Actions

Work Header

No one likes us (we don't care)

Work Text:

"You changed your senior alpha, Eggsy?" the rozzer said, reading the note he’d just been given.

"I’m saying nothing," Eggsy said automatically. It was no, obviously. Not that he’d be gutted to get shot of Dean or anything, but he wasn't that fucking lucky.

The copper held the form back out to the assistant who'd brought it in, a sweet little omega thing with freckles and dark blonde curls. Eggsy gave her a wink and was hit with a look back that all but froze his balls in his pants. "I saw that," the copper said to him forbiddingly, then to the girl, "This authority real? I'm not handing him over to some mate of his to go back out joyriding."

"Maybe you should see the man yourself," she said, and cast Eggsy a disdainful look. He scowled at her, but he couldn't help sitting up straighter and preening a bit.

The rozzer looked back at Eggsy, back at the girl. “Fine,” he said.

He was back in the interview room a few minutes later, looking cowed and annoyed. "What you got yourself into now?"

"I ain't done nothing!" Eggsy protested reflexively. He had got himself into shit, probably. There was always something. But nothing that bad came to mind, which was almost the same as there being nothing to say.

"Eggsy," the copper said. "This posh fella - he friends with Dean? New market? If there's anything you wanted to tell us -"

The door opened. "Sir," the girl said and Eggsy looked at her in surprise. She sounded harried but under the smoky stress in her scent there was the liquor kick of interest, receptiveness. "He's insisting -"

"I'm merely exercising my right to take my charge," said a smooth voice, sounding like the Prime Minister did on the telly, and then the owner of the voice rounded into the room.

Eggsy realised his mouth was hanging open and shut it. The man was dressed - well, dressed nicely didn't seem to cut it. Eggsy didn't know much about suits, but he knew enough to spot the neat black pinstripe and silky tie hadn't cost a hundred quid in Burtons. The bloke was carrying an old-fashioned umbrella with a curved wooden handle. His shoes were really shiny. He was wearing a signet ring, for fuck’s sake. Full on banker wanker.

The rozzer was looking between Eggsy and the wanker, suspiciously. “You know him?”

Eggsy did: this was the bloke who was getting him out of this police station. What else did he need to know?

“‘Course I do,” he said, and gave the copper a mean little smile. “He’s my senior, innit. Do I know him.”

The wanker looked at him and he didn’t think he was making it up that the fella looked a bit more approving than when he’d first come into the room. Eggsy took a deep breath, sly as he could - which going from the eyebrow the wanker raised wasn’t so sly, but he had the man’s scent anyway and he tuned out the copper yammering on and sorted through it.

The wanker smelled like lavender-citrus-musk, with an interesting almost feral smell underneath, but that wasn’t him. Posho alphas and omegas liked to layer on a bought fragrance, he knew that from getting the bus through Knightsbridge and Mayfair. Maybe they thought it was rude to smell of themselves. Eggsy thought it was fucking rude to go round hiding yourself from everyone else. He had a good nose, even for a young alpha, and he’d got himself out of a lot of tight spots by using it; he didn’t like it when he couldn’t.

Time was up. The wanker reached out for Eggsy, who remembered just in time that this fucking stranger about to touch him was supposed to be not a fucking stranger at all, and made himself relax as the wanker’s hand landed on the nape of his neck with a light pressure bringing him into the man’s body, towards the door. A bloody command position, bastard, and Eggsy was bracing himself to let it happen, not to go mental, but then it was - okay, actually. It wasn’t great or anything but he didn’t remember the last time Dean’s hands on him had been anything but brutal, when he was a kid probably before his knot popped and before Dean turned into the complete fucknut he was now.

The wanker’s hand was warm through his shirt, felt solid and friendly, and Eggsy felt the forced relaxation become an actual drop of tension through his shoulders, the way your senior was meant to do for you. He swayed into the wanker without meaning to and found he was being guided out the door.

Nobody bothered them as they went out through the grey airless corridors, back into the public reception, and through the doors to the beautiful free outside world, which Eggsy would never be ungrateful for again. Maybe the fake authority was just that good, or maybe the wanker was seriously so fucking posh the world just did what he wanted it to all the time, which must be nice.

He shook the bloke off when they were a bit outside the police station. He didn’t know what he’d have done if the wanker’d hung on, but he didn’t, just let Eggsy go and then looked at him with that same smug, slightly sarky tilt to his gob. Eggsy took in a deep lungful of air, wanting to check him out properly, and once he’d recognised that expensive fragrance he could dismiss it and get to the scent underneath, the man himself. It was - it was good, really fucking nice, rich with a smoked-wood ambery sweetness and a bite of black peppercorn. It told him the bloke was comfortable, amused, not angry at being dragged off from whatever to get Eggsy out of a police station, and Eggsy found himself smiling without meaning to, covered it quick as he could with a combative glare.

“Who’re you?” he blurted out, rude, all too rude a way to speak and act to a strange alpha, one full-grown and strong in body and will, especially one who had his name signed on a form inside that police station saying he could do any-fucking-thing he liked to Eggsy.

The bloke smirked, leaned back against the wall with an cock to his hips. Eggsy had never seen an alpha move like that before, proper and under complete control but with a sort of insolence, a provocation not like I’ll fucking ‘ave ya (Eggsy had seen plenty of that) but something closer to the fluid elegance of an omega confident in their power over others. Mostly though he’d never seen an alpha react to him like that, not like he was a little shit to be put in his place sharpish but like he was… interesting. Pleasing, even. Living up to expectations.

“The man who got you released,” the wanker said.

“That’s not an answer,” Eggsy said. He didn’t know what the hell to do with himself. He wasn’t so stupid or prideful he was going to try to posture, up against this weirdarse alpha, but he wasn’t going to just roll over neither, no matter how reluctantly impressed he was. He stuck his hands in his pockets instead and raised his chin just enough that the bloke could avoid taking offence, if he wanted.

His smile broadened, as if he liked Eggsy fighting back - a bit. “A little gratitude would be nice. My name is Harry Hart,” he said. “I gave you that medal. Your father saved my life.” Eggsy took another sniff, reflexively, but there wasn’t - the man wasn’t lying, he didn’t think, or else he was really good at it, none of the acidic taint of uncertainty and untruth clouding him.

So he’d known Eggsy’s dad, a man who lingered in Eggsy’s head as a bunch of photos he’d half made-up the stories for, one happy Christmas and a few other stupid kid memories and nothing else.

Hart walked across to the curb and stuck his hand out and a taxi screeched over like it’d been waiting for him. “Would you like a lift?”

***

Hart was the one who suggested the drink, while Eggsy was just enjoying being in a black cab for once instead of on the bus, with a bloke who looked like he might've heard something once about public transport but hadn't seen what it had to do with him. Eggsy was stupidly flattered enough by the offer to just blurt out his local, although if Ryan and Jamal ever heard about this he'd never hear the fucking end of it.

"It'd be my round, right, only I've got no cash," he said, hanging on Hart at the bar and trying a winsome smile. Credit to him, he hadn't blinked an eye when he came into the Prince, which wasn't exactly the Ritz. Last time it was decorated had probably been when Eggsy's dad was still drinking there.

But Hart had cast one quick look around and walked straight to the bar, almost like a normal person, and Eggsy had gone with him because - well, the Prince wasn't the best smelling, stank of booze and fags even years after the smoking ban, and if Eggsy got too far away he lost the thread of that brilliant dark scent, which was now making him think surprisingly detailed thoughts about lazy country mornings with fog outside and hot showers and fires and coffee inside, not that Eggsy had any experience with those things. Hart wasn't Eggsy's real senior and he'd be fucking off soon enough and leaving Eggsy back with Dean and the delight he was - like opening up a hot car on a motorway and feeling the engine purr into a roar under his hands, just before the shriek of sirens behind.

Eggsy's policy had always been to enjoy things the most he could when he got his hands on them, and fuck later.

Hart rolled his eyes and ordered a Guinness, which was a safe enough bet. Kev gave Eggsy a shitty look and a lager and that was fine. He carried Hart's pint over to the table for him and picked the nice one by the window. It was where Dean and his gang or Eggsy's mum always sat when they were in, but they weren't in yet.

Hart knocked back half the pint as soon as they sat down. Eggsy was almost impressed, but posh gits were practically all pissheads, weren't they? Helped them cope with their mums preferring horses to kids.

He let Hart tell him some boring stuff about his life for a bit (a tailor, what the fuck, didn’t they have machines for that these days?) before he steered the conversation round to his dad. "But my dad saved your life, yeah," he said, too encouragingly - it didn't pay to let people know you wanted something they could give you - but he'd hardly ever met anybody who knew his dad and wanted to tell Eggsy anything about him, much less anything nice.

“The day your father died, I missed something,” Hart said quietly. “And if it weren’t for his courage my mistake would have cost the lives of every man present.” He paused and Eggsy tried not to look too bothered, aware of the bloke looking weirdly keenly at his expression.

Hart was matter of fact about it, with none of the bluster Eggsy would’ve expected from an obviously strong alpha admitting getting something wrong - Eggsy had heard a lot of that, between Dean and the other alphas round the estate and the couple of alpha teachers he’d had, prickly because they couldn’t get a job in a decent school and taking it out on the smartarse kid alpha who corrected them in front of the whole class when they got shit wrong. Hart wasn’t like that at all. It was - interesting.

Hart said, “So I owe him. Your father was a brave man, a good man.”

Eggsy smiled, but like everything nice it was short-lived. "And having read your files, I think he'd be bitterly disappointed in the choices you’ve made," Hart finished off, the fucker. It wasn't even what he was saying, as he went down a giant litany of all the shit Eggsy had done that he should’t’ve, or hadn’t done but should’ve, or whatever else bollocks, it was the way he said it - like Dad might have been disappointed, but he himself would have known better than to expect more, his scent staying smooth and woody and calm.

He rounded off with, "... Nearly at your majority, and no hope of attracting an omega to settle with you." He didn't have to say the rest. No omega bond, and nothing else that distinguished Eggsy, the way he'd hoped once the military would, giving him a decent place in the world and a community-bond to settle the wild alpha hormone rushes; no future. Just another shiftless, resentful ageing alpha. Living on the estate, on the dole, on the drugs that just barely worked. Out of the way until he went out of his head.

He sat back, tried not to let his disappointment show in the turn things had taken, said some shit back, trying to defend himself - and he stood by it, blokes like that didn’t know anything about the painful slow grind of lives like his, how shit it all was with no end or hope in sight, how it got easier in the end to just shrug and pretend not to care until the relief of numbness became real. He tried not to let the bitterness come out too much as he said just as well as you, if not better. He’d stayed around, done what he could for his mum and then for her and Daisy. He wasn’t going to cry about it.

He could tell Hart was unimpressed, looking at him patiently like it was all just excuses. Still, he was almost happy about it when Dean's bunch of lumps walked in and started. They were going to do him like a twat probably, but at least he'd be out this fucking conversation.

Wasn’t Hart’s fault, even if he was a knob who felt entitled to turn up in people’s lives and chat shit - he couldn’t help being posh and not knowing anything about how the real world worked. Eggsy tried to hurry him, get him out of the way, not prepared for Hart’s answer to be a thin, crisp, "Nonsense. We haven't finished our drinks."

His scent was changing fast, blending with that dirty feral undertone of whatever shit he'd sprayed on, going sharp and yellowy, excited, a morning sky just before the sun broke the horizon. Not like he was defending a threat. Like he was ready to hunt.

None of the arseholes knew. Dean didn't keep other alphas round to question him: they were all betas, slow stupid ones with slow stupid noses. But to Eggsy, Hart might as well have put a blinking sign over his head, confident and glaring.

Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough.

Hart stood up like a museum statue coming to life, slow and stone and cold. Rottweiler fell back a step, the others shuffling behind him. Eggsy could see the moment they realised, got wary. Even the most idiot beta could tell a gathering storm, a strong alpha pulling his will and strength around him ready to lash out.

“Yeah, go on,” Poodle said, stupidly, like if he just said Hart was fucking off, maybe fuck off he would. “Plenty more baby alphas to shag round Smith Street, if that’s what you’re into.”

It wasn’t the most insulting thing he could’ve said. He didn’t have the imagination for that. But it was bad. Hart took a deliberate step out, away from the table, the group moving with him. "Manners maketh man," Hart said, with a calm, controlled menace that had Eggsy instinctively cringing, anger like a silent quick blade between the ribs instead of the showy, noisy fistfight of Dean’s rage. "Do you know what that means?"

Eggsy could smell their fear now, the silky copper bite of it. He was used to that, but usually because of Dean's little group of fucksticks, leaking behind wherever he took them, not coming from them. It was great and he breathed it in deep, greedy. Hart's gaze slid to him, quick distraction, and Eggsy shivered at the flash of electric interest he saw there, the hot spike of Hart's scent overwhelming the betas' miasma.

Rottweiler saw the chance, took the first swing. And then -

Well. Well, then.

Hart sat back down and drained the remainder of his pint, graceful and suddenly seeming a bit sad as if he hadn't just fucked Dean's whole crew to shite in under three minutes and left them lying groaning on the dirty floor of the pub. Eggsy gulped in a breath of Hart's fierce rain-on-Tarmac triumph scent, thick now in the air through the bar, and realised with slow, painful inevitability, that his dick was ragingly, crushingly, ballachingly hard in his jeans.

“Sorry about that,” Hart said. “Needed to let off a little steam. Heard yesterday a friend of mine died. He knew your father too, actually.” His gaze landed on Eggsy again, suddenly, blood-hot and razor-sharp, and Eggsy felt - shit, like he’d do anything, any fucking thing, for Hart to just look at him like that again, to deserve it. He could smell his own scent rising, which even with his good nose happened hardly ever, citrus bite on the air.

It was embarrassing enough that he briefly considered letting Hart just give him the same thing that had taken Kev down from the watch. But only briefly.

And wasn’t there just something in Hart’s voice - the bare hint of challenge when he apologised, talking alpha to alpha for probably the first time the whole weird bloody afternoon - “No, please,” Eggsy said, his voice lower than he meant, the genuine pleading that should have felt shameful coming out sly, sultry even. Was this how it was supposed to feel, growing up, testing yourself out against a good strong senior, an alpha worth looking up to, learning from? It must be. “I won’t say nothing, I swear. If there’s one thing I can do, it’s keep my mouth shut.”

“You won’t tell a soul?” Hart said, and Eggsy had the weird feeling they were - playing, Hart’s scent shifting and twining and complementing his. Or not playing, dancing, push-pulling together like the tangos Mum liked to watch on Strictly every year.

“You can ask the feds,” he said, hands in the air, palms open. The picture of standing down, and Hart gave it back, shifting slightly so his chest was square on, open, his palms curving into an unconscious gesture of alliance. “I’ve never grassed anyone up.”

