Alright so I have been thinking about the thing and I have concluded that I think that “is the first you singular or plural” is pretty much a particularly fruitful way to approach the scene. Hear me out.
Who is Cas referring to up to this moment? The three of them. After saying “you’re my family” he turns specifically to Mary and nods, like he’s telling her “yes, you too”. So far, “you” means “Dean, Sam, and Mary”.
Why would he suddenly shift from a “you” that means “Dean, Sam, and Mary” to a “you” that means something different? He’s making a speech and it makes no sense for him to change who he’s addressing to with no indication he’s doing so. I think his addressee is the same - the three of them.
If the speech ended here, if he said the thing about not wanting to see them die now, the scene would be Cas tells Dean, Sam and Mary that he loves them. Period. Dean wouldn’t stand out particularly - yes, the camera cuts to him immediately and the direction of Cas’ eyes and everything, but Cas’ words themselves wouldn’t give you reasons to think that there’s something in them that hints at specific feelings he has for Dean.
Cas feels the need to clarify what he meant with that “you”. Which would be absolutely unnecessary and make no sense unless you assume that Cas loves Dean in a way that differs from his feelings for Sam and Mary.
He’s been talking to his family, to the three of them, why would he feel the need to clarify that he means the three of them?
Because there is a chance that they might have assumed he was referring to Dean. There is a chance that Sam and Mary would think he was talking to Dean only, not to them. Because everyone in that room knows that Cas’ feelings for Dean are not the same as Cas’ feelings for Sam and Mary, so Cas is saying “I am expressing my love for all of you”.
Sam’s face here could either mean (or mean a mixture of both, more likely) “oh, you mean you love me too” or “oh you love Dean so much and it’s so obvious I thought you were only talking about him”. Kinda.
Basically Cas says I love you. And by you I don’t just mean Dean which I know each of us knows I love because literally every pebble outside knows that because the entire universe knows, in fact it’s so obvious you’re probably thinking that’s what I meant with ‘I love you’ right, so what I’m saying is that I mean that I care deeply about all of you because you all are my family and you all have been important to me and made me into the person I am now.
Basically the point is that everything he’s said before the “I love all of you” can be interpreted in two different ways - i.e. applied to Dean only (and it gets certain connotations) or applied to the three of them (and it gets different connotations). And the fact that Cas clarifies it, means that he’s aware of that possible dualism and he’s aware that everyone in the room is aware of it.
And if Perez is making the characters acknowledge that dualism (i.e Cas’ feelings for Dean being different than Cas’ feelings for the others), it means that that dualism is real.
Basically the scene isn’t telling us the nature of Cas’ feelings for Dean. That needs to happen still. It’s a little sign telling us that they’re different than Cas’ feelings for Sam or Mary.
In 11x23 Cas made a pained face when Dean told him that he was their brother. That’s what we’re exploring right now: is it possible to use the same label for Cas’ and Dean’s relationship as for Cas’ and Sam’s relationship? It’s pretty much what Robbie Thompson foreshadowed at with the line “what about Sastiel” - in the context of the episode it was a joke, but nothing is just a joke from a meta point of view it means, what’s the difference between ‘Dean and Cas’ and ‘Sam and Cas’?
Basically, in order to make Destiel shift from subtext to text, you have to answer the question ‘what about Sastiel’ first, i.e. elaborate on the difference between Cas’ feelings for Sam and Cas’ feelings for Dean. And Cas’ speech in 12x12 of course doesn’t mean all of this stuff textually, but, extradiegetically, it’s a sign that the show is setting the ground for the answers to that kind of questions.
“He spent the night with Dean,” Sam told her. He was leaning in his own doorway.
“Oh? I just wanted to check in on him. I suppose Dean’s keeping an eye on him.” She smiled knowingly. “Are they…? I mean he told Dean he loved him last night.”
Sam shrugged. “If know. I half expected Dean to drive off somewhere in the middle of the night and drink himself stupid. He doesn’t do feelings.” He put an arm around his mother and walked her to the kitchen for some coffee and a longer chat.
“The waitress yesterday morning?” Mary asked.
“Classic Dean. Alpha male, pack leader. Clearly not interested in her but still asserts his masculinity. He knows Cas isn’t looking to hook up with anyone. He’s not the casual sex kind of guy.”
