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Almond milk and cookies

Chapter Text

I can hear myself breathing heavily. Feel my soft blanket surrounding and comforting me. My stuffed bunny named Ni clutched in my right arm.

I blinked the tears out of my eyes and looked at my left wrist. Where I’d earlier scrawled “Niall and Louis” in pen, with hearts for dots on the ‘i’’s like we always wrote. Somehow seeing it written on my arm made my heart hurt a little less. Made my omega’s whines soften a little bit.

I glanced at my phone beside me, seeing that it was the 14th of July. Meaning Niall had been away for exactly three weeks today. I hadn’t seen my twin in three weeks.

I knew I’d always had a strong attachment to Niall. We had always done everything together, at most we would only ever be apart for a few hours. It was common for twin omegas to be very attached to each other, and only be able to be apart for long periods of time when both were mated.

I knew, from learning it at school and hearing stories, that an unmated omega separated from their twin for more than a few days would be very difficult. Yet I never understood that it would be this hard. That despite my brain knowing that Niall was okay and that I was okay, I wasn’t able to get out of bed for more than a few minutes. That even breathing was really painful, and the only things that helped alleviate the pain somewhat were stupid things like scrawling my name with Niall’s name on my arm in pen.

I am so proud of Niall, for going to X-Factor. For sticking his neck out in such a brutal industry, tough for anyone but especially an omega. I knew it was hard for him to be apart from me too, but Niall had mated a few months back so it was a lot easier on him. Especially since Zayn was with Niall in London. Zayn isn’t auditioning, but any omega is (legally) allowed to bring one person with them for anything that requires several days away from their home. Not because we’re weak. We aren’t weak. It’s just harder for us to be away from someone who can provide us with the care that we need. Like cuddles. And punishments.

Breathing was hard again. I knew I just had to tough it out for a bit longer. Be strong like Niall. I am so proud of him, and yet the tears stung my eyes as my chest felt really heavy.

I could hear mummy and papa in the living room as my door was cracked open. They were murmuring about how they didn’t know what to do. I knew they were worried, and I wanted to tell them I was fine. But I knew I wasn’t, and my omega wouldn’t let me lie to them like that. So I just continued to lay in my bed, with my bunny Ni.

My phone screen lit up, and started to vibrate. I glanced down and blinked the tears out of my eyes, really hoping it was Niall.

Cookie <3 is calling, it said.

I breathed out a long sigh. I felt so relieved. I scrambled to get my phone into my right hand, dropping Ni the bunny to answer the phone.
‘Cookie,’ Niall’s soft voice murmured through the phone.

I breathed heavily, trying not to cry. To show Niall I could be strong too.

‘Cookie,’ I sobbed. I missed hearing Niall’s voice so much. I reached for Ni with my left hand, petting his soft ears. I focused on the soft ears for a while, trying to get my breathing in control. I didn’t want to just cry down the phone again. I wanted to actually talk to my cookie.

‘Louis… Louis,’ Niall’s voice kept saying, and I suddenly realized I had stopped listening to what he was saying.

‘Cookie did you hear what I said?’

‘I… no… sorry I didn’t… I was just… I was…’ I stumbled out.

‘It’s alright cookie. I have some amazing news for you, really really good news. I promise.’

‘What?’ I asked, loosening my grip on the bunny’s ear so that I wouldn’t zone out and miss what Niall was saying again.

‘Zayn is talking to mummy and papa. I got permission for you to come stay with me too. I know this has been hard for you, and I want you to…’

I couldn’t help it. I have no idea what Niall was saying anymore I felt so relieved. I could go see my cookie. Be with my cookie. I missed him so much. My omega whined, not understanding that I would need to somehow get to London from here. I needed to go to a different country, how was I going to get there when I couldn’t even get out of bed. But cookie. I wanted to go see cookie. I should pack.

‘I… I’ll pack. When? How? What? Wait what did you say????” I tried to ask too many questions at once and now I have no idea what I was even asking.

‘I’m so excited too cookie,’ Niall said. I could hear how happy he was from his voice.

‘Zayn is working it out now with mummy and papa,’ he continued, ‘either Zayn will come and get you or mummy or papa will come bring you. You can come as soon as you can, we’ll let them figure everything out, and you can focus your energy on packing and getting over here to me in one happy piece. Okay cookie?’

‘Yeah, I can do that,’ I said, looking over into my closet. I was already visualizing what I was going to pack, and I could breathe easier now knowing not only was Niall with me now on the phone, but that I would be with him in real life soon.

‘Mummy and papa will let you know everything when they have it sorted out cookie. I’m sorry I can’t talk for longer, but I wanted to be the one to tell you. I couldn’t wait until later when I had more time. I have to go rehearse now, I’m sorry cookie. I love you. See you soon!’

‘Bye Niall, I love you too,’ I said, and put down the phone. I paused for a few seconds, letting a smile take over my face. I was ready. Ready to go and see Niall again.

Chapter Text

I have my arms wrapped around Zayn’s neck, clinging on tightly. We have finally made it to London. Zayn is dragging my suitcase in one hand, and carrying my duffle bag in the other, and carrying me on his back. I tried to walk as much as I could but my omega kept whining and my knees kept buckling, so we had quickly realized that it was just easier if Zayn carried me. It’s not like he wasn’t able to.

It was a really hot day, and me and Zayn were both sweaty. It was a bit unpleasant but my omega was slowly starting to buzz as we were approaching the building where I knew Niall was.

‘Just a bit more Louis,’ Zayn said, letting me burrow my face into his back. He put down the duffle bag, and pushes open the front door of a tall apartment building. He grabs the duffle bag and trudged forward. I use my arm to catch the door as it falls so that it doesn’t hit us on the way in. Zayn already mentioned that Niall was inside and waiting for us as we had texted him from the cab on the way.

I pushed the elevator button and we waited patiently for the lift to come down and get us.

‘What floor are we going to?’ I asked. I secretly hoped it wasn’t high up, because that would mean a longer ride in the lift, which would mean it would take longer for us to reach Niall.

‘To the top basically, sorry. The top four floors have been converted into a more house-like layout for everyone to stay in. The lift will bring us to the front room. I bet Niall will be waiting there for you,’ he explained.

The lift dinged and we got in. The lift felt like it was taking ages and I kind of wanted to cry more. I was so close but so far from Niall. Just as I was about to give in and let out a little cry, the lift slowed down and the doors slid open.

I can smell Niall. Tears rushed to my eyes and my omega let out a whine of relief. I wanted to be near him already. Zayn dropped the suitcase and duffle onto the side, taking a few steps towards Niall who was also rushing forwards.

‘Cookie,’ we both sobbed out in relief.

‘Harry can you help me get Louis down, I’m worried his knees are going to buckle,’ Zayn’s back rumbled as he spoke. I focused on my fingers, which Niall’s dainty but calloused fingers were now gripping. I squeezed his hands and gasped a breath of air.

‘Hey Louis, I’m Harry,’ a voice came from behind me, ‘I’m just going to help you down from there. I’ll grab your waist and lift you down so that you can be with Niall, I just need you to let go of Zayn for me.’

I want to be with cookie. I let go of Zayn, and reluctantly dropped Niall’s hands when I felt Harry’s hands come onto my waist. He lifted me down, my knees wobbled uncertainly below me but with the help of Harry’s hands I managed to find my ground and stand. I turned to the side and flung myself into Niall’s waiting arms.

The tears came again. I clung onto Niall and shoved my face in his neck. Normally going near a non-mate’s scent gland was a no go, but me and Niall had done it since we were kids and Zayn had said he had no problem with us continuing to do so. I finally felt like I could breathe, even though I was still crying.

‘Get out,’ someone alpha commands, and me and Niall look up startled. Zayn reaches out to put a hand on Niall’s shoulder in reassurance, and smiles at me. I look around to see that it was Harry who had spoken, his posture broad, stiff and angry. I realize then that there were a handful of other people in the room who I hadn’t even noticed before. They were rushing out of the room. I didn’t bother to look at them more, as soon as I noticed that the alpha command wasn’t addressed at me or Niall my omega settled and I burrowed myself into Niall again.

When I come to again I realize I have no idea how long I had laid there with Niall. I was just sniffling now. I could hear low murmuring around me, and I could smell that Zayn was in the room with someone else.

I pull back and look at Niall in the eyes.

‘Cookie,’ I pleaded.

‘I missed you so much, my brave cookie,’ Niall responded, pulling me back in for a hug again.

‘When you’re ready we’ve got dinner for you,’ Zayn spoke.

I look at Niall, waiting for him to speak.

‘Okay,’ he responded, turning to me he continues, ‘let’s grab some food?’

I slowly untangle my legs from Niall’s, feeling a lot lighter and like I can actually breathe. I hold out my hand to Niall to pull him up and together we walk towards the couch where Zayn and Harry, the other person in the room, are sitting.

‘I’ll go grab it,’ Harry offers, getting up and exiting the room from the side, presumably to where the kitchen is.

‘Thank you Zayn, for bringing me here,’ I’m finally able to say what I’ve been wanting to since I heard that Zayn would be bringing me here.

‘Of course, Lou.’

‘Cookie we can’t share a room, because there’s only one bed in ours but we’ve gotten Amy to move over one so you can have the one next to ours. I’ll sleep with you tonight though, I think we both need it,’ Niall chatted.

I was so glad to be back with Niall again. I scarfed down my food, and we headed to bed.

Chapter Text

I startle awake, hearing sounds and suddenly feeling cold.

