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The Logical Solution

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After a year of living together, both John and Sherlock thought they knew everything there was to know about the other.  They’d fought, made up, solved cases, saved each other’s lives, laughed till they were breathless and drank countless cups of tea.  They were flatmates, partners, best friends. The fact that each of them harbored secrets didn’t at all prevent them from thinking the other couldn’t have any.  Which was why this moment was all the more shocking.

 

Why John stood frozen, hardly daring to take another breath as the scent of an Omega in pre-heat, somehow stilted and missing pheromones but still unmistakable, curled in his nose.  And why Sherlock sat, still as a statue, equal parts appalled and aroused at the smell of virile Alpha emanating from John.

 

Both their eyes slid, almost reluctantly, down to the other’s groin.  They were sporting a visible erection each. Well. So much for keeping secrets.

 

***

 

It was a simple mistake, really.  Later, once he realized what had happened, Sherlock would chastise himself for making it, but John thought it was practically inevitable, all things considered.  The fact that it hadn’t already happened in the year they’d been living together was almost more of a surprise.

 

John’s hormone suppressants looked almost exactly the same as Sherlock’s hormone replacements.  They were made by the same company, after all. There were not many pharmaceutical companies that produced ABO medications.  What was the point anymore? Ninety-five percent of the population was beta, and therefore not in need of any of the hormone therapies and specialized birth control that Alpha and Omegas needed.

 

Originally, John had kept his hidden in his sock drawer.  If Sherlock had been any other flat mate, they would have been safe there.  But no, Sherlock was Sherlock, and John had been forced to turn to alternative methods of hiding the pills if he didn’t want his superhumanly observant partner to find out the truth.  He moved the pills around, from inside a box with cold tablets in the bathroom, to a bottle of vitamins in the kitchen, to the dish of candies on the table that Sherlock turned his nose up at.

 

Sherlock had faced a similar problem when he realized that Lestrade would make good on his threat to have the flat searched for drugs.  If anyone found the pills, his secret would be out, and his existence as he knew it would be effectively over. Instead, he’d dropped the pills into a harmless looking paracetamol bottle on top of the fridge.  Even if someone looked inside, the witless Anderson or thick-skulled Donovan wouldn’t be able to tell the hormone pills apart from pain relievers.

 

It had been an extremely effective hiding place.  Which was likely why John had decided to use it as his next one, after a close call where Sherlock had nearly discovered John’s pills in the tea bin.  John had added his red capsules on top of the others in the bottle and then popped one in his mouth while Sherlock was in the shower.

 

Sherlock furtively removed one from the bottle five hours later while John was in bed.  It never crossed either of their minds that they should stop to see if the tiny imprinted letter on the capsule they slipped into their mouth was an R or an S.  Foolish mistake, Sherlock would berate himself later.

 

It took nearly a week before they found themselves frozen in the living room, the undeniable truth coiling around them.  Odds worked in their favor for a few days, the fifty-fifty chance that the pill they were taking was their own. But after several days of hit and miss, they each drew the short straw.  John took Sherlock’s pill, Alpha hormone replacement, and Sherlock took John’s Alpha hormone suppressant.

 

Less than three hours later, John’s hormones rose to their natural peak, and four hours after that the artificial surplus of Alpha hormones that masked his Omega status drained from Sherlock’s system and were not replaced as they had been for the last several years.

 

John didn’t understand why he’d been so overly possessive and aggressive as they solved their latest case.  He’d known for months that what he felt for Sherlock was more than simple friendship, but it wasn’t as though he could act on those desires without his secrets being discovered, so he’d pushed them aside.  The way he’d snarled at the culprit when he’d lunged at Sherlock during arrest had both shocked and appalled him.

 

If Sherlock’s sense of smell wasn’t dulled by the unnatural Alpha hormones, he would have noticed right away.  Instead, he didn’t realize the change until later, when his senses were unhindered for the first time in almost a decade.

 

Which put them where they were now, John standing in the kitchen, Sherlock sitting on the couch, both still as statues as their secrets hung in the air between them.

 

“Sh-Sherlock?”  John’s voice was the first to break the silence, hoarse with the effort he was exerting to keep himself from striding across the room and acting on nearly forgotten impulses.  Animalistic impulses that disgusted him. To pull Sherlock to him and inhale that sweet, cloying scent, even oddly empty as it was, to sink his teeth into Sherlock’s vulnerable neck, to fuck a knot into him and breed -

 

John’s hand rose, trembling, to cover his nose and try to block out the smell along with the terrible, terrible thoughts.

 

“How?  How did you-”  Sherlock stopped, his mind working at light speed, seeing all the clues that he’d observed but been unable to piece together.  John’s army record. His lack of sexual relationships despite his numerous dates. The natural command his voice carried with even the slightest effort.  A soft exhalation of realization escaped his lips. “ Oh .  Obvious.  Stupid of me not to have seen it before.”  It was said to himself, but John heard.

 

“Sherlock-”  His voice was pitched higher than normal, distress slipping into it.  “Obvious? How could- What- Why is-”

 

Sherlock’s head cocked to the side, curiosity overriding any other emotions that might have pushed him towards caution.  “Your bearer?” he asked.

 

“What?”

 

“The Omega in your life that was abused.  It was your bearer.” He refrained from saying mother , not wanting to make the same mistake of gender that he had about Harry.  “But not by your sire.”

 

“No, not by my father.  She had already- Should I even ask how you know that when we only just realized-”

 

“It must have been someone close to you to evoke such a strong reaction.  Suppressants are chemical castration for an Alpha. Nothing short of pure disgusts for your latent instincts could cause such drastic action.  Might have been a former lover, but feelings ingrained so deeply suggest exposure from childhood. Statistically a bearer is more likely than father.”

 

“And how could you possibly have known that it wasn’t my father that hurt her?”  John took comfort in the familiarity of this, amid all the upheaval. This he understood.  Sherlock’s uncanny skill made sense to him when the sudden realization of Sherlock’s secondary gender did not.

 

Sherlock smirked.  “Contrary to what this most recent development suggests, I know you, doctor.  If it had been your father, you would have acted.  You’ve always been a warrior, even before becoming a soldier.  No, it happened before you were born. Before you could have protected her.”

 

“I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that you already figured out all that.  In fact, I’m honestly more shocked that it took this long for you to find me out at all.  And you -” John took a step into the living room, then stopped suddenly.  His eyes darted around the room, then skipped from his chair, to where Sherlock was sitting.  “I’m going to come into the room, alright? But I’m going to stay in my chair and not get any closer.”  He waited for Sherlock to wave negligently before moving forward.

 

“Whyever are you asking my permission?  It’s your chair.”

 

“I don’t want to- startle you.”  John sat carefully, leaning back so that his posture was nonthreatening.

 

Sherlock scoffed.  “The only thing startling about this is my own stupidity not to have seen it before.  You’re no more frightening to me than you were this morning.”

 

“You’re an Omega.”  John said it as if it was a full explanation.

 

“And you’re still the man you’ve been over the last year of my acquaintance, despite this turn of events.”

 

“Sherlock, this is serious.  I haven’t had practice controlling myself in a long time.  We probably shouldn’t even be in the same room until I get the suppressants back in my system.”

 

Sherlock raised a brow.  “Are you contemplating leaping across the table and mounting me, John?”  He asked it with obvious sarcasm, but snorted when he saw John shift uncomfortably and look away.  “Fascinating as your biology’s ability to overcome your natural preferences is, my curiosity won’t wait until you’ve banished your unfounded fears.  Now tell me, how did you-”

 

“Unfounded?  Sherlock, like this I could- I could-”

 

“Good heavens, do I need to spell it out for you before we move on ?  You’re not going to hurt me.  It’s not even remotely in your nature.”

 

Of course it is! ”  John’s fists clenched and he forced himself to relax them when he realized what he was doing.  “You’ve never seen me around an Omega. You have no idea what I could-”

 

“Boring.”

 

“What?”

 

Boring .  Your self deprecation is boring me.  Clearly we need to dispense with it before we can discuss this matter like rational adults.”  He rose, popped the top button on his snug dress shirt - the purple one that John loved - and then dramatically draped himself across John’s lap.  He spread his arms invitingly, his arse resting directly in the cradle of John’s groin, which was still also crowded by the first erection John had gotten in years.  “Take me now,” Sherlock deadpanned. “I need your big, Alpha knot.”

 

John choked and nearly dumped Sherlock out of his lap in shock.  “What the-”

 

“See?  If you can resist that, then I think we’re safe to have a conversation, don’t you?”

 

“You’re not- serious-” John took short breaths through his mouth so that he didn’t get any more of Sherlock’s strange, alluring scent in his nose.  Despite Sherlock’s confidence, John’s cock was throbbing, practically panting for a taste of Omega. He was shaking with the effort of controlling himself.  The attraction he’d always felt for Sherlock was being amplified by his latent urges and the discovery of Sherlock’s true nature.

 

“Not going to ravish me right here?” Sherlock asked haughtily, his confidence still in tact, despite the erection he could obviously feel.  “In that case, let’s talk instead.”

 

“With you- over there.”  John pointed back to the couch stiffly.  Sherlock agreed and rose, cataloguing his sudden desire to stay in John’s lap and dismissing it easily.

 

“Yes, fine.  Just because you aren’t a mindless slave to your biology doesn’t mean that it won’t distract you.  Now.” He sat on the couch and leaned forward. “How in the world have you escaped notice all these years?  The government keeps such careful tabs on the dwindling Alpha and Omega population. I should know, Mycroft drones on about the responsibility of those of still existing to procreate and produce more frequently enough.”

 

“My… my mother faked her death to get away from the Alpha she’d been bonded to when she presented.  My father knew, but Harry and I didn’t have a clue. Not until-”

 

“Not until you presented as an Alpha in early adolescence.”

 

“It must have been her worst nightmare.  She’d always been so careful, warned us of the dangers Alphas presented, even to betas- and then for her son to turn into one…”

 

“So you went on suppressants.  I suppose that explains your height.  If you weren’t fully grown before starting them, they would affect your longbone growth.”

 

“Of course I took them right away.  There have been...times… when I couldn’t get any-” John flushed, the memory of those desperate times in his youth when he felt his urges would drown him but he couldn’t afford the ridiculously expensive suppressants rising hotly.  “But otherwise, I’ve been on them my whole life. I wasn’t going to let myself turn into a domineering, aggressive Alpha so mindless with my need that I didn’t care who I hurt. And I certainly wasn’t going to be encouraged by the government to take an Omega.”

 

“I must say, I’ve never seen an Alpha so desperate to fight their own nature.  It’s almost admirable.” Sherlock shook his head and tutted. “Really, though, think it through next time.  We could have use for your natural abilities on cases! My own heightened olfactory sense is a necessary sacrifice, but yours could be endlessly helpful.”

 

“Helpful?  Use for my abilities?  Sherlock, I’m an Alpha .  In my natural state I’m nothing but a predator.”

 

“Predator, doctor, conductor of light.  Think of the possibilities! We could-”

 

“Whatever you’re considering, give it up right now.  I’m not staying like this. It’s too dangerous, despite what you think.  As soon as we get this sorted out, I’m getting back on the pills. Now tell me how you ended up-” John waved in Sherlock’s general direction.

 

“Blending in as a beta?”  Sherlock smirked. “Luck, money, and the general population’s mass stupidity.  I didn’t present until I was nearly twenty. By then, Mycroft was already running small countries in his spare time.   Between his connections and the family fortune, it was easy to get the hormone replacements right away. With the Alpha and Omega population being so low, and bonded couples being practically unnoticeable, most people expect to go their whole lives never seeing an unbonded Omega.  No one looks for one. Aside from a brief bout of unpleasantness switching dosages in my early twenties, I’ve never had to face the more unsavory aspects of my genetics, nor has anyone else needed to know.”

 

“But your smell… how did-”

 

“I had my scent glands surgically removed the same time I had myself sterilized.”

