She didn’t regret it, and she never would.
Kara could tolerate Todd near beating her to death and forcing her to work to exhaustion on a daily basis. She could even endure the man cutting back on her rations to terrible extents or threatening to kill her, but this had crossed the line.
It was the same thing that landed her in the hospital until this afternoon, most of the scars and stitches still painful, and a promise to die the next time around. But, she just couldn’t let him hurt the only thing that held so much value in her life, especially not twice.
Todd had screamed at her not to complain and slow her work after having so much time off earlier in the evening as she fumbled with leaning in for the dishwasher, the man forcing at least two capsules of narcotics down her throat. It only caused her to feel more nauseous, sluggish, and drowsy, her legs begging for a break when dinner rolled around. And that’s when the alpha snapped, upset at their daughter for not giving him eye contact and sympathy to his woes on bills that never ended. As the red ice fed more into the alpha’s already intoxicated system, he grew more feral and impatient, flipping over the table and barrelling toward Alice who only had the time to gasp, a scream caught in her throat as Todd yanked her up by the collar.
“It’s all your fucking fault!” He screamed, shaking Alice like a rag doll before tossing her onto the spaghetti-coated armchair in the corner of the room and struggling to undo his belt. The poor girl whimpered and tried to scoot back into her already cornered position, looking at her mother with those wide, panicked eyes.
“Stop…! I’m scared!”
“You’re just like you-your fucking mom over there, complainin’ about everything and fucking it up! You both need to be taught a lesson,” He seethed, following Alice’s pleading stare and kicking the chair out from underneath Kara when she tried to get up and halt him from encroaching on her daughter, giving her poor child enough time to bolt off to her room.
“Stop, Todd! Leave her alone!”
“Get the fuck back here!” He screamed, eyes bloodshot and blown wide with an inhuman amount of anger as he stared after the girl, whipping back around to glare directly at Kara as he yanked his belt from the loops. “If you fucking raise your voice again, or even move a muscle, I’m going to do more than hit you with the car this time.”
The dead stare in those eyes and tone which showed it was no longer just a threat rattled every bone in Kara’s aching frame, and she had to fight with all her strength to nod without gritting her teeth, shivering with the mix of fear and anger that came with the fact she was running out of options. She hated her mate with every fiber of her being, knowing her weakness was going to get her daughter killed, if she didn’t act now. When Todd was satisfied with her silence, he nodded and sauntered up the stairs, not a doubt in his mind that Kara would obey him when he kicked down the door of Alice’s room.
The scream she could hear resonating through the small home jolted Kara upright, and it was without hesitation that she got up the stairs, pushing aside the physical pain, emotional guilt, and learned obedience to allow her instincts to kick in. With surprisingly steady hands, she grabbed and loaded the gun from Todd’s nightstand, shoving her way into her daughter’s room and pointing the weapon at the alpha’s head, an action she never could’ve justified or even imagine when she was growing up. But now with confidence, chose as the only course of action.
“Get away from her,” She said with a stern voice, weapon trained on the man pinning Alice to the bed, belt waiting taut in his hand.
“How fucking dare you. That’s my gun, and you’re my property!”
Todd lunged at her, trying to swat the gun from Kara’s hand but being unsuccessful as her reflexes helped guide her out of the way.She smacked back against the wall, head dizzy but hands still steady in front of her as Todd threw misguided hits at her.
He screamed about her omega evil and inability to listen being the reason this was all happening, reminding her of their miscarried child and how the loss of another daughter was all up to her. It almost worked to make her toss the gun away, but the sound of Alice’s encouraging calls reminded her there was no time to feel guilty now. So when Todd clobbered her and groped his way on top of her once they’d both fallen, she pulled the trigger and emptied the bullets into the man’s chest, shoving his body away and rushing over to her child’s side.
“We don’t have much time,” She panted, shucking off her bloodied omega uniform in favor of a large coat, putting a jacket and scarf over Alice before refilling the gun, loading some snacks into her purse, and running away together as fast as they possibly could. They’d taken the first step, but now, the job of keeping her daughter safe would only become more dangerous.
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Connor felt conflicted, even more so than the night before.
