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5 Times Jack Failed at Courting and the 1 Time He Succeeded

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It was the only store open in a twenty mile radius at eleven at night on a Friday. The four day weekend loomed ahead of Jack and he was glad for the time off. He planned to spend it isolated in his home and working on his motorcycle but to do that, he needed something other than steak and beer to live off.

So he threw the staples into a basket, ghosting around nearly empty aisles and dead eyed employees. There was only one check out aisle open as he came strolling around, pointed and purposeful in his journey. The sooner he could swipe his card, the sooner he’d be in his truck and back home.

A low string of curses caught Jack’s attention, the voice almost painfully familiar for a man looking forward to the weekend as much as he was. What were the chances that he had actually run into his boss? Jack knew that he should continue on with his purchase and leave because work and personal life wasn’t meant to overlap. However as that steady stream of cusses kept on, Jack found that fond twitch of his lips drawing him away from his task toward the voice.

They worked closely at work, Jack was Brock Rumlow’s second in command and the two had gotten drinks after ops on occasion with the team. It didn’t happen frequently enough to consider them anything beyond friendly coworkers.

Jack planned to be casual, just walk by and glimpse Rumlow outside of work hours. It was a foolproof plan, any aisle could be an excuse so there was no way Brock would know. Of course all logic vanished when he saw him because of all the ways he pictured him: his usual imposing self, maybe dressed down in a dark tee and jeans and glaring at a limited selection of something, perhaps even in tactical gear for some op above his clearance — were wildly incorrect.

Rumlow always came off as the definition of a pretty boy, hair done no matter where they were, somehow never looking as haggard as the rest of them despite the less than ideal conditions. But he looked...nothing like Jack had seen on Thursday afternoon.

He was wearing dark sweatpants of all things and a gray heathered hoodie that seemed all wrong. His hair laid down in an untidy heap of wet locks rather than styled in its typical proud quiff. He was up on his tiptoes straining up towards a shelf just out of his reach but Jack’s eyes were dragged downward by the hem of his hoodie rising up and exposing a bit of skin. And that…that meant that there was no shirt beneath the sweatshirt.

Jack’s mouth felt dry as the scent of heat and the full impact how unbelievably dazzling the omega before was, struck him dumb.

“Fuckin’ useless goddamn piece of shit,” Brock hadn’t seen him, too engrossed with trying to get some sort of spray bottle.

Plus the outstretched arm blocked Jack’s positioning. He was still partially hidden by the aisle cap display of Memorial Day themed Oreos. Jack Rollins was an explosives expert so he was supposed to know better than to walk near an armed bomb and heat-struck omega was exactly that.

However instincts never obeyed reason and Jack found himself walking closer and reaching over the omega (his Commander, he reminded himself feebly) to snag the evasive item.

Brock stiffened up as soon as he sensed the Alpha behind him and Jack wondered if it was the smell of an Alpha that got to him or if he recognized him. Brock did not melt against him as Jack had feared (and secretly hoped for), he surged away like just being near Jack caused him immeasurable suffering.

“What the fuck Rollins,” Brock hissed drawing back further as he glared at him.

Brock’s honey hued eyes seemed so much warmer than the Alpha remembered as Jack tried to kick his brain into gear. It was taking every ounce of self control not to bury his face in Brock’s neck to just commit this lovely smell to memory. The subtle curve of his neck was particularly appealing and the tip of Jack’s tongue ran over his canines as he fantasized about claiming and keeping such a beautiful, sweet smelling thing like Brock all for himself.

Jack staggered back a bit as Brock shoved him — clearly estrus didn’t weaken the man much, or he wasn’t very far into his cycle. Brock was strong willed which was desirable in a mate.

“What the fuck, Rollins!” Brock repeated with significantly more heat and that put his brain back on track.

“Shit, sorry.”

Jack took a step back even though he hadn’t invaded Brock’s space from what he could tell. But he was admittedly having trouble with gauging appropriate spacing because he found himself shuffling a bit closer immediately after. The bottle sloshed in his hand as he moved, reminding him of why he’d approached him like this.

“You couldn’t reach it.”

“The fuck are you doing here?”

Brock crossed his arms and gave him a ‘no bullshit’ look. Deferring to his commander was second-nature and he was able to conjure up an answer for that, at least.

“Shopping. I didn’t mean to scare you.”

Jack thrust the basket out as proof that he hadn’t been acting completely unprofessionally or, fuck, predatory. The last thing Jack wanted to drive away a potential mate, especially one like Brock.

“You didn’t.”

The gleam of anger in Rumlow’s eyes were familiar at least, while his physical appearance and scent was new and...strange.

Jack’s eyes were tugged downward again. Brock had hidden his shape well beneath the tactical uniform but now with the soft fabric clinging to the soft curves and the sweats wrapped around such nice, surprisingly wide hips for a male, Jack wouldn’t help but enjoy what he saw. His hips were a clear nod toward Brock’s child rearing abilities. Yet another appeal of the omega and Jack’s mind wandered toward raising children with him once more.

It was hard to wrap his head around anything beyond how drawn Jack felt to him, especially with Brock’s pheromones and the scent of tangerine and sandalwood which, goddamn, was amazing. It was light from the shower the omega had clearly had before coming but it was slowly gaining in potency as Brock’s body went deeper into estrus.