“Is that a promise?”

“On my life,” Eggsy said, and he meant it more than anything he’d ever said before, wanted Hart’s slow smile and the hand clapping on his shoulder before he left more than anything.

He finished his pint before he followed Hart out, slow enough that his cock was soft again in his boxers by the time he got up. Perfectly normal response to seeing a bunch of bastards like Dean’s gang going down under an alpha he respected, he reckoned. Totally normal.

***

It was stupid, really. He was so caught up in Hart, so convinced that something good had happened - and what did he have, really? A nice enough afternoon with a decent bloke who’d known his dad, a weird phone number that had got him the one favour he’d saved so carefully over the years, and he was thinking sodding all sorts. He didn’t even have proper contact details for the fella and it seemed pretty clear when he thought about it, best of luck with everything like you said to someone you’d never see again and didn’t really give a crap about.

Reality was a pretty fucking rude awakening.

“Just go!” Mum screamed, high with fear, the ugly burnt-hair scent of her fear and weariness lingering in the air of the small flat, and then Dean was on him with a strong punch to the cheek that cracked Eggsy’s head back against the fridge and left him dazed and sliding to the floor.

Dean put the boot in, yelling about the bloke in the pub, and Eggsy got enough about him to yell back, deny it, say he didn’t know what Dean was on about. Dean’s rage, the dominance he was projecting, felt so thick and black that under the ringing in Eggsy’s head he thought he could taste it, choke on it, and he hated the instincts telling him this was still his senior, to be good, bend the knee and wait it out.

His ribs hurt where Dean kicked him, curled on the floor, and he could hear his mum’s sobs, the baby crying in the next room, wanted Dean’s fury on him as long as it might protect them.

“I could fucking kill you and nobody in the whole world would notice,” Dean was yelling, blade in the air and glinting, and that was an old threat, rare but effective, because Eggsy knew it was true - normal discipline gone wrong, they’d say, sad but not unheard of, but then people would whisper, say that with someone like Eggsy, with his criminal record, his mother’s tears well known, him a bad lad - people would say one rough young alpha not around to cause trouble was no loss, and look the other way. Nobody would care.

“But I would,” Hart’s voice, and Eggsy had a sudden freakish sense he was going to be there in the kitchen, come to help. He wasn’t, the voice going on disembodied and echoing, and Eggsy felt a crushing disappointment and need so strong he ached, even stronger than the confusion and relief at the reprieve.

Fucking ignore it. He levered himself up and legged it.

***

The window looked more like a costume shop than an actual clothes shop selling stuff actual people would be caught dead in. Eggsy felt like he was muckying the place up just by putting his hand on the doorknob, but he could see Harry inside, looking at him gravely through the glass, and it was practically automatic, he just wanted to be in there and then he was, where Harry was sat on a settee in the poshest, arsiest clothes shop Eggsy had ever seen, drinking spirits out of a heavy glass.

He was just nerving himself to say - something, whatever, like hell Harry was a tailor and Eggsy wanted some answers, but Harry's scent dropped as soon as Eggsy stepped into the light, his anger coming through clear at the end of the day with his fragrance worn down. He came over to Eggsy and tilted his face up precisely, light firm fingers on his chin. The cheek hurt like fuck where Dean had thumped him, felt hot and swollen, so he didn't even like to think what it must look like. It was the first time Harry had touched him skin-to-skin, he thought, a bit muzzy, and then noticed he'd brought his own hand up to hang onto Harry's wrist, under his sleeve, fingertips going right for the throbbing steady pulse.

Then he was smooshed face-first into the smooth fabric of Harry's jacket, being held against a warm strong chest with Harry's hand latched on at the tender-feeling nape of his neck and he thought - yeah, this, right. This was it, what your senior was supposed to feel like, supposed to do; make you feel secure, safe, good. He settled himself more comfortably against Harry and breathed him in. It might've been the case he made a small sound.

Harry pulled back and looked at him seriously. Eggsy could feel a calloused thumb rubbing soothingly against his throat and arched into it, just a bit, showed throat - almost like an omega might, but that was probably right too, wasn't it, to your senior? It was just respectful. The moment caught, held, stretched out and Eggsy waited peacefully for whatever came next.

Harry coughed and moved away, making himself busy at a cabinet. Eggsy waited, weirdly disappointed. Harry came back over with a wadded up tea towel with the distinctive leaking lumps of a make-do ice pack. He was going to put it up to Eggsy's cheek himself, Eggsy could tell and shifted to open his stance up, make room for Harry to step back in close, but then he hesitated, put it gently and damply into Eggsy's hand and said, "Here, use this. And come with me."

He took Eggsy through to the back, to a plush fitting room. It was green. Very, very green, with black and white pictures in museum-gold frames and mirrors and furniture in dark wood like his mum had got sniffy about a few years ago and insisted on going to Ikea and getting new lighter stuff in. Harry put Eggsy in front of the full mirror, left a hand resting gently on his back. Eggsy could see them both reflected back three ways, met Harry's eyes in the reflection straight ahead. Harry looked a bit softer somehow in here, like it was his natural place; he smelled of what Eggsy was coming to think of as his ambery natural smell, relaxed and generally okay with the world, no strong emotions hitting his hormones and chemistry. Eggsy found he liked it, the thought that Harry had brought him somewhere like this, where he smelled of his deepest best self.

"Look in the mirror," Harry said in a low voice. "What do you see?"

"Someone who wants to know what the fuck is going on," Eggsy said plaintively.

“I see a young man with potential,” Harry said, his gaze nothing but calm conviction and steadiness, and Eggsy could feel his whole self just melting, narrowing into a little ball of instinct somewhere in his chest that whispered quietly to listen and trust. “A young man who is loyal. Who can do as he’s asked. And who wants to do something good with his life.”

It didn’t even sound like Eggsy - Eggsy was a fuck up, he knew that. So it couldn’t be true, but strangely Eggsy also knew there wasn’t anything Harry had said that was wrong. Eggsy was those things, if he imagined how someone might see him if they trusted him, believed in him. Loved him.

“Did you see the film Trading Places?” And now they were in the… film review portion of the evening? What the fuck. Eggsy shook his head.

“How about Nikita?” No. “Pretty Woman?” Eggsy shook his head a bit, tried to look a bit regretful, like he was sorry he hadn’t spent the last ten years at least working his way through Lovefilm.

“All right,” Harry said. He didn’t look too bothered. “My point is, the lack of a silver spoon has set you on a certain path, but you needn’t stay on it. If you’re prepared to adapt, and learn… you can transform.”

“Like in My Fair Lady,” Eggsy said confidently, finally feeling able to join in. Musicals were the fucking bollocks. And the ugly duckling story was a classic.

Harry looked a bit startled, then a look crossed his face that was like how Mum looked at Daisy, even at Eggsy sometimes, like Dad looked at her in the one picture Eggsy kept safe from their wedding day. Tender. Like the looking person was thinking they were lucky. Like the looked-at person made them happy. “You’re full of surprises,” Harry said. “Yes, like My Fair Lady. Only in this case I’m offering you the opportunity to become a Kingsman.”

“A tailor,” Eggsy said. He quirked an eyebrow at Harry. Right, yeah; he could just see himself in that horrible black quilted number from the window.

“A Kingsman agent,” Harry clarified.

Eggsy watched him for a second in the mirror. There was something smoky winding out of Harry's scent, uncertainty, although his expression was as soft as it had been since they came into the fitting room, since he started saying nice things about Eggsy, like he was setting out a bond offer.

Harry was waiting. This was the last moment when Eggsy would be able to deny what he'd seen today, what he'd felt. Would be able to walk out and back into his life, which was shitty, yeah, and small, but familiar and with a future he understood, even if he didn't want it. If Eggsy went back to his own life, he'd never have to worry about letting anyone down ever again. No one would care what he did, or wonder if he could do more.

He wanted Harry to smell relaxed again. Happy. Interested. He wanted everything Harry had put on the table, and everything else he hadn’t, yet. He said, "Like a spy."

***

And then: betrayal. The room turned into a lift, Harry gave a speech Eggsy didn't listen to because he was busy sorting through the fantastic things Harry's scent was doing the whole way, pride and wonder and anticipation, a shuttle ride well better than anything TfL had to offer, the wide expanse of Kingsman HQ spread in front of him to take, and Harry there with him -

And then he was kicked out of glory and into a bloody dormitory full of bastard hoorays, in a competition where the cheering knobbing start was how you and your family might get fucking ganked if you dared to breathe wrong.

***

Someone came to get Eggsy in the morning. He assumed that was it, someone had clocked just how chavvy he was and was kicking him out, and he was just debating with himself whether or not to go quietly - that poor girl was dead already and he didn't much fancy being next - when the bloke mentioned that he'd been invited to join Galahad for a coffee after breakfast. That was all right, then.

"Ah, there you are," Harry said. He was dabbing his mouth with a cloth serviette and he waved Eggsy into a chair opposite and poured him out a coffee. Eggsy cast a quick look at Harry’s plate. It looked like he'd had a cooked breakfast, like the recruits had had in a canteen this morning. It had been really good, hot and tasty and plenty of it, and the nice lady with the ladle had smiled at him when she heard his accent and given him extra bacon.

"I hear you did well in the test last night," Harry said when Eggsy had sorted out his coffee to his liking, with hardly any gentlemanly wincing at all at Eggsy’s putting in three lumps of sugar.

Eggsy stared at his coffee. "None of us did, did we? Amelia drowned."

He could hear Harry stirring milk into his own coffee slowly, but he just passed Eggsy a clean serviette and didn't answer until Eggsy had sorted himself out. He said gently, "It's a high stakes process, yes. The job will only bear the absolute best. Her family will be cared for, if it helps to know that."

"Any of us could have helped her," Eggsy said.

"Yes."

Eggsy had almost finished his cup before either of them spoke again, but it wasn't awkward. Harry's scent surged around him, warmly protective. All he had to do was breathe, and drink his coffee.

"I didn't give you much time to consider doing this," Harry said. "Or much information on what it would entail. If you'd like to withdraw, you only have to say.” He hesitated and looked down at his coffee. Eggsy almost missed it when he added, “I don't mean to abandon you now."

No fucking way, bruv was right on the tip of his tongue, just kneejerk you-say-potayto-I-say-potahto, but he made himself stop and think about it, really properly think. Harry had been good to him and was giving him a real choice, caring what he thought. The least he could do was behave properly back. Be a gent, as Harry would probably say.

"I’ll stay," he said after a couple of minutes. "Thank you."

There was a little tilt to Harry's mouth that might be satisfaction, or might just be the effects of a big breakfast. "Very well. Then I'll send you back to your colleagues."

There was a knock on the door, perfectly timed. Harry got up to answer it and came back with - what even fucking was that? A tartan boiler suit, it looked like. It was fucking hideous.

"Here's your new uniform," Harry said, holding it out to him.

"Fuck that," Eggsy said. Harry raised an eyebrow.

***

After that, the early weeks of training - hideous fucking boiler suit and all - just blended together in Eggsy’s mind because he was so. Fucking. Tired. If he wasn’t asleep he was wishing he was asleep, or thinking about when he was next going to be asleep, or poking himself in the thigh with a handy pen or fingernails to stop from being asleep when he shouldn’t be. Or he was eating. The Kingsman regime was hardcore and him and the other proposals ate everything, all delicious and perfectly cooked and barely even tasted because they were so keen to stuff themselves, muscles and bodies growing and stretching and strengthening by the day.

It made sense - smart of Kingsman, really. They were all in competition and all of them picked a pal or two and stayed wary of and mildly disgusted by the others, but by the time any of them surfaced from the fog of exhaustion and the fucking weirdness of Kingsman, they’d gelled as a group. The shifting morass of scent in the dorm was complicated and musky-salty but not unpleasant, all settled so no-one was having hormone kicks or posturing or trying dominance displays on the others.

When Rufus and Nick had the first intra-proposal scrap, all fists and aggression and calling each other knotjockeys, it wasn’t about status or territory or one of the pretty omegas who worked in HQ, but rather about whether or not Amazon delivered to the estate (answer was no, but twenty quid to one of the nice beta blokes who worked in the commissary got delivery to him at home and a handover in the lunch queue - Eggsy got that sorted week one. The estate wasn’t on Google Earth either and fuck only knew who someone had to knot sweet to shake hands on that one).

There were no betas or omegas in their group, which was pretty standard, apparently - there was only one beta at the moment among the agents, and two female alphas. On the other hand, there weren’t many alphas in the rest of the organisation, with analytics and handling rooms full of omegas especially and the usual lot of betas bulking it all out just because of their numbers in the overall population.

Eggsy had tuned out while Merlin went on and on about successful agents and psychological profiles and dynamics in the population and attitudes to risk and hormonal responses to adrenaline and dealing with crisis situations. It was the same shit they always said, why they guided alphas to school curriculums in business and politics and PE, ready to go out and conquer the world while someone else got on with the thinking.

Merlin seemed to be the one in charge of the whole place, the most freakishly scent-blank omega Eggsy had ever seen in his life. It didn’t mean anything at this level, anyway, Eggsy knew that much from his time with the marines, with small numbers of people you couldn’t tell anything from a dynamic. Alphas would go home and one alpha would get the job; that was going to be down to the individual.

The hardest thing for Eggsy was losing Harry so early. He’d known Harry was in the middle of an operation, working on what had happened to the old Lancelot and why. For the first few days they were researching and planning - Eggsy didn’t know the details but there was someone involved in London that Harry would be trying to get information from - and that meant Eggsy got to spend time with him almost every day, an hour or two in Harry’s private quarters after dinner.

He could feel himself changing under the attention, the interest Harry took in what Eggsy thought about the things he was learning and experiencing, the praise and special guidance he got when Merlin told Harry he’d done well that day. He luxuriated in Harry’s scent like a kid just coming into his nose, greedy for that sense of Harry’s fondness. All of that in the evening, and then he was more focused during the day, quicker and sharper and just better, like his body and mind were showing off for his senior.

None of the others had their agent around so much and it was worth the resentful banter.

Then it was gone. Harry was lying in that bed and Merlin wouldn’t tell him anything no matter how much Eggsy swallowed his pride and pleaded. He even only grudgingly agreed to let Eggsy see Harry as long as he promised to keep his scent under control, not distressed or anything Harry might react to subconsciously even through the coma.

***

"Here is your new task," Merlin said blandly, smiling at Eggsy and Digby. "You will go into the village and get me a cupcake from the bakery on the high street. The one with the dolly mixtures in the window. Here's all you'll need."

He handed Eggsy a sealed brown envelope. They stared at him. He stared back, then turned on his heel and left.

"What flavour?" Eggsy shouted after him.

"Surprise me!"

