These things, they were never predictable, they were never planned. They just happened in an instant. The seasons would shift, the breeze change direction, and the world would breathe a sigh as finally everything would be as it should, if only for a moment.
Such was the way of things.
Cas and Dean, they were pieces. Two imperfect, fragmented pieces of the same whole. Dean was rough and jagged and he fit with no one. Cas cracked and worn, unwanted, abused. They were two young for this, too old for this, one existing since time began and the other taking residence just on the edge of humanity’s creation. When God, for he existed still, had breathed life into the clay that was Dean Winchester, he had whispered Castiel’s name onto his lips, and never had the arch of his ‘a’ and the flick of his ‘l’ sounded so perfect.
When first Dean had heard it, in Pamela Barnes’ lilting speech, it had sounded wrong. So casual, so incredibly mundane, that he’d repeated it, questioningly, as though he hadn't heard it quite right.
“Castiel?” And a shiver ran through him, and a warmth spread through his chest, and he knew he had to find him.
And find him he did, in an abandoned warehouse where sparks literally flew and a useless blade left his hands as he stared aghast at this man, this demon, this angel angel angel.
Disbelief, confusion, distrust, his mother’s sleepy whispers as she put him to bed, placing soft kisses on his forehead that he’d forever miss. And underlying it all a foreign kind of yearning that he’d never experienced before.
A yearning he chased all the way into heaven, hell, and purgatory.
For Castiel it was much the same. From the very instant the fingers of his hand touched the bloodied essence of Dean Winchester he was lost. Like some twisted version of Stockholm Syndrome, Dean became all he knew. Everything that was pure and good and true in humanity was in Dean and Cas hated it and he fought it because he loved it and he wasn't supposed to love it and that love was all he ever heard when his brothers were at war and the Earth was falling apart and his grace was being torn in two and his mind overtaken by Naomi it was still Dean’s skin on his fingertips Dean’s name on his tongue Dean Dean.
“Dean!” He screamed and he hoped he didn't imagine the flush on the man’s skin and the depth to his green eyes as he ran to him and held him, murmuring comfort and peace into his soul.
It wasn't serious like it usually was, the wound deep but not fatal, still he stayed with them in that bunker of theirs in a bed that smelled of gunpowder and motor oil and sunshine.
Sam hated the way they did this to each other, broke each other's hearts. Again and again and again and again.
It would be tedious if it weren't so tragic.
“Please,” he said as Dean left Cas’ room, bloodied bandages in tow. “Don't do this to yourself, don't do this to him.”
Dean stuffed the reddened gauze into the garbage roughly. “Stop it, Sam.”
“He’s my friend too you know,” Sam replied, an edge sneaking into his voice.
“I know,” Dean paused. Galaxies formed between his breaths. “I just can't Sam.”
“Try.” It wasn't a request. He’d never known his brother to be so harsh with him.
But then there was another crisis; the world was always ending. And Cas was never there and there was Darkness everywhere and Dean was Cain and it was all he ever heard anymore.
So when the shift came it was hurried and panicked and breathless. Their lips were hungry, tongues tied. Cas groaned against Dean’s mouth and it tasted like pomegranates and ice.
They spoke each other’s names in a way they never had before. Choked off, desperate.
This was a peace neither of them had ever known. And they became whole.
If only for a moment.
“Cas, Cas, Cas,” a pained echo of a prayer.