#man i’m gonna be honest #i was sort of astonished this little moment was included in the flashbacks #it’s subtle #but to me it represents so much of what Dean and Cas came to be to each other #comrades in arms #brothers born in battle #and there’s this almost soft moment at the end of the world #where Castiel hands Dean a knife #and Dean’s finger grazes his #it’s so small #and so strangely intimate
Except I wasn’t surprised. Because it’s KEY to their relationship. There’s a softness there. But it’s really entirely overshadowed, lost and forgotten by the blade and the blood - Cas’ blood, spilled for Dean. The emotional aspect of their relationship from this moment on became secondary to the military aspect. This is symbolic of Cas making his choice, giving himself (his blood) to Dean in violence (the spilling of blood) and upon a weapon (the knife).
He’s not a hammer… except that he IS. Because while Cas questions orders and tactics and has the capacity for free thought, much like Dean himself Cas doesn’t really know how to be free. His gut instinct IS to be a hammer, a tool, a weapon. So his gut instinct here is to offer himself - we will all be hunted, but I will fight FOR YOU, I will be the blade/power you need.
And yet, the gentleness in the way Dean takes the blade… it feels like Dean is seeing beyond that and attaching much more. Cas is offering service, but Dean is seeing a potential brother. Someone who is joining him or maybe, even, someone he sees as taking control of things for him, someone Dean can be subservient to, freeing him of the terrible responsibility of Lucifer, Lilith and the apocalypse that’s been weighing on him since he got out of Hell.
It’s no wonder things got confusing for everyone after that. Because from this very first choice, Cas walked unknowing into so many different, conflicting roles - brother, friend, equal, teacher, subordinate, soldier, servant.
And from this moment on, neither of them were ever really sure which role they wanted him to fill. So he sort of flitted through all of them at one point or another, trying to figure himself out while Dean was also trying to figure him out, and none of their figuring matched at any given time… EXCEPT when they were fighting a common enemy together. Because the pain and the violence (the knife and the blood) - that’s always been clear and understood between them. But the intimacy… that’s been problematic, subtle, ambiguous.
I’m tired and I’m babbling.
I’m just pretty sure if you found the right words you could say Dean and Castiel’s whole relationship is perfectly displayed in this one image - Castiel’s blood on a knife, given willingly and taken gently from him by Dean.
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