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Lemon, liquorice root and rosemary

Chapter Text

"Do you need anything else, Master?" The servant looked at Dean questioningly.

"No, thank you, Benny. That'll be all. "Dean turned to his breakfast and the newspaper the servant had provided for him on the small table in his room.

"Very good, sir. Your clothes are ready for you as usual and the maids will come later to make the bed. If you really don't need my help dressing, sir, I will now excuse myself with your permission. "

Dean just nodded. Of course, he was aware that it was unusual for a gentleman to deny help dressing, but Dean had no choice. The Scent glands at his neck and wrists would have revealed that he was not only a man but also had a second gender. Sir Dean Winchester, son of Lord John and Lady Mary Winchester, was an Omega. Wasn't that wonderful? It was not! Quite the opposite. It was horrible. His mother had been frantic when he presented as an Omega at the age of fourteen. Of course, the circumstance was kept secret from the servants. It was claimed during his first heat that he had scarlet fever. No man in his right mind would have dared to come close to him. So he was taken by night and fog to the abandoned north wing of the estate and his grandmother Deanna came to help him. It turned out she was an Omega as well.

Thank God first heats usually manifests less sexual but with painful cramps. Lady Deanna did her best to at least make the time bearable for him. But she did a lot more than that. She initiated him into the big family secret. A secret no one but the family knew. All Campbells had a second gender. Lady Mary, Dean's mother was, fortunately, a Beta. Betas went completely unnoticed among humans. They had no heats or ruts and especially no visible scent glands. A blessing to Mary Winchester. And while Mary didn't care much about her second gender in her childhood and adolescence, she had to care when Dean turned fourteen and presented. This was the first time she realized what a curse the whole thing was. But thanks to Dean's grandmother, the damage was limited. Lady Deanna was very familiar with herbology and so she taught her grandson which herbal teas he could use to prevent his heats and which herbs he could use to make ointments to cover his Scent. And this was the time when grated lemons, liquorice root and rosemary were his constant companions.

This knowledge has been passed down from generation to generation and saved the family from being discovered. However, Mary had never paid too much attention to it, as she herself had never been dependent on the herbs. In a society like the one they were living in, all instincts were frowned upon. And since people with a second gender were sometimes exposed to their instincts if they did not suppress them with herbs, these people were considered unreliable and weak. As a result, tenants left the land and the fields remained uncultivated, business partners withdrew and engagements were broken when someone turned out to be not only human. In short: A life as a gentleman or a lady was not possible. This led to no lucrative business. No good marriage and all descendants lost any of the prestige associated with the family name. So it was no wonder that Lady Mary's family had been busy keeping their little secret for generations.

Dean learned to mix the teas and ointments himself. He learned to hide his scent glands under high collars and long sleeves. Everything went well, given the circumstances. Until his sixteenth birthday. On that day, his life broke apart completely. It was a stunning full moon night and Dean couldn't sleep. He walked restlessly up and down his room. He felt a hunger within him that he had never felt before. Shortly before midnight he suddenly couldn't take it anymore and so he went outside. His feet carried him into the forest, which was next to the park of Walson Manor. When he came to a forest glade and stood under the moonlight, it happened. An incredible pain twitched through his entire body and he collapsed. While his body was cramping in pain, he could watch his hands changing under the bright moonlight.

It took him a while to realize that not only his hands but his entire body was changing. He became a wolf! Dean not only had a second gender, but it was also much worse, he was a Shifter. An abnormality, a monster. If people ever knew about it, they'd hunt him down and kill him. So much he knew for sure. So he kept it to himself at first. But after he had shifted for the second time and crept into his room the next day, covered in blood, he decided to tell Grandma Deanna.

She burned his bloody clothes and gave him some important tips. She wasn't a Shifter herself, but her own grandfather was. From him, she also knew how to shift without getting caught.

Whenever Dean felt this restlessness on a full moon night, he should go into the forest to the clearing and undress completely before the transformation so that his clothes would not be soiled or torn. Then he could hunt animals in peace. Later he always had to bury the cadavers to leave no traces. When he had turned back again, he cleaned up in the brook that flowed nearby, dressed again and climbed over a tree unnoticed into his room. Fortunately, this approach had worked until now. Much to his relief, he never had to transform more than three times a year.

But now Dean was very worried. His father had arranged a marriage with Miss Lisa Braden. Dean had already seen Miss Lisa at some dances and even talked to her a few times. In fact, he found her very charming. He didn't love her though. How could he? He barely knew her. Dean found it unfair that John Winchester was allowed to marry the woman he loved and Dean didn't. But his father told him it had to be. Due to some bad harvests and especially due to bad investments the family was almost penniless. The Winchesters had a good, respectable name, and Captain Fergus Crowley, Lisa's uncle, who was also her guardian, had become rich as a captain in the war, but he had no significant name. So the connection between Miss Lisa and  Dean would benefit both sides and that was all that mattered.

If Dean had been a normal person, he wouldn't have been so reluctant to get married. Lisa was very pretty, surely he could have learned to like her or even to love her. But he wasn't a normal person. He might have been able to cover up the matter of his second gender in public but how would he be able to hide his scent glands during their wedding night and how on earth could he explain that he had to leave the shared bedroom in the middle of the night to go into the woods three times a year?

Even if he would manage to hide the scent glands in the darkness of the night and to live without candlelight in the shared bedroom, his problem in some full moon nights seemed unsolvable.

So he would have no choice but to confess the truth to his parents. He should have done that a long time ago.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Dean was a little nervous when he knocked on his father's office door and the deep voice of John Winchester invited him in.

Even as a little boy, he had loved the room his father used to spend most of his time in. The furniture was made of dark mahogany wood. The large desk in front of the window was full of papers. And the walls were almost completely covered with shelves so that it was nearly impossible to see the beautiful blue-white flowered wallpaper at all. In the corner right next to the heavy curtains was a large leather wing chair. His father was always sitting in it to read a book when he wasn’t working at his desk. But the most beautiful thing about the room was the soothing scent of old books. For Dean, this was always the smell of home.

John Winchester put the book he was reading aside and looked at Dean expectantly.

"Good morning, son. What can I do for you?"

"Good morning, sir! I need to talk to you. "
Shaky, Dean got a little closer.

His father sighed deeply. 

"Dean, if this is about the wedding again…  I have to tell you I don't see any other way. Or. . . is there another young lady you promised to…?"

"No, no, no, no. It's not that. . . "

Relieved, John looked at his son.

"Good. Dean, I know you wish you'd married for love, like me and your mom. And believe me when I tell you that I would have wished that for you too, but I don't know how we should do that. We'd lose Walson Manor. You can't want your brother not to grow up here. "

That wasn't fair! Of course, Dean only wanted the best for Sam.

"Dad, of course, I don't, but isn't there any other solution?" Dean wanted to know desperately.

"Son, I don't understand why you're acting like this. Miss Lisa Braden is a very beautiful and kind creature. There are certainly worse fates than being married to her. "

"That's not it, sir. "

Surprised, John Winchester raised an eyebrow.

"No? Then what is it?"

Dean cleared his throat.

“I... I was not only born with a second gender, Sir. I am. . . I‘m also a shifter. "

Sir Winchester looked at his son in shock. The emotions which reflected on his father’s face hurt Dean more than he thought. He saw surprise but also disgust and even fear burning in John's eyes.

"You are. . . a shifter? Dear Lord! That’s much worse than I thought. I didn't know there were shifters in your mother’s family as well. "

"I don't think she knew about it. " Dean felt the need to protect his mother. It wasn’t her fault.

John Winchester drove his hand through his hair and seemed to be thinking.

After a few moments later he raised from the chair and patted Dean on the shoulders.

"Dean, you managed to hide it from us. You'll also be able to keep it a secret from your future family. " John said firmly.

"Father, you know what happens when someone finds out?"

"I know, but that's a risk you're gonna have to take, Dean. And if anyone finds out, you have to face the consequences. That's the way it is. I can't change that."
There was no regret or empathy in John Winchester's voice. That was exactly what Dean was afraid of. That even his own father wouldn't see him as a human being anymore.

"Sir, you know I'm not afraid for my fate. But if the truth came out, it would have consequences for everyone. For Sam, for Mother, for Grandma and Grandpa. Even for you."

Sir Winchester cursed quietly. With big steps, he crossed the room and went to the small bar to have a glass of port wine.

"Want a glass, too, Dean?"
Dean was almost surprised his father offered him a drink. However, he refused because he needed to keep a clear head. This conversation was just too important.

"Maybe it'd be good to talk to Grandma Deanna. She helped me so many times," Dean suggested.

"Grandma Deanna!" John laughed unhappily.

"How could she possibly help us. Isn't it the Champbells who are to blame for this misery?"

"Sir, with all due respect. No one is to blame. I'm sure she didn't choose this either. "

"No, maybe not, but if the Champbells would have. . . "

John didn't finish the sentence, but Dean knew exactly what he wanted to say.
His father meant that creatures like Dean should have been exterminated a long time ago, then this problem would no longer exist. Maybe his father was right. Maybe it would be better if he wasn't here. Much would be easier. But then Dean thought about Sam. His brother was almost sixteen. Even if he was only human or a beta like Mary, nobody could be sure that he wasn't a shifter as well. The idea that his father might feel the same way about Sam hurt Dean deeply.

"So what are you proposing, sir?" Dean wanted to know.

"I think you should leave Walson Manor, Dean. As soon as possible. I haven't told you and Sam yet, but Kate's pregnant. I don't want her or the baby to be with. . . I just don’t want her or the baby to get involved…"

It was more than clear what his father meant.

"What about Sam?" Dean wanted to know.

"What about him? As long as it looks like he's a normal human being, he can stay and of course, he'll inherit Walson Manor one day because he will be my eldest son after your departure. But if everything changes, he has to leave as well. Dean, I know this sounds heartless, but I need to protect Kate and our baby. She doesn't know anything about any of this, and I want it to stay that way. After your mother died, it took me a long time to find my way back to life. But with Kate, I managed a new start and I don't want to endanger that. "

Dean just nodded. What could he possibly say? If he was honest, he could even understand his father. Mary Winchester's death had almost cost John his own life for drowning all his sorrow in alcohol. But by marrying Miss Kate Milligan everything changed for the better. 

“What about the money and the engagement? I am sure Mr Crowley will not be amused.”

“Because of the money, I'll have to think of something else. And don't worry about the engagement. I'm gonna make up some story.“

For a moment, Dean was tempted to reply something. Suddenly it was possible to find another way? But he let it go. What would be the point of arguing with his father now?

"I will leave Walson Manor as soon as possible, but promise me you will send Sam after me if he… "

"I hope it won't be necessary, but I promise, son. I also promise to keep the secret of the Champbell family. "

Dean was relieved. At least he didn't have to worry about Sam right now. But where he should go without money and without ever having learned a real profession, he didn’t know.

 

Two days later, Dean was sitting with Lady Champbell in the grand salon. After Sebastian had served biscuits and tea, Deanna had asked the servants to leave the salon. She wanted to talk to her grandson in private.

"Grandma, I don't know what to do. I was raised as a gentleman. That means I basically can't do anything."

"Rubbish Dean. You are capable of doing so many things. You have enjoyed an excellent education. You know Latin and French. "Deanna corrected him.

"And how will this help my situation? My knowledge will not feed me!" Dean replied.

"Oh, yes, it will. You just have to become a teacher. "

"A Teacher?"

"Yes, a tutor at a mansion. Maybe in Scotland. „

"Who'd hire a gentleman as a teacher, Grandma? Everyone would think that I had come into conflict with the law or would recognize the truth. I don't even have references. " 

"Of course you can't work there as Sir Dean Winchester. We need a new background story for you. A very good friend of your mother's lives in Craignet Castle in the north of Scotland. You should take the stagecoach. That's not so convenient, but it's more convincing than using your own carriage. Lady Harvelle knows about our family secret and will surely help you. Of course, she doesn't know anything about the Shifters in our family, but she shares our biology, Dean. I've already written her a letter announcing your arrival there in about a week. "

Dean nodded gratefully. So now it's getting serious. He had to leave the world he knew forever. He had to leave Sam! That was the worst part.

With a deep sigh, he rose from his chair to embrace his grandmother.

"Thank you, Grandma. I don't know what I would have done without you. " Slowly, he kissed her on the cheek.

"Oh, Dean. You don't know how much I wish you and your brother would live in a society where they wouldn’t have to hide, where you would be able to live as you are. But unfortunately, we are further away from that than ever before. "

She stood up and crossed the room to fetch a small book from the intarsia decorated sideboard next to the window.

"This is my legacy to you, Dean. This little booklet contains all the recipes and herbal blends our family has ever needed. Take good care of it, Dean. "

Dean didn't know what to say. He did not want to imagine how many generations had added their knowledge.

"Thank you, Grandma! I... I don't know what to say. "

"Then just don't say anything. But promise me that you will take care of yourself and pass on the knowledge of the Champbells to your children or Sam's. "

"I promise you, Grandma. If any of us will have offspring, I will tell them everything I know so that they can live a life worth living. "

"I know you won't disappoint me, Dean. You've never disappointed me. "

Deanna smiled lovingly at her grandson. It was so infinitely good to be loved and accepted by at least one person.

"Now go pack your things. You should take the stagecoach that leaves London tomorrow evening. The trip to Glasgow will take about four days. From there Lady Harvelle will send a carriage which will take you the castle. And one more thing: You have to travel without Benny. It would look suspicious if a teacher were to travel with his servant. " Deanna explained.

How good that Dean had bathed and dressed alone since his earliest youth. It wouldn't be hard for him to do so without Benny. Even if he would miss his company.

 

Chapter Text

Lady Ellen Harvelle was completely different than Dean had imagined. After a very emotional Good-bye to his brother and also to his servant Benny, Dean had gone from London to Glasgow by a stagecoach. That a public carriage was not as comfortable as his own was the understatement of the century. At the end of the four days, Dean was not sure if he would ever feel the back side of his body again. Not to mention the fact that he was obliged to spend four long days talking with strangers. FOUR LONG DAYS! Of course, the ride in a stagecoach took twice as long. In his own carriage, he would certainly have completed the distance in two days. But stagecoaches did not drive at night and so he was forced to stay overnight with the other passengers in inns. It was more than tiring. But as promised, he was already expected in Glasgow by a servant. Bobby, the coachman, thank God didn't expect small talk from him. The trip to the castle took almost another six hours.

But with the improvement that Dean was sitting alone in the carriage, the seats were upholstered and he didn't have to talk to anyone. So he found this last part of the journey actually very pleasant. He leaned back comfortably and just watched the landscape pass by and deliberately avoided worrying about his future. When he arrived at the castle completely exhausted in the evening of the fifth day, he was warmly welcomed by Lady Harvelle.

“Mary’s firstborn. How nice to finally meet you. Let me look at you, boy.”  Interested she looked at him from top to bottom as she shook his hand.
“Yes, I must admit you've done quite well. Maybe a little masculine for an Omega, but nobody's perfect. And you are so pretty, my dear. But I have to say, if my Johanna wasn't already engaged, we would have a deal, son. But my daughter is happily engaged to Lord Ash.”

She smiled at him. Dean didn't know what to say and just smiled back. He wasn't used to being approached so openly about his second gender. On the contrary!

”Are you hungry, dear?"

“Honestly, I'm very hungry, ma'am” Dean replied truthfully.

 “I hope you don't mind eating with the servants, Dean.“

“No, of course not. I'm nothing more than a servant now. After all, I want to work as a teacher.” Dean said quickly.

Even if the thought of eating with the servants didn't really matter much to Dean, it was still something he had to get used to.

Lady Harvelle looked at him strangely and then suddenly she started to laugh loudly.

“Oh my God, boy, you're priceless. You think I'd just send you alone to eat with the servants because I'm too fine to eat with a future teacher?”

“Uhm, no, that's not what I meant. Excuse me, but this whole teacher thing is very new to me." Dean was a little bit embarrassed because he didn't understand what she meant.

“Dean! It is quite common for teachers to eat with the family. Especially when the kids they're teaching are there. But I like to eat with the servants because that's where you get the best gossip.” She winked at him.

“Besides, you're gonna meet my dear Jody.”

Dean tried not to wonder and followed Lady Harvelle into the servants' dining hall. There they were received joyfully. It was almost unreal to sit at a table with the servants and eat. Dean had a very close relationship but he never even considered to eat with him.

“Dean, this is Miss Jody Mills. She's my housekeeper and my Omega.” Dean wasn't sure he understood. What was that supposed to mean?

Miss Jody must have seen his confused facial expression, because when he shook her hand she said, “My dear, I'm afraid we're overwhelming Mr Winchester right now.”

Ellen looked at him questioningly.

“Dean, your grandmother taught you all about Alphas, Betas and Omegas, didn't she?”

“Well, she taught me how to hide my scent and my scent glands and of course how to prevent my heats.”

“Yes, that's fine my dear. Especially in the South, where there are only a few of us left and a life with the second gender is dangerous. But she must have taught you more than that. About true mates or bonding rituals, for example?”

 “I… she didn’t. It always was much more important to stay hidden.” Dean explained.

“Oh, God, Dean.  It’s important that you know. Jody, you're an omega too. Would you teach Dean everything he has to know?“

“Of course! I would feel honoured. But not now. I am very hungry. And I am sure Dean needs a little boost at first, too.”

The meal with the servants was different. Not in a bad way. It was less stiff, less formal. Nobody wiped their mouth with a cloth napkin every two seconds. And although everyone knew how to behave, they ate with appetite. Dean had to admit that he enjoyed this relaxed atmosphere, which was mainly due to Ellen's dry humour.

“You could live here with us, too, Dean. Mary's children are always welcome.”  Ellen offered during dinner.

“Thank you Lady Ellen. That's very kind of you. But I'd like to stand on my own two feet. I want to earn my money. Unfortunately, even if I have a good general education I haven’t learned a profession. So it would probably be  best if I tried to become a teacher.” Ellen nodded in agreement.

“Lord Novak seeks a new teacher for his ward. Rufus told me the day before yesterday.” Bobby interfered with the conversation. 
Dean loved his pronunciation. Here in the North, everything sounded much harder, especially the "r" was wonderfully emphasized. Neither Lady Harvelle nor Jody had any accent but Bobby's dialect was strong.

“Lord Novak? Are you sure? That would be the third teacher to leave this year. Did Rufus tell you why Miss Hannah Jonson left?" Jody wanted to know.

„Apparently, all three of Master Jacks last teachers really wanted a completely different role. They wanted to become Lady Novak.” Bobby replied.

“Oh. I see. And none of the ladies could seduce Lord Novak?" “Doesn’t look like it. However, I should perhaps mention that the teachers were all purely human. The Novaks are a traditional family. All members have a second gender. So it was never likely that Lord Novak would marry any of them.”

“Maybe this would be my chance Lady Ellen. I'm certainly not trying to become Lady Novak.” Dean laughed.

“Maybe you don’t want to become Lady Novak, but Lord Novak is an Alpha and you are an Omega. You could fall for him just as easily as your female predecessors.”

Dean almost choked on his wine. What? What was Lady Harvelle trying to say? Was she implying that…that Dean could fall in love with a man? This was insane!

“Are you kidding me, Lady Harvelle? This must be a joke.”

“Oh, Dean.” Lady Harvelle sighed.

“We need to teach you a lot more about the second gender before you leave if you don't even know that alphas and omegas can be attracted to each other whether they are male or female. By the way, it is frowned upon in society, but you know there is also same-sex love among pure humans.”

