Things about top surgery (will be a long post; hang on and read whatever topic you need)
I had a double incision mastectomy with free nipple grafts with Dr. Daniel Medalie on May 18, 2017. Here’s just some things I personally have experienced that may help others pursuing top surgery, wether or not it’s with Dr. Medalie.
I got into contact with Valerie, his receptionist. She’s very helpful and will try to answer any questions you might have. I live about 2 hours away from Cleveland, so it was up to me if I wanted an in person consult or just over email. I got my therapist letter and photos of my chest ready and sent out. Photos via email. The consult was $60. When I heard back, he signed off on my therapist note, and told me I was borderline for either surgery; peri vs double incision. He said he would need to see me in person to make that call, but it could wait until the day of surgery. I wanted to know what to prepare for so I went to Cleveland about 2 weeks after. I was not charged for this in person meeting. He told me he could do peri if I was concerned about the scars that DI would give, but he would prefer DI as he was worried about the extra skin. Ultimately it was my choice. I was hoping for so long I could get peri and not have scars. However, I wanted the most aesthetically appealing option. I didn’t want extra skin. I didn’t want “unknown” nipple landing, especially with the extra skin. I made my decision of DI, based on Dr. Medalie having more control of nipple placement, contour, and removal of the extra skin. I got home and pondered when to schedule.
I scheduled about 2 months prior, and was hoping for a Friday date, but was told he doesn’t operate on Fridays so I took the Thursday, which was fine with me. I think it was about a $250 deposit to schedule. In those 2 months, it was more of me focusing on work and not really thinking of surgery, except applying for CareCredit. About a month out, my fiancé and I started putting some things together for the trip to Cleveland: food, post op care (light food like crackers, blankets, clothing, etc.), money, who’s taking care of the cats while we’re gone, and so on. We stayed at a Super 8 in Beachwood, OH (it’s like 10 minutes away from the surgery center and his office). We went to Cleveland the day before my surgery. On our way, the surgery center called to confirm my appointment, 9:15am and to arrive an hour early. We got to the hotel around 2:30-3:00pm. My grandparents and dad also came with us, different hotel room. They bought dinner. I couldn’t stop pacing. It was hard to get to sleep.
I naturally woke up way before my alarm, but continued to force myself back to sleep; it was the last time I could curl up and cuddle with my fiancé for a while. I needed that time. But I also couldn’t hold still for anything. We got up, I got comfy clothes on (red athletic shorts and a purple button down flannel. I looked fantastic, trust me), and continued to pace. We headed for the surgery center at about 7:45. The things we took to the center: a comfort blanket (literally any blanket you really like), a pillow, and my post op vest (this is important!). We got there, I got all checked in and paid my fees. I sat down for like… 2 minutes and was called back. Usual questions, urine sample (which was collected in a styrofoam cup??), got told to strip down except for underwear. Which I wasn’t wearing. So that was awkward but whatever. Put on the gown and surgery socks. Nurse took me to my bed and kept asking if I was cold. Honestly I was burning up. She said that’s pretty usual, we come in burning up and leave freezing. She got everything ready to start my IV. She numbed the area, commented on how nice my veins are, stuck me and blew the vein. I warned her that my veins don’t take nicely to IV needles. She profusely apologized and felt so bad about it. I kept telling her it was fine and I was expecting it to happen the first time. Second numbing, second stick, worked. More apologizing. She went and got my grandparents first. Saw the anesthesiologist. Grandparents left and my dad and fiancé came back to see me. Dr. Medalie came back, drew on me, talked a bit, was on his way. Anesthesiologist came back, he was an odd but funny guy. Maybe I just get his sense of humor. We talked a bit, his nurse came with him and started doing her thing. Anti-nausea via IV, another anti-nausea medicine via patch behind the ear (I usually get really sick from anesthesia). And then some relaxing medicine. I was so out of it when it hit, I don’t remember much. Wheeled back to the OR and remember them having some issue with my left arm board. Then I was in recovery. Dad told me to wake up and I flipped him off. I asked the nurse for water. And then to pee. And then for a warm blanket. I was surprisingly mobile and awake for just coming out of anesthesia. The nurse helped me get dressed and sat me in a chair while my discharge was being approved and they showed my fiancé how to empty my drains. My fiancé went to get her car and the nurse loaded me up, pillow behind my back and seat leaned back a bit and even put my blanket over me after getting my seatbelt on. Got back to the hotel, dad watched over me while my fiancé went to get my prescriptions. She got back, I took a pill, I slept most of that day. My waking moments were spent snacking on crackers, my drains being emptied, peeing, and watching The Weather Channel. It was the only thing on TV I could focus on. Until I passed back out.
