hated the most was knowing that Sam had chosen some girl over him.

"Sam, how's mom doing?" Dean asked through clenched teeth.

His brother turned to smile at Ruby, then got up and dragged Dean to the other end of the room. "Last I heard she's still in surgery."

Dean stared at Sam, wishing he could get out all his anger and frustration on him, but he knew this wasn't the time or place. "What about dad? Have you heard of him?"

Sam shrugged. "I can't get a hold of him. I've tried all his numbers, but he's pretty much lost right now."

"I need to see Cas," Dean stated. "He might have some useful information." Dean headed to Cas' office, disregarding his brother.

The nurse let Dean through easily this time. She knew him, and even though he'd made the wrong impression on his drunken visit, he was still known around as Castiel's boyfriend.

Dean opened Castiel's door, shutting it behind and racing to the arms of the pensive man behind the desk. Without thinking twice about his action, he took a tight hold of him, and refused to let go.

"Dean," Castiel breathed on Dean's ear, hands sinking on his back, touching him as eagerly as Dean was. "Dean, you're okay."

"Yeah," Dean said, a bit surprised about that fact, too. He pulled back to look at Cas' beautiful blue eyes. It had been a while since he'd seen that intensity in them. Dean felt at ease now that he was looking at them.

"I'm…I'm so glad you're okay."

Dean smiled, moving away to sit on the other side of Cas' desk. "I'm a big boy."

Cas gave a low chuckle, shutting his eyes for a moment and opening them again, and this time he looked at Dean as if he hadn't seen him before. As if Dean was a brand new creature Cas had discovered. "Your mother, Dean, is in a stable condition as of now. I've been informed her surgery is going well."

Dean scrunched his eyebrows. "How did this happen? She's not even fifty yet. I don't understand."

Castiel took a deep breath, running the tip of his tongue through his chapped lips. It was difficult not getting lost in those details for Dean. "Your mother showed a series of heart issues. It appeared she hadn't received treatment on time."

"Dammit. Cas, I was such an asshole to her last time we talked. I didn't visit her. I didn't give her a fucking call, you know—nothing. She wanted to help me. I kicked her away for wanting to help me. Hell, I did the same to you."

"Dean," Cas said suddenly. "Let's not relive history at the time."

"You're right," Dean said. "But I wanted to let her know that I found my motivation. I found what I needed to make sure I could stay on the right track. I have a reason for going back to school, for quitting my job, for not drinking. It all comes down to one thing. You."

Castiel's eyes opened widely, and a hint of a smile appeared on his face. "Me?"

Dean nodded. "I know you said you don't want anything to do with me anymore, Cas, but I don't want to live a life without you. I want to be someone you're proud of. It's probably real silly, but man I love you. I've lost everything, even my brother. Now I know I have to get my shit together before I even try to make it up to you, but I'm willing to do it. I don't care how long it takes. I want to tell her that if it wasn't for her, I wouldn't have gotten back up again. I…" Dean choked. Before he could process what was going on, he felt a salty tear rolling down his cheek.

Castiel was at his side in a fraction of a second, pulling him up and into his arms again. Dean let his cheek rest on Cas' shoulder, arms reaching around his waist, clenching at his shirt. Castiel moved the hand on Dean's back soothingly. "Let's pray," he murmured.

Dean felt confused at the sudden suggestion, but he pulled back to nod. He stood there for a moment after, looking at Cas as he looked back, welcoming their silent communication. "I don't think I know how, Cas."

"Come sit with me," Cas said, moving Dean to the couch in his office. They sat next to each other, as close as it was possible, and Cas took Dean's hand in his. Dean was reminded of Castiel's subtle, yet powerful touch, and he gave a noticeable shiver at the thought. Cas tightened the grip on Dean's hand at that.

