Tiny Nod to 5x08
The twelve hours that followed were a blur.
A neighbor heard the shots and called 911.
It seemed like mere moments that Dean had been holding Castiel, trying to wake his mate up when police busted into the room.
Dean was yanked roughly back, held down by two large alphas and handcuffed.
“Wait! I didn't do anything!” Dean protested. “Let go! Cas!” he struggled against the hold the officers had on him. Castiel wasn't moving, his breathing shallow. Distantly he heard more sirens.
One of the officers quickly secured the abandoned shot gun on the floor. Another found Dean's discarded pistol. Dean had a moment of clarity to swallow hard and close his eyes. This only ended one way from here. But he couldn't worry about that now.
“Please! My mate..he..he's hurt...help him.” Dean pleaded, anguished sobs making his throat raw.
“Settle down!” the officer holding his shoulder shouted. She was a strong beta, middle aged. Warm brown eyes.
He turned to her.
“Please help my mate.” Dean begged. Another officer yanked the cuffs, trying to pull Dean out of the room. He snarled, struggling with all his strength, refusing to take his eyes off Cas.
“Tazer” was called from his right.
Pain shot up Dean's side and he fell. He shook, gasping for air as agony wracked his body. He flicked his eyes over to Castiel, his mate. A police officer was standing over him, checking his pulse. He wanted so badly to ask questions, but he couldn't stop shaking. Distantly he was aware of scraping and crunching of ceramic shards underneath him as he convulsed. His knee was warm and wet and he realized with horror that he'd fallen right next to Ishim's body.
The last thing he remembered was the beta officer shaking her head. “Call the coroner.” she ordered.
Dean woke up handcuffed to a hospital bed. He blinked sleepily, taking in his surroundings. He ached, and wasn't even able to roll over due to how securely he was fastened. Even his ankles were shackled. His right side burned, and his muscles were screaming at him as if he ran a marathon. He tried to sit up slightly, hissing at the pull of stitches.
“Good, you're awake. Perhaps you can tell me what the hell happened today.”
Dean turned his attention to the officer sitting at his bed side. The beta from before. He flicked his eyes down to her name plate. Officer Mills.
He opened his mouth to speak, then hesitated. He remembered something Sam had talked about when he was studying to get into pre-law.
“I want a lawyer.”
He barely recognized his voice, rough as it was.
The cop pursed her lips.
“I'm just trying to understand why we've got two beat up alphas and one dead military commander.”
Dean turned his gaze straight ahead.
He knew he was in the right. Distantly, he was aware that things should hopefully work out in the end.
But Sammy had warned him. About bias. About how one misstep could cost you your life. That's why he wanted to be a lawyer. He wanted to stand up for the people society didn't care about.
People like Dean. Homeless and unemployed. Mated to...an alpha? Must be up to no good.
He knew how it looked. Dean wasn't stupid. He wouldn't let a moment of foolishness cost him a life at Castiel's side.
“How's Cas?” he demanded, still not meeting her gaze.
“I can't tell you that.”
Dean scoffed. Of course.
“How about this. We start with your name. We can get a public defender to come meet you at the jail once you're cleared medically.”
“Dean Winchester.” he spoke in a monotone.
Out of the corner of his eye he could see her nod, jotting the name down on a pad of paper.
“Where do you live, Mr. Winchester?” She asked politely. Professionally.
“In my car.”
He could see her pause at this. Silently she got up and left the room.
Dean sighed. Perfect. Absolutely perfect. Some homeless vagabond alpha, found in the home of a respectable alpha like Castiel.
Though according to Castiel, Dean had a home. With him.
It didn't change the fact that there was a gun that had been fired with his prints all over it. They';d be looking at him with a microscope. He watched a few police procedurals on occasion when there was nothing good on the grainy motel tv. A gun registered to a dead man that Dean didn't have a permit for. Though he supposed Texas was more lenient with such things. Maybe it wouldn't brand him a felon til the end of time.
The real problem was Ishim Grace.
The dead 25 year war veteran found in Castiel's home. With an unconscious Castiel, cradled in Dean's arms.
The dead military commander with a known intimate history with Castiel.
It would be easy to pin everything on Dean.
As he pondered his fate, he hoped his mate was okay. The only way Dean didn't end up on death row at this point would be his mate's testimony.
