A Brave New World
Dean woke up, feeling feverish and drained. Working out his rut after he had taken the phero-max had taken practically the whole night and he felt sullied and sweaty.
He had only gotten a few hours rest and was physically exhausted, but nonetheless he got ready for school, washing off the last hours in a much needed shower.
When he got out, he saw his mum, Sammy and Charlie standing outside the door, waiting for him.
Sam was the first to speak: “Are you ok, Dean?”
They had spent the night either at Bobby’s or Ellen’s to give Dean the privacy to take care of his rut, Mary only checking in on him every few hours to report his progress to Eleanor.
“Yeah, I’m ok. I think it’s over now. How do I smell?” Just yesterday, this question would have appeared totally weird to him, today not so much.
“You don’t smell like omega anymore,” commented Mary and sniffed the air unobtrusively. “Yet I wouldn’t say you smell distinctly like alpha either.”
Charlie spoke up then: “You smell like my big brother.”
Dean felt his heart warm at the 9 year old’s innocence.
“That’s because I am, squirt.”
“No really?” asked Sam in mock surprise. “We had no idea, Dean.”
Charlie chimed in: “Buttholes!”
All three snickered while Mary just shook her head about her pups. She had tried to cut their little tag of war name-calling game a few times, but it had almost become a ritual, so she didn’t mind anymore. They had larger concerns anyway.
During breakfast it seemed like nothing was the matter, but when his younger siblings got their school packs, Mary quietly asked her eldest: “Baby, do you really feel ready to go back to school?”
“Not really. But I have to. If I don’t go, they’ll all think I’m an omega and it would be much worse if they can’t smell traces of rut anymore. I’ll get through this, mom.”
“I know you will. You’re so strong, my baby.”
“Then how about you don’t call me baby anymore, mom? I‘m legally responsible for myself now.”
“You’ll always be my baby. No matter how grown up you think you are,” and then his mom pulled him close for a hug.
“I love you, mom. You’re the best.”
When he let go of her, he wiped the moisture out of his eyes.
Damned allergies and nothing else, he thought, while he raced Sammy and Charlie to the bus. While they waited, Jo came up to them, holding Jodie and Josie by the hands and looking a bit pissed.
“You could have waited for us, y’know?”
“It’s not our fault you are lame ducks,” grinned Charlie and the three young girls started bickering immediately with Sammy joining in then and now, while Jo looked up at Dean: “You ok?”
“Ask me that another day, huh?” Dean shrugged her concern off. “Just hope when it’s your turn next year, you pop up smelling right.”
“Dean,” Jo said empathically. When she came here, she had harboured a little crush on the older boy, but that was years ago and had stopped after the familiar bond had formed.
“Don’t worry about it, Jo. There’s our bus,” he nodded towards it and then he and Jo as the elder ones got Sammy and the three girls in line before the bus pulled up to bring them to school.
Dean dreaded to go to his Alpha education class more than usual today. All the other lessons were easy for him. Even though he picked on his younger siblings because of their high intelligence sometimes, he himself wasn’t a bad student at all. Far from it.
Everything just fell to him, and he’d never even had a B on his reports until it came to Alpha education. Alistair was very quick to inform him, that if he had the authority to hand out grades: “Winchester I would fail you in this class as quick as I could.”
So it was with a very heavy heart that he turned his steps towards the classroom in which Alistair would wait for his final verdict.
Ten boys, all not yet presented, were already sitting in the classroom when Dean came in last. Alistair was waiting and grinning, once Dean opened the door to the classroom. Crucial test was go, apparently.
“Winchester,” Alistair purred. “It’s your big day, isn’t it?”
“Yessir,” Dean pressed out, standing in front of the whole class.
Alistair sniffed him very carefully and his nose was much too close to his face for his liking.
When the examination was over, Alistair announced: “That’s some funky smell you’ve got going there, Winchester. But-” he stepped around Dean‘s back smelling the nook of his neck and Dean got disgusted goosebumps right away. “That’s definitely rut I smell there, clear as day,” he purred into his ears again.
