Since I’ve been traipsing around a different continent for the past three months, I haven’t even seen the rest of the season and the finale… but let me tell you what happens anyway after last night’s Apparent Clusterfuck:
As Dean Winchester stands next to his prone angel, morbidly fascinated by the ash wings burned into the ground around his feet, he feels completely and utterly numb. He’s only had the presence of mind not to step on them, an easy thing given the fact that they’re so bare of feathers.
Carefully, and still without thinking, the hunter lowers himself to his knees, brow furrowed and lip trembling as he attempts to process what is clearly right before him.
Castiel is dead.
Still, Dean can’t help extending a shaking hand. His fingers gently trace the curve of Cas’s cheekbone in a way he never would have allowed himself if the other was still breathing, and despite the fact that his mouth feels like sandpaper and he can feel Castiel’s skin turning cold he asks the question anyway:
Dean can feel Sam staring holes through his back, but that’s the extent of any response to his query.
“Cas, wake up.”
His voice is a broken croak, but Dean keeps speaking anyway, turning bolder and more desperate with every second that reality sinks in.
“Cas? Castiel, wake up. Wake up, Cas! Cas!”
He’s pawing at his angel now, vision blurring until he has to blink to clear it. He all but throws himself across Castiel’s torso to uselessly slap at his cheeks in an attempt to rouse him.
“You stupid son of a bitch, wake up! Wake up, Castiel! Don’t you dare leave me, don’t…”
Castiel is still motionless when Dean collapses against him. “Don’t go,” the hunter whispers pitifully into his angel’s neck. He squeezes his eyes shut and swallows a sob. “Please. I… Cas, I…” His heart is in his throat as he turns his head to press a light kiss behind the other’s ear, moving to put his lips against Castiel’s own for the first and last time. “…I love you, you dumb angel,” he murmurs. “So you gotta wake up. Cas. Cas, I love you, so you hafta…”
When nothing happens, Dean curls himself over his angel and cries.
Sam joins him after a time, crouching to put a hand to his shoulder and blinking back tears himself. Soon, though, they have to go. “Dean. Dean, we have to get out of here.”
“I know. It’ll be okay.”
But when they both turn away from Cas for the first time, God isn’t who they’re expecting to find. In all honesty, they’re not expecting to find anyone… and yet, there he is: Chuck, dressed in a robe and stained pj pants.
“You love my son?” Is all he asks, piercing gaze boring into Dean. Dean takes a step back as if to protect Castiel’s form from his own father, and that apparently is good enough. Chuck nods sagely. “I don’t play favourites, you know,” he says. “I did that once with Lucifer and it didn’t end well… but Castiel is, different. He’s everything I didn’t know I wanted angels to be. He makes mistakes. He learns. And yet every time I bring him back, he ends up risking his life for you.”
Dean holds his breath. Chuck sighs. “I love my son, I would give him the world if I could.” There’s a beat, and Chuck tilts his head to the side. “But we’ve both seen what happens when he has unlimited power. Besides, at the end of the day… I think he really just wants you.”
And then God is gone.
Dean is confused for only a moment before there’s a gasping breath from behind him and a hacking cough, Castiel sitting upright and flushed and so very alive that Dean can do nothing but throw himself to the ground. He tackles Cas in a kiss before the other has time to say a word, pressing him to the floor and putting everything he is into the contact.
When he pulls away, Cas is bright red and smiling with the approximate wattage of the sun. “Dean,” he murmurs, awed. “I’m… I mean, I…”
Dean presses a finger to the other’s plump lips. “I love you,” he says simply.