Title: Instinct

Author: HigherMagic

Pairings: Dean/Castiel, Sam/Gabriel

Rating: NC-17

Word Count: WIP

Spoilers: None

Summary: Werewolf/Were-cat AU. Dean now has to deal with the struggles and drama of his family life since the main threat has gone. To be honest, the threat of war was easier to deal with.

Notes/Warnings: MPreg. Also, I've never been pregnant or been in labor, nor have I been around pregnant/in labor people. All this stuff comes off Google and Friends episodes, m'kay?

Unbeta'd. All mistakes are my own (:

Now, in that library I'd heard of these Braxton Hicks contractions. I'd read up on them and though it was a little scary to think about – you know, practice contractions – I wasn't that worried, considering they were apparently for practice and a lot of women didn't even feel them.


Of course, I'm not a woman.

Still, since I was a little more aware of what exactly they would feel like, I didn't freak out much when they started happening. It was weird because it was, well, more intense than I'd thought they'd be, but nothing I couldn't manage and I followed one of the book's advice and changed what I was doing when they happened, and rested a lot until they went away. It was kind of exhausting but it was working so I wasn't going to complain.

Gabriel and Sean returned to the pack a little after Castiel and I did, as Gabriel was going to start making sure everything was set and the 'trainees' – I can only assume he meant Jo and Anna – were ready for anything they might be needed for before he put himself on bed rest. I wondered why he didn't put me on it – I'm sure Castiel would have been all for it – but, in his words; "You're a stubborn bastard who wouldn't listen to me anyway and I'm older so I get special privileges."

Frankly, I think he just liked the idea of Sam fretting over him while he sprawled around doing nothing. Still, there were times when things like a long bath or a nice nap (and I hated naps) sounded really appealing, but I wouldn't let myself, despite Castiel's protests, because I was still Alpha and still had a pack to run, and even though Sam and Adam had done fantastically in my absence, it was still my job as the eldest and I wasn't going to skimp out just because I was pregnant. Lord knows female Alphas didn't do it.

I'd managed to figure out that typewriter thing more, but Castiel brought it to my attention that eventually it would stop working because things were old and they needed ink or tape or something – I wasn't really paying attention to the words, in my defense – so I also practiced writing by hand, even though it was a bitch, because it's not like carrying about a typewriter was a practical solution to writing problems. The machine was too awkward to carry much anyway.

As the weeks went on, everything was running smoothly. With the threat of the rival packs gone and both Castiel and I happy and content, the packs were running very well together. Hunting parties had formed between both wolves and cats, and more pairs had come together in Castiel's and my absence. Adam, thankfully, had begun to recover from Michael's death and was becoming more like the outgoing friendly pup I knew him to be. Anna was beginning to show and had forgone the clothing, following Gabriel's example, to accommodate her rounding stomach. Jo's son grew strong and healthy, which was good because I'd learned that the birth had been difficult because apparently the baby had been coming out the wrong way and had the umbilical chord wrapped around its neck so it wasn't breathing right, or something.

I kind of stopped listening after that, because the horror stories were just freaking me out.

Lisa became kind of like my midwife, I guess – always around since Gabriel was resting up as much as he could before my birth and then his. She was a font of knowledge and experience and had the valuable asset of knowing when there were things I needed to hear and when there were things she should really shut up about.

So everything was going okay. I stayed as a wolf for most of the next two months, so I was eight months along. It was common for expecting mothers to stay as wolves, as we commonly give birth in our wolf forms, just because it's safer that way and we take on the form of the wolf a few months early so the baby doesn't get confused. I'm not sure if a baby would actually be able to get confused, because as far as I could tell the only difference that affected them was geographical location and how they hung off our bodies, but hey – it had worked so far so who was I to go against the flow?

Anyway, so things seemed to be going well. I mean, I was getting a lot of the normal pregnancy things (though thankfully no mood swings. At least, none that I noticed though sometimes Sammy would give me weird looks) like cravings and false contractions and everything. That was why, when I felt the first painful tightening in my stomach, I thought it was just another episode and that it would go away.

It didn't go away.

In fact, it kept getting worse.

A soft whine was all it took for Castiel to come to my side – which I was glad for because I didn't want to, like, cause a panic or anything, despite the fact that I was kind of freaking out. I felt his hand at the scruff of my neck. "Dean, what is it?" he asked, lowly and urgently, and I kind of had the passing thought that it wasn't like my pregnancy was a secret.

"I…I think…" I cut off again as another wave of pain shot through me, nostrils flaring as I tried to breathe through it. It was getting stronger, much worse than they'd been before. "God, Cas…I…I think something's wrong." That's the only way I could explain it – I felt like I had right before Gabriel told me I'd lost my first child. I felt all wrong inside like something had happened, and that thought terrified me so I stopped thinking it. "Get Gabriel. God, Cas, get Gabriel."

