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Don't Let Me Face My Life Alone

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The bus ride is spent knock-kneed and nervous, John’s school bag perched carefully on his lap to hide the skittish tremor of his hands. He can still recall the pride he’d once felt when his mother had declared him old enough to make these trips alone: the satisfying feeling of being grown-up enough to responsibly purchase his own ticket, locate the right maroon and cream Leicester City Transport bus and navigate his way across town all by himself. He wouldn’t mind so much having his mother with him today, but nothing in the world could have made him say that out loud when she’d kissed him on the cheek and seen him off this morning.

Leicester passes by the bus windows in a blur of urban expansion and industrial decline, the roads mostly clear of midday traffic: everyone’s at work or in school, where John himself would much rather be. The thought of Roger sitting slumped in physics without him, cheek balanced on the palm of one hand, eyes half-closed with boredom helps dispel some of John’s anxiety, but not nearly as much as the reassuring weight of his friend’s biology textbook tucked safely into his own bag.  

“Sometimes I get a little out of it, you know. After a check-up.” He’d been so nervous, bringing it up, knowing Roger’s relative discomfort about the whole omega thing. John couldn’t exactly blame him, he’d trade just about anything to have been born a beta and not have to face tomorrow’s appointment. “But I think I’d really like to see you. After.”

Roger had nodded, focus half on him and half on the crowded refectory, distracted in the search for an empty place to seat them both. “I’ll come over, sure.”

John chose his next words carefully, keeping his tone even and deliberate. “If you knock on the door, my mum might tell you to go.”

That had snapped Roger back to attention and blue eyes quickly sought out John’s darker ones. “You’re asking me to sneak in?”

He’d nodded, shrinking into himself and trying desperately not to let his shaking hands rattle the dinner tray in their grip and give away just how much this meant to him. “If it’s – if you want. I’ll, uhm, leave the window open.”

Roger had peered at him for a moment, then led the way over to a pair of seats that had opened up, dropping his own tray onto the tabletop with a clatter before fishing into his bag to pull out a textbook. “Here. We’re sitting a bio exam on Thursday. Take this and I’ll have to come see you tomorrow.” Seeing that John’s hands were still full, he’d stuffed the heavy book into his bag himself before dropping into a seat with a satisfied smile. “Even if it means having to climb the drainpipe in the rain.”

That collateral, still in his bag, is small comfort now as the bus pulls up outside the Leicestershire O.H.C. and John’s knees quake as he alights and makes for the front door. However much they might suggest themselves as regular health centers with regular, innocuous waiting rooms, Omega Clinics always present a strange panoply of scents and John’s nose wrinkles as he waits for the receptionist to take notice of him. There’s the usual alpha stink from the mates and parents of any omegas who might have appointments today but also a disconcerting nervousness that seems to radiate from the room in waves. John imagines that his own body is giving off the same smell of omega fear and colours at the thought.

“Name?”

“John Deacon.”

“Oh, you’re a little early, but Dr. Stanfield is ready for you. You can go right in, through that door there and then first room on your left.”

John really wouldn’t have minded having to wait.

In the tiny examination room through the door and on the left, he sets his bag down on one of the visitor seats his mother had once sat in during his childhood appointments, willing himself to calm down before the doctor arrives. Counting helps. Taking it backwards from a hundred as he slips off his runners and hops up onto the tissue-covered examination table and then going forwards again. The door opens when he hits sixty-three on the way back down for the third time and John takes a deep breath as the doctor enters, clipboard in hand and a cheerful smile on his face.

“John, back again so soon. I wasn’t expecting to see you until your next six-month.” Dr. Stanfield drops into the unoccupied visitor’s chair and glances down at the patient chart on his clipboard while John himself tries not to squirm, wary of the crinkling sound of the tissue paper that has given him away before. But maybe this won’t be the horrible trial he expects, after all, he’d been in this same exam room only a month and a half ago. Maybe this could just be a regular consultation? “Your mother made this appointment for you?”

