And you know what the truly heart breaking part of this moment is? Dean should know, for all extensive purposes, that Castiel does feel the same way. Castiel, angel of the lord - created to be nothing more than a warrior of God - rebels for him, breaks rules for him, makes exceptions for him. Castiel broke heaven’s hold on him - simply because Dean said I need you. Angels aren’t supposed to care. Angels aren’t supposed to feel, aren’t supposed to need, want, cherish, or love. But Cas does. Cas feels - and that, to Dean, should mean everything. And logistically Dean knows all this - he knows that Cas is his friend, a keeper of part of his heart and soul - truly, in every way, his guardian angel. But Dean Winchester is never sure enough of himself to state what he believes in his heart is true. Dean Winchester is too afraid to say Cas needs me, too for fear of being proven wrong. Because, to Dean himself, he’s not worth an angel’s time. He’s still not worth being saved. And so even though his heart is screaming at him, telling him that Cas is faithful and true and honest - Dean stays silent.
While Dean might be able to defend his loved ones until he’s blue in the face, he’ll never be the first to defend himself.