When Germany saw the headline ‘German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices Bans Heat Suppressants’, he had choked on his morning coffee and nearly fallen out of his chair.
“What’s up, West?” His brother said, snickering from across the breakfast table. “Goebbels come back from the dead?”
Germany threw the newspaper at him and watched his face whiten.
“Oh mein Gott. That’s how they make wurst nowadays?”
“The other side. Dummkopf. On the back, in the small box to the left.” He watched his brother’s face, if possible, whiten more.
“West. Do you have any left over?”
“No. I’ve used them all up.”
The former nation of Prussia swallowed dryly. “You can’t go in today.”
Germany shook his head. “I have to. It’s an important meeting. Everyone is going to be there.”
Prussia threw his hands up in frustration. “Emphasis on ‘n’t’ then!”
"I cannot skip. I'm hosting. Besides, my...condition is not due for another day and a half.”
Prussia's eyes skimmed along the newspaper again. “Says here half the reason they banned them was due to ‘extreme buildup of symptoms, and irregular displacement of natural patterns.’”
“What was the other half of the reason?”
Prussia went quiet for a moment, lips twitching as he scanned the article. “Lobbyists” he said finally.
Germany’s older brother argued with him the entire time he was getting ready. “Come on, West, we don’t look that much different. Maybe if I slick my hair back and act like my funny bone got surgically removed, then I’ll pass as you.”
“You are too short to pass for me.”
“Brother, thou hast wounded me! Wounded me, I say!”
Germany scowled and popped an aspirin.
"Are you getting cramps?" His brother asked immediately.
"Nein. A headache. From you."
Prussia sighed. "I know you don't like it when I talk about this. But I worry you forget about the risks. You've been suppressing this so long I worry you forget what you are."
"Believe me, brother" Germany snatched his suitcase from behind the door, and tersely nodded goodbye. "I am aware."
The door closed. On one side of it, Prussia inhaled a lungful of air, held it, and released an anxiety packed breath.
On the other side, Germany began walking. As he did he put a hand gingerly over his belly. It did feel kind of odd today.
Click. Slide one. Click. Slide two. Germany felt a certain sense of calm come over him as he progressed through the discussion slides. International trade issues. Done. Global health. Done. Humanitarian aid policy. Done. All that was left was Mediation for nuclear de-escalation and Should Ping Pong qualify as an Olympic sport? Then lunch break. Seeing things fall precisely into their properly allocated time slots, and seeing the itinerary (his itinerary, when it came down to the execution and logistical details part of it) progress steadily forward gave him a satisfied sense of order and control. As they neared lunchtime, however, this began to crumble.
“I don’t know. It barely requires any muscle.”
“Neither does curling.”
“But does that mean omegas would be allowed to participate?”
“No but guys, guys, did you see me cream Russia in that last hockey match? Did you see it?”
And...focus lost. The room crackled to life as everybody began arguing about that last hockey match.
Germany growled and popped another aspirin. Then he stood up. “Everybody shut up!” He roared across the table. “Since I am the only one who knows how to follow an itinerary around here, we are going to follow my rules. Eight minutes for each person, no chit chat in between turns, and--”
Before the pill even hit his gut, Germany felt something...wrong.
Wrong wrong wrong, and yet, completely natural, for him.
Suddenly the room felt much too warm. Between his legs he could feel his body preparing itself, pushing stalwartly onward like an army of soldiers with a faulty connection between it and its general screaming orders from across a radio, in a bunker miles away. His heat was about to start.
No, no, stop it, stop it, HӦR AUF. No one can know! He’d kept truth of his nature secret his entire life. Why? Omegas don’t lead world meetings. Omegas don’t command attention with a single yell. Omegas don’t get listened to. They get mounted.
He braced his arms against the table, trying to make the gesture come off as down to earth and demanding, when indeed his knees were beginning to tremble and he could feel a thick bead of slick beginning to roll down his inner thigh. You should have listened to your big brother, West.
