Mary remembered the first time that she saw colors.
It wasn't how she'd imagined it as a little girl.
Not like it was in the movies with the gasps and the sudden realisation. All brought together with the perfect kiss with the fireworks behind the new found soulmates.
Not at all.
Mary was sat alone at the bar after a big argument with her parents when all of a sudden her world burst into color just as someone collided into her.
She could suddenly see what everyone had been talking about with how dull the bar was, how her jeans seemed to be the only bright thing in the place.
She seemed to remember her mother saying her jeans were blue but how could she be sure?
Mary was so distracted by the sudden flurry of color that she almost forgotten that someone had crashed into her side.
Mary had jumped into action and shoved a startled John Winchester off her and back towards the man that he appeared to be in a fist fight with, finished her drink quickly and headed out of the bar to see if outside had more interesting colors to lay her eyes on.
Fifteen minutes later John Winchester had come outside wiping blood from his lip with a cocky smirk.
Nothing like the movies.
No meet cute for Mary.
But she didn't mind.
Almost no one that she knew had a cute moment of meeting their soulmates like the movies.
She did hope that her sons would have a better story than hers though.
She didn't expect it to happen to her oldest son so young.
And she would have hoped that she handled it much better than she did.
It all started on a sunny afternoon.
The heat was almost overwhelming and the sun was blaringly bright.
Mary and John were both squinting in the sunlight, their two young boys weren't phased by the bright colors of course.
Dean was happily singing along to the completely age inappropriate Led Zeppelin songs in his car seat on their way to the beach.
Sam was beside him gurgling and wriggling his toes in his new sandals specially bought for beach days.
Mary laughed along at some of Dean's bad attempts at the words in the songs, five year olds typically have a hard time saying "threshing oar".
John and Mary hadn't had the talk with their oldest son about soulmates yet.
That was usually left until they were old enough to have the birds and the bees talk anyway.
Well, that's when Mary was taught about soulmates anyway.
It hadn't even occurred to Mary or John to speak to Dean about soulmates anyway.
The youngest soulmate meet up they'd ever known was when Bobby Singer met his soulmate at the tender age of twelve.
So with Dean at the age of five and Sam not even one year old yet, it was the last thing on their minds.
John and Mary were happy to let Dean wander on the beach since it was only a small beach and seemed relatively quiet.
Most people had probably gone to the bigger and better beach a few miles down the road.
John and Mary preferred the peace and quiet of the smaller beach though.
It seemed the same for the Novaks.
Mary knew of the Novak family from switching churches after her and John were married.
The Novaks were a big religious family.
Seeming to have at least one new child every year.
Mary didn't know how they kept track, she certainly couldn't.
But from what she knew they were a nice family.
She was more than happy to let Dean play with them whilst she supervised Sam experiencing sand for the first time and John promptly fell asleep in the sun.
Mary cast her eyes over to where Dean was playing.
He and a few of the younger Novak boys were all burying each others legs in the sand, laughing and shouting to one another.
Mary smiled until she noticed two of the older Novak boys hurtling towards the younger group.
She was about to yell at them to slow down but the boy sat beside Dean stood up and crossed his arms across his chest, glaring at his older brothers.
"You're gunna break our san'castles!" He pouted.
"Stop being a baby, Castiel." One cackled and stood on a sandcastle.
The other grinned and pushed Castiel roughly.
Castiel wobbled and tried to steady himself with his arms.
Mary cast her eyes over to the Novak parents who were preoccupied with the children closer to them.
Mary sighed, getting ready to wake John up if this escalated any further.
Castiel managed to steady himself and went back to crossing his arms and glaring at his brothers. "Pick on someone your own size!"
"Yeah!" Dean joined in.
Mary rolled her eyes and picked Sam up, ready to go over.
The two older boys laughed again and started to leave.
One of them kicking Castiel on their way past, this time Castiel couldn't steady himself and toppled over in the sand.
His hand landing on Dean's bare shoulder to break his fall.
Mary saw Dean recoil but then gasp at the same time that Castiel did.
They both grinned and started to laugh together, Castiel's hand still on Dean's shoulder.
Mary thought nothing of it.
Not for a couple more hours when she was calling over for Dean to come back because they were leaving.
"No!" Dean huffed, grabbing his new friends hand, stomping his foot. "I wanna stay with Cas."
