The soft pitter patter of rain eased the tumultuous heart of she who sat just outside the Bunker. It had been a long, uncertain night as her friend fought to hold on to see another day. Dean had made it, but it was almost too late. She had called to Castiel too many times to count, and when he finally flew into the Bunker, she had mixed feelings of relief and pure exasperation. Sammy was simply thankful that Dean was still alive, still able to tip back beers and binge burgers. She, however, wanted to know where the angel had been - what held him from appearing sooner.
“Y/n.” The suddenness of the deep male timbre behind her made her flinch.
She didn’t need to turn around. She would recognize his voice anywhere.
“Y/n. You’re upset.”
She scoffed and rolled her eyes. “What clued you in, Sherlock?”
Why she was treating him like this, she didn’t know. In truth, she deeply cared for him, wanted him in ways she would never express for fear of the possibility of rejection. Instead, she harbored her feelings, shoved them deep inside so they didn’t affect her life or her job. It was better this way. At least that’s what she told herself when she looked in the mirror every day.
He sat down beside her, his trench coat flowing around him like a cape. “Y/n. I did arrive as soon as I could. I’m sorry.”
“Sorry don’t make it better, Cas.”
“Dean’s fine. He’s actually starting a poker game if you would like to come back inside.”
She trained her eyes ahead, unable to look the angel in his cobalt blue eyes. “It’s not that, Cas.”
He scrunched his brow and tilted his head, confused. “Then what is it?”
“Forget it. It doesn’t matter.”
“No. Just...just forget it.”
She stood up and turned to enter the Bunker when Castiel reached out and gently took her wrist in hand to stop her from walking away. “Y/n. What’s wrong?”
He still sat on the concrete as he stared up at her, silently begging her to talk to him. To tell him what was troubling her. Castiel held a fondness for y/n that he couldn’t explain. It was above the brotherhood he shared with Dean or the friendship with Sam. No, this was something that distracted him, would make him run to her if she were ever in a desperate situation. Seeing her this upset was beyond concerning for Cas. He wanted to take it away. He could read her thoughts if he truly wanted to know, but he had promised never to do that to her. It was intrusive and an invasion of her privacy.
She sighed deeply and didn’t resist the hold from Cas.
“Y/n. If you don’t wish to tell me, then you don’t have to. I just want you to be okay.”
“I’m not okay, Cas.”
At the words, Castiel stood and quietly waited for her to continue. He saw the beginnings of tears forming in her beautiful y/e/c eyes.
She closed her eyes and swallowed down the sudden build up of emotion. “I don’t want to drag you into my inner drama, Cas.”
“You wouldn’t be dragging me into anything, y/n. I wouldn’t have asked if I weren’t...concerned about your happiness.”
She looked up into his eyes. Castiel’s face was lined with caring regard as he gazed back at her. He absently rubbed his thumb across her wrist as he hadn’t let it go.
“What is it, y/n?” he asked, his voice soft and quiet.
She felt her heart beat hard in her chest at the millions of thoughts that immediately rushed forward. She had to push many back in order to choose the correct string of words.
“Cas, I…” She had to pause to gather herself once more. “This isn’t about Dean. At least, not entirely. Yes, I’m upset that he almost died. He and Sam are the closest things I have to brothers, or any family for that matter. It’s not that you were almost too late. It-it’s more than that.”
She took a steadying breath before continuing. “It’s that this keeps happening. Whatever those boys touch, it’s like they’re doomed from the get-go. I’m actually terrified when we head out on a case. Or-or if they leave me behind. Or if one of them goes without the other. Cas, I’m so scared that one day - one day you’ll be too late. Or they’ll take a wrong step and end up some monster’s dinner.”
“You’ve never expressed this fear before. Has something happened that made you feel this way?”
“Seeing my sister die.” She wasn’t hesitant. It was said before she could reel the thought back in. At the words, she visibly stiffened and her expression shifted from frustration to undeniable sorrow.
Castiel’s gaze softened even further. Y/n’s sister had died at the hands of a Shifter just over three months earlier. It had torn y/n. She had lost her last blood relative.
“I’m sorry, y/n,” Cas murmured. “I know it’s been difficult.”
The first tear found its way out of y/n’s eye and it slowly rolled down her cheek. She hurriedly wiped it away and stared at the ground. “Yeah, well. It don’t bring her back.”
