Short Fuse

Summary: Dean is an alpha werewolf and leader of his pack. Everyone knows not to touch his mate, Castiel, since Dean's reputation for being over protective is infamous. So when Castiel has a strange reaction to another werewolf, Jo and Sam help him keep it under wraps until they can figure out what's wrong.

Warnings: Mpreg.

Also available in PDF form. Send me a PM.


~\.../~

The bar New Moon was popular amongst werewolves for its easy acceptance for packs from out of town. It had a good atmosphere and although the bar catered for a species renowned for its inability to keep a lid on its emotions, the place rarely suffered any conflicts.

Castiel's mate was Dean, leader of the Winchester pack. There were seven of them all together which was irregularly small for a wolf pack and they only had one mated pair - an even stranger phenomenon. They frequented New Moon nearly every weekend and were familiar faces amongst the regulars, bar tenders and manager.

Dean's pack was well liked. So much so that those that knew them were either good friends or at least held a certain degree of respect for Dean and his wolves. Such respect granted them leniency and privileges that other packs weren't allowed though that hadn't always been the case.

Dean had gotten himself a reputation on the very first night of visiting the bar. Some poor soul, who hadn't realised Castiel was taken, had attempted to pick him up. Of course Castiel had stepped away and calmly explained that he was someone else's mate when Dean interrupted and probably would have ripped the were's throat out if Sam hadn't stopped him. But that didn't mean Castiel's admirer had gotten away unscathed. There were still blood stains on the floor and walls from where Dean had torn into the were's shoulder.

Unsurprisingly, the manager of New Moon had wanted to throw them out but Dean had been angry, really angry, and had bullied his way into staying. He had fought off the security guards, the manager and even the bar tenders all on his own and with a power display like that they could do little else but serve him a drink.

Subsequently, what had initially started out as a begrudging respect for Dean's power as an alpha werewolf had morphed into comrade and eventually loyalty. The patrons could see that Dean was a good wolf and a good man; he looked after his pack and his mate and was always there for his friends. It was difficult not to respect him even with his flaws, his over protectiveness of Castiel being the worst, especially in Castiel's eyes, who had to endure being treated like a princess by every wolf for a hundred miles.

However, even he had to admit, it had its advantages. On Friday nights for example, when New Moon was particularly crowded and getting served was a nightmare for anyone else, he was able to walk up to the counter without interruption and ask for his usual.

"The whole pack in tonight, Castiel?" asked the bar tender, Adam, with a smiley face. He handed over an icy cold bottle of beer and took the money offered.

"Yes, they should be," replied Castiel, tugging at the hem of his t-shirt. It must have shrunk in the wash because it was at least two sizes too small. It fit snugly to his body and he felt uncomfortable wearing something so tight.

Adam handed him his change and then suddenly grinned, looking over Castiel's shoulder. "Dean, good to see you."

"You too, man," murmured a warm voice.

Castiel's stomach swooped when a pair of firm hands landed on his hips and a sexy, familiar, welcoming smell filled his lungs.

Alpha.

Dean.

Woodsy, spicy, addictive. It was the kind of scent that left Castiel feeling dizzy, his heart skipping. He didn't even try to conceal his smile and leaned into the warmth at his back.

"And how're you, baby?" whispered Dean next to his ear.

Dean's chest was hard but cosy and hot. He snuggled into the heat, pulling Dean's arms around his waist and sighing. He always felt incredibly safe with his mate, like there was nothing in the world that could hurt him and with Dean's strength it probably wasn't that farfetched to believe that was true. "I'm okay," replied Castiel.

His mate chuckled; a throaty rumble that sent butterflies zooming around Castiel's belly. They had been together for more than two years and Dean still had that effect on him. "You don't sound impressed. What's up?" he asked, nose gliding along Castiel's throat.

"I'm wearing a t-shirt that could be regarded as a corset," said Castiel.

"Mm, you look amazing," said Dean as his hands started to roam, rubbing Castiel's stomach and chest.

"You don't think it looks bad?"

"Nope." His mate nipped at his earlobe. "You look freakin' sexy. As usual."

Castiel sighed. "You'd be perfectly happy if I walked around naked," he muttered.

Dean chuckled again and stood up straight when Castiel turned in his arms to look at him. He was handsome as always in a shirt and ripped jeans, full lips tilted into a crooked smirk, soft green eyes appraising Castiel. There were moments, like this, where his heart would clench and feel like it was going to burst out of his chest, that Castiel had an almost consuming urge to tell Dean how much he loved him.

But he couldn't do that.

They had never said it to each other but Castiel wanted to, desperately, because he felt like he was lying if he didn't, as though he was omitting an important truth. It wasn't just that, however. He wanted Dean to know, to really understand what he meant to Castiel but that wasn't an option because Dean wasn't the type of were to talk about his feelings and his heart which is why Castiel had never risked bringing the subject up. And then there was his other worry, the worry that maybe Dean didn't love Castiel after all and would never feel that way about him. And what if Dean found another mate? Someone better? What would Castiel do then?

It was a hardship to look into his mate's eyes and swallow his heart, which had somehow found its way to the back of Castiel's throat, and not say a word.

Dean must have seen a change in Castiel's face because his own amused expression faltered. "What's that look for?" murmured Dean, touching Castiel's cheek.

Smoothing his mate's already crease-free shirt, his hands gliding across his chest, Castiel shrugged and picked up his beer. "I'll go and sit with the pack, I'll see you in minute," he said and turned away, making his way through the crowd towards their usual table which was in the corner at the back of the bar.

He was half way there when suddenly he walked straight into a chest that was less like a chest and more like a brick wall. He stumbled, an apology falling out of his mouth as two unwelcome hands gripped Castiel's biceps to keep him upright.

Castiel peered up at the stranger, his heart beating faster. The werewolf standing before him was dressed casually in a t-shirt and jeans. He had pale blue eyes, light brown hair and an unshaven face. The strong and not entirely pleasant scent of an alpha filled his nose and Castiel tried to back up immediately. He may have been protected by Dean but he was still an omega and his instincts warned him to be wary.

