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Bite Me

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A high, sing-song voice crooned, “Hello, gorgeous,” in his ear.

A frisson of discomfort ran down Sherlock’s spine. “Go away, Moriarty,” he said, and clutched a chemistry textbook to his chest as though shielding himself from the Alpha’s unwelcome advances.

Jim Moriarty feigned hurt. “Oh, darling, is that any way to greet your future bond-mate?”

“You are not my future bond-mate,” Sherlock said firmly.

“I could be,” replied Moriarty suggestively.

“No, you really couldn’t,” Sherlock snapped.

“I know what’s happening to you, Sherlock Holmes; I can smell those lovely Omega pheromones working their way through your system. I was starting to think that you might turn out to be a late bloomer, but now it is clear you will be presenting very close to the usual time,” the sixteen-year-old continued conversationally.

Sherlock looked annoyed at the thought of doing anything the usual way until he remembered that he would be an adult legally as soon as he presented, even if he was only fifteen. But he said nothing.

“Your time will come very soon now, and when it does, I intend to be right there,” Moriarty went on.

“Then you’ll have to get in line,” Sherlock said flatly. “Every Alpha at this boarding school who has already presented has expressed interest in being there to ‘help’ me through my first heat, even the day students. However, out of the 800 pupils in attendance at Greencoat's, you are my choice number 801. In case you didn’t pick up on it, that puts you behind every student in the entire school whether Alpha, Omega or Beta—behind even the primary school students, not one of whom has presented as yet.”

“I would be deeply hurt by your words, but I don’t want to help you. I want to bond with you.”

Sherlock felt the creepy frisson yet again. “Go away, Moriarty. I have a class now.”

“I’ll walk you there, shall I, dearest,” Moriarty said. It didn’t sound like an offer.

Sherlock could think of no way to decline without revealing how nervous Moriarty was making him, so he acquiesced with extremely bad grace. He remained silent the entire way even though the older boy chatted casually the whole time. To other students passing them in the hallways they must have looked simply like two friends making their way to class together, but that could not have been further from the truth.

Thanks to the breakneck pace set by Sherlock, they arrived at the classroom so early that it was still empty. Moriarty held the door open with ironic courtesy and then attempted to snap his teeth down on the younger boy’s neck as he walked in, but Sherlock slipped past him too quickly, slamming the door shut right in that smug face. He waited tensely in the room by himself until several other students arrived for class, then peered out into the hallway. Moriarty was gone. Sherlock stepped back into the corridor, pulled out his mobile phone and texted his elder brother.

Vatican cameos. SH

ETA 10 minutes. Driver will greet you ‘solitary cyclist’. I shall inform parents that an immediate family meeting is crucial. M

Sherlock hurried to the front entrance, rushing past everyone in his path whether they were trying to start a conversation with him or simply calling out a greeting. He sat out on the front steps, shivering in spite of the warm spring weather. Greencoat Collegiate School was the best he'd ever attended, and he had got along well enough with his fellow pupils in the short time he’d been here. But now it looked like everything was going to be ruined thanks to Moriarty, who was totally focussed on becoming his bond-mate. As the underhanded attempt to mark Sherlock proved, the Year 11 Alpha would have no problem behaving immorally to achieve his goal.

All the standard DNA tests had been performed soon after Sherlock’s birth. Ever since he could remember he had known that he was going to present as an Omega. He didn’t think he would mind being an Omega at all, as long as no one tried to force him into some kind of ridiculously stereotypical Alpha-Omega relationship—the way Moriarty clearly meant to. Sherlock did not intend to let anyone force him into anything. He was going to be an equal partner with his mate and he had an exciting vision for his future. He planned to be a detective, something he had already proved he was good at. The Year 10 had helped his fellow students solve quite a few mysteries around the school—thefts and the like—and he was becoming known as someone to come to with problems large or small. The abilities that made him seem like a freak at several other schools when he was younger were considered helpful here (except by those responsible for the problems he had solved). He liked it at Greencoat’s.

But now it appeared he’d have to change schools yet again. Moriarty was quite determined and clever. They had a lot in common, and Sherlock was interested in spite of himself. But he also knew somewhere deep inside that Moriarty was completely wrong for him.

The car arrived, the driver gave the correct password, and Sherlock nearly wept with relief as the car door closed behind him. The man got back behind the wheel, the door locks clicked firmly shut, and they were off.

ooOOoo

By the time Sherlock arrived at the house, Mycroft and Father were already there, waiting along with Mummy. His parents were terribly upset when they heard what he had to say.

“Why didn’t you tell us about this earlier?” asked Crispin Holmes, every inch the concerned father.

Sherlock squirmed with discomfort. Discuss presenting and first heat with his parents? Bad enough he was forced to confide in Mycroft. He had only turned to his brother when he had begun to realise that he was not going to be able to handle Moriarty on his own, and it was true that Mycroft had come through admirably when needed. Sherlock suspected he would never be able to repay this debt to his elder brother and the thought rankled.

Forcing his mind back to the present, Sherlock explained, “Until recently I felt quite confident of my ability to handle anyone in the school who might try to take advantage of me as I go into my first heat. But not Moriarty. He has an interesting mind. He’s almost as smart as I am and very determined to get his way. And he’s clever, very clever.”

“If that’s how you feel about him, perhaps he is meant to be your bond-mate,” Mummy suggested.

“No,” Sherlock said, shuddering a bit. “His mind attracts me, but the pheromones he puts out do not. In fact, they make me highly uncomfortable.”

His father came straight to the point. “What can we do to help, Sherlock?”

“I can think of three possibilities right off the top of my head. Get me a private tutor and keep me home until I present, then let me apply for early entrance to uni next year. Or send me to a school where I can be a day student, giving me a better chance of being home when I present. I would even be willing to enrole in an all-Omega school. Anything—just get me away from Moriarty. I don’t like the way I feel when I’m around him. If he manages to force a bond with me, I have no doubt I will regret it the rest of my life even if I work out a way to break the bond somehow.”

Mummy frowned. “Your father and I hesitate to take you out of school, Sherlock. You need to be around people your own age. You are so extraordinary that it is vital for you have as many normal cultural and social experiences as possible in order to be better able to relate to your peers.”

“I have no peers in that school except possibly Moriarty. He is the closest to me in intellect and I cannot deny that he intrigues me, but there’s just something wrong with him.”

“You, Father and I should discuss this, Mummy,” said Mycroft pompously. “Sherlock, why don’t you go to the kitchen for a snack.” It wasn’t a question.

“In other words, get lost,” Sherlock said bitterly. But he did as he was told. He hadn’t presented yet; he would not legally be considered an adult until he did. So unless he went into heat in the next half hour, he probably wasn’t going to get a lot of say in how this problem might be settled. He stomped off, having already deleted his earlier gratitude for Mycroft’s timely help.

After Sherlock left the room his mother said, “Of course I don’t want him forced into a nonconsensual bond, but he’s been doing so well since he transferred to Greencoat's. The work is not advanced enough to truly hold his interest, yet he seems to like it there well enough to keep him from engineering constant disruptions. Should we just call the headmaster and tell him what’s going on? Maybe he can arrange for some kind of special protection for Sherlock.”

“Arranging for some kind of ‘special protection’ would guarantee him no possibility whatever of fitting in with his fellow students ever again,” Mycroft pointed out. “It might actually be better to keep him home until he presents. He’s obviously getting very close; all the signs are there. He is my brother so I am unaffected, but he is beginning to smell like an unbonded Omega.”

As they discussed possible solutions, Crispin Holmes suddenly spoke up. “Perhaps it would be worth it to go back to the old ways. Should we consider setting up a pre-bond agreement for Sherlock? Once it becomes known that he is spoken for, everyone at the school should leave him alone.”

Mycroft was taken by surprise. “Is that tradition not almost dead? I thought that only the very high born still promoted pre-bonding.”

“But there’s no law,” Mummy said thoughtfully. “Let’s suggest it to Sherlock and see what he thinks.”

ooOOoo

“You’re going to pick a potential mate for me?” was Sherlock’s dismayed response. “That wasn’t even one of the three perfectly logical options I gave you!” Sherlock hated coming home. At school he was always the smartest person in the room; at home he was considered the baby.

“It wouldn’t be binding,” his mother pointed out. “Either of you would be free to change your mind should you meet your true bond-mate before you have to make a final decision. But, no, Sherlock; of course we would allow you the dignity of selecting someone yourself. If you choose well, it’s possible that the two of you might actually decide to bond at some point in future.”

“Whom would I choose? I do not have the faintest interest in bonding with anyone I know.”

“We would contact the Unbonded Alpha Registry on your behalf,” said his mother.

“Ugh, Mummy, only losers sign up with the UAR!” Sherlock whined. Sometimes he wondered how he could be related to these people. He could feel himself losing brain cells whenever he was around them.

Mummy frowned. “That attitude is exactly why I think you need better socialisation, Sherlock,” she said. “The UAR lists unbonded Alphas of all ages. Of course I would not request the name of anyone who is, say, 50 years old and has not been able to find himself a mate in all that time. However, we feel a pre-bond would be a better solution than leaving school.”

“Well,” Sherlock said dubiously, “I’m not totally convinced that Moriarty would honour a pre-bond, but it might be enough to cause him to re-think the situation. After all, if he forced me into a bond, he would be enraging another Alpha.”

“Exactly. We’re hoping he won’t see you as such an easy target anymore,” agreed his father. “Greencoat’s is the first school you’ve been to that you actually seem to like; we would hate to take you out.”

Mummy nodded decisively and went off to call the Alpha Registry to give them her exact specifications as to potential candidates for her son. After that she dialled Greencoat Collegiate, mendaciously explaining that Sherlock had been called home suddenly because of a death in the family, and more truthfully, that he probably would not be back for at least a week. Sherlock’s father and brother returned to work, pleased (and relieved) to place everything in Mummy’s capable hands.

Sherlock slept late the next morning, and when he finally dragged himself to the kitchen for breakfast, Mummy handed him a stack of photographs that had been delivered earlier from the Unbonded Alpha Registry. He waited until he was alone to look them over, and when he did so, it was obvious these were men his parents would consider a good catch (or possibly a successful business merger). They were all at least ten years his senior, and not one of them interested him in the slightest. Later Mummy found the pictures still in a neat pile looking completely untouched, but she knew better. She went to the phone to call the UAR again, requesting Alphas with slightly different qualifications this time.

Bright and early the next day there were new photographs. These were young men closer to Sherlock’s age, all looking very posh and totally uninteresting. Well, if he wanted that, any Alpha from the Sixth Form at his own boarding school would do, at least theoretically. Later Mummy found these pictures also seemingly undisturbed.

On the third morning the candidates did not look quite so determinedly public school to Sherlock. He riffled through them distinterestedly, but for the first time someone caught his eye. When Mummy later came across the photos, there was a different one at the top than when she had left the pile for her son in the first place.

She flipped the photo and read the back. John H. Watson, age 17. Year 12. Five feet, six inches tall. Top marks science student with the intention of going to uni and studying medicine. Captain of the championship rugby team at his state-run school. He appeared sturdy and capable, but he was such a totally normal-looking boy! Mummy was slightly dismayed, but she had assured Sherlock that he would be able to make his own choice. It was just a pre-bond after all. She phoned the UAR to request the Watson boy’s contact information.

The UAR counsellor sounded puzzled. “John H. Watson? John Hamish Watson? There must be some mistake. His picture was not supposed to be included with those sent to your son. His family have expressed a preference for a female Omega.”

Mummy was not going to take no for an answer. “Give me the address and let it be the Watson boy’s decision.”

“I’m very sorry, but we can’t do that. It goes against the family’s express wishes.”

“I wonder which would be worse, to inconvenience the Watsons a bit, or to have it leaked to the press that the UAR made a mistake which broke my son’s heart?”

As soon as she received the boy’s address, she sat down to write a letter.

Chapter Text


The seventeen-year-old was running late when he came down to breakfast. His mother and sister were sitting at the table and they looked oddly excited when he appeared. He’d been intending to grab a cereal bar and run straight out the door, but his mother stopped him.

“John, wait.”

“Can’t—I’m late for school.”

“It’s just you’ve had a letter.”

“A letter?” John said. “Well, give it to me. I’ll take it to school and read it when I get a chance.”

“I don’t know, John. This seems quite important. It came special delivery. I had to sign for it.”

“But school…”

“I’ll write you a note.”

She handed him a large envelope with his name and address on a typed label. When he tore it open, inside he found a smaller envelope with “John Watson” handwritten across the front. He pulled that out and his eyes opened wide in amazement. John didn’t know much about these things, but it appeared to be made of antique-looking ivory linen. It was elegantly understated and amazingly posh. The name “Mrs. Crispin Holmes” and an address in Buckinghamshire were embossed across the back flap. Neither the name nor the address was in any way familiar to him.

“Blimey, that looks expensive!” said his sister sounding awed, and John agreed. This envelope was too beautiful to just rip apart, so he carefully slit it open with a table knife. Inside were several sheets of matching stationery folded in half. John slipped the pages out and unfolded them.

My dear John,

My son Sherlock has picked you out of the Unbonded Alpha Registry as the one with whom he wishes to arrange a pre-bond.

I know that as far as you are concerned this letter must seem as though it comes out of nowhere, but please do give me a chance to explain before you set it aside.

My son is being harassed at school by an Alpha who has been attempting to bond with him against his will. It is our family’s great hope that should Sherlock sign a pre-bond agreement with another Alpha, it will discourage this boy from forcing himself on our son, an Omega who has not even presented as yet.

I realise that your name was submitted to the UAR as someone interested in female Omegas. Your photograph was apparently sent to us in error, but it is my hope that you will consider this offer seriously in spite of that.

A picture of Sherlock is enclosed. He is fifteen, a Year Ten at Greencoat Collegiate School. He is a brilliant boy and a gifted violinist. You will find him intellectually far in advance of his age.

Pre-bonding is not common nowadays, and in case you are not familiar with the concept, I wish to stress that a pre-bond agreement does not inevitably need to end in bonding. While it is possible that the two of you may make the decision to bond eventually, this pre-bond contract is not ultimately binding, and either one of you would have the ability to dissolve the agreement should you find your true bond-mate in the meantime.

You would be doing my son and our entire family a great favour should you agree to this. If you say yes, we are prepared to carry out the signing of the pre-bond agreement immediately.

I can be reached any time at 07 123 456 789.

Yours truly,
Sheri Holmes

“This woman says that her Omega son chose me from the Unbonded Alpha Registry as someone he’d be interested in forming a pre-bond with.” John’s brow wrinkled. “That’s just weird. How could anyone have got my picture from the UAR?”

Jennifer Watson shifted guiltily in her chair. “Your father and I put you in earlier this year.”

“Without telling me?”

“Yes, well, we just thought it might help you find an Omega mate more easily.”

“Oh c’mon, mum, the UAR is for total losers!”

“We knew you’d feel that way and it’s why we didn’t tell you. But the UAR is a perfect way to get your name in front of a wider range of candidates—and you know the statistics as well as I do: two Alphas for every one Omega.” Then she frowned. “Only we put your name in as someone interested in a female Omega. And you say this is a boy.”

“Yeah. And his mother said she enclosed a picture.” He peered into the large outer envelope and saw the photograph, which he had not noticed earlier.

John’s sister got a glimpse of the picture as he pulled it out. “Oooo, Johnny has a baby boy for a suitor,” she jeered. Harriet, who preferred to be called Harry, was two years older than John and no longer in school, but she had been unable to hold down a job due to a problem with alcohol.

It’s just my luck, John thought irritably, that Harry would pick this morning to be wide awake and sitting at the kitchen table instead of sleeping off a bender. “Shut up, Harry,” he said absently, and didn’t even hear his mother’s automatic “Don’t-say-shut-up-to-each-other,” because he was too busy examining the boy in the picture.

His face held a sort of otherworldly beauty. Curly dark hair. Hypnotic silvery-blue eyes framed with long lashes. Cheekbones that you could cut yourself on. Translucent alabaster skin. Perfect Cupid’s bow lips that made John unconsciously lick his own, thinner lips. John simply could not stop drinking in the picture of this lovely Omega. Little hairs at the back of his neck lifted, and he shivered pleasantly.

But his brow creased. “The only thing is, he seems awfully young. His mother says he’s fifteen, but he looks a lot younger to me.”

“Let me see,” demanded Jennifer Watson. John slid both the letter and the picture across the table to her. She looked at the picture and her eyebrows shot up to disappear beneath her fringe. “What do you think, John? Age aside, are you even interested in a relationship with a boy?”

John had grown up knowing that as a male Alpha, he could have pups with either a male or a female Omega. Clearly his parents had assumed he would prefer to bond with a female, but now he thought, I’m definitely interested in a relationship with THAT male Omega. He shrugged, trying to act casual, as though either way it was no big deal to him.

Unfortunately, his sister knew him too well. “Oooo, Johnny has it baaaad,” she chanted.

“Shut up, Harry,” John said, much more forcefully this time.

“Don’t-say-shut-up-to-each-other,” came the inevitable response from their mother. “I wonder if we should wait to talk to your father about this?” John’s father was in the army, currently stationed in Iraq. He called home at least once a week if possible.

“I presented several years ago. I’m a legal adult,” John reminded his mother. Privately, he didn’t think his father would like the idea at all, and he didn’t care.

“Well, adult or not, I wouldn’t feel right letting you go into this blindly, John. It’s just too strange.”

“True. A pre-bond? Who does that anymore?” John wondered. He took the picture back from his mother and looked at it once again. Suddenly it didn’t matter how strange the situation was. He knew he had to meet the boy.

“This Mrs. Holmes says I should call her.” John pointed out the phone number given in the letter. “But I don’t know what to say.”

His mother reached for the phone. “Let me call, so she knows you have a family that cares about you and isn’t going to let you get involved in any funny business.”

“Right now?” John asked nervously.

“No time like the present.” His mother consulted the letter and dialled the number. “Mrs. Holmes? Mrs. Sheri Holmes? Yes, hello. This is Jennifer Watson, John Watson’s mother. Yes, fine, thank you.”

Mummy Holmes got right down to business once the pleasantries were out of the way. “Mrs. Watson, if your son is amenable, the pre-bonding ceremony can take place immediately. This afternoon, if that suits.”

