Work Header

Little Bit

Chapter Text

“Johnny and baby boy, you two can ride in the back. Clarence-”

“It’s actually Ca-”

“Clarence will ride up front with me,” smirked Meg. Castiel scowled. He wasn’t the only one with a sour expression though.

“You think I’m getting in the back of that thing like I’m some sort of delinquent?” John scoffed and crossed his arms, glaring at the cruiser.

“I think that you don’t have a choice,” Meg informed him, her voice venomously sweet.

“It’s okay, I can ride in the back,” Cas was quick to placate. He didn’t want John anywhere near Dean. If he was being completely honest Cas was being a smidge selfish in his motives to sit with the Little. He couldn't give to shakes of a rat’s ass about what John wanted.

“But what about my groceries?” John challenged, a tinge petulantly. “I can’t just leave them here, they’ll spoil!”

“Should’ve thought of that before you went and broke the law, Johnny boy. Now quit whining, who’s the Little here anyway?” Meg asked with a roll of her eyes. Cas could’ve sworn he saw the corner of Dean’s mouth that wasn’t concealed by his leopard twitch upwards at Meg’s antics.

“Now for the fun part,” Meg reached for her handcuffs. “John Winchester you are under arrest for willfully leaving a Little unattended and at high risk.” The look on the asshole’s face was priceless and Cas had to swallow his snort, though he didn’t think he did a very good job of it. When John made no move to present his hands to Meg’s expectantly outstretched handcuffs, a hard gleam flashed in the officer’s eyes. “We can do this like in the movies where I slam you against that monstrosity you call a car and forcibly cuff you in front of your kid…or you can just cooperate. What’s it gonna be, Johnny Appleseed?”

Now all 120 pounds of Meg ‘slamming’ John Winchester into anything would be a sight Cas would pay, and bring popcorn, to see. After a few intense seconds during which Cas was almost sure John would push Meg to her limit, the gruff man turned around and put his hands behind his back. “Good choice, seems like you have an inkling of intelligence in that head of yours,” said Meg with her signature smirk. She was beginning to grow on Castiel.

After much grouching and grumbling they were finally all in the police car heading down to the station, Dean sporting the ice pack on the back of his neck. Meg told them she would need statements from both adults and to question Dean so that she could write a report for her superiors. Castiel absentmindedly wondered how long all this was going to take when he felt himself being watched.

Cas turned to Dean, only to catch a glimpse of a flash of green as the boy quickly ducked his head away. Huh, he hadn’t seemed this shy when Cas had found him. Then again he hadn’t seemed this mature either. Dean’s posture was now more that of a teenager’s slouch, though he was more curled in on himself, probably due to the strangeness of his current circumstances. His thumb was no longer a resident of his mouth, but he was fiddling around with his fingers, the way a nervous person might wring their hands. Placed carefully over his lap was Dean’s leopard, Cas guessed it acted as Dean’s comfort object even when he was outside his Littlespace.

Cas was suddenly overcome with the stifling awkwardness of the situation. To Dean it must be a thousand times worse. The boy was trying to push himself out of his headspace. Cas knew from experience that trying to ignore your classification instincts was like trying to swim against the current right before a waterfall. The thing that broke his heart was that Dean seemed skilled in repressing his Little self. It was in the way the boy looked weary, as if he were going through well practiced motions. He supposed Dean had to have learned a few tricks to keep himself sane, living with an asshole like John.

Speaking of John, Cas couldn’t quite figure out the relationship between the older guy and Dean. It was clear that John was no Caregiver, not by any stretch of the imagination could he be considered even a Daddy Dom, so then what was he to Dean? He was definitely old enough to be Dean’s father, though why anybody would treat their child, especially one as sweet as Dean seemed, so horribly was beyond Cas. He imagined he’d still feel protective over the Little even without his instincts, Dean was just damn adorable, in Littlespace or not.

There was also the thing about John’s groceries. Mostly normal stuff, but that rock salt? And what was with the shovels? He also seemed strangely at ease when dealing with law enforcement. Castiel shivered as the back of his mind whispered that there might be more to John Winchester than meets the eye.

