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Porter Medical Center
115 Porter Drive
Middlebury, Vermont

Dean walked through the sliding doors to the Porter Medical Center, stepping to the side to let his mate enter before him. Castiel rolled his eyes but couldn't help the small smile that graced his face as he grumbled, “I can activate the door myself you know.”

Dean shrugged and followed behind him smirking. “I know, I was just trying to be a gentleman.”

Castiel barked out a laugh as they walked through the large lobby and entered the elevator. He pressed the button for the first floor and turned to look at Dean. “You, Dean Winchester, are far from a gentleman.”

Dean lips curled up into a smirk and Castiel quickly realized it was because they were the only two in the elevator. Castiel’s eyes widened at the predatory look Dean gave him as he backed him up against the wall, one hand pressing against the wall beside Castiel's head and the other wrapping around his waist. Dean leaned down and nosed the Omega’s t-shirt out of his way, swirling his tongue over the raised, red skin of his mating mark. The smell of their sudden mixed arousal filled the tiny space and Dean nipped at the still healing mark before placing warm wet kisses up Castiel's throat, stopping by his ear to whisper into it as he pulled their bodies flush together. “And you, Castiel Krushnic, love the fact that I am no gentleman.”

Castiel opened his mouth to retort but the ding of the elevator had them springing apart. They switched spots with a group of nurses and Castiel turned his head to the side to see Dean had watched the group and was biting his lip to keep from laughing at their expressions the moment they were hit with the thick, cloying scent of arousal in the elevator.

Castiel rolled his eyes and shook his head as he double checked the directional board for the Medical/ICU unit. He led Dean to the right and found the familiar hallway to the unit Gabriel was on, quickly finding the room his brother was in. Castiel rapped on the closed door before pushing it open. He could smell the relief coming off of his brother when he walked into the room.

Akh, slava Bogu! Ya bespokoilas' o tebe!” Gabriel rocked himself gently in the bed, his face pale as he struggled to turn enough to press the button on the inside of the side rail with his left, casted hand to raise the head, helping him sit up. He grimaced once, but otherwise smiled and looked excited to see his brother. “Gde yebat' ty byl?”

Castiel stepped further into the room, his eyes trailing over his brother. “Thanking God and cursing in the same breath? Good one, brother!” Although the swelling had gone down on his face, there was a large purple bruise, the edges turning a strange shade of yellow and green. The hospital gown had dipped low and Castiel could see large scabs littering his brother’s chest, all in various stages of healing, some bruised and some just red. Gabriel’s left hand had been set in a different cast, the plaster an obnoxious shade of lime green, and Castiel felt himself smiling -- it was so his brother. Gabriel grimaced again, reaching to tug at the strap to the black cloth sling that had his right arm secured against his side, but he looked good. He looked awake. Castiel smiled and reached for one of the guest chairs to drag over to the bedside.

“I’m sorry you were worried about me.” Cas locked his gaze on what he could of his brother’s still heavily bruised eyes. “You look a lot better.”

As he sat down beside Gabriel, he heard the scraping of another chair and the brother’s looked up to see Dean dragging one over. Gabriel immediately narrowed his eyes and looked from Castiel to Dean. “Chto takoye Don zdes' delayet?”

Castiel sighed at his brother’s question and ran his hand across the back of his neck, pulling his shirt down a little to reveal the beginning of Dean’s mating mark. Gabriel’s eyes widened and he struggled to sit up, giving a frustrated sigh when he couldn’t, and reaching to punch at the button again to raise the head of the bed further.

“You mated, Castiel!? With all this shit going on you chose now to get mated!?” Gabriel’s voice was loud and it cracked at the end, the only way Castiel noticed his brother’s panic. Gabriel glared and Castiel watched as his brother forced himself to take a deep breath and calm himself. His nostrils flared as he took a deep breath, then the flash of anger was back in his eyes and Castiel knew that his brother had smelled his and Dean’s mixed mated scent. Gabriel thrust his casted hand out at Dean, pointing as best as he could as he said, “Vy! Vy povyazana moy brat! Ya tebya ub'yu!”

