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Geno glances up when one of the athletic trainers taps his shoulder. "Hey Geno, they want you up front for a minute."

He frowns, even as he bookmarks the page and set his reader aside. "Something wrong?" he asks.

The trainer shakes his head apologetically. "I'm just the errand boy, sorry." He doesn't follow Geno forward, instead continuing back toward the sealed-off compartment at the rear of the plane.

Most of the guys he passes on the way to the front are asleep, a smart move with at least seven hours to go before they land in London. The night outside the windows is pitch-black, not even the twinkle of stars or glow of the moon to break up the darkness.

He doesn't really start to worry until he catches sight of Sidney huddled up with Rick the physical therapist and Dr. Harner. They’re the only group in the forward part of the plane who could be waiting for him, and that’s a bad sign. That sweet scent he’s been smelling for the last little while suddenly takes on a whole different context when the medical staff wants to talk to the only two alphas on the plane. Abruptly, he remembers trainer-Chris and Beau walking past him towards the back, just after that scent started filling the air...

"What happen, what problem?" he asks as soon as he drops into the seat beside Sidney. Dr. Harner grimaces.

"Medical need-to-know - Beau's an omega," he states bluntly, and Geno's stomach drops. No one is required to announce their dynamic to anyone but necessary medical personnel, although it’s hard not to notice the alphas. It’s not like it’s taboo to talk about, but to be told someone else's dynamic because of medical need is...never a good sign, to put it mildly. "You probably haven't noticed because he doesn't have a regular heat cycle."

"He had a panic-heat?" Sidney demands, incredulous. "Here?" It takes Geno a minute to connect the dots Sidney had, but it makes sense. Omegas with irregular heat cycles almost always have panic-heats, but only when they’re stressed or worried or scared. None of which Beau should be feeling on a plane over the Atlantic surrounded by his team.

"No, he doesn't panic-heat," Dr. Harner corrects. "He safe-heats, which, I don't know if you remember your high school biology classes at all, but it's just about as bad as panic-heating. Same heat fever, same inability to break it solo. The main difference - well, except that safe-heats are so damn rare and last longest - is that only alphas can break them. We're far enough out now that we don't have time to turn back and get him a therapy alpha - it started about a half-hour ago, and his temperature's already climbed to 105." He leans across the aisle and levels both alphas with a no-nonsense look. "This is not something I'd normally ask of either of you, but I'm legally required to demand it. At the rate his fever's been climbing and as quickly as the heat set in, he'll be at risk of irreparable brain damage within the next hour. One of you needs to ride it through with him, I don't care which. And if one of you is not enough, I will send in the other."

"There is a significant chance of permanent bonding with this sort of heat," Rick pipes up from over Dr. Harner's shoulder. "I don't know the exact numbers, but it's much more likely to happen than not." He waves his phone at them, which looks like it’s displaying a text message. "Bear in mind, Chris says he's no longer coherent."

Sidney's expression congeals, and Geno agrees silently. Not coherent means begging forgiveness after the fact, not asking for permission beforehand. They might've thought to get Beau to sign a generic emergency consent form before it got that far - for that matter, it might be a required part of his medical paperwork, given his circumstances - but Beau doesn't have time for Geno to dwell on it. Firmly shoving his questions and doubts to the back of his mind to be dealt with later, he nods. "I'll do," he said. "Is my linemate," he adds when Sidney opens his mouth to object, probably on principle. Whatever his personal preferences for sexual partners, he’s a good captain. And Beau is still Geno’s linemate, at least until Duper finally retires and Beau moves up to Sidney's wing.

Dr Harner doesn't give them time to argue about it, in any case. "You've got half an hour. If the fever hasn't broken by then, never mind the heat itself, Sidney, you'll have to go as well." Everyone nods their unhappy assent, and then Geno rises to follow Dr. Harner back to the rear compartment. All planes are required to be equipped with a scent-sealed compartment for emergencies, though it’s still considered a huge scandal if one ever needs to be used. Geno has a minute to collect his bearings while Dr Harner unseals the compartment, but it’s all for naught when Geno steps inside.

He doesn’t notice Chris slipping past and sealing the compartment behind him again. Beau's scent is thick in the air, sweet but with the faintest sour taint that sets all his alpha instincts, usually well-leashed, leaping to attention. This is a distressed omega, nevermind how the heat started. Beau is sweat-drenched and writhing weakly on the narrow bed, skin flushed red and eyes, when Geno catches sight of them, glassy and unseeing. "Oh, Sunshine," he murmurs softly in Russian as he steps up and hovers a hand over his helpless linemate. "I'll make this better, I promise."