"I'm sorry," Castiel said again, trying to escape the were's grasp.

"Don't be," said the alpha in a calm quiet voice. He didn't let Castiel go. His hands were tight on his arms in a painful grip. "Your scent is very unique," the stranger commented. Castiel was dragged closer, close enough for the were to sniff his throat, and there was nothing Castiel could do, he put his hands on were's chest, pushing, in an attempt to put some distance between them but it was no use. It was like trying to prise himself away from a steel clamp.

"Let me go," whispered Castiel with urgency. If Dean saw them someone was going to lose their head. Literally. "I have a mate."

The stranger smiled. "That doesn't seem to be an issue."

For a moment, Castiel stopped struggling to fix him with a look of confusion. "What do you-"

"Castiel!" called Sam, wrapping his arm around his shoulders and subtly pulling him away. Castiel sagged with relief when the were relinquished his hold and he was free to lean against Dean's huge brother. "I thought we were supposed to be celebrating Gabriel's birthday," said Sam. He threw the stranger a forced smile. "Sorry to interrupt but, you know, duty calls."

The alpha didn't react to Sam's words. He kept a small, somewhat eerie, smile on his face as he watched them walk away.

"I don't like him," whispered Castiel to Sam who grimaced and shook his head.

"Let's just be thankful Dean didn't see any of that," he muttered.

At twenty, Castiel was one of the youngest were's in the bar. It also meant, in comparison to alphas who had more than enough testosterone to give them bulk, height and a bad temper, that Castiel was rather short and slender and essentially utterly defenceless. Really, it was a good thing he had so many protectors.

"You took your time," commented Jo as Castiel sat down next to her at their table.

"He had a bit of trouble," muttered Sam, giving her a dark look.

"With an overly friendly alpha," supplied Castiel.

Gabriel perked up immediately, his face flushed with the warmth and merriment of alcohol. "Ooo, did Deano get his fangs out?"

Crowley snorted. "Do you smell entrails? No? Then Dean is in a good mood."

Ash squinted into his shot glass. "There's like... a fly trying to backstroke in my tequila."

"Yeahh... fly's can't swim," slurred Gabriel.

"Huh, then, there's like... a fly drowning in my tequila," said Ash.

Gabriel burst out laughing. "Quick! Send in the lifeguard!" He nudged Balthazar, elbowing him repeatedly while the blonde were stared at him with a look of disgust.

"You're an idiot," said Balthazar.

"What happened?" asked Jo, ignoring the rest of the pack in favour of focusing on Castiel.

"Nothing," he replied. "He commented on my scent and wouldn't let me go." He peeled the label away from his bottle. "Fortunately, Sam was there." When neither Sam nor Jo said anything Castiel looked up.

They were both staring with wide eyes at his arms and when he followed their gaze he gasped.

"He bruised you," said Sam in disbelief.

Castiel ran his fingers over the fingerprint sized red and blue marks. The skin was sensitive and painful to the touch. "I don't understand," he breathed. His heart was pounding in his ears. "Werewolves can't bruise."

Were creatures couldn't bruise for the same reason they couldn't age: their ever fluctuating cells. They healed fast and after a certain amount of years, they stopped aging too. A bruise was such a minor injury that it would heal before it even blemished the skin. The only time it was possible to bruise or scar a were creature was when ...

"Castiel, you don't... like that guy do you?" whispered Jo.

"No!" yelped Castiel. The three looked around, wincing at his outburst. Having apparently gone unnoticed, even by the rest of the pack who were arguing about flies and whether they were called flies because they could fly or not, Castiel continued in a rushed whisper, "Of course I don't. Dean is my mate! Dean and no one else."

Sam's eyebrows drew together. "I get that you feel that way, Castiel, I really do, but your body is saying something different."

An omegas body was only susceptible to permanent injury in the presence of a potential mate, allowing the skin to be marked with a bite. Regardless of whether the omega had been bitten before, if the were was in the company of an alpha more suited than the previous mate then the body would leave itself vulnerable for another mark. Castiel had already been bitten by Dean, on the thigh, he had the scar to prove it, and it was the only brand he wanted to carry.

"No it isn't!" hissed Castiel, his eyes stinging hotly. He didn't care what his body was indicating. He wanted Dean and no one else.

"It is," said Jo gently. "You can be bitten."

Castiel blinked back tears. "What does that mean? Is Dean not..."

"It doesn't matter," said Sam. "We'll get through this. Right now Dean is your mate and that's all that matters."

Jo nodded. "Dean's yours. And the only way that's going to change is if that giant dick of an alpha bites you," she said. "And that's not gonna happen. We'll make sure of it."

Castiel believed they would try to protect him but he still didn't feel safe. It would take just one bite and then he would belong to someone else. Castiel just wanted to go home. "Can't we leave?" he begged.

"We can't, we need to act normal. If Dean thinks there's something wrong and starts asking questions we're screwed," said Sam. He shrugged out of his jacket and handed it over to Castiel. "Put this on to hide the bruising. If he asks just say you were cold."

Castiel slipped it on, hugged himself and worried. How could this happen? There was no one else for him but Dean. He didn't want anyone else. Why did his body have to betray him?

"Where's Dean, anyway?" asked Jo.

"He went to talk to Bobby about the territory changes. He'll be back soon."

Ten minutes later Dean returned, beer in hand, smile on his face. Castiel felt so guilty and upset he could barely look at him.

"You're that self conscious about your t-shirt?" said Dean, plucking at the jacket Sam had given him. His mate was leaning towards Castiel like he usually did, arm over his shoulders, his fingers stroking Castiel's collar bone. Before, he would have found it comforting but now it made his stomach twist in painful knots. He tried not to squirm out of Dean's reach.

In a gallant effort to seem nonchalant, Castiel shrugged. "I'm cold."

