When Castiel 'mojos' into the motel room, he is met by the worried face of Dean Winchester.
That's the first thing he notices; Dean, the manliest man there is, is stood there with his face wrinkled with concern. His hair is dishevelled as though he's been running his hands through it for the past four hours and his mossy eyes are exuding panic. Then there's how he's holding himself, his back hunched slightly and his hands in impossibly tight fists at his sides.
Yes, Castiel has no doubt that Dean Winchester is worried. Following a quick sweep of the room, he also has no doubt that Sam Winchester is not there and comes to the easy conclusion that this is the cause of the older Winchester's worry.
This, in turn, makes the angel worry too. Because, despite what Sam is supposed to be, he really does care about him. And that's why Dean called him here; he sees the way the two look at each other, hell, he's even seen them kissing before when they think nobody is looking and it has led him to believe that Castiel is the only one who can help right now.
"Dean." Cas nods his greeting, his mouth set in a grim line as his mind works at a gazillion miles a minute, trying to figure out what on Earth made Sam not be in this room. Whatever it is, he makes a mental note to smite the living shit out of it. "Your brother?"
"Not here. Out." The human says, trying to keep his wording simple and short to help him hide his panic. He is unsuccessful but Castiel doesn't have the heart to say so. "I need you to find him."
Cas' crystal blue eyes cloud with confusion and study Dean with the sort of intensity that Dean has only ever seen Castiel possess. He knows he's under scrutiny and he knows well enough not to believe that he has the angel fooled for a second but still, he has bigger fish to fry right now.
Namely, getting his baby brother back.
"Tell me what happened, Dean."
The addressed flops down onto his bed, the one nearest the door, and runs a hand through his hair, huffing out a weighted sigh. He knows what he saw and what he thinks but he just can't bring himself to say it because, somehow, saying something makes it all the more real. But Cas cares about Sammy, Dean decides, so telling him is important.
Mentally, Dean takes a moment to silently loathe himself for not being able to take care of this on his own. He knows he should have seen this coming, should have been there for his baby brother instead of being angry but hey, you try not being pissy when your little brother's managed to jump start the freaking apocalypse.
"Dean." The angel says, voice full of an omnipotence that reminds the human just whose presence he is in. "Tell me." Blue eyes soften at the sight of green eyes misting over with the threat of tears. "I can't help Sam if you don't tell me what happened."
"Cas, God, I think…" He takes a shuddering breath, squeezing his eyes shut and trying urgently to wrap his head around his own thoughts. Because this is Sammy he's talking about. "I think he's going to try to kill himself."
All of a sudden Castiel is no longer in the room, leaving Dean alone and to his thoughts of failure.
It doesn't take long for Castiel to find Sam. The time is shortened considerable by the fact that he's practically chosen Sam as his Mate, thus meaning that Dean's words have ignited some kind of Molotov cocktail of burning emotions deep within his conscious.
Because Sammy Winchester is his and he should just be able to tell when something is wrong. Not just because he is an angel but because he is Sam's and Sam is his.
He brushes these thoughts away though, instead opting to focus on the figure down the bottom of the alley; the figure of his six-foot-something lover slumped on the ground, a glint of silver in his hands that makes Cas' figurative heart break.
There, down at the bottom of some squalid little alley, Sam Winchester is playing with a knife.
Slowly, oh so slowly, so as not to startle the boy, Castiel edges down the alley. His eyes are drawn to the red dripping off of the knife and the accompanying three slits on the young Winchester's left wrist. Nowhere near enough to kill him, they look more like a practice run than the real thing, but enough to make Cas feel physically sick all the same.
He watches in sorrowful fascination as Sam glides the knife, Ruby's knife, over his wrist again. Castiel can tell that he's getting more adventurous, this cut going longer and deeper than the previous three, and knows that it is time to step in.
The man, looking so much like a frightened child that it makes the angel want to wrap him in his wings and never let go, looks up with a start. It is evident from the look in the younger Winchester's eyes that he's been drinking. Castiel wishes he could blame that solely for this pitiful sight.
Before the human can even fully register what is happening the knife is out of his hands and his angel is kneeling next to him, his usual stoic expression replaced with one of unbridled misery and, Sam thinks, failure.
"Cas?" He slurs, unsure of whether to be pissed or relieved that he was interrupted. "Whatcha doing here?"
"Stopping you from doing something reckless." The angel hisses, angry at both himself and the boy. "Let me take a look at you wrist."
Feeling very much the same as when his father told him off for breaking his favourite gun at the age of eight, Sam obediently holds out his wrist. He takes a moment to look at the glistening blood, wondering just what percentage of that is evil, is demon. Because he knows that's all he is; an evil abomination that kills everything he loves. Just like Jess, Madison, Ellen, Jo, his own mother. Hell, even Dean's died because of him.
So now it only seems fair that he should die before more people he cares about, Bobby and Cas and Dean again, can die because of him. It would be for the greater good, really. Not to mention that all of his royal fuck-ups, demon blood and Ruby and starting the apocalypse, more than warrant his death.
Castiel holds the wrist in his hand, feeling his vessel's eyes water at the tattoos of pure self-hatred and desperation rashed across Sam's wrist. He presses his lips to the cuts, not healing them completely but stopping the bleeding. He wants the cuts to stay there, to scar, as a reminder to all three members of Team Free Will.
A reminder that they are not indestructible and that it's okay to need help. And, more importantly, a reminder to Castiel personally that he let Sammy get hurt like this.
"Cas?" The tiny voice whispers, suddenly full of sleep, and two sets of eyes lock, both showing nothing but adoration. "'m sorry."
"As am I, Sam Winchester." He leans forward and pecks Sam on the lips, a chaste but loving gesture that calms both party's nerves. "As am I."
"Won't do it again." The human promises, letting his angel pull him to rest against Castiel's shoulder. He feels his eyes drooping and isn't sure if it's because of the alcohol or if Cas is using his angel mojo. "Love you, Cas."
It's the first time Sam has said it aloud and the first time Castiel has decided that he agrees.
Sure, they've kissed and more before but neither were quite sure if it were love or desperation that caused it. Of course Castiel had realised that what he felt for Sam wasn't just obligation or need but love? He wasn't too sure.
But now he is.
"I love you too, Sam Winchester."
Thank you very, very much for reading and I'm sorry if it sucked. I know it's a little too short and rushed but, hey-ho. I really hope you liked it and please let me know what you think! :)