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Chapter Text

He says I'm 'troubled.'


It's not my fault he's never around. It's not my fault I have to provide for my little brother.

But he acts like it is.

It wasn't the smoking, no, it wasn't that. Nor was it the fighting, partying, loud drumming. And, honestly, he didn't care about the stealing. We needed to eat, after all. I think the main thing that set him off was finding me kissing that boy Aaron Bass in the closet.

Yeah. That really pissed him off.

But I'm not troubled. I know I'm not.

Yet here I am, being sent off to Novak's School for Troubled Youth. What a scam.

Sammy is playing with some toy cars in the backseat as Dad drives us. Sam doesn't know what's about to happen, doesn't know that I'm about to leave.

I don't know what Dad is thinking. This won't stop the fights, stop the smoking. And, it's an all-guys school. It won't make me any less gay—bisexual, technically.

My heart sinks as we pull up to the campus, and Sam looks at me with confusion as the Impala stops. "What is this place?" he asks.

"A boarding school," Dad explains. "Your brother is gonna stay here for high school."

Sammy looks so sad when he realizes what that means. "I wanna go with him."

I shake my head and go out of the car, my little brother following suit. "You can't join me, Sammy," I tell him, ruffling his hair. He slaps my hand away.

"What do you mean? Dean, what am I supposed to do without you?"

I can feel myself on the verge of tears. I look upwards and jut my jaw out. "You'll figure it out."

Sam knows there's no more arguing when Dad steps out of the car. So he gives me one last hug, and I hug him, too. "Take care of yourself," I whisper in his ear. "If you need anything, just find one of Dad's phones and call me."

Sam nods. "I will."

"Goodbye, bitch."

"Bye, jerk."

Dad tells Sam to get back in the car, and he obliges. Dad signs me in and quickly leaves.

There are only a few new students, aside from me. After all, it is junior year.

But, the few students that are arriving bring some personal belongings. I don't have that, no big box of pictures and clothes and no kiss from mom. All I have is my necklace from Sam, the clothes on my body, a photo of our family in one pocket, and a pack of smokes in the other.

I get my schedule and uniform from the lady at the front desk, as well as a key for my dorm room, which I share with four other guys. Now, with this many guys, this could either be a fist fight or an orgy, and it'll probably be the former.

Only three guys are in the room when I walk in.

"Oh, you must be Dean," one says, pulling a lollipop out of his mouth. He has shaggy dirty blonde hair and green eyes. He's short and scrawny and I could probably beat him in a fight just by flicking him. "I'm Gabriel Dickinson."

I reluctantly take his hand, seeing as he won't put it down. "Dean Winchester."

"I'm Crowley," one kid says. He has a British accent and he's sitting in his bunk in the shadows. He's not scrawny, but I wouldn't say he's super muscular. He has short brown hair and eyes similar to Gabriel's.

"His real name is Fergus MacLeod," Gabriel explains.

"Shut up, dimwit," Crowley shoots back.

I can see Gabriel flinch. I'm sure Crowley could beat Gabriel up, too. So far, Crowley seems the most likable.

"I'm Marv," I hear, and I turn around. This dude has dark curly hair and creepy blue eyes that I don't dare look into, and an overall annoying look about him. He's wearing a sweater, and I get the feeling that's all he ever wears. "Marv Metatron."

I instantly know I'm gonna hate it here.

"Where's the fourth guy?" I ask.

"Oh, Nick," Gabriel tells me. "He's out right now, will probably be back in a few minutes. In the meantime, should I show you to your bed?"

I shrug. I really couldn't care less.

I check my schedule. And I fucking hate it.

Lots of classes, yeah, but that's not the thing that gets me. Apparently, I have weekly therapy. Every Sunday. I'm not doing that!

I crumple the paper and throw it up on my bed—it's a top bunk, right above Crowley. The other bunk bed is shared by Marv and Gabriel, while Nick sleeps on a separate bed at the end of the room.

"You guys got sports?" I ask.

"We got football," Crowley answers. "American football and soccer."

"Let me guess, you play soccer?"

Crowley just shrugs.

The door practically bursts open, and in walks the kid who I assume to be, Nick. He has short bleached blonde hair that is obviously naturally brown and blue eyes. He doesn't look like he'd be much shorter than me, and he's also more muscular than the other boys in the dorm.

"Hey, losers," he greets as he walks in. He quickly takes notice of me. "You that new kid?" He asks.

"Yeah. Dean Winchester."

"Nick Lucifer," he introduces himself. He walks over to the shower, not saying another word.

This year will certainly be interesting.

Chapter Text

I don't belong here.

I'm a nerd, a goody-two-shoes, a geek, whatever you want to call me. I spend my time reading Harry Potter or rewatching Star Wars, sometimes calling my best friend Charlie to bounce theories off her.

I am not a bad kid, not in any way.

But my parents built this place. Well, my dad did, more than anything. Built the place from the ground up with his own bare hands. Sent the first class of troubled kids through, and then just... left.

My mom runs the place now. She forces me and my three brothers to go here, too, so it's less work for her. Raphael, who's adopted, probably deserves to go here. Zachariah is a bit of a snob. Samandriel is a little shy, a geek like me.

But, the school year starts soon. I won't be able to hang out with Charlie for some time, so I'm spending as much time as possible with her now.

We're lounging in my room at the boarding school, on episode iii of Star Wars. But we're barely watching. We're tossing popcorn and pretzels at one another, laughing and complaining about school.

"You're so lucky," I mutter, picking a piece of popcorn from my hair and tossing it at my red-haired friend. "Your boarding school is smart. Full of nerds and geeks. Wish I could be there."

Charlie rolls her eyes. "They're all bland," she tells me. "I want a girl with adventure—though, she does need to understand my Harry Potter references."

"You think any guy here is gonna understand those? You think any guys here are even gonna be gay?"

"They'll all be gay for you," Charlie jokes, tossing a pretzel at my shoulder.

I roll my eyes. "Don't waste any more pretzels."

Charlie laughs. "My point is, all the best gays have an adventurous side as well as a geeky side. I'm sure you'll find your fair share of those kids here. New year, new students, right?"

"We're getting five new students."

"And what are the odds of one of them liking dudes?"

"Approximately 7% percent," I answer. "That's being generous, too. Roughly 1 in 10 Americans are gay, but of course, that doesn't include bisexuals or pansexuals, and those are adults, and I'm not sure how many of these kids are American, so I'm making a rough estimate."

Charlie sighs. "Just make the best outta this, kiddo!"

"I'm older than you."

"Whatever. And maybe talk to Samandriel about it. My gaydar goes off whenever I'm around that kid."

"My mom would kill me if I ever went out with a boy," I remind her. "Or anyone. She has a strict No Dating Until You're Twenty rule."

"And I've got a strict Kiss Every Gay You See rule. The question is, what is your rule?"

I chew on the inside of my cheek. "I don't know. I... I don't want to be here, Charlie. I wanna be with kids like me, the geeks, the nerds."

"They're worse. Well, not as hot, at least."

I shrug and direct my attention back to the movie. We can both recite every word to this, even though my mom would rather us be studying than watching a movie. In fact—

"You should probably go," I remind my friend. "My mom'll come here any minute, and she probably won't be thrilled to see you."

"Screw your mom."

"Hey, don't insult my mother."

"You're right. Sorry. But, I do have a gift for you." She pulls out a black backpack with the word 'alien' written in white across the middle.

I chuckle. "It's beautiful, Charlie."

"Good. 'Cause they came in pairs and we now have matching backpacks."

I snatch the backpack from her hands. "Of course you did."

"Alright, if there are any hot guys, text me."

"You know I will."

"Well, I'll see ya later, Cas."

"See ya, Charlie."

I'm alone in my room, once again. I hate it. The movie is still playing, and I barely register the sound of lightsabers swinging. With a sigh, I start to clean up the room, throwing away the pretzels and popcorns that are scattered everywhere.

I certainly am lucky. Dad had lots of money, and a large amount of it got left with Mom. My brothers and I all have our own room in the school, fit with a queen size bed, a mini-fridge, and a small television. No wonder Zachariah is such a snob. He's the one that spends all the money we have, the one that basically has a pair of shoes for each day of the week.

Mom knocks on my door just as I'm turning the tv off. "Come in," I yell, though she'd come in regardless.

"Have you been studying?" She asks.

I resist the urge to groan and I'm glad for the open book in my lap. "Yeah," I lie.

Shtelevision but, as always, it looks forced. "Good. Remember, the new students are coming, you're gonna show them around tomorrow."

I nod and put on a smile just as fake as hers. "Great."

I wonder what it would be like if my dad was still here. Zachariah was ten when Dad left, while Raphael and Samandriel were both nine. He left when I was eight, but every memory of him feels fresh.

"Dress nice," she instructs. "Maybe wear that blue button up shirt, some of those beige khakis. Casual but formal."

I nod. She says it as if it were a suggestion, but I know it's not. If I wear anything besides that, she won't be happy.

"Well, you should sleep now."

It's only nine o' clock. I'm sixteen, I don't go to sleep at nine. But I hum thoughtfully and nod. She walks back out of my room, almost definitely going to my brothers' rooms to tell them the same thing. They certainly weren't studying, either, but I'm sure they'll find a way to get the stink of beer and weed out of their rooms.

The school year is about to start.

Chapter Text

A sudden, horrible screeching noise echoes throughout the room.

Everybody groans and covers their ears, and it suddenly stops. "All new students, please meet at the principal's office." The voice is female, presumably the principal herself. She repeats the message, and I groggily get up.

"Fuck," I mutter quietly as I get dressed, pulling on a black shirt and some jeans. "I gotta-gotta head to the office," I say, still rubbing the sleep from my eyes. "See ya."

"I'm actually new, too," Marv says. "I'll go with you."

I groan. "Perfect."

"Just bloody shut up, will you?" Crowley yells from his bed.

On our way to the office, I see three other kids join us. One has black hair and creepy eyes that continue to stare at me. The second is black—one of, like, three black kids that I've seen here. The third is scrawny with brown hair and a clearly obnoxious attitude.

We're at the office and a lady in a pantsuit steps out. She has reddish brown hair tied up in a bun and an unfriendly face. "I'm Principal Naomi Novak," she introduces herself. "You will refer to me as Principal Novak or Ma'am. Now, let's get all of your names."

Marv goes first, his eyes twitching between every person, calculating their moves, scanning their bodies. Odd kid.

Next is the kid with a creepy stare. "Alastair," he introduces himself, and his voice is even creepier than his looks.

"Gordon," the black kid says.

"Balthazar," the last one tells us. He has an accent, British, and I wonder why he's here.

"My name's Luke," I declare. "Luke Skywalker. My father is Anakin Skywalker, better known as Darth Vader. I—"

"Stop," Naomi demands, clearly frustrated with the laughs I got. "I assume you're Dean."

I wink. "The one and only."

"Well, my sons are going to show you four around the school. Boys!" She calls, and four kids start to walk in, moving in robot-like motions.

The first has brown hair with frosted tips and a ridiculous smirk on his face. His shoes are so bright white that they may make me go blind, and his green eyes glare disapprovingly at us.

The second is one of the other black kids I had seen. His hair is shorter than Gordon's, and he himself is shorter.

The third has dirty blond and shaggy hair and a shy way about him. I can't even see his eyes because his hair covers them and he stares at the ground.

The fourth boy is—damn. He's kinda hot. He has shaggy dark brown hair and blue eyes, the blue shirt just bringing out the color in his eyes even more.

"You got a black son?" Gordon asks. "How you got a black son?"

Naomi sighs. "This is Zachariah, Raphael, Samandriel, and Castiel."

Alastair scoffs. "Weird-ass names."

I roll my eyes. "Shut the hell up. What kinda name is Alastair?"

"Boys," Naomi warns, her voice already resigned. "Zachariah, you'll show Dean and Alastair around. Raphael, you'll show Gordon around—"

"Woah, woah. You puttin' me with your black son 'cause I'm black? You're racist, bruh."

