The time comes for Castiel to meet with his real parents. Meanwhile, he begins to miss Dean more than he ever realised he would. Will he ever come back?
It was Friday night, the night before he was due to meet with his parents, when Castiel dreamed of Dean.
He dreamed that he woke up with Dean lying there silently beneath the bed covers with his fingers linked in his own. Castiel lay there and watched him for a few minutes as his chest moved up and down with every slight breath, and giggled lightly at the way he slept with a small smile etched into the corners of his face. He dreamt of the silence that always found the pair while they were together; the silence that just seemed so fitting and pure; the light that shone golden through the curtains and made patterns on the carpet where they’d first kissed; and the weightless feeling in his heart he always used to get when he looked at Dean.
This life seemed so easy and right. There was nothing stopping them from being there, just being in love. There was nobody telling them that couldn’t be together and there was nobody to cause pain. It was just the two of them existing so effortlessly.
But he was woken by the alarm that ripped through the silence and forced him back into the reality he wished he could escape. In this reality, there was no Dean. He was hundreds of miles away in a town of which he didn’t know the name, in a state he’d never even visited.
He rolled over almost half-expectantly and found that the bed was cold and vacant. There was no golden light streaming from the window, but the dull blue of the 8am morning that seemed so unwelcome, and the place where they’d first kissed was not decorated with patterns of light, but covered in clutter Castiel hadn’t bothered to put away the night before. He sighed and grabbed another pillow, holding it close to his chest as if it would somehow stop the feeling of disappointment creeping into his chest.
* * *
He checked his phone and found that there were no missed calls this morning; the feeling of disappointment strengthened. It wasn’t as if he’d ever call him back, but he just liked feeling that Dean actually wanted to talk to him. Clearly he’d given up – he’d finally realised that Cas was never going to pick up in the end. Something in Castiel’s head wanted him to call him first this time, but he forced the idea out of his head with the thought of breakfast, and headed downstairs to an even emptier house.
He checked the cupboards for something edible, but Jodie hadn’t gone to get the groceries yet. There was a nearly-finished box of Lucky Charms at the back of one of the cupboard which he decided would do, and poured what little contents were left into a bowl and ate it dry with his fingers.
Just as he was about to pour himself a glass of orange juice, there was a quick knock at the door. Castiel’s heart shuddered with anticipation, and his body began to shake as he walked slowly towards the door. He knew what he was hoping for, even if he wouldn’t admit it to himself, and it was that little bit of hope that let him down when he opened the door to an over-excited Balthazar holding a freshly dry cleaned jacket in his arms.
“Cassy!” He grinned as he invited himself in. “You look rough, man.”
“I know.” Castiel mumbled as he headed back to the kitchen. Balthazar followed after him.
Castiel sat down on the counter top.
“I have your jacket!” Balthazar grinned, shoving it onto Castiel’s lap.
“What? I told you not to get me one.”
“Why not? You can’t just turn up to the dance in jeans, or whatever.”
“Yeah, well, I don’t think I’m even going.” Castiel shrugged.
“I’m supposed to be meeting my real parents tomorrow at 2.”
“And the dance starts at 8. It’ll be fine. Don’t let me down, Cassy.” He winked. “And don’t stress out about meeting them, okay? Sam told me you were freaking out over it over the phone yesterday. They wanted to see you, remember? They probably miss you.”
Castiel laughed. “Yeah, whatever.”
“I’m being serious, Cassy. You’re a special person, you know.” Balthazar’s face suddenly turned serious. “You’re worth a lot more to other people than you realise. I wish you could see that.”
“Oh, don’t go all soppy on me.” Castiel giggled.
Balthazar smiled. “I won’t, but it’s true.”
“It’s not.” Castiel pouted jokingly.
“It is! It is!”
“Oh, shut up.” Castiel laughed, throwing a stale Lucky Charm into Balthazar’s face. Balthazar laughed and went in to tickle his friend who snorted as he tried not to giggle and hit his hands away, but not hard enough because Balthazar still managed to touch his sides and make him squirm like a little kid.
Once they had finally calmed down, Castiel jumped down from the counter and quickly hugged Balthazar.
“Thank you for the jacket.”
“No problem, Cassy. I’ll see you tomorrow just before 8, okay? Oh, and good luck meeting your parents.” He said as he walked to the door. “Oh, shit, I’m late for school.” He laughed.
“Well then you better hurry up.” Castiel smiled.
Balthazar smiled as he saluted his friend and walked out. “See you, kiddo.”
* * *
Saturday came around considerably quicker than Castiel had hoped. His whole body felt heavy with dread and he couldn’t think of anything other than what they might say to him. Would they be nice? Even after everything they’d said to him and after the many times they’d hurt him and left him bleeding, locked in the bathroom, while they went out to get drunk? He began to wonder how on Earth they could even bare to look at him after treating him that way; didn’t they feel ashamed? Not even a little bit?
Dean still hadn’t called again, and Cas finally decided that he’d probably moved on…found someone else…someone better…someone he really loved.
The thought of Dean loving somebody else made him angry. So angry, in fact, his body stiffened and he found himself dialling Dean’s number without second thought. The call went straight to voicemail again; perhaps he’d gotten a new phone? Change his number? Blocked Castiel’s? Or maybe his phone was just off. Either way, he left the voicemail:
“Okay, well, I guess I shouldn’t have called you the other day about my parents because I somehow knew that you wouldn’t turn up. It’s okay…I understand that you’ve moved on and I guessed that you didn’t love me the moment you left…but I guess this call is just to say that I understand, okay? It’s fine. Whatever.” He rubbed his eyes with the back of his hand and took a long pause. “I’m meeting my parents today anyway, without you. I’m still scared as fuck but at least I don’t have to worry about whether you’d actually care enough to help me through it or not. Whatever. I guess this is goodbye. So, uh, goodbye Dean.” Castiel pressed the ‘end call’ button with so much force that it nearly hurt his finger, and he sat down on the floor with his head in his hands as he regretted saying every damned thing he’d just said.
