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There Might Have Been a Time

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At exactly midnight on January 24th, the day of his 21st birthday, Dean Winchester was lying in the shitty old motel bed, wide awake. He was shirtless even though the heater wasn’t working and it was freezing, his eyes fixed on his left shoulder. For the first time since Sam had split and his dad had taken off not long after, he was grateful that he was alone. Sam would’ve teased him mercilessly for being so nervous after years of Dean pretending that he wasn’t at all curious about the name on his shoulder.

But it was hard not to be. The blurry purple outline that presumably spelled a name was in a language that Dean had never been able to identify. It wasn’t like Sam, who had the name ‘Jessica’ written in a pretty script across his right hip. And he’d done a lot of research to try and identify it. Even Bobby, who knew pretty much everything as far as Dean was concerned, wasn’t sure what the weird, blocky letters said. Dean might have joked that his soul mate was clearly an alien, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t apprehensive about what would happen when the countdown appeared.

As the minutes ticked by and nothing happened, he slowly relaxed back against the bed with a huff of frustration. It was exactly twenty one years that you had to wait, and the only other person who could have told Dean what time he had been born was long dead. His dad sure as hell wasn't around to answer. He knew that Sam had been born at just after 5am; he remembered the exasperated babysitter who had been left with Dean coming in to wake him up and tell him that he now had a baby brother.

Apparently he hadn’t been born at midnight. Dean sighed and rolled over. It was the beginning of a sleepless night, and he wasn’t in a very good mood when he finally got up at dawn and checked out. He headed for the Impala, figuring that it couldn’t hurt to try and put in a few miles before anything happened. If anything happened. He’d never been able to shake the nagging fear that maybe the word on his arm was a mistake, or maybe it wasn’t a name at all: maybe it was like a placeholder, where a name was supposed to go, and he’d be alone forever.

He ground his teeth together and stepped harder on the accelerator, pushing the car to go faster, whipping past towns that he might otherwise have stopped in, whether for food or to see if there was a hunt. He wasn’t hungry, which was something else that Sam would’ve teased him about, because Dean was always hungry. But over the past week or so his stomach had been hurting, a dull ache right behind his belly button, and he felt kind of nauseous. Fear? Anticipation? Worry that his whole life was about to change?

Yeah, that was a laugh. His whole life was already different. Sam and John were gone and he was hunting alone. Changing into an alpha or whatever wasn’t going to make much difference.

Dean drove until the cramps got bad enough that he was wincing more than he was keeping his eyes on the road. The only motel he could find was a dump even by Winchester standards, a shitty old thing with stained sheets and a door that didn’t lock properly. He muttered under his breath as he threw his bag in the corner and started shaking out a line of salt along the windowsill. Just to put the crown on top of the worst birthday ever, he discovered that he was running low on salt.

“Son of a bitch. I knew I should've picked some up earlier,” he grumbled, dumping the rest along the bottom of the door. He straightened up to toss the empty box in the garbage and instantly doubled over as a crippling pain shot through his belly. He gasped for air, trying to breathe through it, but the pain didn’t go away. It settled deep in his guts, radiating through the rest of his body in sickening waves, and he had barely enough time to think that he should have called Bobby sooner before he blacked out.

When Dean woke up, the darkness of the room told him that he’d been out for a while. His whole body ached, and he felt… weird. His stomach didn’t hurt anymore, exactly, but it didn’t feel right either. When he slowly pushed himself into a seated position, it was like something shifted inside of him and wetness gushed into his boxers. Dean froze, suddenly recognizing the low buzz that was crawling under his skin as arousal. There was only one thing that would cause that.

He scrambled up, yanking his jeans and boxers down, and swore loudly and violently when he saw the slick on his boxers and the lack of a knot on his fully erect dick. An omega. He was a fucking omega on top of everything else. It had occurred to him once or twice, considering all of the stomachaches he’d been having over the past week, but, like it was something dirty or shameful, he’d firmly pushed the thought aside. John Winchester’s kid could not be an omega. Fate wasn’t that cruel.

Except, apparently, it was.

Numbly he yanked his top off and looked at his shoulder, at the blurry word, and saw that it was now written in crisp black. It hadn’t magically changed into a language he could understand, but it was clearer than before, the curves and dips traceable if he were so inclined. Black meant alpha, which made sense if Dean was an omega. Dean was dizzy at the thought, at the bone deep knowledge that somewhere out there, an alpha was waiting for him. He’d always known he had a match, but it had never really sunk in until now.

And underneath the name was the countdown to when he’d meet his alpha. Number of hours, minutes, seconds. Everyone’s followed the same format, and sometimes it was a dizzying amount that required calculators and mathematical formulas to figure out. Dean’s wasn’t like that.

1:02:05

Just over one hour. That couldn’t be right. He furrowed his eyebrows, trying to make sense of it all, because that had to be wrong. He might not know much about omegas – how could he, when he’d spent his whole life thinking he’d be an alpha? – but he did know that going out when you were in heat was a really stupid idea. As it was, the whole motel could probably smell him by now. The walls were paper thin and he was pretty sure that there were at least two cracks in the glass of the window, if not more.

“Okay, think,” he told himself, pressing a shaking hand to his sweaty forehead. It was hot, so hot, and his clothing was rubbing uncomfortably against his skin. His ass ached, but not in a way that hurt, more like… like being loose, and open, and wet. Ready. Ready for an alpha, for his alpha, and this was the shittiest trick nature had ever played, putting an omega in heat when their countdown could be anywhere from five hours to five hundred thousand.

He lost some time, standing there like a dumbass, lost in the sensations of heat. Of the slow, lazy hum of arousal in his blood, lighting him up from the inside out, but also how he could tell it wouldn’t be like that for long. It would grow and deepen into a hunger like starvation, carving out his insides until he was sobbing with the want of it all, and he wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. His breath caught, panic squeezing at his lungs. It was, without a doubt, the most terrifying thing he’d ever been through.

Or at least it was until he heard the sounds at the door, which knocked him out of his daze. Scrabbling, almost, like an animal wanted it, and Dean was mindlessly – hungrily – staring at the door when it was knocked from its hinges. Three alphas stood in the doorway, dark eyes zeroing in on him, and he only then thought to look at his arm and see that there was still five minutes left on his counter. These men didn’t want his soul, they just wanted his body, and the glint of red in their eyes told him they didn’t care whether he wanted that too.

“Get out of here,” Dean warned, and he wasn’t so far gone that he couldn’t reach for his gun. Their scent was making his knees a little weak, and christ he was still mostly naked with no shirt and his jeans and boxers around his ankles, but at the same time it was just a little bit off. Like biting into a cheeseburger without bacon. Awesome, but lacking the little bit of extra that would’ve made it just right.

“Aw, come on, omega,” one of the guys said. “You’re in heat. Couldn’t in good conscience leave a little thing like you to suffer alone.” He grinned, teeth flashing.

Dean shot him. Unhesitating, because he remembered seeing way too many newspaper articles that started out this same way: unsuspecting omegas and even some betas, getting their marks while they were out in public, and what happened after always made his blood run cold. He’d be damned if that happened to him. He looked on with satisfaction as the alpha’s body hit the ground, neat bullet hole right between his eyes, foolish leer still painted on.

The other two alphas didn’t give a damn about their comrade. Like the gun was the signal they were waiting for, both of them leapt at Dean. He took down the one on the right with a bullet before the guy had taken more than a step, then put his fist into the face of the one on the left just as Dean was tackled. They crashed to the ground and he yelped as his head hit hard, pain sparking through his vision, and it felt so much worse than a blow to the head usually did, like he was dying –

And then the alpha was smirking down at him, eyes red and wide, fingers gripping Dean’s hips so hard it hurt. He pulled Dean’s thighs apart, pausing to inhale deeper, and Dean cursed at him as he struggled. He’d lost his gun when they hit the ground, and his head hurt so much he could barely see, but he fought like a wild thing, punching and kicking as best he could with such a heavy weight pinning him down and his jeans confining his movements -

Because despite that, even though this felt so wrong, his body wanted to give up, ease into it, his cock hardening and more slick trickling down his thighs. The heat was surging through him, opening up that vat of hunger just like he’d known it would, and he ached for something inside. A dirty thought filtered through his desperation – would it be so bad? His soul mate would never know – and for just a second he stopped fighting, he just laid back and let it happen –

The alpha unzipped his jeans, leaning down, and -

A brilliant white light and a high-pitched screaming filled the room. Dean clapped his hands over his ears as glass shattered and saw the alpha’s mouth move as his screams joined the overwhelming sounds. His eyes and mouth exploded with more white light and then the body just collapsed on top of him. A renewed burst of panic laced through Dean, because it felt so wrong when the pressure against his hard dick felt good, and he was whimpering as he tried to squirm out from underneath.

“Do not be afraid, Dean.”

The voice was rough and gravelly, and, as the body of the alpha was effortlessly lifted off of Dean, he caught sight of his arm. The countdown timer was set at zero.

“Dean.”

Blue eyes were what Dean would remember later, blue eyes that were so kind and affectionate, and a hand that brushed his cheek to wipe the tears away. Fingers pressing against his forehead, and the way he shivered as the unbearable heat in his core began to slowly ease. It was like being dunked in a vat of ice water, though he’d never heard of that working to stop a heat - particularly the first heat - before. For the second time in a day, he blacked out.

When he woke up, he was in the front seat of the Impala three hundred miles away from the motel, fully dressed and not in heat. His skin still felt sensitive, but there was no itch for more, and for a moment he wondered dazedly if it had all just been some bizarre dream. He tore at his shirt, wrenching the collar down, to see what his shoulder looked like. When he saw it, his mouth went painfully dry. He remembered the countdown being at zero. He wasn’t wrong, not about that, and yet…

40,000:59:59

Chapter Text

This was a bad idea. Dean was well aware of that, but even as he pulled into the parking lot and cut the Impala’s engine and let the heavy silence fill his ears, he couldn’t bring himself to care. He looked up at the building, immediately noticing that it was heads above what he was used to. The outside was clean and well maintained – there were even flowers planted around the front door for god’s sake – and the inside was probably just as nice. He didn’t belong here. It would be better for everyone involved if he turned and left.

But he’d never been able to deny Sam anything, whether it was radio silence for over four years or an out-of-the-blue request for Dean to travel halfway across the country. He still had no clue how Sam had gotten his phone number. He’d given up on ever hearing from his little brother again after the second year, when their father got in over his head fighting some vampires and never came back up. Sam hadn’t even come to the funeral, and, much as it ached, Dean had written off the remainder of his family.

Now there was this, though. A phone call in the middle of the night and Sam’s hoarse voice, asking him to come for a freaking visit, like that was something they did. Dean shook his head and sighed, slowly pushing the door open and easing himself into a standing position after way too many hours spent behind a wheel. A young couple walking over to their car looked at him, and he knew he wasn’t imagining the distrust in their expressions, practically shouting the fact that he didn’t belong here and was an intruder.

He forced a fake smile just so that they wouldn’t call the cops – the last thing Sam needed was to bail him out of jail – and turned to slam the car door shut. He stopped at the sight of his shoulder, and more specifically the countdown. Sam didn’t know he was an omega. Bobby was the only one privy to that information; John had died before Dean had the chance to see him face to face and decide whether or not to admit it. Over two years later, Dean still wasn’t sure if that was a blessing in disguise or not.

The countdown said just over 1,900 hours left to go. Which, Dean had calculated it out roughly, was a little under two months. It made him feel weird to think that his soul mate, his alpha, was that close. Especially when he considered the last time… but no. When he’d finally confessed to Bobby that he was an omega (and hadn’t it been a shock when Bobby slapped him upside the head for hiding it so long and then hugged him), Bobby had told him that he’d probably hallucinated the whole thing. It wasn’t uncommon, apparently, for the first heat to be bad enough to throw your mind out of whack. Which did make sense, considering that Dean had woken up in a different, way more secure hotel some hundred miles away.

Except. He couldn’t forget the sight of those burning blue eyes. Every time he tried, they invaded his dreams. He’d jacked off countless times thinking about them and that gravelly voice, and the way his name had sounded, and how for a split second Dean Winchester had actually felt safe. If it was a hallucination like Bobby said, it was a damn strong one and there was a possibility his alpha was going to be a real disappointment. It was something he tried not to think about too much.

And then there was the other side of it all, the part that he hadn’t dared mention to Bobby, the part that made him glad that John was gone because his father would’ve thrown a fit if he’d known, the part he tried even harder not to think about. Sam asking countless questions wouldn’t help. He snagged his leather jacket and threw it on before he closed the door and strode across the parking lot.

There was no doorman, and thank god for that or he might’ve turned tail and run, but a nice girl was coming out just as he walked up, and she smiled and stepped aside to let him in. Dean smiled back, appreciating it more than she knew: now he didn’t have to go through the stress of buzzing Sam’s number and hoping that he hadn’t dreamed the phone call. He’d spent the past couple thousand miles wondering if he had and not daring to call Sam back in case it turned out to be true.

It took most of his courage to make it up the two flights of stairs and actually knock on the door, and when it was opened by a beautiful blonde woman Dean became 100% positive that he really had dreamt it. It was too late to run away, though, because she was leaning against the door and taking him in with an appreciative look. He swallowed hard, his mind going blank, when she smiled at him. She had a gorgeous smile. This should’ve been the point when he said something flirtatious or charming, but instead he just stood there like a dumbass.

“Hi. Are you Dean?” she asked finally, sticking a hand out. He took it automatically, and she added, “I’m Jess, Sam’s fiancée. It’s nice to finally meet you.”

“Hi,” Dean said, shaking her hand. Fiancée. His little brother was getting married. He swallowed hard.

“Sam!” Jess yelled over her shoulder, taking a step back. She tightened her grip on Dean’s hand, hauling him in without asking. He stumbled over the threshold just as Sam came around the corner, and all thoughts of making a strategic retreat fled as soon as Dean saw him.

