DeanCas Coda to 13x04: The Big Empty
Unsurprisingly, the thrill of being on Earth fades after two days of relentless walking, bumming rides, and begging for bus money. Not that Castiel can’t appreciate the sunshine and flowers and corporeality of it all… but about one minute after standing up and taking in the warmth and smells and feel of the world around him, his thoughts immediately turned to the Winchesters. To Jack.
It’s Dean specifically whose name runs on a loop in his mind; whose memories have Castiel’s heart stuttering and blood racing in his veins. By the time he’s walking up to the Bunker door, Cas’s palms are slick with sweat and he’s exhausted despite his Grace, anxiety clawing under his skin. He re-adjusts his new coat and tie about fifteen times, and attempts to flatten his hair into some kind of order. He stares at the door for a good five minutes before gathering enough courage to knock.
It’s Dean who answers.
He’s thinner than the last time Castiel saw him, with dark bruises under his eyes and a paleness lurking beneath his skin that is frightening. He looks haggard, and defeated, and despite all of that Cas is still made breathless. Because he is standing in the doorway whole. Because they are both whole, and living.
“Give it a rest, Mia. I ain’t buyin’ what you’re selling.”
The door is closed in his face.
It’s amazing, how one sentence can break a person. But no matter. Castiel knows, logically, that Dean think’s he’s dead. Four days ago, he wouldn’t have been wrong. So, pushing those pesky, unrealistic fantasies of a romantic reunion aside, he swallows thickly, and knocks again.
Dean answers with a glare this time. “Look, I get that we helped you, but following us all the way out here is just friggin’ creepy, okay?! And invasive! So leave us the hell alone before I decide to do something I regret.” Scoffing, he gives Castiel a cursory look up and down before shaking his head. “Some shifter you are,” he mutters. “You even got his clothes wrong.”
“I’m really not in the mood right now, okay? So just—”
“Dean, it’s me.”
Dean pauses. Shakes his head. Pauses again.
“You can test me,” Castiel says. “In fact, I insist. But don’t—don’t close the door again. Please, I just—it’s me. I swear it’s me.”
Green eyes play across his face, but if he’s searching for duplicity, he’ll find none. Staring back, Cas waits for Dean to come to a decision, finally muttering a “wait here”, before closing the door for a second time. Left alone, Cas feels his shoulders slump in relief. Dean will test him, and then he’ll know. He’ll know and Castiel will finally go home.
They do holy water first and iron first, saving silver for last. Even when both other tests have been completed, Dean hesitates at the third, looking at Cas’s big blue eyes and biting his lip. Castiel rolls up his sleeve and holds out his arm. “Please,” he murmurs.
Dean quickly slices the silver blade in a shallow cut on Cas’s forearm, watching with wide eyes when the skin easily knits back together.
The knife drops to the ground with an almighty clang.
Dean’s hand comes up to shakily cover his mouth as his eyes, red-rimmed and shining, remain trained on Castiel’s. “No,” he murmurs. “Uh uh, I’m dreaming. I’m—I burned you. I’ve finally cracked, I—”
“No,” Castiel urges. “It’s me. It’s Cas.”
“I know who you are, dumbass.” Tears spill onto freckled cheeks as a huffed laugh is startled out of Dean’s chest. His hands twitch at his sides. “It’s really you.”
They’re hugging. Dean has launched himself at Castiel’s person, wrapping his arms around his shoulders and cradling the back of his head. His shoulders shake as he buries his face in Cas’s neck, and of his part, Castiel holds on as tightly as he can without causing harm. He blinks rapidly in an effort to dispel his own tears and leans heavily into the warmth that now surrounds him from what feels like all sides.
“Cas,” Dean mumbles, his voice thin and watery. “Cas. Castiel. Cas.”
“Dean.” Castiel doesn’t mean to turn his head, just as he doesn’t mean to lean in when Dean pulls back to see what’s happening. He does, however, mean to kiss Dean Winchester within an inch of his life when it becomes clear that this is a thing he’s permitted to do.
So he does it.
Castiel kisses Dean thoroughly. Methodically. Pressing little demonstrations of love to his mouth before deepening it to something wanton and wet. Cas’s heart tumbles against his ribcage, and his cheeks heat, and Dean runs a hand through his hair in a way that is so different from that creature in the empty that Castiel almost sobs anew. He kisses Dean with everything he is, and Dean whimpers. Freckled hands cup Cas’s cheeks.
From the war room, Sam holds Jack’s shoulder, keeping him in place. “Just… wait a sec, okay?“ he says, staring up at the pair pressed together on the threshold. “They need this.”
“They love each other,” Jack observes.
"Yeah,” Sam nods. Blinking rapidly, he looks at the child beside him and smiles. “They do.”