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Chapter 1 | Chapter 3

It had been a strangely pleasant drive.

Sam had been expecting tension, and uncomfortable silences. Instead… Instead Cas (No, Castiel. He introduced himself as Castiel) was an easy guy to talk to. Despite his lack of small talk, he was really interesting. And Dean… Dean was curled up in a corner in the back. Staring out the window. Sulking. Castiel didn’t speak to him, which Sam did find a bit uncomfortable, but remembering what Castiel said, he figured there was a lot he was going to find uncomfortable.

Castiel shot him a knowing look.

“You don’t like your brother being in the back?”

Behind them Dean tensed, listening even as he continued to ignore them.

“No! It’s not that," Sam stridently denied, even though it was part of the issue. "It’s… Maybe I’m not used to him being so quiet? Normally when we travel, Dean drives. And chooses the music. 'Cos driver chooses the music, shotgun shuts his cakehole." Sam could see Dean mouthing the words as he glanced in the rear-view mirror. "And then he plays it loud and bitches me out all the time.” A small grin broke through. “Ok, maybe in some ways this is nice. It’s just really different. And... And you’re not talking to him.” Sam added the last bit with some difficulty. It felt like Castiel was ignoring Dean after lighting his ass on fire. Maybe that was the way their relationship worked, but if they were going to be family, things were going to need to work between two very different alphas. So he had to be honest.

That thought brought Sam up short. Shit! He'd just made it all about his feelings. Why hadn’t he even considered Dean’s feelings?

Castiel smiled. “Dean isn’t always silent in the back. Although I am pleased at his silence right now,” Castiel raised his voice slightly, “since I am very unhappy with him.” Castiel’s eyes slid from the road, pinning Sam for a moment before they slid back. “There’s no point in pretending. And I have tried to make it very clear: you are going to find things difficult in our home. At least at first. Even when he isn’t in trouble, Dean spends a lot of time naked except for my collar. He kneels at my feet. And for the next few weeks at least, Dean is going to spend a lot of time with a red ass, nose in the corner.”

It’s not like he hadn’t expected that. When Castiel had stated he was traditional, well… that was what traditional alphas did. It did beg the question as to why Castiel was offering a liberal his home. Sam frowned.

“At the station, they said you had Dean’s papers. Does that mean dad knew?”

Dean choked slightly in the back. Castiel spared him a sympathetic glance, before replying to Sam. “You’re father knew. I… It’s not my story to share. If and when Dean wishes to, he can tell you. But your father’s behavior towards Dean was absolutely unacceptable. In fact,” and Castiel raised his voice a little. “I am sure that a certain naughty pup was banned from finding their father.”

Dean sneered out the window. Sam couldn’t decide whether or not he wanted to know what had happened.

Oh who was he kidding: of course he wanted to know.

--

The Novak-Winchester residence was everything the Winchester boys never had growing up. For one thing, it had a certain permanence about it. Given Castiel’s rather… formal and distant personality, Sam could have imagined a house decorated in neutrals, with modern furniture and a cold feel.

But it was the complete opposite. The house was warm and inviting. Sam felt like he had come home the minute he walked in the door.

Dean spoke for the first time in hours. “You like it, Sammy? Cas let me do most of the decorating! It was actually fun.” He walked off in the direction of the stairs. “There are two spare bedroom…”

“Dean.”

Dean stopped.

“Strip, and bring me your collar. You have 20 minutes.”

Castiel turned and walked towards the kitchen, not even checking whether Dean obeyed.

“Coming Sam?”

--

Sam was so uncomfortable. He thought it had been bad enough, at the start, in the car. But throughout the drive he’d relaxed, and sort of forgotten what was going to happen. And now that they were really here, Sam was freaking out again. He was going to see his brother. Naked. Collared. Punished.

He groaned. “Cas, please don’t go too hard on him.”

Castiel didn’t even raise an eyebrow. He’d been expecting this. Dean only needed five minutes to strip and get his collar. Twenty would make him think about his actions, and give Castiel time for a quick talk with Sam. The young alpha radiated guilt and unhappiness.

“Sit.”

Sam dropped down on a stool at the breakfast bar, eyes taking in the space. The kitchen was as welcoming as the rest of the house. Warm woods, happy yellows, and red accents in pots and pans and various cookware were strangely soothing. Despite he’s trepidation, Sam couldn’t help but feel soothed.

Stupid room, he thought.

“Do you cook?”

