He was feeling.. okay. Not great, not awful. No, it was getting close to awful. He had a wonderful morning, lounging around with his mates, exchanging soft kisses. But, he had to get up and get to work. And during his time getting up, getting to, and opening up, his day progressively got less happy-floaty mate time and more stressful tear-worthy job time.
First, he had left his vest at home, so he had to borrow an extra from the storage closet. This wouldn’t have been an issue if the vest didn’t have someone else’s almost nauseating scent on it. Next, he had dropped and shattered a whole jar of new coffee beans. Yoshimura said it was fine, but it was the start of Kaneki doing his best to hold back tears. Touka came downstairs late and was more irritable than normal, and who better to take your anger out on than one of the few Anteiku workers that wouldn’t defend themselves?
Having the alpha breathing down the back of his neck was making his day progressively worse, and his anxiety was mounting higher and higher. His palms were clammy and he couldn’t stop stuttering to the guests. A man walked in around eleven, tall and broad-shouldered, immediately putting the omega on edge. The man was just so large, assertive. It made Kaneki unbearably anxious to be near him in his already upset state.
He had tried to see if Touka would seat the man for Kaneki, so he wouldn’t have the engage in him. The alpha only gave him a disgusted look before turning to do some other work, leaving the omega to take care of the man on his own.
“Kaneki,” Irimi piped in from the counter, stopping the omega before he walked over to the man. She looked visibly concerned. “You sure you got this one? You can take a break in the back if you need, you’re not looking well.” She informed, wiping down a cup.
Kaneki shook his head, giving a soft, lop-sided smile. “I’ll be, alright, but thank you Irimi.” He had already been turned down by Touka, and he wasn’t sure if he could handle her scrutiny if he let Irimi take it instead.
Kaneki seated the tall man, who he quickly learned was much more boisterous than he appeared. Maybe he should have taken Irimi up on her offer… this was a bit too much for him to handle right now…
“What would you like to order?” Kaneki asked softly, hands shaking. He was feeling a bit lightheaded suddenly…
The man responded, but the omega suddenly couldn’t make out the words. He squinted, thinking that maybe it could help him hear better. He slurred out a woozy, “Sorry, could you repeat that, sir?” Before his legs gave out from under him and he was suddenly on the floor, one hand holding his head with a groan while the other loosely held his pen and paper, still ready for the order.
His vision was spotty, but the omega could hear voices talking a bit too loudly for his liking. Hands grabbed at his arms, trying to pull him to his feet, but he whimpered and tried to pull away. His skin felt oversensitive the fabric of his shirt scratching at his skin when the hands tried to help. He felt almost like he was falling, head spinning. He… he wanted his mates. Now.
A gentle voice spoke next to his ear, trying to whisper what Kaneki could only assume were questions judging by their tone, but the omega didn’t answer, couldn’t. He couldn’t make out the words at all. He tried to ask for them, his beloved mates, communicate that he needed them, but the words came out in a jumbled mess, causing the voices around him to rise in concern.
A pair of hands that didn’t cause his shirt to scratch at his skin finally held onto Kaneki’s arms, pulling him up. A voice next to him was commanding, not in a cruel way, but a form of reassurance, guidance. Kaneki walked with the person’s help, stairs moving under his feet as he hazily made his way upstairs. He felt tears falling down his cheeks now, hot and steady. He just… he really really wanted his mates…
Yoshimura moved Kaneki gently into the spare bedroom, sitting him down on the unused bed in the corner. The omega whimpered and cried, distressed. No one was sure what exactly happened, or what caused the drop, but it was worrying.
“What’s wrong with him?” Hinami asked softly, worried and a little frightened by her pseudo-big brother’s actions. Seeing him fall had almost caused Hinami herself to cry, so alarmed that all she could do at first sight was let tears spring to her eyes before the customer Kaneki had been trying to serve called to the other staff.
Yoshimura sighed gently, not annoyed, but concerned. “I’m not sure. He seems to be suffering omega drop, but I’ve no idea why.” The man stated, leaning down a bit more to see if the omega was recovering on his own at all. And, nope, still crying and emitting a troublesome scent of distress that was setting the present staff on edge.
