Brock carefully sips a scalding-hot coffee from a bright red holiday cup Jack generously bought him. Omegas, you know, are not supposed to drink coffee, especially something like this: impossible hot, without sugar and syrup, without milk and cream. A drink not at all for the omega. But it's fuckin' freezing in the city, they are on the mission, Brock is not used to such weather, and they have to hang outdoor as tourists at least for another couple of hours, while Winter is busy somewhere hunting down another target. But Jack is so kind, so kind to Brock that he drank half of the coffee in one long gulp, then poured in a cup generous amount of scotch and gave it to Brock — to warm frozen fingers and frozen guts. So now Brock relishes every drop, soaking up more from caring than from the coffee itself. And whiskey. And tries not to squint in the direction of bright shop-window invitingly shimmering with garlands. One would think that beautifully dressed (undressed) people in the store choose jewelry for the holiday, cause everything is sparkly and playful in there, but the sign is outrageous-bright, as if laid out with diamonds, and it is short and clearly reads as "Омега". With damned symbols by the sides, in case one of the city guests would not understand the meaning of a simple word, not much different from itself in Latin. Brock is so fascinated by a bright window that he almost does not remember about the mission and Winter and Hydra, may it have everlasting glory (and pays the bills). He takes another sip of coffee/whiskey, licks his lips and looks without blinking, and looks, and looks — everyone in there, behind the glass, are so beautiful, elegant, with a delicate smooth features, with expensive clothes, expensive jewelry, expensive atmosphere of the expensiveness...
Brock can buy the whole shop with all its contents with his savings (if Jack signs the purchase, but that's not the point). Brock is haunted (somewhere deep down in the subconscious, so deep that he does not even know) by the fact that Jack took him not in some fansy store. Omegas are an expensive thing, there's no doubt. First, they are quite rare. Secondly, not every omega is put up for sale. Third, lot of sellers are trying to save money and do not waste on showcases and jewelry, choosing instead tiny cells, online auctions and miserable rags, barely covering nudity.
The desert is cold too, not like here, improperly, creepily frightening, and whether you're a hundred times a tough soldier, but in a cage after a month without blockers, being on the verge of heat, surrounded by a flock of howling, losing human form omegas trying to hide from alfas, every cold night becomes little bit colder, darker, more desperate. Dreadfull waiting for the hopeless future covers you with stifling blanket, making its way to the bones with grave cold and presses you down like granite slab, presses, and presses, and presses, and you can't get out...
Someone touches his shoulder, and Brock shudders with his whole body. Jack looks at him with unblinking grey-green eyes; two lakes which Brock has drowned in at the damned desert and never got out. Brock exhales, takes a big sip and nods, showing he's all right. Jack squeezes his shoulder and pulls him insistently. Brock does not like public display affection, but it's stupid to argue with a stubborn mountain of muscle; Jack has very heavy hand, and he always brings his point of view to Brock very clearly, flogging it into omega's head without hesitating.
After the knotting, after Jack's mark bloomed at Brock's neck, they returned to States and got papers done, and then they never parted. One terrible feverish night, after another nightmare full of cold desert, Brock hid his tear-stained face into the shoulder of his alpha and confessed he'd rather die than ever go back to that condition — vulnerable, helpless, useless. Jack promised. He promised, and Brock believed that Jack would always make it. If not save, then kill him. And so they never part. Not even when Winter is sent on a mission in the fucking winter which Brock cannot stand. He could lock himself in a bunker and stay there shaking until Jack gets back. No one would say a word. Except Brock himself, of course. But... He's not some whining omega.
The store door opens and the street fills with mind blowing smell of cinnamon and oranges, vanilla and ginger — as if it sells not omegas but fresh pastries. Brock snorts in his cup with remnants of coffee. Fresh buns, unbitten, powdered, sweetly-sweet. He's offended. He's just offended stupidly that he didn't stand there like this — beautiful, painted, wrapped in silk and gold, when Jack's glassy eyes saw him in and the alpha decided to have him. But, on the other hand, he saw Brock without all that junk and he still took him. Took him out, carryied him out, put the coordinates of slaver's base in the rocket launcher with unwavering hand and- boom... Brock was the only survivor. Nobody knows where he was. How did he become Jack's. One of many. It was flattering. It made him warm. Sometimes it made him hurt a lot, though: Jack is affectionate, but heavy, large and sturdy. But caring. Brock takes new cup of coffee/whiskey from the alpha, throws the empty one away, and turns away from the damned shop-window, obeying the insistent hand on his shoulder.
He has a job. He fakes to be happy and satisfied. His alpha kisses him on the festively decorated square. Mercier distinctively clicks the camera shutter in the earpiece. (Brock hopes it's her and not Westfahl; jerk will easily send photo to the whole team). Anderson tries not to laugh out loud in the earpiece (he sucks at it, but Brock already knows the way he will revenge). Winter reports on the completed task in the earpiece. The snow is falling.
Maybe Brock does not fake it.