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Some Things You Just Can't Forgive.

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Castiel couldn’t believe it; Dean was cured. For the moment, all he could feel was joy. He watched as Sam untied the ropes around Dean’s wrists and ankles. Dean stood up, and within seconds, Sam had wrapped him into a tight embrace. Dean immediately responded to the hug and Castiel could see both brothers smiling; the sight made him happy.

‘’So glad to have you back.’’ Sam told Dean.

When they separated again the brothers were still smiling.

‘’Yeah… Glad to be back. Thanks Sammy.’’ Dean said as he clapped Sam on the shoulder before turning to Castiel.

‘’And thank you, Cas, really.’’ Dean told him sincerely and Castiel nodded in return.

They looked at each other for a moment and even though they were both silent, it didn’t feel uncomfortable. However, maybe it was for Sam, because after a couple of seconds he interrupted their eye-contact as he coughed and spoke. ‘’So, how are you feeling? Are you okay?’’ Sam asked.

‘’Yeah, all things considered… I feel fine.’’ Dean said.

Upon hearing Dean reassure Sam that he was feeling okay, Castiel decided to leave the brothers. He knew how badly Sam had missed Dean, and it felt proper to give him a moment alone with him. He figured they also must have a lot to talk about. So, Castiel left the dungeon and went to the kitchen and waited there; Dean would come to him when he was ready.

As he waited for Dean, thoughts about his time with him as a demon filled his mind. He suspected that now Dean had been turned back, he was going to feel awful and guilty for everything that happened. The conversation that they were about to have was certainly not going to be easy. Nevertheless, it was an important conversation to have; especially if they wanted to move past everything that happened between them. That was at any rate what Castiel wanted, and he really believed it possible. They would get through this.

Ten minutes later, Dean came walking into the kitchen. He smiled a little at Castiel as he took a seat opposite him at the dinner table.

‘’So, Sammy’s out for a moment… He insisted on grabbing me some food.’’ Dean let him know and smiled.

Castiel was thinking to himself how much he had missed that smile. Admittedly, the demon version of Dean had also smiled towards him, but it wasn’t the same. The smiles he used to receive always seemed to have a rather malicious intent; this one on the other hand, was warm and genuine. So, Castiel was really glad to have the real Dean sitting in front of him, talking to him. He felt comfortable, yet he didn’t know how to respond to Dean’s statement. So, he only smiled.

‘’Cas... I can’t thank you enough, for everything that you did. You never gave up on me, despite everything…’’ He said and Castiel could see the sorrow and shame on his face. ‘’I just want you to know that I really appreciate all you’ve done for me.’’

Castiel valued Dean’s words. ‘’You’re welcome Dean.’’ He said.

Dean sighed and his expression turned suddenly more serious. ‘’So, now that I have the ‘thank you’ out of the way… Cas, I don’t even know where to begin apologising.’’ Dean said with a pained expression on his face. He was looking so guiltily towards him and Castiel wanted nothing more than to take the pain and guilt away from him.

‘’Dean, I knew that wasn’t you-‘’ He tried to reassure, but Dean wouldn’t let him.

‘’Please, Cas. Let me… I need to- I need to say this.’’

As a response, Castiel nodded understandingly. He would let Dean talk.

‘’First of all, what I said to you, in there, just now, I want you to know that I didn’t mean any of it. I guess I said those things to try and get to you, since you wouldn’t let me out… But I really didn’t mean what I said. Those time when I told you that you were my friend, my family, I was telling the truth. Those words weren’t lies to just keep you around, I-I really meant them… I care about you, Cas, and I just… I don’t want you to think that that isn’t the case.’’

‘’Okay Dean, I believe you.’’ He responded, happy to hear Dean’s words. He had always known that Dean cared about him, they had been through so much together after all. Still, he remembered that it was difficult not to let the demon’s words get to him. Therefore, it was good to hear Dean confirm that everything he had said as a demon was a lie.

Dean smiled a small smile and then continued. ‘’And as for what happened when I held you captive… I would give anything to take that back, Cas.’’ Dean said shaking head.

‘’I know Dean. But… it was nothing I couldn’t handle.’’ He said, still wanting to reassure Dean somehow.

‘’Yeah but that doesn’t make it okay! Cas, what I did to you wasn’t okay, so stop justifying what I’ve done!’’ Dean exclaimed, burying his face in his hands. He looked frustrated.

‘’Dean I’m not justifying it.’’ Castiel tried to explain. ‘’I’m merely trying to say that I don’t blame you for it.’’

‘’Well you should.’’ Dean said quietly and sighed. ‘’I mean; the things I did to you… they’re just unforgivable…’’

Castiel now sighed as well. ‘’I must admit, Dean, it felt awful, most of the time. I hated being kept there, in hell, I hated that collar, your manipulations, that you forced me to take that grace, that you beat me and that you… that you forced yourself on me.’’ He said and Dean looked down, regret all over his face. ‘’But… I also would be lying if I said that you forced me to do everything that I did.’’ He just had to add, deciding it was important that they were being honest towards each other now.

Apparently, his words seemed to confuse Dean. ‘’What? Cas, what are you saying?’’ He asked.

Castiel took a moment to respond. ‘’I’m saying that… not everything we did was against my will, Dean.’’ He said and thought back on that time on the bed when he had initiated that kiss, which also led to other things. It was true that at times, Dean had forced him into acts he wanted nothing to do with, but that wasn’t always the case. It would have been easy to blame everything that happened on Dean, but that wouldn’t be right, he thought.

‘’So… you did some things willingly? Why?’’ Asked Dean, frowning.

Castiel took a moment to respond, wondering about the best way to say it. ‘’I think you know, Dean.’’ He said eventually. He didn’t feel particularly inclined to spell it out for Dean and he’d rather leave it unspoken. Besides, he was certain that Dean would understand what he was saying.

And judging from his reaction, he did. Dean was staring wide-eyed at him, mouth slightly gaping. He took a moment before saying anything. ‘’Oh…’’ He eventually said and after that there was another moment of silence.

‘’Well, nonetheless.’’ Dean eventually continued. ‘’I’ve got a lot to make up for, so if there is any way I can make things up to you…’’

Castiel smiled and nodded; he appreciated Dean’s offer.

They were quiet for another moment, and Dean was looking down.

In order to break the silence, Castiel spoke up. ‘’I forgive you, Dean.’’ He said. He knew Dean and he also knew that he probably really needed to hear those words. During their entire conversation he had been looking so guilty. Nevertheless, Castiel meant what he said; he really did forgive him.

Dean sighed and looked a little relieved. ‘’Thank you, Cas. That means a lot.’’ He said.

For now, Castiel decided that they had spent enough time on the topic. He felt like they had discussed what they needed to. In his opinion, the conversation had gone rather well so far. It had been good to hear what Dean had to say and he also hoped he had been able to make Dean feel slightly better about everything. However, he felt that it wouldn’t be a good thing to get stuck talking about the past, so he changed the subject.

‘’Hey, maybe you should um… take some time before you get back to work.’’ Castiel suggested. ‘’Allow yourself to heal. It’s, uh… I don’t know, the timing might be right. Heaven and Hell, they seem reasonably back in order. It’s quiet out there.’’ He told Dean, thinking it really could do him some good.

Dean smiled. ‘’That’s actually not that bad of an idea.’’ He said.

 

 

xxx

 

 

When Sam returned to the bunker, it was quiet. Yet, when he had reached the library he could hear talking from the kitchen. He was glad, he figured that it was a good thing that they were talking. It was why he had left the bunker in the first place, he figured that Dean and Cas could really use a moment to discuss everything that had happened between the two of them. There was probably a lot they needed to talk about. Thinking to himself, Sam guessed that his excuse of wanting to pick up food for Dean wasn’t the subtlest excuse, but he figured it didn’t really matter much anyway.

Standing there in the library, Sam was wondering if he should go into the kitchen or not. He really didn’t want to interrupt things. On the other hand, he had been gone for half an hour. So, after a minute of debating, Sam decided to walk in anyway. He walked in on Dean and Cas sitting at the dinner table. They seemed to be talking comfortably; both of them seemed to be at ease. Sam was pleased to see that.

‘’Hey guys.’’ He said while walking over to the table and putting the bag of fast-food on top of it.

‘’Hmm something is smelling good.’’ Said Dean.

Sam chuckled. ‘’If you say so.’’

He took a seat next to Dean who started to eat one of the burgers he brought enthusiastically.

After a few moments, Dean started to speak. ‘’So Sammy, how do you feel about taking a little break for a while?’’

Sam was a little surprised by Dean’s proposal. ‘’A break from hunting?’’ He asked.

‘’Yeah.’’

‘’Uhm… yeah, no, that’s a good idea, we should do that.’’ He said after thinking about it for a moment.

It really was a good idea, he thought. Dean was still bearing the Mark of Cain and he figured that it would be best if they didn’t take any chances with it. A break from hunting would be a good thing for Dean. Moreover, he would happily spend some time together with him for a while. Sam had really missed him. Still, he was very surprised that Dean was coming to him with the suggestion.

‘’Though I must say, Dean, I didn’t really expect you suggesting this.’’ He let him know.

‘’It was Cas’s idea.’’ Dean said between chewing.

He should have guessed that.

‘’Oh, so you’re coming too?’’ He asked Castiel curiously.

Castiel smiled. ‘’I don’t think so.’’ He said.

Normally, he would have tried to convince Castiel to come anyway, but considering everything, Sam decided not to now. He also figured that it might even be a good thing for Dean and Cas to take some distance for a while.

‘’So I was thinking, we could go fishing or something?’’ Dean asked, interrupting his thoughts.

Sam smiled. ‘’Yeah, fine by me. It’s been a while.’’ He said.

 

 

xxx

 

 

Taking a break was nice. He and Sam didn’t do much; they were mostly just sitting at the water, drinking some beers. Every once in a while, they would throw out a hook. All in all, it felt great spending some time with Sam doing nothing. They barely talked about the time of when he was a demon and Dean felt grateful about that, it wasn’t something he particularly liked to talk about. Dean also figured that there wasn’t so much to discuss with Sam on the topic anyway, he had only tried to kill him, and that wasn’t actually such a big deal; however strange that sounded. He had apologised for it and Sam had forgiven him; they were good.

Sam did make several attempts to talk about Castiel though. Dean knew that his brother knew about everything he had done to him. He knew what the sight that Sam had stumbled upon when he found them at Crowley's mansion must have looked like. Moreover, he had told Sam all about it himself, trying to get a rise out of him in the dungeon. He remembered loving telling Sam about what he did to Castiel and seeing the look on Sam's face upon hearing about it. But that was when he was a demon, and now, Dean really didn’t feel like discussing it. After making that clear to Sam, Dean was grateful to hear his brother say that he would drop the subject. He did add though, that he could always come to him to talk about it if he wanted to. That wasn’t going to happen, but Dean appreciated it nevertheless.

He hadn’t had much contact with Castiel. He wasn’t surprised that the angel had chosen not to come with, and Dean figured it was probably for the best. So much had happened between them and Dean figured that some distance would do both of them some good. Dean often thought back about their conversation though. He was glad they had managed to talk things out a little. He still felt really bad about it, but hearing Castiel say that he forgave him did make him feel slightly better. However, something else that Castiel said kept crossing his mind. Castiel basically had admitted that he loved him. He didn't say it in so many words, but Dean was sure that he knew what Castiel meant. He remembered being speechless. He had suspected for a long time that Castiel had feelings for him, but he was still surprised to Castiel confirming it. He didn't know how he felt about it; he only knew that he didn't deserve it.

They had only talked on the phone once. He had called Castiel, since he had been wondering what the angel was up to. Moreover, he also wanted to check up on him. They talked and he was glad to hear that Castiel was okay. The angel had let him know that he was hunting rogue angels with Hannah. Dean had never liked her; it had probably something to do with the fact that she had tried force Castiel to kill him. Nevertheless, she did seem to care about Castiel, so maybe it wasn’t a bad thing that she was with him. At least he wouldn’t have to be alone.

Even though that the break was nice, he and Sam eventually picked up their hunting. Both had heard about a potential werewolves case, and apparently they both had trouble sitting still for too long. Dean had been glad to get back to work, even though the hunt didn’t really go as expected. To their surprise they caught Kate, and they came very close to killing her, even though she wasn’t even the one dropping all the bodies. It turned to be her sister, Tasha. He and Sam hadn’t seen that coming. Nevertheless, with Kate’s help they eventually managed to take care of it.

Now, they were on their next case, and god it was a disturbing one. Here was a group of girls that had read Chuck’s 'Supernatural' books and actually decided to write a fucking play about them. Dean still found it hard to understand. Yet, he guessed that however weird it was, it didn’t really matter; they had a case to work. The teacher, Mrs. Chandler, had disappeared, and they weren’t sure if there was anything supernatural going on, but they would find out.

As the girl, Marie, gave him his tour, he did find out a lot of things. However, the things he found out were not that much related to the case itself. First, he found out that those teenage girls liked to put ‘subtext’ in his and Sam’s relationship. What. the. fuck. Dean couldn’t help but yell towards his and Sam’s replicas to take a step back. That was just wrong. Yet, when he was thinking it couldn’t get any weirder, nothing turned out to be further from the truth. Suddenly, he turned around to seeing his and Castiel’s replica hugging. Upon asking Marie if that was in the show, she told him that wasn’t the case and that the two girls were a couple in real life. Weird… When he had told Sam all about what he had seen, the idiot actually decided to make it actually more uncomfortable than it already was. He could always count on Sammy to do that.

