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The Bodyguard and his Prince -- Continued

Chapter Text

This was a peace offering. No more, no less.
But no matter how many times he reminded himself, he still couldn't shake the feeling of ill intentions. Someone is set to arrive today, leash and collar placed into his hands. Figuratively, of course, but he was basically gaining a lap dog. Mark Fischbach was his name, he remembered, and was going to take the position of Sean's "royal body guard". 'Body guard my ass,' he thought to himself, 'there's no way there isn't something more to this! I know the neighboring kingdom inside and out, and shady business is like a guilty pleasure to them. Not to mention their usage of other kingdoms sub-genders to their advantage.' He sighed.

Unfortunately, sub-genders were a big part of Sean's world. Even worse, he was an omega, which sucked because of three reasons:
- They were often prostitutes and looked down upon.
- They were the most beautiful people on earth, basically, so getting your hands on your "mate" was priority #1
- And there has never been an omega prince. Yippee.
All of this being wrapped into a neat little package, with the bow on top being the sub-gender of his body guard - an alpha.

This was a peace offering. No more, no less.
But no matter how many times he reminded himself, he still couldn't shake the feeling of ill intentions. Someone is set to arrive today, leash and collar placed into his hands. Figuratively, of course, but he was basically gaining a lap dog. Mark Fischbach was his name, he remembered, and was going to take the position of Sean's "royal body guard". 'Body guard my ass,' he thought to himself, 'there's no way there isn't something more to this! I know the neighboring kingdom inside and out, and shady business is like a guilty pleasure to them. Not to mention their usage of other kingdoms sub-genders to their advantage.' He sighed.

Unfortunately, sub-genders were a big part of Sean's world. Even worse, he was an omega, which sucked because of three reasons:
- They were often prostitutes and looked down upon.
- They were the most beautiful people on earth, basically, so getting your hands on your "mate" was priority #1
- And there has never been an omega prince. Yippee.
All of this being wrapped into a neat little package, with the bow on top being the sub-gender of his body guard - an alpha.

Dear god, how could the situation get any worse? 'Well, for starters, I could refuse the peace offering and start a war, mess around with other alphas, have kids too early-' Sean face palmed. 'Quiet! That's exactly why you agreed to this. No war, no rapes, just him and you. Done.' He was currently sitting on his throne, layered in jewels and shimmering fabrics to offset his un-charming demeanor. Un-charming was right, he felt like shit right now! His palms where sweaty, he's worrying, and he barely slept! 'Get yourself together!' He scolded himself.

'They're bound to be here any minute now! You already agreed, and your people are more important than your comfort. Sacrifice this teensy bit that you can to make your people happy. You're a proud prince, for gods sake! Act like o-' his thoughts were caught off by the abrupt sound of his door swinging open. 'OHSHITOHSHITOHSHI-'

"Prince McLoughlin, a pleasure to meet you! I am Queen Fischbach." The woman said loudly, announcing her arrival with a bang.

'OHSHITOHSHITOHSHI-' "Of course, come in! Come in! I welcome you and your son into my kingdom." He said back, nervous as he may have been.

"As you know, my son will be your bodyguard as of today. I hope you'll treat him well." She said, her son trailing behind her.

Sean had not seen her son quite yet, and because of his POV, he couldn't see him. One would've thought her son was hiding behind her, but Sean new better - the other kingdom was powerful and proud. The room grew tense to Sean, an uneasiness settling in his heart at the thought of something so horribly reckless. Yes, he wanted peace, but this was the enemies prince for gods sake. If the other Prince were to kill Sean, it would be nothing but an honor for them - and they'd have a strong show of power on top of that. Sean wasn't sure about anything about this deal. But it was his only choice.

"... Yes, Queen Fischbach. Your son is in good hands. Let this seal our deal of peace." Sean replied.

"Of course! Introducing my son, Prince Fischbach!" She said, stepping to the side of her son.

Sean was almost taken aback by the other princes appearance. Raven black hair, and eyes that showed a certain sense of determination and vigor. He stood tall and proud, and was covered in jewels and fabrics of high quality. He was weaponless, except for a small dagger with a jeweled sheath. He was quiet, shockingly so, but got down on one knee and bow. His mother gasped - this was obviously not rehearsed or agreed upon - but she soon regained her composure. One prince bowing to another meant that they were under their service, but it also meant that they were admitting defeat. That of which was not true - this was a truce, not a surrender.

"Y-Yes, this is my son, as I said." She announced once more, resting her hand on her sons back.

"Yes. It's an honor to serve you." He said, not looking up. "May or peace bring prosperity to all of our people."

"Ahem, yes, let us - let us rejoice. For today is a day of acceptance and rebirth. Let our connections be pure!" The woman yelled, obviously unsure of her own words. None the less, she stuck out her hand for a handshake to "seal the deal". Sean snorted, this was not a regular practice, usually words aren't exchanged face-to-face at all. He still shook her hand.

"Mark Fischbach. Stand and look at me." Sean said, putting on his big boy pants and stepping up his game (as a ruler, at least...).

The man stood, and looked at Sean with a steely determination that could make a grown man flinch. That includes Sean.

"Do you swear by your kingdom and sword that you will protect me with your life, whatever the cost may be? Do you accept sacrificing your life for another in the heat of a battle? Are you willing to die?" Sean said.

"Yes. I swear by my sword and kingdom that I will not betray nor turn my back. You have my word." He replies, almost louder than his mothers continuous announcements.

Sean looks down at him with a squint, but nods. "Then it shall be so. Mark Fischbach of Telvanier, I entrust you with the position of royal bodyguard!"

And thus, the pact was sealed. 'No turning back now.' Sean thought.

Mark then walked forward, earning a surprised look from the king. This was a bold move, especially after a pact was made. Mark raised his arm, frightening Sean, but he gently placed it on Sean's shoulder.

"I am quite aware that you know of my sub-gender. I want you to truly hear me when I say that I will never assault you in my time of service. I want you to be comfortable around me. This is a peace treaty, right?" Mark said, giving the prince a warm smile, that of which was very different from the steely looks of determination that were usually shot his way.

They stood there awkwardly for a while, just staring into each others eyes before Marks voice cut in.

"Alright Mark, I think he gets the point." Marks mother said, making Mark back away and stand back by her side.

They looked at each other, exchanging their goodbyes (Mark was staying there, and his mother had a kingdom to rule,) before she placed a hand on his shoulder, saying something unreachable to Sean's ears. This made the Prince uneasy, but shrugged it off none the less. If he was going to be comfortable around Mark, he had to stop his nonsensical paranoia. This was a war they both wanted to avoid, not just his kingdom begging for a peace.

Marks mother left, her heels clacking on the marble floors as she walked through the open doors of the palace. The kingdom was rather laid back in this respect, often taking in the poor and unfortunate and offering them a place to stay.

"Alright, Prince Fischbach, you should be shown to your quarters. Guards, escort him there if you will." Sean said, making two guards walk up and offer to take Mark to his room.

"No, Prince McLoughlin, I suggest you lead me there. I have sworn not to leave your side. And your guards deserve a little bit of a break, I'm sure." Mark replied.

Sean quirked an eyebrow at this, but smirked and shrugged as he got up.

"Alright then, Prince Fischbach - I will escort you. Guards, you may stand down. Take a break for a while. I will lead Fischbach to his room." Sean said, getting up from his throne. The guards did his kingdoms salute, a fist to their chest, and Sean chuckled. "At ease men. Relax!" Mark smiled and looked down at Sean and thought about the new peculiar aura of his new residence. It was rather laid back compared to where he came from, and the Prince was rather relaxed. Mark was always taught to be stern, in a gentler manner. His kingdoms philosophy was 'Better to be feared than loved'. Not something he enjoyed, but ended up following. It seemed to be the opposite here. It felt like a second home, honestly.

"Fischbach. Mark! Earth to Mark! Hellooo!" Sean said, snapping his fingers in front of Marks face. This shook him from his thoughts, and he looked over.

"Ahem, yeah? Yeah?" He replied, slightly embarrassed at his temporary loss of reality.

"I'm showing you to your room. Come on." Sean said, walking in front of him and down a long hallway.

"So, Prince McLoughlin, where's the king? I thought he would be greeting me?" Mark asked, looking over to Sean. He looked to the floor though, and didn't reply. Mark thought it was peculiar, since what he'd seen of this new kingdom was rather Agreeable and inviting. But, in consideration for the princes situation, he decided not to push forward. The goal was to make him comfortable. 'Already screwed that up. Good.' He thought to himself.

Sean sighed, "Well, were just about there. I hope you remembered the route?"

"It may take a few days, but I'm sure I'll get it down." He replied. An awkward silence fell on the two as they approached the room, the long empty hallways increasing the effect. They stopped and looked at each other for a bit, unsure of how to continue.

"Well, uh, do you want to go in? Look inside a little?" Sean asked, looking at Mark with a half smile.

"Yeah, sure." Mark replied.

Sean let out a breath that he didn't know he was holding, and opened the door. The room was small in square footage, but the height of the ceilings made up for its otherwise cramped feel.

"Wow. I've actually never seen such a high ceiling before. Really catches your eye, doesn't it? All the paintings and architecture..." Mark said, barely above a whisper. "It really is breathtaking..."

"It's pretty, I agree with you. You should see my ceiling..." Sean replied, the snark of his sentence not checking in to Marks brain.

It truly was a beautiful room. The ceiling was layered with beautiful granite designs that led up into a dome. A chandelier hung from the middle, held up by a silver chain. The painting depicted dragons and magical creatures, some stretching down to the bed, surrounding it in a dreamlike scene of sleeping creatures and whisps of every color of the rainbow. There was a chest at the foot of the bed, and drawers at either side of where one would rest their head. The backboard of the bed was beautifully carved dark wood, and the sheets where shimmering with pretty fabrics.

"This is such a luxurious room. Are you sure it's mine?" Mark asked.

"Of course it's yours. You may be a bodyguard, but your still a prince. It was my fathers recommendation."

Mark chuckled, "Smart man."

"Of course..." Sean said, his voice laced with woe.

Something was wrong with the king. Most definitely. And as much as Mark wanted to know, he bit his tongue. He has to keep Sean comfortable if this was going to work.

"... So, uh, where are we going next? Since I'll have to follow you there, I might as well know if I ever lose sight of you." Mark asked, breaking the tense silence between them.

"Oh! Yes um..." Sean said, seemingly shaking himself from his thoughts, "I guess I'll show you around the castle. Give you the grand tour before lunch."

"Yeah, that sounds good. By the way what are we having for lunch?"

The two talked for a while before heading out to look around. Sean showed him the gardens and the royal meeting room, along with the poverty wing and the bathhouse. They grew closer, laughing and talking about trivial matters. Lunch was the main conversation topic, due to the princes being famished. Eventually, as the tour ended, they both started to get irritable with hunger. Hangry, one could say. Sean broke a rather long silence.