Castiel narrowed his eyes and growled back at his brother. “On moy priyatel'! Vy pokazhite yemu uvazheniye, kak ty menya!

Gabriel opened his mouth to retort only to have Dean cut him off. “Um, how about we use English? I got a feeling I'm a big part of this conversation and I would like to be in on it.”

Gabriel snarled at Dean. “I was just telling Castiel that I was going to kill you. I swear to you that you would already be dead if I could get out of this bed. Who told you? How did you find out about Castiel? Did you bribe him? So help me, Don Winchester, if you forced my brother to mate with you...”

Dean growled and Castiel placed his hand on his mate's shoulder before turning to look at his brother. “He did no such thing, Gabriel. Dean would never force me to do anything that I didn’t want to do. As for how he found out? He's always known.” At Gabriel's confused look he continued, “Do you not remember?” Castiel looked concerned and shifted forward. “I told you about it. Dean was the Alpha at the bar the night before we met with them officially.” Gabriel's eyes widened and Castiel could practically see the wheels turning in his head. “The one that I told you had scented me?”

Gabriel shook his head. “Yeah, it’s all coming back to me.” He shook his head again. “Sorry, brain’s scrambled.” He gave a dry laugh looked at his brother, trying to tell him silently that he was okay, but couldn’t help glaring at the Don.

Castiel shifted in the chair and leaned forward with his arm out, giving his wrist to his brother to scent without making him move too much. Gabriel buried his nose in Castiel's wrist and his eyes widened as he spoke. “Orange blossom, pine, and cinnamon. Castiel... That means he's y-your--”

Castiel smiled at Dean and took his hand back as he nodded. “Yes. He’s my true mate, Gabriel. Moy vozlyublennyy. ”

Gabriel ran both his hands down his face. “Well fuck me. Those are rare. When did you figure it out?”

“When I went into heat,” Castiel said softly. “But Dean had it figured out bef-”

“Heat!” Gabriel shrieked, cutting his brother’s reply short. “You went into heat?”

Castiel nodded. “Yes, that's why I haven't been here in the past five days.”

Gabriel turned his attention to Dean, his expression stormy. Castiel could feel the tension rolling off of his brother and he knew if it weren’t for his brother’s mottled face, he would’ve looked downright terrifying. “Is that when you did it? Did you take advantage and claim him when he was out of his mind in heat? Of all the goddamn knot-heads my brother could end up mated with… True fucking mates...”

“No,” Dean growled, cutting off Gabriel’s oncoming tirade. “Not that it’s any of your business…”

Castiel looked over his shoulder and met Dean’s eyes, silently asking him to be patient. Although he wouldn’t admit it out loud, Gabriel’s approval meant a lot to him.

Dean sighed and seemed to relax slightly as he tore his eyes from Castiel’s and looked back at Gabriel. “Even though I was in rut, I turned him down every single time he asked me to claim him. I even suggested once his heat was over that we take time to think about it. But,” Dean paused, shaking his head and smiling at the memory of the conversation, “Cas told me that he had thought about it already. As Pakhan, he’s used to getting what he wants, and he told me that we wouldn’t be leaving the cabin until we were wearing each other’s marks.” Dean pulled at his collar to expose Castiel’s mark.

Castiel watched as the tension drained from Gabriel and his brother snorted. “That does sound like my mladshiy brat.” Gabriel motioned towards the chair Dean had brought over but hadn’t sat in. “Have you contacted Crowley yet?”

Castiel shook his head. “No, not yet.”

Gabriel sighed, finally relaxing fully back against the hospital bed. “Castiel you need to ASAP! This was your first heat. He needs to examine you, make sure everything is okay. He will also need to get new, stronger suppressants and scent blockers for you and-” Gabriel nodded towards Dean, “-your mate. You guys stink like each other and Castiel… Now there is no denying you are an Omega. Neither one of you can go back to New York until this is taken care of.” Gabriel held out his hand to Dean. “Don Winchester, your phone, please. I need to call Crowley.”