Sam looked good. Tall and healthy and happy in a University of Stanford sweatshirt and with hair long enough to almost brush his shoulders. John would’ve hated that; the first words out of his mouth would’ve been an order for Sam to cut his hair. Dean just stared, taken off guard by the sight of his baby brother flourishing. The last time he’d seen Sam, the kid had been just as tall but stick thin, scowling and self-righteous as he stormed out the door in jeans and a jacket that had holes in them.

“Dean,” Sam said, sounding surprisingly excited. He smiled and then, like he wasn’t sure he should’ve, bit his lip self-consciously. “You came.”

“You asked me to.”

“Yeah, but I wasn’t sure you would.”

Dean frowned, insulted. “You’re my brother. Of course I came.”

“That’s not what I…” Sam took a deep breath and shook his head, shooting a look at Jess that Dean couldn’t read. “Never mind. I’m just really glad you’re here. Thanks for coming, man.” And he stepped forward, sweeping Dean into a huge hug.

This wasn’t what Dean had been expecting, not at all. He froze at first, too surprised to react. He could remember the last time he’d hugged Sam, after a spectacular fight between Sam and their dad – though not the blowout fight that had finally driven Sam out the door. That had come a day or two later. He’d been trying to comfort Sam, and at the time Sam had scowled at him and shrugged his arm off, muttering something about being too old for hugs. It had stung a lot, though Dean hadn’t let on as much.

Tentatively he lifted his arms and hugged Sam back, doing his best to not exert too much pressure. It was still hard to know how much was too much, especially when it seemed like his strength was growing every day. But Sam didn’t seem to notice anything. He pulled back after a couple of minutes with one last squeeze, his eyes suspiciously red-rimmed, and Dean gave him a light punch in the arm.

“Come on, Sammy. No need to cry about it like a big girl.”

“Trust me, your brother is all man,” Jess said, stepping closer and tucking her hand into the curve of Sam’s arm. “I’m glad you were able to come, Dean. It… means a lot.”

Dean frowned a little, confused as to why she looked like she was going to cry, but nodded. Sam hugged her, pressing a kiss to the side of her head. “I’ll help Dean bring his things up. Why don’t you go get dressed and we’ll go out for lunch?”

“Sounds good.”

As soon as Jess was gone, Sam turned back to him. “Jess’s parents aren’t coming to the wedding. It’s in just over a month, and she keeps hoping they’ll change their minds, but I don’t think it’s gonna happen,” he said quietly. “They don’t approve of her getting married before she gets her soul mate mark.”

That wasn’t exactly a shock. It was only recently that some people had started getting married right out of high school instead of waiting for their birthday and countdown to appear – sometimes even the names didn’t match. A lot of those marriages ended in divorce, especially for omegas and alphas, but more and more people were choosing to disregard their soul mate entirely. The idea definitely had some appeal, but it wasn’t something Dean would’ve been comfortable with. Apparently Jess’s parents agreed.

“You didn’t tell me you were getting married either,” he pointed out.

“Oh come on, Dean. My arm says Jessica, and there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s her. And even if somehow it wasn’t, I would still want to marry her,” Sam said. It sounded like something he’d said several times now, and as though he was defending his actions, he pulled up the sleeve of his shirt. He showed the dark familiar purple scrawl to Dean. In a matter of months, it would turn white, black or grey – most likely grey or white, since Sam would definitely be an alpha or a beta.

“I believe you,” Dean said, lifting his gaze back to Sam’s stubborn bitchface. He tried to smile. “If it’s what you want, Sammy, I don’t care. I just would’ve appreciated some warning. I don’t even have a gift for you.”

The frown on Sam’s face relaxed into a smile. “You being here is more than enough. At least between you and Bobby, my side of the church won’t be completely empty.”

It was an excellent opportunity to bring up John. Dean let it slide for the time being. He wasn’t upset that Sam had found his soul mate so easily. Not exactly. It was just – Jess was beautiful and bubbly and human and exactly the kind of woman that John would’ve approved of. Dean could see it now: she and Sam would probably turn out to be betas, and they’d settle down into the perfect life together with some kids, and if John had lived to see it that probably would’ve been the thing to reconcile him and Sam.

Then there was Dean. He was an omega, which was bad enough, but he was 99% sure that his alpha wasn’t human. They’d all heard stories about what happened to humans who had supernatural mates: the human always changed to accommodate their mate, never the other way around, like humans were nothing more than blank slates waiting to be melded with supernatural elements. It was widely considered amongst hunters to be one of the worst fates there was.

He stayed quiet as he and Sam went outside to grab Dean’s bag. Sam exclaimed over the Impala, giving her the greeting she deserved, but Dean could barely enjoy it. He was more certain now than ever that coming here had been a big mistake. Sam wasn’t really a hunter anymore, but he’d grown up in the lifestyle. What would he say if Dean woke up some morning with fangs, or changed into a howling wolf during the next full moon? Or maybe he wouldn’t say anything; maybe he’d go straight for a gun.

But when Sam turned to him and grinned as he patted the Impala’s roof, Dean couldn’t bring himself to leave. He wanted to be here for Sam’s wedding, mostly because a week ago he’d been sure that he would never see Sam again, much less be invited to something so important. Sam would never forgive him if he left now. As they walked back upstairs he told himself he could slip out afterwards, when Sam was so preoccupied with wedded bliss he wouldn’t know the difference.

Jess ruined that plan without even knowing it. She met them at the door, purse in hand, and the first words out of her mouth were, “So Dean, has Sam told you that he wants to start hunting with you again?”

Chapter Text

It didn’t really feel like Dean’s brain came back online until they were sitting at the restaurant. Once they’d ordered – and he had no idea what he’d ordered, could only hope it was edible and not the girly crap Sam still seemed to be fond of - Sam got up to go use the bathroom. As soon as he was out of earshot, Jess immediately turned to look at him and said, “I’m sorry if I caught you off guard, Dean. I didn’t mean to.”

“It’s fine,” Dean croaked, relieved when the waitress came back and set his beer down in front of him. He picked it up and took a very long drink. The familiar taste helped to clear his head a bit. “I just – Sam said he was done with hunting. For good.”

“I know. He told me,” said Jess, sipping from her own bright blue drink.

“About… everything?”

She nodded. “He didn’t want to. But there’s only so many times that my boyfriend can wake up screaming from nightmares before a girl starts to wonder. Some of the things I heard him yelling about… Sam either had a very active imagination, or I was missing something. Turns out it’s not that hard to find out information about the supernatural if you ask the right questions. I confronted Sam with what little I’d found out and…” She shrugged, took a cherry from the rim of her glass and popped it into her mouth.

“Sam must’ve loved that,” Dean muttered, staring at her with new respect. Not many people responded well when they were first exposed to what really went bump in the night. He’d only tried it once with an old girlfriend, and she’d broken up with him that night. Apparently Sam had better taste in women than Dean did.

“He freaked out, actually. It wasn’t a very good time for either one of us,” Jess admitted. “We actually took a little break. But we worked it out and Sam ended up asking me to marry him.” She cast a fond glance down at her ring. Dean followed her gaze, noticing the ring for the first time. It was silver – probably pure silver – with a tiny diamond. Beautiful, but simple. Exactly Sam’s style.

“That’s all great, and I’m happy for you. Even if I think you’re way out of my brother’s league. But I’m not sure where the idea of Sam hunting again comes from.”

“He misses it, Dean. He still checks the newspapers compulsively for hunts, even though he never follows through on them. Sometimes when he talks about it, he gets this wistful look on his face. He has some weapons stored underneath our bed. Silver knives and stuff like that. And he’s forever checking books out of the library on monsters. I can tell he misses you more than anything else, but hunting is definitely part of it.”

“Me?” Dean echoed in shock. Of all the things Jess could’ve told him, this was the last thing he’d been expecting to hear. Sam was a good hunter, but, even when he was caught up in the thrill of it, he’d never really been happy. And Sam was the one who’d cut off all contact between them in the first place. Dean had just given up on trying because he couldn’t keep reopening that wound. It stung too much. He frowned a little, wondering if Jess was simply mistaken.

Sam returned then, sliding into his seat and looking back and forth between them. Jess smiled at him. “I was just telling Dean that you want to keep hunting.”

“Oh, yeah.” Sam dropped his gaze, fiddling with his knife and fork. “I don’t want to – I’m not interested in doing it full time or anything. I still have to go to school and keep up on my work. I’m not giving up my life here. But if there was the occasional hunt around here that you needed some help on…” He looked up hopefully.

Dean just gaped at him.

“Unless you’ve found another partner to hunt with,” Sam added, and it was amazing how small he could still make himself look. “Or you don’t want to. I get it.”

“No!” Dean blurted out. “You just – Jesus, Sammy, I had to listen to you bitching about hunting for like ten years straight. I’m just surprised, that’s all. I didn’t think you would ever want to hunt again. Ever.”

“I probably wouldn’t if it wasn’t for Jess. But she’s been so awesome.” Sam wrapped an arm around Jess’s shoulders and gave her a squeeze.

“Right,” Dean said, still having just a little bit of trouble wrapping his head around this. Jess knew all about hunting, and Sam actually wanted to keep hunting… Maybe he’d been pinched by a djinn, and all of this was an imaginary world. Except then his soul mate would be human, not supernatural, and he wouldn’t have to worry about Sam finding out because it was looking more and more like a quick departure in the middle of the night wasn’t going to happen. Damn it.

The smart thing to do would be to say no. Sam had a really good life here. He had a stunning, intelligent fiancée, was doing great in school, and had to have some kind of a job considering that was a real diamond on Jess’s finger. Dean knew exactly how easy it would be to fuck all of that up by hunting. But he couldn’t bring himself to do it. This was his baby brother giving him the perfect way to be a part of Sam’s life again. What if he said no and Sam got mad and cut off all contact again?

“So what do you say? Do you want to give it a try?” Sam asked.

Dean forced a weary smile. He’d never been known for doing the smart thing. “Sure, Sammy. We can try.”

He wasn’t really expecting it to work out. He tried to prepare himself for that over the next week or so as Sam handed over the details of a local hunt – just out of town, a story about a farmer who was complaining about the violent deaths of his cattle. It sounded like a ghost, which would (hopefully) make for a relatively straightforward case. As they packed up the car and headed for the farm, Dean told himself that Sam would go through with one hunt, remember everything he hated about it, and give up.

It didn’t happen that way. The ghost threw them both around a bit, but all that happened when they got back to the apartment was that Jess fussed over their injuries – she was training to become a nurse, apparently, but didn’t mind practicing on two ‘overgrown children’, as she put it – and then shoved half a dozen samples of wedding cake in front of them with a demand that they both taste and then tell her which one they preferred. Dean was quickly discovering that Jess was infinitely more terrifying than any monster, so he took the cake without even complaining that it wasn’t pie.

That wasn’t the end of it, either. Sam had school during the week, but he kept looking for hunts. They dealt with a small coven of vampires the first weekend Dean was there, and then another ghost on Wednesday night. Rather than shying away from hunting the way Dean thought he would be, Sam was throwing himself into it with gusto. It was the kind of enthusiasm that John had always wanted from both his sons, but which Sam had never displayed before. With Jess’s support, he seemed to have found a new appreciation for the hunt.

Which was all well and great, but it meant that Dean was finding it increasingly hard to cover up the fact that he was a lot stronger than he should have been. He didn’t get tired as easily, and his vision was miles ahead of Sam’s: now he could see as easily in the dark as he could when there was light. Sam had always been way too observant for his own good, and a couple times Dean had gotten a suspicious look. But Sam never brought it up, and Dean pretended not to notice.

This, though. This would be kinda hard for anyone to miss.

Black eyes flashed as the demon laughed and shoved Dean even harder against the floor. “Go ahead,” she said tauntingly. “Fight me. It makes so much more… fun.”

Dean gritted his teeth, pressing back with all of his strength. He felt a flare of satisfaction at the look of shock on her face when he was actually able to reach out and grab his knife. “Fight this,” he snarled, and never let it be said that Dean Winchester didn’t have excellent aim: the knife, which was etched with anti-possession sigils, caught her in the ribs. The power holding him down eased instantly as the demon spasmed with an agonized cry.

“Dean!” Sam yelled.

“Sammy!” Dean pushed himself up and froze. His brother was trapped against the far wall, and there were three demons standing between them. Three demons and no easy way of getting rid of them all – they’d kill Sam by the time he got halfway through an exorcism.

“Poor little Winchester,” said the demon closest to Sam. She was female, with blonde hair up in a bun, and kind of sexy. The girl Dean might’ve flirted with on any other occasion.

“Let him go,” Dean ordered.

“I don’t think so, poppet. You don’t get to make those kinds of demands.” She squeezed her fingers into a fist and Sam let out another shout, his head falling back from the pain.

“Sammy!”

“Ah, ah, ah. Come any closer and I’ll kill him on the spot. Of course, I’m going to kill him anyway…” She was grinning as she lifted her other hand and made another fist. Over the sound of Sam’s screams, she said, “How shall we do it, boys? Skin them alive? Pull out their hearts? Or maybe one of you would like a new vessel…”

That was it. The burst of fury was so potent it was like fire, bubbling up in his stomach and making his eyes burn, or maybe it was something more than that – something so hot it was cold was rushing through him. The female demon stared at him with her mouth open in a little ‘o’ of surprise as Dean lifted his right hand. He wasn’t sure why he was doing it, only that his palm was throbbing and damp, like he was bleeding, only what came out was an astoundingly bright light.

The female demon and the male demon standing right in front of Dean were both obliterated, misshapen bodies toppling over on the ground. The remaining male demon squeaked something unintelligible and took off in a burst of black smoke, disappearing through the window above them before Dean could do anything about it. Sam slid slowly down the wall, staring at his brother in astonishment. Dean turned to him and swallowed hard as the burning feeling in his eyes slowly went away.

“Did you…” Sam’s voice was high and a little shaky. “Did you know your eyes were glowing white?”

“No,” Dean said faintly. “No, I didn’t.”