“This afternoon?” Jennifer Watson repeated blankly, looking at the kitchen clock. It was just on 09:30. “Why so fast?”

“My son has people lined up waiting for him to go into his first heat, which from all the signs will be fairly soon. But he saw the picture of John supplied by the UAR and expressed interest. If your son is not equally interested, so be it. As I mentioned in the letter, however, we need to protect Sherlock as quickly as possible.”

“Well…” Mrs. Watson started dubiously.

Tired of hearing only one side of a conversation that affected him so personally, John spoke quietly but held out his hand firmly. “Mum, let me talk to her, please.” When his mother rather reluctantly ceded him the phone, he said, “Is this Mrs. Holmes?”

“Yes, hello, John.” She spoke in a very posh accent that matched her stationery somehow.

“Hello, Mrs. Holmes. Forgive me, but even though you wrote that Sherlock is fifteen, he looks like he’s about twelve. Is he really old enough to know what he wants?”

“He is fifteen, I promise. When you see him, you’ll know. He’s rather tall for his age, and he’s quite brilliant. Most people think he’s even older once they start talking to him.”

“And I’m his choice for this pre-bonding?”

“Indeed you are, John. We gave him many, many candidates from which to choose, and you were the only one. No one else interested him in the slightest.”

John glanced down at the photograph of the beautiful young man, and the hairs on the back of his neck lifted again. It felt wonderful. “Thank you, Mrs. Holmes. Give us directions….” He scribbled some notes on the back of the delivery envelope. “Thanks, we’ll be there in about two hours.”

Jennifer Watson’s mouth dropped open in surprise.


ooOOoo

Mummy Holmes’s lips curved into a pleased smile as she hung up from speaking to John Watson. She went to Sherlock’s room and knocked on the closed door. “Sherlock!” she called. Then again, “Sherlock!” when he didn’t reply the first time.

“Just a minute,” came Sherlock’s muffled voice from the other side of the door. Mummy went back to the kitchen.

It wasn't long before Sherlock came stumbling after her, barefoot, clad in pyjamas, with his hair all mussed and sleep crusting his eyes. “What is it, Mummy?” he yawned.

“Get moving, lazybones,” Mummy said affectionately. “I just talked to John Watson. He’ll be here in about two hours.”

Silence greeted this announcement. Sherlock appeared frozen to the spot. His lips moved, but nothing came out. He blinked several times and then stood with his eyes focussed on nothing. He was so still, it looked like he had forgotten how to breathe.

It was not often that anyone saw Sherlock speechless. “Sherlock,” Mummy said firmly, “snap out of it, now. Take a deep breath!”

Sherlock finally came back to himself. He hated repetition, so it was a sign of how rattled he was feeling that he repeated what Mummy had just told him. “John Watson is coming here? Now?”

“That is what I said,” Mummy replied.

Sherlock cleared his throat. “So he’s interested in a pre-bond agreement?” he asked, and then wanted to bite off his tongue for coming up with a question to which the answer was so obvious.

“He wouldn’t be on his way if he were not,” Mummy said, amused by Sherlock’s rattled demeanour. “You go get ready now,” she ordered, and then went to pick up around the house a bit. Of course it was already neat as a pin, but she just wanted to be certain.

As soon as Mummy left the kitchen, Sherlock went to the pile of the latest pictures from the UAR and slipped off to his room carrying John’s.

He showered, brushed his teeth, and ran his fingers through his hair trying to calm the wild curls (almost always a losing proposition).

Then he sat down on his bed to study John’s photo. He didn’t have to look at it, of course; he’d already memorised John’s face and stored it away in his Memory Palace. But there was something about holding the picture in his hand that made him feel closer to the Alpha. It was really quite irrational.

The picture appeared to have been taken at a family outing of some sort. Dressed casually, hair a bit mussed, John smiled almost quizzically at the camera. It was endearing. Sherlock wished he could know what John had been thinking at that moment.

Unable to stop himself, the enthralled Omega traced his fingers across John’s strong, pleasing face from the smooth forehead down his temples to the cheeks with the faint acne scars from his earliest teenage years. He touched the slightly upturned nose and ran his fingers from there to the smooth philtrum beneath and the thin lips with their faintly puzzled smile. He wondered what it would be like to kiss John, and then he wondered if John might ever want to kiss him. He drew one finger down the cleft in the well-shaped chin. Someone else might not have found John handsome, but Sherlock did. He was certain that John would be even better-looking in person.

When he had first laid eyes on John’s picture the day before, he thought his heart might burst from his chest with happiness. He had stared into the deep blue eyes, and suddenly the trite adage about eyes being windows to the soul made a weird kind of sense. John’s steadfast gaze promised protection and care. There was also something just a little bit dangerous in their navy blue depths, although the bemused expression on his face would certainly mask that from all but the most perceptive of observers. Sherlock's mind raced through many other deductions about the Alpha, but his eyes were drawn back to John’s over and over again.

Suddenly Sherlock became aware of the passage of time. The Alpha would be here in less than an hour now. He reluctantly slipped the photograph into a desk drawer and went to the closet to find something appropriate to wear for this all-important meeting. He had grown a bit during the past year but luckily had a couple of suits he could wear thanks to Mummy’s foresight. Knowing that nothing he owned would fit him at all by the summer holidays, she had had him fitted for several bespoke outfits while he was home for Easter. Which to choose: the grey suit, the black one, or the dark blue pinstripe? A white shirt or a coloured one? Finally he decided on the black suit with a plum shirt. No tie; he hated ties.

By the time he was done dressing, Father had arrived. Much to Sherlock’s displeasure, so had Mycroft. The minute Mycroft laid eyes on him, he’d know how much this coming meeting meant to Sherlock. There would be no way to hide his interest in John from Mycroft, dammit.

“They’re here,” announced Father. Sherlock ran down the hallway, skidding to a stop at the foyer. He then arranged himself to look cool and collected, which was not at all how he felt inside.

ooOOoo

John had left himself no time to second-guess his decision. He simply went back upstairs and took the shower he hadn’t had time for earlier. Half-way through he gave in to the way he was feeling about the lovely Omega and wanked quickly and furtively. He dressed in his best suit. He brushed his teeth (three times) and gargled with mouthwash (twice). It took his mother and his sister longer to get ready and he waited in a fever of impatience for them to finish up. Then he, Harry and their mother all piled into the family’s battered old Vauxhall Vectra and drove to the Holmes’ Buckinghamshire manor, about an hour outside of London. John bit his tongue to keep from snapping at Harry as she razzed him about his posh baby boyfriend and sang “Johnny went a-courtin' and he did ride, mm-hmm, mm-hmm,” over and over to the tune of A frog went a-courtin’ until finally even their mother couldn’t stand it any longer and yelled at her to stop. It was a great relief to reach their destination.

Mummy Holmes opened the door and warmly bade them enter. Standing directly behind her were Mr. Holmes, Mycroft and Sherlock. Mummy started to introduce the members of her family but her voice trailed off when she saw John and Sherlock lock eyes. It was obvious that everyone else in the room had melted away as far as the two boys were concerned. The air between them crackled with the visible energy that the old songs claimed was produced when true bond-mates meet.

Sherlock Holmes was even better-looking than his photograph. He was like a thoroughbred colt, all legs and not quite sure what to do with his body, but wildly beautiful. He walked up to John and they studied each other solemnly.

John reached out, put a hand on Sherlock’s cheek and gently caressed the prominent zygomatic arch with his thumb. To Sherlock’s great surprise, he found himself yielding to centuries of Omega instinct by lowering his head submissively.

John raised Sherlock’s chin. “Don’t,” was all he said. Then he turned to Sherlock’s parents. “Mr. and Mrs. Holmes, I would like to speak privately to Sherlock. Is there someplace we can go?”

Mummy Holmes was impressed by both John’s manners and his self-possession. “Of course. Sherlock, show John to your room. Take all the time you require.” Sherlock needed no further urging. He took John’s hand in his and led him away.

“Mummy, do you think that was wise?” Mycroft protested, as the boys disappeared down a hallway. “This young man might take unfair advantage of Sherlock.” His eyes slid to the two Watson women, who were glaring at him. “I do beg your pardon,” he said insincerely.

“Actually, Mycroft,” answered Crispin Holmes, surprising his wife and son with the twinkle in his eye, “if anything, I suspect it’s going to be the other way around.”

Chapter Text

When they reached the bedroom, Sherlock slammed the door shut and hastily locked it. He was feeling a irresistible urge to rub up against John in order to make sure everyone would realise by their mingled scents that they were destined to be bond-mates. So John barely had a chance to look around the room before the younger boy attempted to burrow straight into him.

Sherlock was giving off a mouthwatering scent and it took all of John’s willpower to reach behind himself and detach the boy’s arms.

“Sherlock, we really need to talk. There's something I need to know.”

Disapointment flashed across Sherlock’s face. “Fine. You have questions,” he pouted, stepping back and folding his arms across his chest.

Sherlock didn’t see it himself, but he knew most people considered him highly attractive (at least until he opened his mouth and started deducing everything in sight). So he waited for the inevitable “Why me? What would someone like you see in me?” and was truly taken by surprise when John asked, “Is this pre-bond thing really what you want of your own free will, or are you just going along with it because your parents think it’s a good idea?”

Sherlock looked into John’s dark-blue eyes and was stunned by the concern and care he saw there. Well, of course he cares, Sherlock realised. This is my Alpha! “I was perhaps not entirely on board with the concept until I saw your picture…” he admitted, and then his voice trailed off.

“Saw my picture…” John echoed.

“I saw your picture and knew you were the one.”

“How is that possible? You didn’t know the first thing about me.”

“I knew enough to be getting on with. I could tell that your father was either in the army or had died, and that you have been the man in the house ever since. I could tell that you would be respectful and kind to your Omega and yet be able to protect him to the death.”

John blinked. “Explain.”

“It’s clear that someone, most probably your father, has instilled a military posture and attitude into you. He has imbued you with the desire to protect your own, the way he has protected his country.”

“That’s…amazing.”

“The biographical note on the back of your picture said you want to study medicine at uni, so you have a caring nature. You do not intend to own me, nor will you mistreat me.”

“Go on,” John said, fascinated.

Sherlock continued confidently, “Your father is not here today—further evidence leading me to believe he is either dead or somewhere far enough away that you did not want to wait for him. It’s possible he could not come on such short notice, but even more possible that he would be totally against the idea of you forming a bond with a male Omega. Now that I have seen your Beta mother, it is clear that she is not in mourning for a spouse. Thus, your father is alive, and currently in the military, stationed somewhere far enough away that he could not come home quickly, and you did not want to wait.”

John stared. “That’s…astonishing.”

“You have never before expressed interest in bonding with a male so your parents submitted your name to the UAR as someone interested in females only. When you saw my picture, you decided that even if you had never been interested in the idea of a male Omega before, you certainly were now.” Sherlock hesitated only a few seconds and then blurted, “In fact, you liked the way I look so much that you masturbated in the shower before you got dressed to come here.”

He cringed inwardly, cursing his runaway tongue—he hadn’t actually meant to say that, but he found it so hard to stop once he had started!

John blushed crimson. “How could you know that? I mean, it’s true, but how…?”

Sherlock shrugged. “It’s something I’ve always been able to do, ever since I can remember. I am able to look at people and tell much more about them than they realise they are giving away.”

“That’s just…incredible,” John said, sounding awed.

“It’s elementary.” Sherlock grinned triumphantly. While his fellow students at Greencoat’s appreciated his ability to solve problems, they were not nearly as enthralled by his ability to deduce them, which often uncovered information they would prefer remain buried.

But his true bond-mate was amazed, and Sherlock was thrilled.

“And now that we’ve met, you’re still sure about this?” John knew exactly how he felt himself, but Sherlock was only fifteen and would not be considered of age until his first heat.

As far as Sherlock was concerned, John was perfect, although it was somewhat disappointing that he did not have on the same hideous but cuddly-looking oatmeal jumper that he’d worn in the photograph supplied by the UAR.

“John, you know I’m the one for you. In fact, I don't understand why we are still discussing this.” He moved closer to John again.

John took a step back. “We’re discussing it because you're still underage, and this whole thing was originally your parents’ idea, not yours. How I feel about a pre-bond agreement with you is beside the point. I will not let you be pressured into doing anything you don’t want to do.”

“But that thing that happened when we met, that strange energy in the air…it is not obvious that you are my Alpha and I am your Omega?”

“Sherlock…” John said pointedly.

“Fine. If you insist that I must vocalise my feelings, then yes: I want this. I want you for my Alpha. Is that acceptable?” He suddenly sounded very young and vulnerable.

That was it; that was all John needed to hear. “I guess we should go back and tell our parents we’re ready to finalise the pre-bond agreement now,” he said, but he didn’t make a move toward the door, and without volition his eyes dropped to Sherlock’s perfect Cupid's bow lips.

“I notice you’re having a problem keeping your eyes off my mouth,” Sherlock said somewhat smugly. “You want to kiss me. So go ahead.” He screwed his eyes shut, pursed his lips and stuck out his chin. It was fortunate that his eyes were closed—if he’d seen the amusement on John’s face, his adolescent dignity definitely would have been offended.

John straightened his face and then gave Sherlock a light tap on the nose, causing the younger boy to open his eyes. “You’ve never kissed anyone before, have you?”

“No, why would I?”

Now John did smile. “There are plenty of reasons you might have. But here’s the thing, Sherlock. I’m afraid once I start kissing you, I won’t be able to stop.” His eyes flickered down to Sherlock lips again.

“That’s fine. I think that’s what I want, too.” Sherlock felt eager but a bit puzzled. Kissing had always seemed so pointless and…unsanitary. But suddenly he wanted to, and he wanted to now.

John opened his arms and Sherlock stepped into them. He had no idea what to do next but John led the way, pulling them together until their lips met. John pressed his lips gently against Sherlock’s stiff mouth until Sherlock began to relax and melt into the kiss. John lingered over the warmth of Sherlock’s mouth, intensifying the kiss effortlessly. Slowly those perfect lips parted and John easily slipped his tongue between them.

Sherlock felt the kiss everywhere…on his mouth, of course, but also in his knees, which were turning to water, and in his tingling groin. The energy he’d felt when they met fizzed through his bones. He whimpered as he found himself surrounded by the dizzying scent of an aroused Alpha, his aroused Alpha. His hips took on a life of their own. Suddenly, his back arched and he mashed his hips so tightly against John that the older boy clearly felt the hot, rhythmic pulsing in Sherlock’s trousers. John grabbed Sherlock’s arse and pushed the boy’s pelvis even more firmly to himself, holding him there through the aftershocks. And then it was over, and Sherlock found himself staring into John’s eyes, hardly knowing what to do or say. After a few moments he pressed his face into John’s shoulder and stayed that way. Intermittent tremors ran through his body.

A war was going on in John’s head between his Alpha instinct to drop to his knees, tear off Sherlock’s trousers and pants and lick up every last bit of Sherlock’s come, and the equally Alpha instinct to protect his trembling Omega. The protector won, but it was a close call. John stayed where he was, rubbing comforting circles between Sherlock’s incredibly lanky shoulder blades.

Eventually Sherlock sighed and said, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Our first time together and…and I couldn’t wait…I couldn’t wait for you. I’ve ruined everything.”

“What do you mean? You were perfect.” John raised a hand to gently caress the nape of Sherlock’s long, slender neck.

“But I ejaculated prematurely!” Sherlock mumbled into John’s shoulder, terminology precise even in his embarrassment.

John’s eyes crinkled gently at the corners. He lifted his hand from Sherlock’s neck and ran his fingers through Sherlock’s curly hair, cradling the younger boy’s head tenderly. “Sherlock, it was your first time. Like anything else, you’ll get better with practice.”

The prospect instantly appealed to the young man. “Really? How soon can we start?” Sherlock asked eagerly, raising his head off John’s shoulder. “Because that was amazing. I’ve never felt anything like it.”

“You’ve never had an orgasm before?” John asked.

“I have had nocturnal emissions in the past.” Sherlock spoke almost clinically. “But all I remember about them is waking up cold and sticky.”

John’s eyebrows shot up. “You’ve never wanked?”

“No. I always thought anything to do with sex sounded rather tedious. Clearly I was wrong.” Then he frowned. “John, my clothing is getting extremely uncomfortable.”

“Let’s get those pants off you and rinse them out before they harden to concrete.” John pointed to the second door in the bedroom and asked, “Where does that lead?”

“To the bathroom that Mycroft and I share when we are both in residence. And now that I’m thinking about it, we should lock the door to his room so he can’t come barging in. It would be just like him.” Sherlock pulled off his suit jacket and headed for the bathroom, unbuttoning his shirt and pulling off his belt as he walked. John followed, watching eagerly as the unintended striptease unfolded.

In the bathroom Sherlock removed his trousers and stepped out of his pants with only a slight hesitation. John started filling the sink with hot water, then locked the door to Mycroft’s room. He held out his hand to Sherlock, who gave him the soiled pants, looking more than a bit self-conscious. John dropped the pants in the basin to soak and then turned to face the younger boy, who was just slipping the unbuttoned shirt off his shoulders—and there was Sherlock, naked in front of him. Trying to sound nonchalant Sherlock said, “I suppose it’s only fair that you see what you will be getting.” His cheeks were stained pink; he couldn’t believe how wanton he was feeling!

John’s cock twitched, reminding him that he had not yet had his own release. He supposed that wank in the shower earlier was responsible for the fact that he hadn’t got off on a hair trigger.

“You’re absolutely beautiful, Sherlock,” John said sincerely. “I can’t compare, not in a million years.”

“Well, how would I know? You have on entirely too many clothes to tell,” Sherlock quipped. His gaze travelled pointedly down John’s body, then back up again.

John removed his own clothing slowly, never once taking his eyes off Sherlock as he did so.

Naked, they regarded one another, each completely pleased with what he saw. John drank in Sherlock’s beguilingly lean body. Sherlock ran his eyes down John’s pleasing face and sturdy body—and then stared frankly at John’s jutting Alpha cock. He reached out with one hand to touch it curiously. It was quite a bit larger his own very standard Omega equipment. It felt velvety soft and a bit spongy. Then he moved the hand further down to cup John’s balls.

