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Blood Earned Money

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“Pass me that wrench there.” Dean stretched a hand out, not looking from where he was currently bent over a hood of the car. 

Looking down to his side, Sam picked up the requested tool from the tray beside him. Tossing it to Dean, he went back to chewing his sandwich. 

Catching the wrench, Dean took a moment to tighten a bolt, before he resumed conversation with his brother. “So this Novak dude—”

“Is awesome, in your words,” Sam finished. Swallowing his mouthful, Sam crumpled up his empty wrapper, shoving it in his pocket. “Seriously. The lessons he’s been carrying out this quarter — ethics is such a broad topic, you know? But he still manages to make it so interesting, covering the main points from so many different aspects.”

Dean rolled his eyes. “Yeah, yeah. So the sun shines out of this guy’s ass and he spouts rainbows and sparkles whenever he opens his mouth. What does this have to do with me?” Casting the engine one last cursory glance, Dean finally straightened, wiping his hands on a rag as he turned around to face his brother. He looked at Sam just in time to catch his brother shooting him an affronted look. 

“Shut up, jerk. And he’s just having this meeting, family of his students are welcome to join, you know.” Straightening, Sam walked over to where Dean’s lunch box was open, snagging the apple Dean hadn’t been planning on eating anyway. It wasn’t like he needed it as much as the stray cat he’d cross on his way home. “He said he’s gonna be going over possible offers based on our pursuit of interest, and that we can also go over financial aid if needed.” He took a big bite of the fruit, the sound of the loud crunching making Dean grimace in annoyance.

“Right. When’s this meeting thing, then?”

Sam beamed. 

Dean pulled at the tie around his neck uneasily, trying in vain to loosen it. “Why do I have to dress up?” He hissed to his brother as they ducked into the classroom. He was momentarily distracted by the large space, but Sam’s hushed reply was quick to redirect his focus. 

“Because we’re at Stanford, about to meet with Professor Novak, Dean! First impressions and all that?” He reminded rhetorically, all the while leading his brother to a desk at the front of the room. The nerd.

“It’s not like I’m the one trying to become a goddamn lawyer.” Dean muttered in response. But he shut up anyway, in time to slide into the chair beside Sam.

The nerves finally settling in completely, Dean looked around the room again. His hand went up to tug at his tie without his conscious decision. Sam irritatedly swatted his hand. Dean didn’t hide his own irritation even as he reluctantly sat on his hands, trying to hide his fidgeting.

And then the professor walked in. Dean didn’t even see him, no. But the scent of alpha that accompanied the man as he walked in —

Shit. Dean was always glad to be on suppressants, especially the strongest kind he could get. But right now, Dean was worried it was going to be nowhere near enough for the flood of slick escaping him.

He just had to trust that Sam’s lack of reaction guaranteed his suppressants were successfully doing their job so far. 

Swallowing, Dean turned to get a look of the man that had blown his senses. And promptly groaned inwardly. As if the scent wasn’t enough, the man’s blue eyes could have pierced a gaping hole in Dean as he gazed around the room, taking in the participants.

Dean wasn’t overtly religious, but he was tempted to cross himself when Professor Novak’s eyes paused on him, causing an extra burst of slick to escape.

And the crazy sex hair. Dean could have groaned again, for a very different reason this time. Dean wondered if the Professor just rolled out of bed and came to class like this. He sincerely hoped so. The thought of someone else’s hands taking through the alpha’s hair—

Dean pulled himself up short. Fantasizing over a hot man or woman was nothing new, but to the point of possessiveness over a drool worthy guy that was just going to end up in Dean’s spank bank section of his memory drive? Hell, naw. 

Keeping that resolve firmly in his mind, Dean managed to get it together long enough to pay attention to the details that Professor Novak started doling out. And apart from the initial freak out that followed when Professor Novak actually opened his mouth to start talking, Dean actually did find himself taking mental notes. The math that he was adding up in his head didn’t seem too promising, but Dean would be damned if finance issues was what ended up holding Sam back from his dreams. God knew what Dean wouldn’t do for his little brother.

Immersed in his thoughts of the future as he was, the meeting came to a close all too soon, and Dean was jolted back into reality when Sam nudged at him urgently. Finding his brother no longer sitting beside him – by having to crane his head up, up, and up, Jesus, Sam must have missed the whole optional aspect of the whole extreme tallness that came with being an alpha. Heaving an all too put-upon sigh, Dean stood – and was swiftly dragged to the front by his eager puppy of a brother, until they were standing in front of Professor Novak.

A fresh burst of slick reminded Dean of his situation, and if he seriously didn’t take care of himself, he knew it would no longer be an issue of scent as much as it would be visible.

“–Professor Novak, this is my brother, Dean, whom I’ve told you about–” Sam tugged Dean even closer until their arms were brushing as they stood side by side. When Professor Novak’s eyes landed on him, Dean could have died from a confusing combination of arousal and mortification. Because he needed to get out of here, stat.

“Uh, nice to meet you Prof,” Dean held out a hand, forcing his muscles to move, thankful when they were cooperative. For the most part.

“Oh, please,” Professor Novak grinned, all white teeth and gums, and – Dean was going to have to walk backwards out of here, wasn’t he? “You can call me Castiel.” He said as he shook Dean’s hand.

The moment their skin touched, iot was like an electric zap that should have had Dean flinching away, but it instead had his muscles locking in place, his hand forming a firm and tight grip on Castiel’s hand. 

“Castiel,” Dean amended, cursing his voice for increasing in pitch. “If you don’t mind, I’ve actually got to excuse myself…” Shooting both his brother and Castiel an apologetic glance, Dean found himself backing away already, forcing himself to let go of Castiel’s hand with no small amounts of difficulty. “But it was a pleasure meeting you, really.” One last grin, and Dean whirled around, striding out of the classroom as fast as he could without breaking into an all out run.

The omega designated bathrooms weren’t too hard to find in the maze of this building, thankfully. Once safely secured away in a stall, desperately trying to wipe away the slick streaming down his thighs, Dean cursed. The entire time, he tried adamantly to refuse thinking about how Castiel’s pupils had blown wide, blue irises a thin ring when their hands met, his skin flushed against Dean’s palm…

Swearing more fervently, Dean dumped the tissue down the toilet, and grabbed another whole arm’s length of fresh tissue.

Dean was under a car the next day when the smell of alpha began to permeate his station. Frowning in confusion, along with a healthy dose of suspicion, Dean began to wheel himself out from under the car. Only milliseconds before seeing the man standing beside the car, Dean realized the smell was familiar, and then he was meeting Castiel’s ready gaze.

“Oh–” thankfully managing to bite himself off before he cursed aloud, certain it would be received only incorrectly, Dean pushed himself up to his feet. “Uh, Professor. Gotta admit, wasn’t expecting to see you here.” At the back of the store, where only employees worked, Dean didn’t add, but was sure Castiel heard anyway.

Smiling sheepishly, Castiel rubbed the back of his neck, avoiding Dean’s eyes. “Uh, yes. I had asked to see you, and they told me to come through here. And again, please. Call me Castiel.”

Tilting his head in acceptance, Dean grabbed at his rag, giving his hands something to do. “Castiel, it is. So… whatcha doing here, prof?” He repeated.

Castiel narrowed his eyes, looking confused for a second as he tilted his head to the side, only highlighting the hesitance Dean was getting off the alpha’s scent. “I – uh. Wished to talk with you.”

Raising his eyebrows, Dean refused to show how that simple sentence was enough for unease to settle in his gut. “I got that. What about?”

Castiel cleared his throat. The stench of nervousness was starting to clog Dean’s nostrils, and had he not been mere acquaintances with the guy, Dean would have been tempted to shake the answer out of him. As it was, he waited with barely concealed impatience.

Finally, just when Dean was about to give it up as a lost cause, Castiel spoke up. “I was perhaps wondering if you’dliketogooutforacupofcoffeewithme.”

Dean blinked. “I’m sorry, what?” He asked, absolutely confused. 

Castiel blushed, Dean watching with avid fascination as the alpha’s cheeks started to tinge red. It was absolutely uncharacteristic of the confident, suave professor who’d calmly held a meeting the previous day. “I was hoping,” Castiel began again, clearing trying to drag the words out slower this time. “If you would like to grab a coffee. With me.”

Dean stared. And continued to stare blankly. Because there was no way he had heard him correctly. Was there?

Except, Castiel was still standing there, looking more and more anxious by the second. The smell of nervous, bashful alpha was thick in the air. And Dean could no longer ignore the truth that was blatantly staring in front of him. “Uh,” Dean mentally shook himself. “Uh, yeah. Yeah, of course.” Swallowing, the unease curdling Dean’s stomach morphed into hesitant giddiness, emphasized by Castiel’s grin growing by the second. 

Dean had taken up his break for the day, so Castiel had accepted to postpone the coffee date. Until the next day. As soon as the offer popped up, Castiel had immediately bent his head, looking thoroughly flustered. But his eagerness only encouraged Dean, and feeling warmth blossom in his gut, he accepted. So the following day, when Dean took his break, instead of ducking out the back alley and into his car, he went out the front door instead. Castiel was readily waiting, a grin on his face. He’d done his best to wash the grease off from under his nails and everywhere else he could in the employee bathroom without stripping completely. Even then, the feeling of self consciousness didn’t ease until he’d seen that completely open, wide grin free of judgement on Castiel’s face.

“So, where to?” Dean asked, letting Castiel lead the way. They walked together, their arms brushing every now and then. Dean would deny the secret thrill that erupted hotly within his chest at every spark of contact.

“There’s this quaint little coffee shop nearby,” Castiel commented. “They just opened. So far, I’m finding their recipes outlandish yet remarkably well done.”

Dean quirked an eyebrow at him. “Oh, yeah?” Castiel hummed pleasantly.

“Yes. I think you’ll find their selection of pastries quite enjoyable as well.”

Dean grinned. The rest of the way, they chatted amicably, seemingly never finding no ends for topics to discuss. By the time they reached the coffee shop Castiel led them to, Dean felt himself considerably more warmed up to Castiel. And seeing that Dean was already toeing the line of falling head over heels for him, it was still saying a lot for Dean. 

Casting a customary glance upwards, Dean took in the shop’s name, Sweet Stop , before Castiel held the door open.

Dean raised his eyebrow. While he didn’t mind the occasional gestures of old-fashioned chivalry, he sincerely hoped Castiel wasn’t stuck all the way backwards.

And yet, Castiel seemed completely oblivious to his actions. Rather than looking expectantly honored to have gotten the door for Dean, he patiently waited, eyes cheery as he continued talking away about bees – or something. Heart softening, Dean had to tear his gaze away from Castiel’s face. Heat rushed to his cheeks when he realized the sweet smell of crisp apples was emanating from him. If it hadn’t been for his suppressants, the fondness he was feeling at that moment would have been broadcasted to the entire coffee shop as he stepped inside. Stepping to the counter, Dean raised his head to take in the menu board as Castiel came to a stop beside him. 

“Which do you plan to try first?” Castiel asked absently. 

Dean raised an eyebrow, letting his head drop to the side as he regarded Castiel. “Bold of you to assuming I’ll be having more than one of whatever.”

Castiel smiled pleasantly. “I’m certain you’ll wish to try a little bit of everything, at least.” He sounded so damn genuine, that Dean couldn’t even find it on himself to retort sarcastically like he would to anyone else. 

Shrugging, Dean stepped up to the counter, nodding at the barista in greeting. “Guess I gotta make my first one count then.” He muttered to Castiel. The sight of his beaming grin, even from Dean’s peripherals was blinding. Warmth taking permanent residence in Dean’s gut, he made his order. “I’ll take a black coffee, and, uh. The apple pie, I guess.” Surely there was no harm in ordering a classic that no one running a successful shop could ruin, right?

Stepping to the side, Dean waited for Castiel to make his order. “Your treat, right?” He winked. Castiel glanced at him just as he did, and immediately blanched. Dean watched on as Castiel’s cheeks reddened. But even better, the smell of embarrassed alpha started to radiate from Castiel.

The heat pooling in his gut started to swirl around through the rest of Dean’s body.

“Y-yes, I’ll have the caramel macchiato and your PB&J special, please.” Dean paused over Castiel’s choice of words, mulling it over while Castiel paid for the both of them. He tried looking to the board to see if that would offer any hints as to what Castiel got, but he was jolted out of his scrutinization when Castiel softly nudged his arm, bringing his gaze onto him. “Shall we sit?” He asked, his voice soft.

Dean’s lips stretched into a grin without his awareness. “Yeah.”

They made their way around the quaintly decorated shop, Castiel letting Dean led the way this time until they were settled near the back of the store, well out of the way from the rest of the building guaranteeing them extra privacy. Not that they were going to be doing anything like that, but Dean never really did feel comfortable settling down somewhere when his back wasn’t to the wall.

Being an omega came with an extra set of precautions and paranoia, and Dean didn’t have to explain himself to anyone either. 

When they sat down, for the first time between them, silence settled over them. Yet still, it wasn’t the uncomfortable kind, and Dean found himself essentially basking in the alpha’s presence, letting his scent cloud his senses until it was all he could smell.

Too soon, their drinks arrived, but Dean ignored it in favor of digging into his pie. Except, there was a pie in front of Castiel as well, and Dean wasn’t entirely sure that it didn’t look like a PB&J sandwich threw up over a pie filling. 

If it somehow looked appealing, then Dean would put it to how Castiel worshipped the thing.

His own pie forgotten, Dean’s eyes were glued as Castiel took a bite, his eyes slipping shut in blissful pleasure. The smell of happy, pleased alpha kickstarted a very certain part of Dean showing that, yes, he was very much interested in smelling more of Castiel, please and thank you.

Shuffling in his spot, Dean was just forming a compelling argument in his head as to why he should be focusing on his own pie, when Castiel opened his eyes, and stared right at Dean.

Embarrassed at having been caught staring, Dean flushed. Yet Castiel seemed unfazed, and instead smiled broadly with no signs of being smug or proud as an indication that he knew what Dean was doing. Instead, Castiel opened his mouth, and, “would you like a bite, Dean?”

Dean blinked. He cautiously looked back at the pie that, no, it still looked like red and brown vomit, but Castiel’s face didn’t seem exaggerated in the slightest. “Sure, why not.” Inwardly wincing, he started to pick up his fork, when Castiel instead immediately scooped another bite on his own fork, and held it out, clearly offering it to Dean.

“Forward much, Cas?” Dean couldn’t help but shoot. Right away, Castiel faltered as he realized the depth of his actions, and face aflame, he started to lower his hand back to his plate. Quick as lightning, Dean didn’t let himself think, his arm shooting out to latch onto Castiel’s wrist gently. “Hey, nah. You’re fine,” Smiling gently, Dean leant forward, keeping his eyes on Castiel, his hand still gently clasping Cas’s wrist. Opening his mouth, he closed it around the fork, letting his tongue drag over the metal in a childish move. Unbidden, as the exquisite flavor exploded on his taste, Dean hummed in surprised pleasure.

When he opened his eyes after swallowing the mouthful, Castiel’s eyes were blown wide in shock, his grip gone lax on the fork. 

Dean leaned back slowly, a satisfied grin tugging at his mouth again. “Not bad.” 

Castiel swallowed, his adam’s apple bobbing with the action.

All too soon, Dean had to return to work as his break came to an end, unfortunately. Castiel walked him back to work, and Dean couldn’t fight his omega swirling in happiness as Castiel kept the conversation going. He was talking about his work. There were few moments Dean could bring himself to tear his mind away from Castiel’s passionate eyes, his hands as he gesticulated wildly to emphasize his point, or his plump, kissable lips. Those pink, biteable flesh formed words Dean had to fight especially hard to listen to. But when he did, he could understand what had Sammy so hyped about the professor and what he would have thought to be a dreary subject. So by the time they approached the back of the workshop, standing near the employee’s entrance that Dean led Castiel to, going the extra distance on purpose, Dean was genuinely disappointed that he had to say goodbye. For his part, Castiel seemed slightly bummed as well, but it was overshadowed by the hope in his eyes as he peered at Dean.

“So… could I see you again, sometime soon?”

Dean chuckled softly. “Of course, Cas.” And before he could second think his actions, deliberate too long on how fast he was moving, Dean reached out, gently tugging at Castiel’s immaculate tie, and brushed his lips against the alpha’s.

He could hear his little brother protesting loudly in his head about how very uncharacteristic of Dean this pace was, but when Castiel’s lips parted in shock, before softening under Dean’s lips right away, Dean pushed all thoughts of reasonable little brothers away from his mind.

Touching Castiel, no, kissing Castiel, was like the first time they made skin to skin contact. Like back in the classroom, their area of contact was sending zings of pleasure up and down Dean’s spine. Shivering, he instinctively wanted to pull closer, to press his body against Castiel’s and feel his entire body explode like fireworks at the sensation. Somehow, he managed to hold back, just letting himself hold onto the alpha’s tie as he brushed his lips over Castiel’s head. Tilting his head to the side, he let their lips shift until they were positioned just right, the kiss melting Dean like chocolate. The ever changing pleasure switched to the sensation of warm water being poured over Dean, not unlike being cleansed, and Dean let himself linger just an extra second longer before he regrettably pulled away.

To his satisfaction, when Dean opened his eyes, Castiel looked just as blissed out as he felt, pupils blown wide and those irresistible lips swollen more so than usual, courtesy of Dean. His omega purring within, Dean took a step back, his reluctance to depart showing in the way his hand lingered over Castiel’s chest, feeling the strong muscle bulge under the now scrunched up tie. 

“I’ll see you later?”

Gaping, Castiel blinked stupidly at Dean for a few seconds, Dean waiting patiently and amused, before Castiel gathered himself enough to respond.

“Yes-I. Yes. You will.”

Then, with that wide, gummy grin of his, Castiel stepped back as well, his step bouncy despite the extra distance he was putting between them. “Have a good day!” He called, starting to walk backwards.

When it became clear he wasn’t going to turn around anytime soon, Dean chuckled to himself, waving and ignoring the subsequent blush that threatened to burn his cheeks. He was acting like an elementary school kid with a crush, but as he turned around and went in, noticing Castiel finally turn around to face the direction he was walking, Dean couldn’t bring himself to care.

His coworkers teasing him did, admittedly, make him reconsider it, but just the memory of Castiel’s soft lips against his was enough to dispel any such thoughts.

“How was your date with Professor Novak?” Sam’s voice popping up after a prolonged period of silence was for sure to send Dean jumping up and grabbing the nearest possible weapon. He would have too, if he weren’t long since used to his brother’s stealthy habits. For a kid that Dean had personally witnessed going through an awkward, gangly phase during puberty that included lots of bouts of clumsiness, Sam sure did grow into his limbs just right. Dean wasn’t blind to miss exactly how well his brother had grown, but his heart ached at the thought of Sam moving away once he found a good enough mate to settle down with, so he didn’t try to think about it very often.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Dean replied gruffly. He’d been relaxing on the couch, a beer in hand, the TV playing some mindless crap or the other, when his brother decided to start pestering him. Although Dean knew what was coming, that didn’t mean he was going to make it any easier for his brother by playing along – or, rather, he did. Just in his own particular way which led to him messing around with Sammy just as much as his little brother was going to mess with him. 

“Uh huh. So Professor Novak didn’t pull me aside this morning to ask about where you worked and when would be an ideal time to drop by, if you didn’t mind.” Sam stated flatly.

Dean shrugged, keeping his eyes on the TV. “Guess not.” He took a swig of his beer.

Sighing loudly with frustration in a way that only ihs little brother could, Sam collapsed on the couch at Dean’s feet – narrowly missing crushing said feet. “C’mon, Dean, quit fooling. How’d it go?”

Slowly, Dean let his eyes rove over to his brother. “The way you’re acting, someone would think you’re trying to set us up.” Dean pointed out.

This time, it was Sam who shrugged casually. “I’m not denying it.” He responded. “So?” He pressed.

Rolling his eyes, Dean sighed – without the exaggeration his drama queen of a brother had previously done. “It went fine. Good, even. Is that enough?” He asked.

“Oh, hell no.” Sam grinned. “When are you guys planning to meet again?”

“Jeez, Sammy. I know I always teased you for being a girl, but when did you seriously go and become one?” Dean muttered. Ignoring his brother’s huff of irritation, Dean pushed himself up. As much as he wanted to, he couldn’t bring himself to be truly annoyed with his brother’s over-cheeriness. He knew what his brother was doing, and why, and he got it, he really did. Hell, the amount of years that had gone by since the last time Dean had an actual, stable relationship was starting to blur in his mind. It genuinely did have to do with all the work hours he was putting in, trying to let Sam have all the luxuries he couldn’t just so his little brother could achieve the dreams he’s had since he was sharing the bed with Dean whenever the nightmares got too bad. But Dean could never bring himself to fault his brother for it, not when there was nothing to blame his brother for. However, Dean knew that didn’t stop the guilt from occasionally plaguing his brother whenever Sam remembered the insane idea he had in his mind that Dean was needlessly sacrificing so much for him. 

So no matter how much Dean could try to pretend that he was completely fine, the truth was that he wasn’t. And as much as he tried to keep it from his brother, he wasn’t going to risk making Sam upset when it was much easier to actually play along with him, like Sammy wanted. 

“It was fine. Really. He took me to this coffee shop or whatever – you will not believe the amount of choices they had for pie, Sammy,” as expected, his brother rolled his eyes again in mock despair, but he kept silent, letting Dean go on uninterrupted. “He let me try some of his pie, I let him have some of mine, and he walked me back to work. End of story.” Dean wasn’t going to mention the kiss to his brother. Not unless and until he wanted to get on his brother’s nerves for whenever he had to get Sammy off his back.

“Wait, hold on, back up – did you just say you let Professor Novak have some of your pie?” Sam exclaimed, astonishment spreading from his facial features and body language to his scent.

Dean wrinkled his nose – he taught his brother better than to let a room stink up of alpha pheromones, because not everyone was happy to be suffocating in that stench – but Sammy’s reaction wasn’t unfounded. His little brother had always said that the day Dean would share the unproportionately large slice of pie on his plate would be the day pigs fly, and not without reason. Still, “you might as well call him Castiel, you know. Professor Novak is a mouthful, and ‘sides, if we’re dating, I figure that gives you a free pass to calling him by his first name.” 

Sam blinked, expressions morphing too rapidly for Dean to bother to keep up with. Hell, he could probably just figure out what was playing over his brother’s face better if he kept his eyes closed. Although if he did that, he’d most likely fall asleep at this point, with how tired he was. In his defense, it was late at night, and Dean had been debating on going to bed anyway when his brother jumped him for their nightly slumber party session.

“You guys are dating then?” He eventually settled for.

Letting his head fall back, Dean groaned aloud.

The next time, it was Dean’s turn to take Castiel out, or so he insisted. They went for a drive in the Impala, Dean’s automatic test to see how Castiel would treat his baby. Needless to say, he passed, and the following picnic once they’d arrived at their destination was picture perfect under the starry sky. They’d barely finished the dessert Dean made – he just had to see how Castiel would react to his handmade apple pie, of course – before they were heavily making out. Even the petting that occured over their clothes was enough to make Dean go dizzy.

After that, it was Castiel’s turn. This time, the date was interspersed with casual kisses throughout the entirety of it. The simple domesticity of it had butterflies lighting up Dean’s insides for the rest of the day.

Then Dean’s. For the life of him, Dean wouldn’t be able to recall most of the details of their fishing incident – his memory went rather hazy once Castiel fell in. The white shirt went transparent as it hugged the alpha’s muscles. Dean could have fainted at the sight of Castiel’s perky nippled poking through the transluscent shirt.

On their fourth date, Castiel took him home for the night.

When Castiel invited Dean for dinner at his flat, there was no way Dean was going to be able to push the thought out of his head to focus on his work. Half the time he’d been screwing bolts the wrong way, almost fusing the wrong wires together that Bobby ran out of his patience very quickly. The beta had demanded Dean to go home for the day, and as much as Dean could understand his employer’s decision, he couldn’t appreciate it at the moment, because it left him with absolutely nothing to do for the next few hours.

Or so he thought. Feeling devious, Dean snuck some supplies he’d almost forgotten he had with the long years of disuse from his bedroom into the bathroom. Making sure the door was locked, Dean stared at the shaving supplies. This, he knew, would definitely make the time fly. And he wasn’t wrong, because by the time Dean was stroking his smooth skin under the cascade of his warm shower, shivering as he imagined Castiel’s hands following the path his own hands were taking, there wasn’t long left for Castiel’s arrival. Too far gone into his imagination, a finger slipped down to Dean’s hole. Slick essentially gushing out of him, Dean stifled a moan, pressing his face into his arm as he thrusted his finger, in and out. He was so wet, one finger rapidly became two, his muscles loosening like butter. Scissoring them, Dean shuddered, a surprised gasp escaping him when he unwittingly grazed his prostate. Drowning in arousal, Dean lost his coherency, aching with the burning need to come. He pulled his fingers out, only to push three back in, but it still wasn’t enough, he needed more, needed a knot, needed Castiel’s knot—

With a muffled yell, Dean came, hitting the tiles in thin spurts.

Breathing heavily, Dean shifted, his forehead resting on his arm as he took everything in. He hadn’t even laid a hand on his cock, the mere thought of how big he was sure Castiel would be, how thick and filling, was enough alongside his fingers nudging his prostate, to make him come harder than any of his previous jack off sessions.

As the water slowly washed away all evidences of Dean’s extracurricular activity down the drain, Dean straightened. If there were any doubts before about how the night was going to go on his end, there certainly weren’t any now. 

Feeling a lot lighter, his muscles lax as well, Dean stepped out of the bathtub, amicably rubbing himself dry as he made his way out of the bathroom — and smack into his brother.

“Oh my god.” Sam’s horrified face combined with his high pitched, faint voice would later bring Dean to tears from laughter. At the moment, however, Dean was made all too aware of his nudity, his towel too far up to cover the goods. While not normally shy, Dean didn’t need his brother to see his ready to fuck skin. Especially not right after he’d already come as well.

“Jes— when the fuck did you get home?” Dean said, whipping the towel away from his hair and swiftly wrapping it around his waist.

When he could bring himself to look back at his brother, Sam had his hands over his eyes, looking like he was trying to squeeze the vision out of his eyes and memory. The stench of mortification clogging the hallway wasn’t just from one of the brothers, in Sam’s defense.

“At my usual time? I was just about to ask why the fuck you were taking so long in the bathroom.” Sam said, still not taking his hands away from his face.

“I was showering, dude. Didn’t you hear the pipes,” Dean grumbled. Slowly, he started to edge past his brother, trying to slip into his room.

“Dean, you’ve been showering for an hour.”

Head snapping up, Dean stared at his brother before he was turning around so quickly, his towel was close to slipping free. But his desperate gaze was focused on the clock, and sure enough, Castiel was to arrive in 15 minutes. Which was leaving Dean with barely enough time to get dressed.


Cursing lowly, Dean rushed into his bedroom, Dean slammed his door shut on Sam’s shouted, “dude, where’s the fire, man?”

As he was pulling on a pair of jeans, Dean remembered the forgotten shaving supplies still on the bathroom counter. Too late, however, because Sam’s knowing hoot was loud enough to resonate within their entire apartment.

Flushing furiously, Dean continued to wrestle with a henley. He abruptly paused in his movements, shirt halfway on, as he debated if he should have changed into something more… easily removable, when their doorbell buzzed. 

Obviously, Sam got to the door first. Dean let him, too busy making sure that everything was right. Taking a few more calming breaths, he gave himself a reassuring smile in his mirror. Grabbing a bottle, he sprayed some on the clear liquid at his scent glands, instead of his usual scent blockers. The recent purchase had been expensive, but Dean was all too eager and carried away by his fantasies of what would happen when he applied it for Castiel that he never bothered to think twice. It smelled like nothing, and yet, when applied, worked to enhance Dean’s natural scent, making it all the more tantalizingly appealing. 

If things went well, Dean couldn’t personally wait until he got to convince Castiel to try it out as well.

With that salivating thought in mind, Dean exited the sanctuary of his room.

And came to an immediate stop once their entryway came into view.

Castiel looked… absolutely exquisite. There was no other word for it, not in Dean’s mind at that moment, because all cognitive functioning had come to a halt. Rather than being dressed in his usual formal clothing suitable for a professor, Castiel was far more casual this time, yet sexy , in a way that had Dean looking at Castiel with new eyes even after their handful of dates.

Then again, this was the first time Dean was seeing him clad all in black. And damn if Castiel didn’t pull the look off well. In tight fitting jeans that left little to the imagination along with a plain shirt under his unbuttoned black trench coat, simply put, Castiel was mouthwatering. 

If there was another part of Dean that was also getting wet, then hopefully his brother would be none the wiser.

“Dean.” Castiel positively breathed out, looking just as blown away as Dean felt.

For a while, they stood there in the hallway, simply taking each other until, until Sam cleared his throat. Loudly.

Jolted out of their reverie, they simultaneously turned to look at Sam, who had his signature bitch face pasted on. It overshadowed the amusement that was gently wafting from his brother.

“Well. Assuming you’re here as Castiel and not Professor Novak, please bring my brother back alive and in one piece tomorrow because you’re actually a good ethics professor whom I’d hate to have to kill.” Sam stated seriously. He even had the puppy eyes turned on, and Dean genuinely wasn’t sure what his brother was trying to do.

Castiel returned the look just as somberly. “I promise I’ll bring your brother in perfect condition.”

The bastard was joking, and Dean almost missed it, because there was no way Castiel just made a fucking joke. 

Dean was going to make him pay for it, and he looked forward to that. 

Clearing his throat, Dean brought their attention onto him. “Yeah, well. If you’re done talking about me like I’m some sort of property,” he shot Sam a painted glare at that, his brother immediately looking properly chastised, to his satisfaction. “I think it’s best we get going before the sun rises while we’re still having this wonderful discussion in the hallway.” Dean mockingly exaggerated his cheeriness. Striding forward, Dean grabbed his jacket off the coat rack, shrugging it on as he faced his brother, already nudging Castiel gently out the door. “See ya later, Sammy! Try not to burn the place down.”

Pushing Castiel the rest of the way out, Dean promptly shut the door behind them before Sam could wipe the indignation off his face at Dean’s comment.

Pulling his shoes on, Dean finally turned to look at Castiel. The alpha was staring at him with concern, though it was clear that he wasn’t completely there. As vain as it sounded even in his head, Dean wanted to say it was definitely himself that was so distracting.

“I hope I didn’t offend you,” Castiel finally let out a rush. “I understand that your brother was attempting levity via humor, but if I’ve gone too far, I—” rolling his eyes, Dean pressed his lips to Castiel’s. As far as silencing techniques went, Dean thought he could get used to this method. 

He pulled back at the same time as he pushed his hands under Castiel’s coat, curling his hands around Castiel’s warm shirt and tugging to bring Castiel stumbling forward. “Why don’t you stop worrying,” Dean purred into Castiel’s ear, letting his lips brush against the skin there. “And take me home, alpha.”

He could smell the shock, but just as fast it was replaced by possessive arousal, and Castiel let out a growl. The uncharacteristic display of beast overcoming man had never been Dean’s thing, but there was no denying the thrum of barely contained heat within Dean’s gut.

Castiel’s hands a searing grip on Dean’s hips, he practically manhandled Dean out of the building and into his car. Dean tried to stay aware of his surroundings, if only because he didn’t want to trip and fall. But as soon they were in Castiel’s car, Dean was being kissed within an inch of his life. Slick was pouring out so freely, the seat under him was bound to be drenched for sure. Honestly, if Castiel wasn’t complaining though, then Dean wasn’t going to either.

How Castiel managed to control himself enough to finally get into the driver’s seat, Dean would never know, the memory blanketed under a haze of wanton arousal. As it was, they refrained from touching each other, coming to the silently mutual decision that doing so would only result in a car crash. The moment Castiel parked the car and killed the engine though, all bets were off.

Slamming against Castiel again, heat radiating from both of their bodies warming them up considerably in the crisp winter air, Dean struggled to tear himself away from Castiel. Even though he didn’t want to, he could feel his omega fighting to be free, and if they didn’t get inside soon, well. Dean hoped that Castiel’s neighbors were asleep if they didn’t want to get an eyeful which would only lead to Castiel and Dean’s arrest.

It was Castiel who eventually brought them in front of a door that Dean thought was safe to assume was to Castiel’s flat. The elevator ride wasn’t even worth being processed in Dean’s mind, except to sear every detail of Castiel’s body against his into his mind. By some sort of miracle, the final obstacle didn’t take much to unlock… except in the five minutes it did take Castiel’s stumbling fingers to get the key in and twisted, Dean may have come in his pants. It certainly felt like he did.

The door slammed behind them once they got in, and Dean had hitched his legs around Castiel’s waist — the alpha taking his weight without stumbling sending a fresh wave of slick flowing out. There was no way his pants were going to be salvageable after this — by the time they came apart for air again.

“We should move this to the bedroom,” Dean gasped out, while he still could.

Though his eyes were pinned to Dean’s lips, hungrily tracking every motion, pupils blowing out further when Dean licked them, he momentarily looked regretful. “I had prepared us some dinner…” he trailed off uncertainly.

Which reminded Dean that apart from breakfast which he didn’t even remember having, he hadn’t eaten all day. “We could eat after?” He asked hopefully, anyway. His traitorous stomach decided to pitch in at that moment, letting out an awkwardly loud gurgle. 

Chuckling, Castiel gently stepped back, keeping his hands on Dean’s waist to hold him steady as Dean let himself fall back to stand on his own legs. “Dinner first.” Castiel said, his voice thick with promise. There was no missing the heat in his eyes, even as he held out a hand for Dean to take, presumably to lead him to the kitchen or dining area.

“Spoilsport,” Dean muttered, though there was still a bounce in his step as he followed Castiel. His eyebrows skyrocketed when Castiel jumped forward, rummaging around in the darkened rooms before there was suddenly the sound of a match striking, and candles being lit. He slowly took in the dining table in front of him. It was the perfect romantic set up, with the candles, gleaming silverware beside the shining white dishes set perpendicular to each other, and the huge rose bouquet snack in the center of everything.

Briefly, Dean spared a thought for fire hazards, before just as easily dismissing it when Castiel pulled out a chair, obviously waiting for Dean. “Mm, you’re such a romantic, aren’t you, alpha?” It slipped out, unbidden. But when the scent of heady alpha arousal became so thick that Dean would have choked with disgust under other circumstances, he definitely didn’t regret the momentary lack of filter.

He thought Castiel wasn’t going to reply, except when he pushed Dean’s chair, he leaned down to whisper in his ear, “Only the best for my omega.” Just like that, as Castiel let go with an innocent smirk and walked over to his own chair, Dean had to fight the urge to jump up and straddle Castiel and grind him for all his worth.

“You keep this up, Cas, and I don’t think we’re gonna get through this dinner you’ve made.” Dean pointed out. “And to be honest, I actually do want to eat. You cooked?” He asked. As Castiel held out the serving bowl, Dean gratefully scooped some of the spaghetti onto his own plate, remembering his stomach all too clearly at the sight.

“Well… I tried. It did take me several attempts before it came out somewhat consumable…” Castiel said. Taking a peek revealed all hints of confident alpha gone, replaced with the abashed man Dean could definitely feel himself falling for.

“Well, here’s to consumable spaghetti then,” grinning, he held up his wine glass. Castiel rolled his eyes amicably but held his own glass as well, clinking it gently against Dean’s in a silent cheers.

Taking a careful bite, Dean contemplated as he chewed. He waited to swallow before commenting. “It’s not bad,” he raised his eyebrows.

Castiel returned his look with narrowed eyes and — oh. The head tilt. Dean could get used to that. “But not the best?”

Dean chuckled, taking another bite. “Man, it’s good, stop worrying. Spaghetti took me a while to get right as well. I’m sure with a bit of practice you’ll be fine.”

Castiel paused, clearly mulling the words over, before a shrewd look took over his eyes. “And you’ll help me learn?”

For some unfathomable reason, Dean was breathless when he responded. “Yeah, Cas. I’ll help you.”

The rest of their dinner was swallowed down like air. Castiel was clearly about to reach for the dishes to wash them, but a single look from Dean, along with a pointed flare of his scent, and Castiel got the hint. Pupils dilating within a fraction of a second, Castiel lunged. 

Turning on his heel, Dean ran. On the move he realized he had no idea where Castiel’s bedroom was, but giving into his olfactory senses rectified it — he hoped. Bounding through the spacious apartment, he let his nose lead him, his eyes more to track any obstacles in his way to jump over, and right in front of him, Castiel’s door. Putting in an extra burst of speed, Dean reached out for the door knob —

Castiel slammed into his back, snarling alpha on his tail the entire time, colliding into him causing him to let out a slightly pained gasp. His face would have been crushed against the door for sure, had it not been for Castiel’s quick hand slipping in between, creating a cushion for his cheek as he gently yet without losing speed pinned Dean against the door.

“Caught you.” Castiel muttered triumphantly, breathing heavily. His other hand was rapidly grappling at Dean’s clothes, but he wasn’t moving to remove anything , why wasn’t he touching Dean already?

“Yeah. Only ‘cause your fucking door is locked.” Dean growled back, none too pleased with the situation. Not the being pressed into a full body contact, back to chest with Castiel. But the not being in a bed, back to chest with Castiel atop him.

Castiel hummed. “It’s not locked.” Frowning, Dean was about to retort, when Castiel let go of his useless pawing at Dean’s clothes to reach around, and pulling the door, he twisted the knob completely before pushing it open. “See?”

Had Dean had the coherency or the genuine need to, he would have elbowed Castiel in the stomach for that. “God, you’re telling me your door is picky now?”

“Picky?” Castiel growled. And Dean would have replied, he had the perfect comeback too, like always. Except Castiel was spinning him around, pinning him to the door again, except this time they were facing each other, and Castiel was pressing his lips to Dean’s. 

Gasping, Dean tensed, muscles going delightfully rigid in Castiel’s hold, before he instinctively felt himself loosen. Eyes automatically slipping closed, he let himself relax against the door, letting it take his weight as he brought his hands up to rake it through Castiel’s hair.

The thought that this time, Dean was going to be the reason behind Castiel’s absolutely untameable hair the next morning had his omega growling in satisfaction. 

Alpha’s canines tickled the sensitive flesh of Dean’s lips, a breathy sigh escaping him at the danger. Submitting under Castiel’s unyielding muscles, he let the sinewy muscles massage him to the door, flattening and pushing and tearing at clothes. When Castiel latched onto his neck, Dean’s head thudding against the door hard, stars exploding in his vision. Ears ringing, he could only feel his pants being pushed down, raising his feet in time to kick them away. 

Castiel bucked his hips, and their bare groins came into contact for the first time. Dean moaned loudly, his fingers coming up to scratch into Castiel’s shoulders. “B-bed,” he managed to get out. Still, his own cock was jumping, twitching for more friction. Castiel pushed a thigh in between his legs, and maybe it was to start moving them, maybe it wasn’t. Either way, all Dean could register was the fact that there was now wonderful pressure on his cock, and even better, his hole as well, and he was going to make the best of it. Grinding down on the meaty flesh for all he was worth, he smeared his slick over Castiel’s thigh. The scent of their arousals were mingling, creating a heady buzz that had Dean’s eyes rolling into the back of his head. 

