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Our Souls Entwined

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Chapter One: The First Stitch

The sound of classical music from downstairs hummed through the hallway. The lights were dimmed, and most of the bedroom doors were shut. Kira knew he wasn't really supposed to be up here, but he had started to feel a bit sick almost as soon as his family had arrived at the gala.

Kira's body itched. The fabric of his hammy-down suit scratched at his skin, and the collar of his bowtie felt like it was choking him. The mansion's main hall was far too crowded. The cloying scent of sweat and too much cologne had been suffocating.

They were invited to a swanky party for one of his dad's work contacts. Kira didn't understand all of the details, but his mom had stressed the importance of staying on his best behavior while his father networked... whatever that was. He wasn't even supposed to come, Kira's parents had tried to get a babysitter to watch over him for the evening, but that had fallen through at the last second. In the end, they had no choice but to bring him along.

He just needed to find somewhere to breathe away from all the people, so he retreated to the second floor in search of some sanctuary. It smelled better upstairs. Something was soothing in the air; the faint traces of cut grass, leather, and that amber drink Kira's father would sometimes have.

At the end of the hall, a door was cracked open. Warm light was spilling out into the corridor, striking a pale line across the burgundy carpet. He felt a pull towards it, an unexplainable–something. His feet strode forward without thought, and Kira was almost surprised when he realized his hand was turning the cold metal of the doorknob. It was sticky against his clammy hand.

The scent was stronger inside the room, laying in the air heavily. Thick with it, yet seeming light and airy at the same time.

It felt comfortable. The itching on his skin calmed, and his heart slowed back to an even pace. Within these four walls, Kira was far away from the musty packs of suits congested on the first floor. Instinctively, Kira knew this was the right place to be.

The room was tidy, not overly large, but well decorated, blue-grey walls and large mahogany furniture. There was a double bed situated in the center, nestled between two small side tables. One had a lamp resting on it, the other, stacked with books. Three black frames hung on the wall above the bed, but Kira didn't register their images.

His eyes skipped over the space.

Thick curtains were drawn closed over the far wall, hinting at tall windows. There was a wooden desk nested in the corner of the room beside a tall bookcase. Papers were strewn across it, sticky notes with strings of numbers attached to the wall. A thick spiral notebook was opened on top of the mess of papers and, lying beside it was an expensive looking calculator. Most of the room looked untouched apart from the bedside table and desk.

Kira's curiosity prickled. Whose room was this? He approached the workspace, sinking into the broad leather office chair that made him feel small. There was an unfinished equation filling half of the page in sloppy black ink. Whoever had been working on it, must have run out of time. His eyes scanned the formula, brow synching as he did.

There was a mistake about halfway through the stranger's work, which had skewed the totals for the numbers following it. Now that Kira was taking a closer look, the papers littered everywhere had a similar equation written on them, each making different blunders and hitting dead ends.

Kira grabbed a blue pen from a jar and set to work correcting the stranger's math in the spiral notebook. When he set it down again, Kira was sure his answer was flawless. The numbers balanced and all of his checks turned out predictable results. The muscles in his hand were tired, but a sense of satisfaction permeated his mind.

He rested his head on the back of the chair he was seated in. A warm blanket was draped over it, which Kira unthinkingly buried his face into. His eyes lidded with drowsiness.

The itchiness from earlier was returning to his skin. He felt too sensitive all over, goosebumps rising on his arms and the hair on the back of his neck raising uncomfortably. Kira draped the blanket over himself, pulling the fuzzy navy fabric up over his collar to just under his nose.

He breathed in deeply taking in its rich scent. The tightness between his shoulder blades eased, waning more with each inhale. As his body calmed and the rigid anxiety from earlier faded, he began to feel fatigue set in. Kira wanted to lay down. His body seemed to grow heavier each moment.

Climbing out of the chair on wobbly legs, he dragged himself towards the bed on the other side of the room. Kira's muscles ached, a foreign throb now pervading his body.

Athrun left the party in a slight haze. If his father had stopped him to question his actions, he wouldn't have known what to say. But, no one noticed the fair boy slip up the stairs towards his bedroom. As he got closer, a pull took over.

Athrun's head was fuzzy, and he was now regretting the two champagne flutes he had managed to swig back while his father's overbearing attentions had been diverted. Anything to numb out the endless procession of pats on the back, handshakes, and disingenuous sympathies.

The sheer distaste of those around him had tempted him to find refuge. Maybe a moment to breathe in the kitchen's pantry like he had done in the past. But no, this time there was something drawing him away further. It was like nothing he had experienced before.

Athrun imagined himself a compass needle whose magnetic force, drove his body north. In the blink of an eye, his hand was sliding over the polished wood of a banister. Upstairs. He needed to be upstairs.

Relying on muscle memory to drive him, Athurn nudged the door to his room open. Lilacs joined by hints of honey and vanilla filled him.

Something inside Athrun's stomach tightened, and he found his feet faltering. The scent in the air made his mind woozy. It left him out of breath and panicked by his own reaction. But, Athrun had never been one to let his emotions get the better of him. He shook his head to rid himself of the sudden stroke of apprehension.

Athrun stepped forward, pushing his door the rest of the way open. The fragrance was stronger inside. So thick and heavy he felt as if he was drowning in it. There was a long moment where he just stood there, stuck in place as the scent shivered through him.

A sudden need had Athurn opening his eyes. When had they closed? His bed was a heap of blankets and pillows which had been drawn up and rearranged around a small figure. Strands of chestnut hair peaked out of the top of the bundle, a soft honeyed face barely visible. A boy?

The blankets shifted, and Athrun could see the other's face better. Their eyes fastened together. Sparkling purple-blues, deep and compelling. He was a blind man seeing distant galaxies, for the first time.

The stranger's lips parted in silent panting, his mouth, open just enough for Athrun to see the wet pink tongue inside. His heart pounded and his mouth brimmed with saliva, ancient instincts nearly bowling him over. Every bit of him seemed to be trembling. A beautiful omega was enveloped in his sheets: in his scent.

Desire hit him stronger than anything he had ever felt, pumping hot through his veins, and raising the hairs on the back of his neck. Earth's gravity shifted under his feet, and with it, the laws of his universe.

Now purple at his planet's center, Athrun swallowed, unable to refuse the certainty.

Everything burned.

The texture of the sheets scratched at Kira's skin, but he didn't dare move them aside. His mind clung to the calming scent buried in them, wrapping himself tighter, trying to slow his racing heart.

Kira's hips moved without heed, desperate, and seeking friction, anything to release the hot coil in his core. Despite being smaller than most boys his age, he had hardened significantly and become painful with arousal. Something wet was running from the heated entrance of his rear. It ran in streams down his thighs.

That was when he felt it, the ghost of a tug, the swell of the glands all over his body.

Confusion flooded his overwhelmed senses.

His head darted around the room, trying to find the source of the foreign sensation. There was a slender boy frozen in the doorway. The contrasting tones of his suit cutting straight lines over the planes of his body. Broad shoulders were drawn up and fixed in an uncomfortable, stock-still slant.

Their eyes met, green to violet and Kira's body shuddered like a struck bell.

He felt starved for the stranger. Feeling separated from himself as his body called with desperate familiarity for a boy he had never laid eyes on before. Grassy orbs were glowing from across the room, answering back with an alpha croon. Kira wanted to feel his soul in his skin, wanted to sense the alpha's heat in his heart. He knew the other was an alpha. He could see it in the lines of his body, could sense it in the dizzying intensity lit in the other's stare.

And suddenly, the touch Kira needed so badly was there. It smoldered over the surface of his sweat-slick skin. Every nerve ending firing and sending twinges of pleasure down to Kira's toes. He had never felt this way before. The heat was radiating under his skin, and his heartbeat was fiercely growing faster and faster. His back arched into the touch. He had to have more, everywhere.

Whisps of midnight blue hair flit over his honeyed forehead. Kira's vision blurred as the alpha dipped his head, brushing his nose through his soft hair and toward the tender spot behind his ear. Rasping sounds of appreciation warble in Kira's chest, building to a feral cry that was all submission as he sharply turned his head to bare his throat for marking. He was not disappointed. The other's warm neck rubbed his, mixing their oils and leaving a territorial mark on Kira's body. As quickly as he was finished, the boy was coating the other side of Kira's neck with his dominant scent.

Kira's lungs strained from the sounds he was gasping out. It wasn't enough. He wanted the alphas mark on every inch of his skin. Without thought, he was grasping at the back of the slender boy's neck, bringing him closer, and rolling his wrists over the pores of the alpha's throat, slicking himself with more of the drug-like substance. And then his hands were all over himself, painting the oils across his cheeks, over his neck, eyelids, and lips. Their scents curled together, wrapping Kira in the alpha's possession.

The boy watched him with a hypnotic unwavering gaze. Approval and affection married with hunger evident in his visage, making Kira's omega preen.

Smooth thumbs drew circles across his caramel cheeks, dipping to trace his bottom lip. The alpha leaned in to join their mouths; pausing absurdly as if to ask permission, even after Kira had offered himself to him. The boy was just a breath away. Kira tasted the other's breath as it puffed along the seems of his lips, and his mouth filled with moisture, salivating like a famished kid presented with a feast.

A high pitched whine broke from the back of Kira's throat. He couldn't wait anymore.

All at once, he was enfolded by the warmth of the boy above him. His tongue skirting along the seem of Kira's lips and dipped into his mouth without restraint. The omega kissed him back as deeply as he could with a tongue that would never forget the contours of his mouth. Teeth bumped, too frantic, too unused to kissing, but it didn't matter. The alpha cradled Kira's chin with his spare hand and using his grasp to angle and deepen their kiss. Kira moaned softly, reaching up a hand to clutch the front of the alpha's dress shirt, pulling him closer.

And Kira knew that this was his mate. This was the other half of his heart. He knew because when their hands clasp and lips slotted together, it was like everything suddenly fit. His alpha, his counterpart.

Tears pooled in the corners of his eyes, left unregistered until a gentle hand was brushing them away.

"Shhh, everything's going to be okay little omega," a low tenor hushed.

The sound tingled down Kira's spine. "K-," the brunette's throat tried to stopper, but he forced the words through, "Kira."

The boy's coral lips pursed thoughtfully. "Kira," he tested the name on his tongue.

It sounded good; so good it couldn't be real. Gemstone eyes filled with so much feeling stared at him with blackened pupils. Fingers moved with a trembling desire, worshiping Kira's body in a way he couldn't understand.

Their hearts entwined, as their lips met again. Kira's breath pounded in his chest almost frightened by the sense of urgency which the alpha consumed him with. They move on instinct, letting go of their grasped hands to touch each other longingly. The alpha unfastened the buttons of Kira's clothes, fumbling because the omega wouldn't let him move away to look.

The boy's hands slipped up the back of the hammy-down button up shirt to grip at his small naked waist, tugging at the waistband of his trousers and giving Kira a little squeeze before tearing the garments from his body.

The alpha stopped and stared at the bare skin.

There was a noticeable bulge in Kira's shorts along with a growing wet spot. His throat bobbed in anticipation. Was he satisfactory? His scent peaked with anxiety and embarrassment. Heart feeling like a trapped bird, fluttering behind his ribs.

The alpha's nose twitched at the sharpened smell, humming tenderly as he rubbed his hands and wrists over Kira's belly and sides, drawing him in against his chest. When his lips were close enough to caress the omegas ear, he purred softly to him, "So beautiful."

The alpha placed his hands on Kira's hips once again, sliding his palms down the fullness of his thighs before drawing them back up to grope at his hip bones. Kira's head threw back against the pillow then; he was groaning something that was meant to be words. "I-I want… Nnng… I… ah I-I don't know."

The boy met Kira at his pillow, fisting pale hands in his hair, grabbing handfuls of it. "Bond with me," he whispered in Kira's ear. The alpha's voice dripped with want and authority.

Kira whimpered softly, fear pulling him away, but the bluenette caught him. The tip of a pale nose ghosted along the column of the omega's throat as Kira exposed it to him, allowing him to inhale deeply. The boy's teeth bit lightly against Kira's neck as he groaned, hands trembling in brown tresses.

Kira hummed lowly thinking about it. Rationality ceased to exist with each heartbeat, as he felt overpowered with the need, craze, to be his. He wanted it too, he realized. His breath was ragged and wet against the alpha's neck, Kira's boy clit painfully hard and leaking between his legs. Thoughts of truly belonging to this alpha did things to him that he just couldn't understand.

"Bond with me," the larger boy asserted more strongly, emphatically, raining all of his desire out through the slotting of their lips, sending Kira's heart racing from the boys wandering hands. The alpha grabbed a handful of each of Kira's buttcheeks, squeezing and kneading them playfully around his drooling entrance.

"Yes," the omega cried out, a sound that was high and nearly weeping.

In the same instant, canines were glancing over the flesh of his scent gland, piercing through the skin slowly, as if to savor every sensation. It sent liquid fire running through Kira's veins, his eyes tilting into the backs of his lids as blasts of white euphoria began to flash across his sight lines.

There were sounds beyond the door which were barely registered. Unimportant in light of the blaze burning up Kira's body.

His alpha's teeth sunk ever so slightly deeper, canines immersed in his glands, the smaller body shuddering as he finished inside his underwear.

Abruptly, a great force tore his alpha's teeth from his neck. The boy was violently yanked out of bed. Elbows were thrashing out to hit anything in reach. Teeth were dripping with red. The alpha's pupils dilated, eyes flashing back and forth between thin rings of emerald in pools of black to phosphorescent green.

"Stop!" A large man bellowed at the boy, wrenching a midnight-haired head back.

Kira felt his gut drop. There were arms around him too. His breathing was ragged. Each inhale had his lungs clenching, tensing as air acted like sand being shoved down his throat.

"No!" His terrifying growl cut through the room. "Kira!"

And then, quite precisely, Kira felt a splintering along the fissure line in his heart as a part of himself was wrenched away from the whole. The omega inside him did not understand why his alpha was gone.

