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Remembering

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Screams. Fear. A drill aimed at his face, and no visible way to get away from it. He's trying to find a way out, trying to get away when a panicked, concerned voice enters his consciousness. Someone grips him by his shoulders and gently shakes him, questions and demands falling from their lips. He struggles weakly, attempting to open his eyes and look at the person assaulting him.

"Sir! Please stop struggling! I'm trying to help you! Are you alright?" The words finally reach his ears and he stills, letting them swim around in his brain and calm his frazzled nerves. He swallows, shaking his head, not sure yet if he's able to speak. What happened to him?

"Sir, you're hurt pretty badly. I think you might have some broken and cracked ribs, your nose is broken, your eyes are swollen shut, and there's some bruising on your throat. And I think one of your arms is broken and one of your legs is messed up pretty badly." A wheezing cough escapes his bruised lungs and he shudders as a cool breeze brushes past him. He searches for his grace, thinking that he could just heal himself and be gone. If he could do that one thing right, then maybe he could go find him and apologize. But he finds nothing. He shifts his shoulders, hoping to feel his wings shifting and stretching behind him. Again, nothing. Dread fills him as he comes to the realization that he has fallen. No wings. No grace. Just him. Human. Fallen.

"Sir…" He pushes back his panic and fear, turning his face towards the voice. "As I've said, you're hurt pretty badly. You need medical attention. I'll take you to the nearest hospital." He is inclined to struggle and refuse, but he is too tired. Just the thought of struggling exhausts him. His savior is gentle as they help him to stand on his one good leg and settle him into their vehicle.

He passes in and out of consciousness on the ride to the hospital, his memories of angels and demons slowly fading. He struggles to remember what happened to him, and why he was so devastated when he found out that he didn't have wings. He can't for the life of him recall any of the big events from his past, such as the creation of the earth or the apocalypse. All he can remember is the faces of three people. Three people that he feels are very important to him, two of which are still alive. What were their names again?

The thought escapes him as the car stops, and his savior helps him inside. The inside of the hospital is all noise and people asking questions. He shrinks in on himself, trying to make himself as invisible as possible. All this noise and all these people make him nervous, even if he knows that they are only there to help him. Someone pushes him down into a wheel chair, and someone else questions the one who saved him. Gloved hands gently turn his face this way and that as someone examines his face and someone else gingerly puts his broken arm in a sling.

"What happened to him?"

"I don't know."

"Sir, I know it's going to be hard to do, but can you answer a question for me?" He swallows and nods, his face turned towards the voice. "What's your name?"

"Castiel." His answer is a croak that barely escapes through bruised lungs and past chapped lips. Castiel? What kind of name is that? His brain wanders idly as they wheel him down a hallway, and he tries to remember whatever it is that he's forgotten. But the only thing that comes to mind as they lay him down on a bed, is a face. A face with amazing green eyes that have seen more than their fair share of tragedy and loss, stubble that never seems to grow out, sandy blonde hair that appears to be brown under certain lights, and thin lips that utter his name in prayers. He tries to remember more, but only manages to remember one thing before he passes out.

"Dean." The name is a whisper, a prayer on his lips as he succumbs to extreme exhaustion. Maybe he'll be able to remember more tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow he'll be able to remember why that name is so important to him.

Chapter Text

Early morning light trickles through windows that have seen better times, slowly filling up a large room filled with dusty chairs and tables. A painted sign above an old cash register leans heavily to the right, looking like it will fall at any given moment. Headlights filter through the windows and glance across the walls, revealing chipped paint and dusty floors. Car doors open, and slam shut as two people walk up to the door, one speaking in very excited tones and the other smiling fondly and occasionally throwing in a comment.

"I mean, it's a bit of a fixer upper, but I really think this could work!" The man was tall, though he appeared short compared to his behemoth of a companion. His green eyes were wide with excitement and he spoke mostly with his hands, gesturing and pointing out different things, explaining all of his ideas. "See, I was thinking that I could get someone that was really great with art, and get them to paint me a sign! The Angel, and on either side, great black wings! And…"

"The Angel?" His behemoth companion stops and looks at him, a somewhat worried expression stealing across his face. "Dean, this doesn't have anything to do with Cas, does it?" Dean stops, refusing to look at him. So what if this did have something to do with Cas? Didn't he deserve that? Sam held on to Jess for God knows how long, why wasn't he allowed to hang on to Cas? "Look, I understand completely if it does. Believe me, I understand. But you do know that you have to let go of him sometime, right? I mean," He lifts his shoulders in a shrug, looking around and licking his lips like he's searching for the right words. "It's been four years Dean. You have to let him go sometime."