What did he even care that Dean had probably-almost-certainly moved on? He didn’t care at all, right? He was fine with it, wasn’t he? Yeah, well, whatever.
* * *
The time came for Castiel and his foster parents to drive to Naomi’s office where they were scheduled to meet with his birth parents.
The car ride was quiet. Jodie kept trying to talk to Castiel but the only thing he could think about were those terrible things they’d done to him. Were they expecting an apology? Because he was sure as hell they weren’t getting one. Would they ask him to move back to Boston with them? Well they can forget about that if they think he’d ever agree to it.
Naomi greeted the three of them outside the office and quickly gave them a quick briefing, before it was finally time for them to step inside. Jodie and Nick headed on inside, but Castiel just couldn’t bear to move. He was scared. Scared sick. And he really, really wanted Dean. No, he didn’t want Dean – he needed him. He needed him to come and take his hand and kiss his cheek and tell him that he wouldn’t let anything bad happen to him; that he’d never let them hurt him again, and that it would be okay.
“Castiel?” Naomi frowned. “Are you okay?”
“I…I don’t think I can-” he couldn’t finish his sentence. His throat had dried up and he found himself lost in his words.
“It will be okay, sweetie. I’m going to be in there the whole time, and if they say something you don’t like – tell them that. They don’t want to upset you anymore; they just want to make sure you’re okay.”
Naomi smiled comfortingly. “Just give it a try. They travelled all the way across the country just to see you again.”
Castiel gave in to himself and imagined Dean standing close behind him. He reached out towards the door handle and closed his eyes as he stepped inside.
When he opened them again, he found four pairs of eyes suddenly on him, waiting, watching, to see what his reaction would be. He slowly looked up from the floor at his parents who were sitting there together with held-back smiles and sorry eyes. His father looked a lot more sober than he was used to seeing, he no longer had the darkness around his eyes that he was used to seeing, and it confused him for a second. His mother’s face had filled out slightly and it somehow made her look just a little bit more motherly, a little bit more like she had the potential to love.
But they were still the same people who didn’t feed him for days; who beat him for pleasure; who never said a nice word to him in all the years he’d been in their care. Just because they looks had changed, doesn’t mean they’re any better people than they were before – even if they claimed to be. Castiel just couldn’t bring himself to accept that these people wanted to care for him again; it was impossible. Seventeen years of abuse towards their only son can’t be changed by a year of counselling.
“Castiel.” His mother breathed. He looked up at her but didn’t let his face change from the look of pure disgust he’d held since he walked in. “It’s so nice to see you again.”
He didn’t reply.
“Why don’t you take a seat, Castiel?” Naomi suggested from the back of the room.
Castiel nodded slightly and took a seat between Nick and Jodie.
“Mr and Mrs Mills have been telling us how well you’ve settled in here in Lawrence and all the new friends you’ve made at school.” Castiel’s father half-smiled. “I they said some nice things about a young man called Dean.”
Castiel’s jaw tightened.
“And you’re friends with his brother, Sam, right? And another boy named Balthazar, all in the grade below you. Did you, uh, manage to make any friends in your own grade?”
“Dean was in my grade.” Castiel said stiffly.
“Oh, uh, I see.”
There was a painfully awkward silence that nearly made Castiel laugh out loud.
His mother shuffled uncomfortably in her seat and finally broke the silence: “Your father and I were wondering if maybe you’d like to come and spend a week or two with us up in Boston? Maybe during summer break?”
“I’m busy over summer. Dean and I are going to the west coast.” Castiel said quickly. But then he remembered.
Jodie and Nick looked from one to another and down at Castiel, before Jodie opened her mouth to speak. Castiel glared at her and she closed it again.
“Oh, uh, we understand.” His father said, obviously trying to smile too hard. “Maybe in a few years, then. When you’re ready.”
“I never liked the weather in Boston, anyway.” Castiel said sarcastically. “In fact, I never liked anything about that god-forsaken city. That includes my school, my friends, and every other goddamned person in it. It seems that everybody there is full of-”
“Castiel, maybe you should tell your parents a bit more about Lawrence? Or a bit about Sam and Balthazar?” Jodie said quickly.
Castiel rolled his eyes and decided not to say a word.
“Well, I think that wraps things up for today.” Naomi smiled. “Perhaps, Mr and Mrs Novak, we could schedule another visit before you return to Boston?”
“That won’t be necessary.” Castiel said quickly.
Nick coughed awkwardly.
“Why don’t you think about it, Castiel?” Naomi suggested.
“I said that it wouldn’t be necessary.” Castiel repeated.
Nick and Jodie stood up to shake Castiel’s parent’s hands, while he stood between them, starting carefully at the ground.
“Well, it was nice seeing you, Cas.” His father smiled.
“Don’t call me that.” he spat. He turned around and walked out before either one of his parents could say another word to him.
He walked straight back to the car and sat on the curb in the parking lot with his head in his hands while he waited for Nick and Jodie to return. As he waited he could’ve sworn he heard the low growl of Dean’s Chevy Impala driving down the high-street. But the more he listened, the more it occurred to him that it was just thunder. Then it began to rain and Castiel was thankful for the way it hid his tears.