It all began when Castiel was 14. His parents walked in on him making out with his friend Balthazar. He was confused about his sexuality, wanted to experiment, and Balthazar was totally willing. His parents, being highly religious, sent him off to conversion therapy where he was punished for his “sins” and thinking about other men.
Fast-forward to move in day at Stanford. Castiel puts his bags down on his bed and begins to unpack. There isn’t much, as he only has a couple suitcases, sheets and blankets. After unpacking, he plops down on his bed, the one he chose furthest from the door, and rests until the roommate arrives.
Hours later, the door opens, and Castiel sits up and gets out of bed. He notices a man, almost a foot taller than him, hair nearly at his shoulders, green navy jacket, blue jeans, muscular arms, and a strong jawline. Castiel scolds himself: Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!
“You must be Castiel,” The man says, the brightest smile on his face, “I’m Sam Winchester, your new roommate.”
Sam shakes Castiel’s hand.
“Um, make yourself comfortable”, Castiel says awkwardly, “I um, hope you don’t mind that I took that bed.”
“It’s cool,” Sam plops his suitcase and bag onto the empty bed.
“Where are you from?”
The two start to talk for a while. Sam learns that Castiel is an only child, and Castiel learns that Sam has an older brother named Dean who lives in Kansas by himself. Both of them, coincidentally, are single, though for different reasons. After about an hour of talking, Sam decides that Cas is good guy, as far as he can tell.
Later, Sam talks to his brother Dean on the phone, making sure to be out of earshot of his new roommate.
“His name is Cas?” Dean mocks.
“And…does he like guys?”
“I…I don’t know,” Sam says,
“Okay,” Dean says, “Now that I have the full lowdown on the situation, you have two options. Either do nothing, or find out if he’s into you.”
Sam winces, as he can still feel the punches and kicks from his “friends” in high school when they found out.
“You know what happened last time I tried that,” He says.
“I know,” The older brother says with guilt, “Just, be careful, okay?”
“I will, Dean.”
That night, Castiel has a fantasy about his new roommate: Sam approaches Castiel, then climbs onto his bed. He begins to touch Cas’s hips, kisses his neck, then whispers in his ear.
“You’re going to hell,” Sam says, “You’re going to burn…”
“No!” Castiel shouts, “I’m sorry!”
Sam shakes Castiel awake.
“You were having a nightmare,” Sam says.
“Oh. Thanks…I guess.”
Castiel swears he sees Sam wink at him as he walks back to his own bed. He waits until Sam appears to be asleep, then slips out of his bed and to one of his bags. He takes out a razor and heads for the bathroom.
It is something he does to keep the guilt away, something he does to “punish” himself, in a sense. They taught him, drilled into his head that the thoughts he was having about other men were evil and sinful. For three damn years, that so-called therapy told him again and again and again. The therapy ended, but the guilt and fear stayed.
He removes his shirt and put the razor to the edge of his hip and slices. He watches as a crack opens up and blood seethes to the surface. Castiel whimpers as he cuts one more time, then another, until he gets that man out of his head, even for only a moment.
Truth is, he’d cut off his parents when he’d turned 17 and moved out. Gabriel, his cousin, had helped him when he heard about what Cas’s parents had done. Castiel gave up religion, of course, a while back.
Using tissue paper, he quickly stops the wounds from bleeding. After that, he cleans off the razor and puts it back, then heads off to bed, facing away from Sam.
Chapter 2: Drunken Night
For the next two weeks, Sam gets to know Castiel pretty well between classes, or so he thinks. From what Sam learns, his roommate is the friendliest, most charming person he’s ever met. Of course, this only makes Sam want to be closer to the man, though he didn’t know how. Honestly, he’s scared. Last time he confessed his attraction for someone, which was in high school, he’d gotten beat up for it.
Sam had a group of friends in high school, a very small group of three or four, but a group. His best friend, Victor, was the “leader” of the group. Sam liked Victor, a lot, and he figured that Victor felt the same way, but he figured wrong. The day after he told Victor, his group of friends turned on him. At the time, Sam wasn’t tall, so he could be taken down easily, which is just what they did. They attacked him; kicked, and punched and hurled insults until Sam begged for it to stop. He got off easy, only one cracked rib, a broken arm, and a bruised face.
Castiel doesn’t seem like the type to organize an assault. Then again, neither did Victor. Sam decides, on the fourth week of school, on a Friday night, to bring home a 6 pack of beer. Maybe, if Cas isn’t interested, Sam can pass it off as one too many beers.
“Hey, Cas,” Sam announces as he enters the room and sets down the beers
“Where’d you get that?” Castiel asks casually.
“Dean,” Sam answers, “Want some?”
Castiel thinks for a moment. He doesn’t drink much, but Sam seems like a cool enough guy to share some beers with.
“Sure,” He says.
Some hours later, Sam looks as Cas with a huge grin on his face.
“What?” Castiel asked.
“You know, Cas,” Sam says, drunk, “You’re…you’re a complex person.”
“What do you mean?” Castiel laughs.
“I mean, I can’t tell…I can’t tell,” The tall one mutters.
Sam hops over onto Castiel’s bed, the shorter one becoming uncomfortable.
“Sam, what are you…?”
The tall one interrupts Castiel by kissing him on the lips, figuring, hoping, that if he were rejected, Castiel wouldn’t remember in the morning. The shorter one could smell Sam’s cologne, inhaling deeply.