He nodded, and I felt his presence leave my side, and I whined again, the pain abating for just a second, and it passed, leaving me panting. Jesus fuck, that had hurt. I was breathing heavily and felt sweat beginning to soak my fur, and I really hoped that was either a fucking huge false contraction or…well, no. There's no alternative really.

The second one was just starting when Cas managed to find Gabriel and bring him back to the tent, Sam following along behind. Immediately I felt hands pressing at my stomach, another around my hind leg and I didn't have the energy or the will to be uncomfortable at that. I inhaled deeply when I turned my head, able to catch sight of Gabriel out of the corner of my eye, and he lifted up a hand, his fingers coated lightly with clear fluid.

"His water's broken," Gabriel said, turning wide eyes to Cas. "He's going into labor."

Castiel's reply was lost to me as that second contraction – and holy fuck I was having contractions – swept through me, and I whined again, because there are no words for how much that hurt. And it was going to get worse. They were going to get worse and closer together and I was going to have to push a person out of me and holy fuck the baby's coming and –

"Dean, Dean!" There was a hand at my face, smoothing down the fur between my ears, and I whined again, cocking my ears towards Sam's voice. "You're gonna be okay, alright? Gabriel knows what he's doing – he'll guide you through this, and we've talked about what to do. You'll be alright."

"Dean, I -." Gabriel hesitated, and I had just enough time to realize that Castiel was being really, really quiet, before the were-cat's stricken expression reached me. "You…you have to change back to a human, Dean. I don't know how to recognize wolf signs." I balked, cause no way in hell could I do this as a human. I was barely managing the pain as a wolf and babies are huge and I didn't exactly have the equipment for shoving eight pounds of human out my ass. I'm pretty sure I managed to communicate all this in a growl. "Please, Dean. At least until we get to the final stretch. I need to make sure you're not going to hurt yourself."

"But, it's too early! Not for another, like, seven weeks!" I was shaking my head, in denial about the whole thing because this couldn't be happening so soon. I had time! I had more time!

"Dean, we need to do this now because that baby's coming whether you like it or not."

There was a long moment while I considered – although mostly I was trying to breathe through the second contraction, as it reached its peak and then abated, and fuck, I couldn't do this. It was going to just get worse and I couldn't do this.

Sam's hand was back in my fur again, and then Castiel's joined his. He pet down the side of my face and turned me so I could see him. "You can do this, Dean," he said, with that kind of sincerity he had that I actually had to believe him, because he seemed so convinced. "Let Gabriel help you."

I whined again, flattening my ears, but obeyed. Everything felt wrong when I changed back, muscles and bone compressing and reshaping and it hurt, fuck did it hurt. I was shaking and covered in sweat by the time I managed to get my shape back to a human, and clutched at my stomach as a third sharp pain began around my stomach, crying out because it hurt so fucking much.

"Dean, it's okay," Castiel murmured, taking my hand, and I squeezed it as tightly as I dared, clenching my teeth to avoid growling out some curse towards him for ever putting me in this situation. Stupid fertile bastard. My eyes flashed open when I felt Sam getting up, preparing to leave. "Where in the hell do you think you're going?" he demanded before I could say anything.

Sam hesitated. "It's tradition only to have the other parent, the midwife and any prior children here. I don't fit into those categories," he said, unsure of himself, looking to me for guidance.

"Sammy…please, please stay," I begged, because I was in so much pain, and Sam was always a calming, steadying influence on me and I wouldn't be able to do this without him any more than I could do it without Castiel. I held my other hand out to him, doubled over myself and grabbing blindly until I felt his palm sliding into mine, and I pulled him down next to me. "Stupid bitch," I growled at him, forcing out the sentiment though it hurt, and I felt his gentle laughter next to me, and he gave a soft squeeze of his hand.

"Alright, Dean," Gabriel murmured, pulling me back to the here and now. "There's going to be another one very soon, and it'll hurt even more. Eventually you're going to want to start pushing as hard as you can, but you can't do that, alright? You're doing this through something that has much tighter-linked, stronger muscles than women and a baby can tear them if you try and force it through too fast. We're just gonna take this nice and slowly."

"Fuck you," I growled at Castiel as another wave of pain overcame me. I cried out, panting through it, knowing I was probably crushing Castiel's hand but he deserved it. "You're not coming near me ever again, you hear me?"

"Yes, Dean, yes I understand," he said, sounding faintly amused – jackass – but his palm was rubbing between my shoulder blades and that felt kind of nice, so I didn't growl at him. Much.