The following days in Cleveland:
Drains being emptied, peeing, Weather Channel, Percocet, crackers, Powerade. I got up sometime Friday evening and went for a short walk with my fiancé. Sleeping post op in the hotel I was in a chair that had a footrest. YOU WILL NEED YOUR OWN SPACE TO SLEEP. My body pillow was perfect under my feet since the footrest was JUST too low for me. Had a pillow under my back, decently sized light blanket over me. I sleep hot, so we just brought a light blanket from home so I wouldn’t overheat, plus a comfort thing. We left Cleveland Saturday morning.
I was still sleeping in a recliner. Body pillow next to me for one arm and a pile of blankets for the other. Again light blanket. We brought the recliner to the bedroom before we left home so my fiancé could have the bed while also being there if I needed anything in the middle of the night. Still emptying drains.
May 23, 2017 Goodbye drains:
My post op appointment. Take your narcotic about an hour before your appointment or before you go! Being on the road isn’t exactly comfortable. Plus it helps with whatever pain you have during the drain removal. I had to pee by time we got there so I went and then was in the room with his nurse Mary and my fiancé. Mary is really cool and pretty funny. Mary opened my vest and the feeling of being able to breathe was shocking. I didn’t realize it was that tight. Off came the foam (and probably all of my chest hair) and I could see my chest for the first time post op!
Seeing my chest:
After the foam was off, I looked down and the first thing out of my mouth was “oh. Woah. They’re gone”. Nothing can really prepare you for your reaction. I thought I was going to be over the moon and happy crying like the other guys who posted their reveal videos. But I wasn’t. There was this relief. Realization that I closed a chapter on a part of my life and this new one just started. I was happy, but not how it was going to happen in my head for so long. It was just pure relief. It was flatter than I thought (later to realize it was just from all the compression). A lot less “I got hit by a train” than I thought too. Dr. Medalie came in after my drains were pulled (will be discussed soon) and basically said I looked perfect and was good to go.
My next 10 days:
I’m a day away from day 10 post post-op (a day shy of 2 weeks post op) at the time of writing this. I was still sleeping in my recliner for a while and just got back into bed a few nights ago, surrounded by pillows and blankets to keep me from rolling. My mobility has greatly improved over the past few days. I take ibuprofen for any pain. I use ice packs when I’m really sore. I take dressing changes seriously since it’s a short time I can breathe and move. After tomorrow the steri-strips come off and I’m done with this compression vest. I can soak in a bath as long has my chest is above water. I use a cup to wet and rinse my upper body and hair. I use baby soap. I’ve been able to finally lay on my side with great care in the past like 2-3 days. Take it slow!
Let’s talk drains:
They absolutely suck. I’m pretty sure it was the worst thing about this whole process. They’re annoying. They’re weird. They hurt sometimes. I was so happy to finally get them out. Which is also a very odd feeling. It kinda pinches, kinda burns, kinda hurts. I don’t know how to really explain it. My left one actually hurt coming out, but I had armpit hair caught up in the suture and all that. Take the narcotic before you get them out. I was told to do that, and I’m glad I did.
