"What are you doing here?" He pulled the door open, confused when it revealed more questions than answers. She picked up the baby carrier and bag, swaying in.
"Meg?" he intoned, again.
"Thought you'd like to meet your son."
"Wow, what?" Sam turned around at hearing their exchange, mildly alarmed.
"Cas, man, everything ok?"
"Uh, not so sure just yet. Kinda confused. Meg, this is Sam, one of my roommates. Sam, this is Meg, my, er, ex."
"Nice to meet you."
"He's kinda cute."
"Meg, feel free to uh, sit." Cas found himself stumbling over words, trying to shake off the study fog he had found himself in before Meg's arrival. She put down the baby carrier and perched on the couch.
"Do you, uh, want anything to drink?"
"Some water would be great."
"I'll be right back." Cas smiled, trying to be hospitable. The words "your son" were still ringing in his mind and found he was unable to find the right words to question her about it. Sam followed him to the kitchen where Cas had gotten out a glass. He had braced himself on the counter, body angled out, cabinet still open about his head His entire body radiated stress. He found himself thinking back to the days when he had actually known Meg. It had been high school, and he was looking more to spite his parents then he actually liked her. She was wild, a lot crazy, and if he was being honest pretty mean. They had had a good time, of course, but she had disappeared out of his life as soon as things had gotten difficult. Given the situation with his family at the time he hadn't had the time to be heartbroken and had never missed her much, but they had run into each other at a party, if he was being honest with himself, about nine months previously. It had been a drunken one-night stand, no attachments. He never expected her to show up at his door, walk back into his life, carrying a baby that was in all likelihood his. He tried to process the information and found himself unable to wrap his head around the fact that Meg was currently sitting in his living room, let alone with a whole new world of responsibility at her feet.
"When faces called flowers float out of the ground- and breath is wishing and wishing is having."
"Are you really quoting cummings at me right now?"
"Yep. Third stanza, first line, Cas" Cas' lips pressed together hard enough to turn into nothing more than a white line.
"when more than was lost has been found and having is giving and giving is living." Cas relaxed a bit, understanding the meaning of what Sam was trying to tell him.
"You want us to get out of here?"
"No. Go ahead and stay. I'm sure this is all simply a misunderstanding." Cas wasn't sure he believed his own words. He had done the math in his head and whether he liked it or not it added up.
"Good luck." Sam wandered back to his own room, trying not worry. Cas filled two glasses with water and took a deep breath, bracing himself. He went back to the living room where Meg was feeding little bundle Cas assumed was the baby. Meg smiled at him. Another deep breath and he tried to ignore the flipping of his stomach.
"So, you said something about a son."
"Care to elaborate?"
"He's sixteen days old. I named him Rebel Casta." Cas cringed at the name, the part of his brain that knew etymology had automatically begun turning. She had named him "pure rebel".
"Are you sure he's, well, mine?"
"Positive. You're more than welcome to test, of course."
"Not that I don't trust you-"
"I will be testing."
"I wouldn't expect anything less." Cas ran a hand through his hair, brain still working overtime to process what was happening.
"God, Meg, why didn't you call?"
"You wouldn't have answered."
"For this? I think I would've called back."
"It was a one night stand, Clarence. Not like either of us planned it "
"Four years, Meg. I've known you four year and I still don't get that nickname."
"Watch a movie."
"Why are you here? Money?"
"Always assuming the worst. Just thought you'd like to know. Maybe be a part of his life." Cas was in shock, for the most part, still. Anyone would be hard pressed to blame him. A kid was a huge responsibility, financially and other wise and he wasn't sure, at least in his current state he was able to handle it. The money didn't scare him nearly as badly as the thought of actually being responsible for the life of another human
"Yeah. I do. We can work something out." He found himself saying the words in spite of himself. It wasn't until they left his mouth he realized how true they were. How much he actually did want to be involved.
"Of course" The baby- Rebel- Cas reminded himself had long since finished eating, and let out a tiny burp. He realized, suddenly he wanted witnesses to the next few minutes of his life.
"I'll be right back." Cas found there was a dopey smile on his face in spite of himself. The logical part of his brain was terrified. He was in no way ready to be a father, but he had always wanted kids and if this was how the universe decided it should happen he could make due with that. He hadn't even seen the baby's face yet but he could already feel his heart making room for the kid- unconditional love and all the other stuff new parents talked about. He knew he wasn't processing the full gravity of the situation. He knew that and decided there would be plenty of time to figure out whatever it was he was missing in the moment later. He stood in the hall, at the spot between their rooms.
"Sam, Dean can you come out here please?" Sam stuck his head out, grinning, followed just a few seconds later by Dean.
"Want you to come meet my son with me?"