"It's obviously a code, Eggy," Digby said. He was the only one who still thought that was hilarious. "That must be the cipher. The cupcake at the bakery will lead us to more clues."

"Nah," Eggsy said, investigating the contents of the envelope. He pulled out a crisp fiver. "I think maybe he just really wants a cupcake."

It was about two miles into the village, not a bad walk when the day was nice. Digby was a self-important bore but he was no bother because he just talked and talked and never needed any input, so as long as you could put up with his droning yah yahs it was all pretty easy. Thankfully they'd been allowed to put on normal clothes so they wouldn't stick out in the village, although it basically ran on the hundreds of people who worked in HQ and all their sweeties, sarnie and after-work boozing needs so they were used to looking the other way from weird people and weird stuff; as far as Eggsy could tell they thought it was a health farm and everyone there was just desperate to escape living on cabbage smoothies.

"And so the thing is, yah, that I'm still thinking I'm too young - Mummy married at 20, she said she just knew my dad was the right omega the moment she scented him so she's no help - although obviously Jessa is absolutely inundated with offers, I mean inundated, she's extremely pretty and so clever, Double First at Cambridge, you know -"

"Mmm," Eggsy said, which was all Digby usually needed. What he wanted to know, right, was what this incredibly pretty intelligent posh (went without saying) girl was doing with Digby, who fulfilled the Tim nice but dim stereotype brilliantly by being thick as two short planks and had only got a Desmond on the back of paying someone else to write his essays for him, Roxy had said. He was rich, though, there was that. Maybe she was from one of those families with a big fuck off country pile and no readies to keep it standing.

"What about you?" Digby said.

"Mmm," Eggsy said.

"I said," Digby said in an overloud, overslow voice, "what about you?"

"What about me?" Eggsy said.

"Some omega waiting back on the estate?" Digby said slyly, because that was the only reason, Eggsy and Roxy thought, he'd been proposed for Kingsman - for being a complete arse he was very good at finding a sore spot and instinctively knowing just how to press.

"No," Eggsy said.

"No, they probably all bond at fifteen and have six kids by now, don't they," Digby said. God, he was a wankstain. "Got your knot stuck, though, eh? You people must need some way to pass the time."

"No," Eggsy said shortly.

"Why not?"

"Just haven't," Eggsy said. He didn't fucking know why not, as it happened. There'd been omegas he'd liked, who'd liked him, but it had never quite worked out. And he'd shagged betas, he wasn't an actual virgin, just none of them had made his knot swell. He'd seen what had happened to his mum, so keen to bond again she'd grabbed at the first alpha who offered, and look where that had got them. He wasn't getting into that until he met someone he knew absolutely was worth it.

"Well, why not?"

"Digby, bruv," Eggsy said. "I'm visualising the cupcake, all right? Gizza bit of peace." That shut him up: Digby worshipped Charlie and followed him round like he was an omega on heat so he'd started up the visualisation bullshit on Digby in a desperate attempt to get him to stop flapping his mouth for ten minutes. Then they'd all started it and now Digby had a lot of respect for visualisation because otherwise he didn't understand how the rest of them got shit done and he was still a wanker.

That got them the rest of the way into the village and then they didn't talk by mutual agreement, focusing on the task.

They found the bakery. They reconnaissed the bakery. They entered the bakery. They had a small but full and frank exchange of views on whether Merlin would award higher marks for a white chocolate and raspberry cupcake, or a dark chocolate orange one. They purchased a white chocolate and raspberry cupcake. The cupcake was handed to them in a box with the bakery's name on the side, and a picture of the dolly mixtures, in a paper bag. They departed the bakery.

"Now what?" Digby said outside the shop. He looked back in the window. "I might go back in and get a brownie. Do you want a brownie, Eggy? Shall we get the chaps and chapess a brownie each?"

Eggsy was looking in the window as well, although not at the brownies. "We're being tailed - don't fucking look, dickhead."

"Are you sure?" Digby said.

"Yeah," Eggsy said. "That one - there - fella in the blue shirt. Saw him in the Risk & Research office last week."

"We're not allowed in the Risk & Research office," Digby said. The tail wasn't bad, actually. The high street was just busy enough that his meandering along looked natural. He'd just looked at them a little bit too long, and Eggsy'd caught it.

He said absently, "Yeah, that's why I broke in to have a look at it. Don't know why, there's shag all in there, unless someone's left their computer open."

"What do we do?" Digby said, and that was the other reason he'd made it this far in the tests: he asked for and followed orders immediately, accurately, and uncomplainingly.

The tail turned around to say hi to someone he passed and Eggsy saw a telltale shape in the back of his jeans. A paintball pistol, if he was any judge; he'd got involved in the long running tussle between Data Science and Programming on the south lawn just last week.

"Well, whatever happens," he said, "don't drop the fucking cupcake."

***

He was working on a new test with Charlie, of all people, when word came that Harry had woken up - not officially, bloody bastard Merlin, one of the chars Eggsy had made friends with dropped him the wink when she came in to clean the library straight after the medical wing.

“I’ve gotta go,” he said, stumbling up with his mind already on his senior.

“What the fuck?” Charlie said. His scent went doughy and outraged and Eggsy kicked up his defences automatically, imagining himself behind a window of cool clear ice as Charlie tried to exert his will. “It’s a fucking timed test! The plan has to be ready as if we’re briefing agents at 7pm tonight.”

“I won’t be long,” Eggsy said, torn. It was an interesting enough task, planning how’d they rob the HSBC in the nearest town, and they were a fair way on, all the visits and scoping done and working up the final briefing. Charlie was a complete twit and a tosser, the worst of them for being an alpha arsehole and for looking down on Eggsy, but the best of the posh boys when it came to actually getting shit done, so Eggsy was confident they’d be okay if they finished off - and there wasn’t much point in Harry waking up only for Eggsy to fail a task and get chucked out immediately after.

He told himself all that. But it was Harry, and Eggsy wanted to see him awake more than anything, felt the desperation to smell Harry’s normal own scent instead of the horrible hospital antiseptic like it was an actual squeezing pain around his middle.

“Half an hour,” he promised, ignoring Charlie’s yelling following him out the door.

Kingsman HQ was a weird old place. It looked all National Trust from the outside, obviously, all elegant architecture and mown lawns and rose gardens and whatever else shite. The left wing and the centre portion of the main house - the old house - was like that too, with old-fashioned furniture and ornate faded rugs and that flocky furry wallpaper, very Buckingham Palace.

The other half were what might have been the staff quarters at one point, and still were really - offices, but innocuous-looking like for all the world they sold pens and paper or whatever, just rolly chairs and computers and desks. It was all discreetly high tech, all cameras and security, and systems which as far as Eggsy could tell were mainly so the support staff didn’t nick each others’ meeting rooms.

The proposals were allowed in some of it, more the nicer rooms than the ones where any actual work happened. Eggsy always checked the bottom of his shoes before he went into any of them; if the oil paintings on the walls had come to life like Hogwarts and told him the mere presence of his arse on the chairs was an insult to the organisation he wouldn’t have been surprised.

The underground sprawl was where the real action happened, the dorms and transport hangar and tech and weapons development and practice, and that was where Eggsy hurried now, to the mini hospital tucked away in the arse end of the under-east wing. Early on Roxy had estimated the underground complex at about 250,000 square feet - not that much smaller than the Aylesbury where Eggsy lived, and that had thousands of flats and even more residents. Some local councillor had probably retired early from the backhanders from letting the building work get signed off.

With all of that distance to tromp he used about ten of his thirty minutes just getting to Harry, even at the light run that at this point he could have kept up for the London Marathon. Fuck the fancy planes, when was Kingsman going to invent beaming up, that was what he wanted to know.

He wasn’t sure what to expect. Harry was poorly, he needed to remember that, and would need time to be back to his old self and be bothered about the recruitment process - about Eggsy. He’d probably be chucked out quick. That was okay. All he wanted to do was see Harry, check for himself he was awake and would be all right, and then he’d go back up and finish the task with Charlie.

He knew Harry’s room better than Harry himself did, he was the one who’d been staring at it the last few weeks, but he still felt a bit shy when he got there. He could smell Harry though, his normal amber-rich self-scent starting to wind through his space and into the corridor, so he scratched lightly at the door and didn’t wait for permission before he went in.

“Hiya,” he said, stupidly, staring right at Harry where he was sitting up in the bed and looking really the same as the day before last, just with his eyes open and gorgeously awake and alert. Eggsy found he was taking great big breaths, almost hyperventilating, taking in all of that scent that he could, the sour illness edge of it already fading, ignorable.

Harry didn’t even say anything. He just looked at Eggsy, all big keen brown eyes, and nostrils flaring and mouth open to scent Eggsy back, and then he put his teacup down and put his hand out.

It wasn’t dignified. It was almost certainly not in the fucking Kingsman gentlemanly handbook. But it was just about the best Eggsy had ever ever felt, squashed awkwardly up on Harry’s hospital bed and back in his arms, nose buried in his neck, the arms tight around Eggsy's back maybe a bit less muscled and strong than they'd been in pre-coma hugs but still bloody good.

“Harry,” he muttered eventually, low against the thrumming heartbeat in Harry’s throat. Harry let him pull away, not very far, and he said, “Er. You’re looking better.” He was completely - he had the maddest sense of fierce, angry protectiveness, that seemed to fill his whole body, be the most important thing he could possibly feel or think or do at that moment. Stay with Harry. Take care of Harry. Nothing normal, for a charge to his senior. But nothing that felt even the slightest bit wrong.

“I’m feeling much better,” Harry said neutrally, but his gaze on Eggsy was almost hungry, like he wanted to look right into him, smell his skin and pulse and clothes and just know everything he’d been doing while Harry was out of it.

“Good,” Eggsy said, feebly. “Good. Glad you’re feeling better.”

“And you’re doing even better than I could have hoped,” Harry said, and Eggsy squirmed happily under the pleased, warm weight of his gaze. “First thing the doctor told me.”

“It’s going all right,” Eggsy said, self-conscious. He felt hot, and weird, and like he just wanted to stay here and have nice things said to him and say encouraging things back about Harry getting better, and maybe hold Harry’s hand. “I do what I can, you know.”

Merlin came in then, welcome because it cut off the freaky tension between them, but also horrible timing and massively, hatefully in the way, and tried to dismiss Eggsy first thing. Eggsy puffed up a bit when Harry didn’t let him be kicked out, and even more when he realised he actually knew something they didn’t - he was going to be late to go back to Charlie and the task, but he was helping with a real mission. He was helping Harry, and even if that wasn’t a good enough excuse later on it wasn’t an opportunity he was going to miss.

He snatched the clipboard-tablet out of Merlin’s hands. (Total wank, that was - everyone else just had a normal tablet, they didn’t pretend they were on some old-timey pen and paper but actually had the best tech in the place, paperthin touchscreen that even recognised Merlin’s awful handwriting.) “Richmond Valentine is a genius. Did you not see his announcement today?”

***

The proposals got actually quite a bit of downtime, but the catch was everyone knew it wasn’t really supposed to be downtime - they were supposed to use it to practice the skills they were learning, get in the weapons galleries or the mission simulators, research and read, get ahead of themselves.

So when he let himself into the summerhouse he’d tracked Roxy down to, he interrupted her sitting on a yoga ball like it was a throne and nose deep in some thick book about the Special Operations Executive.

"Learnt anything useful yet, then?" he said.

"Oh, who knows," she said grumpily. "Merlin saw it, he went, oh, you're reading that, are you, I couldn't tell if he meant it was good or not. It's all a bit boys' own adventure. I'll be fine if there's a task about sabotaging the enemy in wartime."

"Maybe there will be," Eggsy said soothingly. He held up the banana and apple he'd brought and handed her the apple in response to her nod, then peeled his banana.

"You're not keeping yourself busy this afternoon then," she said. She sighed at her book, putting a marker in neatly and closing it, and bit into the apple.

"Been in the gym two hours," he protested. “And half an hour on the assault course.” He gave her a flex and she rolled her eyes.

"So you've given yourself the rest of the afternoon off," she said dryly. "Although - Galahad is due back from his gala, isn't he?"

Eggsy shrugged, avoiding her gaze. "Think he is, yeah." It was a bit embarrassing; he knew they all thought it was weird, him and Harry, especially since Harry had got better and had been spending even more time on Eggsy now he’d proved himself enough to be in the final six. Of course they weren't supposed to talk about the agent who'd sponsored them, and Eggsy didn’t, but they'd be a sorry shower of would-be spies if they hadn't figured out who was whose. Nobody else spent so much time with their sponsor, even Rufus, the only other prospect whose knight was also his senior.

Rox had Percival, her aunt’s brother-in-law, so family, and a long-standing enough bond that he was a bit like a senior for her, although he never would have been registered that way. She smelled sharp and lively like a ripe soft cheese when she talked about him, not like her usual herby, earthy relaxed-scent which Eggsy had got used to and started to find comforting, a bit like a Sunday roast.

“Good,” she said. “I hope it went well.” She sneaked a look at Eggsy and her scent blanked, for a few seconds too long before it went to an innocuous floral: a mask, with a liquorice acridness beneath. That had been a lesson a few weeks ago, controlling scent without using fake fragrance, and on the other end getting below the cover to the real scent beneath. Eggsy had been miles ahead of the others, who’d clearly never dreamed the world wouldn’t be delighted to know what they were thinking or feeling at any particular second of the day. He’d been given a rare early dart, which he’d used to sit at Harry’s bedside and read the most interesting articles from the latest Economist out loud.

He gave her a sharp look. “What?”

“Nothing!” she said. He curled his lip at her and she took a deep breath, wrinkled her nose and took a long bite and chew of her apple. With someone else the tangy burst of scent might have helped her, but Eggsy sorted it out of his olfactive landscape no problem. “Well, you know. Just.”

“I don’t know just,” he said. “Tell me. Roxy, come on. You know you’re the only one here who gives a shit about me. Tell me.”

“You’re not focused on the competition when you see him,” she said. “You’re just, I mean it’s pretty obvious... look, Eggsy, I’m not exactly a bloody traditionalist, but it doesn’t mean I’m used to... I mean, I support you, you’re a mate... but it’s still a bit… you know.”

In terms of a speech, Eggsy thought that was pretty shit, and also basically in code. She had the prickliness of an alpha prepared to defend an offense, although he could tell that whatever it was, she hadn’t meant it - well, she’d meant whatever she’d said, but not for it to be offensive. So he said as kindly as he could, “Rox, you know, you’re a mate back. Seriously though, what the fuck are you going on about?”

“The way you are about Galahad!” she said. “And him back. Eggsy, it’s so weird. You come back to the dorms stinking of him and it’s all Harry this and Harry that. It’s, you know… weird.”

“He’s my senior,” he said defensively. “It’s new. You know that.”

