Castiel's old life catches up with him and how will he cope now that Dean's left for South Dakota?
After Castiel had left Dean and Sam’s house, he caught a bus back to his own home where he locked himself in his bedroom and refused to talk to anybody, including Dean. Dean had spent hours sitting outside his bedroom door trying to get him to talk, but there was no response. Not even Castiel’s family could get him to come out and eat and Sam figured there was no point even trying to talk to him. After five hours, the world finally realised that Castiel Novak just wanted to be left alone.
Dean still left for South Dakota later that day. He never got the chance to say goodbye.
* * *
Three days later, Castiel still hadn’t left his room for longer than a couple of minutes and he still refused to properly talk to anyone.
“Castiel? Honey? Can I speak to you for a second?” Castiel’s foster mom, Jodie, said softly. “Nick’s going to remove your door if you don’t come out by tonight, so I think it’s best you open up. It only has to be for a few minutes…I just want to talk to you.”
There was a long silence.
“Castiel? Are you listening?”
The door opened slowly. “Yes. I’m listening.”
“Can I come in?” Jodie pressed.
Castiel thought to himself for a few seconds and then opened the door fully. Jodie sat down on the edge of his unmade bed and looked up at him as he stood against the wall on the other side of the room.
“How are you feeling, Castiel?”
The boy just laughed in response.
Jodie sighed. “Listen, honey, Nick has told me about you and…you and Dean. It’s okay. I understand you’re upset about him leaving like that.”
“I don’t care about Dean.” Castiel said through his teeth. “I don’t care about him at all.”
“Of course you do. You were friends, hon.”
“We were never ‘friends’. He was embarrassed to even know me, Jodie. The many times he let his friends call me names and hurt me in the school yard was enough for me to know that he didn’t really care– I was just too stupid to not have seen it from the start. Looking back at it now, I was stupid to have thought that anybody would ever be capable of loving me. I was so damned stupid. I just don’t understand why he always had to hurt me the way he did. The way he always did.”
“You don’t mean that, honey.”
“You’re just upset.”
“I feel so stupid.” Castiel began to cry. He let himself sink to the floor and wrapped his arms around his knees. “And it’s his fault. I don’t want to talk about it, okay? I just want to forget him.”
“You know you can’t just forget him, Castiel. What if he came home one day? You’d want to see him, wouldn’t you?”
“Why in god’s name would I want to see him? I never want to see him ever again.” He spat, but he could feel the uncertainty in his own words as he spoke them. His tone suddenly softened, “I don’t want to talk about it, okay?”
“Okay. But only if you come downstairs and have something to eat; you can’t just survive on chips and salsa for the rest of your life.” She smiled.
Castiel wiped his eyes and slowly stood up. “Can we have chilli for dinner?”
“I thought you were a vegetarian, honey.”
“I don’t want to be a vegetarian anymore.” He said quietly.
Jodie stood up and made her way towards the door. “If that’s what you want.” She smiled. “Maybe you could help me prepare it? I’m sure Gabriel and Nick would love that.”
Castiel smiled slightly – the first time he’d smiled in three days. “I’d like that too.”
* * *
“I can’t believe you asked Ruby to the dance!” Balthazar laughed, hitting Sam’s arm playfully. “I thought you were over her, dude. But I guess I always knew you still had a thing for her! I knew it!”
“Yeah, well, at least somebody actually agreed to go with me.” Sam shrugged. “How many times have you been rejected? Four? Five?”
Balthazar rolled his eyes. “Some of us aren’t as gifted with the ladies as you are. I think it’s your hair…it’s like some sort of magnet.”
Sam ignored him and turned to Castiel who was sitting quietly behind him. “What about you, Cas? Have you got a date for the dance yet?”
Castiel shook his head. “I’m not going.”
“Why not? I’m sure we could find you somebody. I heard Meg has a thing for you.” Balthazar smiled.
Castiel shook his head.
Sam shrugged. “Or, you know, there are other options. I hear Crowley is still looking-”
“I’m not gay,” Castiel said quickly cutting him off, “and I just don’t wanna go, okay?”
“Why don’t you come with me? As friends?” Balthazar suggested. “I’ll get my dad to drive us there and we won’t have to stay for too long if you don’t want to.”
Castiel thought it over. “I don’t know…I don’t think I’m up for it.”
“Go on, Cas. Make Balthazar’s life just a little bit less lonely?” Sam laughed.
Balthazar pouted and gripped Castiel’s shoulders, mouthing the word ‘pleeeeeeease’.
Castiel giggled. “Fine, I’ll go with you Balthazar.”
Balthazar’s dad’s car appeared at the entrance of the park, and Balthazar said his goodbyes as he walked off. Sam and Castiel got up and walked towards the park gates together in the direction of the nearest Burger King (Castiel’s new-found favourite restaurant now that he was no longer a vegetarian).
“Thanks for agreeing to go to the dance.” Sam smiled down at his older (but considerably shorter) friend.
Castiel rolled his eyes. “I know what you’re thinking, Sam.”
