The knock on the door was authoritative and Martha hurried to open it, hoping it wasn’t the police or something like that. Not that she had any reason to expect the police at her door, you just never knew these days.
Instead it was an Alpha. Might’ve guessed, they thought they ran the whole world. Well, they mostly did. This one was tall and handsome, dark hair, bright blue eyes, high cheekbones. His suit and long woolen coat were expensive. An Alpha with money at her door—now Martha was completely mystified.
“Yes?” she asked.
“I’m looking for someone,” he announced, in a posh tone. His eyes darted around the foyer, seeking clues. “Male Omega, about so high, blond hair, blue eyes.”
“Well, that could be my son John,” Martha admitted nervously. “Why are you looking for him? Are you with Scotland Yard? George!” she shouted over her shoulder, perhaps a bit uncouthly. “Someone here looking for John!”
“Who?” her husband called back from the living room, over the telly.
Martha rolled her eyes. “I don’t know. He’s looking for John!”
“Madame—Excuse me.” The Alpha gave her a slightly impatient look. Alphas could be rather pushy sometimes. “Your son’s home, isn’t he? Where is he?”
“He isn’t in any kind of trouble, is he?” Martha worried suddenly. “You must be mistaken, John’s a very good boy, quiet, you know. He doesn’t get into trouble.”
The Alpha narrowed his eyes at her, looking quite exasperated now. “What’s your name?” he inquired, in an official sort of tone.
“Martha Watson. George! Come in here!” she insisted.
“That’s my husband, George,” she pointed out. “He’s right in the next room.”
“I noticed,” the Alpha bit off.
Martha took exception to his tone. “See here now, just who are you?” she demanded. “Go on, identify yourself, if you’re so important.”
“My name is Sherlock Holmes,” he replied, as though he was indeed important.
“Oh, are you the weather bloke on Channel 5?” Martha guessed, starting to get excited.
“No,” he shot down, grimacing at her. “I’m a friend of John’s and I would like to see him.”
“A friend?” she repeated skeptically. “You didn’t even know his name.”
The Alpha growled in frustration. “Forget that part,” he ordered, and she did.
“A friend, hmm?” Martha said skeptically (again). “John didn’t mention having an Alpha for a friend. Especially an older one.”
He was slightly taken aback. “I’m not—I’m hardly old.”
“Older,” she emphasized. He was twenty-five at least, she thought. “How’d you meet him, then?” John was no blushing beauty, even as his mother she would admit to that, but one still had to be careful these days. All kinds of nutters about, especially from the Internet.
“This is intolerable,” Sherlock declared, and leaned through the doorway. “John! Get down here!”
“What?” shouted George from the living room.
“Here, you,” Martha protested. “There’s no need to raise your voice!”
Upstairs in his room John had the music turned up loudly, to drown out the sound of his parents yelling at each other over the blaring TELLY. Ironic, really. But as he sat at his desk trying to study, a tickling sensation began in the back of his brain, like he’d forgotten to do something quite important and needed to go check on it right away. He ran through his school assignments, social activities (that one didn’t take long), household chores, favorite TV shows. Had he left the stove on or the milk out last time he’d made tea?
Nothing came to mind, but the feeling bothered him so much he wasn’t getting anything done, and he decided to risk taking a stroll around the house to see if inspiration struck. Shutting off his music John opened the door to his room and heard voices downstairs, his mother and… someone else. Immediately he felt drawn to them, like a fish on a line. Then the new voice—unfamiliar, and yet not—called to him, and he ran downstairs to the foyer.
A tall, devilishly handsome Alpha stood in the doorway, gazing at him with bold blue eyes, and that in itself would have been enough to make John’s heart start pounding, stereotypically Omega as that was. But this wasn’t just any Alpha. John knew exactly who he was, even though they’d never laid eyes on each other before.
He didn’t realize a grin had split his face, even as he was admiring a more restrained version on the Alpha, until the sudden silence of his mother startled him. Then his ears turned pink and his expression guilty.
“Seems like you do know each other after all,” his mother commented in a highly suspicious tone. Naturally this did not clear anyone of wrongdoing in her mind.
“Um…” John answered inarticulately. He didn’t know what story the Alpha had been telling his mother—actually, he didn’t even know the man’s name!
“I hope it’s alright that I dropped by,” the Alpha said suddenly. “I happened to be in the neighborhood. Would you like to go for a coffee?”
Right, get out of the house, go somewhere they could talk. Good idea. “Yeah, sure,” John agreed quickly, grabbing his jacket.