Attempting to seize back control of his breathing, Germany’s lungs shuddered with effort as he shifted his focus back to his audience. He could see some of the alpha countries beginning to raise their heads, sniffing the air with a sudden attentiveness. He couldn’t hide his pheromones. They worked like invisible dancers, twirling through the air and reaching out with slender, airy fingers to tip the chin of each nation towards him, whispering words of “This one is ready. This one is ready to mate. He needs it. Who is he? Follow your nose. He’s the one who smells terrified.”
“Hey. Does anyone else smell and omega in heat?” Romano blurted.
Terrified? Of course. Besides from his fear of losing respect, Germany knew that he was in physical danger. Nobody (except Prussia, of course) knew that he was an omega. Naturally, he was still unbred. No mark, no alpha scent mingled in his own to tell others to stay away.
Hurriedly tapping his papers into a neat rectangle, he attempted to make a quick decision. Escape to the bathroom, and risk the absence of the scent giving him away? Or stay and try edge closer to the nearest omega (France), to make it harder to discern who the scent was coming from?
He felt a wave of tight, needy heat seize his lower regions. He decided then he must escape. The back of his pants was beginning to moisten. His thighs were trembling. And who was he kidding? No one would mistake him for France. France’s scent has reeked of England for centuries.
Before anyone could say anything, he hurriedly mobilized himself. He kept his legs straight, his course steady, muttering something about needing to excuse himself to the bathroom. It’s not such an odd thing, he told himself, for an alpha to do, upon catching the scent of an omega. Perhaps the others will think he has simply gone to take care of...a personal issue. Of course, he was hardly thinking at this point; every logical thought was being smudged and bullied by a single accursed message of his biology: mate. Mate. MATE.
He hardly made it. As soon as the bathroom door swung shut, Germany gasped, barely feeling the harsh smack of his knees against tile as his legs gave out and he sprawled to the floor. The musky smell of the alpha bathroom hooked him, and he braced his hands against the tiles helplessly. The sensations were building like heat pushing against the walls of a volcano. His pelvis pushed against the floor, yearning to feel something pressed against it. His knees slipped, and he gave a cry as his thighs splayed against the tiles. His head was pounding. All of his innards were gaping, yawning, contracting, begging to be filled with something, anything, and his normally deep voice cracked and went hoarse as his body used his mouth to voice this need.
There was a yell outside the bathroom. “Hey, is anyone going to check on Germany?”
Germany panicked. Get up. Get UP! His legs wouldn’t listen to him. Rolling onto his side, he hooked a hand bitingly around the leg of the first stall, desperate to drag himself into some locked up semblance of privacy and security.
Too late. The bathroom door smacked open and in flowed England, Russia, Romano, Hungary, America, Japan, and Italy. Yes, even Italy was an alpha. And Germany was not.
He had rushed into the alpha bathroom because that's where he always went. He had had to if he wanted to keep up the masquerade. Now his senses were being overwhelmed by the sheer cloud of mixed alpha scents above him. It was horrible; his body responded by shivering and rutting, as warm fluid soaked his underwear and stained his pants. Meanwhile his instincts screamed fear: There are predators all around you. You ran into the predator bathroom. They are going to devour you from the inside out. They are going to take turns. It is going to hurt. You will be able to do nothing but open your legs and get knotted by every country in this room.
Germany whimpered, and then smacked a hand over his mouth. He couldn't believe he had just made that sound; and more threatened to spill out. His breath was coming out in short little pants as he pressed his sizzling forehead against the floor, shielding his face. He couldn't smell Prussia. No big brother to protect him today. He felt a pair of hands firmly grasp his shoulders, and he resisted being flipped over by curling into a ball, still gripping the stall leg as another squirt of lubricant gushed out between his legs.
“Don't make this difficult Germany. Come on now.”
His arms trembled as he resisted.
”Come on you twats, lend a hand, won't you?”