"Okay, if I don't get something to eat, I'm going to flip over and die." He spoke, earning a laugh from Mark.

"I hear ya... anything we can snack on?" Marks replied.

Sean put his finger to his chin, before smirking and turning to Mark with a mischievous look.

"No... but we could do something better?"

Mark gave Sean a confused, but interested look.

"I'm listening..."

Sean smiled and chuckled.

"Time to raid the kitchen."

The princes snuck to the dining hall and slipped in to the kitchen with food on their minds. Cooks were hard at work preparing lunch and dinner for the poverty wing, so they crouched and slipped into empty cupboards. They were fairly spacious due to the use of what would normally be in them. They resisted their urges to giggle, and crawled behind on another to get to the right place. The princes new full well that they could stroll in and ask for something, but this was more fun. They didn't care that they were literally over 20 years old, this was fun! The peeked out of the cupboards through the doors to see the situation. Cooks were hard at work, mixing steaming pots of stew and slicing bread. Bread sounded really good to them right now. Target acquired. They giggled as they continued to sneak through the cupboards, slipping over pots and pans and under shelves. Once they got there, they looked to each other and started to whisper.

"Who's going out?" Mark said.

"What do you mean 'who's going out'? Your the bodyguard!" Sean replied.

"I may be the bodyguard, but you're the one showing me around!" Mark whisper-yelled back.

"I don't care!" Sean replies, "I-"

His words were cut of by the cupboards swinging open in front of him, to reveal the head chef, who was red in the face.

"What the- Princes? What are you doing in the cupboards?" He says, helping them out.

"We uh... we were hungry?"

They laughed as they left the kitchen each with some bread in their hands and a smile on their faces.

"I swear to god I almost yelped when the door swung open! That was hilarious!" Sean laughed.

"You call that funny? I got my foot stuck in a cup halfway through! You trying to pull that off was so ridiculous!" Mark replied, laughing himself.

"But you have to agree that the best part was when you said 'We were hungry'! I will never get the chefs face out of my head when you said that."

They laughed about it all the way down the hall and out to the gardens where they ate. It was peaceful out there, and it was very beautiful. Flowers of every color grew there, some through the cracks of the stones that made the pathway. It was quiet when they ate, but it was actually a comfortable silence this time. Both of them were content and happy by one another's side for the first time today.

"Alright, well, my fathers probably waiting to hear from me. Do you mind waiting here?" Sean said, turning to Mark.

"Oh, yeah, sure. I'll wait here. See you in a bit?" Mark replied with a smile.

"Yeah. See you."

Sean left, content with their departure, and walked through the empty halls to his fathers room. He hesitated to open the door, but pushed forward and in to the room.

"...Dad? You awake?" He whispered, slipping into the room.

"Sean, is that you?" The king replied.

"Yes, dad. It's me." Sean replied.

"Come in, my son. I wanted to see you."

"Yes, dad. What'd you need?"

"... the other Prince arrived today, didn't he?"

"Yes."

"He's a kind soul, I'm sure?"

"Yes dad. He's very nice. Funny, too."

Sean's dad laughed before continuing. "Heard you were... sneaking around in the kitchen?"

"Yeah, that was fun. The chef was so surprised! Mark was so freaked out when he opened the cupboard." Sean laughed.

"Haha... I'm glad you've made a friend, Sean. I'm glad. Maybe something more, hm?" His dad chuckled.

Sean blushed. "Were just friends dad. But that would be funny, right?"

The king sighed. "I hope you find them someday, Sean. They'd be a lucky one."

"Yes dad. They sure would be."

The king didn't reply. He drifted into sleep before they could continue. Sean sighed and hugged his dads sleeping body. "Goodnight, dad. I love you."

Sean left the room, closing the door quietly to go and retrieve Mark from the gardens. His father was sick, badly sick, which left him bedridden. He was too weak to get up at the moment. Sean felt oddly lonely in the long hallways, which increased his sadness ever so slightly. He returned to mark with a half smile.

"... hey. You, um, you okay? You don't look too happy..." Mark said.

"Yeah, I'm fine. He just fell asleep is all." Sean replied.

"Alright. Well, it's time for lunch soon, isn't it?"

Chapter Text

The princes, not nearly as hungry as before, now were walking to the dining hall. They were oddly quite this time around, though, Prince Sean's expression not making the silence any more comfortable. 'I feel bad for him...' Mark thought, 'I wish I could help. But I don't know his situation, so I wouldn't know how...' This brought a frown to Marks face as he thought of what he could've been through.

Mark sighed, grabbing the other princes attention as they walked.

"What's wrong?" He asked.

"Well, its obvious you've been feeling down lately. And it stinks because you can't tell me anything, or don't want to. I'm here if you need to vent, okay?" He replied, completely honest.

Sean looked surprised for a moment, but looked back to the floor. "Well, there's nothing to really vent about. And also, to be frank, I don't know you that well yet."

Mark frowned. "Got it. Won't ask again."

Sean frowned at his own words. It was true there was nothing to really vent, and that he wasn't that close, but it seemed he sort of formed a rift between the two. 'There goes all that progress.' He thinks to himself. They were silent for the rest of the walk, once again uncomfortably so, until they arrived at the dining hall. Sean felt bad, and Mark was a little let down. 'Damn it. I really wish I could do something. I get where he's coming from, but still...'

Mark held the door for the other Prince, letting them enter the bustling room. There were about eight other people, which was unusual in the palace. Most of the time people ate in their room. Sean assumed they were curious about the new body guard, so he put the matter aside. Mark pulled out a chair for Sean, seating him and then sitting down across from the Prince. They both looked down at their plate, an awkward tension between them as people seemed to stare. Since Sean was obviously uncomfortable, he spoke up.

"Would you gentleman be so kind as to not stare at the prince?"

The men then looked back and fourth between Mark and Sean, before turning their gaze away from them and down to their plates and each-other.

"Better?" Mark whispered leaning forward to Sean so he could hear him.

"Yeah. Thanks." The prince replied, still not looking up to Mark.

Mark sighed. "Look, if you feel bad about not telling me anything, don't. I understand where you're coming from and I want you to be comfortable."

Sean smiled and looked up at him. "Okay, Thanks. I feel a little better now."

Mark smiled at his response, glad that the situation was resolved so quickly. He then realized that the Prince hadn't treated him like a bodyguard since he got here. He treated him like a fellow prince, a friend even, and that made him smile a little wider as he sat back in his chair. 'That's very kind of him.' He thought to himself. Sean interrupted his train of thought.

"What are you smiling about?" He said, grinning. "There something on my face?"

Mark blushed a little, realizing he'd been staring at the other one while he thought. "Ahem, uh, no no. Just content, is all."

Sean smiled and chuckled at his response. Prince Mark was so... not prince-like. He enjoyed his company. He wasn't so composed that he didn't tell jokes, and he wasn't so "noble" as to not ask what prince Sean had on his mind. Yet he tried so hard to be a gentleman it was almost funny! He chuckled again. It'd only been a day, but he already felt like he was a friend. There were no harsh feelings or grudges because of their kingdoms old rivalry, that of which Sean was originally afraid of when he accepted him as his bodyguard. Sure, they'd have their moments, but all around they made a great pair. A power duo, maybe.

"Sean. You're thinking out-loud." Mark whispered.

"What? What'd I say?" He replied with an embarrassed and shocked look.

"Power duo? Great pair? Do you have any idea what that sounds like to some people?" Mark said, blushing and averting the other princes gaze.

'What does he-' Sean thought, before the realization hit him like a truck. 'Oh god, the rumors that'll come out of this.' Both princes were blushing now, looking down to their empty plates. They both honestly thought that their situation couldn't get more awkward, yet here they were, sparking rumors left and right. The both internally face-palmed as the food was being brought out. The awkward feeling quickly left, though, and they began to eat. Whether they had gotten their snack or not, they were still starving.

The Princes ate quickly, almost too quickly before leaving the dining hall and getting away from the other people that shot them looks every now and then. They both let out a sigh as they left, chuckling at how in-sync they were. They laughed and talked about their home lives, skipping over the war, and listened intently to one-another's story.

"You're lying to me. There is no way that you actually ate three beetles to get a good grade. And this was your brother?" Sean said, astonished at the story.

"Haha. Yep, it was all him! I needed a study buddy, and he was the only person there. And trust me when I say I was desperate!" He replied, laughing.

The laughed at this, grabbing their own sides at the ridiculousness of Marks situation.

"Ahah...haah... well, my stories wouldn't ever beat that one. Sound like a classic in your family." Sean said, finishing up his laughter.

"Yeah, it was ridiculous." Mark replied. "So... what now?"

Sean thought for a little, weighing the pros and cons of each activity carefully. He didn't want to disappoint Mark on his first day.

"Ah! I got it! Wanna go horseback riding?" Sean asked excitedly. It was one of his favorite activities.

"Absolutely! That sound awesome! But, uh... where are the stables?" Mark replied.

"C'mon, I'll show you." Sean said, grabbing Marks arm and leading him past the gardens and out onto an open field.

"We don't really have any stables," Sean continued, "they roam free out here and we get all of our tackle and stuff from up in that shed over there."

Mark gave Sean a surprised look. "Huh. How do you clean em, though?"

Sean shrugged. "Just tie em up to a post."

Mark gave a small "oh" and walked over to the shed. "I'll get this stuff out while you grab the horses?"

Sean nodded. "Yeah, yeah, sure. Just hand me a couple o' leads and I'll go get em."

Mark handed him the rope and started to search for the saddles and such as Sean left for the horses, soon coming back to find Mark with a blanket, saddle, reins and bridle in each arm. Sean was surprised, since that equipment was pretty heavy usually, but shrugged as he realized Mark had to train to become Sean bodyguard. Mark saddled up both horses and they got on, Mark clipping up beside Sean, who was currently on his own horse.

"Alright. Where we going?" Mark asked.

"There's a trail around here that goes beside a river. Want to go that way?" Sean replied.

"Whatever floats your boat." Mark said, letting Sean lead the way.

The clipped over to a fence gate and opened it, Jack going in before Mark. It was very calm out, the sun setting as light shone through the leaves.

"It's beautiful out here, isn't it?" Sean said, letting out a content sigh.

"Yeah. It's calming, in a way." Mark replied.

"I used to come out here when I was a young, angsty teenager." He chuckled. "I remember like it was yesterday."