“Dean, what the hell was that?”

“I don’t… Sammy…” Dean trailed off, speechless, and started forward to help his brother up. He had no idea how he was going to explain. But none of that seemed to matter when he caught sight of the countdown on his arm through a slit in his jacket, thanks to a knife that had come a little too close for comfort. The round curve of a zero stopped him in his tracks and he quickly shook his jacket off, staring at the number in shock.

It had changed. Jumped forward by nearly a month.

00:503:59

Chapter Text

Sam wasn’t speaking to him. Dean couldn’t say he was surprised. The whole ride back to the apartment, Sam refused to say a word. And when they got back, he very pointedly marched into the bedroom and slammed the door behind him. When Jess came in over two hours later, she frowned at finding Dean alone on the couch, nursing a beer and holding an icepack to his shoulder. Dean just waved her off, letting her go roust Sam out to find out what was going on.

The next week was really weird; he made it a point to be out of the apartment as much as possible, not wanting to be around to see the precise moment when Sam decided that he’d been wrong to invite Dean to the wedding. The moment when Sam decided that he didn’t actually want a supernatural omega for a brother, thanks. Dean squeezed his eyes shut as his chest clenched painfully at the thought. Circumstances had been fortunate to let him avoid this conversation with John, but it seemed he wouldn’t be so lucky with Sam.

Unless he decided to leave now and spare them all the agony. He’d thought about it several times during the past few days, but he couldn’t bring himself to actually do it. Not that it would be hard – all he’d have to do was drive away, toss his phone, and forbid Bobby from ever telling Sam how to get a hold of him. But there was a very tiny flicker of hope in the back of his head that he couldn’t squash. A hope that maybe, just maybe, Sam would somehow come around.

Dean sighed, leaning forward and resting his forehead against the steering wheel. He winced when his head gave a throb of pain at the change in position. To top the whole thing off, he’d had a hell of a headache ever since that hunt. Sometimes all he could hear was static, but it seemed to be coming from inside his head. Like somehow, temporarily, his mental train of thought had tuned into the wrong radio station. It never lasted long, but it was piercingly loud and frigging annoying and always made the headache worse.

Unfortunately, caffeine and Tylenol – both of which he’d tried in spades – didn’t seem to have much of an effect, and he didn’t have any of the stronger painkillers they normally kept the first aid kit stocked with. He was chalking the whole thing up to a lack of sleep, because he hadn’t gotten more than a handful of hours since Sam stopped talking to him. It was hard to sleep when you kept waking up from nightmares about your only family kicking you out. But that was the other reason he was a little hesitant to leave: a road trip didn’t exactly sound like a smart idea when, once or twice, the pain had gotten so bad it was blinding.

He jumped when someone knocked at the window of the Impala and jerked his head up, staring at the sight of Jess. She was standing on the sidewalk holding a cardboard take-out tray with two cups of coffee on it. Dean briefly entertained the idea of just driving away, but the look on her face told him that probably wouldn’t be a wise idea. He wasn’t completely convinced that she wouldn’t hunt him down and make him pay for it. Cautiously, he rolled down the windows, wondering if he was about to end up with a lapful of coffee.

“Sam’s an idiot,” Jess said as soon as the glass was down. “So are you. It must run in the family. Come on, we’re going for a walk.”

“I’m not –”

“I wasn’t asking.”

Right then. Dean rolled up the glass and got out, locking the car and pretending like the sun’s brightness wasn’t making his head ten times worse. His reward was a cup of hot coffee, thrust into his hands with such force that he didn’t dare try to give it back. He took a cautious sip, relieved when he tasted coffee with just a hint of sugar and not one of the girly drinks that Sam had apparently become obsessed with.

“So,” Jess said, and her voice was considerably kinder now. “Sam told me what happened.”

Dean stopped short. “Oh god, he didn’t – look, if Sam wants me to leave, that’s fine. But the least he could do is tell me to my face –”

“What? Dean, no. That’s not – no. We don’t want you to leave. Why would you think that?”

He studied her face, trying to tell if she was being honest. “I’m an omega,” he said, just managing to not spit the word out the way he wanted to. “And my mate is definitely supernatural, which means I’m not human anymore. Sam’s a hunter, it’s the way we are.”

In the span of about two seconds, Jess’s face went from a concerned frown to incredibly angry. “It’s the way you were,” she said in clipped tones. “You listen to me, Dean Winchester. Sam is mad at you for not telling him the truth when you got here. Which, to be frank, I’m not sure he has a leg to stand on considering you clearly didn’t know anything about me, but that’s neither here nor there. He doesn’t care that you’re an omega or that your mate is – whatever your mate is, and I don’t either.”

“Yeah, well. Who the fuck knows what I’m gonna turn into. I could be dangerous,” Dean said, hunching his shoulders. Jess could say what she wanted: he was pretty sure that Sam cared.

“Just because you’ve got a supernatural mate doesn’t mean you’re not still Dean,” she countered. “And I don’t believe you would ever hurt me or Sam, no matter what you turned into.”

“You’re not a hunter. You don’t understand, Jess. I’ve seen things… people can’t help themselves.” He’d never forget the first hunt of a vampire pack that his dad had taken him on. There had been three or four humans who’d been held captive, and Dean, at just eight years old, had let them go, not realizing that they were already turning. By the time he and John tracked them down, the newly born vampires had given in to their thirst and killed two innocent people. His father hadn’t outright said it was Dean’s fault, but it was.

“You haven’t hurt us so far, and you’ve only got… what? Less than a month left? No desire to rip my head off?” Jess raised her eyebrows as she took a sip of coffee, then deliberately swept her ponytail back off of her shoulders. “Don’t want to drink my blood or steal me away? I’m not a virgin, though, sorry.”

“Jess!” he sputtered through a mouthful of coffee.

She smirked. “The point is, you’re being a dumbass. You being an omega doesn’t change anything. I’ve never seen you on a hunt, sure. But I’ve seen you afterwards. You’re no coward; you’re right out there in the thick of things. So maybe that would matter would for some very stupid people, but not me. And not for Sam. Believe me, that’s not the man I’m marrying.” The way she said it clearly indicated that, if it was, the wedding wouldn’t have been happening.

“I just don’t think I should be here,” Dean muttered.

“Tough. I’m not letting you leave. I know you think I’m just saying this, but Sam missed you so much. He’s a different person now that you’re here. He’s happier, and that’s because of you. Neither of us wants you to go, and I don’t think you really want to go either.” Jess looked at him knowingly. “Or you would’ve already gone.”

Dean blushed and looked down at his coffee intently.

“Sam is waiting for you at home, by the way. He’s ready to man up and start talking to you again if I promised to talk to you first. Will you come back with me?”

He made the mistake of glancing up at her again. She had the puppy eyes out in full force, and he couldn’t bring himself to say no when she looked so sweet. Dean groaned a little and nodded, pretty sure that he was walking into a crushing conversation, but that annoying little hope in his chest was a lot stronger now. He drank the rest of his coffee and tossed the empty cup in the trash, pulling his keys from his pocket as they walked back to the Impala.

It happened while they were driving back to the apartment. There was a sudden burst of static in his head, which was bad enough. But then he heard the most god awful screeching, cutting through the static and slamming into his brain. Underneath the cacophony he thought he could make out something that was almost words, but it was impossible to really hear. He slammed on the brakes and grabbed his head, feeling like it was going to burst into a million little pieces.

Bit by bit the screeching died away until all he could hear was the static, and then even that was gone and all that was left was the worst headache yet. Everything seemed to be making too much noise. The sound of honking cars, people yelling, Jess’s worried voice, even his own breathing – it was too much. He flinched at the feel of fingers on his shoulders but allowed himself to be guided across the front seat. The car started moving again, though Dean didn’t dare lift his hands from his eyes to look. His mouth tasted of vomit, and he didn’t want to throw up a second time.

When the car stopped again a few minutes later, he didn’t move. His head was still pounding with little waves of pressure that made everything throb. He knew Jess was trying to talk to him, but he couldn’t process what she was saying. It hurt too much. The thought of trying to walk across the parking lot and up the stairs to their apartment was literally beyond him. All he wanted to do was sit there and not move until the pain decided to go away.

Unfortunately Jess didn’t seem to agree with that plan. Dean wasn’t sure how much time passed before his door was wrenched open, and someone picked him up bridal style, with a hand under his knees and an arm around his back. Sam, he realized vaguely, recognizing the rumble of his brother’s voice. He didn’t like being touched; it was too much sensation against his skin. But when he tried to squirm away, Sam gripped him tighter and it took too much effort to keep fighting. He collapsed weakly into Sam’s arms.

It took way too long to be set down on a soft surface. The second Sam let go, Dean rolled away and risked opening his eyes. He was relieved to find the room mostly dark, which helped a little. Not enough. He grabbed the hem of his shirt and ripped it off, then shucked his sneakers, socks and jeans. Moving made his head just pound, but having the fabric against his skin was more than he could take. Too much, when he was too sensitive everywhere, but when he tried to pull off his boxers Sam stopped him.

“Dean, don’t. You need to keep those on, okay?” Sam said, and what he was saying actually made sense this time, but only sort of. It was like his voice was coming from a long ways off, and it was far too loud: Dean whimpered, shying away from him.

Sam went to speak again, but Jess stopped him. She came back into the room with a finger to her lips and a warning expression on her face. Then she turned to Dean and held out a glass of water and two white pills. Dean didn’t even stop to ask what they were. He obediently swallowed the pills and drank as little of the water as possible (even that felt shockingly cold and abrasive) before lying down and shutting his eyes. A moment later something cold was draped across the upper half of his face, blocking out the rest of the light.

Chapter Text

There were fingers running through his hair. That was the first thing that Dean registered. The second thing was the sound of soft humming. He fought to open his eyes and found himself looking up at Jess, who was just barely visible thanks to the light of a small flashlight. She wasn't looking at him, her attention fixed on the textbook propped up on the pillows beside them, but his head was resting on her lap and she was petting his head. The pressure of her fingertips against his temple and scalp felt amazing, easing the dull throb that medication hadn't been enough to deal with.

And, possibly thanks to the combination of meds and a head massage, he felt a lot better than he had when he first passed out. His hand shook with the strain of moving, but he was able to touch her ankle to get her attention. His voice came out harsh and raspy. "Jess?"

She looked down and smiled, her whole face lighting up with relief. "Hey you. Feel any better?" she whispered, her hand stopping.

"Yeah. Not 100%, but better than I did."

"I figured that you would. You really scared us, Dean. Sam was two seconds away from dragging you back down to the Impala and driving you to the hospital."

"Why didn't you?" Dean wondered if it would be bad form to nudge his head against her hand to get her to start petting again. He couldn't remember the last time he'd had this kind of attention, and he didn't want it to stop. It helped that Jess seemed to know exactly where to touch.

Jess shrugged. Blissfully, the movement of her fingers resumed as she said, "I knew it wouldn't do you any good. I've heard of things like this before. You're transitioning. Human hospitals can't really help you, especially when we don't know what, exactly, you're becoming. All a doctor would do is give you enough medication to knock you out and then wait to see what happened. And what's the point in running tests when they don't know what your baseline is? Anemia would be deadly for a werewolf, but pretty par for the course in a vampire."

Hearing her talk about it so casually was still kind of weird. Dean closed his eyes again and sighed. "So what you're saying is I just have to live with it whether I like it or not."

"Only for like another week and a half. Then you'll meet your soul mate and the transition will be complete. Hopefully that means you won't be in pain anymore, though I guess that depends...” Her mouth tugged down into a frown. “You really have no idea what your mate might be? You can't even guess?"

"I have no clue," Dean said honestly. He'd thought about it. Of course he had. But nothing ever seemed quite right. He didn't have any craving for blood - and god knew he saw enough of it to know that for certain - so vampire was probably out. Same for werewolf, seeing as how he had no particular draw to the full moon. Succubus, water sprites, wendigo, fairy… nothing matched. He'd even talked about it once with Bobby, though only after they were spectacularly drunk, but Bobby didn't have any ideas either.

"What about..." Jess trailed off.

Dean opened his eyes again, studying her face. He was surprised and intrigued to see the hint of embarrassment. "What about what?"

Jess bit her lip, then sighed. "Angels."

"Angels? Angels aren't real, Jess."

"How do you know? Everything else is."

"They just aren't. No one's ever seen an angel. I'm sure if they were real a hunter somewhere would've seen one," Dean said. John didn't believe in angels, not after what happened to Mary, and he'd drummed that into his sons just like everything else. The three rules in John Winchester's life: family was everything, hunters before everything else, and angels weren't real. Well, that and all supernatural creatures were to be shot first and asked questions later (though if you shot right, there would be nothing to pose questions to). But Dean tried not to think about that last one too closely.

She shrugged. "Maybe they stay away from humanity. We’re not exactly open to supernatural races. I'm just saying, it kinda makes sense. You don't really eat or drink or sleep anymore... well, you do, but you don't have to... and you're stronger. Plus Sam told me about your eyes glowing and that white light that came out of your hand... and you keep hearing weird voices, right? What if it's angels trying to communicate?"

"Weird voices? I didn't say anything about that."

"You were talking in your sleep last night. You kept muttering something about heaven and demons. And that’s when you were talking in English.”

Dean was getting a headache, but it had nothing to do with the migraine. “Are you trying to tell me I was, what? Speaking a different language?”

“One I’ve never heard before. I called Sam in, and he couldn’t identify it either.”

“Sam doesn’t know every language in the world,” Dean said. “Maybe it was like… Chinese or something like that.” He decided it was time to try sitting up, even just as an excuse to get away from this weird conversation. He put his hands against the bed and sat up very slowly. The room spun around him as soon as he was vertical and he groaned, falling back onto his elbows.

“Idiot. You tried to get up too fast,” Jess scolded.

“I sat up slow!”

“You had a major migraine last night, Dean. You should spent the rest of the day in bed, or it could come back. I’m going to go get you some more medicine and a glass of water. Stay here and lay down,” she ordered, sliding off the bed. She picked up her textbook and switched off the little flashlight she’d been using to read by, plunging the room into darkness.

