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for diefirst
I still bleed
When he comes around the first time it’s dark, too dark to be anywhere with windows. He doesn’t understand how he got back inside, or which part of the cabin he’s in, but he’s too busy passing out again to be alarmed. It’s only when he cracks his eyes open a second time the concern switches to flat-out worry with the speed of a bullet. He was looking for Cas in the forest, he remembers that. But he can’t feel the warm lump that’s usually next to him anywhere. He can’t feel the feathers he’s growing used to either.

That few seconds of acute worry means his brain has completely bypassed everything else that’s wrong. For starters, he can’t hear out of one of his ears, his head hurts, he thinks he may have broken a rib when he finally moves to try and figure out where the hell he is and, more importantly, where Cas is. He doesn’t make a sound though until he hits his head, metal clanging loudly as he realizes just what he's in. This isn’t the cabin, and it’s not the forest. It’s a cage.

He can feel the anger boiling up inside of him. This wasn’t supposed to happen, and even while he’s checking his pockets to see if he still has his cell phone on him, he’s cursing under his breath.

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He isn't sure quite how long its been since he was first found. Aided with a pair of dogs, the group had managed to seek him out with little trouble, and despite just how much he'd fought to escape them, it hadn't taken much to overpower him. Not after just how long he'd been sat out in the cold.

Since then, he's spent most of his time curled up in the corner of the room he's been confined to. He's long since given up on trying to find a way out; between the filthy windows high out of reach and the locked door at the far end, he knows he doesn't have a chance. It also doesn't help that he's still tethered to the spot by a chain with enough give for him to cross his legs, and nothing more. His arms are no better off either. And with the added bonus of his constant visitor and her surprise entrances, he knows he wont be going anywhere any time soon.

His thoughts have been stuck in once place since his capture. But it seems that no matter how much he calls for Dean, the man simply isn't able to hear him. He feels helpless, and he knows that, in truth, he really is.

He's exhausted every single method he can think of in trying to bust out of the cell. Everything except his very last resort, and it's not one he likes. Not knowing where Cas is, however, leaves him with no option. He needs to get out and find the man.

It's when he starts shouting and using a rusty old looking dog bowl he found in the corner of his cage that he finally hears footsteps. Two pairs, heavy, one with a limp. That very same limp becomes obvious when one of the men glares at him like he's done something wrong. He realizes he's sporting a limp because he put up a decent fight. But everything's still a little hazy. He doesn't remember how he got here, or the fight itself.

He knows mentioning that he and Cas are friends is a bad idea. The hope that he was still far enough away from the other man to avoid them being linked is one that he holds on to. If they don't make the connection themselves, they're both less likely to be used as leverage. That much he's not sure he can deal with right now.

"You a hunter?" One of the men is looking straight at him through the bars, his own face littered with bruises. It causes the smug smirk pulling at Dean's lips to have some meaning behind it instead of simply being a defense-mechanism.


"...answer the question, boy. Were you huntin' that beast?"

Dean's not looking like he wants to answer that, trying to weigh up whether saying yes is going to help or not. But in the end he doesn't have a chance to answer, the cage door flung open and two pairs of hands dragging him out and pressing him face first into the filthy floor. He knows better than the struggle right now, even when they're starting to pick him up, hands and feet still tied together.

He's dragged out of the room, something about him needing a reminder, but he can't hear properly all thanks to whatever the hell's blocking his ear. They don't stop until they've yanked him into another room, depositing him on the floor like trash.

"Answer the question." The order comes with the swing of a boot into his gut. He doesn't understand why it's important, or why they'd be asking instead of just doing whatever the hell they do here. It's not important until he tilts his jaw up to look at where they've brought him, eyes fixing on Cas.

The newest slam of the door has him curling up tighter, his wings pressed closely to his back, despite wanting nothing more than to wrap them around himself as a shield against the outside world. It's only when he hears the thump of a body against the floor that he risks forcing an eye open. The moment he does, a choked sob escapes him, and he's on his hands and knees in an attempt to try and get closer to the hunter, despite the chain preventing him. Right now, he just wants Dean to be right there next to him so he can hold the man again.

"Dean?" His voice is quiet, more of a breath than anything else. Beyond his screams for Dean, he has spoken aloud properly since going to bed beside the very man the night before. Or it may have been longer than that. He isn't sure. He tries to tear his gaze up toward the other men who'd brought him in, but he just can't do it. Especially not when the light is switched on in the room and he's left squinting at the cuts and bruises covering the hunter. It leaves him with his breath hitching once again as he starts to vainly pull on the chains at his feet.

The wince he produces is half because he's in a bunch of pain right now and half because he doesn't need to answer the question now. Whatever plans he had of controlling how much these people know just what Cas means to him are gone. He can't play this any other way now. The fact that he can't speak yet only earns him another kick to the guts and this time he can't stop the groan in response. It's that use of his vocal chords again that has him following it up with another sentence which isn't thought out in the slightest.

