It's a fact of biology: if you employ alphas, you expect them to take breaks to jerk off. The really loose canons will look for someone - or something - to fuck, but the more reasonable ones can do with five minutes of privacy and somewhere to wash their hands.
John thinks he's doing pretty well: all he needs is two minutes.
He has that. There's no running water, alas, but John can improvise. He shakes a square of fabric out of his pocket - Finch's pocket square, which John stole. Whatever, Finch can afford to get it laundered, or replaced.
The cloth is thicker than John expected, soft, almost creamy against his erection: John has to stifle a gasp at that first touch.
Evidently he doesn't do a very good job, as his earwig buzzes. "Mr. Reese? Is everything okay?" There's a moment of silence and some rustling. "And have you seen my pocket square?"
"I'm sure it'll turn up," John says, hoping his breathlessness is masked. He comes to Finch's irritable grumbling. Later, he thinks maybe that's when those sounds started making him smile.
Snagging the tie, John doesn't even think. It's a bright scrap of color across the back of Finch's chair, silky in John's hand. It's probably actual silk, come to think of it.
John only realizes what he's planning to do with it when he's locked in the restroom with it in his fist, watching his half-formed knot.
Jerking off on the job is one thing. Knotting is another: if he knots his fist, he'll be walking funny the rest of the day, sensitized enough to risk being put out of commission by a stray knee or elbow. Knotting something he can't get out of is even less of an option.
John loops the tie twice around the base of his cock, wincing when it digs into the forming knot. It doesn't make the rest of his dick soft, the opposite: it traps the blood closer to the head. John grits his teeth.
Fucking time of the month. He'll have to take a day off. He purposefully blanks his mind, not letting himself think of who the tie belongs to, only the weight and feel of it. Pain can help him come, when he's in the right place for it.
He catches his come in his hand, cursing silently when it overflows out of his cupped palm. Heat is closer than he wanted to realize.
At least he can wash his hands in here. He hesitates, but doesn't wash the tie, pocketing it instead. A little mystery for Finch to figure out.
Or, more realistically, for him to staunchly ignore, the way Finch ignores everything between them but the numbers.
It's getting close to break time. John pats Harold's shoulder in passing, uses the contact as a distraction to pick Harold's pocket again.
He notices something is strange right off, but only in the bathroom he realizes that he's holding - not a handkerchief, but a pair of briefs.
No, not briefs. Omega underwear, although a good deal too staid and dignified to be termed panties.
John's earwig buzzes, and Harold smugly says, "Was this in line of what you were searching for, Mr. Reese?"
John should answer. Instead, he falls back against the wall, head thumping against the tiles. He holds back his groan.
"I apologize if they're not quite the height of fashion," Harold continues, as if John isn't hard and leaking in his pants, as if John can think about anything but the piece of fabric he's holding and the man who intended him to find it. "But if you're planning to use them as a rag, I wasn't going to sacrifice any of my nicer pairs."
Nicer pairs. The thought about shorts John's brains out. He brings the underwear to his face, obscurely disappointed when he realizes they only smell like detergent. He moves them down, wraps the material around his cock and tugs.
What do you want, John snarls subvocally. His hand moves faster.
"Mr. Reese," Finch says, sounding worried. "I apologize if this crossed a line, but it seemed to me--"
Christ. John bites his lip and comes into Harold's underwear.
"--that I was only continuing-- Mr. Reese?"
"It's fine," John says, choked. "Don't worry about it."
There's a brief silence, and in its wake, Harold says, "Mr. Reese, did you just masturbate using my underwear?"
"Sounding pretty scandalized for the one who put them for me to find, Harold." John manages to drawl, finds some genuine amusement to put in his voice to mask the way it wants to shake.
Harold harrumphs, and John laughs. "All right," Harold says. "Joke's on me, I suppose. Please do come out. And don't forget to wash your hands."
"I never do," John murmurs, and goes to do just that.
For all that John pushed the limits of friendly tension between Finch and himself, he still does have boundaries. He wasn't going to hump Finch's leg or anything.
Of course, he hadn't anticipated masquerading as a beta for three days, and subsequently being stuck in a storage closet with no room between Finch and himself.
"Is this really the time?" Finch hisses at him when John's cock makes its sentiments known.
John grits his teeth and does his best to shrink back into the lack of available space. "I'm trying not to."