Castiel smiled at the question. “No. I tend to burn water. Dean, however, is an excellent cook. We had the whole house renovated before we moved in. I gave Dean three rooms that were his – the kitchen, his den, and a guest room. He could do what he wanted. Get a professional decorator, design it himself, leave them as they were. They were spaces to make his, where he could feel comfortable. Of course I asked to see the plans first, but unless there were structural issues, I promised he could do what he wanted.” Castiel movements in the kitchen were straight to the point. Sam appreciated that, as the smell of freshly brewed coffee filled the air. “It took him less than a week, and the plans were – well. You’re here. You can see what it is. So I gave him most of the rest of the house. My study and the library were already designed, and our bedroom I had firm ideas on, but the rest? Well, he liked doing it.”

And you liked giving him something he liked, thought Sam. His heart clenched a bit. Castiel obviously liked spoiling Dean. So how could he even think about…

Castiel placed a cup of coffee in front of Sam. He turned before Sam interrupted, “Just black is fine.”

Castiel smiled slightly and sat opposite Sam.

He was a steady presence. Probably very good for Dean. Dean. Sam took a deep breath.

“I know that you and Dean both said it wasn’t my fault… but without me he wouldn’t have run away and been travelling the country.”

Castiel nodded, but didn’t say anything.

“Without me he wouldn’t have almost gotten killed.” There was a pause, then Sam hesitantly admitted, “Eleven times. Without me, he would have here, in a stable home with a loving alpha! It’s because I… Dean stayed because I needed him. I…” Sam didn’t know how to describe it. “I’m glad he has an alpha. Dean is wonderful, and deserves a lot of love.”

A few deep breaths later, and Sam could continue. “But I am worried. You… you’re going to beat him, and I can’t see how that is a good thing. You seem like a great guy, but if you’re going to hurt my brother, I don’t want to leave him here. “ Sam trailed off. For a wordsmith, he was having a hard time with words. “And you… Look, I’m not saying I understand your way of doing things, but I know omegas need… touch. And cuddling Dean can be hard. He’s so prickly. I used to hug him all the time when I was little, but when I got bigger he would push me away. So I sort of stopped.”

Sam stared into his coffee. Well. He’d made no fucking point at all. He hadn't even made sense. But now that he'd said it... he hadn’t even realised he had those thoughts about Dean. Had he known Dean was an omega? That made it worse!

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s ok, Sam.” Castiel’s rough voice was strangely soothing. “Dean’s right – he made the decision to go and find you, and then to stay with you. And” Castiel acknowledged with a nod of his head, “if Dean had asked me, I would not have granted him permission to leave. But it’s happened. You’re here. And I think that might be a good thing. Better to ask forgiveness than permission, as they say. Dean made his choice, he will pay his penance.”

Sam looked at Castiel from under his lashes. The older Alpha’s face was wrinkled in thought. “I have said you are welcome to stay here – and you are. Dean has missed you a lot, and you are his family, which makes you part of our small family. And family is important.” Castiel smiled at his slightly. “And important as you are, it still isn’t going to change the way I discipline your brother.”

“I’m not beating him you know. I am spanking his naughty behind. I am reminding him of who is in charge. Because I am in charge. I know you feel you had an equal relationship with your omega…”

“Jess!” Sam interjected.

Castiel corrected himself. “An equal relationship with Jess, and I am glad it worked for you. I don't believe, and I think that history has shown me, that the current relationship works well for Dean and myself. Even we were more 'equal', I don't know that I would be able to take Dean walking out without a without some sort of response. What if Jess had just disappeared on you? Can you honestly say that when you found her again, that you would have wanted to gain some control? Of the situation? Of her?"

“But this obviously isn’t new! Not a one off sort of thing. You and Dean have this… thing…” Sam finished his sentence weakly.

Out of the corner of his eye, Sam saw Castiel nod. “Yes. We do. Have a thing.” And then he laughed. “But I have to say Sam, if Dean was well behaved, he wouldn’t spend any time in the corner, and he would be having much more fun in my lap.”

Sam blushed, but couldn’t deny that Dean pushed buttons. Heck, he’d only been in Castiel’s presence for five minutes before the sass attack started. Fuck. Sass attack. He’d never have referred to Dean as ‘sassy’ prior to today.

The two men sat in silence for a little. Sam didn’t know that he felt better about it. Well, he felt like Castiel probably wasn’t an abuser. But he’d keep an eye on the pair anyway. Now that he knew Dean was an omega, he would always be there to protect his brother. He’d worried about him in the past, but now the protective instincts crept in, and Sam had no way of turning them off, even if he wanted to. Sam silently considered what this would mean for him and Dean.

