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THEN

 

"Did you hear? Paul from 2J presented on the weekend."

"No way! Dude, that's gross!"

"Now he's freaking out that they're gonna tag him. Figures."

"Could be anyone next..."

"Solo's always looking like he's pissed off. $5 says it's him. Bet he pops a knot on the excursion and cries like a baby."

"He's a fucking freak."

Ben taps his pen against the side of his desk, trying to distract himself from this hell he's living in. Rain drizzles outside; somewhere, there's thunder in the distance.

Paul's dad was an Alpha, so the guy was probably fucked from the start. It's a shame: now he's got to get registered like a criminal and live the rest of his life on government-prescribed drugs while he does it. They all wear these weird silver bands and look depressed every day. Ben's not familiar on the specifics, but it just seems like there's pretty much no good option if you present in this state.

Omegas have it worse. Ben tries not to think about that.

Both of his parents are Betas, even if everyone says mom should've been an Alpha like grandpa. It's almost impossible - designations run nearly absolutely along gender lines, and they're rare as anything. Most people never have to worry about it; Ben's sure as fuck glad he's in that camp, as opposed to waiting around to see which path his DNA wants to take him on.

He just keeps tapping and runs his eyes over his homework, scratching an itch under his jaw.

The thunder grows closer, and the itching doesn't stop.


Three weeks later: Ben gets sick.

He's staying at Dad's that weekend, feeling itchy all over and way too hot for this time of year. The thermometer says he's got a temperature, and Ben's pissed. He was hoping to see a baseball game tomorrow with friends, but now he's got the flu or something and he's going to be stuck in bed trying not to die. Fucking figures.

Dad's still at work, so Ben sort of just lays in bed and eats pizza rolls, nibbling at the corners and trying to savour them. His whole body is aching and burning, these cramps in his stomach that make him feel weirdly tightened up inside. It's like he's got an elastic band jammed deep in him: it keeps getting tighter and tighter as time goes on, until it starts to hurt so badly that he starts to wonder if this really is the flu.

He's worried it'll snap.

He falls asleep sometime around 11pm after downing a few painkillers - the TV in his room is still buzzing when he wakes, groggy and sore, at about 3am.

And everything turns to absolute shit.

The sheets are soaked with his sweat and cum; fuck, he doesn't know how. He's had wet dreams before but this is...God, this is something else. He's panting and pent up, screwed up way too tight again, and he's involuntarily thrusting against the mattress before he knows it. His blood's on fire and his skin's prickling and his cock feels about four times as sensitive to everything: every thrust against his damp sheets making him drool, making him sob and whimper at the back of his throat.

What the fuck is happening? Is he in a rut?

Don't ruts usually come on slower than this?

The cramps get worse, and Ben starts to feel like reality is getting crossed with something else. He flips into his back and pulls off his soaked boxers, fingers grasping at his rock-hard cock and making the world spin. He runs his hand along the length, and Ben's swearing under his breath as he feels ridges that definitely weren't there before. Warm bumps near the base - when he grips them tighter, his eyes roll back.

Holy shit.

His stomach muscles pull tight and then go absolutely slack; in response, his cock twitches and spits out this clear, hot liquid. It's not even close to an orgasm, but fuck - the relief of the cramps not feeling like a punch in the gut is ectstasy nonetheless. It's so good that he throws his arm back over his eyes and moans, blinded to any thoughts other than coming, coming hard and coming now.

Ben's neck prickles; while he runs his hand over the bumps again and itches the spot under his jaw while doing it - he cums.

He cums so hard that he feels nausea and an ache in his heart he can't place. Something about it feels so wrong. Unnatural. Like spilling his spend all over his stomach is something of a loss he should grieve for.

It's fucking nuts. The whole thing is nuts.

And then when the aftershocks die down; the cramps start again.

He sobs and burns, and resumes pumping himself raw until he passes out in tears of exhaustion.

And wakes to keep going.


Ben is told the odds are around one in two-hundred thousand.

Out of morbid curiosity, he takes to Google and finds he had a higher chance of:

  • Being killed by a vending machine
  • Being killed by a falling coconut
  • Getting hit by a meteor
  • Becoming a saint
  • Coming down with the literal plague

So he decides, in simple terms, that the universe wants him dead in the least elegant fashion it can think of. 

This is a death sentence. There is nothing else to it.

