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the beauty and wonder of fireworks

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Milo doesn't have to say much else as Jensen and Jared both bolt from their bed; Jensen dons a pair of plaid lounge pants and Jared's chocolate brown hoodie and Jared puts on another of Jensen's robes that he likes to wear over bed clothes, like a housecoat. They trail behind Milo who brings them into Chad's empty bedroom.

“Where's Delta?” That's the first thing Jared asks, as Jensen pushes past him to advance toward the bed.

“I swear, man...” Milo follows up the rear, holding out his hands, palms forward. “...she was here.” he furrows his forehead to wonder where she scampered off to. “She's the one who pulled me into the room.”

Jensen climbs onto the bed from the left and Jared moves bedside on the right. “His color looks fine.” Jensen touches forehead and cheeks. “He's still warm, not cool at all.”

Jared feels for Chad's pulse on the limp right arm. “It's very faint...breathin's steady and even.” He places a hand over Chad's heart, pressing to massage with just fingertips. “It's a good solid beat, but there's a slight tick or a, uhm...hiccup...so faint.”

Jensen sits on his heels and the back of his calves, clamping his hands over his thighs. “What is he, like, in a sleep trance?”

“I've seen this in advanced guides...” Jared recalls he and Chad had talked about this very thing last night. “They step out of their bodies to allow all energy to heal.”

“Heal what?” Milo steps in with a stuttered breath. “...I-I-I mean, both Jay and I know there's no 'pup'.” he softens his voice to a hush. “There can't be.”

Jared speaks over his shoulder to Milo who is making his way to the bed with deliberate steps. “Not all hurts are medical or physical.”

Milo's still confused that he had left last night in such a good vibe and nothing had gone wrong and then suddenly it all seemed to fall apart. “...but, he had a good mating with Delta, right?” He knew if there had been anything that went completely wrong with the session he would've known. “Got her through her heat an'—?”

There's a sharp noise that pierces the long pause.

All three men's heads turned as they can hear Liam's tiny whimpering and wailing echoing through the bathroom. Delta is cradling and rocking him to calm, walking out of the open doorway. Milo is quieted by the Beta's rapt attention to his 'pup' despite Chad's predicament, but then he had kind of skipped out on her and left Liam in his portable crib near his doorway into the bath. Delta had been focused on Liam in her wolf form; no reason she wouldn't be the same in her human form.

“What do we do, Jay?” Jensen secures a hand on Chad's left shoulder.

“Call your friend, uh...Dr. Torres. Tell him the situation—that Chad's hidden medical issue may have surface to a bad place where his body's taking over. He might know what to do to get Chad to, at least, be somewhat awake and coherent, so we can...” Jared glances under the single top sheet covering Chad's naked frame. “...dress him.”

Jensen lifts a lone eyebrow up in question. “Think they'd want him at the ER or in Torres' office?”

“Lets hope it's the office...” Jared snortles softly, shaking his head as an image rolls through his mind. “I can't see us sitting with him like this in a crowded ER.”

Milo walks to the bed, sitting near Chad's leg and latches a hand over the thigh under the covers. “Adrian's gone. So are Steve and Soph. I'm pretty sure Chris isn't here, either. I can't leave Liam, so, uhm...” He looks between Jared and Jensen. “You two will have to take him in.”

Jensen glances over at Delta who seems to be distracting herself with Liam, but still remains in the room, somewhere in the distance, pacing. “I'm not sure we should leave Delta with you, though she appears fine.” He twists his head to glance at Milo. “How did she first look?”

“eh, kinda freaked...” Milo alternates shrugging one shoulder at a time. “...an' pissed. At me.” He motions to himself, playing with his collar hem in nervous tension. “Like I had done something to Chad.”

“well...at least she's not crying or whimpering.” Jared mumbles out in case Delta can hear him. “I'm sure she's seen a few Omegas do this.” He rubs hard at an eye socket, still feeling a heady rush from being woken out of a dead sleep. “But I'm sure it's different when it's a human, and your mate.”

Jared looks down at Chad laying crookedly on the bed, kneeling at the side of the bedframe to comb back the blond locks. “Jen...do you mind taking him in?”

“No, I don't. Lemme go get my phone and call Rey.” Jensen slides off the mattress and runs out of the room.

...shit!” Milo is disgusted with himself, averting his head to then come back around, tilting his head back to look up at his brother Omega. “Should we have picked up on this sooner, bro? I mean...” He tightens his grip on Chad's leg, taking a hard swallow. “We've known all this time that there was no 'pup', yet we allowed him to carry on with this—” Milo sweeps his hand over Chad's entire body laying quiet and still.

“Stop it, Milo.” Jared hold sup one hand to ward off Milo's diatribe. “Don't do this.” he can already hear Milo starting to rip into Chad. “He's not a child and he's not an idiot.”

“I know he's not...jesus...as pack, don't we have to look out for each other?”

“Sure. But...if the pack member won't let you near them, won't invite you in...” Jared places the back of one hand in the other's palm to stress his point. “...you have to give them the space to do what they need. He's an adult and his own man, despite how you treat him.”

...hey!” Milo puts up his hands in his own defense. “Why is this suddenly 'jump on fuckin' Milo's back' morning?”

Jared shakes his head in complete disagreement with Milo. “Delta's not upset with you.” He lifts his chin up, his jaw tightening with some tension for the situation not toward Milo. “And you know you've treated Chad poorly ever since you knew how much he admired you...” Jared hates attacking Milo for this one reason alone, every time, but it's as if he's not even aware he actually does it, just lets it happen. “You knew you could manipulate him.”

“I don't...” Milo pushes his face into his shoulder to tamp down his need to snap back; he knows Jared is right, because he's often felt guilty immediately after picking on Chad. “I refuse to fight with you about my relationship with him. I treat him the way I treat everybody.”

“Except me...” Jared starts to count off the people that Milo has been treating decently in pack. “...an' Jensen...an' Steve and Sophia.” He gives out a forced chuckle, hands forming fists to place them on his hips. “You've even cut Chris some slack when you two were getting along, but...still you continue to treat Chad less like a brother—like he's...beneath you.”

“I don't...” Milo isn't able to finish his comment.

This time Delta pushes herself in between the two bickering Omegas. She takes Jared's hand, places it on Chad's belly, then snatches for Milo's hand and does the same, but places it on top of Jared's. She gives the both of them a stern look as if she's now fully aware that she been believing a lie all this time. Delta is highly upset with them that they never corrected her.

...christ...she knows.” Milo averts his head away in shame.

Jared reaches over to cover his brother Omega's hand. “I think she's been clouded by her growing love for Chad, made her blind to the truth.” He looks down at Delta, giving her a closer inspection in her hidden features by her mussed dark locks shaping her face. “She's upset more with herself. She knows she's better than some, uh...sickeningly sweet virgin who's stuck on romance.”

“I really wish she could talk.” Milo turns his head to look at Delta, then bows his head in mild shame. “I think she's still pissed at me, no matter what you say.”

Jared mutters under breath his fingers working along Milo's skin on his hand. “Probably the same thing I just yelled at you about.”

Milo looks down at the floor. “You're right. I do...” He closes his eyes as he grips Jared's hand tight. “I haven't been the nicest brother Omega to Chad that I could be.” Milo shakes his head as he uses his other hand to scrape over his face, then along the side of his neck. “I don't know why I do what I do to him, even when I feel guilty right after.” He gives a slight shrug to one shoulder. “I guess I hate seeing weak or soft Omegas, who just give in to their Alphas, rather than have an opinion of their own.”

“He's not you, Mi'o. He never will be, but he tries to be an' he knows he fails you miserably. But...you have to know he's coming from a life of chaos and no one in control. No one to hold him responsible or giving him tasks to do. He needs the structure and the roles specified with the stupid rules. Or else he fears he'll fall back into his old ways. And...yeah, sometimes he makes mistakes, trusts the wrong people, but we all do that.” Jared bows his head and darts his eyebrows up once as if he's startled in his quiet admission. “I know I do.”

Delta paces away with the sounds of sniffling as she buries her face in Liam's thick dark hair.

Milo glances at Delta's retreating form, then to Jared. “I let Adrian knot me last night.”

Jared smirks, lifting an eyebrow. “...yeah? And?” He laughs because Milo had been ridiculous in his concerns about this issue that had never been a problem for the couple before. “You look like you're still in one piece.”

Milo shakes his head slowly. “Why didn't you tell me to stop freakin' out an' trust in my mate?”

Jared snorts with the shaking of his own head. “Mi'o...you have to live your own life and put some faith in your Alpha. You've got one of the best ones who would do anything to make you feel safe and never get hurt. What made you think he'd be any different now with the intimacy than when he had been when you first mated?” He smiles wide at the long-ago memory. “Still—hands down—one of the most sensual and sexiest matings I've ever been able to witness and be a small part of.”

Milo rolls his eyes, feeling the flush fill his face. “He's still got it...my Alpha...an' luckily my body remembers how to take him without pain.” He stares down at Chad. “I would've wished that for him...with Christian.” Milo lets his hand soothe along Chad's thigh. “I was hopeful we'd get him through his heat and actually be with him for his first knotting. Something he and I could've bonded over, but—yet again...” He motions his hand in mid-air to with a heavy sigh.

“...cut him some slack, Milo.”

...yeah, mi'o...cut me some mother-fuckin' slack, huh?

Jared and Milo take a collective gasp as Chad blinks to finally open his eyes.

Chad feels...odd. He looks up at the ceiling above his bed. “...shit...this must be what it's like to go to your own funeral.

Jared shoves lightly against his brother Omega's chest and he gets him to slowly sit upright, then, at bedside, he lifts off his knees to embrace Chad. “You heard us arguing, didn't you?”

“A little, but it was really distant.” Chad looks across the room at Delta who stares hard at him, then leaves the area holding Liam. He glances down at his hands and legs. “...wow...trippy...like I'm back in my own body.” Chad clears his throat. “Is she scared? Pissed at me? What?”

“No. And no. She seems angry at me, though.” Milo freely admits.

Chad nods his head. “I'm thirsty.”

Jared inches up off the floor. “I'll get you a glass of cold water. “

Milo slinks over as Jared enters the bathroom. “Don't do that again, man.” He bumps shoulders with Chad. “...that wasn't fun.”

“...m'sorry...” Chad bows his head, slouching his body.

“No, Chad...don't—jesus...here I go...about ready to rip into you.”

