After many, many years Supernatural had reached its final season. The programme could have gone on and on, but the three leads had taken the heart-wrenching decision to bring the story to its conclusion, and the season had been hurtling towards a climax that would determine how the story would end for the Winchester brothers and their Angel. The hunter Eileen, who had returned when Chuck reset the past, had been fighting alongside the boys for the past five episodes. Many fans were hopeful of a relationship developing between her and Sam as their evident closeness and obvious chemistry hinted at that possibility.
But what of Dean? The only possibility for a happy ending for Dean appeared to be with Castiel, who had been almost ever-present this season, but whilst many fans held out hope of this, the storylines so far this season left everyone struggling to imagine a happy ending for the tragic hunter. There were even rumours that Dean would die after the promo for the final episode had aired, but most fans nervously rejected that idea. Surely the writers couldn’t be that cruel? There had been many rumours and much debate, most of it centred around Destiel. Would that finally be resolved? Would the writers finally confirm what so many longed for? For years, the writers had flirted with this relationship. Offering breadcrumbs of hope, before brushing them away with acts of betrayal or distrust, or simply inserting scenes that suggested a more brotherly love between Dean and Cas. It never went away though, and this final season had provided more hints and suggestive scenes than ever Although some of these had been subtle, the fandom did not miss a single one, agonising and theorising over each at length on social media sites. Then of course there was the on-screen chemistry between Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins, and that never disappointed. The issue was not so much whether Destiel could be real but whether there could be any sort of happy ending for the pair. It was hard to imagine one, but optimists argued that in the best stories, there was always angst before a happy ending.
So when the last ever Supernatural episode, a two hour special, returned from the penultimate commercial break, there were only twenty minutes of the episode remaining to resolve Sam, Dean and Castiel's fate . Around the globe, Supernatural fans were riveted by their TV screens. Now, on screen, Dean and Cas faced each other. The shot was in close up, the camera initially behind Dean. Both characters were dirty and bloody, and desperation shone from their faces. Behind Castiel, an open portal to Heaven glared a dazzling white. The camera switched to a close up of Dean’s face as he spoke, in a pleading tone. “Stay Cas!” Castiel’s eyes roamed Dean’s face as if he could read some deeper meaning behind those two short words. His brow creased. “I can’t Dean. I have to go.”
“You always do this man, you always leave me!” Dean sounded bitter and Castiel looked hurt.
“Dean, I leave you, to protect you.”
“No. No I am not buying that. Not this time.”
“Dean, Heaven is going into lock-down forever. All angels have been ordered to return, I have been ordered to return”
“And since when were you so big on following orders? What happened to Team Free Will, huh?”
“You don’t understand. Any angel that fails to return will be hunted down and killed. It will be swift, it will be vengeful, and anyone that gets in the way will be collateral damage, I won’t do that to you, I won’t put you in harm’s way Dean!”
“Hell Cas, I have been in harm’s way all my life, don’t I get a say in the matter? If it’s a choice between that and you leaving for good, then I choose that. I am good with it, so you should be too. You and me Cas, that’s the way it should be. One last fight, together, what do you say?”
Castiel took a step towards Dean, closing the already short gap between the two of them. His face shone with anger. “You are not listening to me Dean. I will not choose to put you in harm’s way.”
Dean’s eyes dropped to the ground and he bit his bottom lip. Castiel’s face softened. “We have conquered Hell my friend, but the portal to Heaven won’t close until every last angel on earth has returned. Isn’t that what we have been fighting for? I return, and it’s over; all over. And you can rest my friend. You can live the life you deserve. The life you have earned. You won’t need me anymore Dean”
Dean raised his eyes to meet the angel’s and his expression was tortured. “You’re wrong Cas,” he whispered, “I will always need you.” And his gaze dropped again.
Castiel searched his friend’s face, his beautiful blue eyes wide with wonder.
