Title: Nothing To Do With Being Weak
Author: wolfish_willow
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Sam/Castiel
Genre: angst, hurt/comfort, schmoop
Word Count: ~1400
Spoilers: Mentions of happenings in 5.14 (My Bloody Valentine)
Warnings: some violence, unbeta'd
Disclaimer: They aren't mine. I'm just having a bit of fun for them. They belong to Kripke. Lucky man.
Summary: In an attempt to find Pestilence, who better to send undercover at the hospital than the boys' nerdy angel and Dean's geek-boy sidekick?

Notes: Written for hwficjournal for the SPN Secret Fic Exchange #2 over at theficexchange on LJ. I chose the prompt: Sam/Castiel: Who better to send undercover at the hospital than the two nerds? It goes really well until the demon possessed surgeon overpowers Castiel and decides an angel's heart will make a nice addition to his trophy wall. Sam saves him(yay) but Cas is pretty shaken up.

"How does it feel to fall, angel?"

Sam's blood boiled on recalling the demon's words to Castiel while his angel was trapped within a ring of holy fire. If he could, he might have resurrected the damn thing, drawn out its pain a bit longer than he'd had the chance to before. The desire to do so only increased when he felt the small tremors running through Castiel as he held the angel close to his chest; warm breath hit his skin where Castiel had his head resting against Sam's neck.

He didn't know what happened before he found them; demon-possessed doctor spouting crap, Castiel's shoulders slumped, almost like he didn't expect Sam to reach them in time - like he didn't expect Sam would save him. But whatever it was, the minute he extinguished the ring of fire, he found himself with an armful of angel as Castiel practically collapsed into his chest.

"I still don't understand why you want me and Cas to take over on this one, Dean," Sam said, lips pulling down into a frown at the image before him; Dean stuffing his face with something overly greasy yet again. Something he'd never get used to, he supposed.

Dean grinned up at him, but thankfully finished chewing and swallowing what was in his mouth before answering, "Who better than my geek-boy sidekick and his nerdy angel to go undercover at a hospital, Sammy?"

Rolling his eyes at the nickname he'd never be rid of, Sam contemplated what was left of the salad in front of him before pushing the plastic container to the edge of the table. Their waitress - a busty brunette with a killer smile - came over, collecting his plate and leaving the check, still somehow managing to flip her hair over her shoulder while Dean gave her one of his charming smiles reserved for bombshells like her. Snorting, Sam shook his head and waited for the woman - her name tag read "Maria" - before leaning forward and snapping his fingers a few inches away from Dean's nose. It took a lot of effort to bite down on the laugh that wanted to fight its way out when his brother winced at the sound and movement so close to his face and blink, eyes focusing on Sam, a scowl replacing the leering smirk it had taken on while watching the waitress sashay to the counter.

"Pay attention casanova," he started, ignoring Dean's offended squawk, "What's with the change in roles this time around?"

Dean huffed and rolled his eyes like Sam was the one being difficult. Grabbing the check, the older Winchester stood, moving to the front to pay the check. Sam sighed and shook his head before following his brother out and to the Impala. He'd get his answer back at the motel, he was sure.

"He's an angel."

Sam paused in opening his laptop and looked at Dean, eyebrows raised expectantly. Not that his brother noticed with his eyes focused on his favorite gun as he cleaned it.


"And I'd think having an angel there might make, oh I don't know, slightly easier to tell whether Pestilence is actually in the building. Wouldn't you?"

"Oh, that's... That actually makes sense," he answered as he clicked online. He fought to keep from laughing at the way his brother nodded before what Sam said sunk in.

"Hey," Dean reached across the table and cuffed Sam's head lightly, "Of course it makes sense, it's my idea."

Sam gave his brother a mock glare before turning back to his computer, "You think he'll be okay? I mean, after what happened with Famine... He's an angel, but he's still falling Dean. I just... don't want something like that to happen again, you know?"

Dean didn't have chance to say anything before the tell-tale sound of wing beats signalled Castiel's arrival. Sam turned to greet him, mentally shrugging off his worries; his angel would be fine. They'd be together, back each other up. They shared a quick smile when Cas sat down the bed closest to the table. Then it was all a rush of planning, making sure each of them knew what to do, where they were going. They couldn't take any chances with this one.

It should have been simple. Get in, Castiel would focus and find out if Pestilence was there, or had been there. Dean would sneak into one of the monitoring rooms while Sam and Castiel made their way through - decked out in white lab coats that reminded Sam too much of their time spent in TV Land - to keep an eye on things.

But Castiel seemed out of sorts, unfocused in a way Sam hadn't ever seen from the angel before, and Sam couldn't think of a reason why. He shoved his concern to the back of his mind; he'd find out and take care of Castiel after they were done here. They're first priority was the Horseman who may or may not have been on the grounds.

