A/N: So, Supernatural has eaten my brain, totally and completely. I can't even focus on any other fandom because of all the inspiration, plot-bunnies, and muses this one gives me. I've always wanted to write an epic Dean/Cas fic, but I also want to try my hand at writing a Dean-raises-Adam kid!fic. Doing that will mean doing my part to fix the depressing lack of Adam in fandom - honestly, the kid's cute and a smart-ass, so why doesn't he catch on? So, this is my solution. Tell me what you think, okay?

Title: Saving Dean Winchester
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural, and the only profit I make from this is having lots of fun. This is Kripke's world - we're all just living in it. Still, don't replicate my ridiculous writing without permission. Underlined things aren't mine.
Warnings: T for slash, coarse language, mentions of illness, non-graphic het, etc. As more is added, I'll specify more. No like, no read, okay?
Other Notes: ~4522 words so far. Dean/Cas is the main pairing, but there are unimportant mentions of Dean/others, as well as many side-pairings. Also, there are some explanatory notes at the bottom. Human AU.
Summary: Castiel Novak is the doctor assigned to Adam, a recently diagnosed diabetic. However, it's the eleven year old's older brother, Dean, who captures his attention, and it's Dean who is saved in the end.

Patient Log One: Way to Go, Deano

"Do you have to go?" came the soft whine from the backseat.

Dean knew Adam's face was set in his standard kicked-puppy sulk, his lips pouted and his blue eyes wide, without even having to glance at the rear-view mirror. He also knew, as did his little brother, that he'd be a goner as soon as he met those eyes. He was soft for Sam's, too, but where Sam had always been innocently naive to the fact, Adam made ample use of his unfair advantage.

Dean sighed, long-suffering and exaggerated, before meeting the Gorgon's gaze, so to speak. "For the millionth time, yes. Geez, kid, and I thought Sam was bitchy."

The eleven year old pulled an annoyed face, scrunching up his pointy nose in a way Dean did not think was adorable. Macho men don't think kids are cute, okay? And Dean Winchester was definitely a macho man.

"B-but, you said we'd have lots of fun even without Sammy. You said we could play Street Fighter," the not-cute kid complained, crossing his bony arms over his chest, covering up the highlighter-yellow Batman symbol on the front of his hoodie. His lip lowered another inch, practically touching his chin. "You lied to me, Dean, for a girl."

Dean couldn't help but laugh at Adam's bratty, disgusted tone – the kid was still in his 'girls are gross' phase. Keeping his eyes carefully locked on the road, he reached back an arm to scuffle his brother's already unruly blond hair, but the boy leaned away with a huff. It pissed off the mechanic, for whatever reason. And, no, it wasn't because of some stupid psychobabble like how Sam used to do the same.

"Look, will you just drop this? God, kid, you're getting on my last nerve. And you wonder why I wanna get away?" That immediately shut his brother up, his jaw audibly clicking even as his mouth quivered, but it also made Dean feel like a total ass. "Adam..." he began, just as The Roadhouse came into view, straggling customers milling about it like drunken ants.

He stepped heavily on the Impala's brakes to avoid ramming into a swaying man, and ignored the drunk's slurred curses in favor of watching Adam, who slammed open his baby's door so hard that Dean winced. Without so much as a goodbye, the eleven year old took off in a run towards the bar, his book-bag slapping frantically against his back and legs, and shouldered past a waiting Ellen.

"What's the matter with him?" the woman asked, when the weary mechanic finally parked his car and caught up to her, shooting him an accusing frown.

He flicked his eyes away – it was always too easy for her to read him – and muttered, "Aw, ya know, the usual. Kid's always moody, ain't he?"

It helped that it was true, but Ellen was obviously still suspicious. He knew he was off the hook, however, when she broke her stare-down to kiss his cheek.

"Now, don't you have too much fun," she warned seriously, wagging a finger. "And you'd best make it up to your brother tomorrow, ya hear?"

"Thanks, El," he replied with a charming grin, turning back towards the Impala. Only after he was fully out of her sight, did he let the smile drop. Way to go, Deano.

"We're at the Kripke General Hospital," he heard Ellen say. On the other end, she let out a shudder, maybe a sob, and it made the phone-line crackle.