Dean's brows furrowed with concern. "Really?" he said and pulled the omega closer across the bench to his lava hot torso. "It isn't that cold in here, are you –"

"Dean! Gabriel wants to know why he hasn't got a birthday cake," called Ash.

Jo slammed her bottle down on the table. "I made him a damn cake and he ate it all before we left!"

"Has he forgotten already?" asked Sam incredulously.

The night waned slowly, the Winchester pack becoming louder and more rambunctious with each passing minute which was a good thing because Castiel didn't have to talk. He tried not to think about the alpha that had caused his body to react and furtively kept an eye out for the unwanted were. He had panicky visions of the alpha suddenly appearing at their table, biting him and then carrying him away to some foreign place and keeping him shackled in a cave.

How long was his body going to stay in its vulnerable state? How long would he have to keep it a secret from Dean?

"Cas!" Fingers clicked in front of his face and he snapped back to reality with a blink. Dean was grinning. "Christ, Cas, where'd you go?"

"I was...um..." Dean was so close and so warm that Castiel's heart gave a twang of lovesickness.

"Thinking about me?" he said, smirking.

Castiel chuckled weakly and didn't answer. Dean couldn't have been more right.

~\.../~

The next day, while the rest of the house was sleeping off their hangovers, Castiel told Sam of his decision to go to the local were-clinic and although his mate's brother was sceptical as to whether seeing the doctor would be any help at all, he agreed that it was the best course of action and even offered to go with him. Castiel declined though, thinking it best to go alone. Since they all lived together, as most packs did, in a large house with lots of ground at their disposal, Dean would notice when one of them was missing. Therefore the fewer members of the pack that were absent, the better.

After giving a bleary Dean a very plausible excuse of needing to go for a long run, he set off for the clinic, hoping beyond all hope that when his doctor discovered what Castiel's "emergency" was precisely she wouldn't throw him out on his ass for wasting her time.

Thankfully he didn't have to wait long before he was allowed in and, as he took a seat opposite the doctor, she turned to look at him, smiling gently. "How can I help, Castiel?" Dr. McKeon, or Tessa as she preferred, had a very calming and quiet manner, effective in soothing the anxiety of most twitchy patients. Unfortunately, it did nothing to quell Castiel's internal terror.

"I..." He licked his lips, exhaling a shaky breath. "I'm vulnerable. Again."

Tessa nodded in understanding. "Have you been in contact with another alpha recently, besides Dean?"

"Yes but... but I don't want anyone else. I don't understand why my body is reacting this way. I wasn't even attracted to him. I want Dean, only Dean," exclaimed Castiel as though if he insisted hard enough, his body would agree too.

Tessa's eyebrows rose. "Calm down, Castiel. Your vulnerability doesn't necessarily mean you need to switch mates."

"It-it doesn't?" he breathed.

"Certainly not. Vulnerability can be an indication of hormonal changes, stress, depression... a lot of things." She rose to her feet, selecting a pair of white disposable gloves from the dispenser on the wall. "I'd like to examine you to see if there are any issues we need to address and then we'll discuss possibilities. If that's alright with you?"

At Castiel's acquiescence, Tessa inspected Dean's bite on his left thigh and confirmed that the scar was a good, quality mark. She also checked his weight, blood pressure, temperature, pricked his finger to measure his vulnerability and took a urine sample.

"Well, I think we've found the cause," she said, once she had finished typing Castiel's information into her computer.

He sat forward anxiously, his hands sweaty against the shiny surface of the doctor's desk. She tapped enter and tuned to look at him, smiling. "You're going to have a pup."

Castiel blinked. His mind was absolutely empty of thought as though someone had decided to redecorate, removed all the furniture and painted his mind white. And then, with all the speed of sinking through quicksand, he began to process exactly what she had said. "But I'm male," was the first thing out of his mouth. His voice was surprisingly level.

"Male omegas can bear children too. It's extremely rare but it does happen. Here are some information leaflets that you mind find useful. This one..."

A ringing in his ears grew louder and louder until Castiel couldn't hear anything at all. Had he just been told that he was pregnant? That wasn't possible. He was male. He was... pregnant? Without thought, his hand jumped to his belly. His sweaty skin clutching at the shirt he was wearing. It had been difficult trying to explain to Dean exactly why he had wanted to go to bed in a long sleeved shirt but it had helped that his mate had been two steps shy of passing out after a night of heavy drinking.

Dean.

Oh, no.

How would Dean react? He wouldn't like it. Of course he wouldn't. Dean didn't even love Castiel, how could he possibly expect Dean to want a baby?

Oh, no, oh, no, oh, no..

Dean was going to be angry with him. How could he not be? Castiel was a male omega, he wasn't supposed to have children, and Dean had chosen him which meant Dean didn't want to have a pup. If he did he would have mated with a female.

What was he going to do? If Dean found out he would never want to sleep with Castiel again. What if Dean didn't want him anymore? What if... what if...

Oh no!

"Castiel, breathe, calm down," said Tessa who had managed to leave her chair and crouch down at his side without him realising.

He stared at her, wide eyed, his breaths falling in quick helpless gasps, his face tingled – he couldn't stop it. It felt as though his world had spun off its axis.

"Castiel, listen to me, you're hyperventilating. You need to focus on your breathing," she said calmly. "Slow down, look at me, follow me." Tessa inhaled slowly, her chest inflating, and exhaled just as slowly. "Well done," she praised when he forced himself to concentrate and attempted to mirror her. "Breathe in... and breathe out... breathe in... and out. Well done, Castiel, that's excellent."

It took a few minutes to fully calm down or to get as calm as he was going to be anyway. Castiel had reached a strange sort of mute delirium by the time Tessa had given him the "need to know" facts about male omega pregnancy and asked him if he had any questions. At a point somewhere between Tessa informing him that a healthy diet was important with lots of meat and that he was going to be fragile, easily bruised and cut, over the next few months, he was convinced it was actually a dream, a horrible, awful dream, and he was going to wake up. Unfortunately, the cool air that brushed his face as he left the clinic made a mockery of that hope. Castiel stood staring at the pavement, leaflets clutched tightly in his fist, and tried not to cry.