“Bossy,” Dean muttered under his breath after she was gone, though if he was being honest he really didn’t feel up to moving. Even after his head was back on the pillow, it took a little while before he stopped feeling dizzy. He might have drifted off for a bit; he woke up to the door being nudged open and Sam walking in. Dean wanted to look at him, but didn’t dare. Even after Sam switched on the lamp on the nightstand, he kept his gaze averted in the hopes that Sam would take the hint.

Predictably, Sam was too stubborn for that. “How are you feeling?” he asked quietly, offering the pills and a glass of water. It had a straw sticking out of it, so Dean didn’t have to lean up too far to get a drink.

“I’m fine, Sammy,” Dean said once he’d taken the pills. The cool water felt really good on his throat, not abrasive like it had last night. The silence lingered until he got too uncomfortable and added, “You don’t have to keep standing there like you’re worried about me. Not unless you plan to shoot me. Or stab me, though I’d prefer to be shot.”

“Oh for fuck’s sake,” Sam said, and then he sat down on the bed so hard that Dean almost dropped his water. “I’m not going to shoot you or stab you. Or do anything else to you, before you ask, except maybe punch you for keeping this a secret. Because I am worried about you. Did you even think about what would have happened if we’d been on a hunt together and you passed out? I’m pretty sure angry ghosts don’t stop wailing on you just because you have a headache.”

“I was fine. You didn’t need to know,” Dean said angrily. “I was gonna stick around for the wedding and then –”

“And then what, take off? Never tell me the truth?” Sam shook his head. “Well, too bad. Jess and I are moving the wedding back by two months.”

“What? You can’t do that!”

“Yes, we can. We were already having a small ceremony. We’re getting married outside, not in a church, and one of our friends got temporarily ordained so there’s no priest to worry about. Plus, there was no catering or flowers or anything like that. Jess is picking her flowers, a friend is making our cake, and we’re just going out for dinner after.” He was wearing one of his puppy dog faces. “I’m not getting married at the same time you’re supposed to meet your soul mate, Dean.”

“You…” Dean stared at him, speechless. He’d been so sure that Sam would be angry. Not necessarily at the supernatural part – thought that was definitely a concern – but about the omega part. He hadn’t really expected Sam to kill him, but hitting and maybe some yelling? Definitely. This reaction was throwing him way off base. His voice came out small. “I’m an omega, Sam.”

Sam sighed and put a hand to his head. “You really think that matters to me?”

“It mattered to Dad.”

“Wow, dude. Just… I can’t even believe you’d say that to me.” Sam dropped his hand and leaned back. Now he looked like a kicked puppy. “I don’t care whether you’re omega, alpha or beta. It doesn’t matter to me. And Dad was… he was fucked up about a lot of stuff. I’m not him.”

The hurt in Sam’s voice made Dean wince, and, unable to look at his brother any longer, he lowered his gaze to the bedspread. Logically, he knew that Sam and John were two different people. But in a lot of ways, they were very similar. He’d never forget watching the two of them scream at each other, almost to the point of coming to blows, because Sam didn’t want to do something that John wanted him to do. And he’d never really had the chance to ask Sam what he thought about omegas; his brother had left for Stanford before it became an issue.

“Dean,” Sam said, not unkindly. “Look at me.”

Reluctantly, Dean obeyed. He blinked in surprise, realizing that there was a faint shimmer around Sam’s body. A light, he realized, which was kinda bright, if shot through with strands of grey. “Sam?”

“Let’s just forget about it, okay? I remember the kinds of things Dad used to say about omegas. I get why you were scared to say something -”

“I wasn’t scared -”

“ - and I’m not happy about it, but I get it,” Sam said, ignoring the interruption. “I’m not pissed at you for being an omega, anymore than I am about you being mated to a supernatural creature. It’s something you have no control over.”

“It’s my stupid soul’s fault,” Dean muttered, though there was no heat to it. The relief at knowing that Sam wasn’t angry at him was too strong. This was something that had been hanging over him for the past four years. He let out a slow breath and shivered. The faint glow around Sam didn’t fade.

There was a light knock on the door, and then Jess poked her head in. The same glow was around her body, albeit with far less strands of grey. Though, he noticed, the shine wasn’t nearly as bright. She smiled at both of them and said, “All better? Everyone finished being stupid now? I swear, the way you two communicate it’s a wonder you ever get anything done. I thought my family was bad.”

“Your family is bad,” Sam replied.

“They’ve got nothing on you, babe. Now come on. Dean needs to rest, and you can help me make supper.”

Sam sighed loudly, but he was smiling a little as he stood up and walked over to her. As the distance between them lessened, the shine got just a tiny bit brighter. Dean stared dumbly until the door closed behind them, and he was alone. He’d definitely never that happen before. He wanted to blame it on the aftereffects of the migraine, but he had the feeling it went a lot deeper than that – especially because, for the time being, the awful static in his head had gone quiet.

He still thought Jess was ridiculous with her idea about angels. But, much as he hated to admit to it, that begged the terrifying question… what exactly was he turning into?

Chapter Text

It was at least another day before Dean was well enough to sit up without having the room spin around him. Even then he was annoyingly weak: he could walk to the living room, but by the time he made it there he needed to sit down on the couch. And not just in the ‘wow I’m tired’ kind of way, but more in the ‘I need to sit down now because my legs are giving out on me’ way. It didn’t take long to discover that he couldn’t even take a shower without needing to rest halfway through.

Jess told him it was normal to experience some weakness after such a severe migraine. Dean just found it frustrating. He sat on the edge of the tub and rested his head in his hands, waiting for the trembling in his legs to stop. The last time his legs had gone that wobbly under him, it was because a werewolf had clawed him in the belly and he was bleeding out. To this day, Dean still didn’t remember exactly how he’d gotten himself back to the Impala, into the driver’s seat and all the way to the hospital.

He wasn’t looking forward to meeting his soul mate. It didn’t always go well when it came to humans, but adding in the supernatural meant that there was even more risk than usual. The movies were all about those perfect meetings where everything just magically fell into place and true love triumphed over any obstacles, and no one liked to talk about the possibility that everything could just fall apart. That you wouldn’t like your soul mate, or agree with the way they lived…

That, aside from being an omega, was what worried him the most about the whole situation. Dean was a hunter. He didn’t know how to do anything else. But now his mate was a supernatural creature, and worse yet Dean was turning into one. What would his soul mate think about the fact that he regularly hunted the supernatural? What if his soul mate was some blood-sucking asshole or regularly feasted on humans? The last thing he wanted to do was meet his soul mate and then have to gank them less than a minute later.

All the worrying was making his head hurt, but at least the trembling in his legs had stopped. Carefully, using the shower bar for support, Dean stood up and ducked his head under the spray of hot water. Maybe he’d be lucky and everything would work out fine, though his luck had never been that good in the past. He found himself thinking about what Jess had said. Even now, after both Dean and Sam had thrown aside the idea of angels, she still maintained that it was an option.

Dean snorted and shook his head. Angels, honestly. Sam was going to have his hands full with her, that was for sure. Even if angels existed, and he didn’t think they did, there was no way he was turning into one. No matter who you asked, angels were supposed to be the pinnacle of everything that just and worthy and good in the world. And Dean was none of those things, not after the life he’d lived. After all the things he’d done, he was lucky that his soul mate wasn’t a demon of some kind. He grimaced at the thought.

He was confident that his soul mate wasn’t a demon because of those blue eyes. Pure blue, with no hint of black. He leaned against the shower wall, breathing in the steam. It would’ve been easy to make some corny comparison about how those eyes were the color of the sky or the ocean, but the truth was that Dean had never found another color on Earth to match. And he’d looked, because Bobby had told him that maybe the color was important, and if he could find a match maybe it would be a hint.

Nothing. That shade of blue did not exist on Earth.

“Son of a bitch,” he muttered, shaking his head. His soul mate was not an angel. There had to be other supernatural creatures out there that used a white light to kill horny alphas, or that could transport someone hundreds of miles in the span of a few minutes. It just couldn’t be an angel, blue eyes or not.

His stomach tightened and he finally acknowledged the familiar tingle running through him. Thinking about that night always got his dick interested. Jerking it off to busty asian beauties or regular internet porn just didn’t do it much for him anymore. Forget climbing into bed with anyone else: his dick worked just fine even though he was an omega, but it was a lot easier – and more intense – when he let his fingers wander. He’d tried to jerk off with just a hand around his dick but it was unsatisfying and usually left him restless, and there was no way he was gonna let anyone but his alpha near his ass.

Damn, he sounded like the stereotypical omega already. Dean scowled at himself even as he let his fingers trail down his stomach, rubbing a thumb through his happy trail. The hair was dark and rough and damp, surrounding his fattening cock. He teased himself for a little while, scratching his blunt nails through his hair, not touching himself just yet. His skin had gotten a little more sensitive after he presented, and sometimes he wondered if he’d be able to bring himself off without touching his dick at all. But he was always too impatient to find out.

This time was no different. His lips parted on a sigh as he touched his fingertips to his cock, and he shivered. It felt good, but he could feel the familiar ache starting in his lower back. He wouldn’t go into heat again until he found his mate, but he still produced slick when he got turned on and he was intimately familiar with the desire to be filled with something by now. Slowly, back pressed to the wall for support, he lowered himself until he was crouching on the ground with the water beating against his shoulders.

Still cupping his cock with his left hand, he slipped his right hand between his legs. For a few seconds he rubbed his fingers against his taint, his thighs tightening with the sensations, before he moved on. His rim was already a little puffy and open, though sometimes he fantasized that he would get a lot more open during his heat. His first one had been stopped so quickly, he hadn’t had time to investigate his body. Surely during a heat he’d be wet and ready for his mate?

Dean closed his eyes as he slowly pressed a finger inside, exhaling through clenched teeth. It didn’t burn; the stretch was too good. He let his imagination run free, picturing someone beside him. A male alpha, not a female, if he was being completely honest with himself. Maybe a little taller than him, with enough muscles to easily manhandle Dean, maybe fuck him up against the wall. Shit that would be good. He’d have his legs around the guy’s waist, looking down into those blue eyes, letting gravity do the bulk of the work. Yeah, he wanted that.

“Fuck,” he hissed, realizing that one finger wasn’t enough. In his fantasy, his alpha had a big cock and the knot was even bigger. He’d need to be a lot looser to take it. He slipped in a second and third finger, grunting a little because this time it did burn, but he welcomed the feeling. It was nothing compared to the size of that knot. It would stretch him wide, locking them together, stimulating the sensitive nerves around his hole as well as his prostate. The pleasure would be just this side of unbearable.

He moaned as he pushed his three fingers deeper and twisted, his hips moving in minute increments. It was a struggle to hold still, because he wanted to be fucked so badly. He had a couple of toys hidden at the bottom of his duffle bag, and one of them was actually pretty big, but it just wasn’t the same when he knew what was coming. He wanted the surprise of it, the extra little zing that came from not knowing whether the next stroke would be slow and teasing or deep and fast or some combination that would leave him reeling.

His feet nearly slid out from underneath him when his index finger rubbed over his prostate for the first time. Dean choked on a shout, biting the inside of his cheek in an effort to keep his voice down. He didn’t need Sam busting the door down because he thought something was wrong. Keeping quiet was a struggle, and his breathing picked up as he moved his fingers faster. He was panting as he tipped his head back into the spray of the water, letting it wash away the sweat that was building up.

It felt so good, especially when he started stroking his cock. Then his body didn’t know where to push backwards onto his fingers or forward into his hand. Dean lost the battle to keep silent when he crooked his fingers to rub against his prostate again. He started to whimper, still caught up in his fantasy of an alpha behind him, hands clamped down on Dean’s hips and teeth caressing the nape of his neck. He could feel those blue eyes boring into the back of his head.

“Please,” he gasped, fucking himself harder. He pushed a fourth finger inside, whining when he realized that the angle wasn’t good enough to let him get as deep as he needed. “Please, Alpha, I n-need – oh fuck, Alpha, please let me come.”

This is where he would get what he wanted the most: his alpha would fuck him with longer, deeper strokes, knot teasing against his rim, until it finally slipped inside. Dean whimpered, rubbing his thumb right under the head of his cock just the way he’d always liked it, and expanded his fingers, pressing hard against his prostate. His body grew tense and he cried out breathlessly as he came, come splashing against the side of the tub, where the water quickly washed away.

Dean sank backwards against the shower as the shivers of pleasure continued to run through him. He was breathing hard and felt a little dizzy as he released his cock, though he kept his fingers pressed inside for a moment longer. He didn’t like being empty too soon afterwards; his body was built to be knotted, and it just felt too weird. This was where having a toy came in handy, because after a couple of minutes his hand started to cramp and he had to pull it out. He made a face and grumbled, not liking the emptiness.

“Damnit, Alpha, where the hell are you?” he muttered, flexing his fingers to ease the cramp before he held his hand up to the cooling water to wash away the slick. He glanced at his arm and licked his lips at the sight of the timer. Only about one more week to wait. Some of his earlier concerns were still plaguing him, but he was thinking now about the alpha in his fantasy.

The alpha was never harsh with him, or cruel, or angry for no reason. He didn’t insult or deride Dean, or tell him he couldn’t do something without a valid reason. He could be rough or sweet during sex, depending on Dean’s mood, but he always had Dean’s pleasure in mind. Well, of course he did. He was a fantasy. The kind of fantasy that probably no one could live up to. But that didn’t mean Dean had to stop hoping.

What it really came down to – and what he would never admit out loud to anyone - was that, angel or not, he just wanted his alpha – his soul mate – to love him.