His mother stepped in between them. “John, dear,” she began, and he knew trouble was coming. “Perhaps you two ought to stay in. You can have coffee in the parlor.”
“Mum, I don’t—“
“You didn’t mention knowing any older Alphas,” his mother hissed, clearly thinking the other man couldn’t hear her. He rolled his eyes in the background. “You oughtn’t go out with him. Who knows what he’s after!” Obviously she had some ideas.
“Mum, really—“ Actually John had no idea what to say to her that wouldn’t get him into trouble, either now or later. He just desperately wanted to get this man alone and talk to him.
“Actually,” the Alpha cut in, and Mrs. Watson turned back to him, “I want to ask John to bond with me. If he’s not otherwise attached, of course.”
The big, stupid, dopey grin reappeared on John’s face. Honestly, he wasn’t playing this right—he didn’t even know this man. Except he kind of did. He not only knew him, he’d been waiting for him. It was like some dreadful pop-song cliché that secretly many Omegas wished would come true, and now it had, for him. He thought the Alpha would be too persistent to let John’s mother dissuade him, but John wasn’t sure he wanted to take that risk.
“Yes, absolutely—“ he started to blurt.
“A bond!” his mother cut in. Her tune had changed though—now she was thrilled. An Internet nutter was scandal and shame and the neighbors whispering as you went by; but a bond, especially with an Alpha who obviously had money—that was perfectly respectable, even if it was a little surprising. “Well why didn’t you say so from the beginning? George! He wants to bond with John!”
“The man at the door!”
“What?” John sighed heavily at the all-too-typical interaction.
“Come right in now, Mr. Holmes,” Martha tried to insist, taking his arm. “Oh, that’s so formal for a son-in-law! Shall I call you Sherlock? How do you like your coffee?”
“Thank you,” he told her, eyes locking with John’s for a moment before he gently disengaged her grip. “Actually right now I would like to talk to John. Alone,” he specified. “To work out the particulars.”
“Oh. Well, I suppose,” Martha agreed. She didn’t really need to agree, John was eighteen, but he was still in school and living under her roof. Where had he managed to meet this Alpha, and when? She had her suspicions, of course, especially since she’d never heard anything about him until now, but a bond was a very satisfactory step. “He ought to finish school first!” she called after them as John sidled around her and out the door with Sherlock.
“Oh, of course,” Sherlock promised easily. “Nice to have met you.”
“You too!” They were retreating quickly down the path now, carefully not touching at all, and they turned at the sidewalk like they were heading to the coffee shop around the corner. Finally Martha shut the front door. Her John, being bonded! And at just the right age. Well, these days maybe a smidge young, but then again waiting longer could be risky, an Alpha might lose interest while their Omega did a couple years of uni or whatever, and to what end? Well, maybe if they both had to work a college degree would be useful, but obviously that wouldn’t be necessary in this case. This Sherlock Holmes was clearly a man of means. “Such a nice young man,” she commented.
“Who?” George called from the living room, still watching telly. Martha rolled her eyes and went off to start spreading the news.
Sherlock and John did not speak as they walked away from the house. John, for his part, felt like if he opened his mouth he might burst, or at least say something wrong, something other people weren’t supposed to hear. The farther they walked the more tense he got, sneaking glances at Sherlock’s face so often that finally he was staring continuously, and then he tripped over something he wasn’t watching out for.
Sherlock grabbed his arm to steady him. “Thanks,” John choked out, ears turning pink.
“This is my car,” Sherlock pointed out, nodding at an oversized black vehicle parked along the sidewalk. “Shall we go for a drive?”
He seemed very confident about it and John nodded. Sherlock reached for the back door, gesturing for John to get in, then followed him. The interior was luxuriously spacious, yet somehow they ended up sitting right next to each other.
Sherlock flicked a switch on the door panel. “Just drive around for a while, Marcel,” he commanded.
“Yes, sir,” came a voice, presumably from the other side of the dark panel separating them from the driver. The car purred to life and the side windows darkened as Sherlock pushed another button.
“Total privacy,” he announced, turning towards John. “So what”—his eyes flickered over John—“would you like to do now?”
John’s mind immediately went blank of everything he was going to say or ask. Staring into Sherlock’s blue eyes he could only think of one thing. “Could I kiss you?” he asked impulsively, then flushed with embarrassment.
Sherlock’s lips curved slowly into a grin. “Absolutely,” he agreed.
