The first time it happens, Dean is too young to understand. He just gets in from school one day, his new school where all the kids already know each other and his teacher sneers at his messy handwriting, and has this urge to eat. So he does. He grabs handfuls of stale crackers from the cupboard, folds slices of bread into his mouth and scoops dollops of peanut butter out the jar with his fingers until his small stomach is tight as a drum. Then he throws it all up again. He cleans up the bathroom and hides the empty packaging under the lumpy motel mattress, because, even though he's not sure what just happened, he knows his Dad mustn't find out.
The second time it happens, Dean is ten and their father has been gone for two weeks, instead of the five days he promised. The apartment they're renting is cold and damp and Sammy has stopped crying every time a cockroach runs across the floor. Dean's heart aches because he knows it means Sammy has got used to them. He feels hollow inside and, as soon he's cajoled Sammy into bed, he's pulled by some invisible force straight for the refrigerator. He knows he can't do what he's about to do in front of Sammy but he also knows that he can't stop himself. The only thing in the fridge is a half-empty tin of Spagetti Os, slimy and congealed and Sammy's. Dean knows he shouldn't, mustn't, can't but his hand reaches out on it's own accord and before he realises what's happening the Spagetti Os are sliding cold and slippery down his throat. This time he makes himself throw up, bends over the toilet and sticks his fingers down his throat until every last morsel has left his stomach. The next morning, when Sammy's face crumbles because there's no "Scabetti Os" for breakfast, Dean lies and tells his a big rat must've snuck into the refrigerator and stole them. The story shocks Sam out of his tears, but doesn't stop Dean hating himself.
The third time it happens, Dean is grudgingly starting to believe that he might have a problem. The air in the too small motel room is thick with tension and Dean can still feel anger bubbling beneath the surface, despite the argument having ended. Dad and Sam had really outdone themselves this time. And now Dean was left alone to pick up the pieces, to fix the cracks and gloss over the surface until things could pass for normal again. But he couldn't…not yet. Instead he goes and sits in the bathroom, tugging the sachets of sauce he'd stolen from McDonald's earlier when he'd sensed the argument brewing out of his jacket pockets. He rips them open one at a time, squeezing ketchup and bbq sauce and mustard into his mouth until… The vomit stings his throat and makes his mouth burn but he feels better afterwards, more in control and lighter somehow. That's when Dean realises just how screwed up he is.
The fourth time it happens, Dean has just found Sammy's - Sorry, Sam's - acceptance letter for Stanford. He reads it through three times before shoving it back in Sam's t-shirt draw and heading for the nearest 7-Eleven. He grabs a basket at the entrance and doesn't stop until he finds the candy aisle. Once there he reaches up and, with one swift motion, sweeps the entire contents of shelf two into his basket. The cashier eyes him suspiciously at the counter, eyes flicking from Dean, to the basket and back again, as if a guy who wears a leather jacket isn't allowed to eat candy or something.
"You got a problem?" Dean asks eventually, feeling edgy at the scrutiny.
"Cash or card?" The guy replies, side-stepping the question. Dean hands over his fake credit card, meeting the guy's eye as he does. "You having a party or something?" The cashier blurts finally, curiosity getting the better of him.
"Yeah," Dean answers, reaching own to take the bag. "For my brother." Then he laughs to keep from crying.
Death by Chocolate. Dean thinks to himself as he sits in the Impala, stuffing chocolate into his mouth until it's so jammed up he can hardly breathe. He smirks and catches sight of his brown, glistening teeth in the rear view mirror just before he feels the familiar rushing sensation. He manages to throw open the door just in time and pukes up Hershey Kisses all over his boots.
After Sam leaves things get worse and Dean loses count of the next time it happens. All he knows is, three days after they find out Dad is dead, Sam comes into Dean's room.
"Dean?" He says, quietly, tentatively. "Have you ever heard of this thing…a disorder… called Bulimia?"
Dean turns over and looks at Sam, and he knows he knows. "Yeah, I've heard of it." He replies cagily, not yet ready to admit that lived with it would be a more accurate description than heard of it. "It's that puking thing chicks get right? Sounds pretty gross to me."
Sam doesn't say anything, just reaches out and rests his hand on Dean's ankle, the only place he can touch without Dean cracking some joke about chick flick moments or not swinging that way Samantha. Dean turns away from his brother and slips a hand under his pillow, clutching the candy bar he's hidden under there, ready for the next time it happens.
Written, and therefore posted, completely on a whim but there it is...my first Supernatural fic! How did I do?