The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
At night, Dean clutches the coat close.
If he thinks hard enough, if he allows himself to drift into a half-conscious state, he swears he can feel the warmth of Cas’ body against his chest, feel the solid form of his body in Dean’s arms. It still smells like him, like air and dust and something completely inhuman and purely Castiel.
He dreams of lakes and rivers and the sea, all peaceful and serene except for the feeling of absolute dread and fear that swallows him whole and tears at his heart. Sometimes he pulls Cas from the water and clings to him like a lifeline, sobbing into shoulder and whispering apologies into his ear.
Never does Cas respond. Except for the time that he does. He strokes Dean’s face and wipes away the moisture on his cheeks and, for once, is the one to pull Dean close. He says, “It’s okay. It’s okay, it’s alright, Dean,” over and over again until Dean crumples against him and struggles not to gasp hysterically for air.
He wakes up with a gasp, his face wet and his head pounding. There’s a weight on the bed, just off to the side, and it takes a minute for his eyes to adjust to the darkness. There’s Castiel, head tilted to the side, eyes wide and ever so blue, and Dean sobs, again, not wanting to wake.
Castiel strokes a hand through Dean’s hair and wipes at his eyes. He’s wearing everything but the trench coat, which he reaches for, running his fingers down the fabric of one of the arms. Instinctively, Dean’s arms tighten around it.
“Dean…” His voice cracks, his eyes glisten, and he leans down, whispering quietly into Dean’s ear. Dean’s eyes widen and he whimpers.
“Cas?” He murmurs, and it only takes a few more seconds before he falls forward with a broken sob, pulling Cas against him and clutching desperately at his shirt, his hair, everything he can reach. Cas clings just as desperately, whispering Dean’s name into his ear, again and again, clenching his eyes shut.
Dean sags, arms tightening to an extent that should hurt, but Cas just sighs.
“I promised I would redeem myself to you; that I would be back.”
“I forgive you. Fuck, Cas, I’m so-“ Dean can barely speak. Cas buries his face against Dean’s temple.