But just because it burns doesn’t mean you’re gonna die.
You’ve got to get up and try, try, try.(x)
Pairing(s): Dean/Castiel, Castiel/OFC
Warnings: AU, Hurt/Comfort, Angst, Language, Minor character death, Human!Cas, Teenage!Cas, Teenage!Dean, Smoking!Dean, M/M Kissing, Reunion
Word Count: 3561
Summary: The first time they meet, Castiel pulls Dean out of a lake. Dean, knowingly or not, takes Castiel’s heart in return. The next few years of their adolescence are marked with nothing but wildflowers and beautiful summer days until one night, they turn their friendship into something more. But wildflowers, too, wither when summer starts to fade, and Castiel finds himself abandoned and purposeless the day he turns eighteen.
AU: After a rough night with his family, Cas flags down a taxi to take him home and Dean Winchester is the driver.
The extent of our feelings.
“Heh. Personally I feel pretty warm.”
“How come ? Even if you’re used, you shouldn’t feel that warm with this low temperature…”
“It’s called Alzheimer’s.” Dean says. “I’ll heal you.” Cas firmly says, but Dean shakes his head, laughing. “No. This is good.” Dean rests his head against Cas’ shoulder. He is tired. (In more sense than one.) “This is a good way to go.” He has a copy of an MRI scan in his hands, and he smiles down at it. “I’m gonna die a normal geezer’s death, Cas.” Cas tries hard not to cry.
They sit together in the Men of Letters living room, Castiel bandaging Dean’s arm with his brows furrowed in concentration. His dark hair is wild and wind blown, and Dean notes that there are a few trace splotches of blood on Cas’s borrowed t-shirt. Probably from when the witch punched him in the nose. The angel isn’t so much of an angel anymore after all.
Rejoice; Evermore | A Destiel Fanmix
Listed Songs and Partial Lyrics at My Livejournal
“Is that him?” Amber asks quietly from where she’s lying in her bed. Castiel nods. He’s expects her to say something more, something that will convince him to kick Dean out of the house instead of letting him sit and wait in the kitchen with an ice pack held to his face, but that something never comes.
“You guys should talk,” she says instead. “I’ll leave you two alone. You can close the door on your way out.”
He looks to her and she gives him her prettiest smile. Talk it is, then.
Dean just stares at Castiel when he walks into the kitchen and Castiel does the same. Dean has definitely changed since the last time they saw each other. The line of his face is more angular now, his complexion tanner, and his hair much darker than before. The pretty eyes and plump lips haven’t changed one bit, but it’s easy to see that the past ten years haven’t been easy on the Winchester either, as there are scars marking certain corners of his face and neck, and dark bags hang under his eyes.
“What happened to you?”
“I would say life, but that would be a little too cliché, wouldn’t it?”
“Stop being a smartass and answer me,” Castiel sighs and moves to sit across from Dean. “What happened that night?”
Dean falls silent and ponders the question for a while before opening his mouth again.
“Dad, he… he got into trouble. He ran into the wrong folk and there was a fight and,” Dean swallows around a lump in his throat, “Sammy was in danger, and as soon as I found them I had to get us out of there.”
“You could have told me.”
“I know, I wanted to, but there was just not enough time, man. I couldn’t think straight.”
“You could have left me a note, a clue, something, anything. You left behind nothing and I was so lost, I couldn’t…”
“I couldn’t find you. I couldn’t understand. I thought maybe it was because of what happened between us that night, because of what I did…”
“No, Cas,” Dean inhales before continuing. “No. It was nothing like that. Had nothing to do with that.”
Castiel looks back to Dean, and something must have shown on his face because Dean reaches his arms out to hold his hands in his own. Castiel wants to shove him away but finds that he can’t, now that the rage and confusion that he has been building up inside all these years have dissolved away.
“So what’s up with your…”
“Right,” Dean fidgets. “Yeah. Wife. What’s wrong with your wife?”
“Lung cancer. Final stage.”
“Damn,” Dean looks mournful and genuinely sorry, and Castiel thinks about how ironic it is that Amber, who has never touched a cigarette in her entire life, gets terminal lung cancer while Dean Marlboro Winchester doesn’t.
Turns out Sam is a Stanford Law student now, and Dean was on his way to visit him when he found out that Castiel and his wife lived in California as well. Dean decides to stick around for a little while. Castiel helps him reserve a decent motel room.
Castiel is sitting by Amber’s side the next day, reading her a section of her favorite Vonnegut book while she dozes in and out of sleep, and out of the blue she whispers something he really didn’t want to hear from her.
“I don’t mind… if you love again… after I’m gone…”
“Amber, don’t be silly, I can’t possibly.”
“You used to have… a strong bond with him… sweetheart,” she smiles sadly. “I can still… see it in you two… right now. It’s nothing to… be ashamed of. It’s good for you. He’s good for you.”
He struggles to keep his game face on for his sick, dying love, but fails in the end. The mask drops and shatters on the floor, skirting across the surface in pieces.
Four days after his encounter with Dean Winchester finds Castiel trying to hold back an ocean of tears as he watches the last vestige of his wife slip and fade away. The home physician and nurse are kind enough to give him plenty of time to mourn. Dean is waiting in front of the house when Castiel comes outside to silently make his way to his car and drive to the funeral home. Dean doesn’t say a word, just softly touches his shoulder, and Castiel accepts it, taking comfort from the warmth that bleeds in through the touch.
Recovery doesn’t happen fast. Castiel never expected it to. The funeral is private and quaint. He doesn’t invite Dean, and Dean never shows up. He eventually decides to sell the house. There’s no use in keeping the big house when he’s the only one living in it, he tells himself and everybody else, but the real reason is that he can’t stand being surrounded by all the memories.
But recovery does come, in due time. Castiel moves to South Dakota and rents an apartment in Sioux Falls, near Singer Salvage Yard where Dean works as a mechanic. There is still a distance between Dean and him, it’s expected and Castiel knows this, but in the end he decides that it doesn’t really matter. They are still friends, reunited childhood friends for that matter, and that’s all Castiel cares about at the moment. They see each other almost every day and he’s already learning to smile at Dean again, which Castiel thinks could mean something. He relearns the curve of Dean’s shoulders, relearns the sound of his humming, the touch of his golden brown hair and the dip of his dimples. It takes time, but a lot of the things he used to love about the green-eyed boy do come back to Castiel.
Castiel relearns the shape of Dean Winchester’s lips on a starry mid-August night a year and a half later, on the hood of Dean’s Impala. He thinks back to the day he first met Dean, how he couldn’t believe his eyes, how he had pulled Dean out of the lake. He imagines himself back at that old apartment the Winchesters used to live crammed up in, his hands on Dean and Dean’s hands on him, the smell of cigarettes, beer, and old cotton floating in the air. Castiel feels his heart start to thump loudly. It’s a strange sensation, something that makes him feel as if he’s meeting a part of his body for the first time.
“Cas, can I tell you something?”
“Promise not to laugh at me?”
Castiel chuckles, feeling affection spread through his chest like wildflowers spreading roots. “I won’t laugh at you. Tell me.”
“You, um,” Dean drops his gaze to their intertwined hands. “Pretty much had my heart from the day you saved me from the water.”
Castiel realizes that he was wrong all along. He had been so caught up in that summer day’s illusion of wonderment and loss that he didn’t even notice it when Dean unlocked his chest, took out his own heart and put it in Castiel’s chest instead.
“Happy Birthday, Cas,” says Dean Winchester with a smile that’s as bright as the green of his eyes.
Castiel spends the rest of the night grinning and doesn’t care when his face starts to hurt.