"They say actually getting up and being active helps you know."

Dean's only response to Jimmy's advice was a grunt. Roman was out running errands and had been gone for longer than either one of them expected. Roman didn't want to leave Dean alone while he was still suffering so Jimmy had taken up post and had been on his laptop the whole time. His version of helping was searching stuff about withdrawal on Google though Dean also suspected that he was less than thrilled about the choice Dean had made for their Netflix viewing.

"I'm serious man." Jimmy wasn't dropping the subject. "You were fucking yourself up on opiates so your body don't make endorphins anymore. You gotta exercise to get that shit going again."

Dean groaned. "I can barely get up to go to the bathroom without wanting to collapse. How the fuck am I supposed to go work out?" He forced himself up on his elbows so he could look at the other man. "I mean really." He didn't stop himself from sounding nasty. He was completely irritable and he had heard the stuff Jimmy and the rest had been saying about him. And while it wasn't totally undeserved it still pissed him off. Getting clean was harder than he ever thought it could be. Every moment felt like a lifetime and the voices in his head screamed for him to give in. He could do better with controlling it this time they said. Just one little pill wouldn't hurt. It would just be to make the withdrawal stop. He couldn't live like this. All sweaty and cold and hurting, constantly sick and then weak because he barely ate and even drinking water made his stomach cramp. He just had to make that stop. It would be okay they assured him. Just one pill never hurt anything.

Except it would. Dean laid back down and tried to concentrate on the TV. He couldn't listen to the voices. Enough clarity had come to him to recognize that listening to them would only lead to trouble. Being weak had fucked up his entire life even more than it already had been to begin with. And to think at one time he had vowed to never screw up his life. He had been maybe five years old at the time. He had laid on the mattress in his room, the one ratty old blanket he had pulled up to his chin and had made this vow while listening to his mom getting the shit kicked out of her in the other room. What he hadn't realized then that there was no real escape for guys like him. If you were born a street rat you would always be one. Violence, drugs, poverty, misery-one or more of these things had always followed them. Typically all of them actually. And he had no way of knowing of how to get himself out of it. Roman had been the closest he had to salvation and he had fucked that up in only a way he could.

"What the fuck are we even watching?" Jimmy finally asked. His eyes were on the movie that was so low-grade that it couldn't even be considered a B-level one. This was nearly at an F it was that awful.

"Nude Nuns With Big Guns," Dean answered.

Jimmy blinked incredulously. "...Why?"


"It's nice to see your terrible taste in movies hasn't changed." Jimmy put down his laptop, now seemingly morbidly curious about the film Dean had put on. "Roman's gonna kill you when he sees what's recommended for him because of this."

Dean only shrugged. At this point he wouldn't mind that. The voices were getting louder, not taking being ignored lightly. You need the pills. Nobody here gives a damn about you. Roman's off crushing on that pretty boy he don't really care if you go off and take them again. He's lying when he says he don't want you to die. He's too nice to say it but he'd be relieved if you went. They'd be happy and you can be happy too.

Dean bit down on his tongue and clenched his fists. The jolt of pain gave him a reprieve but it wouldn't last long. The voices pounded themselves into his brains, making him feel even worse than the actual withdrawal did. He had to figure out how to make them stop. He needed Roman but he showed no signs of coming home. How long did it take to run errands? Was that what he was even doing? Or was that just his way of saying he was actually going to be off with Seth. Jealousy immediately burned through him at that thought. That was probably what it was. Roman was off with the angelic bastard. Dean closed his eyes, unable to get chase away the mental pictures that flashed through his mind. Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. He was so fucking stupid. He shouldn't have let Roman go. He would never do any better. And then there was Seth...shit he still didn't know what to think about Seth. He was still all fucking nice for some reason and he was fucking gorgeous and it wasn't fair he had Roman. Dean couldn't compete with that. He wasn't pretty and he certainly wasn't a nice guy. The niceness kept bothering Dean. Nobody was that nice without wanting something. Question was, what did Seth want out of him?

Nothing. He just wants Roman. He's helping you because Roman told him to and he's going to rub what he's got in your face the moment he gets a chance.

"Dean? Are you alright?"