"So, I was thinking that I could maybe have something like a themed night! Maybe once a week or every other week, everything on the menu has the word angel in the name!" He brushes past his brother's worries, refusing to acknowledge them and instead focuses on his ideas and plans for his restaurant, The Angel. True, it may be him paying tribute to Cas, but it wasn't like he didn't want this anyway. Besides, he figures that Cas would be pretty okay with this idea if he were here. "So Sammy, what do you think?" He grins as he asks the question, turning slightly to look at Sam, hoping that he can't see the pain buried underneath all the excitement.

"That's a wonderful idea." Of course he sees it. How could he not? He knows his brother too well to not see it, but he doesn't comment on it. Instead, he claps him on the shoulder and starts towards the door. "So, do I get a discount if I come and visit every once in a while?" Dean just laughs and continues to rattle off his ideas. So what if Dean is holding onto the memory of someone that he loved and lost? Since when has either of them had room to talk in that department?

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Three long months of setting bones, slow healing, and rehabilitation later and Castiel was reintroduced to the big wide world, determined to find a way to remember everything that he's forgotten. Armed with things he'd learned of the world while in rehabilitation and enough money for a bus and a meal, he set out to find the one person he felt could help him recover his memory, Dean.


Three months ago, The Angel was just a concept in Dean's head and a decrepit building that he was able to purchase at a remarkably cheap price. And now, all these months later, it was a bustling, thriving business. The walls and floors were all brand new, with no layer of dust on them. New chairs and tables filled the dining area to the brim, with waitresses and waiters weaving in between them and taking orders. And Dean? Dean ran about the kitchen, showing new hands where everything was and helping to make orders.

In those three short months, Dean's restaurant had become one of the top restaurants to visit in his town. And he couldn't be happier. He would put on a smile and laugh at people's jokes, and engage in friendly conversation, but there was always that undercurrent of despair and sadness. Yes, he was happy that The Angel was doing well, yes, he was happy that Sam was a man of letters and taking night classes at law school, but he still felt like there was always something -someone- missing.

On those nights when he closed up alone, and sent everyone home early, he would sit in the dark and think. He would think about him, about the one the restaurant was named for. He would think about how blue his eyes were and how they contrasted starkly with his skin and his dark hair. How whenever he was confused, he would do this cute little head tilt and kind of squint his eyes like he thought that might help him understand. He would think about how annoying it was whenever he would just appear out of nowhere, and immediately get in Dean's personal space, and how, oddly enough, he kind of missed that. And on those nights, when he was alone in the dark, alone with his thoughts and memories, he would break down and cry because, damn it all, it hurt. It hurt to remember him and it hurt to remember the way he was, and it hurt to remember all the things he never said to him, all the things he should have said but never got the chance or was too cowardly to say. He would scold himself after he was done crying, trying to convince himself that even if he had the chance, he still wouldn't be able to reconcile their past, and then he would finish closing up The Angel and make his way home to an empty bed. And he would think that an empty bed was perfect for his empty heart, and fall asleep with small tears on his cheeks.

It was storming on one of those nights that he sent everyone home early, and decided that he would close up by himself. They tried to tell him that they wouldn't mind staying and helping him close up, they were sure after all that as handsome as he was that he must have someone waiting for him at home, and he insisted that they go on home.

"Go on! Get out of here before the rain gets much worse!" He said, waving away their meager arguments about staying and helping him. "I'll be fine! Believe me, I've seen much worse storms." Was his reply when they tried to tell him that it wasn't right of them to leave him by himself on such a stormy night. They were skeptical, and tried one last time to get him to accept their offers of help. "Nah, go on! Go home where you're warm and safe, out of the rain and the storm. I'll be fine, really." They were reluctant, but they finally agreed. Grumbling, they all shrugged into their coats and ran through the rain to their cars, hoping that he didn't realize how eager they all were to be getting home.