“Why not? This is my fault. Everything I'm in, I've put myself there. No one else to blame.”

“No...no, you haven't been to blame.” Milo turns to look at Chad from the side profile. “You just fell in love with a shitty and selfish Alpha who doesn't even know the first thing about taking care of himself. So...why would he know how to tend to you?” He clamps a hand on Chad's knee.

“Believe me...” Chad slaps his hand over Milo's and latches onto the fingers. “...being with Delta last night, making the choice not to fuck...my eyes have been opened to how weak and soft I've been.”

“Chad...” Milo's a little disturbed because those were the very words he had used to speak about Chad while he had been unconscious.

Chad elbows Milo in the ribs. “You really wanted me to go through my heat an' first knotting like you had?”

“Hells, yeah, man. It kinda lets you know what Omega is supposed to be about.”

Chad leans heavily into Milo's side. “I like knowin' you'd've been here with me. I keep tryin' to make you proud of me, I'm not doin' a very good job.”

“...well, I need to be a better brother to you inside of this pack.” Milo likes the feel of Chad's warmth stuck to his side. It feels and scents different than he thought. “I'm proud of you...with all this stuff with Delta. That can't be easy...” He lifts his head to look at Jared strolling back into the room. “...thinking she should want to mate with an Alpha.”

Chad sits up straight, holding out his hands for the glass Jared had come back with. “...thanks, Jared.”

“I checked on Delta. She's just rockin' Liam to sleep.” Jared seats himself on the floor, but then immediately gets back up. “...shit! I'll be back. I gotta go tell Jensen you're awake.” He touches Chad's flushed face, getting him to look up at him. “You know you're going to the doctor's today, right?”

Chad smiles, nodding his head as he kisses Jared's hand. “...yeah, man...I need to find out what this shit is.” he rubs absently at his temple then down over his stomach. “I feel...strangely better, like a 'fog' has been lifted...an' I can see ahead of me better.”

“Good. I'm happy to hear that.” Jared exits, closing the door.

Chad stares at the water left in the glass he hasn't swallowed down.

“I wanna see you drink it all, Chad.”

“I will. I'm just...” Chad slinks an arm across his stomach. “...so Delta doesn't feel like there's a life in here, either?”

“...yes.” Milo lets the silence waft between them instead of filling it with his bullshit. “I think that's why she freaked. She has some idea you, or one of us, did something to make it disappear. Then...well, we kept lying to her.”

“She's a spiritual guide, as well.” Chad shakes his head, not sure if he'll be able to gain ground with Delta at this point. “Can't feel too pleased she was led astray by simple feelings and emotions for me.”

“Shows how much she does care.” Milo gently elbows Chad's side. “How much faith and belief she has. Some mates don't even have that.”

Chad tucks his arm through Milo's elbow, leaning his head on the broad shoulder. “Did I really scare you?” He's asking in sincere fascination, because there's something different and quite moving in Milo's tone with him.

“...yes...you crazy fucker...” Milo hooks his arm with Chad's, leaning on blond strands. “Despite all these years of you feeling like I was puttin' you beneath me, I still cared...still hold affections for you. They've never gone away, man. I'm just...” He turns to press his mouth to the soft hair. “...tough for me to love anyone. Ask Jared...or Adrian. I think I test each person, like if they can't stand all my annoyances, then they aren't worth my time.”

“...god...then you must really love me.” Chad lets out a soft silly grin against Milo's shirt, leaning his right cheek on the broad shoulder. “I'm still here an' you haven't chased me away.”

“I'm glad.” Milo doesn't mind speaking to the back of Chad's head; he likes the feel of those long fingers over his back, along his spine. “I don't know what I'd do if I lost you, bro.”

“...m'still here. I'm not goin' anywhere.” Chad gently scratches over Milo's back in tiny circle formations.

==&&==&&==&&==

Jared walks through Jensen's open office door.

uh-huh...yeah, yeah...right...hold on, Rey...” Jensen covers the mouthpiece. “Is he okay?”

Jared smiles and heaves a huge sigh. “Even better...he woke up. I left him with Milo and got him to drink a full glass of water. He was thirsty.”

Jensen gets back on the line with Rey. “...well, seems our patient woke up on his own. He's already taken in a full glass of water.” He nods his head as he spins his chair around. “...okay...good, good...yes, I can do that. Perfect. Then, uh...I guess I will see you then.” Jensen throws his cell phone to land heavy on his desk, a bit frustrated with the hurried chain of events that woke he and Jared out of bed and had them scrambling around. He rubs a hand over his eyes and scrapes along his jawline. “...god...that was a nightmare-and-a-half...” He places the hand on his cheek, elbow on the armrest. “...how are they doing upstairs, really?”

Jared makes his way over, arms folded over his chest as he grips his biceps and tries to still wake out of the haziness he'd been in while coming out of such a deep, undisturbed sleep. He sits on the edge of the desk, close to Jensen's knees, yawning into his hand. “...oh, man...they seem to be patching up years of their imbalances...of Milo ripping into Chad at every turn, while Chad makes one mistake after another.” He smiles from one corner of his mouth. “It's the typical Omega way...accepting blame and shouldering guilt before schlepping it on someone else. Especially when it's two Omegas at once.”

Jensen closes his eyes and shakes his head, holding out his hand for Jared to take. Jared gives him his fingers and effortlessly moves to sit on Jensen's lap, embracing his Alpha close to his heart. Jensen just deep breathes and shuts his lids to absorb his mate's presence, never more happy to have Jared here than in these types of frightening moments. Someone to lean on who won't mind his weakened state. “Rey's a bit leery to make any kind of diagnosis over the phone but he is curious to why Chad's seems to be sleeping deeper and deeper each time we find him and try to wake him.”

“This one was the worst. I promise you...” Jared clamps a hand into the material of the hoodie at the back, shaking his mate. “...had Milo or I ever caught Chad in this type of state...we wouldn't have blown it off as Chad simply being lethargic or listless.” He covers his eyes hoping to wash his mind of this memory over the next few days, once Chad is into his healing process completely. “I don't ever want to see any pack member like that again. He looked...”

...dead.” Jensen opens his eyes and leans back to tilt his head up. “It's okay...it's how it can only be described. I mentioned to Rey that we found him with a faint pulse, the even breathing and then the steady heart with that slight 'blip' that you swore you felt.” He raises one eyebrow and shrugs a shoulder. “He seemed more concerned about the heart-thing since we've never mentioned this to him before.”

“It's the first time I felt it...Milo, too.” Jared reaches out to caress over Jensen's cheek. “How you doin' with this?” He rubs down the chest wall to soothe over, then under the hoodie; he can feel the frantic beats racing even though his Alpha looks fairly relaxed. Jared leans in to nudge then nuzzle the side of Jensen's head, scraping back the short dirty blond locks. “...you're all right, love...”

“...I know...” Jensen mumbles into the robe of his that Jared wears. It's going to be awhile before he's ready to get up and move; Jared simply settles his arm around his shoulders and waits patiently with him.

==&&==&&==&&==

Jared and Jensen go back to their bedroom; Jensen takes a shower while Jared watches Liam and Delta. He cradles the 'pup' in his arm, laying on the left side of the huge bed. Delta curls herself into a ball, her head on Jared's lap while she burrows under thick covers. As he soothes Liam to sleep, Jared does the same with Delta as he finger-combs through her hair to massage the scalp. She hugs her stuffed lamb to her chest and still wears Chad's old hockey jersey. Jensen wanders out in just a towel, stunned to see Jared with Liam and Delta.

Jared shrugs his shoulders. “Don't ask.” He gestures his head toward the wall in the direction of Milo and Chad's bedroom. “Milo's taking care of Chad, getting him showered and dressed.”

Jensen dries his hair, then his naked body as he puts on a pair of briefs and a t-shirt he had grabbed for earlier. He walks over to his closet and picks out an outfit, trying to remember he has a lunch meeting with Bradley. “Should we be concerned that World War III might happen?”

Jared lets out a light airy chuckle with the shake of his head as he leans back on the wooden headboard. “eh, I think you'd be surprised how genuine Milo is about patching his relationship with Chad up.”

And Jared had never made a more honest statement.

Milo watches Chad like a hawk. And even though he had already taken a shower earlier with Adrian, once Chad is undressed and stepping behind the plastic curtain, Milo undresses, following his brother Omega in. Chad stiffens, not sure what Milo will do, but then Milo reaches over his shoulder to grab the sponge and a soap bar; he lathers the sponge and begins to wash Chad, starting at his hunched back, on nape and across shoulders. Milo isn't ashamed of Chad's nudity, or his own, nor does he linger in the more intimate places. Milo is cool and calm about sponging his brother Omega down. He spins Chad around at one point and starts from the feet moving all the way up to the neck. Chad is nervous, not because he fears arousal, but because Milo has never tried to be this close to him before. Though Milo is trying to show how unaffected he is by being a bit forceful in his washing, Chad can tell that with a few more tries he can probably have Milo with him where he didn't feel like he owed Chad something.

Milo climbs out of the shower after helping shampoo Chad's hair and dunks him under several times, getting him to smile and laugh. Milo snatched two towels, one for him and one to dry Chad off, then scrubs at his wet head. Chad has to admit that he could grow used to this type of attention...Milo attending to him, but he's capable of caring for himself, so it's useless. But this was nice to allow Milo to touch him, take care of him and help dress him. When Chad is fully dressed, he pulls Milo to sit down with him on the mattress. He has the sensation that Milo fears letting him out of his sight, too afraid that if Chad leaves him or he's left alone in his bedroom that he'd shut his eyes and never wake again. Chad hates knowing he has put this kind of fear in Milo, someone he truly loves and would give the world not to hurt.

...hey...

...what?” Milo snaps back, not meaning to be gruff, but Chad smirks and takes it in stride.

Chad shuffles to lay back on his pillows, leaning high on the headboard. He pats his chest, adjusting one leg wide to show Milo where he wants him. Reluctantly, Milo crawls into position, laying on Chad's chest and caught between those long legs. Milo doesn't expect to feel so comfortable or content, closing his eyes and letting Chad touch and caress him. Fingers through his long black strands, light nailbeds scratching over his back and legs hooking around limbs to lock him into position. Milo feels the kiss to the top of his head, the soft touch to his nape and then a cheek resting on his hair.

“Talk to me...'bout anything. Take my mind off what's 'bout to happen to me.”