With shaky fingers, he pushed his hand into his pocket, the denim scraping his skin. He was overly aware now of just how sensitive his body was and it did nothing to help calm him down. He unlocked his phone, scrolled down his contact list to Sam's number and pressed the little green button.

It rang four times before Sam's familiar voice filtered down the line. He sounded as though he was whispering. "Castiel, hey. How did it go? You've been a long time, man. Dean's asking where you are. I think he's about to send out a search party."

Castiel wrapped an arm around his waist, hugging himself. "I... Sam, I need you to come and get me." He had walked to the clinic but he didn't think he could walk back, not with the all worries and fears swirling around in his head.

"What's wrong?" Sam said quickly, louder this time. "What happened?" There were sounds in the background of a door opening and feet stomping down the stairs. "Are you still at the clinic?"

"It's bad, Sam," breathed Castiel, tears finally building in his eyes. There was a lump the size of a house brick lodged in his throat.

"Castiel, where are you? Still at the clinic?"

"Yes," he whispered.

"I'm heading there now, okay? I'll be five minutes. Just wait there. Don't move."

True to his word, Sam arrived in only a few minutes, screeching to a halt in his silver SUV. He leapt out of the vehicle looking panic stricken. "What's wrong, what happened?"

Castiel stared up at Dean's brother, eyes hot with tears, hesitating for a fraction of a second – what if Sam thought it was disgusting? – when he knew that he truly couldn't keep the secret to himself, and wordlessly handed over the crumpled information leaflets that Tessa had given to him.

Sam took them from him gingerly, as though he was worried they were going to explode, and read the first one – Male Omega Pregnancy: what to expect.

Sam's eyes grew impossibly wide. He shuffled through the rest of the stack, glancing at each of the titles. "Castiel... you're..."

Castiel's chin shook and the tears poured like a dam had broken inside of him. He had never felt so emotional before and with horror, he realised he was hormonal. Another wave of panic struck him. "Wh-what am I going to do?" he croaked. "Dean's going to be mad."

His breakdown seemed to snap Sam out of his moment of shock. "What? Cas, no!" he said, pulling Castiel into a hug and enclosing him in his arms. He hadn't noticed how cold he was until Sam's natural body heat started to seep through his clothes and into his sensitive skin. "Dean won't be mad," insisted Sam. "There's no way he'd be mad."

"But what if he is?"

Sam leaned back to look at him, eyebrows drawn together in concern. "Cas, I swear he won't be angry. I promise." And then, to Castiel's surprise, a smile stretched across Sam's face. "It's a good thing!"

Castiel wasn't so sure. "Don't tell him. Not yet."

Dean's brother exhaled heavily, stepping back. "I won't but... your scent is going to change soon, Castiel. It might be better to tell him sooner rather than later."

~\.../~

When they arrived home, Castiel stayed close behind Sam, his stomach swirling with sickness and nerves as they walked through the front door. He followed Sam into the kitchen despite having heard the television on in the living room and the pack's voices.

Sam glanced over his shoulder and smiled sadly. "Do you want a drink?" he asked and thankfully didn't comment on Castiel's lost puppy impression.

"Yes please," mumbled the omega, sidling up to the breakfast bar and taking a seat on one of the cherry red stools.

They were silent while Sam poured two glasses of orange juice, placed one before Castiel and sat down next to him. "How do you feel?" he asked, eyes concerned.

Castiel stretched his shirt sleeves over his cold hands. "Sick," he whispered.

The kitchen door opened and for a horrible minute Castiel thought the whole pack was going to burst through and demand answers. Or worse, they would look at him and know. Fortunately, it was only Jo, tip toeing inside and closing the door behind her. "Hey," she said quietly. "Sam told me you went to the were clinic."

Castiel nodded.

"And?"

"And... I..." He glanced at Jo, then away again. "I'm..." Unable to get the words out of his mouth he looked at Sam for help who nodded and leaned forward on the counter, indicating for Jo to move closer. "Castiel's going to have a pup," he said.

Jo stared. "Holy shit," she gasped. "Are you sure?"

Castiel's brow furrowed and he nodded, carefully watching her face. She didn't look disgusted. In fact... she looked happy.

"That's awesome!" she exclaimed. "Our first Winchester Pack pup!"

"Jo, keep it down," said Sam with a wince. "Castiel wants to keep it a secret."

She frowned. "Why? It's the best news we've ever had."

A faint glimmer of hope burned to life in Castiel's belly. He opened his mouth to reply but a terrifying roar reverberated through the house and abruptly stopped him in his tracks. The three of them caught each other's gazes and rushed out of the kitchen, into the living room where they found Ash, Balthazar and Crowley standing warily apart, watching a large sandy brown wolf grip Gabriel's throat between its sharp teeth.

"What the hell happened?!" yelled Jo furiously.

"It was Gabriel's fault," said Balthazar, grimacing.

"No it wasn't – ow!" complained Gabriel. He was lying prone underneath the massive wolf, mercifully using his common sense and not moving. Scattered around the room were bits of torn clothing belonging to Dean.

"What did you do, Gabriel," snapped Jo.

"Nothing! I'm completely innocent!"

Crowley chuckled. "Right. So, suggesting to Dean that Castiel was out shagging someone else was accidental?"

"Oh, you moron!" said Jo. "Why didn't you just challenge Dean to a fight instead? That would have been a quicker way to get your throat ripped out." She sighed. "Dean, let him go. You're getting blood everywhere."

Dean didn't listen, only shifted a little, paws digging into the soft carpet either side of Gabriel's shoulders.

"Dean," said Jo, reaching out to him, "come on he's –"

The wolf's green eyes snapped to hers as her hand drew near and he growled low in his throat, a clear warning to back off.

"Castiel," said Sam. "You'll have to calm him down. He's not listening."