He was jolted out of his musings as they turned into the station’s parking lot. After herding them all out of the cruiser and into the main lobby of the compact brick building, Meg directed Castiel to one of the not-so-inviting chairs that lined the wall opposite the welcome desk. He was left to his own devices while Meg went through the motions of processing John and handing Dean, watery ice pack and all, over to an on-site paramedic.

Cas pulled out his cell phone, wanting to let Sam know what he was up to. Sam Campbell was Cas’ beloved fiancé. They had met in their senior year of college and had been dating for four years before Sam had popped the question. They were a good fit for each other, Sam being a Daddy Dom and Castiel being a Caregiver. They had most of the same instincts and needs and got along well. Only recently Sam had brought up the topic of starting a family, but Castiel had shut him down. They still had a wedding to get through before they could start thinking about those kinds of things! It was one thing to care for and help those in need, but to have someone you are completely responsible for, that depends entirely on you? Cas didn’t know if he was ready for that.

Cas lifted the phone to his ear after pressing the contact labeled ‘Sasquatch’, Sam stood at the impressive height of 6’4”, and idly listened to it trill while he waited for his husband-to-be to pick up.

“Yello,” came Sam’s voice from the phone.

“Hey you,” Cas smiled, the sound of Sam’s voice relaxing him a little.

“How’s the grocery shopping going? Did you forget what we needed, or did you just miss me?” Sam teased lightly. That was the thing that Cas loved about Sam, his lightheartedness and penchant for fun.

“Actually, funny story,” began Castiel as he proceeded to tell Sam about where he was and why.

“So I guess it’s those pop tarts for breakfast tomorrow, seeing as we’re out of milk. And bread. And eggs. Jeesh,” laughed Sam. “But I’m so proud of you Cassie, you’re practically a hero, saving that kid and all.”

“I take it you’ll be wanting my autograph when I get home then?”

“Knock it off, I’m serious!”

They were both laughing when Castiel looked up to see Meg approaching him. “Hey, babe, I gotta go okay? Love you, see you when I get home,” Cas rushed to finish his goodbye, hanging up the phone by the time the officer reached his side. She quirked a knowing eyebrow at him but said nothing about his phone call, for that Cas was thankful.

Cas was taken behind the welcome desk, down a fluorescent lit hallway, and into a tiny square room with a simple wooden table and another one of the hard chairs in which he had spent his time in the lobby. Meg told him that they needed him to write a witness statement concerning the events of that afternoon, and after offering him something to drink she left him alone with just the statement sheet and a pen for company.

Cas picked up the pen and sighed. What exactly had happened? It all seemed so surreal. Rubbing the point between his eyebrows, he began to write about how he had found Dean in apparent distress, and the actions he had taken consequentially, all the way up until Meg had arrived at the scene. He reread his statement and felt the sense of unreality wash over him again. It all seemed rather trivial written down on an eight-and-a-half-by-eleven sheet of paper.

Now that he was finished he was unsure of what to do. Meg had left the door to the little windowless room open, so Castiel took that as an unofficial invitation to exit the area. He walked down the hallway in search of Meg. Instead he found Dean sitting at one of the long tables behind the welcome desk with a pretty brunette woman who was talking to him in low, soothing tones. Cas took in Dean’s uncomfortable, almost irritable, expression, and assumed he was looking at ‘big’ Dean. For some reason he felt guilty, like he should be the one at Dean’s side, offering support instead of awkwardly watching from a distance.

“There you are,” came Meg’s voice from behind him.

“Ah, sorry Officer I was trying to find you. I’ve finished my statement,” Cas held up the blue sheet of paper by way of explanation.

“Thank you, Clarence,” said Meg, plucking the paper from Castiel’s hands. “I see you filled out the contact information, you are aware that we may use this to contact you in the case there is a trial and your testimony is needed?”

“It’s actually Castiel, and yeah, I understand,” Cas glanced over his shoulder back at Dean and the nameless woman.

“That’s Ruby, our social worker. She helps out a lot on cases like these,” Meg answered his unasked question. Cas watched as Ruby tried to place a hand on Dean’s arm and was rewarded with Dean scooting his chair further away from her. Castiel couldn’t help but chuckle slightly to himself at the kid’s stubbornness.

“Um, what will happen to him?” He ventured to ask. “Dean, I mean,” Cas coughed a bit, trying to appear to be only mildly interested. He sheepishly scratched his ear as Meg gave him a shrewd smirk.

