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The Omegas sway their hips just so; they know their power and it is ultimate. They control their heats and they target them and they knows just how to affect poor Alphas (those big dumb brutes, hurting for a scent). Omegas disdain Betas, who are nothing special, just drones in a hive, with rare exceptions.

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The Red Room’s Omegas are highly trained. It’s said they can control the release of their pheromones and, if skilled enough, they can manipulate their own heat to maximum tactical advantage.

(They will say, in years to come, that the Red Room’s work on Omegas inspired the parents of Jessica Drew, who was born a Beta and bred into something wilder.)

There is a parade of Black Widows but none so potent as Natasha Romanov. The Red Room will not bond her to anyone and, like the rest, she is encouraged to seek release with other Omegas. She is encouraged to train them.

Omegas are prized and they are competitive and Natasha pushes Yelena down against red satin sheets and she is not so wild with heat as all that. Yelena is jealous of Natasha and Natasha knows this. Yelena plays the Alpha, crooking her fingers just so and sending spasms of pleasure through Natasha’s body and Yelena’s expression is dazed because of every undulation of Natasha’s hips, and every sigh, and every maddening whiff of pheromones. Natasha smiles sweetly and pushes Yelena’s head down and Yelena eats her out like a starving woman. Natasha allows heat to ripple through her then and Yelena’s moans are muffled against Natasha’s cunt and when Natasha’s whole spine arches and she screams, she can delight in the knowledge that every Alpha and Beta in the building is quivering with want.

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It’s 1939 and there’s a gathering storm. The sun is shining in Brooklyn, though, and Bucky’s moving in with Steve Rogers. The nuns say he’s so good, to take pity on a poor, broken Alpha, like Steve, who doesn’t even have heats, and Bucky tips his hat. It’s a fedora and Steve says it makes him look like a gangster and Bucky gives him one of those smiles, the sort that has Betas dropping their panties and Omegas looking twice.

They have a secret. Steve has heats, though they have little effect on anyone but himself. They are sporadic and, if he lets them go unchecked, his asthma worsens and his heart skips too many beats.

They have a secret because Alphas don’t go with Alphas. It’s unseemly and it might be illegal but no one talks about it. Bucky says he’s heard of two Irish Alphas down on the docks who were caught rutting in an alley. He won’t tell Steve what was done to those Alphas or how much blood they say was spilled that day.

He won’t tell Steve; he’ll just lie down with him and if their heats start to coincide, it doesn’t mean that they are bonded and if Bucky loves how his cock feels against Steve’s, he won’t say a word. He’ll go out chasing Beta skirts and he’ll tell Steve all about it, for the day when Steve’s heat finally knocks a girl on her ass (the way it does to Bucky).

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Tony Stark is an Omega. The only person not impressed with this was his father but that’s because everyone knows that Howard Stark was an extraordinary Beta with a thing for Alphas. Look at Maria, everyone says. Look at Steve Rogers.

Tony doesn’t have much time for Betas, apart from James Rhodes, and he pretends that he dislikes Alphas, but everyone sees how he watches Pepper Potts. He tugs her pigtails and pushes her to her limits but he has never crossed the line. He’s self-professed Alpha-bait but he won’t toy with Pepper.

It might be his only redeeming feature.

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“We have found you a bondmate,” they tell Natasha. “He is strong and he is an Alpha. There will be a child but only after you have learned everything he has to teach you.”

“Teach me?” she asks.

“He is peculiarly resistant to Omegas. We have had to adjust him.”

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When Steve Rogers opens his eyes, he is burning. After the ice and all those decades, this first heat is the worst. He bites on his lips so that he won’t say Bucky’s name. He destroys the room that they have carefully and carelessly constructed for him. He doesn’t even look at the pretty little Beta who comes into the room. His eyes are streaming and the tears sear across his vision and he only makes it as far as Times Square before he is tranquilised and dragged back in.

“The only possible living bondmate is ninety and in no fit state to accommodate him, sir.”

“Send in the consultant.”

“Stark’ll eat him alive, sir.”

“We can only hope.”

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Erskine’s experiments on Omegas did not work. They did not have the temperament, he says. That is why, with the SSR, potential Alphas have been recruited. Not all of them survive the training but Steve Rogers does.

Steve Rogers survives the training and he survives the easy flirtation with Peggy Carter and he survives the serum.

Captain America: The Alpha Who’ll Win Us The War!

Everyone on the star-spangled tour is a Beta. When Steve goes into heat, there is no shortage of willing partners. He wishes Bucky was here; he wishes he could tell him that he was right. He bends the actor who plays Hitler over the prop motorbike and he fucks him, hard and brutal.

When they visit the troops, they think twice about heckling him.

