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Chapter 10 | Chapter 12

Castiel retuned half an hour later. He walked to the corner housing Dean, and had a quiet conversation. His hand rested on Dean’s neck, and whatever Castiel said, Dean just nodded politely, and kept his nose in the corner. Castiel watched him a minute, patted his down turned head, before walking to Sam.

Taking his time, Castiel settled himself on the sofa. Once comfortable, he turned his piercing gaze to Sam, looking at him expectantly.

Sam schooled his thoughts. Fuck! He was nervous? Why? Cas didn’t look angry. He’d listen to what he had to say before making any decisions. He probably wasn’t going to kick him out. He’d give him a chance right? Another chance to not fuck up?

“Sam.”

Castiel’s voice was low and steady, accompanied with a firm grip to his knee. Sam took a deep breath. Castiel paused a moment, before settling back and watching the young alpha once more.

Taking another breath, Sam answered the unspoken question. “I honestly didn’t realise that Dean would get so upset.” Sam had to breathe again, before he hyperventilated. “I just wanted to know and I didn’t think… I’m sorry he did – get upset I mean - and I’ll do my best to make sure it never happens again!” Sam felt like a fucking puppy, in trouble at school.

Castiel nodded seriously. “I believe you, Sam.”

There was a slightly uncomfortable silence. Uncomfortable from Sam’s position at least. Castiel soon broke it, as he casually asked, “What did you say to him?”

Sam shifted in his seat, glancing at Dean. He felt torn. Surely Cas could just ask Dean? That was what this was about right? And it wasn’t just that Sam felt uncomfortable with the fallout. He obviously did. It was more it felt wrong asking Cas, because this was at the very core of what Sam’s concerns for his brother were: the huge amount of control and influence Cas had over Dean.

“I…” Sam stopped. Fuck. He may as well just say it. Cas didn’t seem to be angry, and answering his question wouldn’t change that. “I just asked how comfortable he was with the control you had over him, and did he get to decide anything for himself. Because,” Sam rushed on, “Because the Dean I grew up with – fuck, the Dean who I just travelled with! – would rather have eaten razor wire than hand over their autonomy like this.”

There was an indignant squawk from the corner. Castiel’s eyes flashed, but he chose to ignore the interruption. Sam looked at his brother, body tight with displeasure, nose in the corner and leash loosely looped above his head. Here was Dean, looking like a text book case for the downtrodden omega.

Ambivalently, Sam really hoped Dean would take this opportunity to not push Cas any more. Turning back, Sam found himself pinned by Castiel’s hard stare.

“I did ask you to come to me if you had any further questions.”

Well, yes. That was exactly what Cas had asked. And he’d definitely taken the alpha up on that offer – asking many questions about the lifestyle, and pack roles, pretty much anything that crossed his mind. And Castiel had been nothing but generous with his time, answers – and patience. Sam had had a lot of questions.

But this was different.

Sam nodded his agreement. “You did. And you’ve been great, Cas. I really appreciate your time and patience.” And now for the sting in the tale. “But this was different. I wanted – needed - to hear it from Dean. It’s one thing for you – for Dean’s alpha - to tell me Dean’s happy with everything. I mean, what else are you going to say? My omega hates the way I treat him?!” Sam shook his head. “So that’s why I asked Dean. So he could tell me he’s ok. I need Dean to tell me he’s ok.” Sam couldn’t help the frustration that bled into his voice. “Dean’s behaviour is so… so… so different! He’s never been…”

Sam stopped speaking. He didn’t really want to say the next part. Even without finishing his sentence, they all knew.

Polite. Obedient. Biddable.

And more than that - subservient. Sam couldn’t start to count the ways Dean had changed. He’d given up his life outside the home. He cooked and cleaned and doted on his alpha. He even dressed like the living embodiment of an alpha fantasy. He was currently collared and leashed for God’s sake!

And Sam was Dean’s brother. His alpha brother. He wouldn’t be doing his duty to his omega brother if he didn’t make sure his relationship was safe.

It was that that gave him the assurance to continue.

“He’s your omega, Cas. But he’s my brother. And I care about him. I love him. I have a responsibility to make sure he’s ok. I know I’ve already told you, but it bears repeating: If I even think you’re hurting him, or abusing him, I’ll take him away.” Sam looked distraught. “If I’d realised that dad… If I’d known, I’d… Fuck! If I’d known what dad was doing, there’s no way I would have left Dean there – alpha or omega.”

