**Contains: Self Harm (Cutting), Bullying, Dissociation, Mentions/Implications of Eating Disorders (Anorexia) and Domestic Abuse**
The mentioned stops walking and feels his heart leap into his throat, he closes his eyes and hopes that it is not who he thinks it is.
“You forget we had a date?”
Castiel hears the crew of bullies walk closer, the thudding of their boots against the ground strangely reflects the beating of his heart. He turns around slowly, hoping to God they wouldn’t be too rough with him. He had another date and he didn’t want to cause any unnecessary worry.
“Well?” The leader sneers down at him, getting right into his personal space.
“P-please, Brock. Not today.” The teen says, his voice shaky.
“Aw, would ya look at this? Haven’t even started and he’s already pleading. You really are well trained, ain’t ya?” Brock asks, smiling sweetly down at the boy.
Castiel nodded his head but kept his eyes on the ground, not wanting to piss Brock off any farther.
“Don’t worry, we’ll make this real quick, wouldn’t want to keep ya from sleeping because you were patching yourself up.” Brock says, moving impossibly closer.
Castiel just blinks up at him – this was new – he wasn’t sure if this was something he was supposed to reply to or not. He guessed he was wrong for keeping his mouth shut when he felt Brock’s fist collide with his jaw and he hit the ground hard, falling down to his hands and knees, his backpack sliding from his shoulder, falling to the ground.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t hear that.” Brock spat, stepping back to retrieve his backpack.
“T-thank-you.” Castiel mutters, spitting some blood out of his mouth.
“That’s more like it. Such a polite fat cow, ain’t he?” Brock approves no doubt with that smirk on his face.
One of Brock’s cronies walks over and grabs Castiel up off the ground, holding his arms behind him and kicks out his knees, so he was sagging in the grip, as the other boy walks forward and smiles sweetly at him, before starting to lay into him, using him as his own personal punching bag.
Castiel hears the familiar ripping of his backpack zippers as Brock goes through its contents, no doubt searching for the sandwich he asked Castiel to make for him yesterday. His cronies stop punching him and switch their positions, so the one holding him was now punching him and the one who was punching was holding him back.
“Where is it?” Brock yells, throwing the bag off to the side.
“He ate it.”
Castiel’s head shoots up (successfully moving his head so he got punched in the eye) and he pleads with everything he has that that voice was not what he recognized it as.
“Winchester?” Brock asks, the confusion evident in his voice.
“Hiya Brock.” Dean greets, smirking at the bully as he walked closer.
The two guys holding Castiel stop punching and automatically throw him to the side, as if Dean didn’t just see what they were doing. Castiel hit the ground hard, no doubt scraping his hands and knees and started coughing up blood, hoping Dean wouldn’t notice.
“We were just, uh, helping Castiel here with his things.” Brock lied, holding up the backpack.
“You implyin’ that I’m stupid? That I didn’t just see what you did with his bag?” Dean asked his eyebrow raising.
“Or his face?” Dean spat, turning to glare at the other two.
“We were just- uh-”
“Save it.” Dean snarled, taking a step forward.
Brock’s face flushed before he threw the bag down, glared at Castiel one last time, scurrying off down the street. Castiel wiped the string of blood away from his mouth and looked back up, afraid of what the two cronies would do. The two back-up bullies shared a look before running off toward their leader.
As soon as they were gone, Dean held out a hand to help the teen up off the ground. Castiel accepted the hand and stood up shakily, unable to find his voice to thank his boyfriend for coming to his rescue. Castiel wasn’t able to do a lot of things with the ache he felt start to swell inside his chest, and the irresistible itch on his thigh, as though he’d gotten stung by ten thousand tiny mosquito’s.
“Don’t worry, Cas, I’ll get you home.” Dean promised, his arm tightening around the smaller man’s shoulders.
Castiel wasn’t really paying attention, but guessed that Dean had actually walked them home, because the next thing he was aware of was that he was leaning up against the railing of Dean’s porch while he unlocked the door. Once the door was open, Dean kicked it open slightly before coming back to help Castiel inside, kicking it closed once they were inside.
Bathroom, get to the bathroom! The voice yelled inside Castiel’s head, the ache and itch intensifying.
Castiel waited until Dean had set him down on the couch and hurried up to the second floor, to either tell his brother he was home or get the first aid kit, before he got up and went into the bathroom, locking the door behind him.
