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Dirk was not a coward.

He really wasn’t, despite the way others tended to mock and harass him, instinctively seeming to realise he wouldn’t retaliate. It was true he didn’t react well to violence and aggression but avoiding potential harm hardly made him craven, especially when it so regularly sought him out. And hiding crouched inside a wardrobe with his arms over his head and his eyes firmly squeezed shut definitely didn’t make him cowardly. Especially when faced with one of the most psychotic alphas he’d ever met.

“Come on out Icarus,” Priest cooed, his tone soft and terrifyingly menacing.

He was too close. Far too close.

“Little mouse, little mouse, come out,” Priest called in a singsong tone that was frankly all the more terrifying because the other man sounded amused. He was having fun.

There was absolutely no way he would voluntarily go to Priest, even if it did mean the agent might show him some small measure of leniency. Nope, he was just going to stay exactly where he was, huddled in a silent ball of misery and, rather heroically in his opinion, not break into hysterical sobs of terror.

Because hello, not a coward.

He tried to push down all of the terrible thoughts that were making his shaking so much worse and concentrate on being as small and as quiet as humanly possible. If he stayed still there was a small but discernible possibility that Priest might not find him.

“I can smell you, you know,” Priest hissed, his voice just outside the wardrobe Dirk had wedged himself inside. “Your blocks not working anymore, little one? Being on the run all the time without an alpha has got to make it hard to track down reliable meds.”

Dirk pressed his hands over his mouth to try and contain the whimper he could feel caught in is throat. Oh god. Oh god. Oh god.

The door burst open and Dirk made himself go limp as a hard grip caught his collar and dragged him to his feet. Experience had taught him that Priest did not react well when his targets struggled. He was dragged out of the wardrobe and Priest’s other hand wrapped around Dirk’s throat. He squeezed lightly, dragging Dirk close enough that his lips were pressed against the smaller man’s cheek. “That was a good chase you led me on project Icarus,” he said in that hissing, smug tone of hiss. “But the time for running has long since past. You’re coming home with me.”

Dirk felt his breath hitch as he was dragged down the stairs of the lovely little house he decided to hide in and saw the owners lying dead on the floor, their hands outstretched, just out of reach from one another.

“You killed them,” Dirk managed to choke out as tears started pouring down his cheeks. “Why?”

“You know why,” Priest said, not pausing as he reached the front door, already hanging from its hinges, and kicked it open. “You never should have ran Icarus. You compromised these nice people and now they’re dead and it's your fault.”

The moment they were outside Dick dared to grab Priest’s wrists. He twisted violently, the movement cleary surprising Priest because he actually let go.

“I am not going back with you,” Dick said, his chest heaving and his eyes prickling with tears. He didn’t care what Priest did to him. He couldn’t just go back there. He couldn’t.

The alpha shot him. It took a fraction of a second for Dirk to feel the excruciating pain tear through his shoulder and then he screamed, staggering back before collapsing to his knees. His whole body was shaking. Shock, he was in shock.

“You wanna try something else?” Priest asked, levelling his gun at Dirk with a bright smile. “You’ve got plenty more limbs for me to shoot if you decide you want to be disobedient.” When Dirk just stared at him Priest shrugged and holstered the gun. “No? So you’re going to behave Icarus?”

“Fuck you,” Dirk hissed, clutching his arm as he struggled back to his feet. “Just, fuck you you coward. Those people didn’t deserve to die. They were just helping -” Priest pulled out his gun and pointed it towards Dirk with a sorrowful smile. “No,” Dirk cried, throwing his arms above his head. “No, don’t.”

The bullet tore through his thigh, the force of the shot knocking him on his arse. Dirk fell onto his stomach and screamed into the crook of his elbow. He risked a look over his shoulder, barely able to see through his tears and realised Priest was stepping towards him. He still had the gun drawn.

“Stop,” he said when Dirk attempted to crawl away.”Seriously sweetheart,” Priest said, sounding exasperated. “This is getting sad. Just stop, OK.”

“I can’t go back there,” Dirk cried, still struggling to get away. He realised he was leaving a trail of blood on the families nice green lawn. He felt a sob work its way through his chest. “Please, leave me alone.”

“No can do kiddo,” Priest said without a hint of sorrow. “It’s time to go home.”


Todd didn’t know what to think. The omega was pretty enough he supposed. A little old to be unmated but probably no older than Todd. He had dark auburn hair, light skin and pretty blue eyes. He was willowy and long limbed, probably taller than Todd which wasn’t ideal but certainly wasn’t a deal breaker.

“He looks sickly,” Todd noted, unable to disguise his concern. Were they were trying to bond him to some kind of junkie. “Is he on something?”

“Dirk recently experienced a rather traumatic accident,” Supervisor Adams said with some truly unconvincing sympathy in his voice. “He’s recovering but it’s left him a little shaken. You know how delicate omegas are.”

