Dean Winchester opens the door of the bunker. His mind is raising. The stairs creaks under his slow, heavy steps. The last hours have been really overwhelming. Thoughts about the Empty and Cas and his family and everything that has been going on lately rounds back into his mind as he takes the last step of the staircase.
Dean stops to realize where he is. He is at home again. His home, where his family once lived. Dean knows he is safe here. He just needs a moment before he would go and look for whatever his brother called him here for. Before he would have to confront Sam and all those painful memories again.
He takes a deep breath and closes his eyes as he leans against the railing to gather his thoughts.
Eight hours ago
The rumbling of the Impala snapped him of his daydream. He was on his way to Jody's. Alone this time. He needed some time out of the bunker. Everything was fine, he just really wanted to go see the girls and maybe talk to Jody. After all she was closest thing to a mother he had and he really could use a mother's advice right now. About the... Cas situation. He just thought that things would get easier. That he could breath again, now that he had given up hunting and Sam was okay. But now, it hasn't been getting any easier. Althrough he thinks he can talk about it now. After two months, he thinks he is finally ready to open up a little bit. But not for Sam. He can't even think about talking about this to Sam. His little brother who also misses Cas. And who just got the love of his life back, Eileen. He is just a little bit of jealous of him, but mostly just happy for him. But still, he couldn't talk about to Sam. So, he is in the Impala, on his way to Jody's. And when he had confronted Sam about it this morning, Sam had surprisingly not argued about tagging along which was just a little bit of strange. Maybe he was just "otherwise occupied". Dean smiled to himself before he was soaked up that familiar feeling again. Sorrow. The feeling he has been feeling for the last two months. Well that or feeling completely empty. Empty, Dean hated that word.
Dean was snapped out of his thoughts as he arrived at his destination. He parked the Impala along the walkway and turned off the engine. Then he stepped outside the car and started to head up towards the house.
He was going to ring the doorbell before the door was swung open by itself. Dean jumped aside, thanks to his hunting reflexis, as a blond haired and dark haired girl literally run through the door. The blond turned around after the couple had walked already down to the walkway. She smiled as she saw Dean standing at the porch but kept walking.
"Hey Dean! Sorry, we have to run, we got just got a lead", she yelled from the car and waved.
"Hey Dean!" Kaya yelled as well while they both waved at him.
"No biggie, just came to see Jody. Let's catch up later", Dean yelled at them for response, even though he wasn't sure they had heard him in their hurry. Oh to be young again, Dean thought in his head. He was happy for them.
Back to the moment, Dean walked through the door and shouted: "Jody! It's Dean here".
Dean heard the rumbling of stairs as (presumably) Jody ran to the door.
"Hey, Dean! What's up?" she said as she had make it to the door and pulled Dean in for a crushing hug.
Dean responded to her hug: "I'm fine Jody. How've you been?"
Jody took couple steps back to look at him. Her smile faded a bit but didn't disappear: "I'm excellent. Living my dream with moody teenagers running around the house". Dean laughed at her comment, he too understood her sentiment, because of Jack. Jack, who he had thought as his own son, for a quite while. Jack, who he hadn't seen for almost two months, after he had disappeared on them.
"...dinner is still at the table", Jody's talking had go missed for Dean as he had been stuck up in his memories. "Dean?" Jody asked. Worry could be heard in her voice.
"What? Yeah, I'm fine, just little tired from the driving. I'm not that used to it anymore", Dean explained to her, trying to hide his ache with a smile.
Jody watched her worriedly for a moment and was about to say more until Dean interrupted her: "Dinner? Sounds amazing". Jody snapped her thoughts as well and welcomed Dean further in the house.
After an amazing dinner Dean and Jody sat comfortably at the kitchen table. Jody hadn't eaten, because she had already earlier, after the girls had rushed off from the dinner after a lead, as she had told Dean while he had eaten.