"How should I start?" Dean wondered. He wanted to know. He wanted to do what Castiel told him to because Dean knew he wasn't currently in the best position to know what was best for him. He'd thought he did, and he'd been so wrong. From now on, he would listen to Cas. He would make sure none of his advice went unnoticed.

Cas gazed into Dean's eyes, and there was so much emotion in those set of colored eyes that Dean shed another tear. "Close your eyes."

Dean did. He concentrated on the sound of his beating heart, instantly thinking of his mom's fragile heart being poked at by a bunch of doctors. Dean couldn't be sure she would recover entirely. She had to be taken care of. Dean would make sure she had all the attention she needed. He would be her caregiver. Dean would make sure his mother's heart was strong and kept its proper beatings.

"Speak to God," Cas muttered. "Everything hanging on your chest; everything you've been holding back. Tell Him."

Dean had never quite enjoyed one-way communications. He wasn't a very communicative guy, first of all, but this felt more like speaking to himself. He wouldn't get a response, at least not in words. Dean wasn't even sure he had enough faith or was in the right religion to be praying.

"I'm right here, Dean," Cas said in a low voice. "I'm going to stay here with you."

Dean didn't know exactly what Castiel meant by that. Dean concentrated on the pressure in his hand, and the knowledge that Castiel was the one holding onto him. He opened his mouth slowly and began to pray, "Uh, Dear God, I guess, um I have a few things to ask of you. I don't know if you are listening right now, maybe you're busy, or I'm not really deserving of your time, but here goes nothing. I want my mom to make it safely out of surgery, and to recover. I want to be the son she needs, the one that she deserves. I don't want to let her down anymore. I promise to be with her, take care of her, just like she did with me. Also, I want Sammy to realize his girlfriend is a good-for-nothing sk—" Dean stopped midsentence, to find better words. "Person. She is a good-for-nothing person. I would love to have Sam back home. I didn't want him out in the first place. I miss him a lot."

Dean heard the soft breathing of Castiel, so close to him. He knew where his train of thought was leading him to, and he went ahead with it. "I want Castiel to forgive me. I want him to know that I hate myself for everything I did to him. I know he loved Anna. I know I took him away from her when she needed of him, but he should know I need him, too. I will always need him. Without him I feel…this bitter taste in all my food. Nothing is good anymore. Everything is dull and boring and I can't get past an episode of Dr. Sexy without thinking of him and wishing Dr. Sexy could morph into Cas because Cas is so much sexier. I want your help to fix me up so I can make a decent person of myself. I know I've probably bothered you enough for now. This was…this was alright. I might do it again. Uh, Amen." Dean opened his eyes, turning to Castiel, who was already gazing at him. "Thanks, Cas, for making me—"

Castiel silenced Dean with his lips. It was a soft, mellow clashing of their perfectly-matched lips, but it lighted up Dean's spirit. Castiel moved his free hand to Dean's face, and delicately smoothed out his features. Dean trembled once more, but this time it was out of sheer bliss. Dean felt Castiel smile under their kiss, and Dean managed to pull away in order to see this for himself. Cas was still grinning, staring softly into Dean's eyes. Dean was still puzzled by the unexpected kiss, so Cas reached his lips to the tip of Dean's nose and then back to his lips.

Dean felt he needed no further explanations. He gave in and smiled, too.

"I would apologize for my behavior," Cas said, "but the last thing I am right now is sorry."

"If you hadn't done it first I probably would have done it anyway."

Castiel intertwined their fingers together, as they were still holding onto each other. "It may not be the best time to say this, but I've realized why it was that I wasn't allowed to make my own decisions. The one chance I get, I choose to lose you, and it's the worst feeling in the world. Dean, I loved Anna, of course I did. But I love you more than I could put into words. Nothing you did or will do in the future would ever stop that from being true. You do what you have to do, but know that I will be waiting for you. I'm all yours."

Dean felt there couldn't possibly be better words he could ever hear again.

"Dad, where the hell have you been?" Dean demanded. "We've been trying to reach you for hours."

