Title: Not Even That
Author: vaderina
Rating: PG-13
Genre and/or Pairing: Dean/Castiel
Spoilers: None
Warnings: Character death
Word Count: 1212
Summary: Dean's late again. He always is.


Dean watched in horror as Castiel crumpled, the sword which ran through his stomach clattered on the floor, a harsh contrast to the dull thud of the soft body meeting the ground. He couldn't help but think that the sword was meant for him. He was cornered by the demon, the killing blow was about to come when Castiel, his guardian angel in denial, had turned up and flung him across the room. He had landed in an awkward pile just in time to see the demon pierce through his angel's abdomen and then leave. Within seconds he was on his feet again, rushing towards the angel, now fallen in a more literal sense. He yelled for Sam to get the car. Cas had lost his healing abilities and this wound was not something they could just patch up by themselves. This needed hospital attention. Immediately. He gathered the unconscious angel in his arms as he heard the engine of his baby rumble closer and he tried not to pay attention to the large pool of blood the angel had left behind.


Once they were out of the warehouse, he climbed into the back with the angel, telling his brother to drive and to ignore all speed limits. Castiel lay limp and pale in his arms. Dean tried to ignore just how deathly he looked. He tried to ignore it like he was ignoring the way his trousers were soaking with crimson blood which was slowly pooling in the foot well of the car. At that moment he couldn't care less about the car. All he cared about was his angel.


Castiel's eyes opened with a pained whimper and a struggle for breath. Dean's hand immediately moved to rest on the angel's forehead in a vain attempt to wipe away the stray strands of hair plastered to his sweaty skin. The angel struggled in his grip, trying to get up and failed.


"Cas, you're OK. Just keep still and we will get you patched up soon. Just hang in there."




"Yeah, it's me."


"I didn't...I didn't think...you'd stay." Castiel gasped.


"Course I would. Wouldn't leave you behind, would I?" Dean tried his best to smile through his terror. Castiel began to struggle again.


"You...your...car. I'm going to get blood on it. You will be mad."


Dean sat in silence, dumbstruck at how the angel, even in great pain still thought about him and his damned car. Castiel took that silence as a signal to continue.


"You only let family mess up your car. Even then you get mad. And I'm not family."


"What? Course you are Cas." Dean gaped at him. "After all we've done, how can you say that? What you think you were?" the last part was meant to be rhetorical, but Cas answered all the same


"I'm not family because family is meant to mean knowing each other really well. I remade you Dean, I know you. Know everything there ever was to know and learnt on the way what there will be to know. But you never knew anything about me. You didn't even know that my favourite pie is blueberry, nor that although I like being 'bottom' I would have liked to 'top' just once."


Dean snorted. Of all the things to know about Cas, it never occurred to him that Cas wanted to tell him his favourite pie. And their sex life wasn't something they often discussed. It was quick and filthy. Their own dirty little secret in a way.


"Then I thought we were friends. But friends stick around when the other is in trouble. I wasn't always there for you, and you could never be there for me. Then friends with benefits. But then I realised I can't be your friend. Friends are meant to make each other happy. All I seem to do is annoy you. Every time I appear, you roll your eyes or shout at me. I can't make you happy so I can't be your friend." Cas' eyes were wide, pupils obscuring all but the faintest rim of blue in his eyes. His breathing was fast and shallow. Dean cursed at himself and everything else for this. His heart broke though when he heard that Cas didn't think they were friends.


"If we weren't friends, if I wasn't even that, then I thought we could be fuck buddies. But we couldn't be that either. Because buddies go drinking together and laugh at the same jokes. We've never been drinking before and I don't understand your jokes. Nor do I know any. So we aren't buddies either. Then I realised what I was. A stress relief. When you had pent up frustration, I was there to take it out on. I was a object for you to blow off steam on. Just a silly little thing that could be summoned at convenience and then thrown away when it had no further use." Cas gasped again, fighting for breath, hands shaking as he tried to explain his point with movement.


"Cas, you know that's not right."


"The funny thing is Dean." Cas' voice was barely audible now, soft wheezes replacing the rattling battle for breath, eyes closed, their sky blue hidden behind pallid lids like clouds on a stormy day. Dean stared at the angel, who was quickly losing his struggle for life.


"The funny thing is, even when I realised I was nothing more to you than just a convenience, that I meant even less to you than the Impala "“ and once I thought I might mean almost as much to you as Sam. I was naïve, but then again, I had just died for you, so I was a little confused. But the funny thing is Dean," Dean had to lean close to the angel's mouth, feel his warm breath ghosting over his skin as he strained to hear the fading angel. "Despite all that, I love you. Always will Dean. I'll always love you."


Dean closed his eyes, fighting back the tears. He felt the angel's body fall lax in his lap. He looked up at his face. The sky blue eyes were staring, sightless up to a sky he would never see again. An anguished, choked back sob broke through his control. Eyes screwed shut, he lay his head against the rapidly cooling one of the angel, tears falling as he brokenly whispered three words which were too late for anything and would never be heard by his angel. He was late again. Too late to tell his angel how he really felt. Too late to see the smile it might have conjured onto the angel's face. Too late to make just this one angel feel like that all he did for him had been worth it.


And if he'd been slightly earlier in looking up, he would have caught his brother's pitying gaze in the rear view mirror. But like always, he was late again.