As Sam came to, the first thing that occurred to him was that he felt strange—as if his center of balance had somehow been shifted. He stumbled several times as he attempted to stand up, his limbs feeling slightly numb and unwilling to listen and work together. Even when he was finally up, his legs wavered slightly, as if they were struggling to support his weight, and everything around him swam before his eyes. Sam had to blink several times before his vision finally steadied and cleared.
Everything just felt so off—he felt unsteady, dazed, and like something was awry with not just him, but also with world around him. It was as if, along with everything else, his senses weren’t working properly to process everything around him as they should be. Because, along with the loud rushing of blood in his ears, Sam could also hear a distant ringing sound, yet nothing else. His head felt heavy and throbbed in pain. And though his vision was better than before now, despite the faint darkness around him, his eyes were still slightly watery and irritated.
Anxiety and fear welled in Sam's chest as he looked around and slowly came to realize he was in an unfamiliar alley with no idea where exactly he was, much less how he’d gotten there in the first place. His right hand immediately reached into his pant pocket and when his fingers came upon his cellphone, he let out a relieved, trembling breath of air. He pulled out the phone and swallowed when he saw he had thirty-nine missed calls from Dean. And when he finally took notice of the time—that it was now 11:58PM, meaning five hours had elapsed since he last recalled checking the time on his phone—he closed his eyes and winced before he dialed Dean's number.
The line didn't even ring twice before Dean answered, his loud voice clearly angry, but also concerned, making Sam flinch, "Jesus-fuckin'-Christ, Sam! Where the fuck have you been? I've been calling you for hours now! You just left the bar and disappeared on me! Couldn't you've at least told me where you were going?"
"Dean..." Sam's voice sounded feeble as he spoke, "I... I just woke up and I have no idea where I am."
The line instantly fell quiet for a few seconds before Dean let out a shuddering breath of air, his voice now sounding exhausted but still worried, “Sam…what happened after you left?"
"I..." Sam tried to recall, but there didn't seem to be much of anything in his memory after he told Dean he was leaving, "I know I was leaving the bar and planning to head back to our motel room, but once I got out the door… I— I just— I don't know how I got here."
"Fuck..." Dean let out another breath of air. “Can you find the nearest street and tell me the name so I can figure out where you are and go pick you up?"
“Yeah, let me go and find one now," Sam quickly began walking forwards and out of the alley.
“Sam?” the word was said quietly.
“Don’t hang up on me, alright?” The question made Sam’s heart ache, because even though he felt faint and groggy, he could still hear the uncertainty, the underlying panic in his brother’s voice.
“I promise, I won’t.” Sam didn’t voice the thought that he wasn’t even thinking of hanging up on Dean in the first place because he was just as afraid and needed to hear Dean’s voice, to at least know his brother was still there with him in some way.
Several minutes later, after Dean stopped the Impala on the shoulder of the street Sam had been waiting at. Sam immediately opened the door and took a seat before closing the car door again. Dean didn't put the Impala back into drive yet though, instead he turned to look at Sam, his features twisted in worry. “You alright?”
Though Sam was tempted to just blurt out that he was fine, given what had happened he decided it was best not to lie. He paused for a second before he gave a tentative reply, “I… I woke up feeling really weak and…strange, but, uh, I’m feeling a bit better now.”
“‘Strange’?” Dean narrowed his eyes slightly. “Strange how?”
“Well, almost like there was something wrong with my body?” Sam bit his lip for a moment before he continued carefully, “I mean, I had trouble getting up because my arms and legs weren’t really coordinating together all that well, and my head felt pretty weird, kinda like waking up from a terrible hangover, where everything’s a bit hazy and too much, just...it was a bit more intense, I guess, but I don’t know why I felt like that to begin with.”
A heavy silent filled the car before Dean dared to ask through clenched teeth, his voice laced with both apprehension and anger as he forced the question out, “You think someone might’ve drugged you?”
