An unusual rush of activity alerted Castiel to a change on the ward. He put the patient's file on the end of the bed and hurried out into the hall. The double doors to the ward were being breached by a hospital bed with a man laying on it and two of the nurses from the ER were pushing the bed through.
"Castiel, I was just about to come get you." His senior RN, Missouri, announced as she held the door open for the hospital bed. Castiel frowned and took the file, his eyes on the man in the bed.
"Is it... urgent?" Castiel asked hesitantly. The patient was bloodied and bruised, and clearly had a broken leg but the other nurses weren't rushing as they usually would.
"No, he fell into a coma because of the head trauma but we suspect, when he's ready, he'll wake up with minimal repercussions." Missouri explained calmly. Castiel nodded but his face fell into a frown.
"But, this isn't the coma ward?" Castiel watched the nurses move the patient into one of the spare rooms in his area of the ward.
"I know but there's no room down there, and we think he'll wake up soon. I think this will be good for you, and for the patient. He needs someone with your patience and kindness." Missouri shrugged. A small blush and a shy smile appeared on his face. "Jessica will fill you in." Castiel nodded obediently and followed the patient into his room.
"Jessica?" Castiel asked as he entered. The blonde nurse turned to the door and gave Castiel a wide smile.
"Hi, Cassie." Jess replied cheerfully. Castiel smiled and indulged her half hug before turning to the patient. "This is Dean Winchester, he was in a car crash; he suffered various lacerations, some muscle deep but none that will affect his life overall, he suffered an open, compound fracture to his right tibia but that has been reset as you can see. He suffered a major head injury and fell into a coma after the leg was reset, swelling is expected to go down. No life threatening injuries were sustained." She recited dutifully . Castiel looked over Dean and assessed the injuries. "We couldn't clean him in the ER so that job falls on you but you're his main nurse now so you'll get used to it."
"It's fine, just my first coma patient." Castiel explained. Jess smiled softly and laid her hand on his shoulder.
"You've only been here for a month, Cassie." Jess comforted. Castiel chuckled softly and shrugged.
"I'm ready." Castiel said with a smile. Jess cheered then moved to leave the room.
"See you at dinner." She called before disappearing out of the door. Castiel laughed quietly to himself then turned his attention to Dean.
"Hello Dean, I'm your nurse, Castiel." Castiel announced. "I'm just going to clean the blood off you and wrap your wounds to prevent infection. After that I'm going to insert an IV for fluids and a catheter." Castiel explained softly. He went to the bathroom and filled a bowl with warm water then carried it out to Dean. The man had been left in stained grey boxers by the ER staff, so Castiel could see all of the cuts. He laid the bowl on the patient's unnecessary bed table and moved to gather bandages and other equipment he needed. "Ok, Dean, I'm going to start with your face." Castiel picked up a clean towel and dipped it in the water then he began to gently wipe the blood from Dean's face. He worked methodically and soon Dean's face was clean of blood so he moved on to the rest of his body. He apologised whenever Dean flinched, even though he knew that it was purely reflex rather than Dean wasn't moving away from the pain consciously. He spoke softly as he worked, explaining what he was doing, what he was going to do.
When Dean was clean, he moved onto the IV and catheter, working clinically and quickly, then he stood back to look at Dean.
The man's short, brown hair was greasy and flattened against his head, he had an angular jaw that was covered in day old stubble and plump lips. His bare torso was toned and muscular, his legs were muscular too and were covered in fine hair. Everything about him screamed masculinity, though his face was relaxed and youthful in his unconscious state.
Castiel replaced the nasal cannula under Dean's nose then looped it over his ears, he let his hand stroke over Dean's jaw before standing.
"The cannula will make sure that you're getting enough oxygen." He explained after he removed his hands. After he laid Dean's gown over him, Castiel glanced at Dean's file, telling himself that it was for medical reasons but he knew it wasn't.
"Missouri?" Castiel asked, leaning over the nurses station counter. "Has the coma patient's emergency contacts been called yet?"
"No, I was waiting for you to finish cleaning him up." Missouri said. Castiel laid the file on the desk and leant on it.
"He's all cleaned up. IV and catheter in place." Castiel updated. Missouri nodded and picked up the phone. Castiel tapped the desk and slid Dean's file into his hands so he could check his other patient's.
A few hours later, Castiel returned to Dean's room but startled at the form sat in the chair next to Dean's bed.
"Hello?" Castiel asked cautiously. The figure stood and reached their hand out towards him.
"I'm Sam, Winchester." The stanger introduced, "Dean's my brother."
"I'm Castiel, your brother's nurse." Castiel returned. He stepped around Sam and approached Dean. "Hello Dean, I'm just going to check your vitals and check your responses, tomorrow I'm going to start moving your limbs to make sure that you don't get bed sores or stiff joints."
"Why are you talking to him?" Sam asked. The tall man stepped forward to watch Castiel work. "He's in a coma." The man sounded bitter and annoyed, as though the nurse hadn't been informed of Dean's current state.
"He is, but there's a chance he could hear us. Touching and talking can help him recover. It's only fair that I tell him what's going on and who I am." Castiel explained. "When you come to visit him, you should announce who you are, tell him about your day, hold his hand." Sam frowned and turned his eyes to his brother.
"What happened?" Sam asked, falling back into his seat with his eyes trained on his brother's concealed cuts.
