The last thing I remember..... I remember a horn blaring.
Bright lights. Sammy in the seat beside me. I remember yelling
"Sammy!" right before everything went black. Now, there's bright
lights again. But I'm in a bed and someone is talking nearby.
Sounds like a man. "Gabe. Stop sending me male
strippers. It was funny at first but now it's just a tease. I'm
not healthy enough to fuck right now." Sounds like a gay
Dean blinks a few times and his eye sight goes from fuzzy to
semi-clear. He looks around for the voice that woke him up.
"Gabe, I'll call you back. Seems my roomie decided to finally
wake up." He sees the man in the next bed put the phone down.
"Well, welcome back to the waking world, Dean." The man in the
next bed smiles.
He sits up. "Do I know you?"
"No, but I know your brother. Sam came in and talked to you even
though you were out. You've been in and out of consciousness. I
thought you weren't going to wake up and stay up."
"Dude, you talk to fast." he tries to get up and winces. Ignoring
his busted ribs and raging headache he says, "Great. Broken leg."
He flops back in the bed, once more ignoring his pain. Forever
acting the part of the strong man.
"Well, sorry. Just happy to have someone to talk to."
"Other than your male strippers?" Dean curls the left side of his
lips into a half smile. "What's your name, anyway?"
"I'm Castiel. Cas."
"Gabe your boyfriend?"
"No! Brother." He laughs out the answer.
"What are you here for? You ain't hooked up to nothin'."
Cas tilts his head slightly to one side. "Why are you asking so
"I'm nosy. And don't bitch, you wanted someone to talk to."
His blue eyes lock onto Deans and he just looks at him for a few
moments before saying, "Head injury. I'm here under observation
until my brother, other brother decides I can go home. I can't
remember for a month before I got into this fight." He wrinkles
his nose. "Don't even remember the fight. I was already here
when you came in."
"How long have I been here then?" He feels his face for stubble.
"Just today. Can you remember anything before your car crash?"
Dean takes a sharp breath. "Yeah. I remember the crash, too. When
you've seen Sammy. He don't look banged up or nothing, right?"
"Nah, he's fine. Bit of a nick above his eyebrow but
otherwise..." he lets the sentence finish itself. "I take it
you're the older brother."
"I'm the middle sibling. Gabe, younger. The brother that's
keeping me here, Michael, older. Pain in my ass. Both of them,"
he says with a smile.
"I get that."
"So, Castiel," starts a rather short, balding man as he walks
through the door, clip board in hand. "How's the mem...," he
spots Dean sitting up in his bed, "Oh, didn't know you were
awake. I'm Doctor David." Dean extends his hand to him and the
doctor shakes it softly while Dean mentally winces from the pain
in his ribs. "How long have you been awake for?"
"He's been up for about ten minutes," says Cas as he lies back on
his bed, hands folded behind his head.
"Thank you, Cas." Doctor David picks up Deans chart. "Now, Dean.
How are you feeling? Any pain?"
"Fine and no. When I can go home?" Dean sits up more.
"Anxious, are we? Well, as much as I don't blame you, you do need
to stay for a little. Just to make sure you don't have any other
injuries we may not be aware of."
"Sam asked you to get me to stay, didn't he?" Deans eyebrows
crunch together in a scowl.
"No, Mr. Winchester. We truly do need you to stay longer." He
puts the chart back and checks the screen next to the bed. "I'll
have a nurse come in and do a quick check up on you in a few
minutes." With that the doctor walks out of the room.
"Why would your brother want you to stay in here longer?"
"He says I work too much. Tells me I need a vacation all the
time," he pouts.
Cas scoffs . "This is one shit vacation." He sits up right. "So,
no one else came in and visited. Sam your only family?"
"Yeah." Dean exhales loudly. "Mom died when I was young, dad died
a few years ago. I can't just sit here. I got a business to run."
"What's your business?" Cas leans his chin on his left palm,
elbow on his knee.
"Hunting. Well, really, other people's hunting. I'm a
taxidermist." He pauses for a moment and Cas doesn't ask anything
else. "Did anyone tell you what happened that made you get into a
"Uh, yeah. Some guy called me a faggot and wouldn't let it go. So
I decked him. But since he was almost a foot taller than I am, he
just picked me up and threw me. Right into a stud in the wall."
"How'd you punch him if he was a foot taller than you are?" Dean
says in disbelief.
"A table." Cas smiles. "They said I stood on a table." His
pool-blue eyes sparkle and Dean can tell he has one hell of a
case of pride. "You said you remember the crash. What happened?"
