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Cecil squinted up at the Arby's menu, face flushed, too distracted to concentrate properly. Obviously he needed to get better hormone blockers. The store-brand kind were already letting him develop pre-heat symptoms, and he'd only been on them for, what, a week? Two?

At least he'd worn a nice frilly skirt today. The customers around him didn't need a clear view of all the twitching and clenching going on between his legs. Neither did the cashier, who was...right in front of him, tapping a claw impatiently against the counter.

"Um." Cecil licked his lips, trying to shake off the mild and totally-unobtrusive pre-heat fog. "I, ah. What do you have that's...hot? And...thick." He took a shuddering breath. "I want something thick, and meaty, and, mmm, makes you feel so full...."

Someone put an arm around his shoulders and steered him out of the line.

Behind them, people actually started clapping. Huh. Cecil thought that only happened in the magical alternate reality that half of his Tumblr dashboard liked to roleplay from.

He didn't snap out of it enough to register who was moving him until they pushed through the swinging doors to the facilities, and the man spoke: "What in the imperfect heavens are you doing?"

"Ordering a burger," grumbled Cecil. They were in a dim hall with a neat little lineup of doors: alpha, beta, omega, wheelchair-accessible, heat-relief. Cecil leaned against the cool tiled wall across from them. "What did it look like?"

"Ask me what it smelled like," said Earl, arms folded. "Whatever heat suppressants you're on, you've got to switch formulas."

"Not on suppressants."

Earl did a double-take. "What? I thought you and your alpha were monogamous...."

"We were. We are. He'll be back soon! And when he is, I don't want to have to wait until some heavy-duty medication wears off." Cecil clenched his thighs together, impatient and cranky and a little discomfited by Earl's own alpha scent. "I'm on blockers. Pushing the heat back. It's fine. I'm fine. This is nothing but minor pre-heat symptoms."

"Cecil, I could pick up your scent trail from three blocks away," said Earl. "If you were any deeper in heat, you'd be on the floor with your hand down your tights, and every un-suppressed alpha for a mile downwind would be heading this way."

Cecil wanted to protest that it wasn't that bad, it was just different for Earl because he and Cecil had been each other's firsts, and you always end up extra-attuned to the scent of your first. Then he imagined himself on the floor of the Arby's with half a dozen hormonal alphas climbing over tables and kicking down doors to get to him, and he couldn't find the words to protest, couldn't do anything but moan as his hips rolled needily against the air.

"Oh, beams help us. Come on." Earl grabbed his arm and pulled him into the heat-relief room, a small chamber with the usual trappings: sink, disposable cups, a cot with a plastic-lined mattress for easy hosing down, a dispenser with an assortment of pills and condoms. While Cecil was still reeling, Earl latched the door, filled a cup with water, and dumped it over his head.

"Ah...!" Cecil shook himself, but the shock of the cold was already taking the edge off. "Th-thanks."

"Any time." Filling another glass, Earl glanced at the dispenser machine. "Okay, they've got the fast-acting mood-killers, but the markup is insane. I could go find a pharmacy and pick up some cheap ones — you can pay me back later — if you can wait? What do you want?"

I want Carlos to come home and fuck me, thought Cecil, in a flash of desperate clarity. He opened his mouth — his breath hitched — and what came out was a plaintive "...fuck me."

Earl stopped short. The cup overflowed in his hand; he smacked the faucet, which whined in protest but switched off. "You sure...?"

Cecil bit his lip. He must look like a puppy left out in the rain, all drippy and sad-eyed. He hadn't meant to say it, but — of course, if Carlos stepped out of a door and onto their front porch tomorrow, he would feel like the most ungrateful cheating traitor in the world, but — but —

"I will throw another of these on you if I need to," added Earl. His voice shook a little over the words; his pale skin was flushed; there was a burning intensity in his dark, narrow eyes. Whatever medication he was on, it was helping him keep his cool a lot better than Cecil, but it could only do so much against being in a small enclosed space with the scent of an omega in...not pre-heat, no, in full hormonal flower.

"I can't...." Cecil leaned back against the wall to keep his trembling legs from collapsing under him, dug his nails into his forearms to hold back from thrusting a couple of fingers inside himself. "I've been slipping with my birth control, and I c-can't have your baby, I can't...."

"I've had the operation." With his free hand Earl mimed a pair of scissors, then the holding of a ritual goblet. "One kid was enough for me."

That, again, took the edge off the throbbing ache between Cecil's thighs. His body wanted to get pregnant right now. An alpha cock that couldn't do that was automatically less of a turn-on, was not the alpha cock it craved.