After a while, a nurse came in. She checked his vitals and asked about his pain level.
“Three.” Dean lied. It was bad enough he was going to jail. Being handcuffed in the hospital was downright humiliating. The sooner he got out of here the better.
The nurse pursed her lips and nodded. A short while later she returned, pushing a small amount of medicine into his IV line.
“Just a little something for the pain. You've got burns from the tazer, a cracked rib, and over 60 stitches.” she rattled off cheerily. “But you'll be alright.”
Dean nodded slowly. He turned his green gaze to her.
“Miss? Please? The other alpha that was brought in..is he okay? He's my mate.” He pleaded, his scent throwing concerned, worried alpha.
The nurse's eyes softened.
“You're not on his emergency contacts list. I can't tell you anything until he approves it. I'm sorry.” sympathetically, he patted his hand and left the room.
Dean sighed deeply, closing his eyes. If he had to wait, he might as well sleep.
He woke up a few hours later to rustling in the room and metal clanging. He blinked his eyes sleepily. Officer Mills was back with a young, eager looking rookie.
“Alright Winchester. You've been cleared medically. You're going to county lock up until your public defender arrives since you won't talk. We'll get a deposition and process you. If the other alpha wakes up and is capable to give his take on things, we'll figure out where to go from there.”
Dean swallowed hard.
“Cas..he's still not awake?”
Officer Mills glanced aside. She was hiding something.
“Cas..he's not doing well is he?” Dean asked softly, looking down at his hands. It was all his fault. He shouldn't have opened that stupid door.
“We can't tell you that, Dean.”
Dean nodded slowly, tears gathering in his eyes. He didn't even try to fight it. If Cas didn't recover, he deserved whatever came his way.
He allowed Officer Mills and her rookie to stand him up. They replaced the shackles and chains with handcuffs, thank goodness and helped him with his boots. They made him keep the hospital gown on as they paraded him out.
Dean kept his head on a swivel, scenting the air, hoping for anything. All he caught was blood, death, disinfectant. He dropped his head as they pushed him into the back of the cruiser.
He watched the trees and occasional town light go by out the window as they took him to the county jail. He tried to process how quickly his life had done a complete turn around, and then promptly fell off a cliff. He snorted to himself quietly. That seemed to be the Winchester way.
They had allowed his hands to remain in front of him, so he brought his shackled hands to his neck, touching the mating bite. It had been cleaned and covered with a bandage at some time during his stay. It was only slightly tender, a niggling sensation compared to everything else on him that hurt.
He tried to scent himself, curious to see if he'd taken on Castiel's scent yet. All he smelled was clinical strength blockers. He tilted his head back against the seat and closed his eyes.
Dean blinked blearily up at Officer Mills. She grabbed him firmly by the shoulder, yanking him out of the cruiser. He stumbled to his feet. The rookie grabbed his other side and steadied him. He said nothing as he was booked, mug shot taken, and finger printed.
He managed to flick his eyes to his file before it was handed to the clerk.
He felt his stomach drop. He was being detained as an accessory to murder. Illegal possession of a fire arm. Unlawful discharge of a firearm. Resisting arrest. Assault and battery.
There was more, but he couldn't read them in the few seconds it took for the clerk to grab the folder and set it on her desk.
As he sank down onto the firm, uneven cot, he realized his fate rested entirely on the statements of one man. One man who to his knowledge, was still unconscious. He sighed, glad that Sam couldn't see him like this.
John would've berated him for allowing an alpha to mate him, then berate him again for allowing a strange alpha into his mate's home. Then kick his ass black and blue for not being able to hold his own in the fight that followed.
A short time later a cup of water was brought to him. He drank it greedily, though he eyed the rookie wearily. He seemed awfully cheery for a guy stuck babysitting a criminal.
“You're allowed one phone call. Would you like to make it now?”
Dean thought for a minute. Then he let out a self-deprecating laugh.
“The only person I'd want to call is currently unconscious. If Cas Novak wakes up and wants to talk to me, let me know.”
Dean offered a small smile to the rookie, before getting comfortable again. Or as comfortable as he could.
At least the jumpsuit they gave him covered his ass. One small dignity, at least. He traced patterns into the brick wall with his fingers as he contemplated that.
