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You're So Bad

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For most teenagers, the first day of school is something to dread. The end of summer and freedom, and the beginning of cold weather and homework. Not for Castiel Novak. The first day of school is his saving grace. He gets to see his best friend, Charlie. He gets to drown himself in homework and extracurriculars. He gets to avoid his sister and his home. He gets to breathe.

Charlie leans a shoulder against the closed locker beside Castiel’s and hands him a plastic bag full of new notebooks, pens, highlighters, and other supplies.

“Thanks,” Castiel says with a smile, stuffing it into his locker before anyone can see. “How much was it?”

“Don’t worry about it,” she tells him as he reaches for his wallet.

With anyone else, he would insist. Not with Charlie. He just takes out a notebook and a pen and grins at her. “One more year Char. Then it’s graduation and we’re out of this place.”

“Thank god.” She loops an arm with his and starts to guide him to their first class together. This year, they managed to get all but one of their classes like this. The only class they don’t share is Castiel’s last period - Charlie is in theatre that hour but Castiel is far too shy for that, so he signed up for an art class.

Neither of them say anything about how long it’s been since they’ve seen each other. They don’t need to. Ever since his parents died, and his sister Anna took control of his life, they’ve never seen much of each other during breaks. It was only when they ran into each other at gas stations or grocery stores, or when Anna would take a rare vacation and Castiel could sneak away, that they saw each other outside of the school year. Suffice to say, they’ve gotten very good at picking up where things left off. By the end of the day, they will have each other caught up and ready for the new year.

Charlie spent the summer in love with a girl from down the street who was visiting over the summer with her father. She’s originally from North Carolina, and Charlie laughed when Castiel asked if they would keep the relationship going. To Castiel, the idea of loving someone is so foreign and beautiful that he can’t imagine laughing it off when the summer is over. Charlie’s in love all the time, though. She’s just so energetic and blunt and funny, that you can’t help but love her back. That’s not what Castiel is like at all.

Like now, sitting in his last class of the day. Charlie would be at one of the square tables at the front, chatting loudly and laughing while painting something colorful. Not Castiel. He’s tucked away in the back corner at the table that’s otherwise empty, hunched over his sketchbook and drawing in black and white.

The room is full of students loudly talking and messing around, since the art teacher gave the class the hour to explore the room and try out different mediums freely. Everything goes silent when the door of the art room opens and closes. Castiel glances up, wondering why so many people would care when someone walks in a few minutes late. Students do it all the time. It isn’t until he sees who the culprit is that he understands.

Dean Winchester, Lawrence High School’s resident bad boy. He strolls through the classroom like he coudn’t care less that everyone is staring at him, not even giving the teacher an excuse for his tardiness. Castiel’s heart stutters when Dean chooses to sit at his table. The boy doesn’t even notice him. He just slumps down on the high top stool, his faded leather jacket crinkling as he slips it off and throws it on the empty area of table to his side. He has no backpack. No pencil. He smells like cigarettes and, Castiel just noticed, has one ear bud in his ear with the other hanging off so he can listen to music and hear his surroundings at the same time. The song is loud enough for Castiel to hear the steady beat of what must be some sort of rock music, but he can’t hear any of the lyrics.

The art teacher, who tells them all to just call her Missouri, comes up to the table with a knowing smile. Castiel tucks his chin in and goes back to his drawing.

“Dean, it’s a free day,” Missouri informs the late boy.

“When isn’t it, Miss?” he asks - not Miss as in a respectful name for a lady, but Miss as in Mizz. A nickname. Castiel wonders if, for once, Dean Winchester actually has a teacher he likes. He didn’t know Dean had it in him to like authority figures.

She hits him in the back of the head before gesturing to the room. “Get to work.”

He grunts but when Castiel glances over at him, he sees that Dean is smiling. It’s a gorgeous smile. Bright and sexy with just a hint of something more. Like a secret. Or a dirty promise. Add in the arms covered in gorgeous tattoos and his woodsy scent mixed faintly with cigarettes, and Castiel is practically drooling.

“Watchya lookin’ at blue eyes?”

“Huh?” Castiel nearly jumps out of his skin, quickly looking away to hide the rapid heat filling his cheeks. “Sorry. Nothing.”

“No reason to apologize for enjoying the view.”

Castiel would crawl into a deep, dark hole right now if he could. He puts one hand on his head and angles his body away from Dean, leaning on an elbow so it feels like they’re separated more than they really are. A low chuckle lets him know that Dean is on to him. Then the sound of a stool scraping across the floor comes and Castiel feels the heavy presence of Dean standing behind him. He goes completely still as he listens to the boy rifle through the cabinet. His grip is so tight on the pencil he’s holding that he’s surprised it doesn’t snap.

This is going to be a long school year.

Chapter Text

“-with huge tits and let me tell ya fellas, she was willing to do anything I asked. Fucking desperate for it.” Dean starts paying attention to his best friend, Benny, about halfway through his story. He doesn't know who this girl is he’s talking about but he’s not surprised. Benny’s a total chick magnet, just like Dean and their other best friend Ash. They all are in their own ways. Dean has the mysterious bad boy with the killer smile thing going, Benny has the buff athlete with a heart of gold that’s not so gold thing going, and Ash has the sexy redneck with a no-shits-given attitude thing going.

“Dean would know, he’s been with her,” Benny says, probably finishing another part of the story that Dean had once again zoned out for.

“Who?”

“Dude. Were you not listening?”

Dean takes a pull from his cigarette and flicks the ashes onto the pavement. “Fuck, man, I zoned out for a second. Sue me. What chick?”

“Lisa.”

“Ahhhhh, Lisa.” Dean wiggles his eyebrows and grins at his best friends. “Lisa’s always willing to do anything. Don’t feel special.”

When Benny shoves him off the hood of the impala, Dean just rolls his eyes and laughs. The anger is fake. It’s not like any girl, no matter how fun in bed, would be worth getting between them. They’re a tight unit. No secrets. No rules. No bullshit. They're family.

“What about you, Winchester?” Ash asks. “Any hotties since the last time we saw ya?”

Dean scoffs. “We saw each other yesterday.”

“So? I had plenty of time to bone Lisa.”

“Fair enough.” He sucks in another breath from his cigarette and thinks about it for a minute. It’s actually been a dry few weeks for him. He’s been working doubles at his uncle's auto shop to be able to afford school supplies for Sam, plus new clothes since the kid just won’t stop growing. Plus groceries and rent. Any free time has been spent with the guys, Sam, or catching up on some much needed sleep. No time for sex. In fact, he couldn’t even get himself to think about it lately.

Not until today, anyway. The Novak kid has only been in one of his classes before, back when they were Freshman, and Dean rarely showed up to that class anyway. Otherwise Dean has been hanging out in the low level classes while Novak took the most advanced ones. Their paths don’t cross socially, and the only school events Dean goes to is the basketball games to watch Benny. He’s never seen Novak at one of them.

Today, in art class, was the first time he had seen the boy up close. Not just a blur of messy hair and baggy sweaters, always looking down at the ground as he walks, but a gorgeous boy with so many details Dean just wants to make him stay still so he can take his time to draw and memorize him.

He’s new for Dean. A challenge. He’s fucked around with smart guys or girls before, but they were always either socially connected, at a party, or coming onto him. None of them ever blush like Novak did. None of them ever look like they’d rather be anywhere else. It’s intriguing. It’ll be fun.

“No sex, but I found a prospect.”

“Prospect?” Ash asks, scandalized. “As in you’re going to pursue them?”

Benny looks at Ash, eyebrows pulled together. “Has Dean Winchester ever done that?”

“No, sir, I don’t believe Mr. Winchester has.”

“Well, I’ll be damned then. Mr. Winchester, please tell us more about this person who has finally caught your attention.” Benny holds out a pretend microphone to Dean, face split into a grin.

Ash sticks a second imaginary microphone in his direction. “Yes, Mr. Winchester, do tell.”

“Well, he’s -”

“Ooooh, ladies and gentleman, you heard it here first. Dean’s back on a boy spree.”

This makes both Dean and Ash laugh. Dean finishes his cigarette and tosses it down, putting it out with his boot. Then he shoos away the microphones and looks at his friends seriously. “I make him nervous. It’s fun.”

“You make tons of people nervous when you flirt with them.”

“Or just by looking at them. Did you hear the latest rumor?” Ash asks with a grin. When Dean shakes his head, his friend laughs and says, “New rumor is you're in a secret gang and you've murdered people before.”

Dean rolls his eyes. “Those people are idiots
And this is different. This isn’t like melt into a puddle and do anything I ask him to kind of nervous. It’s more of a super flustered and want to die on the spot nervous.”

“Maybe he’s not gay.”

Dean barks a laugh, remembering how the blue eyed boy stared at him. Watched him. Leaned closer to him, probably without knowing he was doing it, as the class period went on. “Oh, trust me. He’s gay.”

“Sounds like energy, man.” Ash turns his nose up at the thought, which sounds about right considering the fact that he has slacking off down to a perfect science.

“I’ve missed the chase. Worth the energy if I have myself some fun, right?” Dean explains. “Besides, it’s something to do during the day. It’s not like I won’t be fucking other people during it.”

Both of his friends nod, agreeing with him that this is a valid point. Then Benny asks, “So, what’s his name?”

“No idea.” Dean slides off the hood. “That’s part of the game though, isn’t it boys?”

With a wink, he gets into the driver’s side of the car and turns it on. His friends are laughing as they back away for him to leave. At first, Dean is laughing too, but as the drive goes on and his mind drifts, the smile turns into a deep frown.

Novak is inherently good. Easy life. Rich, if Dean remembers correctly. Perfect grades. Gorgeous looks. Blushed cheeks. Nervous fidgets. Novak is pure. He has a future, other than staying in this deadbeat town to work as a mechanic while raising a little brother he can’t afford.

Novak is bright. Who the hell is he to come waltzing in to ruin that?

Then Dean shakes his head and laughs at himself. Who the hell is he to care? Novak’s a big boy. He can handle himself.

Chapter Text

“Castiel, get the hell down here!” Castiel’s hand pauses mid-sentence at the shrill sound of his sister’s voice, poking a hole in the paper from how hard he presses down. He leaves the poem and pencil behind, rushing to get downstairs. Anna sounds angry. He shouldn't make it worse by taking too long.

A tall man, at least six feet, stands behind her with a look of indifference on his face. Castiel focuses his attention on his sister. Some of the men she’s brought home would have hit him just now for even looking at them. He won’t press his luck by paying the man any more attention.

Castiel stands still as he looks directly at Anna. His hand clings to the railing of the staircase as he stands a few stairs above the landing to look down at his sister. He wouldn’t dare speak first so he waits for her to look him up and down and smirk. “How was your first day at school?”

“Good.”

“Lots of homework?”

“Just a poem for one of my literature classes.”

“Oh, perfect.” Anna grabs him by the collar of his shirt and yanks him so hard that he stumbles down the final three stairs, his ankle catching. He quickly straightens himself and picks up his pace as she brings him into the kitchen. “You can do extra chores then.”

Castiel bites the tip of his tongue. He already did his usual chores. He’s swept, mopped, vacuumed. Dusted and windexed. Bleached and scrubbed. Washed dishes and laundry. He’s not sure what’s left to do but he wouldn’t dare ask. Anna would take it as a challenge to create something far worse than what she has in mind now.

“We’re going out for the night. When I get back, I want this place spotless.”

That’s it? Panic rises in Castiel’s chest as he realizes she’s not going to be more specific with his chores. In his opinion, the place is spotless. He spent the first three hours after school making sure. Knowing Anna, though, she has one particular smudge or piece of lint that she found. It’ll be his job to find it, and any others she could discover, and eradicate it.

Anna and the man leave without even looking back at him, just expecting him to listen. And why wouldn’t they? Anna knows that Castiel will spend his time turning himself inside out to do as asked, and since she tends to make fun of him in front of her dates, the guy probably knows too.

By the time he’s finished, his fingers are irritated and raw from the chemicals and his knees are bruising from crawling around on the floor. He knows he probably didn’t get it. There were only a few stray hairs or pieces of lint or dirt spots that he found in the entire house and it makes him nervous. But he’s exhausted. It’s almost midnight and he hasn’t even finished his poem due tomorrow. If he doesn’t make it a good one, his teacher will suspect something is up. Castiel had the man last year and he knows what Castiel is capable of.

He drags himself upstairs and takes the quickest shower possible, making sure to wipe down all surfaces and hide the towel and dirty clothes until he has time to do laundry. Then he carefully cradles his pencil, forcing himself to ignore the pain in his hand as he tries to make a decent poem.

----

Castiel is like a zombie throughout the day of school. An injured one, considering his ankle is swollen and sore. He tries to avoid Charlie as much as possible, telling her that he didn’t get much sleep. She knows that’s usually code for something happened with Anna, but she respects his desire not to talk about it. She just does her usual mindless chatter, giving him friendly smiles when he accidently zones out and apologizes to her for it.

Finally, just before seventh period, Charlie pulls him away from the other students and asks, “What happened last night? Did you have an attack?”

Unable to speak, Castiel just shakes his head. His attacks have been getting worse over the years. In middle school, his parents got him diagnosed with an anxiety disorder as well as depression. When they died, Anna took away his medications and assured him that he’ll have to just put on his big boy pants and figure something out. She refuses to waste the money on him.

After years of this, he’s gotten rather good at handling things. At least as good as can be expected. In fact, he’s reached the point where he only has one or two attacks a week. As long as he keeps up with his school work so it doesn’t overwhelm him and manages to avoid Anna as much as possible, his anxiety is usually pretty moderate. Perhaps more on the high side of the moderate section, but still not bad considering he used to have multiple attacks a day.

“What happened, Cas? Did she hurt you?”

“No.” It’s not a lie. She didn't hit him or anything. His ankle hurts, but that was his fault for not walking fast enough. His hands hurt, but that's because he couldn't clean the house good enough the first time. When Anna came home, it was just a lot of yelling and cruel laughter and the scary man hovering in the doorway looking as if he might step in any second. And not to protect Castiel, either.

“Promise?”

Castiel sighs, grabbing his sketchbook and charcoal pencils. “Promise. She got pissed about me not cleaning well enough but surprisingly nothing physical. Just a lot of reminders that I’m a worthless piece of shit.”

“Cas-”

“Don’t waste your breath. I know it’s not true.” He closes his locker and gives his friend a forced smile. “I’ll see ya after this class. Meet here?”

She nods, looking a little relieved at the reminder that they’ll both be staying after school today for the first meeting of the school newspaper staff. Castiel hurries to his final class since it’s at the other end of the school. The last thing he needs today is to be late and have everyone’s attention on him.

Oh, no. That reminds him of Dean Winchester. In all the craziness, he had forgotten about the boy. He closes his eyes and silently hopes that Dean will sit somewhere else today. Somewhere far away.

 

-----

Dean takes the seat at Novak’s otherwise empty table again, fighting back a grin when the boy immediately blushes. If just his presence has this effect on him, then what will happen when Dean starts flirting? He can’t wait to find out.

“Hey there, blue eyes.”

The boy stiffens. “Hello.”

“How are you?”

Novak tilts his head in confusion. “I’m good. How are you?”

“I’m good.” Dean leans on his elbows and gets closer to Novak, dropping his voice to a husky whisper. “Better now.”

“Why-” Novak’s eyes flutter shut and he clears his throat. “Why is that?”

“Because of you, blue eyes. Spent all day thinking about you.”

Something shifts in Novak and he starts shaking his pencil in his hand, tapping the end against the table repeatedly. Dean waits for a response and frowns when he doesn’t get one. Missouri starts talking to the class about their first assignment. He zones her out, because he never does her assignments. Dean comes to art twice a day, third and seventh periods were where it fit in his schedule this semester. Both periods she just lets him do his own thing. He proved himself long ago so he has free range. She even buys him supplies they don’t have if he has a certain thing in mind.

Right now, all he has in mind is this Novak kid. He wonders if he was wrong. Maybe he’s not gay after all.

The room fills with noise and movement as students go to gather supplies for whatever project Missouri just told them they’d be doing. Dean wonders what it will be. This morning they started working on clay sculptures. He got a kick out of watching the other students struggle and make messes while he drew in his sketchbook.

Novak returns with multiple bottles of paint in his hands, a brush, and a pallet. Then he leaves again, coming back with a white canvas about the size of an average game board. When he sees Dean looking at his supplies, he fidgets. “I don’t care if you’re feeling lazy, by the way. I’m not sharing.”

Oh, so Novak has a little feistiness in him? Dean can work with that. “Who said anything about sharing? You got those for me right?”

“No. I did not.” Novak sits down on his stool and concentrates on pouring the paints onto the pallet. Then he stares down at the canvas with a brush in his hand. Perhaps staring isn’t the right word. More like glaring. Dean finds the concentrated expression adorable.

This time, Novak catches Dean looking at him. He gives him a pointed look and asks, “What?”

“Just appreciating my view. You know something about that, remember blue eyes?”

“You should probably get started or you might get in trouble.”

Dean winks at him. “What’s life without a little trouble?”

With a sarcastic laugh, Novak goes back to his project. Dean watches him fiddle with his brush and his flirty persona slips for a moment. The skin of his fingers are bright red and irritated, almost like he has extremely dry skin. Dean knows they weren’t like that yesterday. He studied the boy’s details far too much not to have noticed.

“What happened to your hands?”

Novak’s entire body locks up and his eyes slam shut. “Nothing.”

“They look hurt.”

“They’re fine.”

“They don’t look-”

“They’re fine. Now, please, let me be so I can do my project.”

Dean watches him, trying to figure out what to say or do. The boy hasn’t relaxed at all, and he shows no signs of starting his project. He doesn’t even have paint on his brush yet.

“Ya know,” Dean drawls, “you could start with a pencil. Sketch out an idea. Less permanent.”

Novak looks at him like he’s a complete idiot. “The assignment specifically says to paint what you feel. No planning. No fixing things. Just paint.”

“Ahhhh.” Dean smiles fondly at the assignment. He loves doing that. Just picking up a brush or a pencil and beginning, letting the art decide what it wants to be. He’s getting a strong feeling this is not how Novak functions. Too straight laced. Too organized. “Just paint what you feel, then. The project is supposed to be full of mistakes. Supposed to be messy. Just let the brush do the work.”

“You make it sound so easy,” he whispers.

“Just gotta let go.”

“Yeah, well. We can’t all be like you, Dean Winchester.”

“Just paint what you feel.”

Novak’s bottom lip begins to tremble. He clamps down on it and quickly looks away, but Dean saw.

“What if I don’t want to think about what I feel?” Novak whispers.

Dean rubs his jaw as he thinks. Does he want to flirt or does he want to actually talk? Because no one talks like this to him. No one. Not even the guys. Sure, he can talk to them about the serious stuff, but it’s different. This is nice. This is real. No sarcasm or rush to get past the bad part so he can crack a joke and lighten the mood right away. But is Novak really the person Dean wants to be vulnerable with?

Missouri approaches the table, saving Dean from his existential crisis. “How’s it going boys?”

“Great,” Novak chimes, a happy smile transforming his face. If Dean hadn’t just seen him, he’d never suspect that the boy is sad. Or that he’s struggling with the project. Novak is a very good actor. He makes note of that.

“If you’re stuck like everyone else is, just focus on one emotion instead of trying to embody all of it. Just one thing. Much easier to visualize.”

Novak nods, his breathing noticeably slowing. Dean wonders if it’s because the project was made easier or because he was assured that everyone else is struggling too.

Missouri turns to Dean and glances down at his blank page of his sketchbook, lips pursing. It’s not that she thinks he’s slacking. She never questions Dean’s effort when it comes to his art. But she always worries if he’s blocked, because she knows that’s when he’s having a hard time in his life. When he’s bogged down with too much.

He gives her an easy smile and picks up his pencil. “I’m fine. Got distracted.”

Her lips relax into a smile of her own and she nods, then moves on to the next table. When he looks over at Novak, Dean finds him staring again. This time he doesn’t get flustered or look away. He just meets Dean’s eyes and asks, “Are you not doing the project?”

“Nah.” He shrugs. “Though it does look interesting. I might mess around with it later.”

“What if she fails you?”

Dean laughs, slipping back into his friendly and flirty demeanor. Letting a hint of mystery come to play. A hint of bad boy. “Don’t worry your little head, blue eyes. I can handle Missouri.”

“She’s a teacher. You can’t just go around school handling teachers.”

“Then you’ve been doing it wrong.”

“I most certainly have not.”

Dean smirks at Novak, loving the slight blush climbing further up the boy’s face the longer Dean stares at him. When Novak gives in and looks away, he chuckles and stands up. Dean slips his jacket on and grabs his pack of cigarettes from his back pocket. Taking one out, he puts it between his lips and digs for his lighter. He leaves his sketchbook where it is, knowing he’ll be back for it, and begins walking to the opposite corner of the backside of the room.

There’s a backdoor in the supply closet that not a lot of the students know about. He slips out of it, putting a wooden block in the gap to keep it from closing on him, and lights his cigarette. The moment he's free of an audience, his smile slips into a frown.

Not only did he not find out Novak’s name yet, but he’s in fact adding things to his confusion. What’s wrong with his hands? Why did he react the way he did when Dean asked? Why doesn’t he want to feel? What is he feeling that hurts him? That makes him look so afraid?

The biggest question of all is one that’s giving Dean a headache. Why the fuck does Dean care?

Chapter Text

Dean Winchester tries flirting with him again on Wednesday and Thursday. He’s too stressed out to deal with it and ends up snapping, telling him to shut up so he can concentrate. He wouldn’t be so upset if it wasn’t for the fact that Dean asked such personal questions Tuesday. Flirting is one thing, especially from a boy with Dean’s reputation, but pretending to care? Oh please. Castiel is definitely not falling for that bull shit.

Friday, he isn’t even in class. Castiel is relieved. The asshole is getting on his nerves. He hasn’t even started his project yet. All he does is sketch in his sketchbook - not often, by the way - listens to music, and smokes his cigarettes out back. It’s annoying. No one knows much about Dean Winchester’s life, but Castiel knows one thing; the boy is downright lucky. He seems to just float through life. No consequences. No issues. No one rejects him. No one tells him no. No one looks at him in a way other than complete worship. Except for the teachers, of course, but even most of them give him free passes and don’t bother him unless he’s being obnoxiously disruptive in class. It’s ridiculous.

Castiel is still spinning about Dean when he gets home from school Friday night. He’s angry about that, as well as his stupid project that he’s barely started, along with Charlie’s plans to go to the football game tonight and how much fun she’s going to have with everyone. Dean will probably even be there. Acting all free. Flirting. Smoking. Wearing that damn leather jacket that makes him nearly irresistible.

His first mistake is entering the house without paying attention. When he takes his shoes off, they’re an inch too far to the right, the side of one resting off the edge of the doormat. He makes it to the first step of the stairs before he’s pulled back by his backpack and immediately let go, so that he falls on the floor and hits his head off it. He immediately scrambles to his feet and apologizes to Anna. She takes his ear and drags him by it until he’s at the front door. When she points at the shoes, he deflates. How could he be so reckless? He never gets his shoes wrong.

“I’m having friends over tonight. You will make this place spotless. Then you will go in your room and be quiet for the rest of the night. I don’t care if you’re hungry or thirsty or need to take a piss. I don’t care if you’re dying. You will not leave that room once I put you in there, understood?”

“Yes.”

“And if I catch any mistakes, I’m going to let my friends come bother you. Remind you that your little bubble you like to pretend is safe is nothing but another room that I own. Another room where I decide what happens inside of it.”

He wasn’t asked a question, so he keeps his face straight and his mouth shut. His hands shake so hard he has to hide them behind his back. Last time she let her friends teach him a lesson, he got a dislocated shoulder and a minor concussion. The time before that? Castiel has to fight back a shiver as the memory floods his mind. It was the one and only time Anna let things go too far. The one and only time that he had screamed for help. That he had fought. Anna had come in and stopped things from happening. It felt good to know that there was at least some sort of line where his sister still considered him a human being. She never apologized. Never acknowledged it. Never asked if he was okay. But that man never came in the house again. And no one has ever touched him sexually since. It’s all he could ask for.

Still, he’s sure as hell going to make sure he doesn’t get any visits tonight. As she gets ready in her room for hours on end, he cleans the place as hard as he did Monday night when he got in trouble. Then he sneaks some food, just a bite here and there from different things so none of it is noticeable, and hurries upstairs with his backpack. He thinks about locking the door but decides against it. He’ll do that once guests arrive. For now, Anna might want to come give him another order, and she’ll be furious if she catches it locked.

The night goes surprisingly smooth. No one bothers him and he gets ahead on the homework in all of his classes. He even gets the chance to stalk Dean on social media. Or, at least, try to. He’s not on anything. You can find pictures of him on his friend’s pages though. Castiel searches out as many as he can.

A picture of him this past summer, wearing a backwards ball cap and no shirt with shorts hanging so low on his hips you can see his tan line clearly. His tattoos travel up his arms and across one of his pecs. He’s holding a bottle of beer and grinning at whoever is holding the camera. They’re at a beach. Sand and water and a bonfire in the background.

A picture of him lounging on a boat, once again shirtless and wearing a backwards cap. He has a fishing pole in his hand but from the lazy smile and the relaxed posture, it seems he isn’t trying very hard to catch any fish. His best friend Benny is in the background with one hand doing the rock sign and the other holding a beer. They look mid laugh and Castiel wishes he could have been there. Wishes he knew what they were laughing at.

A picture of him with three girls, arms wrapped around one on each side and another squatting down in front of him. They’re all smiling at the camera but Dean’s smile is different. It’s cocky. Like a cat who just caught the mice, getting ready to eat them. It makes Castiel uncomfortably hard and he gets an idea. A terribly terrible idea. An idea he shouldn't follow through with, because he has to face Dean Winchester again on Monday.

The next three pictures of him makes it clear that Castiel doesn’t have a choice in the matter. It’s of Dean at what looks to be a rave. Ash and Benny are tagged in the large group of pictures, though they’re not in the three with Dean. The first with Dean is him in a hot pink shirt that the black lights make glow. His face is streaked with pink, green, and orange paint. Two neon blue glow sticks hang from his neck. It’s him all alone, holding a white cup that’s glowing almost purple under the lights. He’s not looking at the camera, though. He’s looking past the camera and his chin is tilted up, like whatever grabbed his attention is above him. Probably the stage. Castiel hopes the stage, because he’d be jealous if Dean was looking at another person like that. He’s never seen the boy look so heated. That’s not his flirting or his angry or even his friendly face. That’s pure passion.

The second of the three pictures, Dean isn’t alone. He’s standing with a boy in a white shirt whose face and arms are covered in all the colors of the rainbow. His neck is adorned with three glow necklaces; pink, green, and blue. His wrists are full of more in the same colors. His back is to Dean’s front, and Dean’s arms are around the boy’s stomach possessively. Now, Dean isn’t looking at (what Castiel hopes was) the stage. His chin is hovering above the boy’s shoulder, since he’s much taller than him, and his lips are set right beside the ear. Whatever it is he’s saying or singing is making the boy in his arms look like a deer in headlights, a nervous but flirty smile pulling at his lips. Dean’s eyes are downcast, showing nothing but his eyelashes against the colorful paint of his cheeks.

The third picture is what does Castiel in. Dean has that same boy pinned against the nearest wall, one of the boy’s legs hitched up around his waist as he grinds their crotches together. One of his large hands holds both of the boys’ above his head, the other one cradling the guy’s face and seeming to lift it up so they’re kissing at the angle Dean must want it to be. The picture screams confidence. Dominance. Sex. Castiel actually finds himself moaning. The boy has hair the same color as Castiel's, though much shorter, and he has the same build and skin tone. He could easily fantasize that it’s him Dean is pinning to that wall.

He rolls back on his bed and starts to touch himself, the picture still open on his laptop. He takes out the bottle of lube and dildo that he keeps stashed away wrapped in a plastic bag and hidden in the small crack between his mattress and the wall. As he starts to play with himself, he stares at the picture and imagines. The music, probably so loud that you can feel it in your bones. It probably vibrates your body. Castiel’s never been lucky enough to go to a concert but he’s heard from Charlie that’s how they feel. Like the music is throbbing in your veins. He can imagine how intense that feeling would be topped with Dean’s hands on his body. His weight pinning him. His breath on his face. His lips on his lips. He probably tastes like beer or whiskey. Definitely like cigarettes. He probably kisses like a fucking dream. Probably knows exactly how to touch a boy.

Wrapping a wet hand around his cock, Castiel lets his eyes drift shut and imagines what would happen next. Dean is reckless but Castiel isn’t. He’d make him bring him somewhere more private. Oh! Like the back of his car. Damn, that’s a gorgeous car. Castiel imagines Dean laying him in the back seat, slowly stripping him. Pinning his arms up. With his free hand, he caresses his skin, taking his time like Dean probably would as he learns the new body beneath him.

He’s so pent up and horny, both from the long week and from thinking of Dean specifically while doing this, that he doesn’t even make it to putting the dildo in himself. He comes all over himself without anything in his hole. As the euphoria starts to fade he squeezes his eyes shut and lets the self hatred in. Dean Winchester would do nothing but hurt him. And god knows that Castiel has had enough hurt already.

 

-----

 

The loud music at the party thrums in Dean’s body as he sips his beer and leans back against the wall. Benny is off god knows where, fucking god knows who, and Ash is standing beside him bobbing his head to the beat. He must be really drunk because it takes a lot of alcohol for Ash to approve of techno music. He’d much rather some country or rock. So would Dean, but this music is great to dance to. Or even to watch other people dance to.

“You still hung up on that mystery guy or you hunting tonight?” Ash asks over the music.

Dean shrugs. “Not hung up on anyone. But not sure if I have the energy to hunt.”

Just as he says this, a boy walks up to him. He recognizes him. He’s an underclassman - a sophomore, he thinks. A jock. Dean’s noticed him a few times, only because the boy very blatantly looks at Dean whenever he can. He’s cute. He’s not Novak, but Dean reminds himself not to care about that. Novak is a side game. Fun. Nothing else.

Ash laughs under his breath and leans in so his friend can hear him whisper, “Guess you won’t need to hunt after all. The prey’s comin’ to you tonight.”

Dean winks at him and turns to the boy. He makes him make the first move though, just taking a sip of his beer and looking at him like he’s bored. The boy fidgets for a second before finding some inner confidence and grinning at Dean.

“Up for some fun tonight?” the boy asks.

“Always up for fun.”

“With me?”

“Maybe.” Dean arches an eyebrow, fighting back a smirk. He already likes this boy. Forward with what he wants. That’s always a good thing. Those are the hookups that never get clingy or misunderstand.

The boy presses his front against Dean’s and looks up at him through his lashes. “I guarantee you would enjoy yourself.”

“Maybe I can be persuaded.”

Without any further instruction, the boy leans up on his tiptoes to reach Dean’s neck and latches his mouth to it. As he sucks and licks what will most likely be hickies along Dean’s skin, his hands go below Dean’s shirt and start mapping out his abdominal muscles. Dean groans when the boy sucks on a particularly sensitive spot and he can feel the smile against his skin as the boy’s confidence grows. A few fingers slip below the waistband of his jeans and boxers, skimming his pubic hair. The opposite hand pushes on his hard cock through the denim barrier, rubbing and squeezing it. Dean bucks forward and releases a breathy laugh. “You win. Come with me.”

He takes the boy’s hand and leads him through the house. It’s Benny’s, so he knows the place well. He searches out his friend, making eye contact with him from across the room. Dean notches his head in the boy’s direction and gives Benny a wavering thumbs up/thumbs down. Benny winks and gives him a thumbs up, letting him know Dean is free to use his bedroom.

The boy hurries behind him as he drags him up the stairs and down the hall to Benny’s room. “He locks the doors,” he warns, out of breath.

Dean chuckles under his breath and looks at the boy. “He’s my best friend. I have a key.”

Proving himself, he pulls out the key Benny gave him at the beginning of the night along with Ash. He slips it into the knob and unlocks it, pushing the door open and looking back at the boy. “You first.”

“Okay.”

Dean chuckles again. The boy sounds much more nervous now that they’re alone. As the boy quickly starts stripping, Dean closes the door and locks it again. He leans back against the wall with one foot against it so his knee is bent outward and watches the boy’s frantic movements.

“Slow down there.”

The boy’s hands stop in the middle of taking off his boxers and he looks up at Dean in fear. It almost makes Dean feel bad for him. Almost. “How much have you had to drink?”

“What?”

“How much have you had to drink?” Dean starts unbuttoning his flannel shirt as the boy stares at him. “Come on, answer.”

“Is this is a test? Do you want me to be drunk or-”

Dean laughs. “How much have you had to drink, kid?”

If it bothers him for being called a kid, it doesn’t show. “Just a beer. I got here a half hour ago.”

“Damn. Look at you go, already getting laid so early.”

The boy’s cheeks turn bright red and Dean’s chest aches. It’s not as nice on him. Novak wears a blush much better. Stop thinking of Novak and go stick your dick in this kid, idiot.

“Is that bad? Did you want me to be drunk.” The boy seems to waver, like he’s about to go to the door even though he’s in nothing but his boxers. “I can go drink more.”

“Definitely not.” Dean laughs, shrugging off his flannel and removing the shirt beneath. The boy’s eyes latch onto his body, darting around in all directions like he’s desperately trying to memorize it. He better. Dean doesn’t do seconds. This will be the only chance this kid gets. “I don’t have drunk sex.”

“Seriously?” The boy finally looks him in the eyes. “But, you’re so-”

“So what?”

“Well, you’re so bad.”

Dean tilts his head back and laughs. “There’s a difference between being a sarcastic shit that doesn’t like to listen to people, and being a rapist. Get over here.”

The boy listens and rushes over to him. Dean opens his belt and unzips his jeans, pushing down the denim and boxers just enough for him to pull his cock out. Then he looks directly at the boy and orders, “Suck it.”

The boy immediately sinks to his knees and wraps his mouth around Dean’s cock. Dean lets his head fall forward, hanging as he watches. The boy is surprisingly good. Not talented by any means, but he’s definitely done this before.

“You ever get fucked in the ass?” The boy starts to pull off him to answer but Dean grabs his hair and yanks him back down, making it difficult for him to breathe let alone talk. “No need to use words. Just nod or shake your head. Have you ever been fucked in the ass?”

He shakes his head, eyes trained on Dean’s as he continues to lick and suck. Dean pets his hair and smiles down at him. He’s disappointed, but he’ll survive. “Alright. You suck me off then and I’ll finish you.”

“But-”

“Nope.” Dean grabs his hair and pushes him back down again, shaking his head. “I don’t take virginities either. Too messy.”

The boy’s shoulders sag but then he begins sucking with more enthusiasm than before, probably realizing he should take what he can get from this experience. Dean closes his eyes and lets himself bask in the warmth of the boy’s mouth. His mind drifts to the same place it’s been drifting all week. Novak. He wonders what he would look like with those soft pink lips of his wrapped around Dean’s cock. Dean wonders if he would moan and get wild with need when Dean pulled his hair or if he would whimper and retreat. He’s never rough with a boy that doesn’t like it, he enjoys sex no matter what, but if Novak was hot for dominance? Fuck, that’d be something. He could see himself pinning the boy down and fucking into him. Making him beg and moan and -

“Fuck,” the breath is punched from Dean when he speaks the word. Then he’s coming down the boy’s throat. He opens his eyes and has to school his expression not to show that he’s disappointed to find this boy instead of Novak kneeling before him. He drags him up to his feet and leads him to the bed. Dean Winchester doesn’t get on his knees for anyone.

Dean lays him back on the mattress and crawls on top of him, tugging his boxers down and gripping his cock hard. The boy squirms and moans, eyes rolling back. This will be quick. Thank god. Dean needs a fucking drink so he can get his head on straight with this whole Novak situation. It’s ridiculous.

The boy comes just a minute after Dean’s mouth is around his cock. Dean pulls back, not swallowing. He’ll do that sometimes, it’s not one of his rules, but he’s not in the mood right now.

The two of them quietly get dressed and head to the door. The boy stops just before opening it and looks back at Dean. “Thanks for that.”

“My pleasure.”

