They stood, shuffling towards the nurse. She smiled at them, in the quiet sad way they so often did. Dean nodded at her as they followed her to the back.
"He's not awake yet. Hopefully he will be soon." Cas nodded, and they pulled back the curtain separating Sam from the rest of the room. He had oxygen tubes going into his nose, but otherwise looked fairly normal. Cas took a seat in one of the chairs, while Dean grabbed the doctor's stool, and rolled over to the side that didn't have the IV. They sat there in silence, waiting for him to wake up. Eventually, after what felt like hours, his eyes fluttered open, and he groaned.
"Crap. That was stupid."
"Yeah. Hey Cas, go tell the nurse he's awake."
"Yeah." Cas left the room, headed towards the nurses' station.
"You feeling ok?"
"A bit like I got hit by a truck, but been worse. How long was I out?"
"Almost four hours."
"Damn. When are they going to let me out?"
"Cas is going to find a nurse."
"How'd you guys find me?"
"Cas. He went to check on you, and I don't know- he just had a feeling something was wrong."
"Cool, I'm glad I'm not dead."
"Me too." Dean wondered if he should apologize for their fight- if that's what had sparked his binge. Sam didn't seem too worried about it though, and he decided that it wasn't the time to bring it up. If it came up later- he'd worry about it then. Cas entered the room with the nurse from earlier.
"Hey Sam. How are you feeling?"
"All things considered I'm alright."
"We do have some questions," she turned towards Cas and Dean, "if you two would step out."
"I want them to stay." The nurse didn't look amused, but didn't force them out. Cas was still wary, hanging back by the curtain, but Dean remained at his post by Sam's side.
"Sam, was the overdose intentional?"
"No. Just an accident. Overestimated my limits."
"Right. We pumped your stomach and gave you activated charcoal. You were pretty out of it when you got here."
"Yeah. I certainly don't remember getting here."
"We've provided some brochures for treatment options. There are plenty of quality outpatient addiction treatment options locally. If you are interesting in inpatient care however-"
"Listen it was an accident. I don't have a problem, need treatment, whatever. I'd just like to go home." The nurse looked irritated.
"At this point you would be leaving against doctor's orders."
"I'm perfectly alright with that. I'm sure my friend here will raise a stink if I start acting oddly." She had begun to unhook the variety of tubes and wires tethering Sam to the hospital. She brought the discharge papers once again cautioning him he was leaving against medical advice. He stumbled as soon as he stood up, and relied on Dean's arm wrapped around him as support to get back to the Impala. They remained silent as Dean drove them home, Cas in the backseat with Sam. When they arrived back home it was Cas that supported the weight of the still too pale Sam. Cas deposited him in the armchair, tossing a blanket over him before going to the kitchen where Dean had disappeared. He was warming some of the leftover rice.
"It's for Sam. He needs to eat something and rice should be bland enough."
"Right." Cas rummaged in the cabinet for the kettle. "Would you like some tea?"
"Yeah, sure." The microwave beeped as Cas filled the kettle. Dean grabbed a fork and carried the plate out to Sam.
"Eat up." Sam made a face."
"Do I have to?"
"Yes." Sam took the fork and the plate, hands shaking badly enough that the plate tipped precariously, and Dean caught it just before it ended up on the floor.
"Sorry. Could you?"
"Yeah." Dean balanced the plate for him, as Sam steadied his hands enough to get a bite of rice from the plate to his mouth. Cas emerged, placing two mugs of tea on the end table, and returned to the kitchen for his own.
"You doing ok, Sam?" Cas asked when he came back, curling up like a cat on the couch.
"Yeah. Just you know, shaky."
"Right." Dean held the plate with one hand, grabbing the handle of the navy blue mug, recognizing it as his own, and taking a sip of tea.
"You're lucky Cas found you."
"Yeah. Yeah, I know." He brought the hand not gripping the fork up to run through his hair.
"Just be careful, man. We like you alive."
"Yeah. I generally do too. I could really use a shower. Hospitals make me feel dirty." He took a drink of the tea.
"Yeah, not helping you there."
"I'm pretty sure I can walk now. If you here a thump come running."
"Sure thing." Sam disappeared, closing the bathroom door. Dean put the half-eaten plate of rice down.
"It's odd. I've gotten kind of attached to the guy."
"Yeah. We have become friends. It's entirely unexpected."
"Not bad though."
"No. Not bad." A few minutes later Sam emerged from the bathroom, dressed in a sweatshirt and pajama pants, saying he was going to bed. He left his bedroom door open. It was the beginning of a tradition- whenever one of them had a particularly awful day they would sleep with their doors open, taking an open door policy to a literal level. It took temptation away from Sam, and let them hear if Dean had nightmares that would make him scream or if Cas was thrashing around in his sleep and fell out of bed. Dean and Cas stayed for a bit longer, finishing off their tea, before heading to bed. There was the unspoken decision to not go to class the next day.
The next morning, at nine am, they were all still padding around in their pajamas- Dean hadn't even bothered to put a shirt on. Sam was still pale, but was able to manage his own plate. Cas had even let Dean make the coffee. They sat, clutching their cups, watching the news, not saying much. They all glanced at each other when the intercom buzzed, confused. Dean stood up, and went over.
"Hey. This is Gabriel." Cas stood up, flying across the room practically shoving Dean out of the way."
"Gonna let me up?" Cas buzzed him up, and a minute later there was a knock at the door. Cas opened it, revealing a short, stocky man in a suit, pulling a rolling suitcase behind him.
"Gabe!" Cas was, for the most part, glad to see his brother.
