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Life never really liked Dean. Dean never really liked life anyway.
Nothing new. Dean went through hell and survived. He spent his life fighting only for the right to stay alive, to stay there. He lost so many things in that process, but he survived.

Waking up was always the part he hated the most about life, mostly because he always ended up in weird places, in weird situations. Everything was always so weird. He woke up in the grass, in mansions, in the streets, he woke up everywhere and it was almost always a bad surprise.

This time is no exception. When he comes back around, his head is swinging like hell. It feels like waking up in a roller coaster, in the middle of a specific energetic bit. He also has one hell of a headache, feeling like his eyes are burning.
This probably goes in the "worst waking up moments" category.

Eventually, he fights down nausea, stops to check his body - which seems mostly okay, well, not okay, but normal - and finally decides that he should open his eyes.

When he does, he needs a minute to adjust. He’s in a very dark room, tied up, on a chair.
The situation is familiar. He ignores it.

There’s no light- he’s sure windows aren’t in the room... and the most time he spends thinking about it, the most awkward he feels. There mustn’t be a lot in this room. He can just tell it.
He clicks his tongue once. He can’t hear any other breathing pattern so he can easily say that he’s alone. But maybe there’s an animal. Or maybe it can help him out in a different way; is he in a closed, buried room?

He needs every piece of information he can get.

Because, if he’s right - and he knows he is -, he’s been kidnapped. He can’t afford losing time.

Clicking his tongue again, he thinks, ignoring the headache and the growing pain and uncomfort. The room seems mostly empty because the noises echo- just a tiny bit, but it’s enough to know that.

Where can he be? He’s pretty sure every enemy he had were dead by now.
Thinking about how many people can’t stand his guts isn’t the way to do it.

What can he remember?

Seth and Roman.

Well, they’re not in the room with him. He lists off some possibilities:
a) they got away. Which seems very unlikely. They wouldn’t leave him behind, would they? They’d try, at least. He’s almost sure they would.
b) the bastards who took him weren’t interested in them and choose to either let them go (or more likely, unconscious in the shop) or kill them.
c) they have their own little room.

He’s not sure which one would be better. Maybe he shouldn’t think about that.
But he’s definitely not leaving this place without them. He just can’t. He doesn’t care if he’s caught again, as long as they’re not there too.

He doesn’t have time to think about why he feels like that; he has to find a way to escape. He can feel his anxiety starting to push oxygen away from his lungs, wrapping its spikes around his throat until he has to stop thinking just to breath.

The setting is the same. He doesn’t want to try and sniff; he knows the stuffy smell will be there. He doesn’t need that. He doesn’t need PTSD right now. This is a life threatening situation and he needs to get out of there.

Are the ties solid? He can’t refrain the sigh when he realises he can feel cords digging in his skin when he starts to move his wrists. Of course. Fucking rope.
He can feel that he doesn’t have any knives on him. He’s still wearing their black pants, the Shield’s pants, and the tank top, but the vest is gone. If only he could see, maybe it’s not that far. Maybe there’s a table near.

"...starting? Oh, ‘kay. Hello, Dean."

The light is a bit too strong for Dean’s sensitive eyes but he forces himself anyway, squinting and groaning. There’s a TV in front of him, against one of the wall.
A guy is talking. He must be in his fourties, his fifties; white hair, just basically has this old-looking face.

"I’m deeply sorry if you don’t like this room but... the ball isn’t on your side. Deeply sorry."

The bastard doesn’t look sorry at all, moving his arms and his hands every time he talks as if to illustrate an absent argumentation.

"You see, Dean, I know you. Behind the door, I’ve gathered a few things that you will mainly... well, dislike."

He licks his lips while clapping loudly once. Dean doesn’t look away.

"But you can change that." Looking down for a second. A script, maybe? "I need to talk to Miss Lynch and Miss Flair. I know that they are your friends."

Becky and Charlotte. Why does he want them?
His brain is starting to make connections. The biggest theory is that the McMahon’s got him.
He doesn’t need to think hard to believe it. "McMahon, of course, fucker..." He mumbles, slightly tugging on the ropes to try and get them loose- doesn’t work really well. It just burns.

