Title: "Pain in the Head"
Pairing: Castiel/Dean (Established)
TV Show: Supernatural
Word Count: ~13,000
Rating: T

A/N: Something that's been in my head for a while now. When I heard a certain song ("Tears of an Angel"), it was pretty much love at first sight, my idea and the song. I'm not sure if I'll actually complete this story (10,000+ words per chapter? My goodness), but I'll do my best. There's only 5 parts to this story, each with different lyrics conjoined to each part. It's going to be a blast if I actually do write this story.

Also, this is my first time writing a Destiel fic. It's probably terribly OOC and I actually just edit my stories myself (which means a week of splitting up the story in seven parts and ugh), which in turn makes me think my first part is too fast and I pretty much overloaded you with all sorts of things. So there's that going for ya. But I like it. It's pretty...pretty nice, I think. If I actually do finish this, it'll probably be one of the few stories I like. Ha. Anyway.

Enjoy part one!

x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Cover my eyes
Cover my ears
Tell me these words are a lie

x x x x x x x x x x x x x

It started out slow. He didn't think anything of it, and neither did Dean. It was a random night, Dean sleeping next to him (they were "close friends", as he would say to those that asked in a public eye, but Cas knew it was more) and he had woken up to nothing. Nothing made him jump out of his dreams—as if he dreamt of anything important anymore—and nothing was making a noise. He just had a slight pain in his head.

Cas groaned. He had never felt such a pain before. It wasn't terrible, but it was like a needle was poking his head over and over again. Was this what Dean called a "headache"? Dean always held his hands to his forehead and rubbed his fingers against his temple, trying to get rid of it. But it was only because he was "hungover" from the alcohol consumed the night before. Maybe that was what Cas had to do. He sat up in bed. He brought his hands to his head and started to rub a few of his fingers in a circular motion. How was this supposed to work out such a pain? He did not understand. But it started to work, in some form of miracle, and he was being brought back to his senses.

He sighed, and looked over at Dean, who was stirring a bit in his sleep. He did not mean to wake up the man next to him, especially since Dean had to get up early for work. Dean worked at a mechanic shop (of course), and he stayed home. But he continued to rub his head as he watched his partner flip over. Eyes showed horror at first, but then he relaxed as he noticed the other sitting upright. "C-Cas?" He rubbed his eyes. "What are you doing?" He sounded groggy.

"I am ridding of a headache, Dean," he whispered. Dean yawned.

"Since," Another yawn, Cas noted. "…since when do angels get headaches?" Cas stopped and dropped his hands to his lap.

"Since they become human," he bluntly put it. He had almost forgotten how long he had been human, but it was almost a year. A year without his Grace, without having to worry about saving the world from some sort of demonic demise—it was nice, to say the least. Him and Dean rarely hunted anymore, and if they did, it was within town (or just on the outskirts of the town, where some spirits roamed). He was still getting used to the Earth realm without his powers, which God graciously took away because he did not want a once rebelled soldier walking around with Grace in his back pocket. They didn't do much of it, though, in case one got injured.

Dean groaned, leaning toward the nightstand. "Here," he grabbed a small bottle. "They're called aspirin. You took them before when you apparently drank the whole liquor store," Cas frowned. He did not like that experience, and he would never do such a thing again. He was perfectly fine drinking on occasion, opposed to what Dean did about once a week. Dean placed the bottle behind him; Cas picked it up.

"How many do I take?"

"One. Two if it's really bad," he said, closing his eyes again. Cas looked down at the bottle. He trusted Dean, with all his life. If he said that the best way to survive an attack was jumping off a bridge or a cliff, he'd jump with him. He twisted the cap off and took out one white capsule. It had little writing on the pill. He did not understand what it meant, but he put it in his mouth and swallowed it dry. It had no taste, which was fine. He wasn't expecting much from the little pill anyway.

Putting the lid back on, Cas let the bottle rest back on the table and he leaned back into the mattress. He felt Dean slightly snuggle against his arm, which his response was leaning his head against Dean's. "Thank you, Dean." Dean hummed against his arm.

He fell back asleep.

x x x

In about four days, it would get worse. In the span of those days, too, he would have taken thirteen tablets. And Dean noticed. "Dude, you are still having that headache?" And Cas could only nod as he laid his head against the back of the couch. Dean would leave him like that, and he would come back to a dinner cooked and ready, while he was popping another pill down the hatch. It became a habit, which Dean became worried.

Dean would ask how bad it was. "It is alright," he would mumble, but his head hurt so much. He tried many remedies for getting rid of a headache: rubbing his temple, resting his head on a pillow, and even putting an ice pack on his head. Nothing worked. He tried to mask as much of the pain away from Dean, so as not to worry his partner, but he would notice the frowns he'd receive from Dean when they ate dinner. And Cas knew he had enough to worry about at the garage; he did not need more stress piled on. So he didn't describe the pain as excruciating.

At night, he made sure to have his back turned to Dean, much to his discomfort (he liked sleeping on his stomach). Cas couldn't sleep when the pain was that bad. He would take two tablets before going to sleep, and it would somehow dull the pain, but after a few minutes it would flare again. He struggled to go back to sleep after that. Cas made sure that he would not make any noise nor would he move much in his sleep; he would keep himself huddled close and hold onto the blankets if the pain got worse.

On the last night of the week (he never understood why the pain was worse at night, even though he seemed relaxed in bed) he couldn't take it. He took the aspirins near two hours prior, but it did nothing. It only made things worse. It was like someone was stabbing him in the head numerous times and the one stabbing him refused to let him die. Was it his designed Hell? He contemplated, but it hurt to even think about anything. Cas felt the sharp pains one after another, spiraling through each side of his head, and he held it with his hands. He was almost shaking from the pain before one final stab made him cry out. The back of his head felt the worst, but it was growing everywhere.

He quickly sat up and brought his knees to his chest. He needed something to lean on. Cas wrapped his arms around his legs and let his head hit his knees. He felt like clawing away at something because of the pain, and it felt like it was getting worse. "Cas?" He heard a familiar groggy voice call out. "Cas!" He bit down on his lip. No, he did not want to worry Dean, he did not want to worry Dean…

Dean shot up from the bed and looked at his partner. He looked terrible. He could barely see in the dark at first, but his eyes soon adjusted to see how worn down he looked. The bags under his eyes, the sweat on his body—Dean reached out. He rested a hand on the back and leaned down to take a closer look at Cas's face. His eyes were twitching, rapidly blinking, and his lip was bleeding. He started to worry. "Cas, woah, is it your headache?" He saw him nod uncontrollably. He noticed his partner bring his legs closer to his chest every once in a while, taking in deep breaths so as to draw out the pain.

"It's...it's…"

"If you say it's alright one more time, I'm going to push you out of this bed," Dean whispered. But he didn't have the heart to do something like that, not to him. Not to someone that was obviously suffering from something. Then, he started to hear small groans come from this former angel, ones that were laced with all sorts of pain. He couldn't imagine what he was going through. It looked—it looked terrible. "Hey, hey," Dean pushed the covers away from himself and wrapped his arm around Cas.

Cas didn't pay any attention. The pain was still there. Even as Dean whispered to him, it still hurt to hear anything. "Come here," he heard in his ear. Yes, he thought. Yes, please hold me. Take this pain away from me. Make it go away. Make it all stop. I do not want to feel this way anymore. So he leaned into Dean's arms and rested his head against his chest. He grabbed for dear life onto his shirt, crying at the pain he was feeling. What was this?