Mary sighed. "Now."
Dean pouted but pulled Castiel into a hug which Castiel returned with a surprised look on his face.
Dean waved to Castiel as he made his way back to Mary with a wobbling bottom lip.
"What's the matter, honey?" Mary cooed, getting Sam's sandals back on.
"My friend is gone away now." Dean sniffed.
"You've got plenty of friends on our street, Dean. You can play out whilst your Mom cooks dinner tonight." John ruffled his sons hair.
Dean shrugged away, hanging his head. "I wanna play with Cas."
"I'm sure we can set up for Cas to come play sometime soon, sweetheart." Mary smiled.
Dean's face lit up. "You gotta call him Castiel, Mommy 'cos you're not his friend yet."
Mary and John both chuckled.
"He's got really awesome eyes though, Daddy. Did you see them?" Dean grinned.
"What color were they?" Mary asked, playing along.
"Like he's gonna know that." John snorted. "He's five, Mary. We've got at least ten years before we gotta worry about teaching him colors."
Dean shook his head. "I can see better now, Daddy."
John gave Dean a confused look and lifted Dean up into his arms as they started walking to the car. "What do you mean, huh?"
"It's not dark now." Dean explained. "Mommy, can I have ice cream after dinner please?"
Both John and Mary shared a look, both realising what had happened.
Both of them not quite believing it but not wanting to question it too much either.
"Yeah of course you can." Mary's voice was shaky as she buckled Sam into his car seat.
"Can I see Cas soon too?" Dean let John buckle him in.
"We'll see." Mary nodded, not looking at Dean or John.
Dean beamed, unaware of either of his parents panic.
The night went by as usual for the Winchesters, the only thing different was the constant mention of Cas from the beach with the awesome eyes.
Every few minutes Dean would ask if he could see him.
Each time he was mentioned John and Mary's fears worsened as the theory clearly settled in.
"I don't think we should tell him." John sighed when they were finally in bed.
"We can't just keep it a secret that he's found his soulmate, John. It's not fair." Mary argued.
"Think about it rationally." John snapped. "Dean's five. That kid looks around the same age. They won't remember this. They're probably gonna figure it out when they're older. I'm not having my son grow up with the stigma already fucking attached."
Mary's lips thinned. "You're just hoping they won't figure it out and find other people."
"I never said that, Mary." John scoffed.
"It's what you mean though."
John sighed, turning to face Mary in bed. "Look, I ain't happy about it. I want Dean to be happy. But soulmates with a boy? At such a young age? That's just asking for trouble."
"He'll be happy with his soulmate who just so happens to be a boy. Who cares?"
"I do." John grit his teeth. "And I know you do too. It'll be better this way. We can tell him when he's older."
Mary pursed her lips.
She knew that John was right.
As much as she wanted herself to be completely okay with her son having a male soulmate, she couldn't fool herself.
She'd spent the last five years imagining Dean's entire future.
None of them involved him having a husband.
"When he's eighteen?" Mary whispered.
"Sounds reasonable. Y'never know, Dean might forget in a few days."
Mary nodded, it wasn't like they bumped into the Novak's that often.
And they could also switch churches again.
But it was clear that Dean wasn't forgetting about Castiel.
Every day was like a battle for Mary.
Trying to get him into day care was a nightmare because Castiel wasn't there.
Trying to get him to go grocery shopping because Castiel wasn't there.
Mary had started to say that they might see Castiel on whatever errands they were running.
But when they didn't bump into the Novak's Dean would act out by throwing tantrums in the grocery store, throwing his toys when they got home, drawing on the walls in his bedroom, screaming at his teachers at day care.
Mary was at her wits end.
Usually when Dean acted up he'd stop when John would get home but Dean just seemed to carry on.
Mary was about to give in after Dean had thrown all of his dinner on the floor and just take him to the Novak's house when there was a knock on the door.
Mary sighed and dragged Dean to the naughty step yet again, praying his yelling wouldn't wake up Sam from his nap.
"Stay there mister." She warned and went to answer the door.
Mary heard a child like scream from the other side of the door, opening it to see a very exhausted looking Chuck Novak with Castiel lay by his feet screaming at the top of his lungs, feet stamping on the floor.
Chuck looked how Mary felt.
"You promised we go to the beach!" Castiel screeched, kicking his feet at Chuck's shins.