At first, when he got Ellen's call, he thought Adam must be having him on, somehow. The brat was certainly smart enough to pull it off.

But, no, Ellen was as observant as a hawk, and twice as sharp. She'd never let Adam get away with it, no matter how much of a tender spot she had for him. Besides, she sounded way too frantic to be joking, and Ellen was the most together person he knew.

It's bad, he thought, it's gotta be bad.

"I'll be right there," he said aloud. His voice sounded oddly detached, even to his own ears.

"Dean!" his girl of the night snarled, a drooping blanket just barely covering up her exposed, impressive assets. "You can't just leave me high and dry like this!"

He snapped his phone shut, and turned a cool stare her way. It was a silent 'fuck off' and she took it as much, edging back towards the head-board of her bed in fright, as if she thought her lover might hit her. She had no need to worry, however, because he didn't even spare her another glance, as he focused on pulling on his pants, lacing up his boots, and getting to his kid brother.

Adam, Adam, Adam, occurred in tandem with his rushed heartbeat, during the whole drive to the hospital.

Adam was all that mattered.

Adam had been sick for a couple of days now.

Dean hadn't really thought much of it. One of the guys that worked at Bobby's auto-body and salvage yard with him, Ash, had contracted the flu from sleeping on a bench, the dumb-ass, and Dean had caught it from him.

He'd tried not to pass it on to his little brother, of course, but he and Adam had way too much close contact for that to be possible – kid even crawled into the same bed as him, if he had a nightmare or something. Besides, the flu was the flu, and Adam had all his shots, so he didn't really see fit to panic when the brat became more tetchy, tired, or even when his appetite increased ten-fold. He just gave him some Children's Tylenol and let that work its magic.

So why was his eleven year old brother in the hospital?

The thought made his foot unconsciously press down into the gas pedal, speeding up his car in an effort to get there faster. When he noticed, however, mostly due to the terrified hollering of other drivers, he slowed down at once. The voice of reason in his head insisted that he'd be no good to Adam dead, wrapped around a tree, and the cause of his beautiful baby's untimely demise.

For some reason, said voice of reason sounded a lot like Sam, his other brother, who was currently rendezvousing at Stanford University. The thought of Sam drew a groan from Dean. He hadn't talked to him in forever, so how was he going to explain this to him?

"Uh, hey, Sammy. You know Adam, our baby brother? Yeah, well, he ain't doing so good, and it's probably my fault." He had a feeling that wouldn't go over so well. If their roles had been reversed, he would've kicked Sam's ass to Hell and back, and deservedly.

As the billboard for Kripke General came into sight, a red plus over the huge letters and a twisted snake thingy – Caduceus, Sam would have helpfully supplied – under it, Dean expelled a pent up breath. He'd deal with that when the time came.

Hopefully, it never did.

After parking the Impala in a nice, secluded spot, Dean hurried through the automatic doors of Kripke General.

There was a short woman in front of him, nagging to a small child who kept itching himself obscenely, but Dean rudely bumped her out of the way in order to reach the help-desk. A cheerful looking girl with a short bob of black hair and big brown eyes sat behind it. 'Ava' was written in flowery pink ink on her name-tag.

"C-can I help you?" she squeaked, obviously flustered by the way he diligently ignored the angry squawking of the mother behind him.

The agitated mechanic tapped his fingers against the cool marble of her desk. "Adam Winchester – where is he?" When she merely gaped, he barked, "I'm his brother!"

"Oh, um, okay." Her fingers moved rapidly over her computer's keyboard, before she answered, "Room four hundred and nineteen. Hope you find it okay, sir."

He offered her a curt, slightly apologetic nod, mostly to make up for his earlier harshness, and took the visitor's pass she shakily handed to him. With it gripped tightly in one fist, he took off over to the room she'd indicated, side-stepping what unfortunate hospital staff or patients got in his way.

One elevator ride and two halls later, he finally reached his brother's room. Well, a hall and a half, but he figured he was pretty close, anyway, since he could already hear Jo yelling, "And why can't we go in to see him, you bitch?"

