Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural. Just a giant Misha Collins poster. Yup. The title of this fic belongs to Napoleon Bonaparte, who wrote the most intense love letters to his wife, Josephine. What a player.
A/N: Dedicated to Patricia, Melissa, and Hollis. Love y'all.
Castiel is familiar with the concept of love. He is not an emotionless being, well, at least not after deciding to rebel against Heaven. Emotions have been his downfall, but he honestly does not regret a thing.
After all, he has felt love before; for his brothers, for his sisters, for his Father, for the Winchesters. It is an otherworldly sensation, a warm myriad of complex emotions. It makes people do ridiculous things, definitely. Castiel remembers Napoleon, and his blind devotion to Josephine. Oh, how had Castiel laughed at that man, intrigued by his love for such a deceiving woman. But the emotion itself is pure, beautiful, crystal-like and glorious.
It is, without a doubt, one of the most marvelous things ever created.
But he is concerned now. He is afraid that what he feels for Dean is not love anymore; it is something entirely different, and he cannot pinpoint what it is. He scrambles through his brain to figure out and answer, because surely there has to be a logical explanation for this.
"Cas? You coming?"
Castiel opens his eyes, his moment of meditation over, and he looks up at Dean. The hunter is standing by the doorway, duffle bag in his hands, and he seems a bit exasperated. A smile tugs at Castiel's lips, and well, there it is. That sickening sensation pooling in his stomach, that agitated rush that makes his vessel's heart go a thousand beats per second; he feels sick, nauseous, defeated.
"Yes, of course," says Castiel calmly, standing up.
Cas holds the shotgun, fires, and smiles like that was the best darn thing ever. Dean watches, grinning as his friend gets the hang of it, faster than he expected. Of course, he is a friggin' angel, he can do anything and everything.
"That was badass," says Dean breathlessly as he runs over to him. "But I think that's enough target practice for today. We should go and harass Sam or something."
"Sounds like a plan," smiles Cas, handing Dean the shotgun. "I am really enjoying this whole being-a-hunter thing. It is quite pleasant."
"You're sayin' that now," chuckles Dean as they approach the Impala, their steps making crunching sounds on the loose gravel. He opens the trunk, rambling about lack of space, and he turns to look at Cas.
Hair, blue eyes, and nose is all Dean sees. Cas is entirely too close to him, as always, but ever since purgatory, personal space has not been an issue for Dean. Quite the opposite, he finds it fascinating as fuck... and a bit terrifying.
"Hey," he breathes, and crinkles appear around Cas eyes. He looks a bit pale, as if he's about to throw up, but then Cas acts like everything is all rainbows and sunshine.
Not that Dean is thinking about rainbows, no.
"Thank you, Dean. For today." Cas sounds honest as hell, and Dean gulps, swallowing words he can't quite figure out yet, and lets out a nervous breath.
"N-no problem, Cas. No problem at all."
Dean and Sam love each other. This is obvious even to a blind man, Castiel muses. He is watching the brothers bicker throughout lunch, with Dean making a remark about Sam's hair. Sam rolls his eyes, noting that Dean has other things to worry about than Sam's personal grooming.
They might be fighting like 5-year-olds, but the Winchesters would give everything for each other. They have, several times. Codependency? No. The brotherhood between the Winchesters is something stronger and more meaningful than that. Their love is stronger than any bond Castiel has ever witnessed, and he smiles quietly as Dean throws a napkin at Sam.
"Help me out, Cas?" chuckles Sam, his eyes bright with amusement. Castiel feels his heart swell at the sight of Sam, and he knows he loves him. Regardless of the mistakes Castiel made during his prideful dabble into things he couldn't control, he will always love Sam Winchester. Sam is like a brother to him, and would definitely die for him, no questions asked.
"Dean, I think Sam's hair is perfectly fine," replies Castiel, an edge of sarcasm to his tone.
"Hey, you're supposed to take my side!" protests Dean, who is sitting next to him. "What the fuck, Cas? You need to tell Sam that his romance-novel-cover hair is getting out of control."
Castiel looks at Dean, and their eyes meet. Although Dean is pretending to be upset, he is actually smiling at Castiel, his teeth displayed beautifully, his eyes filled with something Castiel cannot recognize, his skin...
And there it is, the gut-wrenching sensation that Castiel still cannot figure out. It hurts, incredibly so, and he is feeling tremendously sick.
"I... need a moment," breathes Castiel, and disappears.
"Dean, you need to stop."
"Where is he? Why isn't he answering my goddamn prayers? Or calls? Or whatever?" snaps Dean, tapping his fingers on the desk as Sam tries to get some research done. Sam shrugs, but there is knowing smirk on his lips, and Dean scoffs.
"Do you know something I don't?" retorts Dean angrily.
Sam gives Dean a studious look, then calmly closes his laptop, still smirking. "The things I know and you don't could fill an entire library, Dean."
"Ouch, Samantha, did you lose your soul again?" says Dean, sounding bitter as hell. He stands up, looking around for his keys. Fine, if Cas is ignoring him for whatever reason, that's fine. If Sam wants to be a sassy little bitch, that's fine with him too.
"I couldn't help but notice how you and Cas are acting like a married couple now," says Sam suddenly, and Dean stops fretting around. He must looked confused as fuck, because Sam is smiling broadly, displaying that know-it-all look on his face.
