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Castiel takes the last sip of his tea but doesn’t particularly enjoy it. The tea is lukewarm by now and the little leaves that are left form a glob at the bottom of his cup. Hannah would have wanted to tell his fortune with that. Out of habit he puts his cup upside down on the saucer even though he has no intention of reading anything in it.

He leaves the cup and its saucer on his coffee table and starts his round of turning off lamps, checking windows. It had been hot today and he had had some of them open. They’re all closed and locked now, though.

He’s not even half-way through all his lamps when there is a knock on his door.

He frowns but goes over immediately. The knock is persistent. Hard.

Castiel isn’t expecting girl scouts at this hour but he is still surprised to see his big brother on the other side of the door. What’s even more curious is the person he’s carrying bridal style. A man, smaller than Gabriel and clinging to him.

"Gabe?"

"Cassie." Gabe exhales. Sharply, like he’s winded and maybe he is, carrying someone like that. He pushes past Castiel without invitation. Castiel closes the door and locks it.

"Put him on the couch."

"Do you have a towel?"

The man is dirty, streaked with blood and mud. Looks wet too, like maybe it has rained on him but Castiel hasn’t noticed any rain. The street outside is dry.

He gestures to the couch, not bothering if it gets stained. It’s old anyway. Hannah picked it out and Castiel should get rid of it. Maybe this could be the incentive.

"Where did you find him?"

No questions about what’s happened, no this is too common for Castiel. Since he started working at Pontiac’s Were Rescue Center he has seen some things he rather wished he hadn’t. Makes it easier in situations like these, though. There’s no doubt in his mind that this is a Were that his brother has found, with or without a collar to mark ownership.

"The lakes." Gabe answers and tries to put the Were down.

The man — or boy? No, man. Castiel can see it in his face when he finally gets a look at him — whines and tries to pull Gabriel down with him, like he’s not ready to leave his embrace.

The whine is nothing like a human’s. Animalistic, people who don’t have Were-experience say.

It’s still a pleading sound and Castiel steps up to them to try and pry the Were off.

"Come now." He mumbles soothingly and the Were jerks at the sound of his voice so close.

"It’s alright, little one." Gabe murmurs with amusement lacing his tone. Castiel can hear the fakeness of it and wonders if the Were can too.

It can probably smell that they’re worried, though. Castiel tries to fall back into the state of mind he uses when he works. Efficient and precise. Weres like consistency, calmness.

The Were eventually lets go but immediately curls in on himself. This is not an Alpha. Maybe a Beta, but judging by the submissively downcast eyes Castiel would be inclined to say Omega. Then again, he knows very well not to judge like that.

"Gabe, go into the kitchen, get me the pocket flashlight from the third drawer from the bottom left. And water."

Gabe leaves but the Were doesn’t call out for him. Its interest has shifted to Castiel and he takes the opportunity to sit on his heels in front of the Were, sizing him up.

He’s naked from the waist up, only clad in a pair of shorts with holes in them and his nudeness reveals several cuts across his torso and face. They look superficial. What concerns Castiel the most is the swollen right ankle and the mostly dried blood at the Were’s temple.

It’s a male, definitely an adult but probably only barely. He has fine features but not delicate so maybe it’s a Beta anyway. His dark blonde hair is made darker by the wetness to it and Castiel can see freckles under the dirt that covers the Were’s body.

His green eyes track Castiel’s every movement and Castiel finds himself staring right back into the Were’s eyes when they lock gazes for a moment. It’s probably the greenest eyes Castiel has ever seen.

He leans forward and rests his hands on either side of the Were. The Were responds by shifting so that he is sitting upright, his legs between Castiel’s hands so that Castiel is in effect framing him.

Castiel’s lips quirk at the corners.

"My name is Castiel." Castiel says calmly. Gabe returns with the water and flashlight but hangs back. "I work with helping Weres, would you let me help you too?"

The Were blinks once, slowly.

"Cas-teeel… Cast…" he scrunches up his face and Castiel’s lips pull into a full smile.

"Cas is fine." He says. He was actually surprised the Were could talk at all. Many Ferals can’t and he’s got no doubt in his mind that this is a Feral Were.

Ears are pointier, eyes are sharper — as are probably its fangs. General awareness is more palpable. The sun-kissed skin and blunt nails could be from outdoors living and/or negligence on the owner’s part but Castiel doesn’t think so.

"Cas." The Were says.

Gabe is smiling when he rejoins them. The Were perks up a little at the sight of him and that makes Gabriel grin wider.

"Hey there." He says and hands the Were the water bottle. It’s Castiel’s last Evian. He doesn’t say anything but instead accepts the flashlight.

He clicks it on and takes a gentle hold on the Were’s chin to tilt his head up. The Were eyes the flashlight warily, clutching the water bottle so it crinkles a little.

"Look at me." Castiel commands and the Were’s eyes flies to his.

They look even greener when he flicks the light over them but Castiel ignores that in favor of watching the pupil. All subgenders’ pupils react differently to light. Some more slowly than others, some more extremely than others.

Castiel does judgements like this for a living.

Maybe, he thinks as he turns off the flashlight and puts it on the couch, he ought to ask. Some Weres are sensitive to the question and this is a Feral but still.

"Can you tell me your name?" he asks. The water bottle crinkles some more.

"Dean."

"Dean?" Gabe repeats with a grin. His humor is contagious and the Were smiles too. "That’s a good name, huh Cassie? Strong name."

Gabriel has never worked with Weres professionally but he’s helped out at the Center enough to know how to behave and he’s good with the wary and frightened ones. Always kind and smiling. And Weres can scent intent and emotions.

Dean perks up even more. Smiles a bright smile and Castiel’s stomach tightens for no reason.

"Dean, what are you?" he asks.

Dean doesn’t miss a beat.

"Omega."

Castiel has gathered as much but it was good to get it confirmed to him that Dean wouldn’t lie.

"Where is your pack?"

It’s like a tapestry of ice is thrown over Dean. He sinks in on himself, his face scrunches up and he’s crying before Castiel has even reached out for him. The water in the bottle sloshes as the Omega drops it on the couch.

He bunches the Omega up and Dean is practically bawling by the time Castiel has managed to wrestle himself up on the couch with the Omega clinging to him.

"Jesus." Gabe murmurs and sits down on the coffee table. Castiel wants to tell him to sit somewhere else but doesn’t.

"What happened when you found him?"

Gabe scrubs a hand over his mouth before looking from Dean’s shaking shoulders to Castiel’s eyes.

Dean grabs at Castiel’s shirt and tries to pull himself closer. The shirt is probably stained with snot and tears now. Castiel is glad he’s got his own washer.

He grips Dean’s right thigh and pulls the Omega over when it seems like Dean won’t stop pressing and pushing. Dean slides easily and his sobbing turns into hiccups as soon as he’s straddling Castiel’s lap, his face buried against Castiel’s neck.

"Uh, bro…"

Castiel puts a hand on Dean’s lower back and ignores the feeling of the Omega snuggling in.

"Omegas crave attention."

Gabe nods but it’s slow like he doesn’t really believe it can be quite like this.

"I was driving home from Cornell because you know, Kali." He tries smirking but fails when his eyes land on Dean’s back. The Omega has stopped shaking and Castiel thinks his tears has stopped too. "It was just chance, Cassie. The headlights washed over him, I could’ve just driven past him."

"But you didn’t."

Gabe looks shaken up. It’s unusual for him, rattles Castiel. "I stopped. He was bloody and wet and well you can see." He shakes his hand in Dean’s direction. They should clean the Omega up and look at his wounds. "I think he fell in the waters."