“Does he know about the...the bonding?” Todd asked, cringing a little because it was mortifying as fuck that he was going to marry some guy he’d never met before. He couldn’t bare the idea that it would be entirely against the omegas wishes.

“Not yet,” Adams admitted. “We thought we might introduce the two of you first to see how compatible you are. Would you be willing to meet?”

“What,” Todd blanched. “You mean now?”

“Sure. No time like the present.”

Todd nodded his head slowly before stepping back. “Look, I don't know about this. I don’t think -”

“My Brotzman, you’re currently on bail for several counts of theft and fraud. Now, you have every right to walk out of this facility and never look back. However, I don’t think the prison officers will offer the same courtesy when you’re incarcerated, but the choice is entirely yours.”

“Sure it is,” Todd said, running his fingers through his hair. “Shit, OK. OK let’s do this.”

“Excellent. If you’ll follow me.”

Todd had kind of hoped the room would be bigger on the other side but it was just as small and starkly white as it had looked through the two way mirror. Other than to scent the air and curl further info himself the omega didn’t react when they stepped inside.

“Dirk, I have someone I’d like you to meet.”

“Oh yes?” the omega asked, still not looking up. If anything he was cowering a little, even if his voice was a sharp as a knife. “Someone else to poke and prod me no doubt. All in a useless attempt to discern knowledge you would have no possible way of -”

“Dirk,” Adams snapped, causing the omega to immediately stop talking. “Please, show some manners and say hello to our guest.”

“Or you’ll do what exactly?” Dirk asked venomously, looking at Adams with so much derision in his eyes that even Todd took a small step back. “What could you do to me that you haven’t already done?”

“Mr Brotzman,” Adams said in a level tone, not breaking eye contact with the omega. “Why don’t you come back when Dirk is feeling a little better. Say next week.”

“OK,” Todd said, thankfully retreating out of the room. Dirk seemed to notice him for the first time and his sharp gaze locked onto the alpha before swiftly turning back to Adams. “OK,” he repeated. “Next week.”


“Dirk, why don’t you say hello to our guest.”

This time the omega immediately turned to Todd. He kept his head bowed and his eyes down but his expression was carefully neutral and and polite. “Hello,” he said woodenly.

“This is Todd. He’s going to stay for a while so the two of you can get to know one another a little better. I’m going to give you some privacy. Do you promise to be on your best behaviour Dirk?”

The omega released a full body shudder before very slowly nodding his head. “Of course,” he said, the words almost a whisper.

“Excellent,” Adams said, gently pushing Todd further inside the small room. “I’ll have someone bring the two of you lunch. Enjoy.”

As soon as Adams left the room it was like a switch had been flipped. Dirk looked up sharply, his blue eyes fixed unnervingly on Todd. “An alpha?” he asked, something like distaste in his voice.

“Uh, yeah,” Todd said, feeling a little uncomfortable being under such close scrutiny. “Why?”

“It’s just interesting. They don’t usually leave me alone with alphas. Why are you so special?”

If Dirk didn’t know there was no way in hell Todd was telling him. “So, your names Dirk?”

Surprisingly the other man grinned at him, his smile bright and shining. “That’s right. Dirk Gently to be precise. And you’re Todd?”

“Todd Brotzman,” he said, offering a hesitant smile of his own. “You’re english?”

“Yes, Well sort of. I mean, mostly. Have you been to England?”

How the hell could someone be sort of English. “Uh, not yet. I’ve never actually left the US”

“Oh, well if you get the chance you must go. It’s actually very lovely there.”

“OK,” Todd said, feeling a little awkward. He paused for a moment, drawing back when he realised what he was scenting. Omega in distress. “Hey, hey it’s OK. I’m not going to hurt you,” he said hurriedly, falling back when the other man flinched away from him. “Seriously, I swear you don’t need to be scared of me. I won’t do anything to you.”

“I don’t know what you mean,” Dirk said, his expression still cheerful despite the fact it didn’t come close to reaching his eyes. “I’m not scared. I’m actually having a lovely time. Tell me Todd, where about in the US are you from?”

How could he look so calm when his scent was all but screaming his distress. “Look, you’re clearly not feeling up to talking to me. Maybe I should come back next week -”

The scent of distress skyrocketed. “No,” Dirk shrieked, launching himself off the bed and immediately collapsing to his ass with a pained grunt. He looked up at Todd with tears running down his thin face. “Please don’t go. I don’t mean to be difficult, really. Please, just stay.”

Todd moved forward on reflex, attempting to help the omega to his feet. The other man immediately curled into himself, whimpering sofly. “Please,” he cried. “Don’t go.”

Todd didn’t know what to do. Dirk clearly didn’t want him anywhere near him but he also didn’t want him to leave. Todd felt lost.

When the door opened and Mr Priest stepped inside Dirk broke out into broken, noisy sobs.