Dean sighed. "You might be having a migraine, Cas. They're a total bitch." "Migraine"—Cas would curse them to Hell themselves. Suddenly, he was falling backwards, but he didn't panic. He felt Dean guide him down onto the mattress, both of them resting on their sides. Dean rested his head on top of his angel's, closing his eyes. "It'll go away, Cas. I promise," he whispered. "Just…just breathe."

Cas closed his eyes and tried to take deep breaths. The deeper the breaths, though, the more he would feel the pain pulsate in his skull. His teeth were clenched together, he was sure that Dean's shirt was stained with blood, and he dug his fingers into the shirt more. But, as he breathed, he could hear Dean's own breathing hum against his ribcage, something Cas took pride in rebuilding. He would try to match his relaxed breathing, and started to feel the pain dull away, slowly but surely. It must've been at least fifteen minutes before the "migraine" disappeared, and it was only a dull pain in the back of his head. He continued to breathe as much as he could, but his fingers relaxed against Dean.

Dean, however, held him close. He had never dealt with something like this with Cas, and he didn't know how to handle it. He was afraid, but of what? It wasn't like he was dying; he just had a headache. But seeing him experience that pain and seeing him struggle with it—it was a lot. Dean wondered how much Cas had been hiding, but he didn't care about that. He wanted to see him get better. That's all he cared about.

Slowly but surely, Cas started to relax. His head was back to how he could tolerate the pain, and he could finally fall asleep. He could feel Dean relax as well, although they would not tear apart. Dean wouldn't allow it, for one; he was supposed to protect his former angel from things like that. He was now Cas's guardian, returning the favor for all the years protecting him and Sam's own behind.

Dean heard a mumbled "Thank you, Dean" come from Cas, which was followed by relaxed, steady breathing. Dean closed his eyes, and tried to sleep alongside his partner, but he never fell back asleep. He just continued to repeat the same words over and over again in his head, to the point of sharing the pain:

Just breathe.

x x x

"Are you sure you don't want me to take you to the doctors?" Dean leaned against the door of their home. Cas called it "theirs" for many reasons, but when Dean was out in public, he'd call it his and nothing else. It was something about the town not accepting their relationship like other cities have been doing the last few years. Cas had no opinion about the matter because of his angelic background, as he saw past the gender card. Others, however, had prejudice.

Cas shook his head and let a small smile rest on his face. "Relax, Dean. I am okay." And he was, for the most part. The headache was almost completely gone overnight. Maybe Dean had been the cure for his head problems. He would never tell him, though. It would go right to his head.

Dean just looked at him, then nodded. "Alright, well," he opened the door. Cas stood away from him. "If it gets any worse, you do not hesitate to call. You understand?" Cas noticed how stern and serious he was, and all he could do was nod.

"Of course, Dean," he remarked. Of course, Cas was hiding the fact that he'd never call him, especially at work. Dean had made it a sort of rule in the house: "If you ever call me when I'm at work about something stupid, I will kick your ass so fast. Don't call me unless the house is on fire. Got that?" The guys at the garage must tease Dean about something, because he was blushing the entire time.

Dean waved goodbye and closed the door. He was all alone. And he could finally think.

x x x

The water below him was as clear as day. It made no rippling effect as he softly breathed, but when he deeply sighed, every once in a while, he'd see little waves sputter out from the water. It wasn't the most pleasant smell in the world, either, but it sure beat the hell out of the last smell he had enter his nose. He had never experienced such a horrendous smell before, and Dean was not around to tell him what it was, or what it meant, for that matter.

One minute, he was cooking something for dinner. It was pizza night, and Cas was trying a new recipe he found online (yes, even he had to learn how to use the "Internet"). Although he knew how to make pizza, he wanted Dean to enjoy something when he returned in an hour. He even wanted to call Dean about what he was making and what kind of toppings he'd enjoy, but Cas refused to pick up the phone. He did not want to learn if Dean would actually beat him senseless.

As he was sprinkling the cheese on the dough, the next minute felt like something cracked open his skull. The stabbing sensation was back, and it was worse. It was a gradual pain, and he didn't think about the dull pain at first. But once the sharp pains came in repetition, he started to become dizzy just standing by the counter. The cheese was getting on the floor, the sink, everywhere, and he had to lean against the sink to catch his breath. He wanted to scream out in agony at the pain—it wasn't like the night before. It was much worse. It was like someone splitting his head in two.

He looked out the kitchen window. There wasn't a soul around in miles, and that's how Dean wanted it. "I want to be alone with someone I care about for the rest of my life without worrying if someone's a hunter or not. Spend this life with me, Cas. We'll make a life out of whatever's out there for us." How he wished there was someone out there now, though. Maybe just a passerby, or even a hunter. He wanted someone to know how much it hurt. But when he opened his mouth, he felt his stomach growl in horrible ways.

He was afraid. What was going on in his body? He knew disease and Pestilence, but how was someone supposed to deal with something like that? How were people not afraid of dying over something like that? Cas closed his mouth as soon as he opened it and looked down at the sink. He felt like he was spinning, but he knew he was standing in one spot. Was he going to faint? He would find out something else, though, as his mouth was forced open to spill out his guts—literally.

He looked down at the liquid that came from his body. Some of it was clear, but there were brown chunks scattered everywhere, too. He had seen Dean do this when he was "smashed", but Dean was more of a mess and let it go wherever he chose. Cas leaned forward to look at the contents more (he was certain he ate that food a few days ago) but quickly leaned back when he smelled the contents. It was foul. Was Dean's…whatever it was…like that? Maybe it was something he ate. But the pain was saying otherwise as he brought his hands to his head to hold his head together.

He always watched as Dean tried to stumble to the bathroom, for whatever reason, and would lean against the toilet. Dean was always in the bathroom making terrible noises when he was drunk, especially earlier in the year when Cas found him. It was easier to get rid of the contents spilled than the sink, Cas supposed. He didn't like reflecting on the past, and reached out to turn the faucet on, watching the water drain the brown chunks away. The foul smell was still in the air, but at least the ghastly sight was disappearing. He turned his head and looked at the pizza. While it didn't have as much cheese as he wanted (Dean would probably comment on how there was too much cheese) he figured he would do his best to cook the dinner. He had to, for goodness sakes. Dean worked hard to keep the house, and all Cas had to do was cook for him ("When you're comfortable enough to have proper conversations with people in town, then you can get a job. Otherwise, I'm not associating myself with 'I was by God's side for many millennia'".).

He kept the water going as he leaned toward the pizza. He was still very dizzy, for some reason, but he managed to grab the pan the pizza was on. It was hard to hold, especially it being so heavy—was it always that heavy? Opening the oven, he slid the pan inside and closed it back up again. Fifteen minutes, he thought. That's all he had to get through before the pizza would be done. Then he could go to the bathroom. He closed his eyes and started to count the seconds, despite the pain in his head wishing he would stop.

Cas would spew out his stomach halfway through cooking the pizza, and he would watch the chunks spin down the drain. This is not normal, he thought. Was it the after effects of God taking his Grace? He agreed that it was the only way he was feeling that way. Otherwise, there was no earthly explanation for such a phenomenon. He had no recollection of having such pains when he was an angel, and since he had become human, nothing of the sort had existed. He closed his eyes and started to breathe. Perhaps Dean's words would work again and he would—no. It was making it worse. He held his head and leaned against the sink.

