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To Protect, To Love

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When Eggsy is fourteen, his doctor pronounces him an omega.

His mum cries in relief and hugs him close.  Eggsy’s not really sure what being an omega has to do with anything because he’s never heard of anyone being one.  He’s heard of alphas and betas but never omegas.  Whatever an omega is, it keeps Dean away, slinking and smarting like Eggsy has personally offended him by turning out to be an omega.  It means Dean never lays a hand on Eggsy unless he’s too drunk to remember that Eggsy is an omega.

Eggsy doesn’t really understand what an omega is until his health class later that year, but if it keeps Dean off his back, it can’t be all bad.


“If we look back in time, evolution has shown us that originally omegas were a mix of weak and powerful,” Mr. Moon drones on.

He flips to the next chart, which shows an alpha surrounded by omegas of all sizes.

“Archaeologists have found that, as time progresses,” Here he goes to the next slide, “The weaker omegas died off.  It is presumed that this is due to survival of the fittest.”

Mr. Moon turns off the projector and flicks the lights back on.

“Back when omegas were plentiful, it would have been alpha instinct to gather as many of them as possible and leave behind as many children as possible.  But one person cannot possibly expect to protect such a large group, so it is hypothesized that the strongest, most vicious omegas lived on because they were capable of fighting for themselves, unlike their weaker counterparts.”

“The result,” He says as he peers straight at Eggsy, “Is that the modern omega is physically the strongest of all three delineations and often the most vicious.  It is also a solid theory for why there are so few omegas now.  An alpha must court an omega to their acceptance before an omega will even consider the alpha as a mate…”

Mr. Moon drones on about courting rituals and how, for eleven months out of the year, most alphas, especially those the omega doesn’t already know, are advised to refrain from courting an omega.

“It is, as they say, playing a dangerous game of will-I-won’t-I be killed,” He says dryly.

Eggsy sits through the whole explanation without so much as a twitch, transfixed.  He finally knows why Dean hasn’t been bothering him as much anymore and it feels fantastic when Mr. Moon’s meandering lecture goes on to say “Even a recently presented omega is more than a match for a fully grown alpha.”

But then he presents the catch.  Of course he does.  There’s always a catch.

“For a month out of the year, and this month differs from omega to omega, the omega loses all their strength for a full cycle of the moon.  This is then followed by a week-long heat, the intensity of which varies from omega to omega.  Ostensibly, this is to allow alphas a chance at courting an omega without being killed.  For a full twenty seven and a half days, the omega is the weakest of all delineations.  However, this ‘courting month’ only lasts until the omega is mated.  The heat remains until the omega is beyond child-bearing age.”

Eggsy sees the way the students in his class, half alpha, half beta, turns to look at him as if they can see when he’s at his weakest by sheer force of will.  He vows then and there to never have his courting month, not while Dean’s still around anyway.


Eggsy buys suppressants off an omega dealer in the shadiest part of his neighborhood.  He’s squatting in a surprisingly clean alleyway with her as she explains exactly what he can expect as side effects.

“You’ll puke for a bit at firs’,” She shrugs, “I’s like dumpin’ a cocktail of matin’ hormones into ya, ye get me?”

Eggsy nods.

“So,” She warns, “Don’ stop takin’ them ‘til yer actually mated or tha’s gonna be one helluva drop.”

Eggsy nods again.

“’Ere, take these too.”

She dumps a handful of adrenaline pills into the bag with Eggsy’s suppressants.

“I can’ afford ‘em, yeah?”

“Nah, this time’s on the house,” She waves him off and points into the bag.

“Now, them red pills is adrenaline and them blue is the suppressants, got it?”


“Now, ye take one of the blue every day right when you wake up,” She instructs, “Keep in mind they don’ stave off the courtin’ month or the heat completely.”

She taps the baggie thoughtfully before continuing on.

“You’ll still feel a bit weaker for a cycle of the moon and maybe a bit horny for a week.  But tha’s what the adrenaline’s for.  You keep ‘em on ya and pop one when you feelin’ that you’s about to be in a fight.  No more than two a day or they’ll cancel out the effect of the suppressants, y’hear?”

Eggsy nods, “I hear.”


Puking was perhaps an understatement.   Eggsy spends three days hugging the toilet and heaving his guts up.  His mum and Dean just think he’s come down with a really bad bout of flu and leave him to his acquaintance with the porcelain goddess.  Even when there isn’t anything left in his stomach, his body still tries to vomit, leaving Eggsy to gag emptily.

On the fourth day, Eggsy wakes up and feels normal again.  He doesn’t feel anything different, but then, he supposes that’s the point.

He goes to school and there’s several bouquets on his desk, each one with a note attached.  Eggsy keeps the flowers and tosses the notes, ignoring the way several of his classmates (and several people from outside his homeroom) deflate when they see him do so.  At the end of the day, he gathers the flowers and carts them home to present to his mum.

She’s delighted and torn all at the same time.  And then she sits him down for a very extensive talk on how to turn down courtships he doesn’t want.  It all culminates with the very helpful advice of, “Just punch them in the face, babe, if you don’ want ‘em.”

There are some alphas who don’t believe in all the scientific evidence of omega physical superiority.  Alpha supremacists, Eggsy thinks, when one such specimen from another class stops by his desk one day to talk of how he’ll take care of Eggsy when he’s fat with babies because Eggsy can’t possibly take care of himself.  Eggsy takes his mum’s advice to heart and punches the wanker in the face.

The principal gives them a customary lecture on using one’s words when disagreeing and gives them both detention, but she doesn’t give Eggsy any sort of warning or anything.

The little alpha wanker goes slinking out of the office with his metaphorical tail tucked between his legs, regarding Eggsy with fear in his eyes and Eggsy smirks whenever he sees the alpha in the halls, if only to watch the alpha skitter away.

Not all alphas are bad though.  Eggsy’s mates, Jamal and Ryan, aren’t bad.  They just accept that Eggsy’s probably going to be leading any fights they get into and move on with their lives.  It probably helps that Jamal’s pops is a burly giant of an omega who can crush a line of rebar between his bare hands.  Eggsy can’t wait until he’s strong enough to do the same.


It takes a couple months and he nearly forgets, but Emma, his suppressant dealer, reminds him every so often about the courting month.

He wakes up one day and understands immediately.  It’s only a slight difference, but Eggsy can feel it as soon as his brain leaves the grip of sleep.  His limbs feel like they’re a half step off and a bit like they’re attached with sticks instead of joints.  He shoves two adrenaline pills into his pocket and waves his mum goodbye like there’s nothing different before leaving.