‘Sorry Cookie, I didn’t mean to wake you,’ Niall placates, pulling on some joggers and a T-shirt, ‘I need to go to rehearsals. Do you want to come with us and watch or do you feel like you could stay here for a while? It will probably last a few hours.’

‘I’m not sure I’m quite ready to be on my own, so I’ll tag along if you’re sure that’s okay.’

‘Of course you can. Zee will be coming with as well so you can hang with him while we rehearse. Grab some card games from the corner so you two will have something to do,’ Niall says, pointing to the corner where there’s a stack of games.

‘Alright, how much time do we have until we need to leave?’

Hearing that we only have 15 minutes made me jump out of bed. I took a quick shower and got ready for the day in less than 5 minutes, I didn’t bother glancing in the mirror, knowing that I would look very sleepy and there wasn’t much I could do about it now.

Niall grabbed my hand and we jogged down the stairs and went into the large kitchen where Harry and Zayn and a few others I didn’t know were moving around.

‘Help yourselves to anything, here’s some plates for you,’ Harry said, gesturing to the island that was full of different breakfast foods. I zeroed in on the fresh fruit and what looked like overnight oats with blueberries, suddenly feeling hungry.

I went about grabbing myself some watermelon and taking several large spoonfuls of the oats onto my plate.

‘Do you want a smoothie too?’ asked Harry. I looked up to see him looking at me expectantly. I don’t know why I wasn’t expecting him to be asking me specifically but… a smoothie sounded really good so I wasn’t going to turn him down.

‘Yes please.’

‘Does kale, spinach, mint, pineapple and dates with some frozen bananas and flax seeds sound good to you?’

‘Definitely, can I help somehow?’ I just want to be drinking it already, suddenly really wanting a cool smoothie.

‘Can I have some too?’ Niall spoke from behind before Harry could respond. Niall was already sitting in Zayn’s lap munching on some watermelon.

Harry looked at me for some reason.

‘I’ll split mine with you, Cookie,’ I respond.

‘I’ll make extra,’ Harry spoke definitively, nodding to himself and grabbing more ingredients.

I eyed the Vitamix blender with fascination. That is one expensive blender… I kind of want to use it. I drifted towards it, adjusting my black leggings a bit as they had been sitting weirdly from how hastily I got dressed. Harry’s eyes followed the movements I made to the waistband, temporarily getting distracted from the smoothie making. He then seemed to notice me coming closer and eyeing the Vitamix.

‘I… can I try it?’ I asked.

‘The blender?’

‘Yeah, I’ve never used a Vitamix before, it looks so cool.’

Harry nodded and stepped back a tiny bit, putting on the lid since he’d finished putting all the ingredients in. I stepped in a bit closer, expecting Harry to step back more to make room for me, but he stayed in place.

‘How does it work?’

Harry showed me, explaining what to press to turn it on and then how to power the blades. It made a loud sound making me jump a bit as it surprised me, but Harry’s hand was quick to settle on the centre of my back, reassuring me. I blinked. Harry still hadn’t moved away, and we were standing unnecessarily close to each other. Harry’s alpha smell and warmth was calming. I took a moment to ignore the blender’s noise and just focus on Harry’s smell, taking in deep breaths.

I stopped the blender, looking up at Harry to confirm it was finished.

‘It’s done,’ Harry nodded, bringing over the three cups he had taken out earlier for us to drink from. He poured the smoothie, putting more in one of them than the other two. Which made sense, Harry probably needed more than me and Niall, us being only 5’3 while Harry must be over 6’. He grabbed a few metal straws from the drawer behind him and popped them in, giving me the one that was the most full, so I guess it was for me and not him then. I wasn’t about to question it because I definitely wanted as much smoothie as I could get.

‘Yeeeeeees,’ I hopped from one foot to another in excitement, so ready to taste it. I sip the green smoothie and nearly moan in satisfaction. Thankfully I stopped myself in time.

‘Good?’ Harry asked, sipping his smoothie once he had given Niall his.
‘So good!’ me and Niall spoke at the same time, we looked at each other and grinned.

‘Ah shit the time,’ Zayn notes after glancing at his phone. Putting the last pieces of his breakfast in his mouth. I look at my plate with a half eaten piece of watermelon. I hadn’t even had a chance to touch the blueberry oats yet and I pouted a bit.

Harry noticed, opening a few cupboards searching for something.

‘Here you go,’ Harry said, taking out some containers and packing up my breakfast for me, adding some extra blueberries on top from beside him. Harry also hands me and Niall some lids for our smoothie cups, and pops one on his own as well.

I took the packed up breakfast and put it in the backpack I had packed for the day, carrying my smoothie in my hand so I could drink it but also so it wouldn’t spill all over everything.

‘Don’t forget a spoon Lou,’ Harry said, already grabbing a spoon for me and handing it to me.

‘I feel kind of ignored, what if I wanted a smoothie’ one of the strangers, an omega, in the kitchen spoke.

‘Sorry Amy,’ Harry said, turning to face the brunette.

‘It’s alright, I guess I’ll forgive you Alpha,’ she huffed dramatically, a smile playing on her lips.

Harry grinned cheekily, offering her a sip of his smoothie. She took a small sip, commenting on how yummy it is, but turning back to continue chatting to a few others that were around.

My omega bristled at Harry smiling at someone else, offering them food. It took me by surprise. My omega had never reacted like that before.

As if sensing my discomfort, Harry turned to me, reaching an arm out. I instinctively walked into his side, Harry’s hand resting on my opposite shoulder. He glanced down at my shoulders, eyeing my backpack in distaste. Pastel purple isn’t for everybody but I didn’t think it was particularly offensive. Though the straps were a bit uncomfortable, especially since I was wearing a tank top (cropped, striped and tight because of course, who doesn’t love a good nipple aesthetic and it accentuated my waist), and they were digging into my skin a bit.

As we walked towards the door, Zayn and Niall following, Liam appears from the stairs and presses the lift button, informing us that a car was waiting outside for us to take us to the rehearsal space. I hadn’t met Liam before, but recognized him from what I had seen on the TV, and from photos Niall had sent me.

‘Thanks,’ Harry spoke, and Liam’s alpha visibly preened under approval from Harry, his chest sticking up in pride.

‘Hi, you must be Louis,’ he spoke, eyeing Harry’s arm around my shoulders before deciding to bow his head, tilt his neck a bit in submission. Odd, I thought. Why would Liam, an alpha, be indicating submission to me, an omega. I didn’t have time to question it further as the lift dinged, indicating it was here.

‘Hi Liam, it’s nice to meet you,’ I finally commented after I realized I had gotten a bit lost in my thoughts and there had been a pause. I smiled at him, to try to get rid of any tension.

Harry’s arm dropped from my shoulder as we all got into the lift. Harry hands Liam his smoothie, asking Liam to hold it for a second. He took hold of one of the purple straps on my shoulders he had been eyeing distastefully and guided it off my shoulder and arm, doing the same with the other one. He threw the bags both straps over his shoulder, finally seeming somewhat pleased, and took his smoothie back. Sipping at it.

‘Okay…?’ I commented, not really sure what to say.

Harry just smiled back, gesturing me to step out of the lift as we had reached the first floor. This time around the ride had felt much shorter than the last time when I had gone up.

Niall’s hand grabbed mine, and we smiled at each other, getting into the car that was waiting out front. Harry closed the door once all of us had gotten in the back, and got into the front seat, chatting idly with the driver.

Chapter Text

I hate to sound like I’m complaining but I am pretty sure Harry is doting on me. Any time I even thought about something being wrong or wanting something, Harry was interrupting their rehearsals and rushing over to me to offer to get me something.

I mean, I understand that he’s the unofficial but basically official pack Alpha. I’m not blind, I can see that he’s taken on that role within the house specifically but also just within any group I’ve seen him be in so far. I understand that it means now Harry is in a position where he probably feels like he needs to take care of me and make sure I’m okay. Especially since he saw me so distressed yesterday, and since I’m an unmated omega. As an unmated omega the pack Alpha is automatically in charge of making sure that I am taken care of, but that’s means covering punishments and making sure I’m not neglected, not walking me to the toilet.

But here we are, Harry’s hand on the centre of my back again, guiding me down the long hallway as I glance back at Zayn, my confusing coming across clear. I can hear the huff of irritation from the choreographer from Harry leaving yet again, but Harry ignores it so I follow suit.

We turn a corner and go down another long hallway, this time no others in sight.

‘Harry.’

‘Yes Lou?’

‘You know that I am fully able to walk to the toilet on my own right?’

‘Yes.’

‘Alright… so why are you here, Alpha?’

Harry stiffens a bit as his alpha is clearly a bit bristled, me calling him Alpha didn’t quite take away the harshness of the question like I intended it to, but he continues walking with me.

‘The toilet is here,’ Harry opens the door for me and follows me in, ignoring my question.

‘You can wait outside you know, unless you need to go too,’ I suggest.

Harry reluctantly goes outside, glancing back at me and pausing in the doorway.

‘Don’t lock the door, I’ll make sure nobody comes in.’

I gape at him a bit, not expecting that. I pause to consider. I know Harry wouldn’t let anybody in but, why can’t I lock the door?

‘Why?’

‘Just do as I ask please, I don’t know how to explain it but what if something happens and I can’t get to you. Just leave it unlocked for me.’

I close the door, nudging him out of the way with the door. I pause, but decide to leave the door unlocked since it seemed important to him.