"Oh, didn’t think you’d be clever enough to understand."

Fucking live. Dean tries to see if there’s a camera near him, watching his movement; the room is still too dark for that but he’s sure that there is one... or more.

“Anyway, you see, we need your little friends but we know they wouldn’t come talk to us if it wasn’t for you, Dean. You know, I respect friendships.”

The rope isn’t giving up any time soon. Now that he feels a little bit more awake, he’s pretty sure he could try using some strength… but not in front of that idiot.

“Won’t give you the girls. Stop your bullshit.” He mumbles, looking away, trying to find anything that could help… but there’s not much around him.

McMahon’s face falls. He shakes his big, potato face. “Ah, Dean. I value your loyalty. You’re a great friend.” His tone is achingly sweet, every hair on Dean’s body sticking up- his mind screams alert. "But that’s too bad, really. We’ll see in a few minutes, then."

The screen goes dark again.

Dean is tensing up more and more. Something bad must be coming. What could it be?
The voice in his head is starting to go all crazy but is it really wrong though? Torture might be the end game.

He can handle it. He totally can. He’s a cool survivor and he’ll find a way to escape.
He always does.

It seems like he has time. He tries to stand up once, twice. Again. Again. It really hurts his arms and his thighs but he doesn’t care. It doesn’t work well for now but he’s sure he just needs to take his time and calm the hell down.

Instead, he closes his eyes and focuses on his breath. He can hear his former therapist reminding him that breathing exercises can sometimes be the key. He remembers the funny receptionist with her weird accent, always helping him out when he was too down to even get out of the building.
He needs to focus on good memories.
The endless chats with Bayley in the shop, the bellyache because of how much they used to laugh. His working out sessions and the huge satisfied feeling he got out of it. Every time he went out with Becky and Charlotte. Finding new, interesting friends along the way.

It works as well as it can and Dean doesn’t feel too bad. He’s about to keep trying when he hears something outside of his room.
Footsteps.

He keeps his happy memories close but prepares himself. He will have to be strong. He still has to go get his boys. He has to protect everyone.
He can’t fail.

The door opens and Dean uses the small light it provides to see.
There’s nothing in the room except the TV.

When he stares at the man who got in, he feels his heart stopping almost instantly.
He can feel that he’s becoming sweaty. He’s still. Terrified. He can’t breathe.

"Hello, Jon. Or, well, Dean."

Dean is going to be sick. He’s going to die.
It’s not possible.

"You look bette’ than ye did las’ time."

His voice.
It’s not- how? Why? Why him? Why now?

"Already scared? Can’t blame ye."

He’s shaking. He’s terrified. But he can’t show. He can’t show it. He keeps the most neutral face he can keep while panicking.

"I saw what ye said ‘bout me to yer therapist. Not nice. I think I helped ye out. See, you pay for things now, don’t ye?"

Dean squeezes his eyes shut as tight as he can. He wants to disappear.
The memories are coming back hard. He has to fight.
He has to overcome.
For the Shield. What will they do to them?
He can’t let go.

But he’s going to die. He can’t fight him. He’s going to die.

"Shane’s a cleve’ lad, he found yer therapist... forced him, bought the files ‘ere... he found me, and ‘ere we go."

Of course. He hopes he’s the only one with... such a weakness. He can't help but hope they don't know what are Seth and Roman's weaknesses.
He wants to move. He wants to try something, anything, but he’s still. He can’t move a muscle. His body refuses as soon as he thinks about it.
He feels really bad. Is he going to faint?

"I jus’ wanted to say hi, pretty face. I have a few things t’do... then, I’ll be back. Jus’ for ye. I’ve been thinkin’ ‘bout ye a lot, couldn’t wait to hear yer pleading sounds again."

Don’t throw up, Dean, don’t throw up.

"See ya later, pretty. Don’t miss me too much."

His big hands stop on his thighs- he uses that to lean down and to press a kiss on his ear. Then, he pulls his hair back and slaps him- not hard enough to make him groan but still enough to leave a small mark and a burning sensation.