He had no contact with his mom's family. She'd married John against their wishes and eloped. John's father disappeared when he was little, and his mother passed away when Dean was still small.
He swallowed hard. John had been dead for years.
There was Bobby. But what would he even say to his pseudo-uncle that his dad used to dump him onto when he was a kid?
Hey, I know I haven't talked to ya in years, but I'm in jail. Think you could bail me out?
No, he would sit here and wait.
He wondered what Sam would do, if he was here. Probably huff and immediately pull out a big book with a determined, “We'll fix this.”
That's what Sammy liked to do. Fix things. Fix people. Too bad he couldn't fix John before it was too late. Or Dean, for that matter.
Morning came with little sleep. The pain meds were wearing off, and the withdrawal from the heavy sedatives coupled with an empty stomach had Dean nauseous. Right as the sunlight started to filter through the bars there was an obnoxious wrapping against the cell door. Dean groaned as he struggled to sit up, cracked rib and stitches protesting.
“Up and at 'em Winchester. Your lawyer is here.”
Dean took a deep breath and stood up. He had no idea what to expect. A brand new graduate, trying to get some field experience? Someone idealistic and naive, like Sammy? Some old world nutjob who'd just as soon as condemn Dean for mating an alpha as he would defend him? He steeled himself as he walked into the meeting room, ready for anything.
Gabriel Milton was not what he expected.
“Deano-! Sorry I couldn't make it earlier. I had quite the night last night.” he spoke with a proud bravado.
Dean blinked once, before his brows furrowed in confusion at the bouncy, vertically challenged alpha.
The alpha leaned in, whispering conspiratorially. “I had lots of sex.”
“Uh? Who are you?” Dean asked suspiciously.
Gabriel offered a wide smile as he spread his arms out.
“Gabriel Milton at your service! Looks like you've got yourself into a whole heap of trouble. I'm here to help you get out of it.”
Dean eyed the alpha warily. He seemed a bit too..theatric.
“Yeah, think I'll pass. I'll use my one phone call to try and get a real attorney. Either you're a public defender cause no one will pay for you, or you're here to sabotage my case. Whether you wanna make some sort of example out of me for the old folks clutchin' their pearls at the idea of two alphas being mates, or you just wanna nail me to the cross to blame someone for the fact that one of the Army's finest is dead, doesn't matter much to me.”
The other alpha's eyes flashed, just for an instant, brilliant gold. He leaned forward, grabbing Dean's jumpsuit by the collar.
“You listen to me, you arrogant dick.” He paused, making direct eye contact with Dean. Challenging him. “I don't work for either of those S-O-Bs.” He leaned in slowly, whispering. “Believe me.”
His grip on Dean's jumpsuit tightened.
“Don't you ever, ever presume to know who I am or what I do. Are we clear?” at Dean's nod, the small yet surprisingly strong, alpha released him.
“Now listen very closely, here's whats going to happen. You're going to sit down, shut up, and I'll tell you the one way you're getting out of here.
Dean straightened his jumpsuit, taking a seat at the table.
Gabriel's demeanor changed instantly.
“Grab a pastry and some coffee and pay attention.”
Dean nodded, taking the cup in hand, taking a sip. It was a bit over-sweet, but he was positive it was infinitely better than anything else in the building.
“I'm the best shot you have right now of getting out of this place. Luckily for you, I'm not a huge fan of burying the sins of military veterans, or of homophobic pricks.”
Dean nodded slowly, grabbing one of the pastries that was on the plate. Maybe Gabriel wasn't so bad, after all.
“So what we're going to do, is appeal for you to be released from this god awful place. Probably going to have to put up a bail bond. Then we're going to wait for the police to do all the sniffing they want. We're going to look into the history of this Ishim character, and dig up as much red taped dirt we can on the stiff. If the other alpha that was there can give a deposition, hopefully that'll also work in our favor.”
Dean paused, mouth full of pastry.
“You think I'm innocent?”
Gabriel gave him a quick once over.
“Deano, no one is for an instant going to be able to convince me that you got the jump on a decorated military veteran. According to your hospital records you took quite a pummeling, too. It'll work for us. The hard part will be trying to prove you weren't beating the tar out of that other alpha.” At this, Gabriel paused and raised his eyebrows.
Dean swallowed hard.