Waking up, the first thing Kira registered was the pain. His thighs, stomach, and neck burned with an angry throb. Somewhere in his core, his body was screaming for something. The crusty dried remnants of his slick stuck between his legs, but he wasn't producing anymore. His mind swam with confusion.

Kira felt so incredibly empty. It was then that he understood that some things could only be found past the gilded edges of storybooks.

Chapter Text

Chapter Two: Threadbare Freedom

Kira stood on the edge of the small boat, a simple fishing craft which had seen better days. The ocean was stunning, a blue-green color that was nearly translucent. It felt good to be outside like this, with the sun beating hot on his shoulders, this was an added bonus for the job. The work was a bit dangerous, but it wasn't the worst thing he had ever had to do.

His condition had made it difficult for him to keep down any decent jobs and had often kept him confined to the indoors. Lobster fishing, despite its risks, was better work than he could usually find, and Captain Waltfeld was a good man. The eccentric fisherman paid him decently for the few months he had worked the year earlier. Then, he had needed to hide away for a while, and after that, Kira had worked as a bike courier for as long as he could.

This was the shape of his life, an endless circuit of menial jobs. Starting and then stopping when he needed to, all in order to keep his secret. It was the only way he knew how to do it, how to keep moving from one day to the next. In a way he was no different from the Captain, floating away his days on a ship. Only, for Kira, the boat wasn't quite so literal.

He had grown a bit taciturn over the years. Life and all of its heavy burdens pinning him to the ground, but there were no other options for him. This was the existence he was cursed with.

Two weeks ago, Kira had met Waltfeld at the docs looking for more work. The older man hadn't asked him any questions or pried into his life. He had quickly offered Kira a place on his ship again, and the brunette was grateful. Such unassuming men were rare to find amongst alphas.

All the lobsters in the area were under strict enough fishing restrictions that none of the commercial boats were able to profit enough from the limited catches. This left room for local fishermen to make their living without harming the ecosystem, or needing to compete against impossible rivals. Waltfeld was just one of such men who maintained a modest existence on small catches of lobster which he sold to ports all over the east coast.

Kira fastened his goggles around his head, trying to ignore the feeling of being watched by golden eyes. The girl sat on the edge of the small fishing craft, legs dangling haphazardly off the side. The humid, salty wind was making a mess of her hair, it was frizzy and matted, but she didn't seem to care. He still couldn't figure out why she was even on the ship.

When he had asked Walfeld about her, he had just said that her name was Cagalli and he had agreed to give her a lift to Martius on the Eternal as long as she covered the cost of any food she ate. Obviously, she wasn't there to work. Her clothes gave her away. The shirt looked ragged enough, sure, but her jean shorts were not wrought for labor. They were a name brand, designed for style instead of function. From the looks of it, they had probably cost more than he made in several weeks of work. She had spoken to him the day before with poorly concealed wonder at Kira's lifestyle which seemed out of place to him.

Kira's wind-whipped bangs dried in the salty air as he let the wafts of Waltfeld's coffee drift over him, relaxing into a corner of the deck. It had been a long day with a decent catch. His muscles were sore from the work, but he felt accomplished.

Cagalli settled in across from him. "Your name is Kira, right?"

"Uh, yeah," he bowed his head, watching the tepid water. There was mist in the air, a light spray hitting them from the side of the ship. It was pleasant, keeping his skin cool in the hot weather.

"Where are you from?" She tilted her head inquiringly.

He hated this question. "Heliopolis."

She seemed satisfied with his answer, but in truth, Kira wasn't sure where he was from. His earliest memories with his adoptive parents came from Heliopolis, so that was what he had grown accustomed to telling people. He supposed it didn't matter what the answer was. Wherever he was born had no impact on who he was, or what his future may hold. Only, there was something about not knowing which had always bothered him.

He had no roots.

Nothing to tie him down to anyone or anything. Continually flitting from place to place, trying to survive. It had worn on him. More than anything, what Kira wanted from the bottom of his heart was to find something he could fasten himself to. To finally stop hiding and just live. To feel alive and free like he did during those fleeting moments in the ocean.

"Have you ever been to Martius before?"

Kira was jerked from his thoughts by her high voice and a familiar burning sensation in his neck. He nodded solemnly. Flashes of desire and anguish lighting up behind his eyelids.

"And Januarius?" she asked eagerly, pinching her bottom lip between her teeth.

He raised an eyebrow at her behavior before nodding once again. The brunette had been to many places over the years. Each one, bearing its own nasty surprises.

"How many of the Plants have you seen?"

He thought for a moment. "Er, eight I think."

Cagalli gaped at him. "Eight?" she burst out in disbelief. "I wish I could see them all," she sighed as her eyes brightened with a dreamy expression. "I've wanted to travel all my life, but I've only been outside Onogoro a handful of times."

Kira gave her an appraising look before shrugging. "It doesn't matter where you go; people are pretty much the same everywhere."

Cagalli paused, her brow furrowed causing a slight wrinkle at the bridge of her nose. "But, what about the space station and the museums? Don't you think those things are worth seeing?"

The brunette could only muster another apathetic shrug. He could remember a time when he would have understood her fervor.

Kira put the strange blonde out of his mind. Gathering his equipment, he dove into the ocean. The cold salt water made his sun-warmed skin tingle. The planes of his body stretched out, enjoying the sensation of freedom coursing through him. The constant need for caution and secrecy had always made him feel a bit cagey within the city limits. It felt incredible to be out like this; to be just Kira, with nature. Kira thrust his spear out to catch the gangly creature crawling along a rock crevice. At least for the moment, away from anyone who would look down on him, or oppress him.

He would enjoy it.

The clouds had darkened throughout the evening. Night came faster than usual during this time of year. When Kira had asked about the prospect of a storm, Waltfeld had told him that it wasn't scheduled to come until mid-morning the next day. He planned to set out around dawn to avoid it.

While he and Cagalli went to sleep in the bunks below deck, the waters were still only barely choppier than average, with no rain in sight. He took his pill, as usual, slipping the sleeve of suppressants back into the pocket of his sweatpants. In keeping with his routine, Kira forcibly ignored the pull he felt as he swallowed the little white tablet.

The suppressants didn't work on him the way they were designed to. Taking any more than his current dose would be unsafe. But, the effects of the drug usually wore off significantly towards the end of the day, so there was always a painful pull in his core as he was taking it.

Cagalli, not so subtly, followed his movements with her eyes but thankfully decided not to say anything.

Their bunks consisted of a cushion thrown over a narrow barely-two foot wide bench. There was a rope bar to keep them from rolling to the ground for when the boat swayed in the night. They were anchored now, but there would still be swaying. It wasn't much; still, it was certainly more comfortable than some places he had spent the night. Better than the streets for sure.

So the brunette laid down, and let sleep take him.

Kira woke to Waltfeld shouting and the noise of thunder. The ship was rocking wildly. He felt small and frightened. Cagalli sat up from her bunk just moments after him. Her blonde hair was strewn messily across her face, and her blankets had almost entirely shifted onto the floor.

Kira hesitated, then motioned for her to follow him up to the main deck, grabbing headlamps to strap around their foreheads. They were only about a mile out from the shore, so as long as they could navigate adequately and tie everything down, they would be alright, so he told her as much.

They moved carefully topside, planting their feet on the roughened surface of the deck as showers of water hit them in the face. Waltfelt had it coated with some kind of gritty paint to keep it from getting all wet and slippery. It helped, though, the turbulence of the boat over the violent waves was enough to make Kira grip the ship's rail hard as he moved across it. They were already underway, moving towards the coastline. Waltfeld was at the helm, steering the boat away from the bad weather.

Kira shouted instructions to Cagalli over the roaring sound of the storm. She needed to throw the folding chairs, bedding, and loose gear below deck and rope off their flag to reduce the turbulence for Waltfeld. He could see she was trying to be useful, even if her lack of knowledge kept her from moving efficiently.

He worked as quickly as he could against the wet wind whipping in his face, grabbing at the ropes for machinery scattered along the stern and tying it down with quick hitch knots.

The boat tilted. Kira wobbled, grabbing a support bar to keep himself from losing balance completely. Kira looked up toward the top-deck at the sound of a cry, and his gut dropped. Cagalli had been tossed across the rail by the strong upsurge.

Kira grit his teeth, eyes stinging from the salt spraying in them and headed toward the ladder, but just as his hand touched the step, the boat lurched again. There was another loud cry and the sound of an impact against the water. Kira's head jerked back up towards the flag, but he couldn't find any trace of the blonde.


His eyes scanned over the boat in a panic.

Maybe she moved?

There was nothing. No trace of the blonde.

No. Nonononono.

"Wait, kid, stop!" Waltfeld roared.

Kira's hands shook as he wrapped a rope around the horns of the nearest cleat he could find, cinching the other end his waist. He ran towards the side of the boat which he had heard the splash from and dove it.

His body hit the water with an icy smash. It was so cold. Kira tried to get to the surface, but a powerful surge buried him deeper into the ocean depths. A mouthful of salt water rushed down his throat; its brackish taste made him cringe. He squinted through the dark night-waters, headlamp only lighting a foot in front of him at a time. He beat his arms and legs, forcing himself to swim upwards against the current.

Gasping as he reached the surface, taking in a deep lungful of air and diving down once again.

He swam through the waters near to the boat, trying to feel for the girl, when it got too murky to see anything.

Kira's limbs broke out in goosebumps. He ignored it and pushed himself to keep moving, searching.

Coming up from the air after his third dive, Kira caught a glimpse of a pale leg. His heart leaped, as a wave crashed over it. The brunette threw himself in the direction of Cagalli's body, plunging under the tide. He could see a little shift in color from his lamp, just enough to hint at the girl's pale skin already pushed so deep in. Kira stretched his arms out, straining to reach her, forcing his body forward, and ignoring the burning behind his ribs.

Kira's fingertips made contact with something.

Fabric. Maybe her shirt.

He grabbed it, desperately latching on and hauling it towards himself. His legs, kicked out, trashing against the force of the ocean, pulling them up again. There was still a wall of water between them and the surface. Kira's left arm shot out to try and move them faster as the ache in his lungs grew harder to ignore.

He accidentally breathed in some water through his nostrils, sending a sharp strain on the muscle between his eyes.

Bubbles whirled up around Kira's face. He wasn't going fast enough. The surface was still too far away. He swam and swam, but his vision was starting to go foggy, muscles lethargic.

Is this it? Was it the end of his suffering? Maybe he could finally stop now.

There was a tug on the rope around his waist, and then a powerful jerk sent his body wrenching through the wall of water above. Kira clutched onto Cagalli's body as tightly as he could, eyes squeezing shut instinctively.

This time, hitting the air disoriented him. The world tilted as the pressure of the ocean suddenly lifted, and he fought to keep his eyes from rolling into the back of his head. Cagalli nearly fell from his arms, so he wrapped all of his limbs around her. The rope around him dug at his hipbones, and they flailed in the wind and rain for a moment before the side of his body collided hard with the flank of the boat. A pang followed by throbbing. He could taste the copper on his tongue from where he had bitten his lip on the impact.

The rope around him heaved again, pulling him towards the lowest deck. Kira dragged Cagalli up, over the rail, coughing up the mouthful of water he had accidentally swallowed.

Waltfeld slung the remainder of Kira's rope on the puddled floor and hurried over to him. "Are you crazy!" the Captain barked in his face. His instincts wanted to recoil, to bare his neck in submission. Kira's jaw twitched from the sheer urge to do so, and through the strain, all he could do was blink back at him in a daze, trying wheeze through the pain in his lungs. Kira savored the sweet relief of having air to breathe.

"Ah, god, you dumb kids!" the older man growled to himself.

Waltfeld moved to Cagalli slamming on her chest and pumping down on her rib cage. Once, twice, four times before she was rousing into a coughing fit, spitting water up over her face.

He helped her get onto her side to breathe easier. Kira could see her back shaking through the choked breaths. When she finally spoke it was rasped through what was likely an aching throat. "I–I'm alive?"

"You better be." Waltfeld snapped back, though Kira knew he was probably just fearful for them. "You know this lunatic just saved your life, right?"

Cagalli shot him an apologetic smile. There was a dripping red cut along the back side of her leg, but Kira didn't think it looked like it could be too deep. Though, she would probably need stitches.

The Captain pushed wet bangs out of his eyes. "Kira, take Cagalli below deck and stay there. Don't let her move around too much and try to get some kind of wrapping on her leg, alright?"

The brunette nodded deftly, moving slowly against the resistance of his worn-out muscles. Waltfeld padded him a bit too harshly on the shoulder and raced back to the helm.

Kira closed his bleary eyes and took a deep breath. Just keep moving.

After docking in Martius, the moment they finished strapping down the boat, they were rushing Cagalli to the nearest hospital. She had needed six stitches and a tetanus shot, but somehow, she seemed to be the least fazed out of the three of them.

Waltfeld left after he got a worried call from his girlfriend. Going apologetically, hurrying to give Kira the pay for the last two weeks of work and hastening out the door.

Before he knew it, Kira was walking the city streets to a hostel with his backpack strung around his shoulder. Everything he owned inside.

It was still sprinkling outside. Kira was cold and wet. There weren't many people on the road at this time of night, but who would want to walk around in the rain if they had a choice?

Kira was pretty sure there was a bruise forming along his side from the way he had slammed into Waltfeld's boat. Each step left a dull twinge in the joint around his hip. He probably should have had someone check it out at the hospital, but he wouldn't have been able to pay the bill anyway.

Kira sniffed, feeling shaken by his own pathetic situation. There was a tug around his heart, and the single round mark on his neck burned.

Flashes of blue and green lit up in his mind's eye. All he wanted in the world was to see him, smell him. Kira couldn't suppress a slight quiver from the reawoken craze that seemed to saturate his whole being. It was a perverse homesickness that would never die out.

It's too soon. Kira's last heat had just ended a few weeks ago, with the suppressants he shouldn't be due for another two to three months at least. He felt around in his pocket for the pack of small white pills, heart stagnating when he found nothing. Confusion, and then distress. They had probably been lost in the water when he had jumped in after Cagalli.

