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Salt and Burn

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Take one look at Dean Winchester and your first thought was not omega. No, it was alpha, just like Sam and John before him. Even his mother had been a beta. Dean? No, Dean got saddled with being the only omega in their family. Worked out well enough, he learned to fight off asshole alphas that might try to take him and being a hunter meant he had no reservations about getting heat suppressants from back alleys. He’d gotten worse from worse places, after all.

Unfortunately this method of living meant he didn’t always get what he needed right when he needed it. His first heat hit him at fourteen and left him reeling in his hotel room for days. John was on a hunt, Sam kept wrinkling his nose at him and trying to keep his distance. After that John called Bobby and Bobby told them any time Dean needed it the panic room was his to use. The ultimate room of protection. Safe from ghosts, demons and horny alphas.

The thing he hated most was the stereotype of the submissive little omega. The one that rolled over and presented at the first opportunity. That wasn’t him. Even when he was in heat he had standards. Mostly heat made him uncomfortable, itchy in his own body and antsy. He constantly felt like he’d be attacked, even though he knew he wouldn’t. No, Dean was not a sub. He just wasn’t.

Everywhere he went he felt he had to prove himself of that. He became one of the best pool hustlers in their family, best at poker and bar brawls were always a fun time. Even if someone found out he wasn’t an alpha they at least had the decency to assume beta. Being around alphas almost constantly kept a lot of his scent hidden, even when he had sex. The only girl who ever smelled him for what he was had been a feisty little beta who told him he could come back if he was ever lonely.

Hardly anyone in the hunting community knew he was an omega. Mainly because not a lot of other hunters wanted to get too close to a Winchester. Saying they had a reputation would have been putting it mildly. The only one Dean could think of right off hand that knew he was an omega that wasn’t family was Cas. They’d met up during a vamp case where the nest turned out to be bigger than either of them thought. They took it down pretty damn quickly, though. The next time Cas had a case he needed help with he called Bobby and asked for Dean. Bobby had given him this look, like he just couldn’t believe it. Dean had asked him what the big deal was.

“The big deal is that Cas Novak doesn’t work with other hunters. You musta impressed him.” The case in specific was a little pack of skin walkers that needed to be put down. That was how Castiel Novak became Dean Winchester’s best friend, much to his father’s chagrin.

It wasn’t that John didn’t like Cas, really. Mostly it was just that John had a hard time trusting anyone who wasn’t family or his own age. Cas was a few years older than Dean and an alpha. John warned Dean repeatedly that Cas would smell him and want to take advantage of him. Dean couldn’t believe it.

The next case they worked on together Cas noticed something was off about him. Guy was damn good at picking up on people’s tells. Interviewing witnesses with him was a flawless system. Dean had the good ol’ boy charm that got them where they needed to be and Cas was the quiet observer who could catch people when they slipped up. He was also smaller than Dean physically and was polite enough to keep everyone’s guards down. Fucking flawless system.

Unfortunately that flawless system came back to bite him in the ass. “Dean, what’s wrong?”

Dean grumbled and kept filling shotgun shells with salt. Cas was just staring at him, blue eyes skittering across his face like the secrets of his dilemma would be found in his constellation of freckles. After five shells it got to him and he cracked. “My dad’s just freaking out about me workin’ with you.”

Cas tilted his head to the side, his eyes squinting in confusion. “John doesn’t want you to work with me? Why?”

Dean wasn’t sure how much to spill. He did trust Cas, but he also knew how bad an alpha’s instincts could fuck them over when times got tough. The first time Sam had smelled a female omega in heat he almost jumped her. When he came to after Dean knocked him out he locked himself in the bathroom and threw up his dinner. Dean threatened to shoot him in the leg if he called himself a rapist.

“I, uh… you may not have noticed but I’m an omega—“

“Of course.” Cas was calm, stating it so matter-of-factly that Dean rubbernecked at him from the sixth shell he was pressing.

“What do you mean ‘of course’? My dad and brother are alphas.”