How about those nips:
They’ll look really weird at first. Like ghost nips. Do the dressings EXACTLY as Mary tells you. You don’t wanna lose them. My nips are starting to scab, blister, and peel. THIS IS NORMAL. Just keep them dressed as explained by Mary and the paperwork she gives you. I have limited feeling in mine; I can feel the outer edges but not much on the inside. It’s really weird, but also normal. Not about nips but: as your chest hair grows back (they shaved my chest) it’s going to itch like no other.
Things I’m glad to have/have had:
Pillow(s), comfortable blankets, laxatives!!! (MILK OF MAGNESIA. Do yourself a favor and get it), ibuprofen, Gatorade/Powerade, slightly heavier blanket for my chest (in case the fur kids wanted to love on me), body pillow, open front shirts (get a few cheap shirts/tank tops and cut them open in the front)
To keep from stupid long posts in the future I’ll update more regularly. Thanks for reading and I hope it helps! Any questions, please ask!
Request: can u write something where bill spends a lot of time at ur house since his parents r reeling w georgies death by avoiding everything and idk u comfort him and its all fluffy?
The familiar sound of the doorbell rang in your ears from your room on the second story. You know too well who it was, he comes here every single day at the same exact time after school. You didn’t blame him at all, of course. Ever since the death of his younger brother Georgie, his parents had been distant and continued to snap at him whenever he said something about trying to find George. It was as if they had lost all hope and had lost all remembrance that Bill was still their son, too. The last time you went into his house while he was grabbing something, you could feel the tension in the air. “I’ve got it mom,” you yelled, running out of your room and walking down the steps. From the steps you could see Bill’s figure through the window in the door, he had his purple and red flannel on and his hair looked messy from probably running to your house. You opened the door and smiled up at your boyfriend. A small smile graced his lips as well, but you knew it was fake. You knew he loved you with all his heart, though he was so sad that Georgie was gone that he couldn’t think of anything other than that at some points. His face was red and puffy like he had been crying as well. "Come in,“ you said, leading him into your house. He took off his shoes and helped close the door. "We can go up to my room if you want." "T-t-that sounds-s good,” Bill stuttered out. Ever since Georgie died, his stutter had been getting worse as well. He didn’t even say the sentence he would say over and over again to try and make it go away, he just let it happen. “M-my parents w-we’re figh-fighting aga-in." Understandable. That’s why he had been crying. You would’ve been crying too, if your parents were fighting, it wouldn’t be the first time either. And you knew that deep down, Bill blamed himself for Georgie’s disappearance because that day he had been sick and he sent Georgie outside alone. It was a mistake. Georgie was old enough to go out by himself, something had happened to him though. Georgie was always talking to strangers, he was such a sweet little kind boy that you could imagine him just walking up to a stranger for no reason and getting taken. He trusted people too easily. But it was a small town, they would find him sooner or later, they had to. Once you two made it into your room with the door closed, you didn’t even have time to turn around before you heard him start a fit of tears. Turning around, your arms latched onto his body quickly, pulling him into a tight hug. There was nothing to say, he needed to cry. "I-I-I’m s-s-sorry,” he muttered through the tears. He hated crying in front of people, he was considered the leader of their little group, so he thought he was supposed to be the strong one. He pushed his feelings aside for so long until it finally came out in fits of tears and panic attacks. Bill was never very good with his feelings, you knew that better than anyone. “I-I shouldn’t b-be cry-cry-crying." "Don’t say that Bill, come on,” you pulled him so that he was sitting down on your bed, you stood in front of him, taking his face in your hands and making him look up at you. “It’s okay to cry, okay? It’s okay, healthy even. You don’t have to apologize.” He nodded, reaching out his hands to grab you and pull you next to him. With a small laugh, you leaned your head against his shoulder and he leaned his head against your head. You two sat in silence and it was blissful. You felt as if you could sit there for hours in silence and the silence could say more than a thousand words. "We’re going to be okay,“ you whispered after ten minutes, turning to face him, your forehead leaning against his. "You’re going to be okay and Georgie is going to come home." "I k-know it’s jus-st-” "Don’t say anything negative anymore Bill, think positive please, like the person I know you are.“ You pecked his lips and hugged him again, hoping that when you pulled away from this embrace, the tears on his face would be dry and they would be replaced with his beautiful, big smile.