Mark laughed at his comment, but went quiet so he could listen to the forests sounds. The forest had a sort of sweet tranquility to it, which made both of them relax and smile. The horses though, might have been a little too relaxed. While they were walking. A small fox ran in front of Sean's horse, spooking it. It reared up, throwing Sean off of its back and into the river. Or, it would've been the river, but Sean caught on to a tree root that was sticking out of the dirt. Mark quickly when into 'bodyguard mode' and jumped down from his horse as Sean's ran off. He laid down on his stomach and stretched out his arm to Sean, yelling to him.

"Reach for me and DO NOT let go!"

Sean quickly reached up and grabbed for his hand, but fell short and slipped from the branch a little more.

"Mark! I'm scared!" He yelled, tears brimming at his eyes. He could die here, for gods sake!

"Stay calm and look at me! Reach as far as you can! I swear you'll be okay!" He yelled back over the rivers loud hissing of passing water.

Sean gulped and swung back up, successfully grabbing Marks arm and holding on for dear life as the other pulled him up. Sean immediately was wrapped in a comforting hug, Mark whispering in his ear that it was safe now, and he was okay. Sean shook from fear, but took deep breaths (that Mark suggested he do) and squeezed the other tighter.

"Alright, alright. You're okay. We're gonna head back to the palace now, okay? You'll ride with me." He said pulling Sean up and putting a hand on his shoulder.

Sean nodded. "Yeah. Okay."

They both climbed onto Marks horse, Sean putting his arms around Marks waist as they rode back. Once that arrived, Mark escorted Sean to his room and left him privacy while he cleaned himself off. Sean came back out in warm, fluffy clothing and they went for dinner, Mark quietly checking on Sean every once in a while. Sean walked back his room with the other, turning to Mark before he went in.

"Thank you, Mark. For saving my life today. You have no idea how much I appreciate it." Sean said, smiling at Mark.

Mark smiled back. "Of course. I'm glad your okay. Go get some rest. You'll need it after today." Mark chuckled.

Sean nodded. "Yeah. Good night."

Chapter Text

They both woke up the next morning, bright and early, with only one thought on their minds:

'Day Two'

Meaning, this was day two of everything that was newly being introduced in their lives. That included one another and several new responsibilities. Jack had day one off, so he was going to be rather busy for the next few days. A lot of paperwork had to be skipped due to the princes absence. Mark didn't know this however, and hesitantly knocked on Sean's door to see if the other was awake. Unbeknownst to him, Sean was up bright and early, already diligently working on what he'd skipped over yesterday.

"Come in!" Jack yelled from halfway across the room, eyes still set on the work in front of him.

Mark quietly opened the door before stepping in. "Your already working?" Mark asked, "But you just got up! Surely you've had breakfast!"

The other Prince shook his head, not replying due to his current focus being on his desk. Mark sighed, but chuckled.

"Alright, busy bee, I'll go get you some breakfast. But tomorrow you're eating at the table, okay? And we're taking a break at lunch! Got it?" He said, exiting the room again as to not disturb the prince any further.

Sean tilted his head as if he was looking up, but his eyes were still down cast to his hand, that of which was busily writing back replies. "Mhmm, yeah, we'll..." Sean attempted to reply, but his world trailed off.

Mark closed the door, heading down to the dining hall and asking for a plate of food for the prince.

"What do you mean he won't come out?" The chef asked, "He has to eat at the table. He's a prince!"

"He is a prince, but he has his own duties as well. He's much to busy." Mark replied, picking the food up from the table and leaving before the chef could give a reply. 'I want to make this as smooth as possible. Sean must be hungry by now.' He thought. As he approached the door, he realized something- Sean hadn't actually called him 'Mark' until the incident at the river. Fear might have driven him to it, but Mark enjoyed not being called a 'Prince' or 'bodyguard'. He smiled to himself and opened the door. 'I might ask him to put the formalities aside later'. Upon opening the door, he found the prince was still hard at work - quill to paper and eyes in complete focus. Mark was surprised to see him like this, and even though it had only been one day, he was unaware of how serious Sean could become. He shrugged at the thought, strolled it and placed food over his work. Sean looked up at him, a little pissed off, and opened his mouth to speak. Mark it him off.

"If you don't eat, I will force feed you with my own two hands." Mark said.

Sean pouted, but started to eat. Mark smiled, satisfied with himself, and waited for Sean to finish. He took his dirty plate and cup, and left the room to give it back to the kitchen staff. It was odd, not walking around with Sean everywhere (like they did yesterday), and found himself rather lonely. He shrugged it off though. He did kind of sign up for this kind of thing. Then again, it was more his mother who decided where he went.

At first, when Mark was told about the pact, he was outraged! He didn't want to work for the opposing kingdom! Much less be a bodyguard. When Mark first arrived here, he felt like pawn in the hands of his own kingdom. None the less, he followed Sean's orders (which were none, surprisingly) and did his job.

Luckily, he began to enjoy it - not enough to forget why he was here, though, which he was still uneasy with. He didn't feel welcome here, like he did with Sean. Everyone shot him these looks - 'Why are you here?' 'You shouldn't be in the palace.' 'You're our enemy.' It was all in the eyes shot his way. Sean seemed kind enough, but he could tell that he didn't want this either. He saw discomfort and worry in Sean, when he first walked in at least. Now that'd he'd relaxed a little, it was less awkward for the both of them.

He walked back to Sean's room - this time dividing not to go in - and stood in front of his door, waiting to ward off any visitors until Sean needed him or his duties were finished up. There were a few people, some even arguing to get in, until Mark heard a soft knock from the other side of the door. The door opened to reveal a very bored-looking Sean.

"Mark? You've been standing out there the whole morning?" Sean asked, surprised.

Mark nodded. "I figured I shouldn't disturb you while you work, so I warded off all of the other visitors who where coming too."

Sean smiled. "Thanks. But, uh, do you mind coming in? It's a little too quite for me..."

Mark chuckled. "Alright. Need a little white noise?"

Sean nodded, and they both walked in. Mark opened the curtains to let some sunlight in, and sat on a chair in the corner of the room. He started to whistle, letting the wind shaking the leaves enhance his performance. He wasn't whistling normally - he was tweeting like a bird. Sean was surprised at his talent, chuckling when he heard actual birds tweet back. 'Thats considerate of him.' Sean thought, looking down to his papers, 'He'll have to teach me sometime.' They sat like that, Mark whistling as Sean worked diligently, up until there was a loud knock on the door. Mark stood, motioning for Sean to keep working. He opened the door to a guard standing on the other side, out of breath with his hands on his knees.

"...Hello?" Mark said to the tired guard.

"Oh, its you... Can I... Can I talk to the prince?" He asked.

"He's busy right now, so I'll pass along the message." Mark replied.

"Huh... Well, he's needed in the dining room immediately... someone is here to see him..." The guard replied.

Mark cocked an eyebrow at this, but turned and walked back to Sean, and leaned into his ear.

"Apparently you're needed in the dining room? You have a visitor...?" He whispered.

Sean shivered at the sensation of Marks breath in his ear, and smacked his hand to his forehead.

"Oh crap!" He exclaimed.

"What!? What?" Mark jumped, confused.

"Augh, I forgot about him!" He said.

"...Who?" Mark asked, completely lost in the situation.

"Ugh, I have this thing going on with suitors and such." Sean replied, "He's like the second to last one, but boy is he stuck-up.... ah I don't want to GOOO!"

Mark sighed. "Well, you'll have to see him anyway. No point in complaining." Mark basically picked Sean up from his chair and plopped him on his bed. "Alright, well, get dressed. I'll escort you there."

On that note, Mark left the room and told the guard to go. It was strange that Sean was set up to find a suitor. Finding a mate was priority number one in royalty, so why would he get married to someone random? Or were they looking for possible mates? Either way, it made Mark uneasy. His alpha instincts began to kick in, and he felt very... protective, of Sean. He didn't want the other alpha in the palace or anywhere near the prince. Then again, he couldn't just ask the gentleman to leave - they had made an arrangement, after all. Mark sighed, uncomfortable with the whole situation, until Sean knocked on the door.

"Alright I'm rea-" Sean spoke, but was cut off by intrusive thoughts. 'Mark smells really good right now. Like dark chocolate. What's going on?' Sean thought it was just an alpha being an alpha, but this was a different smell. It was much stronger.

"Mark? Why do you smell funny?" Sean asked.

"I do?" Mark replied, smelling himself, "Smells fine to me. Why?"

Sean shrugged, wondering why he asked in the first place, and started walking with Mark to the dining hall. Mark, well, he was blushing like mad. If prince Sean noticed his smell, and he didn't, then he knew exactly what was going on. 'Shit.' Mark thought to himself. There was no way he was getting out of this one. They both sat down at the dining table, Mark beside Sean at one end while the suitor was at the other. Sean and the suitor talked - not getting along the whole time - as Mark tapped his foot impatiently. He gulped and let out a shaky breath, and tapped his foot a little louder. Sean noticed, and turned.

"...Mark, are you okay?" He asked.

Mark didn't respond.

Sean was getting warmer. "Because if you need to go then-" Sean spoke, but got cut off.

"I'm in a rut right now, okay!? I'm a little tense!" Mark replied, not consenting to his own words.

Sean blushed a deep red as he began to get warmer and warmer. You may ask why Mark would flat out tell him, the reason being that either sub-gender couldn't lie when they were in a state like this. At all. It was for the purpose of weeding out a 'false mate'.

"Oh god... hmmm~" Mark whispered in arousal, embarrassed as he may be. He couldn't exactly keep it in though.

Sean blushed even deeper at the noise, as his - /lower region/ began to get warmer as well.

"Prince Sean may I, hMm- May I plEASE... haaah... l-leave?" Mark said, blushing even deeper at the sounds he was making in front of the other Prince.

The suitor across the table was sitting there awkwardly, watching the exchange.

"Yeah, yeah, go- please do!" Sean replied, gulping himself as he knew what was happening to him as well. 'Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck-' Sean thought, knowing that he wouldn't be able to stop his omega instincts.

They made him want to tackle Mark and relieve him of his problem, and Sean was well aware that he'd be a jabbering mess trying to bed the other man. He had a lot of trouble resisting his own urges.

"Ahem, uhm, you're going to have to leave..." Sean's aid to his suitor, the other quickly getting his things and heading out the door.

'Well shit.'

This was one of the most unfortunate events that could've occurred.

#1 - They were both very, very needy.

#2 - They both had literally no way of stopping themselves (except for sheer willpower).

#3 - IT WAS ONLY THE SECOND GOD DAMN DAY. FUCK.