He leaves and Dean falls back, closing the door and locking it again. He collapses back on the bed and pulls his phone out. He doesn’t have any social media but he knows Benny and Ash’s passwords. Benny is friends with pretty much everyone, so he logs into his and begins his search. It doesn’t take long. There’s a few Novak’s with profiles but only one with a picture that matches.

“Castiel,” he whispers out loud, testing the name on his tongue. Then he grins and begins to creep. Castiel isn’t very social, it seems - something Dean figured since he never sees him. Most of his pictures are either of places, or of him and his red headed best friend that Dean knows is Charlie. Charlie is social. In fact, Charlie is here somewhere. He has a feeling the girl is very protective, though, so he wouldn’t dare go sniffing around asking her questions about Castiel.

There’s one picture though that Dean decides he likes an awful lot. Someone took it, standing back a little and above to get the angle. Castiel is leaning his back against a tree, his legs crossed in the grass as he sits. A worn book is in his hands but Dean can’t make out what it is. He likes how Castiel holds it, though. Like it’s valuable. He likes how Castiel smiles up at the camera, too. It’s not forced or polite like his smiles are when Dean sees him at school. It’s easy. Truly happy. The sunlight is reflected in his blue eyes, making them look ten shades lighter than usual. His hair is messy, a lock up in the air showing that the wind must be blowing. A knitted maroon scarf is around his neck above a light gray cardigan.

Dean saves the picture to his phone. The action is so unlike him that he freezes after, letting the phone fall to his chest as he stares up at the ceiling. He just saved a picture of a boy. A non-sexual picture of a fully clothed boy. With a book. A fucking book. Maybe he needs to stop this Novak quest. It’s obviously fucking with his head.

Chapter Text

Castiel rolls out of his bed Monday morning, bruised and aching from the beating he took the previous night. The blood from the gash on his forehead is congealed now. He wipes it off and is pleased to see that it’s not a gash, but more like a nick. Easily covered by his curls as long as he doesn’t forget he can’t push them off his forehead today. His bruises can all be covered, too. It’s a warm day but not hot, so he can get away with a sweater. The shadow on his jaw is a bit of a giveaway, but if he remembers to angle himself properly and rest his head on his hand using that direct spot, no one should notice. Besides Charlie, of course. Charlie always notices.

 

Once he’s dressed, he puts his backpack on and heads downstairs. He’s exhausted. Not just from the terrible beating he suffered from Anna’s new boyfriend last night, but the attack he had after. It had been longer than they usually are and it didn’t wear off until early this morning, still making his body tremble and weak. At the beginning of the attack, as he was left lying on the kitchen floor bleeding while Anna and her boyfriend left the house talking about him like he was nothing more than vermin, he sobbed so hard he threw up. Thankfully he made it to the bathroom, and thankfully his attack slowed enough for him to thoroughly clorox the entire bathroom before Anna returned, so she would never know. Then he spent the night alternating between crying into his pillow, growing so angry he needed to dig his fingernails into his own skin, and going numb where he felt nothing mentally and focused on the violent shaking of his body. Suffice to say, he’s exhausted.

 

Another attack begins as he goes down the stairs. He can hear both Anna and the boyfriend’s voices. He’s starving, especially since he threw up his dinner last night, but he’s hoping to get out of the house without seeing them. He can wait until after school to eat. It’s not like he’s never been hungry before. There’s worse things.

 

Just as he’s putting his feet in his shoes, a hand clamps down on the back of his neck. The attack that had been gently buzzing beneath his skin begins to throb. When it reaches his heart, his eyes burn and his chest caves in. It’s difficult to remember that he can breathe. Logically, he knows he can, but right now it feels like he’s suffocating. He forces himself not to gasp for air. It will just make things worse.

 

“Where the hell do you think you’re going?”

 

“To school,” he whispers, his voice already defeated.

 

“We had breakfast.” He locks his jaw. It wasn’t a question, so he doesn’t get to talk, but it’s rubbing his face in his hunger. Anna knows it too. He can hear the smirk in her voice without needing to look. “Go wash our dishes. I don’t want to come home from work to a damn mess.”

 

Castiel takes his shoes back off and hurries to the kitchen. His legs are wobbly and his knees weak but he can’t hear them following, which is a relief. It gives him a moment to suck in a deep breath. The air clears his mind but it’s only a few seconds before he starts to suffocate again. He takes in the plates and bowls and pans and cups and silverware. This was all clean before bed last night. They must have used extra for everything so he had more to clean.

 

A tear slips down his cheek but he smacks it away and turns the hot water on. Another hand comes down on the back of his neck but this one is larger and strong. He shivers as Anna’s new man presses his front into Castiel’s ass and grinds. Castiel gasps and looks up. Through the window above the sink, he can see that Anna’s pulling out of the driveway.

 

“Suck my cock and I’ll do these for you.”

 

Castiel’s body begins to give out but the guy just wraps an arm around his waist to keep him on his feet, a large hand pressing into his stomach to keep him in place. It wasn’t a question. The man had said it like an order. And he felt this man hit him last night. His punches and his kicks hurt. And he doesn’t show mercy like some do when Castiel’s crying begins. Instead, it seems to encourage him.

 

His brain tries to figure out the right move here. It’s not a good deal. If he actually had a choice, he’d obviously pick the dishes. The issue is, he’s not sure if he has a choice. Will the man beat him if he turns him down? Will he tell Anna? Will Anna be mad at the man, or mad at Castiel? Would the guy lie and spin a story for Anna, not mentioning this at all? This man could do anything and Anna would believe him over Castiel.

 

A whimper escapes his throat and he wishes wholeheartedly that he could suck it back in and swallow it down because the sound makes the man chuckle. “Mmm, turned on little one?”

 

Little one?   Oh, ew.

 

Castiel squeezes his eyes shut, not caring that it pushes his tears out. “I should get the dishes done or I’ll be late.”

 

“Or you could suck my cock.”

 

Castiel’s throat closes and he feels dizzy and weak. He feels like he might die. He feels like he wants to die, in fact. “Please. I don’t want trouble.”

 

“You won’t get any if you’re smart.” The man turns Castiel around to face him, then reaches over and shuts the faucet off. His large hands cup Castiel’s face and the way he looks at him is almost loving. It makes Castiel’s stomach curl. “I didn’t like hurting you last night. We could work something out. I’ll get Anna off your back. And when I do need to put you in line, it won’t be so bad. You can make it up to me in other ways.”

 

He opens his mouth but another whimper comes out so he slams it shut. His nostrils flare and his chin trembles and he has to bite down on his bottom lip to keep it from wobbling. The man reaches up and tugs his lip free, then sticks his thumb in Castiel’s mouth. “Suck.”

 

Not even caring anymore, he lets another whimper free and does as told. He can feel his face growing hot. Castiel realizes he doesn’t even know this man’s name. He’s about to be sexually assaulted and he doesn’t even know his name.

 

“That’s it. Good boy,” the guy whispers, using his free hand to undo his belt and zipper. Castiel sobs and the man just hushes him. When the crying gets worse and his body starts heaving, the guy growls and tells him to shut the fuck up. When Castiel gags for the first time, his entire body lunging forward with the heave, the man finally backs away. He uses the hand still holding Castiel to shove him to the ground and his heavy boot kicks him twice in the ribs. “Next time, you better fucking have your shit together you little bitch. Or you can throw up on my cock and choke on it. See if I fucking care.”

 

The guy storms out and slams the door shut. Castiel clings to the cool tile floor and finally releases his sobs and screams into the empty house, feeling the sound vibrate within the emptiness inside him too. He half crawls, half stumbles his way to the bathroom and throws up in the toilet. He empties the little bit of water and food left in his stomach before dry heaving. When it’s finally over, he curls up into a ball and lets his attack runs its course. There’s no point trying to shove it down or hurrying it along. He just waits it out. Then he gets to his feet on shaking legs and turns the water back on, scrubbing the dishes and drying them. Putting them away. Cleaning the bathroom. Cleaning the floor that he fell on. Making sure the mat below the sink is straight. Grabbing his backpack and putting his shoes on. Walking to school, numb and empty.




------

 

 

From the moment Dean sits down, he knows today isn’t a day to mess with Castiel. He shows up late as usual and is about to roll off a flirty hello as he shrugs out of his jacket when he gets a good look at the boy. His face is bruised and his forehead has a cut on it. He’s curled in on himself like his stomach hurts and he’s gently shaking. The blue of his eyes is dull and empty as he just stares at the canvas in front of him. Dean looks down and feels his knees start to give out. The entire thing is covered in black, the paint still wet as it glistens beneath the light above their table.

 

Carefully, Dean reaches over and takes the brush from Castiel’s hand. If the boy notices, he doesn’t say anything. He doesn’t even blink. He just keeps staring down at the black void on his canvas. Dean watches him for another moment before standing up and walking to Missouri. With one look, she knows there’s a problem and follows him to a deserted corner by her desk.

 

“What are you guys working on today?”

 

“The feelings project.”

 

“Everyone is?”

 

She tilts her head at him in confusion. “Yes. A lot of them have done multiple ones and they’re very cool to see side by side.”

 

Usually he’d chime in on the idea, maybe add some insight or tell her he bets that is really cool. Maybe do one of his own. Instead he just grunts low in his throat and looks back at Castiel. The boy is still staring. Still curled in on himself.

 

Missouri follows his line of sight and sighs. “Is he your friend?”

 

“No. I don’t know him at all, really.”

 

“Oh.” She gives him a sad smile, looking disappointed. “He looks like he could use a friend today.”

 

“If he does, it’s not me. I drive him insane.”

 

This makes her laugh. “Well, that’s true about everyone honey. You’re talented at being a pain in the ass.”

 

Dean can barely produce a smile for her.

 

Then he’s returning to the table with a new purpose. He sits down on the stool and leans close to Castiel. “Hey, you okay?”

 

Nothing.

 

“Cas?”

 

Nothing.

 

“Is this,” he stops, clearing his throat. “Is this how you’re feeling today?”

 

A whimper. It’s faint and nearly undetectable, but Dean hears it. He acts as if Castiel had spoken. “Yeah, that’s not a good way to feel. Do you maybe want to put it away for a while? Not think about it?”

 

Castiel blinks hard, then looks at the canvas like it’s the first time. He doesn’t look at Dean but he nods to give him permission. Dean slides the canvas away from him and pushes it to the far end of the table. Then he takes the brush, black paint bottle, and the pallet, and moves them to the same spot. When the area is free of any reminders of feelings, Dean tries again.

 

“Are you okay?”

 

“I-” Castiel pauses. Then it’s like he slips on a mask, miraculously morphing into a new person. He sits up straight and gives Dean a bright smile. But his blue eyes are still dull and distant. “I’m fine.”

 

“I don’t believe you.”

 

“Mmm.”

 

“Listen, I know we aren’t friends, but if you ever need-”

 

“No.” Castiel lifts his hand and his already shaky smile slips. “Please. No.”

 

“Okay.”

 

Castiel sighs in relief when he gives in that easily but still glances over at him in surprise, waiting for it to be a trick. Dean doesn’t explain himself but he won’t push Castiel if he doesn’t want to be pushed. Dean’s been here. Showing up hurt to school. Or hungry. Or afraid. Or down right exhausted. Dean has felt black inside. Hell, Dean spends most days black inside. Usually there’s neon splatter paint that’s added throughout the day - like his friends, or alcohol, or Sammy, or sex - but the background is almost always black.

 

Pulling out his sketchbook and flipping to a new page, Dean takes a charcoal pencil out of his flannel shirt pocket and starts to let his hand do the work while his mind drifts. When he glances up he sees that Castiel is wavering on his stool, looking ready to pass out. He drops the pencil and reaches out, putting a hand on his shoulder to steady him. The broken whimper as Castiel flinches away from the touch kills Dean. Even worse, though, is the look Castiel gives him right when he notices how he just reacted. It’s full of embarrassment and shame and sadness. “Sorry. Scared me.”

 

“Totally get it. I hate when people sneak up on me.” Castiel nods, thankful once again that Dean is letting it go. “You look tired. And your project is done. Why don’t you rest for the hour?”

 

The boy looks at him like he’s crazy. “I can’t do that. This is a class.”

 

“Trust me. Mizz won’t say anything.”

 

“How do you know?”

 

“I’ve been taking classes with her since Freshman year. I know.”

 

Castiel gnaws on his bottom lip and looks around the room. Then he very carefully places his arms on the table and crosses them. After a full minute, he lowers his head to rest it on top of the makeshift pillow. At this angle, his blue eyes naturally fall on Dean’s sketchbook and his hands. Dean tries not to get nervous - because Dean Winchester doesn’t get fucking nervous - and starts to draw again.

 

He makes a rough outline of a four poster bed and sets a person sitting on it, their back to the artist as they stare out their bedroom window. For a while, he just works on that base image. Tracing and retracing it. His mind wanders as he keeps glancing at Castiel. The boy is nodding off but trying desperately not to. He keeps jumping awake and blinking hard, looking at Dean like he just got caught doing something bad. It nearly kills him. Castiel needs to fucking rest.

 

“Cas,” Dean whispers.

 

Those blue eyes blink and then focus on him. “Yeah?”

 

“Sleep.”

 

“I-” Castiel squeezes his eyes shut, releasing a shaky breath. “I’m trying.”

 

“Just close your eyes.”

 

“It’s not that simple.”

 

“Why?”

 

Castiel looks away, dismissing him. Dean decides to just watch him. He goes back to idly sketching, realizing that he’s adding a large demon-like figure looming over the person on the bed. Letting the sketch take over his hand, he focuses more on Castiel, making sure to flick his eyes over at him often. Over time, he starts to figure out what’s happening. Whenever Castiel begins to let his guard down and fall asleep, his entire body starts shaking and heaving until he has to snap his eyes open to make it stop.

 

He doesn’t feel safe to fall asleep. His body won’t let him.

 

“Hey,” Dean whispers, resting his chin on the table so their eyes are on the same level. “I’m not going anywhere. Not even a smoke break. So you can sleep.”

 

“That doesn’t change anything.”

 

“Why not?” When Castiel doesn’t answer, Dean inches closer. “I'm not going anywhere.”

 

“What does that even mean?” Castiel snaps, lifting his head and glaring at him.

 

Dean lifts his head too but stays close so he doesn’t have to speak above a whisper. “It means you’re safe. Right now, in this moment, you’re safe. So close your eyes and fucking sleep. I’m not going anywhere.”

 

His bottom lip trembles and he looks in the opposite direction of Dean. After a few deep breaths, he tells the wall, “It doesn’t matter anyway. The bell will ring in ten minutes.”

 

“Ten minutes is ten minutes.”

 

“I’ll just wake up more tired than I already am.”

 

“Cas-”

 

Castiel whips his head around to look at him, making Dean stop short. “Please. I don’t know what your game is, but I don’t want to play it.”

 

“I’m not playing a game.” He expects it to feel like he’s telling a lie but it doesn’t. In fact, it feels oddly liberating. Like an admission.

 

“Just leave me alone. Please.”

 

“Cas-”

 

Castiel stands up and leaves the table, hurrying out of the room without even saying anything to Missouri. That’s very unlike Castiel as far as Dean has learned. Not just leaving class early and without permission, but without even giving an excuse to the teacher. Dean leaves too, not caring about his stuff left at the table. He can come back for it.

 

There’s two directions Castiel could have gone. As Dean’s deciding, he hears a girl’s voice pitch upwards in worry from his right. He looks around the corner and sees Charlie standing there with a backpack at her feet, looking at Castiel with wide eyes. Dean holds back and watches, even though he knows it’s wrong.

 

“You have to tell me,” Charlie says firmly.

 

“I told you.”

 

“You didn’t tell me all of it.” Charlie closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. “Did Anna’s- I mean, did he- god, just tell me what happened.”

 

“I- I,” Castiel steps back and starts shaking his head violently. “I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.”

 

“You can.” Dean wants to step forward and tell Charlie to leave him the fuck alone. Castiel obviously can’t tell her. He can't talk about it. But just as he puts a foot out, Charlie speaks again. “You can, Cas. You can breathe. Just breathe. You can. You can breathe.”

 

“I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.”

 

“You can.” She wraps Castiel up in her arms and holds him tight. Her eyes meet Dean’s over Castiel’s shoulder and he sees her eyes narrow at him, as if he’s the one who did this. Shit, is he? Did he just make everything worse for Castiel today? He stumbles backwards and goes straight to the art room. The game is over. Dean needs to leave Castiel Novak the hell alone.

Chapter Text

Dean doesn’t show up to art for the rest of the week. It’s hard for Castiel not to blame himself but he manages. It’s not like someone as insignificant as him could bother Dean Winchester enough to do anything. He’s probably just found someone to hook up with or something.

Unfortunately, Anna’s man does show up. Every. Single. Night. At least Castiel knows his name now. Michael. Every time he hears it, he cringes. The guy hasn’t made a move on him again but that doesn’t change a thing. Castiel still feels on edge as he moves around the house. He locks his door. He can’t sleep. He can’t eat. He can’t breathe. He has at least two attacks a day.

On Friday, Charlie brings up an idea at lunch.

“So, are you and Dean Winchester like friends or something?”

“What? No.”

“Oh.”

Castiel stares down at his bag of chips he got from the vending machine. “Why would you think that?”

“No reason.” She casually slides him a string cheese without looking away from his eyes. “He’s a dealer, you know.”

“What?”

“A dealer. He deals drugs.” She nudges the string cheese closer.

“How in the world do you know this?”

Charlie laughs. “Everyone knows that. He’s Dean. He’s a charmer. The guy can probably stroll into a pharmacy and put in a takeout order like it’s fucking McDonalds. And he probably has dudes that cook meth and shit on speed dial.”

“Yeah, probably.” Castiel laughs quietly and picks up the string cheese, slowly opening it as he thinks. “Why are you telling me this?”

“Well, you could maybe ask for something. I mean, for your attacks.”

“No way! I am not telling Dean fucking Winchester about my fucked up home life and my stupid panic attacks.”

His best friend sighs. “You don’t have to. People get high for all sorts of reasons.”

“No offense, but I don’t think snorting some cocaine is really going to help my situation.”

Charlie laughs. “Obviously. But he sells pills, too. People get high off of Xanax, which I googled, and that’s something that would really help you.”

He doesn’t think it would work. Dean gets interested in Castiel. Too interested. Castiel has a feeling that he would ask questions. That he’d make it a big deal, like he did on Monday when he wanted Castiel to sleep.

“It’s worth thinking about,” she says finally.

When Charlie nudges her apple towards him, he rolls his eyes. “I’m not a starving animal.”

“No offense, my friend, but you kind of are.”

“Yeah. I guess.” Castiel sighs dramatically and takes a huge bite out of the apple. As he chews, he starts to consider what she’s saying. Maybe it would be worth it. If he had to choose between embarrassing himself in front of Dean or finally getting some sleep and relief from the pressure in his chest, then it would be worth it for sure. If Dean asks too many questions then he’ll just leave like he did in art on Monday. Not so bad.

That’s how Castiel finds himself stalking Dean Winchester. He doesn’t show up to art once again so after school Castiel goes to find him. His car is still in the parking lot, so he’s clearly there somewhere. Castiel looks in the academic wing, the auto shop, out back where the guys go to smoke, and once again checks the parking lot. His car is still here. Castiel sighs, but then realizes there’s one place he never checked. A place Dean would probably need to visit after school if he was skipping it all the time.

Sure enough, Dean Winchester is in the empty art room. He’s got his ear buds in as he paints something propped up on an easel. Dean is facing him so Castiel can’t see what he’s painting but whatever it is has him frowning. Green eyes flick up and catch Castiel standing in the doorway. For a second, Dean freezes. Then a slow, flirty smile pulls at his lips. He takes his earbuds out and puts the paint supplies down.

“Well, look who it is.”

“You’re the one that’s been missing,” Castiel says.

Dean’s smile slips before being replaced with a laugh. “Not missing. Just busy.”

“For an entire week?” Dean says nothing. This time, when his smile slips, it stays that way. “Did I make you mad on Monday?”

“Me?” Dean shakes his head. “God, no. I figured I pissed you off.”

“No. It was just a bad day.”

“Good. I mean, not good, but good.”

“Yeah.”

“You look,” Dean pauses, reconsidering. Then he lifts a shoulder and sighs in defeat, like he was trying to get himself to say something but he can’t do it. “You look fucking exhausted, Cas.”

All of Castiel’s alarms go off but he shoves them down. “Yeah, well. I have a favor to ask.”

With a skeptical look, Dean says, “Okay.”

“I heard that,” he stops and looks around, then steps closer so he doesn’t have to say it too loud. “Do you sell pills?”

Whatever Dean was expecting, that wasn’t it, because is eyebrows shoot up and he actually takes a step back. “Why?”

“Just - do you, or not?”

“Yeah.”

“What kind?”

“Uh, whatever someone needs.”

“How?”

Dean scratches his jaw and forces a laugh. “What is this, a police interrogation?”

“God, no. Sorry! I just,” Castiel rubs a hand down his face. “I need some.”

“Okay.” Dean puts his hands in his jean pockets and walks up to him until they’re only inches apart. It’s close enough where Castiel has to lift his chin to look up at him. “What do you need?”

“Um, Xanax?”

The man stares him down for a long time. Longer than Castiel would like. He reminds himself of his practiced explanation. How school has been too stressful and he needs something to relax him.

Instead of pushing it, though, Dean nods once and says in a low voice that makes Castiel shiver, “I can do that for you.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. It’ll take a bit. How about one week from today?”

“Yes. Absolutely.”

Dean gives him that strange look again. “It’ll be fifty.”

“Dollars?”

“No, unicorns.” He finally gives Castiel a genuine smile and it unravels some of the nervous energy building inside of him. “Yeah, dollars. It’ll be two weeks worth, if you take them as the person is prescribed to. If ya need more sooner or you’re only going to take them every once in awhile and don’t need them every two weeks, then we’ll work out a plan.”

Castiel has to keep his mouth from literally dropping open. That was so easy. He just made a deal with a drug dealer about illegal pills and it was easy. A joke was even made. A joke about fucking unicorns.

“I can do fifty dollars.”

“Perfect. Fifty dollars, next Friday. Meet me on the bleachers after school.”

“Why not here?”

“Such a nerd.” Dean rolls his eyes but then winks at him. “There’s cameras in the school and the parking lot. Can’t get away with shit.”

“Oh.” Duh. If he was alone, he’d slap his own forehead. “Well, okay. Thanks then.”

“Are you,” Dean pauses. He must decide not to push whatever he was about to ask, and Castiel is relieved. From the pained expression on Dean’s face, he doesn’t think he would have enjoyed the question. “Have a good weekend, Cas.”

“Yes.” Castiel gives him a tight smile as he’s reminded that it’s the weekend. Another long, dreadful weekend of being trapped in that house. “You too, Dean.”

 

------

 

With his feet kicked up on the doctor’s desk, Dean leans back and puts his hands behind his head to cradle it. Benny sits in the large chair behind it with his pen hovering over the prescription pad. “So, Mr. Winchester. What symptoms have you been having?”

“Restlessness, inability to sleep, irritability, anxiety, fear, insomnia, nausea, trembling, fatigue-”

“Okay, jesus Mr. Web MD.” Benny laughs, his hand scrawling across the pad. He rips off the page and hands it to Dean with a wink. “Three month supply of Xanax, Mr. Winchester. Don’t sell it all in one place.”

Dean barks a laugh and stares down at the piece of paper. It’s uncanny how talented Benny is at copying his father’s handwriting. He bet if he dug around and found a pad of his father actually prescribing this, it would look nearly identical. “Gonna tell me who the customer is?”

“Just a guy at school.”

“That’s all I get?” Benny gets out of the chair and hits Dean in the back of the head, indicating that it’s time to leave. Dean gets to his feet and follows him out, walking down the hall to where Ash is passed out on top of the pool table in Benny’s entertainment room. “Dean?”

Dean looks over at Benny, eyebrow raised. After a second he remembers he asked him something. “It’s the mystery guy.”

“And mystery guy is still mystery guy after all this time? No name, really?”

“His name is Castiel.”

“Alright. When ya gonna bang him?”

“It’s not,” Dean pauses, unsure how to answer. If he tells Benny he stepped away, he’ll never hear the end of it. Especially since he stepped back for unselfish reasons. It’s one thing if he got bored or annoyed, but another if he was doing it to spare feelings. “It’s a work in progress.”

“Will the work in progress be at the party tonight?”

Dean laughs. “I don’t think he really does that. He’s a nerd.”

His best friend looks at him like he’s crazy. “How are you going to corrupt the kid if you don’t even get him to a party?”

“I don’t need a party to get in his pants.”

“Well ya need him outside of school, unless you’re gonna do all this work just for a quickie in the damn janitor’s closet.”

“It’s a long term game, remember? I got him his drugs. Now we wait.”

If Benny thinks anything is off, he doesn’t say. Instead he dives on top of Ash and shakes him awake. The sleeping man jerks away and swings out for him, nearly catching him in the face. Dean tries to laugh at his friends but he can’t seem to force the smile. It feels like the world is slower than usual. Out of focus.

He doesn’t even notice when Benny approaches him, clapping a hand on his shoulder and squeezing. “Dean.”

He snaps his chin up to look at his best friend. The tone of his voice means he's worried.

“I’m good,” he tries to say.

Both his friends look at each other and shake their heads. It’s Ash who speaks this time. “Did something happen with your dad? You know you can tell us that shit. You always do.”

“No. It’s not that.” Dean looks down at the ground. Home has been quiet. His dad is still gone, four months now. He’ll come back, he always does, but in the meantime Dean and Sam are enjoying the peace.

“Is it this Castiel boy?”

“Maybe you should give up on this game, man. It’s bumming you out,” Ash suggests.

“Don’t worry about it. It’s handled.” Dean stuffs his hands in his pockets and looks at his friends. “Are we going to the store or not?”

Ash and Benny exchange another look. Dean sighs, clearly annoyed. “Guys, I’m not buying booze for tonight if you don’t get your asses moving. Let’s go.”

They give in and start joking around again as they leave Benny’s and pile into the impala. Dean’s relieved when they drop the subject completely. In fact, they never bring Castiel up again.

Chapter Text

 

The week goes by in a blur. Castiel makes sure to join as many organizations as possible. He fills his schedule with meetings and events. He even volunteers to build the set for the school play. When he is home, he’s almost always cleaning or locked away in his room. Anna hasn’t bothered him much which doesn’t make him feel better in the slightest. He knows for sure it’s because of Michael, and he knows for sure that the man is going to want to be rewarded for the kindness.

 

By the time Friday rolls around, Castiel has lost six pounds and hasn’t slept more than two hours a night. His first quiz comes back that morning with a 70%, sending him into the bathroom to fight back yet another attack. The end of the day can’t come soon enough. He wishes Dean could have given him the drugs sooner. Every time they have art, he wants to beg the man for them. But Dean has returned to acting like he doesn’t even know who Castiel is, and Castiel has decided it’s for the best.

 

Charlie stops by his locker after school and gives him a smile. “Any plans this weekend?” she asks as if Castiel ever has any.

 

“Nope. You?”

 

“There’s a party at Benny’s Saturday that I might go to. And, of course, the football game tonight.”

 

“Right. Well, that’ll be fun.” Castiel closes his locker and puts his backpack on. “I need to meet Dean. I’ll text you.”

 

“Oh that’s right! Yeah, yeah. Just text me. Good luck.”

 

Castiel laughs it off but he thinks he may need it. He’s nervous. Boys like him don’t do drug deals. They don’t hang out or talk to boys like Dean Winchester. And they definitely don’t steal money to buy the drugs, which Castiel obviously had to do. It’s not like Anna ever gives him money.

 

He waits on the bleachers and checks his watch. It’s one minute to four. Exactly on time, Dean comes climbing to where Castiel stands halfway up the stands. A cigarette is dangling from his lips as he pulls something out of his pocket. He doesn’t even make eye contact, which Castiel thinks he might prefer.

 

Once they’re on the same bleacher, Dean takes the cigarette out and blows a puff of smoke.

 

“Fifty, right?” Castiel asks, proud of himself because his voice doesn’t shake.

 

“Yup. Unless you want the whole month now.”

 

“Oh, uh. No. I only have fifty.”

 

Dean nods, taking another drag from his cigarette. “That’s fine. Two weeks from today I’ll give ya the other half then. Another fifty.”

 

“Okay.” Castiel pulls out the crisp fifty that he had stolen from Michael’s wallet and hands it to Dean. The boy shoves it into his pocket, the crumpling sound filling the air between them, then hands Castiel the little baggie. Castiel clings to them, wanting to down the entire thing right now just to find some sort of relief. “Thank you.”

 

“ ‘Course. That’s the job.” He winks at Castiel and blows more smoke. “See ya around, blue eyes.”

 

Then he leaves, like nothing happened. Castiel can’t even get himself to dwell on how confusing Dean is. He’s just excited to get home and actually sleep for once.

 

The happy bubble is short lived. He doesn’t even make it across the entryway before his name is being snapped. He turns around in time to see Anna storming toward him, Michael close behind. “Why do you smell like cigarettes?”

 

“I, uh,” Castiel’s eyes burn. How could he be so stupid? “One of the boys at school was smoking.”

 

“Oh, really? Just casually smoking in the hallways?”

 

“No. Not at school. Just, uh, off property. I walked by him.”

 

“And he blew smoke all over you?” Castiel opens his mouth but Anna’s hand cracking against his cheek stops him. He keeps his face turned away, afraid that if he straightens it to look at her she’ll just hit him again. His backpack is ripped off his shoulder and thrown on the ground. He doesn’t look at it or react in any way. “Strip.”

 

His body wavers. It was Michael who said it. He slowly lifts his face to look at Anna in question. She smirks. “You heard him. Strip. I don’t want your fucking clothes smelling up my house.”

 

“O - okay.” With shaking hands, Castiel begins to strip. It’s perhaps the most embarrassing thing he’s ever done. By the time he’s down to his boxer briefs, violent tremors are rocking his body.

 

Anna just raises an eyebrow. “Those smell too.”

 

“They don’t. I promise.”

 

“Take. Them. Off.”

 

Castiel squeezes his eyes shut, wishing he could disappear. “I promise, they don’t-” He’s hit across the face again. This time, it’s with a fist and it hurts so bad he feels like he may pass out. When his eyesight focuses, he sees that Michael is now in front of him. A large hand closes around his throat and lifts him until he’s on nothing but the very tips of his toes. “You fucking heard her.”

 

Castiel nods frantically and uses his hands to shove down the remaining fabric. It’s difficult being held like this but he manages to get it to pool around his ankles. When he’s released, he quickly finishes taking them off and picks up all of his clothes to hold in front of his crotch. Anna smirks. “Now take them outside and put them in the garbage bin.”

 

“But-” Michael takes a threatening step forward and Castiel whimpers, hurrying past him to do as told. He keeps the clothes covering him as long as possible before quickly throwing them in the bin and sprinting back inside. The moment the door is closed, Michael’s hand is in his hair and he’s being dragged toward the stairs.

 

“Time for a shower. You fucking stink.”

 

The grip on his hair makes his eyes burn with tears but there’s no way he’s going to argue. That is, until Michael is turning the water on and looking like he might enter with him.

 

“What-”

 

“Listen to Michael, Castiel. You’re out of control. I’ve given him permission to get you in line.”

 

“But-”

 

“Shut up!” Anna lunges forward and shoves him so hard he goes through the stream of water and smacks the side of his head against the shower wall. Michael has his shirt off now and he’s unbuckling his pants.

 

“Anna, you can’t. This isn’t-” Castiel looks at her, pleading. “You made that guy go away. Why are you doing this?”

 

She rolls her eyes. “That was different. He didn’t have permission.”

 

“You don’t have my permission now.”

 

The cruel laugh of his sister makes his stomach cramp up. “We don’t need your permission you little shit. It's my permission that matters. You belong to me. Do as your told or I’ll take you out of all of those little after school activities you tend to like so much. You can go straight to school and come straight home. Spend even more time with us. Do you want that?”

 

Castiel swallows bile. “No.”

 

“Good. Maybe if you weren’t so worthless, Michael wouldn’t have to do this. It pains us that you make us hurt you, Castiel. I don’t understand why you just can’t behave.” She turns her nose up at him like he’s disgusting before sighing dramatically. “Handle it, babe. I can’t look at him anymore.”

 

“Of course.” Michael leans over and kisses her. When he pulls away, the smile he gives her is fond and full of love. It’s so damn confusing. Anna has done a lot of fucked up stuff, but Castiel doesn’t understand this one. The only thing he can think of is that she just truly hates him now. Truly hates him.

 

You have drugs now, Cas. Get through this. Make it quick. Then lock yourself in your room and take the pill. Let it make everything better.

 

He closes his eyes and readies himself as he feels Michael climb in behind him. His boner pushes against his ass cheeks and he bites the inside of his cheek hard enough to make it bleed. A hand turns him around, then pushes on his shoulder to get him to kneel. Castiel finally opens his eyes, looking up at Michael through the heavy stream of water.

 

“I don’t- I don’t know how.”

 

“Not getting out of this boy.”

 

“No. I’m not trying. I just-” Castiel swallows hard, putting his hands on his thighs and digging his nails into the skin. The pain helps calm him. He already hates himself for what he’s going to say, but he’s worried about getting in trouble. He doesn’t want to get hurt on top of getting assaulted like this. He wants to do a good job so Michael will leave him alone for the night. “I don’t want to mess up or hurt you. I want it to be good.”

 

This makes Michael smile. He looks incredibly pleased. He even begins to stroke Castiel’s hair softly. “See? Already turning into a good boy. Just open your mouth and let me do the work, baby.”

 

Castiel nods, closing his eyes again and opening his mouth. He feels the hot, heavy weight of a dick being pushed onto his tongue and forces himself to not pull back. Instead, he latches onto something that feels safe. Dean . He pretends he’s not here. He pretends he’s at the art table, his head resting on his arms, Dean smiling and telling him it’s okay. That he’s safe. That he’s not going anywhere.




-------

 

Castiel isn't at school on Monday. At first, Dean doesn’t worry. He figures he’s sick, or maybe has a family thing going on. Then he’s not there Tuesday. He figures the same. But on Wednesday? On Wednesday, Dean starts to panic. He does something that may be a big mistake. Definitely a big mistake, actually.

 

He leans up against Charlie Bradbury’s locker after school and quickly asks, “Is Cas okay?”

 

Her hand pauses halfway through putting a book in her backpack and she tenses. Then a slow smile pulls at her lips. “Why do you care?”

 

“I don’t. I just-” Dean clears his throat. “Is he okay?”

 

“He’s sick.”

 

“With what?”

 

She laughs under her breath. “It’s not the drugs you gave him, so calm down.”

 

“What’s wrong with him then.”

 

Charlie takes her bag out of her locker and slams the door shut. The way she looks at him nearly makes him cringe. “Leave him alone. The last thing he needs is whatever game you’re trying to play. Seriously.”

 

“I’m not-”

 

“Just, stop.”

 

Dean clenches his fists as she shoves past him and storms off. He decides that if Castiel isn’t in school tomorrow, he’s going to find where the kid lives and get to the bottom of the issue.

 

Thankfully, it’s not necessary. Castiel is at school Thursday. He only catches a glimpse of him a few times in the hallway but the amount of relief he feels is immense. For the first time in what could possibly be years, he goes to a class early. Before the other art class is even out, he’s standing outside the door and waiting to get in.

 

Missouri gives him a strange look when she sees him but doesn’t say anything. As students file in, he holds his breath. Just as the bell rings, Castiel slowly walks in. His shoulders are hunched and his hair is a mess. He slides into his seat and lets his backpack fall to the floor.

 

“Hey, stranger.”

 

“Hey.”

 

“Where have you been?”

 

Castiel looks up at him, a soft smile on his lips. “Family thing.”

 

“Oh.” Dean frowns. “Charlie said you were sick.”

 

“Yeah. That too.”

 

“Mmm.”

 

“What?”

 

“Sounds a bit sketchy, but none of my business.”

 

Castiel stares down at the table. The class starts and Missouri begins giving instructions for the project they started this past Monday. If it bothers him that he has no idea what he’s doing, it doesn’t show. He doesn’t even look up in curiosity at the project. He just continues to look down and zone out.

 

Students begin moving around to get their projects and the supplies they need to work on them. Castiel doesn’t move. Just as Dean’s about to ask if he needs help, Castiel looks him directly in the eye. “Can I have more pills?”

