A/N: This is the sequel to Heaven's So Far Away, so you probably ought to read that before reading this. This is a work in progress, so updates will be inconsistent. I'm going to try to update every other week, but god knows that won't happen.
Numb. That was the only way to describe how he felt. A feeling of... unfeeling seeping throughout his body.
He could still feel Ruby's arms around him, and he angrily pushed her away, standing as he did so. Stumbling backwards, Castiel stared in shock at his friends. His brain was trying to keep up with everything, but it was hopelessly behind.
"I - I need to go," Cas muttered before turning and fleeing the room.
His thoughts still in turmoil, Castiel let his feet carry him out of the house and down the street.
When he finally stopped, it was to find himself in front of his own grave. Castiel glanced around, taking in his surroundings, before gazing down at the headstone.
He could feel the tears leave his eyes and pass along the skin on his cheek before they reached his chin and jaw, inevitably to drip off, down onto the ground. Castiel sank to his knees, clutching at his hair as a sob racked through his body. He'd never thought this could happen. That Dean would die. He'd known it would eventually happen, but Castiel had been expecting years, not weeks.
Another sob tore through him, and he squeezed his eyes shut, trying to stop more tears from spilling out. He stayed like that for an hour before he couldn't cry anymore, could barely stand.
The numbness he'd felt early was worse, and he stared vacantly ahead, trying to think. Think about what to do. Think about happy times. Anything but Dean being dead.
Castiel turned his gaze skyward, an angry glint in his eyes. His hands balled into fists at his side, he screamed into the sky, "You can't just take him away like that!" He didn't know who there was to scream at up in space, but it helped, however minutely.
Castiel wiped any tears remaining on his face away before bowing his head.
The numbness had left him, leaving only a boiling rage. Rage at the other reapers for not telling him right away. Rage at Michael for not saying something. Rage at god, the universe - at everything - for not letting him have the one good thing left to him.
Castiel felt tears begin to fall from his eyes again, and he wiped them away before leaving the cemetery.
He spent the day wandering the small suburb. Most people didn't give him a second glance, but a few gave him wide eyed stares.
When it was time for the Roadhouse to open, he was there. But Ellen took one look at his appearance and demanded an explanation. She saw his eyes, red rimmed from crying. She saw his hair, mussed from when he'd pulled on it. She saw his vacant expression, and demanded he tell her what had happened.
"Dean's - missing," Castiel replied in a hollow voice.
Ellen's eyes widened in alarm. "What do you mean, missing?"
Castiel's eyes finally raised to meet hers, and an angry glint appeared in them. "I mean that nobody's seen him for three days!" he snapped back.
Ellen's face became grim. "Shit," she spoke after a few minutes silence. By then, Castiel had already moved to the bar counter, where he began getting ready for the customers, an eery robotic touch to his movements.
Ellen quickly came over to Cas. "Go home. I can't have you working when you're like this."
Castiel switched his blue gaze from the counter over to her. An inconsolable rage burned in the sapphire depths, but he didn't say anything.
"I'm sure he'll turn up tomorrow," Ellen tried to reassure him. "He was thinking about taking that road trip, you know."
Castiel nodded. "I'm aware," he said dryly, "but he would have told me before he left."
Ellen shook her head slightly, such a small movement Cas almost missed it. "He might not have. You are just a friend. A new one, at that."
Castiel glared up at her, but didn't offer up any other words. Ellen didn't know about his and Dean's relationship. How could she? She still thought Dean was mourning for him.
"Go home," Ellen said again, much more gently than before.
Castiel shook his head but allowed her to lead him away when tear began prickling his eyes once more.
Castiel blundered through the streets, his thoughts clouded. There was no set destination in his mind. He wanted to be somewhere else. Anywhere else. Anywhere but here.
Here was where Dean was dead.