Castiel raised one brow, nodding his head slowly in agreement. “Yes, but you’re not. You’re an omega. I can smell it, Dean. You can’t be in such close proximity with someone sweating that much without noticing.”

Dean gaped at him, blinking owlishly as his mouth opened and closed multiple times. Finally he just shook his head, pinching the bridge of his nose as he laughed in disbelief. “Of course. Yeah, your freaky sixth sense or whatever.”

“I thought that was my hearing. Though, if you’re accounting my sense of smell to yet another metaphysical ability then I believe you’ve given me ten at this point.” Cas’ voice was so deadpan that Dean couldn’t help but laugh, a genuine smile breaking his face and the tension. Even Cas laughed a bit, his shoulder shaking softly as he shook his head. “So let me guess, your father was worried that I would find out you’re an omega and that I would attempt to sexually assault you.” Dean nodded solemnly and Cas shook his head. “Does he think I have a death wish or that I’m an imbecile?”

They both laughed and that had been the end of it. Well, until Dean was pacing back and forth around the hotel room he and Cas were sharing for yet another case. Easy salt and burn. Or it was supposed to be. Sam just ran off for Stanford and Dean’s stress levels had been through the roof. He hadn’t really thought it would affect his hormones that much, that taking the suppressants at the usual time would keep him clear. Yet there he was, an angry ghost that needed ganking that night and a heat about to start. When had life decided he was having it too easy?

Cas had been eyeing him oddly the entire day to that point, like he knew what was coming and wasn’t sure how to react. Dean could trust Cas, with his life and with any secrets that were impossible to keep when they started travelling together more regularly. Maybe that was what made him so uneasy. He’d even trusted Cas with the knowledge that he was bisexual, like most male omegas. Hadn’t even told his father that. Though if he was honest with himself he knew John would brush it off and never look at him the same. It was bad enough for Dean to be an omega, let alone to want to be knotted like one.

About the only thing Dean hadn’t told Cas was his little crush. Yes, little. It wasn’t like Dean specifically looked up reviews for great burger joints because both he and Cas had a passion for them. He also didn’t admire the way Cas would barrel through research and fight like a badass. And he definitely didn’t damn-near bite through his hand when his last heat had him in the panic room and he was using a toy to take the edge off and he had to keep from screaming Cas’ name. Nope. Didn’t even happen.

Dean was fucked, and not even in the fun way.

Cas had gone out to get burgers from one of the places Dean definitely didn’t look up and recommend and he was due back any minute. Dean was beginning to enter panic mode. Out of everyone he got to meet in his life Cas was his only true friend in years. He was a great hunter and still managed to be a bit sane somehow. His dad said they sounded like they had nothing in common but that was bullshit. Yeah Cas was quiet and Dean could be boisterous, but they could just talk for hours and hours on end about almost nothing. Cas didn’t know a lot about cars, but that was fine because sometimes it seemed like Dean knew too much. For once he had someone offering him balance. He had someone he could trust other than his brother or John or Bobby. When he hunted with Cas he managed to be some semblance of happy.

That was why he didn’t want to go in heat around him. It would ruin everything, there was no way it couldn’t. Cas was awesome, he was an alpha and could probably have anyone he wanted of either gender. Him wanting Dean the same way just wasn’t possible. Dean didn’t want to make Cas uncomfortable by coming onto him, which would definitely happen. Give him enough to drink and a batch of horny omega hormones and it would happen. Maybe even without the alcohol.

He could hear Cas’ car of the week pull up, a newer Dodge something or other, didn’t matter much because Cas seemed to prefer the Impala most days. Yet another reason Cas was fucking awesome. Okay, maybe little crush was understating things… kind of. The door opened and Cas came in with three bags since both of them ate enough for at least two people. He set the food down on the table and turned to Dean with a small smile that quickly fell from his face when he sniffed the air.

His pupils dilated and ground his jaw, screwing his eyes shut as he tried to breathe shallowly. “Dean?”

“Yeah?” Dean shifted from foot to foot, unsure of what to do. He’d never seen Cas lose control before and he was curious what it would be like.