Sean was completely driven by instinct, so usually it was other people that stopped him from doing anything. But since he was in heat with Mark right now... and he was in a rut... he wasn't sure what would happen. Usually most of his heats end up as a blur the next day, but either way it'd be a problem - 'Can Mark control himself?' 'What if /it/ happens?' 'If it does, what will we do? Just keep quiet?'. These wher all his own thoughts, however his sub-gender had very different ones. That were much more.... /prominent/ than Sean's. Example: 'SEXSEXSEXSEXSEX-'. So, in a horrible daze of lust, Sean wobbled down to Marks door. He decided to bring towel and some water to literally persuade Mark to let him in. He himself didn't want anything to happen, but his sub-gender was much more powerful. He knocked on the door and heard rustling from the other side.

"...Wh-Who's... Mm.. th-there?" Sean heard from the other side.

"It's me, Sean I brought you some towels and water... can I come in?" 'Please say no, please, please say no!'

"...S-Sean..? Why do you... hah.. s-smell so good..? D-don't tell me... ooh god..."

"Yeah. Yeah... can I come in..?" 'Shut up shut up shut up!'

"Sean... no.... you- you don't.. hMMm... know what- huh, what you're saying..." Mark replied in a breathy whisper.

Sean was shaking at this point, his sub-gender telling him to swing open the door and tackle Mark. He was so thankful that Mark had more control. His entire body was yearning for the alphas touch, but he didn't want that. They're friends! It would ruin what they built up!

"Please, Mark..." Sean mouth said, against his own will.

"SEAN. You HAVE to LISTEN TO ME. NO. I know you don't want this. And as much as I might want to, it doesn't effect how you think. DO YOU HEAR ME, SEAN?" Mark spoke through the door, finally reaching through to Sean's sub-gender.

'... Mark wants to?'

Sean was angry now. His sub-gender was angrier, though. It was biting and scratching inside of Sean, which worsened his mood. So, instead of just walking away, he busted through the door. His sub-gender was angry and even more desperate than before, and he talked Mark to the floor.

"You want this? You want this, don't you? You sick, sick meat-head. I thought we were friends!" Sean yelled, raising a fist to strike the other in a fit of rage.

"SEAN." Mark said, grabbing his wrist and sitting up. "LISTEN TO ME. I can't lie, yes - yes I want to find release, but that's my sub-gender talking, not ME. I know you just want to stay friends. I KNOW that you don't want to do this. And as much as I can, im resisting the urge to take you HERE and NOW. So if you don't leave, we will both regret it."

Sean was taken aback, white in the face, surprised by Marks willpower and resolve. 'God, I'm lucky to have a friend like him.'

Sean got up, looking to the floor; ashamed of his reckless actions. Not to mention words! He called him a meat-head for gods sake! Sean felt awful afterwards, as he lied in bed with various nurses bringing his ice water and anything to cool him down. His heats were intense, but they were short, thank god.

Mark on the other hand, sat on his bed trying to find release the entire knight. And boy did he hate it when he was in a rut. He felt shameful and dirty, (considering what he was doing) and all he wanted was for it to end.

Either way, they were both glad nothing happened between the two. Sexually, at least - the tackling and argument were for another time. Everyone was tired and definitely not in the mood, but at the end of the day, they were relieved. All could be forgiven and forgotten.

They were friends, after all.

They both slept, twisting and turning in their beds at their own dreams. It was strange, the dreams. Either of them dreamed about the other, spending time in the gardens and riding horses. Like the first day- when everything seemed peaceful. Their twisting and turning stopped, in the end, with each dream a song with the other wrapped around them. One of them dreamt of them singing, while the other - whispering sweet things into their ear.

Chances are, they won't remember them.

But you'll have to wait and see.

Chapter Text

The next morning was so incredibly awkward. Like, to the point of no return awkward. Like if you tell a deaf kid joke in front of a deaf kid, and he doesn't know but you feel like an asshole and you want him to know you're sorry but you don't know sign language. That kind of awkward.

They both would rather gloss over and just go back to normal, but they knew they'd have to talk about what happened. So, in a moment of brilliance, they both decided to play keep-away. With their bodies. As in don't look or talk to each other for a few days, which was impossible (due to people noticing Sean's bodyguard was gone) and ridiculous.

Then again, when problems arise, no one actually wants to talk about it. They both knew that was the truth, but didn't want to admit it - they just told themselves that they weren't ready yet. Tomorrow, maybe. They laughed at their own minds, realizing they probably weren't going to go through with it. Sean decided to step up to the plate and talk about it. He did want to still be friends with Mark, and the only way to do that was to speak with him.

So, instead of Mark getting up early, Sean woke up in his place. He was tired, and flustered, and tired, and... tired. Boy, Sean was not used to waking up this early. He rubbed his eyes the entire walk to Marks room, before knocking on the door. The knock ran out through the long, empty hallways, Sean flinching at the thought of waking someone up just to hear Mark and Sean's talk. Inside, Mark snapped his eyes open and blushed at his dream. 'That's odd... I've never actually thought of Sean in that way. What's going on...?' He thought, but was shaken from them when he heard another knock. Sean ran a hand through his messy hair, realizing he forgot to actually clean himself up a little. He shrugged, realizing Mark probably wouldn't care.

Sean grabbed the door handle, preparing himself to swing it open, probably to see Mark with morning wood, before the door swung open itself and Mark was standing on the other side. He was blushing, so Sean assumed that it was just out of surprise. However, Mark was on a complete other spectrum of what "surprise" Sean thought about. Mark was just surprised to see Sean up so early, with his own bed head. And an adorable one at that. 'Ah! No! Bad sub-gender, bad!' Mark thought to himself. That what he thought it was, at least. And boy was he wrong.

"...Hey." Sean said, eyes down to the floor.

"Uhh... Hey?" Mark replied, rubbing the back of his head.

The both stood in silence, Sean now realizing there was nothing to actually talk about; other than his own apology.

"Look, man, I'm... im sorry for yesterday. I can't really control myself when I'm in..." Sean trailed off.

"No, no, its fine. I totally get it. I'm sorry for the rather vulgar things I said." Mark replied, blushing at his own memories. He literally blurted out that he wanted "take" Sean then and there. Thank god he didn't.

Sean blushed too, remembering what he said. They both did extremely embarrassing things last night. And it wasn't just the meet up.

Don't think of them that way, they were both needy! Of course they'd do that!

Sean rocked back and fourth on his feet. "Sooo... back to normal then, I guess?" Sean said, looking up at Mark.

"...Yeah. Yeah, back to normal." Mark responded.

They both let out a breath that they didn't know they were holding, and laughed at how in-sync they were. They both then began to laugh even harder, realizing how easy that conversation had been after worrying about it for the entire night. They both wrapped an arm around the others shoulder, to keep themselves from falling, and Marks laugh trailed off as he looked to Sean. He smiled with a caring look, and Sean's laugh trailed off too, as he caught a glimpse of Marks stare. He blushed, turning away.

"What're you looking at?" Sean said, laughing it off as if it was a joke.

"Oh! Uh, nothing!" Mark yelped, taking his arm off of Sean and standing up straight again. He straightened his clothes and looked away from Sean as he stood up straight.

"Heh, well... lets go to breakfast, okay? I'll have to work afterwards though, so hold off on the shenanigans 'til I'm done, alright?" Sean said, not looking to Mark.

Mark took a deep breath. "Yeah, yeah, alright. I'll escort you there. And let's walk and talk, alright? Don't want you doing make-up work all day tomorrow." He laughed.

Sean quieted an eyebrow at him and laughed too, and they started walking to the dining hall. To their surprise, even more people were in there today than Marks first day there. As confused a they were, they still sat and tried to have their meal in peace, with Mark warding off the other peoples stares every once in a while.
It was very quiet, except for the various clicking sounds of tupperware, until one of the other men broke the silence.

"Congratulations on your bond."

Chapter Text

Immediately, and I mean IMMEDIATELY, Sean spit out what he was eating and Mark choked on his food. After a fit of coughing and a deep breath, he swung his head up to the person who said it.

"Excuse me, WHAT?" Mark said, completely innocently. No sign of malice or regret. Nope. None.

"... you did bond, didn't you?" The man said.

"Fuck NO we didn't! Ah, Jesus fuckin' Christ! Where the hell'd you get that from?" Sean yelled, putting his head on his hands.

"I just heard it from someone else! He had blonde hair? Kinda combed to the side?" The man replayed in a hurry, afraid of Marks glare.

"Oh my god... fuckin Felix..." Sean whispered, seemingly to his plate.

"Okay, number one why'd you believe him? Number two, I am very confused right now, and number three - WHO the FUCK is FELIX?" Mark said, completely new to this information.

"Ugh... Felix is a guard and friend of mine. Well, he doesn't really guard me, he more... informs me of what's going on inside the palace. Loyal, but stupid pranks like this always start something. Or, other people start it for him." Sean explains.

"And why anyone would trust him is beyond me. Though, he is in a stable relationship with one of the ladies of the palace. Marzia, was it?" He continued, leading off from the problem.

"That's not important right now - what's important is your, quote unquote, "friend" who started all this. Where is he?" Mark continued, absolutely livid.

Sean was surprised at this. He took Mark to be a calm type about subjects such as sub-genders, along with the bad stereotypes about them. One of them being, if an alpha and omega are in the same vicinity, they will most definitely fuck. No questions, no concerns, just flat out do it with NO shame. Topics like this made Sean especially uncomfortable, because he would be on, well... the /receiving/ side of things. Mark snaps his fingers.

"Sean. Sean? Where is he?" Mark repeated.

"Oh, uh," Sean said, a bit flustered at the thought of him and Mark... doing the do... "He-He'd be patrolling the hall leading to the library."

"Alright." Mark said, cracking his knuckles, "gonna go have a little TALK with him... no fighting, just... talking." Mark said, trying to reassure himself more than anyone else.

This made Sean laugh nervously, and he tugged at his collar.

"Well, I'll go with you. I'd like to have a nice conversation with him as well." Sean said, genuinely happy about seeing Felix again.

"... is everyone SERIOUSLY okay with this?" Mark said, concealing his anger.

Sean looked back and fourth from man to man. He shrugged. "I mean, I'm alright with it. It was an... /easy/ assumption to make, based on our situation."

Mark growled to himself, and looked away from the rest of the group. "Fine. I'm going out. Sean, come on."

Sean was shocked by Mark. He was in alpha mode - meaning very dominant and angry. It was the last thing he'd expect from someone who was so good at controlling a rut. Nonetheless, they still quietly left the room and started walking down the hall. Mark was quiet, albeit fuming with anger, while Sean awkwardly watched his expression from the side.

"... Mark, why are you so /angry/ about this? It's not a big deal - and Felix is good at cleaning up his own rumors. This will all wash over." Sean said, looking down to the floor with his hand hanging on to his neck.

Mark let out a sigh. "I know that. I've just had... a bad experience with stereotypes like that."

Sean nodded. "Ah, I'm sorry. But trust me, Felix will help."

Mark looked to the floor. "Hope so."