Upon talking things over in the motel, he and Sam almost decided to leave. There didn’t seem to be much of a case. They were already packing, when Sam got a call; there was another abduction. So, they decided to stay and get back to the school in the morning.

While Dean was lying in his bed, he couldn’t help but think about Destiel. Damn those girls.

The next day, they went back to the school and did some further research. After a while, they settled on the monster being a Tulpa. So, he and Marie went to burn the scarecrow. Yet, when they returned to Sam, it didn’t turn out to be a Tulpa anymore. Great… It turned out to be a Calilope; a Greek goddess who watches while authors complete their various works and then consumes them. Even when he had thought he had seen it all, he turned out to be wrong; this was certainly a new one.

The plan was to go through with the show. This took some convincing of Marie, who understandingly wasn’t that enthusiastic about the plan. However, she eventually agreed to go on with it; Sam and he would be there to protect her, they reassured.

The show actually wasn’t that bad. The songs were catchy and he guessed that the acting was tolerable too. It was still weird though. However, that wasn’t important because they had a monster to catch. It took a few acts before the thing showed up. To his regret, Sam hadn’t seen it coming as it came from behind him and his brother was taken. Yet, Dean had the feeling he could handle it.

Then for a moment, everything around Dean seemed to take a halt. He was standing in the coulisses when he suddenly saw that the only girl on the stage was the Castiel look-a-like. He had to say the girl looked pretty cute in that trench coat. Maybe that was because trench coats were pretty cute in general, Dean mused.

‘’Okay, so, you can pop in tomorrow morning.’’ His own look-a-like said, leaving the stage.

‘’Yes. I'll just... wait here, then.’’ Castiel’s replica responded.

It just felt so weird. He remembered saying those exact words to Castiel and Castiel saying those exact words to him. Apart for the ‘wait here, then’, since he had hung up on Castiel mid-sentence. And Castiel had waited; he had waited until the best moment imaginable. Castiel had saved him just in time from Zachariah. He had never forgotten about that moment; he had never trusted Castiel more.

The song was nice, but Dean sincerely doubted that Castiel had ever really sung it. However, it did make him realize of how much Castiel actually was there for him. Often, he took him being there for granted, as was the case at the particular moment in the musical. As Dean was looking at the singing girl, he just hoped that Castiel was aware of how grateful he was and of how much he cared about him.

How much he loved him.

All of a sudden, the realization struck him; he loved Castiel. He really loved him... What he felt was more than friendship, and it wasn’t brotherly, even though he had previously mistaken it to be so. Dean was lost for a moment, still shocked by his sudden realization. However, he didn’t have much time further to think about it, because moments later, the scarecrow reappeared and he had to attack. He had fought the thing, but was thrown on the ground by it. To his surprise however, it was Marie who managed to kill the thing. As a result, it burst into purple goo. Nonetheless, the audience seemed impressed, as it gave a standing ovation. Marie called for an intermission and Dean was just glad that it was over. During the intermission, he and Sam said their goodbyes to Marie and the girls and moments later they were on stage again. He and Sam stuck around to hear the girls' version of Kansas’ ‘Carry On, Wayward Son’ and it sounded actually pretty good, thought Dean. When the song was over, they went outside and left.

Now, he was alone sitting in the motel room on the hotel bed. Sam was taking a shower. Dean took the moment to process what he had realized moments before. He could still hardly believe it. He couldn’t help but think of what an idiot he was; Castiel had been his friend for years, and only now did he realise that he was in love him. Dean guessed that his denial of liking men probably had a lot to do with that. God, he was stupid.

Moreover, he didn’t have any clue what to do with his realisation. Was he supposed to talk about it? Should he tell Castiel? Thoughts and questions ran through his mind. Eventually he settled that it would be best not to say anything to Castiel or anyone for that matter. Talking about it would just be uncomfortable and he didn’t want to confuse Castiel. He had manipulated the angel enough, he thought.

Dean sighed and let himself fall down on the bed; he was exasperated.

Moments later, Sam came out of the bathroom.

‘’Hey, you okay?’’ He asked.

Dean sat up. ‘’Yeah I am.’’ He said. ‘’Just thinking about Cas.’’

Sam seemed a little surprised that he had brought Castiel up. ‘’What about him, Dean?’’ He asked, taking a seat on the other bed.

Dean sighed. ‘’I just don’t know what to do.’’

‘’He has forgiven you though, hasn’t he?’’ Sam asked.

‘’He did, but I don’t know Sam, what I did…’’

‘’What? You don’t believe he meant it?’’

Dean sighed again. ‘’I don’t know… If you ask me, there are just some things you can’t forgive.’’

Sam smiled. ‘’Dean, I’m sure things will get better eventually. It’s all still a little raw right now, but you’ll get through it.’’ He said and it was obvious to Dean that he was trying to make him feel better.

‘’Yeah...’’ He said, standing up. ‘’I think I’m gonna hit a bar.’’ He let Sam know.

Walking out of the room, he could hear Sam’s sigh.

Chapter Text

Dean had been having nightmares. Every time, he would be covered in blood, dead bodies all around him. Tonight as well, he found himself kneeling in a room and covered in blood, decimated bodies littering the ground around him. With the blade still in his hand, all he could do was glance around at the carnage surrounding him. And just like all those other nights, he woke up with a start.

The next day, Dean was tired, but he tried not to show it to Sam. He didn’t want to worry him, there was nothing they could do about the mark for the moment. They were trying to find a way though. He and Sam were both scouring the Men of Letters library for a solution. However, a way to get rid of the mark proved to be hard to find.

It was evening and he and Sam were done researching for the day when Castiel texted. It was an emergency and he needed them to come. So, they packed their things and went for Pontiac, Illinois.

They had been driving for hours when they arrived at the restaurant they had agreed to meet. While he was parking the car, he could already see Castiel standing outside.

Dean had mixed feelings about seeing Castiel. On the one hand he was glad to see him again because he had missed him, but on the other, he was also nervous. Their last talk had been good, he had to admit, but since that talk, even more had changed. He had realised he was in love, and now that fact came on top of the shit that already was standing between them. Dean only hoped he would be able to behave normally. The fact that he almost hadn’t slept last night wouldn’t help though.

They got out of the car and walked over to Cas. They greeted and Castiel explained what the situation was. Dean felt slightly annoyed; when Castiel had said it was an emergency, he didn’t expect it to be about the fact that Claire had run off on him.

Dean tried, but he couldn’t keep in what he was thinking. ‘’This is why you called us? This is your emergency?’’ He asked, annoyance clear in his voice.

‘’Yes!’’ Castiel exclaimed in return.

‘’No, Cas! An emergency is a dead body, okay? Or… or a wigged-out angel, or the Apocalypse, take three. Some chick bolting on you is not an emergency. That’s… that’s every Friday night for Sam.’’ He joked, but he was serious about it not being an emergency.

‘’Dude.’’ Sam said, obviously not appreciating his joke.

‘’Well.’’

‘’This isn’t just ‘some chick’.’’ Castiel let them know, using air quotes for some reason… ‘’I’m responsible for her.’’ He said looking serious.

‘’Since when? You met her once, how many years ago? She rolled you, and then she ran, okay? It’s pretty clear that she doesn’t want to play house.’’ He said, hoping he didn’t sound too harsh.

‘’I understand. But I need to know that Claire is safe. And I need your help.’’ Castiel said and Dean could see the worry on his face; and that was it for Dean. He needed to help Cas, he owed him, but moreover, he wanted to. Claire’s safety was obviously important to Castiel.

Sam also seemed to have settled on wanting to help. ‘’All right. Uh… Why don’t we go ask around at the group home?’’ He suggested.

That was definitely the best lead, Dean had to agree, but he kind of wanted to get Cas alone for a moment. ‘’Uh, you know what? We’re going to stick here in case she circles back. You go ahead.’’ He therefore suggested. He knew he wasn’t being subtle at all, but he just needed this.

Sam seemed to understand or he just didn’t care because he agreed and left for the group home.

Spending time with Cas was actually a lot less awkward than he had expected it to be, considering everything. Cas was being his normal, dorky self and Dean also was able to keep things together reasonably. Moreover, the place had the best burgers. Dean was in the middle of one when he noticed Castiel studying a ketchup bottle intently. Dean couldn’t grasp what could be so interesting about it, but again; Castiel was a weird, dorky, little guy.

‘’Is ketchup a vegetable?’’ Castiel asked confusedly.

‘’Hell, yes.’’ He responded seriously, he couldn’t understand where that question came from though…

For a moment, they were quiet again. But, Dean got curious about where Castiel’s sudden interest in Claire was coming from. Like he said, he hadn’t had contact with Claire at all for years now.

‘’All right, so spill. What’s with the family reunion?’’ He therefore asked.

‘’I don’t know. I’ve just been… thinking about people.’’ Castiel responded and Dean couldn’t help but find his response vague.

So, instead of responding, he waited on Castiel to elaborate. He seemed to take his time and Dean took the moment to switch their plates, taking Castiel’s burger and setting his empty plate in front of him; he didn’t seem to mind.

‘’I’ve helped some, but I’ve… I’ve hurt some.’’ Castiel eventually added and Dean knew that this was about Claire’s parents. He was probably feeling responsible for taking them away from her. He guessed that in that respect Castiel and he were a lot alike; he was also always feeling responsible and guilty about everything.

‘’Cas, listen to me. There’s some stuff you just got to let go. Okay? The people you let down, the ones you can’t save… You got to forget about them. For your own good.’’ Dean advised him, hoping Castiel would listen. Dean just really didn’t want him to feel bad.

‘’Is that what you do?’’ Castiel asked.

‘’That’s the opposite of what I do.’’ Dean admitted. ‘’But I ain’t exactly a role model.’’ He added, chuckling a little.

‘’That’s not true.’’ Castiel countered, suddenly looking at him adoringly with his bright blue eyes. Dean couldn’t help but smile at the sight of it.

For a moment Dean could only look at Castiel and he forgot to talk back, yet after a second, he gathered himself. ‘’Yeah.’’ He said and huffed.

‘’How are you, Dean?’’ Castiel asked then suddenly.

‘’Fine.’’ he responded, but Castiel was giving him a look; he didn’t seem to buy what he was selling. ‘’I’m great!’’ He added, but Castiel still didn’t seem to believe him.

‘’No, you’re not.’’ Castiel did know him pretty well, Dean considered.

Accepting that he couldn’t lie, Dean tried to be more honest. ‘’Yeah, well, I lost the black eyes, so that’s a plus. But I still have this.’’ He said, touching the Mark on his arm.

‘’Yes, I’m very glad you are without them.’’ Castiel responded and smiled. ‘’Is the Mark of Cain still affecting you?’’ He asked further.

It was still affecting him. It wasn’t just the dreams, also during the day, Dean felt on edge. He felt like he could possibly snap at any moment. It kind of scared him; now that he knew what he could turn into. All he knew was that he couldn’t let that happen again.

‘’Cas, I need you to promise me something.’’

Castiel nodded. ‘’Of course.’’

‘’If I do go dark side, you got to take me out.’’

‘’What do you mean?’’ Castiel asked, he seemed confused.

‘’Knife me. Smite me. Throw me into the freaking sun, whatever. And don’t let Sam get in the way, because he’ll try. I can’t go down that road again. I can’t be that thing again.’’ Dean explained and he looked down. Just only the mention of him being a demon brought a so much shame and regret to the surface of his thoughts.

‘’Dean, I-I couldn’t…’’ Castiel said, frowning and shaking his head slightly. ‘’I might not be your brother, but… I don’t think that I would be able to do that.’’ He explained softly.

Dean looked at Castiel and thought that he probably should have expected that response. He knew about how much Cas cared about him; maybe he shouldn’t have asked.

Then, his phone rang, it was Sam; he had a lead.

 

 

xxx

 

 

Sam’s lead worked out; through a boy she seemed to be close with, they were able to find Claire. Just in time too, because she was on the verge of robbing some convenience store. Fortunately, Castiel was able to stop her. However, when they were all in the alley, Claire had been very angry and lashed out at all three of them. She seemed particularly angry at him and yelled at that he had killed her father and her mother would still be around if it wasn’t for him. Castiel couldn’t deny her accusations.

Castiel wanted nothing more than to calm her down, but she didn’t seem to want to listen. She even pulled a gun on them, but Castiel was certain she wouldn’t use it on them, she was just feeling desperate. He hoped that apologising would help, but unfortunately, it didn’t. Claire didn’t want to forgive him and he couldn’t blame her. After that, she ran away.

After the confrontation Dean proposed to go to a bar. Castiel wasn’t opposed to it. Sam had argued the proposal, but when Dean claimed that it would make him feel better, he agreed eventually.

Dean turned out to be right, spending time at the bar with the Winchesters did make him feel slightly better. He had liked it when Dean had started talking about his childhood, stories of when he was younger; he didn’t get to hear those very often. He liked hearing more about Dean, what he was like before they met… They stayed at the bar for a while and they talked about a lot of things. Yet after a while, worry about Claire kept coming back and he just couldn’t stay there any longer, no matter how much he liked being there.