When I’m done I pull open the door and see Harry standing there with his back to where the door was, in a protective stance.

He turns and steps to the side to let me out, and places his hand back on the centre of my back, guiding us to the rehearsal space again.

‘Harry, the quicker you get through this rehearsal the quicker we will be done. I need you to try and not keep interrupting whenever I need something. I can take care of myself I promise. I’ll come and get you if I need you.’

I hoped Harry would consider, because everybody was getting irritated with the Alpha stopping everything to come pick up a card I drop. His head wasn’t in the rehearsal and it was showing.

‘No.’

‘Harry seriously, I know your Alpha needs to protect the new unmated omega or whatever but you don’t have to wait on my every need.’

‘Zayn can handle it,’ I continued when he didn’t say anything.

In response, he let out a low growl. Okay… wrong thing to say.

‘Do you trust me?’ I asked.

‘Yes.’

‘I promise you I will come and get you if I need your help but you need to stop focusing on me so much.’

We had paused in the corridor for privacy, just before the turn where everybody would be able to see us.

‘Don’t leave the room, I’ll try and focus on the rehearsals so that we can leave earlier,’ he suggested.

‘Okay Alpha, I won’t leave the room without getting you. You focus on the rehearsals.’

He nodded a bit apprehensively, but gestured for us to keep walking. He walked me back to Zayn, and hesitantly left me there and went back on stage. Me and Zayn resumed the game we had been playing before I left.

‘He’s acting a bit.. Alpha’ Zayn commented gently.

‘Understatement of the year,’ I chuckled, ‘he said he’d try to focus on rehearsals now.’

‘Not doing so well is he,’ Zayn glanced behind me where the stage was. I turned back and caught Harry’s gaze. I raised my eyebrows at him, and his furrowed but he turned away.

‘I don’t really get it, he didn’t seem to be like that with the other unmated O’s in the kitchen this morning. Maybe it’s just because I’m new?’ I voiced my thoughts out loud.

Zayn looked at me, amused, ‘Sure, if that’s what you think.’

We continue to play the card games for a while, and I glance at the stage every once in a while, and occasionally I have to raise my eyebrows at Harry to remind him to look away. I don’t leave the room, and Harry doesn’t leave the stage until they call it quits for the morning.

Chapter Text

The lift dings and me, Harry, Niall, Zayn and Liam step back into the X-Factor flat once the doors open. Two German Shepherds come running from the direction of the kitchen, tails wagging in excitement.

‘Hellooo Chicken and Chuck,” Harry greets as they run to him, excitedly licking Harry’s knees. They come to me and smell me curiously, tails wagging slower.

‘Louis these are my dogs Chicken and Chuck, dogs meet Louis,’ Harry says, his hand coming to rest on my shoulder while I start petting the dogs. I crouch down to pet them more, and they excitedly lick my neck and face.

‘Careful,’ Harry says, pushing the dogs back gently, and they sit down.

It’s quite common for Alphas to have dogs. In some areas in a status thing, where pack leaders tend to have many dogs to assert dominance. In others many packs just have “communal” dogs that tend to be taken care of primarily by the pack leader. We get along as a species with dogs really well, especially since we have evolved away from shifting. Dogs are great at reading the pheromones we release, and respecting pack order, which make them great companions.

Whether Harry has the dogs as a status thing or he just loves dogs, which seems to be true as he seems very fond of them compared to some alphas that have dogs just for status, I can’t help but find it a little bit attractive. Maybe a lot.

The rest of the boys come forward and say hello to the dogs too, who seem to be very eager to greet everyone.

We all eat lunch together in the dining area, along with Amy and another beta and omega whose names I honestly can’t remember.

‘Cookie,’ I say quietly once Niall and I have finished eating. My omega was starting to really want cuddles and to be near someone. I also had spent most of the day quite far from Niall, even if he was within eyesight the entire time.

‘Lou let’s go into the lounge and spend some Cookie time?’ Niall offers before I need to voice it out loud. Now that I feel better I’m a little bit embarrassed by how I acted yesterday, and in the previous weeks. But I still feel like I just need some time with Niall.

Harry starts gathering everyone’s plates and putting them into the dishwasher while Niall talks lowly to Zayn and Zayn nods at what Niall says. They part ways and Zayn grabs Liam and they chatter loudly about playing some video game together as they head off down a corridor I haven’t been in yet.

‘I’ll go check if the lounge is free for you,’ Harry says, getting up and going down the same corridor into the first room on the right, opening it and speaking to someone inside. Soon enough two alphas leave the room, waving to Harry on the way and heading upstairs.
Harry informs us the room is now free, since he kicked the other two out, and we head in. Chicken and Chuck had been lying at my feet while we were eating, and they follow us into the room. Harry says goodbye, telling us to let him know if we need anything, and leaves me and Niall with the dogs.

The room has a few large sofas, wide enough that a few people can lay down on it, or so that you can stretch out your legs in front of you nicely. It is very clearly meant for lounging. There’s some board games in a corner and a TV on the wall along with some fancy looking stereos. Niall hops on the biggest couch opening his arms for me, and I lay down on top of him, shoving my face into his neck.

Me and Cookie lose track of time while we whisper to each other while we let our omegas just enjoy the smell and feeling of the other being near.

We’re interrupted by the sound of the door opening, a strange smell coming in indicating it’s someone that I don’t know. It’s met with the response of the dogs at our feet getting up and immediately growling along with Harry, who must not have been far outside the room.

In response to the growls the door shuts behind with a hasty ‘sorry’ called out. I look at Niall and he smiles so I shrug it off and we continue our conversation.

A while later the same thing happens again with a different person, Chicken and Chuck getting up again and Harry’s warning growl rumbling through the air followed by the dogs’ own growls.

‘Is he always like this,’ I ask Niall, wondering if Harry really was this protective over everyone, or if it was just Niall.

Niall laughs and my head moves along with his chest as I’m lying on top of it.

‘He’s not like this with everyone, let’s put it that way,’ Niall says when his laughs turn into chuckles.

‘Are you two close then? How does Zayn feel about another alpha being so protective over you, let alone the pack Alpha?’

‘Cookie, it’s not me he’s protecting.’

‘The dogs?’

Niall laughs again in response. Not the dogs then. That only leaves me, but I’ve known Harry for less than 24 hours, it doesn’t make sense.

‘Cookie how have you not noticed that Alpha is 900% ready to mate you, and he isn’t like that with anybody else,’ Niall says, almost rolling his eyes.

I think about it for a minute. It would explain why he has been so insanely doting on me all day, and the growling I guess. He’s been quite touchy but… pack Alphas tend to be like that. Especially with unmated omegas.

‘Are you sure?’ I ask dubiously.

‘Louis I am completely confident that Harry is arse over tits for you, you just haven’t realized it. Everyone else has, even the dogs.’

‘The dogs?’

‘Haven’t you noticed how they are following you around and protecting specifically you? Clearly they know more than you do, you oblivious cookie.’

I guess Niall isn’t wrong. I burrow back into Niall’s neck.

‘What do I do?’ I mumble.

‘Nothing for now, get to know him. See how you get along and wait to see how it goes. I’m sure your omega has been telling you to do things or reacting in a way that it normally doesn’t. Trust your instinct.’

‘I don’t think I’ve ever felt like this before, and my omega definitely hasn’t reacted this way before. Is this what it felt like with Zayn?’

‘Yeah it did. It’s okay to feel nervous Cookie, but you and Harry are in this together, and you’ll see that everything is going to work out. If you don’t like Harry you can tell him to back off. I’ll punch him if I need to, I bet Zayn would too. It would be difficult to because he’s the pack Alpha and my omega wouldn’t want to. But I’d do it for you cookie, anytime.’

How is Niall so wise. I still feel a bit unsettled but I can’t say I’m opposed to getting to know Harry. He is pretty cute.

He makes me feel very safe. He makes my omega feel safe.

‘Should I ask him to have dinner with me today? Do you think he would say yes?’

Niall laughs even harder than he did before in response. I think that means Niall believes Harry would say yes?

Chapter Text

I laid there for a while longer in Niall’s arms, but after a while I felt a bit bad about hogging him.

‘Should we invite Zayn in to hang with us? I think I’m feeling a bit better,’ I said.

‘We don’t have to, but if you want to I can text him.’

‘Maybe invite Harry too?’ I asked, shoving my face back into Niall’s neck as I felt it heat up a bit.

‘HARRY!’ Niall yelled, startling me. I heard some scrambling and the door swung open and Harry rushed in.

‘Is everything okay?’ he asked, surveying the situation. Chicken and Chuck were alert at our feet, wondering what was going on.

‘Wanna go get Zayn and come hang with us?’ Niall spoke. I pressed my face back into Niall’s neck, trying to calm down my heart which was beating quickly. Mostly from Niall yelling so abruptly. Well okay maybe only partly because of that. Harry may or may not have something to do with it as well.

‘Okay, I’ll go get Zayn. Are you okay Louis? Would you like some water or something to eat?’

I lifted my head up and peered at Harry, ‘I’m good thanks, a glass of water would be nice though.’

As Harry left, I untangled myself from Niall and sat onto the floor with Chicken and Chuck.

‘Hellooooo Chicken,’ I said, scratching his head. Chuck’s curious eyes looked at me, and he trudged closer, shoving his head into my free hand asking for scratches too.

‘Hiiii Chuck, how’s it going?’

Both dogs ended up rolled over on their backs while I gave them belly rubs by the time Harry and Zayn came back.