Chapter Text

After their conversation, they kept walking down the hall to where Felix would be. It was odd for him to start a rumor like this, since he'd never started one like it before, but it wasn't really that bad. He could've said Sean was pregnant, for gods sake. None the less, it still had to be dealt with. To put it lightly, neither of them were happy campers.

Sean spotted Felix, walking back and fourth down the hall, and began to speed walk towards him. Felix saw Sean and began to walk a little bit faster - in the opposite direction. Sean grabbed him by his collar and Felix stopped, and gulped.

"... Uhh... good to see you too...?" He said.

Sean sighed. "Don't play dumb."

Felix grumbled. "Oh come on, it was just a joke! And the other guys inflated it! People start drama off of every little thing I say!"

"What was your 'little joke' then, hm? How'd it start?" Mark said from behind Sean, anger lacing his voice. He was basically ready to snap someone's neck at this point. He hates jokes like these.

"Geez, chill. I made a joke about you two 'messin around' and everyone turned it into bonding." Felix explained. This made Sean calm down, but Mark was still just as angry.

"Then you should've kept your little joke /under control/ then." Mark replied, finding any reason to disagree with him.

"Oh trust me, I TRY. But good god am I a drama mill in this kingdom." Felix said, laughing it off. This just made Mark angrier.

"Then stop talking." Mark said, picking up Felix by the front of his shirt.

Felix put his arms up, clearly afraid, before Sean grabbed Marks arm. "MARK. Let him down RIGHT NOW. I'm okay with you being angry, but never touch my friends!" Sean said.

Marks expression softened, almost to a regretful state, as he let Felix down slowly. Felix still had his arms up with his eyes closed, squinting them open to see Mark with his eyes to the floor. He was very confused, but thankful for Sean cutting in. Mark was just all around angry at himself. Sean scolding him made his heart ache, and he didn't know why. Why had it affected him like it did? Why did it hurt so much? He sighed.

"... I apologize. I'm going to my room, your highness. I suggest you have Felix watch you for a while." Mark said, looking like a sad puppy.

Sean felt really bad now. But he shouldn't right? Mark just threatened Felix, for god sake! But... seeing Mark sad made his heart wrench. Sean went to say something, but cut himself off and let Mark go.

"Felix, I'd like you to watch over me for a while. I don't think Marks coming back very soon." Sean said, sighing.

Felix was confused on why he was so sad, but he shrugged it off. "Alright."

They both walked in silence, before something caught Felix's eye. "Yo, Sean! Look!" He said, pointing through a window to a woman's room. It was Marzia, actually, just reading a book. Sean just looked at Felix, confused.

"What?" Sean said.

Felix sighed. "She's so pretty."

Sean shrugged. "Yeah, so?"

Felix looked to him and furrowed his brow. "What, you've never thought about someone like that?"

"Like what?" Sean said, completely oblivious to the subject.

"Like you like them or something?" Felix replied. Sean blushed and looked away.

"Oh my god, you've never been in love before! Ohh, you poor thing..." Felix said dramatically, hugging Sean from the side.

Sean shook him off and laughed. "So what? What's so wrong with not being in love before?"

"There nothing wrong with it, I just figured you'd have felt it by now." Felix responded with a shrug as they continued to walk.

"Well I've felt love. I love my family!" Sean replied.

"It's a different kind of love. Let me explain-"

"Dear god don't break into song." Sean interrupted.

Felix laughed. "Yes!! I shall SING! LAAA-"

Sean slapped a hand over his mouth. "Nope, nuh-uh, no way."

Felix slapped his hand off and laughed. "Okay, okay, get it."

"... so have you two ever fought?" Sean asked out of curiosity.

Felix thought for a moment. "Well, yeah, of course. Lots of relationships have fights. Why?"

"How'd you feel afterwards?" Sean asked.

"I felt like SHIIIT. God, the feeling that you get when your partner walks away from you is so heart wrenching! And it even hurts when they scold you!" Felix exclaimed, gripping at his chest.

'Why did you do that to Mark?' A thought intruded, which made Sean blush. 'NOPE. NOPE NOPETY NOPE. F-R-I-E-N-D-S. FRIENDS.' Sean thought to himself.

"But seriously, why are you asking?" Felix said.

"How do you know when you've found your partner?" Sean continued, ignoring Felix's question. Felix frowned.

"Im gonna ignore the fact that you didn't answer me. And for me, being a beta, it's more of a guessing game, so I'm pretty sure it'd be different for you. But it does feel amazing. When you first see them, you take in every detail of their appearance, and after wards your kind of like 'Wait, what?', but after you get to know them, you find they're good company. And the other person usually goes out of their way to make you more comfortable." Felix explains with a find look in his eyes.

'Y'know who's kinda like that? ... Mark.' Another thought intruded. Sean didn't want to believe it, but he couldn't shake the thought. Mark had done everything that Felix described about the other person, and that exact sequence of events happened between them. Sean was blushing like mad and he crouched to the floor, covering his face. Felix kept walking for a bit before he noticed where Sean was.

"Prince? Prince! What's wrong?" He said, worried for the other mans health.

"..." Sean stayed silent, peeking up at Felix through his finger.

Felix gave a little smirk and crouched to his level. "You found 'em already, didn't you?" He teased.

"... mmm..." Sean replied, pouting to himself.

"Who?" Felix said, almost bouncing up and down with anticipation.

"I... I think it's Mark."

 

Chapter Text

Mark walked back to his room, dragging his feet, and frowned. 'Why does this affect me so much? Sean rightfully stepped in, but I hated his scolding! It was perfectly reasonable, though, so...' Mark shook his head, giving up on putting the puzzle pieces of his feelings together. That of which left him a little bit... broken, so to speak. He was so hurt and confused he started to cry to himself. Quietly, granted, but it still hurt as he hobbled down the hall past worried maids and guards. He felt useless, and in everybodys way, and just all around crappy. Did people tolerate him or actually like him? Was he actually good company or were they just saying that?... Was he a bad person?

He started to shake and cry louder as he went into his room, before he flopped down onto his luxurious bed and buried himself in the pile of unmade covers and sheets. He curled up in a ball, with his hands to his chest, in his dark room. The curtains were drawn and his door was shut, only they grey sky peeking through his windows and making everything look monotone. This worsened his mood, his puffy red eyes starting to sting as he wished for someone to walk in. He didn't care he looked pathetic, he just needed someone. Anyone. But he knew that wouldnt come. No one actually cared at this point, and the big, strong facade he put up was to hide how hurt he really was. He didn't want to burden anyone with this.

Especially not Sean. He was being a big cry baby over nothing! Sean hadn't even scolded him that hard, but god he felt awful about what he did. As angry as he was at himself, he still had to talk to Sean and apologize. He was hired to be a bodyguard, not sit in his room and be an emotional mess. His mother was right, he wasn't fit for anything.

Soon enough, although he willed himself to push out of the bed, it was in vain; because eventually he fell asleep. Crying makes you tired, okay?

Meanwhile, Felix was yelling at Sean and Sean was blushing on what happened. He couldn't believe it himself, and kind of didn't want to. He was scared about a relationship like that - there was no way it'd work out! Two rivaling kingdoms having their princes get together? Yeah, no way! But, he had to admit that he was excited beyond belief at the notion. Mark was a great person, he'll admit moody - but still a great guy. But, another problem, he was a dude. Sean had never been attracted to a dude before, and it may sound cliche, but he was pretty sure he was straight. Yeah, sure, he might've had a male suitor - but that was against his will. He hadnt planned on taking that any further than a greeting. Along with that, he could've gotten a female alpha - how that worked, he didn't know. He'd have to talk to his dad about it. He knows everything, basically, so he'd know about this, right?

After a few hour of Felix yelling at him about how wonderful it was, Sean started to worry. Mark was a strong person, so surely he'd be back by now.

"Hey, Felix, have you seen Mark anywhere while we were walking?" Sean asked, assuming he just wasn't paying attention if he did walk by.

"Nope. Nothin on my end." Felix replied, looking around. "Ah, wait a minute, speak of the devil!"

Sean frantically looked over to where Felix was facing, now realizing how much he didn't want to see Mark. After realizing something like that about a guy you just met a few days ago and then seeing him after, it's a little bit stress-inducing. Sean was blushing, and fiddling with his clothes while Felix called Mark over. For the short moments Sean did look up, he saw Marks face. Puffy red eyes with bags under them was not a good sign, not to mention the dry, sad look on his face. Mark didn't look or speak to Sean, and neither did he look to Felix. Sean was glad Felix wasn't one to hold a grudge, but Mark seemed so sad. This hurt Sean, a lot, and he immediately wrapped Mark in a hug, that of which Mark was not prepared for.

"Oooo~" Felix teased from behind, with a ( = w = ) face. Sean shot him a look back, basically pleading with his eyes to stop teasing and to give them some space. Felix got the message, and smiled before walking off. Meanwhile, while Sean's head was in Marks chest, he was blushing like mad with his eyes closed. Mark slowly wrapped his arms around the other Prince, looking to the side and placing his head on top of Sean's. The situation felt surreal to Sean, especially since they'd just had a fight and we're now hugging it out without a word spoken. Mark started to cry again, Sean feeling the shaking of his chest, as he hugged Mark tighter in an effort to comfort him. The only thing on his mind was to help the poor guy, and Mark was just up there regretting crying in front of the other. Mark was taught crying in front of someone was shameful and embarrassing to the other person, so he tried to suppress his voice and closed his mouth in an attempt to muffle himself.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry I'm sorry..." Mark whisper-cried into Sean hair.

"No no no, don't be. You were mad. I get that." Sean replied, parting the back of Marks head.

"... Holy crap!" Sean suddenly exclaimed, palming Marks floof.

"... wh-what?" Mark replied.

"Your hair is really soft!" Sean said excitedly, running his fingers through the other mans locks.

"Haha! Well, I'm up here with my face in your hair, and it's pretty soft too." Mark laughed, his tears drying up. No one else had made him feel better so quickly in his life.

They laughed for a little, just hugging it out, before they both fell silent and just stayed there, content.

"Hey, Sean?"

"Yeah?"

"...Thanks."

"No problem man. Let's go get some lunch."

Chapter Text

After the two men made up and got some lunch, they headed back to Sean's room to relax for a little. It was peaceful, with the birds tweeting instead of Mark this time, and it felt nice. Kind of like a resting period in between all that drama. However, Sean forgot he still had work to do. Luckily, he had Mark to remind him of that.

"Wait, didn't you say you had work to do after breakfast?" Mark said, looking to Sean who was lounging in his bed.

Sean immediately smacked his forehead and groaned, "Aww, I completely forgot! God I don't want to do it!" Sean frowned, unhappy that he had to do work during his, quote unquote, "resting period".