Castiel finally spoke. “I do have a request… well, it’s not really a request. I ask that you don’t interfere with how I manage Dean, and I also…” Castiel trailed off before cocking his head to look Sam square in the eyes. “You’re an alpha, I know this. And you’ve newly discovered that you had…” Castiel trailed off, eyeing Sam. “Have an omega under your care. But this is my house, and as such I need to maintain control. If you are unhappy with something, you can come to me to discuss it. I don’t promise to change anything, but I will always listen. If it involves something happening to Dean, you will discuss it with me after the event, not when he is present. And try not to upset him. Dean is happy with our life, but I know he is nervous of your judgement, and uncertain about your reactions. Treat him gently, Sam. I hope we don’t have to have to continue this particular discussion at a later date.” And wow. Castiel was all fucking alpha dominance there. Understandable – Dean wasn’t just some omega, he was Castiel’s mate. The growl dropped out of Castiel’s voice and he continued. “I will reiterate, you don’t have to stay here, but you are very welcome.” He gave a small smile. “I know Dean always wanted you to be here. Before you make any big decisions on moving, stay a few days. Spend some time with your brother. It might not be as bad as you imagine. At the very least, Dean will be happier having you here.” Castiel raised his voice. “And speaking of Dean…”

Dean slunk into the kitchen. He was blushing, and that blush extended all the way down his body. Huh. Sam had never knew his brother blushed like that. Or had freckles pretty much everywhere.

“You were talking,” he muttered.

“So what should you have done?”

Dean sighed loudly. Castiel pulled him close. The sound of Castiel’s hand striking Dean’s ass was much louder than the sigh.

Dean rubbed his ass, but answered readily enough. “I should have come in anyway, and waited at your side.”

Castiel removed Dean’s hand, replacing it with his own, fingers gently rubbing the red mark. “Good boy.” Castiel turned to look at Sam. “We haven’t shown you to your room yet. I don’t think you really want to be here for this, so feel free to go to your own space. Top of the stairs and turn right. There are two guest bedrooms. You may have either.”

With that Sam was dismissed. Castiel obviously didn’t care if Sam stayed or not, but Dean was making wild eye movements towards the door. Castiel noticed and frowned.

“Sam can stay if he chooses, Dean. Having another house inhabitant – or even a guest - doesn’t change any rules, or the repercussions of breaking those rules. And Dean,” and here a hint of Alpha Voice crept in. “You’ve broken a lot of rules. Why are you still standing?”

Dean dropped to his knees immediately. He hadn’t looked at the floor, but was very relieved when his knees hit pillow and not hardwood.

Castiel’s hand dropped to Dean’s head, carding through the hair. Sam watched as his tough-as-nails, macho brother leaned into the soft touch, eyes apologetic. Sam’s felt his own eyes softened. He looked at Castiel, quietly saying, “I am very uncomfortable with this, but I think that’s the reason I need to stay. You’re going to be, uh… establishing? How things are going to be over the next few weeks?”

Castiel nodded.

“Well then. Yeah.” Sam couldn’t look at them. “I guess it makes sense for me to know what’s going on. I don’t want to make trouble, or get Dean into trouble…”

“Like you could, Sammy,” Dean snorted from the floor.

Castiel’s hands clenched in Dean’s hair, pulling sharply so Dean looked him in the eyes.

“Do we really need to start training from the beginning, Dean? I can’t believe you’ve forgotten that you don’t speak unless spoken to when you’re on your knees.”

Dean’s face was a picture of defiance. Sam watched as Castiel just stared him down, showing no anger or impatience. Finally – finally! Dean deflated and dropped his gaze, and Castiel continued stroking Dean’s hair. Sam let out the breath he hadn’t known he was holding.

“That makes sense, Sam.” Castiel nodded, continuing their conversation, before turning back to Dean. “Alright sweetheart, we’re going to have this conversation with you over my lap. But first…”

Castiel held out his hand, and Dean handed something over. Sam watched as Castiel unbuckled a golden brown collar, before slowly, reverently placing it around Dean’s neck. Once done up, it was subtle, the colour blending nicely with Dean’s skin. As Castiel urged Dean up and around, Sam caught the front of the collar, and bit his lip. A ruby red heart was embedded in the front. Dean obviously knew Sam had seen, as he kept his expression stony, although his eyes promised hell to pay if Sam said a single word. Dean turned to Cas, hands held out, obviously about to ask something, but Castiel placed a finger on Dean’s lips.