He nods, hands held tightly in his lap. She had. He’d done his best to keep the symptoms of his impending first heat quiet, avoiding physical contact so that the periods of increased sensitivity might not be so noticeable, making a point of waking up early to replace his own slick-stained sheets before she could see them. But he’d been betrayed at the dinner table, out-eating his usually modest portions. His mother had caught on to his suddenly increased appetite immediately, no doubt the result of those ‘Your Omega Child’s First Heat’ pamphlets that had started appearing on the sideboard a few months ago. Where those had come from, he has no idea, but no matter how many times he’d thrown one in the bin in embarrassment, a new one had taken its place.

“I don’t know why you look so nervous, this is something to be excited about. First heat. You’re growing up.”

John gives him another nod, feeling his face flush with colour. He’s not so sure that this is something to be terribly pleased about.

“So, we’re going to skip over some of the usual procedure for today’s appointment. Your last check-up wasn’t so long ago, I think that we can go right into the pelvic and see how far along you are. How about you strip down for me and we’ll get started.”

He hesitates, wary of the fact that it looks like Dr. Stanfield has no intention of leaving the room.

“Come on, John.” Maybe he’s just imagining things, but the doctor’s smile no longer seems quite so cheering. “There’s nothing I’m not about to see anyway. The sooner you get a move on, the sooner this will be all taken care of.”

A deep breath gets him up off the examination table, hands quaking as he reaches to slowly unbutton his trousers. To his credit, Dr. Stanfield doesn’t appear to be paying him much attention, prepping something in the opposite corner of the room and pulling on a pair of gloves with a snap that makes John’s stomach plummet. Not just a consultation, then. His whole body is trembling now, fear taking over as he pulls down his jeans and neatly folds them. His underwear comes next, pulled down over shaking, goose-pimpled legs and set haphazardly overtop the jeans as he hops back up onto the table, covering himself loosely with his hands, vaguely aware of the fear-inspired slick that’s already starting to seep into the thin tissue.

“Shirt, too, John.”

This will be his fifth pelvic appointment. One every six months for the past two years, ever since he came close to an age when his first heat might be expected, but this is the first time he’s been asked to strip entirely bare. Wordlessly, he pulls his shirt over his shoulders, feeling impossibly small as he allows the doctor to helpfully take it from his hands and set it aside for him.

A gentle, gloved tap to his shoulder makes him flinch and indicates he should hop off of the exam table and onto the pads of his still-socked feet. There’s no warning before that same gloved hand slides down to palm at his cock, fingers moving downward to tighten around the sensitive skin of his testicles with a firm squeeze and John bites back a soft whine as he’s all but fondled, the hypersensitivity of his impending heat making the touch even more unbearable than it would have been to begin with. His body might want this, but he doesn’t.

“Have you been touching yourself, John?”

John shivers, the question unexpected. “I – uhm – I – ” It’s hard to answer while his balls are being neatly rolled between the doctor’s fingers, pressure alternating here and there in a smooth gesture that makes his knees quake.

“Because I would be concerned if you weren’t. A healthy, young omega should be learning about their body. Is there any penetration when you masturbate?”

He splutters then, partly at the question and partly at the final squeeze that accompanies it before he’s directed back up onto the table. “N-no penetration. No.”

“Hm.” The doctor turns to make a notation on the top sheet of his clipboard, apparently ignoring John as he scrambles up onto the table, the colouring of his cheeks turning into a full-body flush. “Well, that’s something that I think we’ll be able to work on during today’s appointment. A large part of an omega’s sexual pleasure comes from direct penetration. We don’t need to go over the logistics of knotting again, do we?”

John shakes his head. No. They really, really don’t.

“Hands and knees for this part, please.”

Rolling onto his stomach, John pushes himself weakly up onto his hands and knees with arms that tremble. They’d started with this position a few appointments ago, it being the “ideal” for all good omegas in training. John has a very hard time thinking that anything could possibly be pleasurable at this angle, least of all for the omega – though he’s learned not to expect too much where alphas are concerned. If he can spend the rest of his life without ever being mated to one, no matter how awful the heats, he will.

