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Our Soulmates

Chapter Text

Sherlock’s POV
When he first met John Watson, invalided army doctor, he knew that John was going to be his soulmate. Only when they finally touched after the case was done, there was no burning, no mark, nothing. Despite the fact every part of him was telling him that John was his the lack of mark told him otherwise. 

Over the next two years he intentionally found and put himself in situations that would require John to touch him, every time hoping that the mark would appear, that he would be able to claim John “not gay” Watson as his own. But the mark never appeared. 

When the Moriarty situation occurred, he found himself happy for the first time that he was not John’s soulmate, John would be able to easily get over his loss. Only he discovered when he got back that he really hadn’t and the woman that John was dating was more trouble than she was worth, but John decided to marry her even though they were not soulmates. 

He was insanely jealous but stayed out of it because he wanted John to be happy and if he was happy with Mary, then he would support him. 

At the wedding the photographer tried to killed John’s previous commander, James Sholto and he had managed to talk the older man into letting him save him on the condition he solved the crime so that’s what he did. 

Like with John, he immediately felt that the major was supposed to be his, but nothing appeared when he touched his hand. 

Instead, as they were getting ready to take him to the hospital he touched both John and James, and got the shock of his life. His hands burned. Both of them. When he looked down, at them he could only stare in shock, there was a band on the ring fingers of both hands. One was deep blue, the color of John’s eyes when he is passionate about something. The other was a smokey gray, the color of James eyes when he stared at John. There was only four triads in British history, fifteen in Eastern Europe, and ninety-four in the world. Well recorded triads, not every culture tracked their soulmate population or their triads, nor were the records of every culture available since some had been destroyed. 

How was he going to deal with this?

So he had gone with the major to the hospital, not stopping to talk to John because wasn’t he already lost to him? He was married after all. While he waited for the older man to wake up, he got lost in his thoughts.

Only when he came out of his thoughts he was shocked by what he saw: sitting on the edge of the bed, gently stroking the major’s short graying ash-blonde hair is John.

“John?” He questions, trying not to show his confusion, “Why aren’t you on your sex holiday?” It’s hard to keep the bitterness out of his voice but he manages it somehow.

“Did you honestly think I would just ignore it?” His best friend questions softly, hand still lightly petting the other blonde. 

“You’re married,” he replies, as if it explains everything.

“Actually, I’m not, Mycroft can be really useful sometimes.” 

Confused, he asks, “What about Mary?” They were married with a child on the way, no way would John abandon that baby.

Glancing way, the doctor swallows hard before looking back at him steadily and answering, “After the marks appeared she admitted that the baby was David’s and she was only marrying me because I would be able to protect the child from people trying to harm her.” He shrugs, continuing, “I asked Mycroft to push an annulment through. He did so with surprisingly little fuss. So here I am, with my two favorite people in the world, one I thought I lost years ago, and the other I almost lost today.”

“John,” he groans, standing and reaching for the compact blonde, not thinking about where he is perched and nearly tripping himself in the process. 

“Careful, having one of you in here is enough, lets not make it both.” His soulmate remarks jokingly. 

“Watson,” comes a groggy voice from the bed, “John. What are you doing here?”

Before John has a chance to answer, he replies, “He’s our soulmate, apparently the three of us are the fifth British triad in recorded history, John and Mary separated just hours after the wedding and he came back to us.”

Amusement fills both soldiers faces as they look at him.

“Once the doctor clears you, the three of us can go home and figure out how we want to work this out, that is, if you want to try?” the last part is directed at James, the one he is not sure about. 

Slowly the major studies first him, then John before a warm smile lights up his face. “I would.”

Chapter Text

John had always known he and Sherlock were soulmates. The moment he set eyes on those dark curls, his body filled with a shock of electricity unlike any he’d ever felt before.

The blond assumed Sherlock had felt the same based on the sudden hesitation shown by the taller man.

During the time they had lived together, John began to believe that maybe they were the other kind of soulmates - platonic. How could this man, who felt little for even his own brother, be the other half of his being?

When he met Mary, he felt a tiny spark and ran with it. Believed he could make it work and have the family he’d always dreamed of.

How wrong he was.

Standing there at the door of the hospital bed, going over the chart and X-rays with the attending doctor, he knew. He just knew.

He felt it stronger than ever. Only thing… now there was a smaller flame burning between them. The medical chart confirmed it.

What was he going to do?

Chapter Text

Madeline's POV
Sleep was hard for her that night. She was too hyped up after attending her elder sister's formal public bonding to Aidan. She had been shocked when he took their family's last name, at least until his father and her teacher had explained the cobra custom behind it. The only reason they held a formal public bonding was so all branches of the family could attended and Aidan requested it under tradition. He is surprisingly traditional at times, though he is a cobra, and one thing she has learned is cobras are traditional so she's not sure why it’s surprising.

When she finally does drift off, it is to memories of a vision once shown her. Slowly it builds up, ever the same and always different.

Pale dawn light filters through the colorful and vibrant trees of the park she is walking in. The air is naturally calm, a light misting fog settling over everything, not because she is making it that way, but because there is only the softest of breezes to move the air. It is surprisingly warm for late fall, allowing her to wear only a light jacket outside and making the air hazy.

Her first sense that something big is about to happen comes from the instinct to look around, to search for the presence that she can feel deep within her empathy.

Instead, she keeps walking, waiting and anticipating whatever is to come. There is a very small chance of it being a threat, and if it is, her teacher has taught her several effective and dangerous ways to protect herself using the talents she has.

She slows as a form begins to solidify and appear, emerging from the fog. Brilliant topaz brown eyes are the first thing she notices followed by the fact he seems to have a gentle smile. His olive complexion reminds her of warm amber, his features have a curve to them, softness she is not used to seeing in men. Despite its unfamiliarity, he is still a good looking man.

Stopping, she waits for him to continue his approach, waiting for him to close the gap between them.

When he is within touching range, he offers his hand, accepting hers and bowing over it to kiss it politely.

Warmth runs through her body, a tingling sensation making her glance at her wrist as a small dot appears and slowly starts to morph into something more.

She is sure he says his name, but she doesn’t catch it, too busy staring at the one who’s supposed to be hers.

Gasping, she wakes up, sitting up in her bed, and using her mind to fill the empty glass on her night stand with water. She was looking forward to the day when she will meet her bondmate as a shifter would call him, and soul mate as a human would call him.

Chapter Text

She was always muttering, the crew knew, but lately it had started evolving. Colors. Always colors. River would stare at them and under her breath she would repeat their names and colors. 

Two weeks past without anyone connecting her words to a set pattern. When she didn’t show up to dinner, they took the opportunity to discuss their thoughts.

“Do y’all have any idea what’s going through that girl’s head?”

“’That girl’ has a name if you remember, Mal.”

“Yes, thank you, Inara. I do remember that. Doc?”

“To be honest, Captain, I really don’t have a clue. Even back to our childhood, I can’t remember her mentioning names and colors together.”

Several more ideas were thrown around the table by Wash, Kaylee, even Zoe tossed in her own ideas.

“Jayne, you’re strangely quiet over there. What’re your thoughts on the matter?” Mal didn’t really expect his merc to have a real answer.

“Soulmates.” That’s it. One word. Gathering a couple rolls, he pushed back his chair and left the dining area.

“Well, that was -”

“Mal, I think he’s right.”

“Inara, since when is Jayne right about something like that?”

Kaylee jumped in next, “Wait a tick! Inara, what was she saying? What names to what colors?”

“Simon: blue. Mal: red. Jayne: purple. Wash: green. Inara, me: red. Zoe: green. Kaylee: blue. River: purple.”

“It’s a pattern. Captain, I think Jayne may actually be right about something this time.”

“But ‘soulmates’, honey? Isn’t that a myth?”

“Wash, every myth comes from somewhere.”

Inara explained, “Everyone has a colored aura. Our colors match. River saw it because we couldn’t. Our colors match our soulmates.”

Kaylee was the first to jump at this idea, “Shiny! We’re all soulmates!”

“Kaylee, dear, that means Jayne and River are soulmates as well.”

“Awe, come on, Simon, but so are we!”

“And us.”

“Us as well, apparently.”

Across the ship, Jayne sat with his soulmate. If he had to be purple, he was glad it was with his crazy girl.

