"Remember when you told me I was pregnant... and I was like, hell no, I'm not having any babies, no way no how."
"Wanna go back in time and slap myself."
Sam and Dean Winchester were lying naked on their backs in bed, post-knotting. Both frowning up at the ceiling.
They'd been trying to get pregnant for almost a month. Trying. Knotting at every available opportunity. And the trying didn't seem to be working.
"Maybe I'm too old," muttered Dean.
"Maybe it's me," said Sam in reply. "Or, hey, maybe you are pregnant and I just can't smell it yet."
Dean shut his eyes and shook his head. "I had Cas check me yesterday. Not pregnant." He laughed and then groaned. "God, and all this time, us trying to avoid this. We finally decide to go for it, and nothing happens."
"God fucking with us," grumbled Sam. "His favorite pastime."
They were quiet for a while, and then Sam turned on his side to face Dean, head pillowed on Dean's bicep. He nuzzled and kissed it. Dean's fingers combed lovingly through his hair.
"Don't feel bad about this, okay, D?" Sam tried to take his own advice, tried to lift his own spirits. Focused on the man beside him - how lucky he was to have this man beside him, and their twin daughters sleeping down the hallway from them. "I love you so much," he whispered. Dean kissed his forehead in reply.
They weren't gonna have any more kids.
And then Dean went into heat.
It started with Dean inserting himself a little further into Sam's personal space, further each time he did it. Breathing Sam in deep. Unwilling to separate himself from Sam. It was nearly a full day of this before Dean was slamming Sam up against their bedroom wall, leaping onto him and demanding his knot.
Dean was crying tears of need, tearing at Sam's clothes, groping at Sam's cock as it hardened under his hand, gasping out "fuck, Sammy, get it in me, need it in me" as rivers of slick soaked his jeans.
Sam started fumbling with the zipper of his jeans and Dean couldn't fucking take it anymore - he tore their clothes away with claws that burst from his fingers, grazing their skin but oblivious to the pain as he lined up Sam's cock and slammed down on it.
He threw back his head and growled with pleasure, legs wrapping tight around Sam's waist, muscles clamping down on the cock inside of him, trying to lock it inside before it was even knotted. Sam let out a whining moan, his own claws sinking into the wall.
"Fuck - D - the door -"
One of Sam's hands blindly fumbled for the knob of the open bedroom door beside them, somehow managed to find it and shut it and lock it, and then he turned them around, pinning Dean to the door and beginning to pump his hips, driving his dick deeper into Dean's hungry body.
Dean let out inhuman howls with each fierce thrust, his back rhythmically pounding at the door, legs pulling Sam in as deep as possible and hands fisting in Sam's hair while Sam growled animalistically at Dean's throat and fucked him as hard he could.
Their noises became more desperate as Sam's knot started to grow inside Dean. Dean sobbed and begged for it as it spread him wide as he could go. Sam whimpered and licked at the scar on Dean's neck that he'd left the first time he'd done this. His knot began to wedge itself firmly inside Dean.
It caught, Sam moaned, fangs descended into the scar on Dean's neck, and Sam's come flooded into Dean. He continued to bang Dean into the door, even harder than before, trying to get deeper somehow, to mesh them together even more. He kissed and sucked at Dean's neck, purring at the taste of both of them there.
Dean let out something between a sigh and a moan, rolling his hips against Sam, fingers of one hand trailing down over Sam's sweaty shoulders and back.
"Feel so good," he panted into Sam's ear. "Feel so full of you."
Sam murmured incoherently as he covered Dean's neck with kisses. His hips finally slowed their movement. His kisses led to Dean's jaw, his beard brushing at Dean's stubble, and he kissed Dean so softly after fucking him so hard. Dean purred into it and pulled back with a quiet laugh.
"Shit... the girls are still out there by themselves," said Dean, gesturing to the door he was pinned to.
"They'll be fine," said Sam, "they have their toys. If they need something we'll call Crowley."
Dean nodded his approval, letting his head fall back against the door and sighing again. Sam leaned back too, gazing at the claiming bite on Dean's neck and running a gentle finger over it.
"This is... this is the first time we've knotted during your heat that I can remember."
Dean smiled. "Yeah, same here." He cupped Sam's hand against his scar. "Guess we have this as a memento of that first time, and our daughters."
Sam smiled too. He looked down at Dean's stomach and wondered... wondered if this time would give them more children...
He woke up beside Dean several days later. Woke up to Dean's overjoyed scent... and something else. Something familiar.
He inhaled the air more deeply, and then he sat up quickly and stared at Dean, who had been watching him with an enormous grin.
"You smell it, don't you?" asked Dean and Sam saw tears at his eyes.
Sam's eyes moved onto Dean's stomach. He leaned in closer, shut his eyes, breathed in deep. And his own face split in a grin.
"My baby," Sam whispered, leaning in further to nuzzle at Dean's belly, Dean's belly which held his child in it.
"Your baby, Sammy," Dean whispered back, thick with emotion. He stroked at Sam's hair.
Sam leaned up to kiss Dean soft and passionately. They laid on their sides facing each other, kissing contentedly, Sam's fingers caressing Dean's stomach.
"So it seems this only happens when I'm in heat, since the only other time we knotted and got pregnant was my first heat," Dean posited, tangling his fingers with Sam's.
"Yeah," whispered Sam dazedly.
Dean smiled against his cheek. "Can you tell what the baby is? Or if there's more than one?"
Sam pulled back and considered. Concentrated. He remembered the scent of his daughters in Dean's belly - he carefully compared it to this scent.
Then he grinned wide.
"It's a boy."
Dean grinned back even wider, pulling Sam in for a fiercer kiss.
"Mmm, big strong Alpha Sammy put an Alpha inside me, I can feel it," murmured Dean before pulling Sam on top of him.
Several months later, as they spooned in their bed at night, Dean's belly big with their son, his leg held up by Sam's arm as Sam thrust inside of him and gently kissed his neck, Sam felt a rush of wetness between them. Wetness wasn't unusual during sex, but this amount was. He pulled back and looked down in alarm as Dean's amniotic fluid spread over their sheets.
"Why'd you stop?" whined Dean, arching back - then suddenly curled forward and cursed loudly. "What the - oh fuck -"
Sam flew out of bed and threw his sweats back on as Dean went on cursing and rolled on the bed in pain. "Baby time," Dean cried out, gripping the sodden sheets. "Oh god why the fuck did I agree to this again."
Sam gave a distraught laugh as he ran for the bathroom to grab towels, wishing his dick wasn't still hard in his sweats as he called Castiel and Crowley but not immediately able to do much about that.
Castiel said nothing about it and determinedly avoided looking at it. Crowley stared at it with open admiration.
"Luci wasn't kidding when he said 'perfect vessel'," Crowley smirked and earned himself an epic bitchface from Sam.
"Dean's about to have a baby, can we please focus."
"Since you asked nicely," said Crowley breezily as he and Castiel followed Sam to his and Dean's bedroom to help Dean give birth.
Sam and Crowley combined their powers to ease Dean's labor pain, each with a hand laid on Dean's stretched stomach as they chanted steadily, Castiel soothing Dean as Dean pushed.
Before long, Sam and Dean Winchester's baby boy was cradled in Dean's arms as his fathers laughed and cried with joy. Castiel and Crowley smiled down at their new godson/devilson and congratulated the fathers before taking their leave. Sam brought his and Dean's tiredly excited daughters in to meet their baby brother.
Charlene Roberta Winchester, the younger and more exuberant twin, who went by the name of Charlie, and who was now a big sister, insisted on holding her little brother. Sam and Dean showed her how and each used a hand to help cradle the boy in her small arms.
Jody Mary Winchester, or Jo, the older quieter twin, brushed at the little boy's dark blond hair, touched his face and looked into hazelly green eyes, and she beamed. "Daddy," she said to Dean, "he looks like you!"
Dean smiled with weary contentment. "Yeah, guess he does. Good-lookin' kid," he said with a wink at Sam who responded with a kiss and a smile. "So, Sammy, are we going with Dean Junior?"
Sam laughed. "What about naming him after Benny, thought you wanted to."
"Yeah," said Dean softly as he gazed down at his son. "Yeah, I do."
"We should name him Tyrannosaurus Rex!" exclaimed Charlie. Jo scoffed. "That's so stupid," she muttered at her sister.
"I'm sure you girls will come up with some choice names to call your little brother." Dean shot Sam another wink and Sam huffed with laughter. "But his name is Benjamin."
"Benjamin John," said Sam. He raised a questioning eyebrow at Dean, and Dean smiled in response.
"Benjamin John Winchester," proclaimed Dean as he smiled down at his and Sam's son.
The fifteen-year-old boy was rudely awakened by insistent stomach pain.
He dragged himself out of bed, raking fingers through his unruly golden hair, which grew shaggy from the top of his head and was buzzed short on the sides. He grabbed a shirt (not clean, not that he cared) to throw over his skinny torso, his boxers loose around his bony hips.
He stumbled down the bunker's hallway and into the bathroom and just stood there gripping the edge of the sink for a few minutes, closing his emerald eyes against the fluorescent light. He wasn't really sure what to do. He slowly sat himself down on the closed lid of the toilet. Hunched over. Continued to rake his fingers back and forth through his hair.
Must have been something he ate that didn't agree with him. In which case...
He slid down off the toilet, lifted the lid and knelt in front of it. Sighed, felt his stomach turn in agony. Then he stuck fingers into his mouth and down his throat until his stomach forced its contents up and into the toilet.
He slumped to the floor, feeling no better for having emptied his stomach.
"It's like looking down at my future," said an amused and inebriated voice from the doorway. The boy turned his head towards it and cracked open his eyes, finding his sixteen-year-old sister Charlie leaning against the doorframe with a beer in her hand. Narrow green eyes gazed at him, smudged with black eyeliner, and plush red lips smiled at him; her hair, which was buzzed on the sides but longer on top than his and red at the bottom fading to black, spilled messily around her face; she wore a shirt even dirtier than his with the sleeves torn off, along with shredded plaid pants and combat boots and jewelry consisting mostly of chains and spikes.
Ben groaned and closed his eyes again as more cramps rolled through his abdomen.
"Whatsamatter Benny," said Charlie as she knelt ungracefully beside him and splashed him with beer. "Did the other girls at school call you fat, is that why you're puking?"