Lisa came in the tent just then, her eyes widening on the scene. "Oh, I guess that explains it," she said, putting a hand to her mouth and averting her eyes for my modesty – one of the few times we wolves had it. "I'll go tell the Pack. Would you like us to clear the area?"

Sam answered for me; "Yes. Just to the outer reaches of the camp, though. Hopefully we won't be here long." I slapped him for that comment but he just grunted and stayed by my side. Good little Sammy.

Lisa nodded, smiling and exited the tent again, just as the third contraction abated. I collapsed, boneless, against Castiel who'd conveniently angled himself so that I was leaning against him. I rested my head back against his shoulder, breathing heavily and staring up at the sloping roof of my tent.

"Fuckin' hate you," I slurred, too tired to come up with anything else, and he smiled, rubbing my swollen belly lightly, his other hand still squeezing mine.

"You can do this, Dean," he purred into my ear and I shivered, gritting my teeth when I felt the next one start. God, I couldn't do hours of this – and I knew births could last hours. I couldn't do this. "You're just in the final stretch. Even if you think you can't, you're so stubborn that you'll be determined to prove yourself wrong."

"God, you're such an ass," I snapped back at him, squeezing his hand extra tightly just because I could. "Gonna kill you for doing this to me."

"Alright, Dean," Gabriel said, breaking into the conversation. He was kneeling between my legs which were bent up and out for him to have all the access he needed, and maybe when I look back I'll be uncomfortable about that but really I was just so fucking grateful that he was here because really he was the only one who knew what the fuck he was doing. "On the next one, I want you to start pushing. Gently, though, okay? Don't strain yourself, for God's sake."

"Easy for you to say," I snarled, and he smiled slightly at me before the next one hit. And I did as he said, following the instinct to push as I sat up, just wanting this thing to be out of me as soon as possible.

"Woah, woah, Dean! Stop!" I sat back, breathing heavily, and the scent of blood filled the room. Gabriel fixed wide eyes on me. "I told you to go slowly," he growls, almost like it was my fault the male body wasn't meant to push out a kid, and then his face twisted in concentration. I felt his hands along my entrance, which – eww, I squirmed – was slick and open, looser than it had ever been. Dilated, I guess the word was. The scene was vaguely, but too eerily, like the one where I'd miscarried and didn't know it, and I hoped – prayed, yes, I prayed – that this day wouldn't end the same way.

"Fuck, I'm sorry," I gasped out, praying that I hadn't done too much damage, that I was still okay and, more importantly, the baby was still okay. "I didn't mean to. I just – fuck, I don't know what I'm doing here, Gabriel! And -."

"It's okay, Dean, it's okay," Gabriel replied, cutting me off, sounding relieved. "Sometimes there is a bit of bleeding with a birth. In fact, it's normal. You're okay – I thought something had gone wrong but you're alright. The baby's alright."

I almost sobbed from relief. Unfortunately, though, relief didn't last long. "We're going to start pushing again, and this time go slowly."

I honestly don't know how you push something out of you slowly. Seriously, if anyone knows, feel free to drop a fucking hint, because I didn't. But I didn't push as hard next time, or as urgently, and Gabriel seemed a lot more pleased with that performance than my first attempt. Soon enough I felt like I was exploding, though, and I knew the baby was coming for real. Gabriel told me not to push – to just let my body go with it – and I did, and I guess the only way I can describe it one moment I felt really, really full, the next I was completely empty, my body gaping and raw around something that wasn't there anymore, and Gabriel carefully held up a wriggling, stuff-that-I-didn't-want-to-think-about-covered mass of limbs, flailing a little in his hold. He was grinning from ear to ear, grabbing one of the clean cloths he carried in his medical bag and wiping at the tiny, red face.

My baby.

My daughter.

I collapsed back against Castiel, weak with relief and kind of feeling a little proud of myself for the accomplishment, and Castiel's hand was stroking through my sweaty hair. It was an odd kind of silent moment while we watched Gabriel clean her – Elizabeth – and then he handed her towards me.

"Come on, now, it's not like I did any of the work," he said, grinning into my dazed expression. I took her from him, cradling her to my chest and God, she was so tiny. So…fragile, and it was hard to believe I'd just given birth to this little mass in my arms. I knew I was grinning like an idiot and when I turned to look at Castiel, he was wearing a mirror smile, reaching down and smoothing over the tiny tuft of blonde that sprouted from her head.

"She's beautiful," he murmured, cradling the back of my head with his other hand and placing a kiss to my forehead. I couldn't wipe the grin off my face if I tried.