“No. Right now I don’t care what you want. You were the bad pup who ran off. Now we are going to deal with it. I know you’re embarrassed about your brother being here, but even if we weren’t doing this now, I doubt you could go a whole evening without ended up over my knee. So you both need to get used to this.”

Dean blushed. Sam hid a grin.

--

Sam wasn’t grinning half an hour later. Dean was a sobbing mess in Castiel’s arms. For all that Castiel had said he was a Traditional Alpha, Sam had been shocked, and hard pressed not to object when the paddle came out. It was loud, and obviously painful. Watching Dean wriggle and cry and beg had been hard. The tears dripping down Dean’s face caused Sam’s hands to curl into tight fists. He couldn’t get involved. Not yet. And it wasn’t like he hadn’t been warned.

Still, when Dean was standing, Sam hissed in a breath at the sight of his painfully red ass. After a quick cuddle and some nuzzling, Castiel had sent Dean to the corner with a pat on his glowing behind. Looking around the room, Sam noticed it was the only free corner. He caught Castiel’s eye. Who smiled slightly.

“Every room in this house as an empty corner.” Then he laughed. “Despite his talent for design, it wasn’t Dean who suggested it.”

Sam couldn’t laugh. Castiel looked at him and sighed.

“You feel guilty.” It wasn’t a question. Sam's guilt was stronger than Dean's distress.

Sam gestured vaguely in the direction of the corner. “That… it… you hurt him! And it’s my fault!” He couldn’t look at Dean, he felt so bad.

Castiel gave another small laugh. “He does have a sore bottom. And he will continue to have a sore bottom. He’s getting morning and evening spankings on top of whatever he earns during the day. I think… two months will do it. Morning and evening spankings for the next two months.” There was a moan from the corner. “You were away for six months, Dean. If you can hide from your alpha for six months, you can put up with the consequences for two. Be grateful that is isn’t six. And Dean? I will be enforcing all the rules.”

Sam looked mortified.

“What do you mean all the rules?”

Cas was calm. “Dean is to be respectful at all times to all the alphas in the house. And since you are here, that includes you. Dean will be polite, obedient, complete his tasks, and present himself for his morning and evening spankings.” A splutter was heard from the corner. “Dean, you are in time out. We don’t need to hear from you. But since you have drawn my attention,” and wow. John Winchester knew nothing about sounding disapproving, “those spankings will not be happening at the same time and place. I will inform you each day when and where, and you will come and ask me for them. No matter where I am or who I am talking to.” Castiel turned back to Sam. “Dean will also be wearing his collar at all times. If we go out, he will be on his leash. I generally keep him naked,” Cas looked thoughtful, “but I have some small things I am willing to have him wear. He kneels during meals, and I hand feed him. There are a myriad of other thing we do, as well as a hose of rules” he waved his hand vaguely, “but I guess you will discover them as Dean breaks them.” Castiel sent Sam a small smile. “And he will.” Sam kept back a slightly hysterical giggle. Yes. Dean would somehow manage to break them all. “I would ask that you don’t punish him – come to me – but if you end up staying here any length of time, we can revisit that.” Sam blanched. “I know you aren’t happy about this, Sam, but I did tell you how it was going to be.

Castiel went to stand. Before pausing and turning back to Sam.

“There is one other thing,” he said, eyes very serious. Sam straightened automatically. “I will be fucking your brother.” The voice was gentle, but Sam felt as if he had been hit with it. “We aren’t exhibitionists.” A pause. “At least I’m not, and Dean does what he is told, but… your omega… Jess? You engaged in public activity?” The voice was kind, inviting Sam to share as much as he was able.

“Yeah. We did. Then… she… she died.” Had Sam already told Castiel? He couldn’t remember. “Dean stayed with me during a bad time.” It hurt, but he could still try and make things better for his brother.