Requested by @dolanangels: “a really fluffy imagine with ethan and Y/N where they vlog and do a girlfriend vs boyfriend challenge”
“(Y/N), come oooooon.” Ethan wined from the living room.
“I’m almost ready, chill out.” You called back. You and him had a beach day planned and he was getting restless while waiting for you to finish getting ready.
“We’re just going to the beach, sheesh.” He complained. You tied up your hair in a messy bun and walked out of the restroom.
“Alright, I’m ready. Goodness.” You joked. You loaded up the car with all your bags and other beach gear and headed off to Santa Monica for the day.
“See, this is why I took forever to get ready. I knew you were gonna vlog today.” You laughed as he set up his camera on the dashboard of the car.
“I can’t have an amazing day with my girl and not vlog.” He said as he kissed your cheek. You smiled and turned up the radio as you hit the highway.
Once you got to the beach, it was pretty empty, you had infinite choices of spots. You set up your towels and everything and just hung out. It was just the two of you, and it was nice to be able to spend time with each other like that.
You bought passes for the pier and rode a few of the roads and got lunch at one of the many restaurants on the pier. After lunch, you walked down to the end of the pier and enjoyed the view.
“The water is so pretty.” You said.
“Not as pretty as you.” Ethan said.
“Haha, you’re cute.” You laughed. You kissed him softly, knowing that his viewers would go crazy once they saw that footage in the video.
After you day on the beach, once back home in your apartment that you shared with Ethan and Grayson, you sat down to film a video.
“What’s up guys, we’re back.” Grayson began.
“And today, we’re with a special guest, my girlfriend, (Y/N).” Ethan said, motioning to you. “You’ve only seen her in vlogs, but today, we decided to switch it up and have her film with us.” He added.
“So, today, we’re gonna put Ethan and (Y/N) to the test and see how well they really know each other, and their relationship.” Grayson began. “They each have written five questions, that I will be asking them. They’ll get a point for each correct answer, and the one with the most points at the end is the winner.” He finished.
“We haven’t decided on a punishment yet-” You started.
“Loser gets dumped.” Ethan joked.
“Alright then, loser gets dumped.” You laughed. Throughout the video, the questions were pretty easy. They were mostly favorites questions, like favorite movie, favorite past time, and favorite outfit that the other one wears.
“Oh, c’mon, that’s an easy one.” Ethan said has he wrote down his answer to his favorite outfit that you wear.
“It’s not that easy. Because you have different favorites. You have a favorite dress up outfit, and a favorite casual outfit. You told me this the other day. Also, you like when I wear your clothes.” You said.
“That is true, I do like when you wear my clothes.” He agreed. “Okay, I’ll give you a hint. The answer I wrote was a casual outfit.” He said.
“Okay, that helps.” You said. “I’m gonna go with, your maroon Vans hoodie and leggings.” You said.
“My maroon vans hoodie and leggiiiings.” Ethan said as he showed his paper to the camera.
“Awe, seriously? I went out on a limb with that one.” You laughed.
“Alright, that’s another point for (Y/N) and the score is now tied at four. Whoever gets this next one wins.” Grayson said. “Alright, Ethan, the last time (Y/N) bought you clothes, what store did they come from, how many articles of clothing were there, and what were they?” Grayson said.
“Oh my gosh, what kind of question is this?” Ethan asked.
“I gotta throw a few curve balls in there.” You laughed.
“Jeez.” He said. He sat there for a minute, trying to come up with an answer. “Okay, I think I got it. It was H&M for sure, I remember that much. And I wanna say it was three items. It was the red and black flannel, the purple crewneck, and that blue baseball tee.” Ethan said. You laughed and looked down at your answer sheet. “Is that it? Was that it?” He asked.