Sherlock was looking down between them, and John took advantage of that to lean forward and snuffle at the graceful bend of Sherlock’s neck where his nascent Omega scent was the strongest. John sighed quietly and then moaned, and Sherlock suddenly realised that John’s cock had only been half hard before. He watched in awe as it grew even larger, and reached out with his other hand to caress it almost reverently. Was it possible that he was really going to have this inside him one day? He was unable to imagine it, but all the ridiculously dull instructional videos he had been forced to endure in Gender Ed insisted that it was so. They also said, although not in so many words, that he would be gagging for it by then. Another thing he never would have believed until today.

“Sherlock, Sherlock, I…ah!” cried the Alpha, bringing Sherlock back to the present, and then John ejaculated copiously all over both Sherlock and himself. When he could talk again the astonished Alpha said, “If this is the effect you have on me now, I can’t wait to find out what you’re going to be like after you present.” He reached out and smeared his ejaculate into Sherlock’s stomach and chest, then sighed. “As much as I’d love to leave that there to mark you as mine, let’s get in the shower and clean us both off.”

In the shower they lathered each other up, getting more enthusiastic with every stroke of the soap bar until they were both hard again. John put out a hand to Sherlock’s slim cock and gave it a very effective little twist that made Sherlock hiss with pleasure.

Expecting John was about to give him a hand job, Sherlock was surprised when the Alpha went on his knees under the spray. “Sherlock, can I…?” John started to ask and then it was John’s turn to be surprised when Sherlock pressed himself up against John’s mouth. “Eager much?” John smiled. He licked a stripe up the underside of Sherlock’s cock and then sucked the whole thing into his mouth (it fit absolutely perfectly) and swirled his tongue experimentally a few times. A Beta girl had done this for him once, and up until today it had been one of his happiest and most satisfying memories.

Sherlock was overwhelmed when he felt John’s mouth all around him. He shivered with anticipation while the orgasm coiled at the base of his spine, eventually bursting through him like white light and he cried out John’s name. He wasn’t aware of much for the next few seconds, but when his mind cleared, John was standing and holding him again, exactly like the first time.

This time, though, Sherlock was determined to reciprocate immediately. He went down on his knees and sucked John’s cock into his own mouth, at least as far as it would fit. He doggedly mimicked what John had done to the best of his ability, then reached underneath and gently squeezed John’s balls for good measure since that had seemed to please John immensely earlier. John moaned and reached down to grab handfuls of Sherlock’s wet hair. Emboldened by the sounds coming out of John’s mouth, Sherlock wrapped his fingers around the lower part of the Alpha’s cock, the part he couldn’t get his mouth around, and moved his hand unevenly up and down the shaft while his mouth remained at the head and his other hand continued to caress John’s balls.

Looking down, John saw Sherlock’s perfect lips surrounding the head of his dick. With the part of his mind that was still functioning, if only just barely, John saw how earnestly Sherlock was labouring to please him. The Alpha found Sherlock’s inexperienced and slightly fumbling attempt to fellate him extremely arousing.

With his voice shaking, John stammered, “Sherlock, I-I…I’m going to come. You should…you should pull back…” Intent on getting John off, Sherlock responded by sucking even harder. Suddenly his mouth was full of ejaculate, which he manfully did his best to swallow.

“Well, that tasted entirely different from what I expected,” Sherlock grimaced, coughing a bit because there was also considerably more volume than he had anticipated.

John pulled Sherlock to his feet and into his arms. “Let me taste it, too,” he said, and kissed Sherlock passionately. Sherlock quivered and opened his mouth obediently.

“John,” he whispered when he finally had to come up for air, “John…” He threw his arms around John’s neck and pressed their naked bodies together tightly under the shower spray. “Tell me that you are my Alpha,” he implored. And he didn’t care in the least that it sounded as though he was begging.

“Oh, God, yes,” John replied and kissed him again.

Afterwards they rinsed off and then washed each other’s hair. John was ready to get out of the shower but Sherlock insisted on using conditioner first. John stared open-mouthed as Sherlock squeezed the pearlescent fluid into his hand from the bottle. “Maybe we should try actual spunk next time,” he said, and amusement rumbled through Sherlock's body in response. John laugh happily. He felt lighthearted and a bit silly, exactly like a teenager in love, in fact; and at that moment, not so much like an Alpha with his mate.

They got out of the shower, towelled each other dry and dressed, although Sherlock had to put on different clothes than he’d been wearing earlier.

“I suppose we should go back and talk to our families,” John said. “We’ve been gone well over an hour already. I’m surprised they haven’t come to check on us.”

Sherlock was just about to slip his mobile into the pocket of the new suit he had donned when a soft chime indicated an incoming text. He looked at the phone and frowned. “It’s from Moriarty. That’s the Alpha who tried to mark me at school. I wonder how he got my number.”

John growled deep in his throat, surprising them both.

Sherlock read the text and his face tightened. John tugged at the phone so he could read the message too.

You can run but you can’t hide.

Their eyes met over the the touch screen. John growled again.

Chapter Text

John stared from the phone to Sherlock and back to the phone again. “Tell me what this is about,” he demanded. “In her letter your mum said only that you were being harassed at school, but she didn’t go into any detail.”

Sherlock explained about Moriarty’s intimidating behaviour, including that one last, underhanded attempt to mark him.

“That fucking dickhead!” John exclaimed, throttling down his fury with great difficulty. “He should be banished from school. Why didn’t you report him?”

Sherlock said, “If I reported him, he’d say he was only kidding around. And then he’d know I was afraid.”

“You have every reason to be afraid, Sherlock! He as good as told you he was going to take you during your first heat whether you like it or not.”

“Well, I’m not afraid anymore. Now that I have had even this small taste of what we will be to each other after we bond, I know that there’s nothing Moriarty can do to break the connection we already have. No one will ever be able to…John, what?”

Mid-sentence, John pulled the younger boy into his arms and tightened them around him protectively. “I don’t want to risk him doing anything that will cause you pain to undo. Breaking any bond will be distressful to an Omega, even a bond forced on the Omega against their will.”

Sherlock had to admit that he wasn’t totally convinced a pre-bond arrangement would deter Moriarty. “But maybe if we scent mark each other as well? Even if I haven’t presented yet, I know my Omega fragrance is emerging.” Against his cheek he felt John nodding emphatically. “So if you imprint your Alpha scent on my scent glands, it will be clear to him that someone else has an irrefutable prior claim on me.”

John thought about that for a moment and then frowned. “But even if we strengthen the scent every day from now until we both go back to school, the smell will fade long before end of term. So we’ll have to work out a way to meet up on weekends somehow to reinforce the scent marking, at least until we can be together again the whole time over the summer holidays.”

“Only meet on weekends until summer?” Sherlock was appalled and pulled back out of John’s arms. He’d known John less than two hours and already could not imagine being apart from him, not ever. “No!” he protested. “That is totally unacceptable!” He stamped a foot.

John felt exactly the same way, except without the stroppiness. “Sherlock, believe me, if there was anything I could do about this, I would. I just don’t…”

“Bite me.”

“What?” John wasn’t sure he heard properly.

“Bite me!” Sherlock was so excited that he was vibrating. “Surely I’m close enough to presenting that if you bite me, it will bring on my first heat. Instead of a pre-bond, we can bond.”

“But you got away from school so you wouldn’t be forced into your first heat.”

“There’s no comparison between this and what Moriarty wants to do. You would simply be inducing my first heat, not forcing it.”

“Sherlock, first heats are supposed to be very uncomfortable, and artificially induced first heats even more so.”

“I’m not worried. You’ll be right there to take care of me,” Sherlock said confidently.

“But afterwards…I’ll be in sixth form for another year. And then I’m going to uni to study medicine. Even if I got a job on nights and weekends, I’d never be able to make enough for both of us to live on. I can’t possibly support a mate, and it would be completely irresponsible of me to bond until I can.”

“You won’t have to worry about that,” Sherlock said triumphantly. “My grandparents on my mother’s side were very old world, and they left an extremely generous trust fund for me upon my bonding, which is to go directly to my Alpha.”

John sighed. “Yes, that’s old world all right. And I wish you hadn’t told me about it.”

“Why? I thought you’d be pleased! It solves all of our potential financial problems.”

“But now I can’t say we decided to bond before I knew.”

“Of course we did; we decided the minute we met…we just hadn’t discussed it yet.”

John stroked Sherlock’s cheek tenderly. “We still haven’t discussed it, not really. What you want me to do will set something in motion that is going to end with my owning you legally. Can you honestly say that doesn’t bother you even a bit?”

“It’s not a problem, John. You know I deduced just from your picture that you would never treat me as though you owned me.” He hesitated, then went on a bit sheepishly, “But if I am being totally honest, all those deductions I told you about came only after I looked into your eyes in that picture. Right then I knew that you were my Alpha. The deductions that followed were almost beside the point. And now I am looking forward to whatever happens next, as long as it involves the two of us.” A thoughtful pause. “And lots of sex.”

John smiled at Sherlock and unable to help himself, reached out and mussed Sherlock’s curls. “As your Alpha, I can absolutely guarantee you that from now on, sex will be involved more often than not.”

“Excellent,” Sherlock said, sounding extremely pleased with life. Then he looked around the bedroom helplessly. “I suppose it’s good that you have had some prior sexual experience, John, because you’re going to have to tell me what to do next.”

John grinned. “Well first, let’s get into bed or you’re going to start thinking that sex only ever happens standing up.”

They undressed, got into bed, and turned to face each other. John put his hands on Sherlock’s hips and pulled them together so that their cocks touched and they moaned together quietly.

Sherlock sighed and squirmed even closer. “I must admit to being worried about comparisons, though. What if I’m not as good as anyone you have had before? I wish I could have been your first.”

“Sherlock. The best sex I ever had was when you came in your pants.”

Sherlock looked highly skeptical.

“No, it’s true,” John insisted. “You have no idea how unbelievably erotic that was. And remember, I’ve never been with a man before you. You were my first.”

Sherlock puffed up with pride that his Alpha had referred to him as a man, and pleasure that he was John’s first of something. And he waited expectantly for John to tell him what to do.

“Probably the best way for us to handle this is to mimic bonding sex as closely we can without actual penetration,” John decided. “You turn around so that I’ll be behind you. I’ll have sex between your thighs and bite down on you when we both come.”

“Ah, yes,” said Sherlock, looking wise. “Intercrural intercourse.”

John stared. “That thigh thing has a name? No way.”

“Everything has a name, John. One just has to learn the word. Now, let’s get started,” Sherlock said and turned eagerly to his other side so that John was behind him. John slipped his already-hard cock between Sherlock’s thighs, using his own pre-come as lubricant since Sherlock had no pot of lube conveniently stashed in his nightstand. (A problem that John intended to rectify as soon as possible.)

Though uncoordinated at first, all uncertainty vanished as they moved against each other. John slid his shaft in and out between Sherlock’s lean thighs and simultaneously snaked his hand around to grasp Sherlock’s cock. Sherlock moaned loudly. Encouraged, John used some of Sherlock’s pre-come for extra lubrication and moved even more purposefully.

“That’s it, Sherlock, that’s it,” John crooned. “Now, squeeze your thighs together more tightly around me, yes, just like that. Oh God, yes!”

Suddenly Sherlock begged, “I want you in me, John, please!”

There was no way John could put his young Omega through that yet. Trying to keep his voice steady, John said, “No, we can’t. Just a couple more hours—then whatever you want.”

“No, now!” Sherlock insisted frantically. “I’m so empty. Fill me, John. Fill me with your cock. Fill me with pups. Don't wanna wait.”

Oh no! This was more than a bit not good. Sherlock was freely offering him everything an Alpha might want. John had to stop this before it went too far.

“Sherlock, calm down.” John used the Alpha tone of voice which worked without exception on Omegas, hoping it would have that effect on Sherlock even though he hadn’t presented yet. John actually felt it was a totally unfair way to treat anyone, and he apologised as soon as Sherlock quieted down and his movements became less agitated.

“I’m sorry; I’m so sorry, sweetheart,” he said. “But I had to slow you down. I promise you, when you go into heat in just a few hours, we can have sex swinging from the chandeliers if that’s what you want. But this time, just this time, it wouldn’t be right.”

Suddenly Sherlock asked, “Chandeliers? What…wait a minute.” He twisted his head around to try to look at John. “Did I just beg you to fill me with pups?” he asked, looking stunned.

John sighed in relief. Sherlock was back in control of himself. “You did. And you tempted me with that tight, sweet, virginal arse. A gift which I will gladly accept when we bond. But now that you’re back in your right mind…” He moved his hand faster on Sherlock’s gently weeping cock. The sooner this phase of the plan was over, the better. John only had so much strength to resist temptation. Seriously, there were times it was no fun having to be the level-headed one in the relationship!

He kept his mouth hovering around Sherlock’s neck and shoulders where the bite was going to go, nibbling and mouthing at the area. The tip of his tongue ran along Sherlock’s neck and shoulders, but Sherlock would have sworn he felt it travel down his spine and into his cock, where his orgasm begin to spread out in ever-increasing waves until he couldn’t have stopped it even if he wanted to. Which he most emphatically did not.

When he felt Sherlock’s balls contract, John thrust forward desperately between his thighs. They were both coming now. John held on to a tiny bit of reason long enough to bite down on Sherlock’s neck just hard enough to break the skin, and it was done. They were as close to bonded as they were going to get until Sherlock went into heat—which assuming all went well, would be in just a couple of hours.

But for now, John held them both in place, licking and sucking gently at the bite, introducing enzymes to Sherlock’s system which would kickstart the Omega’s heat while his body prepared to bond with John, and John alone.

Sherlock lay contentedly, almost in a trance, reliving the memory of John’s mouth on the nape of his neck, of being held firmly against the Alpha’s compact body as he bit down; but it wasn’t long before he stirred uncomfortably, saying, “Sex may not be tedious but it is certainly messy, John. I’m lying in a puddle of both your ejaculate and mine.”

John pulled Sherlock out of the wet spot and rolled him over so that they were face to face again. “Hey there,” John whispered, sliding his fingers through Sherlock’s curls while caressing Sherlock’s lips with his own. The sensuality of the simple touch of John’s lips left Sherlock almost gasping for breath.

“They won’t separate us now,” Sherlock murmured, pressing his face against John’s neck. “They will have to come up with some way to keep us together.”

“I assume you already have some ideas?”

“Quite a few. All entirely feasible.”

“Care to share?”

Sherlock ticked off each point on his fingers as he elucidated. “Effective immediately, you will transfer to my school or I will transfer to yours, the latter of which is not ideal for me, but I would do it to be with you if necessary. Then we spend your second year in 6th form at whichever school we choose to attend while I take my own Year 11 classes and simultaneously study to take tests for early uni acceptance so that we can go to uni together. At uni, we can either live in the special housing for bonded students, or lease our own flat somewhere. In the unlikely event that I do not qualify for early acceptance, I can do my sixth form as a day student at a school near your university.”

John blinked. Sherlock was just amazing. He had already come up with all that? John’s mind was still somewhat clouded from the orgasm. “God, you’re a wonder,” he breathed into Sherlock’s hair. Sherlock preened under the praise.

“All right, then, Sherlock, let’s get up and handle this the way we will handle everything from now on — together.” John slid over to the edge of the bed and sat up, but turned back when he heard a deep rumble of laughter behind him.

“Oh, Mycroft is going to be so mad that I get to bond first,” Sherlock all but crowed.

John smiled affectionately. He was finding it incredibly endearing the way Sherlock shifted from a highly articulate young man to a bratty teenager in the blink of his silver-blue eyes.

ooOOoo

When the boys left to go to Sherlock’s room, Mummy Holmes had stared after them in amazement. “Did you see that energy transfer between them? It’s like in the stories. They were meant for each other,” she said to no one in particular.

Mycroft snorted, and both Mummy and Father frowned at him.

Jennifer Watson and her daughter just stood there feeling uneasy and out of place in this beautiful house with these posh people—and especially with that tall, auburn-haired guy scowling at them as if they had done something wrong.

Mummy Holmes noticed their discomfort. “Where are my manners?” she asked rhetorically and invited the Watson women into a large sitting room. “The boys may be a while,” she said, gesturing for the Watsons to take a seat. “I’ll go make tea, shall I?”

The time that followed was uncomfortable in the extreme. Everyone was wondering what might be going on with John and Sherlock, while at the same time pretending it was the last thing on their minds. Mummy made gracious small talk about the weather and Downton Abbey and even the upcoming elections, but only Father answered in much more than a monosyllable.

At one point Mycroft stood, excusing himself ‘to use the facilities’, as he phrased it, but he had only taken two steps in the direction of his bedroom when his father said firmly “Use the guest bathroom, My; you might be interrupting if you use the one you share with Sherlock.”

Mycroft got the message loud and clear: stay away from John and Sherlock. Was it possible his parents truly wanted to encourage Sherlock to bond with this seemingly unremarkable young man at some point? It was exceedingly odd—his Omega father was getting very Alpha-like over the situation. And his Alpha mother was clearly encouraging it as well. He wondered if they were starting to go senile. Not only was Sherlock too young, but this John person was…nobody.

When the boys had not returned after an hour, Mummy Holmes whipped up a very nice, impromptu lunch. As everyone tucked in hungrily, Mummy said, “Jennifer, Harriet, let me tell you about Sherlock. As I said in my letter, he is a gifted violinist. And like his brother here,” she nodded her head at Mycroft, “his IQ is off the charts.”

“As is yours, my dear,” said Crispin fondly. “Don’t be modest.”

Mummy Holmes shrugged and continued, “But where Mycroft was always able to fit in smoothly, Sherlock has never been able to do so, academically or socially. In fact, this new school, Greencoat’s—he’s only been there one year, but he has settled in beautifully and it was painful to think of taking him out and having him start all over again elsewhere. Thanks to your John, he will be able to stay now.”

“Assuming John goes along with this pre-bond idea,” Jennifer Watson pointed out. She was still trying to come to grips with the fact that her son had not immediately rejected the idea of potentially forming a bond with a male.

Harry rolled her eyes. “He was never going to say no, mum; not with the way he was mooning over that picture.”

Mummy looked pleased at Harry’s words. “Surely the fact that the boys have not come out yet means they are getting along well,” she said with satisfaction.