 

John gasped, unable to prevent himself.  Having his glands removed wouldn’t have been a particularly dangerous procedure for Sherlock, but it was akin to having the pigment of his irises taken out, or cutting the muscles that were used to smile.  It was destroying a basic facet of who he was.

 

Sherlock could see John struggling with the information and was vaguely touched by it.  It was written all over John’s face that he viewed it as some kind of sacrilege for Sherlock to have taken away such an integral part of himself.

 

“It was an exceptionally practical decision which has served me very well ever since.  If I hadn’t had them removed, any Alpha within a mile or beta with a sensitive nose would have been able to smell me, even on the hormone supplements.  I doubt you would have missed it, either, despite your diminished senses.”

 

“I’m not judging your decision, Sherlock.  With the stigma Omegas face and the dangers they live with even under government protection, the safe thing to do would be to protect yourself however you could.”  John ran his hands through his hair, the only sign of his agitation as he kept his voice steady. “I am surprised you found a surgeon willing to… sterilize you.  It’s-”

 

“A well placed bribe under the right circumstances,” Sherlock cut in to explain.  He waved it away casually. “Can you imagine me rearing offspring?”

 

Twenty minutes ago John would have laughed outright at the idea.  Now, though… He shook his head to clear away the thought. “No, no you would be miserable.”

 

“Quite right.  Now onto less obvious topics.  Why didn’t you tell me once we began cohabitating?  You had to know that it was only a matter of time before the truth came out if we continued our relationship.”  Sherlock paused for a moment, noticing the way John’s eyes widened in surprise. “Such as it is,” he added hastily.

 

“I… I guess I just-”  John sighed, pushing away the lingering surprise of hearing Sherlock call what they had a relationship - because that’s what it was, after all, a professional and personal one, just not a romantic one.  “It’s not something I tell anyone. Ever. Even in the army, they would have-”

 

“Because of your personal feelings on the matter, I can assume that being put in the special Alpha forces would have been undesirable.”

 

“God yes.”

 

“That explains why you didn’t tell the military, John. It does not explain why you didn’t tell me .”

 

“You’re- I mean… isn’t it obvious?  You’re the most rational person I know.  You disdain people ruled by sentiment or their baser urges.”

 

“Indeed.”

 

John paused, as if that should have explained the situation fully.  When Sherlock only continued to look at him, he scoffed. “So how could you ever have trusted me to be impartial or rational ever again?”

 

“You just claimed that I was the most rational person you know.  Does the knowledge that I am an Omega suddenly make you believe that I am a slave to my biological imperative to mate?  Am I now a mindless breeder or a submissive puppet?”

 

“Of course not,” John growled, appalled at the very suggestion.

 

“Then why should I believe the reverse is true?  Alphas as a whole may be a troublesome species, but you have been the exception about far more than your gender, John.”

 

“Then why didn’t you tell me?” John demanded.  “Once you knew you could trust me, why didn’t you tell me what you are?  Even with your scent glands removed and Alpha hormones in your system, there would still be times you were more vulnerable.  I could have helped, if I’d known. Not because you can’t take care of yourself, but because I want to help.”

 

“Ah, yes.  Well-” Sherlock paused.  “I can admit that a fair amount of that may have been personal pride.  My independence has been hard won. Admitting weakness…”

 

“Even to me ?”

 

“Especially to you.  I fell prey to that which I disdain so deeply.  Sentiment. Being invulnerable in your eyes is… heady.  I was loathe to give it up. And the longer the deception went on, the less important this secondary gender nonsense seemed.”

 

“Sherlock-”  John wanted to lean forward, but forced himself not to.  “I’ve never seen you as invulnerable. Impossible, impetuous, incredible, but not invulnerable.  Others might see you that way, but I know better. It’s not your coldness that makes you extraordinary, Sherlock.  It’s your heart.”

 

Sherlock looked taken aback for a moment, then a gentle smile curved his lips.  “Yes, I suppose you do see it that way. But whatever our original reasons for keeping secrets, the fact remains that we are now aware of certain truths about each other.  The question is, what do we do with this information?”

 

“Do with it?”  John shrugged. “I don’t see why we should do anything with it.  I’ll get back on my meds so that I’m not a threat, and you can continue taking yours.  Nothing has to change at all.”

 

“John.  You cannot tell me that you actually wish to continue to keep yourself chemically castrated for the rest of your life.”

 

“It’s an unfortunate side effect, but it’s better than the alternative.”

 

“The alternative being to deal with your natural Alpha instincts.”

 

“You say that as if it’s no big deal.  It’s excess aggression, possessiveness, high sex drive, desire to dominate, not to mention using my Voice without even meaning to.”

 

“But think of the benefits!  Increased stamina, heightened senses, greater strength and speed- think of how much that could help on cases!”

 

“I am not going to put the people around me - yourself included, I might add - at risk just so I can run a little faster or smell what someone’s had for lunch.  We get along just fine on our cases as it is.”

 

“What if I were to stay off mine as well?”

 

“Wh-”  John nearly choked.  “Are you trying to get attacked?  Putting aside the fact that living with an unsuppressed Alpha is the last thing an Omega would want to do, it would be a disaster!  Not only would you have full heats, but you’d be in danger from any Alpha you might come across, or even aggressive betas.”

 

Sherlock smirked.  “Not if I had my own Alpha with me.  No one who could tell what I was would be stupid enough to come after me with my own Alpha right there.  Not unless they’re suicidal. I could make full use of my senses without being encumbered by the pitfalls…” He trailed off, already seeing the possibilities.

 

Your Alpha?”

 

“Of course,” Sherlock dismissed, still staring off.  “We’d have to be bonded for it to work.”

 

“Bonded-”  John’s distant, hoarse voice didn’t bring Sherlock back from his thoughts.  He continued going over the possibilities in his mind, not realizing how pale John had become.  “No.” Sherlock didn’t react. “No,” John said again, louder. “Absolutely fucking not!” Finally, Sherlock’s attention turned back to his irate flatmate.  “It’s out of the question.”

 

Sherlock sat back.  “I think perhaps I should be offended by that.”

 

“Oh shut up,” John snapped.  “I would never put you in that situation.  You’d be stuck with me.  My Voice wouldn’t just be persuasive on you, it would be compulsive.  I could order you to jump off a bridge and you’d do it.”

 

“They would have to be purposeful orders, which you wouldn’t give.”

 

“And your heats-”

 

“Ah yes, you would be forced to copulate with me, which I realize is outside your normal preferences, however-”

 

“No, Sherlock.   You would be forced to have sex with me .  Do you even know what an Alpha would do to you?  What I would want from you?”

 

Sherlock’s eyes narrowed.  “I think you’ve taken this self flagellation quite far enough,” he snapped.  “I am well aware of what an uncaring Alpha could do during heat fueled intercourse.  I am also aware that you are not a savage beast.  Nor would you become one, even in a full state of rut.  Really, John, your hatred of your nature is bordering on destructive.”

 

John sat, grinding his teeth to keep from growling.  How could Sherlock be so cavalier about this? Did he really think the edge they would gain on cases would be worth the risk?  Worth submitting to John?  Sherlock was the least submissive person he’d ever met!  He would hate it if his body was allowed to have full sway over him.  If it made him bear his neck to John, beg him for release, ache to serve him.  Sherlock would resent him for the rest of their lives for having that kind of power over him.

 

Worse, the fact that just thinking about those things was making the erection that had never fully faded throb in anticipation, meant that John couldn’t be counted on to stop if things got out of hand.  He was too inclined to give into his urges, wanted Sherlock too badly to stop himself.

 

“You don’t know what it’s like.”

 

“Is that your reticence?  You think my only knowledge is theoretical, and so I cannot truly be prepared for what I’m suggesting?  You can put your mind to rest on that score, then. I have more first hand experience with Alpha/Omega coupling gone wrong than I care to recall.  I know exactly what I am considering.”

 

“Someone- hurt you?”  John felt horror ice his veins at the same time white hot rage colored the edges of his vision red.  Someone had touched Sherlock.  Had harmed his Omega .  Blood pounded in his head with the need to destroy whoever had dared-

 

“Desist.”

 

John’s world refocused itself.  Sherlock stood in front of him, one finger beneath John’s chin, tipping it up so that their eyes met.  The rage was doused to nothing more than a lingering throb. He felt calm, centered, reassured. The single point of contact between them was enough to override the madness that had threatened to overwhelm him.

 

“I… I don’t know what happened-”

 

“Yes you do.  I should have realized it would upset you more than reassure you, though in the end, I think it needed to be said.  Content yourself with the knowledge that I am hearty and hale, no worse off for the events of my past than I was yesterday or the day before.”  His hand fell away and John fought the urge to grab it. “I am not suggesting that we make any rash decisions. But we would be foolish not to at least consider the opportunity that has presented itself.  Once we have thought through all the options, we can make an informed decision.”

 

“And by that you mean you’re going to spend god knows how long in your mind palace while I sit here feeling like an idiot.”

 

“Very likely.”  Sherlock grinned.  “Though I do suggest you eat.  Your metabolism has already increased.  If you’re going to stay off the suppressants until we have a course of action decided upon, you’re going to get hungry.”



***

 

When Sherlock next opened his eyes, it was dark in the flat.  John had fallen asleep in his chair, his head resting at an awkward angle that looked painful.  Sherlock could see the evidence of John’s pacing, the way he’d shifted in his chair, how many times he’d run his hands through his hair.

 

This whole subject obviously upset him, but Sherlock had already taken that into account.  It was a factor in every scenario he’d considered. But it wasn’t the only factor. Not by a long shot.

 

He rose and turned the kettle on.  By the time he had two cups of tea prepared, John had begun to stir.  Sherlock sat a cup of tea in front of him and took one small moment to appreciate the unhindered smell of Alpha.  It had been far too long since he’d been in full possession of his senses. He’d almost forgotten how sharp scents could be, how good an Alpha smelled when Sherlock was this close to his heat.   And Sherlock had the feeling that John’s scent would be appealing to him even in the absence of his heat.

 

John mumbled something, then stretched and sat up.  His eyes tracked Sherlock’s movements and for a moment it looked as though he would rise, but then he seemed to realize his intentions and counter them.  Sherlock ignored the vague pang of disappointment that went through him.

 

“I have thought our situation through from every angle, and I’ve come to several conclusions.  Obviously, I am in need of your consent for the path I believe we should take going forward.”

 

John let out a slow exhalation, thinking he knew what Sherlock was about to suggest and equal parts excited and repulsed by the idea.  “Why don’t you take me through it, then?”

 

“Of course.  I am aware that your preference on the matter would be for both of us to go back on our respective medications and put this entire business behind us.  You would likely be more attentive of my needs and the slight vulnerability that go along with my dampered heats, but nothing else between us would change.”

 

“Exactly.”

 

“However, I believe that now that we are aware of each other’s natures, and considering we are already in a successful working relationship, the benefits of remaining off the drugs outweigh the potential pitfalls.”

 

“A better sense of smell isn’t reason enough to-”

 

“Allow me to expound upon my reasoning, John.”  Sherlock waited until John gave him a grudging nod, then tented his fingers beneath his chin and continued.  “Firstly, we should take into account the ramifications of long-term hormone usage. For me, putting synthetic Alpha hormones into my system increases my chances of heart attack, stroke, and several kinds of cancer.  Not enough to discourage their use on my own, but a factor, certainly. For you, however, the consequences are more severe, though in a different way.

 

“Your body will continue to produce mass amounts of Alpha hormones well into your sixties.  I’m sure you’ve noticed that the dosage of your suppressors has increased over the years you’ve used them.  By my calculation, you have perhaps another decade at best before they become entirely ineffective. Then for the remaining twenty years of your sexual prime you will be wholly incapable of suppressing your hormones, and therefore, your urges.  I am assuming you knew that would be the eventuality.”

 

John shifted.  “I didn’t intend to live that long.”

 

“Considering your military career and penchant for danger, I can understand how you might have thought that.  However despite our rather risky lifestyle, you must take into account the fact that you now have my rather impressive intellect at work on keeping you alive.  You will indeed live to see that day, my dear doctor, and therefore it should be a factor in our decision.”