“You’re… do you need to get to Bobby’s?” Cas swallowed roughly and Dean’s eyes inadvertently followed the bob of his Adam’s apple.

Cas cleared his throat, aware of Dean’s staring and Dean immediately lowered his eyes to the floor. It hit him how submissive that made him look and lifted his head, looking instead at Cas’ ear. “Uh, nah, I should be fine. I mean, unless you want me to lea—“

“If you think you’ll be all right, I see no need for you to leave. We’ll just… turn the air conditioner’s fan on, get some air circulating.” Dean nodded dumbly, tension still thick in the room as he sat down to eat.

The AC clicked on, fan groaning somewhat painfully before smoothing out. Cas sat across from him and opened the bags, the smell of cheese, beef and onions overpowering the scent of Dean’s oncoming heat momentarily. They eased into a quiet meal, the silence not too awkward for their situation. The closer Dean got to his heat the more things felt different. Usually his heat was uncomfortable, something he dreaded. But it was different when he sat near Cas, the other man’s scent was calming. He caught Cas’ eyes for a moment and took everything in about his friend. Dark brown hair that looked almost black, bright blue eyes, strong jaw and— yeah, okay, bad train of thought.

Dean averted his eyes first, going back to his meal. He thought for a second he could hear a soft growl in the air. He ignored it and continued eating.

The next few hours were spent doing research and Dean doing everything he could not to panic further. If his heart rate picked up and he started sweating it would only spread his scent around more. He could tell Cas was having a hard time and was wondering if he really shouldn’t just head out to Bobby’s, despite what he said earlier. Only that would mean being away from Cas and that made him anxious. He felt ridiculous, he shouldn’t be around Cas when he was in heat but at the same time he couldn’t not be around Cas. Fucking hormones.

Night fell and by then Cas found out exactly where their meddlesome ghost was buried. Or rather, where they were buried. Turned out it wasn’t just one ghost, it was two that were tag teaming. They decided on separate cars to get the job done quickly. The grave was easy enough to find, he just had to start digging. It took hours, by the time he was able to light the poor sap on fire he’d sweated through his shirt and his pants were going to need scrubbed before he even tried to throw them into a washing machine. He left the flames burning at his back and headed for the Impala, parked just where he left her. After brushing off as much dirt as he could, he sat down in the driver’s seat, groaning internally about the cleanup she was going to need.

The distraction of the case had proved enough to keep his mind off of the wetness building up in his pants and the itch just under his skin that begged for someone else’s hands. That was shot all to Hell when his phone rang, though. It was Cas. Dean took a deep breath and answered, the sound of Cas’ rough panting forcing him to grit his teeth so he wouldn’t embarrass himself by doing something stupid. Like moaning.

“Hello, Dean, I might be a little late getting back to the room. Nothing terrible, don’t worry, cops found me right after I burned her, after a bit of defensive driving I ditched the car I stole, grabbed my things and I’m making my way back now. Unfortunately I’m on the other side of town and it may take a while.” The rough sound of Cas’ voice and the breathless panting that permeated his sentences got to Dean more than he wanted to admit.

Dean shook his head and cleared his throat, working through the lump that formed there. “You want me to pick you up?”

He heard Cas take a deep breath and mutter to himself, probably working out how long it would take if he refused. “Yeah, that’d be great, thanks.”

“No problem, where are you?” He got directions and headed out to find his friend.

Cas was standing in an alley in the town’s shadier area and Dean would have been worried for anyone else. Cas? Not quite. Hard to worry too much for a guy’s wellbeing when he had a duffel of firearms and machetes. The moment Cas got in the car they both realized they hadn’t thought the plan through. Running from the cops made Cas sweat, so his scent was overbearing and Dean was already sweaty so he was sure his scent couldn’t have been doing much better. Never mind the fact that his car smelled like him anyway.

They settled in, awkward silence passing over them like a thick mist. Cas sat right up against his door and Dean tried to ignore the way his cock throbbed and his hormones screamed at him to bare his neck. He glanced over at Cas in the passenger seat, white-knuckled fist tearing at his jeans as he chewed on his lips. Dean could see them becoming puffy, the pale pink turning a brighter red. His hole throbbed and felt slick, a decidedly different sensation than he was used to. Cas was turning him on and if he wasn’t careful he’d end up hitting on his best friend. Maybe worse.