It was a little awkward, side by side in the car; John wasn’t exactly brimming with experience at kissing. Sherlock cupped his cheek and he gripped Sherlock’s collar, and the first tentative brush of lips quickly escalated, mouths and tongues trying to devour each other. John drew one knee, then two, up onto the seat, trying to get closer to Sherlock, to gain more leverage; then Sherlock tugged on his hips and he spread his legs boldly, straddling the Alpha.
“Mmm,” Sherlock murmured with approval, trailing his lips across John’s jaw. “That’s just how I want you.” John moaned and buried his nose against the side of Sherlock’s neck, nuzzling the glands that produced the wonderful Alpha scent he was finding so intoxicating. Quickly he calculated how long it was until his next heat—over a month, so it couldn’t possibly be early. If this was just the regular, ordinary, everyday level of desire, he shuddered to think what heat would be like. With this man, his Alpha. He actually did shudder a little.
Sherlock pulled back slightly, his forehead resting against John’s as they both panted. His long fingers were splayed over John’s hips; John realized his hands still had a death-grip on the lapels of Sherlock’s coat and slowly unclenched them. “What do you remember?” Sherlock asked, and his eyes bored into John’s, somehow looking different at this odd angle. The question was not an idle one, John suddenly realized, but referred to something far larger than this moment they found themselves in.
He sat back, studying Sherlock’s face. “Not… everything, I don’t think,” he replied cautiously. “I remember you. I remember… being other places and times. Maybe they’re just crazy dreams,” he hedged. The ideas fluttered through his brain, dissipating when he tried to focus on one.
“They aren’t,” Sherlock stated, with utter certainty. “Tell me one.”
John closed his eyes, trying to snag one of the iridescent scraps of memory swirling around his mind. His hands rested on Sherlock’s shoulders and he felt Sherlock’s hands steadying him, waiting patiently, not rushing him. “We’re on a spaceship,” he described, and immediately started to feel stupid, but Sherlock squeezed his ribs lightly, encouraging him. “…spaceship, and there’s aliens with two heads and three arms, and robots, and these pools of… goo that are sort of like showers and toilets in one—“ His eyes popped open, the idea no longer making sense; in fact it sounded kind of gross.
But Sherlock nodded at him. “Bio-pools,” he said. “The most advanced personal care technology yet. Very nice.” John could only grimace. “You remember us together, though?” he probed, very seriously. “We’re always together, somehow.”
“Not always,” John responded, and he thought of a very small, lonely life on a rocky island somewhere, nice people in the village really, but they could never understand him, or why he stared out to sea and longed for something that never arrived, that he knew he wouldn’t find even if he went to the mainland.
“No,” Sherlock agreed softly. “Sometimes we miss each other. Not very often, though.” He reached up to thread a hand through John’s hair, pulling him down for a kiss that forced a smile to his lips. “And what’s my name?” he whispered in John’s ear, as if he couldn’t take the smallest risk of anyone overhearing.
John could not have answered that a moment ago. But now it came to him suddenly. “Magnus,” he whispered back, and felt the other man’s lips smile against his cheek. “What’s mine?”
“Bay.” Like an aromatic tree, or a sparkling blue body of water. He couldn’t have answered that himself either, but when he heard it he knew it felt right.
Sherlock let him sit back, straightening up as though they were now ready to get down to business. John was happy to stay on his lap, though, and Sherlock seemed to have no objection, either. “Sherlock Holmes, John Watson,” he repeated quickly, as though reminding him of characters they’d been assigned in a play. Which was in a sense exactly what had happened. “Twenty-six and—?”
“Eighteen,” John supplied.
Sherlock nodded as if he thought that was about right. “Still in school,” he added dryly, remembering Martha’s warning.
“Alpha, Omega,” John supplied happily.
“Yes, it is nice when it works out that way,” Sherlock agreed, getting slightly distracted by John’s proximity. He shook his head, trying to stay focused. “Now, as to the present situation—“
Icy cold panic gripped John’s heart. “You still want to bond with me, don’t you?” he asked. Or was that just something Sherlock had said to keep his mother from getting suspicious?
“Yes, of course,” Sherlock insisted, frowning at the insecurity. He dragged John into a kiss until he relaxed and nearly forgot what he’d been worried about. “I always want to bond with you,” he purred in John’s ear. “Wherever we are, whatever it’s called.”
