You kept it hidden in your sock, away from the nurses who tried to take it away from you the first time you found it. You had wanted to put it on a necklace, had even punched a hole through the wax and paper and threaded some plastic string through it. But the head nurse told you that it was dangerous and patients weren’t allowed to keep that kind of stuff with them. But you didn’t understand how a crayon could be more dangerous than the string that she let you keep.
So you shoved the green stick in your sock before you were ushered back to your room. And then you waited until the nurses left you alone and you couldn’t hear anyone in the halls before you pulled it out and held it in you hands.
You didn’t have to wait long before his voice filled your room and he sat down on the bed next to you.
“You gotta ask them to get you a new mattress, Cas,” he said, jumping up and down on the bed and wiggling around until he found a comfortable spot. You watched him as he moved, admiring that he still looked the same even though you’ve seen him all torn up and bloodied in every single way Lucifer could imagine.
He was beautiful now. You smiled.
“What?” Dean questioned. He patted his face and chest. “There something on me?”
You shook your head, but didn’t speak.
“Wanna play cards? I can show you how to do poker.”
You nodded. “Yes, please.”
Dean smiled and pulled a deck of cards from his jacket pocket.
The pain was unbearable. Flames filled your broken open ribcage as Alistair poured gasoline into the wound and your brothers roasted marshmallows over it. You couldn’t scream, they cut out your vocal cords hours ago. But you cried, tears streaming down your face and burning tracks onto your cheeks.
You wanted it to stop, you needed it to stop.
So you reached. You moved, twisting your body until your ankle is near your hand.
“Whatcha doing, kiddo?” Lucifer asked, laughing as you struggled.
You dipped your fingers into the band of your sock and took the crayon between your index and middle finger. You shut your eyes. The flame still roared. But you pulled on the crayon and yanked it from your sock, holding it in you fist until you palm throbbed.
It had to work.
A minute passed, then two. Your brothers and the demons just laughed and you wanted to give up, but then…
“Hey, Cas,” Dean said. Your brothers looked up at the same time you did.
“What’re you doing here, Winchester?” Balthazar spat.
“Come to save your pretty little angel, Dean-O?”
Dean shrugged his shoulders and made a face. “Something like that,” he admitted. Then he looked at you and winked.
You expected a fight, some sort of showdown between Dean and the good guys. But instead Dean walked toward you and crouched down next to your head. He ran his fingers through your hair and over your cheeks.
“This is gonna hurt a little, but you gotta trust me, okay?” Dean said.
You nodded. You trusted him with your life, always had.
“Okay, now look in my eyes and don’t look away. Not even when they start calling your name, you hear me? You break contact and this won’t work.”
Okay, you mouthed. Dean nodded this time. “Kay, on the count of three. One —”
Suddenly your entire body started burning and you wanted to close your eyes to block out the pain. But Dean sat next to you and kept telling you not to look away. “Keep watching me, Cas. I know it hurts, I know. But you gotta keep looking at me.”
So you did, you stared and stared, refusing to blink no matter how much your eyes burned. You could hear Lucifer screaming in Enochian, hissing at you like a demon instead of the angel he was. He was pissed, but you couldn’t find it in you to care, because just as quickly as it started the pain stopped and your body was whole again. The bonfire in your chest was gone, your brothers too.
You tore your eyes from Dean for a moment to relish in the empty room, but then you remembered what Dean told you and you snapped your head back to where he still sat.
Dean laughed. “S’okay, I’m not going anywhere. You can look away now.”
You smiled. Then without thinking, you leaned forward and wrapped your arms around Dean’s neck.
“Don’t leave again,” you whispered.
Dean hugged you back. “I’ll try not to.”
I’m splitting this into part because I don’t feel like messing with the jacked up read mores.
When you meet him he is small, no bigger than a kindergartner with a mess of black hair and bright blue eyes that stare too intensely.
He stands at your bedside with his whole head and shoulders tipped to the right as he watches you lay on the bed. He sticks his tongue out at you and crosses his eyes. You don’t move, but he smiles, giggles then runs out the door.