Seeking control over his heart, it wasn't the sounds that gave him the first warning, it was the shift of scents in the air. This is bad. He looked up frantically scanning the area. There was a figure in a business suit crossing the street towards him, and another hunched slightly over, trailing behind him but still out of view from a street light.

The men drew near him with sordid looks in their eyes. "You're an omega aren't you?"

The influence of the words shot through the omega's body like an icy dagger. Kira whimpered despite his best efforts to hold back the small noise. His arms lashed out to defend himself, but he couldn't get his limbs to cooperate. Kira could smell his own scent in the breeze, full of anxiety and desperation. It was too late now. Even if he got away, the Alpha would likely chase him down. He wanted nothing more than to give in to the force of gravity, slump to the pavement, and surrender. But his omega screamed to get away from this stranger.

Don't give up.


Chapter Text

Chapter Three: The Loose Thread

The door to the convenience store jingled as it slid closed behind him. Athrun cradled his steaming cup in his hands, careful not to let the hot water spill over and burn his fingers. He headed over toward the couple seated at the wooden table under a canopy of hemlock leaves. The two men didn't seem to notice him. Athrun dropped his bag to the bench and sat down.

He had thirty minutes to kill before his Astrophysics class. Might as well check in with his friends.

"I'm just saying you should still apply for the internship if you want to get the boards attention next Fall," Yzak said flipping his hair back.

Dearka snorted, forking a piece of hamburger into his mouth. "My scores are good enough, and I don't need to be a coffee lackey to get a handout from the board."

Yzak swiped another fork from their shared lunch box. "We're not going to get anywhere if you keep up that lazy attitude."

Absently, Athrun blew at his broth to cool it, wondering what would happen if Dearka didn't get the money they needed to start their firm. He took a sip, chewing a chunk of cubed carrot and a pellet of beef that wasn't quite rehydrated yet.

"A cup of noodles again?"

Athrun looked up at his friends pinched face. "What?"

Yzak scowled. "When's the last time you ate a vegetable?"

Athrun gestured to his spoonful of carrots and peas.

"Cut the shit. I mean actual vegetables."

The bluenette shrugged.

"I swear all that sodium is going to make your kidneys seize up one day."

Athrun sighed. "So, will you start making my lunch then?" he asked, nodding to their matching Tupperware.

"You can starve to death if you think I'm making your vagrant ass any food."

Athrun's phone buzzed before he could respond. He fished it out of his pocket, checking the screen to find 'PATRICK.' Blue hairs rose on the back of his neck, the way they always did around that man. Athrun stilled his mind and pictured the dribbling stream behind his childhood home.

His friend's eyes were on him. Perhaps they could sense his reaction too. "Just hang on a second guys." Athrun swung his legs over the bench, pressed his phone to his ear, and walked out of earshot of the picnic table.

Before Athrun could greet the man on the other side of the line, Patrick was already speaking. "Son, about the Athha banquet, the date was moved up. I have transport arranged for you to come back at the end of the month."

"I already told you not to book anything," he said over the phone.

"You need to devote more time to your relationship with the Chief Representative if you're going to have any hope of getting a nomination."

Athrun grit his teeth, and focused harder on the soothing stir and flow of the water's eddies. "I don't need any nominations."

"Six months should be time enough for you to come to your senses. How long do you expect me to make excuses for you."

Athrun took a breath and counted to five in his head. "You're the one who needs to come to their senses." There was a crackling noise on the other side of the line. "I'm staying at this school until I finish my studies, then I'm going to do R and D for Morgenroete. Nothing you say will make me change my mind."

"Athrun Zala, if you don't come back for this event, you won't be coming with the party to Scandinavia in the summer."

"That's fine, please don't call me about this again," in as controlled a voice as he could manage.

"I can't believe your nonchalance. You're throwing away your future. I won't allow you to sully our family name with this nonsense."

His heartbeat quickened and the cardboard cup in his hand crinkled. "Science is not nonsense. Mother was a Physicist, remember?"

"Don't bring your mother's memory into your poor judgments," his father's voice cracked like a whip. She left behind all those whimsies when we married."

"She only left her work behind because you gave her no choice." Looking down at his watch, Athrun cursed. "Look I've given you an answer, cancel whatever transport you set up. I have to go." He ended the call.

Athrun tossed the remainder of his noodle cup in the trash and rushed back to the picnic table to grab his bag. It was time to get to class.

Athrun would stop by the clinic on his way home. His mother's old friend Siegel Clyne had started a center in Martius as a way to offer high quality, but affordable health care to the working class. Clyne split his time between his work for the Mendel Alliance Hospital and his private practice.

Athrun had been visiting the clinic since he had moved to Martius for school. The building was relatively small but clean and new. It had large glass windows on its face, and a bright, inviting interior.

When Athrun walked in, a girl in purple scrubs looked up from the front desk where she was speaking in hushed tones to another girl. "Oh, Athrun, It's good to see you."

"Hey, Lacus, how are you?" He had known this girl as long as he could remember. Their mothers had been rather close, so he and Lacus had spent long weekends together during the many social visits his mother had paid to the Clynes. When Lacus had grown, she had followed in her father's footsteps. And Athrun had to admit; she looked perfectly at home in her nurses uniform.

"Good, what can I help you with today?" The clinic was quiet. Later in the evening there never seemed to be more than two people in the building.

"Uh, I was hoping to review my medication with you."

"Oh, of course." She glanced behind her to the patient rooms. "Meyrin, why don't you try logging Mr. Zala's drop-in visit using the H.A.R.O. system." Lacus scribbled something down on a piece of paper and passed it to the girl. "You should be able to locate his file with this."

The girl nodded eagerly, taking the slip. "Yes, of course, Miss Lacus."

Lacus turned back to Athrun. "I don't think anyone is in room B. Let's walk down there." She stood up grabbing her clipboard and a tablet.

Athrun followed her into a small room with pastel wallpaper, seating himself on the exam table.

"I'm surprised to see you again so soon. I thought you came for a refill on your prescription…" She checked over her notes. "Oh, just last week."

Athrun looked down. "Er, yeah. That's correct. I've been having some trouble with them lately."

"How so?"

"I've been getting these migraines."

Lacus nodded and returned to scanning her notes. "And you've tried Mirlite, Alepri, Louvem, and Natavora before as well?"

"Yeah. My father had me put on Natavora during my first rut. The doctor took me off because I was having panic attacks. Since then, I haven't had a rut." His father told him that his weakness was an embarrassment.

"Were the other drugs ineffective?" she asked.

"Mostly, I had no appetite on the Alepri, and Louvem gave me fatigue, but nothing brought the ruts back."

"I see." She ran the back of her pen along the seam of her mouth. "I must admit, I've also been wondering if there was some link between the issues with your insomnia you mentioned last visit and the problems with your rut cycle."

Athrun looked up. "You have?"

"Yes, I know you mentioned that your previous doctor had believed the early break in your ruts was a signal to infertility until testing showed otherwise. I have some varying suspicions about the cause of your symptoms. Although, I can't say anything definitive until I have Dr. Clyne review the data himself. After all, I'm still a plain RN."

Her modesty made him smile. By all accounts, there was nothing plain about Lacus Clyne. She had always been top of her class and had turned down multiple prestigious med schools to pursue a more meandering path to becoming a doctor. All so that she could begin helping others more quickly as a nurse. "What were you thinking?"

"Well, what you've described between your visits here, and the imbalances we recently found in your hormone tests fits the diagnostic criteria for Socium Discidium Disorder almost perfectly. My primary reservations are surrounding the severity of the symptoms.

The bluenette puzzled at the foreign words. "What do you mean?"

"From the case studies which have been conducted on SDD, it seems the symptoms are typically more extreme — higher spikes of cortisol and plasma for example. But, still, the uncommonness of your reactions to so many leading suppressants seems to point…" she trailed off.

"Point to what?"

"Is it at all possible that you've somehow bonded with someone whom you are separated from?"

Athrun closed his eyes, in half a beat, he was a kid waking up in his room surrounded by the thick scent of heat.

"Athrun? You may already know that suppressants cannot function to their full strength for a person who has pair-bonded. It can change the chemistry of–"

"It's possible," he cut her off.

Lacus' eyes widened, the cogs in her brain seeming to move. "Are you comfortable sharing any details with me?"

He wondered if he would be able to share his failures with anyone, if not Lacus. "Do you remember the celebratory gala at my family's home when we were children?"

"You mean when the council gained the conservative majority?"

"Yes, that one."

"I can recall that there was some commotion that night. The party ended early, and my family was escorted out with all the other guests."

"That's because of me." He swallowed. "I found someone in my room that night."

She tilted her head. No accusations, not a single shred of surprise that he had hidden something significant from her for so long.

"They were in heat and I…" Athrun sagged in his seat. "I lost control, and the next thing I knew my father was dragging me off of him."

"So you did engage with an omega?"

"I did," he confirmed, and he appreciated her direct professionalism. He needed that from her if they were going to wade through this. "I don't really remember the details. It's all kinda fuzzy. But I've never been able to forget what had happened."

"Typically when an alpha and omega have pair-bonded, both partners will endure significant anguish if split apart. Did you experience high levels of separation anxiety?"

Athrun rubbed his eyes. He could still feel the bruising grip of his father's arms caged around his chest, hauling him away, and how in spite of his best effort, Athrun couldn't hold onto his mate. In days that followed he had discovered an answer in unfamiliar handwriting to the math problem on his desk. Athrun had been left with tormenting traces of Kira's scent and his work. "Yes."

"Is there also a chance that you gave the omega a mating bite?"


She blinked at him.

"That's his name. The omega."

"Then, do you believe there is a chance that you gave Kira a mating bite?"

Athrun winced, remembering the burning desire and desperation to claim the omega, to mate him. "It's conceivable."

Lacus nodded solemnly. "Forgive me for asking, but do you have any means of contacting Kira?"

"None, my father made sure of that."

"I see, that's too bad. It would be easier to know for sure if we could have spoken with him. While I'm sure you know that an alpha's ruts are part of a regular mating cycle, unlike others, a pair-bonded alpha will only seek out their mate. It's a bit out of my field of study, but it could be possible that Kira's absence caused your panic attacks."

Athrun rolled the possibilities around in his head. "What would it mean for Kira if I did bite him?"

Something shifted in Lacus' eyes, they softened and suddenly his friend, not his nurse, was in front of him. "Nothing good Athrun. But, I would caution you against speculating further before we have a conclusive diagnosis from my father."

The truth in her words sank deep. His offenses may be even worse than he had believed. Life had not been easy for Athrun. Though, perhaps all this time, Kira had suffered a far worse fate.

The air was crisp when Athrun stepped out of his apartment. He could hear the buzz of the power lines and the shrieking of cats battling over territory. It was colder than usual for this time of year. The Plants tended to stay hot and sticky all through September, but Athrun wasn't complaining. The light breeze on his walk to the convenience store on the corner was welcomed.

He had forgotten to buy milk last time he went to the market; now he had nothing to eat his cereal with. He walked into the brightly lit shop; the owner nodded at him familiarly.

It only took a minute to find what he needed. The cashier rang him up without looking up from some drama they were watching on their phone.

That was fine, Athrun's mind was too busy for small talk anyway.

Stepping out of the store, Something poked at the back of his mind. There was somewhere he needed to be. His body was carried down the road, registering little but the chilly sweating handle of the milk jug hooked on his fingers.

He heard it first, the sound of scuffing against the pavement and someone babbling in a deep voice. His stomach tightened. When he listened carefully, his ears could pick up a low guttural sound which made him think of a small animal gnashing its teeth.

Athrun followed the noises to the opposite corner from his apartment. Street lights dotted the way along the dark road like evenly paced landmark points of a map he never knew existed. With each step, his muscles clenched further, twitching with nerves and anticipation. The sounds grew louder as he walked. He could feel a bead of sweat dripping down the side of his face. Athrun swallowed hard, willing himself forward, wandering closer to the source of the noise. He wasn't sure why he moved, but his feet wouldn't stop.

Then he felt it, the familiar tug on his heart, the tease of a gravitational force, pulling instead of pushing him to Earth.

Up ahead he could see them now. Several shadowy figures were squirming around the ring of light from a lamp post.

In the center, Kira. Mate.

No, he stopped himself. He doesn't belong to you. A sharp tendril of hurt uncoiled in his stomach. Athrun dropped the milk and clenched his fists. The jug fell to the asphalt and cracked open, spilling white over the wet pavement.

All those years ago he had taken, without questions someone who could not say no. His body screamed at him to move, but he couldn't. Athrun feared that if he moved any closer, he would lose the last of his control. He could not repeat the past.

The boy was bathed in the fluorescent glow of the streetlight, coming down like a beacon or a spotlight on his form. Kira looked like his entire body was kissed with gold.

One, two, three, four. He counted his breaths. Tears tickled the corners of his eyes. Five, six, seven.

A light breeze blew past Athrun, and he caught the scent of the other. His breath caught in his throat. His omega. The thick, undeniable sweetness of his heat, wafting around his body. Lilacs mixed with honey and vanilla. The scent coursed through Athrun, awakening his body to an old kind of want. It was an effort not to shudder as the rich smell washed over Athrun in waves.


Athrun could see the other alphas circling the boy more closely now. A light breeze blew past Athrun, and he caught the scent of the other. His breath caught in his throat. His omega. The thick, undeniable sweetness of his heat, wafting around his body. Lilacs mixed with honey and vanilla. The scent coursed through Athrun, awakening his body to an old kind of want. It was an effort not to shudder as the rich smell washed over Athrun in waves.


Athrun could see the other alphas circling the boy more closely now. They were openly salivating, making wet humming noises, trying to placate him.

The boy only growled at them. He was curved into a defensive posture that looked slightly crooked. One arm tucked under his stomach holding himself tightly, while the other arm was braced out in front of him.

Athrun's brain was racing. Kira must be in pain, he realized.

Kira's chocolate hair was messy, strewn over his eyes and poking up awkwardly. His shirt was in tatters, baring his honeyed skin.

