Arthur put the book away, sighing softly. The book was annoying him - how did Castillo not see what was going on? Was he some kind of an idiot? And why was Rhett so depressed...? Arthur had lost a grandparent before, but he doubted that anything so extreme would come of it...
But then, he supposed that most people would think the same of him. Arthur wasn't even sure exactly what had happened to him to begin with.
He really didn't have much right to judge Castillo, he supposed - no one would ever expect their best friend to spontaneously develop an eating disorder, right?
Was it even spontaneous? Or had it always been coming, even since Arthur had been a child...?
He sighed, starting to get a headache. He looked at the little clock on Castillo's desk and saw it was after nine. Should he go back to the room? Or stay put?
...No. Castillo had told him to wait. And either way, he didn't want to know what had happened. He yawned softly, hoping that Alfred was alright...
What if something's happened? He thought to himself, What if he's hurt? What if he's hurt someone else...?
He shook his head, "No!" He thought aloud, trying to calm himself down, "Don't think about that. Everything is alright..." he sighed softly, trying to relax.
He'd had therapists in the past, before Castillo, who had taught him something called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that was meant to help him stay calm.
Breathe in, he thought, taking a deep breath, everything is alright. Breathe out, he let out a slow puff of air, Alfred is safe...
Breathe in, everything is alright. Breathe out, Alfred is safe...
Breathe in, everything is alright...
Breathe out...Alfred is...safe...
Arthur awoke with a start in the same room, still sitting in Castillo's office. The small lamp on the therapist's desk was still lit and the door was wide open, more light filling in from outside. A window was open, letting in the cool night air.
He was surprised to see Castillo sitting there.
Given that Arthur was seated at the desk, the young man sat in the chair that the teen usually took. He had his arms folded across his chest, his glasses sat on the desk. His eyes were closed as though he were asleep, but he was sat straight up in his usual proud, but not conceited kind of way.
The therapist opened his eyes at that, having waited to hear his name. His eyes were red, and he looked very tired. "Are you alright, Arthur?" He asked quietly. He waited a few moments before adding, "It's nearly three in the morning. I came back here looking for you but I'd found you talking in your sleep. I didn't want to wake you in case you said anything important is all. You know, about Alfred..." he trailed off, and sighed heavily, leaning back in his chair. "I'm sorry you needed to go through all of that."
Arthur blinked and was quiet, looking at him. He'd waited all this time for Arthur to wake up...? Even though it meant he couldn't go to sleep himself?
For a moment, it felt kind of nice that Castillo had let him be. But then he felt a bit angry and stood up. "Alright, now you listen to me, Castillo," he said in an unusually harsh tone, glaring at the man who sat before him, "I want to know exactly what is wrong with Alfred. I want to know what had happened and why Alfred is here in the first place, he doesn't even seem to have an eating disorder!" He half-yelled, banging his fist on the desk, "Is he dangerous? Why is he here? How did he know you before all of this and who the bloody hell is Locke?!" He blushed a bit as the last question came out, not having intended to ask it.
At that Arthur just stood there for a moment, realizing his outburst. "I-I'm sorry, Castillo." He said, sitting back down in his chair, "I just..."
"It's alright," The young man said, smiling gently at Arthur as he put his glasses back on. "None of this is your fault, it's okay to be angry or scared or sad, or all three..." he sighed and rested his head in his hands, "And I hate that I can't tell you anything, but everything Alfred and I speak about privately in session, the things that you want to know, I can't legally disclose."
Arthur looked down miserably. What was he supposed to do...? What could he do, what could he even say if Alfred were as unstable as this all had made him seem...?
Castillo stood, "Here," he held a tiny paper packet with something in it, "The nurse gave me this sleeping pill for you. She said you should take it once you were being walked back to your room..." he sighed softly.
He took it, looking at him, "You're allowed to give this to me?"
The man shrugged a bit, "Well...yeah. Your parents signed the waiver signing over all medicinal power to us. Besides, it's only that Z-quil stuff. Not really something that could hurt you compared to a prescription..." he sighed again as he thought, "Uh...your beds are still together. Do you want me to help you separate them?"
Noticing Arthur's momentary look of horror Castillo put his hands up gently, "No, no, Alfred's alright. He's in bed now, I just didn't know if you wanted to sleep close to him or not."
Arthur blushed, "It-it's not...we aren't doing anything..."
"What?" He blinked stupidly. How did Castillo know? Was it that obvious that nothing sexual was between him and Alfred? Was Alfred telling Castillo about him and Arthur? But he didn't ask, and simply took the pill from him, removing it from its tiny paper packaging, which had the pill's name, Zzzquil, printed in on it. He swallowed it and stood up, leaving the room with Castillo.
"I'll tell you what I can tell you, and not what I doubt Alfred would want you to know. But anything else you'll need to get from Alfred. Or from me in his presence and with his permission."
"Huh?" Arthur turned his sleepy attention to the young man, and nodded a bit.
The therapist nodded in turn, and was quiet for a moment, in thought, "Well..." he started, "I used to be a teacher, about three years ago. I was a teacher in the school that Alfred attended when he was fourteen as a freshman, a gym teacher."
Arthur remembered Alfred telling him; Castillo was certified as a therapist and as a physical education teacher as well. All at such a young age...
