Chapter Thirty Two: I Can't Help It
I stirred from my deep sleep, first tossing my head in agony. The bright lights that shined through my thin eyelids notified me quickly that I wasn't in my bed. I wasn't even in my apartment. My entire body ached with an excruciating pain, and I started to open my eyes but quickly shut them back once I felt the sting of light as it jabbed at my pupils. I lifted my arms to rub my eyes, only to jolt up in a panic when one of my arms wouldn't come easily. I could feel something tugging me back as it nipped like a bee sting.
All at once my eyes were open and gawking down at my arm. A blue I.V needle stuck out from the middle of my arm. A piece of clear adhesive tape kept it in place and dried blood covered the area around it.
"Brooke!" I heard from my left. I turned my head and saw Auntie sauntering over to me with a smile.
"What the…where am I? What happened?" I stammered. Panic slowly washed over my body completely.
"Your appendix busted like a balloon, sweetie. They had to take it out. You passed out in school! How're you feeling?" She asked, sitting down in a chair next to me.
Suddenly the last thoughts of my memory came flooding back. The last thing I remembered was looking up at Castiel as he carried me through the hallways. The rest was covered in a haze.
"Am…am I alright?" I asked, ignoring her question and feeling another sharp jab of pain from my lower abdomen.
Auntie assured me that I was as I frantically lifted the blankets and my hospital gown to find the source of the pain.
I peered down in amazement at the surgery site on my lower abdomen. I never once had anything happen to me that granted me with a scar on my body and was actually quite pleased with it. The black stitches stuck out and poked in all sorts of directions and the dried blood around it made for an even cooler appearance. As cool as it was, one look at it, and the pain throughout my entire body, especially this area, was now accounted for.
I shook my head, trying to collect the thoughts running through my mind. They had operated on me; took my appendix out, and I was just finding out about it now.
"I guess I should wake Castiel up…" Auntie said to me with a smile and a wink.
I tilted my head in confusion and looked over her shoulder in utter shock. There, sitting in a chair with his arms crossed and his legs stretched out sat Castiel. His head was rested on the wall and his eyes were closed. I peered up at the clock and read the time. It was one o'clock in the morning.
"What is he doing here?" I asked her as she made her way over to him.
"He's been here since before you were even off the operating table…" She told me with a warm grin.
She leaned down and shook his shoulder just barely and he lunged forward, his eyes shooting open. When they fell on me, a sleepy smile curled up to his cheeks.
"Brooke…" He cooed, quickly coming over to me and sitting beside me. "You've finally decided to join us!" He added with a snicker.
I couldn't help but smile when he came over to me with that snarky grin across his face. It was good to see him here.
"You people must be pretty boring if you say I've been asleep since school this afternoon, jeez." I laughed, trying to make a joke of the entire situation.
I silently winced in pain, trying to hide it from them. I had obviously put them through enough.
"We're the boring ones? You're the one who's been snoring in that bed for nine hours!" Castiel sneered, pulling his chair up to the side of my bed next to my laughing Auntie.
"There's the Castiel I know, making fun of the girl who just had emergency surgery. Why are you here, anyway?" I asked him, tilting my head.
"I told you this morning, I have nothing better to do." He shrugged, a small blush creeping up his cheeks. I laughed. I was absolutely amazed at the loyalty he had showed me. I was so lucky to have him as a friend.
Auntie picked up her phone and started to press the keys.
"I'm calling your parents; they've been waiting to talk to you…" Auntie said with a smile, handing me the ringing phone. I hated the fact that I had concerned my parents from so far away.
"Christa, how is she doing?" I heard my father's gruff voice at the other end of the line.
I instantly winced just thinking about the phone bill I had already racked up. I didn't get to talk to my parents a lot because of this reason.
"Dad, it's me, Brooklyn." I said, calling myself by my full name, which they for some reason insisted on always calling me.