“Oh, you know that’s not what it’s like with your senior,” she said dismissively. He didn’t know what his face did, or his scent, but she did a bit of a double take, looked at him more closely than he liked. “You know that’s not what it’s like with your senior, don’t you? There must have been someone before Galahad…”

“My senior before Harry would have drowned me in the Thames if he could’ve explained it to my mum,” Eggsy said, more bitterly than he would’ve liked. Dean had been a fucker, he’d known that for years, so what.

There was a silence. Roxy clearly was wishing she’d never started the conversation, or maybe just had never been born. Eggsy knew how she felt. “Oh, well,” she mumbled.

“Well, what?” Eggsy said roughly. He could feel himself getting angry and had to consciously stop himself from posturing. He didn’t know why. She hadn’t said anything all that bad. He didn’t even know what she meant, anyway. She had no idea what she was talking about.

She looked sorry but she still narrowed her eyes at him coolly and raised her chin, ready to stand up if he did. Because that was always what it came down to, between alphas, wasn’t it. You could be mates up to a point. Up until you weren’t.

She didn’t try to stop him when he left.

***

Eggsy was knackered that night, turning over the conversation in his mind, still pissed off at what the fuck she’d been talking about. He went back in his mind and looked over all the things he’d said to Harry, done, how Harry was with him, trying to pinpoint what she thought was so ‘weird’. Harry just - was Harry, proper and unshakeable and actually bothered about Eggsy. Eggsy just respected him, wanted to be around him and learn from him, wanted that fuck-off cool and purposefulness for himself. What your senior was supposed to be. Roxy was well fucking out of order, that was all it was, and he should be thinking about how he was going to improve his left-handed shooting, not whatever shit had got her knickers in a twist.

Then he was even more bad tempered because Roxy slunk in to dinner late and avoided his eyes all evening and the rest of the bastards picked up that they were on the outs and were especially bastardy because of it, complete with taunts about whether Eggsy even had a knot of his own or had to pant after others, taunts that weren’t new, here with the proposals or outside on the estate and Eggsy didn’t know why they got to him so much tonight.

And that was pretty much why, after months of not just giving one or all of them the fucking punch in the gob they deserved, he found himself doing his best to kick Charlie’s smug fucking head in.

He and Charlie were pretty evenly matched, Charlie taller and built of lean strength, but Eggsy was stronger and more supple. He got Charlie to the floor quick as he could, getting out of his longer range and quick-strike hits and into wrestling.

He’d been in enough fights in his life - enough for a few people - okay, for quite a lot of people - but there was a new savagery to how he felt that he could only chalk up to the last couple of months at Kingsman, to having been trained and prepared, taught how to channel and use his instincts instead of treating everything like a desperate lunge for survival. His blood was up, his senses sharp, the need to control and and drive and win electrifying his moves. He wanted Charlie down, wanted to see his fucking throat.

He didn’t get it. The fight got them the usual tedious sprinklers and then (this part new to Eggsy) dragged out in their pajamas. Charlie was turfed out to Pete who trained them in hand-to-hand and dealt with alpha discipline issues in HQ on the side, and Eggsy got marched by the scruff off to Harry’s private suite and shoved to his knees facing a corner of the living room.

He ran his tongue gingerly over his split lip and rotated his wrist a couple of times. Left in the quiet to think about what he’d done, it was starting to complain. Not good for tomorrow’s test but he’d functioned through worse.

The door opened behind him, shut unhurriedly. He heard the sounds of Harry taking off his jacket, fussing over it, then the holster, personal firearm stowed safely away in a drawer. Harry didn’t have an awful lot of scent usually, here in his own room, it all just blended until there was probably amber scent in the carpets, but if he concentrated he could smell sweat, a weird airlessness he associated with planes, the tension of the day. He remembered Harry had been in the US only a few hours ago, hobknobbing with - well, whatever international poshos Valentine’s galas dragged in.

He should have felt guilty, and he did, a bit, but another part of him was insisting that Eggsy should be the most important part of Harry’s day, that it was right for Eggsy to be the one here to greet Harry and soothe him.

Not that that was actually why he was here. “Got yourself in a fight, I hear,” Harry said. “You certainly pick your moments, Eggsy, I’ll give you that.”

He didn’t sound or smell angry, or even that bothered. Eggsy was halfway twisted round to eyeball him before he remembered himself and jerked back around to the sodding corner.

“You can get up,” Harry said. He sounded lazy, maybe a bit amused. Eggsy heard then saw the increasingly familiar ritual of crystal, icecubes, expensive-booze-splash.

“How did it go?” he said eagerly, almost forgetting that he just wanted Harry to get it over with.

Harry paused for a moment in the act of setting the decanter back down. “I’m… not quite sure, actually. It was a private dinner, in the end. Not much opportunity to do anything useful.” He sighed audibly (not gentlemanly; unlike him) and added, “I’m afraid I wasn’t as circumspect as I might’ve been.”

He was drinking brandy, which meant he was worrying and just wanted to chuck something down his throat. He made himself martinis otherwise, even though they were a faff and a ballache and there was only one of him. Eggsy hadn’t got to the bottom of that one yet. He liked discovering Harry bit by bit, hugging the things he’d noticed to him until he asked Harry about them and Harry would tell him.

Eggsy made some non-committal noise. Harry would’ve done what was best, he was sure. (He’d said as much to Merlin once, when they’d been studying a years-old operation that even anonymised Eggsy had been pretty sure he’d recognised Harry in. Merlin had looked at him like he was trying to set Eggsy’s head on fire with his brain and called an extra tea break immediately after.)

“But don’t let’s get off the subject at hand,” Harry said. He turned around finally and Eggsy fidgeted under his gaze. He was just wearing pyjamas, torn in a couple of places from the fight and still a bit damp from the sprinklers, and Harry’s eyes tracked over him slow and taking in all the details. He thought about what they’d been told about bearing, about dressing a part and blending in, and tried to stand up straight as if he were wearing the nicest suit and - why not? - a fucking big top hat as well. He met Harry’s eyes as straightforwardly as he could and felt a bit breathless when Harry gave him a small, crooked smile.

“You’re not - pissed off,” Eggsy said. He was pretty sure, but his voice wobbled and made it doubtful at the last second.

“We expect to see one or two fights from an alpha proposal,” Harry drawled. “Shows commitment to the process. You’ve restrained yourself admirably so far. I’ve won quite a bit of money on it, in fact.”

“You bet on us?” Eggsy said, outraged. He wanted his fucking cut, then.

“People here bet on everything,” Harry said. “Helps them cope. You’ll learn.”

Eggsy already knew that, actually, but he was disarmed as always by Harry’s easy assumption that of course Eggsy would win, would get Lancelot’s name and seat and all the other stuff that came with being a knight.

“So does that mean…” he said.

“You still get the punishment,” Harry said. “I said we expect it, not that we condone it. A Kingsman must be in control of himself.”

“At least it’s a controlled beating then,” Eggsy said, more bitterly than he meant - it was normal, he’d known it was coming even as he launched himself at Charlie, it wasn’t Harry’s fault, but it was like the whole room fell into a fucking black hole or something, just went dark and awful, his scent, Harry’s scent, the look on Harry’s face, Jesus -

But it was punishment and punishment for him was - yeah. The conversation with Roxy came back to him, the shit he’d been trying not to think about. You know that’s not what it’s like with your senior.

“Eggsy,” Harry said softly. His scent softened to a bittersweet tang of buttersoft worn leather, pheromones meant to persuade rather than force but trying to exert his will all the same. “If you’d prefer a postponement, or for me to assign the punishment to Peter -”

Eggsy didn’t know what his face did but it obviously said something to Harry because he faltered before he finished and his scent blanked, quick and unnatural, jarring after the way it had been curling around Eggsy just a moment ago, coaxing and comforting. “Or if there’s someone else -”

"Fuck no," Eggsy blurted. The recoil was physical, violent, and he could feel it course through his body and out through his scent as well. Nobody should touch him like that, nobody had the right. Only Harry, same as nobody else's hands but Eggsy's should be on him.

“Eggsy -”

“Just get it done then,” Eggsy interrupted. There was a long moment while he bristled, getting maybe a bit of an idea what Valentine had had dinner with: Harry was doing that posh-boy thing where they didn’t say anything or do anything but you could still tell you were being weighed up and in just a second you’d be dismissed as the big plebby mess you were.

“Very well,” Harry said tightly. What the fuck was his problem? Eggsy was the one who was about to get smacked. His mind skipped for a second onto Harry, younger and coming into his scent. He’d gone to posh school obviously, and probably been even mouthier than he was now, no way he’d got through secondary without a good few disciplinaries, bent over a heavy wood desk with his trousers at his knees and a teacher behind him, an older bloke running his hands over his reddened arse.

Well, he imagined, anyway. Who knew what pervy aristos did at school.

“Hands up against the wall, please, and take a strong stance,” Harry was saying, too briskly. He was pink, was it hot in here? Eggsy felt a bit hot too. Then he noticed Harry’s hands at his waist, undoing his belt in a business-like fashion, not like his usual careful way of taking clothes off like they were all worth thousands of pounds (well, maybe they were), and he went dizzily cold.

He couldn’t go to the wall, abruptly found he was actually stumbling back. He made himself stop before he was back in the corner. His hands were clammy when he made fists and his lower back ached with memory.

“Eggsy,” Harry said. He hadn’t moved but he was watching Eggsy closely and his face was - not just concerned but openly tender. Harry’s scent wasn’t blank anymore, was a swathe of dry wood on a campfire, soothing and warm.

“Not - not with the belt,” Eggsy managed. He wondered if he should explain, if he could, but nothing else came out.

Harry’s hands were at his sides. “No. Not the belt.” He looked around for a minute. Eggsy watched him through narrowed eyes, his breathing going back to normal. Of course, Harry hadn’t had a charge before Eggsy had come along so it wasn’t like he was going to have paddles or a flogger or cane around, and you never quite knew how a make-do implement would behave, how badly it would injure. “It’s going to have to be a hand spanking.”

He looked like it pained him almost as much as Eggsy. Eggsy licked his lips, wanted to say no for some reason he couldn’t pinpoint. The thought of Harry’s talented hands on him, Harry giving him the blows meant to make him understand, all that focus and care about things being done properly on him, Harry’s own hand getting pink, feeling it -

Eggsy was the one who hadn’t wanted the belt. Discipline was just discipline, he’d never let it alter his actual behaviour yet. “Fine, whatever.”

“Ten strikes, then,” Harry said and Eggsy really tried not to, not like he wanted to get battered, but he rolled his eyes. Ten spanks? That was nothing, a baby punishment. He’d had more than that at primary school. Harry saw it and said, “Don’t earn more. You have the skydive tomorrow, I won’t put you at a disadvantage.”

“Fine,” Eggsy said again. “Where d’you want me, then.”

“Over the chair,” Harry said. “The armchair. Please.”

Fine. Harry’s rooms weren’t that big, and he didn’t half surround himself with a lot of crap, so to get to the armchair (not really an armchair as Eggsy knew them, overstuffed and comfy, but one of those elegant numbers in leather and wood with hardly any actual padding) he had to brush past Harry. Harry was giving off heat and scent like nothing he’d ever known and Eggsy’s head turned towards him as he passed, helplessly, trying to breathe in as much as he could.

He shook out his shoulders a bit when he got to the back of the chair, planted his feet. Then he paused. “Um, bare?”

“What?” Harry said. He sounded distracted but Eggsy could track him no problem, coming closer. Eggsy had had some weird punishments, including one from a chief inspector once the first time he got picked up in a nicked car, but this was the weirdest punishment Eggsy had ever had. It felt at the same time meaningless and really, really personal.

Eggsy had to clear his throat. “Do you want… you know, bare. Bottoms off.”

There was a short silence. “Up to you.”

Eggsy’s hand slipped down the top of the leather, sweaty. “For only ten,” he said. “I should. It’s.” Then he gave up. He couldn’t explain why he was sliding his fingers into the elastic of his pyjama bottoms, pushing them over his hips, letting them fall down his legs to puddle round his feet. He couldn’t explain why he wanted warm flesh on flesh, Harry’s big hand on his skin. He couldn’t explain why his dick was taking an interest, hanging heavy and fat between his legs.

He could feel Harry behind him, smell him ambery and fire-hot, breathing a bit too fast. He used bending over slowly and planting his hands on the seat of the chair to shuffle his feet together a bit, covering his balls and - hopefully - hiding his hardening cock. Harry didn’t comment, although he must know. The tang of Eggsy’s arousal was unusual, grassy-green and bergamot sharp rather than a spicy-rich or musky scent. Maybe Harry hadn’t recognised it.

“Okay,” Harry said. “I mean - are you okay. Ready?”

“Yeah,” Eggsy said. Not protocol, not right at all, but he couldn’t say anything else. His instincts were rising, totally out of place, he was supposed to be taking his punishment, submitting to his senior’s authority, but he could feel Harry balancing on a stiletto edge, and something in his primal brain said push, and he said, “Harry, do it -”

He heard the crack before he felt the blow. He didn’t whimper like a confused kid or stay silent like a resentful adult rogue, he moaned, not quite involuntary, deep and confident from his chest. He heard a quick breath behind him, too bitten off to be called a gasp.

It was all too weird, unexpected, too reminiscent of what Roxy had said earlier and years’ worth of spat insults before that, and Eggsy shut his eyes, felt the leather under his hands and drowned in Harry’s scent, and let that deeper self drive.

He didn’t quite notice time, after that, or the separate spanks. He knew his arse was getting stingy and sore, not really hurt, and Harry’s scent was strong round him like a thick fog off a bridge, and he knew he felt good, safe like Harry was totally wrapped up in it, would respond to the slightest move or touch, would stop as soon as Eggsy said. Harry was his, in this moment, and Eggsy’s nerves were alive and sensitive with it.

“That’s ten,” Harry said. His voice was raw, as if he was the one who’d taken a punishment. Eggsy slowly fell back into himself. He was standing, gripping the back of the chair so hard his hands hurt worse than his arse, which was just an irritating gnaw that would fade by the time he was back to bed. Harry’s hands were bracketing his, his arms closing Eggsy in gently. He was trembling; they both were. Eggsy was hard, aching with it, and - the scent told him but he arched his arse back to check, rubbing against the front of Harry’s trousers - so was Harry.

Harry tore himself away and Eggsy kept his eyes closed to the real world, the world outside the two of them. He could hear Harry pouring, drinking - gulping, actually, so hopefully it was just water. He tucked his erection behind the flimsy waistband of his pyjamas and tried to drape his t-shirt strategically. It didn’t work at all but then Harry - eyes averted politely - shoved his discarded suit jacket at him.

