this is a weird way of dealing with what happened in connecticut, i know. but it’s the only way i can, right now. so forgive me.
dean wakes up and the bed’s empty.
but he hears somebody crying, somewhere, and that is.
he strongarms his robe and pads out of the bedroom. foggy.
oh. the tv’s on.
he stumbles to the den, sees the blue light flickering over cas’ face.
“cas,” he grits. “dude. what’re you doing?”
cas doesn’t look at him, exactly, and it’s kind of funny for a moment, that picture. cas’ face all rumpled and slack with sleep, his eyes locked on the screen. on some dumb infomercial, no doubt. he loves those stupid things.
so dean takes a step in, grinning. looks a little closer.
cas. he’s crying.
all of dean’s 3 am fumbles fall away and he beelines for the couch. grabs cas. pulls him tight against his chest.
and that’s when he knows it’s bad, because cas doesn’t fight back. just goes, face wet ripped in dean’s neck.
“sweetheart,” dean says. “what is it? what’s wrong?”
cas fists dean’s robe tighter and shakes. doesn’t answer.
lets the tv speaks for him.
it’s the middle of the night, for christ’s sake, so there can’t be any updates, anything new to report. and yet CNN’s still spinning, still turning in circles on B-roll, still pretending they know anything. can even get close to why.
whatever cas is watching, it has to be a rerun. a repeat of no-news that’s come before, because the sky’s still light behind the anchor who has the grace to be grayfaced and shocked.
they keep showing that one picture, the one of a jagged line of little kids joined hand-to-shoulder. some open-mouthed. some weeping. some stunned. all of them young. so fucking young, dean thinks.
he knocks his cheek into cas’ hair and strokes his back.
“i told you not to watch this,” he says, his throat a little tight. “baby. you can’t do this to yourself. they won’t know anything for like days, ok, and they’ll just keep repeating all this shit until they do.”
cas’ hand snakes under his robe, his shirt. finds his heart.
“i don’t understand,” cas rattles. “this was not demons. or angels. it was a human, dean. why would someone do this?”
on the screen, there’s a cop gesturing in front of a forest of microphones. his face set, his eyes hard, and for a moment dean can see what that cop must have seen. must have had to look at, hard, so he could go out and not tell reporters what it was really like.
he wouldn’t have had permission to look away, that cop.
dean’s stared death in the face more than once. had to meet his eye. but this guy—and all the official-looking people around him—it feels like they’ve seen worse, in that school. little kids shot up. torn. lost for good, no second chances. no deals. no takebacks. no more.
you can’t save everyone, the world keeps telling him. cas has. sam.
but he’s lucky. he’s still got them both.
his fingers find the remote and he shuts that shit down. stretches back and pulls cas along with him, his hand still over dean’s heart.
it’s quiet. cas’ shoulders sag and his body goes pliant in dean’s arms.
dean closes his eyes and tries not to see the cop’s face.
“sometimes,” cas says, soft. “i wonder if humanity deserved to be saved.”
and that’s when dean knows it’s bad. because he can’t bring himself to disagree.