Dean and Cas are both having a bad week months after pulling Cas from the Empty. When they get stuck in the car during a rainstorm, Dean finally gets the courage to tell, or really show, Cas how he feels.
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Sometimes when it rains, it absolutely pours.
Dean was frustrated. Everything about this last week had gone about as wrong as wrong could go. Things fell apart when a witch, on what should have been routine hunt, tossed him around like a rag doll. She even managed to bust Sam’s shoulder by throwing him through a window not once but twice.
It got worse when Dean realized that the reason the hunt went sideways was because the spell hadn’t worked properly. Cas had sent a picture of the witch stopping spell to Dean’s phone but the picture had distorted and cut off the last ingredient necessary to make the spell work. You would think sending a picture from a magical bunker to the middle of nowhere Montana wouldn’t be too much for modern technology. Thankfully, Dean was able to reach his gun while the witch was busy tossing his brother. Two witch-killing bullets later, she was dead.
When Dean sent Cas a text saying they had to detour to the hospital to get Sam fixed up, Cas called him seconds later. The guilt that his phone malfunctioned caused Cas to lose it on the other end of the line and nothing Dean could say would calm the guy down. Dean thought maybe Cas would feel better when Sam and Dean returned to the bunker and saw that they were fine but that turned into a whole other issue all together. Cas’s eyes went wide at the sight of Sam’s arm in a sling. Sam assured him it was just a bad sprain but Cas’s distress was clear. Cas’s final straw had been seeing the bruise forming along the left side of Dean’s face.
Cas raised his hand to touch the bruise almost like he was going to heal him. When Cas’s hands made contact, Dean unwittingly flinched from pain. Cas withdrew his hand quickly and silently. He went straight to his room without another spoken word. Dean knew that the photo mishap and the reminder that he could no longer heal them made Cas feel like a failure. Then, Dean flinching when Cas touched him probably sent the wrong message. Feelings of guilt overwhelmed the former angel and Cas hid in his room for the last six days. The inability to offer Cas comfort or reassurance left Dean feeling like a failure too.
Dean had tried to talk to Cas every time he emerged to use the bathroom or get some food but he was met with stony silence or passive aggressive comments. It had been two months since Cas’s last emotional episode and this one felt rougher than normal. When Claire called to ask them to cover a weird case she found while she worked a vampire nest with Jody, Dean ended up literally dragging the new human out of his room because Sam was benched for the foreseeable future. Cas protested going until Dean said that he needed backup. It was clear Cas didn’t want to be anywhere near Dean which only soured his mood further.
The icing on the shit cake was when the Impala ate one of Dean’s favorite Led Zeppelin tapes two hours into a ten-hour drive in the pouring rain.
Yeah, Dean was over this week.
By the time they pulled into the motel they would staying at, a pond had formed in the parking lot big enough to drown a rat from the Princess Bride and the rain seemed to be falling heavier every second. Dean shifted the Impala to park and shut off the engine but made no effort to get out of the car. He leaned forward to look out the windshield to see if there was any end in sight for the torrent of rain but they couldn’t be so lucky.
“Dean, what are you looking for?” Cas asked from the passenger seat as he mimicked the lean. It was the first time he had spoken in hours after talking on the phone with Sam. They had spoken about the case and the case only so Dean could focus on keeping them from hydroplaning off the backroads to the rundown town they were in now.
“I’m looking out for the T-Rex, can’t let it scoop us up before we’ve even had the chance to get dinner.”
Cas turned his entire body towards Dean at this statement. His pink lips parted into a small, confused O and bright blue eyes squinted at Dean in confusion. Dean wouldn’t chance opening Baby’s door with the falling rain but he would let himself drown in Cas’s eyes if given a chance.
“Jurassic Park, Cas. We watched the original last month when Jack stopped by for burgers. You spent the entire move talking about dinosaurs actually having feathers.”