Chapter Text

The day of what would have been Sam’s and Jess’s wedding – the day Dean was supposed to meet his soul mate – he walked out of the guest bedroom and found Sam and Jess sitting at the table, talking quietly. Over the past week Dean had slowly gotten used to seeing the brightness around them (and not just them – it seemed like every human Dean came into contact with had some version of it), not to mention the shining red cord that tied them together. He couldn’t be certain, but based on what he’d seen around other people he was pretty sure Sam’s suspicion about him and Jess being soul mates was correct.

Dean sat down at what was quickly becoming his place, right across from Jess, and glanced between them. The identical looks of innocence that he was met with didn’t exactly fill him with confidence. “Something wrong?”

“I found a hunt,” said Sam, picking up his tablet and showing the screen to Dean. It was filled with a list of online articles about a neighboring town. Dead animals, weird weather patterns, crop circles… it was like a primer on how to find a demon. Dean raised an eyebrow skeptically. They usually had to work to find hunts since most supernatural creatures were trying to hide, not be right out in plain sight.

“I dunno, Sammy. Sure it’s not a coincidence?” he said, snagging a muffin. Jess had turned out to be one hell of an amazing baker, which had shot her up several points in Dean’s already considerably high opinion.

“I think it’s worth checking out,” Sam replied.

Sometimes it was easier to give in, and the kid probably had a point. Dean shrugged and took a bite of his muffin. Mmm, banana walnut. “Okay. We can go tomorrow.”

“Actually, I think we should go today.”

And there it was, the crux of the matter. He sighed inwardly. Sam was determined that Dean wasn’t going to spend the day hiding under the covers and avoiding his soul mate – Sam’s phrasing, not his. It wasn’t hiding to not want to run around outside all day, was it? His brother just didn’t know what it was like. He already had Jess, and even if someone else turned out to be his soul mate he still wanted to be with her. Dean didn’t have any of that. All he had were some useless fantasies that, in about ten hours, were probably going to be torn apart.

“Sammy –”

“He’s right, Dean. You should go today,” said Jess, leaning forward and putting her hand on Dean’s arm. Her eyes were bright and serious. “Think about it. You guys are hunters, so you should treat today like you would any other day. We know your soul mate isn’t a demon, so maybe it’s another hunter. Or an innocent person you’re going to rescue. Maybe you won’t meet him or her at all today,” she added knowingly, which was something that had only occurred to Dean three days ago, but which had been bubbling in the back of his head ever since. It did happen sometimes.

“Jess!” Sam said.

“What? I doubt that’s going to happen, but either way. You should go. I know you well enough to know by now that if you don’t go, and those demons do something to that town, you’re never going to forgive yourself. That’s not the kind of thing you want on your shoulders for the rest of your life, is it?”

She was right, damn her. If there were any other decent hunters that Dean trusted within driving distance, he’d have gladly passed the job off. But he couldn’t think of anyone off the top of his head. He scowled at her, grudgingly impressed when she just smirked back. If that conversation had been left up to Sam, they probably would have eventually gone on the hunt – but not without it devolving into a fight first, leaving both of them too pissed off to talk to each other.

“Fine,” he muttered. “We’ll go after I’m done eating.”

“Take your time,” Jess said, all smiles now, and leaned over to peck Sam on the mouth. “I’ve got to run. I have an appointment to get some hairstyles tested.”

“I’ll walk you down to the car.” Sam got up and left the room with her, leaving Dean alone. He briefly considered making a run for it, but in the end Jess was right. Just because he had serious doubts about this hunt didn’t mean he could ignore it, and if it really was demons than it was stupid to send Sam alone. Demons had a way of getting the jump on you, which was a lesson he’d learned the hard way numerous times in the past.

He finished his muffin, grabbed another one for the road, and made sure he had his wallet and his jacket before he locked up the apartment. Sam was waiting downstairs, reclining casually against the Impala like he had all the time in the world. Dean glared at him, but there was no real heat in it and he knew it. The newness of seeing Sam waiting for him hadn’t worn off yet. Sometimes he doubted that it ever would. Not after how long he’d spent convinced that he’d never see his brother again.

“Want me to drive, since you’re eating?” Sam asked.

By way of answer, Dean stuffed the the second muffin in his mouth. It was worth it just to see the disgusted bitchface that Sam gave him. He smirked as best he could and popped the trunk to double-check their supply of salt, holy water and iron. The salt and holy water had been recently restocked – there was a lot more than Dean remembered there being – and he sighed, realizing that Sam had probably done the exact same thing before Dean got up. With no other way to avoid the inevitable, he swung himself into the driver’s seat beside his waiting brother and headed for the road.

It didn’t take them long to get to the town; it was only a couple hours drive, and it was pleasant outside. The sun was warm and there was just enough of a breeze to keep it cool. Dean kept the windows down and slowed their speed as they cruised into town. Considering that it was lunchtime, and a Saturday to boot, he was expecting to see a ton of people around. Instead, the streets were nearly empty but for a handful of people that stared openly at the Impala as they drove past.

There was definitely something weird going on. Dean parked outside the local diner and sat there for a moment, looking around. “Not exactly the most welcoming place, is it?”

“Maybe they’re wary of outsiders. They don’t know we’re here to fix the problem. For all they know, we’re coming to make it worse,” said Sam, opening his door. He got out and Dean followed as he walked up to the diner’s door and pushed it open. It was busier inside at least, about three-quarters full.

No FBI suit, but Dean didn’t think it would’ve worked well in this scenario anyway. He and Sam had worked out their line of questioning on the drive over, and, while Sam went to work on the left side of the diner, Dean took the right and put it to good use now. They were looking to buy in town, he explained pleasantly to a handful of people, and wondering what the real estate was like. Most people lied, some better than others, and said it was great. But it didn’t take him long to stumble across someone who was a smidgen more honest.

All of that, plus the addition of some information Sam was able to glean, led them to a large, empty farmhouse on the opposite side of town. The farm itself was small, only three acres, but that just meant there was less places for the demons to hide. Not that there was really much question of where they would begin: the ramshackle old barn was practically screaming demon. It looked like something straight out of a horror movie. Dean eyed it as he grabbed his rifle and checked the salt rounds.

He and Sam would go in together, he decided. The barn had one main entrance, but too many side ones for both of them to cover. It was better to stick together. He conveyed his plan to Sam, who nodded, and lowered the trunk after slipping one last bottle of holy water under his arm. They set out across the parking lot together, rifles raised just in case any demons tried to get the jump on them. They’d hear the demons coming if they did; it was quiet, eerily so, with no signs of the normal animals he would’ve expected around a farm.

As they came up to the doors, Sam glanced at him and then lifted his left foot. He landed one solid, heavy kick against the barn doors and they sprang open with a resounding clash. The barn was dark, lit only by the light filtering inside through the windows. Dean took a step forward. He could see perfectly, unlike Sam, and there was nothing hiding in the shadows. Just some rusting tools and molding hay. There was dust on the floor, thick and undisturbed.

“Did we get the wrong place?” Sam asked after a moment, lowering his rifle.

“I don’t think so,” Dean said slowly, frowning. The air felt wrong. Heavy. He started to suggest that they search the old farmhouse instead, but something crackled behind him. A heavy blow in the middle of his back sent him flying against the far wall, where he slumped to the ground. Sam fell to the ground beside a second later, unconscious. Dean gasped for breath, groping uselessly for his rifle, and never saw the second blow to his head coming.

Whispers woke him up. The back of his head ached. He forced his eyes open and spotted half a dozen people standing around him and Sam in a loose circle. Sam was tied up, but Dean wasn’t. Or at least, he didn’t seem to be – not until he tried to lunge towards a nearby bottle of holy water and was brought up short by an unexpected pain across his shoulders. He craned his neck, ignoring the laughter of the demons, and realized that metal bars inscribed with symbols had been hooked to his shirt.

“Finally, you’re awake. You know, even for an omega angel you’re pathetically weak,” one of the demons said, mouth curling into a sneer.

“What?” Dean said, still dazed and confused.

“Well, all angels are pathetic. I guess this one is just taking it to a new level,” another one said. She was laughing, her eyes flashing black. “Do you think we could have some fun before his mate shows up?”

“What the fuck are you talking about?” Dean demanded.

The first one grabbed the collar of his shirt, wrenching his chin up so that their eyes met. “Thanks to you, we’re gonna catch us a pretty angel to play with,” he said maliciously. “I knew the second I saw your arm during our last fight that you’d make perfect bait. Angels are so protective over their omegas, which is stupid really. Since they’re forbidden to come to you beforehand, we knew exactly when to spring our trap. Down to the second.” He tightened his grip so that it was difficult for Dean to breathe. “Will your alpha still want you when you’ve been tainted even more than you already are?

This was the demon that had escaped last time, Dean realized. “Fuck you,” he rasped, the words faint.

“Oh honey, that’s the least of your concerns. When I’m finished with you, hell will look like a walk in the park,” said the demon. His free hand gleamed with iron, and Dean screamed as his own knife was sunk deep into the left side of his chest. He thrashed, but the metal bars at his back held him tight.

“My turn, my turn,” a third demon said, brandishing the rifle with the salt rounds. “Let’s find out what this will do to human flesh from close range.”

Dean snarled, wishing he could summon that white light from before, and then stared in wide eyed amazement. As though in answer to his wish, the barn filled with a blinding light. The demons shrieked. Outside, thunder boomed. In between one blink and the next, a figure materialized behind the demons. More light flashed and the demons kept screaming, even as, one by one, their cries were silenced. The figure – a man – was ruthless, slamming the demons to the ground and forcing that white light into them until they died.

When it was over, the man looked up. Dean froze as brilliant, familiar blue eyes stared at him, and vaguely wondered how long he’d been unconscious. Long enough for his timer to reach –

“Hello, Dean.”

00:00:00

Chapter Text

All Dean could hear was a roaring sound. Speechless, he stared at the man – angel? – in front of him. It took several tries before he got words to form, and even then all he was capable of getting out was a stuttered, “W-what? W-Who… h-how…?”

“My name is Castiel. I am angel of the lord, and I have been waiting to come to you for a very long time,” Castiel said. There was something very warm in his eyes when he looked at Dean. A tingling sensation flooded through Dean’s body and he shivered, even though it left him feeling too hot. He didn’t know what to do or say; all he could think about was that Jess was never going to let him and Sam forget that she’d been right.

Sam. Dean’s head snapped around instantly in search of his little brother. “Sammy,” he cried, realizing that Sam was still on the ground, tied up and tossed aside like a pile of trash. He struggled a little and flinched as renewed pain shot down his shoulders and through his chest. His next breath rattled, and he sank back against the metal bars and started coughing. Bloody spittle landed on his shirt, and he stared at it dumbly with the taste of iron in his mouth.

“Dean.” Familiar fingers pressed against his forehead. In the space of time between one blink and the next, the pain was gone. So were the bars that had been holding him up. Dean’s knees gave out, but he never hit the ground: Castiel’s arm slid around his waist, holding him up effortlessly. The angel turned, reaching for Sam, and laid a hand on Sam’s shoulder.

The world jumped. That was the only way Dean could describe it. The sudden sight of Sam’s apartment made him jump, but not nearly as high as Jess. She leapt to her feet with a shriek, dropping the cup of tea she’d been in the middle of drinking. Then she stepped in it, leaving a trail of wet footprints as she rushed to Sam’s side. He was untied now, and the gash on the back of his head was gone, but he was still unconscious. Jess knelt beside him as she looked up at Dean and Castiel.

“Dean?” she asked softly, doubtfully.

“You were right,” Dean said blankly, and her eyes went even wider.

“Jessica Winchester,” Castiel intoned. His voice was already deep, but now there was a ring of something behind it that made the hair on the back of Dean’s neck stand up. “Do not worry. All will be well.”

Jess started to open her mouth, but she never got the chance to speak. The world jumped again, and this time when it stopped Dean was way too lightheaded to even think of standing on his own. He leaned heavily against Castiel and just focused on not throwing up. He tensed when a hand touched the back of his head, but slowly relaxed when all Castiel did was massage his scalp. It felt nice, easing a headache that Dean hadn’t even noticed was there until it was gone.

As his stomach settled, he looked up again. “Are you my…”

“I am your mate. Your alpha,” Castiel added, as though Dean didn’t know that already. As if every nerve in Dean’s body wasn’t clamoring the truth of that. “I’m so sorry, Dean. I wanted to come to you before now, but I had to wait until your timer ran out.”

“Why?” Dean glanced away instinctively, looking at his arm. It was weird to see all those zeroes.

“You needed the time. Your soul and grace weren’t ready yet; they needed time to grow. And I would have been punished if I had tried.”

“Punished?”

Castiel nodded. “One of my brothers was punished in this way centuries ago. He tried to go to his mate before her time. His grace was stolen and he was locked away. When her timer ran out and nothing happened, his mate eventually went insane.”

“That’s…” Dean stopped himself before he said something he couldn’t take back. It probably wasn’t a good idea to insult his soul mate’s family right after they first met. “But you came last time…”

“You needed me.” Castiel’s eyes flashed with a faint white glow. “And I was nearly punished for it, but my brother, Gabriel, intervened on my behalf. After that, I was watched far more closely. I would have come to you if I could have, Dean.” He cupped Dean’s cheek, thumb rubbing across Dean’s bottom lip.

Another one of those full body tingles shot through Dean, prompting a shiver. He was still hot, and he could feel his face flushing. His belly hurt again, but this time it wasn’t from anything Castiel had done. It might have only happened once, but he remembered this feeling, this desire. He licked his lips unconsciously and started when his tongue swept across Castiel’s thumb. Castiel looked shocked at the touch, his gaze falling to Dean’s mouth, so Dean did it again.

He tasted salt and something else that he couldn’t put a name to. Angel grace, maybe. He parted his lips when Castiel raised his thumb, sliding it into his mouth, and obligingly sucked, letting his eyes slip shut. The heat in his core was building. Castiel had nice hands. Strong, with long fingers. Dean wondered what those fingers would feel like inside of him. He wanted to find out.