Later that night, they managed to find the place Claire was staying. They noticed that there seemed to be a lot of people in the house; it was clear to them that something was wrong. So, they went to inspect the house and through the window, they could see guns, and they didn’t need to know more. The plan was to barge in, get Claire out and apprehend anyone who got in the way. Nonetheless, things had gone south. They had managed to get Claire out of the house and he, Sam and her were already in the car, but suddenly they noticed that Dean had stayed behind. When they suddenly heard screams coming from the house, all three of them ran back to it and the sight they encountered was horrible.

Dean was kneeling in the living room, a bloody knife in his hand. Castiel could see many blood-covered bodies surrounding him as Dean was kneeling on the floor. Claire screamed and he immediately pulled her to him shielding her away from the view. He watched as Sam rushed over to Dean.

‘’Dean? Dean. Hey.’’ Sam said as he kneeled in front of Dean, taking his brother’s face in his hands. ‘’Tell me you had to do this.’’

‘’I didn’t… I didn’t mean to.’’ Castiel could hear Dean say in a confused voice.

‘’No. Tell me it was them or you!’’ Sam pleaded.

Castiel only looked horrified at Dean and the carnage surrounding him. He decided it would be best to just lead Claire back outside.

 

 

xxx

 

 

After what had happened, the three of them went to the bunker and stayed there for a while. They were all more determined than ever to find something for the Mark, since they had now seen how badly things could get. He had managed to slightly talk things out with Claire though, so not all was bad. They had parted on good terms and Castiel only hoped that she would be okay.

Nevertheless, the search for a solution was almost hopeless. They had searched and searched but they couldn’t find any book that would be of help. There was nothing they could find in the lore about the Mark. They were out of ideas when Castiel suddenly thought about Metatron. He was the last angel he wanted to see, but Metatron was incredibly knowledgeable. So, after some discussing, they decided to bring him in to question him. He knew he was asking a lot from his brothers and sisters, but fortunately they agreed to let him have the scribe.

Yet, bringing Metatron in for answers soon proved to be a mistake. First, they had questioned him together, but the scribe didn’t let anything go. He was only being is annoying self. They had been taking a break when he and Sam suddenly noticed that Dean had been gone for a while. They immediately went to dungeon and they could hear screams. They had tried to go in, but Dean had locked the door. When he eventually managed to open it with the help of his grace they ran inside and were on him in seconds, stopping him from assaulting Metatron any further.

After he had returned to the bunker from bringing back Metatron to the angels, Sam and he talked about what to do further. Dean was in his room, like he was a lot these days. They had shared their concerns but they seemed to be out of options. Or that was until Cain came to Castiel’s mind. He knew it wasn’t the best lead, but he figured that Cain might have answers. After further discussing the option with Sam, he decided to go looking for him.

He said goodbye to Sam and when he was busy packing his things, Dean appeared.

‘’Cas, I heard you were leaving?’’ He asked, walking towards him.

Castiel looked up from his duffel bag. ‘’Yes, I’m going to find Cain.’’ He answered.

‘’Yeah, Sam told me. You really think he could be of help?’’

He sighed. ‘’I don’t know Dean, but I do know that I won’t achieve anything here, I’ve been through all the lore already. I’m not sure if finding Cain will help, but I need to find out.’’

Dean smiled a little. ‘’You’re probably right… Are you sure you wanna do this though? I mean you don’t have to leave.’’

‘’I know Dean.’’ He said and smiled. ‘’But it feels like the best thing for me to do right now, we have already turned every page in this library.’’

‘’I know. Just be careful, okay.’’ Dean said while gripping his shoulder.

He nodded. ‘’I will.’’

They stood there for a moment and Castiel realised that Dean hadn’t let go of him yet, but he didn’t mind. Dean was looking at him, yet, he couldn’t quite place the expression that was on his face. It was also almost like he wanted to say something, but couldn’t find any words.

He just started thinking that maybe he should be the one saying something when Dean surprised him by hugging him.

‘’Just make sure you come back in one piece.’’ Dean said.

Castiel smiled and returned the hug. ‘’Of course.’’ He reassured.

The moment was nice and it was over way to fast in Castiel’s opinion.

They both let go and smiled at each other for a moment. He would miss Dean. However, he had to leave, so he picked up his bag.

He nodded, and left.

Chapter Text

Pure coincidence was what also led him and Sam on Cain’s path. They had been going on regular hunts for a while before they stumbled upon a disappearance of a prisoner named Tommy that was connected to Cain. Dean was glad to say that the hunts generally had gone well, considering the Mark. But then there was Charlie… What he did to her was terrible and he still felt guilty about it. He had hoped he could keep control somehow, but he proved unable to do that. So much for his plan of trying to keep the Mark in check like Cain did.

They had been wondering why Cain would take the effort to go and abduct a prisoner. They didn’t get it. So, they called Castiel in the hope that he had some answers. Dean was glad to hear his voice again, but Castiel hung up quite abruptly. He later explained when he called back that that was because Cain had appeared. They talked and decided to regroup and meet up at the bunker.

When Castiel came in, he and Sam were doing research in the library. He looked good. Dean had been slightly worried about him since meeting Cain wasn’t nothing, especially since he had his bloodthirst back now.

Castiel explained about all he found out. About the killings, his meeting with Cain and about his mission of killing his descendants to rid the world of his bloodline. Cain certainly had a relapse, and it was a big one. It wasn’t good to hear. Somehow Dean had drawn hope on Cain and his ability to keep the Mark in check. Now that Cain had become so unhinged, his own prospects didn’t look so good to him either.

Apparently his disappointment was visible to Castiel. ‘’I'm sorry I couldn't bring better news, Dean.’’ Castiel therefore said.

‘’It's not your fault, Cas.’’

‘’He's wiping out entire families, one after another.’’ Sam concluded.

Dean sighed. ‘’So who's next? Is he done with the Tollivers?’’

‘’Uh, I think so. I mean, Tommy was never married, so I-‘’ Sam started until he apparently saw something on his laptop. ‘’Oh, come on. Damn it.’’

‘’What?’’ Castiel asked.

‘’Tommy did have a son, estranged, who lives with his mother in Ohio, uh… Austin Reynolds, 12 years old.’’ Sam explained. ‘’He’s still alive though I think, he updated his status about an hour ago. But, I mean, come on. It's a kid. You don't really think Cain would-‘’

‘’Yes, he would.’’ Contended Castiel.

‘’There were old men in those graves, Sam, women. I mean, you heard Cas. It's a fire sale. Everyone must go.’’ Dean added before he turned to walk away.

‘’Where you going?’’ Sam asked him.

For a moment he turned back to face his brother and Castiel. ‘’We know where Cain's gonna be. The kid's in danger.’’

‘’Okay, so what, we track him down to Ohio, and then what?’’ Sam responded.

‘’Then I'll do what I have to do... I'll kill Cain.’’ He said before walking out.

He was in his room, packing. All he knew was that he had to put an end to this. It was what Cain would have wanted. He had told him that there would come a day when he had to kill him and it seemed that now that day had come. However, it certainly wouldn’t be easy. Cain wasn’t called the Father of Murder for nothing, and he surely wouldn’t go down without a fight.

After only a few moments, his brother and Castiel had joined him in his room. He tried to explain.

‘’When he gave me the Mark, Cain said that this day would come, that after I killed Abaddon, I would have to come and put him down.’’ He sighed. ‘’Cain resisted the Mark for a long time, then I came, kicking up trouble about the Blade. I sent him down this path. This is on me.’’

Sam looked like he was about to argue his statement, but what he said was true. Cain had been living a normal life and not harming anyone until he came along. He was responsible.

‘’It doesn't mean you have to be the one to go after him.’’ Sam said, looking concerned.

‘’Yes, it does. And there's only one thing that can kill him.’’

‘’The Blade.’’ Sam paused for a moment. ‘’Dean, wielding the Blade against Cain himself... win or lose, you may never come back from that fight.’’

‘’I know.’’ He said.

 

 

xxx

 

 

Castiel was worried; he guessed they all were. It was obvious to him that Dean was trying to keep up a brave face but he could see that he was scared. Castiel wished that he could help more, but the plan was already made and in the end, it all came down to Dean.

Dean had called Crowley to come and the demon agreed to it. They needed him to come and therefore Dean had lied to him saying that he was on Cain’s hit list. It wasn't true, but they really needed him to be there to bring the First Blade. Castiel wondered what it would be like for Dean to see Crowley again, since they hadn’t seen each other since Dean was cured.

They were standing outside of the bar waiting for the demon. They were going over the plan, but a part of it didn’t sit well with Sam. He didn’t want to use the child as bait to lure Cain. Castiel understood his concerns, but he had to agree with Dean that this was the best chance for them to stop Cain. However, when Crowley showed up the issue wasn’t a problem anymore. The demon said that he could do a disillusionment spell that caused them not to need the child’s presence anymore. However, he did demand that he wouldn’t hand over the Blade unless Cain would be trapped. So after a slight change of plans, they went to prepare for Cain’s arrival

Upstairs Sam and Dean were talking. He was downstairs, preparing. His part in the plan was only to spray paint the devil’s trap on the barn floor and to lure Cain inside. His job would be to act like he was trying to prevent Cain from entering the barn. It was what they wanted, but they had to act like it wasn’t. They couldn’t make it seem too easy, or Cain would realise it was a trap. He wondered if Cain would let him live. If not, he hoped he would end things quickly; he didn’t have much strength to fight back. The grace that Dean forced him to take had started to fade and he was slowly getting weaker again. He hadn’t mentioned it to Sam or Dean; they had enough to worry about.

Suddenly, he could see Crowley appear out of nothing from the corner of his eye.

“Looking a little wan there Cassie. How is that grace of yours holding up?” The demon asked tauntingly.

Castiel really wasn’t in the mood for the demon’s taunts right now. He didn’t want to talk. Moreover, he knew that Crowley knew exactly how his grace must have been holding up. The demon knew about what Dean did to him and he also must have known that it was months ago since Dean had forced the stolen grace on him. Castiel knew he was only asking out of spite.

“It's fine, Crowley. I am fine.” He said, not even bothering to turn and look at the demon. Yet, it wasn’t true and he guessed that Crowley would see right through his lie.

“The clock is ticking again, isn't it? So heroic. Running errands all over the US, burning through that finite supply of grace, all in a desperate effort to save your boyfriend.”

Castiel wasn’t sure how to respond to that, so he chose to ignore him. However, that didn’t stop Crowley from continue talking.

‘’I must admit; I admire the loyalty. Considering everything he has done to you.’’ Crowley said and Castiel finally turned to face him. Crowley was smirking.

‘’Dean is my friend.’’ He said nonetheless.

‘’Oh right, you’re friends… Tell me, how is that going for you?’’

Castiel took a moment before saying anything.

‘’Good.’’ He said curtly.

‘’Really? Cause I can imagine that things could have become awfully awkward since he…’’ For a short moment he paused. ‘’Oh, you know…’’ He added and smiled knowingly.

‘’I don’t see how this is any concern of yours.’’ Castiel responded.

‘’I guess it’s not. It’s just… interesting.’’

For a moment, they both said nothing and only looked at one another.

‘’I’m going outside; Cain could be here any moment.’’ Castiel eventually said. He was done talking with Crowley. He was the last person he would want to discuss his relationship with Dean with. Crowley also really seemed to enjoy knowing about what had transpired between him and Dean. Castiel couldn’t stand the demon’s knowing smirk. Therefore, he decided to leave; he’d rather face Cain than to bear another moment of it.

 

 

xxx

 

 

It was done. He had killed Cain. Everything went according to plan. Cain had showed up and the disillusionment spell let him right into the devil’s trap. After Crowley handed him the First Blade and after talking to Sam and Castiel he had gone inside. They both had expressed that they wanted to come with, but it really didn’t seem like a good idea to him. It would only make him worry. Inside, he initially had tried to reason with Cain but soon he proved not to be reasoned with. He really seemed to think that he was doing the right thing.

So, after his attempts of persuasion, he had entered the trap. Killing him was the only option left. Cain proved to be a good fighter. He was able to fend off many of his attacks even though he wasn’t using a weapon or his powers. Admittedly, he had been holding back, but it also turned out that so had Cain. The fight didn’t seem to go anywhere, so he used his demon powers and was able to get the First Blade from him. For a moment, he thought he was done for. He was lying on the ground, beaten up, Cain standing over him. Fortunately, he did manage to turn the tables and was able to get the upper hand. He got Cain on his knees and after pleading one last time with him to stop, he ended him. He said he would never stop.

For a moment all he could do was stand there, but he knew that they were waiting for him downstairs.

He walked downstairs to meet Sam and Castiel’s worried faces.

‘’Dean?’’ Sam asked apprehensively.

Yet, Crowley didn’t seem as worried as it took him only a couple of seconds to ask him about the Blade. ‘’Dean, the Blade.’’ He asked, extending his hand.

Dean took a look at the Blade, before he handed it to Castiel, who tentatively took it from him. He didn’t trust Crowley. He did trust Castiel

Crowley looked slightly betrayed. ‘’You lied to me.’’ He said.

‘’It's not the first time today. Cain's list… you weren't on it.’’ Dean said, and with that the demon disappeared.