"I'd actually been finishing my last couple of years of studying psychology when I was teaching there." He shrugged, "It was a crappy school to be honest, but it put me through my classes and sent my twin boys to daycare. They were barely two at the time and my wife was pregnant so...well, that doesn't matter. I can't tell you what happened to Alfred or a lot about why he's here. He doesn't like for people to know. He doesn't like to be pitied."
That surprised Arthur. But...everyone knew the others' problems there, didn't they?
"So you were his teacher..."
"Yeah. Kind of."
Castillo yawned a bit, "Anyway, listen Arthur. I know what you saw today. I know that it frightened you." He said softly, looking at him, smiling gently. He saw that at those words Arthur began to cry, and Castillo sighed a bit and hugged him, trying to calm him down.
Arthur clung to the man, burying his face into his shirt. He didn't have any feeling for him - at least not in the way that he did for Alfred - Castillo was like...well...what he'd always wished Allistor was...
Arthur sniffled, "You're...you're like a brother..." he didn't know why he was saying it. Perhaps it was because this man - apart from Alfred of course - was one of the few to ever get through to him. Maybe it was because no one had ever held him, and told him it was alright. Maybe he was afraid he'd make the man uncomfortable...
"I know." He repeated, smiling softly. The smile faded as he let go of Arthur, "I need you to listen to me, though," he said earnestly, holding the boy by his shoulders, "That blue button above your door is there for a reason. It's a trigger that will set off an alarm on my phone if it's pressed. I need you to promise me that if something is wrong, if there's an emergency of some kind. If Alfred acts that way again..." he sighed and shook his head a bit, "I need you to press it without hesitation."
"He has a medical condition." He said abruptly. "Let's just leave it at that, okay...? Talk to Alfred about it. I'm sorry..." He wanted to tell him, he really did. But ethically, and legally if he did... "Go to sleep." He said gently, patting him on the back, "Everything will be alright..."
And at that Arthur realized that they were standing in front of his room. He was very drowsy from the Zzzquil now. "R-right.." he said softly, nodding a slow, disappointed kind of nod before he stepped in, closing the door behind him.
Arthur stood there in the dark room, looking as Alfred laid there, unmoving, "Alfred...?" He asked, taking a slow step closer.
Eventually he made his way over to his side of the bed, and looked at him, and was almost a little afraid.
Alfred was there, asleep, though he seemed to be almost trying to open his eyes...
They've sedated him, Arthur thought sadly so much that he can't even move...
Well, he could move a bit, but not enough to get up and walk around or get up and hug Arthur. Arthur didn't realize that Alfred was only asleep, and having a dream. A deep sleep, one that was almost impossible to be woken up from.
"Shh..." Arthur cooed gently as he laid down next to him, hearing a small whimper from Alfred, not realizing that the teen was having a nightmare.
The young man sighed as he puffed a little cloud of smoke from his lungs and into the air. He was leaning from the window in his own bedroom, looking through his phone, reading and re-reading texts sent from his wife:
-cnt wait to see you Friday fo famly weeknd. The boys miss you
-Rhetts coming with the fam, wanted to know if Teia could come too
-Put the cigarette down
He chuckled lightly at that last one. "Put the cigarette down...yeah right, Cara..." he said, taking a huff of smoke, "Nice try though..." he sighed softly, missing her and his family, along with Rhett and his, dearly. It was the one thing he hated about this job. Off nine months a year, making three-hundred thousand, scenic area. But it couldn't all be perfect...no family for the whole summer. Apart from the family weekend, of course. It was lonely, but he was always surprised by just how many families would come and take their boys away for the weekend to the city and to the hotels...
Well, all but one or two families...
He sighed as he sent back a text:
-Kno its late. See you next Friday. Love you. He sighed again, kissing the screen of the phone lightly, as if hoping the sentimentality might be transferred.
I suppose I should go to sleep, He thought to himself, looking at the time on his phone. Nearly three thirty...
He sighed heavily as he looked at the little blue icon at the corner of the screen, like he was waiting for it to flash and for the phone to beep...
"Shh..." Arthur repeated again, inching a bit closer to Alfred. He didn't know that the boy was asleep. He thought he was awake - awake and upset. Even so, as he inched closer and gently took hold of Alfred's arm, draping it gently over himself, Alfred did seem to calm down.
And there they were, together. Arthur was a little scared... A little scared, worried, sad for Alfred.
But still, that didn't stop him from lying there next to him...
He loved him.
As much as he'd been trying to deny it. He loved Alfred. He reached up gently, rubbing his hand gently across Alfred's cheek, "I don't know what happened to you," he said softly, "I don't know what you ate, or what you didn't eat, or where you went or why you did whatever you did. But I love you, Alfred," he whispered gently. Alfred was calming down, despite being asleep, which made Arthur feel a bit better.
He yawned softly as he spoke, "I won't leave you," he said softly, "I'll fight this for you. I'll try and eat for you. I'll stay for you..." He leaned in a bit closer to him. "There's nothing you could ever do, that would make me love you less..."
He nuzzled into Alfred's chest, "there's nothing you can ever do that would make me love you less," he repeated, saying it, again and again. Until he fell asleep. And there they were.
End of chapter.
Okay so...I hope that was alright. By the way I hope that you all understand that I don't have any real-life experience with dealing with this kind of thing, and most of my psychology information on this I get from online. So if any of you have experienced anorexia or something along those lines and are all like 'that's not how it works...' ...I'm sorry. I know...I just don't have much to go off of. Trying my best. Hope you liked this chapter.