Sam comes awake slowly, the muted, miserable moaning from the other side of the bed pulling him from the warm, soft cocoon of sleep. He stretches, rolls and blinks the muzzy feeling from the edges of his mind as he reaches out, puts a tentative hand on the lump next to him.
“Cas?” Sam asks, pressing down harder with his hand on Cas' hip. Cas whimpers and curls in on himself tighter, back tensing slightly and there goes the idea that Cas might have been dreaming, that Sam could just shake him awake and kiss away the nightmare and hold him in his arms until they were drawn back under.
Castiel doesn't really have nightmares, not often anyway, not like Sam does, but it's happened. It used to happen more often, he says, back before Sam was the one sharing his bed. Sam's heard it from the next room over once or twice, over the years. He's heard other things, too and he doesn't like to think about any of it.
“Cas, are you okay?” He grips harder, tugs just a little to roll Castiel onto his back. Castiel goes willingly enough, though his eyes don't meet Sam's. He's sweaty, Sam can see. Face pale even in the low light coming in from the hallway under the door and his hair is damp, matted to his forehead. He shifts, pushes Sam's hand away and Sam flinches, stung, but he sits up straight and doesn't make another move towards his lover, much as he wants to.
He wants to comfort, that's instinct, but his touch is obviously having the opposite effect.
“I'm fine, Sam,” Cas says, finally. He's still not looking at Sam as he wraps the blanket around him tighter, then sighs in frustration and tosses it off completely. “Just hot.”
“Are you...” Sam starts, moves forward but then stops himself just in time. “Are you sick?” Castiel hasn't been sick, not ever, not that Sam has been aware of.
“I'm not sick,” Cas says, but Sam ignores him.
“I'm gonna take your temperature,” he warns, holding his open hand well above Castiel's forehead before he lowers it, slowly. Castiel bats his hand away before it can make contact and Sam shrinks back at the withering look Castiel shoots him.
“I'm not sick,” he insists again. He takes a deep breath and inches up the bed, hoists his weight onto his hands so he can pull himself back and rest against the headboard. “I'm just... uncomfortable. I'm having trouble sleeping.”
His face turns softer then, he tilts his head and smiles at Sam before he touches Sam's knee with the tips of his fingers.
“Would you get me a drink of water?” he asks.
Sam lets out a relieved breath, happy to do anything to help, even if it is just busywork.
“Yeah,” he says, leaning forward to press a quick kiss to Castiel's temple before he gets out of bed. “Be right back.”
Sam leaves the bedroom door open behind him, patting his hand against the frame as he smiles at Cas one last time before he starts down the hall to the kitchen. He feels like an idiot. Castiel doesn't usually need to be taken care of.
He's an omega – or Jimmy was, once upon a time and so Castiel is, now that he's stuck in the empty body of a former omega – but he's a badass son of a bitch and Sam wouldn't ever dream of treating him any different than he's ever treated any of his beta or alpha lovers. In fact, Sam's given Castiel even more space than usual, even more control in their relationship and outside their relationship than Sam's ever done before.
But if Cas is sick, if his body is becoming more and more susceptible to human ailment then Sam will be there, gladly, to feed him soup and Tylonol and tea. And water.
When he gets to the kitchen Dean is there, sitting on a stool next to the counter with a bottle of water in his hand. His fingers are drumming against the granite in an agitated rhythm and his feet kick at the underboard on every other swing of his restless legs.
“Hey,” Sam mumbles, as he opens the fridge door and pulls out a large jug of water. He grabs a cup from the cupboard and pours the water into it, before refilling the jug from the tap and putting it back in the fridge.
“Thirsty?” Dean asks, but he's looking down at his own drink, not back at Sam.
“It's for... Cas isn't feeling well.”
Sam feels awkward, uncertain and awkward and he doesn't think that will ever go away. Dean and Cas used to fuck. No, that's not... Dean and Cas used to be... Dean was Cas' alpha. They bonded, they were together in a way that Sam can't ever live up to because he's a beta. He can't give Castiel what he needs. He physically can't, because his body doesn't have the right chemistry but Castiel assured him, a few months back when they got together for the first time, that that didn't matter.
Castiel assured him that he didn't need an alpha, he didn't need Dean. Omegas were perfectly fine on their own and Castiel, for one, would welcome a less... overbearing partner.