Eggsy put it on. It was warm and covered everything and smelled lovely, and Eggsy felt a lot better to have it between him and the trip back to his bed. Fuck knew what would happen if someone spotted him in it, but it was late enough it shouldn’t be a problem.

“Okay, well,” he said, uselessly. What was he supposed to say, thanks? He was grateful, actually - he felt somehow lighter, reassured, ready to focus on kicking shite out of Charlie and the other bastards tomorrow - but he was buggered if he was going to say that to Harry. He did a stupid sort of shrug-salute and went for the door.

He didn’t quite get there. Harry stepped forward, nowhere near blocking his way but close enough to get Eggsy’s attention. Looking at Harry just felt nice, like Eggsy’s head was quiet and his body relaxed but ready for anything.

“You nearly broke Charlie’s arm, Merlin said.” Harry was looking at Eggsy again, eyes liquidy brown and warm and considering, but Eggsy didn’t know what message he was supposed to be understanding from it.

“Yeah, so,” Eggsy said. He reached for the sullen tone he’d always used on Dean and other alphas who’d punished him, couldn’t quite find it.

“Next time finish the job,” Harry said. He put his hand on the back of Eggsy’s neck tentatively and Eggsy’s whole body just - fucking yielded, loved it, loved him. “Good luck for tomorrow, Eggsy.”

***

Luckily the next day Eggsy had to jump out of an aeroplane, as it turned out possibly with no parachute, which he felt meant it was absolutely bang on to just not think about any of it at all.

(Although he did spare the time to notice, meanly but happily, that Charlie had clearly not been gone easy on, seeing as Pete the Punch didn't give a fuck which of them won to the point that he hadn't bothered to learn any of the proposals' names even though he'd seen them all three times a week for the last four months. Charlie couldn't sit down at brekkie or lunch and after the dive could hardly even stand.)

They didn’t get much time to recover before Merlin was back in announcing another task. No rest for the wicked apparently, but Eggsy understood that as the training went on they were being guided closer to what it would actually be like in the field. Agents didn’t get nice tidy missions that tested one or two skills, and there wouldn’t always be time to rest.

Apparently missions could also include seduction. He wasn’t worried about the competition - like anyone would go for Charlie when they could cop a load of Eggsy, and although Roxy had been hot shit at NLP training like she’d been hot shit at most of what they’d learned, chances were the bird was hetgender which meant Rox would have ground to make up just to get to the starting line.

The thought of going out tonight to try and shag somebody, for work, felt off though, gave him a sick feeling in his stomach. He hoped to God he wasn’t supposed to get a knot up for some random omega, that getting her into bed was enough. Probably it was just that he was already tired but the whole idea just made him want to go and lie down, on his bed that still smelled a bit of him and Harry from last night.

Given all that, it was actually a bit of a relief to come to tied to the train tracks. He’d been expecting this one. The loyalty test: he’d have got the same in the Marines if he’d got that far, everyone whispered about it. The big moment for alphas, when they checked whether the community-bond was enough, you were really all in to the group, or whether you just seemed settled but might go mental any time.

Of course, in the military they weren’t allowed to actually kill you. He wasn’t sure Kingsman restrained itself the same way.

Is Kingsman worth dying for?

He wasn’t totally sure. He hadn’t seen enough of it, he didn’t have the automatic trust in the type of place and people they were the other proposals did, who’d grown up with places and people like it.

Harry, though. Harry, he trusted. Harry was worth dying for.

He swore the bond, knowing his scent would hold true.

The train going over him smelled metallic and of the dank tunnel and he shrank back into the ground as much as he could, the rocky surface digging in painfully and the rails cold and uncomfortable under the awkward angle of his neck and ankles.

He knew Harry was there before he opened his eyes, knew his relief and pride and pleasure at Eggsy coming through on the test.

“Congratulations,” Harry said. “Bloody well done.”

That was a tiny bit insulting - like maybe he’d doubted it - but Eggsy was happy and Harry was projecting reassurance and warmth at him. Harry was careful when he crouched down to cut through the ropes tying Eggsy to the track, sliding his fingers in between Eggsy’s cuffs and the rope; not close enough and Eggsy sat up as soon as his arms were free and pulled Harry into a hug.

Harry didn’t respond at first and Eggsy was abruptly hit with a vivid sense memory of Harry’s hands on him last night, on his skin, both of them getting turned on from the punishment. It was horribly embarrassing but hugging Harry still felt nice, the nicest, and he deserved something nice so he hung on grimly, and after a second Harry hugged back and tilted his head so Eggsy could stick his nose in the hollow of his shoulder and throat and breathe him in.

“Charlie’s up next,” Harry said against Eggsy’s temple. “Wanna watch?”

***

It was like a buy one get one free: not only was the whole training process nearly over (and Charlie had crashed spectacularly out of it like the awful little turd he still was), he got twenty-four hours alone with Harry. Obviously there was still the last test, and Rox was probably plotting how to poison his coffee right now, but Harry’s easy confidence that Eggsy would smash it no bother was contagious.

Whatever giggle juice Kingsman was doling out was the good stuff - they’d been out all night, basically, and by the time they’d all done the loyalty test and Eggsy had been sent out with Harry it was already mid-morning. He was shattered, having slept the shit sleep of the drugged, and he listed onto Harry on the shuttle back to Londontown, leaned on him through the shop, and pretty much fell asleep on him in the cab.

He woke up enough to admire the house, though. It was a neat little mews down a clean white flowery street, just round the corner from South Ken. Eggsy could just see Harry in whatever passed for his weekend casual, strolling out to take tea in one of the museum cafes, thick weekend paper folded under his arm (Telegraph? Probably, but depressing; Observer unlikely; split the difference and call it the Sunday Times, the FT the rest of the week), lethal umbrella in hand.

Would that be Eggsy’s life, if he made it into Kingsman? He tried to imagine it and couldn’t, really. He’d still be pleb old Eggsy underneath. But maybe - if he were with Harry - Harry had that way of just seeming totally comfortable and in the right place, wherever he was, whatever he was doing.

Their late lunch was a teachable moment, apparently. Five courses, four glasses, shitloads of cutlery, and Eggsy had to learn what they were all for and practice making conversation suitable for the colonel's lady or Judy O'Grady on either side as well. The main was some chicken thing in white wine, tender and tasty - been in the slow cooker all night to get it like that, apparently, and Eggsy was touched by the sign of Harry's faith he'd pass the latest test.

It was late afternoon by the time they were finished with that and Eggsy had been allowed to finish practicing and have a proper chat with Harry over coffee and the washing up. Harry was in great form, readily telling Eggsy anecdotes and gossip about the people they knew at HQ. Eggsy was part of that world now, could add his own observations and stuff he'd heard, and he tried to stamp it on his mind, how it felt to sit with Harry on a level and make him laugh with that gleam in his eyes at seeing Eggsy do well.

The long night caught up with him eventually - well, that and the wine Harry had paired with each course and poured into wine glasses the size of buckets - and he yawned over his tea towel.

"Why don't you have a nap?" Harry offered. "The spare bed is made up for you."

Eggsy smiled at the 'for you', although he knew the spare bedroom was probably just made up all the time. "I suppose," he said, torn. He didn't want to miss a moment of his precious day with Harry. But he was tired, and Harry was steadfastly refusing to say anything about the next morning's final test so for all he knew it was a thirty mile march.

"Go on," Harry encouraged. "Just an hour or so. It'll refresh you."

"Who'd have thought Harry Hart advocates disco naps?" Eggsy said. He hung the tea towel on its peg while Harry wiped down the sink. It was all nicely domestic. He liked it.

"Taking your sleep when you can get it is a valuable skill," Harry said wryly. "Tristan, for example, you'll have seen Tristan around, he can fall asleep standing up in under twenty seconds and then take out three hostiles before he's properly opened his eyes. Very impressive."

"Hopefully there's no hostiles in your spare room," Eggsy said.

"Don't worry," Harry said. "Nobody can get through me to you."

He said it as lightly as the whole rest of the conversation but there was an undertone to it, something painfully real, and Eggsy was spellbound by it. Harry looked caught out, uncomfortable, but he met Eggsy's gaze and the moment drew out between them like an echo on an empty football pitch.

Eggsy slowly became aware that the boozy rich vanilla scent that had been making his mouth water all afternoon wasn't, after all, from the cooking or the wine; it was Harry, the scent of his intense interest and focus on Eggsy, more complex than just arousal although it encompassed that too. It was so obvious suddenly it felt like it should have a taste to it. Eggsy licked his lips and watched Harry's gaze drag down and catch on his mouth.

Then lower, to where Eggsy was getting stiff in his jeans.

Eggsy's hands twitched, ready to reach out. Harry was fucking gorgeous, loose and comfortable in his own home, with three whole buttons undone and his shirt sleeves rolled up and a bulge in his trousers.

"It's the second door on the right," Harry said.

"What?" Eggsy said. "I mean, pardon. I mean, sorry, what?"

"The spare room," Harry said. He cleared his throat and turned round, washing his hands, although he'd just spent ten minutes elbow deep in sudsy water. "Help yourself to anything in the bathroom or wardrobe."

"Right," Eggsy said, deflated in more ways than one. "Thanks. See you in a bit, then."

"Sweet dreams," Harry said.

The spare room was lush, obviously. Big bed with a nice firm mattress and navy pillows and duvet, pale grey wallpaper so tasteful it almost hurt, elderly obviously inherited furniture, view of a couple of stamp-sized back gardens of the houses behind. He investigated the bookshelves (selection of the classics with bonus Harry Potter), the bedside table (tissues, paracetamol, mini sewing kit with a Hilton logo), and the wardrobe (two white t-shirts, labels still on, Eggsy's size, and a red dressing gown like the one he'd seen Harry wearing in the hospital wing at HQ, plus three suits that were in good nick but which Eggsy now knew enough to identify as a cut that had been classically stylish about seven years ago but now just looked fusty).

He'd usually just nap with his clothes on but today he took them off slowly, going down to his boxers and t-shirt. He pulled the curtains half shut and set an alarm on his phone for an hour and a half, just in case. Then he got the tissues out of the drawer and put them on the top of the cabinet, in reach, and got into bed, flipping the covers back to give him space and air flowing over his body.

His cock was still chubbed up and mildly interested and it didn't need much encouragement to get fully hard, slapping gently onto his belly. He stroked lightly for a couple of minutes first, just enjoying the sensation.

Four months in the Kingsman dorm, shared bogs, communal showers - they'd all managed to get off enough not to kill each other but it had been shifty middle of the night stuff or during downtime elsewhere in HQ which Eggsy was convinced was riddled with cameras, not leisurely and with time for it to be a production and a treat. Now he had time and space and even just the up and down of a loose fist on his dick was making him shudder, biting back the groans that wanted to come out and tossing his head restlessly.

He turned to bury his mouth in the pillow to muffle the sound at a particularly good move with his fingertips circling the sensitive head of his dick. And froze.

He could smell Harry. That normal scent of his that woke Eggsy and lulled him into comfort at the same time was there in the bedsheets, sheets that must be Harry's own, not kept for guests. It was the height of rudeness, to give an alpha a place to sleep where he'd be bothered by the scent of another. Challenges had been fought over less even in modern times. It wasn't something Harry could have possibly overlooked, done by accident. He'd thought about it, wanted Eggsy to go to sleep surrounded by his scent, by him, thinking about him.

Had he even anticipated this, Eggsy in Harry's sheets with his hand on his cock, rubbing his own scent all over Harry's? Of course he fucking had, Eggsy was young and at peak fitness, no chance he wasn't going to get his hands on himself the first time in months he was in a bed behind a closed door.

So Harry had wanted this too, Eggsy fucking his hand fast and tight unable to think about anything but Harry, Harry's scent, Harry's body, the way he'd welcomed Eggsy into his home, into his life -

He moaned properly, shatteringly loud in the quiet room. Jesus, what if Harry could hear - what if he was just paranoid enough a bastard to have wired his own house - what if he could see -

He arched at that idea, helplessly, posing and showing off the way he would for an omega, letting them see what they'd be signing up for. He took one hand off his cock to pinch a nipple, the other one to fondle and hold his balls, tight and sharply sensitive under the rough gun callouses on his fingers. His cock jerked and leaked and ached a demand right through his body and Eggsy humped into the air, muscles holding tension and shaking. He was trying not to moan out loud any more but his breathing was whipcrack loud and ragged, almost panting, trying to bite back the name his mouth wanted to shape.

He'd never thought about another alpha's dick before, definitely never about another alpha's knot, but his mind dragged irresistibly to Harry's. His cock was big, Eggsy knew from the spanking and from the kitchen just now, it would - it would feel good in Eggsy's hand, in his mouth, he could touch it - he could imagine Harry now, letting Eggsy explore and learn, guiding him with a hand on his head and his soft voice giving suggestions, challenging Eggsy to live up to him - God, fuck, it would be amazing, he'd take Eggsy apart, let him hand himself over, like another skydive with the safest landing -

He could feel his own knot start to swell and he grabbed his cock again and had to choke back an angry yell because he couldn't knot his own fist in Harry's spare room, too messy, too time-consuming, the only relief he could give on the upper inches of his cock and the head.

The orgasm, when it hit, was good, but nothing compared to promise of the buildup, with his knot ignored. Eggsy blew out a breath and stared up at the ceiling. The tension in him had broken, for now, but bone-deep he was unsatisfied and still needy. Needy for alpha cock, apparently. For Harry.

Although, where else had he thought this was going? After what Roxy had said. After getting hard from a spanking. This wasn't what it was like with a senior. He'd always known that, if he was properly honest with himself.

He tissued off his stomach and thought about how it should have felt wrong, thinking about Harry like that, or at least it should have felt big and important. He was an alpha who wanted another alpha. There were names for people like him, lots. He'd heard them and said them. They weren't flattering. Even people who wouldn't say the words thought it was weird, like Roxy had said. But he wanted Harry, not the alpha or the knot, those were just bits of him, he wasn't interested in those. The whole brilliant lot of Harry, that was what he wanted.

He thought about that fat knot again and his dick twitched back awake. Well, maybe Eggsy was a bit interested. He tucked his cock back into his boxers and rolled onto his side for his nap.

***

Harry was in his office. It was an oddly modern room compared to the rest of the house, red walls covered in framed The Sun front pages (so much for the Sunday Times), with low-slung leather chairs and the kind of lamps that looked like they cost £9.99 from Argos but were probably expensive examples of design genius. Harry was swinging a bit in his desk chair and tapping idly at a laptop. When Eggsy came in he shut the laptop and looked up.

… And that was what Eggsy had been going for, Harry’s eyes going dark and his face intent and stern looking. He’d given Eggsy sheets and a dressing gown that smelled like himself: Eggsy had returned the favour by not washing off so now Harry was smelling his own scent mixed with Eggsy’s jizz from before. Eggsy quite liked it, himself.

