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Stranger things have happened

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It was a regular hunt, most probably a vampire attack. Dean was just at the hospital to ask the most recent victim; who had somehow gotten away with minor bruises, about the appearance of her attacker to try and narrow down the pool of suspects facing him and his brother. Apparently this chick had a lot of enemies who might wanna take a chomp out of her so this interrogation was crucial. He straightened the tie of his Fed suit as he walked.

Dean continued through the unremarkable hospital corridor past a closed ward; thinking idly about Sam. Since the trials he had been recovering slowly but was beginning to complain about being stuck in the bunker all the time while Dean did the leg work. Though, deep down Dean knew Sam was ready to hunt again, he wanted to protect him a little bit longer.

He had nearly died after all, killed himself to try and prove his worth to his big brother. Dean shook his head at the memory, feeling justified that he was smothering Sam a little.

That was when he glanced through the window to the ward on his way past it. A quick glance to mostly check if he had ketchup on his mouth from the burger he'd just eaten in his car. Instead, he saw a mop of unruly dark brown hair.

He could never  recall telling his legs to move; but his body was reacting on auto pilot, opening the ward doors and approaching the figure on the bed in long strides. He just couldn't believe it. Dean felt numb, his disbelief and joy replaced with confusion and anger and a weird painful crushing sensation in his chest that was telling him he was a sap and totally should cry right now, like a baby.

Because it was.

It was Cas.

A woman approached him in scrubs.

“Sir, this is a coma ward, do you have...”

He held up his FBI badge without really hearing what she had said.

His mind calculated that Cas was in bad shape before he could fully recover from the initial shock of seeing the angel alive. His hunter instincts kicked in as he assessed Cas' face: the left side of which was a myriad of purple and yellow, his lip was split and his nose broken. Tubes disappeared beneath the hospital sheets that swaddled him and he had a cannula on his wrist and another tube going down his throat.

Logic and reason compiled dazedly in Dean's mind. Cas was injured so he definitely wasn't up to full power anymore, but how?

Did it happen when he fell?

“What happened to him?” was, thankfully, the question he managed to ask aloud.

The woman in scrubs crossed to the end of the bed and took out a folder.

“John Doe, approximately thirty-five years of age, arrived here twenty seven days ago” She cleared her throat.

“He has severe damage to the torso; including deep bruising, cuts, four broken ribs, a collapsed lung and splintered collar bone and pelvis. His left arm is broken and right leg is also broken and...”

She glanced up at the him. “I mean the whole thing; ankle, shin and upper leg. The bruising pattern indicates multiple assailants and the victim sports defensive wounds, again leading to our theory that this was a group of attackers, perhaps gang violence, Sir?”

She looked up at him expectantly but very little of what the nurse detailed had actually made sense to Dean. It was as though her litany was having a soporific effect on him, he felt drowsy and her voice was far away, indistinct.

His head was full of rushing blood and words like; “splintered”, “broken” and “gang violence” seemed to be stabbing his chest and giving him stomach ache. All he could see was Cas and how he looked too small for the bed, when really he was only a little shorter than Dean, so it was a stupid thought but he just seemed... diminished somehow and...

Goddamnit they should have been looking for him!

But Dean had been focused on keeping Sammy all cosy at home, smothering his brother, like he always did, instead of Cas. 

'Cas, who always bled for the Winchesters', said a masochistic voice in his head. Dean took a shuddering breath.

One thing was for sure, Metatron was gonna get it good for this. Dean might even torture him. Deep fry his wings extra crispy.

The fuck was wrong with him? He thought suddenly, dispersing the influx of rage that beset him.

He'd seen people get beaten up before, people he cared about; Dad, Bobby and Sam.

But never Cas.

Cas was an angel and that meant nobody got the jump on him except maybe archangels, like Gabriel. But all the archangels were gone, or locked up.
In fact... all the angels were gone, they had all fallen. Realisation that none of that world existed anymore, hit Dean like a wrecking ball.

No more angels, just humans. So Cas could get the shit kicked outta him as easily as anyone.

It was just the shock that was affecting him this way, nothing more.

Like surfacing from water, Dean slowly returned from his little inner monologue to find that the nurse was looking at him funny. Had she asked him a question?

“Is your...err, friend involved in any way with gangs or drugs, maybe?”

“What?” Dean had the insane urge to laugh, imagining Cas as a pimp.

“Him? Naw he’s a little angel”. He gave the nurse a smile before remembering that that was a pun she wouldn't understand and probably thought he was crazy. He sobered quickly, to try and conceal it.

“So, ugh is he gonna wake up soon?”

Her expression changed quickly too. “We can't be too sure; seventy-two hours is usually the marker for short term coma patients,”

Dean could almost feel his face numbing as though he was suddenly very cold, she hurried on.

“But with the long term patients there is a greater chance of resurface if family members are present to y’know talk to them and stimulate their senses. So now that you're here there is a greater chance he'll be back with us soon”. She smiled reassuringly and Dean visibly relaxed.

Okay he could deal with that. He'd talk to Cas and maybe Sam could come in too and ask him nicely to wake up and then he would, simple as that.

Dean would tell him never scare him like that again, they would find out what happened and then they'd go home. Cas could have his own room at the bunker and become a hunter just like he had wanted before the Naomi debacle and Dean could go out later and kill the motherfuckers that messed with his angel. He nodded as though that settled the matter, quashing the voice in the back of mind, which sounded a lot like Sam, that said that his genius plan might not work. Dean pushed it aside. Dumb little voice, always worrying