Just a few more minutes, just make it a few more minutes—

He was feeling weak. The back of his head was the worst pain ever imaginable, and the rest of his head was pounding. When he opened his eyes, he saw the water getting blurry, and he felt like falling over at any moment. He kept his grip on the sink when he felt his knees start to buckle. He needed to stay up. Dean would be home any moment, and he did not need to come home to Cas on the ground in pain. He would probably smell the foul smell once he came in, though, but Cas hoped the pizza would mask it. It actually smelled quite well.

Oh, the pizza. He took in a few deep breaths as he turned to the oven again, making sure he could stand on his own for a minute or two. His knees felt like jelly, but he figured he could handle it. As he gripped the door, he felt like it was easy to pull it down, and he grabbed a plain white oven mitt. Cas learned the hard way about the mitts through Dean and a little incident with food, which he still had the little scar on his finger. Dean scolded him for doing something reckless, but laughed about it soon after. "Cas, I don't know what I'm going to do with you."

He slumped over and grabbed the pan with all his might and quickly pulled it out. It felt like a ton of bricks, but he managed to keep it level when carrying it to the counter. The pizza was, hopefully, done, and Cas threw it on the counter. It made a loud crashing sound against the top, and he winced. Loud noises hurt, he thought. He closed the oven, turned the knob ("Always turn the oven off, Cas, no matter what," Dean first said to him about cooking) and stood there for a moment.

How was he going to get to the bathroom? The pizza was making him sick, he could barely look at anything without wondering if the couch was really moving toward the bedroom, and he felt sick to his stomach. He took a deep breath. He had been stabbed with an angel sword before—he could do something like walking to the bathroom. At first, it wasn't too bad. He could manage a few steps without any stumbling. Then came the difficulty of actually standing and walking at the same time.

Ten minutes and a few falls to the floor later, he was there. He knew how he used to laugh at Dean for looking like that when he was drunk (not early on, but when Dean came home from a "guys night out"), but it was the worst feeling beside the headache—or "migraine". Either way, he closed the door and sat down next to the toilet. And then he waited.

He didn't know how long he was waiting for more to come out of his body (the pain was making it very difficult to keep track of time), but he heard Dean come home. A set of keys jingled in the lock, followed by a few obscene words from Dean—he'd have to remember to fix the door. He needed to stay as silent as possible before making an appearance to Dean, however; Cas was not the type to ask for help like Dean was. He would show that he was able to be a human, for once. But it was hard to be quiet when his throat decided otherwise.

After so many hours at the garage, Dean opened the door. "Damn it," he mumbled, as he tried to get the keys out of the lock. With a quick jolt, he pulled it out and looked around. He expected to see Cas standing in the kitchen to welcome him home, but all he saw was a slight mess in the kitchen with a pizza on the counter. Dean raised an eyebrow as he shut the door, and looked around. "Cas?" No response. It wasn't like Cas to go out and do something, but perhaps he went out to the town to get some food. He always liked to go on a walk once in a while. Maybe his head was feeling better. Dean felt a little relieved at the thought and walked over to the food.

A smile was on his face. Pepperoni, sausage, and a load of cheese on one pizza—Cas sure knew how to make him happy. He leaned forward to take a whiff of the pizza. It smelled really good, and he was sure it tasted really good, too. He took another chance to smell it. God, if he could only but drool on the food—

But then there was something else. He wasn't sure what it was, but it was very distinct from the pizza. He took another whiff. Yep, it was still there. What the hell was it, though? He looked around. He didn't see any other food lying around. He looked down at the oven. It was off. Okay, so it wasn't food—good. He looked at the sink and rummaged around the little bit of dirty dishes on the left side. He smelled them. Nope, not them. He bent down and opened a cupboard, to see if the trash was full—nothing. But he could still smell it.

Dean scratched his head. It was bothering him. What if it was a dead animal? "If I have to deal with another dead rat again," he muttered to himself. He leaned against the sink. "Okay, so it's not the dishes," his eyes ran over to the white bowls still sitting there. He looked back at the empty side. "It's not the trash, and it's definitely not that delicious looking pizza over there," he didn't even want to look at that perfection. It was already torture that he had to suffer with that smell—

Then, he saw something in the sink. It was small, but very distinct against the white porcelain. He dug his finger in the drain and pulled it out—a few bits of it. It was brown. "What the…" he took a closer look at it. Was it—he took one whiff. Yep, he thought, that's vomit, as he gagged a bit himself. "That is just disgusting," he said, turning the faucet on. He washed the little chunks off his finger and grimaced as it went down the drain.

He'd have to talk to Cas when he came home. He glanced at the clock on the oven; 5:37 P.M. Usually Cas was home for dinner. Where—

Then, he heard a cough. It was small, but it was enough to make Dean spin around. He always hated silence, especially in his own home, when him and Cas usually had conversations for no reason whatsoever, but a sudden noise without anyone around was worse. What if a hunter had found them? "Cas?" He called out; no response. He opened the nearest drawer and felt around—a knife would do. What he'd kill for one of his guns, though. He started to walk out of the kitchen to the bedroom, where the door was slightly ajar. Please let there be no blood, please let there be no blood…

He opened the door, knife against the door. There wasn't any blood, but the blankets were a bit tossed on the ground, something unusual. Cas usually made the bed when Dean left—maybe he took a nap. Was he hearing things? He looked around the room. Nothing else seemed out of place. The aspirin bottle was still on the nightstand; the blankets did seem like someone could've slept there recently, although Cas must've not moved from that spot the whole time; his gun was still by his side of the bed. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, except the bathroom door was closed. He dropped to the floor and lied on his stomach, trying to look inside through the crack on the bottom. He saw light, and a bit of shadow.

"Cas?" He tried again.

"Dean."

The voice sounded weak. Another cough entered the air. Dean rushed to his feet and walked over to the door. He let his head rest against the door, trying to hear anything going on in the room. "Hey, I'm home, Cas. Are—Are you okay?"

Cas was sweating. He had tried to get rid of something in his stomach for what felt like an hour (it was only twenty minutes) but every time he opened his mouth, a cough would come out, and his head would start to hurt again. Over and over again, the pain kept getting worse. He swallowed and opened his mouth. "Yes," he whispered. He wasn't okay. He had white knuckles from holding onto the shower curtain, had pains in his stomach and head, and couldn't see straight even sitting down. But Dean didn't need to know.

Dean listened to the silence. He hoped another cough would come out so he could go in there, but he didn't know if Cas was actually vomiting or just on the toilet doing his business. He didn't know what to do, but he needed to get rid of the awkward silence. "Hey, so, I saw the pizza on the counter. Looks really good."

Cas smiled. He was glad, really glad. Even through his pain, he could make Dean happy. "Good," he whispered back. He watched Dean's feet on the other side of the door shuffle. He must be smiling; he always did that when he smiled.

Dean looked at the doorknob. He just wanted a peek inside, that's all, but he knew otherwise. It must've been the door that made him sound so horrible, and he felt hopeful that he was okay. Dean tapped on the door. "Yeah, well, you're an awesome cook, Cas. It looks great." Nothing. Dean cleared his throat. "Okay, so—when you're done in there, you can come join me out there, yeah? I don't think I can eat it all by myself." He doubted it, but it was something to lighten up the mood, whatever the mood was.

