As it would happen, nothing goes smooth and pretty. As it would happen, Dean and Cas don’t act on their feelings spontaneously and cinematic; they don’t cut ties with hunting as though it were nothing more than a dirty relationship. As it would happen, they never do get around to starting that b-and-b in Vermont.
(As it would happen. The Vonnegut in Dean loves that. As it would happen. If the accident will.)
But it’s still good. It’s damn good. The best Dean’s ever had. They still live in the bunker, something oddly fitting about it that Dean couldn’t find the will to part with. Sometimes one of them gets hurt on a hunt and shirts are torn into makeshift bandages. Sometimes Dean still wakes up from a Hell-induced nightmare gasping for air around the scream stuck in his throat, disoriented enough to believe himself on the rack.
Those things aren’t different. They’re harsh truths that circumstance has forced them to try to adapt to. But there is difference in the way Cas shakes and holds him close after a hunt goes sideways. The intimacy with which they touch each other as they carefully tend to wounds–unabashedly tender in the way they would have been afraid to be before. The way that Dean no longer wakes up alone except for his pounding heart but with Cas, who grounds him and wipes his tears and calls him “beloved” and kisses him, kisses him hot and slow until the nightmares withdraw like the tide and sleep comes once more.
Yeah. As it would happen.
There is a gospel told in their trail of salt and motel sheets stained with rust-colored blood, and as it would happen, their trail ended here.
It ended red and raw, a scrape sensitive to the touch, and where it once was a new moon there is now light in the way that Castiel smiles and feels under his hands, and yeah, it’s not perfect, but Dean thinks it’s pretty damn good.