The life of an omega is difficult. There has always been, and there will always be, prejudice against them as a class. The nature of history has created an image of them as weak, feeble, a group to be objectified and not treated as equally enough to deserve respect or the right to consent.
Sure, things have changed in recent years – legislation put in place to protect, activists to promote their rights – but there are still people who see omegas as nothing more than fodder.
Castiel knows this first hand, from the life he was supposed to have.
Growing up as the only omega was fine, really, if it was only his siblings concerned. Luke and Michael were the alphas, hot headed and willing to fight one another over the smallest things. Gabriel and Anna were the betas, more subdued, more relaxed, but still not people to be messed with.
Cas was the lone omega, but he didn’t mind, because his siblings didn’t treat him as such, didn’t treat him any differently because of it. They loved Cas, protected him and nurtured him, and that was absolutely fine. Great, even,
The problem was his uncle Zachariah.
Zachariah was a man who did not subscribe to the new way of thinking about omegas. They were still menial, to him; property. He saw Cas’ position and he used it to his advantage by arranging a marriage for the boy, one he had no say in, one with a man he didn’t even know, may not even like.
Cas was always aware of this deal, even if Zachariah had always tried to hide it. Cas was smart, intuitive, but Zachariah was smarter. He threatened that he would throw Castiel out if he told, made sure to keep it a secret from Cas’ siblings. He knew that they would not stand for it if they knew, but once it had already happened, there would be nothing they could do about it.
There are the good people and the bad people in this society. Cas is very lucky that, one night, three months ago, he happened to be found by one of the good ones.
“You call me when you get there, alright?” Dean says gruffly, hands on Cas’ waist and a frown at his mouth. They’re standing outside Dean’s apartment building, a cab waiting at the curb to take Cas over to Anna’s for the day. “I wanna make sure you’re ok.”
Cas rolls his eyes, smiling fondly, and winds his arms around Dean’s neck. “She only lives on the other side of town, Dean,” Cas replies, kissing Dean’s mouth softly, licking the frown away and turning it into a smile. “I’ll be fine.”
Dean bristles, reluctantly letting go of Cas when he pulls away. They haven’t been together that long, but Cas is already only too aware of Dean’s protectiveness. It’s a trait he can’t control, and, honestly, Cas doesn’t think he even tries to. The only thing that rivals it in terms of strength is probably Dean’s possessiveness.
Cas frees himself of Dean’s grip and tucks himself into the cab, rolling the window down as Dean leans against it. Dean just frowns a second more, steals another quick kiss, and then backs up to stand back on the sidewalk.
“Come home soon,” Dean requests, and then pauses, bites the inside of his cheek. “But, y’know. Have fun with your sister, too.”
“I’ll be back before you know it,” Cas replies, putting his seatbelt on and giving one last wave. “Don’t miss me too much!”
The cab pulls away, then, and Cas closes the window back up. He watches as Dean stands on the sidewalk, hands in his pockets, staying there right up until they’re out of sight for each other. Cas leans back in the seat and grins, thinks to himself about how fucking perfect his life is right now.
Seriously, how could it get any better?
Anna’s apartment is nice. She’s only 22, only in her first year of Law School here in Kansas, but their family are wealthy and Anna was able to use one of the apartments that their parents to left to the children, before they died. It’s only the fourth time Cas has been here, but it’ll never fail to make him happy when he walks in and feels like he’s got his family back.
Dean managed to track Anna down about a month ago – Michael and Luke, too, although Gabriel was the most difficult to pinpoint – and since then, Cas has felt on top of the world. He loves his siblings, and when they found out what happened, why he ran away, they were all angry and apologetic, saying they would never have let that happen if they’d known.
It’s fine, though. Cas doesn’t blame them. He’s just happy, so, so happy, to have his family back, to have Dean, and nothing else matters.
He’s sitting on Anna’s couch, a warm cup of tea between his palms, feet tucked up underneath him with Anna on the armchair opposite. She’s mirroring his pose, cup of tea and all, and she’s smiling widely and brightly, and Cas feels exactly the same way.
“So,” Anna starts, pausing to take a sip of her drink and smile, small, over the rim of the mug, “how have you been doing since the last time I saw you?”