Still, all Harry said was, “Sleep well?”

“Great, thanks,” Eggsy said. He felt lazy, like two doors down’s evil cat stretching and sunning itself on the balcony wall. “I like your sheets.” He drifted closer to Harry, putting his hands all over the stuff dotted round the office (the man was a bloody hoarder) as he liked.

Harry watched with a small smile. He said, “I’m glad you’re comfortable here.”

Eggsy hummed a response and then his next step brought him close enough for a deep breath of Harry’s scent, fiery amber and waiting and next thing he was half on Harry’s desk, one knee up on it, and leaning the rest of the way across to drag Harry to him by the collar and pull their mouths together.

Harry kissed like he did everything else: outwardly polite but underneath fucking balls-out filthy and demanding the world bend to his will. He was stood up with hands in Eggsy’s hair quick as, kissing back deep, his scent winding round, tongue sliding in. Eggsy hung on and tried not to shame himself by either being shit at kissing and/or scrambling over the desk to hump Harry’s leg.

He was just getting the hang of how Harry liked to kiss, wet and hard with a bit of teeth, was giving back as good as he was getting, when Harry pushed him ungently back and stumbled back himself into his chair.

“Sit over there,” he barked, with enough will behind it Eggsy did, the order carrying him back to the visitor chair and sliding it even further back into its corner when he dropped heavily down. He stared at Harry, shocked. Harry wiped a hand over his mouth then scrubbed at his face. “I - was not going to do that. Eggsy, I do apologise.”

“What the fuck,” Eggsy spluttered. “You put me to bed in your fucking sheets!”

“I. Yes,” Harry said heavily. “But I had no intention - no, really, don’t make that face - of taking things further. I’ve no wish to compromise you irrevocably before tomorrow’s test.”

Eggsy glared, then grabbed at his cock, through his boxers and deliberately through the dressing gown as well, showing Harry the shape of it hardening through Harry’s own clothes. Harry’s gaze followed the motion and his eyes narrowed, reminding Eggsy of the way he’d looked at the prized (apparently) white wine with the chicken over lunch earlier. “Too late,” Eggsy said pointedly.

“Do you think so?” Harry said slowly. “If I took you to bed this evening… you’ve no idea, Eggsy. No idea at all.”

“You wanna fuck me,” Eggsy said. “I think I can handle it.”

Harry smiled, his eyes glittering. It was an expression that should have had a sword and shield in his hands, blood on his teeth, like the classical paintings of alpha heroes Eggsy had seen on school trips to the National Gallery. “I want to own you. I want to wreck you, Eggsy. I would. As long as I’m still your senior - I won’t do it. It wouldn’t be fair on either of us.”

“Not fair now,” Eggsy said, putting it together in his mind. So Harry was saying that once he was a knight - and he wasn’t saying it would be some itch scratching, casual, he was saying -

"You think I'm your bond," Eggsy said flatly.

"That would be terribly presumptuous," Harry said. "I think... we're compatible. For me, to an extent I've never experienced with anyone, of any dynamic. Yes."

“But maybe we could still-” Eggsy said hopefully, trying to make his scent soft and coaxing, appealing.

“No,” Harry cut him off. “I will control myself. And so will you.”

Eggsy stared at him, speechless. Un-fucking-believable. The man was a damn machine.

“We’ll discuss this again tomorrow,” Harry said, and there - finally there was something frayed in his tone. Something that awoke other instincts than the obvious in Eggsy, made him want to look after and soothe and agree. Bonding instincts.

He got up, put his hands in the pockets of the dressing gown and started to wander the room, keeping his distance, bringing his scent into himself. He stopped at the first framed front page that caught his eye. “‘To pee or not to pee’?”

***

Eggsy did not smash the last test no bother.

***

He was so fucking angry - killing JB, what the fuck, what was wrong with the bastards - angry at being back in his old clothes, in his old room, in his old life. He'd had everything so close, so good, and now it was over so quick, it was worse than if he'd never had any of it at all. Never done the training, never seen over the horizon. Never met Harry.

Then he saw his mum and the anger came flooding in sweet and thick, turned to rage vindaloo-hot in his own nose. He carefully hadn't worried about Mum and Daisy the last few months of Kingsman, he'd always thought it was just him Dean got so angry at, not unusual for a bloke to kick off at a younger alpha he was having to raise in his own house. Hitting your wife, your omega - that was fucking out of order, unnatural, terrible. And that made Dean fair target for his bloodlust.

But even that they took away from him, the taxi rumbling itself into gear and the windows up and taking him away from Dean, away from his right to defend and avenge, however much he banged at the wheel and the pedals. He couldn't even be impressed at the remote controlled car, which under normal circumstances he'd have been all over. By the time he got to Harry's it was pretty inevitable what was going to happen.

Eggsy was young, strong, and recently very well trained, but he'd seen Harry fight. He was deceptively fit under those suits, knew what was going on around him like he had eyes going right round his head not just on the back of it, and he had absolutely no hesitation in doing whatever it took to come out better than the other bloke. (Aside from the pub, which Harry had treated like a stroll in the park, the proposals had watched hand-to-hand sparring training between agents a few weeks back. It had been instructive and, for Eggsy, who'd stuck by his man and also had a line into the Kingsman gambling fraternity, profitable.)

So he had no chance, but he just felt - violent, like if he didn't hit something in the next five minutes he was going to go properly mad, his fists felt hot, all his senses alert, his skin like little razor blades were prickling all over it, his heart pounding hard and purposeful. He didn't look up at Harry on the balcony as the car pulled closer. He could feel his face was screwed into a snarl, ugly and threatening.

Harry was coming down the stairs. He said, stinking of self-righteousness, "You throw away your - oh for fuck’s sake -"

Starting shit on the stairs was probably the one reason Eggsy lasted as long as he did. He took Harry down straight off, practically at a running start from the door, and a stair edge got him good right across the kidneys. Harry grunted, winded, and his responses were a split second slower than Eggsy had seen, his scent weirdly slow to spark to anger.

They slid in a heap together to the bottom of the stairs and grappled, clumsy, Eggsy could feel the thick carpet burning against his hands and his sides as his t-shirt rode up. They struggled in near-silence for a minute or two. He could tell Harry was holding back, trying not to hurt him and it sent him into a wilder fury, at Harry now instead of indiscriminate.

"Fucking fight," he spat, and that was stupid, because then Harry did. He flipped Eggsy to his back easily enough, using his weight to hold Eggsy down, got his hand on one wrist and pinned it bent painfully against the wall, but Eggsy still had the advantage of genuine feeling and he eeled out from under him, twisting the wrist even worse. He didn't think Harry would break it and Harry didn't, let him go and tripped him instead, got him on his stomach on the floor with an arm behind him.

Eggsy threw his head back, aiming for the nose, and Harry swore and pulled him up to his knees roughly, got a leg across Eggsy's to hold him and both arms caging Eggsy's in, forcing him off balance back against Harry's chest.

He felt harsh breathing on the back of his neck. He started to relax, slowly, the anger draining and leaving nothing behind it. Harry's arms around him changed too, becoming softer, holding instead of restraining. He slumped back into Harry and Harry squeezed tight, bruisingly tight, for just a second; and let him go, getting up.

Eggsy put his forearms on the wall for a moment, hid his face on them and breathed in big whumps of hot air. When he felt his breathing start to become too ragged, his eyes starting to sting, he pulled himself around, rubbing at his eyes covertly and drawing his knees up to hug them.

"All this fuss," Harry said. He sat down on the floor next to Eggsy with a heavy sigh. He was wearing a grandad cardy, Eggsy noticed and his expression was tired. It made Eggsy feel tired as well, his anger burnt out, or maybe just turning inwards, to despair at what he'd lost. He brushed Harry's shoulder with his tentatively, shuffled in closer and leaned on Harry, bold, when Harry let him. "It was a blank, Eggsy. It was a fucking blank. You thought the train tracks were the loyalty test, didn't you?"

Eggsy shrugged, one shoulder so Harry would feel it rather than see it. Did it matter? If he'd thought he was coming for a thorough recap of everything he'd messed up he'd have broken the cab window and chucked himself into the road to get squashed by a lorry, frankly.

"Limits must be tested, but Kingsman only condones the risking of a life to save others," Harry said, staring into space. He smelled empty and a bit sad, like a room might if it were filled with nice wooden furniture and then locked up for about a hundred years. "Remember Amelia? She's fine, she works in our tech department in Berlin. Eggsy, you've seemed settled. I really thought…"

"I'd've done it if it was you," Eggsy said, surprised to find it was true. That was the way he trusted Harry; he'd have struggled, hated himself (JB's little face), but he'd have done it. "I don't like him. I wasn't gonna do it because he told me." Chester King might look like a gentleman, might act like a gentleman and talk like a gentleman, but he was just another Dean, underneath. Eggsy had met enough of them to know.

"That's not helpful," Harry said. "A Knight's first loyalty must be to the Table."

"Then put someone who's not an arsehole at the head of it," Eggsy said. Harry gave him sidelong evils but he didn't actually disagree.

They sat for a while in silence, still just touching at the shoulders, long enough for Harry's normal amber scent to reassert itself, rich and almost drugging. "What happens now, then?" Eggsy said finally, when he couldn't take it any more.

Even though he'd been thinking, that when he became Lancelot - he'd been going to let Harry… but what two adult alphas could do, grown and already both within a steady community-bond, wasn't the same as a kid alpha rolling over for his senior. They'd never be equal, Eggsy wouldn't get what he needed, would never be able to stop fighting it; he got that now, what Harry had been getting at yesterday, he could feel it without ever having seen an example.

It might take a while, if they loved each other, but they'd tear each other apart.

Harry looked at him, face serious. Then his expression changed. He put a finger up to tell Eggsy to wait, the other hand going to his glasses as he hauled himself up off the floor and moved to the window. Eggsy caught most of it: the Valentine operation, something to do with a church in the US.

"Get the jet ready," Harry finished. He turned around and gave Eggsy an inscrutable look. "What are you going to do if I tell you to stay here?"

It didn't take much thinking about. "Go home and fucking kill him."

Harry touched the glasses again. "Eggsy will be joining me in Kentucky."

***

Despite Eggsy's most energetic efforts he wasn't allowed in the church with Harry, but also wasn't allowed to stay in the Kingsman jet without him, so was left to sulk in the car outside. He had no status officially - not an agent, not a proposal, basically Harry's plus-one and it turned out no one really knew how to deal with a plus-one on an active operation.

He didn't even have much of a clue what was going on: Valentine was testing something, he didn't know what, maybe Harry didn't even know what, Eggsy wasn't sure, but they knew they wanted to know what it was.

Hence, church. Hence, Eggsy sat in an admittedly very nice Jag courtesy of Kingsman US and listening to music off his phone. He'd had nothing else on him, having gone from home to the pub to Harry's to the jet. He was lucky the pilot had taken pity on him and lent him her charger or he wouldn't even have had that (and it wasn't, currently, working as a phone, being abroad and him not having one of Valentine's global SIM cards because 1. nowhere to get one in the HQ in the arse-end of nowhere and 2. the SIMs were possibly evil).

How long were church services in the southern US, anyway? It was fucking boiling. Surely Harry must be out soon. He got out of the car for a minute, just to get some air - it was hot as fuck inside and outside the car but at least outside there was a bit more circulation.

He'd been leaning on the car, minding his own business - or, well, Harry's business, he supposed - when someone came flying out the window of the church with a crash of breaking glass. The person hit the ground with an audible snap of bones that made Eggsy cringe but given he was fucking covered, drenched, in blood, chances were he hadn't been too healthy even before being defenestrated.

With a window out, the scent was out, and Eggsy almost choked on it. A writhing black morass of scent, alphas and omegas and betas and all of them furious, like he'd never smelled before, a level of anger he didn't even have a name for. No fear like he'd have expected. Everyone was raging, all of them. The only other thing he could make out around the fury-chaos scent was blood. Lots of it.

"Harry," he said and fuck what he'd been told. He scrambled for the car, grabbed the spare handgun and extra cartridge from the glove compartment and stuck it in his waistband, the cartridge in his pocket. Was there - he couldn't see anything in the car he could use as a bludgeon. There was a knife in the glove compartment, but without a proper holster he was more likely to cut himself open falling on it concealed than hurt anyone else. He was hampered by his own urgency, his desperation to get to Harry, to help him in the killing ground the church had become. Unless -

No. Harry was a Kingsman, fit and trained and very, very good at fighting. It wasn't being killed Eggsy had to defend him from.

He started towards the church and then suddenly he started to feel angry. It was the weirdest thing. He could literally feel it starting, the symptoms of hormonal alpha killing rage he'd so recently felt over Dean, but with no cause, no change. Except - a sort of ringing, in his ears -

He took a step forward, a step back, paying attention. The ringing and the anger came and went together, the closer he moved to the church.

He went back to the car, his phone. He had a plan now, he had an idea what was going on, and his upbringing and Kingsman training kicked in together, instinctive to be cool in a crisis and do whatever it took to get him out alive. He was quick and precise as he plugged the earphones in and put them in his ears, brought up the white noise app he sometimes used to help Daisy sleep and started it, loud as he could tolerate then louder.

It worked. He could still hear the high-pitched ringing but faint enough to ignore, faint enough that the anger he felt was enough to sharpen him but not enough to make him homicidal.

All together it had been about 50 seconds since the body came out the window. No way of knowing how long the carnage had already been going on in the church.

A whole minute had elapsed by the time he got inside the church and the sight that met him -

He'd be seeing it when he closed his eyes for a good long time. The bodies, the surprised angry looks on their faces, the demonic looking fury on the people still living as they stabbed and broke and died -

He clung to the thread of anger from the signal that was getting through, suddenly grateful for it because it helped him not to care, helped him focus even as he joined the melee just because he was in its way, punching and dodging and throwing people out of his way, where they'd hit into someone else and one of them would die. He didn't let it matter, couldn't let it matter. He was here for Harry. He told the anger that, steadily, used it to find Harry, get Harry out.

Harry was where the fighting was thickest, of course, and - it was terrible, it was, Eggsy knew that - but it was beautiful, as well, Harry was stunning, the way he danced through his attackers, the lethal grace of how he moved, how he killed.

Eggsy was fighting his way towards him but hesitated, watching. The normal church people were spiked by rage but still clumsy, slow, not fighters, and Eggsy could hold them off fairly easily. If he got near Harry and the earphones got knocked out -

He'd rather die now, an arm's length away, than him and Harry fight to the death both under the sway of the signal.

