He’s been thinking a lot lately, mostly at night when he’s lying in bed and staring at the ceiling. When thoughts are nagging him and he can’t seem to get to sleep, no matter how hard he tries to avoid getting trapped in the endless cycle of ridicule that floats around in his head. Nagging voice, shifting and bumping around inside his head, telling him how much of a waste of space he is; how he’s worthless and how if he disappeared no one would bat an eye or think twice. He thinks it is worse when he actually does get to sleep, his demons shift a little closer to the surface, taunting and tearing at the little restraint he has left.
But tonight, tonight is the night that damn well pushes him to and over the brink completely. He wakes up in a cold sweat, chest heaving, and gasping for air. It still fills like water is filling his lungs. It’s the same dream, it always is; but tonight, tonight was different. He let out a pained whimper as he rested his head in his hands, bruises from earlier that week still healing. He would’ve got out of bed and walked to Luc’s bedroom, but he doesn’t think his legs could carry him this time. He sat up for a little while, trying to convince himself that it wasn’t going to happen again, that it was a bit safer, that he was a bit safer. He knew it wasn’t going to work, that things were getting worse and worse day by day, if the bruises and cuts were anything to go by.
That night, Castiel willingly indulged into the thoughts that nested in the back of his brain. He knew it was a mistake, but he figured it couldn’t get any worse. The things that lurked in the back of his mind, terrified him. His demons ate away at him; they ate until there was nothing left, until he was just an empty shell of who he thought he was. He felt numb when the reality set in; the reality of just how much truth spilled from the demons. They nicked and prodded and scraped and screamed from his subconscious every day, he just never bothered to listen.
Castiel always knew he never really had a reason to go on, besides trying to quit hurting Luc the way he did. The way he sees it, is like... well, actually, he doesn’t really know. And as selfish as it may sound, he doesn’t really think that Luc would be enough to stop him if he ever decided to cut the tight rope he’s been walking on for these last few years, and especially these last few months. Of course, said tight rope, was the only thing separating him from where he was inevitably headed, at least for now.
Castiel woke up just before his alarm clock that morning. He slowly got out of bed, trying his best not to strain the bruise that was currently decorating most of the left side of his body, from his collar bone all the way to just under his ribcage. He walked out of his room and down the hall, bypassing the bathroom in favor for Luc’s room. He knocked hesitantly on the door before opening it, never knowing what state of dress his older brother would be in.
“Luc, are you awake?” Castiel asked hesitantly, trying his best not to talk to loudly because his throat was dry, and the last thing he needed was to be in more pain. There was a barely audible grunt from the mess of blankets on Luc’s bed. “Luc wake up.” Castiel said as he walked towards the bed to try and uncover his brother from the disheveled blankets.
“All right, all right I’m up.” Luc said as he sat up, rubbing sleep from his eyes. “What is it?” Luc asked gently, noticing the broken look on his brothers’ face. Castiel knew that Luc already had an idea of why he was here, but that didn’t stop him from awkwardly picking at his sleeves and trying his damnedest to avoid his brother’s eyes. He hated admitting a loud the reason why he was puffy eyed and red faced. Before he could realize what was happening, Luc was hugging him and Castiel had his head buried in the crook of his brothers’ neck. “I know, I know.” Luc said trying to comfort his younger brother as sobs wracked his body. Castiel was trying his hardest to get his emotions in check, to “stop being such a girl”, as some would say. “Here just...let’s just stay home today. We can watch movies and eat junk food.” Luc mumbled against Castiel’s unruly mop of hair.
“I can’t,” Castiel sniffled, “I have a test in history.”
“Screw history, you’re obviously not fit to leave the house. Just, go lay down in my bed and I’ll go get the movies and food.” Luc spoke softly, leading his younger brother to his mess of a bed. Castiel laid down without much protest, too exhausted to complain and insist on going to school.
“Your pillow smells weird.” Castiel grumbled, as he tried to get comfortable.
Luc chuckled as he walked out of his room and towards the kitchen. He’s been trying his damnedest to help Castiel as best he can, listening to him cry and scream because his memories are haunting him every time he closes his eyes, is too heartbreaking for anyone to deal with; especially by themselves. He’s practically raised the kid on his own, took care of him when no one else wanted to. Castiel was all he had left in this world, and he’d go through hell and back for his little brother. “Luc,” He heard Castiel whine from upstairs.
“Hurry up!” Castiel replied, laughter in his voice. Luc chuckled as he grabbed the rest of the candy and popcorn (which was cooking up until Castiel decided to yell at him). He quickly made his way upstairs toward his room, nearly dropping the bowl of popcorn as he ascended the stairs. Luc quickly sat the bowl of popcorn and candy on the bed next to his brother.
“What movie do you want to watch?” Luc asked as he sat down in front of his movie shelf. He was hoping Castiel didn’t pick anything stupid; there was only so much quoting of The Notebook he could take.
“I wrote you 365 letters. I wrote you every-“
“NO. We are not that piece of shit movie again. No, just no.” Luc all but barked. He hated that damn movie with every ounce of strength he had. “Please, please anything else. I’m begging you!”
Castiel could do nothing but laugh at Luc’s reaction. He knew his older brother loathed that movie, and he used it to his advantage. “How about Lord of the Rings, you do have all the movies, right?” Castiel finally answered, after some heavy consideration.
“Ok sure, but I swear if you quote more than four lines I’m turning it off and that’ll be the end of it.” Luc said as he grabbed the movies. He grabbed the first one and put it into the DVD player before going to lie next to his brother. Luc wouldn’t admit it, but he actually missed this, the ability to watch movies with his brother and not have to worry about their demons tearing at them for the moment. Fifteen minutes into the movie. Luc is being tackled while he desperately tries to reach the DVD player.
“Luc! No, that’s not fair!” Castiel laughed, as he tried his best to keep his brother from turning off the movie.
“No. Fair is fair!” Luc replied out of breathe. He was so close to reaching the power button, hell he’d be able to push it if it wasn’t for his brother sitting on his back, knees on his shoulders. “Okay, okay truths! You’re heavy, get up!” Luc said, hoping he could persuade Castiel to get off him before he lost all feeling in his arm.
“Finally, I am superior!” Castiel belted as he climbed off his brother’s back. But as soon as he was free Luc was lunging and pushing the power button on the DVD player. “Damn it!” Castiel laughed, realizing his mistake.
“Maybe next time Cashew!” Luc said chuckling as he got to his feet. Castiel scrunched up his nose at the use of that god awful nickname.
“I hate when you call me that.”
“Too bad, you’re stuck with it forever.” Luc said smiling.
“I was two!” Castiel let out a huff of frustration. Luc would never let him live that down. ‘You try and to learn your name and then you end up being royally screwed.’ Castiel thought to himself. He huffed as he got to his feet and climbed back into his brother’s bed. “What movie are you putting on now?” Castiel asked as he noticed Luc sitting in front of his movie shelf again.
“Spiderman,” Luc replied cheerfully.
“Of course...” Castiel said, fake annoyance bleeding into his voice.
“Shut it,” Luc said throwing the closest thing he could find at his brother, which happened to be a pillow.
And that’s how the rest of the day went, the brothers laughing and messing up Luc’s room because of all their play fights and shenanigans. Before Castiel realized what has happening, he was slipping in and out of consciousness, it was useless to try and fight it; he just didn’t want to deal with the aftermath of closing his eyes for too long. But that didn’t stop him from falling asleep next to his brother, with sounds of a hero fighting a losing battle in the background.
For the first time in a long time the aftermath never came.