He can't see Finch's face, which makes it even less predictable when Finch suddenly relaxes against him.
John stifles a whimper and hisses, "You're not helping!"
Fuck, Harold is soft, lush. John wants to grope him, get his hands all over Harold and just squish until Harold is squirming and probably glaring, too.
When Harold answers, it takes a moment for John to hear him, not just because Harold is speaking very quietly. "It's all right, John. Do what you need."
It's not all right. It's nowhere in the vicinity of all right. John wants and Harold is right there, and John tries to pull himself back every way he can that won't give them away.
Harold's hand closes over his. "It's fine," Harold says. "Let go."
John comes silent as a stone, with a prickle in the corner of his eye and Harold's hand still warm on his.
When the coast is finally clear, Harold fusses with a wet wipe and some emergency fabric detergent that borders on magic. By the time Harold's done, John can't even smell himself on Harold anymore.
By the time John gets to the scene, the number has fled already. John curses softly, but he can't go and follow the number yet. He approaches Harold cautiously, saying his name.
Harold's breathing is ragged, his face blotchy and shiny with sweat. But his voice when he says, "I'm managing," is even. "I could get to a safehouse by myself if--"
"Like Hell," John bites out before he can think better of it. He won't touch Harold without consent, of course not, but Harold smells even more lush and inviting than he usually does. The artificial tinge of the chemicals used to put Harold in this state is a barely there reminder for how wrong this is.
"As I was saying," Harold says, clipped and irritable and so himself John wants to hug him, "if I needed to, which I trust I don't. Do I?"
They ride in tense silence. John's car is going to smell like Harold's heat, now. He may have to find an excuse to crash it.
The safehouse is a suburban cottage. John walks Harold to the door, darting glances around them.
Harold lingers at the entrance. Stiffly, he says, "You could join me."
A lump appears in John's throat. It turns his voice harsh. "You're high, Harold."
Harold raises an unimpressed eyebrow. "Your care for my consent is touching. You also don't need to invoke it to spare my feelings. I'm perfectly aware I'm--"
John shoves Harold inside and kisses him before he can finish the sentence. Harold blinks at him, flushed and wide-eyed and still a little annoyed. John kisses him again and closes the door behind them.
"I won't knot you." That's as much as John can promise under the circumstances.
Harold harrumphs. "I suppose I can live with that." He takes off his pants, hesitating at his shirt.
John reaches out. "Want help with that?"
Harold's mouth purses and his hands drop. "Not here."
The bedroom is well appointed: of course it is. John wouldn't expect anything less from Harold. The headboard is sturdy, and to John's delight he spots subtly located D-rings in useful places around the bed frame. "This place looks fun," he tells Harold.
"I'm glad you think so," Harold says, biting. "Take off your pants."
"So much for sweet talk," John murmurs. He sheds his pants. Harold sits on the bed and struggles out of his underwear. John lies down next to him, lying on top of his hands to keep from reaching out to help.
Once Harold is done, John gives him a second and a half before pouncing. John's thumbs fit nicely into the grooves next to Harold's hip bones. John helplessly rubs soft skin.
Harold is wet. John can smell him, and it's making his mouth water. "Last chance," he says, voice gone gravelly and thick.
"I really think you're-- oh." Harold goes quiet when John puts his mouth on Harold's skin. This lasts for about two minutes, after which Harold gets noisy.
The noises aren't words, though, and they're definitely not complaints, so John figures they're okay.
He can't sling Harold's legs over his shoulders, which is a pity, but there's still room for John to work. He doesn't try for anything fancy, just licks Harold greedily, mindlessly, letting Harold's movements - and Harold's hands grabbing his hair - guide him where Harold wants him.
At some point, he realizes he's humping the bed. Or, no, whatever it is rubbing against his dick is softer than the sheets.
The next moment, Harold comes in his mouth, and John's train of thought is derailed by planning how soon he can make Harold come again.
After the third orgasm, Harold starts making pitiful noises. With effort, John moves away from him. John wipes a hand over his mouth and says, "Need a break?"
"I need," Harold says, strained, "to come once more, and to sleep for a week straight."
John blinks, dazed. "Can't promise you the last part," he says. "The first... no harm in trying?"
Harold makes an inarticulate noise and closes his eyes, sagging backward into the bed. He's pliant, in a way he hasn't been before, letting John do as he likes. John goes slower, gentler, and it gives him all too much time to feel his own cock throbbing, his knot tender and starting to swell.
