A/N: So, this...this. This is not set in any particular story arc and does not follow the actual story, really... It's more of a somewhat-factual personal experience that I found was easier to write about with my two favorite boys as the main characters. But I hope that it will prove to be a good read~
Disclaimer: Supernatural doesn't belong to me :(
I can see you, you know. Watching me.
Those are the words Dean always wants to say to Castiel. Like now, Dean can see out of the corner of his eye that, while he sits on the couch drinking a beer, Castiel's gaze is focused intently on him. As if he was afraid if he looked away, Dean would disappear.
Dean would never deny worrying that about Cas a few times as well. So many times after Cas became human, Dean would sit up at night and watch his friend sleep, fearing if he closed his eyes Cas would somehow regain his Grace and leave him forever.
But at least Dean doesn't do it so obviously. He finally sighs and turns to Castiel with a bored look on his face. "Can I help you, Cas?"
Again with the obviously inhuman reactions – Cas doesn't seem surprised that Dean has caught him, nor does he feel the need to look away. A small smile simply graces the previously-frowning lips and Cas says, "No, thank you, Dean. I am not in need of assistance."
Dean can't keep an answering smile from appearing on his face. It always amuses him when Castiel takes him so seriously. He'd thought by now, six months into the human thing, that Cas would be able to tell when Dean was being figurative or sarcastic, but perhaps not.
Patting the cushion next to him, Dean pulls his long legs closer to his body and makes room for Castiel on the couch. "Come on, let's watch a scary movie. I know how much you love those."
And Castiel is next to Dean in an instant, his whole body vibrating with excitement. Dean doesn't understand why the angel finds horror movies so fascinating, but Dean doesn't mind. It gives him an excuse to cuddle close to Castiel – not that he really needs one of those. Cas was more than happy to let Dean hold his hand or sling an arm around his shoulders whenever he wanted.
This time is no exception. When Dean reaches down to intertwine their fingers, Cas allows the movement eagerly and grins cheerfully up at Dean. Dean rarely sees such a happy expression on his face outside of when they are alone and touching.
But just as Dean musters up his courage, thinking this will finally, finally be the time he tells Cas how he feels, the former angel murmurs, "I am so glad you are my friend, Dean."
And Dean deflates. He reads an unspoken "just my friend" in the statement, and the nervous excitement that had been building inside of him in anticipation of the possibility that he might finally be able to be honest about his feelings about Castiel seeps out of him like a balloon with a slow leak. He barely contains a sigh and puts his now-forced smile back into place. "Yeah, me too, buddy."
Castiel doesn't seem to notice Dean's change in mood, because he only presses himself tighter when their chosen movie begins. Dean thinks to himself that he is glad Sam is out for the night; otherwise he might have seen the forlorn and hopeless look on Dean's face, and that would have given him away for sure.
After the movie is over, Castiel yawns and presses his face into the crook of Dean's neck. "I am very tired, Dean," he says, his voice little more than a whisper.
Dean smiles; Castiel often lets himself get overtired, rarely recognizing the signs that he needs sleep. It wouldn't surprise Dean to find out Cas had stayed up the night before, watching over him and Sammy while they slept like their own personal guardian angel.
"Okay, Cas, let's get you to bed." He stands and leads his friend to the closest bed – the one Dean had slept in the night before – and eases Cas down onto the mattress. Smoothing the perpetually-unkempt hair off Cas' forehead, Dean places a kiss on Cas' temple before whispering "goodnight" and moving toward the other bed.
"Wait," Cas says, and catches Dean's arm tightly in his hand. "Lay with me?" He asks, and the words are almost pleading, like he expects Dean to refuse.
But of course, Dean would never refuse the one true love of his life anything, and after shedding his clothes and pulling on a pair of flannel pajama pants and a ragged old t-shirt, he climbs into the bed with Castiel.
"Thank you very much, Dean," the angel mumbles tiredly, his lips pressed so close to Dean's ear that Dean can actually feel the words being formed on his skin more easily than he can hear Cas speak them.