“I…” Sam hesitated, not having thought of that possibly until Dean mentioned it then. “I want to say no, but, honestly, I have no idea. I mean— We both know I only got one drink at the bar, and I pretty much kept my eyes on it most of the time, and I didn’t even finish it, but…I guess it’s still possible that someone might’ve...slipped me something before I left.”
Dean’s features remained blank, but Sam could see the minute details on his older brother’s face that told him that the idea of someone possibly spiking Sam’s drink enraged him. Sam tried to tell himself that this was just his brother being overprotective again, which wasn’t all that unusual, but a small part of him—a part of himself he’d been trying to ignore and suppress futilely for years now—was secretly thrilled to see Dean get so upset on his behalf.
“Let’s just head back to our motel, Dean, please,” the words from Sam were a quiet plea.
At hearing them, Dean seemed to calm down slightly. “Alright, let’s head back.” He put the Impala into drive and steered her back onto the dark, empty road.
• • •
The following morning, when Sam awoke, he found that while things—or, really, his body—still felt slightly odd, it was slight, just a peculiar itch under his skin now and an uncomfortable churning in his stomach. Yet, strangely enough, Sam also felt good, refreshed, as if he’d woken up from a pleasant and much needed night of uninterrupted sleep.
Other than that, Sam hadn’t thought anything else amiss until Dean walked into the motel room and placed the food he’d bought on the only table present. His brother had immediately turned around afterwards to face him and ask, rather tentatively, “Hey, Sam, uh…is everything alright?”
”Yes, everything’s alright,” Sam replied easily, then added, “I mean, I still feel just a tiny bit off, but it’s practically nothing when compared to how I’d felt last night after I’d woken up.”
“Oh—uh,” Dean looked incredibly nervous then, almost flustered, “are you sure about that?”
The sight of Dean looking so nervous made Sam pause as a surge of apprehension began to swell in his chest. “Why are you asking?”
“Because, dude, I don’t know how to tell you this…I don’t know if you’ve even noticed, but…” Dean ran a hand through his hair, a nervous habit that only made Sam’s anxiety grow, “uh, your scent seems to’ve…changed.”
Everything seemed to come to a complete halt, and a heavy silence descended upon the room.
For a second, Sam convinced himself he heard Dean wrong. “What?”
“Your, uh, scent changed—it’s different now,” Dean repeated in an almost timorous voice.
“No,” Sam shook his head, “I, uh— I heard you, I just…I don’t understand how that’s…possible. Are— Are you sure?”
At Sam’s question, Dean scoffed and crossed his arms in front of his chest, “Of course of I’m sure. My nose has never lied to me before.”
“Oh.” Sam had no idea what else to say.
When Sam merely continued staring at him, looking so unsure, Dean tried to explain, his face taking on a slight flush as he did so. “Look, honestly, your scent’s still pretty much the same, but it’s also different. Almost…softer?” Then, before he could convince himself to keep quiet, he finally admitted in a quiet rush, “You smell like an omega now.”
The words were like a hit straight to his chest, leaving him utterly breathless and faint.
“But…” Sam attempted to speak, but for a while the words seemed to be lodged in his throat, “But I’m an alpha. I— I don’t understand. That— It’s not possible.”
Then, with that final piece of information, something seemed to just click in Sam’s mind. Because even though his body had begun to feel odd since he woke up last night in that unfamiliar alley, even though it still felt slightly strange at that moment, the unfamiliar sensation somehow almost did feel right.
Sam never told Dean about this—this thing he’d kept secret since he was fourteen years old. How he’d never felt at peace knowing he was an alpha. How even though everyone congratulated him for presenting as an alpha, how even though John was so proud to have a second alpha son, Sam had tried to be happy about his presentation too, but had always failed in doing so. Because being an alpha? For Sam, though he couldn’t exactly explain it, it just felt wrong, almost like he wasn’t meant to be one in the first place, because no matter how much Sam tried to force himself to think otherwise, there was no denying Sam didn’t like being one.
