SLASH unless otherwise indicated.
Characters/Pairing: Castiel/Dean Winchester
Word Count: ?
Warnings: Work in Progress
Castiel came home to find a groom and family on his doorstep. They thought he’d be the perfect husband … but it was his brother who’d sent for a new spouse! Based on Bride by Contract by Raye Morgan
Disclaimer: All proceeds go to the ‘I Believe in Sherlock Holmes’ fund.
Author's Notes: I wrote this for Unconventional Courtship as a second entry, but did not get it done. If you want to follow along with a work in progress, this is peek at what you're in for.
The security monitors stationed around the farm sent out a warning ping, followed swiftly by an announcement of the mail delivery craft. Castiel wondered at that, as only parcels were delivered and he hadn’t ordered anything. Easing out of the computer console spread around him, he stood and headed for the dock. The truck had just landed on the dock when he got there, but he was able to see Martin in the cockpit. Martin waved at him before making his way to the cargo hold and bringing out a tablet.
“Hey, Mr. Novak. You still signing things for your brother?”
“Yes, Martin. I have no idea when he will return.” Truth was, Castiel didn’t even know if he wayward brother would return, but that was a bit much to explain to the delivery guy.
“I need you to sign for this then. It got lost in the system, but I want you to know that as soon as we got it, I brought it straight to you. This was some screw-up off planet.”
“It’s fine, Martin.” Castiel cut off the rambling, mindful of how Martin was able to speak for days if given the chance. Taking the tablet, Castiel signed it and handed it back. He’d thought he was done accepting whatever random thing had caught Gabriel’s fancy during his internet shopping binges. Gabriel had run off more than two years ago, though he’d made sure to take his portion of the farm money with him.
Martin had taken the tablet into the cargo hold, and now returned with a large container on an anti-gravity sled. “Where should I put it?”
Not knowing what it was, except large, Castiel considered he only had one place to store it. “Follow me.”
The garage had been built to hold four personal crafts, but had only ever held two. Gabriel had run off with one, and Castiel kept farm equipment in the barns, so he led Martin to the empty space. Dust blew up as the anti-gravs moved the package into place and lowered it to the ground. Martin bent and quickly removed the anti-gravs, gathering them into his arms. For such a short man, he really was lanky and strong. Castiel could also appreciate the shock of red hair, and find the freckles cute, but he only walked Martin back to the dock.
“Really, I did ask, but even Carolyn, the boss of MJN Delivery, couldn’t figure out why it took so long for this thing, whatever it is, to get here.” Martin continued to rant, but Castiel tuned him out as they walked. He’d calm down, once he realized Castiel had signed to tip Martin when he signed the tablet. Martin was a good kid, but still a kid, and worried about everything.
Martin waved again, when he was finally back in the decrepit yet loved craft, and took off. Castiel decided to peek at what was in the package before calling Gabriel, hoping his brother would have ordered, for once, something useful. The case had a retina scan lock, so Castiel had to reach for a long unused skill. A bit of Grace, and he was able to convince the scanner that he was Gabriel.
The container was about eight feet tall, but only four feet wide, though it was ten feet long. Visible cables and equipment showed this was a cheap container, instead of the sleek design of most modern devices. That in itself was unusual, as Gabriel tended to appreciate the finer things in life, even the nicest packaging. He’d order things for himself and have them gift wrapped on a regular basis. Attached to the walls, built into the ceiling and floor was a large, square upright column with flickering lights. A curtain separated the front from the rest of the container, so Castiel started with the column.
Since it was in the front, alone and lit, it seemed like it was supposed to be opened first. A green button was flashing, and green still meant go, so Castiel pushed it. The machinery began to whirl and hiss, drawing power from batteries and lighting up the inside of the column. Castiel stepped back and licked his dry lips. Gabriel was many things, but never evil or purposelessly cruel; he’d hated slavery when it was legal. As such, Castiel couldn’t imagine why a man had been shipped to him.