He was tremendously proud of his achievement, finding the hidden omega, as he knew that’s what he set out to do. But at the same time, he felt a well of guilt drop into his chest from the success, the eyes of the betrayed omega burning into the back of his skull.
He felt like such a weak omega, maybe even weaker than their captive who silently cried on the bloodied couch. At least this omega, David Ortis as they discovered, seemed past the point of dejection, his eyes glazed over with defeat Connor barely got a taste of the night before. He was open with his weakness, coming to terms with his crimes and not fighting a useless fight; David accepted his place in the grand scheme of things.
On the other hand, Connor was the one who was conflicted, feeling like he’d made the mistake by doing his duty. That was the truly pitiful weakness that now terrified the brunet. He couldn’t become one of them, willing to collaborate with others who were nothing but a nuisance to their alphas and system. And yet, he was feeling that call, his years of training quaking now that he was in the field and faced with these decisions.
Shaking it off and convincing himself to deal with this once he was alone, he finished searching the house with his alpha, nodding silently to Hank’s observations or added insight on casefiles. He tried not to think too deeply about the signs of forced highs, bloodied carpets, or desperately carved marks in the bathroom walls, just agreeing before they climbed back into the car and headed home.
Hank made sure to shackle David in the backseat of his police car, escorting Connor back to the door and putting his hand lightly on the brunet’s shoulder.
“I… Try to get some rest, alright? I’ll just drop him and the evidence off real quick, then I’ll be back,” He whispered, sliding his jacket over the omega’s shivering shoulders before opening the door. “You have my permission.”
Connor nodded again, leaning into the hand and then the large warm coat that draped over his frame. He was near desperate for some contact, needing the emotional weight even more than the satiation of sex at the moment.
“Okay… Thank you, Hank…”
With a parting nod, Hank opened the front door for his mate, making sure Connor made it inside before going back to the car and leaving for the station.
The omega felt as if he was more alone and afraid with each meter they parted, and it took all he had to pull himself inside of the warm house rather than following after the car Hank left him in. He was scared, not even of the omega or himself at this point, an odd, watched fear nipping at his ankles.
He quickly headed inside after the gust of apprehension, thinking it was perhaps the neighbors he was worried about waking. But even as he retreated into what he saw as a safe space, the house was tainted by a foreign smell, the comforting scent of Hank covered by a floral, antiseptic-like trace.
Connor quickly called for Sumo, hoping that the dog was the one to blame for this, but it wasn’t the old, droopy dog who came out to meet him in the living room.
“Hello, Connor. I’m Amanda from CyberLife.”
Connor dared not speak as he was led into a large greenhouse, the air soft with warmth and light humidity but stifling with the feeling of eyes stacked onto him. He felt like he could choke, keeping his cool demeanour as the female alpha before him began talking. She was much older than Connor, by at least two decades, and she was fashionably dressed all in white, the fabric iridescent in the simulated sunlight above them.
“I assume you know why you’re here,” She said as a pull from his thoughts, the omega’s eyes going forward to the woman across from him in at the small garden table.
“I… do,” Connor said after a moment, knowing he’d be berated if he didn’t say such a statement. He wrapped himself tighter in Hank’s coat, as if it would bring any clarity to the situation. When he had a muddle of ideas, he cleared his throat and looked back to the expectant alpha. “This is about me, being an omega, isn’t it?”
He was sure it went beyond that, encompassing his little midnight tryst with his alpha tonight, but he’d promised Hank he wouldn’t tell and wanted to keep to his word.
“Oh, Connor, don’t play coy. You’ve had some of the highest scores the handler department has seen, so I know you’re intelligent enough to guess.”
But Connor remained silent, eyes cast down as not to fall under the spell of an alpha call, knowing it’d be much harder to lie if he felt the yank of unspoken alpha instructions.
“How about I jog your memory then?” She asked politely, grabbing out his birth control bottle from her creaseless dress pocket. “We know he gave these to you.”
“He didn’t.” Connor’s eyes met Amanda’s once again, his expression placid. Internally, he was frightened, not wanting to get Hank in trouble for his sake, but he knew he had to play his cards right for this alpha not to see every last truth in his eyes. “I got them myself. And I hid them, so the Lieutenant wouldn’t find out.”