Had the alphas hurt him already?

One of the alphas swung at Kira, reaching out with drunk groping arms, ready to throw the boy under him and force submission. The omega let out a scream which could only be described as a battle cry. He threw himself at the approaching alpha, in a flurry of movement. The omega's fists connected with the larger man's cheekbone, next his knee shot into the man's groin. The alpha fell to the ground and groaned, his saliva gurgling in the back of his throat.

The other alpha's approached, crowding the small boy with their combined efforts. The omega's fists flew, elbows stabbing his way to freedom as a limb wrapped around his middle. His nails scratched at the arms grabbing at him all the while Kira fought with the large alpha's strong grip around his upper body.

Athrun watched him bite mercilessly into a hand that wrapped around his mouth in a suffocating hold. The alpha pulled his hand back with a cry.

Blood ran from the boy's lips. He snarled at his attackers, crimson-painted teeth glistening between his lips. The alpha hesitated, but in the next moment, Kira was crumbling to the ground, legs looking to have given out.

The boy clutched around his stomach wheezing out a long agonizing moan.

Mate is vulnerable. Have to move.

A fire burned up Athrun's chest, washing over him swiftly and sending boiling blood throughout all the veins in his body. His fingers itched to lash out, to destroy the men which he could no longer see as anything other than his prey waiting to be slaughtered.

How dare they attempt to touch what was his–no, not his. Stop.

He willed the frayed tatters of his control back together. He had to do something. Athrun shook his jacket off and wound it tightly around his mouth and nose trying to keep himself from falling all the way into drugged bliss.

That was not his omega. Not his… Athrun bit the inside of his cheek until he tasted metal. His Alpha rejected the notion, but he buried that part of himself as far down as it would go.

He was only here to help.

Chapter Text

Chapter Four: Entwining


Athrun's POV

Athrun took a careful step. Only here to help.

He wanted to hurt them, could smell himself on the air. It pooled out of him in a cloud thick with possession and dominance. Brutality sang through his veins. Athrun wanted to spit and grow, chest swelling with the need to roar. His fingers itched to grab at the pigs who would touch what was his. He would grasp their necks as tight as a vice, and watch as the alphas struggled ineffectively. The blunette wanted to rip them apart, throw the men to the ground and smash their faces to bits.

When he had broken every bone and ripped every organ to shreds with his teeth, he would stand over their mangled corpses and present them as a prize to his omega. Look, mate, see what your alpha has done for you.

And if he did any of that, he would be no different then these monsters.

His muscles twitched, and eyes burned hot, likely blackening to near only pupils. All of the primal parts of himself threatening to wake. His back strained to bend, and his teeth ached to sharpen, but he would not lose control. If he allowed his alpha traits to come out all the way, he would never be able to protect Kira.

The blunette barely breathed as he moved forward, only taking air in from his mouth, and just in shallow pants humid air trapped by the jacket tied around his face.

One man was pawing at the brunette's hair, while another approached him from the side hunched over, canines gleaming. Kira's elbows were thrashing out to hit anything in reach.

Athrun stopped the growls threatening to spew from his throat. He would do anything if it kept Kira safe. There was no reaction from the men as he moved, their instincts were clearly warped by the pheromones in the air.

The blunette forced himself quickly between Kira and his assailants, bracing his hand out to warn the boy to stay behind him.

Athrun lowered the jacket from his mouth and bared his flat teeth at the hunched man before him. The alpha closest hesitated. Their scent filled with confusion and sudden fear. The one further back groused strangely with apprehension. His neck jerking back and forth like an animal, fighting Athrun's influence.

The blunette felt a pinch in his throat and jaw when he opened his mouth to speak and ignored it. "Leave," he growled at them with all rage and fire burning through his chest.

At the unnatural sound, both alphas yowled, moving several paces back and making at a show of covering their head with their hands. Submission.

Athrun held his stance and stared them down as they took each step back, moving further and further until their bodies were shaded by the dark of the night.

The blunette spun around checking for further threats. But, there were none. Instead, he caught the look on Kira's face, sending ice water trickling down Athrun's spine. Sour lilacs hit his nostrils, like flowers which had sat out too long and spoiled in their water. It was pitched with fear and anxiety.

He stopped. Squeezed his eyes shut and held his breath. Athrun reached deeply and focused on clearing the hostility from his scent. Lapping stream. The slow glistening movement of the water over stones. Mossy banks. He tried desperately to recall every last detail of the place as his heart rate slowed.

When Athrun opened his eyes again, Kira was staring at him less than a foot away. They were both bathed in the light of the street lamp now, the gleam reflected all over the bloodied dirty face of the brunette and shined like starlight twinkling in the omega's eyes.

Kira's lips parted. "It is you, alpha?"

Pride swelled within Athrun at the title. Yes, that's right, little mate. You know me . He smothered the unbidden possessiveness down unable to stop the croon from rising in his throat.

The boy's ears twitched, face relaxing minutely.

"Kira," desperation and happiness rose in his voice, the emotions were heavy in each syllable.

"How?" Kira croaked. It sounded painful.

"I–I don't know. I felt you." Athrun struggled to explain the pull which had brought him. And every moment which passed was filled with mounting angst that any second Athrun might wake up and find that he had only wished Kira into existence.

With shaking hands, he reached out for the other, then stopped. "Can I t–touch?" He needed to solidify Kira's existence in his mind.

The brunette nodded quickly.

Athrun cupped the other's cheeks. Brushing the smooth skin with his thumb just to check if he was real. How was he here, now, so suddenly? Where had he been? The blunette scanned Kira's face as if he might find all the answers buried in its features.

And then Athrun saw the scar. A single pink dot along the side of Kira's neck. Right over his gland. His past concerns sharpened and realized like a knife in his ribs. Athrun's thoughts darkened now that there was no longer any question of his failure or the hell he had placed the other in.

His fingers moved dropped from the curve of the smaller boy's chin. Not for you, he reminded himself

Kira's POV

Kira frowned as the alpha's hand dropped from his face.

The thin rings of green seemed to glow around the sphere of black pupils. Too many bad experiences had taught him what it meant when an alpha's eyes shone like that. Such a person was beyond the reason of men. But, the boy didn't look right. He was standing straight, and Kira had never seen an alpha speak once they had lost themselves to their beast. The brunette marveled at his control.

He moved forward and pressed himself against the other's warm body, trying to stop the chill biting into him from the wet in his clothes. He wrapped himself lazily around the stiff taller boy. The flat of his stomach slipped against the other's, familiar and perfect. It made Kira's heart so warm he was dizzy. Alpha's chest. His scent.

"What's your name?" Kira asked.

"You don't remember?" the alpha's voice dipped with what sounded like hurt.

It was true that Kira's memory of their meeting was fuzzy. That night had been a fever of emotions, but he had kept every detail of the alpha locked away in his heart for years. He could never have forgotten such a thing if it had ever been given to him. He looked up into the alpha's green eyes. "You didn't tell me," Kira said.

Horror flashed across the boys face, and then something dark shadowed over him. Kira watched the boy's jaw tighten before he spoke. "Athrun."

"Athrun," Kira tried the name on his tongue. He held him tighter. Then the omega saw the clench and unclench of Athrun's fists.

There was tension in the air. Kira wanted the alpha like he wanted to breathe air. But something was wrong. The alpha was still as stone.

He stepped back, though it was painful, avoiding the other's concerned stare. "That night, where did you go?" Athrun seemed to understand the weight of the question from the way that his shoulders sagged. Kira paused, taking in the shame in the other's face before adding, "I thought, you didn't want me," Kira said, and he hated that his voice tipped like it was a question. But, Kira was still unsure.

"I–," Athrun's voice cracked around his words. "Always wanted you," the blunette said. Tears which had pooled in the corners of his eyes spilled down his pale cheeks.

Kira had so many questions, he was so confused and uncertain. How could he reconcile the storm of things he was feeling for this stranger, who was also everything?

The glands on his wrists and neck ached from how they had swollen.

He reached forward, but doubt pulled him away. He was afraid that the alpha would reject him, but the burning need in his body made every moment not touching the other pain. "I want to feel, is it okay?"

The blunette inhaled sharply, his lips wobbled. But after a moment, he nodded. "Yes, anything," he said.

Kira reached for the other's hand and turned in his, rubbing the inside of his wrist across the glands of the alpha's pale one. The temporary scent mark would relieve some of the pain from his cramps and sate his overflowing heat pheromones for a while.

A loud sigh of relief left Kira's lips. The feeling was intoxicating. Athrun visibly shuddered, and Kira felt triumph he caused it. At least the alpha reacted to him.

Something squeezed in Kira's gut. The muscles in his pelvis clenching so tight he bit his tongue surprising a cry.

"Ah," Kira whimpered softly, face screwing up. "Athrun, I'm..."

Something was wrong, his heat shouldn't have gotten worse. Kira had always heard about how other omegas would have alphas mark them when they were nearing their heats. It was meant to help with their fluctuating hormones, and it was a good idea to keep other alphas off of them.

The smaller boy's knees gave out, but Athrun caught him before he doubled over. Kira braced himself against the alpha, gripping the collar of his shirt. The world was spinning, shifting without sense. Kira's head collapsed against the boy's shoulder. He tried to say something, to explain himself to the other, but all that came out was incoherent to his ears. Kira's inner omega panicked. He didn't know what to do.

Athrun returned his distressed sounds with soft, soothing noises of his own. It helped a bit, but everything was too much. The blunette lifted him up by his sides. Kira wrapped his legs around his strong middle. Somewhere in the back of the brunette's brain, behind his heated delirium, he worried that Athrun wouldn't want him. But, the blunette did nothing to stop him, he even grasped Kira tighter and shifted his body so the omega didn't feel as if he would fall.

Kira bent his nose into the curve of Athrun's neck, with a whimper, he nuzzled deeper into the scent of his alpha. He couldn't stop himself from sliding his hands down the back of his alpha's shirt, feeling bare skin muscles rolling over his fingertips.

Athrun trembled violently under his touch, and Kira whined in fear of rejection. But, the alpha crooned back at him, gentle and reassuring. "I'm here," Athrun said. "I'll get you somewhere safe."


Chapter Text

Chapter Five: Two Strands

Kira's POV

Kira knew they had been moving, but Athrun's scent had kept him too distracted to see where. Breathing in quick rasped gasps against the alpha's neck, trying to focus on him alone was the only thing helping him get through this wave. It wasn't until he was being laid down in soft blankets that he registered what had happened.

I'll get you somewhere safe, Athrun had told him. He had taken Kira to his home.

Everything in the room smelled like his alpha. Kira rolled in the white sheets of the bed, spreading his own scent over every surface he could find. A deep primal impulse had him to mixing his oils with the traces of his alphas, smelling the combined fragrance. Cut grass fused with lilac. His inner omega purred happily.

Kira scratched at his skin, but nothing he did got rid of the prickly feeling. He struggled to get his shirt off, but he couldn't bend his body enough without making his cramps worse.

"Help," he struggled with the collar of his shirt. It was stretched over his chin and stuck in his armpits. "Please, I can't..." Kira hiccuped loudly.

Athrun leaned in, kneeling on the side of the bed, to help Kira wrestle the shirt off. With his scent so close, the omega couldn't help but capture the boy in his bent arms and pull him down to rub his nose against the alpha's slick glands. He couldn't stop the possessive moan from leaving his lips, or the way his pheromones thickened with desire.

Athrun's breath hitched, and Kira saw his emerald eyes glazed over in lust and some kind of conflict.

"It's burning," the omega sobbed.

Cold hands cooled his heated right scent gland.

"Nngh!" the omega moaned, his mouth slanted open.

Kira felt the alpha's hand cup his face gently the same way he had back on the street. Athrun's thumb wandered over the omega's face, brushing along his jaw and then his lips. The brunette poked his tongue out and flicked it over Athrun's thumb tentatively, tasting his own oils on the skin.

Athrun flinched his hand back, eyes wide as if in terror.

Kira blinked uncertainly up at the boy, kissing his knuckle, almost apologetically. He tried to decipher the unreadable emotion that had flashed across his mate's face.

Kira wriggled his legs, his pale jeans felt oppressively hot and far too stiff. He reached down to try and unbutton them, but his hands shook too much for the task. "Here too." Kira gestured to the waistband he was struggling with ineffectively. "Get them off," he said, almost begging.

The pressure inside him was so utterly overwhelming. So powerful, Kira feared his body might tear apart.

Gingerly, as if Kira would break under his palms Athrun removed his pants. He made little contact with Kira's skin. And the omega couldn't decide how he felt about it. He wanted those hands on him, needed to touch his alpha. To have his alpha touch him, pleasure him, mate him. Kira wanted to be filled by the larger boy, locked together, and as close as possible.

But he was also afraid. The partial mark on his neck from his first meeting with the blunette had been an inescapable reminder of the other. Kira's heats were worse than other omegas because his body thought there was a mate out there who could sate him. Supressents didn't work well on mated omegas, so for Kira, they could only numb the terrible longing he had for his alpha.

If Kira gave in to his lust, what would happen? He could finally surrender himself to his mate. He wanted his alphas knot inside him. Kira's heat had his entrance saturating itself in slick, readying his body for an alpha's care.

But, would Athrun bite him again and complete their bond? It could mean an end to the strain on his heart. He could be made full. Or, would it be worse than ever?

Would Athrun walk away after bonding him completely? Was it possible that Kira would be abandoned again? The sheer risk scared him too much to do more. He wouldn't survive it again.

Athrun's hands paused over his boxers.

Kira shook his head. "Not these."

The blunette nodded and pulled his hands back. "Try to sleep," he said. "I'll leave."

Leave? Would Athrun leave him? His fears heightened. Panic swelled in his chest, Kira tried desperately to stop him. "No!" He protested.

The alpha recoiled. Kira sucked in breaths, trying to process the whirl of thoughts and sensations in his head.

"No, just... Please," Kira tried again, unsure what he was pleading for.

Athrun looked like he was barely keeping himself together.