Dean looked up and their eyes met. He glanced down at Castiel’s lips, just inches from his, and he nervously licked his own, before meeting the angel’s intense gaze again. “I do need you Cas, I have always needed you,” he croaked, looking pleadingly at his angel, and after a pause he added, “and that’s never going to change”.
The camera lingered on a close up of the two characters staring into each others’ eyes for what seemed like an eternity, and the viewing audience held its’ breath (Just kiss already, dammit!)
At last, Castiel responded “Then come with me!”
“Come with me Dean, to Heaven”
“If I pass through that portal, I die though right?”
Castiel looked adoringly at Dean “Your earthly body will die, yes, but your soul will live on forever, in your own personal Heaven. If I stay with you on earth, we will be hunted ruthlessly, and without respite. We can run, and we can fight, but ultimately, we will lose, and we will have no rest, no peace until then, and after we die, you will ascend to Heaven, but I won’t. We will be apart for eternity. That’s not a choice that I have it within me to make. My choices have always been, and will always be to protect you. It has always been about you. No matter how much the choices I have to make, hurt me. I will always choose you”
Castiel raised his hand and ever so gently stroked the side of Dean’s face, causing him to swallow visibly. “Come with me, and I can be whatever you need me to be; do whatever you need me to do. I can watch over you. Forever.” His own eyes dropped for a moment, before he returned Dean’s gaze again with a more determined look. “I will never have to leave you again. Ever.”
Again, the two characters stared at each other for agonisingly long seconds before Dean finally whispered, “Okay”
Suddenly, both characters leant into each other and their lips met for the just the briefest moment before the light from Heaven’s portal intensified, and everything turned a dazzling white, and then the screen turned black, and the programme cut to a commercial break.
Social media erupted:
“Oh my Chuck, they went there... Destiel is cannon!!”
“I'm literally screaming #DestielisCannon”
“The day I died! #Destiel”
However, the general euphoria was tinged with a slight feeling of dissatisfaction and disappointment. No-one could deny Destiel now, and for the majority, that was extremely gratifying, but the kiss, it had been so brief. Couldn’t the programme have given them just a little more to enjoy? Plus, neither character had actually used the L word. They had chosen each other; Dean had chosen Cas over life; the on screen chemistry had been electric and their lips has actually met. It just felt like the writers and directors could have given the fans just a little bit more, prolonged the kiss for just a few seconds. Was this another example of the programme not wanting to upset a small but vocal minority, even as it took its final bow?
In one home, on a large leather sofa, two actors sat side by side, slightly closer than was strictly necessary, their knees touching in warm and comfortable companionship. The one with eyes the colour of emeralds spoke, “How many takes did we need to perfect that kiss?”
His companion who had the most amazing blue eyes, replied with a smirk, as he recalled a very enjoyable afternoon’s filming “Twenty three”
“Twenty three takes to perfect a kiss for which the fandom has been clamouring for so many years, and they used about half a second of the footage.”
“I have to say, the first take felt pretty perfect to me, not that I objected to another twenty two attempts!” The blue-eyed actor responded, and he raised his beer bottle to his mouth to try and hide the smirk that was tugging at his lips.
His friend mirrored the action, trying to hide his own smirk, as he too recalled those twenty three, not strictly necessary, takes, and warmth spread through his body. He pressed his leg just a little harder against his companion’s leg, and the warmth turned to a more intense heat, as the gesture was reciprocated.
On screen, the Supernatural season logo appeared, signalling the programme’s return. The camera panned across a cold, grey, cloudy sky before dropping slowly to show Sam Winchester, dressed in black, standing in front of a small gravestone. The camera angle showed the back of the gravestone, so the inscription was not visible. The angle was low and tight on Sam. Sam stared at the stone for several long moments, his expression inscrutable.
A hand slipped into his, and the camera panned out to show Eileen, as she took Sam’s arm and moved in close to him. “Are you okay?” She asked gazing up at Sam. Sam nodded slowly, “I am”, he replied turning to give her a gentle smile. “He’s finally at peace, I am convinced of that. Heaven is real, so I know he is not really gone and more importantly, I know I will see him again one day.”