Dean brushed the bread crumbs of the table to his plate, as a sign that he had finished eating. "Thanks Jody. Your amazing food is always a benefit of stopping by", Dean told her with a smile and crossed hands in his lap. Jody smiled to him: "Thanks. But I think it's time to get to the point why you 'stopped by' as you say. I don't think this is just a casual visit. You would not have driven for four hours and alone if it was just that". Jody smiled her knowingly.
Dean tensed visibly and broke an eye contact. This is going to be hard after all, he thought.
"I'm not pushing you to open up. I just see that you clearly want to and I'm here for you", Jody told her as she caught his eyes again.
"I know Jody and I'm grateful", Dean said.
He swallowed and continued: "I've really got better, I think. I'm not good but I can get through a day without drinking now". Dean laughed sarcastically. He hid his feeling behind sarcasm like he always did.
"Dean...", Jody said sympathetically. "It's okay to be sad and take as much time as you want, but don't push your family away", she told him. Jody's gentle words brought the ache of Cas into his mind.
"I miss them so much", Dean spit out, "Not just Cas, well Cas mostly, but Jack too". Dean took a deep breath. It was hard to talk about something so painful. "What we had was so good for a while. A family. We were happy, even if it was just for a moment away from the suffering, it was real. More real than anything in my life and I miss them", Dean told her. He felt empty and sad. So much, that he didn't even really feel like crying. He felt like he had already spent all his tears.
"I'm really sorry Dean. That after everything you didn't get your happiness", Jody said. She took his hand in hers and stroked it. "You deserve it more than anyone", she said and she unlike Dean had tears in her eyes. I'm tired of this all, Dean wanted to tell her. But he knew how it sounded, so he kept his words to himself.
Dean didn't talk after that. They sat in silence until Dean's cellphone started to buzz in his pocket. The moment snapped. Dean pulled his hand out Jody's touch and tried to ignore the hurt in her eyes. He pulled the phone out his pocket and checked the caller. It was Sam. "It's Sam", Dean told her with hoarse voice. He cleared his throat and lift his phone against his ear.
"Heya Sammy", he said in the phone. Jody had raised from the table and taken Dean's plate with her to the sink. Dean was a little guilty that he hadn't really been able to talk to Jody after all. It felt like the last change and he had missed it.
"Dean", Sam started on the phone, "We found something. You have to get back to the bunker asap. It's important".
"What? Sam?", Dean said on the phone. Sam didn't answer immediately, so Dean continued: "Found something about what? Sam?"
Sam had hung up.
"Sam?!" Dean almost screamed on the phone. Jody had been listening from the sink and was now looking at him worriedly. "Is Sam okay?" she asked. As a hunter (well Dean as ex-hunter), they has to always be prepared for the worst. "I'm not sure", Dean whispered. He was in a little shock. This was supposed to be over, he thought. No more surprises.
"I have to go", Dean told her. "You are worried, so something is wrong", she said with the motherly voice of hers, "Go, Dean".
"I'll inform you, when I find out what's going on", Dean told her while he stood up from the table. He passed a light kiss to Jody's cheek as a goodbye and walked towards the door. At the door he stopped to listen Jody's last words: "Remember what I said Dean, you deserve happiness, even if you would have to let go of Sam". Dean stood face towards the door for a moment longer and let the words sunk in. Finally he opened the door and left with a swift 'bye' to Jody and run to the Impala.
Dean had been driving, well speeding, for a two hours, when he felt his phone buzz again. He took the phone from his pocket while he tried to keep his eyes on the road. After everything, he couldn't bare to lose his car as well.
He placed the phone against his ear again and started: "Sammy! What the hell? Are you okay? Is everything okay with Eileen? What about Miracle? What's going on?"
"Dean! Dean! Calm down! Everything is fine. We are fine", Sam told him. Dean noticed that Sam's voice didn't sound worried just kind of tired.
