The sleeves of it are still stained and tattered. The lapels, once unmarred and unmarked by grit and neglect, still carry the memory of chaos and catastrophe in its bleak and black colour that overtook the beige. The material, aged and old before its time, hangs limp in the sleeves and at the shoulder, tired and timid in a way it never should be. But it kept. For the better part of a year, it kept in the last quiet places of a troubled life. Despite constant upheaval and loss, Dean kept a trenchcoat safe for the best friend he ever had, and that he would never wear again.
Until, of course, he did.
Dean supposes he couldn’t be blamed for the way his hands shake slightly as he pulls the coat across Castiel’s obliging frame firmly, smoothing down the creases along Castiel’s shoulder blades. Licking his lips with a barely contained nervousness, Dean smiles faintly as he meets Cas’ gaze.
Castiel looks up at him unblinking, memory still fragile and barely returned, and in his blue eyes (eyes Dean’s missed, he’s missed them) swirls the simmering complexity of all they ever were and were not to each other, what they could be again, collapsing and coalescing to illuminate with colour.
“Thank you,” he says, roughly. He says thank you, and he means thank you for keeping this. But he means too, thank you for keeping everything, thank you for keeping all the pieces. Words were always too much and never enough for them—their downfall perhaps, but it’ll be slow steps to repair that yet—so instead, trying to convey a million gratitudes in two small words, he says thank you and implores Dean to understand it.
Deans does, and swallows hard as he fiddles with the edges of Cas’ coat collar, hand still resting on Cas’ clavicle as he preens and adjusts the folds, feeling the weight of everything as his rough and weather-beaten hands rest heavy there in a way that feels too foreign and yet achingly familiar all at once.
“Don’t mention it,” Dean mumbles softly, but what he means is thank you too.