Dean looks at his leg. "I was making a left turn and this moron
was speeding. Hit the tail end of my car and spun us just in time
for a truck to smash my side."
"Do you and Sam live together?" Cas says trying to switch what he
hopes is a better topic.
"No, he lives in a apartment with his girl. I'm in a cabin in the
"Good place for a taxidermist." Dean nods in agreement.
"Mr. Winchester." A nurse, roughly the same height as the doctor,
comes in and smiles brightly, hands in her pockets. "I'm here to
do your check up." She takes the stethoscope off her neck and
tells him to breath normally. Cas sits back in his bed again
after picking up a magazine. He flips through it mindlessly as
the nurse takes Deans blood pressure and checks his eyes and his
leg. "Everything seems okay. Do you have to use the restroom or
anything?" Dean glances at nurse then back to the ceiling before
saying no. "Okay, well, if you need anything here is a buzzer."
She puts a large remote in his hand and points to a green button.
When she leaves Cas says, "Aren't at least you hungry?" as he
puts down his reading material.
"No. What time is it?"
He knows what Dean is thinking about, Sam. He looks at the clock.
"Almost lunch. But I'm sure they've called him since you've woken
up." Cas stands and glances left and right out the door way. "I
know you've got to piss." He walks over to Deans bed and puts out
a hand. Dean just looks at him as if he's crazy. "Come on. They
catch me walking around again and I'm back to a bed alarm."
Dean takes his hand and is surprised at how strong Cas is despite
his small frame. He hobbles along to the sad excuse for a
bathroom and Cas leaves him to his business. He hears the toilet
flush, waits a moment longer for the sink to turn off, then opens
the door. Dean sits back in bed and pulls his leg up. "Thanks."
"Yup. How come you didn't say anything when the nurse came in?"
Dean situates himself. "Didn't want to just then."
"You didn't want her to see you gimp. Gotcha." Cas sits on the
edge of his bed.
"It's not that," Dean snaps.
"No, no. I get it. Straight man doesn't want the cute nurse to
get the wrong idea."
"And what idea is that?" Dean narrows his eyes.
"That you're weak." Dean goes to argue but before he can even
gather enough words for a partly complete sentence, Cas
continues. "I'm not implying that you're weak all the time I'm
just saying you don't like showing weakness at all. That's why,
even though your ribs are killing you, you don't ask for pain
killers. Don't think I didn't notice all your cringing."
Cas smiles and Dean, not used to being told off by someone
outside of the family, can't even tell him he's right.
An hour later, Sam crosses the threshold to the room. "Dean!"
"Hey, hey. Sammy!" Cas was right, Dean thinks as he
looks over his brother. No gashes, hardly any cuts. Just the one
over his right eyebrow. He hugs his brother tight despite how
much it physically hurts.
"Good to see you up. I was gettin' worried." Sam smiles but his
eyes betray how upset he really was. "So, you're feeling okay?"
He sits on the edge of Deans bed.
"I got a headache but what else is new."
"Dean," Sam says sternly.
"You were in a car crash. They told me your leg is broken and
your ribs are bruised or something. Tell them about your
headache. Or at least get something for your ribs."
"I thought I was supposed to be the worried brother." Dean jokes.
Sam stares at him, clearly not amused. Dean huffs. "Fine! I'll
get them after you leave."
"Thank you. Do you need anything? Want anything from home?"
"How bad's my baby."
Sam rolls his eyes and smiles at his brother. "Don't worry about
your car. I'm taking care of it. It's down in a shop with very
good people." Sam stands. "Alright. If you need anything I've got
my cell phone on me. But I've got to get back to work for now.
Don't want to take too much advantage over a nice boss." Then to
Cas, "Castiel, if you would, make sure Dean gets some pills?"
"Sure thing, Sam." Sam pats Deans shoulder lightly before
"I ain't takin' no pills," Dean scoffs when he thinks Sam is out
of ear shot.
"Yes you are!" He hears from the hallway.
"Son of a bitch."
Sam comes back into the room, doctor trailing behind. "He's got a
"And his ribs hurt," Cas puts in.
Dean glares but all Cas does is stick his tongue out. "Alright,
fine, yes. I am in pain. Gimme some pills. If it'll shut you guys
"Don't pout. We're bugging you because we care!" Cas smiles. The
doctor leaves and a few minutes later comes back with some meds.
Dean downs them quickly.