Mark laughed and got up. "Ah, well, complaining about it won't get the job done. Any way I can help?"

Sean groaned again, "Not unless you can copy a signature. LOTS of papers need to be signed."

Mark looked to the side and his eyebrows lowered. "You'd be surprised..." he whispered to himself, just out of earshot. He let out a breath. "I can try."

Sean quirked an eyebrow, and sat up. "Wait, really?"

"Mmhm. Though I'll have to practice a little." Mark responded.

Sean was surprised he actually said that he would do it. 'Hey it's probably cause he li-' NOPE. Nope. He doesn't even know yet (probably). Sean blushed a little and let out a tiny breath, squeezing his mouth shut.

"Whaaat was that?" Mark asked, confused at the other princes reaction to him saying yes.

Sean's eyes snapped open. "Uh, uh, nothing! Just thinking!" Sean helped, flustered as he got out of his bed.

Mark quirked an eyebrow and shrugged, before getting up with the prince and helping him get his work ready. Mark eyes the papers that were already signed, memorizing the loops and edges of the lines. It was simple, so it'd be easy to copy - not something Mark was proud of learning.

"Ugghh there's so manyyy!" Sean complained after he settled in his chair and put his chin on his hand as head read the papers over.

Mark chuckled, "I'll help. I think I can write your signature, albeit slowly."

"... alright. As long as no one comes in, we'll be fine." Sean said.

"Already on it." Mark replied, halfway to the door to lock it.

Sean settled in his chair and started on his papers as he thought. He then realized something - he was in a room, with Mark, alone, and no one could come in. Add that up in your head. Yeah. 'Oh shit. I'm gonna say something stupid! Ah, what am I go-'

"Sean!" Make yelped, snapping Sean away from his thoughts, "Your writing on the table."

Sean glances down to find that he is, indeed, drawing on the table. "Uah! Thanks Mark." He said, pulling his quill off of the wooden table.

"No problem. Lost in thought?" Mark asked.

Sean nodded sheepishly, blushing to himself. Mark quirked his eyebrow at his odd expression, but just walked back over and plopped down in another chair with his own stack of papers.

They both started writing for a while, Mark refining his copy of Sean signature as they got more and more similar. Sean had his eyes buried into his work, sometimes only skimming the paper in order to sign it. Mark would ask questions every once in a while, usually on papers that just asked for his consent on something. It had been an hour or so, about a third of the papers being stacked in a "done" pile, and the light outside was growing darker. Sunset was going to be there soon.

"Hey, Sean, should we-" Mark started, but abruptly stopped, realizing that the other Prince was sleeping peacefully on top of his papers. Mark smiled, realizing he actually looked cute like this, before he lightly shook Sean's shoulder to wake him up. Sean gave a short little snort before opening his eyes and looking at Mark with a drowsy smile.

"What time is it...?" Sean asked.

"Just before sunset." Mark replied.

"Hm..." Sean replied, his eyes closing - obviously not concerned that he was sleeping on his papers. Mark chuckled and picked him up from his chair, bridal style, as he stood up himself. Sean wrapped his arms loosely around Marks neck, and nuzzled into Marks chest before giving a small smile.

"You're comfy..." Sean whispered, half asleep and unaware of his own works.

Mark smiled but kept quiet, smiling fondly at the man in his arms. Sean nuzzled farther into Marks chest and sighed.

"I love you..."

Chapter Text

Mark watched as the green-haired prince drifted off to sleep in his arms. Guilt washed over him, but he pushed the feeling aside for now. He put the prince to bed, and then debated on whether or not he should stay. Though he wanted to be with Sean--Prince Sean--he still wanted to be gentlemanly. After another moment of thought, he decided that even though it might be more comfortable here with the prince, it was more proper to go back to his own room. Besides, he didn't want the rumor spreading any further.

“He looks so peaceful,” a voice quietly snickered from behind. “How sweet.”