Touka acted annoyed, but her expression was visibly worried, maybe even a little guilty. She had been rude to the omega, and she knew that he was sensitive to alpha aggression, mainly hers, from previous incident’s between the two. She had been snappy with him all day, a bit more demanding than she should be to the worker who was still learning the ropes of the store.
“What should we do? I’ve never dealt with a situation like this before. He was looking a bit under the weather earlier, but I hadn’t thought it would lead to this.” Irimi spoke up, looking a bit more protective than usual. She had taken quite a liking to the omega, a familial love to the newest member of Anteiku. Yoshimura thought for a moment. He himself wasn’t quite sure at first, after all, he hadn’t had to worry about omega drops since the loss of a certain someone. Almost all Anteiku staff were alphas or betas.
“I believe,” he started, a bit unsurely, “You’re supposed to have an omega’s mate help them, if they have one, or get a family member to help.” The group stayed silent for a moment, room quiet minus a small whimper. Hinami had moved closer and was worriedly holding her big brother’s hand, the omega seeming okay with her touch, a far different reaction from when Touka tried to help him out in her own panic when he first hit the ground.
“Well, I’m well aware that he isn’t on speaking terms with his Aunt, and that’s all the family he has.” Touka commented under her breath.
“Any mate?” Irimi asked, growing more nervous as their options dwindled.
“Not that I know of.” Touka responded glumly. The omega whimpered, tears falling freely a bit more heavily than before. Hinami’s bottom lip quivered, and she moved closer so that she was almost sitting next to him on the bed, a few inches between them.
“What about Mr. Renji and Tattoo Man?” Hinami asked softly, leaning close to Kaneki. The omega seemed to be calming a bit, moving closer to the young beta trying to comfort him, whimpers and keens ebbing away but scent still heavy and sour, distressed.
“Yomo and Uta?” Yoshimura asked, confused. The girl nodded.
“I’ve seen them smooch from time to time, all three of them! Mates do that, right?” Hinami supplied. Yoshimura’s eyebrows raised a little, Touka seemed grossed out at the concept of Kaneki kissing anyone, and Irimi looked confused.
“I mean, I guess they do?” Irimi answered. Yoshimura nodded.
“Could someone call Yomo for me, please?” Yoshimura asked. Irimi nodded, pulling her phone out and quickly scrolling before giving the screen a quick tap and handing the phone to Yoshimura. Yomo picked up quickly, a gruff ‘what’ as his greeting.
“Yomo, are you and Uta Kaneki’s mates? Because we’re having a bit of an issue at the cafe that requires either mates or family.” Yoshimura supplied quickly and succinctly. There was a quick pause, some talking as Yomo turned away from the phone to speak with someone, and then a blunt ‘be there soon’ before the man hung up. Well, he supposes that’s a yes.
“Yomo is on his way, so for now we wait and try to keep Kaneki comfortable. Hinami is already doing a wonderful job of that.” Yoshimura praised. Kaneki had calmed down significantly, and had moved so Hinami was hugging him bodily rather than just holding his hand. While that was a little less worrying than full on crying and omega distress, he still didn’t seem fully alright.
“Kaneki, do you want to lay down?” Irimi questioned, leaning down to make eye contact with him. The omega looked up, recognizing her words and able to somewhat process them. He thought for a moment, considered, before nodding gently. Hinami slowly pulled away so the omega could situate himself. Kaneki took a blanket from the bottom of the bed, moving slowly with exhaustion from the sudden drop, and tucked it around himself in an imitation of a little nest. He huffed softly, leaning against the pillows, more tears springing up as he let out another distressed cry at the pitiful nesting attempt.
“Touka, could you please get some more blankets out of the closet?” Yoshimura asked. The alpha huffed before turning and going to the closet, the hurry in her step giving away her worry once again. She shuffled around for a bit before coming back with an armful of blankets.
“Thank you,” Yoshimura praised, grabbing a few of the blankets. “Irimi, would you help me? Just follow my lead.” The man asked. Irimi gave a nod before grabbing the rest of the blankets, watching as Yoshimura tucked them around the distressed omega, building up the nest. Irimi followed, putting the final blanket on top of the omega to cover him up. Yoshimura may not remember how to properly deal with a drop, but omega’s liking and feeling comforted by nests was common knowledge.