The omega stepped forward without hesitation. Castiel had never been afraid of Dean, ever, even when he was growling and snapping and drooling blood onto the carpet. There were many things in life that Castiel uncertain of but feeling safe with Dean had never been one of them.

He moved in close and dropped to his haunches. He didn't even have to say anything. Dean saw him and immediately released Gabriel, a low whine falling from the wolf's mouth as he stepped over the beta to lick Castiel's face thoroughly.

"Guess he was worried about you, Castiel," said Ash, dropping back into his seat now that the drama was over.

"A little worrying about me wouldn't go a miss," grumbled Gabriel. His minor wounds had already healed but the blood on his neck remained much to Gabriel's annoyance. He wiped it off, scowling and checking his shirt for speckles of red.

"Where'd you go anyway?" asked Ash.

"For a run," Castiel replied, keeping his voice quiet while he stroked Dean's soft ears. The wolf's head was bigger than his own, almost double the size. He could see why so many humans and were creatures alike found werewolves one of the most intimidating species on the planet.

"What run takes three hours?" said Crowley, lounging back on the sofa.

"Hey!" growled Jo. "Just because the most running you do is when you're chasing after some omega with a hot ass!"

Crowley held up his hands in surrender. "I was just saying it's weird that's all."

"Yeah? Well, your face is weird," said Jo. "Move over and get your feet off the couch."

Castiel bit back a smile, silently sending her his appreciation and, when she caught his eye and winked, he figured she understood.

~\.../~

Later that day Castiel was in the study under the pretence of reading when in actual fact he was trying to work out how best to approach Dean with his unwanted news. He'd thought about possibly leaving one of the information leaflets – which were buried at the bottom of a box in Castiel's side of the wardrobe – lying around where Dean would be sure to see it. Had had also played with the idea of getting Sam or Jo to tell him but he doubted they would do that.

Plotting a prudent method of breaking the news to Dean was doubly difficult because he was under pressure. He didn't have much time. Castiel had no idea when his scent was going to change, he couldn't keep going to bed with a long sleeved shirt on and, probably the most pressing, Dean was going to want sex and werewolf sex wasn't the most gentle of activities. Not that it couldn't be. Dean could be gentle but the problem was he liked to bite and Dean wasn't going to miss the fact that Castiel couldn't heal.

He sighed, closing the book he'd left open in case someone were to walk in, and sat back in the comfortable chair by the window, staring out across the well kept grounds half hidden in the twilight. In the distance, at the edge of the woods, he could see the bulky shape of Crowley in wolf form pacing through the trees. Castiel smiled. Maybe he had taken Jo's comment to heart...

It surprised Castiel that none of the other pack members had mates. Although, he supposed, they were still young, they all were. They had done well to establish themselves in and out of the city as a pack to be reckoned with but that was thanks, in large part, to Dean and Sam who had had reputations before the pack was formed. When Dean became a fully fledged alpha and word spread that he was forming his own pack, there were more than enough weres eager to join. Dean trusted very few people though which was why the pack remained quite small.

The Winchester pack would grow eventually, certainly when they found their own mates and had... pups.

Castiel swallowed. He closed his eyes, slipping a hand under his shirt and resting it on his flat belly. He had been so worried how Dean would react to the news that he hadn't actually thought about how he, himself, felt about it.

Maybe he liked it, liked the idea of something growing inside of him that was part Dean and part Castiel, a pup with their shared characteristics. Castiel's focus and Dean's temper.

Castiel snorted.

A teenager with Dean's temper would be a destructive force to say the least.

"I wondered where you were."

Castiel's whipped his hand out from under his shirt, his heart pounding, and turned to find Dean walking towards him. His mate leant against the window sill and crossed his arms. Although Castiel was fairly sure Dean couldn't smell anything different, Castiel still sat rigidly, just waiting for Dean to say something, to catch him out.

Dean was staring at him, a small frown on his face.

Castiel cleared his throat. "Is there something you wanted?"

Dean's frown deepened. Apparently that wasn't what he should have said. "What's going on, Cas? Something's... different."

"D-different?" breathed Castiel. His palms were sweaty and skating off the wooden arm of the chair as he tried to grip it.

Dean's eyes narrowed. He stalked closer and rested his hands on the arms of Castiel's chair. Their faces were inches apart. "Yeah," he said, tilting his head, eyes unblinkingly studying Castiel. "Different."

Castiel did his upmost not to squirm. A riot of emotions were taking place in the pit of Castiel's stomach, arousal, embarrassment, excitement and fear, fear that Dean would discover what he was desperately trying to hide.

Dean continued to stare and Castiel didn't dare look away. If he broke eye contact Dean would knowthere was something amiss.

But he was so close that Castiel could barely think. His green eyes were penetrating, his gorgeous scent was overwhelming.

Castiel closed the gap between them, his eyes sliding shut as he kissed Dean softly. It had been less of a means of a distraction and more of an urge to do what Castiel craved.

Dean kissed him back, languorous open mouthed kisses, the soft drag of his lips making Castiel's heart race. His mate pushed a little harder and licked between Castiel's lips, his familiar tongue exploring his mouth. Flushing with heat and desire, Castiel's fingers threaded through Dean's short dirty blonde hair. Dean was so perfect, so confident and secure. He couldn't imagine ever being without him. Heart throbbing and aching, he pulled Dean closer, chest to chest, moaning softly when Dean dragged him out of the chair and into his lap on the carpeted floor. Castiel's legs looped around his waist, squeezing his thighs into Dean's toned torso.

"Gorgeous," murmured Dean against his lips. His broad palms slid up Castiel's arms enclosing his biceps and squeezing hard.

Castiel cried out at the jolt of pain which was so severe it brought tears to his eyes.

Dean jerked his head back but when Castiel tried to scramble away, he held on tight. "Cas?" he whispered and sounded a little panicked. "Did I hurt you?"

"No, I'm okay." Castiel forced a smile.

