I want to talk about Dean and Cas and their relationship, about how they’re not ‘just a ship’, how their bond could be interpreted in various ways - from deep friendship, to kindred spirits, to romance - but how love plays a central part in it in any case. About how they heal each other, care for each other, love each other and get lost without the other.
Essentially, Dean and Cas matter…
… because Cas looks at Dean’s scars and he understands, he doesn’t judge. He can take Dean’s pain and accept that it’s there - because he knows how much it hurts not to feel understood. Dean needs someone strong enough to carry him for a change - despite all the weight the years have put on his shoulders.
… because when Cas met the Winchesters, he knew next to nothing about humanity, he was a slave to obedience, and at the same time he became more and more estranged to his own brothers and sisters… he got lost in a whirlwind. Then there were the Winchesters, there was Dean. And they took him in - again and again. They gave him purpose and a light to strive toward. They made his existing easier, made his painful transition into finding his own identity more bearable.
… because Cas can see Dean’s faults, his anger, his stubbornness and irritation. But what he sees underneath all that shines so much brighter than any of the destructive crap Dean still insists on arming himself with. What Dean is to him goes beyond comprehension.
… because Cas came to earth a stranger to human emotion after years of drowning out the potential, pushing away the silent but constant yearning inside. Soon enough, Dean made him feel everything. And he still does. Dean sparked his desire for choice and at the end of it all, he will choose himself.
… because Dean was lost and broken, his humanity crippled and bloodied. Self-loathing was all he knew and chaotic desperation was the fuel that kept him going. Cas gave him hope, fleeting at times, but hope nonetheless. Cas became his friend, his family, part of the little group of people Dean would swear unspoken loyalty to.
… because Dean needs someone who understands why Sam always comes first. Someone who won’t make him give up on his little brother. Someone who will give him time to figure out his painful habits and memories on his own. Someone who will catch him once the trauma surrounding his dad, his mom, his brother comes crashing down, undoubtedly leaving him boneless and lost.
… because Dean needs time to heal, time to understand, time to let go. And Cas will never push because he needs his own time too.
… because even when Dean gave up on life and himself, Cas won’t let him. He means too much and Cas has learnt from his mistakes.
… because Dean can read Cas like a book and Cas is family - he would give anything to make Cas understand just how significant he is, with or without his powers. Just Cas being Cas.
… because Cas is kindness and determination and purpose put into one. Because Cas needs someone he knows he can always return to - and he always does, always back to Dean. Cas needs someone who can see him and love him, not Castiel but Cas. He has so much love to give and a deep need to be loved in return, to feel safe in knowing that he’s cared for deeply. In that respect, Dean is exactly the same.
… because they both need someone to call them out, someone to get angry on their behalf, someone they can get angry with, someone who can take it all, and make them see sense again… but someone who will still be there by the end of it. Someone who is family.
… because they both know betrayal and hurt and pain beyond measure. They both lived and died, fighting wars inside and outside and in-between.
… because what they see in each other may be raw and terrifying but at the same time it’s genuine and timeless. What they find with each other is everything.
… because what they are to each other transcends knowledge and reality - it’s everything they are and know to be. It’s not something either of them knows how to put into words - that’s not who they are. But what they see in the other’s eyes tells a thousand stories and more. One day, they will be strong enough to really look and really see.
Dean and Cas matter because they both see their own worth reflected in the other. And that means, one day, they will finally understand why they matter outside of the other. It means they will finally have the ground to heal and grow from their past rather than continue being consumed by it. It means they will have a chance to move forward and make their own future - together and on their own.