‘Is Liam coming?’ Niall questioned.

‘No, he’s heading to the gym since we had rehearsals in the morning when he wanted to go,’ Zayn said, plopping down beside Niall and pulling him in for a cuddle.

I half laid down on Chicken while Chuck put his head onto my lap so we were in a pile on the floor. Harry furrowed his brow when he looked at us.

‘The floor isn’t good for your back Lou, come up on the couch. The dogs can come up too.’ Harry gestured to the other identical couch that’s next to the one Niall and Zayn were on. I clambered onto it, grabbing a few throws that were lying around to make it cozier. I messed around with the pillows and blankets until I was comfortable. Harry sat down on the other end of the couch.

I looked at Chicken and Chuck and patted the couch, and they jumped up to join me and curled up around me. I stretched my legs out and accidentally poked Harry’s leg with my toe, but I pulled it back and decided to just have them bent instead.

‘Let’s watch a movie?’ Niall suggested.

‘YES!’

 

 

After the movie, we all headed to bed. I insisted it was fine for Niall to sleep with Zayn, so I headed into my room alone to go to bed. Chicken and Chuck followed me in and settled down at the end of my bed. Sleep came to me easily.

I woke up with the urge to pee, and my eyes stung, telling me it was still the middle of the night. I glance at my phone to see that it was 3:16am, and decide to just go to the toilet and go back to sleep.

I open the door to my room, the dogs getting up and lazily following me out. I immediately spot the door on the other side of the hallway is wide open, which is odd. If I remember correctly it’s Harry’s room, but I continue walking towards the toilet anyway. Maybe Harry isn’t even in there.

‘Louis?’ a raspy voice calls out from the room.

‘Yeah?’

‘Is everything okay?’ Harry questions.

‘Yeah… just going to the toilet.’

I keep walking and go pee. On my way back, I notice Harry standing in his doorway, the one that had been wide open.

‘How can you sleep with your door open like that Alpha?’

Harry looked a bit sheepish and paused.

‘I wanted to be able to see your door, just in case,’ he said, avoiding my gaze.

Okay maybe Niall was right after all. During the movie, Harry didn’t behave oddly at all so I thought maybe today’s protectiveness had just been a fluke or something. But here it is again.

I didn’t really know what to say, so I dumbly just nodded.

‘We have rehearsals all day tomorrow basically,’ Harry spoke randomly.

‘That sucks, the live shows are the day after?’

‘Yeah. Do you want to grab lunch with me between rehearsals?’

When I thought about how I’d decided to ask Harry out for dinner earlier, I don’t know how I imagined it but it surely wasn’t by Harry at 3am with the rest of the house asleep and the dogs circling around our feet.

‘Sure! Should we… go back to sleep? You need energy for rehearsals tomorrow, or well today I guess.’

Harry agreed and walked across the hall with me, pushing open my room’s door for me. I headed through, dogs following.

‘Goodnight,’ Harry said. I echoed it back and Harry pulled the door shut.

I listened out for Harry’s retreating footsteps, but they never came. I waited a few more seconds to make sure.

‘Harry?’ I softly spoke.

‘Yeah?’ he replied, clearly just from the other side of the door.

‘Is everything okay?’ I ask.

‘Yeah.’

‘Do you… want to come in?’ I said, even quieter than before.

The door slowly opened in response, and Harry looked sheepish again.

‘My Alpha is having problems sleeping in a different room to you…’

When I was younger I imagined meeting my future Alpha, and being swept off my feet by romantic and grand declarations.

Now when I’m here with Harry at 3am with our softly spoken words, it’s so different than I imagined. Nothing being said outright, but both of us having that mutual understanding. Everything feels private and it just feels safe and in a way… more intimate that I ever could have imagined.

‘Come here,’ I said, watching as Harry closes the door behind him and gets into bed. For the first time I notice our attires. I’m in small sleep shorts and a tank top, and Harry is just in his pants, his long legs exposed in a way I hadn’t seen before. I took a second to admire the outline of a tattoo he has on his thigh.

Together we move underneath the covers, with the sound of the dogs slowly shifting around at the end of the bed being the only other sounds. We both softly wish each other goodnight, and fall asleep with our pinky fingers gently touching.

Chapter Text

I woke up gently, wrapped in warm blankets and enveloped in the most amazing smell. I kept my eyes shut and wiggled around happily, burrowing further into the blankets. I felt movement from behind me, indicating Harry might be awake too.

‘Morning,’ he rasped.

‘Good morning,’ I giggled, so giddy and comfortable. I had slept in the same bed as Harry last night, enough to make any omega giddy. But what was particularly exciting was that my sense of smell was back with a vengeance. After Niall had left for the X Factor as my omega became weaker, so did my sense of smell. While I could obviously still distinguish alphas from betas from omegas, it wasn’t as strong as it had been before. I have always been really proud of my strong nose, and I love having it back.

I inhaled deeply, enjoying the strength of my scent mixed with Harrys. I could faintly smell those in the rooms around us, like Niall and Zayn.

I turned around to face Harry and saw him rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. When we finally made eye contact we both grinned widely.

‘Sleep well?’ he asked.

We then spent a bit of time talking until Harry’s phone alarm went off and we knew we had to get up.

‘I’ll meet you downstairs for breakfast?’ Harry asks, getting up out of bed, walking over to my side of the bed where I’m getting up. He pets Chicken and Chuck who have come around to say hello to me, but are eager to greet Harry too.

I agree, but Harry doesn’t move away yet. I look up at him while tugging down on my sleep shorts, which had ridden up a bit.

Harry pauses, but opens his arms for a hug. I lean in, subconsciously nuzzling into his chest and deeply inhaling his scent. Harry’s scent thickens, and I’m sure mine does too. He lets out a low rumble in his chest, and my head tilts to the left exposing my neck in submission. Harry nudges his nose near my scent gland.

Both of us stiffen slightly at the same time, noticing the implications of what we are doing. Only mated couples, well… and me and Niall, do that. We pull back still in the hug but enough to make eye contact and search for something in each other’s eyes. I don’t know what or why we are doing this, and I don’t think Harry does either.

I shrug and lean back in to Harry’s chest, wanting to bask in his scent more. Harry chuckles, and puts his face back into my neck, which I’ve still left still exposed.

Knocking on my door startles both of us, Harry lifting me slightly and turning me so that he is between the door and me. The dogs both run to the door barking, while Harry releases a slow warning growl, moving towards the door and gesturing for me to stay put.

Given that it’s Liam, based on the scent coming from the door, I think it’s a bit of an over-reaction from Harry. It doesn’t stop my omega from preening from being so protected.

‘Harry,’ Liam says confused, ‘isn’t this Louis’ room?’

Harry opens the door, realizing he’s just in his boxers and that I’m standing behind in very little clothing as well. He closes the door partly, so that Liam can just see through a bit, and Harry stands blocking me from the view.

‘Yes. We’re both awake and will be down in a minute. Please refrain from disturbing my omega, especially if he may be asleep. I will take care of this in the future. Thank you for checking though.’ Harry’s words stun Liam and me into silence.

‘But don’t do it again,’ Harry reiterates. Pushing it a bit if you ask me. My omega is not pleased. Not at all. Nope. Maybe a bit. Or a lot.

‘Message received, I’ll see you downstairs for breakfast?’ Liam bows his head slightly when he is done, to demonstrate respect for Alpha.

‘We will be down shortly.’

Harry closes the door and turns to me, ‘change of plans, I’ll come get you when I’m ready and we will go down together.’

Did he actually forget other alphas, alphas in his own pack, exist? And now that he remembers it’s too dangerous for me to… walk down a flight of stairs? I smile a bit, finding the situation a bit amusing.

‘Of course Harold, I’ll wait for you here,’ I say lightly, and Harry waves goodbye as he closes the door on me and the dogs.

I sit down on the bed, thinking about how Harry just called me his omega. I’m pretty sure he did at least.

I don’t want to over think it, so after closing my eyes and taking in a deep breath to calm the butterflies that have appeared in my stomach I get up and get ready for the day.

As I’m pulling on a shirt I hear a knock on the door, and I can smell it’s Harry. The dogs lift their head but can presumably tell who it is as well.

‘Come in!’ I shout.

Harry comes in, asking me if I’m ready. I confirm that I am and we head downstairs, Harry’s hand on my back and the dogs trailing after us.

We get into the kitchen and Harry gives the dogs some food and I refill their water bowl.

‘What time do you need to leave for rehearsals?’ I ask openly to all the 1D boys that are in the kitchen.

‘We have about half an hour,’ Niall replies, coming up to me for a hug. He raises his eyebrow at the lingering scent of Harry. I showered, but showering and changing clothes doesn’t do much for the smell that comes from the scent gland in your neck when someone has been scenting you like Harry had this morning.

Niall pulls back a bit, his omega probably not feeling that comfortable around the scent of an alpha, especially one as highly ranked as Harry, who isn’t his own alpha.

‘You’re coming with?’ Harry asks.

‘I don’t know, I guess so? I feel like I would be alright without Niall but I think I might get bored here.’

‘I’m going with them again so we can entertain each other,’ Zayn says. Harry stiffens at Zayn’s words but doesn’t growl, which I count as a win.

‘Can the dogs come too?’ I ask, reaching down to pet Chuck who is sitting next to me.