Naomi continues as if nothing had happened. "Samandriel, please show Marv around, and Castiel, please show Balthazar around."

Damn, I really wanted the hot one—Castiel. But, I go with Zachariah, following him around the school as he reluctantly tells me the rules, showing me what classes are mine. He's a real dick, I haven't eaten today, and I'm itching for a smoke. And Alastair can't keep his eyes off of me, his gaze practically rips into my soul. God, this is horrible.

The tour finally ends, and we each go back to our dorms. Alastair looks at me a little longer than I'd like, so I make a mental note to stay away from him.

It's 6:30 am, so I crawl back into my bunk and lay under the covers. Crowley and Nick are both still asleep, but Gabriel isn’t. He's rifling through his backpack. "Shut up," I groan. "Sleep."

He shrugs. "I don't really sleep."

Of course he doesn't.

Crowley starts to snore, and the sound is oddly comforting. Sammy always snored, too, and it reminds me of home. I manage to fall back asleep, by some miracle.


There's something on my nose.

I don't know how long I've been asleep, but something is tickling my nose.

I slap it away, but—

Of course. The feather and shaving cream prank.

Nick and Crowley start to laugh, and I see Gabriel is the one holding the feather. I growl, low and feral, and jump off my bunk on to the tiny kid. He screams in fear, but I'm already on him. I wipe the shaving cream off my face and wipe it across Gabe', making sure it gets in his shaggy hair. Then I punch his ribs, and with a reluctant sigh, Crowley pulls me off of the kid.

"Not a morning person," Nick mutters.

"Shut it, Nick."


"Shut it, Nick."

Nick—'Lucifer'—rolls his eyes and turns on his side, facing the wall. Marv is cowering in the corner, Gabriel is wheezing from the hit to his ribs, and Crowley is rummaging through his bag for a cigarette. I hold my hand out for one, and Crowley complies.

"Don't do that again," I warn Gabe before taking a long drag from the cigarette.

He coughs. "That hurt!"

I roll my eyes. "I didn't break anything," I assure him. "Probably just got some bruised ribs."

"Bruised ribs?!"

Nick scoffs. "If you're worried about that, then this school'll kill you."

"I know that, Nick."



"You wanna get punched again?"

"Lucifer, Lucifer. I'm sorry."

This kid is ridiculous—both Gabe and ‘Lucifer’. And Nick is probably right. This school might kill him.

I just hope it doesn't kill me.

Chapter Text

Balthazar is actually a pretty cool guy.

It was nice to show him around the school, and his British accent was oddly soothing.

And, what do you know, he's gay.

I could tell by looking at him, of course. He wore a scarf and some classically gay skinny jeans. He stood in the gayest possible way. And I have a gaydar, too.

And he was clearly into me.

But... I don't know. He was alright. Smart, funny, a little cute. He understood my Harry Potter references, but that was about it.

And my mind couldn't get off of the green-eyed boy named Dean.

He not only would understand Star Wars references, but he also made one himself. And he was handsome.

But I don't think he is gay.

And, anyway, I shouldn't date troubled kids. That always leads to... well, trouble.


First day of school.


I roll out of bed and fall on the ground, but everybody is too tired to even notice. Well, Gabriel notices, but he's too afraid to laugh.

I gotta choose a uniform to wear. I can either wear some tan khakis and a red tie with a red blazer or sweater vest or navy blue khakis and a blue tie with a blue blazer or sweater vest. Both require a white button down.

I choose the red blazer and tan khakis, but don't put on the tie. I tie it around my head.

First day, I'm gonna do something crazy.

I spend what should be breakfast time smoking out the window, and Crowley and Nick join me. Gabe and Marv elect to eat breakfast.

With nicotine running through my system, I feel slightly more ready to go through the day.


My first class is AP Calculus. I don't know why I'm in AP, I tried to get out of it, but I couldn't. The only guy I recognized was Alastair, and I'd rather not be in a class with him. But, the teacher was this young, fresh out of college Asian kid named Kevin Tran. He was pretty chill.

Second period was science with Mr. Garth Fitzgerald. He was a crazy dude, and I instantly didn't like him. Castiel was in that class, though, as was Crowley.

Third period I have free, thank god. There's a small little break room with a couch and a ping pong table. Once again, Castiel and Crowley share that period with me, as well as Gabriel. Gabe tried to talk to me, get me to play a game of ping pong with him. I threaten him with one show of my fist and he flinches, running away with his tail between his legs.

After that, I have Spanish with Ms. Pamela Barnes, and I was finally told to tie my tie around my neck. And I couldn't help but whistle at her ass, which is perfect, as is the rest of her body. And, I'm not the only guy that does that; so do Nick and Gordon.

We finally all venture off to lunch, grateful for the break from classes. I find myself sitting with Crowley, Gordon, Raphael, and Alastair, though I'm not sure how I ended up with them.

After lunch is art lunch with Ms. Rowena MacLeod.

"Woah," I say, "MacLeod? Like Fergus MacLeod?"

Rowena smiles. "Yes."

Crowley punches my shoulder, his face lighting up red. I laugh. I briefly take note of how Marv and Raphael are in art, too, but I spend most of the period chatting with Crowley, who I've grown close to.

Now I've got English with Mr. Rufus Turner. Marv, Gabe, and Nick are all in this class, but sadly no Crowley or Castiel.

Two more periods. AP US History, another class I don't know how I got AP for. The teacher is Mr. Bobby Singer, and though he's tough, it's clear he cares about us. Castiel and Samandriel are in the class, which I should've predicted, considering how smart they both seem. But there's also Balthazar, the new British kid.

My final period is gym with Mr. Benny Lafitte, and it's my favorite class. We play dodgeball, and these kids are all crazy. Nick, Crowley, Gordon, Alastair, Raphael—even Zachariah and a few other seniors are in it. And it is pure chaos. Crowley and I even manage to sneak off for a little smoke.

We end the day back in our rooms, but each bunk has a sheet of paper on it.

"Chore schedule," Crowley realizes before we even pick the papers up.

I groan. "That sucks."

Crowley shrugs. "Part of the place, I guess. Just get Gabriel hyped up on sugar, you can make him do your chores."


"They should also be announcing some sports schedules on here," Nick says, and I didn't even realize he was in the room. He grabs the paper eagerly, clearly a sports addict as much as he was addicted to smoking.

I look through my paper, too, ignoring the chores and looking at the extracurricular section. Football, soccer, basketball, ping pong. Band, debate, yearbook, drama.

Two of those sound interesting. Football, for starters. I could probably do that.

And the other, though I'd never admit it, is band. I learned to play guitar, but I also learned to play drums, which I much prefer.

But I'll probably just stick to football.

"You gonna do anything, Crowley?" I ask.

"Maybe soccer," he tells me. "And, Nick, I assume you'll be doing football once again?"


"I'm assuming neither Gabe nor Marv will do sports," I say. "I could see Marv doing theater. And Gabriel might do yearbook. Seems like a yearbook kid."

Crowley starts to pull off his sweater vest. "I'm gonna change into my own clothes. These are so bloody uncomfortable."

Gabriel comes bursting through the door, and Marv is following behind. "What clubs do we have this year?" Gabe asks, snatching the paper from his bed. "Oh! Yearbook!"

"Knew it," I mutter under my breath.

"What was that?"


Gabriel rolls his eyes and scans the chore list.

Today was absolutely miserable. I grab a cigarette and hand one to Crowley, hoping to finish it before dinner.

I do know one thing: I have at least one friend here.

Chapter Text

I manage to make it through the week.

I wouldn't have been able to do so, not without my new group. I was rarely in any place long enough to have a group of kids that I would instinctively hang out with, but when I did, it was always kids like this; like Crowley, snarky and rude; like Alastair, creepy and frightening; like Gordon, deceiving and selfish; like Raphael, violent beyond what's necessary. Raph is Naomi's son, I'd never expect him to act out.

These guys aren't what anyone would call nice. To be fair, most kids here aren't 'nice.' But these guys normally come with a cigarette or two, as well as a guaranteed interesting time.

But, today's the first day of 'weekly therapy.' Fun.

Note the sarcasm.

We've got therapy right after lunch, so at least I'll be able to get through the whole thing with a full stomach.

Lunch is some Mac and cheese. It looks disgusting, but this is the only food I'm gonna be getting for a while.

I practically drool when I see Raphael's lunch. A BLT. "Gimme somma that," I demand, reaching across the table.

Raphael yanks it away. "Na, bruh. This is mine."

"Where'd you get it?" Gordon asks. "I'd die for a bitta that."

He smirks. "Perks of bein' the principal's son."

He takes a bite of it, but his brother—Castiel—quickly storms over. "You took my sandwich," he accuses.

Raphael rolls his eyes. "What're you talking about?"

Castiel sighs. "My sandwich is peanut butter and jelly. I'm deathly allergic to peanuts!"

"Sorry, bro. I thought it was Alfie that was allergic to peanuts."

"Samandriel is allergic to shellfish."

"My bad."

"Can I have my lunch?"


Gordon, Crowley, and Alastair start laughing, so I laugh along with them. But it really isn't funny. That's a dick move.

I chew my Mac and cheese while the brothers bicker, staring intently at my plate. I laugh when I hear others doing so, but I don't pay much attention to what is being said. It reminds me too much of my arguments with Sammy when we were trapped in the car or the motel or simply bickering about who was in the others' space.

I barely even realize that I'm just stabbing at my plate until Crowley coughs, snapping me out of my daze. "You alright, Dean?" He asks.

I shrug and stare at my plate once again, not daring to look at the questioning green eyes observing me. "We've got group therapy in a few minutes. Should probably clean up."

I nod, moving mechanically. It hurts to think about Sam because we've never been apart this long. I'm worried about him. I have my fair amount of scars from John to know that he isn't a good parent. But he wouldn't go after Sammy, right? John blames me for... for the fire.

And maybe it... maybe it was my fault. But Sam has done nothing, he's just a kid, he's done nothing wrong.

I see Raphael still laughing at his brother, still making fun of him and arguing with him. I shake my head and mutter, "Not cool, dude," as I walk past, keeping my head down.

"What was that?" Raphael asks, turning his attention from Castiel to me.

I continue walking with Crowley and Alastair, not looking back.

"What was that, Winchester?"

Crowley urges me forward when he sees me begin to turn around. But Raph comes up behind me, grabbing my shoulder and spinning me until I'm facing him. "The hell'd you say, Winchester?" He repeats.

I scoff and try to turn away, but he doesn't let me.

I can see Raphael's fist clench, and mine does the same. It's been a few days since I've hit something, someone. The last time was Gabriel, and his ribs are still healing.

Alastair steps in before either of us can do anything stupid. "Stop it, both of you," he warns. Al grabs my arm, his fingernails digging into my flesh a bit too tightly, but I don't show that.

The therapy room is a plain room with a circle of our school chairs. A few faces are familiar, a few aren't. There's Alastair and Crowley, of course, but I see Castiel there, too, as well as Balthazar and Dick—I don't know if his name is Richard and he goes by Dick or if he's just such a dick that people started calling him that. Dick is in my APUSH class. AP US History, pronounced 'a push.' So dumb. But Bobby Singer has proven to be a great teacher.

A middle-aged black woman comes out of the shadows, her head full of frizzy black hair. "Sit down, children," she tells us. It doesn't feel like a command nor an instruction. She has this way about her that makes me feel welcome, cared for. She feels warm, like that mother figure I never had.

"My name is Missouri Moseley," she introduces herself once everybody is settled. "I will both be leading therapy sessions, and I'm the school counselor. If any of y'all need anything, I'm just 'round the corner, don't be 'fraid to ask. Now, shall we go around and say names?"

We do as she suggests, and it isn't as strained and forced as when other teachers tell us to introduce ourselves.