He comes back three days later while Lucifer is telling about how he and Michael used to make Adam and Sam touch each other inappropriately in the Cage.
The little boy strides into the room and Lucifer goes silent. You both watch the child for a moment, taking in his too big t-shirt, khaki shorts, and untied shoes.
“What are you doing here?” Lucifer sneers.
The little boy snaps his head toward your older brother and glares like he’s trying to burn holes in him. Lucifer sits up straighter and then fades out of sight.
You stare wide eyed at where he sat. “What did you do?” you manage to ask.
The boy turns back to you and shrugs his small shoulders. “I told him to go away,” he says. “You can do that too, you know.” The boy sits on the bed next to you, swinging his legs.
“Who are you?” you question after a moment.
The boy smiles, revealing his missing front teeth. “You.”
Then he hops off the bed and runs away again.
Your head is snapped back in a painful position, Raphael’s fingers tangled in your hair as he tugs as hard as he can. He puts his mouth close to yours and speaks in dead languages, cursing your existence in the most beautiful way. He tells you that you shouldn’t have been born. He asks, “Why are you His favorite? What puts you above the rest of us?”
“It’s because he was meant to surpass you,” hisses a voice to your left. You both turn and look into the face of the boy you met before.
The child’s face is scrunched up, angry. His eyes glow ethereal and bright, and you half expect him to shoot something out of them and smite Raphael out of existence. But instead he rushes forward and stomps on Raphael’s foot and kicks his shin.
Raphael lets you go, swearing at the boy and swearing all the tortures imaginable. The boy stands his ground and you watch him put his hands on his hips and glare swords at your brother the way he did to Lucifer. Raphael stares back but makes no move toward the child.
You’re in awe and you want to ask how he’s doing it, keeping Raphael in place. But the child breaks eye contact with Raphael and looks at you like he expects something.
“Say it,” the boy tells you.
“Go away. Tell him.”
“But it won’t —”
“It will. I promise. Tell him to go away and he will.”
The boy turns back to your older brother and you do the same. Raphael grits his teeth and nearly growls at you, hissing profanities at you in Enochian. Your heart races and you don’t believe that the boy’s instruction will work.
But it’s the only thing you have to go on and you’re exhausted from being beaten over and over for hours.
“Go away,” you mutter.
“No,” the boy exclaims. “you have to mean it. You want him to leave you alone, right?”
“Then shout it! Scream at him and mean it.”
You refuse to let him finish.
“Go away,” you demand.
“GO AWAY! GO AWAY! GO AWAY!”
“Yeah!” the boy cheers. “You did it, look. Look!”
You feel his tiny hand tug on yours and you open your eyes, not realizing that you had even closed them. Sure enough, Raphael’s gone.
“How?” You look down at the boy who grins up at you.
“This is your head,” he explains, pulling you toward the bed. “You get to make the rules, not them.”
You sit down and he climbs up next to you. “It can’t be that simple,” you try to argue.
The boy laughs and sits up on his knees, reaching up to hols your face in his hands, forcing you to look at him.
“That’s your problem,” he tells you. “you don’t realize that somethings really are just black and white.”
The nurse wearing Lucifer’s face just calls you sweetie as you hold onto her left shoulder and squeeze. She asks you what you’re doing and you just shake your head and let go.
“I’ll come back in a few hours,” she says, touching your face.
You nod, but keep quiet.
“Nice trick, think it’ll work?” Balthazar asks you as he sits on the desk top. There’s a circle of blood on his chest that oozes as he eats lobster off the plate sitting next to him.
You lay down and curl up on the bed, your back to him.
A woman named Betty comes by one day and brings a friend. She says his name is Anthony and that he’s just like you. You stay facing the window because she’s young and naive and doesn’t know what you really are.
“He’s got people in his head too,” she tries to comfort.
Raphael is sitting behind you, leaning his back against yours. He clicks his tongue, annoyed.
“He’s just here for the pills,” Raphael states and rips your bed sheet into strips. He’s been making a noose for days now and he swears that he’s almost done, that you’ll like his gift. You don’t think you will, but you lean back onto him, silently telling him you agree with him about Anthony.