His heart craved Carlos. Carlos, who wasn't here. Carlos, who had asked him to "be patient." And here he was, seriously thinking about giving up his patience just because his hormone blockers were failing after...three weeks? A month? Maybe it had been a month after all...he hadn't looked at calendars much recently...no point, since Carlos hadn't given a date for when he would come home, or even when he would start looking for travel routes, just kept saying soon, soon, be patient.

"Cecil...?"

"If you don't want to fuck me, that's fine — then you should leave — but I want you to stay," panted Cecil, because he was a terrible person who couldn't do a simple thing like wait for his alpha for one short month. Or two. Definitely hadn't been more than two.

Earl crossed the tiny room in one step, hiked up Cecil's skirt as he pinned Cecil to the wall, and ground his hips against the by-now-sopping fabric of Cecil's tights.

Cecil moaned out loud and squirmed against the friction, letting the hot rush of hormones drive everything else out of his mind. He tried to push the waistband downward when Earl paused to unzip, but it was too complicated a motion and anyway it would pin his thighs together and that was the last thing he wanted, so he raked his nails across the thin strained fabric until it shredded. The barely-less-thin material of his briefs was pulled out of the way, dragging against one side of Earl's cock as it finally pushed inside him, while Earl grabbed Cecil's slippery thighs and hoisted them upwards, the better to fuck him roughly against the wall.

"You're so strong," gasped Cecil, hooking his calves around Earl's torso and reveling in the firmness of the muscles. His insides were clutching against Earl's cock, trying to suck it in; every time it pulled backward before thrusting again was a wrenching, satisfying show of power. His own erection, reasonably-sized for an omega male but nothing compared to Earl's, throbbed in sympathy as it was trapped between them.

"Yeah? You like that?" Earl let Cecil go for half a second, so he jolted downward and his own weight drove Earl's length more deeply inside him, then caught him before Cecil had finished yelping in shock and pleasure. "You want to carry some strong babies, huh?"

He wasn't saying it as a serious plan, he was saying it to turn Cecil on, and did it ever. "Uh-huh," he panted, in rhythm with Earl's thrusts. "Fill me up, fill me, oh — come inside me — ah — you will, right?"

"Like a fountain," murmured Earl, breath hot on his neck. "And I'll knot you so tight — every drop stays inside — you'll have a whole litter by the time we're through."

"Got the hips for it," said Cecil proudly. The image of his body being heavy with three, four, six of Earl's babies made him swoon with arousal; fresh wetness trickled down the curves of his ass.

"You'll only be able to wear skirts." (The one currently rucked up around Cecil's waist rustled with the fucking.) "Pants won't fit."

"Easier to feel me up under a skirt."

"Mmm? Gonna want me to fuck you while you're pregnant?" teased Earl. "What would be the point?"

"Point will be — I'll be super hot — won't be able to resist." With shaking hands Cecil fumbled to grasp Earl's head, clutching his short dark hair and pulling him in for a kiss. As soon as Earl's tongue was in his mouth, he felt the extra stretch inside him of Earl's knot starting to swell...and squeaked at the extra wave of stimulation when it tugged its way back out of him.

"Bed," whispered Earl against his teeth. "Hold on tight."

Cecil clung to the alpha's body with arms and legs and slick wet flesh, and Earl hoisted him up away from the wall to arc over to the cot in one smooth motion. He landed on his back with a thump on the cheap mattress, spreading his thighs the instant he was down. "You'd come over every day. Check on me."

"Rub your belly," agreed Earl. "Tell you if I can feel the babies moving."

"Rub my feet, they'll be sore, I'll be so heavy." Cecil scrabbled at the back of Earl's shirt, while Earl's strong muscled arms propped him up over Cecil's body. "Rub — other things."

"Won't take long, will it?" This time, as Earl pushed inside, he was so swollen that Cecil keened with the delicious agony. He wasn't coming out again. "You'll be so wet, so ready, just from your alpha showing up."

Scattered images from other fantasies flashed across Cecil's mind — from daydreams about his real alpha coming home. If Carlos walked into the house to find Cecil carrying another alpha's babies — if Carlos opened a door right here, right now, and saw Cecil's body trembling and throbbing around another alpha's cock —

— would it matter? Would he notice? It could be sexy and thrilling to have two alphas fighting over you...and it would be shattering to have Carlos reject him as not worth the effort...but in that moment Cecil couldn't imagine him doing either, could only picture him smiling and saying oh, neat, this tile grout is scientifically fascinating, you go ahead and keep doing that while I run a couple of tests.

