“No, no, no, no, NO!” Dean always knew he was a carrier. He’d gotten himself tested for it along with the standard STD panel at the clinic when he was twenty. With the fear of becoming pregnant looming over his head he decided he would never act on his urges towards other men.
He fell in love. Real, actual love. With an angel. An angel who told him he had no gender. He was a celestial wavelength of intent. He was just hitching a ride in some guy named Jimmy. Still...it would be wrong when there was another soul lurking around in there who probably wouldn’t be on board with Castiel using his vessel for something other than a mission from god.
When Cas came back, Jimmy was gone. His reward was a heaven he would someday share with his true love Amelia. Castiel was his own man, so to speak. He could choose what to do for himself.
Most of those choices led to dire consequences. Dean and his brother were always helping him clean up messes he made doing what he thought was the right thing. But then, he’d pulled their asses out of the fire for doing the same damn things.
Dean almost told him at a dozen different moments. Each time he held his tongue or steered the implication towards a more familial sense of love. The last time he almost said it he was seconds from losing the love of his life. He could only scream, to this day he wasn’t clear on what exactly it was, as Cas was felled by Lucifer’s blade.
He was broken, lost. Just an empty shell of a man going through the motions. He could have sworn his heart had stopped beating at all until his angel was resurrected.
His mind and body had been overcome with a flurry of emotions. He clung tight to Castiel and professed his love between passionate kisses and tears of joy. He’d let Cas take him right there, his first intimate touches with any man. His instincts drove him closer...closer...until they were one. He cried in Castiel’s arms afterward and begged him not to leave him again until he drifted off. He was so relieved to see that Cas was still holding him the next morning.
Dean threw himself into the relationship. He thought he had to constantly prove his love for Cas, prove he was worthy of the love Cas professed for him. Sam was a little sick of their honeymoon phase but he genuinely was happy for them.
He took the paper he’d gotten through certified mail. And hid it in one of his old girly mags in a drawer. He doubted Cas would be looking through those. He took half a dozen home tests from Wal-Mart but denied their accuracy until he could get a blood test. It was all there in black and white. His hormone levels indicated he was eleven or twelve weeks pregnant. Pregnant with Castiel’s child.
He didn't suspect anything until about three weeks ago. His nipples were sore, even from wearing his softest and most worn tees. He felt exhausted and dizzy. Then he felt nauseous around certain smells like beer and coffee. He forced himself to drink juice and water. Dean realized now they were bad for the baby.
Baby. No. Not a baby. It was just a tiny lump of cells, right? He was a couple weeks away from hitting his second trimester. Anything could happen. He convinced himself not to get attached. That was hard to do when he constantly found one of his hands dropping low on his abdomen in a protective gesture.
He was like that now, curled onto his side on his and Castiel’s bed. He rubbed his palm over what he thought already felt like a hard bump. Small, barely detectable, unless you knew what you were feeling for. He was kind of glad Cas was out clothes shopping with Jack so he couldn't see him like this. Not yet.
Tap, tap, “Dean?”
“I’ve been meaning to ask you how it went at the clinic? You got the flu or something.”
“The Egyptian flu,” Dean muttered.
“I’m fine, Sam. Just tired, okay. No caffeine’ll do that to you.”
Sam sighed and sank down on the bed behind his brother. “Cas is worried about you. You guys have been all lovey-dovey and he said the past couple weeks all you do is roll over and go to sleep. Now, I don’t need to know the details of your sex life, but that doesn’t sound like you at all.”
Dean sat up. “You ever get tested? To see if you’re a carrier?”
“In college. They urged us to go. I am but I’m not into guys so it wasn’t a big deal. I mean, Jess and I talked about kids. I was willing to go through with having them if it turned out she couldn't. Why?”
“I found out when I was around twenty. I never, I never slept with a guy before Cas.”
“Dean, you could be a poster boy for safe sex.”
Dean stared down at his lap. “Except for the time I wasn’t.”
“Whoa...are you saying you might be…?”