“You’re only happy I’m going because you think it will take my mind off Dean.”
“I didn’t say-”
“You didn’t have to say it. It’s just obvious. Well, for your information, I’m over him. I’m totally fine.”
Sam stopped in his tracks. “Don’t try to bullshit me, Cas. It’s plain obvious you’re not fine. Your foster brother, Gabriel, is in my math class; he was worried sick about you. You wanna know why? Because he can hear you crying at night. Crying for Dean. You’ve barely eaten since he left and it’s starting to show; you look like hell and you’ve hardly been yourself. Not to mention the fact you won’t set foot in school. So don’t you dare tell me you’re over him because I know you better than you think I do.”
“It was just some silly little high school romance that went too far. It meant nothing. I’m over Dean and Dean’s over me.”
Sam shook his head as they began to walk again.
As they made their way down the high street in silence, Castiel could’ve sworn he kept seeing Dean. Drivers in passing cars, people walking mindlessly down the streets, cashiers behind the till in the shops they passed…everywhere he’d see Dean. He tried his best to ignore it and told himself over and over again that he was gone and never coming back. He realised that if he didn’t admit it to himself soon, it would drive him crazy. Deep down Castiel missed him. And even deeper down he prayed that Dean missed him too.
* * *
When Castiel returned home that day, he found his foster parents sitting in the living room with an auburn-haired woman dressed in smart clothes with a clipboard sitting on her knee. As they caught sight of him enter the room, the three of them stood up and the auburn-haired woman stepped forward.
“Hello Castiel.” She smiled. “My name is Naomi, and I am your new social worker.”
Castiel frowned. “What? Why are you here? Is it because of Dean?”
She smiled and shook her head. “No, no. I’m not here about Dean, but I have been informed of the situation.” She gestured for Castiel to sit down on the sofa beside her, and the adults sat down too.
“Are you getting rid of me?” Castiel asked hesitantly after a long pause, frowning up at Jodie and Nick.
“No, honey. Of course we’re not getting rid of you.” Jodie said. “Naomi just needs to talk to you about something.”
“I think it’s best I talk to him alone.” Naomi smiled. Nick and Jodie nodded before getting up and leaving the room, shutting the door behind them.
Once they were alone, Naomi turned to Castiel and smiled.
“Yesterday I got a call from the Boston Social Services. They told me that your parents have finished their year’s community service and counselling…they made a request to see you again.” She said slowly.
Castiel felt his chest tighten. He couldn’t say a word.
“I know you may not want to see them after everything they put you through for nearly seventeen years, but they are your birth parents and they’ve changed. Maybe it would be a good idea to speak to them again, and maybe you could resume your life in Boston with them, particularly after everything that’s happened here in Lawrence – I understand that it’s been hard for you to adjust here.”
“I don’t want to see them.”
“Why don’t you give it some thought? It might be for the best, you know.”
Castiel shook his head. “You don’t understand. They put me through hell for seventeen years! I was days away from ending my own life, you know. I had planned it…I had written goodbye letters. I was going to do it.” he swallowed hard. “So, no. I will not see them again. Not after everything they’ve done. They don’t deserve me back because I’m better than them and I’m fine here in Kansas.”
“But you’re not fine here, are you Castiel?” She said, raising her eyebrows.
“Yes. I. Am.” He spat.
Naomi sighed. “Well your parents are scheduled to meet with your foster family on Saturday at 2pm. Perhaps you could go along and watch. You don’t have to speak to them…it would just be good for you to see them again. You have a few days to decide in the mean time.”
“I’d rather be dead.” He said quickly before getting up and running straight to his bedroom where he locked the door and grabbed his phone from his desk drawer.
He cleared the ’21 missed calls’ from his home screen and clicked his contacts. His heart pounded loudly as he scrolled down to the ‘Ws’, and his felt a sick feeling set in the bottom of his stomach as he hovered over the name Dean Winchester. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes as he finally made the call and held his phone to his ear.
The call went straight to answerphone, so he left a voicemail message: “Dean? I…I don’t know what I’m calling you. Actually…I do. I’m calling because…because I think I need you. My parents…they want to see me again and I don’t think I can see them again without you being with me. I know you didn’t leave on the best terms with me but…I just need you one last time. I know that you may not love me anymore but…but maybe you could pretend to, just for a day, because, well, when I feel loved by you, I feel safe…I just want to feel safe again.” He began to cry. “And I miss you. I’m sorry…I shouldn’t have called you like this. Ignore me. I’m fine. I...I’m sorry. Whatever.”
He ended the message and threw his phone down to the floor, gripping his hair with his hands and then falling to his knees as he willed himself not to scream. The surface of his skin began to itch as the anger in his bones intensified. The pain of Dean not being there got so bad he wished he could just end it all right there and then.
His phone began to ring from across the room, but he couldn’t bring himself to answer it. Once the ringing had stopped, it was nothing more than another missed call. That’s all. It didn’t even matter anymore.
No. Of course it mattered.
It mattered because it was Dean. And Dean mattered a lot.