It was frightening to have such a strong reaction to someone he had literally just met. But at the same time it wasn’t scary at all. And not because he was in such a state of heat that he would’ve bent over for anyone, like he’d been the last time those alphas tried to rape him. He was definitely in heat, or getting there if the messy state of his underwear was any indication, but his mind was somewhat clear. Clear enough that he opened one eye and smirked at Castiel as he gave a playful nip to the thumb in his mouth.

“Dean,” Castiel warned, eyes darkening a little. “You need to be certain.”

Dean pulled back and raised an eyebrow, instantly missing the coolness of Castiel’s hand. “Like I have a choice? C’mon, dude, I’m not dumb. I know how alphas and omegas work.” He didn’t have to bond with Castiel if he didn’t want to. He could walk away. But it would mean years of unfulfilled heats unless he found another alpha, and he was pretty sure no one’s touch would feel this good. If an angel wanted him, Dean wasn’t going to say no.

“Dean,” Castiel said again, but this time he sounded sadder. “You are worth so much more than you realize. Your wings alone are testament to that.”

“My…” Dean turned his head a bit, words failing him all over again, when he saw that Castiel wasn’t lying. He had actual wings. They were green in color and smaller than Castiel’s darker wings, but they were attached to him. He tugged at a feather just to be sure and gasped, shivering hard as slick gushed into his boxers.

“New wings are very sensitive,” Castiel whispered into his ear, suddenly much closer than he’d been before. “But your wings in particular are so beautiful. Do you see the subtle variances in color? That’s a reflection of your soul, Dean, and how complex it is. Someone who is as awful as you think you are wouldn’t have wings like this.” One of his hands touched the hem of his jeans, then slipped inside. Dean’s knees buckled and he whimpered when the soaked fabric of his boxers was pushed roughly against his hole, teasing him a little.

“The overall shade of green is such a rich color. It matches your eyes perfectly,” Castiel continued. He was moving one finger in a slow circle, teasing the sensitive nerves around his hole. “I’ve spent a very long time thinking about your eyes. I tried to imagine your wings, but the reality of it is more than I expected.”

“C-Cas…” Dean was having trouble keeping upright, and Castiel hadn’t really done anything yet. Despite that, just the pressure of Castiel’s finger – still on the outside of his boxers, even! - was amazingly intense. He clenched down hard around nothing and bit his lip in frustration, wanting to fuck himself against something.

“Look at how they shine, Dean.” The rubbing stopped until Dean got the hint and obeyed, forcing his eyes open to look at his wings. They were pretty, he had to admit, even though he was still confused as to how he’d ended up with wings in the first place. Castiel chuckled, a low, dirty sound, and kept his thumb pressed against Dean’s hole while his index and middle fingers slid lower to rub at his taint. Dean made a high-pitched sound and went up onto his tiptoes, but the arm around his waist kept him from moving away too far.

“Your wings have been growing since the first time we met. You just didn’t have the capacity to see them; they are designed to be hidden until your mate comes. Few humans can see our true forms without their eyes being burnt out. Oh how they must have revered you when they saw you. I’m sorry for allowing those demons to touch them.”

“It’s… it’s okay,” Dean gasped out, squirming. He was hard now, leaking into his boxers from both ends. Sweat was rolling down his face. He understood, in a distant way, that the metal bars hadn’t been hooked onto his shirt at all, but onto his wings. That was why it hurt when he struggled against them. Yet none of that mattered right now when it felt so good to have Castiel’s hands on him.

“No it’s not, but I will do what I can to make it up to you. I don’t wonder that they wanted to touch you. Your feathers are soft and groomed even without help. You care so much, Dean. I can tell. I am fortunate to have such a beautiful mate.”

“I’m not… oh fuck.” Whatever protests Dean was about to make were wiped out of his mind when Castiel finally slipped a hand inside of his boxers. His hands flew to where Castiel’s arm was wrapped around his waist, and he grabbed on tightly, digging his nails into Castiel’s skin. It had to hurt, but he couldn’t bring himself to let go. Not when someone was finally touching him exactly where he’d spent years longing to be touch the most.

He whimpered, struggling to remember how to drag air into his lungs, when a fingertip breached him. It didn’t feel weird because his body was used to his own hands by now, but it felt strange to not be in control of it. To not know what was going to happen next. Castiel’s finger slid inside of him easily; he was so wet that his boxers were soaked. Just like in his fantasy, he was loose and ready for his alpha.

“My beautiful omega,” Castiel said, pleasure and pride reverberating through his voice, and then he folded his dark wings around them. Dean couldn’t help the moan that came out when their feathers rubbed together. His wings were easily as sensitive as his cock, and the pressure was like being lit up from the inside out.

Another finger joined the first, followed by a third, and still it wasn’t enough. Dean gritted his teeth against the urge to ask for more, because surely anymore stimulation would cause him to explode. He wouldn’t have taken his hand from Castiel’s arm to fist his cock even if he was capable of moving. Castiel laughed again in his ear, as though he’d heard Dean’s thoughts, and crooked his fingers just right. He rubbed his fingers over that spot a couple of times, keeping the pressure up even when Dean tried to squirm away, and that was it.

Dean was deaf to the cries and wordless pleas as he came. His legs gave out and he would have fallen if it weren’t for Castiel to holding him up. Castiel kept his fingers pressed deep inside the whole time, seemingly content to let Dean’s walls spasm around him, and only eased up the pressure when Dean had stopped shaking and was slumped, a shivering ball of insensate pleasure, in his arms. He still didn’t remove his fingers, though, not even when he lowered them both to the ground, and that was probably the best part of all.

“Now,” Castiel said quietly, pressing a kiss to his nose. “Before your heat starts, we should talk.”

Talking? He wanted to talk after what had easily been the best sex of Dean’s life? No way. That alone was better than every fantasy he’d ever come out with. Dean didn’t want to waste time talking. In spite of how Castiel’s fingers felt (amazing – a thousand times better than his favorite dildo ever had), he’d been desperate to get really, truly fucked since the first time he went into heat. He lunged upwards, wrapping a shaking hand around Castiel’s face and yanking him down into a filthy kiss.

“No talking,” he growled against Castiel’s lips. “Fuck me.”

Chapter Text

Not two seconds after Dean's demand, Castiel's grip tightened. The next thing he knew, he was sprawled flat on his back with an angel leaning over him. His ass was aching from the loss of Castiel's fingers; the emptiness seemed a lot more profound than it had before, and he squirmed. It didn't help that Castiel's weight was settling over him, body and wings pinning him down with ease, leaving him a little disoriented and a lot enlightened. Castiel's physical body may have been a little smaller than Dean's, but the inherent strength in the angel's grip strongly suggested that there was no way Dean would be the one in charge here.

Maybe that should have been scary, but instead it was just exciting. The fantasy he'd jerked off to a week ago came back to him in a rush, only this time the alpha holding Dean up against the wall had a face and a voice. Castiel looked down at him when he squirmed again and smiled, mouth quirking at one corner. "I could hold you up against the wall if that's what you want."

"You can read my mind?" Dean asked, a little breathless. He'd probably be pissed off about that later on. Right now he threw caution to the wind and let himself think about being in a cute pair of panties, pressed up against the wall, while Castiel knelt behind him and licked and sucked and kissed at his hole -

"Dean," Castiel hissed. He moved one of his hands, combing fingers through one of Dean's wings. Dean arched at the touch, still shocked at how raw a sensation that was. It was like someone had bypassed his cock and reached straight inside of him to squeeze every last nerve. So potent that it bordered on too much, and he didn't know if he should be trying to move away or buck into the feeling. He wanted Castiel's hands on his wings, but at the same time it was scary to feel that much from something that he hadn't known existed, much less was attached to his body, two hours ago.

The lust on Castiel's face softened just a bit, though it didn't disappear entirely. He eased up on the pressure, petting at the feathers instead of digging through them. "It's alright, Dean. This is normal. Remember, I told you that new angel wings are very sensitive. You'll feel this way until you've groomed them half a dozen times. Your oil will help to provide a barrier against the over-sensitivity."

Logically Dean knew the words made sense, but nothing computed through the fog of lust. He was clenching down around nothing every time Castiel tickled his feathers, and he hadn't waited four years to be kept waiting even longer. He reached up and grabbed the lapel of the trenchcoat Castiel was wearing, tugging at it weakly. "Off. Take it off."

Castiel complied. Just like that they were naked, and Dean was experiencing the slide of skin against skin. He moaned, bucking shamelessly against his alpha, letting their cocks drag together. It wasn't quite close enough, though, and he spread his thighs instinctively. Castiel's weight settled between his legs like he was meant to be there, hard cock nosing up behind Dean's balls. Dean breathed harshly, closing his eyes to better enjoy the feeling. He hadn't gotten a good look at Castiel's dick, but he could tell it was big. Maybe a little bigger than his favorite dildo, which meant that the knot would be large enough to hurt a little bit.

Fuck, he couldn't wait.

"Cas, come on," he whined when Castiel did nothing but rut against him a little. It felt great, because everything down there was sensitive right now, but it wasn't even close to what he needed. His skin was hot and stretched tight, and he was leaking everywhere. Slick was oozing down his thighs; he could smell it in the air, the scent of his arousal, and it was embarrassing.

"No, Dean," Castiel said, leaning down to kiss him. "You smell amazing," he whispered against Dean's mouth. "Do you know what that does to me? I am an angel. I have never been tempted before, not until I met you. When I saw you that day, and I smelled you for the first time, I knew what temptation was. I wanted to smite any alpha that so much as looked at you the wrong way, yet at the same time I can't help but pity them. Your scent is truly addictive. There is no way any human would be strong enough to walk away. Those alphas were slaves for you, beloved. But they can't have you. You're mine."

He nipped at Dean's lower lip when Dean whimpered, then placed a series of kisses across Dean's lower jaw. Dean threw his head back, exposing the line of his neck, and Castiel took the hint, his tongue slipping out to lick Dean's neck after every second or third word. "I am grateful to my father that you didn't go into heat again until we met, because otherwise I would've broken heaven's law to come to you. It took all of my will to leave you that day, and only Gabriel's intervention kept me from returning to you before now. And now, Dean, when I have you under me, you are beyond description. Look at your wings."

It seemed like such a random change of subject that it took Dean a moment to understand. He lolled his head to the side obediently, gazing at his wings, and saw that they were fully spread out on the ground. He was mistaken, he realized, in thinking that they were completely green. It turned out that some of the feathers on the inside were speckled with hazel. He hadn't noticed before, but it was impossible to miss now that his wings were spread out like this. Castiel shifted above him and ground down, his breath picking up a little in excitement when he spoke again.

"Do you see? Every inch of your wings is accessible to me right now. I could touch them, lick them, kiss them, and you would let me. This is the greatest gift I have ever been offered. I knew that my Father created a mate for each of us, and yet I never could have imagined how perfect you would be." Castiel moved slightly, lowering his head to Dean's right wing. He placed a reverent kiss on one of the feathers, and Dean gasped at the resulting tingles. "You were created for me. You, and your beautiful wings, and your delicious scent, and your lovely soul..."

Dean was sopping wet by now. The heat burning through his core had pretty much ratcheted up by a hundred degrees. Sweat was starting to roll down his face, and not having anything inside of him was becoming physically painful. His stomach was cramping. He tried to sit up so that he could slip a couple fingers inside of himself, but Castiel stopped him. He whimpered, tears welling up in his eyes, well past the point where he could use words to communicate. His tongue was too thick and swollen, and, with an intensity that was all consuming, he just - he needed.

"I know. I know, beloved. There will be plenty of time for this later. I'm sorry." Castiel kissed the tip of his nose and slid an arm around Dean's back, lifting him easily. With his other hand, he guided his cock to Dean's hole. He spent a torturous few seconds sliding the head up and down Dean's crack, lubing his cock up, before he finally lined himself up and pushed in a few inches.

Oh god. Everything in Dean's mind slammed to a halt. The whole world fell away. The only thing that mattered was the angel leaning over him. He held his breath as Castiel slowly slid inside, and he could feel the way his body opened up to that cock. It was so easy; there was no pain at all, and he was just as wet and loose as he'd always imagined in his fantasies. He wanted to close his eyes to better savor the sensation, but he couldn't look away from Castiel's eyes. Those bright blue eyes, which had been the sole focus of his deepest fantasies for the past four years, stared straight back at him until Castiel was fully inside.

Finally. That was the only thought he could register. An ache that had been gnawing inside of him for years, even before he'd become an omega, was filled. It was the sweetest relief he could have asked for. His mouth dropped open and he inhaled, letting out a choked cry when Castiel pulled out a little bit and circled his hips. Shit. He hadn't known how sensitive he would be. He could feel everything in exquisite detail. But it still wasn't enough.

Castiel smiled down at him. "I'm going to fulfill every one of your fantasies, Dean. Everything you've ever dreamed of while you were waiting for me, I will make sure it comes true. I will hold you down, I'll tease you until you're begging, I'll eat you out until you can come on my tongue alone. I'll fuck you in the back of your car, in your bedroom, while you're sleeping. I'll let you wake up one morning to find you're already fucking yourself on my cock. I'll knot you for hours, for days, and then plug you up so my come stays inside of you." He leaned down, breath caressing Dean's air. "Perhaps long enough that we'll have some pups."

And yeah, it was official, Castiel was going to kill him. If the heat didn't do it, the angel would. It took all of Dean's concentration to force out a single, pleading word. "Cas."

"I'll buy you lingerie," Castiel continued, like he had no idea he was driving Dean mad. He pushed in again, and Dean could feel the knot swelling and bumping against his rim. He whimpered. "In all colors, and you'll wear them under your clothes all the time. I'll hold you up against the wall, or even in midair - you'd like that, wouldn't you? Being held up against nothing at all, no traction, completely dependent on me for your pleasure. We'll rent a hotel room, and I'll take you in the shower and the bathtub... let you pleasure yourself against a jet while I fuck you from behind, knot you, and hold you there until you're trembling from how good it feels.