April is the family doctor, and by all rights she should be reporting it. She should send off his files for assessment; make that phone call to the government and have Ben taken away. She should do that, because failing to do it is a felony that carries serious prison time, and could see her treated the same way - if not worse. He's expecting her to do it when she takes his mom out of the room and he hears Leia burst into tears.

He doesn't want to live a life suffering like this.

He considers something terrible. 

But April doesn't report him, and he's not hauled off. She writes him three prescriptions: one for an incredibly high-grade suppressant, one to trick his body into thinking he's just coming out of a rut, and a third to combat the depressingly long side-effects from the other two. He'll have to keep taking these for years: he's not sure how long, and neither is she.

Could be forever. Could be until he's old enough to get out of this state - until he's in a position where he can move to somewhere he won't be tracked like an animal and carted off to somewhere awful.

It's dangerous. Maybe even stupid.

He won't be able to get away with pretending to be a Beta - a small price to pay, all things considered. The gland in his neck is too prominent to be anything but a presentation, so for now: this is his life. He'll front as an Alpha and pray to God above that it never, ever catches up to him.

April scrawls out paperwork; a few weeks later, he's made to sign the registry and given an ID chip. They snap a silver bracelet on his wrist and tell him he's essentially bound to a whole other set of laws. No alcohol (it's not like he's old enough anyway), no sexual activity (that one fucking sucks), no loitering past curfew or going on unscheduled holidays or skipping school or excessive sugar. He's on a controlled diet to keep him from going on some weird rampage and it's...

It's fucked.

But being...being what he is? That's worse. That's the worst thing he can imagine. Omega women are given some freedoms as long as they're pliant and willing, but Omega men are seen more like vessels than people. They're taken away and kept somewhere, and there are rumours about it that are so harrowing that they've got to be true. Stories that Ben starts to see pulled tight before his eyes in his sleep - drugs that keep them in heat, make them unable to think of anything but need, make them beg for relief while theyre strapped down and used by wealthy Beta women.

Rumours that Omega cum cures infertility. Is more potent than anything else.

Is like liquid gold for those who can afford it.

Ben just tries to sleep,

And play along,

And forget.


NOW

 

Ben Solo has always, always been prone to desperation.

It's part of his designation, he thinks. Part of something that was wound into his DNA all his years ago - this painful longing for something he can't quite describe. He wants every beautiful woman to notice him; he wants every publication to be the best he's ever written. He wants to be happy, and to be free, and to find centers of himself that he never knew existed.

Ben Solo wants so much. He wants too much, and too quickly, and for too long.

But it scares him now more than it ever has - how much he wants this.

Wants you

The hotel room is bathed in warmth as Ben tucks back the edge of the quilt; settling himself in right next to you. Every part of him craves to just dispense with all of this - to just pour out his heart to you. Tell you what a dumbstruck, whimpering mess of a man he is for you. To tell you how you fill his every sense: how just kissing you that night in the rain has made his world fill with colour again.

But he doesn't.

He swallows down nerves, and you - you just push your way into his chest. Run your cheek along the hard muscles of him; making his breath hitch on a beautiful gasp that he wishes he could contain. Your scent is just...

...God. Oh, you're just the most perfect thing he's ever seen.

Hard arms push you flush to his chest, fingertips gliding through your hair as he cradles you tight. Every part of this nest is drenched in you - it’s madening and soothing and endless. How can anyone truly comprehend it? The way you make him a paradox of himself?

“Your heart”, you huff a breathy laugh, “it’s so fast.”

He hums in response. Plush lips find your hairline as he drinks you in - savouring the taste of your warm body. Needing it like he needs the very air he breathes.

“You don’t need to be nervous. I don’t want you to fear this, Ben.”

But how can he ever stop fearing this? Fearing what you do to him?

A precipice exists; you both linger on it, staring out into a dark space. Even in the safety of this nest, there is a sense that this is a threshold. 

This means something, now.

His bare chest ripples against your shirt with his breath: hitching in the cold night. He wants to explain - wants to have the words to tell you that he's breaking apart. He should be stressed; should be feeling like the events of the day are wearing him thin, making him feel ethereal and distant. But all he can think of is the way your skin is warm and soft, the way you're tangled to him like a song he can't stop humming.

The way his grey sweatpants aren't fitting right to his body; his cock hard and throbbing, yearning for your hands around it.

“You just–” he licks his lips, feeling dizzy “–you make me feel…”

You wait for his response so patiently, nuzzling closer to his collarbone. Your breath tickles at his jaw, and oh God - his whole body tenses. Ben feels as though you can almost taste the delicious way his bones ache for your touch - skin seeking yours, begging to be closer than you can ever hope to be.