“Class, say hello to another new alpha, Dean Winchester,” Alistair turned him around for everyone to get a good look, before he escorted him out of the room.
As soon as the door fell shut, he clasped Dean’s shoulder in a tight grip. “You know, Dean, if you’d had presented as omega, I might have cut myself a little slice of your sweet ass,” he let his hand wander down his back and Dean ground his teeth when Alistair groped his butt firmly.
“But, you are a little alpha now, aren’t you? I need a moment to process this.” Alistair wiped an imaginary tear from the corner of his eye.
“I never knew I would have occasion to be proud of you, but here you are.” He gave Dean’s rear some more appreciative slaps and then grabbed him around his neck again.
“You know, maybe you thought this was the end of our little partnership? But I’ll tell you something.” He lent down to whisper in his ear.
“Alpha education teacher Mr. Uriel is resigning towards the end of the week. Couldn’t handle all the potent young alphas in his class, I assume. So, I will see you, back in class, bright and early Monday morning.”
He ran his arms over Dean’s frame appreciatively one more time, before he opened the classroom door of the higher up level of alpha education.
Dean turned around and felt his stomach drop into his shoes at the last parting smirk of Alistair before the door closed.
“Report that creepy ass son of a bitch!” was Jo’s first reaction when Dean met his pack and Meg after school.
“I’ll give him his throat to eat!” Meg spat out. “Little ones, you didn’t hear me say that, ok?”
Charlie and the twins obediently closed their ears with their hands to show that they heard nothing, but Sammy frowned at his older brother, all the wisdom of a ten-year-old in his gaze.
“Yeah, Dean you should. He can’t do that to you.”
“He won’t, ok. I’ll make sure he doesn’t. I know how to defend myself.”
Dean didn’t even mention Alistair to his family for the next month, he came in last to alpha-edu or as Meg called it, his “daily torture sessions” and left the room first to work off his frustration on the pitch, playing either lacrosse or football. He didn’t care what he did, the most important thing to him was sports and growing stronger.
If Dean had thought alpha education had been bad before, now it was pure agony. Alistair hadn’t really changed his M.O. in the higher up level with fully fledged alphas, but it was all more intense. Even if Dean still wasn’t all that turned on by what he showed them, his sexual organs were now quite unpredictable and whenever he felt himself swell he tried to calm and look past the TV, because he wasn’t sure the rut-suppress would hold through a full erection in class.
A room full of aroused alphas who caught so much as a whiff of the scent he emanated? He’d be lucky to get out of there alive.
Richard and Eleanor did their best to get him his rut-suppress on time but his ruts kept coming pretty frequently.
“Not to worry, that’s completely normal,” Eleanor told him after one of her visits to Adrienne when Dean had worried about how frequent they were.
“That’s not all, Dr. Visyak.” He had taken to calling her that when it was about his private parts and how they acted. Too weird to think of her as a family friend in a situation like that, she was his doctor after all.
“I’m always afraid to pop in school, our teacher is showing us these… uh…videos.”
“I see. Well, there are some exercises that you can do.”
Dean made his brother and sister swear they would never make fun of him, but yes he did breathing and relaxing exercises and they so did not resemble yoga at all, thank you very much.
Of course, Alistair was quick to notice that Dean didn’t show the desired results in class, so he switched his little speech at the beginning of class to: “Today I’ll get you. You’ll break, Dean.”
And every day, Dean hoped for a miracle and tried to hold on.
A new student arrived at Lawrence education centre about a month after Dean had presented. He was a senior and an omega, which was pretty unusual.
Normally omegas had already been mated by their families or through other means by that time and had left school. It was common practice in their society, so most omegas didn’t even object to having a lower rate of education than their alpha and beta peers.
Everyone was excited about the new arrivals. From their usual stance, they didn’t get many newcomers here. From what the gossiping neighbours gathered, it was a young boy with his adoptive parents, Naomi and Zachariah. Or so Meg told them, because her mother and her brigade had been relentless in their scrutiny of the new arrivals, being fascinated by the fact that there existed mated couples without children, who instead adopted non true borns into their packs.