"Brooklyn! How are you feeling, darling? Oh honey, Brooklyn is on the phone!" I heard my father express, calling to my mom, whose voice was soon detectable through the phone.
"I'm okay, dad. Really…" I told them sheepishly.
"We've been so worried about you! Are you in a lot of pain?" My frantic mother asked me. I could tell she had snatched the phone away from my father.
"Eh, it's not that bad…" I told her, lying of course. It was pretty bad, but I wasn't about to worry anyone.
I talked to my parents for just a few more minutes while Castiel and Auntie seemed to chat about me as they watched me with smiles. I was assuming that they had gotten to know each other pretty well after sitting together in the same room for over nine hours.
When I hung up the phone and handed it to Auntie, I looked up as I saw a face I didn't recognize coming through the door.
"Oh, you're up! How long have you been up?" A man dressed in scrubs, who I assumed was a doctor, chirped happily as he walked towards me.
"I just woke up, actually…" I told him, shrugging my shoulders shyly.
The doctor came over to me and introduced himself before taking the stethoscope from his neck, pressing the buds of it to his ears and taking the base in his hands, putting it up to my chest. He listened as I breathed in and out slowly, and then nodded his head took my temperature by placing a small clip sensor on my finger and glancing at the screen.
"Everything looks good. Feeling any pain, Brooklyn?" He asked me with a smile.
I was feeling a lot of pain. It seemed as though my entire body ached and stung, especially my abdomen. It was almost excruciating.
"Um, you could say that…" I told him with a shrug. I didn't need his sympathy.
"Do you know the last time the nurses came in and gave her more dilaudid in her I.V?" The doctor asked Auntie.
She raised her eyebrow in thought.
"It's been around five hours since a nurse has put anything in her I.V, if that's what you're asking…" Castiel muttered sheepishly, his eyes on the floor.
Was he really paying attention that well? I must've worried him a lot…
"Five hours?" The doctor exclaimed, seeming taken aback.
"At least, yeah…" Auntie agreed, nodding to Castiel.
"Oh dear, you must be in a tremendous amount of pain. I am so sorry, I am going to go and get you some dilaudid right now. I truly apologize…" He told me, seriously.
I nodded my head, gritting my teeth as the pain only worsened.
Castiel and Auntie looked on, seeming worried.
The doctor hurried out of the room, presumably to get me some pain management, which I was definitely looking forward to.
"Brooke, tell us the truth, how bad is the pain?" Auntie asked me, concern on her face.
"I mean, I'm not on my death bed or anything…" I shrugged, still not wanting any attention.
"Stop being so cryptic, little girl…it's okay to admit that you're hurting. They're gonna get you some good drugs, don't worry." Castiel told me with a wink.
The bags under his eyes concerned me. Auntie looked exhausted and disheveled as well, and I only felt terrible for making them stay here with me for so long. I wanted to send them both home for a good night's sleep.
"You should both go home…I'll be okay, really." I told them sincerely.
"Well, I am probably going to head home once the doctor eases my worries a little more. I was going to beg my boss for the day off tomorrow, but Castiel has agreed to stay with you overnight. You know how heartless my boss can be. I'll be back here right after work." Auntie explained to me.
I was relieved at least Auntie had decided to go home and get some rest. Her job was demanding, and I knew that she was only doing what she had to do.
Castiel staying with me overnight was out of the question, though.
"Absolutely not, you need to go home, Cas…" I told him sternly. I wasn't going to take no for an answer.
"Brooke, I'm not leaving you here alone." He told me, crossing his arms.
"Yes you are. I'm a big girl, I'll be fine!" I whined, his stubbornness getting on each and every last nerve.
"That's what you said right before you passed out in my arms…" Castiel muttered, giving me that look.
I rolled my eyes.
"I'll have you out of here by the end of the night, don't worry…" I grumbled to him, shaking my head.
I appreciated his kindness, but it was too much. He was burdening himself for me, and it only made me feel terrible.