“Ah, I was wondering when you'd show up,” Mark smirked.

~~~

‘The queen will be pleased. The prince is going to be very helpful.’ The figure laughed, and laughed, and then--

Sean gasped as he sat up in his bed. It was.. a dream?

He found himself still in his clothes from the previous day. The last thing he remembered was signing papers with Mark, and then being held in strong arms… Did I..?

“Your highness?” Sean jumped three feet as a low voice resonated from behind the door.

“Come in, Mark.”

“I hope you slept well, sir.”

“Yeah, I mean, I slept,” Sean replied with a small grin.

“What do you mean?” Mark asked, clearly concerned.

“Oh, it's nothing,” the green-haired man waved off the question. The other man nodded.

“Well, your family insist that you come down to eat breakfast with them, before you start on any work for the day.” Sean sighed and nodded as he got out of bed and went towards the huge dining area.

As they walked, they bantered like old friends. But Sean couldn't stop thinking about last night. ..And what he’d said.

Chapter Text

It had been over a month since Mark became Sean’s bodyguard to keep the peace between their two kingdoms. The two princes became almost brothers, and they were inseparable. Even if the agreement didn’t explicitly state that they had to stay together, they would still be glued to one another. Mark and Sean even slept in the same room now so that the alpha could keep Sean safe at night. Especially since Sean kept having these strange nightmares, and he always felt like someone was watching him while he was trying to sleep. They hadn’t talked at all about what Sean had said that night, and he decided to try and forget about it. Mark often wrote letters to someone back home, but Sean never asked who. He didn’t want to be nosy. Besides, he trusted this man with his life, so why wouldn’t he be able to trust him about other things? Also, Felix and Mark were becoming friends! Sean was so happy that the alpha didn’t hold a grudge against his goofy, beta friend.

Sean finally had a day off today, and he and Mark were going to go riding. Sean was going to show Mark his only secret, thinking place. Being a prince, Sean didn't have a plethora of places he could go just to think. Of the few he did have though, this was one of his favorites. They rode until they were just outside the palace garden, which was really more of an orchard. They came up to this enormous tree. If you were to imagine what Garfield the cat would look like as an old tree, this would be the tree you would see in your head. It was fat, and it looked wrinkly almost with the way its branches twisted. The weirdest yet best part about it, was that it had a crevice on one side that led to a huge gaping hole in the middle of the trunk that was perfect for sitting and thinking inside of. Sean and Mark dismounted, and the omega sat inside the hollow trunk and invited the alpha in.

“Are you sure we can both fit in there?” Mark asked warily.

“Of course! The door may be small, but inside is huge! It's like a secret room.”

They stayed in the “secret room” for probably the better part of two hours just chatting and telling stories of when they were little, including how Sean got stuck when he climbed a tree in the palace garden that was a little too tall. Mark also shared stories of what he did in the forest near the palace with his brother. Aparently he almost died several times because he was “about to win” these odd competitions he and his brother had. But then he shared one that was particularly interesting, about one of the schools that he went to..

“So, the instructors there were very strict. It was the worst punishment if you broke one of the rules, but they never told anyone what they were until someone broke one! It was crazy,” the bodyguard chuckled.

“Sounds like a terrible school.. Why did you go there?” Sean questioned with concern, and a hint of anger towards Mark’s parents for making him endure such unfair treatment.

Mark suddenly seemed less like his confident self as he stuttered out, “Well.. Um.. I-I guess my parents just wanted me to be obedient? I mean, other than than it was very good training. I learned everything I needed to know to defend myself, my country, and my ‘future mate,” he seemed to roll his eyes at that part. “I don’t know, maybe it’s an alpha thing.” Sean wasn’t sure, but it seemed like he was hiding something. He didn’t want to push the alpha, but omegas have a certain instinctual red flag that goes off whenever their alpha is uncomfortable. ‘Wait, Mark’s not my alpha!’ Sean mentally slapped himself for that. ‘Regardless, he’s not telling me something, and I’m going to find out wh--’

“You okay, Your Highness?” Mark asked, cutting off his train of thought.

“Huh? Oh, yeah. And, ya know you can call me Jack, right?” Mark seemed to blush at that. “We’ve been friends for a while now. Haven't we?” Mark tried to answer, but it just came out as a stutter. So he simply stopped, and they just sat in silence for a while inside the tree trunk.

After they got home, Sean's mother had a surprise for him. The green haired omega groaned at the idea of having to endure yet another visit from a suitor.

All of his suitors were alphas, obviously, so he wasn't surprised when the spicy scent of dominance hit his nostrils as he walked into the dining room. However, he was surprised when it got stronger as Mark entered directly after him. He knew it wasn't coming from Mark, and besides his scent was much warmer and sweeter than hers. ‘Well, she can either get used to it, or leave now, I don't care which. Because Mark isn't going anywhere,’ Sean thought to himself, while maintaining a welcoming yet neutral outward appearance. He knew from his tutors that alphas and omegas have both a heightened sense of smell and scent glands that activated from different emotional states. So, an alphas and omegas can quite literally smell the fear of other alphas and omegas. He did remember hearing somewhere that some can control these scent glands, but it requires vigorous training and acute self-discipline.

“Greetings Prince Sean Mcloughlin of Limmeric,” the suitor said as she bowed a semi-universal guard's bow, fist balled with arm in front of chest, level with the ground and parallel to her body width-wise, whilst in full armor minus a helmet, which was in her other arm. “I am Princess Irene Bolvasmidr of Fallenhelm.”

“It's nice to meet you.”

Chapter Text

“It’s nice to meet you,” Sean stated, “officially, that is.”  He tried to keep a calm appearance, and scent, during the whole scene.  Meeting suitors was always nerve-racking, but the kingdom needed an heir after him.  (Also, it was technically an unspoken rule that it wasn’t ‘appropriate’ to have an heir with one of your guards, and Sean was sure it would never work out anyway.)  So, he had to endure these seemingly endless, not-to-mention awkward, engagements.  

 

He gestured for the princess to have a seat at the lavish table so they could eat and get to know one another.  Oddly enough, every time he sat down at this table, he noticed something new about the detail work and the intricacies that went into making it.  One would think that after 27 years of seeing the damn thing practically every day he’d be used to it by now, but it was nice to have something in the back of his mind that took even the slightest edge off of the tension in the room.  With these two alphas occupying the same space at the same time, it smelled like a war had broken out in the dining hall.  It felt so familiar to the previous peace talks that his father and Queen Fischbach had so long ago.  This was going to be a long night..

 

They continued with the lengthy pleasantries, as per usual for these gatherings.  Just meaningless topics being thrown at random on the table like a mindless round of the ironically-named card game, “War,” to keep the silence at bay.  Trying to keep the two alphas from ripping each other to shreds, Sean had been doing his best to fill the practically inescapable night with mindless jabber.  He seemed to be doing alright so far.  A little over an hour had already passed, and no one was dead yet.  He was starting to run out of meaningless topics, though.

 

“So, I hear there was talk of a peace treaty recently?” the princess asked abruptly.

 

“What?  Oh,” Sean replied, caught off guard. “Yes, my kingdom and that of the Fischbachs, Todesspielbach, were able to come up with agreeable terms to avoid a war.”

 

“Hmm, too bad.  Though, I hear you have a new lap dog as part of the treaty,” she said, not even looking up from her plate.  “How’s that going for you?”  Everything froze.  The words were like a pen dropping in a silent room.  She did not just..  That’s it.  

 

“Excuse me, but you have to leave now.”  Sean immediately got up from the table, called for some of the guards to escort the Princess out of the palace, and left the room with as calm of an outward appearance as he could muster.  As the prince of Limmeric, a fairly small and peaceful rural country in the grand scheme of things, he couldn’t outwardly show any real hate toward the princess of Fallenhelm, a decent-sized, warrior empire well-known for its royal family’s long line of hot-headed alphas, but he would not tolerate any sort of bullying in his kingdom, let alone in the palace.  She was so matter-of-fact about it.  Sean couldn’t stand it any longer.  He ran to the stables to calm himself.  

 

“Mark, I’m sorry.  I-” he offered, until he realised he was only talking to a horse.  Mark hadn’t followed him.  That’s not good.  Where is he?  Mark isn’t going to become violent again, is he?  Sean had to find him.  Fast.  He ran back to the dining hall, a knot growing in his stomach.  When he saw only the servants cleaning up, he started to ask one of them where Mark had gone.

 

“I don’t know, Your Highness,” a sturdy yet dainty, omega woman with kind eyes answered him.  “I believe I heard him muttering to himself before he marched off, but I didn’t see which way he went, sir.”  With a sigh, he thanked her.  After talking to several others who gave him much the same answer, a Beta young man told him he overheard Prince Mark mutter something about the gardens.

 

Sean found Mark in a tree, one of Sean’s favorites to climb when he was younger.  Mark wore a thoughtful look on his face, and Sean couldn’t tell what he was thinking or even what he was feeling based on smell.  Sean climbed up to him and sat on a nearby branch.  Sean couldn’t think of anything to say, so they sat in a comfortable silence.  Sean leaned his head on Mark’s shoulder to try to comfort him, and Mark leaned his head on Sean’s in return.

 

>~~~~>~~@~~<~~~~<

 

Mark stood outside in the cool of the night, waiting.  His fist clenched the handle of his blade hidden in its sheath.  Mark couldn’t believe her!  How could she do that?   Why?!  He wanted to pound her pompous ass into a wall, but he didn’t want Prince Sean to know, or at least he couldn’t do it in front of him.   This was alpha to alpha, and he didn’t care who she was.  This was the last time she would insult him.  The wind shifted.  He caught her scent, and bit his lower lip in anger and anticipation.  He had snuck out after Prince Sean fell asleep.  He could only imagine what the prince would think if he knew what was about to happen.  Mark heard a taunting chuckle from behind and grinned.

 

“Nice to see you showed up.  I was worried your cowardice might get in the way,” he spat with venom on his lips.

 

“What?  And miss the show?” the Warrior Princess jeered, then finished with a snake-eyed grin. “Never.”

 

With elegant silence and perfect precision, they each drew their blade of choice and charged in a fight for alpha pride.  They danced in perfect time, predicting the other’s moves with acute attention to detail.  It was so familiar.  As they rehearsed their foxtrot for what seemed like the thousandth time, they knew that this time it was real.  This time, one of them would die, and neither were about to let it be themself.

Chapter Text

*WARNING! Violent imagery here, slightly more graphic.  Also death. Dialogue kinda important to the plot though, so sorry about that.*

Mark was on the ground.  His head was throbbing, and he knew he would have to throw these clothes away later, but she wasn’t unscathed either.  He was able to glide his blade against her side, right as she aimed for his head. She missed, but his hand was soaked in crimson when he put it up to his now-ringing ear.  They both took but a moment to regain composure and refocus. Then Mark used his sword as leverage to hoist himself back up on his own two feet. She mirrored him as she licked her lips.  They moved again to clash bloody metal on bloodied metal.

“You’re getting sloppy,” she said with a smirk, her face leaning in close to his between their grinding swords.  “Something’s different.” She pulled away and continued to block Mark’s sword until she was out of range before rushing back in to attempt yet another attack.  

Mark scoffed and blocked her.  As they both pulled their swords back and continued to dance, she eyed him critically.  She flipped over top of him to attack from behind, and he turned to meet her blow with the same force.  He feigned an attack towards her weaponless hand before swiftly bringing his sword around to her thigh with a flick of the wrist, but she reacted just fast enough to bring out her second sword and clash it against his.

“Oh, wait,” she purred. “I know!”  She swiftly twirled and used both swords to attack with a cross-shaped slice, which Mark blocked yet again.  Apparently she had intended for him to block, because when their faces neared she finished what she was saying, “It’s that omega, isn’t it?”

Mark’s eyes grew wide as he realized she meant Prince Sean, and she laughed.

“Oh, you are a fool.  I mean, I can’t blame you.  He is quite the beauty. What I can’t believe is that you haven’t knotted the little slut yet!”  

And with that, Mark snapped.  With a shout, he began a relentless wave of attacks like never before, drawing his second weapon, a long dagger, holding it upside down in his fist.  Alpha rage coursing throughout his body and radiating from his eyes. And, for the first time in his life, he actually saw a glint of fear in this woman’s eyes.  Her movements became more frantic, trying to block every new attack that came her way, but he could tell the sheer speed was wearing her down. Finally, when he thought the fatigue was sufficient enough to make an impact on her reaction time, he advanced, and in a flash he was behind her.  

Clank.  Clank. Thud!

He turned and knelt beside her.  His copper eyes met her dying emeralds in a final farewell.  Then, as tradition would have it, he closed her lifeless eyes.  He knew this was going to mean bad news for him later, but he hoped that they would understand the code of conduct applied here.

Prince Sean would be waking up with one of his nightmares soon.  Mark hid the body in the river not too far from there. Even with his injuries and sore muscles, he gracefully, silently scaled the castle wall up to the window that led to the Prince’s bedroom.  He hoisted himself up by the sill, and swung his legs over. So tired… By the time he looked up, he met the piercing gaze of two sky irises. He froze.

“You left me here alone,” the omega prince said flatly.  “I hope it was for good reason.”

Mark tried to answer but his voice had abandoned him.  So, he said nothing as he watched the omega’s expresion change from suspicious and pissed to shocked, horrified even.  Sean all but leapt out from under the covers to take a better look at him. He moved so fast that the alpha had to remind himself that he was no longer in battle, and that Sean wouldn’t hurt him.  Well, for now that is… The prince cupped his cheek and tenderly looked at his ear.

“It’s nothing,” he said, when his voice finally returned.  Though, it came with less confidence than he would’ve liked.  “Don’t worry about it.”

“I will in me arse!  Look at ye! Do you really think I’m not going t’ make sure this is taken care of?”  Mark was a bit confused by that first statement, but he figured it was something that people said in this kingdom.  Before he could even attempt to reply, Sean had already taken him by the arm to lead him to the bathroom and clean him up.  He noticed that the prince didn’t order a nurse to tend to him, and he was more than a little grateful for that. He’d had some bad experiences with doctors and nurses in the past..  But Sean, Sean was different. Somehow he didn’t seem to mind his o- uh.. friend. No, the Prince doing this.  Any other time and he would’ve felt uneasy and tried to fight his way out of the person’s grasp, but not with him.  

He watched as the Prince washed the cloth he had been using to clean up the blood, and he noticed for the first time that he was only in his boxers…  Nope! Definitely not going there! He had a mission. Distractions from the mission only ever caused problems. But.. he could still look, he supposed.  

~~~

Mark stood by the window keeping one eye on the prince and the other on the window and the door.  He had never slept much to begin with, but now he had a reason to stay awake at this hour. One would think that constantly guarding the prince day and night without any sleep would be really hard to do without losing a lot of sanity, and you’d be right.  But, he didn’t have to do that, thankfully. During the day the prince was in a lot of meetings and classes where there were already more than enough guards, so he gave Mark that time off. Sometimes during the meetings he would take a nap out in the garden/orchard/grove?  He didn’t really know what to call it. But, it was much nicer-looking than the one back home. Really, the one at home was more like an unkempt forest than a garden, and he and Tom had loved playing together and training there when they were younger. Anyway, when he wasn’t in the.. We’ll just call it a garden for simplicity.  When he wasn’t in the garden sleeping, he would spend that time pacing the halls, trying to memorize them all as best as possible. You know, for guard purposes. Though, when he was sore, he just went back to his room that Sean had shown him when he first arrived and slept.

Mark tried to not think about what Irene had said, especially as he was in the same room as him.  Sean was still awake, so they chatted a bit before he inevitably fell back asleep.

 

>~~~~<~~~~>~~~~<

 

“Your Majesty.  We have information that the princess of Fallenhelm died in an alpha challenge.”

“What?!  Impossible!”

“It’s true, Highness.”

“I demand to know who this alpha is.  I want to thank them personally for ridding this world of that arrogant bitch.”

“We aren’t sure yet, Highness, but we have reason to believe that it was someone from the kingdom of Limmeric.”

“Hmm.  Maybe I was wrong.  They might be useful after all.”

Chapter Text

I apologize for taking so long but not long after the previous chap was posted, life kinda kicked me in the balls.. I haven't forgotten abt this, and I am still planning on finishing this, I just.. Need a little more time. To those of you who have been patient and are still willing to read this when I finally get it out. Thank you

Chapter Text

Sean was terrified.  He was in the back of a horse-drawn cart, or at least that’s what he assumed.  He was blindfolded, so he wasn't sure, his alpha kidnappers had thrown his bound and bloodied body onto a hard wooden surface with what sounded and felt like wooden crates and hay, bumping and rustling from the disturbance, all around him.  He could also hear who he assumed to be the driver shout “hyah! yah!” while cracking a whip from the direction opposite from where the other alpha had thrown him. Then the sound of pounding hooves caused the floor to move and bump along. So, yeah, he was pretty sure he was in the back of a peasant cart.  

One of the wheels must have hit a large bump, because the cart suddenly jerked around him, and he ended up ramming his face and shoulder against one of the walls.  Yeah, that was going to leave a nasty mark.. If he hadn't been gagged, he probably would've shouted a stream of expletives at that. Instead, all that managed to come out was a loud grunt, then a small sob.  How had today gone downhill so damn fast? He slumped down as comfortably as he could as his mind replayed the events prior.

