Sammy was crying again. Or, more likely, he’d never stopped. Dean grimaced as he pulled his knees up towards his chest. Right away, he realized what a bad idea that was when the pressure made his tummy hurt even more. He uncurled, stretching his legs out, but that wasn’t comfortable either: he wanted to curl up.
He settled for rolling over onto his side, kicking his bee and fox away and closing his eyes. The sobs from down the hall grew louder for several minutes before finally lessening in intensity. The familiar sound of Gabriel and Castiel murmuring reassurances became audible then, though Dean doubted it was doing much good. It sure hadn’t when he’d gone through getting his own wings.
Poor Sammy. They’d been expecting this to happen for a few weeks now, and Dean didn’t envy his brother at all. He twitched his wings in sympathy, remembering how much it had hurt when they were growing in, and winced when he heard Sam howl. He blinked back tears. He didn’t like hearing Sam cry, but it was even worse when there was nothing he could do about it.
His tummy ached again and Dean bit his lip against a whimper, quickly sliding his fingers into his mouth. He clamped his teeth down, breathing wetly as he chewed. It helped a little, but not as much as he’d hoped. The discomfort had woken him up from his first sound sleep in days, and he was still really sleepy but it hurt too much. Besides, Sam was crying too loud for him to go back to sleep.
He wanted his daddy. He wanted to go for another ride in his stroller, away from the nest, so he could fall asleep in peace. But he knew that Sam needed both Castiel and Gabriel right now. So he stayed quiet, grimacing whenever his poor tummy gurgled, and listening to the sounds of Sammy crying while silent tears ran down his cheeks.
It seemed to take hours before Sam went quiet, and Dean blinked slowly at the bars of his crib.
Maybe he’d gone deaf.
Familiar grace flooded his senses, and then a gentle hand reached down to pull his hand away from his mouth. “No, baby boy. Don’t chew on your fingers. You’ll hurt yourself.”
Dean whined before he could stop himself, fresh tears of frustration welling up in his eyes. Castiel sighed and reached down into the crib, effortlessly lifting Dean up and onto his shoulder. His wings curled around Dean, helping to hold him close.
“It’s okay, Dean. Sam is fine,” he said softly, combing his fingers through Dean’s hair. He dropped his hand, none-too-subtly checking Dean’s diaper to make sure it was still dry, before he stroked Dean's hair again. “Gabriel got some oil onto his back finally. He’s settled down now. I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you’d woken up from your nap, or I would’ve come to get you sooner.”
Being pressed against Castiel’s hip hurt. Dean squirmed and whimpered, sticking his fingers back into his mouth. He saw Castiel frown and lowered his wings, hunching in on himself.
Castiel’s frown grew deeper, and he carried Dean over to the rocking chair in the corner of the room. He sat, easily arranging Dean on his knees, and again pulled Dean’s fingers from his mouth. This time he substituted a pacifier before Dean could protest.
“I know you’re tired. It’s been a long couple of days,” Castiel said, using his foot to move the chair and rock them back and forth. “I also know you don’t want Sam to leave while he’s in pain. He really will be okay, little one. He’s just more… vocal about pain than you are.”
He set his hand on Dean’s belly. Dean whimpered again, trying to shy away from the touch, but his daddy kept him easily in place. And then he started to rub light, careful circles right over where it ached the most. It hurt more at first, and Dean started to cry, but slowly the discomfort eased a little. It was even better after he burped a couple of times, the sour taste a welcome trade off for the release of pressure.
Castiel rubbed until Dean was having trouble keeping his eyes open. He tucked his head under Castiel’s chin, boneless, and spit his pacifier out when one of Castiel’s wings came close enough. He latched onto one of the larger feathers, suckling sleepily. At the first trickle of grace, he sighed in contentment and let his eyes slip shut.
Gabriel poked his head into the room a few minutes later, surveying the two of them. Dean was pretty much asleep by then, barely sucking anymore, but Castiel hadn’t dared to move for fear he’d wake the baby. More than anything else, Dean needed to sleep, and he’d always found nursing from Castiel’s wings comforting.
“All good?” Gabriel asked, looking tired.
“We’re fine,” Castiel replied. He kept rocking the chair and rubbing Dean’s belly. “Or we will be once Dean learns that Sam doesn’t always come first.” He sounded resigned; it wasn’t the first time they’d had that conversation with Dean and it was unlikely to be the last.
“I’m sorry, Cassie. Maybe I should take Sam and -”
“No. That would just make them both even more upset. It’s just -” Castiel shook his head. “I just hadn’t expected how hard it would be to juggle them both.”
“You’re telling me. I don’t know how you did it. Sam’s a nestling and he’s running me ragged,” said Gabriel. He was peering worriedly at Dean, and it didn’t take a mind reader to realize that Gabriel was feeling guilty again about having to devote more time to Sam. That was part of the reason Castiel didn’t think they should leave; not only would it be hard for Gabriel to deal with Sam alone, neither Dean nor Gabriel would deal well with being separated for that long. Gabriel was very close to his nephew.
Castiel pressed a kiss to Dean’s head and smiled reassuringly at his brother. “His wings will come, just like Dean’s did, and then we’ll be okay. Dean’s alright; he’s just fussy from lack of sleep. It’s fine.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, Gabriel. I’m sure. We’re all fine.”