"Fuck you," he muttered at the floor, "and don't call me Benny."
"Okay then tough guy," she said with a laugh. She rubbed his shoulder. "Seriously though, what's up?"
"I dunno. Stomach hurts."
"Aw, poor little baby bro." Charlie's hand moved onto Ben's stomach and rubbed comfortingly. Ben could smell her more clearly; beer, gunpowder and Alpha scent. A scent he was well used to by now - she'd presented as an Alpha a year ago - but for some reason, he suddenly found himself drawn to it. He breathed it in and felt his stomach pain ease. He smiled warmly up at his sister.
Then something in Charlie changed.
Her nostrils flared, her eyes darkened. Then they flew wide open and she quickly backed away from him.
"Ben," she gasped, her beer forgotten on the floor and spilling its contents. Her eyes were fixed on the back of his boxers. He frowned at her - and then he felt it. He reached behind him and he could feel something soaking through his boxers. He shoved his hand down the back of them, in his concern barely even registering that his sister was watching him, then pulled his hand up to stare at the clear fluid on his fingers.
"What... what the hell is this?"
"You're an Omega."
Ben and Charlie turned to find their Alpha father Sam standing at the door, gaping at his son, his hazel eyes dark just like Charlie's. His gray-brown mane was wild from sleep and his tall frame was draped in a black shirt and pajama pants.
Sam's eyes moved onto Charlie and narrowed. He glanced down at the beer puddle on the floor.
"Go to bed," he ordered her, "and we'll discuss the beer in the morning."
Charlie raised an eyebrow. "If by 'discuss' you mean 'drink,' then sure thing." She sauntered away before Sam could say any more.
"Dad," said Ben in soft disbelief, "I don't get it... I'm... I'm an Alpha, right? That's what D always said, that I'm an Alpha..."
"I don't think so," whispered Sam as his hand took the place that Charlie's had left, rubbing Ben's stomach gently. "Don't worry, Ben, you're gonna be okay. Come on, let's get you back to bed."
Sam lifted Ben up against the bulging muscles of his arms and chest. Muscles that Ben had been hoping to grow, to become an Alpha like his father Sam, like his father Dean had always wanted him to be. He breathed Sam's scent in deep. It numbed the pain in his stomach, made the wetness grow in his ass, and he was revolted by himself. Humiliated tears fell onto Sam's shoulder as he carried Ben back to his room.
He pushed Sam away when Sam laid him down on his bed, shoving his red, wet face into his pillow. "Go away."
Sam's hand cupped Ben's shoulder. "Ben-"
"Please. Just go away."
Sam hesitated, then squeezed Ben's shoulder gently. "Okay. I'll check on you later, alright? And I'll be here, if you need anything." He reluctantly left his son, softly closed the door behind him, and leaned back against it with eyes shut.
Dean's scent floated into his nostrils and he opened his eyes to see Dean approaching. Close-cropped mostly-silver hair with streaks of gold running through it. Dead man's robe hanging open, showing his muscled torso and bare legs under his boxers. Concern in the lines of his face.
The concern deepened when Dean reached where Sam stood and breathed him in. Anger edged into the concern.
"Sam... what the hell's going on, why do you smell like-"
"Ben's an Omega," Sam answered quietly. Watching Dean's face carefully. "I think he's just got his first heat."
Outraged disbelief took over Dean's face.
"What are you talking about, he's not an Omega," insisted Dean. "He's an Alpha, he just hasn't presented yet. I mean look at Jomy, she hasn't presented yet either, doesn't mean anything, just hasn't happened yet."
"Dean," said Sam, moving forward to hold Dean's face in his hands, holding his gaze steadily. "Ben is an Omega."
The outrage grew and Dean pushed Sam away to glare at him. "He's not. Quit fucking saying that."
Dean stomped away down the hall to the bathroom, not really sure why he was so angry. But sure that Sam was wrong about this. Their son was not an Omega. Dean knew his own son, and he knew this. Why the hell was Sam insisting Ben was an Omega?
Dean frowned down at the puddle of beer on the floor, shook his head and stepped around it to use the toilet. Afterwards he continued to the kitchen. Too early for breakfast so he threw together a PB&J, grabbed a beer because fuck Sam that's why, and he sat at the kitchen table to eat his sandwich and drink his beer and be angry at Sam and wonder who spilled beer in the bathroom. Probably Sam. With his wild drunken claims.
His sixteen-year-old daughter Jo came into the kitchen. She looked so much like a young Sam; same eye color and shape (Charlie's eyes were the same shape but green), wavy brown hair at about the same length as Sam's, falling to her neck, though she parted it differently so that it fell over one side of her face. Like her sister, she had Dean's nose and mouth. And like her sister, she was tall - taller than Dean but shorter than Sam. She, like Sam, was dressed all in black, a blank tank top over black pajama pants.
She looked from Dean's face to the beer he was drinking and wordlessly asked what was wrong. He smiled at her.
"Your dad's being an idiot," he said.
"You call this being smart? Drinking at three in the morning?"
"Oh god, now you're starting to sound like him too," groaned Dean, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Not enough you have to look like him, huh? Buncha... judgy Sasquatches."
"Hey, I don't have the beard, do I? I lack the hair and the beefiness," said Jo laughing as she sat across from Dean. She scanned his appearance again. "I feel like something's wrong."
"Yeah, your dad spilled a beer in the bathroom and is talking nonsense. And something's up with Benny, think he's sick or something."
Jo frowned, staring over at the hallway that led to Ben's room.
"He's not sick," she murmured. "And it wasn't Dad drinking beer, it was Charlie."
Dean threw up his hands. "I can't deal with this right now. It's too early. Or too late. One of those," he grumbled, grabbing what remained of his sandwich and beer and standing. "Go back to bed, okay, Jomy?" He ruffled her hair and left the kitchen headed for the TV room.
Jo watched the hallway for a minute more, then got up and drifted down it, until she stood outside Ben's door.
She smelled Omega scent. Ben's Omega scent. And she sensed how worried both of her fathers were about that. Dean was in the TV room, not paying any attention to the TV. Sam was in his and Dean's bedroom, lying awake in bed.
Ben was curled up in pain and crying as quietly as possible, and although Jo wanted to go in and comfort him, she knew he didn't want that.
She continued down the hallway and came to Charlie's room. The door was open and Charlie was sitting on her bed with her headphones on and eyes closed. Charlie lifted a hand and beckoned Jo in, eyes still closed.
Jo sat at the foot of her identical twin sister's bed, gazing over at her. They didn't look all that much alike anymore, aside from their height and facial structure. Charlie had gained more muscle since she'd become an Alpha a year ago, and she'd also been training with their fathers (as had Ben, although Ben hadn't gained the muscle, for reasons that were now apparent). Still slim but more toned than Jo. An Alpha sister and an Omega brother. And Jo.
Ben's an Omega, Jo said silently to her sister.
"That he is," replied Charlie, music still blaring in her ears. Misfits' Famous Monsters.
Jo didn't say anything else. She didn't know what to say. Didn't know how to put into words what she was feeling.
Charlie took off her headphones and looked over at Jo.
"What are you all broody about?"
Jo shrugged and sighed. Charlie looked her over, and after a minute she spoke again.
"You worried about not having presented as anything?"
Jo didn't answer, but she didn't need to.
"It'll happen, don't worry," said Charlie. She slid down the bed to sit beside Jo and wrapped an arm around Jo's shoulders. "Might take time but it'll happen."
Jo let Charlie's reassurances push her worries into a box which she pushed to the back of her mind, hoping it would just gather dust back there and leave her alone. She turned her head to meet her sister's eyes.
"Why were you drinking?"
Charlie laughed at that. "Why would I not be drinking? You're in this family too, I mean, you gotta see it. How fucked up it all is." Sourness flavored her words. "My dad's my uncle, my siblings are my cousins, we're a family of freaks hiding out in a bunker." Charlie pulled at the inscribed black bracelet around her wrist, the same bracelet each member of the family wore, and she let it go with a snap against her skin. "Gotta lie to everyone else we meet about who we are. What we are."
"Not true. We have Jack, Jody, Donna et al."
"Mm. Guess we do." Charlie snapped her bracelet again. "And we gotta worry about accidentally ripping out their throats."
Jo took Charlie's wrist and rubbed her thumb over the glowing red markings on the bracelet. "We don't. That's what these are for."
Charlie relented with a weary smile.
"Yeah okay. Guess you're right again, brainiac."
Jo gave a soft laugh. She shoved at Charlie's shoulder and stood up. Go to sleep, punk. Get some rest before Dad gives you hell tomorrow for drinking.
Charlie scoffed. "I'll give him hell right back." She put her headphones back on and smirked at Jo. "Night-night, big sis." Jo smiled and crossed the hallway to her own room.
Dean watched her go. He'd wandered out of the TV room, unable to watch any TV, but he moved aimlessly, not wanting to go back to his and Sam's room. Dean came to Charlie's open door and looked inside to see Charlie leaning back in bed with her eyes closed and her headphones over her ears. She extended a claw from her index finger to pluck at the werewolf bracelet on her other wrist, over and over again, letting it snap back and leave red lines on her skin that vanished as quick as they appeared.
Dean continued down the hallway, passing Ben's door. And an Omega scent that wasn't his own. An Omega scent that was his son's.
Dean came to the room that used to be the nursery. He closed the door behind him, punched the wall and growled.
Ben wasn't supposed to be an Omega.
He was supposed to be an Alpha like Sam. Like Charlie, like Jo hopefully would be. Safe from the kind of shit Dean had to deal with as an Omega. Dean looked at his fist where it rested against the wall, at the werewolf bracelet on his wrist. At least, with Ben's bracelet, Ben wouldn't be such a slave to his instincts.
Maybe Ben would make it through unscathed.
Dean looked to his right and saw the crib Sam had built for Ben when Dean had been pregnant with him. Built to look like the Impala, built strong and decorated with a devil's trap, a Baby to keep their baby safe. Dean felt a tear slide down his cheek and he squeezed his eyes shut, bracing himself against the tide of his emotion.
The nursery's door opened and Sam's scent filled Dean's nostrils. Dean didn't look up at him.
Sam's hand slid onto his shoulder.
"D... he'll be alright."
"Easy for you to say," muttered Dean.
