Written for Dean and Castiel’s anniversary and Castiel’s birthday, this is a season 12 based ficlet around Castiel’s feelings for Dean which he is no longer able to hide.
Castiel has his bag packed already. He is tired and the constant weight around his heart has become too much to bear. He did his job. His purpose is complete for the most part. The Winchesters are back safely in the bunker and now they have their mother with them. They have no further use for Castiel.
He catalogues his small duffle of belongings one last time before standing straighter and hauling it over his shoulder. It is better this way. This way he can focus purely on the pursuit of Lucifer, clean up his final mess, and not burden the Winchesters with his presence any longer.
If he leaves now, he hopes that eventually these feelings will go away. That the constant ache of his longing will subside and any fleeting hope he once had has long left his thoughts. Angels are not supposed to have hopes or dreams anyway. He wasn’t built for this kind of human desire. He despises it. Like an itch under his skin that he can never satisfy, no matter how often he may wish for it.
Regardless, it doesn’t matter anymore. Not when he is finally certain that his feelings are not returned.
The word rings through Castiel’s memories once again, like it has a thousand times these past few weeks since that car journey that turned out to be so pointless.
You are our brother Cas.
There it is again, the pain that word causes his heart is far greater than the pain of the stab wound that Dean left him when he first laid eyes on Castiel’s human vessel. In the 8 years that have passed since that moment Castiel has experienced many agonising pains, though none, is as great as the pain caused by that word.
Dean meant nothing but kindness by it of course, and how could Dean have possibly known just how much it would hurt Castiel to say it. He should be grateful, flattered that Dean considers him a brother. To put him on the level of Sam in Dean’s mind is an honour and Castiel is proud that Dean holds him in such high regard.
But it is not enough. Never enough. Brother is not what he wants from Dean. Brother means family, and respect, and sacrifice and yes, even love. But not in that way. Never in that way.
And that is why it hurts so much. That is why Castiel must leave. Because how can he possibly stay knowing that his desires, his feelings are unreturned? Knowing that if Dean were to find out how he felt he would turn away in horror, in repulsion. To think that his brother could feel THAT way for him?
The thought makes Castiel nauseous. And so he must leave.
He makes his way out of the room that Dean had set up for him, creeps down the hall passed the other bedrooms and out into the library. So far he has not heard anyone around so he hopes his exit will remain clear, but it is not to be.
“Cas?” Dean’s voice carries from the far corner where he is sitting half buried by a huge volume of some ancient text on the Occult. Cas freezes and sighs before turning to face him.