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Title: Harbor Lights 2c/? (When Legends Meet)
Author:  chartruscan
Characters/Pairings: Dean/Castiel, Sam,
Warnings: Abuse of reality, WIP
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: ~2000
Summary: The Winchester brothers are a team to be feared by the criminals of their waterfront city. Or, the one where Castiel is an asexual doctor who attracts insane stalkers amorous suitors and Dean pretends to be his boyfriend to scare them all away.  Also, they fight crime.

***




Sam was there when Castiel finally emerged, hours later, bloody scrubs discarded in favor of clean ones, and all evidence of Dean’s fragile life washed away.  There was a tall black man with him, dressed in a suit with his jacket removed.  Castiel noted the shoulder holster.

“Sam,” he greeted, realizing in a distant way that he’d never had a chance to call him with his focus on keeping Dean from bleeding out.  He flicked his gaze over to to the cop and introduce himself, then guessed, “Partner?”

“Victor Hendrickson,” the man confirmed with a nod.

“Detective Hendrickson told me what happened,” Sam said, trying his level best to keep himself together by keeping it professional.  “How is he?  A nurse told me he was shot in the back . . .”

Castiel gestured for them to walk over to a more secluded area of the waiting room, Sam a rigid line of tension and Victor’s hand curled around the back of his arm in support.  He didn’t bother explaining what they had done in surgery, how they’d had to pump four pints of blood out of Dean’s abdomen, how he’d found the bullet lodged in the eighth false rib, after it had passed through the right kidney.  He didn’t describe how Dean looked like a corpse lying there on his stomach, skin leached of all color.  He didn’t say that he had deliberately chosen to not heal the internal damage because he didn’t want Dean to be back on the dangerous streets sooner than he had to be.  Because he wanted Dean to taste his mortality and be more careful.

“Your brother is stable--”

Sam breathed a sigh of relief.

“--and he’s coming out of surgery now.  Once we get him settled into the intensive care unit--”

Victor squeezed and Castiel realized that Sam was tensing back up and beginning to crack.  

There was a reason that the hospital staff didn’t let Castiel talk to the family members of their patients.  But this was Sam, this was his friend, and he needed to be able to do better.

“Sam,” he began again.  “Dean is going to be fine.  But it’s going to take awhile for him to get there.  Once he’s settled one of the nu-- I’ll take you up to see him.”

He looked to Victor, and received a nod, perhaps one of approval, and then another look that seemed to ask him to wait.  Victor steered Sam, eyes still unfocused in shock, over to one of the chairs and sat him in it.  

Castiel walked around the corner, stopped and turned as soon as he heard steps behind him.

“Look, Doctor Novak,” Victor began.  “I didn’t want to ask in front of Sam, kid’s shook up enough as it is . . .”  He looked nervous.

“Yes, Detective?”

“Did Dean tell you how he was shot?”

Castiel frowned, “No, he was too far g-- he was unable to speak when we discovered that he was, in fact, shot.”

“Look,” Victor began.  “The thing is, Winchester and I are part of the Organized Crime Division, and this city is dirty.  The assholes that we’re trying to take down, they wouldn’t hesitate to discredit us.  The thing is, Doc, there was no one behind us.  No one behind Dean but . . .me.

His eyes widening, Castiel said, “I see.  You fear that you would be blamed for Dean’s injuries.”

Victor blew out a breath.  “Yeah, that’s a big part of it.  I’m also afraid that maybe there was another shooter in that alley, and that Winchester has a hit on him.  So, I’m praying that you have the bullet, and that it was an unlucky ricochet.”

Castiel suddenly felt uncomfortable in the darkened hallway, his mind conjuring scenarios about how the bullet lodged against Dean’s ribs would match the gun of Dean’s trusted partner, and that the man wished to dispose of the evidence.  He’d met his share of dirty cops.

Victor must have sensed this, because he stepped back, hands up.  “I’m not like that, Doctor Novak.  I’m not asking you to trust me.  Don’t give me the bullet, that’s not what I’m asking.  Just, use your judgment in who gets their hands on it.  Please.

Castiel nodded, stomach churning, saw uniformed police officers talking to one of the other doctors, and hurried back to the OR without another word to the detective, hoping that the post-surgery clean-up hadn’t begun, or the process of getting the bullet into evidence.

***


In the end Castiel had to ask Anna to take Sam and Victor up.  He texted an apology to Sam, feeling nervous in the back of the police cruiser.

***


“What, you think because you march your fancy self down here in person that I’m going to bump you to the front of the line?”  Rufus gestured expansively at the piles of ballistic debris and files strewn across his lab.

Castiel shook his head.  “I just needed to see this into your hands with my own eyes.”  With a police escort, of course; but no one’s hands touched the bag beyond his and Officer Turner’s.  If Detective Hendrickson was innocent, breaking the chain of evidence would leave him open to impugnment.  And that would leave Dean without a trustworthy partner --if he was trustworthy to begin with.