The light touch of fingers at his inner thigh make him jump and buck forward in surprise.

“What’s this, then, John? You’re getting awfully fidgety.” Stanfield’s hand moves to the small of his back instead, smoothing along his spine in a gesture that might have been intended to be comforting, but which John suspects was only meant to nudge him back into the correct position. “We could do this on your back, knees up with the stirrups if that would help.”

It’s not a real offer of assistance. Knees up with the stirrups means tied up, he’s fallen for that one before. “Sorry,” he mumbles in answer instead, easing himself back towards the edge of the examination table, willing himself to hold still and just let this be over with as soon as possible. “This is – it’s fine. I’m – it’s fine.” And he will be, really, if he can just ignore the probing finger that presses into him from behind, eased into place by his own horrible slick. Lie back and think of England, as it goes, yes? Or cheese on toast. A warm cup of tea on a cold day. Roger’s face when he’s got something on his mind that he’s excited to share – a soft grunt passes unbidden through his lips and he drops his head in embarrassment, eyes squeezed tightly shut.

“Some of your glands are just a little swollen,” is the explanation that comes from behind him. “All part and parcel with your first few heats. Overworking to produce as much lubrication as possible. Have you noticed that you’re producing more slick than usual?”

Yes. And it’s everywhere.

“John?”

He mumbles out an affirmative, head still hanging. With denim jeans it’s not so bad, but he’s had to excuse himself from games period twice for fear that he’s been showing through his shorts.

“Perfectly natural. You’ll probably find that it will be much more common now, when you’re aroused or going through any intense emotional changes, fear or anxiety in particular. It’s an omega body’s way of – ” Stanfield pauses, seeming to be searching for the correct word. “Self-defense, let’s say. You’d have thought we’d evolve past that, alphas aren’t exactly pouncing helpless omegas in the street these days.”

John can’t seem to find an answer to that, though the fact that a second finger has now joined the first might very well be the reason. It doesn’t hurt exactly – his body built for this, after all – but the stretch and mounting pressure have him worrying his bottom lip. He’d gotten so good about biting back any sounds, it’s not fair that his body seems so desperate to respond. He’s starting to sweat, now, too, the back of his neck flushed with embarrassment as the doctor’s skillful fingers seek out and torment his sensitive prostate.

The first hot tears of shame blur his vision when his cock finally starts to react, traitorously filling between his legs.

His hopes that his arousal will go unnoticed are dashed when the doctor’s free hand, which had been holding his hip steady, snakes forward to wrap around it, pumping mercilessly in tandem with the deep press of his fingers. John’s hips buck, unbidden, trying at once to escape the assault coming at either end. The attempt succeeds in shaking the hand off, sending it back to its place on his hip to hold him still.

“Nearly finished, just need to test tone. If you could squeeze down on my fingers…”

John shudders and, with a shaking breath, tightens against the doctor’s intruding fingers as they’re pulled away with a horrible squelch that brings a fresh round of humiliated tears to his eyes.

And with that it’s over. Dr. Stanfield removes his slick-soaked gloves and tosses them into the bin as John drops to his stomach, scrubbing at his eyes with the back of his hand, willfully ignoring the fact that he’s still hard, cockhead weeping against the tissue of the examination table.

“Everything seems to be in working order down there: nice and pliant with a lot of slick. You’re a very lucky omega, John, you’re going to make some alpha very, very happy.”

John doesn’t know how to reply to that, whispering a ragged “thank you” in hopes that it serves as an appropriate response. He’s not going to make any alpha happy. The only person he wants to do any of that for is Roger and Roger wouldn’t care about any of this. At least he thinks he wouldn’t, he hasn’t exactly confessed his feelings, fearful of losing his closest friend. But he’s pretty sure that Roger would be gentle with him and stop if he ever asked him to.

He’d learned that lesson with Dr. Stanfield the hard way during his first pelvic.

