John sucked in the fresh air of home. He had just gotten back from basic training in Kabul but being an Omega, was not allowed to stay and do a full tour with his mates. Even though Omegas had been allowed into the military for over a quarter of a century they were still too "delicate" to fight in the front lines. Instead the were subjected to desk jobs or in John's case, off-combat medical staff which brought him to now, his last year of basic university levels before medical school.
John ran up the walkway and hugged his Mum. She was an Omega, rather short in stature with blond short hair and a little on the portly side. John took in the familiar smells of roses and baked bread before pulling away. "Hullo Mum." He said with a smile on his face.
Valerie Watson held her hand up to her sons cheek with tears in her eyes "Oh my boy I missed you."
John beamed "I missed you too Mum."
Valerie pulled away and looked her son up and down "Look at you, you're wasting away! Do they not feed you in that desert?"
John rolled his eyes at his Mother's worrying "Not exactly on the priority list, giving us a home cooked meal. We had better things to do."
Valerie shook her head "Well glad that's all behind us. No more running around like that worrying us silly young man. I nearly had a heart attack when I heard your training group was shot at!"
Johns smile diminished he was trying to hide that tidbit from his family "I'm fine Mum. It's was a freak accident. We were in our designated training ground and unfortunately the enemy found out where it was and thought we would be easy targets. We had it under control and ran them off before anything major happened."
Valerie took a deep breath and shook her head "Regardless, having a young Omega out in those conditions should be a crime. I'll never understand your need for danger."
Before John could once again have this argument with his mother a big burly voice from inside the house came "Is that my boy?"
Johns father, Bruce Watson, also a portly man but tall in stature with stubble on his cheeks and years of hard work showing on his face; reminiscent of a time when the man used to work on the family farm in Scotland as a boy with a thick Scottish accent to boot, a true Alpha through and through, came and embraced John so hard he thought he was going to be crushed. "Ah laddie! Good to see ya! Have you been giving the Queens army a what for?"
When Bruce let go of him and he was once again able to breath he smiled at his Dad "Tried to Da."
Bruce light punched his sons arm in good spirit "That's my boy. Let no man stop you. You got the makings of a true tough. Unlike the fancy poofs these days who can't seem to understand what goes into a hard days work."
Valerie rolled her eyes "I can't believe you encourage this."
Bruce gave his wife a questioning look "What? Just because my boy's an Omega doesn't mean he has to take life on the chin. You stay strong you got that son?"
John gave a half laugh "Yes sir."
"Good boy." Bruce said with a smile. "Come in and let's eat! I'm about to eat my own hand!"
John cut another piece of the roast and put it into the homemade roll and enjoyed the savoury richness of the meats juices. Living on bland toast and turkey sandwiches could only go so far.
"So Johnny, when do you start school?" Bruce said spooning himself another helping of potatoes.
John swallows the bit of food in his mouth "Next week."
Bruce nodded "I spoke to George at Traders. Said you could have your job back."
John nodded and smiled "Brilliant, I've missed that old pub."
Bruce smiled "Well, don't want you getting lazy. Just because you've been in a desert the past three months does not mean you can forget that hard work does a man good!"
John smiled "Yes, Da."
Valerie was eating her meal much slower then the boys in her household "Oh John, I almost forgotten, do you remember your young Omega friend Samuel?"
John looked at his Father for clues to where this conversation might be going "Well we were lab partners but I wouldn't consider him what you call a friend." In fact John could remember the boy who was scrawny and light skinned very shy. And he was no help at all when it came to group projects.
"Well anyways, while you were gone he was bonded and is now expecting a baby! His mother Katie told me and they are over the moon! But it does lead me to wonder...do you ever consider yourself doing that?"
"Valerie..." Bruce said warningly.
Valerie looked at her husband "It's a legitimate question! You and I are not getting any younger dear and John needs to settle down. All this army doctor stuff is fine for now but John, you have to understand that you'll want to have a family."
John set his fork down a little more forcefully then necessary "Mum! That's not what I want for myself! I want my own life and my own career before I settle down and bond."
"But darling don't you understand? The chance may pass you by and before you know it, it could be too late."
"For Gods sakes woman the boy is only 23 years old. Give him a break." Bruce said.
"Mum, I want to do what's best for me right now. I want to have my own life! What's so hard to understand about that!"
"But what if you meet the right one? The right Alpha comes along and you expect them to what? Wait for you while you do whatever it is you do?"
Bruce put an arm on Johns shoulder "My boy's got a good head and if any of them Alphas get any where near you, you come and find me." He gave his son a wink.
John smiled at his Dad's attempt at humour. "Trust me Mum, this next year I'm going to be too focused on school to even look at Alphas. Like Da said I'm a 23 years old Omega, just back from basic training in Kabul, trying to get into medical school. Nothing exciting is going to happen to me."