The alpha's movements were slow, ever careful, as he crawled onto the bed beside Kira. He found a place behind him, shifting ever so slightly so that he was almost spooning him. The boy's chest touched his back, and Kira could feel the other's knees fitted into the backs of his own. A perfect fit. So close that Kira could feel Athrun's own pulse thrumming a staccato rhythm through his body.

He felt something hard press against him and Kira knew what it was. Arousal was an unspoken truth between them. His slick drenched boxers were likely wetting the front of the alpha's pants.

"You can't leave—," Kira whispered. "Not again."

"I won't, I swear."

The brunette's eyelids felt heavy with exhaustion, but he resisted the call of sleep. He needed to be sure first. "Promise me, promise me you'll be here when I wake up."

"I promise," came the whispered breath against the back of his neck.

Athrun's POV

It was only once the painful wave of heat had past and Kira had fallen into an exhausted coma-like sleep, that Athrun left his bed. He collapsed against the door to his room before he let himself take a deep breath.

He didn't trust himself to stay in bed, so close to the omega, but he couldn't leave Kira alone without defense. And he couldn't bear breaking his promise goddess forbid the brunette woke up after he had left the room. So Athrun stayed in the room, getting himself to the safest possible distance.

The wriggled his phone out from his pocket, there was someone he desperately had to talk to.

"Hello?" a melodic voice sang out.

"Lacus, I need your help. Please, I can't do anything, he's in pain, I–" he said, choking on the end of his words.

"Athrun? Calm down," she said, concern coloring her tone. "Tell me more slowly. What's going on?"

Athrun's throat swelled, he tried to swallow past the lump which had formed there. "I found him–he's here."

"Who's there?"

"Kira, my–," he stopped, angry at himself for almost saying mate. "I don't know, I told you about him." Please, please just remember . He didn't have the words to explain, his mind was too fractured for this.

There was a moment of silence that ran a beat too long making Athrun worry that he sounded crazed. Then she responded, "You mean, the omega you may have bonded?"

"Yes." Thank the moon goddess. She understands. The blunette exhaled.

"You found him?"

"Yeah, he was in trouble. He's in heat. I brought him home, but I can't..." His head sank into his hands, he rubbed at his scalp, pulling on the hairs. "I'm afraid I'll do something, he's so...god." Athrun was still hard. If he so much as softly touched himself, he knew there would be no stopping.

"It's okay. Athrun, I understand. I'll be there as fast as I can, alright?" There was a shuffling sound on the other side of the line. "Look, until I get there you have to stay in control, do you understand?"

Athrun nodded before realizing she couldn't see him. "Okay," he said.

He already knew he needed to keep it together. After everything he had done to Kira, he needed to help him, not hurt him more. Another slip up was not an option. But, that didn't stop him from feeling like a man pushed to the edge of a tall cliff with only his heels touching solid earth. Every moment was a test in self-control and stability. Any movement could send him falling.




Chapter Text

Kira's POV

It was three in the morning when Kira was shaken awake by an unfamiliar pink-headed girl. The sheets beneath him were sticking to his sweaty skin, and the heady smell of his heat mixed with the earthy tones of his mate along with a new trace of herbal tea.

"Kira, please open your eyes for a moment," the girl said in a soft voice.

His head felt so heavy. He didn't want to wake up to face the burn in his body. The omega squinted his eyes open, immediately searching out his alpha. Athrun was sitting on the floor at the edge of the bed. He's still here. Thank goodness.

"Kira?" the girl asked.

The omega looked at her in confusion. "Who are…" Kira's voice rasped. He tried to swallow past the soreness in his throat, but his mouth was too dry.

Something in the girls face relaxed him, it was round, and her eyes looked kind. "My name is Lacus. I'm a nurse from a clinic downtown." She paused to tuck a bright lock of hair behind her ear and get something out of a case she had beside her on the floor. "Athrun called me here to help you. He said you went into heat and you were suffering. Is that right?"Her head tilted towards his mate.

Kira nodded numbly, doing his best to ignore the swell of nausea the movement caused.

The girl, Lacus, pulled a syringe wrapped in plastic and a small glass bottle out of the full looking case and held it up for him to see. "I have a dose of an emergency suppressant here with me," she said. Her brow wrinkled. "Are you familiar with this kind of drug?"

Rather than trying to move his head again, Kira said, "No," though with his raw throat it came out more like 'knof.'

"Alright, that's okay. Emergency suppressants don't work the same way as regular daily suppressants, they are much stronger and designed to relieve many of the heat symptoms," she said.

Now that his mind was waking, Kira could feel another wave of cramps starting, the ache began in his pelvis, intensifying and spreading to the base of his spine. He fought to keep himself from squeezing his eyes shut.

He couldn't follow everything she was saying. This drug would help, he understood. There was something else about preventive measures and his hormones, but many of her words blended together in his head, muffled by a particularly sharp cramp.

When he could no longer keep his eyes open, her last question came. "With your consent, I can give it to you."

He groaned as the pain in his pelvis peaked higher. "Please," Kira whimpered. If only she would just give him the medicine already.

The girl continued to speak to him, but it was so hard to focus on what she was saying when everything hurt so much. He registered her saying the word arm, and she seemed to have paused with some question. He nodded again and again, wishing the whole thing would be over already.

Kira felt a cool band strap around the flesh above his elbow. It pinched at the small hairs on his bicep as she tied it tighter.

There was a prick, and then he could feel the cold liquid travel through the vein in his arm. Then, the band was gone, and his arm was free.

"Come an visit me at the clinic when you are up to it. I want to check up on you."

It didn't get better right away, long moments passed, with Kira curled on his side clenching his teeth. The omega didn't notice the exact moment the drug began to work, but at some point or other, the pain had dulled enough, and the pull of sleep took him.

Kira's POV

It felt like days before Kira woke again. The heat and itch of his skin which he had fallen asleep to, had passed. Now he was aware of a slight draft. His fingers stretched out to brush the cotton bedsheets. They were smooth where before they had scraped against him.

His eyes cracked open, flinching from the bright midday-light coming through the window. Kira felt groggy. He wondered how many hours he had slept.

The walls were white and empty. He was in the small room beside an antique-looking nightstand in front of a window to his right, and a wooden bookshelf next to the closet on the opposite wall.

Athrun was still on the floor next to the bed looking disheveled and exhausted. The whites of his eyes were red, and there were purplish bags under them. Falling asleep, Kira had been so scared. Even with his mate's promise, there had been a large part of the omega that had tried to prepare himself for the certainty of waking up alone.

Kira's heart thumped, and his inner omega preened at the display of affection from the alpha, but Kira wasn't quite sure what to think about the other yet, or what their meeting again would mean for the omega's future.

There were textbooks stacked on the bedside table, as well as some strewn across the floor with an opened notebook. Lines of numbers and graphs filled the pages.

The bed creaked as Kira stretch out his legs. The alpha's green eyes startled up to his. "You're awake," Athrun said.

"Yeah," Kira said as shifted on the mattress, trying to sit up. His muscles were sore, and his side was tender. He groaned, remembering his impact with the flank of Hill's ship. He scanned the room for his bag and felt his gut drop when he couldn't find it.

"How are you feeling?"

Kira looked back at his mate. "I'm okay," he said, though he probably wasn't, he wasn't ready to trouble the alpha.

"What do you need?" The boy seemed eager to please him, at least for now.

"Um, a shower would be nice," he said, averting the alpha's eyes uncomfortably.

The words propelled his mate into action. "Okay, let me just get you a towel," Athrun said, almost seeming to be speaking to himself. He was standing up and out of the door in an instant. Kira could hear some shuffling from the other room, and then his mate was walking back into his view with two white towels folded in his arms. He laid them at the foot of the bed. "Hang on a second. I'll find you some new clothes," Athrun said.

While his mate sorted through his closet, Kira took a closer look the nightstand next to him. There was a small frame with a calculus problem scribbled across it. He lifted it to get a closer look, and his heart constricted when he figured out what it was; the problem he had solved that first night in his mate's room.

"You kept this?" Kira's voice tremored slightly.

Athrun looked back, likely to see what Kira was talking about. His eyes fell to the frame in Kira's hands, and his face softened. "It was all I had left of you," he said quietly. "That equation was the last one my mother gave me before she died, but I couldn't solve it."

Oh. Oh, no. Kira hadn't realized the math problem had been something so important to the other. He should never have messed with it. The heavy weight of shame lowered onto his shoulders. What had he done? "I'm sorry, I didn't know," he said, wondering if Athrun would forgive him.

"Don't be. You only made it more special."

Kira looked up in surprise. His alpha had a gentle smile on his face and a slight inquisitive tilt to his neck as if to ask, why are you so sad, omega?

He's...not angry.

The omega didn't know what to say, or how to act in front of the alpha. Kira had ever only known him while he was in a heated state. Though his mate still smelled good beyond words even now.

The omega placed the frame back on the table and picked up one of the textbooks up instead. He was curious about Athrun. Who was he? What did he like? What was he studying in all these books?

The omega read the title: Theoretical Concepts in Physics. The book's spine made an 'irk' sound when he opened it. Kira found a name penciled in a top corner of the yellow liner page. He traced the scrawl of letters with his fingers.

"So, you're Athrun Zala?" he asked. It was odd to say the full name. For so long the boy had just been mate or alpha to him. Only the night before had he learned the boy's actual name.

The alpha's mouth broke into a wide smile. "Yeah, that's me," said Athrun. Sunshine from the window lit his face and mellowed some of the sleep-weariness. It was the brightest expression Kira had ever seen on his alpha.

There was something indescribable about him which drew the omega closer. "Kira Yamato," the omega said, stretching his hand out to shake, returning the smile.

Athrun laughed and took the offered hand with the arm that wasn't filled with clothes. "Nice to meet you, Kira, finally."

Chapter Text

Chapter Seven: Frayed Fibers

Kira's POV

Kira turned to get out of the bed, taking in a sharp gasp of air as his side protested.

"Let me help you," Athrun reached out to support the omega as he stood up. In his other arm, the alpha tucked the towels and clothing he had gathered.

The hardwood creaked under Kira's feet as he stood. He still felt a little drowsy almost dizzy, and the muscles in his legs protested, so the support from his alpha was much appreciated.

"Thanks," Kira said. His cheeks grew hot as he noticed that he was almost completely undressed while the other was covered in a simple pull-over sweater and black chinos. The omega couldn't help but be hyper-aware of the place where their skin touched.

They walked slowly out of the room and into a hall, no less decorated. There was a door at the end, which the alpha lead him through.

Inside, the bathroom was large and bright. There was a small plant on the floor, still in the hard plastic sleeve Athrun had likely purchased it in. There was no tub, only a spacious shower backed with shiny white tile. The room smelled of soap with hints of apple, and citrus Kira had also recognized on the pillow he had used to sleep.

The alpha placed his pile of towels and clothes on the edge of a porcelain sink and twisted the knobs in the shower, likely to start warming the water. For a moment he stood awkwardly next to the shower door, wringing his hands like he wasn't sure what to do with them. "Is there anything else you need?" Athrun asked.

Kira opened his mouth to respond, but the grumble of his stomach beat him to it.

The alpha smiled. "I'll get you some food."

The omega looked away from the dazzling expression, biting his bottom lip. "Thanks," he said again.

When Athrun walked out and closed the door behind him, Kira sighed in relief, glad to be alone. The omega needed time to think. He dropped his dirtied boxers, happy to have the sticky wet material off.

Kira looked in the mirror. His arms were scratched badly to his elbows, his brown hair was wild, and his eyes were red. There was a sizeable purplish-yellow bruise coloring the skin under the omega's ribs. He touched the bruise with his fingertips, startled at how nasty it seemed.

Hot steam from the shower filling the room. It was already helping to sooth the pinch of his back muscles, easing some of the tension from his shoulder blades. But, Kira still had to be careful about how he moved his abdomen.

He looked at the clothes the alpha had provided him with. A white jersey, thick woven socks, and a pair of grey sweatpants with cinched ankles. Kira brought the material of the shirt to his nose and inhaled deeply, nuzzling into it. Soft and comfortable.

The omega sighed. There was too much happening for him to process. It was unclear what the alpha felt, and how much of bringing Kira to his apartment had been purely instinctual.

Doubt filled the omega's mind. Could the bluenette's behaviors really be stripped down to his wolf nature? The alpha had shown more control than the omega had thought was possible. He had even gone as far as to stay with Kira through the entire night, never trying anything. Even when Athrun's eyes had shifted, he never lost himself to the beast inside him.

Then, this morning, Kira had seen that equation. Framed and kept beside his alpha's bed like something precious. Athrun had even said himself that the omega had made the line of numbers special to him. So what does it all mean? Athrun wanted him now or at least was thinking about wanting him?

The thought filled him with such fast and all-encompassing hope, Kira was suddenly afraid. What he would lose if he were wrong? He wouldn't survive being abandoned again.

In the end, the omega's legs had failed him, and he had needed to sit down on the shower floor. He had spent a good long time scrubbing his skin until it was pink to get rid of his sweat and the acrid sea water. Dressed in the alpha's clothes, Kira smelled like Athrun now. The bluenette's scent curled around him like a possessive blanket.

Coming out of the bathroom, the aroma of food greeted Kira.

The moment the omega entered the room, his alpha got up from the counter he was seated at. Athrun wordlessly padded over to him and curved the omega's arm over his shoulders, supporting him by his good side.

As the alpha carefully helped him move, he said, "There was nothing in the fridge, so I called for delivery."

Kira's eyes scanned over the room. It reminded the kitchens he had seen in waiting room magazines. The counter glittered. It was black granite, speckled with green, and the omega was astonished to see that it was utterly filled with food.

"I wasn't sure what you liked, so I just ordered some of everything," he said as if that was a logical explanation for the twenty or so white cartons of food spread over the peninsula.

Athrun helped him sit on one of the high stools next to the counter. He glanced at the bluenette as he sat down next to him and laid a paper plate with a utensil packet in front of the omega, and scooped a much too large portion of fried rice from one of the boxes onto the plate.