Silence settled over the room, each lost in thought until Dean broke it with a long suffering sigh.

He’d turned around and was now staring at the two alphas, hands on hips, body lines all leashed aggression. Dean was pissed off.

“Your duty to look after me? What the fuck? I’ve always looked after you, Sammy! It’s not your job. Your job is – and I mean this Sam – your job is to trust me. I’m able to take care of myself. And yeah, I got a little pissy at you. But it’s not like it’s the first time you asked me that.” Dean ran a hand through his hair. “You don’t listen. You never listen! And you constantly question my decisions! It drives me fucking crazy.”

He pointed a finger at Sam. “You asked me the first night if I was ok with this. And I said yes. So fucking believe me!”

He was shouting by the end.

Dean turned to Castiel, obviously ready to yell at his alpha too. Castiel’s stern expression forced a rapid change in plan. Dean had turned and was on his way back to his corner when Castiel’s voice stopped him.

Too late, puppy. I’d hoped you could stay in the corner – quietly – and think about how I expect you to behave in this house. I’d hoped you could follow my simple instructions.” Castiel sighed. “Unhook your leash and come here please

Sam went to stand – he really wanted to leave if Dean was about to get his ass spanked again – but Castiel was in full dominant alpha mode.

“You will stay, Sam. You’re intent may have been innocent, but it is due to your actions that I have a very disobedient omega.” Sam squirmed and Castiel just stared at him. “You don’t like the repercussions? Don’t cause the problem

Sinking back down onto his seat, Sam watched as Dean slowly trailed over to Cas, who snapped his fingers when Dean reached him. Sighing, Dean sank to his knees beside his alpha. He waited until Dean placed the leash in his hand before pulling the leash tight enough that there was some slight strain at the collar.

Now.” Castiel took a deep breath, steadying himself. The room stank of rage and upset and Castiel needed to be calm for them all. “We’ve all been upset today. Obviously I would rather we had a harmonious household. But we are going to have days like this. It’s good to know we can deal with it.”

Dean shot a hopeful look at his alpha. “We’ve dealt with it, right Cas?”

Castiel cast a look at Sam, before looking at back at Dean. He smiled, stroking Dean’s cheek. “Pretty much, puppy. Later on I still want you tell me five ways you could have handled it differently. But for now Sam and I are going to have a chat, and I want you to sit here like my good boy. I think maybe we both need some cuddles.” He turned his attention back to Sam. “Sam? Make some tea and then we talk about things.”

The Winchesters tensed. Castiel laughed, a full bodied laugh that had Dean nuzzling Cas’s knee. “I think we’ve all had enough questions about Dean. Make the tea, then we can talk about you and your plans, Sam.”

Sam leapt to his feet, almost giddy with relief.

It was going to be ok. Cas wasn’t going to kick him out (and when had he started worrying about that? From the start Cas said this was Sam’s home). And a fight wasn’t the end of the world.

As Sam waited for the kettle to boil it hit him: the last fight he’d had with his alpha had been dad. And dad had told him in no uncertain terms to follow his rules or leave. Rubbing the back of his neck, Sam thought over that last interaction with John.

Shit. Sam exhaled a heavy breath. Had he really been comparing Cas to John? Even subconsciously? No wonder he had such huge issues – they weren’t just about Dean.

Walking back into the lounge room, he couldn’t help his soft smile that crossed his lips. Dean was laying across Castiel’s lap, one hand playing with the buttons on his shirt, the other lying over Cas’s hand. The one playing with Dean’s collar. Dean looked happy. Content. In love.

And Cas? He looked utterly besotted as he bent down to kiss Dean.

It was his issue, Sam was forced to acknowledge. He’d go curl up in his room – hopefully with a Dean on his lap – and just think it through. In the meantime, he’d have his chat with Cas.

~o~

As they sat down to drink, Sam talked about finishing school. He talked about his life plans. Not knowing what to do now. Should he go back and study? Go back to Stanford or stay here? He talked about finding his own place and moving out. Cas listened. Cas asked questions.

Neither noticed Dean’s reaction to Sam’s plans.

Chapter 10 | Chapter 12
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