Castiel was done with life.
Everything had become too much, had become too painful for him to bear. Most days he wore a stoic mask and was a master of his emotions. Yet today it felt as if he couldn't breathe. Castiel was being swept into a torrential downpour of despair and there was little hope that he would be able to withstand the flood.
He had come out to his father last year though he had known his sexuality since an early age. Castiel was shocked by the violent denial that his father exhibited upon hearing his confession. His eyes had become hard and angry, cheeks flushed and hair standing wildly from running his hands through them. He had left after the fifth time Castiel had tried to explain it to his father and he hadn't heard from him for a week.
When he did finally come back, he was drunk out of his mind and slurring slurs at Castiel as if he were the very scum of hell instead of his son. Tears threatened but the teenager refused to let them fall, knowing that his father would seize upon the weakness as proof of how sub-human gays were.
Most of the time the man just coldly ignored Castiel, providing for him silently and without any love. However, when he was drunk, as he was now apt to become, he became a very scary man. First it had been throwing things, then shoving, a hard twist of the arm or push to the ground. Eventually he began to escalate even more.
Castiel hadn't been doing anything to warrant the hard slap his father had given him. It was backhanded and cruel. He had been watching a TV program when his father walked in just as the handsome lead character dove into a pool. Castiel had noticed the man's attractiveness but certainly wasn't staring lewdly at him. Still his father had roughly grabbed his arm, hauling his son to his feet before delivering the brutal blow. Several more followed the first as his father bellowed his fury at his son's gayness.
Months later and his father's anger had eventually shifted into a profound disgust so that he would sneer whenever he was in the same house as Castiel. The abuse was everywhere; physical, verbal and emotional.
Castiel was only seventeen and he knew now that he couldn't wait the ten more months for his eighteenth birthday. He had thought of running away several times but knew that no one would take him in. Who would want an ugly, weak gay boy anyways? Castiel sometimes thought of his elder brother Gabriel but every time he thought of calling him, he would remember how his short brother still thought he was straight and would probably be just as disgusted with him when he found out.
There was no other option. None of his teachers had seemed to notice and he had lost all of his friends. The only human interaction Castiel ever got was the slice of his father's words and blows he received.
It was only ten more months of torture but he needed to escape now.
Everything had led up to this moment, standing atop the tallest bridge in the city. Very few cars passed by as Castiel gazed down at the pavement below him. He had no note in hand or at home, seeing as he was pretty sure his father would be more relieved than curious about his suicide.
Taking a deep breath, Castiel stepped up on the bridge railing and felt his tattered trench coat flutter in the cool evening wind. He closed his eyes and tried to let that rumoured peace flood his system just as he was about to pitch forward.
Then suddenly a voice sounded behind him.
"Hey you! Yeah you in the trench coat! Wait! Wait!"
Castiel almost lost his balance and toppled over anyways when he turned his head slightly to see who had called for him. At least he had assumed the person had been speaking to him seeing as the bridge was practically deserted now save them.
He saw a teenage boy about his age striding purposefully towards him. He was broad shouldered and tall, with short blond hair and tanned skin. Castiel had never seen so beautiful a face with his straight nose, full lips and gleaming green eyes. The boy slowed as he neared him, holding his hands out peacefully as if approaching a skittish animal.
Castiel tightened his grip on the railing. This was his choice and he wasn't going to allow some stranger to take it away just yet.
The boy was eyeing him warily and for a moment they both stared at each other, an ocean meeting a forest. Castiel instantly recognised the pull of attraction towards the boy and hated himself for it. He really must be a disgusting creature if this was how he looked upon the first innocent boy to wander by. He wondered if he had already tainted the beautiful teenager before him just by thinking his gay thoughts.
There was no telling how much time had passed till the boy spoke again. "What's your name?" he asked, his voice smooth and level.
"Castiel," he whispered after a moment, licking his dry lips and breaking eye contact. That green gaze seemed to burn right into his soul and he really didn't want this perfect boy to see the demons hidden in there.
"Castiel," the boy repeated as if testing out his name. "That's the name of an angel right?"
He nodded, dumbfounded because nobody had ever known what his name was. Castiel was pretty sure that nobody even knew his name anyways.
"Yes," he finally replied, "The Angel of Thursday."
"That's pretty cool, my name's Dean Winchester, like the rifle. Not nearly as poetic as being named after an angel though."
The boy had stuck his hands into his leather jacket and seemed to have a relaxed posture about him though his eyes were still nervously darting between Castiel and the open air in front of him.
Castiel usually spoke very sparingly but Dean made it easier to converse. "My parents were very religious," he said.
Dean nodded. "Can't say mine were but my Mom had this huge fascination with angel lore and stuff. She used to always say angels were watching over me."
The suicidal boy thought of his own mother, who had passed away years ago. She used to say the same sort of thing and that God watched over and loved him. He wondered if she would have continued to say as much if she had found out his secret before she died.
When Castiel didn't respond, Dean continued. "She died when I was really young, drove my dad to drinking and he died in a car accident last year. I just moved here to live with my Uncle Bobby and my brother Sammy."
"I'm very sorry to hear about your losses."
"Don't be," Dean waved away his condolences. "Me and Sammy are better off without him and I didn't tell you that to get your sympathy."
Castiel turned more towards the blond boy. "Then why did you tell me that?" he asked curiously.
He shrugged. "I dunno. Making conversation."
"That's a pretty serious conversation."
"It's a pretty serious moment."
The black haired boy tensed at that, suddenly feeling judged and afraid. Dean immediately noticed his change in posture and hurried to reassure.