He stared at his reflection in the mirror and felt as though he was shrinking, getting closer and closer to the ground. He took a shaky breath and turned away, purposefully not looking at the scale in the corner.
Tuesday. The voice reminded him, allowing that urge to lessen.
Castiel blinked and looked around wildly for a moment, before realizing he was in the bathroom. He looked down at his leg and was surprised to see it covered in bleeding lines, his pants folded nicely beside him, still gripping his blade with shaky fingers, blood dripping off of it. He ran a gentle finger into one of the blood drops that had welled up from one of the cuts and brought it up to his mouth, licking the liquid off of it slowly, loving the shudder that runs through him as the taste hits his tongue.
“Cas, you okay in there?” Dean calls through the door.
Castiel reaches up and tries to pull himself up from the floor, all the beads of blood on his leg rolling down it slowly, unsuccessful, he lands back on the floor with a thud. That was apparently all the permission Dean needed to kick in the door.
Castiel was sure that if he could feel anything in that moment, he’d feel guilty at the disappointed/hurt look on his boyfriend’s face as he took the scene in before him. He breathed out before turning around and closing the door as best he could before turning back and kneeling down beside the younger man.
“Cas?” Dean questions, the hurt and confusion evident.
Castiel, still couldn’t find his voice, and looks down in an attempt to hide the tears he felt sting at his eyes. Dean watches the movement before nodding and standing back up, reaching over to grab a few sheets of toilet paper, holding them out for the boy to take.
“Okay.” Dean says, voice gentle, as if dealing with a frightened, cornered animal, before dabbing lightly at the cuts on his leg, wiping the blood away.
Castiel sniffs and blinks the tears away, not wanting the older man to think it’s because he’s hurting him, although he’s fairly certain he wouldn’t think that. The bloody toilet paper gets thrown into the garbage before Dean gets up, saying something that may or may not be important, regardless of which one, Castiel doesn’t hear it, just watches, brokenly as he sees Dean leave the bathroom and feels an overwhelming sense of loneliness, of being abandoned by the one person who promised him he’d never leave.
Castiel feels the ache well up again, more intense than he’d ever felt it before and can’t stop himself as he pulls the blade across his other thigh, again and again, until the ache goes away, trying to reach it from the outside. Trying to get it out of him, if he could only go deep enough, he might be able to sit and watch it come up and out of one of the cuts, ridding him of it forever – never needing to feel it again.
Soon enough, this thigh is covered in cuts too, and the only reason Castiel paused in his actions was he had to stop and scan his leg for an open space, a place he could fit one more, a pale, untouched spot on his thigh that he could decorate with the lovely red of perfection. It’s in this moment that the older man walks back in, not bothering to ask permission this time and Castiel is fairly certain he curses when he sees how much more damage his boyfriend’s caused himself.
In an instant, he’s there, back on his knees, pressing toilet paper to the thigh closest to the door, the one that moments before hadn’t held any kind of mark, was a blank canvas, waiting, begging to be used. Castiel knows that he’s saying something, can hear the deep voice carry out and break the unbearable silence that had encased him for too long, that always seems to encase him, but Castiel still can’t make out the words, doesn’t know what he’s saying. He’s hearing but for the life of him, he just can’t seem to bring himself, or remember how to listen.
Again, he sees the bloody toilet paper get tossed into the garbage and feels as though they’ve already done this, but can’t remember when, it all seems to blur together nowadays. Castiel can’t even bring himself to feel anymore, the numbness has taken over completely, keeping him out of the moment forever. Causing him to fall deeper and deeper into a hole he doesn’t know if he can climb out of – doesn’t know if he wants to climb out of.
This time, Dean doesn’t get up and leave, he leans closer and carefully lifts Castiel’s hand with one of his own, the other turning Castiel’s face to face him and the hand he’s holding. Dean grips the hand tighter, intensely starring into his boyfriend’s blank eyes, trying to get a response out of him, trying to ground him, to bring him back to the now, to get him out of that freaky head of his. Castiel again can hear him say something but the sounds run together, and he knows its hopeless trying to figure out what was said. But then, he sees Dean’s hand move, it’s prying Castiel’s fist open, this catches Castiel off guard and his eyes flicker out of the blankness that had covered them, giving Dean a glimpse of hope.