"Cassie! How are you?"
"I'm fine. It's just, now may not be the best time."
"He's fine, Cas," Sam called from the living room.
"Right. Well, come in then I guess."
"I didn't realize you were in town."
"Yep. Will be for a while." They made their way to the living room where Sam and Dean sat.
"Sam, Dean- this is my brother, Gabriel. Gabe- this is Sam and Dean." Everyone nodded to each other, exchanging the appropriate greetings.
"So Gabriel, what do you do?"
"This and that. Mostly finance stuff."
"Well, Sam bit of mystery is always good. Least until the third date if you catch my drift." He winked.
"Gabe! Sam I apologize for my brother. He can be a bit forward at times."
"its fine, Cas." Sam wasn't one to believe in love at first sight, not to mention straight (at least when he was sober enough to distinguish), and so put off the surge of attraction to being tired and off from the previous night.
"Castiel has always had that stick up his ass."
"I don't have a 'stick up my ass' as you put it. I merely am aware of normative social boundaries."
"Cas, buddy- sometimes you have a stick up your ass."
"I don't recall asking for your opinion, Dean," Cas snapped.
"Who put the bite in your Wheaties this morning?"
"You did, Gabriel. Showing up, completely unannounced. No time to prepare."
"Sam, maybe we should give these two some time to talk." Sam gave a jerk of the head and they stood to go get dressed. They would worry about where to go as soon as they weren't in the apartment.
"Gabriel, what were you thinking?"
"That I wanted to see my baby brother."
"They don't know, do they?"
"Not, not everything."
"Trying to be the prodigal son again?"
"Hardly. They both simply have their issues and I am disinclined to throw my own into the mix."
"Everyone has issues, Castiel. What do they know- so I don't blow your cover?"
"They know Mom and Dad are divorced. And they are under the impression that my childhood was rather idyllic."
"So they don't know anything?"
"Cas, our mother is a borderline abusive, religious nutcase. Mom and Dad ended it because he couldn't handle her anymore after Lucifer killed himself. She kicked me out of the house after I came out- saying she was doing it because she loved me. They may have issues Cas, but if you handle theirs I'm think they can handle yours."
"You have a brother named Lucifer?" Dean's voice sounded behind him. Cas felt his stomach sink, and bile raised in his throat.
"Out of the way," he choked as Sam, who was standing next to the kitchen door. He bolted towards the sink, coffee and stomach acid burning his throat. Dean rubbed his back, waiting for him to be done. When he was finally finished Dean filled a glass with water, and handed it to him. Castiel gave him a grateful smile and rinsed his mouth out.
"Cas, talk to me, to us." He glanced to Gabriel, who was standing to the right of Sam in the doorway, looking apologetic.
"Maybe I should come back later?" Cas nodded.
"About six. We'll have dinner." Gabe nodded at Sam's suggestion, grabbing his suitcase and closing the door behind him.
"Yes. Gabriel is years older than me. Lucifer was between us- 3 years. My mother was very strict, very religious. Her brank of Christianity is, at best, incorrect. She was particularly fond of corporal punishment. My father though, is a kind man, who worried about the stigma of divorce in our community. When I was 17, Gabriel came out. Not surprisingly my mother was displeased. She told Gabriel to get out, and not consider himself her son until he renounced his sinful ways.
I defended him, as did Lucifer. She said I was still too young to understand the severity of Gabriel's transgressions against God. She gave me a black eye and told me to get out of her sight. I wish that I hadn't. I heard the screams from my room. She told Lucifer that he shouldn't have been born, and that she should have known when she looked at him and saw a fallen angel. She said it was his fault Gabriel is gay. He had always admired my mother for her devotion, although he didn't subscribe to her views. He hung himself that night. There were other issues, but it's what sent him over the edge.
My father filed for divorce a month later. He claimed he could no longer be with someone who renounced her children, and sent them to a grave. I could have escaped, mostly unscathed- I've always had a knack for sliding under the radar. She has attempted to make amends with Gabriel, having lost everyone, but he refuses to speak with her. I told her as much last year, that she had betrayed our trust, that she had gone too far. We still speak on occasion, and she blames my father and Gabriel for much of what happened. It's a rather complicated dynamic.
She is angry that I sided with Gabriel, and that we have a relative healthy relationship. I lost most of my faith in a god because of her draconian tactics. I know Gabriel certainly has. We've accepted what happened, though sometimes I worry that Gabriel blames himself for Lucifer's suicide."
"God, we're all fucked up." Sam let out a sigh.
"We make it work."
"Yeah. Seriously you hear that and your reaction was confirming I have a brother named Lucifer."
"Can anything we reveal actually surprise us anymore?"
"Nope." Dean popped the p, and stood, rummaging around for eggs in the fridge. "You guys want omelets for breakfast?"
"Sorry, Cas. You gonna be able to keep that down?"
"Yeah. It's just-"
"It's fine Cas. You need us, we got you. It's out there. You didn't overanalyze anything we've told you. We won't do that same to you."
"Thank you." He said it quietly, with reservation. He counted himself lucky to have such wonderful roommates, who simply rolled with the punches life kept throwing at them. He stood up, and grabbed a pan, heating oil and dumping hash browns into it. They ate breakfast, talking about how their basketball team was doing, and laughing. Cas, for the first time in years, counted his blessings before he ate.
A/N: Sorry for any errors, it's nearly 1 AM and I really wanted to get this up. Poor Cas has a harder time of it than they thought, and things won't stay idyllic in Dean/Sam/Cas land for long. Real life always catches up.