The mother-daughter duo's blond hair was like a beacon, and they turned in sync when he called their names, meeting him halfway. Both of them – mostly Jo – clung to him comfortingly. The nurse they'd been talking to wilted in obvious relief, glad to get away from the frenzied women – it was hard to blame her, since the Harvelles could be rather harpy-like when they wanted to be.

"What happened?" Dean asked, directing his question to Ellen, since she had been his brother's official babysitter for the night.

Jo's mom bit her lip, before explaining, "Everything was the same as usual. I fed him before the happy-hour crowd arrived, left him the clicker, and told him to do or use whatever he wants. He's a good kid; I know I can trust him alone, so I headed down to the bar." She faltered a little, and Jo put her spare arm around her. "When I came back up, there was broken glass on the floor, and I found 'im sprawled on the couch. Thought he was sleeping, but he wouldn't wake up..."

"So she called an ambulance, you, then me," Jo cut in. "You know my apartment ain't far, so I sped right over. We rode here with him in the ambulance, but then they wheeled him away and wouldn't tell us nothing."

She turned an heated glare in the general direction of the nurse's station. The nervous nurses looked away, although a big bald man returned the favor, initiating a staring contest that Dean might have found humorous, if the situation was different.

"Well, I'm here now," he said resolutely, and nothing's gonna keep me out, went left unspoken. He gently pried the younger woman off his arm, bursting away from the pair. Freed, he made a beeline for the closed door, determined to get past it and to his brother, restrictions be damned, but it opened from the inside before he could even make to knock.

A man stood in the doorway, his shock of black hair contrasting starkly with his rumpled, yet pristine white lab-coat, a dark suit under it. He was a few inches shorter than Dean, perhaps, but he locked their eyes together with absolute confidence. Dean noticed, almost uncomfortably, that they were a startling, deep blue – the kind of eyes that cheesy writers would say could see into your soul. They kept contact until Jo, fidgeting excitedly behind Dean, cleared her throat with impatience.

The mysterious man blinked, the moment shattered, then looked down at his clipboard, reading from it. "You must be Dean Winchester," he murmured, without bothering to look up. His voice, like gravel mixed with velvet, somehow didn't fit his nerdy figure, which reminded Dean of the tax-accountant Sam had once advised Bobby to visit.

"H-how'd you know?" Dean asked, when he finally stole back his tongue. He flinched at his apparent stutter, and thought he heard Jo giggle behind him, an 'ow' cutting her off – Ellen had probably pinched her, which was her favorite method of disciplining her crude daughter.

The man blinked again, lifting his head. "You resemble the patient quite a bit," he said, reminding Dean of his current predicament. His brother was 'the patient', and it had nearly slipped his mind. It made him feel guilty. "I am your brother's assigned doctor, Castiel Novak." He stepped back into Adam's room, gesturing deftly for Dean to follow, and requested, "If I could have a private word?"

"Uh, okay," Dean assented. He wearily trailed the shorter man into the room, closing the door behind them, and knew Jo would probably throw a tantrum. He couldn't bring himself to care, though, because there, in the bed, was Adam.

Dean felt like he couldn't breath, couldn't see, couldn't hear – nothing.

Adam was small for his age, sure – then again, Sam had been at that age, too, and he'd sprouted up like a beanstalk in the following years – but he looked absolutely tiny, so fragile, in the hospital cot. His skin was even paler than the white of the walls around him, freckles that were usually invisible standing out plainly against his defined cheekbones, and the effect was made even more jarring by the light green pajamas he'd been dressed in – green was the color of sickness, wasn't it? The worst thing, probably, were all the probes and tubes hooked up to him, an oxygen mask taking up over half of his face.

And Dean's legs might have given out at the sight, had it not been for Doctor What's-his-face's hand on his shoulder – the man was a lot stronger than he looked.

"Are you feeling okay, Mr. Winchester?" the doctor inquired worriedly, his cracked lips set into a severe line. When Dean didn't immediately answer, he said, "It must seem a little shocking, I know. Seeing their children compromised has that affect on all parents."

"I-I'm his brother," Dean muttered weakly, which earned him a 'no, duh, stupid' look.

"I am aware," the doctor replied primly, "but you are his guardian, correct? Seeing any loved one like this is painful."