With a sudden growl that was louder than the rest that had so far been creating a continuous background sound to the enjoyment of Dean’s cock, Castiel gripped Dean’s hips, and hoisted. With a shocked that Dean would forever deny emitting, he wrapped his legs around Castiel. With his wonderfully hot hands spanning across the width of Dean’s back, Castiel held him in place as he spun them around. With large strides, they were at the bed, and Dean was being carefully lowered. The moment his back was nestled amongst soft, silken sheets, Dean was  lifting his arms, harshly yanking on Castiel’s shoulders until he was falling on top of Dean. They both grunted when Castiel’s weight fell on Dean, but before Castiel could bring himself to move away, Dean was spreading his legs, letting Castiel fall into the gap between them. And pushing himself up, he started biting at the delectable stubble adorning Castiel’s jawline as he reached between his legs, gathering the slick there onto his fingertips.

When he started stroking Castiel’s cock, slicking it up and gathering it against his own, Castiel let out a heavy groan, his head falling to Dean’s shoulder. Pinned against the bed, Dean let his head roll to the side, Castiel immediately attacking the exposed skin. Heaving himself up onto his knees, Castiel kept himself hovering over Dean, batting his hand away to gather both their cocks together in one hand. With a groan of his own, Dean let his hands fall to the side, stroking his skin and trying to gather his wits before he was able to bring his hands up, pinching and tweaking his nipples. At the dual sensation, Dean moaned, his back arching, pressing his cock deeper into the tight fist of Castiel’s hand.

“Yeah,” Castiel muttered into Dean’s neck, mouthing wetly at the sweat there. “Yeah, oh. Dean ,” he groaned, his hips bucking. Hot come spilled, making a rapid mess of his hand, the slide of every upstroke getting slippier. But it was exactly what Dean needed, and he found himself coming with a punched out groan as well, adding his own mess to the pile between their bellies.

Shower sex was complicated.

That didn’t stop them from doing it anyway the next morning. After sixty-nine-ing in bed. They could only get up to some frottage in the shower. And a couple of fingers in Dean that had him coming like a geyser. After they’d come from that, they could only stare at each other, chests heaving as the water washed away all evidence of their coupling, before they rushed back to the bed.

This time, Castiel finally got out the condoms, and all thoughts of breakfast were discarded.

They stayed holed up in Castiel’s apartment for pretty much the entire weekend. The only time they were ever really forced to face reality, apart from foraying into the kitchen to actually refuel themselves, was when Dean had to shoot off a quick text to Sam, explaining that he was still alive and well even after the thorough fucking Castiel was hellbent on delivering.

After a couple more outraged texts, Sam didn’t bother them for the rest of the weekend. 

Come Monday, Dean was feeling a pleasant sort of ache everywhere. Feeling good loose limbed and relaxed, there was a dazed smile that refused to fade even as he finally made his way home, Castiel being the sweetheart that he was by driving him back. Parked in front of Dean’s building, they didn’t resist the pull they felt, melting against each other’s lips. When Dean felt the beginnings of slick starting to soak through the boxers Castiel had loaned him, he regretfully pulled back. 

“I’ll see you?” He asked, breathlessly. It was four in the morning, and normally, Dean would be readily swearing anyone and anything within his immediate vicinity. But he still had work, and Castiel had to go for classes, and Dean had always been careful to be home by the time Sam left or came back. He wasn’t going to try breaking that track record now, not for anyone.

As close as he could see himself getting with Castiel.

Looking dazed and just the slightest bit cross-eyed, Castiel blinked. “Yes. Of course.”

Smiling pleasantly, he pulled back, settling properly into the driver’s seat. Nodding, Dean tried to shake their intertwined scents from his head. Propping the door open, he couldn’t help but purposefully stretch out his muscles, knowing his shirt would hitch up and reveal the bruises Castiel left on his hips as he got out.

Sure enough, when Dean bent back down once out of the car, Castiel’s pupils were visibly dilated, his nostrils flaring. “Bye Cas,” he grinned, and closed the car door.

It took a few seconds before they both restarted their system, and Dean eventually made his way into the building, Castiel slowly pulling away from the curb. 

The further he got, the less distinct his scene became in Dean’s nostrils. By the time Dean was ducking inside his flat, there was a sharp feeling of emptiness in his chest that had him coming to a startled halt at the hallway.

He wasn’t an idiot, contrary to popular belief, and he knew what he was feeling. And what Dean was currently feeling meant that he was very much fucked. And so not in the fun way.

Like the brilliant timing his little brother always had, Sam chose to duck out of his room, hair sleep mussed and yet a pencil jammed over his ear. “Hey, Dean.” He greeted, and then sniffed.

“I’m taking a shower first, ‘cause I gotta run, but you’re going soon as I’m done. You fucking reek,” he stated, before closing the door to his room again.

Dean smacked his forehead.

Somehow, somehow, Dean managed to refrain from blurting anything out right away the next time he saw Castiel. Which was that very evening, Castiel stopping by the shop after classes with the offer of grabbing some takeout. Buried deep in his thoughts as he was, Dean was silent the entire time. Of course, Castiel noticed, but didn’t say anything until they were making their way back. 

“Dean…” Castiel started, breaking the thick silence between them in the car. He hesitated, but as the shop drew closer, he went on, clearly desperate to get whatever he wanted to say out before Dean could escape back into the relative safety of his work. “If you’re having second thoughts…” he started, voice soft and yet drowning in misery.

Dean’s head snapped up so fast, it was a miracle he hadn’t pulled a muscle. “What? What – no. No!” He was hasty to rebuke. “God, no. I… I’m just…” swallowing, Dean turned back to face the road. Silent, Castiel continued driving, though the sadness was still evident on his face. And it tore him, fuck, it hurt Dean like crazy that it was unfair that Castiel was already having this strong effect, so much power over him. They barely got to know each other past the biblical stage, and yeah, sure, Dean knew how much Castiel loved bees but didn’t trust cats. That he particularly favored honey. That he was indifferent to other animals, and yet held some sort of strange sympathy for monkeys. That he always had the most obscurest facts stored in his head, but never watched Star Wars. That he enjoyed listening to classical music, if only because it was what the seniors listened to at a home that Castiel occasionally visited. 

“I think I’m in love with you.”

The words came out of the field, absolutely random and so not what Dean was expecting at all, whatsoever, that it took him too long to realize the words had come from his own mouth.

His eyes widened, and he stared blankly at the wall of his workplace in front of him.

Castiel was staring at him, twisted in his seat to face him better. His jaw was slack, fists loose on the steering wheel, disbelief washing over his face.

“Uh…” Shit. Shit, shit, shit, was there nothing Dean could do right? Did he seriously just have to go out and blurt that, ruin any chance he had between them by scaring Castiel off like that? If only he’d have managed to stay quiet for just a few more minutes

“Hey, Dean. Dean? Look at me, please?” Gritting his teeth, Dean slowly turned, pained. 

The expression on Castiel’s face had Dean doing a double take. Castiel opened his mouth, looking like he was going to say something, before pausing. Clearly changing his mind, he instead unbuckled his seatbelt, leaned towards Dean, and gently pressed their lips together.

When they came apart for air, Castiel still didn’t move far. “I’ll admit, that wasn’t what I was expecting. But Dean Winchester, I think I’m very much falling for you as well.”

Hearing those words, paired with the absolute heartfelt expression swimming in Castiel’s eyes, eased a heaviness Dean didn’t realize he’d taken on since the morning.

Surging forward, Dean attacked Castiel, wrapping his arms tight around the alpha.

“Screw work,” he mumbled between kisses. “Take me home, alpha.”

Dean had never soaked through his pants so fast in his life, and he would have been embarrassed had he not been able to smell Castiel being in the same predicament.

Months passed. As fall turned into winter, turning into spring, their love blossomed along with the plants, and Dean wasn’t ever going to admit the analogy he made in his head aloud. But the truth was just that, each passing day revealing more and more of Dean to Cas, and more of Cas to Dean, it should have been frightening. And, in a way, it was, but in such an exhilarating way, that Dean was just holding on tight, going along with the flow.

Mid spring though, was when everything started to go wrong.

Dean didn’t notice at first. Sam was starting to climb the walls with how much more closer he was to getting into Stanford, his dream, his everything. And as much as Dean loved the kid, hell, he’d been raising Sam to make sure that Sam had everything he needed or could want, and Sam wanting to get into Stanford, confident that he could? Was just the cherry on top, proof that maybe Dean didn’t screw up the kid completely. But there was only so much last minute agonizing he could take before Dean had to flee to Castiel, relaxing in the blissful lack of nervous energy bouncing around all available surfaces. In fact, the calm and steady rock Cas provided, even when he was just silently grading his papers, had always been something Dean never knew he needed. Like the comfort of a silent companion in the background, ready to lend a willing ear should Dean wish to rant, which Dean was always glad to grab the opportunity whenever he wanted. That in part was why it took longer than usual for Dean to notice that things weren’t right.

It started with Castiel being silent –  too silent, actually. The lack of noncommittal hums to show that he was still somewhat paying attention, the occasional peck on his cheek, plastered as Dean was to his side – none of it was present today. And when it finally registered in Dean’s mind, he abruptly fell silent, mid-sentence, as he turned to regard Castiel.

Somehow, it didn’t take the alpha as long as Dean to know something was wrong with him. Tilting his head, he looked inquisitively at Dean, but sitting so close to each other, their eyes unwaveringly meeting, Dean couldn’t miss the unsettling feeling in his stomach, only going to prove that there was something very wrong in the depths of Castiel’s gaze.

“Hey, alpha,” Dean murmured, leaning forward as he cradled Cas’s jaw. Frowning, he let his forehead brush against Castiel’s. He knew his omega was taking over, trying to comfort its alpha. Dean let it, remaining lucid enough only to question Castiel. “What’s wrong?”

Castiel sighed, letting the papers in his hand fall back to his table. Somewhere amongst that large paper was a paper written by his brother, Dean knew, but the thought couldn’t have been any further at the back of his mind at the moment.

Not that he didn’t take advantage of knowing his brother’s grades before Sam did at other times.

“Nothing. It’s just… Naomi…”

Dean leaned back, and although he didn’t let go of Castiel’s face, his eyes narrowed further. “Your mom?” Dean asked to confirm. Castiel didn’t talk of his family much, not that Dean could blame him when Dean wasn’t any better. But from what he did manage to glean out of the alpha, there wasn’t any love lost between Castiel and the rest of his family. And considering the offhanded comments about how… backwards Cas’s family was? For all Dean cared, they could stay several hundred miles away from them and things would be just fine, thank you very much.

So for Castiel to complain about his mother now, and out of the blue, couldn’t spell anything good.

Castiel sighed again, keeping his eyes closed. He nuzzled further into Dean’s palm, easily seeking more physical contact. Dean wasn’t hesitant to give that up easily to him.

“She’s been… making enquiries about my whereabouts. Trying to reach out.”

“What the fuck does she want?” Dean spat out, before he could stop himself. Thankfully, Castiel didn’t seem offended at all. Rather, he only looked even more wearier, shocking Dean when he wondered how long had he exactly been failing to notice his alpha’s descent. 

“I don’t… know exactly. Nothing good, that’s for sure.” Dean scoffed.

“Okay. Well, I mean. She hasn’t found you yet, or whatever, right?” He asked.

Castiel shook his head, his head falling forward so that he was now nosing at Dean’s neck. Letting his head fall back, giving Castiel space to burrow deeper, Dean tangled his hands in Cas’s thick hair.

“So we’re still good, then, alpha. Don’t you worry.” He pressed a kiss to the top of Castiel’s head, burying his own face into the soft hair. “Everything’s gonna be just fine.”

Try as he might, Dean couldn’t push away the unease that had lodged itself firmly into his gut.

Chapter Text

Whatever cloud had settled over Dean didn’t dissipate, so when he went home later that evening, he was understandably confused when Sam didn’t stop shooting him weird looks. It admittedly took him a while to notice his brother eyeing him strangely in the first place, but when he did, it didn’t take long for him to snap at his brother.

“What?” Dean faced Sam from across their dining table, plates of steaming food forgotten in between them as Sam opened his mouth hesitantly. He looked afraid to speak, Dean immediately feeling chastised for making his brother feel uncomfortable.

“Uh… it’s just. Should I be like… preparing the place or… are you going to… you know.” Sam shrugged, eyes downcast.

Dean frowned. “I have no idea what you’re talking about, Sammy. Spit it out,” he gestured impatiently.

Sam stared at him, eyebrows skyrocketing. “Uh. Dean. You’re going into heat.” Sam stated.

The air between them came to a standstill as Dean stood, stock frozen as he registered his brother’s words. Sure, he had been feeling the symptoms, god only knew he had to time it with such care and precision to ensure his body wasn’t going to end up permanently screwed up that his cycles never strayed far from the forefront of his mind. And yet, after that tiny bomb Cas had thrown onto him, it must have totally slipped his mind.

And to think he’d been debating on actually asking Cas about it…

Cheeks flushing hot with embarrassment, Dean cleared his throat. Turning his own gaze to the table, he started to pull out his chair, giving himself time to sit down before he could force out a reply.

Dean mentally groaned. His heats and Sam’s ruts were never a matter of humiliation before, but trust it to become weird when they hooked up with someone they could consider a partner.

“Yeah, I’ll, uh… talk to Cas.  You should probably be fine. Might get to have the entire place to yourself in fact.” He muttered, already starting to dig into his food.

Sam started to snicker. His scent wasn’t amused as much as it was relieved, most likely due to the insanity of their conversation. And although Dean could relate, he couldn’t find it in himself to react with humor as well either.

“Shut up, bitch.” He threw out, tossing a slice of bread at his brother’s head.

Easily catching it in one hand, Sam seated himself across Dean, still grinning widely. “Jerk.”

He did text Cas about it later that night. The thought of having to wait until the next day, and to try to have this conversation in face…

Yeah, call Dean a coward, but he’d rather take that than talking to an alpha that actually meant something to him about his cycles. Especially when there was a chance that said alpha was going through problems of his own.

Surely texting wouldn’t – couldn’t – make it as big of a deal?

“Hey Cas”

Setting his phone face down on his chest, Dean steepled his fingers under his head. Staring at the ceiling, lying flat on his back on his bed, he settled down, sure that it would take a while for Castiel to formulate an undoubtedly eloquent and grammatical message to send.

Sure enough, it did take a couple of minutes before Dean’s phone was buzzing with a reply. The fact that it only took Castiel two minutes was still a record for the alpha, though.

“Hello, Dean.” Even the words on a screen was enough for a warm, fuzzy feeling to wash over Dean. Shaking his head at his own cheesiness, he squashed the butterflies in his stomach.

“Is everything going well? How is Sam?” Except, damn Castiel for making it harder than it should be to get straight to the point. How was Dean supposed to ask Castiel if they could fuck through a heat cycle when Castiel was being so considerate and enquiring about his little brother?

“Sam’s fine Cas. Hey can I ask you something?”

“Of course, Dean. Anything.”

Swallowing down the heat enveloping his chest, Dean desperately tried to blame his body’s emotional reaction to the slick that he could feel, starting to seep out from his ass as he texted a reply.

“I think my heat is gonna hit me in like a couple of days or so.”

Several long agonizing seconds passed. As much as Dean tried to reassure himself that it wasn’t taking any longer than usual for Castiel to text back, it did exceed a few minutes.

Dean rolled onto his stomach, stifling a groan into his pillow.

A few more minutes passed before his phone buzzed again. Scrambling, Dean desperately reached for his phone as he got into a better position to be able to read the message with ease.

“Alright. Shall we meet next week then?”

He was face palming before he even registered his actions. Rolling his eyes behind closed lids, Dean slowly dragged his hand away from his face before grabbing his phone with both hands again.

No Cas.”

His thumbs were awkwardly dancing, and right as he decided to screw it and shoot for the hoop, an uncharacteristically quick message came through.

Oh .”

Growling under his breath, Dean hit the send button, and then promptly let it slip back onto somewhere amidst his sheets as he buried himself back in his pillow. Only to immediately dive for his phone again when it vibrated, not even thirty seconds later. The buzzing didn’t let up, and his heart jumped to his throat when the thought struck that maybe Castiel had just resorted to calling him instead of continuing this wonderfully muted method of conversing.

But no, his phone was only lighting up with the latest, unread messages that Castiel had sent in quick succession. He reread his own message, making sure there was absolutely no way he sent something that could be misunderstood, before scrolling down to view what Castiel sent.

“No I dont wanna raincheck to next week because I was hoping we could meet at yours anyway.”


“Of course, Dean.”

“If you’re sure.”

“I am reading this situation correctly?”

“Dean do you wish to have your heat with me?”

Jesus. His cheeks were now on fire. Stupidly cursing his fate that had decided to become reminiscent of a teenage girl trying to lose her virginity, he shakily typed a simple response.


A reply came in soon again, but mercifully after a much more normal time gap appropriate to Castiel’s MO.

“Dean, I’m honored.”

Dean swallowed. There was no way he could let this conversation go on.

No one had to know, but his boxers were soaked enough already.

“Yeah yeah you sap. Go to sleep now.

“We’ll talk in the morning.”

“Of course, Dean.

“Good night.”

His heat started kicking in with a vengeance somewhere in the middle of the night. Gritting his teeth in frustration, Dean shook away the last vestiges of sleep as he stumbled to his feet. Sleep haze rapidly being replaced with heat haze, he sluggishly moved through his room, throwing whatever important shit he could remember in a spare duffel. Eventually, he was slinging it over a shoulder, ignoring the feeling that he was forgetting something, and exited his bedroom.

The lights were all off, the place quiet. Sam had clearly turned in already, even after the long hours he must’ve spent studying under a lamp light that he thought Dean didn’t know about. Moving as quietly as he could, he shuffled into the kitchen, scribbling a quick message on a sticky note. Pressing it to the fridge so Sammy could read it in the morning, Dean grabbed the keys to his baby, and left the quiet safety of his flat.

Driving while in heat wasn’t the best of ideas, even when only in the beginning stages. But Dean had driven in worse situations, and though he hadn’t had to test his abilities in a long time, he knew the ride wasn’t as difficult as it could have been by the time he reached Castiel’s building. Parking and turning off the engine, he spared a moment to take a few deep, calming breaths. Resting his forehead against the cool steering wheel, Dean took the time to center himself. Yes, there were so many risks he was aware of, traveling at night alone while in heat. But he drove, had enough lucidity to make sure the car was locked the entire time and would check to see it was still so after he got out too. And Castiel’s building was admittedly in a much better location than Dean’s. And though Castiel wasn’t exactly expecting him at that moment, Castiel knew he was in heat. So hopefully he wouldn’t take too long to open the door.


Swallowing, Dean reached over to the passenger footwell. Grabbing his duffel, he got out of the car, locking it three times before he pushed himself away from the reassuringly cold metal.

Focusing on each step, he kept his head down as he walked. Yet his senses were clear, the cold spring air doing enough wonders to keep Dean alert as he hit the buzzer for Castiel’s flat. It took several minutes, Dean starting to shiver from the conflict of temperatures within his body and externally, a headache creeping at the edges of his mind an internal countdown, before Castiel answered.

Hello ?” His deep gravelly voice thick with sleep, distorted as it was through the machine, was still enough to send bolts of heat down Dean’s spine.

The back of his pants were starting to get damp. Any longer, and his ass was at the danger of being either frozen or melted into a puddle of flesh.

Well. At least that imagery was enough to curb the more imminent threats of arousal.

“Hey, Cas.”

“Dean?” Castiel’s voice was bewildered, but he didn’t even wait for a reply before the line went dead. Dean didn’t have the time to wonder if he’d just been ditched when the heavy door clicked, signaling the lock being turned.

Not wasting any more time, Dean pulled the door open, and let himself in.

The elevator ride up was tedious. He could hear his dad’s voice distantly telling himself to count his blessings, but apart from a distant sense of gratefulness that it was empty, Dean couldn’t bring himself to care any further about that. Instead, he kept his eyes glued to the panel displaying the floor he was on, steadily increasing but still at too slow of a rate for Dean’s comfort.

The pause when he finally arrived at Castiel’s floor, the doors taking its customary few seconds before sliding open, and Dean was already entertaining thoughts of just barreling down the metal doors. Sweat was trickling down his spine, only adding to his increasing discomfort, but he clenched his teeth as he marched to Castiel’s door the moment the elevator let him out. Bless the alpha, Dean had barely raised his fist to knock before it was already opening, an arm pulling Dean inside before slamming shut again behind him.

Almost immediately, a nose was being shoved into the crook between Dean’s neck and shoulder at the same time he was pushed into the wall beside the door.

“You smell heavenly,” Castiel groaned. A fresh pile of slick dripped out heavily from Dean’s ass, his head thudding back into the wall as he gasped. His hips helplessly bucked, only to thrust at mere air, Castiel positioning his hips away on purpose.

“You’re a fucking tease,” Dean returned.

Castiel hummed. “You need to eat. Drink. Get some proper sleep before we actually begin taking care of this,” he listed out, sounding distracted but still forming sentences that were far too coherent.

“To hell with all that,” Dean said, and grabbing fistfuls of Castiel’s hair, he yanked the alpha’s head up to pull him into a merciless kiss, all teeth and bite fighting for dominance. Castiel gave as good as he got, not letting down, rather pushing his tongue deeper, standing straight and pushing Dean backwards until his muscles were forced to yield to the alpha’s unrelenting hands. When Castiel pulled away suddenly, Dean blinking spots out of his vision from the abrupt lack of contact, a whine was pulled out of Dean’s throat without his control, his omega slipping free.

“Hush, Dean.” Castiel placed his forehead against Dean’s, resting firm hands on Dean’s hips. “You’ve still a ways to go before we need to actually take care of you. First, you need rest – we both need rest.” He stated. Their eyes were closed, both of them breathing heavily. Dean was rubbing at Castiel’s muscled chest, his groin heating up further at the feel of his strong alpha.

But his alpha had given him a command, worded and made to sound as a suggestion as it was, and Dean couldn’t decline Castiel anything, not right now. His alpha knew how to take care of him, would take care of him, and Dean just had to trust him in return.

He let his head fall to his side, every muscle in Dean’s body going soft in a sign of complete and utter submission.

“Alpha,” he murmured.

With a growl, Castiel surged forward, grabbing Dean’s lips in another violent kiss. And yet, his hands were anything but harsh as he guided Dean’s legs around his waist. The duffel bag that had so far managed to stay on Dean’s shoulder was now slipping to the ground, abandoned, as Castiel carried Dean further into his home, to the bedroom where Dean would find a nest his alpha had already made in preparation for them both.

And under his alpha’s care, he would petulantly fall asleep for the time being, but the softness in his gut at the closeness of his alpha, at the attention he was being showered with, would stay to reassure Castiel he was doing the right thing through the night.

Dean woke up to the comforts of a soft mattress, pillows like compressed feathers surrounding him, combined with a rumbling alpha pressed to his back, the heat emanating from Castiel warming them up pleasantly. Even as he came closer to consciousness, Dean just snuggled back into Cas’s hold, far too comfortable to even think about breaking this spell. The press of his organs pulsating, however, refused to fade. And as much as he tried not to squirm, there was only so much his alpha’s smell and contact could do before it merely became even more of a dangerous tease. Grumbling low in his throat, Dean twisted under his alpha’s tight hold, loosely fighting the sheets and comforters to let go of his limbs so that he could face his alpha. Once turned, he swiftly pressed his face against Castiel’s chest, eyes closing in bliss at the steady movement of his alpha’s chest with each breath, Castiel’s heartbeat strong and grounding.

Rubbing his face all over Castiel’s soft shirt, it didn’t take long before Dean started to unconsciously purr, his omega gradually slipping free with each moment. Distantly, he was aware that the noise was eventually going to wake Castiel, but he paid it no heed until Castiel’s arms started to tighten around him.

“G’morning to you too, Dean.” Castiel murmured, cutting through his purrs. Awkwardly, Dean cleared his throat, eyes wide. He tried to pull back, but Castiel’s arms around him didn’t let Dean go far, only enough to peer up at the alpha’s eyes.

His alpha, who’s eyes now had flecks of red glittering around the pupil. Frowning, Dean sniffed curiously, his eyebrows shooting back up when a scent he’d never smelled before yet was still so intimately familiar to him hit his nose. “Cas, are you in… rut?” He asked, unable to contain his disbelief.

Castiel exhaled, and then suddenly, alpha reflexes letting him move faster than a mere human would be able to, he was ducking his nose into Dean’s scent gland. “It would appear so,” he replied, voice muffled. “Although I can’t say I’m surprised, even if I wasn’t expecting it. Dean, you smell divine.

Heat rushing to his cheeks – along with some other areas of certain interest – Dean ducked his head, trying to catch Castiel’s lips with his own. “Yeah, you mentioned something like that last night too. Still aren’t doing anything about it, though.” Frustrated when Castiel only continued to be evasive, Dean resorted to biting at Castiel’s earlobe. He grinned smugly at the sharp hiss Castiel let out. “All this talk about how good I smell but not doing anything… jeez, Cas. Certainly know how to treat an omega right, h— oof.” His air was punched out of his lungs as Castiel finally lunged. Before everything went black as Castiel covered Dean with his body, the last thing he knew for certain that Castiel saw was his wide, self satisfied smirk before Castiel was pressing him into the mattress.

“Mouthy omega,” Castiel lapped at his scent gland, Dean’s eyes rolling to the back of his head. But he was concentrating more intently on Castiel’s hips practically undulating above him, rocking against Dean’s groin sensually. His own hips bucking, Dean’s legs fell to the sides as he let Castiel have unrestricted access. 

“Maybe you should shut me up then,” Dean managed, breathless. His eyes had slipped closed, he wasn’t even sure when. His boxers were sloppy wet though, and he started to shove at Castiel’s chest, hoping to get the alpha’s clothes off as well.

“Maybe I should,” Castiel said. He finally pulled back, impatience warring with confusion at Dean’s lashing hands, but clarity soon dawned when Dean started to tear at his remaining clothes the moment Castiel had given him the slightest leeway. Getting with the program, thankfully, he rocked back onto his heels to remove his own shirt, and Dean stopped his useless scrambling to gape at the fresh expanse of skin being revealed. He’d never tire of seeing his alpha unclothed, with perfectly muscular pecs, abs, but especially those arms. Those arms that were more than capable of lifting and pinning Dean to a wall, despite the fact that even for an omega, Dean was built quite heavily himself.

Mouth watering, the moment Castiel’s shirt landed somewhere on the ground, he was rising to attach his lips to one of Cas’s nipples. His drenched boxers were forgotten again for the time being in favor of Castiel’s luxurious groan. A hand came to grasp Dean’s hair firmly, holding him in place against Castiel’s chest. Slowly lowering them back to the bed, Castiel took over, stripping Dean from the rest of his clothes. Letting Castiel guide him as he wished, all other thoughts slipped away from Dean’s mind, his sole attention on lapping at Castiel’s nipple, twisting his tongue around it and occasionally biting gently. He was rewarded by Castiel’s hips bucking harder — this time against his bare crotch. The skin on skin contact had Dean letting go with a gasp, hands shooting up to latch onto Castiel’s hair, pulling him down into a searing kiss as he wrapped his legs around Castiel’s waist. He’d managed to forget about his heat with their foreplay, but with Castiel’s dick so close to his aching hole, there was no way they could put this off any longer.

“Fuck me,” Dean hissed, his back arching, weeping cock thrusting at Castiel’s abs for friction it failed to get. “C’mon, alpha, fuck me.”

Pushing himself up on his forearms, Castiel let his head drop down between his shoulders. An arm reached down, pulling at one of Dean’s legs until it was slung over Castiel’s shoulder. His muscles strained, but Dean didn’t care, relished in the idea of his body aching just right afterwards. The bare head of Castiel’s cock nudged against his hole, and even as he tried to pull his legs further apart, there was something niggling at the back of Dean’s mind… but it all flew out the moment Castiel started pushing in.

Throwing his head back as a low groan was pulled out, Dean tightened his arms around Castiel. Hot puffs of air hit Dean’s neck as Castiel exhaled shakily, holding back from just pushing in. As if to distract himself, or maybe Dean from the nonexistent pain Castiel thought he was experiencing, he started peppering kisses all over the sides of Dean’s throat, stretched out for the taking.

“More — fuck — c’mon, Cas. I can take it,” Dean blabbered, trying to pull Castiel in faster. Castiel’s mouth latched onto a spot smack between his jaw and collarbone, and started sucking. Groaning, Dean’s back practically jumped off the bed. However, Castiel was pushing in, that delicious length sliding gloriously in until he bottomed out, his heavy balls smacking Dean, the base of his knot starting to flare up at a rapid pace.

“Fuck, Dean,” Castiel gasped, letting Dean’s skin go with a loud pop. Dean mentally hummed at the vision of a spectacular bruise. 

“That’s the idea.” Dean chuckled softly. His fingers loosened to stroke through Castiel’s soft hair. Slicked with sweat, it should have been disgusting, but only served to increase Dean’s arousal. 

Then again, everything about Castiel was going to be arousing no matter what to Dean right now.

A groan, mostly in response to Dean’s lame joke rather than vocalized self control, before Castiel pulled back. And pushed back in. Words and other forms of coherency started to dissipate from Dean’s mind as Castiel built a steady rhythm, hitting Dean’s prostate straight on almost every single thrust. Keens and whimpers were pulled from Dean’s throat, unbidden, as he started to writhe in pleasure, his orgasm already building at the base of his untouched cock.

“Sh-shit, Cas, alpha, please.” Dean begged. Any other time, he would have been embarrassed, reduced to such a pathetic mess already, but Castiel was just so good, and besides. He didn’t look any better himself, and it was that which motivated Dean to bring his other leg up to rest on Castiel’s shoulder as well in an uncharacteristic show of grace, bringing Castiel impossibly closer. The repositioning had shifted them so that Castiel was now hitting his prostate on every thrust, and sparks of fire were exploding in bursts behind Dean’s eyelids. His cock was now furiously leaking, and he let a hand go to reach down. Castiel’s hand met his right as he was wrapping his fingers around his cock, his grip on Dean so tight it was most likely cutting off his blood flow. But he was forcing Dean to twist his cock the way Castiel wanted, and it was just perfect, so damned good—

He came with a yell, his throat going hoarse as his orgasm was yanked out of him in a never ending stream. His dick pulsing come all over his torso, Castiel stiffened, and then suddenly he was pushing in, shoving his cock hard, and then his knot, Jesus, his knot was in, it was in, and Castiel was coming like a fucking tsunami, drenching Dean’s insides in come. The feel of the dirty hot wet alpha semen slicking Dean’s insides further had Dean coming again, his cock not even done spurting out from its first wave before another round was pushed through. The power of his second orgasm blending in with his first had Dean curling up as much as he could in his position, a death grip on Castiel’s neck, he couldn’t even feel his cock anymore but Castiel wasn’t letting him let go of his poor dick, still stroking to wring out as many drops as he could, while Castiel was still pulsing inside…

He hadn’t stopped gushing out of both his cock and hole before Dean passed out, completely drained and overstimulated.

He woke up to warm heat encasing his dick. Groaning, Dean tried to curl up, his hands shooting down to latch onto a thick mane of untamed hair. “ Cas,” he gasped out. Slick was dribbling from his hole, the sheets starting to become uncomfortable under him. 

Castiel had taken him all the way to the base, his mouth bobbing up and down mesmerizingly. Humming, Castiel opened his eyes, peering up at Dean with his innocent blue orbs. Dean groaned again, louder, his fingers digging deep into Castiel’s scalp as waves of his heat traveled down from deep within his torso to his dick, pulsating with every suck of Castiel’s mouth.

“Cas, Cas, please,” he begged incoherently, head thudding back on the pillow as he squirmed. He was so close, he just needed something just a little more to get over the edge—

The scrape of teeth against a vein on his dick had Dean’s eyes shooting open. The danger should have had his erection waning, but it was perfect, exactly what he needed. With a shout, Dean’s legs pulled up as he came hard. Castiel didn’t back off, keeping his mouth firmly connected to Dean’s dick as he sucked, practically suctioning the come out of Dean at this point.

By the time Dean’s vision returned, shaking but fighting off the whites and blacks that rendered him near blind after his orgasm, Castiel was lying beside him on his back, his head turned to face Dean. His grin was so wide, lips swollen, and the bastard was even breathing slightly heavily, as if he’d gone for a run instead of sucking Dean’s brains out through his dick.

“You ready to get some breakfast?” Castiel asked, eyes twinkling. Dean stared at him, eyebrows raised as he tried to get his own breath back. Finally, he managed to get his tongue under control long enough to respond.

“You’re insane if you think we’re gonna get anywhere near the kitchen first.”

This time, it was Castiel who stared questioningly at Dean. “Oh?” 

“I’m thinking shower sex. And then laundry room sex, because dude, if we try anything more here, I’m gonna be swimming in our shit.” His nose turned up at disgust at the thought, but also at the sensation that was still too clear of a warning under him, considering they were halfway there already.

Castiel’s nose flared, his pupils blown wide, only a thin ring of red visible as it overcame blue. “Yes,” he murmured, voice low and dark, promising all sorts of filthy things for Dean to look forward to.

They emerged three days later, reeking of sex and covered in mass amounts body fluids. It wasn’t unusual for Dean to feel absolutely exhausted after a heat cycle, but at least his mind was somewhat more active now. Instead of wanting to just turn around and head back to bed, he was eagerly cuddling up against Castiel’s side, scenting the alpha as Castiel went about making a meal for them, a blissed smile on his face as he maneuvered around Dean’s clingy limbs.

Standing in front of the stove, Castiel was momentarily able to let go of his duties, immediately wrapping his arms around Dean as he buried his face on Dean’s hair. Inhaling deeply, Dean sighed as Castiel’s chest expanded with the action, surrounding Dean with the sensation combined with the scent of Castiel. They stayed like that for a bit, standing in the middle of the kitchen suspended in their embrace, before Dean reluctantly pulled his head back to nuzzle Castiel’s nose with his own. “Eggs are burning.” He muttered in the small gap between them.

“They can–oh, shit.” Dean frowned, a little exaggerated, yet he let Castiel pull away to salvage the eggs before it was charred completely. Staring at Castiel frantically scraping away at the pan, it didn’t take long for the mock frown to slip away from Dean’s face, however, replaced with a fond smile. He leaned against the counter behind him, crossing his arms over his chest, content to just stand and watch.

He lost himself in a daze, eyes too busy roving over the play of Castiel’s muscles as he expertly moved through his routines. By the time Castiel was walking back up to Dean, a couple of plates in each hand, Dean was a little too distracted to notice at first. It was a gentle peck to his nose that had him jostled into reality, a slightly embarrassed flush heating his cheeks. He covered it up with a cheeky grin, taking a plate from Castiel, leaving a hand free for Castiel to guide him out of the kitchen, palm warm on Dean’s bared back. Side by side, they walked to the hall, bundling up within moments despite moving at a sedate place in the middle of the room, smack under a patch of sunlight. Dean stretched like a cat, all too aware of Castiel’s eyes greedily drinking in the sight of his body before Dean settled back against his side. Letting the blanket from Castiel’s couch pool around them, they dug in. For the most part, they were silent, heads resting against each others’. Personally, Dean didn’t think he had anything left in him to say anymore now, not after the continuous session of practically screaming himself hoarse for the past few days. His voice could honestly do with the break.

And it seemed like Castiel must have thought the same too. Because he was just as quiet, the air between them thoroughly comfortable, however. They shared lazy smiles, Dean’s chest feeling abnormally light as he dangled a piece of egg over Castiel’s mouth, chuckling as Castiel’s head bobbed up to grab the food, nipping playfully at his fingers. It could have just as easily turned into something sexual, and yet it didn’t.

The thought didn’t escape Dean’s notice, and he didn’t care either. For the first time, Dean could actually bring himself to get used to this feeling. The feeling of letting himself fall, hook, line and sinker for this alpha.

He hadn’t even gotten over the novelty of that exhilarating realization, before everything went to shit.

It started with Castiel ghosting him. And as much as he hated using the term – it made him sound like a date was trying to ditch him, nothing at all like what the alpha he near scent-bonded was to him – there also wasn’t any other word for it. Castiel wasn’t answering his calls or texts. The few times Dean dared to try, the door never opened either. Hell, it was only Sam’s eventual declaration a few weeks later that apparently Castiel had taken a leave of absence from work that had Dean calming down somewhat. But not by much when Sam further revealed that Castiel only disappeared from his duties for a week now.

To put it bluntly, Dean was worried, and it didn’t take long before his nerves started to toss Sam off the edge either.

“Look, I’m sure he’s just fine.” Sam tried to fruitlessly appease Dean. It didn’t do any good if their apartment was already stinking up of tension though. Later, Dean would remember to open up the windows and let the place air out. Right now, though?

Right now, his nerves must have been skyrocketing to explosion, because he’d been feeling nauseous all day. He had a feeling if Sam didn’t get out of his way soon, and if Dean wasn’t feeling better in T minus two minutes, his brother’s shirt wasn’t going to look pretty.

Scooping up the mail from where they’d dumped it earlier on the kitchen counter, Sam started to flip through it. It was more out of necessity to give his hands something to do, because he clearly wasn’t looking at any of the envelopes he was throwing to the side. Dean knew, because as much as he stared at one of the letters advertising Stanford on it with raised eyebrows, Sam still missed the memo. “Maybe his family just got sick or something, and he had to rush out and visit them and didn’t get the time to notify anyone properly.”

Bile returned to the back of Dean’s throat as he shot his brother a death glare. “Yeah. I’d have thought that too, Sammy, if it weren’t for the fact that he apparently hates his mom.”

Dean didn’t get to enjoy Sam’s surprised, “wait, what?” before he was rushing off to the bathroom. He’d lost his fight, he knew, and it was clearly imminent that he was going to hurl right this second. The least he could do was not take away his one up, small and stupid as it was, on Sam by throwing up on him.

Or maybe that would have been an even better of a mic drop effect, Dean mused, bent over the toilet minutes later. His chest was heaving, saliva dribbling down his lips into the toilet, and everything about his situation made Dean want to throw up again. Only the rapid bout of dizziness had Dean closing his eyes in a desperate attempt to control himself.

“Dean? Dean, are you okay?” Sam’s voice was worried as it carried through the door minutes later, but even through it Dean knew it wasn’t the reason why his brother sounded so faint. Distantly, Dean was just starting to wonder why his brother didn’t bother to barge in when he knew he didn’t lock the door yet, when Sam was already doing so. His brother faltered at the doorway, before hesitantly coming forward, falling to his knees and slowly resting a hand on Dean’s shoulder. “Hey, man,” Sam said, his voice uncharacteristically soft. “You good?”

The question set Dean off. Laughing, borderline hysterically, into the toilet bowl, his head thudded onto his forearm that had so far been supporting him above the toilet. “No, Sam. I’m pretty sure I’m not good.” Closing his eyes against the tears that had been about to make their appearance, Dean spit into the toilet. “Castiel is as good as missing, I’m pretty sure I’m pregnant, but you know what? I think I’m perfect!” He exclaimed sarcastically. It seemed like the perfect moment to raise his head and stare at his brother to make sure the words really hit home, except he was bent over again, throwing up his guts for all he was worth.

Beside him, Sam muttered a quiet but emphatic, “ shit .”

When he had the moment to come up for air, Dean nodded, shooting his brother a quick, “you don’t say,” glance. He was going to tell his brother to fuck off and leave him to his newfound misery, when his brother’s pale and absolutely horrified look brought Dean up short.

“Wow, chill, Sammy. Don’t worry, it’s not like I’m a hundred percent sure and besides, I–” but Sam was shaking his head, hair flying like a dog’s as he cut Dean off.

