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 man.
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 many questions?"
"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." He fidgets.
"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 fight?"
"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 woods."
"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
"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 leaving.
"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 headache..."
"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 up."
"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 brother.
"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 comes up."
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
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
"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 I'm leaving?"
"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 watch it."
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 brothers things.
"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 knees.
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