When Castiel woke up, he was alone and his chest felt even tighter now. It felt as though his lungs were filled with pressure which kept growing and growing, it didnt do anything to help it, just lay there and looked out of the window, watching the people out there and appreciating the sun that streamed through the window and lighted the whole room. It made him think about his life, his adventures, his times where he would laugh, the times where he would cry. Everything he had done in his life and he felt like he didn't when he got back.

He had to tell Dean that he had loved him the moment he had pulled the man from Hell, he had to hold him close, hold his hand, kiss him, tell him not to worry but tell him that Dean Winchester was the better half of himself. And that's when he realized that his stomach didn't hurt, in fact, he couldn't feel much of anything and his vision started to get hazy.

He frowned, what was going on? He suddenly felt so much weaker and tired than before. Oh god- Was this it? He wasn he couldnt going to sit and do nothing about it. The heart rate monitor picked up slightly as Castiel found a pen and used the back of the note Dean left him to write out a scrawled 'I love you. Take care. I'll see you in heaven. -C' Was all he could write before he lost the sensation in his arms and let them fall to the bed, he tried to keep calm but couldn't, knowing Dean wasn't there with him but he held onto the note as it was the last thing to be with Dean. He closed his eyes and breathed slowed, calming himself as his vision disappeared altogether and he lost feeling in the whole of his body. It was bliss, no pain, no feeling but no Dean. His heart lurched in his chest as the last things he heard was the general noise of the hospital and the heart monitor. Once again, his heart beat and Castiel drew in his last breath. "I love you De-"

Castiel died at 11:23 on the 22nd of July.

Dean came back to the hospital with a grinon his face. He was wearing clean clothes now - smelling fresh of leather. In one hand, he carried his bag - which was usually loaded with weapons - but was now filled with a selection of clean clothes for himself, and Cas if he wanted them. He didn't know how long he was going to be staying at the hospital but he figured he might as well make himself at home. In the other hand, Dean held a cardboard box, which had an apple pie inside - he'd bought it for himself, more than Castiel, who struggled to get any food down...even pie. On top of the box sat the DVD of the film 'It's A Wonderful Life'. It was a film Dean promised Castiel - a good four years ago - he would watch with him sometime, after the angel had been greatly confused as to why Meg insisted on calling him Clarence. Dean was grateful he could finally live up to one of his promises.

Dean knew the moment he saw the door to Castiel's room was open that something was wrong. A nurse - Kathy - came out, stumbling when she saw Dean. Dean choked out a "What-". There were tears in her eyes. She just shook her head, giving him a sad smile and kept walking. Dean staggered into Castiel's room, his heart pounded helplessly in his chest. His ears rang. The room was white. Sterile. He'd never noticed how goddamn white it was before. It burnt his eyes. The bag hit the ground, the pie quickly followed. Dean stumbled across the room - his gaze falling upon Castiel's bed. Empty. It had been made, like a hotel bed remade for its next customer.

Dean let out a long and desperate cry, the pain tearing through his chest as he collapsed onto something. No into something - one of the nurses was holding him. Holding him as he screamed. He thrashed, the realization crashing down. "No." He cried. "No no no... He can't be - he can't." He pushed helplessly in the nurse's arms as she tried to calm him down. "He can't be gone."

"Shh." The nurse hushed. Dean didn't know her name. It didn't goddamn matter anyway. "There was nothing that could be done. He went peacefully."

Dean shook his head, looking through his tears at the nurse. "You don't understand. I wasn't with him. I promised him - I promised I would be with him. And I wasn't." Oh God, Dean thought, he died alone. After everything, he still died alone.

The thought tore Dean in two and he screamed out, caving over. He was no longer able to push back the pain in his gut that had threatened to overrun him his entire life. He felt himself break, surrendering once and for all to the pain and the guilt and the loss as he cried helplessly.

"I'm sorry -" Dean was bought back to the reality when a piece of paper was shoved under his nose, "I know this isn't a good time. But I think he left this for you." Dean looked up at the nurse, then back at the paper. He took it from her with trembling hands and she left the room. It was just Dean, and the empty bed. He sat down on the corner of the mattress, trying to calm his sobs as he unfolded the note.

Dean sobbed, noticing how messy the final words became and wondering if Cas died writing it. He coughed, choking at the thought. He bought the note to his lips, kissing it softly as several silent tears dropped onto it.

"I love you too Cas." He breathed against the paper. The words he had waited so many years to say - finally said too late.