"See? Wasn't that hard." Says Sam. He goes to leave but then
pauses at the door. "Open your mouth." He turns back to his
"Open your mouth. Let me see."
"Dude, I'm not five." Dean crosses his arms.
"You may be right but you act like you're five sometimes." Dean
huffs again, rolls his eyes and sticks his tongue out flat. The
pills are sitting on it and Sam shakes his head. "If you don't
swallow them I'm going to tell them you're crazy and to pin you
on the bed and put in a morphine drip."
Dean throws his brother a bitch-face and swallows the pills for
real this time. "Happy, bitch?"
"Very." He steps out of the room. "Jerk!"
Cas lies down and laughs. "You two always fight like that?"
"Yeah." Not to long after Sam leaves the pills kick in and Dean
begins to feel sleepy.
When he wakes up it's dark in the room except for the TV. He
realizes Cas hasn't noticed him up yet so he lies there for a
moment and watches him. Something funny comes on and Cas,
thinking Dean is sleeping, laughs silently. Dean smiles at the
laugh lines next to Cas's eyes. He catches himself and thinks,
No, this is not happening again. Not after that last train
wreck of a relationship. He moves and reaches for the glass
of water someone had put on the side table.
Cas jumps. "Jesus, scared me, man."
"Sorry," he mumbles. He sits up, looks at the clock. "What shit
is on at three in the morning?"
"Re-runs." Cas laughs again.
"There cannot be anything good on at three in the morning."
"Dude, 90's re-runs?" Dean watches as Cas stands from his bed and
sits cross legged at the end of Deans. "Come on, man. No way in
Heaven, Hell, or Earth do you not miss 90's TV." He turns up
'F.R.I.E.N.D.S.'. Chandler says something and Cas cracks up.
"Love that man."
They watch TV for a while before Dean says, "Don't you sleep?"
"I'm on something to quit smoking and it makes me not sleep so
well, apparently. Maybe that's why I got into that fight." He
jokes and smiles. Dean smiles back. "So, you're not used to pain
"Why you think that?" Dean raises an eyebrow.
"Well, they knocked you out cold. I threw something at you and
you didn't wake up."
Dean throws his hands up. "Why would you throw something at me!?"
"I was bored." Cas smirks then looks back at the TV. "Oo, look.
Janice is in this one. God, she's annoying."
"Are you high?" Dean asks seriously.
"Psh. No. I haven't done drugs since college."
"You went to college?" Dean sits up best he can.
Cas sees him struggling with it and stands, helping him sit
up-right. He sits back down as he says, "I went for religious
studies. And psychology. But I couldn't decide what I wanted to
to do so after I was done with those classes I took a semester of
something else then just got a job at this restaurant as bus boy
slash dishwasher. I do random jobs to get money to pay for this
little apartment in the city. Well, as city as you can get out
here." Deans quiet for a moment. "Come on," Cas prods. "How'd you
wind up being a taxidermist?"
"My dad owned it before me. I grew up learning it and kind of
just fell in line after he died."
"That is boring."
Dean scowls. "Well, not all of us can afford to hop around in
college for a while. Some of us just gotta jump into whatever
Cas glares at him. "Chill. I didn't mean anything by it. Just
saying maybe you should have gone first." He smiles again. He
smiles so often, how can he be happy with what he's got?
Dean asks himself.
Cas looks back to the TV and laughs again. "You seriously think
this show is that funny?"
"Yeah. I got a question." Cas pauses. "Why do you act so tough
around people?" He thinks about it for a moment. "I'm not
included in the 'people' category."
"Wait. How come you're not in the 'people' category?"
"You have to ask?" He waits for a response but doesn't get one.
Cas sighs, "It's because you showed weakness in front of me, you
ding. You let me help you to the bathroom and let me help you to
sit up. You cannot clump me with the rest of the people you hide
your pain from."
Dean looks into Cas' eyes and sees he's completely serious for
the first time since Dean woke up. "I just. You know. It's really
a boring story." Dean shrugs.
"Shut up. Unless you're going to tell me the truth, shut up."
Cas stares at Dean until he begins talking again. "Alright. My
mom died when I was young. Sammy was just a baby..."
"How?" Cas interrupts.
Dean blows air hard though his nose. "House fire," he says
harshly. "Started in Sammy's bedroom."
"How did a fire start in the babies room?"
"A candle fell over. There was this storm and all the lights went
out so my mom lit a candle, put Sammy in his crib because he
wouldn't stop crying, and fell asleep in the rocking chair. She
jerked in her sleep and knocked the table with the candle on it.
