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Two weeks after contracting the plague, ten days after receiving the antidote, and seven days into his compulsory vacation at the Sloan’s house, Jesse was finally feeling more like himself.

Enough so that his brain kicked in and sent him into a panic, the likes of which he had not felt in years.

“Mark!” Jesse scrambled with the blanket tangled around his leg on the couch, heart racing and palms sweating. No, no, please be wrong, please have the days mixed up….

From around the corner that separated the kitchen from the living room, Mark appeared and hurried over to his charge. “Jesse? What is it? Are you feeling – “

“What day is it?” Jesse cut him off, rubbing his hands on his knees and standing shakily.

With a frown at the unexpected question, Mark answered slowly. “Thursday.”

“The date,” Jesse prompted, eyes giving away his fear.

“August twenty-seventh,” Mark responded. “Jesse, is something wrong?”

Jesse drew a sharp breath and released it slowly. “I need to go. Now. Home.”

Mark was already shaking his head before Jesse was through speaking. “Oh, no. You are still under my care and until you finish your course of meds, I am not letting you out of my sight. I know you too well and you’ll be sneaking back to the hospital and be back at work before I can catch you.”

Giving a sharp laugh, Jesse strode past Mark and out of the room, headed for the guest room he had been staying in. He was not surprised that Mark was on his heels. Ignoring his host, Jesse grabbed his duffle bag from where it had been tucked under the bed and pushed it open. “Listen, I really appreciate all of this, I do. You’ve been so nice to let me stay here. But I really do need to go home. Like, right now.”

Mark shook his head and closed the distance between them, stopping Jesse’s frantic movements with a hand on his arm. “Jess. Please talk to me. This isn’t like you at all and frankly, I’m about two minutes away from taking you back to the hospital.”

Jesse stopped and closed his eyes, his adrenaline-fueled distress leaving him in one long sigh. He scrubbed his hands over his face and turned, sitting on the edge of the bed. “I knew this would happen someday,” he said softly, muffled slightly by his hands. He gave a groan and dropped his hands into his lap.

Sitting on the bed near him, but not touching, Mark watched his friend with growing concern. “Whatever happened, you know you can talk to me about anything.”

Casting a wary look toward Mark before dropping his eyes to look at his hands, Jesse nodded slightly. “I just need you to – promise me that this will stay between us. I’m serious,” he added with a sharp look, so unlike himself that Mark was taken aback.

“I can only promise that so long as whatever you tell me doesn’t cause anyone harm, including yourself,” Mark replied after a moment, watching Jesse carefully.

Jesse considered the stipulation and with a defeated nod, began to speak. “There’s…my official records are forged. I’m not a beta.”

Mark drew a sharp breath, stunned at the confession. “Jesse, that’s a serious accusation against your pediatric doctors. How can you be certain?”

“My mother was my pediatrician,” Jesse continued, watching his hands. “When I hit puberty and figured out my orientation, they were…well, not surprised, probably more resigned than anything. By then being an omega didn’t have the same stigma it used to. But after the standard testing, we discovered that I was sterile.”

“Oh, Jess,” Mark said softly, his heart giving a sharp twinge at the implications.

Jesse gave a shake of his head, clearing his throat. “Not really a place in the world for someone like me so my parents decided to cover it up. They put me on the Pill after that first heat when I was fifteen. Been taking masking drugs since then, too, so I can pass as a beta.”

“You’ve – for over fifteen years?” Mark drew a hand over his head in shock. “Jesse, I don’t have to tell you how incredibly dangerous that is. You’ve been suppressing your heats for your entire adult life! Your body isn’t designed to take that kind of stress.”

“I know!” Jesse shot to his feet in frustration, still pale and unsteady from his illness. “Trust me, nothing you can tell me is going to be news. But right now, I have a serious problem. I missed the window for taking my Pill this time because I was sick and haven’t been paying attention to what day it is. I only have a heat twice a year and there is a very narrow timeframe for stopping it.”

Mark stood, mind racing already. “How long?”

“It should start in the next two days,” Jesse answered him reluctantly. “That’s why I need to go back to my place, to let it run its course in privacy. I know it’s going to be bad.”

“Absolutely not,” Mark shook his head sharply. “The last thing you need is to be alone, dealing with this on top of your recovery.”

Jesse spread his hands wide at his sides. “What am I supposed to do, Mark? I don’t have anyone to ‘help’ and the last thing I would do is find a random alpha to get me through this!”

