Dean visits Sam in the hospital, but doesn’t explain to him that he was turned away by Castiel. Sam is dealing with enough, evidently, and doesn’t need to be told oh hey, Sammy, I went to see the healer who turned out to be Cas (without his memory), and I realized I was gay for him so I kissed him then he threatened to call the cops on me. So yeah, he’s not coming to help.
It all happened so fast, so unexpectedly. Between trying to find a solution, and watching Sam fade into the oblivion of his mind, Dean just needed some type of comfort, some semblance of normalcy. And there was Castiel, oblivious and alive (just with a slight memory lapse), so Dean leapt and wasn’t caught during his fall.
But this isn’t about their relationship; if Dean doesn’t get Sam better soon, he’s going to lose his brother forever. And for what? An existential crisis? A romance that came and went like the tide? No, Sam isn’t going to be taken away because Dean has made a mistake.
Dean knocks hard on the door, waiting for someone to answer. Daphne comes to the door and crosses her arms. Well isn’t she grateful for Dean ganking that demon that had her captive? But she looks Dean over, and drops her arms when she sees how distraught, how at wits end Dean is. She calls for ‘Emmanuel’.
“What is it, Dean? I told you I would call—”
“I know, I know. Look, my brother is going to die,” Dean looks down, “and I have no way to stop it from happening. You’re my last shot.”
Castiel sighs, narrowing his eyes at Dean, “I’m uncertain if I will succeed, though.”
“Please. Just try, man,” Dean scoffs, “I can’t just sit back and watch as his own body rips him apart.”
“Alright,” Castiel says, “let me get my jacket.”
Sam’s doesn’t respond to Castiel’s touch on his forehead, but he does shout and thrash about when the broken shards of his mind meld back together, forming one coherent picture once more. The wall is back in place, more secure than before, but Castiel still does not feel a connection to these Winchesters.
Castiel’s used his healing in various cases, but these powers are so unlike anything he’s felt before. They’re stronger, more complete; honed to a level beyond anything he can fathom. They feel almost practiced, habitual; he’s used to doing this for them. He can feel his body tingling with familiarity, but that’s where it ends.
Sam’s eyes open, and he’s lucid. More than that, he’s aware. Dean takes one look, and realizes that fact without Castiel even uttering a word. Sam stands and pulls Dean to him, sighing in relief. Dean’s gaze darts over to Castiel, and he offers the angel a lopsided smile, in hopes that maybe that could jog his memory. Castiel bows his head and leaves the room.
It’s still not back.
Dean and Sam are packed up and ready to skip town (before one of the doctors notice Sam’s miraculous recovery), when Dean says he needs to make a pit stop.
Sam can tell by the look in his brother’s eye—the one that he thinks he hides so well, the one he has when Castiel drifts into Dean’s personal space and Dean lets him –just who he’s going to pay a visit to.
“I just wanted to thank you, Cas,” Dean says, putting a hand out to his ex-best friend.
“Cas?” Castiel tilts his head, looking down at the hand before slowly grabbing it. “Is that my name?”
“Castiel, yeah,” Dean smiles without showing teeth. It’s harder to deal with this now that he doesn’t have to concentrate on Sam anymore.
Castiel doesn’t pull out of the hold, his palm tightens around Dean’s instead, “Castiel. That sounds right.”
Dean’s brow furrows as his mind goes around an idea he knows it probably shouldn’t. No harm in asking, “Maybe,” Dean drags his hand away, “you should come along with us.”
Castiel’s hand drops to his side, but there’s no other reaction besides that. He closes the front door behind him as he steps onto the porch, crowding into Dean’s personal space. Dean holds his breath, his fists already balling up again and ready to drag Castiel in for another kiss—a second one.
“I agree,” Castiel says firmly, “if I remain here, Daphne could be in danger again.” He steps closer, his eyes fixed on Dean’s, whose brows are now raised almost to his hairline. “And I need to know who I am, who I was. Only you and Sam can provide me with those answers.”