Dean had to digest that thought first. He imagined all the men he knew in his head. Was there even one he found physically attractive? No! There wasn't an even one. Well, he had to confess that his servant sometimes looked at him in a strange way and he had to admit that he wasn’t completely unaffected, but the thought that. . . No, never.

“Oh, my poor boy. I can literally hear you thinking. I imagine you're thinking about whether you ever could be attracted to a man. But remember, I'm not talking about an ordinary man, I'm talking about an Alpha. Who knows if you've ever met an Alpha in your life. But if God has planned for you to find your true mate, you’ll know as soon as you smell them. Believe me.”

Lady Ellen took Miss Jody's hand and kissed it tenderly. That's when Dean became aware of it.

“Oh, my God! I was so blind. You're true mates. You are Alpha and Omega.” Dean said in surprise. 

“Yes, we are true mates. We bonded ten years ago.”

Jody answered and opened her collar to show Dean an already healed wound on her neck.

“I think it's best you come into my study room with Jody and she'll explain everything you need to know, Dean. For the time being, I will write a letter to Lord Novak and propose you as the new teacher for his ward. I will, with your permission, tell him the truth about you and tell him that I vouch for you.” Dean nodded approvingly.

“If you think this will be the right thing to do, Lady Harvelle.”

“Yes, I am sure it would be better if he knows about your second gender.”

Dean was completely exhausted. The events of the last weeks, the long journey and especially all the new information he heard in the hour were a bit much at once.

 

Chapter Text

Laughter from the Atrium filled the great dining room. Castiel knew Jack was slipping down the stair railing again. Couldn't the boy even walk down the stairs properly only for once? Lord Castiel Novak had been sitting with his younger brother Gabriel at breakfast for more than ten minutes. So the boy was late! Again! Castiel massaged his temples with both hands. He hated it when he got a headache in the morning.

“You know it's time for the boy to return to regular teaching lessons.” Gabriel didn't even look up from his newspaper while waiting for his brother's answer.

Cas sighed. Of course, he knew Gabriel was right. 

“I know. . .”
His voice sounded almost desperate. The problem wasn't finding a new teacher for his ward. The problem was that until now he had had only bad experiences with tutors for Jack. All human teachers had been a failure. The women had all set their minds on becoming the mistress of Milton Castle and Jack never got along with the men. Miss Hannah Johnson was their third teacher this year. Maybe it was time to try something else. Castiel didn't want an Alpha, though. Jack was an omega. Who knew what complications that would lead to? Maybe a beta.

“Excuse me, Lord Novak, but a messenger just arrived with a letter from Lady Harvelle.” Sebastian, the butler, declared, interrupting Castiel's thoughts.

“Lady Harvelle? How unusual.” Gabriel said while he looked curiously at the letter that was handed to Castiel.
Lord Novak opened the seal and quickly read over the text. Surprised, he raised an eyebrow.

“What? Come on, don't torture me like that. What does Lady Harvelle want?"

“You won't believe this, but she wants to recommend a teacher for Jack. It’s a man called Dean Winchester.” Cas replied astonished.

Gabriel laughed. “Well, if this isn't destiny. The only problem is Jack can't handle male teachers. I think they are too authoritarian. But maybe we should try it again. What do you think? You wouldn't have to be afraid he wants to marry you.” Gabriel winked at his brother.

“I am sure he doesn’t want to marry me, but…”

“What is it, Cassie?”

“The teacher is a Sir Dean Winchester. He's a gentleman from the south and an omega by all accounts.”

“Oh, how very interesting. Why would a gentleman want to teach? Did he do something wrong and had to flee?" Gabriel wanted to know amused. 

“Lady Harvell writes that he is the eldest son of her childhood friend Mary. Her maiden name was Mary Champbell. Apparently, his second gender has something to do with his decision to leave the South and earn his own money for a living.” Castiel explained.

“That's just sad. We live in a terrible time. It should be possible for every righteous person to simply live his life. Whether he has a second gender or not.” Gabriel really sounded upset now. Cas couldn’t blame him. 

“For once, I agree with you-“ Lord Novak replied.

“Champbell. . . . Doesn't there even exist a shifter family with that name?” Gabriel wanted to know.

“Yes, I think our father once mentioned that the line has mixed with humans. So I think they aren’t shifters any more. At least since the last two or three generations.”  Castiel looked at the letter thoughtfully.

“Cassy, do you think. . . ? Do you think it's possible... .? 

“No, Gabe! I gave up all my hopes a long time ago. There is no such thing like a true mate out there for me. These times are gone.  Nowadays only a few of our species find their true mates. Why should I of all people be so lucky?"

Castiel shook his head as if the thought was almost absurd.

“God moves in mysterious ways, little brother. Everything is possible!” Gabriel laughed.

Castiel ignored the statement.

“If Sir Winchester is an Omega, my problem remains the same, Gabriel. I really don't feel like having to keep someone off my back again.”

“Pretentious, are we Cas? What makes you think everyone would fall for you? Maybe Mr Winchester is able to resist your charm and your scent.”

“I’m not conceited enough to believe it's my irresistibility. It's my title and the castle!”

“In this case, it doesn't matter, Cassie. You can't marry a man. At least not in the human traditional way. And I don't think a gentleman from the south would ever think of mating a man. Not in his wildest dreams. Not even an alpha. So I am sure he won’t bother you in this way, Cassie.” Gabriel objected.

Cas looked at him. Maybe his brother was right. He had to admit that his brother's reasoning contained a certain logic. Maybe this was the solution to the teacher problem.

“However. . . , biology may come between you and this Omega…” Gabriel added for consideration.

Damn! This destroyed Castiel's brief sense of security.

“Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Imagine he would trigger my rut or I… I would trigger his heat.” Cas shook his head in a shudder.

Gabriel laughed. “I think you're the only person I know who's concerned about the thought of these things. But I think I can calm you down. A gentleman from the South would never show his Scent openly and you could hide your Scent as well.”

Cas still didn't look convinced.

“Either this Mr Winchester or our housekeeper's niece. Becky was the name of the young lady, wasn’t it? It's your call, Cassie.” Gabriel announced.

But he couldn't fool Cas. The Alpha knew Gabriel liked the idea of having an Omega in the house. Castiel had to admit that there would be benefits. Jack was an Omega. Dean might be able to give the boy answers he or his brother weren’t able to give.

“Okay. . .“  The Alpha sighted.

“Then it's Mr Dean Winchester. I'm going to write a letter to Lady Harvelle and Rufus should prepare everything for the teachers' arrival.” 

Gabriel's eyes shone just as triumphantly as whenever Castiel offered his dessert to him.

Exactly at this moment, they heard a clang and a scream.

“No! Master Jack, what have you done?" a voice cried. Castiel recognized that it was Sebastian.

Castiel and Gabriel sighed at the same time.

“Sorry, sorry. I didn't mean to. . . “ Jack tried to apologize to the servant.

“He never means to do something,” Gabriel whispered.

“Yeah, sometimes he acts like a five-year-old.  But he is fourteen. You are right brother. The sooner the new teacher arrives the better.”

Jack came into the dining room looking quite guilty.

“What happened now?" Castiel impatiently wanted to know from the boy.

“I came around the corner and Sebastien suddenly just stood there. Right in the way. I couldn't stop and accidentally bumped into him. He. . . he had the tray with my breakfast in his hand and. . .”

“And your breakfast is now scattered on the ground. . .” Gabriel finished the sentence.

Jack nodded bashfully.

“Jack, it's time for your tutoring to continue. I will write a letter today and hope that Mr Winchester can start his work as soon as possible. Maybe he'll be able to tame you a little.”

With big eyes, Jack looked at his two uncles.  

“But. . . but Uncle Cas. Please, not another man. That didn’t work at all the last few times.” The boy begged, tears shining in his eyes.

“Mr Winchester isn't just a man, he's an omega like you,” Gabriel answered eagerly. 

“An Omega! Oh, my God! Oh, my God! That's fabulous! I've never met another Omega male before. Thank you. Thank you so much. I promise I'll behave myself. Really, I do. I promise to…”

“Jack! It was never your fault the teachers left us. You like to have a little too much energy sometimes, but you're a good boy. I know you'll at least try not to make it hard for Mr Winchester.” Castiel calmed his ward.

He knew the poor boy was alone way too often. Jack was only three years old when his parents died in a tragic carriage accident. It was a miracle that the boy had survived. Castiel had never got along very well with his brother Lucius, Jack’s father, but he had promised Lucius wife Kelly that he would always look after Jack if anything ever happened to her. In retrospect, it sometimes seemed to him as if she had suspected something.

Gabriel was the second born son, but he was a Beta and the inheritance was only passed on to Alphas, whether the Alpha was male or female. Of course, it wasn't fair, but that was the way the laws were in the North. Not that the laws of the South would have been better, because there only the first-born man inherited everything. Women generally didn’t get anything. So Cas not only got the entire inheritance but also the title was passed to him. Gabriel had never been jealous of it. The Beta was happy with his life without obligations but with enough money to enjoy it. So the brothers lived now together with their nephew in the big castle. It was probably really a hint of fate that Lady Harvelle had written the letter just now. Maybe an Omega was exactly what Jack needed. 

Chapter Text

Of course, Dean was glad that he got a job as a teacher in a very respectable house on the first try. However, he wondered what his new job would be like. Would he get along with the Alpha who would be his boss from now on? Would he get along with the kid he was supposed to be teaching? Would he even be a good teacher? After all, he had never done a job like this before. How would it be for him to be only part of the staff and no longer Sir Winchester?

There were so many uncertainties, but his biggest fear was probably whether he would manage to keep it secret that he was a shifter. Because even if his future boss wouldn't have a problem with his second gender, after all, he was an alpha himself, Dean was sure he wouldn't want a monster in his house. Not to mention the fact that this monster was supposed to teach his ward. Which responsible person wouldn't worry about that? He had to make sure no one would ever know about his dark secret. Now he sat in the personal carriage of Lady Harvelle and tried not to lose his nerves. He took a deep breath.

‘You can do this, Dean. You've played this part for years. You can still do this.’ He tried to calm down.

To distract himself, he looked out of the window. The landscape that passed by outside the carriage was incredibly beautiful. The journey took them even further north. Bobby, the coachman who picked him up in Glasgow a few days ago, drove him again this time. Dean liked the grumpy old coachman.

The trip took almost another whole day and went past lush green meadows and hills and dark forests. At some point, they got to the coast. Dean could smell the spicy salty scent of the sea. He opened the window of his carriage a little more and took a deep breath. Clearly, this was one of his favourite fragrances, just after the smell of old books and cinnamon. Maybe his fondness for these scents was buried in his childhood. He didn't know. But those three smells always made him calm down and feel safe. So if the castle was near the coast and he could smell the sea, that wasn't a disadvantage, of course.

Only a short time later he could see the winding architecture of Milton Castle. His new home! It was built on a high rocky cliff overgrown with moss and grass. All around the cliff, there were the peaceful waves of the sea. The castle was to be reached over a narrow stone bridge. The whole property seemed so dramatic and beautiful that Dean could only stare with his mouth agape.
When they entered the inner courtyard of the castle, he immediately recognized two servants approaching the carriage, who quickly opened the carriage door for him.

“Mr Winchester. It's a pleasure to welcome you to Milton Castle. I hope you had a pleasant trip.”

“Yes, thank you very much,” Dean replied, totally surprised because of the reception.

He had expected to be treated like a servant and not like a gentleman.

“Rufus will take the luggage to your room. If you follow me, I'll show you your premises. You can freshen up before Lord Novak and his brother await you for dinner in the large dining room.”

Dean could only nod, completely overwhelmed. He quickly said goodbye to Bobby and followed the servant.

A few minutes later he was in his so-called premises. Again Dean was overwhelmed by the generosity with which he was treated. He had expected a simple room but what awaited him exceeded his wildest expectations.

His new living area was divided into a bedroom and a room with a desk, empty bookshelves and a wonderful sitting accommodation right next to a window front. The view was breathtaking. He was able to look at the sea and a little island.  Dean was thrilled.

But this was too good to be true. There had to be a problem. Maybe it was the kid. Maybe the boy was misbehaving. Or Lord Novak was the problem. Even if Dean could not complain until now since Lord Novak had proved to be very generous. But maybe the Alpha was strange or unsympathetic or scary. Until now, everything here was just too good to be true.

About an hour later he was picked up again by the servant. Dean was very grateful. He would never have found his way to the dining room alone. The house was much too angled and much bigger than his old home.

The servant led him down the stairs through corridors until they finally reached the large dining room. Quite different from the South, where bright pastel colours were en vogue, the large room looked almost gloomy. But also in its own way, a thousand times more comfortable than a dining room in the south could ever be. This was mainly due to the heavy dark brown wood panelling of the ceiling and the dark green wallpaper. Maybe it was the white fireplace with the elaborate decoration. Or it was the wonderful smell of old books that filled the room. At the absurdly long table, two men sat and seemed to be waiting for him. One was smaller and had blond hair. Dean couldn't say why, but he was sure this wasn't the Alpha.

Even before the servant could announce Dean, the blonde man jumped up from his chair.

“Mr Winchester! Nice to finally meet you. I am Gabriel Novak and this is my brother Lord Castiel Novak. Jack is late. Like most of the time, to be honest. But now you are here to teach the boy knowledge and hopefully good behaviour.” Gabriel bubbled while he didn't stop shaking Dean's hand.

It was refreshing how different people seemed to be acting here. In the South, it would have been considered highly impolite to talk to someone without them having been introduced by a servant or another person before. But Dean didn't mind. On the contrary - he liked it.

“You have to excuse the zeal of my brother, Mr Winchester. His behaviour must seem very rude to you. Here in the North, we don't attach as much importance to etiquette as you do in the South.” Lord Novak explained.

His voice was deep and gravely. Dean felt goose bumps spread all over his arms.  Only now did Dean get to look at the Lord more closely. He was a lot bigger than his brother, but still a little smaller than Dean. His hair was almost black and looked as if he had forgotten to comb it. Unusual for a man of his status. But somehow it looked good. His eyes were incredibly blue and immediately captivated Dean. Just like the pink, plump lips of the Alpha. Sweet Jesus. Dean had never thought about another man's lips, but Lord  Novak's lips were amazing. Beautiful even. In an artful way, of course. Dean cleared his throat.

“Oh. . . no problem. I mean. . . Etiquette isn’t very important to me… It's an honour to meet you, Lord Novak.” Dean replied. 

“The pleasure is all mine, Mr Winchester.” The Alpha answered while his eyes stared at him with an intensity that made Dean shiver a little bit.

He really had to pull himself together to hold the gaze of the Alpha. Damn, the man had beautiful eyes.

“Please have a seat, Mr Winchester. Dinner will be served immediately.” The Alpha said.

And Dean did his best not to stare at the other man’s lips while he sat down across from the brothers. Only now did he notice that Lord Novak's brother was grinning. Dean wasn't sure if he wanted to know why.

“We hope you'll be comfortable here. Jack may be a wild child, but he's a good boy. I'm sure you two will get along just fine. Especially since he's also an Omega.” Gabriel stated.

Dean fidged around on his chair. He wasn't used to openly talking about his second gender. Except with Lady Harvelle and Jody or his grandmother. But perhaps his discomfort was also due to the intense gaze of the Alpha sitting opposite him.

“I’m a Beta, by the way. My brother's an Alpha. Even if you won't smell it, because he's hiding his scent. . .”

“Gabriel! That's enough! Mr Winchester is certainly not used to talking openly about these things.”  Lord Novak exhorted his brother with a sharp voice.

At that moment, thank God, the servants entered the room. Dean was glad he could focus on his food now.

But the Beta kept talking cheerfully.

“Have you had any time to look around? What do you think about our castle?" he wanted to know. 

“Uhm, no. . . Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance. I just saw my rooms. It is, by the way, very generous of you to make such beautiful premises available to me.”

Dean now looked directly at Lord Novak.

“I think the rooms are appropriate for Jack's tutor. Besides, they're near his room.” The Lord answered.

“What else have you noticed here, Mr Winchester?" Gabriel asked curiously.

“The sea. The view from my room is indescribable. Besides, I love the spicy smell of the sea.”

Gabriel choked on his food and took a big sip of his wine.

“Do you have a library?" Dean asked after the Beta wasn’t replying.

“Yes, of course. My brother has one of the biggest libraries in the area. Why do you ask? Are you also one of those strange people who prefer a book to a conversation?" Gabriel wanted to know. 

“Yes and no,” Dean answered truthfully. “It all depends on who you're talking to and how good the book is.”

“Fair enough.” Mr Gabriel laughed.

“But that wasn't the reason for my question. This place smells like old books.”  Dean explained.

Gabriel raised an eyebrow in amazement and Castiel looked at Dean with interest.

„Ah, and this is a good or a bad thing?“ Gabriel asked.

„A very good thing, actually,“ Dean confessed. „The smell of old books always made me feel like home.“

„Oh! Is that so?“ Gabriel looked at his brother and grinned. „Did you hear him, Castiel? Old books smell like home to him and he loves the scent of the sea. Isn’t that interesting? Tell me, Mr Winchester. Do you like cinnamon?”

Dean was a little confused about the question.

„Yes… actually, I do… why…“

„Ah, that’s amazing. Mrs Clarvelle our cook makes the best cinnamon biscuits of England, doesn’t she, Cas?”

For some reason, Lord Novak's cheeks reddened suspiciously. He did not respond immediately to the remark but cleared his throat.

„Yes she does, Gabriel. Well, feel free to use my library as often as you like, Mr Winchester.“ The Lord said politely his cheeks still adoringly red.

Dean had a feeling like he didn’t get the meaning of the conversation, but he nodded his thanks and decided to take advantage of the offer as often as possible.

At that moment the door opened with a swing and a boy rushed in. Dean was sure it was Jack.

 “This is how you get to know Jack from his best side. Mr Winchester. The boy is always too late and incredibly wild.” Gabriel explained.

Dean had to smile. Jack had to be about Sam's age, but he looked a lot younger. Which was probably because his brother had the soul of a thirty-five-year-old and this was a normal boy.

With an open smile, Jack approached Dean. 

“Mr Winchester, or may I say, Dean? I've been looking forward to meeting you. I couldn't wait. I... “

“Jack! Behave. You can't just call Mr Winchester by his first name.” Lord Novak exhorted the boy with a sharp voice.

“Lord Novak, that's very kind of you, but I'm just a tutor now. So I don’t see why Master Jack can’t call me by my first name.” Dean said.

Lord Novak raised an eyebrow. “Mr Winchester, you are the son of a gentleman and this is how we will treat you, like a gentleman We're lucky Jack will be taught by someone like you. So, if you allow him to call you Dean, it's all right with me, but it's not usual to call a tutor by their first names.” Lord Novak explained.

Dean didn't know whether to feel honoured or reprimanded. Lord Novak might have been one of the, if not the most beautiful men he had ever seen, but he seemed unapproachable and somehow inspiring. Quite different like all the Lords and Ladies in the South but still reserved and inscrutable. But what did he expect? Apparently, not all nobles here in the North were as uncomplicated as Lady Harvelle.

 

Chapter Text

“Now tell me, little brother. How do you like the new teacher for Jack?"; Gabriel watched Castiel closely.

“He seems. . . nice.” Cas replied hesitantly.

“Nice? Yes, he is nice too and probably a good teacher for Jack as well. But above all, he's indescribably hot. Now don't tell me you didn't even notice. I've seen you staring at him all the time.” Gabriel stated with a smirk on his face.

Cas cleared his throat. Dammit! His brother knew him all too well.

“Of course, I've seen how incredibly handsome he is. I'm not blind, after all. But I don't stare at him all the time, though.”