Mycroft gave a grunt of disgust. “Getting along well? They’ve been back there almost two hours now. I can’t believe you allowed them to go to Sherlock’s room unchaperoned.”

“Unchaperoned?” Jennifer Watson felt as if she had fallen down the rabbit hole. “Are you for real?”

Almost at the same time Harry laughed coarsely. “What’s got your knickers in a twist, Mr. Snottypants?” she demanded.

“Mycroft, you will behave yourself or you can just go back to work,” Mummy scolded. She turned to Jennifer and Harry. “Please forgive my eldest. The age difference between the two boys is great, and there are times when Mycroft appears to labour under the delusion that he is Sherlock’s father.”

An awkward silence descended following Mummy’s apology. It was so quiet that everyone clearly heard two sets of footsteps coming down the hallway.

When John and Sherlock walked into the sitting room, it was obvious to everyone that something significant had happened between them. Although Sherlock was two years younger than John, they were currently both the same height and made a handsome pair, one head dark and one blond. They stood with their arms wrapped around each other’s waists, pressed together shoulder to hip. No one needed Sherlock’s or Mycroft’s powers of observation to know that they had not just been talking for the past two hours.

Mycroft looked down his nose in disgust at John. “You do realise Sherlock is not of age. We could have you…”

“Be quiet, Mycroft!” Crispin Holmes snapped. “This may be the only time in your adult life you will ever hear these words, but you do not have a clue what you are talking about. I can only pray you find your true bond-mate soon, before your head becomes permanently lodged up your arse!”

Mycroft stared at his father in astonishment, while Sherlock looked absolutely delighted at his brother’s public dressing down.

“Well, there’s that taken care of,” Mummy said, pointedly turning away from Mycroft, “and now it looks as though it’s time for John and Sherlock to sign the pre-bond agreement.”

John shook his head ‘no’ and looked at Sherlock, who said, “John and I talked about it,” (there was a snigger from Harry, which was ignored) “and we have decided we don’t want to form a pre-bond.”

“What!? But…” Mummy gestured vaguely at the two of them, joined at the hip.

“We have decided we want to bond right now, today.”

Pandemonium.

Chapter Text


Pandemonium.

Everyone started talking at once, the chaos reminding John of a theatre class he had once attended where he was taught to repeat the words "rhubarb rhubarb" endlessly in order to create the effect of meaningless background conversations.

Eventually John barked, “Oi! One at a time!” As captain of his rugby team, he had learned to make himself heard above spectator noise in order to pass along last-second instructions to his mates. His jaw was set firmly and his eyes blazed with determination. He and Sherlock were going to bond no matter what anyone else thought.

Total silence followed the chaos. And Mummy Holmes apologised mentally to John for underestimating his worth. The boy was extraordinary, facing down a roomful of irate relatives and potential in-laws without any apparent fear.

“Now, you were saying?” John asked of no one and everyone.

“I forbid this.” That was Mycroft, of course.

John stared at Mycroft in disbelief and turned to Sherlock, who shrugged dismissively. “You can’t stop it, Mycroft,” he smirked. “It’s already done. John bit me, and I should be going into heat fairly soon. In a couple of hours at the very most.”

John’s mother let out a faint exclamation of dismay and Mycroft took a calm but somehow threatening step forward.

“Mycroft, stop.” Crispin’s voice brooked no disobedience.“This is not up to you, son—it is entirely between John and Sherlock now.”

Mycroft froze. Their Omega father almost never pulled rank like that. In fact there was rarely any reason for him to do so, because their Alpha mother normally kept control of the family effortlessly.

“Father, you cannot tell me you condone this juvenile bravado. Sherlock is under age—you can still separate them. Send Sherlock to our summerhouse in France by private jet. If he leaves straightaway, he will be there by the time his heat starts.”

John looked hard at Mycroft. “I’d never let that happen. An Omega in heat expecting to bond will become quite ill if the bond is not consummated. Sherlock’s ability to form a bond could be damaged for life.”

Mycroft turned accusingly to his parents. “I warned you it was unwise to let them go off to Sherlock’s room together, and now look what’s happened. On top of everything else, you don’t know the first thing about this boy or his family.”

Jennifer and Harry Watson started glaring daggers at Mycroft.

In scornful tones Sherlock said, “I already know everything important about John, and don’t even try to pretend you didn’t have his entire family checked out from top to bottom the second Mummy wrote that letter to him. If you’d learned anything truly worth mentioning, you’d have spoken up long before this.”

Jennifer Watson was furious with Mycroft, but she definitely agreed with his objections to the rushed bonding. “John, how on earth do you think you are going to support your Omega?” she demanded. “For God’s sake, you’re still in secondary school.”

Before John could speak, Mycroft spat out, “Sherlock told you, didn’t he, John? He told you he will come into a large trust fund upon bonding, and that it will go into the name of his bond-mate.”

Looking bored, Sherlock said, “I told him about it after I asked him to bond.”

“You asked him?” Mycroft was taken by surprise.

Sherlock shrugged. “I don’t see how it matters who asked whom. When it’s right, you just know it.”

Mummy had tears in her eyes. “Oh this reminds me so much of how things happened between your father and me when we first met,” she said, looking at Crispin lovingly. “We hardly knew each other two days before we bonded.”

“But you were considerably older when it happened to you,” Mycroft reminded her.

“Timing is everything, Mycroft,” Crispin pointed out. “They shouldn’t be punished because they found each other early in life.”

“So you are going to go along with this?” Mycroft asked incredulously. Sheri and Crispin nodded as one.

“That’s all very well and good for toffs like you,” Jennifer Watson said in annoyance. “But John has always wanted to be a doctor. He can’t give it up just for this.” She was so proud that John wanted to be a doctor, she couldn’t bear it if he quit.

“I would give it up for this if necessary, Mum, but as it happens, I won’t have to. We can talk more about school after Sherlock’s heat is over. He has some ideas.”

Mycroft snorted. “I’m sure he does.”

“You’re just too young. You don’t know what you’re doing,” Jennifer Watson continued doggedly.

Sherlock was shaking with emotion, but his voice was surprisingly steady. “We are young, but we also know we’re meant to be bond-mates. That will never change, so there there is absolutely no point to waiting.” Standing side by side with Sherlock, John felt the nascent Omega trying hard to behave like an adult. At that moment John could simultaneously see the boy he was and the man he would grow to be. John’s heart nearly burst with pride. This amazing person was going to be his mate for life.

Now Harry felt she had to get in her two cents. “You can’t simply barge into someone’s house and make them go into heat. That’s just…rude.”

That sounded so juvenile that John smiled in spite of himself. “Yes, Harry, because you are the expert on manners in our family.”

“Indeed, Miss Watson,” said Mycroft slyly. “Tell us how many times you have walked into someone’s home completely inebriated and vomited on the carpet?”

“WHAT?” Harry screeched. “Have you been spying on me?”

“I foresee some interesting family Christmas dinners in our future,” Sherlock murmured to John, who looked horrified and murmured back, “Oh God, you’re right!”

Mummy was not distracted in the least by all the cross-talk. “No one has to worry about heats. We built a special room in the house for that. It’s soundproofed and vented in such a way that the air is recycled directly to and from the outdoors to keep the scent away from the rest of the house.” She then exchanged such a sexually-charged glance with her mate that Mycroft and Sherlock both reacted with horror at this proof that their parents had sex and actually enjoyed it. Sherlock, clearly back in teen mode, pretended to hurl.

Although John was aware that boarding schools (like Sherlock’s school, Greencoat’s) all had mating wards, it wasn’t particularly common for private homes to have rooms set aside specially for heats. He was relieved that they would not have to have their bonding sex in Sherlock’s bedroom, which seemed much too exposed somehow.

“Of course there is an ensuite bathroom and the bedroom is stocked with a full selection of heat aids,” Mummy went on. “We subscribe to a service that comes and takes away used items and delivers replacements. And you’ll be relieved to know that we also have special heat-strength condoms,” she nodded towards John, who tried hard not to blush but didn’t quite manage it. Those condoms would be considerably more rugged than the regular ‘just in case’ kind John kept in his wallet for dates.

“There are also cases of water and high-protein snack foods,” Mummy went on. “And I might as well deliver a meal to the door every evening, with the understanding that it may or may not be needed or wanted at that moment.” Her lips turned up in a reminiscent smile.

Sherlock turned to John, pressing his face against his neck and inhaling the Alpha’s scent to calm himself down. He was terribly embarrassed that all of this was going on right in front of his family and John’s! John smiled and ran his fingers comfortingly through Sherlock’s curls. “It will all be over soon, Sherlock. And then we’ll be bonded for life.” Sherlock smiled and tightened his arms around John happily.

Mummy was starting to understand some of what Sherlock saw in John. She watched with approval how respectfully the Alpha treated her son and how wholeheartedly Sherlock responded, and once again she sent a silent apology John’s way for ever having thought he might not be worthy of her son.

“So we are just going to accept that it was simply a lucky coincidence that a picture of Sherlock’s true bond-mate was sent to us by accident?” Mycroft wondered suspiciously.

Mummy said, “The universe is rarely so lazy, Mycroft. It is just another sign that they are true bond-mates, meant to be together.”

Mycroft pulled a sour face.

“So now what?” Jennifer Watson asked in resigned tones.

“Sherlock will go into heat in a couple of hours, and he and John will retreat to the heat room for the next three to five days,” Mummy replied.

“Well, I can’t wait around here that long. I have to work.” Jennifer Watson was a part-time nurse, though she intended to start working full time as soon as John left for uni. “I’ve been off for a couple of days, but I have to return tomorrow. And if Harry and I leave, how will John get home?”

“Don’t worry about that,” Mummy said. “When it is time for John to go home, we’ll take him.”

Sherlock was feeling hot, squirmy and cross. “We are getting so off topic here,” he snapped. “Has everyone voiced an objection and had it shot down? Are we done now? Because I think it’s time for John and me to go to the heat room.”

John agreed—the smell of his Omega going into heat was making it very difficult for him to think about anything except his dick. He really needed to get to that heat room before it became too awkward for him to walk. He rested his hands in front of his groin, hoping it looked casual but feeling fairly certain that it did not.

Mummy said, “I’ll take you back there. I want to talk to the two of you privately while you are still capable of rational thought.” (Mycroft rolled his eyes at her use of the word ‘rational’.) “It’ll just take a minute,” she added, seeing the look of intense dismay on Sherlock’s face.

Mummy led the way out of the sitting room, with Sherlock next and John following very close behind, standing straight, sturdy and a little bit threatening, lest anyone get too close to his feverish Omega.

Once in the heat room, Mummy turned to look at them affectionately. “You really are much too young, you know,” she said gently.

“I thought you were on our side, Mrs. Holmes,” John protested.

“I am. But it never occurred to me that you were going to want to bond right away. However, it’s now clear to me, John, that from the moment Sherlock saw your picture, the whole plan spiralled out of my control. You’re both very, very lucky to have found each other so young, and clearly you can’t be kept apart now, no matter what.”

“Mummy,” Sherlock whined, “why are you here? Please tell me you didn’t come with us to give us a talk about the birds and the bees.”

“No, Sherlock, I just wanted to tell the two of you privately how lucky you are. I often wish that your father and I had met sooner, and that we had had more pups. It would have been better for you if you hadn’t essentially been raised by yourself. But speaking of pups…”

Mummy went to a shelf and took down a box of heat-strength condoms. She set them on the nightstand. “You’re certainly not planning to start a family right away,” she said firmly.

John said, “We haven’t talked about it, exactly…but of course we wouldn’t want to conceive during Sherlock’s very first heat.” He and Sherlock exchanged glances, both remembering how Sherlock had already begged him for pups. “But some day…”

Mummy nodded, pleased with the answer. “By the time Sherlock is out of heat, I will have made him an appointment with a doctor who will prescribe birth control for him. No point tempting fate.”

Mummy opened the drawer in the nightstand next to the bed and showed them an unopened jar of lube. She pointed to a shelf laden with what looked like a month’s worth of fresh sheets. “You’ll have to change them yourselves if you want clean sheets, because of course, John, you won’t appreciate it if anyone tries to come in to do housekeeping while Sherlock is in heat.” John didn’t bother to fight the blush this time. She was right. He was starting to feel upset with her and she was no threat to his Omega. If anyone walked in once Sherlock went into full heat, it wouldn’t end well.

“Could you go now, Mummy?” Sherlock pleaded. “My hormonal activity is becoming an issue. My thought processes are getting muddled and I just want to be alone with John.”

“Of course.” Mummy smiled and kissed Sherlock’s cheek. She hugged John. “Good luck, boys,” she said, and on the way out, she winked.

When Mummy came back from the heat room, Jennifer Watson lamented, “They’re just too young. Oh, I wish I had insisted on waiting for John’s father to call—he might have been able to talk John out of this whole pre-bond thing in the first place. And I really can’t understand why you’re not more upset.”

Mummy shrugged. “Who is going to keep an Alpha from his Omega?” she asked rhetorically. “They were clearly meant for each other.”

Mycroft snorted. “Please, not that again. I’m not happy about this and I’m going to keep my eyes on that boy.”

“You won’t have much trouble doing so. He’s part of the family now,” Crispin said placidly.

ooOOoo

John had been thinking they might rip each other’s clothes off the minute the door closed behind Mummy, but Sherlock sat down shakily on the edge of the bed, looking for all the world like a kid with stomach cramps. John set aside any thoughts of instant sex, remembering that while first heats were highly uncomfortable, an induced first heat could could be truly harrowing. Though he would be there for Sherlock every step of the way, he had no idea how to best help the Omega through it. He thought wryly that it might actually have been helpful, no matter how embarrassing, if Mummy Holmes had dropped a few hints after all. Impulsively he knelt by the side of the bed, untied Sherlock’s shoes and removed them. He massaged Sherlock’s feet gently for a few minutes until the Omega looked a bit more at ease.

Then he took a bottle of water and a packet of nuts and raisins from the ample food supply and handed them to Sherlock. “Here,” he said. “If we’re really going to spend the next three to five days having sex, we need to keep up our strength.” Sherlock looked like he was about to refuse, so John coaxed, “For me, Sherlock?” With a slight smile, Sherlock took a sip of water and a nibble of the snacks.

“John, this is really starting to hurt; I’m scared,” he said quietly into the open snack packet.

“To tell you the truth, I’m a little scared, too, Sherlock. But it’ll be fine, you’ll see. We’ll get through it together,” John said as confidently as he could manage.

He sat down on the bed next to Sherlock and rubbed his back and neck with hands and fingers made strong from years of sporting practice. “What’s the deal with Mycroft?” he asked, trying to take the Omega’s mind off his obviously increasing physical discomfort. “I can’t even tell what gender he is. He smells like a Beta and reacts like an Alpha. But there’s something about him that puts me in mind of many older Omegas I’ve known.”

“Well spotted, John,” Sherlock said approvingly, distracted a bit from his pain. “Mycroft is an Omega. He uses suppressants and artificial scents to keep himself smelling like a Beta so that his gender is not a distraction to anyone when he is dealing with difficult personalities in his government job—which he claims is a minor position, the nature of which he has not seen fit to share with me as yet, although I’m sure I’ll be able to deduce it eventually. He’s only twenty-two but appears to be more influential than his age would indicate. In any case, he was important enough to command a car to pick me up from school on an emergency basis that day. He seems to be working his way up the ladder very quickly. Knowing him, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the government someday. Just wait fifteen years or so.”

Suddenly the Omega unbuttoned and removed his shirt, using it to mop up some sweat from his brow and neck. “Perhaps we should change the subject. I think talking about Mycroft is making me ill.”

“No, Sherlock, that’s just your heat coming on,” John smiled. “Now, why don’t we check out some of these heat aids your mum was going on about?”

There was a small, open trunk filled with heat aids in a corner of the room. They went over to check it out, but it turned out that with the exception of the dildos, neither of them even knew what most of the things were for. John scowled when Sherlock picked up the biggest of the dildos and examined it with considerably more interest than seemed warranted. He took it out of Sherlock’s hand and set it firmly back in the trunk.

“Well, it looks like we’ll have to do everything naturally our first time," John said. “No aids. Totally organic. Probably for the best. But we can always search the internet to see how to use some of these other things the next time, if we want.”

“You’re jealous of a dildo?” Sherlock asked, sounding delighted. He reached out a hand and picked the dildo up again.

“I am not,” John said (he was), once more taking it out of Sherlock's hand and putting it back in the trunk.

“Are too,” Sherlock crowed. Then his face changed and he abruptly unbuckled his belt and dropped his trousers to the floor, kicking them aside carelessly. “God, I’m broiling. I must be in heat by now,” he panted.

“No, not yet. If I remember right, you won’t be in full heat until you are dripping with lubrication.”

“How do you know that?” Sherlock asked, looking worried. “You haven’t been with anyone else in heat before have you?”

“No, but I paid attention in Gender Ed class, which is clearly more than you did.”

“I paid attention, but it was boring so I deleted it,” Sherlock said dismissively, although if the truth be known, he was sorry now.

“You…deleted it? What?”

“Oh, never mind about that.” Suddenly Sherlock shoved both hands desperately down the front of his pants and started wanking. “John, DO something!”

John knelt swiftly on the floor at Sherlock’s feet.

Chapter Text

John knelt swiftly on the floor at Sherlock's feet.

John pulled down Sherlock’s pants and without even realising he meant to do it, separated the Omega’s arse cheeks and started circling the hole there very gently with his thumb, while at the same time sucking the slim, throbbing penis into his mouth. Sherlock orgasmed effortless and a look of relief crossed his face.

He reached down and tugged lightly at John’s short, blond hair. “Oh, yes, John,” he murmured. John was relieved to see that that the Omega seemed calmer.

John remained kneeling at his feet, nuzzling his groin, then slipped one finger into the Omega’s arsehole.

Sherlock looked down in surprise. “That feels very pleasant, John,” he said. “And I am much better now, if you want to try the bonding sex.” Sherlock sounded so scientific and detached that John would have been worried the Omega was nowhere near ready, but the look of desire deepening in his mate’s eyes greatly reassured him.

John experimentally tried inserting a second finger and apparently brushed up against the prostate because Sherlock suddenly moaned. “John…my mate. Bond with me now.” That’s more like it, John thought.