“That other alpha has a name. Castiel Novak. He's also my mate.” Dean hissed, pulling his jumpsuit collar down to display his mating bite.
“I would never hurt Cas.” Dean could scent his rage filling the room at the implication.
“Easy there Deano. I'm just telling you the facts. You claim he's your mate, but until he wakes up to confirm, or you start throwing off a mated scent that matches his biochemistry, that's subjective info. It'll help build the case but it's not your get out of jail free card.”
Gabriel paused for a moment.
“Either way, he'll have to be the one to drop the assault and battery charges.”
Dean sighed, running his hands through his hair.
“What do I do now?”
Gabriel clapped him on the shoulder.
“You wait. Let me dig up some dirt on Ishim. Take a day to get your story straight and we'll take a deposition tomorrow. Perhaps your mate will be up by then. Autopsy might take longer to come back, but we should be able to bail you out before then anyways. With luck, you'll be outta here by tomorrow night.”
“Dean? Keep your nose clean in here. You're still being charged with resisting arrest. Don't give them evidence that you're difficult with the enforcement here.
Dean sighed. “Cas..he..he wasn't waking up. They pulled me away from him.”
Gabriel nodded, giving a little wink.
“We'll get it taken care of.”
With that, the short alpha was through the door and Dean was being carted off to his cell.
Obey. Wait. If there was anything John Winchester trained him to do, it was just that.
Castiel woke slowly. He was immediately aware of an absolute agony in his head. A short time later, a nurse arrived at his bedside.
“Mr.Novak! You're awake! Thank goodness.” She examined his eyes with a small light and checked his IV pump.
“How are you feeling?” she asked gently, her rich scottish accent taking Castiel's muddled brain a moment to understand.
“Hurts.” Castiel managed through his swollen mouth. His lip and tongue felt fat in his mouth and he was pretty sure he'd lost a tooth or two.
The petite redhead nodded resolutely.
“Of course dear. I'll go get some dilaudid for that.”
She quickly left the room. A short while later she returned with a beta woman at her side.
“Hello Mr. Novak. I'm Dr. Barnes. Gonna do a bit of an assessment on you and see how you're doing.”
Castiel nodded slowly, the slight movement sending blinding pain through his head. The nurse immediately started drawing up the medication and putting it into his IV line, pushing it slowly. Castiel slowly relaxed as the agony faded to a dull ache.
“Quite a beating you took.” Dr. Barnes commented as she flashed the light in his eyes again, humming in approval.
“Okay, grip my hands real tight.” She instructed, taking Castiel's hands in hers. She nodded, then instructed him to lift one leg, then the other.
“Very good. Neurological function seems to be doing quite well. I'm going to ask you to repeat a phrase for me next.”
Castiel nodded slightly in understanding.
She grinned. “You can't teach an old dog new tricks.”
Castiel balked slightly, but complied with an eye roll. “You can't teach an old dog new tricks.”
Dr. Barnes smiled brightly at him.
“Excellant. You'll have to stay in the ICU until we take the shunt out, but after that we can move you down to med/surg so you can receive visitors. As long as you continue to improve you should be out of here by the end of the week.”
“Shunt?” Castiel questioned, unfamiliar with the term.
Dr. Barnes sat in the chair next to his bed.
“When that alpha beat you, your brain hemorrhaged. The bleed was putting so much pressure on your brain stem that your breathing nearly stopped. We drilled into your skull to relieve the pressure. Thankfully, it worked.”
Castiel swallowed hard.
“That bad?” he questioned. Bits and flashes stuck out to him. Ishim, sitting on his chest, sneering at him. Dean's shouting.
Ishim with a gun pointed at Dean's head.
The weight of the sawn off he kept tucked under the couch for just such an occasion.
Dr. Barnes nodded.
“Yep. That alpha nearly killed you. But don't worry, he's in lockup. Now that you're up you can give a statement to the police and he'll be on death row in no time.”
Castiel frowned in confusion.
Dr. Barnes paused, “Commander Grace? No, he didn't make it. But the alpha who beat you? Dean? Westchester? Whatever his name was. He's in lockup for assault and battery last I heard. They'll probably peg him for shooting Commander Grace as well.”
Castiel's heart jumped up into his throat.