"He's strong. Smart. Just like you." Sam kissed Dean's shoulder. Dean heaved a sigh.
Too much like me.
Sam kissed his neck. Stop beating yourself up, there's enough things out there in this world willing to do that and you don't have to join them.
Dean laughed darkly at Sam's silent comment. He turned to face Sam.
"I was thinking... I mean, at least he doesn't have to deal with all the heat shit I had to deal with, since he has the bracelet," said Dean softly. "At least that'll give him some control over it."
Dean no longer had heats, hadn't gotten them for a few years. Sam no longer had ruts either. When they'd gotten them, the bracelets had given them control over their mating urges. But now he and Sam were in their fifties - Dean fifty-nine and Sam fifty-five. Middle-aged werewolf dads with gray hair, cut loose from the puppet strings of the mating dance.
Not that they didn't still dance the dance every now and then.
Dean took in his younger brother's appearance. Sam had aged magnificently; somehow he seemed to only get more attractive over time. The streaks of gray in his hair and his beard, the lines in his face all just made him look more handsome than ever. Werewolf aging was an odd thing; it seemed to go very fast at younger ages and then very slow at older ages, since neither Sam nor Dean had aged drastically in the past fifteen years, whereas their kids had raced to adulthood. Which even applied to their non-werewolf kid Jack.
As Dean admired Sam, he thought about the fact that Sam was now three years older than their dad had been when he'd died. Dean tried not to think about his and Sam's parents too often but sometimes he couldn't stop those thoughts from creeping in. And he would imagine their parents' disgust at their sons. Especially at him, the eldest. The one who was supposed to know better, who was supposed to set a good example for his little brother. Who was supposed to protect him from monsters, not make more monsters with him.
If their dad was still alive, he would kill them, for more than one reason.
"Hey," Sam cut into his thoughts, cupping Dean's face in his hands. "What's going on in there?" Sam gazed worriedly into Dean's eyes.
Dean hefted a smile onto his face, felt tears burn at the corners of his eyes, and pulled Sam forward into a kiss so that Sam wouldn't notice. Sam pulled away after a few seconds.
"You've been drinking," Sam murmured against Dean's lips.
"Our daughter's been drinking too."
Dean groaned. "Don't wanna talk about that right now. Want you to take my mind off all this shit, Sammy." He nipped and sucked at Sam's lips until Sam gave in with a groan of his own, pinning Dean to the wall and plunging his tongue into Dean's mouth.
Sam sucked hard kisses down Dean's throat, along his collarbone and down his body. He gave Dean's navel a lingering kiss, as he always did when he was kissing Dean's body. Wordlessly thanking Dean for bearing his children; Dean stroked Sam's hair in fondness.
Sam moved further down to kiss the shape of Dean's half-hard dick through the fabric of his boxers. A light kiss, teasing, promising. Dean's breath caught at the feel of Sam's tongue against the clothed head of his dick.
The wet kisses continued until Dean's boxers were soaked and straining to hold Dean in them. Sam nosed at the fabric Dean was tenting out and breathed him in, sighing in pleasure, and then his fingers hooked into the waistband and pulled the boxers down Dean's legs.
Dean cursed softly at Sam's tongue on his balls, at Sam's mouth sucking each of them in and Sam's beard brushing across his most sensitive areas. Sam's tongue then drifted up Dean's shaft to the pink, swollen, dripping head, and Dean cursed much more loudly when Sam's lips parted around him, welcoming him into Sam's heavenly mouth.
Sam slid forward an inch, lips and tongue sealed tight around Dean, then slowly pulled back before moving further forward, and he kept taking more and more of Dean in. Dean moaned and slipped his fingers into Sam's hair as he felt a finger circle his opening. He was damp but not as wet as he used to get - back when he got heats as well - the finger withdrew along with Sam's mouth. Dean watched Sam take three fingers into that mouth, liberally coating them with his saliva and Dean's precome - and then a slippery finger wriggled up into Dean, and Dean moaned hungrily as Sam's mouth slipped back over him.
Sam's finger drew more slick out of Dean and soon three long fingers were sliding into Dean's body, thrusting in time with the bobbing of Sam's head, rubbing at Dean's prostate. The fingers of Sam's other hand rolled Dean's balls, slow and rhythmic, all of Sam's movements dragging Dean's orgasm closer and closer.
Then Sam pushed all the way forward. Dean's cock sank into Sam's throat, Sam's fingers stabbed into Dean's prostate, and Dean's balls drew up against his body as he came in Sam's throat with a choked gasp.
Sam pulled back to let the rest of Dean's come fill his mouth, drinking it with a contented moan. When he'd drunk Dean dry, he took his slick-covered fingers into his mouth and drank Dean from them too.
Dean flung himself down at Sam, knocking Sam onto his back and straddling him, capturing Sam's mouth in a ferocious kiss, drinking his own taste from that mouth.
This man is beautiful and this man is mine.
Sam growled into Dean's mouth.
No one living or dead can ever change that.
Dean rocked his hips against Sam's, feeling Sam's cock throb against him, wet patch on the crotch of Sam's pajama pants where his cockhead strained at it.
"Mmm." Dean savored the lingering taste of come on Sam's mouth. "You didn't take care of yourself, baby."
Sam smiled. "That's okay. I'll go take a shower and take care of it."
"Like hell you will," Dean growled. He slid his hand down between them, under the waistband of Sam's pants and into Sam's briefs to wrap around the thickness of Sam. It throbbed hot in his hand and Sam's hips lifted into Dean's grip as a moan crawled out of Sam's throat.
Dean shoved Sam's pants and underwear to his thighs and then pressed three fingers to Sam's lips.
"Open up and I'll do the same."
Sam whimpered like a hungry dog as he opened his mouth and took Dean's fingers into it, slicking them with spit and come. Dean brought the fingers to his already-stretched opening and stretched it more, made sure he was well-lubed, then he gripped Sam's cock, lined it up, and he sank down onto it with a groan from both of them.
Dean was still wearing his robe and Sam's hands slid beneath it to cup Dean's ass, and then Sam kicked away from the wall where his legs had been uncomfortably folded and in doing so he bucked up into Dean, slamming himself deep. Dean choked out a moan and Sam rumbled with pleasure, his fingers digging into Dean's ass.
"Oh you think you're in charge here," Dean breathed down at Sam, a grin lifting the side of his mouth. He leaned down to lick his come from Sam's beard where it had spilled out the sides of Sam's mouth. "You're still my bitch."
Sam gave Dean a fanged grin and tried to flip them over, but Dean locked Sam's legs together, pinned Sam's arms to the floor and gave Sam a sinuous roll of his hips. Sam moaned raggedly as Dean rode him masterfully, powerful muscles moving fluidly on top of and around Sam... and he gave up and let Dean drag his orgasm nearer.
It didn't take long. The taste of Dean on his tongue, the feel of Dean's fangs grazing the scar he'd put on Sam's neck to match the claiming bite Sam had given him, and Dean's body rocking intently against his, Dean's body taking him deep inside - Sam felt Dean get tighter around him as his knot expanded and the muscles inside Dean contracted in response. His knot expanded fully, their bodies locked together, and Sam let out something between a moan and a gasp as he came inside of Dean.
Dean released Sam's arms and moaned softly into Sam's ear at the feeling of Sam filling him. Sam slid his hands up under Dean's robe again, up onto Dean's back to hold Dean close as their hips went on rocking together. The two of them sighed when they were finally spent, Dean sprawled out over Sam with his robe on, Sam with his shirt on and pants shoved down, both content.
Sam's hand slid down to where he was buried inside Dean. "My jerk," he whispered, voice rough and soft at the same time.
"All yours, Sammy," Dean whispered back with a kiss. Sam kissed Dean's forehead when Dean nuzzled into his neck.
They were quiet for a while, drifting close to sleep on the nursery floor. Sam looked up at Ben's old crib.
"Mm," replied Dean into Sam's neck.
"Remember how happy you were when you found out you were having a boy?"
Silence for a moment, then a sigh. "Yeah."
"This is our son," said Sam as he stroked Dean's back under his robe. "And our son is an Omega. It's a part of who he is... and he's a miracle. Him and his sisters."
Dean sighed deeper. "Yeah," he said again, not willing or able to argue with what Sam said. He tried to focus on the feeling of Sam's gentle fingers drifting up and down his back, but he couldn't help wondering what it was that made their son an Omega, what it was that made Dean an Omega too... wondering where these designations came from.
A knock on Ben's door pulled him out of the fragile sleep he'd fallen into minutes earlier and he moaned quietly as consciousness and pain returned to him.
Another knock sounded. Ben ignored it.
The door opened and Dean emerged from it. Ben looked miserably up at him, then rolled to face away. He could smell how disappointed his father was with him.
Dean cleared his throat. "Benny..."
They both waited a while for Dean to say more. Dean eventually just sighed and came to sit on the bed behind Ben.
"So... Omega, huh."
Ben closed his eyes, willing Dean to go away.
Instead, Dean patted Ben's shoulder pityingly. Like Ben had just failed some kind of test. The thought made Ben snort bitterly; he had just failed a test.
Dean had always been so proud of his Alpha son Benny. Sang praises of what a good Alpha Ben would eventually be. It was all Dean ever wanted in his son. It was all Ben had ever wanted too.
Ben had tried so hard to please Dean. Dressed like him, listened to the music he liked, trained with him, took every opportunity he could to make Dean proud of him. Sam had never put that kind of pressure on Ben, for which Ben was grateful... he just wished both his fathers could be like that.
But all he got from Dean was disappointment and pity.
"I'm... I'm proud of you, kiddo."
Empty words, nothing like how Dean had sounded when he'd congratulated Charlie on becoming an Alpha. Hot tears burned at Ben's eyes.
"Thanks," he said just as hollowly back.
"If you want to, um... ask me anyth-"
Dean sat there in silence for a moment more, then gave Ben's shoulder a final pat before standing again.
"You gonna be able to go to school today?"
Ben wanted to, if only to get the hell out of the bunker... but there was no way he could sit upright in a chair for hours. With horrific cramps and a leaking ass.
Oh god, he thought. I'm an actual chick. He had never wanted so badly to have never been born.
"Gonna stay here," said Ben quietly.