Chapter Text

After discovering her pregnancy, she had gathered the money together in order to return to Athens. It was only right that she tell Andrew what happened, that she had become pregnant from their shared time together. Only when she gets there, there is someone else living in his home, a young woman who has never heard of an Andrew, and cannot help her. Frustrated, because she had never thought to get more information from him, she had paused on the walkway and just stared up at the sky, contemplating what she was going to do next. Perhaps she should see about finding a seer to search for him.

“Excuse me?” a plump, dark-haired woman with only the vaguest scent of wolf comments, hand lightly hovering over her elbow without actually touching it.

“Can I help you?” she inquires looking down from the sky.

“Are you Sandra? The ‘beautiful British wolf’?” the woman queries, “you’re looking for Andrew?” she motions to what used to be his home.

Smiling, she answers, “I’m not sure I am ‘beautiful’ but I am a British wolf named Sandra.”

“Please, I have something for you, he entrusted it in my care,” the woman states, motioning to one of the other houses.

She nods, motioning for her to lead the way.

Quietly, the two of them make their way to the house, the plump woman opening the door for her, and holding it while she steps in. Inside the house, her hostess pours her a cup of sideritis and asks her to wait while she fetches the letter from where she has been storing it. When she gets back, her hostess offers it to her with a sad smile but says nothing.

Dread fills her, something is wrong and this letter explains it. Her instincts tell her it is not something she should read around others.

“If you’ll excuse me?” she politely questions.

“Of course, if you need anything else, I am here in the afternoons,” the woman replies with a nod, “I hope you find what you are looking for, Sandra.”

“Thank you,” she replies before slipping out of the door and returning to the hotel she had arranged just to be safe.

In her room, she settles on the edge of the bed, carefully breaking the seal and unfolding the letter to read.

 

-My Most Beautiful Sandra,
If you have received this, then the prophecy spoken when I was a child has come to pass and I have joined the Earth Lord.

Please do not mourn what could have been. For me, what was was more than I ever expected, hoped, or dreamed of.

The moment I laid eyes on you I suspected that you were my bondmate, my perfect match, my other half, my soulmate as humans call it. I was both relieved and disappointed when our marks never appeared during the time we spent together. I never wanted you bound to a wolf who was dying before you ever met me. To a wolf you would never have a chance to grow old with, to spend the years of your life with. It would not have been fair to you. It is my hope, my desire that you will be blessed with the ability to find another mate. One who can love you for the wonderful and amazing person you are. That girl who found wonder in everything, whether majestic or simple.

You are wonderful.

There is so much more I wish I could have learned of you, so much I wish I could have shared. I waited my entire life for you, knowing that I would die within weeks of our meeting. I wouldn’t change it for anything in this world. You were everything, and I mean everything, I could have ever loved. Those nine days were the best of my life, and I cherished every moment of them, engraved them in my soul, carried them with me to the Earth Lord. I was blessed the moment we met.

Maybe it is selfish of me, but I hope when your natural time arrives, after a hopefully long and joyous life, that you will rejoin me.

I think it is time I close this now, I am tired and it is close. 
With all my Love
Andrew-

Tears flowed from her eyes as she set the letter aside and grabbed a pillow to bury her head against. Of all the things she had expected, his death had not been one of them. How was she going to tell him that he was going to be a father? That they were going to have a daughter together? Perhaps he had a pack, someone she could speak to about him, a family that was there for him in the final days of his life. Why had he not went to a pack healer? An iota could heal far more than a human doctor, whatever was ailing him could have been cured, healed, restored. He didn’t have to die.

Wiping her face, she decides that she will try and find out about his birth pack, find his family so that their daughter could know her other relatives.

The following morning she spends the day wandering the city, remembering those days spent fondly. She knows logically that they would have had their arguments and disagreements, that there would have been bad days, but the good days would have outweighed them. They would have found a way to make it work, because that’s what bondmates do. instead, all she will ever have is the memory of what could have been.

No. Not just a memory, their daughter. A beautiful child with both of their bloods in her. She would ask her mum to make sure that she carried it, that their daughter lived no matter what the cost to her, she would pay it, and pay it willingly.

In the afternoon, she returns to the neighbor woman, hesitantly knocking at the door. When the other woman opens it, she smiles at her, asking, “Could, could I talk to you about Andrew?”

Smiling back, the other woman nods, opening the door and inviting her in. “Of course, we can have tea in the back garden while we do so.”

The two of them make their way through the house to the back garden where there is already a tea service for two set up. “I thought you might be back.”

Offering her hand, she introduces herself, “I’m Sandra Watson, of the Watson pack in London.”

“Maria DiNozzo,” her hostess replies, a warm smile curving her lips, “I’ll answer anything I can, but I do not know how much that will be.”

For hours the two of them sit there discussing random bits of facts about Andrew. She learns that he left his pack as a teenager, after the accident that killed his sister because the iota had refused to try healing her. That he was alone in the world, with no family and no real friends. That most of his time was spent drawing and sketching. She learns that in his final weeks of life, he had been happier than he had been in the years previous.

Just before she leaves, Maria asks her to hold a moment, fetching a box and offering it to her.

“He left these for me, but I think they would be better suited for you,” the older woman tells her fondly. “I kept my favorite, but the rest, the rest you take.”

“Thank you,” she replies, nearly in tears again, but smiling anyways. Today had been about letting go of a dream, at the same time it had been accepting a new one.

Her return to her home was not nearly as smooth as she would have liked. Her father was horrified over the concept that she was an un-bonded pregnant wolf. The chances of it were so very slim and it happened so very rarely. Her mum had gotten between them, golden eyes glaring at her mate as she snarled before taking her aside and reassuring her that she would do anything she had to in order to make sure the child survived.

Her life might not be what she was expecting, but it would be a good one. She would live as healthily and joyously as she could, and if she sometimes mourned what she never had a chance to have, who had to know besides her.

Chapter Text

How would you feel if you had a countdown on your wrist that told you exactly when you would meet your soulmate? Would the time be short or long? Would you get nervous when the time was near or excited?

Harry hadn’t been paying close attention to his clock when he met his soulmate, only the single beep that he almost caught too late.

Harry Hart was 38 when he his timer ran down. He’d lived so long with such a high number on his wrist, he learned to ignore the decreasing time. Thirteen years as an agent had taught him to not think about such trivial things. He honestly believed he’d be dead before his clock ran out and he wouldn’t need to worry about it. As Merlin always told him, “Expect the unexpected and prepare for surprise.”

Unfortunately, there wasn’t any possible way to prepare for that day.

The discussion with Michelle Unwin went about as well as could be expected when delivering news to a new widow who had no clue about her husband’s career choice. The young boy he’d noticed early was sitting in the middle of the living room floor playing with a snow globe. Harry had been too focused on his duties that he had taken no notice of his timer… until the very second he knelt down in front of the boy and it beeped.

He stilled in shock still holding the medal out until those green eyes looked up at him innocently. Thankfully Michelle was still in tears behind him and hadn’t heard the beep, though she wouldn’t notice until months later that it was no longer ticking. The boy, Eggsy, wouldn’t know what it meant, but his wrist beeped once as well. Hastening along his spiel about the medal, the veteran agent would leave the family in relative peace for the next seventeen years.

Chapter Text

Since the first moment he touched James he knew the sentinel was his perfect match. Not that very many people realized he was a guide. He was pretty good at making people think he was only a low level empath. So when his sentinel was repeatedly injured, he kept helping the other man out. Showing up at unexpected times to deliver something that the agent ‘needed’ in person, just lightly making sure they touched, just enough that he could restore balance to him.

Then came the female scientist, and his perfect match driving off with her, because apparently he loves her.

Angrily he had thrown himself into his work, more so than normal, putting the staff and agents through their paces far more than anyone expected. So much so that the sentinels that often worked in the field started avoiding him, only mutes came near him.

It was very surprising the day that Bond came walking into his lab, eyes flashing dangerously.

“You knew,” the agent nearly snarls at him.

“Knew what Bond?” he replies, keeping his tone cool even as he internally wants to scream. He picked her, why is he here?

“The link, the bond, you knew, you didn’t say but you knew.” The older man replies, striding closer.

“I haven’t the faintest clue what you are talking about,” he answers, still maintaining his cool tone.

“Damn it Rory, how could you let me walk away with her when it was you that I kept connecting with?” there is something he doesn’t dare put a name to in the sentinel’s voice.

He doesn’t respond, keeping his focus on his project and continuing to work. James left, quit, walked out. He needs to make these tools for those who are still around, agents he can actually help, even though most won’t come near him anymore. He really needs to get his empathy back under control and stop projecting his anger.