Dean finally looked his brother in the eyes. “About twelve weeks. I got the results from the blood panel back. I didn’t trust those stupid pee sticks."
Sam placed a hand on Dean’s back. “Does Cas know?”
Dean shook his head. “I’m gonna wait.”
“Till when? Your water breaks? Or are you not sure you want to go through with it? I mean, I’ll support you either way.”
“I know, Sammy. And I’m not sure of anything right now. You know all kinds of stuff can happen the next few weeks. Or what if Cas doesn’t want it? We’ve been together for three months. He’s having a hard enough time raising a teenager.”
Sam rubbed soothing circles on his brother’s back. “He was willing to raise Jack from birth. I think he’ll want this. He’ll want to have this with you.”
Dean broke into tears. “What if I’m too old? Huh? I’m forty and Cas is like a million. Something could be wrong with it…”
“Dean, would that even matter to either one of you?”
He sniffled. “Not really. I just have a lot going through my head right now. And I really wish Mom was here.”
“I do, too. But we have Jody. She can ‘Mom’ you through this. Just...tell Cas. Talk it out. Please.”
“Okay. Just one more week. I just need one more week so I don’t get his hopes up for nothing.”
Sam hugged his before he left him alone. “One week.”
Castiel began to have his doubts about his relationship with Dean. The hunter had still been affectionate with him. He still used pet names like sweetheart, sunshine, and angel . They shared a bed every night. But Dean was reluctant to be physically intimate with him. He wondered if he should ask Dean if he still found him attractive. Instead he had a rather awkward conversation with the man they both considered a brother.
They agreed that it would be best to let Dean have his space to figure things out. Sam assured him that Dean was hopelessly in love with him and that he probably wasn’t feeling well. He wouldn't want Cas to worry over him. So he kissed his beloved goodnight and held him from behind. Worries still hung in the back of his mind.
“Dad, what does it mean to be a ‘carrier’?” Jack asked him on their shopping trip.
“It means a human male has functional reproductive organs to both impregnate and to be impregnated. It isn’t common but it also isn’t rare. It’s a hereditary trait.”
“Oh. I overheard some kids my age discussing it and birth control. Dad? Is that something I need to worry about?”
Cas smiled at his adopted son. “We can have you tested if you would like to know. But as a young man I suppose we should have a thorough talk about the subject and about contraceptive measures.”
Jack ducked his head and blushed. “I don’t even know anybody.”
“It is still very important information to have.”
He continued his mall crawl with Jack but he started to think about a few things. He knew Dean was a carrier. He’d rebuilt his body cell by cell. They’d always used protection. No, not the first time they made love… ”Fuck.”
“Nothing, Jack. I just remembered something I need to speak with Dean about when we get back.”
Jack accepted his answer. They walked to the food court for lemonades. “Do you think Dean will ever want to be my dad too? Like if you get married?”
“Son, family is very important to Dean. He has already accepted you as part of it. I’m sure after we are together for awhile he will consider you his son as well. We weren't even together and he bonded with Claire.”
“ I’m not bonded with Claire,” Jack whined.
“Claire is cautious about who she gets close to. She needs time. She wasn’t fond of me for some time either. But she is a Winchester. Not by blood but by choice. As are we.”
“Huh. I guess everybody kind of adopted each other.” Jack sipped his drink and helped carry his bags back to the truck.
Dean tried to act like everything was fine. He managed to cook dinner without getting the urge to hurl so that was good. He held Cas’ hand and gave him chaste kisses. He smiled as he listened to Jack speak about his time at the mall. He even offered him the first slice of pie. He was making an effort.
After dinner Jack had his lessons with Sam. He was being taught combat and defense. They feared him relying on powers he had yet to learn to control. He was part of a hunter family.
Cas helped with cleanup and suggested a movie. He sat on the sofa and had Dean’s head in his lap. He combed his fingers through Dean’s hair until he felt him relax.
“Jack asked me about carriers today.” Cas felt Dean tense again. “We should probably have a discussion with him if we intend to send him to school.”