He was asleep, the machines slowly waking him from cryostasis, so Castiel could only watch and wait for his answers. He was handsome, with freckles dusted across his skin. The roots of his hair were dark, but seemed to get lighter the longer they got. As such, the hair around his face was dark blond, almost like a halo that had slipped off his head. His beard highlighted his cheekbones, a darker brown, but he still seemed very young to Castiel.
He began to move as the cryostasis wore off, twitching as though having a nightmare, until suddenly his eyes were open and he was panicking. Castiel looked down and noticed the machine had reached the end of its cycle, but it was still sealed shut. Grateful for the deep pockets of his tan work coat, Castiel pulled out a spanner and wrenched open the seal. The man stumbled out so Castiel caught him, and held him as he took in lungful’s of air.
A cryotube had to be air tight to work, but basic safety protocols should have made the machine circulate air until the seal was broken. Castiel looked at the machine while he held the man up, assessing. It looked as if the cryotube had been made out of spare parts, rigged up without a thought to safety, and then crammed into the walls of the container. Castiel felt the man’s breathing even out, and then he tensed up for another reason. Castiel stood back, but kept a hand on the man’s arm in case he started to fall. He had so many questions, he wasn’t sure where to start. The man with the very green eyes forced a smile and started talking.
“Hello, I’m Dean Jett. You must be Gabriel, it’s so nice to put a face to the name. I know this wasn’t what you were expecting, how mad would you have been if I died in that crappy cryotube, right? Something unexpected happened, just as I was getting ready to leave, you know how eager I was to get out here, though I must say a cutie like you shouldn’t have any trouble getting laid, if you know what I mean. Anyway, I hope you have room for one more, because I had to bring my brother along.”
Dean stepped away from Castiel’s arm and moved to the back of the container, shoving the curtain aside. This revealed another cryotube, one that was clean and professional lights still working and was marked with a company’s name across the window, Morgan’s Mail Order Mates . The man in this tube was hunched over, as if he’d had to scrunch down to even get in the cryotube, his forehead resting on the transparent aluminum. He had the same long hair and beard as Dean, though it was one color throughout. Dean was starting the cryotube’s reanimation cycle, without waiting for permission, and Castiel felt superfluous.
Cryostasis kept the body alive, but metabolizing very slowly, which made it a popular way to travel the long distances of space without aging too much. Castiel was no expert, but if these men had been clean shaven when they got into the tubes, they could have been in there for more than the two years Gabriel had been gone. Gabriel must have ordered Dean and forgotten about him. Long used to cleaning up Gabriel’s messes, Castiel had no idea how to tell this handsome man that his spouse had forgotten all about him and abandoned his home.
The second brother wasn’t locked in his cryotube by faults in the system, since it was factory made, but he seemed even groggier. Castiel did not get “bad feelings” about situations, but his observations and reasoning skills allowed him to look at this situation and know something strange was going on. Behind the curtain, the storage unit still wasn’t as fancy as what Gabriel would have purchased for a potential spouse. It was possible the man, Dean, had taken the money for a first class pad, and bought a third-rate storage and transport pod instead, knowing he’d need the money when they woke up.
Dean was muttering to his brother, helping him to lean against a small crate of belongings that they’d brought with them. When Dean turned around to Castiel, his jumpsuit had come partially opened, letting Castiel get a good look at Dean’s sculpted pectorals but not wide enough to expose his nipples. The sultry look on Dean’s face was almost lost as Castiel survived the skin newly exposed to him, the hint of a tattoo on Dean’s left side.
“I know it’s not what you expected, but we’re a package deal. Few hours with me, and you’ll forget he’s even here.”
Unaccustomed to the emotions he was feeling, Castiel spent a few moments to sort them out. He was annoyed at Gabriel, but that wasn’t new or hard to understand. Dean was begging and seducing at the same time, either of which would have got Castiel’s attention. As big a turn on as the seduction was, the begging was that much of a turn off; it seemed wrong for Dean to beg somehow. His actions were about his brother, protecting him somehow. Castiel could relate to that, even if he usually wound up protecting his siblings from themselves.
“You can stay, both of you, but - ” Castiel started to say, but Dean was moving again.