Castiel had gotten to the OR just as a young officer had been about to bag the bullet.  Castiel could be insistent and, well, downright scary, when he needed to be, and had gotten the kid to agree that Castiel would hand deliver the bullet to Rufus Turner.  Rufus took no bullshit from anyone, couldn’t be bought or bullied, and reigned with a tight fist over his department.  They had met at a trial a few years back that they’d both been expert witness for, and Rufus had refused to back down on his testimony in the case of a dirty cop connected to bribes by way of the Lucci family.  Castiel trusted him unswervingly, even if he was a bear to deal with.

Rufus pursed his lips, huffed, then said, “I’ll see what I can do.”  He pointed an arthritic finger sternly, saying more quietly so the young officer wouldn’t hear, “On my own time, which you’ll owe me for.”

Castiel was suddenly neck-deep in the life of a man he barely knew.  It’s for Sam.  For my friend Sam’s sake.  I’m Dean’s doctor, I have a responsibility to keep him safe.

“Thank you, Rufus.”

The older man paused, looking Castiel dead in the eyes, which he found more than a little intimidating.  “Castiel, we’re friends, yeah?  Friendly, at least?”

He nodded.

“The people that you just circumvented coming here?  Dangerous business.”  Rufus cocked an eyebrow.  “Why are you doing this?”  

Castiel thought about voicing the justifications he’d made to himself only moments ago.  Instead, what he said was,

“I don’t know.”

***


The police escort abandoned him in the lobby, and Castiel wished that he’d at least had time to grab his trench coat back at the hospital.  He stood out in his scrubs amongst the uniformed officers around him, earning stares that seemed more uncomfortable than when he was at the hospital.  At least there he blended into the other scrubs and doctors coats.

It was almost nine by the time he stepped outside, sun disappeared behind the government buildings, sky still holding onto traces of a sunset, dusk settling in faster in the city canyons.  It was a half-mile walk back to the hospital, and Castiel needed time to think, get his nerves under control before he went to check on Dean.  And Sam.

He skirted the corrugated concrete of the Mental Health building and set off down Cambridge Street, wishing he had pockets to stuff his hands in.  Instead he watched the bricks of the sidewalk flow under his feet, walking past dark yards with old wrought-iron fencing, past cheerfully glowing modern coffee shops, old brick buildings converted into law offices and twenty-four seven pharmacies, past the fire department, standing quiet with it’s bays empty, wails of sirens audible in the distance.  Traffic was light, the sidewalks mostly empty.   His neck prickled.

Someone was following him.

He paused at a shopfront, ostensibly to inspect the books on display.  Someone opened the shop door and he caught a reflection of the street and sidewalk behind him.  Old man in a derby cap with a small dog on a leash, a couple arm in arm, a shifty, scrawny kid with a green mohawk smoking a cigarette, and a sharp-dressed businessman.  

Up ahead a sidewalk cafe was busy with laughing patrons, umbrellas strung with white twinkle lights.  He left the bookstore and walked unhurriedly down the sidewalk, weaving his way more quickly through waiters and slightly tipsy tourists.  Castiel turned into the alley at the end of the block, hoping he was being paranoid after Rufus’ warning.


When the businessman reached the end of the block, the doctor had disappeared.

***



Sam sat in the dark, listening to the beeps and the whoosh of the ventilator, hands curled limply in his lap.  Castiel had never returned to take him up to the ICU.  Nurse Milton had shown up from the waiting room, explaining that Castiel was tied up with the police officers handling the case.  He’d nodded numbly and followed her like an automaton to the elevator.  He received an apologetic text from Castiel a few minutes later.

So he sat in the dark, because he couldn’t bear to see Dean like that, needles and tubes running out of him, skin pale.

A few of Dean’s partners from the Organized Crime Division had stopped by, one at a time because Sam refused to leave the room.  He hadn’t known any of them.  Victor had disappeared after he’d spoken with Castiel, who was also conspicuous by his continued absence.  

Sam realized that, outside of work and Castiel, he and Dean didn’t have any friends.  All that they did for their city and the safety of it’s citizens, no one would really miss them if they disappeared.  Sometimes Sam wanted to pack up the three of them and head to Mexico, open up a bar, and forget about saving the world.  Maybe they could take a vacation while Dean recovered.  He shook his head, he was in the middle of building a case that could take down the Lucci organization.  No time.  When it was over . . . which could be months or years from now . . . when it was over, Sam was honest enough to admit that there would be another important, vital case right after.

The door opened and a petite nurse with dark hair and doe eyes stepped in, jolting in surprise when she saw Sam sitting in the dark.  

She recovered quickly and smiled sweetly, “Sorry, you spooked me.  I just came to check his vitals and his pain meds.”  She palmed something into her pocket and began fussing with the chart and the IV.  She stopped by Sam’s chair on her way out and put a hand on his shoulder, “You should really try getting some rest at home.  He’ll be here when you come back in the morning.”

Sam nodded, and watched her close the door behind her.  Even in his shocked stupor of fear, he knew that the LPN’s weren’t allowed to administer medicine, and that had most surely been a hypodermic needle she’d hidden in her pocket.

Standing, he walked slowly over to the door and silently opened it.  Peering out into the hallway, he saw her leaning over the nurses station, chatting with a woman behind the counter.   She turned her head but didn’t look at him, almost like she knew she was being watched, or like she was waiting for him to leave without showing any interest.

He closed the door just as quietly and called the station, asking to be put through to Chief Singer.

***



TBC
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