Dean blinked. He hadn't realized but he had been muttering under his breath. In lieu of answering Dean forced himself to get up and stumbled to the bathroom. He locked the door behind him and took several deep breaths. The fucking voices in his head wouldn't stop. "Fuck." He had to do something. Fucking anything. He went to the shower and threw back the curtain. His eyes darted around, falling to the razor sitting there. He didn't want to do this thing but he had to. Clearing his head out had always required drastic measures. Violence, sex, loads of booze and drugs-none of which he could have. So this was gonna be it. It wasn't something he wanted to do. It was too Cooper like for his taste but biting his tongue again sounded like an even worse idea. He grabbed the razor and held it tight, taking a nervous glance to the door. Jimmy was leaving him be for now. Knowing he had to do this where it wouldn't be seen, he undid his jeans and shoved them down enough to where he could get to his inner thighs. He pressed the blade against his skin. The voices were louder now, screaming at him to just give in. He sucked in a deep breath and slashed upwards hard, expecting the blade to be dull because it had been the night before when Roman had tried to shave his face. In his hurry and mental fit though he had forgotten Roman had said he was changing out razors and this was an all new, extra sharp one that sliced him not only easier but deeper than he intended.

"Fuck!" Dean dropped the razor and placed both hands over the wound. The voices went silent and blood seeped through all over the palm of his hand. "Fuck fuck fuck!"


Dean's eyes widened. That wasn't Jimmy. "Rome?" When the fuck had he come home?

"Dean what are you doing in there?"

"Nothing!" Dean grabbed a rag and used it to try to put pressure on the wound. "Nothing I'm fine."

"Dean seriously." Roman knew him too well. He tried to get in but the door stayed lock. "Dean open this door."

"I'll be out in a minute." Dean winced as he took the rag away to look at the wound. The blood was slowing down but it wasn't stopping fast enough. "Just-JESUS!" He nearly had a heart attack as Roman broke down the door. It hadn't really hit him of just how not trusted on his own he really was. Privacy was not even going to be afforded to him without permission. "God damn it Ro!"

"What the hell is-DEAN!" Roman's eyes nearly bugged out of his head as he saw the cut and the blood soaked rag. He immediately grabbed Dean and sat him down on the closed toilet. "What the fuck were you doing?" He put his own hand over the wound, clamping down so tightly Dean winced from the pressure. "What the fuck were you doing is this a fucking joke?"

"I just had to make it stop." Dean hated it when Roman yelled at him. He could take an awful lot but never Roman's yelling. It made him defensive which usually made Roman yell more and then it would always spiral into a clusterfuck of a situation.

"Make what stop? Your life?"

"No! My head." Dean tried to push Roman off him. He couldn't handle being this close to him but not having him. All he managed to do though was leave a bloody handprint on Roman's shirt. "I just had to clear my head I wasn't fucking trying to kill myself."

"Slicing yourself open means clearing your head?"

"I forgot it was a new razor. I thought I had to do it harder to just make a little cut."

"That's still not a good thing Dean!"

"It's better than fucking using isn't it?" Dean tried once again to push Roman away. "I'll clean myself up just go away."


"Roman just go what the fuck do you care-"

"Hey!" Roman slapped both hands on to Dean's face, getting the blood all over Dean's cheek. "You're here aren't you? Do you think you would be if I didn't care?"

"Sure." Dean had to drive him away. He had to get him away before he kissed him. If he kissed him Roman would reject him and he couldn't handle that. Not now. "You get to be the big martyr, putting away your hurt feelings to save the train wreck."

Roman shook his head. "You are ridiculous." He got up but instead of leaving he grabbed the first aid kit. "If we're doing this we're teaching you new coping skills. Yours absolutely suck."

"What the fuck am I supposed to do? You get mad when I punch a hole in the wall, I can't fuck you and I fucking did THIS-" he angrily jabbed his finger to his thigh "because I can't fucking use." He laughed bitterly. "Do you even get how hard this is?" He licked his bottom lip, completely unaware of Jimmy standing in the doorway. "Every second I just want to fucking have a god damn pill. It fucking screams at me telling me to do it." He started smacking the side of his head, blue eyes burning holes through Roman. "Use use use they say. Use use use one doesn't hurt. It does but they say it don't." He smacked himself harder. "I can't have them but I want them. I don't want to want them but fucking look at me!" He laughed again. "The drugs were gonna kill me but so is this. I still can't eat. I still can't sleep."

"It'll get better-"


"I don't know."

"Well that's great. That's really great."