Growing up, he’d taken alpha scent suppressors to mask his scent, had taken every type of pill possible to suppress his ruts. It’d confused both John and Dean, because they had no idea he was doing so. They only knew that while Sam was an alpha, his alpha scent was always so weak that oftentimes people mistook him for a beta. His family had often asked him about it, about why his scent was so faint, yet each time Sam had lied and said he had no idea. They thought he had ruts every two months like a normal alpha, when really, Sam had stopped having them almost completely, but kept the guise that he was still having them so they wouldn’t grow even more suspicious. The only person who knew the truth was Bobby—and it was him that Sam depended on to obtain all those scent neutralizers and rut suppressing pills for him.
Bobby had also been the only person to comfort and tell Sam that it was okay for him to dislike being an alpha, if he did. It was thanks to Bobby that Sam eventually discovered, only a few months before his eighteenth birthday, and consequently months before his high school graduation, that there were actual surgeries for alphas that wanted to change their dynamic. They were incredibly costly though, and the hormone treatment needed lasted several weeks, depending on if the alpha wanted to change their dynamic to that of a beta or an omega, the later being more costly and requiring a longer treatment period.
Sam had confessed to Bobby, after reading more about the dynamic alteration treatments, that if he had the money for it, he might’ve been interested in them. But when Bobby had asked him what dynamic he might be thinking of changing too if he was ever able to pay for one, Sam had been too nervous and embarrassed to give an actual reply. Bobby, though, had obviously seen past this and told him that no matter what he chose, whether be’d become a beta or an omega, he’d always be happy for and proud of him. But that night, Sam had gone to bed wondering if Bobby knew the true answer Sam had denied voicing to the question he’d asked.
Along with that, there was also the matter of Sam’s sexuality. While Sam knew Dean was attracted to female omegas and betas, as most male alphas often are, Sam wasn’t attracted to omegas at all, male or female. The same seemed to apply to betas, for the most part—Jessica being an exception. Rather, most of Sam’s life, even after he’d presented, he’d found himself attracted to alphas, both female and male, but especially the latter. But while Sam had developed crushes on several alphas throughout his high school years, and also during college, even then, he’d never felt sexually attracted to most of them. It wasn’t until after he met Jessica that he found out why.
She’d introduced him to it—the asexual spectrum—and in it, a word that fit him: demisexuality. Because, while Sam did developed crushes on people, he realized it wasn’t until after he got to know someone, after he became good friends with them, that sometimes that sexual attraction came to be. Yet even then, despite the very few times he’d ever felt that type of attraction to someone, Sam had never allowed himself to act on it, not even with Jessica after they got together.
Even now, it pained Sam to recall how he’d only admitted half of the truth to her when they’d been together. He’d told her he wasn’t comfortable with the idea of having sex because he hated the fact that if he participated, he’d be unable to stop his body reacting, from forming a knot. Something that always make him feel sick to the pit of his stomach.
And Sam hated it—hated how his body responded, hated having a knot, hated being unable to stop his body from forming one when he got too aroused. Hated how confused he felt when his body never craved to bite and claim and take as it should, but rather, how his body and mind wanted the exact opposite. It all just felt too perplexing and unusual and wrong, that the mere thought of ever actually having sex with anyone always filled his mind and body with panic and horror.
But that was only part of it, the other half he dared not tell a soul—not Jessica, not Bobby.
And that was because, even when he was together with Jessica, while he did love her, a large part of his heart still belonged to another, as it had for most of his life.
His older brother.
Sam had done his research, he knew romantic and sexual attraction between siblings was wasn’t exactly rare—what was rare, however, was when the attraction became so strong that it lead to siblings actually mating, much less forming an official bonded pair. But the thing was, nearly all cases of sibling incest he read about were between an omega and alpha sibling. Or between two betas. He had yet to read about a case where two omega siblings mated, or one involving two alphas.
Yet now, if what Dean said was right—and somehow, hearing the words, Sam just knew Dean was—then Sam wasn’t an alpha anymore. He was an omega now.
But Sam knew that wouldn’t change anything. Dean only had eyes for female betas and omegas. Even then, Sam knew Dean could never see him like that—as a potential bondmate. No matter how much Sam wished he could just come clean about everything to Dean, he couldn’t, not even now.