"I should get him an antiseptic shot." Castiel says thoughtfully.

"I asked him what had happened but he was very out of it so I just put him in my car. He woke up on the way over but he didn’t seem very scared of me."

"He can scent you."

Gabe looks like he wants to ask but Castiel knows he knows enough to understand. If he would just calm down and think a little.

"I thought I should take him to the rescue center but your house’s closer. And there’s you." Gabe smiles crookedly when Castiel tilts his head to the side. "No one better to treat a Were, right?"

Castiel rolls his eyes but immediately refocuses when Dean pulls out to look at Castiel. He quirks his lips at the Were and reaches up to wipe stray tears from the Omega’s cheeks.

"I think my brother is trying to flatter me into helping you." He leans forward and whispers just loud enough for Gabe to hear too. "But what he doesn’t know is that I’d do it for free so joke’s on him."

Gabe snorts but the best part is Dean’s reaction. He breaks out into his bright smile again and actually purrs a little. Castiel likes it when Weres purr. It’s soothing and means trust.

Dean wriggles a little in Castiel’s lap but otherwise stays put. Castiel puts both his hands on Dean’s back and looks back at Gabriel.

"It’s good that you brought him here." He says. Dean leans back in and nuzzles against Castiel’s neck again. Omegas do crave more attention but Castiel can admit that this is more than he is used to. Might be because Dean is a Feral. "If you would’ve taken him to the center they might have called the police."

Gabe frowns. It’s unbecoming of him. Or maybe Castiel is just unused to it. "Why?"

"Dean is a Feral."

"But…" laws on stray Ferals is pretty straight-forward in Illinois. They’re illegal in human-populated areas and should be taken to the pound. Most Ferals don’t make it that far. "But you’re a rescue center. A rescue center for animals would treat any animal."

Castiel loves his brother because he’s the only brother Castiel has but he loves him a little more in that instance. To most people Weres are animals too. Castiel has always been strongly against the opinion.

"Preaching to the choir." Castiel murmurs and feels how Dean fists his shirt.

"That’s fucked up."

"It’s not news."

Gabe huffs and crosses his arms. "Well fuck the law. We’re harboring him even if it’s illegal, right?"

Castiel thinks of his little house. He and Hannah bought it six years ago and they had so many plans. Plans that now lie half-finished and some that she took with her when she left him. Her old office had stood empty for so long. Gabe eventually persuaded him to make it a guest bedroom but it’s been empty anyway. There’s probably whole families of moths living in the bed sheets.

Dean is warm against his chest.

"Yes." He states. "We’re harboring him."


*****


Dean refuses to move from Castiel’s lap so Castiel makes Gabe go and grab a notepad and pen for him. He doesn’t really mind Dean straddling him. While Dean is definitely an adult and male he is still rather small. Omegas tend to be. His weight is comfortable.

"I need you to go to the center and get me these things."

Gabe frowns at the paper. "How?"

"Pamela works tonight, I’ll call her and tell her you’re coming."

"She’s gonna ask."

Dean wriggles around and reaches for the flashlight. Castiel gives it to him. "Let me deal with her."

Pamela is alright, one of the good guys. She won’t fight Castiel on this, even if she knew it was a Feral Castiel was planning on treating. And he knows she has a soft spot for Gabriel too. Doesn’t need to tell him that, though.

Dean makes a little squawk when he manages to click on the flashlight and it shines him directly in the eyes. Castiel can’t help but smile and Gabe laughs at Dean as the Omega plays with the flashlight.

"He looks like a kid."

"He’s an adult."

Gabe arches an eyebrow. "So you say but he looks so small. It’s because he’s an Omega, right? His body looks like late teenager. Eighteen?"

Castiel would say sixteen. "Do you know how old you are, Dean?"

The Omega’s head swirls around immediately at the sound of his name. He smiles brightly at Castiel and there’s no sign of his earlier sadness. That’s good, if a little disconcerting.

Dean cocks his head to the side as if he’s thinking Castiel’s question over. It’s probably because Dean can’t count, most Ferals can’t.

Then Dean surprises the both of them by turning completely to Castiel and spreading his legs so that he rolls down against Castiel’s crotch. Tight, intimate. Castiel’s eyebrows flies to his hairline.

"I’m adult." He breathes against Castiel’s mouth, their eyes locked and Dean’s hands fisted on Castiel’s shoulders. The air around them feels cloying all of a sudden.

"O-kay." Gabe says, high-pitched. Squeaky.

Castiel blinks slowly and Dean slides back with a grin and starts playing with the flashlight again.

"Yes." Castiel says after a few seconds in silence. "Omegas just look younger."

"I trust you." Gabe mumbles and gets to his feet. The note Castiel gave him crinkles as he shoves it in his pocket. "Do you want me to get you some food?"

Dean still hasn’t touched the water bottle so Castiel reaches over and takes it, opens it. "I think everything’s closed now."

"Shell might be open."

Dean frowns in confusion at the bottle when Castiel offers it to him. This is not unusual with Ferals. They live in the wild and some have more or less contact with humans. He shows Dean how by taking a sip himself. Dean smiles when he drinks and the water spills over a little.

"I think I have what we need. I put down protein bars on the note. Just be nice to Pamela and direct her to me."

Gabriel smiles down at Dean and when he reaches over to ruffle the Omega’s hair Dean leans into the touch, a small purr bubbling up.

"Thank you, bro."

Castiel waves him off and stays on the couch as Gabe walks out of the house.

"There he goes again." Castiel mumbles just after Gabriel’s closed the door. "Thanking me for doing something I would have done anyway."

With a sigh he digs out his phone from his pocket, the movement jostling Dean who just rolls with it. The call to Pamela is short and perfunctory but goes well. She seems to understand the importance and relents after Castiel agrees to give her more details later. He’s told her enough for now.

He sighs again when he has ended the call and then looks at Dean.

Dean looks attentively back at him. He’s finished half the water bottle and has turned off the flashlight. Both items are on the couch beside them.

Castiel lifts a hand and combs his fingers through his hair. The motion makes Dean roll down against his chest and the Omega doesn’t move back again. What has he gotten himself into? Well, at least the rules about Ferals aren’t as harsh here in Illinois as they are in some other states.

Still, if Dean stays for more than a couple of days Castiel probably ought to make a call to his friend Donna. She’s one of the good cops. Or maybe he should just get a collar for Dean and pretend he’s Castiel’s?

He almost jerks a little when he realizes what he had just been thinking about.

He meets Dean’s curious eyes with more calm than he actually feels. "How about we get you cleaned up?"

Dean nods but doesn’t move in the slightest to get up. Instead he just wraps his arms around Castiel’s neck and clenches his knees against Castiel’s hips.

Well, the Omega’s ankle is hurt after all. Nothing weird about carrying Dean to the bathroom. Castiel does it at the center all the time.

Except Dean presses in close and even though he’s smaller than an adult human male he’s still bigger than a pup. Castiel has carried lovers like this, with their legs wrapped around his waist and his hands steady on their bottoms and backs.

Probably shouldn’t think about that now.

He puts Dean down on the toilet and pulls down the movable showerhead before he gets on his knees to put the plug in the bathtub. He then turns on the water, gets the temperature right.

"You can wash yourself." He says and pulls out a spare towel from the cabinet beside the bathtub. "And then I can look at your wounds. They don’t seem too bad. You’ll see, Omega, we’ll have you out in the wilds again in no time."

