Imma tell you a thing. Buffy The Vampire Slayer has seven seasons - not counting the comics.
Spike, this vampire that has a redemption arc and becomes kind of an important character in seasons 4-7, and Buffy, the protagonist, have this very unhealthy, mutually abusive sexual relationship before season 7. I liked it alright, I found it fascinating, but that was it. This is the part that has little to do with Dean and Cas.
Now. Please notice that the Throne Of Favourite TV Show Character Ever that is now occupied by one Dean Winchester, was previously owned by Spike. I ADORED the character and loved the guy, ok? (Unevenly distributed social skills, kind of a dweeb, trust issues, mommy issues, fucked up idea of gender roles, fucked up in the head and traumatized, been a torturer and carries that burden, actually sweet and caring and intelligent under the surface and trying to hide his insecurities with a shitton of fake bravado… I have a type).
In s7 Spike comes back as a vampire with a soul and for a number of reasons, Buffy and him have to rebuild their relationship basically from scratch. This is where this story starts being relevant to your question, Metatron.
The relationship that they develop at that point, throughout s7, is beautiful. They help each other, trust each other, they finally communicate (Spike is finally able to express his true feelings for Buffy - something that no, he hadn’t really done before despite all the sex they had and all of Spike’s declarations - and tell her what he thinks of her). They believe in each other, give strenght to each other when the other is too weak to go on alone. They collaborate. They are finally friends for the first time in years, and this is what also allows their relationship to truly become romantic where before it was mostly just a sexual thing with confused, semi-unrequited romantic feelings from Spike and even more confused feelings from Buffy. They don’t ever kiss or have sex in s7, they don’t call each other “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” or anything, but they sure as hell are “canon” in the sense that their relationship now has an undeniable romantic element that is predominant to it. Privilege of being a female and a male: yes, the romantic element is canon even though the most they do is sleep in the same bed and hold each other without doing anything sexual.
No-one will tell you Spike and Buffy in s7 didn’t have tender feelings for each other, however they interpret their status as a couple. When Buffy tells Spike she loves him, he says that she doesn’t, and to this day I’m still not sure who was right (it’s complicated…). And yet, they were friends in s7, and yes, they were undeniably romantic.
Long story short, at something like minute 39 of 42 into the season finale Spike, in a last sacrifice (and as a last act of his redempion arc…) dies to bring down the big bad.
I was so shocked. I think I made fanfiction in my head where he came back for at least a month after that. The fan in me was devastated.
But I’m SO grateful season 7 happened. It’s my favourite season of BTVS and yeah, who am I kidding, it’s because of the relationship development between Spike and Buffy and their individual character development that’s partly prompted by it. (Also, Felicia Day is in it but I had no clue at the time). So I would really like to reply: ‘no, only keep the subtext but keep them both alive’, but if I really had to choose… look, the only thing that could top the satisfaction season 7 of BTVS gave me because of that relationship, is the satisfaction that seeing Dean and Cas go canon - as in, if their romantic feelings for each other became undeniable - would give me.
So, what the hell, I survived Spike’s death and I’m a horrible person. And Supernatural is a world where, you know, the supernatural exists. And people who are dead don’t stay dead or meet after their death. And you know what, whatever, even if they didn’t. This is totally subjective, but this damn canon Destiel? I press the button, bring it forth. Maybe it’s just that Joss Whedon twisted me in terrible ways, but I swear in my world the satisfaction that seeing that kind of narrative with all the meaning you attach to it follow through on its premises- that makes it all worth it.
also this was such an unfair question you have no mercy nngh