---

 

Sidney can't get his mind to settle, unable to focus on anything more than checking the time on his phone obsessively as he waits. So he’s expecting it when Dr Harner fetches him from his seat by a slumbering Flower half an hour after he left with Geno. "I'm sorry, Sid. Geno's not enough - we need you to go back."

Sidney swallows hard. Bonding. God. Still, he knows his responsibilities, and they’re friends as well as team. He’ll suck it up and deal with the consequences after everyone is alive to deal with the consequences. "All right."

“You need to understand that it's a series of reactions,” Dr Harner says, putting on hand on Sidney’s shoulder as he guides him to the back of the plane. “Knotting triggers the nerves and sends messages through his endocrine system that say the need to breed is being met. Unfortunately, that’s not enough in this case. His brain isn’t satisfied with just stimulation. It needs more than that. We’re trying to flip a neurochemical off switch and the typical trigger isn’t enough so when you go in there you need to focus on the key elements so we can get his fever down as fast as possible.”

“But I thought-“

“That doesn’t negate the need for knotting, no, but knotting alone apparently isn’t enough. The other focuses need to be skin contact and exposure to seminal fluid, which should create the pheromone response and allow for the absorption of enzymes he needs.” They get to the door and Dr. Harner squeezes his shoulder. “If your attempts don’t at least bring back coherency in thirty,” Dr. Harner swallows hard and squeezes his shoulder again. “One of you needs to come get us. We’ll- Come get us.”

Sidney pushes down a shudder and nods. He can do this. His teammates are in there. They need him, and he isn’t going to let it come down asking for help. Dr. Harner didn’t spell it out but they both know failure means losing Beau.

He takes a deep breath of clean, unscented air. Failure is not an option. He wraps that thought around himself like goalie padding, before he opens the door to the airtight compartment and steps inside.

Soundproofing never occurred to Sidney until he steps inside. Of course an emergency compartment is airtight because everyone knows what heat smells like, but sound? God, the thought never crossed his mind that they’d protect the rest of the passengers from the noise.

Sidney’s prepared to see them naked and wound around each other. Geno’s thickly accented chanting of "I know. I know you hurt but everything is okay. Is all okay, shh, shh, I am here for you. It's okay to come back, Sunshine, ” over Beau’s mindless sobs freezes him solid. It costs them all precious moments for Sidney to break free and cross to the left of two narrow bunks in the heat room.

Beau is draped across Geno’s lap, knotted and sobbing. He’s clawing at Geno’s shoulders, rocking back and forth on his knot while he gazes unseeing at the wall over Geno’s shoulder. Geno pets his back, stroking his skin and holding him close, his steady stream of comfort words pouring out like water over Della Falls. They’re both dripping sweat like they’ve just finished triple overtime and Sidney lets himself look away as he strips and moves to the bed.

When the wild smell of Alpha-Omega mating hits him, making him hard and flushed, Sidney feels profound relief. He wasn’t sure, deep down, if he’d be able to do this. The whole situation is so unappealing - from the horrible consent issues, to the emptiness where Beau’s spirit should be, to the addition of this invasive element where Sid feels he’s intruding on something private between Geno and Beau. On top of everything else, Sidney has never been very interested in sex to begin with. After his first heat, sex was just hypothetical and unimportant - compared to friendship and family and hockey he didn’t really see the appeal beyond the long game of having a family of his own. Before the scent brings his cock to full awareness, a part of Sidney was scared he wouldn’t be physically able to help.

Biology wins out, though and isn’t that just fucking hilarious? Biology is what got them into this situation. Biology is what’s going to allow Sidney to pull them out.

He covers Geno’s hands with his own for a moment before pressing himself against Beau’s back. Geno goes still then looks up at him. His eyes are red rimmed and his face is wet with more than just sweat. “Sid?”

“Yeah. It’s gonna be okay, Geno. We’ll fix this.”

“We will?” He looks so lost. Even before he learned English, Geno never looked this desperate for answers. “Sid, you sure?”

“Of course. You and me? We’ve got this. You take care of him, I’ll just, you know-” Sidney blushes because there’s no delicate way to say ‘jerk off on him’ without sounding horribly awkward.

“Okay.”

“Let me know as soon as you can unlock from him - as soon as you can.”

“Yes, I, uh, can do that. Am getting smaller now.”

Sidney closes his eyes and presses his mouth to back of Beau’s neck. He tastes as good as he smells, setting off lights in Sidney’s mind that the sights and sounds just can’t evoke in him. Even this is more evolutionary than emotional, or even truly sexual. He focuses on the impulses as he sinks into the taste and the smell as he strokes himself fast and hard. He bites down gently, instinct overriding thought. Beau whimpers, his head dropping forward in submission. That feels good, feels right, sends his alpha nature into overdrive the way dominating on the ice makes him feel high as a kite, only more, better, higher, deeper fuck yes. That’s what it takes to get him there, the cheat code to the video game that is his uncooperative dick. Sidney comes hard and fast, splattering against the skin of Beau’s back.

