'break'....oops

Dean never says I love you, Sam has learned.

When Cas comes home from “business”, bruised and beaten, Dean jumps at his angel with fear in his eyes and rigidness in their step and Cas sits on their bathroom counter while his brother stomps off to fetch first aid kit. They stay in there for an hour, yelling and accusing and bandages and bruising. The bunker is eerily quiet on those nights, no jokes, no family dinner. Silence.

Dean never says I love you, Sam has learned.

Cas somewhere along the way picks up the human ability of indecisiveness. Ordering meals turns into a ten-minute ordeal. The fallen angel will scrunch up his nose, and flick through the menu a good six times, front to back, before Dean will “casually remind” him that while he might still have his immortality, his counterparts will sooner die of old age in all the time it takes Cas to realize what he’s hungry for. When Cas immediately gets flustered, they bicker not unlike the old couple a few miles up from Bobby who have been married for fifty some odd years and who forget what year it is. No one wins these arguments, not ever, but the successful, yet affectionate smiles that appear on his face tells Sam that maybe that depends who you’re talking to. Their hands under the table never separate.

Dean never says I love you, Sam has learned.

When he goes looking for one of his flannels in his brother’s room one day, he is taken aback, but not unsurprised to find a familiar trench coat hanging in the closet, shoes neatly set up against the wall, and Cas’ god awful bumblebee pillowcase laying on the bed. A room inhabited by not two, but one. Cas’ room is down the hall, untouched. Sam slowly backs away, and never comes back. They turn the unused room into a workout area. No one complains.

Dean never says I love you, Sam has learned.

It is precisely 10:32 in the morning, on a Saturday, when Dean tells Cas he needs to learn how to drive. Dean reaches into his pocket, grabs Baby’s keys, and hands them over. They leave and don’t come back until dawn, disheveled and smiling. He’s not sure what’s more unbelievable.

Dean never says I love you, Sam has learned.

On the anniversary of Cas raising Dean from the pit, Dean asks a favor of his young brother. That night, Sam straightens Dean’s tie and rearranges a few tuffs of hair. He looks embarrassed, and he’s got a rose in his hand, but after five years, an honest to god date is in order and damnit, man I got this. They allow Cas to come from Charlie’s, in his own suit, and Sam watches them walk out hand in hand and doesn’t see them until the next morning.

Dean never says I love you, Sam has learned.

Her name is Anna and the court and adoption agency has finally deemed Dean and Cas to be worthwhile candidates. No more hunting, no more running.  Their new home has three bedrooms and two baths. Sam lives across the street, and they’re slowly picking up the pieces of a broken life. They’ve made it.

Dean never says I love you, Sam has learned, because he doesn’t need to.

Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.
—  Louise Erdrich
10

Julian slowly breaking Gabriel