Under all that eternal calmness, there was something almost sad about the man, but Dean was bad at reading people at the best of times. He let the doctor guide him over to a wooden chair, which sat at Adam's bedside, and plopped down into it heavily, observing the faint rise and fall of his brother's chest.

"Tell me straight, doc, what's wrong with him?" It came out as a hopeless whisper. The hand on his shoulder tightened, something of a pleasant surprise.

"He will be okay, Mr. Winchester, I promise you," the blue-eyed man murmured kindly. Dean snorted at the doctor's screwed up definition of 'okay', but he plowed on without pause. "If anything, his fainting was very fortunate. Had he not been brought in now, there might have been more tragic consequences."

Dean sucked in a breath. "Tragic...? Like, the Romeo and Juliet double-suicide kinda tragic?"

The doctor furrowed his eyebrows, retracting his hand, and focused on his clipboard once more. This sudden lack of touch made Dean squirm in his uncomfortable seat. "I doubt your brother is in danger of suicide, Mr. Winchester. Ketoacidosis, however, is a more likely scenario, although Adam is thankfully in the clear."

Not for the first time, Dean wished Sam was around, since geek-boy was way better with this sort of stuff than he was. Still, he'd suck it up and take it like a man for Adam.

"I'm still not sure I get you, doc. What you're saying is, I won't have to plan any kiddy funerals in the near future, right?" He played with the edges of his brother's bedsheets, which felt scratchy and synthetic, to try and stave off his fear. They were not at all like the Superman sheets that actually decorated the eleven year old's mattress at home.

When he finally gathered his courage enough to brave the other man's reply, the doctor seemed displeased. Then again, Dean had yet to see a single expression on his face that hadn't been a frown, so it was no surprise when the grimace stretched farther. The matching patches of red on his cheeks, however, were slightly out of place.

"I apologize. I'm afraid I haven't had much experience in the way of bedside manner, but I will try," the doctor said. With a final glance at his notes, he began, "Your brother shows classic signs of type one diabetes: moodiness, extreme thirst and hunger, lethargy, and other traits. Normally, we have extensive testing to come to such a diagnosis, which requires an eight hour fasting period on the patient's part, but your brother's sweet breath seems to indicate our conclusions are correct."

Dean could easily describe what he felt next. It was the same state of vertigo, of the world being pulled out from under his feet, that he'd felt when his dad brought Adam home for the first time, or when got the call about his father's accident, and when Sam finally told him about his unshakable intentions for college.

So many thoughts ran around, fought, and meshed together inside his head, but all he could get out was, "...Sweet breath? I-I thought that was just a, you know, little kid thing, from eating candy an' all that." It was a poor joke, and it didn't lighten the mood, as he'd hoped. He sighed. "I thought it was the flu. Fuck, how stupid was I?"

"It's not your fault, Mr. Winchester," his companion soothed, his expression one of sympathy, and Dean absolutely hated it. He didn't want pity, and he certainly didn't want lies. "This sickness is... Its symptoms are very similar to the flu, and even many seasoned doctors often mix them up. Testing is required to come to any solid diagnosis, so please don't wallow in self-depreciation. Be happy that your brother is going to be fine. Be strong for him, because he will certainly need your support in the months to come." His blue eyes brightened a shade, as the corner of his lips turned up, awkward and earnest. "Can you do that?"

Dean averted his eyes, suddenly discomfited, and reached out to hold Adam's small hand, taking the moment to be glad that his normally chatty, sarcastic brother wasn't awake to make fun of him for it. "I... Yeah, I can do that. Thanks, doc."

The doctor nodded, brushing invisible lint off his coat, and made for the exit. "My name," he reprimanded quietly, without turning back, "is Castiel Novak; not 'doc'."

Dean gaped at him, then cracked a grin, his first since he'd got the news about Adam. Suddenly remembering the Harvelles, he asked, "Uh, hey, will you see if the ladies that were with me are still hangin' around? If they are, could you tell them to, I dunno, come back tomorrow? I-I just wanna be with Adam, just for a little while." Just to make sure the kid wouldn't disappear on him, was all.

The doctor – Castiel, Dean tried to remember, tried to imprint into his mind – nodded. "Of course, Mr. Winchester. Take all the time you need."

