Title: Left Behind
Author: vaderina
Rating: PG-13
Genre and/or Pairing: implied Dean/Castiel
Spoilers: None really.
Warnings: Character death (or rather, what happened after)
Word Count: 1136
Summary: Cas didn't imagine life after the apocalypse. At least not like this.
A/N: I don't know what's got into me. I swear that after this I'm going back to happier stories and porn. I should add at this point that I hate sad fics. I don't even know why I write them because they make me unhappy too. :S


Cas walked into the field and gave a small sad smile to the sight that greeted him.


"Hello Dean, Sam." he said to the two small stone tablets that marked shallow graves. He set the candles he'd brought with him down by Dean's headstone and sat between the two grey slabs, head against Dean, feet resting by Sam. He closed his eyes as he'd done for the past few months and relived memories that should never have been his.


Cas became human 9 days 21 hours 43 minutes and 56 seconds before the end of the apocalypse. Those 9 days were possibly the best days of his human life. While they planned the execution of the Devil during the day there was little time for privacy. During the night though, after initial awkwardness he and Dean shared a bed, making the most of their time together. Those short lived few moments Cas thought of with love and fondness. Dean was as gentle with him as he needed to be, as he could be. Showed him the perks of humanity before he'd lost himself to the fight. The fight itself was difficult. Sam said yes as planned, but after that Lucifer took things off script and the only solution was for Dean to say yes to Michael. Cas could see it happening from where he lay, thrown into a bush by Sam's incredible bulk. The clash of wills that followed left the earth shaken, the battlefield charred and lifeless. The two bodies of the Winchester brothers were thrown aside as burnt out husks, twisted in on themselves like some sick puppet version of who they once were.


Cas remembered the rush to the hospital with them. The beeping of machines keeping both boys barely alive. But they were still alive and there was still a slim sliver of hope Cas latched onto. For two weeks they were in a coma and he and Bobby went from meeting to meeting with the staff of the hospital. By the end of the second week it was established that even if either of the Winchesters were to wake up from their respective comas, they'd be bed bound for the rest of their lives, in constant pain and would need help with day to day things until they finally died. Between them, Bobby and Cas knew that this was not a life. Bobby was only in a wheelchair and that still made life difficult. For two fit young men to go from an active hunting life to bed bound and dependent was no life. There was really a choice to be had in the situation. And the chances of either of them waking up were getting smaller by the day. After 3 weeks in a coma, Bobby and Cas signed the form for the life support to be turned off. Bobby turned Sam's off one by one, eyes brimming with unshed tears as the final monitor fell silent. Cas took responsibility for Dean. As he flicked the final switch, he placed a kiss on Dean's forehead. Only a month ago that would have been benediction from an angel. Now, it was just a mocking reminded of what was lost. It was only a goodbye kiss from a lover left behind.


Bobby and Cas gave the Winchesters a hunter's send off. The pyres they lit in the fields burnt their bodies. The ashes were collected into small sliver tins engraved with sigils of love, rest and peace. Cas dug the graves himself in an abandoned field, with his own hands through sweat and tears. He'd put the brothers side by side like they'd have wanted. Being left behind, he'd slowly realised, was worse than he'd ever thought it would be. He never really imagined living past the apocalypse. And if he did ever entertain the thought, Dean had always been there beside him in his dreams. But now, all he had for company were two names etched in stone and memories of better days. Of course, things slowly changed. He still visited Dean and Sam daily. But the tears stopped coming, the bitterness at being left alone slowly receded into an old hurt and life began to crawl on forward with time. He got fake papers for identity. He was now Cas Singer the son Bobby never had. Singer's Salvage Yard became Singer & Son's Salvage Yard. He couldn't remember the first time Bobby had called him 'son'. It might have been at the hospital, it could have been later. All he knew was that he soon became accustomed to his replacement father and his new life void of those he loved the most. Bobby was his family now, there no one else who'd cared about him, cared for him. Cas Singer supposedly got a degree in history. If anybody asked him, he could speak of all the ages, not through learning from a textbook but through experience. He had, after all lived through all Ages and Eras as a first hand viewer. He learnt to fix cars, and took care of the Impala. While he never drove her, he kept her in peak condition just like her previous owner had. He often spoke to Dean about her, how she was still as beautiful as ever and he'd hoped that if Dean was watching, he'd be proud of the job he did with her. He also spoke of the salvage yard, the business, the people he met. Some were becoming regulars. He told Sam how Bobby had finally tidied up his library. There was order to the books, no more searching through random piles on the floor that only Bobby knew the system to.


Sometimes Cas would just sit there in silence, listening to the wind blowing through the long grass and the birds flying overhead twittering excitedly. He wished he could join them, once more take to the skies and fly. He wondered if Dean and Sam were up there flying like they were born with wings. He hoped that Heaven provided everything they deserved and more. He wished that he could join them too but it wasn't his time yet. He'd made a promise and he had to look after Bobby. After that, he'd be free but family always came first. Cas opened his eyes to the sound of someone approaching.


Bobby stood there looking at the other man.


"Thought I'd find you here." he said gruffly, "It's time to come home son."


Cas nodded mutely and rose to his feet. After lighting the candles, he began heading back to their house, trailing after the older man. And if he thought he felt warm lips brush against the back of his neck and carefree laughter echo in the wind. Well, that was nobodies business other than his.