Kaneki examined the nest his coworkers and boss had built for him, letting out a contented huff, distress ebbing away just a bit more. The omega reached out to Hinami, making a grabby hand with a keen. The beta looked confused, taking his hand. Kaneki pulled at her hand, moving her closer, but she still didn’t understand what he wanted. The omega whined as he pulled once more.
“I-I don’t know what he wants me to do!” Hinami cried, Kaneki’s distress causing some of her own to rise up. The last thing she wanted was to be the source of her big brother’s sadness.
“I believe he’s asking you to join him in his nest.” Yoshimura supplied, a little awed. It was also common knowledge that being invited into an omega’s nest was quite the honor.
Hinami looked from Yoshimura to Kaneki, confused. She moved closer and the omega let out another whine. She moved closer, curling up next to the omega on top of his protective layer of blankets. He let out a happier noise this time, holding her protectively.
Irimi leaned close to Yoshimura, whispering, “Is he… acting like she’s his daughter?” Yoshimura had been wondering a similar question.
“Daughter? Maybe not. But a sibling, perhaps. Only family would be allowed in a nest so easily if the omega feels as vulnerable as Kaneki probably does right now.” He responded. It was a bit of an odd sight, but a touching one nonetheless. It was good to know that the omega had someone he cared for that much.
They stood like that for a moment, watching the still-upset omega hold the girl close, protectively. Touka looked a bit disgusted, most likely some facade or maybe even jealousy, but disgusted nonetheless. Irimi was contemplative but seemed much calmer than she had before, when they were dealing with a dropping omega with no idea what to do.
Not even a few moments later there was the sound of the cafe door opening, keys jingling, and two footsteps running upstairs, some muttered argument following. The footsteps sounded down the hallway before Yomo and Uta appeared around the door. Uta’s expression, while still his neutral look, shifted to one of slightly more worry. Yomo’s brows furrowed, turning towards Yoshimura as Uta moved closer to his mate and the young beta girl.
“What happened?” Yomo asked Yoshimura.
“We’re all fairly unsure, to be honest. He came into work in a fairly decent mood, and as the day went by he slowly wilted. And then he just collapsed while trying to take a customers order.” Yoshimura gave a gentle shrug. The situation had been a lot scarier in the moment, one of his workers suddenly falling to the ground, the customer calling to the other staff members for help.
Yomo didn’t seem quite satisfied with that answer, but turned away anyways. He gave a slight nod to Irimi and Touka before heading over to take care of his mate. Uta was holding a hushed conversation with Hinami, who nodded and responded with underlying nervousness. She seemed a bit nervous to be caught so near to an alpha’s distressed mate. Uta ran his hand up and down Kaneki’s now exposed upper arm, soothing the omega with a simple touch. Kankei had his eyes mostly shut, seeming calm but still not all there in the presence of his mate.
Yomo sat down on the edge of the bed, next to Uta. His eyes searched over Kaneki, making sure some physical injury hadn’t caused the drop. He turned to Hinami, who was stuttering out soft responses to Uta’s small talk. Upon listening better Yomo realized that Uta was trying to calm their omega down enough so Hinami could get up and they could get their mate home. He was talking him down in a sense, distracting Hinami while giving Kaneki some of the contact he needed to feel comfortable enough to let Hinami go.
The omega’s grip on Hinami’s hand was loosening the more Uta petted him, and with Yomo closer he seemed to calm down even more.
“Hinami, can you try sitting up?” Yomo asked. She looked confused, but nodded. She shifted, trying not to disturb Kaneki. She tried to shimmy out of the nest upon a bit of Yomo’s prompting, but Kaneki whined and tried to pull her closer again. Hinami stilled and sat unmoving for a moment, again looking nervously at the two mates, as if her unintentional action would cause their wrath to befall her. Yomo and Uta tried to calm the omega down again. They really needed to go soon or they might not be able to get him to let go of her until he finally gets out of his drop.