With Crowley gone, he finally could let his walls come down. He felt so tired and broken. He collapsed onto Sam, who held him up.

‘’Hey, hey, hey. You did it. Dean, you did it.’’ Sam said.

xxx

He was in his room, sitting on his bed. The night of good night’s sleep helped, but his body still ached from his confrontation with Cain. He hadn’t come out of his room all morning. He didn’t feel so much for talking. He kept going over their options; thinking of what was left for them to do. He couldn’t come up with anything.

He also kept thinking about Cain and the things he said. He wondered if he really would be like that eventually. Was it true he was living his life in reverse? He didn’t want to believe it. He didn’t want to believe that he would ever be capable of killing Sam, or of Cas. However, he was also aware of how out of control he was sometimes. Sometimes, the Mark just seemed to take over. So far, this only happened when he was facing enemies, but maybe it was possible that it would happen facing Sam or Cas. All he knew was that he couldn’t let that happen.

So, he kept thinking and thinking of solutions, until his thoughts were interrupted by a knock on the door.

‘’Yeah?’’ He said.

The door opened and Castiel was standing in the doorway.

‘’Cas.’’ He greeted.

Castiel smiled and nodded. ‘’The Blade is somewhere safe.’’ He let him know.

‘’Good.’’

‘’How are you feeling?’’ Asked Castiel.

Dean sighed. ‘’Uhm I-‘’ He started but paused when he noticed Castiel still standing in the doorway. ‘’Cas, you can come in.’’ He said and Castiel came in. He stood for a moment a few steps from him but eventually settled on taking a seat next to him on the bed. Dean smiled.

‘’I’m actually feeling okay. Still worried about the Mark… But, things could have gone a lot worse with Cain.’’

Castiel nodded. ‘’Dean, what you did back there, it was incredible. If you can do that without losing yourself, that's cause for hope.’’ Castiel said.

Dean smiled at the angel’s optimism. ‘’Yeah, maybe.’’ He said, but his smile disappeared. He wanted to believe that there was cause for hope, but he just couldn’t.

Dean looked down and they were both silent for a moment.

‘’Dean, we will find a way.’’ Said Castiel while placing a hand on his knee.

Dean looked up at him. Castiel looked so hopeful and he couldn’t help but admire his faith. And even though he didn’t really believe what Castiel had said, his words did make him feel a little better.

‘’Thanks Cas.’’ Dean said while placing his hand on Castiel’s.

For a moment, they only looked at each other. Dean couldn’t help feeling better now that Castiel was here. He didn’t know why, but his presence and words seemed to calm him down somehow. He realised that his hand was still on Castiel’s but he found that he didn’t really care about it. He used to think that something like that was stupid, but it felt nice being close to Cas. Deep down, he wished he could kiss him, but he knew that he couldn’t do that. He didn’t deserve Castiel. So, he drew his hand back again. He could see that Castiel looked slightly disappointed, but it just wouldn’t be a good idea.

‘’So, any ideas what to do next?’’ He asked in an attempt to move past the moment.

Castiel collected himself. ‘’No, but I think I’ll leave and search. Perhaps there is lore outside of the Men of Letters archives that could help.’’

‘’Leaving again, huh? I’m starting to think that you don’t like spending time with us.’’ Dean said jokingly, although he did regret to hear that he was leaving again.

Castiel however, didn’t really seem to catch on to his joke as he started to try and reassure him that that wasn’t the case. ‘’Dean, that’s not-‘’ He started but Dean interrupted him.

‘’Cas, I know.’’ He said, smiling. ‘’When will you be leaving?’’

‘’As soon as I have gotten my things together.’’ Castiel said as he stood up.

Dean also went to stand up. ‘’Well… keep in touch, you hear me?’’

Castiel nodded. ‘’Do you think you will be okay?’’ He then asked.

Dean sighed. He wanted to say and almost said that he would be fine. But he didn’t feel like lying to Castiel anymore. ‘’I don’t know.’’ He therefore said. ‘’But, I’ll do my best to keep this thing in check.’’ He added while touching the Mark on his arm.

‘’Good. Bye Dean.’’ Castiel then said, before he walked out the room.

Chapter Text

He was about to enter a confessional; he really never thought that that was something he would ever do in his life. They were on this hunt, all the victims were men, and they were all tied to the same church. After some investigating they found out that all the victims had recently been to confession, and a central theme of the case seemed to be guys doing their women wrong. Their plan was to draw out whatever it was what attacked the men by Dean being the bait. He didn’t mind, he figured that there were enough examples he could use of him not doing right by a woman.

He took a seat in the confessional and could see the father sitting on the other side of the window.

‘’Hiya, Father.’’ He said.

‘’Pardon me?’’ The father asked.

‘’Pardon you?! I thought it was the other way around.’’ Dean said and chuckled. ‘’Just… uh, I’m here to- here to clean house. I need to get some things off my chest.’’

‘’Oh. All right, continue.’’

‘’Um… it’s the women, Father. Where do I begin?’’ He said light-heartedly.

‘’’Bless me, Father, for I have sinned’ is usual.’’ Said the father as a matter-of-factly.

Dean cleared his throat. ‘’Right. Good. Yeah. So, that, and um… so the women. Uh, and this is not something that I’m proud of, but I let them think that we have more of a future than we do, you know? Ah, Gina.’’

‘’Gina?’’ The Father asked.

‘’Well, now, don’t get me wrong. I mean, she was- it was good times. I mean, you know how it is, the sex, the lasagna, but I was not honest with her. And sometimes, I was seeing two, maybe three girls at the same time, sometimes in the same day.’’ He said chuckling. ‘’You get the picture. And it wasn’t just Gina. It was endless. It’s making me sick.’’ He said, even though it wasn’t really true. Yes, there was some truth to his words, but it wasn’t really like that in reality.

‘’And you wish to be forgiven, my son?’’

‘’I do. I need to clean up my act.’’

‘’As penance, you shall say five ‘Hail Mary’s’ two ‘Our Father’s’, and reflect on your transgression.’’

‘’And then, that’s it? then I’m good to go?’’ Dean asked, thinking how easy he found it to be absolved of his supposed sins.

‘’One would hope some… inner exploration might occur. The prayers are just the beginning to some serious soul-searching.’’ Answered the Father.

‘’Hmm.’’ Dean said and stopped to think for a moment.

‘’Is there anything else on your mind, Agent Allman?’’ The Father asked.
‘’What if I said I-I didn’t want to die… yet, you know, that I wasn’t ready?’’ He suddenly said seriously.

‘’Are you expecting to?’’

Dean chuckled. ‘’Always… You know, the life I live, the work I do… I pretty much just figured that that was all there was to me, you know? Tear around and jam the key in the ignition and haul ass until I ran out of gas. I guess I just thought sooner or later, I’d go out the same way that I live, pedal to the metal, and that would be it.’’ He said, not knowing exactly what had gotten into him to open up like this.

‘’But now?’’ Implored the Father.

He didn’t know what had gotten into him, but he didn’t stop. ‘’Now, um… recent events, uh… make me think I might be closer to that than I really thought. And I don’t know. I mean, you know, there’s– there’s things, there’s… people, feelings that I-I-I want to experience differently than I have before, or maybe even for the first time.’’ He said, and his words seemed to surprise the Father as much as they surprised himself.

Nevertheless, he meant what he said; most of his relationships didn’t last longer than just one night, and for a long time he was fine with that. There were times when he wanted more though; with Cassie, with Lisa, but he found that a relationship with them just really didn’t go well together with the life he lived. He had accepted that, and for a long time he was okay with it. But then there was Castiel. What he felt for him was just so different from what he had experienced before. He couldn’t help what it would be like to be with him. The thought used to scare him before, the fact that he was in a male vessel was always just too big of a barrier in his mind. But a lot had happened and now that he was finally able to accept his feelings he couldn’t help but think what it would be like to find something deeper with him.

The Father interrupted his thoughts. ‘’Go a little deeper, perhaps, than with Gina.’’ He said. It was almost like he could hear his thoughts.

‘’Yeah. Yeah, I’m just starting to think that… maybe there’s more to it all than I thought.’’

‘’Learning there’s more to the universe than your tiny world can be a frightening discovery. Do you truly believe in God, Agent? Because that can be a comfort.’’

‘’I believe there is a God. But I’m not sure he still believes in us.’’ Dean responded before he got out of the confessional. For a moment he forgot about it, but he had a case to work.

 

 

xxx

 

 

Sam was in his room. A lot had happened.

He and Dean had worked a few cases and they had gone relatively well. Dean really had seemed able to keep himself together and the Mark under control. It didn’t stop him from worrying though. He knew Dean did as well. They both were aware of how abruptly things could change. That is why he came up with the plan to break Metatron out of Heaven’s jail to question him further. He didn’t feel good about it but he didn’t let Dean in on it. He couldn’t forget about how he had reacted last time on Metatron’s presence and he didn’t want him to lose control like that again. So, he only approached Castiel. The angel also seemed unwilling to do it behind Dean’s back, but after some convincing he agreed to go along with the plan.

They had found a psychic that was able to bring them into contact with Bobby. It felt great to hear from him again. Sam had really missed him. He and Castiel had explained the plan to him and he seemed willing to help. So, they had gone to the playground where the portal to heaven would be. Bobby actually did it, the portal opened and Castiel went inside. Not so long after that, the portal opened again and Castiel came out with Metatron.

They had questioned him right then and there but the scribe proved to be just as much of an uncooperative douche as he ever was, so they took his grace and shot him in the leg. They questioned him again and he still didn’t let anything go. It became clear that he didn’t know anything. He was just about to shoot him when he did say that he knew about where Castiel’s grace was located. He hadn’t thought about that. He told Castiel that it was up to him to decide what to do with Metatron next. Castiel decided to take him to find his grace. Sam understood, he knew it wasn’t easy for him being without it. Before he left, the angel handed him a note from Bobby.

He was reading it right now. He wished he could share it with Dean but he knew that he couldn’t. In the letter, Bobby advised him not to go behind Dean’s back, because there might be one hell of a price. But he also said he knows that Sam will make the right choice, because he’s a good man and he’s proud of him. The letter really touched him.

He went to bed, but Bobby’s words kept running through his mind. He advised him not to go behind Dean’s back and he had to agree that it wasn’t a good idea. They had done it in the past and it never ended well. But on the other hand, he didn’t feel like he had any other choice. Still, it never felt good lying to Dean. It wasn’t a choice that he had to make right now anyway; he would think about it. He only hoped that Bobby was right when he wrote that he would make the right choice.

 

 

xxx

 

 

Neither he nor Sam had expected her to, but all of a sudden, Charlie called. Apparently she was back in the States, and had the Book of the Damned with her. Over the phone, she told them she was confident that the book could provide a cure for the Mark. They hardly couldn’t believe it and it was also hard not to get their hopes up. However, not all was good, because she told them that she was shot and there turned out to be some people on her tail. So, he and Sam immediately left to get to her.

The people following her were called the Stynes. He and Sam had never heard about them, but apparently the Men of Letters did. Judging from their files, they didn’t seem to be a family you should mess with. When they encountered them that fact proved to be right; they weren’t easy to put down. However, together they were able to kill them all. The only thing he regretted was that they couldn’t use the book. Sam burned the thing and even if he didn’t there was no way he would want to use it. He could just feel the evil coming off of it. It was full of dark magic and that kind of magic always came with a price.

So after taking care of the Stynes, he, Sam and Charlie went back to the bunker. The three of them talked in the library for a few hours. It was great to have Charlie back again. She told them about all the things she had experienced. But after a while, they became hungry so he and Charlie went to grab some pizzas.

When he and Charlie came back to the bunker he was surprised to see Castiel there. Still, he was happy to see him.
‘’Hey, look who decided to show!’’ He said enthusiastically while walking down the stairs. ‘’So? You’re back? A hundred percent?’’

Castiel nodded.

‘’How did that happen?’’ He asked as he put the food down on the table.

‘’Um… it was Hannah. She managed to get the location of the remainder of my Grace out of Metatron.’’ Castiel told him.

‘’Awesome! I told you we were due for a win.’’ He said to Sam. Then he turned back to Castiel. ‘’Great to have you back, Cas, it’s good to see you.’’ He said softly and smiled.

Castiel smiled back at him. ‘’It’s good to see you too, Dean.’’

‘’Soo, are we moving this to the kitchen?’’ Charlie asked.

And they did.

In the kitchen, they were all eating, drinking and laughing together and Dean felt happy. For a moment, he didn’t have any worries and forgot about the Mark. He wished things could always be like this.

 

 

xxx

 

 

Sam was glad that Dean seemed happy. He hadn’t seen his brother like that for a while. He was talking and laughing and also really glad that Cas and Charlie were there. So was he, but he couldn’t help but feel a little uncomfortable. He had a hard time feeling at ease since he had just gone behind his brother’s back. He knew that he wouldn’t feel good about it and he didn’t. He just hoped he did the right thing.

He had thought that he would have more time to think about it, but they were under attack and he had to think fast. Dean told him to burn the book, but he just couldn’t do it. It felt like it was the only chance of curing Dean, and he couldn’t throw that away. He felt so sneaky when he wrapped another book in the cloth and threw it into the fire. Fortunately, neither Dean nor Charlie had noticed him doing it.