He gets into a fight that day, of course he does.  Four alphas, all in their last year, corner Eggsy on his way to the outdoor fountain in the middle of gym class.  He pops an adrenaline pill and the rush to fight surges through him.  Eggsy comes back to himself a couple minutes later, with Mr. Carver’s warm hands on his shoulders and his voice talking soothing nonsense.

“Alright, then, Eggsy?”

“Yes, Mr. Carver,” He says, nods.

The older alphas are groaning on the floor, clutching at various parts of their bodies.  Mr. Carver gives them a cursory glance before sending them off to the infirmary.  Eggsy gets another lecture on settling disputes with his words instead of his fists and a lunchtime detention and that’s it.

The four alphas are suspended for attacking another student on school premises.  When Eggsy asks about the disparity in their punishments, Mrs. Thorton sighs and wipes down her glasses and explains the situation.

“Omegas are very rare,” She says.

Eggsy nods, like he does every time (which is quite often) that someone tells him how rare omegas are.

“And that makes some alphas overzealous,” She continues, “Since they don’t actually personally know any omegas, it’s easy to dismiss all the talk of how omegas are stronger.”


“So they often try to make omegas submit by force,” She nods at him, “Hence, your resultant fight this morning.  Additionally, we can’t punish you for defending yourself, if a bit excessively.”

That’s the first time, but certainly not the last, that Eggsy thinks with any clarity that most alphas are dumber than a bag of bricks.


He spends a week after the courting month wanking off four times a day and thinks that Emma’s definition of “a little horny” might be incredibly skewed.


Aside from the occasional hopeful schoolmate, Eggsy’s courting life remains relatively empty.  It becomes clear after his first two years that the courting month and the subsequent heat that many of the alphas are waiting for isn’t happening and most leave him alone after that.  His mum takes him to the doctor, where she explains her worries about Eggsy.  The doctor kindly tells her to wait outside while she speaks with Eggsy.

She’s silent for a long time after his mum leaves, long enough that Eggsy starts tapping his heels against the medical bed just for something to do.

“You’ve been taking suppressants, haven’t you?” She says eventually.

Eggsy sees no point in lying, so he says, “Yeah.”

“Well,” His doctor sighs, “there’s no point taking you off them now.  I’m sure whoever you got them from told you about the potential effects.”

“She said there’d be a really bad drop,” Eggsy says with a shrug.

“Do you know what it is you’re taking?”

“Somefin’ blue with ‘RD12’ on the side,” He says.

“That’s the medically approved suppressant,” She says.  “At least you’re taking something medically approved.  Though I won’t presume that you’ll tell me where you got them.”

“Ain’t never grassed anyone up,” Eggsy says, pride puffing his chest slightly, “ain’t gonna start now.”

Somehow, that wins a smile from his doctor and Eggsy is unprepared for the way it makes him want to preen.

“You’re a good child, Eggsy,” She says and that seems to be the end of it.


Ironically, Emma leaves the next month.  She tells Eggsy that it’s because business isn’t that great, considering Eggsy is one of her two customers.  But when she unloads her entire stash of suppressants and adrenaline pills onto Eggsy, he begins to suspect it’s something else.

“You’s found a mate, haven’t you?”

Emma smiles at him and pats him on the head, “Yer a bright one, aren’ ya.”

“They nice?”

“She’s the bees knees, she is,” Emma replies. “She’s some high powered lawyer type, got a house and a puppy and everyfing.”

“So you gonna be a house-omega?” Eggsy wrinkles his nose at that.  He can’t ever imagine being a house-omega, though Jamal’s pops makes it seem like the best thing in the world.  But then Jamal tells him and Ryan about how his pops was in the circus once upon a time and that, according to his mum anyway, his pops only became a house omega after breaking some critical bone for acrobatics about three years after having Jamal.

“No,” Emma shakes her head, “Annie’s gonna send me back ta school, says I can do w’ever I want to learn.”

“Can I still visit you?”

“A’course you can,” She says, “Fact, why don’ you walk over with me so’s you know where it is?”


“Yer mum ain’t expectin’ ye home yet, is she?”

“Nah, she’s busy with Dean,” He says, his nose wrinkling at the mention of the name.

“Then le’s go.”


The day he turns eighteen, a flood of courting gifts show up on his doorstep.  There’s food, teddy bears, flowers, even an envelope of money.  Eggsy shoves the money down his shirt before Dean can see it, but he sorts the remaining stuff into piles before gathering all the notes and marching over to Jamal’s place with them.

Jamal’s pops tells him that an accepted way to reject multiple courtings is to make a bonfire.  It’s a rather public way, but much easier than the tedium of trying to write a hundred letters that say polite equivalent of ‘hell no.’

When Eggsy asks why, he laughs and says, “Y’don’ think these alphas’re keepin’ tabs on ya?  They’re either watchin’ ya themselves or they’ve got someone watchin’ for ‘em.  Soon as one of ‘em fires goes up, they all know they’ve been rejected, unless they get somefin’ in the mail sayin’ you want to continue the courtin’.”

Eggsy likes the sound of that and as he’s watching the papers burn, he kind of regrets not actually looking at any of them.  Maybe there is someone who wants Eggsy for him, not for his status as an omega.

So the next day, when an entirely new flood of gifts shows up, Eggsy carefully sorts everything out and skims the card attached to each one.  This round is more practical stuff, clothes, shoes, stuff that generally makes Eggsy feel a bit creeped out when he thinks of all these people knowing his size.  But, hey, he’ll still wear it.

He tosses any card that starts with anything addressed to Gary or Mr. Unwin and anything that mentions keeping him a spoiled house-omega.  Which leaves him with nothing.  Eggsy burns everything again, this time inviting Jamal and Ryan over to make airplanes out of the cards and fly them into the flames.

The third day, there’s even more lumped in front of his doorstep and Eggsy recruits his mum to help him sort everything into two piles, stuff he wants to keep and stuff he wants to donate.  In the end, Eggsy keeps the envelope of money from the first day, a decent stack of everyday clothes from the second day, some socks, and a nicer dark blue shirt that his mum really likes on him.  The rest gets bundled up for donation.  They end up needing Ryan’s truck to haul all the shit down to the centre.