Anything?” Milo wraps his arms around Chad's right arm and rest on the right shoulder and upper chest

“...please...distract me. What's this thing about Adrian finally knotting you? You mean...since you've had Liam?”

“uh, yeah...” Milo lifts his head to move so he can see Chad's face. “You sure you wanna hear this?”

“yes...”

“It's laced with 'pup' talk, mostly...well, somewhat. I don't wanna...”

Chad cups Milo's neck. “I'm not some delicate flower. I'm also not so dumb to not be aware that you'll talk about your 'pup' with me. I'm okay...it's okay. While I am sad about the whole idea that there was never anything there...I'm grateful because I wouldn't want a 'pup' to grow up with the father Alpha or mother Omega not being in their right minds. I was wrong to think a pregnancy would make Chris want me more—not if he truly didn't love me before...” Chad stops talking, shutting his eyes as Milo darts up to kiss his lower jaw, close to his mouth, then buries his face in his neck. One arm comes around Chad's neck and shoulders. Chad shapes Milo's torso and one hand settles at the back of the head. “...hey-hey...I know—I'm good. Better than good, I'm great.”

“I shoulda been here for you. I won't make that mistake again.”

“...all right...now, bring me up to speed with Adrian. It's been too long since I've been able to talk 'bout Alphas and knotting.”

==&&==&&==&&==

Once Jensen completely gets dressed, adding his jacket and shoes, he goes out and warms the SUV in the driveway.

Milo finally re-dresses in his clothing and takes over Liam's care. He says “goodbye” to Chad in the second floor hallway; he one-arm hugs Chad tight, Liam curious to why it looks like both adults are in tears. Milo merges foreheads, giving Chad a quick peck on the lips and retreats back into his bedroom. Delta is already downstairs, pacing. Jared is waiting at the front door with a mismatched patchwork quilt open to wrap around Chad since he notices the Omega's been shivering.

“Wha's that for?” Chad lets Jared cocoon him in the quilt fabric.

“It's us. Smells like the pack—one of the quilts off the living room couch.”

Chad nods his head, looking down at the material and tearing up again. “I can't stop shaking.”

“ssshhh....” Jared pulls Chad into his arms, quilt and all. “...you're scared. You are allowed to be.” He kisses Chad's hair, cupping the back of the head and nape. “You're gonna be fine. Just remember we're all with you...an' so proud of you. We love you so much...only want the best for you—for you to get better.”

“...I know.” Chad's voice cracks with emotions. “Never felt it as much as I do now. I swear...I'm like a cat with 9 lives—keep reinventing myself. I liked how I was last night. Everything I did...how you guided me with Delta. You left an'...I was still that same Chad, the one I like. It felt so right to be him.”

Jared places his palms on Chad's cheeks, looking into his eyes. “You are him. You can't lose that. We won't let you lose that.”

Jensen walks down the hall to the foyer with a traveling mug of steaming coffee. He side-eyes Delta pacing in the formal living room. “Has she come over at all?”

“No.” Chad chokes out as he glances at his mate with lowered lids. “Can't tell if she's scared or pissed at me.”

“Probably both...”

“Should I even—?”

“Go to her, Chad. I think she's waited long enough.” Jared pushes Chad toward the open room, then takes one step back to stand shoulder to shoulder with Jensen.

Jensen stares along with Jared, but has to look away when Chad envelopes Delta under the quilt with him and both Omega and Beta become one. “...jesus...” He shakes his head, taking a sip of coffee.

Jared gazes a little longer, but then turns to face his Alpha. “We did that, you know.”

...huh?

“We didn't make them feel the arousal to mate or the affections that blossomed, but our support and acceptance of them...of what we can see between them...that's us.”

Jensen bows his head, smirking. “Can we take blame for Sophia and Steve as well?”

Jared raises both eyebrows. “We could, but that was every bit of you as lead Alpha.” He adamantly shakes his head in disagreement. “No...this one is our first, and I hope not our last.”

“I wouldn't even know where to begin to find single pack members.” Jensen rubs over his brow, then scratches lightly at his scalp. “I always thought it best to bring in an established couple, then work from there with what they felt was missing.”

“That's never a bad thing, but—-I don't know...” Jared folds his arms, hands grabbing the meaty portion of his biceps. “I kind of like this 'young love' that can mature and grow further outward.” He motions his hands out from his own body, around his general area of his heart. He cups under his own chin, rubbing along his jawline. “You should consider finding a single Alpha...maybe two.”

“Why?” Jensen wrinkles his brow in confusion. “Chris is already mated with Chad.”

“so...” Jared frowns with some displeasure. “...you just assume Chris and Delta will...magically want to mate too?”

Jensen looks over at the mated couple as he speaks. “It's not fair to Chad who hasn't even worked out things with Chris.”

Jared moves to stand a bit directly in his Alpha's line of vision, getting him to look at him. “...an' it's not very fair to expect Delta will narrow her sights and just embrace Chris.” He glances over his shoulder toward Chad and Delta, lowering his voice. “She loves Chad and won't see him hurt. She'll want Chris to prove himself worthy...eh, that is—” Jared swipes over his face, not sure what they'll come up against with the Beta's appointment tomorrow. “—christ!—if she can even take on an Alpha as a mate or wants one.”

“...well, hopefully we'll find that out soon.” Jensen clears his throat, turning away again to talk with Jared. “If I'm still with Chad, you'll take her in?”

“Yes.” Jared nods his head as he answers, then motions his hand toward himself. “Milo and I will, of course.” He lowers his voice to barely a whisper. “You think Chad will still be away from home?”

Jensen nods his head, keeping silent for a brief time as he averts his eyes and head. “Something big is laying dormant within. It can't be so easily brushed off and sent away with a 'take 2 aspirins and call me in the morning'...”

Chad wanders back over, hand tightly gripped with both of Delta's. “I guess I'm ready.” He pulls his hand away, cupping Delta's face. He watches her scurry to stand behind and cling to Jared. He touches Jared's chest and lets him kiss and pet his hand; he squeezes tight in reassurance. “...c'mon, Jen...le's go before I change my mind.” He exits out the front door, leaving the paneling open for Jensen to walk through.

...shit...I'll try to find times to call with updates. Hopefully, it's not too dire that I can't leave to go see Bradley.” Jensen leans in and up to kiss Jared, meshing faces and nudging in comfort. “...mmm...wish you were coming with.”

“...me, too.” Jared sinks backward as Jensen moves down to sift fingers through Delta's thick, long hair as she bends low and lets him kiss her brow.

Delta brings her hands around to grab Jensen's coat and tries to embrace him without being rough and sloppy with her silly tears.

Jensen tucks her deeper into his neck and shoulder, almost rocking her to calm. “...love you—both...”

“We know.” Jared tucks Delta under his arm to his side. “Love you...be safe...”

Jensen simply nods and exits out the front door with a quiet and solid shut of the paneling.

Delta whimpers as she twists to bury her face away.

“I know, love, I know...” Jared secures an arm tight around Delta to hold her close. “I feel it too.”

==&&==&&==&&==

When Jensen and Chad stroll into Dr. Rey Torres' office, Jensen is able to notice the physician at the front desk as if he had been waiting for their arrival. Rey waves Jensen over to come through the single doorway off the waiting room. Chad trails behind, trying not to look at all the curious eyes watching him as he still remains wrapped in the quilt Jared had placed him in. He keeps his head bowed, standing just at the right of his lead Alpha, near the back so he can look down and watch Jensen's feet shuffle, the causal way he tucks hands into his jean pockets and the legs bowing when he's at a stand still.

All else is white noise to Chad as he's not even brought into Dr. Torres' office, but left outside a general traffic area for staff to wait beside Jensen for them to prepare an exam room for him. They've made sure that the office workers are put on alert with oxygen and a crash cart just in case, but Chad doesn't pay attention to that as he simply reaches out, untucking his left arm from under the quilt material and snags Jensen's hand. What he loves is...Jensen is unafraid of squeeze back, holding tighter, almost tucking Chad's forearm close to his body so the Omega isn't alone or made to feel lonely. The way Chad attaches to Jensen's side and leans his flushed cheek on the broad shoulder makes it look as if this is his mated Alpha, but Chad doesn't care; he likes the envy he can see filling the various female faces looking back at him with a gleam in their eyes as if they truly do care about him and his health. This is much different from his cold, brutish and almost-invisible day at the pack free clinic.

There's an organization to the hustle and bustle going on around them, with Dr. Torres and another commanding tone verbally ordering everyone to make certain the area behind these walls runs smoothly so that the patients don't know what utter chaos exists. It's as if Jensen and Chad are being given a privileged view as they scramble to accommodate their new patient that has an emergent appointment switched to today—right now—rather than tomorrow mid-morning.

Chad is grateful for Jared giving him the quilt, he's finding he often needs to sniff and rub his face over the softness to be calmed into some kind of contentedness or he'd go madly insane. It isn't too long before Jensen tugs gently on Chad's hand to set them in motion again; they have an exam room ready for him. Seems like Jensen is going to stay by his side as if he were his Alpha; Chad is beyond touched by Jensen's need to protect him since his own Alpha isn't here. He will delegate anything and everything to Jensen, if there needs to be a final decision on something major to do with his health. Since he is part of Jensen's pack, when his Alpha is no longer around, lead Alpha acts “by proxy” and can make choices as if he were the Omega's mate.

A young female nurse in pink scrubs and pristinely white sneakers takes him to a distant area down the hall where Chad's weight and height will be taken. Chad hands Jensen the quilt and his coat, slips off his own shoes and steps on the scale. As he stands there and his weight is jotted down in his crisp new file, she overextends a metal arm that will climb the wall and sit over his head to measure him. She gets him to step down and mentions he doesn't have to put on his shoes if he's comfortable in his socks; the carpet fibers underneath are soft and conform to the feet, whether in shoes or bare. The nurse puts the file, folded back, into a plastic bin off the side of the doorway molding and near the plaque that says “Exam Room 8”. She knocks on the door as if someone is already inside, then opens the paneling only a tiny bit so she can slip through.

Jensen and Chad simply stand against the wall and wait, yet again. They were prepared for this kind of flurry of activity that might be sped up and delayed several times before it got on track. Jensen hands Chad the quilt back, in fact he shakes it out to sail it over Chad's head so he can secure it around the Omega like Jared had done earlier.

“You look a bit warmer.” Jensen smooths his hands up and down Chad's biceps.