He is the Alpha he was meant to be; he is not the Alpha he was meant to be. This is the 107th and James Buchanan Barnes is missing, presumed dead.

In Schmidt’s facility, after Steve rescues most of the captives, he smells a familiar scent. It’s one that makes him growl, low in the back of his throat, and then howl and it is a sound he has never made before. He sets off at a run and unerringly finds it. He finds the room where Bucky is strapped to a table, sweating and mumbling. The scent of Bucky’s heat is cloying and it triggers off a deep longing in Steve but they have to escape.

Bucky is barely coherent but he follows Steve, out through the flames.

“They put most of the Omegas on suppressants,” says Dugan. “We’ll need to get them back to camp as soon as possible.” He looks at Bucky. “Don’t think those goons knew they’d caught a live one here. None of the other Alphas survived whatever the hell they were doing to them.”

Bucky is breathing in and out through his mouth. When it’s dark and they are a few miles from the camp, Steve leads him deeper into the woods and they fuck against a tree and they walk back to the others, defiant and reaking of each other.

“It’s the Army,” says Dernier.

“It’s terribly public school,” says Falsworth.

Steve takes that to mean that they don’t care.
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The Winter Soldier is something else. Natasha never thought she’d be so taken by an Alpha, especially one as typical as the Winter Soldier.

There is something missing, perhaps; he seems to run on pure instinct, at least ninety per cent of the time, but he is charming and his smile makes all the Betas swoon.

He kisses her sweetly and with surprising restraint. She unzips her jumpsuit and guides his head towards her breast and she moans as he suckles on her nipple, teeth barely grazing. She slides her hand down her belly and runs two fingers through her own slick before bringing them up to the Winter Soldier’s mouth. He latches on to them, his tongue curling around her knuckles and she bucks up against him.

He is devout, even as he pushes down his pants and guides himself into her.

The bedsheets they provide for Alphas are grey and industrial. They fuck for a long time and he is not even in heat yet. She wonders what it will take.

The next day, her superiors tell her that it will take time. That she had best make him fall in love with her. She is dubious about the value of love but his seed is still sticky and flaky on the insides of her thighs. Perhaps that is love.

When she showers, she admires the bite marks he left on her breasts and the bruises on her thighs.

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“Do you think that Stark can control him now, sir?”

“I think that you’ve lost your mind if you think Stark wants to control anyone after Afghanistan.”

They’re watching on a monitor. Medical Bay 12.3, where Tony Stark is on his hands and knees and Steve Rogers is pulling his hair and fucking him hard enough that the bolted-down bed is shaking.

“May I be excused, sir?”

“Of course, Coulson.”

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Natasha is shaking when he pulls her out of the river. Codename Hawkeye is staring down at her and then he’s speaking to thin air.

“Coulson, what do I do?”

She can hear the tinny reply. “You know what to do. If she won’t consent to suppressants, terminate with extreme prejudice.”

She grins. “Guess your boss is mad that I knifed him?”

“It was his femoral artery, Widow,” says Hawkeye, his voice tight. His nostrils are flaring. “Stop that or I will-”

.

SHIELD is unusual. There are two Alphas at the top, in Nick Fury Jr and Maria Hill and plenty of Betas in positions of relative authority.

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“She’s a piece of work,” says Bucky, after Peggy leaves the bar.

“I’m going to marry her,” says Steve.

“You do know that you’re gonna have to say actual words to her before that happens, right, Rogers?” Bucky’s flashing a smile at Steve. His scent is a little off. “Does she have a sister?”

“A brother,” says Steve and Bucky’s shoulders slump. “But he’s an Omega. You may get lucky, you know?”

Steve smiles too, like it doesn’t hurt to think about Bucky settling down with a family and another man because he knows it’s unfair. He can’t have Peggy and want Bucky.

“C’mon, buddy, let’s go back to the room,” says Bucky. “We ain’t shackled down yet and I wanna get a good long look at that cock of yours while we can still keep the lights on.”

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“It’s like a goddamned frat,” says Tony. “Like, the hazing process is fucking.”

He’s drinking whiskey and rocking back and forth on Steve’s lap. Steve’s hands rest on Tony’s thighs.

“What do you mean?”

“Like- within eight seconds of us being put in the same room, you were nailing me to the bed.”

I wasn’t thinking straight, Steve wants to say. “I’d never met an Omega before.”

“What, no. Seriously?”

“Well, aside from Schmidt.”

“Ouch.” Tony wriggles more until he’s pressed closer and Steve’s cock is rubbing against Tony’s thigh. “Gotta say that you’ve got more restraint than I’d’ve expected.”

“We weren’t barbarians in the forties, you know.” Steve swipes his thumb over the head of Tony’s cock and sucks on it.