“Red and black flannel, purple crewneck, baseball tee, AND a pair of black jeans.” You said as your flipped your paper around.
“Ooooh, nooo. I forgot about those jeans.” He said.
“She also got me this camo t-shirt, but that’s besides the point.” Grayson added. “So, that’s another point for (Y/N), which means that she won. Ethan, are you ready to get dumped?” Grayson asked. Ethan shook his head.
“Well, Ethan, it was nice knowing you. It was a nice seven month run, but I guess this is it.” You said. You kissed his hand and walked off out of frame. Ethan pretended to be distraught and fell off of his chair and faked tears. You laughed and came back into frame and sat down in Ethan’s lap.
“Just kidding. No one is getting dumped.” Ethan said.
“Well, that’s it for this week’s video. If you liked it, go ahead and give it a thumbs up, and if you didn’t like it, you might as well give it a thumbs up.” Grayson said.
“Yeah, and go ahead and click subscribe while you’re added.” Ethan said.
“We’ll see you next Tuesday,”
“PEACE.” You all said simultaneously.
“Awe, that was fun.” You said.
“It was. We should film together again.” Grayson said.
“We should do the girlfriend versus brother challenge next time.” Ethan said.
“Oooh, that would be interesting.” You agreed.
You all sat around the living room, just lounging around for the rest of the night, not doing anything in particular, but you enjoyed it nonetheless.
“Nice shirt,” you said to Tony as you walked into the lab. He turned up from his work a little bit and smiled at you.
“I know you like a man in a flannel,” he joked. You smiled and came up behind him, wrapping your arms around him.
“Flannels are pretty irresistible,” you said, kissing his cheek. “When are you gonna be done with work?” Tony spun around in his chair, causing you to release him from your arms. He was now facing you and wrapped his arms around your waist so you were inches from him.
“I still have a little bit to do. Do you mind waiting for just a half of an hour more?” Tony said with his big puppy eyes. Your rolled your eyes and sighed.
“Fine,” you said. Tony smiled and kissed you. It was a slow, soft kiss, him promising to do much more later.
“You’re the best,” he said.
“I know,” you called as you left the lab. You had just opened the door when Bruce almost ran straight into you.
“Oh, I’m sorry, Y/N, I didn’t see you there,” Bruce apologized. You were about to mutter an apology when you saw what Bruce was wearing. He had on a purple and black flannel shirt, not unlike the red one that Tony had on. You turned back towards Tony and saw him flip his head back quickly.
“That’s okay, Bruce. Nice shirt!” You said as you left the lab, glancing once again at Tony who was definitely smiling.
You walked upstairs in the tower and walked into the kitchen. You were looking in the fridge for coffee creamer, and when you closed it, Steve was right in front of you. Wearing a blue and black flannel.
“Good God,” you said, shaking your head.
“No, the god’s upstairs, probably braiding his hair,” Steve joked about Thor. You laughed and walked over to your cup of coffee.
“Nice shirt by the way,” you said, looking up at Steve. He smiled at you and took a sip of his own coffee. “Any reason you’re wearing it?”
“No. I just like this shirt a lot. Why? Is it bad?” Steve asked.
“No, no. Not at all. Just curious.”
“Well, I gotta get back to training, so I’ll see you later,” Steve said, exiting the kitchen. What the hell was Tony doing? This was not a coincidence. You headed up to Tony’s apartment in the tower when a blue flash ran by you. You stopped in your tracks, as some of your coffee splashed but didn’t fall.
“Speedy!” you yelled. Pietro came running back, this time with Wanda in his arms. Wanda was dressed head to toe in red and black. Completing her ensemble was a red and black flannel. Pietro, was wearing and brighter blue flannel than Steve. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” you grumbled.
“What are you talking about?” Pietro asked with a wicked smirk.
“Did Tony out you up to this?” you asked Pietro as Wanda walked up to Vision. Who, thankfully, wasn’t wearing a flannel.