He steps back, smirking, and leaves the room.

Dean wants to throw up. He wants to die.
He can’t believe it’s happening again.
It’s not possible. It’s not true. He’s having a nightmare, he’s going to wake up and maybe Seth will be there or Roman will gently squeeze his neck.
But maybe he’s all alone. He has always been alone. People don’t want him. People don’t need him. Nobody needs him. Nobody likes him.

His head is starting to hurt badly.
He can’t lose it, he can’t. He has to get out of there. For his boys and his girls. He can’t lose his mind. He has to be stronger.

He just needs a bit of comfort. He just needs someone or something to ground him.

The necklace appears in his mind. Does he still have it? He looks down, rubs his jaw against his neck until he can feel it. With a sigh, he keeps rubbing it with his jaw, finding comfort in such a simple thing. He’s sobbing before he knows it, body shaking so hard he’s afraid he’s going to break something.
He doesn’t stop rubbing his jaw against the necklace, stays like that until he can finally feel the darts around his lungs disappear. His whole body still hurts like a bitch but... if he can stay sane a little bit longer, he’ll take it.

When he feels ready, he starts to move. He gets up slowly, half-crouched because of the chair still tied to him. It puts a lot of pressure on his wrists, ankles and torso but he doesn’t have a choice.
Big breath. And he runs back into the wall. The chair digs into the flesh of his back but he doesn’t care.
He keeps doing it until the chair finally gives up. Thankfully, the chair is in wood and doesn’t need that much strength to be broken. Thankfully. They probably didn’t have enough time to give... him a stronger chair. Like last time.

The chair eventually breaks, sending wood everywhere. At least, Dean can now stand upright. He grabs one of the chair’s legs with a sigh.

He‘s still tied up. The rope won’t break and the piece of wood he grabbed isn’t strong enough to cut through it.
He’s fucked.

His breath is starting to go crazy when the door opens.
Goodbye, life.
He knows he won’t be able to go on with his life once again. He just can’t.

Clutching the piece of wood in between sweaty fingers, he tenses up, ready to fight... and maybe get killed.

But it’s not his abuser that crosses the door.

It’s a smaller guy, with brown hair and clever blue eyes.

"Oh God. Oh. Fuck. I almost fainted because of you, Bálor. I can’t believe it." He breathes out, letting his chair’s leg go almost instantly.

"Oi, sorry. Wasn’t sure wha’ I was gonna find ‘ere."

"We must be fast. He’s- he’s coming back. And we need to get Seth and Roman. Keep the stories about how later. Untie me, first."

Finn stays quiet, moving in the shadows and without a sound. He unties him with a knife and takes a second to pat his shoulder.
Dean ignores it. He can’t take any comfort right now or he will break down - and they don’t need a breakdown.

"You know where they are?"

"Heard noises. Not much ‘ere. I think we’re in an abandoned warehouse, ye kno’."

"Hidden. Clever, I guess. Let’s move quick. If- if they notice I’m gone..."

He doesn’t need to say more- Finn understands too.
They get out of the room, Dean taking one of Finn’s guns. He prefers knives but it’s not the right time to use knives. They were ready to put Dean through trauma once again so if he can kill one of them... he won’t say no. At least, if he can hurt them...

The corridor is dark and smells surprisingly like someone threw a ton of fish in there. Dean doesn’t like it but they don’t have a choice.

Finn moves so quietly he has to stay close to him in order not to lose him. Tons of different corridors later and Dean doesn’t know where they are. It seems like this maze isn’t hard to understand for Finn, which makes Dean thinks; did he know the place before? Maybe the girls did.

He tries to stay focused on the task at hand. The whole building is completely silent. He can hear the sound of water near- the ocean isn’t that close so they must be near a lake or a river, which would explain the smell.

"We’re close?" He ends up asking after their fifth turn, voice so small he wonders if Finn heard him right.

"Yeh. Think it’s Seth. Not sure. If he’s not alone, lemme take care of the guy. Stay quiet."

