"Physical torture was good to start out with. It always is, for the beginners." Lucifer sits at his spot on top of the desk, nonchalantly picking at his fingers, not even looking at the (once was, fallen, doesn't deserve to be) angel pressed against the headboard of a thinly blanketed and much too creaky bed. He doesn't look up at his big brother's words, knowing that looking makes things bad, and talking to him makes things worse. He has to listen, though – nothing can stop him from listening. Not even ripping out his own ears. He vaguely remembers the blood coating his hands before the demon, Meg, always the same nurse, cleaned it up and wiped it away. His ear was back and completely healed by dinnertime. It was unfortunate.

"Beatings and floggings, at first. Just like in the good old days, you know, Cassie?" He flicks some dried blood from under his nails over onto the bed. Castiel doesn't react. "Good way to take out your frustrations. Hearing the whip crack, seeing the blood run down his back, hearing him scream his lungs out. Nothing quite beats the feeling of hearing him scream, hearing him break, for the very first time." Lucifer lets out a chuckle. "And boy, could he scream. You should've heard him, Cas. A thing of fucking beauty."

Castiel breathes out, and clutches his legs closer to his chest. A patterned woolen blanket drapes over his shoulder. Sam bought it for him. Wrapped it around him like a wing, rambling about the temperature of the room and the shitty food here and we're coming back for you, Cas, you know that right? before the man (hero, friend) wrapped his arms around him. It took the angel a few seconds to realize that it was a hug. He silently relished it, feeling safe in Sam's arms for the first and last time since he came to the institution.

"We moved onto the more inventive stuff after that," his big brother continues without a hitch. "Making him choose between carving out his eyes or eating his intestines as they were pulled out."

Castiel clenches his fists against the legs of his pants, wishing that Lucifer would just stop, please. Maybe Lucifer doesn't hear his silent mental pleas. Probably he doesn't care.

"Pulling out each individual muscle in his body, and then the tissue, and then the bones. Piece by piece."

Castiel starts to squirm, his stomach churning violently from the images of Sam that keep flashing in his mind, that Lucifer keeps putting in his mind. He clutches the white fabric of his pants tighter.

"Cutting out his tongue and shoving it down his throat with an iron prod." The devil smiles. "That's one of my personal favorites. Got to cut his stomach open and look for the tongue afterwards!"

Castiel doesn't want to see it, see the hunter with the gentle hands (wrapping around him, keeping him safe warm loved) and the kind eyes and too-big heart with too much faith in those who don't deserve it – see him suffer and bleed and cry and he can't save him, he never could

"Of course you couldn't, little brother," Lucifer interrupts, looking at Castiel for the first time, an amused grin on his face. It's the kind of smile a parent gives an unrealistic, dreamy child, as if it's cute that Castiel would think otherwise. "Anyway, as I was saying…the physical torture is always fun, but man, mental torture with that kid was something else, Cas." He puts his hands behind his head in a reminiscing manner. "Hell, he hardly needed my help, with all the crap he has shoved in that grapefruit of his."

Lucifer puts his feet on the chair in front of him, leaning it back on its legs. "Of course, there was the obvious stuff – his big brother being the most effective weapon, no shock there – and then his mountain high pile of Daddy issues, though I guess I can't really blame him. Negligent, abandoning parents are the worst." He frowns for half a second at that, before completely lighting up and leaning forward. "Oh, I almost forgot the best part! His little ol' crush on you."

Castiel looks up. He knows he shouldn't interact with him, he knows. But Castiel's eyes turn round and wide, and he speaks aloud despite himself. "You – you lie." Sam has always been kind to him, but that is just in the human's nature. Besides, if anyone knows what a worn and beaten thing Castiel is, it's Sam. He's as far from an ideal as he can be. Sam can't harbor such affectionate feelings for him, especially now. Can he? Castiel starts to dig his nails into his leg, too confused to let little bubble of warm that felt so much like Sam himself grow in his belly at the thought that Lucifer is telling the truth. It's smothered by the ever-resounding trill in his ears of you do not deserve it.

Lucifer's satisfied smile only grows. "Sammy's pretty good at hiding his secrets, but I know all of his like the back of my hand now, Cassie. I've been his imaginary friend for long enough."

Castiel clamps his mouth shut, pulls his knees in even closer. But Lucifer's hooked now, Castiel let him in. He gets off his chair to sit at the end of the bed, and Castiel tries very hard to not let out a scared yelp at his proximity. The devil is excited now, curious, a scientist ready to test his newest experiment.

"But out of all the torture that's out there, Cas, do you know what the most effective is?" he whispers, his expression twisted with pleasure and cruelty. "It's rape, brother. Being tied down, legs spread wide against your will, as another man's dick pushes into you. Over and over."

Castiel clamps his hands over his ears, but he can already see Sam in his mind's eye, vulnerable and naked, helpless. An indescribable fear in his eyes.

"Dean's face was the best to use, don't get me wrong. His pleas and whimpers for his big brother to stop are like music to my ears. The man who stopped Satan, begging, at my mercy and every whim." He traces a soft line from Castiel's foot to the top of his knee. Castiel doesn't kick, doesn't fight. It never does any good, it never stops him.

"But, there was always something…special about Sammy's reaction when I was fucking him in your meatsuit."

Castiel has to look at his brother at that, knowing what he's saying, but it can't be right, can't be true.

"When my – no, sorry your – dick thrust its way into his fine ass, when he cried out your name, begged for you to stop –"

"please, Cas, no-"

He shuts his eyes, starting to shake, nails digging into his ears –

"Nothing compares to the look in his eyes –"

As they look up at him, wet, broken, and stinging with betrayal –


"Because you were supposed to save him, Castiel. He never stopped believing in you, when Heaven and Hell and his own goddamn brother were really to throw him to the dogs. You were supposed to be the angel he prayed to since he was just a kid. His protector, his savior."

"No!" There's blood on his nails now, but he keeps scratching, make it stop no not Sam no

"And instead, you became the same thing that fucked him over his entire life. You used him and broke him like he was nothing." Lucifer's only inches away from his face now, and he can hear Sam's screams, or maybe they're his screams. Maybe they were never supposed to be separate in the first place.

"You did this to him, little brother."

The air turns to ice, the blood from his fingers run down his cheeks as he tries to rip out his own eyes so he can never see Sam like that again, never do that to him again. The blood mingles with a different sort of wetness from his eyes - tears, the first he's ever shed in his existence. His hands drop, and he lets the tears fall as he mutters, over and over to the image tattooed to his eyelids, "I'm sorry, Sam, I'm so sorry."

Lucifer pulls him close, and Castiel limps forward like a rag doll. With a sick sort of tenderness, he wipes the angel's blood and the tears away with his thumb.

"Come now, Castiel," Lucifer whispers, "Remember: angels don't cry."