Chapter 1: Victor
It’s the 1950s and a time for maternity homes. I’m not giving this a place and leaving that open to interpretation. Maybe it’s in the U.S. or London or someplace else. Inspired by Call the Midwife, an episode of the Dolly Parton series, and Virgin River, among other stories. Yuuri had a short marriage before his mate, Dr. Sueng-gil Lee, died suddenly from the illness he was treating. Yuuri miscarried due to stress shortly after. It was Minako who helped him to find purpose, training him as a midwife. Yuuri took his inheritance from his mate and put it to good, something he knew his mate would approve of. Honoring the alpha’s memory, he opened the maternity home to provide a place for omegas that found themselves without a place.
Yuuri washed his hands. It had been a bad pregnancy from the start. The baby tucked away in Yuuri’s bag, wrapped in a blanket, never taking a breath of air. Yuuri’s heart hurt. He knew where the omega was at, even as he watched him curl up on his side, tears sliding down his cheek.
“Just a little more, Viktor. Then the last of them will be gone.”
“I...still remember them, how they touched me, the way they pushed in on me. But...I didn’t hate her. I just...I knew I couldn’t love her.”
The midwife knew. The way male omegas were treated as if they were born to be whores in a world that failed to value their intelligence...this was something Yuuri knew. He’d fought hard after his mate passed on to get his foothold into the world. And now, his home provided a landing place for other omegas lost in the world.
“I don’t know where to go.”
“No one is putting you out. This is a safe place.” Yuuri remembered when Victor stumbled into his front door, his hair all stringy, the streets hard on him. He needed help and Yuuri was relentless when it came to helping other omegas. Perhaps it was a bit of his own mother in him. Or his strong sister. His teacher Minako who showed him the beauty of childbirth even as his own baby slipped away from him. It was Minako who took a broken, eighteen-year-old omega and trained him to stand on his own two feet.
“There is no baby,” Victor argued.
Yuuri smoothed his hair. “The baby was never the reason for my door to open to you. This became your home because you need to be here. That hasn’t changed.”
Victor’s sniffed but then he felt the quickening of the afterbirth. “W-why?”
“Because this is nature’s way of cleansing our body and making us whole again. Just let it go.”
Yuuri guided Victor to finish this omega’s work. “There you go. You are doing well. You’re amazing. I’ve got you.” And the business was cleared away without Victor even seeing it, another nurse taking it and the baby. “Now let’s get you cleaned up and into your cozy bed.”
Victor stared out the window, the yellows and greens that permeated the room should be cheery. The omega felt anything but cheery. He felt hollow, the emptiness inside growing. A soft knock on the door admitted the midwife.
“How are you?” Yuuri asked softly.
Victor shrugged. He hadn’t lived at the maternity home long. He managed to hide the pregnancy from the boarding house matron until the last minute, the beta quick to throw him out on the streets “like the whore that he was.” He didn’t know where to go. He had nothing. He had no one. He carried his small bag of belongings until he reached the church. The cathedral housed him for the night and the priest referred him to the nuns at Nonnotus House leading him to Yuuri. The midwife even came to pick him up. With no judgment, Yuuri brought him home and helped him settle in.
The maternity home had an entire wing dedicated to residents. Some of them were waiting for their babies, some learning to care for their babies, some trying to find their feet after giving their babies away. And then there was Victor. He ached for the child he lost. She was going to be someone in the world to love him. He didn’t care how she came about, she was his...and Victor had no one. Not for a long time.
And now there was Yuuri, checking to make sure he was healing after giving birth. He settled Victor and remained, quiet, thoughtful, looking for his words. “I don’t know how you came to us, what path led you here. I do know...I’ve lost my child. That’s a wound that doesn’t heal easily. And you’ve indicated you don’t have a place, a person to look out for you. Why don’t you stay?”
“It’s so hard,” Victor breathed, thinking of all of those babies...babies that weren’t his. But what choice did he have? “What would I even do?”
“I...need help. This whole house falls apart when I’m not looking. I need someone that I can lean on.”
“I don’t have any kind of training.”
“I will see to your training, if that’s what you want. But there is more to this house than midwifery.”
Yuuri smiled and shrugged. “Call it a feeling. I just think...this would be a good place for you.”
“Does it include a room?”
“If you don’t mind sharing...I live on another wing. You would have your own room and then there is a shared sitting room. But then...there’s this whole house.”
Victor considered the offer then nodded. “Okay.”
That evening, the Russian omega gathered his meager belongings and followed Yuuri down the hall and into the opposite wing. Yuuri opened a door and Victor’s eyes widened at the homey space. A pot bellied stove warmed up the corner, a pot of water with bits of fruit and spices simmering and releasing their scent in the room.
“Oh, this smells nice.”
Yuuri hummed thoughtfully, walking over to the picture of his deceased mate. “He smelled like apples. He said my cinnamon mingled well with his scent.”
“Were you together long?”
“I met him when I was sixteen. He was a new doctor trying to talk my mentor into becoming his nurse. I don’t think he expected me. Our town nurse gave dance lessons on the side. And...he was taken with me...talking to my parents about marriage. I didn’t really have any prospects in the country so...I agreed.”
“You were sixteen?” Victor asked, now realizing the omega before him was very young. “How old are you now?”
“Twenty-seven. I was widowed by eighteen and trained as a midwife over the next two years. And now I’m here with Nurse Phichit and Nurse Minako. Dr. Celestino is on call as needed.”
“Minako was your teacher?”
“Yes...when she learned what I wanted to do, she joined me.”
“So...what would I do?”
“Whatever needs to be done. You’ll find your place. Don’t worry.”
“You said...you lost a child?”
Yuuri nodded, his expression sad. “Not too long after losing my husband. They said it was the stress.”
