Dean - wild, rebellious, wonderful Dean, who rarely actually listens to Castiel - stops mid-step on his way to the door.
Cas, heart hammering in his chest, hurries to Dean’s front. He can’t stand the sight of his back. He refuses to watch Dean walk out of his life again, not without a fight.
But Dean’s face is no less heartbreaking. Red rimmed eyes stare hard at the ground. He doesn’t lift them, not even when Cas touches his cheek, when he tilts his face into Cas’s palm.
"Why are you leaving?" Cas asks, a whisper.
Dean swallows hard. He replies in a breath, “I want what’s best for you.”
Dean - kind, selfless, infuriating Dean - starts to pull from Cas’s hand, so Cas closes the distance between them and kisses him on the mouth. He combs his fingers through Dean’s hair, urging him to stay, to kiss back, to love like he is loved.
They’ve danced around this for years. Cas has left and Dean has left. The weight of what’s between them has hung thick in the air so long it’s stifling. Cas means to clear the air. With this, there will be no room for doubt.
Dean is what’s best for him, just as he’s always been.