"I'm shaking in my boots..." Castiel snickered; an unsure smile sprawled across his face.
Just as I tried to think of a witty comeback, the doctor came sauntering back into the room, holding a syringe and a vial of some kind of medicine. I cringed when I saw the needle attached to the syringe.
"I apologize again, Brooklyn. I have some pain medication here for you, which should have you feeling much better in just a few moments." He told me as he unscrewed the cap to the needle off and stuck it into the vial, sucking up a certain amount of its contents.
"Am…am I going to need a shot?" I asked meekly. I wasn't exactly too hot about injections.
He snickered as he approached me.
"No, no…that's what your I.V is for! I'll just inject this into the I.V line and it'll enter your system that way. It won't hurt at all!" He told me kindly.
I breathed a sigh of relief as he grasped my I.V line and slowly poked the needle through a tube at the top that contained the drips of my fluids.
"There, you should be feeling much better in no time. The dilaudid should make you a little out of touch, in a sense. You might feel giggly, maybe even a little loopy, but that is expected. You'll probably fall asleep again after a while since it will also make you a bit drowsy." He explained.
"I'm going to get high off of this stuff?" I asked him blatantly. Castiel and Auntie snickered in the background.
"You could say that…" The doctor chuckled.
"Great…" I sighed, letting out a tiny giggle for some comic relief.
"We'll be back in a little while to check up on you. Don't hesitate to call for a nurse if you need anything!" The doctor chirped before heading for the door to leave.
"Hear that little girl; you're going to be a silly mess in just a minute. I have a feeling we're going to have fun tonight!" Castiel sneered.
"You're not staying here tonight!" I barked at Castiel. He rolled his eyes at me.
"Yeah, we'll see about that…" He snickered to himself.
"I hope that stuff makes you feel a little better at least, sweetie." Auntie told me with a smile, patting my hand in hers.
I looked up at her, my eyes fluttering to focus on her image as it suddenly blurred.
"Hm?" I asked, laughing to myself. Everything seemed a little funnier for some reason…
Auntie snickered, looking over to Castiel before looking back to me.
"Working already?" Castiel asked with a laugh.
I just looked around the room. Everything seemed so much more…beautiful. So big, bright, and wide. I was taking in my surroundings with a new sense of awareness.
I brought my hands slowly to my face, turning them over and studying them. When I heard a chorus of laughter I whipped my head to the side.
"Wh-what are you laughing at me for?" I stammered, a smile curling up on my lips. I was definitely not feeling myself.
"How are you feeling, Brooke?" Auntie asked me with a grin.
I brought that question to the back of my mind and pondered my answer. I was feeling great.
"I'm…I'm good!" I breathed, nodding my head.
"You're hopped up, is what you are!" Castiel laughed to himself.
"Want me to turn the TV on, sweetie?" Auntie asked me. I stared at her for a moment, trying to decide if I had heard her correctly.
"I-I can watch TV?" I asked her. I seemed to be dumbfounded by this.
She giggled, covering her laughter with her hand.
"Yes, of course! That's what that big TV is for!" She expressed, pointing to a large TV hanging from the wall.
"Whoa…" I gasped, tilting my head to study the TV a little closer. My auntie took the TV remote in her hand and turned it on.
"What should we watch?" Auntie asked me.
"Hmm…" I hummed, lost in thought.
"Is this okay?" She asked, flipping to my favorite celebrity gossip channel.
I nodded my head wildly, attempting to sit up in bed and glue my eyes to the TV.
"Cas, are you sure you'll be okay here? I can always call out…" I heard Auntie ask Castiel as I watched TV aimlessly. I listened, but couldn't rip my eyes away from the screen.
Did my auntie just call Castiel Cas? I giggled to myself as I thought about it.
"Yeah, I'd rather be here than worrying about her at home. You go home and get some rest." He told her sincerely. I smiled to myself. I had a good best friend.
"Thank you so much for all of your help today; you're such a good boy. If only I was younger, I'd snatch a boy like you right up!" Auntie told Castiel with a laugh.