Dean doesn’t argue. He knows and trusts Finn enough to let him lead, especially if he knows the place.
They keep walking, following walls. At some point, Dean is pretty sure he can hear sounds; low voices for sure. His hearing is good but not as good as Finn’s.

They do get stronger and stronger. They now can hear a man almost clearly. His voice is strong but it seems like he has a small elocution problem.

Finn stops before the door. He starts gesturing at Dean and it takes them a couple of seconds to understand each other.
They will both try to knock down the opponent. As soon as Finn can handle him alone, Dean’ll help the guy who’s locked up in there.
They’ll have to be fast and precise.

Dean is about to kick down the door when Finn stops him. He gets out a pair of keys from his pocket with a smirk- which looks like the exact same pair that was on his abuser’s jeans.
He probably stole them. Without being seen. Which is one hell of a crazy thing to do.
Dean smiles down at him, tries not to throw up because he's still heavily triggered and nauseous, and lets him open the door.

Everything escalates quickly from then. They both dive on the small, muscular guy. He’s visibly surprised and scared, but one good punch makes him confused enough- Finn can knock him out by himself.
The next second, Dean turns toward the chair. Seth is sitting on it, looking a bit shaken, dried blood around his nose, but really relieved.
Dean doesn’t lose time and quickly unties him, hands shaking. His mind keeps reminding him that he’s at least safe now that he’s with them. Seth is safe. First objective is complete.
He hears a sound above his head but totally ignores it- then, a big thump, and the guy is down at their feet.

"Oh hell no." Seth lets out, slowly standing up with a grimace. "Thanks. I think he was gonna start serious stuff."

"Yeh. We’ve to get to your lad." Finn looks alarmed and a bit worried- from now on, Dean’s abuser should notice pretty soon what’s happening. They don’t have time.

But Dean can’t help it. He throws his arms around Seth in a clumsy hug, trying not to break down, trying to forget about what almost happened and what happened the last time he was in such a situation.

Seth takes a second to understand. He doesn’t reject him. He looks like he’s happy about the hug but slightly sad, and wraps his arms around Dean, pressing a kiss in his hair and whispering a small "you’re good, you’re okay baby boy" in his ear. He’s not even sure if Dean heard him, but when they step back, Dean isn’t shaking anymore.

Finn doesn’t comment, already going through the door. They follow him without asking anything.

They just need to find Roman and then, they’re out of here. Every second in there is a second closer to their deaths. Dean refuses to let this happen.
He keeps track of every window, counting them to ground himself. His fingers are around his necklace to keep it from making noise.

Seth follows Finn’s rules without any problem; he stays quiet and trusts him. Dean’s pretty sure he’s following Finn just because Dean does... but that’s good enough already. At least he doesn’t question his presence or the fact that he’s flying through the warehouse without having any difficulties.

But it is too easy. At one point, Finn raises his hand and they all freeze. They’re pressed against a wall, in the dark.

"...check on him no’. Go back to Shane at the headquarters."

It’s his voice.
Dean starts shaking again. His fingers are locked so tight around the necklace he’s scared he’s going to break it. He finds himself barely hissing words. "I can’t- I can’t- I..."

"Focus on me."

He feels arms wrapping themselves around his own, fingers forcing him to softly let go. He blindly takes Seth’s hand, only now noticing that he closed his eyes. He feels Seth’s body behind him, hears him breathing down his ear, feels the warmth and his hair against his neck.

"’Ve ye seen my keys? No? Might have left ‘em ‘round Jon’s room. Gonna check."

Dean tries not to whimper. He’s not that weak. He’s not weak. He’s not- he wants to cry. He’s still shaking.

Footsteps are getting closer and closer. He leans back against Seth, hand going on his own mouth to keep himself as quiet as possible. Seth hugs him.
They don’t move.

The footsteps are almost there. He’s going to find them. He’s going to see them. They’re going to die.
Dean is terrified. He can’t go back. They’re almost out, aren’t they?
Some superior being must have heard him, because his abuser goes left and disappears.

His whole body transforms into jelly almost right away, panic leaving him powerless. But Seth is there to help him up again.