After the third day of burning, the gifts slow considerably and then stop.  Eggsy doesn’t really care; he didn’t really think he was going to find his mate amongst hundreds of pieces of paper anyway.


The Marines are a bit hesitant to let him in.  For all that science says that omegas are the perfect candidate for such a physical job, there’s still that bit of hindbrain in alphas that says omegas need to be protected.  They don’t deny him, though it’s more like they can’t.  They can’t deny an omega with such high physical and academic scores, especially not one that’s never had a courting month or heat.

His mum wasn’t too happy about him joining up, mumbling about how the Marines took Lee and now Eggsy too.  It takes him a bit to coax her around, but he cites the guaranteed pay after he finishes training and when that doesn’t sway her, he pulls out the big guns.  He tells her that they’ll be able to save up for a bigger flat, move away from Dean.  She still isn’t happy, but she lets him go after that with minimal resistance.

Eggsy loves almost everything about the Marines.  He loves how hard the training is and the way he flops into his bed with a dull ache throbbing in his muscles at the end of each night.  He hates the early mornings but it usually only takes him until breakfast to get over that.

The only thing he doesn’t really love, but he can live with, is the sheer amount of alphas.  It’s almost entirely alphas, with the occasional beta and Eggsy and one other omega thrown in to diversify the pot.  It’s okay for the most part.  There’s an altercation in the first couple of weeks when one of the alphas recognizes Eggsy as the omega who turned down his courtship and tries to assert physical dominance over Eggsy, only to be landed flat on his back with Eggsy’s boot grinding into his chest.

No one bothers him after that, no matter how jilted they may feel over being rejected.


He’s halfway through training, with marks that impress every one of his instructors, when his mum calls.

She’s hysterical, crying and screaming about him leaving to die in some foreign land, just like his father.  The people he shares a barrack with are watching him, clearly able to hear the sound of her shrieking through the barracks’ crap phone.

“Mum, I’m halfway, I—”

“You can’ go, you’ll die in a fuckin’ desert, just like your father, with no one to bring you home.  You can’ die before me, baby, you’re my only son, what’m I gonna do without ya?  Come home, Eggsy, please.”


“Eggsy, I can’t do this without you, I’ll kill myself if I ‘ave to but I’m not dyin’ first.”

The phone slips out of Eggsy’s fingers and he watches it clatter to the ground.  His mum, he can’t let her.  She’s all he’s got.  He swipes the phone off the ground and presses it to his ear again.

“I’ll come home, Mum,” He says softly, “Don’ you worry, I’m comin’ home.”


His superiors are less than pleased; some even accuse his being an omega as the reason he wants to leave.  But with the accounts of the people whose bunks are closest to the phone, who heard every word Eggsy’s mum said, they can’t say anything against him leaving.

His mum clutches him tightly when he walks through the door and he hugs her back, staring at the wall over her shoulder and swallowing down his feelings.  He can see his chance to prove that he can be more than what everyone expects him to be winking shut, leaving a void of being told to have children and protect them in its wake.

In that moment, he’s incandescently furious with his mum.  But the feeling subsides quickly, leaving a hollow emptiness in its wake.  He knows where she’s coming from, and for all that he’s pissed that he won’t be able to do something with himself, she’s his mum and he loves her.


The courting starts up again.  At first, Eggsy can’t figure out why.  He’s twenty four and he’s proven in the past that he doesn’t take well to being constantly courted.  From what Jamal’s pops said, most alphas would be willing to back off until his thirtieth before starting this whole song and dance again.

But there’s a sudden flood of suitors at his door.  Old money, nouveau riche, chavs, male, female, everything in between, they’re all at Eggsy’s door.

There are gifts and offers of meals and Eggsy starts out by slamming the door in each of their faces after an ardent “no”, but soon there’s a lineup and it’s just too much effort to keep opening the fucking door.  So he sits in his doorway and glares at each one that comes up until they take the hint and move out of the way.

He does talk to one of them, an older man in his fifties with salt and pepper hair that ends up being here on behalf of his son, to ask about what’s brought on this sudden rush of suitors.

“They’ve taken your departure from the Marines to mean that you’re ready to settle down,” He explains kindly.

This makes Eggsy furious and he politely thanks the man before shouting obscenities down the walk at the rest of the alphas lined up.

“And stay the fuck away!” He shouts before slamming the door in their faces.

When he looks up, his mum is standing a few feet away, looking worried.

“Eggsy, babe…”

“Not right now, mum, I can’ do this right now,” He mumbles and stumbles over to his bed.  It’s moments like these that the anger comes back to him, whispering silkily that this whole damn mess is her fault.


When Daisy is born, he begins to see what all the fuss about babies is.  He dotes on her, cooing at her and rocking her when Dean and his mum are too busy to.  Eggsy rolls his eyes when Dean says it’s his omega instinct kicking in and laughs with his cronies about how Eggsy might just be a little bitch yet.

He gets the fucking hell kicked out of him when he mouths off to them about Daisy’s baby formula when they’re all drunk.  For all that Eggsy’s an omega, he can’t stand up to nine adult alphas and betas roughened by street life.  It’s better than his mum or the baby getting hit.  He’s okay with it as long as it’s him.

Some days are worse than others.  Dean’s always careful to let Eggsy heal up before he sets his dogs loose again and he knows how to make it hurt without it showing the next day.

Eggsy doesn’t know why he does it, but one moment, he’s sitting at the pub with Jamal and Ryan and the next he’s mouthing off to Dean’s dogs.  Something in him prompts him to swipe Rottweiler’s car keys and then they’re off.

“Get the fuck out the car,” He shouts after they crash.  Jamal and Ryan scramble to obey the order.  As soon as the doors shut, Eggsy slams the accelerator and the car leaps forward to smash into the front of the cop car.


It isn’t until he’s sitting in the police station, staring down at the phone in his hand, that it really hits him how badly he’s fucked up.  If he goes down, there won’t be anyone to protect his mum or Daisy.  And prisons are a bad place for an omega, no matter how strong.  They won’t give a fuck that some of them will get hurt as long as they subdue him in the end.  And he won’t have access to suppressants or adrenaline in the hole.

He’s just about to stand so he can pace some of his nervous energy off when someone opens the door and tells him he’s free to go.  Eggsy thinks about asking why but then decides it’s better to not look a gift horse in the mouth.  If they say he can go, he’s damn well fucking going.


Eggsy turns at the sound of his voice, just outside the police station.  There’s a fit posh bloke, all done up in a nice suit, lounging against the wall with an umbrella.