Eventually Becky and Anthony leave and you fall asleep against your dead brother.
The next time you grab someone’s shoulder, it’s Dean. He’s laying on the floor of your room, choking on his own blood and wheezing around the gash in his throat. You don’t mean to grab him the way you do, but your hand in on his shoulder right over the handprint you left him with.
You call his name over and over, begging him to just look at you and swearing that you’d fix this somehow. And when his eyes meet your there are tears streaming down his face as his body trembles in your arms.
“You should give him mouth to mouth,” says Jimmy Novak as he crouches down next to you. “Like a kiss of death or something. Isn’t that what you’ve always wanted? To just pucker up and plant one on the oldest Winchester?”
You ignore him as best you can and try to focus on Dean and how to take away his pain. But Jimmy is rocking on his heels and you can feel his breath on the side of your face.
It’s then that you realize the way you’re holding onto Dean, the way your hand fits almost perfectly over the scar; nothing is happening. You take your hands back and move away, sitting on the concrete floor.
“S’wrong?” Jimmy asks, looking at you and then back to Dean. “Why’d you stop?”
But you just close your eyes as tight as you can and count to a hundred slowly.
When you open your eyes, Dean and Jimmy are gone.
“You know,” Lucifer says as he throws pieces of lettuce onto your lap. “You’re kind of boring. I mean, at least Sam reacted when I did something to him. You just sit there and stare like you’re waiting for someone.”
You glance at him for a moment and brush off the food from your pants.
“They aren’t coming,” he tells you for the three hundred and fifty second time. “It’s been months, Castiel. Face it, they left you and moved on.”
You look away from him and turn around to face the window. Lucifer sighs behind you and tosses the entire sandwich at your back.
Claire Novak has dyed her hair. It’s dark like her father’s and she’s wearing a brown sweater that’s been fashioned to look like the overcoat you and Jimmy used to wear. She sits in the chair next to your bed and plays with her cellphone.
She never talks you when she visits, and you prefer it that way.
You wouldn’t know what to say if she did. Wouldn’t know how to answer all the questions you know she’s begging to ask.
So you just sit in silence with her and listen to the soft clicks of her fingers on the tiny keyboard as she texts for hours until it’s time for her to switch with someone else.
“They aren’t coming,” Adam whispers in the dark and he lays beside you in the too small bed. “I waited for years and years and years and…” His body shakes and you hear the tiny sob escape his throat.
You reach for his hand and hold his fingers between your own.
I’m sorry, you try to say; but you haven’t used your voice since you took Sam’s pain and you aren’t sure you even remember how to.
Adam squeezes your hand, though, and looks at you. “Me too,” he says.
“Cas,” the voice calls to you, soft and melodic, nothing you haven’t heard before. “Cas can you hear me?”
Your chest aches as he says your name and you want him to just go away. You’ll take Rachel and her rage or Uriel with his guilt trips, you’ll even gladly let Alistair dissect you to see what color angel’s really bleed, but you don’t want Dean, not today. Not when you know there isn’t a chance of him really being there.
So you don’t look kneels in front of you and says he and Sam found a way to fix you. You close your eyes when he touches your leg and tells you that they’re taking you with them tonight, that you’re gonna be okay - he promises.
This is the cruelest think Lucifer has ever done to you and you want it to stop. Now.
He calls your name again and you push him. Shove him back by his shoulders and scream in your head for him to just go away. But as you move him, you hold him, because he’s solid, his body hard. He feels different than the others and your eyes snap open, staring at the worried green that watches you.
You lift your hand slowly and Dean traces your movement like a cat with spot of light. You only have this one shot, this last hoorah; if it doesn’t work, if this is just another game, you’re done. You won’t survive.
But you touch his shoulder and your hand burns, cold fire searing your palm and bringing tears to your eyes. You let them fall as you lock your eyes to Dean’s and he’s just as shocked as you are.
“They told me you weren’t coming back,” you finally say, your voice barely more than a hoarse whisper, but louder than anything you’ve ever heard.