"I’m sorry, but we ‘ave to move quickly. We’re on a tight schedule."

Finn is starting to look more and more anxious which doesn’t help Dean at all.
But he understands. He shakes his legs, slaps himself softly to remember that he has a job to do. "Yeah. Yeah. Let’s move." He hears just how weak he sounds- he ignores it.

Seth opens his mouth, ready to talk, when there’s a huge scream that makes them stop.
It’s more like a roar, and Dean wonders for a crazy second if the McMahon family is dumb enough to use animals on them.
But the way Seth shivers makes him understand quickly.

"That’s- that’s Roman- Follow, Finn... follow the sounds, it- it’s Roman."

The place is dark and quiet but they start to pick up some foreign sounds, some noises that would most definitely lead them to the missing piece. Dean feels this weird urge, this strange need to put Roman and Seth in a safe place.
Probably just to make sure they will never have to experience what he experienced in the past.

Seth stays close, sometimes letting his knuckles brush against Dean’s, sometimes even putting a hand on his back. He keeps whispering reassuring words- which might be for himself. The place isn’t reassuring in itself, and even without everything related to his past, Dean would probably still be terrified.

The sounds are getting a bit louder but still not enough to tell what’s happening. There’s definitely hitting which completely scares Dean. They like torture.
He tries not to imagine Roman half-dead and all bloody.

"Left, then right. We take the guards firs’, ‘kay?" Finn tells them, already giving Seth a knife. Dean’s fingers are already closing themselves around his gun.

Like a whole, quiet snake, they follow Finn’s lead. The sounds are worrying Dean to no end. Which is, in itself, pretty worrying. But he’s not going to think about that right now.

They stop in front of a big door. It seems closed but Finn takes out his keys with a frown, tries the first two keys. Groans quietly but sighs when the third goes in.
The door hits the wall and they get into the room, ready to fight as many opponents as they can...

But there’s none. Instead, there’s an unconscious man on the floor. His face is too bloody to even recognise who it might be.
On top of him is Roman. He looks predatory, breathing hard, blood all around the right side of his face. It squeezes Dean’s heart.
He seems ready to strike again, but the determination completely disappears when he sees their faces.

"Good to see y’all." He groans out, voice way too raspy. Dean takes a small step but it feels almost intimate and intruding- he lets Seth go first.

Which he does. Seth sighs and helps Roman up, checking for injuries and then, hugging him.
Somehow, everything they do seems like a moment between the two of them. It makes Dean a bit embarrassed, and he finds himself looking away almost automatically.

"Dean, come here for a sec."

Frowning, he looks at Roman and takes another shy step. Roman just rolls his eyes at him, extends his arm, and forces him into a big, warm hug. Dean’s pressed up between Roman’s chest - which is so muscular it feels like hugging a warm, cuddly wall - and Seth’s body.
It’s not really unpleasant.

"Whatever, we- we, uh, have t’move. They’re gonna come for us. And we- we won’t make it out twice so- let’s. Yeah." He mumbles, awkwardly stepping away and turning toward an anxious Finn.

"Yeah. I’ve a plan to get out but we ‘ave t’be careful. Y’all stay quiet and right behind me. If we’re separated, try not to get caught and get out through a window or somethin’."

Finn keeps giving them bits of advice when they start to walk. Once again, it’s dark enough to hide them but they’re four tall, muscular men. If someone chooses to use that corridor, they’d most likely be dead.
So they stay extra careful. Roman adapts quickly to Finn’s commands and doesn’t try to talk at all.

The more time they spend in the warehouse, the less fine Dean feels. The situation is starting to get a toll on him. His body feels more exhausted than ever and his mind... well, it’s fried up. He manages to keep the breakdown at bay but it’s using every bit of energy he has.

It must be showing because every now and then, Seth or Roman puts a hand on him, to keep him going. If he would have rejected them a few weeks earlier, Dean now completely trusts them. He doesn’t have a choice anyway, especially not in such a place.

They go through corridors and empty rooms, steadily walking near the walls and avoiding the center of the warehouse- or Dean’s room. Finn seems to relax a bit but he suddenly freezes, hand shooting up by reflex.
Seth accidentally bumps into Dean because of how fast he stopped.