Now, the book was in his room and he couldn’t help but think about it. He hardly caught anything of what the other three were talking about. He thought about Castiel and Charlie, and whether they would go along with his plan or not. He hoped they would. Sam guessed it would take them both some convincing, but that they would agree eventually. However, convincing Castiel and Charlie wouldn’t be the only bridge he needed to cross, he also needed someone to decode the spells in the book. Sam knew exactly whom to approach, but he didn’t like having to. He had a feeling Rowena would be able to do it, but he really didn’t trust her. Nonetheless, he needed to see this through. For Dean.

 

 

xxx

 

 

Shortly after they finished eating, both Sam and Charlie went to bed. Admittedly, it was pretty late. He hadn’t planned it, but as a result he found himself alone in the kitchen witch Castiel. Dean had to admit that he also felt a little tired, but he was still in a good mood and didn’t want to call it a night just yet.

‘’I can’t believe you only took one slice.’’ He said.

Castiel smiled. ‘’Dean, I told you. Those slices only taste like molecules to me now.’’

‘’Hmm, already regretting being an angel again?’’ He asked jokingly.

‘’No.’’ Castiel said, still smiling. ‘’There are certain things I’ll miss but no; I’m glad to have my grace back.’’

‘’Yeah, I get it. I’m glad too; I know it’s been hard…’’ He said. ‘’So, how did you like Charlie?’’ He asked in an attempt to change to a less gloomy topic.

‘’I liked her, she seems really kind and intelligent.’’ Castiel answered. ‘’When did you meet her?’’

Dean answered his question and told him all about how she had helped them to defeat Dick Roman a couple of years ago. He also told Castiel about how they met again during his and Sam’s LARPing-case. He thought that Castiel would be interested in his story about the fairy, but to his surprise, the angel seemed more interested in the concept of LARPing. After that, they talked about many other things and the time just seemed to fly. Before Dean knew it, it was two in the morning. He really figured he should be going to bed.

‘’Cas, I really should be going to bed.’’ He announced and stood up.

Castiel was standing up as well. ‘’Have a good night Dean.’’ He said.

Dean smiled and turned around. He started walking out of the kitchen before he turned around again.

‘’Cas, what are you going to do for the next few hours?’’ He inquired. ‘’We’ll all be sleeping.’’ He had always wondered what the angel was doing while he and Sam were asleep.

‘’Well… I usually just read. It always helps pass the time.’’ Castiel explained.

Dean huffed. ‘’That’s boring…’’ He took a moment before saying what he said next. ‘’Are you sure you don’t wanna crash in one of the rooms? I uh… won’t mind.’’ He said, not knowing what had gotten into him. He had just basically offered Castiel to sleep in his room, considering he and Sam had only three bedrooms made: his own, Sam’s and one for guests.

Castiel smiled. ‘’Dean I don’t need sleep anymore.’’ He said as if he wasn’t aware of that already.

Dean figured it was for the best anyway, it was a stupid idea.

‘’Right.’’ He said, trying to keep up his smile. ‘’I’ll see you in the morning then.’’

Chapter Text

‘’Sam, I’m not sure about this.’’ Castiel said, looking conflicted.

Days had gone by, and in the meantime he had set his plan in motion; he had approached and made a deal with Rowena so she would help, and he had managed to convince Charlie to help her encoding the Book of the Damned. All that was left was him needing to convince Castiel to join. Sam had just told him everything; about his plan, about not burning the book and about his deal with Rowena. Sam had expected Castiel would react like this; he only hoped he could convince him and make him understand.

Sam sighed. ‘’I know you don’t wanna go behind Dean’s back; I don’t either, but I don’t see another way. Dean… it almost seems like he has given up on finding a cure, but this book can be it.’’ He pleaded.

Castiel turned his back on him and seemed to take a moment to think about it. When he turned around again to face him, he spoke. ‘’Surely, we can explain this to Dean and-‘’ He started, but Sam interrupted him.

‘’We can’t, Cas. I’ve talked to him about using the book. He already knows that it might be able to cure him, but he still didn’t want to use it.’’

‘’He’s afraid of the consequences of such magic.’’ Castiel concluded from what he told him.

‘’Yes.’’

‘’And you are not?’’ Castiel asked him.

Sam sighed. ‘’I am, and I can see where he’s coming from. But we don’t know what those consequences are going to be, and chances are they won’t even be that bad. All I know is that with this book we have a chance to cure my brother and I think we should take it. And yeah, there might be consequences, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.’’

Castiel took a moment to process his answer. ‘’Rowena has told you she can cure Dean with it?’’ He then wanted to know.

‘’She’s almost sure. The Mark… it’s a curse, and she explained that all curses can be broken…’’ He said, but when Castiel said nothing, he continued. ‘’As far as I can tell, this is our only shot at saving him, if we don’t take it… he’s gone.’’

Castiel looked up at him. ‘’What do you need me to do?’’ He finally asked.

‘’Well… I’ve already talked to Charlie and she is going to join Rowena at the warehouse to help encode the book. It would be great if you could watch over them; I’m going on a case tomorrow with Dean, so I won’t be able to be there to keep an eye on things… Also, I thought you might be of help in getting the ingredients we’re going to need for the spell.’’ He explained.

Castiel frowned, but nodded. ‘’What should I tell Dean?’’ He then suddenly asked.

Sam didn’t understand what Castiel meant. ‘’What do you mean Cas?’’

‘’Well… I am going to leave the bunker, what is my reason?’’ Castiel asked in turn.

‘’Oh, uh... I don’t know. Do you have to say anything at all? It wouldn’t be first time you left without an explanation.’’ He said, his words coming out more accusatory than he had intended.

‘’Right.’’ Castiel said and a somewhat awkward pause followed.

‘’I’ll uh… write you down the location.’’ Sam said and walked away to get a pen and paper.

He was glad that Castiel had agreed to help, it would make things considerably easier, he thought. He was making regular trips to the warehouse to check up on Rowena and the progress she was making with the book and he figured that Dean must have started to notice him leaving the bunker all the time. Dean had already asked him about it and Sam knew he was slightly suspicious that he was hiding something. Now that Castiel could step in, he wouldn’t have to need to go out as often. He hoped it would take some of the suspicion away. Sam hated lying to Dean, but he had to. He only hoped that Dean would understand.

 

 

xxx

 

 

They were back in the bunker from their case and they were doing research on the Stynes family. As they had predicted, the murder of the woman whose eyes were also removed was connected to the Stynes. There was security footage of the killer escaping unharmed after jumping from a third story window and the Styne family crest was tattooed on the man’s wrist. Dean didn’t understand how that was possible, he also didn’t understand what the guy’s motive was or why he had removed the woman’s eyes. Therefore, he and Sam were reading up on the family, all the files the Men of Letters had collected about them. There was still a lot they needed to learn about that family. Dean had the feeling they were keeping something big.

Somehow, he also had the feeling Sam was keeping something from him, but he didn’t know if that was true or if he was just being paranoid. He had asked Sam about it, saying that he had noticed him running of on his own a lot lately. Sam’s answer had been vague and evasive, but he had let it go. However, it still had him wondering. Sam also had been receiving a lot of phone calls, which Sam never answered if he was around. It happened again just this afternoon as they were questioning the building manager. It was weird and just so out of the ordinary.

All of a sudden, Sam stood up and announced he was grabbing a shower. He walked out of the room and Dean couldn’t help but notice that he didn’t take his phone with him. There was an urge in him to grab it and take a look in Sam’s caller history and texts, but he couldn’t do it. Doing that was just never okay. So, he continued his reading of the files, until it rang. Dean walked over to it, and he was surprised that it was Castiel’s name that was visible on the screen. Was it Castiel that was calling Sam all the time? Dean wondered if he should pick up. After thinking about it for a second, he did.

‘’Cas?’’ He asked.

‘’Sam.’’ Said Castiel, he sounded tense. It made Dean wonder what he was up to. It also made him wonder if he really sounded that much like Sam for Castiel to mistake him for him.

‘’No, it's Dean. What's up?’’

The other side of the line was silent for a moment. ‘’Nothing. I'm just, uh… just staying in touch. Like I do.’’ Castiel replied eventually.

‘’Something on your mind?’’ He asked hesitantly.

‘’No. This call is pointless. My ride's here.’’ Castiel then said before abruptly hanging up the phone.

Dean put Sam’s phone back on the table and sat back down again thinking about the conversation he just had. It was so weird. He knew that Castiel wasn’t an expert in making conversation, but he was never this bad. So many questions ran through his head. Why was Castiel calling Sam? Were they hiding something? Dean didn’t want to believe they were. But if so, what could it be?

Dean completely abandoned his readings on the Styne family in order to think. He regretted he hadn’t asked Castiel where he was. Not that he had much time to do so since the angel had hung up on him so quickly, but he had been wondering about where Castiel had gone to a lot since he had left. He had been staying in the bunker with them, but one day he was just gone. Dean hadn’t really expected him to leave, and as far as he knew, Castiel had nowhere he really needed to be. Dean had actually been hoping they could spend some more time together. Dean sighed. Maybe he shouldn’t have expected Castiel to stay; he never stayed around for long. Yet, somehow he thought this time would be different. Dean wished he had at least said goodbye…

All of a sudden, Dean heard footsteps and Sam walked into the library, freshly showered. Without saying anything, he returned to the seat he previously abandoned. Sam was already picking up a file when he asked.

‘’Hey, uh… you talk to- talk to Cas recently?’’ He said, trying to sound casual.

‘’No. Um, not for a while. Why?’’ Sam said, but Dean didn’t believe him.

‘’I was just wondering what he's up to. He's got to be up to something right?’’

‘’Yeah. Angel stuff or… I don't know.’’ Sam responded. Dean knew he was lying but he still thought to himself that Sam really could do better than this. Angel stuff? Did Sam really expect him to fall for that excuse?

‘’Yeah.’’ He said. Dean wondered if he should just confront Sam about everything, but he decided not to. Chances were Sam would just keep lying anyway. So, he got up. ‘’I’m gonna get some pizza, you want any?’’ He asked.

‘’Sure, I could eat some.’’ Sam responded and Dean left.

 

 

xxx

 

 

Things had gone so, so wrong. Dean had left to go get the pizza, but he was cornered and attacked by the Stynes. Fortunately, he had been able to fight them off, despite being outnumbered. Dean had taken one of them, called Eldon, back to the bunker. Together, they had chained him up in the dungeon and interrogated him. The guy had boasted about his family dynasty and about how they have been profiting out of causing societal chaos for 1.000 years with the help of the Book of the Damned.

During the interrogation, Castiel had called and therefore he had left the dungeon to talk. Castiel told him how tense things were at the warehouse between Charlie and Rowena. Sam wished he could do more about it, but he his hands were tied and he had to get back into the room. So, he had told Cas to handle things and that he would be there as soon as he could.

However, when he had hung up and turned around, Dean was suddenly there. He didn’t know how much he had overheard, but the look of suspicion on his face said enough. He knew that Dean was about to confront him about everything when they heard a noise coming from the dungeon. They had run over there to see that Eldon had disappeared. When after a failed attempt to follow his trail, they were back in the library, Dean confronted him.

Dean knew. He knew that he hadn’t burned the book and that he had been going behind his back to work on a cure for the Mark. Sam wanted to explain, but before he had a chance to do so, his phone rang. It was Castiel, and he told him that Charlie was gone. Sam was worried and so was Dean, who also looked extremely pissed. But before Dean got the chance to fall out at him, Sam’s phone rang again.

It was Charlie. She sounded panicked, and when he asked her where she had gone to, she told him she was at a motel, the Blackbird. And she said she wasn’t alone. Sam knew it must be the Stynes that had located her, so he immediately told her to give them whatever they wanted. That was when Dean grasped the phone out of his hands, telling her the same; to give them whatever they wanted. But Charlie responded that she couldn’t do that, before she hung up the phone. He and Dean had immediately rushed over to the impala.

‘’So, you had the book the whole time?’’ Dean asked him, still sounding very angry.

‘’Dean,-‘’ He started, but Dean interrupted him.

‘’You lied right to my face!’’ Dean said.

‘’I thought it was our only chance to get you free of the Mark, so I grabbed it.’’ He tried to explain.

‘’I made it real clear how I felt. You ever consider that?’’

‘’Dean, listen-‘’ He tried again, but again he got interrupted.

‘’And then you pulled Cas into it. And Charlie.’’

‘’Charlie loves you, Dean. We all love you.’’ He told him, but his words didn’t seem to have any effect on Dean.

After that, Dean didn’t speak to him anymore. He guessed, that just like him, worry over Charlie’s safety was taking precedence.

Dean rode fast, so it didn’t take them long to arrive at the motel. Dean pulled up and they ran to find Charlie’s room. It wasn’t hard to find. It was the only room which door was open and where bloody footprints were coming from. Nonetheless, they walked inside. There was no one in the main room, so they walked over to the bathroom. That is where they found her. Charlie was dead.

Chapter Text

It was cold outside, but he didn’t feel cold due to the warmth coming from the pyre they had built. They were both silent for a long time, standing there, just watching the fire. Dean didn’t feel like talking, he didn’t feel like anything. He was watching her burn away, but he could still hardly believe it. Not that long ago, they were all together, laughing and talking, and now she was dead. She didn’t deserve this. He wished that there was something he could have done about it, but he had been totally in the dark. It wasn’t until he had been clued in, when it was too late. Dean felt sad about Charlie’s death, but he also felt so angry; at the Stynes, at Sam.