Dean pulled his phone out of his pocket and passed it to Gabriel with an eyebrow raised. “You can call me Dean.” He smirked and winked. “We are family now.”

Gabriel huffed and looked over at his brother. “Seriously, Castiel? You couldn't have mated a nice Russian Alpha?”

Castiel rolled his eyes at Gabriel before he turned towards Dean, smiling as he patted him on the cheek. “I would rather have my bad ass, true mate, Italian Alpha over a nice Russian one.”

Dean returned the smile while Gabriel mumbled under his breath, “Well, at least you got the pretty Alpha… fucking biology…” Castiel gave him a halfhearted glare and watched as his brother punched in Crowley’s number.

Silence fell over the room and then Gabriel cleared his throat. “Crowley? Yeah, Gabriel Krushnic. Listen… we’ve got a dilemma.” There was a pause and Gabriel rolled his eyes. “No, Castiel isn’t complaining about his meds again. But… about those. My little brother has some, ah, perfect timing and went and got himself mated with--- No, he didn’t find himself a nice Russian Alpha, that’s exactly what I said! Listen, Crowlster, you’re preaching to the goddamn choir here. He found his true mate and they couldn’t wait to get tied up and mated. Tie the knot, so to speak. Hah, get it? Get it Crowlster? … You’re a dick, man.”

“Any day now,” Castiel muttered under his breath and gave a short laugh as his brother tried to flick him off, half his hand covered by the sling.

“Right, all of you are so goddamn impatient. Must have some sticks up your asses… or in Castiel’s case, a nice ol’ knot. Don’t give me that look Dean-o!” Gabriel’s voice was sharp and he pinned Dean with a stare as the Alpha moved forward in his seat. “So, Crowley… we need your smarmy ass up here to look him over, make sure his parts are in place, and get him and his mate some new suppressants and scent blockers. Bring yourself a nose plug, cause these two reek.”

Crowley made a parting comment before Gabriel hung up and tossed the phone back to it’s owner. Castiel was impressed when his mate caught it with the tips of his fingers and shoved it back into his pocket. When he looked back up, Gabriel was staring at him and shaking his head.

“What did Crowley say?”

“Castiel… cinnamon? Really? Could you two be any more fucking Christmassy?” Gabriel wrinkled his nose for effect. “Every time I smell you two I’m going to expect a goddamn present.”

“Gabriel!” Castiel sighed, exasperated. “What the hell are they giving you for drugs?”

Smirking, his brother shifted and took his time finding a comfortable position in the bed before he finally answered. “Crowley’s coming up here to examine you and he’ll bring some suppressants for you both. He said he’s got some kind of… cologne that will mask your true scents, so you’re both going to have to wear Alpha scents. You, Dean-o, will need to text him the address where you guys are staying so he can plug that into his ol’ GPS.”

Dean nodded and took the phone back out. Castiel watched as his mate scrolled through the recent calls to find Crowley’s number to text him the address, then smiled as Dean saved the number in his phone.

“Just in case,” he said when he caught Castiel watching him.

When the thirty seconds of silence became too much for Gabriel, he cleared his throat to gain their attention back to him. “So, Dean-o… what are your intentions with my brother?”

“Gabriel, don’t you think we have other pressing matters to talk about--”

“To make him happy in every way that I can,” Dean answered in tandem with Castiel. The Omega stopped midsentence and turned to look over at his mate.

“Sappy. Gross.” Gabriel rolled his eyes. “Whatever, don’t think this conversation is over, Mr. Winchester. I’ve got some more questions for you once I talk to Doctor Abbadon. Or as I like to call her, Abbadamn.”

Castiel looked up, confused, and then noticed that a tall, red haired woman in a white lab coat had entered the room. She rolled her eyes and Castiel already knew the woman had resigned herself to his brother’s flirting.

“Mr. Krushnic, good afternoon. It’s nice to see you in such high spirits today.” She shifted her clipboard in her hands and walked further into the room, holding out her hand for Castiel and Dean to shake. “I’m Christine Abbadon, Spine Specialist and Orthopedic surgeon.”

“This is my younger brother and… his mate,” Gabriel said after a moment of hesitation. “So… what’s up, Doc?”