“I like you,” He smiles.
“I like you too,” Castiel says with a lump in his throat, spine tingling.
Castiel puts his hands on the man’s face, kissing him back. Then, he touches his roommate’s neck, then chest, and removes his shirt. He marvels, only for a moment at Sam’s near perfect abs and chest. He takes a deep breath and kisses Sam’s neck, sure to leave a mark.
Neither of them knows what they are doing, just drunken touching, then sex.
When Castiel wakes up, he feels the taller man’s arms around him, and, for just a second, feels content. He belongs there. Then, the guilt, the disgust. He knows exactly what they had done last night, though he barely remembers. He sees the hickey on Sam’s neck.
He unravels Sam’s arms, careful not to wake him up, and heads to the bathroom. His head is pounding from a hangover, but he doesn’t care. He takes the razor to his skin, not caring that it’s visible, and begins to slice at his wrist. It’s still mostly dark outside, the sun hadn’t risen and Sam is still fast asleep. Otherwise, he may hear Cas’s light whimpering, may begin to ask questions.
“You have to stop this, Cas,” Gabriel says when Castiel visits him later.
Gabriel grabs Cas’s arm and points to his wrist, “That. Now, who is he?”
“What are you talking about?”
“I know why you do this…”
“His name is Sam. He’s my roommate. We…we had sex.”
“My god, what a catastrophe,” Gabriel said sarcastically.
“Well, have you talked to him?”
“Not since after I slept with him, no.”
Gabriel sighs, patting Cas’s shoulder, then rubs his back comfortingly.
“Cas…I wish you would stop thinking like that. I want you to be happy.”
“I can’t. It’s…”
“Tell me it’s wrong one more time and I’ll hit you with a frying pan,” Gabe half-jokes.
Castiel just smiles and hugs his cousin.
“I’ll be okay, Gabe.”
Chapter 3: Sam Finds Out
Two weeks after Sam and Castiel had slept together, and they barely exchanged a word since. Though Sam tries, he only ever gets “hmms” from the roommate. Maybe it’s Cas’s polite way of saying he’s not interested. Better than a beating, he supposes. Anyway, he wants to find out, so he decides to ask.
Castiel doesn’t look up from his math homework: “Hmm?”
“Are we ever going to talk about this?”
“You know what.”
Castiel glances up, then immediately back at his homework.
“And why not?”
“I’m not going to tell anyone,” Sam approaches Castiel, who closes his book, “You don’t have to be afraid. I mean, if you’re not interested, you can tell me.”
Castiel looks at his roommate again, studying his face, hair, his muscular arms, smelling the cologne on him. He is definitely interested. A chill spreads through his body. No. He shakes his head and heads for the bathroom.
Sam follows Castiel to the bathroom, which Cas slams shut and locks behind him. The taller roommate begins banging at the door. He hears Castiel whimpering slightly and wonders what’s happening.
“Cas, what’s going on?”
“Nothing,” He squeaks.
Sam runs to his bag and gets out the key to the bathroom. He unlocks and opens the door, only to be shocked at what he sees. Castiel stares at the shocked roommate, bloody razor in hand, cuts open and beginning to bleed through his shirt. There is no shutting the door, no turning back. Castiel looks away.
“Cas…” Sam says calmly, as if speaking to a wounded animal.
The shorter one tosses the blade in the trash and holds some toilet paper to his cuts.
“Why are you doing this?”
He stares at Sam for a moment before speaking again.
“You wanted to know if I was interested,” Castiel speaks slowly, “I am…Very, VERY interested. But, I can’t have you.”
Sam grabbed his hand.
“Because it’s wrong,” Castiel answers, “It’s wrong and I just can’t forget...”
“Something happened to you didn’t it?”
Sam helps Castiel clean his wounds then leads him out of the bathroom.
“Yeah,” Castiel answers, slowly explaining what happened to him.
“Have you ever been with a woman, Cas?” Sam asks.
“Did you, um…”
“Enjoy it?” The shorter one finishes, “I guess. But…”
Castiel whimpers again. Sam only grabs his hand.
“When we…” Sam tries to find the words, “Did you…enjoy it?”
The shorter one nods.
“It was waking up in your arms…It just felt so…”
“Don’t torture yourself,” Sam says, “You can’t help who you are, and neither can I.”
Castiel begins to tear up, then buries his head in the taller man’s chest and sobs. Sam wraps his arms around his roommate. As much as the shorter one is filled with disgust and desires to run back into the bathroom, he doesn’t. He only lets Sam hold him, and feels happier than he’s felt in a long time.
“Do you want to hear a story, Cas?” Sam asks.
“When I was in high school, I had a friend named Victor,” Sam begins, “I liked him, and…I told him I liked him. And he and a few of my friends got together the next day and beat the shit out of me.”
“They beat YOU up,” Castiel asks, surprised.
“I was shorter back then,” The taller man says, “Anyways, I was in the hospital for a couple days. It scared the hell out of Dean. Apparently, they would have killed me if he hadn’t shown up. I was passed out.”
“That’s horrible,” Castiel says.
“Not as horrible as what happened to you,” Sam says, “Cas, if you ever feel like doing…that…again, tell me. Talk to me.”
Castiel nods. “What does this make us?”
“You said you were interested, right?”
“I guess this means…we’re dating.”
“I like that.”