"What is it then?" Dean inquired. He couldn't understand why his brother would scare him like that.
"Just come here okay?" Sam told him at the phone. "Don't speed, stay safe", Sam said on the phone and hang up.
What the hell, Dean thought. He felt so frustrated with Sam. Why on earth he left him hanging like that?! He knows he gets really worried when Sam is in danger, so why would he do like that. Dean felt crushed underneath the anger. Maybe Sam, just didn't care about him that much now that he has Eileen by his side. He was probably just excited and that's why he acted so inconsiderate towards Dean on the phone. Good for him, Dean thought bitterly. He thought about Jody's words about Sam. Maybe both them would be happier if Dean just disappeared in Sam's life. He even considered not going back to the bunker because he didn't want to confront his ever such happy little brother.
Dean lets go of railing and also of the storm of memories and feelings. He walks deeper in to the bunker towards the map table and calls for Sam: "Sam! I'm here! What is going on?"
Dean doesn't hear an answer but he can hear the steps that are coming from the aisle. "Sam?" Dean repeats. Just to make sure that it is his brother and not a potential kidnapper. The anxious waiting is over when Dean sees Sam coming from the aisle towards where Dean is standing.
"Hey! What's..." Dean shuts up when he sees his brother clearly.
His posture is exhausted and his clothes look a day or two old. His hair are messy, and he just looks like he had just came home from a two-weeks hunt. His eyes though looks almost happy and mischievous. Sam's face cracks in a smile when he catches Dean's eye: "Hey there Dean".
Dean is so confused. "Seriously, what is going on?" Dean says, feeling almost overwhelmed. Sam just smiles and says: "Come on". Then Sam turns and starts walking back where he came from. Dean just stands there.
When Sam has walked back to the aisle where he came from, Dean breaths. In and out. Totally normal Sam, he thinks. Except it isn't. Dean remembers where he stands again and decides to follow Sam. He takes a couple running steps and then decides which way to turn from the aisle. He takes the rode to kitchen because there he thinks to find Sam. He is right because when gets closer to the kitchen, he sees that the lights are on. Now, he can hear Sam's voice as well coming from the room in question. "Sam, now you're going to tell me what the hell is going on", Dean almost shouts, not realizing earlier how frustrated he actually feels, and turns in to the kitchen. At the doorway, he freezes.
He takes in the picture in front of him.
Sam and Eileen standing at the counter in front of the kitchen doorway. Blocking the view behind them where the third person is... cooking?
The third person. Dean knows the person. Young boy with light, golden hear. Jack.
Dean takes a breath in and a whine comes out. He didn't think he ever would see Jack again. Sam and Eileen are both messy-looking but smiling to him. Dean looks his brother in the eye, searching for some sort of explanation.
"Wha..." Dean's barely a whisper is interrupted by a bark. He snaps his glance at his right where the dog's bark came from. He sees Miracle, his dog, sitting in the floor at the foot of someone sitting around the kitchen table. Dean moves his eyes at the person. First, he notices the brown trench coat. Then the blue tie. And then he is lost in a couple of blue eyes. Cas.
Dean's mouth is hanging open and his throat is dry when he tries to form words: "Wha... How... What..."
Castiel is sitting around his kitchen table and Jack is cooking and Sam and Eileen are just standing there. Dean is freaking out. This must be a dream. He doesn't know what to do and he feels dizzy suddenly.
The person, Cas, rises at the chair and at that moment Miracle rushes over to Dean. Miracle jumps at his leg and barks, but Dean doesn't see anything but Castiel. "Dean?" The voice is Sam's. He is standing next to Dean, probably to catch him if he passes out. Dean looks at him and Eileen and then Jack, before turning his attention back to Castiel.
He walks to him in a second. "Dean..." Cas says with that low voice of his, but he gets interrupted by Dean, who grabs him and pulls him into his embrace.