Mark raised his eyes to the ceiling in a silent prayer for patience. “Of all the….you can’t tell me you haven’t noticed Steve’s interest in you? All these years? Are the both of you completely clueless?”

Steve?” Jesse was stunned at the sudden outburst from the usually more subtle Mark. “You can’t be serious. First – he knows…well, he thinks I’m a beta. A straight beta, something I’ve worked very hard to keep up. Second, did you miss the part where I can’t have kids?”

“I promised you I would keep this between us so long as no one’s health was at risk,” Mark reminded him.

“I’ll be fine,” Jesse insisted, crossing his arms over his chest and looking generally stubborn.

Mark held up a placating hand. “Just hear me out, please. I am worried for you. Will you at least talk to Steve? He cares for you, more than you realize. As much as it pains me to consider, he would be more than willing to help you through this, even if you decided it was only for this one time.”

“I’m not using him like that,” Jesse told him firmly.

“I wouldn’t have suggested it if I thought that is what would happen,” Mark replied sharply. “The two of you have been friends for a long time. He needs to know the truth about you and you know he would never do anything to hurt you. The same goes for him; you would never take advantage of Steve.”

Jesse looked lost. “I don’t know what to do,” he whispered, words cracking.

Mark moved forward and pulled Jesse into a warm embrace. “Just talk to him. That’s all I ask. If the two of you decide against it, you’re still staying here for me to watch over you until you’re through it.”

A long sigh escaped from Jesse. “I can do that.”

**

Steve came home from work that night to a silent house. Hanging up his jacket, he walked toward the main part of the house. “Dad? Jess?”

The kitchen was empty, but he heard a soft voice respond from the living room. “In here.”

He walked toward the voice, smiling when he saw Jesse stand up from the couch. Jesse was still in a cotton t-shirt and sweatpants, but he looked so much better than he had only a few days ago. “Hey, you look like you’re on the mend,” he commented brightly.

“Yeah,” Jesse replied with a small smile. “Hey, so, I need to talk to you about something…” He shifted nervously on his feet, arms crossing protectively.

Steve looked around, noticing finally that Jesse was alone. “Sure,” he said with a nod, taking a seat on the couch. He looked up and watched as Jesse slowly sat on the other end, plenty of space between them. “You are feeling okay, right?”

Jesse nodded, staring at the floor. “I’m a lot better, thanks,” he answered. Resting his elbows on his knees, he took a deep breath. “I, uh, kind of need you to listen for a few minutes, okay? Just – bear with me.” He shot a quick glance in Steve’s direction, waiting for the short nod before he continued. “It’s kind of a long story, I’ll try and give you the high points. I’m not a beta, I’m an omega. My parents falsified my orientation records when I hit puberty and I’ve been on suppressants and masking meds since I was fifteen.”

“Oh my god,” Steve breathed harshly. Before he could say anything, Jesse rushed on with his explanation.

“I know, trust me. They had their reasons, I have mine. Not the least of which is that I’m sterile,” Jesse gave a wry smile at that. “Not many alphas out there looking to bond with someone like me.”

“Jesse – “

“Let me finish or I’ll never get through this” Jesse cut him off abruptly. “Normally I would have a heat cycle twice a year. The Pill keeps them from happening but I have limited window of opportunity to take it. The window closed a few days ago, when I was still pretty out of it from the virus.”

Steve released a shaky breath, his heart racing. “So…”

Jesse finally raised his head, meeting his eyes steadily. “I’ll go into heat in the next two days. I haven’t done this since I was a fifteen and honestly? I’m scared as hell.”

“Oh, Jess,” Steve exhaled the words in a quick rush, turning on the couch and pulling up one leg so he could face his friend fully. “Thank you for telling me the truth. You know I’ll be here for you, anything you need – “

Jesse gave a snort. “About that…”

Steve drew a breath to ask him what he meant, then realization hit him hard. “Oh. OH.”

“Yeah,” Jesse nervously rubbed his palms on his thighs. “I’d never ask you to do anything you weren’t comfortable with, you know that, right?”

Sliding to the floor so he was kneeling next to Jesse’s legs, Steve looked up into his friend’s face. “Jesse, you have to trust me on this. I care about you, a hell of a lot more than I should. If you hadn’t made it clear I didn’t stand a chance…hell, you were a beta, and a straight one at that!”

“Not so much, as it turns out.” Jesse smiled weakly. “You deserve someone who can give you a family, Steve.”

Steve lifted a hand and stroked his thumb along Jesse’s jaw. “You’re already part of my family and regardless of social pressure, I couldn’t care less that you can’t be bred. You’re more important to me than that.”