Sam started slightly as he was pulled from his thoughts.
“You alright there?” Dean asked softly as he approached Sam, his brows furrowed as he stared at his brother. “You sorta went quiet for a moment and didn’t answer when I called you a few times.”
Somehow, Sam could feel it now—or, rather, he was more aware of just how his body was had changed. Because before, when their dynamics had been the same, Dean’s alpha scent had still been pleasing, it’d been calming and always made Sam feel at home. But now that he was an omega, it was like what he’d scented before had been muted, as if he’d only smelled a fraction of Dean’s true scent, because now, even though Dean was still a few feet away, his older brother’s heady scent was surrounding him, filling his lungs, and it was absolutely intoxicating.
The scent was so strong and enticing that with each following inhale, Sam could could feel his body start to react, could feel the way his legs began to tremble, how his heart immediately began to flutter frantically in his constricted chest, how his mind was screaming, ordering him to go up to Dean and beg the alpha to claim Sam as his.
“Sam?” Dean’s voice brought him back again, and to his surprise, Dean was standing right in front of him now. He could see his how his brother’s brows were furrowed in concern. “Maybe you should sit down. You spaced out on me again.”
When Sam saw Dean reach out to grab him, he forced himself to take a few, wobbly steps back. “I’ll be right back.” And before Dean could say anything in response, Sam turned around and rushed into the single restroom in their motel room.
Right after he made sure to lock the door behind him, Sam pulled down the cover seat on the toilet and sat down, his elbows resting on his knees and his head in his hands. His heart was still racing, beating anxiously inside his chest. Though he was now feeling breathless and somewhat faint, Sam knew there was no denying what had just happened. And what was going to happen if he hadn’t rushed out to lock himself in the restroom.
People often joked about omegas swooning, about how utterly embarrassing and hilarious it was to witness it happen. But the truth was, it was rather rare for an omega’s body to react in such a way that they swooned. Through his readings, Sam had learned that the only true cause for an omega to swoon was when they were in the presence of their true mate, the one person they were completely compatible with, and in nearly all instances recorded, it had been with an alpha.
When the alpha and omega would first meet, their bodies would react—the alpha’s body would unconsciously overproduce and release more pheromones, which would overwhelm the omega’s senses and body and cause them to swoon. In most cases, this lead up to the omega fainting, or completely passing out. But in some, the omega remained awake but ended up falling into a hazy daze where they would sometimes remain unresponsive to the happenings around them until their alpha sensed their swoon, a sign and confirmation of their status as true mates, and managed to break the spell the omega had fallen into by initiating a period of close physical contact with them.
Sam was still struggling to wrap his head around it—he had only just come to realize and accept that, by some unusual miracle, he was now an omega, but for his body to react and for him to just know that he was about to fall into a swoon because of Dean? The words were right there, almost yelling at him to accept the undeniable truth.
He and Dean were true mates.
Sam had no idea how it was possible. Then again, he was an omega now, not an alpha. Something that in itself should’ve also been impossible without medical intervention. The fact that they were blood-related brothers also didn’t help, given that the number of cases where siblings found out they were true mates were also exceedingly rare too. Logically, everything seemed to be pointed against him and Dean being true mates, and yet here Sam was.
He could feel the way his body was still reacting to whiffs he’d gotten of Dean’s pheromones. Even though he’d rushed out of the room to hide inside the tiny restroom as soon as he’d felt the strange stirrings inside of him, there was no denying that right now, he was caught in the beginnings a swoon. Even though this one wasn’t going to be as severe most cases could get, likely because he’d immediately fled as soon as he did and was now physically distanced from Dean, he knew that medically it would still classify as one.
Sam could hear the rushing of blood roaring in his ears, the way his skin was crawling with goosebumps and the hair on his arms and neck were standing on end, the way he felt like he was slowly being pulled deeper and deeper underwater, his chest growing unbearably tight as his lungs struggled to bring in enough air, the way his body shook even now, how his skin began to perspire as his body tried to pump out as much omega-in-a-swoon pheromones to alert his alpha to come close and touch him.
