"Mr. Nikiforov, you and your son need to prepare for the inevitable. We've done all we can, but your mate's Adenocarcinoma is too far advanced for us to do anything other than pain management. The chemo and radiation therapies are no longer working."
"Isn't there anything else you can do? Any other surgeries? Anything at all?!"
"While yes, surgery is still technically an option, it is not a viable one. As we've discovered from her previous surgeries, the cancer has spread to so many places in her body that even if we successfully remove all the main cancerous glandular tissue masses, there are still other smaller masses floating around in her body that will re-grow. Not only that, but her body is weakening, and I do not know if it could safely handle the stress of being put under anesthesia and cut open again."
"But...she could still recover, right? There are medical miracles, right?"
"Medical miracles do happen, yes, but it is not healthy to place all of your faith into such a minuscule probability. We can always hope, Mr. Nikiforov, but I need you and your son to also be prepared for the worst."
13 weeks later, Magdalina Nikiforov was dead. Sergei and Victor had a small sliver of peace knowing that her final days had been free from pain, thanks to all of the medications the hospital had put in her IV bags.
Her last breaths were taken as she was surrounded by her family...her alpha sitting at her bedside holding her right hand and slowly turning her wedding band, and her son cuddled to her chest, wrapped in her other arm. Both men surrounding her in their soothing scents as she peacefully passed on.
Sergei walked into the library to find Victor lounging in a chair reading.
"Victor, can I speak with you for a moment."
Victor waved his dad over as he finished reading his current page.
"Yeah, dad? What's up?"
Sergei walked over and gingerly sat in the chair next to Victor. Victor smelled a slight trace of fear in his father's scent, but brushed it off.
"I just...I know this might seem sudden for you, but I just wanted to let you know that you might have a new omega mother soon. I've been feeling like it's time to have an omega's influence in this house again."
Victor froze, before he bookmarked his page and slowly turned to glare at his dad. His scent turned sour and Sergei leaned back imperceptibly.
"I'm sorry, what? What the fuck do you mean I'm going to have a new omega mother? Who said I needed one? I don't need one. No one can replace mom because there's no one else as perfect as she was. When have you even had the time to meet a new person? For fucks sake, she only died 5 months ago. It wouldn't hurt you to take some time to pretend like you cared by properly mourning the loss of your mate."
Victor slammed the book down on the side table and began to stomp out of the room, filling it with enraged pheromones as he went. As he opened the door, he turned back and scowled.
"Besides, I'm a 16 year old, fully presented alpha. It's not like I need another maternal figure in my life. I'm all grown up. I'm not emotionally stunted or developmentally challenged from a lack of a dam in my life. So whoever it is that thinks they can weasel their way into our life can fuck off."
With that, he walked out and slammed the door behind him.
Several weeks later, Sergei was rushing Victor out the front door.
"Victor, we need to get going or we're gonna be late!"
Victor came running down the stairs and together they piled into the car. Once they were on the road, Victor turned to question his dad.
"Where are we going anyways? You've been secretive and weird all week."
"Remember a while ago, when I mentioned the possibility of a new omega mother soon?"
Victor stilled, feeling his pulse start to race and his mood and scent sour.
"Well...we're going to pick him up at the airport."
Victor froze in shock, before he turned to hiss at his father.
" What?! "
"His name is Yuuri Katsuki, and he's from Japan."
Victor's jaw dropped.
"A male omega? From Japan? Are you kidding me?! How the hell did you even meet someone from Japan? What are they, some mail-order omega bride bullshit?"
Sergei refused to meet Victor's incessed glare, but couldn't help the tinge of pink that formed on his cheeks and nose. Victor immediately took note of the change in his father's expression and scent. As he continued to stare, the gears in his head fell into alignment and everything dawned on him.
"No...no no no...you...you have got to be kidding me ! I cannot believe my mother has been dead for less than a year, and you're already ordering some omega from a online catalogue like livestock . This is insane . Let me out! Let me out of this car right now!"
Victor fumbled with his seatbelt, but Sergei reached over and slapped his son's hands away.
"Victor, calm down. You're not getting out of the car while it's moving, and on the highway nonetheless. Stop being dramatic."
"Dramatic?! " Victor screeched. "You're the one that ordered an omega so soon after your mate's death. Don't you dare talk to me about being dramatic. I didn't ask for this. I do not want any part of this bullshit scheme to make our family whole and happy again, or whatever it is you think you're accomplishing."
Sergei took a deep breath in and out, trying not to let himself get riled up by the aggressive pheromones Victor was filling the car with.
"Victor, I'm not trying to replace your mother. She was wonderful and I loved her very much. But with her being gone, I've realized how much I depended on her without even realizing. I hate basic cleaning, my cooking and baking skills are subpar, and I've spectacularly messed up several load of laundry...in the washing machine...while following the instructions."
Victor turned to look out the window, sick of the sight of his father.
"So hire a fucking maid. We aren't filthy rich, but we're definitely not living paycheck to paycheck either. You don't need a new mate just to do those things."
