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My Life Is Not My Own

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“Shit, you mean to tell me you’ve never had a birthday party??” Hank asked with shock clear in his voice. “Not even with the cake, candles, and pin-the-tail shtick as a kid?” 


Connor’s brows knit together in confusion, having no idea what they would be pinning a tail on or why that would be a birthday activity, but he shook his head honestly to all of the above. 


“No, my parents said it was frivolous, might incline us to become omegas as adults if we were too sentimental,” He explained, almost laughing at how ironic that was now. Apparently, having a boring childhood, and being the valedictorian of his graduating class didn’t save him from this terrible fate after all. 


He was curious about what his parents and brother knew about him presenting, but he held himself back from getting too caught up in the thought, knowing it wouldn’t change anything. His parents already claimed he needed to be more like his brother, better disciplined (even if they were both top of their respective classes), so they probably weren’t even surprised when they got the warning on the news. Disappointed and embarrassed? Most likely, but they had to feel a certain sense of vindication for being right about him after all this time. And Nines, Nines would likely just pretend he’d never seen or heard of his younger brother to shield himself from the speculation that the “omeganess” rubbed off on him, too. 


The idea of all of that shouldn’t have hurt as much as it did, knowing he was already considered a disappointment in the family, but he thought he’d grown so much as a person since leaving home. And being in the handlers cadet program, he’d excelled above and beyond everyone else with ease, feeling like he was finally the best at something that his businessman brother wasn’t an expert in. Now, he had nothing to speak of or show for all the years of hard work he’d poured his heart and soul into. 


“Wait, wait–Your parents said a birthday party would turn you into an omega?” He heard Hank ask on the fringe of his thoughts, bringing him back to the present with a flustered laugh and shrug. 


“Yes, Lieut–Hank. Looking back, I suppose it was a little silly to think that, but they weren’t wrong.” 


“Hell yeah they were. I’ve had a birthday party every year since I was a baby, and I’ve got the pictures to prove it. Everyone I knew had a birthday party growing up. We were all just kids back then, none of this hormonal shit from the system.” 


Connor had nothing to say in response to that, never really thinking of it that way, but he couldn’t deny Hank had a point, and not just because he was his alpha now. 


“Well, I… My parents were rather strict growing up, wanting everything a certain way,” He said after a moment to consider a neutral response. 


“Yeah, no kidding,” Hank scoffed, sitting back and letting his arm brush against the back of Connor’s neck. 


After their chaotic first full day together, things had been relatively stable by the second night. Hank went to and returned from work, Connor took the pill without adverse effects or more physical wounds, they’d had more sex, and now they were sharing some drinks in the living room. Connor tried to assure Hank that he didn’t have to oblige even if they both wanted to, knowing that omegas weren’t allowed to be publicly intoxicated or cause any type of scene, but Hank insisted that he didn’t mind the risks as they both needed a break after a crazy two days together. The neighbors knew better than to complain about Hank making a racket at night, considering his odd schedule, job, and his being an alpha most of all, so everyone would just have to deal with a drunk Connor if it came down to it. 

So, sitting close together on the couch, the drone of the television in the background, they both had some rum, Connor’s with coke to dampen the taste, and began to have their first real conversation since being paired together. It was hard to be stressed about disappointing his alpha when he felt that unfamiliar lull of alcohol warming his insides, Hank’s relaxed attitude also helping him calm down about the matter. 


He still felt the tide pull towards the other man with his heat waning by the day, knowing they were both desperate to have sex again after just a few hours. They’d both just been avoiding it for their own reasons; Connor wanting to be sure about the pill first, and Hank grumbling about work or whatever else was on his mind at the time. Not that the brunet would’ve asked on his own. 


While Connor was mulling over his upbringing and path up to this point in his life, Hank was still baffling over the lack of birthday parties, shaking his head and laughing to himself while he easily sipped on his drink, seemingly in a good mood. 


“So wait, you never had a birthday party growing up, but you must’ve gone out for drinks with your buddies, played beer pong, and made out with a rando at a bar at least once, right? Those are like rights of passage to adulthood.” 


“I–Actually, no,” Connor stammered to say, embarrassed that he hadn’t done anything interesting like that. Hank probably thought he was such a loser, even more than before, and now he couldn’t stop thinking about how he could’ve seen the alpha at bars and maybe had a sloppy makeout session if he’d just given himself a chance to go out and have some fun over the years. Now that wasn’t even an option… “I’ve never celebrated my birthday at all. I guess I never thought about it.” 


“You’re kidding,” The alpha deadpanned, seeing Connor’s serious expression and knowing he was telling the truth. “Nothing? Not even friends buying you dinner?” 


Connor just shook his head again, blushing and running a hand through his hair as he tried not to lean too close to Hank. However, the older man didn’t seem to mind, finishing the last dregs of alcohol in his glass and biting his lip as he seemed to check the brunet out. 