“You’re not a bad liar. But you’d have to do better than that,” She replied with a veiled, knowing smile, setting the pills down on the glass table. “We know Lieutenant Anderson gave these to you and that he took you to the crime scene tonight, where you found the missing omega named David Ortis.”
All Connor could do was keep from lunging out of his chair and asking her not to take action against his alpha, veins prominent in his clasped hands that begged to toss the pills away. He knew he’d been found out, and she was right that there was little he could do about this.
“And what about it? Reassign me then and take those pills away.”
“How familiar are you with the Lieutenant’s growing deviancy case?” Amanda asked without answering his suggestion, her face calm but stern as she awaited an answer.
“I… Don’t know much. I only knew of the case tonight and that the handler department has been struggling with a bigger load of cases. But Lieutenant Anderson informed me that there are others like the one I saw.”
The woman nodded as she listened, twirling a finger over the brim of the pill bottle and remaining silent before nodding once again.
“I suppose that’ll do for now.”
“Are you going to punish the Lieutenant?” Connor blurted out, unable to keep himself from asking. He knew he’d be facing major repercussions for this, but God forbid his alpha had to that the blame with him. Even if they didn’t know each other much yet, he knew he’d like to have the chance or at least protect him from all this.
“I don’t answer to you, let’s get that straight.” Her eyes were dark, new focus honed in on the omega. She may be about a foot shorter than him, but Connor knew better than to underestimate any alpha. “But as it’s pertinent you know why you’re here, I will tell you the gist of the situation. As Lieutenant Anderson informed you, there has been a slew of omega deviancy in the city. As the police are slow in figuring this out on their own, CyberLife has taken it upon themselves to solve the issue before it’s out of hand.”
“And--May I ask, where that leaves me?”
“I’m glad you ask, Connor. As you’re intimately aware of the handlers force, close with the detective on the case, and an omega the others will trust, you will be working as the CyberLife agent with Hank Anderson and reporting to me with everything you find.”
Connor’s eyes narrowed a bit, not liking where this was going. He knew he wouldn’t be able to say no as CyberLife Security had their hands in all aspects of American life, but he didn’t know how he’d be able to comply. How could he work against his alpha, keeping secrets from Hank of all people?
“Why not just kill me, throw me away before I cause more trouble?”
“Because I know you won’t, RK800. Even with that nice facade of indifference, I know it’s all a lie. As much as you may not believe it, you’re still an omega, and what you care about most is your alpha. Besides, you’re genuinely curious about the case, and I have a feeling you’re secretly dying for the chance to get out of the house again.”
He grit his teeth as he listened, the brunet near bruising his already injured thigh with the tight hold of his wrist. Connor knew she was right, about all of it, and his face finally showed a hint of defeat as he considered that. He was so weak, against his urge to go out and learn, to please Hank and be with him, and the desire to know more about these omegas that frightened him with their reckless behavior. It made him just as selfish as the lot of them, and Amanda knew it already.
“Hank will know if my pills are missing,” He reasoned, knowing the Lieutenant might not notice or care if Connor himself was gone when he wasn’t home.
“You’re right that the Lieutenant is perceptive, but that’s why I’ll be returning this empty bottle with sugar pills to you and gifting you with a new capsule every week. Much more efficient and powerful than anything on the market.”
“That’s very generous of you to do…”
She shook her head, dropping a single blue pill into the bottle before handing it back over to Connor with a tilt of her head.
“Don’t think of it so much as generous as it’s your earned reward. With your compliance comes the medication you desire. And with your unwillingness to cooperate comes the price of your choices.”
Amanda put a hand up to silence Connor, despite him being too concerned to ask what she meant, speaking again after a moment.
“Let’s just say that your body would operate more efficiently if you try your best, RK800. You’re dismissed.”
Connor was in a daze as he was driven home. All of the lights were blurring together as the car meandered down the street, his mind more unfocused from the events of the night than from the slow speed of the car.