“It is warm in here, much more than outside, and I think I'm kind of over my whole 'fear'-thing.”

“Good.”

Chad keeps his head bowed, eyes to the floor. “You don't have to stay, you know. Not when you have to go meet that guy for lunch.” He grabs for Jensen's forearm to turn the wrist and see what time it is. It's amazing to him how fast the hours have gone by though it feels like it's been chugging along.

“I'm gonna wait until I hear back from Adrian.”

Chad nods his head, twisting around to look at Jensen as he spins to lean his left shoulder on the wall. “sooo...you, Adrian...and 'some guy'...” He drops chin to chest, his tone softening with a smirk. “...is this something to do with, uh...pack?”

“Yes.” Jensen nods his head, doing, and saying, nothing more.

“see...” Chad gently shoves Jensen a bit, letting his lead Alpha know how clued in he was to his secretive ways. “...'cuz usually you'd be taking Chris as your second Alpha but this time it's Adrian.” He thought about the idea a bit, then nodded his head like he agreed. “Makes sense, but...is there something happening that we'll find out about later?”

“Yes...” Jensen is keeping an eye on down the hall and to the door that's closed in front of them. “...probably by late Friday, early Saturday.”

Chad bends forward to almost lean on Jensen's right shoulder. “Any chance you can entertain me with this prospect as...sorry to be so melancholy but, I may not be around to find out?”

Jensen gently shoves at the Omega, like an older brother joking with his younger sibling. “Stop.” He became a bit uncomfortable by Chad's usage of words. “You're gonna be aroun', but...because you're behaving and quite adorable under that blankie of yours...” Jensen twists around to pull the edges of the quilt together as he brushes fingertips over Chad's cheeks. “I'll tell you.”

“...oh, goody...” Chad claps his hands rather hurriedly, making Jensen laugh outright.

Jensen swivels to lay on his right shoulder to face Chad and keep their conversation between them. “There's going to be some new blood coming into Ackles Pack.”

New blood?” Chad darts his eyes toward Jensen and them over the broad shoulder. “Like...new members?”

“yup...” Jensen nods his head, then side-eyes Chad to watch his reaction. “I'm having lunch with one of the mates to warn him ahead of time. Jared and I will be having dinner with the mated pair on Friday night.”

“ooo...a couple's dinner?” Chad fidgets his shoulder from side to side, like a little dance and then he flips to rest on his back. He bumps Jensen with his hip. “...oh, how gauche.” He knows Jensen is far from the type of Alpha who boasts about his riches and lives that lifestyle.

Jensen chuckles deeply with the shake of his head. “Not exactly...they have 'pups'. And Jared wants to meet them.”

“oh my...” Chad raises both eyebrows. “How old?”

“...a boy, 5...and a girl, 3...”

“aww...so not only will Ackles Pack get new mates, but a package deal. Tha's...” Chad furrows his brow. “...not to be nosy an' all...what exactly made you choose this couple?”

“Jared knows them. One of the mates was an ex-client of his from the Spiritual Center.”

holy shi-!” Chad covers his mouth with his hand. “...tha's kinda interesting.”

“mmm-hmm...pretty interesting indeed.”

At that time, the door is open and left wide but whomever is inside manages to slip away to a partial bath and is now washing their hands. Down the end of the hallway they had come from a few minutes before, Dr. Torres calls out for Jensen to come back up front to the nurse's desk.

Jensen extends his hand to clasp Chad's forearm. “You gonna be okay if I leave you alone for a bit? I don't know what Rey wants but...”

“...go, go...please...I can do this. I promise, Jen.” Chad gives Jensen a reassuring squeeze over the top of the hand on his sleeve.

“...oh-kay...” Jensen dips his head after cupping Chad's cheek. “You tell them to stop and come find me if you start to feel unease or any fear...”

Chad simply nods head, unable to speak as it sounds like his lead Alpha is now being a fatherly figure toward him; he rubs his face into the warm palm, always fascinated by how soft Jensen's hands are for being a carpenter. He feels Jensen bring his head toward his face and Chad dips low and makes Jensen kiss a spot on his forehead and temple. As he watches Jensen wander off, he gives a longing look, wishing he could take back that insistence he'd be fine alone. He watches Dr. Torres and Jensen lean into one another to carry on a private conversation, Jensen starts to talk as the doctor nods, patting Jensen on the shoulder as they head in a different direction.

Chad gives a quick peek into the room noticing that there's a fairly tall, quiet form roaming back and forth in the room. A fine figure cut into a pristine stark white male nurse's uniform. The short sleeve top is rather cool as the buttons to close the material run from shoulder to waist and the shirt looks to have a mock-turtleneck collar; it looks like something out of a science fiction movie as a “spacesuit” of some sort. It was the long legs and well-rounded ass that Chad was checking out—because he still liked guys—making him pause and admire, but not to arousal. With a whiff of a scent from within the room, he scents an Omega; he's quite attractive with some wolfish features to his face that make him stand out. The hairy forearms look absolutely gorgeous and touchable against the white clothing. And now Chad's eyes travel back up the shapely bottom and back to watch how the bluntly cut locks of soft dirty blond hair snag and catch on the half-collar.

The Omega can feel the stare on him, so he simply starts talking as he can see Chad patiently waiting to be beckoned into the exam room. At least the patient isn't rude. He waves Chad inside. “There's a gown on the end of the exam table you can change into, Chad.” His dark head gestures toward the table against the wall; he wanders closer to the doorway, arms crossing low at his back. “I'll be back to start taking your vitals.” As Chad tries to sweep past him, squeezing through the doorway, the Omega nurse crosses the threshold and almost stands toe to toe with Chad. “It'll just be you and I for a while, before the doctor shows.”

“...ooo-kay...all right.” Chad starts to smile, lifting his head to say something more but he's left alone and the door is shut. He lowers his lids in misery—yet another Omega, probably older, just like Milo, who can whittle him into nothing simply with a “look”. He undresses quickly, wondering if he should leave his briefs on or take them off; he leaves them on. Chad moves to sit on one of the two chairs in the room, not wishing to soil the exam table until someone can be with him, seeing that he won't do it intentionally. Chad places elbows on the chair's armrests and entwines fingers together.

It isn't more than ten minutes before the Omega returns; a little better disposition coming through his good looks.

“You could've gotten up here, Chad.” The flat surface of the cushions are now being used as a table to write on as a pen is taken out, inkwell pressed, to jot down some things inside the new file.

“oh, uhm...I know, but I just—would you prefer me there?” Chad is about to rise when he sees the Omega shake his head with a soft smile. It knocks the wind out of Chad because the Omega has one helluva knock-out smile that crinkles his pretty eyes. And still he isn't aroused, just super observant.

The Omega brings over a rolling stool, picks up his stethoscope and blood pressure cuff. “No...I can always come to you.” He swiftly shows Chad just how “easy” it is, dropping items in the empty chair beside Chad to watch the legs pull tight to the body as he widens the spans of his own legs. “You don't have to be so tense with me. I don't bite.”

“..no, I uh...I'm nervous, 'cuz I...” Chad recalls that being Old Chad had made Milo hate him, so he stops chattering and bows his head. “I'm scared of what I'll find out.”

The Omega puts the earbuds of his stethoscope around his neck as he reaches to set the portable blood pressure cuff around Chad's left biceps. “Just relax the arm, let the machine do its work...take some deep breaths.”

Chad feels the Omega's eyes on him, watching his neck and chest then seeing how he opened his legs to work on that “not being tense”-thing. He leans back to rest his head on the wall, feeling his stomach churn.

The Omega notices Chad go flush and move his arm across his belly. When the cuff beeps, he immediately takes off the Velcro wide band. He rolls back to then bring the file with him and writes the blood pressure down. “Did you feel any pain then? Or a pang? Something?”

Chad lifts his head to narrow eyes on the nurse. “huh? I don't know what you're—”

“You went flush and you're protecting something inside your body with this arm.” He reaches out to set two fingers on the forearm.

Chad doesn't expect the cool, dry fingers to then touch his face or for them to drop and grab his wrist. Granted, it's all for medical purposes, but he can't help the empathy wafting toward him from the Omega. “I-I-I'm sorry. It's instinctive of me, since my...since the free clinic doctor informed me I was carrying.”

A dark eyebrow lifts up in deep curiosity. “This was an Omega clinic or a pack one?”

“Pack clinic.” Chad goes a bit tense at the look coming across the Omega. “Why? Does that make a difference?”

The dark brow lifts up again, higher, then shifts down. “A huge difference. Pack clinics are held to a higher standard. They're popular and a lot have been built, but they're also overcrowded. They don't cater to one specific status, so...the lesser ones suffer.”

“The Omegas, you mean?”

“yes.” He nods his head sharply, pursing his lips in a slight frown. “The high standard they're held to means they're forced sometimes to give out fake information to lead Alphas. A pack clinic doctor doesn't want to upset lead Alpha with bad news or be responsible for making a pack member's life a living hell should lead Alpha choose not to keep the ill or sick, passing them on to their old pack.”

“...jesus...” Chad tilts his head, narrowing his eyes on the Omega. “...you think they'd try to cover or lie about a pregnancy?”

“They may have.” He gives a serious looks to Chad. “Was your Alpha or lead Alpha there with you?”

“No. I went alone.”

The Omega gets Chad to open his mouth so he can take his temperature. “...well, depending on where your clinic was located—rural or urban—some try to be new and current with the latest for all pack members but they suck at the training for staff...as some are just volunteers and not there most of the time. I know there are some who get almost expired medicines and tests on the cheap.”

...fuck...” Chad mutters, hand to his head.

“What?” The Omega widens his eyes in curiosity, staring at Chad.

“Nothin'...m'feelin' a little duped, is all.”

The Omega nods his head, picking up the cuff and file to roll back to the cushioned exam table. He stands to walk over and take out the thermometer. “...all right, now I'm gonna need you to sit on the table.”

“oh—oh-kay...” Chad rises to his socked-feet, feeling a little weird and exposed. He has no idea what this nurse will do next, but he can't explain the need to obey and trust a complete stranger who isn't an Alpha. He slides up onto the cushions, letting his legs dangle, then the Omega pops in front of him to get all handsy with the cold piece of the stethoscope. He listens to so many spots on Chad's body, except his heart beat, Chad almost misses the very end when the hand is over his left breast. Chad isn't sure he likes the frown marring that perfect face; it looks troublesome.

==&&==&&==&&==

TBC...