Weres have great healing and the Omega doesn’t seem to have any deep cuts or broken bones. Injuries like the ones Dean has heal with just a good night’s rest.

When he turns back to the Omega he’s met with a crestfallen face. Dean looks like Castiel just punched him in the face.

He frowns in confused concern. "Hey now." He mumbles and rests a hand on Dean’s right knee. "I’m not kicking you out. I’m just saying you’ll be healthy enough to return to your pack. I can drive you there."

Dean’s face scrunches up and he looks like he’s about to cry again. "But…" he mumbles and his voice cracks. Castiel sits on his haunches in front of Dean.

"Who did this to you, Dean?"

The fear that flitters over Dean’s face makes Castiel’s stomach clench uncomfortably.

"No one."

It’s not that unusual for Omegas to be treated badly. Humans don’t understand because they think Omegas are beautiful with their child-bearing potential but much of the Were society is built on strength. And Omegas aren’t physically strong.

Most Alphas are extremely protective and especially about Omegas because they are weaker but some Alphas are… Castiel is uneasy about using the word abusive because it’s hard to tell what’s okay and what’s not in Were society but he can still admit that he doesn’t like how some Alphas behave, especially around Omegas.

Still, this isn’t really his place. Not when it concerns a Feral.

"It’s okay, Dean." He says soothingly. Dean looks at him with eyes brimming with tears. Castiel turns to turn off the water before it gets too high. "How about we take care of your wounds and go from there?"

That seems to cheer the Omega up but Dean still looks cautious. Castiel stands up and gestures for Dean to do the same.

"Lean on your good foot and take off your shorts."

He turns to go out but Dean stops him with a hand on his arm and a little yelp when he almost topples over. Apparently standing on one foot is not the Omega’s strong suit.

Castiel quirks his lips and lets Dean hold onto him as the Omega tries to pull his shorts down one-handed. At the Rescue Center Castiel has given countless Weres baths and treatments but there’s something different about this. For one, Dean is an adult. And they’re alone. It seems different even though it shouldn’t.

"Do you know what this is for?" he asks and points to the toilet just as Dean’s shorts fall down to pool around his feet.

Dean glances over his shoulder and then shakes his head. He’s still clutching Castiel’s arm.

Castiel nods. "It’s for when you need to relieve yourself. Urine and feces, it all goes in the bowl." He turns them around so he can show Dean. Dean presses in against his side and watches attentively.

Weres are smarter than most humans give them credit for and Castiel sees no reason why Dean would be any different.

"Do you need to go now?"

Dean blushes but also smiles cheekily. It’s an odd combination.

"No."

Castiel just nods and puts down the lid again. "Let’s get you in the water then."

But as soon as Castiel tries to steer Dean to the tub the Omega struggles against him. It’s a feeble struggle but still enough for Castiel to stop. Dean is frowning at the water. Steam billows around them and the air is humid, heavy.

"You too."

"Me?"

Dean looks up at Castiel. His hands grip hard at Castiel’s arm. The Omega looks small, scared. It’s sad green eyes that meet his.

"Sit on the edge." Castiel says. Dean immediately complies.

The Omega would get in the water if Castiel commanded him but Castiel doesn’t like to do that more than necessary. Just because many Omegas are hardwired to obey authority doesn’t mean they have to feel good about it. And Castiel wants Dean to be comfortable here.

Castiel strips down to his boxers. His movements are precise and efficient. Dean’s gaze burn on his skin but Castiel doesn’t meet it.

Sometimes at the center there comes a pup or two who’s afraid of water so this won’t be the first time Castiel bathes with a Were he needs to clean. But like with the carrying this is immensely different from bathing with a pup.

A mother or father would go into a tub with their little kid but no one would get into a tub with an adult they’ve just met. If not for that one specific intention and that is not the signal he wants to give Dean. Then again, Ferals are different than the Domesticated Weres Castiel is used to treating. Bathing in the wild is most probably not a one-man job.

He climbs in gently, lowering himself slowly so the water won’t slosh over. When he gestures for Dean to get in too, the Omega climbs in with such grace that Castiel’s starting to suspect that ankle might not hurt as much as Dean lets on. Might be the Omega just likes being held.

Not surprisingly but completely against what Castiel had hoped, Dean sits down with his back against Castiel’s chest. His naked rump presses against Castiel’s crotch. The boxers hug Castiel’s dick closely but bubbles up in other places.

Castiel sighs to himself and pulls on the shower curtain a little. Dean notices and tries to help. His wriggling presses him closer to Castiel.

When Castiel turns the showerhead on, Dean yelps and fights against the water for a moment before he figures out what’s going on. Castiel chuckles and Dean beams at the shower head.

The water in the tub reaches up to about their midsections so there’s plenty of space left to let the showerhead flow. Castiel uses it to wash Dean’s hair. He refrains from using any soap because of the Were’s sensitive nose. Also, if Dean gets out in the wild soon he shouldn’t smell more human than necessary.

It turns out that Dean’s hair was more wet than muddy but Castiel takes his time scrubbing the Omega’s scalp anyway, mostly because it seems like Dean likes it. He starts purring and keeps turning his head into the touches. Castiel accidentally sprays him in the face and Dean yips before sneezing. His confused blinking makes Castiel laugh out loud.

After that it becomes a little game. It ends when Dean gets a hold on the showerhead and promptly sprays Castiel right in the face. Castiel responds by turning off the water. He grins at Dean’s confused face.

The best part is when Dean turns the showerhead up to look at it. Few humans would fall for that but the Omega clearly doesn’t know how the thing works. The unimpressed face he gives Castiel after Castiel has turned the water on again, which then subsequently sprays Dean’s face, is the best part of the evening.

After the showerhead has been turned off again and secured in its hanger Castiel takes his loofah and gently scrubs Dean’s arms and legs.

The Omega turns into putty in no time at all and after only a few moments the bathroom fills with his content purring. The water goes a little murkier as Castiel scrubs the dirt from Dean’s body but none of them mind.

Dean is relaxed against Castiel’s chest, half-turned so that he can nuzzle his nose under Castiel’s chin. His hip is pressing against Castiel’s crotch and Castiel has to clench his teeth because thoughts like that are ridiculous.

Dean is a Were.

Castiel gets out first and gets Dean to stay in the water as he dries himself off quickly. For some reason he still leaves on his dripping boxers. Maybe he’s the one being ridiculous.

When he has done what he can about himself he pulls the plug on the tub and washes excess dirty water off Dean with the showerhead as the water slowly drains away. Dean sits completely still and purrs with his eyes closed.

The Omega barely leans on his bad foot when he stands so that Castiel can dry him but he balances perfectly fine this time. Castiel pats him down in the same way he does with the little pups that come to the center. Quick and shallow. Before he remembers himself he has swiped the towel around Dean’s genitals as well but Dean doesn’t seem to mind or maybe even notice. His purring doesn’t change pitch, at least.

Castiel dresses Dean in a pair of his own boxers because Dean’s shorts are torn and dirty.

"I’ll wash them for you." He tells Dean and puts the shorts in the sink for now. Dean doesn’t seem sad to let them go. His hands keep touching the boxers Castiel gave him. They’re a little too big on him, keeps slipping down his hips, but they’re good enough.

Even though Dean is probably fine Castiel still carries him to the guest bedroom. He’s a little startled when he realizes that Dean didn’t ask for it but that they just simultaneously decided. Dean’s damp chest rubs against the t-shirt Castiel put on when he fetched the boxers for Dean.

Castiel doesn’t like to be in the guest bedroom.