Harry decided for him. He used the grenade lighter and in the aftermath of the explosion, ears numbed with it, Eggsy could see sanity return, see his own Harry again. Saw him start to press himself up from the floor, notice Eggsy. Saw his mouth move, devastation sweep his features, saw him say Eggsy, no, please -

Harry’s hearing returned, visible with the ugly set rage that took over his familiar handsome face again.

Except this time - not quite rage - his nostrils flared, scenting, and Eggsy knew when Harry caught his own hot scared scent because his face became intent, lustful. Eggsy recognised it because he’d seen it in himself, twice a year like clockwork, when he went into rut.

He had Harry’s attention. He wouldn’t have a better opportunity - he was leaving all of these people to slaughter each other, but - Harry -

He turned and fled, heading for the broken window and woods beyond, and even through the white noise he heard - felt - smelled it when Harry gave chase.

The good news was the effects were clearly only felt in range of the signal, no hangover. So all Eggsy had to do was stay ahead long enough to draw Harry out of the range of the church and they'd be fine. Harry would go back to normal.

Or as normal as a person could who'd just been caught up in a horrendous massacre and killed fuck knew who many people.

He crashed through the woods, stumbling a couple of times, branches whipping at his face and arms. Should've gone for the door maybe, but if Valentine was around to see the results of his little test Eggsy hadn't wanted to present them to him on a plate. In the woods, too, Eggsy could hear Harry's pursuit, single minded. If Harry had been slamming straight through the trees Eggsy wouldn't have been surprised, with the rage and lust powering him. As it was the complete lack of path was too hard to navigate for him to risk turning to check.

How far had they gone? Surely nearly there, they'd been running a good few minutes. Hopefully he wouldn't run out of woods before Harry ran out of signal.

The sounds of Harry behind him faded. Stopped.

He turned around. Harry was standing, looking back towards the church. Eggsy reached for his earphones, lowered the volume a bit on the white noise. He couldn't hear the ringing of the signal. He took one out, then both. They were out of range.

"Harry!" he called and Harry turned to look at him. Eggsy wanted to go to him more than he'd ever wanted anything but he needed Harry to come to him, just that bit further out.

Harry started walking towards him. He was moving slowly, carefully, like he hurt all over. Maybe he did. Eggsy couldn't see any big injuries. The smudges of blood on his face and clothes weren't his.

His expression, as he came nearer, was just - lost, his gaze remote with the horror of what had been done to him, what he'd done. Eggsy wasn't unused to his caretaking instincts rising up when it came to Harry but the wave of love and protectiveness that bubbled up inside him like shaken Coke was like nothing he'd ever known. He wanted to pull Harry's head to his shoulder and soothe him; he wanted to make everyone who'd made Harry look like that pay with their lives.

"Harry," he said again, softly, when Harry got close enough.

Harry looked at him like he'd just noticed he was there. "I killed all those people," he said. "I had no control." His voice and his face had gone past devastation now, into blankness.

Eggsy reached out and Harry let him take his hand. "We have to go," he said. "Come on."

It took him a moment to orient himself back towards the car. The whole thing had taken no more than ten minutes but it felt like ages ago he'd been sitting in the Jag listening to his tunes, thinking his biggest problem was going to be how to get himself into Kingsman now.

There was silence from the church when they passed it. A man was standing outside, suited, holding a gun. Valentine had been close then, was looking at the result of what he'd done. For a second Eggsy wondered if it had gone wrong, if the SIM cards had been meant to do something else - if maybe, just maybe, Valentine hadn't handed out a personal rage machine to billions of people. The world had been like that, hundreds of years ago, bloody with the unchecked will and anger of alphas. Who'd want to take them back to that?

The keys were still in the car, they just needed to get to it. Harry was in no condition. Eggsy raised the handgun. For all the Marines training, the months at Kingsman, it was the first time he'd ever actually pointed a gun loaded with live ammunition at another human being. He thought it a split second too late and fucked the shot. Instead of a neat shot into centre mass it took the bloke in the shoulder.

Whatever, he was down. Eggsy went for the car and Harry ran alongside him. He pushed Harry for the passenger side and dived into the driver's seat himself. Luckily Kingsman were sniffy enough to provide right-handed drive cars to agents abroad and it was the matter of a couple of seconds to turn the key still lying in the ignition, feel the car fire up below him, and peel out.

"Now what do we do?" he asked Harry, fraught, heading back the way they'd come for lack of a better idea. "How do we stop them?"

"Go back to the jet," Harry said tightly.

"Back to the jet?" Eggsy said in disbelief, but the arguments he'd been going to make about Valentine and his plan and them already being on the ground faded when he glanced to the side and got a look at Harry.

He was pale, sweating, breathing through his mouth. Eggsy knew what lust looked like on Harry's face now, and it wasn't there yet but the shades of it were. "You're going into rut? Fuck." Eggsy could smell it, now, Harry's heat rising, scent turning heavy and oppressive, skin-feral, indolic and hotly intoxicating. He could feel his own body starting to respond, readiness and wanting pooling deep in his stomach and groin.

"Not due," Harry said through gritted teeth. "Feels rather - unpleasant." He wiped the sweat off his face and then tore the glasses off his nose like he couldn't bear their touch anymore.

He dropped them in Eggsy's lap. Eggsy waited for a straight - he was good but he was doing a hundred easy - then took one hand off the wheel and put them on.

"Eggsy!" he heard immediately and he honestly - he really felt a tiny bit like crying because he'd come to associate Merlin's voice with shit happening, yeah, but ultimately turning out okay.

"Merlin," he said. "The jet -"

"Still waiting," Merlin assured him. "Just get him back here, Eggsy. You've done well, lad, you've done him proud. Just come home."

The small private airfield, not much more than a runway and a shed for coffee and refuelling, was an hour away. By the time they got there Harry's rut was high. His head was back, sweat dripping from his temples into his hair, his lips bitten pink and raw. His fists were clenched to stop him from reaching out for Eggsy. Even through his trousers his cock was visibly rock stiff, leaking and desperate. The scent of him - of them both - filled the small car.

For his part Eggsy had spent the last ten minutes of the drive fighting back against the urge to pull over and just - fucking jump him, get what they both wanted, screw 'til they were both a sweaty, come streaked mess. Until they were bonded, and he'd never realised this was what it would be like, with the right person, every message his body giving him saying yes, this one, take him, keep him.

It shouldn't work like that, alpha and alpha, Eggsy shouldn't be so in tune with Harry, shouldn't be answering Harry's rut with his own desperation. But here they were. He was sorry, but not that it was happening. Just that it was happening like this.

He just dumped the car, still running and doors thrown wide, terrible to do to such a lovely thing but he really had bigger problems right now. He had to practically drag Harry out of the car and manhandle him up the stairs. Harry hissed when Eggsy touched him, carefully over their clothes, his face looking like he was in pain to stop from grabbing, kissing, taking.

Helen, the pilot, was hovering at the top of the stairs, worried-looking. She was a beta but even she wrinkled her nose, the scent of Harry's rut overpowering. Eggsy got between them before he could think about it, shielding Harry's face from her as best he could. Harry would hate to be seen like this.

Harry pushed away from Eggsy as soon as he was on the plane, stumbling into the nearest chair.

Eggsy stood for a moment, helpless, then touched the glasses experimentally.

"I'm still here," Merlin said. "I'm speaking to Helen. We'll get you back, don't worry. We’ll see what's to be done about Valentine."

"Okay," Eggsy managed. Harry's scent was reaching into all the spaces on the plane already, the way it had the car, but without driving to focus on he could feel himself on the thin edge of his control and ready to topple over. He turned the glasses off, put them on the cabinet. The only help Kingsman could give at the moment was to get them home.

"Eggsy," Harry said. His voice was ragged but the way he said Eggsy's name was yearning, desperate, and Eggsy turned to him, hands already out to touch.

"I want you," Harry said, and seemed to get stuck there as their gazes caught, held. Harry swallowed and carried on with a visible effort, "- to lock yourself in the cockpit with Helen."

"No," Eggsy said instantly. "No, Harry."

"This is not what I had in mind," Harry said, trying for forceful, but the will that came to Eggsy was a whisp, a nothing. Another few minutes and the rut would be on him in full force. His body wanted Eggsy and if he could, he'd take him, regardless of what he wanted when he was clear in mind.

I had no control. Harry had already had his will taken away from him today, had his mind clouded and his body used terribly. Eggsy didn't want to take this choice away from him too.

But - a solo heat could last days, two or three at least. With a willing partner to burn out the need it was much shorter. Harry could be sated and functioning again by the time they reached British airspace, ready to go up against Valentine and get this fucking finished.

Eggsy got what the dog test was about, finally. It was about doing what you knew had to be done. Even if that meant betraying somebody who loved you and losing them, maybe forever. That willingness was what made a knight.

"Harry," he said steadily, trying to ignore his own body screaming for satisfaction. Breathing through his mouth was no help, he could almost taste Harry on his tongue, his mouth watering. Under them the plane kicked into life. "Harry, you know we need to do this."

Harry shut his eyes and Eggsy steeled himself, bitter and sorry, trying to reconcile himself to moving closer. Once he was in touching distance, it would be over. This far along, neither of them would be able to resist.

Harry looked at him again, stared. Just for a second he was clear-eyed again, Eggsy's elegant supportive alpha.

He said, "Come here, Eggsy."

***

If Eggsy had thought Harry had been demanding, wilful, when they kissed in his office - well, Harry'd been right. Eggsy had no idea at all. He was on Harry's lap in moments and Harry brought their mouths together with force, kissing passionate and deep straight off, cradling Eggsy's body back so he was off balance and had to wrap his arms round Harry's back to stay stable.

It was brilliant, the best Eggsy had ever felt, all the stuff films and telly and alpha education class promised. It didn't matter that Harry was another alpha, they were right together, Eggsy sometimes yielding and sometimes dominating in the rhythm of their kisses. Being in something so close to rut himself, smelling the powerful scent of Harry's desire for him - the bloody awful circumstances fell away, the church and Valentine and the jet.

It was all lost in the heat of Harry's hands tearing away his t-shirt to get to skin, his fingertips shaking against the planes of Harry's face, the way their cocks rubbed urgently together through their clothes.

Harry seemed happy to just kiss and kiss and kiss, until Eggsy’s lips felt swollen and sensitive, his hands running restlessly up and down Eggsy’s bare back, so Eggsy had to undo Harry's trousers and his jeans both, Harry too far gone to be able to. Harry moaned when he did, the darker scent of arousal coming up from both of them. Lost in rut, Harry was more expressive than usual but barely verbal and Eggsy missed it, wished for Harry’s voice talking him through this, praising him and encouraging.

He could do without though, as long as he had the way Harry was touching him like Eggsy was one of his treasures, something he’d bring back to his weird little house and keep for a long time. Eggsy stood up, pulling Harry with him and tilting their heads together to keep going with the deep, hungry kisses, so he could shove the rest of his clothes off and strip Harry of the rest of his, fucking up a bit with the cufflinks which pinged off somewhere.

He didn’t get to appreciate Harry’s body the way he might have liked to, no chance to step back and have a good old ogle for himself. Harry clung to him instead, pressing their whole bodies together, and that was just as good. Eggsy felt overwhelmed, wanting to make sure Harry got everything he needed, wanting the power and responsibility of being the one to give it all to him. He kissed down Harry’s throat and bit at the pounding heartbeat he found there and let Harry bear him down to the floor of the jet.

Harry went for the scent points first, growling possessively and sucking at the hollow of Eggsy’s throat, his armpits, licking at the dip at the top of his abdomen between his pecs and then down over his stomach to bite gently at the creases of his thighs and groin. This was it, what he’d never - Eggsy had never dreamed of letting another alpha cover him, use him, mark him, but it was like everything Harry did had a straight line to his cock, like his body was Harry’s now and would find everything he did just the greatest, and Eggsy moaned and writhed and arched and slid a hand into Harry’s hair to shove him to the spots he found he liked having Harry touch the most.

His cock was so hard and dripping, almost painful, and that was the toughest thing, to realise that with Harry in rut his instinct would be to fuck and thrust and take, and that meant Eggsy, this time, had to be the one to open.

It felt good but still he bottled it, first off, and when Harry’s hips started to thrust against him, the snub head of his cock leaking and silky against his leg, he snaked down clumsily, wriggling between Harry and the floor until he could catch Harry’s cock in his mouth. He’d done this with betas before, but either sucking alpha cock or sucking Harry’s cock was different, so different. Harry let out a yell and braced himself, his hips hammering harshly.

He fucked Eggsy’s face deep and fast and Eggsy choked and panicked as his lips met the coarse curls at the base of Harry’s dick, the head lodged in his throat and the soft early knot threatening his lips. Then Harry was out and moved down to cradle Eggsy’s head before he knew it, crooning softly and nuzzling kisses on his cheeks even as he thrust his cock restlessly against Eggsy’s.

Harry was wet and so stiff against Eggsy, his scent getting even richer and deeper. He was deep in rut, following his instincts, and Eggsy understood that however much Harry’s natural response to Eggsy was to look after him, his body knew it had a receptive partner and didn’t understand why it wasn’t inside, fucking, tying.

His scent must have betrayed how nervous he was because Harry slid down his body again, but instead of the leisurely course he’d taken last time, this time he had Eggsy’s legs thrown briskly over his shoulders immediately.

And then Eggsy felt a greedy hot mouth on his hole and he fucking - screamed, he hadn’t even known that was a thing you might do to an alpha but it was brilliant, sensitive and sparking hot and - vulnerable, he knew Harry was doing it to get Eggsy ready for his cock but it was also because Harry wanted him to feel empty, desperate, to want Harry’s tongue and his cock there. He flailed out, grabbed something, a table leg maybe - something crashed to the ground behind his head - and dug the fingers of his other hand into his own hair.

He couldn't really smell Harry any more, or himself, or both of them together. The plane was like one of the old four-poster bonding beds in a country house, meant to keep the couple together until their scent just was the air they breathed, every moment pushing them higher and winding them tighter and locking them closer together.

He said, "Come on," authoritative, and Harry's tongue was right in his arse a moment later, wetting and loosening him. Like this he was exposed and bare, Harry's head between his legs, Eggsy could look down the whole length of his own body to Harry's sprawled long behind him.

It felt a bit - lonely, suddenly, he didn't know how he could feel lonely with Harry doing something so intimate but he reached down and Harry knew, somehow, and put a hand up to clasp with Eggsy's and his other hand stroked soothingly up Eggsy's thigh. Safely held, Eggsy arched up into Harry's tongue, still clever and teasing, he could feel the tight ring of his arse starting to soften and welcome. Yielding gave him a tight feeling in the pit of his stomach, uneasiness, and he took deep breaths, focusing on isolating the rich amber scent again until his body remembered this was Harry and relaxed sweetly into what Harry was giving him, drifting into the pleasure and heat of it.