When a firm hand grabs his wrist, pulling him away from his project he is not sure if he is furious or pleased. Instinctively he lashes out with his anger and pain, only unlike the other sentinels who he always stops short of breeching their shields he doesn’t with James and connects to his mind, sharing everything he never intended to share.

“Rory,” the sentinel breaths out, hand releasing his wrist to cup his face before kissing him so softly he thinks it must be a dream. James picked her, not him. “Stop thinking so much.” He hears echoing through his mind, without a word of it being said aloud, “You are perfect, the match I have been looking for since the day I started to manifest. How did I miss you?”

“Few realize I am a guide,” he replies absently, his hands coming up to clutch at the front of James’s shirt. This has to be a dream, he has finally lost himself inside a swoon from pushing too hard to try and forget.

“You’re not swooning Rory, I’m kissing you, and we seem to be talking in our heads.” The agent responds to his thoughts, deepening the kiss and maneuvering them to his sofa.

When they finally break apart he stares at the older man, not sure what to say or how this happened. Why is James here? What happened with the doctor? Shouldn’t he be there?

“No, I should be with my guide, you are my guide. I never realized exactly how important that was until I tried connecting with her, she’s a low level empath and guide herself, but it felt wrong on too many levels. We parted ways,” the blonde explains, seeming to answer his thoughts again.

In his mind he can feel the link, and understands that is already forming, though incomplete. Will the finish it or will James wish to keep it as is?

“We’ll finish it alright, it’s your choice if we do it here or somewhere more comfortable.” His sentinel tells him, “Personally I say your bed, but its really up to you.”

A slow smile curves his lips as he nods once, “That can be arranged.”

“Perfect,” the satisfaction nearly pours off the older man as he stands, offering him a hand up and a naughty and affectionate look filling his gaze.

Chapter Text

“She loves you, you know,“ says Peeta. "She as good as told me after they whipped you.”

“Don’t believe it," Gale answers. "The way she kissed you in the Quarter Quell…well she never kissed me like that.”

“It was just part of the show,” Peeta tells him, although there’s an edge of doubt in his voice.

“No, you won her over. Gave up everything for her. Maybe that’s the only way to convince her you love her.” There’s a long pause. “I should have volunteered to take your place in the first Games. Protected her then.”

“You couldn’t,” says Peeta. “She’d never have forgiven you. You had to take care of her family. They matter more to her than her life.”

“I wonder how she’ll make up her mind.”

“Oh, that I do know.” I can just catch Gale’s last words through the layer of fur. “Katniss will pick whoever she thinks she can’t survive without” 

 ————

That conversation that repeated throughout my head for the rest of the rebellion, even after. Katniss knew she would have to come to a decision someday if she were to survive.

It’s not often two soulmates are chosen for one person, but when it does happen, it’s generally accepted that you choose one and let the other be free to choose or be chosen by someone else. No need to be stingy in a world like this… except Mrs. Everdeen taught her daughters to hold tight to whatever happiness you can find and never let go. If you can’t live without that someone, make sure they know.

Gale and Peeta both knew in their hearts that they were Katniss’ soulmate, but didn’t tell the other. Why would they? They weren’t friends, but they both loved her too much to make her choose. What they didn’t know is that The Girl On Fire was given two choices. She was special.

Katniss had returned from a hunt still believing she and Haymitch were the only ones in District 12. She never expected to return to the image of the two men in a physical fight that the older man was attempting to break up.

Haymitch finally pulled the two apart before shouting at them in frustration, “Stop fighting, you two. She’s right here.” He pointed behind the boys.

The brunette stood still in shock while still holding her bow and pheasant staring at them. Shaking herself free, Katniss breathed out, “Peeta? Gale? What are you both doing here?”

Peeta ducked his head and stood back from the taller man. He’d let Gale make his case first.

Gale spoke up, “You need to choose, Katniss. Me,” pointing to himself, ‘or him.” Waving a hand between the two, gray eyes pleading with her.

Taking the silence as his turn, Peeta stepped forward, blue-eyes searching her own gray ones for an answer, “Please, just put us out of our misery. We both think we’re your soulmate.” He attempted to reach for her hand, only to have hers jerk back. A hurt look flashed over his face quickly before he stepped back and asked, “Which one of us is it?”

Katniss still hadn’t said anything as she side-stepped the small group and climbed the steps to her house, leaving the door open as she took her kill into the kitchen to be cleaned and cooked.

Looking between the two young men, Haymitch crossed between them and up onto the porch. He turned to look at the boys questioningly, “You two comin’ in or not?”

The boys looked sheepishly at the former mentor as they made their way up and into the house.

It was quiet and dark except for the light coming from the direction of the kitchen. Buttercup, laying on the windowsill, hissed at them as they entered before jumping out the window and into the later afternoon. They walked slowly through the house until they joined the other two in the kitchen.

They found Katniss chopping at the bird with a large knife while Haymitch stood back with a drink as if to enjoy the show.

At first, no one spoke until, “Catnip, –”

The slamming of the butcher knife onto the wooden counter made both men jump as she stopped chopping and leaned against the counter with both hands bracing her body, head down. The only time she could hide her emotions was when her hair was down and in her face, as it was now.

In a low, emotionally charged voice she spoke, “Stop it. Stop trying to make me choose.” Lifting her head, she looked them both in eye for a long second before continuing, “I can’t live without either of you,” she took a shaky breath, “and now with Prim gone, I won’t.” Her voice nearly broke as she spoke her sister’s name. It was still hard to speak about, much less think about.

Katniss lifter her head, fire in her eyes as she pointed at the chest of both men, “You can either stay or go. I won’t choose between both of my soulmates.”

The boys had shared looks of astonishment as they glanced at a nodding, and smiling, Haymitch.

“Both?” Gale choked out.

The tears were free flowing now as a silent agreement passed between all three men to never leave their Mockingjay.

Peeta kissed her temple as he murmured, “Oh Katniss…” into her ear.

Chapter Text

 John POV
The first time he saw color was in the middle of an ugly warehouse after being confronted by a posh git in a suit leaning on an umbrella. They had engaged in a rather sassy and sarcastic exchange. It had ended when the git wanted to see his left hand.

Anger makes him lock his legs and force the other man to come to him, he refuses to be intimidated, despite the taller man’s best try. He holds his arm out, bent at the elbow, hand down so that he can show his hand as the other man had demanded.

A brief smirk flashes across the tall man’s face as he crosses over to him, hooking his umbrella on his arm.

As soon as the taller man reaches for his hand, he automatically jerks backwards, perhaps instinctively knowing his life is about to change forever.

Another smirk flashes across the posh gits face before it smoothes out once more.

Forcing himself to return his hand to where it was, he watches as the taller man gently cups it between both of his hands. Colors explode before his eyes, the world changes from tones of silver and gray to vibrant and bright, shadowy and dull, but all so much more than the grays he has spent his life seeing in. Startled, he studies the tall man, assigning colors, or what he thinks are the names of colors, to what he sees before him. Dark gray-blue eyes, creamy skin with freckles of pink scattered across his face, and dark brown hair with auburn highlights.

“Remarkable,” the posh git murmurs, releasing his hand and straightening as he asks, “Would you like to go to dinner with me?”

He blinks in shock. Did the man who was just threatening him ask him on a date to dinner? Several long moments pass in silence before he finally replies, “Only if you stop trying to intimidate me and actually bother to introduce yourself.”

A low chuckle escapes the taller man as he inclines his head politely, “Very well, I shall try,” offering a hand, the posh git states, “Mycroft Holmes, pleasure to meet you Doctor Watson.”

He smiles as he replies, “Nice to meet you Mycroft, dinner?”

Chapter Text

The first time they slept together was after the goblin tunnels and Bilbo saved him from the wargs. Thorin hugged him and a spark was ignited. All that was needed was a simple touch to realize they were soulmates though if they had realized it at the time, it’s not exactly something they would be telling the rest of the Company. The group already had enough to handle without this new addition so no one noticed.

If it was possible to get away or on the same watch shift, the two took advantage of it. They were always careful to not let the others in on their little secret. Though neither thought they had met their One, or soulmate, they truly didn’t believe they were each other’s purely because they were both male as well as one being a dwarf and one a hobbit.

The night before the Company left for Erebor from Lake Town was the big feast thrown by the Master in honor of Thorin’s bid to take back the Lonely Mountain. Everyone was looking forward to the riches that would come from within the mountain. After many of the celebrants had fallen asleep, Thorin and Bilbo slipped away from the party. They had argued again to throw off mounting suspicion fearing Bofur, Balin, and Dwalin suspected something was going on.