Dean isn’t giddy, but he’s sure as hell glad he bothered to make that offer to Castiel. Dean nods, smiling at the man still peering into his soul. His eyes glance down at Castiel’s mouth, something he’s done countless times, but this time, Castiel catches him doing it.
“I’d very much like you to,” Castiel murmurs, leaning infinitesimally closer.
It doesn’t take more than that miniscule gesture for Dean’s lips to crash down against Castiel’s again, pressing him to the side of the porch where Daphne couldn’t see them through the window. Dean can’t have her heart broken—even if they’ve known each other longer, even if Castiel initiated this, even if Castiel is the closest thing to being Dean’s soul-mate.
Now how sappy is that? Sam would be proud.
Seeing Dean return with Castiel does stun Sam for a moment, but it also sends a gentle rush of relief flowing through him. They needed family around, and Castiel would always be a welcome part of it.
Sam doesn’t question his brother when he disappears along with the angel during their cases. He knows Dean’s mission is clear, a priority, even above that of killing the Leviathan. He wants Castiel to remember everything, to look at him with that fondness they had not even a year ago. Dean wants Castiel to remember how sincerely in love they were before he lost his memory, because he hasn’t stopped caring about him—not once.
Sam always knocks now before entering the motel rooms because Dean is insistent upon learning every inch of Castiel’s amnesiac body and make up for all those years he’d spent in denial of his true feelings. Castiel can’t explain why, but it feels so right to be worshipped by Dean.
Daphne had found him and cared for him, but Dean knows him. Dean’s lips search out Castiel any and all moments Sam looks away; his fingers hold onto Castiel’s wrist whether or not they’re in public; he whispers sensual things that make Castiel flush and throb with desire in the darkness of the night; he convinces Castiel that he deserves to live, even if the angel feels like he really does not; Dean doesn’t look away or move if Castiel slips into his personal space, even with Sam in the room, because he wants it, wants him, so obviously it makes Castiel’s heart ache for the angel he was.
Why couldn’t he remember? Why couldn’t all his memories just appear overnight?
After weeks of them bonding and of Sam pretending he doesn’t see their blossoming relationship (but always smiling when Dean glares at him), Castiel accepts that he may never regain his past life. He doesn’t need to, though, if it means Dean will continue to kiss him like he’s trying to draw them out, and touch him like he’ll disappear any minute. It’s desperate, sad, but Castiel is drowning in the beauty of it.
The wonder that is Dean making Castiel fall in love with him all over again.
“Wakey, wakey, Cas,” says an irritating voice on a loudspeaker, “did you like that dream of yours?”
Castiel rubs his forehead, the voice having been so loud it felt like it was inside his skull, trying to pry free through the creases in his brow. His eyes open slowly, and he takes in the dim glow of sunlight peeking through his unsightly off-white blinds. Castiel sits up, uncomfortable and chilled by the fact that Dean isn’t wrapped around him in the motel room like they have been for weeks.
“You’re looking for Dean?” the voice chuckles. “You’re not gonna find him, Cas.”
Castiel shifts, slowly, to face the source of the aggravating and skull-piercing voice. Lucifer is hunched over, his feet dangling from the small dresser in this overly clean, overly impersonal room. Castiel’s eyes widen when Lucifer looks down at his nails, uninterested.
He remembers. He remembers everything. Daphne. The demon. Sam. Dean.
“I’m that good, am I?” Lucifer hops off the desk and sits at the foot of Castiel’s bed, “didn’t know if Dean would be that romantic with you or not, but you fell for it, so I guess it was close enough.”
Castiel can’t find words or saliva; his mouth gone dry. His heart suddenly feels too big for his chest, the pressure surrounding it like a vice-grip.
“You really think loverboy would just sweep you off your feet and bring you along like that?” Lucifer chuckles, pointing at Castiel incredulously, “that is hilarious, bro.”
Castiel stays silent, wills his heart to fit back into his chest, and stares straight ahead. Unmoving and mute. Dean had left, and perhaps would never come back. He wishes Dean could have taken his painful memories away with him.
How could reality hurt more than a fantasy The Devil conjured up?