Sam had been nervous, telling Dean about hooking up with his ex. Not that he would have stopped if Dean asked him to – Sam is fucking crazy about Cas and obviously Dean isn't, or he wouldn't have let him go – but Sam does feel bad when Dean does. When Dean sulks or drinks in his room or looks at Cas the same way Sam does. Sam gets it and he hates that his brother hurts like he does, but in the end Dean was careless and he lost out. In the end, Dean's happy to be free again, because him and Cas... that was something that burned bright and hot and lost it's shine after a while.
Dean snorts and gets up off his stool, crosses past Sam and opens up the freezer.
“Ice,” he says, tossing the tray on the island next to the glass of water. “He'll need it.”
“What...” Sam stops and shakes his head. “I think... he has a fever. Has this happened before?”
Dean tilts his head back, barks out a sharp, humourless laugh and he picks up the tray and cracks two ice cubes into the glass before he opens the fridge up, pulls the jug out and drops the rest of the ice into it.
“Take the whole thing,” Dean says. “Trust me.”
“Dean,” Sam snaps, eyes narrowing. He hates the feeling that Dean knows something about his lover that Sam doesn't. “What's going on?”
Dean holds his eyes for a few seconds but he gives in eventually. He looks away first, which is wholly unlike Dean, unlike his nature and that makes Sam even more suspicious.
“What's going on?”
“He's in heat, Sam,” Dean offers, letting out a breath and standing up straight. He grabs his keys off the counter and stuffs them in his pocket. “Can fucking smell it from my room. Christ. I've gotta get out of here.”
“He's... He's what?” Sam doesn't have Dean's nose, Cas' either. He's not tuned into the pheromones alphas and omegas give off when they hit their hormonal peaks. He hates that his brother knows this about Cas, that he can smell it, feel it, when Sam can't.
Dean rolls his eyes as he pushes past Sam, sends him splayed against the dish cupboard. “In heat. As in.... he needs a knot. He needs a... You'll figure it out. I have to get out of here.”
“Sam, if I don't leave right now, you'll never be able to forgive me.”
Sam's breath catches and he stares, wide-eyed for a moment at Dean before Dean's words sink in. Dean might not love Castiel anymore, but he still needs him, he still responds to the hormones he puts off when he's on his cycle. It makes Sam wonder if Castiel has the same responses to Dean, still.
“Yeah,” Sam says. “Yeah, thanks, Dean. I'll... “
Dean's gone before Sam can finish, but that's okay. Sam doesn't want to talk about this with his brother any more than he has to.
He walks back to his room, holds out the glass and the full jug of water, piled up with ice cubes. He manages to put the jug down and hand the glass to Castiel before his insecurities get the better of him and he asks, “Do you need an alpha?”
Castiel nearly chokes on the large sip of water he takes.
“Do I... Of course I don't.” He's scowling now, looking at Sam like he's angry that Sam would even think such a thing. He puts the water down on the table next to his bed. “I'm in heat, though, if that's what you're asking.”
“I was... Yeah. I was. And Dean said...”
“Dean?!” Cas hisses, reaches out to grasp Sam's arm and yanks, pulls so that Sam is sitting on the bed, eye level with Cas. Castiel likes it when they're the same height. “Don't necessarily listen to what Dean tells you.”
“Cas, I only... Look, Dean said I could handle it. He said he was leaving, because... I don't know. But he told me I could... I gotta say, Cas, I don't know what to do, here.”
“There's nothing,” Cas says. “Nothing. Just... I'll deal with it on my own. Like I've been doing.”
“You've...” Sam hedges, knows he's invading his lover's privacy but he wants to know. “You've dealt with this before? On your own?”
“Two heats, Sam,” Castiel says. “Two that I've been by myself. Two without you to help me through. And I've been fine without Dean.”
Sam's heart falls.
“But you do need Dean,” he doesn't ask.
“I was accustomed to Dean,” Castiel counters. “A year, two heats have given me time to adjust to life without him.”
“But do you...” Sam starts, but Castiel rolls, settles himself over top of Sam, nestles his hips against Sam's and holds Sam's wrists in his hands, pinned to the bed by Sam's shoulders.