John glared at his two sons, who were impatiently waiting for an answer. "I was on a hunting trip. Where's Mary?"

Sam sighed. "She's out of surgery. Still not awake, though. We've been waiting for the 'okay' to go see her."

John pressed his thumb and index fingers in between his eyes. "Is she going to be okay? No one had ever told me she was prone to heart attacks. I always told her to go to her check-ups but she didn't, now look where we're at."

"She'll recover," Dean said. "Castiel told me so."

"Who the hell is Castiel? I need to see Mary. Where is her doctor?"

Dean waited with his brother as his dad desperately asked around for information on his mom. John looked devastated. The pain inflicted in him due to Mary's health was obvious. Dean didn't want to get his hopes up about this again, but he could swear John still loved his mother. He figured he wouldn't say anything to Sam this time, though. Sam wouldn't agree.

"We'll have mom back, Dean," Sam assured him. "I know it."

Dean looked up at his enormous brother, smiling. "Yeah, me too."

Sam turned to Ruby, who was sleeping on one of the chairs. "I better take her home. That cannot be comfortable."

"I'll call you if mom wakes up," Dean said, keeping all his opinions on the matter to himself.


John seemed restless as he came to sit by Dean. "Talked to Bobby. He said we almost lost her. If it hadn't been for Gloria, your mom's neighbor, she wouldn't have made it. Speaking of, have you seen her around? I should send her a fruit basket or something."

Dean shook his head. "I don't think so. I'll make sure to thank her, too."

"Dean, who…who was that Castiel you mentioned earlier?" John asked quietly. Dean could sense that his clear anxiety wasn't due to his mom's state of being, it was because he'd found out about him and Cas. It was bound to happen sometime.

"Same one you met at the BBQ," Dean explained. He wasn't going to hide anything.

John played with his hands, unable to set them anywhere. "I…I remember him, yeah. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not one to believe gossip, especially coming from women. But I heard those nurses at the front desk discussing you. They were wondering if you were still dating Castiel."

Dean snorted. "Yeah, dad, Castiel and I used to be together. We got in a fight and then we weren't. Now we're working toward solving out our problems. I'm trying to solve mine, actually. But we're…we're kind of serious."

John blinked hard a few times, as if to correct his vision. "I never noticed you were that way, son. I mean, I always pictured you being the best womanizer in town. Am I a bad father?"

Dean chuckled. "I'm still me, dad. I'm still the same Dean. It's just that I prefer Castiel over every woman I could have. And it's not up to me to judge that, but when was the last time you talked to Sammy?"

"Dean," John sighed. "Sam and I always butted heads. He was my last hope for keeping my shop going, but he didn't want it. He's a smart kid, I'll give him that. I just don't know what's going to happen to the family business once I'm gone."

"Sam is the smartest of his kind," Dean said. "You can't expect him to settle for a job as a mechanic. Besides, you won't have to worry about that in a long time. And when the time comes, Sam and I will make sure the business keeps running. We won't let you down."

John grinned, proudly. "I raised two great sons, didn't I? I will talk to Sam. I'm going to try to get through a conversation without any arguing."

"Good luck to you two."

Before John could say anything else, Castiel approached them.

Dean stood up, hopefully. "Can we see her?"

"Yes," Castiel said gladly. "You may go in to see your mother. She is awake and asking for her sons."

John stared at Castiel with a look of gratitude in his face, and then he turned to Dean. "Could I go in alone first?"

"Sure, dad."

"Thanks," John said. "Castiel, I hope you and Dean work things out. I'm not very well informed, but here's some advice. Don't wait until he's lying in bed at a hospital to tell him how much he means to you, and how much you want him back." John speeded down the hallways to Mary.

Dean stared blankly at his dad. He didn't know how to cope with the fact that he'd been right about his parents all along.