‘Yeah, they normally always come with me, yesterday they were just at the vets with a friend of mine for some vaccinations. Which reminds me, I called the X Factor pack doctor yesterday and she said she would come in today. I can tell her to come to the rehearsal area, there’s a few private rooms there. Louis I want you to be checked over by her. If anybody else in the pack needs her today they can come there and meet with her as well’ Harry said, addressing everyone in the room.

‘I need to,’ Amy’s friend from yesterday, a beta, speaks up.

‘She’s coming after lunch so you can just show up a few hours later she’ll be done with Louis and will be able to see you Tyler,’ Harry confirms, ‘if you would like for me to come with you or you want to discuss something let me know. I have my phone on me all day.’

Why does Harry have to be such a cute Alpha. Taking care of his pack. I want the butterflies in my stomach to calm down a bit so that I can focus on eating.

‘Cheers, I’ll let you know,’ Tyler says in between bites of his breakfast.

We finish up our breakfast and slowly start to get our things for the day when Liam announces the car is coming in 5.
Harry starts to get things out from the fridge, confusing me as he just ate and we didn’t really have time to eat more now, but I let him do his thing and I check the dogs’ food bowls are empty and run upstairs to grab my bag.

When I come down Harry has a tote bag with some things in it that weren’t there before, and there isn’t any food anywhere, but I shrug it off.

We all head out to the cars and get driven to the rehearsal space.

Chapter Text

The morning has passed by fairly uneventfully. Me and Zayn sat in the same place we had the day before and played some more games and we also colored a bit.

Today Harry seemed to be paying more attention to the rehearsals thankfully, only getting distracted whenever I went to tell him I was leaving the room. I had to keep my yesterday’s promise to him of course, and he had also reminded me when we got there that he would still like for me to inform him before I left the room.

By the time the afternoon was rolling around I was getting hungry, and I’m very relieved that the vocal coach called for a lunch break now. Though I realize belatedly that I was having lunch with Harry, and my stomach erupts into butterflies.

We never said it but I assumed it would just be the two of us. I think it’s a date?

Zayn, me and the dogs got up and we headed to the door Liam and Niall were rushing to, and Harry met us halfway having started walking towards me rather than the door. I notice Harry had grabbed the mysterious tote bag from the morning on his way.

‘We’ll see you guys later,’ Harry says to the rest of the people around that are heading down the hall into what was shown to me as the cafeteria.

‘Where are you off to?’ Niall pouts, jogging back to me and wrapping himself around me.

‘We’re going to have lunch together cookie,’ I say, hugging Niall back. Niall lifts his head and wiggles his eyebrows at me. I roll my eyes in response but pull him in tighter. I might be a bit nervous.

‘You’ll be fine cookie,’ Niall reassures, whispering into my ear. He squeezes me once more and then pulls away.

‘See ya!’ Niall yells, jogging to catch up with Liam, Zayn obediently tagging along from where he was stood waiting for Niall on the side.

‘Where are we going?’

‘The roof of course!’ Harry beams.

‘Of course. Super obvious,’ I tease, but Harry’s grin doesn’t even falter. He reaches for my neck with his hand, gently wrapping it around the side in a classic mated alpha/omega hold, I suppress a shiver and we walk down a corridor until we reach a lift.

When we reach the roof, the dogs running out ahead of us, and it appears to be a fairly standard roof. Harry turns us around a corner to where there’s a picnic table and some lights that have been hung up. It’s a partly cloudy day, with the sun shining, but over the table there’s a huge umbrella providing shade. I’m glad it’s there because I didn’t remember to put on sunscreen and I don’t want to get burnt.

‘Not as beautiful as you deserve, but it’s private and the lights are nice. I hope you like the food I’ve brought,’ Harry says. I feel a slight blush raise onto my cheeks.

‘It’s perfect,’ I say, sitting down onto the bench. The dogs settle down around me and seem to be content laying in the shade. Harry sits down beside me and puts his tote bag down. From the top of the tote bag Harry pulls out a water bowl for the dogs, and then reaches in grab a few containers, opening them to reveal an incredible looking lunch.

‘For starters, I’ve made us some summer rolls with smoked tofu, cucumber, carrot, purple cabbage and bell pepper along with some peanut dipping sauce,’ Harry says, pulling forward the rolls and sauce.

My mouth was watering. It looked so good I just want to- wait… did he say make?

‘Did you say you made them? When did you even have time to do that?’

Harry looked sheepish.

‘Well I wanted to ask you if you would have lunch with me yesterday but… to be honest… I kind of… I was too… I just didn’t end up doing it. But I spent some time preparing last night anyway. I figured if you said no someone would eat them anyway.’

‘Did you think I wouldn’t agree?’

For some reason, I found that really hard to believe. Surely Harry knew that with his incredible smell and Alpha presence and cute curls no omega would be able to resist.

‘I don’t know, maybe,’ Harry said, ‘have a roll Louis.’

I took a summer roll and dipped it in the sauce, taking a big bite out of it.

‘Oh my god this is incredible thank you so much Alpha,’ I said, squirming in excitement. Harry looked pleased, as did his Alpha as his chest puffed out a bit.

When I went back for a second bite Harry grabbed a roll for himself.

Once the rolls were gone, Harry packed away those containers and pulled forwards the next ones.

‘So for the main we have an avocado pesto pasta, the pasta is made from chickpeas and I haven’t tried it before so I hope it’s good, and some cherry tomatoes and pine nuts on top. Oh, and of course some fresh basil as well.’

I love basil so much the smell is so amazing, not quite as amazing as Harry smells but… amazing anyway.

‘Did you make the pesto yourself?’ I asked, not even hiding how impressed I am as I grabbed a fork and lifted some onto a plate Harry handed me.

‘Yup! It’s a really great recipe, my mum loves it.’

Harry waited again for my reaction, looking satisfied when I let out a small moan of enjoyment when I bit into the pasta.

‘The chickpea pasta is really good, but wow what an amazing pesto!’ I said, having finished my first bite.

‘I’m glad you like it Omega,’ Harry said, dipping his head in respect before reaching for some himself.

‘So finally, for dessert…’

‘I’m so full but whatever it is I want it already how do you have such good taste buds,’ I tease.

‘I aimed to fill you up,’ Harry laughed, ‘but I wanted something light for dessert so we’ve just got some melon. We have watermelon and cantaloupe and honeydew melon.’

‘Yum yum yum!’

I didn’t hesitate before grabbing some from the container Harry had just opened, sinking my teeth into some yummy cantaloupe.

I toss the dogs a few pieces of watermelon. The way they eat them makes an adorable crunching noise and I giggle in delight.

Once we’re done, we pack up everything and get up. As we make our way to the door, Harry pauses and I do the same, turning to face him in confusion.

‘Omega,’ Harry bows his head a bit, ‘thank you for joining me. I had an amazing time.’

I leap forward and pull Harry into a hug, burrowing back into his chest and squeezing him tight.

‘Thank you for the incredible food, and for your company,’ I say.

I pause, ‘I’d really like to do this again sometime,’ I say quietly, but loud enough that Harry can hear. His chest rumbles again, and I burrow further, exposing my scent gland on instinct. Harry noses at it, scenting me again. I allow myself to close my eyes and enjoy the light sunshine on my back and the smell of Harry as his pheromones get stronger the longer we embrace.

Chapter Text

‘I’m Doctor Jess Robinson, it’s great to meet you Louis,’ the cheerful omega introduces.

‘Louis Tomlinson, but I guess you know that,’ I giggle, shaking her hand.

‘Indeed I do! I’ve got us a mini office set up over in this room, so why don’t we head on over,’ Doctor Jess says, and Harry and I follow her into the room.

‘Now, Alpha, I can see that you want to sit in on this but I would prefer to have some one on one time with Louis first. May I recommend that Louis and I spend this appointment together just the two of us, but at the end you may come in and ask any questions you would like.’

‘No,’ Harry states firmly.

Doctor Jess looks at me.

‘Harry, if Doctor Jess says that what is best for me is for the appointment to be just us two I think we should trust her professional judgement,’ I placate.

Harry considers.

‘Okay, if that is what you would like. However I have a list of concerns and things I would like to be covered in this appointment. Could we go through the list together first to make sure that you both understand what needs to be covered in the appointment. Then at the end, whatever Louis is comfortable sharing I would like to hear. You may agree this in advance during the appointment.’

‘Of course Alpha,’ Doctor Jess says, bowing her head to show respect. She doesn’t even seem startled by him saying he has a list. A LIST! I don’t even have a list! Should I?

‘Should I have a list? I don’t even have anything prepared, was I meant to?’ I ask concerned.

‘That is what I am here for Omega, you do not need to have a list.’

‘What Alpha said, Louis. I am sure that Harry’s list on its own is adequate, but I also have my own standard one that I use for every first-time appointment, so between the two of us we have you covered. Besides, I’m sure you’ll come up with a few things throughout!’ Doctor Jess confirms.

Harry pulls out a notebook and Doctor Jess lets us know we can sit down and start the appointment as she closes the door to the room.

‘First thing is I obviously would like for you to discuss the three weeks where you and Niall were apart and any implications that has on your health. I would like to hear your professional opinion, Doctor Jess, on whether or not Louis would benefit from seeing a therapist or an omega mental health specialist after going through that experience as well as hearing your recommendations if you see it fit. I would like for you to just check on Louis, and his omega, and make sure that he is recovering well from it and that nothing has been harmed. This includes of course the standard sight/hearing/smell tests as well as getting a feeling for Louis’ omega,’ Harry says.

