Cas is seven shots down before Dean realizes how skillfully he’s knocking them back. And sure, saying it’s been a rough evening is an understatement, but not even Crowley is going at the alcohol at the pace Cas is, and the angel is showing no signs of slowing. Dean grabs his own beer with a sign and scoots closer to the angel.
“I know your angel mojo takes the edge off these,” he gestures to the empty glasses, “But maybe it’s worth slowing down? I’ve got the feeling these aren’t new to you.”
In response, Cas downs an eighth shot and slams it down.
“What’s up?’ Dean tries to keep his tone even.
Cas turned his blue eyes, now rimmed ever so slightly with red, to direct the full extent of the scowl he was wearing on Dean. "You left me. With him,” he growls lowly. In the wake of Dean’s stunned silence, Cas takes another shot.
The sad thing is, Dean isn’t even sure if Cas is angry about Lucifer or about Crowley, but the guilt curls in his stomach all the same. He’s been trying so hard to make things feel normal after Mom left, going out of his way to bicker with Sam and throw himself into cases, just like the old days, that he’s completely forgotten Cas.
“You say Lucifer is all our responsibility…you say I’m your brother…” Cas isn’t even looking at Dean anymore, just staring into the empty shot glasses, “Then you leave me with the King of Hell. Or you leave me to die,” his lip trembles, “Whatever’s most convenient.”
Dean opens his mouth, presumably to say it isn’t true, but something else catches his focus. It’s the way Cas is silhouetted against the neon lights of the bar, the way the decorations along the back wall spread just so…for a split second, Cas looks like an angel again, wings and all.
And that’s when it hits Dean that Lucifer fell too. How did Lucifer respond to falling? To abandonment? By wreaking havoc. Destroying countless lives for fun. But Cas, well, Cas was just as abandoned. Just as broken. And yet all Cas had ever done was fight for humanity. For Dean. Even when he turned his back on him.
Cas’ rough voice pulls Dean back into reality and he blinks to see Cas’ blue eyes staring worriedly back. Worried about Dean. Even now, after everything. Dean shakes his head gently, noticing only then that his jaw was agape. He closes his mouth quickly.
“Sorry, man, I, uh…” Dean sighs. I don’t deserve you, is what he’s realizing now, in this moment, staring down what very well might be the most pure being in all of creation, wondering what on earth he was going to say to make amends, “I messed up. I know I did. But you’re not going to be alone with him any more.”
There’s a sharp inhale of breath. "What?”
Dean resists his initial urge to tease. Cas had been through so much, he didn’t need Dean at his throat too. “You’re not staying with him,” he says, “You’re right. I’ve been an ass. So the least I can do is make it up to you with my shitty company. And Sam’s. If you want.”
It’s not all Dean wants to say. Not by a long shot. But it’s all he feels worthy to say. At least for the time being. And when Cas smiles and sets down his shot glass, Dean can’t help but feel like he’s finally done something right tonight.
"Can I also get a leather jacket?”
“If you don’t get me one, I’ll just have to borrow yours,” Cas shoots back, but his eyes are soft and the edge is gone from his voice.
Dean laughs. Cas smiles in return. And there’s something about that smile that makes Dean think they might actually have a fighting chance with Lucifer. (Not to mention he’s got the feeling that Cas is going to look damn good in his jacket.)
So, the director of “The Brave Little Toaster”, Jerry Rees, has seen two of my pieces related to it (including my tribute) and I just need a moment because I can’t describe the level of joy I’m feeling right now.