He chuckled a little as he watched them all scurry about the parking lot, rushing to get home where it was safe and warm, and their loved ones waited for them. With a sigh and a soft smile on his face, he turned around and got to work. He washed every single dirty dish by hand, letting his thoughts roam as he did, he swept the floors and then ran a vacuum over them just to be sure he'd gotten all the dirt up before he mopped. He wiped down tables and stacked chairs, and took inventory. And he was just about to count and close down the register when there was a knock at the door.

"We're closed!" He called, not even bothering to look up. There was another knock, this one a little louder and a little more insistent. "I said we're closed!" But they were insistent, and knocked again, louder this time. Muttering curses, Dean closed the register drawer and stalked to the door, quickly unlocking it and throwing it open. "I said we're fucking closed! Now what do you wan-" His words trailed off and he stared in shock at the person in front of him, almost refusing to believe what he was seeing.

"Hello."

Chapter Text

The storm had started before he even stepped off the bus and the town that the bus dropped him off in was relatively small, with a single gas station, a hotel, an antique store and a restaurant. He would have gone to the hotel, but the sign said there were no vacancies. With nowhere to go, and rain coming down hard, Castiel looked at every building, noting with dismay that everything was closed and all of the lights were off. Except for one place.

Lightning flashed and great black wings and the words The Angel seared themselves into his brain, and he felt drawn in. The single light shining through the windows drew him in like a beacon, and he gravitated towards it, not once questioning why he felt such a strong pull towards it. He knocked as he reached the door, and he thought he heard a voice in there, but the rain was too loud in his ears, so he knocked again. He kept knocking until the door was opened, and bright light flooded through the door, temporarily overwhelming his senses.

Blinking, he forced his eyes to focus on the person that had opened the door, and his eyes widened in surprise. He knew that face! Those moss green eyes, freckles creating a map of sorts on his face, the almost brown blonde hair, and those thin lips; they all belonged to the last face that was still clear in his memory. Licking his lips, he gulped and prepared to speak, prepared to ask this man if there was any way he could help him regain his memory. And as he gathered his courage, a small voice in the back of his mind whispered to him. What if he isn't Dean? What if he kicks you out to the curb? What if he wants nothing to do with you?


Dean tried to say something, tried to speak, but all he could do was gasp like a fish out of water. Cas?! His mind grasped at straws, trying to find some way that this could even be possible. If he'd been alive all those years, then why had it taken him so damn long to get his feathery ass down here?! Why had he never answered Dean's prayers? Because, goddamn it, he had prayed to him; every single night, for four years. And he never got an answer, not even once.

"Um…" Castiel's voice, just as deep as ever, but now somewhat hesitant and soft, broke Dean from his train of thought and forced him to focus on him. "I… I'm terribly sorry to bother you when it is obvious that you're trying to close up. But… Would it be alright if I came inside? J-just for a cup of coffee and a simple meal!" His face flushed as rushed to add that last part to his question; he didn't want this man thinking that he was trying to hit on him or anything, even though he was quite attractive.

"Ah… Normally I would say no, but it's beginning to look like we're gonna need Noah's Ark out there soon." He was so very confused at this moment. He looked like Cas, and he sounded like Cas, but he didn't seem to know who he was. His heart fell as he moved out of the doorway, trying to discreetly search his eyes for any hint that he knew him. "So uh… What'd you say your name was again?" He did his best to sound nonchalant as he asked the question and stepped into the kitchen, quickly getting to work on brewing some coffee and cooking up some burgers for them both.

"Castiel." He closed his eyes and shivered, feeling like a ghost had just passed through him. Of course it was him, and not just someone that looked extraordinarily like him. "What's your name?" If he was Castiel, then why didn't he already know his name? What had happened to him?

"Dean." He threw his reply over his shoulder, glancing back once as he cooked, noting how Castiel's eyes quickly shifted to something else in the room, trying to act like he hadn't just been studying every move that he made. "So Cas, you got a last name?" He asked, a crooked smile gracing his face as he set a tray with two cups of coffee and two burgers down on the counter. Giving him a once over, and figuring that he really didn't have money to pay for the meal, he added, "And don't worry about paying. This one's on the house."