‘Absolutely, I’ll take my time covering everything you’ve mentioned and I have a few additional bits and bobs related to that to discuss with Louis as well. As you warned me about the situation I spent some time researching any and all possible side effects and will see to both examining Louis and warning him of any that may still come up,’ Doctor Jess reaffirms.

‘Great, then as Doctor Jess knows I like for all the members of my pack to be regularly tested for STDs. Relating to that I also encourage all pack members that are able to conceive pups to start thinking about birth control and whether that is something they would like to start. I would like for you to have a serious and proper conversation about it,’ Harry continues.

‘Of course Alpha,’ Doctor Jess confirms.

‘Then finally I would like for you to discuss your next heat Louis, and about how you have dealt with it in the past and how you will be able to now that you are not home. Doctor Jess is aware of what the rest of the pack does and will be able to provide you with some options, and I would like for you to write out a heat plan so that we can prepare accordingly. This obviously includes estimating when your next heat will be. Oh and of course any implications that the three weeks sans Niall may have had on the intensity of your next heat, I read somewhere that it may be worse or at a weird time, but I presume you were going to do that anyway,’ Harry concludes.

As Doctor Jess goes over the notes she wrote to confirm to Harry that she got everything down that he wanted I thought about how long that list was. I’m so astonished by how much thought Harry put into that, thought that even I hadn’t put into it and it’s MY body!

Some of the topics were a bit awkward but, I think that I can get over it. Doctor Jess seems nice enough at least.

‘If you need anything I will be outside the door Omega,’ Harry says, coming up to me to say goodbye.

‘No you won’t. Harry you need to go back to rehearsals. It’s just down the hall I promise I will call for you if I need help. I have my phone, keep yours so that it will ring if I call you and go rehearse,’ I plead. We had exchanged number earlier, but not had any reason to use them before.

‘Your calls always go through Omega, but fine. Any troubles and please call. Thank you Doctor Jess.’ Harry says, walking out of the door and closing it behind him.

‘He’s awfully protective,’ Doctor Jess smiles, breaking the tension that settled into the room.

‘At least he always listens when he’s being ridiculous,’ I comment, very glad that Harry respects me when I tell him he is being too much. Not that I would be even remotely interested in any alpha that thinks they can boss me around just because I’m an omega.

‘Harry’s a lovely alpha,’ Doctor Jess comments, ‘let’s get started.’

Doctor Jess and I discuss the three weeks, and she asks me to start whether I feel like I need to speak to someone about it.

‘I don’t think so. I don’t want to go through that again but, honestly I don’t feel like it is really impacting my daily life right now. Bar wanting to be around Niall but that’s normal for me. If I knew that I would need to be apart from Niall in the future then I probably would want to but… hopefully that won’t happen,’ I explain.

‘If you feel that way Louis I don’t see any reason for you to go speak to someone. Please know though that if you have any doubts or even just want to have one session just to clear your mind you know how to contact me and I’ll find you a few recommendations. There’s nothing wrong with talking to a professional about something like that, and I don’t want you to feel ashamed or not want to do it because of that.’

‘I understand Doc, I don’t feel that way at all.’

‘How has your omega been since then? Have they returned back to normal? Do they feel settled?’

‘I think they’re settling in fine. I feel more in control of my omega now than I did during those three weeks. Then I felt like I almost tuned out my omega and they would do things like whine without me noticing, but now I’ve noticed whenever they made noise or whenever their instincts make me do something I’ve been aware that it’s them.’

‘That’s good Louis. Do they feel jumpy, or overly protective of Niall?’

‘I don’t think they’ve been jumpier than usual. Loud noises or scents or quick movements have obviously always made them react, and I wouldn’t say that has changed in either direction. I haven’t felt at all protective of Niall, which has been a thing since after Niall mated. Of course if Niall was in actual danger that would change but in day-to-day my omega hasn’t been more protective or possessive. Though… actually the other day my omega acted unusually when Alpha Harry was speaking to another omega in the pack. My omega has never done that before. Is that normal? Is it because of what I went through?’ I ask.

‘It sounds like your instincts are fine. I would bet that your omega’s reaction to the other omega was more about how Harry is clearly claiming you to be his mate, and your omega is responding to it. Unless it feels unnatural or worryingly strong to you I wouldn’t be worried about that.’

‘Right,’ I say… claiming me. It seems like everybody else seems very confident Harry is interested in me. I guess we did go on a date. He has been scenting me like mates.

‘How do you feel looking back at those three weeks Louis?’ Doctor Jess asks, interrupting my thoughts.

‘Honestly… I haven’t told anyone this but, I feel a little bit ashamed. I know in the moment I couldn’t do anything but now I feel like I over-reacted so much. I feel a bit silly for having been so dramatic over something so… small.’ I say, toying with my hands and looking at the floor.

‘There’s nothing to be ashamed about Louis. It’s very common for omega’s to feel that way after experiencing something like this. That is something that speaking to an omega mental health specialist may help with. Sometimes you disconnect from the reactions your omega has, especially when they have very strong reactions or ones that last a long time, and you don’t fully understand why your omega reacted that way. What this results in is you feeling ashamed or embarrassed with your own actions, and you lose trust in your omega. While right now it may not feel like a problem, down the line this may cause some severe issues. I would like for you to consider this, and maybe talk about it with someone you’re close to if you think that would help. I know a very good omega mental health specialist who has a lot of training in this area, and you meeting with them even just once may be hugely useful for you,’ Doctor Jess explains.

I think about this for a minute. I don’t want to lose trust in my omega, and I don’t feel like I have lost trust in them. It does make sense though that these feelings of embarrassment come from me not understanding why my omega reacted so strongly to being away from Niall, since nothing was actually wrong and it just put me through a lot of unnecessary pain.

‘I think I’d be open to having a session with them. I can see where you’re coming from,’ I say quietly.

Doctor Jess finds a few booklets on the subject from her bag and hands them to me, along with a business card for this specialist.

‘So we have a few tests Harry would like for us to do. We’ve got the basic testing your vision, hearing and smell as well as taking an STD test if it is necessary. Do you have any questions about those or shall we crack on?’

‘No it’s all good. I think taking an STD test would be good just in case, if that’s okay.’

‘Yeah that’s absolutely fine.’ Doctor Jess confirms, before asking a few basic questions about my sexual history. Yes I obviously have only had protected sex, no I haven’t taken a knot before and all that. She takes a blood sample as well as a swab and lets me know I’ll receive the results sometime next week by phone.

Once we finish our other tests, Doctor Jess informs me that everything seems good. I have an extraordinarily good sense of smell, which I already knew, and my vision and hearing are good as well.

‘Now I know Harry asked for me to get a feeling for your omega, but if you are going to be seeing Doctor Charlie I believe they will be better suited to complete that. Especially since I am not particularly worried about your omega based on what you have said.’

‘That’s alright,’ I say, glancing down at the business card that says Dr Charlie Hoff (they/them) Omega Mental Health Specialist.

‘Then we can move on to the topic of birth control, are you currently on any birth control?’

‘Um no, I’m not. Since I have never been knotted before and I have spent all my heats alone it hasn’t been needed. I wouldn’t be opposed to um… starting one though. Or at least seriously considering it,’ I say, blushing a little bit. Maybe it’s just me being hopeful about Harry, but all of a sudden I really want to get this taken care of.

‘Of course. Have you thought about which kind you would like? Within the pack the most common form is the implant. With the weird schedules from the X Factor that is what most of them find the easiest. It’s completely safe and as effective as every other kind. Before and heats you need to take one pill just to boost it, but other than that it just needs to be changed every three years. You can also get any doctor to take it out at any time if you change your mind. The only downside is that some alphas in rut react badly to being able to see a small scar on an omega’s arm as it reminds them of the birth control in place. This can usually be mitigated by wearing a band-aid or sticker on top of it. Doesn’t really make sense, but neither do alphas huh?’ Doctor Jess jokes.

‘I’ve thought about the implant yeah, I think that’s something I would be comfortable with getting. Can I get it today already? Does it start being effective immediately? Is the procedure painful?’

Doctor Jess explains more about it to me, and says that she has everything with her so that she can do it today. She asks if I want to get it done now, and I hesitate.

‘My omega is telling me that I should ask Alpha first. And that I want him to be here,’ I say.

‘That’s alright. Many members of the pack wish to have the pack Alpha in the room for procedures and decisions like this. So long as that is what you want I can bring it up at the end when Harry is here.’

With that we move on to the last subject, heats. I tell her that I normally just lock myself in my room alone for a few days with plenty of food and water and toys.

‘Within the X Factor pack those who wish to spend heats alone often just do so in the top floor of the house. There are a few special rut and heat rooms that are obviously sound and smell proof. There is even a latch so that food can be passed through, usually by Alpha. Would you like to hear about those who do not want to spend them alone, or are you happy to continue to do so?’

‘I am happy with spending it alone for now thanks. That sounds good.’

‘When was your last heat?’

‘It was just before Niall left, four weeks ago. I have a seven week cycle, so I’m due another one in three weeks.’

‘My educated guess is that your heat won’t be impacted by the three weeks since it is so far away from when your heat is due. At worst it should make it a bit more intense than usual or be pushed back by a few days. Don’t be surprised if it doesn’t hit exactly when you think it will. How long are your heats usually?’

‘They tend to be quite long, around 4 days.’

‘That is longer than average. Have they always been like that?’

‘Yes.’

Doctor Jess informs me it is probably an indication of me being more fertile than average, and that it won’t impact the reaction of the birth control to me. It just means that when I want to conceive pups it likely won’t be difficult.