“No, I, uh.” Sam swallowed, steadfastly not meeting Dean’s eyes. “The news.” He said to the wall behind Dean. He actually looked like he might need a round with the toilet himself.

Dean narrowed his eyes. “What about the news?”

Except, Sam silently stood, and as Dean watched, walked out of the bathroom. Dean stared at his brother’s retreating form in disbelief, before groaning and letting his forehead drop back onto his arm. As if things weren’t enough of a clusterfuck already, trust Sam to add to the drama by being a confusing little shit. And the bad feeling in his stomach was probably his food still rebelling against Dean, wanting out, right?

Five long minutes later, Dean made his way to the kitchen, feeling like he couldn’t possibly throw up anything more, but still keeping a wary eye out on the sink. Sam was sitting at the kitchen table, hands crossed in front of him, eyes burning a hole at the day’s newspaper in front of him. The sick feeling returned with a vengeance, and Dean swayed towards the sink uncertainly before pushing himself to sit across his brother.

“Spit it out, Sam.” Dean said bluntly. In return, Sam just pushed the newspaper closer to Dean. Shooting his brother an exasperated glare, he took it anyway, eyes skimming through the page Sam had been courteous enough to flip to. It didn’t take him long to find out what had his brother looking like he was at a funeral, not when it was practically taking up the entire page.

Dean really didn’t think he could be blamed for the black at the edges of his vision overwhelming his entire line of sight.

He came to his senses gradually. His hearing came first, which wasn’t entirely useful considering there weren’t any noteworthy sounds to go off of. Blinking, Dean tried to bring the ceiling into focus just as he registered that he was in his bedroom, swaddled in his blanket and pillows… Eyes scrunched up, Dean turned his head when he felt way more pillows than he knew for a fact he slept with surrounding him. Sure enough, through squinting eyes, he could make out every single pillow around their house pushed to his body. The pillows from the couch, on the kitchen chairs, and even, Jesus, what was Sam’s pillows doing here? In fact, what was going on in general, Dean decided he’d like to know.

Pushing himself up, his blanket failed to slip down until he frustratedly pawed it, forcing it to untangle from around his limbs. He’d just unearthed his arms when Sam appeared at the doorway, looking as haggard as Dean felt. 

“Oh. Hey. You’re up.” He noted dumbly.

“Yeah, I am.” Dean said, eyebrows raised. It was quickly followed with an eloquent, “what the fuck, Sam?”

“You, uh,” he looked down, hand rubbing at the back of his neck, a gesture recognized as a nervous tic the brothers unfortunately shared. “Passed out.” Before Dean could even begin to exclaim his indignance to that, Sam was going on. “After reading the news of, you know…”

And just like that, Dean’s world came tumbling back down. “Cas got married.” He whispered.

Sam’s face crumpled. “Fuck, Dean, I’m so sorry–”

Dean closed his eyes, sharply turning his head away. “Just. Leave it.”

And yet, Sam stood there, fidgeting silently. Dean grit his teeth, silently willing his brother away, but the jerk must have read his mind because he chose to do the exact opposite. Coming in, the rustle of plastic had Dean’s curiosity perking, but it was nowhere near enough for Dean to actually open his eyes and face his brother again. “I grabbed this while you were… sleeping,” Sam said, voice low. “‘Cause you said you weren’t sure and… I mean. I guess. This seemed like the next, most logical step, right?”

He heard Sam swallow, setting whatever it was down beside Dean on the bed. He finally started to leave the room, but came to a pause at the doorway. “And, if it is positive… we’ll take it one step at a time, alright, Dean?” Without waiting for an answer, he left. A few moments later, Dean heard the soft shnick of Sam’s bedroom door closing, effectively announcing that Dean had all the privacy and space he needed now.

Taking a shaky inhale, Dean opened his eyes and looked to the plastic bag beside him. It was already open enough so that Dean didn’t even have to touch it to see the pregnancy tests inside it.

Eyes slipping back closed, he resisted the urge to vomit again. Taking deep, measured breaths through his nose, his hands clutched the blankets as they curled into fists. Swallowing, Dean opened his eyes, resolutely not looking at the bag as he pushed the blankets and the abundance of pillows away from himself. Pushing himself to his feet, Dean slowly stood – and immediately swung out his arms as his vision went black again, ears ringing. Closing his eyes, Dean swallowed, groaning lowly. When he was sure he wasn’t going to pass out again, he opened his eyes, and grabbed the bag in a swift movement. He regretted the speed of his action, but he didn’t let himself be deterred yet again. Plastic bag clenched in hand, he no longer garnered it any more glances as he slowly but steadily made his way back to the bathroom.

Only to backtrack and walk into the kitchen first. He didn’t have to pee, but he’d be damned if an empty bladder out of all things held him back now.

“I need to see him.” Dean announced decisively.

Nearly choking on his coffee, Sam spit his mouthful back into his cup. Dean didn’t hold back a look of disgust at it, but graciously stayed silent.

“Okay. I mean. I get where you’re coming from, but – Dean… are you sure that’s a good idea, man?”

Dean snorted. “Hell, nah. Not from what I got from the papers backing up Cas’s–Castiel’s stories about his family. But still. I need some answers, Sammy.”

Sam nodded, setting his coffee down. Placing his palms on the island between them, he looked down, thinking for a few seconds before he nodded again, looking back at Dean. “That’s still a terrible idea.” He said evenly.

“I know.”

“I should probably be trying to talk you out of this.”

“But you’re not.”

“But I’m fucking not.” Sam groaned, wiping a hand over his face. “Just. I know it’s gonna be useless trying to, but can you at least just… think over it a bit more?” Sam tried. “Like, okay. Maybe you know what you wanna say to his face, but like. Dean, apparently, Castiel isn’t… well he’s not exactly easy to reach. High class of a family like his? Man, saying it’s not gonna be easy would be an understatement. So can you at least, I dunno, try to sleep on it a little more?”

Dean crossed his arms, regarding his brother cool and unperturbed. “I already did, Sam. I’m a fucking month pregnant with his fucking child, and if that doesn’t deserve an ‘appointment’ or whatever with his highness, then fuck all this bullcrap. Hell, fuck his scam of a marriage, because Sam, you can’t tell me he wasn’t forced into this,” and his arms fell down to his sides, limp as the desperation Dean had been trying so hard to push down, the need to know the truth, to get back to his alpha flared up to the surface, baring him to his brother. “You can’t.” He pleaded. To his mortification, his eyes were starting to water, even worse, his nose running, but he didn’t budge, staring down at his brother even though Dean knew that everything had already gone to shit the moment he cracked. There was no way he could hide his feelings any longer, and he knew that Sam was aware that he was seeing everything written on Dean’s face without his consent per se.

Sam sighed, anguish twisting his face before burying it in his palms. “God, Dean. You know I don’t want to believe any of this either but… he hasn’t reached out to you or anything!”

A low keen escaped Dean’s throat, and the air went into shocked silence when they both realized where it had come from. Embarrassed, Dean wrapped his arms around his torso, unable to keep the stoic facade any longer and abandoning it in favor of curling up in the chair, making himself as small as possible, as if his emotional outburst would decrease in the process as well.

“Jesus. Fine. We’ll… I’ll help you find a way to get in, but Dean… you need to know, if he’s already married…”

Dean looked away. “Yeah, Sammy.” He said, before Sam could finish his sentence. “I know.” He lied. Truth was, Dean wasn’t sure if he wanted to know.

It took a lot of researching, far more than Dean would have expected. Sure, he did glean off the fact that apparently Castiel was like, royal level even for a high class family. Far too many days for Dean’s comfort passed with him sitting around restlessly, waiting impatiently for the internet to load. Sam tried to help when he could, but after a point, Dean folded and gave in to the more darker side of the net. It was actually fascinating, what one could find if they looked hard enough.

The overall toll it took on Dean was still drastic, as Sam tried to emphasize. He did try to heed his brother’s mother henning as much as he could, god only knew he tried. But among work and huddled over a corner while also dealing with the fucking morning sickness, Dean was ready to tear his hair out. Sam stayed out of his way at that point, but there were still glasses of water and juice, along with a handful of vitamins on Dean’s nightstand every time he woke up – whenever that was. Dean lost track of the time, wouldn’t have even went into work when he was supposed to had Sam not taken care of that either.

He felt like shit. Over the morning sickness, about Castiel, sure, but also about Sam. Dean hated himself for putting all this extra stress on his brother. Sam, who was supposed to focus on Stanford while Dean took care of everything else, was now doing half of Dean’s work for him along with his own, and Dean knew he was never going to forgive himself for this. It was with great difficulty did he manage to put off his self-bashing sessions aside to focus on digging up a possible method to reach out to Castiel. The occasional information he caught from the sidelines may have sidetracked him a little… or a lot, but at least he managed to store the information away for later rather than going off on it completely.

For all that he was sufficiently distracted with the amount of stress he was putting on himself, Dean was also aware of a mental clock ticking away in the background. His belly wasn’t really visible, male omegas were notorious for having far more risky pregnancies so it wasn’t unusual for the swell of his belly to be smaller in comparison. Still, it was enough of a reminder that he’d taken to marking dates by it. The day he finally had a decent enough plan composed, Dean was well onto his third month.

Waiting for his brother to take a break from his studying, Dean decided to be a little more kind before dropping the bomb on Sam.

“I’m heading downtown tomorrow,” Dean said, when Sam came into the kitchen to refill his water bottle.

Slowly, Sam turned to look at Dean with no small amounts of confusion. “Okay? Do you need me to come with or something?”

Dean shook his head. “No. I’m gonna meet up with Cas-tiel.” He stumbled. Irritation flared at the thought that months later he still wasn’t as distant from the thing as he wished – as he needed to be.

Sam blinked, head rearing back in surprise. “Uh. oh. Okay.” He pursed his lips, looking down at his bottle, seemingly weighing it in his hand. “You sure you don’t want me to come with?” He asked again, peeking up at Dean.

Dean took a deep breath, honestly considering the question before replying. “Yeah. I’m sure. You have classes, and I want to get in there as soon as I can.” He shrugged.

Sam nodded, though he didn’t look entirely convinced. “Okay then. I mean. Just. Be careful.” He looked like he was struggling to get more words out, but eventually stayed silent. Dean nodded, grateful at his brother taking the hint to keep it short. He didn’t know what he’d have done if Sam tried to actually talk him out of it, not now. Because there was no way he wasn’t going to go ahead with his plan, not after he’d come this far.

Even though the thought of seeing Castiel after a month of the guy having been married was enough to threaten Dean with yet another trip to the bathroom.

Too distracted by his thoughts, it came to a complete surprise when Dean left the next day to find Sam waiting for him though in the passenger seat of the impala. Dean blinked, frowning when the sight of his brother didn’t disappear. He didn’t hesitate to quickly round the car, getting in to glare at his brother. “What the hell are you doing here?”

Sam shrugged, not meeting his gaze. “Giving you company. Besides, you can still drop me off on the way. It’s not like I’m out of your way, and this is faster than taking the bus a whole lot earlier too.” He stated simply. Dean opened his mouth, ready to retort, when he paused. Truth was, he really could do with his brother’s company – provided the moose kept his giant trap shut – for as long as Sam could afford to give it. His brother’s presence at the very least would definitely ensure Dean wouldn’t back out now, not that he wanted to.

Lead weighing down in his guts – he refused to think it was the-the pup inside him, putting all of its measly weight on his organs to make a world of a difference regardless – Dean turned back to face the road. Turning the engine, his jaw was clenched tightly as Dean pulled away from the curb.

Sammy miraculously managed to stay verbally silent the entire ride, but that didn’t exempt him from shifting occasionally in his seat, throwing Dean uneasy glances that he pretended to ignore. The air was tense because of that, Dean gripping the steering wheel tightly in an effort to not lash out at his undeserving brother – no, he was going to save that for Castiel. When he finally pulled up to the building closest to where Sam needed to go without actually driving through the courtyard, Sam shot out a “thanks” while grabbing his bag, and then paused, head still ducked under to look at Dean.

“Hey,” he called out softly, forcing Dean to meet his eyes for the first time since he started the car. “Take care, alright?”

Swallowing, Dean nodded. “Yeah,” he said, voice gruff. “Thanks. And you too.” He returned. Smiling, Sam straightened, narrowly avoiding getting hit in the back of his head by the car roof as he backed away. He shut the door behind him as he started to stride across the wide expanse of the lawn before reaching the building. Dean kept his eyes on his brother’s retreating form for as long as he could before his brother ducked inside. Sighing to himself, Dean rubbed a hand over his face, and started to drive again.

Without Sam in the car beside him anymore, his mind was free to roam to places he’d rather it didn’t. In an attempt to keep his mind off of things, Dean pulled down the windows, turning on the radio. The moment he had classic rock blasting through his speakers, he could already feel his mind drifting pleasantly to the background. His head lightly bobbing to the music, Dean let himself get into the song completely, lightly singing to himself as his fingers danced on the steering wheel. With his baby’s tires eating up the miles, time and distance flew by until all too soon, Dean was parked at a garage in downtown. He had to get down, feed the meter, and actually start walking to his destination – the building he was parked across from, thankfully not too far away, but getting down from his car suddenly seemed like an impossible task.

The song changing out to another one – an indie or whatever – had Dean narrowing his eyes as he switched the thing off. Leaning forward to do so, he sighed as the movement meant he wasn’t seated firmly in place anymore. Resting his head on the steering wheel, he took a deep breath in. Exhaled. And repeated that for a few solid seconds. When his head started to tingle from discomfort, he straightened. He’d dawdled long enough, Dean knew, and now he was itchy with the need to move. 

Gritting his teeth, he latched onto that urge to move things along and got out of the car. Looking around by default as he locked the door, he quickly fed the meter. His hand unconsciously drifted to his belly as he was waiting for it to print out his ticket, stroking over his soft henley. The sharp grating noise of his ticket being printed forced him out of his thoughts, and he snatched his hand away to grab at the ticket.

It wasn’t that he didn’t want to touch his pup, god knew Dean did. Every time he showered, minutes went by with the water pointlessly pouring over him as he just stood under the spray, taking the time to let his hands roam over his belly. He was pregnant, something Dean never expected, and while part of him was strangely gleeful at a prospect he’d previously never considered, there was also the bigger part of him that was mourning the lack of the pup’s father standing behind him, cradling Dean’s belly with his own hands cupping Dean’s.

The darker part of Dean’s mind that he’d constantly battled for the past few months slithered to the forefront of his mind again. Its malicious whispers of there being no way that Dean was going to have his fascination come to life was as usual, almost enough to make Dean’s knees buckle, bringing him to an effective halt in his entire progress. But he was too close now to his destination, too close to demanding and getting the fucking answers he deserved to let his traitorous of a mind win. So he did what he’d been doing for the past few months – squashing the voice down firmly for the time being, Dean strode towards the building with a lot more confidence in his stride than he was truly feeling internally.

Surprisingly, he got through the main entrance with relatively no trouble. For all that he knew that would be the easiest part yet, it still didn’t fail to make Dean uneasy. Swallowing, he pushed through the revolving door, eyes wide and cautiously taking in everything as he walked up to the front desk. His hands had returned to his belly, and the moment he remembered – soon, thankfully – he forced his hand into his pocket instead. Dean wasn’t going to let some random stranger know the news before Castiel did. The alpha deserved to know first, and more than that, Dean needed to say it to Castiel’s face directly himself. He needed to see Castiel’s face when he revealed the truth and demanded the same in return, to be able to get a hint of what was going through Castiel’s mind.

The omega working behind the desk didn’t even glance at him until he cleared his throat, and Dean could already tell he was screwed.

“I’m here to see Castiel Novak.” He stated evenly, when she finally deemed him worthy enough to stare primly through her gold rimmed glasses. Her style was so old-fashioned despite her youth, for a second Dean was tempted to check his phone to make sure he was still in the right year and hadn’t time traveled back the moment he stepped foot in the building.

The omega raised her eyebrows, clearly skeptical and even more obviously disapproving – of everything about Dean, he wouldn’t be too surprised if he had to guess. “Name?”

“Dean Winchester.” If possible, her eyebrows rose higher. This time, however, her face was awash with disbelief, much to his confusion. He wasn’t expecting anyone to actually know him, so unless his name was on some sort of list he wasn’t aware of…

“If you don’t mind waiting, I call up to let them know of your presence.” She smiled, all fake courteousness. But she was at least reaching for the phone on her desk, so with a forced grin back, Dean moved towards the heavily stuffed leather armchairs. Lowering himself onto one, he continued glancing around, nerves making his leg twitch and fidget in place. A minute had barely ticked by when he gave in, grabbing a magazine without looking to give his hands something to do.

He managed to flip through three of them, each of the magazines tossed back and messing the neat organization of it, not a single page actually processed, when someone cleared their throat from beside Dean. His head instantly snapped up to his side, his neck twinging in protest, but he didn’t care, because there was a woman standing beside him dressed in a suit and heels, smelling like alpha. More importantly, she smelled like absolutely disgusted alpha, and the repulsive scent made Dean’s nausea hit him hard. 

He managed to stand up instead of doing what he really wanted to – to bend over and puke all over her heels he was sure was worth more than everything he’d ever made in his entire life.

“Dean Winchester,” the woman acknowledged coolly. Her face was impassive, but Dean didn’t miss the burning ice in her eyes, frosty enough to actually send a chill through him. “I hear you’re looking for my son.”

Ah. Shit. “You must be Naomi, then.” He returned, doing his best to mirror the woman’s indifferent demeanor. “Can’t say it’s a pleasure to meet you. Where’s Cas?” His tongue slipped, again. Dean wasn’t going back though, because screw it, let the woman know he was close to her son, far closer than she probably was if Castiel’s words about here were true, he remembered telling Sam. Looking at her now, Dean didn’t have a doubt about it.

“I don’t see how that is any of your concern,” Naomi shot back, raising her eyebrows at him as if in admonishment. It was actually astonishing, how the single look was enough to make Dean feel like he was a small child being told off for punching the neighbor’s kid or something.

Jesus, no wonder Castiel hated his family so much.

“Actually, woman, it is. Considering he and I were dating, and had a damn good relationship if I should say so myself, before you came back. And you must’ve done some sort of shit for Cas to get married without so much as a ‘by your leave,’ didn’t you? So yeah, I’d say it’s a hell of a lot of my concern, Naomi.” His face twisted as he said her name, displaying exactly what he thought of her in that one word. As if that wasn't enough to be able to tell from the scent he was sure he was radiating at this point. If the omega at the front desk could tell even across this distance, there was no way Dean would be surprised.

But Naomi didn’t look the slightest bit fazed. “On the contrary, Dean. I did nothing. My son came back to me as a good child would, and willingly married his fiancee that he’d been engaged to for several months now. You claim to have dated him, but I’m starting to wonder if you even know the person you barge in here demanding to see.”

“Now, look here–”

“No, you look here, Mr. Winchester. I have no idea what sort of ideas you must be entertaining, probably thinking you could claim to know my son to get some sort of payment to be kept silent. Wouldn’t be the first time, but I refuse to let this farce continue any longer. My son is happily married, and I refuse to let anyone ruin his blissfully extended honeymoon.” She was finally starting to get worked up, her voice increasing in volume with passion. She took a step forward, Dean barely keeping his ground, but her words were already doing the trick. Like a string unraveled, his worst nightmares were coming true, the voice in his head rising triumphantly. His vision was shaky, yet Dean knew he had one card left to play, one card he had to throw out because he knew it would work, it had to work–

“Fuck his money. Fuck this whole marriage sham, Naomi. Your son and I dated, we slept with each other, out cycles synced, and now I’m pregnant with his child, so don’t you dare say I don’t know him!” He was nearly yelling. His rage giving him the energy to take a step forward, he was practically nose to nose with the silently seething alpha. It was his words, more than his closeness, Dean knew, that made Naomi take a stumbling step backwards.

Repulsion exploded from the alpha as she faced, her face twisting into a sneer. “Imposs–”


Dean’s heart stopped. Or maybe it dropped down to join his pup in his belly. Maybe even both. Because the voice he’d been dreaming about for so long now, was right there. Hope erupting within his chest, he turned around, his lips already tugging at the corners without his permission –

Only to come to a screeching halt at the sight he came face to face with.

Castiel, dressed in a sharp suit unlike the ones Dean had ever seen him in before, had a blank mask that was as cool and rigid as his mother’s. Dean didn’t know if that pierced his heart more painfully, or the fact that there was a beta woman hanging off his arm. The same woman that stood beside Castiel in the papers. Castiel’s fiancee, now wife.

Dean stumbled back.

“Is there a problem here?” Castiel asked. He didn’t even glance at Dean. And that, Dean decided. That was definitely what hurt the most.

“Not at all,” Naomi was answering, even before Dean could process the question that had come out of Castiel’s mouth. Because it did, he saw Castiel’s mouth moving, but the voice was so different, cold and uncaring, so unlike the Castiel Dean knew and l–that he knew. “Just some derelict who thinks he can scam us again. I’ve told you I’ve been getting tired of it, I just had to come down here and take care of the matter myself.” Naomi said, straightening her coat.

“Of course.” Castiel responded. “I was looking for you to let you know that Hannah and I will be going out for lunch.” He was talking like Dean wasn’t there. Dean, who knew he had to say something now, it was his chance to do so… but he couldn’t get a single muscle of his to cooperate. Not when his heart was shattering at the sight of his alpha so clearly dismissing him, rejecting him in the worst way possible.

Naomi looked pleased. “That’s wonderful. Hopefully, I’ll get this streetrat out of here by then. He can go deliver the message to the others like him.” She turned to Dean to disgust. It jolted him out of his daze, making Dean turn to her to shoot a scathing reply that was on the tip of his tongue, but then Castiel just hummed, looking like Naomi was merely discussing the weather, and then started to walk away.

“I’ll see you soon, mother.” He was walking back into the building, the omega on his arm still hanging on but curiously looking over her shoulder to regard Dean with narrowed eyes.

The floor fell away under Dean’s feet. “Cas!” He called out. His feet were starting to remember their job, barrelling him forward, trying to get Castiel to stop, to turn around and actually look at him, to talk to him instead of tossing him aside like an extended one-night-stand. It may have been his imagination, but Dean was sure he saw Castiel stiffen. But then there were hands latching onto his arms, stronger and bigger than Naomi’s could have been.

Dean could only stare at Castiel’s back as he was pulled further away in the opposite direction by the security. He never tore his eyes away even as they pushed him back outside, nearly sending Dean stumbling down the steps. Naomi had followed, and she stopped at the threshold like a symbolic barrier between him and Castiel as she crossed her arms while looking down at him. 

“You never should have come here, Dean Winchester.” Naomi said. “You’re going to regret that you ever did. And once I’m through with you, you’re going to wish you never even thought yourself as deserving to be more than the dirt on the soles of my son’s shoes.” 

She turned around, walking back into the building. The multiple security officers, arms also crossed but more to show off their bulging muscles, side stepped so that they were standing shoulder to shoulder, clearly blocking his way should he try to get back in.

As if Dean wanted to.

Chapter Text

Things did get progressively worse.

Going home, Dean went straight into his room and shut himself in there for the rest of the day. He missed Sam’s arrival entirely, only noticing when Sam knocked on his door, worry clear in his frantic pounding. Bunching up the blankets higher around himself, Dean didn’t respond. When Sam picked his lock and bust in, Dean merely closed his eyes. Sam sighed, clearly understanding enough to not ask anything, and silently left, only to return minutes later with a plate of food, water, and more vitamins.

They stayed untouched.

The next day, Sam practically kicked him out of the place, puppy eyes pleading but words stern and reprimanding. Dean could understand his brother’s sentiments, he really could. But surely he was allowed some time to mourn the rejection of his alpha, the father of his pup?

When he arrived at work, though, Dean regretted every thought of wanting to laze at home when Bobby handed him his notice.

“The hell is this?” He asked, staring at the letter blankly before lifting his dumbfounded gaze to his boss – or, ex-boss apparently.

Bobby shifted, guilt and unease radiating from the usually stoic and bland scenting beta. “Sorry, boy. I wish I could tell you myself, but the higher ups were keeping close-lipped…”

Dean gawked. “Higher ups?” He exclaimed. “What higher ups? Bobby, you’re the boss of your own shop here, man!”

Swallowing, Bobby looked away, shame reddening his cheeks under his beard. “There’s not much I can do, Dean.” He said, his voice soft. The entire demeanor was so off-putting, coming from someone Dean thought could always be dependable. Yet here Bobby was, now revealing himself in an entirely new light to Dean.

The worst part was, Dean knew it wasn’t out of Bobby’s choice at all. No, he knew exactly who was behind this.

He just didn’t expect that bitch to lay her metaphorical hands on Sammy.

Without a job, Dean mindlessly drove around town before heading home at an abnormally sedate pace. Looking back, it was a wonder he wasn’t pulled over for going well below the speed limit – actually, it was unusual that he wasn’t. Surely, Naomi would have gone to the extremest lengths to make their lives a hell?

But he didn’t get pulled over, which was as much of a pity as it was a relief. He may have not been able to pay the fine, but it meant that there was nothing else weighing on his mind when he came home to find Sam sitting at the kitchen table, gaunt and a lost look in his eyes.

“Sam?” Dean said cautiously, stepping further inside unhurriedly. “What’re you doing home?” He asked. A quick glance at the nearby clock confirmed that, yep, Sam wasn’t supposed to be home for another couple of hours.

Unbelievably slow, as if the movement took every last bit of energy in Sam to do so, he raised his head to stare at Dean with glassy eyes. “They expelled me.”

Distantly, Dean heard the sound of everything crashing down around him. 

He thought Castiel getting married was bad. But this… 

This was a whole other level. 

“What?” Dean forced himself to ask, feeling like he was in a bubble. The word refused to push off his tongue, but it got out there, and Dean hated himself when a tear slipped down Sam’s face at the sound of the single question.

“I got expelled from Stanford, De.” Sam said helplessly.

Rage. Red, burning hot rage fueled through him, but it was just as soon followed by anguish and misery coursing through his body, the flood of emotions and hormones a swirling tornado. Head going dizzy, it was the only warning Dean got to throw an arm out before his vision was going black again.


“Hi there,” Dean grinned, purposefully exaggerating his exhale as he leaned against the counter. The beta that glanced up at him immediately did a double-take, her face splitting into an immediate grin at the sight of him.

“Oh, hello there! How may I help you?” She asked. Her tone was exuberant, a complete difference from the polite courteousness when she’d been dealing with the person just before Dean.

“Ah, I was just wanting to check some issues with my brother’s bank account? He said he received an email about how there were some technical difficulties processing something or the other – you guys had given the option to fix it online. But see, he’s an alpha lawyer, everyone’s just scrambling to get an appointment with him, he’s so busy.” Dean said, leaning closer as much as he could while lowering his voice as if sharing a secret. The beta leaned in slightly, most likely unknowingly as she listened to Dean, enraptured. “So he’d given the job to me, but to be honest, it’s been a bit hard for me to sit around and figure things out with this,” he gestured to the swell of his belly.

At five months pregnant, his swell was a lot more noticeable now, though it was still smaller compared to, say, the size of a female beta or omega at the same month he was. 

Pregnancies always got extra attention and lathering, but male omegas even more so. Dean wasn’t above using that to his advantage anymore. 

“Oh, of course!” The beta responded sweetly, sitting up straight in her chair. “If you could just give me the account information, I’m sure we could resolve the whole thing for you right away!”

Grinning wider at her response, Dean leaned back, shoving a hand into his pocket, purposefully making the action seem a lot harder than it was before eventually letting his hand emerge successfully with a sheet of paper. “Yeah, he just has it written here…” he slid the paper over the counter, watching as she picked it up with dainty fingers. 

She read it, mouthing the digits to herself before she set it down by her keyboard. The moment she started to type the information on it into her computer, Dean slowly straightened. His hand slowly slipping into his pocket, faux casual, he hit the single button on the device in his pocket.

The buzz was so minute, unnoticeable to anyone else. His fingertips lightly tingling, he counted down from five in his head.

The beta frowned at the paper, looking back and forth between it and her computer screen.


She nodded to herself, mouthing the digits to herself one last time.


She clearly pressed enter, straightening her back as she waited for her computer to load.


The screen flashed violently, visible by its lighting reflecting on her face. She startled.


Her computer started beeping. Loudly. Along with all the other computers in front of each teller.

Making himself look just as shocked as the others wasn’t too hard for Dean. He straightened, a mixture of confusion and suspicion lacing his features as he put his hands on the counter, frowning at the beta. “What the hell?” He asked. His voice trembled, just the slightest bit. A tiny bit of fear was pushed out his lately more potent scent glands, the cherry on top to his act. 

And the beta fell for it, hook, line, and sinker. 

Worry and confusion was just as evident on her features, though genuine as she forced herself to look away from her computer to Dean. The fear that she was radiating was also nauseatingly authentic. He paused to wonder if throwing up would only further help validate his facade, before deciding that would be pushing it too far.

“I–I’m sorry, it looks like our system has crashed–” she started to stammer out. Dean just managed to throw in a disbelieving look before all the computers started to blare louder.

Error. Error. Error.”

Dean had to give it to Sam. This was an entirely new trick. He always did try to switch some random factors up that wouldn’t mess Dean up too much, but enough for Dean to throw in some reactions that could be passed off as similar to the rest of the people. This time, his brother just made Dean feel like he was in a movie, and there was no way Dean wasn’t going to reward his brother just a little bit more for the extra effort.

“Alright, everyone. The bank is being shut down!” Someone shouted. People started swarming around, blocking Dean’s view of whoever had spoken. The beta started to stand, and Dean knew he had to start acting quickly now.

“Wait–what the hell is going on?” He asked the beta. Bless her sweet soul, she looked far too frazzled compared to the other tellers Dean had to interact with before. That would only help in his favor, if she was visibly new to the job.

He couldn’t afford to bring himself to be sorry for her, though.

“I’m sorry, sir, but it looks like you’re going to need to evacuate the building,” she said, but her eyes were darting around rapidly. She was trying to get her cues from her coworkers.

“Oh, god, my brother’s gonna be pissed.” Dean muttered, but his eyes were warily focused on her. 

She barely glanced at him. “Sir, I genuinely am sorry. We will get a hold of you ourselves, but you’re going to have to follow us out now–”

“Nah,” Dean held up a hand, purposefully making his gait a little more waddle-y as he turned around. “I’ve got it.” His voice was strained, but his senses were still trained on the beta, so he knew the moment she wasn’t paying attention to him anymore.

Either way, he got his phone out, not bothering to hide the action. Hitting the speed dial, he barely had to wait before Sam picked up.

“Yeah, I’m at the bank,” Dean said immediately, looking around as if to see which way the people were going. His voice wasn’t hushed, but neither was it loud either – the perfect volume for the people in his immediate vicinity to hear, should they even be paying attention. “Dude, you would not believe what just happened.”

Actually, I think I might.” Sam’s voice was cheeky enough to fill Dean’s mind with the accompanying vision. He rolled his eyes. “Alright. Cameras are buffered. Systems are running rewrites of the codes–”

“Yeah, their system just crashed – I know right!” Dean cut him off. It was as close to, “English, Sam,” he could say without straying from his script. 

Oh, fuck off. Basically, all they’re gonna think is that kind of like you said, their server crashed. So… take a left now.”

Parting away from the rest of the customers smoothly, he sidestepped the last few people, stance still casual as he kept his eyes out for security. Making sure he wasn’t meeting anyone’s eyes, he swiftly pulled away the balled up shirt from under his shirt that made him look ready to pop. 

Tying it around his waist, he slipped through the doors his back was pressed up against the moment he heard it beep.

“Thanks.” He said into the phone. The lights were all off in the room he was in – he wasn’t surprised. The manager was most likely still outside, ensuring that all the customers were out.

Considering the alarms he knew Sam would be sending off, the manager had a lot of false alarms to check as well as talking to his employees before he’d be making his way back. Which meant that Dean had all the time he needed, and then some.

Rounding the table, he pulled the chair out and slowly lowered himself down on it, unable to hold back a genuine sigh of relief when part of the weight was shifted off of his feet. 

You good?” Sam’s voice came through, reminding Dean that he was still on call.

Balancing the phone between his shoulder and ear, Dean booted the computer, hitting the command keys to make the other windows disappear so that he had a view of the wallpaper. Smirking to himself at the sight of the typical beta posing scandalously atop a classic car, he nodded to himself.

“Yeah. Just gotta switch from this idiot’s spam account to his main. Gimme a sec.” He replied. Deftly hitting seemingly random keys rapidly, it didn’t take long before he was looking at the bank manager’s main account. “Bingo.” 

Alright. So just insert it and I’ll do my thing.” 

“You got it, brother,” Dean said. Pulling the phone away from his ear, he fiddled with its case, before the bottom finally detached from the top half of the case. Pulling it free, he inserted the hidden USB drive into the computer. The computer instantly showed the loading symbol, and then a black screen was taking over, green code flashing. 

“You’re up.” He said into the phone. The code continued flashing for a second longer, before text started filling up the screen. Nodding to himself, Dean kicked back a bit, letting his legs sprawl out as he pulled up a game on his phone. Before he started, he took a glance at the time.

Immersing himself into the game, he made random noises with his mouth, ever so slightly bored. He grinned widely when Sam’s voice came through his phone again.

Quit that,” he snapped irritably. “ I’m done, jerk. You’re back up. ” Dean straightened, exiting out of the game and turning off speaker so he could slip the phone back to his ear. As he did so, he looked at the time again, eyebrows shooting up when he took it in.

“Four minutes, fifty seconds.” He stated, not holding back his impressed tone from carrying through clear as day. “Damn, Sammy. That’s gotta be a new record.” He leaned forward, skimming through the last paragraph of code that was still flashing. Narrowing his eyes, he made sure the details weren’t missing anything, before nodding to himself as he ejected his thumb drive.

Yep. Charlie’s latest tricks have been amazing. I’ll fill you in on it later,” his brother said as Dean slid his case back on. “ You’ll have a blast when you realize how it works.”

Dean rolled his eyes even as he pushed himself away from the desk. He started to stand, and then almost smacked himself in the head when he realized he’d forgotten one last thing. 

“Dude, you gotta realize I have no interest in all this technical shit. We already established that me being on the field worked best –”

Didn’t mean I was expecting to stay under house arrest – or whatever,” Sam’s mumbled comment came through as exasperated as he intended it to be, but Dean went on with only a roll of his eyes.

“–No one’s gonna suspect the pregnant dude who looks like he’s a block away from labor to rob them blind.” Dean said as he switched back to the manager’s spam account. “Although, we still totally owe her one for the whole ‘creating new identities’ and shit without asking questions. Much.” Dean made air-quotes, frowning at himself when he caught what his hands were doing. Shaking his head, he put his hands back down and cast one last appreciative look over the beta, before pulling the windows back to exactly as how they were. Pulling at his shirt, he gave the keyboard and mouse one last customary wipe down. 

Well, yeah, I know. And actually, she may have been bombarding me to explain what the hell is going on with… vaguely threatening texts. But Dean, when you really are about to pop, there’s no way we can keep on going like this.” 

Dean groaned at his brother, not pausing in wiping down every other surface he may have touched before turning to the sole window at the back of the office.

“And I told you. By then, we’re gonna be long gone from this fucking country. So quit worrying and let me know when you’ve got Camera C2 on loop. Also, what exactly has Charlie been sending you?” He asked, curiosity piqued.

“...Believe me, you probably don’t want to know.”

‘Cross-country robber strikes again!’

Castiel’s eyes only barely skimmed through the article, completely disinterested. It gave him the guise of something to do, however, and he’d pretend to focus on it for as long as he could.

Beside him, Hannah sighed quietly. Dejection was occasionally fluttering from her, causing guilt to sit heavily in Castiel’s guts, but he didn’t do anything to rectify that.

At the head of the table, Naomi was looking at them with serene satisfaction on her features. The hand Castiel had forced himself to put on one of Hannah’s arms was the center of Naomi’s attention more often than not. And as much as it made it all the more harder to read his newspaper, Castiel let his arm rest there if only to appease his mother. After everything she’d done for him… admittedly questionable, but still, it was the least he could do.

Naomi cleared her throat. His eyes slipping closed before he could control his actions, Castiel prayed for patience before quickly focusing on his mother. Under his hand, he could feel Hannah tensing momentarily before relaxing.

“So, what are your plans for today, Castiel?” She asked, not so subtly glancing back and forth between him and Hannah.

Not for the first time, Castiel felt a flicker of doubt lace through his confusion. Sometimes, he wasn’t sure which his mother wanted more – a grandchild, or for him to take over the family empire. Just like today, which left him floundering in an attempt to say the right answer that his mother was most likely looking for.

Figuring somewhere in between was the safest as usual, Castiel hesitantly put his newspaper down. “I was thinking of taking Hannah out for dinner tonight after work, mother?” He tried hard to not make it sound like a question, so when he failed he internally winced hard.

Hannah seemed to brighten at his answer though, looking at him with heart eyes, Castiel was sure without having to look. 

His mother was frowning. Feeling dread wrap around the stone of guilt in his stomach, Castiel could only wait silently for his mother to rebuke whatever aspect of his answer she disagreed with. Which she proceeded to do so, throwing Castiel off completely with her words.

“Why don’t you take the day off, Castiel?” 

His eyebrows shot up to his hairline. “Mother?”

Naomi grinned, abruptly lighting up as she even straightened in her chair – as much as she could while already sitting with her back ramrod straight in the first place. “Yes, I mean, you’ve just gotten married! Surely you don’t want to be throwing yourself into the mundane life of business when you should be basking in this newly wedded glow with your wife like anyone else! So take the day off, work on making me a grandmother already!”

Fighting against the heat that crept up the back of his neck and latched onto his cheeks anyway, Castiel willed himself to remain straight-faced and keep a tight leash on his scent. “But mother, we did just come from our – extended, if I may add – honeymoon.”

“Yes, yes,” Naomi waved a dismissive hand. “But you two don’t smell mated,” Naomi emphasized.

This time, there was no hiding Hannah and Castiel’s immediate embarrassment as they burnt red at her words. “Come, Castiel. I don’t know what you’re delaying this for, but if it’s more time you need, then take as much as you want with Hannah! She’s been so patient, sweet girl, but I’m sure she’s just dying to get to know you much better.” Naomi said with a fond look at the omega.

Hannah, who had all but abandoned her breakfast as she clutched her fork in a deathgrip. Her face was aimed at her plate, and when Castiel chanced a glance in her direction, she was still looking mortified – most likely from being the center of attention. 

Looking back to his mother, Castiel swallowed down the bile rising at the back of his throat.

“Of course, mother.” He eventually answered, stiffly. “I will take the day off and spend it with Hannah.” He bent his head down in acquiescence, but didn’t miss his mother’s pleased expression twisting her lips into a satisfied smirk.

“Well, I’m glad to hear that,” Naomi primly folded her hands together in a display of aforementioned pleasure. The gesture looked absolutely faux on her. “And Castiel, a word with you before you leave, please.”

Castiel kept his head bowed down.

The rest of their breakfast passed by uneventfully, much to Castiel’s relief.

The moment Hannah excused herself, however, Naomi stood, Castiel obediently yet reluctantly following.

Staying just half a step behind and to the right of his mother, Castiel kept his mouth shut, waiting for Naomi to bring up whatever the issue was now.

“I’m not just asking you to take some days off for Hannah, Castiel.” Naomi spoke. Castiel deigned to raise his head an inch, taking in his mother’s straight back with wide eyes. “There have been some concerning reports about our accounts that I want to keep an eye on before I hand it over to you. I do trust you to take care of it just as efficiently as I’d trained you…” Naomi stopped, standing right at a window that overlooked their private gardens. Not particularly interested in the sight at the moment, for all that his favorite place to escape from his family was the gardens, Castiel kept his eyes on Naomi.