"Because you deserve all that and more, my Dean. My omega. I made you wait this long, and I promise that I will make it up to you. I've watched over you all this time. I know the trials you've gone through. I know what you think of yourself." He lowered his head, still staring straight at Dean. He hadn't blinked the whole time. "Even if it takes the rest of eternity, I'll make you see that you are worthy. You are loved."

Dean had to close his eyes now. Everything Castiel was saying was just too much. He tightened his grip on Castiel's back, digging his nails in when Castiel rocked against him a little harder. The knot was rubbing against his rim, and the feeling was maddening. He wanted it so badly. He wrapped his legs around Castiel's hips, tugging hard the next time Castiel slid forward. Castiel grunted, taken off guard as his knot popped inside of Dean, and he threw one hand out for balance. His fingers tangled in Dean's feathers.

"Castiel!" Dean screamed, pleasure surging through him. He might've said something else, or maybe not - it felt like everything in his body seized up, so intense was the feeling. He was aware of Castiel kissing him briefly, and then the angel moved down to Dean's neck and bit him. It was an unexpectedly sharp pain, bringing back just a smidgen of clarity: enough for instinct to drive Dean up to Castiel's own throat, where he sank his teeth deeply into Castiel's flesh. The taste of shockingly cold ozone flooded his mouth and the bond snapped between them, like a line drawn suddenly taut.

Chapter Text

For the first time since he’d presented, Dean woke up feeling like his head was clear. His body ached, particularly between his legs and around his lower back, but after the hours long (days long? Weeks long? He had no idea how long he’d been here with Castiel) sex marathon, that wasn’t a shock. He shifted a little out of curiosity and realized that he was laying on something very soft, curled around Castiel. His legs were still wrapped around Castiel’s waist, pressing their lower bodies together, and his face grew hot when he suddenly remembered climbing on top of Castiel and then being so exhausted afterwards that he’d passed out before they’d unknotted.

Apparently people weren’t joking when they said that heat sex basically turned you into an uncontrollable maniac. The one saving grace about the whole situation was that Castiel had been just as fervent, and Dean had the scratches, bruises and bite marks on his body to prove it. He sighed and opened his eyes, looking up at his mate. His alpha. Part of Dean had doubted that he would ever find him, and he’d never been convinced that, even if he did, his mate would want him back.

Castiel had proven him wrong repeatedly.

Right now, Castiel’s eyes were shut. His dark wings were wrapped protectively around Dean. Dean’s own wings were gathered close to his back. They were still sensitive, but not as unbearably so: two or three times, after Castiel had taken and knotted him from behind, Castiel had groomed his wings. It turned out to be a very pleasurable sensation, like getting a massage, but better. It was like taking a shower when you felt really dirty, and the feeling of oil being rubbed into his wings had relaxed him so much he’d fallen asleep every time.

He didn’t know how long he spent staring at Castiel, committing the guy’s face to memory. Castiel was handsome, with dark hair and pink lips. His body was toned, though not overly muscled – however, that hadn’t stopped him from following through on his promise to pick Dean up and fuck him in midair. It was an entirely new experience indeed to literally have no traction, only his hands on Castiel’s shoulders to steady him and powerful hands on his thighs fucking him on Castiel’s cock.

And he needed to stop thinking about that immediately, or he was going to wind himself up all over again. Dean forced himself to look away, taking in the area around them for the first time since Castiel had brought them to – wherever they were. The area around them was lush and green, and a blue sky stretched overhead. A cool breeze wafted over his naked skin. Sun dappled through the trees, cutting the chill of the air. Dean propped himself up on one hand to better take in the forest.

“It’s not a forest,” Castiel said, startling Dean. “This is Heaven, and we are in the Garden.”

“The – the Garden?” Dean repeated, his heart starting to race. “You don’t mean –”

“The Garden of Eden, yes. This is where all angels bring their mates to bond,” Castiel said. His smile was warm and full of affection, which had the effect of lessening the panic running through Dean.

“I didn’t… This is…” Words were not his friend right now. Dean looked around again, with a little more awe this time. He wasn’t a religious man, but even he knew the story of the Garden. The paradise that humanity had been kicked out of. He was probably the first human in centuries to step foot here – except that wasn’t quite true. He wasn’t human anymore. Now that he and Castiel were bonded, he was technically an angel.

“Dean, it’s okay.” One of Castiel’s wings rose, wrapping around Dean’s shoulders.

“It’s not okay,” Dean muttered, but he couldn’t put into words exactly what was freaking him out. He’d known this moment was coming for four years now. Granted, he hadn’t known that it would be an angel. But angel, werewolf, vampire – what did it really matter in the end? The bottom line was, he wasn’t a human anymore and anything he hunted from now on would only make him a hypocrite. After all, he was a supernatural creature just like them. He shuddered.

The wing around his shoulders urged him to turn and he obeyed, letting himself be pulled into the warmth of Castiel’s arms. He laid his head on Castiel’s shoulder and breathed through the panic until he felt sort of calm again. Now that he wasn’t freaking out, he started to feel a little embarrassed. He should’ve been better prepared for this.

“Stop beating yourself up,” Castiel ordered. “This would be a difficult transition for any human, Dean, even a hunter. Humans have… unusual ideas about angels. It’s true that we don’t need to eat or sleep, and you won’t die. But Dean, you can still be a hunter. You can still do everything you did before. Though I would prefer if, from here on out, your only sexual partner was me.”

Dean’s snapped up. “I wouldn’t -!” He stopped short at the teasing smile on Castiel’s face and pouted. “You’re teasing me.”

“I am. You’re very cute when you’re annoyed.”

“I’m not cute,” Dean said under his breath, biting his lip to hold back the smile. “How can I be a hunter, though? And how did you even know I was thinking about that?” He narrowed his eyes, suddenly remembering what had happened before. In the heat of the moment (and Castiel's hands on him) he hadn't really addressed - “Dude, you're reading my mind!"

“Yes,” Castiel said unapologetically. “I’m your alpha, and you’re my omega. Our bond is already very strong. I can feel you, beloved.” His blue eyes were practically sparkling. “In time, as you learn to use your abilities, you’ll be able to read my thoughts and emotions too. Other angels won’t be able to do so unless you’re sharing your grace with them, but that will be some time in coming. It takes practice.”

“Can you… not read my mind?”

“If you don’t want me to, then I won’t.”

Dean nodded. “Please don’t.” There were a lot of thoughts in his head that he wasn’t comfortable sharing with anyone, even if Castiel was his soul mate. As it was, he would have to trust Castiel when he said that he wouldn’t. Somehow, that was easier than he’d expected. He sighed softly. “How can I be a hunter, Cas? Isn’t that pretty hypocritical?”

“Not at all. Back when angels were free to roam the Earth, some of them were hunters,” said Castiel, gently running the tips of his fingers across Dean’s back. “Personally, I am – was a soldier of heaven. Now my duty is to be with you, until such time that you decide you no longer want to be on Earth. If you want to hunt, I would gladly accompany you.”

“I don’t have to stay in heaven with you?” Dean said, surprised. “And… you’d really want to hunt?”

Castiel shrugged. It was an oddly human gesture. “I enjoy my home and my brothers and sisters, but I’ve had my fill of heaven for the time being. It tested my patience to be held here when I wanted to be with you.” He turned his head, nuzzling his cheek into Dean’s feathers. “Besides, I want to make you happy as well. And you wouldn’t be happy up here while your brother and his wife are still alive. We have the rest of eternity together, and there will be plenty of time for heaven.”

“Sam!” Dean’s eyes popped open with alarm. He couldn’t believe he’d forgotten all about his brother. “Is he okay? What about Jess? Oh my god, what day is it? Did I miss their wedding?”

“Time moves faster in heaven than on Earth,” Castiel explained. “Your heat lasted for seven days, but as far as your brother and his wife are concerned it has only been one.”

“Seven days!” Dean could feel himself blushing. That was one hell of a marathon, easily beating out the weekend he’d spent with Lisa Braedon. And the most unbelievable thing of all was that he still wanted more. Castiel’s cheek against his feathers had provoked a tingling sensation through his whole body, and the wind now felt a lot more intense against his naked body. He wasn’t in heat anymore – as evident by the cohesive conversation they’d just shared – but that didn’t mean he didn’t want to be fucked. He had a lot of time to make up for.

“That’s very normal. First heats are particularly intense for all omegas.”

“Oh. I didn’t know that.” He shifted, embarrassed. The gaps in his knowledge about omegas was large enough to drive the Impala through, but he’d never really cared about that until now. “It won’t always be that way?”

“No. The average heat of an omega angel lasts two to four days and comes every one to three months. With time, your cycle will settle down and become more regular. For the first couple of times, we will return to heaven. It will make things easier on you, and our bonding will be stronger for it.”

“That’s good,” Dean muttered, shivering a little as the wind blew again. He looked up at Castiel, focusing on the angel’s lips. He wanted a kiss, but he didn’t know how to ask for it. With anyone else, he probably would’ve just taken it. But this was an angel, and, in spite of the seven days of sex they’d just indulged it, he couldn’t knock the idea that he was somehow sullying Castiel.

Castiel’s lips quirked into a smile and he leaned forward, kissing Dean gently. Dean felt that kiss all the way down to the tips of his toes and feathers, and he wanted to be fucked even more. His wings curled and he broke the kiss to look over his shoulder in surprise. They had been tucked against his back, sedate under the weight of Castiel’s wings, but now his wings spread wide. Only the tips curled inwards, pointing towards Castiel like arrows. He looked at them in confusion.

“What does that mean?”

“It’s an invitation,” Castiel said, his voice rumbling out from his chest. “Like I said, your wings are a reflection of your soul. Given time, you’ll learn to control them and conceal what you’re feeling. Right now…” He lifted a hand, brushing his fingers against a few feathers and making Dean shiver. “You’re telling me that you want me to fuck you.”

Hearing it spoken so blatantly made him blush. He stayed very still as Castiel’s fingers trailed lower, stroking the feathers on the inside of his wings. The pressure was just enough to make him ache for more. Forget what he’d said about the oil not making them as sensitive: just this gentle teasing was making him hard. He squirmed when Castiel applied a little more pressure, rubbing in between the feathers with the tips of his fingers, tracing the delicate bones. It was maddening.

“Cas, come on!” he burst out finally.

Castiel chuckled. “You’re so impatient. Sometimes taking it slow can be a good thing, Dean,” he chided.

“Take it slow later, when I’m not dripping with slick,” Dean said, wiggling impatiently. He didn’t usually get this wet so quickly, so either it was a remnant from his heat or a side effect of being here with Castiel. Regardless, the emptiness was quickly becoming unbearable.

“You’ll always be like that with me. I want to get to know you, beloved.” Castiel moved fast – too fast. Before Dean knew what was happening, he was lying on his back and Castiel was leaning over him. His wings sprawled across the ground without Dean’s permission, presenting themselves for Castiel’s touch. Castiel smirked as Dean blushed even harder.

He tried to buck up and grind their cocks together, but Castiel stayed just out of reach. He slowly lowered his head and brushed his lips across a single feather, then stuck his tongue out and traced the feather from root to tip. Dean made a strangled sound, caught off guard by the sharp burst of pleasure. Their eyes met, and Castiel gave him a wicked smirk before he did it a second time, just as slow as before, so that Dean could feel every second of that amazing wet heat.

“Cas,” he whimpered.

“Shh, beloved,” Castiel said, lifting up to give him a brief kiss on the mouth. “I wish to pay your wings the reverence they deserve. Let me take you apart with pleasure as only angels know it.”

Chapter Text

He'd known that it would be weird to be back after spending so much time upstairs, but he wasn't expecting this. Dean staggered a little as his feet hit pavement and recoiled as noise and smells assaulted him from all sides. He shielded his eyes from the intensity of the sun and shied away, pressing his right ear to his shoulder and protecting his left ear with his free hand. It wasn't until a gentle hand landed on his shoulder that the assault on his senses stopped, like someone had dropped a filter over all of the sounds, smells, and sights. He blinked streaming eyes and looked up at his alpha.

"It's okay, Dean," Castiel rumbled, drawing him into a loose embrace. "It will take you time to get used to being a full angel, that's all. Until you can do it on your own, I will shield you."

Dean wiped his face before he responded. "Is this how you experience the world all the time, Cas?"

"I have not been on Earth in some time, but yes." Castiel surveyed the parking look with a critical look. "For the most part, humanity is as vivid as I wish it to be. I don't have to feel things. I can be completely disconnected from my vessel. There are many of my brothers and sisters who walk on Earth without ever experiencing things the way a human does. I didn't think you would be alright with that."

"Uh, no," Dean said, straightening up a little, though he didn't step away from Castiel. Not yet. There was a tiny part of him that was too grateful that Castiel hadn't taken off running in the other direction, or worse outright abandoned him as soon as they touched down. He looked Castiel up and down, for the first time clueing in to the fact that Castiel had said the word 'vessel'. And in Dean's line of work, that usually meant something bad. His frown deepened as he started to wonder if his alpha had stolen the body of some poor kid.

"No, Dean, I didn't possess someone. My vessel belonged to a man who passed away minutes before I was initially called to your side. His soul now resides in heaven, and he had no issue with me borrowing his body to protect my omega. I can take you to meet him someday if you like."

"I thought I said no reading my mind, Cas."

Castiel smirked. "I don't know need to read your mind to know what you're thinking. You're a hunter, and I know you have encountered numerous demons. The conclusion that you would draw is obvious." He cupped Dean's cheek and leaned in to kiss him. "I didn't want you thinking that there was a soul trapped in this body with me. I would not do that to you, or to Jimmy."

"Jimmy," Dean muttered. It wasn't the name he would've associated with the strong, handsome face in front of him, but then it was already impossible to think of this body as anyone but Castiel's. He set a hand against Castiel's chest, unspeakably relieved that Castiel had found a vessel when Dean needed him. That Castiel hadn't had to borrow one for the sake of being quick, and left Dean to dream about blue eyes for years before coming to him in an entirely different vessel. It would've been the same angel, but he'd had some pretty strong fantasies and dreams about those blue eyes.