“That’s...that’s a good idea, sweetheart.” Dean felt the stir of panic rise in him. “He’ll need to be tested before he registers anyway. It’s mandatory these days.”
“I would very much appreciate your input. As a carrier.”
Dean shot up fast enough to feel faint. And he did. Castiel caught him before he could roll off the couch. He fanned his face for a few seconds until his eyes fluttered open. “Dean? Are you alright?”
He replayed the last thing he remembered. “How did you know that?”
“I rebuilt you, remember? And I am otherwise well acquainted with your anatomy.” Cas watched as Dean’s hand went to its protective position below his belt. He doubted Dean even realized he was doing it. It was instinct to shield and protect your fetus.
Instead of getting too excitable, Castiel took a calming breath before placing his hand over Dean’s. He heard Dean start to cry. “It’s alright, Dean. I wish you would have told me, but I’m not upset with you.”
“I was gonna wait another week. Just to be clear of the first trimester.”
Cas pulled Dean around and up into his lap. “Are you happy?”
“I guess. You?”
“I am. But we should address some concerns. Your age plays a small factor but you are healthy and active. I see little risk to continue the pregnancy.”
“Yeah, that crossed my mind a few times today. And if you would even want it. Or if I’m sure I want it. God, Cas. I’ve been out of my mind.”
Castiel kissed his temple and continued to soothe him. “Which is why you should have come to me. You are not alone.”
Dean clung to his mate. “Tell me now, before it’s too late. Do you want this baby?”
Cas looked deep in his eyes. “Yes. But what is more important is if you want it. I would grieve the loss but I would never force this on you.”
“How do you always say exactly the right thing?”
“Because I love you. Now, is this why you haven't been interested in making love or is that another discussion?”
“Honestly, I’ve been too tired or queasy or both. Believe me, I will never lose the hots for you. Be patient, babe. I’m mostly through the worst of it.”
“Should we find a doctor? At least conceiving after I turned human means a human child.”
“We can make some calls in the morning. Right now I wanna go to bed.”
Castiel was a natural researcher. He scoured the web for doctors within an hour’s drive for someone who specialized in male carrier pregnancies and births. He read testimonials and cross checked licenses and credentials. He called for an appointment for Dean, noting his age so they could determine risk. They would have to wait three weeks and have an insurance plan. Sam could do that by some less than legal means.
They decided to keep the news to themselves until after they had seen Dr. Greene. Dean admitted that Sam knew but it was just hours before Cas had his suspicions confirmed. They wanted to be sure before telling Jack he would be a big brother.
Dean already felt moody and...fat. He opted to stay in and wear sweats or lounge pants because his jeans were uncomfortable. Sam teased him in private about wearing the ones with the wide elastic panel and the cute little sailor tops he’d be in. Sam had a bruise on his arm for a week where Dean slugged him.
Cas did wind up buying him something Dean called “Mom jeans.” There was elastic in the back for some give. Cas assured Dean no one would notice with his shirt untucked and a flannel layer. In bed, when they were alone, Cas couldn’t keep his hands off the tiny baby bump. He also kissed it goodnight.
Looking around the waiting room, Dean noticed men in various stages of pregnancy. He also noted he was the only one with a partner. Was he just needy and insecure? He felt relief when he was called back.
Dr. Greene was also a carrier. He and his partner had two children. He had his nurse draw more blood and get his vitals. Dean was handed a gown to change into for the rest of the exam. Great. Stirrups.
Dean’s belly was prodded at. He was going to get his first ultrasound to get an estimated due date. The dreaded stirrups hadn’t come into play yet. He got a modesty drape and lifted his gown for the cold goo to be squirted on him. He didn’t realize how tight he’d been squeezing Castiel’s hand.
“There. See that blip? There’s your little bean’s heart beating.” He turned up the volume. Hormonal Dean started crying.
“Looks like you are about fifteen weeks so if everything stays on track you are looking at having this baby in mid May.”
“That’s close to Jack’s birthday,” Cas said.
“You have another one at home?” Dr. Greene inquired.