He knows it’s because it’s still Hannah’s in his mind and he thinks he’s being stupid about it. At this point he doesn’t know if he dislikes the room because he feels mad about his own feelings or if he still misses her.

Dean sits obediently on the bed as Castiel examines his ankle. It’s still swollen and tender but he guesses that the Omega will walk on it tomorrow without problems.

Gabe comes back just as Castiel is making a sandwich for Dean. The Omega had given him an extremely forlorn look when Castiel told him to wait on the bed and it had tugged at Castiel’s heart. He’s more soft-hearted than people give him credit for.

"She gave me everything." Gabe announces and puts a brown paper bag on the table.

"Of course."

"Don’t ‘of course’ me." Gabriel grouses and Castiel smiles to himself. No doubt Pamela tried to get more details out of Gabe. She’s always been the caring kind and she’s probably wondering why Castiel chooses to treat a Were in his home rather than at the Center. He’ll call her again soon. "How’s Dean?"

"Better." Castiel finishes the sandwich but doesn’t bother with putting it on a plate. He takes it in one hand and the bag in the other. "Can you get the water bottle from the couch? We’re in the guestroom."

He almost said office. Old habits die hard.

"Cas!" Dean’s bright smile fills Castiel with a strange kind of warmth.

"Hey there." He says and walks over to sit on the bed. Dean immediately climbs on to straddle his lap and that’s when Gabe comes in.

"What’s this?" he muses with a grin. "Am I not number one anymore?"

Dean makes a little sound half-way between amused and reproachful and Castiel chuckles. Dean’s eyes go round when he hands the Omega the sandwich.

"Guess you should have bought some food after all." Castiel states when Dean chomps down on the treat with seldom seen gusto.

"Suppose that would’ve made me more popular." Gabe mutters but there’s no real malice in his voice. He smiles when he gives Dean the water bottle and the Omega gulps it down.

Castiel lets Dean finish the food and water first before he pulls the Omega off his lap so that he can rummage around in the bag. Dean pouts about this but brightens up when Gabe joins them on the bed. Gabriel combs Dean’s wet hair with his fingers and the Omega purrs but doesn’t climb onto Gabriel’s lap.

The antiseptic shot is probably a little redundant but Castiel doesn’t take any chances with the water from the lakes. Dean frowns deeply at the shot but doesn’t say a peep about any pain. He does purr louder when Castiel praises him. Gabe grins and manages to produce a toffee that Castiel suspects he’s stolen from the bowl that stands on the disk at the Rescue Center. He wants to tell Gabe no because sugar for someone who is not used to it can be an extremely bad idea but he ends up saying nothing.

Dean chews the candy carefully and looks at Gabriel as if he’s hung the moon. Gabe definitely preens and Castiel can’t help smiling at the both of them.

Other cuts and scrapes have washed clean during the bath and Castiel sees no immediate danger with any of them. Finally he picks up the compression sock Gabe brought and kneels down to pull it up over Dean’s swollen ankle.

Dean whines at the touches and Castiel shushes him gently.

"It’ll be better tomorrow." Gabe says cheerily and Dean looks at him like Gabe’s full of shit. It makes Castiel grin unexpectedly. Dean’s cheeky and for some reason Castiel likes that.

"There we go." He says and stands up. Dean wriggles his toes. The sock is the smaller kind, the one that only covers half the foot, the heel, and the ankle. "Now you get a good night’s rest and we’ll see what tomorrow brings."

Gabe gets off the bed and Castiel rummages around with Dean to get the Omega under the comforter. The Were is clearly enjoying the light horseplay.

"Now," Castiel says when they’re finally done. "I’m sleeping in my room, it’s just up the stairs. Call me if you need anything, I don’t want you walking the stairs unnecessarily." Dean nods. The comforter comes up to his chin. "And you know where the toilet is if you need to relieve yourself." Dean nods again. "Good Omega."

Dean purrs contently and Castiel leans down to brush some stray locks off Dean’s forehead.


"Is this okay?" Gabe asks when he and Castiel is standing by the door.

"Of course." Castiel answers truthfully. He wouldn’t have agreed if it wasn’t.


*****


"SAM!"

Castiel startles awake at the sound of Dean’s pained scream. He’s up out of his bed and halfway down the stairs before he’s even fully conscious. Dean keeps on screaming.

He stumbles through his small house and in the darkness he relies more on memory than sight. Dean’s screams have turned into whimpering by the time Castiel opens the door to the bedroom and that is good at least, Castiel thinks.

He blinks blearily after he has flicked on the ceiling lamp. The light is a soft yellow but still stings his eyes. He rubs the heel of his hand against his right eye as he walks up to the bed.

Dean is on his back, the comforter bunched up around his midsection. He twitches in his sleep, mumbling nonsense now. Castiel sighs gently and lowers himself to sit on the edge.

"Dean." He calls softly.

It takes Castiel shaking Dean’s shoulder for the Omega to wake up and when he does his eyes are wide with terror and he recoils from Castiel’s hand.

"Easy." Castiel says.

The moment Dean realizes that it’s Castiel beside him and not one of the demons he was clearly dreaming about, he practically launches himself at the man.

Dean trembles and mewls and tries his best to practically climb into Castiel’s skin and Castiel lets him. Just holds the little Omega tightly and murmurs nothings against Dean’s soft hair. He tries to remain calm so Dean can smell reassurance on him and he wonders why that’s so hard. There’s just something about Dean’s distress that’s making Castiel uncomfortable.

"Who is Sam?" he asks when Dean has calmed down. "Is he your Alpha?"

The Omega hiccups for a moment before he regains his breath enough to talk.

"My brother."

Castiel nods. "Was he the one that hurt you?"

"No!" Dean looks accusingly at Castiel. The little frown on his face is too adorable for Castiel not to smile down at him.

"Do you want to tell me the truth about why you ended up in that ditch?"

Dean opens his mouth, most probably to argue, but then shuts it again. He presses closer, his nose rubbing against Castiel’s neck and up into the hair behind his ear.

"Sam is Alpha." Dean starts with his mouth pressed against Castiel’s hairline. Castiel wishes they could look each other in the eyes when they talk but supposes that is more of a human custom. "We lived with our pack until Sam was old enough to leave. I wanted to go with him and our Alpha let me. Sam made a pack with some of us and some from another. We lived good."

Castiel can already see that this is headed south, not only because of the obvious evidence. Dean is nuzzling him harder and trembling slightly again.

"Sam has mate, she’s beautiful. I had no one but," he shrugs. "Some were fine. And then a new pack came. Their Alpha is Gordon, he wanted Sam’s land."

Castiel grabs Dean’s thigh and buttock to anchor him to his chest when the Omega starts trembling worse. Dean sighs out a mewl and fists Castiel’s night tee.

"Gordon said he would leave us alone if I came with his pack. I didn’t want to and Sam said no too. So they fought." Dean draws a shuddering breath.

Castiel presses his lips together and tries to ignore the churning in his stomach. "Is Sam alright?"

Dean nods, his cheek scraping against Castiel’s stubble. "He lost but lived. Gordon took me and my pack had to leave. Gordon was mean." Dean whispers, seems almost afraid the Alpha will hear him.

"Did he hurt you?" why is Castiel pressing the Omega closer? Familiar shadows seem longer somehow.

"He took me every night." It doesn’t answer the question but Castiel understands anyway. "He didn’t mate me, said he would wait until I had my heat. He made the others watch."

Castiel grits his teeth. Were society is different than human and no doubt Feral society is even more different but he still doesn’t have to like it.