The smell from the food made Kira's mouth water, but it wasn't until he took the first bite that he understood how truly hungry he was. After that, he ate quickly, feasting on helpings from the many dishes his alpha had acquired for him.

"We should go to the clinic to make sure you're okay and have your injuries checked out."

Kira tensed, remembering his missing bag. His wallet had been in it. Kira had been through hard times in the past where things had been tight. The omega had needed to sleep on park benches or, if he was lucky, in a shelter. But, if he had any hope in feeding himself when this alpha's hospitality ran out, he would need to get back to work soon.

"I can't afford it," he said, twirling Lo Mein noodles around his plate with his fork so that he didn't have to look at the other.

"Don't worry about the money," Athrun waved his hand, taking a bite of a steamed broccoli floret. "I'll take care of it." The words slipped so easily from the boy's mouth.

Kira couldn't help but bristle, unused to such nonchalance over money. The proposal bothered him. Did he even want the alpha paying his bills? What would he owe him in return?

Athrun must have noticed the omega's reaction because he paused between his bites to look at him. "What is it?" he asked.

"It's just that I don't want you to pay for me now and regret it later." What Kira didn't say was how hesitant he was let himself get used to the alpha's treatment. That would be dangerous, like setting himself up to be let down later.

"Is that what you think?" Athrun's voice was quiet, maybe hurt. The omega wasn't sure what to say. He had no real proof that the alpha wouldn't do exactly as he feared. Kira's tan fingers twisted in the hem of the t-shirt the alpha had given him.

Athrun placed his fork down. He threaded his fingers through the omega's, stilling his anxious fiddling. "It's not expensive, and I want to do this." Green orbs held his eyes. Kira couldn't have looked away even if he had wanted to. "You deserve so much more than this. Please, let me."

They were such perfect words. Athrun's voice promised many things; protection, tenderness. Yet, more than all of that, they brought the mess of fear in Kira's chest up to a boil. You will lose this, he reminded himself. He could not ignore rational parts of his brain which had been hardened by years of mistreatment and broken trust.

Still, the bruise under his ribs ached, and the omega needed a new prescription of supressents to dull the pain of the incomplete mate bond Athrun had given him.

Take it, and leave, Kira told himself. He chewed his lip, turning his options over in his head. "Alright, you can pay," he said finally.

The relief of Athrun's face was palpable.


Chapter Text

Chapter 8: Stretched Fabric

Kira's POV

Athrun drove them to the clinic later that day and had Kira sit down in the line of green upholstered armchairs while checked him in with the assistant at the front desk. He quickly came back to join the omega.

Kira was taking in the bright space when a familiar pink-haired woman appeared from the hallway wearing dusty red scrubs. She grabbed a tablet from the front desk and strode over to them.

"Hello you two, I'm glad you were able to come in so quickly," the nurse said, white teeth peeking out from her easy smile.

The omega rose to greet her, and his alpha started to stand up as well, but the nurse lifted her hand to stop him. "Athrun why don't you wait here while Kira and I meet," she said, in a tone that made it clear it wasn't a suggestion.

His mates eyes darted up to the omega's, shaded with apprehension. Kira hesitated. They hadn't been apart yet, now that they had met again.

"We'll be back in a little bit," Lacus reassured the alpha.

Athrun gripped the arms of his chair, but nodded, and sank back down.

Kira followed the woman down the hall to a room with large windows and pale blue wallpaper. She had him sit on the examination table as she pulled a cart over to him. "I'm not sure how clear your memory is from last night."

It was true that much of what she had said to him during his heat was slightly fuzzy. But, Kira figured he knew what had happened for the most part. The nurse had come to help him in the middle of the night. He was grateful without a doubt. "You're Lacus?"

"Yes." She smiled, perhaps a little surprised.

The tea-scented air around her was absent of any heavy pheromones from the other second genders. She was a beta. That was good, betas didn't tend to look down on omegas as less capable or weak.

"Athrun said you were old friends." The blue-haired boy had filled him in during their drive.

"That's true," she started, pausing with plugging in her cart. "However, your privacy is my highest priority. I will not reveal anything, without your explicit okay."

Kira couldn't help but smile. His alpha must choose his friends well. "Thank you," he said, amazed to find that for once he didn't feel anxious in a doctors office. This nurse was a good person, and the omega knew Athrun would cover the cost of anything which came up.

Lacus returned his smile, with her own. Her blue eyes, crinkled around the corners. "I need to get some information for the Doctor. I'll start by checking your vitals, is that alright?" she asked, tucking a lock of pink behind her ear.

He agreed quickly, allowing her to wrap a velcro band around his arm. Something on Charlott's cart beeped, and she tapped a note into her tablet. The nurse measured his pulse and had him stand on a scale for her. Then she had him take off his shirt so that she could check his breathing with a stethoscope.

It was a bit of struggle to do it without moving his side too much. Lacus seemed to notice. "I'm going to have the doctor take a look at that bruise to make sure there isn't any internal bleeding." She finished up and had him put his shirt back on.

The nurse dragged a tall stool over to sit down on. "I just have a few questions for you, alright?"

"Sure," Kira said, wincing as he pulled the hem of his shirt down his torso.

"Were you taking a daily suppressant before your heat?"

"Yeah, I was on Vasmine. But I don't have any more right now." He had lost his pills in the ocean when he had jumped over to get Cagalli.

"How effective was it?" Lacus crossed her legs, resting the tablet against her thighs.

"It helped with keeping my heats on a predictable schedule, but it was only able to regulate my scent a bit." Nothing he had tried had done any good at regulating his scent enough to keep alphas from noticing it and expecting favors.

"How often do you usually experience your heats?"

"Usually every three months or so," he said quietly, knowing it was odd.

"Oh my, that's rather often."

Kira shrugged. "It's always been like that since..." he trailed off as his fingers brushed over his collar. "I got this during my first heat."

"May I?" she asked, gesturing to his neck.

Her fingers gently held the material of his top away from his neck to get a closer look.

"A bonding mark, but it doesn't seem to be complete. From Athrun?"

He nodded. When his last doctor had inspected the mark, he had given a look filled with disapproval. As if Kira had done something to deserve being left by his mate.

"Alright, I will recommend to the doctor that you try out Piviane. This is a new drug which has been designed for bonded mates to use if their spouse has passed away. I think it might be more effective for you."

Kira's inner omega bristled at the correlation between his alpha and death.

"I'm also going to ask him to sign off on getting you a few boxes of scent blocking patches. They should help you when you are getting close to your heat."

He could never afford anything like that before. People had told him that the patches did wonders to mute out any hints of pheromones if they were placed on the glands correctly. Except, each box of scent blockers cost about fifty dollars. The omega was excited to try them this one time since Athrun had agreed to pay for his expenses for this appointment.

There was another thing he was curious about too. "What was that drug you gave me to stop my heat?"

"The emergency suppressant?" she asked.

Kira didn't think he had been given anything like that before. It had ended his heat in just a few hours. Every time before, once his heats had started, they would last almost an entire week before his symptoms would settle down. "Would you be able to give me more of it, so I can skip my heats?"

She leaned in. "Well, it was appropriate for your situation the other night, but it's not a drug which can be used regularly as it can cause damage to your cycle."

Kira shrank back, chewing his bottom lip. He should have know better than to hope for such an easy solution. "What do you mean?"

"There are some side effects. You will probably experience some fluctuations in your hormones during the next week or so. The patches and daily suppressants will help, but your next heat will likely come within one to two months."

Another heat? So soon? In a month or so, Kira would probably be on his own again. After all, how long could he expect Athrun to support him? Anxiety was creeping in as goosebumps rose on Kira's bare arms.

"I'm sorry Kira, I can't imagine how difficult it has been for you." Her sympathy was strange to him. It wasn't what he was used to receiving in response to his omegan fragility.

She patted his knee with tenderness. "I'll go get Doctor Clyne, he'll need to confirm a few of these things, and sign off on the medicine."

Kira had a sinking feeling as she walked out the door to the room. He needed to act now and save some money for a safe room to stay in when his heat struck, or the omega could end up in a dangerous situation like the night before on the street. The omega didn't have much time.

Chapter Text

Chapter Nine: The Second Stitch

Kira's POV

The rest of Kira's appointment dragged. He had trouble focusing on what Doctor Clyne was telling him, while half of his mind raced to figure out his next steps. If he was going to have another heat, the omega would need to save some money. He would have to get back to work quickly.

It was dark outside when it was time to leave the clinic, Athrun paid for everything just as he had agreed. The alpha drove them to the nearest pharmacy to pick up Kira's prescriptions. When the pharmacist took far too long to explain how often to take his medication. After, the omega followed Athrun numbly back to the cramped parking lot where they had left the car.

The vehicle was so clean and shiny, it seemed to mock Kira with all the things his life was not. Horns honked in the background, and smoke from half burnt cigarettes littering the street filled the omega's nostrils.

The alpha dug into the pocket of his chinos, probably to get his key fob out. "Are you up to going grocery shopping?" Athrun asked, clicking the locks open.

Kira's feet were leaden on the sidewalk. He couldn't get into the car with the other. He needed to leave. I can handle this, the omega told himself. Leaving now was the best option. It would only get harder if he waited.

Kira was strong. He was used to facing things alone.

The omega stood up straighter, squared his shoulders, and lifted his chin stubbornly. He tucked his free hand into his pocket to hide its tremble, clutching his bag tightly in the other.


Athrun's concerned eyes scanned over Kira searchingly. "Alright," he started in a measured tone. "How about I drop you off at the apartment? I can run out by myself."

"Not that," Kira said, shaking his head. He stared very staunchly at concrete of the sidewalk, letting the silence hang until it was uncomfortable. "Look, Lacus told me my next heat will come faster since she gave me the emergency suppressant." His prescription bag crinkled in his sweaty fingers. "I have to go to the docks to find my boss."

"Why?" Athrun abandoned the car door, alarm painted across his face. The fluorescent lights from the street lamps made his skin look white.

"I've been working on a fishing boat, the Captain will be leaving again soon." The omega's voice felt dead when he said it.

Athrun circled around the hood of the vehicle, closing some of the distance between them. "Why do you want to go? "

Kira broke his eyes away from the other's, not wanting to challenge the alpha, although he would not act submissive either. There was no dip in his head, no droop in his shoulders. "I want to stay," he said. And it was true. His desire to be by Athrun's side was stronger than anything he had ever felt. "But…" it would be so easy to lose everything.

Athrun grasped the omega's hands in his larger ones. Kira hated how good they felt. "Then, stay," the alpha said, pleading.

"I can't."

"You can," Athrun insisted. "Please, just tell me what you need. I'll get it for you."

It twisted up Kira's insides to see his alpha this way. But, his doubts burned on his tongue, too hot to bite back. "What should I do if you get sick of paying for everything? Having me leech off of you?"

"That won't happen, I want to take care of you," Athrun insisted in all earnest.

The omega looked at him incredulously. It was hard to believe. "Don't make promises to me when you have no idea what the consequences will be if you change your mind." Deep inside himself, Kira's omega was raging. Stupid, so stupid. He was pushing the alpha away, Athrun would never want him now. Yet Kira couldn't stop the words. "You don't know what it was like for me after you bit me."

Athrun reeled, and something terrible twisted on his face. The omega had broken something in the man. "I'm so sorry, Kira, that's not what I wanted." His voice cracked a little when he spoke.

No, no, no don't listen. Kira clung to numbness like armor. It was the last vestige of protection against whatever this was. The omega glared at him, and Athrun shrank back. Then he scrubbed his hand over his face, his brow set with some kind of resolve. "You're right, I don't know what you went through."

This time when he started, his words were slower, more careful. "I know I failed you, and I can't take that away. I didn't want to be ripped off you that night. I didn't– No matter how much time passed, I never forgot about you."

Kira's jaw clamped shut to contain the emotions boiling over inside him. He didn't want to be emotional or think about how he'd also never forgotten. That when no matter how much he tried to stop, he'd searched the sea of faces around him, instinctively seeking his mate out. The corners of his eyes stung. He just… He really needed to go already.

"I looked for you. I couldn't–," Athrun rasped. "I only knew your first name. You never told me your– but I tracked down all of the guests from the party that night to see if they knew you." His voice was getting higher. "I never stopped trying to find you. I had a private investigator search for you. But nothing, it was like you had vanished off the face of the Earth. You were just...gone."

Kira's vision blurred, the tears he'd been holding back streaked down his cheeks. He breathed out, and the air shook from his lungs. His voice was tight, high, and too quiet, when he said, "My parents told me my alpha didn't want me. That I would never be wanted since I'd let myself be marked, I was dirty."

"They're wrong" Athrun growled, and the malice in it shocked Kira because he had never seen anything close to it on him. Or, he may have, just once. When the alpha was pulled off him, the fury of his howl had promised blood.

"I don't know if you can forgive me for what I did," Athrun sobbed. It was the worst sound Kira had ever heard, and he reacted on a visceral, animal level. He needed to make it stop, to make it go away, but then the alpha spoke, voice high, hoarse, and pained when he said, "I know what I did. How much it must have screwed with your life. That's not what I wanted."

Since Kira felt like one big raw nerve and he was maybe hysterical at this point, he whispered, "What do you want from me?"

In the same emphatic way he'd spoken earlier, Athrun said, "Just give me a chance, please, I want to know you."

Tears from old pains welled up to fill the cracks inside him, spilling over leaving wet-cold trails on Kira's face and salt on his lips. He licked them away. Bit his lips. He could suddenly feel the enormity of what he was intending to do looming before him. He's dimly aware that his hands shaking in Athrun's, but he can't stop, he's cold and, suddenly, afraid.

"What will you do when I get my next heat. Or you go into a rut? Are you really just going to take care of me and expect nothing back?"

The alpha's lips worked, parting and closing again. Kira thought for a second that he wouldn't answer. "Yes, if that's what it takes," Athrun said. It was absolute. The conviction of it was comparable with a physical blow that had the omega rocking back on his heels, mouth hanging open. Jumbled and half-formed words tripped over themselves in his throat.