"You have a name for her?" Sam asked in a hushed whisper as Gabriel busied himself with cutting the cord and things like that. I don't know – I was really tired and that scene is kind of fuzzy to me. I grinned and held her out towards Sam so he could hold her. "What's she called?"

"Elizabeth," Castiel replied solemnly, and I nodded, smiling, and Sam nodded too, wiggling a finger in front of the baby and listening to her little gurgle. I smiled, and then hissed as another wave of pain made its way through me, slightly better than it had been but still pretty damn intense. I looked over at Gabriel.

"Um…" He snorted a little, grinning as though this was just his luck. "I think rest time's over. Baby number two's coming out."

Number two? I was pretty sure I'd said it, but I was just gaping at Gabriel like a fish out of water. "But…no, no, only one baby, Gabriel. Only -." I hissed again as the pain got worse for a brief second, feeling like another contraction, and I moaned once it abated. "God, I can't do that again," I whispered brokenly, closing my eyes shut. "I…I can't -."

"Dean." I looked up at Gabriel's serious voice. "If you're too tired, we can always try a Caesarian-section." I frowned, remembering the term from a human book, and growled defensively, curling my hands over my stomach.

"You're not cutting the kid out!" I snarled, because what if they cut it instead? What if that went wrong? I didn't doubt Gabriel's skills as a medic or a surgeon, but still, this was my kid they were talking about. "No freaking way."

Mirth sparked in Gabriel's eyes, and he smirked at me. "Then push."

Stupid whiskered bastards.

It was actually a lot easier to push Joshua out. It was like his sister had made the way for him. Don't get me wrong, it still hurt like hell, but at least he came out human so I didn't damage myself, and they were both healthy – as healthy as premature babies could be, and considering the damage I'd taken that had caused my first loss, I considered it a miracle they were alive at all.

Joshua had my eyes, and kind of looked like Sammy had when he was a baby. So he probably takes after me more. Lizzie, though, she looked just like her other father – right down to the head-tilt. They both had little tufts of blonde hair like I had when I was a baby so there was really no telling what color they would inherit until they got older.

They were both quiet babies, which I appreciated. All I had to be awake for was feeding them, and even then it was debatable. Castiel was more than making up for all the imagined crap he'd put me through taking care of them. I felt kind of bad after verbally abusing him during the birth that I was also making him do most of the work, but I honestly think he would have chained me down if I'd insisted on helping.

I used my free time and recovery period to write more, while the memories were still fresh. It hurt to move but I got my strength back, slowly but surely, and eventually the pack was allowed to move back in two days after the birth of the twins.

New wolves are welcomed into the pack by every member touching them. The cats didn't seem to understand this but that didn't stop them participating. Castiel and I watched, each of us holding one of the twins, while members from both our packs came forward and touched them, shared smile with us or whispered a blessing or congratulations.

We'd done it. We'd well and truly united our packs together through that ritual, and when someone asked me which of them would reign over us, I answered why not both? They were matches of each other, would compliment and complete way more and become closer than Sam and I ever could. Later on we discovered that Lizzie had inherited the cat gene, and Joshua the wolf. They were equal and opposite and two halves of the united team.

Three months later Gabriel gave birth to Sam's child – a daughter that they named after Sam's and my mother – Mary. She's a total sweetheart, completely capable of wrapping anyone and everyone around her middle finger. I know she's going to be a heartbreaker when she's older and I can't wait to see Sam go all 'over-protective father' on her ass.

They're just going on three now, and I've finished this book. It took a while but I got there – I'm sorry if the handwriting's really crappy. I'm still learning with that. When I'm done I'm going to go back to that library and give it to Joshua, because Lord knows he'll probably find more use for it than I will, and any travelers that find him on their paths. Sam says I should probably take out all the sex and language and stuff, but hey – it's what I remember, and I figure when they're old enough I'll make Lizzie and Joshua read it, because they should know what exactly they're signifying, here. I had hoped my children would grow up in a world of revolution and unity and well, this is a step, right?

Besides, knowing my luck, if they're anything like me, they'll run Cas and I ragged jumping into lakes before they can swim, taking on fully grown mama bears before they're ten, and fall in love with their arch-enemies. This will be my ultimate little payback, because hey – it's not going to kill them to know their old man was capable of some pretty crazy shit, back in the day.

Oh, and on a side note – that rival rag-tag enemy pack? Never showed their faces here again. That might have had something to do with Sean and Adam taking over the peace talks between our kinds. Adam's always been called the diplomat and Sean's quite a smooth talker himself. I'm not quite sure how they managed to get teamed up together and frankly, I'm not going to ask.

Sam says he's never letting Mary near this book. Prude.