Pairing: Dean/Castiel implied
Disclaimer: Mine they are not, dream a girl can, no money have I, please not to be suing.
Summary: A Supernatural retelling of The Angel by Hans Christian Anderson.
Warnings: Character death. No spoilers for season six.
"Cas? What's going on?"
The angel looks at Dean, bright blue eyes shadowed and his expression utterly neutral. "You must come with me, Dean."
"Why?" Even as he's asking, Dean's getting out of bed and getting dressed. He's glad that Sam's not around to ask awkward questions, questions that Dean himself has no answer for. Except perhaps the question as to why he is going anywhere with Castiel without an explanation first, but Dean knows that Sam wouldn't fully understand his answer.
He trusts Castiel, even as he's annoyed at him, often angry and frustrated by him. Despite it all, the trust remains, unbreakable. Sometimes, Dean thinks as he tugs on his jacket, he trusts Cas more than his own brother.
Shoving away the pain of that private realisation, Dean turns to Castiel and quirks an eyebrow. "Okay, so, you going to tell me what's going on here?"
"Soon," is all Castiel says as he touches Dean forehead and moves them.
Ben's chatting happily to his mom and Dean smiles fondly as he watches the pair of them walking down the street together. It's such a simple, almost prosaic scene, mother and son talking, smiling, laughing as if nothing more earth shattering than deciding what was to be for dinner was going on. Lisa laughs as Ben says something and her smile is warm and loving. It's everything that Dean remembers, and there's a pang in his chest as he watches them.
"You miss her, don't you." It isn't a question.
Dean sighs and turns to face Castiel. "Yeah, I do. But not in the way you might think. They're better off with me gone, they can relax and live their lives without the crap of mine dragging them down. I miss the simple life, Cas. That's what she represents. An out from hunting."
Castiel nods, although he doesn't say anything further, his hands in the pockets of his trench coat. As Lisa and Ben turn into the front yard of their home and head indoors, Dean sighs once more and turns away. "Why did you bring me here?"
"Because I thought it would give you some peace to see them happy and safe."
Dean grunts at that because he has nothing to say. Castiel is right. Before he knows what's happening, Castiel's hand is on his shoulder, warm and solid, and the angel has moved them both.
"Here? Really? Why?" Dean stares at Castiel in amazement. They're outside the diner near Chuck's house, the diner reputed to have the best burgers in the mid-west, according to Oprah's girlfriend.
"Because you like burgers, Dean."
The reply is pure Castiel and Dean simply blinks at him for a moment before shaking his head and laughing ruefully. "Sure, okay, Cas. You can fill me in about what's going on while I have a cheeseburger."
Inside the diner, Dean devours not one but two cheeseburgers, his expression one of pure bliss. Castiel watches him with a raised eyebrow, the only outward sign of his confusion at Dean's devotion to the church of the holy burger. Dean ignores it in favour of waving a ketchup stained finger at Castiel and, around a mouthful, saying, "What's going on? Talk to me, Cas."
Castiel shakes his head a moment. "Soon, Dean. I promise."
Dean rolls his eyes as he finishes eating. "Yeah, yeah. I've heard that before." Something that sounds suspiciously like 'Damn angels,' comes from him, but he doesn't repeat himself when Castiel asks him to. He's barely paid the bill when Castiel touches his hand and moves them a third time.
This time, when the world solidifies around them, Dean finds himself utterly stymied. He looks around the park in bemusement, noting the trees slowly shedding their leaves as they prepare for the onset of winter. "Isn't this where that kid Lucas did those drawings about a red bicycle?"
Castiel nods. "Yes, Dean. This is where you spent time with the child who you later saved from a ghost in a lake nearby."
Dean rubs his hand over his forehead. "Yeah, I remember. He was a sweet kid. Cute mom."
"Dean." Castiel frowns. "That is not the purpose for bringing you here."
"Then what was the purpose of bringing me here?"
"You were happy here," Castiel explains. He gestures to the bench where Dean had drawn a picture of his family with Lucas. "Do you remember?"
Dean frowns. "Yeah." He walks over to the bench and stares down at it for a long moment. "I guess he's all grown up now, huh?"
"Yes." Castiel looks into the distance, expression inscrutable. Dean knows he'll get nothing more out of the angel until Castiel is good and ready to reveal it, so he doesn’t even try. Instead, he sits on the bench and makes himself relax, looking over the playground where several young children are playing with a bright red ball. A small smile crosses his face as he watches them and he almost jumps out of his skin when Castiel sits beside him and places his hand on Dean's thigh.
"Cas... what the hell?" Dean stares at Castiel as the world comes back into focus after yet another teleportation.
"Do you not recognise this place, Dean?"
Dean scowls and looks around, his expression growing stricken. "Yeah. Why here?"
The overgrown cemetery where not that long ago Dean had implored his brother to fight the devil within him remains unchanged.
"It's the end," Castiel says softly and his voice is gentle.
"The end," Castiel repeats. "It's time for you to say goodbye and come with me, Dean Winchester."
Realisation dawns and Dean's eyes grow wide. "Already?"
Castiel's hand is held out to him and Dean stares at it for a moment then slowly takes it in his own. He is, he realises, relieved. As their fingers twine together, Dean looks up at Castiel, looks into his eyes and smiles. It's the first real, genuine smile he's given for years.
"It's about damn time, Cas."
"Come home now, Dean," Castiel smiles back.
A breeze blows a flurry of leaves that drowns out the gentle sound of angel's wings as Castiel takes Dean's soul to Heaven.