Why was Dean acting like an ass to Cas in season 6?
Don’t worry about it, though. We’ve all been there, and especially me.
So, I won’t get into this a lot because season 6 has been discussed so much - some meta bloggers, like @elizabethrobertajones, even have weirdly specific tags for it (hers is ‘we don’t talk about season six’, which I always assumed was a veiled threat and, as it turns out, she thinks it was a very romantic season and we don’t discuss it nearly enough).
There are various theories about how this season was built, and one of them is that it was supposed to turn Cas for good - to make him into an enemy and then eliminate him from the show, if I remember correctly, so the general consensus seems to be, Why wasn’t Dean more of an ass to Cas in season 6?This was a narrative centered on misunderstanding and miscommunication, and from Dean’s point of view, Cas was acting like a demented Callahan type for no reason, which, given angels were (they still are, but back then it was particularly noticeable) the most powerful creatures Dean’d ever encountered, was incredibly dangerous, not to mention unpredictable. Dean should have wanted to take Cas out just to be on the safe side, and if it had been anyone else, he would have done it. But, of course, deep bond and stuff. Even after Cas’ done the unforgivable and hurt Sam, possibly for good (protect Sam: remember that’s Dean’s genetic imprinting, and he steamrolls over both friends and enemies to get that done), Dean still has enough empathy and affection for Cas to come clean about his own feelings, and to try and help Cas, or even save him, if he can. That, I think, is unprecedented?
Something that doesn’t come up a lot as a reason why Dean was so awful to Cas during this season (and therefore, what I’ll focus on here) is how Dean constantly refuses to see Cas for what he is - not a human being, but an unknowable, alien, otherwordly creature.
Now, from Dean’s perspective (at the beginning of season 4), angels are not monsters, or things he hunts, or things that exist in the real world; they are, instead much more close and personal than that. They are a cherished memory of his mother, and they are, therefore, an emotional concept which symbolizes peace and being safe and thinking that things could, one day, be alright. This is thrown into particular sharp contrast if we compare Dean’s religious beliefs to Sam’s - we know that Dean doesn’t believe in God, and therefore angels, and that he doesn’t pray. So, for him, angels really are this intimate, childish thing he’s allowed himself to cling to all these years: his mother’s voice, full of love, biding him goodnight. And when Cas shows up, it’s painfully clear that Dean takes his very existence personally, and he’s not at all happy with any part of it. Cas is important in the narrative because he sort of ‘pushes’ Dean out of his comfort zone; he challenges him, and makes him feel out of control in a life where Dean’s fought so hard to be in control at all times (because someone had to be). In a way, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cas’ overt sexual aggressiveness was planned for exactly this reason - because Dean’s been written as bi from the start, and yet this is a part of himself he keep a tight rein over, and Cas’ behaviour very nearly shatters all that. We’ve seen Dean’s uncomfortable with being flirted at, and he’s uncomfortable with anyone being too close to him (in every sense) and Cas, in this sense, is a nuclear reaction. All those secrets Dean’s fought so hard to protect from his brother and Bobby and everyone else - now there’s someone who knows them. All of them, including what he really thinks about himself and the shameful things he did in Hell and how they made him feel. And the fact Cas was always in Dean’s personal space was partly meant, I think, to symbolize this intrusion into Dean’s mind and soul.
(It must have been terrifying, really.)
And the thing is, out of all the possible responses Dean could have to this gobsmacking, life-changing revelation (that God exists and angels exist and one of them saved him from Hell and is now following him around), what Dean chooses to do is extremely revealing: he starts treating Cas like a human.
Something had been off about the phone call. Dean didn’t know what but he could tell Cas was holding something back. He had no claim to the angel. He knew that. Hell, Cas had almost died and Dean couldn’t even say that he loved him back. He just stood there helpless and stupefied. And just because Castiel was holding back didn’t mean something bad was happening…right? Things were bound to be strange between them for a little while. Those three words come at a high price.