"Dean you have to stay positive." Roman started cleaning the cut, his hand steadying Dean and making sure he didn't jump up as he did so. "You got to remember why you wanted to get clean to begin with."

"After this fucking bout of hell I'm not real sure if I'm scared of dying anymore."

Roman looked stricken by those words. "Don't say that shit."

"Why not?" Dean ripped himself out of Roman's grasp and stood up. "I'm not saying I want to but I'm sure as fuck not swimming in reasons to be alive and sober."

"You have me-"

"Bullshit I do!" Dean ripped himself out of Roman's grasp. "I don't have you." He forced himself to get up, ignoring how exhausting that bit of effort was. "I fucking tossed you away and fucked up the one good thing I ever had. And now you got some pretty boy and you get to rub it in my face-"

"I'm not rubbing anything in your face!" Roman tried to grab him but got his hand slapped away. Jimmy was still watching from the doorway, completely silent as the argument raged on. "We haven't done anything in front of you how are we rubbing it in your face?"

"The goo goo eyes you two constantly make at each other aren't exactly subtle," Dean snapped. "But I get it. I fucking deserve it and you fucking deserve someone who's not a fuck up." Dean finally turned his attention to Jimmy and it was the mother of all death glares. "I don't need you fuckers to help remind me of that." He stormed out of the room, finding the strength to nearly knock Jimmy on his ass as he went. "I get the god damn message."


Dean ignored Roman and stormed into the second bedroom that served as Roman's storage room. He slammed the door shut behind him and flopped down on the bed. He half expected Roman to follow him and was both disappointed and relieved when he didn't. It was just as well. He didn't have the energy to fight. He just wanted to go to sleep. God he just needed to sleep.


Roman kicked Jimmy out and called in sick to work before pulling out the bottle of bourbon and firing down shot after shot. It was amazing how fast he had gone from feeling so happy to feeling like absolute shit. His date with Seth and the kiss they shared had left him absolutely blissful. He was falling for the two toned man. Had been for awhile really. He was beautiful, both inside and out. So sweet, so innocent despite what he had gone through. He knew why everyone was pushing for them to be together. He wanted it to and he already planned to ask him out again. Maybe they would do dinner again or go to the movies. He didn't know. He couldn't really think about it now. His mind and heart were aching for Dean, who still hadn't come back out of the other bedroom.

It was amazing how Dean still had a hold of him despite of everything. Dean seemed unaware of it but it was there. How could it not be? Dean had been his first. First love, first kiss...first in everything. Everyone focused on how toxic they became before he had taken off that they forgot what it was that Roman had fallen in love with. Even Dean had forgotten but he hadn't. The charming trouble maker who couldn't keep his mouth shut to save his life. The twinkling blue eyes with the nearly radiant smile when he actually allowed himself to do so. The loner and the skeptic, who was kicked down his whole life and was stronger in ways Roman knew he himself never could be. Even though his demons got the best of him Roman knew there were things Dean had gone through that would have eventually broken down anyone. Wild and passionate and possibly a little out of his mind but it was okay because Roman was the voice of reason. He had been Roman's backbone when coming out, both to his family and their friends. Roman knew he wouldn't have made it through that backlash without Dean. Being with Dean had made it worth it, though he nearly lost him then due to Dean smashing in Curtis Axel's face after he heard him call Roman a faggot. They had fought about that afterwards but Roman was lying whenever he tried to claim he wasn't touched by it. When he had forced himself to date girls in an effort to deny his sexuality he had always been the protector. It had been nice to have the tables turned, even though Dean himself needed that kind of stuff a lot more than he or any of the girls he knew did.

Roman kept throwing back the shots, getting himself as drunk as he possibly could. Once his world was spinning he abandoned the bottle and stumbled into the living room. Dean was back on the couch now, right back to watching his terrible movies on Netflix. He had seemingly broken out of the funk he had been in earlier. Roman plopped down next to him and tried to just watch the TV. His eyes kept going back to the other man though. Dean looked so tired, so pale and ragged that Roman felt horrible all over again. "I'm sorry..."

Dean's head snapped in his direction. "What?"

"I'm sorry."

Blue eyes looked at him in total confusion. "What the fuck are you apologizing for?"

"I should have tried harder." Alcohol always loosened Roman's tongue. "I should have made you better. Why couldn't I make you better?"

"Because I didn't want to get better." Dean shook his head in exasperation. "I fucked us up and you're the one apologizing to me now. Unbelievable."