"Alright, well, I'd like to know how everybody feels after the first week. How are all of you doing?"

Most kids shrug and say they're doing fine. "Stressed," answers one kid.

"Exhausted," answers another.

"Bored," Balthazar says.

Castiel says, "Fine."

"Angry," Crowley answers, an answer I didn't expect to come from him.

I shrug, as does Al.

"It's great to hear your input," Missouri says. "All of you. Please remember your answers, as I'll ask y'all about them during one on one time."

We all nod and mumble agreements to remember what we said.

Some kids share about their struggles being away from home, others with the stress of so much class and homework.

I zone out most of the therapy, blue swimming in front of my eyes. I don't think about much, not really. But Alastair slaps my arm, harder than he needs to, and I snap out of my trance only to realize I was staring at Castiel.


Chapter Text

"Spill. Everything."

I chuckle at Charlie. We haven't had a chance to call one another all week, so this is our time to catch up.

"Any gays?" She asks, continuing her questions. "Hot guys? Hot gays?"

"Slow down, Char."

"Sorry, sorry. But...?"

I sigh. "I can confirm that there is one gay guy in the group."

"Is he hot?"

I shrug, forgetting she can't see me. "He's super smart, and—"

"Who is it?"


"There's another guy. I know you, Cas. Normally you'll jump on any gay you see."

"It's not impor—"

"'Course it's important!"

"Fine. His name is Dean, and he's just... he's hot. And that's it." If you don't include the fact that he's funny, part geek, in two AP classes so clearly smart, and just loyal and caring.

"You sighed dreamily," Charlie points out.

"Just—what about you? Any girls you got an eye on?"

"Actually, there are two girls. One named Gilda. She loves to live action role play, she's a huge geek, and I'm positive she likes me."

"Nice! And the other?"

"Dorothy. She's super adventurous and tough and... a total badass."

"You did it. The thing."

"What thing?"

"You sighed dreamily! There's no denying it. You're in love with Dorothy."

"Then you're in love with Dean!"

"Oh, shut up."

"You shut up."

We're laughing. Giggling and gossiping like classic teenage girls even though we are anything but that.

"I miss you," I admit. "My mom's making me do the group therapies, now, too. Even one-on-one. Missouri is great, yeah, and I love her, but... I don't know. I don't need it."

"Most kids feel like they don't need it."

"I guess. But, during it, during group... I think Dean was... staring at me? Now, before you start saying anything—stop squealing, it's not a big deal!—remember that I'm not sure. I'm probably just making this all up in my head."

"I doubt it. You're a freakin' genius, you know when someone is staring at you."

I shrug, and silence falls over the line by my lack of speaking. There's a knock on my door. "Got to go bye," I quickly rush out, hanging up the call and pulling out a book.

Mom walks into the room, another forced smile on her face. This is the most she's checked up on me in a week, maybe in my whole life. It's... odd. "How was group therapy?" She asks me, which I respond to with a shrug, suddenly interested in whatever random page I turned to in my book.

There's a knock on my open door, and I look up to see Raphael. "Your brother wanted to apologize," Mom explains, seeing the obvious confusion on my face.

Raphael doesn't want to apologize. She's making him. Oh, something is up big time. "I'm sorry for taking your sandwich," Raph grumbles like a five-year-old, staring at his intertwined fingers.

I give a half smile. "Thanks."

Raphael looks at Mom, silently asking her if he can leave, and she nods. "Son," Mom says when we're back in the room alone, "I want you to know that if something happens, with your brothers or otherwise... you can... you know. You can talk to me." Her voice raises at the end and it sounds like a question. She's uncertain, trying to cover something up. Something is about to happen and I don't like it.

I look at my book again and stay silent. I nod my head slightly. I feel a stiff, cold hand on my back, and it's as if her hand is dead. She's trying to be comforting, I know, but that isn't exactly her strong suit. She's awkward, just like I am, right now. Neither of us knows what to do now.

Mom clears her throat and carefully removes her palm from my back, taking precise and measured steps out of my room. I expect she'll give a similar talk to each of my brothers, and I expect they'll all feel just as awkward as I did.

I flip to the page in my book that I actually am on. My eyes move down and across the black ink, but can't focus, can't process what each letter, word, paragraph means. I swear I've read the same sentence ten times over.

My mind is focused on other things. Like Dean, like Mom, like Raphael's apology.

It doesn't take long before I give up and put the book down, settling for flipping through the channels my mom has yet to block. A few minutes later, there's a third knock on my door, and I can't help but groan. "Come in."

Samandriel is the one at the door this time. He's already dressed for bed, his retainer in, orange and black Halloween pajama pants that are about two inches too short, and a shirt decorated by an orange and the word 'Georgia,' one of the few gifts that we've gotten from our father.

"What's up, Samandriel?" I ask, sitting up in my bed and muting the tv. He's older than me, yes, but I've always felt like it was my responsibility to take care of him, take care of all my brothers. There's something about Alfie, though, in specific. He's a tortured soul, really. Something happened when he was younger, and I don't even think he knows it.

"What's up with Mom?" My brother asks, sitting beside me.

I roll my eyes. "Hell if I know."

"She's being oddly... motherly."

I nod. That's the word I was looking for. She's being a mother, for once, rather than a distant and hard principle. The only problem is she doesn't know how to be a mother—or at least hasn't been one for years.

"Everything's off,” I respond. “Did you know Raphael apologized to me?"

"Zachariah apologized to me."

"That's even odder."

But it's not just this that is odd. It's not just having a motherly mother or a caring brother. It's Dean. He's a bad kid, a kid that smokes when he thinks others can't see, a kid that will punch you if you cross him. But I can't seem to stop thinking about him, stop wanting him.

What is wrong with the world right now?

Chapter Text

I have a one-on-one therapy session today.

But I definitely don't want to do that.

"You're gonna be late to breakfast," Gabriel tells us all. He leans over to me. "I don't wanna be left alone with Marv. I swear, it's like he's planning something to kill me!"

"If anybody's gonna kill you," I hear Nick Lucifer grumble from across the room, "it'll be me."

"All of you, just bloody shut up," Crowley groans. "I need my beauty sleep."

I scoff. "Yeah ya do."

Crowley weakly waves a hand up in an attempt to hit me, failing miserably. I'm so tired I don't even have the power to laugh.

Gabe sighs. "Fine. I'll just go to breakfast myself."

They serve breakfast way too fucking early at this place.

When I do finally wake up, I manage to get down from the bed a bit more gracefully than I did the first day of school. "Shit," I mutter. "Almost outta cigarettes."

"How're ya almost out?" Nick asks.

I shrug. "It's not like you guys have 'em."

"Supply run."

I turn to Crowley, confused. "What?"

"Supply run," he repeats. "We gotta head into town, get some supplies. Smokes, crisps, food, soda, alcohol, anything we can."

"How're we gonna get alcohol?"

"Alastair," he explains. "Got a nice hookup for fake IDs. If you're alright with inviting him, that is."

Al gives me the creeps. But having some beer here? I sure wouldn't hate that.

"Sure," I agree. "But what about the therapy sessions?"

"Screw therapy," Nick says.

"Alright then. Who wants to go get Al?"

Lucifer agreed to grab him while Crowley and I make our way to the parking lot. "You know how to hotwire a car?" he asks.

I scoff. "'Course. Do you?"

"I don't steal," he explains. "Don't get my hands dirty."

I nod while I choose a car, getting to work quickly while Crowley chats with me. "Why're you here, Dean?"

"Smoking," I explain. "Fighting. Stealing." I don't bother to mention Aaron. "What about you?"

I've done this to enough cars that I could start it with my eyes closed. "Dealing," Crowley answers a hint of pride in his voice. "Drugs, cigarettes, beer. Eventually, I had my own drug operation. I had other kids dealing for me."

I chuckle. "Nice... Yes!" I cheer when I head the engine start. "You see our pals anywhere?"

"On their way." Crowley quickly jumps in the passenger seat, motioning for Nick and Al to run. They race, both competing to be first in the car.

I back up, driving away from Novak's School for Troubled Youth.

There's a rush of adrenaline running through me as I speed away from the school until we're a safe distance apart. I haven't done anything like this since I stole that food so Sammy and I could eat, and then I didn't have three guys laughing and complimenting me.

"Nice job," I hear Crowley say, but my ears are ringing from the excitement.

Alastair gives me directions throughout the trip, telling me when to turn. We eventually end up in a classic deserted alleyway. "Stay in here," Al instructs. "I just gotta get somethin'."

He hops out of the car and pulls a wad of cash from his pocket, glancing around the alley until a short woman with shoulder length deep brown hair emerges. She doesn't look him in the eyes, just snatched the money from his hand, scrolling through it to check that it's all there. She doesn't talk to him, doesn't say a word, just hands him what I assume is the fake ID.

Alastair thanks her and trots back to the car as the woman goes back into the shadows. "Who was that?" I ask.

Alastair shrugs. "They never tell me their names. I've assigned them names, mentally, though. Well, one name. Ruby. This is Ruby 2.0."

I nod and start driving to the convenience store.

We all have money, though none of us are willing to disclose how we got it. We decide to just throw all the money together, splitting the price. We buy four packs of cigarettes, three big bags of chips,—one of hot Cheetos, one of nacho cheese Doritos, and one of regular Lays,—a twelve pack of beer, a six pack of root beer, a six-pack of Coca-Cola, and eight ramen bowls. We have three dollars to spare.

The ID works perfectly, absolutely no question from the cashier. I'm pretty sure the cashier knows none of us could be 21, but he looks too tired and too worn out to care.

"Let's keep a joint saving," I suggest walking out of the store. "Just put in some portion of the money for all our supply runs."

The others are shoving the bags full of food and the like in the back seat while I begin the start the car again.

"That's not a horrible idea," Crowley tells me, the others humming in agreement.

"C'mon guys," I urge them, hearing the sweet sound of the engine. "We should get back before they notice."

My three companions hop in the car once they have everything and I drive off.

This part will be slightly more difficult. We gotta get everything inside the school while staying unnoticed, and get the car back to its original state.

"Who wants to run inside?" I ask. "Make sure there aren't any teachers right out there."

Nick shrugs. "I got it."

He jumps out of the car as I turn it off, trotting to the door while cautiously glancing around him. We wait a minute or two before he waves us inside, our arms holding each and every bag.

We dump everything in my dorm, sighing in relief when I give everyone a cigarette.

"Where were you?" Gabriel screams as he walks in the room, his shaggy golden hair swaying back and forth in pure anxiety. "They came looking for you four. You missed therapy."

See, I don't want to be a bad kid. I don't want to be a troublemaker, I don't want to be a problem. But... I don't know. It seems like I can't stop hurting someone, doing something wrong. Either I hijacked the car and made some guys happy but made all the teachers upset, or I didn't do it and make the guys upset and the teachers happy.

It's impossible.

But I don't say any of that. I keep a scowl on my face, just like Crowley, Nick, and Al are doing, but remain quiet. I hear the boys shout things like "fuck therapy" or "we'll bloody kill you if you say anything." The latter was probably Crowley.

All this time, Marv is cowering in the corner, watching in either fear or admiration as we shout abuses and insults at Gabe. Gabriel stares at us, as if in shock, but it's hard to take him seriously when there's a smudge of chocolate on his cheek.

I turn my attention back to my cigarette, hoping to calm down in some way.

Chapter Text



What need could I have for one-on-one therapy? I'm a... semi-functional... emotionally closed off... smart kid!

Alright, so maybe I do need it. A little. But why would Mom sign me up for that? Why would she do this? It's not like she'd start to care now for no reason. She knew. She knew back then, she wouldn't start caring now.

"How are ya doin' today, sugar?" Missouri asks me, a more motherly figure in my life than the woman who gave birth to me.

I smile. "I'm fine. How 'bout you, Ms. Mosley?"

"How many times I have to tell you to call me Missouri?"

"Seems about once at the beginning of each school year."