"Alright... well, your dad'll be around, if you need anything... I'll be home later." Dean would be heading off to his job at the garage in town. Jo and Charlie would be off to school. Sam was usually at home while the rest of the family was away; working as a consultant to hunters in the field, researching and doing odd jobs around the bunker, and occasionally leaving the bunker to work as a handyman because Dean's salary wasn't exactly enough to support a family.
"Sounds good, D," Ben replied. D was the name that him and his sisters called Dean by (and what Sam called him sometimes too); Dean himself had asked them to call him that as they got older, to avoid confusion with them calling Sam dad, although they did still call Dean dad sometimes. But Dean wanted them to call him D. Had said that, up until them, only Sam had called him that, and it was only right that his and Sam's kids called him that too.
Dean smiled every time one of them called him D. Ben couldn't see it but he could feel Dean smiling.
"Hang in there, Benny," Dean said as he left, and Ben felt Dean's eyes linger on him before the door closed and left Ben alone again.
Only Dean was allowed to call him Benny. Which Dean took great pride in. At least that was one thing Dean was proud of when it came to Ben.
He listened as Dean and his sisters got ready for their day. Listened to Charlie's music pounding through his wall, Sam and Charlie yelling at each other and Dean yelling at both of them, and Jo, always so quiet, wandering up to his door to silently ask if he was okay. He silently assured her he was and felt her love float into him, smiling and returning the gesture.
Eventually the music and the yelling stopped as Dean and the twins left the bunker. The Impala's engine roared distantly before fading away.
After a few minutes, Ben caught Sam's scent hovering outside his door. Sam stood there, hesitant. Conflicted. Then walked away.
Ben breathed in Sam's Alpha scent hungrily, and hated himself for doing so.
He was going into heat. He didn't know much about Omega heat, but he knew that's what was happening. It used to happen to Dean when Ben and his sisters were younger; Dean would get feverish, sweaty, desperate for Sam, for his Alpha.
Ben didn't want this. He had a girlfriend. He wanted to want her.
He reached out to fumble on his nightstand for his phone and then dragged it towards him. He went through his messages, found the name Kat, then started typing one to her.
Staying home sick... missing you.
No reply, but it was early still and Kat was probably busy starting her day. Ben smiled as he imagined her; styling her curly brown hair, applying makeup to accentuate her dark features, dressing to accentuate her small curvy body. He wished he could be with her.
Oh no babe! came her reply. And here I thought you were Superman, that you never got sick!
Ben never had gotten sick in his life, a benefit of being born a werewolf. Kat didn't know this; they'd only known each other for a year. Ben wondered how he was supposed to keep her around without her suspecting something was wrong with him.
Unfortunately not Superman, he texted her back.
That's okay, I still love you, she said with a kissyface emoji. He laughed softly.
Love you too. Going to try to sleep a little.
Feel better babe, she said, sending him hearts. Text me later.
Ben gazed at her words sadly before tossing the phone back at the nightstand. There was no way he was going to be able to keep her around. No way he was going to be able to keep anyone around outside of his family.
He closed his eyes and tried to sleep. Hours passed. The pain only grew, and heat began to stifle him in his bed.
He blearily looked around his room. His supposed sanctuary. Saw classic rock posters, muscle car posters. Over on his desk, pictures of him and Kat. Pictures of him and Dean when Dean was proud to be his dad.
He had to get the fuck out of there.
He rolled himself out of bed, his sheets sticking to him with sweat that soaked his shirt and boxers. The room spun under his feet but he flung out a hand to steady himself as he crossed to the door.
He made it a few steps down the hallway before he collapsed.
Sam came running down the hall, calling out Ben's name, holding Ben's face in his hands and shouting at him when Ben didn't respond. He started scooping Ben up into his arms and Ben pushed him away.
"Stop," he managed to say. "Not some... weak little bitch... I can walk." He pushed himself back onto his feet, leaning against the wall.
"Was just trying to help you get to the bathtub," said Sam worriedly. "Get some cold water, cool you down."
"I can do that by myself," muttered Ben, turning away from Sam and staggering down the hallway to the bathroom, feeling his father's concerned gaze following him.
Ben slammed the bathroom door behind him, grabbed the edge of the sink to steady himself, and looked up into the bathroom mirror. Dean's eyes stared back at him; he looked almost exactly like a young Dean, but his mouth was thinner, like Sam's. Got a strong Alpha jaw, Dean had been fond of saying about Ben. Ben pulled off his shirt and boxers to see the lack of muscle definition in his body. He closed his eyes.
He stumbled over to the bathtub and crawled in, turning the tap to let cold water pour over his overheated body. Tears fell down his face to join the water in the tub.
Weak little bitch.
He passed in and out of consciousness, and suddenly he felt fingers sliding through his hair. He looked up into his father's face.
"Dad," he sobbed. The hand moved down to dry his face.
"I'm here, Ben," Sam whispered and leaned down to kiss Ben's forehead. "I'm so proud of you, son."
This time, Ben heard truth ringing in his father's words. He held Sam's hand against his face and smiled through his tears.
Charlie awoke with a snort to find herself still sitting upright in bed, her headphones having fallen off her head and into her lap, music still issuing from them. She flicked them away, swung her legs over the side of her bed and sat there for a minute, holding her head in her hands.
She could smell her brother in heat in the next room.
And her body couldn't help responding. The smell of a newly presented Omega in heat... her heart started beating faster, heat spread through her. She felt her clit growing into a cock capable of knotting the Omega, and she wanted to hurl.
She'd already felt like enough of a freak. Werewolf, child of two brothers, member of a family holed up in an underground bunker. An Alpha.
She remembered when she'd presented as Alpha... she'd just started high school, her and Jo. The first actual school they'd ever attended, since they'd been homeschooled up until then (Sam had taken on teacher duties). She'd been so excited to go to an actual school, meet people she wasn't related to.
And then the rut came on. It had started with her and Sam snapping at each other unnecessarily. An inexplicable need to fight Sam. She was sitting in her history class... smelling the girl sitting next to her... suddenly the girl was staring at her, and Charlie realized she'd been growling hungrily, and Charlie felt something weird going on in her pants, and she rushed out of the classroom and into a bathroom stall, where she opened her pants to find a dick for the first time.
She'd just stared at it for a while, bewildered. She tentatively touched the leaking tip and then groaned at the feeling. Wrapped her hand around the shaft and squeezed and groaned even louder. Kept on stroking and squeezing, getting bigger and harder, until she felt the flesh at the base of her cock swell enormous.
An Alpha knot. Her fathers had told her and her siblings about this. Slowly she gripped it, clamped her hand down on it, and she shouted a curse that echoed around the bathroom as she came, milking her knot and covering the bathroom wall with Alpha come.
She had started truly freaking out when her erection refused to go away. She'd done her best to shove it back in her pants and had run out of the school with her backpack over her crotch and called Sam to tell him what'd happened. He'd picked her up from school, and when Dean had arrived home to learn what had happened, he'd beamed at Charlie and clapped her on the back proclaiming "that's my baby girl!" - he and Sam gave her The Talk, Dean gave her a few volumes of Busty Asian Beauties, and they left her to hump away at her hand in her room until her first rut was over.
Sam was much less thrilled than Dean about Charlie becoming an Alpha. Because he knew what being an Alpha was like. Here she was, an Alpha, being urged by her body to fuck her Omega baby brother. His scent... it was like the smell of food to someone starved.
And she refused to jack off to the scent of her brother in heat. She would not.
She stomped off into the bathroom and into the shower, standing blissfully under the water for a while to escape Ben's scent. Afterwards, as she styled her hair into her usual mohawk, she sprayed it with extra hairspray to further drown out the scents around her.
She came back to her room and put Adam and the Ants' album Kings of the Wild Frontier on her stereo. She impaled her septum with a thick spike, rimmed her eyes in black and slicked her lips in red, baring fangs at her mirror as she did. She pulled on a black shirt she'd spraypainted with a white skull and bones, and as she was pulling a plaid skirt up over her hips she turned towards the door to find her father Sam standing there.
"Dude!" she shouted and turned away from him. "What the fuck??"
"Watch the language," warned Sam.
"How about you don't watch me get dressed then, perv," she shot back.
"I knocked. You didn't answer. Maybe you should turn the music down."
Charlie turned it up and smiled at him.
"Don't call me that." She cranked the stereo's volume louder. Sam stomped over and turned it off.
"Don't push me," said Sam, his voice cold and hard. "Why were you drinking last night?"
Charlie drew herself up to her full height; she was a few inches shorter than Sam but her mohawk made her appear taller, and she puffed her chest and stood imposing before him.
"None of your goddamn business."
"You do not talk to your father like that."
"Yeah, you're right, I don't talk to him like that - you, though..."
Sam snarled and grabbed the stereo, throwing it into the hallway where it smashed against the wall.
"WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM???"
"You wanna act like a little brat, there will be consequences," Sam boomed. "I'm your father and you're going to respect that. And you're going to stay the hell away from the beer unless you want me to take away the rest of your music."
"Hey what the hell's going on in here," Dean shouted over the two of them as he stood in the doorway. "Who threw the damn stereo?"
"He did," Charlie snarled as she glared at Sam. "I didn't even do anything -"
"You drank beer!"
"You're sixteen god dammit!!"
"Yeah, I'm a sixteen-year-old freak of nature!" Charlie shoved her way past her parents and out of the room.
"Don't walk away from me," Sam growled and followed her into the kitchen.
Dean stood in front of Sam with a hand on his shoulder. "Sammy, hey, let her -"
Sam shoved Dean's hand away. "No, dammit. You keep letting her do crap like this, trying to be her friend. I'm trying to be her parent."
"Alright, you know what, you both need to listen to me right now," said Dean angrily. "Sam, you need to calm down and stop destroying your daughter's possessions and screaming at her like a maniac, that's not going to solve a god damn thing. Have we learned nothing from The Little Mermaid?"
"Thank you," muttered Charlie, grabbing leftover pizza out of the fridge and chomping into it.
"And you," said Dean, narrowing his eyes at her, "you and I need to have a talk about why you're drinking beer you got no business drinking."
Charlie gave him a bitchface in reply. Dean shook his head.
"God, even with the mohawk, somehow she looks just like you when she does that," he muttered at Sam. "Go clean up the mess you made in the hall because I sure as hell am not cleaning that up."