“Looks like you got what you needed, Rollins. How about we move along and forget this happened.”

Brock’s suggestion was worded as a firm order and Jack immediately nodded his head in agreement, or at least intended to but he was still caught like a deer in the headlights, nose twitching shamelessly. Everything but the present faded away for a moment, Jack forgetting who he was and who Brock was save for: omega. Thankfully he came out of such a dangerous mindset quickly and his mouth started to go without him consciously formulating a thought.

“You, uh, you got any plans for the long weekend?”

He heard it as he said it and goddamnit, Jack was a complete and utter fucking idiot. Brock’s face flushed a much darker color than the delicate pink. Jack wasn’t certain if it was anger, embarrassment, or his heat. Brock was still Jack’s boss and a man that he respected deeply. Honestly, Jack didn’t really know Brock all that well — much less that he was an omega prior to tonight — and he had just asked him if he had an Alpha waiting for him at home.

“You better not be askin’ what I think you’re askin’, Rollins.” Brock’s voice was lethal and defensive and Jack laughed awkwardly trying to backtrack fruitlessly from his painfully tasteless question.

“Nah, I just… I meant for the holiday but obviously you’re uh other-otherwise, umm, involved.” Jack needed to leave while there was a chance he had a job to return to. “You should probably… I mean, I should probably head out cos I bought groceries and milk’s not supposed to get heat…. Warm!”

Brock’s eyes drifted shut a moment and he pinched the bridge of his nose. Even if he somehow smoothed over the inappropriate proposition, it was obvious what was on his mind now.

Could Jack be fired outside of office hours? Shield wasn’t a typical employer and Hydra even less so. He was probably going to get a bullet to the head, right here in the 24 hour supermarket.

“Rollins just get your ass home and forget this even happened.”

Jack managed to nod before all logic once more escaped him and he stepped forward and opened his mouth a bit to get a deeper scent. There was a swelling in his crotch, white noise bouncing around his skull and the insane urge to carry his commander to his truck. Brock made a low noise, warning and unimpressed. Jack felt scorned as he gathered his thoughts into a somewhat understandable order.

He was being dismissed. Jack nodded his head and then caught sight of the box in Brock’s hands.

The most juvenile urge to giggle at the sight of his great strike commander buying slick pads struck him. When he was a kid he bagged goods at the local market and he remembered the embarrassed omegas he was in school with hiding behind their parents when Jack had to put the brightly colored box into the bag. It shouldn’t have been a big deal but Jack lent his reaction to how unexpected all this was.

They hadn’t changed much, Jack realized. Bright colors, an omega grinning cheekily beneath the brand.

The box vanished behind Brock’s back and Jack realized he’d been staring. Color was creeping down Brock’s neck too and shit, Jack was looking at his neck just as hungrily as he had earlier. He knew it was inappropriate and this moment had gone on far too long.

But Brock was an omega… Beautiful, unmarked and unclaimed, Jack was sorely tempted to risk his job (and probably his life) and ask to spend Brock heat with him. But to risk rejection, to lose the chance to see Brock nest seemed like too big of a risk. Brock wasn’t very receptive at this particular moment and that was normal — omegas were testy in the early stages. But once Brock was further in, looking for a mate and overcome with the need to breed then Jack would have a chance.

“Jack.”

He was brought back to earth by his name being snarled. The scent around them was heady and thick, arousal and heat and anger. Jack swallowed dryly because only two of those scents belonged to Brock.

Right now Brock didn’t see Jack as an Alpha, just as a coworker and that was it, Jack told himself anxiously. It soothed him.

“Sorry sir,” Jack managed.

The omega — Rumlow, Jack reminded himself angrily because if started to think of him as an omega only he was in for even worse trouble — dragged a hand through his messy hair and heaved a sigh. He seemed to want to say something, Jack hoping it was an invitation to help him through but when Brock looked at him, he seemed a bit vacant.

“Go home, Rollins.”

This time following the order was easy and he turned on heel. He knew he wasn’t going to spend Brock’s heat with him and it stung a bit but it hadn’t been a true rejection. Jack made it to the end of the aisle, the heat scent fading enough for him to regret the encounter to an even further extent.

God, he was dead. Brock would probably take him out himself being such an idiot.

“Wait,” Brock called with just a touch of hesitance.

Jack spun around immediately, cock half hard in his jeans. He prayed that Brock had changed his mind and would let him help him through the heat. That hope vanished as Jack took in the body language presented to him: Rumlow had his arms crossed over his chest despite the delicate color had spread over the bit of skin above the neckline of the hoodie.

Jack didn’t understand it: how had he missed this beautiful omega for so long?

“I do need that, Rollins. It’s the last one.”

For a moment, Jack was lost. That look of confusion clearly registered because the omega sighed laboriously and tilted his head back a bit before he gestured feebly toward Jack’s hand. He looked down stupidly at the item he’d completely forgotten he had and immediately wished he hadn’t. Slick stain remover — for furniture and clothing. It was the first time he’d ever been simultaneously hot for and embarrassed for, his boss. He thrust it out, blushing a bit himself in second hand embarrassment and noticed that Brock wasn’t meeting his eyes as he snatched back.

“Have a good weekend.” Jack said before he could think to censor himself.

He got a small huff in return.

“Goodbye Rollins.”