With that, he left the room, leaving Dean with his sick brother. Still holding one of the boy's frail hands with his own, he touched his other one against Adam's forehead, feeling for a fever, and then carded his fingers through the boy's sweaty blond locks.

"Adam," he sighed, and despaired at the lack of a reaction. He began to hum Ramble On to make up for the silence.

Dean didn't even realize he'd fallen asleep until he was being poked awake.

"Eh, whuh–?" he mumbled, his tongue heavy and sticky in his mouth, pressed against its roof. He smacked his lips together loudly to try and remedy the issue. The menacing finger prodded against his back again, and he looked up.

Ava, the shy receptionist, blinked owlishly down at him. "M-Mr. Winchester, visiting hours ended half-an-hour ago. You have to l-leave, sir."

Dean didn't mean to scare her, but it was inevitable with his fierce scowl. "No way, lady! I ain't going nowhere while my brother rots in here!"

"B-but, we can't make any exceptions, sir! We really, really can't!" the girl cried, shifting uneasily from foot to foot.

Dean scraped his chair back gratingly, the sound drawing a wince from her, and victoriously declared, "Yeah, you can. That dude, Doctor Cas, said I could 'take as long as I want', and I want more time, all right?"

Ava bit her lip. "I'm sorry, sir, but if you won't leave, I'll have to have a nurse escort you out."

Dean snorted. "That's cute, really, but I doubt you could make me, sweetheart."

She blushed, ducking her head, but he could have sworn that he saw her lips twist evilly for a second. "Oh, I'm not the nurse, Mr. Winchester. Are you absolutely sure you want me to call Uriel?" She sounded like she wanted him to say yes, just to gauge the consequences.

Well, fuck the consequences, Little Mermaid be damned! "Psh, bring it on, sister," he mocked confidentially, and regretted it as soon as her smile edged wider, definitely there.

The muscular arm that wrapped around his waist definitely didn't belong to any hot, redheaded chick with a fishtail. Dean vaguely recognized its owner as the huge man who Jo had initiated in a glaring contest, his bald head glinting under the artificial lights of the room. His scrubs, ironically splattered with glittery stars and colorful starfish, stretched threateningly across his hulking body, bulging as he hefted his squirming bundle out.

"Bye, Mr. Winchester," the perky receptionist chirped, waving happily, as Dean loudly cursed her and everything else in his sights.

It was only when they reached the hospital's foyer that the male nurse set him down. "You'd better scat, mud-monkey," he commanded, crossing his arms over his chest, covering up what twinkling stars were there.

Dean's brain briefly blanked out. "M-mud-monkey?" he asked incredulously, as Uriel once again began getting into his personal space, cracking his knuckles all the while. Dean threw up his arms in surrender. "Come on, dude," he pleaded, "can't you let me back in? My baby brother's sick and–"

"–He really couldn't care less," a soft voice countered. Out from behind Uriel's hefty frame came a delicate woman. She, unlike the bald man, did have long red hair like a Disney mermaid. Stranger than that, even, were her big blue eyes. Honestly, did every doctor in this damned place have to have bedroom eyes?

At least I could have handled her, Dean thought moodily, upset at being one-upped. "Who are you?" he asked, still pouting.

The woman merely smiled, but Dean's favorite nurse said, "Ah, Doctor Milton!"

"You're a doctor, too?" Dean asked. When she nodded, he added, "So, can you tell this big lug over here that I can stay? The other doctor said I could." It came out as a simpering whine.

"Castiel did?" Doctor Milton asked, her pretty face lit up with surprise. After a moment, she frowned. "That's certainly interesting, but I'm afraid you really should go, Mr...?"

"Winchester," Dean sighed. "The name's Dean Winchester. You really can't gimme a break?" He gave her the crooked grin that usually earned him an extra helping of pie at the diners he frequented.

"I'm truly sorry," she replied, her expression one of deep remorse. Dean shrugged, glowering immaturely at the marble tiles that decorated the floor. It was only his shock that made him face her again, when she said, "Uriel, thank you for your hard work. However, I will escort Mr. Winchester out, if that's fine?"