“Oh. Yes, I remember now. ‘Life finds a way.’” Cas’s voiced slipped even lower while quoting the movie, the gravel in his voice even more pronounced.
Cas went back to looking out the window and watched the rain pour down around them. Dean was free to stare at Cas more openly now. Cas had ditched the trench coat and suit not long after returning from the Empty. Dean never asked why. Now, he was in a blue hooded sweatshirt that brought out his eyes and a pair of well-worn jeans. There was a hint of stubble on his face and his hair was longer than normal. Dean took in all of Cas and felt a sharp pain of longing in his chest. Not a word had been said about “before” but Dean had been meaning to talk-
“We should probably head inside. I don’t think the rain is going to let up soon and I promised I would call Sam back when we arrived,” Cas said as he turned his focus back to Dean.
“Technically, you said you would call him back when we got into the motel room. We aren’t in the room yet.”
“You want me to avoid talking to Sam on a technicality?”
“No, I want to avoid getting soaked down to my underwear and then have to listen to Sam drone on about the lore.”
“Well, if we aren’t getting out of the car soon, what exactly would you like to do to pass the time?”
Dean could definitely think of a few things. He thought about leaning over and kissing Cas breathless while feeling the newly formed stubble beneath his fingertips. He thought about dragging Cas over the front seat while the rain hit the metal roof of the Impala and drowned out his moans. He thought about pulling off Cas’s sweatshirt first and then the former Metallica tee that Cas stole from Dean’s laundry the first week he was human as the windows begin to fog up. He thought about his hands tracing Cas’s-
“Dean, are you listening to me?”
“Buddy, I’m always listening to you.”
“Tell me what I just said.”
“Exactly, you never listen. Even before when I-” Cas trailed off and angrily watched the raindrops race down the window.
Dean’s heart broke a little more inside. His heart had shattered when Cas confessed his feelings before being taken by the Empty. The shattered pieces crumbled further when he realized the feelings he had been harboring for years towards his best friend were romantic. He loved Cas back. What little pieces that remained had been ground into dust when he thought he wouldn’t get the chance to say it back and he was too late.
When Cas came back, the pieces began to fit back together slowly yet he had never mentioned them again for fear of his heart being broken one last time. It might break him if Cas had changed his mind and he couldn’t risk it.
Dean slid closer to Cas and nudged him gently with his hand, “I listen, Cas. Always, at least to the important stuff anyway.”
“Really Dean? Because I don’t think you have ever taken anything I have said seriously. Not a single time, maybe when I was an angel but certainly not since I’ve become human.”
“Hey, yes I do. I just got distracted a minute ago-“
“No Dean, you don’t listen. It doesn’t matter what I say or how I say it. You don’t hear me. I don’t know why I’m even here.”
The anger had evaporated from Cas’s voice leaving him sounding tired and sad. Cas let his head roll back onto the soft vinyl seat and shut his eyes.
The elephant-sized weight of everything that had gone unsaid between the two of them was suffocating. The fear in his chest of voicing his own feelings were out gunned by his fear of losing Cas. This week was bad enough with Cas avoiding him, he couldn’t stand if Cas had the exact wrong opinion because of him. Cas thought Dean didn’t care. He thought he didn’t feel the same. The only problem with that was Dean had fallen more in love with Cas with every passing day.
“Cas, look at me.”
Cas let out a deep sigh before turning his head back to Dean. Blue eyes locked with green and Dean knew what he needed to do.
“Cas, I hear you and… I heard you. That Day.”
Dean leaned forward to capture Cas’s lips with his. He channeled everything he had been meaning to say since, well, forever into it. After a moment, Cas was kissing him back. Gentle compared to fierceness coming from Dean. The stubble underneath his fingers and the soft feeling of Cas’s lips sent Dean straight to Heaven.
A few minutes later and much too soon to Dean’s humble opinion, they broke apart.
“I love you too, Cas. Always have.”
Maybe the rain wasn’t drowning them after all, maybe it was washing the slate clean for the first time.