"I did, didn't I? Shit, Cas, I'm sorry," murmured Dean, kissing his face. "I didn't think I was I that rough."

"Dean, it's fine –"

"No it isn't," said Dean.

Castiel started to panic again. If Dean didn't let the subject drop he was going to be forced to tell him and he wasn't ready yet.

"Castiel?" The omega looked up to find Sam standing hesitantly at the door. "I've got that DVD you wanted?" He posed it as a question, an escape root for Castiel and the omega grabbed it with both hands.

"You have?" squeaked Castiel, scrambling out of Dean's lap. He hurried across the room to Sam, throwing him a grateful glance, and they were just about to leave when Dean spoke.

"Castiel, stop," he growled.

As if Dean could control his limbs, the omega froze and turned to look at his mate who was stalking towards him, jaw set, mouth in a thin line. Dean was angry, that much was clear.

Castiel tensed. His mate stared at Castiel and then Sam, suspicion narrowing his eyes. Thrusting a novel at the omega, he said, "You forgot your book," and pushed past his brother into the hallway.

Sam exhaled heavily when Dean left. "Castiel, you're going to have to tell him. Soon."

"I know," breathed the omega.

~\.../~

Three days later Castiel sneaked downstairs after Dean had left for a run across the grounds. It had been a hard few days. Not only had he had to reject Dean's every attempt at sex, his hormones were making him increasingly horny. He had woken up to a rock hard dick and a very slick ass. After finding a moment to study one of the leaflets the doctor had given him, he had discovered that his increased libido was completely normal and, unfortunately, was going to become more potent throughout the pregnancy. His arousal was a constant warming in his abdomen, a constant need.

Time was slipping through his fingers like sand but with Dean so angry it didn't help persuade Castiel to break the news. He needed Dean to be calm when he told him, not a walking fuse ready to blow.

It seemed though, as Castiel stepped into the kitchen, which was only occupied by Sam, and opened the fridge to help himself to some breakfast, the decision was going to be taken out of his hands.

Castiel heard Sam inhale sharply as he passed him. The were's hand shot out and he grabbed Castiel's wrist, spinning him around to face him.

"Fuck," whispered Sam, his grasp tightening.

"What is it? What's wrong?" asked Castiel, his heart pounding painfully hard against his chest.

Sam's eyes were wide. "Castiel," he breathed, "You... your scent..." The beta blushed. "You smell like... like a female were in heat."

"What?" gasped Castiel. "I can't –"

Sam leaned in, inhaling, his nose skimming Castiel's throat. "Oh, god..." muttered Sam. "You smell really good..." He pulled back to look the omega in the eyes and Castiel was surprised to see a little lust there.

"I smell like I'm in heat?" exclaimed Castiel.

Sam bit his lip. "It's similar but..." he leaned in again, "it's not the same," he said against Castiel's neck, "it's sweeter..." he breathed in deep, "and there's..." Sam made a strange noise; a very wolfish noise. He looked down at Castiel, a small smile lighting face, the previous traces of lust vanishing. "There's another scent," he whispered.

Castiel's heart skipped. "There is?"

Sam nodded. "Belonging to someone that isn't you."

He couldn't help it, a grin broke free and a bubble of happiness rose in his chest. "My pup?"

Sam beamed at him. "It's faint and it's difficult to pick out because you're so," he cleared his throat, "so, uh, turned on but... it's there." The beta sniffed Castiel's neck again, just under his jaw. "It's incredible," he breathed and Castiel chuckled.

Of course that would be the moment, while Sam's hands were on Castiel's hips, nose at his neck and the room reeking of Castiel's arousal, that Dean chose to enter the kitchen.

A low growl, deeper and more vicious than Castiel had ever heard before, reverberated throughout the room. Sam gasped and leapt away from Castiel like he was on fire. They both stared at Dean who was glowing with rage, shaking with it. His eyes were fixed on Sam.

"Dean," said Sam, hands raised in surrender. "Dean, wait, it isn't what you think. Me and Castiel – we're not - "

But Dean wasn't listening. He was so close to his animal side that Castiel could literally see the lengthening of his incisors. The alpha scent was choking the room and for the first time in his life, Castiel was worried. Not for his own safety but for Sam's.

Dean was the epitome of rage.

Sam started edging away from Castiel, hands raised, palms out, eyes lowered. "Dean, I don't want your mate. I'm not attracted to your mate. It isn't what you think."

The rest of the pack was out; there was no one Castiel could call to for help. He had no idea what to do. There was a good chance speaking or making any sudden movements would only worsen the situation. Then again, Sam's continuous reassurances and denial of attraction didn't seem to be making any headway.

"Alpha, I swear –"

It was too late. Dean roared and, before Castiel could even blink, he exploded into his wolf form, clothes disintegrating from the sheer force of it. In a defensive reflex, Sam shifted too just as Dean barrelled into him, shattering dishes, cups, smashing into cupboards. Pots and pans clanged against the hard kitchen floor as Dean and the large chestnut brown wolf, Sam, fought.

Castiel scurried backwards, out of the way of the rolling wolves. Sam's moves were defensive, always pushing and dodging, while Dean attempted to tear into him with his five inch teeth and gut ripping claws. The room was filled with snarls and growls, fur flying. It was only when Castiel heard a cringe-worthy crunch and a yelp that he realised Dean was going to do some serious damage to Sam if he didn't do something soon.

He took a deep breath, hand on his belly as he shifted into what he knew to be a much smaller, black wolf. Castiel leapt on the counter, watching the wolves claw at each other and, when he saw an opening, he dove into the fray. A paw kicked out from somewhere and thumped into Castiel's side. It was agonizing to his vulnerable body, more pain than he was used to. He had to cry out.

And, just like that, Castiel's cry was like a bucket of icy water on the fight. Dean immediately danced backwards, his wolf body tensed and clearly still in fight mode but his eyes were on Castiel and they were anything but angry; they were hurt and sad.