“And you and Dean are?” It was a fair enough question.
Sam shifted in his seat uncomfortably. Not a topic he wanted to discuss with his mother. “No time for relationships. Let’s leave it at that. And not so much for one night stands the past couple years. I think we went and got too old for it.”
“Maybe it’s because Dean has Castiel. Maybe the whole show yesterday was to throw us off, keep it a secret. But when you’re dying you say things you think you may never say again.”
Sam cleared his throat. Dean stumbled into the kitchen with an equally half awake angel behind him. They grunted their greetings to the other Winchesters and Cas flopped down beside Mary whilst Dean fixed them some coffee. They noticed Cas was wearing some of Dean’s things and his hair was particularly unruly like he’d actually slept.
“Rough night?” Sam asked. He figured one of them would answer him.
“It’s been awhile since I’ve slept. Dean’s bed is quite comfortable, though. It was easier to rest than I anticipated.” Cas was straightforward as usual.
Mary looked to Dean. He didn’t look remotely flustered. No posturing. “Did you get any sleep, Dean?”
“Better than I have in years.”
Sam fought a smirk. “So you slept…together?”
Dean glared at him over his cup. “You got a problem with that?”
Sam shrugged again. “You wanna be cuddle buddies with Cas that’s fine with me. Mom?” He shifted the focus to Mary.
She put her arm around Cas. “I think it’s wonderful that you have each other.” She hugged him to her side. “My boys. My Winchester boys.”
“You’re definitely a Winchester, Cas.” Sam reached across the table to pat his hand. “Whether Dean makes an honest man out of you or not, you’ll always be my brother.”
“Honest man? I am an honest man, Sam.” Cas looked confused.
“He means if we get hitched, married, tie the knot.”
“Oh. I’m afraid we couldn’t wear white as tradition - “
“Oh Jesus Christ, Cas!” Dean shouted. He immediately covered his eyes in embarrassment. Sam and Mary just burst into giggles and eventually Dean broke and joined them.
My family, Cas thought to himself. What did I get myself into?
OKAY BUT THE FACT THAT WHEN HE SAYS “I LOVE YOU” HE LOOKS AWAY AND HE’S ALMOST SMILING.
LIKE HE KNOWS WHO HE’S SPEAKING TO IN PARTICULAR BUT STILL DOESN’T WANT TO SAY IT DIRECTLY.
AND THEN HE LOOKS UP AND HE ADDS “ALL OF YOU” WHICH IS THE TRUTH, BUT IT’S ALSO NOT WHAT HE REALLY MEANT.
I’m going to stab myself and it will be less painful.
Do you think on the ride home Dean took off his flannel and made Cas put it on to replace his bloody shirt?
“I really am alright, Dean. You don’t need to sit back here
Dean ignores Castiel’s reassurances, just like he has been
ignoring them for the last fifteen minutes.
“Cork it, Cas! Mom’s drivin’, Sam’s shotgun, and I’m back
here with you, makin’ sure you’re really holdin’ it together. That’s just
the way it’s gonna be so stop tryin’ to fight me on it!”
Both Mary and Sam give each other wide-eyed looks, but stay
quiet—knowing that Dean is still processing everything that had happened back
in the barn. He’s still drowning in the feeling of being out of control, and it’s
driving him absolutely nuts.
“Here, Ma” Dean grunts, shoving the Impala’s keys at the
woman and then turning back to tend to his angel.
She swiftly nods and takes the keys before ushering her
other son around the far side of the car—and then, all at once, they climb in
to join Castiel, who has already been carefully placed in the backseat by Dean’s
“Does it hurt anywhere?” Dean asks—slightly calmer now but
his voice still has a rattle to it.
“No, Dean. I’m feeling fine—just
like I said before.”
“Well, you don’t look
fine. You’re kinda pale. Sam, doesn’t he look pale to you?”
Sam turns around and gives Cas a sympathetic look before
shrugging silently at his older brother, knowing that his opinion doesn’t
really matter right now anyway.
“Yeah, see—Sam thinks
so. You should lean back a bit.”
“These seats don’t recline, Dean.”
Dean frowns at him. “Then scoot down a little! Jesus, Cas …
I’m just tryin’ to make sure you’re okay!”
