The fireworks look like falling stars - or falling angels. Cas is trying not to think about it.
Dean leans on the Impala, a beer in his hand. He gazes up at the hazy sky, smiling a little as the fireworks burst apart in their little blazes of fire and light.
"Pretty sweet, isn't it, Cas?"
Castiel turns to look at Dean, pursing his lips and trying to think of something to say. Met with silence, Dean continues.
"That's America, man. Any excuse to eat crap, get drunk, and blow shit up for no reason."
Dean takes a swig of his beer. Castiel blinks, gives a small huff, and goes back to watching the sky.
Historically, he understands the significance of the day. He supposes he finds it interesting to study the habits of humans engaged in their holy days, but ultimately their behavior seems to be - he's doing it again.
Castiel catches himself, day after day after day, referring to humanity in his mind as "them", as "they". Not "us", "we", as Sam sometimes reminds him, as he's reminded more consistently by hunger pains, by sweat, exhaustion. But that doesn't seem an appropriate pronoun, either - how can Cas belong within these people when his knowledge, his experience, (his transgressions, his guilt), so far transcends anyone else's?
Another bomb bursts in the sky, the brilliantly bright lights plummeting towards the ground before burning out entirely, and Castiel flinches a little. He hopes that Dean hasn't seen, but of course, he has.
Dean pulls his focus from the sky to watch his friend for a moment. Cas puts all of his energy into standing, perfectly motionless, a statue, unremarkable.
"I was thinking about all that crap, too, you know." says Dean, gazing fondly now not at the sky, but at his friend. "Kinda looks the same."
Cas tries to shrug offhandedly. "It does look similar."
Dean curses under his breath and takes another sip of beer. "I'm, uh, sorry, man. I didn't mean to bring you here - bring it up."
Castiel shakes his head, tersely. "It's not you."
The two of them watch as three more explosions light up the sky. The first is a dud - it doesn't go off at all, just a little spark before fizzling out - while the second and third shine colorful and strange, though they come out a little crooked. Cas can feel the weight of the previous conversation… or lack thereof… and senses that someone should change the subject. And for once, he somewhat manages to do so.
"What is all this for, again?"
Dean shrugs. "America? History? Freedom? I dunno."
"Yeah, independence. From, you know… crap." Dean tosses his hands. "Don't you know all this stuff?"
"I know the historical significance, yes, but… this is not what I expected."
Dean thinks about that, nods, shrugs, and doesn't reply. Castiel senses that the conversation has ended, and goes back to (pretending to be) watching the display. After a few minutes, Dean finishes his beer and tosses it to the ground.
"Well, Cas… what d'ya say we hit the road?"
Cas tilts his head a little. "I thought you said the ending's better than the rest."
"Yeah, but… that crap's all the same. Let's just go before the traffic gets bad."
Cas shrugs and heads to the car, trying not to show his relief. Some measure must seep though; Dean seems relieved as well, upon seeing him, to be leaving the grounds. They sit in silence for a minute or so, long enough to peel out of the parking lot and get going down the main road. Cas gazes out the window absently, occasionally catching the light of the fireworks in the side mirror. Dean laughs a little before he speaks.
"Dude, when we get home, we are definitely gonna get some more of that pie. Nothing more American than pie on the Fourth of July."
In spite of himself, Castiel smiles, and he knows that Dean's watching because he chuckles and smiles, too. Cas puts his head against the window and closes his eyes, but he doesn't stop smiling the whole drive home.