Dean stood in front of the bunker, staring out into the dark. The sky was lit up with stars, and any other night he’d have been amazed by them. He’d always thought he’d never get tired of the way they sparkled in the inky black night. Tonight though, he kind of wished every single one of them would burn out.
He rubbed a hand over his face and took a deep breath of cold, late winter air. The icy sting in his lungs as he inhaled was just a physical thing, couldn’t even come close to touching the horrible world shattering pain inside that he was trying to keep a lid on.
It was like needing to scream twenty-four seven, like everything in him just wanted to give up and collapse in on itself. He tried not to think it, the name. Spent every moment he could trying not to give even a mental voice to his anguish, but it came, it always did.
Tears welled in his eyes, and he fought to keep them in, but how could he? Cas had let the literal devil into his vessel. And when he had, it’d been him saying he didn’t have faith in Dean. Didn’t believe they could kill the Darkness.
What’s worse was the completely gutted feeling that had ripped through Dean when Sam had told him that Cas had wanted to feel useful. Guilt ran hot and hard through him at the memory.
Drops of salty water slipped over his cheeks. How many times had he called Cas a baby in a trench coat? How many times had he treated him like a tool to be used for his own purposes? Dean’s heart broke for what felt like the thousandth time as he realized that Cas had never believed him when he’d told him he was family.
Why would he? Dean thought angry at himself. Not like I showed him.
He rubbed his hands over his face again, and dropped to his knees. He folded his hands, and before he could stop himself, before he could come to his senses he prayed.
“Cas. I don’t even know if you can hear me. If he’s letting you hear me.” Dean started, voice breaking. “You just gotta know that we’re gonna save you. Even if you don’t think you wanna be saved. Or maybe you think this is the only way you can help. Hell, Cas, I need you to know that I need you. Way more than you think. And it ain’t got nothin’ to do with the Darkness or the apocalypse or any of it. It’s just you. It’s always been about you. I didn’t know how to say it then, but I need you to know it now. Please Cas. We can figure this out together, but you gotta let us help you. Please.”
Dean slumped when he finished, and the silence that echoed around him was the only answer to his words. He had no idea if anything he’d said had gotten through to Cas. All he could do was hope. The sound of the bunker door scraping open forced him to stand.
“Dean?” Sam asked, sticking his head out.
“Yeah?” Dean returned, wiping his face before he turned around.
“We’re gonna find him, you know that right?” Sam questioned as he noticed the redness around Dean’s eyes.
“Yeah.” Dean huffed, making his way back to the bunker.