Jesse swallowed hard, disbelieving. “This has gotten a little further than I was intending, to be honest,” he said softly. “I just want to – just this one time, because I don’t really have another option. Will you get me through it this once and then we’ll decide where to take it from there?”

“Of course,” Steve answered without hesitation. “Anything you need.”

“Thank you.” Just knowing Steve would be the one with him, Jesse felt the nervous tension in his body relax just a little.

**

While Steve was at work on Friday, Jesse began preparing Steve’s guesthouse for the long weekend ahead of them. Making sure the fridge was stocked and there were plenty of clean linens, he went through his mental checklist as a way of keeping his anxieties contained. As a doctor, he knew exactly what to expect but as a male omega, he was frankly petrified. Especially knowing he had been suppressing for so long, this was going to be a rough one.

Now, as he took one last look around and checked the bedside tables for supplies, he sat at the edge of the bed and let he mind fill with images of what was to come.

**

Jesse woke in his guest room on Saturday morning, his body flushed with fever as he kicked away the blankets. Groaning at the discomfort and only half-awake, he stumbled into the bathroom and turned the water in the shower on to lukewarm. He sighed in relief and rinsed the sweat from his skin, only to freeze in dismay as he felt the slick dampness between his legs.

“Oh, shit,” he hissed, abruptly awake and realizing his heat had begun. He slammed the handle on the shower control off and flung the curtain back, grabbing a towel and drying off quickly. A t-shirt and sweats were hurriedly pulled from the drawers in the bedroom and shucked on, even as a new wave of warmth spread through Jesse’s body.

He stumbled into the hallway, almost dropping to his knees as he breathed through the tremors raking his body.

Hearing Mark’s voice calling his name, Jesse realized he must have groaned out loud. “Mark….” Leaning against the wall, Jesse looked down the hall to see Mark approaching quickly.

“Jesse, are you okay?”

Jesse gave a broken laugh and whimpered, closing his eyes. “Need Steve.“

Mark understood immediately. Though as a beta he had never gone through heat himself, he recognized the signs. “Can you make it to Steve’s house on your own? He went out for a swim this morning and hasn’t gotten back yet. If you head down to his room, I’ll go see if I can track him down.”

Giving a sharp nod, Jesse straightened. “Thank you,” was all he managed before making his way quickly to Steve’s attached house. He stomach fluttered even as his body insisted that it was more than ready to mate.

**

Steve spotted his father on the deck as he was coming back from the beach. “Hey,” he called with a wave, jogging the rest of the way.

Mark waiting until Steve was closer before speaking, getting right to the point. “Steve, Jess’s gone into heat. He’s asking for you.”

“Oh, hell,” Steve hurried inside, darting his way through the main house and into his own private guesthouse. Still only in his swim trunks and having lost his towel somewhere along the way, he skidded to a halt at his open bedroom door. He could already smell Jesse and it made his cock ache instantly. He swallowed a groan when he saw that Jesse was on the bed, naked and on his stomach, pushing against the covers restlessly.

Closing the door behind him and crossing the floor quickly, Steve sat at the edge of the bed and ran a hand down Jesse’s back slowly. “I’m here,” he spoke softly as he touched the too-warm skin.

Jesse looked back at him over his shoulder and gave a sharp huff of breath. “I can see that,” he said with a smile. The fresh smell of salt and sand on Steve made him shudder with arousal. “Ready when you are. Anytime. Seriously.”

Steve responded with a soft laugh, relieved that Jesse was comfortable with him in such an intimate moment. He stood and stripped off his shorts, glancing around briefly to see that Jesse had already spread a spare blanket on top of the covers and had a few hand towels folded on the table.

Kneeling on the bed, Steve bent down and pressed a kiss to the back of Jesse’s shoulder. “Last chance.”

Jesse responded by drawing up on his knees, legs spread and arms hugging the pillow under his head. It was pure instinct, a display for his alpha and Steve’s body answered, cock fully hard in seconds. Steve took a moment to reach for the lube on the table, adding just enough to his erection to coat the skin.

Moving to kneel between Jesse’s legs, Steve found Jesse’s entrance and moaned softly at how wet it already was. He pushed in with one finger first, eliciting a low grunt from Jesse. “This is your show. You tell me if I do anything that makes you uncomfortable, got it?”

“Yeah,” Jesse answered with a nod. “Just – please, I need more.” He reached his hand under his body and took his own aching cock in hand, stroking it idly. Another finger, then a third stretched him and he panted harshly into the pillow.

