Their final moments are upon them. They’ve played their final card and Chuck is announcing curtain call. But Dean still has a few seconds left. A few seconds to right the only wrong he’s ever truly regretted.
He turns to Cass a teary smile on his face, he can see the angel’s mind trying to churn out a solution. He stayed by their side through thick and thin and now there would be no more. Throughout his life, Dean managed to weasel his way out of many jams, but an apocalypse year in and year out has taken its toll. Dean is tired. He knows he should be following Cass’ lead. To find a way out. Glancing to his other side, he can see the look of determination on Sam’s face. If anyone deserves to make it out alive, it would be Sam. He’s the only one of them who has a chance at normal. But Chuck won’t let that happen.
So Dean will do the only thing he can do. His one final move in the famous final scene of Chuck’s shitty story. Something that Chuck believed completely unfathomable; especially in regards to a character who should have been written out years ago. Something, that, throughout all the universes, he’d never seen – not once.
Dean is about to answer a question that Cass should have never even needed to ask.
And maybe – maybe – one last ditch effort in a world gone mad is enough to turn the tides just enough so they might hear what ‘the exultant sound of a canon booming in the night’ really means.
Ten Days Earlier And Many Universes Away
The plan is simple. Michael will take them on a tour of the multi-verses. Just because Chuck says something is true, doesn’t mean that it is. There must be one place. One universe where the good guys smelt the crap spewing from Chuck’s mouth and rebelled successfully.
The first world Michael takes them to, they were never born. The apocalypse is in full swing, with Chuck manning the tanker at the head of the charge. Next is a world where Sam and Dean both said yes and the prize fight had been years ago. Everyone knows about the things that go bump in the night and they all tried to kill them.
The next earth is quieter. They find a version of Sam and Dean who have retired and rest peacefully at a small fishing cabin. Dean sees the framed pictures on the wall. Of him. Of Sam. Even some of Castiel. But the angel is nowhere to be seen.
“Where’s Cass?” he asks.
Silence follows then.
“He left.” Says the other Sam, throwing a forlorn glance at his brother. “Went back to Heaven before the gates closed.”
Dean throws a glance at his own Cass. “That’s to be expected.”
Sam gives a minute shake of his head before Michael whisks them off again.
This time, they find a version of Cass alone in an empty grave yard. He stands stiffly before a tombstone, his trench-coat billowing and blocking the writing. Michael coughs and Castiel jumps back to stare at them in shock.
“Dean.” He breathes, staring as though seeing a ghost.
“Hey man.” Dean gives a flimsy wave.
Castiel seems to snap out of his trance then and pitches forward, fling his arms around Dean. He finds himself pinned to Castiel’s shoulder as the angel squeezes the life from him. Now that the way is clear though, Dean gets a good look at the tomb stone.
Brother, Friend, Guardian
Deceased: 16th January 2023
“Dean. Dean.” This Castiel’s tearful pleas break him from his trance. “I missed you. I – I’m so sorry I couldn’t – I couldn’t save you. Dean I’m s-sorry. Dean-” he breaks off, sobbing into Dean’s coat. His grief is so profound that it seeps into Dean and he feels tears of his own gathering as Castiel clutches him tightly. He feels like the most wretched son of a bitch to have ever lived. Because he’s about to plunge the angel back into despair. To tell him that Dean isn’t the Dean he knows. That they have to leave.
“Cass.” He says gently. The angel pulls back to look at him, still clutching Dean’s sleeve. Dean freezes then. How can he do this? The sheer emotions on Castiel’s face: relief, fatigue, guilt, sadness. “I-”
“This isn’t the Dean you know.” His Cass’ voice is gentle but firm yet it makes his counterpart’s face fall instantly.
He pulls away from Dean, stricken, and glances back at the grave, a fresh set of tears spilling from his eyes.
“Cass. I’m sorry.” Dean offers gently. “I know it wasn’t your fault.”
“But it was.” He says, haunted. “I drove him away. I told him-” he breaks off, breathing harshly, his eyes are locked onto their Cass. “Well, you know what.”
Dean is lost. But now isn’t the time for explanations. “How is Sam taking it?”
He stiffens against Dean, his body rigid with a roiling anger. “He’s the one who killed you.” Castiel growls. “When I left. He caught you alone. He murdered you.”
“No!” he yells. “No. Sam would never do that.”
Castiel seems to compose himself then. “Maybe not your Sam. But here… Sam … Sam was driven mad by Lucifer’s possession. He kept begging you to free Michael. To fight even though we destroyed Lucifer. When you refused, he became violent. We fought him off but you couldn’t harm him; he was your brother.” he looks Dean in the eye. “I suspect. Once I left, you… had a moment of doubt. And he killed you for it.”
Dean glances back helplessly. It wasn’t Sam’s fault he was driven mad. But that isn’t what Castiel needs to hear.
“I’m sorry about your Dean.” He says gently. “But it wasn’t your fault. I know me. It was only a matter of time before I tried to save Sam.”
“I know.” He whispers. “I just wish I had-”
“There were things left unsaid between us.” He murmurs. “And Heaven is closed and all my allies are dead. No demon will even take my deal and I have nothing left here. But Death will never come to be.”
Heart constricting, he rests a hand on Castiel’s shoulder. “We can’t stay here long.” he says gently. “But… maybe… you can tell me. The things you left unsaid.”
Castiel’s eyes flash to Cass and Dean sees some form of silent communication pass between them. “Some things… aren’t for you to hear from me.” he takes a step forward and wraps his arms around Dean, cradling his head to his shoulder. “But I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you. I’m sorry that you suffered but I hope that – that the time we did spend together wasn’t completely horrible for you.”
Squeezing back, Dean sighs, speaking softly. “If you’re anything like my Cass… you were always my big win.” He doesn’t say that he felt like crap every time Cass disappeared without a trace, never calling or checking in or about the countless screw-ups that could have been avoided had he only trusted Dean. Castiel doesn’t need to hear that.
“At least I get a good-bye this time.” Castiel pulls away slightly and gives him the tiniest smile. “Good-bye Dean.” He presses a swift kiss to Dean’s cheek.
҈ §§§ȸ§§§ ҈҉