Written by: Joanwatson
Dean’s diagnosed with Alzheimers on his eightieth birthday. He functions well for the most part, but memories slowly start to slip away.
Cas’ warm hand holding his own at their granddaughter’s high school graduation. Cas’ arms surrounding him as he gazed out the window at their son chasing fireflies outside. The first time he pressed Cas down into a mattress and showed him the joy that came with being human. That moment just before their first kiss, aching with fear and desperation, hesitating, nerves thrumming, skin burning, before lips pressed and teeth bit and tongues battled. I’m never losing you again. Never.
Except he is now.
The day Dean forgets their meeting in the barn is the most excruciating day of his billion years of existence. Dean pushes the bowl of soup out of his hands and it clatters to the floor - ‘Who are you? WHO ARE YOU?’ he screams before walking away and slamming the door to his bedroom.
But Cas perseveres. He still smiles - although the lines of his face are now aged too. His bones creak and joints hurt and he has to get up three or four times a night to go and relieve himself. He soothes Dean’s tantrums by placing a corkboard on his bedroom wall - that has photos of them together, Sam, their children, nieces and nephews, all carefully labeled and pinned. And on days and nights where Dean is too out of it to get up and look, Cas lays down next to him and strokes his hair and tells story after story as Dean’s eyelashes flutter back to sleep.
Until one final morning, when those eyes fail to open.
Cas had made Dean’s favorite breakfast - bacon, eggs, sausage, toast with jam made from the blackberries they grew in the backyard garden. He placed them carefully on the tray Dean had carved over thirty years ago and slowly carried it to his room.
Cas knew the instant he opened the door. The tray slipped out of his hands and smashed against his feet - but there was no pain. There was no feeling. Nothing.
And Cas laughed. He laughed and laughed - it bubbling out of him like a freshly-opened bottle of warm champagne. Low notes and high whines mingling together as tears streamed down his face.
Because Dean was in Heaven now. Free from his body. Free from his disease. Free to remember.
Even though the Cas in those memories wouldn’t be him - just an echo of himself from the past.
Even though when Cas died, his grace having transformed into soul long ago, he too would go to Heaven and be left with only memories of his life with Dean.
Even though they would never truly touch again. Never embrace or kiss or make love.
Even though they would never truly talk again. Never laugh at each other’s jokes or bitch about that cranky lady at their local supermarket.
Even though they would never truly be together again.
Dean would remember.
And Cas would remember.
And that’s the only thing that mattered.