Dean lets go of Castiel after a couple of minutes, when he has gathered himself, a little bit at least. "How... How are you here?" Dean asks. Now Dean really sees Cas and he has cuts and bruises in his face. His trench coat also looks kind of teared.
"We found a way to bring him back from the Empty", Dean hears Sam say somewhere behind him. Dean turns to look at him. His brother is smiling knowingly. "Actually most of it was thanks to Jack", Sam says and looks at the person in question.
Jack turns around from his cooking and says at the calm way of his: "I researched the last two months for a way to bring Cas back from the Empty. That's why I didn't have time to answer to your prayers, Dean. And couple days ago I found the way and informed Sam about it. I got Cas back today and it cost me my divinity". Jack returns to his cooking and the room falls into silence again.
"You... lost your divinity?" Dean asks carefully.
How can Jack say that like it's not a big deal, he thinks. "Where did it go?" Dean specifics.
Jack doesn't turn when he says: "It's here. Everywhere. I had to give it up, so the Empty couldn't find us. Cas had to also give up his grace. This way, we are safe from the Empty, which won't never stop looking for us after I just took Cas from it. It's the best I could do".
Jack sounded insecure ad wary of Dean. Just like old times.
"What about the Universe? Won't it collapse, when there is no God?" Dean asks and searches Sam's and Eileen's looks for an answer.
"No, because Jack's divinity keeps it together", Sam says: "It's okay, Dean. We have thought of everything".
Dean thinks it's too good to be true.
He walks up to Jack. Jack turns to face him when Dean takes him into his embrace, just like he had taken Cas a moment before. Jack also returns to his embrace. "Thank you", Dean whispers against the boys shoulder, "Thank you, for coming back and bringing Cas back".
"Dean, this is what I want as well", Jack whispers to him. The other persons in the room just look at the two of them fondly. Cas with the most fondness.
When Dean and Jack break their hug, Dean claps the boys cheek fondly. He wants to tell that kid how much he means to him.
Jack smiles to him with teary eyes: "Hope it's okay that I stay here?"
After everything he is still guilty, Dean thinks. Dean catches the boys eyes just like Jody did to him and says: "You don't even have to ask that, kid".
Jack smiles to him even wider.
Then his look turns to more knowing and his glance swifts to behind Dean where Cas is still standing. "We can catch up later. I think we should give you two some time alone now", Jack says innocently. Deans feels the reality of the situation suddenly when Jack walks away from him and drags Sam and Eileen with him. Dean hears when Jacks says to them: "You both could use a shower", before all three of them disappear in the corridor and Dean and Cas are left alone for the first time since Castiel confessed his love for Dean and died.
It's almost eerie quiet in the kitchen. Castiel clears his throat and sits down, back around the kitchen table. Dean follows and sits opposite of him.
"So... We should talk", he says.
Castiel looks nervous. Dean tries to catch his eye but with out success.
"Only if you want", Castiel says, well whispers. He looks so nervous, Dean thinks. "Cas?" Dean asks and tries to catch Cas' eye again, this time with success.
Cas looks so tired, Dean thinks. "I'm sorry", Cas says then.
"What?!" Dean is snapped out of his daydreaming, "No, I should apologize, Cas, not you".
Cas looks seriously surprised.
"What you said before... and what I couldn't say... and then you", Dean doesn't find the right words at all. Cas looks still confused and vary. "I'm not good at this", Dean sighs. Dean sees the little disappointment in Cas' eyes, but just because he knows him so well and can see through his mask.
"You don't have to say anything. I understand if you just want to forget about it and finally move on with your life", Cas tells him with understanding smile of his. Dean sighs again.
