Sheila had been a nurse for twenty years. She'd run through the emergency room, the operating room, the maternity ward, and two short years in pediatrics before she finally settled on the psychiatric ward.
There were a lot of crazies there, and she wasn't talking about the patients. Doctors with ‘alternative’ medicines, sadistic nurses, and controlling family members were usually the most drama she ever saw. It was a pretty boring job, to be honest, until he came.
Sam Winchester was the most put together man she'd ever met. Then she read his file. Years of therapy through college, several prescriptions for anxiety and depression, an alarming number of suicide attempts. Seriously, anyone who doesn't die after 37 tries has some kind of guardian angel. He'd apparently coped on his own until his most recent troubles.
He was seeing the devil, he told her one night after she asked what he was in for. It was insensitive and she would be the first to admit it but in her experience psych patients just wanted to be treated like people. So she did what she would do with anyone outside the ward and dug into his business. The devil was something a lot of schizophrenics saw, but he wasn't usually blaming them for the Apocalypse and subsequent downfall of humanity. He wasn't listing their failures and using it to torture them all day every day.
As far as she could tell, Sam Winchester spent all day flinching from something that she couldn't see and all night crying because of something she couldn't hear. He did everything complacently. Eating, taking meds, going to group therapy- you name it, Sam did it with a vague look of distress on his face but no verbal complaint.
In fact, he did it so orderly that Sheila often found herself bringing him food from outside (because she saw him gag at the hospital meat), writing him passes from meds (because they made him too nauseous to keep the food he did eat down, and he needed every pound), and joining in group (because he sometimes needed a hand to hold, especially when he started crying).
Some of the other nurses has joked before about her mothering patients but this time they all just gave her sympathetic looks and slipped her money for the salads she bought for Sam from the good diner down the street. They had all come to the same conclusion after a while: Sam was severely broken and he had no family to put him back together.
That's why it was so surprising when she came into work one day to find Patricia glaring at a dark haired man in a trench coat and saying, “Sir, I already told you, I can't authorize you to see Sam Winchester. I am not his main nurse, that's Sheila who is--”
“Right here,” Sheila interrupted, taking her coat off to reveal muted purple scrubs. “What do you want with Sam?”
“He's a friend,” the man said quietly as his shoulders dropped. “At least, he was once. I have been looking everywhere for him. His brother and I were...worried.”
Ignoring her immediate surprise at the brother part, Sheila motioned for the man to follow her and lead him to the main room where Sam was.
“Sam, sweetheart, you've got a visitor,” She said softly once she noticed that he was sitting by the wide windows. She didn't know why Sam got so anxious about being closed in sometimes but she knew it was best to talk quietly and not touch him when he did.
“Sam,” the man said in a near whisper. Sheila couldn't tell if it was because he was familiar with taking care of Sam or if it was because he was overwhelmed at finding him.
“Castiel.” Sam was obviously surprised at the man's- Castiel's- presence, looking away from the window much quicker than he ever did for Sheila. “What are you doing here?”
“I came to find you,” Castiel said as he moved closer. “Dean was worried.”
Sam scoffed, turning away. “Bullshit. He's the one who left me here. Signed me away and drove off. Probably went back to a life where he doesn't need a useless little brother.”
Castiel frowned and sat down at the table across from Sam. He opened his mouth, presumably in protest, but before Sheila could find out she noticed Nancy waving at her from the nurse's station by the door.
“Who is that?” Nancy blurted out as soon as she had reached her.
“Castiel,” Sheila answered, shrugging. “Odd name, I know, but I guess he's a friend of Sam's.”
“Looks like they're more than friends,” Nancy said.
Sheila turned to look where her friend was pointing and realized, with some shock, that Castiel had laid his hand over Sam's and Sam was allowing it. She watched as they talked, nearly fainting when Sam flipped his hand over and curled his fingers around Castiel's. Then, they stood and made their way back to her, hands still entwined.
“You'll be back next week?” Sam was asking as they walked up.
“I will be here every day that you wish me to be here,” Castiel said solemnly.
Sam nodded, but said, “Next week will be fine. Goodbye, Cas.”
And it was like he disappeared from that spot. Sheila blinked and turned to ask Sam about it before she blinked again. Sam was back at his table, staring out the window as if it had never happened.
“Sheila? What are you doing?” Nancy asked from behind her, confusion in her voice.
Sheila stared at before laughing softly. “Going to lay down for a bit. I suddenly don't feel so well.”
And the next time the dark haired man came by, Sheila watched in surprise as he and Sam held hands, yet never said a word.