“Who the fuck’re you?”

“I’m the one who got you released,” The man says.

“That ain’t an answer,” Eggsy quips back.

“Well, a little gratitude would be nice,” The man says, sounding quite offended.

Eggsy stays silent.

The man sighs and says, “My name is Harry Hart, and I knew your father.”


Eggsy’s still a bit floaty about the whole Kingsman situation.  For one, he’s not entirely sure that he’s actually here, alive, after almost drowning in the dormitory.  For another, he can’t get Harry’s damn scent out of his mind.  It’s clean and subtle and that makes Eggsy snicker; it just figures that Harry Hart is a gentleman, right down to his alpha scent.

And there’s no doubting that Harry is an alpha.  It’s in the way the man carries himself, as if he knows the entire world will fall to his feet with the slightest provocation, and in the way he speaks, measured and without hurry because he knows the world will listen.  Eggsy could drown in that voice and he’s only a little bit shamefaced when he thinks that getting to listen to Harry’s voice is the best perk of this whole interview.

The downside to the interview is sharing a recruit dorm with eight other alphas, seven now that Amelia’s dead.  Charlie and his cronies are the very definition of alpha supremacist.  They sneer down at Eggsy for his pleb clothing, his accent, and most of all for being an omega.

Eggsy ignores them firmly and sticks to Roxy, who seems entirely unconcerned that he’s an omega.

“I’m asexual,” She says when he asks about it.

“So ye don’t like omegas?”

“I’m sure my biology does,” Roxy says dryly as she puts her gun back together.  “But I don’t really feel any sort of sexual attraction to them, or anyone really.”

She snaps the last piece into place and slings a cartridge home before unloading it all into the far off paper target.  Each bullet pierces the paper perfectly and Merlin offers a nod while saying, “Well done,” as he scribbles something onto his clipboard.

“This is why you’re my favorite,” Eggsy proclaims as he starts disassembling his own gun.

“Because I don’t want in your pants?”

“Because you don’t want in my pants,” Eggsy agrees.

He reassembles his gun, just a touch slower than Roxy, and makes every single shot without even bothering to take the time to line up properly.

“Well done, Eggsy,” Merlin praises and Eggsy preens.


Eggsy’s never actually been around an alpha in rut before, since mated alphas don’t go into rut and most alphas don’t start until their mid-twenties.

To say he takes it badly would be an understatement.

When Charlie, always aiming to be the first of the pack, goes into rut, Eggsy nearly tears him apart.  He doesn’t know precisely what’s happening, but the scent hits him when he walks back into the recruit dorm after taking JB on a walk.

His eyes lock onto Charlie, who’s staring back hungrily, and he drops JB’s leash.  And then it’s like he’s moving underwater, only vaguely aware of the worried voices around him as he steps towards Charlie, who’s smirking like he’s won some great prize.  Charlie slides one arm around Eggsy’s waist as soon as he’s close enough and he leans in to scent Eggsy’s neck.

Eggsy smashes his forehead into the side of Charlie’s face.  The alpha goes down howling and Eggsy snarls, teeth bared.  Before Charlie can even scramble up, Eggsy’s laid into him, punching viciously and digging his teeth into the spot of bare skin at Charlie’s wrist.

It takes three of the other recruits as well as Bedivere and Merlin to drag him off Charlie and Eggsy shouts, “I’ll fuckin’ kill you.  I’ll fuckin’ tear you the fuck apart.  Feed ye to the fuckin’ wolves, I fuckin’ will.  Swear down, I’m gonna fuckin’ tear you to shreds.”

They wrestle Eggsy out of the dorm as he screams threats that gradually get more and more graphic before Merlin has the presence of mind to gag him through the simple expedience of stuffing a handkerchief into his mouth.  The last thing Eggsy sort of remembers is Merlin’s furrowed brow as the man stares down at him in worry while a nurse stabs his neck with a tranquilizer needle.


Eggsy bolts out of bed, scrambling in the unknown sheets.  He falls over the side as he tries to untangle himself from them.  His surroundings are strange, he’s not in the dorm or at home or anywhere he knows and nothing smells right.  He’s fumbling with the door handle when the door swings open and Eggsy stumbles back, dropping low into an easy defensive position.


Harry’s voice is soft and soothing and Eggsy feels the tension bleed out of every muscle in his body all at once.  Eggsy lets Harry bundle him up and redirect him towards the bed, all with gentle touches and murmured encouragements.

“Wh’ happened?” Eggsy asks after Harry’s got himself settled into a chair.

“Charlie went into rut and you reacted rather poorly,” Harry explains.  There is no judgment in his voice, just a simple, calm dispensation of fact.

“The other recruits attempted to pry you off and you gave Hugo a broken nose and Nathaniel a broken arm for their troubles.  Fortunately, Bedivere was nearby when Merlin came to alleviate the situation and they were able to get you to medical,” He says.

“’M sorry,” Eggsy says quietly.

Harry blinks at him in surprise, “For what, dear boy?”

“I ain’t never been around alphas in rut before.  Seems like somethin’ I shoulda told you guys before,” Eggsy replies and shrugs.

“Nonsense,” Harry says primly.  “Even if you had told us, it is likely we would have assumed that your reaction would have been standard.”

“Which ain’t me goin’ fuckin’ bonkers.”

Harry inclines his head at that, “No, it really isn’t.  I suppose that could be considered an anomaly.”

Eggsy snorts at that and shakes his head.

“Bein’ an omega’s an anomaly,” He states.

That gets a soft smile out of Harry, “Indeed it is, dear boy.  But you are all the more special for it.”

For some reason, Eggsy can feel a blush stealing up his cheeks and he buries his face between his knees.

“I ain’t kicked out, am I?”

He peeks up just enough to see Harry shake his head.  Harry reaches forward and soothes down Eggsy’s hair, “Of course not, Eggsy.  You will have to wait until Merlin finishes lecturing the rest on rut, but I’m quite sure you’ll be very glad you missed that talk.”


“Merlin’s a bit…graphic during his lectures,” Harry says, fumbling for a moment to find an appropriately euphemistic word.

“So ye mean he gives them the filthiest sex talk he can just to see ‘em squirm?”

Harry quirks a brow at that, but there’s amusement in his tone when he says, “Yes Eggsy, that is exactly what I meant.”


When Harry gets shot, Eggsy feels like his entire world has crumbled in a single instant.  His brain chants, no, howls for his alpha, screams that he should have been there to protect his alpha, to be the omega he was born to be.