The male nurse wore a scowl of extreme disapproval, but only deferred with a, "Yes, Doctor Milton," and stalked away angrily. Dean pitied the fool who met him in a dark alley, fruity ensemble or not.

The doctor smiled after him serenely, and took Dean's hand before he could even muster a protest, suddenly reminding him of how he used to hold his brothers' similarly.

"I'm Anna, by the way," she introduced offhandedly, as she led him out the hospital's double-doors. There was a light drizzle outside, but it was more ethereal than cumbersome, and they stood together under the shelter Kripke General's large sign provided.

A few minutes of uncomfortable silence passed, before Dean muttered, "I guess I'll just go, er, Anna."

Her hand tightened on his, unrelenting. "You could do that," she began, "or you could come home with me..."

"What?" Dean asked, gaping at her, his eyes nearly popping out of their sockets. Sure, he was no stranger to sudden propositions – heck, he even found them kind of exhilarating – but now, when Adam was sick and unconscious? He couldn't allow himself to think with his dick at the moment.

"Think about it," Anna continued thoughtfully, apparently unperturbed by his flurried thoughts. "The last thing your brother needs is for you to panic. This might help you take your mind off of things." The other doctor had said the same thing, he remembered. He said that Dean needed to stay calm, to be strong for Adam. However, "Besides, I'm a doctor, so I can get you in tomorrow as early as possible. What do you say?" was the clincher.

Dean furrowed his brows, swallowing to wet his parched throat. "Okay," he relented eventually. "But, I've gotta know, why?"

Anna only smiled. "You're interesting, Dean, and I like interesting. That's all."

Anna was pretty, and she was completely spit-fire in the sack, confirming the redheaded lovers stereotype. She definitely applied as Dean's type – or, one of his types, anyway – and he stared into her face the whole time he was with her, her sapphire eyes devouring him, making him feel hot and cold all at once.

She smiled when they finished, curling up into his side, and fell asleep. As he stared down at her disheveled red hair, he still felt like it had been wrong, somehow. But, it had given him the time he'd needed to think – his brothers always poked fun at how he got his best ideas post-coitus.

Carefully rolling away from his lover, so as not to wake her up, he sat up in her queen-sized bed, observing her dark bedroom. His pants were on the ground, and he picked them up with a nimble foot, draping them across his bare legs. Blindly, he searched their pockets in the dark, letting out an 'Aha!' of triumph when he found what he needed: his phone.

The main wallpaper was an old picture that he transferred every time he got a new phone-plan: Sam holding a wiggling baby Adam, himself watching them both indulgently, and their father smiling in the background. Even back then, even as a kid, he knew that John's smiles weren't symbols of happiness.

He ignored the burst of pain such thoughts always brought with them, and proceeded to flip the phone open, revealing his contacts. 'Sammy' was the second one there, the first being his father's disconnected number, and his finger shook as he pressed 'send'.

"Hello?" Sam picked up by the third ring, despite how late it was. He didn't sound unhappy or mad, didn't sound upset, which inspired mixed feelings in his older brother. Sammy was happy, and he was happy without Dean. "Hey, uh, Dean... Is that you? Are you there? Dean?" the oblivious collegiate asked.

"Sammy," Dean began, "I've gotta tell you something. It's about Adam..."

Outside, the storm began to pick up.


A/N: You can get earlier updates for this fic on my livejournal (link on my profile), which is where it'll be archived in full - along with some extra notes. For some reason, I've had this diabetic!Adam muse since Jump the Shark, so I get to kill three plot-bunnies - Dean/Cas, kid!fic, and Adam whumpage - with one stone. Not only will this fic deal with the developing romantic relationship between Dean and his favorite doctor/angel - and I don't mean Anna, folks - but it also deals with his family, and with Castiel's, too. If you're interested in that, please do stick around.

R&R: I'm no good with outlines - I'm kind of a spur of the moment sort of gal - so I only have this chapter done, and a vague idea for the next few. I'll need your help - feedback, reviews, advice, whatever scraps you want to throw me - in order to finish. I do have a general idea of where I want this to go, but keep in mind that I'm a procrastinating collegiate. So, help me out by leaving me reviews, okay? And if you'd be cool with me randomly hitting you up for ideas, I'd love you even more. Review!