Gabriel laughed out loud now.

“Yes, of course, Cassie. I'm sure your scent wouldn't have betrayed you if you hadn't hidden it. I wonder what would happen if you could smell each other properly.“

“Gabriel! Stop it! Of course, I would never do anything inappropriate. Jesus, what do you think of me. I am not an animal.”  Cas was outraged. 

“The way I see it, you couldn't have done anything about it, dear brother, because biology would have done it for you. Mr Winchester's favourite smells describe your scent exactly. I wouldn't be surprised if he smelled like apple pie, campfire or chocolate. Or even all three things together. Maybe your favourite odours are even his smell. And that would increase the chance that he's your true mate immensely. Don’t you think?”

“Gabriel, please.. could you just stop it? Dean Winchester is Jack's teacher and nothing more. Even if he smelled like apple pie, campfire and chocolate, that wouldn't mean he has to be my true mate. And even he would be. You said it yourself. A man from the South would never want to be with another man. He wouldn't even think of it.”

“Then somebody should plant this thought quickly in his head. And guess who would be best for this job?” Gabriel  

“Please, Gabriel. Just don't. All your actions always end in embarrassment. I'd appreciate it if Jack could keep just one teacher for more than a few months.” Cas begged.

“I will do my best to act subtly. I promise. But I can't promise you just to watch you blow this chance to the wind. And if he's not what you want, in the end: Apple pie and chocolate don't sound bad to me either. . . you know how much I love sweets.” Gabriel winked at his brother.

Before Castiel even knew what was happening, he heard a growl and realized it came from himself. Had he just growled at his brother like he was a rival? Oh, shit!

Gabriel looked at him in surprise.

“Oh, Cassie. You know you are already lost, don't you?"; Gabriel said and shook his head trying not to laugh.

Castiel felt his cheeks reddening. He'd never growled at anyone before. Never! And certainly not because of an Omega! Accordingly shocked, he looked at his brother now.

“Don’t worry, Cassie. I'm not gonna fight over your omega.” Gabriel calmed him down.

“Mr Winchester is not my Omega. And he never will be.“ Castiel disagreed immediately.

“Never say never, baby brother!” Gabriel replied and patted his brother once more on the shoulder before he left the room.

What remained was a completely confused Castiel.

Perhaps it would have been better if they had tried again with a female teacher, a human female teacher.

It was one thing to deal with someone who wanted to seduce him into marriage, but it was something completely else to deal with feelings for heaven’s sake!

Castiel went into his office. After all, he had enough work to distract himself. The less he got to see the new teacher, the better. Although it was only ten o'clock in the morning, he poured himself a glass of port wine. This shouldn't become a habit. With a deep sigh and a full glass, he sat down at his desk. He had to take care of the houses in Drymen. As in the other villages where he owned most of the apartment buildings, he also wanted to improve the sanitary conditions there and drain the sewage underground in pipes. Right now, all of the sewage was flowing through the middle of the village in a gully.

This was not only a problem because of the bad smell. Castiel had read enough studies to know that hygiene was very closely linked to health. So when he once made a horseback ride with his brother and saw how children were playing in the sewage, it was clear to him that he had to act. He hired an engineer from London to install a canal system in all the towns around Milton Manor. Mr Balthazar Roche was recommended to him by Lady Harvelle and he had to admit that the engineer did a good job.

Of course, this wasn't cheap, but Castiel was very willing to invest in the health of his tenants.

Once again he, therefore, studied the engineer's plan. In Drymen, Castiel even wanted to renovate some of the housing complexes. However, he had to create alternative quarters for the people first. That was the first step. Fifteen barracks were to be built on one of his meadows, which was not leased out. Castiel wanted to check everything again before he gave the engineer the okay to start the project. But today, his brain just didn't want to focus on his work. He heard Jack's laughter from outside and it didn't make things any better. What the hell was that kid doing out there at this time of the day? Shouldn't he be studying with his tutor? Annoyed, Castiel got up and went to the window.  Jack and his teacher were in the garden playing badminton. What was that supposed to be?

Wasn't Mr Winchester supposed to teach the boy Latin and mathematics? Why did they waste their time playing a ballgame? Mr Winchester had taken off his jacket and only played in his shirt. He stood with his back to Castiel's window and the Alpha could see his muscles moving. It was just a harmless game. That shouldn't have such a devastating effect on him. But damn it, Castiel wasn’t able to take his eyes off that Omega. How was he supposed to concentrate?

Annoyed, especially about himself and his reaction, he opened the window.

“Could you keep it down a little? I'm trying to work," he shouted into the garden.

Jack looked up at him in shock and the Omega quickly turned around.

“Oh, excuse me, Lord Novak. I didn't know we were right outside your study. We'll find another place for our game.” Mr Winchester replied quietly. Only his red cheeks revealed a little of his feelings.

“Why are you playing anyway. Shouldn't you study some old language or history or whatever?” Castiel was surprised at how impatient his voice sounded.

The omega’s cheeks blushed even deeper.

“I think it's better for Jack to let off some energy in between, sir. I've found it easier for him to pay attention afterwards.” The Omega explained and looked at him provocatively.

Oh, damn it. Why did this man have to look so damn good? It was just frustrating. Besides, he was right, of course. Exactly this was the reason why the other teachers never quite managed to maintain Jack's concentration. Mr Winchester had recognized it and clearly found the best and easiest solution to solve the problem. 

Damn it! He knew he was supposed to apologize to the Omega. Exhausted, he massaged his temples.

“Grab your jacket, Jack. We don't want to bother your uncle any longer.” Castiel heard Mr Winchester say. 

He tried not to stare when the Omega bent over to pick up his own jacket from the grass. Jesus! It would clearly have been better to have a female teacher. Definitely much better!

 

 

Chapter Text

Getting along with Jack was a lot easier than Dean thought. The boy was smart and thirsty for knowledge and he visibly enjoyed learning. However, Dean noticed right on the first day that he always needed some physical exercise in between. So Dean created a work plan that included generous sports units. Sometimes they played badminton or played the game of catch. Of course, they were riding the horses every other day too. But often they just walked on the beach and collected shells or Dean told Jack everything he knew about the animals in the sea. Another time they wandered through the forest and Jack never stopped asking questions about the flora and fauna there. Today was one of these days. They were strolling through the forest and Dean explained to Jack that the moss was always growing northwards and that once he would get lost he could orientate himself by it. Jack was listening very carefully.

“I love the lessons with you, Dean. In the past, I never understood why I had to learn the things the tutors taught me, but now it is clear to me. Well, I still don't know why I have to learn a dead language like Latin though, but many other things are making sense now. You are the smartest person I know except uncle Cas.” The boy confessed.

Dean had to smile about the sweet compliment.

“I’m glad you're enjoying your class, Jack. And I can only return the compliment. I also enjoy teaching you. However, when it comes to Latin, I’m probably not able to give you a satisfying answer. The Romans didn't even conquer the North. Nevertheless, the Roman Empire still has an influence on our society. Especially in certain languages, like French. And you will learn French too. Maybe we can start in one year or two. You'll see how much this language is influenced by Latin. And most of the scientific names of animals or plants are Latin.” Dean tried to explain. 

“It was probably too cold and too wet for the Romans here. Therefore they didn’t want to conquer the North.”  Jack joked.

Dean laughed. That was a very good theory, of course. 

“Yes, that’s quite possible.  They were certainly used to warmth and sunshine and not to the wetness and cold here.” Dean replied.

“Speaking of rain. I think it's gonna start raining again. We should head back.” With a scrutinizing look at the clouds, Dean grabbed his bag and they were turning back to the castle.

“Too bad! I like the forest." Jack sighed.

Then he stopped and looked at Dean shyly.

“Dean? “ Jack chewed nervously on his lower lip.

“Yes, Jack. What's wrong?“ 

“Will you. . . will you teach me Omega related things too?"; Jack looked down obviously embarrassed.

“Yes, of course. What do you want to know?”

 

“I… I would like… to … to block my scent like you.” Jack confessed while he blushed furiously.

"Of course I can teach you how to block your scent, but why do you want that, Jack?"; Dean wanted to know in surprise.

“Uhm. . . the. . . the stable bristles sometimes look at me so funny. . . and. . . and I don’t like it.”

Alarmed, Dean looked into Jack's face.

“Did they do anything to you?"; he wanted to know.

“No! No, but it still makes me uncomfortable. Especially. . . especially since my heat should be coming soon and I know they are able to smell it.”

Dean secretly cursed himself. Sometimes he was really too stupid. Instead of teaching the boy about sea fish, he should have taught him how to hide his Scent and suppress his heats. Damn it! Poor kid!

“Oh, God, Jack. I'm so sorry.  I should have taught you that first. I’ll get you the tincture and the ointment as soon as we are back at the castle and tomorrow I'll teach you how to make everything right away. I’ll teach you where to find the herbs and what to do with them.”

Relieved, Jack looked at him.

“Thank you, Dean. Do you think. . . do you think it's still time to suppress my next heat?" the boy wanted to know.

Jesus Christ! Poor boy! Of course, he was afraid of it. Dean himself only had to experience his first heat. So all he knew was the cramps. What it had to feel like. . . . Damn it! 

He wouldn't even know how to help the boy through this. Maybe he could find something in grandmas book.  Maybe there was some herb that was able to suppress the symptoms.

“How long is it until your next heat?" Dean inquired.

“Not quite three weeks,” Jack whispered.

“I hope we can stop it. We'll start the treatment right away. You should have talked to me about it earlier, Jack. That's what I'm here for. I'm sure your uncles hired me because, like you, I'm a male omega.”

Jack smiled at him and shrugged.

“I was embarrassed. Heats are. . . I don't like the feeling. You feel so weak and needy.”

Oh, my God! Sweet Jesus! This meant that the poor boy must have experienced at least his second heat.

“How many times have you had your heat?";

“I had two heats. This would be the third time.”

“Okay, we're not gonna let it get that far. And if we are too late to stop it, I will find something to lessen the symptoms.”

The boy smiled happily at him.

“I’m so glad you're here, Dean. Not just because of the heats, because of everything. I've been alone so many times, and now I have someone to talk to. Everything's so much better since you are here.”

Dean was touched by Jack's confession.

He could imagine how lonely the boy had to be.  During the last two months since he arrived at Milton Castle, he had already recognized that neither Lord Novak nor his brother had much time for the Jack.

Dean was right about the rain. A few minutes before they arrived at the castle, it started raining. No, raining wasn’t the right word for what happened. It was a deluge. Dean took off his jacket and put it over Jack's head and shoulders so that it looked like a rain jacket. He had no protection from the pouring rain now, but that was better than letting the boy get completely soaked.

After a very short time, Dean’s white shirt stuck to his body like a second skin. He could only hope that no one would notice their arrival. He would ask the servants for a hot bath for himself and Jack and afterwards, they would warm up in front of the fireplace. That was his plan, but of course, luck wasn't on his side. Just as they entered the entrance hall, Lord Novak came down the stairs with his brother.

“Oh! Mr Winchester! You’ll catch your death!"; Mr Gabriel called immediately.

Lord Novak stood completely frozen on the last step  One hand held on to the railing convulsively. Dean felt like the Alpha was having trouble breathing.

The Lord stared at him in horror. Dean couldn't blame him. He had to make a nice picture. The white shirt was almost transparent and if Dean wasn't wrong, the pouring rain had washed away the ointment on his Scent glands. So the poor man not only had to endure his sight but probably also his Omega Scent. Jesus Christ! This was so embarrassing! Suddenly there was movement in Lord Novak. He clapped his hands to attract the attention of a servant.

“Sebastian, please prepare a hot bath for Mr Winchester and Master Jack immediately and make sure the two rooms are well heated.”

“Excuse me, Mr Winchester I have to… I have to write a letter. Immediately!”

Then he almost fled up the stairs again. 

Nervously, Dean drove his hand through his hair. Oh, God! He wished the floor would open up and swallow him on the spot.

“I am sorry, Mr Gabriel. The rain surprised us. I… It was my fault. I am not used to such fast changes of the weather. I know I must be a horrible sight and probably you are able to smell me, but it seemed more important to me that Jack didn't get too wet. I know I'm dripping all over the floor and Lord Novak. . . “ Dean babbled.

“Don't you worry about it. And believe me when I tell you I don't mind the sight or the smell. On the contrary. Who wouldn’t like apple pie, campfire or chocolate?“ The Beta winked at Dean.

Confused, Dean followed the servant. He was terribly freezing by now.

When he sat in the hot bathtub about fifteen minutes later and was able to feel his fingers and toes again, he realized how embarrassing the whole situation really was. Especially towards Lord Novak, it was somehow important to him to make a good impression. Probably because he was his boss. Although Mr Gabriel was somehow also his supervisor. But strangely enough, it wasn't important to Dean what the Beta thought about him. Dean moaned.

Dinner with the Lord would certainly be mortifying.

The rest of the afternoon passed much too quickly. After the bath Dean brought the boy the ointment to suppress the scent and the tincture against the heats. Afterwards, they were reading in front of the fireplace. It was peaceful, at least as long as Dean was able not to think about the Lord.

When it was time for dinner, Dean took a special effort to make a neat impression. He chose his most beautiful jacket.

Nervously, he arrived at the dining room and noticed to his astonishment (and if he would have been honest to himself even disappointment) that only Mr Gabriel and Jack were present.

“Have a wonderful evening, Mr Winchester. I hope you had a nice afternoon”  The Beta welcomed him.

“Yes, thank you very much. Please take my apologies once again for my inappropriate appearance today.”

Dean begged.

“As I told you, Mr Winchester, the sight was by no means unpleasant. Don't worry about it.” Gabriel assured ihm.

“Won’t. . . won’t Lord Novak joining with us tonight?"; Dean wanted to know. The thought that the Alpha might have been so shocked by his behaviour that he didn't even want to sit at a table with him filled Dean with unease.

“Oh, my brother. . . he is indisposed. He apologizes.” The Beta grinned. 

Just amazing! Well done Winchester You have really managed to drive the Alpha away. Away from his own dining table. Damn it!  He could only hope that Lord Novak would not fire him.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Dean tried to stop thinking about the embarrassing incident. Without success, though. He hadn't seen the Lord for over a week now, and despite Mr Gabriel's assurances that everything was alright, Dean couldn't get rid of the feeling that it was his fault somehow. Dean decided to use the service entrance from now on. From there he could reach his own rooms almost unnoticed. It was just annoying that he didn't get the idea on the rainy day a week ago.

The week in which Lord Nowak was allegedly indisposed passed by quite uneventfully and dull. Dean spent his days teaching Jack and was delighted to see that the boy was making great progress.

At dinner, he always had a chat with Mr Gabriel. To his astonishment, Dean realized that he was disappointed every single time the Lord didn't show up for dinner. For a brief moment, he got the idea that Lady Harvelle might have been right about the attraction between Alpha and Omega. But that was ridiculous. Much more likely was that he missed talking to the Lord about books during dinner. Dean didn't really have a conversation partner here at Milton Castle. Jack was just a kid and Mr Gabriel didn't seem interested in reading. So who should he talk to? At home, he had his grandmother and Sam. Even though his brother wasn't much older than Jack, he was very mature in many ways. And he had Benny. Benny wasn’t only his servant, he was also his friend.

One might not expect a servant to be well-read, but Benny had a penchant for horror novels. And so they often spent whole afternoons exchanging ideas about one of the stories they had both read. But here he had no one but Lord Novak to talk about books.

A soft knock jolted him from his thoughts.

“Come in,” Dean said.

“Mr Winchester, dinner will be served in a few minutes.” Sebastian the servant informed him.

“Thank you, Sebastian. I'll be right there. Will Lord Novak join us today?"; Dean wanted to know. He hated that his voice contained far too much hope. Why did he care so much?

“Yes. Lord Novak and his guest are already in the dining room. Master Jack and Mr Gabriel will be there soon.” The servant answered.

“Guest? What guest?"

“Mr Balthazar Roche will be dining with Lord Novak tonight, sir.”

Dean was delighted. Finally a little variety. He quickly reached for his jacket and made his way to the dining room.

But his joy didn't last long. Already on the way down, he smelled it. A mixture of Eucalyptus, lavender and extremely sweet vanilla. Dean could feel a big knot in his stomach forming. He hated the smell right away. Lord Novak's visitor was a male Omega. Dean reluctantly entered the large dining room. 

Lord Novak, his brother and a strange man were already sitting at the big table. They talked excitedly.

When the servant announced Dean, everyone looked at him. Dean couldn't help but notice how pale Lord Novak looked.

“Mr Winchester, I'd like you to meet Mr Balthazar Roche. He's the engineer of one of my construction projects in Drymen. Mr Roche, this is Mr Winchester. The tutor of my ward, Jack.” Lord Novak introduced them.

Dean felt an inner unwillingness to shake Mr Roche's hand, but he tried not to let it show. He was raised to be polite. Why was it even so hard to be friendly with this man?

“Ah, we will dine with a teacher, how original. Then I  suppose the boy will join us, too so Mr Winchester will have something to do while we talk.” Mr Roche said, his voice sounding very condescending. Without appreciating Dean for another look, the engineer turned to Lord Novak and gave him his undivided attention.

“Mr Winchester is here at the table not as a babysitter, but because we greatly appreciate his company.” Lord Novak rectified with a sharp tone in his voice.

The other Omega quickly noticed his mistake and apologized.

“Forgive me. Of course, I understand. A teacher must be well-read, and you like to read, Lord Novak. Suitable interlocutors are important.”

Lord Novak frowned and Mr Gabriel grinned. At that moment, thank God, Jack came in. Dean was incredibly glad to see the boy.

Jack happily walked across the room until he reached the table.

“Uncle Cas, your rut is finally over. I am so glad! It took so long this time! Seven days! I really missed you and I am sure Mr Winchester missed you too.”

Oh my god! Could it get any more embarrassing? Dean could feel the heat rise on his cheeks. Of course, he had missed the Lord, but he had never mentioned a word to Jack. His student sometimes looked younger than he was, but Dean had noticed a few times that he was very attentive.

“The boy's right, Cassie. Something might have triggered it.” Gabriel said with a huge innocent grin on his face.

Lord Novak cleared his throat blushing like Dean a few minutes ago.

“Oh, Lord Novak. What did the boy say? Seven days? Then it must have started the other day you visited me at my office. Do you remember? It was the day when it was raining cats and dogs. The sewers in Drymen were completely overflowed. That's why I remember that day so well. I don't want to flatter myself but I think it was me who triggered your rut. My heat was just over. So you must have smelled it.”


What the…? Did Dean hear the other omega talking about… Oh my God! Who was assuming to be the reason for someone's rut? Could someone be that arrogant?

The whole conversation about heats and ruts made Dean’s cheek burn in embarrassment. He wasn't used to talking about these things at dinner. Actually, he wasn't used to talking or even thinking about all of this at all.   If he was honest, he also still knew less about the matter than he should know as a teacher.

He planned to go to the library the next day to see if he could find a book about it. If not, he'd ask Lady Harvelle for some literature. He was sure there would be something in her library about it. But what was more troubling him at the moment was the thought that Mr Roche could really be responsible for the Lord's rut. Dean didn't like the idea at all. He didn't want to think about why. Everything was so confusing.

Especially Mr Roche's scent, which became sweeter and sweeter, and his own inner Omega, which was difficult to hold back. Because Dean didn't want the other Omega to lean so close to Lord Novak. It was a balm for his soul that the Alpha stepped back a little.