Dean tried to put the thoughts from his mind. A week passed and Castiel hadn’t returned his texts. Which was fine, he didn’t always respond right away. But Dean couldn’t reason away how his stomach twisted with nausea. A week and three days and still nothing. Dean tried fruitlessly to call him but it kept going to voicemail.
“Cas.” The name came out more tearful then Dean meant for it to. “Cas - call me please or text. Just let me know you’re okay.” A few beats of silence passed. Dean let out a sigh. He wanted to say ‘I love you too, you idiot, please be okay.’ but for all he knew Cas was fine and he was worrying over nothing. He couldn’t shake the nagging feeling in the pit of his stomach. Besides he didn’t want the first time he said it to Cas to be on a voice mail. “Call me, please.” There was no mistaking that Dean was on the verge of tears. Cas would be able to hear it in his voice, if he was okay.
He spent the nights pacing in the library. He and Sam were currently without a case and he was too frantic to lose himself to Netflix. He hadn’t slept in two nights. He finally broke down and got himself flat on his ass drunk. He hated it. He knew it was stupid, but dammit he needed sleep. He could feel the whiskey spreading down the back of his throat to his extremities. He became increasingly aware of how heavy his arms were. It burned warm in his stomach and mingled with the fatigue. He barely landed face down on his mattress before falling deep asleep.
He wasn’t sure how long he’d been passed out but it felt like a long time. He didn’t feel rested but at least his body would be able to function. The room was dark except for where is alarm clock beamed across the room. He couldn’t make out the numbers, his vision still blurry with sleep. That’s when Dean heard it. A sound he hadn’t heard in a long time. The flutter of wings and the slight breeze on the back of his neck. His heart was in his throat. Castiel hadn’t had his wings, since he’d been cut off from heaven. Was he dreaming? Worse yet, was it another angel…someone besides Cas?
“Cas?” Dean barely whispered the name. His eyes filled with bewilderment as he rolled over to see the angel, cloaked in his trench-coat, broad black wings tucked behind him in place where they should always be. “Cas.” Dean cried out with relief at seeing him. He tugged on his trench-coat. “Cas - your wings - how? Am I dreaming?” Castiel beamed a smile at Dean the likes that Dean had never quite seen.
“You’re not dreaming. Dean.” Castiel slipped his hand into Dean’s and held it.
“Well - are you dead or something, what’s going on? I thought you were cut off from heaven?”
“I’m not dead, Dean. They let me back in. They said if I agreed to help them hunt down this child, this nephilim - they could reinstate me. I could come and go as I please.”
Dean’s face fell sullen and Castiel did not understand why.
“You’re fighting for heaven again…after everything?” Dean’s words were coming out like accusations.
“It’s not like that Dean. It’s not like it used to be. Everything has changed since God and Amara and everything that happened. Things aren’t perfect but I have my wings.”
Dean dropped Castiel’s hand in disdain and turned away from him sitting up on the other side of the bed.
“Dean, why are you angry? I thought you of all people would be happy for me.”
“Why would I be happy Cas? Answer me this - one of them came to you and said they could take you to heaven and reinstate you…how could you be sure that they weren’t lying…weren’t just using you again…weren’t going to get you to heaven to smite you or imprison you or brainwash you to fight against us…how did you know?”
Dean was shouting now and his chest was heaving and he could feel the alcohol sloshing around in his belly. He was still intoxicated.
“Answer me.” He commanded.
“ I didn’t know for sure Dean, but I - I had to try.” Cas began to stammer. “I was already hunting the nephilim…I didn’t see the harm…if I could get my wings back.”
“And you couldn’t bother to let us know…to let me know - what you were thinking…what you were doing. You couldn’t bother to say - by the way I’m going to heaven - I don’t know if I’ll ever be back…Cas you know better than anyone that they are a bunch of mind-controlling, back stabbing dicks who don’t care about you…they only care about what you can do for them.”
Dean was propped up against his dresser pinching the bridge of his nose.