"Well, your mother said you gotta be at therapy, too. How does that make you feel?"

We're sitting across from one another in some small school chairs. The room is lit brightly from windows, and the room is small enough to make me feel slightly claustrophobic. Or maybe that's just the therapy. The talking. The emotion.


"I'm fine, I guess," I answer. Missouri has always been the one person I feel like I can really be honest with. So I sigh. "I hate it, actually. I don't need therapy. I don't think I do."

"Honey," she says with a knowing smile, "we could all use a little therapy."

I look at my shoes. They're old and ratty, covered in dirt that I don't want to remove. The laces are frayed and my toes are practically sticking out the front. I wiggle them slightly.

I'm not like Zachariah, sneakers as bright as the sun. Or Raphael, with shoes as big as my head. Or even Samandriel, who has shoes only by the best brands. Everything I do. It is never the cleanest. It's never the biggest. And it's never the best. But it's fine. Everything I do is okay. And I can deal with that, I have to because it's all I'll ever be.

"You do that," Missouri points out. "A lot."

"What?" I ask, head snapping back up.

"You... zone out. Disassociate yourself."

I purse my lips together. "And?"

"Why is that?" She's leaning forward slightly, her voice caring and comforting. And I want to tell her everything, all of it. But I know I can't, can't tell her, can't tell mom or my brothers, can't tell anyone.

So I shrug, eyes directed to my shoes once again. "Dunno. Easier that way."

"What is easier?"

Everything. When I was younger, I had to disassociate in order to get through the day, the night. I couldn't admit to myself what was happening, and I guess I've just... done it since then. "Dunno," I repeat, toes wiggling and ripping my shoes just that much more.

Missouri sighs and places her hands in her lap. "Now, I can't make ya tell me anythin'. But I do think it'll help with whatever's goin' on in that smart head o' yours. You just need to talk to someone. I'm always here for ya, sugar."

I rub my chin and lick my lips. "I'm fine," I mumble. "Can I, uh—can I leave?"

Missouri making a clicking noise with her tongue, and I can see her hair move as she shakes her head. "Nothin' is stoppin' you from leavin'."

I nod, carefully standing to my feet, keeping my head down. I don't want to see Missouri's face because I don't want to see the emotion on her face. Would she be ashamed of me, disappointed in me? I don't want to know.

I walk to the door and out, wandering through the halls before I finally decide to go to the band room. I take a seat on the bench, letting my fingers toy with the piano keys, softly and slowly playing the Star Wars theme song.

I hold back the tears. Because as much as I try to hold on to that good part of my past, that good part of him, I just... it's hard. Because I remember it all, good and bad.

My lip is trembling, so I bite it as my fingers move a little faster, and I add my second hand. I always do this, distract myself with the piano while avoiding my thoughts. It's like what Missouri said, disassociating. I flip through the whole day, watching it as if I were watching some television as my fingers instinctively move across the keys.

Maybe I should have told her. Maybe it would've helped to let someone know. Maybe if someone knew I wouldn't be sitting on this bench, holding back tears as I play the theme song to the objectively best movie of the '70s.

The door creeks open, and I jump up. It's Dean. "Nice," I hear him mutter under his breath, observing the room. "And nice playin'. Star Wars, right?"

I smile shyly, struggling to pull my tears out of my eyes. "Yeah."

"You gotta drum set in here?" He asks, head moving back and forth.

"Yeah. You play?"

He shrugs. "I dabble."

I direct him to the drums, trying not to stare at his beautiful green eyes too long. He smirks as he carefully picks up the drumsticks, playing what I immediately recognize as "Moby Dick, by Led Zeppelin, right?"

Dean chuckles as he stops playing. "You know Zeppelin?"

I shrug a little and laugh. "I dabble," I repeat what he said earlier." And, damn, he seems like the perfect guy. A Star Wars fan and a lover of Led Zeppelin. Could he get any better?

"So," I begin, my previous worry beginning to flood away, "you gonna try out for band?"

Dean scoffs as he walks away from the kit. "Hell no—you mind if I smoke in here?"

I shrug, but he's already pulled out a cigarette, pulling out his lighter while he holds the cigarette in his mouth. "Thanks," he says, words muffled.

"Why not?" I ask. "Why not to band? Could really use a drummer."



"Yeah, it's lame."

"Drums aren't lame."

"Not sayin' they're lame. Sayin' band is lame. No way in hell I'm gonna join something like that. I have a reputation to uphold here, Castiel. I'm not gonna lose it to some... hobby."

I frown. "Fine."

Dean shakes his head and smiles, jokingly punches my shoulder. It hurts, but I try not to show it. "I'll see ya, Cas—can I call ya Cas?"

I shrug, finding my eyes pointed at my old shoes once again. I try not to blush. This handsome, cute kid just gave me a nickname. "Sure," I tell him, my voice small. I feel like a shy school girl once again.

"See ya, Cas." He glances back at me once before leaving, shaking his head and whispering under his breath. And then I'm left alone with my thoughts.

Except for this time, the thoughts are of Dean.

Chapter Text

Damn, that Castiel kid is...


That's my first thought when I wake up, wake up from my dream of those blue eyes and the piano. Those smooth, slender fingers gliding across the keys, me beside him watching, learning, listening.

"You're happy," Crowley grumbles, running a hand through his hair as he pulls out a cigarette, the perfect way to start a morning.

I shake the smile off my face, rubbing my eyes. "It's nothin'," I tell him, answering his question before he asks it. "Can I have one?"

Crowley nods, but before he hands me one there's a knock on the door. We don't even say anything before the door is opening, and Crowley is throwing the cigarette in the bathroom. It's none of the roommates—me, Crowley, Gabriel, Marv, and Nick are all here—so it could be bad to get caught smoking.

"Ya boys dressed?" Bobby Singer calls in. My heart had practically stopped, but I sigh in relief. Just Bobby. He likes me.

"Yeah," I call out, after glancing around to ensure I was right.

"Alright, well, Naomi's comin' in."



Crowley scrambles back in the bunk under me, crawling under the covers to pretend he's asleep. Naomi, dressed in her gray pantsuit and all, walks in. She looks disgusted when she sees the state of the room with candy wrappers and clothes scattered everywhere.

"Fergus? Dean? Nicolas?"

Crowley groans, as if just waking up, as does Nick—though Nick is just waking up. I'm sitting up in my bed, facing her.

"Huh?" Nick says, disoriented. "Ah, shit, Naomi?"

Crowley glares at Nick in warning, and Naomi sighs.

"Principle Novak, what're you doing here?" Gabriel asks, turning around from where he was in his desk chair. But I can tell Gabe knows what this is about, is trying to throw her off.

"I'm assuming she's here about those three missing therapy," Marv says, and I swear I could hit his smug face and tear his stupid white boy Afro hair strand by strand.

"The fuck, dude?" Nick shouts out.

"Nicolas," Naomi warns. "Don't make this worse than it already is."

We all sigh in almost unison, and Naomi changes so her stance is more stern. "Marv is correct. Do you three have a reason for missing your one-on-one therapy sessions?"

"Na," I say, shaking my head and clicking my tongue.

Crowley shrugs and Nick rolls his eyes, both of them repeating my answer of 'na.'

Naomi purses her lips, placing her hands on her hips, and I have a fleeting thought that her eyes are blue, just like her son's. "Alright then," she says, and immediately the thought goes out of my mind. "If none of you are willing to say anything, then it'll be two weeks."

Crowley and Nick groan, Gabriel hissing as if he can feel our pain. "Two weeks of what?" I ask.

"Depends," Naomi answers. "Lunch duty. That can be serving, cooking, or clean up. Janitor duty—you can all assume what that is. Or assistant teacher duty. You do chores for the teachers, no matter what it is."

"I call assistant duty," Nick quickly calls out.

"I'm a lunch lady," Crowley says. "Let the kids stare at my face right before they eat."

I sigh. "That leave me with janitor duty?"

Naomi smirks. "Yes, yes it does. Alastair is doing that one, too."

I want to groan, to throw my head back. But I don't. "Time to get my hands dirty," I mutter, hopping off the bunk.

"Well, classes are starting, so you all better get ready. Good job, Marv," she says, seeing Marv already dressed.

And then the day is torture.

There's that uncertainty that hangs over my head. Janitor. Damn.

And, aside from that, during art class, Rowena won't stop yelling at Crowley. "Fergus, I expect better from you!"

Crowley ducks his head into his arm. "Mother, I told you to stop calling me that!"

It was fairly amusing, I'll admit, but still annoying.

During APUSH, too, Bobby yells at me. Well, doesn't exactly yell, but he says he "expects more" from me. He's an oddly fatherly figure, but, of course, I couldn't tell him that.

We end the day with gym class, which is, as always, a huge stress reliever. We played soccer today, and I gave the goalie a black eye. He should've been more prepare.

At the end of the day, Nick, Crowley, Al and I go to Naomi's office, and I don't miss the way Alastair smirks at me, his bony fingers dragging down my arm. I pull away, but he continues staring at me, as I've found he does a lot.

"Alright, boys. Last chance to confess what will happen," Principle Novak tells us. None of us say anything. We know we'd only get in more trouble. "In that case, let's see what I can do here. Nicolas, you'll be helping the teachers after class on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday for two weeks. Fergus, you'll be serving lunch on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday for two weeks. Alastair, you have janitor duty after school on Monday, Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday, as will you, Dean."

We all groan. Except Al.

"Well, three of you have places to be, don't you?" Crowley laughs at us as we go to our new two week jobs and he goes back to the dorm, probably getting ready to smoke.

"I'll show you where to go," Alastair tells me. Nick leaves to go to a teacher's room to do whatever he needs to do.

Al leads us to a janitors closet, where a person I recognize as Azazel lets us in. He's the main janitor here.

Alastair high fives Azazel, and they clearly have some sort of relationship. And odd friendship, maybe mentor ship. I don't know why Al would choose Azazel as his mentor, though.

"Are you two the janitor assistants?" Azazel asks, though he knows the answer. He throws us each a janitor uniform, and though Al's is clearly fitted, mine looks to be about two sizes too large.

"This is Dean," Alastair introduces me, and can see Azazel give me a smile about as creepy as Al's. Related, perhaps?

"Well, the bathroom in the west wing of the school is a doozy. Chili night, it's always messed up. You two wanna clean it?"

"Not really," I grumble under my breath as I pull the suit on over my school clothes. Alastair does the same.

"Well, too bad."

We're handed a bucket of cleaning supplies, a mop, a plunger, a sponge, and chemicals that I don't even know the same of. "Tomorrow you guys can help with the rats."

"Rats?" I say, eyes widening slightly.

Alastair and Azazel share a chuckle that leaves me shuddering. "There are no rats here," Al assures me. "We're playing with you."

They're both staring at me, and I wish I could just run away.

Cleaning the bathroom is disgusting. Azazel was right, chili night is a doozy. Each movement makes me shudder, but Alastair seems perfectly comfortable in this environment, despite the fact that one of the toilets is overflowing. I wish I had been able to take the job with Crowley, or even Nick.

Alastair always seems to be standing close to me, too close. It'd be much faster if we worked on separate parts of the bathroom, but Al doesn't listen. His eyes never leave my figure, his body touching mine more than necessary.

I fucking hate this.

Chapter Text

Thank god Kevin is so chill.

I start the day with AP Calc, of course, but Kevin seems tired. He basically calls class off for the day, so I get to smoke my memories of that horrendous bathroom away.

The day isn't much different from all the others. Boring classes, boring teachers, jerk friends. Gordon threatens about five people at lunch, Raphael trips three kids, Alastair creeps the whole school out, as per usual, and Crowley serves ya lunch. He has to wear a hairnet and apron, and we assured him he'd never live that down.

But, at the end of the day, as I go to Azazel's janitor closet with Alastair, an announcement rings over the speakers, telling me to meet at the principals office.

"What's this 'bout, Naomi?" I ask once I finally reach her office.