“Are you sure everything is alright between you and Hannah, Castiel?” Naomi said out of nowhere. Her voice was soft and uncertain, completely uncharacteristic of her, that it threw Castiel for a complete loop. He was already rushing forward to appease Naomi though, before his mind could even catch up with everything.

“Yes, of course, mother. We’ve just decided to take things slow.” Actually, it was Castiel who was having trouble committing himself to the relationship completely. But there was no way he was going to let that slip to his mother of all people.

“And you’re not hung up on… the past, are you?”

His reaction wasn’t as forced, didn’t take too long, and Castiel knew his mother noticed. “No, of course not.” Castiel sneered.  “Believe me, mother. The last thing you have to worry about is that gold digger.”

Naomi sniffed, her shoulders straightening again. Castiel hadn’t even noticed her hunching inwards, but now she was standing tall and proud with a gleam in her eye.

“Good. I’m glad you’ve come to your senses and dumped that no good Winchester tramp. Really, Castiel, I’m just so happy for you.”

Castiel smiled. He told himself it didn’t feel as stiff or fake as it used to be, and he could actually believe it.

Dean leaned back on his armchair. A groan of relief escaped him when he brought settled his feet on the ottoman, taking the weight off his swollen heels. “How’s it looking over there, Sammy?” He called out after a pause.

Sam hummed, not looking up from where he had his nose buried in his laptop. “We’re okay. I guess we’re only a couple more heists off before we can get the hell out of dodge.” He leaned back in his chair, frowning at his screen. “Might have to be a little more careful though. There’s talks that Naomi is gonna have one last romp with her company, make sure everything’s in the right order before she lets… her heir take care of things.”

Dean rolled his eyes. “You can say his name, you know. I’m not gonna break,” he mumbled. But he still kept his eyes on his swollen belly even as he muttered the words. At almost six months, his swell was finally the size of a watermelon – or. Well. Almost. He was getting there. It wasn’t like he was malnourished or anything, no. The little tyke just seemed adamant to not let Dean keep most of the food Sam stuffed down his throat in his stomach for long. 

Sam cleared his throat. “Sure. Anyway. I’d say two more and then we can fly out. Security just got a whole lot more tight for their Pontiac branch–”

“That’s the one we haven’t gotten yet, right?”

“Yeah. But Albuquerque’s still relaxed with their system. I’m guessing they aren’t as concerned about getting a hit.”

Dean snorted. “Yeah. ‘Cause it’s too damn hot there anyway. Why the hell would anyone want to run a high-tech fancy ass bank in Satan’s pits anyway?”

“Because there are still people who live there and could do with a job or their business?”

Dean hmphed. He wasn’t going to admit to his brother that he didn’t have a proper retort for that one.

Letting his head roll to the side, Dean spotted the TV remote within reachable distance. Shrugging to himself, he grabbed it and turned on the news. For once, he kept the volume low in consideration of his brother. But that was only because he wasn’t in the mood for a bitch fit about how Sam needed to focus if Dean wanted him to work on the more technical side of things.

It didn’t take him long to realize what the current headlines was, and the moment he did, he didn’t stop the laughter from bubbling out of him.

Sam raised his head from his laptop, finally looking at Dean to regard him with frustration layered over concern.

When Dean could get the words out, he didn’t hesitate to share his amusement to his brother. “They got your nose wrong!”

The bitch face Sam shot him for that only made him double up harder. 

“I’m on the wanted news right beside you, and you’re laughing. Dean, sometimes, I swear…” Shaking his head, Sam sighed, cutting himself off.

“Is this absolutely necessary, mother?” Castiel spoke lowly into the mouth of his phone. Tugging at his tie, he loosened it with a frustrated grimace, quickly schooling his expression when Hannah shot him a worried glance.

“Why, of course! I’ve heard there are some absolutely splendid sites you should check, I’m sure Hannah would be thrilled to see them with you. And besides, you can also start testing the water, slowly put your feet in and all that.” Naomi chirped from the other end. 

Turning around to hide his eye roll from Hannah, Castiel walked up to the floor to ceiling windows, staring with no small amounts of disdain at the visible heat rays.

“I wasn’t aware that Albuquerque had such tourists spots to be boasted of.” He muttered.

“Nonsense! Clearly you haven’t been paying as much attention to your geography lessons as I would have expected from you! I’ll have my secretary send you your schedule immediately. After all, you wouldn’t want to bore poor Hannah, would you?”

Tilting his head slightly to be able to see Hannah’s reflection in the window, Castiel quietly exhaled. “Of course not, mother.”

“Good. That’s all settled then. Keep me updated, Castiel dear!” Without further ado, Naomi hung up. Castiel couldn’t bring himself to complain – at least she hadn’t forced him to say he loved her. He’d have thought saying it would eventually get easier and more genuine over time. Sadly, the only thing to change his mind’s slowly growing thin patience.

With his mother, with his wife, or with himself… Castiel wasn’t sure he could answer that. 

Inhaling deeply, Castiel straightened. Tucking his phone back into his pocket, he mentally steeled himself, and turned around. 

“Seems like mother has some places she absolutely insists we must see while we’re here,” Castiel said pleasantly. Hannah looked up at him demurely from where she was seated primly on the couch in his office.

Because of course, he was in his office, in a room that must have taken up the entire floor but was delegated to him, with his wife sitting right there doing absolutely nothing.

Castiel would never go as far as to say that his omega wife was an airhead. He knew that she must have had a personality and character instead of the mindless automaton she’d been trained to be as his wife. But sometimes, Castiel was really tempted to call her an airhead.

“Would you like to get started on that?” He asked. He didn’t know why, because she always ever only replied–

“I’d be happy to do whatever you think is best, alpha.”

–In a way that she probably thought was appeasing him.

Instead, Castiel had to refrain himself from growling in disgust at the title coming from Hannah. It had him itching to check the date and make sure he wasn’t thrown back into the more archaic times.

Or maybe the archaic times had hitched a ride to the future, he mused. His mother and… wife certainly acted like it.

Ignoring the discontent that settled in his stomach at the thought of that word, Castiel inhaled again, praying for patience. He’d been doing that a lot too, lately. Praying to a God he wasn’t even sure existed, but at this point, he was ready to take anything he could get.

“Still don’t fucking see why I had to come with,” Dean grumbled. He was irritably scratching at the swell of his belly, the stretched skin irritable from the unrelenting sun bearing down at it as well.

“Well, if you want to have a say in what you’re gonna be wearing, I figured you’d want in.” Sam threw back, pausing at the window of one store. Dean came to a halt as well while his brother curiously perused the contents on display. Dean didn’t get what was so different from all the other stores they’d just passed – they were only clothes, for fuck’s sakes. Any random store would do, and yet, Sam was shaking his head dismissively after a while, continuing back on his path, leaving Dean to follow at his own pace.

And to think that Sam was the alpha and he the omega. Anyone else would have laughed if they tried to explain the scenario, but Dean still wasn’t going to let that make him get any more invested into clothings and all that shit. Not when he just wished they could go back to their crappy ass motel room and collapse into bed. The air conditioning worked only after a bit of tweaking – Sam did the hard work for that one, while Dean directed him despite Sam’s protests that he knew what to do – and the mattress was decent. Definitely wasn’t anything like the memory foam he used to own – but. No. He wasn’t even going to go there. Not when he was on this shopping trip to satan’s ass with an alpha brother he had to make sure knew the fact.

He hurried to catch up to his brother, and very much not waddling, screw you Sam. He was only a couple of stores away, peering a lot closer into one of the windows, and by the time Dean got closer, he could actually hear Sam mumbling to himself.

“–Seems a lot more lightweight, so you’d appreciate that. I think I can see some reversible options as well, just in case–”

Throwing his head back, Dean groaned. He could start to feel droplets of sweat dripping down his neck, and frankly, he’d had enough. Pushing past his brother, he pulled open the door of the store his brother was ogling, and walked into the blissfully cold air. His brother let out a startled sound that was quickly swallowed by the sound of the door closing, but it didn’t take Sam long for him to follow in behind Dean.

“Jesus, Dean. Did you forget about the fucking cameras?” Sam whispered harshly into Dean’s ears. His arm knocked into Dean’s shoulder as he tightened his hood until it was practically swallowing up his head. Dean groaned again, but kept his voice just as hushed.

“I thought that’s why I was wearing this fucking hat for.” He tapped the tip of said baseball cap, raising his eyebrows. Sam shot him a snarky look, but then his eyes slid to something behind Dean. Dean didn’t have to turn around to know what caught his brother’s attention.

“Ugh. Go geek out, bitch. I’m gonna look around for the cooler stuff.” He said, already walking to the other side of the store. The smell of fabric and whatever air freshener they had was making his nose itch, and Dean spared a moment to send out a vague prayer to whoever was listening that his stomach didn’t get triggered. He didn’t think Sam’s idea of blending in involved him throwing up in the middle of a decent establishment, out of the main city that they were planning to hit it may be.

“Jerk.” Sam’s response was distant as he continued onto his own path, and it was as much as acknowledgement Dean needed to immediately walk over to the sweatpants section. He hated it when his brother so much as hinted at the fact, and would fervently deny it in public, but the truth was, Dean was getting big. Not too big, thankfully. But enough to the point that even the jeans with the elastic waistband felt too suffocating and confining after more than a few hours. Sweatpants, on the other hand, was cozy in every way possible, and Dean wasn’t going to resist.

Well. Not much. Because half an hour later, his arms were ladened with sweatshirts, hoodies, and pants that would fit Sam more easily than him. And Dean had only stopped to consider what he’d already gotten because his back was starting to twinge ever so slightly.

He glared at his belly. “Yeah, yeah. Shut up, I’ll put some of them back ya stingy potato.”

An amused huff of laughter that wasn’t bothered to be restrained had him swirling around so fast he almost lost his balance. “Potato?”

Dean fought the urge to blush, knowing he was already failing, and pretended he definitely wasn’t. “Shut up. He’s as bad as you are. What, we can’t have some extra stuff?”

Sam raised his eyebrows at the pile in Dean’s cart that he must have picked up not too soon after the first aile of soft material clothing. “Sure. And that’s for both of us?” He emphasized. 

Dean was most definitely not blushing. “Shut your mouth. What did you get anyway?”

Sam’s pile was definitely smaller. But the fact that his brother chose to put all his stuff in a basket probably wasn’t a wise choice, because the basket was overflowing with things that weren’t just clothes. Even in the plastic bags that indicated that his brother already bought the merchandise as well.

Dean hadn’t realized that much time had passed already.

“Where did you even get half of that stuff?” Dean asked, bewildered, when Sam was only a couple of electrical things in. “I thought this place just sold clothes!”

There was a gleam in Sam’s eyes that was all the warning Dean knew he’d get before his brother erupted into full-fledged geek mode. So it was with the stupidest feeling of relief that he felt when he smelled something that had Dean freezing.


His eyes had closed without him noticing, but he didn’t open them just yet. Sam’s voice was concerned, a hand on his arm prodding him to look at his brother, but he was too busy trying to trace the scent. His head turned to the side, the scent so familiar as it triggered what felt like all the neurons in his brain, kicking it into a furious flurry of activity. The scent was so familiar, it made his organs feel like they were liquefying. Dean took a step–

And his eyes snapped open as a burst of pain erupted through his abdomen.


All thoughts of soft clothes, weird as shit electrical devices, and the strange scent had disappeared from Dean’s mind, replaced with only one thought.

He looked up to meet his brother’s eyes, the fear clouding his vision reflected in Sam’s gaze.

“I think we might need to go to a doctor.”

Swallowing, Sam nodded. 

“Shit. Okay. Alright. Just…” Looking around frantically, Sam dragged his hands through his hair. Another jolt of pain that felt like lightning was skittering down his pelvis had Dean whimpering softly, bending down as he pressed his hands around his belly. Immediately, he could faintly register alpha standing to attention as careful arms wrapped around him.

“C’mon, De. I got you.” His brother’s voice was warm, comforting, and just not right as his brother guided him out of the store. His sweats were abandoned, but Sam had the foresight to make sure his purchases were already hanging off one of his arms. Good thing, because Dean knew they definitely weren’t ever going to come back here again.

“Just hang on, alright? I’m gonna hail us a cab back to the car, and we’ll get to the hospital from there. Okay, De?” Sam’s voice was getting high pitched with panic again. Dean forced himself to breathe through the pain so that he could give his brother as reassuring a smile as he could manage.

“Yeah.” He gasped out, his arms still wrapped tightly around himself. “You go do that, Sammy.”

Castiel surreptitiously took another peek at his phone when he felt like Hannah wasn’t looking. He couldn’t believe in the slightest that his mother’s idea of a good bonding experience between Castiel and his relatively new mate would be to go shopping. It could have been worse, but Castiel wasn’t going to go down that line of thought out of pure fear that he might genuinely end up jinxing his already strenuous fate.

He had enough time to get through another few seconds of his current game of Angry Birds before he smelled Hannah approaching. Hastily putting his phone back in his pocket, not even bothering to check if he locked it, he pretended to make himself busy and thoughtful at the clothes he was standing in front of. Truth be told, he didn’t have the slightest idea what the difference was between the clothes up here and at the bottom floor, except for the outrageous price variances. Did his mother think that being close to a store that people in a status anywhere under Naomi would shop at would appease Castiel? Because that was the wildest fucking reasoning Castiel could ever think of, which was exactly what his mother seemed to be the kind to be behind.


Closing his eyes, Castiel let his hands fall free from a blazer that had rips on the sleeves – torn jeans, he could understand… torn blazers… Castiel wasn’t even going to try – to turn around to face his wife. She had a slightly hopeful look on her face as she held up a green gown, which Castiel didn’t understand. Both the expression and the dress she was holding. It wasn’t like he was going to deny her anything, especially something as harmless as a dress. And where did she even find that dress anyway? The gown she was holding seemed a lot more fitting in a store that was exclusively for high class members, that much Castiel could tell.

“What do you think of this?” She asked.

He genuinely tried to look at the dress from a critical point of view, he did. But the truth was, he had no idea what he was looking at. Sure, he guessed the cut of it would be flattering on Hannah, not that she wasn’t pretty to begin with though. The color of it was a lovely shade of green though, reminding Castiel of emeralds and the depths of a forest, so reminiscent of –

Castiel froze. He shouldn’t have even gone there, he’d been doing so well not thinking about it even though his mother visibly tried to test him by bringing it up far too frequently for his comfort. But now, he was definitely thinking about him, and he must have been deluding himself, to think that avoiding all thoughts on Dean would make things better, because Castiel could have sworn he could smell his omega–

“Castiel?” A gentle touch on his arm had his eyes snapping open, a snarl escaping him before Castiel was aware of his actions. Hannah shrunk back, terror exploding from her scent.

Castiel gasped, the sight of Hannah afraid enough to bring himself back. With dawning horror, he realized his fangs had extended, and he knew his eyes had already started to turn.

“Oh, god.” He didn’t know what had come over him. Never before had he acted like this, ever. But now, in just a second, Castiel had almost lost his usually tightly-reigned in control, all because he thought he could smell –

“God, Hannah, I’m so sorry. I don’t know what happened.” Castiel closed his eyes, swallowing. “In fact, I… I don’t think I’m feeling too well.” Opening his eyes even as the action felt like tearing his guts out, he looked at Hannah. “Why don’t you get that dress packed up and we can go home, if you’d like?”

“Mr. Plant, you’re perfectly alright.” The clinician began as he rounded the curtains to approach the bed where Dean was lying on.

“Alright?” Sam spoke up before Dean could, standing from his spot beside the foot of Dean’s bed. “Then why the hell was he this close to passing out?” He demanded, towering over the beta clinician.

“Sam, calm down.” Dean shot. “Sorry, doc. But yeah, why the fuck was I about to pass out if everything’s ‘alright?’” He asked, a sour smile on his face. Normally, he’d try to be a little more gracious with the people he knew would have to stick their fingers and whatever other torturous devices they used for so called medical reasons. But the heat was getting to him, and Sam… actually, he wasn’t entirely sure what was up with Sam. Especially when it was Sam that was normally a lot more level-headed, had to be between the two of them, constantly grounding Dean and ensuring they never brought too much attention on themselves.

Sam was definitely not evading attention at the moment.

The clinician warily glanced between Sam and Dean before he settled his eyes on the latter. “Yes. Well. You’re just experiencing some Braxton-Hicks. You might be more familiar with the term false labor. It’s quite normal for male omegas to experience this even though your vitals are otherwise in perfect condition. Apart from that, you’re technically all well. I wouldn’t be too worried unless you begin discharging anything.”

“Right.” Dean looked at his brother, who was shifting uneasily, avoiding everyone’s eyes now. Dean couldn’t blame him, but he was so going to use this moment to hold over his brother later. Disgusting body fluids had always been Dean’s favorite method to get under Sammy’s skin.

From there, it didn’t take long for Sam to get Dean discharged, as much as the clinician recommended Dean stay a little longer under their observation. Neither Sam or Dean were too keen on that, though, which meant neither of them were delaying Dean’s discharge with conflicting arguments. Which meant that by nightfall, Dean was lounging on his motel bed, Scooby-Doo playing in the background while he scrutinized the clothes he picked out earlier that day.

And hadn’t exactly paid for. But it wasn’t like anyone would be able to point any fingers at Sam. His brother may not go out in the field for the main stuff, but Sam still knew how to hold his own.

Dean figured he should have felt a lot more remorseful to feel proud that his brother was an efficient thief. At the moment, though, he was just too happy to slip his comfortably oversized hoodie on.

Two weeks.

For two weeks, Castiel allowed himself to work to his mother’s whims, taking Hannah to all the supposedly beautiful places he just had to see. If he had to tell the truth, he couldn’t give a flying fuck about the places, though. Which he never would let slip, but still. It was the thought that mattered. Or something.

However, those two weeks seemed to be enough for a headache to permanently move in, and it was with the now accustomed pain that Castiel found himself going in for the first day of his shift. He couldn’t bring himself to feel any guilt for feeling relieved that at least he was no longer forcing himself to be with Hannah. The moment he was seated in his overly grand armchair behind his desk, he let his muscles melt into what he had to begrudgingly admit was actually comfortable.

He allowed himself to relish the luxury before he straightened his back, and started up his computer.

Castiel hated numbers. He’d initially been forced to major into business, but slowly slipping himself out from under his mother’s thumb meant that the moment he was free, he was switching majors and already had almost all the credits required to graduate with the major he wished, and business ended up unwittingly being his minor. Not that he cared. Castiel just went back to take more classes, actually focusing on what he was interested in, but did take advantage of his minor in businessing to scrape by with an acceptable job.

However, as much as his disdain for numbers was evident with the way he tried to lead his life, that didn’t mean Castiel wasn’t good with them. No, all too unfortunately, the only reason that he got a job as an accountant part time to pay off the classes he enrolled in for himself was because of how good he was with numbers. 

Which meant that all too soon, as soon as Castiel had set up his computer system to his liking, he was up and running with far more ease than any other person on the first day of their job.

By some miracle though, the hours seemed to fly. Burying himself in his work, Castiel knew the only way to make the torture any easier would be to just get it over with. Admittedly, getting into it was a whole other discussion, but once he did…

Then, it was just a matter of checking through the numerous accounts, getting himself acquainted even while he could feel his headache worsening with the amount of errors he could find in the reports itself. He didn’t dare think of how absolutely trashed the actual work was, not yet anyway.

Wasn’t there supposed to be someone else who was supposed to actually make sure all these numbers were right instead of the head of the building? Surely, these many errors couldn’t have gotten past the amount of department managers working under Castiel now.

But if that was the case, then Castiel was going to have to call for an intervention very soon after his joining of the company. He could just imagine how fun that would go. Naomi would surely see the positive aspect to it only, though. She would be happy to know that Castiel was asserting his power and dominance, showing everyone who was boss as soon as he could.

Castiel sighed. There were just so many politics involved, far more because he was higher up on the chain, pretty much almost at the peak of it. Being a professor meant that Castiel didn’t have to focus much on that except to know who’s good graces he had to get into and who to avoid. Maybe his current position was similar… except the roles were reversed, and people were going to have to suck up to him now.

His headache was threatening to make his head explode like some cheap B-rated film. Gritting his teeth, Castiel found a good place as any to take a break. Pushing himself back from his desk, he only paused to lock his desktop before he was striding away from his office. He needed some fresh air as much as he needed to stretch his legs. And if Castiel was going to take his sweet time doing so, well. It wasn’t like anyone could say anything against him. Especially when Castiel knew that he’d already made a lot more progress than anyone was probably expecting of him on his first day.

Sometimes, just sometimes, being exceptionally well with numbers had its perks.

Walking right into the elevator, thankful that it opened immediately for him, Castiel punched the floor for the main lobby. As the elevator doors slid closed, he let himself lean against the wall, stretching out the joints in his neck. Rubbing the tense muscles that were cramping right under the collar of his suit, Castiel blearily opened his eyes to watch the numbers on the panel decrease with each floor. It didn’t stop to open at any other floors, and it took Castiel to remember that – right. He had his own elevator.

He wasn’t complaining.

Even still, the ride from the topmost floor to the lobby seemed to take forever. And it wasn’t an exaggeration, but Castiel was pretty damn sure that the trip never took this long. Weren’t elevators in skyscrapers supposed to travel faster than average? He was just starting to wonder if there was something wrong with the wiring, the thought only half formed but already making dread and severe frustration stink up the elevator, when the doors opened. Immediately, Castiel walked out to the lobby – and came to an abrupt halt.

Later, he wouldn’t be able to recall what hit him first. At present, it was a mix of everything that almost made Castiel’s senses stop working altogether.

There were the people, for one, all clamoring in one direction. The exit, another step revealed. None of the quiet, orderliness was present, and it was highlighted by the fact that the security alarms were going off.

Castiel vaguely thought of how there was definitely something wrong with his elevator, and he’d be damned if the next technician he was going to bring in wasn’t going to fix the damn thing. And if the technician revealed that there never were alarms connected to the elevator, and to a certain extent his office, there’d be hell to pay.

But more importantly, was the fact that despite all the mix of scents that should have been a confused mess to hit Castiel, all he could smell was one very clear and distinctive scent. And there was no forgetting that scent, nor was there any way he could continue telling himself he was imagining it.

Not when the owner of the scent was right there in Castiel’s field of vision.

A minute passed, more people rushing out even as the employees simultaneously tried to calm everyone down while figuring out and trying to rectify whatever was going on… and most likely trying not to evacuate the building themselves as well. An intervention was definitely looking more and more likely.

But then none of that had any more place in Castiel’s mind, because the person was turning around, and just as his eyes met Castiel’s, Castiel wouldn’t be exaggerating when he’d later say how he got the biggest shock of his life. His legs were threatening to buckle and collapse under him, but those green eyes were widening with alarm and something else, Castiel didn’t know, couldn’t bring himself to care at that second either, because Dean was turning away, about to intermingle with the crowd and most likely disappear–

And Castiel wasn’t having that.

His feet were carrying him forward before he even knew what was happening. Alpha dominance stunk the lobby, people aware enough to steer clear of Castiel even as they continued to swarm to the exit like mindless ants. Castiel didn’t care to reign it back in and put his scent under a leash like he would normally try to do, because it was vicible that his scent was having an effect on ihs omega, and Dean was faltering, stumbling and trying to avoid Castiel, trying to walk away but his shoulders were still facing Castiel, and his overall angle meant that the swell of his belly never disappeared from Castiel’s view…

A century, millenia, eternity, a fraction of a millisecond later, Castiel was at Dean’s side, and he was dragging him away from the crowd, into the long abandoned elevator. His grip was tight on Dean’s arm, he knew there were going to be bruises. Dean was struggling, but his mouth was pursed shut into a tight line, mirroring the expression Castiel knew he was currently donning as well, but his wasn’t going to last long. Furiously jabbing at the button, the elevator doors barely opened before Castiel was pushing Dean inside, letting go. Dean stumbled as he practically fell inside, catching himself at the last second, managing to keep himself upright by holding onto the rail at the far end of the spacious elevator.

Castiel stepped in, fury building up within him like a volcano waiting to erupt. Even with the doors still open, it didn’t long for the elevator to stink, and still, Castiel practically punched the button that had the elevator closing and starting to make its way up.

Dean remained silent, his chest heaving but he wasn’t breathing hard, just deeply. His eyes were pinned to Castiel’s, expression unreadable. Castiel was the complete opposite, he felt like he was barely holding on to the frayed tethers of his control. He wasn’t going to lash out. Not yet.

His tight grip on his emotions were starting to slip. His eyes were starting to bleed crimson, he knew, but as long as his fangs didn’t extend… yet, he knew he was okay for just a few more seconds.

Those seconds spent taking Dean in, even as he grabbed onto the omega’s arm again, and dragged him into the office, almost squeezing out of the elevator doors in his haste to get out without waiting for it to open all the way.

“Jesus.” It was the first word Dean dared to utter in his pretense, and just like that, all bets were off.

“What the fuck are you doing here?” Castiel erupted. With the force on Dean’s arm, when he let go wildly, Dean went scrambling a few steps again, but this time he caught himself at Dean’s desk.

Castiel refused to think about how he liked the sight of Dean on his desk far more than when Hannah tried to delicately perch on it.

Leaning against his desk, Dean casually wiped off imaginary lint from the shoulders of his leather jacket. Insane, how his omega still stubbornly wore it even in New Mexico’s unrelenting heat. The action made his sleeves bunch up, accentuating Dean’s biceps exquisitely. His arms fell back to his sides, his hands casually resting on Castiel’s desk beside him – Dean even going so far as to cross his legs at his ankles, looking as unperturbed as pleased, a complete opposite to the barely contained bottle of fury that was Castiel. That movement, however, made Castiel’s eyes inevitably draw downwards, to where the soft henley he was wearing underneath was stretched taut across his belly.

His pregnant belly.

“Just going about my business.” Dean’s words tore Castiel out of his spiraling thoughts, effectively bringing his eyes back up as well. “It’s not like you were the only one who moved on, Mr. Novak.” The name was sneered, and it had the desired effect. Castiel flinched, but the use of his title that reminded him too much of his legacy wasn’t enough to deter him.

“And you’re supposed to think I’m just going to believe that you just happened to be here, at my building?”

Dean’s eyebrows shot up, his hands coming up, palms facing Castiel. “Woah. Okay. You being here was the last thing I expected. Hell, you were the last person I thought I’d ever see in my entire life, to be honest.” But there was no happiness in Dean’s voice at their reunion. For all that Castiel was still angry, hurting, and feeling almost damn murderous himself, his alpha ached for Dean, a different kind of hurt clouding him at his omega’s words.

Castiel let out a harsh bark of laughter to mask it. “Yeah. Like I said. Totally believing you right now.”

Dean frowned, but he let his hands fall back to his sides on the desk. “Believe it if you want, or not. I don’t care. What I do care about, is what the fuck possessed you to bring me up here. Way you guys have been acting, I would have sooner expected to be tossed outta here on my ass than to be brought up to the penthouse suite.”

His initial response that he was already biting back was that he’d never dare hurt an omega like that. But a quick reconsideration had a visual of bruised fingerprints on Dean’s arm flashing through Castiel’s mind, and he wisely continued on the path of questioning that sounded far too much like Naomi in his head.

“I would’ve done that. But seeing as everyone’s currently falling on their asses to get out of here… I figured questioning you would be a step forward to the investigation that’s going to be happening later.” It took too much effort, yet contradictingly, it was too easy to cool the fire in his eyes into ice instead. Rolling his shoulders back, Castiel leveled Dean with a glare that he’d been preparing to enforce on his employees instead.

“So, pray tell me, Dean. What would you be doing here the day this building uncharacteristically falls into its first security breach in centuries?”

Dean’s face didn’t waver, but there was a flash in his eyes that passed quickly. Not quickly enough for Castiel to miss it.

“How the hell am I supposed to know?” Dean answered coolly. “I was just in here, minding my own business, tryna withdraw some money from my account. Next thing I know, the bank tellers are telling us to evacuate before I even get the chance to give the person helping me my name.”

Castiel snorts. “Good one. Try again.”

Dean slowly straightened, and now, Castiel felt triumphant to see the embers starting to burn in Dean’s eyes. “What do you want me to say, huh, Cas? That I came in here not to be just another law abiding citizen trying to go about his life, but to, what? Make your servers go berserk? That I came in here to make your workers scratch their heads, wondering what the hell was going on, while I snuck in the back to take money from the vaults? Money that isn’t just mine, but other, innocent people’s as well? That I came in here to ruin other people’s lives just like you’ve ruined mine?” Dean’s voice increased to a roar, and the entire time he’d been stepping away from the desk, bringing himself closer to Castiel so that by the end of his rant, he was standing face to face with the alpha. He punctuated his words with a jab at Castiel’s chest – which he soon found he shouldn’t have done.

Lightning fast, Castiel had Dean’s wrist clenched tightly in his grip, far too tight that he could feel the bones shifting under his hold, but he paid it nor Dean’s slight wince any heed. His other hand was digging sharply into Dean’s hips, and belatedly, Castiel realized that his fangs and his goddamn claws were starting to come out as well. The realization was washed away, all for naught, because with that realization, Castiel’s alpha took over.

Spinning them around, Castiel pushed them to the couch at the side of his room. Dean landed with a slight huff under him, his eyes wide, but he didn’t have the chance to voice his protests before Castiel was quite literally on him.

His teeth were digging into Dean’s lips. Hands tearing away Dean’s clothes, the unbridling rage exploding into getting his omega naked. Dean had gasped, voice more high pitched than Castiel had ever heard, back arching as his eyes rolled into the back of his head when Castiel pressed himself to Dean, his rock hard abs colliding with the soft swell of Dean’s belly.

“You fucking, ” Castiel only got that far before he was attacking Dean’s lips again, swallowing up the helpless mewls and keens as Dean practically melted in his hold, letting Castiel do as he pleased. And his alpha was damn pleased, growling low in Castiel’s chest as he tore Dean’s pants off of him. He stroked a hand over Dean’s belly reverently, the first touch that he allowed to be gentle, before he was prying Dean’s legs open. Dean groaned, his eyes shooting open, his hands flailing for purchase. He barely managed to grab onto the back of the sofa with one arm before Castiel was already unzipping his pants, only pausing to take his weeping, erect cock in one hand. Without another second spared, he was pushing into Dean without prep.

They howled.

Castiel fucked hard and fast. There was no way he was in the mindspace for anything else. Thankfully, Dean was already onboard with the program, rapidly slicking at a rate that Castiel knew was faster than usual. He’d released his useless hold on the sofa, grappling at Castiel’s still clothed back. Dean grunted, groans and moans that soon quieted to hushed whimpers as each thrust practically punched the breath out of him. Castiel let his head fall between his shoulders, conveniently putting his fangs in reaching distance of Dean’s neck.

He’d come this far, he wasn’t going to hold himself back now.

With a snarl, Castiel surged forward, latching his teeth onto the flesh right there for him to lay claim to, and Dean screamed. His cock spurted all over his belly, smearing onto Castiel’s expensive dress shirt. None of that registered in Castiel’s mind, his ears overcome with a high pitch ringing as the taste of Dean’s blood on his tongue had a wave of euphoria explode behind Castiel’s eyelids. His breathing increasing until he was barely taking in enough oxygen, Castiel pushed himself close, all the way until his balls were smacking into Dean’s asscheeks. He pushed his knot in as fast as he entered Dean, and then he was coming, spilling his seed into Dean’s channel.

Dean keened wildly, his extended claws digging into Castiel’s back, piercing through cloth and skin, into muscle. They were both going to be covered in slick, semen, and blood, looking far too much like a sex scene turned homicide, but Castiel’s inner alpha couldn’t have been more satisfied. He was growling thickly, even as he came down from his high, the scent of pregnant omega, mate, thick and heady in the air, clouding his senses. Turning his head slightly, he tore his teeth away from Dean’s flesh, causing a gasp that Dean probably hadn’t even had the energy for. He pushed his nose to Dean’s jaw, his fangs still out and nowhere close to retracting. The anger was still thrumming in his veins, not as overwhelming, but enough so that the usual pecks were turned into barely held back bites and nips along Dean’s jawline.

Dean’s eyes were closed, chest heaving and this time breathing loud and heavy. He still had his arms wrapped tight around Castiel, holding him close, but at some point he must have drawn his claws out, because Castiel realized he could no longer feel them.

“I hate you so much.” Dean was the first to break the silence, and his words were so unexpected and out of the blue that Castiel flinched, tensing, even as the action had his knot tugging at Dean’s rim. Instinctively, Dean tightened his muscles, massaging and clenching around Castiel’s cock still in him, and kickstarting another round of come to spill out of him.

“You fucking – you fucking knock me up, make me fall so fucking hard for you, and then you go get married to someone else, ruining Sam and my lives. I should hate you so much,” Dean let his head roll to the side, facing away from Castiel. His inner alpha keened in despair, forcing Castiel to try in vain to scent his omega without letting Castiel’s human have any room to rethink his actions.

“But then you just – you kiss me, you fuck me like that, and I hate you so much. I hate you so much because I still love you, and I hate it.” His voice cracked.

Castiel frowned, pushing himself up for the first time. He still made sure to keep their groins carefully connected, but made sure that his torso was upright enough – not that he ever really put his full weight on Dean’s belly – for him to be able to look at Dean for all the omega tried to look away.

“Ruined your and Sam’s lives?” He repeated, tone slightly crazed. At the rate they were going today, Castiel’s eyes were going to be permanently dotted with crimson. “What are you – don’t you dare go around trying to make yourselves like the fucking victim here, Dean Winchester!” He commanded. Whether it was his words or tone, it didn’t matter, but Dean was meeting his eyes again, and Castiel used that to push on, some of his earlier ire returning. “Like you weren’t trying to swindle me for my money – you may have put on a good act, but don’t for one second think I haven’t been aware of what you actually came in here for.” He growled, baring his fangs.

Dean snarled in return. “Heh. I came in here to rob you guys, and you still fuck me,” Dean shot a cruel smirk. “I feel used, Castiel .”

Castiel reared back, a surge of bright hatred pulling him back – and then he hissed in synchronization with Dean as the action forced his still inflated knot to tug at Dean’s rim. Fuck, he should’ve gone done by now. “So you were after my money.”

Something else flashed through Dean’s eyes, but this time, it didn’t fade.” Oh, please, shut the crap. Yeah, I came in here to get your fucking black money, but you know what? I wasn’t after your money in the first fucking place, ‘cause I never knew it even fucking existed. I was in love with you, Cas, and then you just go get married without a single word? Fucking pretend I don’t exist, don’t give me a chance to get a word in, and the next thing I know, my life is coming down – I get fired with a nice big black smear on my record that I did nothing to deserve, Sammy gets kicked out of Stanford, and then we’re shunned from society, practically pariahs. Oh, and it gets better – our faces are flashing on the news for some bullshit crap that was never true. So yeah, we went and made it true, but only to get out of the fucking mess you put us in, Novak!” He jabbed at Castiel’s chest again, and this time, Castiel fell away, pulling out of Dean. They both inhaled sharply at the action, Dean looking vaguely sick, but then he was pushing himself up and away from Castiel.

Dean was clambering off the sofa, his legs visibly shaking, but Castiel couldn’t even bring himself to help him as Dean reached for the tattered remains of his clothings. “Shit,” he whispered to himself when he saw the state his clothes were in.

A trickle of come and slick slipped free from Dean’s hole, sliding down his thigh.

“No.” Castiel whispered, bringing Dean’s attention back onto him. “No,” he repeated, louder. He pushed himself up to his feet as well. In stark contrast to Dean, he was still clothed, although his flaccid dick was still hanging out of his pants. He ignored the cold breeze against his flesh. “You’re wrong. Naomi told me everything. There’s no use still lying to me, Dean. A lowlife like you, struggling to make ends meet with his brother at an Ivy-league school, of course you were going to latch onto me. And just because your brother couldn’t keep himself in his school with your inability to continue whoring yourself out–”

“You watch your fucking mouth,” Dean was at his neck again, his claws extending and only just missing Castiel’s arterial as he dragged his collar, fangs out. Yet the gold illuminating his eyes was making his alpha pant all too stupidly. “Don’t you fucking dare act like you know anything –  anything – about Sam or me, if this is the stupid brainwashed shit you have running in your craptastic brain.” He shoved Castiel away, letting out a disbelieving scoff as he took a step back. “God. I know you said you hated your mother and hearing your stories I couldn’t miss why, but wow. I kinda thought you were different for a second there, Castiel. But if you can’t even get your fucking facts straight,” shaking his head, Dean returned to the futile task of pulling his clothes back on. “You know what? I think it’s safe to say for the both of us that personally, I hope I don’t ever see you again, Castiel.”

And without another look in Castiel’s direction, he was walking past and leaving his office.

His inner alpha broke when Castiel realized that there was a chance that his omega was very well leaving his life as well.

Especially after delivering news that had Castiel collapsing to his knees in the middle of his office.

Chapter Text

Dean furiously wiped away his tears, only just keeping himself from breaking into a full out sprint as he snuck into the side exits he’d memorized from the blueprints.

Once he was in a lesser used elevator, heading to the floor that he would then be able to exit the building from a respectable floor, he let himself fall heavily against the wall of it. Letting it support his weight, he buried his face in his hands, taking deep yet ragged breaths.


“Shit!” Bolting upright, Dean latched onto the wall, his breath quickening again as his heart beat jumped to an alarming rate. “Fuck.”

Yeah… I’ve been on for… most of that…” Sam said awkwardly into his earpiece, filling in the question Dean wasn’t sure he would’ve been able to ask in the first place. “You okay, De?”

Dean laughed, a horrible wet sound. Ignoring every bit of his muscles that fought for otherwise, tears started streaming down his face again, this time without restraint. “No, Sammy. I’m so fucking far from okay.” He replied. “But fuck that. We’re heading out.”


“End of this week. Fuck our last heist. You said we’ve got enough. We’ll make do.”

“... Dean, are you sure? There’s–”

“Yeah, Sammy.” Dean cut in, his voice hoarse. But even through the tears that blurred his vision, he straightened his face into a cold mask, getting a reign back on… everything, as the elevator doors opened to an abandoned hallway. “I’m sure. We’re getting our asses the hell out of this fucking shit of a country.”

Hannah was walking around the room behind him. Most likely going about her nightly routine, but Castiel could still feel the concerned glances she shot at him every time she passed by. It had goosebumps appearing on the back of his neck, skin prickling, but Castiel continued staring straight ahead at the wall.

Eventually Hannah hesitantly climbed onto her side of the bed, and this time Castiel could feel her eyes glued onto the back of his head. The bed shifted under her lithe form as she settled into bed, the sheets rustling as she pulled it over to cover over whatever flimsy excuse of a nightgown she was wearing now. He knew it was meant to seduce him, or at the very least make her look a lot alluring than she already was. But the first time Castiel got a glimpse of what she called a nightgown for bed, Castiel was quick to avert his eyes and was never able to meet her gaze after that.

Hannah sighed, the small sound enough to bring Castiel back to the present, but still not enough to waver his thoughts from the more recent past.

Namely, this afternoon.

His guts curdled at the memory, which was when Hannah blessedly decided to break the silence first.