“I’m sorry that I didn’t stop to consider how this might affect you Dean, but I honestly did not think it would matter that much to you one way or the other.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
“I told you I loved you Dean. I was clear about what I meant. I could see it in your eyes. You knew and you couldn’t look at me afterwards. We spent the next few days tiptoeing around each other in awkward silence. I knew it was possible that I would go to heaven and it would have all been a lie but at least I wouldn’t be here to torment you…and if I went to heaven and got my wings back I could be of better use to you.”
Dean audibly scoffed.
“Seriously - Dean - I’m not a hunter like you. I’m not good at being human…I’m not good at being half angel. I’m a burden - I’m someone you have to watch die. I’m no use to you.” A few beats passed. Dean’s seething anger was palpable in the air. Cas broke the silence. “I’ll go then…it’s for the best…” His wings seemed to spread in slow motion as he prepared to vanish before Dean’s eyes.
“You shut your stupid mouth…” Dean crossed the room in a few long strides. He jerked Castiel up off the bed by his trench-coat smashing their lips together in a kiss which seemed more infused with anger than affection. Castiel froze as Dean did his best to bruise his lips. His knees buckled from the emotion and the effects of the whiskey. Castiel pulled him into his strong arms and they collapsed backwards against the bed. Dean clawed into Castiel’s coat and crawled onto his lap. He smoothed his hands around to tangle them in Cas’ feathers. He knew that Cas was letting him see them, that Cas was proud of them and he should be they were beautiful.
Castiel let out a whimper into Dean’s mouth. He relaxed in Dean’s embrace wrapping his arms around his waist and pulling him close. Something seemed to break inside of Dean. “I’m sorry Cas…I’m sorry…I shouldn’t have yelled at you…of course you deserve a chance to be whole…to have your wings…please don’t leave me…please…” The whole room went black as tears flooded Dean’s eyes. Before Dean knew what was happening, Castiel had engulfed them both in his wings.
“I won’t leave you Dean. Shh…Shh…” Castiel rocked him gently.
Dean was sniveling like a small child his words were coming out broken between sobs. “Just - what if - what if it was a lie - and I wouldn’t know what happened to you…I wouldn’t know how to find you…” Castiel smoothed a thumb under his eyes to wipe away the tears. “
“You’re my angel. You hear me…you’re mine and it may be selfish…I know I’m no catch - but dammit you belong to me - not heaven - that’s not your home - I’m your home and I may be some emotionally constipated asshole whose longest and healthiest relationship has been with a car but tell me now if you don’t want this - if you don’t want me - because I can’t bear to lose you again. I’ve got to know - tell me now if you’re mine?”
Dean’s chest heaved and his cheeks were flushed.
“Of course I’m yours.” Castiel peppered featherlight kisses all across Dean’s face, murmuring words of affirmation between each peck. “I’ve always belonged to you, Dean always.”
“You’re so beautiful, Cas, your wings are so beautiful.”
A few hours later Sam watched a groggy Dean and a rumpled Castiel saunter into the kitchen for coffee. Sam watched as Dean stood behind Cas sipping from his coffee mug. Something was different about Castiel, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on what. He seemed to put two and two together though when he saw Dean run his fingers through the invisible wings at Cas’ back.
“What are you looking at?” Dean bit out, still hung over.
“Nothing…” Sam shook his head and tried to hide his grin.
I really can’t wait to get back to rewriting Ordained. Y’all don’t understand how much I love this ‘verse, and the rewrite is so much bigger and more in depth than the quick shot I did of it originally. I love this fic so much. I love all the relationships in it, and how all the characters have all these internal and external conflicts to deal with.
I believe, this scene doesn’t need any explanation.
This two were very much in to each other, and didn’t care that Crowley was there mocking because of Sam.
Why is that this intense looks (eye fucking) and signature Destiel’s meetings occur because of Sam?
And all the very married old couple, we are fighting but we still love each other scenes’s , happens when Sam is there in the middle?
That I suppose, it’s a mystery of life, a constant reminder of the Orobus conundrum.
Sam seams to be the gravitational point of Destiel, even in Fanfiction.
Let’s enjoy a Classic Destiel’s moment, while this deep thoughts sink in our minds.