John and Mary Winchester were a very special couple. John was in the Vessel Line of the Archangel Michael, Mary the Line of Lucifer himself. All the forces of Heaven had concentrated on getting them together, and keeping them so until they had a few kids. Mary was born a hunter, it was her Family Business. John was a Man of Letters by legacy, even if he didn’t know it.
But there was also another way in which they were special, a much more mundane way. John was an Alpha, with the genotype A/o. Mary was a Beta, with the genotype B/o. Unlike most couples, they were genetically capable of producing offspring of any Tier.
This was only made evident approximately thirteen years after the birth of their eldest child.
“I’m not hungry,” Dean said, pushing away his plate. Sam frowned, worried. Dean hadn’t been acting unhappy or sick. In fact, even now, he seemed quite chipper. But he was refusing food. Actually, Sam knew for a fact that he hadn’t eaten since breakfast, and even then he’d eaten lightly. It was dinnertime now, and a late one, too. Plus, this wasn’t just any meal. They were staying at Bobby’s for the first time in eight months, so they got to have home-cooked meals, a rare treat. And they were only ever there for a few days, so both Sam and Dean always took as much advantage as they could.
“You feelin’ alright, boy?” asked Bobby, seeming to have the same thought process as Sam.
“Yeah, I’m good,” replied Dean, meeting his eyes, seeming completely truthful, “I just really don’t want to eat.”
“Hm.” Bobby grunted, still looking suspicious. “You feelin’ nauseous?”
“Nah, I just… don’t wanna eat,” Dean said.
When the boys went to bed, both on Bobby’s big guest bed, Bobby brought Dean a bucket anyway, “just in case.”
Sam stayed awake for as long as he could, but Dean seemed just fine. Sam wrinkled his brow in confusion, but eventually fell asleep.
The next morning, Dean most definitely was not fine. Sam crept out of bed early to get the shower first, as per usual. While he was drying off, he heard a shout from the next room. He pulled on his clothes hastily, and dashed to go check on Dean.
“What’s up?” he asked, when he was back in the room. Dean was standing legs apart, arms raised, fingers spread, like he wanted to avoid any part of himself touching any other part. His eyes were wide and panicked.
“I dunno, man, my skin feels weird all over, like I’m covered in spiders. And every time I touch anything it’s like I notice it a lot, like, painfully. And I feel like it’s really hot in here, even though I know it’s not.” Dean said, sounding freaked out.
“Bobby!” Sam yelled, because he had no idea what else to do.
When the old hunter appeared, it transpired that he had no idea what to do either. So, he called a friend of his who happened to be a doctor by degree, if not profession.
“You’re lucky I’m between hunts, Singer,” said Dr. Coral, in a tone of playful reprimand.
“It ain’t luck, kid; I give you half your jobs.” Bobby replied.
“Fair enough,” she conceded, raising an eyebrow and quirking a smile, “so where’s my patient?”
Sam followed them down the corridor. Dean was in the bedroom, sweating, stripped down to his boxers, and flinching every time he accidently touched anything.
“Martha, this is Dean, John Winchester’s oldest. Dean, this is Dr. Coral.” Bobby introduced. Dean looked mortified, either because of his “weakness,” to need a doctor, or because of his state of undress; Sam wasn’t sure, it might’ve been both. It was also probably magnified because Dr. Coral was female. But he raised a hand and a weak grin in greeting, anyway.
“So, what exactly is wrong, Dean?” Dr. Coral asked, getting straight to the point.
“Umm… Well… I can’t touch anything, and I’m too hot. And my skin feels like it’s covered in crawly things.” Dean said.
“What do you mean, you ‘can’t touch anything?’” She queried.
“Well…” he thought for a minute, “It’s like I feel it a lot more than normal, and it’s sorta like pain, but not.”
“Did you eat anything yesterday?” She asked, out of the blue.
“Not really. I wasn’t hungry.” He answered. Dr. Coral laughed. Dean looked horrified. Sam was confused and angry. What was funny about this? His brother was sick. By Bobby’s stormy scowl, he felt the same.
“Don’t worry,” Dr. Coral said, still giggling, “Dean isn’t sick. It’s perfectly natural. This is his first pre-Heat.”
“Pre-Heat?” Bobby questioned, wrinkling his brow.
“Omegas get them, before they’re actually capable of going into Heat. The cycle starts, but the body has nowhere to go with it, so this happens a few times before they go into actual Heat. Dean here probably has at least a year to go before that happens.” She answered.
“Wait a moment, hold up. Omega?” Bobby said. A look of realization crossed Dr. Coral’s face.
“Oh… You didn’t know?” She said, raising an eyebrow. “Well, Dean is most definitely an Omega. This is a pre-Heat and no mistake.”
“I’m not some bitch!” Dean growled, angry now. Sam was less interested in Dean’s insecurities about his masculinity, and more worried about what their dad would think. How would hypermasculine, totally gender role conformist John react to the fact his son was an Omega male?
“Of course you’re not, where did you learn that language?” Dr. Coral frowned. Sam crept out of the room. Dean didn’t like to appear weak, so as few people as possible should see him right now. He could still hear Dean’s shouts through the walls, though he couldn’t make out the words.
An hour later, Dr. Coral was gone, Dean was hiding off somewhere, and Bobby was in the yard working on a car. Sam went outside to help him.
“Hand me that wrench, will you?” Bobby grunted as soon as Sam appeared, indicating a wrench on the ground a few feet away from where he was working. Sam brought it to him, and let Bobby tighten a few nuts in silence before speaking.
“What’re we gonna do about dad?” Sam asked.
“Shit.” Bobby said, looking up from his work and wiping grease-stained hands on grease-stained jeans. “I was goin’ ta send him on the furthest possible hunt I could find, got one in Florida no one’s looking into right now. Tell him while he’s there; make sure he has time to cool down before he gets here. If he has twenty hours or so between when he finds out and when he comes back, he probably won’t do anything stupid.”
“Thanks, Bobby,” Sam said. Bobby quirked a small smile.
“Anything for my boys.”