Chapter Text

The Omega takes out his pen to write in the new file. “Do you feel an urge to urinate?”

Chad thought this was a peculiar question to ask. “Nope.”

“...well, you might, either during or after this check-up with me.” The Omega shows the urine sample cup that will need to be filled. “I'm gonna need one from you before you leave today.”

“I'm sure I'll be able to go. I usually feel pressure on my bladder because of the, uh...” Chad doesn't know why he can't admit anymore to the 'pup' that might exist. Too many variables are making him doubt.

“I'll also need a sample of blood from you.” A thick dark eyebrow raising in question. “How are you with needles?”

“all right...” Chad clears his throat and shifts around uncomfortably in his chair. “I'm a recovering addict.”

“Drugs?” The Omega asks the question without a concern, rather chilled in tone.

“Synthetics. Of all kinds.” Chad feels like he needs to add a bit more information to excuse himself. “I've been clean for quite a while.”

“yeah...I saw your tattoo.” The Omega cups Chad's shoulder. “Sit up or lay down?”

“Which is best for you?” Chad gives a tentative once-over to the Omega in front of him. He's a little wary of being in a vulnerable position in front of a strange pack member.

“Laying down.” The Omega lets a bit of his persona's mask slip as he soothes a bit down the back muscles. “The body relaxes, although the Omega doesn't. Plus, if you faint on me, I don't have to catch you.”

Chad laughs outright, almost popping his own ears with the high-pitched sound. He can't help agreeing with that. “I know you've seen me checking you out, but I swear I'm not a creeper, dude—I jus'—I have a tendency to contrast and compare myself to brother Omegas...” He stretches out, with arms stuck to his sides. He's feeling less tense and more relaxed, kind of comfortable. “It's my own self-esteem issue. There's nothing wrong with you.” Chad flashes a smile and laughs softly, not expecting to feel the caress of the back of one hand over his flushed cheek. It's a very affectionate caress for a stranger to use on another pack member.

“...there's nothing wrong with you either...” The Omega smiles down at Chad. “—in looks, I mean.”

“oh, of course.” Chad brushes off the need to clarify. He lightly touches the hairy forearm. “I knew what you meant.”

“Just close your eyes and deep breathe.” The Omega steps away to retrieve a rolling tray of what he'll be using to collect the blood sample. He sits down on the stool to start. “So...you're mated?”

“...yup.” Chad nods his head, giving off a tiny grin. “Got myself an Alpha. Male. And, uhm...had a male Beta, but...he and my Alpha parted ways.”

“awww...tha's too bad. Amicable?”

“No.” Chad snorts at the word used as things are not even at an “amicable” stage between Christian and Steve. “Not by any means.” He can't help feeling guilty for that fact, mainly because Steve ended up taking Chad's side of the whole situation.

“God, I hate that, but Betas are strong and very smart.” The Omegas does a slow blink as he releases a smile. “Excellent observers. I'm sure his reasons were valid.”

“uh-huh...they were.” Chad turns his head to look up at the handsome features above him. “He was in love with another Beta—female—in our pack.”

“Really?” The Omega lifts a curious eyebrow as he ties the rubber tourniquet around the upper biceps of Chad's right arm. “And, I take it, the Betas are together, under your lead Alpha?” He starts palpating down the sweep of the arm to bring out the possible sites of good veins.

“yes...Jensen's awesome, man—the guy your Doc knows.” Chad feels the need to reiterate who Jensen is for the Omega in case he forgot. “Like...the best lead Alpha I've ever known.” He's half-watching the Omega work on his arm, almost able to forget it's his own limb.

“He must be special.” The Omega lets out a little tinge of envy to his tone. “Not a lot of lead Alphas work so hard to get their pack members in to see us. Though we cater to Omegas, we do take a small caseload of other pack. Mostly by word of mouth,” He flows his hand in mid-air to go on explaining as he flicks at a prominent blue line popping out beautifully, “Dr. Torres doing favors for packs he knows.”

“So, uh...your Doc...” Chad knows this is a terrible trait of his, but he can't stand uncomfortable silences, so he needs to fill them with some kind of talking. What better way to get to know a brother Omega, even if he is a little standoffish. “He's a human?” He takes a nervous swallow as he knows the long needle will come out soon.

“yeah.” The Omega nods, opening an alcohol pad packet to take out the moist square and rub over the spot where he sees a nice, thick vein popping out in the bend of Chad's elbow. “He's an 'innocent', but he...exudes the air of an Alpha perfectly.” From the metal tray, he pulls out the butterfly needle, inserting the pin-point of the end into the meaty portion of the vein, looping the clear tubing straight so the blood flows freely. He has Chad rest his arm relaxed on the table, then slips a blood sample test tube into the plastic collection syringe.

“Are you mated?” Chad licks his lips and looks up at the ceiling tiles, trying to avoid the halogen light bulbs from blinding him.

“What? To him?” The Omega flushes as he realizes his mistake. “oh, you mean...uhm, no.” He becomes eerily quiet as he caps the first vial of blood. He takes out a second test tube for more collection but this time it has a different colored cap. Once it's full to mid-way, he deftly slips out the butterfly needle. “Hold that cotton ball there for me, only for a few minutes and fold the arm to your chest.”

Chad holds the cotton ball to the needle sight, then bends his arm up. “Is it cool if I stay laying down?” He doesn't know why but he feels a little dizzy.

“...sure, sure.” The Omega forms a hand into a fist and rubs over Chad's mid-sternum. “Any chance on that urine sample?”

Chad snickers lightly, shaking his head. “I'll let you know when I feel the urge.” He's getting worried that it's becoming increasing important he find the urge to pee.

“Do you have accidents in bed a lot?”

“huh?” Chad unsure why this is being asked of him.

“...you know, wetting the bed?”

“...no, man...eww, I'm a little bit of a germaphobe.” Chad shares a light laugh with the Omega. “I'm pathetic when it comes to my own hole and how much slick I create when I'm aroused.”

As the Omega places sticker labels on the test tubes with his writing on them of Chad's name and patient number, he furrows his brow. “Do you lose control at any time?”

“Once or twice.” Chad shrugs his shoulders, pretty sure that the usual mishap of most Omegas; like the equivalent of having a wet dream for Alphas. “Woken in a wet slick spot, but, no...not frequently. Why?”

“I'm sorry.” The Omega pats Chad's chest, giving him a reassuring smile. “I'm sounding more like the doctor here.” He clears his throat. “I'm actually a nurse practitioner.”

“Wha's that, like, a mega-ultra-super nurse?” Chad snorts out his questions unsure if he's offended the Omega or not.

The Omega laughs while nodding. “Something like that. I don't wear the cape all the time...” He shares in a chuckle with Chad. “...but you can also say I'm a Doctor Light.”

“oh, cool...” Chad is starting to notice that the Omega possibly isn't as cool or collected as he once thought. “So you have a specialty and, like, can handle your own patients?”

“Pretty much.” The Omega nods his head as he shows Chad a peek into his personal life. He figures why stop there. “I'm still in school—I'm taking courses at a slow pace as I work under Dr. Torres.”

Chad takes a longer glance at the Omega and can see there's some sign of darkness under the eyes, like he's a light sleeper but he doesn't get much sleep. “How's that goin'?”

“huh?” The Omega almost didn't hear the question.

“I saw him, briefly,” Chad twists his head, lifting the end of his mouth in a wry grin, “I'm no dummy, I can see the appeal of a good-lookin' human.” He raises both eyebrows, then rolls his eyes to show he knows what the Omega is going through. “Had a few of my own in my travels.”

“Yes—yeah. I try, you know.” The Omega looks away, almost shy. “Not to want what I know isn't mine to have.”

“Please...” Chad sweeps his hand in the air to blow off the Omega's excuse. “You could have him. You're flawless...an' you—” He starts to point at the male nurse. “—you might be a little cold and distant, but you're warming up to me now.”

The Omega smiles as he shakes his head. “Rey told me I'd be a terrible doctor with my own practice, but he wasn't being cruel. He's right. He's gotten to know me too well.” He clears his throat, going on, “I have too much of a bleeding heart, but I can't help it. It's who I am.” The Omega points to the hem of Chad's gown. “Do you mind if I pulled this up to your waist?”

“uh...” Chad wrinkles his forehead in small state of shock. “...why?”

The Omega begins to lightly snicker under breath, catching Chad's stunned features—the eyes wide with some fear. “I didn't want to come out with something creepy...with my hands giving you a bladder massage.” He holds up said hands, showing palms.

“...jesus...” Chad slowly rises to his elbows. “You really want that sample.”

“No.” The Omega crosses his arms over his chest, billowing it out. “I'm curious to your daily routine. The reason we're giving you a check-up in the first place—-why you're here. I'm fascinated by your case.”

Chad lets out a stuttered laugh as he settles back down on the cushions. “...wow, I've never been found attractive 'cuz of my medical condition.” He grabs at the sides of the gown, adjusting them up along his body to display his lower half, from pelvis on down.

The Omega stretches both arms in length, then splays them off the edge of the table, which pits him up against Chad's right side. “How's it feel?” He's forgotten what it's like to be surrounded by brother Omegas and comfortable with constant teasing and ribbing, leading to nowhere sexual. The Omega then brings his hands to his mouth, blowing hot breath on them as he rubs palms together.

“hehehe...not creepy at all.” Chad feels his heart shatter a bit, never knowing he had closed himself off from even thinking about meeting a brother Omega his own age and becoming friends. Every Omega he knew treated him like he was a step-down from them. “I, uhm...” At first the hands are cool against him, but almost in an instant they warm and they feel kind of awesome. “I feel comfortable talking to you, telling you as much as I can if I feel it's relevant. Being painfully honest is not my strong suit.” The only thing that bothers Chad is that the hands need to put slight pressure in his belly area and along the side where his kidneys would be situated; it's a little ticklish, but it soothes him into another level of calm.

“No one should doubt what an Omega feels. We know our own bodies best, so trust in that.” The Omega sees Chad smiling and look away. “What? What did I say now?”

“Nothing.” It's freaking Chad out a bit, because it just reminds him too much of Jared. “You just reminded me of how much of an a-hole I've been to someone I should've put my full trust in, believed in him before I believed in my Alpha doin' right by me.”

“uh-oh...” The Omega removes his hand, shifting around to lean his right hip on the table, facing Chad. “Are you an' your Alpha estranged?”