“Well, Gabriel, all of your labs came back looking good this morning. Your white blood cell count is no longer elevated. Although we’ll have you finish out the Cipro, your fever is gone, and I think we beat off any possibility of further infection.”

“Wait, you had an infection?” Castiel cut in, looking between Gabriel and the doctor. “Why didn’t you call me!”

“I tried,” Gabriel said calmly, rolling his eyes at his brother. “You were a little busy there with Dean-o. Plus, they said it wasn’t a big deal.”

“We were concerned,” Dr. Abbadon turned toward Castiel, “that some of the lacerations your brother had were getting infected.” Cas’ brows furrowed in concern and concentration as she continued, “Although they were cleaned and cared for at the hospital in New York, it would appear some of them had been open for quite some time. We started your brother on a broad-spectrum antibiotic, Ciprofloxacin if you’re interested, to fight off any infection that was there and to prevent any other bugs from turning nasty.”

“And he’s all right, now,” Castiel asked looking at his brother.

“Everything seems to be healing nicely. I’m not concerned with any of the stitches… we can take those out in another six days or so.”

Gabriel’s brows bounced with mischief and Castiel just knew that under the bruising their was a glint in his brother’s eye. “And how about my bones, doc?”

The doctor took Gabriel’s flirting in stride. “You’ll be happy to know that I recieved a wet read for your x-ray from this morning, and it appears that everything in your wrist is setting nicely which means I won’t have to go in there with any pins. You will have to keep it casted though.”

Gabriel grumbled at her last comment, twisting his wrist around as he stared down at his cast. “What about the sling?”

“Well,” she gave him a short nod, “you have to be careful with the shoulder for 12-16 weeks, normally. But, because of the break in your collarbone,” she pointed to his chest, “I am saying at least six weeks. You can remove it for dressing and bathing, but it’s there to keep your bones in place while they heal.” She gave Gabriel a sad smile and waited to see if he would comment before she continued. “Now, medically you are stable Mr. Krushnic. And that’s a good thing. I have made plans to have you transferred over to the Helen Porter Rehabilitation Center.”

“With the old geezers who fell down the stairs and broke their hips. Great,” Gabriel fired back and Castiel turned to him with his eyes wide. “I’m not old, Doc. I don’t need to go and hang out with a bunch of--”

“If you want to walk again? Acute rehabilitation care is what is going to get you there, Gabriel.” Dr. Abbadon’s voice was hard, like stone, and it made Castiel whip his head around to see the cool expression on her face. This was, obviously, not the first time she had this conversation with his brother… “You were very lucky that your spinal cord was not completely severed. You were very lucky,” she emphasized the word, “that you didn’t have to have surgery to make any repairs. You have every opportunity to try to ensure that a wheelchair is not the way you will be spending the rest of your days, Mr. Krushnic, but it will not be so with that attitude!”

“You… you can’t walk?” Dean asked softly and Gabriel, it seemed, was grateful for the interruption, and he pinned Dean with fire in his eyes.

“No, Dean-o, I can’t walk,” Gabriel snapped. “I’m a fucking cripple right now, okay? I’m not fit to be a part of the… family business anymore. I can’t even wipe my own fucking ass right now!” Gabriel raised his arms, as much as he could with the sling, and slammed his cast down in frustration, gasping in pain as he jolted his entire body. “There’s no fucking point in going to rehab for a maybe, Doc.”

“There is every point, Gabriel!” the doctor fired back, dropping her clipboard onto the side table and rounding the bed so she was standing right beside Gabriel. “Maybe those ‘old geezers’ who are working their assess off, doing three hours of therapy a day so they can walk on their new hips and new knees and take care of their everyday needs will give you the motivation you lack! More so, if you do end up in a wheelchair, that does not negate your potential and if you have based your entire life and your entire worth off of your ability to walk? You have been living under a rock!”

“Gabriel…” Castiel cut in after a moment, waiting for his brother to turn his gaze from the doctor to meet his eyes. “Krushnics ne brosit' kurit', brat. We never quit.”