Chuck sighed. "Hello. I'm Chuck Novak. Please can we organise a play date before I leave him outside the church."
Mary heard Dean starting to throw his toys from the naughty step, yelling that he wanted to see Castiel.
"Mary. Please." Mary nodded and smiled at the pair.
"I asked around church for your address." Chuck admitted. "He's been like this since the beach day last week."
"Dean's been the same." Mary admitted. "Come in."
Chuck smiled and picked up Castiel from the floor who was still throwing his arms around and screaming about going to the beach.
Mary led them into the kitchen, Chuck put Castiel down on his feet but Castiel quickly flopped onto the floor and carried on his shouting even though clearly Chuck was trying to ignore him.
Mary had tried that.
It hadn't worked.
"Dean, come back here please." She called.
She heard Dean groan and stomp his way over to the kitchen.
Dean glowered at Mary but his eyes fell onto Castiel on the floor and his face changed, Castiel seemed to notice that Dean's name had been said and he stood up.
Dean flung himself at Castiel and they both started to laugh, hugging one another.
"Boys, go and play in the living room. Dean, be nice. No more naughty step today." Mary warned.
Dean gave Mary a look that was sweet as pie whilst Castiel gave his father an apologetic look, they took each others hands and ran to the living room.
"I have no idea what's gotten into my son." Chuck groaned. "I didn't know what else to do."
"Same here. Dean's never really been one for tantrums. We leave that to his father." Mary joked.
"I wish I could say the same for Castiel." Chuck laughed. "But he's never been this bad."
"Chuck can I ask you something?" Mary chewed on her cheek.
This wasn't telling Dean.
This was just an answer for Chuck.
Chuck nodded and accepted the coffee that Mary silently offered.
"Has Castiel said anything about colors recently?" Mary led them both into the living room.
Chuck let out a big sigh of relief. "Yes. He won't stop asking me what colors things are, I've argued with him multiple times that he won't know until he's older but he's insisting that he knows now."
"Do you think that-" Mary nodded towards the boys.
They were both sat across from each other, both wearing Dean's cowboy hats and playing with the green army men making gun noises at one another.
Chuck grimaced. "I-I think so, I can't be sure. I mentioned it to my wife but she's very religious. She'd never accept-"
Mary nodded. "It's the only thing that explains the tantrums and how they're both suddenly into colors. Dean never mentioned anything like it before."
Chuck huffed. "How do we know? Maybe they've just seen something on TV?"
"Boys?" Mary caught their attention. "Shall we play a game together?"
Mary decided on testing their color knowledge, not that they'd know the names of the colors.
Mary smiled whilst Chuck looked uneasy.
"Okay, so Dean, do you know what is the same color as the sky?"
"Cas' eyes are the like the sky." Dean nodded excitedly. "And your jeans too, Mommy."
"Castiel, what is the same color as my hair?" Mary asked, pointing to her hair.
Castiel stuck out his tongue as he thought. "A bumble bee!"
"Mommy! It's my turn!" Dean was giggling.
Chuck cleared his throat. "What's the same color as my shirt?"
"The carpet is!" Dean pointed. "Am I winning?"
Chuck ignored Dean and turned to Castiel, his fingers crossing behind his back.
"Castiel, what is the same color as Dean's eyes?"
Castiel didn't look to Dean before he answered with a huge grin. "The grass outside, Daddy."
Chuck's fingers uncrossed behind his back, his face falling.
"Who won?" Dean asked. "I wanna rematch!"
"You can go back and play now, boys." Mary smiled wryly and turned to Chuck. "What do you want to do?"
Chuck sighed. "It's not like we can keep them away from each other. But-"
"John says we shouldn't tell them until they're eighteen." Mary interrupted what she knew would be Chuck repeating what John had already said.
"Won't they figure it out before then?"
"If they do then we should tell them but John thinks they shouldn't be raised with the stigma already attatched y'know?"
Chuck nodded. "They could find other people too."
"I guess." Mary swallowed nervously and looked at the boys playing together.
Seemingly so innocent.
Just two friends.
But Mary knew.
Chuck followed her eyes and grimaced. "Naomi will not like this."
"Don't tell her." Mary said quickly. "There's no point in explaining everything when they're just two little boys. It's innocent."
Chuck shrugged. "I guess we'll be seeing a lot more of each other."