„But it could have been Dean, Uncle Cas. The rain washed away all his blockers back then. I smelled it myself. Dean smells wonderful like apple pie, campfire and chocolate. You must have smelled it too.”

Oh, Jesus! Did this boy have any filters? Dean wished the floor would open up and swallow him.

“Oh, so you are an Omega as well, Mr Winchester? I didn't notice. So you block your scent, don't you? Where I come from it’s rude to hide your scent. It's like having something to hide”. Mr Roche explained while looking at Dean sceptically.

“Well, where I come from, it's life-threatening not to let anybody know you have a second gender. So it's better to hide your scent.” Dean countered feeling that he was getting angry.

How could Mr Roche dare! How could he simply condemn someone even though he knew nothing about the circumstances? People from his neighbourhood would not have hesitated to lock him up or even kill him if they knew. And not only him but also his entire family. He never would have put Sammy in any danger.

“Sometimes you have to be a little brave, Mr Winchester. How are you gonna find a good alpha if nobody knows you're an omega? Do you think somewhere an Alpha would wait and just fall in love with your attractive face, or your good character? I can assure you that won't happen. Someone like you, who has no helping family in the background and has no financial reserves or estates, cannot afford not to . . . “

Unbelieving, Dean stared at Mr Roche. What did the Omega want to tell him? That Dean's whole reason for being was to lure in an Alpha and mate?

That he didn't count anything himself, only his biology?

Dean was just about to get to know his biology a little better and maybe he would come to terms with the fact that there were things like heats or scents for him. But there was much more to his biology. He was a shifter. And no one, not even Mr Roche, would admit being a shifter in public.

“Mr Roche, that's enough! I suggest we change the subject.” Lord Novak said with his Alpha voice. The other Omega flinched back and Dean tried to repress the fact that a tremor went through his entire body as he perceived the dominance of the Alpha’s voice.

“Mr Dean is doing very well here with us. He doesn't need an alpha," Jack explained defiantly.

Dean felt warmth rising inside him. Jack already felt like a family member to him.

„Yes, that might be, but you'll grow up, my boy. And Mr Winchester will have to look for another job. Because this is his place of work, not his home. . . “

“ENOUGH!” Lord Novak ordered visibly angry.

“I forbid any further conversation on the subject.”

Mr Roche did follow the Alpha's instructions, but the damage had already happened. Dean realized the Omega was right. This wasn't his home. Because someone like Dean didn't have a home. Jack wouldn't always need him, and he'd have to move on. And there was a good chance he would never see Milton Castle or it’s inhabiters again.  Damn it! This shouldn’t hurt as much as it did.

Chapter Text

After dinner, Castiel immediately ordered for the carriage to get prepared and asked Rufus to bring Mr Roche back to his room at the Inn near Drymen. He couldn't get rid of the Engineer fast enough. Then he retired to his study and poured himself a glass of whiskey. He noticed that his hand was shaking. He was so angry! How could that. . . that conceited lout dare talk to Mr Winchester like that? Castiel heard the door to his study open and was not surprised when he saw his brother approaching.

“Hey, Cassie. Is everything all right? You disappeared pretty quickly after Mr Roche left us.” Gabriel stated. 

Castiel took a big sip of the whiskey. He was anything but all right. He was angry, so angry.

“No, nothing's all right. I could kill that damn engineer.”

He filled another glass with the amber liquid and handed it to his brother. 

“Castiel, please calm down.” Gabriel tried to persuade his brother while he gratefully accepted the glass of whiskey.

“You want me to calm down? I don't want to calm down! What was this all about? How dare he talk to my. . . to Mr Winchester like that. If I wasn't bound by contract, I'd fire him and have another engineer build the sewer in Drymen, I swear to God!”

Castiel walked around the room like a hunted animal. Gabriel had never seen him so angry.

“I feel you, I really do, but you're supposed to be honoured. After all, Mr Roche did it for you. He must have seen an opponent in Mr Winchester and tried to outdo him. Admittedly by unfair means, and as I see it, he completely overreacted, but basically it was a game like it has been played for thousands of years. Two Omegas are courting an Alpha. Except Mr Winchester wasn't in the game. Probably because he doesn't even know the rules. If I think about it correctly, he actually seemed rather confused about Mr Roche's behaviour. Don't you agree?"

Gabriel emptied the glass with a few gulps and looked at his brother.

Castiel snorted angrily.

“Does this idiot really think his attacks on Mr Winchester will achieve anything with me? He can’t be this stupid."

“Well, after all, he can't know that the teacher is your true mate,” Gabriel said sarcastically and winked at his brother.

Castiel didn't answer. Lost in thought, he looked at the glass in his hand.

“Wow, I'm impressed. You don't deny it anymore.” Gabriel said. 
„What am I not denying anymore?";

“That Mr Winchester is your true mate.”

The Lord refilled both of their glasses.

“No, I don't deny it. How could I? If I ever had any doubts, they have disappeared since the afternoon I smelled his Scent.”

With horror, he remembered how hard it was for him to hold back. He nearly lost control and… No, he shouldn’t develop this thought any further.

Gabriel laughed.

“Yeah, I noticed that. You obviously had a hard time controlling yourself not to jump him. It was almost funny watching the panicked expression on your face.”

“Very funny!"

Like always, his brother didn't mince matters.

Gabriel laughed at the bitter expression on Castiel's face.

“Cassie, I don't understand you. Why aren't you happy you found your true mate? You're the one who always believed in all that romantic frippery. Why aren't you acting now? Please explain it to me because I really don't get it.” Gabriel said and shook his head. 

“I already told you I don't think a man from the south wants a male partner.” Was Castiel's brief answer. But, of course, that was only half of the truth.

“Oh, come on, little brother. Even you must have noticed Mr Winchester was jealous at dinner tonight. He tried to hide it, but everyone could tell.”

“He was hurt, without question. But if he was really jealous, I can't say. Arr, I could kill the damn engineer!"

Rage was resurging inside of Castiel.

“Mr Winchester was certainly jealous and, of course, hurt. Especially at the end. It must be frustrating not to have a home. . . “

“But of course he has a home. Here with us. . . “ Cas replied upset.

The thought that the Omega doubted it didn’t appeal to Castiel at all.

“Not if he doesn't become your mate, Cassie. I am sorry to say so but then it's really like Mr Roche said. As soon as Jack grows up, Mr Winchester will find another job. This is the way of things for teachers. After their job is done they go and find another one.”

No, no, no! Castiel didn't want to imagine that the day would ever come when the Omega would leave him. . . Milton Castle. The thought was almost absurd and. . . and incredibly painful.

“Damn it! What do you want me to do?", Lord Novak looked desperately at his brother.

“You know that perfectly well, Cassie,” Gabriel answered gently.

“I can't do that! You know what happens when I bite him. He'd hate me. . . “

No, he would never do that to the Omega. Mr Winchester would become a shifter, just like Castiel himself. Even though Castiel was proud of his kind, he didn't want to force his way of living on anyone. Even if it meant he couldn't be with his true mate.

“Cassie, you don't know that.” Gabriel tried to convince his brother again.

“No, I don't. Maybe he wouldn't hate me, but I would hate myself. Gabriel, I can't do this to him. How should he ever go back to the South if he is not only a man with a second gender but also a shifter?”

He just couldn't do it. If he ever got involved with the Omega, he was sure that he wouldn't be able to resist mating him. How should he control himself with his true mate?  But if he bit him, the other man would also turn into a shifter and that couldn't happen.

“Cassie, no one says he wants to go back. But I see what you mean. You really like him, don't you? It's not just biology.” It was more a statement, not a question.

Castiel just looked sad at his brother and nodded.

“Maybe he's also a. . . “ Gabriel said.

“No, it's highly unlikely, and you know it, Gabriel. He's from the South. There are no shifters left in the South.” Lord Novak vigorously interrupted his brother. Castiel didn't want to indulge in meaningless hopes.

His kind was only to be found in the North. He had never heard of shifters from the South.

“We don't know that. Just because we don't know shifters from the South doesn't mean there aren’t any anymore. If it is such a problem in the South to have the second gender alone, then I don't want to know what they would do with shifters. So it would only be logical to keep it a secret.” Thoughtfully, the Beta looked at his brother.

With a deep sigh, Castiel drove his hand through his hair. Of course, Gabriel was right. No one who was in their right mind would admit that he had a second gender in the South, let alone that he was a shifter. Still, the odds were slim.

“Gabe, please stop it. I shouldn't hope for things that are so unlikely. This can only end in disappointment.”

“Castiel. . . “

“No, Gabriel. Please let it go. I know you mean well, but I'd like to end this now. It's a full moon today. I think I'm going on a run tonight. I need something to distract me.”

Gabriel nodded.

“Do you want me to come with you?", he offered. 

“No, thanks. I think I'd rather go alone if you don't mind.”

“Of course, I don't mind. But promise me to be careful, will you?”

Chapter Text

At first, Dean didn't know what was going on, but something had woken him up. He opened his eyes and looked around. Although it was in the middle of the night, you could see the whole interior because the full moon was shining into the room.  Everything looked the same, as far as he could tell from his bed.

He heard the wind wail outside the windows and wondered if this was the reason he had woken up.

Knock, knock.

Maybe the knocking had ripped him from his sleep.
“Mr Dean! Are you awake?"

It was Jack. What on earth was Jack doing on the corridor in the middle of the night?

Still a little drowsy, Dean stood up and opened the door.

“Master Jack, what are you doing here at this hour? You should be asleep by now!"

“I am so sorry Dean. Please don’t be mad at me. I... I don't know ... I feel so restless. I know it sounds crazy, but somehow I feel like I  have to go outside. I can't explain it, but it's like  something is pulling me into the woods, to a forest glade where I would be able to see the moon.”

Desperately, Jack looked at his teacher.

“Please help me.” He whispered.

It couldn't be, could it? Everything Jack explained sounded suspiciously familiar. Like his own first transformation. Jack was younger than he was back then, but it was still possible. Only before going to bed Dean read a book about the biology of second genders. Thankfully he had found it in the library.

The book was very helpful. All aspects of every second gender were described profoundly. But the best thing about the book was that there was a whole chapter about shifters. A book like that would never have been found in a library in his southern home. Dean was glad it was different here. There was so much to learn. He knew practically nothing about his own biology and was determined to change this fact. Among other things, he learned from the book, that there were cases known where young people already started to shift at the age of twelve. Thank God these incidents were very rare.

Dean shuddered at the thought of how scared a twelve-year-old child must have been in such a situation. However, these reports were only from the past and Dean assumed that it made a difference if you expected to be a shifter yourself. if it wasn't abnormal or bad if it was just a fact. A family characteristic, nothing more. Especially when it's something you've been prepared for.

It was quite possible that children were waiting impatiently for their first transformation. Yeah, if he thought about it that way, it even seemed likely. After all, it must have been nice to run together as a pack. Unfortunately, times had changed completely.

Dean decided not to take any chances. He couldn’t risk the possibility of Jack transforming here in the castle and of course, he did not want to leave the boy alone. Too well he could remember his own first transformation and how terribly alone and helpless he had felt. He didn’t want Jack to feel that way.

“Okay, go to your room and get dressed. Take a second set of clothes with you. Just in case. . . “ Dean ordered.

“Just in case? What do you mean?" Jack wanted to know.

“Never mind, better hurry,” Dean said.

“Mr Dean, you're scaring me.” Jack looked at his teacher and frowned. 

Oh, Jack should be scared. He should be scared to death. If Dean was right, Jack would also be a shifter and would have to hide his identity as much as he did. Dean wished the boy wouldn't have to. Although he had to admit that the prospect of not being the only shifter in the castle was tempting.

“Don’t be afraid, Jack. Everything's gonna be okay. Just do what I told you and come back quickly. And for God's sake, be as quiet as you can. We don't want to wake up the whole house, do we?”

Jack nodded and seemed to calm down a little bit. But there was still worry in his gaze. 

About ten minutes later, the boy came back. Meanwhile, Dean had had enough time to change as well.

“Where are we going?"; the boy wanted to know.

“We make a short trip into the forest. I have a guess, and if I'm right, it's  good if we are able to hide in the forest.” Dean answered cryptically.

“What suspicion?"

“Let’s just see what happens, yeah?" Dean tried to dodge the question.

They went to the place they had visited several times during their lessons. Dean had already thought at that time that the place was perfect and that he would visit it if he had to shift. But until now that hadn't been the case. He had already wondered a few times that he had never felt the urge to shift since he was at the castle.  But, of course, that was all right with him. Since he had read the chapter about shifters today he knew that some shifters, after a few years no longer felt the inner urge to transform into a wolf, but could deliberately summon it. However, every shifter had to transform three times a year at full moon to stay healthy.

That simplified the whole situation a bit. While he was waiting for Jack, he decided to run together with Jack if it really came to that.

At this place, the dense forest turned into a clearing and there were some rocks under which they were able to hide their clothes.

Dean was thinking about how to proceed. Just wait and see? Yeah, that would be the best thing. So they sat at the edge of the clearing and waited. It didn't take long, though, and Jack started moaning as if in pain.

“Mr Dean, what's happening to me? It's like I'm burning up inside.” The boy whined.

Dean could still remember very well the pain of his first transformation. It got better with time, but the first time was bad. He really thought he would have to die.

In the bright moonlight Dean finally saw the boy's hands deforming. That was the confirmation he'd been waiting for.

“Jack, listen to me. You don't have to be afraid. You're a shifter just like me. You'll turn into a wolf for the first time. I know it burns like hell, but it'll pass. I promise you everything's gonna be okay. Don't try to fight it. It’s easier if you just accept what's going to happen.”

Jack looked at him with big eyes.

“I’m also a shifter. I didn't think. . . “

What didn't he think? Dean wanted to ask the boy what he meant, but Jack certainly had other concerns at the moment. So he decided to leave it be for now.

“Take off your jacket and shoes. Otherwise, they'll be torn apart.” Dean recommended.

But the cramps had already started and Dean knew that in a few moments Jack wouldn't be able to do anything. So he helped him quickly.
For a moment, Dean wondered if Jack would attack him if he was a wolf. Dean himself had never felt the urge to attack others, but he didn't know if this was the same for every shifter. He had smelled people a few times when he was in wolf form but had always tried to avoid them.

Jack gasped and was now on all fours and Dean knew it wouldn’t take much longer for the transformation to be completed.  He also knew that now was the time to transform himself. As soon as he was thinking about shifting, he felt this inner restlessness. When the typical burning inside Dean set in, he quickly stepped behind a small rock and took off his clothes.

The metamorphosis itself went very fast and so he came back as a wolf to Jack where the boy still struggled in the pain of the last steps of the transformation. In the end, a smaller grey wolf stood in front of Dean. Dean himself was a lot taller and tan. When it was finally done, Jack looked at him. Dean knew he recognized him right away. Of course, they couldn't communicate with each other anymore but Jack immediately understood that he should follow Dean and so they both ran in the direction where the forest became denser.

Dean showed Jack how to hunt smaller animals, they were competing and he had to admit that for the first time in his life he had fun running around as a wolf. How beautiful it must have been as a shifter at a time when no wolf had to run alone, but always in a pack. They roamed the woods for hours.

Dean was so lost in his thoughts that he didn't even notice Jacks growling at first. The smaller wolf had stopped. And when he followed the grey wolfs gaze he saw why he had stopped. At some distance, slightly lower than they were, two wolves ran together. One of the two was black and the other was a similar colour to Dean himself. Just when he wanted to ask himself if the two were shifters or ordinary wolves, he smelled it. First, the horrible smell of eucalyptus, lavender and extremely sweet vanilla. A smell he would have recognized anywhere after dinner tonight.

Balthazar Roche! This creep was a shifter too?
But even before he could pursue this thought, his nose was struck by the irresistible smell of old books, fresh ocean breezes and cinnamon. It was overwhelming. Dean was sure it was the other wolf's scent and it was infinitely difficult for him not to approach and inhale more of this wonderful fragrance. But the damn engineer was with him.

As confusing as it was, but somehow it seemed taboo to him to interrupt the two wolves. Like it's an unwritten law. Except Dean had no idea about shifter rules of conduct. He only knew that it made him angry. More than angry.  It felt so completely wrong that it wasn't him running next to the beautiful black wolf. Just the thought of it caused Dean almost physical pain and he had to summon up all his willpower not to break out into loud wolf howls. It was crazy. But there was nothing he could do about it. The scent of the black wolf attracted him like a magnet. Dean knew that the two wolves hadn't spotted Jack and him yet because the wind was blowing in the wrong direction and so they couldn't smell the two Omegas. That's why everything inside him screamed to follow the black wolf.

But Jack turned around and ran the other way. It almost seemed like he was angry too. Even though Dean wanted nothing more than to run to the irresistibly fragrant wolf, he couldn't leave Jack alone. So he pulled himself together and followed Jack with a heavy heart.

Without detours, Jack ran back to the clearing and Dean realized that the boy was about to shift back. He quickly disappeared behind the small rock and did the same, put on his clothes and returned to the boy.

“What happened?” Dean wanted to know because he still didn't understand why Jack ran away.

“Didn’t you see them?" he wanted to know upset.

“Of course I saw them. And I smelled them. One of them was the engineer from tonight's dinner.”  Dean answered.

“Exactly. Mr Roche ran with my uncle.”

“The black wolf was Lord Novak?" Dean was having trouble handling the news. The Lord was also a shifter?

“The Novaks consists practically only of shifters. Uncle Cas, uncle Gabriel, my father. They're all shifter. Only my mother was purely human. That's why I didn't think I could be a shifter as well. Children of human mothers rarely have the gift.” Jack explained.

The gift? Why should it be a gift to be a monster?

“All right. Which means you're not so excited about seeing your uncle in a wolf's shape. But you already knew. So what’s the problem?”

“You don't understand what upsets me so much? Mr Roche! Mr Roche is upsetting me. Or much more the fact that he's running with Uncle Cas.”

“Well, I don't like the Omega much either, but we were running together as well. I don’t see the problem.”

“This is something completely different. We're two Omegas. When an alpha runs with an omega in wolf form, it's part of the mating ritual. A courtship. I don't want that horrible man to be uncle Cas' mate.”

Dean felt all the blood leaving his face. Mr Roche would become the mate of Lord Novak? No! This was wrong. It had to be. It felt like someone stabbed him with a knife turning the blade around again and again.

Chapter Text

“Dinner will be served in a few minutes, Sir.” The servant informed him. 

“Thank you. I'll be right there. Is my brother in the dining room yet?" Castiel wanted to know.

“Yes, Sir. I think he's already talking to Mr Roche.” The servant answered.

What the hell? This man was so pushy. It was incredibly rude to just invite yourself to dinner every single evening. Even if Cas had asked him to join them if he was feeling lonely in Drymen in the first place. God damn it!

“Mr Roche is here again?"

“Yes, Sir. He arrived a few minutes ago. I wanted to inform you but Mr Gabriel told me not to disturb you.” 

This Omega was so annoying. He swore himself to never hire the man again. He would have to thank his brother for giving him a few more minutes in peace.

Last night he had finally found time to go on a run in the woods but even there the Omega didn't want to leave him alone. As soon as Castiel was transformed, he smelled the scent of the obtrusive man. Even when Castiel told him that he wanted to run alone and for sure wasn’t running with an Omega he didn’t want to court, the other man didn’t leave him alone at first. Castiel had to be terribly direct to get rid of him. He had no choice but to send the other wolf away in a very rude way. It was crazy.

Cas quickly ran down the stairs. It was time to tell the Omega in front of other people that he had no interest in mating him. He had no illusions that this would work without becoming impolite.