"... gone! We’re going to look, they must be around."

"Yeh, you better do tha’. Shane won’t be happy. Ah, ye might even be the next Jon!"

The voices are far enough and the tone threatening enough to make them speed up. The air is full of tension but Finn doesn’t let that get to him. He’s moving, fast and clearly, not making any mistake. He doesn’t trip, doesn’t hesitate, going straight through doors and not even needing the keys. Thankfully, because Dean has no idea where they are anymore- he lost counts after they got to Seth.

Eventually, Finn stops in front of a window, opening it quietly and, just like that, he's outside. They follow him, finally getting some fresh air.
Finn lets them take a few breaths before he starts walking again. They stay careful, following trees and basically anything high enough or big enough to hide them.

They can vaguely hear sounds coming from the building, but no matter how many times Dean looks behind him, they’re not followed.

They walk during at least an hour before Finn stops them.

"Follow this road and ye shoul’ be back in town. Dean, ye know the way, right?" After a quick nod from Dean, Finn smiles. "Great. Then, ye officially survived. Go back to Becky before she kills someone. I ‘ave a few things to do."

He softly slaps Dean’s shoulder, nods and goes somewhere at their left. He’s so talented at his job that it seems like he just disappeared.

"Can we... talk about what just happened?" Seth’s anxious tone is enough to bring Dean back to Earth.

With a frown, he turns around to look at them and takes it all in. They’re both a bit bloody. Seth’s nose stopped bleeding at some point but Roman’s face is still covered in blood. It’s a bit scary but Dean doesn’t let that stop him.

He raises his tee-shirt, approaches Roman, and starts to clean up his face. It keeps him busy and grounded, which gives him enough time to explain. "Uh, it was... the McMahons. They- wanted to... talk to the girls. Well. ‘Talk’, you know the song."

Roman is looking at him quietly, visibly trying not to move his face, but the small appreciative curve of his lips is enough to relax Dean. Seth is looking at them with half a smile but he still looks a bit worried. "What happened to you?"

Roman’s fingers stop around Dean’s wrist. "The dude thought his weak-ass handcuffs were enough to stop me. Beat the shit out of him but he had a bit of time before to... have fun." He then puts Dean’s hand back on his face, letting him do whatever he wanted to do.

"Nothing too bad, right?" When Roman shakes his head, Seth sighs in relief.

"’Nd you, goth kid?"

"Same. Didn’t have enough time to get rid of the handcuffs but your friend did it for me. The fucker punched me right in the nose, though." Seth snickers while cleaning up his own face, checking twice to see if his nose is broken - it doesn't seem like it is. "What ‘bout you?"

Dean stops moving. His tee-shirt falls from his hands and his fingers stop against Roman’s cheek which seems to worry the bigger one. "Dean, are you- are you alright?"

In and out. In and out. His legs feel suddenly weak and he takes his time to sit down, quickly followed by his partners. "I-" he tries once, clears his throat, tries again. He ignores the wetness of his eyes. "Jon- when he said Jon- that, uh, I used to... go by tha’ name in the past."

"Jon." Roman repeats with a slight frown, tasting the name on his tongue.

"Wait. He said something about being the next Jon. What did that mean?"

Dean looks up at the sky, trying to stop himself from shaking. He can feel ghost fingers digging into the flesh of his thighs, can feel the slight burn caused by the weak slap he got, can even feel the kiss on his ear and the way his scalp tingled after he pulled at his hair.
"Big Scottish guy... name’s Drew." He quietly manages to say, already grabbing his necklace, pressing it against his lips. "He was, uh... my dealer’s bodyguard. Like- not, not official but... yeah. I went too deep into... that kind of stuff and ended up robbing the guy and I... I might have rough him up a bit when he tried to beat me up. Just- I was just faster and... well, smarter."

They don’t comment right away. They’re careful but both of their hands are on Dean’s knees, to keep him from hiding behind them.