 

“But you can’t possibly want…”  John trailed off, gesturing between them weakly.

 

“I will admit that being a slave to my transport’s urges for forty-eight hours every other month will be inconvenient, but having a trustworthy Alpha to assist will greatly diminish the difficulty.  Since there is no risk of me becoming pregnant, the main interference will be with cases, and hopefully with a little foresight, we can work around them.”

 

“I would think the main inconvenience would be a permanent bond that makes you want to have sex with me and bound to obey any orders I give.”

 

Sherlock raised an eyebrow.  “Are you trying to make me believe that you would order me to do anything contrary to my own wishes and will?”

 

“Of course not, but I could -”

 

“You could strangle me in my sleep.  You could commit mass genocide.  You could walk down to Scotland Yard in nothing but tight red pants.  That does not mean you will .”

 

“Maybe I wouldn’t give orders on purpose, but the compulsion in my Voice would be stronger, and that isn’t always something I decide to do.  It just happens.”

 

“Yes, I do realize your natural dominance would be heightened.  I still do not see it as a great enough drawback to refrain from going forward with this plan.”

 

“And the sex?” John bit out.

 

“Ah, well therein lies the largest sacrifice you would have to make.  You would be compelled to mount me, at the very least during my heats, if not more often, and I acknowledge that your inclinations to the female sex make that aspect of this unappealing for you, however-”

 

“This isn’t my sacrifice,” John cut in.  “You’re… you .  That wouldn’t-” he stopped, swallowing hard.  “That’s not the issue. But if you know what an Alpha in rut is like, then you know what I would…  And if you’ve already had bad experiences with Alphas before, then you can’t want this.”

 

“John, I was not in any way abused.  The factors that contributed to my negative encounter will not be in play here.  I have no qualms about spending my heat with you. Indeed, if it had not been necessary to abstain from sexual encounters to keep my secondary gender a secret, I might have invited you to my bed long before now.  Not that you would have been able to accept, considering the effects of the suppressors.”

 

“You would have what ?”  John’s voice tilted up in a squeak, his face bright red.

 

“Why is that so hard to believe?  I am aware of the effect my physical appearance can have on people.  Despite the preferences that your dating history makes obvious, I likely could have seduced you.”

 

“Well yeah, but you-”

 

Sherlock smirked.  John glowered at him.  “Oh stuff it. You don’t need me to confirm what you already know.  Don’t even try to be smug.”

 

“Me, smug?”  Sherlock scoffed.  “But now that we have that sorted, let’s go over the facts.  There are significant medical drawbacks to maintaining things as they were.  Both of us going off of the drugs would not only increase our senses and stamina, but would also alleviate other, more personal drawbacks.  And bonding would negate the potential downfalls of reverting to our natural state. Bonded pairs are not easily scented except for in times of great distress, and even that would be reduced because my scent glands have been removed.  Yes, it is very likely that someone at the Yard will discover the truth considering the high ratios of betas with particularly keen senses of smell in police work, but even when we are discovered, having already bonded would mean that neither of us would be compelled by the government to seek an appropriate mate.  Technically you could be asked to take a second Omega, depending on the Alpha to Omega ratio, but that pressure would be significantly reduced considering the unfortunate personality of your primary Omega.  Me.” Sherlock smiled.

 

John struggled to form words.  It all seemed so simple when Sherlock said it.  Logical. Concise. Rational. Except what they would be doing would be far from rational.  It would be urgent and messy and mindless. It would be dangerous despite whatever Sherlock had meant about there not being the same factors as the last time he’d had a bad encounter with an Alpha sexually.

 

But fuck , Sherlock was hard to say no to.  Especially when he’d admitted that he would have wanted to have sex with John if he hadn’t been hiding his Omega status.  Good god did that need a while to sink in. Here John had always thought that his attraction to Sherlock was entirely one sided.  He’d never considered that Sherlock’s lack of sexual partners was because of a secret rather than personal preference. The thought of Sherlock naked, spread out beneath him, breathless with want- it was enough to make John want to agree to the mad plan just for that.

 

“You’ve just… thought it all through.” John shook his head.  Sherlock shifted slightly, making John look at him curiously.  “What?”

 

“There is one more aspect of that that you will need to consider before making a decision.”

 

“And that is?”

 

“A bond between an Alpha and Omega takes precedence over any other relationship.  Neither of our natures would allow for competitors. Bonding with me would mean foregoing all others.”

 

“I don’t- I mean-”

 

“You would be… stuck with me.  And only me. Not only would you be giving up all those beta women you’ve been distracting yourself with, but you would also be sacrificing any hope of biological children.”

 

“I… I guess I always thought I’d lost the right to have kids when I presented as an Alpha.  I mean, I couldn’t have any on the suppressants anyways. And the women… Sherlock you see everything.  You might have missed the Alpha thing because I was so careful about it, but you can’t tell me that you don’t see the way I feel about you.  If we were bonded, I wouldn’t want anyone else.  Not because I’d be ‘stuck’ with you, but because I wouldn’t need anything more.  Being with you… like that… it would be enough. It would be everything.”

 

Color had risen in Sherlock’s cheeks, and he struggled for a moment to find his voice.  Of course he knew of the doctor’s regard for him, but more than that? He wouldn’t have guessed that John could feel so… impassioned about him.  It was flattering. Overwhelming. Comforting. Arousing .

 

He cleared his throat.  “Well then. If that’s- settled, and you have no further objections, shall we… get on with it?”

 

John flinched.  “Get on with- bonding ?  Right now?”

 

“Unless you have any further objections,” Sherlock repeated carefully.

 

“But I just… isn’t this kind of, I dunno, rushed?  This is permanent , Sherlock.  You can’t just get bored and wander off.  There’s no reason you can’t take more time to decide-”

 

“My heat will be in full effect by tomorrow, John.  I would think it would be in both our best interests if we have bonded before that.  The statistical odds of another unbonded Alpha being within scenting distance of Baker street are low, but it is still possible that another-”

 

Sherlock stopped as he saw John tensing.  If John’d had fur, his hackles would have been raised.  A low growl escaped his throat. Sherlock looked at him pointedly.  “Surely you can see that haste is in our best interest. I am not going to change my mind, John.  This is an opportunity that I would have to be a fool to pass up.” He paused. “Unless you are unsure as to your level of commitment to me?”

 

“No!”  John’s face cleared.  “I mean, I certainly never thought it’d come to this, but I know that I’m not looking for a way out of this.  Whatever form it takes.”

 

“Good then.  That’s- good.”  Sherlock cleared his throat, suddenly aware that he and John Watson would very likely be having carnal relations in the very near future.  He and John would be having sex. Fucking .  John would mount him and knot him, fill him full of seed in an attempt to breed him.  John would bite his neck to bond them, and despite his lack of scent glands, the bite would tie them together.  When Sherlock’s heat started, he would crave John’s cock.  

 

Who was he kidding… he was craving it already, and this wasn’t the first time.  Yes, it had been dulled by the hormones before, but he hadn’t been lying when he’d said that if it wouldn’t have given away his secret, he’d have attempted to seduce John long before.

 

“So, then.  Shall we?”

 

“Are- are you sure , Sherlock?  Even putting aside the sex, there are other aspects of this.  My Voice is going to be even stronger on you than anyone else.  You’re going to want to do certain things, even if your mind doesn’t, you’ll still feel compelled.  And I’ll- I’ll act differently. I can try to control it, and god I will try, but there are going to be things I can’t help.”

 

Sherlock thought for a moment.  John’s points were all ones he’d considered while pondering the entire situation, but they did sound somewhat unsavory set on their own.  He wasn’t troubled by the thought of John being possessive - he actually rather liked the idea of that - but John would also be driven to protect him, which could hinder the work.  Still, they could get past that. As for things Sherlock would want to do… he couldn’t imagine himself suddenly wanting to be a pampered little house husband, no matter what his biology told him.  His body would likely incline him to be more submissive to John, especially in sexual situations, but that didn’t trouble him. Their relationship was a well founded balance. John Watson was not a follower, but he would follow Sherlock.  Sherlock didn’t consider himself a submissive person by any stretch of the imagination, but he saw no shame in willingly submitting to the right person. And John was the only person that could be right.

 

John’s Voice… now that could be tricky.  He did believe that John would never order him to do anything harmful.  Not only would it go against his instinct to protect Sherlock, but John was his friend first and foremost and would never hurt Sherlock.  Of course, he could use it to do things that were ‘good’ for Sherlock.  Ordering him to eat or sleep when he was in the middle of a case and didn’t want to be slowed down would be troublesome.  Still, Sherlock couldn’t see John forcing him into that. Strongly suggesting, perhaps, but not forcing.

 

“Attempt to use your Voice on me, John,” Sherlock requested.  It would give him a good baseline to judge just how compelled he would be to obey John’s accidental suggestions after they were bonded if he knew how he reacted to them before.

 

“I- what?  No.”

 

“I am asking you to do it.  I need data, John.  Come now, order me to do something in your most assertive tone.”

 

John glared at him for a moment, obviously unhappy with the request.  Sherlock could understand his reticence - after all, he could assume that John’s mother had been victim to an Omega’s compulsion to listen to an Alpha’s Voice - but eventually his face hardened into resolve.

 

“Stand up,” he said sternly.  Sherlock rolled his eyes. Really, could John not have thought of something less simple?  It would be far too easy to resist-

 

Sherlock frowned when he blinked and found himself standing.  Well. Perhaps there was more to this than he’d first considered.  Obviously John’s Voice was much stronger now that he was off the suppressants, and Sherlock was particularly vulnerable to it, not only because he was an Omega close to his heat, but also because of their existing relationship.  He sat back down.

 

“Again, but something more involved this time.”

 

John sighed and grimaced.  “Go get your violin and bring it to me.”

 

Sherlock caught himself before he started to rise.  He fidgeted. He felt… itchy. He wondered why he wasn’t going to get his violin.  John wanted it. Why not give it to him? He trusted John with the violin. Nothing bad would come of it.  So why not? Why not just obey? Sherlock sat on his hands. “Compel me again,” he requested.

 

“Do it now , Sherlock.”

 

Sherlock jumped and started to rise, everything in him crying out to please John.  He knew John only had his best interest at heart. There was no reason not to give into him.  Sherlock bit his lip hard to remind himself that this was an experiment. He could obviously resist, with enough focus, but the fact that he trusted John so implicitly was skewing his thoughts.  He wondered if-

 

“Order me to do something contrary to my wishes.  Something I do not want to do.”

 

“No!”

 

“I need more data , John,” Sherlock said in exasperation.  “My faith in you to act in my best interest is altering the way I react to your demands.”

 

“I don’t want to-”

 

“For heaven’s sake, I’m not asking you to make me do something to hurt myself!”

 

“Fine,” John bit out, clearly frustrated.  “Throw the skull out the window.”

 

“John!”  Sherlock was scandalized.  Of all the things to demand.

 

“Out the window,” John repeated through gritted teeth.  Sherlock braced himself for the wave of compulsion, but found it significantly lessened.  He didn’t know if that was necessarily because John didn’t actually want him to throw the skull out the window, or if it was because Sherlock himself didn’t want to do it.  Still, it was rather reassuring. He felt the same itch, the buzz in his head telling him to do whatever John wanted, to submit, but it was far more manageable.  The skull stayed on the mantle.

 

“Good.  Now make a sexual demand.”

 

What ?”

 

“A sexual demand, John, do keep up.  I want to see how much of my responses to you will be completely my own and how much of them will be submission to your will.”

 

“That’s not-”  John’s chest was rising and falling sharply, his discomfort edging into outright disgust.

 

“I want to go further with you.  I am merely seeing how your Voice affects that desire.”

 

“Sherlock.”  John closed his eyes tightly as if trying to block out the request, or even Sherlock in his entirety.  “Please…”

 

Sherlock felt a small pang of regret.  It was painfully obvious that John found everything to do with his Alpha nature abhorrent.  He’d spent decades nurturing that mindset.  The idea of forcing his will on anyone, especially Sherlock, clearly upset him.  And Sherlock could understand, considering the trust in their relationship, how even taking the smallest risk that he might force Sherlock to do something sexual that he did not want would disturb John greatly.

