A little party never killed nobody

~March 2003~

"Dean, I don't know if I can do this. Clearly, I don't belong here," Cas told Dean as they walked up the sidewalk leading to the house.

"Of course you do, Cas. You're just as a part of our class as I am. Now, go enjoy yourself. Have a few drinks, make some new friends," he paused as he looked him over quickly, "talk to a pretty girl?" There was a hint of suggestion from his question but Cas couldn't put his finger on what it was.

Cas shrugged uncomfortably. He hadn't fully accepted himself yet and Deans questioning was only making him feel more insecure. Was he teasing him like the others? Did he know? He said nothing as they arrived at the front door. He could hear a faint thumping noise from the deafening music coming from inside.

Dean turned his head towards him and seemed to smile apologetically. Cas could feel himself leaning towards the other boy for comfort. Dean ran a soothing hand down his back which gave Cas an unfamiliar sensation of chills from the simple touch.

He did not want to be here and surrounded by classmates whose only goal in life was to torture him. But when Dean had asked him to accompany him, he couldn't say no to spending some time with his only friend.

He held his breath in as Dean pushed the door open revealing the upbeat party going on inside. Dean guided Cas through the threshold with a steady hand on his lower back. Cas duck his head down to avoid the curious gazes in their direction but Dean didn't seem to be phased in the slightest.

"Dean!," a high pitched voice called out from across the room.

Cas and Dean both looked in the direction of the voice and watched as Lisa Braeden stumbled towards them with a red solo cup in her hand that was leaking beer. She threw a drunken arm around Dean and giggled furiously. Dean dropped the hand he had been using to lead Cas then wrapped it around Lisa's petite waist.

Cas felt as if he had been betrayed as soon as Lisa and Dean became enwrapped into their own little world while ignoring everything and everyone around them. He frowned as he took a step back from their intimate moment and took the time to survey his odd surroundings.

A small couch sat directly in the middle of the wide living room and was now being occupied by four very drunk teenagers but no one that Cas could recognize. He walked slowly through the crowd, not really sure exactly what he was looking for but just knowing that he had to get away from Dean before he started to think any confusing questions about their friendship.

He made his way into the kitchen as he quickly dodged a girl who was on her way to the nearest toilet to vomit. He rolled his eyes at the situation he was in. He should've never let Dean talk him into doing something so childish and primeval.

The crowd seemed to be more settled down in the kitchen with some of them leaning on counters, others making out in the corners and a small group passing a joint around to each other. He spotted a tray of colorful shots in small, round plastic containers.

Curious, he walked over to them and picked up a red one gently as if it would explode if he was rougher with it. He noticed that the drink didn't move but instead seemed to shake in a way. He poked his finger into the drink and scooped some on it before placing his finger into his mouth. It was jello.

But it was Jello that tasted entirely of too much Vodka. He made a sour face as the unappealing treat slid easily down his throat. "It's called a Jello shot, moron," a snide voice came from directly in front of him.

Cas snapped his head up quickly as he placed the shot back onto its spot on the tray. Meg Masters stood in front of him with an evil smile dripping slowly across her devious lips.

"Uh, I- I know that," Cas replied with false confidence.

Meg raised her eyebrow at him then looked over her shoulder briefly before looking back at Cas while her smile grew. Alastair sauntered in through the kitchen door with a grin as equally wide as Megs.

Cas backed up slowly until his lower back connected with the hard, marble countertop. Alastair slung a lazy arm around Meg and pointed at Cas with a can of beer in his hand. "Why is this loser in my house?," he asked loudly to no one specifically.

Cas felt his heartrate speed up but he said nothing. He only felt hurt that Dean would take him to Alastair's party. Of course, he didn't quite know about his bully problems but he still couldn't help but feel like this was some kind of setup.

"He wants to party," Meg answered with mischief deep in her lacy tone.

Alastair chuckled darkly as he raised both his eyebrows. "Oh, does he now? Well, let's show him how we party," he suggested.