"She woke up.... She was stuck on the other side of the room. My
dad ran in and grabbed Sammy. He gave him... to me." He can feel
the tears starting to come on so he says, "I don't want to talk
about this anymore." Dean covers his eyes with one hand.
He feels a slight pressure on his other arm. It's Cas' hand. "I'm
sorry," he says lightly. He doesn't move his hand but instead
turns the TV up a bit more.
The morning comes and the doctor comes in with pain medication.
"I'm okay," assures Dean.
Doctor David looks toward Cas who is shaking his head. "I'll just
leave them here then." He places them on the side table with a
smile. When the doctor is out of the room and Dean thinks Cas
isn't looking he grabs them and takes them quickly.
This becomes a sort of schedule, a quickly produced and short
lived ritual. Dean sleeping during the day because of morning
pain pills and the two of them watching re-runs at night, both on
Dean's bed. Cas slowly but surly moving further up the bed and
closer to Dean. They start to notice things that the other does.
How Cas subconsciously wrinkles his nose when something he
doesn't like comes on. How Dean puffs himself up when Sam walks
through the door at dinner. Dean sees that Cas never gets any
guests other than the jokes that Gabe sends his way. Cas sees
that when Dean walks with his crunches around others he acts as
if nothing is wrong but when it's just the two of them he
complains about pain.
"Looks like you're going home tomorrow, Castiel," says the nurse
as she reads his chart.
"Yup. Michael decided to let me go even without my memory," he
says quietly without looking at Dean.
She smiles. "Okay, just going to do one last check."
She does her job and when she leaves Dean mentions, "You never
told me why your brother has this power to keep you here." He
rolls his eyes.
Cas sighs and tilts his head, eyebrows raised. "Are you mad that
"Psh. No." Dean crosses his arms.
Cas smiles. "Michael is the administrator here. He says who stays
and who leaves."
"Want to start watching TV early?" Cas suggests.
"No." Dean picks up a magazine, which he never does, and begins
to flip through it.
"Alright. Well, I hope I don't disturb your... reading." He picks
up the remote and turns on the comedy channel. He exaggerates a
laugh and Dean looks over. He starts watching, the magazine
slowly slipping from his hands. "I thought you didn't want to
Dean narrows his eyes and smiles at Cas. "Get over here," he
says. They find a movie channel and watch it for hours until Dean
slips into sleep, his arm draped over Cas' leg. When he wakes up
he reaches for where Cas was sitting but grasps only air. "Cas?"
he asks sleepily. He opens his eyes and sees that Cas' bed is
empty. His things are gone but there is a note on the table. Dean
grabs it and opens it quickly:
'Hey Dean, sorry for not saying goodbye but it was time for me to
check out and you were sleeping and Michael wanted to take me out
to eat real food. I'll try to come back. Promise. -Cas'
Dean looks at the clock, it reads noon. He turns the TV on for
company. Never realized how much Cas talked. He flips
through the channels, never leaving one on for more than five
minutes. Eventually it's night fall and he passes out around four
in the morning. Again, he wakes up looking for Cas but not being
able to find him. For the first time since he's been here he
doesn't take the pain pills, not wanting to fall asleep, unable
to be woken and miss Cas.
Two days later Sam comes in and says, "Excited about leaving and
going home today?"
Dean shrugs. "I guess. Here's to hoping your couch is comfy."
"Oh, you're not coming to my house. You're actually going home,
like, to your house."
"How is that gunna work? I still need help doing shit!"
"Calm yourself. I got someone to help you that I think you'll
really enjoy." He slicks back his hair as he grabs a bag for his
"Listen, man. Jess is great and everything but she's not gunna
want to stick around a cripple like me all day." Sam laughs. They
gather Deans things and head to the car. Dean gets himself into
the wheel chair but Sam pushes him.
"By the way, the Impala is fixed. Had to give the garage a little
extra for the rush but no problem." They make their way through
the halls and down the elevator.
They get to the front door and Dean sees his car. He smirks. Then
he sees someone get out after Jess. It takes him a moment to see
the face properly with the sun reflecting off the hood but then
he sees that it's, "Cas?"
Cas leans against the open door and smiles. "Hey. Told you I'd be
back. Just needed to give you some time to miss me." The drive to
Dean's cabin his filled with Jess talking about what Dean missed
and Cas unable to stop touching Dean, his leg, his hair, bumping