Tears suddenly welled in John’s eyes and he rested his head on Sherlock’s shoulder, trying to stem them. “Sorry,” he muttered, slightly embarrassed. “It’s just—a little overwhelming.” To know someone was out there who was meant for him, always meant for him, across any time or place or life—
“Omega hormones,” Sherlock judged, affectionately amused. He brushed his fingers over the side of John’s neck, releasing his own scent and inhaling it deeply. “Mmm, I like this universe,” he decided. His hand trailed to John’s inner thigh, then upwards. “When do you have this ‘heat’ thing?” he wanted to know, his tone lascivious. “Everyone says they’re quite enjoyable—“
John caught his hand with a nervous laugh, derailing it. He felt very self-conscious suddenly, burning with the need to hide, and he retreated from Sherlock’s lap to curl up on the seat beside him. He tried to pretend that he was comfortable and casual with his knees drawn up under his chin, and Sherlock pretended he believed him, smirking a little as he reached out to keep hold of his hand.
“I want to bond with you,” Sherlock repeated, business-like. “When can we do that?”
“School doesn’t get out until the end of May,” John pointed out, and Sherlock made a noise of frustration.
“You know, you don’t actually have to finish school,” Sherlock pointed out. “Neither of us has to have a job, I have plenty of money—“ John tensed suddenly. “What?” Sherlock probed. “What?”
John stared at his knees and played with Sherlock’s fingers. “I don’t—I don’t want to be one of those Omegas who drops out of school to get bonded,” he confessed awkwardly. “I kind of—I kind of wanted to go to uni. I thought, I dunno, about being a doctor.” He wasn’t sure he’d ever said that out loud to anyone.
“John.” He forced himself to meet Sherlock’s gaze. “If that’s what you want to do, you can,” he encouraged, and John burst into a grin. “Only let’s not put off being bonded. You can still go to school after that.”
John tried to think of any bonded Omegas he’d ever heard of staying in uni. Maybe sometimes they went back, after their kids were older—Another thought stopped him cold. “I can’t have kids,” he blurted.
“No,” Sherlock agreed. “Neither can I.” He watched the teenager curiously. “Does that bother you?”
“I don’t—I don’t know,” John admitted. He thought it should. “I just always assumed…” He didn’t know what else to say.
“Well, if you want children, we can always adopt,” Sherlock shrugged, as if that was as easy as buying milk at the grocery store. He sounded about as interested in it.
“Oh. Um, I thought only Betas adopted,” John mentioned hesitantly. “Because, er—“ Then he remembered why and looked up at Sherlock quickly.
The other man smirked. “Rest assured I will not kill any children we adopt,” he said sardonically. “I can control myself a little better than that.” Alphas—or so it was said—did not take well to non-kin being raised in their households.
“Anyway, that’s a long time off,” Sherlock added. “Especially if you want to go to medical school. Could you come back here, please?” he requested, and John stretched his legs over Sherlock’s lap, scooting closer until the other man could put his arm around him. Probably not very wise from a traffic safety point of view, but somehow John was not very worried about that, especially when Sherlock leaned in to nuzzle his temple.
“G-d, I feel like I’ve been waiting for you for so long,” he sighed.
It struck John suddenly that he’d only begun having these strange feelings about other lives and abilities within the last year or two, and they still hadn’t fully resolved. If Sherlock was twenty-six, then perhaps he’d been aware of their larger reality for some nine or ten years, surely enough time to understand it fully—and to realize what he was missing, when John had never gone beyond the longings typical for a teenage Omega. He cuddled against Sherlock, feeling warmly affectionate but also a little sad for him—Omegas supposedly liked to nurture and soothe, and everyone knew Alphas could be just overgrown children when hurt.
“It’s alright, I’m here now,” he promised, pulling Sherlock’s arms around him and snuggling into his chest contentedly. That should make him feel better.
A low rumble echoed through Sherlock’s chest under John’s ear, which turned out to be a chuckle. “This role suits you,” Sherlock claimed; John did not take offense. “So can we be bonded right away,” he continued, “and you can move into my flat in Baker Street and finish school. And then you can go to uni and medical school and be a doctor.”
John liked the sound of that. “Have I been a doctor before?” he asked curiously.
“Frequently,” Sherlock assured him. “So it should be easy for you.”
John did not necessarily believe that. “And what will you do?” he questioned.
Sherlock shrugged a little. “It seems like I often either solve crimes, or commit them,” he announced, which seemed a little dodgy to John. “Or both.”
“Well, if you must do one, I vote for solving,” John opined.
“Perhaps I could try my hand at something else this time,” Sherlock mused. “Maybe I could be a chemist. That might be interesting.”
Speaking of interesting—“G-d, what are we going to tell my parents,” John sighed, suddenly feeling much more like a teenager in school, and less like a capable adult with superpowers.
Sherlock chuckled again and tightened his arms around John protectively. “We’ll think of something,” he promised. “We always do.”