She sighs. "It's Principle Novak, Mr. Winchester."

"Alright 'Principle Novak Mr. Winchester.' What d'you want?"

She sighs again. "I'm taking you off janitor duty."

"For what?" I ask, expecting something much worse.

"You're joining band."



"Alright, but—"

"No questions. It remains the whole year, you meet Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday after school. It starts next week. Goodbye."


"I said goodbye."

Alright, what just happened?

I walk back to the dorm completely and utterly confused. Gabriel is confused when he sees me walk back in the room, too. "Aren't you supposed to be janitor-ing?"

I shake my head. "I got put in band instead," I explain.

Gabe's sitting at the desk, his back to me but his head turned around to look my way. Crowley is off playing soccer with Nick, I'm sure, while Al is off in janitor duty and Marv is... I dunno, planning to kill everybody, probably.

I notice soon how Gabriel's breathing is elevated slightly. On the desk there's some tissues, lotion, and—

Fuck, a magazine filled with photos of naked men and women in, lets just say, interesting positions.

I shield my eyes though I can't see anything and turn away. "Damn, dude!" I yell, disgusted. "Get a room!"

"I had one," Gabe replies, "until you walked in."

"I think I'm gonna, wow, uh, leave?"

Gabriel sees how uncomfortable I am and laughs. "You don't want a look, Winchester?"

I gag and leave the room, slamming the door behind me. I can still hear his evil laughter as I walk down the hall. Jesus, that kid's disgusting.

I find myself wandering to the band room. I'm gonna spend three-sevenths of my week here, might as well get accustomed to it. I pick up some drum sticks, spinning it in my fingers. It was a trick that amazed Sammy. I tried to teach him how to do it, but he said it'd take the magic away.

This is the longest I've been away from Sam since he was born. A little over two weeks. And I swear it's pure torture. I don't know what's happening to my little brother, and it's my job to protect him.

I tap the sticks against the drums ever so slightly, unsure of what I'm trying to accomplish. I'm not playing any song in particular, nothing is on my mind. I let my hands just drum, freestyle, go where they please.

Drumming takes my mind off Gabriel, thank god. I'd much rather think about my brother, as sad as it may make me, than think about that twink masturbating in our shared space.

"I don't recognize that."

As soon as the voice swims to my ears, I stop drumming. I can't help but chuckle how the roles are reversed this time, with him walking in on me. "Freestyle," I explain. "You play any?"

Castiel scoffs and shakes his head. "No way, just piano, like you saw earlier."

"You know what's odd?" I point a drumstick at Castiel's chest as a realization creeps up on me. "Your mom is making me do band instead of janitor duty."

Cas pretends to not know what I'm talking about. "Huh. That is odd."

I smile at him. "You had nothing to do with that, did you, Cas?"

Cas shrugs and shakes his head, but he's smirking. He did it, I can tell by the mischievous but proud sparkle in his blue eyes. "I had nothing to do with that."

I bite my lip and Castiel moves some of his bangs from his face. "Do you pay any piano?" He asks, changing the topic.

I shake my head. "No. I sung when I was a bit younger, even took up rapping for some time, but I haven't done that in forever." I don't know why I'm telling him this. There's just something about Cas that makes me feel safe, feel open.

He gasps, a smile wide on his face. It looks good on him, that smile. I can tell he doesn't wear it often. "Let me hear."

I shake my head. "I could never."

He does a fake pout, and I laugh. "Dean," he jokingly whines like a little kid.

I sigh. "Fine. You got a request?"

"Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!"

"No, no way."

"I know, I know. How about... Eye of the Tiger?"


"Of course."

I take a deep breath. I know the song by heart, probably my third favorite—after Zeppelin's 'Ramble On' and 'Traveling Riverside Blues,' of course.
I mentally go over the notes in my head, finger tapping the beat against my knee. "Alright, um... 'risin' up'—shit, dude, stop lookin' at me like that!"

Castiel laughs and looks at his feet.

"Alright, Cas, how 'bout you play the piano, alright? You know it?"


"Obviously." I walk over to the piano with him, my heart thudding in my chest. He walks close to me, and our shoulders brush, but it's different from when Alastair was in my personal space, when Alastair touched me. It was comforting and soothing while simultaneously being the most nerve racking and exhilarating thing in my life.

We take a seat on the bench, and I can't help but sit a little closer to Cas than I need to. He doesn't push me away, doesn't oppose, doesn't seem disgusted. Though I'm sure if he said anything I wouldn't be able to hear him over the oddly loud pounding of my heart.

Damn, this kid'll be the end of me. He's smart, cute, geeky, loves the same music... even Aaron Bass has nothing against this kid.

Well, Aaron does have one thing: we kissed. That's about it.


I snap out of my thinking and look back at Castiel. He laughs. "You ready?"

I take a deep breath. No, no I'm not. "Ready as I'll ever be."

Cas nods and begins playing the intro to Eye of the Tiger. I close my eyes, letting me drift off into my own safe reality, where I'm singing to Sammy. My face my be bruised and bloody, but it calmed Sam down, reminded him to stay strong. So I let myself be there, be in that moment, and I start singing.

"Risin' up, back on the street
Did my time, took my chances
Went the distance, now I'm back on my feet
Just a man and his will to survive—"

Cas plays the song perfectly, and I add my own effects. I drum my fingers against the bench, against the piano, all adding the flare that makes the song so perfect. I float see deep in the fantasy land that I find myself playing the air guitar, but I quickly remember where I am and stop.

"You sound... fantastic."

I turn away and bite my lip, hoping Castiel doesn't see the heat rising to my cheeks.

Maybe band won't be so bad after all.

Chapter Text


"Huh, what?"

Charlie sighs, but I can tell there's a happiness to it. "That's the fourth time I've said your name. What's up? Is it the geeky gay or the bodacious bi?"

I let out a laugh. "I repeat, what?"

"Balthazar or Dean?"

"Did you call Balthazar 'the geeky gay'? More importantly, did you call Dean 'the bodacious bisexual'?"

"Uh, yeah. And?"

"Did you just assume he was bi?"

"Well, we're all a little gay. Oh—maybe he's a pretty pan!"

"What does that make you?" I ask. "Or me?"

"Well, I'm the lovable lesbian. You're the... hmm... goofy gay."

"You've thought of this before, don't even lie."

"Alright, fine. What if Dean is a trusted trans? An awesome ace? An ambitious aro? A popular poly, or perhaps a dumb demi, or—"

"You can stop, Char," I tell her, laughing.

"Fine. But which one is it?"

I can't help but smile as I say his name. "Dean."

"I knew it. What's up?"

"I don't know. He skipped therapy, so Mom signed him up for janitor duty. And I got him to do band instead."


"She's been acting weird. But she's giving me what I want. Might ask for new shoes soon."

"What happened after that?"

"After what? Oh, yeah. I ended up running into Dean in the band room, right? He was playing the drums and, let me say, it sounded fantastic. And then we started talking and I swear I almost died. Then he started... singing. And, damn, his voice? Heaven. Perfect. I think I fell in love with him right there."

"Slow down there, Castiel."

"Sorry, you're right."

"You're done for, aren't ya? Hook, line, sinker."

I sigh. All I can think about is Dean's chartreuse colored eyes, how his fingers moved around the drumsticks, how muscular his arms looked when he hit each drum, how light his laughter was, how bright his smile was, how good his leg was when it brushed against mine, how free he looked when he was singing, how his voice was both soft and gravelly at the same time, how—


"Fuck, I really am done for."

Charlie laughs. "I need to talk about my love life, too, you know!"

"Right, right. Go on, you 'lovable lesbian."

"I kissed her."

"Which one?"


"I thought you were into, what was her name? Dorothy. You did the thing. The dreamy sigh thing."

"Dorothy is... off, I guess. She's not at school, most of the time. She somehow maintains all As, though. She's off adventuring, I bet. Probably being a total badass, and—"

"And you say I'm a rambler."

"Hey, I'm only like this with women!"

"I'm only like this with men! We're even, Char."

"Fine. Oh, I do have one more thing. It's about Harry Potter—what if..."

We spend an hour exchanging thoughts and theories, once in a while gossiping about crushes and other students. I love Charlie, I really do. She's a great friend, one of the few I trust, can talk to.

I'm not a... social kid. I don't make friends easily. I don't connect with others, I can't talk to them. I don't know how to interact with people, I don't like it.

Except I like interacting with a few people. I feel comfortable around a few people. And those two people are Charlie and Dean. I don't know why Dean makes me feel safe; he smokes, fights, steals, and who knows what else. But I feel like I can talk to him about anything. And, honestly, that scares me. Deeply.

"I gotta go, Cassie," she says, clearly distracted. I can hear papers moving around on her end. "I'll, uh, talk to you—hallelujah!—talk to you later, okay?"

I laugh slightly. "Last minute homework?"


"Just do it, Charlie. We can talk later. And don't call me Cassie; only my brothers call me that."

"Sure, Cassie. Love you, bye bye!"

"Love ya too."

I hang the phone up with a sigh. As much as I appreciate my friend, she's utterly exhausting.

"Castiel?" My mother says as she walks into my room. She knocks after she opens the door, which does about nothing. "Honey—" I've learned to get used to these new nicknames, nicknames that most children get called by their mother but I have not heard in years, "—can you run down to Mr. Tran's room and grab some papers for me? He'll know which ones."

I nod slightly. I don't look at my mother, just walk past her and down to the school hallway. I've learned not to look in her eyes. There's no empathy or care in there, never. It's been even worse recently, though. She tries to smile, but it never reaches her eyes. I'd say she looked pained, but she doesn't have emotions, not really.

The hall is almost empty, as it usually is, so I keep my head down. I have my earbuds in—yes, wired—blasting music at full volume. Eye of the Tiger. I can't get Dean out of my head, can't stop reliving his leg on mine, his voice echoing in the empty room.

The headphones are torn out of my ears and I'm knocked forward. There's a kid breathing fast, apologizing rapidly to me. I recognize the British accent. It's Balthazar.

"Sorry, mate," he rambles. "I, uh, they're—" he's out of breath, can't form a sentence. You can hear Survivor blasting from my earbuds, but you can also hear more pairs of feet running towards us.

"It's alright," I assure him, sitting up. Both of us are on the ground, Balthazar scrambling to grab my phone from where the slid across on the ground.

"I'mma fuckin' kill you!"

I turn around as Balthazar scrambles to his feet. "Come an' get me, then!"

There are four kids in the group: Raphael, Gordon, Zachariah, and Dick. I roll my eyes. "Zachariah, what are you doing?"

Zach groans. "Damnit, Cassie!"

"Fuck, Castiel, why you here?" Raph asks, putting his arm out to stop Gordon from running after Balthazar.

"Tell your brother to leave, Zach," Dick says.

"Yeah!" Gordon seconds. "I need to beat this little faggot up!"

I get to my feet, standing in front of Balthazar. He protests, but I don't let him leave. This kid is ready to fight, too, even if he knows he won't win from his strength. He plans to out run them, out smart them. I like it.

"Guys, just go," I say with a sigh. I know they could kill me, easily. I don't fight back, never have. But, as much as they may act like they hate my, my brothers are my brothers. They'd never let something happen to me, nothing dangerous. They may be complete and utter dicks, but they'd never intentionally harm me.

Zach shakes his head and sighs. "Let's go, guys. Fuck you, Cassie."

"Love you, too, Zachariah!"

The four boys shake their heads as they walk away, following Zach.

Balthazar is still breathing heavily behind me. I faintly hear my music change, going from Eye of the Tiger to To Build a Home by The Cinematic Orchestra. What can I say, I have a wide range of music taste.

"You didn't have to do that," Balthazar says. He's not looking at me and his face is scrunched in a scowl, but I can tell he's thankful for what I did.

I scoff. "'Course I did. They were bein' jerks."

"Aren't two of them your brothers?"