"Novak; and thank you." Dean tried not to chuckle as he watched him struggle to keep his eyes on anything but him, and failed every time. Though he did chuckle when Castiel took the first bite of his burger and his eyes rolled back a little in his head, and a small groan of pleasure escaped him. Of course, he was also glad that he was standing behind the counter at that exact moment, as that little groan had an effect on him that he wasn't prepared to expose him to. "Wha boutch yoush?" He asked the question with a full mouth, taking a moment to swallow before he continued, "Do you have a last name, Dean?"

"Hm... I might." He grinned at him, trying not to laugh and cry at the same time when he saw the puzzled look on Castiel's face. He heart swelled as he watched him tilt his head and squint his eyes slightly, looking like a thoroughly confused puppy. Fuck. "Ah, I mean, yeah. I do. It's Winchester." He swallowed the lump in his throat and started in on his own burger, doing his best not to think too much about all the things he wanted to ask, and all the things he wanted to say.

Chapter Text

He wondered what he was thinking about as he watched him eat, and wondered how he would broach the subject of his amnesia and the fact that he had this weird feeling that Dean was the one person that could help him regain his memory. He wondered what it would feel like to run his fingers or his tongue over those thin lips that looked softer than they should. He wondered how many freckles dotted his face, and if they were anywhere else on his body. He wondered what it felt like to have those amazing eyes staring at you in love and passion, in the dark recesses of the night.

Shit. His eyes flicked up to a painting on the wall as he reached for his coffee, gulping down a drink as he studied it like he'd studied every move that Dean made. The picture was of an angel, a man with dark hair and skin that could be called pale if seen under the right light. His arms were stretched out to the sun, in a gesture of welcome, and great black wings sprouted from his back, spreading and stretching out behind him, looking like they were about to take him up into the sky. Staring at the picture, he suddenly felt a pang of loss, though he couldn't place a finger on why.

"Beautiful, right?" Castiel jerked, glad that his reflexes were quick enough to keep him from spilling his coffee everywhere; he would feel bad if he got the floor dirty, especially since it was so clean. He flushed slightly as he glanced at Dean, who smiled softly at him before setting his own coffee cup back on the counter and straightened up, lifting his arms above his head and groaning slightly as he stretched.

"Ah. Yeah." He answered, his mind finally recalling the question that Dean had asked him. "Um… This is going to sound like a stupid question, but," he chuckled nervously as he proceeded, "Who is he? The angel in the painting, I mean. If, if that's not too intrusive of a question that is." Pain flashed across Dean's face, and he immediately felt bad, but the question was already out there, and he felt like he couldn't take it back now.

"No one really." His voice was whisper soft as he answered, and his eyes hollow as he swam in memories of his past. It took him a couple minutes before he regained his composure, and continued, clearing his throat and acting like he'd hadn't just been lost to the world. "Just a friend. You done?" Castiel nodded and watch silently as Dean took their plates and cups into the kitchen and washed them before putting them where they belonged.

"Hey, um, Dean?" Might as well approach the subject of my amnesia; now is as good a time as I think I will ever get. He cleared his throat before he continued, nervousness making it feel tight and making him feel like he was forcing words out. "I… I have amnesia. And… I-I think you might be able to help me remember my past. At least… You're the only thing I can remember from before the amnesia." He waited for a response, held his breath in fear, but all he heard was silence. He waited for what seemed almost like an hour before he came to the conclusion that Dean must think him crazy, and decided that it was best he leave.

"Never mind," he called out, hoping against hope that Dean would respond; but of course, nothing. Sighing, he hopped off the bar stool he'd been sitting on and started for the door. Grabbing the handle, he paused, and then, without glancing back, said, "I'm sorry I bothered you. Thank you for the food and coffee, I'll be going now."

Chapter Text

He has amnesia?! Dean leaned against the counter, too many thoughts racing through his mind for him to comprehend. He was so caught up in shock over learning that Cas had amnesia that he barely heard him say that he was leaving. No, was the only word that went through his mind as he turned and ran out of the kitchen, and almost tackled him into the door in a hug.