Another set of hands were placed on his shoulders, and his fingers pried from the stall, allowing him to be turned onto his back.
The other countries stared down at Germany's flushed, wettened face. The normally slick blonde hair was sticking in damp strands around his forehead. His tall, muscular body was weak and shivering, his butt shadowed by a puddle of fluid. His eyes were filled with lust and plea and a spark of resistance.
Germany spoke through his teeth. “When it’s over I swear I will find the one who went first...I’ll find them and I’ll‒Ah!” His threatening hiss was interrupted by a sudden wave of hormones which caused his abdomen to contract and his hands to jump between his legs to apply a quivering pressure.
“I can’t believe it” Romano laughed. He knelt down and pinched Germany’s chin between his fingers, forcing the flushed face to gaze lightheadedly up at him. “The potato bastard is an omega! Who’d have thought, eh? This makes things a lot different.”
Germany’s lips trembled. It seemed his worst fears were about to be confirmed.
North Italy gave his brother an earnest tug of the shoulder. His voice contained a strain of tearful sympathy for his friend. “Come on now, fratello, don’t say that! Can’t you tell he’s scared?”
“Yes, Romano” Japan nodded solemnly “Mr. Germany would probably appreciate his space before we do anything else.”
“Poor thing” Hungary said melodically. “So much easier to conquer now.”
“Da. Poor thing” Russia said, fingering his metal pipe. “So easy.”
America threw Russia a competitive glare. “I can help!” he announced, ripping a paper towel from the dispenser and running it under cold water. He handed it to England, who squatted down next to Germany and placed it over his forehead, in all the manner of an alpha who has been mated for years, and has grown accustomed to dealing with his partner’s periodic heats.
“That’s right, everybody. We’re here to help” England said. He threw a sharp glance to the other nations. “And nothing else.”
Germany's chest rose and fell in disbelief. “So you're not going to...even though I'm…?”
Romano gave another harsh, dubious laugh. “To each his own, England.”
Everybody could see the panicked glance that Germany threw him. England rolled his eyes, and refocused his attention on the omega.
“Chin up, lad. This is the twentieth century. We don’t do that anymore. It's quite unfashionable, what with sovereignty agreements and the popularity nowadays of being a decent bloody human being.” Shooting Romano a glare, he changed his tone to one of a sympathetic businessman. “Now, that's among most of us, but as I can imagine, you're rightly anxious about traveling home by yourself. We will arrange to have someone escort you back, and make sure you are securely locked inside a nesting location.” He raised an eyebrow. “I assume you have one? Or is this your first heat?”
“Nein…” Germany said. He felt the pang of lost privacy as he was forced to admit that this was not his first heat, inviting others to wonder when he first presented and how long he had been fooling them for. Despite this, his panic was ebbing slightly. “I have one. Don't I...Don't I get say in this, though? What if I want to finish the meeting? If anybody has suppressants on hand, maybe I can--”
He saw the other nations exchange glances ranging from incredulity, to pity, to amusement.
“No.” England said firmly. “Unfortunately, we don't, and unfortunately, you can't.”
“Da, in this state, your presence would be a distraction more than anything else.” Russia agreed.
America’s eyes bounced tensely to Russia, before landing on Germany. “Why would you even want to stay, dude?”
Germany lowered his gaze. Why should he want to stay? Because it was his duty to stay. But he supposed his duty wasn’t up to him any more.
Feeling somewhat cooled down from the cold press, Germany pressed his hands against the floor and sat up. His palms felt empty and naked against the tile. Like the hands of a horseman whose reins had just been ripped away. He winced as his slick coated body parts make faintly wet sounds from the motion of sitting. Some of the alphas looked away quickly, while others stared with dilated eyes.
England cleared his throat. “Alright, your pick. Which alpha do you want to escort you?”