"Whoa, it OK Cas. I didn't mean to dig at you, I'm just worried for you is all."
Castiel relaxed slightly and decided to ignore his hearts flutter. No one had been worried for him in over a year. It felt strange.
"You called me Cas?"
The teenager ran his fingers through his hair and Castiel watched the movement carefully. "Yeah, is that OK? I can call you Castiel if you want."
"No it's fine," he replied, the barest of smiles ghosting his chapped lips. "Just no one's ever given me a nickname before."
Dean grinned, "Well luckily that's my speciality. My brother Sam hates it when I call him Sammy so I make sure to say it as much as possible."
Castiel's heart clenched thinking of his own brother Gabriel. He hadn't gotten along with their father at all and had left the moment he turned eighteen. "You seem fond of him," Castiel observed quietly.
"Yeah," Dean smiled at him in a way that made his stomach flip. "I don't know what I would do without the squirt."
They fell into a short silence and Castiel felt himself panicking at the idea of Dean leaving. Their conversation had been far from stimulating so he was probably bored and wanted to leave. Just as he was casting about for another topic to keep him there just a while longer, the boy spoke.
"Hey Cas," he said softly.
"Why are you up there?"
Castiel's stomach dropped. Any topic but that one. He turned away from Dean and faced the darkening city that stretched out before him. How could he answer that? How could he stand watching this beautiful boy's face twist in disgust and hurl the same hateful words that his father had. It would break everything in Castiel.
Eventually he became aware of the fact that Dean was calling his name.
"Cas? Cas! Please talk to me. You don't have to tell me please, please stay with me. We can talk about something else I don't mind." Dean rambled on, his eyes frantic and his body tense as if he were seconds away from lunging forwards.
The blue-eyed boy swallowed. Though he was a stranger, Dean deserved the truth. He couldn't lie to him and say that his father abused him for no reason; he needed to know why he earned the beatings.
Castiel gripped the railing tighter and spoke in a small voice. "M-my father hates m-m-me because… because I'm… I'm gay. He hits me and hurts me and yells at me and shoves me and calls me names like f-faggot and lady and wants me to d-die. It's his birthday today, it'll be my final pr-pres-s-sent."
His eyes had been closed throughout his confession and when he finally risked a look at Dean he almost fell over in surprise. The beautiful boy's face was crumpled in pain and heartbreak. Castiel searched his eyes for long minutes trying to find the revulsion in them but was unable to detect any.
"Oh God, Cas… Castiel I'm so sorry. You shouldn't have had to go through that at all," Dean said in a wrecked voice laden with emotion. "Nobody deserves that."
Confused, Castiel replied, "Didn't you hear what I said? I'm gay. I've fallen to the Devil's influence. Of course I deserve it."
Dean shook his head vehemently. "No," he said loudly, "Being gay does not mean you should be treated like dirt. Your dad's in the wrong here, not you."
He was unsure exactly how to respond to that statement and was extremely sceptical of its validity.
The blond boy seemed to understand his silence and continued. "Look it's OK to be gay. I'm bi myself. There are a lot of people out there who know that it's perfectly natural, that it's who you were born to be. There's nothing wrong with you and you are certainly not under the Devil's control."
Castiel sagged against the railing and tried to wrap his mind around all this new information. People thought this was OK? Dean thought he was normal? Dean was bi…
"What is bi?" he asked breathlessly.
"It means that I'm attracted to boys and girls."
He was dazed. "You like boys…"
Dean chuckled, "Yeah usually more than girls but occasionally I crush on them too. I haven't really been able to date one since my last girlfriend though, she was a nutcase…"
Castiel finally met Dean's eyes again and felt his heart stutter again. Here was somebody like him at long last. "What happened?" he asked finally.
"Long story," Dean grimaced. "I'd be willing to tell you it if you let me buy you a hot chocolate though. It's cold up here."
As if on cue Castiel shivered. He didn't know how long they'd been talking there but now that he looked around he saw that the sun had nearly set. For a moment he was filled with indecision, perched atop the freezing red railing. He looked between the long drop downwards and the nervous, hopeful smile that Dean bore. His hand was held out to him and without even realizing he'd fully made his choice, Castiel's pale hand was slipping into Dean's tanned one.
Dean helped him down from the railing but instead of dropping his hand he just pulled the dark haired boy into an unexpected embrace. Castiel froze, his breath caught in his throat as he felt Dean warm arms wrap tightly around him.
"Don't ever scare me like that again Cas," Dean whispered in his ear, his hot breathe making him shiver. "Please, never again."
Castiel couldn't promise anything but he did allow his hands to tentatively wrap around Dean in return. He hadn't been hugged in a long time and the feeling made tears spring to his eyes.
After another few moments Dean stepped away and smiled at him with similarly watery eyes. He rubbed his trench coat clad arms quickly as if trying to warm Cas up.
"Alright Cas, time for some hot chocolate," he said brightly, clasping Cas' hand once again to pull him across the bridge, chattering all the way.
Castiel took one last look at the bridge behind him before focussing fully on Dean and his smooth voice and beautiful green eyes.
He hadn't looked back since then.
A/N: Wow so this was my first angsty story ever, I'm not sure if I did it right but I tried! I put this fic as complete for now though I might have some ideas for another chapter or two. If anyone wants me to continue this or write an epilogue or has any ideas about a direction to take I would love to hear about it in a review. Or if you have some CC that would be really awesome as well :) I would really like to know how I faired in the world of angst