“Did you believe them?” Dean asks.
Dean smiles and then his arms are around you, hugging you tight. It takes you a moment, but then you grab fistfuls of his jacket just hold him.
You don’t know how long you stay that way, but once you’re in the backseat of the Impala, with Sam and Dean in front, you turn to Lucifer who’s sitting next to you, a pout on his face.
He glares at you and you smile. “I win.”
Gif from accio-pettyfers
“New face again?” She asked.
Bobby-John looked up from the shirt he’d been cleaning in the sink and stared at Claire’s reflection in the mirror. She leaned against the door frame with her arms crossed over her chest, watching him like he might steal her purse or something. Bobby-John didn’t think he deserved her disdain, but he tried to smile anyways.
“Gotta switch it up sometimes, you know?”
Claire hummed, annoyed and disbelieving, Bobby-John could tell that much. She walked toward him and sat on the toilet, crossing her legs.
“What are you doing here?” She asked after watching him for a moment.
“‘M cleaning blood out of my shirt,” Bobby-John joked.
Claire didn’t laugh. “You aren’t even Ben’s brother, you know,” she said. “Dean watched you for maybe a couple hours, that’s it. You’ve got no claim to this family.” She glared at him and Bobby-John looked away.
He scrubbed at the fabric harder than before. “How do you know he didn’t come back? You haven’t seen him in years.”
Bobby-John stopped scrubbing. He looked at Claire then back at his hands. “No,” he admitted.
The silence that followed pressed down with its heels trying to crack Bobby-John’s back and paralyze him for life. Claire stood and rested her hand on his shoulder, leaning close and fixing her mouth next to his ear.
“Ben’s already got me and Jesse, Shifter,” She hissed, the way she wasn’t saying his name seeped deep into his bones and froze them from the inside out. “He doesn’t need someone like you messing with his head.” She squeezed his shoulder like she was trying to rip a ball of his skin right off.
Bobby-John dropped his head and and sucked in a shaky breath. Claire let go and walked away.
“You make have Ben hooked,” she said as she turned to face him. “but don’t think I won’t kill you the second you show your true colors.”
Then she was gone and Bobby-John was left staring at the empty doorway, wondering if looking for the Winchesters was really the best thing to do.
based on this.
Metal squeals and crunches and Dean can’t see a thing. There’s glass everywhere and blood in his eyes and that damned light won’t stop shining on them. He says something, tells Cas to turn it off, maybe. But Dean can’t tell if he ever opens his mouth to so anything besides cough up more blood onto the the roof of the car. They’re upside down. He remembers now. Something happened and their car flipped. Shit, that’s all he’s got.
Dean breathes and everything hurts, like knives carving him from the inside out. He moans against the pain and reaches for his seat belt. It’s torn at his shoulder so he pulls until it rips in two and he falls onto his head, then tumbles over so he’s on his hands and knees. Glass shards dig into his palms, but Dean just brushes most of it aside and sits back on his heels.
“Cas?” he calls, his voice hoarse and cracking. He spits out more blood. No one answers.
“Cas!” he says louder, his heart racing as he moves closer to his partner who’s still hanging upside down. Cas doesn’t move, doesn’t speak; there’s blood dripping from his face and matting in his hair. Dean lifts a shaky hand and presses his fingers to Cas’ throat, trying to check for a pulse like he saw in the movies. He gets nothing. So he sits up higher and presses his ear to Cas’ chest. “C’mon, c’mon,” Dean whispers, frantically. Cas still doesn’t move.
“Fuck,” Dean swears. This can’t be happening, he thinks. They’d just got back from Sam’s wedding, they were going to go home and… shit! Dean can’t remember. It’s right there and he can’t picture it or even hear Cas talk to him before they’d got hit. This isn’t how things were supposed to go.
But Cas still isn’t moving and all Dean knows is that he has to get him down. So he moves and reaches up to unsnap Cas’ seat belt. It takes three tries and Dean isn’t even sure how it managed to hold Cas in with the way it was broken and ripped. But Cas is free now and falling into Dean’s arms like a beat to hell rag doll, and Dean lays him down on the roof, praying to something that he moves of breathes.