Breathing hard, Castiel shifted into his human form. He stood naked before Dean, knowing his bruises were on show. The wolf's eyes widened, spotting the damage, and he let out a pained whine; he obviously thought Castiel was vulnerable because he had found another mate. "Dean," said Castiel, "shift for me."

Dean the wolf shook his head, more in disbelief than anything else, and backed up. He sat on his haunches, threw his head back and howled, long and loud. It was a cry so desperate, lonely and sad that Castiel's heart ached.

"Dean," pleaded Castiel, "shift. I can explain."

"It isn't what you think, Dean," said Sam. He limped to the omega's side. There was blood on his face and torso and his leg looked as though it had been broken but was beginning to heal.

"Are you okay?" asked Castiel, looking up at Sam.

Dean's brother smiled weakly. "I'll leave you to it," he murmured and left the kitchen, stepping over the debris as he went.

When Castiel turned back, he found Dean, in his human form, staring at him, brows drawn together, looking wary.

In what he hoped was a reassuring smile, he held out his hand. "Come here, Dean," he said.

Whatever the consequences were, Castiel was going to accept them. He was going to accept what Dean wanted even if he asked him to leave. At least... that's what he was chanting in his head as his heart thundered through his ribcage and Dean moved towards him.

Castiel took his mate's hand and pulled him into a hug. He half expected Dean to push him away but he didn't. His mate gripped Castiel, returning the embrace in a breath stopping hug. Dean made a choked sound, his broad arms, one around Castiel's back and the other enclosing his waist, squeezing him tight against his chest like he wanted to meld them together permanently.

It occurred to Castiel suddenly, a revelation similar to the sun breaking through the clouds on a rainy day, that Dean did love Castiel. He did because no one, no alpha, could hold an omega like Dean was now, despite thinking that Castiel was going to leave him for someone else and beg him to stay and that's what Dean was doing. He was whispering, "don't go, don't go," in Castiel's ear in a fast, murmured litany of pleas.

Castiel didn't answer; he simply stroked Dean's back and waited for him to get it, to smell it. He knew when he did because Dean went rigid and his breathing stopped. The omega held still as, after a minute, Dean tentatively sniffed under Castiel's jaw. One sniff, then two until he was snuffling like a week old pup catching his first scents of the world. Dean's head moved back and forth, sniffing Castiel all over his throat. A chuckle fell from his lips as Dean's spiky hair tickled his face.

Dean jerked backwards, staring into Castiel's eyes with wonder. He licked his lips. "There're two of you," he whispered.

Castiel nodded with a faint smile on his face, hand on his flat belly. "Yes."

Dean made a shocked sound which was a mixture between a snort, gasp and laugh. A smile broke free, beautiful white teeth showing, and Dean's warm hand touched Castiel's on his stomach. "That's why you're vulnerable?" he asked. His breath was hot on the omega's face.

Castiel bobbed his head again.

"Why didn't you tell me?"

Face heating with shame, Castiel lowered his eyes; he knew he should have told him sooner and he felt guilty for it. "I was scared..."

"Don't ever be," said Dean in a hushed voice. "Don't ever be scared. You have no reason to be. I'll always be here, always, always want you, always protect you," he whispered and kissed Castiel softly on the lips. "Always."

If there had been any doubt of Dean's love before then it would have been annihilated now.

Dean started to lick him, like were mothers did to their young, like were families did to their kin. He licked Castiel's face with his flat wide tongue, rasping over the omega's stubble. He licked his ear, along his jaw, under his jaw, his throat, his collarbone.

Castiel's receptive skin flamed under the ministrations and the smouldering arousal he had already been battling sparked to life with fervour. The loving gesture morphed into something more heated when Castiel moaned softly, his fingers threaded through Dean's short hair and he rocked his hips against his mate, his hard cock begging for attention.

Gentle hands found Castiel's waist and guided him backwards until his lower back hit the edge of the counter – one of the few things in the kitchen that was still standing. Dean's was persistent, worshipping Castiel's body with his tongue, lapping his skin with the hot silky muscle. The omega tilted his head back, baring his throat and Dean licked the length of it, tenderly nipping at Castiel's skin. Dean was being so unbelievably careful with him and it turned Castiel on more than he would have imagined.

Dean's tongue grazed his incredibly sensitive nipple and Castiel's mouth dropped open, breaths falling in uneven gushes, panting, chest heaving. The slippery, hot tongue curled and flicked at the nub, sending shudders of pleasure through Castiel. It was too light, too gentle, it made his toes curl.

Lower and lower Dean moved, kissing and licking his way, slipping his tongue over Castiel's hip and eventually the shiny head of his dick. Dean didn't take him in his mouth like Castiel was hoping he would. Instead he licked, long, languorously slow movements that did too much and not enough. Castiel was shaking with need, there was moisture dripping down his leg from his aching hole, his body was desperate, desperate for more friction, more speed, more of his alpha and yet still Dean persisted at a steady pace. He was relentless, licking the shaft of Castiel's heated cock, licking away the dripping pre-come. Castiel cried out at the slow drag of Dean's tongue over his balls; he hand to brace himself against the counter, spreading his legs to urge Dean on.

The alpha's hands were dovelike against his thighs. Dean's fingers glided up and down, behind his knees and caressed his calves. Castiel was dizzy with sensation and finally he couldn't take anymore. "Dean," he croaked, begged.

Dean rose to meet his gaze, kissing him and putting only the slightest pressure on Castiel's hips with his hands to get him to turn around. Complying, Castiel pushed backwards against Dean, rubbing his too wet ass down the long, hard length of his alpha's cock. Dean groaned into Castiel's neck, their overheated sweat slick bodies sticking together.

Hot palms skated up Castiel's sides and rough thumbs rubbed his nipples in hard, slow circles. Dean's cock slipped into the hot space behind Castiel's balls. He reached up and touched Dean's face, pulling him down into a kiss. "Dean," panted Castiel against his lips. "Please..."