"It's a long story, Dean. Please just go with it for now." He nodded, seeming to understand the gravity of the moment. Cas went back to the living room, taking the seat closest to where Meg was.
"Hey. I'm Dean."
"Meg." Cas found himself staring at the bundle of blankets in the baby carrier, not quite believing there was a baby in there.
"Meg? Can I hold him?" Castiel was uncertain as to why he was so unsure of himself.
"Yeah." Meg picked up the bundle, and leaned towards Cas.
"I'm not really sure how to-"
"Just keep his head supported." Cas eventually got his arm around the baby, head cradled in the crook of his elbow. Curious eyes, fading from the gray-blue of all newborns to a bright blue Cas knew well from two decades of seeing it in the mirror latched onto his. A tiny fist pressed against the blanket Rebel was swaddled in and Cas moved the blanket to the side, with the hand not cradling the newborn. He opened his hand and grabbed ahold of one of Cas' fingers. He could feel the wonder on his own face and was aware of his friends' eyes on him.
"Hey there. I'm your daddy." Rebel cooed, squirming around, forcing Cas to bring a hand to rest of his side. Cas was utterly enthralled in the child, so Dean figured it best to make politer conversation.
"So Meg, besides the obvious how do you know Cas?"
"High school sweethearts, followed by one ill-advised night."
"We were drunk," Cas supplied.
"Do you go to school or?"
"Didn't you have a thing with Ruby?"
"It was short lived." Sam grimaced, as if it was something he didn't really want to think about.
"Ruby? Sounds hot."
"Oh, she was. She was also crazy as hell. How do you know her?"
"An old friend. Well, not so old, but, long enough."
"Cas, man, who the hell did you hang out with in high school?"
"Oh, I was his rebellion. His parents hated me." Cas immersed in the baby as he was couldn't help but think it had been the one thing his mother was right about.
"How are Mr. and Mrs. Novak these days Castiel?"
"Ah well, can't say I'm surprised. After everything."
"I don't think any of us were." The tension in the room grew palpable.
"Hey Cas, not to interfere with your bonding moment, but would you mind if I held him?"
"No, go ahead." Cas carefully handed Rebel to Dean, who adjusted his arms and seemed much more at ease with the baby then Cas had.
"Hey, little man. Haven't held one of you since my brother was a baby." Rebel waved his arms in the air.
"Meg, perhaps we could discuss an arrangement?"
"Sure." The pair stood and made their way to kitchen as Sam scooted closer to watch the baby.
"How do you want to do this?"
"Well, I do like my weekends you know."
"I can gladly take him Thursday evening through Sunday. "
"That's fine with me. Shall we start with this weekend?"
"That'll be fine."
"Allow me to check with Sam and Dean to be sure the arrangement suits them." Cas walked back into the living room before Meg could respond.
"How would you guys feel about having a child in the apartment during the weekend?"
"I'm fine with it. Sammy?"
"We can finish clearing out the spare bedroom for a nursery." Cas was relieved his friends were flexible; willing to go with what life threw at him, and them by association.
"I'm gone then. See you Sunday." Meg went out the door without another word, leaving the three men standing there blinking stupidly, Rebel still cradled in Dean's arms. Cas walked numbly to the bag, relieved to see enough formula and diapers there to last a few hours. A moment passed, until another coo from Rebel broke the spell.
"I guess we're going shopping."
"Cas, man, wow, just wow."
"I apologize for the sudden change in plan. This was, incredibly unexpected."
"Cas breathe man. Let's get this little guy packed up, and head out." Cas ran his bank account through his head, and knew he had enough to get things set up for the baby."
"I'll stay here; get the spare room cleaned out." Dean and Cas left a few moments later, and Sam found himself alone. He had moved his desk not long after they had moved in. He glared at the now dead potted plant and hauled it out, deciding to dump it later. The room was empty, but still disgusting. No one ever went in it. He settled into a rhythm, dragging out the vacuum, and deciding to wipe down the walls too.
As he cleaned he thought, as he had been doing a lot lately. About the possibility of calling Amelia, having things maybe be ok again. He had been allowing him to talk about her more, to think about her. He knew unless he was one hundred percent clean she wouldn't respond. He wouldn't blame her. The what if of the situation wouldn't leave his mind. Could he give up the drugs? Would it be worth it? He sighed aloud as he turned on the vacuum, not having the answers to questions he needed. Right now though, he knew his issues weren't the priority in the apartment. Cas needed their help, and he put his energy into that.
A/N: Credit for "when faces called flowers float out of the ground" goes to ee cummings and the copyright holders of his work. Also a huge thanks to my new beta KillerKueen. I love hearing from you guys so let me know what you thought!