He’d uncurled the younger’s hand and sees that his boyfriend is back, he’s watching their hands, and if this wasn’t so important, Dean would’ve sprung up and did a happy dance. But he couldn’t, he had to take this slow, as slow as Castiel needed. Dean carefully ran the tips of his fingers over Castiel’s palm, and felt himself smile slightly as he watched the shudder run through his boyfriend.
This was good, he was feeling – he was in the moment.
Dean carefully picked the blade he’d been clutching to up and wasn’t surprised to see he’d cut his hand with the force he’d been using. These cuts weren’t very deep and weren’t bleeding; luckily they wouldn’t need to be wrapped, unlike the cuts on his legs. He pulled his hand back and placed the blade into his shirt pocket, making sure it would be somewhere Castiel wouldn’t be able to get it without him knowing.
“Okay, Cas, let’s get you out of here.” Dean said, keeping his voice gentle.
Castiel shook slightly as Dean wrapped his arms around him easily, pulling him up bridal style into his arms. Castiel’s head was resting against his shoulder as if his neck couldn’t hold it up on it’s own and he felt tears start to soak through the thin fabric but didn’t care, he knew why his baby was crying, and he could make it better when he showed emotion – it was when he shut down and got that blank stare that made Dean panic.
“I-I heard.” Castiel whispered through the sobs.
Dean took a deep breath and let it out slowly, trying to not focus on the fact that he could feel the sections of spine shift every time Castiel breathed.
“Good, that’s good.” Dean approved quietly.
Dean walked out of the bathroom and made the small trip into the living room, standing in the middle of it for a moment, trying to decide whether or not to let go of his boyfriend. It would probably have been better to go up to his room, for the privacy they needed, but Dean refused to climb the stairs while carrying him because he knew each step set a jolt of pain through his baby and the last thing he wanted was to cause him any more pain. He walked a few slow laps around the living room, relishing the feel of his baby being so close to him, he wasn’t sure how much longer he’d be able to hold him close and feel his heartbeat.
Dean sighed and walked to the couch, laying Castiel down on it carefully, so he was on his back, allowing Dean to see the full extent of the damage done to his legs. He ran back to the hallway where he’d dropped the first aid kit when he heard the overwhelming absence of sound and saw the bathroom door was still pushed over how he’d left it, letting him know that Cas hadn’t moved.
He came back and pulled the coffee table closer, sitting down on it before setting the first aid kit down beside him, opening it up before starting to disinfect the cuts. Castiel hissed when the liquid hit the fresh wounds and Dean felt instantly guilty at the fact that he was grateful that he felt the sting.
“Sorry.” Dean mumbled, putting it away and taking out the gauze wrappings.
“It’s ‘k.” Came the quiet reply.
Dean shifted Castiel, so it looked as though he was sitting up facing him so he could wrap his legs up. Castiel’s body kept falling forward, after two minutes of trying to get him to stay leaned against the couch, Dean gave in and allowed him to lean against him, it was actually easier to wrap his legs like this, because he could easily reach the underside of the legs. Once he was done wrapping his legs, Dean shifted him back down into a laying position before getting up to go put the first aid kit in the bathroom and grabbing his pants off the floor, bringing them out so they were on the coffee table.
“Cas?” Dean whispered, looking him over for any sign of movement.
“You can’t go to sleep, you lost a lot of blood and I don’t want you to slip into a coma – that would be a kind of crappy way to end a date.” Dean joked, smiling at the fact Cas still seemed to be with him.
Castiel shifted, lifting himself up so he was leaning against the arm of the couch and blinked his eyes open slowly, clearly fighting to keep them open.
“Sorry.” Cas replied automatically.
“Don’t apologize.” Dean chastised.
“What did I just tell you?” Dean asked, carefully looking his boyfriend over and not liking how thin he’d become.
“You hungry?” Dean asked, stopping him from apologizing for a third time.
Cas’s eyes went wide with fear and he shook his head, subconsciously starting to scratch at his arms.
“Well I’m starving,” Dean began, covering his hands with his own, getting him to stop scratching, “and seems as how you’re spending the night, and the fact that I know Sam hasn’t eaten yet, I’m going to order a pizza anyway. That way if you change your mind there’s food for you to have.” Dean explained, knowing that Cas would end up eating something before he let him leave.
“Do you have money for pizza?” Cas asked nervously.