It’s precarious. Beautiful.

“It’s intense,” you pull the blankets further up, right around your shoulders, “I feel like I can’t be close enough to you. I’m never close enough to you.”

Ben audibly takes a shaky breath.

"Yeah. Me too."

Woah. Profound. Nice work, dickhead.

Your hair smells of spice and detergent; he huffs at it, trying to bury his face in your scalp and picture a world where you're back in his bed.

Your teeth imprinted on his neck.

His stomach cramps, and shit. Shit. No, stop thinking about that.

"Tell me about you", he swallows hard, "I want to know you."

He does. But he also wants to find some distraction - wants to bring his mind to somewhere less chaotic before he tries to play with fire. Everything has to be in balance - too much wanting will tip him right over the edge. If he were back at home now he'd deliberate following that right the way through: but this isn't home. This isn't home, and he isn't safe, and you shouldn't have to deal with that without preparation first.

Your breath is cool across his chest; little goosebumps on his flesh.

"Well..." your nails dig into his ribs, "took the social science pathway - wrote my Masters on social expectations of Alphas relating to--" you laugh "--whatever. It wasn't that interesting."

"It sounds interesting already."

"It wasn't. Trust me."

You chew your lip.

"Anyway, took a gap year for a bit. Got a job as an intern making next to nothing. Came back and finished my PhD at Berkeley: ran around for a bit before moving to New York."

Ben whistles. "Didn't know you were a Berkeley grad."

"You're following me on Linkedin. How could you not know?"

Ben chuckles, running a hand through a thick lock of hair.

"Like you'd know where I got mine."

"Chicago."

Oh.

"Fuck."

Your resulting laugh is infectious - his body lights up, his pulse fluttering from the way he feels he's pleased you. It's a sensation that's so strangely foreign to him. Almost decadent in its nature as his brain reels with hormones that beg him to keep going, to make you laugh again and again until you're breathless with joy he's given you. Until the only room left in your heart is for him: occupying every cell in your body with happiness and Ben.

It's the scariest thing he's ever felt, and he hopes he never stops feeling it.

The room goes quiet for a moment. Somewhere outside, car horns beep in the night.

"You said you started suppressants at fifteen."

He sucks his cheek, the nervousness returning. He sees that male Omega in the bar flash before his eyes: sees his mother crying in the doorway.

"Yeah."

"What was it like? I mean..." you swallow "...I know Chicago has pretty relaxed tagging laws..."

Ben's hand twitches on your hipbone. Shadows dart on the wall.

"I'm not from Chicago" he says quietly.

He feels you stiffen. "Where?"

Another pause.

"Indiana."

He already knows what you're thinking. Already knows you're one of the smartest, most worldly people he's ever met. Of course you know what they do to male Omegas in Indiana - of course you'll have read the articles, seen the papers.

Ben holds you just a little bit tighter: a squeeze of his muscles. Please don't pity me for this.

"Oh."

And then you shuffle upward a bit, the pillow dipping beneath your face. The scent of you...God, the scent of you...

"I'm sorry" is all you offer.

He doesn't know what to say.

"It doesn't have to be who I am", his voice wavers, "I don't have to be that man. I haven't been him for years now."

Ben isn't quite sure what that means: whether it's directed at you, or to him, or to the universe. Whether he's talking about being an Omega, or whether he's just--

"What if I like him?" you purr, your lips slowly pressing at his cheek. Your hair tickles his lips; his body shivering with something way beyond his control.

He's halfway through formulating a sentence in response when your lips move down - down, down across his jaw. Down to the dip in his neck: to the place that tenderly throbs, keening for something he never thought he'd get.

And they nip and suck, damp over his gland.

Ben groans so loudly that he swears half the floor of the hotel will snap up in their beds. Holy shit. Holy fucking shit; oh my God.

His brain goes absolutely, catastrophically haywire in a way he's never felt before. His ex-girlfriend used to kiss at the skin there and it felt exquisite, felt like something hot and heavy to him. But something in your scent and saliva and skin lets his body know what you are: lets him know that he's here with a female Alpha, lets him know she's fertile and ready and all over him.

"Please."

Touch him. Don't touch him. Kiss him or leave or fuck him or go now, go now and get out of here before he agrees to be yours forever.

Please, just--

Your purr rumbles through his skin: in response, Ben's eyes roll back. Oh God. His cock strains and aches; half-drunk, he thrusts against your hip slowly. His body just wants relief, wants to channel this wildfire in his veins.