Together me and Doctor Jess write out a heat plan, saying that I wish to be in those designated rooms alone. I confirm that I allow Alpha or Niall to bring me food through the latch, and that if there is an emergency to send one of them in to take care of it. I do not give consent to anybody to help me through my heat, despite it being possible it is more intense than usual.

‘Now last thing, what would you like for us to discuss with Harry, besides the implant,’ Doctor Jess asks me.

‘Everything. If you could just give him an overview of everything please. I’ll text him to come here.’

‘Okay, so there is nothing you are not comfortable discussing with him?’

‘Nothing,’ I clarify.

When Harry walks in he comes straight to me for a hug.

‘I missed you,’ he whispers, moving my hair off my face.

‘You too,’ I say with a smile.

Harry sits down on the chair and frowns.

‘In my lap?’ he asks. I blush, but get up and sit in his lap sideways. His hand settles on my waist and I lean my head on his shoulder.

Doctor Jess goes over everything we discussed briefly. She explains that she recommended Doctor Charlie for me, Harry offers to arrange an appointment with them so Doctor Jess gives him Doctor Charlie’s business card as well. Doctor Jess offers to email Harry a copy of my heat plan, something which everyone else in the pack does with their rut and heat plans. She leaves the implant for last.

‘So Louis has said he would be interested in getting the implant today as a method of birth control, but he wanted to run it by you first as well as have you present for it.’

I hide my face in Harry’s chest and Harry rubs his hand up and down my back.

‘If that is what you want Louis I am happy to sit here with you while you get it,’ Harry says softly.

I nod my head.

‘I’ll get everything ready,’ Doctor Jess says.

‘You’re sure?’ Harry asks.

‘Yeah,’ I say, sitting up properly to turn to Doctor Jess.

Harry growls lowly when the implant is injected into my arm, but Doctor Jess doesn’t even flinch at it.

‘Common reaction from mates,’ she giggles. I blush.

She finishes up and both me and Harry thank her for her time.

‘Tyler will be coming in next, he arrived as I came in so he should be ready to come in when you’re good to go. He requested for me to come by at the end to go over everything as per usual with him, so I’ll still be around and see you in a while. Tyler will contact me when you’re ready.’ Harry says.

We say bye and leave the room. Harry tells Tyler he can go in and to text when he’s ready for Harry to join.

Together Harry and I head back to the rehearsal space and Harry joins the other boys for choreography practice and I join Zayn.

Chapter Text

The next day’s rehearsals have a completely different feeling to them. The live shows are tonight, and everybody is starting to get nervous.

I’m sitting with Zayn in our usual spot in the rehearsal space while the 1D boys are going over everything for tonight’s performance.

‘Hey Zayn,’ I whisper, grinning.

‘Yeah?’

‘I saw some Segways in the hallway yesterday… are you thinking what I’m thinking?’

Zayn grinned as an answer, and we both got up and snuck out of the room while the boys were distracted.

We jogged down the hallway and I showed Zayn where the Segways were.

‘Helmet,’ Zayn says, handing me one. I put it on and hop onto the smaller Segway.

We zoom down the hallways playing tag, which is a lot harder than you’d think on a Segway.

I can hear Zayn chasing me right behind me, he’s so close so I speed up to try and get away. I turn the corner and have to quickly pull myself to a stop because there’s Harry rushing down the hall towards me. The abrupt stop causes me to wobble and knocks me off the Segway, but I just about land on my feet, Harry rushing forward to help me balance. Zayn comes to a stop too, narrowly avoiding hitting us.

Harry lets out a low growl.

‘What are you doing,’ he demands.

‘We were just messing around,’ I respond.

‘Let’s go,’ he says to me, walking in the other direction. I follow him as he seems mad and I don’t want to make it worse. He leads me into a room, similar to the one I was in yesterday with Doctor Jess.

‘Kneel,’ Harry says firmly.

Uh oh. I’m in trouble. I whine uncomfortably but do as he says.

‘What have you done wrong?’ he asks.

‘Segways?’ I question.

‘No. While that was unsafe and I am unhappy with it we had not previously covered this and I will not punish you for doing something that we had not explicitly said was not allowed,’ he explains, ‘try again.’

Oh shit. I left the room without getting him.

‘I trusted you to come get me when you leave the room. I tuned out my instincts so that I wouldn’t notice so that I could focus on rehearsals instead of your presence, and you abused that trust and left the room.’

I drop my gaze to the floor in embarrassment. I completely forgot.

‘I… I didn’t… I didn’t mean to,’ I sniffle.

My Omega starts to feel very uncomfortable and I’m having a hard time breathing. I’ve never felt like this before in a punishment. My Omega whines, worried Harry is going to leave us all alone.

‘Hey, hey, Louis, I’m not going anywhere. Everything is going to be fine. I know you didn’t do it on purpose but I am still going to punish you. I’m not going anywhere. Take a deep breath,’ Harry says rushing forward in response to the whine I let out. His hands settle on my shoulders and he sinks down to his knees in front of me, pulling me into a hug.

‘It’s okay. You made a mistake, it happens. I need to punish you so that you can let go of the guilt, that’s all. You know this Louis, what’s going on?’ Harry questions, rubbing his hand down my back.

‘I… I don’t know… I just suddenly felt like you were going to leave me all alone and… I don’t… I don’t want… please don’t leave,’ I rush out, still sniffling.

‘I’m not going anywhere,’ Harry reassures.

We sit there for a while, letting my Omega calm down.

‘I think I’m ready,’ I say, wiping the tears from my eyes with my sweater.

‘How do you normally get punished Omega,’ Harry asks as we move to the couch on the side of the room.

‘Um…’ I say, feeling a bit shy and exposed, ‘usually I just get spanked.’

‘Are you comfortable with that as a form of punishment now?’

‘Yes,’ I say, never really enjoying it but knowing that my Omega needed to be relieved from the guilt or it would resort to dangerous measures like scratching itself severely, which can be fatal.

Harry is firm but caring when he punishes me. That feeling of panic from before never comes back, and my Omega sighs in satisfaction when Harry is done.

‘You did such a good job pumpkin,’ Harry soothes, running his hand down my back when he’s done. I get up from over his knee and Harry guides me gently into his lap. I burrow into his neck and allow myself to just relax. Harry continues to speak in a soothing tone, calming me down and providing me with the aftercare needed when a punishment is finished.

Eventually we head out, knowing that Harry has a performance to get to tonight.

I’m eating with Cookie in the kitchen back at the pack house when all of a sudden my Omega goes on high alert, as does Niall’s, as we hear yelling by Harry and Zayn. They are speaking to each other in their alpha voices, which often happens when alphas argue.

‘I gave him a helmet!’ Zayn’s voice yells.

‘That doesn’t make it safe! He nearly fell when he had to stop’ Harry booms back.

‘Because you were in his way!’

‘Anybody could have been in his way. I can’t believe you would endanger my Omega like that. Your pack Luna. How dare you!’

I look at Niall with wide eyes.

‘Should we interrupt,’ I whisper.

‘Maybe if it escalates? Harry is very in control of his Alpha, I’ve never heard him be so angry. They should be able to figure it out on their own,’ Niall whispers back.

We huddle together under the table with the dogs splayed out in front of us while they continue to argue. After a while it dies down and we start to relax. Eventually the rest of the pack, most of whom I haven’t even met, all gather into the kitchen. Probably sensing this, Harry comes into the kitchen with Zayn, whose head is hung low, following behind.

‘Everything is fine, you can go back to what you were doing,’ Harry reassures everyone, ‘I’m sorry you had to hear that.’

Harry’s gaze finds mine and assesses whether I’m okay. I smile at him from under the table, reassuring him. Harry then trails his gaze purposefully over all the other omega’s in the pack. It is common knowledge that alphas arguing can set off some omegas quite badly. Nobody in the room seems too shaken though, which indicates a strong sense of trust in the pack. When Harry is reassured everyone is fine, people start filtering out and chatting amongst themselves.

What a day. And there’s still live shows tonight!

Chapter Text

‘Harry,’ I say quietly to him. There’s people milling around everywhere as the cars are arriving to drive everyone over to where the live shows will be. Someone nearly bumps into me but I stand my ground.

‘Is everything okay Lou?’ Harry responds, coming over and resting his arm around my shoulders.

‘Can we talk?’ I ask, knowing it’s a bad time but it’s time sensitive I guess.

Harry agrees and walks us up the stairs into his room, closing the door behind him. Leaving even the dogs that had been trailing us outside the room.

‘What is it pumpkin?’

‘I just… I’m just really… I’m tired and I’m not sure… I just don’t think I… I want to sleep…’ I struggle to find the right words.

‘You’ve had a really long day, it’s completely normal to be tired. How about you stay here and go to sleep. You don’t need to come to the show tonight if you don’t want to, we’ll all be busy the entire time anyway,’ Harry gently suggests.

I sigh in relief, ‘yes please.’

Harry pulls me in for a long hug and kisses the top of my head. My omega purrs in satisfaction and Harry noses at the side of my head until I drop it to the side in submission so that he has access to my scent gland.

‘Do you think… will cookie be mad that… if I’m not there to support him. I just feel so tired.’

‘Niall will understand. You’ve had a really tiring day pumpkin, being punished takes a lot out of you. Stay in here and rest, I’ll fill you in tomorrow on what you’ve missed.’