“See, you should be going wild right now.”

Steve smiles. “You’re not all that, Stark.” He pinches Tony’s side. “Go on - about the hazing process?”

“Oh, right. Like. When Romanov got recruited? Like as she was being recruited, she had Barton licking her pussy. And when Barton was brought in, apparently he and Coulson were doing the horizontal tango within a week, even though they’re both Betas so I don’t know what that was about-”

“Love, maybe?”

Tony snorts. “Right, yeah. Love. That’s a thing.”

Steve wraps one hand around Tony’s cock and jerks him off hard. “Love is a thing, Stark-”

“If you’re trying to tell me something, Rogers, lemme just say that I don’t swing that way- oh fuck again-

It’s only afterwards, with Steve still inside Tony, that Tony mutters. “Don’ believe in love, Rogers, but the biological imperative wins out every fucking time.”

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Natasha settles into SHIELD faster than she’d expect. It’s the only organisation where the proportions of Alphas, Betas and Omegas seem to reflect that of the outside world. There are a handful of Alphas at the top and a number of Omegas, primarily used as spies, and then the Betas, who seem to run everything else.

She’s in the gym on the Helicarrier when she meets Sharon Carter for the first time and, within minutes, she learns that Sharon is pricklier than a pregnant Omega.

They’re sparring and neither are pulling any punches, though Natasha is much stronger and much faster. Sharon doesn’t give up, though.

“You should respect me, girl,” says Natasha, pushing Sharon’s face into the mat.

“Why? ‘Cause you’re an Omega?” Sharon spits out blood. “Just ‘cause you’re special doesn’t mean you don’t have to earn my goddamned respect.”

“There are billions of you, Carter. Billions.”

When Natasha lets Sharon walk away, she’s puzzling over respect as a concept. It’s not sex and it’s not love and it’s not the traditional hierarchy and she doesn’t even know why she’d want this jumped-up Beta’s respect.

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The Winter Soldier’s been activated. He’s the fiercest Alpha in the world but sneaky like an Omega.

Steve Rogers is not impressed until he’s standing downwind from the Winter Soldier. They stare at each other and Steve ignores the shouting in his ear as he breaks into a sprint. They collide and the ground shakes and splinters as Steve pushes the Winter Soldier onto his back. He tugs down the Winter Soldier’s mask and stares.

“That’s why they did it, of course. The bandit mask?” says Tony. He gesticulates. “It, well, masks scents and no brainwashing in the world can make a guy forget the smell of his boo, or whatever.”

“I’m not his-”

“Can it, Captain Repression. What you kids do in the bedroom-”

“You know, Tony, sometimes, you really remind me of your father.”

“Oh, fuck you.”

.
Maybe SHIELD is a sanctuary for the broken. In the world outside, Omegas cry oppression and Alphas cry aggression and all of the Betas in between are forced to pick sides and if they pick the wrong side, they are accused of classism or sexism; they are accused of privilege and bigotry. They are in the majority where it is safest to say nothing.

Within SHIELD, Betas’ opinions matter. Omegas are respected but not fetishised. Alphas admit their weaknesses.

As far as Steve can tell, though; Alphas still don’t go with Alphas.

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They date. Sharon and Natasha go on dates. They go to dinner and they spar and they go to movies. Sharon helps Natasha move house. She is singularly unimpressed with Natasha’s usual tactics so they talk until one day, it seems that they’re done talking, when Sharon is sweating through her gym gear after a particularly tough round with the punching bag.

Natasha wraps around her from behind and buries her nose against Sharon’s neck, which is slick and salty with sweat.

“You smell good,” she murmurs.

“Gerroff,” says Sharon, though Natasha thinks it’s meant good-naturedly. “‘m only a Beta. We don’t fucking waft the way you guys do.”

Natasha licks Sharon’s skin.

“Ser-seriously, Natasha. What’re you doing? ‘m not special. We come billions-strong, remember?”

“Then you’re one in billions -”

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“We can’t tell anyone, Bucky.”

“That’s not new, Steve. C’mere.”

“We are - we’re bonded, though. God, somehow we-”

“Imprinted on each other like wayward ducklings, yes. I was there when Stark came out with that gem. Now, c’mere- I wanna show you something.”

Bucky, are you talking about your peni-” Steve is interrupted by Bucky’s mouth crushed against his.

“Okay, I totally was.” The kiss is long and lingering and tastes better than Omegas.

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“It explains why, in all this time, neither Barnes nor Rogers impregnated any Omega, despite ample opportunity, sir.”

“Are you telling me that, what? Love conquers all?”

“I don’t know, Director Fury. I’m only a Beta. But perhaps you and Deputy Director Hill might have some insight-?”

“Coulson, go home.”