Sam growled his frustration and raked fingers through his hair before leaving the kitchen.
"Alright," sighed Dean, leaning over the kitchen island towards Charlie. "Look, you and I will talk about all this later. For now, get ready for school. I gotta go get ready for work." He patted the side of her face, and as he was leaving the kitchen he passed Jo, who he greeted with a hair ruffle.
Jo came up behind Charlie and hugged her. "You okay?"
Charlie sighed. "I dunno. Trying to be."
"It's the whole Alpha-Omega thing isn't it? Ben turning Omega."
Charlie didn't say anything, but she didn't need to.
"It'll be alright, kid. Don't worry." Jo moved away and patted Charlie's back. Charlie narrowed her eyes at her sister.
"You act all old and wise - you do realize you're only a minute older than me and thus full of shit?"
"Two minutes," said Jo, smirking.
"Well then I guess I'd better shut my ignorant mouth." Charlie smirked back. "Gonna go finish getting ready."
You gonna check in on Ben? He's having a rough time with this too, said Jo's worried voice in her head. Charlie stood still and silent, thinking of her little brother in pain and alone... thinking of him, a helpless Omega in need of a strong Alpha like her...
"No," she breathed out. No.
She left Jo in the kitchen and went back to her room. She pulled on a pair of fishnet tights and her combat boots, draped a bullet belt around her hips and pulled on a black leather jacket covered in safety-pinned patches. She slipped rings over fingers that ended with black nails, a variety of bracelets over her wrists, and a spiked choker around her neck.
Before leaving, she looked in her mirror, and satisfied that she could no longer see herself in her reflection, she grabbed her beat-up military messenger bag and headed for the bunker's garage.
She passed Sam in the hall on her way there, carrying the remains of her stereo. She glared as she passed and said nothing. Sam looked ashamed.
Fucking asshole, he better, she thought vehemently.
She leaned against the Impala and waited, and eventually Dean and Jo showed up. She was partly relieved and partly saddened to not see Ben with them.
Dean drove her and Jo to school, listening to his Zeppelin and not saying a word. Once at school, Jo and Charlie headed to their respective classrooms. Charlie smiled as she did; it wasn't that she necessarily liked school, it sucked and she had no friends, but she was just happy to get out of the bunker.
She sat in her math class, not listening to a word of what the teacher was saying and idly carving ancient runes into the wooden desk with a safety pin she'd taken off her jacket. She looked up at the clock.
She stuck the safety pin into her palm and cried out, leaping out of her chair and grabbing her hand.
Everyone turned to stare at her. The teacher frowned. "What's the matter, Miss Singer?"
Charlie showed him her bleeding hand. "It was an accident! I... I was just..."
"Nurse's office, Miss Singer," said the teacher exasperatedly. "Go."
Charlie nodded, picked up her bag and cradled her hand and left the room. Once she'd disappeared around a corner, she pulled the safety pin out with a smug smile and stuck it back on her jacket as her hand healed itself. She licked the blood away as she headed for the PE field.
Once there, she clawed her way up a tree that stood next to a shed at one end of the field. She crawled across the top of the shed until she could see past the tree's leaves. She checked the time on her phone and waited.
A girl came into view, running down the field. She had dark skin and long rainbow-colored braids; sweat gleamed on her bare arms and legs, her pale blue shorts stretched tight over a glorious ass. Charlie watched her, entranced.
"Zora!" A call came from somewhere near the shed Charlie was on top of. The girl's brown eyes were drawn to whoever had called out, and then they flicked up to meet Charlie's.
Shit. Charlie quickly rolled out of sight behind the tree branches, eyes shut and heart thundering. Then she grinned. Zora. The girl had a name now.
Jo couldn't sleep.
Not with her little brother crying himself to sleep across the hall. Not with her twin sister's mind in anguish in the bedroom next to their brother's.
Not with her parents fucking loudly in the nursery around the corner from her bedroom.
Usually she didn't have to hear them - their bedroom was further away than the nursery, and their bedroom had also been magically soundproofed (by Sam presumably). But tonight they were in the nursery. Unfortunately for Jo.
She sighed and got out of bed. She grabbed her headphones, put on Björk's Homogenic, got her homework out of her backpack and sat at her desk to work on it.
But her mind wouldn't stop turning over the subject of her family. And their designations. And her lack of one.
Dean had been expecting all his and Sam's kids to turn out Alpha pretty much; he'd always figured Jo for an Alpha, and then her twin had become an Alpha, so everyone had presumed it was only a matter of time for Jo.
They still didn't know what any of this meant. Why any of them were given these designations, when no other werewolves had them. Why silver had no effect on them.
And then there were Jo's powers.
She figured she got them from Sam, the former psychic, the sometimes witch. Her ability to communicate telepathically. Her newfound telekinetic ability.
She lifted her pen in the air without touching it, making it twirl. When she had shown Sam this ability of hers, he had given her an amazed laugh.
"You take after your big brother," he'd said, shaking his head. "Jack used to do this."
"No," he'd answered her softly. "I could never do that. The... the demon blood..."
Sam never liked talking about this. He steeled himself.
"It let me do things kind of like this... some kind of telekinesis but it was hard to harness it. It didn't come easy."
Jo watched her pen dance in the air, still mystified as to how she was able to do this. The Men of Letters' archives had offered her no answer.
She cocked her head, narrowed her eyes, and she made the pen drift back down to the piece of paper on her desk. She concentrated a bit harder... and she made the pen write her name at the top of the page.
The name the outside world called her by. She'd gotten so used to it by now that writing the name Jody Winchester seemed weird to her.
She and her siblings had always been told to be proud of being Winchesters, but when the time came for them to start school, their parents explained why they couldn't use the name Winchester out in the world. Sam and Dean Winchester were dead criminals. Legally anyway.
So Sam and Dean Winchester had assumed the names of Sam and Dean Singer and the identities of a married (and unrelated, and human) couple; Dean's fake family name was Campbell and he took Sam's fake family name of Singer, which they'd then given to the kids. The kids had come from surrogate moms; Jo and Charlie from one, with Sam's sperm, and Ben from another, with Dean's. Jo wondered if her fake surrogate mom had a name.
Sam and Dean had long since given up hunting and credit fraud. Dean had been working as a mechanic for nearly all of Jo's life, Sam supplementing their income with odd jobs but mostly staying home to homeschool the kids until they reached high school. Sam and Dean still did what they could from home to aid in the fight against evil, and in turn they were protected by the hunters they helped.
The kids hadn't been forced into the hunting life, like their parents had, but their parents had offered to train them should they so desire, and both Charlie and Ben had jumped at the chance. Jo had never been too interested in fighting. She, like Sam, was much more interested in research, so that was her own form of hunter training.
Jo got the feeling that her parents didn't want their kids to become hunters, but felt like they needed to give their kids the option. They probably didn't want their kids to hunt because they didn't want their kids to be targeted by hunters, like they themselves had been.
Jo wondered what the hunters would make of her. A telekinetic werewolf.
A telekinetic werewolf who could read minds.
That was an ability that no one but Jo was aware of, and one that she'd only become aware of very recently. She'd long been able to tune in to the thoughts of her family members, although it wasn't something she'd done often because of the intense concentration it required. She was also afraid of having her own thoughts heard by others.
For years, she'd only been able to listen to her family's thoughts. She'd figured it was just a blood bond of some kind. But now... she could listen to anyone's thoughts if she wanted.
She took off her headphones tentatively, ready to put them back on if her parents were still going at it in the nursery, but fortunately they'd stopped.
Charlie was asleep now. Charlie had been the first mind Jo had ever been connected to and remained Jo's strongest connection.
Ben was awake. In agony.
I can't be Omega. Something is wrong. What did I do wrong? Why can't I ever do anything right?
Jo's heart broke for her brother. Not because he was Omega, but because he was ashamed of what he was. His was such a sweet soul, and he tried so hard to hide it. He was like Charlie in that way; underneath her hard exterior was just as sweet a soul. And Charlie and Ben both hated what they were.
Sam and Dean didn't exactly help the situation - they were just as unhappy with their own designations. Dean felt like being an Omega impugned his manhood. And Sam... Sam would never forgive himself for what his rut had made him do to Dean.
She remembered Sam lunging naked at Dean, she remembered Dean drawing Sam out of the kitchen where Jo and Charlie were, she remembered hearing Dean scream with pain and she remembered hearing Sam growl with lust. She could still hear Sam's roars echoing down the bunker's halls when Dean had chained him up in the dungeon. Could still taste Sam's blood from when she'd sunk her fangs into his leg, trying to defend Dean from him, small as she was.
Dean had forgiven Sam. Jo had forgiven Sam. But Sam could not forgive himself. Sam would never be at peace with being Alpha. Jo just hoped that her twin sister wouldn't be the same...
And she wondered what designation she would be given. Alpha, Omega, she didn't really mind either way, she just wanted to know which she would be.
She was supposed to know. Charlie had presented at fifteen. Ben had presented at fifteen. Jo was sixteen now.
She was supposed to be in bed. She looked at her clock: half past four in the morning. She was supposed to be asleep and she was supposed to wake up in two hours.
Supposed to. Did anything actually work that way?
She put her headphones back on and started dancing to the music, swaying gently to the beat, letting it take her away from her thoughts. She spun around the room that used to be hers and Charlie's, that had been solely hers since Charlie had presented and moved into her own room across the hall. The two of them had grown up together in this room. Jo and Charlie used to dance in here together like this; Jo smiled at the memory.
The walls were still painted purple from when their dads had decorated this room for them. The moon ceiling light still hung above Jo's head, still surrounded by glowing stars. The twin beds had been replaced by a full-size bed, white wooden frame, black sheets and a galaxy-printed comforter to match the moon and stars above.
Jo spun under the stars until she couldn't anymore, and then collapsed on her back across the galaxy, eyes closed as sleep finally settled in.
She woke up to someone patting her foot. She looked up to see Sam.
"Up and at 'em, sunshine," he said with a smile. "Time to get ready for school."
Jo groaned and curled up into a ball. "Just fell asleep."
"There's coffee in the kitchen."
"Mine," said Jo before he finished speaking, sitting up and staring wild-eyed, wild-haired and determined at her father. "That coffee is mine."
Sam laughed. "Your coffee is in the kitchen. Go drink it before it's cold."
