Away with us he’s going
It was strange being alone. He had been in the company of others so long that now, sitting in solitude, staring at stars slowly winking out as dawn approached, he remembered loneliness. It was feeling he could have gone without. It was something he never really wanted to revisit. However, he knew, all those years ago it was inevitable.
He looked up, saw the young woman hovering there holding a large zip-locked bag in her hand. “I… Here. I’m so sorry for your loss.”
He probably surprised her by smiling. “It’s only temporary.”
“I… yes. I suppose that’s a nice way of putting it. It’s so rare people believe in… Believe in beyond anymore. I’m really sorry,” she repeated. “I’ve never done this before. I… I don’t know what to say.”
“You need not say anything. Thank you, for these.” He took the bag gently from her and cradled it against his chest. “I’ll be going now. Thank you, for all you did for him in the end. You were his favourite.”
She blushed, her eyes welled with tears.
He moved forward, wrapping her in his arms without a thought. “Hush, I promise you, he’ll be content where he is now. You have a very kind heart.”
She sniffled loudly and pulled away rubbing her eyes with the back of her hand. “I’m supposed to be the one comforting you. I’m just awful at this.”
“Comfort is a tricky thing. Sometimes we can find our own when we give it to others. Seeing that you cared so much about him actually brings me great joy. Thank you, sincerely, thank you,” he replied. He nodded once and turned to leave.
Her voice stopped him, “Castiel?”
He looked over his shoulder.
“I’ve never seen the level of devotion before that the two of you had for one another. It was beautiful. Thank you for allowing me to see it. It gave me hope that maybe one day, I can find that for myself.”
“I’ll pray that you do. It’s a beautiful thing, a love like that,” Castiel returned gently. “Goodbye.”
Castiel took the bag of Dean’s few remaining personal effects and headed away from the front door of the convalescent hospital. The familiar sight of the Impala was waiting out in the lot. Castiel put a hand on her hood before going around and opening the door, setting Dean’s belongings in the driver’s side. He closed the car again, rested his hand on the roof this time and sent the Impala away, somewhere safe.
Castiel took a step back, watched it disappear before him then took a deep breath. He looked around, one last time, closed his eyes and let go.
When he opened his eyes again he was sitting in the Impala, in the passenger side. Castiel looked over and smiled, tears coming to his eyes, the brilliant blue a reflection of the form he had been so familiar with the last several decades.
“Took you awhile,” Dean remarked casually, young, healthy and whole. Green eyes sparkling.
“Your nurse was very attached to you. I had to assure her you were in a better place before I left. I couldn’t leave her there so sad.”
Dean smiled sadly. “She was a good kid. Sweet.”
“So where are we going?” Castiel asked.
“I suppose wherever we want, huh?”
“Yes, wherever we want.”
“Visit Sam?” Dean asked.
“Sounds wonderful,” Castiel grinned.
“Buckle up, Babe.”
Castiel knew putting on his seatbelt was senseless, there was no death here, no pain, no tasks or torment. Dean had lived his life, for a long full 96 years and now he could rest. Now there was nothing by Heaven at his fingertips. To humour him though, and perhaps for the old familiarity Castiel put on his seatbelt.
Dean grinned, gunned the engine and took off down the two-lane blacktop, endless meadows, green and brilliant in golden sunshine stretching for miles either side of them.
Castiel reached over and took one of Dean’s hands in his own, Dean squeezed it tightly.
It was strange to be free, but he would never be alone again.