“Put me up to what? Are you and the big metal man fighting? I’ll always be here for a back up,“ Pietro said.
“Thanks, Piet, but we’re okay. We’re great actually,” you said, as you started walking back to you room. Of course, that was until you ran into Clint.
“Sorry, Clin- GOD DAMMIT!” You said as you took in the grey flannel that Clint was wearing. Clint smiled and you and tilted his head ever so slightly.
“What’s wrong, Y/N? Don’t like what I’m wearing? Personally, I think I look good. Don’t you think so?” Clint asked with a large grin on his face. There was no doubt in your mind now that Tony had put them all up to this. Which really wouldn’t have been a problem if all of the Avengers weren’t so hot.
“Yeah, you look great,” you said with a smile all your own. “Totally bangable,” you said. Clint snorted and began laughing. He nodded at you and continued walking down the hall.
“Am I totally bangable?” Pietro called after you. You turned towards him and smiled.
“Hell yeah,” you said before prancing back to your room. You ran into Nat on your way up, but cut her off before she could say anything. “Nice flannel, Nat,” you said, breezing past her. Once you got to your suite in the tower, you changed into a slick, black dress. “Two can play this game, Tony,” you said, walking downstairs. When you came back into the lab, Tony and Bruce were still pouring over their work. Fortunately, there was another Avenger in the lab.
“Hey, Thor, ” you said, staring at his arms in his yellow flannel. You noticed Tony had looked up from his work but ignored him.
“Lady Y/N, you look beautiful,” Thor said, taking in your attire.
“Thanks, you don’t look too bad yourself. Your arms are huge,” you said, actually touching his biceps, something you only dreamed about. Thor smiled and look over at a glaring Tony, understanding what you were doing. He flexed his arm so it looked bigger than ever and grinned down at you again.
“Y/N?” Tony said, making you turn back to him.
"What are you doing?"
"Nothing. You know I can’t resist a man in a flannel,” you said with a smirk, touching Thor’s arm again, practically draping yourself on him.
“Okay, buddy. Thanks for the help. I think we’ve gone a little too far now,” Tony said to Thor.
“If you insist. Sorry, Lady Y/N,“ Thor said, leaving the lab. Once he had left, you looked back at Tony.
"Okay, so I might have taken this too far,” Tony said.
“Damn right you did! What the hell was that?"
"A very bad prank!"
"That’s what I told him,” Bruce said.
“I don’t understand what the point of this prank was,” you said. "Did you want me to kiss one of the Avengers, and have you pop out and yell surprise?"
"No, I just wanted to drive you crazy with all the flannels. So then when you came back I’d be irresistible to you."
"Bruce, can you give us a minute?"
"Yes,” Bruce said, leaving the lab quickly.
“Tony, you already are irresistible to me. Flannel or not. I love you, you idiot,” you said, wrapping your arms around his neck.
“I love you, too. Sorry about the prank. Not a bright move on my part,” he said, putting his hands on your waist.
“Okay. You’re done working now,” you said grabbing his hand.
“Agreed. Nice dress you’re wearing. Very irresistible,” he whispered, right next to your ear.
“That was the point."
"You should wear it more often.”
“Really because I was thinking about not wearing it at all,” you said with a raise of your eyebrow.
“That’s better,” he said immediately, following you up to your apartment.
It was a week before Thanksgiving and Sammie woke up feeling like absolute death. Her sinuses were giving her a killer headache and her throat was really sore. Looking over, she saw that Chris was fast asleep, looking peaceful as he lightly snored. Getting out of bed, she walked to the bathroom to see if she looked as bad as she felt.
In the year 2015 there was an epic battle that took place in the land of tumblr. This battle was dubbed The Flannel Wars. There were many flannels involved in this battle, but the two notorious flannels going head to head were the Red Flannel and the Blue Flannel. They both fought hard to be the winner and come out on top. Turquoise Flannel and Purple flannel joined in, but failed to be recognized. In the end Red Flannel seemed to have won. Although an unlikely opponent entered the battle, Team No Flannel. The rest as they say is history.
