Disclaimer: The work of ee cummings belongs to the copyright holder of that work. Also there's a hint of timey-wimeness in this chapter. Please bear with me. It's necessary. (Also some sexiness is coming up so shield your eyes, kiddies)
Sam stretched himself across the couch the best he could. With Cas and Dean at the park it was almost like having the apartment back to himself, with the addition of a few baby toys scattered about. The dishes were done, and the apartment was as clean as it ever was anymore. He felt entitled to sit back and relax for a few minutes. He hadn't realized just how chaotic having three people under the age of ten in the apartment would be. If he was being honest he didn't mind it as much as he was pretending he did. After a bit though he got bored and flipped his phone on and dialed.
"Hey, Gabe. I'm home alone for a few hours. Want to come over?"
"I'll be there in ten, Samsquatch."
"God, don't call me that." He hung up, and smiled. He was, tentatively, happy. The jury was still out. He hadn't told anyone about Gabe, and their, uh, evolving relationship just yet. He was new to the whole being with a guy thing, and apparently Gabe didn't have much more experience in that area. They were learning together.
He found himself missing Amelia less and less these days. She was no longer a constant presence in the back of his mind. It meant using less and less. He had even refrained from going out last night, something that hadn't happened in years. Maybe, he thought, he would just accidently become sober, and wouldn't have to make the conscious decision to do it.
Right on time, ten minutes later, Gabe buzzed up. Sam was waiting by the door trying not to seem too overexcited. He swung open the door before the second knock though.
"Hi." Sam moved aside to let him in to the living room.
"Lots of baby toys, eh?"
"It happens. Dean's siblings are here for the weekend, too so it's kinda crazy."
"Crazy is good." The pair walked down the hall, turning into Sam's room. Gabe flopped onto Sam's bed, loosening his tie.
"I kinda like it. It's working for us." Sam lowered himself down next to him, smiling when Gabe curled into his side, head on his shoulder.
"I'm liking this."
"Yeah. Me too."
Gabriel hauled himself up, kissing Sam, who willingly reciprocated. Sam was surprised when fingers tangled in his hair and a tongue sought permission to lick into his mouth. He smiled into the kiss before parting his lips, allowing him access. While Gabe busied himself learning Sam's mouth again, Sam rolled himself over, pinning Gabe to the bed, settling between his legs.
Sam was still uncertain about the physical aspects of their relationship. Even this was pushing the carefully constructed boundaries he had put up. He knew he had been lying to himself when it came to the whole being straight thing, at least when it came to Gabe. That didn't mean he was full on prepared to jump into this stuff. He suddenly realized he was overthinking sex and got his head back into the moment.
Sam broke the kiss, working his way down his neck, trying to pull Gabe's shirt out from his pants. Gabe's own hands were working under his t-shirt, and got it worked up under his armpits. He ran his hands down along his abs and Sam bit back a moan.
"God, Gabe. Tryin' to kill me."
"You're no good to me dead, sugar."
Gabriel rolled his hips up into him. Sam worked frantically at the buttons, just wanting skin, limitations be damned. That was when the phone rang.
"Goddamn it, Cas. Cockblock." He accepted the call though. "Cas."
"We're at the hospital."
"God. What happened?"
"Dean's father was in a car crash. If you would come, it would be helpful."
"I'll be there as soon as I can."
A few hours earlier
Dean forced himself to take a deep breath. This wasn't supposed to happen. Not like this. John was supposed to die, passed out in a puddle of his own vomit. He wasn't dead though, not yet, and he wouldn't be. Not for a very long time, if Dean could help it.
"Cas, get them in the car. I need to call Leah." Cas nodded and went to get the kids as Dean typed in the name. She picked up after two rings.
"What happened?" Dean detected the note of panic in her voice. He ran a hand over his face before speaking.
"The kids, the kids are fine."
"Oh, thank God."
"I just got a call from the hospital. My dad was in a car accident. Can you come get them from there? I swear I won't let them near him, but it's not good. I, I need to be there."
"Sure. And Dean, this is me giving consent. If he's awake and wants to see them- if the kids are ok with it- it's fine. Just use your judgment."
"Thanks." Dean hung up as Balthazar and Anna picked their way through the playground, obviously unwilling to leave. Dean froze for a second, suddenly unsure of what to tell them.
"We just got here. Why do we have to leave?" Anna asked. Cas was packing up the baby.
"Dad was in a bad accident and I have to go and take care of stuff."
"That means we don't get to stay with you." She said it so matter of factly it threw him; that part hadn't even occurred to him, even though he had already made the call. Dean found himself feeling guilty for more reasons than he could immediately put his finger on.