And then his stomach tightens. Muscles ache as he cramps - and shit. He's too turned on to stop. He has to stop thrusting and feeling this stimulation but he literally couldn't even if he tried.

"You taste so good", you murmur into his skin, sucking the edge of his gland "my sweet Omega, you taste so fucking good."

Oh god. No. He can't unclench. He can't let this happen. They'll smell it on the sheets - he's fucked if the cleaning staff catch any scent of him, and he smells so strong right now. If he smears slick on these sheets--

"Alpha", he's paralysed by desperation, rutting against you and feeling it go straight through him, "we have to stop, we have to stop. They'll smell it. Please, please--"

Your lips cease, and Ben wants to fucking scream. His whole body aches, burns under the weight of wanting you, under the weight of needing you to come back and touch him all over again. There's this drunk haze in your eyes, pupils black with want.

"Then let me taste you. I want to taste what you're making for me."

Ben's eyes shoot wide. He has to do everything he can not to just cum right here and now at your words: has to focus before he makes a mess of himself at the thought.

"Are you sure?" his voice is pinched; desperate, "...Fuck, Alpha..."

You don't even hesitate to push back the sheets and pull down his tracksuit pants, and oh God. Oh shit. His dick's angry and swollen looking, and the ridges on it he only ever has during heats or moments of intense desire are everywhere and bumpy as hell - making self-consciousness shoot through him. He'd hoped his dick wouldn't look like something from a damned sci-fi novel when you first got to see it: but beggars can't be choosers.

He's half expecting you to suddenly proclaim you won't be putting that thing anywhere near your mouth. Lord knows he wouldn't.

But instead; you hum appreciatively at the sight of him.

"Beautiful. Someone's a desperate Omega, aren't they?"

Yes.

God yes.

Ben's black hair flicks around as he nods, watching as you move back your hair to get better access. Your warm breath on his cock makes it twitch; makes the bumps pulse and his cramps feel insane. Oh god, he's going to leak slick into your mouth. Holy fucking hell, he'd never even dreamed...

"Relax", you hum, "let me take care of you."

And when you grab the base and slide him between your lips: Ben Solo becomes a whimpering, sobbing mess.

His stomach instantly snaps back, warmth pulsing from his cock and into your throat so incredibly. You swallow it down with a beautiful sound of appreciation - vibrating in your hollow cheeks as you bob to take him in. Tears roll from Ben's eyes at the exquisite, incredible overstimulation: his whimpers sharp as his head drops back into the pillow with force.

His legs tremble from the weight of forcing himself not to fuck wildly into your mouth, the hot spread of your tongue begging him to make more slick just for you.

"Oh fucking--" Ben chokes on spit, groaning, "--I can't...Oh God, Alpha, I'm not going to last. Fuck..."

More slick pulses out of him, sending tingles right up through his cock. He can feel the way his body is begging for him to just give in: just cum hard down your throat, let himself be overtaken by the beautiful fire.

God, this desire is so pure.

The scent of you...it's maddening. He can smell how wet you're getting from taking his cock: he can smell what it does when he calls you 'Alpha'. The spice sits on the roof of his mouth and has his mind keening, wishing you'd be biting down on his gland: claiming him as your playing to fuck, to taste. 

He'll be yours. He doesn't care how soon it is - doesn't care about anything but you mounting him and fucking him and using him, any way you want.

Pleasure mounts; your mischievous smile as you suck just slightly harder bringing his body to the teetering edge. His eyes begin to roll; heart thundering so fast that it's all he can hear.

"Oh God, I'm going to--"

And then; bright white.

He's cumming and cumming and cumming, long thick ropes of it that you swallow down hungrily - his legs kicking out and his breath burning and his hands fisting every inch of the blanket. His lips ache from being bitten, words smeared across his lips that he's unaware of: almost exclusively your name, over and over. Spilling out like a prayer he can't stop making.

When you pull away and collapse back beside him, tucking you both back in: Ben is still whimpering under his breath. Still bathed in intense aftershocks.

You press your lips to his nose, and Ben just reaches. Reaches for you to pull you as close as he can: closer than he's ever pulled anyone.

"You're so good. I'm so pleased, Omega."

And when you both finally fall asleep - it is entwined together. One entity, drifting through to pleasant dreams.

It's enough that he almost forgets the cruel world that lives outside this wonderful den.

Almost.