The reaper they send looks at him with compassion. It’s not anyone he knows.
“Welcome, Dean,” she says, “Are you ready to move on?”
Dean blinks, looks back at where he was a second ago, where Sam is still hunched over his lifeless body.
He says, “No, my brother – first I need to make sure he’s gonna be alright.”
She smiles reassuringly and tells him, “He will be.”
But Dean insists, says, “Look, you don’t know me, but I know your boss -”
“I know you, Dean. But without Chuck, things have changed. You’re just like everyone else now.”
Right, no Billie anymore. Just an old regular Death that doesn’t care about him.
“Yeah, well, then let me stick around awhile. As a ghost or something,” he looks back once again at Sam, carrying his body out of the barn, “After everything I did. I'm just asking for this,” he begs. “It won’t be long. Just- just give me a day.”
So he sees his funeral.
There’s Jody, and Donna, by Sam’s side. There are the girls, tears streaked faces and broken voices. Kaia doesn’t leave Claire’s side the whole time. Garth is there too, Charlie with Stevie and a whole bunch of hunters he met down the literal road. It’s an impressive turn up, if he’s being honest.
Dean has always thought about how his funeral would look like. Before Sam, he thought his body would just rot away in some abandoned warehouse in the middle of nowhere, forgotten. He’d hated that. Later, he’d pictured his brother lighted by the fire of his pyre, alone and miserable. He’d hated that even more.
But things had changed and he’d changed and he’d let people in and fought to hold on to them and to do right by them. And he is proud of what he’s done for them and for the whole world; he wouldn’t change a thing. His life had been a difficult one, but he’d known love and family and that was the important part.
Now they are there, saying thank you and goodbye. And he realizes, he was silly to worry about Sam not being alright. Of course he’s going to be alright. He can see it in the way he gets shepherd to the car, fussed over, held, in the way Eileen never lets go of his hand.
So when the reaper comes again and asks “Are you ready, Dean?”, he says, “Yeah, we can go now.”
It’s only fair Bobby is the one to welcome him. He hugs him and Dean breathes in car oil and gun powder, and the inside of his house, old books and cheap booze. He doesn’t even question how is that possible.
“Good to see you, boy,” he says in the same gruff voice.
“You know that me being here means I’m dead, right?” he jokes, but accepts the beer Bobby hands him and sits next to him.
“Everybody dies, you ain’t special,” he replies with half a smile. “How was Sam?”
“Oh, you know. I’m sure he’s dealing.”
“Don’t worry, he’ll be here soon.”
Dean scoffs, “Hell, I hope not. I hope he lives the longest life, so he can tell me all about it when he comes up.”
Bobby clinks his bottle against his in agreement.
He is the one who tells him about Heaven – points in the distance at his parents’ house, Rufus’ house, his own house. He is the one who tells him about Jack. And Cas.
Dean is surprised and gets a little chocked up. “I thought he was in the Empty. I thought – I thought Jack couldn’t reach him there.”
If he thinks that he could have -
But Bobby smiles and takes a sip. “Well, you’re right, but you think that would’ve stopped Jack from trying? He’s your son, after all,” he says and Dean is filled with pride and affection. “But when he got there, turns out, Cas was fighting from the inside.” Dean huffs a laugh and Bobby follows suit. “They broke everyone free, sent the Empty back to sleep. They’re all at peace now.”
“Wh-when did this happen?”
“Who knows. Time is different here. You’ll get used to it.”
Dean waits for Bobby to offer up some other information, but he stays silent.
So he takes a breath and starts, “Is - Cas, is he -?”, but Bobby cuts him off with a look.
“He sure knows you’re here. You just gotta call him.”
Dean nods and swallows but stays put, beer forgotten in his hand.
Another moment passes, then Bobby says, “Go, boy,” and Dean doesn’t look but he knows for a fact there is an eye-roll involved.
That gets him out of his chair and out of the shade of the porch, under a sun that is not too warm, nor too cold. “Thanks Bobby,” he looks back.
He nods and says, “Hey, when you’re done, come over at my place. I’d like you to meet my Karen,” and Dean doesn’t think he’s ever seen such happiness in his eyes.
He takes a few steps from the Roadhouse but when he turns back again, the pub seems miles away and then there’s the Impala right beside him.
“Hey, Baby,” he says, touching her hood affectionately. He leans against her, closes his eyes and concentrates. “Don’t worry. We’re gonna take off in a minute. Just wanted to know if someone wants to come along for a ride?”
He feels brave and light but holds his breath in the defining silence that follows. Before he could like a fool though, he hears a flap of wings right in front of him.
He can’t contain the smile that takes over his face. He waits a second more before opening his eyes.
“I would love to.”
Cas is beautiful. Dean has seen him powerful, and he’s seen him determinate, but he’s never seen him so peaceful and ethereal. He looks like home and like something so out of Dean’s reach – except that’s not true. He told him himself that he was wrong about that. The light shines on his face and he’s got a little smile that reminds Dean of one time on the side of a darkly lit road a lifetime ago.
Dean closes the distance in a heartbeat and wraps his arms around him and holds tight. “Hey, Cas.”
He feels the fabric of the trenchcoat against his skin and Cas’ strong arms and warm hands around him and if he didn’t already know he was in Heaven he would have started to suspect it right then. “Hello, Dean.”
They hold each other for a long time and Dean thinks of what Bobby said and wonders how many years are going by and how many more could go by before he gets sick of that.
He pulls back a little, just enough to look at his face but not enough to get out of his hold. He jokes, “You could’ve come find me at the gates, thrown me a welcome party.”
Cas presses his lips together. “I thought it was best to let you decide where you wanted to go and who you wanted to see.”
“And you thought I wouldn’t wanna see you?”
Cas hesitates but Dean cuts him off before he can say anything.
He cradles his face and makes sure Cas is looking straight at him when he says, “Cas. I love you too. Of course, I love you too,” and it comes out a little broken and a little breathy but he feels giddy and Cas is smiling and then there’s kisses, lips and hair through his fingers and a whole new shiny beautiful world. “You’re the best thing that’s happened to me,” he says. “I’m so glad you’re here, I can’t believe my luck.”
Dean keeps thinking, Cas was right. All this time he thought that the best thing that could happen was to know that Cas loved him, but the way Dean feels now, seeing his eyes shining as he hears his words, yeah, nothing can beat that. He decides then, that he’ll tell him everything that Cas always deserved to hear and he’ll make sure he never forgets it. It may not make up for the time he spent doubting, but for sure he’ll try. Cas grabs his hand, “I feel the same way.”
Dean takes a deep breath. “So, what are we gonna do?”
“I could show you around. I thought I was offered a ride?”
“Yeah,” laughs Dean, pulling him along, walking backward towards the car. “You sure I’m not keeping you? I heard you’re big shot now.”
“I am God’s father. There are perks to the position,” Cas says, as they both get inside.
“Good. Hope that means you’re gonna stay. Cause I’m kinda sick of you getting out my sight.”
Cas looks back at him from the passenger seat, and it’s a sight Dean knows very well, but this time it’s different. This time he smiles and says the most amazing thing Dean could hope for.
He says: “I’m not going anywhere.”