He reaches under him with a choked groan, grabs soft fabric into his fist and wraps it around his knot. He comes nursing on Harold's half-hard dick, overwhelmed by the taste and scent of sex.
Harold's asleep before John climbs up the bed. Harold's discarded underwear are still half wrapped around his cock. John picks them up with a trembling hand, holds them to his nose and mouth, and jerks his cock in long, shivery strokes.
If John had imagined Harold coming to him to have a heat attended--
Well, okay. When John had imagined Harold coming to him to have a heat attended, he figured it would be as matter-of-fact and sterile as possible. He was certain of waking up in a cold bed, alone. At best, there might be a terse note; more likely that Harold would contact him when the next number turned out, and probably withdraw to make sure John didn't get any ideas.
It's surprising, then, to wake up with Harold naked and snoring quietly next to him.
John leans on his elbow and looks at Harold, feeling at a loss. Harold still smells like him, Christ, how is John supposed to deal with this?
Harold's eyes blink slowly open. "G'morning." The sleepy post-heat slurring of his tone should not be endearing, John should examine it for a regional accent; and yet. "I don't suppose you'd like another go, would you?"
John's body and mind are seized by singular, all-encompassing yes.
He noses Harold's neck and under his ear, grinning at the Harold's grumbling. It shifts into breathy sounds when John gently bites him, and John rubs his hardening dick against Harold's thigh.
Harold's thighs. It's too tempting to go back down there, bite pale lush skin, lick Harold where he's wet and sensitive and still smelling like John, fuck. John moans and licks deep into Harold, seeking out concrete evidence of last night.
"Perhaps this time," Harold pants, "you will believe me - ah! - when I tell you I'd like to be knotted?"
It's nearly a rhetoric question; John grabs the base of his cock just in time to keep from knotting prematurely. It's almost painful. He was barely even fully hard yet, but Harold had to go for the gut punch.
"Yeah," he says, voice raw and low. Harold twitches under him, gushing out wetness that John licks up.
He slowly makes his way back up Harold's body, nuzzling at Harold's chest. The tip of his cock is at Harold's entrance, aching with how much he wants to push inside, but he hovers with uncertainty he can't explain.
"Mr. Reese," Harold says, and John shies away like a spooked horse.
Before John can either recover or actually get away, Harold puts his hands on John's cheeks, looks him in the eye. "John," Harold says: surprised, soft, full of wonder. Then, more firmly, he repeats, "John."
"Finch." John's voice shakes like a leaf in a storm. He makes a raw groan and yields, lets himself whisper, "Harold."
"John," Harold says, maintaining eye contact. "I'd like to you to fuck me, as deep and hard as you can manage. Then, I'd like you to knot me." He keeps talking, but John's mind goes white-hot at knot me and nothing else comes through.
It's like moving in a dream, like his body isn't his own. John likes it better that way, likes Harold having command of his body, and all John has to do is thrust his hips like Harold said. Harold's hips cradle him sweetly, Harold's body safe under his. John holds on and pushes himself inside, where it's wet and hot and tight, where Harold wants him, and finally he can let go.
Their bodies pick up the task then, locking into one another. John's eyes roll back in his head as his cock thickens and Harold clenches around him, milking him ruthlessly. Each spurt is painfully good. It feels like it will never end; John never wants it to end.
He lets his head drop on Harold's shoulder with a grunt, shivering as Harold runs his fingers through John's hair. There's wetness between them, evidence that Harold enjoyed this as much as John did. John wants to lick him clean.
"I don't see any reason we shouldn't do this as often as we want to," Harold muses, as though picking up a conversation he had with himself. So long as he's not expecting John to participate: John feels like his poor blown mind is still trying to put itself back together. "The horse is out of the barn, and this way if I have to face unfortunate looks from my dry cleaners, at least I'll have an orgasm to show for it."
John picks up the thread just in time to say, "I have an idea about that."
"Dry cleaning for Crane," John says, dropping the ticket on the counter.
The cleaner picks it up, then looks back up at John, blinking several times.
John doesn't allow himself to puff up too obviously. He's an alpha, and the beta at the counter can smell him - discreetly where John's standing, and a little less discreetly on the handful of suits that John brought to be cleaned.
The clerk exhales. "Please give Mr. Crane my congratulations," he says, rueful.
John grins, full of teeth. "I'll do that."