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Drifting

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Snow has always been something that has fascinated Castiel the most. It’s so unlike everything else in life. For the most part it is peaceful, serene, it drifts lazily towards the ground, not in any hurry to get anywhere, simply existing. 

The sight of a single snowflake brings so much joy and Cas’s heart leaps everytime one of his second graders spots that first moment of a snowfall, class abandoned as everybody rushes to the window to watch the world slowly turn a pure, blissful white. 

Standing here surrounded by nature, thousands of tiny specks of white kissing everything in sight, Castiel feels like he could be in a fairy tale. Everything is so beautiful it doesn’t feel real.

He feels a small hand slip into his and he squeezes. He’s glad she brought them here today, no matter how much it may hurt. 

He looks at the stone in front of him and smiles slightly, his eyes crinkling at the motion, pushing a teardrop onto his cheek. He doesn’t wipe it away.

“He always loved the first day of snow,” Claire says, looking up towards her father. Castiel nods sadly, his smile holding strong despite the pain. 

“Yes he did,” he agreed, whispering, willing his voice not to crack. 

Cas doesn’t move his eyes from the gravestone as Claire moves to wrap her arms around him, nuzzling her face into his side. 

“Do you miss him?” she asks into his coat.

“Every day, sweet pea,” Cas says. They stand in a companionable quiet before Claire speaks up.

“Me too,” she says simply, a little bit sad. “But we’ve still got each other.” Cas’s breath catches in his throat, and he bends down, pulling his five year old into his arms. He kisses her cheek and she pushes her face into his neck.

Cas reaches out to touch the top of Dean’s grave, brushing away some of the soft snow that had already settled there.

Despite the cold of the stone, in that moment Cas could feel the warmth of Dean running through him, their small family united once again. 

They stood like that, Claire, tiny in his arms, snow drifting all around them. It was early this year, earlier than Cas had ever seen, but he supposed it was fitting that a day like today would look so beautiful. 

It had only been five months since his husband had died, killed in service overseas.

In the distance, near the entrance to the graveyard, Cas hears a single bugle begin to play. 

The Last Post.

Ever since Dean enlisted they had attended Veterans Day services every year. 

Cas had never been to a service without him.

As the notes begin to die out, Cas puts Claire down and she runs back a few yards to get the wreath made of bright red poppies she had made in school.

Gently she lies it on her father’s grave, and Cas reaches forwards to brush away the snow that’s covering the front of the stone. 

Dean Winchester , it reads. Loving father and husband to Claire and Castiel Winchester. 

Claire traces the letters of her name, but Cas’s eyes flick downwards. Beneath their names and Dean’s date of birth and death is another line.

Thank you will never be enough , and Cas know that it’s true, but he thinks the words anyway, echoing through his brain so deafeningly loud.

Thank you , he thinks. Thank you for your service . Thank you for loving me. Thank you for bringing Claire into my life. Thank you. Thank you. 

It’s not enough. 

I miss you