At some point I stopped seeing the phrase "I need you" or any of it's variants as romantic :0
In the episode that MISHA was in that we would be watching, Rufus said “I need you” to Jiya. Pfft.
“… Especially me” - Bobby Singer to his wife Ellen in 6x17.
I mean it’s really not a stretch when this is the time Dean figures out his feelings and with rest of their story to see that this is clearly romantic.
And then Cas rejects him? Immediately and twice? 8x07 and 8x17? By “straightening things out” and leaving? He doesn’t mean to obviously, but that’s how it comes across.
And their reactions?
I LITERALLY DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW ANYONE CAN WATCH THIS AND NOT SEE THIS AS ROMANTIC.
WE HAVE DEAN BEING HEARTBROKEN, FEELING REJECTED, UPSET AND ANGRY. CAS NOT UNDERSTANDING DEAN’S MULTI-LAYERED REPRESSED WAY OF SAYING HE LOVES HIM AND THEREFORE NOT KNOWING WHAT HE’S DONE WRONG (because he’s not human and his people skills are rusty) BUT TRYING DESPERATELY TO FIX IT WITH THE THINGS HE KNOWS DEAN LOVES (because these are things Dean has said he loves out loud to Cas so he, being literal, latches onto these, showing us that he just doesn’t understand Dean’s hidden meaning).
AND HOW THIS FITS IN WITH THE REST OF THEIR ROMANTIC AF STORY.
HOW CAS THEN FALLS AND REALISES WHAT HE FEELS IN RETURN IS LOVE. THERE’S SOME FLIRTING AND UST DESPITE DEAN’S REJECTING HIM IN TURN FOR SAM, BUT ONCE THAT IS SORTED DEAN THEN IMMEDIATELY GETS THE MARK OF CAIN AND HIS FEELINGS GET REPRESSED FOR THE BEST PART OF 2 YEARS, MEANWHILE HIS SOFT MOMENTS ARE USUALLY AROUND CAS. HOW THEN DEAN SPENDS THE NEXT 2 YEARS SHOUTING “WHAT ABOUT CAS?!” AT ANYONE WHO WILL LISTEN WHILE CAS TRIES TO REDEEM HIMSELF FOR HIS PAST MISTAKES AND GET A WIN FOR DEAN… FOR HIMSELF.
HOW DEAN IS NOW COLLAPSED OVER HIS DEAD BODY IN SHOCK AND NOT ABLE TO PROCESS WHAT JUST HAPPENED WHILE SAM IS UPSET, PROCESSES BUT RUNS INSIDE TO SORT OUT THE ACTUAL PROBLEM ON THEIR HANDS.