Cas lets out a laugh. “So, since last week?” he snarks, raising one eyebrow, and she just laughs a little, shakes her head, waits for him to answer properly. “I’ve been fine. Dean’s fine. Michael and Luke visited a few days ago. Together. It was possibly one of the most testosterone fueled experiences of my life, having those two and Dean together in a room.”
“I can imagine,” Anna replies, wincing sympathetically. “Anyone rip anyone’s throat out?”
“No, thankfully,” Cas says, still cringing at the memory. “But Luke got close to, with Dean. I don’t think he was expecting Dean to be quite so much older than me.”
Anna snorts. “Can’t blame him for that, Cas, I was kinda surprised to.” Her smile lingers, her fingertips tapping against the white porcelain mug. “I’m cool with it, though. He treats you well. I’m willing to bet Luke and Mike begrudgingly didn’t hate him as much after they saw how he was with you?”
“Something like that,” Cas murmurs, bringing back a memory of Michael’s narrowed eyes following the drape of Dean’s arm over his shoulder, Luke nearly baring his teeth when Dean leaned in for a kiss. They’re protective, it’s not their fault – damn alphas – but so is Dean, and they can appreciate that, at least. “But, honestly, I’m fine. Things are good. Great, even.”
Cas knows he’s beaming stupidly, is powerless against stopping it, but it is great. Anna looks like she gets it, from the way she’s beaming right back.
“I’m so happy for you, Cas,” she says, voice soft and quiet. She shifts a little, takes another sip of her drink, and looks at Cas with earnest eyes. “And I’m – I’m so sorry. That I wasn’t there. That none of us were. If we’d have known – if we’d even had a hint that he might be doing this – we’d have helped you.” She pauses to bite her lip. “You know that, right? We love you.”
“I know,” Cas replies, because he does. He’s not angry, he doesn’t feel betrayed – they simply hadn’t known. It’s not their fault, any of them. “And it’s all fine, anyway. I met Dean. We’re happy together.”
Anna looks guilty, still, but at least she’s mollified. Castiel thinks it will be a while before any of them forgive themselves – Anna, in particular, because they were always the closest – but Cas holds nothing against them, so he hopes it won’t take too long. There’s only so many guilty looks he can take before he snaps and tells them he’s not something to pity.
Anna drains her cup, and Cas follows suit, and she takes both mugs and puts them in the kitchen. Cas remains curled up on the couch, eyes following as Anna busies herself with tidying and washing the dirty porcelain. Eventually, she stops, dishtowel in her hands as she turns around to face her little brother, six years her junior.
“So,” she starts, letting out a deep breath, “lunch?” Cas nods and she smiles. “You wanna stay in, or you wanna go out?”
“In,” Castiel answers. He wants to spend time with his sister, alone. He doesn’t want waiters or patrons or noise there to impinge on his time with her. “I can help you cook it.”
Anna makes chicken and Cas tries to help, but mostly he’s nothing but a hinderance, so she shoos him away to go clean up in the bathroom. He goes with a smile, knowing how much he really, really sucks at cooking, and about halfway through washing his hands, he has to stop to throw up.
“Cas?” Anna calls, worried at the sound of Cas’ retching. She rushes in and to his side, rubbing soothing circles between his shoulder blades and telling him to get it all up, it’s fine. After a few minutes or so, Cas stops, leans back against the kitchen sink, accepts the glass of water that Anna offers, and catches his breath. Anna frowns at him. “What was that? Are you sick? Did you eat something bad, have you been to the doctor?”
She puts a frantic hand to his forehead, the palm and then the back. If Castiel could find the energy, he’d bat her hand away, tell her to stop fussing so much. But, as it is, he just lets it happen and struggles to keep his eyes open.
“I’m fine,” Cas says, voice quiet and weak. “I’ve just been throwing up a lot, recently. Dean’s been badgering me to go to the doctor about it, but you know how I feel about hospitals: they make me uncomfortable. Other than the sick, though, I’m fine. I just feel nauseous sometimes.”
Anna looks anything but placated. “You’ve been throwing up a lot?” she asks, and Cas nods in confirmation. A furrow forms between her brow. “With no other symptoms of sickness? No fever or cold or anything like that? It’s just the nausea?”