“Y’know, it’s a real shame. You’re pretty damn hot; I’m sure everyone at the bar would’ve been happy to give you a birthday kiss if you asked. I know I would’ve,” Hank added without thinking, though he did notice Connor’s darkening cheeks and the way he looked away, something he only did when he was flustered. “I mean–! You’re not–You are hot, and I can confirm that, but that’s not what I meant. You get it… I just meant you’re missing out, Connor.” 


“You really think I’m attractive?” Connor asked instantly, desperate to know the answer. Sure, they’d had sex, but he’d been in heat and pulled Hank into a rut, so maybe the alpha thought he was atrocious to be around without that incentive. 


“I mean–Yeah, of course. I thought you already knew that. I might be old, but I’m still got fuckin’ taste.” 


“Oh, well, I think you’re very attractive as well, Hank,” Connor agreed after a beat, feeling more easily honest with a drink to cool his nerves. 


“Me? Fuck, Connor, I know you’re in heat and all that, but you don’t have to be into old dudes with an ugly mug and belly.” 


“No, but I am!” The brunet stammered to say, sitting up straight and putting a hand on Hank’s arm to steady himself. “If I hadn’t met you like this, I still would’ve been attracted to you. Bears are definitely my type. You’re so handsome, strong yet soft around the edges, and you’ve got such a nice voice. Everything about you…” 


They leaned in close enough to kiss as Connor explained himself, Hank smirking and shaking his head in silence before placing a hand on the omega’s shoulder and gently guiding him to relax back in his seat again. 


“All right, I think someone needs to go to bed. Mister Birthday Boy has never had a fun night out and is getting drunk on a rum and coke while getting horny on my couch.” 


But Connor wasn’t having it, he reached to lace their neighboring hands together, his free palm coming up to cup Hank’s cheek and caress his stubbled chin. He couldn’t be sure, but he could’ve sworn he heard the alpha moan with the small gesture.


“Hank, I am really, really attracted to you. I’m not one for joking around, and I’m being serious,” He explained slowly, wanting to show he was sober enough to speak clearly. “I think I’m lucky we got paired together like this, and I can’t stop thinking about how we fu–” 


Hank’s expression darkened slightly, his eyes falling to the floor and he leaned into Connor’s cool touch before slowly moving away again. 


“Okay, Connor, you made your point. We should all go to bed before we do anything stupid,” The older man mumbled, clearing his throat and standing before offering a helping hand to Connor that he grudgingly took to get up.


Connor didn’t want to go to bed, he wanted to make out with and have sex with Hank, or even just spend more time sharing stolen touches and talking about odd birthday traditions he never knew. But admittedly, he was getting very tired, and he could never pass up on holding his mate’s hand, if nothing else. He’d just have to take what he could get for now, knowing they had a long future ahead of them to grow closer. 


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Hank couldn’t sleep a wink that night, closing the bedroom door and lying back on the living room couch as he played their conversation over and over. It was likely just drunk ramblings and touchiness, but he couldn’t shake the feelings Connor gave him when they spoke softly to each other or gently touched one another like they just did. 


Things were not going to plan at all. He wasn’t supposed to feel attached to the omega like this, even if it was just the beginnings of something special, and he wondered if he was just being needy with his rut and being touch starved for so long. He idly wondered if jacking off or hooking up with someone would get this burning need for connection out of his system, but the thought went as quickly as it came. It’s not like Connor had that choice, and Hank was sure that it wouldn’t compare to having sex with a wanton omega in heat, especially one that was so eager like the younger man was. 


No, he’d just have to get himself under control and focus more on the case. Less alcohol would also help, and maybe getting out of the house for errands… Then they could probably fuck one more time, finish the heat/rut, and then part ways for separate futures as intended. 




If Hank was trying to distance himself from Connor, he was doing a rotten job of it. 


He had cut down on the alcohol that day, stopped by the office for an hour, and ran some errands, but they’d all revolved around the omega waiting back at home for him. 


With several balloons, a birthday cake, and a cluttered box in tow, he used his back to push the front door open and head inside his home to hopefully avoid his current housemate until he could set things up. Of course, he had no such luck, Connor folding up bed sheets in the living room and instantly noticing Hank slink inside with cluttered arms. 


“Hello, Lieutenant. Do you need some help?” He asked with a quizzical look at the display, somehow still surprised when he saw Hank being an absolute mess stumbling through life. 


“Uh, no, I’m fine. Just uh, I guess I figured we could do a little something for your birthday, seeing as you’ve never had much of a celebration before. But it’s not quite the surprise I was planning on assembling,” Hank trailed off, setting the items on the counter to free his hands. 


He acted like he was caught stealing something, not doing a courteous gesture for a stranger, when that was clearly all this was. And Connor seemed similarly stirred, jumping to his feet and out of the way to let the alpha past his folded basket for linens, eyes running all over the place. 


Getting nothing from the birthday man on the subject, he willed himself to break the silence again, patting Sumo’s head before handing over the balloons. 


