Dean’s head began spinning as his mate, Cas, explained the details of his eldest brother, Michael’s, imprisonment. He didn’t go into much detail about what happened to Gabe, just that his brother was responsible. It was another Omega that Michael had attacked, however, it was clear that the eldest Novak wasn’t just a one time offender. Dean thought back to the day Gabriel had shown up to his door with beer and pie. Dean had gotten a sense back then that Gabe knew how hard life for an Omega could be, and by that he hid the same sadness behind his jokester eyes. Gabe had been attacked before, but he hadn’t been lucky like Dean had. Cas’ voice seemed muffled like he was underwater while Dean understood the horrible situation. Gabe had been raped, and their brother Michael let it happen.
A surge of protective anger ran through Dean, “How?” Cas’ eyes widened, apparently shocked that Dean was still sitting there, let alone asking more questions. His Alpha tilted his head in questioning the way Dean had come to love but only one thing was on his mind now. Him and Cas were mated now, which made Gabe as much of a brother to Dean as Sam was. And Dean was ready to tear apart anyone who hurt his family. “How did that asshat get out Cas? How can we make sure he never comes near you or Gabe again? What do you need me to do?”
Cas gazed at Dean with stormy blue eyes and swept his thumb lightly across the freckles on Dean’s cheek. “You don’t need to do anything Dean. I’ll handle this. I’ll handle Michael.” Cas’ voice spat out his brothers name like acid and Dean could feel the anger radiating off his Alpha. Dean’s heart swelled at the thought of Cas wanting to keep him safe but this wasn’t a fight he would back down from. He raised his gaze to the photo on the shelf and walked over with clear defiance. He ripped the picture from the frame and tore Michael out of it. Without thinking he took out a Zippo lighter and set the picture ablaze and dropped it in the empty trash can near him. If it was the last thing Dean ever did, he would be sure his family would never have to endure a sick fuck like Michael again.
Cas slumped his shoulders at a loss for words. Dean could see the gears in his mind churning and he was still coming up empty. He walked up to his mate and caressed his hands on his face before pulling Cas into a bruising passionate kiss. Pouring all his promises that no matter what his new partner’s family was like, Dean would stick by him to the end no matter what. When they pulled apart, the storm in Cas’ eyes seemed to break. “We’ll get through this in one piece Cas,” Dean promised, “together. Always.” Cas traced his finger longingly along the new scar on Dean’s neck and gave a soft, nervous smile. Dean could feel Cas’ confidence wavering and decided for now, it was time to take the lead. “I’m gonna go check on Gabe. Why don’t you grab us some lunch and go clear your head. I can hold down the fort.”
Cas smiled thankfully, “Dean Winchester, what would I do without you?”
A playful grin spread on Dean’s face, “I guess we’ll never know,” he shrugged his shoulders and whispered in Cas’ ear. “You’re stuck with me Novak.” Dean tugged at his mate’s lobe with his teeth and let out a low growl that made Cas’ blood rush between his legs. He gave his Alpha’s hardening erection a quick squeeze and with a wink Dean shooed him out the door.
He waited until the black Camaro was out of the parking lot before opening the door to his own condo. Dean saw Gabriel sitting at the kitchen table with his head in his hands, clearly distraught over the news of his brother being released. He casually walked over to the fridge and pulled out two beers causing Gabe to lift his head. “It’s only 9 am Deano. You trying to make a drunk outta me?” Gabe’s usual mischievous smile was forced tightly over his lips and didn’t reach his eyes like normal.
Dean opened the bottles and slid one to Gabe as he sat opposite of him. “Well, life’s no fun sober,” he joked, attempting to lighten the mood. “Drink. Then talk. Cas is grabbing us some chow.”
Gabriel took a deep, shaky breath after chugging half of his beer. “Michael was the golden boy, hell, he still is. My father believes in the old ways. Omega goes into heat, they’re unmated, free game for any horny Alpha.” Dean balled his hands into fists as he heard Gabe recall his family history. It reminded him of his own father, John, who believed the same bullshit. “We come from a long line of Alphas so imagine my father finding out I presented as an Omega. Yeah, that was fun. Anyways, I was completely unprepared for heats and slick and all that fun stuff so Michael offered to take me under his wing and help me out. The day my first heat started, Michael had a party. All of his knothead friends showed up and they smelled me right away.”
Dean’s heart sank and anger grew inside him as Gabriel continued his story almost as if he was in a trance. “Well, the Alphas did what they did best. Cassie tried to scream and pull them off me but one of them threw him against the wall and he was down for the count. He was only thirteen and didn’t stand a chance against a bunch of Alphas. After they got bored and the party broke up, Michael came up to me while I was laying in bed, covered in blood and he smiled.” Gabe met Dean’s gaze for the first time and he seemed to have aged ten years after recalling the trauma. Dean made a silent promise to always protect Gabriel with his life from that moment on. “He smiled at me and he said , ‘Now you know your place in this world little brother.’ I never forgave him for that. Neither did Cassie. He ever tell you about the night when he presented?”
Dean tried searching his memories and realized Cas hadn’t ever mentioned it. He shook his head, not trusting himself to speak quite yet.
Gabe bit his lip nervously before hiding behind his usual mask of humor, “I’ll let him tell you about that when he’s ready. Anyways, wanna tell me about that mating mark you got on your neck there Deano?”
Dean blushed as Gabe wriggled his eyebrows. Before he could respond the front door burst open and Sam stumbled in almost falling flat on his face. He caught himself and panted, “Hey, so... I got your text.”
The two Omegas looked at each other and began roaring in laughter, all the tension in the room dissipating. Gabe had tears in his eyes from laughter before he walked over to meet Sam with a peck on the cheek. “Real smooth ya moose.”
Cas came back with burgers and sighed in frustration when he realized he hadn’t gotten one for Sam. “It’s cool Cas,” Sam shrugged, “I’ll just share Gabe’s fries.” Dean and Cas exchanged a confused look as to ask When the hell did that happen?
Dean watched his brother with Gabriel and noticed the Omega visibly relax the longer he was in Sam’s presence. He couldn’t help but think they were an odd couple yet watching them play around with ketchup and French fries, Dean could see that they definitely were meant for each other. He hadn’t seen his little brother smile so widely before and Gabe seemed to have completely forgotten about his anxiety this morning. Dean looked at the faces around the table, remembering for the first time in a long time, this was exactly what family meant.