The car was filled with silence before Sergei whispered into the silence.
"Victor, I'm lonely."
Victor's head snapped around at the sudden vulnerable tone of Sergei's voice.
"Your mother and I had been together since our school years. We were each other's firsts for every major life milestone. First relationship, first kiss, first love, first sexual partner...everything. She was truly my everything. And now she's gone. I know this might not be the healthiest way to go about it, but I'm sad, the house is empty, and I miss the warmth of a house filled with contented omega pheromones.
"A-And Yuuri wasn't a split second decision, believe it or not. He just...looking at his profile, it just seemed like a good fit, no matter how long I thought about it or how many other profiles I looked at.
"I, as you said, am looking for someone that can help with maid-type duties around the house, as well as someone be a personal companion. Yuuri grew up living in his parent's business, so he's good with chores and hospitality. But his town is small, and business is slowly dying as people move to bigger cities. His family's business is actually the last of its kind. He put himself on the website so that he wouldn't be an extra person for his family to take care of, and so that his parents would get the money when someone paid for him."
Victor paused, unsure of what to say.
"That's...brave and stupid. There's no way to guarantee what kind of person would pay for an omegan bride online."
Sergei gave a small smile.
"I agree. And that's why I'm hoping he'll like living with us. I know it'll be a change for all of us. I don't expect you to call him mom, or papa, or anything other than his name. Just...please be kind to him. He gave up a lot in an attempt to help his family. I just don't want that effort to go to waste."
Victor returned to looking out the window.
"Whatever. I guess his reasons are noble or some shit, but I still think he's stupid for what he did, and I still think it's way too early for you to fucking move on, but I obviously don't get to have an opinion on the subject, so you do you."
Sergei reached into the pocket on the back of his seat, and plopped a packet of papers onto Victor's lap.
"Here, this is his file. Give it a quick read. I think you'll like him if you just give him a chance."
Sergei returned his attention to the road, while Victor stared at the papers on his lap as if they had personally offended him. He frowned and flicked his eyes between the papers and his dad. When Sergei made no attempt to acknowledge the looks or continue the conversation, Victor begrudgingly opened the file. He didn't make it 10 seconds before he lost his shit.
"He's only 21 years old?! He's so young he could practically be your son for fucks sake! What the hell dad?!"
Sergei and Victor stood outside of the international arrivals door. Suddenly, Sergei shook Victor's shoulder and pointed.
"There. That's him."
Victor followed the line from his father's finger and his gaze landed on the most unassuming Asian man Victor had ever seen. He had shaggy black hair, chunky blue half rimmed glasses, and a mask over his mouth and nose. He was walking with his shoulders hunched forward and his eyes were frantically darting around.
Victor turned to say something to his dad when he realized he was standing by himself. He turned his head back and noticed Sergei walking towards Yuuri. He let out an exasperated sigh as his head and eyes lolled back before walking towards the pair. As he got closer, he was shocked to hear Yuuri speaking in accented Russian. As he approached, his father stepped to the side to make introductions.
"Ah, here he is. Yuuri, this is my son, Victor."
Victor stopped in his tracks as he took in the man standing before him. The hair and glasses were the same, but at the closer distance, he was stunned by the man's warm, shining eyes framed by long, dark lashes. His mask had been pulled down under his jaw and his smile was small but sweet. He was also holding himself fully upright and with confidence Victor hadn't thought possible from his initial impression.
What shocked him more was the sudden pressure increase that was forming in his pants.
Yuuri folded his hands in front of his waist and gave a small bow.
"Privet, my name is Yuuri Katsuki. It's a pleasure to meet you. I'm sure this is all a bit much for a strong, mature young man as yourself, but I promise to be flexible as I try to fit myself into your lives."
Victor mentally shook himself out of his stupor. He grunted in acknowledgement before turning and walking away.
Sergei sighed and gave Yuuri an apologetic smile.
"Sorry about him. His mother passed away this past year from cancer, so it was not a peaceful death. He still hasn't gotten over it, and now he fears you're here to take her place."
Yuuri's breath hitched.
"I'm so sorry! I had no idea! He probably hates me for just being here. Do you think he’ll always hate me? I never wanted to make anyone’s life worse by my presence! What if- "
Sergei rested his hand on Yuuri's shoulder to calm the panicky omega.
"It's ok, you had no way of knowing. I just wanted to be upfront and honest with you. He's normally such a kind and polite young man, but he's been through a lot and hasn't been coping well."
Yuuri took a deep breath and shakily placed his hands over Sergei’s and squeezed.
"Thank you for the warning. I can't imagine going through something like that. While obviously my position technically does make me his new mother, his step-mother, that's not my purpose in being here. I'd never try to replace her, nor should she be forgotten now that I'm in his life.”
Yuuri looked sadly after the young man walking away. He could practically see the distress rolling off Victor in waves.
“I'd honestly just be happy if we could end up as good friends.”