“No.” he growled, straining to sit up. The heart monitor's beeping steadily picked up pace.
“Dean.. he didn't. I was beaten by Ishim.” Castiel fumbled, trying to get the words out. His head felt stuffed with cotton.
Pamela blinked a few times, then softly said, “Oh.” exchanging a look with the nurse.
“What?” Castiel growled.
“Well, when we were running tests, we.. um,”
Pamela took a deep breath, steeling herself.
“Given the extent of your injuries and the violent scene, we ran a rape kit. You had semen inside of you. Alpha semen that came back as a probable genetic match for that young, violent alpha. We documented that in the police report that you were beaten and raped.”
Rage turned Castiel's blood cold.
“Mr. Novak, please, calm down. It was a misunderstanding. Given the information we had, it seemed most probable that you had been held against your will in your home by the suspect, and when Commander Grace came to visit, that he was shot and killed by the suspect. He did resist law enforcement when they arrived.”
Castiel took one long breath, letting it out slowly. It wouldn't help either of them to lose his temper on the hospital staff.
“Dean is my mate. We had a shared rut that only just ended. Surely my blood work showed you that much?”
Pamela winced. “We didn't run a hormone panel on you.”
Castiel's hands were shaking. Disbelief, rage, fear for Dean...
“Call the police here, I want to make my statement.”
“Castiel, you should rest. Clear your head. Make sure that you're remembering everything clearly. The case can't proceed without your statement, and you're still in critical condition.”
Castiel growled lowly.
“My mate is also injured, and rotting in jail this very instant. My mate who is completely innocent of everything except opening the door to a strange alpha and being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Pam stood up slowly.
“I'm sorry Castiel. No visitors until you're on med/surg.”
Castiel laid back slowly.
“There's nothing I can do to help Dean?”
Pam chewed her lip.
“You said he's your mate?”
“Yes. I mated him. Several times.”
Pam seemed to think for a moment before coming to a decision.
“If you sign a DNA release waiver, I'll get a sample of your venom. If it's signature matches Dean's blood, that charge can be dropped. It will take time for the lab results, though.”
“My statement that anything that happened between Dean and I was consensual means nothing?”
Pamela patted Castiel's arm.
“I'm not certain, Mr. Novak. It's up to you. I just offered you the only thing we can do right here, today.”
“I'll do it.”
Pam added a note to his chart.
“Alright. Rowena will be here in a bit to collect.” with that, the Doctor was gone.
“What a nightmare.” Castiel mused.
Rowena sighed sympathetically.
“It'll all work out, dearie. True love and what not.”
“Oh! Almost forgot. You missed a call from a Gabriel Milton. Sound familiar?”
Castiel paused. It vaguely rang a bell, but he didn't recognize the name immediately.
“If he calls again, shall I put him through to your room?” she asked, gesturing to the phone at his bedside.
Castiel shrugged. “Sure, why not.”
By the time her heeled footsteps faded away, he was dragged into unconsciousness again.
Three fucking days he was stuck here.
Castiel still wasn't awake.
His arraignment had gone poorly. He nearly fainted at some of the charges. Accessory to murder had been changed to manslaughter, first degree. Assault and battery. Rape, sodomy. Of course the other charges that he had been informed of from Gabriel and expected. Bail set at two million dollars.
Because he was alpha, and homeless, unemployed. With violent charges that would land him on death row. The only other witness was dead. Even though he hadn't pulled the trigger that killed Ishim, he might as well have.
“Deano, I think we need to start accepting the fact that Castiel might never wake up. Without his testimony it's all circumstantial.” Gabriel had broken the news gently, but Dean felt like the walls were closing in. This couldn't be happening. His breathing rate accelerated as he sank to the floor of his cell.
“If Cas doesn't wake up..then I..I don't care. I'll welcome the end to this bullshit.” Dean growled.
Gabriel's expression softened.
“Chin up. It's not over yet.”
Castiel was nudged awake gently by the nurse. Rowena, he recalled.
“Alright dearie, ready for me to take a venom sample?”
Castiel nodded, unsure. He couldn't just..will his mating teeth down, so how was he..?
He swallowed hard, not liking the implications, embarrassment rolling off his scent in waves.
Rowena chuckled, lifting up a really, really long needle.
“Nothing quite so fun I'm afraid. Still up for it, alpha?”