By the time he got to the dining room, everyone was already there. Gabriel, Mr Winchester, Jack and of course Mr Roche.

“Excuse me. I was just absorbed in my work," he apologized for his delay.

“No problem Lord Novak. You must be tired after last night. After all, it was already after three o'clock when we left the forest.” The Omega said with a smile. What a bastard! The way he said it, it sounded like they were running together. Intentionally! Like Castiel would court him.  But that wasn't true for heaven's sake!

Gabriel choked on his wine.

“What? You were together yesterday. . . I mean... .like…” alarmed, the Beta looked at his brother.

“It was a beautiful full moon night after all, wasn't it Lord Novak?" The Omega said dreamily.

Mr Winchester hadn't even looked at him since he arrived at the dining room. The young man was unusually quiet. But not just him. Jack seemed kind of depressed, too. And Cas was sure that this was mainly due to the presence of Mr Roche and his confidential nature towards him. Or maybe he was just hoping that Mr Winchester wouldn’t like it. Gabriel was still staring at him open-mouthed.

Castiel was aware of how the whole situation had to look for his brother, but of course, he didn't deliberately run with the engineer. He never would have. Mr Winchester was his true mate. Why would he run with someone else? But of course, the Omega didn’t know. Dean Winchester had never smelled his scent. He would have gone into heat immediately. 

“Mr Roche, I don't want my brother or anyone else to get the wrong idea about. . . “ He never finished his sentence because, at that moment, a servant entered the room.

“Excuse me, Sir, there's a gentleman in the entrance hall. He wants to talk to Mr Winchester.”
A visitor for Mr Winchester? 

“Let him in,” Cas ordered.

Curious, Dean looked at the door. Surely the Omega had no idea who would visit him here in the North.

A big attractive man with a beard entered the room. It stung Cas when he saw Dean's face light up at the appearance.

“Benny!” he shouted with delight.

Mr Winchester stood up and went towards the man to hug him.

“What a joyful surprise. I didn’t think I would ever see you again.”

Although the man blocked his Scent just like Dean, Cas immediately realized in his attitude that he could be an Alpha and he had to muster all his willpower not to growl at him when he hugged the Omega back.

“Oh, this is a totally unexpected turn of events, don’t you think  The shy Omega from the south might have an Alpha. Even if we don't know for sure. This hulk of a man has to be an Alpha. Don't you think, Lord Novak? How cute!“ Mr Roche said excitedly.

Castiel could have killed him. The thought that the engineer could be right did nothing to improve the situation. It was clear that the two men knew each other very well.

“Master Dean! It's good to see you again.“ The big man greeted Mr Winchester. Master Dean? Was the Alpha Mr Winchesters former servant? Cas knew it was ridiculous to be jealous. Both men came from the south. It was highly unlikely that there was something other than friendship between them. Castiel was also sure that the servant didn't even know Dean was an Omega. Still, he couldn't shake off the bad feeling. 

“Benny. Please don't call me Master anymore. Those days are over. I am just Dean.” 

The two men smiled at each other and Cas had trouble staying calm. His inner Alpha wanted to rip out the visitor's throat.

“Why are you here. There's nothing wrong at home, is there? Is Sammy okay?" Castiel heard the concern in the Omegas voice.

“I’m sorry, ma. . . Dean. That's why I'm here. I have a letter from Lady Harvelle.“

Now Castiel was worried, too. What might have happened to Mr Winchester's brother? He hoped it wasn't anything bad.

The Omega immediately opened the seal and read the letter. His face got pale.

“I hope your brother is well, Mr Winchester…?”  Cas wanted to know.

“I... I think so, but I have to leave Milton Castle for a while to check on him. Lady Harvelle sent for me. I have to go immediately.” 

“Now? It's already dark outside. Can't it wait till tomorrow?" Gabriel asked now.

“I am afraid it can‘t. I'm sorry. “ Dean answered.

“When can we expect your return?" The thought that the Omega had to leave Minor Castle did not please Cas at all. And the thought that he would leave with another Alpha nearly killed him. Even if he wasn't sure if Benny really was an Alpha. But he knew that he had no right to be jealous. He meant nothing to the Omega.

“I’m sorry, but I don't know yet. I'll send you a message as soon as I know the details.“ Mr Winchester said honestly.

Cas saw that Jack had tears in his eyes. Of course, the departure hit the boy just as unprepared as it hit him. Mr Winchester seemed to notice that too.

“Jack, will you help me pack my belongings?"

 Jack nodded sadly.

“Yes, of course. I'm coming.” His ward said. 

“I’m sorry I had to interrupt dinner, gentlemen. I wish you a good evening. Goodbye." Mr Winchester said.

Then he turned around and disappeared without looking at Cas again.

Damn it! It hurt to see him leaving. Cas didn't even know how long the Omega would be gone. He could hardly stand it now and the Omega wasn't even gone yet.

“What an exciting evening, don't you think Lord Novak? I must admit that the teacher and the servant make a very handsome couple. I'd even say. . . “

Castiel couldn't listen to the engineer's nonsense for one more second.

He stood up abruptly. His chair almost fell over.

“Excuse me, please, I'm going to retire to my room.” He explained.

“Oh, so soon. You haven't eaten anything yet.” Mr Roche replied.

Castiel could smell that the Omega wanted to take care of him. It disgusted him.

“That’s not your concern, Mr Roche. Nothing about me is your concern. Nothing but the sewers in Drymen!"

And so he disappeared from the dining room leaving a completely frustrated Omega behind. 

In the lobby, Mr Winchester just said goodbye to Jack. It was heartbreaking.

“Please, please Mr Dean come back soon. Please.” The boy begged.

“I promise, Jack. As soon as the situation allows, I'll be back. . . That is if your uncle still needs me.”

Why the hell wouldn't he need the omega anymore? 

“Of course, we still need you here, Mr Winchester. I hope it's all right soon and nothing happened to your brother. We'll count the days till you get back.” 

Of course, the last words were a little too intimate, but Cas couldn't control himself. At least he wanted the Omega to know that he would impatiently wait for his return.

The Omega looked at him in astonishment. But then the servant came and touched him at the shoulder. Cas would have loved to push the man’s hand away. But of course, he had no right to do that.

“Dean, we should get going.” The Alpha urged to leave.

Dean looked at Castiel one more time.

“Yeah, I guess we should go. Goodbye.” And then he and Jack had to watch Dean Winchester disappear into the night with a man who might be an Alpha in a carriage. It was terrible!

Chapter Text

 

Once the carriage started moving, Dean couldn't take it any longer.

“Benny, please tell me what happened. Is Sammy okay? Tell me!” Dean wanted to know immediately. 

“I'm not sure I should be the one to tell you... “

“Benny, please!" Dean begged. He was so scared.

The Alpha sighed.

“Okay, I understand that you want to know what happened, but I don't know the details either. All I know is that Master Sam tried to save his little friend. You know the blond little girl who lives in the cottage next to your father's house.”

“Jess?”

“Yes, Jessica Moore, the judge's daughter. Somebody found out she's an Alpha and reported it to the authorities. Your father thinks it was from someone who wanted vengeance. Probably the judge had jailed someone and now their family was paying him back. Mr Moore had to watch his daughter being picked up from the cottage and taken away. And, of course, the poor man knew exactly what was going to happen to her. For people with a second gender, there are no prison cells in the South, there is only death. Sam stepped in to help her when they tried to arrest her. He was brutally beaten up. If they had found any signs of a second gender like scent glands on him. . . I'm sure…”

Oh, God!  Dean knew what Benny was getting at. Sam would have been killed. Even if he was just a boy! Damn it!  This society in the South was so sick!  Why on earth did they care so much about the second gender? He didn't get it.

“How bad is it?“ Dean wanted to know.

“He has got a lot of bruises, but he's gonna be okay. Lady Harvelle immediately called a doctor.”

Relief was washing through Dean.

“But you should be prepared for the fact that he looks terrible,” Benny added.

Dean swallowed.

“What about Jess?" Dean needed to know. He understood how important the girl was to his brother. The two had been friends for ages and Dean never doubted that they would become more when they were grown up.

The thought that a father would have no choice but to condemn his own daughter, knowing that this meant her death, was more than sad. It was devasting. If anything happened to the girl, Sam's world would collapse. Dean wasn't sure he'd ever recover. 

“We don't know exactly yet. Of course, Sam hasn't achieved anything with his attempt to help her, but your father has promised to intervene and let us know if he succeeds. Without the promise, Sam would never have been willing to leave the South. But your father thought it'd be better if Sam left the area too.”
Benny cleared his throat "And... and because I am an Alpha and didn't want to stay in the South as well, I offered to bring your brother to Craignet Castle."
Benny was an Alpha! Wow! Dean never realized that his servant was an Alpha. But of course, everyone in the South with a second gender was hiding it. What else were they supposed to do?

Dean nodded. He was grateful his father was thoughtful enough to send Sam out of the danger zone to Craignet Castle. Even if Lady Harvell's home was near the border, it was a much safer place than House Winchester would ever be. It would certainly have been fatal to let Sam stay in a place where he had more or less publicly admitted that he was a supporter of people with a second gender. Even if he had not been physically attacked once again, he might have been arrested or at least expelled from society. So the North was his only chance to live a normal life from now on. Dean was happy that his brother would now live in the North as well but he wished it would have been under different circumstances.  

The Omega could only pray that everything went well. For sure his father would try everything to help Jess, but Dean was aware of the fact that it was more than questionable whether he would succeed. Even if Jess was still a child, that wouldn’t stop them.

 

When they finally arrived at their destination the next evening, Lady Harvelle was already waiting for Dean. 

“Dean, it's good that you're here. Sam needs you now. Best you go straight to him. Please don't be shocked. He really looks bad but according to Doctor Crowley, the injuries look worse than they are.” The woman tried to reassure him. 

With a beating heart, Dean knocked on Sam’s door a few minutes later.

“Come in!” He heard Sam’s voice.

Slowly Dean opened the door and prepared himself mentally for looking at his injured brother.

But all the warnings had not been enough for what awaited him. Sam's face was almost unrecognizable. One half was completely blue and purple swollen; the bruises on his lips looked really bad as well. Dean didn't want to imagine what the rest of Sam's body looked like. Who beats a sixteen-year-old boy nearly to death? Dean gasped.

“Dean!” The boy whispered with a broken voice.

“Yeah, it's me. How are you? Is the pain bearable?” Dean asked.

“Dean, I am so scared of what they're doing to Jess.”

Tears were running down his cheeks. Quickly Dean crossed the room and sat down with on the bed and tried to gently hug him. Sam winced but he didn't shy away. Crying, he sank into Dean's arms.

Damn it! Sam’s whole body must have hurt and on top of it, he had to fear for Jess' life. Jesus Christ! This was so wrong. Jess was only fifteen for heaven’s sake!

Dean was sure that Jess was no longer alive if John Winchester had failed in his attempt to help her. One didn't have to be a psychic to know that. Sam would never get over it. That much was certain.

Dean tried to calm his little brother down.

“Shh shh, it's gonna be okay, Sammy. Dad will do everything in his power to help Jess.”

“Yeah, I know that, but what if he fails?”  Sam sobbed desperately.

“Sammy listen to me, Dad has a lot of influence. He’ll find a way, I'm sure of it!” Of course, this was a lie but what else was he supposed to say? He had to calm Sam down for the moment.

“Will you stay here until. . . until we know more?" Sam urged looking hopefully at his brother.

“Yes, of course! I'm not going to leave you alone now.” Dean reassured him.

“Good. I'm glad you're here, Dean. I missed you.” 

“Me too, Sammy. I missed you too.” Dean ruffled Sam's way too long hair with his hand.

“Now try to sleep, it's late and you need the rest,” Dean stated.

“I’ll try. But it's difficult. Every time I close my eyes, I see Jess's anxious face and hear her screams. It kills me not to know how she is.”

“I know, Sammy. I really can imagine how hard it must be. But, it will take a few days until we know more. I'm so glad you're safe here. If I think about what could have happened. Oh, God! But nevertheless, Jess would want you to heal as soon as possible. And so do I. So you need to sleep, because if Jess would arrive here she needs you to be strong for her. Do you understand?”

Sam nodded.

“Yeah, I know you are right. Maybe I should take the sleeping potion Jody offered me.”

“That might be for the best.” Dean encouraged his brother.

“It is on the table. Could you hand it to me? The potion will be cold by now, but I think it works anyway.”

Dean rose and brought his brother the glass with the light brown liquid. After the first sip, Sam made a disgusted face. 

“Oh, God!" he groaned. “This tastes awful!"

Dean laughed.

“What did you expect? Hot chocolate?" the Omega asked amused.

Fortunately, Jody's potion worked after a while and Sam fell asleep. Dean made his way to the salon to look for the Lady Harvelle.

She was sitting on the couch with Jody.

Both women looked at him expectantly.

“How is he?" Jody wanted to know.

“He is terribly worried,” Dean replied.

“Yes, that's understandable. It'll be a while before we hear from your father. Even if he succeeds. And I say >if<  because I'm really not sure if John has a chance to save the girl.” Lady Harvelle said with a sad look on her face. Dean knew she was right, but he didn’t want to think about it.

“Bless you for taking Sam in, for taking us both in,” Dean thanked her.

“This goes without saying, boy. We may not be blood-related, but family doesn't end in blood. How could I have the heart not to help Mary’s sons? She was my best friend.”

Chapter Text

The following days were terribly exhausting and Dean didn't know exactly why. He didn't really have anything to do, didn't have to prepare lessons or teach Jack. Though he had never actually felt it was an effort to tutor the boy. On the contrary.  Dean missed Jack. Not that it really surprised him, but he had only left Milton Castle three days ago and it seemed like an eternity to him. He missed not only Jack though, but the castle, the wood and also Lord Novak and even his brother as well.

That he missed the Lord did surprise him though. He still wasn't sure how he felt about the Alpha. But he knew one thing with absolute certainty, the thought of the Lord being together with his new mate hurt him more than he wanted to admit. And even though the concept of same-sex mates still seemed foreign to him, deep down inside he knew that the pain he felt was probably jealousy. Not that the knowledge would do him any good. Dean was sure that Mr Roche and the Lord would certainly be mates when he returned to the castle. He didn't want to think about it at all, because it always made him feel like drowning or as if he would never get enough air to breathe again.

It was confusing and scary. That's why it was better to focus on Sam. His brave little brother who risked his life to help another person. The thought that people in the south even didn’t shy away from beating a child just because it stood up for someone else still made Dean incredibly angry. At least the swelling in his brother's face had gone down a little bit and the other wounds healed quite well thanks to Jody's and Doctor Crowley's help. What had remained the same, however, was the concern for Jess.

They still hadn't heard anything from their father and Dean noticed that his brother was beginning to lose hope. It was terrible to see how much he suffered. If only Dean could've helped somehow. But there was nothing he could do. Except for waiting. And that wasn't exactly his strength, as he had to admit. Maybe that's why he was feeling so exhausted.

Maybe not doing anything was bad for his well-being.

 

“Master Dean, would you like me to ride to your father’s house and have a look what's going on? Maybe I'll find some answers.” Dean hadn't even heard Benny coming.

“Please, Benny. I told you to call me Dean. You're not my servant anymore. And no. As tempting as your offer sounds, I don't want you to put yourself in danger. The south seems too dangerous for everyone with a second gender at the moment. I'd never forgive myself if anything happens to you. Even though you have been my servant for years, I see you as my friend.” Dean answered.

Benny smiled at him.

“Thank you, Dean. I feel honoured that you call me a friend. But it's hard for me to watch you and your brother so helpless.” The Alpha answered and came closer.

Before Dean could do anything about it, he automatically retreated. Whoa!

Did Benny forget to wear his scene blockers? Dean smelled Benny's scent for the first time and although he actually liked the smell of campfire, sandalwood and leather, right now it disgusted him. Even more, the smell made him feel sick. Of course, the Alpha was not unaware of his reaction. He backed off a little.

Dean held on desperately to the table next to him. He felt a little dizzy.

Defensively, he held up one hand.

“I’m sorry, Benny, but please don't come any closer. I... I don't know what's wrong with me right now...”

Benny looked at him worry written all over his face.

“You look sick. Do you have a fever?" The Alpha wanted to come closer again to feel Dean's forehead, but just the thought of Benny touching him made him flinch.

“Don‘t. . . please. . . “

 

“Dean, I always knew you were an Omega. Even though you always tried to hide it when I was your servant. You never wanted any help getting dressed. That's not very usual for a gentleman. But my inner Alpha wasn't fooled for one second. From the first moment I knew you were an Omega, and I had always hoped..."

Benny didn’t finish the sentence but Dean knew what he wanted to say.

The Omega took a deep breath and closed his eyes.

Damn it! That was a mistake. The bitter smell of Benny's scent penetrated his nose and he thought he was going to faint.

Not a second longer did he want to be in a room with Benny.

“Sorry. . . “ was all he could say before he stormed out of the room.

When he was in the garden and breathed in the fresh air a few moments later, his stomach slowly calmed down again.

What was that all about? He sat down on a bench near the rose bed and tried to calm down. Only about five minutes later Lady Harvelle joined him.

When she was close enough, he could smell her Alpha scent as well. Why did he react so sensitively to alpha scents? Her smell made him feel uncomfortable, but it wasn’t as bad as Benny's.

“Dean, come quick. Your father is here!"

Dean rushed after her to the front entrance. There were two carriages outside the door. His father got out of the first one and came straight to Dean.

“Dean! It's good to see you. How are you, son? And how's Sam? Is he alright?"

Dean hugged his father briefly, happy the man didn't smell of Alpha. 

“We’re fine. Sammy's starting to recover. But, of course, he's terribly worried about Jess. How is she? Were you able to help her? Is she in the other carriage?"

His father cleared his throat and avoided looking at his son.

“Yes and no. We were able to prevent her execution, but. . . “John Winchester's voice broke.

Oh, Lord! What must have happened to Jess that his father nearly lost his voice?

“What happened? What did they do to her?" Dean wanted to know.

“They. . . they just wanted to let her go if... „

„Dad! What happened to her?“

„They… they removed her scent glands.“

Oh God! Dean was speechless. This was so cruel. That was mutilation!

Jess would never be the same. Dean knew it. Even though for years he had wished himself not to be an Omega, now he was sure that his second gender was a part of him. You couldn't just cut it out and expect to be the same. Jesus! That was really bad!

He was feeling nauseated again and soon everything was starting to spin around.

Even before he could reply anything to his father, the world around him turned black.

 

When he slowly came to, he was lying in his bed. Someone had undressed him and Dean was infinitely grateful because it was so hot.

He wanted to open his eyes, but at the moment he just couldn't muster the strength. He knew he wasn't alone in the room. Someone was holding a pleasantly cold cloth against his forehead.

“He is burning up.” Dean recognized Jody's voice.

“Yeah, he’s in heat.” A man answered. Dean supposed it was Dr Crowley.

How could he be in heat? The mixture of Lemon, liquorice root and rosemary had always been reliable until now. 

“How can he be in heat. I'm sure he's suppressing his heats for years.” It was Lady Harvelles voice.

“He must have smelled his true mate. That would be the only explanation.”

“I don't think he smelled an alpha here. Unless...maybe it's his servant. I noticed he's not wearing scent blockers today.” Lady Harvelle said.

“That would be possible. In human form, it can only take a few moments to go into heat after you smell your true mate. It would be good if it was Benny because he is here and hopefully willing to help Mr Winchester through his heat.” Dr Crowley explained.

“I’m sure it's not Benny. “ Jody stated.

“What makes you think that?" her mate Lady Harvelle wanted to know.