Gabriel swallowed hard and then plastered a smile on his face, one that could fool anyone else other than Castiel. He could feel the lingering pain of his brother’s words and if they were alone, he would’ve reached for him.

“She’s so much hotter when she’s mad, isn’t she?” Gabriel cocked his head, throwing the doctor a look before winking at Castiel and Dean. Castiel gave his brother the smile he was looking for and he knew that the conversation was over.

The doctor gave Gabriel an acknowledging nod. “I’ll finish the paperwork and get you started with PT and OT.”

“Thank you, Doctor,” Castiel nodded, giving her a smile as she squeezed Gabriel’s shoulder and picked up her clipboard before leaving the room.

“You know, Bobby had a spinal injury a few years back,” Dean broke the silence and Castiel held his breath, waiting to see where his mate was going with his story. “Wasn’t stabbed, but he was shot in the back. Was in a wheelchair for a long while…” Dean gave a sad smile. “I remember climbing onto his lap as a kid, begging him to race me and Sammy across the garage floor. Used to drive my dad nuts, probably Bobby a little bit too, but he would do it.”

“Bobby can walk now,” Gabriel said after a moment, his eyes flicking over to Dean’s face for a moment, then focusing back on his legs covered by the blankets.

“Yeah, he can,” Dean agreed, nodding his head. “When I was sixteen… that’s when my mom died. The Winter Hill Gang and the Patriarca Family have always been rivals, always fought over territory in Boston, and my dad made a choice that pissed them off.” Dean grimaces as he spoke and shook his head slowly. “Dad was out on a business trip with my Grandpa Campbell, and he always had a thing with us staying at home without him. My mom, Sammy and I went to stay at Bobby’s house for the weekend and,” he took a shaky breath, eyes trained on the end of Gabriel’s bed, “I woke up one night just knowing… knowing something wasn’t right.”

Dean gave a short laugh and Castiel looked between his mate and his brother. Gabriel had done his research before they met the Winchesters, but to hear firsthand what had changed the structure of their family, what had gotten John and then Dean himself into their positions of power was very different than a report from a newspaper.

“Whitey himself carried out the hit, you know.” Dean’s voice was thick with the memory, “I don’t think they ever printed that in the papers.” He swallowed roughly, and his brow furrowed in memory. “I went down the hall to check on Sammy who was still sleeping, before I went to see my Mom. She wasn’t in her room so I went downstairs and found Bobby in his wheelchair and my mom sitting on the couch with Whitey Bulger standing over them, a gun to my mom’s head,” Dean’s voice was a whisper.

Cas leaned toward Dean as if to interrupt, but Dean’s voice held a very different tone as he resumed his story.

“‘You’d do well to learn this lesson boy,’” Dean imitated a thicker, South Boston accent, “‘you don’t fuck with the Irish.’ and then he shot her. Bobby tried to stop him,” he dropped his gaze to his hands, “saw it before I did, but there was something wrong with his wheels or something and he just… he just fell onto the ground. Mom stayed where she was, still sitting up, and even though I could see the blood on her head, I thought it was Bobby that had been shot…” Dean stopped, his hands shaking in his lap and Castiel shifted closer, pressing their sides together.

“Bobby was saying something,” Dean’s brow puckered remembering, “I think Sammy woke up from the gunshot because I remember him screaming on the stairs, and Whitey just,” Dean shuddered, “looked at me and smiled. ‘You tell your Daddy that there’s always a choice, he just happened to make the wrong fucking one.’ Then he left out the front door, leaving Bobby cursing on the floor, Sammy screaming behind me, and my mom bleeding out on the couch.”

“Dean-o…” Gabriel started, shaking his head slowly, but Dean cut him off.

“It was a long time ago, Gabe. Long time. Point is that that was it. That was a turning point for my family. For me?” he leaned toward the Sovietnik, “It was when I realized that I could trust or not trust people to protect my family, but if something was happening and I just stood there? People I loved were gonna get killed. For Sammy,” he shrugged, “it was that people leave, even those people you think will always be there, and my brother clings tight to everyone he meets, just in case they’re gone tomorrow. For my father, it was that the bottle can kill the pain, even if it’s temporary, and that revenge doesn’t really help you sleep better at night.