"Don't go." It is a whisper pressed into Castiel's shoulder on a shaky breath, a prayer that was always on the tip of the tongue, but never spoken. And his heart beats so quickly and loudly, that he wonders if Castiel can hear it, wonders if he thinks that he must be on drugs or something. And then suddenly he is letting go of him, backing away until there is at least two feet between them. "Ah, sorry about that." He offers, staring at the ground and rubbing the back of his neck nervously. "But… I won't be able to help you regain your memory if you leave." He waits awhile, not saying a word, too scared to look up and see a look of disgust or repulsion on his face. He would have every right to just leave at that moment, and Dean would be powerless to stop him.

"Alright." His eyes are wide with surprise, and maybe a little bit of hope, his head snapping up a little too quickly for Castiel to not notice that he is maybe a little too excited and hopeful. "But only on one condition."

"Um, yeah. Of course. What?"

"No more surprise hugs." The smile on Castiel's face is soft, while the one growing on Dean's face is full of excitement and happiness.

"Of course, man!" He laughed, and clapped Castiel on the back, turning around and steering him towards a table. "Now, where would you like to start?" He asked the question while he took chairs down, and situated them to where they would be sitting across from each other at the table. "Keep in mind though, that I can only tell you so much."

"Just start from the beginning and we'll take it from there." Dean nodded and started explaining their past, trying to make it sound as not crazy as he was sure it sounded to him. They sat there the whole night, with Castiel trying to wrap his mind around what Dean was saying and Dean trying to be as thorough as possible in explaining.

Chapter Text

One Month Later

Dean sighed heavily and put his head down on his desk when he heard the loud scream, glass breaking, and a body thudding as it made contact with the hardwood floors. "Damn it all, Cas," he muttered, running a hand through his hair and wondering what on Earth he was going to do with him. The fallen angel was clumsy, as clumsy as he had said he would be when Dean had been sent to the future. So far, since he'd given him a job at The Angel, he'd had to replace two windows, a couple chairs and tables, and countless plates.

"Dean," a voice called from the doorway of his office, "That new guy Castiel fucked up again, and the lady he just spilt soup on his demanding to speak to you. " A frustrated groan and Dean hitting his head against his desk a few times is the only response that they receive. "I understand that he needed a job and all, but maybe you should have taught him how to walk correctly before you put him on the floor. Not to sound like I'm trying to tell you what to do of course, but that sounds like a pretty grand idea."

He knows how to walk. He rolled it all around in his head as he apologized profusely to the woman, and promised her that this meal and the next one would be free. Of course, the woman said that she wouldn't be happy until she knew that Castiel was going to be punished. He sighed, exasperated, but told her that he would be suspended from work for two weeks. And as he said that, he had an idea.

"Clara!" He yelled as he ran to the back of the restaurant, and out behind the building. "Clara! There you are!"

"What do you want Dean? I'm on my much deserved break." Clara looked at him warily, taking a drag from her cigarette as she waited for him to speak.

"Could you do me a favor?" He watched her roll her eyes as she put her dark hair up in a bun, and quickly rushed to finish his request before she could say something snarky to him. "Listen, you're the best waitress here and well... Castiel, he's not."

"So you want me to teach him?" Her question was posed in a deadpan tone, her facial expression and posture clearly showing that she was very much unamused by his request. "What's in it for me?" Taking one last drag from her cigarette, she stood up and brushed any dirt off her butt as she prepared to go back to work.

"I'll buy you some of that chocolate you like so much, and a bottle of your favorite wine to go with it." He held his breath and watched her mull it over in her mind as he awaited her response. "Please?" He added, hoping that maybe that would give him some points and she'd take the job of teacher and teach Castiel how to be a better waiter. If she says no, I could always ask Jonathan or Michael, but I'd rather have her teach him.

"Alright," she finally said after what felt like hours but had been nothing more than a mere five minutes, "I'll teach the pretty boy how to be a waiter. But you have to promise me that I'll get at least a week of vacation time in addition to the chocolate and wine for this. Deal?"

"Deal! And thank you so much for this, really." He smiled in relief as he watched her flick her cigarette onto the gravel, stubbing it out with her tennis shoes as she waved off his thanks and walked inside. "He's suspended from work for the next two weeks, so he's gonna have some free time that you'll be able to teach him!" The next two weeks are certainly going to be interesting.