(((I had so much fun writing that for some reason)))
It’s splattered on the walls, on the floor, dripping in footprints and smeared all over skin. It’s stained on novelty t-shirts and on brightly colored flannel, caught under fingernails and pressed into palms. It’s bouncing, swaying curls and lips. It’s blushed cheeks and embarrassed ears.
It’s pounding in his veins and in his head and searing hot at his forearm. It bubbles up his throat, tearing at his flesh and stinging his eyes. He says nothing and turns away, arms reaching up above his head to clutch at the barrel of his gun. He can feel the mist of cold, relentless rain out the door finding the scarred skin of his back as his shirt and jacket ride up. He takes deep, shuttering breaths, but there’s still red on the floor. There’s still red. Red.
Sam rushes out of the small motel room, barely making it out into the rain before he kneels down on the sidewalk and blows chunks in between choked breaths. Sammy hasn’t cried in ages. Dean can’t remember the last time the giant has cried. Sammy isn’t just crying, he’s sobbing, one hand gripping at his chest as the other braces itself against the concrete curb, searching for some sort of purchase to ground himself as his whole world comes crashing down.
Dean’s spinning as he searches for a place to set his eyes down, but there’s red everywhere. He looks out the window, but there are red-streaked smears of fingertips on the glass. He looks at the floor, but there’s red in the footsteps leading in and out. He even looks up at the ceiling, but his keen eyes spy droplets that found their way up on the spackled surface there. He tries to close his eyes, but all he can see is brown-red drying in curly locks of copper auburn- He opens them, and there she is. She’s lying in the bathtub, her hand still clutching a knife, her stomach still weeping like his brother outside. But her face, her face is peaceful. Her face is brave. Her face is covered in red, red, red red redredredredbloodmurderrevengeKILLTHEMALL-
He lowers his hands from his head, sets the gun on the table with her things, and gently steps over to the bathroom, as if moving too loud will wake her from her surreal slumber. There’s a towel still hanging from the towel bar. The sink still runs. Gingerly, soundlessly, at the protest of the mark on his arm, at the protest of all the red screaming inside his head, he takes the towel up in his callused hands, wets it, and brings it first to her soft hands.
He holds them like he would hold a baby, his rough palms turning soft like hers as the still-warm flesh touches his own. She’s just sleeping. He rubs the blood from her skin. It’s all his blood, not hers. She’s just sleeping. He moves up to her forearms, her collarbones, her neck. It’s all his blood, not hers. She’s just sleeping.
He finds her face, so gentle, so serene. So young. He wipes at her cheeks, and he spots little specks on her eyelids. The towel is too rough, too ratty to press against the tender skin there. He doesn’t want to hurt her. He brings a shaking hand up to his lips, licks his thumb and then moves to swipe it across them. Just like his mother used to do. She doesn’t stir.
Sammy’s still throwing up outside.
“I love you too,” he whispers.
It’s the last thing he says for two days.
Castiel comes in and out, always hovering over Dean, an endless stream of apologies falling out of his mouth. Sammy won’t shut up, either. He can’t speak without saying ‘sorry’, can’t say a whole sentence without stuttering, voice shaking. Charlie sits on the table in the war room. Her gentle, gentle hands are clasped over her chest. Her face is serene. She’s just sleeping. Her clothes are still stained. Her stomach lays open like a gaping mouth, no longer weeping. He keeps vigil. He doesn’t speak.