“Alpha?” On second thought, Castiel would have much rather she didn’t speak, if that was the first thing she was going to say. He couldn’t help but flinch, which Hannah for sure couldn’t have missed. But apart from a brief pause, his wife was quietly pressing on. “Castiel?” She tried again, but didn’t wait for a reply. “Is everything alright?” 

Castiel swallowed. There was no way he was going to outright ignore his wife, but he still couldn’t bring himself to look at her, skimpy clothing otherwise. 

“It’s nothing,” he replied gruffly. “You should go to sleep.”

Hannah was silent. “I heard about what happened at work today,” she pressed.

Instantly, Castiel stiffened. Dread, horror, and guilt whirled strong as a hurricane in his stomach, and for a few seconds, Castiel was sure he was going to vomit right then and there.

“The alarm, or something? Was it… I couldn’t help it but I’ve been reading the news lately… was it them?”

Castiel frowned, and for the first time since he’d arrived to the penthouse suite where they were currently residing, he shifted, turning around on the bed so that one of his legs was on the bed, looking at his wife.

“Was what who?” He asked sharply. Hannah flinched, rearing back in surprise.

“The news… it’s been going around that these two men, brothers, have been focusing on robbing our branches?”

Castiel’s nose flared, his mind racing. “How long have you been paying attention to the news?”

Hannah immediately looked down at her lap, seemingly chastised. “I’m sorry, I probably shouldn’t have, but it’s been going around since our engagement. About the men, not the robbing… that didn’t come until later.”

Castiel squinted at her. “I’m not mad – no, just. What did the news say?”

“Just that they were wanted for defamation, fraud, misrepresentation…” Hannah listed. Her hands were fisting the blanket uneasily, drawing Castiel’s gaze to it.

“Hannah, I’m not upset you were paying attention to the news. You shouldn’t – if anything, I’m glad you had something to entertain yourselves with, especially something that’s informational.” Castiel tried to gently appease her, but his mind was elsewhere, far too distracted for him to know if he pulled the tone he intended to off.

Sighing, Castiel stood, roughly dragging his hand through his hair.

“One of the men…” Hannah spoke up, bringing Castiel’s attention back onto her. “He was… wasn’t he the one that came to the home base that day?”

Castiel spun around on his heel. Standing at the foot of the bed, he pinned Hannah with an unrelenting stare. His jaw shifted as he worked through the dizzying thoughts rushing through his head, although he settled for a stiff, jerky nod.

“You were dating, weren’t you?”

And that brought Castiel short. He felt like the air was punched out of his lungs, his heart frozen in his chest as he stared, only distantly aware that his face was completely expressionless.

Hannah closed her eyes, sighing, before she stood up from the bed. The blanket fell away, and Castiel noticed that rather than her usual lingerie, she was wearing a modest nightgown – an actual gown, that while accentuated her curves wonderfully, went only so far as to show a little bit of cleavage, but was otherwise completely covering. The sleeves even came all the way down to her wrists. Slowly, Castiel came to the realization that something was definitely wrong here… or at the very least, there was something quite distinctly not right , and it was staring at him right in the eye, looking as confident as he’d ever seen her to be.

“And… forgive me, alpha, you two were almost mated, before we were wedded, weren’t you?” The title didn’t even faze him, because the rest of Hannah’s words were already driving a bulldozer through Castiel’s mind.

Somehow, some part of his brain managed to pull a reply from his lifeless tongue. “We’d scent bonded.” Castiel corrected, his voice rough. Hannah closed her eyes again, although Castiel didn’t miss the water in them before they disappeared from view.

Hannah nodded, more to herself.

“I can still smell him on you. It’s… it’s always been there, but it’s stronger today than ever.”

Castiel promptly started to freak out. He was pretty sure his organs had long since abandoned him, and now his tongue was due to fall out at any moment. His limbs had long since gone numb.

“Which makes sense. I mean, that you’ve scent bonded… and even after all these months, I’m sure you must have seen him. And for that to be enough to make your scent flare like that,” she waved a vague hand at him, her eyes open but not rising any further than his chest. “You still love him.” She concluded, her voice so quiet it was a mere whisper. And yet, Castiel still managed to hear it, because his heart jumped up to his throat, almost choking him.

He swallowed it down. “Hannah, I…”

“No, Castiel,” she held up a hand, effectively shutting him up. She closed her eyes, taking a deep breath, before letting it go. Slowly, she looked back at him, offering a small yet watery smile. 

Her eyes shined brightly with unshed tears. “I always knew… ever since I’d seen him, that, for all your efforts to behave otherwise, I knew there was no way I was going to be getting your heart anytime soon. I tried to be okay with that, but. Castiel, it’s been months. Months, and nothing has changed. We are husband and wife in name only, we haven’t even mated yet, but a single meeting with that omega and you’re… you’re still so clearly hung up on him.” She said, her hands falling listlessly to her side. 

“Hannah,” Castiel tried again. He took a step forward, but when Hannah shifted back, he immediately stopped, hating himself for putting that look on her face, for hurting her. And to think that he’d actually cheated on her… 

There was no way he could tell her, not when it would clearly break her. “You have to realize, I never meant to…” to what, hurt her? Because he’d already done that, and apologizing for that would only serve to make Castiel feel dirtier than scum. “God, I know you deserve so much better…”

Hannah sniffed, smiling again, though it was wavering. “Yes, I do.” She crossed her arms, hugging herself tightly. “Which is why… which is why I’m going to declare this marriage nullified, Castiel.”

Castiel gaped. “You… what?”

Hannah blinked, her smile turning softer, if that was even possible. This time, she took a few steps forward, closer to Castiel. He didn’t dare move. “We haven’t consummated, we haven’t mated, or bonded at all, really. Which is more than enough for this marriage to be voided. There’s no more use keeping up this facade when that’s all this ever was, Castiel,” she continued coming closer until she was only a scant few inches away from Castiel. He didn’t even breathe, for fear that his next inhale would cause their chests to brush. At that moment, he felt like Hannah needed the lack of contact more than he did. However, she brought a hand up to cup his cheek gently anyway.

Castiel closed his eyes, guilt tearing his throat and making his own eyes water as well. “I wish you all the best, Castiel. Genuinely.” His eyes were closed, so he didn’t see when Hannah stood on her tiptoes to press a soft kiss to his lips. It was the first kiss they had since their marriage ceremony. They had never come close enough after the kiss they shared shortly after exchanging their – rehearsed – vows.

Castiel squeezed his eyes shut tighter in an attempt to not let the tears fall, not now. However, when Hannah slowly pulled back, he gasped, hot breathe on her lips making her smile again.

“Go to your omega, Castiel.”

His marriage was in shambles, but it couldn’t have been any better. With Hannah soon departing from the penthouse, promising that she wasn’t going to disappear but merely needed to clear her head, Castiel took that for the hint it was and made sure he was well packed and gone before she could return. 

Instead of heading to wherever Dean was… Castiel knew he needed to deal with one more person first.

Naomi !” He slammed the doors open, making sure he got most of his anger out of the way before striding towards his mother anyway.

Naomi was sitting at the center of a conference room, surrounded by files and massaging her forehead with one fingers as she perused one of the folders open in front of her. Her beta secretary startled, staring at him with wide eyes as he came to a stop right in front of his mother, only separated by a table and a lot of papers.

Figures. She gives him the responsibility of a single branch, but the moment there’s trouble, she comes flying in to take care of it. Castiel was starting to doubt his mother understood what the term retirement actually meant. 

“Castiel?” Naomi blinked up at him, straightening in her seat as she frowned. “Shouldn’t you be with your omega right now?”

“Yes, about that, mother, ” he hissed. Alpha rage was starting to permeate the room, large as it was, and it momentarily brought him to his senses somewhat. He lifted his head to glare at the beta, who was clutching her briefcase to her waist, not all the way up to her chest, but getting there. “Leave.” He snarled, his fangs extending.

With a quiet squeak, she rushed out on hazardous heels, not looking back.

“Castiel,” Naomi stood, bringing Castiel’s glare back to her. “What is the meaning of this?”

Castiel leaned back, forcing his rage to go from fiery to cold ice. If there was one thing he didn’t regret learning from his mother, it was the ability to change his anger to let it speak volumes for him instead. “Tell me what you did to Dean.”

Naomi frowned. “That dirty low-life?” Castiel growled, but she ignored it. “Why, I only did what was right! When I heard what was going on, rest assured Castiel, I made sure he knew never to come snivelling back.” Naomi sniffed. “Although I wasn’t expecting him to have some brain cells. He’s been robbing us blind, and somehow eluding the authorities. I swear to you, Castiel, it’ll only be a matter of time but I’ll crush him completely this time. When I get my hands on him, he won’t ever bother us again.”

Clenching his teeth, Castiel grinned darkly at his mother. “See, that’s where you’re wrong, Naomi.” His mother frowned, a hint of wariness flashing through her eyes, and it fueled Castiel, knowing he wasn’t wrong now. “You’re never laying another hand on Dean or Sam, ever again. Hell, if you never came into our lives, I would be happily living with them right now, watching over my pregnant mate. Instead, you tried to separate us, defame my mate, and force me into a marriage with another unwitting omega. Well, guess what, mother. Your game has come to an end. Whatever misdoings you’ve committed – I stayed silent for so long, but you’ve gone too far. I thought working for you I could rectify your sins, but clearly, that won’t be solving anything.” Castiel started to back away, not taking his eyes off the now fuming alpha. Castiel pitied the person who had to air this room out later. “Make no mistake mother. What I’m going to do… this won’t be revenge. Well, not completely,” Castiel amended with a tilt of his head. “It’s time… it’s time you’ve been brought to justice.” Castiel exhaled, nodding to himself. And then scoffed, shaking his head.

“Don’t bother trying to scramble around at a last attempt to salvage anything. For one, Hannah is just as done, mother. She is calling the marriage off from her end.”

With a triumphant smirk, Castiel turned on his heel, and left the building, along with everything it represented, behind him.

He had an omega to find and start making amends with.

The files were endless. With each one Duma brought in, Castiel felt his headache increasing. He knew his mother evaded tax while still maintaining a legal facade, but he never realized his mother was the sole cause of so many files with fine print that neatly had Naomi escaping from losing money. She was only ever facing profits, but a suspicious lack of dropping in bank accounts and other materials. How his mother still had a business with reputable customers, Castiel had no idea. But it was time he figured it out and revealed the truth to the world. Granted, there were many people whose jobs were going to be severely affected, but Castiel was going to focus on eliminating the unjust actions of his mother. From there, he will worry about the people who were going to find themselves without a job.

Growling under his breath, Castiel booted up his laptop, grabbing a pen and the first of many files in front of him. At the very least, he was grateful for Duma’s help, along with the close band of people he chose to be trustworthy to let them in on something that wouldn’t leave them unscathed either.

“Fuck planes,” Dean muttered. It was with no small amount of trepidation that his eyes were helplessly pinned to the window in front of him. Only several yards away was the plane he was to board soon. Unfortunately, until then Dean had a stellar view of watching the workers scramble around, doing some last few preparations.

“They’re just fueling the plane?” Dean exclaimed, garnering more than a few curious glances. However, he was too busy freaking out to care about the attention he was probably supposed to be avoiding. “Why are they just fueling – did they almost forget to fuel the plane?” Dean asked to no one in particular. Sam was off getting coffee or whatever other snacks Dean told him to get that looked remotely appealing, which he was suddenly regretting, because it was starting to get harder to breathe.

Miracle of all miracles, though, because his brother popped up practically out of nowhere. “Jesus, Dean, calm down. It’s just standard procedure – they know what they’re doing.”

“Do they?” Dean hissed, not taking his eyes off from the guy who seemed to be in charge of making sure the fuel went into the plane. Was he looking at his phone? “Sammy, is he looking at his – it’s gonna overfill, and he’s gonna get oil everywhere. He knows that’s a fire hazard, why isn’t he paying attention? Oh god, we’re all gonna explode, aren’t–”

“Jesus, Dean!” Sam hissed. He hastily set down the bag of food in his hands down on the seat beside Dean, getting down on his knees in front of Dean. “Look at me, c’mon big brother. Look at me.” His tone, while lacking alpha command, still brooked no space for argument. Swallowing, Dean tore his eyes away from the sight of the idiotic slacker and focused on his brother before Sam dared to use his alpha voice on him.

“Alright, there we go. Deep breaths, alright? Come on, inhale with me.” Sam exaggeratedly imitated breathing deeply, inhaling and exhaling loudly. Dean snarled at him, but begrudgingly let his breathing pattern match his brother’s, keeping his eyes pinned to the messy mop of hair that Sam refused to cut. Annoyingly enough, it started to work. He guessed he shouldn’t hate Sam too much, because the kid was starting to pummel his organs too. As if that would help him breathe easily, kid was only making him wince and stop breathing, if anything.

“There we go, see. Everything’s just fine. Now I’ve got you some chips – friggin’ expensive ones, so you better like it. They’re supposed to be extra salty, so maybe they’ll help with the – uh, you know…”

Dean raised his eyebrows dryly at his brother. “Overwhelming urge to hurl all over your stupid shoes? Yeah, sure. Maybe.” He gestured for his brother to show the goods anyway, and with more effort than it should have taken, he zeroed his eyes on the multitude of goodies Sam had dumped beside him.

“Wow. You bought all that?” Dean stared. “How the hell did you manage not to spill the coffees?”

Sam shrugged. “I have no idea. Wasn’t going to stop and question it.”

Dean was just starting to mutter a “good choice,” that would have been unintelligible as he started to greedily shovel chips into his mouth, when an overhead announcement had both of them pausing.

“Attention. Flight 3K267 is experiencing delays. Further standby requested.”

Dean swivelled his head to look at his brother. “What.” He said flatly, through a mouth of chips.

Sam frowned in disgust, but it was absent as he stared at someone – most likely an attendant – behind Dean. “I have no idea. Wait here, I’ll try to find out what’s up.”

“Don’t bring any attention,” Dean muttered, but it was to Sam’s retreating back, his brother already using his gangly limbs to walk away.

Dean rolled his eyes. And then promptly went back to staring at the plane. His previously soothed anxiety started to mount again. Before long, his foot started to fidget restlessly, and he genuinely tried to distract himself by searching for his brother. Some help that was, because for all that his brother was as tall as a giraffe, Dean absolutely couldn’t see his brother now. Which wasn’t helping matters at all, really.

Just as his breathing was starting to grow erratic again, a voice came from his other side.


Slowly, Dean turned around to lay his eyes on the last person he expected to see, especially at this second.


The alpha practically melted, slumping down to the ground on his knees. He looked haggard, bags under his eyes, hair unkempt and resembling none of the usual sex look that never failed to make Dean drool. Even his suit, something expensive, Dean figured, was wrinkled and in a general disarray.

He looked like a mess.

“Dean,” Castiel breathed out. “God, I am so sorry.”

Dean frowned, and then his nostrils flared as he pushed himself up – not without some difficulty – chips forgotten. “Yeah, for what?”

“Everything,” Castiel replied earnestly, his eyes wide and pleading. “I could blame my mother – but while she fed me the lies, I never should have believed her. What we had… that was what I should have put my faith in. Instead, I made the most stupidest mistake. I can’t even begin to apologize but…”

Dean grit his teeth. “Don’t you dare tell me, Castiel, that after everything, you’ve come here to ask for my forgiveness.”

Castiel swallowed, his throat working. To Dean’s horror, Castiel’s eyes started to glimmer. “I don’t deserve to ask for your forgiveness. Fuck, the last thing I deserve is your forgiveness.” He let his head fall between his shoulders, slumping until he was sitting on his heels.

Vaguely, Dean registered hushed whispers spreading across the area. And what an unsightly vision it must have been, an alpha on his knees in front of an omega.

A sick, twisted sense of pleasure coiled through Dean’s gut at that.

“But Dean, you… you shouldn’t have to leave because of what we did. You don’t deserve everything we did, and as weak as it sounds,” Castiel looked back up, eyes wide and pleading. “Dean… please don’t go. I swear, I will do everything in my power to rectify our sins. I know… I know it’s too much to ask you to take me back. God, Dean, say the word and you won’t ever have to see me again, but… Dean. If… if there’s a part of you that still doesn’t hate me… let me make it up to you? I swear, I won’t fuck up this time, I’ll spend my entire life making it up to you.” A tear slid down his cheek, the alpha actually craning his head back to look at Dean. “And… the pup…”

“Bold of you to come here,” Dean cut in, his own adam’s apple bobbing furiously as he desperately tried to bring his tears back under control. “And get on your knees, thinking I’d, what, just let you back in, after everything?”

Tears were starting to slip down Castiel’s cheeks faster, and even as the light diminished in his eyes, he didn’t look away from Dean.

“You’re a fucking idiot.” Dean said harshly, snarling. His fangs were itching to descend, but he held them back. He shook his head, looking away. “What’s the saying, ‘too little, too late,’ right?” Dean nodded decisively. “You lost your chance the moment you got hitched, Castiel. To someone else.”

Castiel’s eyes clouded, and Dean knew there was going to be a shitstorm of alpha tears, but he couldn’t bring himself to care. No, his heart was already hurting enough as it was, seeing Castiel again after everything, and that definitely wasn’t heartburn. 

“Goodbye, Castiel.”

He started to turn away even as Castiel desperately scrambled off his knees, an arm extended. “Dean!”

“Dean.” Sam’s voice brought him up short, and Dean halted, eyes red with his own tears he adamantly refused to let fall. He turned to his alpha brother, something inside him breaking, but he stayed frozen in place. Sam took a step closer to them with a frown on his face, breaking free from where he’d been standing amongst the crowd.

“Dean… Maybe you should…”

“Should what?” Dean said harshly. “Take him back? Don’t you fucking–”

“Dean!” Sam cut in, his voice echoing through the building. Dean – and probably everyone – stared at him in shock as he stood to his full height, looking every bit the alpha he was, but the face that was looking at him was entirely his little brother.

“I’m saying maybe you wanna rethink leaving the country. We obviously don’t have to and… you’ve seen the news, Dean.”

Dean scoffed. “Yeah, seen our faces plastered over it.”

But Sam was shaking his head, hair flying a little with the action. “De… Castiel brought his family empire down. Naomi is in jail, and the Novaks, they’re practically bankrupt at this point. I’m not saying you gotta take him back, but I’m saying I think we don’t have to run away anymore, De.”

Dean raised his eyebrows. “So, what. You think that just like that, everything’s fine and dandy now?” He turned to face Castiel. “That after everything… things can just turn back to normal?” He asked harshly.

Castiel swallowed. “I can’t promise you everything will be the same, but I guarantee you. Whatever financial loss you’ve had to face because of Naomi, I can make sure to compensate for everything.”

Sam walked closer to Dean, laying a hand on his shoulder. Dean only just managed to refrain himself from shaking it off. “Dean, we never really wanted to get out of the country. You, especially. We were only doing it because… well, because we were kind of forced to. What are we gonna do getting on that flight now anyway?”

Dean blinked, inhaling sharply. He was still angry, hell, he was absolutely fuming. But Sam had a point. They were forced to practically throw their lives away, and Dean hated every second of it. Granted, the whole bank robbery, while definitely illegal, had its kicks. But that was never what Dean had seen himself doing, and never what he had in his mind for his brother. Speaking off…

“We get everything back?” Dean asked, disbelief evident in the bite of his tone. “Sammy gets back into Stanford, the friggin’ black spot I had on my record for no reason wiped clean? The past few months just, what, erased and we get a blank slate again?” 

Castiel nodded. “As promised. Everything will be returned to however it was before… before I intruded.” His voice was pained, his eyes clouding, but Dean couldn’t miss the genuity of his tone, of his words. And as much as it felt like dragging his heart through gravel, Dean found himself nodding.

“Everything goes back to how it was. Before we got involved with you.” Dean reinstated. “Nothing more, nothing less.”

Castiel nodded, looking for all the world as if he was heading to his execution. Dean didn’t let it sway him.

“Fine.” He turned to Sam, his face studiously blank. “Looks like we’ve got a couple of plane tickets to cancel.” He told his brother.

There wasn’t the slightest bit of victory he would have thought he would feel.

True to Castiel’s words, things went back to normal.

Or, at least as normal as it could be.

Sam was back at Stanford, accepted back into his classes as if he’d never left. The only sign that he’d missed on about a semester’s of work was the amount of work he was now constantly buried in. Dean had caught Sam too many times sneaking extra coffee into his room, and had to essentially hide the coffeemaker in an attempt to make Sammy get some sleep.

Bobby was all too happy to give Dean his position at the shop back. In fact, barely a week in, Dean received a paycheck he should’ve gotten at the end of the month. It was the extra numbers added in rather than the usual amount that had Dean arguing with Bobby, but it was all for naught. The damned man could be just as stubborn when he needed to be, and it was when he threatened to add more that Dean relented, accepting the check. 

So, yeah, things went back to normal. Except for the fact that it really wasn’t. Dean was getting to seven months pregnant, the doctors cheerily informing him that he couldn’t have been coming along any healthier. He was looking forward to meeting his kid, and yet…

Castiel had disappeared from his life.

Well. That wasn’t entirely true. He was on the news everywhere, reporters scrambling to get answers directly from him whenever he emerged from his office, looking haggard and a few seconds away from face-planting the cement on TV. Dean wished he could have blamed the alpha’s face being on every other channel for being unable to stop thinking about him. However, even at nights when the TV was definitely off, and on the brink of sleep, Dean would cradle the swell of his ever growing belly, and his mind would stray.

Castiel hadn’t entirely disappeared. He was still out there… and clearly avoiding Dean, just as he’d demanded. His heart panged, bereft from the alpha’s loss. The few moments at the airport had forced Dean into remembering everything that he’d been trying hard to forget. It made Dean hate Cas harder in moments like those… hated him so much for getting back in his life, for reminding him that no matter how hard he tried… There was still a part of Dean that was blatantly in love with Castiel.

“Whe’s your appoi’me’?” Sam asked through a mouthful of cereal.

Dean grimaced. “Chew, Sammy. And it isn’t till the afternoon.” Lounging on the kitchen chair, Dean kicked his swollen foot up onto the chair beside him, groaning as he reclined.

Sam tilted his head. He made a visible effort to swallow before speaking again. “You sure you don’t want me to come with?”

Dean shot him the stink eye. “Hell no. You think I don’t know how much homework you have already? Don’t need you missing one class and then just having more make up work to deal with. I’ll just take Baby.”

And wasn’t that a refreshing thought. They’d been swapping license plates while… on the run, Dean supposed, but then Charlie had let them know that if they continued to use it any longer, the police would end up right on the doorstep of wherever they were staying. So it was with much difficulty and a slight case of separation anxiety – Sam’s words, not his – that Dean had to leave the car in what Sam promised was a secure garage. The whole thing never really did sit well with Dean, and the thought of being able to drive his Baby down the streets again, windows rolled open and without a relative care in the world… screw leaving the apartment in time for his appointment. Soon as his brother was out, Dean was going for a joyride first. It didn’t take Sammy longer either. Soon after he finished his breakfast, shoveled hastily to the point that Dean had to mumble a concerned reminder for him to chew first. And then his brother was rushing in a flurry of movements, scrambling around to get his bag along with several extra textbooks that were definitely not going to fit in his already straining backpack. An apple in mouth, Sam paused to wave hurriedly at Dean, shoving his feet into his shoes at the same time while stumbling out the door.

Calmly sipping his coffee, Dean stared wide eyed at his brother. When the door shut behind him without Sam tripping and falling on his face, Dean let out a quiet sigh of relief. A kick to his belly had him wincing, but then he smiled down at it.

“Yeah, I bet you’ll give him a run for his money when you’re out here, hm?” He muttered, rubbing where he felt the kick. Another kick, sharper and more down his pelvis had him wincing, eyes closing as he grit his teeth. Dean slowly exhaled through his teeth, his hand tightening on his coffee mug. “Alright, alright. Hold your damn horses, you’ve got at least another month to go before you get to run around with uncle Sammy.”

Uncle Sammy. Huh. Dean straightened, hand absently rubbing as he mulled over the words. Now that the thought was in his head, he couldn’t and didn’t stop grinning wildly. A small part of him blossomed at the visual of a little kid running around after his giant of a brother, chanting those words.

Another kick, even harder this time, and Dean gasped. He slowly set his coffee down, letting himself curl inwards as he did so. “Woah,” he nervously chuckled. “Take it slow there kid.” When it seemed like things had calmed down, Dean dared to cautiously sit upright, grunting as his back gave a slight twinge. “Frigging pregnancy.” He mumbled as he pushed himself to his feet. “Not that you’re the problem,” Dean hastened to amend. “But yeesh, I definitely won’t mind not having you in me though.” He brought his coffee mug to the sink. “Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I could see my toes, kid.”

He didn’t remember putting the cup in the sink, because his pelvis exploded into a burst of white hot searing pain.

Castiel decided that he hated numbers. Try as he might though, his hatred for math never really affected his ability to work wonders with it.

Even then, Castiel felt too obligated to his employees — hopefully, soon to be ex-employees — to just up and ditch them.

“I think…” Duma started, frowning at her screen. Despite the amount of work she put in, sometimes more so than Castiel himself, she looked completely immaculate.

Castiel didn’t have to look in the mirror to know that he looked like a mess.

“I think we’re done with Section 104.”

Castiel looked up, relief surging through his head and ever so slightly easing the profound ache there. “Are you sure?” He rasped out, blocking his relief from becoming evident by frowning. If he had to find out they ended up missing one tiny detail one more time…

But Duma skimmed through her screen again, hand absently working at her side as she jotted down notes in perfect writing. “Yeah. We’re done.”

He could have jumped with joy at her declaration. As it was, he let his muscles fall lax, face planting his own stack of papers as he let out a loud groan. “Praise the lord.” He muttered to himself, the words still muffled.

A faint whiff of amusement trailed over from Duma. “I thought you weren’t religious.”

Castiel raised his head to look at Duma dryly. He opened his mouth to respond, when his phone started to blare. Immediately, he cast it a disdainful glare, but straightened in his seat as he accepted the call anyway.


“Look, I probably shouldn’t be telling you this, but I’m stuck in traffic believe it or not—“

Castiel’s frown intensified as he interrupted the rushed voice. “Sam?”

Yes, it’s me!” Sam replied, frustration carrying through his cell loud and clear. “ But actually, no, it’s Dean—“

“What about him?” Castiel asked, confused and anxious. There could be no good reason for Sam to be calling him now, after everything, and for him to sound like this…

Jesus, will you stop interrupting? He’s in the fucking hospital, Cas.”

The first thing that struck Dean was the smell. Sterile yet musty underneath, all his thoughts honed in on the breathing cannula inserted into his nose. On one hand, it immediately clued him in as to where he was, the machine steadily beeping away to his side only further proof that he was in a hospital. On the other, there was goddamn breathing cannula down nostrils, which Dean didn’t know why — and that was what effectively struck him next. Why was he in a hospital?

A kick to his belly that felt sharper than he was accustomed to both provided an answer and a distraction better than the steady flow of artificial oxygen.

Gasping, his eyes flew open as his hand went to his belly. It was still swollen, the kid inside him whirling around like a blender. Except, that thought wasn’t the best of analogies, Dean realized with a sickening lurch of his stomach.

He was pulled out of his thoughts as someone shifted beside him, Dean not having noticed he wasn’t exactly alone until now.


He let his head roll to the side, and when his gaze fell on his guest, his stomach was lurching for a different reason. Right away, his head was snapping back so that he was staring at the ceiling again, and ignoring the sharp ache in his neck the action garnered, Dean tried hard not to think about how very much he wanted to keep looking, that he didn’t look long enough but was too slow to look away—

“What’re you doing here, Cas?” He meant for it to sound angry, annoyed, infuriated even. All the emotions he knew he had the right to feel at the sight of the alpha. Instead, he only managed to sound weary and resigned, much to his displeasure.

Except, Cas started to stand, pushing on the armrests to force him upwards. “I-I’m so sorry, I’ll go get your brother.” He started to turn away, and this time, with confusion laced through his tone and morphing his features, Dean found himself calling out before he could stop himself.

“Woah, woah, woah, hang on a second.” Cas immediately came to a halt, but he didn’t turn around, leaving Dean to stare at his slumped shoulders under his wrinkled coat.

For a moment, he was at a loss for words. Sure, Cas was here now, and he had his attention… but Dean had no idea what to say now. So, he decided to just screw it and hope he didn’t mess up too much.

He still didn’t know what he was going to say.

“Just, can you come back here and sit down?”

It took a second, but Cas did so, keeping his gaze on the ground. When he was perched on the chair again looking as awkward as Sam the first time Dean tried to give him the sex talk, Dean sighed, letting his head roll back so that he could stare at the ceiling.

“Why’re you here, Cas?” He repeated, his voice merely soft this time.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Cas drag a shaky hand through his greasy hair, doing nothing to tame it. “I-I got a call from Sam. He said you were in the hospital and… I’m sorry, I know I said I’d keep away but… when I heard that you were here, there wasn’t anything I could do to stop myself.”

There were probably a lot of things he could have replied to that, but the only thing that came to Dean’s mind was, “Yeah. About that, why am I here?”

Castiel looked even more pained at that. “There was… a complication. Something about the baby’s positioning — but you’re both alright now!” He hurried to add when the heart monitor only started to steadily increase its beeping. “You’re still here because you’ve got to be under observation… and there’s talk of the potential of you actually going into early labor, hence this whole setup.” He waved a hand at the multiple machines. “I really don’t think I’m the right person to explain all this.” Cas said wryly. “Shall… do you want me to go fetch the doctor?” He was already pushing himself up again, hands clenching the arms of his chair tight enough for his skin to turn white.

Dean barely suppressed his urge to roll his eyes. “Shut up and sit down, Castiel.” Like a deflated air balloon, Castiel immediately sat back down, though he looked no less tense.

But now that things were silent again, the ball clearly in Dean’s court… Dean had no idea what to say. It didn’t escape his notice that Castiel never really responded to his question directly, but he was starting to realize rather uncomfortably that he already knew the reason.

That being established, it still did nothing to ease the now awkward air that was suffocating the room.

“What’ve you been doing, Cas?” Dean finally asked, his voice soft. He was fidgeting with the corner of his blanket, not really sure why he wasn’t able to meet the alpha’s eyes now out of all times.

He heard Castiel swallow. “I’ve been trying to… ‘clean up,’ Naomi’s work. It’s been a lot more complicated than what I hoped and expected, but it’s been keeping me relatively busy.” He cleared his throat, and out of the corner of his eye, Dean could see that Castiel wasn’t looking at him either, choosing to instead stare steadfastly at his tightly clasped hands.

This is ridiculous. The thought burst out of nowhere, but it was never the less true even as it firmly lodged within Dean’s mind. Laughter was threatening to bubble up and out of Dean’s throat, but he held it back, choosing to glare at whatever they had him hooked onto for that. Gritting his teeth, Dean took a deep breath, nose twitching when his oxygen came through a plastic pipe, and thought over what he was planning to do one more time, before coming to a decision.

“Hey, Cas. Could you go get my brother now?”

Castiel stiffened, before sighing, the air leaving him deflated again as dejection filled the alpha, but he stood. Nodding in Dean’s general direction, he turned around without further ado, striding out of the hospital room. The moment the door shut behind him, Dean let his eyes close again. He figured he was on the good meds, as much as he could be on while pregnant anyway, but there was a headache that was forming behind his eyebrows anyway. Eyebrows furrowing, he clenched his teeth, only to grimace when that caused a sharper bolt of pain to flash through his head.

Thankfully, his brother arrived soon enough, providing the best sort of distraction Dean could ask for in his circumstances. Sam looked haggard, which wasn’t surprising, although guilt filled Dean at the thought that he was behind his brother looking like this when he should have been a lot more care free at Stanford right now. Sam’s eyes were nonetheless lighting up to see Dean awake, and he bounded forward eagerly, taking the seat that Cas abandoned.

“Hey, Dean!” He leant forward, grabbing Dean’s hand and clutching it hard. Dean did nothing but raise a pointed eyebrow – he understood his brother’s need for the contact. When things came down to it, they only had each other, and Dean couldn’t ever imagine being put in Sam’s place, receiving the call that his brother was in a hospital and unconscious. His own hand tightened at trying to visualize it. “How’re you doing?”

Dean carefully shrugged. “I mean, I’m ready for the kid to be out… but I guess the little tyke needs to cook a little more?” Sam’s eyebrows skyrocketed, looking absolutely unimpressed with Dean.

“Food analogies, seriously, Dean? Weren’t you just nauseous this morning?” Dean rolled his eyes, but Sam kept going. “Anyway. Cas was here.” His tone was light, but his face remained carefully neutral, which to Dean, was a completely bullshit attempt at a poker face. He let go of Sam’s hand to poke at the inside of his brother’s wrist sharply.

As Sam retracted his hand with a pained hiss, Dean allowed himself only a smug smirk that he wasn’t even feeling completely, before he sobered up again.

“Yeah. About that…”

“Did he say anything?” Sam frowned, the muscle in his jaw ticking as he leaned forward again. “Seriously, I only called him because I figured he’d get here sooner, and I really didn’t want you to be alone, but if he upset you right now…”

“What, just ‘cause I’m in a hospital I have to be extra careful to not get pissed?”

“Yeah, Dean, that’s precisely what you gotta do.” Sam shot back just as fast, bitch face now in place. “Do I need to go hunt him down and kick his ass?”

“Jeez, Sammy, hold your horses.” He rubbed a hand over his face, trying to give himself a few seconds to think. “We were just talking. Asked him what he was doing here, he pretty much said the same thing you did, which, again, seriously? I don’t need a damn babysitter, Sam.” Before his brother could protest that, already gearing up to do so with his mouth open, Dean plowed ahead. “But, man, that ain’t the problem here.”

When he trailed off, Sam cocked his head, eyes narrowing as he scrutinized Dean. “So what is, then?”

Dean looked at his hand, absently picking at the tape holding his IV in place. “I dunno, man. I figured I should be pissed at him for being here, hell, furious and kicking up a storm and all that shit. And yeah, I was uncomfortable, but…”

“But?” Sam carefully prodded.

“But… ugh. I don’t know. I, maybe didn’t mind seeing him again? And I really don’t know how I – I guess I don’t know what I should do. ‘Cause don’t get me wrong, am I pissed at him? Yeah, loads, I really am. But there’s also a part of me that was… I don’t know. Happy? Content? Some other shit like that to see him first thing when I woke up. Like, I could just forget about all the fucked up shit that’s been happening for the past several months and… and I could see myself with him again, like… you know.” He was starting to scrape off a decent amount of the tape from his hand, and it drew Sam’s attention long enough for him to lean forward and swat Dean’s hand away before he managed to yank the entire thing off.

“Stop that.” He said, before leaning back. He stayed silent, staring hard at Dean, to the point that he was just about to start fidgeting uncomfortably, when Sam said, “You love him.”

Dean hissed on his next inhale, sharp eyes immediately glaring daggers at his brother for daring to utter the words, but whatever cruel comment he had growing on his tongue died just as quickly, because, “yeah.” Dean gave in, quietly, looking down again. “I guess I do. But I still hate him. I hate him, I hate that… that I still feel all weird and tingly around him,” he waved a vague hand in the air before letting it drop back to his lap. “But yeah, I still love him. And I’d be damned, Sammy, but I still want him. I want him to grovel and suck up to me and shit, and I wanna hold everything against him, God knows I wanna make his life a living hell for what he did to us… but at the end of the day?” Dean sighed, thumping his head back against his pillow. “I just want us to be fine again, to be together.” He grimaced. “Ugh. Couldn’t get any more stereotypical of an omega here, could I?” He asked rhetorically, but Sam answered anyway, of course.

“Dean, you were stealing from banks while pregnant, I really don’t think that’s the definition of a stereotypical omega – probably like, the exact opposite if anything.”

Dean chuckled dryly. Trust his brother to know to say the right thing. And to further prove his point, Sam interlaced his fingers together and held his hands under his chin, clearly in thought.

“Maybe… maybe you guys should rethink the whole, ‘ignoring each other’s existence’ thing? I mean, look at how well you guys managed that yourself. Not gonna lie here, man, but Cas looks like an honest mess. Now, I’m not defending the guy, here. However, yeah, maybe you should just… rethink stuff, talk things out… maybe start over again or something? I dunno, Dean.” Sam shrugged, and though he was looking straight at Dean, his gaze was still a little absent as he carefully chose his words before uttering them. “But I think you both will be happy if you could fix things – you don’t have to make up and shit, although I think that’s what you want, but yeah. I think maybe you should restart and take things slower this time.” He finally focused on Dean again, and while he looked somewhat more at ease to have gotten his words out without ticking Dean off completely… it was now Dean who had a full out migraine as he tried to figure things out.

Eventually, he gave up. Like his brother said, there wasn’t much he could do, except for talking things through with the man himself. For that, however, he was gonna need Cas to actually be present.

Dean hummed. “Go call him in, will you?” Sam grinned, mostly smug at Dean taking his advice even as he stood. He didn’t need Dean to elaborate on who he was talking about. 

Castiel only stood in place long enough to watch Sam disappear into Dean’s room, before he was turning around. His feet were leading him out of the hospital building, and seeing as his brain was currently a buzzing blankly, Castiel freely gave the reins over to his feet. His trust wasn’t unfounded, because when he was blinking himself back to awareness, he was back at his home, the front door wide open behind him. He had no memory of unlocking it, and as it was, he only just managed to close the door before Castiel lost it.

Yelling, a deep, guttural noise that was purely alpha, he relinquished his frustration and anger, not stopping even as he lost his breath, not until his voice went hoarse. And even then, he took a deep lungful of air, the action betrayed his desperation, before he started again. Minutes, hours, days could have passed, but Castiel remained oblivious to it all, too consumed in his all encompassing grief. After studiously pushing it to the bay for so long, there was no way he could see himself surviving the oncoming waves with the sole intent of drowning him.

It was exhaustion, sheer, soul-crushing exhaustion that finally claimed Castiel as its own, pulling him into a welcoming see of blackness.

When he came to again, the sun was streaming through his windows, the bright rays causing him to squint. Groaning, he struggled to push himself up, looking around as he tried to regain his bearings. He was still lying in an ungraceful heap at the entryway, his suit crumpled to hell. His skin felt as greasy and grimy as his hair. A glance at his wristwatch, however, showed that he was running late for work. Castiel wished he could say he was surprised at himself for oversleeping, but the truth was, with how ragged he’d been running himself, it was only a long time coming. So with that, and deciding it wouldn’t make much of a difference he arrived any later to work – as opposed to if he showed up like the severe mess he was right now – Castiel set about to taking a much needed shower.

An hour later, a physically freshened Castiel appeared at his office, only to come to a stumbling stop when he saw Sam waiting impatiently at the lobby. Arms crossed, foot tapping a steady beat on the marble flooring, and glaring at the harried looking beta at the front desk who was throwing him uncertain glances.

“Sam?” At the sound of his voice, Sam’s head shot up, and he redirected his glare to Castiel. He faltered, but grip tightening on his briefcase, he continued forward anyway, trying to exude the confidence he was lacking in. “Is everything alright?” At that, he couldn’t stop the worry from pouring through his voice. But damn him if he wasn’t worried about Dean, because for all that things between them were in tatters, Dean was still his mate, and Castiel would forever live as such even if it wasn’t reciprocated.

“Jesus, Cas, can’t you check your friggin’ phone?” Sam hissed. From the corner of his eye, he could see Anna flinching, eyes burning a hole through her computer as she pretended to busy herself with whatever was on the screen.

Frowning, he slipped his hand in his pocket – only to come up empty. He scanned his house in his head, and still, he had no idea where his phone was. “I-I’m sorry, I think I must have misplaced my phone. Sam, is everything alright?” He repeated. 