“Well, we couldn’t find any relatives that would be able to take him, so he’ll be sent to a state run home for Littles in the meantime,” Meg informed him a touch too impersonally for Castiel’s taste. Just thinking about Dean surrounded by strangers in an unfamiliar environment had guilt making another guest appearance in Cas’s chest. But what could he do?

Meg told him she’d be in touch and swaggered away, Castiel watching her. Just then, little fingers tapped on Cas’ shoulder and he turned around to find himself face to face, well more like chest to face, with the reason he felt so confused. “Dean,” he breathed, looking the boy over. His hair was no longer damp from sweat and Cas could see a light dusting of freckles along his nose and cheekbones now that the red flush had left Dean’s face. He was still clutching tight to his leopard companion however, Cas noticed as he felt a tug on his heart.

“Um, I-uh, I just wanted to say thanks for, y’know,” Dean murmured, eyes cast low, his free hand rubbing the back of his neck. It was such an adult gesture, and the way Dean was talking was a far cry from the lisping speech Cas had heard the boy use before.

Cas’ face softened and the corners of his eyes crinkled as he smiled at Dean. “Hey, no need to thank me, bud. I’m just glad I could help out,” spoke Cas as Dean glanced up and blushed when he met Cas’ eyes. Like Cas said earlier, friggin’ adorable.

In that moment, his inner Caregiver was screaming at him to sweep Dean up in a tight embrace and shield him from all harm. Castiel swallowed thickly. Those green eyes were staring into his soul, and he started talking before his brain could catch up to what he was saying. “Listen, Dean, if you ever need anything,” Cas started, pulling a crumpled receipt from his pocket. “You just call this number, okay?” He still had the pen from earlier in his hand and wrote down his cell phone number on the back of the wrinkled slip.

Straightening up from where he had stooped over to write on the flat surface of one of the tables, Cas pressed the sorry piece of paper into Dean’s hand. At first Dean just looked at their hands and Cas was afraid that the Little might not take his offering, but then Dean closed his slender fingers around Cas’ number and offered the taller a shy smile. Cas didn’t know why, but he felt relieved, and felt himself grin in return.

“Well Dean, who’s this?” The voice startled Dean and he broke eye contact with Cas, going back to shuffling his feet. Cas was unaware that they had been being observed by Ruby, she had abandoned the other table and was now right behind Dean, looking expectantly at him. All he offered her was a frustrated shrug and a glare.

“Castiel. Castiel Novak,” supplied Cas, eyeing Ruby. “I’m the one who found Dean,” he added dumbly as an afterthought. He cringed, now it just sounded like he was looking for praise.

“I see. What an interesting name, it’s nice to meet you Castiel, I’m Ruby,” she turns to Dean. “Would you like it if Castiel could come visit you at Alastair’s?” Again, all she received was a mildly irritated shrug, but she had piqued Cas’ interest.

“Alastair’s?” He questioned, forcing his eyes away from Dean and up to meet Ruby’s.

“Alastair’s Home for Littles,” Ruby provided. Can’t leave these guys to their own devices, now can we?” She attempted to make light of the situation. Cas thought she did a rather poor job of it. Dean was looking like he would enjoy showing her just what he was capable of when left to his own devices. As was the case with John, Castiel seemed to think there was more to Dean than appeared.

Ruby opened her bag and pulled out a business card. “I’m a social worker for the House as well,” she explained giving the card, which had the address for Alastair’s as well as a phone number for the social worker printed on it, to Cas. He pocketed the scrap of cardstock and thanked her.

“Well, Dean and I need to get going,” Ruby sighed glancing at the clock on the far wall. It was a little after seven, Cas couldn’t believe how much time had passed. Dean looked pissed at the prospect of going anywhere with Ruby, but Cas kept this observation to himself. “Say goodbye, honey,” she prompted Dean.

“Um, bye, uh Casseel,” stumbling over Cas' name, the kid looked longingly at him for a second and then snapped his head to face Ruby. “And I’m not a little kid! Don’t call me that,” He hissed at her and she chuckled lightly.

“Okay tiger, let’s go,” Ruby placed a hand on Dean’s lower back, and Castiel couldn’t understand the feeling of dread that was creeping its way into his heart as he watched Dean being herded out of the station and out into the claws of the night.