Castiel stared at his left hand. There was a tan line on his left ring finger and he didn’t know why.
There was a knock on the door and he looked up. Gabriel stood there, looking worried.
"Gabe," Cas smiled. His brother smiled, too, and came into the room.
"Hey, little bro. How ya feelin’?"
"Confused, mostly." Gabe patted his hand.
"I can’t really tell you anything, Cassie. You gotta remember on your own. What do you remember?"
"I left for work, it was a really long day - just before break so the kids were excited. I left at five and went home. I met you at the bar at six o’ clock, then went back to my apartment at one."
"Okay." Gabe said.
That night was over three years ago. That was night that Castiel met Dean.
When the doctor came in to check on Castiel, he gave Gabriel the go ahead to tell him what had happened and what year it really was. Nothing too major.
Gabriel tried to be gentle as he told Cas that it was no longer 2011.
"That’s not funny, Gabriel."
"Cas, listen. It’s 2014. You were in an accident three days ago and you hit your head pretty bad."
"Three years?" Gabe nodded. "What’s happened since then? Help me remember!"
"I can’t, Castiel," Gabriel said, tugging at his hair. "I want to, I really do, but you have to remember on your own."
Castiel laid back on the pillow. The fingers of his right hand reached for his left ring finger as a nervous habit. They fell back to his side when they found nothing to twist except skin.
Castiel tried all night to remember who he was now. Three years of his life just gone from his memory. The doctor told him it may return, that nine times out of ten, it did.
They let him check out after three days. Gabriel brought him some clothes to change into - some jeans and an AC/DC shirt that Cas couldn’t remember that was too big.
He wondered, as they drove away from the building, where he lived if he didn’t have an apartment anymore. That question was answered when Gabriel parked in front of a two story house.
It was nice. White with blue shutters and a wrap around porch. The was swing on the far right side. There were flower beds all around the porch.
Castiel followed Gabriel inside after he unlocked the door. It was nice too, there were some beautiful paintings on the walls, a large selection of movies under the flat screen TV, the furniture looked comfortable. But it didn’t look like stuff he would choose for himself.
"You okay?" Gabe asked. Cas nodded.
"I just want to lay down," He said.
He found the stairs and, after opening several doors, what he guessed was the master bedroom.
He remembered this room. He remembered how soft the bed was without touching it. He remembered waking up to the sun shining the window. Green eyes?
His head started to hurt and crawled under the blankets without taking his clothes off. The sheets were soft and clean, the pillows were soft.
He dreamed about early morning sun and freckle splattered shoulders.
Dean stared at the ceiling unable to sleep.
The bed felt too empty without Cas in it. He’d forgotten what it felt like to sleep alone after so many years. He didn’t like it.
He needed Cas in his arms, draped across his chest, snoring softly in his ear. He needed his cold feet pressed against his legs.
He felt the tears burning behind his eyelids and pressed the heels of his hands against them. He didn’t want to cry again.
He wanted a fucking drink.
He rolled to the side and tucked the blankets tighter around himself.
He wasn’t sure if he slept. He remembered it being dark, then the room getting lighter.
He forced himself out of bed and to the kitchen where Jess was idly stirring her coffee as she looked at a magazine.
"Good morning," She said. Dean grunted. She made a face at him.
"Sorry, I didn’t really sleep last night."
"It must be tough."
It was clear from his tone that he didn’t want to talk about it, so Jess let it slide.
"Can you believe that People thinks that Kim Kardashian wore it best? Are they blind?"
Dean gave her small smile and sat with her.
"You know Cas is the fashionista."
"Oh don’t try to sell me that. I know you watch Project Runway religiously." Dean stuck his tongue out at her and took a drink of his coffee.
Jess placed a hand over his.
“It’s going to be okay, Dean.”
“Don’t.” Dean said, pulling his hand away. “Just, don’t.”
It wasn’t okay. It wasn’t going to be okay until Castiel looked him like he used to. Until he remembered their life together, their wedding, their decision to start looking for adoption agencies and surrogate programs.
“I’m sorry.” Dean stood up.
“I need to get ready for work.” He kissed her cheek and went back to the guest room. He dressed without really looking at what he was putting on. He just wanted to get out of the house and elbow deep into a car. He could always turn his brain off when he was working and it would be a nice break from the stress.
He left the house with a shout of goodbye over his shoulder.
A few hours into working, Dean heard the bell over the door ring in the reception area. He wiped his hands as he walked in, calling out a greeting.
“Just me, Dean-o,” Gabe said, leaning across the counter and picking a red lollipop out of the jar Charlie kept there for kids.
“How’s he doin’?” Dean asked.
“He’s remembering bits and pieces. Where the dishes are, your house, Sam-”
“He remembers Sam?” Dean asked. Gabriel sighed.
“We dated for a few months, remember? He must remember that.” Dean ran a hand through his hair. “Hey, why don’t you come watch the game with me tonight? Maybe seeing you at home will jog something?”
“Yeah. Yeah, maybe. I’ll bring some beer.”
“Great, see you at six.”
Dean watched him go back across the street to Cas’s bookstore and returned to the car he’d been working on, hoping that Castiel would remember him.