Brock doesn't know what the hell is wrong with all betas but they're all crazy. It's not just his opinion, it's Brie's opinion as well and she as his older sister has a serious authority, especially in such an important issue as the insanity of others.
No, don’t take him wrong — when Brock was given a candy and petted on the head by complete strangers, and their parents only rolled their eyes and smiled at them, Brock was okay and did not worry. He was a child and everyone loves children. He just didn't like it when strangers were, you know, crazy in whole. Like that homeless old man with the disheveled beard and dirty clothes that smelled like crap, with the cart full of garbage; he was passing by their house and noticed Brie with Brock on the lawn and he froze with his almost toothless mouth open and stared at them until Brie dragged Brock into the house. Only then when they locked the door behind them did the stranger come out of his stupor and stomped away shaking his head and constantly looking back at their lawn as if he had seen an angel there. Brock tried not to remember him and as a child it was easy. Later, however, his ugly mug became the embodiment of all the shit in his nightmares.
He had no problems with betas at school at all. Maybe madness is accumulated in their bones with age (this would explain the absolutely grotesque levels of insanity of Gramma-Matilda, who brought a hand-knitted pink sweaters for Brock and Brie at every family gathering. Year after year. They just were changing in sizes as they grow but not the color nor patterns; straight braids in the front and on the sleeves for Brie, rhombuses for Brock. Gramma was more then hundred years old and she was all of the quirks including thick red curls, and Brock even in his twenties was sure that she found a magic lamp and asked the Genie for a magic sheep that would never run out of wool. Genie was a dick, so the sheep“s coat is pink. That's a good explanation.)
Watching Jack in a black turtleneck with a Shield logo on its sleeve, Brock tries not to imagine him in one of the Gramma’s sweaters. Undoubtedly pink, but the pattern — no one will know it already: Gramma is dead already for several years and Brock’s things left at Nonna's. He himself can only kill someone with needles. Especially someone who will advise him to do knitting.
There were a few people such as Gramma in Brock’s life. Such old not such crazy. And if some were crazy passively then others had to be very, very harshly stopped, because those people knew no limits, and the courts do not recognize harassment against omegas, because this "is due to nature and does not cause damage". There aren’t omegas among judges, of course. Not because it's forbidden, but because emotional involvement quickly deters them from working with criminals and victims.
Westfahl is a beta. Crazy as all betas are when it comes to omegas. It seems being crazy from the desire to protect and preserve is alphas’ prerogative but they somehow keep themselves under control. If they want. Maybe it's the suppressants that betas don't have. Alphas give their attention to omegas as to a potential (or actual) partner. Alphas provides for the mother of their children or their mother or their children or something like that.
Betas don't want omega to have kids. Hell, they don't even want sex. At least not in the first place. Even if Brock being a green rookie was afraid of his alpha-teammates, he quickly learned how to fight his fears and the alphas. The army was a very useful place for omega. But betas... They turned to be the surprise of adulthood.
When little Brock was cuddled by everyone he thought it was just all adults react to him-child. When his teammates inhaled once and began to circle around him as some kid around the cat which they were forbidden to disturb, then Brock began to suspect that something about the adult world he did not the learned. Not at school nor at home.
Disgusting protein bars with beans disappeared from his ration before he could complain about them in a letter to Nonna. There was always laid out the most huge and soft towel in the locker room for him. He's the only one in the whole unit who always got gel, shampoo and shaving products. Of course he always shared with the guys who did not get the supply, but still things got to him initially and then distributed among the others. He was not the only omega on the entire camp but no one knew where honey came from for them in dining room. No one but starry eyed betas who worked there and watched intently every omega.
Brock never knew how to react to them.
Jack's team consists mostly of alphas. There are couple of omegas who, like him, were mated with the alphas. Betas were among the crews and at base and they behaved as always: weird. Fancifully. Crazy. Depending on the position of the moon in the goat constellation, or something. Brock has long been accustomed to not react.
Shaking himself and scramling out of the depths of his memory Brock looks at the people his (his!) squad consists and tries to understand why the hell did they need such a clusterfuck as Westfahl. He has “IDIOT” written over his forehead, not in clinical terms but in life. Scratching the back of his head with a shotgun fuse, telling the pissed alphas tales about omegas fucking with betas, eating steak with blood in front of poor Murphy, who cryes over every dead animal (and silently mows the enemy on the battlefield) — an ordinary day in Westfahl's life. Who sits now with an empty look over the disassembled rifle and shudders about once per a minute.
They fight on foreign soil too often. Brock doesn't remember what he was thinking when he decided to join the army. About being respected? Being afraid of?.. (Omega.) Or he will be able to protect himself from anyone? (As if it was impossible if he just stayed in the Boxing section.) Will be able to see the world? (Jumping with a parachute from an airplane into deep jungle in the dark, illuminated only with tracers). Would find a mate? (Yeah to fuck that!) Brock equally does not like fighting in the jungle, deserts, mountains or urban labyrinths. Maybe he just doesn't like fighting. (He doesn't like desk work and write reports even more.) (He will not stay at home and raise a brood of children. Even Jack's. While Jack could be killed somethere out there without him. While he could be killed in "security" somewhere here without Jack.) Brock is not only a soldier himself, he tied his life to a soldier. He doesn't want to change anything. He doesn't know how to change anything. He is good at what he does and he doesn’t have to love what he does.
Brock shakes his head. His thoughts keep floating away in an incomprehensible direction. He suspects that the noise grenade that exploded next to him a couple of hours ago is to blame. Or a bump on the back of his head that he doesn't remember how he got. The one he didn't tell Jack about. The same one bump Westfahl pressed the ice pack to as soon as they got to the safe house to wait for the transport that would bring them back to the base. Konvers got out of the fridge a few ice packs, Westfahl took one and pressed it to Brock’s head muttering something about swooning dames and then went back to their medic. Brock wanted to say something sharp but choked on his words seeing as Konverse cuts off Westfahl's blood-soaked shirt.
Westfahl's crazy. Maybe it's not because he's beta. Maybe it has to do with their shitty lifestyle. Maybe it's his way of dealing with stress. (Though the others somehow manage without behaving like the total assholes. Take Konvers. Sits calmly darning his teammate. He'd even hummed something if he wasn't afraid to wake the others.) Brock looks at Westfahl who stares at the disassembled rifle with an empty face as if he doesn't remember how to put it back together. The ice in the bag almost melted. Brock stands up to replace it. Jack, Anderson and Mercer are fast asleep on the only bed. Their turn will come later.
Brock goes to the fridge but somehow he ends up near betas. Konvers is doing a crossword. Although closer examination shows that he just paints the empty cells. Westfahl blindly turns his head to Brock’s smell and his face brightens visibly. He tucks his nose into Brock's belly, inhales deeply, wrinkles from the pain in his broken ribs, gently strokes Brock's hand and pulls away. Life returns into his eyes. Brock doesn't know what to say. He turns to Konvers who stares at him with the same awe in his eyes despite the absolute weariness. Brock with a sigh goes to the fridge, takes some fresh ice and returns to the table so betas could satisfy their hunger. Westfahl stretches his lips in a grin and a croaks
- Well Princess did you get bored without daddy?
Brock hits him for it. On his good shoulder, but that counts.