"I guess so." Mary forced a smile. "Is Castiel starting school soon?"
"Yes, in August. Dean too?"
Mary nodded, unsure of what she was feeling.
Excitement that her son had a soulmate so young and wouldn't be searching like everyone else.
Dread that her son had a soulmate so young and would be terrorised that they were both male in a small town in Kansas.
Soon enough Dean was sulking when Castiel had to leave but was quickly soothed with the promise that he would be back soon and they'd be going to school together at the end of summer.
A lot had happened in thirteen years.
Birthdays, weddings, christenings, funerals, driving lessons, new babies, family arguments, heartbreaks, girlfriends, secret boyfriends, drinking, prank wars, vacations.
Castiel's and Dean's lives were tangled up together and no one could stop it no matter how hard they tried.
They were joined at the hip and everyone knew it.
Teachers, parents, friends, girlfriends, secret boyfriends, extended family, cops.
The entire town knew that you couldn't have one without the other.
But on the lead up to graduation things were strained between the pair.
Everyone had noticed it.
Sam was trailing behind his brother and best friend whilst they fought on the way home, yet again.
Sam rolled his eyes at the right times.
It didn't matter what the fight was about and who was in the right.
Sam just wanted them to give it up already and just talk about whatever it was really about.
But clearly they weren't going to talk about it.
Dean had turned to ignoring Castiel which was always a good way to get Castiel more riled up.
Sam bolted ahead of them both into the house and made his way to his bedroom.
Dean huffed at being alone outside with Castiel but marched his way to his front door and slammed it shut behind him, carrying on his pace to his bedroom.
He heard Castiel catching the door and following him upstairs with a deep frown.
Dean didn't bother slamming his bedroom door, he simply shrugged his bag off his shoulder and kicked his shoes off before flopping down onto the bed.
"Shut up, Cas." Dean groaned into the pillow.
Dean heard Cas shutting the door then taking off his shoes and carefully placing them beside his bag like usual.
He felt Cas climbing over him to sit beside him on the bed.
Dean gave in. "I don't get it. Why'd you wanna go?"
"I've always wanted to. You know that." Cas sighed, sick of explaining.
Dean sat up and glared at his best friend, his ears tinging red from anger. "No. That's what your Dad wants you to do. You ain't a soilder, Cas."
"And you'd know that would you?" Castiel matched Dean's expression, crossing his arms.
"Yeah, actually I would. I've known you forever. You don't want this."
"I do." Castiel's face was stoic but his voice wavered when Dean met his eyes.
"We can fight about this until we're blue in the face, we ain't gonna agree. But please, Cas. Think about what I'm saying."
Castiel chuckled sarcastically. "Blue in the face."
"What now?" Dean huffed.
"That's another reason I want to go. I don't have a soulmate, Dean. So what's the point in sticking around to find someone when I don't have one?"
"So it's a suicide mission then?" Dean snapped, shoving Castiel off his bed and standing up, his arms shaking.
"I never said that." Castiel argued, standing up from the floor.
"You don't see me going off to war to get myself shot because I don't have a soulmate either. That's the most stupid thing I've ever heard, Cas."
"I-I didn't mean it like that." Castiel gulped, remembering that Dean was in the exact same position as he was. "I don't have one. So why waste my time hoping for one to show up when I could be out there fighting-"
"That's not you. You hate conflict." Dean sighed.
"I'm not having this fight." Dean interrupted again.
"You can't just stop a fight when you've said everything that you want."
"Too bad. That's what I'm doing."
Castiel glowered, stepping closer his eyes not leaving Dean's. "No, Dean. I'm going into the army, there's nothing you can do to stop me."
Dean gulped, his mother's words ringing around in his head from a few months ago.
She had come clean on his eighteenth birthday, whilst Castiel was busy with John and Sam putting a bow on the impala.
Mary had sat him down and told him everything, saying that Castiel should already know since he'd turned eighteen a few months before.
But Castiel clearly didn't know and Dean couldn't tell him.
Castiel would think it was a lie to get him to stay with him.
But Castiel was going to leave him and most likely get himself shot in the process.
"Just please. I-I'm telling you not to. Please just trust me. Just 'cos-" Dean begged, his hand on Castiel's shoulder.
Castiel shrugged him off. "My Dad said I should go. I can't just say no to him."