He wanted to call the alpha a liar, but his assertion had already carved a deep hole in the walls inside Kira. The ones that had hardened with time, which he had built brick by brick after every nasty experience and every betrayal. Athrun couldn't seriously expect him to believe... Words stuck in Kira's throat, a tangle of emphatic denials.

There was no time for any of that though. The alpha was already doing something that Kira's brain couldn't quite process. Something that made no sense at all. Athrun was getting to his knees before him, bowing his head under the clasp of their hands, low and formal. It was not something alphas did. Only on the rarest of occasions did an alpha bow to another alpha as an ultimate sign of respect. But, not to omegas, not ever. Kira had to swallow for all it signaled: submission.

He remembered the way Athrun had stood straight and spoken while his eyes glowed with his wolf. This alpha was different, ostensibly not what he thought.

Tears had the nerve to dripped from his lashes. He almost stopped himself. Almost stopped himself from saying..."Okay," Kira practically whimpered because he'd been lying to himself if he ever thought he could walk away from this man without trying, without knowing.

"Really?" His tone revealing his surprise. Athrun looked up with a face full of hope so bright it made Kira's heart ache. He hadn't been prepared to be faced with Athrun's earnestness. How could he deny the alpha when Athrun had so explicitly laid out his... his intentions.

Kira muffled a sob behind his hand and wiped his eyes, and said: "Don't look at me like that." He slumped onto the floor with his mate and fell into the alpha's arms. The omega's hands fisted in the back of Athrun's sweater, burying himself in the bend of his pale neck. Their touch, their promise, flooded his whole body with as if he'd been underwater, and only just come up for air. He wouldn't have to do anything, he could stay.

"Thank the goddess," the alpha said, pulling him deeper into his arms. "Is this alright?" he croaked in the omega's ear. Kira wanted to laugh, somehow, even though it was a stupid response to Athrun holding him. Laugh or maybe scream. Maybe both.

He felt reckless and raw when he whispered, "Yes." He squeezed the alpha back tighter, sucking in a deep breath, all grass and mate. The beat of his heart was joined by the frantic patter drumming from Athrun's chest. The dance of blue damp lashes against his cheeks, the gentle bump of their noses.

Kira's attention fixed on he pale skin, the dip of graceful collarbones framed so perfectly by the collar of Athrun's sweater. The dark hair. Nearly the only thing he knew for certain was that he was tied by some invisible thread to this man. He would never stop wanting him.

The alpha stilled with a pained pinch of his brows. He put his hand on Kira's chin and squeezed a little. "I want to kiss you."

The omega felt the flush spread hot across the back of his neck, the curve of his ears, the bridge of his nose, even his cheeks. Despite how he didn't want to react this way. His chest constricted. It was too much. "Just do it already." He wanted it to sound demanding, yet it came out labored and breathy.

Athrun held his gaze as he tentatively brought their mouths closer together, millimeter by millimeter. The omega forgot how to blink, though his heartbeat raced. Their noses bumped.

The moment they came together, Kira felt walls crumble. Athrun's mouth was soft against his. So gentle and undemanding. When he cupped the alpha's face, it was wet with tears.

Kira let his eyes close as he melted into the kiss. Sighing audibly, he gave into the all-consuming heat of Athrun's mouth, so much like his most preciously held memory. So much like all of the nights he had relieved it in his dreams. The omega found he couldn't think about anything else, not fear, money, heats, or any of the other countless awful things that he always had to worry about.

A long time passed before they parted, out of breath. Athrun smiled at him. It was wide and showed off very white teeth. The alpha's eyes were still red-rimmed, and they both probably looked a little crazed to anyone who would pass by the parking lot since they were still crouching on the pavement. In spite of that, Athrun's obvious joy was infectious.

That overwhelming relief washed over the omega again. He'd really thought there was no way... He'd been sure that he'd never find his alpha. That Kira'd never get to touch him, hold him, or give in to how desperately he needed him. And he thought, just maybe it was okay because he was starting to believe that Athrun might need him too.


Chapter Text

Chapter 10: Seams

Kira's POV

When Kira went to sleep in the bed Athrun insisted he take, there was a warm feeling in his heart. He brought the alpha's pillow to his nose and inhaled deeply. It wasn't hard to doze off after that.

His dreams were filled with his mate.

It wasn't the first time Kira had re-lived the ways Athrun had touched him. Yet the impression of his mate's caress was sharper this night. It all felt so much closer, so much more real.

The warm haze of his dream encircled him with his alpha's thick scent. Kira's skin tingled where it rubbed against his mate's bare chest. His mate's neck. His lips.

The omega only managed to hold onto fleeting images, but when he woke, he was whining, low in his throat and he heard the sound of his alpha groan from the couch in the main room.

Kira wasn't sure whether to feel comforted or more embarrassed by it. His boxers were wet, and he shivered when he thought about how Athrun could probably smell it.

He could still feel the soft warmth from when alpha's lips had kissed his. The night before, Kira had managed to push away all his fear, forgotten what he might lose. All he had thought about at the moment where their lips connected was how much he wanted to be with his mate. However now, the omega wasn't confident anymore. The seeds of doubt which he had nurtured for so long, had their roots in him too deep.

The omega curled onto his side, catching the glint of a silver key on the bedstand beside him. His key to this apartment.

They were together now, Kira was going to live here. Still, the omega didn't know what it meant. He didn't know what they were. In his heart, the alpha was his mate. The words rang inside him resoundingly true. There was no way to trick himself into thinking or to lie about feeling differently. However, all he knew of Athrun's desires was that the alpha wanted him nearby. He didn't know, not for sure, that Athrun wanted Kira to be his.

Kira was in Athrun's bathroom, or… maybe it was their bathroom now. They'd just gotten back after having gone shopping and unloading enough food into the fridge to feed a family of five. The omega wasn't sure they could possibly eat it all before it spoiled, but at least they wouldn't have to keep surviving off of take-out.

Kira could hear oil popping from the other room where the bluenette was cooking. He ripped open a toothbrush package and put it away. Athrun had snagged it at the grocery store while the omega wasn't looking. The yellow toothbrush stood beside his mate's green one innocently in the glass cup like nothing could be more natural. Only, the sight filled him with uncertainty.

Kira wasn't even sure what he was afraid of anymore. Rejection? The alpha had told him that he would do whatever it took for him to stay. But, what did Athrun want? All the omega knew was that Athrun wanted them to live together and that in the heat of emotion, the man had wanted to kiss him. And I let him, he reminded himself.

The scent of smoke came from down the hall, and moments later an alarm went off followed by a loud clang.

Kira walked into the kitchen to find Athrun frantically waving a dish rag over the smoke alarm. There was a mess of high-quality ingredients across the counter, so many foods that the omega had always coveted and not been able to afford.

Kira rushed to window over the sink to crack it open. It was raining outside, the streets below were littered with wet orange leaves. The omega switched off the burner and eyed the damaged food on the stove. Chunks of chicken were half black and half raw in their pan.

The beeping stopped. Kira looked back at his very flustered-looking mate. "Are you okay?"

"I–uh." The alpha scratched the back of his neck. "Yeah, I'm fine."

Kira dumped the ruined food from the pan, into the trash and passed it to the bluenette so he could clean it. The alpha proceeded to stick it under cold water from the faucet. "Shit!" Athrun shouted, and jumped back when a pillar of white steam erupted. The pan fell to the ground, splashing water all over the floor.

The omega blinked at the scene, trying to keep his mouth from quirking into a smile. He picked up the pan and brought it back to the sink to clean it himself, glancing at the alpha from the corner of his eye. "It's hot, so you have to be careful," he said, almost feeling like he was scolding a child.

"Sorry." Shame darkened Athrun's face. "I don't really know how to cook," he admitted.

"Like, nothing?" The omega faltered, sponge stilling in his hands. "How do you eat?" he asked, disbelieving.

"Usually, I just...get something from the convenience store."

Kira couldn't help buck chuckle at him. "Are you serious?"

The alpha was wiping up the floor and wouldn't meet his eyes, so Kira scanned the ingredients laid out on the granite. Free range chicken breast, organic potatoes in purple and red, heirloom tomatoes, beautiful and strange in their awkward shapes. "What were you trying to make?"

"Spanish Chicken with potatoes," Athrun said to the floor.

"Isn't that a little advanced?"

"I don't really know, I just thought it looked good, that you might like it."

Warmth bloomed Kira's chest. "How about I help you?" There were still plenty of ingredients left. "Let's start over."

"Thanks, I'd appreciate it," the alpha spoke from over his shoulder. It was distracting. "Here." He held a tablet up for the omega. Their arms brushed together, and Kira could feel Athrun's chest against his back. For a wild moment, he wondered if he pressed close, turned and buried his face in Athrun's neck and breathed deep, what the alpha would do.

He settled for letting his arm linger against the other's and skimmed his mate's pale wrist with the pad of his thumb. He felt Athrun's fingers twitch under his and he wondered to himself if it meant what he hoped. Something in the alpha's scent changed. It swirled with slight hints of...arousal? Maybe, but he wasn't sure.

The bluenette shifted to his left and opened another package of chicken. Their arms bumped as they worked. The alpha was just so close, so there.

From the few pieces of clothing the alpha had given him to put in an emptied out drawer, not to mention the key, Kira knew that what Athrun had said about wanting him to stay was true. He had promised the omega wouldn't owe him anything. So, Kira stayed. Though, he was still trying to get used to the basics of sharing an apartment with his mate.

Kira wanted to ask if Athrun noticed the state he had woken up in that morning. If it affected him at all. He had to bite his lips to keep the questions from spilling out because he was not quite ready to hear the answers. Instead, he cleared his throat and scrolled through the instructions on the tablet. "This is a big recipe."

"I didn't know how hungry you would be," came the slightly rumbled response. Kira had been starving the day before when his heat had ended, so he could kind of understand how Athrun wasn't sure what his normal appetite would be.

Kira had the alpha slice potatoes, as it was difficult to mess up. He heated fresh oil in the skillet until it crackled. He added in diced onions and garlic. Working together was...nice. Really nice. The sounds of the storm outside filled the silent pauses between them, softening the edges of their conversation.

He found himself smiling. Maybe it was the way the bluenette was cutting the potatoes with such painstaking care to make them precisely the thickness Kira had shown him or the way he kept looking back at him. Athrun's gaze was warm, and the omega couldn't help but feel at ease around him.

Kira looked over to the meat, and he felt his mate's eyes follow him. "Make sure to watch the chicken, if you leave it too long, it will burn again. And lower the heat," he said, stirring the sauce he had brought to a simmer.

Feeling creative, Kira cut up a few mushrooms and tossed them into the pan to join the other vegetables.

Athrun was watching him, with an oddly nervous look. "Were those in the recipe?" he asked.

Kira rose an eyebrow at him. "Um, no I just thought they it would taste good to add them in." Experimenting was one of his favorite parts to cooking. Even with only a few ingredients, there was usually a way to fine-tune a dish to his tastes.

The alpha fidgeted weirdly with the knife he was holding. "You don't want to stick to the instructions?"

Kira shrugged. "It's okay to change things a little."

"Right," Athrun drew the word out in a way that made it clear that he wasn't confident about straying from the steps laid out in the recipe's directions.

"I really like mushrooms," the omega explained. "The nice thing about cooking for yourself is you can make the food be however you like."

Athrun smiled at him, putting his arms up in some play at defending himself, "Whatever you say," he said as if he was indulging Kira.

The lighthearted twinkle in the alpha's eyes had Kira grinning back. He started to form a response but was interrupted by a loud banging on the door. The omega's hand tightened around the wooden spoon he was holding, the smile dropped from his face, replaced by anxiety.

"It's fine," Athrun reassured him, but the slight shift of his shoulders gave him away. He was nervous, too.

The bluenette moved across the room to open the door, and when he did, two men burst in.

"Where the hell have you been?" The larger of the two demanded to know. His eyes rested on Kira burning with accusations. "Why does it smell like heat in here?"

Chapter Text

Kira's POV

The two men stood in the doorway. One was bulkier, built like a refrigerator. He had thick blonde brows framing purple eyes. The other, slim with high cheekbones, straight silver hair, and a fair complexion. Their jackets dripped water on the floor. Kira could detect the musky spice of Alpha on them.

Athrun stepped in front of the Omega, blocking him partially from the view of the others. Kira wasn't sure what to think. Was he in danger, or was his mate acting purely on instinct? He was frozen, waiting to see what the Alphas would do, who would move first.

It was the sizzling hiss of his finished sauce boiling over onto the stove that drove his attention back to the meal he was in the middle of making. Kira pushed the skillet off of the burner and turned the flame off quickly.

He looked back to find the bulky man sniffing the air, nostrils flaring. Surprise lit the man's face. "Your an Omega," he said almost not sure. "What's going on with your pheromones, why are they so strong?" The stranger covered his nose.

The slim man next to the stranger, made a curt sound, glaring at his partner with eyes made of steel.

Kira regretted not having put his blockers on. He hadn't thought to try them. It hadn't been necessary since he spent all of his time next to Athrun. The bluenette hadn't given Kira any indication, that he was struggling with controlling himself, or that anything was off at all.

Kira's Alpha was making some kind of sound, low in his throat. A warning to the intruders.

"Athrun?" He couldn't help but call out to his mate.

The Alpha twitched and looked back at the Omega with green flames in his eyes. Kira could smell himself on the air, lilac sharp with anxiety. He could see the exact moment his Alpha smelled it too. His posture straightened. Some of the brightness faded from his irises.

The bulky man didn't heed the warning. He smirked at Athrun in a way that made Kira feel dirty. "Zala you finally banged an Omega, and you missed a load of classes, is the world coming to an end?"

Kira recoiled as though he'd been slapped.

Athrun took a step forward, his scent thickening with aggression, yet the strange Alpha did not retreat from him. "Don't you dare talk to him like that." The words came in the same measured tone as always, but from Kira's angle, his mate's shadow laid spread across the wooden floor. Its twitching fingers told the Omega the truth.