"Honestly Cas, I can't go back to how things were, and I don't want to", Dean says. Cas looks startled. This is not going well. "No! I mean, I don't want to get over it and forget! Well maybe for the part where you died and it felt like a big part of me died as well. But not the words that you said", Dean specifies urgently. Castiel looks taken back and... hopeful? "Okay, enough of this", Dean says and stands up. Castiel thinks he is about to leave the conversation, but Dean walks at his side of the table and stands in front of him. And, now he looks more scared than ever, Dean thinks amused. Dean stretches his hand to Castiel with an amused smile. Cas looks at the hand and then decides to take it. Dean pulls him up, so he is standing in front of him. "I'm not good with words, especially with you, but it isn't your fault, it's because you mean so much to me", Dean whispers and watches Cas with a gentle, rapt look. Castiel's heart is beating so loudly that Dean is certain he can hear it. Castiel has never been this nervous and tangled. Dean takes a hold of Cas' shoulders and shakes him a bit: "Calm down, Cas. This is really happening". Castiel takes a deep breath: "I don't understand what is happening here, I'm sorry". Dean shakes his head: "Don't be sorry. I'll clarify it to you". Dean pulls his attention towards the fact how close he and Cas are standing and how he can hear Cas' fast breaths. He looks at his mouth and back to his eyes again. Giving him a warning. Then he moves even closer and takes Cas' lower lip between his. It's over really fast, just a test. Dean looks at Cas again. His eyes are wide and watching his lips as Dean speaks: "You get it? I love you too. And I want to be with you". Cas' eyes are tearful when he whispers Dean's words back to him: "I love you". Dean nods and smiles.
"Why didn't you say anything?" Cas asks when he finds his thoughts again.
Dean's hand are still on Cas' shoulders. He laughs and lowers them to his waste. "Why didn't you?!" Dean shoots back amused. This whole situation is so ridiculous. Dean lowers his front head against Cas' other shoulder.
Dean hears it when Cas lets out a little laugh. "Well first it was because I didn't understand it and then because I thought you would never respond to my feelings and then the deal..." Cas' enthusiasm dies at the end and he sounds tired and sad.
Dean pulls back to look at him: "We don't have to do this now. We have time. I promise". Cas smiles him tearfully.
Oh my, I love him, Dean thinks. "I'd like to kiss you again if you don't mind", Dean starts seriously but his smile creaks towards the end of his words. Cas' smile turns mischievous but sweetly so. Dean can't resist longer. He pulls Cas in and this time Cas is with him.
The kiss is gentle first, they are just testing each other. Cas' hands moves to Dean waste and lower back as well. Dean's other hand moves to Cas' shoulder and he pulls Cas even closer. The kiss gets more heated when Cas changes the angle so their tongues can touch. He is really good at this, Dean thinks. After that he can't think any more because it feels so good.
He moves his other hand to Cas' hip and pulls their bodies together. Cas sighs in the kiss. Dean smiles. He pushes Cas against the kitchen table where Cas moves his hand to the table and pulls himself to sit on top of it. This was Dean's idea exactly.
Dean is now standing between Cas' legs and Cas has rounded Dean with them, pulling they bodies more close. Hot, so hot, Dean thinks. He pulls back from the kiss.
"Cas... Cas... We have to slow down", Dean says out of breath. Cas' cheeks are flushed and Dean gets a waking to the fact that Cas is a human now. He is panting and his eyes are desperate and vulnerable.
"Don't go", Cas whispers desperately and pushes his front head against Dean's sweaty one.
"I won't, Cas. I won't", Dean promises, "but we have to go catch up with others and I'd also like to have some details about how exactly Jack brought you back and why wasn't I informed from it". Dean is just a little frustrated, but Cas just smiles and gives him a little, still insecure kiss in the lips.
Then he pushes Dean and hops off the table. It's still so unreal, Dean thinks. He would like a moment to check if this is real.
"Shall we go?" Cas says to him. He has taken some space from Dean. Now, he knows about personal space, Dean smiles. "What?" Cas asks. "Nothing", Dean says with a smile and crabs Cas' hand to kiss it gently.
Dean thinks, this is the first time he has ever been this eager to move forward, because Cas will be by his side.