"Leah is going to be at the hospital in a little bit. I'm so sorry guys."
"Do we get to see him?" Anna demanded it in such a small voice Dean almost didn't hear her. It had taken a lot of courage for her to pose the question aloud. She missed him, even if he had made things harder for them. She didn't let on too much- Balthazar didn't really remember and Leah, well, she tried, but she couldn't understand, not really. Anna also knew better than to let on that she saw the pain in her brother's eyes and that she heard the little sigh he let out so often before speaking.
"We'll see when we get there, Anna."
"Ok." Cas had finished packing up Rebel as they talked. They made their way to the car; Dean hurrying along in the lead.
The hospital was stark and tan, even from the outside. Dean could feel despair radiating out from it. He had to bit his tongue to keep from telling Cas not to bring Rebel in lest he become tainted. He told himself to man up, pull it together. If not for himself then the two little children in the car with him. He forced himself out of the car and when Anna and Balthazar grabbed onto his hands he found himself grateful. The small group made it through the front doors, and Dean wheeled around looking for reception. Castiel grabbed his shoulders and steered him in the right direction.
"May I help you?"
"I'm looking for John Winchester. He was brought in?" The receptionist tapped on her keyboard for a few minutes.
"And you are?"
"They're still in surgery. I'll have someone take you up."
"Thanks." Dean tried to suppress the surge of panic. Try as he might to worry about only his father's health, he couldn't keep the thought of the financial burden this visit would bring down on them from his mind Anna sat on Dean's feet, and despite the fact that Balthazar really was getting a bit to big Dean picked him up anyway, and Balthazar immediately snuffled into his shoulder. Cas stood nearby, absently rocking Rebel's stroller as the baby slept. They were getting settled in when a nurse came down, and after confirming their identity sat them down in a waiting room.
"Cas, I'll be right back. Uh, bathroom." Cas nodded. Dean stood up and left. Once he got to the bathroom he leaned against the sink, and looked at himself in the mirror. For the first time in a very long time he actually looked at himself. He realized he looked much older than his twenty years. The dark circles were etched permanently into his face, the lines beneath them maybe still erasable. Crow's feet had begun to set in, and the corners of his mouth were much deeper than either Cas' or Sam's. His eyes too, were sad, worn with years of too much caring with too little result. They were also shiny with tears he was determined to leave unshed.
"It's not that bad, Winchester. Get it together." He forced himself to splash some cold water on his face. He dried it off aggressively with a crumbling paper towel and made his way back to the waiting room. Cas looked up and smiled softly. Balthazar was kicking at his seat, while Anna was curled up like a cat.
"Balthazar, stop kicking the seat." He stopped without argument. Dean realized it was because he sounded sad, not angry. Dean forced himself to sit next to Cas.
"Save it, Cas."
They sat in silence for a long while. Dean knew it had been less than three hours as Leah was still nowhere to be found. His siblings were sitting quietly. He tried to think of a way to comfort them, but found himself unable. He couldn't even comfort himself. He had no idea what was going on and no control over it.
"Cas, give me something. I can't take this anymore."
"Love is the voice under all silences, the hope which has no opposite in fear; the strength so strong mere force is feebleness; the truth more first than sun more last than star."
"He's provided some useful quotations."
"Thanks, Cas. It actually kind of helps."
"Anytime." Dean tried to settle himself enough to think about the quote that Cas had thrown at him. Before he could get too deep into it a scrub nurse walked in.
"Yeah?" He stood, and crossed the room.
"John Winchester is still in surgery. We will be able to repair most of the damage, but ultimately it's going to be up to him whether he makes it. There was extensive damage done, and given the state his liver is in-." She cut herself off abruptly.
"Right. Of course."
"We'll come get you when he's out."
"Thank you." Dean returned to his seat, plopping down gracelessly.
"I'll be right back. Rebel needs changed." Cas said suddenly.
"I'll be here, Cas." A couple of minutes later Sam walked in towing Gabriel behind him. Dean glanced up, not registering the suspicious mussing of Sam's hair.
"Hey. Cas called. Have you heard anything?"
"He has some internal injuries. He's still in surgery so I don't really know much yet. It doesn't sound good though."
"I'll make it through, Sammy. Don't have a choice."
"We'll make it through. You aren't alone, Dean. Not in this."
A/N: So first off a huge thanks to my wonderful beta KillerKueen who had to talk me into publishing this chapter. It was a rough write. And thanks for sticking with the story- I'd love to hear what you think!