"But you left?"

Dean nods again. "Two moons had passed and I was so scared but I couldn’t take it. I wanted to be with Sam again. I left in the middle of the night. Gordon sleeps heavily after."

After sex, Castiel supposes. He feels disgusted.

"I went in the direction my pack went but I got lost. Walked for long. Then I slipped and hit my head by the water."

Castiel’s fingers nimbly trace Dean’s head, especially around the part where he had seen blood earlier but barely finds a bump there. He’s just glad Dean didn’t drown in the lakes.

"Your pack might have gotten far away in two months." Castiel says.

The Omega starts sobbing again, little bubbling sounds that wrack his whole body and Castiel just sighs at himself and this whole mess and holds Dean closer.

"It’s okay, little Omega." He mumbles. "We’ll fix this. Come tomorrow we’ll start looking for your pack."

Dean doesn’t seem to hear him at first but Castiel just keeps mumbling the same words and eventually Dean pulls out to stare at him with trust and hope written so painfully obvious on his young face.

"Will you help me?"

Castiel smiles kindly. "Of course, I already said I would, didn’t I?" he soothes his hands down Dean’s back and the Omega arches into the touch like a cat. "Now, how about we try and get some sleep and continue with this in the morning?"

Dean nods but refuses to budge from Castiel’s lap. This is a bad idea if Castiel’s ever had one and Lord knows he’s had quite a few bad ideas in his life.

"Do you want to share my bed?" Dean’s eyes reflect the ceiling lamp unnaturally. "It’s big enough for two and I think you—" he’s interrupted by the Omega hugging him in a crushing embrace.

Castiel stumbles to his feet with the Omega wrapped around him like an octopus and Dean starts purring as soon as they’re moving.

He suspects the Omega’s ankle is more than okay by now, even if it’s only been a couple of hours since he put the sock on. But even so he ends up carrying Dean all the way to his bedroom. He has to walk extremely carefully when he ascends the stairs but somehow it’s not as difficult as he feared.

Dean is practically vibrating and feels warm against his chest. The Omega nuzzles Castiel’s jaw and he’s again intimately reminded of how similar this is to carrying a lover. Except this is a Were.

Well inside the room he gently lowers Dean onto the bed and goes back down for the pillow and comforter he couldn’t carry on the way up. He feels scatterbrained and it’s new to him.

When he comes back Dean has snuggled into a little ball on Castiel’s side of the bed. He appears asleep already so Castiel just relents his pillow to the Omega and tries to punch the one from the guest bedroom into an agreeable shape.

As soon as he’s stopped huffing and fidgeting Dean rolls over and practically drapes himself over Castiel.

"Dean." He starts but cuts himself off when Dean starts purring again. Soothing and content. Castiel supposes this will work too.


*****


The next day he dresses Dean in one of his old t-shirts and a pair of his smallest shorts. Dean wolfs down the cereal he’s given and Castiel smiles to himself as he examines the Omega’s ankle. As he suspected it’s completely fine now. It leaves Castiel indecisive.

He should drive Dean out into the wilds and let him loose now that he’s healed. But he can’t with good conscious just leave an Omega alone like that. Wouldn’t leave any Were alone like that.

He wants to find Dean’s brother and see to it that the Omega is well taken care of first. He supposes he should start with searching the news for sightings of wandering Were packs. The Rescue Center has some logs about that and Pamela’s friend Ash is good at finding things.

He should probably put a collar on Dean too, just to be sure. Most people can’t tell the difference between a Feral and a Domesticated Were anyhow.

"Why is your bed so big?"

Castiel looks up and finds the Omega looking intently at him.

"Because it’s made for two."

His knee protests when he rises from the floor. He ignores it and goes into his living room to retrieve his tablet from the bookshelf. Checking the news is number one on his list, they don’t have a deadline for this anyway.

Dean looks thoughtful when Castiel returns and this can’t be good.

"Where is the other one?"

Castiel taps around on his tablet for a while but realizes he’s getting nowhere. Stalling. The app for news is still unopened. He sighs, puts the tablet down on the table and scrubs a hand down his face.

"She left me." He looks at Dean with soft eyes. "I shared that bed with a woman I thought wanted to be my mate but she didn’t agree. She left like you left Gordon."

"But you didn’t hurt her."

It isn’t even a question. Dean looks openly at him and Castiel quirks his lips.

"No, we’re still friends. She lives on the other side of town."

Well, friends is perhaps a bit of a stretch. They don’t shy away from each other when they meet, even if it is accidental, but that’s the extent of that.

Dean looks down at his now empty cereal bowl and Castiel goes back to actually trying to accomplish something on his tablet. He should call Pamela.

He freezes when Dean leans over to clap him on the arm.

"Don’t worry, Cas." Dean says. "I’m here now."

Castiel opens his mouth but shuts it immediately, stunned into silence. Omegas are caring by nature but the idea that Dean will take care of Castiel, a human, is just absurd.

He meets Dean’s inconceivably green eyes and the Omega looks back at him steadily.

Well, maybe not that absurd.

He puts his larger hand over Dean’s. "Thank you, Omega." He smiles and Dean beams at him.


*****


They spend the day driving around the immediate east area of Pontiac. From what Dean describes Castiel is able to figure out that the Omega escaped Gordon somewhere around north of Nashville. There are several national parks around Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana and Ferals have been known to set up camp around areas like that.

When he reaches that conclusion he’s instantly hit with the revelation that Dean would have been walking for several days before he ended up in the ditch Gabe found him in.

He looks over at the little Omega who’s just humming along to the music on the car’s radio, looking attentively out the window at the passing scenery. Remarkable.

Dean seems to favor classic rock and has soon learnt some of the lyrics to a few of the songs. He sings off-tune but in a rich voice and when Castiel joins him for Sweet Home Alabama the Omega smiles his bright smile.

By lunch time they are joined by Gabe who drove his own car over to meet them at the Willow Slough State Game Preserve. Castiel didn’t think they would find any Ferals there but the news feed on his tablet had told him about sightings around Mount Ayr so that’s where they’re headed.

They eat sandwiches that Gabe brought by a picnic table at the edge of the Preserve. Dean sits on the table instead of the bench and dangles his legs. He doesn’t even react when Castiel reaches over to fasten the collar Gabriel has bought for him.

He angles his chin up so Castiel can fasten the little blue tag that denotes Omega status but otherwise he seems fine with what’s going on. Oblivious, even.

"So, Pam wants me to tell you you’re fucking insane."

Castiel rolls his eyes. "You were the one that brought him to me."

Dean munches on his beef sandwich.

"Ash has his monster of a computer up and running. I’m going down to Lafayette after this."

"Thank you, Gabriel."

"Hey," Gabe grins. "Just ‘cuz he’s living with you doesn’t make him only your Were. Or responsibility."

"Still."

Gabe grunts.

On the way over to Mouth Ayr the reception on the radio cuts out sporadically. Dean compensates by singing Sweet Home Alabama off the top of his lungs.


*****


The next morning Castiel wakes rolled around the smaller form of the Omega. He blinks blearily and wonders when Dean managed to sneak into his room and into his arms.

When he tries to turn to see what time it is he’s instantly made aware of the raging morning wood he’s sporting. He hisses between his teeth and barely manages not to thrust against Dean’s warm body.

The Omega is on his side, his back to Castiel as the little spoon, and his rump is pressed snuggly against Castiel’s aching dick. Dean’s warm and even through both their boxers Castiel can feel that the Omega is a little slick between his cheeks.

