For nobodymakesusdoanything, who prompted me with Castiel comforting Sam on the anniversary of Jess’ death. Hope you like, sweetie, and thanks so much for the prompt!
Cas knocked quietly on the door. “Sam?” He called, knocking on the door again with the back of his hand, a little louder this time. “Can I come in?”
Cas heard a sigh, some shuffling, a pause, and then some more shuffling before Sam opened the door, looking drained and tired, like he’d just woken up. Cas might have actually thought that that was the case, if he hadn’t heard Sam crying just a few minutes before.
Normally Cas would have just told Dean and let him take care of it, but Dean was out… meaning Cas had to do his best with being counselor.
The angel thought he’d have to repeat his request to enter Sam’s room, but as soon as Sam opened the door Sam slowly stepped back, letting Cas enter before closing the door. Sam then proceeded to walk back to his bed and to sit down wearily, looking pained the whole time.
Cas looked at Sam worriedly, but before he could ask what was wrong, Sam said it himself.
“My girlfriend Jess died today.”
Sam rubbed his face with his hands, letting out another pain-filled sigh. “It, it was so long ago, I - I should be over it. But I just - I can’t -”
Sam looked like a dying flower, swaying and wilting where he sat. Without really thinking, Cas sat down next to Sam and hesitantly took Sam’s hand in his own, rubbing little circles into it with his thumb. He was worried Sam would recoil at his touch, but Sam seemed to like it more than anything else, and let him continue to draw circle after circle on Sam’s skin.
“When did she - when did you lose her?” Cas asked slowly, cautiously, gauging Sam’s reaction as he spoke. Sam stiffened a little and took in a soft breath before responding.
“Uh, in collage. Ten years ago. I was going to be a lawyer,” Sam said, staring at the wall as he did, talking more to himself than to Cas. “I always thought that the family business would drag me back in, but when I was with her - well, when I was with her, I could believe that I might be able to escape all the monsters of the world.” He let out a quick, bitter laugh. “Well, you can see that the monsters caught up after all.”
Cas furrowed his brow, letting go of Sam’s hand in the process. “Jess… Jessica Moore?” Cas asked. Sam turned to face him and nodded slowly. “But how - how did you -”
“I - well, I greeted her in Heaven,” Cas said, surprised he could remember the girl at all. “Yes, I remember her very well.”
Sam looked at him intently, a little excited even though he told himself he shouldn’t be. Cas having seen Jess wouldn’t bring her back - but that meant she was in Heaven, right? That she was happy. He’d used to pray to God to tell him whether Jess had made it to Heaven - and it looked like He had finally given him a response.
“What was she - I mean, did she - and - do you know what her Heaven looks like?”
Castiel shook his head, and Sam’s heart fell a little - but he knew that Jess was where she belonged, at least. That she was at peace.
“Most young people, when they die, weep for all the things they will never do,” Cas said. Now it was his turn to look at the wall, and Sam’s to listen to his every word. “But she said she cried because she never got to see her boyfriend become the man he’d always wanted to be.”
Sam felt tears begin to form in his eyes, but tried to hold them back because he was with Cas. In truth, he was surprised with himself for having opened that door and having let Cas in. The angel was his friend - Cas was family, even. But still, Sam had never allowed Cas to see such an emotional side of him by choice. But when Sam saw Cas’ eyes and that Cas was about to try and offer more words of comfort, he understood.
Dean knew about Jess, of course, and Dean cared, he really did - but Cas was somehow able to connect to Sam in a way even Dean never could, was able to comprehend his sadness and talk about it head-on, instead of dancing around the issue as Sam and Dean tended to do with every anniversary of Jess’ death. Right then, Sam hadn’t needed a brother - he’d needed a friend who was close enough to be family, but who could look at the issue differently, from the outside, and with a compassion brothers tended to save only for special occasions.
“I haven’t dealt with much death in my time,” Cas began, “or, at least, with death that affected me personally. But when I lost Gabriel at Lucifer’s hands, I’d never felt so, so weak, so…”
“Helpless?” Sam offered. Castiel turned, and for the first time since the start of their discussion, both of them looked straight at each other.
“Yes,” Cas said quietly after a moment, continuing to look curiously, and a bit tenderly, at Sam. “Yes, that’s it.”
They sat there for a few minutes in comfortable silence, giving each other time to mull over their private thoughts.
“You - you do think Jess is happy, right?” Sam asked, hoping for a very simple, specific reply.
“Yes, Sam. Yes, I do.”
Cas got up and opened the door to go out. “You should really get out of bed, Sam - go on one of your runs or something. Maybe you can even sneak in some of the food you like while Dean’s not here to criticize it.”
Sam smiled for the first time in several days. The shadow of Jess’ death-day had been hanging over him all week - it did every year. But somehow, Sam got a feeling it wouldn’t be so bad next time - and if it was, he had an angel he could talk to. “I’ll do that Cas. And,” Sam continued, making Cas turn around one more time, “thank you. Just… thank you.”
Cas nodded, lingered for a split second, and then walked away, his footsteps echoing against the Bunker walls.
Sam and Cas never looked at each other quite the same way after that - there was always more sympathy, more caring, in their eyes. And it didn’t take long for them to figure out how much they wanted - and even needed - each other. Brothers and friends are all good and well - but sometimes you need to share your heart with another to heal things you wouldn’t let others touch.