"Dean, come on," sighs Sam. "I think you know what I am talking about. And I am cool with it, okay? Not surprised in the slightest..."
"What do you mean, not surprised in the slightest?" gapes Dean.
"You two have had this odd thing for years now," explains Sam patiently. "I didn't know what it was exactly, but it's pretty clear now. And at this point, it's what makes sense."
"Okay, cryptic douche, get to the point."
"My point is, you two need to talk. Not about purgatory, not about all the shit that has happened in the past. That will come later. But you need to talk about what is going on right now, because I don't think I can handle the sexual tension between you two anymore."
Sam's smirk has disappeared, and has been replaced by an expression of complete understanding. "Look, Dean. I had a good thing going on with Amelia. Really good. It... well, gave me a perspective on things. And all I can tell you is to go for it, to shove all your fears and commitment bullshit aside, because you actually have something really good here."
Dean is speechless, knowing that if he says anything right now his voice will be squeaky and shit, and if there is a girl in this room, it's Sam.
"Also, Cas sees through your bullshit and has stuck around for a while," smiles Sam. "Same thing for you; you have forgiven him and you guys have been through a lot. And you're still talking to each other. If that's not a sign, I don't know what it is."
"Sam, you really need to stop watching Dr Phil," says Dean, rolling his eyes as he finally finds his keys. He walks to the door, but then turns to look at Sam for a moment. "But, um... yeah. Thanks. Are you sure you're cool with... whatever?"
"Yeah," grins Sam, nodding. "As long as you don't start making some crude gay sex references, I am completely cool with it."
"Come on, aren't you dying to know who would top or bottom? Cas does have a nice ass..." teases Dean.
He barely avoids getting hit by Sam's empty coffee mug.
The park is empty, mostly due to the fact that it is cloudy and somewhat cold. Castiel looks up to the sky, daydreaming of simpler times; times when he did not have to struggle with unknown emotions.
What is this thing he is feeling for Dean? Has it always been there? It's not hate, it could never be. Is it a whole other level of appreciation? Is this poisonous feeling so much more than brotherly love?
He feels slightly nauseous, which he hates, and shouldn't be happening to an angel. Then again, many things that should not happen to angels have happened to him, so he should be used to it by now.
Cas... hey, man, if you can hear me...
Castiel blinks as a drop of rain falls on his forehead, Dean's distant prayer making him feel feverish. He listens, listens to Dean's request to talk to him, but Castiel doesn't know if he can do it. He remembers listening to Dean's frantic prayers in purgatory, not able to go back to see and comfort him. It was absolute torture, and many nights Castiel would press his hands against his ears, rocking back and forth in absolute despair.
He thinks again of Napoleon, about observing him, watching over him while the general wrote letters to Josephine. Castiel recalls a particular line, "My soul is broken with grief and my love for you forbids repose." How enthralling it had been to Castiel back then, even if he could not understand...
And Castiel smiles, smiles widely because everything suddenly makes sense. Of course. He cannot believe it took him this long to figure it out, but he is glad he can finally name it.
He does love Dean. He has loved Dean since the moment he rescued him in Hell-
Cas, come on, it's pretty cold out here...
But this love has evolved. It started evolving since Castiel decided to rebel against Heaven. The strength of it leaves Castiel breathless, and he knows, he knows the answer now.
He not only loves Dean. He is in love.
"Okay, Cas, I've had one night stands who have answered my calls faster than you-" Dean stops talking, because Cas is standing right there, inches away from him, smiling shrewdly. He looks extremely pleased, like a guilty child, and Dean can't help but chuckle.
"You look so damn happy," comments Dean. "What's up?"
"You called," nods Cas serenely, still smiling.
"Yeah, well, you left me all alone at the diner," says Dean, mockingly hurt.
"You were with Sam."
"You know what I mean."
They stand there in silence for a couple minutes, and Dean clears his throat as he takes another step toward Cas. He gulps once, twice, and licks his lips nervously because he really doesn't know what to say. This thing between them, as Sam said, has always been there. But he has no clue on how to approach it.
"So, Sammy said we need to talk," offers Dean, taking another step.
"Really?" asks Cas in child-like wonder.
"Yeah, but you know I'm not much of a talker." Dean's fingers land on Cas' tie, trying to straighten the goddamn thing for the thousandth time.
"I know you aren't," replies Cas, moving closer. "But you are not my friend because of your communication skills."
"Oh, then why am I your friend?" taunts Dean, Cas' tie already fixed, but he's not letting go of it anytime soon.
"I am..." Dean can feel Cas' breath on his skin. "Not sure."
"For a nerdy angel, you don't seem to have a way with words either," mutters Dean. "Not that that's important for us or anything."
"Us," echoes Cas, and holy shit, yeah, Dean can almost taste Cas' lips now.
"Yeah... us," reinforces Dean. "What do you say, Chatty Cathy? You jump, I jump?"
Cas frowns, obviously thrown off by Dean's reference-laden line, and Dean swears this is the worst chick-flick moment he has ever been through. Cas then suddenly smiles again, his hand brushing Dean's cheek, happiness etched in every single inch of his face.
"Goddamn it, Cas, I am just going to kiss you now."
And Dean does just that.