“Alpha, alpha, Harry,” Eggsy manages weakly as he stumbles down the stairs, clawing at what feels like a gaping hole in his chest.  He snags the snifter of brandy from Harry’s side table and that gets a wet chuckle out of him.  Only Harry would be weird enough to have a side table in the fucking dining room.  He manages a sip before his mind kicks back into gear, tells him to seek revenge for his alpha, to tear down their world just as they’ve torn down his.

And if Eggsy takes a particular sort of satisfaction in watching Chester die painfully, in watching Gazelle stare in horror at the neurotoxin tracking its way up her body, in watching Valentine choke on his own blood, he chalks it up to the leftover omega hindbrain.


After V-Day, it’s not like Eggsy has a whole lot of time to sit down and examine his life choices and proclivities, what with defying death, Harry being surprise alive, and being buried under mountains of paperwork (and seriously, who needs this much paperwork?).  But even he can’t ignore the way he always seems to know where Harry is and how he always angles himself so that he can keep the other man in his sights.  Even Roxy and Merlin notice the way he always straightens up whenever Harry walks into a room just so Harry will smile indulgently and make a witty quip about a gentleman keeping good posture at all times.

He can’t help the tingling that runs up his spine whenever Harry places a hand on his shoulder or against the small of his back and he really, really can’t help the way he preens and puffs up whenever Harry praises him.  Roxy laughs at him and tells him he’s arse over teakettle when he tells her about the whole thing.

“Ain’t it just cause I’m an omega?” Eggsy says around a mouthful of pad sew.

Roxy shakes her head and points her chopsticks at him, “When Merlin praises you, you just give him that dopey smile and say something to piss him off.”

She shovels more fried rice into her mouth as Eggsy slurps his noodles contemplatively.

“Just Harry, then?”

Roxy nods, “Just Harry.”

And somehow, paradoxically, that makes Eggsy feel a lot better about his overwhelming urge to drag Harry into a closet to show him just how good he can be.


Eggsy pops the fourth pill and adrenaline floods his system to give him the boost he needs to take out everyone in the hall.  He wipes his hands off on a dead mercenary’s tactical gear and tries to ignore the static prickling across the base of his skull.

Merlin’s voice is a distant little thing asking about the pills, demanding to know what they are.  Eggsy considers answering, but the adrenaline is already bleeding out of his system and he knows, knows, that the pills are supposed to last longer.  Another contingency of security comes around the corner and he ignores everything and dry swallows another one so he can take them out.

It isn’t until he’s plugging the USB into a laptop with fingers that feel far too weak that he gets what’s happening.

He’s dropping, just like Emma warned him he would.  And it’s possible he’s dropping through the remains of his courting month straight into heat.  Eggsy shakes his head vigorously to clear the fog there and focuses on the white text popping up on the black command prompt.

It’s suddenly too hot in the room and he’s sweating enough to soak his suit through.

“Harry won’t approve,” He admonishes his suit and wrangles his jacket off.  His alpha won’t approve of Eggsy ruining the Christmas suit he got Eggsy.  Won’t approve at all.  Even though rationally, Eggsy knows that Harry doesn’t really care, gods, the man’s flippancy regarding suits on missions could fill pages.  But his mind keeps whispering, silky and sinuous as the snake that tempted Eve, that Harry won’t approve, no, no, he won’t and that Eggsy really must get his clothes off before they’re ruined further.  His tie’s gone, burnt to a crisp earlier, and Eggsy struggles out of his trousers and his pants and he sighs as the cool air sends a shiver up his spine.

His thighs are sticky and he reaches back to try to wipe off some of the sweat and his heart drops when his fingers come into contact with a fluid that’s much thicker than sweat, nearly greasy in its consistency.

“Eggsy.  What’s going on?” Harry’s voice comes piercing through the comm.  “Merlin says your vitals are spiking and you’re not responding to him.”

“Harry,” Eggsy says and it comes out as a needy little whine.  “I think ‘m goin’ into heat.”

There is utter silence on the other end of the comm and Eggsy tries to focus on the screen, staring desperately at the words slurring in and out of his vision.  The screen blacks out and Eggsy yanks the USB out and stumbles for the door.  He trips over something and goes down to his hands and knees.  It’s almost like there’s a weight pulling his stomach towards the ground, because he finds himself with his forehead pressed into his hands, his back arched, and his arse in the air.

“Harry, Harry, please, fuck, Harry,” He whimpers and spreads his legs wider.  Only silence answers him and Eggsy coughs out a laugh.  Of course there’s no one to answer, he killed everyone.

“Eggsy, hang on, extraction is coming,” Merlin’s voice is so very distant and Eggsy ignores it to trail his hands up his thighs to press right into his hole.  Slick gushes out around his fingers and he moans.  His noises quickly turn frustrated when he can’t push any further but his body won’t let him turn around into a better position.

He doesn’t know how long he’s like that, whimpering with tears rolling down his face as he tries to fuck himself on his fingers, but his wrist is cramping and his knees are scraped raw from the concrete flooring and the arm under his forehead has gone numb.  Something crumbles below him, just at the edge of his heightened hearing and Eggsy can smell the vaguest hint of something he recognizes.

Sandalwood and tea and gunpowder and olive oil.

He jolts off the floor, scrambling over debris and bodies so he can sprint down the hall.  That scent means Harry is nearby and just maybe, if Eggsy begs hard enough, Harry will bend him over and fuck him until he’s drowning in that scent.  He careens down a flight of stairs, taking the steps two at a time and nearly slipping at the bottom.  He rounds a corner and collides with Harry and they go down in a tangle of limbs.

Eggsy buries his nose into the side of Harry’s neck, breathing deeply and biting at the juncture of his jaw.

“Harry, please, please, fuck me,” He begs and presses his arse back against Harry’s crotch.

“Eggsy,” Harry’s voice is soothing and all Eggsy wants to do is roll around in it, but more slick pools under him and Eggsy can feel the way Harry’s clothes are soaking from it.

“I’m not going to bed you,” Harry says.  He says something else but all Eggsy can hear is the rejection ringing through his head.  His alpha doesn’t want him because Eggsy’s not a good omega.  His logical mind knows this is just the leftover bit of omega hindbrain that evolution forgot to get rid of, but it’s all he can hear.

