Castiel "Cas" LeCoeur liked writing things out with a pencil and a piece of paper, not with a computer. He loved the smell of books, old and new, and he liked his eggs over easy with toast. Some days, he wore a suit and tie to class. Others, he simply threw on grungy jeans and an old t-shirt. He wakes up at the same time every morning, goes to bed at the same time every night, regardless of whether or not his homework is done.
None of this, though, is any reason for his classmates to stare and whisper about him, which they do whenever he happens to be within their line of vision. No, they treat him like a leper, he supposes, because essentially is one.
Cas is bipolar. He also has mild delusions and a pre-disposition to addiction. Every day at noon, regardless of where he is, Cas will sit down and take medications. There are six of them, which he counts exactly three times before finally swallowing them all.
He's not bad at hiding it, at least not at first. But, like everyone, he has good days and bad days. The problem is that his bad days are atrocious, and his good days are phenomenal. There is rarely any middle ground for Castiel. The meds help, of course, but his disease will never truly go away.
School is not easy for him. His peers tease him for being weird. He supposes that he is, but if he could only explain it all to them. He would tell them how, if he doesn't take his meds, he ends up on the floor in the fetal position in a panic attack. Or how there are mornings where it takes all he has to get out of bed, so he neglects the shower and shave and grabs whatever is on his bedroom floor. Or how the days where he actually speaks up in class are usually worse, because that means he's having a manic episode. And his mania usually results in him waking up, hungover, on a street corner with no idea what has happened.
Again, his meds usually helped when it came to the extremes. He didn't wake up disoriented and jonesing anymore, but if he spoke out in class, he knew it wasn't simply because he had a question.
Castiel is 24. Older than the average age of his classmates, but medical visits and hospital wards made it very hard to keep up with the semester.
Nights are usually worse. It's like his brain goes into hyper-drive and he can't turn it off. Then, it goes one of two ways. He either cries himself to sleep, or he starts making plans for things he knows good and well will never happen.
Add in the fact that the last year of his community college career starts tomorrow, and you've got a recipe for disaster. So at 11:30, he took his sleeping medication and went to bed, as he always did. His alarm was set for 8. While most kids were excited to start the new school year and hoping they made all sorts of new friends, Castiel simply prayed that he would make it through this semester without incident.
Professor Dean Winchester loved literature. He loved teaching literature. He loved literature majors. What most definitely didn't love is the dickwad who decided that he would be the perfect person to teach Math 145 or "University Math for Humanities Majors". He'd taught it for a 4 semesters now, so he had it down pat, but still. Dumb idea.
He rubbed and hand over his face and sighed. It was 8:45 in the morning, he was wearing a light blue button down with a dark blue sweater-vest, and he hadn't had his coffee yet. Having a 9am class this year was going to suck.
One of Dean's favorite things to do was watch his students. Not in a creepy way like the physics professor they just hired, but he just liked to get to know his students. By the end of the first class session, he could usually tell you their names, what their major was, and what kind of person they were.
The girl who just walked in, he decided, was the nerdy sort. Not only was she the first on to arrive, but she also took the front row center seat. A few jocks, sporting lacrosse and baseball jerseys, sauntered in and sat on the side of the room farthest from the door. The boy who walked in next, though, was not the usual sort he had in this class.
He was a small man, in comparison to the burly boys in the room, but he was not unhealthy or weak by any means. His hair stuck out at every angle, as if he'd simply run his fingers through it after waking up. The boy wore jeans and a Def Leppard t-shirt. After entering the room with his head down, he walked down the first row and took the seat in the very back corner. As the rest of the students filed in, he glanced at each one, but his attention was on the odd boy who'd captured his interest.
His name is Castiel, Dean finds out when he calls roll. It fits him, as strange a name as it is.
After giving the speech that ever professor gives on the first day of classes, and going through the syllabus, Dean dismisses everyone.
"Ah, Castiel?" He catches the boy as he tries to slip out the door. "May I speak with you?"
Castiel swallowed dryly. "Yes, Professor?"
Dean picked several papers up off his desk, "I see you've taken this class before?" He gets no answer. "Castiel?"
"Cas…It's, um…" he stutters. "You can call me Cas."
"Alright, Cas. It says here that you've taken this class before?"
He simply nods.
"Why is there no grade listed, then? And why are you taking it again?" Dean's tone was not interrogative, it sounded as though he genuinely cared.
"I…had to end up dropping the class that semester." Cas was never one for divulging information, but for some reason he continued. "I actually had to drop all my classes that semester, but…it was after the add/drop deadline. So I just got an incomplete. I, uh, I guess they didn't note it as such in the file…or…something." He trailed off at the end. He had finally looked up from his feet to find Professor Winchester look at him intensely.
"Okay, then," Dean stood up. "I wish you better luck this semester. I look forward to seeing you in class."
"Thank you, Professor." Cas nodded to him, then turned towards the door.
"Cas?" He turned around to see Professor Winchester smiling at him. "Call me Dean."