 

Still, Sherlock needed this data.  He whistled sharply. John looked up in time to see Sherlock toss the skull at him.  “Proof,” Sherlock explained. “That I am still fully capable of resisting an order I do not wish to comply with.”  John still looked doubtful. “I meant it when I said that I want to engage in sexual activity with you, John.  You are-” he stopped, feeling that anything he could say would either be trite or reveal too much of himself.  “Alpha or not, you are pleasing to me. Sexual activity is not something I’ve often felt any desire for, but with you…”  He trailed off, letting the slight flush in his cheeks fill in the rest.

 

John stared at him for a moment, absorbing that.  Then words were slipping from his lips before he’d consciously allowed them.  “Kiss me.”

 

It was a different kind of compulsion than when he’d told Sherlock to bring him the violin or throw the skull out.  It didn’t feel forced.  There was no physical unease of disobeying, except that he was denied the pleasure of obeying.  He wanted to kiss John.  Desperately. Somewhere in his mind there was enough logic left to note that he did want to kiss John, simply for the sake of doing it.  Not the highest priority on his list - he was far more interested in learning John’s typical seminal fluid output, or studying his pheromones under a microscope - but he did want to.

 

Now, it was as though he could hardly wait.  John wanted to kiss him. There was nothing righter in the world.  Kissing would give them both so much pleasure, and then it would lead to-

 

“Stop!”

 

Sherlock realized he was on his knees between John’s thighs, leaning forward to kiss him.  John was warding him off with both hands, regret and distress equal on his face. Sherlock heard a low whine, and realized it had come from himself.  He jerked back and felt himself flush.

 

“Wait.  I just- I didn’t think about that.  I don’t want our… our first kiss to be with you under the influence of my Voice.”

 

“Oh-”  Sherlock cocked his head, considering.  He supposed, from a sentimental point of view, he could understand John’s reticence.  “Something else, then?”

 

“Or… or you could, you know,” John shrugged, trying not to look as hopeful as he was, “kiss me just on your own?”

 

Sherlock let out a huff of laughter and smiled.  He could have pointed out that this was a perfect example of John rising above his instincts, of how in control of himself he still was, but decided that it could wait.  Instead, he leaned forward again, wholly of his own will, and pressed his lips to John’s.

 

Sherlock wasn’t sure what, exactly, he’d been expecting.  Not the ridiculous ‘bells and whistles’ that so many idiots seemed convinced would occur, certainly.  And he’d known he would feel more than he had the few times he’d engaged in this activity in the past, simply because he actually felt something for John.  Still, he was unprepared for just how much it felt like coming home.  John was positively radiating security-comfort-cherish.  There was still the sharp edge of arousal in his scent, but, for the moment at least, it was overlaid with so much more.  Even the purely physical aspect of it, their lips moulded together, John’s tongue brushing softly against Sherlock’s lower lip, was more than Sherlock had expected.  The contact was… pleasurable.

 

Sherlock had only been kissed sexually by one other person, and the entire time, Sherlock had been thinking that it was a vaguely disgusting pre-copulation ritual.  Mouths were filthy places. He’d never seen his lips as a particularly erogenous area, so they were frivolous in terms of arousal. John Watson was currently blowing that notion right out of the water.  It wasn’t his impending heat, and it wasn’t the surge of hormones both of them were experiencing. John was simply a sinful kisser, and he was spurring Sherlock’s desire with each masterful caress of his lips and tongue.  It was as if those nerves had a direct line to his cock, which was once again hard and aching in his pants.

 

He wanted more.

 

Emboldened by the low rumble of pleasure that John emitted, Sherlock pressed closer.  He threaded his long fingers into John’s hair to keep him steady and began to give back as good as he got in the kiss.  He mirrored John’s technique at first, then rapidly discovered what he wanted to do on his own. As if to remind him who was the real master in the subject, John’s teeth sank gently into the swell of Sherlock’s lower lip, making him gasp and groan.

 

Even though Sherlock would have been happy to go on kissing for quite some time, John eventually pulled back.  His eyes remained focused on Sherlock’s lips hungrily. “Th-that’s enough for now,” he managed to say. Again, Sherlock was impressed by his restraint.

 

“Now order me to kiss you.”

 

There was only the smallest of hesitations before John said, “kiss me, Sherlock.”

 

His own desire for the act multiplied.  It became intense, his need to once again feel John’s lips on his burning inside of him.  He wanted it, wanted to share that strange intimacy with John, and it would be so good, feel so right, make John so happy-

 

“Another order, something more vulgar,” Sherlock demanded, still staring at John’s mouth.

 

“Suck my cock,” John ordered almost instantly.  “Take it so deep that I can fuck your beautiful throat.”

 

The haze of need-want-obey lifted a little.  He did plan to engage in oral sex with John, at some point.  And he assumed, when the time came, that he would be able to appease John any way he liked, up to and including taking John’s erection into his throat.  The idea of giving John that much pleasure made his cock and arse throb. But he didn’t plan to do it on his knees in their living room. And he knew that John didn’t really wish such an aggressive act to be their second sexual contact.

 

He was just about to sit back, to purposely ignore his desire to obey, when John seemed to snap back to his senses.  “No!” He put his hand over his tented jeans. “Don’t! Don’t do that. I can’t believe I said that. I”m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

 

Sherlock moved back and resumed his place in the chair.  He acknowledged John’s apologies, and dismissed them. “There is nothing for which you need apologize, John.  I asked you to be vulgar and you were. That provided just the data I was looking for.”

 

“What it provided,” John growled, “is proof that I’m not in control of myself.  I never should have said that to you.  And to have ordered you to-” he stopped, shame making his fists clench and his stomach knot.

 

“You obeyed my request,” Sherlock reminded him sharply.  When that didn’t seem to appease him, Sherlock tried another tactic.  “John, did you not notice that I wasn’t moving to obey?”

 

John glanced at the skull.  “We’ve already established that for now, you can still ignore orders you don’t want to comply with.  But after we bond-”

 

“That wasn’t why.  Aside from scientific curiosity and the massive amounts of data that I will be able to glean from that act, I will also want to do so purely from a physical respect.  The Omega in me will get pleasure from pleasuring you.” He went on quickly before John could express his distaste at that. “And, the… friend in me, the partner, the abhorrently sentimental side of me that- that cares for you, will enjoy it too.”  He swallowed, feeling ridiculous for expressing such emotional twaddle. “Besides, I think it is safe to say that you aren’t one of those thick-skulled, idiotic Alphas that believe Omega’s erections aren’t deserving of any attention, and assuming that it is an act you will want to perform on me, I will wish to reciprocate.”

 

John was silent for a long moment, taking all that in.  Sherlock could see some of the tension leave his shoulders.  His scent changed subtly as well. Sherlock was getting better at understanding it, not just because his senses were becoming sharper the longer his hormones stayed in their natural balance, but because he was learning this aspect of John with a rapidity and ease that only proved how compatible they were.  John shifted from smelling safe-protect-defend to comfort-affection-want. It was arousing and soothing at the same time.

 

“You know that I wouldn’t expect you to reciprocate just because I’ll want to-”

 

“I know that,” Sherlock dismissed.  Really, did John think Sherlock had become an imbecile?

 

There was another pause, and then, “So what was the reason?  You said it wasn’t because you didn’t want to. What was it, then?”

 

Sherlock smiled.  “Because you didn’t want me to.”

 

“Sherlock, trust me-”

 

“No, no, do shut up.  I am aware that the purely physical desire for that is there.  But you and your Alpha instincts are not separate entities. Despite your more base urges, you did not want me to obey that order because you thought I did not want to.  Because you would have found it to be too vulgar after what was only our first kiss.  I know you, John.”  He smiled a little, something inside of him feeling soft and warm at how earnest, how affectionate the doctor was.  “I can already see you thinking about what you believe our first time ought to be like. And yes, I have no problem with engaging in sexual activity before my heat begins.”

 

“I didn’t even suggest it yet.”

 

“You were going to.”

 

John shook his head, a low chuckle escaping him.  “Yes, I was.”

 

“And it is a sound idea.  Now that I have all the data I required about your Voice, it makes sense for us to engage in coitus prior to my heat.  Not only will it reassure you that you are still fully in control of yourself despite your hormonal surges, but it will also allow us to… adjust, to this new aspect of our relationship before we are exposing our most base desires to each other in the throes of heat fueled lust.”

 

“You mean before your heat triggers my rut and I’m reduced to growling obscene sexual demands at you.”

 

“I mean,” Sherlock clarified, ignoring the color rising on his cheekbones again, “before my heat prompts me to beg shamelessly for the physical relief I will be seeking.”  He admitted that he strongly disliked that aspect of this whole endeavor. He didn’t like giving up so much control, didn’t like baring himself both physically and metaphorically.  With anyone else, the idea was distasteful to the point of revulsion. But with John… “We are going to be at our most vulnerable in an extremely intimate way. I’m sure the idea is an uncomfortable one for both of us.  However-” he managed to keep his eyes locked on John’s, driving the point home, “there is no one else on this earth whom would allow to have that level of power over me, or indeed, to want them to take it.”

 

Sherlock felt he’d revealed a disturbing amount of sentiment.  He only hoped that John could understand it. He knew that sometimes things which he felt so clearly conveyed his emotions came across as-

 

“Me too,” John whispered.  “We’ve… got each other. Yeah?  You and me.”

 

Sherlock let out slow breath, relieved that John understood him so well.  “Yes.”

 

“So.  We’re doing this, then?”

 

“I believe I’ve sufficiently proved my plan’s merit.”

 

“Talked me into this madness, you mean.”  There was a hint of a smile around John’s eyes.  Sherlock shrugged, his own smile broadening.

 

“Genius, more like.”

 

John laughed.  For a moment, it was as though everything was back to normal, as if the past few hours had never happened, and they were still ignorant of each other’s secrets.  But John reached forward as though he was going to caress Sherlock’s jaw, and arousal spiked in his scent, and almost instantly, his face fell. His self-deprecation was rearing its head.  Sherlock needed to act fast.

 

He caught John’s hand before it lowered, and tugged until they were both standing.  Taking a short breath to brace himself, Sherlock allowed a small measure of uncertainty, of trepidation, on his face.  “Do you truly have no objection to intercourse with me before my heat? I understand why you would be disinclined, but I really would prefer to have our first experience together not be under the influence of delirium-inducing hormones.”

 

John growled.  “Stop making it sound as if it will be a hardship to sleep with you.  My only reticence comes from doubts about myself, not you.  Sherlock, you are… you’re breathtaking.  Brilliant. Amazing. Bloody gorgeous, and I’ve thought all that from the beginning.  There isn’t any single thing about you that doesn’t have me practically panting for a taste of you.”

 

“In that case,” Sherlock said softly, triumphant with victory, “there’s no reason to deny yourself.”

 

***

 

John allowed himself to be led down the hall to Sherlock’s bedroom.  For a moment, he’d stalled in the hallway, thinking they were lacking supplies, but Sherlock had reminded him they didn’t need condoms, and so close to the onset of his heat, they wouldn’t need lube if they were careful.

 

Just like that, any delay he could think of was brushed aside.  He knew there should be more, but his mind was going blank, all rational thought replaced by the knowledge that very, very soon, he would be inside Sherlock.  He would be bonding Sherlock.  Would bite him and knot him and-

 

He stopped, shaking his head to try and clear it.

 

Every single one of Sherlock’s arguments had been sound.  This was the rational choice. Despite how vulnerable of a position it would put Sherlock in, he’d almost made it sound as if John would be doing him a favor.  As if anything good could come from John being an Alpha and allowing himself to act like one.

 

As a doctor, he knew that this was the right decision for Sherlock, medically.  The hormone replacements Sherlock had been taking did leave him at increased risk of heart attack and stroke.  And with Sherlock’s history of drug use… It was not a good combination.