"He sent- he sent him. He got me, of course, used... yeah. The same stuff, I think, to get me to sleep. Took me in a sort of basement."

His eyes are all glassy by now, and even though he’s fighting it, he can almost see the basement. "And, he..." How does one say that? How can he without humiliating himself even more? With a small hiccup, cheeks flaming red because of how embarrassed he is, he whispers it. "He did things. Bad, ah, bad things and- you know- I didn’t- I couldn’t..."

"Dean, babe, just breathe." Roman’s hand is back on his chest, forcing him to follow his lead. He does and only then notices that he was breathing way too hard.

"You don’t- you don’t have to keep going if you can’t." Seth’s voice is small and angry in a way he never heard it. He can see the exact representation of such an anger on Roman’s face and he feels a bit guilty, somehow.

"He raped me." His voice doesn’t break. It doesn’t shake, doesn’t seem affected in any way. He used that word so many times before; talking to his therapist, to a few psychiatrists and psychologists or whatever the hell they were. He talked to so many people. "I don’t know how long- I don’t know how long I stayed there, but he stopped coming down to see me after a few times. When I was alone, I- I just used the time to get away. Get rid of the handcuffs. Work my way out."

He sees the way both of their faces change. He can see the boiling anger in their eyes, doesn’t have to imagine the rest of their emotions, because he felt that too. But they don’t have to face the humiliation, the embarrassment, the self-hate, the depression and everything that went with it.

"It was hard but I... I did it. Then, the next years were... awful. Trying to... you know. Go back to who I was before. Trying to get on with life. It wasn’t- It was harder than I thought. Had a lot of bad coping mechanisms. Used to sleep around, liked getting roughed up. Got into fights. Alcohol. Cigarettes. Not... not drugs. I resisted that shit."

Seth’s hand move around his back, slowly moving, pressing himself up against his side. Roman slides his fingers until they're on the back of his neck, pressing softly.

"A-anyway. I thought that... I was at least done with that fuckin’ bastard but- but- he was... uh, he was there. I think he was gonna..."

He tries to finish his sentence, but the words don’t come out. They stay in his throat, like a painful knot, even if they’re written in big, bold black letters in his mind. Instead, he starts almost hyperventilating, body shaking so hard he’s afraid he’s going to hit one of them without meaning to.

"Hey, hey, it’s alright, you’re safe now. See? You’re with us." Roman quickly says, taking one of Dean’s hand in his and putting it on his tattooed arm. "You’re not back there. You survived again because you’re stronger and smarter."

"Yeah. You got us, man. It will never ever happen again."

"He said- ah, he said they... I think they hurt my... the guy... ah. My therapist. Whatever he was. They got the files. And they found... uh. Drew. Knew he would- he could-..."

"We understand. But they don’t know you have us. Dean, they have no idea. They don’t know just how glad we are to be with you today. What they do know is that we can beat their ass so many times. They’re forced to use weak ways to get to us. But we’re stronger."

Seth hand is slowly drawing circles on his back, his forehead against his shoulders. "Let us be there for you. Really. You don’t have to hide and fight your feelings when you feel it coming back."

Dean doesn’t really know what to say. He’s exhausted once again, PTSD is starting to kick in and he’s not sure he’ll be able to go to sleep at all. He can’t keep himself from glancing behind them every ten seconds, and no matter what, he keeps shaking.

"We should get going. Go back to the... motel. They’re gonna break us if we don’t get you back there safe and quickly." Roman helps them both back up, a hand going on both of their backs when they start walking again.

"Thanks, Dean." It’s Seth who breaks the silence, brown eyes shining a bit. "I mean, for trusting us. I don’t- I’ve never faced things like that so I’m not sure about what I should do, but I wanna be there for you."

"Not sure how to- how to do that either." Dean whispers back, rubbing his jaw against the necklace. "I’m not- uh, not really processing what happened. Makin’ me anxious."

"You’ll have more time to process when we’ll get back. It’s normal, I suppose. Everything happened so quickly. I’m proud of you. Both of you."

Dean doesn’t miss Seth’s shy smile.
He also doesn’t miss his own small, weak grin.