Cas had one hand over his nose and mouth, his forehead pressed firmly to the glass of his window. Dean almost wanted to apologize for making Cas so uncomfortable, but he knew the guy wouldn’t accept it. He hated it when Dean would say sorry for the shit that was out of his control. It was more comforting than Dean liked thinking about. The radio was playing, some local rock station and Dean was too focused on trying to drive and maintain composure that he didn’t even change it when some modern song started wailing in the small space.

When they finally pulled up to the hotel Cas all but flew out of the car and Dean couldn’t blame him. Dean himself decided to stay in the car for a precious few minutes until he was sure Cas would be in the shower. He didn’t want to walk in and have to look at his friend, see the way his heat was making things awkward. Cas’ scent was clinging to the leather, strong and hot. It was different from the scent of anyone else he’d been with, much more potent. Though that could have been because Cas had sweated through police pursuit after defacing a grave. Either way, this heat was unlike any before it. He wanted in a way he hadn’t before. The thought of Cas pinning him down, taking from him, it didn’t disgust him like the thought of submission usually did. It was actually a fight to keep himself from displaying his interest like a fucking pheromone-soaked neon sign.

His few minutes were up and he really did need to go back into the room. Maybe clean up and wait for the shower to be free. Some cold water pouring over him would probably do him some good. The air was chillier than he could remember and he groaned in displeasure, his heat was peaking faster than usual. He locked the Impala securely and dashed inside, trying to avoid any leering stares from nearby alphas. Even though his body was definitely reacting favorably to the thought of Cas filling him up, anyone else still turned his stomach.

Sure enough the shower was running when he went back inside. The air in the room was heating up, the bathroom door cracked out of habit letting steam pour into the main area. Steam that was filled with the scent of Cas and his all-natural soaps. Where the hell a guy that had to hustle pool for a living got the money for organic shampoo and body wash Dean could only wonder. The duffels were locked in the trunk of Impala, Dean not wanting to bother carrying his and Cas’ in. There was also the fact that carrying Cas’ bag would get his scent all over it. That was a line he didn’t want to cross. Not now.

The shower squeaked as it was turned off and the lump was back in Dean’s throat. He wasn’t sure if Cas took clothing in with him, he usually didn’t take more than a pair of athletic shorts if he was settling down for the night. Dean was in his heat, so maybe he wouldn’t want to come out half-naked. Then again Dean was in his heat and Cas had been in such a rush to get away that he’d almost slammed Baby’s passenger door.

Cas appeared a second later, his usual athletic shorts paired with a tank top. Dean smiled at him briefly, looking away when Cas caught his gaze. Dean grabbed a pair of sweats and a shirt for himself before making his way into the shower. Cas barely moved out of his way, almost forcing them to touch as he walked by. The scent of clean alpha skin flooded his senses and he struggled not to turn around and lick it. He closed the door fully, trusting Cas not to let anything that far into the room. The glory of cheap hotels was that even if the hot water was crap, the cold was fucking frigid. Dean rarely found himself grateful for that fact, but he was now.

The water rolling over his skin made him groan, the chill a sweet relief to his overheated body. He tipped his head back and let the grime of a job well done rinse down the drain. Instead of bothering with washing his hair and scrubbing himself completely clean he just enjoyed the constant stream of cold comfort. His hole was still throbbing, his mind still racing with the thoughts of Cas above him, behind him, any position that would get him inside, really. He wondered what Cas’ knot would be like. Most toys he had weren’t that big, they were designed to take the edge off and make it manageable. He’d never been turned on so much during a heat before.

By the time his skin began to wrinkle he decided to hazard getting out. He couldn’t stay in the shower all night. He got dressed quickly and exited the bathroom, Cas sitting on his bed reading while he put his dirty clothes away. Dean sat on his bed and picked at his nails for a few seconds, they never seemed to get completely clean. There was pale light making the curtain of their room glow, the dark brown looking almost red as the sun rose.

