Summary: “I did it for you. Always for you, Dean.”
(Or: Dean finally finds Cas in Purgatory [alternate to my other fic])
Inspired by this post.
In all honesty, Dean never expected to react the way he did.
With Sam and him, it was technicalities first. Prove that you were who you were, give each other a hug, a nice brotherly pat on the back. Move on. And then a few days later, talk about what you did while the other was missing. How you coped.
It was easier with family. With Bobby, you hugged, you got over it. With Sam, you hugged, you talked, you got over it. You’re just happy the other person is alive, breathing, there.
Now Cas… Cas hasn’t been categorised. Dean had just been getting to the stage of finally giving him a label when the bastard stabbed him in the back. Even then, as they were fighting, Dean struggled. Brother? Family? Friend? Best friend? Companion?
So he spends almost an entire year looking for the only person he knows in a vast wilderness of monsters who want Dean on a stick.
He’d thought about it. How he’d react when he finally found him. Because he would. Cas isn’t dead, he’s alive, he’s Cas, Cas always finds a way back, he wouldn’t leave me here, Cas saves us, Cas saves the Winchesters, that’s how it is, he’s alive, breathing… not here.
He nearly gave up. While fighting a monster who’d taken the form of John Winchester, Dean finally decided that he was just about done.
That was when he saw him. He hadn’t even been looking.
He’d been about to take the final plunge, ready to thrust his sword into the monster’s stomach. There was the sound of knife through bone, and the head slid off of the neck, rolled onto the floor. The body followed it and the trenchcoat is the first thing Dean sees.
And that’s where they are now. Dean staring at Cas. There’s no words. None. Cas doesn’t smile. They look at each other; faces plastered with dirt; bodies hunched and tired; clothes torn and faded. Dean doesn’t know what to do. He’d planned his reaction to this moment for so long and yet he couldn’t quite muster up what he wanted to do. So he does what Dean Winchester usually does in such situations.
He fucks the plan up the ass and opens his big mouth.
“You asshole,” Dean says vehemently, lip quivering. “You… Low. So low. You feather-brained, sick, dirty bastard.”
Castiel obviously hadn’t been expecting abuse. But he didn’t look surprised. He almost reveled in it.
“—Don’t. You’re a coward. Worthless sack of crap. You… poor excuse for an angel.” Dean can’t stop. It’s falling out of his mouth and he can’t put in the plug. “I looked for you. You’re the only thing I got here man, and you ditched my ass like I was nothing.”
Cas opens his mouth but no words come out. He’s got that look again – I always come when you call – and it hurts. Dean’s jaw clenches and he shakes his head, breaks his hard gaze away. “Go. Why don’t you just… go. I can survive without your traitorous ass.”
He knows it stung. He wants Cas to hurt as much as him.
“I did it for you.” Dean doesn’t look up when Cas speaks. He clenches his fist around his sword. “Always for you, Dean. The creatures want me. I’m an angel. I was putting you in danger. You always come first.” Dean slowly lifts his eyes and they look at each other again. Angel and hunter. Cas’s voice breaks; “Dean.”
Dean’s mask falls. It crumples and he lets out a half-sob, drops his sword, feet pounding the ground beneath him and he grabs the lapels of Cas’s jacket, tugs him hard.
Angel. Dean buries his nose into Cas’s neck, breathes him in. A year in Purgatory isn’t going to be good for anyone but even among the smell of dirt and sweat and grit and blood, Dean can smell Cas.
“Don’t you ever do that to me again, you son of a bitch.”
Cas is clutching to Dean as tightly as Dean is clutching to him. Cas noses at Dean’s neck and he smiles like it’s been a millennia.
They categorise each other.
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