There was a whine from Sherlock as John withdrew his fingers. The Alpha went to the bed and pulled the top sheet down, holding out a hand to Sherlock, who walked over on legs that trembled visibly. John settled Sherlock gently into the bed, but before getting in himself, he took the jar of lube out of the drawer and set it on top of the nightstand next to the box of heat-strength condoms. Heartbeat accelerating, he quickly shed his own clothes and joined Sherlock on the bed.

Sherlock was now starting to produce a copious amount of lubrication, a relief to John because it meant Sherlock would soon be slick enough to accept his cock, which (though he didn’t like to brag too much) was on the large side even for an Alpha. After that, John could give Sherlock the bond bite and knot him, and maybe then Sherlock would stop being uncomfortable and start enjoying the process—if Omegas actually enjoyed losing control during their heats. After all, Sherlock had been quite taken aback when he realised he had been begging John for pups, and he hadn’t even been in heat at the time.

Lying on the bed, Sherlock whimpered in pain or desire, it was hard to tell.

“Does it still hurt?” John asked. Sherlock nodded in the affirmative, briefly touching his lower abdomen. Impulsively John leaned forward and blew a gentle raspberry on Sherlock’s stomach. “There, I kissed it all better,” he said with a grin. Sherlock looked down his body and saw John smiling up at him. John’s smile lit up the entire room. Despite Sherlock's discomfort, his heart swelled at the sight. He reached down with his long arms and tugged John up until they were face to face, kissing him almost desperately. When their tongues touched, Sherlock gasped and rutted against John in a most determined manner.

John relaxed, and a feeling of desire overtook his earlier concerns. Turning Sherlock onto his stomach, John started working his fingers in again. Sherlock accepted all three and even the scissoring motion eagerly. John was about as hard as he was ever going to be, so he put on a condom. Although Sherlock was dripping with lubrication now, John slathered lube from the plastic pot over his shaft before even attempting to insert himself into the Omega’s totally virginal territory.

Almost the minute John started sliding in, Sherlock had an orgasm. John was encouraged and cautiously moved forward a bit more. Sherlock came again and mumbled, “The best Alpha, oh, the best Alpha,” into the pillow. John sighed; he was doing all the work and Sherlock was coming like there was no tomorrow. How many times was this now? He was starting to lose track.

John had never really wondered about it before, but almost everything to do with forming a strong bond involved simultaneous orgasms. In fact, both partners coming at the same time as the the bonding bite was administered was said to form the strongest bond possible. He had no problem whatsoever with the concept of simultaneous orgasms, quite the contrary; but he did wonder why…what difference it would really make. He felt they already had an amazingly powerful connection and wasn't sure how it could be made any stronger. But if Sherlock kept orgasming without him, they would get completely out of synch. Even in heat, there had to be a limit! It wouldn’t work well if Sherlock ran out of steam while John was just starting up. They would then have to wait until the next cycle of desire swept through Sherlock, and even if it was just another hour or two, something inside John demanded that Sherlock be his bond-mate now.

“Sherlock, try to hold off until I get in further, yeah? We both have to come at the same time and I still have to bite and knot you as well for the bond to be strongest.”

Sherlock made a noise like nngh, which could have meant anything.

John pushed in a bit deeper, and Sherlock came again. So much for Sherlock’s ability to hold off! John managed a weak chuckle, and nuzzled Sherlock’s neck, licking at the spot he had already prepared hours earlier for the bonding bite. “Bite me, bond me, hurry,” Sherlock begged. John decided to take Sherlock at his word and sped up the action.

Holding Sherlock’s hips firmly, John pushed forward, and then moved back a bit. Forward and back, forward and back until he had a nice rhythm going. Suddenly he realised he was almost all the way in and gasped as he felt his knot start to swell. He’d never had that happen before, but it seemed he’d been waiting for it his entire life: the desire to enter his mate as deeply as possible; to form a knot and hold him in place for as long as it took to fill him with pups. “Sherlock, oh God, I’m starting to knot!” he gasped. “Just a little bit longer…”

He gave one last push and felt his knot slip through the ring of muscle and swell, anchoring them together completely. He’d never felt anything like it. It made him feel indescribably powerful.

They were both moaning now, Sherlock crying out that he couldn't hold himself back any longer. John bit down hard — this was the bonding bite and it would form a permanent scar — and as a rush of warm blood touched his tongue, he finally allowed his own release. Quivering with the aftershocks, they would be completely locked together now until the knot went down. As this was his first time knotting, John had no idea how long that might take.

“I wish I could feel you in me,” Sherlock said, turning his head trying to see John, “your skin and your come. I wish you didn’t have to wear a condom.”

“Eventually I won’t; we’ll get birth control for you as soon as possible after we get out of here,” John assured him.

Sherlock sighed. “Why is everything ‘eventually’?” he asked.

John smiled at the impatience of the young Omega. “Won’t be long, I promise,” he murmured, planting kisses on the nape of Sherlock’s elegant neck.

Carefully John moved them both to their sides. The movement trigged several more orgasms between them; now that John had successfully completed the bond, he gave in euphorically. He kept cleaning the bite as it leaked blood, proudly nursing it because once it healed, the scar would become the visible sign of the bond that Sherlock and John had felt from the moment they met. Even before that—from the moment they saw each other’s pictures.

They fell asleep still locked together.

John woke up to find that they were no longer knotted. But to his amazement, Sherlock was now behind him, inserting fingers into John’s backside while murmuring, “Want you, John; want you,” rather feverishly. The Alpha in John was not pleased with this development, but as far as John himself was concerned, whatever made his Omega happy was all fine.

“Mine,” Sherlock growled.

Hey, isn’t that supposed to be my line? John thought, but he lay patiently while Sherlock used the lubrication from his own body, smearing it on his slender Omega cock then thrusting into John with no buildup at all, just full throttle, simultaneously reaching around and grasping John’s cock, squeezing and releasing in rhythm to their thrusting hips. The Alpha felt the ecstasy gathering in his groin and let it grow without worrying who was in the position of dominance. And as John came, Sherlock nipped him! It was more than playful, yet not up to bonding bite strength. And it was still all fine with John. He’d known from the minute he started talking to Sherlock that here was no stereotypical Omega looking for a big, strong Alpha to take care of him.

Afterwards John flipped Sherlock over and took him with equal disregard for finesse, keeping his mind clear only long enough to put on a condom, something Sherlock had luckily not had to worry about when he decided to turn the tables on his mate.

John’s knot went down more quickly this time, and they had broken apart panting when Sherlock said somewhat plaintively, “There does not seem to be anywhere left on these sheets that is not covered in ejaculate.” John slapped Sherlock lightly on the hip. “Get up,” he said, “and I’ll change ’em.” They slid out of the bed and John stripped the sheets, carefully not looking at the mess. He rolled the linens into a ball and deposited them in the disposal bin supplied by the service Mummy Holmes used. Then he made the bed with fresh sheets while Sherlock watched, amazed.

“How do you know how to make a bed?” he asked.

“How do you not know?” John wondered. “My mum taught me to take care of my own sheets after I had my first wet dream. And as soon as this heat is over, I’ll be teaching you how, because clearly we are going to both be equally responsible for any future wet spots!”

“Does this mean it was all right with you that I topped?” Sherlock asked hopefully.

John smiled. “It was better than ‘all right,’ Sherlock.”

“I just wondered because as an Alpha, you would prefer to be in the position of dominance, I’m sure.”

“It’s fine, Sherlock. I want us to be equal partners. Don’t ever be afraid to let me know what you want.”

“Even if I want to ‘do it’ swinging from a chandelier?” Sherlock asked grinning, remembering the conversation they’d had the first time John marked him.

“Assuming we can find one that will hold our combined weights, even that,” John assured him with an answering grin.

They got back into the clean bed and wrapped their arms around each other. John inhaled deeply of Sherlock’s scent glands. Something was different. But what…oh…it was the smell. He could still smell the tempting aroma of his Omega in heat, but his Omega now smelled like part of a bonded pair. John was as proud and happy as he’d ever been in his life. He had met his mate and successfully bonded him, and they would now have the rest of their lives together, quite a lot more time than most people ever got…

John woke up suddenly. He had no idea how long he had been asleep, but Sherlock was back in mindless heat again, writhing on the sheets next to him moaning, “I’m so empty, John, so empty. Please fill me.”

John rolled Sherlock onto his stomach and got behind him, pulling the Omega’s hips up so that his head and arms were down and his arse was in the air. Sherlock was still whimpering, “I’m so empty,” when John rose to his knees and entered him without even taking the time to prepare other than rolling on a condom, counting himself lucky that he managed to do that. He started to lose himself, and it was such a relief to let go that way. Yes, they were definitely going to get Sherlock on birth control because John really wasn’t sure how long he could hold out before the time came that he forgot about condoms, simply responding to the need of his Omega in heat, or his own needs.

Several days and nights passed but neither of them paid much attention to time. No one was watching the clock, and it barely registered on them whether it was dark or light outside at any given moment. Sherlock was lost in his heat more often than not and John was just focussed on guiding him through it.

ooOOoo

It was the fifth day of their stay in the heat room. Sherlock woke up, and before his eyes even opened, he recognised that something had changed. John was sitting next to him reading a book he'd found on a shelf of the nightstand. He was clearly enjoying it quite a bit. The Omega’s eyes popped open when he realised he was perceiving all this through the bond.

He rolled over and stared in astonishment at John, who smiled down at him, understanding exactly what Sherlock was feeling. “I love you, Sherlock,” he said.

I love you, Sherlock. Sherlock felt the emotion through the bond even as he heard the words spoken. Up until that moment, he had always assumed that the old stories and songs about true bond-mates were ludicrous exaggerations or distortions of reality. But of course he’d already known the minute he saw John that he’d found his true bond mate. And now he could actually feel what John was feeling. So clearly, not exaggerations at all. Unless…

“John, am I still asleep, or is this real?” he asked uncertainly.

John set the book on the bedside table and slipped down in the bed next to his mate. “I feel it, too. This is as real as it gets, Sherlock.” He turned them so that they were so that they were face to face, chest to chest, stomach to stomach, cock to cock, and initiated the first sex they’d had in days that was not prompted by Sherlock’s heat.

They took time to explore each other’s bodies. Sherlock kissed John’s jaw and discovered that he loved the feel of stubble against his lips. It turned out that John had a very sensitive spot behind his left ear. John learned that stimulation of Sherlock’s nipples by tongue brought the young Omega to the edge of orgasm. And the best part was that their emotions passed back and forth between them along the bond, urging them to further heights of ecstasy—something neither of them would ever have believed possible just a few hours earlier.

Figuring that the heat was over, John and Sherlock took a shower and dressed but decided to stay in the room a bit longer in order to talk about the future without any interference from their families, especially Mycroft.

“The way I see it,” John said, “we really only have to figure out how to stay together for the rest of this academic year. I’m sure we can arrange to go to the same school next year, but until then…”

“Now that we’re bonded, I won’t feel nearly as bad going back without you. It’s only for a little more than a month, after all,” Sherlock replied. He sounded much more confident now than he had back when they first discussed the idea. Before the bonding, he had thrown a strop over the very same idea.

“You don’t really want that, though, do you?” John asked.

“No, of course not. But we won’t be apart for long at all. As you said before we bonded, we can still get together on weekends if our plans don’t work out.”

“And what exactly are our plans?” John inquired with a curious smile.

“Well, you need to talk to…” Sherlock frowned, “what school do you attend, anyway?”

“Shooter's Hill Road Comprehensive.”

“…talk to Shooter's Hill Road Comprehensive School about arranging for you to take your AS Level exams under supervision at Greencoat’s. After all, the school year is over for all practical purposes and the only thing truly remaining is revising.”

John thought that sounded pretty good, assuming both schools could be talked into going along with it. “Then all that’s left would be for me to officially quit the rugby team, and there are plenty of blokes who’d be thrilled to step up as captain.” He felt a bit wistful about that, but being with Sherlock was surely worth losing his place on the team, championship or not. “What happens next, then?”

“Then, obviously, you will move into my room with me at Greencoat’s until the summer holidays. There’ll be no problem about that because we’re bonded. You can officially transfer to Greencoat’s next year. You get top marks in all your classes, so they’d be idiots to refuse you entry.”

John opened his mouth to say something but Sherlock already knew what was coming. He would have known even without the bond! “You do have the money now. The tuition fee for Greencoat’s won’t even make a dent in the trust fund from my grandparents.”

John asked cautiously, “How large is this trust fund?”

Sherlock named a sum that had John’s eyes nearly popping out of his head. “And it’s yours,” he added nonchalantly.

“Yeah, well,” John said, slightly shell-shocked, “we’ll talk about that later. In the meantime, what happens after the next school year? I’ll be going to university.”

“As will I,” said Sherlock confidently. “We’ll apply to the same ones and choose whichever you feel would be best for your career. I know I can easily qualify for early admission—it’s just that Father and Mummy would never let me consider it before, because they wanted me to have ‘normal’ experiences for someone my age. But we’re bonded; we’ll be expected to stay together. In any case, it’s your decision now, not theirs.”

John could not get his head around the fact that he legally owned Sherlock now, and he made a vow to himself that he would never take advantage of that fact. “Well, if that’s everything, I guess we’re ready to go out there and…”

“Not quite…” Sherlock said. He set about unbuttoning his shirt.

It seemed that perhaps the Omega wasn’t entirely out of heat yet. They decided to remain locked in the heat room one more night.

Chapter Text


They emerged from the heat room just before noon on the sixth day. They’d have been out even earlier, but John insisted on, as he put it, policing the area a bit first. So Sherlock sat and watched in bemusement while his Alpha pulled the soiled sheets off the bed and deposited them in the laundry hamper one last time. He made sure all the empty water bottles, cereal bar wrappers and snack packets were in the trash can. Then he searched for and found the cleaning supplies in the bathroom and scrubbed the sink, shower and toilet.

“This is why Mummy hired a service,” Sherlock protested, standing in the doorway to the bathroom. “It’s their job to return the heat room to pristine condition for the next time.”

“Your mum is bound to come in here and look around after we leave. I want the room to be in reasonable shape before that happens.” He got down on his knees and checked under the bed for any used, tied-off condoms that might have gone embarrassingly astray. Finally, he took the used tub of lube and the box of heat condoms and put those in Sherlock’s room.

As soon as Mummy realised the boys were out of the heat room, she herded them into the kitchen for something to eat and drink, determinedly averting her eyes from the slightly painful-looking love bites all up and down their necks. The first thing she did was hand Sherlock a small bottle of birth control pills.

“Start taking these right now, one a day for seven days and then one a week thereafter. You can stop using condoms after the first week. The doctor said you can go in for a proper checkup when school breaks up for the summer, but for now he’s worried whether two teenaged boys would actually be able to remember to use condoms every time. Take the pills until you see him and then he’ll give you a jab that will be good for one year. He reminded me that normally these kinds of things are taken care of long before bonding, but I explained to him that the entire situation took everyone by surprise.” Sherlock dry-swallowed the first pill and put the bottle into a trouser pocket.

John sat down, looking forward eagerly to a decent meal. They’d spent six days in the heat room, with only one real meal a day left outside the door by Sherlock’s mum. Some days the meal had gone uneaten, depending on how far into his heat Sherlock was.

Sherlock couldn’t bear not to be touching his Alpha, so he moved his kitchen chair as close to John’s as he could get it. But then he looked at the hard wooden surface and winced. Seemingly out of nowhere, Mummy produced a soft, plump cushion for him to sit on. Sherlock blushed scarlet as he lowered himself slowly onto the pillow.

John reached out and squeezed Sherlock’s thigh comfortingly. He completely understood Sherlock’s embarrassment at having the whole situation play out right under the eyes of his parents. He himself felt better with Sherlock’s family because Mr. and Mrs. Holmes, at least, were so accepting. He certainly would have been mortified to go through the bonding experience at his own parents’ house.

Mycroft walked in just as they were finishing their meal.

“Don’t you ever work?” Sherlock snarked.

“I had hoped your little coming of age adventure might mature you somewhat, but I see I’m doomed to disappointment there,” Mycroft replied coolly.

“What are you doing here, anyway?” Sherlock frowned.

“Can’t I come by to see how my little brother is doing following his bonding?” Mycroft’s eyes checked Sherlock out carefully. Apparently seeing no signs of anything untoward except for an embarrassing amount of red and purple marks covering both boys’ necks, he shrugged.

“I called Mycroft and Father and told them you were out of the heat room,” Mummy explained. “It’s time for a follow-up family conference. Father will be here soon, so let’s go into the sitting room to wait for him. By the way, John, I called your mother to invite her as well, but she said it’s too far to come and she’ll talk to you when you get back there.” That was just as well with John, who really didn’t know what he could say to make this situation more acceptable to any member of his family.

Sherlock clung to John like a limpet all the way from the kitchen to the sitting room. Mycroft was disgusted. “I know you’re an Omega, but you’re also a Holmes. Have some pride.”

“When you find a bond-mate, you’ll see what it’s like,” Sherlock replied, Omega to Omega.

“I’ve seen plenty of new bond-mates who didn’t slither all over each other in front of everyone else, brother mine,” Mycroft said with a sniff.

“Then you probably didn’t see them immediately after they emerged from their bonding,” Mummy said, frowning slightly at her eldest son.

“Even so, most people behave in a more mature manner,” Mycroft replied priggishly.

“I’m sure you’re right, but then we bonded younger than normal,” John said, trying to deflect Mycroft from picking on Sherlock.

“Of course. Because Sherlock can’t do anything normally,” Mycroft sniped.

Unruffled, John replied, “Lucky me, then,” as he sat down in a comfortable armchair. Sherlock promptly cuddled on his lap with his legs hanging over the arm.

John pulled Sherlock’s shirt out of his trousers and slipped a hand under it, rubbing Sherlock’s back while watching his brother calmly the whole time. Sherlock pressed his face into John’s neck and did his best to ignore Mycroft.

Crispin Holmes came in after a few minutes and greeted everyone enthusiastically. “This is wonderful,” he said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen both my sons twice in one week. And now I’ve gained a third one, besides.” He looked from John to Sherlock and smiled a little bit when he noticed the love bites.

