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Fates Intertwine (Baby, We'll Be Just Fine)

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Aether has had to deal with a lot of pushy Alphas in his life, what with being an unmated Omega for the better--or worst--part of it and all. His parents always told him that they’d leave him alone as soon as he was claimed by an Alpha, so he should just hurry up and choose someone, love be damned. That ‘advice,’ along with their constant insistence of settling down with their choice of supposedly suitable partners--the likes of who were all, unsurprisingly, sons or daughters from well-off families that were more interested in claiming such a ‘pretty little thing’ than taking into account his own feelings on the matter--is exactly what drove him to move thousands of miles away from what was meant to be home to attend college elsewhere.

He truly didn’t want to leave his younger twin sister behind to deal with their parents alone. Despite being an Alpha, she, too, was subject to their conservative world views, setting absurdly high expectations of getting into a prestigious school and studying business, both of which were only a small portion of their ‘roadmap for guaranteed success.’

For the record, their plan for Aether was to simply marry into a rich family and be pampered for the rest of his life. In theory, it didn't sound that terrible, but when he doesn't get to choose who he gets to married to, that's an entirely different issue altogether. There's also the fact that countless Alphas out there wouldn't pamper him, so much as they'd chain him down for their malicious gain of pumping out baby after baby. Worst case scenario, he'd be kicked down to the status of Dispensable Sex Doll.

Truly, an undesirable life for anyone.

So, imagine the burst of happiness he felt when he was roused from his sleep at half past 3 in the morning, confused but compliant to Lumine’s hushed demand to get dressed, only to find all of their belongings shoved into her car. With their passports in hand and only each other left as family, thus began their journey into the real world.

Unfortunately, the real world, in its long, long trek to becoming a more progressive place for Omegas to exist without fearing for their lives, still consisted of shamelessly obtrusive Alphas, who have been taught from a young age that forcing themselves upon others would get them what they wanted.

Yeah. No.

Growing up, while Lumine was given the opportunity of learning martial arts to further add to what their parents perceived as a list of appealing qualities, Aether was thrown to take the more domestic classes, one such as cooking. Now, he wasn’t complaining too much about this part, because while he would have loved to learn how to defend himself and cook a nice meal alongside his sister, he did manage to learn to fare incredibly well in the kitchen, enough that he earned quite a few awards in cooking championships. Not one to be outdone, Lumine, naturally, also won several championships in judo.

As their parents praised both of them for being the golden children they so meticulously raised, Aether and Lumine would sneak off and teach the other twin what they had learned. There was no way they were going to adhere to the strict societal roles they were groomed to follow. If they wanted to know how to kick some ass and prepare a mouthwatering dish, no one was going to stop them.

Consequently, following Aether sucker punching some creep that tried to get handsy with him on the train or drop-kicking the stalker that didn’t know when to quit, Lumine would, first, rant and rave about gutting the perpetrators the next chance she got, then calm down enough to create a comfort dish with her older brother. Occasionally, the roles would also be reversed.

It’s a routine that, sadly, was a constant in their lives. Perhaps the only good thing about it, was the fact that the twins had deepened their bond, learning to trust and rely on each other to fend against an ugly reality.

Doing their best to protect one another was a mere sprinkle of what they’d do for each other, Lumine more fiercely so than Aether due to his Omega status being preyed on. She couldn’t always be there for him, much to her despair, but at least she knew that the little boy she taught second-hand judo to when they were kids would be able to hold his own.

Now, this lengthy reminiscence of their stifling upbringing brings us back to the present, where Aether is currently being sweet talked--or, well, this guy was attempting to sweet talk him--into an ‘enticing’ night between the sheets. Like many other predators, who didn’t deserve the title of suitors, he was downright intolerable.

Backing him up against a wall in a secluded hall.

Caging him in with a slam of his hands on either side of him.

Invading his personal space.

Assaulting his nose with his god awful scent.

Ignoring his distress that very clearly interingled with the air, screaming at him to leave him alone.

Insisting on making advances, regardless of Aether’s multiple attempts to shut him down.

Really, it was everything he hated in a person rolled up into one dense asshole. Alpha or not, Aether just wanted to get as far away from him as possible.

“Don’t be such a prude, little Omega.” Aether cringed. “Won’t you let a big, strong Alpha like me show you what it’d be like to be mine?”

The blond sighed, patience beginning to run thin. “Look, I really don’t-”

“You say you don’t want it now, but I promise you, you’ll be screaming something different by morning.”

Was Aether allowed to laugh? ‘Cause that’s what he wanted to do at the moment. If he weren’t dead tired from an exhausting day of lectures, he’d do it. Instead, he decided to humor this narrow-minded imbecile.

“Okay. Fine. I’ll give you a chance to try and fuck me,” Aether relented, hands relaxing from where they were tightly clutched around his textbooks. And the way this random guy perked up, excitement poorly hidden behind an off-putting smirk, made the blond want to give in and deck him right here. Alas, risking his scholarship for a sleazeball like this wouldn’t be worth it.

Underhanded as it may be, he’d rather let someone else dirty their hands this time around.

If you can kick my Alpha’s ass,” he began, leaning in that much closer to reach the latter’s ear, tone dropping an octave to make this deal so much more irresistible, “I’m all yours.”

The idea of being a taken man does nothing to derail the other’s goal of railing him, which proves, yet again, how shitty of a person Aether must be dealing with. Seriously, can't he get one person that respects his wishes? Just one, is all he asks, just to give himself a break, since every single fucker out there has turned out to have similar, accursed personalities.