“Of course.” Dean replied with a smile, getting up to walk into the kitchen so he could call in the order.
He loved Cas to death, sure, but one thing that always bugged him about his boyfriend was the fact that he’d been brought up to think that if there was food, you ate, if there wasn’t, you didn’t. And he would fight tooth and nail to try and keep people from spending money on him, he felt guilty because he couldn’t even hope to pay them back, or even, going out of there way for him – he didn’t think he was worth it. Okay, technically that was two things, but they went hand in hand so they were really only one.
Dean phoned in the order as fast as he could, not wanting to leave Cas alone longer than he had to, especially when he was just starting to come back to the moment. Dean hung up and turned away from the wall to find Sam peering in to the doorway, sheepishly.
“You can come in Sammy, I’m not gonna bite ya.” Dean stated, smirking at his brother.
“I know that!” Sam countered, coming into the room, placing his hands on his hips and looking a damn awful lot like Mom.
“Okay, so then why’re you sneaking around?” Dean countered, crossing his arms over his chest.
“I-” Sam shut himself up before looking around, his eyes going wide with fright as if he heard something.
“You…?” Dean prompted, not understanding why his brother had froze.
Dean’s head whipped around to the doorway from the living room and saw Cas leaning against it, clearly trying to catch his breath. Dean looked him over, trying to figure out why he was so winded if he just walked to kitchen, but noted that his pants were on.
“Yeah Cas? What is it?” Dean asked, looking him back over for any signs of damage or other injury.
“I, uh, I was just wondering if I could spend the night?” Cas asked, blushing and looking down.
“Yeah, of course.” Dean agreed, wondering why he’d ask such a stupid question.
Castiel smiled slightly before pushing himself off of the doorway and stumbling back into the living room.
Dean shook his head before looking back to his brother, who was standing there, pale and sweaty, like he’d just seen a ghost.
“Sammy? You okay?” Dean questioned.
Sam turned to look back at his brother slowly and nodded, his eyes still wide with fear.
“I- I think I’m gonna go finish my homework.” Sam stated, turning to rush out of the kitchen.
“Hey, wait a minute.” Dean stopped him, closing the distance between them.
“Are you scared of Cas?” Dean asked, piecing it together.
“What? N-no, of course not.” Sam answered, his voice shaking.
“Okay, then why don’t you take a break and hang out with us for a bit? I ordered pizza.” Dean offered.
“He’s staying the night.” Sam replied, as if that was supposed to be an answer.
“Yeah, and we’re also dating, and I’m taller than you. Now that we’re done stating the obvious, come hang out with us.”
“No, I can’t. I have to finish my homework.” Sam said quickly.
“Sammy, come on!” Dean exclaimed, throwing his hands up in exasperation.
“Sh! Dean, be quiet!” Sam hissed, looking around frantically.
“What are you so afraid of? Mom’s not here, I can be as loud as I want!” Dean yelled.
Sam stomped his foot and pushed his bottom lip out in frustration, he couldn’t tell his brother that he was scared of his boyfriend (who looked more like a walking skeleton than a person) and he couldn’t find a sufficient lie to tell.
“I just can’t Dean, alright?” Sam replied, irritation clearly evident in his voice.
“Sammy, c’mon, just, half an hour, you need to take a break and eat something, kiddo.” Dean bargained.
“Fine, let me know when the pizza’s here.” Sam agreed before walking out of the kitchen and stomping back up the stairs to his room.
Dean sighed and shook his head – it didn’t make sense that he was scared of Cas; he wouldn’t hurt a fly, let alone Sam. If Cas ever was going to go postal, Dean knew who he’d go after, and he could personally guarantee that Sam (and himself) were not on the list. He walked back into the living room and plopped himself down on the couch, leaning his head back and closing his eyes.
“Dean? Is everything alright?” Cas asked from his left.
“Yeah Cas, everything’s fine, don’t worry about it.” Dean replied, keeping his eyes closed.
“Are you sure?” Cas asked, hesitation in his voice.
“Damn it Cas! Why can’t you take yes for an answer?” Dean bellowed, bolting upright before smacking Cas in the face.
Dean blinked and saw Cas’ face look back at him in pure shock before it was covered up and the blank stare was back, tears in his eyes.
Cas got up and hurried into the bathroom, closing the door behind him.