“I’m sorry.” He looked towards the window, the lacey curtains waving from the breeze coming through the window. “I...was forced.”
Yuuri put a kettle on and waited for Victor to continue. This was his story and he chose when and if he wanted to tell it.
“I had been out with friends but we were separated and then I was surrounded. There had been this one alpha. He...he had been flirting with me all evening and I admit, I flirted back. But I...I didn’t agree to this. Two of them held me down while he forced himself on me.” He sniffed back his tears, refusing to let them take root. “My friends found me and tried to get me to medical care. I could...feel the doctor’s judgment. So...when I started showing signs, I hid it.” He blinked his eyes before looking up at Yuuri. “Is that why my baby died?”
Yuuri now had a cup of tea prepared and handed it over to Victor before taking up his own cup. “There are many causes for infant mortality. You could have been injured during the rape.” He shook his head, feeling anger rise up in him. “To think you were put out on the streets.” He shook his head, feeling the anger go through him. “That’s why this place exists. So many...too many omegas out there with no place to go. Do you see why you belong here?”
“What makes me different from the others?”
Yuuri shrugged, a soft smile on his lips. “I can’t really say...but I know. You have a purpose here in this place.”
Victor looked around the room that was now his home. The bed held a hand-stitched quilt. The window had more of those lacy curtains. You seem to like lace, Yuuri. A chair sat in the corner with a couple of handmade dolls. One was a rabbit with long legs and arms and ears made out of unbleached muslin and wearing a dress of gingham and lace. He reached for it, gathering it to his heart.
I miss the feeling of home. Maybe...I can start again here.
Chapter 2: In comes Yuri
We start to meet some of the other residents and learn about the rest of the staff.
*Note: Underaged sex implied. Because...it happens.
We will learn the different character's stories as we go along. I just want to focus on truly introducing one at a time and then start weaving together this makeshift family.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Phichit hummed merrily as he put the tea kettle on and set about folding the laundry he just took in. The Katsuki-Lee Maternity Home for Unmated Omegas always had chores. The residents helped as they were able but the midwives along with a cook and two housekeepers kept things running even when they can’t contribute. Their newest housekeeper, Victor, was struggling and Yuuri had Phichit stay close to him as he was able.
Handing him a sheet, he asked, “Where did you live before coming to us?”
“I came here from Russia but I don’t have anyone.”
He shrugged. “Things…aren’t very nice for unprotected omegas there. I thought it would be better here.”
Phichit frowned but nodded solemnly. “Unfortunately, when we have little, there are fewer protections.”
“I lived in a boarding house but…when they found out I was pregnant…well, they threw me out.”
Phichit picked up another sheet and offered the end to Victor. “That’s why this place exists. Yuuri…he’s got a good heart and wanted to help those who had little. I teased him once about being a nun and he just shrugged. I think…when he lost his mate, he felt empty for awhile.”
“He lost his baby,” Victor pointed out.
Phichit blinked and then nodded. “He shared a lot with you.”
“I think he was trying to ease my heart. I’ve been alone for so long…I didn’t think to look around and see who else was in my shoes. But Yuuri…he took that and made something out of it.”
“Maybe you could as well. Have you thought about training in something?”
Shrugging, he reached for a towel. “I mean, it’s nice feeling useful. I don’t know that I could do what you and Yuuri do.”
“Being a midwife is a work of heart. Yuuri was already working as a nurse with his mate who was a doctor. After, he studied to be a midwife. I wanted to be independent. So I could either teach or nurse. I mean, there is factory work but that’s so…dull. My aunt owns a store. But opportunities are limited. We’re supposed to mate and have babies. But I heard upstate, they have an omega training to be a doctor.”
“I never really knew what to do. I was good at my studies but…I was never drawn to the alphas around me.”
Phichit considered those words and nodded in acceptance. “Sometimes things aren’t black and white. Society would like everything to be neat and predictable. Makes us easier to control. But some of us live outside of the box.”
“Have you…do you…ugh, I don’t want to say this where it sounds bad,” Victor focused on the sheet he folded for a bit before finally settling on his words. “Have you had a boyfriend or girlfriend?”
“I mean, yes…but no one I want to keep around. We go out and have fun and then I come home. There is work to do the next day so I want to be ready for that.”
Victor considered those words. “I…don’t want a boyfriend. I’m afraid they’ll hurt me.” He didn’t know when Phichit had shifted to his side until he felt that comforting hand on his shoulder. He huffed in frustration. “I don’t want to be like this.”
“Our experiences shape us into who we are. It takes time to heal. You’re…not the first that came to us ill used. Unfortunately, you won’t be the last.”
“Do I have time?”
“With Yuuri, yes. He will make sure you have the time you need.”
Yuuri finished his exam of their new admit. So young and he couldn’t help but weep for the child. He remembered mating at sixteen and going off to live with him. Sometimes life begins too early. This one was fifteen and angry. “Yuri…or do you prefer Yura.? Your grandfather called you Yura.”
“Yura is fine. You’re a nurse? And your name is also Yuri?”
“A longer sound on the u but yes. I want you to know that you can trust us here and we’ll keep you safe through this process. Something you need to decide…will you keep this child or give them up? You don’t have to decide today…but it’s something to keep in mind.” The maternity home never forced their mothers to give up their children. If they kept them, they helped them find programs to help the mothers stand on their own two feet.
He nodded, bright green eyes glittering with tears. “I have a boyfriend…he’s just…he went into the army after he turned eighteen. It was just one time. I didn’t think you could get pregnant after one time. I wasn’t even on my heat.”
“Unfortunately, it only takes one time. I can teach you how to prevent pregnancy so you have more control in the future.”
The boy, child really, although he wouldn’t be able to remain a child nodded. “Can I go to my room now?”