“Great, this is going to be awesome, don’t you worry.” Dean said as he pulled his brother up, to throw an arm around his shoulders. “This is my brother, Sam Jett.”
“I am Castiel, my brother is Gabriel.”
Realization sparked in Dean’s eyes as he processed this information and decided what to do about it. Instead of demanding an explanation or trying to assert his claim, Dean decided to get more information before proceeding. “Really? Is he around then? I thought the lock was keyed to his retinal scan.”
“Perhaps we could go inside and talk. I think you might be hungry.”
“That’d be great, lead the way and I’ll help gigantor here.”
Sam did seem to need the help as he only managed to send Dean an irritated look for that comment before his head rolled back onto Dean’s shoulder. Castiel lead the way out of the pod, since there wasn’t enough room for three to walk. When the brothers got out, Castiel then took Sam’s other arm. Sam wasn’t the tallest man Castiel had ever seen, but he was big enough that walking him was an effort. Castiel directed the brothers into his house, through the back entrance and into the kitchen, with a minimal of talking.
Sam was squashed into a chair, where he could blearily, slowly look between them. Dean put a hand on his shoulder and looked as Castiel. Castiel was happy to look back, but knew he had duties as the host of this gathering.
“Please, order whatever you want from the replicator; it is not coded for any restrictions. I will go call Gabriel and inform him of the situation.” Castiel nodded at them and left the kitchen.
There were vid-screens throughout the farm, but Castiel wanted privacy for this conversation, and more information on Sam and Dean. Using his wrist mounted controller, Castiel had the smaller vid in the kitchen start recording the brothers so he could listen to their conversation later. In his office, he sat and called Gabriel. He didn’t expect an answer, so naturally his brother picked up after only a few seconds.
“Cassie! Ready to leave the farm and join me in a life of adventure?” Gabriel spoke like normal, but most of his attention was on what he was doing. He looked to be in a cockpit, but the camera angle was limited.
“A package arrived for you today.”
“That’s unexpected. Nowadays, I’m trimmed down and traveling light, keeping important things on me.”
“I would say the container had been lost in the shipping system for some time, possibly before you left here. Were you expecting anything that you forgot to tell me about?”
“Cassie, from your tone of voice, I know I should feel like an irresponsible cad. So out with it, what did I do now to earn your disapproval?”
“The package was from Morgan’s Mail Order Mates .”
Gabriel started to laugh, and Castiel pushed down his irritation while he waited.
“Dean-o! I did forget about him. How tall is he?”
“You contracted to marry him, forgot about it, and are now concerned with his height?”
“Looks change, but don’t really matter when you’re looking at where your cock is sinking into them. And after a good riding, I like to be the little spoon.”
Castiel’s sigh must have been loud enough to be transmitted to Gabriel, for he laughed again.
“Take him out of a test run, virgin boy, I don’t mind.”
“Gabriel, Dean is a human being, not a plaything.” Castiel rubbed at his temple with his left hand. There were times when it was stressful, being the voice of reason for his entire family.
“You say that because you’ve only ever got it on with what’s-her-name.”
“I believe you are referring to Meg, though I have had sex with another woman.”
“Really? Do tell!”
“It is unimportant. The question is, what are we going to do with Dean?”
“Your bed, your problem. Besides, I think I’m being chased by space cops. Buy bonds!” A cheery smirk and Gabriel ended the call.
Not amused and hating that he was grateful Gabriel had even bothered to answer, Castiel sat and stared at the screen a while longer. He hadn’t really wanted to tell Gabriel about April anyway; knowing what he’d say when he found out that April and Meg were both on the opposing team. It didn’t seem that Gabriel felt any need to face Dean, so his fate was up to Castiel. A heavy sigh, and Castiel went to face the Jett brothers.
“I’m begging you, Sammy, trust me on this.” Dean’s voice was soft, but Castiel could hear the plea in it increasing as he came closer to the kitchen.
“Gentleman,” Castiel greeted them as he entered.