He wanted Harry closer, though, and he got his hand down into Harry's hair and pulled him back up Eggsy's body. Harry buried his face in Eggsy's throat and moaned so deep Eggsy felt more than heard it, a vibrating rut noise that rumbled the full stretch of Harry's body along his and made him shiver and arch his chest, stomach, cock against Harry's. Harry was sucking frantic bruises into his neck and Eggsy loved it, wanted Harry's marks, something he'd have to show, Harry was his, he was the one Harry kissed and touched and tagged.

After Harry's mouth his arse felt soft and wanting and he pushed Harry's hand down, testing. Harry groaned again and pressed gently around his hole before he slid a finger in and Eggsy gasped and hooked his arms around Harry's neck and one leg around his waist, getting used to it, the give of his hole around a finger very different to the slick sensation of a tongue. He wriggled against Harry's hand happily, letting Harry play and learn what made Eggsy feel best, what made him hum against Harry's mouth and his dick twitch and leak against Harry's.

It wasn't wet enough though as Harry tried to add another finger, the feeling sharp and difficult and Eggsy said, "Wait," breathless, trying to think through the haze of rut that surrounded them both. If he was going to - they needed Harry to knot him, that was the point, to fuck Harry and please him and be pleased so well Harry's body would be satisfied, but he didn't have an omega's natural slick and openness, they needed something else.

He found that with the rut caught on him too it was feeling very important to him to take Harry's knot, to flaunt himself, to show Harry he was a good bond, a good choice, he was going to blow Harry's mind so fucking great Harry would never look at anyone else, never swell for anyone else.

He got what leverage he could and rolled them, clumsy and halfway, knocking Harry up against one of the armchairs and making him grumble with complaint. "Sorry," he said hastily, scrambling up. "I just gotta find..." There must be something on this fucking plane that was slippery, there must be. Kingsmen were the thinking ahead type.

He started going through the neat compartments and cabinets.

Then yelled as he felt Harry come back, kneeling behind him and spreading his arse and getting back in there with lips and fingers. At this angle he could get even deeper, greedy and stretching and Eggsy put his face in his hands and almost fucking cried with how good it was, Harry licking around the finger he was crooking inside and hitting something inside Eggsy that felt so fucking beauty he thought he might black out from the pleasure of if, like he thought Eggsy just needed a bit more motivation to let Harry get his cock inside, rather than being bloody desperate for it and just needing a bit more lube.

There fucking - must be something, it was a fucking private jet, people probably shagged on it all the time, and then he found the first aid cabinet and there was yes fucking finally and get in there was KY, tubes of it and he pulled away from Harry and turned around to show him his prize -

Which of course was when Harry swallowed the cock Eggsy had just presented him with and forget black out, Eggsy was going to die and it would be so fucking damn worth it. Harry was on his knees, for Eggsy, his eyes shut and sucking his dick with a blissful expression on his face and when Eggsy's hips jerked forward helplessly Harry took it, let Eggsy's cock slide into his throat and moaned around it and Eggsy's knees shook and his vision went wobbly and his heart thumped.

He stroked Harry's cheek carefully, said, "Harry, fuck - fuck, you're gorgeous, you look so good, fuck, Harry," stumbling over the words and how amazing it was and how full he felt just of - of everything, want and fondness and needing and love. I want to wreck you and Harry was, he did, just by existing, just by being with Eggsy.

He got suddenly an unwelcome flashback, Harry on the floor of the church, conscious for a moment and saying no, trying to keep Eggsy safe, and he had a vivid realisation - anything could have happened, Harry was so good but he'd been so lucky, anything going differently and he could have been - and Eggsy never would have had -

He pulled out, too quick, Harry coughed and complained and Eggsy dropped to his knees too and kissed him hard, putting everything he had into it, and Harry took it and gave it back, stroking his big hands up Eggsy's back and into his hair like he understood how close Eggsy needed to be right at that minute.

Harry was the one to break it, pressing their foreheads together and murmuring, "Eggsy, Eggsy," the first words he'd said since the rut took him under, and Eggsy put his hands on Harry's face, a great face, the best face in the world, and said, "Harry," and kissed him again, soft, doing his best to promise.

The rut asserted itself again quickly, Harry pressing his dick urgently against Eggsy's stomach, the tiny hint of softness at his lower belly. Eggsy reached down to feel and check, Harry's balls were tight and full and the knot already fattening. Eggsy rubbed and massaged it and Harry grunted and thrust against him. He needed to get inside Eggsy soon.

Eggsy shuffled them round so he could lie back with Harry between his spread legs. It was the first opportunity he'd actually had to properly look at Harry naked and ready - having spent most of the shag to this point pressed up against all that lovely skin and muscle instead - and he took the time to drag his gaze obviously all over Harry's body, smiling when Harry responded by showing off for him. Harry was like fucking art, all shapely and handsome and strong, and his knob was fantastic, long and thick the whole way along, standing hard with a bit of a curve to the left that made Eggsy's hole tense and throb, foreskin pushed back to show a dark red head pearling precome.

Harry was going to feel freaking storming inside him, pressing up against the little area that'd made Eggsy wild before, and he wriggled his arse against Harry's cock and got the lube open, slipping his fingers through it so they were good and wet and then down to push two inside him.

Harry watched with an openly hungry look on his face and then started stroking Eggsy's cock, two handed. It made it a bit difficult for Eggsy to work, stretching himself and playing and seeing what felt good and what felt really bloody good, but he'd always been flexible and he was focused now on what they both wanted, Harry's cock slamming Eggsy's arse and tying them together.

Harry played with Eggsy's own knot straight off and Eggsy moaned and encouraged him. The betas he'd been with had mostly just politely ignored his knot and he hadn't known how it would feel to have someone else's hands on it, the grasp of Harry's fist wet with lube and tight right round it mimicking the stuck of an omega hole.

Eggsy felt good and open now, two fingers slipping in and out easily, but he glanced at Harry's cock again and added another. The strain of rut on his untested arse was going to be a lot but there was nothing else for it, both their bodies hot and demanding.

The angle was tricky but he fiddled around a bit - pressed here, there - until yeah, fuck, he found that spot again and threw his head back, quaking and tensing and realising actually he was going to come, he was fucked, everything was brilliant and going black star-painted behind his eyes and Harry squeezed his knot and a hot mouth sucked just the head of his dick and fuck, fucking hell, Jesus fucking God he was gone. The strong pressure round his knot didn't let up, not like when he did it himself and couldn't help but relax a bit as he came, and he choked on his own breaths at how fucking good it felt to be held, a hand round his knot and fingers in his arse and warm wet round his cock, it went on and on, the pleasure reverberating round his body and coming again and again, like waves on a beach, swelling and breaking, pulsing right through him until he felt like his hair must be standing on end and his toes on fire.

It was minutes, had to be, before he could even open his eyes, Harry holding his knot the whole time and come pumping out on to Eggsy's stomach and over Harry's hands. He managed to croak out, "Harry, fuck - kiss me -" and opened his mouth gratefully for Harry to fill it with his tongue, nipping at his lips and their mouths playing together, the closeness comforting and right.

He broke away for a second and stared up at the ceiling of the jet. They were going to have to power hose the whole thing, or maybe just set it on fire. Harry looked happy, anyway, slyly pleased and smug at having made Eggsy come like - like fucking Concorde. That struck him as funny, since they were on a jet and all, and he found himself giggling like he was five pints down.

Harry laughed too, just because Eggsy was, and then Eggsy pulled him down to kiss again. He hadn't thought - he hadn't realised rut with another person could be like this, be playful as well as passionate, and he held Harry close by the hair and sent another silent thanks to whatever it was that looked out for idiot spies.

Another few minutes of kissing and Harry was pushing his cock against Eggsy's arse, not trying to get in but purposeful, reminding him of the business at hand. Eggsy sneaked his hand down for a quick feel and a stroke, tracing his fingertips up the sensitive underside of Harry's cock so Harry shuddered and whined above him.

What would be the best way to do it? They could be tied for a while so they had to be comfortable, Eggsy loved Harry's fantastically broad long frame but he didn't much fancy being on the floor under it for half an hour. From the back would be easiest but that wasn't - call him a squishy romantic but he didn't want that, he wanted to be able to look at Harry this first time, see the look on his face when Eggsy let him in and let him knot, wanted to be able to stroke and kiss him while they were held together.

He pushed Harry up off him and carried on the motion to guide him smoothly into the armchair. Harry collapsed into it and his look staring up at Eggsy was pure sex, his hair messy and falling over his face, his eyes dark and intent, his body flushed and gleaming with sweat, his cock desperately big and hard.

Fuck, yeah. Time for the main event. Eggsy poured more lube onto Harry's dick then climbed onto his lap, Harry's arms coming round him immediately to support and hold, and he got a hand on Harry's cock to keep it in place and sat down on it unceremoniously.

Harry cried out and his hands jerked, digging his nails into Eggsy's back and gripping them close together. Eggsy echoed it with a long, low groan. He was relaxed and open from the fingering and his orgasm but Harry was still a struggle and he made himself take deep breaths and work his hips in twitches, screwing himself onto Harry's cock slow.

"Eggsy, fuck," Harry said, the important bits of language evidently emerging out of the rut, "fuck, fuck, please -" his voice completely drenched in lust, and Eggsy became aware his teeth were bared in a savage grin. This was it, what he hadn't known he could want, he was taking Harry, taking what he needed. He put his arms on Harry's shoulders and grabbed the back of the chair, got his knees under him, and got ready to move.

He took his time, shifting his angle and speed and approach, deciding what he liked best. A torturously slow simple up and down, flexing his thighs, felt the best, but hovering with just the head holding him open and then pushing down with a sinuous twist of his hips made Harry whimper and pant, his eyes glimmering with honest to God sex tears, and Eggsy liked that even more. Harry was gazing up at him worshipfully, saying Eggsy's name in a dazed voice, and Eggsy had never known anything could feel like this.

He couldn't take the knot was the only thing, although he sank down onto Harry's cock deep as he could and tried everything he could think of, rippling and grinding and clenching and releasing until his body was covered in sweat and dripping. Harry's sounds under him were becoming pitiful, the rut so near to getting what he needed, his hips trying to thrust whenever Eggsy's weight wasn't on his thighs. He hid his face in Eggsy's throat and made a frustrated wail.

Eggsy paused and wiped his sweaty forehead on the back of the chair. Harry turned his face back up to Eggsy’s and started licking at the sweat on his cheeks, anxiously. Eggsy could feel Harry's hips stuttering as he tried to control himself and then Harry slid one hand off his hip and over to Eggsy's arse and another finger was finding its way inside, next to Harry's cock, and Eggsy said, "Fuck," and gnawed on his lip at the careful nudge and stretch. Harry sighed happily and stroked Eggsy from the inside.

Then he tugged and pressed his hips up and leaned up to capture Eggsy's mouth with his, the bastard, the complete bastard, and Eggsy was the one coming apart because oh fuck yes he was seated on Harry to the base, the knot sliding in and past that stubborn ring at last, so fucking full and filthy and wonderful as it started to swell.

Harry was making a dirty low purring sound, stroking Eggsy's thighs as he writhed on the knot, learning it. Fuck, it was good, it was everything, Harry cradled in him where he belonged, and he gave a long satisfied groan that felt like it came all the way up from his toes.

"Eggsy," he said again, "Eggsy Eggsy Eggsy," then, "Darling," and Eggsy closed his eyes and bent to him, kissing; the two of them knotted, tied, home.

***

The rut broke over France, as they were beginning the descent back to HQ. Eggsy knew it first as an ebbing of Harry's scent, away from ruthless need and back into plain want. Harry was still buried in him from the last round, softening slowly, the third time Eggsy had felt it in the hot tender clutch of his arse. Harry stirred against his back, brushed a slow kiss on the nape of his neck.

"Eggsy," he said. It was much more alert, raspy with effort but without the raw edge of heat. "I'm sorry."

"I'm not," Eggsy said fiercely. Fuck Harry if he thought he got taksiebaksies now.

Harry didn't say anything more but he picked up Eggsy's hand where it was clasped with Harry's at his waist and he kissed Eggsy's fingers, gently, one by one.

***

When they got back there was Arthur - or rather Chester King, own-arse-saving traitor and fucknugget of this parish, now tragically deceased - and the chip and Roxy’s HALO mission and a world to save.

“Looking good, Eggsy,” Merlin said when he came out into the jet - not, thankfully, the same one - in his new suit, Kingsman-style. Harry didn’t say anything but the soft look in his eyes as he saw Eggsy in the suit he’d had made for him, the approval in his quick nod, the earthy tang of Eggsy’s scent winding through his rich amber, was enough - was everything.

“Feeling good, Merlin,” he said.

Mainly due to an ice pack applied to an undignified place and some drugs Dean would have got a fortune for down the Prince, but it didn't matter. Either he could function for as long as he needed to and then he'd get his time to recover, or he'd be dead anyway and what were a sore arse and a bunch of bruises to that?

As they came in to the approach to the bunker Merlin kindly made up some technical shit that meant the door had to be closed to the cabin, giving them a minute alone.

“I don’t like this plan,” Harry said, again.

“I am right on to this plan,” Eggsy said, again.

Harry gave him an incredulous look. “I have no doubts about you whatsoever, Eggsy. But my waiting here while you take all the risk, on the offchance that one of Valentine’s staff will recognise me -”

It wasn’t just that. There was something about Harry, after the church, a hardness and fatalism that hadn’t been there before. Merlin and Eggsy had both overruled him on this being the plan.

“We’re not changing it now,” Eggsy said. He leaned on it, made it a statement just of how the future was going to be, and felt the dominance register with Harry. A raised eyebrow, a reflexive push back, and then Harry yielded, bloody brilliantly, letting Eggsy in. Well, and if that wasn’t something to motivate a bloke to save the world: Eggsy felt like he could move mountains, with Harry Hart going sweet for him.

“And as for that,” Harry said. “I know I haven’t been very - forthcoming. We will talk, Eggsy. After.”

“This is what comes after,” Eggsy said firmly. “So you better fucking be here for it.”

He pushed Harry back against the bulkhead and kissed Harry hard, feeling the exact thrill and charge he needed from the way Harry gave it up, opened his mouth and let Eggsy go deep and raw. Their bodies leaned together, Harry's fingers secure on the pulse in Eggsy's throat, and Eggsy smelled their bonding scent for the first time, a tangy, dangerous rich polished leather and incense.

Merlin rapped on the door and then a moment later the plane door was opening and stairs were going down and they were on.

A bit of chat, the Chester King fakeout held, and then, "Understood? Good," Eggsy said, with a wink, about to let Valentine's minion lead him away. He caught a hint of blood-tinted amber sweetness on the air and it kicked him into even higher gear, instincts up and hunt-ready.

Yeah, Harry understood.

END