Cas raised his hands to defend himself as Meg and Alastair quickly approached him to do God knows what with him. They both grabbed each of his arms before yanking him roughly and dragging him unwillingly into the living room where most of the guests were.

Cas stomped his feet in an attempt to overpower them but they both proved to be too strong for him. Meg let go of his arm as Alastair hastily grabbed it again then twisted both of his arms behind his back painfully.

Cas threw his head back and closed his eyes. This wasn't happening right now. He was really at home, finishing all his homework before the weekend even started. Not in this terrible situation.

He heard cheers all around him and reluctantly opened his eyes. This was definitely happening. Meg approached him with something that looked like a funnel and a long tube attached to the end of it.

"Who wants me to drown the nerd?!," Alastair shouted over the music and cheers. Everyone screamed with excitement as their answer.

Cas' eyes widened at the word drown. He shook his head violently as Meg neared him with the funnel. She grabbed his face roughly to steady him before shoving the tube down his throat.

He gagged at the forced entry and tried to spit it out of his mouth but Megs grip on his face won out to his attempts. Cas heard the soft sound of a beer can opening before warm liquid shot down his throat quickly.

"Drown the nerd! Drown the nerd!," his classmates chanted from all around him as he choked on the unwanted liquid in his throat.

He couldn't breathe but he couldn't swallow either. There was too much alcohol pouring into him. He coughed furiously to no avail. The liquid kept pouring in. He struggled in Alastair's stronghold until his vision began to blur.

He was near the point of passing out or possibly dying until the hold on him ceased. He fell onto his hands and knees immediately and spluttered out all the alcohol that had been lodged in his throat seconds before.

Cas could faintly feel a hand patting him on the back as all the alcohol ended up on the floor in front of him. The same hand hoisted him back onto his feet before leading him to the front door. Cas looked back briefly to see his shocked classmates faces and Alastair on the ground as Meg tried to help him up.

They made it back outside and the breeze told him that a good portion of the beer ended up drenched on his face and hair. He let go of the stranger and leaned over to rest his hands on his knees until his vision came back slowly.

He stood up again and turned around to see Dean with a worried look on his face. Cas could feel all the anger that had been bubbling up inside him since Dean ditched him. From the way Deans jacket slung off his shoulders and the obvious new hickey forming on his neck, Cas knew exactly what his friend had been doing while Cas was being attacked.

Dean reached out to him but Cas quickly stepped back. "Don't," he said sternly. Hurt filled Deans green eyes as his hand went back to his side. "Don't ever bring me here again," Cas spat at him. He wanted to say so much more. To let himself be angry with Dean. But he couldn't.

"Cas, I-," Dean started before he was interrupted by the sound of the front door swinging open.

"Oh, Dean! There you are! You disappeared on me," Lisa said cheerfully while she tugged on his arm to get him to rejoin her inside.

Cas watched as Dean pulled away from her. "Fuck off, Lisa," he said spitefully.

Lisa furrowed her brow. "What are you talking about, babe?," she asked in confusion as she tossed her long brown hair over her shoulder.

"Go!," Dean shouted uncharacteristically at her. Her jaw dropped while she looked Dean up and down until she got the hint then walked back inside.

Cas saw Deans eyes turn from anger to softness. It was the first time he had seen any other emotion besides happiness on him. He shook his head at him before turning his body and running home.

XXX

"Cas?," Dean said loudly as he shook his shoulder.

Cas blinked slowly before regaining his composure. "Oh. Sorry. I don't know what came over me," he said with embarrassment.

"Are you okay? Do you need to sit down?," Dean asked him while looking him up and down.

Cas shrugged him off while shaking his head. "I'm fine. I just need to get out of here. This place is suffocating," he answered honestly. He turned away from Dean quickly and walked down the hall to catch up with his brothers.

He glanced over his shoulder to see Dean waving awkwardly at him. "I'll see you tonight?," Dean asked, his voice filled with hope.

Cas smiled softly. "Not if I see you first," he replied then turned back around.