“When you love someone, they become a part of who you are. They’re in everything you do. They’re in the air you breathe and the water you drink and the blood in your veins. Their touch stays on your skin and their voice stays in your ears and their thoughts stay in your mind. You know their dreams because their nightmares pierce your heart and their good dreams are your drams too. And you don’t think they’re perfect, but you know their flaws, the deep-down truth of them, and the shadows of all their secrets, and they don’t frighten you away; in fact you love them more for it, because you don’t want perfect. You want them.”
“Dean…. Dean.” A gentle voice pierces the dream-scape, pulling Dean back to consciousness. There’s a hand on his back, guiding him, pulling him in. There’s a body pressed along his side. It’s warm and comforting, and despite being pulled from his precious sleep, he smiles.
“I don’t wanna be awake,” he murmurs, and there’s lips against his shoulder. “I don’t wanna move.”
“Things to do, people to save.” Cas’s voice is quiet and low. There’s a smile in his voice, though Dean can’t see him. Dean pulls Cas’s arm around him and tugs him closer, chest flush against back.
“Not now. Not yet.”
“Dean,” Cas says, a kiss pressed to Dean’s hair.
“It’s not time to go yet, Cas. I can’t. You’re here. I’m not ready.”
Cas’s face is buried against Dean’s neck, and Dean breaths in deep. “I’m always here with you, Dean. Even when you can’t see me. I’m here…”
“Come back to me.” Dean’s words echo in the empty room as he opens his eyes. The warmth he felt from Cas is gone, replaced by cold pillows and a mess of sheets. But no Cas. Never Cas. The air is musty and heavy with the scent of bacon. Sam’s trying to lure him from his room, as he does often these days.
He sits up, grudgingly, and scrubs a hand through his hair. He steels himself for the day ahead – another day without Cas. Another day of going through the motions. Pressing his fingers to his lips, he leans back and presses those fingers to the folded trench coat beneath his pillow. “I mean it, Cas,” he murmurs. “Come back to me.”
As has every day since, he allows himself a moment before he’s up and off, the patented Dean Winchester mask firmly in place. Later tonight, he’ll down a bottle of whiskey, hold the trench coat against his chest and cry himself to sleep. But for now, today, he’s Dean Winchester, the legendary hunter. He pushes forward, like Cas would want. He tries to be the man Cas always believed him to be. A good, heroic, strong man. If nothing else, he can be that for Cas. If nothing else, he can do what it takes to earn the love Cas so willingly gave him.