Cas opened his mouth to say "Okay", but he felt his stomach churning again. No, not right now. Not when Dean's outside the door. Wait until he goes out to the kitchen, or until he walks away. But he just watched as Dean stood outside (for good reason, as he was still doubtful about what he was doing in the bathroom) and he couldn't hold it back. He could feel his stomach coming up his throat again, the liquid wanting to come out of his mouth. The pain made him double over the toilet as he coughed again, some of it splashing inside.

Dean heard it all. And Cas knew that in a few seconds, that door would whip open and he would be standing there, wanting to help.

And there he was, in the doorway, looking down at a vomiting Cas, tired and worn out from all the pain. Dean watched in horror at seeing his partner weakly hunched over the bowl, vomiting up some kind of liquid from his body. His face was full of sweat, the bags under his eyes were really dark—he was really pale. The only things that were bright were those eyes of his, and even those were starting to get a bit dull.

Cas reached up to the sink for support. He needed to get to his feet. He needed to show that he was fine and there was nothing to worry about. Dean watched on as Cas rose to his feet for a second, turning to him and trying to take a step. But as he made the first step, his knees started to buckle, which made Cas start to fall. He couldn't hold onto the counter like he wanted, not with Dean around. He wasn't okay. He was far from it.

"Cas!" Dean ran over to him and put his arms under Cas's, trying to hold him up. He seemed like dead weight, however, as they both started to fall to the ground. Dean made sure Cas would not get hurt, so he hit the ground with most of the force hitting his knees. He groaned, but he managed. Sitting upright, he held Cas in his arms, watching him struggle to grab onto anything. He was scared. Cas was fine in the morning. He was okay then. What happened?

Cas looked up at Dean, seeing the worry on his face before feeling lightheaded again. He wanted to say how sorry he was for putting him through that, but he was afraid to open his mouth. Dean took sight at the water building up around his eyes, almost understanding what Cas wanted to say. Cas would try, though, and he would make a valiant effort in Dean's eyes. "Dean…" he heard the struggling breath come out. He just stared. "It…hurts…" He saw Cas's hand grab at his work shirt, but he couldn't really grab it anymore. He was really weak. Dean held him for all he could.

"It'll be okay, Cas. We'll go to the doctor tomorrow."

x x x

Cas did not like the doctor. For one thing, it was boring. There was nothing to do but stare at others that were sick or dying and waiting for someone to call out your name to know why you were sick or dying. Everyone kept staring at him, too, as if he was definitely going to die. The nurses were of no help, either, as they just gaped at his appearance. It was not his fault that Dean had to dress him, and that he was still sweating from the pain, even though he took four aspirins in the course of six hours (Dean wondered how he wasn't overdosing, but Cas shrugged it off).

Dean flipped through a magazine. It looked like a sports magazine. "Come on," he mumbled; he was getting impatient. Page after page turned, and he was bouncing his leg up and down. Cas glanced at the clock: 9:04 A.M. His appointment was at 9:00 A.M. Cas leaned over to look at the magazine with him, and Dean just looked at him. "You okay?"

He nodded. "For the most part," but instead of reading the magazine, he just leaned his head on Dean's shoulder. Most of the people in the lobby started to whisper, but Cas tuned them out as he focused on getting the pain away. He focused on the night before. During the night, Dean held him so he could get a little better (of course, Dean put him to bed before actually going to bed himself. Something about not making the pizza go to waste was more important than helping Cas) and it worked, for the most part. The back of his head was killing him, but the rest of the pain seemed to go away after a few hours of lying there. Dean would talk to him about the day at the garage, and Cas listened. He didn't mind. He liked the stories of him at the garage; it made Dean happy.

The pain was coming and going in waves, and Dean just nudged his partner with his own head. He didn't say anything; he just continued to flip through the pages of the magazine. Cas was sure there were people staring at them because of how they were, but Dean practically hugged him through the doctor's office when they arrived. He figured public displays of affection would go out the window after that (he still wondered if the threat of making a call to the garage held).

"Dean?" a woman called out. Cas opened his eyes and saw a woman in blue stand at the doorway opposite them. She was looking around, but she was clearly attentive to the two men across from her. Dean rose from his seat and grabbed Cas's hand, throwing the magazine on the table ahead of them.

"Come on," he whispered. There were other whispers—from the women, of course—and they were most likely talking about Dean's behavior with Cas, but there were more important things to worry about than two men having a relationship together.

It was absurd, anyway. Why did love have to be so gender specific? Cas was neither a man nor woman, but just in a man's body. Dean talked about "soul-mates" and having some reasoning behind the two of them meeting and being together. He didn't think much on it. The whispers just bothered him.

The nurse led them to a room down the hall, before waving them into a room. "Here you are. You're in this room." Cas had never been in a doctor's room before. It was—weird. There was a really high bed to the right, two chairs next to this small desk, which had a chair for itself, and there were a few cupboards lying around. There were also medical instruments he was familiar with from the past. He heard the door closed at Dean sat down in a chair. Cas stood next to him, hands still together. He wasn't sure if it was Dean trying to calm him down, or for Dean calming himself down. Either way, it was a little comforting.

The woman flipped through the clipboard in her hand and just smiled. "Okay, um…" she was stumbling on his name.

"Castiel," Dean remarked. She blushed. Great, Cas thought. Now the girl liked him.

"O-Oh, right," she stammered out. Dean just smiled. Cas shook his head. "Now, how has your blood pressure been?"

Cas just blinked. "Blood pressure? Why would I need that checked?"

She nodded. "Yes, um…"

Cas looked to his partner. "Look, nurse," Dean seemed irritated. "We just need to see Dr. Barman for a quick visit. Is it really necessary to take his blood pressure?"

The girl blushed. Always so good with words, Dean, Cas thought. "O-Oh, I-I suppose not…" she trailed off for a moment before talking to the both of them. She must've been new. "I-I'll go get him right away." And out she went. "Yeah, you do that," Cas heard Dean whisper to no one in particular.

Dean looked at their hands. "Hey," he whispered. Cas looked down, meeting the others' eyes. Dean noticed how much healthier he looked. He wasn't as pale as the night before, and he wasn't sweating as much, either. He still had bags under his eyes, but at least he ate something—maybe that's what was making him pale. "How are you feeling?"

"I am alright," he replied. "I am a little weak, and my head still hurts, but I do not feel like…vomiting." Dean taught him that word. He was a little disgusted that such a word existed, but at least he could put a name to something.

"Oh, that's great, Cas," Dean laced it with sarcasm. "So much improvement in only 24 hours. How do you do it?" Cas frowned.

"I did not wish this on myself, Dean."

Dean leaned forward, squeezing the hand. Cas squeezed back. "I know, I know. And I wouldn't want it wished on you, either. But, seriously, a week with one headache? That's not normal, is it?"

Cas shrugged. "I do not have an answer." Dean looked up to his former angel and wanted to say something else, but he heard the doorknob start to turn. He took his hand away—Cas stepped back. He rose from the chair, which made Cas turn his head to the door. A man dressed in white appeared. He had a red tie underneath his white coat, along with what appeared to be in a black suit. Short, brown hair on his head, with a little stubble on his chin; he appeared older.

Dean held out his arm. "Ah, Dean Winchester," Dr. Barman took the hand and shook on it. Dean smirked. "It has been far too long. How long has it been since I last saw you? Four years ago?"