“Big time. Although, he hasn't been kicked out. He truly can't be away from me, nor I him.” Chad doesn't know that he'll ever get over how attached Christian has become to him, despite being a complete failure as his pack status dictates. He's thankful for their wolf traits still keeping them close. He's better at coping than Christian, though, and he's never been able to feel proud about that fact until this minute. “Which is weird since he's a musician an' he was always flyin' off to other gigs.”

“well...it was having you as his mate, knowing you were there for him that made it bearable. It's still painful for them, but...”

“Chris isn't one to mention he's suffering pain. There's no way he'd tell me what being apart from me does to him. It's cool, you know...” Chad averts his head, looking off toward the bare wall. “—'cuz I know how bad I get when he's gone.”

“Who's this 'someone' you feel regret for?” The Omega shuffles about the room, but always returns to the table, moving in Chad's line of vision.

“My lead Alpha's Omega. Funny...they just mated, like, three months ago, but they had been clicking so well prior to that point. Perfect. Like missin' puzzle pieces. Both certified bachelors in their late 20s, both began wanting mates an' 'pups' at kind of the same time.” Chad shakes his head as he's still flabbergasted by how Jensen and Jared had worked out. “That shit was unreal to watch go down. It opened my eyes to what I never had for myself.”

The Omega is close enough to Chad's arm to use the hand he had rested nearby to soothe along the bare arm. “You still love him...your Alpha?” It's clear that Chad will always consider himself mated, no matter how his Alpha treats him or feels.

“I do, yes. I always will. My pack thinks I'm nuts, but they already thought I was crazy.” Chad's feels his face go flush because he hates the way he makes a terrible first impression, and he's tired of chasing brother Omegas away. “I'm the cut-up...the silly one...the comic relief of the pack. An' Milo...well, Milo jus' thinks I'm dumb as rocks.”

The Omega tightens his jawline, averting his head briefly. “I take it, Milo isn't your lead Alpha's Omega?”

“You'd be correct. Milo is...well, brother Omega an' while we had an easy-going first meeting...ever since, he's like, the older sibling to my younger one. I can't do anything right.” Chad had meant to stop, pausing in a weird point as he had more to say, then he just adds for good measure, “Milo's perfect, by the way.”

The Omega tried not to rolls his eyes, so instead he just gnashes his teeth together without Chad knowing. “Is that what he thinks?”

“No, man...Milo is—hands down—so fuckin' perfect.” Chad realizes how that might sound, like he hero-worships the shit out of someone he's supposed to be an equal to. “Everything in his life has been set-up to never fail, but fall right in his favor. An' then he...he just oozes this calm and independence for an Omega. His Alpha is in love with him, he'd give him the world. Never thought Milo'd actually want a 'pup'.” He smiles wide as the memories creep into his brain, oddly comforting him in this strange place. “Our pack's first one...” Chad pauses as his body starts to feel pressure. “ooo...I think I might need to go, man.”

“Micah...” The Omega offers Chad a hand to lower the gown hem.

“...huh?” Chad frowns at the Omega.

“My name. It's Micah.”

“oh, yeah...sorry.” Chad holds out his hand for the sample cup. “So...to the brim?”

Micah scratches at his brow. “Just about. Leave room for the cap.” He leans on the exam table as Chad prances to the half bath's open doorway. He stands at the toilet, pulling up the gown, lowering his briefs to take out his dick and direct the flow from his tip into the cup.

Chad isn't even aware of how much relief he'd feel from such a spontaneous urge to pee. “...ahhh, man...well, I got you a sample...can I keep peeing?”

“yeah—yes...go ahead.” Micah tries not to laugh out loud, sticking with a deep chuckle as he rubs his neck and nape. He's starting to like this patient—Chad...Chad M. Murray. He's never felt such an immediate bond with an Omega patient before. It feels nice, just like his old job.

“aww...come on, Murray...don't fail me now...”

Micah furrows his brow. “You all right in there?”

“...yeah, I guess...I stopped, but I still feel like I gotta go.”

Micah approaches the doorway, peeking in. “Do you mind if I come in?”

Chad snickers, shrugging his shoulders. “No. You can stop being so polite, though. I think we've established neither of us are attracted to the other. You're the one with the medical smarts...I'm jus' the party clown...”

“...the party clown who can't finish peeing.”

Chad snickers again, looking at Micah over his shoulder. “Can we do those bladder massages standing here over the toilet?”

“Would you like me to try?”

“yeah...'cuz, well, we're here.” Chad shrugs both shoulders, finding it very weird that he doesn't mind Micah's hands all over him; he really is mostly enjoying the attention focused on him. He hasn't felt this important in a very long while.

“Okay...forgive my cold hands, then...it'll warm up soon.” Micah puts pressure on the back, massaging the area of the upper curves of the ass, then he palpates the front abdomen, low and under the belly button. He does a series of pushes and massages until he sees Chad dancing off his feet, directing the rest of the flow into the bowl.

“...yesss...you are fuckin' awesome, man!” Chad gives a very gentle punch to Micah's shoulder, laughing when he sees Micah exaggerate being thrown back. He gestures with the only available part of him, his head, toward the Omega. “You got a pair of magic hands on you.”

Micah picks up the sample cup and wanders out. “They aren't 'magic hands'...just an ability I've been able to hone.”

Chad flushes and washes his hands, then pulls up briefs and draws down the gown hem. He now feels goofy with his socks still on, so he takes them off, piling them with his other clothes. “I had left my underwear on earlier, do you need me to fully undress at some point?”

“Rey will—uh, sorry...Dr. Torres...once he comes in to examine you.” Micah finishes writing, then gathers his two plastic bags of blood and urine. “I'm gonna step out and hand these off to the staff to get them underway on tests results.”

“How long for the results?” Chad is standing there, rubbing his hands together to dry them fast.

“Tomorrow morning.” Micah is already at the door, hand on the knob.

“That soon?” Chad lifts a lone eyebrow in bewilderment.

“Dr. Torres' surgical center is close-by.” In mid-air, Micah points in the general direction of where the surgical center is in conjunction with the room they're in. “They have their own lab and x-ray facility. It allows this clinic to serve our patients better.”

“Awesome.” Chad sticks up both thumbs, then points them to both items in the room. “Want me on the table or the chair?”

“Your choice, Chad. I'll be back.” Micah swings the paneling wide, using his backside to hold it in place, and then closes the door behind him, wandering down the hallway. “Has the courier left for the Surgi-Center yet?” He's approaching the front desk, calling out to the desk secretary who knows all the ins and outs of the office—who comes and goes.

“Nope.” She shakes her head as she's working on the ledger she's had since this morning, a wide pencil and a straight ruler. “Running a little behind.” She puts her things down to look up at Micah. “What ya got?” A hand is held out.

“These two.” Micah hands off the bags. “Rey'll have more samples he will be taking on Patient Murray, but those will be Priority—I think.” He assumes that Rey will want most of everything they take on Chad to be STAT.

“yeah...he told us to expect the alert to 'rush' them through.” She peruses all the labels in and out of the bag, thankful it's Micah doing the work because she knows she won't ever have to double-check, but just as a precaution she does. Too many mis-diagnosed and wrong samples making it into the wrong patient files have caused these lengthy routines to be practiced daily. “Why are you taking samples? No nurse available?”

“This patient is a pack member of Rey's friend.” Micah hangs over the counter, shrugging one shoulder. “I kind of wanted to step in and do the whole thing.” He shakes his head as he brings up his arm to bend and lean his cheek on. “Poor guy's a mess inside. Although his disposition is stellar. Very, uh...humble and too willing to shoulder blame.”

“uh-oh...” She peers up at Micah under her fluttering eyelashes. “—you wanna do some of that Omega Spiritual Guide mojo on him...”

Micah nods his head emphatically, getting a soft giggle from the secretary, but he heaves a huge sigh. “He's so ripe, you know. I don't think he's been with his Alpha in months—he's so touch-starved.”

She can hear the despondence in Micah's tone, feeling empathy for him. “Well...if anyone can get to the heart of a patient's issue, it's you. I know Mrs. Everly will leave you in her Will, once you had found that cancer none of her other doctors could locate.”

Micah pushes off his hand, to fold his forearm on the counter and then bend to rest his head. “I wish Rey would let me do this more often, but he wants me studying and doing everything by the book so if my guiding does kick in...we don't get sued or shut down.” He doesn't know how he's able to keep his voice an octave above whispering and still have the secretary understand him, but he's mastered it.

She's placed the samples into a courier bag and set it onto a shelf where she will remember. “I think he's just upset you won't ever take credit and it would be a lie if Rey led any patient astray.”

At the mention of Rey's name, Micah lifts his head, motioning with his thumb over his shoulder. “Is he back in his office?”

“Yeah, I think so.” There's a gradual nod with a furrowing of a brow. “Pamela's here—somewhere—an' she had gone in with him for Mr. Carter.” She points toward the waiting room where Mr. Carter now sits, his appointment complete, just waiting for his prescriptions.

“...thanks, doll.” Micah blows a kiss over the desk with his hand; the secretary does a comical dunk-shot catch of the airborne kiss, making Micah snicker with the shake of his head.

“Take your lunch break soon.” A parental index finger is waggled in in front of Micah. “Don't let time get away from you, kid.”

“I won't...or, I'll try not to.” Micah only smiles at the other staff along the way, making a direct line towards Rey's office. He knocks, but steps inside anyway to shut the door. “Rey!?!”

“I'm in the bathroom!”- comes the loud booming voice, a bit muffled. “Be out in a minute!”

“Need any help?!” Micah can only dream that Rey will one day proclaim “hell yes” and it mean something totally different that needing true help.

“ha-ha...no, I'm only changing my shirt.” Rey strolls out, throwing hands in the air as if he gives up a certain task he can't finish. “I give up on this tie.”

Micah chuckles, walking over. “Why do you wear them? You know you have no dexterity with these things.”

“You're always around me.” Rey does his cuffs as Micah ties the knot. “—here or at home. I just find it easier to bother you.” He teases the Omega, closely watching the way the features focus on such a menial task.

Micah turns down the collar, brushing across broad shoulders. “You know you don't bother me in the least. How's the back?”

“Good. Pam noticed one of my bandages had unstuck, blood on my shoulder—I got her to re-tape it.”

“Rey!!” Micah is outraged. “You didn't tell her how you were scarred, did you?”

