Dean curled up into a ball, panting and wincing. It hurt so much more than he'd expected it to. The bunker was empty besides him, so he wasn't worried about anyone coming to his rescue if he cried out in pain, but he tried to keep his mind on all things not-Cas, just in case he had a moment of weakness and called for him.
"Oh, fuck," Dean gasped, sliding off his bed onto the floor in nothing but his boxers and a soft gray T-shirt.
He was shivering even though he was flushed and hot. He felt the urge to push, and for the first time since he'd looked up the translation, he realized he had no idea if he could actually push it out.
Dean felt stupid. He should've said something to someone. Asked anyone about this. What if he hurt it? What if it died because he was too embarrassed to say something?
"Motherfuckin' Hell, kid," Dean groaned as he fell back against the bed and slid down until he was flat on his back, legs spread.
When the witch -- and yeah it was always a witch -- had chanted the words over and over, waving her hand between Dean and an unconscious Castiel, Dean had just assumed she was trying to do some freaky magic to make them disappear. But a week later he'd started with some strange cravings, couldn't keep anything else down, and his mood was all over the place.
Dean gasped, rubbing his hands over his stomach as if it would help. "I was never one of those assholes who thought women were weak when they screamed their way through childbirth, but holy shit, kid, this fuckin' hurts," he hissed.
He'd been talking to the thing growing inside him ever since he'd translated the words the witch had chanted. It was never a question of getting rid of it. Never. Whatever was growing inside him was his. And Cas could never know.
"Oh, kiddo," Dean whimpered, turning onto his side, "can't you just come out already?"
Dean had done his research. He knew it was going to be a mix of human and angel. What he didn't know was if either of them would survive the ordeal. Sure, women had birthed Nephilim, but they had different equipment, and from what Dean's research told him, it was coming out the back door because of his anatomy.
"If I'm gonna have'ta go through the pain of pushin' you out," Dean said, chuckling as he thought of the words 'immaculate conception' and the fact that he hadn't had sex in what seemed like forever, "then I really deserve to have had some fun makin' you. I didn't even get laid!"
None of the research had told him what the baby would look like either. There were reports of what they looked like when they grew up, but for all Dean knew he'd be laying an egg or some shit like that.
"Ah!" Dean yelped as an awful cramp hit him. He scrambled to his knees, ripping the boxers off as he moved into a position that his body told him he needed to be in.
He spread his legs, knees wide as he put his hands on the floor for leverage. He knew he looked ridiculous, but he didn't give a shit.
"Oh, please just fuckin' come out already," Dean yelled as he squeezed his eyes shut.
He pushed again, then froze as something gushed out of his asshole, a wet splat the only sound besides his panting breaths.
"Oh, shit," Dean gasped as he sat up, eyes wide as he looked down, expecting to see his kid and hoping he hadn't given the kid brain damage from the drop to the floor. "Oh, c'mon!" he whined as all he saw was goo. And a lot of it.
He knew he should've been happy that there was some form of lube to ease the way, but he'd really hoped that the pain was over.
"C'mon, kid," Dean said as he stood up, then squatted over his rug. "I'm getting too tired for this."
He gave another good push, wincing as he felt something coming out. He pushed more, groaning and panting. It hurt, but he'd had worse, remembered worse from Hell, and this time he wasn't just enduring the pain for himself.
"C'mon," Dean yelled. "Oh, fuck, please! Just fuckin' come-ah!"
Tears were running down his face, he was shivering, almost spastic movements, and the sweat was almost pouring from his body.
Finally his body gave way and he felt something come out, something more substantial than the goo that had gushed from him earlier. He fell back, unable to hold himself up any longer, but trying to fall in such a way as to not hurt the baby or fall on top of it.
His eyes were blurred by tears and sweat, but he looked down between his legs as he reached for whatever had come out of him. He gently wrapped his hands around something that definitely wasn't human skin.
Dean wiped his eyes on the sleeve of his T-shirt as he pulled the baby up to his chest, then looked down at his kid.
"Hi," Dean said softly, unable to stop the grin.
Dean didn't care what the baby looked like. He was Dean's.
"You've got Papa's eyes," Dean whispered, gazing at the beautiful blue eyes staring back at him. "And you've got Daddy's eyes," he said, chuckling as the eyes swirled and changed, mimicking Dean's eyes.
He gently ran his fingers over the baby's tiny tentacles, his left arm cradling him so the baby wouldn't fall to the floor. The suckers on one of the tentacles attached to his finger and held on tightly, making Dean's chest ache with emotion.
Dean had left the lights in the room dim, and he wondered if it had been instinct, but he wished he could see the baby in better light. He was almost transparent, a shapeless mass about the size of both of Dean's fists balled up, but the tentacles were longer and waving about. He couldn't see a mouth, but the eyes just kept gazing at him, an intense stare that reminded Dean of Cas.
Suddenly Cas was standing in the room.
"No!" Dean said, nearly growling as he found the strength to pull himself to his knees. He wrapped his arms around the baby and held him close to his chest, turning his left shoulder to Cas to protect the baby even more.
"Dean, I-," Cas started.
"No!" Dean yelled, pushing himself back against the bed. "Don't touch him!"
Cas' face was a mixture of concern and alarm, but Dean didn't give a shit. He had been stupid to think Cas wouldn't find out, but now that he had, Dean had to protect his child.
