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Birds in a Cage

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This was mortifying. She was never going to live it down.

Jay hid her face in the blanket given to her by the officers. She curled up on the wooden bench, next to the barred wall the omegas’ cell shared with the alphas’. Slade relaxed on the other side of the bars, spread out and lounging like he owned the place.

Considering he was the most dangerous being in that cell, he did. It had been amusing watching the other alphas, even the stupid drunk ones, full of liquid confidence, move out of his way. She was alone for now but expected she’d be joined by several prostitutes by the end of the night.

He was laughing at her, she could feel it through the bars.

“Shut it!” She hissed. “It’s not fucking funny!”

“No,” he affirmed, “but you’re adorable.”

“I,” she started with quiet dignity, “am a dangerous international criminal. I am not adorable.”

“You’re hiding in a blanket because you got arrested for indecent exposure.”

“It’s embarrassing!” She hissed. “Of all things to get arrested for!” She grumbled. “Things get steamy on the rooftops and alleyways of Gotham and don’t so much as run across a cop! Get caught in the streets of Purwa with your hand under my shirt and suddenly there’s five police officers waiting to arrest the filthy omega for corrupting the upstanding alpha.”

A thread of real insult bled into her voice. Her mate slipped a hand through the bars, caressing the bare skin of her waist. Tension bled out of her. She sighed. “Sorry.”

An officer walked over and rapped on the bars, yelling at them to keep their hands to themselves. Slade bared his teeth and growled at someone telling him to get his hands off his mate but Jay just sighed, shifting away.

Slade made a noise of annoyance but she shot him a quelling look. They were going to be stuck here awhile. Did he really want to antagonize the guards? Put pressure on their false identities? With a huff, he conceded, folding his arms.

“Now who’s pouting?” She teased, amused despite herself.

“I said adorable.” He corrected.

“Whatever.” She drew the blankets tighter around her and rested her head back against the wall. It was late and the officers weren’t going to let them call anyone until the morning. They weren’t going to let them post their own bond. (Even though they were carrying plenty of cash on them.)

They were going to be forced to spend the night on cramped benches in communal cells. It had been awhile, but she’d slept in worse conditions. It didn’t mean she was looking forward to it, especially if it was going to be interrupted as other omegas were added the room.

Jay sighed and closed her eyes. At least Slade was with her, even if he was in the next cell. She would sleep better knowing someone was watching her back. She never had to worry when he was near. That was such a novel feeling for her.

Of course that didn’t stop her anyway.

“Sleep, dao găm. I’m here.”

She slept.

_________________

Jay was right, she kept getting woken. She thought it might have been a couple of hours before the door opened the first time. A weathered female omega strutted in, all haughty fire and dignity. The next, a combative male, pissed off at the world and just enough sense to take her growl for the real threat it was and back off quickly.

The others trickled in after that and Jay finally gave in, realizing she wasn’t getting any real rest and sat up. She scooted back to the bars, letting the presence of her mate be a comfort. She smiled slightly as he began to ramble, his deep voice pitched just for her. Jay’s eyes drifted closed.

His low voice soothed her as she dozed. Talking about inane subjects. Sometimes waxing poetic about cheddar to swiss. A few minutes ago it had been how he preferred microfiber sheets to cotton. Like he hadn’t bought the silk sheets for their bed.

Now he was on some tangent about breakfast. She hadn't been paying any real attention but something he said caught her ear.

“I make the best pancakes. I’ll have to make some when we get to the apartment. Pancakes, some sausage. The closest thing we can find to bacon in the market… Yeah, pancakes and bacon.”

She had a sudden flash of his helmet made out of food. Half bacon, half pancakes with a pad of butter for the eye. She snorted. "Baconstroke, the Pancakinator." She muttered under her breath, trying to stifle sudden giggles.

"What did you just call me?" He asked, incredulous. She did not.

"Destroyer of breakfast." Jay stared at his faint outline through the bars, mirth in her eyes.

"Creator of breakfast, you little minx. See if I make pancakes for you, mangling my name like that." Slade growled playfully, amused despite himself.

She grinned, white teeth flashing in the dark, "Baconstroke.” At his look, she continued innocently, “What, pancakes and bacon are soulmates.”

“You definitely need more sleep.”

“Gonna punish me?” Jay taunted.

“Is that what you’re angling for, dao găm?” Slade rumbled, eyes gleaming.

Maaaybeee.” She drawled. Man, she was really feeling her blood tonight. “What are you going to do about it?”

“When we get home,” her mate told her, “I’m going to give you exactly what your deserve.”

“I’m looking forward to it, alpha.”

“You two are ridiculous.” A third voice interrupted them and their heads snapped to the hallway.

Jay immediately flushed scarlet when she realized who stood there. “What the hell are you doing here?”

Tim Drake stood there, arms crossed, a disgusted look on his face. “Your… names… came up flagged in the system. I was closest to come check it out.” He shifted and smirked, “You get up to this kind of stuff at home?”

“That’s none of your business!” Jay hissed. Slade chuckled next to her.

“Ew.” Tim sniffed. “Anyway, I’ve paid your bond. You’re good to go.”

Thank the gods for small mercies.

As they were walking out of the jail, the beta looked over at his sister, smirking. “Indecent exposure, hunh?”

“Shut the fuck up.”