 

And if they were bonded, then there was no risk that Sherlock might be discovered as an Omega and coerced into taking a different Alpha.  Surely John was better than some faceless stranger who wouldn’t know Sherlock, wouldn’t care about him?

 

Just the idea had John gritting his teeth in anger.  He wouldn’t allow anyone else to touch Sherlock.  No one would cherish him, body and mind, the way John would.

 

A streak of shame went through John.  Wasn’t that just the Alpha way to think?  That he knew what was best for Sherlock?  That he needed to be the one to provide it?  But Sherlock had been the one to suggest this.  He wanted it.  John remembered the uncharacteristically hesitant words, no one else I would want to take that power.

 

Maybe there really was a part of Sherlock that was classically Omega, that desired to be dominated.

 

He hated how much the idea aroused him.  Everywhere else in their lives, Sherlock was by far the more assertive of the two of them.  Sherlock led, and John followed. No, John wasn’t submissive to him by any stretch of the imagination, but he’d never doubted that Sherlock deserved to be followed.

 

In this one area, though, it could be the opposite.  John would be the aggressor. He would have control, and Sherlock would submit.  And if John could believe Sherlock’s sincerity, then that submission would come the same way John’s own willingness did - with faith, and trust, and pride.

 

The idea of Sherlock feeling for John even one iota of the admiration and dedication that John felt for Sherlock was intoxicating.

 

Over the years, Sherlock could have had his pick of any Alpha, had he wanted.  Even after finding out what John was, Sherlock could easily have gone right back on his pills and forgotten the whole thing.  He hadn’t. He’d chosen John.  Not just for now.  For always.

 

The weight of that, the enormity of it, settled around his heart.

 

They were at the edge of Sherlock’s bed when John pulled him to a stop.  “Are you sure, Sherlock? About the bonding? We can wait - not long, but until after this first time, certainly.  Give you more data. So you can make absolutely certain this is what you want. That I am who you want to tie yourself to.”

 

“I am sure, John.  Absolutely and unequivocally.”

 

Still, John hesitated.  “Just take a minute and think about it.  Because, if we start, and you change your mind-”  He closed his eyes and shook his head. “I swear to god I would try to stop, Sherlock, but I don’t know if I could-”

 

Sherlock silenced him with a bruising kiss.  He tangled his fingers into John’s hair and kept him firmly in place.  He angled their heads so that he could deepen the kiss, opening his mouth to allow his tongue to brush against John’s.  Now that Sherlock had been introduced to how pleasurable kissing could be, it was something he intended to indulge in regularly.  And if it happened to be an acceptable way to stop John’s self-deprecating tyrades, then all the better for them both.

 

When he finally pulled back, John’s eyes were hazy with lust and his breath was coming hard.  Sherlock kept his hold on John’s hair, tugging ever so slightly to drive his point home. “I - am - sure.”

 

And just like that, the dam broke.

 

Later, Sherlock would be truly impressed at how long John had held onto his composure.  At how long he’d resisted the scent of aroused - because at that point, Sherlock had been undeniably aroused - unclaimed Omega.  It was a testament to John’s strength of will. To how absolutely dedicated he was to ensuring Sherlock’s wishes were respected.

 

But that was later.  In the moment, all Sherlock could think was yes finally yes.  John’s scent changed from protect-comfort-cherish to a dramatic lust-need- mine.  Sherlock hadn’t planned to fall prey to his hormones, not when he didn’t have the excuse of his heat, but he couldn’t deny that his knees went weak at that scent.  That his body throbbed in anticipation.

 

He wanted John, in a way he’d never wanted anyone before.  If he wasn’t filled with such a strong sense of rightness, the intensity of his desires would have frightened him.  John’s body was demanding mine mine mine, and Sherlock’s was demanding it right back.

 

Suddenly even the thin barrier of his clothing was too much to have between them.  Sherlock raised his hands to unbutton his shirt, barely restraining the urge to rip the damn thing off, but John caught him with a growl.

 

“Don’t,” he ordered.  Sherlock inhaled sharply, stung.  But John did not let him think it was rejection for long.  “That’s for me.” He unfastened the first button of Sherlock’s shirt, nostrils flaring as another inch of skin was exposed.  “Do you have any idea how many times I’ve fantasized about doing this?” Another button. “About stripping you out of these tight shirts and trousers and feasting on the sight of you?”  Another button, and another.  “My god but you are breathtaking.”

 

The shirt hung open, baring Sherlock’s chest and abdomen.  John’s fingers shifted inside the edges of it and slid up, up, up, until he pushed the shirt from Sherlock’s shoulders.  It pooled on the floor behind them and neither of them paid it any heed. John’s fingers trailed down Sherlock’s torso again, then hooked under the waist of his trousers.  “Someday, I want to take these off you with my teeth.  But not today.”  Sherlock nearly groaned at the suggestion.  He wanted John’s mouth on him, in any way he could get it.

 

With deft fingers, John unbuckled Sherlock’s belt and then unfastened the placket of his trousers.  They barely stayed on his hips. Any moment, they would slip off, and then-

 

John slid his hands beneath the fabric to cup Sherlock’s arse, and the trousers fell away.  Sherlock didn’t know whether to press his hips closer to John’s or try to step out of his pants.  John solved it by beginning to kiss his way down Sherlock’s body. He trailed his lips down Sherlock’s neck, across his collar bones, stopped to pay particular attention to his sensitive nipples, then went lower.  There was a teasing moment when John’s breath ghosted hotly over Sherlock’s cock, and then he was moving lower still, kissing down Sherlock’s legs. Kneeling at Sherlock’s feet, he gently slipped Sherlock’s trousers and socks off.

 

Once Sherlock was naked in front of him, John sat back on his heels to admire him.  Sherlock fought the urge to squirm under the hot gaze, but no amount of will could keep a flush from rising in his face and chest.  His cock was already hard and dusky colored, begging for attention. He felt a single bead of slick trickle down his thigh and knew John was only moments away from tossing him on the bed and driving into him.

 

But, as always, John surprised him.  He yanked Sherlock’s hips closer and engulfed Sherlock’s cock.  He sucked hard, drawing a cry of pleasure from Sherlock, then gentled.  While generously sized for an Omega, Sherlock’s cock was small enough that John could take it to the root without gagging.  He laved the ultra-sensitive flesh, paying extra attention to the ridge where glans met shaft. Sherlock was breathless, dizzy with pleasure.

 

This wasn’t something he’d ever experienced before.  It was an archaic yet still widely believed fallacy that Omegas should only get pleasure via internal stimulation from their Alpha’s cock.  Utterly preposterous, of course, but the notion lingered, perpetuated by unrealistic pornography in which Omegas came spectacularly without any external stimulation, and compounded by the fact that most Omegas seemed too timid to ask for things that would increase their pleasure.

 

As such, most Alphas would never think to give their partners oral sex.  And while Sherlock had already said he knew John wasn’t one to act in such a selfish, ignorant manner, having him actually sucking Sherlock’s cock was another matter entirely.

 

He heard himself gasping, moaning wantonly at the pleasure, and couldn’t bring himself to stop.  It was shockingly intense, and seemed almost more intimate than actual intercourse. There was no mimicry of breeding in this, no purpose it served except pure, hedonistic delight.  John was doing this simply to make Sherlock feel good. And that was intoxicating.

 

Faster than he could have thought possible, Sherlock felt a coiling in his belly and building heat.  He put his hand into John’s hair and tugged until John released him with a pop and sat back.  “You have to-” he panted and swallowed hard, “stop.  Or I’m going to orgasm.”

 

John grinned up at him wolfishly.  “That’s the intent.” He leaned forward once more, but Sherlock caught him again.

 

“I assumed you would want me to reach completion while you were-” he waved vaguely at the bed.  John’s gaze softened, and he pressed kisses across the curve of Sherlock’s hip bone.

 

“I do.  But you’ll be more comfortable, more relaxed, if you’ve come once already before we move onto that.”

 

Sherlock’s brows rise.  “Really?” He supposed, logically, it made sense.  Muscle tension release after orgasm, the flood of endorphins, would all make-  His train of thought broke off when he saw John’s expression turn half angry, half sad.

 

Angry with Sherlock?  But no. That wasn’t it at all.  Sherlock took in the set of his jaw, the arch of his brows, the tension of his body, and quickly surmised the truth.  Angry that Sherlock hadn’t known. That he’d been with an Alpha before that hadn’t taken the time. And sad that Sherlock had experienced anything less than absolute tenderness and satisfaction from a sexual encounter.

 

It was a particularly sweet sentiment, but wholly unnecessary.  Sherlock wouldn’t have wanted this with anyone else.

 

“Show me?” he asked.  John’s eyes darkened again and he eagerly resumed his ministrations.  He coaxed Sherlock back to the edge of orgasm and held him there until Sherlock was squirming and moaning.  One low, breathy, “please,” escaped Sherlock’s lips.  And John instantly granted him release.  He sucked hard, swallowing as Sherlock’s cock pulsed and emitted thin, clear ejaculate.

 

The orgasm was short and sharp, unlike any climax Sherlock had ever experienced before.  It burned bright and hot and then died out just as quickly, leaving Sherlock unsteady on his feet.  John, ever conscious of anything Sherlock needed, was right there to urge him down onto the bed. Somewhere along the way, John managed to shuck his own clothing, so that when he followed Sherlock to the bed, they were skin to skin.

 

“Gorgeous,” John whispered, looking down at him as if Sherlock was a work of art.  He kissed Sherlock deeply and then moved down his body. “You taste so sweet,” he growled, nibbling his way to Sherlock’s nipples.  “You came undone so beautifully.” He licked one, then suckled it, making Sherlock arch up to him. “You’re so fantastic, Sherlock. So perfect.”  Sherlock practically keened under the praise. He’d always basked in John’s admiration, but experiencing it now seemed like pure bliss. “Tell me you’re mine.”

 

“I’m-” Sherlock cried out when John moved lower yet and sucked a love-bite on Sherlock’s inner thigh.  “I’m yours,” he agreed, feeling it was true even though they weren’t yet bonded. Feeling as though it had always been true.

 

“Mine,” John repeated, pushing Sherlock’s knee to his chest and trailing those biting kisses down to Sherlock’s perineum.  “Mine.” His tongue darted lower, lapping at the slick that had begun to trickle freely from Sherlock’s hole. Sherlock squirmed, the sensation pleasant, but unfamiliar, almost too extreme - and then John thrust his tongue inside and Sherlock was howling with pleasure.  He was already so sensitive from his recent orgasm, and John’s tongue seemed to wring pleasure from him, curling and licking every single part of Sherlock.

 

Despite the fact that Sherlock’s refractory period was longer when he wasn’t in heat, his cock was already hard again, pulsing with his arousal.  He felt like a livewire, a conduit for pleasure, a lightning rod being jolted again and again with pure ecstasy.

 

He only realized he was calling John’s name raggedly when John finally drew away and kissed back up to his lips.  Sherlock could taste himself on John’s tongue, and the salty/sweet flavour sent a wave of satisfaction through him.  “Mine,” John growled again, his cock twitching eagerly between Sherlock’s legs. “And I’m as much yours, if you’ll have me.”

 

“Yes,” Sherlock agreed earnestly.  “You are mine as well, John Watson.  Mine.” He would have gladly belonged to this Alpha.  But John offered more than that. He offered himself back just the same.

 

“Please, tell me you still want me inside you.”

 

“Yes!  John-” Sherlock shifted up, planning to turn over so that John could mount him, but John held him down, a look of confusion on his face.  “I’m ready,” Sherlock pleaded.

 

“Would you prefer if I was behind you, love?  Or can I have you just like this?”

 

Sherlock blinked.  “You want-”

 

“I want to see your face.  I want to kiss you, to hear you moan in my ear, to watch your eyes as you come undone beneath me.”

 

Yet again, this was out of Sherlock’s admittedly limited realm of experience.  A hands and knees position allowed the dominant partner more control, gave them leverage to drive hard and deep, then pin their Omega in a mating press while they knotted them.

 

John wanted to be able to kiss Sherlock, instead?