“I am okay … I
have already told you—”
“Scoot down, Castiel!” Mary grits firmly from the front of the car—glaring at
him through the rearview mirror, eyes flicking back and forth between the angel
and her eldest son.
He wants to protest again, but then Castiel nods, finally
understanding that the only one not
fine right now, is Dean, and doing what he asks—no matter how pointless it is,
will make him feel a little better … a little more useful. Cas scoots down in
Dean smiles, happy that his friend is finally listening to
him. “Alright then … better?”
Castiel stops himself from rolling his eyes. “Yes … better.”
The proud smirk that immediately graces Dean’s face seems to
trim away the tension in the car—until the moment that the folds of Cas’s coat
fall away, exposing the dirty, blood-stained white button up beneath. “Oh … shit,
man! That looks bad!” the man yelps as soon as he sees it.
Castiel squints and cocks his head to the side, finally following
Dean’s eyes down to where the usually clean looking garment, is now a tattered
mess strewn about his body. “Oh. Yes, well … I can just—” Cas begins, already
lifting his hand to will the mess away, but he stops mid motion—cutting the
magic short because the man beside him is starting to fidget in his seat. “Dean?
What are you …”
Dean teeters back and forth, wriggling from side to side in
the confined space until he finally manages to free one of his arms from the
black coat and plaid overshirt that he’s wearing.
“Hold on … almost …”
Dean soon rocks all the way over until his head is practically in Cas’s lap—but
he doesn’t seem to notice because he’s too focused on freeing his other hand. “There!”
he yelps victoriously, finally holding up the plaid shirt for everyone in the
car to see.
Sam nods and Mary holds back a chuckle, and Cas just
continues to stare at the man—confused and slightly annoyed by everything that
“Okay, Cas. You’re
turn” Dean says after another moment, eventually turning happy eyes back on
“My turn?” Cas asks, feeling suddenly nervous about what he’s
expected to do.
“Yep” Dean chirps, looking Castiel up and down with a long
pull. “Strip and put this on.” He holds the flannel out towards him, but he
doesn’t hand it to the angel just yet, as if he’s planning on dressing him
himself … and at this point, Cas wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what Dean had
“Dean …” Castiel grumbles again, now—rolling his eyes for all to see. “You realize that I can fix
this, don’t you?”
Dean only grips the shirt tighter in his hand.
“I am an angel … I
have the power to—”
“Just put on the damn shirt!” All three Winchesters bark in
And that makes the angel finally throw up his hands in
defeat. “Alright!” he exclaims,
quickly sitting straight and leaning forward so that he can work his body free
from his coat. But before he can completely shimmy it off, Dean’s hands are on
him, fiddling with the buttons of Cas’s dirty white shirt. “Um … what are you
snaps, but his cheeks are turning red and his hands are starting to shake
against the angel’s chest.
Cas stares at him a moment, and then up to the front of the
car where Sam and Mary are vehemently avoiding eye contact with anything but
the road. So he turns back, just as Dean undoes the final button and pushes the
cloth aside, displaying every inch of Castiel’s unmarred skin.
The man then stills for some time—never looking away and
holding his breath until the second Castiel is finally able to speak.
“You see, Dean … I’m
Dean quirks up the side of his mouth, but his face quickly
falls flat again, while his eyes bounce away and back several times, seeming
torn as to where to look now.
After that, it only takes another minute for Cas to slip out
of the ruddy, old shirt and into Dean’s flannel—and for the first time since
they left the barn, Dean doesn’t interfere, nor do Mary and Sam act like
anything is happening just behind their heads. In fact, the frenzied tone of
their drive has seemed to mellow, and even Dean appears to have settled down;
although, his hands still twitch with the need for something to do … which
doesn’t go unnoticed by the angel at his side.
Castiel sighs, flicking his eyes down towards the soft plaid
that’s now draped over his own shoulders—the fabric is warm and smells like
Dean; so just as he begins to fasten the last two buttons, he purposely skips
one—so the thing is now bunching up across his stomach. “There” he confirms, drawing Dean’s focus back to the task at hand, and of course—Dean notices the mistake
“Ah—jeez, Cas …
you’re helpless, ya know that?” Dean mutters with a smile, reaching over eagerly
to straighten out the buttons and get them all in the right order.