"Damn right I will," she muttered as she got up, brushing her hair out of her face as she made for the kitchen. She stuck a frozen waffle into the toaster, poured herself a cup of coffee and drank half immediately. She grabbed the pot of coffee and brought it over to the kitchen table, pouring more into her cup.
Why do we have such small cups.
She syruped her waffle and ate it in a few bites, licking syrup off her fingers after and drinking another cup of coffee.
A crash sounded from outside Charlie's room and Jo heard Sam and Charlie shouting at each other.
There they go again.
Jo sighed, grabbed her coffee and did her best to get out of the way of the battling Alphas. She passed Dean in the hall and they exchanged exasperated looks.
She used the bathroom, brushed her teeth, and sensing the coast was clear, she approached the hallway her and her siblings' rooms were in. She saw Charlie's stereo in pieces on the floor, the latest casualty of her sister's battles. Jo stood outside Ben's door.
You okay in there, little bro?
I'm fine, Ben replied, not convincing in the slightest. Jo could hear what was underneath it. Could feel how badly he needed an Alpha, and how badly he wanted to not need an Alpha. Without touching him, without seeing him, she wrapped up his heart in hers, letting him know she was there for him, and he returned her affection.
Sam came into the hallway and saw her with her hand against Ben's door. He looked down at the destroyed stereo and shame crept through him. His eyes wouldn't meet Jo's.
She respected his wish for solitude and left the hallway, continuing to the kitchen where Dean messed up her already messy hair and Charlie sullenly ate a piece of cold pizza.
Jo tried to comfort Charlie, but there wasn't much she could do about the situation. Ben was an Omega in heat and Charlie was a virile Alpha. Ben needed a knot and Charlie needed to knot him. As much as neither of them wanted that, it was what they needed.
Jo showered and got ready for school, pulling on a brown and olive green color-blocked long-sleeved dress and some black boots she'd found in a thrift store. She picked up her backpack and met Dean outside her room.
"So Dad and Charlie had it out," she said and Dean snorted with amusement.
"Yet again," he replied. "Here's hoping they both got it out of their system."
Jo gazed at him warily.
"You realize this is only the beginning, right?" Dean only frowned at her, so she continued. "We have two Alphas here, and two Omegas now."
"What's your point," grumbled Dean.
"Haven't you noticed how Charlie's been fighting Dad since she presented? It's only gonna get worse now with Ben presenting Omega."
Dean's expression darkened. "Still don't see your point."
"The Alphas are fighting over the Omega. And Ben's in heat, which means -"
"I don't want to hear any more about this," Dean cut her off with a warning growl before setting off towards the bunker's garage. Jo knew better than to press the subject, and she followed him in silence.
He put Zeppelin on in the car as he drove Jo and Charlie to school, drumming on the dash and singing off-key. Distracting himself. Charlie raised an eyebrow at Jo.
Rough morning for us all, said Jo. Charlie smiled darkly.
Jo lost herself in her thoughts for a while. Dean was so perturbed by the whole incest thing. As were Charlie and Ben, and yet that was what had created their family, so Jo didn't see it in such a negative light. Neither for or against it, just accepting of it.
But Dean and Sam had grown up in a world where incest was a terrible thing, and Jo's siblings wanted to live in that world.
Charlie headed to her class after they were dropped off and Jo headed to hers, welcoming the opportunity to think about things other than her life and her family for a while. She focused on the book they were studying in her AP English class, Kafka's Metamorphosis, which she had become very fond of.
In her biology class, she greeted her friend Danny; short and dark-haired with thick black-framed glasses, a shy weird kid like herself, who drew incessantly all over his classwork. His art was twisted and creepy. She liked him, as a friend. He liked her, as more than a friend.
She could read his thoughts easily - he thought very loudly. How he wanted her. Jo tried to just focus on her classwork.
When the bell rang for lunch, Jo quickly made for the isolated corner of the high school, a low and little-used building that wrapped around a tiny tree-lined courtyard. The courtyard was enclosed by locked doors.
Jo scented the air, made sure no one was around to see her, and she clicked the lock of one of the doors open with her mind, darting through the open door and locking it behind her.
She sat against one of the trees, alone in the little courtyard, gazing up through the tree's leaves at the blue sky above.
She thought about how Danny wanted her. Would he still want her if he knew what she was? Werewolf. Mind reader. Child of incest.
And her family... Dean didn't want to face reality. None of them did. But they would have to... Jo was afraid of what would happen when they finally did.
And Jo thought of herself. What she wanted.
She wanted to eat Danny's heart out. In a very literal sense.
She didn't want to fuck him, or anyone else. She didn't want to hurt him or anyone else either.
She wanted to go to college. She wanted to read her way through as many libraries as she could. She wanted to learn as many languages as she could. She wanted to live her life in peace.
But wanting and needing were two entirely separate things.
Dean and the twins arrived home in the afternoon as Sam was helping Ben out of the bathroom and into his room, Sam's hand laid supportively on Ben's back. Sam and Charlie bristled as they passed each other.
Jo cleared her throat, drawing Charlie's attention. "Gonna do some homework," she said and motioned to the door of her room. Charlie lifted her head in acknowledgement and Dean smiled at Jo as she went into her room.
"You. Come train with me," Dean said to Charlie, light but insistent. "Been a while, and besides, we still need to have that talk. We can talk and hit each other at the same time, win-win, right?"
Charlie gave him a begrudging smile and followed him to the gym. Sam watched them go before stepping into Ben's room, where Ben was laying back down on his bed.
Sam came over and sat on the edge of his son's bed.
"How ya feelin'?"
"Like my insides are in a blender," said Ben, quiet and strained. "And they're boiling."
Sam nodded solemnly and placed his hand on Ben's stomach, rubbing comfortingly. Ben sighed and looked up at his father.
"Was it this bad for D when he got heats?"
Another nod, this one of enthusiastic affirmation. "Worse. Tellin' you, I don't know how he survived them, but he did. I wouldn't have." Sam laughed a little. "You know... we kinda went through this with your brother too. He lost his powers... thought it made him weak."
Ben's eyes fell from Sam's.
"But it didn't," said Sam as he tipped Ben's chin up. "It only made him stronger."
Ben smiled reluctantly.
"Not saying that being an Omega is like losing powers, just meant how Jack saw it, how it made him feel weak. But you only have to look at your other dad to see how strong Omegas are."
This time Ben smiled genuinely. Sam took his hand away and Ben tried to hide his disappointment; he took a deep breath, drawing in his father's comforting scent.
"Hey, I know something that'll help."
Charlie threw her fist at her father's face. Dean dodged it easily with a grin, his boxing glove hooking into her side before he backed away.
"Gettin' slow, kiddo," he taunted, before studying her seriously. "Something weighing on you?"
Charlie raised her gloved hands again. "Don't wanna talk about it."
Dean considered this and started circling towards her. "That's fair," he said before throwing a punch that she ducked; she in turn threw a punch that he again dodged before putting distance between them again. "But I want you to stay away from the beer, okay? If there's something bothering you, whatever it is, want you to know I'm here for you, if you wanna talk about anything. No judgement."
A corner of Charlie's mouth lifted. "Alright. I'll stay away from the beer."
Dean's eyes narrowed but amusement touched his features. "You'll stay away from all of the alcohol."
"I don't wanna see that dirty-diaper face, I want you to say it."
"I'll stay away from all of the alcohol," Charlie grumbled. "But what if all of you get severely wounded and you need alcohol for your wounds and I'm the only one who can get it for you?"
Dean laughed. "Nice try but we don't get wounded, and even if we did, the chances of us all getting wounded and you somehow being the only one left standing? Slim." Dean feinted and then brought Charlie down with a leg sweep, pinning her upper body to the floor. "Oh for two, Charlie Bobby."
Charlie panted and laughed. "Told you not to call me that anymore!"
"I gave birth to you, okay, I'll -" Charlie slipped his hold and flipped them, pinning Dean to the floor by his arms and legs. She grinned triumphantly.
"Gettin' slow there, old man."
"Yeah, yeah, get off me," Dean grumbled, but he smiled at her when he got up.
Sam laid the flannel he'd taken off himself over Ben like a blanket; Ben snuggled into it and Sam chuckled fondly, reminded of Ben as a little boy. He brushed the hair off Ben's forehead.
"Yeah," replied Ben, but Sam saw him hide a grimace, pulling Sam's shirt up over his nose. It killed Sam to see his boy in pain.
"There's... I can do something else to help. It helped your dad."
Sam hesitated before leaning down to rub the side of his face against Ben's, rubbing his Alpha scent onto Ben and trying not to hurt Ben with his beard, ready to pull back if Ben protested but he didn't. Ben only sighed with relief, and Sam smiled as he nuzzled at his son.
"WHAT THE -"
Sam was suddenly ripped away from Ben and faced with a furious Alpha.
"Don't." Her tone threatened nothing less than death. "I don't want to hear anything you have to say, you sick bastard."
Dean came into the room behind her. "Alright, you two need to -"
"He was trying to fuck Ben."
Dean took the words like a bullet to the chest. His eyes traveled from Charlie, who shook with rage, to Ben, wearing Sam's scent and humiliated, to Sam.
Sam was horrified, and Dean was horrified and furious.
"Dean... I wasn't..."
A low growl began to emanate from Charlie. Sam fought the instinct to growl back.
"He was just trying to help me," Ben insisted, tears at his eyes. "With Alpha scent. That's all."
Charlie moved in front of him. "You don't have to defend him, Ben."
Dean scented the air, focusing on Sam's scent and studying it. He smelled neither guilt nor arousal on Sam. He moved closer, stared hard into his brother's eyes.
His expression softened. "It's not true," he whispered. Sam's eyes affirmed his words.
"I fucking saw him on top of Ben!" Charlie's fury only grew. Dean turned to her.
"Hey," he said softly, "let's just all calm down, okay? We'll calm down and we'll talk about this."
"How can you be okay with all of this? With him." Charlie's eyes burned red as she glared at Sam. "Demon blood junkie, vessel for the Devil, you really think he'd stop there? Don't you remember what he did to you?"
"Charlie," said Jo quietly as she appeared in the doorway.
"You remember," Charlie said to her. "And so do I." She turned back to Sam, fangs bared. "You call yourself my father? I remember you raping my father."