 

“You’re out already?”

 

“Not yet. But I need more for the weekend.”

 

“Are you sharing with someone?”

 

He looks down, his cheeks burning. Dean remembers that Benny wrote him a good prescription. Enough to be able to take the pill twice a day. If Castiel is already out, that means he’s been averaging four a day. That’s a lot. Even if he does in fact need the pills for a reason, not to just get high. It’s a lot.

 

Castiel sighs. “I’ll pay double. I need more.”

 

“Is that why you missed school? Are you taking too many at once? You have to be careful.”

 

“I know how to fucking take the pills.” Castiel pushes to his feet, spitting the words out in anger. “It’s whatever. I’ll find someone else to get them from.”

 

“The fuck you will.” Dean shakes his head incredulously. “Don’t go fucking around like that. Those kinds of guys are dangerous.”

 

“You’re one of those guys.”

 

“Exactly.”

 

Castiel throws his hands up. “So, isn’t that a tad contradictory?”

 

“No, because I would never hurt you.” Dean sighs. “I’ll meet you at the same place tomorrow. And I’ll start giving them to you weekly. On two conditions.”

 

“What?”

 

“One, you never try going to someone else for drugs.”

 

“Fine.”

 

“Two, no more missing school. You had me worried sick.”

 

Castiel raises an eyebrow. “What? Why?”

 

Considering he doesn’t fully know, Dean just shrugs. “Take it or leave it. That’s the deal.”

 

“Sometimes I’m going to miss school.”

 

“Fine.” Dean takes his pen out from behind his ear and grabs Castiel’s arm. He scrawls his name and phone number on it. “You gonna miss school, you text me.”

 

“You’re acting like my damn mother or something.”

 

“Nobody said you had to take the deal.”

 

Castiel rolls his eyes. “I’m taking the damn deal. I’ll be there tomorrow.”




-----




That first weekend with the pills was terrible. He had taken two after the incident with the shower and had slept like a rock. But the next morning he had felt a little groggy and hadn’t noticed when Michael came up behind him until it was too late. That’s how he ended up sucking a dick before he even got breakfast. He had stumbled to his room after, spending the entire day locked inside. He spent Sunday locked up as well.

 

Then, Sunday night, Anna had announced that she needed to go out of town for work. Monday through Wednesday. The words had brought him relief until she announced that Michael would stay with him and make sure he behaved.

 

And Michael made damn sure.

 

So sure, in fact, he never once let Castiel leave the house. It was three days of cleaning until his hands were raw, doing homework, and following any and all tasks Michael required. He cooked for him. Gave Michael five blow jobs, and let Michael give him one even though it made him cry - which made Michael want a second one himself, because apparently tears are a fucking turn on to the sick fuck. Michael had brought up penetrative sex Wednesday night, about an hour before Anna had come home. Castiel has never felt so relieved to see his sister in his life. Even better, Michael gave a good report and said he was even more well behaved than expected. Which meant that for the rest of the week, Anna had left him be.

 

The issue was that Castiel had already used his entire baggie of pills by the time Anna came back. He had needed them just to survive those three days of constant fear and anxiety.

 

Thankfully, Dean gave him a fresh stash to go into the next weekend, and between that and how busy Anna and Michael were with friends, Castiel went into the following week feeling pretty damn good.

 

In fact, when he flops down next to Dean Monday in art class, he gives him a genuine smile. Dean looks completely shocked. It only takes a few seconds though for the flirty boy from the first week of school to come back full force.

 

“You seem unusually happy, blue eyes.”

 

“I am. Thanks.”

 

“Mmm.” Dean smiles at him, then ducks his head and starts playing on his phone. Missouri begins speaking to the rest of the class, explaining that for the next two weeks, they’ll be able to do a free project. She says to spend the day brainstorming and messing around with some mediums.

 

Castiel goes on the hunt for different supplies. He doesn’t notice Dean followed him until he’s reaching up for a paint bottle and falls off balance. A set of large hands land on his waist and Dean’s voice fills his ear, quiet and husky, “Careful there, blue eyes.”

 

“Sorry.”

 

“Don’t apologize. You gave me an excuse to get my hands on you.” His lips brush Castiel’s ear lobe and Castiel gasps, his mind forgetting about the bottle of paint. Dean chuckles and tightens his hold, pulling Castiel back against him so he can feel Dean’s hard on beneath his jeans. “God, you’re cute.”

 

“Th- thank you?”

 

Another chuckle. “Do I make you nervous, Cas?”

 

“No.”

 

“Mmm.” Dean’s lips wrap around his ear lobe and he sucks on it. “I don’t believe you.”

 

Before Castiel can think clear enough to respond, the hands and the lips and the dick are gone. Dean’s gone. He turns around and looks for him but wherever he went, Castiel can’t see. It’s like he was never here in the first place.

 

Castiel takes his time in the supply closet, trying to get his breathing under control. He notices that he likes this kind of breathing issue. This is nothing like his attacks. Nothing like when he’s with Michael. Nothing like the beatings or the verbal abuse from Anna. Nothing like stressing from school. Nothing like missing his parents. Nothing like his life at all.

 

This is exhilarating. Like Dean’s made him come back to life.

Chapter Text

Everything is back on schedule with Castiel. He’s back to his cute little blushing self and Dean loves it. Meaning, Dean is hunting him again. On Tuesday, he wipes an eyelash from his cheekbone and makes him blow on it for a wish. On Wednesday, he takes his paintbrush full of green paint and swipes it down his nose to make him giggle. On Thursday, he corners him in the supply closet again. He didn’t even touch the boy but he still made him nervous enough for him to drop a bucket of clay slip.

Dean plans on giving him something today to make him last through his anti-social weekend. He doesn’t have anything specific in mind yet but it’ll be something to make the boy spin for the next three days.

Maybe he'll kiss him.

“Aaaaaaay, Winchester!” Benny comes up behind Dean as he digs around in his locker for a book, jumping on his back and sending him forward. Dean whips around and shoves him. The two of them start wrestling and they collide into someone, knocking them over. Laughing, Dean stumbles and pushes Benny off, turning around to see who they knocked down.

Oh, shit.

“Cas. Fuck. Sorry.” Dean squats down and grabs the boy who’s sitting on the ground looking shell shocked. He helps him to his feet and steadies him. “Did we hurt you?”

“I’m not fragile.”

“Okay. Okay, good.” Dean reaches out, straightening Castiel’s thin sweater that had started falling off one shoulder. He pauses when his fingers are hovering just above the skin. There’s deep purple finger shaped bruises on his trap muscle. Like someone had squeezed it awfully hard. Castiel looks down and steps back, quickly tugging at the fabric to hide the bruises.

“Gotta go,” he mumbles, pushing past Dean and hurrying down the hall. He leaves his locker open when he goes so Dean gently closes the door and turns the dial to reset the passcode for him.

When he turns around, Benny is looking at him with an arched eyebrow. “That’s Castiel, isn’t it?”

“Yeah.”

“Were those bruises?”

“He’s fine.” Dean forces a smile, more impatient than ever now to get to art class. He can’t think of anything else for the next two hours. His mind just continuously spins on who would do that to Castiel. Who keeps hurting him? What happened to his hands? Or that day, with the cuts and the bruises? Why can’t he sleep? Why does he need the pills? Is that why he’s never social? Is that why he’s so skittish?

Dean’s a bundle of fucking nerves by the time he gets to art class. He waits. And waits. And waits. Castiel never shows up. About twenty minutes in, Dean leaves. There’s no way Castiel isn’t going to be at their drug deal today, so he didn’t go home. That means he’s here somewhere. Dean just has to find him.

He sends out a group text to Benny and Ash asking if either had seen him. Then he starts to look himself. After he’s checked both academic hallways and the bathrooms, his phone vibrates. It’s a picture message from Ash. Dean opens it and automatically smiles. It’s distant but Dean can still see clearly that it’s Castiel. He’s sitting in one of the alcoves in the hallway with some of the drama kids, including Charlie. He’s caught mid-laugh, his head tilted back. The book he’s been using for his art project this week is in his lap and a pile of markers and colored pencils are by his thigh.

Dean studies the picture but can’t figure out which alcove it is. He decides to look like a desperate idiot and asks in the group text.

Dean: Where is that?

Ash: Wouldn’t you like to know?

Benny: Gotta work for it, D.

Ash: Gotta work to get the D, D. (;

Dean: Fuck both of you

Benny: Together?

Ash: I mean, if you insist...

Benny: I dunno, Ash. Think he can handle the two of us?

Ash: Doubtful. I don't even think he’d be able to handle you, babe (;

Benny: Aww now, don’t be callin’ me that. You’re gonna make me blush baby

Dean: Still here guys

Benny: Cockblock

Dean rolls his eyes at his phone, about to text back when he hears laughter. He stops his walking and looks to his right. Found it.

“Hey there. Skippin’ class?”

The seven students sitting in the alcove all tense up and stare at him with wide eyes. Castiel is the first to break out of it. “I got permission.”

“Can we talk?”

“Can’t we at four?”

This has never happened to Dean before. Being blatantly dismissed like this. Dean looks at the other students, who are all still staring at them in shock. Even Charlie, who is usually chatty and obnoxious, is quiet. “It’ll just be a minute,” he says quietly.

With a huff of frustration, Castiel puts the book down and stands up. He storms away from the group, shoulder checking Dean. If Dean wasn’t so out of his element right now he would find it amusing. Castiel is so small and short compared to him but he’ll give the boy one thing; he’s feisty.

When they’re in an empty alcove two over, Castiel’s confidence begins to immediately wane. He can’t look at Dean and he definitely doesn’t speak.

“I’m sorry about the hall. We’re idiots.”

“I told you. I’m not fragile. It’s not the first time someone bumped into me.”

“Is that how you got those bruises? Someone bumped into you?”

Those bright blue eyes snap up to him, widening. “Don’t ever ask me about those again.”

“Cas-”

“No. Never mind. I don’t need any more pills.”

“Cas-” The boy tries pushing past him but Dean’s hand clamps down on his bicep and tugs him closer. Castiel whimpers and Dean loosens his grip, still not letting go. He grabs the hem of Castiel’s sweater, intending to pull it off so he can see the rest of the bruises, but the boy fights him. “Let me see. Let me help you.”

“Get off me.” Castiel squirms and throws a hand out to hit him. “Let me go. Don’t - Stop. Don’t touch me.”

Dean has already let him go. He’s already stepped away, his hands in the air in surrender. He let go the second Castiel had resisted his grip. Before he had even said Let me see. Let me help you.

Castiel doesn’t seem to notice, though. He’s still struggling and whispering under his breath, starting to heave and tremble. “Shhh. Shh. I didn’t mean to scare you.”

“Please go. Please leave me alone.”

“Cas-”

“I’ll be better,” the boy sobs out just before falling to his knees. His body violently shakes and heaves, making him gag between sobs. “One more chance.”

Dean gets down on one knee and digs in his pocket, whispering words of comfort the entire time. There’s a camera behind him. He knows there is. He tries to hover and bow his body so Castiel is safe from the view, not even caring at this point about the drugs he’s pulling from his jeans. He takes out one of the Xanax bars that he was going to sell him tonight and places it between his lips. Castiel moans and squeezes his eyes shut, but opens willingly as the sobbing gets louder.

“Shhh, just take it, Cas. Just let yourself relax.” Dean pushes it in with his thumb, then grabs his chin and gently tugs it up to close his mouth again. “Swallow it for me. Swallow it, Cas.”

Castiel looks at him with watering eyes and nods, his adam’s apple bobbing. He continues to shake and cry but with every few seconds, his body slows. He starts to zone out, his eyes growing distant and foggy as his muscles relax. There’s still tremors wracking through his body but they’re muted.

“That’s it. Just breathe for me,” Dean whispers. Castiel nods again, then curls in on himself and buries his head against his knees. Realizing this might take a while, Dean sits fully down and scoots closer. He glances over his shoulder to make sure no one is standing and staring at the poor guy falling apart.

Castiel turns his head to the side, cheek pressed against his knees and arms, so he can look at Dean. His eyes are heavy and sleepy but they’re starting to focus more. He licks his lips and parts them. Instead of speaking, though, he just takes a deep breath.

“I’ll never ask again. You don’t ever have to tell me.”

“Okay,” Castiel whispers.

Dean nods, hating himself for making that promise but understanding it’s necessary. “Okay.”

“Dean?”

“Yeah?”

“Today, at four, can you please not smoke a cigarette?” He blushes but maintains eye contact with Dean. “My parents smell it.”

Dean’s chest spasms. Did he get Castiel hurt by making him smell like smoke? Is he the reason for some of the bruises he’s seen? Fuck.

“No cigarettes. I promise.”

“Thank you.” Castiel tries to smile. “For everything.”

Chapter Text

“We’re leaving for the weekend. Michael surprised me with a vacation.” Castiel fiddles with his fingers and nods, trying to pretend like he isn’t about to combust from happiness. “When we get back, I expect this house to be extremely clean and organized. And I expect you to behave yourself while we’re gone. Don’t leave this house.”

Still no question, so Castiel just quietly nods again. Anna leaves the room in a flurry of excitement but Castiel forces himself to stay rooted in place. Michael isn’t done yet.

“Hey, little one.” Castiel lifts his chin to look at him. He’s getting much better at not reacting to that disgusting nickname. Even his stomach barely recoils at it now. “Have fun while we’re gone. Go see Charlie. Go to a football game. Maybe a party. Relax a little.”

Castiel grits his teeth so he doesn’t ask him how the hell he knows about Charlie. “Anna would be upset.”

“Mmm,” Michael steps forward, cradling his face in his two big hands. “But Anna will never find out, baby. I promise.”

His mind spins. He wants to do those things, but he doesn’t want to do whatever it is that Michael will want in return. But he doesn’t think he can ask, either. He doesn’t think this is an option.

“Go ahead, little one, ask me what you need.”

“Is,” he stops, collecting himself. If he cries, Michael will get angry. It’s a turn on when he’s sexually abusing him but if it’s a scenario like this then Michael finds it annoying. “Is it a choice?”

“What do you mean?”

“Can I stay home like Anna wants?”

“Sure.” Michael laughs softly before bringing his mouth down to cover Castiel’s. Castiel opens for him and waits patiently for him to be done. When he pulls away, he fixes Castiel’s hair and smiles. “But I plan on doing whatever I want to do to you either way, so you might as well have fun in the meantime.”

Castiel swallows the wave of bile that rises up his throat and nods.

“Good boy.” Michael winks at him, then goes to find Anna. As soon as he’s alone, Castiel hangs his head and starts to suck in air. It’s only a minute before they’re walking past him with bags and reminding him once again to behave and not leave. When Michael goes to close the door, he gives Castiel a wink and mouths ‘have fun.’

He plans to. If this son of a bitch is going to make him suffer either way, then he’ll just have to make the most of it like he suggested. Castiel calls Charlie and tells her he’s coming over. She squeals in excitement and yells into the phone, “Okay, okay, this is perfect! We’ll go to the football game and then the party, and then you can sleepover! Oh, and we can hangout all day tomorrow. There’s so much we can do. I want to-”

“Slow down,” Castiel says with a laugh, starting to feel lighter despite the ominous threat of Michael’s return. He’s determined to not think about him and Anna this weekend. Refuses. “One thing at a time, Char.”

“Okay. What’s first?”

“Um, well.” Castiel stands in front of his closet, frowning. “What does one wear to a football game and party?”

She laughs softly. “I’ll be right over. Take a shower and leave the door unlocked.”

He does as told, taking a nice warm shower that’s long and lonely and perfect. When he gets out, he uses one of the super fluffy towels that he’s not allowed to, and uses the warm vanilla sugar lotion that Anna keeps in her room. Just a tiny squirt.

When he gets to his room, Charlie already has his bed covered in different outfit options. She points to the first one with dark jeans and a maroon hooded sweatshirt with the team’s logo on the front. Next to it is a light blue henley. “So, this is the casual and comfortable outfit. Sweatshirt for the game and then take it off for the party.” Then she points to the second one with a light pair of jeans and a navy blue chunky knitted sweater. “So, this is more of like nerdy cute book guy. You can wear the sweater for both, but you’d wear a white shirt underneath so you can always take the sweater off at the party if you’re too warm.” She points to the final one with another dark pair of jeans and a button up polo shirt that’s a powdery blue. “This one is casual but I know I’m hot, you’d wear a jacket for the game but you’d leave the jacket open.”

Castiel stares at the bed, then up at her. “This is much more complicated than I originally expected.”

“Do you want my opinion?”

“Sure.”

“Pick the one that you’ll feel most comfortable in. You’re going to be so out of your element. Just pick the one you’d feel confident in.”

Castiel laughs. “Oh, well, then obviously the sweater.”

“Obviously.” She grabs the nerdy cute book guy outfit and hands it to him, then turns her back so he can get dressed in privacy. When he’s done, she looks him over and nods approvingly. “Perfect. Alright, game starts in an hour. We should eat first!”

“If you say so.”

“Oh, this is going to be soooo much fun.”

As she drags Castiel out of the house, practically skipping in joy, he mumbles under his breath, “Not so sure ‘bout that.”

 

------

 

“Please,” Benny asks with a pouty lip. To pad the offer, he thrusts out his jumbo travel mug to Dean. “It’s fireball and hot chocolate.”

Dean’s shoulders slump in defeat. He can’t say no to that. That sounds delicious. “Fine. But this girl better be really fucking hot, dude.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah.” Benny waves him off, then walks over to Ash who is once again passed out and shakes him awake.

Unlike Dean, Ash doesn’t complain. When Benny says they’re going to the football game he gives him a look like he’s crazy but then puts his feet in his shoes and shrugs. It isn’t until they’re paying the fee to get into the game that Ash even asks what they’re doing there. Benny explains that he’s trying to hook up with one of the cheerleaders and once again Ash just shrugs and nods. He’s so laid back, Benny could have probably told him they’re at the game to murder the head coach and Ash would have shrugged and mumbled something about wanting to take a nap.

They start toward the bleachers and Dean smiles softly to himself, thinking of Castiel. He’s actually the only person he does drug deals with on school grounds at all. Everyone else he makes meet him at parties or their houses. With Castiel, though, he made an exception. He’s starting to notice that he does that a little too often with the boy.

Dean sees Castiel in a group of his friends, sitting right next to Charlie. He laughs to himself and rubs at his eyes. This boy is making him crazy. He’s even seeing him in places he’s not.

“Come on, let’s go sit up by Chuck,” Benny suggests, pointing to a guy sitting behind Charlie. When Dean looks around again, he stills sees Castiel. Sure enough, Benny hits him in the chest and winks. “Perfect. Two for one deal, yours is here too.”

“I thought you said you’ve never seen him at these things,” Dean asks as they climb the bleachers.

“I haven’t. He’s a total recluse.”

Chuck and the others all call out for them and wave them over. They make it through the crowd to get to them, Dean’s eyes fixed on Castiel. The boy hasn’t seen him yet. He’s intently watching the game that just started, eyebrows furrowed like it’s the most fascinating thing he’s ever seen.

Benny sits next to Chuck, right behind Castiel, and Ash sits one row down on the other side of Charlie. There’s an open spot next to Castiel and Dean grins while he takes it. Since he came from behind, Castiel doesn’t see him until he’s sitting down and his arm is brushing his.

Those gorgeous eyes turn on him and a friendly smile freezes on Castiel’s face when he realizes who he’s seeing. “Dean!”

“Hey there, blue eyes.”

“You, but- you don't come to stuff like this.”

“Neither do you.”

“I- you’re right.” Castiel blushes and looks back over at the game.

Dean scoots closer to Castiel, loving how the boy shivers from the increased contact. “What a perfect coincidence though, hey? Almost like fate.”

“I don’t believe in fate,” Castiel whispers.

“Well, then. Free will it is. We can be team free will.”

“We aren’t a team.”

“Not yet.” Dean purposely ‘accidentally’ brushes his hand against Castiel’s. “I’m patient, though.”

Castiel’s lips part but he just keeps watching the game, making Dean laugh under his breath. He takes a long pull from his spiked hot chocolate and sighs in content. Turns out tonight won’t be so bad after all. All he needs to do now is make sure Castiel comes to the party after this. Then, Dean can finally make his move. Hopefully by Monday, the chase will be over and Dean can go back to fucking random boys and girls that don’t require any energy or work. It’ll be a much needed break.

“Hey, Winchester!” Ash calls across from Charlie and Castiel, leaning forward so he can see Dean. Dean leans forward too, pretending not to notice that Castiel is now staring directly down at him.

“What’s up?”

“Is that Sammy down there with that cute girl?”

Dean’s head snaps to where Ash is pointing a finger and he starts to laugh, smiling like an idiot. That is in fact his little brother flirting away with a little blond girl. Sam has her backed against the railing of the stairs as he leans in and whispers something to her, making her tilt her head back and laugh. When she brings her head forward to say something, Sam catches her in a kiss.

“Would ya look at that,” Dean says before looking at Ash to wink at him. “My little prodige.”

“Hey Sammy Winchester!” Benny yells through cupped hands. They all laugh when Sam stumbles back from the girl and looks around like he’s in trouble. When he sees his brother and his friends, he grins and leaves the girl behind like she doesn’t matter at all. Benny laughs. “Shit, he really is your prodige. Did you see how he just ditched that poor girl?”

“Well, he got his kiss. Kid doesn’t need her anymore,” Dean explains with a wink to his friend. When he turns back to watch his brother walk up to them, he catches a glimpse of Castiel’s face. He hadn’t even thought about it when making the comment but it was clearly a bad idea. Castiel looks both disgusted and hurt. He’ll have some damage control to do on that one if he wants his plan to stay on track tonight. Though, being honest, he's starting to question if he wants this plan anymore. He's growing attached and adding sex to that is dangerous.

Sam interrupts his worrying by launching into his arms for a hug. One thing the Winchester boys don’t care about is showing affection to each other. They’re both popular in their respective grades and too cool for anyone to say anything. Sam sits down on the bleacher in front of Dean and turns around so he’s facing his brother.

“What are you doing here big brother?”

“Helping Benny get laid.” Dean leans forward. “Speaking of, who’s that girl you were just with?”

“Jess.”

Dean looks at his little brother’s goofy grin and laughs. “Uh oh. Careful Sammy, you’d almost make me believe that you like this one.”

“Maybe I do.”

“Ooooooooooo,” Dean, Ash, and Benny all say at once. Sam flips them all off and Dean reaches out to hit him in the arm. “Behave yourself!”

“Says the guy who smells like whiskey.”

Considering his brother has him on that one, Dean just shrugs and nods. “Alright, alright. What are you doing after this, anyway?”

Sam fixes his hair and looks over his shoulder to see that Jess is in the same spot, watching them. “I think I’m taking her out to eat or something.”

“Alright. You need money?”

“I have a ten.”

“Sammy, Sammy, Sammy. If you’re going to actually put some effort in, you gotta do better than that. Especially if you want to fuck her, kiddo.” Dean shifts, grabbing his wallet from his back pocket and pulling out a fifty. “Spoil her.”

“Seriously?”

“Seriously. But be home by midnight.”

Sam’s jaw drops. “But you’ll be out half the night!”

Dean loses the smile and glares down at his little brother. “Midnight, Sam.”

“You won’t even know if I listen or not. You won’t be home.”

“Sam.”

“Dean.”

Ash and Benny both make that “oooooooo” sound the class usually makes when a kid is sent to the office. Dean gives his friends a dirty look and turns back to Sam. “Midnight.”

“One.”

“Midnight.”

“One.”

Dean chuckles. “Home at midnight, but if little Jess over there is still free she can come over and stay until one.”

His brother perks up. “Really?”

“Sure.” Dean takes out another ten dollar bill and tosses it at Sam. “Buy condoms. I’ll beat your ass if you knock her up.”

Sam hops up and runs off to Jess with a goofy grin. When Dean goes to say something to Ash, he catches Castiel looking at him. The moment their eyes meet, Castiel stands and looks over at Charlie. “I’ll be back.”

“Where are you going?”

“Bathroom.”

“I’ll come!”

“Charlie, I can handle the bathroom.” Castiel rolls his eyes and sets off, hurrying down the bleachers with his eyes trained on his feet.

Dean stands up and grins at his friends. “Be right back.”

“Yeah, I bet,” Benny says with a wink.

Before his friends can say any more, or before Charlie can intervene, Dean takes off after Castiel and follows him. The boy does in fact go to the bathroom so Dean waits outside patiently, leaning against the brick building and smoking a cigarette. The second he sees Castiel, he puts it out and stomps on it, remembering what he said about his parents smelling smoke.

Taking the opportunity to watch the boy without being caught, Dean takes in his details. His hair is a little tidier than his usual messy curls. That navy blue sweater of his looks soft and comfortable, just the slightest bit baggy to make him look like he could easily be at home on a lazy Sunday. His jeans hug his ass and Dean wants to reach out and grab it. He bets it would look so damn hot naked and beneath him.

Castiel approaches him with a knowing look. The cold air has his cheeks and the tip of his nose pink. When Dean looks down at his fingers, he notices that they’re pink as well. That navy blue of his sweater makes his eyes, even in the dim lighting, look fucking amazing.

“You followed me.” Since it’s not a question, Dean just smiles. “What’s your curiosity with me?”

“I like you.”

“No, you don’t. You don’t like people. You use them for sex.” He scoffs. “Hell, you’re teaching your damn brother to do the same.”

“You don’t know anything about me, or my brother.”

“Does anyone? Do you ever let anyone in?”

Dean scoffs. “I could say the same for you, couldn't I?”

This gets Castiel to pause. He crosses his arms over his chest and looks off to the side, eyes focused on the football game. A breeze rushes past them and Castiel brings his shoulders up as he shivers. A strange need tugs at Dean’s gut. A need to protect him. To take care of him.

He steps forward until he has Castiel backed into the side of the building. The boy shivers again, though this time Dean thinks it’s from their close proximity.

Dean gently drags a finger along Castiel’s cold cheek, loving the color of it. Wondering what Castiel’s ass would look like pinked up like that from Dean’s hand.

“You’re freezing,” Dean whispers.

“I’m okay.”

“Where’s your jacket?”

“It wasn’t included in the outfit Charlie picked.” Castiel’s cheeks deepen in color and he looks up at Dean with wide eyes. “I mean-”

Dean puts a finger to his plump lips, growing hard just by touching them. “Shhh. It’s okay. I like the outfit. You look fucking sexy.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah. Oh.” Dean chuckles. “But you’re still freezing.”

“Sorry.”

That makes Dean smile. He steps back just enough to shrug out of his leather jacket before closing in on Castiel again. The boy looks at him in what Dean could only explain is shock as he places the leather jacket around his shoulders and guides his arms into the arm holes. The jacket completely drowns Castiel. It makes Dean weak in the damn knees.

Castiel burrows down into the warmth and Dean catches him humming under his breath in appreciation. He also catches him inhaling deeply before smiling to himself. “Thank you.”

“Any time, blue eyes.” Dean takes the hand that was on Castiel’s face and brings it down to grab one of Castiel’s. The cold fingers feel good against his palm as he gently rubs Castiel’s hand to warm it up. Then he moves on to the other. Castiel just stands there with his pink lips parted, breathless and staring at Dean.

Once Dean’s decided he’s warm enough, he gives Castiel a soft smile and steps back. “Alright. Let's go watch the game.”

Chapter Text

Castiel feels like he's in a trance for the rest of the game. He tries to give Dean his jacket back when the boy, who is wearing nothing more than a worn flannel, shivers. Dean gives him a scolding look and tells him to keep it on. He does as told, burrowing down in the warm leather that smells of cigarettes and whiskey. Never before did Castiel think he’d find either of those things attractive.

When the game is over, Charlie tugs on Castiel’s arm and gives him a pointed look. “We should go eat before the party.”

“Okay.” Castiel turns to Dean, shrugging off the jacket and handing it to him with a gentle smile. “Thank you.”

“Of course. You guys coming to Benny’s party or going somewhere else?”

Castiel looks at Charlie since he has no idea. His friend frowns for a second before sighing. “Benny’s.”

“Perfect.” Dean grins. “I’ll see ya there, then.”

Charlie all but drags him away from Dean and the others. Her anger is silent but it radiates around them. Their drive to the pizza joint is awkward. Charlie doesn’t say a word to him. At first, Castiel feels guilty, but by the time they make it to their booth and have ordered food, he’s just pissed.

“Wanna tell me why you’re upset?”

“I don’t like him. He’s playing you.”

“I know that. I’m not an idiot.”

“Then why wear his jacket and let him act like he does with you?”

Castiel plays with his straw wrapper, trying to figure out how to explain it. He knows logically that Dean is just out to get laid. He probably sees Castiel as a challenge. Maybe even entertainment. But Castiel can’t get hurt if he keeps this in mind.

He looks at Charlie with half a smile. “Maybe I’m enjoying the game.”

“The game where you’re guaranteed to get your heart broken?”

“I won’t let it go that far. It’s just nice, ya know? To have someone like him pay attention to me.”

“Cas-”

“Michael is raping me,” he blurts out to interrupt her. “He’s making me do… things. He’s doing things to me. Things that…. that make me feel disgusting. Things that make me feel guilty for ever wanting sex. Things that make me sick to my stomach, because he’s the only fucking sexual experience I have.”

Charlie places a hand over her mouth, a tear slipping down her right cheek. He looks away to keep from crying himself. “It just feels good to have Dean Winchester looking at me like he does. I know it’s a game. But someone as sexually experienced as Dean can’t tell that I’m dirty. Can’t tell that I’m broken. I get raped by Michael and then I come to school and Dean doesn’t look at me different. He stills sees me on the same level as everyone else. I like that, Char. Hell, I need that.”

“I-” Charlie wipes her face and takes a breath, unsure of what to say. The waitress brings them their pizza and she must catch their moods because she quickly turns away and leaves them. Castiel stares at the pepperoni pizza like it’s done him harm. Charlie looks at hers the same.

“Cas, I’m so sorry.”

“I know.”

“It makes sense. The thing with Dean. I won’t bother you about it anymore.” Castiel nods, his stomach finally settling a little bit. “Just be careful. The last thing you need is two guys fucking up your views on sex instead of just this bastard Michael. And with Dean, there’s actually a risk of your heart getting involved.”

Castiel gives her a smile. “I’m smart. Don’t worry.”

“Okay.” She picks at her pizza. “So, do you want to talk about the Michael thing? Because I’d like to talk about it.”

“Can we tomorrow? This night has been.. Nice. It’s so normal. I don’t want to think about him.”

“Of course.” She smiles, and when she does Castiel is relieved to see that it’s the real thing. “Then we’re going to make tonight fun. And you, my friend, are going to get drunk!”

 

-------

 

“Two hundred, dude. Take it or leave it.”

“Man, I only have one fifty.”

Dean just shrugs at the idiot trying to stiff him. He’s been dealing for too long to fall for this shit. He doesn’t even bother repeating himself. He just sucks in a breath from his cigarette and blows the smoke at the guy. It takes twenty seconds before the guy is caving. “Okay. Two hundred.”

Dean smirks and puts out his hand. When the cash is handed over, he stuffs it into the pocket of his jeans and pulls out the baggie of cocaine for the guy to take. Before the guy can even say thank you, Dean’s walking away like nothing happened. He stops in the kitchen for his third beer and starts his search for Ash and Benny again. The two of them were last seen on the couch with Benny’s cheerleader and two of her friends, but they’re gone now.

Just as he catches a glimpse of Benny in the hallway, his attention is snagged in the opposite direction. Castiel showed up some time in the last hour while Dean was busy. He’s on the dance floor laughing with Charlie, Chuck, and one of Charlie’s other friends. A red solo cup is in his hand, liquid sloshing just like everyone else’s as they move to the music.

Deciding to play it cool, Dean sips his beer and looks around for a prospect. Just someone to grind on for a while. He finds her across the room with a friend, watching the dancers with jealousy as her friend talks her ear off. Dean finishes his beer and throws the cup off to the side so he can have his hands free. Then he approaches the curvy blonde.

The girl’s eyes light up and she tugs on her dress as he steps into her personal space. He towers over her, putting both hands on the wall so she’s pinned between it and him. If her friend minds, she doesn’t step in.

“You’re gonna come dance with me,” he says simply.

“Yes.”

Dean winks at her and leads her to the dance floor. Just two arm lengths away from Castiel, who hasn’t seemed to notice him yet. The song changes to ARTY’s Save Me Tonight and the girl wraps her arms around Dean’s neck, growing in confidence as the beat picks up. By the the first chorus, she’s smiling like she wants to eat him alive. She grinds hard against him, breasts pushing against his chest as he moves her hips. Her body turns in his arms so her ass is in his crotch and she starts to move against him again. Dean groans and looks up, eyes locking directly with Castiel’s.

The blue eyed boy has stopped dancing, hair wild and cheeks flushed as he stares at them. When he realizes Dean has caught him he gulps and turns back to his friends. His body slowly builds back up to dancing but he continues to glance over his shoulder at Dean. Dean smirks at him one of these times and, surprisingly, Castiel gives him an angry look back. He's making the boy jealous, and Dean likes that a lot.

Just as the song changes, he turns the girl in his arms and leans down to let their lips clash together. It’s wrong. Never before has Dean not felt at least something when he kisses or hooks up with someone. There’s always attraction fueling him. But now? All his body wants is Castiel. It’s rejecting this girl. Telling him there’s no way Castiel would kiss like this. No way his lips would feel like this. Castiel probably tastes better. He probably doesn’t moan like this girl, who is trying to be a fucking pornstar apparently.

The song morphs into another, this one is Dua Lipa’s One Kiss, like the DJ is inside Dean’s mind. Dean opens his eyes as his mouth continues to move against the girl’s. He’s startled to see that Castiel is watching him again, openly and without any sign of looking away. Neither of them change what they’re doing as they stare at each other. Castiel keeps dancing with his friends and Dean keeps moving his lips, but their eyes never unlock. The girl's lips leave his and move across his jaw. He tilts his chin up to give her better access to his throat and his cock gets rock hard when he sees Castiel lick his lips, eyes tracking the girl's kisses like he wishes it was him making them. Dean would kill for Castiel to come do this to him.

The second the song is over, Dean puts his hands on the girl’s hips and gently pushes her away with a kind smile. “I need a drink.”

“I’ll come!”

He shakes his head. “That was fun, but I’m gonna go find my friends now.”

Her smiles slips but then she laughs and shrugs. He’d feel bad, but he’s seen this girl around school plenty of times and his reputation precedes him. Even guys way less slutty than Dean are probably kissing multiple people tonight. That’s just what happens at parties.

Dean makes eye contact with Castiel and winks, then heads into the kitchen for his fourth drink. He expects the boy to follow, hoping to bring him up to Benny’s room for some alone time. For the first time in his entire life, he wants to bring someone he's attracted to there and do nothing bad. Nothing dirty. Nothing wrong. For the first time, he gets butterflies of anticipation in his stomach - and all he plans to do is talk. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll kiss him.

But Castiel doesn’t come. In fact, when Dean goes back out there, Castiel is talking to a guy. A guy Dean knows is openly gay and way nicer than Dean could ever imagine being. Castiel laughs at something the guy says, his head tilting back as he releases the sound. It makes Dean’s chest ache. No. No. Castiel is supposed to be Dean’s.

 

------

 

After at least an hour straight of dancing, Castiel gets another drink - this is his fourth, or maybe his fifth? He can’t remember - and heads out to the backyard for some air. There’s a bonfire with lawn chairs surrounding it. Some have people in them while a few are empty. Since it’s chilly out, and Castiel had removed his sweater a while ago from getting too sweaty, he shivers.

He sits down in a chair and stares at the flames, sipping his beer. His head swims as he tries to concentrate on the fire. There’s so much movement and colors. All of the voices around him blur into music.

“Hey, you.” Castiel jumps, spilling half his beer when he looks up at Dean.

A rush of excitement warms his body. “Dean! Oh my god, hi!”

Dean chuckles. “Hi.”

“I’ve missed you.” Castiel gets out of his chair and wraps his arms around Dean, squeezing him tight. Dean freezes for half a second before giving in and cradling Castiel gently against him. One hand runs up his back to his head so he can grab a handful of his messy curls and use them to gently pull his head back. When he’s rewarded with Castiel’s big smile and bright eyes, his heart skips.