Dean shrugged. "What can I say, I have a clean bill of health." Lie, thought Cas. He kept his mouth shut, though, as the two conversed. Judging by the way Dean relaxed around the doctor, and how the doctor shows great gratitude for him (for some reason unknown), he could only guess that the two of them had known each other for a long time. They spoke as if they were family. And it felt as though he was on the outside of the family, watching as others connected—and he was left with Dean as his only family.

Dean laughed, then flicked his eyes over to Cas. "Ah, should we get this appointment going?" The doctor let his gaze rest on Cas, who felt a little intimidated by the man. He seemed to know a lot. He turned back to Dean. "What can I do for you today, Dean? Check-up?"

He shook his head, holding out his hands in defense. "Nuh uh, not for me, doc," he nodded over to Cas, still standing next to Dean. "It's Cas." The doctor turned around and looked at him again. He felt as though he was being violated. What was this man thinking?

Dr. Barman sat down in his chair. "Castiel, eh? Part of a religious family?"

Dean shot him a look. "You could say that," Cas replied. A little bit of tension grew between the group.

Dr. Barman just nodded, humming in agreement. "Now, you say you are getting headaches?"

Cas nodded. "Yes. They hurt."

The doctor let out a large laugh. Dean kept a straight face, and Cas wondered if he said something wrong. He looked to Dean, who said nothing. "Yes, I suppose they do," the doctor replied. He moved around the two to the chair (he would have to see if Dean wanted a chair like that for the home) and spun to look at both of them. "Come, now, on the bed." The doctor pointed to the brown bed in the room. Cas looked at Dean, and he just nodded; he quickly obliged. Dean stood next to him, placing his arm behind Cas (it was resting on the bed, though, in order to not pass judgment around the office). "How much do they hurt?"

"A lot." Cas quickly replied. "It hurts to think, and I cannot sleep at night. I have maybe gotten 10 hours of sleep in the last four days." Dean raised an eyebrow. It couldn't have been that small of a number, he thought. Dean watched as Cas looked up at him, worried that he would be scolded for something like that. There was a tinge of sadness in the eyes of the beholder. "I have taken many aspirins for the pain, but it does not help me."

Dr. Barman hummed. "Any other symptoms?"

Dean cut in before Cas could speak. "Dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and he can barely walk on his own."

The doctor leaned back in his chair. "It sounds like a migraine, Dean."

Cas brought a hand to his head and started to rub it, hoping to get some of the pain away (it was working a little). "How long do these migraines last?"

"Well," he sighed. "They are only supposed to last two days. But it seems like it's lasting a little longer in your case. I'd say, for you, probably another day or two. Has the pain gotten gradually worse over time?"

"Yes," Dean replied. Cas was grateful for Dean responding for him. He was feeling a little nauseated again, hoping that he would not vomit on the poor doctor. "At first it was just one aspirin at the time. Then, hell, he almost took down the whole bottle in a week."

The doctor nodded. "Right," he remarked. "Well," he seemed a little discouraged—the whole room seemed discouraged at the visit. Cas felt a little silly for having Dean take the day off for something like that, but he needed to get his head better—at least, that's what Dean suggested. Dr. Barman stood from the chair and opened a cupboard, pulling out some kind of bottle on the third shelf from the top. "There's not much you can do. I'll give you this," he held it out to both Dean and Cas; it was another bottle of aspirins. "They are rather expensive nowadays, and we are always overstocked here. It should help dull the pain. Otherwise, stay in a darkened room away from a lot of noises, and keep a nice cool cloth on your head. That's all you can do."

Dean let his hand shoot back to the doctor, shaking his hand once more. Cas did not move. He just stared at the bottle. How many more of these pills would he have to take? They were not helping him, but apparently they were. How did this doctor know what was wrong with him? He would have to trust the doctor, despite what he had given as a diagnosis. "Thank you, doctor." Dean said. The doctor nodded, said something about anytime, and casually walked out of the office. Dean turned to Cas.

"I do not know about this, Dean." Dean knew Cas felt defeated by something as simple as a migraine. Dean frowned.

So was he. "I know."

x x x

For the first time in a week, they peacefully slept together.

x x x

Dean did not like the idea of leaving him alone. "But you're sick, Cas! The job doesn't need me all the time!" Dean felt terrible for yelling at someone in a bed that was supposed to be resting for a few more days. Definitely heartless, he thought.

Cas sighed, shaking his head. "But you enjoy the job, Dean. I would not want to take you away from something you enjoy."

"I enjoy your company, though,"

"I think that counts as a 'chick flick moment', Dean."

Dean shook his head. The bastard was still a smartass when he was having some terrible migraine. Then again, Cas made it a point to be a smartass around Dean, especially when he was drunk ("I think the girl got the hint and did not like the message"). The dude was a dick when he wanted to be.

Dean walked over to the bed, resting against the side. He looked down at his partner. Cas still looked absolutely exhausted, but at least he had gotten some sleep during the night. Dean could feel him in his arms trying to grab onto something as the pain came and went throughout the night. But every time Dean looked at Cas, he was asleep. It was something to be relieved about.

He rested his hand on top of Cas's. "That phone better be by your side at all times. And no getting up from this bed unless you have to go to the bathroom. Got it?"

Cas nodded. "Of course."

"I mean it," he said, squeezing his hand. "I don't—I will text you every hour, and if I do not get a response in 10 minutes, I will drive back here and make sure to kick your ass if you're anywhere but here or there," he nodded his head toward the bathroom.

"I understand," Cas replied. And he did. He was not going to try anything now. He needed rest, and he would get rest. He was sure of it. Dean took in a deep breath as he squeezed the hand again, before releasing it from his grasp.

"Alright," he whispered. "Remember, you better respond to me when I text you. Or I swear to God, Cas—"

"I will do so, Dean." And even though it was a terrible idea, his former angel had just ordered him to go to work instead of take care of him. And Dean felt terrible once more.

x x x

9:12 A.M.

Received text: almost had a car fall on top of me. regretting sending me to work?

9:13 A.M.

Sent text: No.

9:15 A.M.

Sent text: I do, however, miss you. Would you like for me to call you?

9:19 A.M.

Received text: I swear to god, Cas, if you do.

x x x

10:55 A.M.

Received text: i'm prepared to throw my wrench at my supervisor.

10:58 A.M.

Sent text: :-/ You need the job, Dean.

10:59 A.M.

Received text: you're right—the car will probably crush him.

x x x

11:22 A.M.

Received text: what do you want for dinner?

11:24 A.M.

Sent text: I do not know. Soup sounds good right now.

11:25 A.M.

Received text: really? I would've guessed you would've said a burger. well. soup it is.

x x x

1:04 P.M.

Received text: a nice mustang just came into the shop. I might be in Heaven.

1:05 P.M.

Sent text: You have already been to your Heaven, Dean.

1:06 P.M.

Received text: don't ruin this for me.

1:08 P.M.

Sent text: Okay.

x x x

2:41 P.M.

Received text: if I have to answer the "where were you yesterday" question one more time, I really will throw a wrench. just fyi.

2:55 P.M.

Received text: Cas?

3:02 P.M.

Received text: I'm on my way home.

3:07 P.M.