“So, uh, I’ll go ahead and leave later, head for Bobby’s or whatever.” He tried not to look at Cas, but it was easier said than done.

Cas sighed, marking his place in the book before closing it and setting it aside. “No, Dean, you won’t. You’re in no condition to drive and even if you were the first alpha you encountered would want to pin you down and fuck you open.” Dean shivered a little at Cas’ harsh language. He didn’t normally cuss like that, let alone speak about sex like that. Usually when they talked about it Cas was all polite words and vague descriptions. Respect for his sexual partners and all that.

Dean took a slow breath and thought about what Cas said. “Cas, you’re the first alpha I’ve encountered.”

Cas met his eyes, the force of his stare making Dean go still. He’d heard betas and other omegas talk about alpha authority, about how sexy it was but Dean had never really seen the appeal. Well, not until Cas’ dark blue eyes were holding him to his spot like he could do it by sheer force of will. Patience was wearing thin for both of them. “Exactly, Dean. I can restrain because you’re my friend, but few others would ever make such an effort on your behalf.”

Cas’ hands were clasped in his lap, most likely hiding a hormone induced hard on. Dean looked his friend over, speaking before he gave his mouth permission. “You don’t have to restrain, y’know.”

Cas gasped, his hands tightening even further together, the rest of his body going rigid where he sat. “Dean, you don’t know what you’re saying.” He sounded desperate, like he wanted Dean to tell him no because he was barely able to keep doing so himself.

“Yeah, I do, Cas.” The other man launched himself up from his bed, turning Dean over roughly as he dragged his sweats down. Dean moaned and pushed his ass in the air, shamelessly presenting to his friend.

Cas growled and held Dean’s wrists firm against the bed at either side of his hips. “This is your heat talking, Dean. You think I can’t smell you like this? How wet are you right now? You’d do anything for a thick knot.”

Dean pressed up further, trying to make contact with Cas’ groin even as the alpha pulled it out of reach. “Not just my heat, Cas. My heat isn’t like this. This is ‘cause of you.”

Cas took a deep breath, his hands tightening as they held Dean in place. “Truly?”

“Yes. Now if you want this too can we get this show on the road my skin's on fucking fire, man!” Cas chuckled above him, the full weight of his body falling on Dean’s roughly, pressing him into the bed.

“How stupid have we been? We’ve travelled together for months and we never said anything.” He was shaking his head against Dean’s shoulder, soft laughter vibrating in his chest against Dean’s back.

“Yeah, that’s great, we can talk later, c’mon Cas quit wasting time!” Dean wriggled his hips, trying to tempt Cas into speeding things along.

Cas’ lips were on his ear and Dean craned his head to bare his neck. His friend laughed again. “You know, Dean, it’s hard to take your demands seriously when you submit like that.”

Lips pressed softly into his skin, teeth trailing just behind them to kiss and suck marks onto his neck. Cas bit down roughly, almost drawing blood and Dean arched his back, pressing himself into the hard line of Cas’ cock as he was marked. Cas moaned against him, his voice dropping lower as his hips bucked and pleasure sparked through him. He stood and Dean ground his teeth, trying to keep the sounds of his frustration silent. His pants were yanked from his body, his shirt being pulled and torn at before he could even try and react. Suddenly he was naked, the full expanse of his skin on display.

He rolled over, not able to resist seeing Cas in the same state of undress. The image of Cas’ flat stomach and swollen cock was something he’d never forget. Years down the road he’d likely still think of it any time he went into heat. At the very least he’d be thinking of it in the shower. He wanted to pull Cas to him, to feel him finally pushing into him, but after twenty-two years of ignoring his submissive instincts they finally caught up with him. Instead he’d move at Cas’ pace, no matter how maddeningly slow, because he knew his alpha would take care of him.