Cas took Dean's hand and slightly squinted his eyes. It was his way of saying I love you. Dean had his own way. Pulling Castiel from his hips and crushing their lips together. For a short amount of time, of course, because Cas was working.

"Don't you ever scare me like that again," Dean ordered his mom. "This has consequences, you know. You won't be able to get rid of me for a while."

"Even better," Mary said, directing her gaze to John, who had pulled a chair right next to her bed so there'd be the least possible distance between them. "I should end up at a hospital more often."

Sam grimaced. "Don't ever say that again."

Dean smirked. "Hey, Sam, would you look at that? Mom and dad are back together. Guess you were wrong, Mr. Impossible."

Sam rolled his eyes. "I can't predict the future. Why did you ever listen to me?"

"No, don't think you can get away with it so easy. You were wrong, and I was right."

Sam scowled at his brother. Dean backed off because he was also right about Ruby, but that was something he wasn't happy about.

"Quit bickering," Mary muttered. "You two are worse than an old married couple."

"We're not married anymore," John pointed out. "But we could change that."

Mary took a forceful breath. "I'm going to pretend you didn't just propose to me while I am in a half-opened robe, connected to an IV, at the hospital."

John snickered. "Right. I guess we'll have time for that when we get you out of here."

Dean had the chance to tell Mary all his accomplishments and goals for the future. He had decided to become a nurse, which might not be as great as being a doctor, but Dean knew he didn't have the patience to study for more than four years. He'd realized he liked being in hospitals, especially in this one. He wanted to do everything in his hands to help the sick, to feel useful. He also figured he would understand most of the nurses' lingo from all the Dr. Sexy he watched.

Mary looked so proud of Dean. It was as if she'd completely forgotten their last conversation. She didn't hold any grudges. She accepted Dean the way he was, and that only made him want to be better. There was no greater feeling for Dean than when he saw the look of pride in his mother's face. Dean reached down and managed to hug her without hurting her. She kissed his head, and Dean suddenly felt four-years old all over again. Protected, secured, and loved. So very loved.

Dean was running late again. He was late to his temp job at the mall. As a perfume sprayer. It was the only thing he could find. The pay was a little bit better than the one at the pizzeria. He had to dress up all nice and be polite to strangers, which took some time to get used to, but it happened.

Dean had been able to save up to pay for all his classes and books, and he would start school again soon. Dean hadn't had a sip of alcohol in months. He'd given his mom more visits than she cared for, and he'd been able to gain Jo's friendship back. But there was one thing he still couldn't get right, and that was punctuality.

When Dean opened the door, placing his second shoe on his feet, Sam stood with his hand in a fist, ready to knock.

"What are you doing here right now?" Dean asked hurriedly. "I'm already five minutes late."

Sam laughed. "Some things never change."

"Man, I've got to look rich. It takes time."

"I brought someone," Sam said, signaling someone in his car. A beautiful girl with blond curls running down her shoulders headed towards them. She smiled at Dean, with a most sincere expression on her face. She extended her hand to Dean, which he took without hesitation. "Dean, meet Jessica."

"It's so great to finally meet you, Dean," Jessica said. "I've heard so much about you from Sam. You're his favorite topic of conversation."

Dean didn't know who she was, but he instantly loved her. "I'm sure it's been nothing but good things."

Jessica chuckled. "I would consider your pie-eating record a good thing."

Dean winked; delighted by this lovely creature his brother had brought to him. "Where did she come from, Sammy?"

Sam smirked, sort of amused. "So get this, Ruby was cheating on me with her boyfriend. We met each other at this party. By that time, I wasn't all that upset about the betrayal."

"Looks to me like you won the lottery," Dean praised. "Doesn't the universe feel one demon lighter? Anyway, I would love to stay here and celebrate, but I've got to intoxicate people with perfume right now. Feel free to come in. This is your home and you are both welcome to use it for sex."