"Doesn't mean they can't be jerks."

Balthazar laughs. "I have a sibling or two of my own. Bloody bastards, they are."

"I didn't know you had siblings."

"They were born only eight years ago, after we moved outta England. No accent."

"How many siblings do you have?" I ask. It seems as if we've forgotten about my brothers, forgotten about them calling him a 'faggot.' That's why I haven't told my family I'm gay yet. Well, that and one other reason, but we don't talk about that. They've started to think Charlie is my girlfriend.

"Two," Balthazar answers. "Gadreel,—he goes by Ezekiel, though, his middle name,—and Efram. They're twins."

"Cool. Sometimes I wish I had a twin," I admit. "Being the youngest kinda sucks."

"Being the oldest isn't perfect either."

"Oh, I bet not. Maybe an only child would be nice."

We don't say anything for a moment or two. Balthazar stares at me, his eyes scanning up and down my body briefly and quickly.

"So," I begin, trying to break the silence, "why were they chasing you?"

Balthazar rolls his eyes. "They're idiots. Thought I was checking Zachariah out. As if. Not my type."

"Not your type as in...?"

"Too snobby. Those frosted tips? God, take those away from me."

"Oh! So are you...?"

"Yes, I'm gay. Obviously."

I nod my head and laugh. My suspicions have been confirmed. Charlie would love to hear about this. I'll tell her tomorrow.

"How 'bout you? You into girls or guys? Or both?"

I look at my feet. Balthazar's blue eyes are interrogating me, as if trying to find every secret I hide in my mind. "Guys," I answer quietly. But I don't give him a chance to reply. "I have to go, actually. My mom—"

"Oh, it's fine... Thank you, for earlier."

"No problem. I should get going." I turn around, walking quickly to Mr. Tran's classroom.

"Are you alright, Castiel?" He asks. He's recently cut his hair, I notice. It's no longer a big mop of tangle and dark hair on the top of his head, rather a clean, short cut.

"I—uh—papers?" I reply,

Mr. Tran chuckles lightly. "Of course, yeah. Your mom sent you?"


He hands me a stack of papers, and I walk back to my mom. But I can't stop thinking, debating in my mind.

Do I prefer those green eyes or the blue ones?

Chapter Text

Band starts today.

I think I'm nervous.

I sung. To a stranger. To Castiel. To the beautiful blue-eyed boy. And I hate myself for it, for being weak, vulnerable to a guy a don't even know.

But at the same time, I love it.

If coming to this school did anything, it made me more gay.

But. Band.

All my friends are laughing at me. "Good luck," Raphael says with a light laugh. "My bro's in that, and, whoo, it won't be fun."

I doubt that.

"Wait—Castiel is in band?" Alastair asks. It's a question for Raphael, but Al is looking at me.

"Yeah," Raphael answers. "Playing the piano or somethin'."

Gordon scoffs. "Stupid." He picks a French fry up from his plate and flicks it at Crowley.

"Arsehole!" Crowley yells, making half the cafeteria look at him. "You're gonna bloody pay for that."

Crowley stands on the table and laughs, charging at Gordon. I'm glad for the topic change. But Al is still looking at me. I don't meet his eyes. Whenever Raph brings up Cas it seems like Alastair goes crazy. Crazier, at least. No way that dude is sane.

My fork jabs at the chicken on my tray. I can feel Raphael watching me, too. He does that a lot. Raphael watches you, inspects you, figures out whether or not it benefits him to hang out with you. I think he's overall decided my presence is beneficial. The other kids are scared of me, for whatever reason. Maybe it's the intimidating steps towards them, or the fact that I am clearly stronger than most of them.

But that could go away from doing band.

I try to tell myself that this is why I'm nervous; band could ruin my reputation. But I'm lying to myself. I don't care about my reputation, not too much, anyway. I care about him, as much as I loathe to admit it. Because Dean Winchester cares about no one aside from his family. He'll hook up with guys and girls left and right, kiss anybody in a goddamn closet, but he doesn't care for people. He doesn't have feelings, because if he has good feelings he knows he'll soon experience bad ones. And he can't deal with that.

And now I'm talking about myself in the third person.

The bell rings and we're ushered back to class, the lunch proctors exhausted. They just wrestled Crowley and Gordon away from one another, and then wrestled them off the table. I barely register a fight across the cafeteria between some seniors—Dick Roman and Victor Henriksen. Both of them despise me and make it their life mission to ruin me.

I go through the rest of classes in an odd daze. I can't stop thinking about the color of the sky, color of the ocean. And the eyes that share the same color.

I'm fucking done for.

I'm last in the band room when I do enter it later. Castiel, Balthazar, Marv, Gabriel, and Dick are all in there.

"Why the fuck are you here?" Dick asks as I strut into the room. Dick is a few inches taller than me with short brown hair and brown eyes that threaten to destroy me.

I roll my eyes. "Nice to see you, too, Richard."

Castiel sighs. "Well, this should be fun." I smile at him. He gives me an exaggerated and forced smile. "Alright, everyone, attention!" He claps his hands. "Today is the first band meeting of the year, so can you please all say your name and what you'll be playing? I'll go first; my name is Castiel—"

There's a monotone greeting of "hi Castiel" that the other band members say in unison.

"—and I'll be playing piano. I'm also conductor."

I smirk. 'Course he's the one in charge.

"My name's Gabriel—"

"Hi, Gabriel."

"—and I'll be playing the symbols!" God, this shaggy haired kid is ridiculous. He smiles and I can see some chocolate trapped in his teeth. I'm briefly reminded of our... revealing encounter... but remove it from my mind.

"M-My name is Marv—"

"Hi, Marv."

"—and I'll be playing the triangle." Why the fuck do we need a triangle player?

"My name is Balthazar—"

"Hi, Balthazar."

"—and I'll be playing the flute, violin, and cello, depending on what is needed." God, that kid seems fucking obnoxious. He's new, I remember.

"My name's Dick—"

"Hi, Dick." I don't miss the snicker from Gabe as he repeats the name, and assuming from the daggers he's shooting at the kid, Dick didn't miss it, either.

"—and I'll be playing the guitar." The guitar? This dude knows how to play the guitar? As if.

I sigh. "My name's Dean—"

"Hi, Dean."

"—and I'll be playin' the drums."

"He'll also do vocals," Cas says.

I take a step away from Castiel and hold my hands up. "Woah, woah—I never agreed to that."

"Did you 'agree' to do band?" He does air quotes around agree.

I fold my arms over my chest and scoff.

"Then you'll be doing vocals."

I know I can't argue with the kid. As soon as his blue eyes meet my green ones, my arms fall and I can't even be upset.

Cas clears his throat as he addresses the group once again. "Our first order of business is to choose a song to learn for the annual concert."

"C-Concert?" Marv asks, panic written all over his face.

Cas nods. "Yes, we always do."

Marv shakes his head furiously. "I don't do concerts."

"I'm beginning to think you don't do any human interaction," I murmur under my breath. Outside of classes and apparently for band—one extra curricular is mandatory per person—Marv does nothing but sit on his bed and read. I don't think he even sleeps.

Castiel tries to glare at me, but I see the trace of a smile on his lips. "Well, I don't know what to tell you. We're doing it."

"How 'bout 'Heat of the Moment'?" Gabriel asks. "By Asia."

Not a horrible song. Definitely pumps you up in the morning.

"I swear," Gabe sighs almost dreamily, "I could listen to the song a hundred times and not be sick of it."

I roll my eyes. That has to be an exaggeration. I listen to the song once and Sam is sick of it, let alone twice. There's no way this kid could listen to Asia that much.

"I'll put it down," Cas tells him. He pulls out his phone and types something, I'm assuming the name to the song.

"What about 'Traveling Riverside Blues'?" I ask. "Or any Zeppelin song ever, really."

Castiel nods thoughtfully as he types into the phone. "Marv, Dick, Balthazar? You have any suggestions?"

"I don't listen to music," Marv tells us.

"I only listen to Adele," Balthazar admits with a shrug. "Maybe you could pull off that, Dean?"

I scowl, but Castiel jots it down. Balthazar smirks triumphantly at me.

"Or," Balthazar continues, "we could do the classic 'Serenade No. 13' by Mozart."

I roll my eyes. "No way in hell. I'd rather clean the bathrooms with Alastair."

Cas still writes it down. "Dick?"

Dick sticks his hands in his pockets and shrug.

I scoff. "C'mon, Dick! You've gotta have somethin'. You're the oldest here. Rise up, Dick!"

He rolls his eyes. "I don't know. Mozart, like Balthazar said."

"All of you have horrible music taste," I blurt out. "We gotta go with the good stuff—take note, Cas. We gotta do Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Survivor, Rolling Stones, AC/DC, fuckin' Queen. Hell, I'll even sing 'Imaginary Lover' by fuckin' Atlanta Rhythm Section! Or 'Carry on my Wayward Son' by Kansas. Black Sabbath, Motörhead, Metallica, Pink Floyd. Or-Or go with the current stuff—the good current stuff. Uh, Eminem—only on drugs, though. Logic—preferably his old stuff, too. Fuckin' Tee Grizzly even, shit like that. I don't know." I'd be fine with T. Swift, too, but I'd never admit that. 'Shake it Off' is a masterpiece.

Cas' fingers were typing at lightning speed as I ranted. His fingers move for a few more seconds before he lowers his phone, glancing across all of us.

"Who are those people?" Balthazar asks.

This is gonna be a long practice.

Chapter Text

"How'd band go?"

I groan as Crowley asks the question. He gives me a knowing look and hands me a cigarette and my lighter. He's snacking on a bag of chips and I take a handful for myself.

"Not good, I'm assuming?"

I roll my eyes.

Nick laughs. "You went to band?"

"I was forced to," I clarify. "I was dragged to band."

"You still playin' football?"


"Anybody else doing soccer?" Crowley asks.

Gabriel walks into the dorm, a lopsided smile on his face. "I'm doing soccer!"

Crowley groans and flicks a chip at Gabe. "Like Hell you are."

Marv pushes past Gabe on his way to his bed. He sits down and opens a book. That kid is odd.

"So, who else is in band?" Crowley asks.

I sigh. "Well, Gabriel, Marv, Cas, uh—"


"C-Castiel," I stutter out. Shit, that nickname won't work around the other guys. "Uh, Marv, Gabriel, Castiel, Balthazar—"

"That new British kid?"

"Yeah. Dick is in it, too."

Nick smiles and laughs. "Dick? Dick Roman?"

"Yeah," Gabriel pipes up. "He plays the guitar."

"Ha, what put that sucker in band?"

"He's been in band since last year," Gabe continues, and I find myself growing curious. "He's, like, an expert guitar player. He claims he uses it to get girls."

"You don't join band to get girls," I say. "Not a band like that, with shaggy haired idiots and curly haired dorks."

"C'mon, Dean-o! We've shared some good times, haven't we? We're pretty close."

I gag. "First of all, never call me that again. Second of all, we aren't 'close,' you're just a perv."

"Hey, you're the one that looked."

"I didn't look at a goddamn thing!"

"Sure, buddy. Keep tellin' yourself that."

"Dean, what is it that you did or did not look at?" Crowley asks with a smirk.

I pull my cigarette up to my lips, ignoring the question.

"C'mon, Winchester!" Nick agrees. "What happened between you and our dear, dear friend Gabriel?"

"Screw you guys," I say, turning away from them. I know Gabe won't say anything. Because if he does, 1) he'll have to admit to masturbating in our shared space, and, 2) I'll snap his tiny little legs.

"Oh, screw you, Dean!" Crowley yells back, laughing.

I toss my backpack up on my bunk and swing myself there, too. "I have homework to do," I tell them.

"Oh, shit, don't we have that-that art thing due?"

"Oh, the self-portrait. Yeah."

"Damnit, my mom will bloody kill me if I don't do that!"

I laugh. "We've had a week to do it."