"You're an adult Cas, you can do what you want." Dean argued.
"So are you and you follow your father's orders." Castiel countered, raising an eyebrow.
"He's never ordered me to go and get myself blown up before." Dean snarled, knowing how the words would twist like a knife in the gut.
He knew how strained Castiel's relationship with his father was these past few years.
He knew to never bring it up in an argument.
Castiel grit his teeth and stormed out of Dean's bedroom, slamming the door.
His bag and his shoes forgotten on the floor.
Dean stood there like a statue listening to Castiel stomp down the stairs and slam the front door, from the corner on his eye he could see Castiel through the window storming up the street with his brightly colored socks standing out.
After five minutes Sam hesitantly opened Dean's bedroom door.
"Nothing." Dean growled and turned away from his younger brother.
"Cas looked really mad."
"Yeah, he will be. I was a dick to him."
"How come?" Sam sat himself on Dean's bed, noticing Castiel's stuff still neatly on the floor by Dean's bag.
"I don't want him to leave." Dean fumbled around his desk trying to find his headphones.
"How's being a dick gonna help?"
"I don't know Sam! I just did it!" Dean snapped, plugging in the headphones.
"I think it'll be better tomorrow. You're best friends."
Dean laughed with no humor.
He wished that Mary had never told him the truth.
Or maybe she could have told them both.
But she didn't.
So Dean was left knowing that Castiel was his soulmate and had been all along and Castiel had no idea.
Dean tried to text him but he got ignored.
Dean understood it.
He guessed he deserved a bit of silent treatment.
Graduation came and went with them not speaking to one another.
Dean wanted to apologise but every time he was ready to he would just remember that Castiel was going to get shot at soon he'd get angry all over again.
He did hear that Castiel would be leaving soon, news travelled fast in the small town.
A few days before Castiel was due to go there was a soft knock on Dean's bedroom door.
Dean didn't answer, he carried on listening to his music, his head in the pillows.
That was until he felt someone climbing over him to sit on the bed beside him.
Always climbing over instead of walking around the bed to the other side.
Only one person did that.
Dean turned around, pulling his headphones off, seeing the all too familiar blue eyes.
"Hey, Cas." Dean smiled.
"Hello, Dean." Castiel smiled back.
"I'm sorry for-" Dean started.
"It's okay." Castiel opened his arms.
Dean collided into his body, trying to let him know everything with the hug, knowing for a fact that Castiel would never catch on.
Castiel wrapped his arms around Dean tightly, his chin resting on Dean's head.
"I'll miss you, Dean." He whispered.
"I already miss you, man. Please don't go." Dean blinked away the tears that were quickly forming at the thought of Castiel with a gun in his hand.
"I have to." Castiel's breath caught just as Dean felt something wet on his forehead.
So Castiel was clearly crying too.
That made Dean feel a little better about his tears, he moved so he was no longer in a hug and was facing Castiel instead.
"Why are you crying? You hardly ever cry."
"I haven't spent more than a week away from you since we met and it's been almost two months. I-I've never felt like this before and I guess-I guess I'm scared of how bad it'll be for the next year."
Dean chewed on the inside of his cheek, his chest aching at Castiel being so open with him. He reached over and wiped a tear from his cheek. "You don't have to find out how bad it'll be y'know?"
"It's probably in our heads, Dean." Castiel shook his head. "It's a habit. That's what my Dad said. He said that we're just so used to being around each other that it's unfamiliar not to be."
"You said this past couple months has been hard, imagine a year of it. Imagine if you die out there and I'll feel like that for the rest of my life." Dean searched Castiel's eyes for any understanding but Castiel's eyes just welled up with tears that he kept trying to blink away.
"Dad said that-"
"I don't want to argue." Dean interrupted and lay back on the bed.
Castiel nodded, wiping his eyes before he lay himself beside Dean.
They lay in silence, just enjoying each others company that they had missed.
Dean woke up first, his arm around Castiel's waist.
Castiel's face was pressed into his neck.
He smiled, he knew it would be as easy as breathing once Castiel knew the truth.
Dean slowly untangled himself from Castiel and went downstairs to find his Mom.
After explaining everything to her Mary sighed, telling Dean that she was worried that this might end up happening.
"You need to tell him, Dean."
"He won't believe me. He knows how desperate I am to keep him here. He knows I'd say anything."