The minute Ruby realised Naomi was treating her as a second class citizen and that her step son was an omega, she more or less lost interest in them. Meg however, remained fascinated with the new boy, especially because she noticed him at the omega appointment hour at Dr. Visyak‘s, collecting heat suppressants like there was nothing about it at all.
Jake the medical officer was quick to give the boy his usual vulgar greeting, but stopped once he took a full sniff of him. Something apparently wasn’t kosher with his smell.
The boy seemed totally unfazed of the social stigmatism attached to collecting heat suppressants at the healing facility, and Meg wondered if he was some kind of space alien who couldn’t give a flying crap about it.
It was another sign about how fucked up their system was that there was usually no need for omega-education in the higher classes, so Meg and him shared the same class. He pretty much kept to himself though and even though he sat at the “outcast” table in the cafeteria, he didn’t seem bothered by that either.
Meg had told them all about the new boy over lunch, but apart from her, nobody had seen him yet.
The cafeteria that the education facility shared was their lunch hall, which was the only time of the day that Dean was among his family until they got to the bus again. They always ate lunch together.
Dean was first in the dining hall and when the younger ones came in, Charlie was the first to come up to him.
“I need a big brother hug, quickly.”
“Ok, sure.” He embraced the little bundle that was his sister and gave her a kiss on the top of her head.
Who could judge him for his showing affection? He was already an outcast anyway, so screw them if he was affectionate with his pack where anyone could see it. Sometimes, people laughed or snarled, at other times they seemed sad when the Winchester pack behaved like a big, happy family during lunch.
“What’s wrong, anyway?”
“A boy was mean to me. He said I looked like the whore he nailed last night and I would be next as soon as I was ready.”
Dean growled. “Tell me his name and I will rip his lungs out.”
Charlie snickered and felt much better already. She really didn’t need Dean’s help and when he noticed a boy of Charlie’s age enter the cafeteria and eye her with a panicked look and a bloody nose, he was pretty sure Charlie could take care of herself. Which obviously didn’t mean he would ever stop looking out for her.
Charlie and Josie had had to face mean comments like that since their first day of school, just because they were red-haired pups. Josie especially came home in tears very often and nobody could console her except her twin sister, while Charlie just laughed it off but more often than not escaped into her very own world through books and movies.
Crowley’s niece had visited pretty frequently in the months after the girls had started school and she became their role model when it came to strength. She was an alpha who was mated to another alpha woman and had dealt with a lot of meanness herself, which made her grow tough as nails and able to take on anyone who tried to belittle her.
When Josie was asked what she wanted to be like when she grew up she replied: “I wanna be as strong as aunty Abaddon and as caring as aunty Mary.”
Gradually, Josie too got harder in the taking of these snide remarks until they hardly bothered her and once she didn’t react anymore, the bullying gradually disappeared.
So when Jo³, as the Winchesters sometimes called Jo, Jodie and Josie, entered the cafeteria, Josie was one of the first to ask Charlie why the big brother hug was necessary and reacted almost like Dean himself.
By the time Sammy blundered in, the girls and Dean had already started laughing out loud again and Charlie smiled the brightest.
Sammy was just in a weird growth spurt which made him seem very ungainly and clumsy. He almost tripped when he came over and his book pack promptly fell down from the bench when he unloaded his stuff on the table.
Out of the blue, Meg turned up, late from omega education as always.
“Take care, Sammykins. Don’t wanna lose all your books.”
She only gave him a pained smile and sat down next to Dean without another word. Dean leaned in closer to her and asked quietly, so that only Jo and not the younger ones could hear him: “That bad again?”
“Oh Deano, you have no idea. I had to write an essay on how much I deserve to be raped if I don’t willingly go down once someone wants to knot me. It sucked start to finish.”
For omegas like Meg, their educative classes weren’t like they were for Dean and they had to pass with good grades to even be able to continue studying, so that even if they reached higher levels of education they’d still have a healthy attitude about their non-existent self worth.