“So what now, boys?” Mummy asked. “We need to talk about your future.”

“Sherlock had some good ideas…” John started to say.

Mycroft interrupted rudely. “You’re the Alpha, John; don’t you have any good ideas?”

“I doubt if my ideas will ever be as brilliant as Sherlock’s,” John said pointedly.

Sherlock preened under John’s generous praise. “But we planned this out together, John. So you tell them about it.” Then he sighed a bit and wriggled around, settling his head against John’s chest. And stuck out his tongue at Mycroft.

John said, “Well, I can’t let Sherlock go back to Greencoat’s without me, not with that Moriarty character running around loose, so I have to go back with him. I know it’s almost the end of the academic year, but we’re bonded, so the school system won’t separate us.” He explained Sherlock’s idea about finishing up the year by taking his required exams at Greencoat’s if Shooter’s Hill would allow it.

“Oh, that won’t be a problem at all,” Mummy said blandly. “I’ll arrange everything for you at Greencoat’s, and you can talk to the headmaster at Shooter’s Hill.”

“This is really my responsibility,” John said. “I should to talk to both schools on behalf of my bond-mate and myself.”

“Don’t be silly,” Mummy said. “If you can’t depend on your family for help, on whom can you depend? I shall call Greencoat’s later today.” Crispin nodded, but the look on Mycroft’s face didn’t indicate that anything of a helpful nature was going on internally.

“So,” Crispin said, “that takes us through to the summer. What are your plans for the holidays, boys? Do you both want to live here with us until September?”

“Oh, we can’t,” John said. “I already have a summer job lined up in London, filing medical records at Guy’s Hospital. So I figure we’ll have to live in Eltham with my parents, or if they won’t allow that, we’ll rent a student flat somewhere closer to Guy’s for three months.”

“What?!” Sherlock said, finally rejoining the conversation. “You don't need to work. Call them and tell them you’re not coming!”

“I can’t do that, Sherlock.” John angled his head so that he could look into his bond-mate's eyes. "My dad's got a friend in the RAMC who trained there, and he was my referee when I applied for—and got—the job. They were good about the fact that I'm only 17, and it'll give me a chance to see the workings of a hospital without actually being admitted!” He grinned, hoping Sherlock would understand. “I don't want to let them down and prove myself unreliable before I even start.”

Mycroft looked annoyed at this further proof of John’s dependable nature.

“But what am I supposed to do while you are at work?” asked Sherlock sulkily.

Mummy laughed merrily. “The same thing you always do during the summer: sit indoors and conduct experiments all day.”

“Experiments?” John asked.

“You’ll find out,” Mycroft said unpleasantly.

But Sherlock had a one-track mind. “You have the trust fund,” he protested. “So there’s no need for you to work.”

“There is, actually. If we have to use the trust for living expenses, that’s fine. But I don’t want to take you to the cinema, or out to dinner, or even just buy you an ice cream cone using your money.”

“It’s your money under the terms of the trust, John,” Crispin pointed out.

John shook his head. “That’s as may be, but it doesn’t make me feel any better about taking it. The money should have gone to Sherlock in the first place. Even though it didn’t, it’s our money as far as I’m concerned, and we should use it for important things like tuition or housing. Or for the future, to help with the education of our children. Once I become a doctor, I should be able to support us well enough that we don’t need to depend on the trust.”

“Well, I want to work, too, when the time comes,” Sherlock said. “I’m going to be a consulting detective; the only one in the world.”

“Oh, not that again,” Mycroft protested. “I certainly hope that John has more sense than to allow you to…”

“Sherlock can be whatever he wants,” John said quickly. “I don’t own him.” Sherlock squiggled even closer in appreciation.

Mycroft was a bit taken aback by this attitude. It didn’t fit in with his belief that John had tricked Sherlock into becoming his Omega by somehow (as impossible as it may seem) influencing him to pick his picture out from over a hundred others. So he cast about for another objection and found it quite quickly.

“What about university, John?” he asked. “In a year you will be going to uni and Sherlock will still be at Greencoat’s.”

John looked down at the top of Sherlock’s curly head. “You want to field this one, Sherlock?” he asked, kissing the curls with easy, open affection.

“I’m going to apply for early admission to uni, and John and I will go wherever John wishes. He’ll attend the medical college and I shall plan my own curriculum—something set up just for me.”

“And how do you feel about the fact that you will very likely be holding Sherlock back?” Mycroft asked John archly. “On his own, he could qualify for Oxford or Cambridge.”

Sherlock sat up like he wanted to argue, but John hugged him tightly and he relaxed again.

“Yeah, ta for the vote of confidence, Mycroft, but if you’d ever really paid attention to Sherlock, you’d know he’ll excel no matter what. The best university won’t help him and the worst one won’t hurt him. We’ll choose a good, solid university that accepts us both and go from there.”

“You two have certainly thought this out very carefully,” said Mummy approvingly.

ooOoo

Crispin Holmes offered to drive John back to Eltham to pick up whatever he might need for the final month or so at Greencoat’s. “I’d love to spend some time with my newest son and get to know you better.”

“I’d really like that,” John said honestly. “Thank you, sir.”

“Crispin. Please call me Crispin, John. Or Father.”

“All right,” John said, although he didn’t think he’d be comfortable doing either.

Sherlock got up out of John’s lap. “I’ll go get my suit jacket,” he said, tucking in his shirt.

“What, you can’t do without John for a couple of hours?” Mycroft asked acerbically.

“Well, let’s see,” Sherlock replied, pretending to think about it. “Sit around the house with you for the next few hours, or go with my bond-mate? Oh, I know the answer to this one: it’s John.”

“You could spend some time with Mummy,” Mycroft suggested superciliously. “You haven’t seen her for six days.”

“Stop it, Mycroft,” Mummy ordered. “Stop giving Sherlock a hard time while professing it’s for my benefit.” Mycroft looked extremely annoyed at being caught out.

“Oh, hang on just a minute,” John said, breaking the tension. “If I’m going to bring a lot of my clothes and things back here, I’ll need a trunk. I’m sorry to have to ask, but do you have one I can borrow?”

Mummy said, “You may take Mycroft’s old school trunk. He won’t mind. Go get it, Mycroft.”

Mycroft smiled a particularly reptilian smile, as though to prove how very much he didn’t mind. John wondered if he should check the trunk for explosives before he opened it for the first time!

Sherlock came back wearing his suit jacket and holding his mobile. He looked adorable, but the phone reminded John of Moriarty, and he frowned deeply.

“I hope that ferocious scowl is not for me?” Sherlock asked, looking worried as the force of John’s emotions crossed the bond to him.

John hugged him reassuringly. “Never.”

Mycroft had returned with his old clothes trunk and now dropped it at the boys’ feet. “Oh, it’s early days yet,” he said slyly. “Give it time.”

“Take that and put it in the boot of my car, please, Mycroft,” said Crispin, his brow furrowing in disapproval. Mycroft heaved a put-upon sigh and took the trunk out to the car.

In the backseat of the car on the way to Eltham, Sherlock alternated between nuzzling John and playing around on his phone, which he hadn’t even looked at it since they had gone into the heat room.

While Sherlock was fiddling with the mobile, John asked, “Sir, I mean, Crispin; what does Mycroft have against me?”

“Nothing,” Crispin replied with a smile. “Mycroft is like a mother who is convinced no one is good enough for her son, and he can find nothing against you; that’s the problem. But he doesn’t like surprises, and you definitely came as a surprise.”

“Also, he hates not being in control, and it’s already clear to him that he can’t control you easily,” Sherlock said proudly.

“Hmm,” John replied thoughtfully. It seemed to him that what Mycroft really needed was to find a bond-mate, and the sooner the better. That’d help the stuffed shirt burn off most of his caustic energy. He looked up to see Sherlock grinning at him. Apparently that thought had travelled loud and clear across the bond!

They were only half-way to Eltham when a soft chime sounded, indicating an incoming text. “Oh,” said Sherlock unhappily. “It’s from Moriarty.”

Hear you’ll be returning soon. Looking forward to our reunion.

“Mummy must have just contacted the school, and somehow Moriarty found out I’m coming back. But it doesn’t sound like he knows about you or our bonding.”

“Then I’m looking forward to letting him know,” John said, flinging an arm around Sherlock’s neck and pulling him even closer for a kiss. “I hope that’s all it will take for us to get that douche-nozzle to leave you alone.”

“If not, I know at least 17 ways of disposing of a body so that no one will ever find it,” Sherlock said brightly.

“Yeah…no. I’m sure we can come up with something a little less drastic than that, love.”

“Do you have anything in mind?” Sherlock asked curiously.

John smiled. “It will depend on how well he handles the news, of course. But if he can’t accept it…”

They discussed it the rest of the way to Eltham.

Chapter Text


The car drew to a halt outside John's house. He didn’t know his mother’s work schedule for the week, but if he was lucky, neither she nor Harry would be there and he would be able to do what needed to be done without a confrontation of any kind.

Carrying the empty trunk, and with Sherlock and Crispin at his side, John opened the front door yelling, “Hey, anybody home?” But his hopes of getting in and out without running into anyone were dashed. Jennifer Watson came out of the kitchen to greet him.

“Hi, Mum,” he said much more cheerfully than he felt.

His mother cringed at the sight of the boys’ bruised necks and turned to Crispin. “So it’s really true.”

“Yes, Mrs. Watson. Sherlock and John are bonded.”

Jenny Watson sighed in resignation and turned to John. “And you’re sure you’re not going to have to drop out of school?”

“I’m sure. Remember that trust fund we learned about last week? It turns out that it has more than enough money to pay for school in it. I’ll finish sixth form at Greencoat’s, where Sherlock goes, and after that, I’m off to uni. I won’t even have to join the army to be able to afford a medical education.”

“The ARMY?” Sherlock asked, shocked. “You were planning to go into the army?”

“That was the only way I would have been able to afford uni,” John said matter-of-factly.

“Your father called a couple of days ago, and I told him about Sherlock. I just want to warn you, he wasn’t very happy,” said Jenny Watson.

“Well, I never expected you to keep it from him, and I can’t help it if he wasn’t happy.”

As they were talking, the front door opened once again and a man wearing a military uniform bearing the insignia of a major walked in.

“Ray!” cried Jenny. “You came home?”

“Dad? What are you doing here, sir?” John asked in surprise. “I didn’t think you were due leave until the end of the year...” He went to hug his father, but Major Raymond Watson kept him at arm’s length.

“I requested emergency leave to take care of a family problem,” the Major glared. “Namely, that my son has decided to bond himself to another boy.”

Gobsmacked, John asked, “They let you come home for that?”

“I told them you were very sick. Wasn’t a lie. What happened to you? Did you turn into some kind of poofter?” Major Watson demanded.

John winced. “I realise that as Betas, you and Mum have certain assumptions, which is why you put my name in to the UAR as someone looking for a female Omega. But you don’t really understand the way it works with Alphas. We’re meant to mate with Omegas and can have pups with either a male or a female, so it’s normal either way. Now, my choosing another Alpha, male or female: that would be weird.”

“So you just bonded yourself to a boy without even talking to me about it?” Major Watson said, scowling.

John sighed. It was as if his father hadn't heard a word he said! “I am of age, sir. I didn’t have to talk to anyone about it.” Then he took a deep breath and said, “Dad, this is my bond-mate, Sherlock Holmes, and his father, Crispin Holmes.”

Ray Watson folded his arms across his chest and stared in disapproval, not even acknowledging the introduction. “And now what, John? How will you take care of a mate? And where are you going to live, because I certainly will not have this going on under my roof.” He indicated the livid marks on the boys’ necks.

“That’s not a problem, sir. We’ll get our own place.”

“Using what for money?” Ray Watson practically sneered.

“Mum didn’t tell you?” John asked.

“Didn’t tell me what?” demanded his father at the same time as his mother said, “He hung up before I had the chance.”

Somebody tell me,” the major snapped.

“Sherlock’s grandparents left him a generous trust fund,” John explained.

“Trust fund?” asked Ray, sounding interested.

“And they left it so that it would go into the name of his bond-mate,” Jenny Watson said, hoping the news would placate her irate spouse.

A crafty look crossed Ray Watson’s face. “Well, that explains everything,” he said. “Good work, son.”

John stiffened. Oh my God, he thought. All I need now is for my dad to meet Mycroft! Aloud he said, “No, sir, that’s not how it is at all. Now please excuse us. We have to go pack my things for Greencoat’s.” He led Sherlock and Crispin away.

Once in his room, John shut the door and said quietly, “I’m so sorry about that.” He looked around the room before continuing, “We’d better take everything we possibly can right now. My dad is such a bloody stuffed shirt, I wouldn’t put it past him to throw out anything I leave behind.” Books, trophies, pictures—they tossed things haphazardly into the trunk and John’s own, battered suitcase, his book bag and his sports bag. But when they started packing the clothes, Sherlock pounced on the jumper John had been wearing in the UAR picture.

“I want you to wear this to bed tonight!” he said, looking delighted.

John turned red. “Really, Sherlock? You’re telling me this in front of your father?”

“I’ll make it worth your while,” Sherlock said coaxingly.

John scrubbed his face with his palm. “Sorry, sir; I mean, Crispin,” he said.

But Crispin only smiled. “I was young once myself,” he reminded John. “And I still go into heat four times a year.”

Sherlock looked horrified, imagining his father doing…that…with his mother. But John thought it would be absolutely wonderful to have Sherlock still going into heat when they were Crispin’s age. And beyond.

They finished packing and dragged everything to the front door. John just wanted to get out of the house as fast as possible now.

“Bye, Mum; goodbye, Dad,” he said. “I’ll call you when I get settled at Greencoat’s.”

“You’re leaving?” His mother sounded incredulous. “Your father came all the way from Iraq to see you and you’re just leaving?”

“Well, yeah,” John said. “Sherlock and I are going back to school tomorrow. And that is not exactly why dad came back, is it? But it was good to see you, sir.”

As they went out the door, they heard Major Watson practically snarling. “Well at least I still have one normal child,” he said, referring to Harry, who was a Beta like her parents.

Suddenly Sherlock turned to go back into the house to give the major a piece of his mind, but John took him by the wrist and tugged him out. 
“It’s not worth it, Sherlock,” he said, as soon as the door closed behind them. “But I appreciate the thought.” Then he sighed. “Just wait until he and mum find out that Harry actually IS gay. I'm glad I won't be there for that.”

Back in the car, John was quiet and Sherlock could feel his distress through their bond as palpably as if he had spoken of it. “Talk to me, John,” he said eventually. “What’s wrong?”

“Now that you’ve met my father, I wouldn't blame you if you decided to break our bond,” John admitted glumly.

“You met Mycroft and you didn’t run screaming from the room,” Sherlock replied, smiling wryly and hugging John tightly.

"I guess this is all just more proof that we were meant to be together," John said, making a feeble attempt at a joke.

“I never doubted that from the moment I saw your picture," Sherlock reminded him.

ooOOoo

Shooter’s Hill Comprehensive was only fifteen minutes from John’s house and Crispin drove them straight there following the debacle with John’s father.

Sherlock and Crispin waited in the reception area while John went to discuss his irregular, last-minute transfer to Greencoat’s with the head teacher.

Sherlock felt a jolt of surprise and happiness along the bond and turned to his father. “It appears things are going well in there for John.”

Not long after that, the Alpha came out of the head teacher’s office looking a bit dazed. Sherlock jumped up. “What happened?”

“Apparently your mum got almost everything taken care of from her end.” (This was something that neither Sherlock nor his father had doubted would happen for an instant.) “The head teacher said he’d already been contacted by Greencoat’s, and my records have been transferred electronically. Taking the last of this year’s exams over there is no problem. He even said since I won’t officially be a Greencoat’s student until next school year, I could still stay on the rugby team through the end of this year if I wanted to! We can take the train here on weekends for the remaining games. There are only a couple left anyway.”

Sport had never played a large part in Sherlock's life, and on his own he would certainly never have chosen to watch rugby over doing his experiments. This news pleased him immensely, though, because he was very aware that the thought of leaving the team behind before the end of the season had been John’s only real regret coming out of everything that had happened. Then his mind wandered a bit, imagining John all hot and sweaty in his rugby kit.

“That’s wonderful, John. I’m glad it all worked out for you,” said Crispin.

Sherlock brought his mind back to the present. “So we can go home now, and tomorrow we’ll be at Greencoat’s. I can’t wait to get back and show off my bond-mate to everyone,” he said proudly.

John smiled briefly. “And I can’t wait to meet Jim Moriarty.”

ooOOoo

Mycroft was gone when they got back to the house in Buckinghamshire. As a consequence, the family enjoyed a very pleasant evening meal without his constant sniping. Naturally, though, Sherlock couldn’t let it be and insisted on complaining.

“I don’t know why Mycroft has to try to ruin everything all the time. Sometimes I think he hates me.”

“Actually, Sherlock, Mycroft loves you,” John said.

Sherlock pulled a face. “Why do you say that?”

“Because I love you, too, so I can tell. He only wants what’s best for you, but unfortunately he doesn’t think I’m it.”

“And I love you,” Sherlock said to his dinner plate. Then he looked up. “Mycroft is wrong.”

“Yes, he is,” Crispin replied. “Your mother and I can’t remember the last time Mycroft was this wrong about anything.”

“Maybe once, when he was three?” smiled Mummy.

After dinner the bond-mates retired to Sherlock’s room. They spent some time organising John’s things into what to take to Greencoat’s (textbooks, clothes) and what to leave behind (everything else). It wasn’t very long before they were finished. Everything John needed fit easily into Mycroft’s old trunk with room to spare. The end of the school year was less than a month and a half away, after all.

Sherlock was now broadcasting raw desire along the bond and made a big show of stretching and yawning. “We had a long day. We should probably go to bed early.”

Tongue in cheek, John said, “Yeah, I’m really tired, too. I’ll probably fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.”

Sherlock’s face fell. Then John grinned, and Sherlock felt his amusement through the bond.

“Actually, I’m surprised I don’t have a raging hard-on already given what you are broadcasting, Sherlock. But that reminds me.” John had set aside the oatmeal jumper Sherlock appeared to be so enthusiastic about, and now he grabbed it and held it up against himself. “Do you still want me to put this on?” he asked.