This is my fault. Omegas made Alphas aggressive, competitive. It wasn't always a conscious choice, something in their primal instincts made them challenge each other.

The other intruder had gone silent, not that either of the Alphas noticed. They were only a few feet away from each other, the air between them tense.

The Omega's chest tightened. Bad things happened when other Alphas stormed in on them, that was how they had been separated. That was how Kira had lost his mate, to begin with. Athrun was smaller than the bulky Alpha by a significant degree. Kira worried what would happen if they fought. If his mate could take on this big man. Yet, days ago, when the Omega had gone into heat, and those attackers had surrounded him, his Alpha had scared them all off without even needing to fight.

"Get out," the bluenette said low and laced with anger. The command dripped with authority. It sent the bulky man's neck jerking as if resisting something physical weighing it down, forcing it to bend. The stranger's teeth bared at the challenge, lips curled back.

"Dearka, let's go," the second man barked as he dragged the thicker man out the door by his bicep. Athrun followed them before Kira could ask him to stay, and the door banged shut behind him.

The Omega slipped to the ground and wrapped his arms around his knees. Who were those guys? Were they Athrun's friends, his packmates?

There was a thud from the hallway. Kira could hear their voices arguing from behind the door. "I can't believe you used your Influence on me. What the fuck man?"

"Me?" More pounding, louder now. "What kind of disgusting animal are you?"

There was a loud thwack, of something getting smacked hard. "Dearka, don't you realize who that was?" A voice spat, probably the silver-haired boy. "Didn't you see his neck? It's him, the one Athrun was looking for back then."

Kira's hand went to his neck subconsciously to cover the partial mate mark Athrun had given him. When had they noticed?

"No way," came a tone of disbelief.

"Don't fuck this up you idiot, do you want to see Athrun fall apart again?"

Something in Kira's chest hurt like he'd just been stabbed with needles.

"I–Sorry." The bulky man's voice had gone quiet. There was more talking, although they were muffled now. Kira couldn't make out what was being said.

Long minutes passed before Athrun came back into the room. However, when he did, he strode directly to the Omega, crouching down to reach him. "Kira?"

The Omega moved into his arms without thought. He needed a few moments to relax, to breathe in Athrun's fragrance, to feel his skin. The warmth of his Alpha's hold and the soft breaths against his cheek were perfect. "Shhhh, it's okay," Athrun whispered into his ear. Kira's mouth closed, cutting off the whining sounds he just noticed he'd been making.

There were half-moon slivers of red on the insides of Athrun's palms, and his hair was out of place. "Sorry, it's just they were in here, in our–," the Alpha stopped himself. "I lost it for a second, I didn't want them to look at you, or smell you." Athrun rubbed slow, soothing circles into the scent glands on Kira's wrists.

"Those guys, I guess you could say they're my packmates. We've been together forever."

The Omega's mind spun. A pack with three Alphas. How was that even possible? Kira had heard of two Alphas in a pack finding a way to live with mutual respect, only three was something else entirely. Wouldn't they kill each other wrestling for dominance?

Athrun pressing their foreheads together with a sigh. "You're safe. I'm sorry I scared you."

"No–no, it's not your fault." Athrun hadn't done anything wrong. "It felt like, he might..." Make me leave? Hurt me? Hurt Athrun? The Omega wasn't sure, he'd just felt so scared suddenly, positive that something bad was going to happen. Kira shivered, trying to pull his head together.

Athrun brushed at the Omega's bangs. "Dearka's an asshole sometimes. I promise he won't talk to you like that again." Kira marveled at the easy confidence in his voice. "He knows that if he tried to touch you, I would kill him," the Alpha said it calmly, without any venom or rage. Somehow that made it more frightening.

"Is it alright if they come in for dinner? They want to meet you. I understand if you don't want to though."

Kira shook his head. "It's alright." If they were his mate's pack, he'd have to meet them eventually.

Athrun helped him stand up. "Do you still have those patches?"

"Yeah, they're in the bathroom."

They both moved quickly, Kira getting his patches and serving up platefuls of food, while Athrun sealed off the bedroom door with a rolled up towel and aired out the rest of the apartment. The Omega's face heated at the way Athrun wanted to keep the scent of his heat locked in the bedroom.

The Alpha pulled two of the bar stools over to the opposite side of the counter for his packmates to sit on. Kira wondered if he was just trying to keep a barrier between them.

"Can you put this on please?" Athrun passes him a navy hoodie. Kira took it without question, pulled it over his head, noticing the grassy scent mark on it immediately. It was too large, so it bunched up around his shoulders. Still, it was so soft. The scent of his mate calmed his nerves.

Athrun tugged the blue hood up to Kira's ears, clearly trying to cover his neck. It was so territorial, utterly different from the relentless control the Alpha always managed to maintain.

When Kira's Alpha opened the door for his packmates, their heads were slightly bowed. They wouldn't make eye contact with the Omega.

"Kira, this is Dearka, and this is Yzak," Athrun said. "Guys, this is Kira Yamato."

"Uh, hi." The Omega shifted awkwardly.

They all strolled quietly to the seats Athrun pointed out. The bluenette stood next to Kira, as there were only three chairs.

The Omega waited, not touching his food. When a pack was all together, there was an order for how things were done. The Alpha always had to eat first. In this case, with three Alpha's there would still need to be one who was dominant.

Yzak and Dearka's forks scraped against their plates at the same time. Though, that didn't make sense. There couldn't be two people calling the shots. The bulky guy had already submitted to Athrun, so Kira was sure he wasn't in charge. The Omega looked to Athrun for answers, except he didn't seem to have noticed.

"Whoa, this is delicious," Dearka said. The aggression from before was totally gone. He was smiling playfully at Kira.

The silver-haired boy, Yzak, Kira reminded himself, hummed in agreement to his friend's comment. "Athrun's a lucky bastard to have you cooking for him."

"Uh, thanks." Kira wasn't sure what to say, he wasn't really comfortable with them yet. He didn't want to set anyone off. "We made it together, so he helped out a lot."

They both looked at him like he was crazy. However, it was Dearka who spoke. "You're lying, no way."

"He's not lying," Athrun cut in. "He's just generous. I did help a little, but before he took over, I totally wrecked it."

Yzak snorted. "Figures. Athrun, you're a grown man, you can't just rely on other people."

That was different. A lot of people tended to think it was an Omegas obligation to cook for their mate and handle other domestic tasks. Not that Kira really had anything against cooking, except whenever people had told him what was expected of him, it had always been put him on edge.

"Kira, you know this guy tried to claim noodle cups are actually nutritious the other day?"

"Not this again," the bluenette groaned.

"No, no, it's true. Zala was like–" Dearka's hands flicked up in a mock defensive gesture "–it's fine, they have carrots."

"Are you serious?" the Omega checked Athrun's face to see if it was true. The bluenette's embarrassed expression made him chuckle.

Dinner continued like that, with casual conversation, plus more than a few demeaning stories about Kira's Alpha. By the time their food was finished, he had heard about the time Athrun had called Yzak mom in his sleep, and how he wore the same outfit every day for the first month of university because he apparently missed the uniform from their prep school.

When it was time for their guests to leave, Kira was cleaning the table off, while Athrun walked his packmates to the door. "Seriously though, when are you going to come back to school man?" Dearka asked.

"I'll go back when I'm ready," the bluenette brushed him off.

"Okay, but isn't that professor you always talk about gonna kick your ass?"

"I'll talk to him, it's fine."

Yzak patted the bulky man on the shoulder. "Leave it be Elsman." The silver-haired boy walked over to the Omega and held his arm out. "We'll see you soon Kira, it was good to finally to meet Athrun's mate."

Kira dropped the last of the dishes in the sink and shook the offered hand. "Yeah, it was good to meet you too."

After the door had shut behind the two strange Alpha's, the Omega rinsed off the plates, trying to ignore how his skin prickled from the way Athrun's eyes followed him.

"You didn't correct him when he said you were my...mate."

Kira dried his hands on a towel next to the sink. "Should I have?" He heard a sharp breathing sound come from Athrun but was too afraid to look at him to find out what it meant.

"No," the Alpha affirmed.

"Good," Kira said with an air of finality, burying a small secret smile into the collar of the too-large sweatshirt

Chapter Text

Chapter 12: Sewing Dreams

The hardwood of the kitchen floor creaked as Athrun moved behind him near the sink. Hands rested around Kira's hips, and the Omega accidentally squeezed the sponge in his fist too tightly, the soapy water sloshed out over his knuckles.

The Alpha turned him around and pressed close, less than a foot away. His face was more serious than Kira had ever seen it.

"You mean it?" Athrun asked, his voice low and gentle.

Kira was afraid, but this was his mate. Pale skin, green eyes, and dark hair. Whether he said it aloud or not, the truth was undeniable. Only, did Athrun feel the same?

"Yes," he said, hoping the answer was still okay, not sure why his Alpha was pushing for clarification.

The working of Athrun's throat as he swallowed was mesmerizing and terrifying all at once. Earthy tones seemed to condense in the air around them, curling with interest in a way that made Kira's lids heavy. "I'm gonna scent mark you now, alright?" the bluenette asked, "If you don't like it or if you want me to stop, you have to tell me."

Kira's head was lifting in agreement before his brain finished registering Athrun's question. Why was he still asking this kind of thing anyway? His Alpha was so hard to read. The man was a mess of mixed signals. Kira was here, wasn't he? Living with him, eating with him, sleeping in his bed.

The Omega tilted his head a little more, like a puppy angling to be pet. Athrun's expression, like he couldn't believe what he was seeing, made Kira's cheeks hot.

The Alpha put his wrist to Kira's head, rubbing it across the top, then marking from his forehead to his ears. Pride swelled within the Omega. He wanted it to be impossible for anyone not to smell Athrun on him. Everyone should know who he belonged to.

Kira made a little satisfied sound and fitted himself a bit closer to Athrun's chest, fingers flexing against his mate's shoulder blades. He'd reached up, his own wrist prickled with the desire to mark his Alpha back. That way anyone who came in contact with the man would know he was taken. The force of his own possessiveness surprised him.

Athrun smoothed a brown bang against Kira's temple. "It's longer than I remember," he said. The gentle combing of his Alpha's fingers through his hair was like absolute heaven.

The Omega tracked the movement with his eyes, drawn in, and unconsciously mirroring the action by fingering the dark hairs behind Athrun's ear.

They were so close their noses bumped. The heat from the Alpha's mouth teased against Kira's chin. Every inch of the bluenette seemed to be trembling.

Their lips came together slowly, lingering against one another for a beat before the Omega deepened it. Athrun tasted like Kira's cooking with something richer mingled in. At that moment, Kira was weightless and very glad to be pressed up against something solid because he couldn't quite feel his legs.

At the same time, inversely, energy buzzed under his skin, his heartbeat grew faster and faster. He had to have more. Yet when he was right on the edge of yielding completely to the other, Athrun pulled away.

Kira reached for him, except the bluenette flinched back, out of breath, and with fear on his face.

Why are you pulling away from me, Alpha? Do you not want me? He wanted to ask, but the answer he might get scared him.

Instead, he said, "Did I do something wrong?" flustered to find that his voice was not like his own. It lilted out, airy with need.

"No, no, it's not that. You make me feel so..." Athrun trailed off, not helping to quell Kira's sudden self-consciousness. Would it have been better if they had not kissed?

"I can't help myself around you sometimes," the bluenette said.

The Omega could see emotions lurking in Athrun's eyes, but the only one he was able to discern for sure was resolve. Where was the need for that? It couldn't be so difficult for the Alpha to simply be affectionate, could it? Maybe he'd been mistaken, he'd assumed too many things. Athrun didn't really want him. Kira forced himself to take a breath, trying to keep rational about this.

"Why is it so complicated?" he made himself ask, arms floating uncertainty at his sides.

Silence. Tight and close, strong enough to feel like something physical, breathing down Kira's neck.

Was he foolish to think, the Alpha might crave the same things as him? Or that one day Kira could be complete, the bond on his neck no longer just half-formed. He had started to let himself believe that such a thing might be possible.

"Listen, when I bit you, I was young and stupid. I didn't understand anything. I had no idea what you would have to go through if anything went wrong." Athrun cupped Kira's face between his hands, so the Omega had nowhere to look other than directly in his eyes. "I didn't think– goddess, I just knew that I wanted you more than I'd ever wanted anyone before."

He does want me. The confirmation flared hot inside Kira.

"But then," Athrun said as his lips wobbled. "Then you were gone, and it hurt so much–My dad was holding me down, and I couldn't breathe." His words scratched out as if there was still pressure on his lungs even now. "And after, I lost my ruts and everything in my life stopped working."

"Then why won't you kiss me?" he demanded because a stubborn voice in Kira's head insisted that if their separation had truly hurt Athrun as much as it had for the Omega, his actions made even less sense.

"If I'm not careful, I'll end up–," Athrun broke off, like the possibility of what he could do was too shameful to be spoken aloud. "I already messed up once, I won't do it again." Tears slipped down his pale cheeks. "I want you to trust me. To be worthy of you." Athrun went on, rubbing his face on his forearm to wipe away his tears. "–Need you to be safe, happy."

Kira chewed his lip, tongue darting out to wet them. His urge to close the distance between them and comfort his mate in a way he didn't know how to with words was strong. He didn't move though. Because if he were to lean over and kiss Athrun again now, there was a good chance the Alpha would push him away. He really wouldn't be able to handle that.

"I do trust you," Kira said, trying to make him see. "It's like I can't even help it." The Omega had been content to accept the lonely existence, with his failure. It had always hurt, though it had been a livable pain. Athrun had changed that. He had changed everything.

"That's what I'm afraid of, cause it's just instincts, you know?" Athrun sniffed. "I haven't done anything to deserve your trust. Let me try?"

No one had ever looked at Kira the way this man was. It wasn't pity or disapproval. He was wide-eyed and hopeful, staring at the Omega like he had the power to unlock all the doors in the world, and something else too. Something he hesitated to name.