This time was different though. Previous times had only been physical. Something about now changed. At the moment of release, a heat spread through them both. Both could feel in their hearts that they were it. The One.

Chapter Text

They quickly leave the boffins domain, heading outside to the waiting car. As they climb in the younger man is happy that it has been cleaned and does not smell of the doctor’s perfume.

“Do you know where my home is?” Rory asks, tilting his head and smiling slightly since he is quite sure that the sentinel does know.

Chuckling instead of answering, the two of them are off, weaving through the city at a high speeds.

When they reach his home, the older man parks, getting out and moving to open his door, they head inside after he undoes the security. As soon as they are inside the door and it is shut, the sentinel turns on him, pushing him against the door and kissing him soundly.

“Rory,” the older man groans when they separate, “Damn it, why didn’t you say?”

Tilting his head backwards, he rests it against the door as the agent nuzzles down the side of his face and neck to the slope of his shoulder.

“My room would probably be better for this,” he mutters, not answering the question.

Nipping his collarbone through his shirt, the sentinel asks age, “Why didn’t you say?”

“Would you have listened?” he retorts, already knowing the answer.

The sentinel’s mouth opens and shuts before sighing. “Your points made.”

He smiles, “Good, now follow me,” straightening, he brushes against the taller man as they leave the front entry and head to his bedroom.

Within it James pauses, taking a deep breath, swaying in place, and closing his eyes with a satisfied smirk. “Perfect,” the older man finally mutters, “this place feels right, smells right.”

“I’m happy you approve,” he murmurs, half sarcastic, half not before turning to the large cat on his bed and stating, “Jinx there is no attacking James,” before leaning in to pick him up and hug him.“This is that cat I wanted to protect.”

His new bond mate opens his eyes to look at him, a smile tugging at his lips, “Handsome cat.”

“She is indeed, a very handsome and beautiful girl,” the young man replies with a playful smile, “Go lay on the divan Jinx.”

She tilts her head, studying him for a moment before head butting him, hopping out of his arms, and leaving with her tail high in the air.

“She? Surprisingly big for a female,” the blonde remarks watching the cat leave.

“Jinx is, but she is very good to me, smarter than your average cat,” he doesn’t mention that his spirit animal often rides in his cat, making her even smarter.

Turning back to him, the sentinel reaches out, hand brushing his face before trailing slowly downwards, “Will you complete the bond with me Rory? Be the Guide to my Sentinel?”

“Yes,” he breaths out, knowing the blue-eyed man will hear him.

Those talented fingers set to opening his shirt slowly, his sentinels attention completely on him as he feels his sense beginning to expand.

He smiles, opening his empathy up completely, allowing and encouraging the link. His own hands come up to tug the blonde’s shirt up over his head, revealing a rather toned body with a variety of scars decorating his skin. Automatically his mind fills in what each is. Those marks that are from missions and those that are not. Leaning forward, his lips lightly brush the sentinel’s skin, tracing from mark to mark, encouraging the link between both body and mind.

What are you doing?” his sentinel mentally gasps as his tongue laps at the spider-web hole from where he was shot by Moneypenny.

Touching you,” he replies in the same method, even clearer now that the link was being completed, “Learning you, tasting you, feeling you.

Gasping aloud as his tongue closes over the blonde’s nipple, James’ hands pause for the briefest moment before he returns to removing his clothes, or trying to anyways. He is having fun making it difficult on the agent as he takes the older man’s own lust and desire doubles it and channels it back. This is what it can be like between a sentinel and guide when the connection is good. Though this connection is far stronger than the one he felt the first time he ever connected to a sentinel.

It becomes a bit of a blur after that, James finally gets his shirt off and the two of them tumble onto his bed where they take their time touching and tasting each other. Learning about each other’s bodies, likes, dislikes, and everything in between. By the time James starts to prepare him, readying to complete the link.

For Q it is odd being the bottom when he has previously been the top. Still, he enjoys the feelings having his sentinel opening him, blunt fingers playing inside and out, teasing and touching, making him moan and move in need. When the older man finally lines them up and slowly pushes forward, he sinks his entire self into the link, sharing the feeling as he accepts the feelings being shared with him.

It is amazing and beautiful and just a bit awkward, but it is everything it should between them.

For the longest time, James hold still eyes boring into his as if to find every piece of him and merge them together. Eventually he starts to move, slowly at first, taking his time with an easy pace that teases both of them.

Both feel as the bond between them grows deeper than the average Sentinel-Guide bond, connecting them all the way to their souls, completing the connection both feel.

Their relationship is not going to be easy, but they will figure things out as they go, hard not to with a resourceful sentinel and genius guide.

Chapter Text

It’s all in a sound.

Being half human always had its downfalls in Spock’s mind. While he had a Vulcan’s biology for the most part, he had unfortunately inherited his mother’s allergy to nuts, all kinds.

Now the general consensus is that Vulcan’s don’t have a soulmate because, for generations, they have refused to believe in such an illogical way to choose one’s life-mate.

As luck would have it, growing up on planet Vulcan made exposure to any kind of edible tree nut or peanut (they are two different allergies) minimal. Then Sarek, Ambassador to Earth, moved him and his mother, Lady Amanda, to San Francisco for a short period where he began attending Starfleet Academy. He chose to become a science officer over pursuing a political career like his father.

The academy cafeteria was popular for serving real peanut butter, and something called Nutella, at breakfast. Just the names alone told Spock that it was best to avoid them. Instead, a vegetarian meal among nature.

While wandering campus, Spock would occasionally hear the beautiful notes of what his mother informed him were those of his soulmate. You would be drawn continually the moment you hear the perfect pitch. One that matched yours in perfect harmony. Some may come very close, but only one person would be it. Forever.

The first time was near the med buildings, then later in the trial of his future friend, James T. Kirk. Spock had no way to really narrow down the culprit due to the sheer population of San Francisco and Starfleet Academy.  

His parents had since returned to Vulcan, and with no desire to truly seek out his soulmate, he sought the advice of his mother. The final decision was to accept the commission on the Enterprise.

There it was again. There was no way to get away from that sound. It was only amplified in his head when on the bridge. But even on the bridge, there were at least thirty people - men, women, and like him, other species. Upon the destruction of Vulcan, and loss of his mother, Spock again sought refuge in the source of a sound so very close to his ideal soulmate: Nyota Uhura. Though he knew it wasn’t perfect, they had their moments, the relationship would have to do.

It wasn’t until three years into their five year mission when he and Uhura decided to end things. Logically, the decision was sound. Seeing the other crew return to their families sparked a renewed interest in seeking out his possibly still aboard soulmate. Especially Lt. Sulu with his husband, Ben, and their daughter, Demora.

Then Krall.

No one could have known what would happen.

The devastation.

But… when the adrenaline died down, and he knew Doctor McCoy had performed field surgery adequately, he heard it. Faint at first. He heard McCoy’s voice next… and the moment those beautiful notes reappeared was literal music to his pointy ears.

Doctor McCoy had come back to the small shelter with a very small variety of possibly edible vegetation. Generally when the Vulcan was of sound mind and body, he would have been paying closer attention to the offerings. It wasn’t until he attempted to reach for a pile farthest away, did the doctor panic on him.

“Good God, man! I’m tryin’ to keep you alive.” Leonard smacked his hand away, “I’m your doctor, those will kill you and I don’t have a hypospray to pull out of thin air.”

?With a ghost of a smile, “My apologies, Doctor.” 

Chapter Text

Max’s POV
He’s got a son.
He’s got a son.
He’s got a son.
He’s got a son.

How in the fucking hell is that possible? He thinks, fight back the emotions rolling through him. Right now he is not sure if he is angry, confused, sad, or some combination of them, because apparently he has had a son for damn near half his life that he never knew about.

When was the last time he had an one-night stand? His first year of uni, maybe his second.

As his eyes sweep over the younger man, he gives a small shake of his head. He can see it, now that he is looking, in the similar hair and features that are a combination of his and Antonio.

No, Jacob. Antonio, the handsome and unique omega he still remembers fondly, is Jacob Sternwood, the man who shot out his knee three years prior after a rather adrenaline filled chase and fight. How’s it even possible that the last omega he slept with, could be the same person as the thief he’s been hunting? It seems almost impossible.

Yet. . .

There is no denying the scent, as he lightly sniffs the air again. That’s definitely his scent, or scent markers anyways, mixed with Antonio, and unique to Ruan.