Dean drove away with a peacefulness he hadn't felt in a while. His brother was no longer attached to Ruby. His brother was his again, he could feel it. And he had a gorgeous sister-in-law who he couldn't wait to get to know better.

Life might have not been perfect, but it was starting to improve.

Dean pulled up in front of Castiel's house. He walked out and ringed the doorbell. Castiel didn't take long to open the door, and when he did, Dean offered him a bouquet of roses. This had been the corniest thing Dean Winchester had ever done, and it didn't bother him one bit.

Castiel took them, astounded by the gift. He pulled them up to his nose and closed his eyes in satisfaction by the wonderful scent. "These are lovely."

"I've always wanted to bring you flowers," Dean confessed. "I just didn't know if it would be over the top, or if you would even like them."

"Roses are my favorite type of flowers," Cas said. "This is truly magnificent."

Dean leaned in to kiss Castiel, making sure the rest of his body received enough attention from his hands. Castiel playfully bit Dean's lower lip. "You had onions, didn't you?"

Castiel kissed Dean again, allowing his tongue to dance inside Dean's mouth. Dean had never seen Castiel this playful before. "I might have ordered a pizza earlier today. I brushed my teeth very well. How did you guess?"

Dean grinned. "Baby, I know you."

"I love it when you call me Baby," Cas said, giving Dean's neck a small bite and then a kiss.

"Are you hungry?" Dean wondered. "You keep biting me this way and we won't make it out of the driveway."

"I just…really want you," Castiel confessed innocently. He bowed his head, as if he'd done something wrong.

Dean cupped Cas' head, caressing the messy hair behind it. "Dammit. The ways you tempt me. My mom is waiting for us. Now that we're, you know, official, she will not forgive me if I don't bring you home the right way."

Cas beamed at that. "Then I can wait."

"Problem is," Dean said, "I don't know if I can."

Castiel eyed the Impala behind Dean, and Dean turned to it at the same time. They looked at each other, and without any other words they headed to the car and drove away.

It was a desolate road, halfway to Mary's house, but it was good enough. Castiel made his way to the backseat first, and Dean followed quickly behind. Cas was working on Dean's zipper as Dean unbuttoned Cas' shirt.

Castiel stopped Dean's hand to give it a kiss. "We don't have time for this."

Dean grunted, as his hand was freed and Castiel reached into his pants. "There's always time for me to run my hands over your chest, baby."

"C'mon, Dean," Cas hissed. "I want you."

Dean loved it when Cas said that. It was like music to his ears. Dean pulled down Cas' pants, taking a grip of his currently hard dick and hardening it even more. Castiel gasped, his heavy breathing hitting Dean's face. Dean pumped it fast, savoring the beautiful expressions of pleasure on Castiel's face.

Cas sat up on the seat of the Impala, grunting with pleasure. He gripped onto Dean's shirt, pulling him close for a passionate kiss. Dean sped up the pace, pumping Castiel empty. Dean couldn't help and indulge in the pleasure radiating throughout his entire body. To have Castiel again, to have him entirely, to have their love being out in the open, to being such a girl about the entire situation and being alright with it. It was all overwhelmingly incredible.

"I fucking love you, Cas," Dean groaned. "What the hell did you do to me?"

Castiel breathed, trying to make sense of the words being spoken to him. "What. What did you do to me? A spell. An enchantment."

Dean would have laughed if he hadn't been too busy crushing his lips against Castiel's again and again until Castiel's lips were so moist they would never dry again. "Cas…"

In that instant, Cas came in Dean's hands. Dean watched, enthralled, becoming alert of the tightness in his own pants. Castiel growled, having recuperated fast from his orgasm, and freed Dean's package, making Dean gasp at all the wonderful feelings rushing to his lower section. Castiel smiled, running his smooth hands over Dean's hard-on and Dean rested his head on Cas' bare chest, giving small kisses to it. Castiel kissed his head, and Dean felt so close he could hardly think coherently, though he wanted Cas to know how much he loved him right in this moment, how much he'd always loved him.