All he sees is the red on her shirt, her purple plaid flannel, thinks about how red was a color that never really suited her. It was something that belonged framed around her cheeks, her face, her bright eyes that marked her as a Queen of Moondor. It had no business stuck to her chest, to her stomach, underneath her torn fingernails and on her eyelashes. Red was only for her hair, her lips, her tongue as it peeked between her teeth. Red was only for him. Red was wasn’t for Charlie. Red was- red red, red, redredredKILLTHEMALL-
He looks back down, closes his eyes. He soaks in the aura now radiating around him, the warmth of the hand on his shoulder. “It’s time.” Dean shakes his head slowly at first. The hand doesn’t move off his shoulder, so he shakes it harder. “Dean-” “NO!” He stands up so fast that the chair topples to the ground in pathetic protest. Castiel jumps back. Dean is heaving, his clenched fists shaking. “No,” he says again, his voice shuttering and wavering, barely able to choke the word out. “No, Cas. No. She’s- no. No.”
Red. Red is everywhere, red is all he can see. All the red, all the red everywhere, all the time, constantly, red blood on the walls, on his hands, on his palms, under his fingernails, on her stomach, on her eyelashes, on her dainty collarbones and her face too young, too young-
“Dean.” Castiel is soft, quiet, gentle. Hands, arms wrap around his shoulders, his chest. Dean sobs. “I’m here.” He falls to his knees, and the angel goes down with him. There’s so much red, so much red… Castiel is suddenly in front of him now, pulling up his chin and coaxing open his eyes. All he can see is blurry blue, but the red washes out. It all washes out. Castiel is keeping his gazed locked, green and blue trapped together as he reaches for the hunter’s hands. Cool light engulfs them, and the bruises and split knuckles from punching walls, disappear. Dean’s still shaking, and Castiel isn’t letting go. “I’m here.” And like that, Dean lets it all go. He slumps forward, exhausted and unwilling to keep going, but in this moment, the mark is quiet. All he can hear is the dull thrum of Grace from where his ear is against the angel’s neck, beating like a pulse through his veins instead of blood. “She loved you, Dean.” “She’s dead because of me.” Gentle fingers rub small circles into his spine. “We love you, Dean.” “You’re all in danger because of me.” Fingers move to thread themselves into the hair at the back of his head. “I love you, Dean.” He feels lips at his temple, and he welcomes them. He takes in a deep, shuttering breath as he fights the streams that are flowing from his eyes. He feels two days hit him at once, ten days, ten whole years. He sees sparks flash across his closed eyes, feels the handprint burn on his shoulder. It throbs, and he lets himself forget what needs to be done, lets himself think only of this moment. “I know.” He lets himself be folded into the angel on the floor, on their knees, with Charlie’s body on the table above them. He lets himself forget everything.
The mark is silent. There’s red everywhere.
But he feels something smiling down on him, and all he can see is blue.
It’s hard enough being a teenager. Hormones going crazy, shoe sizes getting ever larger, arms and legs twiggy and long in an attempt to keep up with the ever sprouting height. Being a teenager and moving to a new town and school…that’s even worse. Alan Grant is sixteen years old, one of the tallest kids in his new classes, and not the least bit interested in being called to the front to introduce himself. Why every single teacher he’s had today seems to have a vendetta against him, he’ll never know, but they all seem to have the same intent of embarrassing him to death.
Alan stands in front of the class in a pair of jeans that sag low on his bony hips, a white t-shirt barely long enough for the length of his torso, and a purple and red flannel shirt that hangs on his frame like a Jedi robe. Even Alan has to admit, he’s quite a painful sight…especially in the faded high-top Converse that are almost too big for his feet. He can hear people sniggering throughout the room, see a roll of eyes. Someone doesn’t talk quietly enough when they tell the next classmate over that he looks like a weak scarecrow.
The new student lowers his head, glancing around the room from under his eyebrows, and sighs. No matter the school, it seems, he’s always the target of someone else’s “fun”…fun at his expense. He gives a brief explanation of where he’s from and why he’s moving, and talks a little about his parents. When he sits back down, his face is red and his long legs barely fit under his desk. He doesn’t even attempt to look over at the pretty girl next to him (and he knows she’s pretty because he’d spotted her from the front of the class), and sighs. For now, he’ll just doodle in his notebook, and wait for the day to be over with.