“Of course. Come with me.” He picked up the boy’s suitcase. It was shabby and well-worn but sturdy. Similar to what most residents carried. Similar to most of their residents, truth be told. Upstairs, he opened a door. It was a bright and cheery room, the one that had been vacated by Victor. “We eat on the threes. Nine, noon, three which is a snack, six, and if needed, a small snack at nine. If you are an early riser, you can usually find something to nibble on before breakfast and several of us have early morning tea around six. The staff here are all here to help you. Some are nurses and some help to keep this place running.”
“Am I…the youngest?” His voice sounded so small.
Yuuri sighed but answered, “At the moment. We’ve had younger. We will take care of you, though. Don’t worry.”
The boy nodded, sitting down. He didn’t know what to do with himself. The room had a small chest of drawers and a wash basin.
“We have parenting classes at one. If you are even thinking about keeping your little one, it would be good for you to attend. At four, there is a handicrafts class. One of our employees named Yuuko is showing us how to crochet a baby blanket. It helps keep the hands busy.”
“And the mornings?”
“A teacher comes in to work with those that need to finish their schoolwork.” The state fought me on that but I insisted. These kids can’t go in the world with nothing. And they are mostly kids. I rarely get someone older like Victor. “We also have chores. Small things but they keep this place running. You will be added to the chore rotation tomorrow. For today, get settled in. I’ll send someone to get you for parenting classes.”
Yuri stared at the door, mostly closed for privacy although it was open a crack to allow the noises of the house to seep in. House. More like a mansion. But the rooms were small and simple. Like his room at his Grandpa’s house. The old man was upset when he learned of Yuri’s little problem. But he didn’t speak in anger. The boy’s mother had been the same. Early pregnancy. She died not long after Yuri was born and his grandparents took him home to raise. His grandmother was now gone and it was just the two of them.
Yuri ran his hand over his tummy. I don’t want to die like my mother .
Staring at the suitcase, he finally decided to unpack. He popped open the latches and studied the contents. All of his clothes were old and some were already feeling tight but it was all he had. His grandfather made and sold piroshkies on the corner but it didn’t bring in a lot of money. Yura put the clothes into the drawer and closed it.
At the bottom of the suitcase laid a series of letters carefully tied with a ribbon. His eyes studied the name in the corner. Otabek Altin . His eyes began to swim . I miss you. What if you come home too late?
He crawled into bed and wept.
A knock on the door pushed it open. “Hello?”
Yuri’s eyes opened with a start. He must have fallen asleep. “Hi,” he answered.
“I’m Guang-Hong…my room is next door.”
“Yuri…or, I guess you can call me Yura. I thought…I was the youngest.”
“I’m just eighteen,” the other answered, coming into the room. He looked so tiny. Yuri, although young and not sure what he would do, felt very protective towards this one. “Lunch is served soon. Will you join us?”
The blond’s tummy growled at that and he nodded. “I think this one has spoken for me.”
Guang-Hong giggled. “It seems so.”
They walked down and as Yuri entered the dining room, he saw it fill up with staff and residents. He didn’t feel near as alone. The tiny boy led him to some of his friends. “This is Keni and Leo. This is Yura,” he introduced.
“Are you all…like me?” No one was really showing so it was hard to tell.
They all nodded and soon Yura was sitting at a table with three other residents. He looked around and spotted others. A girl with dark hair and violet eyes. A man with messy mousy brown hair. “Sara and Emil,” Keni provided.
Leo nodded towards the staff table. “Yuuri, Phichit, and Minako are all midwives. Victor and Yuuko are housekeeping. Takeshi has grounds. And Celestino is cook. He’s also a teacher and rumor has it, he and Minako are lovers.”
Yuri soaked up the gossip of his new home. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad.
Yuuri was tired as he entered his room that evening. He smiled at the teacups set up and the kettle on the stove just starting to whistle. Victor came out of his room and started, seeing Yuuri. He’d been gone since lunch at a home assisting in a birth.
“You missed dinner,” the other man fussed.
“I know. It was a difficult birth. Small town so we are on rotation as midwives when there are several due.”
“I thought you might be hungry. I have a sandwich to go with your tea and cookies.”
Yuuri smiled a thank you accepting the offering. Pulling back the wax paper and discovered the chicken salad. Taking a bite, he hummed in approval. “This is good.”
“Thank you. I use dill and that makes it a little better.”
He looked up, his eyes wide. “You made this?”
“Well, there wasn’t anything left and I knew you’d be hungry.”
Yuuri dropped his hands to his lap, a soft expression in his eyes. “Thank you.” He continued to eat, accepting the tea once it steeped, adding a sugar cube. “How are you settling in?”
“I didn’t realize how much work took place in the background of the maternity home. I did laundry and Phichit helped me to fold the sheets. I was able to get the young ones to sweep but they ended up dancing with the broom.”
Yuuri smiled as Victor paused. “They are young and should grab hold of their small joys in life.”
“I thought so, too. I…smiled, too. It’s getting easier. I think helping them is helping me somehow.”
“Wounds take time to close up but as we are able to shift our focus off of them, it lets our mind do the work it needs to do. I’m glad.”
“The new one…the young one. He seems angry. And scared. He…isn’t like me, is he?”
Yuuri shook his head, not saying much more. “Everyone has their own struggles. I can’t tell you much more. That trust is important. But if you work with him, he may open up to his own pain. They do sometimes talk. Though sometimes, they just need space. We try and respect where they are.”
“Like you did with me,” Victor surmised.
Yuuri nodded, a soft smile on his lips.
Some soft notes at the end. What do you think about my lovely story so far?
Chapter 3: Letters
Mail call at the maternity home.