"Screw you."

It's the first time in a long time he's wished Cas was still an angel. This wouldn't have happened in the first place, but the guilt pours into him shortly after he has enough wits about him again to think.

"She wants another one." The man doesn't seem to address the fact that Dean isn't hunting Cas. "She wants a girl one."

"Stop!" Despite his current state, somehow he still manages to yell loudly enough to have his voice echo around the room. It's thanks to the kick that Dean gets that he doesn't care about drawing attention to himself. He simply wants the men to leave the hunter alone. It's only when he finally looks up toward them to find their eyes on him that he starts to regret his own move.

Shrinking back against the wall, this time Castiel doesn't care about logic as he gives in and wraps his wings around himself, his knees drawn tightly to his chest and an opening in his feathers left just above their tops. It's just enough for him to be able to continue looking across as Dean, even if he isn't happy about the sight he's seeing.

"Give him back. He's not yours. Give him back to me."

"Cas." All Dean wants is for the other man to stop talking. He doesn't know how he's going to get them out of this yet, but Cas drawing attention to himself and unwittingly explaining just how deep their friendship runs isn't helping.

"Find your own." He finally grunts out, eyes flicking back up to one of the men towering over him.

"Finders keepers." The man with the limp returns, clearly starting to enjoy the situation folding out in front of him. "Find a girl one and we'll let you go in one piece." Not that he'll get all that far from the compound. None of the others did.

He can't help the flinch that comes from Dean's tone, and that gap between his wings closes as he presses his face to his legs. When he does finally move again, he draws the whole of his wings down from around his head, fixing his gaze firmly on the last man to talk. His eyes are red-rimmed, but no less serious when he speaks.

"He doesn't know where we live." It hadn't taken him long to realize just what they thought he was, even if they don't know the specifics. But it's enough for him to try and work with. "I'll tell him where. But only if you leave us while I do. Otherwise, you wont find any others like me."

This wasn't how Dean wanted it to go, not with Cas having to play everything out. But he's at a loss of what else to do. He's got a good idea of how unlikely they are to stop kicking him and it's making it difficult to think straight over the pain. He opts to keep his mouth shut, but his eyes stay up on the man standing over him in defiance.

"You think we're stupid, freak? Just because she wants another one doesn't mean we can't have some fun with you when she's not here." But the second man starts to look like he's considering the plan afterall.

"Five minutes. And if he doesn't have an answer for us, we'll cut his throat right here. And if he does and he's lying? We'll cut his throat out there." He holds his hand up to silence his accomplice, instead heading for the door.

His glare holds up until the men are out the room and the door slams shut. It's only then that he lets on just how scared he is, his shoulders shivering between that and the cold. He doesn't have any idea of what to do next. Not when he knows he's promising the impossible. And short of divine intervention, he isn't sure their five minutes will end with anything less than one or both of them dying.

"Dean? You need to... I can't reach you. Come over here. Please." His attention is back on the hunter again, his pleading evident, despite how quiet his voice still is. He just wants Dean to be back there with him. Especially if it really is going to be their last five minutes together.

There's nothing that he wouldn't do at request when the other man's involved. It's the reason he's dragging himself across the floor, needing a couple of seconds to just breathe before he continues his journey. He barely makes it, aside from the fact his forehead drops down onto one of Cas's knees. He wants to tell the man it'll be okay, but he can't.

"...my fault."

"No, it's not." The moment Dean's in reach, Castiel opens his wings, sliding his hands to his shoulders to keep him upright. Instead of expecting Dean to move any more than he already has, Castiel carefully tries to maneuverer him closer, tugging him around to rest against his chest instead. He draws both his knees back up to rest against his sides, arms wrapping around his shoulders and mouth quickly pressing against his neck. His wings join in quickly enough, back to shielding them again, even though he knows it wont do either of them any good in the end.

"Tell them that I've told you. Once you're outside, try to escape without me. I need you to get out of here, Dean. Whatever it takes."

"I can't." Not least because he's not sure he can walk. He feels hot and cold all over, all thanks to the beating he thinks he might have had when they found him. He tries to push that from his mind though the second Cas's wings are around him, face pressing as hard as he can manage into whatever part of the other man he can reach.

"I won't leave you here."

"There isn't any other way out of this. The girl; as long as she's around, they wont kill me. You need to get yourself to safety, Dean. Then you can come back. There isn't any other way." He tightens his hold, mindful of Dean's injuries. Ducking his head down once again, he presses another kiss to his temple. "I don't want to lose you."

"I'm not doing this." Every word is now slid between a cough, a splutter, something he can't get out of his lungs no matter how hard he tries. And that just hurts even more. The blur in his eyes doesn't fill him with confidence either.

"I don't know what else to do." He drops his head back against the wall with a thump; wings drawing tighter around them both. He wants to be able to come up with some way to get Dean out of there. But he knows well enough just how stubborn the hunter can be. It seems to be a case of either all or none.

"How do we get out of here?"

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