Deleted:

x x x

A beeping noise to his left, his arm hurt from something sticking inside of him, and he opened his eyes to one big bright light ahead of him. Was he in Heaven? No, Heaven was not a place where the lights burned his eyes. The Heaven he was used to was ten times dimmer. He closed them again; it hurt just thinking about the lights. Speaking of pain, why did his lip hurt? And his headache was tolerable—where the hell was he? He opened his eyes again and stared at the light. He wanted to reach out and touch it, see what was around him instead of that, but when he tried to reach for it, some wires kept him tied down. Needles upon needles were in his veins, his arm looked a little bloodied, and—was that a heart monitor?

He knew where he was—a hospital. He had seen that Autistic man come into one every few months, to get everything checked out. But, why was he there? And, for that matter, who brought him there? Everything was cloudy. There was no reason that someone with a mere headache would be weak enough to be brought to the hospital. He lowered his arm. One minute, he was texting Dean about something, and he was about to text him back again around 3 P.M. when something occurred. It never happened before, but something made him lose control of his hands. His arms started to shake, and he tried to stop them, but soon, he blacked out.

He remembered waking up to Dean—Dean, he thought. Oh, it made sense. He felt even worse, especially seeing Dean's face running to him in shock and horror. "Cas! You gotta stay with me, you gotta stop this right now!" Dean did everything to keep his head still and he looked too worried for the likes of Cas. He hated that look hovering over him, hands on his head, trying to make him stop. Perhaps he was having a "seizure". He had seen the Autistic man have a few once before, and it might have felt similar. But Cas wasn't too sure; he couldn't really think.

But staring up at his partner made everything worse. He must have tried to say something, but all he could taste was the blood in his mouth and his teeth grinding against the others. Dean looked broken and worn down from it all. And now he was in a hospital. He wanted to tear out the needles in his arms, though, as they were becoming rather itchy. Plus, he wanted to know how Dean was coping after all the tragedy around. As he reached for them, a hand stopped him. Red nails, clean hands—a woman.

He looked up. Sure enough, it was. She held a clipboard (before setting it on the tray next to him), blonde hair tied up in a small ponytail, and she had a great frown on her face. "Castiel, you mustn't tear these out!" Her grip was firm, her eyes were sharp, so he pulled away. She let out a sigh. "It's good to see that you are awake. We didn't know if you were going to wake up soon or not. Seems like you owe a lot to your friend," she whispered, picking up her clipboard again.

Friend; Dean. He tried to speak, but he was afraid of being scolded by someone like the woman. She seemed nice, but how she looked when he tried to take out some simple needles—he did not want to be more of a bother.. She clicked her pen and started to write something down. "I'm your nurse for the evening, Sophia. A doctor will come in for a few minutes to give you a check-up. Is there anything I can get you?" She tore her eyes away from the paper (which Cas wanted to know what she was writing) and gave a small smile. He shook his head. "Your friend—I will guess he is your friend—is outside. It's rather cold out there, though; we'd hate to see another patient coming through here. Would you like me to tell him you're awake?"

Cas shook his head, despite wanting to see him with all his might. He would, however, see that look again, and possibly see something more. He'd rather not deal with it, not yet. "I understand. A lot of turmoil in the last couple days for the two of you. I'm surprised he's yet to leave the hospital." He raised an eyebrow. Couple days? How long was he there? She dotted something on the paper and gave a smile. "I will be back shortly with the doctor. You stay put." She started to walk away, but turned around. "And don't think about tearing those needles out."

He understood. And he was back to being alone with the light above his head again, which he couldn't stare at for a long time, as it hurt his head. So he turned away and looked around the room. Being adjusted to the light more, he saw medical instruments of all sorts scattered around (the Greeks used those, he noted), machines by his head (heart monitor, vitals, IV, he noted more), and some dirty gloves thrown to the floor. He wondered if something happened to him while he was down for the count, but he looked away to other rooms around. There were children in the next room over with their parents in the beds—bloodied sheets, many more machines, and tears. A car accident, perhaps, and Cas wished nothing but the best for the family. He turned his head and looked in the other room; police officers stood at the end of the bed, talking to some guy. He had a nasty gash on his head, and he was screaming about how he didn't shoot someone. The police thought otherwise.

"Doctors!" he heard a little kid shouting. He turned back to the family. Rapid heartbeat pounding through their chest made their monitor race against time. Three to four doctors rushed into the room and pushed the children away, yelling obtuse language through the air. Cas recognized some of it, but it was hard to keep up with them. They pumped medicine after medicine into the woman, as the children cried for their mother. "What's wrong?" one of them shouted, but the nurses were pushing them outside, telling them that they shouldn't see something like that happen. They continued to scream for their mother, even after the monitor showed a flat line. And just as the doctors were putting their hands on her chest, a curtain was pushed in front of the door.

"We can't have you seeing that, can we?" Sophia was back, this time with two doctors. He pointed to the two of them, then back to the door, and Sophia just smiled. "They have enough personnel for one person. We can manage to give you two doctors." Cas sighed and looked at the two men standing in white coats. One of them was tall, white hair, glasses, and flipping through a clipboard; the other was short, younger, jet black hair, and spouting out medical information about him. Cas kept his eyes on the older doctor.

"Castiel, is it?" He nodded. "A religious family, I presume?" He nodded again. This town really knew their angels, he thought. "I'm Dr. Heman, and that is Dr.—well, his last name is hard to pronounce. Just call him Leo."

"BP's 130/85," a deep voice next to him said. Was that good or bad? Cas was never good with medicine; he could rebuild a human back to life, but give him something like blood pressure and he was lost. He looked over at the young doctor, who was now fiddling with the wires, and heard the older doctor talk.

"So, seems like you had a seizure," he turned his head. Great deduction, he thought. "You bit your lip pretty hard, too. You didn't bite through the skin, but you might have a slight scar when it heals." That's why it hurt to move it so much. "Do you remember anything at all from that day?"

"A little," he managed to say before feeling more discomfort from his mouth. The doctors looked at each other, but gave a slight nod. The older doctor stepped forward and handed the clipboard to Sophia, who was standing by. Suddenly, the hands of Dr. Heman were on his head, rubbing in circular motions. Cas would be lying if he said it didn't feel great. He closed his eyes.

"And how does your head feel? Are the painkillers working?" Working a bit too much, he thought, as he was feeling drowsy again. He just gave a slight nod of the head as the doctor worked his way to the back of his skull. The pain was getting worse and worse as the circular motions got closer and closer, but the doctor stopped before he went too far. "Pain in the Posterior Fossa." Sophia wrote it down. How did the doctor know he was in pain? And what was a "Posterior Fossa"? It was the skull; how many parts could there be? The doctor leaned away and smiled. "Don't worry, Castiel, we'll have you in and out of here before you know it." He looked to Leo, a frown on his face. "Set up an MRI, bring me back when you have the results." Cas watched the older doctor give him one more smile before turning his back to leave.

An MRI—he had an idea of what it was, but he did not understand why he needed one. Sophia wrote it all down on the clipboard, and smiled up to Cas. "We'll be leaving you alone now, Castiel. Enough medical mumbo-jumbo for you for a while, yeah? Besides, someone else would like to see you." He turned his head to Sophia, who gave a sort of quick nod to the door, and looked out the window. Standing next to the doctor, talking about something (probably going over what he just said to Cas, he imagined), was his partner.

Dean.

x x x

"Cas."

"Hello, Dean."

"How are you feeling?"