 

“Yes,” Sherlock agreed, increasingly desperate for more, more of this man who never stopped surprising him.  John kissed Sherlock again and hitched Sherlock’s leg around his waist.

 

“Can’t wait to feel you around me,” John grunted, reaching between them to position the head of his cock against Sherlock’s slick opening.  “Can’t wait to feel you come on my cock.” He pushed forward ever so slightly, testing the relaxed ring of muscle and then pulling back. “Can’t wait to knot you, to bind us together every way possible.”  He pressed in again, deeper this time but still not enough. Sherlock wrapped his other leg around John’s waist and dug his heels into John’s back for leverage, thrusting up and sinking John’s cock into him.

 

They both groaned.  John bit Sherlock’s earlobe reprovingly.  “Impatient- as- ever.” He punctuated each word with a deeper press, feeding the rest of his length into Sherlock’s body.   “God you feel incredible!”  He pulled back and thrust shallowly, eyes rapt on Sherlock’s face.

 

“John-” Sherlock broke off on a moan as his cock became trapped between their abdomens, creating delicious friction each time John drove into him.  This wasn’t just animalistic coupling, a frantic rush for completion. It was overwhelmingly intimate. It was the desire to give each other pleasure, to share themselves, to create something with one another that they would never have with anyone else.

 

He wondered if his heat was close enough that John would knot him, and found the idea so arousing that his cock pulsed between them.  He wanted that, wanted John to fill him, mark him, own him.

 

“Christ, Sherlock!  Need- to-” He groaned and bared his teeth in a snarl, keeping them tightly clenched as he struggled to contain himself.  

 

Sherlock instantly tipped his head to the side, baring his neck in submission and desire.  John snarled again and drove into him hard enough to leave him breathless, but still didn’t lean in.

 

“Tell - me-”  The words were little more than growls.  Once again, Sherlock was surprised at John’s restraint.  At his determination to give Sherlock one last out, even in the throes of their passion.  He threaded his fingers into John’s hair and yanked him down, putting his mouth right at the crook of Sherlock’s shoulder.

 

“Mark me,” he demanded.

 

John didn’t wait another moment.  He sank his teeth into Sherlock’s shoulder, Alpha canines popping the gland there.  Sherlock felt a small burn, then utter euphoria. It was better than all the drugs in the world combined.  There was nothing like it - pure, unadulterated bliss. His orgasm almost felt like an afterthought, a small burst of pleasure as he floated on an endless sea of it.  John’s exclamation of pleasure filled Sherlock with delight. The stretch of his knot growing, getting caught securely inside Sherlock, felt like the most right thing in the world.  

 

Time lost all meaning.  He wanted John to fill him up, to pump him full of seed, to breed him-

 

That didn’t make sense.

 

Sherlock shook his head, trying to regain his senses.  He realized that John was calling his name softly, peppering his face with kisses as he did so.

 

“Sherlock.  Sherlock, come back now, love.  Sherlock.”

 

Even the way John said his name made Sherlock shudder with pleasure.  There was such adoration in it, such devotion. The air around them was thick with it, with the scent of John’s satisfaction, the delectable love-comfort-mine combination.

 

“John.”

 

John pulled back, a soft smile on his face.  “There you are.”

 

“How long has it been?”

 

“Five, maybe ten minutes?”

 

Sherlock’s eyes widened in shock.  Had he really been senseless with pleasure for that long?  He must have looked distressed, because John leaned down to kiss him again.

 

“It’s normal to get carried away during bonding.  It’s a drastic change in your chemical makeup. Your endorphin levels reach insane peaks.”

 

Sherlock had never heard of that, but he didn’t admit it.  Instead, he asked, “and for you?”

 

“It’s different for an Alpha.  A lot of possessive bollocks I won’t bore you with.”

 

“Not as pleasurable, then?”

 

John laughed.  “I wouldn’t say that.  Hell, it’s still pleasurable.  Just not quite euphoria.  Near thing, though, trust me.”  He glanced down at where they were still joined, then up to Sherlock’s crescent shaped bonding mark.  “No regrets?”

 

“About bonding with you?”  Sherlock shook his head. “None.  You?”

 

“God, no.  This is-” He dropped his forehead down to Sherlock’s.  “You’ve got to know that you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me.  Being with you like this, it’s… Sherlock, I should have told you before we bonded, so you knew there wasn’t anything making me say it, no hormones compelling me, nothing except the barest truth.”  He let out a slow breath that bathed Sherlock’s face. “I adore you.”

 

“John-”  Sherlock found himself blinking hard, more deeply touched than he could fully comprehend.  He closed the distance between their lips and kissed John. Not to arouse him, not to initiate sex, but to express his affection.  No, that wasn’t right - affection didn’t encompass what he felt for John. It was more than that, deeper, but he couldn’t think of a single word that would be adequate.  He only hoped that his physical display was enough.

 

They kissed for a long time, John breaking away to press his lips to Sherlock’s forehead, his jaw, his neck, even along the bond mark.  Eventually, John’s knot shrank, and he shifted to the side to give Sherlock space. A high pitched sound of distress left Sherlock’s throat and he pressed close again, then jerked back, disgusted with his lack of control over himself.

 

“It’s alright,” John soothed, pulling him close again.  “It’s just because the bond is so new. It might be a little overwhelming for a few hours.”

 

“I know that,” Sherlock snapped.  The ire of his tone was belied by the way he snuggled under John’s chin, inhaling his scent.  It was different now than it had been an hour ago. Claimed.

 

John laughed.  “Well I’m glad.  Because it’s the same for me, you know.”

 

“It is?”

 

“Yeah.  I just want to… hold you.  Kiss you. Breathe you in. You don’t mind, do you?”

 

“No.”  And Sherlock found that he truly didn’t.  Of course it was the hormones. The new bond, his impending heat… but it was also simply his wish to be close to John.  “I am- grateful, that you agreed to this.”

 

“Never have rightly been able to resist you.”

 

“You could have.  You could have done many things other than this, and yet this is what you did instead.”

 

“Sherlock, all my hang ups about my secondary gender aside, I did want this.  I mean, I didn’t.  I didn’t ever want to bond, didn’t want to have that power over anyone.  But I always wanted you.  I chose a life with you a long time ago.  I’m honored that you choose one with me, too.”

 

After a moment of stunned pleasure, Sherlock cleared his throat.  “Watson, I insist you stop these dangerously romantic declarations at once, before I find myself making one in return.”

 

John’s face fell.  “I wouldn’t want you to ever feel compelled-”

 

“I wouldn’t,” Sherlock assured him, pressing a kiss to his lips to halt his sentence.  “Nothing would compel me except my desire to express the ridiculous emotional carnival ride my brain seems to be on.  I have always held you in the highest regard. You are my partner, my confidante, my best friend. Let me suffice to say that what I feel for you is the very pinnacle of what one being can feel for another.”

 

He subsided, feeling utterly ludicrous for voicing those thoughts aloud.  But the soft smile on John’s face made it clear that he’d understood the expression of love - because that’s what it was, at heart - and that he was happy.

 

John kissed him again and hugged him close.

 

***

 

John felt Sherlock stir, and stayed perfectly still, hoping that he would go back to sleep.  The genius detective didn’t sleep much, and John knew he needed the rest. Really, he thought it was a miracle that Sherlock had fallen asleep in his arms at all.  But Sherlock’s body was experiencing radical shifts - first with the return of his Omega hormones, then the chemical changes of bonding, and his rapidly impending heat on top of all that.  Still, John hadn’t thought he would be lucky enough to get to hold Sherlock while he slept.

 

It was strange, too, that he so desperately wanted Sherlock to sleep in his arms.  Less than twenty-four hours ago, he’d thought his friend and flatmate was an asexual beta.  He’d known the man was aesthetically pleasing, could even say that he loved him, in a wholly sexless way.  Now, they were in bed together, mated.

 

It was easy to guess that the reason he’d never felt strong physical attraction to Sherlock was the same reason he’d never really felt physical attraction to his beta girlfriends - the hormone suppressants he’d been taking most of his life.  Now that his system was clear of them, it was obvious that Sherlock Holmes was exactly what John was drawn to. He wondered if he’d known that subconsciously, and that was why they’d been inseparable from the start.

 

He was immensely glad, though, that he’d had a year with Sherlock on the suppressants.  If Sherlock had smelled as good as he did now, John wouldn’t have been able to prevent himself from pursuing more than friendship.  It had been a long time since John had properly smelled unattached Omega, but it had been nothing like the scent of Sherlock Holmes.  He was delectable, irresistible. John was already dangerously addicted.

 

Now that they were bonded, those feelings were magnified and multiplied.

 

John looked down at the bond mark on Sherlock’s shoulder.  There was just enough light in the room for it to shine, a silver crescent from John’s teeth.  Hormones and their bond meant that he felt soothing comfort and satisfaction at the sight, but the rational part of him was still appalled at it.  He’d marked Sherlock.  He’d bonded them together, subjugated Sherlock, made him powerless in John’s hands, put a brand of ownership on his skin.  It was repulsive to think of Sherlock being treated like a brainless, timid Omega, good only for what was between his legs.

 

John could do that to him.  He was an Alpha, ruled by his base urges, aggressive, possessive, hot-tempered.  He could be overcome with a wave of jealousy at the sight of Sherlock near another Alpha, and fuck him against his will right on the sidewalk for anyone to see.  Sherlock would be powerless to stop him. He could order Sherlock to stay in their bed as a sex slave, prisoner not by any shackles, but by John’s Voice.

 

John closed his eyes and took deep, steady breaths in through his nose to keep himself from being sick at the very thought.  Because the worst part, the thing that made John want to put a bullet in his mouth, was the fact that a tiny part of him liked those ideas.

 

He would never, ever, force sex on Sherlock.  And he certainly wouldn’t allow anyone else to see them being intimate.  It was for them alone, and John wouldn’t share even a moment of it with others.  But the possessive Alpha in him wanted everyone to know beyond a doubt that Sherlock was his Omega, that John was the only one who would give him pleasure, that Sherlock carried John’s seed inside him.  

 

And while John had already vowed, both to himself and Sherlock, never to purposely compel him with his Voice, the sex-starved, newly bonded Alpha liked the idea of Sherlock staying in their bed, begging for as much cock as John could give him.  He wanted to make the always rational and collected detective mad with lust, wanted him to writhe in pleasure and beg John for more, wanted Sherlock pliant and eager beneath him every moment.

 

All of those thoughts erased Sherlock as a person.  They reduced him to just an Omega, a vessel whose purpose was to serve an Alpha.  And John really would eat a bullet before he let himself treat Sherlock that way.

 

Sherlock shifted again, turning his face against John’s chest and rubbing against him.  John tipped his head down until he could bury his nose in Sherlock’s curls and inhale his sweet scent.  He would never willingly harm Sherlock. It had been true when they were only friends, and it was even moreso now that they were mates.  Alpha instincts were something to be feared, rejected at all costs, but there were other sides to that as well.

 

The simple fact that Sherlock was an Omega would have made John feel the need to protect the man.  Now that they were bonded, it was a biological imperative. He would do everything in his power to provide for Sherlock’s every need, to keep him safe, to make him happy.  All Alphas were driven to care for their Omegas. The problem was that so many Alphas saw Omegas as little more than a pet - not an equal, but someone that needed coddled and ordered around and even punished for their own good.  It was a perversion of an Alpha’s duty to their Omega, a warped mindset that allowed Alphas to abuse their mates any way they chose.

 

It was what his mother had experienced at the hands of her Alpha, before she’d escaped and met John’s father.  Her bond mark had been a vicious, ragged thing, and she’d borne dozens of scars from her time with her mate. The psychological trauma had been even more severe.  John’s father had been a patient, soft spoken man, and still, she had flinched any time his voice had gone above a murmur. She’d used alcohol to stifle the memories, and John was absolutely convinced that him presenting as an Alpha was what had driven her so far into the bottle that her liver had finally failed.

 

John had always sworn to himself that he would never inflict his nature on someone else.  And yet here he was, his best friend now his bond mate.

