It all comes spilling out one night when Cas is beyond drunk.
He and Dean had had a fight. Not one of they’re typical knockdown, drag-out screaming matches, but just a small disagreement that had become so much more.
So, after Dean stormed out, not wanting to deal with the former angel and whatever issues he was having at the moment, Cas turned to the bottle and tried to drown his emotions in the booze.
It wasn’t working.
Dean comes back, feeling shitty enough as it is for leaving the way that he did and the moment he sees the bottles scattered across the living room, he feels even worse.
“You know, it’s funny that this even happened, cause this wasn’t my intention.” The author wants to brush off what Cas is saying, cause he knows that he’s drunk. But if he’s learned anything about the ex-angel, it’s that he opens up more when he’s drunk. “Seriously, I had only intended to go back to right after Sam jumped into the pit. But instead, I wound up outside of your hotel room on that sweltering April day.” Dean frowns, he knows what he’s talking about and he doesn’t like it. He already forgave Cas for that, especially after getting it out of him what the other version of him was like. But clearly, the fallen angel is still hung up on it.
“Cas, I already told you, I’m over it and…” But Castiel hushes him.
“No, I just…I didn’t even know that that was you. I just saw a boy running after a man, trying to not get left behind and there was that woman chasing after you. I thought she was your mom or something, so I just picked you up and dropped you in her arms before going on my way, not even realizing that I changed everything in that moment.” Dean sits down next to Cas on the couch and pulled the former angel to him, softly shushing him and kissing his forehead.
“It’s ok Cas, it’s ok. I’m not him and I never will be.” Another kiss, this time to the ex-angel’s slightly chapped lips. “He didn’t know what he had before it was too late.” One more kiss. “I intend to never let it go.” Cas smiles at him, sleepy and drunk, so Dean gets up from the couch and pulls the fallen angel into his arms, bridal style and heads for the stairs. “Ok, bedtime. We’ve both earned it.”
And once they’re in bed, Castiel curled so closely to Dean’s side that it looks like they’re one person, Dean presses one final kiss to the ex-angel’s forehead before whispering, “I love you Cas. No matter what timeline, or if you’re angel, human, or somewhere in between, I love you. Nothing will change that.”