He looked down at the pill hidden in his palm, deciding to take it tomorrow when Hank would be at work, and he would be left alone long enough to see what this medication would do to him. But before he had much time to worry about the possibilities, he was shown back to the house, being escorted to the door by an armoured beta male that had a gun slung over his shoulder. Connor could feel the stare eating into him from this man, and it reminded him of the way (guy)’s gaze changed from a wanton glance to one of hatred, despite all their time together. He just couldn’t understand how all of this could change so drastically, and in less than a day.
With nothing else to say, and being desperate to get away from CyberLife, the omega ducked inside, smiling a bit when he saw Sumo anxiously waiting for him, locked behind the bedroom door.
He freed the dog from Hank’s room and eagerly gave him rubs and pets, making sure the dog was unharmed by the people of CyberLife that broke in. And then they both flopped onto the bed, Connor exhausted from the day, and Sumo tired with age. For a brief moment, the omega felt like he could smile about something, even if it was momentary, but his worry fed back into his system soon after, reminding him of the pill, Hank, and the new threat of the security company.
Connor had so much to say to Hank when he came back, and the Lieutenant seemed in a fair mood, but knowing he was trapped with this secret, he just tucked his head into the pillow and pretended to sleep.
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Although he wouldn’t admit it, Hank was glad that he could smell Connor home and safe. He’d felt an unease roll through him all through his drive and check-in at the station, and something just wasn’t sitting right with him. But now he could confirm that it was just the Carlos Ortis case, the shadow of grime falling over him as he went back into fieldwork and saw all of these crimes in person once again.
He called for his mate when he got back, expecting him to be up and greeting him when he would return, but was surprised to find the omega and his dog already tucked into bed.
It was pretty damn cute, Hank thought to himself, a smile tugging at his lips as he watched them. He’d worried that he’d fucked the kid up by bringing him to a crime scene and making him see all of that, but the Lieutenant supposed Connor did go through Handler training… There was just so much to this man that he didn’t understand.
Not that he should want to, of course. He was still going to give the kid up… eventually, but he just had to find the right single alpha he could trust to treat Connor as well as he deserved. All of these details and memories should be inconsequential and over soon, just like their time together would be before they’d know it.
Knowing it was best not to ponder on things he couldn’t have, Hank left the two sleeping companions alone, pulling up the blanket to keep Connor warm, before leaving the room. He went into the disorganized living room, having another beer before lying down and dozing off to sleep.
Like most nights he was on a case, his dreams were littered with images of blood, the sound of omega scream, and the usual sight of desperate eyes. However, this time, Connor was a part of it as well, the omega’s efforts to hide his fear and hurt so clearly a facade. It made Hank want to go to him, and as he sprinted to pull Connor out of a retreating truck, he jolted awake, panting as he wiped the sweat of his brow.
He loped back into the bedroom, this time seeing the omega awake and staring at something, Connor’s eyes cloudy with worry as he twiddled something in his hands. Upon seeing Hank at the doorway, the omega’s hands shoved into his pockets, the veneer on his face one of calm and inquiry.
“Hello, Lieutenant. Sorry I wasn’t there to greet you on your arrival home,” He said with a small nod, gaze unfocused but mostly on Hank.
“Nah, don’t worry about it, Connor. I know you’ve had a big night. Is something bothering you?” He finished hesitantly, knowing there was something but not wanting to call the other out just because he could. “You seemed a bit occupied a minute ago.”
“Oh, it’s nothing, Lieutenant…! I can assure you of that. I was just having a hard time sleeping.”
Hank merely nodded, positive there was more to it, but giving Connor his space. He was just happy to see the omega home safe and protected unlike his dream.
“Well, you can watch something with me, I guess. I’m not getting much sleep with how busy the case is, so you can sip up in there if you don’t wanna sleep,” the alpha offered, knowing it wouldn’t be a big deal but could be nice to have the other close to him until his thoughts settled down.
“I… That’s very kind of you, Lieutenant--”
“Hank,” He interjected, not wanting to go back to all these pleasantries.
“Yes, that’s very kind of you, Hank. I’ll join you in a moment.”
The lieutenant smiled a bit more, shrugging and leading the way back into the main area while mumbling about it not being mandatory.
“You into sports?” Hank asked, plopping down onto the couch.
He supposed one more day of knowing each other couldn’t do any harm… He hoped.