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The Slow Kind of Romance

Chapter Text

It was another long night at the strip club filled with smelly guys. The joint was frequented by all sorts of ravagers and criminals, but occasionally there would be guys just looking to get their rocks off or have a drink. You usually could leave by 0200, but it was especially busy tonight, with a whole fleet of ravagers having dropped in. Your boss asked you politely to stay for as long as you were needed and you accepted, but only begrudgingly. It didn’t mean you were very happy about it.

The club sat in the corner of a small, dingy town on a small, dingy planet. It was usually just a point where travelers stopped to rest. It made for a boring time, but it also meant that it stayed out of any drama with the neighboring systems.

You worked as the bartender in the main area of the club. There were a few poles and a stage, as well as booths lining the walls and multiple tables throughout. It was surprisingly well maintained, considering the clientele. Upstairs, there were a few private rooms for those who paid a little more.
It wasn’t all so bad, not really bad at all. You were content with your job, for the most part, and your boss kept you safe. Your home planet was Terra, a place you never really knew. You were taken away at a young age and were thrown from place to place frequently. You knew now that it was because you were an Omega. There was always someone who wanted you, since Omegas were a rare commodity. You finally managed to get out when one crew was stopped on this planet. You were chained up, miserable, when your now boss saw you with a crew of traffickers. He offered them a hefty sum for you, and thankfully they took it. You later asked him why he had done it.

“You looked so miserable.” He had said, “I knew where they would take you, what they would do to you, and I just couldn’t live with myself if I let an innocent girl get hurt when I could do something about it.” He paused for a moment, looking deep in thought.

“Besides,” he said, a smile returning to his face, “you have a pretty face, and I would be a foolish man if I let a business opportunity like that slip away.” He gave you a little wink before leaving.

Even though he was your boss, you felt close to him and you were sure he had a soft spot for you. He was always overseeing the club. He made sure no Alphas or other lowlifes hassled you and if they did, well, he had the muscle to kick out most. He even let you stay in an apartment on the third floor. He was just a plain old good person. You asked him from time to time why he was so generous to you. His answer was always the same.

“You make good money at the bar, my dear girl, so you are hardly a burden, and at this point you are family to us. We’ll never turn our back on family.” He always said, usually followed by a hug.

In a quiet moment, you looked at the dancers on stage. You wondered what it was like up there, with all these people watching. Your boss would never let you be a dancer. They were mostly girls from planets without Alphas, Betas, and Omegas, but if they were, they were only ever Betas or the occasional Alpha. But you, you had to keep it safe rather than sorry. The glitter and makeup and bedazzled outfits always intrigued you though. It all seemed very glamorous. Perhaps underneath it all, it wasn’t as good as it looked.

You were thrown from your thoughts as you heard yelling coming from near the other end of the bar. Two scrappy looking men were sizing each other up, with various others taking sides as they puffed up their chests. It wasn’t uncommon for barfights to break out, but this felt different.

“There ain’t no way you rats are trespassing on our turf, are ya?” Said a particularly hairy man on the right. He was taller than the other, but that didn’t seem to phase him.
“Who the hell said this was your turf huh?” Retorted the shorter man.

“We did” Said the hairy man, and just like that, all hell broke loose. People from both sides started throwing punches and knocking stuff over. You saw your boss and some security guys rush in to stop the fighting when someone fired a weapon.
If things had been crazy before, they only got worse. Everyone from both sides was pulling out any weapon they had on them, some even making makeshift weapons from broken bottles and furniture. You ducked under the counter and crawled towards the corner. Suddenly, you felt a hand grab your arm.

“C’mon, you gotta get out of here!” your boss yelled as he pulled you up and started to push you in the other direction.

“What is going on?!” you yelled back.

“It’s gang violence, we don’t get a lot of it here but apparently today is not our lucky day.”

You didn’t realize that any gang would want to claim this dinky planet as part of their turf, but it was too late to contemplate it. Things had become too out of hand, with people thrown around and weapons being discharged every which way. You peeked around the corner of the bar to see most patrons had joined the fray. You saw a few ravagers hustling towards various exits, not all too interested in joining the stupid bar fight. A few were headed your way, towards an exit near the bar. Your boss was pulling frantically on your arm to get you to stand. His face was pale and his eyes were wide.

As he was pushing you towards the door, your head was reeling. You kept your head ducked as you moved in hopes to avoid the volleys of bullets and debris. You were almost to the door when you heard your boss scream and fall to the floor. You whipped around to see him curled up and gripping his side. You saw blood drip between his fingers. You reached out to him, desperately wanting to help, but you froze up. The sound around you seemed to fade as you realized what was happening. Time slowed, and you saw your boss yelling to you. He was pointing to the door. You knew you had to leave, it wasn’t safe in here, but you couldn’t move your frozen limbs.

Suddenly, you were being dragged by the arm towards the door and away from your boss. A blue hand was gripping you firmly in the arm and you heard an unfamiliar voice.

“C’mon missy, you heard the man. This place ain’t safe, you gotta get outta here.” The raspy voice said.

The last thing you saw inside the bar was your boss smiling at you. You screamed for the unknown man to let go. You couldn’t leave him in there, wounded and alone. The violence could escalate, he could get caught in the middle, what if he…

Tears blurred your vision as you tried to force words out, but nothing came. You were outside now, in the cold and dark, still being pulled by the unknown man. You turned to see the man had blue skin with a large red fin on his head. He looked like a ravager, and not a nice one at that. His eyes glowed red as he turned back to you, urging you to keep moving away from the bar.

“You have to keep moving girlie, them fellas ain’t nice, and certainly won’t be kind to an Omega like you.”

You hurried along with him, knowing he was right. You didn’t question how he knew you were an Omega. It seemed like he was pulling you towards the shipyard. You turned your head around to look back at the bar just as a small explosion sent one corner up in flames. You stopped dead in your tracks, stomach churning violently. The man stopped as well, looking on with an unhappy gaze.
“No…” you whispered. “Why is this happening?” Your vision was going blurry again.

“Them fellas in there, they are some of the most violent gangs and cartels in the sector. They usually keep off each other’s toes, but I guess you were unlucky tonight.” He seemed almost indifferent to the scenario.

“I can’t just leave! My boss is in there and they are gonna destroy the whole freaking bar! He’s my family!” You screamed at the man.

“Well darlin’ I ain’t stupid enough to go runnin’ back in there, but you go right ahead and do what you want.” He said in a bit of a condescending tone.

Just then, some of the gang members ran outside the bar, still throwing punches, and firing weapons. You could see flames inside the building and you hoped beyond hope that your boss had made it out.