Dean's hand found the back of Castiel's neck and he pushed him down until his face and chest touched the counter, the omega's palms flat and sweaty against the shockingly cold surface. Castiel gasped and felt his nipples tighten. He dipped his back, arching for Dean and spreading his legs.

"You're beautiful," murmured Dean, two fingers running down the length of Castiel's spine all the way to his ass where he dipped inside without preamble. "So wet..."

Castiel was an omega and therefore there was no need to finger him open but Dean liked to play, crooking his digits deep in his ass and stroking that place inside Castiel that made him whimper and push backwards. He felt Dean's mouth on his shoulder as another finger pushed inside, slipping easily past the rim of Castiel's ass.

Dean licked his throat, his chest hot and sticky with sweat against Castiel's back and then, without warning, a deep, rumbling growl emanated from Dean.

Twisting his neck, Castiel tried to look at him. The alpha's head was raised just a little from Castiel's shoulder and his eyes were focused on something near the door. Following his gaze, Castiel saw Gabriel frozen in place, staring wide eyed at them.

What was he doing? Did he want to die?!

Castiel shook his head frantically and waved his arm, telling Gabriel to go. Dean was at breaking point. After his fight with Sam and thinking he was going to lose his mate, it wouldn't take much to set him off again, especially now that Castiel was vulnerable and pregnant. Dean's over protectiveness was going to be even stronger than it was before. Death could certainly be on the cards for Gabriel if he didn't back off quickly. The growls at Castiel's back were getting worse, louder and more threatening.

"Gabriel," hissed Castiel and finally the young beta snapped out of his trance, jerking his head as though he had been day dreaming, and backed out of the room. Castiel could only assume, judging from the explanation and the lust filled look Sam had given him earlier, that Gabriel had been caught up in the scents of arousal filling the kitchen.

"Dean –" began Castiel but Dean silenced him with a tiny rumble, his chest vibrating. It seemed the encounter with Gabriel had forced Dean closer to his animal side.

The alpha snuffled at his neck, removed his fingers and placed a palm on Castiel's hip. Dean's other hand wrapped around Castiel's dick, thumb stroking the head.

Castiel shuddered. Every action was possessive. He knew that Dean, inclined towards his wolf side, wasn't holding his dick to pleasure Castiel, he was holding it and playing with it because he could, because Castiel belonged to him.

Dean nudged Castiel's legs further apart and Castiel felt the bump of his mate's cock against his ass. "Mine..." muttered Dean, nipping his neck.

"I'm yours," he reassured and pushed backwards onto the thick cock. Dean hissed, groaning when the fat, slippery head breached Castiel's hole.

Castiel let out a breath, condensation built on the surface of the counter, and Dean shoved all the way in, hips flush against his backside.

Dean pulled out and slammed back in hard, causing Castiel to gasp and slip across the counter from the strength of it. A broad arm wound around his body hugging him tight and Castiel turned to kiss him while Dean's hips started to move in earnest.

Their tongues tangled and Castiel moaned into Dean's mouth. He moved and arched his back further until there was a delicious stretch in his stomach, giving Dean better access, allowing him to thrust deeper and harder.

Dean's cock was huge and filled him up well. He could feel his wolf side seeping through as a particularly powerful slap of Dean's hips caused him to graze his chest on the edge of the counter. It stung but Dean was holding him tight and he was fucking him gloriously hard, showing off his power, his strength, and Castiel liked it.

With a strong grip Dean jerked the omega's dick in time with his thrusts. Castiel's body was so susceptible, so vulnerable, like his skin was stretched too thin over his nerves and each snap of Dean's hips as the hard length of him pushed into Castiel, washed him in pleasure. He could feel Dean's cock slide all the way in, rubbing against the sensitive parts of him, pushing in deep. His skin was fevered and sweating and his body was shaking. Castiel had never been particularly loud when it came to sex but he couldn't help the desperate moans and cries spilling out of him now. There were sounds he couldn't believe he was making, sounds that would have been embarrassing if his mind was aware enough to take note.

He scrambled for purchase, anything he could hold on to when he felt the distinct pull of his orgasm drawing near. But Dean wouldn't let him; he yanked him backwards without forewarning and sunk his teeth into Castiel's throat.

His breath was punched out of him. Twin spirals of pain and pleasure ripped through Castiel's body as he climaxed, splattering the side of the counter in come.

Dean's hips jerked in an uneven rhythm and he groaned into Castiel's neck, resulting spurts of the alpha's orgasm filling him up.

Castiel lay flat out on the counter with Dean still inside him, panting and aching but most certainly sated. When he shook from the weight of Dean's body, his alpha moved and pulled him to the floor and into his lap. He licked lazily at the wound on Castiel's neck, then his jaw, then his cheek and then his lips.

Castiel chuckled. He felt higher than a kite. He was elated and couldn't have hoped for anything more wonderful.

"I'm sorry," said Dean, still licking at the omega's body. His arms tightened around Castiel's waist when the young were turned to look at him in surprise.

"For what?" asked Castiel.

Dean's green eyes were soft and sad. "For making you think you couldn't tell me what was wrong."

"It wasn't your fault," murmured Castiel. "I just didn't want to lose you."

"You'll never lose me."

"I was still worried."

Dean nodded glumly. "You know I love you... right? I mean, it's kind of pointless saying it because it's obvious I do, but –"

"It's not," the omega interrupted. He played with Dean's fingers which were threaded on Castiel's stomach. "It's not pointless." He peeked up at Dean from under his eyelashes, unable to hold back the smile forming. "It's nice to hear you say it."

Dean returned the smile. "Okay... I love you." He rolled his eyes. "Obviously."

Castiel grinned. "I love you too," he said and chuckled. It was a huge relief. All of his worries which had been building for awhile had finally come to an end. A great weight had been lifted from his chest and at long last he could breathe.

Dean loved him.

"You know you're not going to go anywhere out of this house without protection for the next nine months, don't you?" said Dean suddenly.

Castiel groaned.

~\.../~

THE END