“Yes,” Cas answers, confused as to where Anna is going with this. “So?”
Anna stands up, helping Cas with her and moving them over to the couch, together. She sits Castiel down on the cushion, leans him back, and then takes her seat beside him, facing him with her legs crossed. Cas bites down the wave of nausea surging back over him, hoping to control it.
“Are you and Dean sleeping together?” Anna asks bluntly.
Cas blushes to the tips of his ears, looking down at his lap. “What? Why are you asking me that?”
“Just answer the question, Cas.” Anna’s lips are a tight line, and Cas’ nausea is building up, and up, and up. “Are you sleeping together?”
“I –” Cas starts, cutting off when she raises her eyebrow at him. Cas’ shoulders sag in defeat. “Yes, we are. Are you trying to embarrass me?”
“No,” she states simply, eyes narrowed and leaning a little closer. “How long have you been sleeping together?”
Cas opens his mouth, ready to protest, but somehow finds that he actually thinks Anna should know. She wouldn’t be asking, wouldn’t be embarrassing him, if it weren’t important. He’s just not sure exactly why it’s important, yet.
“Since the first night.”
Her eyes widen in surprise. “Wow, Cas, you don’t waste your damn time, do you?” Cas ducks his head, embarrassed all over again, and only looks up when she cups his chin, looks at him softly and sweetly. “Was there anyone before him? Anyone at all?”
“What? No! I’m – I’m sixteen, Anna. I was sheltered. It’s only Dean. It’ll only ever be Dean.”
“Ok,” she murmurs, mollifying, placating. She draws him to her chest, runs her hands through his hair and hugs him tightly. “Ok, I believe you. But, uh. I think that maybe there’s one route you haven’t considered as an answer.”
Cas pulls back, peering up at her. “What?”
She takes a deep breath. Cas waits on it. Whatever she’s about to say, she looks nervous.
“I think you might be pregnant, love.”
Cas feels like he can’t breathe. “I – I might be – what?”
“Pregnant,” Anna repeats, voice quiet, like maybe if she whispers it, it won’t be real. Cas hopes that. He hopes it so much. “It would explain the sickness without other symptoms. Have you been more emotional than usual, too?”
Cas thinks back. The other day Dean came home from work and was too tired to have sex, told Cas as much, and Cas locked himself in the bathroom and cried for hours. He thought that Dean didn’t want him anymore, he thought that Dean had grown bored.
This would explain that, actually. Castiel isn’t usually one for insecurity.
“Yes,” Cas says simply, whispering it like a confession, like this will haunt him. Because it might. Because it will. “This can’t be happening.”
“C’mon, Cas, what’re you worried for?” Anna says, voice light and airy, looking at Cas with a smile on his face. “This is a good thing! You’re pregnant and, sure, maybe you’re a little young, maybe you and Dean haven’t been together that long, but he’s your mate! You’re gonna have a baby with your mate! What’s there to be panicked about?”
A lot of things, Castiel thinks. Him and Dean have only known each other for three months, and being mates doesn’t necessarily ensure total happiness. Finding your mate merely means finding the person you are most biologically compatible with, so it doesn’t always work with the psychology, as well.
What if him and Dean break up, one day? What if Dean doesn’t want this baby and throws Castiel out?
Because that’s always a possibility. Dean has never indicated that he’s interested in children. He loves his job, but it’s a dangerous one, and maybe he would never want to bring a child into his own life, because his safety is never insured. Dean may think that a child is the worst possible thing that could happen to them, and Cas’ hands go to his stomach instinctively, pressing against the flatness and wondering if Dean will hate him for it, however accidental.
“Dean will hate me,” Cas chokes out, humiliated to find tears pricking the backs of his eyes. He doesn’t cry, not like this, and it makes him frantic to know that they’re there because of hormones. “He won’t want this, he won’t want me. He’ll hate me.”
“Hey, hey!” Anna’s fingertips brush away the tears that spill from Cas’ eyes. “He won’t hate you! He loves you! And he’s gonna love this baby, too, if it’s there.”
Cas clings on to that last bit. “If it’s there. Anna, we need to do a test.”
