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Soup and Sadness

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“You need to eat, Cas.” Dean again, the angel’s brain unhelpfully supplied. Anyone would be preferable to Dean right now. No one else but him and Sam even payed attention to Castiel- unless it was to blame him for the situation they were in. Regardless of how much he hated the accusations (though he deserved them) having Dean on his back to take care of himself was much worse. “Cas,” Dean repeated. “Food?” Castiel’s stomach rumbled and spasmed painfully.

“I’m not hungry,” he protested weakly.

“Come on, Cas, you need to eat.” Dean placed a bowl on the ground in front of Castiel. It was soup, made with various shriveled vegetables and some unidentifiable meat. Before the apocalypse Castiel would have turned his nose up at it, whether he was human of not, but now it was the best looking (not to mention the most) food he had seen in months. Castiel’s stomach growled again.

“No thank you.”

“Come on—it’s been days since I’ve seen you eat. You can’t run on empty forever.” Castiel just pushed the bowl away. Dean growled in frustration.

“I’m an angel, Dean. We don’t need food.”

“No, damnit: you’re not, and you do. Look, I hate it as much as you do, but you’re human, Cas, and humans need to eat.” Dean sighed, keeping his voice as quiet as he could while still getting his point across. “I know you don’t want to believe me- just snap out of it. Eat. We have enough food for everyone.” Castiel regarded the soup again, he did need to eat, that much was true. However, he greatly suspected that Dean was lying about how much food they had. There was never enough, and while there were rarely nights where most people didn’t at least get something, no one was ever really full.

“Have you eaten today?” He asked Dean, pulling closer into himself. It was a low blow, yes, but Castiel wanted to make sure his favorite human was taken care of, too. Dean had a bad habit of putting everyone before himself, even if they didn’t deserve it.

“Am I gonna have to shove this down your throat?” Dean replied, artfully dodging Castiel’s question.

The answer was no, but that wasn’t important. Dean had gone longer without food before. The only thing that mattered right now was getting something into Castiel. He wasn’t taking his newfound humanity well. He helped as much as he could: finding food, keeping watch, and other similar things. Still, no matter what Dean—or anyone, for that matter—said, Castiel couldn’t seem to take care of himself. He wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t sleep, wouldn’t accept his own mortality. Dean was gonna have a heart attack if Castiel threw himself into another fight on three days no sleep and the bare minimum of whatever substitute for a proper meal Dean had managed to get him to keep down.

Short and sweet: self-loathing, suicidal ex-angels were a bitch to keep alive.

“Fine,” Castiel mumbled. Dean pushed the bowl back towards Castiel, breathing a quiet sigh of relief. Castiel picked up the bowl and lifted a spoonful of soup to his mouth. He could do this—they had enough food, he wasn’t being a burden, and if he didn’t eat soon he would get sick and become a burden (more than he was normally, anyway). Castiel could read the concern on Dean’s face. What hurt is knowing it was for him- not the rest of their group, not for his brother, and not for the end of the world. Dean was worried about him, a broken angel who could barely feed himself.

"Please, Cas.” Castiel stuffed the spoonful of soup in his mouth. He swallowed. A small, relived smile crossed Dean’s face, but he quickly hid it. Castiel’s stomach growled again, more akin to a scream for calories this time. Forgoing the spoon, Castiel lifted the bowl to his lips and started taking huge gulps of soup. He had known he was hungry, but he had no idea how badly he needed food. Dean rested a hand on Castiel’s shoulder.

“Woah, might wanna slow down a bit. Don’t want you throwing up.” Castiel put down the down half-empty bowl and wiped his mouth with his hand.

“That would be... less than ideal,”

Dean hummed and shifted to sit next to Castiel, drumming his fingers absently on the log they now shared.

“How is it, anyway? I think Jamie put a whole bottle of paprika in the pot.”

“Good.” It was good, Castiel thought. You could definitely taste the paprika, though. “Very... paprika-y.” Dean grinned.

“Good.”

“Good," Castiel murmured.

The wind whispered through the trees, rattling dead leaves and chilling the sour air. Dean sighed. They needed a win, and they needed one bad. Luck had been in short stock since angels and demons had torn the world to shreds over the past few months. Before long, food had dried up, and most groups that had formed in be beginning ended up ripping each other apart. If something good didn’t happen soon, they were good as dead. Castiel had eaten today, though, and even if that wasn’t much to anyone but himself, it was something. Dean handed the ex-angel a bottle of water.

“Awesome. Drink this?”