“Is that all that’s bothering you?” Cas pushed. He understood the worry about the boys, but he had a feeling there was something else she was more reluctant to say.
She worried her bottom lip at the question. Yes she thought. But it’s better you don’t know .
“Y/n.” She slowly looked him in the eye again. “What is it?” he questioned.
“It’s nothing important.”
Except it was very important. It involved Castiel, but she promised herself she would never tell him - never divulge that information under any circumstances. Everyone was safer that way.
“I don’t believe that, y/n.”
Cas took both her hands in his and hoped to reassure her she was safe to tell him anything. He wanted her to feel completely safe with him. He wanted her to know that he would never do anything that would cause her pain. He wanted to protect her heart and physical body.
She looked at him with heavy eyes. “Cas,” she spoke, just above a whisper. “Cas, I can’t.”
“Why?” His voice had remained incredibly gentle in the face of delicate conversation.
“Because, Cas.” More rebellious tears began their descent, and this time Cas released one of her hands to wipe them away. His thumb lightly removed the tears from her face and she just barely leaned into the small pressure. “Cas, I…”
In that moment, she couldn’t finish a sentence even if she wanted to. All the feelings and thoughts she had bottled came flooding to the surface in a tsunami wave.
Because Cas, I love you. I love you in a completely different way than I love Sam and Dean. You are the one person I want to see when I get back from a hunt. You’re the one I want to protect me from all the evil of the world. I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere between the day I met you and now, I fell completely in love with you. And I know it’s wrong, because you’re an angel and I’m a lowly human, but I can’t help what I feel. I’ve tried getting rid of it. I promise I have, but it’s always there. Cas, I can’t lose you. There are angels still out there that are hellbent on killing you. Not to mention the demons that would love to get rid of you for good. Cas...Damn it, Cas I’m helplessly in love with you. And there’s nothing I can do to change that.
But she didn’t say it. No, all she could do was stand there and stare up at the angel with one hand cradling her face and the other holding her hand. His cobalt eyes searched hers, and she didn’t know Cas had heard every single word she had thought. He hadn’t intended to, but he allowed himself a glimpse and...it was all right there. Almost as if she were pushing the thoughts toward him, wanting him to see it all so she wouldn’t have to make herself say it.
“Y/n,” he spoke. “What are you saying?” He wanted to hear her physically speak it.
She took a shaky breath and shrugged as she finally admitted what she felt to the angel in front of her. “Cas, I love you.”
Castiel leaned forward just enough to rest his forehead on hers. He closed his eyes as he took her face in both hands, his fingers caressing her soft cheeks. “I’m so relieved to hear you say that.”
“What?” Her tone held confusion and hope simultaneously.
“I’ve wanted to hear you say that for a long time.”
“Because, y/n. I love you too.”
Castiel tilted her chin up and brushed her lips with his. He was asking permission to kiss her. She stared up at him, completely shocked, but she quickly wrapped her arms around his neck and met him for an actual kiss. He sighed, relief flooding through him as their mouths moved with each other, fingers tangled in hair, and bodies pressed into the other. It was borderline desperate - the need to convey every little thing apparent in the way lips pressed against lips, teeth gently tugged, and tongues quickly swiped to ask the other to open up.
They heard the Bunker door heave open and Dean’s voice break through the blissful moment. “Is everything alright out - Oh! Wow. Was not expecting that. Sorry. Just uh...Yeah…” Dean quickly disappeared as Cas and y/n were left outside.
She felt herself melt as Cas wrapped his large arms around her and held her close to him. Never in a million years did she think Castiel held the same secret.
“Should we go back inside?” Cas asked, his voice quiet.
“Probably.” Although she would have been perfectly content to stand outside in the arms of the one angel she had come to adore with all her being.
“I do love you, y/n. No matter what happens.”
She felt a small smile lift the corners of her mouth as she nuzzled into Cas’s chest. “I love you too, Cas.” She allowed herself to become completely vulnerable in that moment, the usual harshness of the huntress she was falling away as she gave her emotions permission to be felt.
As he escorted her back inside, he couldn’t help the warm feeling that blossomed in his chest as she tightly gripped his hand. They both knew teasing would ensue from the elder Winchester, but none of that could rattle how they felt. Without words, they had agreed to give this thing a shot. And Cas promised to protect her. Because, in a single thought, she had become his universe.