“You’re not my brother.”
One moment Castiel had been gazing out of the Impala’s window, calm and at ease as he watched trees, and houses, and the other cars that were passing by. The next, Dean broke their comfortable silence to drop a bomb that instantly made Castiel feel nauseous and cold, his head turning so fast that it made him feel dizzy as he looked at Dean.
All of these feelings, emotions that should be entirely too human for an angel to even feel them, were an unpleasant reminder of how far Castiel had fallen for this man. Dean’s eyes weren’t on the road, they were already on Castiel, and as soon as he had Castiel’s attention, he elaborated.
“I said that to you, a while ago, that you were our brother. It was a lie, Cas.”
He remembered it, them having a similar moment in this very car, just the two of them. It was months ago, at a time when the end of the world had seemed closer than on the average day. And even though Castiel’s feelings for Dean undoubtedly crossed the line of ‘brothers’, in Dean Winchester’s book, that was the most important title that someone could earn. Which is why Castiel had tried to ignore his disappointment at the term, because it at least meant that Dean cared deeply about him, and the angel could appreciate that for what it was.
But to hear him taking it back now, supposedly because the world hadn’t ended and Dean had only said it because he’d wanted to make Castiel feel better at the end of everything… That was possibly more agonizing than being stabbed with an angel blade.
“I see. I understand, Dean.” Castiel replied, almost mechanically, attempting to turn off his emotions, not wanting to give away how much this was truly affecting him. “You assumed that we were all going to die soon, and you saying it was a source of comfort for me back then, even if it isn’t true.”
Dean slammed the brakes so abruptly that Castiel had to hold on to his seat, then parked the car at the side of the road.
Castiel stared at him, wide-eyed. Dean was staring right back, conflict in his eyes, indicating that he was fighting some kind of internal battle.
“Look man, if I’m not going to say it now, I will never say it.” Dean muttered after a brief silence, speaking to himself rather than addressing Castiel, closing his eyes for a moment and taking a deep breath before looking Castiel in the eye again. “You’re not my brother, because you’re… You’re something else.”
“Your friend.” Castiel supplied coolly, not sure where this conversation was going. “I hope you at least consider me a friend.”
“Yes, of course I do!” Dean blurted out loudly, his tone bordering on hysteric. “Don’t ever think that you’re not my friend, or not part of the family. Sam thinks of you as his brother, it’s just that for me you’re also… You’re it. For me… You’re it. ”
Castiel blinked at Dean, stunned. Dean blinked back, not moving either. Did Dean mean…
“Oh…” Castiel whispered, praying that he wasn’t reading this wrong. “You mean I’m… it?”
Dean nodded, looking nothing short of relieved, those eyes that Castiel admired lighting up. “Yeah…”
“So by it, you mean…” Castiel didn’t finish that thought, but timidly reached for Dean’s hand.
When Dean welcomed it, calloused fingers covering Castiel’s slender ones, the angel cracked a smile.
“I’m not your brother.” He stated, his eyes never straying, holding Dean’s.
With a gentle smile, Dean leaned closer, experimentally pecking Castiel on the lips once he was close enough. Castiel rewarded him with a peck of his own, right at the corner of Dean’s mouth.
Dean smirked, already crawling to Castiel’s side of the car.
“No, Cas. You’re not.”