All of a sudden, Sam started to speak.

‘’Charlie. We’re gonna miss you. You were the best. And I’m so sorry-‘’

Dean couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Sam was sorry? It was his fault that she was dead and apologising wouldn’t bring her back.

‘’Shut up. You got her killed, you don’t get to apologize.’’ He told him. He didn’t care that Sam must already have been feeling guilty enough; it was true.

‘’We were trying to help you.’’

‘’I didn’t need help. I told you to leave it alone.’’

‘’What was I supposed to do, just- watch you die?’’ Sam asked.

Dean thought about that for a second. The Mark wouldn’t kill him, it was actually doing the exact opposite. ‘’The Mark isn’t gonna kill me.’’ He therefore said.

‘’Maybe not, but- when it’s done with you, you won’t be you anymore… Dean, you’re all I’ve got. So of course, I was gonna fight for you because that’s what we do. And listen, I had a shot-‘’

‘’Yeah you had a shot. Charlie’s dead. Nice shot.’’ He said sarcastically, interrupting Sam.

‘’You think I’m- You think I’m ever gonna forgive myself for that?’’ Sam asked.

‘’You wanna know what I think? I think it should be you up there, not her. This thing, with Cas, and the book, ends now. Shut it down before somebody else gets hurt. You understand me?’’ He demanded.

‘’And what about you?’’

‘’Oh I’m gonna find whoever did this. And I’m gonna rip apart everything and everyone that they ever loved. And then I’m gonna tear out their heart.’’ He said. He would make sure that there wouldn’t be any Stynes left after he was finished. He would make sure of that.

‘’Is that you talking or the Mark?’’ Asked Sam.

‘’Does it matter?’’ He responded, before walking away.

 

 

xxx

 

 

Sam walked into the warehouse. On the way over, he had thought about what Dean told him. He had debated both listening to Dean as going through; eventually, he decided he would
listen to Dean. He should have done that in the first place… But Dean was right, they had to stop it before more people would get hurt.

When he opened the door and entered he could see he had interrupted Castiel and Rowena talking.

Yet, Rowena didn’t seem to care much about that. ‘’Well about bloody time.’’ She said.

‘’Where’s Charlie?’’ Castiel asked him.

The question stung like hell and Sam shook his head.

‘’Oh no, god. I should have gone after her. I- what happened?’’ He asked.

‘’Me.’’ Sam responded. Because he was what happened to her. If it wasn’t for him, Charlie would be alive right now. But he figured he should probably explain to Castiel what happened so he continued. ‘’The Stynes, um... they caught up with her, and uh, Dean’s gone after them.’’

‘’So he knows.’’ Concluded Castiel.

Sam nodded. ‘’Yeah…’’

‘’Well what now?’’

‘’I’m shutting this down, I promised Dean.’’ He explained.

‘’And what about Dean?’’ Castiel asked.

‘’We uh... we should be able to track him. I lowjacked the Impala a few weeks back just in case.’’ He said while taking his phone out of his pocket. That was when he saw he had an email from Charlie. Frowning, he opened the attachment and took a look at it.

He rushed over to Rowena and showed it to her.

‘’Is this what I think it is?’’ He asked her.

‘’Oh, that little minx. She’s cracked the code.’’ She said, smiling.

‘’Can you read the Book of the Damned with this?’’

‘’Every last word.’’ She replied confidently. ‘’We can cure the Mark of Cain.’’

For a short moment, Sam considered everything again. He knew that Dean was counting on him to stop, but this was a major breakthrough. He just couldn’t turn back now; they were so close.

Castiel was looking at him expectantly. ‘’Cas, go find Dean, make sure he doesn’t go too far off the reservation, okay?’’

‘’You want to go through with it? Even though you told Dean-‘’

‘’I know what I told Dean.’’ He interrupted, but he just had to explain. ‘’Cas, look. I’ve been the one out there, messed up and scared. And alone. And Dean-‘’

‘’He did whatever he could to save you.’’ Castiel said knowingly, finishing his sentence.

‘’Yes. I mean, it’s become his thing. I owe him this. I owe him everything. Look I know he pretends he can ride the Mark out, but you and I know the truth. We know what happens if we don’t cure him. We both know where that road ends.’’

‘’Black eyes and blood.’’ Castiel replied and Sam figured he must know better than anyone what Dean could turn into.

‘’Yes. Go. Find him, Cas. Keep him safe.’’ He said before Castiel nodded and walked out of the room.

‘’Oh, I do love a bit of intrigue.’’ Rowena then said.

‘’Right, less talk, more translating. Go.’’ He ordered her.

‘’About that. I said I can read the book, never said I would.’’

‘’We had a deal.’’ He said.

‘’We did, we do. And it is time you held up your end. I want my son dead.’’ She insisted.

‘’After-‘’ He started, but Rowena wouldn’t have that.

‘’Now.’’ She demanded instead.

Angrily, Sam slammed his hands on the table. ‘’I don’t have time for this!’’ He yelled.

‘’Right, you don’t! Your brother’s a walkin’ freakin’ time bomb, and the clock, she’s a ticking. So you will kill my son, and you will do it my way, now!’’ She yelled back at him.

Sam realised he had no other choice to give into her demands. ‘’Fine.’’ He therefore said. ‘’How do you want me to do it?’’

Rowena smiled.

She gave him some instructions and told him that if he would do as he was told, everything would work itself out. However, the plan of killing Crowley didn’t really go as planned. It was a disaster. Nonetheless, the part of luring Crowley to the abandoned warehouse with Dean’s voicemail worked out. There, Sam was able to shoot him with a devil’s trap engraved bullet and put a hex bag in one of his pockets. Crowley had immediately begun to cough up blood and Sam had really thought it would only be a matter of time before the demon would bite it. Rowena had ensured him that the hex bags she gave him would do the job after all.

However, things had gone south; he and Crowley were talking, but all of a sudden, Crowley managed to pull the bullet out of himself and managed to stand up. Before he knew it, he was flying across the room, smashing through a glass windows into the next room. Lying there, he thought that Crowley was going to kill him, but to his surprise, he didn’t. The demon had explained to him that he only let him live because he would from now on know that the only reason he was alive because Crowley had allowed it. And the demon was right, it wasn’t a good feeling.

After his failed attempt at killing Crowley, he had called both Rowena and Castiel. He told Rowena that her plan didn’t work, she was disappointed but told him she was okay with discussing new terms when he got back. Sam was at least relieved she still was prepared to read the book for him despite the fact that he failed to hold up his end.

With Castiel, he had talked about Dean. He wanted to know what happened with him and the Stynes. Castiel told him that their house had turned into a complete massacre and that the whole family had been brutally killed. Sam was worried and told Castiel he was coming, but the angel told him not to bother; Dean was already gone. He was going back to the bunker. He still wanted to go and find Dean, but Castiel told him that he was already almost there. So, Sam decided to go back to Rowena; he figured that he was also not someone Dean wanted to see right now. It would be better if it was just Castiel, the angel always seemed to have a way with Dean. However, Sam guessed that his brother could be pretty far gone by now. Yet, if anyone would be able to get through to him right now, it would be Castiel.

 

 

xxx

 

 

The only thought on his mind was that he wasn’t finished. He had killed a lot of them, but he hadn’t killed them all. Yet. The one person he really wanted to kill wasn’t there, but he had guessed where he could be; the guy new about the bunker’s location and about how to get in after all. Therefore, he wasn’t surprised to find him in the library, with two others. One of them, he killed instantly. He was standing in the way.

Eldon didn’t seem that fazed about the fact that he had just killed one of his family members as he spoke casually. ‘’Well there he is. I hope you brought marshmallows.’’

‘’Been looking for you.’’ Was all Dean said.

‘’Oh yeah? Why is that? Oh wait. You’re not still sore about um, what’s her name?’’ The guy asked, smirking. That was the wrong to say. If he wasn’t going to kill him before, he certainly would now.

‘’Charlie. Her name was Charlie.’’

‘’Yeah, well... Chuckie, she got what she deserved. Wanna know how I did her? It’s a kind of funny story-‘’

‘’Shut up.’’ Dean snarled. He didn’t want to listen for a second to that smug asshole.

‘’Straight to it, then. I respect that. See, you got lucky before. This time, I’m sporting some new upgrades. See my old man-‘’ Eldon started, boasting as much as he had before.

‘’Your old man’s dead.’’ Dean said and he was glad to see the smile fade on Eldon’s face. ‘’They’re all dead. So you can save me the speech on the three hearts, the two spleens, the seven nipples, for the ladies... or the fellas, I don’t judge. But even with all that, you still only have one brain.’’

‘’So?’’ Eldon asked, before Dean shot him in the head before the guy even realized what happened.

Eldon dropped dead on the floor. Killing him was satisfying, Dean thought.

Then, he pointed his gun to the last one. This one was young, couldn’t be older than 20. But it didn’t matter; he was a monster.

‘’’No, no, no, no, don’t! Don’t!’’ The kid cried, holding his hands up.

‘’Why not? You’re one of them.’’ Dean asked.

‘’No, I’m not! Okay, I hate my family!’’ The kid said with a shaky voice. ‘’See, look! No stitches! I’m not like them, I promise.’’ He said, pulling up his shirt.

‘’Oh, you are like them. There’s bad in you. It’s in your blood. Now you can deny it and you can run from it all you want, but that bad... will always win.’’

Now the kid was shaking his head, close to tears. ‘’I’ll do anything you want. Okay, please. You don’t need to do this. Please.’’ He said, before he started crying in earnest.

For a moment, Dean hesitated and the kid briefly seemed relieved. But then, Dean killed him anyway, shooting him in the head just like he did Eldon. ‘’Yeah… I do.’’ He said.

Dean looked at the sight before him. The library was a complete mess. Books lay all across the floor and then there was the pile the Stynes had made of his and Sam’s stuff and the three bodies lying on the floor. Dean found that he didn’t care about any of it.

It was strange, but he almost felt nothing.

All of a sudden, he heard footsteps and his name being called. It was Castiel.

Dean turned around to face him.

‘’What have you done?’’ Castiel asked him, looking slightly horrified.

Dean said nothing. What he had done seemed obvious to him.

Castiel moved to kneel by the kid’s side and inspected him. ‘’You killed him.’’ He said.

‘’I took down a monster. Because that’s what I do. And I’ll continue to do that until...’’

‘’Until you become the monster.’’ Castiel said standing up again, finishing his sentence.

‘’You can leave now, Cas.’’ He said. He knew Castiel was probably here to talk him down, but he didn’t want to talk.

‘’No. I can’t. Because I’m… your friend.’’ Castiel said determinedly.

Dean huffed. ‘’Really? Well, let me ask you something. Do you screw over all your friends?’’ He snarled, thinking about how Castiel had gone behind his back, again.

‘’Sam and I were trying to cure you! We still are!’’

‘’Like hell.’’

‘’We can read the Book now.’’ Castiel told him.

‘’Oh so what? So you might find a spell that might take this crap off my arm? But even if you do, what’s it gonna cost? ‘Cause magic like that does not come free. No, it comes with a price that you pay in blood. So thanks, but I’m good.’’ He said and turned to leave.

However, he was stopped as he felt a hand on his shoulder.

‘’No! You’re not. Maybe you could fight the Mark for years. Maybe centuries, like Cain did. But you cannot fight it forever.’’ Castiel said as Dean turned around to face him again. ‘’And when you finally turn, and you will turn... Sam, and everyone you know, everyone you love... they could be long dead. Everyone except me. I’m the one who will have to watch you murder the world. So if there’s even a small chance that we can save you, I won’t let you walk out of this room.’’

Dean looked at Castiel standing in front of him, he had let go of his shoulder but his eyes were still pleading. A part of him really wanted to smite him; the angel had really been getting on his nerves. Also, who was Castiel to ‘let’ him do anything. Dean still felt so much anger inside of him and he really wanted to let it out. But on the other hand, the thought of hurting Cas... He didn’t want to do that again.

Therefore, he settled on warning him. ‘’Cas I’m not saying this again; you are going to let me leave, otherwise what’s going to happen is on you.’’

‘’No, Dean. You can beat me down if you have to, but I’m not letting you go.’’ Castiel said determinedly.

Dean had hoped his threats would make Castiel go away, but it was clear the angel wasn’t leaving. He knew that now was the moment to make good on his threats, but he found that he just couldn’t do it.

‘’Dean, come with me.’’ Castiel said, extending his hand to him. ‘’Please.’’

Dean took it.

Chapter Text

Sam was a little worried; he hadn’t heard a thing from Castiel since they had talked over the phone and it had been a while. A part of him wanted to leave, but he knew that he should stay at the warehouse with Rowena. She had told him she was close to deciphering the spell and he was hopeful. They had managed to talk things out and negotiate new terms; she now demanded her freedom and the Book of the Damned. Sam really didn’t want to give her the book, but he agreed nonetheless.

All of a sudden, he heard the doors open and Castiel entered the room, and Dean was with him. Sam could hardly believe that he had agreed to come. His brother had seemed so against using the Book of the Damned to cure him before. Dean looked awful though, his clothes were covered in blood and he was wearing an almost dead expression.

With a hand on Dean’s back, Castiel guided his brother towards him.