But he doesn’t. He just lies there, discolored and bloodied, like a scene you only see on the news or in the movies. This doesn’t happen in real life.
Dean shakes Cas’ shoulders and bends down to touch Cas’ face, kiss his lips. “You can’t do this to me, Cas,” Dean cries. Tears fill his eyes and fall, streaming down Cas’ cheeks too. “You gotta wake up. Please. Please.”
And suddenly Dean’s vision blurs with red and blue and people are yelling for him to answer back. But Dean can’t make his mouth work past begging Cas to talk to him and laugh and say it’s all just a joke. But he doesn’t and there’re hands on Dean’s shoulders pulling him away from Cas and holding him back as he screams Cas’ name over and over.
Dean watches as they touch Cas. They’re careful with him, like he might break if they move him a certain way. But they’re even more careful with Dean. They wrap a blanket around Dean’s shoulders and say, “Sir.” But Dean shakes his head, trying to keep their words out. If he doesn’t hear it then it’s not true. It can’t be true. But they touch Dean’s shoulder and try to hold him still. “I’m sorry,” they say. “he’s gone.”
Dean drops to his knees.
“You’re my Fairy Godmother?” Evan questioned. He scrunched up his nose at the man standing in front of him and brushing handfuls of stardust off his clothes.
“Father, kid. Godfather. And yeah, I’m him.” The man plugged one of his nostrils and blew a wad of sparlkling snot from his nose, and then did the same on the other side. Evan made a disgusted face and stepped back acouple steps. “I’m here to help you, Ethan.”
“It’s Evan, actually.”
“That’s what I said, innit?”
“No, you - Nevermind,” Evan sidestepped the mess on the cobblestones and walked to the bench his father made for his mother before she died. He sat down and rested his left foot on his lap to examine how messed up the bottom of his shoe really was. “It’ll take forever to fix this,” Evan muttered as he tugged back the sole and threw it to the ground.
“That’s why I’m here, kid,” the man said, sitting down next to Evan. “Gotta get you ready to get laid.”
“Hey,” Evan deflected. “What did you say you name was?”
“I didn’t, but it’s Jericho. So what do’ya say. Should we get started?”
“Yeah, listen, about that,” Evan stood and started to walk backwards. “See, I’ve got a ton of chores to do and like only four hours until my sisters get home. And, uh, I’d rather not get whipped tonight. So how about we call it a night and —” Evan’s back hit something hard and he whirled around, coming face to chest with Jericho. “What the?’
“Look, kid, I have much better things to do than get you ready for some stupid ball so you can meet some pretty boy with a hero complex. But I’ve got my orders,” Jericho lifted his wrists to reveal tattoos written in a language Evan couldn’t read. “So you can either cooperate and made things easy of you can pout while I forcibly dress you. I don’t care either way.”
Evan stared up at Jericho for a moment, trying to see if his Godfather was lying or joking. But Jericho just stared back and set his jaw.
“Okay, okay,” Evan gave in. “What do we do first?”
Jericho smiled then, and Evan had half the mind to tell him to stop and never do it again. It was creepy.
“First, we pick a suit for you and then get you a ride and then send you on your merry way.”
Evan groaned, but Jericho ignored him and went to work.
It wasn’t as bad as Evan thought it would be and in no time Evan was dressed in a pristine charcoal grey suit, complete with a hat and polished shoes. It was incredible.
“There is no way I could ever afford this,” Evan said out loud.
Jericho gave him a look. “It’s magic, kid. Not actually for sale.”
“No, I - nevermind.”
“Now to find you something to ride in,” Jericho said. He looked around the Evan’s father’s garden put his hands on his hips. “You got a choice between a sad looking pumpkin or that zucchini over there.”
Evan looked at the vegetables and shook his head. “Can I pick neither?”
“It’s either them or I give you wings. But let me tell you, they’re incredibly painful when they revert back to bone.”
Evan imagined himself with wings, big and white like the angel his father always called his mother. It was a beautiful picture, but Evan had a low tolerance for pain.