 

John couldn’t undo what they’d done - wasn’t sure he’d have the strength to do it, even if it were possible - all he could do was ensure that Sherlock was always treated with the respect and consideration he deserved.  John would be good to him, not just good for him.  He wouldn’t believe he knew best what Sherlock needed, wouldn’t try to correct his behavior in any way, wouldn’t ever treat him as anything less than.  Less than human, less than genius, less than John’s very heart.  

 

And if anyone else ever tried to treat Sherlock as less… well, they would have John Watson to answer to.

 

He was thinking about the bad experiences Sherlock had had with Alphas and trying not to let himself to hazy with rage over it when Sherlock stirred again.  This time, his eyes blinked open and he looked up at John, brows furrowed.

 

“John?”

 

Just the sound of his voice was enough to start to calm John.  He let out a slow breath and kissed Sherlock’s forehead. “Hey.”

 

“You’re upset.  What is-” He broke off, delicately sniffing the air as he watched John’s face.  “Oh.”

 

“Sorry- not upset at you.  Not at all. It’s nothing.”

 

“No it’s not.  You’re thinking about my past.”

 

For half a moment, John considered denying it.  But Sherlock could see right through him. He’d always been able to.  Instead, he sighed. “You’re right, I was.”

 

“How mundane.”  Sherlock rolled to his back and stretched, unabashed of his nudity.  “It has no bearing whatsoever on the present. It is superfluous, John.  Meaningless.”

 

“Not to me.”

 

Sherlock scoffed.  “Don’t tell me that this is where you play the part of jealous Alpha.  I’d rather hoped it would be a more dramatic scenario.  Instead would you like a list of every cock I’ve taken?”

 

“Sherlock!”  John drew back as if scalded.  “As glad as I am to hear how you truly see me, that wasn’t what I meant at all.  I want to know more about your past so that I can be a more mindful, considerate mate.  So that I wouldn’t inadvertently do anything that might trigger unpleasant memories. So that you can know you always have someone to confide in, to share your burdens.”  He shook his head, regret lining his face. “Obviously that won’t-”

 

He’d been turning to get off the bed, but Sherlock caught his arm.  “Wait.” John paused, looking back over his shoulder. Sherlock’s face was grim, his lips twisted as if he’d sucked on something unpleasant.  “Stay. Please.”

 

John could do little else.  He turned back and settled himself on the bed once more.  Tentatively, as if unsure he would still be welcome, Sherlock drew closer.  With a sigh, John pulled him across the last distance between them.

 

“I may have… reached an erroneous conclusion.  It seems that perhaps I have somewhat more reticence to discuss the topic than I anticipated.  I shouldn’t have accused you like that.”

 

“Alright.”  John knew that the suddenly formal speech was Sherlock’s way of distancing himself, of getting a little perspective.  “We don’t have to talk about anything you don’t want to, Sherlock. But- but I do think it would be good for you to open up about it at some point, especially since it does seem to be affecting you, at least a little.”

 

“I- no.  I mean yes, but not in the way you think.”  He threw his head back on the pillow with a groan of frustration.  “I dislike discussing it because I made a mistake - and you know how I feel about admitting my mistakes.  But the issues with that particular-” He broke off again, shaking his head. “Alright, I will tell you this story once, and only once.  It will anger you, you will have no outlet for that anger, and I expect us never to discuss the matter again. Agreed?”

 

John could already tell he didn’t like the way this story would go, but he nodded his agreement.

 

“Right then.”  Sherlock settled back more comfortably and closed his eyes.  “As I’ve already said, I’ve been on hormone replacements since I first presented at twenty.  It is unusual to present so late, however, the specialist my parents employed was quite talented at his trade, and was able to give me an appropriate dosage to keep any signs and symptoms at bay.  I was able to resume my life as usual - then consisting of completing my graduate’s degree at university. A few years later, while working on a second degree for lack of anything better to do, I found myself experiencing unusual symptoms.

 

“Irritability, abdominal trouble, fatigue…”  He opened his eyes to scowl at himself, likely for not realizing what was going on sooner, then shut them again.  “My hormones had experienced a shift, likely due to my late presentation. The replacements I’d been taking were insufficient, and a heat was hurtling down upon me with no chance of evasion.  Of course I contacted the specialist, who would analyze my hormone levels and prescribe new dosages, but in the mean time, I would be left to deal with my present predicament.

 

“The doctor suggested I find someone I trusted to spend my heat with.  And there is where I made my mistake.”

 

“Not having someone you could trust?” John asked.

 

“Oh no,” Sherlock laughed mirthlessly.  “Thinking that I did.

 

Already, John’s fists were clenched.  The Alpha that let Sherlock down, that harmed him, was someone he’d thought he could trust.  Someone he’d had faith in. That made the betrayal so much worse.

 

“I approached a… friend, about my situation.  We hadn’t been especially close, as I’d already developed the distinct charm which you yourself are already familiar with.  But he’d often put up with me when no one else would, and I had deduced that he had a slight case of hero-worship. He seemed the ideal candidate.  An Alpha, but not an aggressive one, someone I knew, felt comfortable around, someone who obviously didn’t see me as just a conquest.  Once I made my request clear, he agreed readily. I thought it would be a relatively hassle free encounter.

 

“I was wholly unprepared for the extent to which my heat would reduce my mental faculties.  I blame that for not seeing his intentions sooner. By the time he’d arrived the first day, I was barely able to tell what he’d had for lunch, let alone see his insipid plan to trap me.  To be honest, I don’t remember the first few minutes. I was relieved, obviously, to be getting what my body so desperately needed. The first thing I remember as a focused, rational thought, was staring at the condom wrapper on the floor.

 

“It had half a dozen tiny holes in it.  Pinpricks. He’d sabotaged the condom, hoping to get me pregnant.  While I was struggling to coordinate my limbs enough to throw him off of me, he climaxed.”

 

“Did he-”

 

Sherlock nodded.  “Very much so. We were tied together.  Once I began to struggle in earnest, he decided the best solution was to complete his plot by forcing a mark on me.”

 

John growled, fighting the vicious mantra of mine going through his mind.  Whatever had happened, Sherlock was in his arms, as his mate.

 

“He wrestled me into a mating press and when he leaned over me to bite, I managed to smash his nose with the back of my head.  In the end, I was able to knock him unconscious, and, once his knot had gone down, get away. I arranged to have myself sterilized the next day.”

 

“Where is he now?” John had meant to ask that casually.  Instead, it had come out with all the rage he couldn’t hide.

 

“As flattering as your desire to avenge me is, John, I already had my own vengeance long ago.”

 

“Oh?”

 

Sherlock smiled, eyes glittering dangerously.  “While he was unconscious, I absconded with a few things he was sure to sorely miss.”

 

“What?”

 

“His canine teeth.”

 

John should have been cringing at the savagery of that, but instead, he found himself satisfied and a little smug.  Without his canine teeth, the Alpha would never be able to bond. With anyone. Served the bastard right. Sherlock had ensured that no one else would be subjected to the same treatment he’d received.

 

“Good,” he purred, beyond proud that his clever, strong, amazing Omega had so successfully gotten back at the man who’d wronged him.  It eased his anger at the thought of how frightened Sherlock must have been, fighting off a suddenly aggressive Alpha, how much dread he must have experienced at the thought of being forever bound to his assailant.  Thinking about the sucking pop each of the teeth would have made as they were pulled from their sockets helped quiet those thoughts.

 

Sherlock flashed a small smile.  “Have I ever mentioned that I love how vicious you can be?”

 

“Not in so many words, no, but I’ve got a general idea.”  John was quiet for a moment, then asked, “was that it, then?  No other encounters with Alphas after that?”

 

Sherlock chuckled dryly.  “I rather think I learned my lesson, don’t you?”  He looked up, but John wasn’t smiling. “I never repeated the experience, no.  My doseage was fixed and has remained stable since. And even if I’d been so inclined, there was no one whom I would trust during such a vulnerable time.”

 

“Sherlock- after something like that, how could you possibly have wanted me to- to-”

 

“There was no one, John, until you.  I trusted you explicitly when I thought you were a beta, and that trust hasn’t changed since finding out you’re an Alpha.  My faith in you is absolute. As a partner, as a mate, as the one person in my life who keeps me right.” He paused, lacing their fingers together despite his brain telling him it was an irrational thing to do.  His heart told his brain to sod off. “So no, John, there is nothing you could do that would dredge up bad memories of my experiences with others. It simply isn’t possible. I chose you to be my mate, so you can’t try to force yourself on me in that way.  And I can no longer conceive, so it’s a non issue. But even if it wasn’t. Even if I could still have that inflicted upon me.  I would never, not for one moment, believe that you would.”

 

John raised their joined hands and kissed them.  “I wish I had your faith in me.”

 

“Your self-flagellation remains boring, John.” Sherlock chuckled again.  “Would you like me to lay it out for you even more plainly? You, an Alpha in his prime with next to no experience controlling his urges, was suddenly inundated with the full brunt of your hormones, and then had an Omega teetering on the verge of heat dumped, quite literally, in your lap.  Not once did you act in any way that may be construed as untoward. Even once we’d decided upon this as our course of action, once our proximity and intent triggered your rut, you still asked for explicit consent from me before going further. And even then, at the very precipice of your arousal, when your hormones were at their absolute peak, when your instincts were demanding you mark me, when any other Alpha would have been half mad with lust, you still stopped to make sure I hadn’t changed my mind.  No more control could have been asked of anyone, my dear doctor, even me.”

 

John pressed a kiss to Sherlock’s hair and didn’t speak.  He didn’t know what to say. He still didn’t trust himself.  Couldn’t trust himself like this. He was an Alpha. An aggressive beast waiting to be inflicted upon those his biology considered weaker.  But for now, it had to be enough that Sherlock trusted him.

 

“Even though it won’t come up, thank you for telling me about what happened.  I wish I could have been there to help.”

 

“I fear if you had been, there wouldn’t have been anything of the poor Alpha left.”

 

John’s answer was a lethal smile.  Sherlock laughed and kissed him.

 

***

 

In the morning, they sent texts to various friends and family saying that the two of them would be unavailable for a few days.  John had been trying to think of a way to get Mrs Hudson out of the building, but was saved the hassle. She’d come up to bring them tea, taken one whiff of the air, and announced she was going to visit her sister.  Of course, she hadn’t been able to resist putting her hands on their cheeks and telling them how happy she was for them both.

 

As an Omega herself who’d escaped an Alpha’s clutches, John might’ve thought she would be less enthused, but apparently she had no reservations about their happiness.

 

She’d just left when Sherlock got a reply from Mycroft.  He let out a groan of disgust and tossed the phone aside.  John picked it up to read the message.

 

It seems my suspicions were correct.  Congratulations, little brother. Let us hope domestic bliss suits you.

 

“His suspicions?”  John arched a brow.  “Is he trying to imply that he knew I was an Alpha?”

 

“Who cares?  Either he’s showing off simply to vex me, or he doesn’t want to admit that he didn’t see this coming.  It doesn’t matter in any case.”

 

“Yeah, well I’m sure he’s a bit concerned that I’m shagging his little brother.”

 

“Not currently, you’re not.”  Sherlock was across the room in a heartbeat, pulling John against him.  “Let’s rectify that, shall we?”

 

“I’m aware that you’re changing the subject, Sherlock,” John said between kisses.

 

“Do you mind?”

 

John groaned as Sherlock squeezed his cock.  “Not at all.”

 

***

 

Sherlock’s heat was in full swing less than an hour later.  He remembered the symptoms, the restlessness, the cramping, the almost painful sensitivity.  But there were many things that differed from the last time he’d experienced them. Now that he was bonded, the less desirable aspects of the ordeal were outweighed by more pleasurable ones.

 

His irritability was soothed by John’s scent. His aches were eased by John’s touch.  The yawning emptiness that had driven him to seek out assistance the last time was muted into breathless anticipation now that he was mated.  John would fulfil it. John would satisfy him. He had only to ask.

 

“Fuck me,” he breathed in John’s ear.