So I thought this would be episodic...but I guess I'm more of a chapter girl. Still, I'm liking the way this is turning out. There is no planning. I'm entirely pantsing it.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Mail call was always an exciting time and the omegas were excitedly hoping they’d have something in the bag. Celestino opened the bag with aplomb and pulled the letters out with a flourish. “Let’s see, who do we have have here. Sara?” He waved the letter up high making her reach with a giggle. Reaching in again, he pulled out the next. “Looks like something for Yura.” Those green eyes widened and he snatched it, studying the writing. His expression reflected disappointment.
Several more letters were passed out, and Yura jumped in surprise to learn he had a second, his expression warming up as he tucked it away for later. The residents disappeared into their separate corners to enjoy their letters. Yura took a seat and pulled out his schoolwork.
“You can take the time to read your letters, Yura,” Celestino encouraged.
“No, that’s okay. I’ll save them for tonight.”
In the background, Sara spoke in excited upset. “My brother is still pressuring me to marry that asshole that knocked me up.”
Her friend Emil sighed, reaching out to squeeze her hand in comfort. “You liked him at one point or you wouldn’t be like this.”
She huffed. “I only slept with him because Mickie kept trying to control who I dated. I never really liked him.”
“So, what are you going to do?”
She shrugged. “My parents want me to put my baby up for adoption. I mean...it would be hard to raise them on my own but I worked as librarian before. I think they will hire me back.”
“I haven’t ever had a job. My parents wanted to keep me at home and safe.”
“But you had an alpha,” Sara pointed out.
He shrugged. “Sometimes we make mistakes when we finally break free of our parents.”
It was Sara’s turn to squeeze his hand. Looking back at her letter, she sighed, tucking it into her pocket. “I think...sometimes family interferes too much in our lives.”
Yuuri watched as he leaned against the arch that led into library that was now used as a classroom and gathering room. Several arm chairs and sofas filled the space and some wooden card tables from parties gone by scattered around the room so the residents could work. A chalkboard was mounted on wheels and stood in the corner but it usually held more inspirational quotes than lessons. Those were one on one, leveled at the residents’ needs. Currently, they had three at school age, although Leo and Guang-Hong were close to finishing their requirements.
The Japanese midwife turned to face the side of his job he dreaded, the administrative side. Taking a key from his pocket, he unlocked the door with a sigh. On his desk sat his part of the mail, a stack of bills and requests for reports to fulfill some of his grant requirements. Yuuri understood the need for this. From a practical standpoint, the home needed supplies, electricity, food, etc. From a business standpoint, this non-profit had to jump through hoops at times to keep going.
It wasn’t that Yuuri didn’t have money. His mate left him well set-up if he remained conscientious. It wasn’t a sum, however, that would run the maternity home. When it operated as a clinic, they did fine. Patients paid for their services and the clinic employed several nurses and a couple of doctors. However, in the end, it was the Lee family home and when Yuuri’s mate passed, he was left to decide how to use the home. The other doctor started a new clinic across town. The nurses joined him there. The midwives operated through another home. But Yuuri knew these unattached omegas would fall through the cracks.
Yuuri came back after picking up the pieces and rebuilt the clinic as a maternity home with Minako’s help. Phichit joined him later after not quite fitting in among the other midwives. His flirty personality caused a lot of jealousy and judgment. After they delivered a baby together, Yuuri offered him a job.
Yuuri sorted the bills and pulled out the register, writing checks to cover the bills. He was focused on the task and didn’t notice someone enter the room until they cleared their throat. Yuuri looked up with a start. “Victor!”
“Phichit sent me to remind you to eat.”
He glanced at the pocket watch lying open on the desk and sighed. “The morning has gotten away from me.”
Victor hummed as he watched Yuuri. “You...don’t seem happy.”
“Paperwork...a necessary evil.”
After a moment, Victor asked, “Can I help? I had good marks in school. I’m great with numbers and words.”
“You are...I don’t know that I could pay you an administrator’s salary.”
“Well, I don’t have that kind of schooling...but maybe I could learn? I love this place, too, even though I’m new. It’s the first place I’ve felt at home since coming here...really, since my parents passed away.”
Yuuri smiled, looking up at him. “I am glad you feel at home. Everyone should have a place they feel at home.”
“That’s kind of why this place exists, a place for them to call home while they go through this.”
“So many just discard and hide away their loved ones. Jobs fire them. Landlords throw them on the streets. I don’t know why there is this need to displace those most in need.”
Victor had come into the room as he spoke, and now rested his hands on Yuuri’s shoulders. “You carry so much weight, you don’t have to do it all. Let us help.”
Yuuri warred with his thoughts. Victor had only been there for a few months, only three since he started working. “I don’t want to ask too much,” he whispered.
“We’ll tell you if it’s too much. Let us help. I see how tired you are at the end of the day. You’re doing three peoples’ work and there is only one of you.”
Yuuri sighed and then nodded. “Okay...I’ll let you help. I’ll show you what I’m doing in here.”
Victor found Yuuri curled up on the sofa upstairs with his own letters. “From home?”
The older omega nodded. “My sister’s mate is expecting and she has a lot of questions. It’s her first.”
“Older sister, but her mate is younger. They help my parents with their onsen.” At Victor’s questioning gaze, he elaborated. “It’s a hot spring fed bath house. My mother also has a restaurant and they are talking about expanding. They apparently bought the onsen next door and my father is thinking about developing an inn.”
“It doesn’t sound like good business to have two...onsens...side-by-side,” Victor observed as he settled into a chair next to Yuuri’s sofa, picking up the book he’d left off reading.
“Which is why my mother added the restaurant. This was the last one competing against them.”
“Ah, so they outsmarted the competition.”
“Or the kids didn’t want to continue the operation. That’s Mari, my sister’s, take on it.”
