Season 5, "The End"
Rating: Adult. If you're under eighteen, please go elsewhere now.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Image from Andreas at LJ.
He'd almost forgotten why he'd fallen in love with Dean.
Five long years had washed away the first infatuation. Five years had brought with it death and destruction and a never-ending fight that drained the sparkle from Dean's eyes and the wry humor from his smile.
Five years had turned Dean almost as cold and unfeeling as an angel.
The same five years had changed Castiel, too. He was no longer an angel. He was one of the Fallen, angels who'd chosen to live among humans. Except he hadn't chosen, not exactly. The other angels had simply left, and all the grace had poured out of him, leaving him trapped in this human shell.
Five years ago, he'd believed in God.
Now, he believed in nothing at all. He cared about nothing at all.
But that wasn't true, not really. He'd realized that earlier this afternoon, when he'd encountered a young Dean, Dean as he'd been five years ago, his eyes snapping with life, his body filled with it, so that to Castiel's eyes he almost glowed with it.
This was the Dean he'd fallen in love with. And yet it wasn't, because the five years that had passed had affected him too, and he was no longer interested in the young, hopeful Dean. That wasn't his Dean.
The Dean he loved was right here. Dark and callous and cold, and yet... still Dean.
He'd started down this path because of Dean. He'd wound up here, lost and alone and bitter, because of Dean.
He was tired of being lost, and alone, and bitter. He was tired of hunger and want and need, and the sight of human bodies being torn apart or shot or knifed. He was tired of death and sickness and terror. He was tired of all these things.
He craved salvation.
And deep down, he still believed he could find it in Dean's arms.
He found Dean in what had once been a living room, sorting out the weapons they'd need tonight. He paused at the door, studying the man who was at once his friend and so much more than his friend... and yet who was no longer his friend, not really.
He'd turned away from Dean in the last two years, looking for sexual fulfillment elsewhere. And he knew now that he'd made a mistake. A terrible mistake. Because turning away from Dean was almost like turning away from God, a rift he didn't know how to repair, a rift that hurt like the fires of Hell. He felt like he'd been damned for all eternity the moment he'd had sex with someone else.
And furious with himself at giving into the temptations of flesh, he'd had sex with another someone. And another, and another, all of them faceless and nameless, anonymous, irrelevant, while all the while Dean grew colder and more remote.
By his own foolish actions, he'd driven Dean away. He'd pushed away the only person he'd ever truly loved.
He'd tried to drown the guilt with drugs, but it hadn't been enough. Nothing was enough.
He'd hurt Dean, the person who mattered the most to him on this tired, battered old Earth. He'd turned away from Dean.
He regretted that, more than he regretted anything.
"Dean," he said softly.
Dean looked up. Even if he hadn't been wearing fatigues, Cas would have known he wasn't the younger Dean. There were weary lines carved into his face, a cynical slant to his mouth, dispassionate ice in his eyes. He looked cold and distant, not so much angry as removed.
"Figured you'd be doing a last toke," he said, his voice as chilly as his face.
Cas sighed. In a way, he supposed that was what he was doing. "Dean," he said, savoring the way the other man's name rolled off his tongue. "I wanted... I wanted..."
Dean glared at him through narrowed eyes, then looked away.
"You do know what's going to happen tonight, don't you, Castiel?"
Once upon a time, Dean had called him Cas, but no longer. Now it was the longer, formal name, used like a wall between them.
Cas blew out another breath. He knew. Of course he knew. Only one person could face Lucifer with the Colt. The rest of them were merely a distraction, to keep Lucifer's minions occupied and away from Dean.
And as such, none of them would live long.
"Yeah," he said roughly. "I know."
Dean turned his back on him, his shoulders stiff. "So go finish up whatever needs doing before we go."
Cas walked across the room and put his hand on Dean's shoulder.
"That's why I'm here," he said simply.
Dean spun around and glared into his eyes. He looked furious now, as if he'd like to take a swing at Cas.
Cas didn't let him. He put one hand on either side of his face, leaned forward, and kissed him.
Over the years, they'd shared loving, tender sex and wild, passionate sex. But this was something different. This was angry.
"Damn you," Dean muttered, his mouth buried in Cas' throat. "Damn you damn you damn you, Cas, after all this time-- goddamn you--"
Cas could have answered that God had already damned him by leaving him here, trapped amidst humans, all his grace lost. But right now, this didn't feel like damnation, not with Dean deep inside him, their arms wrapped around each other, their bodies moving in perfect and heavenly harmony.
He said nothing at all, only moaned and let Dean curse him some more. Now Dean's hands were knotted in his hair, his teeth biting into Cas' shoulder in angry passion. His body moved hard, thrusting deep, and Cas let the rapture sweep over him, a more perfect joy than could have been found in Heaven.
An instant later, Dean joined him, shuddering violently as he poured all his fury into Cas in a long explosion. And then they collapsed together onto the old couch.
There was a long silence. At last Dean said, "I better finish getting ready."
Cas nodded. Words jostled together in his mouth-- I love you, Dean, I've loved you all this time, I'm so sorry, I never meant to hurt you-- but none of them seemed necessary to utter. He was certain Dean knew it all. Their lovemaking, brief though it had been, had healed everything.
It was, he thought, ironic that they'd mended the rift between them, just in time for one or both of them to die.
But maybe the timing of it didn't matter all that much. Maybe, he reflected, all that mattered was the healing.
Dean lifted his considerable weight off him and sat. His chest was still heaving, his skin sweaty. Cas sat up, aware that he was panting just as hard.
They sat there together, shoulder to shoulder, for a long moment. And then Dean leaned over and kissed him, full on the mouth.
It wasn't a kiss of anger, or of pain, or of regret. It wasn't even a farewell kiss. It was simply a kiss of love.
And to Castiel, it was salvation.