"You'd like him," Castiel said softly, and then, "I don't want to alarm you, Dean, but I think your brother has seen you."

Dean turned his head sharply just in time to see the door to the apartment complex fly open. Sam barreled out, looking a hell of a lot better than he had the last time Dean had seen him - well, as long as Dean ignored the fact that the kid was wearing purple sweatpants. He pulled away from Castiel, turning to meet his brother. Sam crossed the distance between them in less than a minute and all but threw himself on Dean, hugging his brother so tightly that Dean squeaked (something which he would forever deny, no matter how much Sam teased him about it in the future). He couldn't even raise his hands to hug Sam back.

"Jesus, Dean, where the hell have you been? Three days and you didn't think to call and tell me you were still alive?" Sam demanded, finally pulling back and staring at him worriedly. "I've been going out of my mind!"

"Sorry, Sammy. I was in a place with no reception," Dean said. "Besides, I was a little preoccupied." He jerked his head towards Castiel, feeling a burst of pride when he saw the astonished look on Sam's face. Castiel was nothing to poke a stick at: sure the trenchcoat he was wearing needed to be burned the first chance Dean got, but he was someone that would've deserved at least a second look on the way by. Add in the beautiful, glossy wings that arched proudly from Castiel's back, and Dean couldn't help feeling a bit smug. Both he and Sam had hit the jackpot when it came to their mates.

"I kind of remember you," Sam said, his eyebrows drawing together in a confused furrow.

"You were heavily concussed at the time," Castiel said. "Hello, Sam. My name is Castiel. I am angel of the lord."

"Yeah, I got that much from Jess. She's not very happy with you, by the way," Sam added to Dean. "She's been freaking out just as much as I have. I think she thinks that you were kidnapped."

"Shit," Dean muttered, guilt finally soaking through his sex- and bond-addled brain. He couldn't really blame Jess or Sam for their reactions because Dean probably would've been the exact same way. Not to mention, he'd been so shocked he'd barely said anything to Jess when Castiel zapped them back to the apartment. No wonder she thought Dean had been kidnapped, what with the way Castiel had been holding onto him - it had taken Dean exactly zero time at all to figure out that his angel definitely had one hell of a possessive streak - and how they'd just disappeared.

"Exactly, so you get to make it up to her. Hello, Castiel. It's nice to meet you. My brother's been waiting for you for a really long time." Sam ignored Dean's embarrassed hiss of his name and grabbed Castiel's hand, giving it a firm shake. "You're his alpha, I take it?"

"I am."

"You should go talk to Jess, Dean," Sam said without taking his eyes off of Castiel. "I got something I need to say."

Dean looked back and forth between them. "Sam -"

"Go, Dean."

Castiel met his gaze, and the reassurance and affection Dean saw there gave him the courage to go. "Fine, but just remember he's an angel and that means he can kick your ass!" he said to Sam, shoving his hands into his pockets and starting off across the parking lot. He looked back just once as he got to the door, but Sam and Castiel were standing in the exact same place. Not moving, not speaking, just staring at each other. Dean shook his head. He was already related to one weirdo, and apparently he'd mated another.

He took the stairs up to Jess and Sam's apartment. The door was wide open. Jess was on him the instant Dean stepped inside, though not in a way Dean was expecting. She splashed water in his face. Dean stopped in surprise and sputtered, spitting out a mouthful of water on the floor. Then another blast of water was thrown in his face. His eyes stung and he shook his head, running a hand down his face and squinting at her. She was giving him a hard, intent stare. Before he could say anything, she pressed something cold against the skin of his arm. He looked down and realized what it was: the pure silver letter opener that he'd seen on Sam's desk.

"I'm not a demon, Jess," Dean said, mildly exasperated even though his respect for her had risen by several notches. At least she'd taken the opportunity to make sure he wasn't dangerous even if she wouldn't have had any idea what to do, which was something that Sam hadn't even bothered with. He'd have to have a long talk with his brother about not letting safety slide in the future. He just hated having holy water thrown in his face, especially when - he licked his lips - it tasted like the second dose had been heavily salted.

"How the hell was I supposed to know that?" Jess demanded, throwing the letter opener on the table. "You could've at least said something a little better than 'you were right', Dean. For all I knew you'd been kidnapped and I should've been calling every person in Sam's address book! I know that you guys are hunters and you're used to not having to tell anyone where you're going but a little warning would've been nice!"

"Whoa, hey, I'm sorry, okay? You're right. You're completely right." He pulled her into a hug, resting his chin on top of her head. He'd never really had anyone who worried about him like this. Sam was always right there on the hunt with him. There had never been anyone who was left behind at home. It was a novel feeling, unexpected, but one that he was enjoying. He liked knowing that someone had actually been concerned.

"I'm not sorry I splashed you with water," Jess said into his wet shirt.

Dean snorted. "That does not surprise me in the slightest. And honestly, I'm not sorry you did either. At least I know that one of you was paying attention." He let her go and took a step back. "Are you opposed to having guns in the house? It might not be such a bad idea for you and Sam to keep a couple shotguns filled with salt around."

"Way ahead of you," she replied, wiping at her damp eyes. "While you were gone, Sam took some supplies from the Impala. You'll have to replenish them, but he didn't think you'd mind."

"I don't. In fact, it's something that Sam should've done a long time ago." It was easy to feel bitter about those months, years, where there had been no acknowledgement between him and Sam, but Dean was trying hard to let it go. That didn't, however, mean he couldn't needle Sam about not outfitting the apartment correctly. Anyone or anything could've walked in here.

Jess nodded and crossed her arms. "Now that we've established you are actually you, where the hell have you been? With your mate?"

Dean tried to stop the incredibly soppy smile from spreading across his face and failed completely. "Yeah. We've been bonding."

"Oh, Dean." Her face softened. "That's wonderful. I'm so happy for you. I knew that you would find your alpha."

"That makes one of us," Dean said, though without heat. He owed a lot to Sam and Jess. Their help had kept him going during the past couple of weeks, when this whole angel thing had been driving him for a loop. "He's really - I mean, it's a lot to take in. But he's really something, Jess. More than I ever -" He shook his head, unable to put the entirety of Castiel into words, and heard his wings rustle.

Oddly enough, Jess paid no attention to the sound. In fact, she hadn't looked or asked about Dean's wings at all. That confirmed his suspicion that Jess and Sam weren't amongst those that could see an angel's wings. He wondered if there was a way for them to be able to see them, even for a minute or two. He would have to ask Castiel. But only after he'd had more practice at getting his wings under control. The last thing he needed was Sam and Jess seeing his wings do that thing where they spread wide and arched towards Castiel in the clearest expression of 'please fuck me right now' that Dean had ever seen.

"So you're good, then?" Jess said.

"Yeah, I think we're good."

"Excellent," she said, and grinned with mischief. "Now you can both be in the wedding."

Chapter Text

On a warm summer day, Dean thought it was very likely he was going to burst with pride. It had been a very hectic morning, but this moment was making it all worthwhile.

He stood at the end of the garden, beside Bobby, as Sam and Jess walked down the aisle together. In the end Jess's family hadn't shown up, but Jess hadn't let that stop her one bit. She looked stunning in a white sundress with a spray of violets in her blonde hair, and Sam was beaming in white pants and a pale purple shirt. They made for a beautiful pair, and the red cord that linked the two of them together - visible only to Dean, and now Castiel - had never looked as strong as it did right now. When the priest told Sam he could kiss the bride, the blast of light that the red cord threw off was nearly blinding in its intensity.

As applause filled the air, Sam finished broke the kiss and set Jess upright on her feet. Both of them were grinning like idiots. Dean stepped forward and hugged Sam first and then Jess. There was no sign of the tears that had dampened her eyes earlier that day when she realized that her family really wasn't coming, and Dean was glad for that. Friends, classmates, colleagues and professors, as well as a couple of hunters, more than made up for the absence. and the chairs were completely full to the point that there was a small crowd gathered at the very back of the garden. For what Sam had claimed would be a small wedding, a good hundred people had shown up.

He watched as Sam received an enthusiastic hug from Bobby, and started when he felt the arms snake around his waist. Just as quickly, he relaxed back into Castiel's warm grip. As happy as he was for Sam and Jess, he knew it would've been hard to watch the wedding if his own meeting with his soul mate had gone downhill. He'd never been more grateful for Castiel's presence, because it meant that Sam wasn't just leaving him behind. They were moving in different directions, sure, but this time he had someone who was here to stay. He turned his head, pressing an impulsive kiss to Castiel's cheek, and sighed in contentment.

"It was a beautiful wedding," Castiel said into his ear, echoing Dean's thoughts. "Sam and Jessica will be very happy together. They are soulmates, you know."

"Yeah, I know. But with them, I honestly don't think it would matter," said Dean. It wouldn't be long before they'd know for sure, but either way it wouldn't change anything. He'd never seen Sam as happy as he was right now, because there was no mistaking the look of adoration in Sam's eyes every time he looked at Jess. But maybe in the future, that would be enough to heal the rift between Jess and her family.

"Probably not," Castiel agreed, resting his chin on Dean's shoulder. They stood there for a little while, watching as the happy couple made their way down the aisle. Because they were being besieged by congratulations from all sides, it was at least forty-five minutes before bride and groom made it to the end. Sam turned his head, easily visible above the crowd, and gestured at Dean and Castiel. Dean nodded back, knowing that meant it was time for photographs. But he and Castiel had their own way of travel, and what would be a fifteen minute car ride would take only seconds for them.

Eventually, the garden emptied out and the two of them were alone. Dean took one last look around, idly wondering what it would be like to get married to Castiel someday. Not right now. Way in the future. Maybe. He didn't even know if it was necessary. They were soulmates, and bonded besides, and you couldn't really get much more permanent than that. Now that Dean was an angel, he and Castiel would literally be together forever. Did he really need a ring on his finger to cement that? He wasn't sure. The idea of a party was nice, but he didn't know if he'd like having that much attention centered on him and his mate.

"Care to share your thoughts?" Castiel asked, sounding slightly amused, which meant some of Dean's thoughts had probably leaked past his shield and Castiel already knew what he was thinking. He refused to blush, instead turning to face his mate and tucking his wings against his back in clear invitation.

"Not right now. I'm happy with the way things are," he replied as Castiel's wings obligingly wrapped around him. He would never get tired of the feel of those feathers rubbing against his own.

"I don't mind participating in human rituals that are important to you, Dean."

Dean couldn't help smiling. Castiel had already proven that many times over. He didn't think there would be many angels who would agree to a five hour car ride to get to a hunt just because Dean didn't want to give up driving in his baby. But Castiel had agreed pretty much instantly, and seemed to love riding in the Impala just as much as Dean did. The only time they flew instead was when a trip would've taken a substantial amount of driving time, and Dean had to admit it was pretty handy to cover two days of driving in the blink of an eye.

But all the things considered, in the past month and a half Castiel had taken to the human world exceptionally well. Dean had worried a little about whether Castiel would enjoy being on Earth, but those fears turned out to be unfounded. Castiel was openly fascinated by humans and relished the opportunity to see them in much closer contact than most angels ever did. He was especially fond of human food, and had developed a minor obsession with hamburgers.

He was even learning how to hunt like a human. Not that Castiel really needed to learn any skills - he was miles ahead of Dean on that front, and the first time Dean had watched his mate truly fight against a powerful demon.... well, it had ended in some pretty spectacular sex. Castiel already knew how to use pretty much any weapon there was, and was well-versed in several different fighting styles. But he was still coming around to the idea of not just instantly smiting the hell out of any supernatural creature that was causing problems. That just took all the fun out of fighting as far as Dean was concerned. It was fine to have some angel mojo as back-up, but he didn't want to give up on hunting the old-fashioned way.

And they were a damn good team, too, especially when Sam joined them. He leaned into Castiel's warmth. "I know you don't, Cas, and I appreciate it," he muttered, resting his head on Castiel's shoulder. "Like I said, maybe someday. Just not right now. I don't need it. I know you love me." He still wasn't entirely sure why, but that was one thing he was completely certain of. And even if he wasn't, Castiel never missed an opportunity to tell him.

"But before we have children, presumably," Castiel said, and that time Dean couldn't resist a flush.

"Yeah, maybe." He still wasn't sure where he stood on the whole kid thing. He knew he was an omega, which meant he was biologically capable of having children - or angels, as the case might be. And Castiel had told him that he was rare in that regard, because the majority of human-turned-angels were betas and not omegas. When they returned to heaven one day, Castiel said, Dean would be something of a novelty. He mostly tried his best not to think about that.

"You would be beautiful, beloved."

Dean was definitely blushing now, because Castiel had shared that fantasy with him many times now, and thinking about it never failed to get them both in the mood. He shoved lightly at Castiel's shoulder. "Knock it off, Cas. The last thing I need to worry about is having a boner while I'm in the photos for the wedding, okay?"

Castiel just laughed. "Of course, Dean. Now that you mention it, we'd best go or we're going to be late. Come on." He held on a little tighter, as though afraid Dean might be left behind, and spread his wings. Dean would never get tired of that split second feeling of airlessness, because Castiel would never let him fall. He closed his eyes trustingly, letting Castiel support his weight, until Sam called their names.

"Cas! Dean! God, you guys, how is it you can fly anywhere in the world in like a second, but you still manage to be late?"

"Keep your panties on, Samantha," Dean yelled without opening his eyes. "We're coming."

"Dean," Castiel chided. "Come on."

"Yeah, yeah," Dean said, reluctantly taking a step back. He couldn't help giving Castiel a long look. The blue dress shirt Castiel was wearing was an almost perfect match for his eyes. Because it was long sleeved, no one could see the name written on Castiel's arm. But Dean knew it was there. The name was in white, a contrast to the black name on Dean's arm, to signify that Castiel's mate was an omega. He'd traced the letters with his fingers numerous times, never ceasing to find them fascinating. He reached out now, lightly touching that spot, until Castiel's opposite hand covered his own and squeezed.