“But your sister wants to continue?”
“She has a degree in business, so yes.”
“Your family sounds smart.”
Yuuri settled his letter in his lap as he studied Victor. “You never talk about yours. I know they’ve passed, but what were they like?”
Victor shrugged. “My mother was a ballerina, my father an artist. Dreamers. Neither had two rubles between them...but they were happy, and I was happy with them. I danced for a while after I lost them but...I hated the leering eyes. Alphas wanted me as their lover, not as their mate...and I didn’t want any of them. I just wanted to escape. I hoped by coming here, I’d be more respected but it was more of the same. I...miss them, though. Papa may have been a dreamer but he made me feel safe.”
Yuuri listened, quietly considering the other man, watching long fingers nervously smoothing the page of his book. “Do you feel safe here?”
Victor looked up, surprised. “I do. You make us all feel safe. Even when we are sad, we know we’re safe.” He chuckled softly. “Are you sure you’re not an alpha?”
Yuuri shook his head thoughtfully. “No, not an alpha. I was surrounded by good alphas. Have you thought about dancing here or teaching dance?”
Victor shrugged. “It takes a lot to get started and...that was their dream.”
“What is yours?”
Victor shook his head. “I just want to be useful...and to feel smart. I was good with my studies.”
“So you’ve said. Do you want to go to university?”
“Like omegas go to university. I could probably study to be a nurse but really, it makes me squeamish. Maybe a teacher...but...I don’t want that. I’d like...to learn more about what we were doing earlier.”
“The books?” Yuuri asked incredulously. “You can have it! It’s a necessary evil but I hate it.”
Victor laughed warmly. “Maybe I would be good at it, though. I’ve always been good at budgeting what little I had.”
Yuuri smiled softly, shrugging at Victor’s enjoyment. “It’s fine until there isn’t enough.”
“I’ve never had enough...I know how to figure my way around that.”
Yuuri sighed, his hands on his insteps. “I believe you. Maybe...it will let me focus on what I love. But you have to tell me if you start to hate it.”
“I promise. I will!”
Yuuri woke up feeling ill at ease, soft brown eyes unfocused until he found his glasses. One of his charges was in distress and he needed to check on them. He had his robe on and was stepping into the sitting room when he found Victor peeking out as well.
“What’s wrong?” the Russian asked softly.
Yuuri sighed but half shook his head and half shrugged. “I’m not sure. But someone is having a hard time.”
“The new one, Yura,” Victor identified after a moment, his sense of smell much stronger so close to giving birth.
Yuuri hummed with worry. “Are you coming?” he asked as he made his way to the door.
They found Yura curled up in tears, a letter held to his chest in the bathroom. He started as Yuuri knelt before him. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to bother anyone.”
“It’s fine, Yura. What’s the matter?”
He lowered the letter, his expression forlorn. “They are sending him over. Korea. I don’t know if I’ll see him again.”
Victor knelt down on his other side. “Does he know about the baby?”
The boy nodded. “He keeps telling me he’s sorry and I know he hates not being here for me. I was supposed to graduate and then he was going to come back and marry me. But it was hard to find work so he went into the military.”
Victor exchanged a glance with Yuuri. “Do you understand what you’re feeling right now, Yura?” he asked carefully.
The boy shrugged. “I feel lost and alone. Like...a part of me is missing.”
Yuuri sighed, taking Yura’s hand. “Sometimes what we know doesn’t reach our instincts. We may know our mate is coming back for us but our instincts feel as if they’ve been abandoned. Especially when we are alone and pregnant.”
“I...I’m scared. What if I die?”
Yuuri’s hand lifted to ruffle through the younger omega’s hair. “You will receive the best of care here. And far fewer omegas are lost than even ten years ago.”
Yura blinked, his green eyes unfocused as he thought about those words. “My mother...she died not long after I was born. Grandma said her heart was too heavy.”
Yuuri made note of the possibility of depression setting in after childbirth. “Your alpha continues to write you...let that settle into your heart. And we’ll see to your pregnancy and birth. You are in good hands.”
Victor stood up and helped Yura to his feet, following him as he went back to bed. He could see the tightness of the clothes as he crawled into bed. “Tomorrow, I’ll show you where we store the maternity clothes. Perhaps you can pick some things out to make yourself more comfortable.”
Yura smoothed his hand over his expanding middle, his eyes focused on a space in front of him. “I brought my own clothes.”
“You’ll outgrow them with that baby. It’s not charity, just a loan.”
That seemed to settle the omega and he nodded. “Okay.”
Victor closed the door most of the way, he felt protective over the boy and wanted to scent the door and reassure him that he wasn’t alone. Glancing towards Yuuri, however, the other omega shook his head.
They walked back towards their room. “Why?”
“You can listen, and even befriend the residents. However, it is not good to form a familial bond with them. Most are here temporarily and their paths are elsewhere.”
“I just...wanted to help.”
“I know.” Yuuri opened the door to their private space. “What I’ve done with you...I don’t make that offer to everyone.”
“Why did you let me stay?”
Yuuri glanced his way, shrugging, a soft smile on his lips. “I don’t know. You just...needed to be here.” He moved towards his door and his bed before glancing back with a sweet, “Good night.”
Aaah, poor baby boy. I hope you are liking this. Let me hear from you.
Chapter 4: Transition
Once a year, Yuuri recognizes his grief.
You will see drunk!Yuuri in this. And we figure out where Christophe is. Apparently I've put too many hats on Celestino (thank you to the one who commented and told me). He's not the doctor. We have Old Doc Feltsman and his wife Lilia. So Celestino is dedicated to the maternity home and staying by Minako's side...low key.