Closing his eyes, he takes a deep breath. Not Antonio, Jacob.

How could he not realize that Jacob was his Antonio?

What is he going to do? His original plan to use the injured boy as bait is not going to work. There is no way the alpha side of his nature would allow him to use his son that way, even if he only just learned of him when he stepped into the room. How is he going to deal with this? It’s not like he can use Ruan like that, or even arrest Jacob at this point because his instincts are screaming he needs answers. He doesn’t get those answers if he arrests him.

A low growl bubbles up from his throat as he opens his eyes and stares at the boy. His son is injured, nearly dead. Someone needs to pay. Damn it, instincts are a real bitch sometimes. It’s probably a good thing he’s the only alpha in this active case.

Actually, he should call Juka and have his friend come confirm what his senses are telling him.

Though, his eyes sweep over the younger man again, he doesn’t really have to. His instincts are screaming at him, every part of them wanting to defend and protect.

Is this why he was shot in the knee rather than the head? Is this why Jacob looked at him as if they knew each other? Is this why his instincts fought against him when they fought three years prior?

Why did Antonio, Jacob, not tell him? He’s quite sure that the thief could easily find him or remember where he lived at the time. He didn’t actually move out of the family home until his parents deaths when he had sold it to cover costs of expenses from their debts. So he easily could have been found. Besides that, if the thief couldn’t remember where he lived, the older man probably could have easily found him. He definitely has the connection to do that. So why did he never say? Why had he left the way he did? Why had any of this happened?

Again his hand hovers over the young man’s foot. This boy is just a few months older than he was when he first met Antonio. Jacob. Damn it. Which is the real name?

He grabs the chart, reading it carefully and absorbing the information in it.

Ruan Maxim Sternwood, son of Jacob A. Sternwood. Born June 5th, 1993. No information provided for the second parent. Male omega, present at fourteen and six months.

Maxim, the latin version of his name, he thinks as he studies the paper. Why did Antonio do that? His son’s first name is familiar too, though he is having a hard time figuring out why right off. Wait, it’s Scottish, he had a neighbor with that name. So Antonio gave their son a Scottish first name, the latin version of his name as a middle name, and Antonio’s last name. Why? It doesn’t make sense? Antonio combined their names, why?

“Max?” Sarah’s voice breaks through his thoughts and emotions.

“Yeah?” he replies, putting the chart back down.

“Something wrong?” his partner asks him, brows furrowed in concern.

“Yeah, no, I don’t know,” he responds as he glances at the prone body once more. “I don’t think this is going to work. Not with all the visible cops around.”

“Max?” the beta sounds confused, even a bit concerned as she watches him.

What is he going to do? This, this isn’t good. Why has any of this happened?

Forcing himself to move away from the bed, he heads into the hall. Glancing at the guards, he frowns absently. Both are betas. The fact there are so many betas is definitely to his favor. This is not a situation he wants to involve others in.

When his sense pick up a stranger coming their way, and he automatically reacts since he can smell Antonio on the stranger, though only the slightest bit. He knows that this is a setup, designed to distract them from the Ruan’s room, but he does it anyways because he wants Antonio to get past them, which leaves him feeling so very conflicted.

He wants the boy to survive and he wants Antonio to escape. Damn it. Wanting the boy to survive is fine, wanting Jacob to escape is not. The omega needs to pay for his crimes. Or at least answer why. That would be enough for him at this point. He’s not sure when his drive for justice became a drive for answers. Probably at the same time as he started needing answers. Lots of answers. Sooner than later.

As he pins the not-Jacob to the wall, his senses catch Jacob’s scent passing by, quietly, quickly, without fanfare. If he hadn’t been searching for that particular combination of omega and beta-blocker scent that blends so well together, he never would have caught it because it is so light. Despite that, he ignores it as he terrifies the beta in front of him, making sure the patsy’s scent is the dominate one in the area. That way if an alpha from one of the other units shows up, well they’re definitely not going to catch the scent.

With a muttered apology and directions to the patsy where to actually go, he waits for several more moments before checking on the boy again. There will be hell to pay for that action, but sometimes hell to pay is worth it to find the answers.  

His eyes widen as he catches Antonio’s scent, strong and fresh in the room, so very familiar it feels like a piece of him has finally come home.

What.

No.

How’s it even possible?

He always thought the legends and rumors of true mates was nothing but a tale told to small children to make them feel better about being different from the more common beta children. It can’t be true.

Yet.

Yet it might be. In the nearly twenty years since that night he hasn’t liked the scent of other omegas, always finding them lacking or sickening. He hasn’t had a lot of one night stands. Actually, he’s only had two, both with beta men. He’s not been able to settle on anyone for a relationship long term. He’s often wondered whatever happened to Antonio. Though the realization that Antonio was the one who blew his knee out is definitely not the easiest thing in the world to consider. It leaves a sour taste in his mouth, just as it has every time since it happened. Is the reason it bothers him so much more than just the fact it nearly ruined his life is the fact it was someone who could be perfect for him doing it?

“Mates,” he whispers under his breath, tasting the word and everything it means. It feels right. Like coming home after a long shift and being comforted by someone who cares.

Only…

Only, Antonio doesn’t care, never has. Or did he? Is that why the boy he’s staring at with the type of soft curls he’d have if he didn’t keep his hair short and back, has a Scottish name and his name for a middle name? Is that why the scent filling this room makes his instincts rise to the surface, wanting to protect this boy and find his father.

He closes his eyes and just focuses on breathing, he can’t think about this here and now. He has a job to do, no matter what his instincts are telling him. He just hopes that Ruan survives, because he wants to get to know the boy that’s his son and doesn’t know how well he will take it if Ruan doesn’t.

As his eyes snap open, he takes in one more look at the injured omega before turning away to talk to Sarah. Since they know where Ruan was staying, he will head there. After all, he might run into Jacob and maybe get the answers he is needing. Something, anything, everything.

He might not believe in perfect matches logically but his body is definitely saying they’re real.

Chapter Text

Yolanda wasn’t expecting to see Katey as she entered the small courtyard. The smile she had put on to see the others slipped a bit when she noticed the pain in her friend’s blue eyes.

The older woman reached out a comforting hand only to have Katey brush her off with a shake of her head and slip out of the gate. In her rush to leave, Katey didn’t notice Javier still standing in the shadow of the outer wall next to the gate. Yolanda started to follow Katey, but when she spotted Javier’s blank expression, she cuffed him around the ears, “What are you doing just standing there?”

Confused by the abuse and emotion, he hadn’t noticed Katey had passed him, “Estupido, go after her! She’s an American alone in Havana at night.” As if being accosted by an elder wasn’t enough, he had been on the verge of tears and didn’t see the streak of blonde fly past as he should have.

Nodding, he took off in the direction of clicking heels as they rounded a corner. Katey hadn’t lived in Havana long before she was forced to leave so there were only a few places she thought she would go - places they had spent time in secret together.

It was almost dawn when Javier found Katey on the abandoned beach in a tattered tent near Hotel Oceana. He fully expected anger when he confronted her, but after all of this time Javier should have known she would defy his expectations.

(Katey POV)

I wasn’t sure how I ended up on the beach in that tent, our tent. I guess subconsciously it seemed like a fitting place to end up. It all began here on this beach. I sat there, watched the first colors of the sunrise crest over the horizon, and could feel myself being watched. I knew it was him, there was always something about him. We had promised to keep a piece of each other with ourselves.

Javier crawled into the tent beside me, a small space left between us. He was leaving the rest up to me. I didn’t want to touch him, especially after I had heard the words “love” and “Javier” in the same heated conversation between him and Yolanda, who I thought was my friend.

The silence stretched between us until Javier worked up the courage to speak first, “Katey, what’s wrong?”

I could feel he had jumped when I started to laugh, tears still in my eyes. I twisted myself and sat up on my knees in hopes of being taller than him, gaining some higher ground. I must’ve looked like an insane woman, still laughing as I threw my hands in the air and repeated his ridiculous question, “What’s wrong? What’s wrong?” I knew my voice was steadily raising, but he had such a guilty look on his face, I don’t think I could have ever stayed mad at him. I loved him too much.

Slouching back onto the sand, I could feel the tears welling up again and this time I let him pull me into his warm embrace effectively closing the gap that was originally between us.

When I could speak again, I repeated myself, “What’s wrong?” I looked up at his chocolate eyes, searching for the truth, for him to take the lead. “What were you and Yolanda arguing about?”