Chapter Text

“Yeah but Dean, are you sure it’s him?” He glanced out towards the empty dining area, smiling as he watches Clara attempt to teach the fallen angel how to walk with trays full of plates and glasses in hand. “You know it could be a shapeshifter or something else that mimics appearances.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know all that. But listen Sammy,” He flashed a small smile at him when Castiel sneaked a glance at him, chuckling when he blushed and turned back to his teacher. “He doesn’t remember anything. And anything includes dragging my ass out of hell, the apocalypse, dragging the soulless version of you out of Lucifer’s cage, and everything else that happened. And I don’t think he’s a shifter or anything; I mean, he told me that the only things he could recall were our names. Besides, what business would a shapeshifter or anything else have with me, now that I’m retired from hunting?” He knew it was a stupid question, but he still felt he had a point. It had been four years since he’d even held a gun; the only weapons he used now were the ones found in a garage or a kitchen.

“Listen Dean, I get it. You really want it to be him, I know.” Sam sighed heavily on the other end of the phone, and Dean could almost see his next words taking shape in his brain. “I know it looks like him, sounds like him, and acts like him…. But what are you going to do if it isn’t? What then Dean? Are you going to be able to kill it, even though it looks like someone you cared a lot about and lost? And if you do, will you be able to live with yourself afterwards?”

He stopped breathing for a moment, the image of Castiel lying cold and dead on the ground flashing before his eyes. No, he doesn’t say it, but he feels his heart drop into his stomach as similar images flood his brain. “Look, I know you don’t trust the idea that it might actually be Cas, but come down and visit sometime anyway. Okay?” He knows that his complete avoidance of his brother’s questions is rather telling, but refuses to even think about much he’s avoiding them. Avoiding disturbing thoughts by refusing to think about them; how very me. “I promise you some free pie or whatever it is you’re gonna want, just get your ass down here.”

Sam doesn’t even attempt to argue anymore, he knows it’s useless. Instead, he just agrees and moves on, talking about his courses and being a man of letters. Occasionally he asks Dean how The Angel is faring, if business is booming and what else is going on in his life. The conversation dwindles after a while, and the brothers bid farewell to each other before hanging up, with Sam promising to visit sometime in the near future. And as far as their conversations go, Dean feels that one was rather okay. Mulling over the things Sam said, he watches Castiel attempt to master walking with books on his head, hoping against hope that he isn’t right.

Chapter Text

Castiel jumps when he hears the door open. The Angel is supposed to be closed so that he can practice walking, so why is the door even unlocked?! He turns around to reprimand the person, to tell them that they’re closed and that they should leave, but his words are stuck in his throat. Standing before him is a behemoth of a man, his dark brown hair falling loosely around his shoulders. The word moose briefly crosses his mind as he ogles the stranger, struggling to remember what he was even going to say.

“Pardon me, are you-“ His voice is soft, unlike the one he’s become accustomed to hearing every day. And his question, whatever it was, is cut off by that so familiar voice calling out from behind him.

“Sammy! You made it!” Sammy? He looks between them as Dean walks up to him, hugs him and then claps him on the shoulder, his smile lighting up his whole face. He stands there awkwardly, wondering idly if he should excuse himself to go do something else or if he should continue to just stand there. He attempts to excuse himself, but Dean grabs him by the arm and gently tugs, pulling him back, rooting him to the spot. “Stay here and talk with us,” he says, his eyes boring into Castiel’s and making him feel more than a little awkward. “Besides, Sammy here might be able to help you remember more of your past.”

“Um… Yeah.” Sam offers, his shoulders lifting in a half shrug as he stands there, feeling just as awkward as Castiel. “I’m Sam by the way,” he stretches a hand out, a gentle smile on his face, though he can tell that he’s suspicious about something. “I’m assuming then, that you’re Castiel? The same one that we spent years with, but can’t remember a single day?”

“Yes.” Dean grins and steers them both towards a booth, making them sit down and get comfortable before he offers to get them food and drink. He half listens to Sam argue with Dean about salads and eating healthy, still wondering who he is and what his relationship with Dean is. He has his head cocked to the side and he’s squinting at him, trying so hard to figure it out, and then it clicks. Sam! Of course! Sam is Sam Winchester, Dean’s little brother!

“Finally figure it out?” He’s startled by Dean’s voice, and nods nervously as he watches him place plates of food down on the table. “Good, ‘cause it looked like you were about to fry your brain thinking about it.” He smiles and picks at his food as he listens to the brothers talk, wondering how Sam could help him anymore then Dean did.