Again, Meg didn’t have any support from home because naturally, her mother had excelled in this class, and couldn’t understand why Meg was almost failing it. Usually at this point, Meg would impersonate her mother about how “you don’t need any of this maths shit, study for omega education instead. That‘s what you‘ll need later.”
If only Dean could only encompass Meg into their pack somehow, he would have done it long ago. But however close they were, the familiar pack bond didn’t form.
Dean thought it had something to do with him obviously not wanting to adopt Meg’s whole pack and her father’s alpha bond not letting go of her in turn. Apparently he could only adopt whole families.
It was a sign of how bad Meg really felt that she didn’t say anything now and just picked through her lunch.
Jo’s whole face was an expression of pure sympathy and she asked: “How about we go to the movies tonight? You, me, Dean, a load of popcorn and a movie. I heard that Rufus’ movie theatre is showing ‘Breakfast Club’ tonight.”
Meg’s eyes shone brightly at that. “Oh yeah, let’s.”
The girls looked at Dean who couldn’t think of one reason why he shouldn’t go. Rufus always let them in for free anyways because he was Bobby’s eldest friend and all of them loved the movie and he didn‘t mind seeing it again.
There wouldn’t even be any danger of his annoying classmates being there, because their parents weren’t gonna let them see the movie anyway. A bunch of high school students who learned to get along, despite their “incompatibility” when it came to secondary genders? Yeah, no. Not really big on the list of movies that upstanding citizens would show to their children.
He’d probably need it as a pick-me-up after his own edu class today. Lately, the torture not to pop had gotten even more intense, because Alistair had them vote in a poll about what they thought was most attractive, and Dean hadn’t thought anything by it when he ticked the “dark-haired” box.
Otherwise he hadn’t been really specific, he just noticed that he was drawn towards people more if they had dark hair. So Alistair probably had rifled through his extensive collection and picked out stuff that Dean would especially enjoy, to make it even harder to keep his cool in class.
The younger children went to their building again after lunch and the elders stuffed the books they wouldn’t need for homework into their lockers. For the whole year, the locker next to Dean’s had been empty, if by design or accident, he didn’t know. But now the boy that Meg had seen coming from his appointment with Eleanor and in omega-edu shuffled through a stack of possessions that looked as if he had emptied his whole room into it. Books, clothes, movies, even- was that a plant?
“Hey, why have you got a cactus in your locker?” Dean asked stunned.
The boy looked up, his brow a little creased and Dean felt himself drawn into the bluest eyes he’d ever seen. The boy titled his head a little, his mouth opening slightly and a fascinated smile appeared on his face. The smile was so small that it was hardly noticeable, but Dean saw it, because the small movement registered in his brain and he looked at the boy’s mouth a split second after his lip had quivered. In the next second he was drawn back to the boy’s eyes.
He didn’t know how long they stared at each other, he didn’t know if he’d ever find his voice again, he could just stare openly and without restraint. After several seconds (or was it minutes?) He cleared his throat and licked his bottom lip once. The boy opposite looked down immediately, but met his eyes again a second later as well, only to start smiling more broadly.
Dean’s brain was frozen. He tried to say something. Anything. If he wasn’t careful, he would ask the boy anything right now. Take a plane to Tuscany and settle down as wine farmers together. Run away into the sunset until they didn’t have any land under their feet anymore and profess his undying love for him against a setting of a sunlit sky with the waves of the Pacific crushing around them. Simply sweep him off his feet and ask to claim him as his right then and there. All seemed like valid possibilities to come out his mouth now.
Before he could form one word though, Jo and Meg came up and teased him, “Hey, Dreamy-chester, haven’t you got a class you need to go to now?”
Dean startled but forced his brain to remember how to look at a watch. Damn, they were right. Alistair’s class was starting right about now.
“Shit,” he cursed and flinched away the other boy to close his locker and shoulder his backpack.
The boy at the next locker hadn’t moved yet. So Dean took up all his courage and turned back to the boy: “Name’s Dean,” and as an afterthought, given what they were gonna watch this evening he said: “Don’t you forget about me.”