Okay, you need a box of tissues and something snuggly. A fuzzy blanket is advised. I had a lump in my throat as I wrote this.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Yuuri knew the date was approaching and he’d be wrecked on that day. He always was. It was the only deliberate day off he took. He never trusted himself on that day. His hands shook. His heart tremored. And he needed the quiet. And perhaps a drink or two. It was the only day he drank throughout the year. He knew what alcohol did to him.
The others at the house excused him on that day. He blinked as he thought of Victor. He’d never seen Yuuri like that. Perhaps he should prepare him. Hearing that musical laugh across the room as he helped one of their new residents learn the ways of the house, Yuuri thought, perhaps not. Perhaps...I’ll just avoid him.
Yuuri wasn’t so caught up in his emotions to fail to notice the struggles of his residents. His greatest worry was little Yura. The blond seemed withdrawn and he’d been doing so well. He could see the worried glances of the others that had taken him to their hearts.
Guang-hong was nervous and afraid of his pending birth. The poor dear had been bullied by his boyfriend into bed. But when he turned up pregnant, he finally found his backbone and sent the alpha packing. Yuuri was proud of him as he told his story on admit. But then that timidity came back. He worried he wouldn’t be strong enough, wouldn’t be smart enough, that his baby would suffer because of him. Yuuri reassured him that they would prepare him for the journey ahead.
Leo was a free spirit, moving from town to town with his guitar. He loved freely and it finally caught up to him. “I think I’ll settle down with this one. Not with the alpha, mind you. I don’t know a thing about him. I don’t even know his last name.” Yuuri assured him that he could find his way from their home. “Perhaps I’ll pick up a restaurant, make a few dimes, play my guitar when things are slow.” Do you cook? they asked. He laughed and shook his head. Yuuri made sure he was on the kitchen rotation with Celestino. The Italian renaissance man took him under his wing.
And then there was Kenjirou, Keni. Full of energy and cheer...and romantic views. He watched Yuuri and Phichit like they were gods. “Maybe one day I can be like Yuuri and make a way in the world for others,” he said eagerly to Yura...who rolled his eyes but then smiled tolerantly. It was likely those romantic views led him to his residents, easily romanced and swept off of his feet.
It wasn’t that the alphas didn’t come looking for their old lovers. Keni’s brought flowers...once. Yuuri hated it because it kept the boy holding on that much longer when he knew he’d moved on, forgotten about the omega. Leo had several callers and Yuuri finally had to enforce a curfew for visitors. Guang-hong turned his away, wanting nothing to do with him and both Yuuri and Phichit stepped in to enforce his wishes with Takeshi and Celestino stepping in to back him up.
“I don’t want to go back with him when I leave here,” he lamented. “How am I going to do this?”
“One day at a time...and no, you don’t have to go back with him. We’ll help you find a good placement.”
Of course, Leo’s solution was that they would go into business with each other. “We’ll have our own diner. Playpens in the storeroom until they are big enough to hold onto our apron strings.”
Guang-hong liked that idea but was afraid to count on it. Leo, after all, was a dreamer. He shared his concern with Phichit during his exam.
“You could open your own diner,” Phichit suggested. “Then Leo could join you if he stays.”
“Do you think he will? I mean, it’s a lot to do on my own.”
“You won’t have to do it on your own. You will have people to work for you. But you can’t do that right away. You need a plan. And some money.”
“How can I get that? I’m going to be on my own with a baby.”
“We are looking into that. But maybe you could work at a diner before you invest in one. There is one not far from here.”
“Do you think Leo would get on as well? Maybe we could trade shifts and look after each other’s babies.”
Phichit offered a reassuring smile. “It’s certainly worth a thought.”
Yuuri walked into the argument, the volume rising up between the two siblings. “I am not going to marry him! I could care less about your misguided notion of honor.”
“Sara, you need to think of you and the baby…”
“I am thinking of my baby and myself!” Fists were gripped at her side and she stamped her foot. “I’m having my baby and keeping it and will figure the rest out as I go along. I had a job at the library…”
“There is the family business…”
“And have you and Pop telling me what to do and how to raise my kid. I think not!”
Yuuri cleared his throat and Sara rounded on him but then took a deep breath and schooled her temper. “Can we move this...discussion...elsewhere?” he suggested. He knew he didn’t need to intervene. Sara could take care of herself.
“Sorry, Yuuri. I..got riled up.” She threw a glare at her brother. “Mickey was just leaving.”
“I…” he started to protest but the look she cast his direction shut him up. He nodded and turned back to Yuuri. “We’re sorry to disturb you and the other residents. My father sent me with some money to see to my sister.”
“You do know this is a non-profit...we do not bill,” Yuuri reassured him.
“We know...it’s just, we can pay our way. Sara just preferred...to stay away from us for her confinement.”
Yuuri raised an eyebrow at the word choice and smirked. “Okay. We will accept the donation. Thank your father for us.”
As they left, he turned to Sara thoughtfully. “You’re almost to term. Have you heard from your old job?”
She huffed. “They don’t want me. I’ll be...a bad influence on the younger patrons,” she mocked those last few words, before turning her violet eyes on Yuuri. “I don’t want to work for the mortuary. I can do it. Makeup and hair for those who pass. My mother taught me. But it’s a dreary life.”
Yuuri considered his words before he spoke, guiding her into the smaller sitting room. They faced one another as he checked his heart. It would be now he’d be talking about this, so close to the date. “When my husband passed, your mother saw to him. I was so young, overwhelmed, pregnant...I don’t think I would have been able to deal with the decisions I had to face without the warm guidance of your parents. They were kind. They helped me make good decisions in a time that others might have taken advantage. And your mother...she made him look so much like his photo. It made it easier...to say good bye.”
Sara watched him talk, her hand taking his as she listened. “You still miss him.”