Curling up in Alpha’s bed sounds so nice I close my eyes and relax at just the thought.

Harry squeezes my neck firmly with his hand and wishes me goodnight, promising to let the others know I was staying in. I go brush my teeth and change into some PJs and curl up in bed with Chicken and Chuck curled up beside the bed and fall fast asleep.

 

‘Sorry,’ a voice says quietly, while I feel the bed moving. Harry must’ve come back from the shows.

‘How was it?’

‘It was good, I’ll tell you about it tomorrow pumpkin. Goodnight,’ Harry says, getting under the covers.

I curl up into Alpha’s side without questioning it since I’m half asleep, and only realize after I’ve done it that he might not like that. His arm settles around me and murmurs night again, pulling me in tight. I fall asleep listening to his heartbeat.

 

I wake up to an alarm going off. Harry reaches over to shut it off.

‘What time is it?’ I ask, I’ll admit I sound a bit grumpy. I feel like I just went to sleep.

‘It’s half seven. Doctor Charlie called me last night before the live shows and said they’d be free to meet with you at 9 this morning. Is that okay with you? If not I can reschedule.’

‘Okay, thank you,’ I groan, shutting my eyes and rolling over to shove my face into my pillow. Harry chuckles but gets up.

We both get ready for the day and head downstairs.

We walk into the kitchen and immediately my omega starts freaking out. Niall is sobbing in a chair, Zayn comforting him.

‘Cookie, what’s wrong?’ I ask, rushing forward and wrapping myself around him.

‘I messed up… so… badly… during the… show!’ Niall hiccups through sobs.

‘Oh Cookie, I’m sure you did great. You’re your own harshest critic and all that,’ I say, rubbing my hand down his back along with Zayn and Harry. I pause for a moment to wonder how we are all managing to do this but Niall’s sob pulls be back to the problem at hand.

‘I really did mess up, now everyone hates me!’

‘Nobody hates you Cookie. Zayn calls you Sunshine for a reason, you’re the literal sun. Nobody can hate the sun!’

‘Lou’s right Sunshine, you did great. I didn’t even notice that you had messed up, and I’ve seen all the rehearsals!’ Zayn soothes.

‘Exactly Niall, I’m so proud of you Omega. You did so incredibly well and you sang brilliantly. You may have fumbled but you recovered so quickly. I messed up too, we all did. Nobody hates you for not being perfect. You gave it your all and it was an amazing performance,’ Harry says firmly.

Niall’s sobs simmer down a bit, ‘are you sure?’

‘Positive,’ I say, as Zayn and Harry confirm as well.

After a while Niall calms down, and we get on with breakfast.

‘I don’t understand the timings for these things, when is the final?’ I ask, realizing I haven’t been paying attention to anything and have no idea what’s going on with the actual show.

‘The final is in three weeks,’ Harry says, before blending up this morning’s smoothie, ‘we have all of today off, do you want to go bowling?’

‘Um hell yeah I want to go bowling!!!’ I exclaim.

‘Anybody else want to join?’ Harry asks openly to the people in the kitchen.

‘Yeah we’ll come along, does that sound good Niall?’ Zayn asks.

‘Did I hear bowling? I’ll come!’ Liam says as he walks into the kitchen.

A few others in the kitchen say they’ll join as well.

‘Great, I’ll order us some cars for noon, meet you all downstairs then!’ Harry says.

I make eye contact with Harry and smile, he smiles back and walks around so he’s behind me and drops his arms over my shoulders to in front of me. I lean back into his half embrace and enjoy my breakfast in his arms.

‘I’m a bit nervous,’ I whisper to Harry.

‘About meeting Doctor Charlie?’

‘Yeah, what if I’m really damaged and now my life is over,’ I whisper seriously. Harry chuckles in response and I glare at him.

‘Pumpkin you’re fine, they’re just going to help you. Not ruin your life by saying you’re permanently damaged somehow, which isn’t true anyway.’

‘I guess so,’ I say wearily. I guess there’s only one way to find out.

 

 

‘I told you it was all going to work out,’ Harry says lightly as we walk out of Doctor Charlie’s office two hours later.

Doctor Charlie had just talked through how I felt and asked a few standard questions about my Omega and how they feel to get a reading on them. Afterwards we had spoken about what I would like to gain from the experience and if there’s anything I feel like I could get help with.

We spoke about what Doctor Jess had said, and spent quite a bit of time going over why my Omega had reacted the way they had when Niall was gone. Doctor Charlie was very patient and explained things in ways that really made sense. I honestly feel a lot better now. We had agreed I would go see them a few more times, but Doctor Charlie had said they’re not worried about me at all, and it’s more to make sure that over the next few weeks nothing gets worse. Sometimes apparently things like this can take a while to sink in.

‘I guess so,’ I mutter. Harry and I are heading out for some sushi for lunch and then going straight to the bowling alley instead of meeting everyone back at the X Factor house.

‘Sushi sushi sushi!’ Harry chants to change the subject, just as the sushi restaurant comes into view.

‘I’ve been really craving some avocado sushi I’m so pumped. A few months ago, I had this really cool fried tofu sushi thing with Niall and I hope this place has some because it was so weird. Like a mini bag made of tofu with sushi rice inside. I want some!’

‘Let’s hope they have it then,’ Harry says, holding the door open for me and we head inside to eat.

Chapter Text

‘I’ll input our names into this lane?’ Zayn asks, looking to Harry for confirmation. There’s a group of us from the house here bowling, and we’re taking up quite a few lanes. Zayn seems to be putting 1D along with himself and me onto this one lane.

‘Yes Zayn,’ Harry says patiently. Harry hands me the bowling shoes he got me and we sit down to put them on.

‘Louiiiiiis you’re up first!’ Niall bounces over to urge me to tie my laces quicker.

‘Okay, okay I’m going!’ I say. I take a light bowling ball meant for omegas and start bowling.

Soon enough it becomes apparent that Harry and Niall are the only ones good at bowling. Liam and I are fluctuating between last place.

‘Ha ha- you suck,’ Niall teases, poking me in the side. I pout a bit. Harry is quick to be reassuring and pulls me into his lap for a bit. Complimenting my last go.

‘Should we sabotage Niall?’ I giggle into Harry’s ear. Harry smiles widely in agreement.

As Niall is preparing to bowl, I get up and sneak behind him. Just as he is about to bowl I shout loudly and startle him, and his ball goes straight into the gutter. I burst into giggles and Niall turns around annoyed.

‘You little shit!’ he yells, starting to chase me. Oh no, Niall has always been a faster runner than me. He’s going to tickle me to death. I briefly get scared and start to sprint away. I run straight to Harry, who steps out in front of me.

‘Niall it’s still your turn,’ Harry says, hiding his amusement well.

Niall huffs in response but goes back to finish his turn.

‘Again?’ I ask Harry.

‘Nah let’s keep the element of surprise here Pumpkin, wait until next turn,’ Harry advises. I agree with him and sit back into his lap.

A few turns later of me randomly sabotaging Niall, he tries to get back at Harry now that he’s losing. While I’m busy chatting with Liam, Niall sneaks up behind Harry and jumps onto his back. This startles Harry a bit but my Omega lets out a distressed whine that startles me and everyone in the vicinity even more. Harry shakes Niall off, Zayn nearby making sure Niall is okay, and Harry runs to me.

Harry sits down beside me, pulls me into his lap and I burrow into his neck a bit embarrassed.

‘I didn’t mean to,’ I say quietly.

‘I know you didn’t Pumpkin, and it’s fine. Your Omega’s feelings are important too.’

I can smell Niall walk over to us, so I lift my head to look at him.

‘I… I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to Cookie,’ I say.

‘Nooo Cookie I’m sorry I didn’t realize it would upset your Omega so much to see another omega unexpectedly be so close to Alpha. It was my fault,’ Niall says softly, looking apologetic.

‘I don’t think any of us did, thank you for apologizing,’ Harry says, ‘you can go bowl, it’s your turn Niall.’

Niall looks at me again and I nod and tell him to go bowl. I burrow back into Harry’s neck and he continues to rub at my back.

A few of the Alphas from the pack had come closer to check that everything is okay, and Harry dismisses them as well.

When it’s my turn Harry comes up with me to bowl, and in between our turns we end up just sitting together as my Omega slowly relaxes. Sometimes we spend it chatting and other times we just sit in peace and quiet.

The next few weeks fly by and before I know it I’m starting to feel symptoms of my heat coming on soon. Niall’s heat finished yesterday, and being apart from him for a few days was nowhere near as difficult as it had been before. I think it has to do with how me and Harry have gotten closer and closer.

We have spoken about us a few times, but we are still getting to know each other. Aside from agreeing that we are seriously courting nothing much has changed. The final is coming up soon, and I hope that my heat doesn’t start until after the results have been announced as I want to be there to celebrate.

‘Pumpkin?’ Harry calls out, walking into our room. Well his room, but I guess I have basically moved in here.

‘Yes?’ I ask from where I’m curled up in his bed. My nesting instincts are always particularly strong around my heats, so I’ve gathered up a bunch of Alpha’s clothes and arranged them on the bed with our blankets.

‘Aw Pumpkin you’ve made such a beautiful nest.’

My Omega preens and I stick my arms out inviting Harry to come in for a cuddle.

Harry obliges and curls up in the nest with me.

‘We’ve got more rehearsals and interviews now. Do you want to come with or stay here?’

‘Can I come with?’ I whisper.

‘Of course, Lou,’ Harry replies, pulling me closer.