Steve drew his fingers out and reached for one of the folded hand towels, wiping his hand quickly. Dropping it to the side, he shifted and leaned over to brush his lips along Jesse’s spine. When he felt Jesse sigh and relax, he reached down and lined his cock up, pushing into Jesse just a little. He could feel Jesse tense and he paused, soothing him with his hands and lips until he could push in further. Little by little, he joined them until he was fully inside and Jesse was nearly sobbing with need.

“You’re doing so good, Jess,” Steve murmured against Jesse’s back, bracing his hands next to Jesse’s arms on the bed and bringing their bodies together completely. He waited, not moving any further, until he saw what he was waiting for.

Jesse tilted his head to the side slightly, exposing his neck. Steve gave a sigh as he leaned down and took the pale skin between his teeth, biting down enough for Jesse to feel it but not to break the skin. Jesse nearly shouted as he reacted to the claim, pushing back against Steve hard.

Steve took the signal gladly and began moving, hard and deep. He fucked into Jesse with everything he had, grunting in Jesse’s ear with each thrust until he felt Jesse start to shake apart. A few hard, fast stabs of his hips and he felt Jesse clench around him, coming with a harsh cry wrenched from his throat.

“So good, Jess, so perfect, Christ –“ Steve groaned as he started feeling the telltale swelling at the base of his cock. He moved his hands down to Jesse’s thighs, moving them apart just enough so Steve could brace himself. “I’ve got you, you’re doing so good, just breathe – “

A few short, hard jabs and he felt the knot breach Jesse’s body, tying them together. He heard Jesse’s sharp yelp at the sudden fullness and he shushed him gently, soothing the brief pain with nonsense mutterings and light touches. Steve could feel the first burst of orgasm course through him and pulse into Jesse, the beginning of a long joining.

Jesse shuddered under him and turned his head so Steve could see his face. “Holy hell that was insane,” he managed with a breathless laugh.

Steve grinned and shifted slowly forward, enough to press a kiss to the corner of Jesse’s mouth. He slid his arm around Jesse’s waist and very slowly, turning them both to their sides to rest until Steve’s body finished its work. It would be at least half an hour until they would separate, so Steve settled comfortably with Jesse in his arms, lazily kissing whatever skin he could reach, touching everywhere else. “Feeling better?”

A low, satisfied sound escaped Jesse. “Can’t believe how many years I wasted not having this,” he said wistfully.

Steve smiled into the back of Jesse’s head. “Me either.”

When Steve’s erection finally subsided a while later and they were no longer joined, Jesse rolled onto his stomach and stretched his whole body. “Now what?”

Steve slid his hand down and touched Jesse’s entrance with his fingers, the warm slick of their mingled fluids making him moan softly. “If you want to get cleaned up a bit before the next one hits….

Jesse wriggled at the feel of Steve’s fingers, grimacing slightly at the uncomfortable wetness. “Yeah, good idea.” He leaned over and gave Steve a proper kiss on the lips, slow and sweet. “Thank you, by the way.”

“Go on,” Steve smiled, watching as Jesse made his way to the bathroom for a quick shower.

**

They stood together next to the breakfast bar, neither bothering with clothes and both drinking from bottles of water. Jesse munched on an apple as he turned the pages of the newspaper idly. “So, I’m thinking next time, I want to be able to see you.”

Steve nearly choked on his water. Coughing, he stared at Jesse incredulously. “You just come right out and talk about this, huh? No need to warn a guy?”

Jesse grinned impetuously. “I figure, we’re going to be having pretty much non-stop sex for the next three days. No reason to bother with humility at this point. I know it’s more comfortable to do it the way we did so we can spoon until you finish, but I also am kind of peeved about the fact that I didn’t get to kiss you until we were done.”

With a shake of his head, Steve laughed. “All right, since you’re so interested in mechanics, we’ll talk about this. You realize I’m bigger than you, right?”

“In a lot of ways,” Jesse said with a leer.

Steve rolled his eyes. “My point is, I don’t think you want me smothering you for forty-five minutes while we’re knotted.”

“Point,” Jesse responded with a thoughtful twist of his lips. “How about this – you on top, then when you knot we can flip so I’m on top of you. Think that will work?”

Steve was beginning to hope they wouldn’t have to wait much longer because his mind was providing very helpful and vivid images. “We can give it a go.”

**

Steve was eternally grateful that they’d had that discussion.