Yuuri sucked back a sob. It wasn’t supposed to go like this. He was supposed to be seeing after Sara, not the other way around. “It probably seems silly...after almost ten years.”
She shook her head. “My PopPop still cries for my Grandmam...they would go dancing every Friday night until she couldn’t leave her bed. It’s been at least twelve years. I don’t think there is a timeclock on grief.”
“My mom...she wrote me and told me I need to start moving forward again. She worries I’m...stuck. I don’t think I am but it’s so hard.”
She tilted her head, her expression soft and teasing. “Are you sure there isn’t someone? Another person that’s making you think about these things.”
Yuuri swatted at her and turned away but she caught the blush. “It’s...impossible.”
“You told me once that it’s only impossible if you make it so. Perhaps...you need to open up to possibility.”
“We’d be...society would never…”
She huffed at the unfinished thought. “No one ever thinks such things about Doc Feltsman and his mate. Lilia never even took his name. And that was two alphas.”
“It’s easier to hide two alphas than...two omegas.” Yuuri sighed hard and sent his eyes to the ceiling. “What am I even talking about? It’s not like...I’m just giving him a place. He’ll move on when he finds his feet.”
“What if he finds that he likes his feet...planted?”
“You...have taken over this conversation and I was trying to get you to consider the offer.”
She waved off his words. “I’ll probably go back to the mortuary and work with my Pop and my PopPop...I just want to make sure they know they can’t overrun me.”
Yuuri smiled at her words. “You’re a good girl...and a strong omega.”
Minako found Yuuri staring out the window. She knew what day it was and she slid a hand over his shoulder squeezing the opposite as she pulled him into a hug. “Do you want me to drive you?”
“I thought I’d walk.” Yuuri turned his attention to the window though he listened to his old teacher.
“It’s raining,” she pointed out, even as she also focused on the raindrops pooling and sliding down the window pane.
Yuuri shrugged off her concern. “It’s always raining. I’ll carry an umbrella and wear my raincoat.”
“Do you have flowers?” she fussed and Yuuri knew she worried about him.
He nodded. “Takeshi brought some in for me this morning. Please don’t worry. Everyone is taking good care of me, Minako-sensei.”
She huffed. “Hush with the teacher business. We don’t do that here.”
Yuuri gave her a lopsided smile but the sadness didn’t leave his expression. “It helps...makes me feel close to home.”
She hugged him once more. “That one is for your mother. She’d want to be here for you.”
The first tear slid down his cheek and he brushed it away. “I think...I put all of my grief in a box to take it out on this day.”
She held onto him, that head resting on her shoulder breathing in her scent. She was family, after all. His mother’s best friend who followed him back to this old town to look after him. Yuuri never knew that, never knew that she promised Hiroko she’d keep an eye on Yuuri until he moved forward again. She promised she would, no matter how long it took. She swallowed her own tears. This was for him and she’d be strong. That was her job. To be the safe place where he could fall apart. She could fall apart later when she was alone...or with Tino.
He straightened and nodded, determined. Walking to the closet, he pulled out his raincoat. Victor spotted him, the office was near the vestibule. Stepping out, he asked, “Do you need me to do something? The weather is so messy today.”
Yuuri offered him a smile. He didn’t know. “I’ve got to do this myself.” He pulled on his raincoat and slipped on a pair of boots before taking an umbrella from the stand. “I’ll be fine. Don’t worry.” He tried to smile but turned away quickly before Victor could see his grief.
As he left, Minako stepped forward, putting a hand on Victor’s shoulder. “It’s the anniversary of Dr. Lee’s passing,” she murmured. “He needs to put his grief to rest once more. He does this once a year, let’s his heart grieve...then he puts it away until the next year.”
Victor listened, his eyes going to the window, watching the figure grow smaller with distance. “I would have listened…”
“It’s private, Victor. It’s his to tell.”
Victor nodded. He knew Yuuri was opening up to him but this...was something he held close to his heart. He would wait and be patient.
Yuuri nodded at the police officer as he opened the metal gate and entered the cemetery. The man had lost his daughter on the same night, both of them sitting by their sides. He swallowed his sob as he hurried over to the grave.
The flowers...always daisies. Seung-gil was a simple man. He cared deeply but didn’t always know how to show it. He proposed to Yuuri with daisies, promising roses later. Yuuri said he didn’t want roses. So it was always daisies between them. Perhaps they represented the innocence of their love. Yuuri hugged the blooms to his chest, kissed the petals, then placed the bouquet into the vase by the tombstone. “I miss you. I...I think I always will. My heart aches so much and there is an emptiness begging to be filled.”
His fingers ran along the letters carved into the marble. “I love you.”
He turned and walked away, slipping his free hand into his pocket. He had one more stop then he’d go home. He started to go into the liquor shoppe when his eyes rested on the new pub down the street. Christophe’s . He didn’t feel like being alone and he didn’t want to be surrounded by people who knew his story. Perhaps strangers would do him good.
***** TRIGGER WARNING ***** Brief mention of past rape in the next scene. I'll summarize below if you wish to skip.
He didn’t know what he was expecting but...this was posh. He almost turned to leave when he felt an arm drape around his shoulder. “I know you. Yuuri, right?”
“H-how?” Yuuri struggled to place the face. It was familiar but he wasn’t quite sure.
He led Yuuri to the stool. “I’m the one that brought my friend to you. After everything that happened. I tried to get him to stay with me...but it’s one thing to be friends with an alpha, but to stay with one…”
“You’re Victor’s friend.”
That smile widened. “Yes. He said you gave him a place. Afterwards.”
“Do you know...what they did to him?”
That smile disappeared as he nodded. “He was always so sweet. I walked him home that night but he said he could go the last bit on his own. I...I should have stayed. Should have watched him go inside. They dragged him down the alley. It was bad when they found him. Victor insisted it didn’t happen.”