Germany’s eyes fixed upon his closest friend, who was nervously eyeing his twin brother, who was ominously eyeing Germany. “Italy.” Sure, Italy was useless in a fight, but that was why Germany could trust him. As for protection...well, it was mostly just the alpha scent that Germany needed.
“Italy? Alright, if you're certain.” England took Italy by the shoulder and put on the tone of a grandmother telling her bumbling kin exactly how to pick up eggs from the grocery store. “Make sure you bring him straight home. No dilly dallying or getting distracted. Walk close to him so your scents mix. No public transportation. And when you get home, make sure to get him right into his nesting area. Got it?”
“Alright, good. Off yeh go.”
Germany watched this transaction with a sense of distant surrealness. And then Italy was kneeling down next to him.
“Can you walk, Germany?” he said it gently, with a concerned hand lingering as if to touch Germany's shoulder. A waft of the mediterranean nation’s faint alpha smell mixed with his personal scent of sun dried tomatoes and soft, sweet vineyard. A shameful, intrusive, and primal part of Germany’s brain whispered This alpha wants to take care of me. Take care of me. Take care of me.
Turning pink, Germany quickly pushed away Italy's hand. “I can walk” he snapped, perhaps a little too harshly. Ignoring the trembling in his knees, he clawed his way to standing and squared his shoulders, unfurling to his full height to remind the others that he was still taller than most of them.
His insides were still in turmoil, but the first wave of hormones seemed to have passed. “Come on Italy. Let's go.” he tried to say this confidently, and prayed to Gott that the others couldn’t hear the anxious warble in his voice.
With Italy trailing by his side, he strode to the door, signaling that this bathroom drama was over. The others shuffled to the exit slowly. Germany took a deep breath. On the other side of that door was a world that would never see him the same way again. He began to push it open.
“Good luck, potato bastard.” The whisper scuttled over his shoulder like a spider, just as he felt a painful pressure of a hand kneading the flesh of his right butt cheek. It happened so quickly that he didn’t have time to create a properly outraged reaction, but simply lurched forward, stumbling through the doorway with heart smacking against the inside of his chest in disoriented panic.
“Is something wrong, Germany?” Italy asked, oblivious to the sneaky pass.
“Nein…” the other alphas had already filtered back to their seats, amd with the room's eyes on him, Germany did not want to make a scene. “Let's just get my things and go.”
The journey home was harrowing. Italy drove (according to common consensus, an omega, let alone an omega in heat, was a safety hazard behind the wheel) and Germany found himself clenching his hands and feeling awfully ashamed about the damp, scent-heavy stain he could feel himself leaving behind on the leather passenger seat. Before he got out of the car, Germany cleared his throat and stared hotly down at his own lap. "Italy, I apologize for interrupting your time at the meeting, and for not considering my condition before entering your car. If you would allow me to grab some tools, I would be happy to clean it for you."
Italy replied with a breezy wave of his hand "Oh, nada nada, Germany. It doesn't bother me a bit. Let's just get you nice and safe and comfy inside. I'll even cook dinner!"
The sklip sklap of nails and alert barking greeted them before Germany had even finished fumbling for his keys.
"Easy, easy" Germany muttered, as spit flew from their jaws and they raised their hackles at Italy. Whenever Germany was in heat, the scent of any nearby alpha drove his dogs up the wall. Even Prussia had to watch out around them.
"Germany, your puppies are scary" Italy whimpered, hiding behind him.
"I'll put them outside" Germany mumbled, ushering them back through the hall, the kitchen, and out the back door.
When he came back through, Italy was already in the kitchen." You go take care of yourself, Germany" he said cheerfully. "I'll have dinner ready by the time you're done."
"Alright. I am going to take a shower."
Italy pouted. "But Germany, I thought you were supposed to go to your nesting spot and--"
“Nein” Germany interrupted, feeling a hot embarrassment crawl up his face. “I do not want to do such things until after I am washed.”
“But Germany, England said--”
“England does not have slick all over his legs, Italy!”
"Nein!" Out he stormed.