“Missed you too.”

“Really?”

“Definitely.”

Castiel grins, the hand not holding his drink coming up to touch Dean's face. He gently explores the terrain with shaking fingers, tracing his jawline, cheekbone, eyebrow, and nose. Then he's at his lips. They're surprisingly softer than Castiel ever thought they could be. And warm. Castiel lets the pad of his thumb rest on Dean’s bottom lip and he tugs at it gently.

The alcohol making his body softly buzz tells him it's a good idea to say something he shouldn't. “I didn't like seeing you kiss her.”

“No?”

“No.” Castiel licks his lips, thumb tugging at Dean's bottom lip again. “I bet I could do it better.”

Dean raises an eyebrow and laughs. “You’re drunk, Cas.”

“Very.” His stare lingers on Dean's lips before he finally looks up at Dean's eyes. “And you’re hot, Dean.”

“Oh, god.” Dean looks down at him and frowns. “Where the hell is your sweater?”

“Far, far away.” Castiel waves his hand in the general direction of the house. “There.”

“Let’s get you back inside.”

Castiel nods. “Yes! Great idea! Do you think there’s more beer?”

“I’m sure there is. I don’t think you need any more, though.”

Castiel furrows his eyebrows and looks at Dean like he’s crazy. “Don’t be a fun sucker.” Then the boy giggles to himself, a filthy idea forming as he once again looks at those lips. “You can suck something, though.”

With a mind of its own, Dean’s cock fills with blood. He doesn’t want Castiel to feel it trying to escape his damn jeans, so he pulls away and attempts to laugh it off. Then he takes Castiel’s hand, leading him inside. When they walk through the kitchen they run into Charlie, who is getting a refill from the keg. Castiel throws his hands up in excitement and yells, “Charlie!”

“Cas!”

“I’ve missed you!” Castiel whines, like they've been separated for years.

“You too! Grab a drink! We need to dance more!”

Castiel points a finger at her, wavering on his feet. “Great idea!”

“Maybe not,” Dean says quietly, trying to look at Charlie to let her know he’s had enough. This just earns him a dirty look from the girl.

Castiel just giggles and explains, “He’s a fun sucker.”

“Fun suckers aren’t allowed.” Charlie grabs Castiel’s arm and pulls him to the keg. Dean watches helplessly as they fill Castiel a cup and leave for the living room to dance again. The music is nice and loud in there. Castiel remembers when he sat in his room and looked at pictures of Dean. He had seen the one of him at the rave and wondered what it would feel like to have music vibrating in your body. Throbbing in your veins. Castiel can feel every note in his chest right now. It feels amazing.

He takes a huge gulp of beer and starts hopping up and down with Charlie and the others, yelling the lyrics to an old song that reminds him of middle school. A second later, a set of large hands are settling on his narrow hips. Castiel tilts his head back to rest it on the person’s shoulder, smiling when his suspicions are confirmed and he sees that it’s Dean holding him. The boy gives him a flirty smile before moving against him, grinding his erection into Castiel’s ass. Castiel can’t help but moan, his eyes fluttering closed as he follows the rhythm Dean sets for them.

It doesn’t take long for Dean to start touching him like he did with that girl. Hands traveling up his body, fingertips brushing softly along his bare arms and exposed neck. He dips his head and his nose skims the side of Castiel’s throat. Castiel shivers and presses harder into him. If Dean asked, he’d let the boy fuck him right now. He’d let Dean do anything. Everything. Because he’s never felt this light before. Even when he takes his pills, it’s a freedom that’s relaxing and numbing, but it never makes him weightless. It never makes him feel like this. For that alone, Dean can take whatever the hell he wants in return.

The songs swirl together as Castiel keeps drinking and dancing with Dean, sometimes turning to face him so they can rub their fronts together for a while. Dean always gets frustrated when Castiel tries to kiss him and turns him back around so the boy doesn’t have access to try again. Castiel’s too drunk to care that Dean is acting weird. He just accepts the rejection for the kiss every time and continues to dance.

When a slower song begins, Dean uses his hands on Castiel’s hips to slow him down. Then he turns him so they’re face to face. Castiel tries for another kiss but Dean dodges easily, giving him a wry smile and shaking his head. Instead, his lips settle at the boy’s ear and he says, “Stay here. I’m gonna find you some water.”

Castiel looks at him like he’s crazy. “No water! Beer!”

Dean doesn’t even laugh this time. He gives him a stern expression and says, “I’m getting you water. Now. Stay. Here. Don’t move.”

Castiel rolls his eyes like he’s annoyed, but he’s actually incredibly turned on. The more time he spends with Dean Winchester, the further he falls under his spell. He would worry about it if he wasn’t so drunk. Or if the next song wasn’t one of his favorites. Charlie grabs him and they dance together until they’re sweaty and panting again.

It’s like the entire world is technicolor.

At some point, someone is grinding on him again. He doesn’t think to double check that it’s Dean, but a few seconds into it he realizes the arms around him are blank. No swirling tattoos. No freckles. The body is too hot and it feels heavy, like it's the place where all the weight Castiel was carrying went to rest while he danced and drank and pretended to be happy for a while. Now it's back to suffocate him. One hand grabs him by the stomach, pulls him tight against the other person's front as teeth nip at his neck. His stomach churns. It reminds him of the time with Michael, when all he wanted was to do dishes.

Castiel tastes vomit in his mouth and he tries to pull away. The grip tightens and he looks up for someone to help. Anyone. He slurs, “Get off me.” Or, at least, he thinks he does. No one seems to hear him. He tries prying at the hands and pulling away but the person just laughs and tells him to relax. Charlie isn't in front of him any more. She was here just a minute ago. Where the hell did Charlie go? He's surrounded, the people stealing his oxygen as the guy behind him crushes his body.

The hands move, one holding his hip in place while the other rubs against his cock that isn't hard in the least. Castiel whimpers and squeezes his eyes shut, violently shaking as a sob escapes him.

Then they’re gone. Everything is. He’s not being touched at all and the weight that was behind him isn’t there anymore.

Castiel turns to look for whoever it was that was touching him but the movement sends the room into motion and his head swims. He sways and starts to fall. Someone catches him. His body knows who it is, because it relaxes into the touch instead of sending him into further panic, but his brain isn’t informing him. It could be anyone. All he knows is his body is telling him to trust the person, so he presses his face closer against the person’s chest and hums in appreciation, eyes falling closed.

 

------

 

Dean sits with Castiel on Benny’s bed, the door locked so no one comes barging in to interrupt. He strokes the boy’s hair as he comes to, eyes red as he blinks hard. He panics the moment he realizes he’s somewhere unfamiliar. Dean stops him with a gentle hand on his knee, whispering, “Shh. It’s okay. You're safe.”

“Dean?”

“Yeah. Hey, there.” He ducks his head to give him a smile. Castiel smiles back before looking around again. “You had an attack.”

“Oh, that’s so embarrassing!” Castiel buries his face in his hands after saying the slurred words.

Dean just rubs a circle on his back to soothe him, shocked when Castiel actually leans into the touch. After what happened to him, Dean had worried about touching him at all. He was even nervous to carry him upstairs. “No, you’re fine. Everyone will just think you drank too much and got sick, which happens all the time.”

Tears start slipping down Castiel's cheeks and he just slumps against the pillows of Benny's bed in defeat, not even wiping at them. “Someone wouldn't stop touchin’ me.”

The words are heavily slurred but Dean still understands them.

“I know. I'm so sorry. I couldn't get to you fast enough.” Dean grits his teeth, picturing Lucifer in his mind. He fucking hates that prick, even before this happened he hated him. Now? He can't wait to take that guy out on a backroad with Benny and Ash and teach him a fucking lesson.

Dean forces down the rage that's starting to burn inside him again. He doesn't want to scare Castiel. He can deal with Lucifer later. Castiel takes first priority.

“Was it,” Castiel wipes his face hard and looks up at Dean. “So, it was you? Who pulled him off me?”

“Yes.”

“Thank you.” Castiel looks down at his lap and Dean watches as his face just completely crumples. His next release of breath is a watery sob and his body returns to that trembling and heaving mixture it gets when he has an attack.

“Hey. Shhh. It's okay. You're safe now. You're safe.”

Castiel laughs sardonically, then sobs again. “I'm never safe! Don't you get that?”

His chest aches as he hears Castiel finally admit, at least in part, to what Dean always suspected. “Who hurts you, Cas?”

“No.”

“I can help. Let me help.”

“No!” Castiel's eyes widen in fear. “Don't- you can't - don't say anything!”

“I won't. I won't, I promise.”

Castiel curls in on himself, his sobs growing hysterical. “I just wanted to be normal. For one fucking night!”

“I know.”

“And still, someone tries - tries-" Castiel sucks in a gasp. When he lets the air out, it comes in quick, choppy bursts. “Is there a sign on me?”

Dean scoots closer, surprised again when Castiel leans into him. “What do you mean, Cas?”

“Is there a sign? A fucking advertisement?” Castiel pulls away and looks at Dean, eyebrows pulled in like he’s trying to understand. Like he needs Dean to tell him.

“Advertisement for what, Cas?”

“Here he is. Help yourself.” Castiel stops crying and starts laughing. Hysterical. High pitched. “Is that why you're interested? Did ya see the sign?”

“No,” Dean whispers, starting to understand, souring his stomach with the realization.

“Go ahead, Dean. Take me. Everyone else does.”

“Cas-"

“Come on!” Castiel shoves at him, sobs and hysterical laughs pausing momentarily as rage replaces them. “Come on! I'm drunk. Easy target!”

“Stop!”

Castiel shoves at him again. “What? Not fun if I'm willing? Do you need me to fight you? That get you going? You're just like him!” He sobs again, unable to breathe. He beats his fists against Dean’s chest but the hits are weak and pathetic. “You're just like him! You're just like him. You’re just like-"

Dean grabs him by the back if his neck and yanks him forward, pressing Castiel's face to his chest. He wraps his other arm around the boy and cradles him, starting to rock like he used to when Sammy was little. He even hums one of his mom's songs.

“I'm not like him, Cas. I'll never be like him.” Dean closes his eyes, wishing he knew who it is that’s doing this to Castiel. Wishing he could rip the son of a bitch apart. Whoever him is? Dean can't fucking wait to get his hands on him.

Dean can feel Castiel suffering. Struggling. Unable to breathe. Unable to feel anything as his body fights desperately to numb itself.

Castiel's sobs start to slow. His body begins to relax. Dean knows from other times that it will take awhile for Castiel to fully calm down. In fact, it probably takes a lot longer than even Dean has seen. They have always parted mid recovery, never sticking around to wait the whole thing out. Not this time, though. This time Dean is staying. Through it all, he's staying.

In a broken, tired voice, Cas whispers against his chest, “All you want me for is sex.”

“No.”

“Please. Don't lie to me.” Castiel shifts but only to sink further into the warmth and comfort of Dean.

“I-" Dean pauses, unsure. He's never done this before. If he tells the truth, his guard will be down. It's a terrifying thought. It's also relieving. What would it feel like to finally let someone in? Not Sam, where he needs to protect him from the darkness that surrounds them. Not his friends, where he makes sure to laugh and smile and keep the mood light so he doesn't make things awkward or too heavy. But Cas. Cas, who has darkness around him too. Cas, who looks just as heavy inside as Dean is.

“I started this because I wanted to get in your pants. You looked like a challenge. Like, for the first time, I had found someone who wasn't going to throw themselves at me.”

Castiel pulls away, face pinching. “So you do need me not to want it.”

“No! God, no. It's-" Dean closes his eyes. “I could tell you wanted me. I saw the way you looked at me. But the fun would be getting you to give into it. Getting someone as perfect and straight laced and disciplined as you to admit he wanted someone like me.”

“I'm not perfect.”

“Good.” Dean smiles softly at him. “Because it doesn't matter anyway. I'm not playing the game anymore.”

“What are you doing?”

“I have no fucking idea, blue eyes.”

Castiel opens his mouth to say something, but then his body heaves forward and he slaps a hand over his mouth.

“Shit!” Dean rolls off the bed, still holding him, and runs to Benny's personal bathroom. He gets Castiel there just in time for him to spill his stomach into the toilet. After, he passes out slumped against Dean. It makes the boy smile as he thinks back to the day in art class, when Castiel’s body wouldn’t allow him to fall asleep because he felt unsafe. Now, his body didn’t think twice about it. Just like it didn’t fight him when he saved him downstairs. The panic and fighting had immediately stopped the moment Lucifer’s hands were replaced with Deans.

Dean carries Castiel to Benny’s bed and tucks him in, then lays beside him. He watches the boy sleep for a long time, keeping him safe and comfortable. When he finally passes out too, he’s wrapped around him, smiling like an idiot.

Castiel Novak may be the end of Dean Winchester, and the boy can’t get himself to care. He’ll just rebuild himself, this time into a boy deserving of someone like Castiel. Into the boy that saves him.

Chapter Text

Castiel spends the rest of the weekend hunkered down in his room. When he woke up Saturday morning, he had been at Charlie’s. He vaguely remembered getting there in the middle of the night; Dean, Benny, and Charlie helping to sneak him inside through Charlie’s back door. He remembered Dean pressing a kiss to his forehead as he tucked him into Charlie’s bed. He definitely remembered his panic attack when that guy wouldn’t leave him alone on the dance floor, and absolutely remembered everything that happened with him and Dean in Benny’s room. But none of it made sense. It didn’t Saturday morning and it still doesn’t when Anna and Michael come home Sunday afternoon.

 

He hears them come in but doesn’t leave his room. He just continues laying on his stomach, doing homework on his bed. The door is locked but it won’t do any good if someone knocks. He’d never dare hide behind a locked door. He’d let them in immediately.

 

There’s no point in them coming for him, anyway. The house is spotless. He’d willingly eat off of any surface they pointed to, even the damn toilets. He was full of anxious energy and his thoughts were racing all weekend long. He had a lot to analyze and decide. Cleaning was his outlet.

 

Since Castiel’s life isn’t ever that easy, someone knocks on his door a half hour after they get home. He can tell by the heavy thud that it’s Michael. He digs between his mattress and wall, grabbing his baggie of pills and taking two out. He swallows them dry and then hurries to answer the door. Michael is standing there with his hands in his pockets. Grinning.

 

“Have a good weekend?” Michael asks, walking forward to make Castiel let him in. Michael closes the door and locks it again. Castiel can feel the sound of the lock echo in his chest.

 

“It was great, yes. Thank you.”

 

“Of course.” Michael keeps walking until Castiel is up against the bed. “What did you do?”

 

“Uh.” Castiel starts bending over, pushing his body until he has no other choice but to fall on his back. “Football game. Party with Charlie. Sleepover at Charlie’s.”

 

“What else?”

 

“Nothing. I stayed home Saturday and Sunday. Did homework and cleaned.”

 

Michael climbs on top of him. “Such a good boy.”

 

“Th- thank you.”

 

The heavy weight on Castiel brings him straight back to Benny’s party. A metal spiral from his notebook digs into his back. He focuses on the pain instead of the fear washing over him in waves. When Michael kisses him, he opens his mouth and allows it. When his hands start to explore, he allows it. When his pants are taken off and his legs are spread, he allows it.

 

After that, he doesn’t even know if he allows it or not. The two pills have kicked in. He just slips into a blissful unawareness as he closes his eyes and reminds himself to breathe.



---------




“So, Winchester. You seal the deal with Castiel?” Ash asks, glancing over at Dean as he hands him the joint they’re smoking in Dean’s car.

 

“He was wasted at the party, so there’s no way they got together,” Benny explains.

 

Dean ponders what to say. He wants the whole Castiel subject to be done when it comes to his friends. The best way to do that is for them to believe he came, saw, and conquered. Then he’ll move on to the next object of desire and his friends will completely forget about Castiel, just like they have with everyone else.

 

Then again, he doesn’t like lying to his friends. And he definitely doesn’t like lying about Castiel. The last thing he wants is a rumor going around about them getting together. From the drunken conversation they had, Dean has a feeling that type of rumor is just the kind that would hurt Castiel an awful lot.

 

“Yooohoo? Dean.”

 

Dean takes another hit from the joint and passes it to Benny. “I’m over that.”

 

“Over it?” Benny asks in confusion.

 

“Yeah. Went to check on him Saturday and we hooked up.”

 

Both his friends just stare at him. Ash doesn’t even take a hit from the joint when it’s handed to him, letting it burn up and go to waste.

 

Dean sighs in annoyance. “What?”

 

“Well,” Benny starts.

 

“It’s just,” Ash adds.

 

“Fucking say it or move on.”

 

“Dude, you’ve been bending over backwards trying to get this guy and then boom, over it? Where’s the details? The ‘his ass was so tight’ or ‘he was a needy bottom” or ‘he sucked’? You never hold back on details. Ever. And with how hard you chased him? I figured you’d be pumped. Bring it up first. Not make us drag it out of you.”

 

“It was anti-climatic,” Dean says with a shrug. “It wasn’t what I had hyped myself up for. He was just like everyone else.”

 

They exchange a look but then Benny nods and hands him the joint. “Probably for the best. I think the kid was crushing on you pretty hard. I know how you feel about clingers.”

 

“Yes. Definitely not a fan of clingers.”

 

The bell rings to let anyone left outside know that classes are starting in five minutes. They all take one last hit off the joint and put it out in the empty bottle they’d been using to flick the ashes.

 

As they walk into school, Benny nudges him. “Now who?”

 

“I’m thinking a girl this time. Maybe a cheerleader. Hey, how was the one from Friday? We never talked about her.”

 

“Oh, man.” Benny says it in a fake breathless voice, like he was just overwhelmed thinking about her. “A goddess. So flexible. And her tits? Woof. You should try her out. I’ll introduce you guys.”

 

“I can do the work myself bud, but thanks.”

 

Dean stops at his locker and grabs the book for his math class. He usually skips it but they have a test today. A test he’ll be lucky to pass. Very lucky. Good thing the teacher is a young woman fresh out of college that lets him slide and slack all the time.

 

The day goes easily for Dean. He’s pumped to see Castiel, especially without the weight of his friend’s and the sex challenge hovering over their heads now. Maybe he could be something with Castiel. Not a relationship, he doesn’t believe in those, but friends. They could be there for each other. It’d be nice.



------

 

Castiel is impatient to see Dean. Last night wasn’t as bad as he thought it would be with Michael. Just a quick handjob and done. He didn’t get yelled at yet from either him or Anna. He wasn’t bothered when he left this morning. He’s a week ahead on his homework. He got a test back first period that he got a perfect score on. All in all, it was already a fantastic day. Seeing Dean was going to put him over the edge.

 

When he walks around the corner, he sees Dean with Benny and Ash. Dean’s back is to him as he leans against the wall and listens to his two friends who are facing Castiel. Ash is telling a story, hands going wild. As Castiel gets closer, he dips his chin to hide that he’s smiling. He just can’t help it when hearing Dean’s laugh.

 

Just a few steps away from the door, he hears a low whistle and then a teasing voice say, “I don’t know, Winchester. You sure you can fuck Novak once and just be done? After all that work?”

 

Castiel slows to a near stop, keeping his eyes on the ground and hoping they can’t see him blushing. Hoping Dean doesn’t turn around.

 

Dean laughs, and it’s cruel and distant. “I only ever fuck once. Novak isn’t special.”

 

Novak isn’t special. Well, Castiel supposes he knew that one already. But Dean telling everyone they fucked? That hurts. After what he admitted to Dean? Sure, he didn’t tell him directly, but he pretty much spelled it out.

 

Benny adds to the humiliation by saying, “Bummer. I thought maybe he’d be your first double hitter.”

 

Dean had been so caring. Kind. Gentle. He had rubbed his back and gotten him water while he threw up. He had made sure he was home safe. He had kissed him on the fucking forehead. And now he’s just making Castiel into a joke. One of the sluts in his endless line of sluts.

 

Castiel tries to hurry but doesn’t get inside the room before hearing Dean’s response. “Like I said, nothing special. He wasn’t even good, guys.”

 

Without meaning to, Castiel releases a soft noise of pain. He quickly slams his lips shut and turns around but it’s too late. Dean’s seen him. As Castiel nearly runs down the hall and away from them, he can hear Dean’s shoes on the floor behind him. He makes it to the boy’s locker room before Dean has him by the arm.

 

“Let go!” Castiel yells, whipping around and looking at him.

 

Dean immediately lets go, hands up in the air. Because he knows about the panic attacks. Because he knows that Castiel has been touched without permission granted. Because he knows that Castiel walks around afraid. That’s what hurts Castiel the worst. Dean knows .

 

“Cas, let me-”

 

“I hate you.” Castiel hugs his book he’d been using for his project tightly to his chest, as if it can act as a barrier to keep Dean from his heart. As if Dean isn’t already in there. Imbedded. How could he be so fucking stupid? Had he really started falling for Dean Winchester? The man comes with his own warning signs for christ sake.

 

“I’ll tell them it was a lie.”

 

“Don’t bother.”

 

Dean steps in front of him when he tries stepping away. He steps to the other side but Dean follows, successfully pinning him without making him feel pinned. And Castiel starts to hate him even more. Because even now, as they fight, Dean is keeping him where he needs him to be without causing him unnecessary pain or fear.

 

He lifts his chin and forces himself to look the asshole directly in the eyes. “Tell them whatever you want. Hell, tell them about the sign in case they can’t see it. Castiel Novak. The boy you can use as you please.”

 

“That’s not what this is.”

 

“No? Because it sounds like one of two things. Either you realized I wasn’t going to give into having sex with you but you didn’t want to have to admit defeat to your friends, so you lied, or you realize how broken and dirty and gross and pathetic I am, and you decided that you couldn’t stomach the idea of fucking me, but still needed to lie to keep up appearances.”

 

When Dean opens his mouth, only to close it, Castiel nods like he got his answer. “Goodbye, Dean.”

 

“You aren’t any of those things. And if anyone fucking touches you, I’ll kill them.”

 

“Flattering. Truly. Now move.”

 

“No.”

 

Castiel shoves at his chest and Dean stumbles back but then returns to his spot. He doesn’t advance toward him like he’ll push him back. He doesn’t bunch his fists up like he might hit him. He doesn’t even look angry. His lips are in a sad smile, his hands hanging loosely at his sides, his head cocked to the left like he’s trying desperately to figure Castiel out.

 

Taking a breath first to settle himself, Castiel says, “It’s fine. Just drop it, okay?”

 

“It’s not fine.”

 

“It is. And we don't need to do this anymore. I'll figure out a different way to get high.”

 

“You're not using them to get high,” Dean whispers, watching the boy carefully to gauge his reaction. Castiel just tucks his chin in and stares down at the floor. “You have panic attacks. I've seen them, Cas. You're not fooling me.”

 

“I don't know what you're talking about.”

 

Dean takes a step forward, so Castiel immediately steps back. He regrets it when he feels the wall behind him. Trapped.

 

Putting a hand on the wall beside each of Castiel's ears, Dean pins him with an intense stare that Castiel can't get himself to look away from. “Who is hurting you?”

 

Castiel's body starts to tremble, the tendrils of an attack creeping through his veins. He turns his head to the side and stares down, counting the tiles of the floor. One, two, three, four, five, six. One of the hands leaves the wall, cupping his face instead. Then it slides down so Dean can grab his chin between his thumb and bent pointer finger. He gently guides Castiel's face up until they're looking into each other's eyes again. “You can trust me.”

 

“But you're bad.”

 

“I'm not that bad. I promise.” When Castiel doesn't break after this, Dean pushes harder. “Do I scare you like he does? Do you think I would hurt you?”

 

He feels Castiel's body shiver. “No.”

 

“See,” Dean says with a grin. “I'm not so bad.”

 

“You are, though. You're so bad, you can't-" Castiel cuts off his own sentence and tugs his chin from Dean's grip. Dean lets it go and takes a miniscule step back from him.

 

“I can't what, Cas?”

 

Castiel shakes his head. “Just drop it.

 

“No.” Dean steps forward again, not stopping until their foreheads are resting against each other. He breathes Castiel in, unable to stop a smile. “I can't what?”

 

“Just give me the pills or leave me alone, because that's all I need you for. That's all this is.”

 

Dean doesn't even acknowledge the blatant lie. “I can't what, Castiel?”

 

“You can't save me!” he whisper shouts through gritted teeth.

 

“Watch me.” Dean slams his lips against Castiel's, hands tangling in his hair to hold him steady. He gentles the kiss immediately and makes sure to slow things down, so Castiel can easily stop him if he wants to. He doesn't though. Castiel's hand digs into his back, pulling him closer as he kisses Dean like he really can save him.

 

After a minute, Dean steps away from him. Castiel rests his head back against the wall and sucks in heavy breaths, cheeks flushed and eyes wide. “I'm gonna be the best damn thing you've had in this mad world, Castiel Novak. Get over it.”

 

While Castiel stays there, stunned, Dean reaches into his front pocket and pulls out the baggie of pills. This spot has no cameras, he knows because it's one of his favorite spots to make out or get a handy quick during school. He steps forward and slides the bag into the front pocket of Castiel's jeans, smiling at the still breathless and dazed boy against the wall.

 

“Those are free. Have a good night.”

Chapter Text

The metal cart weaves off course as Ash tries to jump into it while Dean pushes. Dean stops short and shoots his friend a look. “Can you act your age for five minutes?”

Ash gives him a goofy smile. “No.”

“You aren’t riding in the cart.” Dean turns to Benny and Sam, pointing a finger. “None of you.”

“Fun sucker,” Sam mutters, grabbing two cans of soup and adding them to the cart with a smile he’s trying to hide.

“I’ll be back,” Dean hears Benny say before wandering off. Ash looks in the direction of Benny, then says the same thing and leaves too. Dean doesn’t even want to know what the two of them will come back with. Bringing them along to grocery shop was probably a bad idea.

While they’re gone, Dean and Sam tackle three more aisles. Sam talks his ear off about school and basketball and his friends. He’s a funny kid. Everyone jokes that he’s Dean’s mini-me but Dean thinks that’s an insult to Sam. Sam is smarter, kinder, funnier, happier. He has dreams and the drive to follow them. Hell, the only bad parts of him are probably linked to Dean. He’d be much better off without him.

His friends pull him from the dark trail of thoughts when they return. Benny throws condoms in the cart and Ash shakes a bottle of Jack Daniel’s in Dean’s direction before placing it next to them. Dean stares down at the contents. He doesn’t like to buy alcohol when Sam is with them. It’s not that he can’t; no one in the small town bats an eye when they see his fake ID and they never ask for the ID of whoever is with him. It’s just a boundary he hates crossing.

Sam’s airy laugh catches his attention. He looks over to find him and Benny wrestling, dangerously close to a display of poptarts.

“Hey now children! Settle down!” Dean chides, even though he secretly loves watching his friends interact with Sam.

Unfortunately, this just makes them both team up, though. That's how Dean ends up laughing with his little brother slung over his shoulder like he weighs nothing as he tries playfully kicking Benny. That's how Dean ends up looking like a fucking idiot when he turns to see Castiel standing a few feet away.

He freezes and Benny lands a good punch on his face. Nothing that actually hurts, but a hard hit for messing around. Usually Dean would come swinging back. When he doesn't, Benny turns to look at what he's looking at.

Dean puts Sammy down and gives Castiel a careful smile. “Hey, Cas.”

“Hi.” He fidgets and Dean notices that he's unreasonably nervous. More so than he should be. Sure, they kissed, but that was days ago. They've seen each other at school since then. Dean's been giving him some space since Castiel has been quiet and nervous around him, but he hasn't been like this. This is fear, not nerves.

“Hey, look Cas,” Ash says in a mocking tone as he reaches into the cart and picks up a box of condoms. “Dean stocked up for your next fuck session.”

A lot of things happen at once. Ash and Benny laugh. Castiel's face drops. Dean notices a man standing behind Castiel, a hand on the boy's shoulder that's squeezing a little too hard. Exactly where Dean keeps finding bruises on him.

Dean's gut twists. He tries to salvage it by flicking a glare at his friends. “Don't tease the prude, guys. Castiel's probably never seen a condom in his life.”

“But-" before Benny can finish that, Dean ‘accidentally’ elbows him in the ribs. His two friends take a second to actually register the scene. The guy behind Castiel doesn't look old enough to be a dad, but he oozes authority. They're assholes, Dean will admit that, but none of them would pull shit like this around a parent or guardian. That's just against teenager code.

The man behind Castiel gives Dean a smile he has seen before, when his father is so pissed he's going to beat him unconscious, but they're in public so he can't yet. It makes Dean want to reach out and take Castiel from him, because he can't let him take the boy home. Can't let him hurt him. Especially with this one being Dean's fault.

But that would just make it worse.

He's never felt so fucking helpless.

“You must be Castiel's friends,” the man says in a smooth, friendly voice.

Dean's friends buy right into the act. “Yeah. We hangout sometimes.”

“At school. In classes and stuff,” Dean adds. “The nerd doesn't get out much.”

“Yes, Castiel is quite the boring one. Aren't you?” Castiel's blue eyes lock with Dean as he shrugs off the question from the man. The man doesn't let up. “Aren't you going to introduce me to your friends?”

“Oh, sorry. Yeah.” Castiel sucks his bottom lip in for half a second before summoning that smile Dean knows all too well. So fragile and fake and helpless. “This is Ash, Benny, Sam, and, uh, and Dean.”

The man's eyes immediately settle on Dean as Castiel finishes with, “Guys this is my, uh, my - sister's boyfriend. Michael.”

“That's all I am to you? I'm hurt, little one.” The reaction the nickname causes in Castiel's body is visible. Every wall slams down and his knees quiver before Michael tightens his grip on him to snap him back to the proper position. Keeping one hand bruising Castiel, he offers the other to Dean. Only Dean.

“Nice to meet you. Are you Castiel's boyfriend?”

Dean takes one look at the hand before looking up at Michael, refusing to touch him. Refusing to touch the man who hurts Castiel.

“No. Just have art class together.” Dean tries to give him a smile that conveys boredom but he's worried the predator can see through it. Men like him are usually good at that sort of thing. Detecting lies and knowing what's happening around them is important if they want to keep their asses safe.

“Ahh, I see.” Michael slips the hand bruising Castiel's shoulder to the back of his neck. The way he does it looks normal from the front, like a father just holding his son out of love or comfort, but Dean is off to the side just enough to see that he has a curl of Castiel's hair in his fingers and he's twisting painfully. Like he's playing a fucking game with Castiel right in front of his friends. Right in front of, who Michael at least suspects is, his boyfriend.

“Tell your friends it was nice to see them.”

“It was nice seeing you guys,” Castiel forces out. His voice shakes at the end and though he can't move his neck, his eyes dart to Dean's. He's silently pleading but Dean doesn't know for what. Let it go so it doesn't get worse? Save him right this second? Stop Michael but in a way that doesn't reveal he knows the truth?

“Sorry to rush him out of here, but we have a very busy weekend planned. Right little one?”

Castiel nods as his face goes blank again and Dean decides in that moment that when he kills Michael - and it will be a when not an if - he's going to call the bastard little one the entire time.

 

-------

 

When Michael leaves the room, shutting the door behind him, Castiel curls into himself on the bed. His body stopped shaking halfway through the sex and his mind had gone elsewhere, but now that it's over and he's safe to feel… he's feeling everything.

He puts his face in his pillow and sobs. The last thing he needs is more unwanted attention because they heard him crying. Especially since crying is officially a turn on for Michael. He prays the pillow will muffle him because he can't stop. His body has taken over, punishing him for letting it get hurt.

A rush of ice travels through his body at the same time a sweat breaks out and Castiel lunges off the bed, grabbing his wastebasket just in time to spill his guts. He falls back on his butt and immediately regrets it when a wave of pain rushes through his spine. The skin that's been spanked nearly raw and his hole that's been definitely fucked raw both punish him, sending a few more waves of vomit until he's dry heaving. He sits on the floor with the basket in his arms until his body decides to finally leave his stomach alone. By the time he is feeling well enough to get back in bed, he barely has any energy.

But then he shifts and his hole catches fire and he remembers. He remembers. He remembers. It's happening all over again.

Castiel screams into his pillow this time before pulling back so he can pound on it. Over and over his fists hit the pillow. The only thing that pulls him out of his anger is the reminder that he has pills. A fresh stash. He wonders what would happen if he took all of them? Would he finally escape?

Since that's not a decision to be making right now, he settles for two and swallows them down with the near empty bottle of water on his desk. He has to pee but it's eleven steps to get to the bathroom. Too much time to give Michael. He holds his breath so he can listen better and hears the TV playing what sounds like football. Castiel decides he's safe and pulls on a sweater and the loosest pants he can find. They still hurt when they touch his sensitive skin but not terribly. It's a pain he can handle.

He makes it to the bathroom. He dabs at his hole with some wet toilet paper after he's done peeing. It comes back with blood and semen. He gags and throws the paper into the toilet. He feels so icky he wants to scrub his skin off. Would Michael come up if he heard the shower? Is he done for the night?

Castiel decides to risk it. He turns the water as hot as it will go and strips quickly. He doesn't bother washing his hair or enjoying himself. He starts cleaning immediately. Scraping at his skin in the places Michael touched the most, leaving bloody soap trails along his hips and ass. It hurts but the pills are helping and the pain is welcome. Castiel controls this pain. He's in control of his own body. At this moment, it belongs to him.

After he feels a little cleaner, he gets out and dries himself off before slipping back into the clean clothes he had put on to come here. When he brushes his teeth, he realizes he can't look in the mirror. He has no interest in seeing the boy he has now become.

On the sixth step of his eleven, he's grabbed from behind and pushed against the wall. He blinks as his head tries to adjust from hitting it, seeing Michael's face when it clears up.

Castiel sucks in a breath and holds it. “Good boy taking a shower. Did you clean yourself real good?”

Unsure if this is a game, Castiel tentatively nods.

“Did you clean out your slutty little hole, too?”

“As much as I could.” Castiel looks away, tears freely rolling down his cheeks. “It hurt too much.”

“Don't worry. You get a reward now. You took me like such a good boy, little one. And you washed away the evidence so no one can get me in trouble.”

Castiel tries not to show his reaction to that. He had never even considered evidence. He probably wouldn't have the guts to report it, but it would have been nice having the option.

His stomach twists painfully and he wonders if he will throw up again. Michael could care less as he grins at him. “Do you want your reward now or later?”

“Um, later please.” Castiel fidgets, not wanting to anger him. “I'm just really tired.”

“Yeah, I bet you are.” Michael leans over and kisses him on the forehead, like a father or a lover would. An involuntary shudder passes through Castiel and Michael chuckles. “Get some rest, little one.”

“Okay.”

Michael watches him a moment longer, then nods like he's decided something and walks away. Castiel takes the final five steps to his room and locks himself inside it. He just wants to feel safe. It's all he wants. He wants to be able to curl up and rest. Dream. Relax. He wants to be safe. But how? Is it even possible?

Safe. One person comes to mind when he thinks of that word.

 

--------

 

Sinking the beer pong ball into the final red solo cup of his opponent, Dean lifts his hands and cheers with his teammate. They drink in celebration and start harassing the losers, one of them being Benny.

A curvy girl with deep brown eyes and brown hair sidles up to Dean. He gives her a polite smile but he's not going to be hooking up with her. Or anyone for that matter.

“Hey there. Dean, right?”

“Yeah.”

“Madeleine.”

“Hey.”

“Hey.” She giggles like he said something funny. Usually he'd be pumped, because he would definitely have her in the bag. Not this time. “So, do you want to maybe get out of here?”

“I'm good here, but thank you.”

She doesn't seem to find this a deterrent. “I'm sure you hear this a lot, but I could totally rock your world.”

He forces himself not to roll his eyes. He's definitely heard that before. Hell, he’s used that before.

The girl wavers on her feet and giggles again. “I'm a virgin. Isn't that like a trophy or something for guys?” She tilts her head and tries to give him a sexy look that makes him think of low budget porn. “You could be the first.”

Dean's phone vibrates in his pocket. He never ignores it, in case it's Sam, so he pulls it out to look.

Unknown: Dean?

Dean: Uh, yeah?

He watches the text bubble start and stop a few times before the mystery person finally sends back,

Unknown: It's Cas.. I need you.