“I observed that Dean flinched every time the Alpha got too close to him today.”  

“That would mean he must have smelled his true mate in his wolf's form. In this case, it can take about over a week to go into heat. However, it would be vital to bring the Alpha here as quickly as possible.”

Oh Jesus! Now they knew he was a shifter. A monster! And what about this true mate thing? The only Alpha he ever smelled when he shifted was Lord Novak. Could it be...?

Of course, the Lord was his true mate! And for sure he didn’t want him. What else did he expect?  How could it be otherwise? His Alpha would mate another Omega. Someone better. He couldn’t blame the man even if it hurt.

Dean gathered all his strength to answer.

“That won't be possible.” He whispered barely audibly.

Jody could hear him though.

“Why? Dean, why isn't it possible?" she wanted to know.

“Lord Novak will be mated by now,” Dean said before he had to close his eyes again in exhaustion. He was so tired, he didn't even care what the others answered. Soon he slipped into a restless sleep.

Chapter Text

The day was dull. Rain drummed against the windows. Cas sat in his favourite chair in the library and tried to concentrate on a book. But no matter how hard he tried, the letters blurred again and again before his eyes and he had to read the sentence for the ninth time. With a deep sigh, he put the book aside and massaged the bridge of his nose with his fingers. Damn it! Dean Winchester had been away for over a week now and he hadn't heard from the Omega. Not a single word. No message, nothing. Neither from the teacher himself nor from Lady Harvelle. It was maddening.

Why did he even let the Omega go? After all, he had a job to do. Jack needed him for heaven's sake!  Castiel knew the Omega had to leave because something had happened. He wouldn't have just let Jack down like that. But the uncertainty was not bearable. What if he didn't come back, or if he mated with his former servant.

Damn it! The images that this thought triggered in his head made his inner alpha scream with rage. Every day he had to force himself not to take the carriage and visit Craignet Castle. But of course, he couldn't do that. He had decided to leave Mr Winchester unaware of the fact that they were true mates, and now he had to live with that decision. Of course, a man like Dean Winchester wouldn't stay alone his whole life. If it wasn't his Alpha servant, maybe it would be a pretty young girl. The thought of the Omega together with someone caused Castiel nausea.

Jesus, what should he do? Maybe he should have told him after all. Maybe he should have let Mr Winchester decide for himself. Maybe he wasn't so reluctant to take a male partner.

Of course, there was still the problem that Castiel would certainly have bitten him. And that would have led to the Omega becoming a shifter. From his mother, Castiel knew that there were times where being a shifter was a good thing but not nowadays. And for sure not for a man from the South. It wasn’t this big of a deal in the North but Cas knew what people of the South were thinking about shifters. They described them as monsters. Cas didn’t want that for Dean Winchester. And if he was honest with himself, he also had to admit that he was afraid of the disgusted expression in Mr Winchester's eyes when he realized what Cas was. No. He was right not to tell him. Even though it was harder than anything he ever had to do. Dean Winchester deserved the best life had to offer.

“Heavy thoughts, brother?" Gabriel wanted to know.

Cas sighed.

“You’re worried about Mr Winchester, aren't you?"

“Yes. He's been gone for over a week now and we haven't heard a thing.” Cas confessed.

Gabriel nodded.

“Yeah, I gotta say, I'm starting to get worried, too.”

“Are you talking about Dean? What's the matter with him? Will he be back soon?" Castiel heard Jack asking.

Where did that boy come from all of a sudden? Castiel hadn't even realized he was in the library.

“Jack! How long have you been in the library? I didn’t notice you.” Cas asked in surprise.

“For a while now. I sit here in the corner every afternoon. Since Mr Dean left, there's not much else to do than reading.” Jack explained

The sad tone almost broke Castiel's heart. 

“We don't know when your teacher's coming back, Jack. We haven't heard anything yet. To be honest, that's exactly what we're worried about.” Gabriel answered truthfully.

Jack looked at his uncles sadly.

“And what if he doesn't come back?" he asked, his voice no more than a whisper.

“Jack! Why would you think that?" Gabriel wanted to know.

 Jack looked down and shrugged his shoulders.

“I don't know. When we saw uncle Cas and Mr Roche running together in the woods back then, Dean wasn't as angry as I was, but. . . but kind of sad. And maybe…” Jack replied.

What? When they were in the woods. . .? Did he hear right?

“WHAT? What are you trying to tell us?" Castiel grabbed Jack by the shoulders and forced the boy to look at him.

“You were in the woods then? Are you crazy? How could Mr Winchester have been so careless? The forest is dangerous at night. Especially on a full moon night.”

Oh, my God! Castiel shivered thinking about what could have happened. There were still shifters who hunted humans, too, damn it. The forest was off limits at night. An adult should be smart enough to know that. Even in the South, there were gruesome stories about shifters. 

“It’s not Mr Dean's fault, uncle Cas. Don’t be mad at him. I... I had to go into the woods because. . . because I shifted. And he wouldn't let me go alone.”

Mr Winchester wanted to protect Jack. Even if he was a shifter. That, of course, explained a lot. The poor man. Castiel was sure he must have almost died because of fear. And then he saw Castiel himself as a wolf.

Oh, Lord! Castiel had to close his eyes for a brief moment. Now Mr Winchester knew everything. That must be the reason why he didn't come back. Oh, God, of course! He'd be crazy if he came back, to a house full of shifters. To him, they all had to be monsters.

“Jesus! Wasn't he completely shell-shocked when you shifted?" Gabriel now wanted to know. 

“Why should he? Of course, he shifted too.” Jack explained

He what? What was that?

For a few seconds, it was completely silent in the library.

“MR WINCHESTER IS A SHIFTER?" Castiel all but screamed.

His thoughts were overturning. Mr Winchester was a shifter himself. He wasn't scared or disgusted. His true mate was also a shifter.

“Yes, of course, he is. Wasn’t this the reason why you hired him in the first place, because he is like me?”  Jack sounded seriously surprised that his uncle could think otherwise.

That was the last thing Castiel expected. He had no idea that there still were shifters in the South.

Gabriel was dead serious all of a sudden.

“Jack, it's important that you remember now. What did you see and can it be possible that Mr Winchester smelled Cas?"

 “We saw uncle Cas running in the woods with his mate, this Mr Roche. And, of course, we smelled them. You can't block your scent as a wolf. Every child knows that uncle Gabe.” Jack replied.

“Then why didn't we smell you?" Cas wanted to know.

“I suppose it was because of the wind. It was blowing in our direction.” Jack remembered.

“And does Mr Winchester also think Mr Roche is Castiel's mate?" Gabriel wanted to know.

“Yes, I guess. We talked about it. I... I was very angry because I can't stand the engineer.  Sorry, uncle Cas but he is always so mean to Dean. I know it's none of my business and I have to be thankful that you took me in, but Mr Roche. ..”

“Jack! That was a misunderstanding. I didn't run with Mr Roche. He ran after me. You must have smelled that our scents didn't mix.”  Castiel's interrupted the boy’s mumbling.

Oh, that fucking engineer! The poor boy really thought. . .

“We don't have time for this now.” Gabriel urged.

Castiel looked at his brother without understanding.

Gabriel took the little golden bell from the desk near the window and rang to fetch a servant. 

“Quick Sebastian, tell Rufus to saddle a horse. My brother must leave immediately.” Gabriel ordered.

Where would he ride to? What was Gabriel up to?

Surprised, the servant looked at Gabriel. “But, Sir, with all respect, it's raining cats and dogs. Shouldn't I better ask for the carriage. . . “

“Do as I said. It takes far too long with a carriage. My brother must take the shortest road to Craignet Castle. We can send a carriage with his luggage after him.”

The servant nodded and immediately disappeared.

Castiel looked at his brother with big eyes.

Oh, holy Mother. He was so stupid. Damn it! 

“Cas, you have to hurry. Every minute counts. If Mr Winchester smelled you, his inner Omega now knows you're true mates. He should be in the worst heat of his life by now. And since he thinks you chose another alpha, he'll either accept another alpha or. . . “

“ . . or die.” Castiel finished the sentence, his eyes wide open in shock. No, no, that wasn't supposed to happen. If there was a God, then he just couldn't be so cruel. Please, please.

Cas decided not to change, just to take the coat. It didn't make any difference. The ride would certainly take a whole day and he would be completely wet after the first ten minutes.

“Pray that I won't be too late.” He called out to Gabriel and Jack and ran towards the stables as fast as he could.

Chapter Text

Dean's skin burned like fire. He couldn't bear to feel the heavy blanket on him. Not to mention any clothes. Everything in him cried out for an Alpha. Not any Alpha, though. His inner Omega seemed to know exactly what it wanted. He wanted his Alpha. He couldn't stand the smell of other Alphas. That's why Dr Crowley sent Rowena. She was actually a midwife but she was also a healer and managed to give him some relief with her herbs. Above all, she was an Omega and was able to get into Dean's room without him throwing up.

Right now, she was crushing poppy seeds in a bowl. Dean's knowledge of botany was limited to the few things his grandmother had taught him. But he knew that poppy seeds had an intoxicating effect. Did she want to drug him?

“Why poppy seed?" He wanted to know.

Rowena looked at him piercingly.

“You smelled your true mate in wolf form. So there are two options. You can accept another Alpha or you will die. Even if you don't feel too much arousal right now because of my herbs, not having an Alpha knot will kill you.” She explained in a very straight way.

“What. . . there. . . there's got to be another way. Some of your herbs must be able to help me. Even if I will suffer, there must be another way for me to survive.” Desperation spread inside of Dean.

“No, there is no herb against the bond of true mates. I'm sorry. In my opinion, it would be best to bring your true mate here, but you don't want that.”  She said while she didn’t stop chopping the poppy seeds and then poured boiling water over them.

“Damn it! There is no point in bringing him here. He already has a mate. And he has no idea we are true mates.”

“You could kill the other Omega. Then he'd be free again.” She answered seeming very unbothered by the idea of killing someone.

What? Dean didn't know if she was kidding or not.

„No! Of course, I won’t kill anybody“

She shrugged her shoulders. 

“Ok, that’s up to you but I promised your brother I wouldn't let you die. So now you're going to drink the tea I'm making here, use a nose clip against the smell and let Benny do what he has to do to keep you alive. Will you?”

What? He should. . . ? Oh my God! No!

The thought alone was absurd.

“You want me to mate with Benny?"

“Oh no, of course not. Why are you so dramatic? Nobody says you have to mate with him. It's enough if you let him knot you. I'd recommend a collar, though, in that case. You never know what's going on in that young Alpha’s head.” Her matter-of-fact tone was in complete contrast to her grin.

She was serious. She really was dead serious. Rowena thought it as his only salvation. Oh, sweet Jesus!  What was he going to do?

“Dean, listen. The tea will help you to go through this. Your inner Omega would completely reject the wrong Alpha. But with the tea, it'll just be a few days you won't remember later.”

A FEW DAYS!!!

“Jesus, are you serious. I have to sleep with him more often to survive.”

Oh God, the whole situation was getting worse and worse.

“Darling, heat doesn't go away after you had sex for one time. Do I really have to explain this to you?”

Dean sighed deeply.

“I know, but I thought … after… the rest of the time I could. . . “ he stammered.

“No. You need the Alpha all the time. You will have to drink more than one cup of the tea till it's over and we know you are safe.”

Dean swallowed hard.

“Can’t you just remove my Scent glands?" He moaned. Anything would be better than this.

“What would be the point?" Rowena wanted to know.

“Without my second gender, there wouldn't be this problem.”

“Oh, my sweet boy! First of all, everyone has a second gender. I don't know why this unpleasant misinformation that there might be people without a second gender is so persistent. Anyone who isn't Alpha or Omega is a Beta. Nothing else. And second, you can't cut out your Scent glands. I mean, of course, you can, but they would regrow. So now drink your tea. Benny stinks the whole house because of his anticipation. It's disgusting!”

Did that mean Jess Scent glands would also regrow? Probably.

The relief about this made him forget his own situation for a moment. Thank God!!

“But I don’t understand. Why doesn't everybody know?" Dean wondered.

“For centuries some people spread misinformation. Even here in the North, it's impossible to do reconnaissance. Also here the so-called league without a second gender is not without influence. But that will change in the future.”

“Change? How?"

„All my female ancestors were midwives. And therefore I have access to data from the last two centuries. At the beginning of the records, one of my ancestors noticed that fewer alphas and omegas were born. This went so far that a hundred years later Betas represented eighty per cent of the population. And since  Betas are rarely shifters, you can imagine what happened.”

Dean's head was buzzing. What happened? And why? He had so many questions.

“How can you even know at birth what second gender someone will have. That only turns out when the person presents.” Confused, he looked at the midwife.

“No, the second gender is already established at birth. But I'll never tell you or anyone else how to determine that. If this knowledge became known, many innocent babies would probably die, especially in the South, just because they are Alphas or Omegas. They wouldn’t even have the chance to hide.”

Dean nodded.

“Yeah, that makes sense.” He said.

“In any case, for about thirty years now, the proportion of babies born as Alphas or Omegas has been constantly increasing. That means the tables will turn soon.”

Dean wanted to know more so badly. Rowena was an interesting woman and the news she had to report were fascinating, but his inner Omega began to lose his patience. Dean knew he wouldn't be able to concentrate much longer. His desire for a knot grew stronger and stronger.

Rowena immediately seemed to notice that now was not the time for this conversation.

“We can continue this conversation after your heat, boy. Now you should drink your tea. She said and held a cup of tea in front of his nose.

Should he really do that? Everything in him was disgusted by the idea, but what choice did he have? He couldn't leave Sammy alone. After all that had happened, his brother couldn't go back to the South. His father, however, had to go back to his own family. Sam would be all alone without Dean. He couldn't let that happen. Sammy was practically just a kid. Determined, he took Rowena’s cup and drank the hot drink. 

“Good boy. Now lie back and try to relax. Don't forget your nose clip and the collar. I'm letting Benny in now.”

Dean nodded shakily. He quickly reached for the clamp and fastened the leather strap around his neck.

A few moments later Benny entered the room. His former servant seemed as nervous and insecure as Dean felt.

“Dean, listen, before the drugs work, and we. . . I…I  wanted to tell you that I never wanted this. Not like this. I. .. I've wanted you since the day you presented but. . . but I need you to know that I'm as scared of what's going to happen here as you are. I never wished. . . to do this while you have to wear a nose clip so you don't smell me and they even had to drug you so you wouldn’t fight me while I knot you. That's just wrong. Oh, my God! I really don't want to do this. But I can't just let you die. I know you'll hate me afterwards, and that'll tear my heart apart, but. . . I love you and I'm not gonna let you down now.”

Dean saw the tears in Benny's eyes and grabbed his hand. 

“I’m not gonna hate you, Benny. I may not be able to look you in the eye for a while, but I will never hate you. I'm eternally grateful to you for doing this. You're one of the few  Alphas I trust. I know you'll only do what's necessary. Even if you're not my true mate, you'll always be my friend.”

Benny wiped away the tears and nodded.

“Okay, we can do this. Together we can do this, Dean.” The Alpha tried to convince both of them.

Chapter Text

Cas was really tempted to push the horse even harder, but he knew he couldn't do that. The poor animal was slowly getting exhausted. Rain and wind mercilessly whipped Castiel's face, but he could neither give the horse nor himself a break. He knew he had to hurry at all costs. Somehow the black stallion seemed to feel the urgency because he kept his pace until the end. Castiel had already been completely soaked after a few minutes, as he had predicted. In addition, an extremely cold wind blew, so that he hadn't felt his fingers for a long time. But it wasn't important. He just wanted to get to Dean as soon as possible. When Castiel finally saw Craignet Castle from a distance, he couldn't believe it at first. Oh, God, he hoped he wasn't too late. He rode into the courtyard and jumped off the horse with stiff legs. He would have given everything for a hot bath at the moment. But it had to wait.

A servant rushed towards him.

“Sir, can I help you?" the man asked politely.

“Yes, please take care of my horse. It needs something to eat and someone to rub it off. We rode through the rain for an eternity. And please inform Lady Harvelle of my arrival as soon as possible.”

The servant bowed, gave the horse to a stable boy and hurried into the interior of the castle. When they came into the hall and Miss Jody was coming down the stairs.

“Lord Novak! Oh my God! You’re here!”

Shocked, she gasped. Her reaction told Castiel he was too late.

Oh, no! No, no, no.

“Where is he?" Cas wanted to know.

The whole house smelled of Omega heat and Alpha arousal. That had to mean Dean had decided to accept another alpha. Anger flicked through him with all its force and he couldn’t suppress a wild growl. He was sure it was that Alpha servant who picked up Dean a week ago. Uninvited images flashed in his head. Pictures of Benny and Dean together in bed, of Dean, presenting on all fours for the other Alpha. . .

Oh God! Castiel felt his inner alpha take over. He knew his eyes were red by now. Whoever was with Dean now, his inner Alpha would make sure he wouldn’t survive this day. He looked around in rage.

Miss Jody seemed to notice that, too.

“Lord Novak, please, it's not what you think. This is all a misunderstanding. Please. . . “

“Where is he?" Cas growled.

Jody just looked at him in desperation.

Castiel felt he was losing patience. 

“Miss Jody, tell the man what he wants to know already. There is no way to prevent this misfortune.” A red-haired woman suddenly said. Castiel didn’t know her. She looked at him with interest.

“The true mate, I suppose. I must say, the whole thing is getting more and more exciting and maybe a little bit dramatic. Dean's in the last room on the first floor. On the right side. But I'm sure your nose will lead you there.”

 She seemed to be really enjoying herself. It was kind of strange, but Cas couldn't deal with it now.

“Rowena! How could you tell him? Now there will be a fight.” Jody cried.

“Well, that seems inevitable“ The red-haired woman replied in a dry tone.

“Damn it, Rowena! Don’t you see how serious the situation is? Benny's at least one head taller. He'll crush Dean's mate if he interrupts them now.” Jody warned.

The other woman burst into laughter. 

“Don’t be ridiculous, Jody. Lord Novak is a shifter. If anyone loses their life today, it sure as hell won't be him. Believe me. The servant has no chance.“

“Oh, God! We have to stop them.”  Jody whined.

Rowena was still laughing.

“I don't think that's possible.” She stated.

Cas had reached the upper floor in the meantime. As Rowena had predicted, he didn't even need directions. Dean’s scent led him the way. The closer he came to the door, the stronger the smell of Alpha arousal became. Damn it!

 Before opening the door, he took a deep breath to prepare for what would await him. He knew he was about to kill a man, and Dean would see it happen. Oh, Jesus. This was really bad. But his inner Alpha was so in rage.

Angrily growling, he pushed open the door and stormed into the room.

The smell of the Alpha inside almost made him choke.

Dean was naked on the bed. He was clearly aroused, but that was to be expected in his condition.

Oh God, he was beautiful. However, he did not act like an Omega in heat. He wasn't on all fours begging for a knot. Something was wrong. The Alpha, it really was the servant, was fully clothed and as Cas looked closer, he noticed that he had tears in his eyes. When he spotted the intruder, he backed away from Dean but didn't try to escape or fend off the intruder. Cas assumed he wasn't afraid of him because he was taller. The mistake would cost him his life.

“Dean thought you already had a mate,” Benny said in a monotone voice.

“No. It was a misunderstanding.” Cas was surprised that he managed to sound so calm.

Benny nodded and climbed down from the bed.

“Will you kill me now because I tried to help him?" the servant asked.

Tried to help him?