“Biology is biology,” Castiel says, grinding down against San's hardening cock in a rolling rhythm. “I will always be excited by an alpha. I know that you can't relate to that, Sam, but please don't despair. The way you feel for me? It's the same way I feel for you.”
Sam barks out a short laugh. He really doubts that.
“Your senses,” Castiel says. “Do they hold you hostage? Do they force you into loving me?”
“You know they don't,” Sam says. Of course they don't. Sam's a beta, his senses don't tell him one way or the other who he should choose as a lover. “That doesn't...”
“That exactly,” Castiel counters. “That's the way I feel for you, as well.”
“But... with Dean...”
“With Dean,” Castiel pauses and sighs. “With Dean, it is done. Over. I don't regret it, but neither do I regret choosing you, this time, Sam. And I don't need an alpha, don't need anyone at all, but I'd like... I'd like for you to help me through my heat. Will you do that for me, Sam?”
“How?” Sam asks, spreading his legs slightly so Castiel can fall between them. He shimmies his hips and Castiel takes the hint, works his own pants down and off and Sam's along with them, with a single, trembling hand. “Anything, Cas, tell me and I'll do it. How can I help you?”
Castiel shuffles, knee-walks slightly so that the tip of his erection is pressed up underneath Sam's heavy, tight balls.
“Can we fuck?” Castiel asks and Sam nearly laughs in response. Of course they can fuck! That's not even a question.
“Yeah,” he says. “Yeah, Cas, we can... as much as you need. Over and over and... I mean.. Is that a thing? Do you need to come like... a lot?”
Sam's never been with an omega in heat. He's been with an alpha once, Brady. And when he went into rut he needed to come, over and over and over. Sam was aching and slippery and worn the fuck out, by the end. And Dean... Dean's always kept those personal details to himself, but Sam has definitely noticed how he locks himself up in his room for days at a time, at six month intervals.
“Just hold still,” Cas offers. “I don't need a knot. If that's what you're worried about. I don't need... I just need to come. Yes, a lot.”
Sam laughs, half in relief that he really will be enough for Cas, half in honest to God amusement that Castiel is completely comfortable taking what he wants, that Sam needn't have worried about pressuring Cas, at all. He's kind of surprised that Dean, even his asshole, overbearing alpha brother Dean, was capable of intimidating Castiel.
“Anything you need,” Sam says and then he shouts, loud and long as Castiel shoves inside him. It's happened before, many times before. Cas fucks Sam even more often than Sam fucks Cas and Sam is glad for it. Sam's not submissive in the bedroom, not even close but he likes his partners to give as good as they get.
“Hold still,” Castiel says. “Shut up. That's what I need.”
Sam moans and keens, tilts his head back and opens his legs wider for Castiel to settle between. It's a frantic rutting, over and over Cas pushes inside and before Sam can even think about getting off, Cas is biting down on his shoulder, holding his hands down and filling Sam up.
“That's...” Sam says. “I need to come, still.”
“You can,” Castiel says. “You can, but not right now. I need....”
Sam clenches down tighter around Cas' cock, wraps his arms tighter around Cas' shoulders. “Anything,” Sam says. “I'll fuck you, over and over and you can do whatever you need. If you're sure you don't need a knot...”
“I need only you, Sam,” Castiel tells him, thrusts in harder, makes Sam cry out and curl his arms around Castiel's back. Castiel thrusts his hips deeper, slower and he kisses Sam's chest.
Sam clings tighter, lets Castiel swell and pulse again, fill and empty inside Sam once more and when Castiel shudders and whines, when he whimpers and goes limp Sam holds him close.
“More?” Sam asks.
“More...” Castiel answers, slurred and muffled. “Fuck me. My mouth. I need... Fuck my mouth. Then fill me up, fuck me hard and come, inside me.”
Sam freezes, presses his palms to Castiel's cheeks and he lets them go, takes a breath and slinks up next to him, close.
“You'll always crave your alpha,” Sam says. It's a fact. It's not something that bothers Sam, not more than any fact of nature can.
“He's not mine anymore,” Castiel answers. "You are. So prove it."
Sam wrestles out from under Cas, hedges up and points the tip of his leaking cock to Cas' mouth.
Cas swallows him down and Sam tries not to think of his brother, as he sets about proving Castiel right.