Dean's heart rate catapults. He had been worrying about him all day since the grocery store. Worrying himself sick. He didn't even want to come to the party tonight. The only reason he did is because he was worried if he didn't come here, he would go barging into Castiel's home instead.

Dean: Anything, blue eyes. What can I do?

Castiel: I'm so tired, Dean.

Dean: I know… let me help. Where are you?

Dean stares down at his phone, fighting the urge to go to Castiel's place. He knows it wouldn't take more than five minutes at this party to find someone who could tell him where it is.

Dean: Cas, please let me help

Dean: I'll come get you. Can you sneak out and meet me somewhere?

Dean excuses himself from the girl and starts to pace, squeezing his phone like he can torture a response from it. His heartbeat pounds in his ears when he finally gets a text back.

Castiel: Can't leave. Can I call you?

Dean: Of course

Weaving fast through the throngs of people, Dean makes it outside and down the street before his phone starts to ring. It's quiet enough here so he sits on the edge of the sidewalk and answers.

“Hey, you.”

“Hey.” He hears a soft sniffle. “Sorry, you're probably having fun somewhere.”

“You actually saved me.”

“Oh really? From what exactly?” Castiel has a hint of a smile in his voice and Dean closes his eyes in relief.

He decides to keep the conversation light for Castiel. It's all he can do. He hates that. Dean could take care of this Michael asshole. He'd eradicate the son of a bitch. But he doesn't fully understand the situation yet and acting too soon could get Castiel hurt. More hurt than he already is.

“A girl. She was offering me her virginity, quite awkwardly.”

“Jeez. She just walked up and offered that?”

“She was really fucking drunk, I think.”

Castiel makes a noise. “Even better.”

“More like worse. Not only do I not fuck virgins, I don't fuck anyone that's drunk.”

“Ah, well then. You definitely weren't going to get anywhere with me.”

“What?” Dean shakes his head in disbelief. “You're a virgin?”

There's a crackle on the other end of the phone, like Castiel is shifting. Then Dean hears a shaky breath being released. “Not anymore.”

The world goes black for a moment and all Dean can think is Save him. Go right now and save him.

He gathers himself, because Castiel needs him to keep his shit together. “Cas, are you - were you,” he takes his cigarettes out for something else to focus on and tries again. “Were you a virgin today at the grocery store?”

“Yes,” the boy whispers.

“But not anymore.”

“No.” The word is less like a whisper and more of a breath. Dean has never felt so much pain. Not even when his dad hit him. Not even when his mom died. Those were pains he could numb. This is different. It's like Castiel has crawled inside him somewhere and Dean's body has now claimed him. Mine.

“I'll kill him.” Dean lights a cigarette and stands up. He can't sit still any longer or he'll explode.

Castiel laughs softly. “Not tonight. I'm too tired for that tonight.”

Dean's heart fucking breaks. “Of course. Shit, you're probably - probably exhausted. Cas. I can't-" Dean closes his eyes and tries to calm himself. “Are you hurt?”

“Not bad.”

“Do you need a doctor?”

“No. It wasn't,” Castiel pauses and waits a minute before finally just saying, “No.”

“Okay.” Dean starts walking, because he's too drunk to drive but there's no way he's going back to that party. “You need to sleep. It's important.”

A choked sob escapes Castiel and Dean wonders how long he's been fighting to keep it in. Between more sobs that sound like he's trying to muffle them, he says, “I can't. I'm so scared. All the time, I'm scared.”

“I know. I know.” Dean turns the corner, no idea where he's headed. “Where do you live?”

“Dean, no. Please. You'll make it worse.”

“Hey, I promised at Benny's remember? I promised not to tell anyone. I won't make this worse for you.”

“Then what are you going to do?”

Dean smiles. “I'm gonna sit outside your house, as close as possible while still hiding. I'm gonna stay on the phone with you. And I'm gonna watch over you while you fall asleep.”

“Really?”

“Really.”

“But, you can't actually keep me safe. If he comes back in-"

Castiel lets the sentence drift but Dean picks it up. “Then I'll hear it on the phone and I'll do something. Anything. Trust me, it will be creative and unable to be linked to you.”

He hears a sigh of relief and exhaustion mixed. “The blue house on the corner of Pine and Jefferson.”

Dean grins as he looks at the street he’s on. “I'm literally a street away. Stay on the phone with me.”

“Okay.”

Neither of them speak as Dean hurries over to the house. It has a backyard full of trees and a garden, as well as some shrubs as a natural fence between the yard and the next yard. Dean finds the perfect spot at the base of a tree that sits right next to a bush. He sits in the apex and gets comfortable.

“Still with me?” he asks.

“Yeah. Where are you?”

“Backyard. In the corner by the tree and the bush.”

“It's cold outside, Dean.”

Dean shakes his head even though Castiel can't see. “This isn't about me. Tonight is about you. Get some rest. I won't fall asleep and I won't leave. I'm right here.”

It takes a minute but then Castiel whispers, “Promise?”

“Promise. He will not hurt you again tonight, Cas.”

He hears a cry of relief followed by some softer cries and a shaky whispered, “Thank you.”

For a while, he just sits and listens to Castiel's breathing as it evens out. He smokes way too many cigarettes. He counts the stars. He thinks. A lot. Plans. Decides. In between these activities, he whispers things into the phone. Sometimes making sure he's still sleeping. Sometimes just simply reminding him, even if he's unconscious, that Dean is still there. That he's safe.

As the sun starts to come up, he takes out the mini sketch pad he keeps in his back pocket and sketches for a while. His phone is about to die and his heart races because he hadn't planned for that. Then, like they're already in sync, he hears some faint rustling and a sleepy little grumble.

“Dean?”

Dean grins. “Good morning, blue eyes.”

“You actually- are you still out there?”

“Of course.” Dean brushes it off, not wanting Castiel to feel guilty. “How did you sleep?”

Castiel makes a noise Dean can't possibly describe before whispering in wonder, “The best I have in months.”

Chapter Text

Monday morning comes to Castiel like water in a desert. Even though Michael never bothered him again, he's needed Dean. He's needed to have his eyes on him. His safety. The guy who spent the night outside in the cold for him.

“Hey nerd,” Charlie teases. “You ignored me all weekend.”

“I'm sorry. I-" Castiel stops, unsure of what explanation to give her. It doesn't matter, though. She figures out enough.

“What did he do? Did he-?”

Castiel shakes his head, eyes pleading. “Don't make me say it.”

“He did, didn't he? That son of a bitch.” Charlie's anger fades when she notices that Castiel is on the verge of tears. She puts a hand on his shoulder and he hurries forward, needing the hug. He squeezes her tight and softly cries into her neck. Still holding him, Charlie whispers, “Come on. We're skipping first hour.”

Usually, Castiel would argue. Not today, though. Today he would have skipped the entire school day if he wasn't so afraid Michael would be at the house.

Charlie leads him toward the theatre, where all the drama kids tend to skip their classes. He follows behind her and tries to get his crying to stop. He's too busy wiping at his face to notice that they're walking by a group of guys.

“Cas?” he hears a familiar voice call. He turns just in time to see Dean stepping away from Benny, Ash, and Chuck. “Cas, what's wrong?”

Dean keeps stepping forward until he has Cas backed up against the far wall, out of ear shot from his friends. He lifts a hand and cradles Castiel's face. “Did he hurt you again?”

“No. No, I just-" Castiel’s eyes drift over to Charlie, who is standing only a few feet away and can definitely hear them, then back to Dean. “I just told Charlie and got overwhelmed.”

“Did he touch you or talk to you?”

“No. I avoided him.”

“Did you get any sleep last night?”

Castiel blushes. “No.”

“I told you to call.”

“It's really okay. I'm okay.” Castiel gives him a weak smile, because Dean already knows him too well. He knows he isn't okay at all.

Keeping his hand on Castiel's face, Dean turns and looks to Charlie. “You'll be with him?”

A sense of respect comes over Charlie's face when she looks at Dean. “Yes. But if he wants you, totally fine!”

They both look at Castiel now and his heart pounds as he realizes they're leaving it to him. His anxiety is too high right now to be making decisions.

Dean takes the choice away. “Here. Come with me. Take the day off. You need to sleep.”

“I think that's a good idea,” Charlie says softly. “Just call me at 330, okay?”

“Okay.”

She gives him a tight hug before turning to Dean. “Take care of him. Please.”

“Absolutely.” Dean gives her a comforting smile. “I'll text you if anything happens.”

Dean's hand settles on the small of Castiel's back as he looks at him. “You need anything from your locker?”

“No.”

“Okay. Come with me.” He gives the order gently, almost like a request, and that makes such a difference for Castiel.

They walk through the front office and Castiel starts to panic when Dean casually leans against the secretary’s desk and flashes her a smile. The secretary, a middle aged lady who is nice but strict, grins at him. “Mr. Winchester. What can I do for ya?”

“Castiel isn't feeling so well. I'm bringing him home.”

The secretary’s eyes drift to Castiel, registering him. She looks surprised. He can't blame her. Castiel is on track to be top three in his class and Dean is, well, Dean Winchester.

“Oh, sweetie. Want me to call your sister?”

Castiel's stomach drops but Dean just gives her an easy smile. “He already talked to her, but she can't leave work until after lunch. I said I'd give him a ride.”

“Oh, well then. You're all set.”

“Oh.” Castiel looks at her in surprise. “Does she need to call or anything?”

“No need. Just take care of yourself, Castiel.”

Castiel exhales, weight lifting from his shoulders by the second. He's led out the door by Dean, who still has his hand on his back, and to the car.

 

-----

 

Dean’s house is small but cozy. It has a little kitchen with a wooden table off to the side, which is where Dean sits Castiel down while he starts pulling ingredients from the fridge. “Do you want scrambled eggs or an omelette?”

“Oh, you don't need to make me anything.”

“What did you have for breakfast?” When Castiel doesn't say anything, Dean nods. “So, scrambled or omelette?”

“I'm not super hungry.”

Dean rolls his eyes. “Cas, I'm afraid to blow too hard in your direction you're so damn skinny. You're eating.”

“Okay.” Castiel turns his face but not before Dean catches a blush. “I'd love an omelette.”

“Ham, cheese, and peppers okay?”

Castiel nearly dissolves into a puddle at how amazing that sounds. “Yes. Please.”

As Dean begins, Castiel looks at what he can see from his spot and notes some details. There's no pictures on the walls, which is strange considering Dean's love of art. The table is rickety and cracked, and there's only two chairs for it. The living room has a decent TV on a stand with a couch and a recliner. There's a basketball by the couch that must be Sam's and a flannel discarded on the floor near the door that must be Dean's. The problem is, he doesn't see any signs of a third person here.

“Will your parents be upset with you skipping school?”

Dean pauses, shoulders tensing. “No.”

“Are they still together? Or are they divorced?”

“Neither.” Dean slices through the pepper with a tad more force than necessary. “My mom is dead. My dad is, well, gone.”

“Oh, wow. I'm so sorry.”

Usually, this is the point where Dean brushes it off and changes the subject. With Castiel, though, he finds himself wanting to open up.

“My mom, she was - she was amazing. One of those textbook moms, ya know? Cooked and baked. She made the best apple pie. She'd sing all the time. If it was a good day, she'd smile. And her laugh was like magic. Actually,” Dean says before pausing to look over at Castiel with a slight smile. “Your laugh reminds me of her.”

“I don't laugh often.”

“Neither did she.” Dean pours the ingredients onto the eggs and sprinkles some extra cheese. “She killed herself when I was eight.”

He hears the intake of breath from Castiel but refuses to look. Instead, he gets the rest out so he can move on from it. “My dad is an alcoholic. Messed up bastard. He comes and goes but our last fight I made sure he wasn't coming back. Not sure if he will listen, but if he does come home, he will regret it.”

“But then, who takes care of you and your brother?”

“Me.”

“That's hard.” Castiel huffs a laugh. “Or nice. I'm not sure. In my case, I'd love to escape, but grass is always greener.”

Dean flips the omelette. “I like it a hell of a lot better than before. Now the money I make isn't used for alcohol and gambling. It's me paying the rent and the bills and buying groceries. I know for a fact things are handled. It's tough, sure, but when my dad was here it wasn't like he was a parent. If anything, I was caring for two kids instead of just Sam.”

“You'd never know. You're so laid back and fun. Always so happy.”

Finally, Dean turns to look at Castiel. “What you see in public isn't exactly me. I put up a pretty great front.”

“I'd never be able to tell.”

“Yeah, well, I've never had a hard time around you. It's easy.”

Castiel's face splits into a goofy grin that makes Dean melt. “Exactly how I feel.”

“Good.”

“Yeah.” Castiel brushes some curls off his forehead, but then starts tugging at them like he's nervous. “You've never asked about my family.”

“I've gotten the cliff notes.”

Castiel laughs. “From who?”

“People.”

“Mysterious. So mysterious all the time,” Castiel teases.

After sending him a wink, Dean turns serious. “How did you lose them?”

“They were in a car accident together.”

“And that's when you went to your sister?”

“Yeah. Anna is my only family.” Castiel sits back in his seat and sinks down. Dean can't help but think that it looks like he's trying to escape. “She wasn't really bad at first. Just strict. But it just kept escalating and then the first time she hit me, I could just see it on her face. She liked it. A lot. From there, she went-" Castiel peers up at Dean, not wanting to finish.

Dean nods, understanding. “Do you want to talk about him?” he asks quietly, refusing to say the asshole’s name.

“He's new. Just a few weeks.” Castiel draws his knees to his chest, feet on the chair. “She said I'm not getting better so she gave him permission to do whatever he wants to punish me.”

The fork Dean was taking out of the drawer clatters to the floor as white hot anger flashes through his system. “She knows?”

“Yup.”

“I'll kill them both.”

Surprisingly, Castiel doesn't protest. He just lays one cheek on a knee cap and looks at Dean sideways. Dean brings the omelette to the table and sets it down, then squats so he can be face to face with Castiel.

“Is this man the first?”

“Yeah. Other boyfriends have hurt me, but never-" he clears his throat and shuts his eyes.

Dean places a hand on his head, gently stroking his curls. “No more, Cas. Let's just eat now. Okay?”

The boy whimpers softly and nods. They remain quiet for the meal. Castiel can only eat half of it and he keeps apologizing but Dean reminds him more than once that it's fine. His stomach isn't used to eating much. He does, however, drink a large cup of water. Dean is almost embarrassed at how pleased he is with this.

When Castiel has had what he can and Dean has cleaned up, Dean takes his hand and leads him down the hall to his bedroom. It's nothing special, just a queen bed with white and gray bedding, a book shelf, a dresser, and a shitty old desk with a lamp. Art supplies and clothes are scattered everywhere. He kicks them a path to his bed, giving Castiel an apologetic smile.

Castiel isn't even paying attention, though. His eyes are glued to the walls. Oh. That.

Dean waits, letting Castiel survey the art. He keeps it all in his room, not displaying it out in the open. He won't even let Missouri display his work. Won't let her submit things to art shows and contests. Dean never shares his art.

It's not that he doesn't think he's good. He can see that he's talented. He can see his potential. But Dean's art is personal. In fact, it's the only safe place in his entire world where he allows himself to be personal. Vulnerable. Real. It's through art that he figures out who he is below the bad boy, jokester persona.

Sam has seen his room on occasion but it's only ever a quick glimpse. His father has never even tried, thank fuck. Benny and Ash haven't even been in it. They've seen pieces in progress here or there when visiting him in the art room, but always by accident and always for just a second before Dean puts them away.

But here he is, letting Castiel take his time. And that's just the embodiment of their relationship right there. Castiel seems to be bulldozing all of his walls.

“They're beautiful,” Castiel eventually whispers, eyes glued to the canvases on the far wall. But then they sweep around and take in the rest for a second time. He grins at Dean, eyes shining. “You're amazing.”

Dean chuckles. “I wouldn't go that far.”

“I would.”

Castiel walks to a particular painting and Dean feels himself blushing like an idiot. It's his most recent. An oil of Castiel.

The painting is realistic, with his messy hair and big eyes. He's smiling, but only halfway. Not from being sad, though. More like Dean is being goofy and he's trying hard to stay serious. Like Dean is pulling the happiness from within him. The parts of his shoulders and neck you can see clothed are covered in navy blue sweater material. The sweater from the football game. His cheeks are rosy like the game too.

The only part that isn't realistic is the various shades of blue strokes worked in. Along a cheekbone. Neckline. Some curls. They're muted with the skin and hair colors, barely visible. Just enough to bring out Castiel's bright eyes.

“You make me look so..” Castiel doesn't finish, hands fidgeting together in front of him as he studies it.

“So what?”

“Beautiful.” Castiel tilts his head. “Happy.”

“You are those things. The first one all the time. And the second is my goal when I'm with you.”

Castiel's face and neck turn red and Dean has to hold back a chuckle at how cute it is.

“I am nowhere near this beautiful.”

“Other way around, blue eyes. You're even more so.” Dean steps forward until his chest is less than an inch from Castiel's back, the fabric of their clothing slightly brushing together. “You have no idea how amazing you are.”

Castiel shivers. “I could say the same for you.”

“Mmm.” Dean takes a chance, resting a hand on Castiel's hip. When Castiel does nothing but relax under the touch, he closes the distance so their back and chest are pressed together. He feels Castiel lean into him and makes sure to stand strong. It's important that Castiel knows Dean is right here. The safety in the storm.

“Do you have a record player?” Castiel asks, referring to the large bookshelf-like storage squares full of old records. Dean smiles at his obvious need to change the subject away from Dean's compliments.

“Yeah. It's not working so it's in the garage for me to fiddle with.”

Before Castiel can try for a new subject, Dean lowers his voice to a husky whisper. “Now it's time to sleep.”

“Okay.”

Dean steps away so he can turn to the bed but Castiel's hand reaches out, grabbing at his shirt. He immediately removes it and looks at Dean in horror. “Sorry. I don't know why I did that.”

Dean just smiles, taking the hand in his. “You needed to touch me. It's okay.”

“It's creepy.”

“No. It's not.” Dean tugs him closer until they're chest to chest, hands still joined together. “Touch me any time you want. Talk to me anytime you want. Call me. Text me. Interrupt me. Bitch at me. Make fun of me. Any. Time. You. Want.”

“Why?” Castiel whispers, eyes wide in fear as he starts to understand where Dean is going.

“Because,” Dean takes a deep breath, unable to process at the moment what he's about to do. “Because I'm yours.”

“You are?”

“It feels like it.”

Castiel's grip on his hand tightens as his eyes glaze over with tears. “It feels like I'm yours too.”

“Yes. Mine.” Dean rests his forehead against Castiel's, inhaling him.

“Mine,” Castiel repeats, claiming Dean back.

“Sleep now, okay? You really need some rest.”Castiel nods and turns to the bed. When he hesitates, Dean asks, “What's wrong?”

“Oh. Nothing. Just.” Castiel blushes. “Do you maybe have some sweatpants or something? These jeans aren't very comfy.”

Dean grins, deciding that he definitely wants to see Castiel in his clothing. He goes to his dresser and picks out some gray sweatpants, then takes out his absolute favorite shirt. He's had it since he was little, his father had bought it for him to grow into - back before mom died. He didn't fit into it until high school but he still wore it all the time to sleep or hangout in the house, so it's worn down and the softest shirt he's ever felt now.

Handing the clothes to Castiel, Dean turns away to take his own clothes off and give him some privacy. He dresses faster, in sweatpants and another shirt. He starts to turn back but catches sight of Castiel pulling the shirt over his head and freezes halfway.

“I'll kill him,” he whispers, unable to stop the words. Castiel pauses before taking a deep breath and letting the shirt fall down his torso. Despite the Zeppelin shirt in the way, Dean can still see the marks. They're burned into him.

He pushes the dark thoughts away, climbing into the bed and putting a hand out for Castiel to join. The boy hesitates before slowly climbing into the spot next to him. Dean keeps the arm out that had reached for him, using the other to gently coax Castiel into using his chest as a pillow. When he settles right where Dean hoped he would, he wraps his two arms around Castiel and closes his eyes.

“Dean?” Castiel whispers against his shirt.

“Yeah?”

“Thank you for being safe.”

Dean's heart breaks and swells at the same time. “Always, blue eyes.”

And to prove that he truly believes what he said, Castiel is sleeping within seconds. He feels physically lighter as his muscles completely relax and the weight if his world lifts. For a while, Dean just lies there and enjoys the moment. The first time he's ever cuddled. The first time he's ever had feelings for someone. The first time he's let anyone call him theirs. They haven't even had sex yet. Hell, Dean doesn't know if Castiel will want to do that any time soon with all things considered. Yet, Dean has never felt happier.

Chapter Text

The pain on Dean's face when he has to let Castiel leave breaks Castiel's heart. He's never had someone care this much. Even his parents were distant, as many wealthy parents are. Charlie cares but she's never stepped in like this. She's never taken control, always letting Castiel spin while she sits back and offers support. Dean begged Castiel not to go home. Promised he would help. Maybe he could get emancipated, and then he wouldn’t have to deal with the whole foster care thing. Even if he does have to do foster care, Dean argued, isn’t that better than what’s happening now?

 

Castiel asked for time to think about it. He could see in Dean’s eyes that he was terrified to give him too much of it.

 

Castiel enters the house as usual, on his tiptoes while holding his breath. He goes through his normal routine and makes sure not to miss anything. If someone is home, they're being quiet. He won't make the mistake of thinking he's alone. That's just asking for trouble.

 

Sure enough, just as his chores are done and he's headed to his room for homework, Michael comes out of Anna's room. His hair is a mess as he wipes sleep from his eyes. When he sees Castiel, he stops short and gives him a slow smile.

 

“Hey little one.”

 

“Hello.”

 

“How was school?”

 

“Good.” Castiel fidgets, unsure of what to do. Sometimes Michael does this. Just talks. Other times, it's a sick foreplay. After a day in Dean's arms, he's not sure he will survive if this turns dark.

 

Michael steps forward, pushing a curl off his forehead. “You're afraid of me.”

 

“N-no. Not at all.”

 

“You are.” Michael gives him a gentle smile. “I hurt you the other night.”

 

Still unsure if this is a game, Castiel decides to stay quiet. He lets Michael run his hands along his body. Cup his face. Kiss his lips. He lets Michael cradle him to his chest and hold him. It all feels so wrong, especially now. He doesn't do any of it like Dean. All Castiel wants is Dean.

 

Michael rubs his back in slow circles, like he's comforting him. “Don't fight me next time and it won't hurt so bad.”

 

Next time. Next time. Next time. The words pound in his ears. He figured there would be one, of course, but it's different to hear it. To know for certain.

 

He pulls away and looks at Castiel, searching for something. Castiel wishes he could figure out what so he can offer it up. He doesn't want to get hurt again. He wants to obey.

 

After another moment, Michael steps away. “Go do your homework, little one.”

 

With a nod, Castiel turns on his heel and rushes to his room. He hovers his fingers on the lock of his door but can't get himself to do it. Instead, he goes to his bed and waits for his fate.



-------



When Sam comes home, he stops short at the sight of his brother in the dining room, painting on a huge canvas. He starts to back away, knowing how he feels about people seeing his art, but Dean catches sight of him and grins.

 

“Hey, Sammy.”

 

“Hey. I can go.”

 

“What? No. You just got home.” Dean takes a sip of his Jack Daniels, straight from the bottle, and looks back at his painting. “What do ya think of it?”

 

Sam nearly chokes. “The painting?”

 

“No, my hair style today.” He rolls his eyes. “Yeah, the painting, Sammy.”

 

“It's,” Sam pauses to look at it, since he was trying to avoid it before. It's the silhouette of a person, bent partially in half with their face in their hands. It's made up entirely of random strokes of paint in black and shades of gray, which makes it choppy and unclear. “It's sad.”

 

“Yeah.” Dean takes another swig, wavering on his feet. “He is.”

 

“He?” Dean didn't mean to say that, but he's too drunk to deny the slip. He just takes another drink instead. “Dean, what's going on?”

 

Sam stands in front of him, blocking his view from the canvas. He looks into his big brother's blood shot eyes and his heart breaks for him. It's not often Dean gets emotional drunk. Dean drinks to forget and have fun. Something really bad has to happen for him to let himself wallow in whiskey and feelings. And usually that leads to being an angry drunk, not sad. Sam has only seen sad-drunk Dean a few times. He doesn't like him.

 

“Dean?” Sam prompts, trying to get his brother to talk.

 

“I need to go out for a while.” Dean gives him a tight smile. “There's money in my dresser. Order pizza.”

 

Sam grabs his bicep but he shakes him off. “Dean, who is this? Who is the sad guy?”

 

Taking a final drink before putting the bottle of whiskey down on the counter, Dean looks him in the eye. “Doesn't matter. He won't be sad long.”

 

“What does that mean?”

 

Dean ignores him, grabbing his jacket and heading out the door. He bypasses the impala and decides to walk. Ash only lives a few blocks away and it's not worth putting his life in danger. Sammy needs him too much.

 

Castiel needs him too much.

 

As always, Dean just strolls into Ash’s house. He nods hello to his dad, who is in the kitchen cooking dinner, and heads up to his room. Ash is smoking a joint while lying back on his floor, a vinyl spinning on his record player.

 

After one look at Dean's face, Ash lifts the joint in the air and waves it in the direction of his friend.

 

Dean accepts it, taking a puff while sitting on the edge of his bed. They pass it a few times until it's gone. Then Ash sits up and cocks his head to the side. “What do you need, my friend?”

 

“Information.”

 

“Well then. You've come to the right place.” Ash gets to his feet and leads Dean to his computer room. He hits a few buttons and all eight of his monitors light up. “Name?”

 

“Well, one thing first.” When Ash looks at him with an arched eyebrow, Dean explains. “It's personal, Ash. I can't have you asking questions or looking deeper than I want you to.”

 

His best friend stares at him for a full minute, then slowly nods. “Deal.”

 

“And Benny. He can't know.”

 

Ash frowns. “No. We have rules. No secrets, Dean.”

 

“It's not my secret.”

 

“You're making it yours right now. You're making it ours .”

 

“Okay.” Dean backs away. “You're right. Drop it.

 

“That's not what I meant.”

 

“Forget it.”

 

“Dean.” Ash stands up, grabbing him when he tries to leave. “You don't get to show up here clearly wasted, looking like fucking hell, talkin’ about secrets, and then run.”

 

Hanging his head, Dean stares down at the floor. He's about to cry. Fucking fall apart at the seams. Dean Winchester doesn't do that shit.

 

He takes a breath to steady himself, then looks at Ash. “I need to fight. I need to fuck someone up.”

 

After another second of studying him, Ash lifts the corner of his mouth into a smile and pats him on the shoulder. “Alright. Let's find someone.”


“No.” Dean grins and it's wicked. “I already have the perfect target.”

Chapter Text

When Castiel gets to school the next morning, he's already looking for Dean. He keeps his eyes peeled while unloading his backpack and getting his books out for his first class. That's why he sees Dean the moment he enters the hallway. It's hard not to. The crowd parts like the red sea for him, which isn't exactly unusual for him but today it's even more dramatic. Castiel understands why.

The boy's face is covered in bruises and cuts. He's wearing nothing but tight fitting black jeans and a white cotton shirt so thin you can see where his arm tattoos continue on his torso. A cigarette is tucked behind his ear. He looks like sex on a stick. The perfect definition of a bad boy. It both terrifies and turns Castiel on.

He tries to follow Dean to his locker but the hall fills again with chaos and he ends up losing him. Charlie approaches Castiel with a wry smile, eyebrows pulled in. She looks over her shoulder at the spot where she just watched Dean get swallowed up by the crowd as well, then back at Castiel. “Did you hear what happened?”

Castiel’s heart begins to race. “No, did you? Are people talking about it? Who hurt him?”

“Oh yeah, people are definitely talking. But Dean’s injuries are nothing compared to what he did to Lucifer.”

“Lucifer?” Castiel’s eyes widen in realization. “He fought Lucifer?”

“Fought isn’t exactly the most accurate word to use. He kicked Lucifer’s ass. He,” Charlie glances around before stepping closer to him and lowering her voice. “He nearly killed him.”

“Seriously? What happened?”

She shakes her head. “I don’t know. The rumors are all over the place. Some say Lucifer started it, some say Dean went looking for him. Balthazar said that they were shooting hoops at the park downtown and Dean showed up with his crew. Beat him within an inch of his life and then left him there. Balthazar said Dean just looked at him and his eyes told him not to tell anyone. He apparently didn’t. Just called 911 and told the cops that he didn’t recognize the guy who jumped them.”

“Jesus.” Castiel slams his locker shut and pushes past Charlie. “I have to go. See you later.”

Castiel tries finding Dean before class but can’t track him down. He spends the next three hours attempting to find him. He starts to think that Dean is purposely avoiding him. Then, surprisingly, Dean seeks him out. He's waiting outside Castiel's fourth class of the day with a smile. A crooked smile, because his lip is swollen from his fight.

“God it's good to see you, Cas.”

Castiel squints at him in skepticism but he lets Dean put a hand on his back and guide him away from everyone. When they're in a semi-private spot, Castiel turns on him with a frown. “What happened to you?”

“Don't worry about it. I'm fine.”

He grits his teeth, not willing to let this go. It’s not that he needs the information. Balthazar is Lucifer’s best friend, and also a decent friend of Dean’s, and he can’t see the boy lying. He knows his story may be exaggerated a little but the point is still there. Castiel knows why Dean has the bruises. He wants to know if Dean will tell him. “Dean. Come on. What happened?”

“I promise. It’s not a big deal.”

Castiel rolls his eyes. “Fine. Next time I come to school with bruises, I'll tell you the same thing.”

He sees Dean's jaw tick. “I needed to get some pent up energy out.”

“And?”

“And I went and found someone who deserved to be fucked up.”

“And Lucifer deserved it?”

Dean’s eyebrows lift in surprise but then he nods, like he should have known that Castiel would find out. “Yeah, Cas. I’d say he deserved it. Wouldn’t you?”

“I-” Castiel pauses, unsure what to say. He hates violence but he hated how Lucifer made him feel even more.

“Don’t worry about it, okay baby? It was just practice anyway.” Before Castiel can ask what that means, Dean is leaning down and placing a soft kiss on his forehead. “How was your night? You never called.”

Letting Dean shift the conversation, Castiel gives him an apologetic smile. “Sorry. My phone died and I left my charger here.”

“Don't be sorry. I just worried about you.” Dean lifts a hand and tidies up his curls, smiling when a defiant one once again falls on Castiel's forehead. “So? How was it?”

“It was fine. Quiet.” Castiel lifts a hand to his face, fingertips hovering over a bruise. “Much less violent than yours.”

Dean grabs his hand and presses a kiss to the fingertips. “Come with me. Eat lunch.”

A deep flush crawls up Castiel's cheeks. “I ate already.”

“No, you didn't.”

“I-" Castiel swallows his next lie. “I don't have one. And I don't have money. I wouldn't, well, I didn't earn a lunch.”

Fire flashes in Dean's eyes. “What did you need to do to earn lunch today?”

“Blow him.”

Dean clenches his fists at his sides. “He let you say no?”

“Yeah. He knows he could take it if he wanted to, but he likes giving me choices like that. I’ll be starving and then I’ll get home and have to give him one anyway, meaning in the end, he wins.”

Trying not to show his anger, Dean clears his throat and forces a sticky smile. “Well, lucky for you I have money and a car.”

Castiel shakes his head. “We aren't supposed to leave campus for lunch.”

“I take rules like that as a challenge.”

“Do you know what Michael would do to me if he found out I challenged a rule? This isn't a game. This isn't fun. We can't all just fly through life without consequences.”

When Dean says nothing, Castiel deflates. “I'm sorry. That was rude.”

“No. It was true.”

“I know you have a ton on your plate. No parents. Raising Sam. And I totally just made it sound like you're some spoiled rich kid.”

“Cas, you're fine.” Dean tugs on that stray curl and smiles. “I get what you're saying. There's no one for me to get in trouble with. I break a rule, they give me a detention. Boo hoo. I need to remember that you have real consequences. I'm sorry.”

Castiel nods. “Anyway, I can just go to the library. We can catch up after you eat.”

Dean rolls his eyes and grabs his hand. “Okay, maybe I can't have you break rules with me but we can do better than that. Come.”

 

--------

 

After Dean has Castiel stuffed full of the best food from the cafeteria’s a la carte line, he brings him to his fifth class. Then he goes straight to the art room. It's not his hour but he doesn't care about skipping science. He needs to do something with his hands while he works on a plan.

Castiel can't keep starving, but that's easy enough since he can feed him here. The other two issues are much harder to fix; the boy needs rest and safety. His class schedule is too busy for naps, and he's not free outside of school to sleep either. And the minute he's home, Dean has no power over the abuse he will endure.

He ignores Missouri's concerned look and heads back to the supply closet. He decides to work with clay today. Something nice and pliant for him to sink his hands into. Putting his headphones on, he blares the new Asking Alexandria album and begins to work out his frustrations.

At first, he doesn't know what he's making. His mind is focused on after school activities. He knows Castiel is a part of some clubs, but he has to actually do things for those. They aren't an opportunity for free time. He wonders if there's a way to get him on a fake club. Or a club that exists but won't tell anyone he isn't participating. That would kill two birds, since he could go with Dean to get rest and it would prolong his return home. That's when he comes up with the idea of getting Castiel to join the set design crew for the theatre program - a club led by Missouri, who he knows would never report them missing.

He's pretty sure Castiel has the newspaper on Tuesdays. The other clubs he has vary on days, and sometimes only meet once or twice a month. If every day of the week he had set design, then he could sleep during seventh hour and into the club time on days he’s free. A solid two or three hours. Hell, that's a long enough gap for Dean to bring him home so he can sleep in a real bed and feel safe. Then he can feed him dinner and send him on his way.

But how does he keep Castiel safe once Michael has him?

He nearly growls just thinking about the man. When he wanted to fight last night, he had wanted more than anything to make it him. But he can't just hurt this man, or he will only make things worse for Castiel. No, when Michael's time comes, Dean will kill him. He can't kill on a whim like that, though, or he'll find himself in a jail cell. It will take time. Planning. Tracking down a few of the cons that his dad ran with.

So, he settled for the next best thing. Tracked down Lucifer and made him regret ever touching Castiel at that party. Dean only looks like he does because he needed pain, too. He let Lucifer get some good shots in to help fuel his anger before he unleashed himself on the guy. Last time he checked, he's still in the ICU. If he wakes up, Dean knows he won't be talking. He made it quite clear what would happen then.

A soft tap on Dean’s shoulder draws his attention. He look up at Missouri, pulling out an earbud so he can hear her. She drags a stool close to him and sits down. When she looks at the clay piece in his hand, he does too.

It takes his breath away. The figure is still rough, it will take more polishing and forming, but it’s clearly a boy reading a book against a tree, legs crossed. The fact that Castiel once again squirmed his way into his art isn’t all that surprising. It’s what Dean subconsciously added that shocks him.

A set of angel wings. Large and strong. Beautiful. Sprawled out on each side of him, leaving room for his head to rest against the trunk of the tree in between them.

“It’s beautiful,” Missouri whispers.

Dean just nods, stopping himself from telling her it’s not nearly as beautiful as the real thing. Instead, he focuses on the practical. He shoves his emotions aside and remembers that he has a job to do.

“Miss?”

“Yes?”

“You’re in charge of the set design for the theatre program, right?”

Her eyebrows raise in surprise. Obviously, she was expecting something different. “I am. Yes.”

“Does the club meet every day or how does that work?”

Missouri purses her lips. “Dean Winchester, what in the world are you after?”

“Castiel Novak,” he states simply. It’s not his secret to tell, but if he’s going to hint at it to anyone, it will be Missouri. Missouri kept all of Dean’s secrets. She gave him a safe place. “He needs an excuse not to go home until as late as possible. Preferably every day. And, preferably, he’d be able to eat and sleep instead of actually participating in the club. And, definitely, if you were to be asked by his sister or her boyfriend, you would say that he’s there every day, participating, and doing great. And you would not mention me on any circumstances.”

“Okay, slow down now.” Missouri looks around, checking to make sure no one is eavesdropping. “I can do this, but I need to know something first. And you know what that is.”