When he aims to roll away Dean mewls and presses back. Castiel’s breath hitches when he involuntarily bucks forward and finds shameful but oh so sweet friction against the little Omega.

"Cas." Dean purrs and really draws out the vowel. This Omega is going to be the death of him.

"If you’re awake why’re you still here?" Castiel mumbles.

Dean turns his head over his shoulder to look at Castiel. His eyes twinkle unnaturally. "Feels good, Cas."

It should sound ridiculous the way Dean pulls on the s, making it sound like a hiss, but somehow it doesn’t. Makes Castiel’s dick jump and Dean rubs back harder.

"Stop it." Castiel chastises.

He grabs the Omega and holds him in place so he won’t follow this time when Castiel really rolls away. Dean makes a little half-growl, clearly disappointed. Castiel makes a stern face.

"You’re a Were, I’m a human." He says.


Doesn’t stop him from remembering Dean’s warmth when he wraps his hand around himself in the shower not five minutes later. Dean is supple and smells nice. He’s also very affectionate and Lord knows Castiel’s starved for affection.

He’s being ridiculous and it’s not Dean’s forlorn yowl that gets him off. It isn’t.

He stares angrily at the blobs of come as they slide down the wall.


Gabriel comes over for breakfast and they talk about where to search next. Yesterday had been a bust but Castiel is determined to reunite Dean with his brother and Gabe seems onboard with the idea.

"Even if I’ll miss him." He grins at the Omega.

Dean fidgets on his seat. He’s barely touched his cereal and he keeps pulling on the collar. Castiel leans over to check that it’s not too tight and Dean immediately leans into his touch.

"Do you want to take it off inside the house?" he asks. Dean doesn’t answer him.

Ash has given Gabe some places where they can start searching today and Castiel is actually impressed. Didn’t really know there were so many Were packs around here. Of course, some of these sightings could just be dead ends where the witness accounts aren’t trustworthy. It’s a beginning, though.

"I think we should start around McDowell today." Gabe says. "I think we went too far east yesterday."

Castiel nods and tries to finish his sandwich. It’s difficult because Dean is suddenly trying to climb into his lap.

He purrs happily when he succeeds with straddling Castiel. Gabe laughs at Castiel’s no doubt exasperated face.

"Omega." He says sternly and Dean looks attentively at him. "I need to finish my meal before we go out."

Dean blinks at him and then turns around to grab the sandwich from its plate on the table. He holds it up to Castiel’s mouth but when Castiel tries to take it from him the Omega retracts the sandwich and growls warningly.

"I think he wants to feed you, bro." Gabe smirks.

Castiel frowns but sure enough, he’s rewarded with a purr when he opens his mouth obediently. With a sigh he chews on the offered meal, letting the Omega hold the sandwich. Gabe continues to talk about McDowell but Castiel’s only half-listening now, trying to think of a reason why Dean would be behaving like this.

He’s still twitchy but seems better now that he’s straddling Castiel. And when Castiel puts his hands on Dean’s hips to keep him steady the Omega stops trembling altogether. Dean has also not spoken since this morning in bed and Castiel wonders if he should be worried about that.

Dean purrs and makes all kinds of little noises as he slowly feeds Castiel his sandwich, though, so Castiel decides to worry about one thing at a time.

Gabe goes to the bathroom shortly before Castiel has finished his meal so he isn’t there to witness Dean’s peculiar behavior and Castiel is extremely glad for it.

Because when the sandwich is done and finished the Omega just takes one look at his butter smeared fingers and then promptly holds them up for Castiel to lick clean. He looks expectant and Castiel blinks at him.

"Dean…"

Dean immediately rolls down so that their crotches press together. Castiel’s eyes grow in confused surprise.

"Cas." Dean purrs against Castiel’s lips.

He opens his mouth to rebuff the Omega but Dean apparently sees it as an invitation because next thing Castiel knows he’s got two of Dean’s slim fingers against his tongue. And it’s instinct to lick them.

Dean huffs out a hot puff of air and rolls down again, harder this time, with so much intent that it’s clear what he wants. Would be clear even if Castiel couldn’t feel the beginnings of Dean’s erection pressed against him.

The feeling snaps him out of whatever trance he’d been in and he promptly stands up, maneuvering Dean to stand on his own by the sink where Castiel can wash off the Omega’s fingers.

"Don’t do that, Dean." He scolds but there’s no real heat. Dean looks a mix of confusion and hurt. Castiel sighs and takes Dean’s hands in his. "I meant what I said this morning, Omega." He says with as much authority he can. He doesn’t really want to yell at Dean. "You’re a Were and I’m a human, they don’t do stuff like that together."

"But—"

"No buts, Dean."

Dean clamps up. Castiel suspects it’s because of his submissive nature but he can also still see the defiance in Dean’s green eyes. He sighs and hugs Dean’s briefly.

"Go get ready, we’re driving out soon."

The Omega wanders off without protest and Castiel leans against the kitchen counter, scrubbing a hand down his face. This is getting out of hand, somehow. And what this is he has no idea.

Dean is a Were and even if he wasn’t, hell he’s still a guy. Castiel hasn’t been interested in another man since college and he had been lead to believe that was just a phase. He feels really stupid.


Dean doesn’t stop fidgeting all day. He’s having a hard time concentrating and snaps at Gabe when they stop for lunch.

As soon as they’re home again Dean shucks all of his clothes except the boxers. The Omega tag on his collar jingles as he bounces around the house to the music Castiel put on when he started cooking dinner.

The Omega can’t sit still as they eat now either and Castiel’s suspicion that it might have had to do with their surrounds is smashed. Dean is suddenly hyperactive and irritable all at the same time. Only Castiel gets to touch him and Gabe eventually gives up and goes home, telling Castiel that he’ll call in the morning.

As soon as they’re alone Dean plasters himself against Castiel’s side and refuses to be let down. For some reason Castiel indulges him and agrees to carry him from room to room since Dean also refuses to be left alone. Going to the bathroom becomes a chore when Dean is left outside to yowl lonely.

Castiel considers calling Pamela to see if she knows what’s going on but decides to wait a few days more. Might be that Dean is just missing his pack and if he can just reunite Dean with them then this might be over. Something tugs inside Castiel at the thought of that but he steadfastly ignores it.

Everything would be easier if Dean just started talking again. But he’s reduced himself only to Were-sounds and Castiel’s nickname and Castiel doesn’t know why. Dean was extremely cooperative in the beginning and Castiel wonders if he has done something wrong to the Were.

He decides that they’ll drive around Clinton Lake tomorrow, if Dean isn’t worse.


*****


Warmth envelops his achingly hard cock. He thrusts languidly and is rewarded by the sweetest sound he’s ever heard. Pleasure zings down his spine to pool gently around his tight balls.

He grabs harshly at plump ass cheeks, spreading them apart as he thrusts harder up into the welcoming heat. There’s a delicious clench around him, the air palpable with the scent of sex and sweetness. He’s sweaty and groaning and it feels absolutely divine.

Every upward thrust is wonderfully met, his hands grabbing greedily now, his breathing harsh, his cock painfully hard, and—

—and Castiel isn’t dreaming.

His eyes fly open the moment he gains some kind of consciousness and the sight before him makes his heart skip a painful beat.

Dean is sitting on top of him, Castiel’s hard dick lodged inside the Omega as Dean rides him desperately. There’s slick everywhere. Dean is a heated mess, mewling and growling, his eyes crazy with need.

Oh God, he’s in heat.