"He deserves to know that he has a soulmate before he goes. You have to state that before you go into the army."
"I can't do it, Mom. It'll just push him away more. I know how he thinks. He'll hate me."
Mary sighed. "When I told you I assumed he knew because of how he was looking at you, Dean. Are you sure he doesn't know?"
"If he knew he wouldn't be going to get himself blown up." Dean argued.
"That's not what serving your country is, boy." John grumbled, entering the living room. "You shouldn't have told him, Mary. Chuck did right by his son and didn't let him get into this mess."
"He's my soulmate, Dad. You expect me to just never have one?" Dean argued.
John grimaced. "You shouldn't meet your soulmate that young. Maybe it was a fluke. You've had girlfriends before. Just do that again. Have a normal life."
"When I know I have a soulmate out there? My soulmate who thinks he doesn't have one?" Dean seethed.
John frowned. "I ain't having this argument again. You know how I feel about it all. I also know that kid very well he's pretty much been raised here. He's as stubborn as they come. You ain't gonna change his mind on going into the army, son. You just ain't."
Dean pursed his lips, searching for a counter argument when he knew there was none before storming back upstairs to his room.
Castiel was just waking up when he shut the door.
"Morning Sunshine." Dean forced a smile. "How many days have I got?"
"Today and tomorrow." Castiel bit his lip, looking down.
"Let's make the most of it, huh?" Dean grinned, swallowing his feelings.
Castiel beamed at him and nodded.
Dean made Castiel swear to write to him every week and call whenever he could.
Castiel promised that he'd do his best.
Dean fought against telling him.
He wanted to.
But he couldn't do it.
Castiel was scared enough, Dean didn't have the heart to add more to Castiel's load.
Dean spent the entire two days with him and even insisted on driving Castiel to the airport, his family trailing behind in their car.
Dean kept a brave face the entire way there, on the walk through the airport, even during the hug as Castiel was leaving to board the plane.
As soon as Castiel was out of hearing and looking distance Dean's face dropped, the brave mask he'd been wearing slipped.
Sam tried to distract Dean but it didn't work, Dean just turned and headed back towards the car barely hearing Mary shouting at Chuck and Naomi for not telling Castiel the truth.
Dean didn't handle the next few months well at all.
Castiel did write every week telling Dean everything that he was doing very quickly and breifly but then going on to write detailed descriptions of all the new nature and bugs that he'd encountered, the languages he was picking up on and finally would be the longest part of the letters when Castiel would tell Dean how much he missed him and how he wished that Dean was with him.
Dean wanted to fly over there and drag him home himself and tell him everything.
But he didn't.
Then the letters started to get fewer and farther between.
Dean hadn't heard from Castiel in three months and was a mess.
He needed Castiel to be back home.
But it was very clear to him that Castiel wasn't going to come home.
Dean started to take his Dad's advice, he dated multiple women.
He slept around as much as he could.
He started to drink in excess, gambling.
He was locked up a few times for bar fights and under age drinking.
But of course whenever Dean would write a letter that he wouldn't send to Castiel he never mentioned any of that.
It didn't matter anyway because he didn't send them.
Sam was worried.
Mary tried to intervene multiple times to no avail.
Even John tried to put his foot down.
But it didn't work.
Castiel was gone and for all Dean knew, Castiel could be dead.
Dean might as well have been dead too.
By the time that Castiel came back to Kansas he was different and so was Dean.
Both of them were twenty years old.
Two years since they'd been in the same room.
Dean didn't pick him up at the airport, he was too hung over, sneaking out of a hook ups apartment in the early hours and Castiel didn't ask him to either.
Castiel text Dean saying that he was home and Dean replied with 'good to hear' the next say.
Dean didn't go to see Castiel.
But Castiel didn't go to see Dean either.
It was Sam who caved first.
He went to Castiel's house and quite literally dragged him to Dean's bedroom, shoving him inside and slamming the door shut.
Dean shot up from his nap and gasped at having Castiel stood in front of him.
He looked different.
More filled out, a little more muscle than two years ago.
A nice tan, standing straighter. His face didn't slip into the easy relaxed smile like usual either. He seemed very stoic and serious.
That was before he looked down at his feet. "Hello, Dean." He mumbled.
"Hey, Cas." Dean rasped back.