Well at least all he can do is cry, I still got his-
Dean’s heart sped up as he patted the pocket of his shirt and didn’t feel the little blade he’d taken from his boyfriend. He reached inside his pocket and felt around – nothing. He didn’t have the blade on him anymore, and Cas just ran to the bathroom.
Dean was up and knocking on the bathroom door before his brain had time to catch up to what he was doing.
“Cas?” Dean called nervously through the door.
How the hell did he take it without me noticing? Dean thought, knocking on the door harder.
“C’mon, Cas – open up.”
“Please, don’t do this Cas.” Dean pleaded, sliding down the door, tears stinging his eyes.
“I didn’t mean it, Cas, c’mon please.”
Dean wiped at his eyes, cursing himself for being such a girl about this.
“Okay, fine.” Dean growled under his breath before rushing forward to break the door in.
It opened with a loud crack but didn’t open all the way, only serving to worry Dean more. He managed to wiggle himself inside the bathroom and was shocked to see Cas. He was just sitting there, rocking back and forth, crying – no blood, and no blade.
“Cas?” Dean asked gently, kneeling down so he was somewhat eye level.
“W-was he right?” Cas questioned, bringing his eyes slowly up to Dean’s face.
“Who?” Dean encouraged softly.
“Brock, when he called me f-fat.” Cas explained, new tears beginning to fall.
“What? No.” Dean replied appalled – did he really think that?
“You are nowhere even near fat – you’re skinny at best.” Dean assured, sitting crossed legged, pulling the younger man into his arms.
Cas held onto his shirt in a death grip as he let himself cry, not able to hold back any longer.
“I wanted to – wanted to so bad, but I didn’t.” Cas mumbled, crying harder into his chest.
“Sh, it’s okay, you don’t have to explain to me.” Dean cooed, hugging him tighter to his chest.
“I’m sorry.” Cas apologized, his voice and heart breaking.
“Hey, it’s okay, you’re okay. Don’t worry about it.” Dean replied, kissing the top of his head.
They stayed like that for a while, just holding each other, letting Cas’ tears fall. He had finally stopped crying and calmed down a little, but neither man dared to move.
“I-I don’t think I want it anymore.” Cas said, breaking the silence.
“Okay.” Dean agreed, petting his hair.
“I’m scared, Dean.” Cas whispered, starting to shake slightly.
“It’s alright, Cas, I’m here. I’ll always be here.” Dean reassured.
Both boys jumped at the noise, before Dean carefully set Cas aside, so he could stand up to get the door.
“You’re sure?” Dean asked, helping Cas stand up too.
Dean smiled sadly but nodded, he understood how hard this was going to be.
“It’s okay, we don’t have to do this now.” Dean calmed.
Cas shook his head before taking the blade out of his pocket and taking in a huge breath, walking over to the garbage can. He held it out in his hand and Dean could see he was shaking. He watched as ten different emotions flitted across his face before his expression turned hard and he tilted his hand, letting the blade fall out of it slowly. At the dull thud it made in the garbage, Cas breathed out and deflated, subconsciously placing a hand on top of his thigh.
“I am so proud of you.” Dean beamed, walking over to wrap him up in a giant bear hug.
“Really?” Cas asked with a sheepish smile as Dean set him down.
“Of course.” Dean promised with a smile.
“Now whaddya say we go get that pizza before Sam eats it all?” Dean suggested, taking Cas by the hand to lead him out of the bathroom.
“Shouldn’t we answer the door first?” Cas asked, his smile growing.
“Hey, now there’s an idea!” Dean teased, walking them out and toward the door.
He ran a little and skidded to a hault just before slamming into the door. He retched it open excitedly, and his mouth opened a little in surprise when he didn’t see the delivery guy standing there.
“Whoa, hey! Where you going with our food?” Dean called, jogging a little to catch up to the delivery guy who was walking back to the car.
After a quick pizza-money exchange, Dean walked back in, closing the door with his foot.
“Sam! Get your ass down here before we eat all the grub!” Dean called up the stairs on his way to the living room to set the pizza down.
“Hey, Dean?” Cas asked from the doorway.
“Yeah?” Dean asked, looking up from the pizza.
Like the fic? Check out more FULL stories on my Patreon – where you’ll unlock an ever-growing list of short stories for JUST $10!
I post NEW short stories EVERY 2 weeks on Fridays!