How had Castiel been so stupid not to notice that? Sure, he mostly dealt with Domesticated or Manufactured Weres and they tended to be sterilized so their owners wouldn’t have to deal with heats and ruts but Castiel should have known better. He’s got a doctorate degree in Were physiology for Christ’s sake.

He stills his twitching hips and tightens his grip on Dean’s hips to make the Were stop moving. It wouldn’t take much for Castiel to break and then this would be even worse than it already is.

"Dean." He says, his voice raspy.

Dean gasps sharply and looks down. Their eyes barely have time to meet before the Omega is coming untouched. Castiel groans and has to bite the inside of his cheek to keep from coming himself when Dean’s already tight hole clamps down around him.

The Omega’s dick twitches and jumps, spraying his small load on Castiel’s heaving stomach but it’s not going to be enough. Enough for the moment, perhaps, but Castiel can see that Dean doesn’t really soften, even though he’s just come.

As soon as Dean seems to have calmed down even a little Castiel rolls them over so he can slide out. The sound that Dean makes when they lose contact is going to haunt Castiel for the rest of his life.

"Dean." He grits. "We can’t have sex."

God, he’s still so hard. It’s very apparent that his dick doesn’t care that Dean is a Were and not human.

"Cas." Dean whimpers and reaches for him. "Need you."

"No, Dean." Castiel presses himself back so he’s perched on the edge of the bed. Wrestling his aching dick back into his boxers isn’t fun. "You need a knot."

Dean’s whole body spasms at the mere word, more slick leaking out of him. The bed is going to be drenched in it by the end of the Omega’s heat. Well, Castiel will just have to deal with it. He feels incredibly stupid and guilty.

"Want you." Dean whines in a purr and pulls his legs up to show his hole. Castiel’s dick is going to commit mutiny, Castiel can feel it.

"No, not me—"

"You! Gotta be you. No one’s smelled so good, Cas. Cas, I want you. Want you inside."

Now he starts talking.

Castiel looks sadly at the wriggling Omega. Dean needs a knot, that’s true. What Castiel knows about heats is that they can get nasty. Then again, Dean is an adult Omega so he has probably had a few heats before this. Might not get too hard on him.

Still, Castiel needs to watch out for dehydration. And he needs to feed Dean between waves. Also needs to see what he can do about getting his hands on a fake knot. He puts a hand on Dean’s thigh to make him stop wriggle. He already knows he’s gonna have to call Gabe, maybe Pamela.

Dean whimpers when Castiel’s hand makes contact with his clammy skin.

"Is this why you chose now to run away from Gordon?" Castiel asks. "You said he was waiting to mate with you until you had your heat, did you know it was coming?"

Dean looks away, looking guilty. So, yes.

Castiel can’t blame him, though. To be honest he had never heard of a Were mating against the other’s will. He always thought it was a decision they made together based on compatibility and scent. Or maybe he was always a hopeless romantic like that.

"Cas."

Dean’s whine draws his attention. His musings have had a negative effect on his erection, or perhaps positive in the light of these events, but Dean’s sounds are doing a good job of invigorating it.

He clenches his hand on Dean’s thigh. Dean’s dick is already hard and leaking again. Red and painful-looking.

"I will get you what you need." He states and rises from the bed.

"No, Cas, need you."

"You need your own kind."

Dean grasps the comforter and arches his back at Castiel’s firm tone. His flushed dick bobs and a blob of precome leaks out. He moans deeply and thrusts into the air.

Castiel swallows dryly. It’s a physically exhausting effort to just walk out of the room.


Gabriel proves extremely helpful and unhelpful at the same time, just about what Castiel was expecting.

He agrees to go to the Rescue Center to pick up what Castiel needs for Dean’s heat. When he delivers, however, he does so with a disgusting leer that frankly makes Castiel want to crawl out of his own skin.

"No wonder he was so clingy." Gabe states and looks up the stairs as if he’s going to see Dean. Castiel regrets telling his brother that he allows the Omega to share his bed. "Come to think of it, he was only clinging to you." Gabe’s eyes are too sharp for Castiel’s liking.

"I don’t know what you want me to say."

He rifles through the bag Pamela no doubt put together for him. He must remember to thank her, for a lot of things. She put together this bag and the first one; she didn’t balk when Dean’s origin was made known to her; she clued Ash in on everything; she agreed to cover Castiel’s shifts for the coming week.

Castiel is going to need to buy her a car to pay all of this back.

"You gonna do it?"

"Do what?" he’s glad to see that Pamela thought of more protein bars. They’re easier for Dean to eat during his heat and covers most of what he needs in nutrition.

Gabe snorts. "Fuck him."

Castiel prides himself in being an extremely calm person. He rarely yells in anger and he’s never struck anyone. Is in fact uncertain he could hurt someone even in self-defense.

And so, it’s only his pristine self-control that makes him slam his fist down on the table instead of in Gabe’s face. He meets his brother’s stunned eyes with his own dark glare, not a word passing between them for several moments.

Gabe eventually swallows with a click.

"Me and Ash are gonna keep looking for Dean’s pack, you call me if you need anything else. Pamela said you could call her too."

Gabriel is out the door before he’s even properly finished the last sentence.

Castiel sighs. In the sudden quiet of the house he imagines he can hear Dean’s needy whimpers. To be perfectly honest he’s not even sure his outburst wasn’t directed more at himself than Gabe.


A normal heat lasts about four days and peaks at day three. Castiel knows this because it says so in the textbooks he read during his studies. Textbooks that now prove utterly useless. This is only day one and Dean is already a writhing mess.

His waves are close, much closer than Castiel thinks they ought to be, and Dean’s lithe body is having a hard time keeping up with his need to orgasm; the need to breed.

Castiel knows he’s not supposed to be in the bedroom and help the Omega but he just can’t leave Dean alone for fear of the Omega choking to death on his own tongue in the heat of, well, the heat. He’s embarrassed to say that he doesn’t remember if that’s an actual possibility or just an urban legend. And he should know.

Castiel feels useless.

Dean keeps begging him to knot him and refuses to eat. He gulps down water and the electrolyte drinks Pamela packed. Castiel keeps rationing them, though, but Dean doesn’t seem to notice what it is he’s drinking. Castiel is just glad the Omega is still peeing normally despite the amount of sweat and slick pouring out of him.

At first Dean seems very satisfied with the fake knot Castiel brings him but as hours turn into days it becomes apparent that the toy is not going to be enough.


*****


On day three Dean is crying constantly. Castiel’s body is tearing itself apart with conflicting feelings. On the one hand he feels heartbroken when he’s unable to give Dean the knot he really wants.

On the other he’s never been so aroused in his life.

Dean makes all the right sounds. His sweat, semen, and slick smell extremely good. And the Omega won’t stop throwing himself at Castiel, begging for him. It doesn’t matter how many times Castiel explains he’s not an Alpha and therefore cannot knot the Omega, Dean seems adamant to get Castiel’s dick inside him, one way or another.

Castiel wants to want to sleep in the guest bedroom but the fact is that he doesn’t. That, and he just can’t leave Dean.

But he should, oh he knows very well that he should sleep downstairs. For both their sanities.

More than once he’s woken up by Dean grinding against him. Twice he wakes like that first time, already buried to the hilt in Dean’s welcoming warmth. Once in Dean’s mouth. Each time he pulls away, pulls out, and gets Dean off with the fake knot instead.

His dick hates him by now.

And the fake knot is not really doing it anymore. Last two times Castiel actually put his own fingers in there and the moment the tip of his index finger grazed Dean’s prostate the Omega came with a howl.