And this time her words cut into both Dean and Sam like a knife to the heart. Dean fought down the sickness and pain the memory brought up, and he turned to Sam, but Sam just stood there like he was dead. All the life gone out of him.
"Wh... what are you guys talking about," asked Ben, soft and scared.
Dean rounded on Charlie. "Alright that is fucking enough," he spat. "Go to your room, Charlene."
But her eyes were no longer Charlie's, red and brimming with violence. Like Sam's had been in that memory Dean tried so hard to keep buried.
"Stay out of this, Omega," she rumbled in warning.
"Charlie," said Jo again, this time moving to Charlie's side, grasping her sister's shoulders and turning Charlie to face her. Charlie growled at her but didn't move away from her; they stood there with eyes locked saying nothing aloud, but Dean knew that didn't mean they weren't talking.
Charlie's eyes lowered and then lifted to meet Ben's. A shudder went through her, she sobbed, and she ran out of the room.
Dean stared after her for a moment before turning to Jo. "What's going on?" Jo met his worried gaze with her own.
"She's going into rut."
Dean struggled to stay upright as he felt his happy family life crashing down around him.
My son is in heat. My daughter is in rut. My brother...
Dean looked around him and realized that Sam had left. He looked at Jo and Ben; Jo watched him with concern and Ben looked like he was fighting the urge to throw up, doubled over on the edge of his bed. Staring down at Sam's flannel on the floor.
"Jomy... can you go find your sister and make sure she's okay?"
Jo nodded. She went over to Ben, leaned down and kissed the top of his head, lingered there for a moment, and left.
Dean sighed heavily before walking over to the bed and sitting beside Ben. They sat there in silence for a while.
"What Charlie said," Dean's voice cut into the silence, "about your dad..."
Dean didn't know what to say next. He knew he needed to say something. But then Ben spoke up.
"Is it true?" Ben's voice was small and unsteady. His eyes were still on Sam's flannel. "Did he really do what Charlie said?"
"Yeah." Dean's voice was hollow. "He did."
Ben looked up at Dean with hurt anger in his eyes. "How are you okay with that then?"
Dean regarded his son with sadness and fondness, carefully considering what to answer him with.
"I'm not okay with it," he answered truthfully. "I never will be. And your dad never will be. But we love each other, we always will. And we love you, and your brother, and your sisters."
Ben looked somewhat comforted but still confused and hurt, and Dean knew he was owed more of an explanation.
"It happened before you were born," said Dean, voice hollowing again. "Your sisters... they were just babies still. And your dad... your dad went into rut, for the first time. Your dad and I didn't have the bracelets back then. So your dad's rut..." Dean sighed. "He couldn't control it. He attacked me. I knocked him out and chained him up until it was over."
The two of them stared at the floor for a minute.
"He never did it again?"
"No," replied Dean. "After that happened he tried to run away. To protect us from him. But he came back. I made him come back." Dean forced a smile. "And we got our chill-out bracelets from your Uncle Crowley, so his rut wasn't as bad after that."
Ben looked down at his own bracelet, running a finger over its markings. He winced and clutched at his stomach. Dean watched him sadly before casting his eyes away.
"I was afraid of any of you becoming Omega."
A different kind of pain laced Ben's scent at those words.
"After what happened to me as an Omega... I didn't want my kids to have to face that." Emotion strained Dean's voice. "If you were Alphas, I wouldn't have to worry for you. Not that being Alpha is a great thing, as I'm sure your dad and your sister will tell you... but at least... at least you wouldn't have to be afraid of what an Alpha might do to you."
"Am I supposed to be afraid?" Sorrow filled Ben's eyes and voice. "Of my dad and my sister? Of being what I am?"
"No," whispered Dean, locking eyes with Ben. "And I'm so sorry if I made you afraid, or ashamed of what you are."
Ben fought against tears as he held his father's gaze.
"What you are is an incredible son, the best a father can ask for. And you're smart and strong enough to protect yourself against anything that comes at you. I know you are, Benny, you've knocked me on my ass in that gym, you crafty little sonofabitch."
Dean's voice was nothing but proud and Ben laughed hoarsely.
"So," Dean cleared his throat and went on, "I'm sorry for being a jackass. You know I'm here for you, right? Anything you need, anything I can do to help."
Ben nodded in understanding and gratitude. Dean ruffled Ben's hair and stood.
"Will you be okay for a little bit while I go find your dad?"
Ben nodded once more, sighing and looking down at the shirt on the floor. "I'll be fine."
"That's my boy," Dean said with an encouraging smile, and he left the room to track down his brother.
Jo tracked Charlie to the bunker's dungeon, the door of which was shut but not locked, since it could only be locked from the outside.
Charlie was whimpering and growling inside, her back to the door, her claws scraping at the floor beneath her.
Jo sat down in the hallway, mirroring Charlie's position, back to the door.
"What the fuck do you want," growled Charlie a minute later.
"Wanna make sure you don't do anything stupid," replied Jo. "You're known to do stupid shit."
Charlie barked a laugh. "Bitch."
"Takes one to know one." Jo smirked.
Charlie still whimpered quietly but her claws stopped digging at the floor and her growling ceased.
After a while, Charlie spoke again.
"I don't want this." Jo silently pressed for more. "I don't want any of this. Don't want to be Alpha. I don't want to be Omega either, I just wanna be..."
"I know," whispered Jo. We all wanna be something we're not.
"And what happens when you present as Alpha, or Omega? I'm gonna fucking attack you? I'm gonna hurt you. I don't want this," Charlie ended with a sob.
"You're not gonna attack me. Not gonna hurt me. I know it. You know it too, except, y'know, sometimes you're stupid."
She felt Charlie smiling.
"I'll be what I will be," sighed Jo, "and whatever that is, I'll have to deal with it, like we all do. Not just things like us. Every single being in this world. We all have battles to fight."
"Fuck you and your bullshit philosophy," Charlie bit out, but there was no real bite to it. "Doesn't change anything. Just leave me alone."
"Leave you in the dungeon?"
"That's what I want you to do."
Charlie growled warningly. "Because I'm an Alpha in rut and aren't you supposed to be the smart one, why do I have to explain this to you?"
"You've gone through rut before."
"Wasn't like this before," Charlie whined softly.
There wasn't also an Omega in heat before, Jo finished, and Charlie whined again.
Back in Ben's room, Jo had seen Charlie's rut creeping up on her the same way their father Sam's rut had crept up on him all those years ago. The aggression that gave way to violent lust. She had seen the way Charlie's nostrils had flared and fangs had descended as Charlie had inched ever closer to Ben.
Jo had grabbed her sister, forced Charlie to look at her, ignored Charlie's growls. And she had asked, silently, if deep down inside, Charlie wanted Ben. Charlie growled at the question, but Jo demanded that she dig beneath all the overlying bullshit - Alpha, werewolf, sister, all the labels attached to Charlie - and answer the question.
Charlie had looked over at Ben, and she gave Jo her answer. No.
"You and Ben will get through this," Jo assured her sister. "Only a few days before it's over. You can get through this. But you don't have to hide in the dungeon." Jo remembered the aftermath of Sam's rut. When he'd been chained in the dungeon, when he'd run away from them, when he'd come back and hid from them. She didn't want that for her sister.
"Easier in here... can't smell Ben."
Jo hummed with understanding. Then the corner of her mouth quirked up.
"You know how dads said they named us after, and I quote, 'the baddest bitches to ever walk the Earth'?"
Charlie laughed weakly. "And Bobby. The good one, not the stabby one."
Jo grinned. "And him. Well, you live up to your name, sis. You're a good person, and you kick ass. No matter what life throws at you, I know you'll kick its ass. And we will have your back."
"Dad won't," whispered Charlie. "Not after what I said."
Regret and anger and sadness and pain poured through the door Jo sat against.
"Dad will forgive you."
"I don't know about that." Charlie sniffled. "Have I forgiven him for what he did? I dunno."
Jo knew just how difficult that was. And that this was between Charlie and Sam.
"No matter what, I'm here for you, little sis," Jo whispered, embracing her little sister with wordless love.
Dean found Sam sitting in the War Room, in the chair closest to the stairs, facing them. Dean lingered in the library as he studied his little brother. He picked up their decanter of scotch, filled two glasses and made his way over to Sam.
He set Sam's glass down beside him and sat in the chair next to Sam's, taking a sip of his scotch.
"I was going to leave," said Sam. His voice was soft and hoarse. His eyes were still on the stairs. Longing in them. "But I can't."
"No," Dean concurred. "You can't."
Sam's eyes dropped.
"You all deserve better than me."
"How many times I gotta tell you, Sammy, it ain't about deserving - we're a family. We stick together. We have each other's backs, no matter what."
"My daughter..." Sam's voice broke and his eyes closed. "My daughter hates me. She has good reason to."
"Okay, A, she doesn't, and B, I reiterate, she doesn't."
Sam's watery eyes met Dean's.
"Charlie's in rut," Dean muttered, taking another drink. "Hence the angry outburst. So no, she doesn't hate you. And as for your claim that she ought to - you and I have talked about this, Sam. And you know that claim is bullshit."
The sorrow only deepened on Sam's face. "Charlie's in rut?"
"Yep. We have a kid in heat and a kid in rut at the same time, and here I was thinking life would give us a break after all we've been through."
The last time a heat had coincided with a rut in the Winchester household had been not long after Dean had given birth to Ben. He had his bracelet finally, so although the heat was uncomfortable, it was manageable. Then, on the second day of Dean's heat, Sam went into rut. And though he too had his bracelet, those days of simultaneous heat and rut had been torture. They didn't want to get pregnant again, so they had to stay away from each other as best they could, while taking care of two toddlers and an infant.
It had been Sam's first rut since the one that had led him to attack Dean. And while he didn't attack Dean a second time, the strength required to keep away from an Omega in heat was just about all the strength that Sam had in him. He snarled at his daughters for doing nothing wrong, just to vent his frustration. He ended up asking Crowley to help Dean with the kids while he isolated himself from them all for the remainder of his rut.
And now Sam and Dean's two youngest had to go through the same.
What does this mean, Sam asked silently and fearfully. Are our son and daughter going to...
"I don't know, Sam." Dean's face reflected his concern. The eldest Winchester shook his head. "I don't know. I don't think they will, but is it a possibility, yes, and I don't know how to feel about that."