But Dean wasn’t his alpha—he couldn’t be.
So with shaking legs, Sam slowly got up, pulled off all his clothes, and carefully stepped into the shower. He turned the shower handle and when the cold water finally hit his skin, he couldn’t stop himself from flinching and sucking in a sharp breath of air.
No matter what, Sam couldn’t risk Dean knowing any of this. How the longer he spent in his new, changed body, the more he felt so sure and at ease with himself, more than he ever had while he’d been an alpha. How Sam was mostly attracted to alphas, not omegas like everyone assumed he should be. And, lastly, he couldn’t risk Dean finding out about the fact that his little brother was in love with him, how he had been for as long as he could remember. How now, more than ever, Sam’s heart and body yearned for Dean to make him his bondmate.
Knowing this, Sam let out a pained breath of air and grabbed the soap. He had to make sure to get rid of the scent before he dared walked out of the restroom and into the same room as Dean.
The first thing Dean said after Sam walked out of the restroom and towards the small table in the room was, “Your food’s gone cold now. Do you want me to heat it up for you in the microwave?”
The words were said hesitantly, even though Dean offered him a small smile after he’d asked the question. But somehow, knowing his older brother was feeling anxious only made Sam’s already existing unease increase. “Oh, uh, sure.” Truthfully, given what’d just happened only moments ago, Sam wasn’t feeling all that hungry then, but he knew if he didn’t try and eat something, Dean’s worry would only get worse.
As Dean gave a nod before he got up and walked over to the small kitchenette to heat up the food, Sam gave a sigh before took a seat on the table and waited. A few minutes later, Dean walked back to the table and placed a plate full of food before him, along with a cup of what appeared to be coffee, then, he went back to grab a fork and knife for Sam to use.
“Thanks,” Sam murmured as he grabbed the eating utensils and slowly began to eat.
“No problem,” Dean answered quiet as he sat down on the chair across the table from Sam.
An awkward, painfully palpable silence engulfed the room before, minutes later, Dean cleared his throat, “You, uh— You still don’t recall anything about last night?”
Sam stopped eating. “No, uh, I don’t. Everything’s still missing from the moment I tried to leave the bar until I woke up in that alley.”
“Okay,” was all Dean said before he reached for the newspaper that’d been on the table. The stifling silence from before returned as Sam continued to eat and Dean quietly read the newspaper.
It wasn't until Sam had eaten as much as he could and was finishing off his coffee that Dean dared speak again, "Hey, Sam?" In response, Sam merely look up at Dean questioningly. “Don't worry, we'll find the sonofabitch that did this to you and get you back to…normal as soon as possible."
Sam averted his gaze and nodded, but the words made his stomach churn in dread. Now that he knew he was an omega, now that he could recognize that the odd, lingered feeling of being one was actually the feeling of relief, of being so at peace with his body, with himself, Sam realized something he wasn't sure he could ever give voice to. Especially to Dean.
He didn't want to go back to being an alpha. Despite the years of fighting for more omega rights, omegas still had it pretty rough to this day, especially when compared to alphas. But even so, Sam could already tell—he wanted to stay like this, he wanted to remain an omega.
But how the hell was he supposed to tell his older brother that? How was he supposed to tell Dean that being an alpha had felt so irrevocably wrong? That he’d hated being one to the core of his being, how the idea of going into a rut make him feel sick and terrified? That his mind had always protested his dynamic ever since he’d presented and experienced his very first rut? That he once dreamed of being able to afford a dynamic alteration treatment? That in the few hours he'd been an omega today he’d felt so much better about himself, about his body as a whole, than he ever had since he’d been fourteen years old? That before he’d even realized it, somehow, he knew he wanted to remain like this? That he didn’t want Dean to find a way to change him back?
How the hell was Sam supposed to tell Dean all that?
With a small, yet weary sigh, Sam took one last sip from his coffee. As he eyed Dean through the corner of his eyes, he tried to think of what he could possibly do now. Because no matter what, Sam’s mind was set—he wasn’t going to let anyone change him back. He was an omega now, and, no matter what, he was going to remain as one.