"Okay."

"Shut up, you can't be feeling okay. You were practically dying, dude."

"I know. I am sorry."

"You couldn't have controlled something like that, you idiot. Scared me, though, seeing you twitch like that with blood coming out of your mouth? Don't do that again."

"Okay."

"I mean it. Hospitals already make me nervous enough, Cas. Seeing you like that when I got home—that's not alright."

"I did not ask to come here."

"And what, keep you at home where God knows what'd happen? I am taking my chances with the hospital than seeing you stain our sheets with blood."

"I could have managed with the aspirins."

"Oh, yeah, that worked out just fine. How was that seizure there?"

"Dean, you hate hospitals, though."

"It sure as hell beats seeing you twitch on the bed like that."

"Is that what you thought when—"

"Don't even say it, Cas. We're not going to talk about that here."

"Okay."

"Anyway, hear you're going to an MRI later. Hope that's soon."

"I am aware. I have some knowledge of it, but what is it?"

"Oh, it's when they look in your head. Maybe your ego is becoming so inflated that you're killing yourself with a headache. Maybe all those compliments about your food is making you sick."

"What is it like?"

"I don't know, I've never had one before."

"Come with me."

"Yeah."

x x x

Dean had never seen Cas so afraid. Maybe when Lucifer was rising, and he had to deal with the archangels, perhaps then. Cas hadn't any idea of what was going on, what it would feel like—and Dean wasn't much help, especially since he didn't know how it felt in the first place. He just had to stare at him on the table surrounded by a big white machine as Dean wore a blue vest to be by his side.

Even on the elevator with a couple doctors by his side, he could feel Cas grip his hand, waiting for some sign of help. And the entire ride up with him and the tense doctors kept him staring at the red numbers that grew and grew. He wished the elevator didn't stop, but it had to. One small step toward knowing what was wrong with his old angel, he guessed. And when they entered the room with Cas on the stretcher, a lone, "What is this?" echoed through the air. Dean just looked at him and listened to the doctors tell him about the MRI machine. They promised it would be painless, promised that he would be in and out of there in no time. They both took a deep breath together, hoping that it was all true.

A voice over the intercom came from above. "Alright, we're going to start." Cas looked over at Dean, who nodded to those behind the glass. A doctor was in the room with them, but he had no idea who it was.

"Dean," he heard whispered. He looked down.

"Just breathe, Cas. Don't worry about anything. Think happy thoughts, like a rainbow or something." The machine started to move him into the camera. Dean felt his hand crushed under the other's grip. Dean leaned against the machine as it started making noises. "Just close your eyes."

At least, that's what he told himself to do. He wasn't sure if Cas could hear anything as the machine started to go. He could hear the gears whirring inside the MRI circulating his body, picture after picture shown from his head. And all he could feel was Cas's heavy breathing and tense grip on Dean's hand. Dean bit down on his lip and waited for the machine to stop so he could tell him it was okay.

But he wasn't too sure about that, and kept his eyes and mouth shut.

x x x

Another night was upon the two in the hospital room. They moved him to another room, because they needed the bed for someone else ("You're well enough to be moved from the trauma room," the female nurse commented. "Normally, you'd be in the ICU, but they're chalk full, too. This'll have to do."). They shared it with a family of four, a father and three kids. The kids were crying when Dean sat there, talking about their mother of some sort. The dad wasn't awake, and the girl (she appeared to be the oldest) was the only one by the dad's bedside. She was holding onto her father's hand with her eyes closed, possibly listening to the other two younger kids crying about their mom. She was mumbling something, perhaps praying of some sort.

Dean looked down at Cas. He thought about prayers, but he had a terrible track record with God. So he just watched Cas sleep. He said something about how the painkillers were making him really sleepy, so Dean ordered him to get some rest. At first, he protested ("I do not need sleep. I need to get home"), but, soon enough, his eyes were shut and he fell asleep. He made a comment about the family when they arrived, too: "She is gone. I watched them work on her. Where would they move her?" Dean didn't reply. The two boys in the chairs just wept.

He, on the other hand, did not want to sleep. He was still paranoid that he'd wake up and see Cas twitching again, blood coming out of his mouth, and unable to respond. He'd look at Dean with voided eyes and just stare, wanting to say something. And when the twitching would stop, he'd fall asleep, a dead weight to the world.

Dean leaned forward and let his hands fall over his face. He probably looked terrible. Little sleep over the last few days, barely getting a shower in (the hospital graciously let him take one somewhere, but he forgot where it was), and worrying about his former angel and the expenses were taking quite the toll. Even on the first day when they took Cas from his arms, he was a mess. "I need some help! Please!" He didn't know if he cried when he yelled that to the doctors around. He was sure there was a fine line between panic and manic when he rushed through the door. When they told him to wait in the lobby, he couldn't help but smack his hand against the glass of the door and break down.

He knew he should have stayed home. He knew something was going to happen, but as he rushed home, he didn't realize it would be that bad. He didn't realize he had to break down his own door because his hands were shaking too much to put the key in the lock (now he really had to change the lock on the door). He didn't want to break down the door to their bedroom, in case Cas just fell asleep and was getting some peace after all, but he didn't want to see—he shook the thought away. Most of all, Dean didn't know he was walking into a room where his angel was shaking to the core.

Dean opened his eyes. He didn't want to think about it. He wanted Cas to be normal and healthy, back in the kitchen, back at home, back in his arms, sleeping as peacefully as possible. Dean watched as the girl started to open her eyes, looking out to Dean. Somehow, the two of them understood the other: they both had high prices on their shoulders. They had someone to protect, someone to better, and they knew they had to make sure the other was okay. The children sobbed in the background, but they needed no words between the two of them. All that was said was: "I understand."

The door opened. Dean's eyes flickered to the door. A new doctor stood in the doorway. "Dean?" The voice was ominous. He noticed the doctor was holding some kind of film in his hand, which most likely were the MRI results. Dean rose to his feet. "May I speak to you outside?" Without hesitation, he began to walk. Where was he going? What was he going to? Why did the doctor want to talk to him? He grew anxious. He needed to keep his head held high, though, and remind himself that he was doing this for Cas. He needed to know how to keep Cas healthy and comfortable in their own home.

He took in a deep breath. It's for Cas, he repeated, as he stepped outside and stood next to the doctor. The doctor smiled. "Dr. Heman needed to step out for a trauma patient, but I am Sid. Don't worry trying to pronouncing my real name," he pointed to his badge. Dean glanced down. Yeah, he wasn't going to try. "May we take a walk?" The doctor started to walk down a hallway, and Dean really didn't want to leave Cas alone. But he'd be back; he always would be. So he rushed to the side and started to walk with Sid. "Now, could you tell me about the symptoms Castiel has been having recently?"

While he had been through this with every doctor, Dean wasn't annoyed by repeating his words. "It started out as a headache about a week and a half ago, and—" the doctor stopped in front of some x-ray machine.

"How mild was the headache?"

He shrugged. "I don't know, it seemed to go away after taking an aspirin." The doctor nodded, placing the film into the machine.

"I see, go on," he muttered. He didn't turn the light on.

"Uh, alright," Dean nervously chuckled. "Well, then it got worse a few nights later, like, really bad. Dude was in pain so much he started to scream. The next day, he even started vomiting. I've never had a migraine like that."

The doctor nodded. "Neither have I."