“Sounds good,” was the cocky response he got, accentuated by the closing of distance that had Aether steeling his nerves to resist recoiling from. “Who’s this pathetic Alpha of yours anyway?”

“That would be me.”

Aether thought it would be satisfying as hell to throw a punch or two, but he found that it’s even more satisfying to watch the color drain from the cause of his current headache’s face as he realized whose voice that belonged to.

Normally deep with a playful lilt, the dark undertones that were now laced into it were intoxicating. Well, Aether deemed it to be intoxicating. He doubted that his knees were weak in the same way as the unnamed guy’s were.

“Come on,” Childe, or more infamously known around campus as Tartaglia, a top-ranking member of the Fatui, which is a highly feared Snezhnayan mafia group, continued, taking a taunting step towards the duo, smirk turning feral when the other Alpha takes a step back. “If you want to stake a claim on my Omega, fight me.”

Both Alphas stood at approximately the same height, the redhead probably a tad bit shorter, yet in that moment, Childe towered over everyone, not a whiff of pheromones in the air needed to force the trembling stranger’s head to be filled with blaring alarms, screeching at him to submit, submit, submit! 

Call it a guilty pleasure of his, but the fear-stricken eyes injected Childe with a rush of adrenaline, the thrill of a good, impending fight completely demolishing his self-restraint to dive right in.

“Let’s hope you make it worth my time.”

Childe took a fighting stance, school bag carelessly thrown to the side in preparation. He barely raised a fist when-

Oh?

In the blink of an eye, there went his prey of the day, running with his tail tucked between his legs, repeatedly apologizing, as if it meant anything at this point. It would be utterly embarrassing to call...whatever that was a fight. A confrontation, possibly, but 'bullying' sounds like a fitting term. Either way, a disappointing turn of events to the fight addict himself.

The crazed storm in eyes of electric blue gradually stilled into a tranquil sea as soon as the double doors slammed shut, leaving Childe and Aether by themselves.

Speaking of...

“Wah~ My hero,” cheered the blond in what was, quite possibly, the dullest tone manageable.

Childe turned to him, eyebrow twitching in annoyance when he received a round of even duller applause--how that was possible in the first place, he didn’t know. “You…”

But, Aether was never one to tease too much--or at least, he wasn’t in the mood today--and the redhead was surprised with the other’s smaller body lightly colliding with his, arm hooking with his, so that he could lean the rest of his body against his.

“Tired?” Childe asks, patting the top of Aether’s head when it rests on his shoulder, only to have it slide down and around his shoulders when he receives a sleepy hum.

Then, quieter, softer, “Wanna smell me?”

The airy laugh that reaches Childe’s ears makes his heart flutter, undoing any and all the taut nerves that have been continuously wound and coiled from the day’s taxing activities. Hearing something so pleasant to the ears in his time of dire need is more than he could ever ask for.

“That’s pretty weird, weirdo,” says the younger of the two, even as he’s hugging Childe’s arm a little tighter, face pressing into his hoodie to take in the Alpha’s scent.

Similar to how the ginger had relaxed at the twinkling of the other’s laughter, Aether’s tense muscles loosen when engulfed with the familiar aroma of cooling peppermint and sweet oranges. It’s a mixture he never knew he needed, but after becoming acquainted--or, perhaps a more accurate description would be, intimate-- with it, he found himself easily becoming refreshed while at the same time, being soothed by a single whiff.

“Yes, please continue to violate my body after calling me weird,” comes Childe’s sarcastic comment. He rolls his eyes as he continues to be sniffed, albeit in a much more exaggerated manner now that the latter's been called out.

“At least let me take you to dinner first.”

The mention of food has Aether immediately perking up, a golden eye peeking up at Childe, silently asking the single, most important question that will be the deciding factor between him continuing to assault Childe with his nose or allowing himself to be escorted out.

Like a book laid bare before him, the redhead easily receives the message.

“Homemade calla lily seafood soup, courtesy of yours truly.”

Aether nods very slowly, a sign of approval.

(Sure, when Childe first cooked for him, it looked like something he would be served from the depths of Hell, the souls of the damned incorporated right in with the fresh vegetables, but as the naïve blond learned from the first bite, the self-confident Alpha earned his right to brag about his cooking skills. Had Aether not fallen for him prior to that night, he’s certain Childe’s ability to concoct such delicious meals would’ve been a highway straight to his heart.

Ah, how long ago that was…)

Skeptical, he continues, “Dessert?”

“Whatever my darling Aether wants.”

Said Omega scoffs then, a drastic contrast to the sparkling pools of gold that meet Childe’s gaze head-on.

“What if I wanted a baked Alaska made by you and you alone?” he challenges.

Childe meets those narrowed eyes with his own undaunting smirk, the provocation pumping more adrenaline directly into his veins. “I’ll deliver it to you on a silver platter in 2 hours or less.”

“Make it an hour.”

“Physically impossible, unless you want soupy ice cream, but for you, babe, 99% doable.”

Figuring that’s the best he’ll get--and when taken into account that it’d literally be the best from anyone who dares to take on a battle as arduous as creating a baked Alaska within a specified time limit--Aether shrugs and goes back to snuggling Childe’s arm.

“Take me home then, Fatui boy.”

Childe swoops down to steal a quick kiss, before proudly leading Aether to the exit, an obvious skip in his step that has the blond giggling to himself, muffled solely to keep the other's ego from expanding any further.

Maybe when they get home, the mischievous Omega will tell the eager-to-please Alpha that he wants plain old ice cream for dessert, instead of taking pleasure in watching him suffer.

Maybe.