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It always had to end like this.

Angry, red fire.

Dean couldn't feel the hot flames burning in front of him. He barely felt the sweat dripping from his forehead. He didn't mind when the wind blew the fire in his direction.

In fact, Dean Winchester couldn't feel a damn thing.

The hunter couldn't feel anything because everything he had to feel was right there. In the fire. Burning away and turning into dust.

He couldn't feel anything when he picked up Castiel's lifeless body and placed it in the table. He couldn't feel when he touched the angel's face for the last time, feeling the skin that was once warm, turning colder by the second. He held his motionless hands, squeezing as if life would transfer from him to Castiel. He ran fingers through his angel's hair, dark strands drowning his caress.

He didn't feel a thing when he wrapped his lover's body in curtains he had ripped off the walls. Or when he carried him outside to burn.

Then Sam started the fire. Because Dean couldn't feel a damn thing and had forgotten how to work a lighter.

Dean watched every single minute of it. He watched because he felt like he owned it to Cas. It was his fault he was up there, in the fire. So the least he could do was to watch his lover become dust, even if it took a whole day.

It was close to an hour when Sam walked inside, leaving Dean alone with the remains of a life he once loved.

He hated himself.

He hated himself for all the times he had let the angel down. Or when he mistreated him, when he lied to him, even when he hurt him.

But mostly, he hated himself because for all these years, Dean could never tell him. Never confess what he felt for the angel. He was too afraid of rejection, or maybe even afraid of admitting to himself the deep love he felt towards the angel. He had too much time, too much to say. And he never did.

It was close to two hours, when Dean collapsed. Knees first in the hot dirt, hands out against his thighs as if he had something to grasp. He hadn't. It was all dust now.

He screamed, literally. Guttural shouts and sorrowful cries he couldn't hold back anymore. Years and years of love lost, gone, because he was scared.

I love you, he screamed.

I'm so sorry, he bawled.

Please, I can't go on without you, he wailed.

But it was too late.

It was close to three hours when Sam reappeared.

Dean's frame was shaking, the fire was now just a weak spark, crackling in contrast to Dean's loud cries.

The younger Winchester approached, scared and hurt himself by seeing his brother like this.

Dean didn't noticed his brother's presence. Or he didn't mind it.

There was a million things Sam wanted to say. But he bet on silence, and it was probably the best call.

Four hours and Dean dropped his head on his hands as the fire went out, leaving behind a trace of grey dust and burnt wood ash.

Let's get inside, Sam pleaded.

But Dean had too much too say still, and he couldn't get the words out.

I loved him, Sammy, he cried.

I know, Sam replied.

Dean prayed silently in his head, hoping Castiel would appear by his side like he always did. He imagined the angel's deep voice in his mind; he imagined blue eyes sparkling every time he closed him own. He was his dream, and now a nightmare.

Dean hated himself when he stood up and got inside the house, leaving the wind blow away the rest of his lover.

His heart burned with sorrow.

It always had to end up like this.

In angry, red fire.

But he felt ice cold.

And blue, like Castiel's eyes.