“I can be good, I promise,” Eggsy babbles.  “I can be a good omega, promise.  Ye can get me fat with pups and I’ll stay at home, won’t go into the field or do nothin’ stupid.  Please, Harry.”

Harry shushes him and presses a chaste kiss to his sweaty forehead, “My darling boy, you are perfectly good the way you are.  But I will not take advantage of you in this state.”

“Ye wanna tho,” Eggsy says and rolls his hips back against the iron line of Harry’s cock.  Harry lets out a strangled noise, but his self-control holds and all he does is still Eggsy’s hips with a firm grip.

“Tranquilize him,” Harry says through gritted teeth and Eggsy shouts a negative just before something pricks his neck and the world swims out to black.


When he wakes up, he’s in medical.  He’s still burning up from the inside, but Harry’s nowhere to be found.  Roxy is looking at him from her perch next to his bed.  She has dark circles under her eyes that look like bruises and the water bottle in her hand looks like salvation.

“’Sat mine?” Eggsy croaks and winces when it comes out breathy.

“Drink it all,” Roxy orders.  “There’s toys next to you and more water right here.”

She points down next to her and Eggsy turns off the bed just enough to see a two-four of bottles.

“You’re the guvnor Rox, you really are,” He says weakly and then drains the entire bottle in one go.

“I know,” She says and pecks a kiss to his cheek.  He only registers what’s happened after the lock in the door clicks behind her and then he can’t think at all when a fresh wave of heat drags him under.

He comes out of it several hours later, Harry’s name a dying chant on his lips and a large silicone knot shoved inside himself.  Everything is covered in slick and, when Eggsy doesn’t wipe his hands and a water bottle slips right out of his slippery grasp, water as well.

It doesn’t matter much, because as soon as he’s gulped down another two bottles of water, his heat descends again.


By the time his heat passes, it’s been a week and Eggsy feels like being run over by a truck would have probably been a kinder fate.  He manages to secure a relatively dry sheet around his waist and bangs on the infirmary door with far more strength than he thought he had.

When Roxy lets him out, he staggers three feet out the door and then starfishes out onto the floor.  One of his slippers comes off, but he doesn’t care because it means there’s just more contact with the blessedly cool floors.

“Do you want a shower?” Roxy says, amused.

Eggsy flaps a hand at her, his throat too raw for words, and she obligingly uses it to drag him down the hall to the showers, where she props him up and gets one going before leaving him to his own devices.  The water pounds down his back and he hums as it cleans away everything that’s dried to him over the past week.

He drags himself out of the shower when the water runs cold, more likely Merlin’s doing than the water heater actually running out, and covers himself in the fluffiest bathrobe he’s ever touched.  Roxy’s waiting for him outside of the showers, furiously playing Candy Crush on her phone.  She looks up at him when he appears and then looks away to stifle a laugh.


“You look like an angry marshmallow,” She says.  Eggsy looks down at himself and shrugs.  So maybe the bathrobe is a little too fluffy, but it’s soft and that’s all Eggsy really cares about.

“You hungry?” Roxy asks.

He wasn’t until she mentioned it, but now his stomach is grumbling loudly, which makes Roxy laugh out loud.

“C’mon, there’s food in the dining room.”

She tucks her arm through his and he lets her lead the way through the winding halls to the kitchens.  They’re silent on the way there, Roxy uncharacteristically so, and Eggsy surreptitiously sniffs himself once just to make sure he doesn’t still stink of sex and heat.  Roxy catches him in the act and swipes at him, laughingly tells him, “It’s not you, I promise.  It’s Harry being an utter berk.”

“Why Roxy, I didn’t know you knew such foul language,” Eggsy says, fluttering his free hand over his heart in the approximation of a scandalized maiden aunt.

That earns him another swipe and a chuckle and then Roxy is pushing open the door to the kitchen and Eggsy may drool just a bit at the sight in front of him.

“Sorry love, you’re prime, you are, but that rasher of bacon and I, we’ve got a special connection that I must leave you for,” Eggsy says.  He pats her hand consolingly and then wriggles out of her grip to descend on the table bowing with food.  Roxy smiles and settles herself into the other free chair, taking much smaller portions and eating like she’s actually been properly fed in the past week.

“This is fuckin’ sick,” Eggsy moans around a full mouth of lamb rogan josh and then shovels more bacon into his mouth.

He does actually hiss at Roxy when she makes for the plate of bacon and then he gives her a slice in apology.

“It’s fine,” Roxy grins in response to his apology.  “You’re the one who’s been locked up in medical for the past week.”

By the time Eggsy feels remotely full, he’s also feeling remarkably like he’s eaten enough to feed a small country and a lot like a beached whale.  The table is almost completely cleared of food, excepting two small plates of clear noodley stuff that he didn’t particularly enjoy the texture of.  That Roxy scoops up and downs primly and much more neatly than Eggsy ever could before sighing in happiness and patting her mouth with her napkin.

And then Eggsy remembers the events prior to waking up in medical.

“Aw, fuckin’ hell, I propositioned Harry, didn’t I?”

He groans and slumps off his chair so he can curl into a ball underneath the table.  Roxy joins him a moment later and she props her head up in one hand and says, “Yes, you did.”

“And he rejected me, didn’t he?”

That’s the part that really has Eggsy worked up, that he wasn’t good enough for Harry.  Roxy sighs and mutters something that sounds suspiciously like, “Idiots, the lot of them.”

But she tips Eggsy’s face towards her and smudges a tear away from the edge of his left eye.

“Eggsy, he didn’t reject you.  He just didn’t want to take advantage of your heat,” Roxy explains.

“Yeah, ‘m sure that’s how he put it, fuckin’ gentleman that he is.  He don’t want the sniffly little omega gettin’ in his way, so he says he ain’t takin’ advantage of the omega in heat,” Eggsy says morosely.

Roxy pokes him viciously between his ribs and he wriggles away from her, out of range of her stabbing fingers.

“You are an idiot.  Harry is an idiot.  Merlin and I are done with dealing with the pair of you idiots,” She says, somehow vicious and fond all at once.

“What’s Merlin got to do with all this?” Eggsy says, wrinkling his nose in confusion.

Roxy lets out a pained groan that is muffled by her hands and she scrubs them up into her hair before looking Eggsy dead in the eye and saying, “Eggsy Unwin, listen to me carefully.  You are worried about Harry being twice your age and not wanting an omega who doesn’t want to settle down.  Harry’s worried about you being half his age and not wanting to settle for someone who’s past his prime.  So the two of you need to pull your heads out of your fucking arses and deal with it.”