Then one of Earl's hands pushed between them and wrapped around Cecil's cock, engulfing it in a couple of slow pulls, and Cecil yelped as he came, body shaking with a climax that washed all thought right out of his mind.

It wasn't long before Earl followed him over, hips stuttering against Cecil's, buried in him to the hilt. Fresh wavelets of arousal rolled through Cecil as he felt Earl pump him fuller than ever.

"You're starved for this, aren't you?" Earl nuzzled his cheek, and Cecil realized he'd started making needy little noises again. "Sweet omega, not getting fucked half as much as you deserve. You stay in heat as long as you want...beg for cock any time you need it...and I'll come inside you until it's streaming down your legs."

Cecil wrapped his arms around Earl's shoulders and hugged him tight. His thighs were still flexing, entrance still fluttering and clutching around the fat weight of Earl's knot, and it felt so incomparably good.

.

.

.

They were cuddling side-by-side when the hormonal daze started to recede. Neither one said out loud, hey, I'm coming back down — and those things I said, you know I didn't mean it. The change was all in quiet shifts of position, until they were holding each other like friends, not desperately wrapped up in each other's bodies.

Except for the part where Cecil was still knotted, Earl's cock still stuffed inside him and satisfyingly locked in place. And that would go down in a bit.

"I can make it home on my own," said Cecil presently, head resting against Earl's. "And I've got toys. I can ride the rest of this out." He'd have to call in sick to work, but that was okay. Tomorrow was the first day of September; there were provisions in place.

"Mm." Earl gazed at the ceiling. "You've got food in the fridge, and everything? I can bring stuff over. After I pick Roger up from soccer, that is."

"I'm fine." Of course Cecil had food at home. All Carlos's favorite foods. In preparation for the "congratulations, your hard work and determination finally got you home" party they were going to have any day now. All extremely fresh, because he kept buying replacements for things that got overripe, or moldy, or started developing splotches in the shape of Lee Marvin's face.

"Oh good."

They lay in companionable silence for a minute or two.

"Why are you letting your birth control slip?" asked Earl.

"Oh, that...?" Cecil shrugged. He'd almost forgotten he mentioned it. "Carlos isn't here, so...obviously if I'd known I would go into heat, I would've been more careful, but...you know."

"But he's supposed to be 'coming back any day now'," pointed out Earl. "And you need to have been taking regular doses for a few weeks before it's effective...so if you're anticipating having sex, likely heat sex, as soon as he gets back...wait, are you planning to have kids? Like, not just in general, but in the near future?"

Cecil squirmed. "Having children is not a topic we have discussed."

"Oh." There was a pause as Earl took in the implications of this. "Oh."

"Earl...."

"Cecil! When does that ever work? If he's going to leave you, he's going to leave you — having his baby just means he'll break two hearts instead of one."

"He is not going to leave me!" exclaimed Cecil, lucid enough now to be thankful that heat-relief rooms were soundproofed. "He loves me! That's one of the things we have discussed. There is absolutely no risk that he will stop loving me!"

"Okay, he's not going to leave," said Earl. "Is there a chance he just...won't come back?"

"No! There has to be a way back. He'll find it. As soon as he starts looking!"

"...He hasn't started looking?"

"He is doing work and it's important and I respect that and I am being patient and he will get to it!" cried Cecil. He was shaking again, and not from being turned-on. "He said he would! Soon!"

"How long has he been saying 'soon' for?"

"Not longer than two months!"

Earl's knot had softened just enough to pull out. He backed his hips away from Cecil's, leaving a wet trail across Cecil's shredded tights and the blank mattress, while putting an arm around Cecil's shoulders. "Hey, Cecil, it's gonna be okay."

"'Course it is," sniffled Cecil, crooking a couple of fingers inside himself to ease the sudden emptiness. "I'm hormonal, it happens, it doesn't mean I'm not fine."

Earl didn't contradict him, just rubbed his back.

"And I am not scheming to 'accidentally' get pregnant so he'll care more about our relationship. He does care! Being interested in his work doesn't mean he isn't also interested in me! He'll find a way home soon, and everything will go back to normal. It's not like I'm afraid he'd get lost somewhere else, and do this all over again. It's not like I think he's dragging his heels on purpose, and might be more motivated to keep his promises if he'd made them to his own child instead of just his boyfriend. Who would think that? How would I even get such a crazy idea?"

"You're right," said Earl soothingly.

Cecil hiccuped and tucked his head against Earl's shoulder.

"...that is a crazy idea. Get yourself on suppressants, and take your birth control."

Fine. But Cecil would only be doing it to make his concerned childhood best friend feel better. Not because he had any less confidence in Carlos than he ever had. "O-okay," he sniffled. "I will."