“He’s sixteen. Adopted.”
“Is he excited about being a big brother?”
“We haven't told anyone yet. Just wanted to make sure everything was alright first.” Cas helped wipe some of Dean’s tears away.
“I know you both have concerns with Dean’s age. It’s actually perfectly normal to wait until you’re in your late thirties, early forties. We have longer life expectancies. Our reproductive years have extended. There is little concern for anything less than a healthy pregnancy.”
Both parents were relieved. They were going to get a prescription for prenatal vitamins and some nutritional do’s and don'ts. Dean was hopeful they would be on their way but then he was told the stirrups were coming into play.
“Just going to check your cervix, Dean. And don’t be embarrassed if your body reacts. It’s perfectly normal.”
They hadn’t even had penetrative sex in weeks. Cas had offered to be the bottom but Dean wanted to wait for the all clear from their doctor so they could resume their normal activities. He wasn’t even really a top with women. He’d always preferred to be dominated and ridden.
“Okay, Dean. Everything is fine. We won’t need to see you for another month but make your appointment for five weeks. At twenty we may be able to determine the sex. If you want to know.”
Dean and Cas exchanged glances. “Yeah. We do.”
On the drive home Dean whined for a milkshake but got a peach smoothie instead. “I’m eating for two, you know?”
“I know. And the baby can have nutritious snacks,” Cas retorted.
They decided to tell Jack at dinner. Dean was a little drained so they picked up takeout. Cas carefully selected what Chinese food he deemed appropriate for his mate. Dean grumbled but he was still hungry.
“I went to see a doctor today,” Dean started. Jack looked concerned. “We would have talked to you sooner but we wanted to be able to answer any questions you might have.”
“Are you sick, Dean?” Jack’s voice broke a little.
Dean smiled. “No. Not sick.” He took Cas’ hand. “We are having a baby. Looks like you’re gonna be a big brother, kid.”
Jack just sat there with wide eyes. “You think of me as your baby’s...brother?”
Dean’s face fell. “Well, yeah. Just ‘cause you’re adopted doesn’t make you any less our kid. It doesn’t mean we’re gonna treat the baby like it’s real and you’re not.”
Jack was a little overwhelmed with emotions. He was a sensitive child. “I didn’t realize you felt that way about me.”
“Jack, I’m sorry about the way I behaved when you first got here. Just...everything about you reminded me of Cas, what I lost. I couldn’t deal. That wasn’t your fault. It was mine. Me and Cas, we’re in it for the long haul so I’ll be like your other dad. I mean, if you’re cool with that.”
Jack lit up and grinned. Dean swore he looked just like Cas just then. “I’m cool. Way cool.” He made a nervous laugh. “So do I call you something other than Dean now?”
“Whaddya got in mind?”
The teen bit his lip and considered it. “Pop?”
Dean reached across the table and put a hand on Jack’s arm. “You got it, kid.”
Sam cleared his throat. “Looks like I’m still Uncle Sam either way, huh?”
“I’m teaching the baby to call you Uncle Bitch,” Dean smirked at his brother.
“Jack, just call him Jerk. He answers to that,” Sam teased.
The rest of the evening they went over how the first appointment was and what they would need to do to prepare for their new family member. Dean planned to join his and Cas’ room to the adjoining dorm as a nursery. He liked home improvement projects.
“Happy Birthday, Jack!” His parents and uncle surprised him. They presented him with a laptop of his own. Sam gave him a large envelope with forged documents. Technically he was born only a year ago but his birth certificate and adoption papers said he was seventeen. Dean even convinced him to get Jack a driver’s permit so he could teach him to drive after the baby was born.
“Wow. Thank you. Thank you for everything.” He hugged each of them, struggling with Dean’s huge belly.
He looked over his papers while he ate his birthday pie his Pop baked him. He noticed his last name had changed. Kline was now his middle name. He was a Winchester.
Dean noticed how Jack’s fingers lightly grazed over the paper. “Figured you wanted the same last name as your folks and your little brother.”