Sam found it hard to come up with anything to say. He secretly hoped that either Dean or Castiel would start the conversation but neither of them did.

‘’Dean, I’m sorry.’’ Was all he eventually said. He really meant it. Dean also still looked so angry, he hoped that apologising again would help.

Dean sighed. ‘’I know, Sammy. Cas and I talked and- I know you were only trying to help. If it was you, I probably would have done the same.’’ He said.

Sam was really happy to hear that; he knew that all wasn’t forgiven, but Dean seemed to understand. That was something… He smiled tentatively and wanted to say more, but his conversation with Dean was suddenly interrupted by Rowena.

She coughed. ‘’I can list you the ingredients for the spell if you boys are done talking.’’ She said, getting their attention.

All three of them walked over to the table where she was standing.

‘’Okay, spill.’’ Sam said.

“Sumsu mimma ezebu ilu ma ikkibu Lu; uh… something made by God, but forbidden to man." She said.

Sam wondered what she could mean. ‘’Forbidden?’’ He asked.

‘’The forbidden fruit.’’ Castiel stated.

Dean huffed next to him. ‘Wow…’’ He said dejectedly.

‘’The actual apple is the first ingredient?’’ Sam said exasperatedly, looking from Castiel to Rowena.

Rowena was smiling a little, apparently his desperation was amusing to her. “Sumsu mimma ezebu Lu; something made by man, but forbidden by God." She listed then.

‘’Okay, well, God forbade false idols, right?’’ He tried.

‘’The Golden Calf.’’ Castiel said instead.

‘’Sumsu mimma sen arramu.’’ Rowena started again.

‘’Great…’’ He said sarcastically. He cleared his throat. ‘’What's the third ingredient?’’

‘’Oh.’’ Was all Rowena said, looking a little stunned.

‘’What?’’ He asked.

‘’The third ingredient, it's impossible.’’ She told them.

Nonetheless, Sam could hardly believe that the next ingredient could be more impossible than the previous ones.

‘’What is it?’’ Dean asked.

‘’Loosely translated, my heart; something I love, the spell calls for me to kill it... As a sacrifice.’’ She said. ‘’The book will grant freedom from the curse, but it wants something in return.’’ She explained further.

‘’Well, then give it.’’ Sam said urgently.

‘’Bring me something I love, I'll kill it. I want my freedom too much to make a fuss over that.’’ She said with a raised voice. ‘’The-the problem is, I don't love anything.’’ She claimed.

‘’What about Crowley?’’ Castiel asked her.

She chuckled. ‘’Happy to kill him. Let's not call it love.’’

Sam looked at Castiel, who was frowning. ‘’I don't believe you. Everyone loves something.’’ He said while walking over to Rowena.

If Sam didn’t know any better, he would swear he saw Cas looking shortly at Dean while he said it, before he placed two fingers on Rowena’s forehead.

‘’Polish boy. Oskar.’’ Said Castiel, when he pulled his fingers from her forehead again.

‘’I'm sorry. Oskar? You saw Oskar?’’ Rowena asked, looking a little shocked.

‘’Who is he?’’ He asked.

‘’Who was he? Uh, a peasant boy- his family helped me through some difficulties, 300 years ago.’’

‘’300 years ago…’’ Sam said exasperatedly. He looked over to Castiel, hoping he would have a solution.

Yet, before either of them could propose anything, Rowena spoke again ‘’He’s still alive. Getting him shouldn’t be a problem.’’ She said.

‘’How?’’ Castiel asked, frowning.

Rowena shrugged. ‘’I gave him immortality.’’ She explained, like it was the most normal thing…

Still, it was good to hear that they didn’t need to travel 300 years back in time to go get the boy.

Sam turned to Castiel. ‘’Do you think you can get your hands on the ingredients?’’ He asked.

Castiel looked hesitant, but nodded nonetheless. ‘’I can get them.’’ He said.

Sam thought Castiel would leave right away, but instead, he stopped in front of Dean first. Sam almost thought he was seeing things when the angel took one of his brother’s hand in his.

‘’Will you be okay?’’ He could hear Castiel ask.

Dean nodded and for a moment, the two only looked at one another. Then, upon Dean reassuring him that he would be, Castiel left.

 

 

xxx

 

 

They were just sitting around, waiting. It was all they could do. However, Dean still wasn’t sure if they should go through with it. That book was just evil and he couldn’t help but think of what the consequences would be. He didn’t know exactly why he had agreed to come with Cas, but at the moment, it just felt right. Yet, now that he was here, working together with Rowena of all people, he wasn’t so sure anymore.

He decided to go outside and get some fresh air.

He was already standing outside when Sam appeared; apparently, he had followed him. Dean sighed. He knew why Sam had come; he wanted to talk and explain his side of things because he felt bad. Nonetheless, Dean really didn’t feel like hearing him out.

‘’You’ve been… uncharacteristically quiet.’’ Sam said.

‘’Yeah, well...’’ Was all he said in response.

An awkward pause followed between them.

‘’I’m glad you came. You won’t regret it.’’

‘’Won’t I? How do you know that Sam? Lifting this curse may have some major repercussions.’’ He snarled back at him.

Sam looked down. ‘’I know, you’re right.’’ He said and paused shortly. ‘’Though if you still feel that way… why did you come?’’ Sam asked him.

Dean took a moment to respond. ‘’Well, if we don’t do anything about it… eventually, I’ll turn into Cain.’’ He sighed. ‘’Cas… he made me realise that I won’t be able to fight the Mark forever, and that eventually I would turn too. I don’t want that to happen, so…’’ He explained.

Sam nodded.

‘’Thank god for Cas, huh?’’ Sam said jokingly, but he didn’t respond.

‘’Dean, I’m really sorry for going behind your back like that. I really am.’’ Sam then said, suddenly more serious.

Dean knew that Sam meant what he was saying, but his apology didn’t make him feel any better. Nonetheless, it was also true what he said before: he probably would have done the same thing if he was in his shoes. Hell, he had done the same thing when he went behind Sam’s back by letting him get possessed by Gadreel. He had gotten Kevin killed. Looking back on it, what Sam had done to him now ironically looked a lot like what he had done to Sam.

Dean sighed. ‘’Sam, I know.’’ He said. ‘’You meant well and I… understand; this is just what we do for each other. I would be a hypocrite if I was gonna blame you for it.’’ He said.

Sam nodded.

‘’All I’m saying is that we need to change… I mean, how many more times are we gonna put each other in front of the rest of the world? I don’t want any more people getting killed because of us, Sam.’’ He added.

‘’Yeah, you’re right.’’ Sam said, nodding. ‘’We can change.’’ He then said firmly.

 

 

xxx

 

 

Crowley was the last person Castiel wanted to ask for help, but he really needed it. Castiel had expected that the ingredients necessary for the spell would be hard to find, but he hadn’t expected them to be this rare. So, after concluding that he wouldn’t be able to find the ingredients himself, he settled on summoning Crowley.

He was standing at a crossroads and had just lit the bowl that was lying in front of his feet. He watched as the flame flashed brightly before it burned out. Castiel was pacing and looking around. He wondered if Crowley would show.

Suddenly he heard Crowley behind him. ‘’Who summons anymore?’’ The demon asked. ‘’Couldn't you call?’’

‘’You're not in my contacts list.’’ He explained plainly.

‘’What?’’ Asked Crowley, looking slightly annoyed.

‘’I need your assistance to help cure Dean of the Mark.’’ He said.

‘’What's the expression? I gave at the office? Maybe I'd feel a little different if Sam Winchester hadn't just tried to bloody kill me!’’ Crowley then yelled.

‘’I'm afraid ‘no’ is not an acceptable answer.’’ He responded.

‘’Or what?’’ Asked Crowley, daring him.

‘’Or...’’ He said, raising his hand in front of Crowley’s face. Yet, he knew that there was nothing he could do to him; Castiel needed him alive.

Crowley smirked. ‘’That's right. Burn those eyes blue. Spread those broken wings and destroy me!’’ He goaded. ‘’Or... Do it my way.’’

Castiel lowered his hand.

‘’Right.’’ Crowley said. ‘’Now beg.’’ He ordered.

Castiel hadn’t seen that coming. Yet, he shouldn’t have expected anything better from the demon.

‘’What?’’ He asked nonetheless.

‘’Blast me, or beg.’’ Crowley said again. ‘’C’mon Cas, it shouldn’t be that difficult for you, I assumed Dean would have taught you all about it.’’ Crowley said grinning, probably upon seeing the indecision on his face.

‘’Crowley…’’ He said. He wanted to tell him that they didn’t have time for this, but Crowley interrupted him before he could speak.

‘’King!’’ The demon demanded instead.

Castiel was just annoyed and sighed. ‘’King.’’ He eventually said, yielding, and Crowley smiled. ‘’If you- if you would- if you would be so kind...’’ He said, struggling over the words.

He hated having to beg Crowley for anything, the smug look on his face alone… Still, Castiel decided to just get it over with. He only hoped that Crowley would be satisfied. ‘’The three ingredients on this list.’’ He added while handing the list to Crowley.

Crowley took the list from him. ‘’Forbidden fruit… Well, for starters, it's a quince, you dummy, not an apple. No problem. Golden Calf... Or what's left of it- check.’’ He said, listing the first ingredients. ‘’Something Rowena loves?’’ Crowley then asked him.

‘’I would've thought it would've been you, but...’’ He started.

Crowley huffed. ‘’Spare me. I've lived it.’’ He said.

‘’Well...’’ Castiel then said, wanting to know if the demon would help or not.

‘’I'm in.’’ Crowley then said, before he disappeared.

 

 

xxx

 

 

Sam and Rowena were at the table, talking; Dean sat alone on one of the wooded crates that were in the corner of the room. He couldn’t hear them speak, but he guessed that they were probably going over the spell together. Dean supposed he could approach them, but decided not too; they probably had it covered.

He had calmed down considerably though. The talks he had with Castiel and Sam both helped. He really had been far gone before…

Suddenly, the doors opened and Castiel returned. The angel walked into the room and their eyes crossed for a moment. Yet, he walked over to Sam and Rowena instead. Dean found it a little weird that he seemed to have returned empty handed.

After he seemed finished talking to Sam and Rowena, Castiel walked over to him. Dean sat himself up, and Castiel took a seat next to him.

‘’So, how did it go?’’ He asked.

‘’Well… I summoned Crowley; he will get us the ingredients.’’ Castiel explained.

‘’You couldn’t get them yourself?’’ He wondered.

Castiel smiled. ‘’Believe me, I wouldn’t have asked Crowley for help if I didn’t need to.’’

Somehow that made him smile too. ‘’Right… He didn’t give you a hard time did he?’’ He asked. He wouldn’t have put it past Crowley to pass up the chance taunt Castiel about what he had been through.

Castiel sighed. ‘’It was nothing I couldn’t handle.’’ He said. ‘’At any rate, he agreed to help and drop them off as soon as he found them. All we can do now is wait.’’ He added, changing the subject a little.

‘’Okay.’’ Dean said and nodded.

For a moment, both of them said nothing. Nonetheless, just as ever, the silence between them wasn’t uncomfortable.

Dean was the one who spoke again first.

‘’Hey, Cas.’’ He said and Castiel turned to look at him. ‘’Thank you, for talking me down just now… I uh… I almost lost it and… I don’t know what I would’ve done.’’ He said, shaking his head.

Castiel smiled. ‘’That was all you, Dean.’’

Dean huffed a little. ‘’It really wasn’t.’’ He denied.

‘’Then I’m glad I could help.’’

Dean smiled, but then it faded. ‘’I’m sorry if I’ve disappointed you, Cas… I know I’ve went pretty far of the rails back there.’’ He said and looked down. He could still see Castiel’s horrified expression as he checked if the younger Styne boy was still alive.

Still, he didn’t regret killing the Stynes, they had it coming. Yet, maybe he shouldn’t have killed the kid. He could have handled things differently. However, his grief and anger over Charlie’s death were almost overriding him completely. He hoped Castiel would understand.

‘’Dean, It’s okay, I understand. You had just found out Sam and me had been lying to you, and losing Charlie must have been difficult for you…’’ The look on Castiel’s face turned painful. ‘’I shouldn’t have let her go.’’

Dean could notice it was a look of guilt. Yet, he couldn’t let Cas feel guilty over her death, it really wasn’t his fault. Therefore, he put a consoling hand on his shoulder.

‘’Cas, listen to me. Her death is not on you okay.’’ He said.

Castiel still looked down but nodded nevertheless. ‘’Let’s just hope we’ll succeed and she didn’t die for nothing.’’ He then said.

‘’Yeah.’’ He agreed. ‘’It would be great to be rid of this thing.’’ He said, instinctively reaching for the Mark on his arm.

In response, Castiel only smiled and nodded.

‘’So, uh… what are you going to do, when this is all over?’’ He asked, trying to sound casual. Nonetheless, he really wanted to know.

Castiel shrugged. ‘’I don’t know yet. I’ve never really thought passed the point of curing you.’’ He admitted.

For a short moment, they were both silent. Then Dean coughed and spoke again. ‘’Maybe if-if this works out, you can stay around a bit… if you’d like to?’’ He asked tentatively.

Castiel smiled. ‘’Is that really what you want Dean?’’ He asked. ‘’Surely you and Sam will go on hunts again and as far as I remember, you told me that I sucked at hunting.’’