I could tell that wasn’t what he was expecting to hear based on how wide his eyes became. Taking that as confirmation of what I thought was the truth, I tried to pull myself away and escape his arms, but they only seemed to tighten as he said, “No no no” over and over.

Still fighting his arms, I spat out, “No what, Javier?” Oh God, those pregnancy hormones were going to be the death of me.

He gave me that guilty face again, the same one he used that day in the garage when he said he wasn’t trying to win a contest by dancing with me. He was trying to placate me, “You still haven’t picked up Spanish.” A well placed slap to the chest changed his course of explanation. “Look, I know how that probably sounded-”

“Yolanda loves you and you love her?” Isn’t that what the argument was about?

He sputtered as his mind started processing my words, “Why does no one let me finish my sentences?”

I blushed and looked back at the water then down into my lap where my hands fidgeted, “Sorry.”

His hands started to road upwards from my shoulder and into my hair. It felt too divine to shake off so I let him continue as he spoke, “What I was saying is that you didn’t understand what we were saying, translation out of context.” Javier’s right hand reached into my lap for my own hands resting there, rubbing his thumb along the knuckles.

Still looking down at our intertwined hands, “Then translate for me.”

He chuckled and I could feel him press a kiss to my hair. Laying his head against mine, he began to explain in detail his conversation with Yolanda just outside of the gate. He kissed my head again, “I’m sorry, we would have used English if we had known you were listening, out of respect.”

“So you don’t love Yolanda?” I took a minute to revel in the sound of his laughter and he smiled when he spoke, “That’s all you took from that?”

I swatted his chest again for good measure as the silence resettled around us, this time comfortably.

As we watched the waves roll in and out, and the sun rise fully, I kissed the underside of his jaw, “Javier?” I got a simple ‘hmm’ in response. “I have one more question.”

His jaw tightened slightly, “Anything.”

I hesitated at first, I wasn’t sure how he would take the question because it involved his brother. I took his hand again, holding it between mine, admiring the differences in size and color. With a deep breath, I asked what had been weighing on my mind, “Javier, last night at La Rosa Negra when we were on the dance floor, what was it that Carlo whispered to you that made you leave so quickly?”

With his body still wrapped securely around me, I could feel the tension in every muscle, the pace of his heartbeat speed up in time with his breathing. He spoke slow at first, “You know Carlo has a son.” I nodded, “Yes, Rafael.”

A small smile made an appearance before disappearing just as quickly, “No one was sure he was Carlo’s, except now he looks just like abuelo, because all we had was the word of this girl who dropped off her baby and ran.”

I remembered when Javier first told me that story, but I could feel there was more he needed to get out so I stayed quiet. “Last night when I saw you out there dancing, so free, so… so…”

“Cuban?” I whispered, our little joke.

There was that hint of smile again, “Si, Cuban. Then you turned and for a brief second I was so happy when I was your belly so full of life. Carlo said you were too small for the child to be mine. That you had been gone too long and would try to pin another man’s baby on me like what happened to him.” His voice sounded like he was beating himself up about it, “And I, of course, listened to him.”

As angry as I was at Carlo now, I understood why Javier would believe him first. Carlo was his older brother and their father was dead.

Gently, I removed Javier’s arms from around me and turned so we were sitting face to face like that night in this very tent not so long ago. I cupped his jaw to make sure he was looking at me, “Oh Javier, you know I’m only slightly shorter than you.” He nodded. “I’m not small.”

I took his hands in mine and placed them on either side of my belly as I spoke with determination, “Though it may not seem like much, this womb is carrying your child. Doctor Aaron estimated six months before I left Miami.”

With his eyes still locked onto the placement of our hands, he repeated, “Six months.” Brown eyes met my blue, “Mine?” I couldn’t help but copy his goofy smile of joy, “Yours.”
We lay back in the sand, with a our hands protectively over my still growing belly, Javier whispered in my ear something I actually understood, “La Rosa de La Habana.” The Rose of Havana.

Chapter Text

Max’s POV
The first time they touch, skin on skin contact is during the situation where Sarah dies and they end up revealing the corruption. It’s brief but oh does it have an effect on him. A tinge of recognition shoots through his body, setting his nerves ablaze. 

How is it possible the thief that shot out his knee is his soulmate? That just seems completely and utterly wrong. How could the man who nearly ruined his life be his perfect match? 

Over the next twenty-four hours he starts to see it. For one thing Jacob is quiet, thoughtful, determined. He never does anything without thought and planning. Even more surprising is the fact the thief is willing to stay when they are caught, though he waves him away. 

He’s surprised when two days later he is released from the holding cell. A lawyer he could never afford waiting for him as he exits the building. 

“Who are you?” he asks, voice full of suspicion as he eyes the tall man. 

Flashing a smile, the tall man introduces himself as, “Gareth Jones, from the Jones & Clearwater, LLP.” 

Instantly he knows who this man is. This is one of the barristers that deal in criminal law, and not low level either but highly sought after and costly legal assistance. 

“I can’t afford you,” he states blandly. 

“Fees have already been dealt with,” Gareth replies smoothly, “If you’d like to come with me, we can discuss your case. From the evidence gathered, I believe I be able to get you off with nothing more than fines for using a gun. They might require you retire from the force.” 

He looks away, ignoring the twinge of pain in his knee. Who did this and why is one of the best criminal barristers here? 

“Fine,” he mutters, motioning to the barrister. 

The two of them retreat to a small cafe to discuss his case. As he listens, he is barely able to keep his attention on the barrister. Instead, he thinks about who could have done this. The only person he keeps coming up with is Jacob. Why would the professional thief do that? Did Jacob realize they were soulmates? Did the thief feel guilty over what happened? 

“Mr. Lewinsky, I’ll alert you to the dates you need to arrive at court.” Gareth announces, drawing his attention. 

He nods, still not really paying attention. 

“Will you need housing arrangements?” the barrister inquires, “I am aware that your flat has become a crime scene and that you were set up to take the fall for your partner’s death.” 

“No,” he answers absently, “I have somewhere to go.” 

His half-brother probably won’t be happy with him crashing on the sofa, but it’s better than nothing.Of course, he will stop by his flat first, get a few changes of clothes, maybe a few of his more personal items. 

“Well then, I’ll be in touch, a pleasure to meet you Mr. Lewinsky,” the barrister announces, offering him a hand to shake before standing and leaving. 

He spends several more minutes sitting there, reflecting on his life and what has happened over the last few days. 

He’s relieved when he discovers that the bill has already paid, so he can just leave, catching a cab to his flat. 

When he slips in, he stops by the door for a few moments to just view the damage to his flat. It’s in disarray with things moved out of place. What surprises him the most is the fact the door to his bedroom is closed, that’s odd, it should still be open. 

Grabbing one of his kitchen knives, he slowly and quietly makes his way to the bedroom, lightly pressing the door open and keeping his back to it as he clears it. Confused, he glances around the flat now that all the doors are open only to stop in place as he spots Jacob lounging against his counter, a glass of water in his hands. 

“How’d I know you’d come here,” the thief remarks. 

Forcing himself to relax, he sets the knife down, “Because you know how hard headed I am,” he responds calmly. 

A small, knowing smile plays at the edge of Jacob’s lips, as if agreeing with that statement. 

“Why are you here Jacob?” he inquires as he moves closer to the taller man. Actually taking the time to study the thief as more than just a target to arrest. Dark chocolate eyes watch him, full of amusement, curiosity, and just a touch of hope. The exposed rich cream skin at his neck where Jacob’s shirt is open makes him want to press his lips against the hollow of the thief’s throat and shows the beginning of his muscular chest. 

“Dinner?” the thief inquires, “My treat.” 

He thinks about it as he moves closer, still studying the taller man. 

“Why did Gareth Jones end up having the fees paid to take my case?” he queries, watching the tallers man’s expression. 

Nothing flickers in his expression as Jacob shrugs. 

“Why Jacob?” he asks one more time as he closes the distance between them, so they are toe to toe and because the way the thief is standing, eye to eye. 

Again the taller man simply shrugs. 

Apparently Jacob is not answering that question, which he finds both curious and frustrating. He really prefers to know people’s motives, it’s part of why he became a cop. Why is Jacob here? Just to ask him to dinner? What for? He can’t think of a single reason why the thief would be here. Or why the thief made sure he got a good lawyer, because he sure as hell knows it wasn’t his half-brother and he doesn’t have any friends with that sort of money. Yes, they could be great together, that was acknowledged when he felt the soulmate bond take hold, but he doubts that Jacob would care about that. 