Eggsy blinks at her and his shock prevents him from stopping her when she drags him out from under the table and upright.  She propels him through the halls and Bedivere runs into them as she directs him through the halls.

“Ah, Lancelot finally snap then?” He says pleasantly, a kind smile gracing his features.

“They’re idiots,” Roxy hisses and continues to push Eggsy down the hall.

They burst into the dining room where Arthur, Merlin, and Harry are in a meeting with people Eggsy vaguely recognizes as heads of other Kingsman branches.  Suddenly, he realizes he’s wearing nothing but an exceptionally fluffy bathrobe and a pair of slippers that have ducks stitched onto them.

“Lancelot, Elyan.  To what do we owe this pleasantry?” Arthur greets them with a tip of her head.

Roxy smiles brilliantly and Eggsy can see the moment her smile, sunny and beaming ‘I’m quite adorable aren’t I’ at the occupants of the room, makes them all relax.

“Pardoning the intrusion, Arthur,” She says politely, “but we need to borrow Galahad for an urgent matter involving trainees bickering over a set of puppies.”

Merlin catches on immediately and follows up smoothly with, “Ah yes, Galahad has a way with the trainees and the puppies.  Best he deal with the situation.”

There’s no noticeable change in the set of Arthur’s features, but there is an amused glint in her eyes and Eggsy wants to die, preferably via the floor opening up and swallowing him whole.

“My apologies,” Harry says to the room at large.  He follows them out and ambles good-naturedly behind them as Roxy tugs Eggsy down another maze of corridors.

“Ms. Morton, perhaps you could enlighten me as to the sudden need for someone to deal with our non-existent trainees?”

“In a moment, Harry,” Roxy says, scanning the halls furiously.  She perks up when a door comes into view.

“I’m going to need the both of you to close your eyes for a second,” She says and looks at them expectantly.

“Ms. Morton—”

“Just do it, Harry, or she’ll end up blindfolding us,” Eggsy interjects.

Harry sighs but does as he’s told and in the next few seconds there’s little else beyond Roxy swiping her access card against the door lock and opening it.  What happens next startles him.  Eggsy shouts from in front of him and despite having his eyes open instantly, he’s still unprepared for the way Roxy shoves him hard from behind and sends him careening into Eggsy.  The door swings shut behind them and there’s the telltale sign of locks clicking shut.

Eggsy wriggles out from where he’s pinned under Harry against a shelf of paper towels and bangs on the door.

“Rox!  This ain’t fuckin’ funny,” He shouts.

“And you think living through your months of UST is?  Fix it!  Merlin’s not letting you two out until you have,” She shouts back, voice muffled through the thick door.

Harry is resigned to the fact that if indeed Roxy has managed to bring Merlin in on this plan – which he absolutely does not doubt – they will indeed be locked in this closet until they ‘fix it’.  He claps his hands twice and the light sparks on.  Eggsy jerks in surprise from where he’s tapping out disgruntled Morse code against the door, which is only making Roxy laugh, and he blinks while his eyes adjust.

“So I s’pose we talk?” He says hesitantly.

“Quite,” Harry says.  “Though I have no doubt Roxy chose one of the more spacious closets for this tête-à-tête, I also do not doubt we will be requiring the facilities at some point.”

Eggsy shuffles his slipper clad feet against the ground and Harry finds it terribly endearing that he’s wearing the duck ones that Roxy gave to him as a gag gift the year before.  The boy glances up nervously at Harry several times before chewing his lip and ducking his gaze to the side, where he studiously looks at a can of aerosol cleaner before repeating the whole process over.

Harry deems that he’ll have to be the first to speak and he says, “Eggsy, I understand this is about your being an omega and—”

“I love you,” Eggsy blurts out all at once.  He looks surprised and then stares down the length of his nose as if he can berate his mouth for being so traitorous.

“I, what?” Harry’s brain has momentarily shorted in the face of Eggsy’s declaration, but his sudden lack of higher brain function is apparently what Eggsy needs to steamroll forward.

“See, I know you’s finkin’ that ‘m just after ye cause yer an alpha, yeah?  But Rox and me, we talk this shite over a lot over takeaway and drinks and she says it’s cause ‘m in love with ya.  And ye know ‘m not the type to just go off someone else’s word.  But then, y’know, I was finkin’ ‘bout it and I am.  In love.  With you.  Cause the way I figure, I gotta if I find the way you pretend Merlin don’t make you mac’n’cheese cute and yer fuckin’ suits always make me wanna jump ye and I’ll shut up now.”

Harry is still processing, which Eggsy obviously takes to mean that he’s not interested, because the boy’s face falls and he goes on.

“An’ I know that you’s probably ain’t wantin’ an omega tha’s half yer age and won’t be sweet and all house domestic but I can be good.  Swear down, I can.  Maybe can’t be domestic forever, probably’d go bonkers at some point, but I can do it fer a little?  An’ maybe it’s my omega brain but I wanna protect you and I want you to be there for me and Roxy and Merlin also say that I don’t preen for no one else like I do for you,” He huffs out.

His eyes are glimmering with unshed tears in the crap fluorescent lighting and Harry says, “Oh, my darling boy, I simply didn’t want you to tie yourself to an alpha twice your age when you could have someone so much younger.”

“Oh god, Roxy was right, we are both daft,” Eggsy says.

“Pardon?”  This wasn’t really the reply Harry was expecting.

“She said I was worryin’ ‘bout me bein’ too young and you was worryin’ ‘bout bein’ too old and that we should just shag it out and then ride off into the sunset,” Eggsy explains.

“She’s quite observant, isn’t she?”

“Roxy’s the guvnor, she is.”

They’re silent for another moment and then the comm crackles to life in Harry’s ear, just loud enough to make him wince and for Eggsy to make out what the voice is saying.

“For god’s sake,” Merlin says. “This isn’t fixing it.  Kiss or something.  Do something to end this godforsaken sexual tension that’s been stinking up headquarters for the past year.”

“Fink Merlin’ll let us out if we kiss?” Eggsy whispers.  His tongue darts out to wet his lips and Harry’s gaze locks down on the movement.

“I believe so,” Harry replies.  His voice comes out sounding a bit hoarse and Eggsy grins wickedly, the cheeky little brat.

“You gonna be my alpha if we kiss?  Jus’ mine, yeah?  An’ no more of that I’m too old shit?” Eggsy inches forward and his words ghost across Harry’s jawline.