Sam was slurping up something from a canister and looking very annoyed. Dean was hovering around him, looking stern and worried, though he tried to convert his posture and expression into seductive when he saw Castiel. This situation was strange, and though Castiel wanted to know what was going on, something in him didn’t want to kick Dean out.
“My brother did answer my call. He might not be back for a considerable time.”
Dean scowled, but forced the expression away. Sam just blinked up at Castiel.
“He was not content being a farmer, so he left.” Castiel recognized that he was stalling; now not even wanting to hurt Dean’s feelings. “I think the two of you should rest and recover from your journey, and we can talk about this later.”
“That’s very nice of you.” Dean answered, seductive little smile back on his lips. “Cryostasis can really take it out of a guy.”
“So I have been informed.” Castiel said. “If you would follow me, I will show you to the spare rooms.”
“You up for a walk, Sammy?” Dean asked, more to get his brother’s attention then out of expectation of an answer. He dragged Sam up to his feet and put Sam’s long arm around his shoulders. A quick shake confirmed the canister was mostly empty of whatever nourishment it had held, so Dean left it on the table.
“There is a small service lift we can take up, so that you don’t have to use the stairs.”
“Awesome.” Dean said, and started Sam walking toward Castiel. The walk and lift ride were short, so Castiel only felt the need to talk when it came to discussing the sleeping arrangements.
“The stairs are at the far end of the hall from the lift. All the rooms currently to your right are free. There should be a robe and all necessary toiletries in each bathroom, but please let me know if you need anything. If you get hungry, the kitchen is available to you.”
“This is great, thanks. I’ll take the one closest to the stairs, and Sam will take the one next to that. I don’t know about Sam, but I feel like I could sleep a week, and eat a horse when I wake up.”
“We do not have any horse protein.” Castiel heard himself say, a moment before realizing that was an expression.
Dean chuckled, and it sounded more natural than anything he’d said so far. He quickly sobered, and tried for flirtatious. “Don’t worry, I’m a good cook and can make do without whatever kind of proteins you give me.”
Castiel had no idea how to respond to that, not even sure what Dean was trying to convey with the look that came with those words. Fortunately, they were at the room Dean had selected for Sam, and he was leading his brother inside. Castiel stood in the doorway, watching to make sure Dean got Sam to the bed without incident. As Dean started to pull off Sam’s shoes, Castiel felt like an intruder. Silently, he slipped out, and returned to his office. Almost afraid of what he would find out, Castiel still felt compelled to watch the recording he’d made of the brothers in his kitchen. He called it up, and turned on the soundproofing in his office.
Dean was at the replicator, tapping in instructions, until it produced a canister and straw. Dean took this to Sam, who took it, but didn’t drink. He focused enough on Dean to form a question.
“The hell, man?”
“I’m sorry; I know you’re confused, but I had to get you out of there.”
Sam simply looked at him in puzzled condemnation.
“Drink, it’ll help.” Dean ordered, and Sam obeyed. “They wouldn’t let us see you, your comms didn’t sound like you; so I got you out. What were they doing to you?”
“Let’s talk about that when you feel better.”
“Tell me now, or I’ll tell Castiel our real last name.”
Sam sipped at his drink and tried to glare at Dean, even though he looked like he was about to fall asleep.
Sam choked on his drink.
“He went to see you. They said he was mugged before he ever got there, but I’ve never heard of a mugger tearing up a body so bad it had to be identified by DNA.”
Sam stared for a long moment. “You’re right, this drink is helping me a little.”
Dean seemed to crumple as Sam went back to drinking. “I’ll explain everything when we’ve got more time. I know you don’t want anything to do with me, but I’m begging you, Sammy, trust me on this.”
“Gentleman.” Castiel’s reappearance must have come as a relief to all of them, and now he switched off the playback. He recorded a hardcopy, putting it in the floor safe. He deleted the original from the mainframe and left the house. He needed to repair the computer that controlled all the monitors on the farm. Dean and Sam were recovering, and could wait; the problem of the computer was something he could fix now.
Castiel worked with the computer until well after dark, slipped into the kitchen for a meal to carry to his room, and otherwise let his guests do as they would.