Somehow, the question was completely unexpected. Yeah, a few moments ago he was thinking about ripping the other alpha’s throat out, but now? Benny just stood there and seemed to be waiting for his fate. Why didn't he fight? After all, he was just mating with Dean, and Cas was trying to prevent that. Any other Alpha would have fought if he was interrupted in the middle of a mating. Cas was confused.

And then he saw it.

Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Dean was unconscious, there was an empty teacup on his bedside table and he was wearing both a collar and a nose clip.

Jesus Christ! This wasn't a mating. It was a rescue operation! Dean hadn't accepted another Alpha. He had only tricked his inner Omega to survive. Relief spread through him. Thank heavens! Dean hadn't replaced him.

“Dean wouldn't leave his brother alone. In any other case, I am sure he'd rather die than mate another Alpha than you.”  Benny explained when he noticed Cas' look.

“But. . . but I can smell your arousal?" Cas said

Benny laughed an unhappy laugh.

“Yes, I am sure you noticed that there is an Omega in heat in this room. How can I be not aroused? And it's hard to knot him without being aroused, by the way. But believe me, this is not the way I dreamed to do this.”

Tears ran down the Alpha's cheeks and Cas realized that the servant really loved Dean. He only wanted to help him.

And suddenly he felt sorry for the other man. He couldn't kill Benny.

“If I ask you to leave now, will you let us alone?” Cas asked.

Benny nodded and looked down. “Yes, to be honest, I'm relieved you're here. Dean would hate me for this, even if he would never admit it. And I would've hated myself somehow, too. I know it would have saved his life, but it would have felt like I was raping him.” Benny said as tears continued to flow down his cheeks.

Cas had to admit he admired Benny. He did all of this just to save Dean.

Benny crossed the room towards the exit.

“Thank you” Cas whispered.

Surprised, Benny turned around again. 

“Thank you for wanting to save his life,” Cas said.

A little smile surrounded Benny's mouth.

“I think I can understand why he couldn’t let you go.” The former servant said, then he turned around and left the room.

Cas took a deep breath. Only now did he realize how much he was trembling. Probably because all the tension suddenly left his body, but also because his clothes were completely soaked.

Quickly he ran to the door and called a servant.

“I need a hot bath. Please hurry, I am freezing.” How was he supposed to help Dean with his heat when he got pneumonia?

The servant nodded and hurried away.

Cas went back to bed and removed Dean's collar and the nose clip.

The Omega took a deep breath and moaned softly. Cas brought the Scent glands of his wrists to Dean's nose. He knew it was important for Dean to smell him now.

A short time later, the servant reported that the bath was ready. Cas quickly slipped out of his wet clothes and slid into the soothing warm water. He forced himself to get out of the wonderfully warm water a few minutes later when the trembling stopped. He didn’t want to let Dean alone now, but as long as Dean was drugged, he wouldn't touch him. He wanted Dean to know what he was doing. Even if it was hard for Cas because the smell of his true mate in heat was incredibly seductive.

After Cas had dried himself and slipped into a warm kimono that the servant had placed on the chair for him, he climbed into Dean's bed. He arranged Dean's head near his scent glands so the Omega would smell him.

Then he spread the blanket over them and tried to relax. It wasn't that easy, because the Alpha in him finally wanted to mate. But Cas held back that urge. Dean deserved more. He deserved to be asked if he wanted it, wanted to be his. Besides, the last twenty-four hours had been far too eventful and he was exhausted. It was incredibly comforting to lie in the warm bed next to his mate, holding him in his arms and just smelling him. Everything else could wait until Dean regained consciousness. It was nevertheless a miracle that he drifted into sleep only a few moments later.

Chapter Text

Dean didn't know what woke him up. Perhaps the birds that had begun to chirp, perhaps it was the arousal that gradually returned, even though he knew Rowena's herbs were still working. Otherwise, he would be a needy mess by now. Or maybe his arousal wasn't quite so bad because Benny's knot had satisfied his inner Omega so well? He didn't want to think about it right now, though. The sun hadn’t risen yet. So it had to be very early in the morning. Slowly the memories from the day before came back. Dean remembered the heat, he remembered Benny who wanted to help him, the poppy seed tea and he remembered Rowena. Apparently, the rescue attempt had been successful. Dean felt a thousand times better than the night before. His sexual hunger was not yet satisfied but he did not feel sick anymore.

This was something, wasn't it? Suddenly he noticed that he no longer wore the nose clip. Consciously he inhaled and perceived the wonderful scent that surrounded him. Somehow it smelled like his true mate. Could it be that his brain was playing tricks on him? This was the only explanation for him to smell the amazing scent of Lord Novak. He didn't want that!

He didn't want his inner omega to accept another Alpha and pretend something to him that wasn’t true. Benny didn't smell like ocean, cinnamon or old books, he smelled like campfire, sandalwood and leather.

Damn it!
Even though Dean knew he could never have Lord Novak, it made him almost sick to think that his inner Omega had dumped his true mate so quickly. He felt like he was cheating on the Alpha. He knew that this heat would last a few more days and it was clear that Benny would still have to help him, but he wanted the tea for it. He wanted to be drugged and he absolutely wanted to long for the Lord. He knew how miserable that sounded and that it would make no real difference, but Lord Novak was more than just biologically compatible with him. He liked him. Jesus!. Who was he trying to fool?  He didn’t only like him.

He was in love with the beautiful and smart man. It was absurd how fast and hard he had fallen for the Alpha. Probably even on the first day. In any case, long before his inner Omega had realized that the Alpha was his true mate, long before he was able to smell his scent.

Benny moved and drew him closer to his chest. Damn it! It shouldn't feel so good to be the little spoon in this scenario. Everything in him wanted to snuggle closer to the Alpha. Without being able to do anything about it, he pushed himself closer to the man behind him and felt that he was already hard. Fucking heat! Of course, his inner Omega immediately went crazy. An absurd amount of slick began to gut out of him and he couldn't hold back grinding his butt against the Alpha’s groin. Benny caressed his upper body and started sucking on his neck. Jesus! He wanted this!

The only problem was that in his mind it wasn’t Benny who pressed his hard cock against his crack, it was Lord Novak. He was painfully hard and even more slick was gushing out of him now. He wanted to feel the Lord's sharp teeth biting into his scent glands and…

What? No! No! No! This was the wrong Alpha! What was he doing? He shouldn’t encourage Benny like this. This wasn’t fair. Even if his biology seemed to be on board, his mind and his heart weren’t.

All of a sudden, Dean noticed that his collar had disappeared, too.

Oh, no!  That was dangerous. What if Benny would bite him? Was it possible to break a bond like that? He cursed the South for not properly educating people about such things. Even though he had read about the biology of Alphas and Omegas just before his departure from Milton Manor, it was clearly not enough information. Slowly he tried to back away from Benny, but the Alpha held him with an iron grip.

“Benny, please. . . I don't want to do this without the tea. Even if my body is giving you completely different signals, it feels wrong. . . I'm sorry, I... “ Dean tried to explain.

“Dean. . . !” the voice behind him growled.

What the hell? That was definitely not Benny’s voice! This sounded like... But it couldn't be. Did his brain already play tricks on him like that? The Lord wouldn't call him by his first name. He never did.

He managed to break out of the embrace and turn around.

“Lord Novak!" Dean blinked. What...? Why was the Lord in the same bed…? Well, that would explain why Lord Novak called him by his first name. No one insisted to be formally addressed in bed. Especially when one of the two parties was in heat.
Oh God! Please no!
Sam or Lady Harvelle must have sent for the Alpha. How very embarrassing. The Lord had, of course, come immediately to help him. After all, this was a serious situation, and the Alpha was for sure aware of the fact. Dean desperately closed his eyes. The embarrassment turned his cheeks red. Never would a man like Lord Novak have let him suffer deliberately. His prudence alone had prompted him to come and help Dean. Dean felt that he was getting sick again. That's not how he wanted this.
He didn't want Lord Novak, out of pity. . .
No, that imagination was horrible!  It was hard enough to admit that he was attracted to a man, even more so that he had feelings for him. But the idea that the Alpha had left his companion to help him was terrible. Even though Dean knew he was ungrateful, he didn't want that. It seemed even more horrible than spending his heat drugged with Benny.

Dean retreated to the farthest corner of the bed, the blanket wrapped around his body like to protect him.

“You shouldn't be here!" Dean said tears were burning in his eyes.

“Dean. Of course, I should be here with you. You're my true mate!" Cas replied calmly.

Of course, the Alpha knew they were true mates. Dean's scent had certainly overwhelmed the other man as soon as he entered Craignet Castle.

The Lord seemed surprised at Dean's rejection, a frown appeared on his forehead.

„I might be your true mate, but you are already taken and I never planned on …“

“I am not taken, Dean. I am so sorry about this misunderstanding. When I think of the pain you've suffered and what almost happened… Luckily, I got there in time“ Cas explained

Misunderstanding? Dean didn’t know what the Lord meant.

„But I saw you. In the wood with Mr Roche.” Dean was confused. Damn it! He just didn't know enough about mating rituals. 

“Yes I know and I am really sorry about that. But we didn’t run together. He followed me and I couldn’t get rid of him. I didn’t realize you saw us. Dean, if I'd known I would have explained it to you. Mr Roche’s and my scents didn't mix at any point. Didn't you smell that?"

Oh! Dean had to admit he wasn't paying attention. When he thought about it more carefully, he remembered that he had really noticed both smells separately.

But what did that mean? Did Dean and Lord Novak. . . last night…?

Lord Novak seemed to feel his insecurity.

“Nothing happened last night. I would never do anything without your consent. . . “ Lord Novak swallowed.

“And...what about Benny?"

 Oh, God! Where was the other Alpha? Had Lord Novak. . . ?

“I think Benny is in his room. Nothing's happened. I came in time to stop it. Don't worry, Benny's fine.” Castiel assured him with a little smile.

Dean was relieved that his former servant was okay, but the idea of the compromising condition Lord Novak must have seen him in last night almost brought tears of shame to his eyes. He would never look the Lord in the eye again, that much was certain.

Full of shame, he looked at his fingers.

Castiel moved closer to him and took his face in both hands.

“Dean, please look at me. There's nothing, really nothing to be ashamed of. I myself went into a rut just minutes after I smelled you for the first time when you came back to the castle soaking wet the other day.”

Surprised, Dean looked up.

“I thought you'd been disgusted by my inappropriate appearance,” Dean said.

Cas chuckled quietly.

“I can assure you, this was so not my problem when I saw and smelled you this day.” The Lord confessed. Nervously, he cleared his throat.

“I... I didn't know if you'd ever consider to be with a man. . . so even though we're Alpha and Omega, I knew it's not common in the South for men to mate with other men. “

Lord Novak took a deep breath and drove his hand through his hair.

“Besides. . . “ The Alpha continued “Besides, I didn't know you were a shifter, too. I didn't mean to put you in any danger. . . I... “

Dean noticed the Alpha’s hands were shaking.

Oh, sweet Jesus! How could he have been so blind? It was suddenly so obvious. Lord Novak was as nervous and insecure as he was.

“Dean we're true mates. I knew it from the day I smelled you, even though I wanted you long before. But I knew if I would bite you, I'd have turned you. I am aware of how people in the South think about shifters. I didn't want you to hate me because I turned you into a monster. . . or because I'm a monster myself.”

Dean held Castiel’s gaze and recognize the fear. The Alpha was still afraid Dean would reject him. 

“Of course you're not a monster. Lord Novak, you are the most beautiful man and wolf I know. . . “ Dean blushed when he realized what he was saying.
A smile crept onto the Lord's face.
“Don’t you think it would be appropriate for you to call me by my first name, Dean? Lord Novak sounds a little too formal for . . . for our situation.“
Of course, the Alpha was right. Dean nodded approvingly.

“What about Mr Roche?" Dean had to know.

“Nothing! Dean, I swear he means nothing to me. He's just an incredibly pushy person. But he is working for me and I was stupid enough to offer him dinner at the castle as long as he is busy building the sewer. I felt sorry for him because he didn't know anyone else in the area. That's it“.

The alpha chewed nervously on his lower lip. Dean watched the movement with his eyes. He knew that the Alpha wouldn’t take the first step, but would leave the decision to Dean.

 

Chapter Text

It was almost impossible for Cas to hold back any longer. The smell of Omega in heat was heavy in the air and Cas wanted to drown in it. He wanted to bury his nose in Dean's scent glands and take deep breaths forever. Oh, sweet Jesus! He wanted to ruin this man for anybody else. And if he was honest he was a little bit disappointed that the Omega still didn’t seem needy at all. He wanted Dean to completely lose control and beg Cas to take him. Cas wasn't sure how he had made it this far without going crazy, but he was certain that he had reached a point where he simply couldn't go any further.

He needed Dean Winchester. He needed him so bad, it almost hurt physically. But he would never force him or take advantage of the situation. Cas had to know if Dean was sure. . . It was just. . .  Cas hoped Dean would make the first step quickly before he finally would lose control. Oh, God! He wasn’t even in rut!

 

“I still know far too little about all this Alpha, Omega stuff, but even I can see how incredibly self-controlled you are. I'm not sure if I should feel honoured or almost offended that you can resist so easily even though I'm your true mate and I am in heat.” Dean said after a short while.

Frowning, he looked at the Alpha. Cas could smell Dean's distress, but he also smelled the new wave of arousal just rushing through the Omega. This was torture!

Cas grabbed Dean by his upper arms, moaning quietly.

“Believe me, if I tell you nothing is harder for me than to be here with you in this bed, to smell your wonderful scent, to see you and not to just…attack you. You have no idea how much I want you. Oh, God, Dean I... “

It was almost impossible for Cas to hold back now. He knew he was on the verge of losing control.

„Then don’t hold back, Cas. Stop being such a gentleman. Please… I need you.” Dean complained while he was invading Cas’ personal space.

And this was it. 

Cas felt his mind shut down and his inner Alpha taking over.

Gasping he grabbed a handful of Dean’s hair and pulled him closer. The Omega immediately responded to the touch and moaned helplessly when their lips touched for the very first time.

Yes! This felt right. Dean’s mouth was so soft and warm.

He parted his lips to let the Alpha in and Castiel didn’t hesitate to let his tongue slip inside of the omegas mouth. The kiss was wet and sloppy, but they didn’t mind. Cas was finally allowed to kiss his true mate, the man he was fantasizing about for the last few months. It was perfect!

He passionately deepened the kiss as his hands began to explore the Omegas naked body. At first only under the blanket, but finally, he pulled it back to look at the other man.

The Omega was overwhelmingly attractive. His body was well built. Cas was pleased to discover that Dean’s freckles were not limited to his face. The Alpha couldn’t help the moan that escaped his throat at the sight of Dean’s cock. It was long and thick for an Omega and he was already hard and leaking. Dean was just perfect!

Cas smelled how wet the Omega already was, and the imagination how his slick hole must ache to be touched and filled, nearly send him over the edge. But it was much too early. He had to compose himself. The most important thing was for Dean to get what he needed, even if his own cock was painfully hard and desperately needed attention.

Cas quickly took off the bathrobe he had worn that night and pulled the Omega closer.

Dean gasped and started to roll his hips, dragging their cocks together with the most perfect friction. Oh, lord! Cas knew he wouldn’t last long if they would continue.

Before he was even aware of it, he flipped them both, pinning Dean to the mattress with a deep growl, kissing down his neck and his chest, carefully biting his nipples.

“Alpha, please! I want you,” the Omega cried and arched his back, displaying himself.

“Dean, you are so beautiful.” Cas purred in awe.

He felt his blood rushing through his body at the mere sight of his true mate.

Dean was panting hard beneath him now, looking up at Cas with blown pupils.

“Cas, please! I need you…“

Cas exhaled slowly, just staring at the omega. What did he do to deserve this beautiful man below him?

He needed to taste him, to lick him out and lap up all of his sweet slick.

Without a warning, Cas was leaning down and began to swipe his tongue over the omega’s dripping hole.

Christ! Dean tasted even better than he smelled.

Astonished the Omega cried out, his hands flying to his mouth in order to muffle the sound. Cas could feel him writhing with pleasure. A stream of slick gushed out of his hole and Cas hurried to lap it up hungrily, savouring the unique taste.

Eager to taste more, the Alpha pushed his tongue past the ring of muscles and licked into Dean hungrily. He had never thought to do such filthy things with a partner but with Dean it just… it felt right and natural.

“Oh my God! Cas! Please… please take me now, … I need you!” Dean begged after a while.

Cas knew he was driving Dean crazy with his tongue because it couldn't be enough. An Omega in heat needed to be knotted. And, of course, Cas intended to do exactly that. But not right away.

He didn’t want to hurt Dean. So he decided to prepare him more, even if it was hard to resist the Omegas pleas. He pushed in addition to his tongue a finger inside to stretch him even more.

“I got you, Dean. Just a few moments more. I don’t want to hurt you.” Cas explained while he used a second finger and eventually a third, scissoring his mate's tight hole open.

 “Alpha! Ahhh alpha, please take me now, I… please!” Dean cried when Cas found his prostate, thrusting against the sensitive spot over and over again, driving the other man crazy because of the blissful feeling, that was never enough to give him the so needed release.

“I beg you. Please…”

Dean’s words were muffled, as he bit down on his hand trying to control the moans and pleas, spilling out of his mouth. He needed to feel the Alpha. He needed Cas inside of him, Cas realized when he saw in how much despair his true mate was, nothing more than a shuttering mess.

Cas never thought he'd be one of those traditional alphas who was turned on by the sight of their needy and begging Omegas, but God, right now he knew this was all he ever wanted.

Slowly he pulled out his fingers, making the omega feel empty at the sudden loss of friction. Cas stroked his own cock, using the slick to swiftly lube his hard member, before lining himself up, carefully pushing into Dean, who cried out in bliss.

“Yes! Oh God, Cas! This feels so good!”

Still, considering it was the Omegas first time, Cas tried to go slow, so Dean could adjust. But he had to muster all his willpower not to just trust inside and give Dean what he begged for. Finally, after what felt like an eternity he bottomed out. He took a deep breath and tried to concentrate. Dean was so tight and hot and Cas was so overwhelmed with all the feelings that were pouring upon him.

It didn’t take long for Dean to greedily pushing upwards, giving Cas the hint to do something.

“Please…move.”

And Cas did. It was so much better than he ever imagined. There was nothing to compete with trusting into his true mate, hearing his moans and looking at his blissed-out face.

“Oh Alpha, I never imagined…you feel so good, I feel so full.” Dean whispered breathlessly.

Seeing Dean falling apart like this was amazing.

Cas’ thrusts were wary at first as if he was checking out how much the Omega could take. But when he recognized that Dean was meeting every move, he couldn’t hold back any longer. His pace was getting harder and Dean’s head rolled back in ecstasy.

“Knot me Alpha! Mate me! Make me yours! Please!” The Omega begged with a hoarse voice.

Oh God! Yes! He wanted that. He ached to knot his true mate, to bite him and to make him his forever.

A deep moan escaped Cas’ throat.

“Yes! You are mine Dean Winchester! Mine!” he growled.

“Yes, yes, yours. Always was! Please...!” The Omega moaned and bared his throat.

Cas surged forward, licking the flesh of Cas’ throat.

“Yes! Yes!” Dean gasped. “Please make me yours, Alpha!”

“Mine!” the Alpha growled again, feeling his knot expand inside of Dean.

Suddenly Cas couldn’t wait another second. He pulled Dean closer and dug his teeth into his skin. He had to seal the bond now. Blood filled his mouth. The Omega cried out in pleasure and pain, spilling his release between them.