She gives Dean a look that’s brimming with meaning. Dean nods. He had to answer it once before. About himself. Now it’s time to answer it about Castiel. The one spot where she draws the line. He just prays he’s right in his guess. “He’s safe.”

“You’re positive?”

“I-” Dean pauses, because he doesn’t lie to Missouri. It’s their deal. He rubs at his face. She’s not asking if he’s safe regarding abuse, it’s clear he’s not. She’s asking if he’ll survive the year. She’s asking if this boy is going to die under her watch, or if she’s going to be able to help keep him going just long enough for him to escape. Dean doesn’t know if Castiel will survive the year. It terrifies him.

Putting his head in his hands, Dean grunts, “No.”

“Dean, honey, if it’s that bad for him-” she doesn’t finish. She doesn’t need to.

He keeps his face hidden, afraid to show her what he’s feeling. “I’m taking care of it. I swear. Just a month or two and he’ll be safe for real. But until then, you gotta help me, Miss.”

“Dean.”

“Please.”

“Honey, look at me.”

Dean breathes in through his nose, then slowly exhales the air through his lips. When he looks at her, he nearly flinches. She looks ready to cry. “I need you to do this, Miss.”

“I need to talk to him.”

“I can’t tell him I told you.”

“You haven’t told me a thing, other than he needs some help sleeping and eating.” She takes one of his hands. “I’ll do this. I’ll make this happen. But not through you, Dean. I need to speak with the boy myself. He has to know he has an adult on his side.”

Dean nods frantically, chest loosening when he realizes she’s saying yes. “Okay. Okay, yeah. I’ll have him talk to you seventh hour?”

“Yes. The set building doesn’t start for another week, but that’s fine. I’ll make up a handout to send home with him. Maybe even a permission sheet. I’ll make him my personal assistant for it, so if they ever stop by and he’s away, I can say he’s off running an errand for me or something. It will also make sense why he’s here every day, even if some days the club doesn’t meet.”

“Miss, you’re a fucking genius.”

“Language.”

“Yeah, yeah.” He launches at her with a hug. “Thank you so much, Miss. Thank you.”

She gently strokes the back of his head, humming. “He’ll be alright now, honey. We’ll make sure he’s alright.”

Dean’s relief is enough to make his eyes burn. He doesn’t even fight the sting of tears, letting them flood and pour onto his cheeks. He’ll be alright. He’s alright.

Chapter Text

Halfway through a chapter of his Advanced Biology textbook, there's a quiet knock on the door. Castiel hides his phone just in time for Michael to enter. He can smell the booze on him from across the room. It makes Castiel nervous. He's never had to deal with Michael when he was wasted. Will he be more violent? Or will he be more loving?

“Hey little one.”

Castiel sits up and forces a smile. “Hello.”

A crinkling sound draws his attention to Michael’s hands, his heart racing. He’s holding the handout Missouri gave him for the new club plan her and Dean devised. She had spent seventh hour talking with him. He didn’t have to tell her things. He didn’t have to say what was happening. He didn’t ask what Dean told her, and she didn’t say. But she made it clear that he was going to be safe and taken care of. She gave him her number to call any time.

Castiel watches as Michael smiles down at it. “Every day after school until 6 PM. That must be quite a set you’re building.”

“I’m her assistant, so I’ll be helping with a bunch of other stuff too.”

“Hmmmm.” Castiel holds his breath, trying not to look suspicious or nervous. “This is something you’re really interested in, then?”

“Yes. I really like this teacher. And it’ll look good for college.”

Michael nods. “You planning to go to college around here, Castiel?”

The boy’s gut twists. He’s unsure what to say. If Michael wants him to stick around to be a fuck toy next year, he’ll say no to helping him get into a college far away. If he wants him to go away so they don’t have to be bothered, then Castiel telling him he wants to go far away for college will make him say yes.

He’s so sick of trying to guess the right answer.

“I haven’t really decided yet. Applications aren’t due for a few more months.”

“I see.” Michael puts the paper down on his desk, then crosses the room to stand in front of Castiel. Without being told, Castiel moves toward the edge of the bed and lets his legs dangle, ready for Michael to feed him his cock if he chooses.

Stroking his curls, Michael smiles down at him fondly. “If you do something for me, I’ll let you join this club.”

Castiel swallows. “What do you want?”

“I want you to fuck yourself on me.”

“What - what’s that mean?” Castiel clasps his hands together and squeezes tight. “Like before? When you, you, um-”

“When I put you on your hands and knees on your bed and fucked you? No. Not like that.” Michael grins, and it’s sickening. Sinister. Full of something Castiel isn’t sure is human. “I’m going to sit with my cock out and watch you fuck yourself on me. You’re gonna ride me, baby. You’ll look me in the eye the entire time. All the pain and the pleasure, you’ll force on yourself. It’ll be you moving. You having the sex.”

The words are knives in his throat, stealing his ability to breathe. That’s too much to ask. Too much. But it’s just one time. Then you get Dean. Every day. From when seventh period starts to when the club gets done. You get Dean. Think about Dean, Cas.

Unable to remove the knives, he nods. He’s crying already but he’s not concerned. That’ll just make Michael hornier. Maybe if he cries really hard, Michael will be so turned on he’ll come fast. It’ll be over quick.

“Such a good boy for me,” Michael slurs. He pushes his jeans down to his ankles and steps out of them. Then he settles on Castiel’s bed and rests his back against the wall. Castiel starts to climb onto him but he shakes his head and points to the spot in front of the bed where he was just standing. “On your feet. Strip for me. And make it good.”

Castiel pushes to his feet. This is just humiliation. He can handle that. Really, it’s nothing. It’s him taking his clothes off. The guy has seen him naked already.

He does it slowly, giving Michael time to rake his eyes along each exposed area before moving onto the next. When he’s down to his boxers, Michael makes a swirling motion with his finger. Castiel turns so his ass is facing Michael before shimmying out of the final piece of clothing. He hears Michael suck in a breath when he bends over to take the boxers off his ankle. He stands up and turns back around, trying to keep himself from shaking too hard.

“You never got your reward from the other night.” Michael does a come hither finger for him. He slowly crawls onto the bed, stopping when Michael puts a hand on his chest to keep him from climbing onto his lap. “We’re going to prep you, baby boy. Make sure you’re not hurt like last time. You earned it.”

Castiel bites his bottom lip and nods. Does he want that? The idea of it not hurting, the idea that it could feel even a little bit good, makes him feel dirty. Can it still be rape if he’s fucking himself on the cock? If it feels good? If he prepped himself for it?

He watches as Michael pulls out a bottle of lube from the pocket on his flannel shirt. He looks at Castiel, one eyebrow raised. “Want me to do it, or will you be doing it yourself?”

“I can do it.”

“Are you sure? Do you know how? Because it’s not my fault if it hurts because you wouldn’t let me help.” When Castiel pauses, Michael jumps on the weakness and pushes more. “I’ll be gentle with you, little one. I promise. This is your reward, remember? I’ll make you feel so good.”

A sob escapes Castiel’s lips on accident. He wants to feel good. God, if he has to be raped, he might as well, right? But then is it rape? What’s happening? Surely he doesn’t want to let Michael take care of him like that, make him feel good, because that would mean he likes him? Then it really can’t be rape, right?

“Come here sweet boy,” Michael whispers, taking one of his hands. Instead of pulling him onto his lap to straddle him, though, he gently turns Castiel onto his stomach. Castiel puts his face in his pillow and squeezes his eyes shut, sick with himself as he feels Michael spread his cheeks open.

A wet finger slides around his hole and he involuntarily clenches. Instead of getting whipped like he did the first time Michael raped him, he gets a soft kiss to the small of his back. Michael whispers, “Shhh, baby. Just relax. Let me in.”

Castiel’s entire body begins to tremble and he feels nauseous, but it’s for a different reason. Michael’s acting like they’re lovers. He’s going to make it feel good.

Castiel is sick.

He should never speak to Dean again after this. He can’t.

His body reacts when the first finger slowly begins to slide in. He jerks and yells, “No!” kicking his leg out and trying to get away.

A hand settles on his back, pressing him firmly into the bed. Michael is so much stronger than him. All it takes is that one hand and Castiel is nothing but some flailing limbs.

“Calm down, sweetheart. Calm down.”

Castiel hugs the pillow, crying into it. He’s so mixed up right now.

The finger slides back into him. It hurts, even though it's gentle. As he works him open, Michael rubs slow circles on his back, soothing him. He hushes him whenever he whimpers. Presses kisses to his naked skin.

A second finger is added and they start to explore, searching. Searching. Searching. He jolts forward and gasps when Michael caresses his prostate. It’s such a soft but firm touch. Castiel’s never been able to find it inside himself, but holy hell is it good. It feels so good.

He hates himself.

“That’s it baby,” Michael whispers, a smile in his voice. Castiel isn’t sure what he’s referring to until he realizes he’s grinding against the mattress, fucking back on those fingers that are doing amazing things to his body.

He tells his body to stop. He tells it to not enjoy this. Tells his cock to soften. Tells his hips to stop rocking. Tells his lips to stop releasing those slutty moans.

Nothing is listening to him. Nothing cares.

A third finger is added and it burns a lot. He wiggles against it, trying to push it out, but Michael holds him in place and whispers to just breathe. After a few more seconds, the pain ebbs. Then he just feels full as the fingers hit right there, right on the perfect spot. Swirling again and again and again. Just when he feels an orgasm building, the fingers are pulled out. He whimpers and looks back at Michael with red rimmed eyes, sniffling.

“Please. Please, don’t stop.”

“I know baby. You want to be filled. You need a cock in your slutty little hole don’t you?”

Castiel sobs, the sound heavy and crackling. He sobs and nods his head, because he does. His body feels like it might die right now and he doesn’t understand anything. He doesn’t understand why it won’t listen.

He doesn’t even notice that Michael is pulling him close, cradling his head to his chest. He strokes Castiel’s soft hair, his hard cock bumping at Castiel’s entrance. His free hand wraps around Castiel’s aching cock and starts stroking it, thumb pressing against the slit every few seconds.

It drives Castiel out of his mind with need. His teenage boy brain is screaming to be fucked. To be filled. To come with a cock in him.

“That’s it, little one. That’s my good baby boy.” Castiel just nods, continuing to sob. The praise feels nice. He shifts his hips and stops when the head of Michael’s cock is where it needs to be. He starts applying pressure, holding onto Michael for support. It’s a stretch and burn that stings still. He's too big, even after those fingers. Especially when he starts sliding past the area where the fingers couldn't reach, the muscle there unstretched. His rim catches and he hisses, pulling up and away.

Michael tightens his grip on his cock, using his other hand to pull Castiel back in place. “Get back on.”

“It hurts. I need more prep. Or lube on it, maybe?” he asks, referring to the dry cock.

“No. It won't feel good for me if I use lube. You have to get used to it.” Michael shakes his head. “It only hurts for a few seconds, I promise.”

Biting his lip, Castiel nods. He doesn't want to piss Michael off. He doesn't want this to hurt more than necessary. And, if he's telling the truth, Castiel does need to get used to it for any future man.

For Dean. He doesn’t want to make Dean use lube if it doesn’t feel good. All he wants is to make Dean feel good. This is a lesson. If he looks at it like that, he can almost breathe again. Almost.

He slowly slides back in, hitting that spot again halfway down. He tenses but Michael grabs his hips and slams him done the rest of the way. The pain makes his breath catch, but the hand stays on his cock and Michael is kissing his neck and whispering words of encouragement. “It's okay now. Pain's all done. Let yourself feel good now. Move when you're ready.”

Castiel moves and Michael was right, it’s nothing like before. And with Michael kissing his neck and stroking his cock, the pain turns to pleasure in seconds.

Really great fucking pleasure.

Holy hell. He might die kind of pleasure.

“Such a good slut for daddy,” Michael whispers to him. “Are you daddy’s slut?”

“Yes,” Castiel whispers, his sobs taking the back burner. He feels hazy. Like something isn’t right. The tears continue to fall, and he still knows this is wrong, but it doesn’t matter. If he’s going to get raped, then god damnit, he’s going to get something out of it.

“Say it,” Michael grunts, taking his hips and guiding him up and down that cock. Castiel doesn’t even care that he’s riding him like a slut. He doesn’t care that he’s staring into his eyes like a lover would. He doesn’t care about anything. That numbness sets in and he’s blissed out on nothing but physical pleasure, his mind turning off.

He moans when Michael shifts the angle of his hips, his next thrust hitting right on his prostate. Michael uses his grip on him to slam him down harder than Castiel could ever do on his own, making each jolt to the sensitive spot feel like heaven and hell at the same time. “Say it,” he orders again.

Castiel shakes his head, out of his mind. “Say what?”

“Say you’re daddy’s little slut.”

“I’m daddy’s little slut.”

“Say you love this. You love daddy’s cock in your ass.”

“I love daddy’s cock in my ass. I love it. I’m daddy’s little slut.”

The sobbing has started again, and Castiel feels like he may throw up. It feels good still, but his mind is starting to swirl out of that blank state.

He could really use a few pills right now.

Michael flips them, putting his legs in the air and fucking into him so hard that each thrust punches the breath right out of him. “Say you want this all the time. Say that I’m not raping you because you love it.”

Castiel snaps immediately out of the moment. Is that what’s happening? Is this not rape anymore? Oh, god. Is he consenting right now? He must be. It feels good, so he has to be. People don’t come when they’re raped. People don’t feel good. Castiel is sick. Fucked up in the head. He’s dirty and wrong and deserves a man like Michael.

A hand tightens around his throat and he looks up at Michael in fear. “You can say it, or I can choke you out until you go unconscious, and finish without letting you come.”

Deflating, Castiel nods to let him know he can release his throat so he can breathe and speak the words required of him. He might as well. He’s already decided that he’s fucked up. That this doesn’t get to be rape. He’s not a victim. He’s just a stupid slut. A stupid, dirty, piece of shit, slut.

“I love this. It’s not rape. I want it all the time.”

With a low chuckles, Michael nods and whispers, “Don’t worry. Daddy will make sure his little slut is full all the time. Make sure his baby boy is taken care of.”

He tugs on Castiel’s dick hard and slows his rhythm so that his dick never leaves his prostate, just continuously moving back and forth on it.

“Oh! Oh! Please,” Castiel thrashes his head. “Please. Oh, god. Please. Please. So good. Gonna-”

“Come on daddy’s cock, baby. Come on daddy. Show him how much you love being fucked. Show him how much you want it.”

Castiel turns his face so he’s not looking at him when he comes. He sobs into the corner of his pillow in relief and pleasure and defeat and shame and anger and grief. Michael finishes inside of him, then presses a kiss to his temple and pulls out.

“Such a good boy,” is all he whispers. He doesn’t push it, probably understanding that now that Castiel’s brain isn’t being overloaded with too much to process at once, that he won’t be able to get the boy to cooperate like before. He pulls a blanket over his shivering body and kisses his temple a second time. “Get some rest. I love you, sweet boy.”

Castiel’s body goes slack and his tears stop coming. He stares blankly at the wall his bed is pushed up against, curled in on himself. The world seems to be muted. If it’s still there, Castiel is unable to reach it.

He can feel Michael’s come leaking from his hole. He can feel his own come on his belly drying. He reaches down into the crack of his mattress and his wall, grabbing his pills. Leaving his phone. There’s no one he needs to call tonight. No one he needs to talk to.

He takes three pills at once, dry swallowing them, and settles back into his spot in excitement. If the world is already muted, he can’t wait to see how far he can escape with the added help.

And then, tomorrow, he’ll let Dean go. Dean will understand when he explains it. He’ll understand that he deserves better than some desperate whore who let his rapist rape him.

Chapter Text

 

Dean paced outside of Castiel’s house for almost an hour the previous night. The boy hadn’t sent him a text before bed, like he always did. He knew how important that was to Dean. He knew Dean needed that assurance that he fucking survived the afternoon.

 

He told himself that if something had happened, there would be ambulances or something. At the very least, if Michael killed him and planned on covering it up, he wouldn’t be in the kitchen doing dishes and laughing with Anna. And the light in Castiel’s room would be off, but it was not. The light was on even though he hadn’t seen any movement.

 

Whatever happened to Castiel, he knew one thing. He didn’t have enough evidence to risk knocking on that door. He’d make everything so much worse when, for all he knew, Castiel had just fallen asleep early or something.

 

Eventually, he had given up. He knew he’d see Castiel at school.

 

He shows up early, standing at the boy’s locker even before all of the teachers have arrived for the day. He gets strange looks but he doesn’t care. With each passing minute, his heart speeds up in fear.

 

He knows immediately that something is off when Castiel sees him at his locker. The boy’s face doesn’t even change from a bored, distant expression when he registers Dean’s presence. Dean moves aside for him to open his locker, studying his features. His eyes are glazed over and his lips are soft and wobbly, like they have no direction in which they should go. He seems to waver on his feet.

 

There are finger shaped bruises around his throat, but they’re light. Barely there. If Dean hadn’t been searching for bruises, he may have just assumed they were shadows.

 

“He hurt you,” Dean says, not needing to ask.

 

Castiel’s face stays blank, and when he looks at Dean, his eyes are dead. “No. He made me feel good.”

 

“What?”

 

“He made me feel good.” Castiel shrugs a shoulder, still in a trance. “He’s not a rapist. I’m just a slut.”

 

Dean ducked his head and took a step back, like he had been told horrible news that he couldn’t imagine being true. “Did he tell you that?”

 

“It’s true.”

 

“It most definitely is not, Cas.” When Castiel just stares off serenely, Dean grabs his shoulder and squeezes tight. “Are you high? How many pills did you take?”

 

“Don’t remember.”

 

Dean closes his eyes, trying to figure out what the hell is going on. This isn’t Castiel. But the drugs wouldn’t do this. It wouldn’t fuck his mind up like this. The trance-like state, sure, but what Castiel is saying are words that he must have believed before taking the drugs.

 

He takes Castiel’s backpack from him, then his books, and puts it all in the locker. Then he takes him by the hand and starts walking him down the hall. Castiel doesn’t ask where they’re going. He doesn’t fight the grip, though his walking is slow so there’s that slight resistance since he’s not putting in effort to hurry like Dean is. His face stays blank.

 

Even when Dean leads him outside the school and to the parking lot. Even when Dean leads him to his car. Even when Dean places him in the passenger seat and buckles him in. Even when Dean makes it pretty damn obvious they’re about to leave school and a call home might be made. Even then, Castiel just stares off into space.

 

Dean pulls his phone out and shoots Missouri a text, letting her know they’re ditching because Castiel is in a really bad place, and begging her to figure something out so his sister doesn’t get a call. Then he drives the few minutes to his house, hands shaking with worry.

 

“What happened, Cas?” he asks when he has the boy inside his house. Castiel just stands there in his long coat, staring at the painting Dean had been working on. It’s still up in the living room. Almost finished now. He cocks his head like he’s trying to see the painting but can’t. Like his mind wants to focus, but whatever is keeping him away from thinking is fighting back.

 

“Cas, what happened?”

 

Nothing.

 

Dean takes Castiel’s jacket off, then has him sit on a kitchen chair so his shoes can be removed. He guides him into his bedroom and strips him down to just a shirt and his boxers. He tucks him into the bed before stripping down as well, joining him. He pulls Castiel into his body and holds him tight, shivering as his anxiety reaches a high level.

 

He doesn’t know what happened. He can’t fix things if Castiel won’t fucking tell him what happened.

 

He can't fix things with the boy high, either.

 

It takes a lot of effort to keep calm with Castiel in this state. He always felt like a hypocrite, selling drugs with what happened to his mom, but he was always smart. Always cared more than the other dealers. He only gave so much at once. Rarely selled any hard drugs, unless he was really tight on money.  

 

Stroking soft circles on Castiel's back, he presses a kiss to the top of his head and tucks it beneath his chin. He reminds himself that Castiel is safe. He’s here. Dean can protect him now. “Let's just get some sleep. Let's just sleep for a while.”

 

“You shouldn't want me,” Castiel slurs, half from the pills and half from his exhaustion kicking in.

 

“Too bad, because I do.”

 

“Dean.”

 

“Shhhh.” Dean adjusts his hold on him, pulling the blankets further up until he's covered to his chin. “Just sleep. We will talk after, okay?”

 

Castiel gives him a sleepy nod and burrows further into his body. It takes a while for Dean to join him, but eventually he gives into sleep too.



------



When Castiel wakes up, Dean is already awake and watching him. The moment those green eyes register that he's conscious, Dean begs, “Talk to me. Please.”

 

“We had sex,” he says in a monotone voice. It's not like before, though. He's monotone because he's distancing himself. Dean can tell the pills wore off.

 

“He forced you again?”

 

“No. Not rape. I rode him. I got off using him.”

 

Dean’s body tenses, his mind working overboard. He still knows one thing, though. One thing he’ll never doubt. “Cas, it’s still rape.”

 

“It’s not. I was a slut. I asked him for it.” Castiel laughs, and the sound is cold and unhinged. It turns Dean’s body to ice. “He can’t rape me anymore, because I’m a slut who likes it. Can’t be rape if it feels good.”

 

“Actually, it can,” Dean whispers, holding him tighter like he might try to run away any second. He refuses to let this boy go until Castiel understands what’s happening to his poor brain. Dean needs to help him understand. This isn’t his fault. He’s not a slut. “A lot of rape victims feel pleasure during their rape. Some even get off like you did. You can’t control your body’s natural reactions to certain things. It’s biology, Cas.”

 

“No. I willingly climbed onto him.”

 

“Why?”

 

Castiel pauses. “What?”

 

“Why? Did you go up to him and think, hey, I’m going to fuck myself on you right now? Or did he come into your room and demand you climb onto him?”

 

“He didn’t demand.” Castiel’s voice is starting to warm, a tremble accompanying it now. “He said I had to if I wanted to do the club.”

 

Dean closes his eyes. The fucking club. He should have never tried that. He should have been smart enough to know that Michael would use it like this.

 

“He would have fucked you anyway, Cas. I’m not trying to be a dick, but if he came in that room making that deal, he wasn’t planning on leaving either way.”

 

Castiel just shrugs, but Dean pushes further. “You said that sometimes he asks you if you want to give him a blow job in return for something, right? But didn’t you also say that nine times out of ten, if you say no thanks, he just laughs at you and says you should have taken the gift when offered, because he just forces you to do it anyway, and now you have nothing to show for it?”

 

“It wasn’t like that, Dean. He- he had me do things. Say things.” Castiel shivers, and when his face brushes against Dean’s bare neck, Dean feels tears smear across the skin. “I asked for it.”

 

“No, Cas, you didn’t.”

 

“I said the words, Dean. I told him I liked it. Told him I wanted it.”

 

“It doesn’t matter.”

 

“How can it not matter? How can you say that?”

 

Dean rolls him onto his back so he can look down into his eyes. Castiel looks terrified, but there’s a hint of hope. “Did you like it?”

 

“I told him -”

 

“Not what I asked. Did you like it?”

 

“It felt good, and it made me come.”

 

“Not what I asked. Did you like it? Do you want to do it again?”

 

Castiel looks away from Dean, staring at the wall. Did he? His body liked it, but his mind kept fighting back. In between the pleasure, he would get nauseous. He would hate himself. By the end of it, he felt sick to his stomach, and dirty. He felt worthless. He doesn’t think sex is supposed to make you feel like that, no matter if you orgasm or not. And how he felt after? So empty? Like he was floating above his body? He definitely didn't like that, either.

 

“No,” he whispers, feeling relieved. Then he remembers something and starts crying harder. “But I didn’t want him to stop, either. I remember thinking at one point that I didn’t want him to stop. It felt too good.”

 

“Yeah. I bet it did,” Dean whispers in a soothing voice. “There’s a reason people in BDSM and all that use orgasm denial as a punishment. As a torture. Because you hit a point where you feel like you’d die if you don’t get to finish. You hit a point where you’d do anything to get to come. That’s your body. Everyone’s body. It has nothing to do with your mind, or consent, or who you are as a person. It has nothing to do with Michael, even, Cas. It’s biology. Your body knew that you had reached a point where if he stopped and you didn’t get to come, you’d feel physical pain. It makes perfect sense your defenses went down so you could escape that fate.”

 

Castiel shakes his head. “It was sex, though. It wasn’t rape.”

 

“Did you like it?”

 

“No.”

 

“Did you want it?”

 

“Well, no.”

 

“If, before you had reached that point of desperation, he had stopped and said never mind, he’ll sign the slip anyway, he doesn’t want to have sex anymore, would you have been sad or relieved?”

 

“Relieved.”

 

“And if he were to come into your room and promise to make you come again?”

 

Castiel shook his head. “I never want to have sex with him again. I don’t want him touching me.”

 

“It was rape, Cas. It’s not like the movies or the shows. It’s not always a gun to your head. It’s not always kicking and screaming. It’s not always painful. This man is the head of your household. He controls your food. Your time. Your schooling. He controls if you receive pain or pleasure. You took advantage of a situation where you had no control, and you did what you thought you needed to do.”

 

When Castiel says nothing, Dean repeats a final time, “It was rape, Castiel. It was still rape.”

 

Castiel looks at him, eyebrows pulling in. “I just don’t understand how it can be.”

 

Dean strokes his cheek, mind spinning. He’s desperate to get Castiel to understand. Desperate to make him see that getting off from sex doesn’t mean consent. Doesn’t mean love. But to do that, he has to show him. He has to show him the difference first hand. Once he has sex for real, with someone he loves and actually wants to have sex with, it’ll be obvious to him the difference. He won’t doubt himself.

 

But this kid is getting raped. He can’t just suggest having sex.

 

“Please believe me, baby. Please. It was rape.”

 

“Even if it was, it doesn’t change anything. You deserve better than this. I’m dirty and wrong. I’m gross, Dean. I’m better off just letting Michael have me. And you’re way better off finding someone else.”

 

Dean shakes his head. “Fuck that. No. I refuse to let you believe any of that. I don’t care if it takes forever, I won’t let you believe that. You were raped, and that doesn’t make you gross or dirty or wrong. It makes you a fucking warrior, because you’re still here.” Castiel shrugs a shoulder and looks away. Dean deflates.

 

Taking his face in his hands, he forces Castiel to look back at him. He places a soft kiss on his lips, relieved when Castiel opens for him, a slight smile forming on the other boy’s mouth. Dean kisses that smile before pulling away so he can see it. Even sad and lost, this boy is so damn beautiful.

 

“Let me show you,” Dean whispers, his voice shaking. He’s never been nervous for sex, before. Then again, sex has never been more than sex before, either. This? This would be everything to Dean.

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“If you trust me, if you’re willing - and I swear, Cas, don’t lie if you’re not willing, don’t lie if you’re not ready - but if you are ready, I’d like to show you what it’s like with me. Then you can compare. You’ll see what I’m talking about. You’ll see the difference.”

 

Castiel opens his mouth, then closes it. His cheeks turn pink and a smile tugs at the corners of his lips. “Okay.”

 

“Really?”

 

“Really.” Castiel looks nervous all of a sudden, but before Dean can worry, he asks Dean, “Can I say it’s my first time? I mean, I know it’s not, but I want it to be. I want this to be my first time. I know it probably sounds stupid, but I -”

 

“Not stupid,” Dean promises, cutting him off. “This is definitely your first time. It’s mine too.”

 

Castiel raises an eyebrow. “Liar.”

 

Chuckling, Dean kisses him for a few seconds before explaining. “It’s my first time making love.”

 

Castiel shivers, all teasing gone. “Me too.”

 

“Good.” Dean hovers over him, brushing a curl off his forehead. “Then let’s do it together.”

Chapter Text

“Is it gonna hurt?” Castiel whispers once he’s down to just his boxers. Dean pauses in the middle of reaching over to his table for lube.

 

“No. I'll make sure it doesn't.”

 

“It still hurt last night, at first.” He looks down at his hands clenched together. “Michael made it sound like that’s how it goes.”

 

Dean shakes his head. “It’s not. An uncomfortable stretch? Yeah. But not pain.”

 

“Oh.”

 

“Just try to relax, baby.” Dean lays his body over Castiel’s, making sure not to press the full weight down on him. He kisses him gently, licking his way along his lips, then inside his mouth. Castiel opens for him, tilting his head to give him better access. He’s never been kissed so thoroughly. Slowly. Gently.

 

Once Dean has kissed Castiel until his lips are puffy and tingling, he moves on to other places. He kisses both his cheeks, his forehead, his temples, his closed eyelids, the tip of his nose, his jaw, his chin, his neck. He sucks his earlobes and licks the shell of each ear. He puts his mouth around his adam’s apple and sucks gently. Traces the elegant curve of his throat with the tip of his tongue.

 

He never nips at him, even though he usually would. He never bites at his throat or sucks hard, trying to give him hickies. He can’t mark Castiel. He isn’t his to mark, yet. Michael would see. Plus, who knows if Castiel would like that.

 

When he reaches his nipples, Dean swirls his tongue around them. Castiel bucks up. “Oh! That’s- fuck.”

 

Dean chuckles and looks up at him. “Feel good?”

 

“That’s fucking amazing.” Castiel’s cheeks burn bright pink. “I’ve never felt that before.”

 

If Castiel didn’t know any better, he’d say Dean likes that quite a lot; the idea that this belongs only to him. He returns to suckling at his nipples, driving Castiel insane. He didn’t know they were so sensitive. Everytime that sure pressure builds around one of the buds, he shivers and moans. Thrashes. His cock is aching, begging to be touched, and his stomach feels fluttery with butterflies.

 

When Dean goes back to kissing his lips, Castiel groans. “Why are you taking so long?”

 

Dean chuckles. “What do you mean?”

 

“What are you doing? Why are you taking so long?”

 

“This is called foreplay.”

 

Castiel’s eyebrows pull in. He’s never seen this before. Not with Michael. And definitely not with the porn videos he’s watched. Those are always down and dirty within seconds. “What’s the point of it?”

 

“Does it not feel good?

 

“It does, yeah, but like,” Castiel pauses, feeling stupid. “I just don’t get the point.”

 

“That is the point, baby. Just feeling good.”

 

“Oh.” Castiel touches Dean’s cheek, feeling as if he’s in a dream. “And it feels good for you, too?”

 

Dean grins. “Of course. I could do this to you all day long. You have no idea how often I think about just kissing you. Holding you for hours. I never had good grades, but you aren’t helping matters. Quite the distraction.”

 

Castiel smiles softly at the idea of being on Dean’s mind like that all day. He is still confused, but he trusts Dean. “Okay.”

 

Dean kisses him on the lips, soft and slow, for a few more seconds. Then he trails down his sternum, stomach, happy trail. Dean kisses his hip bone on one side, then the other, before gently slides down his boxers. When his cock bounces to attention, Dean growls low in his throat, then licks his lips. “You’re gorgeous.”

 

Castiel feels himself blushing again, but before he can try to gain his composure, Dean’s soft lips are wrapping around his cock. He wiggles under the pleasure of it. “Oh. Oh. Oh, oh, Dean!”

 

“Just relax, baby. Let it feel good.”

 

Nodding, Castiel spreads his legs, reaching for the lube and handing it to Dean. Dean pauses, pulling off him, taking the lube in confusion. “What’s that for?”

 

Castiel looks at the lube in confusion as well, confused that Dean’s confused. “For your fingers? Or do you not want to prep me?”

 

Dean’s not sure what he hates more; that Castiel won’t let himself just enjoy a blow job, or that he said ‘or do you not want to prep me’ in fear, with a hint of acceptance, as if he’d let Dean choose that. As if he’d let Dean fuck him without any prep, after he just promised not to make it hurt. “Jesus, baby. Slow down. I’m not doing that yet.”

 

“But aren’t you jealous? You aren’t being kissed or touched. Aren’t you impatient.”

 

Propping himself on his elbows, Dean looks at Castiel. This is much worse than he thought. It doesn’t annoy him, he’ll spend the rest of his life teaching Castiel how to be treated properly if he has to, but it does break his heart. “Cas, I’m enjoying myself because this is making you happy. I don’t need the attention right now. I just want to make you feel good right now. Let me just take care of you, baby.”

 

Castiel looks off to the side uncomfortably. “I want this to be good for you, Dean. I don’t want anyone else to have given you better sex than me. I - I want to be good for you. I want to be g- good.”

 

Sensing Castiel is suddenly on the verge of tears, Dean stops everything and pulls him in close. He rests his weight on one arm so he doesn’t crush him, hooking the other around the back of Castiel’s neck to pull him up and into the crook of his shoulder.

 

“Shhh,” Dean whispers to him, holding him tight and pressing kisses to his temple and hair. “You are good for me. You’re so good for me, Cas. Don’t you see how hard I am. Feel me.”

 

There’s a shaky breath against the bare skin of Dean’s shoulder, then an equally shaky hand finds his cock. His eyes flutter closed at how amazing it feels to have Castiel touching him, even if it’s just feather soft fingertips, whispering without adding any pressure.

 

“Oh,” Castiel says on a surprised gasp, his thumb skimming across the leaking slit, making Dean hiss. The hand disappears and Castiel pulls back so he can see his face. “Sorry! Did I hurt you?”

 

“Not at all. That felt amazing.”

 

Castiel’s cheeks turn pink once again. “Oh. Okay.”

 

“This is me just while we’re talking, Cas,” Dean whispers, before rubbing himself against Castiel’s own hard cock, their precum helping them slide against each other. He gives Castiel a flirty half grin when the boy whimpers beneath him. “This is how hard you make me and we’re just talkin’. So me kissing you and touching you? Yeah, I like that. Me having your cock in my mouth? Drives me crazy. I could probably come like that, Cas. You are perfect. I’ve never felt like this with anyone before. Never. Okay?”

 

He knows that Castiel believes him - finally - because the boy’s grin is like the fucking sun. “Okay.”

 

“Besides,” Dean nearly growls, kissing his way back down his stomach. “I plan on keeping you around a very long time. Very. Long. It can be my turn later. Sex is about give and take.”

 

Castiel feels like everything he knows is a lie. Give and take. That sounds amazing. What would life be like with Dean Winchester? With a man like this? He’d be cared for. Loved. Spoiled. Yes, he thinks he’d like that a lot. He’s willing to stay with Dean for as long as the boy will have him.

 

“I love you,” Castiel whispers, eyes wide and cheeks red.

 

Dean stares at him in awe. Then he grins and launches forward, latching their mouths together. They kiss each other passionately, power switching between them as they take turns exploring the other. When Dean finally pulls away, they’re both out of breath.

 

“I love you, too. So fucking much.”

 

“Really?” Castiel asks in surprise.

 

“Really.” Dean cups his face and kisses him once. Just a quick peck. “Are you ready for this, Cas? Or do you want to wait?”

 

Castiel shakes his head. “I want this. I’m ready.”

 

Smiling, Dean takes Castiel’s cock in his hand and gently starts to work him back to fully hard. When he’s got him leaking and aching again, he wraps his lips around him and sucks him down. He swirls his tongue around the tip, letting it dip into the slit. Castiel’s hips twitch and an entire shiver runs through his body.

 

“Dean, gotta stop.” Castiel laughs under his breath. “Gotta stop now, or you better finish me off.”

 

Dean pulls off him and chuckles. “I can probably make you come two times, but you’ll be pretty overwhelmed and over sensitive after the first time. You might not want that.”

 

“Yeah, no. I’m good. Just, hurry.” He takes Dean’s hand and guides it between his ass cheeks.

 

“So impatient,” Dean teases. Thankfully, though, he’s finally taking the lube in his hand and slicking up his fingers. He nudges Castiel’s legs further apart and guides them up so his thighs are almost pressed against his chest. “Biggest thing is to breathe. And talk to me. Let me know if something doesn't feel right or you want to slow down or stop, okay?”

 

The look Castiel gives him is indescribable. It makes Dean feel like a fucking superhero, even though he hasn't done anything he wouldn't do for anyone. He makes a vow to spend the rest of his life ensuring that Castiel won't be so blown away by people's kindness.

 

He rubs the tip of his pointer finger from the root of Castiel's cock to his hole, making sure to stop and rub a little at his perineum. Castiel is already whimpering in need by the time he's circling his hole. But when Dean starts to push in, Castiel starts violently shaking and his hole clenches.

 

Dean just pulls the finger away, kissing his inner thigh and wrapping his hand around his cock instead.

 

“Sorry,” Castiel whispers, sounding like he's on the verge of crying.