"Just leave!" Dean yelled, trying to ignore how it made the baby shiver in his arms. "I won't let you hurt him."
"Dean," Cas said, shaking his head, "I wouldn't hurt him."
"The fuck you would," Dean snarled. "I read about them. I know what God considers them," he said. He didn't know how much the baby could understand, but he refused to say the word 'abomination.'
Cas crouched down, as if presenting himself as a non-threat. "You read about the Nephilim of pre-flood times."
"Yeah," Dean said nodding. "You're not touching him."
"They chose to be giant creatures that destroyed humans," Cas said. "Right now our child is pure and young. As he gets older, he'll choose the appearance he wishes to take on, and he'll choose what he wants to be."
Dean's mouth opened and closed as he tried to work through it all in his head. "You're not going to hurt him?" he asked, wanting to believe.
Cas shook his head. "No. He's our son," he said with a small smile.
Dean couldn't stop a few more tears from making their way down his cheeks. His emotions were all over the place, had been for the last three weeks, and if what Cas was saying was true, if he didn't have to hide this, if he didn't have to fear for the life of his child, it was more than he could've hoped for.
"I promise you I won't harm him," Cas said.
Dean nodded shakily. "Okay," he said, still holding the baby tightly to his chest. The baby shivered, then reached up and suctioned a tentacle to Dean's neck.
"He's hungry," Cas said.
Dean winced. "I don't even know what to feed him," he said, feeling like a complete failure. How could he not know what to feed his son?
"Yes, you do," Cas said.
Dean frowned. "No, Cas, I really don't. How the fuck would I know what to feed a half angel, half human baby?!"
The baby shivered again, another tentacle reaching up and suctioning to his neck, the opposite side this time.
"What does your instinct tell you?" Cas asked.
Dean was about to let loose on Cas, cuss him out and rage at him for fucking around when his kid was hungry, but then Dean remembered Hell, remembered Cas saving him, holding him in his grace, and how it had felt to be that close to raw power, touching pure energy like that.
"Oh," Dean said, his body relaxing as he slid down the side of the bed, letting his ass rest on the floor. It hurt, but he didn't care about that. His son was hungry, and until the baby was old enough to figure out what it wanted to feed on, Dean needed to feed him.
Dean rested his head back against the bed and let the baby do as he pleased, not fighting it as tentacles moved over his chest and neck. The baby slithered over his shirt, then down under it. Dean gasped as the baby latched onto his chest and tugged at his soul.
"Just stay calm," Cas said, voice closer than it had been before. "He won't hurt you."
"I know," Dean said. He knew now that the baby wouldn't hurt him, but he would've given this willingly even if it had meant the baby could kill him.
Dean felt Cas sit down next to him, then fingers were carding through his hair. He leaned into the touch, smiling when he felt Cas hesitating.
"You can touch him," Dean said, opening his eyes to look at Cas. "I'll try not to bite."
Cas smiled. "You were protecting our baby," he said, warmth and feeling in his voice.
Dean nodded. "I know he's not evil. I could feel it even when he was growing inside me. But I thought you'd kill him if you found out."
Cas reached up and ran his fingers over the baby's tentacle, the one that had been waving in the air and searching out Cas.
"I suppose we have to come up with a name for him," Dean said, but before he could take the next breath, his head was spinning, pictures and words and feelings filtering through and overwhelming him. When he finally caught his bearings again, he turned to Cas, eyes wide.
"Angels aren't given names," Cas said.
Dean blinked at him for a moment, then smiled. "Avner. He told me his name is Avner."
"It's a Hebrew name," Cas said with a nod. "It means 'my father is luminous.'"
Dean looked down at his son, at Avner. Before tonight he would've fought the idea that someone saw his soul as bright and beautiful, but that was before his son had suckled on it and declared it worthy. Dean smiled as he ran the tips of his fingers over the tentacle attached to his upper chest.
"I'm a dad," Dean said, then looked at Cas. "So are you."
Dean chuckled as Cas' eyes widened. As if Cas hadn't realized it before Dean said the words. It was still sinking in for Dean as well. He shifted uncomfortably on the floor, wincing.
"You're in pain," Cas said, then reached out and touched Dean.
Dean gasped as suddenly he didn't hurt anymore, and as a bonus, he wasn't even covered in whatever it was that his body had released as the baby came out of him.
"Thanks, Cas," Dean said.
"Let's get you up onto the bed," Cas said as he stood up, then lifted Dean, one arm under Dean's knees, the other behind his back.
Dean let out a huff of laughter as Cas gently put him down on the bed and started fixing the pillows and blankets, almost making a nest around him and the baby. Finally Cas grabbed the throw at the end of the bed and draped it over Dean's lower body and legs. Dean had forgotten that he was naked from the waist down, but he really didn't care. It was nice of Cas, nonetheless.
"You're going to be hungry," Cas said. "Avner will be feeding multiple times during the day and at night, so you need to keep your strength up."
Dean was about to tell Cas he wasn't worried about that yet, but Cas had already flown away. Dean rolled his eyes, then settled in with Avner on his chest, resting a hand over the baby's back to keep him warm.
"Wait 'til your uncle sees you, kid," Dean said, grinning.
The baby relaxed against him, not pulling so hard to feed as he had when he first started. It was soothing and Dean felt the connection to Avner, so it was no surprise to him that he fell asleep with his son nursing on him.