“I did, Pop. Guess it won’t be long before we get to meet him.”
Dean grimaced and leaned forward. “Gah! Maybe sooner than you think if this is a contraction.”
Cas stood and put some pressure on Dean’s lower back. “Just breathe slow.”
The contraction passed so Castiel and Sam moved Dean to the couch in the family room so he could lie down. The next one hit about twenty minutes later. The plan was to head to the hospital when they got to ten. It could be a long labor.
Dean was miserable. The pain was tolerable. He’d been tortured before. But he was sweating and there was so much pressure. Dr. Greene said they could go natural on their last visit a few days ago. He was starting to reconsider the C-section option.
It was hours before the contractions were close enough to warrant leaving. Sam drove them because he was the one with a level head. Dean was taken up to delivery.
Sam and Jack were allowed to stay in the room while the hard labor progressed. They hit their limit when Dean’s water broke. Sam took his nephew for some hot cocoa. “Some birthday, huh?”
“I dunno. It’s kinda cool. Maybe get to share it with him. Never forget when it is,” he joked.
“Yeah. Could be a lot worse. I actually died one year on my birthday. Then Dean died the following year on it. That pretty much sucked.”
“I didn’t know that. I’m sorry.”
“All in the past. Wait till you die a couple times,” Sam nudged his shoulder with a smile.
“I can’t, Cas.”
“Yes you can, Dean. You are the strongest man I know. You can survive something as trivial as giving birth,” Cas coached him.
“Trivial? You wanna push a bowling ball outta your hoohah?”
“Dean, listen to me. A year ago we had no idea this could ever happen. We are minutes away from bringing our child into the world. Now take a deep breath and push!”
“I hate you so much right now.” But Dean sat up and bore down again. The delivery team counted him down and the head finally came down. “Goddamnit this hurts!”
“Just gotta get the shoulders out, Dean. You’re doing good. Take a couple breaths and another big push.”
Dean was almost done. He squeezed Cas’ hand and growled at his final push. He collapsed back hard and gasped for breath. He was light headed when he heard the cries pierce the room.
A slippery, gooey infant was put on his chest while Cas cut the cord. He felt more tugging and pressure before he was handed his clean and swaddled son.
“Congratulations, dads. You have a perfectly healthy baby boy. Eight pounds, nine ounces, twenty inches long.”
Cas cried with Dean as they looked over the tiny bundle. He kissed them both. “I’m so proud of you.”
“I didn’t mean it, that I hate you. I love you so much, Cas.”
“I know. I love you, too.”
Sam and Jack were shown to the recovery room just past midnight. A nurse was checking the baby’s vitals in a bassinet. When she was done she asked who wanted to hold him.
Dean nodded to Jack. “Why don’t we let his big brother hold him?”
“Really?” Jack sat in a chair and offered his arms. The nurse showed him how to support the head. Sam snapped a picture on his phone. Jack softly sang Happy Birthday to him.
“You’re stuck with him, you know? Scaring off bullies, telling him about the birds and the bees when he’s too embarrassed to ask us, sharing your birthday pie…” Dean told him.
“I know, Pop. It’s good practice for when I have my own someday.”
“Yeah...hopefully in like a decade or so. I don’t wanna have a son and a grandson in diapers at the same time.” Dean raised an eyebrow.
“Pop, I don’t even know anybody.”
Dean laughed. Oh to be seventeen and innocent again. Jack passed his brother up to Sam. “You got a name, yet?”
“We got a dozen. That’s the problem. Still open to suggestions. Cas wants all these archaic angel names…”
“How about Kelly? L-like my mom,” Jack said meekly. “She died when I was born.”
Cas left Dean’s side to comfort his son. “I think that’s a wonderful idea. Dean?”
“It’s perfect. Kelly Winchester it is. Now get the nurse back in here. I want a family picture. That means you, too, Uncle Bitch.” Dean smirked at his brother.
“Jerk. I’d punch you if you weren't post-partum.”
They were all smiles when the nurse flashed the camera on Sam’s phone. Five Winchester boys.