“Ahh…”

"Oh God," Cas breathed everything started getting tighter and his toes curled. His eyes fluttered shut. The Alpha groaned and thrust in once more, his knot catching and locking them together while he came with an intensity he had never experienced before.

 

 

Chapter Text

Dean must have fallen asleep again for a little while. When he woke up Cas' knot had gone down and they were no longer connected. At least not in this way, because they were tied up in several other ways. First, the Alpha’s body was wrapped around Dean. Dean never thought he would want to cuddle with a man, but Jesus, this felt so right. More than right. It felt essential as if he needed Castiel's touch as much as the air to breathe. The second reason he felt so connected to the other man was the bond. It wasn't that he could read the thoughts of the Alpha, but he was able to sense his feelings. And right now, Cas felt safe and happy, just like Dean himself. With a comforting sigh, he snuggled himself even closer into Cas's embrace.

“Hello, my love! I'm glad you're awake again.“

Castiel raised his head a little bit so he could look Dean in the eye. His gaze was incredibly tender, but also considerate. And Dean observed that the Alpha was a bit insecure.

„I hope it's really okay that I bit you. I... I actually wanted to wait until after your heat. . . I. . .“

What was the Alpha afraid of? That Dean didn't want the mating?

“Cas, of course, it's all right. We're true mates.“ Dean answered to reassure the other man. He wanted to calm him down. However, he immediately knew that this was not the right answer.

Cas looked down and pulled away from Dean a little bit.

„Cas, what's going on? I can feel something‘s wrong. Please tell me.”

The Alpha didn't respond immediately. It was like he was looking for the right words to explain. Dean sensed his tension and it made him crazy not to know what was bothering his true mate. Had he done something wrong? Did Castiel not want to be bonded to him in the end? After all, Dean was just a teacher and Cas was a Lord with a whole castle and. . .

„Stop! Dean, stop! I can feel you tearing yourself apart. It's not that I didn't want the bond if that's what you think now. It's just. . . I... Dean, what would have happened if we weren't true mates?"

Dean frowned. He didn’t understand.

“What do you mean?" he asked the Alpha.

“I… I am just afraid that you're. . . that this is just biology. I know that's not really. . . You probably never would have thought of being with a man under other circumstances. . .”

Relief flooded Dean. So that was the reason why the Alpha acted so weird.  Cas wasn't sure if Dean really loved him. Although he should feel it through the bond, he was anxious. Of course, he wanted to be loved as a human being and not just as an Alpha. Dean felt the irrepressible urge to soothe the other man and he knew it wasn't just pure Omega instinct.

„Cas, of course, I have to admit that I never thought about becoming intimate with a man when I was living in the South. Not just because it just wasn't usual there. I am not naive enough to believe that there is no love among same-sex couples where I come from, no matter their second gender.  But I just didn't care about any man that much. To be honest I didn’t care about anybody that way. And so at first, I was a little overwhelmed with my feelings for you, and maybe it frightened me. That means I didn't want it to be true for a long time. It wasn't until Mr Roche came along and I noticed how jealous I became that I had to admit that I had fallen in love with you. I knew you were an Alpha back then, but I didn't smell you until the night in the woods. So I fell in love with you long before I realized that we were true mates.” Dean explained patiently as he stroked Castiel's thick black hair with one hand tenderly.

„I am so in love with you Dean Winchester!” Cas confessed grabbing Deans neck to pull him closer sealing their lips with a tender kiss. The touch was so soft and Dean sensed all of Cas‘ love through their bond. The Omega felt like his own heart was about to burst.

„I love you!” Dean said when he broke the kiss for a moment to catch his breath. Although he knew Cas could sense his feelings through the bond, he just had to say it.

They kissed for a while until Dean's stomach growled. Cas laughed.

„I think we should order some food and maybe a bath. I'm sure the next wave of your heat will come soon. Before that, we should make sure to feed you and make you drink something.”

Without waiting for Dean's answer, Cas took out the blanket to carefully spread it over his mate and reached for the small golden bell to ring for a servant.

He ordered food and asked the servant to prepare a hot bath. Dean always thought that it would bother him if someone took control of a situation for him but the opposite was the case. He felt protected and cared for. That was probably partly because he was in heat and partly because he knew that Cas didn’t want to just boss him around. 

Until a few moments ago, Dean himself didn't know how important that was to him. He never acted like a needy Omega who required an Alpha to take care of his matters. He wasn’t raised that way.

 

A short time later the servant returned with a tray filled with bread, cheese, ham and some fruits, as well as tea and water. The smell of the food made Dean’s mouth water. He didn’t notice how hungry he was until the food was in front of him. They cleared all the plates in no time. Then they were taking their bath. The tube was clearly too small for two men. But even though it was a little uncomfortable, it was nice to be so close to Cas. When they were sated and clean in bed again and Dean felt the next wave of arousal rise. Cas looked him in the eye. 

„Dean, I want you to bite me, too. I know this is not common, but I want everyone to know that we are equal partners. Here in the North a mating is more than a marriage, so everyone will recognize you as my Omega and show you the same respect they show me, but I want everyone to know that not only you belong to me, but I belong to you as well. If… if this is okay with you.”

Castiel's gaze and scent revealed how much he hoped Dean would want that too.

„Yes! Of course, I want it too. Oh God Cas you're perfect!" Dean answered with enthusiasm and smashed their lips together. He didn't know how he deserved to get a mate like Cas, but he knew he would do anything to make the Alpha happy.

Chapter Text

The last five days of Dean's heat flew by in an ecstatic blur. Without the supply of Rowena's herbs, the Omega was hit by the full strength of his biology. Castiel had never been with an Omega in heat before but he had heard incredible stories of how intense the experience could be. And now he was able to confirm that all these stories were true. Of course, the experience was reinforced by the fact that they were true mates and already bonded. So the last days were full of having sex, eating, drinking, sleeping, bathing and even more sex. It was the most incredible experience of his life and the idea that he could now help Dean through any heat filled him with incredible anticipation.

Today had been a little quieter. Dean's heat was over and the sex was slower and more tender. If he was honest, he liked it at least as much as the wild sex during Dean's heat. As exciting it was to touch Dean during his heat it was nothing compared to seeing the Omega falling apart beneath him while he was clear minded. Because this was not only their biology. This was Dean wanting Cas.

After waking up and spending the morning having sex in bed, they were busy all afternoon making plans for their future. Dean was determined to stay Jack's teacher, although Cas had suggested hiring someone else. Now that he was finally off the marriage market, he could even imagine hiring a woman for Jack again. But Dean wanted to have none of it.

He seemed to enjoy teaching. And since Cas would do anything to make his mate happy, he, of course, left it at that. Especially because he knew how happy Jack would be.

However, when Cas said that it would be good if they returned to the castle soon, he sensed how sad Dean became. At first, the Alpha couldn't place the feeling of his mate properly, but then he realised Dean’s problem. His mate was worried about his brother. Of course, he was! Neither Sam nor Jess could go back to the South, but their father would have to return soon. Dean had told him that he was expecting another child with his new wife. Of course, Lady Harvelle would take care of Sam and Jess, but Dean wanted his brother around. Cas could understand that.

So why shouldn't they just take Sam and Jess with them? Not only would Dean be able to live with his brother, but Jack would also be thrilled about the company. After all, Sam and Jess were only a few years older than him. There was nothing wrong with bringing some life back to Milton Castle. Cas was sure his brother wouldn’t care either. So he dared to suggest his idea to Dean.

„Dean, what would you say if your brother and his girlfriend could come and live with us?"

Dean was about to change for dinner, which they would share with the others. It was the first time that they would all sit together at one table.

Surprised, Dean turned around.

„Are you serious? You'd take in two foreign kids?” Dean looked at him with big hopeful eyes. 

„Yeah, but Sam isn't a stranger. Even though I haven't met him in person yet, he is now part of my family. I told you, mating means more than marriage in the North. So it's…“

But Cas never managed to finish the sentence, because Dean had crossed the room in lightning speed and fell into Cas's arms.

„Even at the risk of repeating myself. I love you! I love you so much" The Omega whispered and kissed Cas hard on his mouth. Yes, Dean had already told him that he loved him and of course, he could feel it through the bond, but he would never get tired of hearing it again.

It was hard for Cas to break the kiss after a few minutes, but he knew if they didn't stop now, they would be late for dinner and Cas really wanted to make a good impression on Dean's father. He had to confess that he was nervous. Incredibly nervous! It was one thing to be with Dean in this room, but it was quite something else when they weren't alone. How did one behave with his true mate in public? Especially in front of his father, who came from the South and certainly did not agree with his son's choice of partner.

„Everything okay?" Dean asked.  Of course, he felt Castiel's nervousness through the bond immediately.

Castiel didn't answer right away.

„I‘m. . . I'm a little nervous because of your father.“ Cas confessed.

„My father?"

„Yes. After all, he's a man from the South. It must be... at least unusual for him that you. . . that you chose a man as your partner…“

„Probably. Or rather, it's very likely that he'll have to get used to the idea first, but you know what? I don't care. I don't care. You are the kindest, funniest, most beautiful and smartest person I have ever met, and if my father cares a little about me, he will see how happy you make me.”

Castiel was touched by Dean's words. Determined, Dean took his hand and wouldn't let go. Even when they left the room and went into the dining room.

Hand in hand they arrived there and were already awaited by the others. Lady Harvelle, Jody, Sam, Jess, Mr Winchester and Benny were sitting at the big dining table. 

 

Cas saw Lady Harvelles gaze glide to their crossed fingers a smile on her face. That gave him a little courage. At least people here in the North would accept their relationship.

„Dean!” Sam screamed when he saw his brother. Quickly he was running towards the Omega to hug him and Dean released their joined hands to hug his little brother back.

„Oh, God! I'm so glad you're okay. I was so worried, Dean“ Sam said. Curiously, he looked over Dean's shoulder to Cas.

„So you must be Lord Novak.”

Radiant with joy Sam let go of his brother and held out a hand to greet Castiel.

Castiel was even more pleased that he had offered Dean to let the boy stay with them. He liked him immediately.

„It‘s a great pleasure to meet you, Lord Novak. Lady Harvelle told me you have the largest library in the North. It would be nice if one day I could have a look at it.”

Dean smiled happily at his brother.

 

„It looks like your dream might come true faster than you think. Cas suggested that you and Jess could live with us.” Dean said.

With big eyes, Sam looked from Cas to Dean. It looked as if the boy had only just realized that they were a couple. How was this even possible. He must have known that they are true mates. But maybe…, maybe he didn’t know anything about true mates. He was a Beta. It was most likely that no one had told him anything about second genders.

So this was the moment when it turned out how Dean's family would react to their relationship.

„Oh! You two are. . . but. . . ?“ Cas could sense that his brain tried to process thein formation but failed. A frown was shown on his face.

Cas felt Dean's hand reaching for his again. Thankful he grabbed it

Suddenly Cas heard a chair being pushed back.

John Winchester rose from his seat and came to them.

 

 

„Yes, Sam, it looks like your brother found the person he wants to spend the rest of his life with. Admittedly, an unusual choice for a man from the South, but a highly desirable connection for someone living here in the North, as Lady Harvelle and the midwife who cared for Jess have credibly assured me.” He said.

„You. . . you're not against it?" Dean wanted to know disbelief in his voice.

„I must confess that I was furious when I learned that you spent your heat with a man.  But above all the explanations of the midwife changed my opinion. Not just my opinion, it turned my whole world upside down. And now that I see you two together and know that Lord Novak did not only save the life of my eldest but also wants to take care of my second son, I know that Dean has made the right decision.”

 

„Dad!“ Dean cried. Castiel knew he was fighting to hold back the tears.

Touched, he fell around his father's neck.

„Thank you!" he whispered.

„Hey, there's nothing to thank me for. After all, you found yourself a true lord. Every father must be proud. Not that I could brag about it in the south though, but Grandma Deanna will be impressed.”  Both had to laugh and  Cas could see that they both had tears in their eyes now. This turned out much better than he expected. Dean’s dad seemed to be a very open-minded man. But after all, he did marry a woman with a second gender out of love. 

At that moment the midwife entered the room.

„Oh, how touching. The whole family is happily reunited.” She whistled sarcastically.

„Can we please cut this part a little short. I was promised dinner.”

Chapter Text

Epilogue

The sun was already setting when the carriage finally crossed the small bridge which led to the castle. The return journey had taken much longer as they didn’t want to drive through the night because of Jess. Her regrowing scent glands hurt very much and the jarring of the carriage made it even worse. So they wanted to give the girl some rest at least during the night. So they stayed overnight at an inn. Rowena had insisted on going with them. She wanted to take care of Jess and renew her bandages regularly. She also gave her herbal teas to drink to relieve the pain.

Cas had first suggested that Jess and Sam could stay at Craignet Castle until Jess wounds would be healed, but Jess wanted to have none of it.

Dean was glad that they had finally arrived at their destination.  When he saw the stone walls of the castle, the mossy rocks and the adjoining forest he felt at home for the first time in a long time. Because this was what Milton Castle had become now. His home! He'd grow old here. Together with Cas. A warm feeling spread through his stomach. It was nice to know where he belonged. That there even was a place where he belonged.

“Finally we are home. I can't wait for you to move into my rooms.” Cas whispered in his ear. Dean shuddered. He hadn't even thought about the room arrangements. But the thought of sleeping next to Cas every night made his heart beat faster.

“That means. . . If you even want to. I mean. . . we can leave it as it is and. . . “ Cas stuttered. Dean felt Castiel's distress through the bond.

“Cas, of course, I want to move into your rooms with you. I just didn't expect that to be something you could want. Somehow in the back of my head, there is still this stupid idea that only married couples sleep in the same room.”

Cas sighed. “How many times do I have to tell you we're more than a married couple, Dean. We're mates. You're mine now and I'm yours and no one can change that.” The Alpha explained.

Thousands of butterflies started to bustle around in Dean's stomach. Cas was his! His! This was such a mind-blowing thought.

“Then maybe we should let Sebastian know that should make the arrangements for our rooms,” Dean said with a rough voice and placed a quick kiss on Cas's lips.

“Yeah, my love. I'll take care of it.” Castiel replied and kissed Dean in return.

At that moment they heard quick footsteps approaching.

“Dean! Dean! You came back," Jack cried as he stormed towards his tutor and hugged him effusively. 

“I’m so glad uncle Cas got you to come back.”

Lovingly, Dean stroked Jack's hair. He had missed the boy.

“Oh! There’s a second carriage. Did you bring guests?"

Dean smiled at his student fondly.

”Yes, my brother and his girlfriend will live here with us. I hope you don't mind.” Dean explained.

“Are you serious? Oh God, I'm so happy. At last, I'm not the only child here anymore! Will you teach us all together?" Jack was all excited.

“Yes, I think I will. Jess still needs some rest, but as soon as she gets better, I will be the teacher of the three of you.” Dean said.

In the meantime Rowena, Jess and Sam had also gotten out of their carriage, servants started to unload the luggage and Gabriel came into the yard to welcome them as well.

“May I introduce you to my brother and his girlfriend and to Rowena. Rowena is here to take care of Jess until her wounds are completely healed. She is a midwife but also a healer.” Dean explained to Gabriel and Jack.

“Ah, I see. Dean’s brother. So beauty runs with the family.” Gabriel said and winked when he shook Sam's hand. Therefore he actually earned a growl from Jess. Dean had to smile. He always knew Sam and Jess belonged together. But now the others knew as well.

Gabriel raised an eyebrow.

“Funny, every time I compliment a Winchester, I get growled at.” The Beta complained in a mocking tone.

Dean noticed that not only Jess blushed but also Cas’ cheeks turned an adorable pink. He decided to ask his mate about it sometime.

An hour later everyone except Jess met for dinner. The girl was completely exhausted and so they asked Sebastian to bring her something to eat to her room. All the others were sitting at the table in the large dining room when Sebastian entered the room to announced the visit of Mr Roche.

Dean's whole body instantly got tense from the smell of the other Omega. Cas sensed his reaction and put a soothing hand on Dean's knee.

“Have a wonderful evening, my lord. Sebastian told me you are back. How delightful. I hope I'm not late. It's good to have you back, Lord Novak. I've missed you already.” Balthazar said and Dean felt the irresistible desire to punch him. Cas just nodded and pointed to a free chair.

“Have a seat, dinner will be served in a few minutes, Mr Roche. Sebastian! We need another place to set, please.”

Why did Castiel always have to be so terrible polite? Dean didn’t want to dine with the engineer.

“Thank you very much. It's really nice to see you again, Lord Novak. And you even brought guests. Oh, and the teacher's back, too. I was so sure he would be mated to the tall servant by now.” The engineer brabbled.

Dean felt anger rise in his guts, but Cas' soothing hand on his knee helped a little.

“Yes, this is Dean's brother Sam and Ms McLeod,” Castiel explained without further explanation.

“You invited the teacher's brother. How exceedingly. . . unusual.” Mr Roche replied with surprise.

“Mr Roche. There is nothing unusual about it. I think it's quite natural to invite my mate's family. And I'd ask you to address my mate with his full title, just like you do with me. He's not just the teacher, he's Lord Winchester. After all, we live here in the North and my title is now his too.” Cas explained in a cold but still polite tone of voice.

Dean almost had to laugh at the look on Mr Roche's face. It was grotesque how shocked he looked.

“Your what? He’s your. . . your mate. . . but I thought. . . “ the Omega stuttered.

“You thought what?" Cas wanted to know with a sharp tone.

“How could you be so cruel to let me hope and then. . . after all, we ran together. That's considered courting here in the North. I cannot and will not accept. . . “

All of a sudden Cas jumped from his chair, his eyes focused on the engineer.

“Mr Roche, how dare you! I always tried to be polite but enough is enough! Back in the woods, I didn't invite you to run with me with any gesture. On the contrary, I didn't know how to get rid of you. Our scents didn't mix for a single moment. Since you have been working for me, you have only used my hospitality and politeness to be impossibly rude towards my mate and to act overly pushy towards me. But that's over once and for all. I will not tolerate such behaviour under my roof. I was never interested in you! Even if I hadn't fallen in love with Dean from the very first moment, I wouldn't be interested in you. Did I make myself clear? If you no longer want to supervise the construction of the sewer in Drymen, you are free to cancel the contract. I'm not gonna stop you. But I must tell you, with today, you are no longer welcome in this house.” Castiel used his full  Alpha voice and Dean had serious problems to suppress the arousal it caused in him. He was actually sitting at the common dining table with a boner. Jesus Christ! God bless table cloths that helped to hide such improper behaviour.

Dean almost felt sorry for the engineer. With his eyes wide open and a deep blush on his face, he stared at the Lord.

“Oh. . . I understand. Of course, I'll finish the job. I... I think it's better if I go now. Good evening.” Without looking at anybody he got up and left the room. Dean wasn't sad he'd never see the other Omega again.

 

“Woah, little brother. I didn't know you had it in you. I'm so proud of you! That was really overdue. This exhausting man was here every single day asking for your return.” Gabriel said.

With a deep sigh, Cas sat down again. Dean grabbed his hand and squeezed it.

“I must tell Lord Novak I don't regret coming along. Apart from the certainly generous payment I hope to get from you, I haven't felt so well entertained for a long time.” Rowena giggled.

A few moments later Sebastian entered the room to bring the extra set for Mr Roche.

“Thank you, Sebastian, but that won't be necessary anymore,” Gabriel told the servant.

“Oh, Mr Roche has gone already, Sir? I see.” Sebastian stated.

Dean could have bet the servant was smiling at him but the man disappeared so quickly, he couldn't be sure.