“But for Bobby?” Dean looked up and locked eyes with Gabriel. “For Bobby it was that he couldn’t coast anymore. He’d denied his injury, had accepted his fate, wasn’t going to put in the work when life had handed him that goddamn wheelchair and he would do his best with what he was given.”

Dean got up and walked toward the window. The overhead hum of the fluorescent lights the only sound that could be heard. Cas cleared his throat as he looked at his older brother. He looked back at Dean and was about to ask why he was telling them all this when Dean’s voice continued quietly.

“My grandfather fell apart at the loss of his daughter and Bobby watched my father take control, but my father was driven by revenge and rage and foolhardy decisions. He needed Bobby’s composed attitude to curb him, to temper him.. But,” Dean turned to face the two brothers, “to do that, Bobby needed to keep up. So he put in the work, and it was damn hard for him. He’d spent eight years in that chair, everyone told him that his legs had atrophied too much to the point where walking would be impossible, that his injury was too old to heal.”

Dean shook his head with a fond smile. “Bobby was determined he was gonna prove them wrong. He started with leg supporting crutches, stumbling around the gym and garage as much as he could. Then he went to regular crutches, with braces in his boots to keep his ankles and calves straight. By the time I was eighteen,” he grinned remembering, “Bobby was just using a cane, and he might’ve been limping and a swift kick to his knees could take him out for hours, he was walking when everyone he knew told him that he couldn’t.

“Right now, Gabe?” Dean retook his seat by Castiel, “They’re telling you that you can. They’re telling you there’s a very real possibility that a few weeks or days or whatever that doctor told you, in rehab will get you back up on your feet again and walking. Why on earth would you want to wait twelve years like Bobby, with the blood of your family on your hands?”

“Does… Bobby still use his cane?” Gabriel asked after a moment and Dean raised an eyebrow.

“Does it matter?”

Castiel watched as an array of emotions flickered across his older brother’s face, finally settling on one of determination. “Well, you know, I’m not as old as your Consigliere so it definitely won’t be taking me twelve years.”

Dean smiled and nodded his head, settling back against the chair and leaning slightly into Castiel’s body. “Good. I think Castiel would fire your ass way before then anyway.”

Gabriel nodded again, grunting as he shifted in the bed and reached for the buttons to help adjust himself. When he was comfortable, he his trademark shit-eating smirk back aimed directly at Dean.

“So… is my brother a bossy-bottom? Do you want any pups?” Gabriel fired out questions, not giving Dean a chance to answer, and Castiel knew his brother was trying to bleed the uncomfortable tension from the room. “If Castiel didn’t want pups, but you did, how would you handle that, Dean-o? Have you thought about how you’re going to run your mafia from way out in New York? I could kill you, you know, with my bare hands. Even in these casts! So if you think for one minute you’re taking him to Boston...”

Castiel watched as his mate gott increasingly flustered with each question. By the end, Castiel was sure Gabriel was coming up with questions just to see if he could make Dean blush --How big is your knot, Dean-o, because my brother sure as hell deserves better than what half these Alphas are packing-- and he interrupted Gabriel as he grabbed Dean’s arm to haul him up.

“Alright, curiosity has been satisfied, I am sure. Now, get some rest, Gabriel. Dean and I need to get ready to meet Crowley and you need to get ready to start rehab in the morning.”

“You’re such a buzzkill, Castiel,” Gabriel sighed dramatically but smiled, waving the both of them off. As they were at the door, Gabriel called after them, “Make sure you get an accurate measurement, Castiel! I still want to know if Dean’s going to satisfy you enough to make up for the past twenty some odd years!!”

“Leave. Now.” Castiel shoved Dean’s arm hard, letting the door fall shut with a snap and cutting off anything else his brother wanted to yell after him. “You would think I would be too old to be embarrassed by my other brother…” he muttered as they got onto the elevator. Dean, to Castiel’s relief, chose to stay silent, laughing softly under his breath.

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