But Castiel just smiles too, taking the moment to take in the
worried Winchester—his charge, his
family … a man that he loves—and he nods. “You’re
right. What would I do without you?”
see you’re leaving me and taking up with the enemy The
cold comfort of the in between A
little less than a human being”
Elliott Smith – A
Something changed in
Dean the day you met Lucifer. The shift was almost imperceptible, the
subtle gleam of sadness in his eyes when he looked at you, the way he
stared when he thought you weren’t looking, as if trying to memorize
tiny aspects of you that he worried he was already forgetting. Anyone
who didn’t know Dean intimately wouldn’t have caught the signs, but
you did, and you suspected Sam did as well, though the two of you
never spoke of it.
You’d joined the boys on
a hunt, despite their protests at how you were far too calm about the
idea of coming face to face with Lucifer. While you should have been
terrified beyond measure, the mere thought of him oddly possessed a
calming quality to it, one that had you far too curious to leave
unexplored. The moment your eyes fell upon him, his tattered wings
hanging around his frame, glowing like the vestiges of a fire about
to burn out, you wept. You crumpled to your knees, staring at him
with an ache in your heart that you couldn’t explain. Everyone around
you was too stunned to react, though Lucifer was perhaps the most
perplexed of all. He watched you, faint traces of sadness, surprise,
anger, and curiosity flexed over his face before he vanished, leaving
you to deal with the Winchesters onslaught of questions as they had
to drag you back out to the car.
Trying to explain
yourself after that was next to impossible. The day after the
incident, Dean was withdrawn, quieter than normal and when Sam
remarked his surprise at his brother’s supposed lack of care towards
your reaction, he seemed to piece together that something was amiss.
You dodged Sam’s questions, not understanding the reaction yourself,
but as the days passed, it all started to come together.
Now here you were again
with Sam and Dean, only now Lucifer was at your guard, standing
behind you and ready to intercede should he feel the need to. You’d
previously heard little of angels and their soulmates, but now that
you knew the full power of what that entailed, you knew that you had
little choice in the matter. Even if you did, this was unequivocally
the choice you would have made.
Dean had put on a brave
face, but it was faltering quickly, the cracks in his rough exterior
letting his emotions trickle out in a sorrowful stream. You hurt him,
and though it wasn’t intended, you knew where you needed to be, and
that was beside Lucifer.
“You take care of
yourself, alright?” Dean said gruffly, trying to smile through the
torment he was putting himself through. You knew Dean blamed himself,
blamed himself for bringing you before the Devil in the first place,
only to ultimately lose you to him.
You nodded, searching
his gaze for something, anything you could possibly say to ease the
pain you were putting him through, but there was nothing.
“I’ll be okay, Dean”
you reassured, wishing you could reach out and touch him, but thought
better of it.
Thoughts danced behind
his eyes, a look that told you he had something to say but didn’t
want to. You knew what it was and you nodded, urging him to speak the
words that perhaps hurt him the most as you bit back the sob in your
“You be good” he
said, and though the phrase may have sounded innocent and caring,
with his half smile and saddened eyes, you knew the meaning behind
Dean was a hunter, one
dedicated to his job and if that meant saving the world from any
threat, he was up for it. With you at Lucifer’s side, you might be
that threat. Lucifer’s hand rested on your shoulder and you smiled
warily at Dean. Your will broke and you pulled him into a hug,
feeling Lucifer stiffen slightly behind you. Dean’s arms wrapped
tightly around you, squeezing you as if you satisfy the fact that he
would likely never get the chance to hold you again.
“You hurt her, in any
way, and I’ll come for you. I’ll fucking kill you” he said over
your shoulder to Lucifer, his jaw tensing as rage began to prickle
Lucifer huffed a short,
humorless laugh as you released Dean, stepping back and away from him
as your fingers found Lucifer’s and laced through them.
You’d wanted to tell him
that you hoped to see him around, but in reality, if you did, it was
likely not going to be on good terms, so instead you kept quiet,
silently promising that you would be okay and everything was fine.
“Goodbye, Dean” was
the only words that came to you, tears dripping from your eyes,
hating yourself for hurting him.