I giggled at this. He was a good boy, wasn't he? Silly Castiel…
"Brookie, I'm gonna head home, is that okay?" Auntie asked me, now coming into my field of vision.
I nodded my head with a smile. I was glad that Auntie was going home to get rest.
She leaned down and grabbed me, giving me a warm embrace. I wrapped my free arm around her, my eyes peeking over her shoulder to the TV.
"I'm so glad my favorite niece is okay!" She whispered happily in my ear. I chuckled and looked at her, wide eyed.
"I'm your only niece!" I slurred, still giggling.
"And my favorite!" She smiled, taking her purse from the chair beside my bed.
"I'll be back in the morning! Don't hesitate to call my cell if you need me!" She called out before opening the door.
"We'll be just fine!" Castiel called back. I raised my hand to wave to her and she blew me a kiss before quietly closing the door.
When she left, I fixed my eyes again on the TV and Castiel came and sat by my side.
"You really watch this crap?" He asked me. I turned to him, squinting my eyes in confusion.
"Wh-what are you talking about?" I asked him, feeling confused by his words. This 'crap' was entertaining!
Castiel laughed, shaking his head.
"You really are hopped up, aren't you?"
"I am NOT hopped up…" I giggled. I couldn't stop laughing at everything.
"Mhm, and I do NOT have red hair!" He countered.
"Y-yes you do…" I was confused on why he would even say that. Clearly he DOES have red hair…
"It was sarcasm, little girl..."
He rolled his eyes with a snarky grin.
I laughed, reminding myself that Castiel was indeed a sarcastic bastard.
"But…you weren't born with red hair…"
I had always wondered what his natural hair color was. Brunette like me, maybe. Possibly even blonde. I couldn't picture him as anything other than the fiery red head that I knew.
"Yes I was!" He argued back. I looked at him, tilting my head in confusion.
"R-really?" I slurred.
He again snickered to himself.
"No, not really. I have black hair under all this red, but I think it looks better red. What do you think?" He asked me, leaning back in his chair and looking up at his own hair.
"Black? Like Leigh's! No, I quite like your red hair I think…" I muttered, reaching out and grabbing for a strand of his hair. I tousled it in my fingers and looked up into his dark brown and grey eyes. He blinked at me, a smile rising to his cheeks.
"Good answer." He muttered, his eyes falling to the floor.
"Are you gonna leave too?" I asked him. I suddenly didn't want to be alone. I wanted him to stay with me.
"Do you want me to leave?" He asked me, tilting his head. It was almost…cute. Castiel was cute.
I shook my head.
"No…no, I want you to stay with me." I told him, leaning back and resting my head on my soft pillow.
"Good, because I wasn't going to leave anyway." He said with a smile.
My eyes fluttered. It was a wonder I was feeling sleepy again after sleeping a straight nine hours.
"W-What about Demon?" I asked him, different thoughts floating around in my head.
"Lysander is taking care of Demon for me tonight." He told me softly.
"W-Why are you here?"
I was wondering once and for all why he was staying by my side so loyally.
"Because you're my best friend, Brooke. You're very special to me, and I want to be there for you."
He sounded serious and sincere. I looked over at him and smiled.
"You're growing soft on me, Cas…" I whispered, now closing my eyes.
It was a far cry from the sarcastic bad ass I had grown to know, but I liked this side of him, even if I did give him shit for it.
"Sorry, I can't help it. I can't help what you do to me…" He sighed. I opened my heavy eyes to look up at him once more.
"Wh-what's that supposed to mean?" I asked him. My head was spinning and I was feeling more and more out of touch than ever before.
"It's nothing, forget it." He suddenly murmured, scratching the back of his neck.
My eyes fluttered, and the world around me seemed to grow more and more heavy. I had a reply in mind, but before I knew it, I was slipping back into a deep sleep that I swear nothing could have waken me from.