"You're welcome," Dean replies, a familiar blush creeping over his cheeks. Oftentimes, he will share a bed with Sam when the three of them share a motel room, but occasionally Sam likes to have his own space – or brings a girl back – and Dean is forced to share a bed with Castiel. Not that Dean minds the closeness – no, not at all. Dean would hate, though, for Castiel to discover his feelings in the form of morning wood.
This is the first time they've ever done anything like this – slept together for reasons other than necessity – and Dean foolishly allows himself to hope it could mean more than Castiel simply wanting Dean there because of lingering fears from the movie. He wants – no, needs – a way to test this theory.
But just as Dean is getting ready to ask his question, any question that would let Cas know how he feels, Castiel rolls to face him and says, "I am sorry I am still a little frightened. I hope sleeping with me is not too inconvenient for you."
And because of both the beauty of Cas' ocean-blue eyes and the fact that he said "sleeping with me", Dean finds it difficult to breathe for a few moments. He surveys all the angles and lines of Cas' face, a face he knows better than his own, and allows a trembling smile to cross his lips. "Of course it's not inconvenient. Don't be stupid, Cas." Dean winces as his unintentional insult. Why does he always have to be so insensitive?
But Castiel just smiles and takes his hand, squeezing it softly. "I'm glad."
Unable to hold it in any longer, not when he's looking right into the blue eyes he loves so much, right at the face of the man he adores, Dean blurts out, "I love you, Cas."
A flicker of confusion crosses Castiel's face before the former angel smiles again. "Well, I love you, too, Dean."
"No, Cas, I mean…I love you. I'm in love with you," Dean says, desperately trying to get his point across. "You do understand what I mean, don't you?"
A frown, and then, "Oh, I see."
The tone of Cas' voice nearly makes Dean's heart stop. It's cold, unfeeling. Cas doesn't feel the same way and now he's ruined everything. "I'm sorry; I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable. I just…I just couldn't hide it from you anymore, man. You're my best friend and I just wanted to be honest." And he has to admit, he feels a little better having said it out loud.
Cas shakes his head slowly. "Do not worry about it, Dean. Let's just go to sleep."
Dean is relieved when Cas doesn't seem to want to switch beds, but he does notice the few inches of space between them that had never existed there before.
The next morning, the sun is streaming in through the window before Dean awakens. He rubs his sleepy eyes, then instinctually reaches out for Castiel. He is disappointed that he doesn't find his friend beside him in bed, but unsurprised. Castiel would have moved beds in the middle of the night.
After a cursory search of the apartment, Dean assumes Castiel must have gone out, probably to think about things. After all, what Dean had told him must have come as an enormous shock.
It isn't until late into the night and after nearly a hundred phone calls to Castiel's cell phone that it occurs to Dean that maybe Castiel doesn't intend to come back.
It's been a long time since Dean has seen Castiel, but not a day has gone by where he didn't think about him. He hopes every day when he wakes up that Cas will have returned and every night before he goes to bed that Cas is going to walk in the door and slide into bed with him. But he never does.
At first, Dean insisted something must have happened to Cas when Sam came back to the motel room the night after Castiel had taken off. They spent the following week looking for any sign, any trace of the man, but heard nothing – not even a single whisper from any of the hunters they contacted. The cell phone Cas had been using played a message about no longer being in service, no matter how many times Dean called it. And he called it often. Probably ten or twenty times a night, well after the first night he got the heart-numbing recorded message.
Then, Dean was sure Castiel was just trying to clear his head and adjust to the "human thing". Sam disagreed, and had every right to – Cas had been human for months; wouldn't he have done that already if it was necessary? But Dean refused to tell him what had happened between himself and Cas, so Sam couldn't know Dean was hoping Castiel would work out his feelings and return.
It has been five months now since they first left the small Kansas town and are now in a bar in Kentucky. There are plenty of attractive females, but Dean isn't paying attention to a single one of them, no matter how many vie for his attention. His focus stays almost completely on the drink in his hand.