“Now, when it comes to heats, you can expect some loss of lucidity, especially the first time.” As the doctor talks, John sits up, eyes skirting over to the pile of his clothes, wondering if he might not be able to get dressed during this lecture on heats. Or at least cover his thankfully flagging erection. He’s heard all of this before: the need to find a safe space, usually covered by an omega’s nesting instincts right before a heat. He’d managed to turn his own into a game with his younger sister, converting the living room into a pillow fort of sofa cushions and blankets but passing it off as Julie’s idea so that his mother wouldn’t check that particular box off on her ridiculous pamphlet.

“—so it can be difficult to keep yourself pleasured mid-heat. John, leave that there, we’re not finished yet.”

He's been caught reaching for his shirt and drops his arm immediately. What does he mean not finished yet?

“Council taxes cover your first heat aid, but showing you how to use it effectively will be part of today’s appointment.” Stanfield turns to one of the room’s cupboards, and John’s face goes pale. Heat aid?

When the doctor returns, there’s no question of what’s in his hands. It’s a knotting dildo. Long and relatively thin, but widening thickly into a facsimile of an alpha’s knot, all in a vaguely fleshy color. John’s too stunned to be afraid.

“Meet your new alpha. At least until you find a mate of your own. This should keep you off of those mean streets begging for a knot when your heat comes,” Dr. Stanfield chuckles horribly at his own attempt at humor before moving in close. “You’re not in heat today, though, so we won’t go so far as the knot.”

John’s brain short-circuits at the words. He doesn’t want that thing anywhere near him, knot or no. “I – I should really be heading home. I’m sure I can – ah – figure it out. For myself. At home.”

One of the doctor’s hands goes to his thigh, holding him in place before he can make a break for it. “It’s part of your pre-heat appointment, as mandated by the council. We can’t have omegas going about not knowing how to take care of themselves during a heat, can we?” He drums his fingers against John’s skin and John flinches, shoulders beginning to quake. “You’re a smart boy, John. You know you’re not going anywhere until we finish with this. Am I going to need to stirrup you, or are you going to do this the easy way?”

The thought of the stirrups is nearly as bad as the thought of the dildo itself. He’s just had two fingers inside him, the dildo – outside of the knot – isn’t much thicker than three, though he’s never taken quite so much before. He swallows. “Okay.”

“Easy way, then. I want you to lie on your side, knees drawn up for me.”

Shaking, John leans back into the table, pulling both knees up to his chest. At least in this position he can easily hide his face in his hands, though he’s still feeling too stunned for any more tears.

From behind him comes the telltale snap of a fresh pair of gloves being pulled on and then those hands are back, spreading his cheeks and pressing forward, starting where they had left off with two fingers sinking deep into him. “This is an excellent position to begin with, you’ll be able to easily reach around to touch yourself.” As if to prove his point, Stanfield takes John by the wrist and maneuvers his right arm back. “Your turn. Start with two.”

John shudders. This is not happening. This is not happening. This is not happening. “But, I – ”

“What? Gloves? It’s your body, John. If you’re going to be fumbling for gloves every time you prepare yourself for your alpha, you’re going to have an unhappy mate. Better get used to it now.” He pulls his own fingers free and wraps them instead around John’s quavering hand, manipulating it so that his index and middle fingers are pressed together. “You’re slick enough that you don’t need any additional lubricant, that’s what slick is for.”

The press of his own fingers against his ass has John fighting back against a moan and the doctor’s hand doesn’t release his until those fingers are seated deeply inside of him.

“There, see? You’re in control now. Give them a good twist, try and find your prostate.”

John breathes deeply through his nose, biting down hard on his lower lip as he slowly tilts his fingers. He’s torn between the tight heat wrapped around them and the feeling of deep penetration, the confusing sensations warring with each other as he gains confidence, twisting his hand with a little more purpose.

“Have you tried curling them? Curl them up, nice and round, give yourself a good little stroke with just the tips.”

Curled, his fingertips hit something near the base of his cock that makes his hips jump forward. His prostate. Probably just where Dr. Stanfield knew he would find it. He can’t quite contain the soft whine that escapes from his lips as instinct takes over, fingers pressing more insistently against that delicate place inside of him, boldly pulling back and pressing forward more deeply into himself until he’s rucking his hips back onto them, reawakened cock rutting into his other hand.