Anna bites her lip, presses a kiss to Cas’ forehead, and stands up. She goes into her bathroom and opens up the cabinet beneath the sink, pulls out a plastic packet and holds it up for Cas’ inspection.
“I always keep some, just in case,” she explains, and Cas stands up and follows her into the bathroom. “I guess – I guess do the test, and then we can know?”
Cas nods, takes the test from her hands, and she leaves the bathroom. When he does the test, keeping his hands from shaking as best as possible, he holds his breath as he waits for the indication, washing his hands and calling Anna back inside. He’s terrified, absolutely panicked, but having Anna by his side calms him, even just a little.
Three minutes later, they have their answer.
“I’m pregnant,” Castiel breathes. He’s not sure whether to sound horrified or reverent.
“Yeah,” Anna mutters, her arm around Cas’ shoulder and her lips pressed into his hair. “It’s gonna be ok, Cas. The only thing that matters is that you want this, because if you do? Then you’re gonna be a daddy.” Cas smiles at that, involuntarily. “And Dean will want it, too. I know he will.”
Castiel isn’t so certain. But he wants it, he knows that for a fact. He wants Dean to want it, too, something he highly doubts, something that scares the shit out of him.
But, even if he doesn’t, Castiel is keeping it. He loves his baby already.
Anna sent him home with a kiss on the forehead and a promise that everything would be fine. Cas didn’t believe her, couldn’t, really, and he spend the whole cab ride home fretting. He got back to Dean’s place – their place, their place, he always forgets that– and Dean kissed him like he’d been gone for a week, not a few hours.
Dean cooked dinner, smiled openly, and Cas couldn’t tell him. They sat down to watch TV, Cas leaning against Dean’s side, and Cas still couldn’t tell. He was feeling emotional and vulnerable and the idea of being turned away by the father of his child was enough to make him bite his tongue.
He bit his tongue for two whole weeks, in fact.
It was difficult, especially after he went to the doctor for confirmation and found exactly that. He’d said he was going to the library, spent hours in a cold, clinical room, having a blood test. He got the phone call the very next day, telling him he was going to be a proud father – of twins. Castiel’s pretty sure his heart stopped for a second when they told him.
He was in love, already, with the idea of his babies. He was imagining to little sets of hands to clutch, two foreheads to kiss goodnight, two children to love more than Castiel thought himself even capable of. Anna keeps telling him to tell Dean, that it'll all be fine, naturally, but Castiel still needs to find out if Dean will feel the same way as he does, because he's not so sure.
It’s Saturday night and Dean and Cas are sitting on the couch together, curled up in front of a movie. Cas had encouraged Dean to go out with Victor, when he’d asked him, but Dean had declined the offer in favour of staying in and watching crappy TV with Cas.
Usually, Cas would be happy, absolutely thrilled that Dean chose a boring night in with him over a bar. But, as it is in his current state, all he really wants is alone time.
When Dean’s around, Cas can’t stand in front of the mirror and pull up his sweater, trace the slight curve of his belly and think about just how big he’s going to get. When Dean’s around, Cas can’t flip through the baby books that he hides in his bedside drawer and smile at the pictures. When Dean’s around, Cas can’t be an expectant daddy.
“You alright, Cas?” Dean asks, frowning down at where Cas is curled against his side. Cas has taken to leaving a hand on his stomach at all times, as surreptitious as possible, but when Dean looks at him, he whips it back off again. Dean just frowns harder. “You’re barely even paying attention.”
Cas blinks and looks at the screen. Without him noticing, half the movie has passed, reaching the mid movie climax, where the big crescendo mistake happens, and Cas finds that he couldn’t care less.
“I’m fine,” Cas replies briefly, looking up at Dean to smile wanly. “I promise. Just tired, I guess.”
Dean carries on frowning. He’s been doing a lot of that lately; frowning at Cas. Maybe it’s because Cas has started to shy away from his touch, to turn his cheek when Dean tries to kiss him, to keep his eyes closed during sex no matter how much Dean tells him not to.
Cas doesn’t want to do these things, he doesn’t want to distance himself from Dean, but every time he acts like nothing’s changed, it feels like a lie. Cas can’t stand that he’s lying to Dean, even if it’s just by omission.
