“Cas?” Dean asked, sitting on the corner of their unmade bed.
“Yes, Dean?” the angel turned to face him with a smile he had always reserved just for the former hunter.
Dean’s ran a hand through his gray hair and Cas sat down next to him, taking a wrinkled hand in his own. Dean smiled at that; he had never expected the luxury of growing old, of course, but above all of that, he had never dared hope for the type of life-long love he had found in Cas.
And that’s what it had been. What had started out with a bursting, forceful energy had calmed into a gentle breeze over the past four decades, and slowly Dean had found himself retired, whole, and happy, all with his angel by his side.
“I know how you are, but just listen to me a second, okay?” Dean asked, and waited for Cas to agree before he moved on. “I’m seventy eight years old, and I know I’m almost done here. I never expected it to be this way, to fade out like this. Dammit, I didn’t expect to go any other way than fast and bloody, and I was okay with that. I’d made my peace. But this? This scares me.”
“Dean-,” Cas began, but Dean plundered on.
“I don’t know how to die this way, Cas. How do old men even die? Violence, I understand. But peaceful? Man, what the hell happens? Am I just going to fall over one day? Is it going to hurt? Am I…am I going to have to do it alone?”
Cas looked into Dean’s worried eyes, the wrinkles deepest at the corners from years of worry and, more recently, years of laughing. He squeezed Dean’s hand and thought carefully before speaking.
“Dean, do you remember lying down to take a nap a few hours ago?” he asked, and when Dean nodded he continued softly. “You’re still there.”
Dean looked around the room, and his eyes fell to the other side of the bed, where someone lay covered with his thick blanket.
“Oh,” he breathed, then glanced back up to Cas. “So I’m already gone.”
“No,” Cas amended. “You’re here with me.”
Cas kissed Dean’s knuckles, then rose with him as a gentle light began to pulse in the corner of their room.
“I’m not alone,” Dean smiled at Cas.
“After everything we have done, Dean Winchester,” Cas whispered to him as they took the steps toward their heaven, “I don’t understand why you thought it was even possible.”