"It's time we talk, Dean," Sam says with a heavy sigh, drawing his brother's empty eyes to his face.
"About what?" Dean asks sullenly.
"I know how you felt – how you feel – about Castiel," Sam says earnestly. Dean thinks about protesting, about denying it, but he can't even muster up the will to care about Sam knowing. "You've got to stop moping around about it, though."
"How can I?" The words rip from Dean's lips loud enough for the patrons at the tables around them to glance their way. "He left me, Sammy," Dean says, his voice now dropping to a whisper. "I told him I loved him and he left me. After all these years, after all he's given me and I've given him…we were partners," Dean slams his hand down on the table. "He was my best friend. I gave him everything, I trusted him with everything. Even if he didn't feel the same, did he really have to leave? Did he?" Now Dean is looking at Sam and his eyes are pleading, begging Sam to give him the answer he wants to hear, to tell him that Cas is going to come back and that Cas will love him and he only has to be patient.
But Sam can't tell him that, because no matter how much he wants his brother to be happy, he would never give him false hope, and Sam knows that what he says could greatly influence how Dean handles the situation from here on out. "I don't know, Dean," Sam finally says, and the words are honest but he knows they hurt his brother as much as they hurt him to say.
For the first time, though, Dean can give his brother a genuine smile. Because even though Dean doesn't know either, he's finally been honest with Sam about his feelings and it feels wonderful that Sam wasn't disgusted or afraid of how Dean felt. And he knows Sam will be there if he needs him, like he's always been.
Another six months have gone by, and for Dean, he's barely noticed the time passing. It isn't until today, while he's sitting on the porch swing of the two-story fixer-upper in Lawrence, Kansas he and Sam bought together just a month before, that he notices the balmy air and the green leaves blowing in the gentle breeze. How nice it would be, Dean muses to himself, to sit on this porch swing with Castiel, not talking, just sitting pleasantly in each other's company, holding hands until the sun went down.
Dean snorts at the imagery because, while it's not his usual style, he's noticed nothing he's wanted for himself and Castiel has been his usual style. He's tried to stop picturing their future together because he knows there is no future for the two of them, because Cas is gone and likely won't return, but when you've wanted something for so long, well, it's hard to deny your heart what it wants.
Sam comes outside and joins Dean on the porch swing, unspeaking, just surveying the beautiful land around them. And hey, maybe it isn't exactly what Dean wants, but being here with his brother, owning a house and a piece of land and finally feeling a bit like a real family…well, that's pretty damn satisfying, too.
It had been too hot for an outdoor wedding, and Dean fidgets uncomfortably in his suit and tie. He'd told Sam a million times the wedding could wait until it cooled down a bit, but he understands Sam's desire to have Sarah as his wife now. Growing up, they lived from one day to the next, never sure of anything – it was not much of a surprise to Dean that Sam would want to marry the girl he loves as soon as possible. The ceremony was over, and the two had left on their honeymoon, leaving Dean to sit in the backyard of their big, finally beautiful home – home – too lazy to go inside, musing about the state of his little brother's relationship. And Dean doesn't think they're rushing it, not a bit. The two are so in love it makes Dean a little sick to his stomach.
And of course it makes his heart ache. Dean longs to hold Castiel the way Sam holds Sarah, to just be able to look at Cas the same longing way Sarah gazes at Sam. Even if his feelings weren't reciprocated, Dean wouldn't care. He just wants his friend back, so he can have that warm, strong, comforting presence near him again. There was never anyone in the world, save John Winchester, who could make Dean feel safe…until Castiel. To have that safety, that security, and have it ripped away again…well, Dean can honestly say he'd rather be in hell again than be without Castiel any longer.
Dean realizes uncomfortably that he's sent that thought straight up to heaven like a prayer. He wonders briefly if it's blasphemous before deciding he doesn't care. All those archangels up there could shove it, anyway. After what they did to Cas, he hated them and everything else in heaven.
