even angel’s fall;
set early season six, no spoilers;
They’ve been apart for a year.
“You left,” Dean accuses, his brow furrowed as he eyes Castiel expectantly.
“Of course I left,” Castiel returns, “Heaven needed me and-,”
“I needed you!” Dean snaps, his eyes flickering to and from Castiel, unable to meet the angel’s stare fully.
“You needed me to go.” Castiel answers simply.
“No,” Dean denies, “I needed you to stay!”
“I left for you, Dean, for your promises to Sam and to yourself. I left you for Lisa and for Ben-,”
“I-,” Dean’s mouth opens and closes on words he doesn’t have. He did make promises, he realises, guilt twisting his stomach. None of his promises had included Castiel.
“You needed me to leave.” Castiel says; no blame in his words.
“Jesus, Cas. I- I’m sorry.” He looks away, dropping his gaze entirely.
“Don’t be.” Castiel smiles, a small curve of his lips, long-missed compassion in his eyes as he reaches out and tips Dean’s head upwards.
“You could have stayed.” Dean tries, meeting Castiel’s eyes again, as if even despite knowing Dean’s own promises, Castiel should have betrayed them.
“Dean-,” Castiel shakes his head, fondness and expiration both flickering across his face. He traces his fingers across Dean’s cheek in a feather-light stroke. “You wanted normal, I couldn’t give you that.”
“You could have!” Dean insists, reaching up to grab at Castiel’s fingers and clinging tightly to them. You could have fought for me, for us; he wants to say but doesn’t. He doesn’t know how. He never did.
“You would have resented me.” Castiel says instead.
Dean jerks his head in vehement denial. “No. never!”
“Yes.” Castiel challenges, “And I’d never have forgiven myself for not letting you have your chance at a family.”
“You are my family, Cas. You, and Sam and-,” Castiel shakes his head, trying to pull his hand free only to find Dean unwilling to relinquish his hold. “-and I missed you. I missed you so damn much, Cas.”
It shouldn’t be so easy to press himself forward into Castiel’s space, but somehow it is. It shouldn’t be okay for Dean to touch at Castiel’s face, to stroke and caress as if his flesh is still Dean’s to touch, but Castiel doesn’t pull away and it’s so simple to just take that last step forward and touch his lips hesitantly to Castiel’s in a not-quite kiss, to breath in his scent and taste his breath against his own lips. It’s so easy to want something he didn’t even know he’d given up until it came back to him.
“I’m so sorry, Cas.” He says, stepping back. Because he knows, despite how much he wants it back, he knows this is no longer his to take. He’s not so much of a jerk that he doesn’t know how much he must’ve hurt Castiel with his need for normalcy. For all that had gotten him in the end.
“There is nothing to be sorry for,” Castiel says and he brings his hand back up to touch at Dean’s face. “You have done nothing that need be forgiven, Dean.”
“I hurt you though, didn’t I?” Dean asks and is surprised at the look of complete fondness that crosses Castiel’s face instead of the unreadable mask he’s used to.
“You’re only human, Dean,” Castiel says, as if that answers everything. It almost does when he leans in and presses his mouth softly-hard against Dean’s pliant lips in a kiss and a whisper of “and even angel’s fall.”
Dean isn’t sure what he means, but he clings to Castiel through his kisses and promises himself he’ll do everything he can to make sure he’s around to understand. Whatever it takes.