“The pumpkin, works, I guess,” Evan finally decided.
“Good choice,” Jericho told him. “It’d probably be best not to show up at the ball in a giant shiny penis.”
Jericho ignored Evan and flicked his wrists, shooting the pumpkin with streams of magic until it grew ten times it’s size and turned into a carriage more beautiful than any thing the King had.
“Well that’s it then,” Jericho said, clapping his hands together and making magic cloud off his hands like the dust from the rugs that Evan had to clean every other day. “Time to get you off.”
Jericho narrowed his eyes. “What else do you want?”
“Nothing, I just… nevermind.” Evan shook his head and climbed into the carriage.
“Oh, wait,” Jericho called out. “I forgot something!”
Evan peaked his head out of the window and smacked his head against Jericho’s. “Oww!” he cried, rubbing his forehead where they collided.
“I forgot to tell you that the magic ends at eleven.”
“In the morning?”
“What?! But that’s an hour before the ball actually ends!”
“Yeah, I know,” Jericho hopped down and tapped the side of the carriage to get it going. “Good luck!”
Then he was gone before Evan had a chance to say anything. And Evan decided, as he sat back and crossed his arms, that if he ever saw Jericho again, he’d kill him. In cold blood.
The old man sat on his coral throne, digging his chipped nails into the arm and cracking them even more.
Kieran glared at him with narrowed eyes, his anger threatening to bubble over and poison the water like the Great Oil War that almost took Kieran’s uncle all those years ago.
“You said you would help me,” Kieran hissed through gritted teeth.
“No,” the Old Man said, his tentacles fidgeting like he’s bored. “I said I would do what I can. And I cannot do what you’re asking.”
“Can’t or won’t?”
The Old Man clicked his tongue and leaned his frail body forward, a tight smile on his mouth. “If I didn’t want to help you, you’d be out on your tail fin before you even knew I’d moved.
Kieran swallowed hard and breathed deep. The Old Man wasn’t the most intimidating person in the ocean, but he was the only magician for leagues. In a way, he was more powerful than Kieran’s father, King Bastian; the Old Man lived on the outskirts of the Kingdom for a reason.
So Kieran sighed and dropped his shoulders. “Then what can you do?” he asked.
The Old Man sat back and crossed his tentacles. “I can give you one day,” he said.
“What? But what if I don’t find him in that time?”
“That’s not my problem, angel fish. You either take my offer or stop wasting my time.”
Kieran wanted to argue, wanted to say that the humans were complicated and hard to keep track of. There was no way Kieran would find his human in a mere twenty four hours. But a day was better than nothing, and it wasn’t like Kieran hadn’t already memorized his human as much as he could since Kieran found him half-drowned when they were both children.
“What do I have to give you in exchange?”
“Do you need my voice or my soul? Is there a parchment I have to sign with my blood or something?”
The Old Man looked offended, but he recovered quickly and shook his head. “You have a lot to learn about the way magic works, boy.” The Old Man moved quickly and was soon in front of Kieran, his weathered hands on either side of Kieran’s face. “Not everything is for a price. Sometimes we simply believe in the greater good.”
“Why?” Kieran barely managed to get out.
“Because I have been where you are, Kieran. And I would have done anything for even just an hour with my boy.” The Old Man kissed Kieran’s forehead. “Do not waste this gift.”
Then, before Kieran could answer, everything went white. And suddenly Kieran found himself on a bed of sand, coughing and sputtering up the salt water that somehow tasted different than what he’d known all his life.
Image by viavintage.
The house is smaller than I remember, the two rooms nearly merging together through the cracked wall that separates them. Jay steps carefully around his old and decrepit baby toys, kicking up dirt as he moves. We haven’t been here in years.
I follow behind Jay, walking over the footprints he leaves behind and holding myself like I might contract some sort of disease if I touch anything. I hate this house. But Jay just moves like a ghost trying to cherish everything it can’t have. He traces his finger along the walls as he walks, leaving a line in the dust and marking his path like a modern version of Hansel and Gretel.