"He was in a car crash." Castiel said simply. "Dean, I'm going to check your reflexes, make sure that you still have sensation in your extremities." Castiel moved to the end of the bed with his clipboard, avoiding the man in the chair. Something was off about Sam's reaction, about the way he was holding himself. So he continued to ignore the quiet man, he pushed his pen against Dean's toes and praised the man when he moved his feet then he moved to Dean's hands and repeated the process. "Thank you, I'll be back soon to check on you." Castiel murmured to Dean. "Talk to him, Sam. He needs it." He commented as he left the room.
"Castiel." Sam called down the corridor after the nurse.
"Yes, Mr Winchester?" Castiel asked, his tone resigned and annoyed. Sam stopped in front of him and hesitated, looking around the ward at the patients.
"Dean, when is he going to wake up?" Sam questioned, not unlike a child. Castiel sighed.
"Dean fell into a coma because of head trauma from his crash, his body is repairing itself. He will wake up when his body decides that he is well enough. Considering I am just his nurse and not inside his head, I can't tell you when he'll wake up. Now if you'll excuse me, I have other patients who are waiting on me." Castiel retorted. Sam flinched at the nurse's sharp tone and watched in shock as he walked away without another word. Sam moved back to Dean's room and sat down silently, watching his brother's chest moving up and down with his breathing.
"Come on, Dean, you gotta wake up." Sam whispered.
"Hello Dean, it's Thursday. You've been asleep for a week now." Castiel announced as he did every day. A warm smile made it's way onto his face as he saw his favourite patient. "Sam hasn't been back to see you but he calls. Not that I think that helps." Castiel muttered in annoyance. Castiel sat down in his chair and slipped his hand into Dean's. "Gabriel came to see me yesterday, it was the same old big brother bull that he tries to pull but I'm used to it. He was mocking me for being so attached to a patient but I can't help it. He said that falling for your looks was stupid, that I don't even know you; I'm not stupid, I'm just... Hopeful." Castiel informed, he figured that, since Sam wasn't there to speak to Dean often enough, he'd talk. "Anyway, I'm going to do the usual tests. Starting with fingers, can you move them for me?" He sat back waiting to see if Dean would move, he hadn't managed it yet but Castiel had faith. Castiel patiently waited and smiled widely when Dean's fingers twitched as though they were going to close around Castiel's hand. "Yes, good job, Dean." He praised. He stood up quickly, leaving his hand in Dean's. "Ok, can you move your other hand?" Again, he waited for a response; which came as the slightest finger twitch. "Good. This is good progress, Dean." Castiel stroked Dean's hair and squinted at the slight movement of Dean's face.
"Cassie?" A voice said from the doorway. Castiel snatched his hands away from Dean and whirled around. Jessica stood with a cheeky smirk and a hand on her hip. "You spend a lot of time with your favourite patient, your other patients are going to get jealous." She teased. Castiel stuttered.
"No, I was checking his responses. He's improving." Castiel argued. "He moved his hands." He eventually said in defeat. Jessica grinned and made her way to the bed.
"Hi Dean, it's Jess again." Jessica greeted, She laid her hand on Dean's covered shoulder so he knew where she was stood. "I'm just going to take our dear Cassie to the cafeteria for dinner, I'm sure he'll be back to you soon." Castiel flushed and slipped his hand back into Dean's; he knew that there was no point in pretending he felt nothing for Dean, especially in front of Jessica, no matter how stupid it seemed to other people.
"I'll be back to check your vitals and do your exercises later." Castiel murmured. Dean moved his hand again, squeezing Castiel's hand weakly before dropping it limply against the bed. Jessica hopped around the bed to loop her arm through Castiel's before leading him out of Dean's room.
It was quiet without his nurse talking to him, not the usual hospital quiet where the sound of beeping, groaning and nurses are still present, more akin to when one is a sleep and doesn't register sound. He'd heard Cas telling him that he was in a coma, he didn't quite have a concept of time while he was sleeping but whenever Cas visited him for the first time during his shift the nurse would tell him how long he had been asleep.
It was as though his mind was constantly listening for the soft 'hello Dean' that his nurse always greeted him with. The nurse's voice was nice and gravely, and Dean knew he was unusually attracted to his nurse.
He knew it was crazy, he hadn't even met the man but he felt like he knew him, Castiel told him about his life when he visited.
Cas had also told him that Sam hadn't visited since he was first admitted and he was worried about Zeppelin.
Castiel had a smile on his face from his lunch with Jessica when he returned to the ward but it dropped when he saw Sam stood outside Dean's room. Castiel took a deep breath and grabbed his clipboard from the nurse's station.
"Castiel." Sam called. Castiel intended to ignore the tall man but Sam grabbed his arm. "Please, can I go in?" Castiel rolled his eyes and looked up at Sam, glancing through the room to Dean.
"If you've made it this far then you know you can." Castiel snapped.
"But..." He started. Castiel pulled his arm out of Sam's grasp and stepped away.
"Just talk to your brother." He said before moving on to his patients. "Hello Mr Humpfrey, how are you feeling?"
Another smile reached his lips as he walked down the hall to Dean's room. However, he froze outside the door when he heard Sam finally talking to his brother but it wasn't what he wanted to hear.
"Zeppelin misses you, I know I can't bring him here because you don't want him to be upset seeing you like this but he keeps asking about you." Sam was saying. Castiel frowned, swallowing down the lump in his throat; he knew that Dean was too attractive to be single, just his luck.
"Hello Dean." Castiel greeted as usual. Sam's mouth clamped shut and he leant back in his chair to let Castiel do his thing. Castiel automatically slipped his hand into Dean's and asked him to squeeze, which he did. "Your vitals look good, I'm going to do your exercises now." Castiel announced as he walked to the end of the bed. Sam watched as Castiel bent Dean's legs and moved his joints. "I'll see you in a bit, Dean."