Crowley and I continue to talk about the self-portrait as I absent-mindlessly finish my math homework.

This hasn't been horrible, going to this school. I loathe to admit that, but I haven't hated it. It's good to get away from my dad. Get away from my old life, old fears. It's a fresh start.

Band continues to be... difficult. Annoying. I've spent so much time simply explaining to them the power of Zeppelin that it's ridiculous.

I find myself in the band room quite often. I guess I'm always hoping Castiel will end up there, too. So many times we don't even talk, we just play our respective instruments. I taught Cas about Logic and Eminem and all of them. I even rapped for him, once. Once.

It's so odd. I'm in a state of... state of... happiness? I'm not sure. There's a warm feeling in my chest instead of my dick and I don't know what to do. Because I don't get crushes.

I'm actually sitting in the band room, fingers plucking guitar strings as I sing The Joker by Steve Miller Band quietly under my breath. My eyes fall shut quietly and the trace of a smile is on my lips.

"'Some people call me the space cowboy yeah,'" I sing.
"'Some call me the gangster of love
Some people call me Maurice
'Cause I speak of the pompitous of love.'"

The words roll off my tongue naturally, as they always do. I feel free from my worries, whatever they may be.

"''Cause I'm a picker
I'm a grinner
I'm a lover
And I'm a sinner
Playin' my music in the sun
I'm a joker
I'm a smoker
I'm a mid-night toker
I get my lovin' on the run
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh.'"

I finish the song and as I'm being pulled out of my trance I hear the sound of hands clapping and I laugh, shaking my head. "How long were ya there?" I ask.

"The whole time."

That is—

Not who I expected.

I had been sheepishly looking at my guitar, but my head shot up as soon as I hear Alistair's creepy voice. "Y-You're not Castiel."

"Quite the opposite," he responds, a devilish grin on his face as he slowly approaches.

I give a weak chuckle and hang my head again. Al is too creepy for his own good.

"What were you singin' there?"

I shrug. "Nothin'."

Al chuckles as his hand trails down my arm. His nails push into my skin, not enough to hurt, just enough to make my uncomfortable. And I am. He knows from my involuntary shudder.

"So, you play the guitar and sing? You're just the perfect little pretty boy."

I shake my head and look at the ratty shoes my companion is wearing. Old, torn, dirty and scuffed.

"What're you doin' here?" I grumble.

"Oh, just coming to see you."

"Really. What are you doing?"

Al laughs his creepy laugh, his thumb trailing along my chin, pulling my head up so I'm looking him right in his creepy eyes. "Drugs."

It's a simple statement but my heart thuds in excitement at the mention of it. "What're we talkin' 'bout here?"

I hear some feet scuffle to the band room door and Al's hand drops from my face. "You wanna snort some molly, Dean?" Raphael asks.

I don't want to say yes. At least I don't think I want to say yes. But I need this group of friends, group of people to hang out with. And when Crowley ushers me on with the wave of his hand and says "have some fun," I almost agree. But it's not until Gordon says, "'Course he doesn't, he's too much of a pussy" that I agree to go.

There's a group of trees out behind the school, and when you go deep enough, there's a perfect hang out spot. Alastair found it a week or two ago. There's an abandoned car, old rusted metal slide, a practically haunted animal springer, and one of those creaky merry go rounds.

Alastair was able to score some alcohol and ecstasy. First we pass the bottle around a few times until we feel a good buzz, and then Al begins to crush up the drug. "Who wants to go first?" he asks, a devious smile on his face. He looks at me, as if daring me to go first.

"Me," Raphael says before I can agree. You'd never guess who his mom was with the way he's acting, just assume he's at this school because he needs to be. The kid happily takes the smashes pill and puts it in a neat line at the bottom of the merry go round. He rolls up a piece of paper and snorts it, letting out a long 'woo!' as he aims his head towards the sky. "Who's next?"

With a reluctance yet leisure to me, I raise my hand. Alastair smiles as she hands me the pill which I crush on my own and arrange it the same way Raph did. I cover one nostril and put the rolled paper by the other and allow the drug into my already buzzed system. My eyes widen slightly and I wipe the remaining powder off my nose, a thing Raphael didn't do.

"My turn," Crowley says, and eventually we're all high on the drug and on alcohol and on life.

I feel absolutely clean inside, and there is nothing but pure euphoria. I have never felt so great, or believed this to be possible. Everything is brighter, happier, better.

I'm smiling and laughing and we're all just talking and drinking. We felt the great delight of loving the universe and being loved by the universe.

The world was swimming a little. All blurry as if tears had fallen into my eyes but in reality it was probably only the sweat that covered my forehead. I wanted water and my mouth was dry but I couldn't be bothered to get it.

I wanted to talk to Cas, Castiel, the boy that made me feel special, made me feel as if I belonged somewhere. And I wanted to tell my friends how I felt about him but my mouth was too dry to talk so I just didn't. I pushed him out of my mind and focused on the guys around me, most of whom I hated.

We were just five idiot teenage kids running around and screaming and laughing and drinking and I'm pretty sure Crowley even started crying. We did it like we didn't have group therapy tomorrow and one-on-one the day after, like we didn't have to leave our families to be trapped in rooms with more guys like us.

I did it like I wasn't gay.

Like I didn't miss my brother, like I didn't have an abusive father, like I didn't kiss Aaron Bass in the same closet I kissed Lisa Braeden in. Like I wasn't a musician at heart that loved to sing and play the drums and laugh and dance.

Like I didn't fucking like the principal's son.

Chapter Text

"How are ya doin' today, Dean?"

Missouri's hands sit intertwined in her lap, over the clipboard and purple pen she always carries. I keep my head down and look at the floor.

"Fine," I mumble.

Missouri leans forward. Her eyes run up and down my body, but it's in no way sexual or derogatory or even annoying. I can practically feel the care in her eyes. "You didn't tell me you had a brother."

My head snaps up instantly. "What's wrong? Is Sammy okay?"

Missouri shakes her head and chuckles. "He's fine, honey. He called the school. Said he was missin' you."

I smile a little. He should've called my phone like I told him to.

"He seems like a sweet kid."

"He is."

Now for the therapy stuff. "Do you miss him?"

I can't look into Missouri's eyes. They're filled with the care and love and sincerity that went away after Mom... and I want to tell her. I want to tell her that I miss my little brother with every inch of my body, that I'm desperately worried about him. When I look into Missouri's eyes I'm filled with the overwhelming need to be held, cared for, loved. And I know she'd give me what I need. "I guess," I answer.

"Tell me about your parents."

I try not to let my body stiffen, not to freak out at the mention, but I do. "My dad is... my dad. And my mom is, uh, dead."

"I'm sorry, sugar."

"It's fine."

"What was she like?"

My lip twitches, as if debating between smiling or frowning. I stare at my clasped hands and try to keep my face straight. "Fine."

"And your father."

My jaw clenches. "Fine."

"Honey, this won't work if you don't want it to."

"I don't want it to."

Missouri sighs. "Fine. I can't make you talk."

So we sat there in utter silence for the remaining ten minutes of the therapy session.

Back in the door, there's still the rotten stench of vomit everywhere. Gabriel put a clothespin over his nose to block the smell. "Hey, babe," he greets me with a smirk.

My fist clenches. "I swear to god, Gabe, you make that joke one more time and—"

"Hey, it was you that said you love me, not me."

"I also said you were nice, which clearly isn't true."


My hands massage my temples. I'm gonna kill this kid. Eventually I will. "I was fuckin' high, Gabe. So you better shut your mouth or—"

"I know, I know. You'll kill me."

After that ecstasy... life got a bit crazy. That's why there's the horrendous smell of mine and Crowley's insides running throughout the room, and that's why Gabriel thinks he can call me 'babe.'

I jump up on my bunk and slide in my headphones, allowing the sounds of Led Zeppelin and Motörhead to carry me away.

All of us are just chilling on our bunks at the end of the day, not a care in the world. Crowley's smoking weed and Nick and I have cigarettes pulled up to our mouths.

"I'm gonna go to the band room," I say. Castiel is normally there at this time, and I do hope to see him.

And he's there.

I hear him playing the piano, ever so quietly. I recognize it as the famous Für Elise by Beethoven.

I slowly walk in the room, careful not to make room much noise with the door. Castiel has his eyes closed, peaceful, happy. His hands glide across the keys in a way that I never thought possible. He looks up only briefly and I see a smile cross his face once he sees me. I take a seat beside him on the bench.

It's peaceful. The lights are off and the sound of the piano echos every so slightly in this room. And my leg is touching Cas' and I feel calm, at ease.

The song quickly finishes and then there's silence as I look into Cas' eyes. It's all the light I need in this dark room.

Suddenly, without warning, there's a loud jolt as the air conditioner turns on. Cas and I start laughing, and it doesn't matter that it really wasn't that funny, it matters that his laugh sounds like a million angels singing. It's goofy and open mouthed and his head is thrown back and I'm transfixed.

We both calm down and Castiel finally speaks. "How are you, Dean?"

My smile grows ever so slightly. "I'm good." And I really am this time. "You, uh, you're really good."

"I recall you telling me that before."

"Oh, yeah, but that piece in particular seems difficult and—I'm sorry, I'll just be quiet." I mentally curse myself for rambling and hope that the darkness cloaks my blushing.

Cas chuckles. "It's fine."

Another silence falls upon us, so I quickly try to come up with a conversation starter. "Your name—uh, what-what does it mean? God, sorry, that was fucking stupid."

"It's fine," Cas repeats. "Castiel is the angel of Thursday," he explains.

"That's nice."

"Yeah. Now is it my turn to ask you a question?"

"Fuck it," I say. "Let's do it. Like twenty questions, or something."

"How'd you learn to play drums?"

"My mom always encouraged me to get into music. I learned guitar, first, but then I tried the drums and just... it worked."

"Your mom sounds nice."

"Yeah. She was."


"Isn't it my turn to ask a question?" I shoot back, putting a smile on my face.

"Right, yeah."

"Umm... what do you call Naomi? Like, she's the principal, so during school do you call her Principal Novak, or mom, or—I don't know, whatever."

"I try not to talk to her, if I can help it."

I laugh. He does too. "Your turn."


And we do that. We go back and forth. I learn that Cas' favorite color is blue, his best friend is a 'funky lesbian named Charlie,' he wants to live in France when he's older, he's never had fast food but loves burgers, and he's a cat person.

It's late, I think. I'm not sure. But we've gotten to the point where we're tired and all of our questions are super personal and we're too tired to lie or not answer. "Earlier, you said 'was,'" Cas points out. "About your mom. What—what happened?"

"She died."

"I get that, but—sorry, this is too personal."

"No, it... I don't mind. There was a... a fire." I can still feel the flames tickling my skin, hear the horrendous scream that echoed through the house. "My dad—he handed me my brother and I ran out of the house. He... he tried to save her. And I—" I bite my lip.

"It's my fault," I mutter quietly.

"It couldn't've been," Cas tells me, putting a hand on mine. We're laying on our stomachs, the floor cold against us, facing one another. I can't look at him.

"It was my fault. I-I was the one that left... the stupid towel... I—" I take a deep breath. "The stove was on. I left a towel on the stove and eventually it... well, it lit on fire. It burned and the house was gone."

"Dean, I'm sorry."

I shake my head and remove Castiel's hand from mine. "It's fine. What about, uh... your dad. What's his deal?"

"He left," Cas quickly answers. Clearly a touchy subject.

"Do you mind—?"

"I was eight," Cas continues, eyes glazing over in a way I imagine mine did when discussing my mom. "He went off with his other family—one of them, anyway."

"One of them?"

"He was... well, he was a man-whore, I guess. Obviously you know Zachariah and Samandriel, but there are more. So many more. Half-brothers and -sisters. He just left."

I nod. That must be difficult.

"He was... bad. He wasn't good. He... he would..."

"It's alright, you don't need to—"

"I know. I know."

