This is for the lovely Nina, because she asked for a reincarnation fic with “Cas really waiting for the right Dean to come along”.
Because apparently she likes to make me cry while writing my own fics. This is an AU of the possible ending for Season 7, so beware of spoilers.
Still, I hope you like it! And happy birthday!!!
Dean’s soul is missing.
The thought is so terrifying that Castiel spends a long time looking for it, but -as a newly appointed archangel- he can only put off his duties for so long. He throws himself into reestablishing order among the angelic ranks, but it only serves as a slight distraction. It’s all he can do when his every thought is haunted by the moment he saw Dean last, the day Hell was sealed for all eternity.
Sam assures him it’s not his fault, but it’s obvious he’s concerned about the whereabouts of Dean’s soul too. WIth Hell closed off forever and no sign of it anywhere in Heaven, where could it have gone?
He finds Joshua before him just as he’s leaving Sam’s dwelling in the part of Heaven human souls go. Despite being worried about his brother, it pleases Castiel that Sam seems happy, finally reunited with Jessica. Castiel watches them together and how in love they are, feeling an ache in his chest when he thinks about what could have been.
As if knowing his thoughts, the expression on Joshua’s face softens. “Castiel, if I could have a word?”
“Of course.” Castiel blinks in surprise. Joshua doesn’t usually leave Heaven’s Garden and it’s even rarer him to seek out other angels. Not since God’s retirement, he thinks bitterly to himself.
Joshua smiles. “I have a message for you.” And Castiel should know better. Really, he should. But the hope he feels bears on him so strongly that he nearly chokes on it. “The Righteous Man has been reborn.”
Castiel wants nothing more than to find Dean right away, but Joshua places a hand on his shoulder to stop him. It feels him with a cold fury he hasn’t felt in a long, long time. “I don’t care what He said,” he says angrily. “It’s not going to stop me from seeing Dean.”
Holding up his hands, Joshua shakes his head. “No one said you couldn’t. Just be aware the soul may be the same, but Dean Winchester is in a new body now and you must not interfere, no matter what happens.”
Impatient to see Dean, Castiel promises and flies straight down to Earth.
After being abandoned by his Father and betrayed by his siblings, Castiel doesn’t have faith in much. But he still believes in Dean, in a soul that -even hidden in the darkest pits of Hell- was bright and pure as grace. Castiel feels that soul now, so brilliantly he wonders why he didn’t before.
The boy’s name is Danny. He’s eight years old. And he has a severe heart condition.
Castiel sits next to the hospital bed, staring at the small figure laying on a tiny hospital bed, attached to several machines, and reaches out for his hand without thinking. Danny stirs and opens his eyes, blinking sleepily.
His eyes are blue.
“Who are you?” Danny asks, voice still hoarse with sleep, and Castiel suddenly realizes how late it is.
“I’m sorry to wake you,” he says softly. Unable to help himself, he runs his fingers through Danny’s blond -not brown- hair. “My name is Castiel.”
Danny wrinkles his nose in confusion. “That’s a weird name. Are you a doctor?”
“Not exactly.” Castiel is tempted to use his healing powers, but he promised not to interfere. He really regrets it now. Especially when he can sense that Danny doesn’t have long to live. “I’m a friend.”
The dubious look he gets in response is just like the ones Dean use to give him. “…Right.”
It reminds him so much of Dean, but Castiel quickly shoves the thought away and takes Danny’s hand in his own. “Rest now,” he says. He shares a bit of grace to ease him to sleep. “You have a big day ahead of you.”
“Are we going somewhere?” Danny stiles a yawn but he still looks so excited that Castiel feels his heart break.
He swallows. “Yes. To a very special place.” Danny looks at him expectantly and he squeezes his hand. “Let me tell you a story. About two brothers named Dean and Sam. About how they saved the world from monsters and demons and no one ever knew.”
He continues speaking long into the night, until Danny exhales for the last time.
Castiel goes to find him in Heaven, but Dean’s soul has disappeared again and even Joshua doesn’t have any answers to its whereabouts.
Several years pass before Castiel returns to earth.
The day Hell was sealed for all eternity, Castiel lost the two humans he cherished above all else. He had been prepared to die to keep them safe, especially Dean, but apparently they had other ideas. And, as Castiel held Dean’s bloody and broken body in his arms and hating himself for not being strong enough to heal him, he struggled to find the words he’s been meaning to say since the very moment they met.
“Dean, I-…” He stopped mid sentence when Dean shook his head.
“I’m just dying, Cas,” he rasped. “Quit it with the dramatics.”
“I love you,” he said, because he had to.
Dean groaned. His whole body rattled with the sound and Castiel hated himself for being so useless when it mattered most. “Damn it, I’m not going to say it back like this. At least wait until Sam and I are in Heaven. That way I’ll be healed up to kick your ass for making this mushier than it has to be.”
“Then I’ll be waiting,” Castiel promised.
Castiel is visiting Sam and Jessica, when the awareness of Dean’s soul hits him like a physical blow. He doubles over with it and Sam quickly steadies him.
“Are you okay, Cas?” he asks, frantically.
Jessica comes to his other side and rubs his back. “What just happened?”
“It’s Dean.” He rises to his feet, ignoring the questions Sam and Jessica bombard him with and flies toward it.
This time, Dean’s soul lives inside a woman named Sarah. And even though her hair is long and black, her eyes are the green Castiel remembers.
“I can’t die here,” she says, the moment those eyes catch sight of him. There’s blood on her face and her leg is twisted at an unnatural angle, thrown from the car as she was, but she still struggles to rise. “I’m not going to die here.”
It’s so like Dean to fight against the inevitable. Cas kneels next to her and takes her hand, the way he did with Danny all those years before. “I’m sorry.”
“Fuck you,” she snarls. In her mind he can see two young faces, those she cherishes and loves more than anything else. He feels her despair of never be able to see them again. Not like this, at least.
Even though Castiel promised not to interfere, it kills him to see Dean in any form be in pain. He presses his fingers to her temple. “Rest now.”
She fights him. She thinks Marie and Johnny and no please God no, but it doesn’t last for long. And when it’s over, Castiel kisses the back of her hand.
“Hey, Cas,” Dean says. He shuffles his feet, looking strangely awkward and embarrassed.
Castiel stares at him, taking in his hair and eyes and the freckles dusting the bridge of his nose. And although there are now traces of the lives Dean lived as Danny and Sarah, his soul is still the same. He’s the same, the very same Dean he pulled out of Hell, rebelled against Heaven for. The same Dean he has loved and still loves and will always love, for all eternity.
At that same moment, a voice speaks up in Castiel’s mind. The Righteous Man has returned home, it says. It’s a powerful and ancient voice, completely and absolutely unmistakable.
Suddenly overwhelmed with gratitude, Castiel wraps his arms around Dean and hugs him tight. Dean does the same, pressing their bodies together, as if this is a dream he might wake up from unless he holds on.
“Your parents will want to see you,” Castiel says when they finally pull away from each other. “As will Sam.”
Dean grins, eyes warm and eager at the mention of his family. “You’re not afraid of meeting the in-laws?”
“Of course not,” Castiel replies, which is a total lie. He’s seen John and Mary Winchester from afar, but never had the courage to meet them face to face.
As if knowing Castiel is not being completely honest, Dean laughs.