They continue to watch the movie, regardless. Dean’s arm is draped over Cas’ shoulder, finger dipping beneath the collar of his sweater to trace along the skin of his neck. Cas can’t help it, it’s a natural reaction, sincerely not helped by the overdrive his hormones have gone into recently, and he shivers, arching into Dean’s touch.
Now, Dean smiles. He turns to Cas with a grin, lets it linger while he looks over Cas’ face, just before he leans in. He fits his mouth to the side of Cas’ jaw, bites and sucks and licks, makes Cas moan and tilt into it, makes Cas’ hands come out to clutch at Dean’s arms.
“Dean,” Cas breathes, catching and breaking in his throat. Dean smirks against his skin and carries on. “Dean, the – the movie.”
“Fuck the movie,” Dean bites back, moving them around so that Cas is flat on his back against the couch’s cushions, so that Dean is between his legs and their hips are pressed together. “Been too long since I fucked you, sweetheart. Been too long since I knotted in your pretty little ass and make you take all of it, filled you up so good.”
Cas whines, can’t help it, and bucks his hips up. It feels so good to have Dean above him, kissing along the column of his neck, biting at the juncture of his jaw, clutching at Cas’ hips and back and stomach.
The last thought makes Cas’ eyes fly open abruptly.
Dean’s hands are suddenly to hard on his skin, pressing to far into his tummy. Dean’s weight is now too heavy and too overbearing and it’s bad, bad, could hurt the babies, could do anything to them. Cas is too early in and it’s still the time to be cautious and gentle, and this is anything but gentle.
“Dean,” Cas gasps, hands pushing at Dean’s chest, trying to push him off, but Dean’s oblivious, thinks it’s part of the game, keeps on kissing and clutching and hurting. “Dean, stop.” Dean hums barely paying attention, and Cas is panicked now, nails scratching into Dean’s skin as he tries to push him off again. “Dean, please, please stop, get off, Dean, stop!”
Cas is frantic, close to tears, worried, so worried, that Dean won’t stop, that Dean won’t realise and he’ll hurt their babies. Cas is pushing at Dean’s chest and kicking his feet, and doesn’t take long before Dean stills, eyes wide, and he scrambles back to sit at the very edge of the couch.
Dean doesn’t talk immediately, merely looks at Cas, a look akin to horror on his face. Cas takes the time to smooth his sweater back down, button his pants back up, taking extra care to touch the skin of his stomach, almost like a reassurance, or a check.
“You told me to stop,” Dean states, voice flat. Cas waits and bites his lip. “You told me to stop and I – I didn’t.” Dean won’t look at Cas, and Cas can’t think of anything to say that would mollify Dean’s conscience without revealing the truth, so he keeps quiet. “Did I hurt you?”
Not me, Cas thinks. Our children. Maybe.
“No,” Cas admits, squirming under Dean’s scrutiny. “No, it’s not that.”
Dean’s face twists in confusion. “Then what is it?” he asks, and then seems to realise what he’s sad, because he follows it with, “You can tell me no! You can, Cas, any fucking time, and I’ll listen. You don’t even need a reason, just say no and I’ll stop, but – but this time, was there a reason?”
Cas bites his lip, finds that he can’t answer. The truth is in his throat, but it’s caught there, tasting like bile and lies. But he just can’t handle rejection, doesn’t want to make Dean angry, doesn’t want to lose Dean forever.
He just can’t say. Not the whole truth, anyway.
“Yes,” he responds, and stays there. “Yes, there’s a reason.”
A muscle in Dean’s jaw twitches, his eyes flitting from one side of the room to the other. Dean crosses his arms in front of his chest and breathes in deeply, grits his teeth when he finally looks at Cas straight on.”
“You’ve met someone,” Dean announces, like it’s fact, and doesn’t give Castiel enough time to rebuff it before he continues. “It’s – It’s fine, Cas. He’s probably closer to your age, right? Yeah, that’d make sense. Probably be healthier, too.”
Cas’ skin tightens. “What?”
“I said it’s fine, Cas. I figured it out. You’ve been all – all distanced from me, lately. You barely look at me, kiss me even less, and you don’t – you don’t curl around me like a damn octopus when we sleep.” Dean breathes in, even and slow, and nods once, perfunctory. “You met someone. He’ll make you happier. It’s fine.”