“Calm down, Micah.” Rey cups the shoulder joint, giving Micah a small shake, then slides over to latch on the main bone. “I barely had my shirt off.” He lets his huge hand fall down Micah's scrub front, feeling the heat off the muscular torso. Rey's always been strangely attracted to the Omega's heat, and he's not even an Alpha, but he is part of the weird “pack” they have back at the house. “She didn't see my whole back.” Rey can decipher a possessive tone when he hears it.

“Good. Keep it that way.” Micah bites back, not sure why it pisses him off when Rey lets things like this slip at work. He twists away in a mild huff. “And next time...come find me, wherever I am.” He moves to sit on the edge of Rey's desk, folding his arms over his body. “We can't have anyone here suspicious of what goes on at home—well, at the pack house.”

Rey can't help but agree. It's not that he's ashamed; it's that no one would understand just what the fuck Dr. Rey Torres, a human—-an “innocent” is doing with a pack of wolves at his address. “I called.” He likes how he can talk to Micah in a shorthand; they've been together for so long, they have their own language.

“And?” This makes Micah lift both eyebrows in curiosity. He's wanted to call home, himself, but he's been busy playing Nurse/Doctor. His sharp eyes follows Rey on his trek toward the windows.

“Tuck can't be located but they think they know where he is. Kota is out. She actually went into the kitchen.” Rey turns from his stance, hands tucked into his trouser pockets, jiggling whatever was in there to make noise to fill the silence. “ I think she tried to find either you or me.”

“...jesus...can't wait for the weekend when I can be there 24/7 an' try to work on new sessions with them.” Micah approaches Rey at the windows, afraid to touch his back. “No more attempting to be Superman with the pack.” It's the manner in which Rey's stands, with shoulders hunched in a certain weariness, that makes Micah whip around to lean back on the ledge of the window sill. He dips his head to catch those dark eyes. “It's redundant how often I have to remind you how human you are.”

Rey smirks at the tease, playing with his tie and clipping it to his lapel. “I still feel it—the draw to them. Like they're my family—my pack—and then knowing they hurt.” He lets out a heavy sigh of exasperation, his head tilted to look down at the floor. “I know Tuck's hurting, but I know he doesn't—I know he could've grown to hate me because I couldn't save Cabe.”

Micah nods his head, crossing arms over his middle as he grabs for his elbow joints. “The best doctors—well, veterinarians—couldn't save Cabe. I think he is fully aware of that. Tuck just didn't want to believe he could lose a mate that soon.” He turns his own gaze away, thinking back to the last few months. “Not after surviving so long after everything else that brought them back to you.”

Rey gives a shake to his head, then his torso. “...m'sorry.” He puts a hand to the side of his face, moving upward, over his temple area and rubs like an ache grows underneath. “My head should be here more, not there with them.” Rey looks at Micah with a growing smile of pleasure; something about the Omega always creates a contentedness in being out in the real world. “Thanks for taking Chad in for me, not leaving him with one of the nurses.”

“You sounded like this was important.” Micah lifts his head to gaze directly at Rey. “I can tell you like this Alpha—Jensen Ackles. I heard you mentioning him in passing often enough.”

“He's one of the 'good' ones.” Rey lets his smile build just at the thought of Jensen. “His father Alpha is a jackass, though. The son, Josh...is a bit of a pushover, refers to his father Alpha a lot. Jensen is—different. A rare breed amongst lookalikes.”

“He sounds like it.” Micah recalls something Chad had mentioned. “Do you know their pack has two Betas as a mated couple?”

Rey nods his head with a soft smile. “You'd be surprised what works when you let pack members love who they love, an' mate with freedom of choice.” He's a bit envious of Jensen, because he knows exactly how he would be as an Alpha of his own pack, if he were a true wolf. “They're 3 months strong and counting. He claims they grow deeper and closer every day. I'm kind of envious.”

Micah wrinkles his brow in confusion. “Of a Beta?”

“No...” Rey shakes his head, letting out a tiny laugh. “—of Jensen's pack. If I weren't human, an' I was a true Alpha, it's exactly how I'd want my pack to be.”

Micah has heard these kinds of things quite often coming out of Rey's mouth; he keeps wishing he could wave a magic wand and do this for Rey—make him the Alpha wolf he's always wanted to be. “Could you use a break? For lunch or, uh...catch up on some notes?”

“Why?” Rey clears his throat as he furrows his brow.

Micah knows he might get shot down for wanting to do this, but he's going to do it anyway. “I wanna use my guiding ability with Chad. He, uhm—I couldn't help but feel how he's not been knotted or intimate with his Alpha in months.” In his natural persona, he likes to talk with his hands a lot, and he's doing such right now that Rey can't help but chuckle softly at how animated Micah is acting. “He's bordering on being severely touch-starved. He could be open for you, but...he's warming up to me, despite my mock-doctor terrible beside manner.”

“You need to stop that, Micah.” Rey untucks one of his hands to shake an index finger at Micah. “Or one day you'll turn a patient off at the get-go.”

Micah sighs in annoyance. “If I start off with my own personality, my guiding will kick in. You'll get exactly what you don't want from me.”

“I do want you to guide when you can. It's who you are an' why we get along so well, but I need you to stay safe an' protect yourself.”

“I know. I do. I know how to word things to let patients feel less creeped out by my insight.” Micah looks at Rey, heaving a sigh. “A half hour, tops. No more than 45 minutes.”

“Just the body massaging?”

“I don't know.” Micah pushes off the sill as he shrugs, crossing his arms at his back as he walks across the office. “I won't know until I start getting deeply into the massage.” He pauses right as he reaches the door. “If he happens to secrete anything, do you want me to save samples?”

“No.” Rey has spun on his feet to follow Micah's stroll toward the door. “He'll most likely secrete a bad specimen if he's too relaxed.” He keeps playing with his tie, smoothing the material down like a nervous twitch. “Stimulating him on my own will produce better samples for testing.”

“Okay.” Micah has his hand on the knob, twists to say more only to find Rey has walked closer without him even hearing his footsteps. He startles a bit, then lets out a short laugh. “If you wanna come meet him, just knock twice and walk in. He's a fairly easy-going Omega—very observant and wildly curious.”

“Aren't all Omegas that way?” Rey narrows his gaze on Micah, hoping that he takes it as a slight tease.

“No, you jerk!” Micah shoves Rey playfully, letting go of the door since Rey seems to have taken control of it. “I'll see you in a few. Exam 4, by the way.”

“Thanks, Micah.” Rey positions himself behind the paneling, as he moves to shut it behind Micah's exit.

“uh-huh...” Micah quietly leaves Rey's office to head down the hallway, back to the exam room.

Chad is seated in the chair, perusing a magazine from the wall rack. He looks up and smirks when he sees it's the Omega male nurse returning. “I'm catchin' up on all my entertainment gossip.”

“I don't read those, if I can help it. I've been tempted. It's being here amongst female humans.”

“How many are pack?” Chad flips pretty quickly through the whole magazine until the last page, then chucks it off onto the other seat.

“Not very many. Most are in the office setting, not in the medical areas. Very few are nurses, one female doctor. It gets to be a bit competitive on who's the better employee—who works harder or hardest...sacrifices more, that sort of thing.

Chad crosses ankles and then folds his arms over his torso. “Are you the only male nurse?”

“No. And there's one male in Billing, one or two in Human Resources.” Micah wanders over toward the exam table, trying to figure out how he wanted to arrange the room. “But I am the only nurse practitioner.”

Chad watches Micah pull the cushioned table from the wall. “Wha—? What's happening now?”

“Dr. Torres is hung up on a call.” Micah stops at a certain point when there's enough room on all side of the table for a person to move. “Said he'd be a while. Since you took so well to my bladder massages, thought I'd offer you the mad skills of my magic hands again.” He crumbles the white tissue paper on the cushions, shaking his hands in mid-air. He heads over to a set of cabinets that hold generic hospital linens—everything in white or soft hues of pastels. “Relax you a bit more for your examination.” He turns from the closing of the cabinet door, a thin flat bed sheet and a new gown in his arms. Up for it?”

“...'kay, now you're really spooking me.” Chad put up his hand, palm out. “You sounded a little too much like Jared there?”

“Who's Jared?” Micah walks to the exam table and begins to unfold the top sheet to cover the cushions. He approaches Chad, handing him the long gown that looks like a t-shirt jersey sleep-shirt.

Chad furrows his brow briefly, then shakes out the soft fabric to take a look at what he's just been given. He thinks it's a tad sight better in design than what he's wearing. “...the Omega of my lead Alpha. Jared's an Omega Spiritual Guide.” He tosses the new gown over a forearm and gets out of the chair to move toward the half-bath. From the tiny space, he keeps talking. “He's been dying to get his own magic hands on me!” Chad can't hear anything going on in the exam room; he makes quick work at taking off the old gown, and then his briefs to slide the newer gown over his body. He shimmies his hips to help the material slip down his thin frame. “ He strolls out of the half-bath, seeing that Micah has gone stiff, unmoving. “What? Is something wrong?”

“No...something just became very right.” Micah turns to face Chad directly. “You'll have to promise me you'll keep this to yourself.” He beckons his brother Omega over with his head and a hand-wave.

“ooo, I swear.” Chad throws the old gown onto the chair, taking small tiptoes steps toward the table. He rubs his palms together. “Is it juicy office gossip?”

“No. It's about who I am exactly, Chad. I'm a spiritual guide, as well.”

Chad stops the need to cackling like a madman, and he stands ramrod straight. “Like Jared?”

“Just like Jared.” Micah nods his head on a solid bounce.

Chad wonders if one spiritual guide would know of or have been around a fellow brother. “Did you ever get to meet him?”

“oh, yeah...one doesn't work at the spiritual center without knowing of or getting mentored by Jared Padalecki.”

“...jesus christ. Small world, huh?”

“Very small world.”

“—and, yes...” Chad's already hopping up on the table, then hitching both legs up as he settles his body down properly. “I'm up for one of those awesome massages of yours...”

==&&==&&==&&==
15 minutes later...

 

Chad had begun to uncontrollably whimper for his Alpha...

Micah puts in a quick call to Rey's office from a phone in the exam room, asking for help—well, supervision, really.

Rey wanders in to see the oiled Omega writhing around the table. “I see what you mean.” He peels off his lab coat, rolling his shirt sleeves to his elbows. “What do you need me to do?”