 

“Really?  It’s only been-”

 

“Now.  I need you, John.”  And that was all it took.  John rolled on top of Sherlock and kissed him, already half hard.  Sherlock’s own cock was straining between them, begging for release.

 

“Tell me how you want me,” John demanded, his voice gone low and growling.  Sherlock shivered in pleasure at the sound of it.

 

“Hands and knees,” Sherlock gasped.  “I want all of it, John. All of you.  Take me the way we both really want you to.”  He tried to scramble onto his front, but John didn’t let him go.

 

“You mean you want me to fuck you hard, and deep?  With my fingers leaving bruises on your hips from holding you still as I drive into you?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“And you want me to pin you down in a mating press and knot you?  Fill you full of my come?”

 

“Yes!”

 

“And when I’m done, when my scent is all over you, when my seed is trickling down your thigh, do you want me to do it all over again?”

 

“God yes.  Please John!”

 

“Your wish is my command,” John growled.  In one smooth motion, he flipped Sherlock to his front and pulled him up to his knees.  John probed between Sherlock’s legs to see that he was still relaxed and plenty slick from their previous encounter, and with no other preamble, he thrust inside.

 

Sherlock arched back, crying out as everything inside him throbbed with pleasure.  This was it. Ultimate satisfaction.  He was nothing but need, and John was the answer.  John was everything. Sherlock realized he was breathlessly begging for more, demanding John’s cock, and he didn’t even try to stop himself.   He pleaded - and John answered.

 

He drove into Sherlock over and over again, fast and hard, giving them both exactly what they needed.

 

“God, Sherlock- you feel-”

 

“Harder!” Sherlock demanded.  John complied with a groan, fingers digging into Sherlock’s hips to keep from pounding him across the bed.  Sherlock shuddered in pleasure at the added sensation. It was brilliant. It was amazing. It was incandescent.  “John- John-”  Sherlock felt himself starting to come undone.

 

John dropped down so that his lips were right next to Sherlock’s ear.  “Come on my cock,” he ordered, biting the lobe. “Now.”

 

That was all it took.  Sherlock came hard, spurting cloudy fluid onto the sheets, his teeth clenched tightly and a scream of pleasure hissing out between them.  The first wave of ecstasy had barely passed before he felt John put a hand between his shoulder blades and and push him down.

 

With his chest flat on the bed and his knees under him, John had perfect leverage to ride Sherlock wildly.  Soon, Sherlock could feel John’s knot swelling. It caught against him once, twice, then John drove forward with all his strength, and they slotted together and held.  John called Sherlock’s name, twitching and jerking inside him as he came.

 

Sherlock could still feel John pulsing inside him when John reached beneath them and grabbed Sherlock’s cock.  It was still hard and throbbing, his own orgasm tripping on and on each time John’s knot shifted inside him. To his shock, John began to stroke him.  Sherlock threw his head back, body taut with overstimulation and overwhelming pleasure.

 

“One more time for me, love,” John panted in his ear.  Under any other circumstances, the extra attention would have been outright painful.  But in the midst of his heat, Sherlock’s body craved the touch, the pleasure being wrung from him over and over again.  He closed his eyes and let go, coming again.

 

He thought hazily, as John collapsed atop him and pushed them both down onto the bed, that if this is what heat sex was like, it was a miracle anyone ever got anything done during them.  Then again, there were no Alphas like his John, so he considered it likely that their shared pleasure was as extraordinary as they themselves were.

 

“Holy- fuck,” John panted, his hips unconsciously bucking forward to try and bury himself even deeper.  “That was… that was-”

 

“Quite,” Sherlock agreed.

 

“And for you?”

 

“Oh, yes.  This is certainly going to be no hardship.  Remind me again why we didn’t do this a year ago?”

 

John laughed softly, each ripple of his belly sending an answering ripple of pleasure in Sherlock.  “Because we didn’t know each other’s secondary genders a year ago? Because we wouldn’t have trusted each other enough to make such a monumental decision?  Because I certainly wasn’t emotionally ready to be outed as an Alpha, and maybe you weren’t ready to be outed yet, either.”

 

“Hardly would have mattered if we’d mated before anyone else knew.”

 

“Not necessarily true.  You know that most of the Yarders are going to have an above average sense of smell.  I’ll bet they pick this up the next case we work for them. And while no one would try anything untoward, you know there’s still plenty of bollocks about an Omega’s place and other prejudices.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Anderson and Donovan have something nasty to say about it.”

 

“Mm, and I look forward to seeing how you react to any insults they may have.”  He smiled.

 

“I haven’t suddenly started seeing you as a helpless damsel, Sherlock.  I’m perfectly capable of letting you fight - or ignore - your own battles.”

 

“Are you though?” Sherlock challenged, still smiling.  “You’re a newly rewoken Alpha with an even newer bond. You have incredible control of yourself when it comes to making sure I am safe and content with anything we do, but someone, maybe multiple someone’s, are going to insult your mate.  They are going to dispariage my character, make crude allusions that I am only good for what’s between my legs, and then wonder why you aren’t putting me in my place. Maybe they’ll claim they suspected it all along, that I’m just a pathetic little Omega who’s secretly begging for someone to breed me like a bitch in-”

 

“Enough!”  John realized he was shaking with rage, spreading his body out to try and cover Sherlock completely, as if he could bodily protect him from people’s ignorance and prejudice.  “Alright,” John agreed, breathing hard, “maybe we need to steer clear of the Yard for a while. Because right now, if anyone spoke to you like that, I’d tear them to fucking pieces.”

 

“I know.”  There was a hint of satisfaction in Sherlock’s voice.  John’s knot had started to subside, but he didn’t pull out yet.  He didn’t want to move.

 

“Do you really think Anderson and Donovan would go so far?”

 

“Anderson, likely not.  He’s a moron with the same stereotypical ideas of Omegas as most of the population, but he isn’t malicious, and he isn’t particularly sexist.  Donovan, though…”

 

“Really?  I’d have thought, being a woman, she’d be the more understanding of the two.”

 

“She already despises me, John.  She will see my being an Omega as a personal insult.  Think that I am harming the furthering of gender equality simply by existing.  She’ll have no problem making vicious remarks that she will see as wholly deserved.”

 

“Right then.  Not letting myself anywhere near her for a while.”

 

“Probably a good idea.”

 

***

 

They spent the next two days in bed together, leaving only for a few minutes at a time for basic necessities.  The longer it went on, the more insatiable and uninhibited Sherlock became. At one point, he shamelessly begged John to breed him, and John had promised to pump him full - and Sherlock had been so aroused by it that he’d come instantly.  The fact that it was biologically impossible didn’t seem to matter.

 

Thankfully, by the third afternoon, they had mostly come back to themselves.  They could hold a rational conversation that didn’t instantly dissolve into one of them humping the other, which was certainly improvement - depending on how one looked at it, of course.

 

John had just returned from a shower and laid down a fresh blanket, when Sherlock decided it was time to experiment again.

 

“Now that we’re bonded,” he began, his voice rougher than normal from hours of above-average use, “I want to see how your Voice affects me.”

 

Beside him, he felt John tense.  “What do you want me to say?”

 

Sherlock waved his hand negligently.  “Let’s start with a full, purposeful order.  Something simple.’ He felt John tense further.

 

“Sherlock, I swore that I would never-”

 

“It doesn’t even have to be a strenuous activity.  Something I can do whilst still lounging in bed,” he wheedled.  Still, John hesitated. “John-”

 

“Stop, I’ll do it.  Just, give me a second, alright?”

 

“Alright.”

 

John took a deep breath, bracing himself.  “Close your eyes,” he ordered, his Voice at full capacity.  Sherlock instantly found his eyes closing. He rolled them behind shut lids.

 

“I was rather hoping for a little more than that.”

 

“Put your hand on my shoulder.”

 

This time, there was a little more thought involved, but it only consisted of thinking how badly he wanted to touch John’s shoulder, and then realizing that he was doing it.  All the textbooks had been right. Sherlock was entirely unable to resist an outright order from his mate’s Voice.  There was still a part of him that wondered if he wouldn’t be able to fight, even a small amount, against something he truly didn’t want to do, but he knew John wouldn’t be able to order that, even just for a test.

 

“Alright now, try using your Voice as a persuasion.”

 

There was another hesitation as John sought to come up with something utterly harmless.  He cleared his throat. “I want you to say my name.”

 

Sherlock opened his mouth, and then remembered that he was trying to see if he could resist.  But why would he want to resist? It was such a simple request. It would make John happy. And didn’t Sherlock want to make his Alpha happy?  It would make Sherlock happy, too.  He loved John’s name.  Loved the way it sounded on his tongue.  Loved the way his mate always answered to his call-

 

He clamped his hand over his mouth to force the word back.  He wanted to resist, to prove that he could. There was… a reason.  He didn’t know what, but there was a reason why he wanted to be able to hold himself back…

 

“Please.”

 

The reaction was almost immediate.   “John.”

 

Sherlock’s head cleared and he found himself grinning.  John’s request he had been able to, with effort, withstand.  But a single hint of pleading and Sherlock had collapsed. Fascinating.  

 

“Now, something I do not wish to do.  As a request.”

 

“No!”

 

“Nothing serious, John.  I do not wish to leave this bed.  I do not wish to spank my own arse.  Something along those lines. And I will be attempting to see if we can have a failsafe, in case of accidental Voice exposures.”

 

“Fine,” John said, still obviously unhappy.  “Why don’t you go make us tea?”

 

Sherlock’s body jolted a little, trying to jump into action.  Very purposely, he kept it still. He tried not to think about how happy it would make John to give him tea.  How much John truly deserved tea from Sherlock. He took a slow breath and relaxed his muscles.

 

“Are you sure that’s what you want?”

 

“No, no it’s not.”

 

Instantly, the urge to go make tea vanished.  Sherlock smirked. “There now, you see? Now we know I will be able to resist any accidental exposure to your Voice, at the very least, long enough to ask you if you meant to say it in such a way, which obviously you won’t.  Problem solved.”

 

Knowing that did actually make John feel a little better, but he still hated the idea of even accidentally taking Sherlock’s will from him.  He would just have to be careful, very careful, not to let it happen.

 

***

 

It was another two weeks before they took a case from Scotland Yard.  John was more in control of his vicious need to defend Sherlock once his rut had subsided, and with a little grudging (on John’s part) experimentation, Sherlock found that with more distance from his heat, he was even less susceptible to John’s Voice.  He still couldn’t resist an outright order, but John never gave them.

 

Just as John had predicted, they were outed almost as soon as they stepped into the building.  And just as Sherlock had predicted, Donovan was the most vocal in her disgust. John restrained himself admirably well, but hadn’t been able to keep from stepping between them and snarling at Sally when she called Sherlock a “frigid bitch” and wondered how John had been able to “stick it in.”

 

The room had gone eerily silent, making John’s threatening growl seem even louder.   “Do not insult my mate again,” he hissed.  He didn’t add a threat to the end of it.  He didn’t need to. If Sally had had a tail, it would’ve been tucked firmly between her legs.  It wasn’t often that a beta, even one in police work, got to see a truly provoked Alpha. It was an intimidating sight, and considering the fact that almost every man and woman in the room was armed, including Donovan, that was impressive.

 

The tension had only been broken when Greg had walked in and realized what was going on.  “Jesus, Sally, did you nap through the ABO training courses? Going after a newly bonded Omega with his Alpha right there’s a good way to get yourself wrecked.  And there’s not a judge or jury in the country that’d punish him for it.”

 

“But- he-”

 

Lestrade wasn’t having any of it.  “Might be a good idea to thank Doctor Watson for his restraint and keep yourself away from Sherlock until you can keep a civil tongue in your head.”

 

Sally mumbled a thanks to John and then darted out of the room.  Sherlock smiled and squeezed John’s hand lightly, then they went into Greg’s office to look at the case.

 

In many ways, both good and bad, things would never be the same again. But in the ways that really mattered, nothing had changed at all. There was still the two of them against the world, a team that couldn't be bested.  An Alpha and Omega, a junkie and a soldier… The detective and his doctor.