Cas crawled up Dean’s body, kissing him slowly with a low moan at the back of his throat. His hands were smoother than Dean expected, years of handling weapons and shovels alike had calloused Dean’s thickly. Then again this was the same guy with organic body wash, so lotion wasn’t too far out of the realm of possibility. Cas’ mouth broke away, tongue licking a wet path down to the fresh mark on his neck. The skin tingled as it was lavished in kisses and sucks, ensuring that it would be bright and impossible to miss. Dean found he liked that thought.

The burning gravel voice of his friend tore through the happy haze of his mind. “Do you want my knot, Dean?” Instead of answering in words Dean spread his legs, his thighs squeezing Cas’ slim hips. The other man laughed affectionately, giving the mark on Dean’s neck one last parting nip before standing. “Not this time. If we’re doing this then we’re doing it properly. Present for me, Dean.”

Like Cas even had to ask. Dean started rolling over the moment the word present left his friend’s lips. His head was buried in a pillow, his ass shoved up into the air for easier access. The bed dipped with Cas’ weight as he kneeled behind Dean. Those surprisingly soft hands gripped his hips, squeezing gently before sliding up to knead his ass. He spread Dean open, his slick hole exposed to the light. Dean felt a curious finger circle the rim, rubbing light enough to almost tickle. He was already hard, but every swipe of the teasing digit made his dick pulse painfully. He bit his lip to keep from whining, he might be fucking presenting in the middle of his bed with his best friend about to fucking knot him but he still has a bit of dignity left, dammit.

Then Cas’ tongue replaced his finger, flicking over the ring of muscle playfully. Dignity what? Who? Was that a thing he needed to hunt? Dean moaned loudly, his knees spreading wider as his back bowed further. Cas moaned against his skin, licking a circle around his entrance, his tongue barely pushing in before it left again. He pulled back and Dean turned his head as much as he could to watch him lick his lips and finger. Cas smiled to him, both wicked and sweet all at once. “Ready, Dean?”

Once again Dean chose action over words, canting his hips so that his needs were crystal clear. Cas groaned and swore under his breath. The head of Cas’ cock pushed against him, rubbing around the rim teasingly before slowly slipping inside. Dean relaxed, his body greedily swallowing Cas whole. One fluid motion had him buried to the hilt, his nails digging into Dean’s hips as he savored the sensation. Dean panted and urged him to move by pressing back against him. Cas quickly complied, pulling out and thrusting back in slowly. His breathing was ragged, hoarse moans filling the air.

“Dean, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say you’d never been knotted before.” The slow pace they started with was quickly melting away into something faster.

Dean took one hand away from the mattress to reach under himself, his dick still painfully hard as it hung beneath him. “Haven’t. You’re the first.” His fingers rubbed all over the head, smearing precome as he pleasured himself.

Cas’ cock brushed against his prostate, a sobbing moan punching the air out of him. His fingers wrapped tightly around his shaft, working him in time to Cas’ thrusts. The knot at the base of Cas’ cock was beginning to swell, catching the end of each stroke. The thrusts were becoming harder, Dean’s entire body being jostled with the force of them. The headboard was thumping against the wall and he hoped someone was in the next room to hear how good he was getting it.

Cas’ knot locked into him after another snap of his hips, the thick muscle expanding and tying them together. He rolled his hips against it, pleasure shooting through him as it rubbed against his prostate. Cas was moving with him, his fingers gripping Dean’s flesh with enough force to bruise as they ground against each other. Dean’s hand worked quickly, fingers brushing over the head as he finally came with a rough growl that sounded like Cas’ name. He felt Cas still and shudder behind him, Dean’s name moaned reverently as he was flooded with warmth and the knot throbbed in his clenched hole.

He felt boneless, held up only by Cas’ hands and cock as he was gently pulled down onto his side. Cas spooned him, wrapping one arm around him possessively. Dean wiped his hands off at the edge of the bed sheet, barely able to move enough to clear it all away. He hummed softly, content to relax with Cas in him and behind him.

Small kisses were pressed to his shoulder, rough stubble brushing his skin. Cas’ voice was husky and sated, the raspy edge smoother than before. “We’ll have to do this again.”

Dean smiled. “Was hoping you’d say that.” Maybe next time they could put Baby’s back seat to good use.