However, Sam just shook his head. “Everything’s fine. Dean just wanted to see you – where’d you disappear off to, man?” He questioned. 

Castiel adjusted his grip on his briefcase uneasily. “I went home? I was under the assumption that you had no longer needed me.”

Sam rolled his eyes. “Yeah, well, no. Dean was wanting to talk to you soon after, only to find out you were gone. Tried calling you, left a voicemail and a text, but nothing. I hope you realize I’m missing out on the first half of my lecture here because I didn’t want Dean to freak out, thinking you were avoiding him or something.”

“But I’m not!” Castiel hastened to respond, a little too loud judging by the glare that Hannah readily threw him fearlessly. “Is–do you need me to drop you back at Stanford, or…”

“Yeah, I’d appreciate that. But I also had to come here all prepped to kick your ass, if you don’t go see Dean after dropping me off, that is.”

“Of course,” Castiel readily agreed. Work was the furthest thing from his mind – surely, the breakthrough he accomplished with Duma the previous work day garnered him a day off. “We can go right now,” He gestured back to the main entrance, only for Sam to look at him weirdly.

“Didn’t you just get in?”

Castiel shot him a wan smile. “I’m currently the head of a business I’m trying to dismantle. I’m sure it can wait.”


Chapter Text

Sam was dropped off, the car ride stiff and ever so slightly uncomfortable, but Castiel was telling himself it could have been worse. Certainly wasn’t going to be as bad as the talk he was going to have… if he could ever convince himself to take the final step into Dean’s room already.

It was when a nurse was coming out, the door swinging wide open and Dean inevitably catching a glance of him that Castiel knew he couldn’t procrastinate any longer. Taking a deep breath and wishing he’d brought his briefcase with him if at least to give his hands something to do, Castiel caught the door before it could slip all the way shut and pushed his way in.

Looking up from where he was in a more reclined position on the hospital bed, Dean smiled faintly. It was more than Castiel was hoping for, regardless, so feeling ever so slightly boisterous than before, Castiel slipped into the chair that was ever present beside the bed.

“Hey.” Dean’s voice was low, sleep-quiet, and Castiel steadfastly ignored the last time he remembered hearing Dean’s voice like this but in far more different circumstances. 

“Hello, Dean.”

The two fell silent, both of them clearly unwilling to break the silence first. But there was no way Castiel was going to start first – that wasn’t what he was here for, anyway.

“So… you kinda ran off on us yesterday.” Dean finally said, not looking at Castiel.

“I assumed you hadn’t wished for me to remain.” Castiel repeated his words from earlier, if a little more truthful to Dean this time. However, Dean only seemed to be pained by his words.

“Nahh, Cas. I didn’t – I just wanted to see my brother, and reassure the kid and stuff, but. I wasn’t trying to kick you out.” Castiel let his head hang low, unsure of why Dean’s words caused guilt and remorse to fill him this time. “I actually wanted to talk to you a little more before, you know, you left.”

“I apologize,” Castiel said sincerely, daring to look up. “It was wrong of me to assume… anything, really.”

Dean cocked his head, regarding Castiel curiously. “Yeah, it kinda was, but it’s not like it’s any biggie. I didn’t ask you to come to rag you about that.”

Castiel shuffled uncomfortably on his seat, digging his hands into his pants. “Yes… you and Sam both mentioned that you wished to speak to me?”

Dean hummed, biting his lip in an obvious attempt to distract himself, but if anything, it only distracted Castiel as he fought the urge to lean forward and soothe Dean’s lip with his thumb in an attempt to stop him from tearing up the delicate skin.

“Sam – and, well, I guess me too, because of what I said, really – told me that you… you’re not doing so bad.”

Castiel frowned, trying to figure out where the conversation was turning. “I… suppose? I was not intending to be lax with my promise to undo my mother’s doings. Admittedly, it has been more trying and time consuming than I’d originally wished, but progress is progress, which is what I’ve been managing to hold onto.” Castiel shrugged, breaking eye contact with Dean again.

Dean nodded. “Yeah, can’t imagine that’s been fun.” He said dryly, and Castiel chuckled humorlessly, his shoulders slumping as he was reminded of the burden he’d been carrying for what already felt like an eternity.

“No, it really hasn’t.” He responded quietly.

Things fell quiet again, but this time, Castiel was relieved to realize that it felt less stifling, even comfortable to a point, compared to earlier. That being established, he still refused to initialize the conversation. He was letting Dean completely and utterly have the reins here, and he wasn’t going to do anything to change what he was already content with. It seemed to be working fine so far anyway.

“Apart from that, though?” Castiel lifted his head to see Dean peering at him, his expression unreadable. “I mean, as much as I know I implied that the whole business side of you mattered, what about just… the normal Cas?”

Castiel stiffened, dread causing ice to creep through his torso. “What about… him?” He asked warily.

Dean sighed, gritting his teeth as he looked to the side. Castiel wondered if perhaps, Dean wasn’t going to answer, because he certainly didn’t look like he was going to, when Dean broke through his thoughts, voice so quiet that he only just managed to catch Dean’s words.

“My alpha mate, Cas. How is he doing?”

He could have howled at Dean’s words. As it was, the ice was chased away by fiery flames rushing through him, setting his whole body alight, nerves and extremities tingling. To hear Dean refer to Castiel as his alpha … if this were centuries ago, Castiel would have let his control slip to transform into his wolf form, because surely his human body wasn’t enough to contain all this joy.

Externally, Castiel took a deep breath. He knew his scent was already betraying him, but he didn’t dare to think how far away he’d push Dean if he dared to show his emotions through his body language and tone as well. His response, however, was enough to sober him, once he realized what he had to say if he wished to continue remaining truthful to Dean.

The idea of anything otherwise was something that didn’t even cross Castiel’s mind.

“I’ve been better,” Castiel said softly. He wasn’t sure how far he would be allowed to elaborate. Actually, Castiel wasn’t sure he’d feel comfortable going into the details himself when their relationship – if it could even be called that – was still so tenuous. “I have been trying to get by,” he admitted, scrutinizing his fingers with an unneeded amount of concentration as he picked at them. “Some days are fine, others not so much. Immersing myself in my work, I’ve come to realize, is quite literally the only thing that has been getting me through my day.”

Absently, Castiel only just realized that the machines were still beeping softly in the background, and he gratefully clung to it with his senses, needing to focus on a sound other than the ringing silence that followed.

And then Dean sighed. “I kind of hate you right now,” he said so casually, as if he hadn’t just crushed Castiel’s entire existence with those little words. “Should probably hate you a lot more, too. Except I can’t. ‘Cause I know exactly what you’re talking about. Hell, I probably wouldn’t even get up some days if it weren’t for the fact that this lil tyke,” he pointed at his swollen belly, “makes me upchuck whatever I managed to get in for dinner.” Dean inhaled heavily. “Work’s your distraction, this guy is mine.” Dean muttered reluctantly. “So, yeah. I kinda hate that you’ve been making me feel this way, and I hate how just having you here is enough to make me feel like the part of me that I’ve been missing is finally in front of me again. But you’re still sitting here, and I still want you to stay here.” He shrugged again, looking anywhere but at Castiel as he continued on with his casual demeanor fixed firmly in place. “I don’t want you to leave as much as I just wanna punch you in the face, so.”

Castiel closed his eyes, taking a deep breath. The instant hit of the hospital’s sterile scent had him internally recoiling, but underneath it all was Dean, calm with only a hint of the turmoil he must be going through, and Castiel greedily inhaled deeper, trying to get more while he still could. “I’m sorry.” He said again, just as genuine as the last time, if not more so. “If there was anything I could do for you to not feel this way, I hope you know that I would do so without hesitation.” He opened his eyes to find Dean staring at him, his mask still preventing Castiel from getting a proper read on him.

Belatedly, he figured that because he never bothered to put on his own scent blockers, Dean was probably getting a much better read on Castiel than he was on Dean. Strangely, or perhaps not so strangely, Castiel was comforted by the thought.

“Actually, there is something…” Dean started. Before he could elaborate, the door opened, and Castiel was already turning around to snarl at the intruder, when the doctor walked in.

“Ah, Mr. Winchester. Glad to catch you while you’re still awake. I have some good news for you, young man!” Castiel didn’t have to look at Dean to know he was sporting a skeptically raised eyebrow, but that was possibly because he was trying to fight off a similar reaction of his own. 

“Yeah? I could do with some good news, doc.” Dean said. While Castiel was still trying to figure out why Dean’s words were sending foreboding chills through him again, the doctor came to a stop at the foot of Dean’s bed as he flipped through the stack of papers held together only by the clipboard.

“Well, your vitals are more stable, which is as best as we could hope for. And although we’re still a little concerned over the position of the fetus, I’m happy to say that it has been moved to something far less frightening for the foreseeable future. So ultimately, while we would still have you under bedrest and most definitely superveillance, I’m pleased to announce that you’re ready to be discharged, Mr. Winchester.” The doctor looked up, beaming at them both. “Ultimately, I’d just advise you to stay safe and stick to some last minute rules, and then I hope you don’t take offense when I say I don’t want to see you here again until your due date!” He finished off his declaration with a wink to top it all off, and Castiel was sure that whatever breakdown he had yesterday wasn’t enough to get it out of his system. There was no way the doctor actually winked at them… right?

Thankfully, it was Dean who managed to recollect himself enough to respond first. “Sure. Yeah, whatever you say doc.” The doctor continued to beam, and Dean clearly faltered before he pushed on. “So you were saying something about final terms and agreements before I can get discharged…?”

“Are you absolutely certain about this?” Castiel said. He’d only waited long enough until he’d pulled into the freeway, but once he was in his lane, he started looking at Dean whenever he could afford to not look at the road. “You really don’t have to do this, I’m sure certain arrangements can be made–”

“Eyes on the road, Cas.” Dean shot, not unkindly. “And if I wasn’t sure, I would’ve kept my trap shut. But I figured, we need to rebond. Which was what I was trying to get to before Dr. Cheery McCheerson came in.” Dean abruptly looked to his side, his hand disappearing between the seat and his door, and a second later, his seat started to recline further until he let out a sigh of relief and stopped. Shuffling around a little more, he didn’t resume talking until he was settled in a comfortable position. “My wise ass of a little brother said we should start things over again, take it slow and all that other herbal tea BS. So I figured, what better way to bond over some chai and cookies, hm?”

Despite Dean’s order, Castiel internally fought with himself to not glance at Dean again. “I’m not entirely sure you moving in with me was what he meant when he suggested we do that.” He also refused to think about how the idea made his inner alpha rumble with joy. He needed to remain clear headed and logical, and that meant going against his alpha’s nature by trying to talk Dean out of whatever he was saying. Because there was no way anything good could come out of Dean moving in with Castiel, not right now.

“Yeah, well. I’m not comfortable with the idea of anyone else keeping an eye on this fine piece of ass right here, and before you say anything, Sammy’s out of the question. Kid’s been missing out on enough as it is, there’s no way I’m gonna hold him back any further just ‘cause someone needs to watch me sleep.” Dean grumbled. He lifted his arms, pillowing them behind his head as he shuffled again, grumbling to himself a bit when his belly clearly deprived him of finding a suitable position for long in the passenger seat, and once again, Castiel also wondered why he hadn’t argued further on the subject of Dean sitting in the backseat, where he definitely would have had more space to move as he wished.

However, one argument at a time, even though Castiel’s methodical planning of his words were intended for anything but an argument.

“Are you sure you don’t want to at least call your brother and notify him at the very least?”

“He doesn’t get out of class for another hour and then some. I’ll call him when we get home. Now shut up and lemme get some rest.”

Despite his last sentence, Castiel was still glowing at hearing Dean call his place home.

Dean did manage to fall asleep by the time Castiel was pulling into his driveway, so he was a grumbly mess that Castiel knew could turn into anger at any moment. Surprisingly, it still didn’t take him much to remind Dean that he needed to call his brother, and he left him to it while he set about trying to frantically clean up his home.

Sure, he was still counting on Sam to have some sort of issue with Dean staying here, so he wasn’t going to bother setting up the spare bedroom quite yet… yet still he found himself occasionally throwing things that would be required to keep someone comfortable whenever he came across such a thing in his attempt at a frenzied cleaning spree.

By the time Dean stepped beyond the entryway, phone no longer attached to an ear which he was sharply hissing into, the place was looking far more livable, and not at all like it needed to be seen to by people in hazmat suits.

“So, Sam’s gonna come over after his classes, if you’re cool with that.” Dean said, pocketing his phone.

Castiel stood upright, back stiff as he gave Dean his full attention. “Of course, Dean.” He didn’t expect any less, and was pretty sure that Sam would be carting Dean back to their apartment when Sam did get here.

Until then, Dean collapsed onto the couch with a slight huff, struggling to get his feet on the coffee table. Before Castiel could move forward to assist him, Dean managed the move himself, letting his muscles relax as he slumped with a sigh of relief against the couch.

“Uhm,” Castiel shuffled around in place uncertainly. “Is there anything you’d like for me to get you? Water, something to eat?”

Dean waved a hand without lifting his head to look at Castiel. “Nah. I think I’m just gonna rest for a bit… maybe take a shower later? Wanna get this hospital stink off me, and then maybe we’ll see about something I can eat without hurling.” He looked up to cast a wry grin at Castiel over his shoulder, and then raised an eyebrow when he took in Castiel still standing awkwardly. “Sit down or something, will you? You’re making me restless just looking at you.” 

Unbidden, Castiel’s feet dragged him to the armchair adjacent to the sofa without his permission, but he was already sitting down before he could talk himself out of it.

“You’re absolutely sure you don’t want anything?” Castiel couldn’t help but ask again, but at Dean’s dry glare, he wisely chose to shut up after that.

Sure enough, minutes had barely passed before Dean’s eyes were starting to droop. Smiling slightly to himself, Castiel stood, Dean jolting upright abruptly, but when Castiel only went to retrieve his briefcase and sit back down again, he slumped again, watching with half-lidded eyes as Castiel pulled his laptop out.

“Work?” He mumbled.

Castiel quirked the corners of his lips up in an imperceptible smile. “Don’t mind me. I’ve just got some of my mother’s finances to ruin here, but you go ahead and sleep.”

Dean stared at Castiel with a strange look on his face again, before shrugging. “You do you.” He said, before promptly letting his eyes fall close all the way. Soon, the only sound to fill the living room was Dean’s heavy breathing, a steady background to Castiel’s occasional typing and frequent clickings of his mouse.

As much as looking at report after file report was enough to immediately spring a headache, Castiel was nonetheless sucked into his work pretty quickly, and he barely noticed the time passing as he worked at eliminating and dismantling his mother’s lifelong work one step at a time. It was slow and tedious work, combined with the requirement of scrutinizing every line of the fine print, so when Dean started to rouse just as the sun was setting, Castiel was long ready for a break.

Saving his work and making sure to send Duma a draft of what he’d managed so far to go over with her later, he put away his laptop, standing and stretching just as Dean pried his eyes open, blinking blearily.

“How long was I out?” He mumbled as he straightened slowly, rubbing at his eyes. Tearing his eyes away from a softened Dean from sleep, he glanced at the wall clock, surprising himself.

“A good few hours,” Castiel said. “Sam should probably be arriving at any time now. Would you like to take a shower first, or perhaps try eating something?”

Dean grimaced, pushing himself up from the sofa with no small amount of difficulty. Castiel stepped forward faster this time, but his attempts at helping was batted away by an irked Dean. “Shower first. I feel disgusting.” He said shortly.

Taken aback at the abrupt change in Dean, Castiel took a step back, giving Dean his space. “Of course. Let me just get things ready for you.” He didn’t wait for a response, walking straight to his bedroom. In front of his dresser, he paused, unsure how welcome a change of clothes that belonged to himself would be welcome. Chewing on his lip, Castiel mentally shrugged to himself. If Dean chose to wear the clothes he provided, he’d wash Dean’s clothes so he could get back into his own clothes as soon as he wanted. Besides, it wasn’t like Dean was going to stay for long, anyhow.

Grabbing a hoodie and a sweatpants he was sure that Dean shouldn’t find much to complain about, he paused to grab a towel and some other toiletries before walking into the connected bathroom. Replacing everything in there with what he was carrying, he walked out of his room, his own toiletries in hand, only to bump into Dean.

“Uh,” he took a step back, putting a solid few more feet of space between them. “I’ve kept everything you might need in the bathroom. Feel free to use whatever, and take as long as you want. If Sam arrives, I’ll let him in in case you have yet to finish.”

Dean frowned down at the pile in Castiel’s hands though. “Isn’t that your stuff?”

Even though he knew what was in his hands, the downward glance was more instinctive to check that the objects remained the same.

“Ah, yes.” He tilted his head. “I figured that you might prefer the master bedroom, it is more spacious and all.”

“Okay,” Dean dragged out, still looking confused. “Still doesn’t explain why you have half your bathroom supplies with you.”

Castiel adamantly refused to blush. “I was just going to move everything to the guest bathroom.” He said, a little stiffly. He was hoping Dean wouldn’t ask him to elaborate, even though he guessed he would have responded one way or another without – hopefully – upsetting Dean. It was his idea after all to take things slow, and to move in even more so. Thankfully, Dean seemed to comprehend what Castiel was getting at, because he nodded, a slight flush on his own cheeks as he rubbed at the back of his neck. His other hand remained cradling the bottom of the swell of his belly, most likely an attempt at supporting some of the weight that was already straining his back.

“Ah. Right. Yeah, okay. But – man, you realize I can take the other room, right? I don’t want to kick you out of your comfort zone here.”

But Castiel was already shaking his head, a more genuine smile readily coming to his face. “Believe me, it’s no problem at all. I’d feel more comfortable knowing that you’re as relaxed as I can get you to be. Really. And besides, the other bedroom doesn’t have a memory foam mattress.” He couldn’t help but add slyly. Sure enough, he knew he had won when Dean groaned, rolling his eyes amicably.

“Fine. Whatever. Your loss I guess.” But he was grinning anyway, and practically beaming at this point, Castiel stepped out of the way, letting Dean pass by so they could resume on their way.

By the time he could hear the shower starting up, water rushing through the pipes audible even through the thick walls, Castiel had finally finished setting everything up. For all that it was to be temporary, with things in place, he had a feeling he wasn’t going to bother moving things back anytime soon. Not like it mattered much or made a difference to Castiel. With how much time he was spending at the office, he was living there more than he was at his own home. And with the amount of work he still had remaining, he may as well start packing a suitcase and just set up a more definite of a temporary base at his office. 

Moving into the kitchen, he perused the items in his fridge, wondering what he could make that would appeal best to Dean without triggering his nausea. He was just starting to take a bunch of random things out tentatively when the doorbell rang. Setting things onto the counter, he absently wiped his hands on his pants, making a mental note to change into something more comfortable later, as he went to get the door. He didn’t bother looking through the peephole, as he knew the only person to visit him right now would be Sam. And there the alpha stood, looking weary yet simultaneously alert as Castiel opened the door. 

“Is Dean here?” He said, straight to the point. Nodding, Castiel easily stepped back, opening the door wider to allow Sam inside. He entered, shoulder bag almost slipped as he bumped into the doorframe, and Castiel eyed him warily.

“Are you alright?” Sam waved a dismissive hand, not unlike his brother at all, as he came further in, walking past the entryway and peering into the living room. “He’s in the bathroom, showering.” Castiel said, before Sam could ask. Nodding, Sam straightened, looking back at Castiel, hands tucked into his pockets. He managed to make the casual look stressed, but Castiel couldn’t blame him.

“So, what exactly did the doctor say? I mean, Dean did tell me, but I wouldn’t put it past him to have glossed over the important shit.”

Castiel huffed with amusement, walking past Sam to lead him back into the kitchen. Grabbing a water bottle, he pushed it towards Sam as he sat on the barstool at the island, letting his bag slump to the ground. “I’m not sure what he told you, but there wasn’t really much to tell in the first place. The doctor let us know that he’s to still stay in bedrest, keep things easy until his due date preferably. Apart from that and onto the more technical aspects, the position of the fetus, while having moved, combined with the placenta’s positioning as well, is still somewhat worrying. But there has been an improvement, which the doctors are trying to emphasize as a positive aspect of things. The fact remains though, that Dean must absolutely not stress or overwork himself in any way, and if possible, to avoid moving around too much as it might prove strenuous to the fetus and trigger an early labor.”

Sam’s eyes had been steadily creeping up until they were almost touching his hairline by the time Castiel finished talking. “Yeah, he really skimmed over some of the details.” Sam muttered. Holding the water bottle to his head, he slouched on the island, eyebrows drawn together in thought. Castiel waited patiently, his own mind drifting to the food behind him, when Sam spoke up again.

“Okay, so he came home with you – why exactly?”

His cheeks started to heat up before Castiel could even think the question through, but he forced himself to maintain eye contact with Sam as he replied. “The doctor had also advised that he was not to be left alone while under bedrest – most likely to ensure that the bedrest was implemented – and they weren’t exactly going to discharge him when he was alone…”

“So he said he was with you?” Sam filled in, and Castiel nodded. Then he grimaced when he realized Sam hadn’t gotten the complete picture yet.

“He, uh. Also was talking about how since you mentioned that we should start… talking again, or whatnot, he said that there possibly wasn’t a better opportunity than this.” He fought to make sure his voice wasn’t trailing off by the end, but it was a near thing. Sam’s eyebrows were rising again, and then he winced.

“Oh, man. He told me on the phone not to worry about today because of my classes, which is probably why he came here with you. And yeah, I might’ve mentioned that things have been hectic lately, and let me guess – he didn’t wanna impose on his own brother.” He stated, looking flatly at Castiel. Silently, Castiel nodded, and Sam face palmed. “Man, sorry, I guess he wasn’t thinking about how busy you probably were too. I mean, I can’t really imagine, but you’ve been on the news almost everyday, and the amount of progress you’ve been making is pretty insane, so–”

Castiel cut him off. “I assure you, Sam. If you’re worried that I might not be able to continue working with Dean at home, then there’s no need to be. I can still get a significant amount of work completed from home itself, and it wouldn’t make much of a difference. I have a few employees who’d be willing to accomodate me should I inform them of my need to work from home for a while, if need be.” He said.

Sam tilted his head, frowning at Castiel again. “I mean, not exactly what I was pointing at, although, yeah, that’s good to know. But I was trying to get at how I wouldn’t want to bother you with Dean. Yeah, I told him you’d probably be chill with working things out a little, but I didn’t think you’d be completely fine with him moving in again – or that he’d be cool with that as a matter of fact, either.”

He, is right here.” Dean’s voice suddenly broke through, and the two alphas startled, turning to see Dean walk into the kitchen. Hair still damp but dressed in the clothes Castiel had set out for him, he admittedly did look fresher than when he’d just gotten discharged. Castiel figured that with a little food, Dean would be pretty much all set for the day. “And didn’t I already go over this with you guys? I’m fine with staying here, last I checked, Cas didn’t look like he was gonna blow his top about the whole thing, and other priority wise, you’ve now got the time and space to catch up on your shit, Sammy. And like Cas said, he can still stay on top of things from here, right, Cas?” He glanced at Castiel as if for confirmation. And like he’d been doing all this time, he went with Dean’s lead and just nodded along without a word in protest. He’d let the brothers figure this out, because Castiel wasn’t going to get involved and try to mess around with things.

“And you’re sure Cas isn’t just saying that to be polite, Dean?” There was something in Sam’s tone that implied that there was more to his words that Castiel wasn’t privy to. He took in what he could from the brothers’ words, tones, and body language. Because right now, Sam was stiff and his eyes were narrowed his eyes at Dean, the brothers communicating silently as Castiel had soon come to learn they did often. And Dean was just rolling his eyes, although his equally stiff body and crossed arms belief the casualness of his facial expression.

When it seemed like they were going to say nothing more aloud anytime soon, Castiel reluctantly decided to step in, taking a step forward literally and drawing the brothers’ attention to himself. “It really isn’t a problem for Dean to stay here.” He said. “As long as the two of you are absolutely comfortable with that, then I don’t have any reservations. Dean is welcome here for as long as he wants.”

They both stared at him, eyes narrowed, and standing under their combined near glares, a bead of sweat trickled down Castiel’s spine. He may have inherited his mother’s formidable status and knowledge as a businessman, but there was something Herculean about the Winchesters themselves, and he wondered if they were aware of how much power they could wield – if they decided to show their skill in something along the lines of business… if more legitimate, this time.

Sam straightened in his chair, his expression cooling. “Alright then. Guess if y’all are so damn convinced that it’s all good, then I’m not going to say anything. Although, you better know I’m definitely going to be dropping by everytime I can.”

Dean scoffed, but his own arms loosened as well, going back to cradling his large belly. “As if I’d expect anything different. Just don’t break into the damn house if we don’t open the door fast enough for your Highness.”

So, things were settled just like that, then. Castiel found himself with a new roommate that he had to actively stay at home to keep an eye on. A new roommate who smelled like heaven, and elicited something along the lines of a Pavlovian response in Castiel. His mind always went on a distracted daze around Dean, thoughts drifting back and forth between nostalgic memories he already had, and fantasies of what more he wished he could do to Dean… pulling himself from those thoughts always felt like he was tearing a vital part of himself out, and only served to land Castiel in a deeper funk and stinking up the place. At those moments, Dean’s immediate discomfort reflecting back at him was like a hard smack in the head for Castiel. He was thankful Dean hadn’t asked what his problem was yet, but it was only a matter of time with the amount of times he had to excuse himself every day. On the other hand, he wished he could have said he was getting more than enough work done so things were at least going fine on that front, but the truth was that with how distracted he was, the only reports he managed to finish by the day – which was nowhere near the amount he was supposed to be getting done – was only half coherent at best, and had nothing to do with the reports at worst.

Castiel had better days, but for the life of him, he couldn’t remember when that last was.

Dean was starting to get agitated. Well, that as well as pissed, annoyed, bored as hell, and especially all of that with how he barely had the energy to move around as much as he wanted to these days. But it was all mostly directed at Castiel. He knew, damn it, they both knew and agreed to Dean moving in so that they could bond again, in a not scent or mating way. However, the guy was so friggin’ moody whenever he was around Dean, that all Dean could think was how whatever had Castiel down was putting him down as well, and he couldn’t think of anything to say fast enough for them to actually got talking because, oh yeah, Castiel would soon disappear and stay disappeared the other half of the time.

Okay, maybe on second thought, Dean was more pissed than anything. Plus, the fact that he was supposed to stay in bed, and had nothing to entertain him? The TV and all the books Castiel plied with him stayed captivating for only so long, before Dean craved human interaction, apart from his brother. Sure, his brother was more than enough, but he was living in the goddamn guy’s house, the least they could do was have dinner together? Which… actually wasn’t a bad thought. Dean may not have been able to go around cooking like he’d have much rather done, but he could order a pizza from his bed, and if Castiel had to get the pizza for and to him, then Dean could force the alpha to give him some company. Dean was done waiting, and he’d given Cas this long to come around on his own, but now, it was time for him to use the big guns, and whether or not he actually wanted to use them himself was a different matter.

Smirking to himself, Dean grabbed his cell, sprawling out on his bed as he cheerily dialled up the nearest pizzeria. 

Half an hour later, there was a cautious knock on his doorframe, Castiel peering through with weary eyes. “Dean?”

Dean glanced up from his word game, trying to contain his smirk into a smile that he hoped translated to something more curious and welcoming instead. “Yep?”

Castiel paused, looking at something in his arms which were out of sight because his head was really the only thing Dean could see, but Dean didn’t have to see it to know that Cas was most likely carrying the pizza box he’d ordered. “Did you order a… meat lovers pizza with mushrooms and pineapples?”

Dean perked up, exuding more enthusiasm than he’d been mentally preparing himself to display. Now that he thought about it, he genuinely was more hungry than he thought, and the smell of the pizza was heavenly as it wafted through to his nose. Pushing himself upright, Dean stretched out his arms, making grabby hands.

“Is it here?” He said, and Castiel glanced back and forth between Dean and the pizza, obviously hesitant to walk all the way in, but thankfully whatever smart part of Castiel’s brain existed won over, and he stepped forward. “Mm,” Dean closed his eyes, taking a deep whiff of the wonderful aroma of tomato sauce, cheese, and the wild assortment of toppings. “Didja pay the pizza guy?” He inquired without looking up.

“I, yes. Would you like a plate?” Castiel stood a good few feet away from the bed, and that just wasn’t going to do. 

“Hell, no. What do you take me for, a heathen? We’re doing this the good old fashioned way and eating out of the box like real men, Cas. Now sit the fuck down and eat with me.” 

“Uh, are you sure–”

“Yes, I’m damn sure we don’t need frigging plates. Besides, we got napkins,” he held up the stack of napkins the pizza guy was thoughtful to provide along with feta cheese and crushed red pepper packets, and mm yes, good to know the guy didn’t forget the sauces. “We got water,” he tilted his head to the water bottles sitting on his nightstand. “I think we’re good.” He pointedly said, and promptly started opening up all the sauces and packets, pouring a decent amount of everything on a slice of pizza. “Sit down already, you’re starting to look constipated.” He ordered, and even shuffled a bit, holding the box so that he could sit cross legged before placing the box in the space his legs vacated, giving Castiel more than enough room to join him.

Again, it took Castiel way too long to follow through, but Dean didn’t miss out on the glare he sent for his final comment. It was the most he’d gotten out of Castiel that wasn’t akin to a kicked, drowned, and abandoned puppy, and Dean was taking it as a win. Sitting down and looking absolutely uncomfortable about the entire thing, Dean shoved his slice at him so that there was nothing Cas could do but accept the slice, effectively keeping him in place, in Dean’s opinion. Taking out another slice, he sprinkled some more cheese and pepper, pouring the sauces again in the exact order as he did for the one now in Cas’s hands, he was soon taking a ravenous bite and emitting a delighted moan as it hit his taste buds in all the right spots. Castiel shot him a strange look for that, one that normally would have had Dean smirking and starting to wantonly up his game. There were too many factors that had Dean pausing and backing up instead, though. Riling Cas up was never in his gameplan, more so when he just wanted to have a conversation with the guy. One that didn’t have him bolt, which Cas looked ready to do in T minus five…

“So how’s the ‘dismantling your mother’s legacy’ going?” He said through a mouthful of pizza.

Castiel frowned at the sight, but didn’t say anything. Dean almost wished he had. “It’s… been going. Progressing, as always. But I still find myself becoming dissatisfied with how long it has been taking. Logically, I understand it is going as fast as it can… considering. But there are many moments when I wish that it was all just done with already, so I can move onto the next phase of my life.” He stared down at his pizza, but still didn’t take a bite. Dean wasn’t too worried, because it looked like he was merely scrutinizing the slice first.

He still paused before taking his next bite though. “‘Next phase?’” He repeated, tone cautious. “Got any plans?”

Castiel smiled softly, starting to raise his slice but not yet taking a bite. “I’d really be happy to go back to teaching. I actually have been dreaming rather wistfully of the prospect of grading students’, as you would say, crappy homework. I’d take over idiotically formed arguments about the reasoning behind, say, Ted Bundy’s actions, over the statistics of 1996’s reports. The only numbers I ever wish to deal with again are grade scores.”

Dean raised his eyebrows, mulling over the thought. Cas finally took in a bite, and immediately froze, face going painfully neutral, and it took a few seconds before he started to methodically chew. He resolutely stared at the wall, not meeting Dean’s eyes, but Dean didn’t miss the pained edge to his gaze. Stifling a laugh as well as some guilt and not having ordered a cheese pizza as well, Dean buried himself in his pizza for a while. Damn, but he was hungry, and he’d probably go back to hating half the toppings on his pizza in only a few hours when he was bringing everything back for the toilet, but for now, it was hitting his cravings just right.

They settled back into silence again, and as comfortable as it was in comparison, Dean was still desperately wracking through his mind to say something else to encourage more conversation. So it took him suitably by surprise, albeit pleasantly so, when Cas spoke up first.

“How is, um… the…” he trailed off, waving a helpless hand at Dean’s belly, eyebrows knitted together. Dean glanced down at himself instinctively, but looked up quickly again to start chuckled.

“The kid? Yeah, he’s been well behaved so far, surprisingly.” Dean leaned back, taking another bite of his pizza thoughtfully. “Hasn’t actually been throwing up as much of a fuss lately, which is cool and all, I mean, there’s only so much I can take. But I’m starting to wonder if maybe I need to be concerned, because kid was constantly throwing a boxing match before my little trip to the hospital…”

Castiel cocked his head to the side, in a move that Dean found himself blinking at, his heart panging as he realized just how much he’d missed seeing the alpha do that. “I’m sure everything is fine, otherwise the doctor would have said something… He?”

Dean raised his eyebrows at Castiel, but caught on before Cas needed to elaborate. “Oh, yeah. We actually don’t know for sure, never bothered to ask the doctor and decided, why not a surprise, yeah? And don’t get me wrong, but I actually have no idea if the kid is a he. I mean, I call the tyke a ‘him’ most of the time, but there are times when I call the kid a ‘she,’ so…” He cast a helpless grin, a shy note to his shrug even as he winked at Cas in good nature. 

Castiel’s grin was slow to bloom, but it still hit full blast, something wistful in his eyes as he settled his gaze on Dean’s belly, pizza long forgotten in his hands. Dean didn’t bother disturbing him, content to munch on his pizza and letting the alpha take in his fill of his enlarged belly.

Sam came over that night as always, took one look at the pizza box that was still half full, and promptly grimaced.

“Mushrooms and pineapples? Seriously, Dean?” He questioned. Dean only grinned, completely unrepentant. He was in a good mood, and so far, nothing could change that.

“Tastes like heaven to the kid, so tastes like heaven for the Om. Don’t knock it till you try it, at least.” Sam casted it another glance filled with distrust, and swiftly shook his head.

“Yeah, no, I think I’m good. Did Cas eat?”

Dean hummed. “Yeah, like two bites in the time it took me to eat three slices. He took it downstairs, saying he was gonna get a plate. Came back empty handed, though, so…” he casually shrugged. Sam didn’t look too impressed.

“Jeez, Dean. Did he even eat anything?” But Sam didn’t bother waiting for a reply, already standing up again. His bookbag was tossed to a corner with his jacket, and Sam left it there as he started to make his way to the door. “I’m gonna see if there’s something actually edible. Ugh,” hr grimaced, though Dean knew it was more for show. “I kinda feel sorry for the guys who had to make you this.” He said, already halfway out of the door.

“Don’t knock it till you try it!” Dean repeated, calling out to him. And then he huffed, crossing his arms as he tentatively sat up. “Seriously getting bored of this confinement shit. Feels like I’m under house arrest.” He grumbled more to himself as he made his way to the restroom, irritation steadily increasing until he finished relieving himself. By the time he came back out, Sam was still nowhere to be found in his room, and mentally deciding to screw it, he slowly made his way to the kitchen. Once there, he found Sam throwing things around in the kitchen, Castiel glaring holes through his laptop screen, hands bracing his forehead, hair an erratic mess. Neither of them had noticed them, and he took the time to just stand there and watch, leaning against the wall as he eagerly drank in the sight of Castiel. The alpha was thoroughly immersed in whatever he was looking at, that he barely flinched when Sam set a pot a little too harshly on the granite counter. As much as he would have preferred to stay in the background a little longer, Dean decided to step in at that moment, because his brother had already spent too much time without supervision as it was.

“Sammy, put the goods down and step back before you make Cas’s kitchen explode.” They both startled, heads whipping up and around to stare at Dean, their wide eyed looks comical in their similarity.

“Aren’t you supposed to be resting?”

“Dean, what’re you doing here?” Sam said at the same time as Castiel. Rolling his eyes, Dean pushed away from the wall, moving forward and gently shoving his brother out of the way. Perusing the items on the counter, he was tempted to smack his brother. Deciding nothing was holding him back, Dean promptly did so, relishing with a grin at his brother’s pained yelp.

“Making sure you don’t explode the kitchen, dumbass.” Dean repeated. “Dude, why the hell do you have three different oils out?” He said, bewildered. 

“I… was gonna put the stuff I wouldn’t need after I was done getting things out…?”

Shaking his head, Dean gathered two of the oils, moving around his brother to put them back. “Yeah, and I’m the head chef at a five star restaurant. Actually, between the three of us, I could probably pull the role off more than you guys. Quit acting like you know what you’re doing and sit down. I have no idea what the fuck you were trying to make, but I’m sure I can make a steak better than you on any day.” He said.

Sam gave him a bemused look as he shook his head, but at least he was already moving out of his way, rounding the island to join Castiel on the other side of it. “Control freak.” He said, though his voice was jovial to let Dean know there wasn’t any real bite to his words.

“And you like me that way.” Dean said with a wink.

Sam huffed. “Whatever, jerk. I’m gonna go get my bag. If you’re taking over, I might as well get some work done. You will not believe how much of a mental lunatic my professor actually is.” Sam mentioned. He was already starting to disappear presumably to Dean’s room, so he didn’t bother to reply apart from a quickly shouted, ‘bitch.’

When he turned around to put a few more random items he seriously doubted Sam even knew what they were, he found Castiel staring at him curiously. “What?” Dean said pretty instinctively, a little shocked to be the recipient of Cas’s full focus. “Do I have something on my face?”

Cas was quick to shake his head. “No, no. It’s just… your relationship with your brother…”

Dean narrowed his eyes when Cas trailed off, not continuing. “What about it?”

“It’s admirable,” Castiel finished, a soft smile overtaking his features. And despite how ragged he still looked, the smile was enough to make a significant difference in making the alpha look a lot lighter.

He didn’t really know why the words made him flush, but they did. Thankfully, he was saved from having to come up with a reply when Sam came back, nose already in a book and bag barely hanging on to his shoulder.

“Watch where you’re walking, bigfoot.” Dean said, just as Sam hip checked the corner of the island.

Cas pressed his lips into a flat line to avoid smiling. Dean just rolled his eyes again as Sam hissed, narrowly avoiding dropping his book as he automatically pressed a hand to where he was undoubtedly going to have a bruise later. “Idiot.”

Sam said nothing, merely flipping him the bird as he opted to take the barstool next to Cas, letting his book flop onto the table. Straightening his arm down, he let his bag slide to the ground rather uncaringly.

Dean cocked an eyebrow at the harsh thud of it, letting the onions spread out a little further as he brought over a cutting board to the island. “Aren’t those textbooks too expensive to be ditched like a prom date?”

Sam pushed a stray onion away from his textbook with an irritated glance at Dean. “Only books in there are from Professor Benton. The guy is a psychopath, Dean, I swear. I still don’t get how he’s even tenured!”

Dean hummed, making sure the tomatoes were rinsed and nearby as well before he set to chopping. “Yeah? What’d he do this time, bring in an actual corpse to display all the ways it’s been illegally murdered or something?”

Sam groaned, and Dean grinned. He knew he was in for a good story time by his brother, and having it as a steady stream of background chattering while he rambled around doing his thing was always a perfect day in his books. Add to the fact that Castiel had pretty much abandoned his own laptop and was listening intently to Sam regaling them on his Professor’s insanity of the day… Dean felt a warm glow in his chest, and if he listened closely, he could’ve sworn it was telling him it was all due to him being surrounded by his family.

Abruptly frowning, he bent his head down and buried himself in the task of chopping the onions into nice and tiny pieces. His eyes soon began to sting, courtesy of the acid, and it was a welcome distraction from the intrusive thought. Not that it was unwelcome… but it was definitely something Dean was far from ready to deal with.