 

“Shhh. Take your time,” Dean tells him. “Let me know when you're ready.”

 

“I am. I'm just-” Castiel looks down at where Dean’s settled between his legs. He looks helpless. Dean wishes he could just explain what he needs. He'd do it for him. He'd do anything. “I'm scared.”

 

“I have you. I'm right here.” Dean kisses his thigh again, noticing that the trembling has stopped. “Can I try something? Other than my fingers? I'm pretty sure it can't possibly hurt, like, ever.”

 

Castiel looks at him in confusion but nods. Dean spreads his cheeks and readjusts himself. He doesn't have to ask if he's clean down there. The entire area smells like a bottle of soap. He knows Castiel probably spent a considerable amount of time cleaning off every possible trace of Michael.

 

When Dean licks at his hole, Castiel yelps in surprise. Then he's grabbing chunks of Dean's hair and holding on for dear life because… holy fuck. That's good . Dean's tongue is really fucking good.

 

He flattens it to lick at the outside, then points it to trace the rim. Every few rounds he'll poke the tongue inside and fuck him with it. Castiel gets frustrated when he keeps stopping, pulling his tongue out to do the other stuff. The next time he has his tongue inside him, Castiel tightens his grip and forces him to stay. He hears Dean chuckle low in his throat and groans as the sound sends vibrations through him.

 

His hips start moving of their own accord, trying desperately to get more. One of Dean's hands is now jacking him slowly, casually, like it's only concern is to keep his cock company, not to get him off.

 

A sudden pressure replaces his tongue and then the tongue is back, licking at his rim while a finger is being pushed in.

 

“Ooooh, yes,” Castiel breathes, nodding his head against the pillow. “Good. That's good.”

 

Dean inches the finger in, twisting and pulling at the edges of his rim ever so slightly to start the process of stretching him. With that tongue and his finger, Castiel is nearly hyperventilating from pleasure.

 

“More. Please. More, Dean.”

 

He feels Dean nod against him and a second finger is added. He waits for the pinch or burn but the way Dean does it keeps the pain away. Instead, he's just blissfully full. It's like magic. He'll have to ask him to teach it to him later.

 

Dean starts that twisting and pulling again and Castiel realizes he hasn't hit that spot that Michael hit. He wonders if Dean doesn't know where it is. Surely he must. He's Dean Winchester for Christ's sake.

 

Those two fingers start to scissor and work him. The tongue stops after a few more seconds and Dean looks up at him with glazed eyes and a wet smile.

 

“You're so beautiful. You stretch so well for me, baby.”

 

Castiel shivers at the praise. When Michael praises him, he feels ashamed, but when Dean does it, he feels special. Appreciated. Loved.

 

“Breathe in for me, nice and deep, and gently blow out.”

 

Nodding, Castiel does as told. Dean's tongue is back in him before he's finished inhaling, fingers fluttering inside him in a new movement. When he exhales, pleasure ripples through his gut. Those fluttering fingers find his prostate and Dean's tongue laps upwards, pressing hard on his perineum so his prostate is being pushed on both sides. He doesn't even notice until his body settles from the sudden wave of sensation that Dean now has three fingers in him. He had been too distracted. Once again, there's no trace of pain or stretch. Just that feeling of fullness.

 

This time, Dean continues against his prostate. The movements are slow and gentle, just enough to keep him teetering on the best edge he's ever stood on. His free hand is still softly stroking his cock. It's all so caring and gentle and it all feels so good. Castiel feels ready to cry.

 

Dean notices immediately. “Hey, shh. What happened?”

 

He starts to pull his hand out but Castiel grabs it and holds it in place, shaking his head with a smile. “I'm just so happy. And I feel - fuck, Dean. You make me feel so - so loved.”

 

Dean's entire body loosens and he feels like he might float away. “Good. Because you are, Cas. You’re so fucking loved.”

 

“I love you,” Castiel whispers, his breath catching.

 

“I love you too.” Dean takes his hand off his cock and rests it on the mattress to support his weight as he shifts up to kiss him. The new angle puts more pressure on his prostate and Castiel makes an unintelligible noise that vibrates his body.

 

Chuckling against his lips, Dean continues to kiss him while working his hole. He feels like Dean's been fingering him for hours. It's been this slow, epic build up, and he can't wait to feel the real thing.

 

Like Dean can sense that he's ready, he pulls back and smiles down at him. “Ready?”

 

“You have no idea.”

 

“You want me to wear a condom? I've never gone without, so I'm clean, but I one hundred percent will wear one if you want.”

 

“Why not use one if you do with everyone else?”

 

“I don't know,” Dean says honestly. “Something about being bare with you feels right. But I'm serious, if you want-”

 

“It's fine. I do. But,” Castiel trails off, face heating up in shame and embarrassment. “He, uh, he doesn't use protection. So, I might not be, ya know, clean or whatever.”

 

Anger flashes in Dean's eyes but then it's gone. “No condom. That fucker can't possibly be dumb enough to give you an STD. The doctor would ask you questions he wouldn't want a doctor asking. He’s gotta be clean.”

 

They both know it's a weak excuse, but they also really want to go bare, so they latch onto it and nod.

 

Dean gives him a final kiss before getting up on his knees. He keeps the hand inside Castiel working, picking up the pace just a touch, stretching around his walls with a bit more pressure. Castiel wiggles and groans. When Dean takes one of Castiel’s hands and places it on his cock, making him stroke himself, Castiel’s mouth drops open, one step away from panting.

 

As Castiel works himself, Dean takes the lube and starts coating his dick. He's dripping with it and Castiel thinks that can't be right. It won't feel good for him. That's what Michael said.

 

“Wait, you don't need to lube up,” he whispers, hand reaching out like he can erase it. “I want it to feel good for you too.”

 

Dean looks at him like he's crazy. “Cas, there's no possible way you're not going to feel amazing. I could use this whole damn bottle. I could stretch you out with a damn fist. You're going to make me feel good, trust me.”

 

“But Michael-”

 

“Shhh, no. Don't ever believe a word he says, got it? He's a liar.” Dean lowers his face to Castiel's, pressing their foreheads together. “And tell him to fuck off. He's not allowed in our bed. Not now, not ever.”

 

Castiel smiles. “Our bed?”

 

“Yes. Ours. I'm keeping you.” Dean kisses him until his body is relaxed again. He slows his fingers and takes over for Castiel, stroking Castiel's cock for him, hand still lubed up. “Forever.”

 

“Forever. Yes.”

 

“Now, grab your ass cheeks.”

 

Surprising himself, Castiel finds himself laughing. The feeling is so refreshing, especially during sex, that it makes him feel like he’s floating. “You ruined a pretty romantic moment there, babe.”

 

Dean laughs with him. “Yeah. Sorry. Mind got a little excited there.”

 

“Just a little excited? I’m hurt.”

 

“Oh shut up.” Dean presses a kiss to his lips, then grabs Castiel’s hands and guides them until one is cupping each cheek. “Spread them for me. As far as it's comfortable.”

 

He does as told, choking when it allows Dean's fingers to slide further inside him. He immediately starts humping upward, trying to get more friction in his hole and on his cock.

 

“Breathe in,” Dean whispers. As he says it, his fingers are slowly swirling their way out of him, doing one final wall stretch as they go. Castiel breathes in deep, reminding his hole to stay calm. “And out.”

 

He exhales and feels the tip of Dean's cock nudge past his rim. It doesn't catch like he expected, and it doesn't move either. In fact, Dean stays still. He leans down and kisses Castiel with just the tip inside him.

 

“I can take it,” Castiel promises, trying to move his hips in a way that will get Dean deeper.

 

Dean just shakes his head and moves his face to Castiel's neck, nuzzling him. “Just because ya can doesn't mean ya have to. Just keep breathing for me. I'm in charge. You just lay back and let it feel good.”

 

Let it feel good. Dean keeps saying that. Castiel tries to listen. He relaxes his hips, letting them fall to the mattress. His legs are shaking but he can't control it. It's just nerves, and it will go away.

 

Closing his eyes, he lets himself float on the cloud Dean has created for him. Dean's hand strokes his cock and the tip of his dick starts to move in a circular motion inside his hole, pushing ever so slightly forward and stretching his walls just like Dean's fingers, before retreating again. He does this over and over and over, until he's at that halfway mark. Castiel tenses up, his body already recognizing the spot inside where Michael begins to hurt too much.

 

Dean immediately pulls back to only having his tip in and looks at Castiel with questioning eyes. “Did I hurt you?”

 

“No. I just-” Castiel bites his bottom lip, then blows out a deep breath and gives him a sad, shaky smile. “I just needed to remember it was you for a second there.”

 

Instead of looking pissed or upset, Dean gives him a gentle smile and nods in understanding. “Anything I can do?”

 

Castiel lets go of his ass cheeks to cup Dean's face instead. “No. I know it's you. You're right here.”

 

“Yeah, baby,” Dean tells him, eyes remaining locked as he starts to push into him again. “I'm right here. You're safe. I got you.”

 

He moves past that invisible line and Castiel shivers in relief when it feels no different. Just more of that mind numbing pleasure that makes him want more.

 

It doesn't take much longer and Dean is seated fully inside him, balls tucked up against his cheeks. They're still staring into each other's eyes, Dean watching for any trace of pain, and Castiel just trying to wrap his mind around the fact that this boy loves him.

 

“Hurt?” Dean grunts out, trying hard to keep still when his whole body is screaming at him to move .

 

“Not even the slightest.”

 

“Good.” Dean kisses his mouth and starts to rock, slow and gentle. Castiel rolls his hips to meet the movement and moans at how amazing it feels to have Dean's cock inside him. He never thought he could feel this good, and he's nowhere near ready to come. If the pleasure is going to intensify, he just might die.

 

How did he ever think sex with Michael wasn't rape?

 

Their pace quickens and soon Castiel is scratching at Dean's back and making all sorts of sexy noises. Dean buries his face in the boy's neck and grabs his ass, pulling him higher so the next thrust hits the sweet spot. Castiel screams - actually fucking screams. Oh lord, Dean LOVES screamers.

 

Continuing to pound into him, he watches as Castiel's eyes roll into the back of his head and he starts to just fuck himself onto Dean's cock with no rhythm or grace. It's just needy. Desperate. Harsh. Animalistic.

 

Oh, fuck. He looks beautiful falling apart like that.

 

Without filtering his words, Dean growls, “You look so fucking gorgeous fucking yourself on my cock. You're so tight, baby. So good. So fucking good.”

 

Castiel looks at him with heavy lidded eyes and smiles, his body doing a cute little wiggle like a kitten after getting a treat.

 

So his boy loves praise. Makes sense.

 

Dean brushes the tips of their noses together in an eskimo kiss and whispers, “I love you.”

 

“I love you too,” Castiel practically whines. “Gonna come, Dee.”

 

Groaning at the cute nickname, and the fact that Castiel's cock is untouched right now, Dean picks up the pace and watches Castiel's face closely. He knows the moment he falls off the edge. Just before Dean's chest is hit with come, those big blue eyes widen and then flutter shut, giving him away. Dean fucks him through the orgasm, even grabbing his cock and massaging out the last of it, then follows behind by pumping Castiel full of himself.

 

Mine.

 

“Yes,” Castiel whispers breathlessly. “Yours. All yours.”

 

Dean didn't realize he had said the word out loud, but he's glad he did, because hearing Castiel promise him that is almost as amazing as the mind blowing sex they just had.

 

“You were right,” Castiel whispers, looking sated and sleepy. “So different. So very different.”

 

His chest swelling with pride and relief, Dean gently pulls out of Castiel and gets out of the bed. He hurries to get a warm, damp cloth to clean Castiel off. The boy just lays sprawled out in his bed with a sleepy grin as Dean cleans him up.

 

When Dean climbs back into the bed, Castiel all but tackles him, snuggling in close and nuzzling his neck with his nose. “Love you,” he slurs, already falling asleep again.

 

Dean smiles and closes his eyes. “Love you too.”

Chapter Text

The last thing Dean wants to do is send Castiel home. In fact, a large part of him is screaming at him to keep the boy. Refuse to let him leave. Everytime he thinks of Castiel back there, under Michael and Anna's reign of terror, his stomach feels sick. Actually, sick doesn’t even begin to explain it.

 

He has 23 minutes until Castiel has to leave. It's not enough. He doesn't know how he will convince himself to let him go by then.

 

Castiel stirs his spaghetti noodles in his bowl, eyes focused on Dean. He hopes Castiel can't tell what he's thinking. It would piss him off. He had made Dean promise not to fight him on the subject of going home today.

 

“This is good,” Castiel says after another minute of silence, not acknowledging the obvious elephant in the room.

 

“Thanks. I actually really like cooking. Poor Sam has had to eat a lot of burnt or messed up food, though, over the years.”

 

Castiel laughs. “I'm a terrible cook, but it works for me. Once Anna realized that, she stopped trying to make me cook for her.”

 

Seeing a possible opening, Dean starts wiggling in. “So, is she your only sibling?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Were you left to her in your parents will?”

 

Castiel fidgets, no longer liking this conversation. “Umm, no. They didn't have anyone listed. The state told Anna they could put me in foster care if she didn't want me.”

 

“Then why did the bitch take you?”

 

The flinch, followed by the look that flashes across Castiel's face, makes Dean feel like the worst person on the entire planet. “Not that someone wouldn't want you! I'm just saying, ya know, obviously she's not, ya know-” he deflates, not sure how to fix this.

 

A hand reaches over and takes one of his. He looks up to see Castiel softly smiling. “I know what you meant. She took me in because she blames me for my parents dying. That's why she treats me like this.”

 

“How does she blame you?”

 

Castiel looks away from him, staring at a spot on the table. He blanks out for a minute and Dean lets him, never letting go of his hand. Without looking up, he finally whispers, “My parents had just found out I was gay. They weren't mad, said they'd love me no matter what, even though we were super Catholic. It was so relieving. The best day. Especially since I didn't get to come out to them how I wanted. Instead, I was outed by Anna. She had seen me holding hands with a boy at the park one day. She, unlike my parents, thought I was disgusting. When we got in the car accident the following day, she believed god killed them to punish them for supporting me.”

 

Dean's jaw drops, but it doesn't matter because Castiel is still staring at the table. “I told her if that was true, why did he leave me alive. She said because he knew she could do better at taking care of me. She said because he knew she could fix me.”

 

“What the actual fuck,” Dean growls. Then his anger explodes and he has to stand up, has to start pacing, to keep the energy at bay. “She's letting her fucking boyfriend rape you. How the hell does that make sense?”

 

“Because he's not gay. He's doing it for me. To teach me that sex with a man is painful. A sin.”

 

Dean stops and looks at him. “But you said-”

 

“I know. I don't think Michael is in it for that reason. He just wants pleasure. Dudes probably closet gay, or bi, or something. But as far as Anna knows, he's making my life living hell.” Castiel huffs a laugh. “Well, I mean, he is doing that. But not in the way she intended.”

 

“Cas,” Dean stops at his chair and gets down on one knee to be at eye level with him. Surprisingly, meets his gaze. “You know that shit isn't true, right?”

 

“I know.”

 

“Promise?”

 

Castiel smiles. “My parents were damn good parents, and I was lucky enough to have them for as long as I did. By then, Anna couldn't get in my head. That's why it turned physical, I think, because at first it wasn't. It was just extremely strict rules, verbal abuse, and endless church services.”

 

“You go to church?”

 

“Nope. Not anymore. She was too embarrassed and ashamed of me.”

 

Dean leans forward until their foreheads are touching. “Why do I get the feeling she'd kill you if she found out about me?”

 

The slight twitch to Castiel’s lips gives him the answer he fears. “Might be a competition to see who can do it first. Michael would be pissed, too.”

 

“He won’t be a problem much longer,” Dean mumbles, too pissed to remember not to say it out loud.

 

“What does that mean?”

 

“Nothing.” Dean shakes his head, slipping into a confident smile. “Nothing. Just, we’ll be careful. I would never be able to live with myself if you got hurt because of me.”

 

Castiel deflates. “Does that mean we aren’t telling anyone we’re dating? Like, I’m a secret?”

 

Dean reels back, hearing accusation in Castiel’s voice. As if Dean wants to keep this secret so he can keep sleeping around or keep his reputation in place. Lawrence may be a big town, but the community they live in is small. Everyone knows everyone, and word about someone like Dean Winchester finally settling down in a relationship? That’ll spread like wildfire. Through the parents, too. Considering Dean’s slept with more than one older man or woman. He’s gotten around plenty. Everyone knows who Dean Winchester is. And, by proxy, everyone will know about Castiel Novak, too.

 

It’s too dangerous.

 

“You can tell Charlie, if you trust her to keep the secret.” Castiel just shrugs a shoulder, looking away. Dean moves with him, putting their foreheads together once again, and clapping a hand on the back of his neck so he can’t pull away this time. “If you want to tell the whole world, I’ll fucking shout it from the rooftops, baby. But that’s dangerous for you. Really dangerous. And, in my opinion, not worth it. Who cares who knows? I know. You know. I’m telling Sam, as long as you don’t mind. You tell Charlie. Everyone else is just background noise, baby.”

 

“You won’t tell Ash or Benny?”

 

“I wasn’t planning on it.”

 

“Why?” Castiel tries to move but Dean holds him steady. He huffs a sigh and asks, “Because you’re embarrassed to be with me?”

 

Dean closes his eyes. That’s exactly what he was hoping Castiel was not worrying about. “No, blue eyes. That’s not it. I’ll tell them if you want, but they’re question askers. They’ll want to know all about you, why it’s a secret, why I’m acting the way I am, why you can’t come hangout with us after school. They’ll accept you in a heartbeat, but then they’ll want to understand you and us, and I don’t know if you want them to.”

 

After a breath, Castiel asks, “Do you trust them? I mean, really trust them? Not to ever tell or get involved or anything?”

 

“Absolutely.” Dean answers instantly, because there’s no question. They may be idiots and assholes sometimes and they rarely take things seriously, but they’re family.

 

“What about everyone else? Like, when you go to parties and stuff, people will try hooking up with you.”

 

Dean shrugs. “And I’ll politely turn them down.”

 

“And when people question you?”

 

“People have questioned me my entire life. Won’t be anything new.”

 

“When Ash and Benny question you?”

 

Dean shrugs once again. “We don’t lie to each other, but we respect each other. I won’t tell them something not true, but I won’t tell them the truth, either. I’ll tell them it’s not something I want to talk about and they’ll drop it.”

 

“I never knew they were like that. They seem so-”

 

When Castiel just trails off instead of answering, Dean chuckles. “Bad? Like assholes? Uncaring?”

 

“To start.”

 

“You thought those things about me, too, though. Right?”

 

Castiel nods. “You got me there. If you trust them, then I do too. You can tell them. I want you to be able to have someone to talk to about us. To lean on. Because lord knows I’ll probably drive Charlie nuts with all my thoughts.”

 

“Okay.”

 

“Okay.”

 

Dean smiles, then closes the gap between their mouths to give him a kiss. They enjoy the taste of each other for a few minutes, interrupted by the alarm Dean set on his phone. Both boys sigh and reluctantly split apart. Neither have to look at the time. They know Castiel has only 5 minutes now to leave the house if he wants to be home on time.

 

“I’ll see you at school,” Castiel whispers, smart enough to know that they should get the goodbyes started now since they won’t be quick.

 

Dean nods. “Yeah. Meet you at your locker? I’ll pack you lunch.”

 

“You don’t need to do that.”

 

“Hush.” Dean presses a kiss to his lips, letting it linger. They brush their noses together. Castiel sighs, wishing he could stay. Wishing things were different. “I love you.”

 

“I love you, too.”

 

“Try to text or call me tonight, please. I worry when I don’t hear from you.” Castiel just nods, unable to speak anymore. Reality is sinking in, drowning him. The fear is paralyzing. He starts to gasp and Dean pulls him to his chest, knowing already what’s happening. Castiel tells himself that he needs to get his shit together and calm down. He can’t be late. Right now is not the time for an attack.

 

He forces his voice to work, croaking out, “I need more pills.”

 

“No.”

 

His body tenses. No? “I’m out, though.”

 

“Yeah. Because you took a shit ton yesterday and this morning. No more. I’m not letting something happen to you.”

 

“Dean.”

 

“My mom killed herself with pills,” Dean blurts out, needing to explain why he’s so afraid. Why seeing Castiel high as a kite, slowly unhinging, slurring, pushing him away, had terrified him. “It wasn’t an accident, it wasn’t an overdose, it was intentional. She wrote a note.”

 

Castiel’s face crumples. “Oh, Dean.”

 

“No. I’m not telling you for sympathy, and you need to get going so I’m sorry I just dumped that on you, but,” Dean pauses, shaking his head. “I can’t lose you, Cas. I can’t. You’re - fuck, you’re my everything. I won’t survive losing you.”

 

The anxiety is still hitching in his chest, threatening him. He knows he’s running late. “I’ll be smarter taking them. I’m so sorry about your mom, and I want to talk about this tomorrow, but please. I need those pills. I can’t,” he pauses like Dean did, also shaking his head. “Dean, I can’t survive without those right now. If you need me, I need them.”

 

Dean stares at him. He knows Castiel needs them. Sure, he needs a fucking doctor, and a counselor, and to get the hell away from that damn house, but for now the pills are a start.

 

“Stay.” He leaves Castiel, going to his room and grabbing two pills from his stash. When he walks back, his heart sinks into his gut. Seeing Castiel with his jacket and shoes on makes it real. He takes his hand, placing the pills in his palm and closing his fingers around them. “I’ll give you more tomorrow.”

 

“Good compromise,” Castiel says with a smile. He goes on his tiptoes and kisses Dean one final time. Then he turns and jogs to the door. By the time he’s at the sidewalk, he’s sprinting. He gets outside the house two minutes late. He slips one pill in, knowing he’ll probably need the other later. Then he heads inside.

Chapter Text

“Where's your backpack?” Michael asks in an uncharacteristically rough voice as Castiel takes his shoes off.

Castiel turns slowly, clenching his fists. “I left it at school. I don’t have any homework tonight.”

“That’s a first.” Michael stuffs his hands in his pockets, tilting his head to the side. He’s examining Castiel. When Michael’s eyes finally meet Castiel’s again, they’re menacing. “You’re hiding something. I can tell.”

Unsure if he should say anything, since it wasn’t a question, Castiel just shuffles his feet nervously and shakes his head. He gasps when Michael’s hand lashes out and grabs a chunk of his hair at the nape of his neck. The man’s face hovers less than an inch from his, booze filling Castiel’s senses, strong enough to give him a contact buzz.

Castiel holds his breath and forces himself to stay silent. After a few seconds, Michael lets him go. He stumbles back two steps before straightening himself and standing with his chin down.

“What are you keeping from me, Castiel?”

“Nothing. I swear.”

A fist slams down on his cheek, causing something in his face to audibly crack. He falls to the floor with the force of it, barely hearing Michael growl, “Don’t lie to me, little one.”

Castiel cradles his face with gentle fingers and tries to get his vision to clear. “I’m not - not lyin’. I promise.”

“You know what you need? You need to be taught a fucking lesson.” Michael laughs, getting on a knee to be closer to him. “Stay there. I’ll be right back.”

Panic seizes Castiel’s chest. He tries telling his body to run. To get up off this floor and run as fast as he can to Dean. He even tries pushing up onto his hands and knees. Then Michael is back and his chances are gone. His body failed him.

“I see that spark of defiance in your eyes, little one. You’re either pulling something over my head and think you’re getting away with it, or you’re thinking about reporting me. Either way, I suggest you fucking stop.”

“Maybe you should stop!” Castiel yells, anger rushing through him. He hates this life. He’s sick of it. All of it. “Or maybe you wanna go to prison. Maybe you’d fit right in. It’s probably a gay rapist’s playground.”

The second the words fall from his mouth, he regrets them. He can see the moment Michael decides that Castiel is a liability. A loose end. The look in Michael’s eyes is so cold, so non-human, that he knows deep in his gut Michael might very well kill him.

Instead, though, the man pulls his phone out and types something. He chuckles and puts it back in his jeans like he’s in on a joke. When he looks at Castiel again, there’s a sick amusement in his dead eyes.

“I see my error in judgement, now. I shouldn’t have treated you so well last night. Now you think you’re special, but you aren’t. No one would listen to you, you little slut. No one would believe you. No one would care. You’re nothing.”

No. Dean would care. Don’t listen to him, Cas. Dean believes you. He listens. He cares. He says you’re his everything.

Michael advances on him and he crab crawls backwards, skittering and slipping across the floor. In just a few steps, Michael is on top of him. He’s flipped onto his stomach and his face is smashed into the wood flooring. Then it’s lifted and smashed again. Michael’s hands wrap around his throat, bending him back awkwardly, squeezing so tight Castiel feels like his nose might pop off his face from the pressure building. Castiel tries sucking in air, his vision still blurry, and his head now spinning.

Michael adjusts his grip and uses it to start shaking Castiel, making his head bob frantically, slamming back against the flooring each time. “Gonna put you in your place, you little slut!” he grunts.

Castiel opens his mouth wide. He isn’t sure if it’s to talk or to breathe. Neither is possible. Just as his vision completely leaves him, the pressure on his throat eases. He tests a breath and starts coughing immediately, like the oxygen is making him sick. He heaves and fights it. It hurts too much to breathe. It hurts so fucking much.

“You need to appreciate me more. You need to realize how much worse it could be for you.” He caresses Castiel’s bruising cheek, smiling down at him fondly. “I’m the reason you’re alive, baby. The only reason. I hold your life in my hands. Don’t start forgetting that.”

With air comes emotion, and Castiel begins to sob. The noises are dry and pathetic from how hoarse his throat is but he manages. He wonders if he’d have the ability to scream. Maybe, if he screamed hard enough, Dean would hear.

He’s too disoriented to realize that’s incredibly unrealistic.

“Don’t worry. I can tell you’re still hoping to get away. I have a plan to show you that you’re really, truly mine.” He leans down, pressing a soft kiss to Castiel’s bloody lips. He must have split them at some point during the struggle. Michael just grins and licks the blood like it’s chocolate. “Then you won’t have to deal with all that pesky hope. You can finally give into me.”

Castiel opens his mouth, once again unsure what he wants. To breathe. To argue. To beg. To die.

Dying sounds phenomenal at the moment.

He hears the door open and looks up in time to see a tall man in a police uniform. Wait. No, that can’t be right. His brain must have been damaged by the lack of oxygen. He’s not seeing properly.

“Hey little one, I have a friend I want you to meet.”

The man kneels beside him, taking Castiel’s face in his hand and lifting so they’re eye to eye. He smiles softly, then flicks his eyes at Michael. “He’s beautiful.”

“Isn’t he? Fucking sister’s an idiot. Wish I could get rid of her and just keep him.”

“That could be arranged,” the man whispers, looking back at Castiel. “If you’re not opposed to sharing from time to time.”

“That’s why you’re here.” Michael looks at Castiel, grinning. “This is my buddy Adam, but if you want, you can just call him Sheriff Milligan.”

Oh, god. That is a uniform. This man is who he would report Michael to. This man, who is calling him beautiful and asking to share. Oh, god. Fuck.

“There it is. There’s that look I wanted.” Michael kisses him like he’s rewarding him for losing all hope. For realizing his options are Michael or death. “I thought I’d let him stay while I teach you your lesson.”

“Oooo, lesson. What’d the naughty boy do?” Adam asks, scandalized and turned on.

“He thought he could escape me.” With a sneer, Michael pushes down his pants. “Adam, tell him what would happen if he told on me.”

“Well,” Adam starts, chuckling. “Considering any deputy would give that report to me, since I’m the one that assigns each case to a detective, that case would just accidently disappear.”

“And what if he told them you’re corrupt?” Michael asks.

This gets the officer to bark a laugh. “Like I’m the only one? That whole station is dabbling in one crime or another. We don’t snitch on each other. Ever.”

“Hear that, little one?” Michael tugs at Castiel’s jeans and underwear. Castiel tries to keep his legs closed. It was just an hour ago that he was taking a quick shower at Dean’s, cleaning himself in case something like this happened. Erasing traces of Dean. Now he’s dry and tight - though not as tight as usual. He’s not sure if Michael would notice. That’s not why he’s fighting this, though. It’s not fear that Michael will figure it out. He’s fighting it because he’s deathly afraid of replacing Dean with Michael. He’s afraid Michael will steal every good moment from the past day. He already took Castiel’s hope, the boy is already dead inside, but he wants to keep today. The one and only perfect day.

His pants are ripped off him the rest of the way by Adam. He tosses them off to the side while Michael holds him down. His shirt is ripped from his body, the fabric cutting into his skin from the force. Castiel kicks and bucks, hoping they’ll just kill him instead. He doesn’t want to survive this. Not anymore. He just wants them to kill him while Dean is still the last person to touch him.

“You’re right, Mike. This one really does need to be taught a lesson.”

“Please,” Castiel begs, shaking his head as he stares at the man who vowed to protect and serve. Praying there’s a trace of humanity left in him.

Adam just licks his lips and leans down, kissing him. Castiel wrenches his face back. He starts to sob and kick out. His hands grab at the floor and he tries to push up to his hands and knees, but he’s slammed back down by one of them. His face hits the floor and his nose begins to gush blood. It makes it so he can’t breathe out of it.

“Stop. Stop, please!” He continues to kick until Michael grabs his thighs with two rough hands and spreads his legs apart, holding them down. Adam grabs his wrists and pins them onto the floor above his head. The panic attack that’s rolling over him in waves is starting to make him lightheaded and dizzy. Part of him prays he’ll just pass out. The other part, the part that knows he won’t ever win this fight, prays he’ll die instead.

Still, he begs, his body refusing to give in even though his mind has. “Stop! Stop! It hur- oh!”

Michael shoves himself in without any prep. Any lube. He only goes in an inch or so but he doesn’t let that stop him. He just spreads Castiel’s cheeks and pulls back to drive into him again. Castiel starts to shriek at the pain. He’s never felt such terrible pain. Even the first time Michael raped him, he prepped him with spit. This feels as if he’s being ripped open. Torn apart.

A dull clinking sound is his only warning before the belt comes down on his back. It must be Michael, because Adam is still holding his arms down, hard enough to bruise him. Michael will thrust into him, shoving past muscles and tissue, using his blood as lube. Then he’ll whip him. Then he’ll thrust. Then he’ll whip. Thrust. Whip. Thrust. Whip. He can’t decide what’s worse. They both physically hurt until he feels ready to blackout.

“Mind if I help shut him up?” Adam asks, his voice dripping with sin and evil. Castiel wasn’t even aware that he was making noise, but now he can hear himself screaming and sobbing. He can’t stop the sounds. It’s like he’s lost all control.

“Be my guest. Test him out.”

Castiel screams even though his voice is too hoarse to make any noise anymore. It’s all just weak exhales that barely make it past his own ears. Then he can’t make any noise at all, because Adam is stuffing his cock into his mouth. “Bite me and we’ll take you from here tonight, forever. No more school. No more friends. You’ll just be our little sex slave.”

Nodding to show he understands, Castiel tries to relax himself. He tries to concentrate, because, honestly, he’s not sure he’s conscious enough to stop himself from biting. It might just be a reflex since he’s in the middle of passing out already.

The cock is shoved in deep, until Castiel can feel wiry hair and heavy balls against his face. He starts to panic again because his nose is still bleeding and he can’t breathe now. He really can’t breathe. This isn’t anxiety. This isn’t in his head. He can’t breathe. He can’t breathe. Oh, god. He can’t breathe. He can’t-

 

-----

 

“Ooo, burgers.” Sam leans against the counter and steels a slice of tomato Dean just cut. “Are we having fries too?”

Dean bats him away and scrunches his nose. He just got home from playing basketball with his friends and he’s coated in sweat. “You smell. Go shower.”

“Well, that’s just rude.”

“You’re gonna see rude if you don’t go away. You’re dangerously close to dripping on my burgers.”

Sam rolls his eyes dramatically but starts toward the bathroom. Dean’s phone buzzes with a new text. He flips the burgers before grabbing the device and reading the message.

Castiel: Heading to bed. Wanted to let you know I’m okay. Good night.

Looking at the clock in confusion, Dean responds.

Dean: It’s not even eight yet. Why so early?

Castiel: You really complaining about me getting too much sleep?

Dean: Don’t have a problem with it unless it’s because you’re hurt…

For eleven minutes, Castiel doesn’t respond. Then he sends,

Castiel: It was just another night in this house, Dean. Nothing notable. I’m just exhausted and frustrated and wanna sleep.

Dean: Okay.. Call me if you need me at all. Get some rest and I’ll see you in the morning.

Castiel: Okay.

Dean: Good night. I love you.

Castiel: Good night, Dean

Dean waits for another text. He’s not the kind of guy who can ignore his pride and send a message asking why he didn’t say ‘I love you’ back, but he wants to. He really wants to.

“Gonna burn the burgers,” Sam grumbles, coming around the corner and hitting him on the back of the head.

“Yeah. Sorry.” Dean stares at his phone for a few more seconds before going back to the stove, turning the burner off and putting the burgers on plates. Then he grabs a beer from the fridge and sits at the table with Sam.

His brother eyes the beer, knowing from his sudden shift in mood and the alcohol that something’s wrong. “What happened?”

“What do you mean? Nothing.”

“Dean.” Sam rolls his eyes. “You were in a good mood when I left for the shower.”

After taking a long pull from his beer, Dean sighs. “I’m dating someone. His name is Castiel. I don’t know if you remember, but I was sitting with him at the football game.”

Sam’s eyes widen. “Dating? As in, like, more than just sex?”

“Yeah. I, uh,” Dean laughs at himself. “I love him.”

“What?”

“You heard me you little shit.”

Sam’s face can barely contain his grin. “Holy shit. This is crazy, but it’s great. I’m happy for you. I’d love to meet him.”

“I’d like that too.” He picks at his burger bun. “Thing is - and you can’t tell a soul this, Sam, I’m serious, no one- he has a shitty home life. Like, worse than when Dad was here. His sister and her boyfriend abuse him. Physically and sexually, Sammy.”

“Dean,” Sam hesitates, “What are you gonna do?”

 

“What do you mean?”

“Well, I’m assuming you’re not gonna let that keep happening. Considering, ya know, you’re you.”

“Oh?”

Sam rolls his eyes again. “You aren’t exactly subtle, Dean. I know you figured out a way to make dad disappear, and everyone talks at school. You have - connections. I know you’re friends with those drug dealers from the north side. I know you sell some of their drugs for them sometimes.”

Shocked, Dean stares down at his burger. All he can think to say is, “It pays rent.”

“I’m not arguing, Dean. I’m not some moral compass here. I’m just saying, you obviously have the means to fix this for Castiel. So, how are you going to do it?”

“I don’t know yet. I’m gonna talk to Ash tomorrow and we’ll figure something out.”

“And that’s why you’re upset? This situation with Castiel?”

“Yeah. I think something bad happened tonight that he’s not telling me. He said he’s good but he sounded off. I dunno. I’m worried about him.” Dean frowns. “I told him I love you tonight and he didn’t say it back, but earlier in the day he did. So, I’m not sure if something happened or if I already fucked up or what.”

Sam takes a bite of his burger while he ponders the situation. Then he says, “I think you’re overthinking it. Relationships are about trust. If he says he’s fine, you have to believe him.”

Dean shakes his head in amazement. He reaches over and messes up Sam’s floppy hair, making the boy laugh. “Since when did you get so wise, Sammy?”

For the rest of the night, Dean leaves his phone in his pocket. If Castiel calls, needing him, he’ll hear it. But there’s no need to stare at the damn thing until sunrise. Sam is right. He has to trust that Castiel is fine. He’s probably just tired. Who wouldn’t be with his life?

 

------

 

Michael comes into Castiel’s room around midnight, once Anna’s asleep. The boy is lying on his stomach with his naked limbs spread out, hugging the pillow beneath him. He’s wide awake as he stares at the blank wall.

“How ya feeling?” he asks quietly, approaching the bed.

“Hurts,” Castiel whimpers.

“I know. I’m so sorry, baby. It got out of hand.” Michael pushes his sweaty curls off his forehead. He had carried Castiel up here earlier, after the attack, before Anna came home. He feared he had gone too far and she would be upset, so he hid Castiel away and lied to her that he had the flu. She was so disgusted with the idea of getting sick from the boy that she didn’t question it or investigate herself.

