For the second time that year, Sam buried his brother. This time he laid down his guilt and regret with his cowlilys. He even cracked a smile, knowing that Dean would hate being laid to rest decorated with flowers. The tears still stung his cheeks, but he wiped them away with Bobby’s tissue.
“God works in mysterious ways,” the priest said, “we mortals cannot hope to understand His plans.”
Sam moaned inwardly at the sappyness of the priest. He regretted hiring him, but he wanted to give Dean a proper funeral this time, and yes that included having a priest. Sam just knew Dean would have scoffed at his preachy sermon.
“God gives and God takes. What may seem a horrible tragedy, to lose someone so young and so dear to our hearts, is part of God’s larger plan for all of us. All we can do is have faith.”
There was a soft murmur of Amen as the small group disbanded. Sam went to thank the priest, only to find Cas already talking to him.
“I completely concur with your sermon,” he was saying. “How can humans even attempt to understand Him when angels cannot? Or his own children for that matter?”
“You mean...Jesus?” The priest asked quizzically.
“I was referring to Lucifer and Michael-” he said as Sam interrupted to thank the priest and send him on his way. Once everyone had left, only Sam, Bobby and Cas remained.
“What a load of horsecrap,” Bobby said in regards to the sermon. Sam laughed.
“Yeah, I know,” he agreed.
“That boy was one of the finest hunters I ever knew,” Bobby said. “But he was also one of the finest people I knew, whether or not he knew it himself. He was strong and courageous and brave, all important traits for a hunter. But that wasn’t what truly shaped him, although that’s what he and his old man thought. No, he was also kind, thoughtful, and caring.”
Sam bowed his head respectfully as a single tear rolled down Bobby’s face. He sniffled.
“I’m never going to stop loving that boy,” he said. Sam nodded his head.
“Me too,” Cas agreed. Bobby rubbed his eyes, and glanced around cautiously.
“Looks clear,” he said, pulling out a box of matches. “He deserves a true hunter’s funeral.”
Sam nodded. He was once again sacrificing his brother to the flames, but this time they would act to purify instead of consume. He watched the flames dance for a moment, shivering as he was suddenly reminded of being trapped within Lucifer’s mind. He pulled himself out of the painful memories, and felt a weight evaporate off his chest as he dropped the match.
They stood back and watched the pyre burn till twilight. It illuminated them in the faint light, and Cas caught himself thinking of the time spent in Purgatory and how Benny was doing. He breathed in the clear air, and savored the slight breeze on the wind. By nightfall, the fire had burnt out.
“How was it?” Dean asked, lounging back on the couch, sipping a chilled beer.
“The priest gave a lovely sermon,” Cas said. Dean spit out his beer.
“There was a priest?” he asked incredulously. Cas nodded, and Dean shook his head. “That kid’s faithful to the end.”
Cas nodded and snuggled up against Dean, who placed his beer down and wrapped his arms around Cas.
“How was he?” Dean asked, a hint of worry slipping into his words.
“Good,” Cas said. “Surprisingly good. I think he’ll be alright.”
“Nice to hear that for once,” Dean said, sinking farther into the couch and Cas’s embrace.
“How’s Heaven holding up?” he asked.
“Samandriel tells me that all the Waiting Rooms have been filled out and we still have extra plots. Too many to even count,” Cas said.
“That’s good,” Dean said. “And the Ring?”
“Still in the Treasury, ready for when God returns,” Cas said. Dean smiled.
“Dean,” Cas said, looking up sadly at Dean. “You deserve so much more than this. I only wish I could have harnessed all of the Ring’s power, beyond just expanding Heaven, or if I had Michael’s power. Then I could give you everything you want.”
“Cas,” Dean said, taking Cas’s face in his hands and giving him a quick kiss on his forehead, “I already have everything I could every want.”
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