“Dean,” Cas stutters, absolutely indignant that Dean would think he could do that, would ever do that. “Dean, no, you dumbass!” Dean blinks, mouth hanging open and fingers twitching on his forearms. “I’m not cheating on you, idiot, I – I didn’t want you to put pressure on my stomach, because I’m – I’m pregnant.”
Dean’s jaw literally drops. It’s just like in the cartoons; totally agape, eyes wide and unblinking. Cas would laugh if he didn’t feel like he was about to throw up.
“You’re – you’re pregnant?”
Cas nods, looking down at a loose thread on his sweater. “Yes.” He picks at the material, bites his bottom lip until it’s bloody. “It’s yours, in case you doubted it. They both are. Twins. That’s how biology works.”
“Pregnant.” Dean’s repetition makes Cas wonder if, perhaps, he is hoping to absorb the information via diffusion. “Twins. My – twins.” Dean looks straight at Cas. “Why didn’t you tell me before?”
Castiel can’t tell Dean’s tone of voice, can’t decipher it from good or bad. He stands up and begins to pace the room, hands gesticulating wildly, settling on his stomach more than once as he talks.
“I was scared. Worried. That you wouldn’t want them, or me. That you’d decide it’d be too much hassle, with not only one baby, but two. I mean, it’ll change everything. There’s be no sleep and less sex and there’d be so many drastic alterations, and I thought you’d just –”
“Just what?” Dean interrupts, voice hard.
Cas hangs his head. “Just think I wasn’t worth it.”
Cas waits in silence, waits for the inevitable order for him to pack his stuff and leave. Dean will pay for childcare, Cas thinks, maybe even see his children. It’s only Cas that he won’t want.
Hands on Cas’ waist are a surprise to him, and his head snaps up to meet Dean’s earnest eyes.
“We’re having babies?” he asks, voice so reverent, thumbs brushing just over Cas’ tummy. Dean’s smile is small and bright and happy, and Cas matches it right back. “My kids are in here?” Cas nods, watching avidly as Dean sinks to his knees. Dean’s fingers slip under Cas’ t-shirt, and he looks back up at Cas. “Can I?”
Cas smiles. “Yes,” he answers. “Please.”
Dean’s hands are warm on his skin, fingers brushing and tracing the slight curve that’s developed. Dean leans forwards and presses his nose to Cas’ tummy, follows it with with a light press of his lips. Cas can only beam and run his hands through Dean’s hair, honestly say that he never thought it could be this; they could be this.
“You know the genders yet?”
“No, that’s not for another months or so.”
“Good,” Dean murmurs, pressing one last kiss before standing up again, cupping Cas’ jaw and kissing his mouth lightly. “Good. Now I can come with you.”
Cas beams. “Yeah. Yeah, you can.”
Dean kisses him again, hard, fingers at Cas’ jaw to pull him in. Cas melts against Dean’s body, helpless against it, and Dean picks him up easily, arms at Cas’ waist and Cas’ arms around his neck. He picks him up and spins him around and they both laugh, laugh until they can’t even kiss anymore, there’s too much teeth, and then he sets him back down.
“Can’t believe you thought you couldn’t tell me,” Dean mutters, hands migrating back to Cas’ stomach, gentle fingers smoothing over Cas’ sweater. “Can’t believe I wouldn’t want this. I want you, Cas. I want everything you can give me, and if that includes kids? Well, then I’m the happiest man in the fucking world.”
Dean’s laughter is infectious, and Cas catches it quickly. “No swearing in front of the bump,” Cas admonishes, playfully swatting at Dean’s arm. Dean rolls his eyes affectionately, daritng in to kiss Cas’ a few more times. He stops and they stand there for a while, wrapped up in each other, and Cas leans their foreheads together. “You’re really not mad? You really want this?”
“Yes, Cas,” Dean says, looking Cas straight in the eye, more serious now than Dean’s ever seen him before. “I love you. I love our kids already. I genuinely could not be happier.”
Cas smiles. “Good.”
Dean smiles back. “Yeah. Good."
They’re a family, now. Dean wants it, Cas wants it, and the twins are going to be born to the luckiest daddies in the world.