With the onions done, Dean tuned back in to hear Cas now engaging Sam in his conversation, asking questions in ernest about one class or the other. Dean went back to letting their voices flowing over him as he walked around, exchanging the onions for the tomatoes while getting a frying pan on the stove. Pouring a little bit of oil in it – the sole bottle he left out after putting back the half of Castiel’s kitchen that Sam took out – he started up the stove and put the onions in before returning to the tomatoes. The entire time, Sam and Cas kept talking, all the while the kitchen started to smell of the ingredients Dean was tossing in. At one point, Castiel’s stomach rumbled louder than their voices, and everyone paused before the brothers started laughing, Cas joining in a beat later with red stained cheeks, if a little muted. 

“Man, I guess the pizza was that bad, huh?” Dean finally said, once their laughter started to die down. Cas winced, but it was Sam who replied first.

“Dean, no offense, but I’m not trusting you to order anything else for us anything that kid is out. At least the kitchen smells good, or we’d probably have to kick you out of here too before you kicked Cas out of his own home.”

Dean turned his nose up at that. “Screw you, that pizza was amazing. And, I still haven’t thrown it back up, so that’s gotta count for something.”

“Have you been vomiting frequently?” Castiel asked, bringing the attention back onto him. “I noticed that you have had the occasional bouts of nausea since you’ve arrived, but the doctor had informed me that it was to be normal…”

Dean frowned, momentarily halting in his actions of stirring what was in the pan as he turned around to look at Cas. “You been talking to the doc behind my back, Cas?”

Castiel let a slightly pained expression flit across his face, although his tone was dry when he responded. “Would you have rather I talked to the doctor in your presence as he cheerily informed us of what all could be passed off as normal during your pregnancy as if he was reading off a list of Sam’s grades?”

Sam frowned in mock displeasure for that, but Dean let out a short bark of laughter. “You got me there.” He admitted, turning back to the stove. “And anyway, yeah, some mornings are not so great, but I think I’ve been getting better.” He shrugged, finally moving to the steaks he let marinate before he’d started with anything else. “Haven’t been trying to focus on it or anything, was kinda afraid to jinx it, you know?” He asked, rhetorically.

Castiel hummed. “That’s understandable.” Things quieted down after that, and Dean just let himself drift off, hands automatically taking over. Sam must have started to actually work at one point, because apart from the smell of disgruntled alpha, and the small noises of frustration Sam occasionally let out, there was nothing else on his end. When Dean turned around to get some curry leaves from the island, Castiel was back to staring at his computer, but his eyes were glassy. There probably wasn’t much going on behind them, so maybe dinner would help boost the alpha. Or he ate a large enough portion to get to bed, because he still looked tired. By the time Dean was adding the finishing touches to the steak – which from a non-pregnant point of view, Dean thought it could be passable – Castiel looked like he was going to start drooling at any moment from exhaustion. Sam, meanwhile, was doodling in the margins of his notebook. Dean shook his head. My, what productive alphas we have here, he thought, the urge to let out a maniacal giggle only just prevented from slipping out. Instead, he started to clear up the island, and soon dropped two steaming plates of steaks in front of them. Sam eagerly looked up, nostrils flaring, and Cas, who’d been resting his head on his palm, startled, his elbow slipping off the island and narrowly avoiding a collision involving his chin and the island’s counter. Dean shot him a concerned look as he passed out the utensils.

“Food that isn’t meant for a craving omega, dig in.” Dean said grandly. “I’m gonna go collapse now.” He said, keeping his tone light. Truth was, his hips had started to protest him staying up a little less than halfway through his cooking endeavor, but he hadn’t been willing to abandon his process. Despite his demeanor, Cas and Sam were already sitting straighter, looking at him with narrowed eyes with worry radiating from them in heavy waves. “I’m fine, just tired.” He tried to wave them off. “My feet aren’t used to carrying around two all the time, so I’mma just go prop them up. Quit being so on edge, you’re starting to stink up my steaks.” He carefully walked past the island, ruffling his brother’s hair as he did so. Sam ducked out of his reach too late, protesting irritatedly, but it was enough of a distraction for him to walk into the living room without any further obstructions.

He still didn’t feel Cas’s eyes causing the hair on the back of his neck to stand on end until he disappeared all the way from their view.

Slowly lowering himself down onto the sofa, he let out a small groan as the pressure was taken off his swollen ankles. Reclining, he sprawled out his legs, tilting his head back until it was resting on the back of the sofa. Closing his eyes, he took a few deep measured breaths, massaging the skin under his belly, trying to ease the ache that made him feel all tight down there. When he felt an answering kick greet his hand, he smiled, eyes still closed. For a while, he sat there, letting his hands roam around to find his kid occasionally poking back at him. He was almost asleep when the sound of someone rapidly approaching had his eyes flying open. Turning his head to the side, he watched, slightly taken aback as Cas strode down the hall furiously, holding his phone to his ear and muttering low curses. His trenchcoat was haphazardly thrown on, and there were a few sheets of paper sticking out from his briefcase held in his other hand. He didn’t even glance at Dean as he walked by, Sam coming out of the kitchen to peer at Castiel’s retreating back warily. The brothers exchanged a look that translated to something along the lines of, ‘What the fuck?’ when Cas came to an abrupt halt in front of his door, letting his head thunk against it. Pulling the phone away from his ear and pressing it to his shoulder, he turned around, an apologetic look taking over his features.

“Dean, Sam, I am so sorry, but I really need to make an urgent stop at work. An emergency of sorts has come up, and I need to deal with it directly. Sam, would you be alright to accompany Dean for a while? I’m not sure how long I’ll be out, and if you don’t mind staying here, you have full access to whatever you need.” He was practically pleading to the other alpha, and Dean was starting to think there was no possible way his own eyes could actually get wider. An alpha pleading to another alpha was almost unheard of, except in the direst situations, and that too in more recent times – for some reason, the first example to pop up in Dean’s head was an unwelcome image of Castiel pleading to an alpha doctor, but he shook off the image before his ever so helpful brain could provide context.

“Dude, yeah, no, you know it’s no problem.” Sam said, taking a few steps closer so that he was now standing in the living room with Dean. “Uh, just… good luck?” He said, unsure. Dean would have snorted at his brother’s weak ass farewell, if it weren’t for the fact that Dean didn’t think he’d have been able to come up with anything better himself.

Cas smiled, a small thing that looked more like a pained grimace. To Dean, it only served to highlight all the tired wrinkles and creases in the alpha’s face, and… did Cas always have that many white hairs gracing his hairline? “Thank you, Sam. I’ll try to text you to let you know when I should be back, as soon as I get an idea myself.” He nodded, paused, and then glanced at Dean, eyes softening. “Goodbye, Dean.”

Something in Dean’s throat caught, and it took him a second to realize it was his breath, stuck on an inhale. “Bye, Cas.”

The door shut with a soft shnick behind the alpha, and for a few seconds, the brothers just stared at it in silence. “So,” Sam broke the silence first. “I have so much homework I feel like that Greek Titan, Atlas. Except instead of the sky, it’s pretty much my entire future that’s on my shoulders.” Dean turned around to frown at his brother, wondering if he needed to start motherhenning, when Sam continued. “Wanna binge watch some mind numbing night-time TV?”

He should really be the responsible older brother and remind Sam why he wanted to get into Stanford. Although, it had been a while since his brother and him had some actual downtime together without one thing or the other hanging over their heads. A few days prior was just too long ago, and technically, Sam was never going to be completely freed from one obligation or the other. So Dean grinned.

“There’s popcorn in the cupboard by the microwave, and I’m pretty sure you know where the beef jerky strips are.”

They must have nodded off at one point, because one moment, Dean was watching a character breaking up with someone he’d have sworn was her brother only minutes before now breaking up with her, and the next, he was blinking blearily as Castiel stumbled through the door. The alpha looked deranged, his clothes and hair in complete and utter disarray, and there were far more papers sticking out of his briefcase this time. Blinking, a closer look revealed that it wasn’t even closed properly, and was most likely only seconds away from opening and spilling its contents all over the entryway’s floor. In Cas’s other hand, was a box full of files, most likely containing more reports for the poor guy to go over. Dean really didn’t envy Castiel, but if he didn’t get Sam off his arm any second soon, he would’ve been ready to challenge Cas for bearing the title of ‘life currently sucks the worst for me.’

Shrugging Sam off until his neck flopped awkwardly to the other side, landing at an awkward angle and effectively waking his brother up, Dean straightened. He just caught sight of the time on a nearby clock when Castiel glanced over at the brothers, pausing and blinking with a classical deer in the headlights look.

“Dude. Were you out the entire night working?” Dean said, tone filled with disbelief. With how Castiel only continued to blink at Dean wearily, no sign of Dean’s question processing in his brain, that answered his question.

Sam yawned, standing up and stretching, only to freeze when he caught sight of the time as well. “Holy shit, Cas. You were.” He stared wide eyed at Cas even as he started to jog towards the kitchen. “I actually have to get home real quick if I wanna take a shower before class.” He called out, reappearing with his book bag, stuffing the notebook and textbook he’d been using the night before back in. “You should get some sleep, Castiel, you look like you’re gonna drop dead on your feet.” He said, voicing Dean’s thoughts as he rounded Cas to bend down and get his shoes. Pulling them on, he looked up at Cas, who was finally starting to look like he was more aware of his surroundings. “I’ll see you guys tonight, yeah?”

When Cas didn’t answer, Dean took over. “Yeah. Bye, Sammy.” Sam smiled at him in return, shot Cas another weird look, and was promptly out the door. The sound of the door slamming behind him, far more louder than when Cas exited the night before, managed to jolt Cas out of his reverie, and he frowned, looking down at the burden in his hands. Mouth curling up in disgust, he let his briefcase fall to the ground, only a little more careful in setting the box down, before he was pulling off his trenchcoat. “You good there, buddy?” Dean dared to ask, bringing Cas’s attention, better attuned now, onto him. Looking up, Cas raised an eyebrow at Dean.

“Not exactly, no.” He didn’t say anything more, instead dropping down to the armchair beside the sofa Dean was camped out on, trenchcoat abandoned beside the briefcase. Dean didn’t think he’d ever seen the alpha so disorganized before. The TV abruptly changed channels, and Cas startled, shoving a hand under him before emerging back with the TV remote, confusion written on his features.

“Right, Sam must’ve tossed the remote there at some point last night. Sorry ‘bout that.” Dean said. Castiel merely shrugged off his apology, his hand dropping back to the armrests as he slumped. He didn’t bother changing the channel again, not that Dean cared. The channel they were on previously had long finished showing anything interesting, and he still wasn’t interested in the news channel that was now on. “So what happened?” Dean said, hesitantly.

Castiel groaned, his head tipping further back. “A report popped up that none of us noticed. We still wouldn’t have noticed it if it weren’t for one of the employees who saw it first. But just our luck, he was a little too loyal to Naomi…” he trailed off, horror washing over his features. Confused, Dean followed his line of sight, turning to the TV.

–only minutes ago. This recent update has put Novak industries in deeper trouble as authorities are starting to get involved. The company’s current CEO has already made his statement, trying to assure the general public that he was doing all his best to remedy the tax evasions committed by the predecessor. But with revelations of the company’s history of illegal activities stretching out to funding conservative parties in Politics, Mr. Castiel Novak will now have to answer to the larger Democratic party fighting against anti-discrimination members of the Republicans. Which leaves us with the question – is Mr. Castiel Novak getting involved with politics? And if so, is this to be his statement as to which side he is siding with?”

“Jesus fucking Christ,” Dean breathed out. A low sound had him whipping around to stare at Cas, who’s eyes were still glued to the screen in horror, as if he was unable to tear his eyes away from the screen, despite how much he must have wanted to. “Cas?” He called out, and that was enough to have Castiel’s head spinning to meet Dean’s gaze. “What the fuck is this?”

Cas’s mouth dropped open, maybe to reply, or maybe in utter helplessness, because he didn’t say anything. Instead, as the news reporter continued to chatter on about all the political ramifications Novak industries was now facing, Castiel only stared at Dean with wide, pleading eyes, as if begging Dean to say something else. But when the alpha said nothing, Dean had had enough. Standing up abruptly, his face pulled into a sneer. “Unbelievable. I don’t get what the hell kind of game you’re playing, but I hope you have a better response for the media the next time I see your mug on TV. In a few hours. Or you can forget everything I said about us starting over.” He snarled, fangs descending as red hot anger started to blur his vision. Whirling around, he stormed off, trying to calm his breathing when a warning kick was aimed particularly viciously at his gut. He truthfully had no idea why he was being so mad, logically, he figured that whatever the hell was going on wasn’t Castiel’s fault, and that the guy was nowhere near the type to side with rednecks if he took a political stand at all. Yet, Dean was still fuming, his teeth gritting so hard his neck was starting to hurt. He needed to get a control on his emotions, he couldn’t let his hormones get the best of him right now… that didn’t stop him from slamming his bedroom door shut behind him, however.

Huffing, nostrils flaring, retreating to bed was in no way appealing to Dean. He knew, dammit he knew he needed to shut his body down before it did so for him. His feet were taking him across his room, back and forth, and for now, Dean went along with his legs, hoping to at least blow off some of his steam. Stretching out his arms and craning his neck, he stopped in front of his window. Closing his eyes, he tilted his head back, closing his eyes as he stood right under a patch of the sun’s rays. Breathing harshly, still unable to bring his temper down, he cradled the swell of his belly. Ideally, the touch of his pup would center him, make him focus on what was more important right now. As if sensing his turmoil, the little tyke started moving, a gentle roll that, while not as enthusiastic as he knew the kid could be, was still soothing enough to lull his senses into something more calm, if not leaving him completely level-headed. No, Dean knew that being reasonable wasn’t in the foreseeable future for him, and honestly, he had no idea what he could do if he wanted to get there right now.

Chapter Text

Things had gone to shit. No, that was an understatement. Things were now at levels of shitstorms left, right, and center. That was all, still using Dean’s words. Appropriate, because Castiel didn’t have his own words to describe what else was going on. First, the thing at work, revealing his mother to be far more nefarious and abhorrent. Never, in his life, would he have imagined his mother to actively fund anti-omega rights. Sure, his mother had been traditional, but… Castiel wasn’t sure he could never see this one coming.

So he went in, not able to deal with such a situation from his home, and tried to gather everything and start putting sense to the reports first. And also accumulating who exactly his mother was keeping in her contacts, along with a list of anything and everything related to his mother’s business over her reign, because no longer was he going to let things attack him out of the blue. The eventual pile on his desk was something he knew would only be abstract, and only a detailed eye and thorough investigation into the background of every vague listing would reveal anymore unrighteous deeds his mother committed under the guise of tradition or whatever else bullshit discriminations she worshipped. Castiel’s entire life was starting to stretch out in front of him, and all he could see was him stuck in Novak industries, slowly and painstakingly undoing every tiny detail of his mother’s work. Hell, he wasn’t sure he could ever retire at this rate, and if he ever died, Castiel wasn’t exactly religious to the point of believing in the afterlife, but he knew, there wasn’t going to be any peaceful rest in store for him.

If he ended up going to Hell for his mother’s actions, then he would willingly go if it meant that he could atone for her sins.

He would have stayed at work for the rest of the day, the week, the month, however long he needed to if he could at least start figuring things out and even make a tiny, if inscrutable dent in all the work accumulating in front of him with no signs of stopping. It would have been far more preferable too, because as much as he tried his level best to get things done at home, it was far easier for him to be on location with practically unrestricted access to getting the information he needed, and faster. The fact remained, that Dean was still at home, and he couldn’t just leave him on his own after promising everyone including himself that he would do everything in his care for Dean to be comfortable, if nothing else. And so it was with that, that Castiel wearily pushed himself up, trying to pack everything he could to take home with him. Work was going to be literal torture, and sometimes… sometimes, Castiel wished that he could just disappear, or cease to exist, let someone else deal with all this. But as soon as the thought came, he’d push it away. There was no one else he would force this on, not when it was his to deal with. The mother’s decisions subsequently leading to the repercussions falling on the son instead, and Castiel wasn’t going to weasel his way out of this, like his mother would if she’d ever the heart or mind to get this far. No, Castiel was fighting against his mother every step of the way, from the moment he’d been brought to light of the injustice occurring. He wasn’t going to bend over and become like her now.

The amount of files he ended up carrying in his arms on the ride home was far more burdensome on his shoulders, metaphorically. Trying in vain to relax against the seat, he took some deep breaths, hoping to ease his mind somewhat before he plunged right back into his work. He couldn’t remember the last time he applied his scent blockers – he couldn’t remember much of anything, really. It was all a blur of report after report in his head at this point – and going by his driver’s uncomfortable shifting, he knew he must’ve smelled rank. The man was a beta , and if he didn’t want to trigger Dean’s nausea and break the record the omega had going, then he seriously needed to get a lid on his emotions. It was easier said than done, but Castiel found that if he just stopped thinking… sure, his brain needed to be working to deal with the damn papers he was currently surrounded by, but if he turned himself off emotionally, then it seemed to get his work done. He wished he could say he got it done faster in the process too, but with how much work replaced whatever he got done, except multiplied tenfold, there was really no way for him to tell. By the time he got home, Castiel had to be shaken awake by the concerned driver, and it took him a few starts before he was able to push himself out of the car, the driver offering to carry his files before he declined. Belatedly, Cas knew he should probably get a proper night of rest, but… standing in front of his door, struggling to insert his key into the lock, Castiel knew he wouldn’t forgive himself if he slept. Coffee first, and that would definitely not take as long as a few hours of sleep, and then he’d set up camp once again.

Coming home to find Sam and Dean waking up from the couch, his mind was still slow but not enough for him to find something in the scene in front of him endearing, melting his heart a touch at the closeness of the brothers that they displayed. Although, with Sam abruptly flying into a whirlwind of action, it removed whatever moment of consciousness Castiel had, and it was only the slamming of the door closing behind him that kicked his system back into reboot, at least enough for him to let go of his burden and walk over to the armchair. Surely, a few minutes of resting his eyes wouldn’t hurt… 

Of course, it did, rather sharply, too. Both to his thigh, where the remote had dug into his skin, and the rest of the system, as he stared in abject dread as the news revealed something that he’d only found out about himself a mere few hours ago.

His already crumbling life disintegrated into dust when Dean turned on him. The words he threw at him all felt like it was coming underwater, registering too late in Castiel’s sleep-addled brain, and before he could even attempt to make sense of anything that happened to him in the past several minutes, Dean was gone, slamming his bedroom door shut behind him.

Castiel dropped his head in his hands, and tried to not let his alpha out again in a miserable rage. As the clock’s second hand ticked loudly through the room, marking every second that passed, his heart grew heavier and heavier in his chest, until it was a steady ache burning through his chest. It was like an anchor, stranding him in the middle of an ocean with no salvation in sight. The clock’s ticking no longer marked the passage of time, but seemed to only tick closer to an ultimate ending to Castiel’s abject legacy.

He only allowed himself a few minutes to wallow further in his despair. 

Castiel needed to shut himself off. There was nothing else for him to do. Swallowing, Castiel snarled, bewildered to find his fangs had descended without his consciousness, and let them retreat again.

He wasn’t going to let himself get sidetracked again. The few moments he had with Dean were heaven, but the price was too high. True to his promise, he would keep an eye on Dean. But as for ‘starting things over,’ Castiel now knew that was all just a fantasy, one vain and in naught. He’d do his work, make sure Dean got through his pregnancy, and after that… 

After that, Castiel would move into his damn building if he had to, but he wasn’t going to let anything else wander into his mind from now on. He had work to do, and it meant a whole new lifestyle for Castiel, one he could no longer fight but must embrace with wide open arms. And he was finally ready to accept it.

Dean managed to take a nap after all. When he woke up, he felt disoriented, like his naps had lately been leaving him, a little grimy, and not really any better about his situation with Cas. He didn’t have any intentions to hide out in his room, though, so he slowly stood, mindful of not triggering his nausea. He wasn’t lying when he said he wasn’t as nauseous as he had been, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t careless and trying to break his streak. Not that it was a very impressive streak, but still. 

Standing, he first made his way to take a shower, noticing the few hours that had passed as he walked by a clock. The house was absolutely silent, and he had no idea where Cas was, but the alpha’s scent that perpetually hung to the walls was still fresh, so he had to be home. Dean didn’t encounter Cas, not that he was expecting to, until he cautiously went back to the kitchen, some vague thought of lunch on his mind. Except… Castiel was still nowhere in sight. Backtracking a little, he noticed the empty spot where Cas had previously dropped his briefcase and the box of files. Frowning, Dean looked around. The guy must’ve retreated to the guest room, or maybe the office room. Either way, he wasn’t in sight, and Dean was still feeling on edge from their last encounter. Chewing on his lip, he went back into the kitchen, deep in thought even as he reheated some of last night’s leftovers. The entire time, the house was eerily silent, increasing Dean’s discomfort. The hairs on the back rising, he grimaced when he started to get goosebumps on his arms as well. Because, yeah, that wasn’t some deep ominous shit right there.

Hastily grabbing a couple of plates and shoveling a more than decent heap of serving on one of them, followed by something that would be more easy for Dean to stomach, he left his own plate on the island and went searching for the alpha.

His first guess was for the guestroom, but even as he went down the corridor, the door was closed. The door before it, to the office, was ever so slightly open, so he veered off to the right, peering through the gap as he knocked lightly on the door. 

Sure enough, Cas was inside, but the knock did nothing to alert him. The alpha was staring at his laptop, but he was writing furiously on a notepad right beside it. He was surrounded by stack after stack of papers, and there was a red pen behind one of his ears. What really captured Dean’s attention was the thick framed glasses perched on his nose, and Dean blinked, trying to remember if he ever saw the alpha wearing glasses before. His mind was drawing a blank, but the sight in front of him wasn’t any less appealing. Cas still not noticing his presence, even as he pushed in, stumbling for a second when he walked right into another box of papers, was a little more disconcerting. The whole room was a mess, boxes of files everywhere, and Dean was starting to wonder how the room didn’t smell of… well, anything really. He would have expected it to stink of an overburdened alpha, to say the least, but instead, there was just the faintest scent of citrus and flowers, what Dean knew was the air freshener Cas used for the rarest moments he wanted to air out his place. Frown growing deeper, Dean picked his way through the boxes, trying to avoid tripping and/or moving anything out of its position. He wasn’t really sure if there was any sort of organization to the place, but he wasn’t willing to find out by testing the theory.

Dean stopped right in front of the desk, and his eyebrows skyrocketed to his hairline when it took him clearing his throat for Cas to jump, the pen behind his ear tilting dangerously. 

“Have you eaten anything at all?” Dean said as a means of greeting. He highly doubted Cas did eat. The kitchen, in complete contrast to the office, was pristine, everything in the fridge untouched from when he last saw it. 

Cas stared at Dean. He looked like he wasn’t expecting Dean to be standing in front of him, which, Dean guessed wasn’t completely at odds for Cas to think. When Dean quirked an eyebrow, still waiting on Cas to reply, the alpha blinked. “Uhm. No, I haven’t. Thank you though.” He set the pen in his hand down, accepting the plate. When he put it to the side, picking his pen back up, Dean stood there awkwardly for a few more seconds, before clearing his throat.

“Alright then. I’ll, uh, just be in the kitchen. If you want to join me, or something.” Cas pressed his lips together, a horrible attempt at a smile, but Dean took it for the dismissal it was and turned around. The entire time, as he carefully made his way back to the door, he was expecting, maybe even hoping for Cas to call him for something, anything, but the alpha remained painfully silent. Dean paused at the doorway, debating on turning around and glancing at Cas, like some sort of heartsick omega from a cheesy flick, but the sound of writing reached him first, and inhaling sharply, Dean grit his teeth and left.

Going back to the kitchen, Dean picked at his food, not really eating, too lost in his thoughts. Cas never did join him.

That day marked something. An indicator in time, bright and thick red font in Dean’s head announcing, ‘HERE’S WHERE THINGS GOT FUCKED UP.’ Whenever Dean ventured out – if anyone asked, he certainly wasn’t looking for company that only the owner of this house could satisfy – if Cas was ever sitting anywhere that wasn’t the guest room or the office, he was deeply immersed in his work. It was only fair, and made sense, for Cas to be so buried in the amount of shit Dean knew he was barely wading through. Still, there was a part of Dean that was concerned, and not that he’d ever dare to mention it, but also a little hurt. It was like their last encounter, that involved Dean yelling in Cas’s face more than an actual conversation, had knocked whatever it was in Cas’s head that left him completely uninhibited to working. Dean knew the alpha wasn’t fooling around when he was trying to fix his company’s misdoings, but it was now like Cas had only a single minded focus, and barely seemed to function outside of doing anything work related. Yes, it hurt that Cas took his words a little too close to home, and was outright ignoring Dean, but it was far more concerning. There was no way Cas’s behaviour could be seen as remotely healthy. And it bothered Dean more than he’d like to admit, to see Cas being like this.

When Sam came over, as he usually would almost every evening, he tried, somewhat unsuccessfully to relay his worries. They were sitting in the living room, the need for silence or privacy disregarded. Cas was in his office, where he almost always had taken to sitting for hours at an end. Dean didn’t know if the guy even got up to use the restroom at times. Even if he wasn’t off elsewhere, the guy was always just so absorbed in his work, that the rest of the world seemed to exist outside this bubble that was hard to penetrate, unless someone physically nudged him out of his trance. His brother stayed silent, listening to his every word that he managed to stutter out. When he finished, Sam straightened, and the look on his face wasn’t very reassuring.

“Well, I mean. I don’t know how much of the news you’ve been watching lately, Dean. But the guy’s been on almost every channel. He has been resolving several issues, that’s for sure even from an outsider’s perspective. But whatever Naomi did, its consequences weren’t something that lived only within her position as CEO. When she stepped down, it wasn’t like things just died with her resignation. She made sure that her contracts were detailed to the T, so that the business was in a tightly sealed deal that neither end would easily be able to just terminate.” When Dean stared blankly, Sam sighed. “Okay, imagine this like, ball of knot, tightly twined and all tangled and shit. That’s what Naomi created, this ball of funding tied to other balls of anti-omega rights, the republican party, other contracts with countries that promise nothing but shady shit. What Castiel’s gotta do isn’t just cutting through the threads with some really sharp scissors. He needs to unwind everything first, and everytime he does untie one knot or the other, it’s like… all this dust that’s been trapped underneath, is released, and that’s what the media gets. From there, they’re… well they’re not exactly blowing things out of proportion, though there is some of that involved too, but what they are doing is putting all the spotlights on Novak industries. With all this extra attention, Cas is kinda hard pressed to hurry up, but he can’t exactly do that, because you need patience to untangle this ball, or else you’re just gonna end up–”

“With tighter knots that are harder and maybe even worse than the previous knots to untie.” Dean finished. Sam slowly nodded, slumping again as he let his arms rest on his knees. Blowing through his mouth, Dean let his back fall heavily against the couch, staring at the ceiling. “Well. Shit. No wonder the guy’s neck deep in reports.” He said, more to himself than to Sam, but from his peripherals, he noticed Sam nodding along anyway.

“Yeah. So I don’t think he’s willingly ignoring you or whatever, Dean. I mean, you probably did kinda… hurt his feelings. But at least he’s focusing on making sure no one else gets hurt… like we did, right?” Sam said softly, and any rebukes Dean would have had for the childish comment disappeared at the reminder of how big things really were. 

“Yeah, Sammy.” Dean said, his voice just as soft, that it was barely more than a whisper. “You’re right. I guess.”

A few more days passed, Dean growing more worked up as he drew closer to his due date. So it figures that when he was huddled in front of the fridge one night, absently taking in its contents and wondering what the hell it was he was in the mood for, that he bumped into Cas again. Or, rather, Cas bumped into him. 

Both of them startled, Dean jumping upright and swirling around, the fridge shaking as he bumped into it trying to back up a step. Cas blinked, eyes wide, hands still curled in a ball and near his eyes. He’d probably been rubbing at them, which would explain why he didn’t see Dean when he bumped into him. 

“Hey, Cas.” Dean said cautiously. He wasn’t sure if his presence was gonna scare Cas into scurrying back into his little hole of papers, and while he wished he could have said with confidence that Cas would never do that… he wasn’t too certain about the alpha these days.

“Oh.” Cas cleared his throat, but it did nothing to alleviate how deep and gravelly his voice sounded, more so than usual. He probably hadn’t spoken in days, apart from the occasional phone call to his PA at work. Which wasn’t even a hundred percent guaranteed that Cas had been speaking that much, at the very least. “Hello, Dean. Is everything alright?” 

Dean carefully stepped around the fridge door, to let it swing back close. He still hadn’t decided what he was hungry for, and as much as the cool air was a little refreshing, Dean was far too conscious of a person of how much energy could be wasted to be able to relish in something that could’ve been so trivial to a man like Cas. “Yeah, everything’s peachy. Just got a hankering for something, wasn’t sure what, so I decided to poke around to see if anything interested the tyke. What about you?”

“Uh,” Cas’s eyes darted around Dean, not really focusing on Dean’s unrelenting stare. “I just came to get some more coffee.” He raised his other hand, brandishing the empty mug that Dean only just noticed.

“Ah.” That solved the mystery of the rapidly diminishing coffee beans. Cas must’ve been refilling the cup whenever Dean was in his bedroom, where he only ever retreated to get some sleep. He’d taken to camping in the living room more often than not, trying to catch the alpha with success. But over the course of the past few days, the coffee beans had been decreasing more than anything else in the kitchen.

“Is – are you okay, apart from that, though?” Castiel questioned, and he looked genuinely concerned. Before he realized it, Dean’s inner omega preened at the attention, as if it’d been starving for the alpha. Suddenly, Dean realized why nothing else looking good enough in the kitchen, not at least until now. 

“I, yeah, I’m good. Kid just won’t settle down.” Dean said, his hand automatically rubbing the spot where the kid was kicking, as if to emphasize Dean’s words. Not that he needed any encouragement from the peanut gallery. Cas’s eyes were drawn to the action, and Dean didn’t miss how his eyes traced where Dean’s skin bulged with the kid’s punches, the movement enhanced with Dean’s snugly fitting henley. The first time he noticed his own skin bulging and moving, he’d been suitably freaked, but soon found it to be entrancing and even soothing at times.

Looking at the harried alpha, Dean toyed with an idea that seemingly popped up out of nowhere. Chewing on his lip, it only took Cas’s eyes ever so slightly starting to shimmer for Dean to give in.

“She’s still moving around, actually.” Dean said quietly, but it still kicked Cas into meeting his gaze, not looking away and holding eye contact, most likely out of shock. “Wanna feel?” If Cas was shocked before Dean asked the question, it was nothing compared to how the alpha was now. For days, the house was starting to get musty in its scent, the alpha scent declining in the background. Dean paced whenever he could, trying to exude more of his scent than usual to make up for it, but he’d only ever find the end result lacking. The alpha’s scent marked this territory as Cas’s, and without that essence to the house, Dean had been starting to grow uncomfortable. Now, however, now the blank slate in front of him was emanating startled alpha, citrus and flowers replaced with watermelons and dew, a blast to Dean’s scents. His nostrils felt like they’d been dragged through dust, because the scent he was breathing in now, if a little tangy from the alpha’s emotion, was still so very refreshing to Dean’s senses.

Cas cleared his throat, a loud noise in the otherwise silent kitchen. And then, so slowly as if he was preparing for Dean to jump out and yell, ‘ Psych!’ he hesitantly nodded.

Grinning, Dean took a step forward, and wrapped his hand around Cas’s wrist. “Let’s take this to the living room – my feet hurt,” he stated pointlessly. Dragging the alpha who was all too willing to let Dean lead him around, he plopped down on the sofa, groaning as he shuffled around before he was able to settle down without too many body parts protesting. He was only getting bigger with each day, and the discomfort raised along with his size. Letting go of Cas, he let the alpha sit down beside him, facing his belly as Dean reclined along the sofa, leaning back and baring himself for Cas’s shaking hands. Masking his eye roll, Dean leaned forward again, dragging Cas’s free hand back up. Amused, he noticed how Cas was still holding onto his empty mug, although his fingers had loosened its grip on it. Slowly leaning back, and pulling Cas forward in the process, he pressed the palm of Cas’s hand to the top of his belly, where he last felt a nice, strong kick. Cas stayed silent the entire time, his facial muscles relaxed in awe, despite the fact that the baby wasn’t kicking again just yet. It was because this was the first time he’d actually put his hand on Dean’s belly, Dean realized, guilt surging up his chest. Not with the intention to just feel, to meet his pup.

Blinking away the sudden tears that pooled in his eyes, unbidden, Dean shifted his arms under him, leaning on his elbows to watch Cas’s face as he held onto Cas’s hand with both of his, slowly rubbing against his belly under the guise of searching for their pup together. Swallowing down the immense emotions, he watched as Cas gasped, when the pup kicked his side, right under Cas’s fingertips. Cas looked at him with uncertain eyes, not breathing as he silently asked for permission. Dean didn’t have to think twice about nodding, and Cas was looking back to his belly, ever so slightly leaning forward as he watched the pup punch at Dean’s belly again, his skin distending. Cas’s fingertips pressed a little harder, although now it was just at a firm touch, as he watched the skin roll under his fingers to meet his hand.

“Dean,” Cas breathed out, not looking up, but as much as Dean couldn’t really see Cas’s eyes, he noticed the tear that dropped between Cas’s eyelashes, hanging on as Cas started to rumble. A smile tugged Dean’s pleased lips up, his own breath caught in a trap in his throat. 

“Yeah, Cas.” Dean responded, his voice hoarse. “Say hi to your pup–” he shut his mouth, swallowing down his last word. He’d been about to say alpha, opening a gate of feelings and thoughts he wasn’t ready to deal with just yet. But Castiel was already gasping again at the words he’d already uttered, and now, the floodgates opened all the way as tears steadily started to stream down Cas’s cheeks. With wide, shining eyes, Cas grinned, a choked laugh escaping him as he pressed his palm against the side of Dean’s belly.

“Hello there, pup.” Cas managed, his voice thick and heavy. Cas sniffed, swallowing. “Hi.”

A tear slipped down Dean’s cheek. He didn’t wipe it away, not wanting it to get the absolutely enchanted alpha’s attention.

Things didn’t exactly change as much as there was a sort of… shift, to their relationship from that point. Cas was still busy almost every minute of the day. But now, Dean got to see Cas a lot more often, the alpha not hiding out in his office as much. Because of that, everytime Dean was just lazing around, which was pretty much whenever he wasn’t getting up to eat or use the restroom, Cas would look at his belly with fond eyes, reminiscent of a puppy. And Dean would roll his eyes, sigh loudly, getting Cas’s attention, and put up a bit of a fuss, but nonetheless would eventually call the alpha over. And Cas would look at Dean as if he didn’t dare believe he was being real, but would come over all the same, and minutes later would find the alpha leaning over Dean, hands reverently cradling his belly. Dean would wonder if he should feel a little more guiltier about tearing Cas away from his unending work, but the touch of Cas’s gentle hands on his skin would soon chase all thoughts away. That, and Sam’s nightly visits keeping Dean updated on how much work Cas was actually managing to achieve. A small part of Dean niggled at him, whispering how keeping his alpha happy was resulting in a productive alpha, but Dean would soon push that thought away, unease crawling up the back of his throat at the specific usage of words his mind would offer. Weeks edged by, and as much as their relationship… it didn’t improve anymore per se, but it did get to a point where Dean could begrudgingly call it somewhat stable, neither of them blowing their fuses and angering the other – it was usually Cas who triggered Dean’s anger, because it seemed like no matter what Dean did would make Cas snap – yet Dean was still ready to climb the walls. He had a little less than a month to go, give or take, for him to pop, and while there was a big part of him that was proud to have made it beyond the average statistics for male omega pregnancies, increasing the percentage of him having a safe labor, there was another equally large part of him that was done looking in the mirror and seeing himself so… large. Eight months in, and he could start counting the days instead of the weeks. 

Dean was personally very much done with counting. 

So it shouldn’t have been completely out of the left field, but wonder of wonders, it still managed to catch Dean completely off guard when he felt a sharp pain ricocheting through his pelvis, very much unlike all his previous pains. He couldn’t remember how it felt before he went down in the kitchen of his own apartment before he landed in the hospital, but this… didn’t feel like it.

Swallowing, Dean looked down. There was a part of him that found it ironic that he was in a kitchen again, but it was overshadowed by the litany of curses going at a rapid speed in Dean’s head as he tentatively reached down.


He was slicking. And he wasn’t aroused, his dick was as flaccid as it could get. But even more importantly, his slick was way wetter than usual, not as thick as usual, the perfect consistency for a natural lubricant.

Nope, his slick was mixed with water, because his water broke , and his body was getting ready to slip his pup out, while he was still in the kitchen.

Dean’s mind went abruptly blank, swear words coming to a screeching halt as Dean froze, eyes still frozen on his glistening fingers held in front of his face.


There was a thump, probably the alpha dropping something – heavy, by the sound of it – and Dean briefly spared a moment to hope that Cas didn’t drop anything important, when the alpha came rushing around the corner, eyes wide and nose scrunched up as he took in the smell of – well. Whatever a pregnant omega going into labor smelled like. Dean would try to categorize the scent himself, but he couldn’t get his mind to focus on something like that long enough to figure it out. His brain were rather squirrelling around, darting uselessly from one thought to another, never settling on anything long enough and effectively working Dean up until he was breathing harshly, seconds away from a panic attack. 

That can’t be good.

“Dean?” Cas said, his voice soft as he crept closer, looking like he was trying not to startle Dean any further. It was probably wise, because Dean was sure that he was hyperventilating at this point, but he still couldn’t help but find the sight comical. “Are you–”

“If you ask me if I’m okay, so help me, God.” Dean narrowed his eyes at Cas. “Cas. I’m in labor, alpha.” The word slipped out, unbidden, and he could have clocked himself in the face if current situations were anything but. As it was, Cas’s face softened into something disbelieving, before red started to creep into his irises, Cas stiffening as protective alpha instincts started to fight for control. 

The sight had another fresh wave of slick gushing down Dean’s thighs, and he wasn’t a hundred percent certain it wasn’t his arousal anymore.

I’m getting horny when I’m labor, Dean thought dizzily. Is that even supposed to be possible, or, fuck, I don’t know – normal?

“Get in the car, I’ll grab your stuff – do you need assistance, Dean?” Cas leaned ever so slightly forward, swaying closer to Dean with an arm already starting to extend should Dean accept. He was going to decline – he could walk himself, for fuck’s sake – when a slight shift of position on Dean’s part revealed just how shaky his legs were. He wasn’t going to be able to walk on his own after all.