"You hear me? I hate you fuckers. I hate you for taking away Cas' Grace and making him unhappy, for breaking his heart and leaving him on this fucking desolate rock with nobody but me and Sammy. And we loved him – still do love him, God do I love him, I love him so-." Dean breaks off midsentence, not realizing he is speaking aloud until the sobs choke off his words.
The familiar gravelly voice makes Dean's heart almost stop. It's hard, but he makes himself turn around in his seat to see the even more familiar face behind him. "Cas?" He whispers, like speaking too loudly would make the illusion shatter.
The smile Dean loves so much spreads slowly over the man's face. Or was "man" even the right word? He'd appeared out of nowhere… "Yes, I have had my Grace restored," Castiel says in answer to Dean's unspoken question.
A bitter note creeps into Castiel's tone. "My brothers felt pity for me after seeing me so…'human'."
Cas using air quotes is such a funny sight that Dean can't help but chuckle. "Human how?"
"Feeling emotions," Cas says softly, and there's a look in his eye that Dean doesn't quite recognize, can't quite place. "They decided to give my Grace back to me, assuming that would fix the problem."
"No, of course not," Cas scoffs, like the answer was obvious. "What my brothers did not realize is that I was feeling these emotions long before they stripped away my Grace."
The growl in Castiel's voice sends a thrill down Dean's spine. It's been so long since he's heard it. "What sort of emotions?" Dean hears himself ask, unable to prolong the wondering any longer. It's already been over a year – he needs an answer and he needs it now.
"Love," Cas says softly, so softly that Dean thinks he may have heard him wrong until he continues. "I love you, Dean. I think I have loved you since the moment I met you."
Dean can't believe what he is hearing. "But…you left me," he points out, feeling stupid as soon as the words leave his lips.
And then Castiel is kneeling in front of Dean so now he can look him in the eyes, and Dean feels the intense tug of longing he remembers feeling every time he was caught in the depths of that gaze. "Believe me when I say, Dean, that I never wanted to leave you. I was commanded to return to heaven, and I could not allow myself to fall. Falling would mean being reborn as someone else, someone lost to you, and I couldn't have that." Castiel shakes his head. "The chaos still remaining in heaven was incredible, and rebelling would have almost certainly meant death. And I could not leave you alone." He reaches out a tentative hand and strokes his fingers down Dean's cheek, obviously pleased when Dean leans into his touch.
Catching Castiel's fingers in his own, Dean clutches the angel's hand, not intending to let go any time soon. "So why are you here, now?"
A smile played across Cas' lips again. "My brothers heard your 'prayers', so to speak, and asked me how I felt about you. If I still loved you even with my Grace intact. When my answer was yes, they allowed me to join you here on Earth."
"Just like that?" Dean asks, surprised.
"Well, not 'just like that', but I will be permitted to spend as much time with you as I would like, so long as I am still fulfilling my angelic duty," Castiel informs Dean.
"What if I hadn't waited? What if I'd moved on?"
A stormy look crosses Castiel's face, but it quickly disappears. "Then I would have had to do something fairly non-angelic."
A grin that Dean can't stop spreads widely over his face and he suddenly launches himself at Cas. Cas catches him as the two topple to the ground, while Dean does nothing but hold his angel tightly in his arms for what feels like forever.
"I made up a room for you, you know," Dean murmurs in Castiel's ear. "In the house."
"Not going to need it," Castiel says, a little out of breath from Dean's crushing weight on top of him. "I'll be sharing yours."
And that moment, lying there together on the grass, their limbs tangled together and their hearts beating in unison, is precisely when Dean realizes that waiting for Cas was always his only option.
A/N: Sooo, yeah...this is my first attempt at a Destiel fanfic so I hope you enjoyed! And I know - Castiel surely wouldn't be scared by a horror movie, but I needed something to get them in bed together ;D Review if you liked it and thanks for reading! ^_^