"Why didn't you want to get better?" Roman was on a roll now. Things he had asked himself over and over again the past year were spilling out and there was no stopping them. "I thought we were happy."

"We were," Dean sighed. "Maybe I just didn't know what to do with that." He stood up and took Roman's hand. "Or maybe I was just too stupid to realize popping some pills at a party could lead to anything but a good time." He tried to pull Roman up to his feet. "You need to go to bed."

"I don't wanna."

"Roman seriously-"

Without thinking Roman yanked Dean back, making him fall right on to his lap. The moment Dean landed the tension in the room spiked up high Roman's breath got caught in his throat. Even in his drunken haze he knew Dean felt it too. The air buzzed like it did with Seth earlier though it was different now. It was more raw, more primal and filled with a lot more consequences.

Lips found each other and Roman had no idea who he could blame for it later. At that moment it didn't really matter. Dean's lips were on his, dry and chapped but so needy and passionate that Roman could ignore how uncomfortable his lips physically felt. The kiss felt like home. As weird as that sounded it was the only description Roman had. His mind flashed back to the hours they'd spent making out on Dean's couch, knowing his mom wouldn't be around and if she happened to come home that she'd be too fucked up to care what they did. His hands slid under Dean's shirt, thoughts of their first time on the old mattress Dean used to have to call a bed. He had been scared to death honestly but it had been okay because it had been Dean. His fucked up little Dean could make it all okay somehow.

The memory faded and thoughts of Seth replaced them. Roman immediately felt guilty. He couldn't do this he was falling for Seth. He wanted to be with Seth.

But he still loved Dean.

But he was falling for Seth.

Dean was back though he could have Dean. He never wanted to lose him to begin with he had him now. He could pretend it all never happened.

No he wanted Seth. Seth was amazing he was this ball of light that didn't fucking dim no matter what. He wanted to wrap Seth up in his arms and keep him forever.

"You're too drunk for this shit." Dean broke the kiss, oblivious to Roman's conflict because he had his own. As much as he clearly didn't want to he got up and once again tried to pull Roman to his feet. "Move it before I take advantage of you."

Roman groaned but complied, letting Dean help him to the bedroom. They nearly fell twice before Dean managed to get Roman into bed. Roman didn't even bother trying to get under the covers. Instead he watched Dean lean against the bedside table, feeling bad as the other man tried to regain his bearings. He looked awful. Roman didn't know what to do. He had no idea how long this withdrawal was supposed to last. Jimmy's big Google research on the matter but nothing helpful had really come from that when it came to recovery time. It seemed to be different for everyone but the words weeks and even months had popped up in their conversation and that scared the shit out of Roman. He didn't think Dean could take feeling like this for that long. He didn't know if he could stomach watching it.

"Come here."

"No go to-hey!" Dean tried to squirm away as Roman wrapped his arm around Dean's waist and pulled him into the bed. "Fucking shit Rome!" He grunted as he was placed Roman's left, glaring as the other man threw covers over them. "I put you to bed for a reason asshole."

"I'm not gonna do anything." Roman kept a tight grip on Dean as he tried to get comfortable. "You just sleep."

"I"m not tired."

"Sleep anyway."


"You look like shit."

Dean rolled his eyes. "You just don't trust me without a babysitter."

That played a role in it as well but Roman really just wanted Dean to sleep. Beyond the first night where he was just passed out there hadn't been much of that going on. The withdrawal had obviously played a role in keeping him up but Roman knew Dean didn't really sleep if he was alone. He used to sneak into Roman's house and pretend to just pass out so he wouldn't have to sleep at home alone and when they moved in together and Roman started working nights Dean changed his entire sleeping pattern just so he wouldn't be in bed alone.

He kept his eyes on Dean, trying to will him to fall asleep first. The kisses from both him and Seth started replaying themselves in his mind. He felt guilty for kissing Dean when he had just gone on a date with Seth. Yet he felt guilty for leaving Dean alone with his family to suffer so he could go on dates. The guilt trailed off and he wondered what it would be like to snuggle with Seth in bed. He hoped he wasn't a blanket hog like Dean.

He tried to make a mental note never to drink bourbon so fast again because it fucked up his entire thinking process but he didn't quite manage it. The thought got lost halfway through and he finally just closed his eyes, passing out before he could see Dean's little smile or feel the gentle kiss placed on his forehead.