Sam didn't know how it happened. One minute he and Cas were walking through the halls, Sam watching Castiel closely for any indication that the angel sensed anything out of place. They ran into a few doctors, even the apparent head surgeon of the place, but caught no sign of what they were looking for. The next, he was waking up in a dark room - a supply closet if the shelves of disinfectant were anything to go by - alone, Castiel nowhere in sight.

"Even your human knows you're less than you once were, doesn't he angel?"

Sam could barely make out the words being spoken through the heavy hospital door, but enough came through to hear the way they were spat out.

"You are mistaken."

Castiel's voice bled through and Sam thought hearing his angel, alive and well, would ease his worry somewhat. But the uncharacteristic shake to Castiel's ever-steady tone, how he sounded less than convinced of his own words, only served to make Sam work faster on getting into that room.

The door finally gave after way too long, in Sam's opinion, opening enough that he could see into the room. It must have been a lounge of some sort; it was larger than any hospital room he'd been stuck in before. He could see a table at the far end of the wall, upturned like so much of the rest of the room had been. But what had him biting down on an enraged gasp was the sight of Castiel trapped in a ring of holy fire in the middle of the room, hunched forward, looking smaller than he was.

With an effort, Sam tore his eyes from his angel to look for whatever had him trapped like that, all the while still pushing at the door as hard as he could, getting it to budge forward a little more each time.

Black eyes caught his attention, though thankfully they weren't trained on him yet. He'd tried to ignore how familiar the power holding the door closed felt, how of course it was a demon behind all of this. Pestilence had probably never been anywhere near this hospital. But it wasn't the right time to beat himself up over falling for the clues they'd been given, not with the demon smirking at Castiel like he knew he would win. Not with Castiel looking defeated, like he thought no one would come for him.

The demon was wearing the head surgeon he and Castiel had spoken to in the hallway, the last person he remembered seeing before waking up in that supply closet. Damnit.

In all his attempts to get the door open wide enough to fit through, he missed most of the words exchanged between angel and demon, until he'd given one last push that finally seemed to loosen whatever hold had been keeping it still.

"I think an angel's heart would make a nice trophy, don't you?"

Sam saw red as he watched the demon walk closer to the ring of fire, closer to the angel who stiffened, but didn't move away.

"How does it feel to fall, angel?"

Something in him snapped and Sam rushed through the now open space of the doorway. The demon saw him coming, but not fast enough to do more than sneer - Sam didn't give him enough time to even try lifting his hand, let alone toss him across the room like a ragdoll like so many demons had done before. Just gripped Ruby's knife, knuckles white, and drove it into the demon's throat, barely sparing a glance at the sparks jolting through the body as it fell to the floor. His attention was completely focused on getting Castiel out of the ring of fire and as far from that hospital as they could get.

Dean left the motel saying something about getting food or a drink, but Sam wasn't paying him any mind. His arms were full with Castiel; the blue-eyed angel's head rested against his chest, a welcome weight and warmth lining his side.

"Are you gonna tell me what's been bothering you?"

Sam had an idea, after the demon's last words, of why Castiel had been so distracted during the investigation. But he planned to keep it from bothering his angel any longer than it already had.

Castiel sighed, felt more than heard. Lifting a hand to cup his angel's strong jaw, he pulled a pliant Castiel further up against him until he could press them together, forehead to forehead, breath mingling. He closed his eyes and pressed a light kiss to dry lips before pulling back so they could lay facing each other.

Wrapping his fingers around Castiel's waist, Sam started, "You aren't weak. Or useless or whatever else you've got going on through that head of yours."

Castiel lowered his eyes, seeming to find the bedspread more interesting than anything else, but Sam waited him out, pulled the angel closer until there wasn't an inch of space between them, hand running up and down Castiel's back in a slow, gentle glide of fingers, catching every now and then on the soft material of his white shirt.

"I heard you speaking with Dean before. You believed something would happen as it had with Famine. You didn't want me to accompany you."

He tightened his grip on the angel's waist reflexively before letting go, wrapping his arms around Castiel, "I just don't want you getting hurt. And that has nothing to do with you being weak or falling, Castiel. And everything to do with me hating to see anyone I love hurting. You're just gonna have to get used to having an overprotective Winchester as a boyfriend, alright?"

Determined hazel met hopeful azure and Sam watched as Castiel's lips quirked into a rare smirk.

"Did you just admit that you love me, Sam Winchester?"

"What?" Sam answered, a dimpled grin spreading across his face, "Me? Never."

"Yes, that's what I thought."

Castiel slid down slightly, pushing Sam onto his back, resting his head against Sam's chest once more. Sam felt fingers entangle with his and smiled when he heard the faint, "I love you, too" before closing his eyes and falling asleep, his angel safe at his side.