Dean yelled, as loud and carefree as ever, spilling his seed all over Castiel's uncovered stomach. Castiel kissed his lips before wrapping his arms around Dean, protectively. They remained like that for a few more minutes, savoring every second together, enveloped in their warmth.

Dean and Cas made it to Mary's house eventually. They were both too high on themselves to notice the way they couldn't take their hands off each other. Forming any sort of pretext to caress their hands, or touch their hair, or stroke their faces.

Mary stared at them, fascinated by their level of intimacy. Dean's openness to their relationship was shocking even to him. After hitting rock bottom, all Dean was aware of was that he loved Cas and Cas loved him, and anything else was icing on the cake. Everything else he had—both good and bad—wouldn't interfere with that simple fact.

Outside of Cas, Dean still had things to fix, but he would no longer have to do it alone. He knew he had to help Ash so that he wouldn't go through the same things Dean went through. Dean felt guilty about dragging Ash down with him, but he wouldn't rest until that changed.

Sammy and Jessica were a match made from heaven. Dean couldn't be more fascinated with Jess, and he made sure Sam treated her right. Sam seemed to really enjoy Dean's approval of his new girl. For once, it reduced their fights, and also it allowed Sam to move back in with Dean.

As far as Dean knew, his life was made.


"Why do you always leave the toilet seat up, Dean?" Castiel asked, aggravated.

Dean yawned, stretching on Castiel's large bed. "I forgot. Sorry."

Cas groaned. "You know it bugs me when I get out of bed half-asleep and I have to use the bathroom, and sometimes I like to sit because I'm so tired. But when you leave the toilet seat up I always fall in and it's rather nasty. You should consider changing that bad habit when you move in."

Dean rose up on the bed, wide awake and alert. "Did you just say what I think you said?"

Cas blinked, unaware of what part Dean was referring to. "I fell in the toilet?"

"No," Dean smiled and rolled his eyes. "The part where I move in here."

"Oh," Cas said, heading back to the bed. "I guess I haven't mentioned it to you, but I thought it was coming anytime now."

Dean focused on the haystack that was Castiel's hair for a moment, and then on the sharp blue of his eyes. "You want me to move in with you?"

"Do you want it in writing? Of course I do. I don't know how else to tell you."

"Cas," Dean murmured.

Castiel formed a worried crease on his forehead, frowning. "I didn't mean to pressure you. I thought you would want that. You spend most of your time here anyway."

"Well, that's not where I thought we were going from here."

Cas bit his lower lip, nodding slowly. "Okay, what did you have in mind?"

"I want to marry you," Dean stated, as sure as he'd never been before.

Castiel got up from the bed, a flush of red highlighting his cheeks. He tried to contain his smile, but surrendered to it after a few seconds. "Marriage?" Cas seemed to be debating whether to walk up to Dean or run to the piano or simply become a ball of emotions sprawled on the floor. "Do you want an actual wedding with the invitations and the guests and the band and the food?"

Dean nodded to everything. Hell, he wanted to experience every single thing worthy of experiencing next to Castiel. A wedding seemed like a good place to start. "What do you say? Would you like to marry me, Cas?"

Castiel opted for jumping up on top of Dean and drowning him with kisses. "Dean yes! Yes, of course I want to marry you."

Dean chuckled and rolled Cas over so that Dean was on top of him, trapping him down with his arms and legs. "I hope this isn't a deal breaker, but I can't guarantee I'll look this good eighty years from now."

Castiel reached up to run his lips on Dean's neck, wrapping his hands around his waist. "I think I'll take my chances."

The two of them, tangled up in each other, spent most of the day planning their future together. The horizon ahead of them seemed promising, and although not everything would be as perfect as this morning, they would endure every challenge headed their way.

*The End*

(Actually, no, there is a sequel now entitled "The Sea and The Rhythm")