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Late Bloomer

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Colin Wilkes was seventeen when his world came to an abrupt stand still.

He woke up at the ass crack of dawn with a slight headache. It wasn't anything too terribly unbearable- trust him, he's experienced worse- but it was odd.
His morning routine was nothing more than a quick combing of his unruly hair and hunting down some clothes that didn't have so many holes.
The call for Breakfast rang loudly, and Colin found himself herding toddlers and kids towards the dining hall, smiling as they tripped over one another in their haste.
The headache grew progressively worse as breakfast droned on. He paid it no mind, dismissing the nun's concern. The Betas of this orphanage had a habit of motherhenning all of their little orphans- no matter how old they were, and he certainly was no exception.
"Are you feeling alright, child?" Sister Agnes stopped him before he left the dining hall, worry apparent in her gaze and soft spoken words. Colin nodded and did his best at attempting to reassure his guardian, "Yes, i feel fine, thank you. Just a pesky headache." His voice randomly broke midsentence. Embarrassed, Colin turned to look at anything but her. Sister Agnes gave him a pointed glare, hand on her hip and conveyed the 'I know better' look only a mother could with perfect accuracy.
Colin was put back to bed soon after. He hated arguing with any of the nuns; it was always a losing a battle. Especially when he knew she was right. They didnt need scent to tell when something was off.
Sleep tugged at his conciousness, nagging at him. He was willing to follow, close to falling back asleep when a foreign feeling crept out of nowhere. It warmed his gut and heated his flesh like a space heater. It created a crimson flush that enveloped his entire face first, then his neck, and soon stained his whole upper body. The imaginary space heater turned into the sun.
Colin swore he could feel his blood boil underneath the skin, feel it bubble and pop as the temperature climbed higher and higher to unbearable degrees.
"Gah- any..one..." he tried calling out for help despite knowing none of the kids were even inside, and the nuns were all downstairs in the sanctuary.
His whole body was melting into a big puddle of sweat, tears, and whatever was running down his thighs. Before he could cry out again, a familiar ringing allowed a bit if hope to shine through the overwhelming panic and muddy shit that was clogging his mind.
He reached over to his nightstand, shaking with effort. Just as the last ring rung, he pressed the green button-
"Colin? Hey, you up kid? I have a thing I need your help on at the shop-"
"J-Jason- I- it's hot - I.. " a twinge in his gut and a sharp turn up in his now migraine made him sob pathetically.
"Shit, kid, what's wrong?"
He whimpered into the receiver when Jason's voice, suddenly deep with concern, made shivers shoot up his spine.
"Alpha..." he muttered without even realizing it. Before Jason could tell him to 'not fall asleep,' dammit' darkness consumed his conciousness.

Chapter Text

Jason wasn't one for heroics, never has been and probably never will, but hearing his kid, his proclaimed adopted baby he's known for like seven years now, his still technically-a-pup friend-it made something snap within in him. Something he didn't even know existed .

He arrived at the orphanage in record time, plowing anklebiters and nuns alike, with loud proclamations of, excuse me coming through, sorry sister, I'm here to see Colin, move brat, sorry sis! while trucking through the building.

Then, when he reached the second floor, the smell hit him like a freight train.

It was well known nuns lacked any type of second senseory to smell the hormones in the air- something to do with equality within their religious practice and to remain pure and untainted by the temptations of the world, n some shit- but damn . Jason was positive even the dead could smell the heat tearing through the second floor. It was potent and gave Jason a headache and the distinctive urge to find the source and comfort.

The further he traveled down the hall, the more emotions he could pick up. Fear, hurt, confusion, and and underlying hint of desperation.

"Uh, Kid?" He called out softly.

Despite only visiting a few times, Jason could pinpoint exactly which room the kid was in. It wasn't hard if you had a functioning nose. Fuck, he's suprised none of the pups downstairs decided to be nosy and search for the source of that sweet aroma. Usually an omega in heat attracts pups- something to do with an instinct buried deep inside them and the omega. He remembered reading somewhere that in some cultures, omega were forced to go through heats alone. In some other cultures, omegas were accompanied by the pups in their family. 'Said that's the only thing that kept omega sated and pure throughout their heats.

To be honest, Jason thought making them suffer alone like that was a crock of shit. However, he has seen how attached Stephanie was to Damian when he was a pup. How she seemed to calm down during her heats when Damian would- however reluctantly( Jason and Dick encouraged bonding between them for pack purposes)- visit. So it wasn't all bullshit. He knew that. Just the thought of someone he knew, like Stephanie, alone an in pain made his skin crawl.

Hell, it wasn't necessary to have an alpha, Jason also knew, but it was good to have one. Or atleast a parent figure, a pup, someone.

Colin had literally nobody.

He should have smelled it coming, seen tell-tale signs of Colin presenting soon, and as an omega no less.

He found the door that hid the source of the sweet smell. Jason, never having been in a situation like this before, hesitantly knocked. No answer.

"Colin... Kid, I... uh, can I come in?"

Still no response.

Scared for his kid, Jason sighed and felt that tug in his gut pull towards his pup. He needed to help, but had no idea how. Dick always helped with Stephanie's heats. Omega bonding n some shit. But something in Jason said Colin didn't need an omega right now. He needed him.

Refusing to hesitate any longer, Jason opened the door and pushed through the wall of hormones.

 

"Fuck, Colin, you alive, Kid?

The room was hot, and too open, and suffocating at the same time, and just plain not right for an omega in heat. After still not receiving any response, Jason searched until his eyes zeroed in on the little trembling lump under the quilt on the ratty old bed.

"Shit... Colin?" Finally, he heard a quiet whimper and something taht almost sounded like Alpha .

Something within him kickstarted and before Jason knew it, he was on the bed with the omega in heat in his lap, and was rocking him gently back n fourth until the trembling slowed and the boys erratic heartbeat calmed.

"Shit, Kid, why didn't you get one of the nuns or something? You could have died! Do you realize how many omegas die because they become dehydrated or pass out for days because of the pain?" Jason rambled on, rubbing his nose against Colin's flushed face. Jason felt a rumble deep within his chest come to life, and made a soft cooning noise when his pup whined.

It was in that moment when Colin nuzzled his nose against his neck, curled against him, and cooed back ,did Jason realize he was honest to God acting like he was this kid's mom.
To be perfectly honest, he was only joking all those times he made the kid call him dad and did all those little things that would make any other person, who wasn't a parent, cringe. He claimed to have adopted Colin, fuck, anybody should feel blessed to call this kid theirs, but he didn't think it was serious until just now.

"Well, shit."

Jason sighed deeply, rubbing his cheek against Colin's scalp. He knew they'd have to discuss this after his kid's heat- not just with colin but with his family as well. Hes positive Kori and Roy would be thrilled to have the kid around- who doesn't? But it's still a heavy topic. First things first, though. He needs to calm his kid, change him from such sticky and bloody clothes, and take him home and have Dick help cos Jason still has no fucking idea what he's doing.