Dean huffed loudly, but smiled too. ‘’You are never letting that go are you?’’ He asked.

‘’Definitely not.’’ Castiel responded, still smiling at him.

Dean laughed. ‘’I’m sure we can work something out.’’ He said.

‘’In that case, I’d like to.’’ Castiel said, taking his hand in his again. Dean had noticed he had been doing that lately, but he didn’t mind. He actually liked it. Dean didn’t even care that he could see Sam taking a quick look at them. He was just happy to be here with Cas, who had forgiven him and now told him that he would stay.

Unfortunately, their moment was cut short as Crowley suddenly appeared out of thin air in front of them. The demon looked slightly surprised at the sight of them of holding hands.

‘’Oh, so sorry of me to interrupt.’’ He said with a smirk and raised eyebrows.

Castiel let go of his hand and stood up. ‘’Do you have the ingredients?’’ He asked.

Upon hearing the question, Crowley walked over to the table upon which he dropped a small bag.

‘’The Quince cost me a major I.O.U. with a Palestinian warlock… The gold from the calf- well, let's just say I'll be hanged under certain sexual-deviancy laws if I ever show my face in Jordan again.’’ He said, grinning.

‘’And the third?’’ Asked Rowena.

Crowley snapped his fingers and a guy walked into the room. Dean could only assume that this was Oskar.

Rowena looked shocked. ‘’This is ridiculous.’’ She said, looking startled.

‘’Do you love this man? Rowena, is it true?’’ Castiel asked, walking over to the table. Dean followed him.

‘’'Course it's true.’’ Crowley said. ‘’Say hello, Oskar.’’

‘’Rowena.’’ The boy said.

Dean could hardly believe it, but she actually had tears in her eyes. ‘’You've grown so big. Not too big to give your old auntie Rowena a hug I hope.’’ She said, opening her arms.

‘’I hope I haven't hurt you.’’ Oskar said as he walked over to her to hug her.

‘’Don't think about that one moment. Everything's fine, Oskar. Everything's fine. Nobody's hurting anybody.’’ She said with a broken voice. Then, she pulled away.

‘’Goodbye, my sweet wee boy.’’ She said, before she stabbed him in the neck.

It wasn’t easy to see the shocked look on the boy’s face before Rowena pushed him down so that his blood would poor into the metal bowl on the table. Dean could see Castiel looking away next to him.

‘’Ab manu dei... Ab manu hominis.’’ Rowena began to chant, as she threw the ingredients into the bowl with the blood. ‘’Ab cruore cordis Mei adfusuro in aeternum. Tolle maledictionem tuam ab hoc viro.’’ She continued to recite the spell. Then she stopped and looked at him. ‘’I’m going to need a lock of hair.’’ She said, handing him a pair of scissors.

Dean took them and cut a lock of hair off and gave it to her. As she added it to the bowl, bluish smoke started to rise. Then all of a sudden, a blast wave erupted from the bowl that knocked them all over.

Dean was lying on the ground with the rest of them, but he opened his eyes just in time so he could see a bolt of red lightning blast from the bowl to the roof, creating a hole in it. He had only just gotten to his feet again, before the red lightning crashed through the roof again and struck his forearm.

The Mark glowed red and crackled, it was searing on his arm. However, after a few moments, it disappeared. Then, the red lightning blasted from Dean’s arm and back through the roof again. Dean winced and stared at his arm, seeing the last remnants of the Mark fade away.

Dean could immediately feel the effects of the Mark leaving him; it was like a heavy weight was lifted from his shoulders.

Sam immediately rushed over to him. ‘’Is it gone?’’ He asked as he grabbed his arm to look.

‘’Yeah it is.’’ He said and Sam looked incredibly relieved.

‘’Well… you’re welcome.’’ Crowley then suddenly said before snapping his fingers and disappearing.

All three of them were still looking at the spot where Crowley had disappeared when Rowena spoke. ‘’I’ve held up my part of the deal, now it’s time to hold up yours.’’ She demanded Sam.

Sam sighed before he walked over to her and undid her shackles. He handed her the Book of the Damned, but didn’t let go right away. ‘’If we here that you are causing trouble…’’ He threatened.

‘’I’ll behave.’’ She said with a smile as she pulled the book out of Sam’s hands and walked out of the room.

‘’Dean, how are you feeling?’’ Castiel asked as soon as the door closed shut.

He smiled. ‘’Good. Really good.’’ He said honestly. His answer made Castiel smile.

‘’Cas, do you know what that red flesh might have been?’’ Sam suddenly asked and Dean had to admit he was wondering the same. ‘’It just disappeared through the roof like that…’’

‘’No… I have never seen anything like it.’’ Castiel answered.

‘’Hmm…’’ Sam said, frowning. ‘’Well, if it’s going to be a problem we’ll handle it, right?’’

‘’Yeah.’’ He said.

‘’Okay. I’ll uh… get everything together and then we can go.’’ Sam then announced.

Dean nodded. ‘’Okay, we’ll wait outside.’’ He said before he motioned Castiel to follow him outside.

Chapter Text

They were both leaning against the building, waiting for Sam. Dean was the first to say something.

‘’I guess I kind of overestimated those consequences huh?’’ He asked with a smile.

However, Castiel wasn’t so sure about that. On first sight, the spell had gone well and it appeared that there were no repercussions. Yet, in Castiel’s opinion, that all seemed too good to be true. He hoped he was wrong.

‘’Dean, I’m not so certain.’’ He said, frowning. ‘’But I suppose we’ll see.’’

‘’Yeah…’’

‘’How are things between you and Sam?’’ He asked. ‘’You seemed less upset with him when I returned.’’

‘’Uh, yeah, Sam and I, we talked things out when you were gone.’’ He said. ‘’We’ll get through it.’’

‘’I’m glad to hear that.’’

‘’Besides, the bunker also wouldn’t be nicest place for you to stay in, if I was to remain angry with him.’’ Dean added.

Castiel turned a little to face Dean. ‘’Dean, can I ask you something?’’

Now, Dean also turned so that they were standing face to face.

‘’Sure.’’

‘’Well…’’ He started hesitantly. ‘’You-you asked me to stay, why?’’

Dean frowned a little, seemingly processing his question. ‘’Why I asked you to stay?’’ He repeated.

Castiel nodded.

‘’Uh I just… I just enjoy having you around.’’ Dean said. The words made Castiel happy. ‘’And I thought that maybe you’d like it too. Why are you asking? Second thoughts?’’

‘’No.’’ He said, shaking his head. ‘’I was only wondering if… you wanted me there as a friend, as a brother or as… something else.‘’ He added tentatively and found it hard to remain eye contact. ‘’Because often, I think that there is something else… between us. However, at other moments I can’t help but wonder if I’m only imagining things.’’

Dean was looking a little stunned. He was staring at him wide-eyed and his mouth was gaping a little. Castiel hoped he didn’t make a fool of himself by asking. However, he had to. He just needed to know, because the uncertainty was killing him. For years, there had been moments when he had wondered; wondered if there was something more between them. His interactions with Dean had always been so different compared to the ones he had with Sam. But he was never sure.

And then there was demon Dean. There was no doubt that that Dean was attracted to him, but Castiel had never been certain if that interest actually came from Dean himself, or if it was just the demon who liked to play games and manipulate. That was often what he believed to be the case, yet recently, he and Dean had shared moments he had a hard time believing not to be intimate.

Castiel realised that Dean was taking a long time to respond; apparently, he wasn’t the only one deep in thoughts.

Then, Dean smiled and shook his head a little. ‘’No, Cas. You haven’t been imagining things.’’ He said and Castiel felt relieved. ‘’I’m sorry if I’ve confused you, but that’s probably because I’m still pretty confused myself.’’ He added.

Castiel frowned. ‘’Confused about what?’’ He asked.

‘’About a lot, Cas.’’ Dean said and sighed. ‘’When I realised I had feelings for you, I didn’t know what to do… But, after thinking it over, I figured that it would be best not do anything about it. Yet, every time I saw you… I had a hard time sticking to that.’’ He explained.

Castiel was really glad to hear that what he felt wasn’t unrequited, however, he was less happy to hear Dean say that it would be best not to do anything about it. He didn’t understand.

‘’Why would it be best not to do anything about it?’’ He therefore asked.

Dean huffed. ‘’Cas, I can list you a dozen of reasons.’’ He said.

‘’Than tell me.’’ Castiel demanded.

Shortly, Dean looked away, biting his lip. ‘’Cas, don’t you see that I’m not good for you?’’ He asked, with a painful expression on his face.

Castiel was a little taken aback by Dean’s response. He was thinking about what to say when Dean continued.

‘’Think about it; before you met me, you were a respected angel; commander of the garrison. Then you met me, and then what? You died, you fell, died again, lost your grace and were held captive by me.’’ Dean listed. ‘’And I’m pretty sure that’s not even everything.’’ He said, looking very frustrated and regretful.

‘’Dean, it’s true that those things happened, but that wasn’t all your doing. I’ve died and fallen not only for you, those were also the consequences of me doing what I believed was right.’’ He argued.

‘’Really? Than what about that time you told me: ‘I did it, all of it, for you’, or… when you said: ‘I’m doing this for you, Dean, I’m doing this, because of you.’’ He quoted. ‘’Did you think I forgot about that?’’

Castiel didn’t know what to say.

‘’I know it wasn’t all for me, but I know that for a large part, it was.’’ Dean said and sighed. ‘’Cas, what I’m trying to say is that it wouldn’t be a good idea for your own sake…’’ For a moment Dean paused and held a hand through his hair. ‘’I don’t want to ruin you.’’ He added, looking pained.

Castiel was a little bewildered by Dean’s confession. Still, it explained a lot; how at one time, he could be engaging and at another distant. Nevertheless, he didn’t agree with Dean that he would be better off without him. He wanted to tell him that. He wanted to tell Dean that despite the unpleasant things he had been through since they had met, there still was so much he was grateful for having experienced. And that in the end, it was all worth it. However, the warehouse doors opened and Sam appeared. Castiel guessed he and Dean could always continue the conversation at another time.

‘’You guys ready to go?’’ Sam asked.

‘’Actually Sam, could you give us a second? Cas and I were uh… talking.’’ Dean said tentatively.

Sam looked a little surprised. ‘’Uh, yeah sure. No problem. I’ll wait by the car.’’ He said and walked away.

When Sam was out of ear shot they continued.

‘’Dean, I can see your point, but it’s stupid.’’ He said bluntly. ‘’You don’t need to be afraid, don’t you realise this could be a good thing?’’ He asked, stepping a little closer.

Dean turned his head away from him. ‘’Please, Cas. Don’t make this any harder than it needs to be.’’ He said softly.

‘’I’m not, you are…’’ Castiel sighed. ‘’Yes, I may get hurt, but isn’t that something we’ll just have to see? I may not know a lot about relationships, but I believe that no relationship goes without its hardships. They are a part of it.’’ He said as he took Dean’s hand in his again. ‘’We can go through the good and the bad… together.’’ He said pleadingly.

Castiel looked at Dean, who was looking down at their intertwined hands. His inner debate was clearly visible on his face. Castiel hoped that his words had gotten through to Dean, but he wasn’t sure. However, he didn’t know what else he could say to change his mind.

‘’You really think we can make this work?’’ Dean suddenly asked, looking up at him.

Castiel nodded. ‘’If you still want to.’’ He said softly.

‘’Of course I want to.’’ Dean reassured and smiled.

Castiel was glad to hear him say that and he smiled too. A little doubt had invaded his mind and he had wondered if Dean had changed his mind about him. It was good to hear that that wasn’t the case.

Before he knew it, with his eyes on him, Dean stepped closer and there was hardly any distance between them anymore. Castiel wasn’t sure his heart had ever pounded so fast. He gulped at the sight of Dean so close to him; of his beautiful green eyes. It was a little overwhelming and Castiel had trouble functioning. He wondered what he should do. This was so new to the both of them.

Dean smiled nervously as he put his hand on his cheek.

‘’I love you.’’ Dean suddenly said, looking a little surprised by his own words.

Castiel however, was also surprised. It wasn’t something Dean said easily, he knew. Castiel felt like that only made it all the more meaningful.

‘’And I you.’’ Said Castiel and smiled.

The last sight he saw before Dean’s lips met his was Dean smiling too. Castiel closed his eyes and suddenly all that there was, was Dean. His nervous lips were a little chapped, but they were soft and warm too. His stubble rubbed against him a little as Dean pulled him closer against him and wrapped his arms tightly around his waist. Castiel had been afraid it would be awkward, but it wasn’t at all. It felt natural. He too wound his arms effortlessly around Dean’s neck as Dean eased him back against the wall.

Castiel wished they could stay like this forever. The kiss was incredible. It was a kiss for the ages, one that had been building for so long too. Castiel could hardly believe that it was actually happening.

It was perfect.

Eventually, he and Dean had to break apart, both were a little out of breath. Dean was still close to him and their foreheads were touching. Castiel opened his eyes slowly and when he opened them, the first sight he saw was Dean’s smile again. He loved that smile.

Castiel gulped before he spoke. ‘’But what about personal space?’’ He asked teasingly.

Dean laughed.

‘’Screw personal space.’’ He said, before he kissed him again.