The pleasure for Sidney is barely physical, but the triumph is a hell of a rush. The smell is making him hard again already but that’s good. That has to be good. His internal clock is ticking just like it does on the ice, planning the next move even as he finishes his current action.

The thick, wet mix of precome and semen covering his right hand makes Sidney switch hands reflexively because what sane person wants that kind of mess on their body? Of course, they are dealing with a triggered heat, not sanity, Sidney reminds himself, grimacing at the mess. Before he can wipe it onto Beau's back, a flash of insight crosses his mind. Exposure, that’s the key. Sidney doesn’t second guess himself when he reaches around and presses his wet fingers to Beau’s lips.

Beau doesn’t say anything and Sidney hesitates. If this doesn’t work then…he doesn’t know what. He’s out of ideas. Then Geno’s huge hand wraps around his wrist and guides him in until his fingertips rest flat on the center of Beau’s tongue. Beau chokes for a second then seals his lips around Sidney’s two fingers and groans. His tongue swirls around the digits, between them. Sidney’s index and middle fingers are both clean when Beau opens his mouth and whimpers for more. He slides his other two fingers in, repeating the move then giving Beau his palm to lap at like a puppy.

The smell is what brings Sidney off again but he catches it in his palm instead. He feels ridiculous, like he fell out of one of Flower’s pornos. That doesn’t stop Beau from licking it up, or Sidney from rubbing the remains into the skin of Beau’s face around his mouth and under his nose, where the scent would hit him hardest.

“Does he look better?” Sidney asks, still curved around Beau’s back.

“I don’t know,” Geno replies. He pushes Beau’s hair off his forehead, then presses his lips to the skin there. Sid watches and feels his breath catch at the gentle intimacy of the gesture. His mom used to check him and Taylor for fevers like that, only this is so much more. “I think yes?” He studies Beau’s face with his heart in his eyes. “Maybe I just want to think yes.”

Sidney reaches between them and feels blindly for the place where the two are joined. Beau’s skin feels slippery from where his slick has dripped out before they locked together. The rim is stretched taut around Geno’s knot but there’s give there. He applies pressure with his index and middle fingers for all of thirty seconds before Beau opens all at once, enough for Sidney’s fingers to slide in to the second knuckle alongside Geno’s knot. It’s soaking wet inside with Beau’s slick and Geno’s come, so much so it dribbles down the back of Sidney’s hand over his wrist.

“Oh god, fuck,”Beau screams, actually screams. His hands flail into fists in Geno’s hair. “Oh God, oh God, fuck me. God, oh god, fuck.”

“Beau?” Geno says his name like it's something between a prayer and a plea. Intruding on the intimacy makes Sid profoundly uncomfortable.

Beau pulls hard on Geno’s hair in response. From this angle that’s all Sidney can see, but he can hear the shock and relief in Beau’s voice when he asks, “Geno?”

“Da, is me, Sunshine. Everything’s a-okay.“

“No. Geno. I can’t.” Beau pants, breathless. He pushes forward so his brow is tight against Geno’s forehead. “Can’t breathe. Fuck me. God, just fucking fuck me okay? I need- I- I’m- ah-“ He grinds down on them both and Sidney tries to move his fingers in cooperation, but Beau’s twisting and bucking does most of the work.

Geno's knot is deflating rapidly and Sidney’s fingers are helping to fill the empty space but the arrangement is hardly optimal. They've got to be able to do better than this. If they want to truly break this heat, they'll have to. Geno meets his eyes over Beau's shoulder and a single curt nod of Geno's head tells Sidney that he's reached the same conclusion.

“Let me.“ Geno puts both hands on Beau’s hips and lifts him but Beau clings.

“No! No, don’t leave me, please, I’ll be good. Please don’t-“

Geno cuts him off with a kiss, deep and hot with tongue that’s visible to Sidney as it fucks into Beau’s mouth. “Sunshine is good,” Geno promises. “Sunshine best.”

“But then,” Beau trails off, losing the thought, flushed and glassy eyed. “Stay.” He tugs at Geno's lower lip with his teeth then starts to mouth at his jaw, a wordless attempt to convince him.

