The morning after Dean's birthday, they both call in sick from work. Cas certainly feels sick, having to ask Bela to cover his sections for him, but there's no way that he could handle trying to teach anybody anything today.
Not when he can hardly make it through breakfast—Dean whips up eggs with cheese and a plate of bacon, guest starring Cas's favorite black tea, all of it made up exactly the way Cas likes it—and even considering that, even with the effort Dean puts into making him comfortable, Cas shudders, shivers, can't stop dropping his hand to his stomach. Brushing his fingers down its curve, trying to sink them into what he thought was pudge, feeling his head spin just from the thought of reality.
Nurse McClellan from Doctor Roberts's office calls while Cas is prodding at his eggs, trying to will himself to get them down. He's not nauseated, he's not sick with anything incurable—well, some people would say he is, but Cas believes he should be safe, with regard to timing—and he's going to damn well eat his breakfast as though everything is fine. As though he doesn't need to worry about this child, as though he never has and never will, as though he's already taken care of the problem. As though he doesn't hang up with an appointment scheduled for an ultrasound.
Dean asks what Cas thinks about this whole pregnancy thing, and completely deadpan, Cas guesses that he should probably switch to decaffeinated tea and coffee. He gets a sick, guilty twisting in the pit of his stomach when Dean's face lights up—and combing his fingers back through his hair, he says, "That was a joke, Dean. Perhaps one that was not in good taste, considering how I actually feel about the matter."
"Which is…?" Dean prompts him, refilling his coffee. He quirks his eyebrows up, expectant, and a grin teases at his lips. Slowly spreads across his face, showing off all of his teeth. Without saying anything, Dean makes his hopes obvious.
Cas sighs. He hates to dash Dean's enthusiasm, but… "Dean, we can't keep this… I can't do this," he says. Watching Dean's face as it falls hurts Cas too damn much—sends a sharp, piercing feeling through Cas's chest—so he turns his eyes down to his plate. "I know this is going to upset you, but… consider the reality of our situation here—"
"The reality of our situation is that holy shit, Cas—you are pregnant. It's like… It's amazing, isn't it? We've got a real chance to have a family, right? You and me and Baby makes three, right?" Dean's grin is audible. It sounds like nails on a chalkboard, and feels like getting stabbed in the back of the neck.
"The reality of the situation is that there is a bigger picture here," Cas tells Dean without looking up from the table. "The reality of our situation is that we likely don't have the financial means to support a child. And that I am almost twenty-eight, and in graduate school, and pregnant instead of transitioning, as I need to be, and I simply do not have the psychological means to continue with this pregnancy—"
"So, let me help you," Dean says, half-begging. "I know I don't get everything on your terms all the time, and there's some things I can't ever get because I'm not trans*—I know that, I do, but… come on, please, Babe? Just tell me what I need to know, or say, or do, or anything else, and I'll help you out through the whole nine months—or whatever's left of it anyway—"
"Whatever's left of this is however long it takes to get an appointment for an abortion, Dean," Cas says. Looks up from the table, because Dean's not the only one who's allowed to beg or toss on the sad puppy eyes. "I feel trapped inside of this body to begin with, but having to worry about a baby in addition to that? Having to share this body with some parasite—one who will change it, perhaps irreparably—and having to care for it when I'm having a hard enough time taking care of myself?"
Cas sighs again. Shakes his head and stabs his eggs. "Dean, I can't do that, and… I know what a family means to you, but please. You can't ask that of me."
Dean doesn't say anything. But he sits next to Cas with his own breakfast, and slides Cas a cup of coffee because the tea's not quite ready yet. They don't have any decaf in the apartment, since neither of them drinks that swill. And when Cas nudges his chair closer to Dean's, he ends up with Dean's arm curled around his shoulder.