Being able to watch Jesse’s face, flushed and damp with sweat, lips parted and eyes only a thin slit of blue…Steve grasped Jesse’s legs and dragged them up to wrap around his ribcage higher, giving him leverage to drive hard and fast into Jesse’s body.

Jesse came with a low groan, right in Steve’s ear, breath hot and damp on Steve’s cheek.

Steve only lasted a few more short, stuttering thrusts before he felt the knot push into Jesse and lock them in place. He shook with the orgasm, coming deep inside Jesse. He took a few moments to catch his breath, feeling Jesse’s hands slowly drifting across his back.

Gathering his energy, Steve tucked his arms around Jesse’s body and shifted them over in a smooth motion, keeping his hand right against Jesse’s ass to keep them safely joined. He grinned up into Jesse’s face. “This okay?”

Jesse gave a contented wiggle and settled his head on Steve’s shoulder. “S’good.”

**

The next two days followed the same pattern. They would take time to eat and drink, watch television, read, sleep when they could. Steve would make sure Jesse stuck to his med schedule. Despite their best efforts, Jesse was still exhausted by the end of the second day.

When the heat overtook his body for the twelfth time, Jesse could barely make the effort to lift his head. “Ugh,” he groaned into the pillow. “Just…work around me.” He lifted one hand and made a vague circling motion.

Steve sat next to him, stroking his back comfortably. “Doesn’t really work that way,” he said, sounding apologetic. “Here, scoot over.” He pushed gently on Jesse’s side, making room on the bed. Shifting the pillows up against the headboard and resting against it with his back, he reached for Jesse. “Sit up for a second.”

Jesse struggled to his hands and knees, taking in Steve’s new position. “Okay….”

Patting his lap with one hand, Steve pulled Jesse over with his other. “Tuck your legs around my back,” he instructed, getting Jesse straddled across his lap, legs circling around Steve’s waist. Steve slid down slightly, getting his cock lined up with Jesse. “Up,” he said, helping Jesse lift up until they were perfectly aligned and with a sigh, they slid together once again. Jesse draped his arms around Steve’s shoulders and pushed his face into the side of Steve’s neck.

Steve held onto Jesse’s hips and pushed up into him quickly, with just the right angle and pressure to draw a quick but intense orgasm out of Jesse’s tired body. With a few more thrusts, they were knotted again and they both relaxed in a tangle of arms and legs. Jesse hummed against Steve’s throat each time he felt another pulse of warmth into his body.

**

On Tuesday morning, Jesse woke with a lazy stretch and blissed-out sigh. His whole body was aching in the best way and he smiled across the bed to see Steve still out cold, hair a mess on the pillow.

Jesse slid out of bed and made his way to the bathroom. With a quick rinse in the shower and a brush of his teeth, Jesse paused long enough to look in the mirror. He realized he looked happy, comfortable in his own skin in a way he hadn’t felt for as long as he could remember.

He also realized at that moment that his heat was over. It had been a long three days and Jesse was grateful that Steve had requested emergency leave from work. Jesse knew now that the cycle had ended, that he and Steve would need to talk.

Wandering over to the dresser, Jesse pulled out a shirt and sweatpants, too big but comfortable. His own clothes were still in the guest room, having no need for them the last few days.

Sitting on the bed and crossing his legs, Jesse was content to simply watch Steve sleep. It was a short wait, however, because only a few minutes passed before Steve was shifting and stretching, blinking blurrily at him. “Morning,” he said sleepily.

“Morning,” Jesse echoed, tilting his head with a smile. “Thought you should know, I’m back to normal.”

Steve sat up, rubbing a hand over his face. “Heat’s over?”

“Don’t sound so disappointed,” Jesse grinned, kicking a foot out to poke Steve’s side. “I think…we should talk.”

Steve’s face went carefully blank and he nodded, drawing his knees up and wrapping his arms around them. “Right.”

Jesse scooted forward, laying a hand on Steve’s bare shoulder. “When we talked on Thursday, did you mean what you said?”

“Everything,” Steve told him solemnly. “I meant everything I said.”

“What if…I decided not go back to taking the Pill,” Jesse said slowly, watching Steve’s face. “Or the masking meds? What if I wanted to go back to living as an omega?”

Steve’s eyes went wide. “You’re sure? What about your heats?”

Jesse drew a breath. “What if I said I wanted to go through them…with you? Even – even though we wouldn’t be breeding, it would just be for us?”

“Oh,” Steve gave a relieved sigh and pulled Jesse into his arms. “I love you, you know that, right?”

Jesse closed his eyes tightly, pressing his nose against Steve’s shoulder. “I do now.”

**

 

End