Castiel’s body is shaking. He’s not eating enough himself.


"Cas, Cas…want you…bite me, fuck me…want…"

Castiel is on his knees behind Dean on the evening of the third day. Dean is feeble, his legs trembling as he tries to present himself and he does so well.

Castiel’s dick is straining against his pajama pants and he has to grit his teeth to keep from doing too much. Dean’s hole is clenching around Castiel’s fingers and he’s rubbing Dean’s prostate but it doesn’t seem to be enough anymore.

"Not gonna bite you, Dean."

Dean cries in dismay and bucks back against Castiel’s hand.

"Gonna be good for you." The Omega wails. "You’ll see, please want me back, want you so much. Want you to want me."

"It’s the heat."

Age-old argument.

"Smelled it on the first day."

Castiel’s hand stutters because Dean clenches extra hard, not because that was a new argument that could possibly change everything.

Change what?

"You smell so good, Cas…please—ah!—fuck me, want you inside."

"I am inside." Castiel’s breathing is strained. His dick hurts. "More inside than what’s appropriate."

By who’s standard?

Dangerous thoughts.

"Cas. So close, gonna-gonna…"

Castiel’s wrist hurts.

When Dean comes it’s with a pained whimper. His dick twitches and a mostly clear liquid drips down onto the bed. He needs to drink and eat and Castiel can’t breathe he’s so aroused.

"You-you need to…" drink. Castiel’s fingers are still slowly stroking Dean’s insides. The Omega looks at him with watery green eyes. "I should…"

Dean whines pitifully when Castiel pulls out of him and Castiel feels frozen in place. The Omega slumps to the side, rolls himself into a little ball. His dick is red and still half-hard but Castiel doesn’t see that. Can only see the pain marring Dean’s beautiful face. This is going too far.

"It hurts." Dean presses his face against the bed. Wipes off sweat and tears alike. "Cas."

Much too far.

Castiel’s chest hurts. Feels like his heart is crumbling and isn’t that just the epitome of cliché? He reaches out a shaky hand. Same hand that was in Dean’s ass but who cares about that?

"I’m sorry, Dean." He mumbles, shifts forward when Dean actually pulls away. Away, for the first time. "I do want but I-I…"

Dean gasps sharply when Castiel crowds in on him and his erection brushes Dean’s side. What little friction that provides makes fireworks go off behind Castiel’s eyes but he tries to ignore it. Needs to comfort the Omega now.

"Cas." Dean says again, presses closer now.

"I cannot see you like this." Castiel murmurs with his mouth against Dean’s sweaty skin. He turns the Omega, manhandles him as he likes and Dean rolls obediently so that he ends up on his back, Castiel settles between his legs.

"I can smell you." Dean rasps, his voice rough from crying and screaming.

Castiel nods, already knowing what Dean means. As if smelling Castiel’s arousal makes it more real than feeling his dick pressed against Dean’s slowly hardening one.

"I’m sorry I’ve hurt you."

Dean is trailing his fingers all over Castiel’s body. "Smells better than anyone."

Castiel’s breath stutters on an exhale.

He’s not usually like this. Usually he’s rational and calm. He’s efficient and perfunctory. He’s smart and blunt. Usually.

But right now he’s completely incoherent and overwhelmed by a deep longing for the Omega beneath him.

"I want you, Dean." He whispers, feels high on endorphins and wonders if it’s possible for humans to go into sympathy rut. Alphas sometimes do, that he knows, but humans? He feels out of control of his own emotions. "Never want to deny you."

Dean is already pawing at his pajama pants, whining impatiently. And Castiel can’t really think anymore. Can only feel. Push down his pants. Stroke himself twice before pushing into the greedy Omega hole, just waiting for him.

It’s a lung-crushingly tight fit.

The pleasured scream that rips out of Dean sobers Castiel up and he stares in awed horror at what he’s done. Waking up inside Dean is one thing; isn’t a conscious decision on his part. And even though he’s almost inclined to call this an unconscious decision too he’s at least still awake.

And he still wants this, so much.

Dean feels wonderful around him. Clenching in all the right places, his tight channel rippling around Castiel in a way that’s clearly meant for milking.

"Oh, God." Castiel groans, gives in.

His hips work reflexively and he starts thrusting hard almost immediately. Maybe it’s the taboo that’s making it better or maybe it’s just Dean. Castiel doesn’t know what’s what anymore. Can only care about the feel of the Omega around him, Dean’s slick dampening Castiel’s pants.

Dean is keening, whimpering for more, and already completely hard again. It’s not healthy. Castiel should pull out, should make sure Dean gets cleaned up, drinks, eats.

Castiel should do a lot of things and none of them is bending Dean in half to kiss him harshly.

Dean makes a muffled moan and then their tongues are snaking together. Castiel’s hips stutter and Dean bucks up against him, his hard dick scraping against Castiel’s stomach.

Dean wraps his arms around Castiel’s neck and rolls easily with Castiel’s hard thrusts. The Omega’s body is made for this, feels made for Castiel.

He puts his hands under Dean, on the small of the Omega’s back, and forces him to arch against him. The angle feels divine and Dean obviously thinks so too. He screams sharply against Castiel’s mouth and bucks harder, more desperate.

Castiel is so close his head is swimming.

"You need to come now, Omega." He huffs. "Need you to let go for me. Need you to before I—"

Dean sobs brokenly when he comes, his hips snapping down one last time before he spills between them, this batch even more watery than the last. His inner walls convulse around Castiel and that’s about all he can take.

He fucks into Dean a handful of times more, the headboard slamming against the wall, before he presses in tightly and finally feels that coil spring loose. He throws his head back and groans with his eyes closed, hips grinding in little circles as he allows himself to have this; to feel this.

Dean feels like a slice of heaven.


Dean’s purring brings him back to consciousness several minutes later. Minutes spent in mindless grinding. When he opens his eyes to stare down at the Omega, Dean looks more aware than ever, almost back to how he was when they first met.

Castiel feels relief mingle with the flashes of shame.

"That was the best I’ve ever had." Dean deadpans before Castiel’s mind can derail too much. "Did you know many humans sleep with Ferals? Gordon had two human females in his pack." Dean makes a face. Castiel can only stare incredulously down at him. He’s still buried to the hilt. "They were really annoying. Anyway," he meets Castiel’s stare head on. Snakes up a hand to caress Castiel’s stubbly cheek. "I want you."

"Y-yeah, I…"

Eloquent.

Dean smiles his bright smile. Castiel feels lighter than air.

"Can we shower first, though? I really like the water pressure."


*****


The day after Dean’s heat has ended Gabe comes by. He smiles at Castiel’s tired face when Castiel opens the door.

"So good and bad news." He states happily, obviously ignoring Castiel’s state of mind. "The good news is we got a new lead on a pack of Weres, pretty close to Pontiac." He sighs. "The bad is that this’ll be the fifth pack I’ll be checking out in about as many days. I think finding Dean’s brother is going to be really difficult."

Castiel hears Dean before the Omega assaults him. But Dean likes to think he’s the master of stealth so Castiel doesn’t turn around.

In fact, even when Dean jumps up on his back, glomping him and playfully chomping on his neck for a second before making a mad dash away in the hopes of Castiel chasing him, not even then does Castiel turn around.

Gabe’s eyes are the size of saucers.

"I think I may have bigger problems." Castiel states.

Gabe collects his jaw from the ground before he flashes his brother a lecherous grin. "Yeah you do."

Castiel sighs. Dean calls out for him in a playful growl.

Big, problematic, wonderful problems.