“Hey, it’s okay kid,” Sidney says. Beau’s no more of a kid than either of them but Sidney's brain has clicked into captain mode so nicknames are allowed. Anything goes so long as things run smoothly and all goals are achieved. Luckily, Sidney's particularly good when it comes to goals - literal and figurative. So, okay. He's got this. “This position doesn’t seem to be working so we’re just going to move a little. We can take better care of you that way.”

“I stay, Sunshine,” Geno soothes, pressing kisses to Beau’s face everywhere he can reach. “Just I need to be making you feel good.”

"So this might hurt but you trust us, right?" Sidney says, because this he can do. He can captain his team, take care of his guys. "You know we've got your back."

"Yeah but it- it hurts and I'm so hot. I'm burning." There are tears in Beau's eyes, making the blue glow in the bright plane lighting. They roll down his lovely face in slow streaks. “I’m gonna burn away,” he whispers. Sidney takes that for what it truly means. I’m afraid.

"Yeah, with that kind of attitude," Sidney snaps. "Pull it together for me. I need you to take a deep breath because this might hurt, okay?"

"Okay, Sid."

Sidney counts down from three silently, moving only his lips, and when he gets to one, together, they carefully maneuver Beau off of Geno. Geno’s knot is about halfway down, and alone it could've torn something, but this way it only makes Beau wince a little. Disconnected, Geno lies back on the narrow bed and Sidney does his best to get Beau on his knees between Geno's open thighs. It's a decent plan except as soon as Sidney lets go, Beau sprawls forward over Geno's chest. He tucks his knees up on either side of Geno's hips, presenting says a voice in the back of Sidney's mind that sounds a lot like his Grade 8 health teacher, and burying his face in Geno's neck, mouthing at the skin there as though the taste might finally end his hunger.

"Sid, hard?" Geno asks and Sidney shakes his head. Heat hormones may work better than Viagra but coming twice in fifteen minutes is a lot even so. He needs a second, and apparently so does Geno. He's moved his hands though, gone from soothing pets of Beau's back to gripping the globes of Beau's ass, kneading with strength that makes the omega whimper. "Then your hand," Geno says. "Use it. I help you."

Asking is on the tip of Sidney's tongue but Geno is suddenly holding Beau open to him and, okay then. Right. His hand. That sort of...actually makes sense, Sidney realizes, looking down at his hand then up at Beau's shivering body and hole, which was still a reddened mess of come and slick. It's just another way to knot. His first two fingers slide inside so easily Beau doesn't even respond, so he jumps to four because time lost is Beau lost, and that seems to work. Beau is cursing again, absolute nonsense mostly, just expletives over and over with the occasional more, harder, or deeper thrown in for the sake of direction.

Getting his thumb inside takes just a little effort but when he slips inside Beau to the wrist, hot and slippery and so tight inside he's afraid he might lose his hand, he can actually feel Beau come. It's the strangest fucking thing. His internal muscles ripple around Sidney's palm and his thighs shake against Sidney's arms and he can actually feel Beau's heartbeat around his fingertips. Sidney finds himself blinking back tears, unsure where they came from.

"Good, God, that's good," Beau groans into Geno's skin. Sidney agrees because that's the most coherent Beau’s been so far. "S' not enough. Make a fist, 'kay? Make it and-and-and then I'll lock. It'll be...it'll be..."

Doesn't really matter what it will be because Sidney isn't going to wait for Beau to push through and tell him. He has a plan of action, he’s going to take it. Curling his hand into the proper shape is a slow, careful process that has Beau gushing down his arm. The smell is so overwhelming that by the time he tucks in his thumb he’s hard again. Beau is back to his sobs, although they are quiet and hitched instead of loud and plaintive, and Geno has switched completely to Russian, drunk on the smell of Beau and hard again even as he gently rubs at the rim where Sidney's wrist disappears inside.

Sidney's never knotted with someone. He's not particularly sure how it's supposed to work, practically speaking. He doesn't know the ins-and-outs of how everything works. However, he's got years of endurance training to work with and more upper-body stamina and power than Beau's body can resist. Literally folding Beau into submission, watching Geno maneuvering him onto his hands and knees after his knuckles force the second orgasm out of his body, makes Sidney feel like he just achieved an impossible goal.

He chuckles, just a tiny bit, when he realizes duh, of course, that's why they call sex scoring. Beau seems calmer now, although that could just be because he can't swear up a storm with Geno's cock down his throat.

The more pleasure Beau gets, the faster his sweat seems to cool on his skin. Sidney rests his hand on Beau's lower back to brace himself and the burn under his palm is almost gone, active warmth rather that a fever burn. They're doing this right. All they have to do is keep going, and Sidney can totally do that. His wrist isn't even tired yet. In fact, he's pretty sure that in the next ninety seconds or so, he can give Beau a proverbial hat trick.

~*~*~