Or does he? 

Changing gears, he smirks, answering the earlier question, “Yes.”

A small huff of laughter escapes the taller man, as he nods.

Dinner should be interesting, he thinks, wondering where everything is going to go in the long  run.

Chapter Text

The moment their skin touched, they each felt something, but both too proud to make it obvious. They held their masks well. The simplicity of Thorin stalking past the small hobbit was all it took for Bilbo to feel the spark emitted from the dwarf king. Gandalf had his suspicions something was amiss when Thorin, though usually taciturn, immediately began digging into the hobbit, their host. This would not bode well for their mission and hope of obtaining his services as a burglar of sorts. The tension between the two was felt throughout the smial, the wide-eyed company chose to keep their opinions to themselves.

Unknown to Bilbo, and to the shock of the company, after the hobbit fainted from Bofur’s words and the contract, it was Thorin who leant down and picked up the small, prone form and carried him carefully into his bedroom with the direction of Gandalf. Having smoothed down the hobbit’s errant curls, the dwarf king cracked the bedroom door and joined the others in the main room where someone had rekindled the roaring fire. He was almost sure that Bilbo would choose to stay as far away from him and their company as possible. This would require thought.

Though Thorin hadn’t noticed right away, he began softly singing to the tune of Ori’s lute, a song of days past that would remind them of a home they lost to a fire-breather. Gandalf standing off to the side of the room, more in the hallway due to his size, could see into both Bilbo’s bedroom and the main room. The hobbit was awake and listening. A chat was in order.

Gandalf could tell there was something occupying both Bilbo and Thorin’s minds, but both were reluctant to mention or focus on it. Could it be? Possibly. He soon dozed as the others settled down for the night, to leave at first light. With or without a burglar in their company.

The dwarves and their wizard companion set off at first light after having raided the rest of Master Baggins’ pantry stores. Bets were soon placed on whether their little friend would be joining them, Thorin declined to place a bet, unsure of whether he truly wanted the other man on this journey with them or not. Unsure of whether he could protect himself or he would require the defense of the others, including himself.

This answer was confirmed two days into their journey when group accidentally chose a site to camp in near three rather large mountain trolls. Bert, Bill, and Tom had the hobbit strung up by his arms and legs before the dwarves could cause any damage in their impromptu defense of their burglar.

Lying on the ground, tied in a sack, watching a portion of his crew, his family, spinning on a fire pit Thorin had a moment to take in the sight of the hobbit. He was standing up attempting to distract the trolls from eating them right away. He’d seen the glimpse of Gandalf in the shadows as well. Bilbo had an idea that would most likely have worked if his imbecile cousins had kept their mouths shut. Seriously? Parasites?

The king had done well in his goal of avoiding the hobbit until their escape route from the wargs led them down a mountain path into the last place he’d ever wanted to step foot: Rivendale. Dwarves and elves weren’t known for their close ties. The company had been standing in the middle of the courtyard when the sound of hooves beating along the path reached them, dragging the weakest of their group into the center of their protective circle. Bilbo. Was pressed up against his back. He could feel the heat radiating off the smaller man. He wasn’t sure how much longer he could hold himself back from grabbing the hobbit and forcing him to into one of the guest rooms offered by their elven hosts.

Luckily, during a secret meeting of Thorin, Balin, Bilbo, Elrond, and Gandalf, it was possible to read the map thus putting Thorin’s mind at ease enough to concentrate on other issues clouding his mind. Elrond stared between the dwarf king and the halfling before turning to Gandalf and raising an elegant eyebrow. Gandalf’s nod and the twinkle in his blue eyes confirmed the elf king’s suspicions. Thorin’s room was moved near Bilbo’s guest room for the duration of their stay.

A little over two weeks of avoiding the hobbit and the constant bowls of green provided by their hosts, the dwarves made their escape as the elves and wizards held council across the house. They would meet up with their gray companion later. If the group thought their journey would be calm for the time being, they were sorely wrong. Who could have predicted the mountains would be in all out war with each other?

When Bilbo lost his footing, nearly plunging to his death, Thorin immediately reacted. The pull in his chest overwhelmed him. This much smaller man was important to him no matter how much he attempted to deny the truth to himself. Bilbo felt it too, he knew. They both knew.

Hiding within the cave, hearing Bilbo’s conversation with Bofur, he thought things would be much easier on them all if the hobbit left them. Safer for the man as well. If he wasn’t there, Thorin wouldn’t feel the need to defend him instead of working towards his goal. He was a king trying to take his home back, bring his kingdom back to life and prosperity. Hard to do if you kill yourself defending your would-be soulmate. So Thorin didn’t make a move to stop the hobbit… until their whole world collapsed around them.

The company of dwarves quickly found themselves in the presence of The Great Goblin of the Misty Mountains. Surrounded by thousands of goblins, stripped of their weapons and possessions. The only silver lining to this situation was that the hobbit wasn’t among the group. He’d disappeared. Hopefully not dead.

Bilbo would almost wish he had been dead when he came upon the creature named Gollum. The precious ring within his sight might have made a good courting present to the king at first, if pull of the ring hadn’t been so strong. Strong enough that he could never let anyone know of it’s existence, much less let the creature know he’d lost the gold ring with beautiful script along the edges. Quick thinking helped him escape Gollum and the cave before he was eaten like the fish he’d seen the creature beating when he first woke up behind the rocks.

The words he’d heard the dwarf king express about his character were heartbreaking, but not heartbreaking enough to keep him from defending the man once he was struck down by the white orc. Azog had the determination to kill Thorin, but something in the cave had sparked a new sense of bravery within the hobbit. He lept to the dwarf’s defense with his tony sword and swung in defense. This awoke the others as their soon attacked as well. With Thorin out of the fight, they would need a miracle.

That miracle came in the form of the eagles. Gandalf had called for their assistance. The drop site at Carrock was as far as they could be taken. The rest of the journey was up to them. Both hobbit and dwarf knew that this near miss was the kick they both needed to make their feelings known to the other, hoping they would each choose the correct option. Two unlikely souls from different paths in life, through much misunderstanding and struggle for power… their future would be set if they could achieve this journey and restore the kingdom of Erebor. The dwarf king would be happy with his hobbit consort.

If.

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Steve’s POV
They met as children, both living in poverty, both determined, both full of spunk. Bucky had hauled him out of a fight, well, more like the slightly bigger boy had hauled the boy he was fighting up and away before nearly knocking his opponent out.

“You’re rather scrawny to be fighting with someone like him,” the dark-eyed boy tells him. Offering him a hand up, the stranger continues, “I’m Bucky.”

It takes him a minute to decide to accept the help, taking hold of the hand before him, and accepting the help up.

“Steve,” he answers just before he starts coughing, his body wracked with sharp pains.

“You a’right?” Bucky asks, keeping him upright when his legs try to give out.

“I’ll be fine,” he manages to gasp between spasms, “Just need my inhaler.” His hands pat his shirt, trying to find and grab it.

The other boy uses the hand not helping him stay upright to help in the search, reaching in his pocket and pulling it out. Carefully Bucky helps him use it, helping him even though they don’t know each other. Afterwards, they find a comfortable spot on the stoop of an apartment building.Hours are spent just talking and getting to know each other.

By the time it gets dark out, he feels like he has known Bucky his entire life, as if they have always been friends.

The brunette escorts him to his apartment shared with his mom, and bids him goodnight with a fond smile.

During his shower that night, he finds the beginning of a circle surrounding a star on the skin across his side, below his left arm. He meet his soulmate, he thinks, but doesn’t understand the meaning behind the marks. It would be years before it would finish forming, the image of his shield and the red star that would eventually grace his best friend and soulmate’s artificial arm.

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Moana of Motunui felt the pull of the ocean from the time she was a baby, listening to the stories her grandmother would tell the other little ones. Her dream was to sail past the reef at least once in her short life. The ocean chose her as a toddler, waiting until she matured enough to understand the meaning behind the stone now in her possession and the curse on their island thanks to Maui's actions plunging the surrounding world into darkness. Grandma told her a secret: from the day she was born, she was destined to track down the marooned Maui and force him to restore the heart of Tawhiti.

As a baby, Maui was rejected by his parents, made a demi-god by the gods who took him in. He was presented with a matau, a giant fish hook, representing strength and a great respect for the sea, becoming one of the greatest wayfarers that ever lived. He was known as Maui, shapeshifter, demi-god of the wind and sea, hero of men giving humans fire, islands, coconuts...anything they'd ever want just so they would love him. For a thousand years on that island, he felt he was missing something. A connection. His other half.