Sam picked up his glass of scotch and drank half of it as he and Dean sat in silence.
"We can't really judge them for that," whispered Sam. "If they..."
"Yeah, I know," said Dean with a sigh.
Sam thought of what Charlie had accused him of trying to do to Ben, and he felt nauseous. He put his glass back on the table.
"What Charlie... what she said I was trying to do..."
"Sammy, we both know it wasn't true."
"Just the fact that she thinks I would do something like that."
"She's not thinking straight right now. Give her a few days on that."
Someone knocked on the door above them. Sam and Dean jumped in their chairs and stared up at the door.
"No idea," Dean replied as he frowned. The knocking sounded again. Dean set his glass down and stood, but before heading for the door, he turned to Sam.
"Sammy... you and I know who you are. These kids are smart, but they're still learning, okay?"
Sam attempted a smile. Dean leaned in with an arm around Sam's shoulders and a kiss to the top of Sam's head before he climbed the stairs.
He pulled the door open to find his and Sam's adopted son Jack standing on the other side.
Dean laughed in surprise and pulled Jack into a hug. "What are you doing here?" he asked, pulling away to look the younger man over. "Why didn't you call and let us know you were coming, you lose our number or something?"
"No," said Jack with a small smile, running fingers through his hair. "Just been preoccupied, caught up in a case. I wanted to make it here for Sam and Ben's birthdays." Ben's birthday was the day before Sam's - Sam had declared Ben the greatest birthday present ever - and both of their birthdays had passed weeks ago.
"Don't worry about it," Dean reassured Jack. "Things get crazy, we know how that goes. Just happy to see you, kid, come on in."
Jack walked inside and as Dean followed him down the stairs, he saw the weariness that settled over his son. But Jack smiled once more when he saw Sam, and Sam smiled too as they hugged.
"I'm sorry I missed your birthday."
"No need to be sorry, it wasn't a big deal," said Sam. "We've been kind of preoccupied too." Understatement, said Dean's voice dryly in his head.
"I brought you something," Jack told Sam as he reached into the bag slung over his shoulder. He pulled out a small package wrapped in purple paper and tied with silver ribbon, handing it to Sam. Sam smiled gratefully at Jack before opening it.
Then frowned at the pack of adult diapers he'd unwrapped.
"Figured you'd need 'em soon, senior citizen," said Jack with a smirk. Dean cackled and Sam glared at his brother.
"What the hell are you laughing about, you're gonna need these before I do." Dean glared in return.
"There's something else." Jack gave Sam an apologetic smile as he gestured at the package of diapers. "Inside there."
Sam raised an eyebrow, unsure if he wanted to find out what the other thing was, but he looked at the package and noticed a tear along one side, and he reluctantly reached into it.
He pulled out a small, ancient leather-bound book, its cover etched with runes. He traced the symbols wonderingly with his fingers before opening the book to find the delicate pages inked with more runes.
"Jack, this is..." Sam laughed breathlessly. "Where did you find this?"
"A case I was on earlier this year. A witch. She was taking children and feeding on them - I killed her and I found that in her house."
Dean looked at the little book in alarm. "Is that thing safe to have around?"
"It's safe," Jack assured them. "I checked it for dark magic and there's none. I figured if anyone should have it, it should be Sam."
Sam beamed and hugged Jack. "Thank you." Sam took the book over to one of the bookshelves set into the library's walls; he murmured a few words of Latin and another shelf appeared over the highest one, the newly revealed shelf stacked with archaic occult tomes - most of them previously of Rowena's collection, all of them kept hidden for safety's sake. Sam slid the book Jack gave him in among them, spoke more Latin, and the shelf disappeared.
"You and your Harry Potter shit," Dean muttered and shook his head, but there was affection in his voice.
"I have something for Ben too," said Jack. Sam and Dean exchanged concerned glances.
"Well... he's in his room," said Dean, "but... he's just got his first heat. Your baby brother is an Omega."
"Like what you are?"
Dean nodded. "So he's having kind of a rough day. But hey, maybe seeing you will cheer him up," said Dean with a smile.
"I'm gonna go grab us all some dinner," Sam said with a nervous cough. Still itching to leave.
"I should go with you," said Dean warily. Sadness touched Sam's eyes but a soothing smile lifted the corners of his mouth. I'll come back, he silently promised his brother. Just need to get out for a while and clear my head.
"You should stay," Sam said aloud. "Keep an eye on the kids. I won't be long. Bring you a six pack?"
Dean gave him a reluctant smile. "Make it two, and some burgers."
"You got it." Sam pulled Dean close and kissed him, resting his forehead against Dean's before pulling away. Sam patted Jack's shoulder before taking off for the garage. Jack watched him go with suspicion in his eyes.
"Did something else happen besides Ben's heat?"
Dean was reminded miserably of the day he'd rescued Sam from the psycho hunters in Iowa; when he'd brought Sam home and Jack had stayed with them, and Sam had shut himself away in his room in shame, and Dean had had to tell Jack what Sam had done to warrant such shame.
"Sam and Charlie got in a fight." Once again, leaving out the heartbreaking details. "Charlie went into rut, and that combined with Ben going into heat... adds up to a shitshow," Dean explained sullenly. "Charlie kinda exploded at Sam. I should, um - I should probably go check on her, check on Jomy too. Could you check on your brother for me?"
"Yeah." Jack regarded him with sympathy. "Of course."
Dean briefly grasped Jack's shoulder, where Sam's hand had been moments before, and he headed in the direction of the dungeon while Jack headed for Ben's room.
Jack knocked gently and opened the door at Ben's invitation. Ben's eyes widened at the sight of Jack, and he gave his older brother a smile that was more of a grimace.
"Hey! I didn't know you were coming by."
"Wanted to surprise you guys," said Jack with a note of apology in his voice. "It was supposed to be a birthday surprise but I know I'm late. I brought you a present though."
Jack walked over to sit beside Ben, taking a tiny black box out of his bag and giving it to Ben. Inside the box, Ben found a necklace: a small Celtic knot made out of bone and strung on a black leather cord. This time, Ben gave him a real smile.
"It's awesome - thanks, bro," Ben said as he slipped the necklace on, touching the pendant where it rested on his chest.
"It's a symbol of strength."
Ben arched a brow.
"Symbol of strength, huh. Did someone put you up to this?"
"No," replied Jack, confused. "Why?"
Ben sighed. "They tell you what happened to me? Our dads."
"They said you're an Omega now, that you got your first heat. That you're having a rough day." Jack frowned at Ben's chest. "But that's not why I gave you the necklace."
Ben squinted at Jack and then shut his eyes, dropping his head between hunched shoulders and fisting his hands in his hair. "Sorry, man," he mumbled, "and yeah, been a super shitty day."
Jack rubbed Ben's shoulder gently. "I'm sorry too."
Ben pushed his hair back with one hand and tilted his head to the side, one eye slit open to look up at Jack.
"Until today... I'd never really thought about what it would have been like for you, when you lost your powers. And you lost them twice."
Under Ben's thoughtful gaze, Jack cast his mind back to the events that saw him become human. The first time he'd experienced what it was to be human, when Lucifer, greedy and ruthless, had stolen Jack's grace, and had thus sentenced him to death. To feel what it was to be mortal and fragile, to become cold and dead. When he'd returned to life, he remained cold and dead, on the inside. Had killed thoughtlessly, had been flung by God himself into the Empty while his fathers cried for him, fought God for him. Had been once again returned to life to feed on the powers of angels, sacrificing what remained of his soul to help his fathers fight the creator of the universe - now its destroyer - and imprisoning God in Heaven, with Castiel as Heaven's new ruler and God's new prison guard. And the choice Jack had to make then: continue living as he had been, powerful and immortal and soulless, or let his powers go, to risk life, to risk death, to earn back his soul. To earn back more than his soul.
"The first time was hard for me," Jack murmured. "Having to get used to being human for the first time. It made me feel so useless... it took me a long time to realize that things like that didn't determine my worth." The pain of old wounds showed on Jack's face. "Took me a long time to see my worth at all.
"The second time, I chose to give up my powers, to regain my soul. And that wasn't hard at all, because your soul is all that matters in this world, really." Jack reached out and patted the Celtic knot pendant where it laid over Ben's heart. "This is all that matters."
"Your powers stopped the Apocalypse though - you saved the world with them."
"I helped. I didn't do it alone. It wasn't my powers that stopped the Apocalypse, it was my family."
A warm smile spread over Ben's face.
"So... what's been keepin' you busy these days?"
"Saving people, hunting things, the family business," recited Jack with a grin that Ben returned, but Jack's grin faltered. Ben looked his brother over; Jack's hair was shaggy and unkempt, unlike the neat haircut he usually sported. The beginnings of a beard shadowed Jack's lower face. And there was sorrow behind his eyes.
"Jack... is something wrong?"
Jack's eyes fell, and he took a moment to answer Ben.
"The last case I was on... the reason why I couldn't get here sooner... it didn't go well," replied Jack quietly. His face tightened. "Bobby and I were hunting a werewolf."
Fear and guilt seized at Ben.
"Bobby had him," Jack continued. "He was about to kill him, but the werewolf told us it was all a misunderstanding - he said that he was a friend of the Winchesters. He begged for mercy. So Bobby stopped and let him up." Jack took a deep breath. "He threw Bobby from the upper floor of a two-level apartment building. I killed the werewolf."
Ben instinctively shrank away from Jack.
"I hadn't actually killed any werewolves since... since our dads got turned," said Jack, voice grave. "Bobby... he's alive, but only just. In a coma. I don't know if he'll wake up."
Silence fell between the two. Ben steeled himself before moving closer to rest his hand on Jack's shoulder.
"I'm sorry, bro," whispered Ben. Bobby had once stabbed his father, but Bobby had since regretted what he'd done, and Bobby had been by Jack's side for years - and Ben knew that killing that werewolf would not have been an easy decision for Jack.
Jack closed his eyes, sat silently for a moment more, then turned to Ben. "It's okay," he said faintly. "I'll be okay, don't worry. I hope I'm not... I didn't really want to tell you guys about this."
Ben shook his head. "Don't feel bad," he said firmly. "Don't be afraid to talk to us - we're family, that's what we're here for, man."
Gratitude radiated from Jack and he squeezed his little brother's hand on his shoulder.