“Here you go. They’re for you… They didn’t have a two and five for ‘25,’ so I had to improvise a bit.” 


Connor looked up at the collection of colorful balloons tapping the ceiling, a two, four, and one number balloon among the regular confetti balloons, and Hank knew he had to explain himself before he’d get in trouble.. 


“I know you’re not 241 today, but that’s what they had, and you’ve gotta have number balloons at least once in your life. It would’ve been boring to just get the others, and I’m positive you know basic math to put the digits together,” He said in his defense, thinking Connor was going to laugh at him or roll his eyes at the excuse but seeing a smile brighter than he’d ever seen before. 


God, he could live just for that sunny smile, and Hank swore he saw the sheen of threatening tears in the brunet’s eyes, remaining quiet save for his nervously tapping feet on the floor. 


“I… Hank, thank you. You didn’t have to do any of this for me just because of what I said. I have nothing to give in return, and I’ve arguably ruined your life, but you still thought of me. That’s so kind of you.” 


They both looked away from each other, flustered and relieved the other partner wasn’t upset about the situation. Not knowing what else to say, Hank just spat out another line about having a memorable birthday before taking the sidelined box back into his arms and putting the cake into the fridge for later. 


“Well, I’ll be back in a second. Gotta put this down and change. You can look through the groceries, if you want anything to eat before dinner,” The alpha said in closing before darting off to his bedroom and hiding the box in his closet for now, at least wanting Connor’s present to be a surprise for later. 


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Connor was still dumbfounded, stuck in place as he looked at the balloons and remembered the cake going into the refrigerator. 


Even though Hank thought he was pathetic for experiencing so little before this point, he not only remembered the omega’s birthday but went out of his way to make it special for him with all the trappings of classical celebration. 


He wanted to cry just thinking about the balloons loosely held in his hands, doing everything in his power to keep his emotions in control. He’d hardly, if ever, cried even when he was growing up, and he certainly didn’t want to start now, adding to the list of petulant omega habits he was accumulating. It was just a lot to take in, knowing Hank cared about him at all, and especially to this extent to try so hard. 


When Hank returned, Connor had to put on his usual agreeable smile, nodding back to the alpha and helping get dinner ready. 


Stating that he didn’t know what foods Connor liked, the older alpha justified the birthday picks of salad and lasagna by pointing out that Connor looked like a “young guy who liked to eat healthy.” 


The younger omega had to hand it to his mate that he was right about that assumption, but he didn’t think lasagna was exactly in the healthy category, keeping that to himself as he’d happily take this over fast-food again. 


“This is great. Thank you, Hank,” He said after enjoying their dinner together and each having a slice of cake, two firsts after meeting each other days prior. 


“Don’t mention it, Connor. There’s just one more thing…” 


Hank got up from his chair, grabbing the arm-length box he’d put in the bedroom and setting it on the table in front of the omega to investigate, which he happily did. 


“I know it’s not much, and it really isn’t a present, but this was the best I could do.” 


Standing and looking inside, Connor felt another sucker-punch to the chest, seeing his lucky quarter, some of his clothes, and a sizable collection of well-worn books that had to have come from his apartment. He knew he was an embarrassing individual by nature of now being an omega, but he was sure that effect was heightened tenfold with how he’d been acting that night. Never learning how to deal with his emotions, or feeling this many at once, he was lost for a reaction except silence, his years of literary prowess obliterated by a literal box of clothes he already owned. 


Taking a moment to twirl the quarter between his nimble fingers, he relished the familiar habit before turning to Hank and simply placing a hand on his arm like he had the night before. 


“This is so much. Thank you for a great birthday, Hank… I really, just thank you.” 


Even if he was still physically battered and scared of his uncertain future with CyberLife hanging over his head, for a moment, Connor thought maybe being an omega wasn’t so bad after all. At least not when you had a mate like Hank. 


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They’d been running nonstop for hours, knowing if they even slowed down then it’d all be over for them. Markus had already been grazed in the arm when the police charged into the mansion they once called home, and Simon was struggling to breathe as they weaved through busy streets to evade further capture. Everything had just happened so fast; they barely had a moment to grieve before they were forced to run for their literal lives. 


They didn’t even want the inheritance. None of that meant anything to the couple, but somehow it wasn’t enough to convince Leo they weren’t a threat to the estate when Carl would pass away. And now because of that, Carl was dead, having a heart attack as he tried to keep Leo from attacking the omega couple or stealing his life’s work to get a damn wad of cash. 


They had nowhere to go, no connections, only each other, and Markus could feel the tears stinging at his own eyes as they ran into the snowy night and away from the cops who finally gave up the chase to regroup. He’d lost everything, but most of all, he’d just lost his father and would never get to see him again. He never even got a chance to thank Carl for everything he’d done, knowing his life was forever changed when he’d been taken in years prior. Now, it was just a memory, and Markus would make damn sure that no one and nothing in between could tear away his lover as they clung together under the cover of a dumpster.