Castiels expression indicated he knew exactly what Sam was up to. “I am sorry Sam. If you need to talk I am here. The reason I mention Jess… You know that omega’s require a lot of affection?” Sam nodded. It wasn’t as if each omega was the same, but it had been showed time and time again that loving affection – both platonic and sexual – was good for an omega. Alpha-omega interactions helped them both, clinical studies had shown that regular… cuddling? Spooning? Sam couldn’t help but laugh to himself. Dean probably freaked out at being told he needed cuddles from alphas. Regular alpha cuddles stablised an omegas mood - even improved it. More to the point, the lack of touch could have serious health implications. Hell, even omega-omega touch was good. Omega cuddle piles may be the fantasy material of many an alpha, but the truth was omegas gave each other much needed comfort as well. And the touch centred alphas, fed the dominant instincts, which lead to smoother interactions overall. Sam’s attention returned to Castiel's words. “And I give Dean a lot of affection. And sometimes that affection includes my co…”

Dean yelped from the corner, turning around.

“Cas! Please! That’s my baby brother!”

“Turn around Dean.”

“But…”

Castiel was over there before Dean could get another word out. Sam winced at the sound spanking Castiel administered to his disobedient omega. When Dean was in tears again, Castiel sighed, before returning to the table, Dean in tow. He sat before pulling Dean down, arranging him on his lap so that he was cradled against Castiel’s chest. He spent a few minutes soothing Dean, before turning back to Sam.

“While we both enjoy the touch, Dean actually needs a lot of affection.” Castiel heaved a sigh. “While I don’t know that I will ever make up for the years of abuse,” Dean choked a sound, and this time Castiel just pulled him in closer. “It was abuse, Dean – omega abuse. You’re father knew what he should have…” Dean made another choking sound, and Castiel stopped. “Ok, sweetheart. Ok. Not right now.”

Sam watched as Castiel patted and petted is brother, cooing at him, telling how precious he was, how loved. After all the crying, Dean must have been exhausted, because he actually fell asleep in Castiel’s arm. Sam was flabbergasted. Castiel grinned.

“You’ll catch flies if you leave your mouth open any longer.” Sam shut it. “As I said, Dean needs lots of touch. And he isn’t good at graciously accepting it. I…” Castiel trailed off. “I would like to ask that you cuddle him, just casually touch him. You mentioned that he repulsed your previous offers of affection? Do you mean in these last six months”

“Yeah. For some reason I always wanted to cuddle him.” Sam gave a crooked grin. “I guess that’s explained now. The most of I have touched him in recent times is when I had to sew him up.”

Castiel tensed. Sam ran a hand over his face. “Sorry, Cas. You probably don’t want to hear that. I… look, it’s a lot to take in. I still can’t believe my brother is an omega!”

Cas smiled.

“It’s been a busy day.”

--

The two alphas chatted, keeping their voices low, so as to not wake the sleeping omega. Well, that was Sam’s reason. In reality he didn’t want him to wake up yet. He could barely take his eyes off his brother who looked so young and soft, so defenceless as he slept. It was a side of Dean he couldn’t remember seeing.

Sam could feel his guilt rising. All those times he had put Dean in danger – not just now, but when they were younger. Looking back, he could see Dean’s drive to protect him as Dean being true to his omega instincts, but at the time it was just annoying. More than annoying, and Sam had said and done horrible things. He glanced up from Dean’s sleeping face, seeing Cas’s eyes on him.

“You feel guilty.” It wasn’t a question. “Again.”

Sam could hear the humour in Castiel’s voice. Bastard had a sense of humour.

“I… just. It isn’t just the last six months, you know? It’s everything. Dean’s always looked out for me, and I was just a brat. Worse than a brat.”

Castiel was shaking his head before Sam had finished speaking. “It wasn’t your fault Sam. I don’t know when Dean presented. I have asked, but he doesn’t want to tell me. Which leads me to believe it was quite young. So he has hidden it for a long time. There are ways of keeping people from knowing you’re an omega. You may have been too young to scent his change, and by the time you were old enough, well,” Castuel looked down at Dean, and stroked his hair. “I am sure he would have gotten very good at hiding what he was.”

Sam snorted. Hadn’t he just been traveling with the undercover omega in question?

“Dean, as he likes to tell me frequently, is more than capable of looking after himself.” Castiel fixed Dean with an indulgent smile. “I like to think I can do a better job, but Dean is generally capable of keeping himself alive and out of jail. And Sam, even when you thought he was a beta, you would have protected him with your life, yes?”

Sam couldn’t help but gulp at the razor sharp look that accompanied the question.

“Of course, Cas! Even if Dean was an alpha I would always look after him! I have Dean’s back, and he’s got mine. We may fight, but we’d never let each other down.”

Castiel considered the sincerity of the statement before nodding and going back to petting Dean.

The silence didn’t last for long, both men falling back into their earlier, easier talk.

Chapter 1 | Chapter 3
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