A choking sound from somewhere above suggests that the doctor is more than enjoying the show, but John can’t seem to find it in himself to care anymore, desperately working himself on his fingers.

“Time for another finger, I think, John. Third one, now.”

Only barely listening, John manages to catch on to the instruction, pausing just long enough to line his ring finger up with the other two before plunging all three into place. He gasps, panting at the stretch but utterly lost to the sensation, quivering against the examination table.

Stanfield gives him a minute or two more of this before he’s batting John’s hand away, replacing it with the head of the dildo, the tip set just against his entrance. “You want more, omega? Push yourself back onto it.”

John hardly thinks as his body presses back, taking the entire length in a few short jerks of his hips. It sinks into him deliciously, filling him in all the right places, rubbing against his prostate with each pump. His eyes are half-lidded with pleasure now, cock full and leaking into the hand still wrapped around it, but Stanfield is there again, too, batting this hand away also, insisting that he finish from the penetration only. Through the haze of arousal, John thinks he probably can, he’s so, so close already.

The doctor reaches once more past him, pressing against something on the base of the dildo and John wails, letting loose a horrible keen that feels torn from inside him.

The fucking thing vibrates.

His bucking hips work themselves into a frenzy, pressing desperately back against that persistent buzz and then forward, his cock seeking something, anything to rub against until suddenly he’s seeing white, spilling across his thighs and stomach with a horrible whine.

The next few minutes are fuzzy, John only vaguely aware of Dr. Stanfield telling him they’re finished and that he can clean himself up before leaving the room. As the fogginess starts to dissipate and John realizes what’s just happened, he sobs, harsh and ragged, utterly betrayed by his own body in every possible way.

He's still crying weakly, struggling to get the dildo to turn off when a nurse finds him a few minutes later, no doubt having come in to prepare the room for its next patient, thinking he’d already gone out.

“Oh, honey.” She’s at his side in a heartbeat, gentle fingers brushing his own fumbling ones out of the way to do what he couldn’t, finding the switch on the base of the dildo and halting the terrible buzz. His writhing stops with the vibrations and she sets a hand on his hip, grounding him as his jerking turns to shivers. “You’re okay, sweetie, take a minute and breathe.”

She steps away to the room’s tiny sink and John buries his face in the crook of his arm as he reaches back to gingerly slip the dildo out of himself and set it to the side.

“Alright, you’re going to drink this for me.” The nurse is back with a small paper cup and John props himself up to drink the water before exchanging it for the wet cloth she offers him in its place. “Clean yourself up and we’ll get you out of here, okay?” 

She turns, busying herself with some idle tidying as John wipes the streaks of his own release off of his stomach and thighs with a sniffle, bringing the cloth back between his cheeks to clean up the still-leaking slick.

“Just leave that on the exam table when you’re done with it, I’ll make sure it gets tidied up.”

John does as he’s asked, and gingerly slips off of the table to pad over to his clothes. There’s a deep-seated soreness that’s probably not going to go away any time soon and John fights back a fresh wave of embarrassed tears, wiping the snot away from his nose with the back of a hand as he pulls on his jeans and underwear. It’s as he’s putting his shirt back on that he notices the nurse pick up the dildo with a paper towel, rinsing it in the sink.

“This is yours, honey. For your next heat. You can take it home with you.”

He nods, taking it and turning away quickly so that she can’t see the way his face contorts into another sob as he thrusts the hateful thing deep into his school bag. He breathes deeply, stuttering through the first few breaths as he takes his time slipping his trainers back on. When he’s starting to feel like he’s a little more in control of himself, he pulls the strap of his bag on over a shoulder and turns back to face the nurse again.

“Did you come on the bus today?” At his tearful nod, she reaches out to smooth some of the hair out of his face. “How about we call your mum and see if she can’t come pick you up?”