Sherlock considered the question. It had seemed like a good idea earlier in the day, but now he had an urgent need to feel John’s skin bare against his own.“No. Take off all your clothes and keep them off.” 

“Yessir!” John smiled and complied. 

Sherlock stripped as well and tugged John down into the bed on top of him. “Tell me what you want tonight, John,” he said. “You spent six days doing what I wanted, and now it’s your turn.”

John flipped them over so that Sherlock was on top, grabbed the Omega’s curls and pulled those perfect Cupid’s Bow lips down against his own, thinner lips. The kiss was long and full and made John’s blood run sweet in his veins, like honey. He wrapped his arms and legs around Sherlock and started some slow, almost sleepy hip thrusts up against him. “I’ll tell you what,” he said, “you can make that up to me by doing whatever I want when I go into rut.”

“That hardly seems fair,” Sherlock gasped out. John’s rhythmic thrusting against his groin and stomach was making it very difficult to think. “Omegas go into heat four times a year and Alphas only go into rut once every few years.”

“But I think you’ll find you have your hands full when it happens,” John said, and almost snickered. He grabbed Sherlock’s arse and pulled down, pressing them them even closer together, then speeded up his own hips, and there was no more conversation.

Afterwards it was Sherlock who went to clean them up. John hummed his pleasure as Sherlock ran a warm, damp flannel over his groin and stomach, and Sherlock started to think that accepting the role of the nurturer sometimes might not be all bad, especially when he thought about just who it was he had agreed to nurture.

He got back into bed and cuddled as close to John as humanly possible. The feeling of his protective Alpha all around him was indescribably comforting, and he fell asleep safe in John’s arms.

But John lay awake several long hours wondering about the next day’s inevitable meeting with Moriarty.

ooOOoo

It was early afternoon when John and Sherlock arrived at Greencoat’s. They went straight to the administration office to report in.

The headmaster wanted to talk over some things with John. “Your mate and I are going to be awhile, Sherlock, so why don’t you run along to your dorm,” the older man said dismissively. “I shall send Mr. Watson to you when we’re done here.”

Sherlock didn’t bother to take offense, because he actually wanted to get back to his room rather badly after eleven days away. But he felt John’s indignation over the fact that the man had just talked down to the smartest pupil in the school simply because that pupil was now a bonded Omega. He did his best to convey calming thoughts through the bond, and finally John smiled. “I’ll come find the room as soon as I’m done here, Sherlock,” he said. When Sherlock hesitated just a bit, John added, “I’m sure I can find it on my own.” The young Omega nodded and slipped out of the headmaster’s office.

Sherlock entered his room and looked around eagerly. It appeared to be exactly as he had left it, down to the books he had left open on his desk and the violin propped up in the corner. Well, all his short-term experiments were ruined, but that was a small sacrifice to make for the events that led him to his true bond-mate.

He heard steps coming down the corridor, stopping at the door to his room. It wasn’t John; he would have felt that through the bond. His heart sank when he realised who it was.

“Hello, Sherlock. I knew you couldn’t stay away from me for long.”

“Moriarty,” Sherlock replied in disgust.

Chapter Text


“Moriarty,” Sherlock replied in disgust.

John felt Sherlock’s discomfort through the bond and interrupted the headmaster while the man was in mid-sentence.

“Something’s wrong, I have to get to Sherlock. Where’s his room?”

The headmaster looked offended. “I don’t know what they taught you about manners at Shooter’s Hill, young man; but here at Greencoat Collegiate…”

John stepped right into the headmaster’s face and snarled, “Sherlock’s room. Fastest way. Now.”

The headmaster was used to boys helping each other through heats in the mating ward, but he’d never dealt with bonded ones. Suddenly realising he was facing an Alpha acting out of concern for his mate, he stammered out directions. John shot out the door the second the headmaster finished.

ooOOoo

Moriarty strolled into the room as confidently as if he owned it. “You never answered the texts I sent while you were gone. That was very, very rude of you, sweetheart,” he chided.

Sherlock scowled. “I’d like to know how you obtained my mobile number in the first place.” Then his face cleared. “Oh! You have a source in the administrative office. Obviously. Probably one of the work-study students. Perhaps a spot of blackmail? That’s how you got my number and how you found out when I was returning.”

Moriarty sidestepped the issue. “I’d offer you condolences on that death in your family, but I know better: you ran away because of me. It’s thrilling to know that I affect you so strongly.”

“What could you possibly find thrilling about the fact that I don’t want to be anywhere in your vicinity?”

“You wouldn’t have wanted to get away unless you were attracted to me in the first place,” Moriarty answered smugly.

“I can hardly be held responsible if you misconstrued the situation,” Sherlock replied, although there was just enough truth in Moriarty’s words to send a prickle of apprehension down his spine.

Moriarty had come closer to Sherlock, but now he stopped, frowning. “You smell terrible. Did you let someone scent mark you while you were gone? You’re going to need to allow that scent to fade before you touch me.”

“Actually, I’m bonded now,” Sherlock said proudly.

“Oh, please,” Moriarty scoffed, “Just because someone sucked a bunch of love bites on your neck doesn’t mean you’re bonded.”

Sherlock silently unbuttoned his shirt collar and displayed the new bond mark where his throat and shoulder met.

Moriarty looked uncertain for just a moment, then his face cleared. “Well, that’s excellent.”

“It is? I mean, as far as I’m concerned, of course it is.”

“Yes, you see, our bond will be that much stronger in the end.” A crazed smile passed over Moriarty’s face.

“Our bond? What are you talking about?” Sherlock asked apprehensively.

Part way to Sherlock’s room John felt the Omega’s anxiety level ratchet up a notch, but he was still only broadcasting feelings of discomfort, not panic. And by now John had a very good idea of what the problem was.

In the car the day before, the boys had discussed what to do about Moriarty if he didn’t take the news about the bonding well. Concerned that the two Alphas might get into a cock fight over him, Sherlock had begged John not to lose his temper. “I’m not totally helpless, you know!” he had reminded his mate. “Give me a chance to deal with him first.” And because it was clearly important to Sherlock, John had agreed, albeit reluctantly, that he would try to remain calm. So now, rather than burst into the room and display agitation in front of another Alpha, John sauntered into the room in a seemingly relaxed manner.

“Well, what do we have here?” he asked as casually as he was able.

Moriarty turned and frowned when he saw the newcomer, while at the same time a look of relief crossed Sherlock’s face.

“Who the hell are you?” Moriarty demanded.

“I might ask you the same thing,” John replied. He ambled up to the two boys and flung an arm around Sherlock, who put his head on John’s shoulder and wrapped his arms around John’s torso.

“My mate,” Sherlock murmured happily against John’s neck. (It was embarrassing how easily his Omega side was able to overpower his rational brain since that first heat.)

“So this is our room until the summer holidays. Very cozy. The single bed in particular,” John commented, kissing Sherlock’s temple, but never taking his eyes off Moriarty.

Moriarty looked John up and down, then shook his head sadly. “Really, Sherlock?” he asked archly. “Do you expect me to believe that this is who convinced you to mate?”

“Actually, I asked him,” Sherlock said.

“You picked him because you were seeking protection and safety, I see. Well, I think you got more than you bargained for; this one looks exceedingly overbearing and territorial.”

John sized up the Year 11 easily. He’d taken on bigger, more intimidating blokes on the rugby pitch. And Alpha or not, he looked to John like the kind of cowardly boy who mouthed off and then counted on hiding behind someone stronger to avoid physical confrontation.

“But, oh, Sherlock, how pathetic. You are an extraordinary boy and this one is soooo common and boring,” Moriarty continued. “In fact, he looks like you dragged him out of the Unbonded Alpha Registry reject bin.”

“I did find John through the UAR. His picture was sent to me by accident, and then it turned out he was my true bond-mate after all,” Sherlock said quickly.

“You’re not fooling me, Sherlock. You ran because you were afraid to acknowledge your feelings for me, and you were willing to bond with almost anyone else to make me jealous. It’s really rather exciting.”

John gaped at Moriarty, who seemed not to have heard a word Sherlock said.

“I left because it was clear you were trying to trap me into an unwanted bond,” Sherlock said firmly.

“So you just ran off and picked this nonentity because you thought he would be able to protect you from me?”

“John Watson is more to me than a convenient bodyguard or the least objectionable Alpha I could find at short notice. I told you, John is my true bond-mate.”

“Methinks thou dost protest too much, Sherlock,” Moriarty said. “We were good together. Don’t you remember all the fun we had discussing how to solve the problems of the world and figuring out how we might create a few world problems of our own? We were totally sympatico.

John was taken aback and unable to hide it.

Moriarty smirked and said slyly, “So I see Sherly didn’t tell you everything about us, then?”

“There was no ‘us’,” Sherlock snapped, but he couldn’t meet John’s eyes. His face reddened with shame. He clearly remembered the moment when he recognized that Moriarty was cleverer than anyone else in the school except for Sherlock himself. He wondered how he could have ever mistaken that recognition for attraction.

Now, standing next to his true bond-mate, Sherlock felt guilty and ashamed that he had not been totally open with him about this. He was so very proud of John, who was standing by quietly in the face of Moriarty’s provocations, struggling to control his Alpha nature because Sherlock had asked him to. “I’m sorry, John. I know I should have told you.”

“So tell me now,” John said calmly. Sherlock would never have known that his mate was upset if not for the fact that he could feel it through their bond.

“Moriarty took notice right away when I transferred here last September. I was flattered because he is a year ahead of me, and he’s very smart. For the first time I got along well in a new school, I made some friends, and I admit I thought it was possible that someday Moriarty and I might be more than friends.”

Moriarty smiled complacently.

But Sherlock continued, “The closer I got to presenting, though, the more I realised we’re too much alike. We’d be bad for each other. Even our pheromones aren’t compatible. I look back now and I can’t believe I ever felt otherwise.”

Relieved, John said, “What you felt or didn’t feel for Moriarty before we met doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is how you feel now, which I know better than anyone else. It would seem, though, that this wanker is living in a dream world when it comes to you.”

Sherlock turned confidently to Moriarty. “John is the Alpha I am meant to be with, and there’s no way you can ever convince me to break our bond. I can’t believe you even think you have a chance with me at this point.”

“I’ll show you that I do,” Moriarty replied, and then, displaying a fine disdain for the fact that Sherlock’s bond-mate was standing right there, he produced that special Voice against which unbonded or imperfectly bonded Omegas were generally helpless. Certain of victory, he said, “John Watson is a nobody and not worthy of you. Come with me, Sherlock. You belong to me and always will.”

Sherlock pretended to look around the room. “Hey, John, can you hear that whining noise? Sounds like a giant gnat.” Then he collapsed against John in fits of giggles.

While Moriarty stared in disbelief at his failure, John gave himself permission to display some Alpha aggression for the first time. Keeping both arms tightly around Sherlock, he leaned in close to Moriarty's face and growled, “Mine!” causing Moriarty to stumble backwards involuntarily with a frightened expression on his face. John looked at him with disdain.

Trying desperately to keep his dream world intact, Moriarty said, “Fine, then. When you tire of this one, Sherlock, come find me. I might take you back.”

“Yeah, right, Moriarty; bite me!” Sherlock called out after him.

Moriarty banged the door shut quite a bit harder than necessary and as soon as the door closed behind him, Sherlock ran and locked it. “We did it!” he crowed. "I don't think he's going to bother me again."

But John wasn’t feeling quite as pleased at the outcome. His hands were clenched into fists at his sides, the knuckles bone-white. “I could have torn him to shreds and no one would even blame me! He used the damn Alpha Voice on someone else’s bond-mate! He’d better watch his back from now on.”

“Feeling a little territorial, John?” Sherlock asked. Although he would be reluctant to admit it aloud, the Omega in him was thrilled at the idea.

“I’m definitely feeling something. I think it might be indigestion, though.”

Sherlock smiled at his bond-mate. “I’m really proud of you, John. I know you wanted to decimate Moriarty, but thank you for allowing me to handle him. It could not have been easy for you to just stand by and do nothing.”

“It was hell,” John said bluntly. “Especially after Moriarty threw in that little tidbit about your past relationship, leaving me looking and feeling stupid, and at a complete disadvantage because I didn’t know the whole story.”

The Omega lowered his head in submission without the slightest bit of reluctance. “I’m so sorry. I hope I can make it up to you somehow.”

John pulled Sherlock into the circle of his arms. “Why didn’t you just tell me from the start, Sherlock? There was clearly not much more to it from your side than a little bit of hero worship.”

Sherlock gave John another apologetic look. “I was embarrassed,” he admitted. “I’m supposed to be smart, but I displayed no signs of intelligence whatsoever when it came to Moriarty’s true nature.”

“Hmm,” John said, absently running his fingers through Sherlock’s curly hair. “Moriarty was absolutely spot on about one thing, though. You’re different; you’re special. I don’t know why you’d even want someone like me.”

“Because you’re my Alpha, John Watson. And because I know you’ll always protect me and keep me right.” Sherlock wrapped his arms around John’s neck and kissed him in a way that left no doubt about the depth of his feelings.

“So, what did you think of Moriarty?” Sherlock asked curiously when they finally broke apart.

John let out his Alpha nature a little bit more. “What did I think of him? Just on sight, I wanted to push his front teeth so far down his throat that he’d have to shove his toothbrush up his arse to clean them. As soon as I heard his voice, I wanted to superglue his mouth shut, but only after first cutting off all the fingers he uses to text and shoving ’em in there, so he wouldn’t starve to death too quickly.”

Sherlock stared, impressed. “Don’t hold yourself back, John; tell me what you really think.”

His attempt at humour fell a bit flat, though. John sighed. “I can’t believe you were ever attracted to him. He’s such a tosser.”

“Well, it wasn’t all that long after I met him that his pheromones started to repel me. But nothing had happened before that anyway.”

“That I know without even needing to consult our bond.” John smiled, remembering Sherlock’s first, awkward attempt at a kiss.

Never quite knowing when to quit while he was ahead, Sherlock said, “Moriarty is one of the only people I know who can talk to me on my own level, and I used to think that was important—but now that I have you, I know better.”

John blinked. “I have never been so insulted by a compliment before,” he said, smiling wryly. Sherlock was one of a kind all right, and John wouldn’t want it any other way.

Sherlock hastily changed the subject. “Tell me what the Headmaster had to say,” he requested. “He obviously didn’t want me to worry my little head about such weighty issues as your transferring to Greencoat’s.”

“He keeps treating you like that and I’m going to rip his fucking arms off and beat him about the head with the wet ends!” John said with disgust, his Alpha aggression in defence of Sherlock sending another pleasant little thrill down the Omega’s spine.

“Well, we were both aware that this sort of thing was going to happen,” Sherlock pointed out. “Legally I’m your property, and this is more or less how it’s going to be from now on.”

John shook his head. “You’re not my property, you’re my bond-mate for life—and not incidentally one of the smartest people I have ever met, Alpha, Beta or Omega.”

Sherlock blushed with pleasure. He knew he would never tire of John’s admiration and vowed to do a better job of earning it in future. He was still stinging with embarrassment at the way he had held back from John even the most innocent details about his time with Moriarty.

“But getting back to your question,” John said, “the Headmaster told me that I don’t need to attend any classes here until next year, though of course I will be expected to revise and take my AS’s with all the other Year Twelves.”

“I can help you with revising,” Sherlock murmured, playing with the button on John’s jeans. “After all, I am one of the smartest people you’ve ever met.”

A smile crossed John’s lips. “Oh yes, I can just imagine. Well, at least I’ll get A’s with biology, which will look good on my application to study medicine.”

“What else did he say?” Sherlock asked, now fiddling with John’s zipper.

“And he told me that the coach of the rugby team is already salivating over the prospect of my joining next year. Apparently this school is a bit bigger on brains than brawn, and most students don’t really want to get the crap beat out of them for PE.”

“Anything else?” Having loosened John’s jeans, Sherlock now started running delicate fingertips along the elastic waist of his pants.

“We were just beginning to discuss the housing situation when you sent out that distress call through the bond. I think he was saying we’ll have to spend the rest of the term right here, but next year we’ll be assigned a larger room.”

“With a double bed?” Sherlock asked hopefully. Cuddling was fine, but their current, narrow bed didn’t leave much room in which to manoeuver.

“Probably, but I don’t really think this one will be a problem for us. Let’s test it out now. Right now.”

With a big grin, Sherlock yanked John’s jeans and pants to the floor in one swift move.

Sherlock was out of his clothes and in the bed before John even finished unbuttoning his own shirt.

“Someone’s feeling eager,” John commented with a smile.

“Really,” Sherlock said, raising an eyebrow pointedly at John’s jutting cock.

When John slipped into the narrow bed and pressed himself against Sherlock, both young men wanted instant action. John needed relief from the buildup of testosterone during the confrontation with Moriarty, and Sherlock was more than ready after all the spine-tingling displays of territorial aggression John had showed once he felt it was safe to let out his Alpha nature.

Out came the pot of lube they’d filched from the heat room and the condoms, which both boys were relieved only needed to be used for another five days while the birth control pills finished regulating Sherlock’s body. But when John started to tear open a condom wrapper, Sherlock put out a hand to stop him.

“No, no time,” he said. “I want it now.” He grabbed John’s hand and guided it to his own slim, erect penis.

“Slow down, there,” John said gently. He took his hand back momentarily to scoop up a dollop of lube and then reached out for Sherlock again. He had hardly started a nice, rhythmic up-and-down motion when Sherlock came, spilling his seed between them and crying out John’s name several times.

“Yes, somebody certainly WAS feeling eager,” John said, holding back his own climax with difficulty.

After a few moments Sherlock came back to himself and started kissing John first tentatively and then with increasing desperation. He pressed himself tightly against his Alpha, allowing John to rut against his stomach for a few moments before reaching between them and taking John's alarmingly erect cock in both hands. Between Sherlock’s tongue in his mouth and Sherlock’s hands around his throbbing dick, John didn’t last much longer than Sherlock had. After his release, he fell back against the mattress panting heavily. Sherlock took some facial tissues from a box by the bedside and cleaned up the best he could. “I think we’re going to need to get some hand wipes,” Sherlock said, when all that happened was that the tissues disintegrated as he scrubbed at the sheets.