Nodding, Dean let Cas rush over. It was like whatever restraint Cas had to touch Dean all but disappeared, yet simultaneously, Dean got the feeling the alpha was holding himself from outright swooping him in his arms in a bridal carry. Which was for the best, or Dean really wasn’t going to allow himself to be held accountable if he started letting fists fly. Instead, he looped one of Dean’s arms around his neck, supporting the majority of his weight as they slowly edged past the island. He managed to make it all the way out of the kitchen before another jolt of pain, sharper than before, had his pelvis aflame as if lightning struck. Moaning lowly, Dean collapsed. Cas’s arms lashed out, grabbing Dean around the waist, his grip on the wrist on his shoulder tightening. He’d bent with Dean as he almost collided with the floor, so when Cas straightened, so did Dean, but this time, they were leaning to the side, so that Cas really was almost lifting Dean. It wasn’t comfortable at all, and Dean warred with the thought of just asking to be lifted in a bridal carry, wondering if the shame and humiliation would be worth it. Yet miracle of all miracles, Cas practically floated through the house, somehow not letting go of Dean when opening the front door. Gliding to the elevators, he cursed under his breath when the doors didn’t open immediately, and Dean let out a pained smile at the sound. “Would you be alright to rest here until I grab your bag? Or, no. Maybe I should just ask Sam to get it later…”

Dean groaned, the wet sensation between his thighs increasing. He rocked his hips, trying to ease the pain, but it was no help in soothing what felt like his pelvis being pried open. Turning his head, he hid his face in the crook between Cas’s neck and shoulder, taking a deep inhale of alpha , the scent doing more to settle his frayed nerves than everything he remembered to try at this point. “Just forget the fucking bag. Text Sam later. Hospital, now.”

Cas stiffened. Dean didn’t think the alpha was breathing for a solid few seconds, but the elevator dinging was enough to distract the both of them. His mind blanked out, vision replaced with nothing but white as they moved into the elevator. It was when they finally stopped moving so much, once in the elevator, that Dean managed to tune back in, sweat starting to drip down his forehead. Castiel was muttering praised to god thanking the elevator for being empty. Dean really wished he was able to laugh at that again, but – he was this close to just shove his dignity up his own ass if it would get him to open up faster, and ask Cas to carry him already. His legs weren’t even noodles anymore, they were liquid. Not the strong pieces of muscles and other important anatomical shit that was supposed to be holding him up. 

Dean groaned again, shoving his face deeper into Cas’s skin, and tried to refrain from biting the alpha. His fangs were starting to descend from the agony of it all, and a voice that sounded suspiciously like Sam – or maybe even that creepy doc – murmured about how he was only just getting started.

“Shut the fuck up.” Dean muttered. Cas froze again, his scent turning a little spiky with caution.

“Dean, I wasn’t saying anything?” And he wasn’t, hadn’t been talking, quit praised the heavens several floors ago.

“Not. You.” Dean said through gritted teeth.

“Ah.” Cas said, as if that should have been obvious. Which it was. “Of course.”

After that, Cas remained absolutely still and silent, letting Dean take whatever comfort he needed, be it muttering curses, digging his nails into his arm, or just scenting him as much as his lungs could take a time while preparing him for a session of screaming. There were probably five crescents bruised into Cas’s arm by the time they got out of the elevator, and faced with the prospect of having to walk all the way to where the car was parked…

“Nuh uh,” Dean said. “No way am I walking.” He said decisively. “Nope. Not happening.”

Cas sighed, slightly slumping under him. “Dean, you cannot possibly wish to have your child in my building’s elevator.”

“Hell, no.” Dean agreed, and turned to look at Cas speculatively. “You’re carrying me.”

Cas did a double take, peering at Dean for a few seconds too long, as if trying to make out if Dean was joking or not. When Dean just stared back at him flatly, Cas raised his eyebrows. “Alright, then.” And he promptly bent over, and hoisted Dean into his arms in a bridal carry.

The weight lifted off the soles of his feet, lightened as it had been with Cas taking the brunt of it, it was still a relief when he was in Cas’s arms, no longer vertical either. The pain in his pelvis eased, although it also felt like it was sinking along with gravity. Moaning lowly, he buried his face in Cas’s chest, relishing in the feel of hard planes of his chest flexing under Dean’s weight – and their pup’s .

Dean went back to focusing on his breathing patterns. It admittedly helped, along with other distractions such as the hunk of an alpha carrying him – seriously, now was not the time! –  because the next time Dean surfaced, actually in the need for fresh air – the smell of Cas’s scent heightened by his sweat was amazingly heady, and any other moment, Dean wouldn’t have dared to part with it so easily, but apparently, labor was proving to be unfavorable in letting Dean take pleasure in any possible aspect. Either way, when Dean looked up, it was just in time to see Cas standing by the passenger side door, unlocking the door with a small amount of difficulty.

“Ugh.” He said, his voice a little tight and obstructed. “Not the pimpmobile.”

“Sam is currently using your car to get to Stanford, if I may remind you of the fact that you allowed him to borrow it.” Cas stated, finally pulling the door open. The smile was easy to hear from his tone. “And seeing as the fancy company car that you seem to hate just as much is in the garage…”

“Fine.” Dean grumbled, allowing himself to be carefully guided into his seat. “But you still have horrible taste in cars.”

Cas hummed in a way that managed to sound like he was humoring him as he closed the door. He rounded the car, Dean staring at him through watery eyes – when did he start crying? – through the windshield. He pulled the driver’s door open, the car creaking irritably and only groaning further as Cas eased himself inside. “Seatbelt, Dean.” Cas gently reminded.

Dean glared at him. “Does it look like I currently give a shit about the seatbelt?”

Cas swallowed, and avoided his eyes as he leaned over. Dean’s breath caught in his throat as Cas’s face came so close to his own, he could feel puffs of hot air against his face as Cas exhaled. He wasn’t sure what he felt more, confusion or arousal, as he tried to figure out what was happening, and then Cas’s arm reached over him – and pulled the seatbelt over him. Clicking it into place, Cas leaned back with a small smile. 

Buckled himself in, Cas twisted the key into the engine, making it look like he was trying to twist a particularly stubborn screw, and the engine reluctantly rumbled to life. “One day, I’m gonna get my hands on your car, and that day, you’re gonna have to find yourself a better car ‘cause I’m gonna end up scrapping this anyway.” Dean promised.

“Of course, Dean.” The smile was still in place, he could hear it, and an irrational surge of annoyance flared up in Dean – along with an intensification of the jolts of lightning surging up and down his pelvic area.

Shit.” Dean said emphatically. Face scrunching up, he gasped, stretching out, trying in vain to ease the pain. His legs ended up kicking at the footwell, his back almost arching as he grasped the seat under him. 

Cas was starting to tense, which wasn’t a surprise, because Dean knew he was starting to stink up the car. He was sweating fervently, and his shirt was plastered to his back uncomfortably. As they pulled up to a traffic light, Cas fidgeted, impatiently waiting for it to turn green. He turned to look at Dean with worried eyes. “Do you want to hold my hand?” He asked, uncertainly. But Dean was already grabbing him up on the offer, literally, by latching onto Cas’s. He squeezed the life out of the appendage as another contraction hit him.

“Mother f –” For his part, apart from a slight grimace, Cas said nothing, even though Dean was probably cutting off the circulation to his hand. Turning back to face the road, Cas’s thumb stroked the back of Dean’s hand, almost absently, yet Dean appreciated the small comfort. “Not gonna lie,” Dean hissed sharply through his teeth. Did his pelvic just crack? “ Fuck. I’m really looking forward to getting an epidural. Screw being conscious through this.”

Cas side-eyed him, but the light turned green, and he was soon gunning the engine.

The never saw the truck coming.

“–ran a red light–”

“–one get the jaws of life!”

“–multiple contusions, broken ribs, possible punctured lung–”

“We’ve got an omega in labor here! Call the helicopter, stat!”

Dean faded back to unconsciousness. Looks like he wasn’t going to need the drugs anytime soon after all.

Cas sitting by him.

The stroke of his thumb against his hand.

Tires screeching. Metal crunching. Glass shattering. His body being thrown sideways, his pelvis exploding like fireworks.

Agony. Torturous, unbearable agony searing through his entire body. His mouth tasted like blood.


Trying to turn his head, gasping, coughing, when his neck protested the action. Ribs tight, too painful to breathe. Alpha, smell of alpha, blood, death imminent.

Cas wasn’t responding. Blood, red, red, red blood everywhere, blocking his vision, blackening it.


Dean gasped, eyes shooting open. Immediately, his chest tightened, and he grunted, muscles tightening, except – nope, that just made things worse. Eyes squeezed shut, he tried to take deep breaths, forcing himself to relax. Dimly, he registered the sound of a machine beeping like crazy. Even as it steadily got on his nerves, he ignored it until the sound of someone entering the room made him look up again. 

A nurse, clad in blue scrubs helping Dean identify a bunch of things at once, strode up to him, first heading over to the machine and silencing it even as she greeted him with a smile, eyes crinkling at the corners as she took him in. “Mr. Winchester! You’re awake!”

Dean exhaled, letting his eyes roam around before he could think about answering, and if he was even up to that. He was in his own room, the place similar to every other hospital room he’d had the misfortune of seeing in his life. But there was something far more pressing than the room’s decor.

“My baby,” he gasped out, a shaky hand digging into his flattened belly. “Where’s my baby?” He rasped. Worry was making his heartbeat go back up, and the nurse shot a concerned glance at the machine before dialing up the reassurance in her grin as she focused back on Dean.

“Mr. Winchester, your baby is just fine.” She placed a gentle hand on his arm, and if he’d have had the energy, he would have shaken her off. As it was, he just grit his teeth impatiently at her. “They’re just washing him up and getting his vitals, but they’ll be bringing him here in no time, don’t you worry.”

The nurse wasn’t wrong. It did only take a handful of minutes, but it still felt like an eternity later before the door opened. For a second, Dean thought he may have actually gone insane from waiting and imagined it, but no, the door was actually held open as a different nurse came in, pushing a bassinet on wheels in front of her. Dean immediately started to sit upright, only to wince and regret the action while body was still riding out the sore aches that was still muted due to the Good Stuff doing their job. As soon as the nurse brought the bassinet to the side of Dean’s bed, locking the wheels in place, she rounded the bed to pick up a remote. She showed him how to adjust it even as she raised it so that he was reclining rather than laying uselessly on his back, but he ignored it in favor of eagerly looking over the edge of the clear plastic to peer at his pup.

The nurse chuckled and rounded the bed again, a wide grin on her face. She bent over the bassinet, bringing out his pup, and Dean quelled the urge to snarl at her. Thankfully, she spared no more time and brought his pup to her chest. “Congratulations, Mr. Winchester. It’s a baby girl. And she’s perfectly healthy, too.” She informed him. He didn’t hear a word she said though, apart from healthy and girl . He was too captivated, his pup was finally out of him but in his hands, and as if she sensed her omega parent, she nuzzled closer and out of her blankets with a frown even as her eyes stayed stubbornly closed.

“Hey, pup,” Dean said, his voice low and breathy. He stared in awe at her tiny fist, the smell tufts of blonde hair peeking out of her little cap. “Hey,” Dean said again, his eyes tearing up. Swallowing down a cry, he grinned, letting out a giddy laugh instead. Bending over, he placed a kiss on her soft forehead, and let his lips linger there as he scented his pup. She smelled perfect. The perfect addition to a home he’d already been building in his head. 

The thought brought something niggling to his head, but before he could chase it further, the nurse was talking again, this time effectively bringing Dean’s attention to her. “So, we don’t have a name for her yet. Your brother came in a while ago, but he didn’t say anything about prospective names, so we’ve been waiting for you to wake up to name her.”

That brought Dean up short. Sam was here… but…

“Where’s Cas?” The nurse barely had to frown before Dean was already rushing ahead. “M–the alpha, he was with me in the car and – what happened to him?” His heart rate was increasing again, he knew, but it seemed like so did his pup, because she started to squirm, frown growing deeper as she sensed Dean’s distress. He held her tighter to his chest, still careful not to squeeze her – she was just so tiny – “Is he okay?”

The nurse was making a face that did nothing to appease Dean. But she quickly covered it up, forcing a smile that was too fake, too polite, and far too late. “Mr. Winchester, your alpha is just fine, he’s just resting–”

“Bullshit.” Dean snapped. He didn’t even try to rebuke her calling Cas his alpha. “Take me to him.” The nurse paused, leaning back as her mouth dropped, but she just as quickly regained her composure.

“I’m not sure that’s a good idea right now, Mr. Wi–”

“Take me. To him.” His fangs dropped. He was outright glaring at the nurse. In his arms, his pup started to cry, soft sniffles at first, but a quick glance at her scrunched up face revealed that it wasn’t going to stay quiet for long. Quickly dropping his anger, his fangs were already retreating as he made soft, shushing noises, gently rocking her in his arms and pressing another kiss to her head.

“She’s probably hungry.” The nurse tried to say helpfully, but when he raised his head, he was back to glaring at her, keeping his arms soft and making sure his muscles didn’t become rigid in contrast.

“Take me to my alpha, now.” The nurse pursed her lips, looking thoroughly reluctant about the whole thing, before she sighed, her posture slumping as she visibly gave in.

“Fine. But I do hope you realize that you’ve been prescribed bed rest. So technically, I shouldn’t even be doing this,” she said, even as she started moving around the room. “But God help me, I am. So please, please just don’t strain yourself? And it would be in everyone’s best interests if you could at least cooperate with a few stipulations.”

Dean frowned suspiciously. “Like what?”

The nurse brought out a wheelchair from a nearby closet, unfolding it first and locking it before giving Dean a wry smile. “Like keeping you connected to a bunch of machines you’re connected to right now. And you can’t take the pup.”

Dean stiffened, immediately bringing his pup closer to his chest, even though she was as close as she could be. Thankfully, she only sniffed in protest, still deep in the throes of sleep.

“Hey, that’s a rule I can’t break. Your newborn pup doesn’t have as strong of an immune system as a person even a few years older. We can’t just go wheeling her around the hospital, Mr. Winchester.”

Dean flared his nostrils. He looked down at his pup, internally debating – read; internally fighting with himself – before he sighed. “Could you get my brother first?”

Sam was clearly taken right away with his new niece. He’d stared at her in disbelief, first, eyes misting over. Any other time, Dean would have mercilessly teased him for it. As it was, he merely filed it away for future ragging material, and sighed impatiently at her brother.

“Do you, ya know, wanna hold her anytime soon?” He said with raised eyebrows. He’d been holding his arms out for a good minute, and as much as he hated to say it, his arms were feeling the strain regardless.

Sam startled, his eyes jumping to Dean before his eyes were drawn back to his niece like a magnet. “I–uh, are you sure? I don’t – she’s so tiny – I don’t wanna hurt her–”

Dean rolled his eyes. “Dude. Chill. I’ll help you, and besides, Bess right here,” he winked at the still timid nurse standing a few feet away. “Will make sure to swoop in anytime you think you need it. Now,” With the last vestiges of strength he managed to muster up, he shoved his arms out again, and Sam awkwardly stood. Bending over, he hesitantly brought his arms out, and Dean gently guided his brother, making sure his arms were in the right position before gently depositing his pup over to his brother’s hold. 

“Holy–uh, I mean. Wow.” Sam breathed out, standing tall and stiff, hardly daring to move. Dean really wished he could have rolled his eyes, with how goofy his brother was being, but the truth was, the sight in front of him was melting something in his heart, and it was enough to make his eyes tear up all over again. 

However, seeing his brother hold Dean’s pup only served to remind what else was too glaringly missing from the already heart warming scene in front of him.

“Alright. Let’s go.”

Sam blanched. “Uh.”

This time, Dean did roll his eyes again. “Just sit down, and calm down. She’s been quiet so far, but that’s only ‘cause she knows and likes our scents. Happy , scents,” he said pointedly. 

“Right.” Sam still looked far too dubious for Dean’s comfort, but under the combined stare of his and the nurse’s watchful stares, he slowly sat back down on his chair. Dean further waited until Sam was done shifting his muscles in minute movements before he really did look comfortable. Finally, he nodded at the nurse. “So, can we go now?”

Bess shook her head to herself, but obligingly came forward. She double checked Sam one more time before turning back to Dean, ensuring the IV stand and whatever else he was hooked onto was firmly in place, before unlocking the wheels on his wheelchair. 

Dean pressed his lips into a flatline, a barely passable attempt at a smile to his brother. “See ya,” he muttered.

Sam just nodded back, and with that, Bess was wheeling him out. She pressed the button at the wall for the door to automatically open, and it did so quietly, alleviating and concerns he might’ve had about his pup waking up before he could even get out. Miraculously, the door continued to stay silent even as it swung back closed behind them, and Bess was rapidly moving, the sight of his room’s door soon fading as they turned a corner, walking down a corridor before passing through another set of the heavy doors. Dean didn’t try making small talk, too on edge for it, and Bess didn’t say anything to him either, although he heard her greet random people they passed with a smile in her tone.

When she wheeled him into a corridor that had the label ICU above it, his nerves only started to grow more anxious. The silence grew thick and edgy, unabating even as she pulled to a stop in front of one of the room’s doors. Casting him a wary glance, she punched the last button in between Dean’s way to Cas, and they were soon crossing that final obstruction.

All his air caught in Dean’s lungs at the sight in front of him.

Cas was lying in bed, completely and unnaturally still. He was pale, so very pale from under all the bandages he was wrapped in. Dean tried to swallow, only making whatever was blocking his throat worse as he was pushed closer, revealing the machines that was hooked onto Cas under and around the bandages, wherever the skin was visible. And where it was visible, he was bruised, his skin shades of dark purples that were almost black. One eye was swollen shut from under the bandages wrapped thick around his head. His left arm was in a cast, along with his left leg, his neck was in a brace, and he had an oxygen mask covering the rest of his face. Stopped at the right side of the bed, Dean looked down, blinking furiously to clear up his vision again so he could see the broken skin on Cas’s knuckles, above where a needle was inserted into a vein. With a ragged exhale, Dean reached a shaky hand to slowly lift Cas’s hand, mindful of the needle, and clasped Cas’s hand between both of his own. Pressing his lips to the dry skin, Dean closed his eyes, and let a tear slip free, far more quieter than the omega wailing in anguish within him. 

Bess graciously left him to it. Slipping through the door, she left him all alone with Cas, and the machines the alpha was hooking onto beeping in the background.

“Damn it, Cas,” Dean muttered, when the silence was starting to become too oppressive, stifling his ears. “Damn it.” He sighed, pressing his forehead to Cas’s fingers. He took a few deep, measured breaths, before he raised his hand, softly resting his chin on Cas’s fingers as he looked at the unconscious alpha. “What the hell did you do, hm?” He murmured. “This wasn’t supposed to happen. You were just supposed to bring me to the goddamn hospital. Not land yourself here,” he let out a wet, entirely unamused chuckle, closing his eyes as his vision blurred up again. “I was supposed to be screaming my way into a labor room. You would have offered to wait outside. But I should’ve been threatening to mutilate your hand, and you would’ve come in.” Dean sniffed. “And you were supposed to stay there with me, Cas. You were supposed to hold onto my hand the entire time, as I shouted and screamed bloody murder at you.” Dean smiled, eyes glassy. “I even had a lot of good insults ready too, you fucker.” His smile disappeared. “And we were–we were gonna welcome our pup together, Cas,” he whispered, his eyes closing again. “You’re supposed to be there with me, awake, and well, while I named her, and you’d smile that large, toothy smile of yours, and we’d all be crying. And we’d look and smell like a mess, but Sam was supposed to take a picture of us, to frame and hang up, you know?” Dean paused, inhaling deeply. The sterile scent that hit his nose felt toxic, sharper because of how the usually lively alpha now smelled just as flat as his environment. “And then we’d go back to your place, and we’d never talk about me moving out. You’d go to work, figure shit out, but then you’d come home, to our pup, to me. And we’d be fine,” Dean exhaled shakily. “We were supposed to be fine, Cas.”

He let his head drop again, and let the tears flow freely as he pressed his eyes to Cas’s unresponsive hand.

He must’ve fallen asleep… or blacked out, or something. Because the sound of the door opening had him startling, his muscles feeling weird and stiff, suggesting that he’d been curled over the side of Cas’s bed a lot longer than just a handful of minutes. Straightening, he turned to see a man in a doctor’s coat enter, eyes trained on the chart in his hands. He slowed as he approached the foot of the bed, which was just as well, because when the doctor glanced up, he slightly jumped at the sight of Dean sitting right there.

“Oh, hello.” The doctor tugged his glasses off, blinking at Dean, and the way he was still holding onto Cas’s hand. “You must be Mr. Winchester.”

Dean twitched. “It’s Dean.” He said shortly, his throat dry.

The doctor just nodded. “Well, don’t mind me. I’m just going to go over Mr. Novak’s vitals. And since you’re actually here, if you don’t mind waiting a few, I’ll catch you up on both your medical reports.”

Dean stiffened. He knew he was wearing a brace around his chest and that he was bandaged here and there for a reason, highlighted by the fact that he was prescribed bed rest, but the opportunity to get answers reminded Dean how much unaware he was of their situations. Somehow, he managed to stay silent as the doctor checked the machines, making a note in his chart every now and then. Finally, he turned to Cas, opening the lid of the eye that wasn’t swollen, peering into his eye and quietly muttering to himself. After making a one last note, he capped his pen, tugging a small stool – also on wheels, like every single fucking thing in this building – with his foot, bringing it closer to the other side of Cas’s bed, seating himself opposite Dean.

“Alright. Now, I’m going to start right off the bat by saying it’s not looking very pretty for Mr. Novak.” Dean paled. “So I’m just gonna start of with your medical report first.” Of course he was, and Dean was using everything within him to not outright swear at the doctor as he flipped through a few pages in his chart. “Okay. So, because the truck collided with the driver’s side, you were fortunate to avoid any greater damage that could have occurred. You were already facing problems with the pregnancy prepartum, yes?”

Dean nodded, not daring to interrupt the doctor’s flow. “Right, well. Because of that, your pelvis had trouble opening up as it should have under normal circumstances. Due to that, there was some extra internal hemorrhaging that was very concerning. Apart from that, pregnancy wise, there weren’t any complications. As for the accident, you have a concussion, your arm is sprained, so I’d advise against holding anything even the slightest bit heavy for too long. Your pup is barely eight pounds…” He double checked the paper again, but Dean was nodding, some distant part of his brain managing to recollect the information the nurse had told Sam and Dean together. “So if possible, I’d suggest you don’t hold the majority of her weight with your left arm. I understand that bonding is important, especially at such an early stage, but your arm needs to relax to heal properly. Apart from that, the brace you must have noticed around your torso is because of some bruising and a few fractured ribs. Again, nothing too serious, just avoid moving too much until you’re given the good to go.” The doctor set his chart back on his lap again, pausing as he met Dean’s gaze.

Dean’s heart leapt to his throat. Which, he guessed explained why he was having trouble swallowing down the anxiety as the doctor’s clinical look was replaced with something more somber.

“Now, Mr. Novak… he was on the side of the impact, so he got the worst of the injuries between the two of you. We’re looking at some shared injuries, such as the concussion. However, his left arm and leg were trapped in the car afterwards. We had to use a hydraulic rescue tool to pry open his door. He’s got a comminuted fracture in his left radius and ulna, tibia, and fibula… basically, his left leg and arm were pretty much crushed.” The doctor clarified.

Dean closed his eyes. Breathe, he reminded himself. He had to breathe. He couldn’t pass out now, despite how close he could feel his system was to giving up. He needed to get through this, hear everything the doctor had to say, because he was damned if Cas at least didn’t deserve that much from him.

“Mr. Winchester, if you’d like, we could stop.”

Dean shook his head, clearing his throat. It did nothing to soothe the block that was permanently lodged there. “Go on.”

The doctor cast him a dubious glance, but acquiesced. “We performed surgery, and ideally, we’d give around three months for his arm to heal, and seven for his leg, due to the intensity of the impact. We’ll be taking more X-rays later before we can make a better estimation. Apart from that, he did break a few ribs, which led to his left lung being punctured. That was one of the first surgeries we conducted. We’ll remove the chest tube out within a week, and from there, it would take a few more weeks for his lung to recover. Mr. Novak will have to undergo some breathing exercises to ensure that everything is working properly, however. And finally, Mr. Novak has a severe whiplash, which is why we’ve got him in a neck brace for now. Physically, that’s all we can tell for now. He’s still in a medically induced coma, but we’re going to start weaning him off of those so he can wake up on his own. Once conscious, we’ll have a few more tests to conduct.”

The doctor took a deep breath, folding his hands over his clipboard. “That’s all we can say for now. But Mr. Winchester,” the doctor made sure Dean was meeting his gaze before he continued, tone still serious. “Your alpha mate is doing a lot better than we could have hoped for, so far. So long as you stay by his side, your scent should do what all the advanced medical equipment we have cannot, and help him cross that final bridge to heal.”

Dean forced himself to nod. He tried to see the positive note that the doctor made sure to stress on, he really did, but for some damn reason, he just couldn’t. The doctor bowed his head and, without another word, left the room.

Dean let his head drop, low enough for his chin to barely graze his brace. Despite the confinement, he took as deep of a breath as he could, and letting it out, he squeezed Cas’s hand tighter. “Please wake up,” he murmured. “Please.” 

If a tear slipped down his cheek, then no one had to know.

Chapter Text

He tried to stay with Cas as much as he could, but he still couldn’t exactly bring his pup to the ICU. And as much as it tore him, it was still no competition as to who was going to get the higher priority. A part of his heart was always with Cas, but for the most part, Dean stayed within his own room, healing from his injuries, and more importantly, bonding with his pup.

“Are you ever going to name her?” Sam asked, effectively bringing Dean out of the little bubble he’d managed to submerge himself in.

“Uh.” He looked up, his finger stilling. His pup gurgled, scratching at his finger tip with a sharp baby nail. The sound of her sniffing had him glancing back down, letting his hand drop down to gently cradle her cheek. “I will.” He said, voice low.

Sam raised his eyebrows, unimpressed. “Uh huh. Did you even have any names planned out?”

Dean shot his brother a sharp look. “Of course I did.” And he did. He already had a name in his mind, calling his pup by it every time he was alone in his room. Which admittedly wasn’t often. But it was often enough combined with every moment he so much thought of his pup that he had to bite his tongue from letting the name slip out when there was someone else nearby.

“Right.” Sam said, clearly not believing him. “Then why aren’t you sharing them yet, or even trying them out?”

Because it doesn’t feel right to share it with you guys first.’ He didn’t say it aloud. He couldn’t. Even thinking it was ridiculous – there was nothing he didn’t share with his brother. And yet, that on again, off again lump chose to turn on whenever he imagined telling his brother why he couldn’t share his pup’s name. Not yet.

“Just.” Dean cleared his throat. “I’ll tell you. Soon, okay? Just. Not now.” He didn’t say anything else, not that he could’ve if he had anything more to say. And miraculously, Sam let the matter drop, though not without an uncomfortably deep stare at Dean that had him close to fidgeting.

“Fine.” He said, and Dean was about to exhale, ready to move on, to talk about anything else, preferably about something that wasn’t related to anything – or anyone – within this hospital, when Sam went on. “Guess I’m gonna try my list on her instead then.” 

Dean’s head popped back up so fast, he was pretty sure something in his neck pulled. The current nurse checking his vitals in the background spent the next five minutes straight admonishing Sam without so much as a pause for breath. Dean would be feeling smug, except he was in too much pain, and further annoyed, because his pup was back in Sam’s arms as the nurse gently rolled his neck around like he was some sort of damn puppet. Her probing fingers pushed and poked, reaching all the way to his frigging brace, before she deemed him well enough to just let his neck rest. She was just pulling her hands back when the heavy door opened, and a nurse peeked in.

“Mr. Winchester? We were informed to let you know when Mr. Novak woke up…”

Dean sat upright, pretty much eliminating whatever the nurse did to his neck, if she did anything at all apart from just checking his muscles. 

“Yes?” He prodded, hardly daring to breathe. “Is he…”

The nurse smiled at him. “Your alpha’s starting to wake up. I figured you’d want to be there before he did, Mr. Winchester.”

They couldn’t roll him out fast enough.

Sam stayed behind yet again, and if Dean wasn’t so occupied, he’d have swatted his brother in the head for hearing him call his pup, “I’m kinda tempted to call you a potato, because no offense, pup, but that’s what you look like,” just as the door swung shut behind him and the nurse. She couldn’t have walked slower, and while he knew she was probably walking as fast as she normally did, it was nowhere near enough.

Honestly, she could have broken out in a run, and Dean would still have a problem. Possibly because he wasn’t in control of his own speed.

But thinking of the nurse’s snail paced crawl was enough of a distraction, because looking up, Dean watched as the nurse pressed a button… and the door to Cas’s room started to open. 

He wasn’t sure if he’d been breathing this entire time, but Dean knew he was at a closer risk of passing out because he definitely wasn’t breathing now.

With the machine groaning as the door was pulled open, the nurse started wheeling him in. 


His alpha was awake. His alpha was awake, and at the sound of Dean’s voice, his tired eyes snapped from the doctor to Dean, instantly widening at the sight of him.

“Dean.” His voice was hoarse, not unlike Dean’s when he woke up, and still, the cracked sound of it, deeper than he’d ever heard it, was enough for tears to spring to Dean’s eyes like he was some sort of geyser these days.

“Cas,” Dean breathed out, the nurse wheeling him closer until he was finally right beside Cas’s bed. Without hesitation, he brought Cas’s hand into his own, mindful of the needles. He could have purred when Cas’s hand responded, after so long of being held practically lifeless, to clasp Dean’s tight in return, as hard as the alpha’s weakened muscles could. “Hey there, buddy.”

Cas smiled, letting his head relax back onto his pillow. The doctor, same as the one who’d listed all the injuries they’d gained days ago to Dean – and he really needed to get the man’s name sometime soon, if only to give him a heartfelt thank you – quietly continued on checking Cas’s vitals without disturbing them. Even when he raised Cas’s arm and prodded him around his bandages, Cas never tore his eyes away from Dean, which was why Dean could see every wince, slight as it was, when the doctor poked a little too hard. 

Dean swallowed, holding on all the tighter to Cas’s hand, never looking away even as Cas started to look him up and down, and then frowned, eyes coming to a halt at his midsection. “Dean…” the alpha started to rise again, forced to stop only when he hissed in pain and the doctor gently pressed him back down.

“I wouldn’t advise you to get up just yet, Mr. Novak.” The doctor said, but he was ignored as Cas turned his head more to Dean, still frowning hard.

“The pup.” Cas said, concern rising from the alpha in thick waves. Pungent as it was, Dean readily inhaled it, happy for the difference that it was from the stale scent of the hospital that Cas had started to blend in with. “Where’s the pup, Dean?”

The heart monitor beside the bed started to rise, and with a worried glance of his own at it, Dean leaned forward, putting a hand on Cas’s cheek instead. Hushing the alpha, he stroked Cas’s beard, the hair coarse and prickly. “It’s okay,” he said softly. “She’s alright, Cas. She’s with Sammy. They couldn’t let her in here, but I promise you, as soon as they move you out of here, you’re gonna hold our pup. Alright, Cas?” Cas’s jaw slackened, his eyes tearing up as he stared at Dean with wide, disbelieving eyes.

“Dean?” He whispered, uncertainly. 

Dean just smiled, raising his hand to drag his fingers through Cas’s limp hair. He raised his head to look at the doctor, finally addressing him for the first time. “Hey, doc. Exactly how soon can we move Cas to a normal room, anyway?”

The doctor smiled, a little distracted as he was making some notes on his chart, the nurse coming to stand beside him as she took over checking the rest of Cas’s vitals and moving a little further beyond to mess with the machines in the background. “Well, now that Mr. Novak is awake and responsive, we’ve just got a few tests to run, but if everything continues along like it has been, I’d say you can introduce Mr. Novak to his pup in just a few hours.”

Dean turned his blinding grin onto Cas, who was definitely looking more than awe struck. “Hear that, alpha?” Dean said, voice lowering almost shyly. “You’re gonna meet our pup today, daddy.”

Dean could have photographed the moment Cas got to hold his daughter. He’d been moved to the general ward, and Dean stayed with him the entire time in his wheelchair. Soon after he was settled in his new room, Dean was shooting his nurse a silent request, and with a silent, knowing smile, she left, leaving the two alone.

Cas was staring at him the entire time, a small, rather dazed smile on his face. Dean returned the look, his hand slipping into Cas’s, the small gesture comfortable and instinctive at this point. 

“I’m glad,” Cas said, breaking the silence. Dean looked up from where he’d been absently watching his thumb stroke over the back of Cas’s hand, back and forth, back and forth. “That you feel comfortable allowing me to meet her… I’m honored, Dean. Truly. And… thank you.”

Dean raised an eyebrow. “Cas…” he felt his words shrivel up and dry in his throat. Despite the realizations he’d come across since every passing moment after regaining consciousness and learning of Cas’s placement in the ICU, there was no way for Cas to automatically understood Dean. “Castiel.” Dean started again, his tone somber. “I’m not gonna forgive you right off the bat for what you did. Not yet. But…” He was interrupted by the door opening, and Dean exhaled heavily, sitting back in his chair at the timing. He tried to not pay attention to how Cas stiffened in his hold, the alpha’s breathing growing sharper, and more notably, how his eyes were starting to tear up. The surge of annoyance that flared within him wasn’t just directed at the nurse, but as she appeared in their line of sight, pushing the all too familiar bassinet, all other thoughts slipped away from Dean’s mind. A smile relaxed his lips as easy as breathing, and Dean let go of Cas’s hand, reclining as much as he could against the back of the wheelchair despite the bandages wrapped tight around his ribs. At least they’d removed the more rigid brace. 

“Here we go!” The nurse cheerily announced, carefully lifting their daughter from the bassinet. Dean was aware of Cas suddenly holding his breath for an entirely different reason, and Dean’s grin grew wider. He tossed a wink at his brother who’d followed behind the nurse, before turning again to watch the nurse carefully round the bed on the opposite side of Dean. Bending down, she lowered his pup into Cas’s ready arms. 

Cas’s breath hitched at the sight of his sleeping daughter, cute little button nose scrunched up from being jostled around, before settling in her slumber again. “Dean,” he said, his voice practically just a breath of air. 

Dean’s grin wasn’t possibly wide enough to reflect his elation. “Yeah, Cas.” He responded. Cas barely glanced at him. “Meet Claire. Our pup… alpha.” Cas’s head shot up at that, and he stared at Dean with slightly narrowed eyes, as if he was trying to figure out what Dean was playing at. But Dean just smiled back at him, softer than before, but not any less true. 

The nurse left them to it. She must have obviously sensed their need for privacy, or maybe she had to be elsewhere, tending someone else, but Dean didn’t give a shit, nor did he let himself look away from Cas’s searching gaze. His brother, though, remained in the room, albeit sinking down into a chair on the other end of the place. Distantly, he heard the sound of pages being flipped, and Dean thanked his trustworthy nerd of a brother.

“What you did can’t be wiped clean just like that, Cas.” Dean began again, voice quiet, still a little too conscious of his brother’s presence in the room, however welcome it was. “But these past few weeks, with you and Sam and waiting for our pup… I was still a lot happier than all those months thinking you were actually into that sham marriage your mom pulled.” Cas’s face twitched, but he remained silent, letting Dean speak. “And I just want it to go back like that, alright? I want my alpha, I want my brother, and I want my pup. As a family. No secrets, no bullshit, nothing. Just… love. And trust. Security.” Dean unconsciously let slip, wincing as his inner omega preened for a second. But he let it stay out there. He still meant it, and he couldn’t bring himself to regret it, not when he himself just asked for there to no longer be any lies between them. “And we’re probably not gonna be good again, like we were, anytime soon. But can we at least keep going with what we have so far, for now?”

There were steady trails of tears dripping down Cas’s face, but it only made his wide, gummy grin stand out all the more. Dean happily drank the sight in like a dehydrated man quenching his thirst after days in a dessert without any water.

“Anything, Dean.” Cas promised. He glanced down as Claire sniffed, another cute frown bunching up her little features. He gently rubbed a scabbed thumb over her forehead, easing away the wrinkles. The frown melted away, and Claire smiled in her sleep. “Anything for you. I promise.”



One year later

A small smile tugged at Dean’s lips as he watched Claire clamber over to Sam. His brother had textbooks lying around him, but it was all forgotten as Sam devoted his entire attention to his niece. There were practically heart eyes on Dean’s brother as he scooped Claire off the ground and held her up high, Claire’s delighted giggles making Sam and Dean grin widely. Huh, looks like Stanford couldn’t beat Sam’s absolute adoration for Claire’s squeals. Not that Dean was complaining – he wasn’t any better, really.

Warm arms encased Dean from behind, and Dean immediately closed his eyes, leaning back a soft smile still playing on his lips.

A chaste peck was placed on his neck, but Dean still tilted his head away, baring his neck and giving Cas more space. Cas hummed, nosing the raw mating bite. They never gave it a chance to heal, the two of them too fond of Cas biting it open again everytime they had sex… which meant that even Dean’s relatively fast healing couldn’t keep up.

“Someone’s in a mood.” Dean mumbled, finally tilting his head to meet Cas’s lips with his own. They were silent for a while, gently exchanging sweet kisses that slowly but steadily grew more heated. Swallowing, Dean pulled away first, his pupils dilating when a trail of saliva still connected their lips anyway.

Setting down the knife on the cutting board, Dean turned in Cas’s hold so that he was facing his mate, looping his arms around Cas’s neck. He kept his hands away from Cas’s hair though, knowing things would go in a very different direction if he got tomato in Cas’s hair. It would still end in sex, but they’d both be covered in food by then, and they were all eager to start introducing Claire to different types of food instead of still breastfeeding her.

Talking about breastfeeding… Cas’s hand slipped free from around Dean’s waist, dragging up his side to cup Dean’s chest. Dean shivered. He didn’t really have a ‘breast,’ thankfully, but the glands there were still swollen and puffy, just the tiniest bit larger with milk and how much work it was getting. So long as Claire got her own milk, she didn’t have to know that she wasn’t the only one feeding from him.

A thumb tweaked at Dean’s nipple and he instantly gasped, arching his back and pressing him all the more closer to Cas.

“Well. I remember telling my omega I would do anything to please him… and I don’t know for sure, but if my nose isn’t deceiving me, then he’s in heat…”

Dean grinned, his eyes fixated on Castiel’s lips. “Oh, is he now?”

Cas hummed again, his smile wide as he dragged his teeth over Dean’s jaw. His eyes slipped closed again as he let himself drown in the sensation. “So if I’m not wrong, I believe my omega is asking me to breed another pup in him.” Cas positively growled, dark and filthy, right against Dean’s ear, the hot air giving him goosebumps. “And who am I to deny him?”

Dean snickered, eyes still closed. “Gotta please him and keep him happy.”

Cas nuzzled the skin behind Dean’s ear. “That’s right.”

Before Dean could get the, “well then, what’re you waiting for?” that he knew would make Cas ravish him and leaving him feel thoroughly fucked by tonight, Sam’s voice broke their bubble.

“Aw, c’mon. Not in the kitchen – right in front of us too! There are children present.”

Cas buried his head in Dean’s shoulders, embarrassed chuckles making him shake, and Dean silently groaned. “Right. Totally forgot the two children. Give me a second to put them in their playroom, Cas.”

Cas was reduced to snickers as Sam continued chastising them, even as he started gathering Claire’s things. Dean stuck his tongue out at Sam in a very mature way, Claire giggling at trying to mimic him. But he still shot his brother a slightly grateful look as Sam grabbed Claire’s baby bag and the car keys in one smooth swoop. Rolling his eyes, Sam gave them a single salute before he was out of the door.

The moment the door closed behind him, the lock sliding into place with a soft shnick, Cas stopped laughing.

In the sudden silence, their heavy breathing became more accentuated, and Dean was very aware of how Cas’s fangs had come out and was softly grazing over Dean’s shoulder.

“I was thinking…” Dean said shakily. “I want to name our pup Jack this time.” And then the air was punched out of his lungs as Cas picked him right off the floor. Wrapping his legs around Cas’s waist, Dean held on for dear life as Cas rushed them to their bedroom, and promptly proceeded to fuck the daylights out of him.