*                                  *                                  *


“You’re all wet,” John whispers, setting aside the guitar he'd been practicing on as Roger scrambles in through his bedroom window, shaking his hair out and leaving a veritable puddle on the carpet.

“Well, it’s raining, isn’t it?” Comes the whispered response, accompanied with the soft thud of the window being gently slid shut to keep the sideways-slanting downpour out.

It’s past nine and John had been starting to think that he wasn’t going to come at all. “I can’t believe you climbed up in the rain.”

“Needed my textbook.” Roger goes still, staring, probably noticing John properly for the first time and John pictures himself through his friend’s eyes: his own eyes red-rimmed and face blotchy from crying, dressed in an embarrassing pair of flannel pajamas buttoned conservatively to the chin. A mess, really. “Jesus. You alright?”

He wants to nod and play this off, call it a cold that he must have picked up from something germy in the clinic waiting room and let it go. But Roger, who he’s been desperate for all day, is finally here and without an ounce of restraint, John allows himself to fall against him, Roger only barely managing to catch him with open arms.

“Woah, hi. You’re colder than I am and I’m sopping.” Roger maneuvers him backwards towards the bed, no doubt missing the horrible wince that crosses John’s face when he drops down onto the mattress. “You sit. Got anything I can swap into?” He hardly waits for direction, fishing around in the top drawer of John’s battered, charity shop dresser before brandishing another pajama set, similar in every way to the one John’s already got on. “Perfect, we’ll match.”

John politely looks away as Roger tugs off his shirt and jeans, though Roger himself doesn’t seem to much mind the lack of privacy. In seconds, his wet clothes lie in a heap on the floor and he’s striking a pose in John’s old flannels, everything just a bit too big.

“So, do you want to just – uh, sit?”

He gets the sense that Roger’s valorous show of friendship has reached a need for some direction. Climbing the drainpipe, rain or no, had been a singular task of bravery with an obvious goal in mind. Here, in John’s bedroom, wearing John’s pajamas, he’s at a loss.

“Please.” John takes the lead himself, scooting gingerly back on the bed so that his spine rests against the headboard, leaving enough space on the narrow mattress for Roger to join him. “Thank you. For coming.”

Roger brushes a hand through his wet hair as he presses in against John’s side, the contact making John shiver, before reaching past him to pluck up the hot water bottle his mother had prepared as soon as they’d gotten home from the clinic, half buried in his little nest of blankets and pillows. “Here. Your – uh – ”

He pulls the still-warm bottle against his stomach with a blush. “Thanks.”

“Why don’t we – ” It’s obvious that Roger’s floundering and John loves him all the more for trying despite his discomfort, “ – you could – ” The sentence devolves into a series of gestures and then Roger’s taking his head and gently pressing it down to his shoulder, looping an arm around John’s back to pull him more snugly against his side. “How’s that?”

John closes his eyes and inhales deeply through his nose, reveling in Roger’s scent, coloured with his own thanks to the flannels. “I like this.”

Roger’s hand tightens at his side and he dips his own head to rest on top of John’s. “I like this, too.”

They sit in silence for long enough that John’s starting to think Roger’s fallen asleep, only to be surprised when he suddenly lifts his head.

“I’m sorry. That your day was terrible.”

John worries at his lower lip with his teeth. “It’s gotten a lot better. My day, that is.”

“Here, sit up a mo’.” Roger nudges at him and John straightens, taking his weight off of his friend’s side and allowing him to slip further down the mattress so that he’s lying flat. “Okay, come here.”

Yes. His day has definitely gotten a lot better. John’s got hearts in his eyes as he follows after Roger, finding a space for himself in the crook of his arm and nuzzling in to rest his head on his chest. Roger’s hand slips to the small of his back, fingertips just shy of slipping under the waist band of his pajamas but remaining on top of the flannel. Their bodies curl instinctively towards each other, Roger’s free arm wrapping protectively around John’s thin shoulders and holding him close until they’re both soundly asleep.
 
When Roger leaves in the morning, he’s forgotten his textbook. John’s first heat starts the following afternoon.