For the most part he is silent while he eats, though occasionally he answers questions like how he’s liking working at The Angel and what he thinks of what Dean has told him about their shared past. He thinks about each the answer to each question carefully, sometimes tilting his head and squinting his eyes a bit as he concentrates, and other times he answers relatively quickly; though in each case, Dean and Sam can tell that each word is chosen carefully, as if he is walking across a frozen lake and afraid that one wrong move will send him right through the ice into the cold water below.

And with every answer that he gives to every question posed to him, Castiel can see Sam’s mind calculating, analyzing, thinking about something. Testing him in some way, though he’s not sure why. But he hopes more than anything that he makes the pass, because he would really regret having to leave this wonderful place if he didn’t. The Angel and its workers and customers, and most of all, Dean, have come to mean home to him, and he would hate to lose them, after working so hard to get them. So please, he silently begs, studying the brothers and listening to their conversation and memorizing their speech patterns, Let me pass your test. I don’t know what it is that you’re wary of, but please let me stay.

Chapter Text

Sam stayed with Dean and Castiel for a week total, watching how the two interacted with each other at work and when they were at home. He asked Dean when Castiel had moved in with him, and he just replied by telling him that the man needed a place to stay, so it was only natural that he give him a place to stay. He didn’t say anything in reply to that, just smiled knowingly and went about the rest of the day reading and watch them over the top of his book.

When it came time to close up, he watched how they worked with each other. One of them doing inventory and cleaning up the kitchen while the other works on cleaning the dining area and stacks chairs. He notices how they steal glances at each other when they think they’re not paying attention, how they smile as they watch each other. And he is glad that Cas has finally come back, he is glad that his brother is finally happy after everything they’ve been through. And though he is happy for them, he still feels off about something; but he brushes it off when he is approached by Clara.

“Hey Mooooose,” she drawls, grinning at his disgruntled expression. Ignoring his protests, she pushes him over and scoots in next to him in the booth he’s sitting at. “What’re you doing?” He gives her one of his classic bitch faces in answer, and then sighs wearily when it doesn’t seem to faze her.

“Reading a book,” he grinds out and does his best to scoot as far away from her as possible. Clara was the only one of Dean’s workers that didn’t seem to put off by his preference of books and laptop to conversations and people; and while he appreciated that at times, he also very much disliked it. She was a nice girl yes, but she was also rather in one’s face and a bit obnoxious; a perfect fit for Dean’s restaurant.

“What book?” She smiles when he glares at her, and scoots closer, knowing that she’s making him uncomfortable. “Awh, come on Moose! Tell me what book you’re reading! Please? I really am quite curious to know!”

“Fine. But only if you promise to leave me alone afterwards,” he waits for her nod of agreement before he continues. “I’m reading Charles Dickens. Now, please leave me alone?”

“Alright, alright, ya big grouch. I was just curious, no need to get upset with me,” saying that, she sticks a cigarette behind one ear and heads outside for her break; mumbling as she does about moody Moose and silly bosses and their crushes.

Finally able to read his book in peace, Sam starts to open it but stops when he hears two loud gasps. Jumping up, he starts to reach for the guns and knives he no longer carries when he notices Dean and Castiel, standing no more than two feet from each other. Castiel has a hand covering his mouth, and both look very surprised, if not a bit embarrassed.

He’s about to ask what’s wrong, but quickly turns and walks outside when Dean lunges forward and grabs Cas by the front of his shirt and begins kissing him roughly on the mouth. A smile crosses his face as he steps out the door, finally at ease that nothing here is wrong, and wonderfully happy that Dean is finally, truly happy now.

Epilogue Notes

Castiel never completely regains his memory, but sometimes will bring up things he remembers and ask for any clarification Dean or Sam can give him about the memory. It took almost a month, but Dean and Cas came out to the waiters, waitresses and cooks of The Angel with their relationship; not one of them was surprised, but all of them were happy for them. Clara continued to bug Sam every time he visited, but eventually had to stop because she had decided to go to college and get a degree in art. Sam continued his life as a Man of Letters and a lawyer, and was single for a couple years before he eventually found someone and settled down.

And Dean and Cas? They lived long and happy lives together; eventually marrying and adopting a couple brats to run around their home and make messes.