Harry sweeps a hand up to cup Eggsy’s face.  He pushes his thumb against the joint of Eggsy’s jaw, riveted by the way Eggsy gives into the pressure and opens his mouth.

“My dear sweet boy,” Harry says quietly.  Somehow, something about the situation, be it the gravity of it or the way Eggsy looks like his world hinges on the next words out of Harry’s mouth, calls for softness and Harry approaches it as such.

“My dear, dear boy,” He starts again, “I want you to know that I do not take on being your alpha simply because Merlin and Roxy have seen fit to lock us into a closet.  I take on being your alpha because I wish to.  And if you will, I would very much wish to be your alpha and you my omega for as long as I can.”

“You’re a fucking idiot,” Eggsy breathes out.  “Of course I want you as my alpha and I think I made myself pretty fucking clear about my feelings on bein’ your omega.”

Harry leans forward and presses his mouth against Eggsy, who immediately wraps his arms around Harry’s necks and deepens the kiss.  It’s startling how out of practice Harry is, because he needs air almost immediately and when he pulls back, Eggsy tugs on his bottom lip with his teeth and Harry groans.

“Filthy little darling.”  He kisses the words approvingly into the rise of Eggsy’s cheek and sweeps his mouth further to bite gently at the rope of muscle standing out in Eggsy’s neck.

“Mark me,” Eggsy pants, hands tightening in Harry’s hair.  Harry pushes down the length of Eggsy’s neck, breathing in deeply against the dip of his collarbone, where the scent is strongest.  He bites down lightly, just enough so that the skin gives under his teeth.

“Yeah, yeah, do it, c’mon,” Eggsy chants and tips his head back further.

“C’mon Harry, bite me, make me yours,” He says impatiently when Harry only presses in a little bit harder, not nearly what it would take to break skin.

Harry huffs out a laugh and then bites down hard.  The copper tang of blood fills his mouth and Eggsy jerks against him, swearing as the line of his cock comes into contact with Harry’s thigh.

“Oh god, fuck, fuck, fuck.”  Eggsy’s voice threads higher and higher the longer Harry bites down.  He ruts against Harry’s thigh, his scent getting stronger and deeper, ripening into something absolutely intoxicating.  Harry only removes his teeth when Eggsy shudders to a halt, his hands tightening and loosening in Harry’s hair as he orgasms.

Harry licks at the bite, lapping away at the slowing flow of blood.  Eggsy slumps forward bonelessly, humming appreciatively as Harry pets him.

“Impatient, aren’t we,” Harry murmurs.

“’M twenty five, ‘m impatient about everything,” Eggsy quips.

He’s silent again for the space of a few more breaths before shoving his hands under Harry’s suit to get at the buttons on his shirt.

“My turn, yeah?”

Eggsy pulls the knot of Harry’s tie until the silk gives and snakes free.  He carefully unbuttons the top three buttons off Harry’s shirt and parts them to let out a breathy, “God yes, get in,” at the sight of the well-defined muscle of Harry’s upper chest.  He noses across the span of Harry’s collarbone and then down until he’s practically burrowing into the space of skin right above Harry’s heart.

“You smell so fuckin’ good all the time, y’know that?”  Eggsy mumbles, lips warm against Harry.

Before Harry can reply, Eggsy digs his teeth in and Harry can feel the flood of chemicals that signify a mating bond.  The rush of endorphins has him hard and dizzy nearly immediately.

“Come here, you little tart,” Harry growls and Eggsy obediently lets Harry guide him up for a thorough kiss.  Harry swallows the moans that come from Eggsy as he licks at the boy’s palate and sweeps his teeth across Eggsy’s lower lip.

“God, Harry,” Eggsy whines.  Harry presses him flat against the wall and hitches a leg between Eggsy’s, rolling his thigh against Eggsy’s crotch until he can feel the boy hardening.  He slots their hips together and thrusts forward, eyes trained on the way the motion has Eggsy tossing his head back and whining noisily.  Harry pushes forward until he can lap at his earlier mark.  He winds a hand around to push at the small of Eggsy’s back, pressing them even closer together.

Eggsy shoves one hand down the back of Harry’s shirt, fingers warm as they scrabble for purchase.  The other hand gets wound back into Harry’s hair to card through roughly as Eggsy pushes kisses to Harry’s forehead.

Harry nips lightly just next to the mating bite and Eggsy jolts, shuddering and squirming in Harry’s grip as he gasps through another orgasm.

“Harry, Harry, alpha,” He heaves out between inhaling.  Harry groans at the call of his name, his title, from his mate and his hips stutter as his orgasm rushes through him.  He pants against the crook of Eggsy’s neck until Merlin comes over the comm.

“While I’m intensely happy for the both of you, and for the rest of us not having to deal with your unresolved sexual tension anymore, please do not have sex on the cleaning supplies.”

Eggsy makes an unhappy mumble that only vaguely sounds like words and Harry concurs; he was looking forward to showing Eggsy that he could hold his weight up and fuck him at the same time.

“We can do that ‘gainst your walls, probably be more comfortable than these ones,” Eggsy says and Harry blinks at him.

“You said it out loud and I am very much about the wall sex.  All the wall sex.  All the sex,” Eggsy nods and kisses Harry again.

“Please.  Don’t have sex on the cleaning supplies.  I’m letting you out right now.”

“I think we should, just because he keeps interrupting us,” Eggsy whispers and that startles Harry into a fond laugh.

“So help me, if you do have sex on the cleaning supplies, both of you are on desk duty until Roxy asks out Sophie,” Merlin threatens.

“Harry, I love you but I cannot do desk duty until Roxy stops dithering about because that will likely be the end of time,” Eggsy wiggles out from where Harry has him pinned and the locks click open just as he reaches the door.

“There is, however, a private room for when agents feel the need to stay the night,” Merlin informs them begrudgingly.

“Oooh, does it got a bed?” Eggsy wiggles his eyebrows at Harry and giggles when Merlin groans out a very pained sounding affirmative.


(They spend way too long in bed and Merlin has to threaten them four times with desk duty before they can get their hands off one another.

Eggsy finds out he can crush rebar on a mission to Argentina and does a mini victory dance in the middle of the square with bodies laid out all around him.  He brings the squashed piece of metal home to celebrate the whole affair and Merlin still, to this day, grouses about how Harry so very proudly had it placed front and center on the fireplace mantle.)