We make our way out of the bedrooms and into the living room where Jay finally stops. There’s a broken down piano in the middle of the room, white keys all turned brown and the black practically matching under the layers of filth that cover them. My stomach knots and a shiver pole-dances up and down my spine.
“You remember how?” I ask, breaking the silence.
Jay jumps but nods. “A little.”
I walk forward to do something, hold Jay maybe, but he moves away to sit on the broken bench.
“It’s probably really out of tune,” I say and sit down next to him.
Jay just nods again and puts his hands over the keys. He presses down and we both realize that I’m right. This piano hasn’t been played for longer than we’ve been away. And the last time we were with it, the only sound it made was when I bent Jay over it and fucked him until the legs creaked and splintered.
It whines now as Jay taps at it like a child with a toy version. He waltzes his fingers across the board, testing each key then shifting his hands into a position that will hit the least out of tune.
“You don’t have to,” I whisper, placing my hand over his.
“I know,” Jay agrees. He looks up at me and there’re tears in his eyes. “But I want to.”
I cup my hand over his cheek and lean forward to kiss his mouth.
Jay starts playing before I pull away, and I almost choke when I recognize the tune he’s playing. It hurts.
For a while I sit in silence at his side, just listening to the best version of Somewhere Only We Know that Jay can manage to play under the circumstances. But then Jay starts to shake and his hands miss the notes. I turn to him and wrap my arms around his shoulders.
“Shh,” I try to soothe, kissing his temple as he tangles his fingers in the back of my shirt, holding on like he’s afraid I’ll disappear. “It’s okay,” I tell him. “I miss her too.”
But even as the words leave my mouth I know they aren’t completely true. I don’t miss Jay’s mom as much as he does, not really. Because unlike Jay, I know what she did. And I can’t seem to convince myself that doing nothing is better than protecting your kid from the evil sons of bitches that’re hurting him.
I’ve been risking my life for Jay since I was seven years old, and I’d die for him in a second, without ever thinking twice. So why couldn’t she?
You dream, every night. Mostly with the help of the pills they leave you for dessert after your evening meals, but sometimes you don’t need them. Sometimes you just close your eyes, and they’re there. Images of places you’ve never been to, and people you’ve never met, and your body aches for it, like it remembers even if you don’t. Which can’t be right, because you don’t even know your real name, so how can you remember this?
But your heart speeds up when the violence starts. Wars bleached white and the volume turned all the way up, screams that shake your core as skeletal hands grab your ankles and beg, brother don’t leave us, please, brother brotherpleasebrotherplease. Your own hands fly to your ears and you try to drown them out, but they only get louder, until every molecule in your body thrums to the rhythmn of their dying pleas.
Then, like clockwork, his hand in on your shoulder, pulling you back and away, turning you around to face him. He says your name, but it’s dead air falling from his lips. A sound you can’t make out, no matter how many times you ask him to repeat it. He stares at you, and his eyes are a shade of green you will never be able to define or replicate, and you’re sure that somewhere there is a painter crying because the only colour he needs to finish his masterpiece is this man’s eyes.
You stare back, longer than you must realise because his hand is on your shoulder again, and he’s asking you if you’re okay. You know it’s just a dream, right? None of it’s real.
But everyone says the same thing about him, and you can’t remember if you’re asleep or awake anymore. So you just nod, because you don’t want him to go anywhere. You need him to always be there, touching you and watching you, like it’s his job to look out for you. You need him in whatever way you can get, and you don’t even know why. Just that you don’t hurt when he’s with you. You remember when he’s around, even if it’s only in the dreams that you’ll forget the second you open your eyes. Because, for a moment, you are who you once were. You’re someone special, important.
For a moment, you’re his friend. Again.
WARNING: This part contains underage sex. Meaning a twelve year old giving another twelve year old a blow-job and also it’s implied that he gave older boys blow-jobs too.
Jay learned how to suck dick by the time he was twelve. For weeks be begged me to let him show me what he could do and I always told him no. But he never let up. He was proud as hell of his accomplishment, all smiles and laughter as he tried to explain to me how he made the older boys come in his mouth.