“How often are we going to get new sheets here?” John asked, a bit worried. “This could get really messy, really fast.”

“Are you kidding? This school is full of adolescent boys. We get clean sheets as often as we need,” laughed Sherlock. “Just strip off the soiled ones in the morning and leave them outside the door. Housekeeping will make up the bed with fresh ones.”

“Housekeeping at a school…you’re so spoiled,” John said, rubbing his nose affectionately against Sherlock’s.

“And now you’ll be spoiled as well,” Sherlock pointed out.

“I’m still going to teach you how to make up a bed as soon as we get our own place,” John warned. Sherlock pulled a face.

After showering in the communal bathroom (no fooling around there), they went down to dinner and Sherlock proudly showed off his new mate. The boys in Year 10 were impressed because to them, John seemed like that mysterious creature, an adult. The boys in John’s year were thrilled because he was clearly going to help them win more rugby matches. John made friends effortlessly, and Sherlock found himself looking forward to the next school year more than he’d ever imagined possible.

John and Sherlock looked, but they didn’t see Moriarty anywhere in the dining room. When they asked around, no one remembered seeing him for hours, but someone mentioned he’d heard via the grapevine that Moriarty would be transferring out of Greencoat’s at the end of the year to do his sixth form elsewhere.

“Do you think it was something I said?” Sherlock asked with a smirk.

John hugged him tightly. “I sincerely hope so,” he replied.

Chapter Text



And now, before the start of this final chapter, the Acknowledgments:

My inspiration for writing any Omegaverse story at all came from the amazing fic, “The Six Steps of Courtship,” by emptycel. In the unlikely event that you haven’t read that yet, do it now! It’s on both Fan Fiction and AO3, same author name in both places.

The background information that I used to set up my Omegaverse is from the informative and humorous essay on AO3 by norabombay entitled “Alphas, Betas, Omegas: A Primer” subtitled “A brief primer on the concept of Alpha/Beta/Omega Universes: Also known as that trope showing up in your fandom that doesn’t make sense.”

Thanks to both emptycel and norabombay for the inspiration and the information!


John had a mouthful of toothpaste when he happened to glance at his watch. “Hurry up, Sherlock,” he called out somewhat indistinctly. “Mycroft will be here to pick us up in half an hour.”

He had bent down to spit out the toothpaste when Sherlock playfully announced his presence by bumping his groin against John’s bum. John straightened up and the two smiled as their eyes met in the mirror.

Time seemed to stand still for John as he admired his gorgeous bond-mate’s reflection. He had to raise his eyes to do it, though. In the three years since their bonding, Sherlock had shot up six inches in height much to his unbridled glee. John had been taken aback at first, but eventually got used to having the younger Omega tower over him.

Suddenly John noticed that Sherlock’s eyes had wandered downwards.

“Oi, you perv, are you checking out my arse back there?” he asked, grinning into the mirror.

“Mmmm,” Sherlock hummed in the affirmative enthusiastically. “Problem?” He eyed John’s compact, muscular body with pleasure.

“Well, for one thing, we don’t have time for what you’re thinking,” John said regretfully. “Mycroft will expect us to be ready when he gets here.”

“All the more reason to drag our feet…and perhaps even jump back into bed for just a tick?” Sherlock suggested hopefully.

“Just a tick,” John snorted, turning around and pulling Sherlock into his arms. “You mean like that time you promised me you were so randy it would hardly take five minutes, and we both missed all our morning classes? Only I don’t particularly want your brother to catch us in bed when he gets here.”

“If you’re still attempting to impress Mycroft favourably, simply being on time for a ride won’t do it.”

“I just wish there was some way to convince him that I didn’t have anything to do with the UAR sending my picture to you by mistake.”

“You’re fighting an uphill battle there. Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Mycroft refuses to believe we were brought together by fate. I still have not figured out exactly what his job is, but I know that it entails being paranoid about absolutely everything. I have no doubt that he investigated everyone down to the janitors who worked at the UAR back when we met, trying to find any connection, no matter how far-fetched, between you and one of the employees.”

“Yeah, well, that whole thing never made sense to me. How could I bribe someone to send you my picture when I didn’t even know you existed in the first place? Not to mention that no one could have had any idea your family was ever going to contact the UAR!”

“Doesn’t matter to Mycroft; he’s like a dog with a bone.” Sherlock tried to nuzzle John, but the Alpha slipped away.

“We really have to go,” John said firmly but reluctantly. “He’ll be here soon.”

To Mycroft's dismay and disgust, three years hadn’t dimmed any of the boys’ enthusiasm for each other. He also still refused to accept that they had a soul connection through their bond. John kept hoping Mycroft would find his true bond-mate even in the face of Sherlock’s horror at the very idea. It’s just that he knew it would mellow Mycroft out considerably when it happened.

As for John, he figured if their bond could survive Sherlock’s attempt to grow a moustache, it could survive anything.

Sherlock hadn’t wanted to start uni looking like a kid, so he decided to grow a moustache. It turned out to be a terribly weedy moustache, resembling a caterpillar moulting on his upper lip. John had to fight off his amusement every time he laid eyes on the thing, but for the sake of his mate’s adolescent dignity he tried to keep a straight face. However, he could not avoid Sherlock picking up his feelings via the bond. At that point, Sherlock grew extremely stubborn, figuring if he kept at it long enough, it would grow in full and lush. This led to situations where John would think about the moustache and allow himself to laugh when Sherlock was not present. Suddenly he would hear “Dammit, John!” coming from another room, or he might even get an irate text: WHAT is so funny, as if I didn’t know. Eventually the moustache came off (“It just wasn’t working for me,” Sherlock sniffed) and it was never spoken of again. John hoped that was going to be the biggest interpersonal challenge they ever had to face.

As they came out of the bathroom, someone popped into their flat without knocking.

“Woo hoo, boys, I made too much breakfast, if you’d like some. I’d hate to see it go to waste.” John and Sherlock exchanged smiles. Their landlady was such an open book.

Sherlock jumped in before John could decline, citing time constraints. “Yes, thank you, Mrs. Hudson, that's very thoughtful of you,” he said quickly.

“I’ll see you downstairs, then.” Mrs. Hudson nodded and popped out of the flat again.

John sighed. “You only agreed to eat because you know the delay will annoy Mycroft.”

“Nothing about eating annoys Mycroft, except how fat it makes him,” Sherlock replied, holding his hands out in front of his flat stomach to simulate a loose belly.

John had to smile. Mycroft was not fat by any means. But Sherlock, irked by the fact that his brother would always be seven years older, two inches taller and ten IQ points higher, got back at Mycroft by hounding him mercilessly about his weight.

They pounded down the stairs to the ground floor and headed along the corridor to Mrs. Hudson’s flat. As they pulled chairs up to her kitchen table, John mentioned that Mycroft might be joining them soon. Mrs. Hudson said, “Fine, but just this once, dearies. I’m your landlady, not your housekeeper.” John and Sherlock grinned at the oft-repeated refrain.

“It’s hard to believe you’ve been living here almost a year. Time goes by so fast,” sighed Mrs. Hudson, as she set plates of bacon, eggs and tomato in front of them. John had to agree as he thought back on how lucky they had been to find Mrs. Hudson.

While still at Greencoat’s John had applied to University College London, which offered degrees in medicine and various sciences, because he knew that the curriculum there would suit both him and Sherlock perfectly. As soon as John was accepted, Sherlock petitioned for early admission “in order to be with my mate.” Despite the fact that Omegas were generally discouraged from pursuing higher education, the Alpha-led society would never allow a bonded Omega to remain behind at secondary school while his Alpha went on to uni. Sherlock was more than qualified and was accepted without any problem. They had found inexpensive student housing near their campus and things were going exceedingly well with both their studies.

One day while Sherlock and John were strolling hand in hand down Baker Street not too far from their UCL campus, they had seen a charming Victorian building with a TO LET sign in the window advertising a spacious flat for immediate occupancy.

Sherlock liked the look of the building, but John pointed out that their reasonably priced student digs had suited them just fine so far.

The younger man reminded John about violin playing at all hours and certain noisome and unsanitary experiments. “I think we could use more space. Can we not just look? You know this building is centrally located to absolutely everything, not just our UCL campus. It’s even close to University College Hospital, where you’ve been interning.”

“Yes, and because of the location, the rent here is bound to be ridiculous,” said John, who hadn’t quite adjusted to the fact that he didn’t need to gather up the sliver ends of soap and press them together into a usable bar anymore.

“We’ve got the money, John. You keep saying it’s my money, too…please, just a quick look?” Sherlock turned puppy-dog eyes on John, who would have been hard-pressed to refuse after that one-two punch of reason and pleading.

Brass letters reading 221B were situated above an ornate brass knocker. They knocked, and a spry, grandmotherly-looking Beta woman opened the door.

“Well, aren’t you two just the most adorable things, but I’m not buying anything being sold door to door,” the elderly woman said firmly.

Feeling extremely self-conscious, John said, “My name is John Watson and this is my bond-mate, Sherlock Holmes. We’re not selling anything, we…”

“You’re bonded? Oh my, you’re so young!” she exclaimed. John knew it was because Sherlock had still looked like he was twelve on a good day, even though he was seventeen at that time.

“Yes,” replied Sherlock proudly, “but John and I have been bonded for a couple of years already.”

“I’m sure that must be a fascinating story,” said the Beta lady, looking willing to listen to it right there on the doorstep.

“Um, well, we were wondering if we could see the flat advertised in the window,” John explained. “We’re not sure if we can afford it, but…”

The elderly woman took each of them by the wrist and pulled them in. “My name is Martha Hudson, and I am the landlady,” she said, leading them up a flight of seventeen steps to look at the flat.

By the time their tour of the space was over, Sherlock was practically bouncing up and down with excitement. Across their bond, John had felt the Omega’s enthusiasm grow with every room they looked through.

“There’s another bedroom upstairs. If you don’t want it, I will probably let it out to someone who just needs a place to sleep—like one of those sharp businessmen who lives out in the suburbs but sometimes has to stay overnight in the City.”

John experienced Sherlock’s eagerness to take the flat through the bond. “We’ll take that room, too,” he said recklessly, without even waiting to learn the rent. “Sherlock requires extra space for his work, and would it be all right if we bought a second refrigerator to put up there?”

Sherlock threw his arms around John. “Thank you, John; thank you,” he said, his voice shaking with happiness. John hugged him back murmuring, “How can I say no to my mate?”

Mrs. Hudson was very touched by their obvious love for each other. “You know, if you should ever decide to have pups, you won’t have to worry. It would be a real joy to have children about the place.” Then she smiled a bit impishly. “Although to me, you seem practically like children yourselves.”

“About the rent,” John started awkwardly, but Mrs. Hudson named an extremely reasonable amount. It was so reasonable, in fact, that John worried she had reduced the price thinking they could not afford the going rate. He made a vow to help her with chores about the place as much as possible.

And so they had moved in to 221B Baker Street a year ago. It had proved to be ideal for them, and they were quite certain they couldn’t have found a better place anywhere. John could see them living there for many years to come. And at some point, even a pup or two.

Now Sherlock’s voice brought John back to the present.

“I wish Mycroft weren’t insisting on coming to class with me today. It’s none of his business what they teach there,” he grumbled.

“I think it’s your own fault, love, for complaining about the class in front of Mycroft at dinner the other night,” John said gently.

John’s family had never quite reconciled to the bonding so he saw very little of them now (and especially not when his father was home on leave), but John and Sherlock had dinner with the Holmes family once a week without exception. Last week Sherlock had been talking about his Criminology class at the table. Unfortunately, Mycroft happened to be present as well.

“But it wasn’t the class I had the problem with,” Sherlock protested, “it was the guest lecturer that week. Anderson claims to be a SOCO with the Met, but the man is such a moron, I doubt he would be able to locate a clue if it dropped out of his arse with a label marked ‘evidence’ attached to it.”

Mrs. Hudson tutted, “Language, young man.”

“Oh, sorry, Mrs. H,” Sherlock apologised. “Well, anyway, today’s guest lecturer is a DS, the youngest man ever to be promoted to Detective Sergeant in Yard history. I’m torn between hoping he’ll be better than Anderson, or so deadly dull that he’ll bore Mycroft to death.” John had to laugh.

“We should let Mycroft know where we are,” John realised suddenly, pulling out his mobile to send a text. When he was done, he looked thoughtfully at the phone. “You know,” he said, “I really appreciate these swanky new state-of-the-art mobile phones Mycroft gave us right before we started at UCL.”

“Sure,” Sherlock chimed in, grinning, “a very thoughtful gesture on his part—except for his whole ulterior motive of wanting to be able to keep tabs on us, of course. It’s not like we aren't aware that the phones are just bristling with listening devices and GPS locators.”

“Since basically all we do is go to classes, and occasionally to the cinema or a museum, I can’t even imagine why he bothered,” John said with a smile.

“Maybe he thinks he’ll catch you in a clandestine meeting with a UAR employee, even after all this time,” Sherlock snickered. Mycroft’s attempts to put together a conspiracy theory about John’s unexpected appearance in Sherlock’s life was a source of constant amusement to the bonded pair.

Mrs. Hudson went to answer a knock at the door and came back with the man himself. Mycroft was dressed to the nines as always, and toted an umbrella even though the weather was perfectly clear.

He tapped his watch when he saw John and Sherlock seated at the table, but sat without demur when offered breakfast by Mrs. Hudson. Sherlock and John were subdued by Mycroft’s very presence, but fortunately Mrs. Hudson was capable of filling in the dead air all by herself. Less fortunate, however, was the fact that all she wanted to talk about was the possibility of John and Sherlock getting married.

“After all, they’ve been bonded now for three years, Mycroft. I think that’s long enough to show they’re ready for marriage, don’t you?”

“Not particularly,” Mycroft said, sounding annoyed.

John broke in hastily, “I know you’re a Beta, Mrs. Hudson, so maybe you don’t understand. Being bonded, Sherlock and I are married for all practical purposes. We’d really only need to go through with a ceremony for legal reasons; say, for the sake of any pups we might have.” The Omega had never stopped begging John for pups every time he went into heat, so they both knew pups were going to be in the equation someday.

“Pups!” Mrs. Hudson said. “That’s another thing. Mycroft, don’t you think it would be wonderful if they started having pups?”

“No, I do not,” Mycroft said, looking revolted. John wondered if Mycroft was more horrified at the thought of Sherlock having pups, or of Sherlock having pups with John. Not that it mattered to him what Mycroft thought.

As for Sherlock, he found Mycroft’s reaction annoying enough to make him want to start a family right there on Mrs. Hudson’s kitchen table. John picked up the thought and had to struggle not to laugh.

“So, Mycroft, is today something special, that you’re going to class with Sherlock?” Mrs. Hudson finally asked, filling in the the awkward silence that followed Mycroft’s pronouncement.

“I simply wanted to see it for myself,” Mycroft said blandly.

Sherlock snorted. “As though you couldn’t shut down the entire Criminology program if you put your mind to it.”

“Nonsense, how could I possibly do that? I hold a purely minor position in the ….” His mouth snapped shut when he realised that both John and Sherlock were chanting the words along with him.

Mycroft had not been best pleased with Sherlock’s eclectic class choices such as Criminology, Botany, Chemistry, Biology and Latin, and his displeasure was shared by the senior lecturers at University College London. But Sherlock defended his choices brilliantly before a committee of stuffed shirts, and because his curriculum covered all the graduation requirements in one way or another, the College reluctantly allowed him to set his own course of study—pending his bond-mate’s approval, naturally. John was disgusted by the fact that he was required to approve Sherlock’s class schedule every semester, because someone of Sherlock’s intellect did not need the likes of John to allow him to do anything. But the prevailing theory was that Omegas shouldn’t be attending uni at all, since they would only end up having pups and their education would be wasted. Any bonded Omega needed the consent of his or her mate, and unbonded Omegas had to obtain authorisation from a parent or guardian. And even then, Omegas at uni were looked at askance. But John was incredibly proud of Sherlock’s choices and completely ignored the judgemental looks he got from the administration every time he signed off on one of his mate’s unique schedules.

“Tell me, Sherlock,” Mycroft said. “What is the topic of today’s lecture?” Sherlock had a feeling Mycroft knew damn well already, but he answered readily enough.

“We’re having a detective come talk about running murder investigations. I hope he knows his subject, because I’ve really been looking forward to this.”

“A detective? What is his name? I might know him; I know quite a few detectives.”

“Well, you know the Yard’s Detective Chief Superintendent and the Police Commissioner, I’m sure,” Sherlock said sarcastically. “However, this will be naught but a humble Detective Sergeant. His name is Lestrade—Gabriel or Gavin or something.”

“I do not believe I have ever met him,” Mycroft admitted.

“Well, obviously you’re about to,” Sherlock replied grumpily.

Looking completely unimpressed at the thought of a mere D.S., Mycroft said, “We really must be moving along if we are to make it to your class on time. And John, if you wish for a ride...”

“Sherlock and I left our stuff upstairs. Give us a minute to get it,” said John.

Mycroft heaved a put-upon sigh. “Do hurry. I shall await you in the car.”

The boys ran up to 221B and grabbed their backpacks. Sherlock followed John back down the staircase, and when they reached the ground floor he said, “For the record, John, as far as I’m concerned you have the finest arse in the British Isles.”

“That’s because you can’t easily see your own,” John assured him.

Sherlock looked at John seriously and John felt a slight tremor travel down the bond. “John,” said the Omega, “what do you think? Maybe we should get married. I know I don’t tell you this nearly enough, but you are, after all, the only man I will ever love. Everyone would know I belonged to you if I were called Sherlock Holmes-Watson.”

John wondered how he had ever lived a day without Sherlock before. “Of course we’ll get married if that’s what you want, whenever you want. I’m looking forward to being called John Holmes-Watson, myself.”

They kissed happily and only pulled apart because they could hear a car horn honking impatiently through the closed street door.

“Mycroft,” Sherlock groaned.

John said, “Mycroft is so wrong about fate. Maybe he’ll find that out for himself one of these days.”

They walked out to the car hand in hand, Sherlock musing about the luck, or fate, or whatever it was that had helped him find his place in the world so young. That place was next to John; and just as it should be, John’s was next to him. Always.