"Sam said that you were upset-"
"Why'd you come? Cos I'm upset or ‘cos Sammy told you to?" Dean growled.
Castiel sighed and climbed over Dean to sit on the bed beside Dean.
Dean rolled his eyes.
"I missed you terribly." Castiel admitted.
Dean scoffed. "Coulda had me fooled."
Castiel tilted his head and Dean didn't know whether he loved it or hated it.
It was just so him.
"It's been six months since I heard anything from you. I didn't even know if you were fucking alive, man."
"You would have heard. I put you as my emergency contact so they would have told you first if-"
"Six months Cas!" Dean shouted, making Castiel jump. "And the last few letters were lousy. Pretty much the exact same as each other."
"I'm sorry." Castiel's voice was shaky as he refused to meet Dean's eyes.
"What is it? D'you not give a shit about me anymore?" Dean demanded.
"No. It's not that, Dean." Castiel muttered, shaking his head.
"Then what is it?" Dean yelled.
Castiel finally looked up at Dean, searching his eyes for any forgiveness. "I care too much for you. It hurt reading your letters and you were hurting too. I-I guess I thought that if I was distant we would both feel better but I just felt worse and worse."
"I don't think being distant can change what we have, Cas." Dean sighed.
"I asked some of the men that I was with if their relationship with their best friends were similar, if they were missing them as much as I missed you and they all thought that I was weird. So I tried to be more normal. Like Mom always said I should be." Castiel wiped a tear away from his cheek.
"Oh Cas." Dean smiled weakly and threw his arms around Castiel's shoulders, not missing how he flinched but quickly relaxed into Dean's embrace. "This that we have ain't weird. It's just us. No one else will understand ‘cos it's ours."
"I'm really sorry, Dean." Castiel sniffed into Dean's shoulder.
Dean let himself lay back on the bed, bringing Castiel with him. "It's okay. I'm sorry too. You home for good now?"
Castiel nodded. "You were right."
"Always am." Dean teased.
Castiel huffed and nudged his side.
"Dick." Dean chuckled. "I gotta tell you something, man."
"What is it?" Castiel sat up, wiping his eyes quickly.
Dean slowly sat up and took a deep breath.
"Y'know how we don't have soulmates?"
Castiel nodded, a frown appearing.
"Well that's because we've both been seeing colors forever right?"
"Yeah. Dean what are you-"
Dean held his hand up to stop him. "Well I remember when I was real small I went to the beach and I only remember little bits of it, but I remember that there was no color, Cas."
"Which means that you do have a soulmate but you met them too young to realise?" Castiel raised his eyebrows.
"Do you not have any black and white memories?"
Castiel shook his head. "You know my first memory is when we had that sleepover after our first day in kindergarten. There were colors then."
"My mom told me something too." Dean carried on, trying to ignore the sad expression on Castiel's face. "She said she remembers when I met my soulmate."
"So she knows who it is?" Castiel asked, a smile on his face for Dean. But his eyes remained sad as ever.
"Yeah. She doesn't know for sure but she said that she's ninety nine percent sure. I think that she's right too."
"So who is it?"
"Well, I'll tell you the story." Dean beamed. "When I went to the beach there was no color and I was playing in the sand with you. Your brothers were being dicks-"
"Sounds about right." Castiel muttered.
Dean smiled fondly and carried on. "They pushed you and you fell over." Dean reached out for Castiel's wrist and placed his hand on his shoulder.
"You landed, with your hand like that on me. But we were at the beach, we didn't have shirts on. After that happened apparently me and you were really happy, talking about colors all the damn time and throwing tantrums whenever we were apart-"
"So you're saying-" Castiel's eyes were wide, staring at Dean.
"We're soulmates, Cas." Dean smiled.
Castiel's hand dropped from Dean's shoulder. "But-but I thought that we didn't have one."
"It's because we were so young that we don't remember the colors changing. But think about how much it hurts when we're apart. You're friends with Charlie, does it feel like that when you're not with her?"
Castiel shook his head and broke into a smile.
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"I found out just before you told me your plans to go to the army. You'd think I was lying to get you to stay." Dean shrugged.
Castiel smiled and shook his head, reaching for Dean's hand.
"I really wish you told me when you found out, Dean." Castiel leaned closer, his lips hovering over Dean's.
"Me too." Dean whispered, closing the distance between their lips.