Michael puts down the towels he had brought, as well as the ointment and the gauze. Then he leaves the room again, returning with a bowl of warm water. Castiel watches the whole time in silence.

“I need to clean these so they don’t get infected. Then you need to eat something and I’ll give you a painkiller to help you sleep.”

When Castiel blinks, a tear rolls down his cheek.

Michael starts on his face first, washing away all the dried blood and snot and tears, being extra careful around the large gash on his forehead. He rubs ointment on the injury and tapes gauze to it. When he looks at Castiel’s back, his next area of work, he grimaces. “Castiel, I am so sorry.”

Castiel cringes at the use of his name like that. He’d almost rather ‘baby’ or ‘little one’ because then he’s in Michael’s world instead of his own. Him using his real name like everyone else merges the two worlds together. It makes him forget that this is something he’s supposed to be able to escape. He’s starting to think maybe the world with Dean is the make believe one.

“Why don’t we have you eat the granola bar and take the pills first. Then it won’t hurt so bad when I clean these. Yeah?”

Castiel sniffles. “No food. Please.”

“You need something in your stomach for the pills.”

“I don’t-” Castiel pauses, gulping. “I think I’ll throw it up.”

“Can you try for me?” Michael grabs the granola bar, then the water bottle with the bendy straw he brought. “You stay like that. Don’t worry about trying to sit up.”

Castiel nods weakly. He lets Michael slowly feed him the granola bar, taking a drink whenever the straw is placed at his lips. Then he gratefully takes the pills from him.

While Michael waits for the pills to kick in a bit, he strokes Castiel’s hair. “What were you hiding from me today, baby?”

Castiel closes his eyes, more tears slipping free. “Doesn’ matter ‘nymore.”

“It matters to me.”

“I jus’ thought it’d stop soon.”

“I thought I made it clear last night that I would be taking care of you from now on. That this was going to be something between us.”

Castiel blinks up at him, embracing the fuzziness coming from the pills now. “It wasn’ real. What you had me say. Jus’ sayin’ what you wan’ me to.”

“I know.” Michael smiles down at him, almost fondly. “But eventually it will be true to you, I promise. You’ll learn to love me. To love this.”

“How do you know that?”

“Because I was like you once. I know how scary it is, how confused you are. That’s why I had to do this. For your own good, little one. I went too easy on you and you got confused. Really, it was my fault.” He kisses Castiel and the boy opens for him as usual, more tears falling. When he pulls away, he wets a new piece of cloth to begin on his back. “Do you understand, now? Did you learn the lesson?”

He nods. “Will A- Adam come back?”

“No. Adam has his own boy. He’ll only come back if I need his help again.”

“You won’t. I’ll be good. I swear.”

“I know you will. You’re my good boy.” He begins to clean Castiel’s back, whispering words of encouragement and apologizing to him when it hurts too much. Once he’s taken care of, Michael carefully covers him with a light blanket. “Just get some rest. I’ll call you into school tomorrow.”

“Okay.”

“Sweet dreams, little one.”

When he hears the door click shut, Castiel pulls his phone out from under his pillow. He reads all of the texts from Dean. Every one they’ve ever sent. Some worried. Some flirty. Some boring. Some funny. Some loving. All make him smile.

With shaking hands, he types out a text and sends it. Then he hugs the pillow tight, closes his eyes, and cries himself to sleep.

 

-------

 

Castiel: Won’t be at school tomorrow. Don’t worry. I’m fine

Dean reads the text for the fourth time that morning. He’s sitting in the back of math, trying to convince himself that Castiel is fine. That he shouldn’t go barging over there. Dean had texted him back asking if he needed anything, and if he was really okay, and Castiel hadn’t responded.

While everyone else worries about fucking equations and exponents, he continues to stare at the phone. Willing it to ring. Instead, the bell is what rings. He launches out of his seat and goes on a hunt for red hair. When he finds Charlie, he releases a breath of relief.

“Charlie!” Dean nearly slams into her since he comes in so fast. She jumps back and looks at him with wide eyes as he starts spilling words. “Have you heard from Cas? Is he okay? He’s not here today and he said he was fine but he’s not answering me and he seemed really off last night and we had a really important day yesterday and I’m worr-”

“Slow. Down.” She closes her locker and grabs his arm, pulling him down the hall and into a little alcove. “Have you tried calling him?”

“No.”

“Try.” She gestures at his phone, indicating that she wants him to do it right now.

He dials Castiel’s number and puts it to his ear, avoiding her eyes as he waits. And waits. And waits.

Dean hangs up on the voicemail and starts pacing. The alcove is too small, so he only gets two steps in each direction before having to turn. Suffice to say, it doesn’t help.

“I’ll try,” Charlie says, pulling out her phone. Dean stares her down as he waits for his heart to be broken. If Castiel answers her, it means he’s ignoring Dean. Then again, he needs him to answer, because he’s worried something serious is wrong.

When Charlie puts her phone back in her pocket with a shake of her head, he growls in frustration. “I’m going to his house.”

“Dean, you’ll make things so much worse.”

“I’ll be careful.”

“Dean. Seriously.”

He puts a hand up to stop her from talking further. “Stop. What if he’s lying somewhere in that house bleeding out? What if he’s being tortured or - or-” Dean chokes to a stop, squeezing his eyes tight so he doesn’t cry.

“Okay,” Charlie whispers. “Go. Hurry.”

 

------

 

Dean continues to pace in the alley near Castiel’s house as he waits for Ash to call him back. He’s having his best friend track the location of Anna and Michael so he knows it’s safe to go into the house looking for Castiel. It’s taking longer than Dean expected.

Finally, after he’s nearly lost his mind, Ash calls him.

“Fucking finally, asshole.”

“Oh, okay. Not like I was woken up during my daily third period nap - which is vital for my health, may I add - to do your ass a favor.”

Dean deflates. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t worry ‘bout it. Anyway, house is safe. Keep your phone on loud and I’ll call you if either of them start moving. As of now, though, they’re both at work.”

“You’re a lifesaver, man. Thank you.”

“No problem. Security code is 1178. I disabled the alert system, so it won’t send Anna or Michael a notification that the door opened.”

Sure enough, when Dean types in the code, the door beeps and then opens for him. He closes it and resets the system before taking his shoes off and putting them on the mat in the perfect line with the rest. He looks around, taking everything in. The hardwood floor, the expensive looking furniture, the family style kitchen table. Everything is spotless. The air smells fresh and clean, with a hint of apple cinnamon.

Dean explores the bottom floor before realizing that’s not where Castiel’s bedroom is. He climbs the stairs and peeks into a room that ends up being a bathroom. Just a handful of steps later, and he’s slowly opening another door. Jackpot.

Castiel jumps, then tenses his entire body. A small whimper escapes him but other than that he stays completely silent. When he starts to visibly shake, Dean realizes he doesn’t know it’s him. He thinks it’s Anna or Michael.

“Hey, blue eyes.”

“Dean?” Castiel pushes up onto his elbows, wincing. Before Dean can ask what’s wrong, the blanket is slipping off him and revealing a bandaged back to match the bandage on his forehead. His eyes are sunken in, bright red above heavy black bags. His hair is all over the place. His cheeks have dried tear tracks.

Melting on the spot, Dean closes the door and moves forward until he’s at Castiel’s side. Castiel’s hands grab at him like a small child and when Dean is close enough, he latches onto the fabric of his sweatshirt and tugs him close. Dean cradles him in the awkward position, Castiel’s head in his lap, trying not to hurt his back. He cards his fingers through his hair. “I’m sorry. I know I promised not to come like this.”

“No. Please. I’m so glad you came, Dean.” He sniffles and burrows further into Dean’s arms. “I needed you.”

“I’m right here. Not goin’ anywhere.” Dean helps him scoot over so he can crawl in beside him. It feels strange for him to have clothes on with Castiel naked, so he kicks off his jeans and throws his sweatshirt, staying in his shirt for the sole purpose of giving Castiel something to hold onto. The minute he’s lying on his back, Castiel scoots closer to him, still lying on his stomach but using Dean’s chest as a pillow. Castiel’s hand grabs a fistful of his shirt and holds it tight, making Dean smile.

“Ash is tracking Anna and Michael, so don’t worry about them interrupting us. He’ll call when they leave work.” Castiel nods, staying quiet. Adjusting himself carefully, Dean eyes up Castiel’s exposed back. He clears his throat before asking, “What happened, babe?”

Castiel doesn’t say anything for a while, and Dean lets him be. They just lay together in a comfortable silence, Dean playing with his curls and Castiel gripping his shirt like a lifeline. After a while, Castiel sighs and presses his cheek harder against his chest.

“I got home late, so he was waiting for me. He asked where my backpack was and I told him I didn’t have homework. Then, for some reason, he got really paranoid. Said I was keeping something from him. When I wouldn’t admit it, he,” Castiel pauses, his hand releasing Dean’s shirt just to tighten back on it again. “He hit me. Cho-”

When Castiel starts to cry softly, Dean hushes him and kisses his head. “Don’t tell me that part if you don’t want to, baby. I can see it. I can see everything he did to you.”

And he could. Dean could see the two bruises that were in the perfect shape of hands throttling his throat. Blotches of blood in certain areas where vessels burst. The cuts and bruises on his face. The bandages on his back, which he’s fairly certain are covering some kind of lacerations. The way Castiel’s legs are spread, and he has some of the blanket bunched up beneath his hips to lift his ass slightly in the air, almost like he’s trying to relieve as much pressure in the area as possible. Dean knows.

Castiel calms himself, soaking in Dean’s warmth and reassuring words that he keeps whispering while he cries. “He has a friend, Dean. The sheriff.”

“You mean, like a cop?”

“No, I mean The Sheriff. Sheriff Milligan. I googled him. He’s young so I hoped he wasn’t the guy in charge but he is. He’s-” Castiel squeezes his eyes shut. “He helped Michael do this. He- he participated. To teach me that I have no way of getting out.”

Dean has to swallow a growl. “You can’t believe them. We’ll find a way.”

“We’re fucking teenagers, Dean. We’re playing make believe. They won. They’re always going to win.” Castiel shakes his head. “He’s the fucking sheriff. We lost before we started.”

“No. No, don’t you dare start thinking like that. You can’t give up hope.”

“Don’t you get it?” Castiel wants to sit up, wants to scream, but everything hurts so much. He settles for weakly hitting his fist against Dean’s chest, knowing it won’t hurt the boy, but desperately needing to get some of his anger out. “He said he could see hope in my eyes and that’s why he did this. To teach me a lesson. He said until I give into this, give up completely, I’ll keep getting treated like this. For my own good.”

“Cas-”

“Shhh.” Castiel starts crying harder, hating each sob because they make his body heave, every injury setting on fire with the movements. “Just - Just- Please, Dean. Just stay. Don’t talk.”

Dean relaxes into the mattress, closing his eyes. “Okay, babe. No more talking. Why don’t you get some sleep?”

Nodding, Castiel gets comfortable and lets himself rest. He inhales Dean and smiles. He has no idea what’s going to happen with his life. If he keeps doing what he’s doing with Dean, Michael might figure it out. He’s honestly not sure if he’ll survive another beating like this one. But could he really stop doing this with Dean? Walk away from the man he loves, the first man to make him feel hope, safe, loved? What would even be the point of surviving with Michael if all his life will be is life as Michael’s ‘little one’?

“Dean?”

Dean clenches his fists at his sides, unsure if he wants to hear whatever it is Castiel plans on saying. He respects him too much to stop him, though, so he takes a shaky breath and asks, “Yeah?”

“A few times now, you’ve said somethin’,” he pauses, adjusting himself so he can rest his chin on Dean’s chest and look up at him. Their eyes lock. “Stuff ‘bout makin’ Michael disappear or him not bein’ a problem much longer.”

“Yes. I have.”

“You’re-” Castiel stops, a sob wracking the inside of his chest. He lets it free but continues to stare at Dean, refusing to give into his tears quite yet. This is important. If he’s going to survive, he needs this. “You’re gonna - you’re gonna kill him.”

Dean’s lips part and his eyes widen but he doesn’t say anything. Something in Castiel breaks and his hands tighten on Dean’s shirt. “You’re gonna kill him, right, Dean?”

“Cas-”

“Please,” Castiel chokes out through a sob. “Please, Dee. Tell me you’re gonna kill him.”

Understanding now, understanding that Castiel isn’t disgusted or afraid of him or upset, Dean’s entire body relaxes. He gives Castiel a sad, but reassuring smile. “Yes, blue eyes. I’m gonna kill him.”

He watches as Castiel’s eyes flutter shut in relief, his head falling to rest back on Dean’s chest. Dean holds him tighter, careful not to bother his injuries. After placing a soft kiss to the crown of Castiel’s head, Dean whispers, “I’m gonna rip him apart.”

Chapter Text

Castiel misses the rest of the week of school. He texts Dean every chance he gets. Every day, when Michael and Anna are at work, Dean skips his classes and comes over. They don’t talk about anything substantial. Dean brings his homework, sets it on the desk, strips to his shirt, crawls into bed, and whispers, “Hey baby.” Then, they perhaps exchange a minute of small talk, before falling into a comfortable silence. Dean holds Castiel for hours, until his phone rings and he has to hurry up and leave.

Castiel knows he’s walking a dangerous line by allowing Dean to stay in his life. He makes sure to avoid all eye contact with Michael, in case he can see the lingering hope returning. Whenever he’s worried Michael will see it, he replays the violent scene with him and Adam, and it makes him forget the hope for the time being, keeping him safe.

Every night, Michael comes into his room, quiet and apologetic. He tends to his wounds. He feeds him. Gives him pills. Water. He combs through his hair with his fingers, gentle and slow, letting Castiel soak up the comfort. Then he leaves for the night, with nothing but a soft kiss to Castiel’s lips. Castiel waits, usually a half hour or so, before pulling his phone out and calling Dean. They spend a few hours talking until Castiel literally talks himself to sleep. Dean promises he sleeps once Castiel does, but Castiel has a feeling Dean’s lying.

On day four of recovery, he’s strong enough to leave his bedroom for more than just going to the bathroom. He spends some time on the couch watching TV and takes a nap in Michael’s arms, before Anna gets home. That night, he eats dinner at the table with him and Anna. A full meal. Michael’s guilt was quite evident.

Anna didn’t say anything when she saw his healing face. In fact, she had sneered at him, like she was glad Michael had hurt him recently. Castiel could care less about her. She’s quite obviously oblivious, and not the enemy. Not the important one, at least.

The weekend is what Castiel truly fears. He wakes up with his usual list of chores and even though he’s pretty much healed, besides some scabs, faded bruises, and lingering achiness, a day full of scrubbing and washing and crawling around doesn’t sound like the most enjoyable thing. It doesn’t help when Anna keeps walking by him, bitching about him working too slow, always giving him a shove or a kick. He grunts and takes it each time, closing his eyes until the pain starts to ebb.

One of these times, he opens his eyes back up to find Michael looking at him, eyebrows pulled in. The man waits a few minutes until Anna goes upstairs for a shower before approaching Castiel. “Why don’t you take the night off?” Michael whispers, leaning into him.

“What do you mean?”

“Go to Charlie’s for the night. Have a sleepover. Relax.”

Unable to stop himself, Castiel looks at him with wide eyes and smiles. “Really?”

“Really. You’ve been so strong for me, and such a great listener. I know you learned your lesson. I know you understand your place now. You deserve a reward for that.”

Castiel puts down the rag he’s using to scrub the countertop. He hears the water still running upstairs, so he takes the risk, wrapping his arms around Michael and hugging him. Michael grunts in surprise, arms out to his sides, before relaxing. Carefully, making sure he doesn’t squeeze too tight, Michael returns the hug.

With a gulp, Castiel pushes back the tears and whispers to him, “Thank you, daddy.”

“Oh, baby.” Michael cups the back of his head and leans down, closing his lips over Castiel’s. Instead of just opening and accepting, Castiel kisses him back. Michael moans and presses his front against him. On accident, Castiel whimpers. When Michael pulls back, he asks, “Did I hurt you? You’re still sore?”

“Yeah. I’m fine, though. If you want to use me before I go.” Castiel swallows the bile that lingers in his throat with those words. He has to be smart. Dean promised to kill this man. He has to trust that Dean will do it soon.

“No. I’ll use your pretty mouth when you get home. Give your hole a break for a while longer.”

Castiel nods, trying to hide his relief. “Do you want me to finish my chores, first?”

Michael glances around, assessing. “What do you have left?”

“Just the dishes and the last load of laundry needs to be folded.”

“I’ve got those. You go on. Pack your bag and leave before she comes down. It’ll be better if I tell her, that way she can’t force you to stay.”

“Okay.” Castiel steps toward the stairs before pausing, turning to him and giving him a careful hug once more. Against his chest, he whispers, “Thank you, daddy.”

“You’re welcome, little one. Be home for dinner tomorrow night.”

Dinner tomorrow night. Castiel looks at the clock, forcing back a smile. That’s twenty-seven hours. Twenty-seven hours. And he sure as hell doesn’t plan to spend them with Charlie.

 

------

 

“Not gonna work,” Benny grumbles for the fourth time that night. Dean’s about ready to throw the bottle of Jack sitting in the middle of the table at the boy’s head. He doesn’t, only because he knows for a fact that Benny is right. All of the plans they’re coming up with suck.

Laying on the floor of the living room, eavesdropping, Sammy throws a basketball into the air and catches it. Then again. As he plays with the ball, he speaks up. “What about going to the State Police?”

Dean looks at Ash, who has his laptop set up, running program after program. He considers it, tilting his head back and forth as he thinks about it. After a minute, he sits back and takes a long pull from his glass of whiskey and coke. Then, “Risky. Keep it on the table as a possibility, but risky.”

“How risky?” Dean asks.

“Not sure yet. I’ll start running backgrounds on the state police in the area. Search for links. Histories. It’ll take at least a day or two.”

Not waiting for an answer from Dean, Ash sits forward and begins to type furiously at his laptop.

Benny looks over at Dean, assessing his best friend. “When are we going to get serious here? Stop wasting time?”

“What do you mean?” Dean asks, even though he knows.

“We’re not letting the police help, even if we can find ones we trust. We’re killing them. At least Michael. Aren’t we?”

“Oh, definitely,” Ash mumbles, still typing. “I already have a great way to make him disappear without questions. Dude doesn’t have much for friends and family, as you can imagine.”

Dean looks over at his little brother, who is staring at him. When Sam sees his brother looking, he gives him a smile. “Don’t worry about me, Dean. I think you should kill him.”

“Jesus, Sammy. I never want to hear that come from your mouth again.”

“What? I’ll leave if I need to, but we all know you’re not letting this guy go alive, Dean. Don’t treat me like a child.”

“Fine.” Dean throws up a hand. “I didn’t want to talk about it with Sam home, but fine. Yes, I want to kill him. I already promised Cas I’ll be killing him. And I want to do it soon. As soon as possible. And I want to be the one to do it.”

“Finally,” Ash says with relief. “Alright, so I think I found a place to use for the - uh - elimination. The biggest obstacle will be his - uh - extraction. And transport.”

Snorting, Dean stands up and walks to the fridge. “Murder and kidnapping, Ash. But I appreciate the attempt at subtlety.”

Dean refills their three drinks - turning Sam down once again when the boy asks for one - and starts to sit down again. He should start making dinner soon, especially with the way they’re drinking this early in the day, but he’s too anxious right now to focus on something menial like that. Maybe they’ll just order some pizza tonight.

A knock on the door makes Dean groan. “I just fucking sat down.” He stands up, glaring at Sam. “If this is for you, they can’t come in. No one can know what we’re talking about tonight.”

Sam sits up, stopping his play with the basketball. “It might be Jess. Let me see.”

“Whoever it is, rule stays the same, Sammy.” Dean sits back down, waving for him to answer the door. He starts scrolling on his phone. “Pizza Hut? Domino’s? Papa John’s?”

“What the fuck? No Toppers?” Benny asks, offended.

With a dramatic eye roll, Dean asks, “Would you like Toppers, Benny?”

“Yes. Yes, I would.”

“Ash?”

“Seriously? Have you seen what I eat? I could care less what we order. Just get me lots of it.”

Laughing, Dean mutters, “Toppers it is.”

Just as he’s clicking on the website, Sam clears his throat. “Dean.”

“Toppers good for tonight, Sammy?” he asks, not looking up from his phone.”

“Dean.”

“Oh, don’t start this, Sam,” he starts, assuming Sam wants a different brand. “Benny wants Toppers.”

With a slap to the back of his head, Sam spits out, “Turn around asshole.”

Lifting a hand to hit his brother back, Dean whips around. All of his annoyance and anger evaporates when he sees the blue eyed boy standing just a few feet away, holding the strap of his backpack, knuckles turning white. It’s been less than a day since they’ve last seen each other but the sight of him still makes Dean weak in the knees.

“What happened? What’s wrong?” He pushes his chair away and hurries over to him, hovering his fingers along every inch of exposed skin, searching for new injuries amongst the old. “Did he hurt you?”

Castiel’s cheeks burn red as he peers over Dean’s shoulder to see Benny and Ash both staring. The two quickly look away and pretend to be busy doing something. “I’m fine. I’m here for a sleepover, actually.”

This gets Benny and Ash’s attention again. They don’t hide it, snapping their heads up to look at him in disbelief. Dean is just as perplexed. “A sleepover?”

“Yeah. I mean, I’m supposedly at Charlie’s, but she said she’d cover for me.”

“So you’re here? With me?” Dean’s voice takes an embarrassing pitch upward. “All night?”

“Bow chicka bow wow,” Ash and Benny tease in unison while Sam does a sharp whistle.

Before Dean can punch one of them, pissed they would dare insinuate that after the week Castiel’s had, he hears Castiel’s soft laughter. He looks at the boy in surprise and starts laughing with him.

With a flirty smile, Dean shakes his head, “Don’t go laughin’ at them. They’re idiots.”

“Uh, rude!”

“Yeah, we’re standing right here, man.”

Castiel laughs again, almost like he’s giddy, and it makes Dean’s chest crack wide open. He can’t continue the banter any longer, though. He wants to be alone with Castiel. Even if it’s just for a few minutes.

“Come,” he whispers, taking his hand. “I’ll help you put your bag in my room.”

He hears his friends joke about how Castiel probably doesn’t need help with that but Dean ignores them, just thankful that Castiel is following enthusiastically. The second they’re alone, Dean is shutting the bedroom door and gently pinning Castiel against it, careful for his healing back. “Fuck, I’ve missed you.”

“Missed you too.” Castiel grabs his face and pulls him in for a rough, desperate kiss. It sets Dean’s blood on fire and soon he’s forcing himself to break their mouths apart and stumble back, knowing he needs to stop before things get too far.

Castiel doesn’t agree with this course of action, pursuing him as he backs away. He’s smiling at Dean like he wants to eat him alive. “I’m spending the night, Dean. I plan on kissing you a lot. Get back here.”

Shaking his head, even though he feels his resolve evaporating, Dean whispers, “We shouldn’t. You’ll get hurt.”

“I’m fine.”

“No. You aren’t. I saw your back just yesterday when you changed.”

“So fuck me on my stomach.”

This stops Dean in his tracks. When Castiel catches up to him, Dean grabs him by his biceps and squeezes ever so slightly, ducking his head to look at Castiel. He stares into his eyes for a long time before quietly asking, “What’s wrong?”

“What?” Castiel tries shrugging him off, huffing when it doesn’t work. “Nothing.”

“That wasn’t you. That sentence. It wasn’t you.”

“You don’t know me as well as you think, Dean.”

Dean tilts his head, daring him to say that again. When he stays quiet, Dean nods once. “What happened? What’s wrong?”

Dropping his chin, Castiel closes his eyes and shakes his head. “I don’t - just - I feel off.”

“Okay.” Dean grabs his chin and tilts his face up again. “What about?”

“I don’t know. I was fine when I got here. Really excited to see you. But then we got in here and I just, I don’t know.”

From the way Castiel looks away again, shame coloring his face a deep red, Dean knows he’s lying. “Please tell me, Cas.”

“It’s gonna sound really fucking stupid.”

“Try me.”

His blue eyes slowly lift to meet Dean’s green ones. “It feels - it feels like M- like he erased what happened in here last weekend. It feels like he stole it. And I - I really want it back, Dee. I liked that day. That day - it’s the best I think I’ve ever had.”

“Oh, Cas.” Dean picks him up easily, grabbing his thighs and hiking him up. Castiel wraps his arms around his neck and his legs around Dean’s waist, holding tight, burying his face in his neck. He starts crying silent tears and he knows Dean must be able to feel them against his skin but he thankfully doesn’t point them out. Instead, he sits on the bed with his back against the headboard and just holds Castiel, fingers carding through his hair, other hand resting on the small of his back where he knows there’s no healing lashes. “He can’t take that day away. Trust me. That day was powerful. That day was the first time we made love. The first time we said the words I love you. The first day of what we promised each other would be forever. He isn’t strong enough to take that. Not even a little. That day is ours. You hear me? It’s ours. It’s right here. He didn’t take it.”

Still crying, Castiel holds him tighter and nods. He believes Dean but he still needs to be held and reassured for a while longer. As usual, Dean doesn’t mind one bit. He just continues to hold him and play with his hair. Every so often, he’ll whisper things like “It’s alright” or “I love you” or “Everything’s gonna be okay.” Each affirmation warms Castiel, relaxing him, until he feels ready to sit back and look at Dean in the eye. When he does so, Dean’s hands come up to cup his face, thumbs wiping away trails of tears.

“You are so beautiful,” Dean whispers, staring at him like a piece of art.

Castiel blushes and averts his eyes, focusing on the freckles that are scattered across the boy’s nose. “So are you.”

“Hey, asshole! Did you ever order that pizza? We’re fuckin’ starving!”

“Language!” Dean yells back, even though it’s Ash, because Sam is still somewhere in the house. He hears laughter and realizes all three are outside the door. Probably hoping to overhear something more than quiet whispers from two fully clothed boys.

Castiel laughs softly and kisses him. “We should probably feed the hounds.”

“Do we have to?”

“I have a feeling they’ll be very annoying otherwise.”

With a dramatic sigh and eye roll, Dean says, “Okaaaaaaay.”

He lets Castiel crawl off him before sliding off the bed. Taking Castiel’s hand in his, Dean opens the door and immediately starts waving the three off, giving them all the finger. “We can order your damn pizza now.”

“Great!” Ash cheers, rushing back to the table.

“Oh, and Dean?”

Dean looks at Benny with an eyebrow raised. “Yeah?”

“We want Pizza Hut now.”

Unable to stop the eye roll, he pulls out his phone and harshly types in the new website. “Of fucking course ya do.”

 

------

 

At first, Castiel was sort of bummed that Dean wasn’t home alone - or at least just with Sam. As the night went on, though, he realized Dean’s friends are awesome. He hasn’t laughed so much and so hard in years. Plus, it’s nice sitting in a room full of people who know his secret, and still be treated normal. They don’t walk around him like he’s made of glass. They pick fun at him for being a nerd and make dirty jokes that get them looks from Dean but make Castiel laugh. They tell embarrassing stories about themselves and about Dean, earning more looks and more laughter. By the time they’re leaving for the night, going to a party that Castiel doesn’t really feel up to going to - even though he told Dean he didn’t mind going, Dean could tell he was lying - Castiel feels like he’s a part of the friend group. It feels really nice. Almost like he’s starting to build his own little family, just like Dean said he did with those guys.

Sam leaves too, waving Dean off when he’s warned to be home before two and to call if he needs a sober ride. When the door clicks shut and they hear Sam’s key in the lock, Dean turns to Castiel with a nervous smile.

“So, what now?”

“I don’t know.” Castiel glances around the house. He’s never had any friends other than Charlie, and whenever he was lucky enough to sleepover there, she had everything planned out. She’s not a very relaxing person. He’s also never had a boyfriend, so he’s unaware of any protocol that might be in place.

Dean gestures toward the living room. “We have Netflix.”

Relieved that Dean came up with such an easy, simple thing for them to do, Castiel quickly nods and stands up, leading the way to the couch. It’s two minutes later that they find out there is something very bad in their relationship: Castiel likes chick flicks. Dean. Does. Not.

It’s about a minute later that Dean realizes something very bad about his feeling for Castiel: he’s willing to give the boy the fucking world. Including. Fucking. Chick. Flicks.

He doesn’t even grumble as the Notebook starts, which is soul crushing in a sense, but also makes him smile. He never believed he’d love someone like he loves Castiel. It just never felt in the cards for him. The relief he feels at finding this happiness, along with the thought of how much happier they’ll be once Michael is dealt with, drowns out any shame over the chick flick watching.

Halfway through the movie, Castiel turns in Dean’s lap, biting down on his bottom lip. Dean reaches up and uses his thumb to free the lip from Castiel’s teeth. “What’s up, blue eyes?”

“When I came today, it seemed like you were doing more than just debating pizza. I saw how fast Ash shut down his computer.”

“Yeah.”

Castiel stares at him. When Dean doesn’t say anything more than that, he rolls his eyes and pushes it further. “What were you doing?”

A ghost of a smile tugs at Dean’s lips. “We were working on Operation Freedom.”

“Operation Freedom?”

“Yeah. Don’t laugh. It took a long time to come up with that name. There were some incredibly inappropriate ones along the way.”

“Really?” Castiel cocks an eyebrow. “What were they?”

“Well. Let’s see. There was Operation Fuck Shit Up. Operation Assassination - which I’ll admit has a nice ring to it. Then Operation Free Cas. We didn’t want your name in it, though. In case we talked about it at school or in public. Same reason the others didn’t work. Not exactly inconspicuous.”

The laugh that bubbles from Castiel sends a warmth through Dean’s entire body. He watches the blue eyed boy as he throws his head back, unable to stop himself from staring at how beautiful he is. Dean needs to paint him laughing some time.

Castiel looks at him with watery eyes as he catches his breath. “Sorry. I know it wasn’t actually that funny, but it’s been so long since I’ve laughed. It felt good.”

Dean smiles. “Don’t apologize. I could listen to that all day long.”

“It’s so easy when I’m with you,” Castiel admits. “Everything’s easy with you.”

“I love you.”

Laughing softly, Castiel says, “I love you too, random boy.”

“Get used to it. I’m gonna be spending an awful lot of time telling you that. Even at random moments.”

“That’s something I definitely don’t mind.”

“Good.” Dean kisses the tip of his nose. “I love you.”

“I love you too.”

Dean releases a deep sigh of satisfaction, then pulls Castiel in close and holds him tight. They lay there for a few minutes as the movie continues playing. Castiel draws little circles on Dean’s bare arm with his fingertips while Dean cards his fingers through Castiel’s soft hair. They bask in the feeling of safety and love surrounding them, both smiling softly.

“What’s the plan?” Castiel eventually asks.

“Huh?”

“Operation Freedom. What do you have so far?”

“Oh.” Dean has to fight a flinch. “Not much. Yet. But Ash is on it, I promise. He’s trying to find a handful of straight cops that might be willing to help.”

Castiel tenses. “But you promised me you’d kill him.”

“I’m going to, I promise. But I wasn’t sure if you’d want Anna dead too.”

For a few minutes, all Castiel does is silently lay against Dean’s chest, one hand fisting Dean’s shirt for comfort. Eventually, he swallows around the huge lump choking his throat and whispers, “She’ll just do this again, right? I thought I could survive the year but I can’t, Dean. I’m so tired.”

“I know.” Dean presses a kiss to Castiel’s forehead.

“I’m so tired, Dee.”

Dean strokes his curls. “I know. I know you are.”

“I just want it all to stop.”

“I know.”

“Why won't it stop? I need to make everything stop.”

“Not everything,” Dean whispers.

Instead of explicitly answering that, Castiel just repeats himself. “I’m so tired.”

Dean’s chest aches.

“Don't let it stop, Cas. Please don't let it stop.” Dean squeezes his eyes shut, picturing his mother lying on the floor after her suicide. That was the day he broke. The day he went black inside. He doesn't think he would be able to survive seeing Castiel stop. “Please don't stop. I need you.”

“I know. But it has to stop, Dean. I can’t do this much longer. I’m trying to hold on but I’m just-” Castiel releases a shuddering breath. “I’m so tired.”

“I’ll kill him.” Dean stares at the TV, watching the characters laughing together. “I’ll kill both of them. In the next week, if possible.”

“Promise?”

“Swear.”

“Can I-” he pauses, then shakes his head.

Dean laughs. “If you think you’re gonna get away with that, you should think again.”

“It’s nothing. A stupid thought.”

“I like stupid thoughts.”

With a small laugh, Castiel whispers, “I was gonna ask if I can stay here until you kill them.”

Dean’s heart cracks wide open. “Honestly, I don’t think it’s a good idea, baby. I - you -” he stops talking when he feels Castiel completely deflate against him.

“Oh.”

“No. I mean, I want you here. And - well - I just,” Dean wipes a hand down his face, needing to spit it out and get it over with. “You’ll be a person of interest already, but having you mysteriously not living at home out of nowhere, right before they disappear? They’ll hone right in on you.”

“Does that mean you’ll be a person of interest?”

“Shouldn’t be. I’m banking on the fact that no one knows we’re together. But, with Ash and Benny’s help, even if they do look at me I should be safe. But I don’t want to risk you.”

“And what if I don’t survive? What about that risk?”

Just the words alone steal Dean’s breath from his lungs. “You’re right. You’re staying here.”

Castiel shrugs one shoulder. “We both know I can’t.”

“Oh, no chance. You can’t take it back after saying something like that. I’d never in a million years forgive myself if I lost you. I don’t care if we’re both people of interests. I trust Ash and Benny to help cover all the bases. And, if for some reason we are caught, I’ll make damn sure I’m the one who goes down for it.”

“What?” Castiel sits up, glaring at him. “That’s not fair at all. No way! What about Sam?”

“Ash and Benny will take care of him. And I trust that you would too.”

“Dean. No.”

With a crooked smile, Dean cups the side of his face. “You have your whole life ahead of you, you crazy beautiful goofy boy. I’m lucky if I graduate. Worst comes to worst, I will be the one taking the fall, and you will be the one letting me.”

“No.”

“Then I’m not killing them.”

Castiel’s jaw drops. “That’s not fair!”

“I don’t care.” Dean grabs him, pulling him into a searing kiss before he can complain any more. He runs his tongue along the seam of Castiel’s lips before poking it inside his mouth. Castiel battles him with his own for a minute before giving up complete power to Dean. Castiel shivers and moans as he devours his lips. When he has Castiel lying on his back, he pulls away and hovers over him with a cheeky grin, loving how flushed and breathless the boy beneath him is.

“You’ll stay here. I’ll keep you safe. I’ll kill them. If we get caught, you never knew my plans. You didn’t know a single thing.” Dean presses one more kiss against his wet lips. Firm. Demanding. Final. “Understood?”

“Understood,” Castiel whispers. “Make love to me, Dean.”

“No.”

“Deeeaaaan,” he growls and whines at the same time. “Please.”

“There’s no way you’re healed yet. Stop.”

Castiel puffs his bottom lip out, batting his eyelashes. It makes Dean roll his eyes. Then he peers down at him with a mischievous grin. “Wanna try another first with me?”

“Dean Winchester has more than one first left when it comes to sex?” Castiel teases. “What other than making love have you not done?”

“I’ve never bottomed.”

“Oh?” Castiel looks at him with scrunched eyebrows. Then he blinks his eyes open wide and sucks in a sharp breath. “Oh! You mean - you want - I would -”

“I want you to fuck me, Cas. I want you to finger me open and stick your thick cock into me.”

The dirty talk rewards him with exactly what he wanted - very flushed cheeks and Castiel wiggling as he gets turned on, blue eyes flicking to the side so he doesn’t have to look at Dean. “Would you like that, Castiel?” Dean asks in a husky, low voice.

Castiel shivers and nods frantically. “Yes. I - yes. Will you teach me? I don’t know - I might be bad.”

“Not possible.” Dean kisses him a final time before pulling him to his feet and guiding him down the hall, walking backward so he can keep his eyes on the boy he loves. “I’ll teach you, but there’s no way your cock in my ass could be anything but amazing. Promise.”

Nibbling nervously on his bottom lip, Castiel nods. “If you say so.”