~~*~~

It had been about two weeks since his parents had forced him to dine with any more suitors, especially since the last one had been so rude, insulting himself, his kingdom, as well as his best friend and most trusted guard.  Sean wasn’t surprised when he’d heard the news that she’d died in an alpha challenge not long afterward, but he was a little surprised when he realized who did it. He wasn’t stupid. A report comes in about an alpha challenge the day after Mark had left in the middle of the night and then climbed back up the tower covered in sweat, blood and bruises?   Hmm, how odd.  That part didn’t surprise him, but what did surprise him was that Mark took part in those in the first place.  Most alphas he’d met who did would tell you about the specifics of those particular battles right after telling you their name and what kingdom they’re from.  He did, however, consider that this might’ve been Mark’s first, or that he might not be the type to talk about those battles in particular (some alphas did consider challenges a private matter).  Besides, most alpha knights specifically didn’t usually challenge another alpha without a really good reason to, unlike some alphas who would call for a challenge if you breathed wrong around them.  Mostly, though, he just didn’t see Mark as the kind of person to do that, but you know what they say about people who assume. Though, if he continued over-thinking this any more, he was going to have a monster of a headache.

So, instead he picked up an apple from the picnic basket he’d asked the cook, Gobnait, to pack for Mark and himself for lunch out in the fields.  They rode their horses until they’d found the perfect spot, which overlooked the castle and a few of the neighboring towns within the kingdom, and was also near a river so their horses could drink.  They then tied their horses to a nearby tree, gave them a snack, and set out the spread.

They’d been chatting for a while, though if someone were to ask, Sean couldn’t say what exactly the conversation was about.  But somehow they’d started to josh each other, and maybe Sean had added a small push in with one of his retorts, and maybe things escalated a bit, and maaybe it ended with him on top of Mark, straddling him.  And, okay, maybe Mark let him do it, maybe he didn’t, and maybe Sean got caught up in the moment, or his goddamn eyes, but could you really blame him? Have you seen Mark’s eyes? And, maybe while getting caught up in the moment he kinda sorta, maaaaybe, just a little tiiiny bit, um..  kissed him… He didn’t mean to! It just, well, happened, and once it was happening he didn’t want it to stop happening. But once it did, even though Sean did want it to happen again, he realized with horror what he’d just done.  He realized the implications of what that meant, and what it would mean for the kingdom.  Horrible scenarios zipped and spun around in his head, and he just knew this was going to end terribly.  He had just kissed his best friend, his bodyguard, and his secret crush all rolled into one person, who on top of all that couldn’t possibly feel the same way.  And what if Mark took advantage of this? What if they mated and he made him do things he didn’t want to do? What if- Then he was being kissed. Mark had grabbed his head and kissed him again, flipping him onto his back, while he had been paralyzed in thought.  Sean was stunned, but he melted into that kiss. With that simple act came the realization that Mark would never do that to him. Even during his rut and Sean’s own heat, he hadn’t done anything, even when Sean had said it was okay, that he wanted it. Mark, like a true gentleman, had waited.  

Once Mark finally pulled away, Sean looked up at him wide-eyed.  One might even say it was a look full of hope. And Mark.. Mark looked back at him with wonder, adoration, all the things you want the person you love to look at you with.  They smiled at each other, like two lovesick, starstruck idiots. They didn’t need to speak. Not yet anyway. That look, and that kiss, had said it all. For now. And that was good enough for them.  Mark didn’t seem to be getting off of him anytime soon, and Sean didn’t seem to mind at all. They just stayed there, just being, just living in that moment for a while.

Chapter Text

In that long, comfortable silence, Sean and Mark held each other’s gaze, seeing and knowing everything the other wanted to say in each other’s eyes.  Then, after gathering courage, Sean started to say something.

“Mark, I-”  But a loud squeal and frightened whinnies from the horses cut him off.  The two men scrambled back to their feet and headed for the sound, picnic long forgotten.  

Sean could make out the silhouettes of a few people near the horses, and it looked like they were theives trying to steal them!  He was about to pick up the pace to attack them or shoo them away or something when he realized.. something was off. He still knew how to fight, as all nobles did.  Just because he had a bodyguard now didn’t mean that he’d forgotten years of training. Even Omega nobles were trained to fight and defend themselves and their country.  Normally he would run straight into the area and defend his horse, but these were no ordinary thieves. They looked well-fed, and their armor was too good. And another thing..  They were all Alphas.  He couldn’t smell a single Beta or Omega among them.  Yeah, something was definitely wrong here..

He stopped before he got too close and turned to call out to Mark-  ..who was just standing there? He had stopped a little ways behind the prince and looked almost frozen in place, like he recognized these people or something, but that couldn’t be right.  Could it? He looked like he’d seen a ghost.

“Mark?” Sean asked, but before he could get any closer or question further, one of the Alphas from behind him started shouting.  

“I see them!!!”

“After’em!!  Don’t let’im get away!”  

Sean turned towards the yelling and his eyes widened in fear.  These Alphas were here for them not their horses!  Sean was about to draw his sword when one of them shot an arrow at him.  He tried to run away, but the arrow grazed his bare leg where he had rolled up his pants to cool off in the river nearby.  He fell with a pained hiss and yelp.

“Jack!!” he heard Mark shout.  He got his barings as quick as he could and tried to scramble away or towards Mark, but someone shot another arrow, which soon unfolded to become a net that ensnared him.  

“Mark!!  Help!” He pulled at the net and thrashed, trying to get free.  

Then what happened was kind of a blur, but soon the Alphas had surrounded them and put them both on the ground.  At least, that’s what Sean thought at first.

“Tie ‘im up!” one of the alphas barked.  Sean couldn’t quite place the accent, but it sounded similar to Mark’s.  This one, though, was grovely and war-hardened, much more gruff than Mark’s, and he slurred his words a bit more.  

He wrestled with them as they bound him, grabbing his limbs and forcing them still.  They tied his arms together in a way that looked like Sean had crossed them in annoyance behind his back.  He tried kicking, biting, screaming for help, but they just tied him up further and gagged him. They tied the ropes around his knees and ankles so he couldn’t even stand properly, let alone run.  They even ripped his shirt and tied it as a blindfold over his eyes.

Once they had Sean tied up, gagged, and blindfolded with his own, torn shirt, they grabbed him and stood him up and started to push him around from every angle like a toy, as if all the Alphas were in a circle around him and they were playing “Pass the Prince”.  He could hear them laughing and taunting as they played hot potato with his bound body, saying things like “Priddy li’l thing, ain’ee?” He tried to wriggle out of the ties or push them back, but all he could do was take it as tears began to pour down his cheeks.  Suddenly, one of the alphas yanked him back before the momentum passed him on to another one again. He pulled Sean’s hair to pull his face up and held him it there in an iron grip that made his knees buckle.

“Hey! I ‘ave an idea,” the same gruff voice from before said as he pulled the trembling prince’s head further back. “Let’s ‘ave some fun with’m.”  Then he nibbled on Sean’s ear, setting his skin, made more sensitive by his lack of sight, on fire in the most disgusting way. He cried out and shook his head violently in protest, sobbing and begging as best he could through the cloth gag for them not to do this.  Then, the brute holding him punched him in the gut, effectively silencing his pleas. Sean’s body tried to double over in agony, but the hand pulling his hair just caused him further pain. Somewhere far away he could hear more laughing and taunting, but with the pain ringing in his ears he wouldn’t have cared enough to make out the words even if he could.  The alpha holding him yanked him back up and bit his neck hard just above the bonding gland. Sean could feel something running down his neck, and he couldn’t tell if it was his own blood or the alpha’s spit, but both made him choke and dry heave.

“Enough!  This is NOT our mission!  So quit foolin’ around, and get him in the wagon so we can get out of here and report back to the queen,” a smooth, commanding voice said, stopping everything.  Sean could swear he recognized it, but through the current haze he wasn’t sure.

“Aw, c’mon, let us ‘ave a lil fun!  ’s not everyday that ya see such a pretty omega,”  the alpha still holding him retorted, caressing Sean’s cheek as he said the word ‘pretty’, and Sean pulled away from the vile touch.  After a pause, he made a noise half-way between a scoff and a chuckle as if realizing something, saying “If ya wanted t‘ave ‘m first ya shouldah just said so!” a taunting grin evident in his voice. Then he shoved the still bound prince in a direction that he could only assume was toward the second voice.

“No.  No fucking right now,” he said after catching Sean.  “We need to get the prisoner to the queen immediately.”

“Oh c’mon!  ’s gonna be dead before we can get our hands on ‘m!”

“No, because if you even try to touch his dead body it will be the last thing you do,” he said in a dangerously low voice with just a hint of what sounded almost like possession.

“Alright alright, fine!  Sheesh, it’s not like ‘e’s your mate er anything.”  

At that, the alpha currently holding him tightened his grip ever so slightly.  Apparently the gruff alpha from before could tell, because he said something Sean never would’ve expected.

“Oh my gods, what, are you in love with him? ”  And when the second alpha didn’t respond, he shouted in disbelief, “Oh my gods you’re in love with him!  What the fuck Mark?!”  At that, Sean’s whole world stopped.  Mark.. loved him? I mean, he knew they’d just kissed.  Sean himself had even had a crush on Mark and he’d figured when Mark kissed him back that it was at least physical or biological attraction even, but.. love?  

Somewhere in the back of his mind he realized Mark was a spy.  He knew that all the talk about peace, the treaty, the bodyguard thing, all of it was just so that the Fischbachs could finally take over his kingdom without having to cause a full blown war to do it.  He knew that he was still tied up. He knew that he was about to be delivered to Queen fuckin Fischbach. But none of that mattered right now. The only thing he could comprehend past the fuzz was Mark actually loved him back..

“-lushing sooo hard right now.  You ca’ fuggin’ deny that !” said a different Alpha voice.

“I said, that’s enough , Tyler.”

“Mark, you know bedder than’na compromise the fuckin’ mission!”

“I didn’t, Bob .  It’s fine .  Everything’s goinna plan, isn’t it?”

“Not if you fuckin’ fall in love with the guy!”

“I SAID THAT’S ENOUGH!” Mark barked, effectively silencing the Alphas.  “I am your prince, and I am loyal to the queen. Whatever feelings you think I have for this Omega are false.”  As he continued speaking his voice became dark, quiet, dangerous.  

But Sean didn’t hear the rest.  He froze at those words. He was hurt.  He’d been betrayed. He thrashed in Mark’s grip and tried to elbow him or just do something to hurt him as he spat muffled insults at him behind the gag, but the only thing that did was cause one of the Alphas, either Mark or someone else, to punch him in the gut again and fling him over their shoulder.  

They threw him in the back of this cart, and now he was headed somewhere far away from home.  Somewhere in the Fischbachs’ territory, where Sean might never be found again..

That’s how he ended up here: tied up in the back of a cart with a bunch of Alphas from the Fischbach kingdom taking him who knows where.  This sucked. SO much.