Though they may have gotten off to a rocky start, the connection between these two: a demi-god and a wayfinder princess, was always meant to be. Their friendship was as strong as any soulmates and would endure the test of time. Moana believed that the ocean saved Maui, and chose her, for a reason. The ocean brought him to the gods because it saw someone worthy of being saved.

Upon returning to Motunui, Moana placed her stone, and conch, on the mountain taking her place as chiefess of the island. Her rule was prosperous, navigating to new islands and expanding their knowledge of the sea. Maui, demi-god of the wind and sea, hero of men (and women) became a frequent visitor to the islands. The day she married, the births of her children, and the day she passed on the crown to her daughter Kaile'a to stand back with her children: 'Aukai and Kaiea, younger daughters Alohilani and Kainani, and her own parents. The day she died, and her soul continued to live among her family as her grandmother's had, Maui vowed to keep a close watch on her descendants, the island, and the ocean.

Their connection was forever.

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When they first became teenagers he idolized her, not understanding the draw. It’d be years before he’d realize that they were never supposed to be together romantically or sexually. Instead, they’re supposed to be best friends. They end up with far better friendship than any other one in his life. A fact that surprises him a bit, because he had once thought that his friendship with Jackson would be like this, only for it to turn sour, or his friendship with Scott, back before Scott decided he didn’t really matter.

So how is it the girl, no, woman he had a crush on for years end up being his best friend? One closer than any other friendship in his life.

It was mind boggling and wonderful.

Now, well,  it’s great that they are close friends. They support each other through everything. Sometimes, with the way their lives go, it’s a beautiful thing to have, because he knows, no matter what happens she’ll be his friend and support, just as he’ll be hers. Future partners are just going to have to accept it. Besides, they’re both geniuses, they could rule the world if they want. Instead they’ll just focus on keeping their pack alive, through everything that ever tries to kill them off. That can be a full time job sometimes.

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For almost ten years, the crew had assumed Jayne was at odds with the Tams, like on Ariel. When Simon married Kaylee, he was the one who took Simon aside and explained the logistics of how he would dismember the good doctor while he watched. Then he shared a bottle of his best moonshine. Simon considered it a truce of some kind. That didn't mean that Jayne wouldn't tease him, but he no longer tried to sell them off.

River, on the other hand, he rarely spoke to in front of the rest of the crew. They would sit in silence in the cargo bay, he working out and she dancing to some invisible tune. If he stopped and stared, they were none the wiser, believing him to be giving her a look that said she was still crazy. Since they were no longer violent towards each other, and hadn't been for sometime, Mal decided they no longer needed constant supervision during this time.

The two began to speak more, sharing pieces of themselves. Jayne became adept at speaking River. She became more lucid in their private moments together. The more time they spent with Kai, just the three of them, Jayne started seeing himself with his own little one: a little girl, pale with long dark hair and his blue eyes. Dancing around him, playing with an older Kai, learning from him how to handle a knife properly. Where that thought came from he couldn't tell.

Often the child in his dreams would be holding the hand of a petite woman at least a foot shorter than him, same pale, smooth skin and long, dark curls cascading down her back. Always facing away from him, never seeing her. There was something familiar about her, as if a force connected them. Shepherd Book once told him that love would come at an unexpected time - always when least realizing it. Weeks passed, but the dream would never reveal who the mystery woman was.

He was beginning to think it was just that, a dream. He worked out more, trying to release his frustrations. No matter how long he stayed at his weight bench, River never stopped dancing or singing. She stayed as long as he, kept him company. He bet crazy girl could feel the tension radiating through his body. He'd been working out in the cargo bay, going on three hours. Jaune couldn't sleep, coming here in hopes of wearing out his body and active mind.

With her flowy dress and soft footsteps, Jaune didn't realize River had joined him until her face appeared above him as he finished another set of reps, nearly dropping the weight bar. He would have dropped it in shock if he hadn't already had it near it's resting place. He sat up quickly, wiping his face with a rag, drenched in sweat. Not noticing she had crawled up over the bar, behind him until he felt her arms encircle his broad chest and her face bury in between his shoulder blades.

His breath hitched as he felt her nose nuzzle below his ear, a flush creeping along his neck, he was sure she would have noticed even without being psychic. His hands found her tiny ones still clasped around his chest, using them to haul her around him and into his lap. She didn't seem to mind his sweat and stench as she held fast to his neck, burying her face in his chest this time. He held her close, rocking them until her breathing evened out and he could feel soft, steady puffs of air on his neck.

Rising carefully, he readjusted his hold on her and carried the young woman to her own room in the passenger dorm. She was the only one continuing to stay in that area now so he didn't worry about waking anyone nearby. The doc had moved into Kaylee's bunk long ago.

Jayne used his foot to open her door, placing the sleeping woman on her thankfully still unmade bed and tucking her in. One he tucked River in, he smoothed her hair as it created a halo around her head on the pillow. He knew he had to get himself out of her room before anyone found him there and accused him of any wrongdoing. Kissing her dark curls, the merc pulled himself from her bedside, having to pry her small hands from his sweat stained t-shirt, he closed her door and made his way to his own bunk. Suddenly he felt exhausted, like she had drawn the anxiety right out of him just from holding him close for a few short minutes until she fell asleep. He fell into his bunk halfway through the sleep cycle, sleeping better than he had in years.

It didn't happen again until a week later, Jayne started to feel as if he had hallucinated River coming to him. Just as he was giving up the notion, she came to him as she had before, crawling onto the workout bend and wrapping her limbs around him like an octopus from Earth that was.

They would sit like this until his mind had calmed and she wound her way into his arms only to fall asleep.

The crew began to notice Jayne was less irritable during the day, but that chalked it up to long workouts and extra sleep.

For eight months River inserted herself into Jayne's late night workouts and Jayne never quite knew what time she would join him, but it always seemed like perfect timing as his mind would be somewhere deep in his past when her large, dark brown eyes would appear close by.

Some nights they just held each other, other nights River would scratch his beard or mess  with his sweat soaked shirt as she sat in his lap and he just talked. He spoke as if he couldn't stop, but knew instinctively she would never betray his confidence.

For eight months no one noticed their late night meetings until one night Kai, now almost 8, was up sitting in his father's seat watching the stars when he heard a noise coming from down the stairs. With Wash's curiosity and Zoe's cautiousness, he crept down the hallway below only to see what looked like his Uncle Jayne carrying an unconscious Aunt River. Uncle Jayne didn't leave the passenger dorm for a long time, well long for an 8 year old, only ten minutes. He snuck back along the crew bunks and into his mother's before the much larger man could find him spying. Kai vowed to ask his mom if something was going on between the two and why he didn't know his favorite aunt and uncle were together.

Unfortunately 8 year olds don't seem to remember anything after a long sleep. He knew he was forgetting something, but didn't remember until six weeks later when the crew was having family dinner and Jayne mentioned retreating to the cargo bay for a workout. Kai, forgetting to wait his turn to speak, interrupted Mal's dismissal of Jayne from the dinner table, blurted out he really liked Uncle Jayne had fallen in love with his Aunt River. If that didn't stop all conversation at the table and Jayne in his tracks with half of a dinner rolls sticking out of his mouth, Kai asking when he'd get a baby cousin sure was enough to send the captain and doctor into choking fits and a wide-eyed Jayne running for cover. Mal had already tried to space him once and the doc was a might handy with a scalpel.

The women held the men down long enough to give the large merc a head start before following the chaos. Jayne had disappeared from the corridor quicker than expected for a man of his size, leaving a confused Kai watching his mother attempt to talk Mal down and take his weapons away. Even Zoe wasn't enough to stop the captain this time.

Simon and Mal searched high and low for the Gùyōng bīng méiyǒu shé me húndàn. In the end of was Inara and Kaylee that found him first... River had pulled him into a slow dance to some silent tune that only she could hear. The women stood in the doorway quietly observing the odd, but fitting couple.

When Mal found the small group, gun still drawn, River spoke her first words to the crew in months, "You will not harm the girl's soulmate. She loves him and he loves her."

She never opened her eyes or lifted her head from Jayne's broad chest, still holding his hand under her chin as they swayed. There was nothing Mal or Simon could do as their women dragged them away by their collars and Zoe slid the door shut with a rare smile in place.