He doesn't continue speaking, so I sigh. "C'mon."

"Where are we going?"

I begin to stand up and grab his arm to bring him with me. "We're goin' to Biggerson's."

"We're not allowed to leave campus!"

"Says who?"

"Says the rules."

"C'mon. Have some fun."

Chapter Text

I'm sure Dean can see the debate going on in my head.

This kid... Dean... god, he's great. But he's here for a reason. He does bad things, makes bad decisions. Goes where he shouldn't.

"You comin' or what?"

I chew on the inside of my cheek for a few seconds. "Alright," I agree. "Let's just go before I regret this."

Dean smirks as he licks his lips, and I'd be lying if I said it was the first time I'd looked at his lips tonight.

He's still holding my arm as we make our way to the parking lot. "Have you done this before?" I ask as I notice how particular he is with every step.

Dean shrugs, a lopsided and cocky grin on his face. "Maybe once or twice."

I shake my head and laugh. But the security here is very bad, very small. I'm not sure if he we even have security.

"Choose a car," Dean says once we're in the parking lot.

He's going to hijack a car?

Of course he is, Castiel!

I point to my mother's car. "That one."

"Good choice."

God, this is fucking ridiculous, isn't it? Dean is stealing my mother's car. I told him to steal my mother's car. The worst thing I had ever done in my life was lie about studying. But stealing? No. Never. This kid is pure trouble.

And I love it.

His trouble is enticing. He's a mystery, one that I plan on solving. He does bad things, yeah,—he smokes, drinks, fights, talks back to adults, and apparently steals cars,—but he's so nice. He's kind and sweet and funny and has the best smile you'll ever see and eyes greener than the forest.

"Hop in," he calls. He opens my door as I do a little jog to make it over. "On to Biggerson's!"

I can't help but laugh. My heart is beating in my ears, ready to explode out of my chest. But I'm smiling and laughing and it's perfect.

"You ever done somethin' like this before?" Dean asks, pulling me back to him.

"No," I admit. "Never."

"Figured you hadn't."

We don't talk much the rest of the drive, but it's not uncomfortable. I'm just looking at his sharp jawline and green eyes. Every once in a while I look in one of the car mirrors at the same time he does and our eyes meet and it feels as if there's nothing else in the world, only the deep forests of eyes ahead of me.

"Thank god they're open so late," Dean mutters as we pull up into the parking lot. "Almost midnight."

I know that I'm about to get in a lot of trouble, but I don't care. I'll have a million calls from my mom and Charlie waiting for me but I don't care. I'm with Dean and I'm not tired and I'm having fun.

Dean orders us both double bacon cheese burgers and then looks at me. "So," He begins, never finishing his thought.


"What's your deal?"

"What d'you mean?" I ask.

"You've got this goody-two-shoes act goin'. Is it 'cause you're principal's son? Or are ya really just that way?"

I shrug. "Not sure. I've never been anything but the principal's son." The expectations for me have always been high. I'm supposed to get the best grades, be the nicest kid. Go to an Ivy League college and do every extra curricular. "I've lost track of myself."

Dean nods thoughtfully.

"How 'bout you?" I ask, and our burgers arrive. Dean immediately digs in. "Why are you doing this bad boy act?"

Dean rolls his eyes. "There's no act."

I take a bite of the burger. "Holy shit this is good," I whisper.

Dean chuckles. "Yeah."

"Alright, if it's not an act, what is it? Why do you do it?"

Dean ponders the question for a few moments. "I don't like to think of myself as a 'bad boy.' I—I'm just a misguided kid."

"I get that. But why?"

Dean sighs. "Trauma? I dunno. I didn't have a mother growing up, my father was gone most of the time. I-I had to provide for me little brother since I was young. I dunno."

And I understand that. I think the trauma of my past might have something to do with my 'goody two-shoes' thing. I need for everyone to accept me, to like me. Because I've been hurt too many times and I have the proof.

We finish the burgers and talk, the conversation turning friendly and light hearted. Finally I suggest we drive back to the school. Dean groans and I have to convince him, but he finally agrees.

We're now standing in the empty and dark hallway. He has his hands in his pockets, rocking back and fort on his heels. "Well," he says sheepishly, bringing one hand to rub at the back of his neck, "I should prolly get back to my room."

I nod and smile. "Yeah. Me too."

Neither of us move. Dean looks me in the eyes and I feel frozen. My breath is hitched and I can't move. I like him more than I should and I can't deny it. I like Dean, I like him a lot. He compels me. His gorgeous looks, witty and sarcastic attitude. His jokes, his vulnerability.

"Well, bye, I guess," he says.

"Yeah. Good night."

"Night, Cas." Dean turns on his heel to leave, but quickly meets my eyes again. "Tonight was nice."

I hope the darkness hides my blush. "Yeah, it was."

And then Dean is walking to his room.

I don't go to my room. I can't. My mom will just about kill me.

I go to the band room instead. I've done this before. Plenty of times. Mostly when I was younger, but even now.

I gingerly sit down on the piano bench and allow my fingers to trail along the old wood. It brings me joy, brings a smile to my face. Reminds me of the times when I was younger, happier. Life was so much easier.

I want to spend tonight in those happy thoughts. The happy thoughts of my early childhood, the thoughts of the time Dean and I just shared. But now all I can think of is my dad.

I don't want to. He was horrible, made my life hell. And before I know it memories with him are all I know and red swims in my tears eyes.

I'm in a fetal position on the bench. The bench where Dean and I sat talking and sharing secrets. The same bench where Dad—


I wipe the tears from my eyes and take deep breaths. It's my mom.

"Castiel?" She finally looks in the band room and let's put a sigh of relief. "Thank god you're okay."

The fake smile goes back on my face and I nod. My mom pulls me into an uncomfortable hug, the type she's given me since she's decided to be an actual mother. "I'm fine."

"Where were you? I was worried." She wasn't.

"I guess I just lost track of time."

"Well... come up to your room, please."

I nod and begin to walk with her, her cold and clammy hand gripping my arm in a way that is in no way soft and concerned. But I stop. "Mom, can I... can I ask you something?"

"Anything, honey." The name still makes me shiver. Honey. I've gotten used to not having a mother, I don't think I know how to function with one.

"Why have you never looked for me before?"

"What do you mean?"

"There were so many times that I've slept down here but you've never looked for me. Why are you caring all of a sudden?"

"I've always cared."

Thinking of Dad reminded me of Mom, of all the things she never did. Every reason I've ever been mad at her, all the times she's hurt me more than helped. "But you haven't!" I'm blind by that rage, the rage that makes your heart pound in your ears and red cover your vision. "You don't care! So what's happening, why do you suddenly—"

"I will not take your disrespect!" She rarely raises her voice. I stop talking. "Go to your room and stay there. I'm done."

I don't apologize.

Chapter Text

I think that's what heaven is like.

That time with Castiel felt so free, so relieving. I never wanted to leave him, never wanted the time to end.

"Where were you last night, Winchester?" Lucifer asks. "You find some hot girl to fuck or somethin'?"

I scoff and shake my head. "None of your business, Nicolas."

Crowley laughs. "Oh, Dean's got a girlfriend!" Nick chants, and Gabriel joins. Marv looks at us all from behind his book, his wide eyes twitching.

"You're children," I say. "All of you, children."

"Why thank you," Gabe replies, a smug smile on his face.

"Not a compliment."

The two resume their chanting, but Crowley stops them. "No, no, Dean doesn't have a girlfriend."

"Thank you—"

"He has a boyfriend."

"Ha! Dean's got a boyfriend!" Gabe yells, and from my spot perched high in my bunk I kick his forehead. "Ow!"

"That's what you fuckin' get."

"Jeez, I'm sorry!"

Crowley's stomach audibly rumbles. "I'm bloody hungry," he mumbles. "We got any crisps left?"

"No," Nick answers. "Out of beer, too. Got one can of root beer left, though. And we ran out of that ramen shit a few days ago."



"Well, I gotta eat. Anybody wanna get some breakfast with me? Lucifer? Winchester?"

"Oh, I'll go!" Gabriel says cheerily.

"Um. Winchester? Lucifer?"

I let out a dry laugh. "Sure. Why not."

Nick agrees too.

"'Ey, Metatron, weirdo—yeah, you—you want some food?" Marv shakes his head and looks at his book again. "Odd kid."

The four of us make our way to the cafeteria, and Gabriel just about skips alongside us. People give him odd glances, yes, because how in the world did he convince three badass guys to let him hang out with him. He says one more word, though, and I'm decking him. The kid is on my nerves.

Breakfast is some soggy and clearly pre-packaged pancakes, along with an orange, a box of apple juice, and a milk carton. I only drink the apple juice.

"God," Crowley groans after taking a bite, "I forgot how bloody horrible this school's food was."

I roll my eyes and take the juice from his tray. "Tell me about it."

"I actually like the food," Gabriel says, his mouth full of said food. He grabs Crowley's tray, which pisses him off far more than when I grabbed his juice. "To be fair, though, I pretty much love all food, I guess. I'm always hungry. See, I have a fast metabolism, so—"

Gabe stops talking as soon as Alastair takes a seat at the table. His eyes widen and he grown stiff and still, like a deer in headlights. A really annoying deer in really creepy headlights.

"What's the kid doin' here?" Al asks, looking at me for the answer.

"He followed us," Crowley says, answering for me. Nick has already made his way to his main group of friends, and Raphael and Gordon are sitting with us, too. Gabriel looks just about petrified.

Raphael smirks. "Well this is great, boys!" The others look at him in confusion. Raph pats Gabriel's shoulder, shocking him even more. "And what's your name, little fella?"


"Well there, Gabriel," he speaks to him as if he were a young child, "my name is Raphael. That there is Alastair, this is Gordon—I assume you know Crowley and Dean. Now what do you like to do for fun, Gabriel?" The others start snickering.

"I-I-I like pranks, I-I guess."

"Wowie, you seem like a trouble maker, Gabriel," Gordon continues. "Don't get in too much trouble, all right, young man?"

Gabriel's eyes move frantically between all of us, face showing more and more panic, but yet he still seems happy to be sitting with us.

"Can you answer Gordon, Gabriel?" Alastair asks, leaning his body forward so it's closer to him. "It's rude to not answer someone."

"I—I won't."

And, god, I swear this is like the start of some fucking porno. I wouldn't be surprised if Gabe had some weird humiliation kink or daddy kink something, wouldn't be surprised if this whole thing was turning him on. Ugh, that's a horrible thought.

"Leave the poor lad alone," Crowley tells them, laughing.

Raphael groans. "C'mon, Crowley, we were jus' gettin' to know the kid, no harm in that, right?"

Crowley shakes his head. "You three are ridiculous," I say, putting on that smile that says 'I'm enjoying this, too' even if I'm not.

Gabriel let's out a weak and petrified laugh. "W-What are you guys talking about?" he asks. Jeez, is the kid just so fucking dumb that he doesn't know when he's getting made fun of, or is he really getting off on this?

"Nothin' you need to worry about," Al snaps back. "Now go scurry off to your group of nerds." Gabriel doesn't move, so Al takes an intimidating step towards him, sending him running.

"Way to get rid of all the fun, Crowley," Gordon grumbles.

"It was getting old pretty fast," I defend Crowley. Of all these guys, he was the one I was closest to, the one that I might actually consider a friend.

I look over to where Gabriel is, now. It's with Balthazar and Castiel. I catch Cas' eye and his face goes pink. He smiles at me and gives a shy little wave. I smile back. Even from across the cafeteria I can appreciate the blue in his eyes. But it's not just that he looks good, no, because as he showed me last night—he's kind and funny and smart and caring and open. He's a great person, better than most of the people I know, at least.

A hand is snapping in my face, pulling me back to my friends. "Hm?" I ask, trying to make sure my friends don't realize who I was staring at.

But Alastair looks where I was and scowls, contorting his face and making it even uglier than normal.

I shake my head and brush it off.