"Yeah, well," Dean shifted uncomfortably. "Y-You know the rest of the symptoms, yeah?"

Dean watched the doctor nod. "I do, and so do the other doctors on Castiel's case. We have gone through every possibility for your friend, Dean." How many doctors were on the case? Dean didn't want to ask; part of him didn't want to know. "Tell me, was Castiel ever dizzy? Or seeing two of one thing?"

Dean blinked. "Dean? Why are there two of you?" He nodded. He remembered Cas saying something like that when they were getting out of the bathroom, talking about how the room was spinning and how he didn't know which bed to sleep in.

The doctor flipped the light on. Dean flinched at how bright it was (how doctors could stare at something like that for hours at a time was something), but looked at the image. It was Cas, only his head. "I assume you know that this is Castiel's head, correct? We had taken an MRI of his skull so we could get an affirmed prognosis on his condition."

Dean nodded. "Y-Yeah, I was there." He was really fascinated at what it looked like. He had seen the films in the movie, where the x-ray showed everything back, but all of it looked so beautiful and normal—he saw nothing wrong. Dean turned to the doctor. "So, what, there's nothing wrong?"

The doctor tilted his head. "Why do you assume that?"

Dean pointed to the picture. "Well, there's nothing wrong with him. His brain, I mean, it looks normal to me. So it's just a terrible migraine, stuff that people get all the time."

The doctor brought a pen out and started to point at different areas of the brain. "I concur that it looks normal enough, yes, but," no, not "but". There was no need for "but", not in Dean's world. "let me tell you about a certain area of the brain. Here," he circled the lower back area of the brain. "this is the Posterior Fossa. Dr. Heman is a neurologist and brain surgeon, specializing in how the brain works. He had done a test on Castiel to see where the most pain resonated from the headaches, and it seemed that the Posterior Fossa was the winner. Now, from this scan, there is nothing visible." It was a sort of aerial view of the brain. Sid brought out another film from the folder. "This scan, though, let me see if you see anything."

The first picture was gone, and there was nothing but light. Dean was terrified. What was going to be on the film? What was going to—the film hit the light. Dean looked back to the same area the doctor circled before, the Posterior whatever. He leaned forward. Something was there. What was it? "We've concluded," the doctor started. Dean turned his eyes over to Sid, who looked horrified himself. "That we can rule out simple headaches and migraines. There is enough evidence here that shows—"

"What is it?" Dean regretted asking the question. He wanted to prolong the truth for as long as he could. He had a feeling, a gut feeling that was hurting his heart. He looked at Sid, who frowned, and he felt a few tears coming to his eyes. "Just—just tell me what it is, please." Sid looked back to the film and pointed to the Posterior Fossa again, circling the one thing Dean saw; Dean didn't look back at the film.

"A tumor." He repeated it again, but quietly. "It's a tumor."

No.

He refused to believe—

"We are not sure how the tumor had lasted this long without some symptoms showing. All tumors, however—"

A life with Cas, once a reality and dream, now becoming a fantasy. All the things he planned for the future, gone. Now they had something else to worry about, something that was life-threatening. He leaned against the wall and closed his eyes, continuing to listen to the doctor talk.

"—which is why we should start treatment right away. There are many options for the tumor: surgery, chemotherapy—"

Surgery? Chemotherapy? What would Cas say about this? Cas. Dean could only imagine what he'd say about cancer, about what was happening in his head. He'd probably comment on how it was near his end, that he wasn't going to last forever. Jimmy's body is still vulnerable to all human disease; it was only a matter of time.

"—now, Dean. Have…you any questions for me?"

Dean opened his eyes. There was no way. One question clouded his mind, one that would make or break him. "How long?"

Sid turned to the film; Dean did not follow. He knew what was on there, he knew what he'd see, and he wanted it to disappear. "Without treatment, and judging by the film, he has about one to two years." Dean rubbed his forehead, closing his eyes. That definitely broke him. "We are unable to determine the stage of the tumor, so we are unable to give a more definitive time span without tests. With treatment, as long as the cancer cells stay benign, he will live a healthy life for many years."

He opened his eyes again. Nurses and doctors rushed past the two, but he could see the looks on their faces: pity. Even some of the patients in the hallway wanted to give their condolences, but he wanted none of that. He stared at Sid for a long, silent moment before whispering: "I don't believe it."

Sid frowned. "I'm sorry."

Dean shook his head, letting his eyes move between the doctor and the film. "No, do another test. It is not right. It's not true. Shit, just do another scan!" He was starting to lose it. His anger was building up—it was just a headache, that's all it was. That's what he wanted to hear. He wanted to hear that it was a really bad migraine and that with enough painkillers it'd go away. All he could see, though, was the film. That tumor would haunt him until the day he died. He wouldn't be able to scrub the film away from his mind.

Sid frowned. "It would only show what we know right now. If we just do more testing—" Dean felt a hand touch him on the shoulder, and he shrugged it off. Not this doctor, too, thought Dean; he didn't want any pity. He just wanted—Sid wanted to help him, but Dean pushed him away. "I need to be with Cas right now."

Sid felt the slightest shove from Dean occur as he walked past the doctor. Dean was in a haze. He didn't know what to do. How was he going to tell Cas? Worse, how was he going to cope with the cancer eating away at Cas's brain? "Dean, wait—" He heard his name being called out, but "It's a tumor" echoed louder and louder in his mind. Make it stop, he thought, as he brought his hands to his ears. He started to push other doctors and nurses out of the way, just to get back to Cas. He still could not believe it was a tumor.

"No," he whispered. Dean quickly opened and shut the door to the room, hiding himself in the dark chasm that was holding his angel down to the bed. Dean didn't know what to do. He saw the girl still by her dad's side, still holding onto his hands, and he rushed over to Cas. He was still sleeping.

What was he supposed to do? What did he have to do to save Cas? "It's a tumor" continued to repeat itself in his head, and he brought his hands to his ears again. No, he thought. He's lying. They're all lying. It's a lie. God, tell me it's a lie.

He closed his eyes as he slumped back down onto the chair next to the bed. The words kept haunting him, and all he could do was shake his head in denial. There was no way. He could feel his heart pound against his rebuilt ribcage, his eyes water, and he shook his head. Not again. He opened his eyes and saw Cas's hand slumped by his side. Even though the words in his head would not leave, he reached out to grab the hand with his own, holding them for dear life. No, he refused to believe that it was a tumor, that something was eating away at his brain. Moving the chair closer to the bed, he brought their hands to his lips, kissing the fingers as he started to cry.

Why was it happening to him? Why was any of this happening to the both of them? It was a migraine, that's all it was. Why was Cas starting to die? Dean brought their hands to his forehead and closed his eyes. Cas had different pains to worry about, but Dean felt he was sharing the pain. How Cas did not cry with the pain surrounding his entire body, Dean was not sure. But the tears fell, and he would not allow them to stop.

He couldn't open his eyes for the rest of the night. He was too busy making a call to someone that was not important to him, but more to Cas.

"Dear God, save him."

x x x

Little notes:

Barman: angel of intelligence

Heman: angel leader of the heavenly choir, whose name means "trust"

Sophia: angel whose name means "wisdom"

Leo: an angel who thwarts demons

Posterior Fossa: contains the fourth ventricle, cerebellum, and the brain stem.

"Sid": Nickname I gave for the angel Sizouze, who is the angel of prayer.