The camera closed in on Sam’s face as he seemed to struggle to find more words to express his thoughts and feelings. Then he just smiled. “He’s in a good place and he is happy, I know it”.
“What does the inscription mean” Eileen asked with a small frown The shot switched to the gravestone, slowly scrolling down past “Dean Winchester” in large gold lettering and a date range that reflected a life cut short at far too young an age, before resting on the final inscription:
“Gone to sleep with his Angel”
The shot, cut back to Sam. “Exactly what it says, I hope!” and he smiled and nodded slowly, then lifted his face skywards, as if he might somehow get a glimpse of Heaven through the dense, grey clouds.
Then Sam and Eileen turned, and walked away arm in arm, their dialogue fading with the end of the scene.
“Can we get a dog? I really want a dog!”
“Yes, we can get a dog.”
The scene switched to a dazzlingly white room. White floor, white walls, no furniture except a bed, with snowy white linen, and in that bed a sleeping Dean Winchester. The sheets were pulled up to his waist, and he was shirtless, his body tanned and free from scars or any sign of the battles that had made up so much of his earthly existence. His face looked peaceful.
A character appeared in the background, hazy and out of focus, it approached the bed and the sleeping Dean. The character reached the bed and perched on the edge behind the sleeping hunter, dropping a feather-light kiss on to his nearest shoulder.
The picture sharpened and expanded, bringing the character into clear focus. It was Castiel. He was dressed very differently from his normal earthly attire. Gone was the over-sized suit, and tatty trench coat. He was dressed in form-fitting black britches which showed off strong, muscular thighs, long black riding boots, and a flowing white shirt, which was open at the throat; at the graceful, tanned throat. He looked every bit like a romantic hero from an English period drama. His dark locks were tousled and messy, and perfect. The lack of colour in the scene only served to highlight the incredible blue of his eyes even more so than usual. Those eyes were currently gazing at Dean in silent worship.
Dean stirred and turned to face his Angel, pulling him down into a warm embrace. Castiel returned the hug for several long moments before pulling away with the sweetest smile.
“I have made you breakfast, pancakes and bacon” he said adoringly, as his eyes slowly roamed up and down Dean’s prone body. “You should come and eat”.
“That sounds awesome Cas, and eating is absolutely second on my list of priorities this morning”, Dean quipped, cocking an eyebrow at his angel, in a teasing manner, as he ran am appreciative hand up the outside of Cas' right thigh and gave a gentle squeeze. “I am so psyched that my personal Heaven allows me to dictate how you dress by the way”, he added cockily.
Cas smiled shyly back at Dean, and shifted his position on the edge of the bed, to lean in towards the man he adored. “But Dean, the bacon will get cold” he breathed as his lips brushed Dean’s right cheek, before moving to nuzzle behind his right ear.
“Well you know what Cas?” Dean responded pulling his angel even closer, “I like cold bacon”, their lips met in a kiss that was both sweet and urgent and delivered everything that the fans had been longing for. After a moment, Dean pulled away slightly, before concluding, “But I love you” and then the two rolled together in a loving and passionate embrace.
The camera panned out slowly and the scene gradually slipped out of focus, fading to white, as Angel in My Heart, sung by Mick Jagger played out before the closing credits appeared.
Play upon your heart strings to me
I will sing a strange melody
Dance with me a magic ballet
Stay with me 'til night turns to day Let me in your dreams
Angel in my heart
Angel in my heart
And then the internet really did explode.
On that big leather sofa, the two misty eyed actors sat even closer than before, their bodies pressed together from shoulder to shin, fingers tightly entwined. As the credits rolled, it signified the end of such a major part of their life, a shared passion and love that could not easily be replaced. As they turned at the same time to gaze intensely into each other’s eyes, a real life parody of their on-screen characters, they both knew that the final chapter of that amazing story was about to herald in the next chapter of their own private and even more amazing adventure, one they would share with each other, their wives and their children, if not the outside world.