Castiel eyed the needle warily, before sighing.
“Anything for Dean.”
“Just a pinch is all, alpha.” she reassured, lifting his upper lip. He winced, trying not to move as the needle slid up into his gum line.
“There we go, almost done.” She reassured as she pulled back the plunger. Slowly she retracted the needle and released him.
“All done! Wasn't so bad?”
Castiel glared, licking his sore gums.
She flicked the plunger to expel the air. He eyed the syringe with yellow, clear fluid curiously. She capped the needle expertly, removing it. She squirted the syringe into a glass vial, putting it into a small bag of ice.
“I'll send it right down to the lab. Seventy two hours from now, you and your mate will be honest men again.” she reassured with a wink, scuffling off quickly.
Seventy two hours. Three days. Dean would have to wait three days to be cleared of that...heinous charge.
Three days of being treated like a vile monster.
Even then..Castiel pushed the thought out of his head. He hadn't been sure that the mating had taken. If it hadn't, Castiel would have to testify in court. Probably months from now. In the meantime, Dean would be stuck.
Castiel laid back, looking at the date written on the whiteboard. It'd already been three days from the attack. Six days total Dean would be stuck with that charge to his name.
Castiel wondered how Dean was holding up. Ishim had done a number on him. He vowed if Dean had any long term complications from lack of medical care he'd hire the most expensive lawyer he could and sue the jail and the hospital both.
Castiel shifted, trying to get comfortable. The sooner he recovered, the sooner he could get out of here. Getting out of here was Dean's only hope.
Somewhere on the second day, Dean realized he was being held in isolation. For his own protection, they informed him.
The morning of the fourth day, he'd had a subpoena for a blood sample. He grumbled about not having any left after the hospital got a hold of him, but acquiesced. They would get it either way, and Gabriel told him to keep his head down.
Nobody would tell him what it was for.
Day five found Castiel getting the shunt removed, and his head stitched up. He was held in observation for a short time, before being carted down to the med/surg floor. Finally.
He could have a visitor. Without as much equipment, he was able to sit upright fully, and reach the dial pad on the phone unassisted. Rowena had kindly slipped him a post it note with the number for the county jail.
True love prevails she had written on it.
He dialed the number eagerly as soon as he was left alone.
“Sheriffs office, how can I direct your call?”
“I ..uh. I'm looking to place a call to the county jail.”
“Name?” The operator asked, sounding rather bored.
There was a long silence.
“Dean isn't able to accept any calls at this time. If you leave a name and number, I can have his attorney contact you.”
Castiel growled under his breath in frustration.
“Cas Novak. Fredericksburg General, room 208.”
There was a pause.
“Okay Mr. Novak. I'll inform Mr. Milton.”
Castiel froze, before slowly lowering the phone to the receiver.
As in.. Gabriel Milton.
Of course the call he missed had been Dean's lawyer.
He just hoped he hadn't ruined any chance his mate had at freedom.
Twenty minutes later, his room phone rang. Castiel answered it eagerly.
A laugh on the other end.
“Sorry pal, Dean can't come to the phone right now. My name's Gabe, and I'm trying to get you crazy kids out of this mess you're in.”
“I don't know how much you've been told, but this is what Dean's facing.”
Castiel stared wordlessly at the white walls as Gabriel gave him a detailed run down.
“I'll make a statement now. Have the investigator come here. I'll tell them everything. The truth. Dean's my mate. Everything between us was consensual. I was the one that pulled the trigger.”
“Dean didn't kill Ishim. I did.”
A sharp intake of breath.
“Castiel, you should get a lawyer before you call the investigator.”
“He had a gun pointed at Dean!”
“Can you prove that?”
“I..I don't know.”
Castiel furrowed his brows.
“Sure sure. Look, I gotta run. Just..don't do anything stupid. Find a lawyer. Dean's..he's coping. If we all play our cards right, we'll have him exonerated in no time. For his sake, I want to try to keep you from burying yourself in the process. Got it?”
Castiel swallowed hard.
“Good. This conversation never happened.”
Castiel laid back on his bed, rubbing his forehead. God, his head ached. He wondered if it would ever feel better. He ran his tongue over his teeth, frowning. Once he finally got out of here he'd have to make a dentist appointment.