Everything sounded too good to be true, which was probably perfectly fitting for Heaven, and yet, Dean felt like he was on the verge of having his heart ripped from his chest.
"He's alive?" With a slight turn of his head the words tumbled out of his mouth. The last one in a whisper. "Cas."
Bobby sighed. "Is that the only information that made it into your skull?"
Before Dean could respond there was a sudden flap of wings behind him.
He nearly knocked himself over turning around so fast. If he wasn't already dead, Dean knew his heart would have been racing. This was it.
And then Castiel looked at him strangely. He shook his head slightly. "This isn't right. You shouldn't be here."
"I know I wasn't a saint, but.... I didn't think the kid would bar me from the pearly gates." His grin spread ear to ear and Cas looked at him confused for a moment before sighing.
"No, it's too soon. I-"
Before Dean completely realized it, he crossed the open space between them. He threw his arms around Cas and hugged him tightly. "It's been long enough."
Cas hugged him back just as tight for several moments, and then his body stiffened. He slammed Dean into the wall of the Road House. His forearm pressed across Dean's chest.
"Time is vastly different here, but I know it hasn't been long since…” The angel shook his head. He was angry, but Dean couldn’t figure out the wild look, storming in his eyes. “WHAT did you do? What happened?"
Dean had to look away from the intensity of Cas’ stare, and when he did something dawned on him. A small laugh escaped him.”
Cas’ expression twisted in confusion. He didn’t move, but he did release some of the weight he was pressing into Dean. When Dean only laughed harder at his confusion he momentarily considered what it would be like to throw Dean through the building’s wall.
"Dean, I don’t understand."
He didn’t intend on being an ass, but Dean could feel another stupid grin coming on. When was the last time his face hurt from laughing so much?
“I missed you.” It slipped out with his laughter. Dean meant it, but he didn’t realize he said it until he heard it.
“It was a hunting accident.” He could feel Cas’ hand trembling, but he chose to let his gaze travel up to meet his blue eyes instead. “It was a stupid mistake. And...kinda like this, but not nearly as nice. I got shoved into something sticking out of a barn beam.”
Castiel’s arm dropped. His gaze hit the ground. "I'm so sorry Dean. This shouldn’t have happened. Maybe Jack-"
"Why didn't you come back?"
Cas looked at him with wide, surprised eyes. Dean took a step forward.
"There's been a lot to do since Jack took over. He needed me." Cas' gaze hardened. "I didn't expect you to die for decades, but clearly I was wrong."
"I get that. But Cas, were you ever gonna come back? While you were busy redecorating I've been...ya know, digging for anything that would have gotten me a door to the empty."
Cas looked at him bewildered. "Thank you, Dean."
They both stood there silently for a moment. Dean was carefully trying to put his thoughts together. Dead or not, his mind still felt jumbled.
“To be honest,” Cas started. “I wasn’t sure if you….would have wanted to see me again. Considering-”
“Dude, you can’t just drop a bombshell on me and then bail.” Dean placed both of his hands firmly on Castiel’s shoulders. A part of him was still afraid that if he wasn’t holding him here that Cas would be snatched away again.
“It was the only way to keep you alive at the time. And I thought….I thought that by leaving I was giving you a clean start without any complications.”
“There’s no point being alive if you’re not there with me!”
Cas stared at him dumbfounded. His eyes quickly filled with tears.
Dean pulled him into another hug. “You never asked,” his voice cracked. “The thing you couldn’t have. You should have asked instead of leaving.”
Cas held him just as tight. “Okay, Dean.”