“Put your arm under his neck, cradle him to your chest. Right now, I need you to be his Alpha...speak in your lowest voice directly into his ear, let him react to you however he needs. If you were really his Alpha, I'd ask you to massage his prostate, but I'll do that. This'll give him a disjointed feeling, so he'll not be trained solely on you, pretending to be someone you're not. He'll trust in your touch and words alone.” Micah oils his right hand, putting his left hand on the lower belly, he then guides index and middle fingers into the gaping hole. He curls the tips to massage the prominent nub, watching the cock twitch and the testicles pull inward. “I don't know, Rey. He's a veritable mess. I'm not certain how he's gone this long without—anything. It's like he's all alone. He probably has had plenty of good ejaculations from penis and rectum, but he feels dry in specific places where he should be slick.”

“You think he'd benefit from a longer session?” Rey only puts complete trust in Micah in these situations.

“This is his first sign of arousal...” Micah finds he can barely shift or move his arm. “God, he's gripping my fingers tight.” H will try and maneuver his hands and fingers a bit more gently so he doesn't break any bones by accident. “What did they tell you about the situation that led to this moment?”

“uhm...fallout with his Alpha—Chad was supposed to hit his heat before he was knotted, but uh...”

“..oh, shit!” Micah purses his lips and shakes his head. “He was knotted before his heat hit...christ...”

“yeah...it's why I said 'yes' to seeing him so quickly.”

Micah rubs in slow circles, massaging the flattening stomach. “His belly has been shrinking in size rather quickly. I doubt very much he was carrying a 'pup' at all.”

“False positives? Or, uhm...well, I had been tossing around the possibility of a hysterical pregnancy, given the state of he and his Alpha's relationship.”

“Doesn't explain the sonograms they took. There's something IN his womb mimicking his symptoms and making things appear as if he's pregnant. We'll know for sure with lab results and...well...your final examination of him.” Micah glances over at Rey. “Hold him close...he's preparing to release.”

Thighs begin to shake and Micah feels the walls contract, the womb opening to push out the load of lubrication as Chad arcs off the table, but is held down by Rey. Micah hurriedly palpates around the pubic area, barely touching the engorged shaft when the stalk falls front backward onto the pelvic area and spews thick and pasty white semen. Micah soothes over Chad's chest, easing his fingers out.

“...christ...” Micah rubs at his perspiring brow with his wrist and forearm, not wanting to touch oiled hands on his face. “I need to do this about two more times. His energy is so clogged, but he—he's beyond the normal touch-starved. I've only seen this get so bad in grieving mateless pack members—never one that just separates for a brief time.”

“Well...” Rey pulls upright, softly touching the flushed cheek and the blond hair turning away from him. “...he's here with us now.” He softens his tone gradually, almost cooing under breath toward the ear. “We'll find out what's going on and get to the bottom of what's truly his problem.”

“Someone needs to kick his Alpha in the knot, several times.” Micah hears Rey snort with light laughter, but doesn't join; he will do it himself if it's possible. “No wonder Jared kept...” He realizes he's said too much. “I'm sorry. I let my own thoughts get away with me.”

“Who's Jared?” Rey wrinkles his brow in serious confusion.

“Jensen's Omega.” Micah finds it a little odd that Rey didn't know Jensen's mate's name. “Jared—he's a spiritual guide, like me.”

“oh, yeah...but—” Rey attempts to recall if he had truly paid much attention to what Jensen had been saying about his mate. For some reason, he had an idea the Omega had another career. “—seriously?” It just proved how frazzled his mind was becoming, half listening while his mind was elsewhere.

“Yes.” Micah nods his head as he backs away a few inches to allow Chad to move and settle as he needed, giving his brother Omega room to breathe. “Jared mentored me a few times, before they took me elsewhere. They got weird if any of us became too close to him. I can't believe he left the center. I thought he'd die there.”

“Milo...” Rey supplies a name that he recalled of one of the other Omegas of Jensen's pack. “An Omega in the pack, had bled out during his sixth month of pregnancy.” He furrows his brow, shaking his head as he retrieves a distant memory. “Actually, I recall Jensen informed me one of their other Omegas found him. Must've been Chad.”

“...shit...poor guy.” Micah wanders upward to sift through Chad's hair. “Soun's like he's not had an easy life prior to being mated either.”

“An addict of synthetics in recovery. Still a struggle for him to cope.”

“It could be anything inside his body that tried to attack him from within. He's got an outward resilience that doesn't show how traumatized he's been.”

Both of them look down at Chad who has seemed to have calmed down, but fidgets every once and a while.

“I'll set up some proper x-rays once I examine him. Maybe I should use the urethra scope, or maybe the endoscopy scope on him when I'm doing the rectal exam.”

“Can't hurt. It's about time Chad had something good happen in his life.”

==&&==&&==&&==

Jensen parks the SUV in the parking space, then unplugs his charged phone, turning it on. He opens the driver door, dropping down and immediately spotting the handsome and beautifully-suited Alpha approaching him—it's only Adrian, but he proudly beams nonetheless. They're meeting in the parking lot outside of the small deli and bakery downtown. Jensen pats the inside of his jacket, making sure he still has the box of pack rings; he had to slip to the bank, open Chad and Delta's account with Jared's check and then step down to the bank vault to get to the personal safety deposit box where he kept most of the important pack-related items he thinks far too risky to be inside the pack house.

“Thanks for coming out to meet me, Adrian.”

Adrian has a wide grin on his face. He hasn't been able to stop grinning since he had left the pack house this morning as a very satisfied and thoroughly blissed-out Alpha. Milo had allowed another knotting—something quick, nasty and hurried in the shower, before Adrian had left for work and Milo had gone to tend to Liam. “Any time, you know that.” He notices the pinched and unfocused appearance of Jensen's face. “What? Is this about something serious?”

“Yes—two things. One...I need you in on something as my second Alpha and, the other—” Jensen wipes at his brow, his hand shaking. “...the other kind of crept up an' bit us in the ass this morning. It's why you and I are having lunch this end of downtown.”

“Well...come on, jesus...” Adrian secures an arm about Jensen's shoulders. “uhm...lets get inside an' find us a booth.”

“Can we find a table instead?” Jensen clears his throat. “uhm...someone else is going to be joining us.”

They walk through the double glass doors. There's a waitress playing Hostess who seats them quickly; this is early enough for the lunch crowd where the trail of customers isn't heavy yet. Both Jensen and Adrian take off their coats, hanging them on the back rungs of their chairs.

As Adrian sits, he folds his hands on the table. “I take it...this 'someone else' has to do with me being here as second Alpha?”

“Yes. Has Milo tried to call you at all?”

“No, well—wait, lemme...” Adrian digs out his cell phone from his coat. “uh, no...” He set the phone where he can see it, but out-of-the-way. “Why? What's going on?”

“It's Chad.” Jensen tests the name being said out loud, making sure Adrian settles his thoughts. “I dropped him off at Dr. Rey Torres' office.”

Adrian gives a slow nod of understanding. “The Omega doctor you know?”

“The 'human' Omega general practitioner—yes.” Jensen wants to make it clear who Rey is exactly, to not be confused with Bradley.

“okay...this is the—wait...” Adrian holds up a hand, palm out. “Chad and Delta are supposed to have physicals tomorrow. What the hell happened?” Now he's becoming truly worried, wondering why Milo hadn't rung him.

“Delta couldn't wake Chad this morning—at all.” When Jensen adds that last bit, he can see Adrian's eyes go wide, pupils dilate in fear. “Then she must've panicked—hears Milo in the bathroom and drags him to Chad, like she wanted him to try getting Chad to wake up.”

Adrian feels his body go a bit numb, soaking in everything he's being told and holding back his want to react. “...Milo's been tellin' me Chad has tended to sleep heavier.”

“This was too deep of a sleep. It scared Milo, who came running into our bedroom to get Jared and I.” Jensen shakes his head, closing his lids at the memory. “Chad looked dead, man. It was only when you were close enough that you could see he had a pulse...a heartbeat—steady breathing.” He pantomimes the moment in a tiny recreation. “About 20 minutes later, he opens his eyes.”

“...jesus christ, Jen...” Adrian brings the bond of his own hands to his mouth. “Did we almost lose him?” He's never bitten his perfectly groomed nails, but he just might start today.

“No, but I'm tired of pussyfooting around.” Jensen folds his arms on the table surface, leaning forward. “It scared Chad enough that Rey took him in a day early.” He gestures in the direction of Rey's office in mid-air, over his shoulder. “I just dropped him off.” Jensen starts to move around the deli's drink coaster placed on the table. “His appointment is going to be rather extensive, so Rey will call me on my cell, update me if anything changes. Or once he figures out what's been going on with Chad.”

Adrian can tell by Jensen unsettling composure that things appear all right, but at any time things could flip on a dime. “How did Chad seem?” He can feel his heart pick up a pace, having a weird unspeakable soft spot for Chad—but it was trademark of his deep affection for all Omegas.

Jensen starts nodding his head as he talks, “He's okay, frightened but I think he's relieved to not have to worry 'bout money and just feel comfortable to know he's in capable hands; hands that care about his health and well-being.” He wants Adrian to know that Chad is in good hands, so he leans forward to speak in a low timber at his brother Alpha. “Someone who cares that he's Omega.”

Adrian bites at a thumbnail, nodding his own head in quiet acceptance. “I should call home, shouldn't I?” He gives Jensen a side-glance as he reaches for his cell phone.

Jensen covers Adrian's hands, giving a slight shake. “Only if you feel ready to talk.” He knows just by giving Adrian a certain stare with his expressive eyes he can convey how important it is to maintain a certain calm, but to not try and aggravate the situation any further. “Milo's gonna open up to you like a water spicket. Seems he dropped whatever 'beef' he's had with the type of Omega Chad has been.”

“Seriously? My Mi'o actually made an 'amends' to Chad?” Adrian pats his hand over his heart, then his features break out into a touched appearance, showing how deeply moved he truly is, though he jokes. “awww...my Mi'o is growin' up right before my eyes.” He fakes wiping under his eyes like he's teary, then leans forward with a smirk. “...'thank you', by the way.”

“...huh?” Jensen's confused by Adrian's meaning and why he looks—there's a twinkle back in Adrian's eyes he's just now noticing. “What did you do, man?” He lifts up one side of his mouth in slight humor; leave it to his brother Alpha to always inject the moment with some kind of teasing humor that not only changes the subject but makes them both feel an ease to the frazzled moments.

==&&==&&==&&==
TBC...