Yoshimura and all the others were still in the room, Yoshimura and Irimi looking concerned while Touka just looked uncomfortable.
The two mates were eventually able to help Hinami escape from Kaneki’s grasp, but not without some pitiful crying from the omega. Hinami herself seemed like she was going to cry from causing her big brother sadness, but Yomo reassured her that it wasn’t her fault and Kaneki would be alright.
“Thank you for watching over him Yoshimura, we’ll be taking him home now.” Yomo said as he gathered the omega in his arms. Uta hovered close by, nonchalant facade placed back over his face.
Yoshimura gave a soft nod, moving out of the way for the group to head out. Yomo picked up Kaneki, making sure to keep some of the blankets wrapped around the omega so it didn’t feel like he was completely uprooting him from his safe area.
“When he’s back in his right mind, please have him rest for a few days before he comes back,” Yoshimura said, “If he dropped, he must have been stressed lately. He deserves some rest.” Yomo nodded again, looking a little grim, and then headed out. Uta gave a short wave before following, leaving the last three people alone in the room. Everyone stood quietly for a moment, contemplative.
“Well, guess it’s back to work.” Irimi said, clapping her hands together before heading downstairs to open up shop for the rest of the day.
Uta opened up the door to HySy, holding it open for Yomo.
“Let’s get our bunny rested up, Raven.” Uta sing-songed as they all trotted upstairs. Yomo set Kaneki down on their shared bed, the omega letting out a keen as he scented the nearest pillow, holding it close. Yomo went to get some more blankets for Kaneki to nest with while Uta took the chance to cuddle up to the omega.
“Ken, you comfortable now, sweet omega?” Uta hummed against Kaneki’s neck. The omega hummed back, snuggling up against Uta. Yomo came back, tucking the blankets he gathered from their closet around the two on their checkered print bed.
Kaneki huffed contentedly while Uta let out a “Thanks Raven.” Yomo himself laid down behind Kaneki, spooning him, adding to the comforting warmth surrounding the omega. Kaneki let out a few deep breaths before he seemed lulled to sleep from a combination of exhaustion and his mates comforting him. Yomo and Uta stayed quiet, content, before falling into their own sleep.
Upon waking back up, Kaneki was feeling much more like himself, no longer down-graded to only feeling things on a more instinctual level. He yawned, stretched, before bolting upright. He still had to go to work, his shift wasn’t over yet, was it?
“Bunny,” A tired voice yawned. Kaneki finally took in his surroundings, looking down at Uta in front of him, arms around the omegas waist. “Go back to sleep, you need to rest. You dropped again.” Uta huffed, pulling the omega closer, sleepy.
Kaneki felt hot with embarrassment. He thought that maybe he had just passed out. But dropping? Again? It was a little worrying how often he dropped at this point. So far it had only been at home around his mates after a long day, but now in public… it was a bit much.
Sensing the omegas rising distress again, Uta pulled him against his chest, letting out a calming scent. Kaneki huffed, upset, but accepting of the comfort.
“You can’t help it Bunny, and I’m sure it will start to ease up and the drops won’t be as often.” Uta reassured. One could only hope, he supposed. Of course it wasn’t healthy to drop so often, but surely the drops would become less frequent.
“If it keeps up we can have someone look at you, a ghoul doctor or something,” Yomo muttered from behind Kaneki, voice rough from sleep. “It could be an issue with you being a half-ghoul and omega.” Kaneki hadn’t considered that, but it could be a possibility. Most ghouls he met were alpha or beta, so maybe some part of the ghoul biology clashed with his omegan biology.
“We’ll get it figured out. Just rest for now Bunny, no point in worrying when you still need to rest.” Uta yawned. Kaneki laid back down, settling in his mates arms tiredly.
“I suppose you’re right.” He mumbled, Yomo giving him a gentle squeeze. Uta nodded, leaning in to situate himself up against Kaneki’s neck, closing his eyes. Surely the drops would slow down, and getting some help couldn’t hurt if the issue progressed. But his mates were right, he needed to recover. So Kaneki closed his eyes, and slipped into as peaceful a sleep as possible.