Yuuri blinked away his tears. He’d already cried enough that day. “Do you have something to drink behind that bar?”
Chris nodded. “Of course.”
SUMMARY OF LAST SCENE: Yuuri met Christophe and realized he had met him before when he dropped off his friend Victor. Chris is thankful for Yuuri giving his friend a place after he lost the baby.
Hours later, Chris watched over Yuuri with worry. He’d called the maternity home. Victor answered. He was on his way. It had been awhile. As he looked up, he spotted that weary smile of his old friend. “How are you, love?”
“I’ve been better.” He nodded towards Yuuri. “How is he?”
“Quiet for now. But I’ve kept an eye on him. I knew you’d want me to.” Chris wiped down another glass with a bar towel before putting it on the tray with the rest of the clean glasses.
“Thank you. He’s having a bad night.” Victor leaned forward and studied the sleeping Yuuri, watching the omega twitch his nose a moment before settling back down.
Chris hummed in agreement. “I see that. What...are your thoughts towards him?”
Victor smirked, hearing the tone in his friend's voice. “Are you checking to see if he’s available?”
Chris raised an eyebrow. “With an ass like that, can you blame me?”
Victor shook his head but that look of fondness he rested on the smaller omega told Chris all he needed to know.
“You never did care for alphas," Chris observed quietly. "Present company excluded, of course.”
Victor snorted, his voice soft as he answered. “I don’t mind alphas. Celestino and Takeshi are fine as well. I’m just more comfortable with omegas.”
“We’re not all bad.” He then nodded towards Yuuri and added, “I’d break some societal rules for that one as well.”
Victor frowned at those words knowing exactly what his friend was implying. “Why is it so bad...omega with omega?”
“Just some puritanical religious mumbo jumbo,” Chris answered quietly. “There are ways around it. I heard old doc’s mate was registered as a beta.”
Victor huffed. “I don’t even know if he’d want me like that, my Yuuri.”
Chris rested his eyes on the sleeping omega. “He’s talked about you half the evening. The other half...well, he’s still mourning.”
Victor's expression was gentle as he studied the beautiful omega. “I know...I’m okay with that. He was Yuuri’s first...and they had something special.”
“It doesn’t mean the two of you can’t have something special,” Chris pointed out.
Yuuri turned his head, rousing a bit, and looked at him. “ Victoru ...you’re here,” his voice slurred and heavily accented due to his drunken state.
And Chris saw right then and there. Victor was gone, his heart already given away. He never stood a chance with either of them. As Victor helped Yuuri out, Chris lifted a glass in cheers to them. “
Victor settled Yuuri into the cab. “Take us home, Willie,” he directed.
“Of course. Anything for Nurse Lee.”
“Thank you.” Victor knew the town was fond of Yuuri even though he was outspoken and sometimes refused to bend...especially when it came to his patients. He was protective of his charges. But he’d delivered babies in this town for almost ten years...and so many had memories of Yuuri’s support.
Back at home, he helped Yuuri inside, the omega leaning against him. “It’s a bad night, Vicchan,” he grunted.
“Don’t worry, my Yuuri. I’ve got you.”
They made it up the stairs with a few stumbles, Phichit coming out to help, the two of them finally getting Yuuri up the stairs and into the room. Phichit hesitantly left but then Victor was alone and had to tend to Yuuri’s needs. Yuuri hung sloppily on him, turning in his arms to face him, nuzzling into his scent gland. “I love your scent, you know. Fresh snow with a hint of…” He stopped to breathe in Victor’s scent once more, causing a chill to go down the Russian's spine. “Cedar. Like home. Cedar in winter behind the onsen.” He grabbed Victor’s hand and danced out and Victor was treated with the view of a younger Yuuri, so free and unrestrained.
Was this the Yuuri you fell in love with, Dr. Lee?
He couldn’t blame him. He was already there himself. He laughed as Yuuri danced with him, hands weaving together. And then Yuuri pulled up to him, Victor could taste the older man’s breath. He wanted to kiss him. He wanted...to love him and make love to him.
But Yuuri...he was not ready, not yet. Maybe soon.
“Let’s put you to bed, solnyshko .”
Yuuri blinked up at him before nodding. “Tomorrow…” as if tomorrow held a secret promise.
Victor smiled at that word. “Tomorrow..and the day after that. Tonight, you sleep.”
Victor helped Yuuri change, tucked him into bed, smoothing out his hair. He could see Yuuri’s eyes resting on a vase next to the bed and he turned to see a daisy, lone and losing its luster. “Do you want to hold the flower?”
Yuuri nodded, a tear sliding down his cheek. “Daisies...those were his flowers.”
Victor watched Yuuri clutch the flower, pulling it towards his face. The younger omega smoothed his hair. Leaning forward, he brushed a kiss onto his forehead. “Weep as long as you need, my Yuuri. I won’t be far.”
The next morning, Yuuri had no memory of dancing with Victor. He simply assumed Victor brought him home and tucked him into bed. The silverette let him have that illusion. I won’t be far...when you’re ready.
Okay...goals with this story is to get to "Episode 8" which is the 8th chapter...and then the "Christmas Special" to go up on Christmas day. I've written through 6 but I'm kind of following the format of "Call the Midwife" without the narrative.
Chapter 5: Changing Course
Yura declines and everyone worries.
***underage relationship by modern standards...but then again, they happen***
This is emotional but don't worry, Yuuri will take care of his patients. He might not go the route we might go but he does what he thinks is best.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The green-eyed blond pushed back his plate untouched. The staff took note.
Celestino tried to tempt him with sweets and with buttery delights. Yura shook his head. He pulled away, seeking solitude.
Minako helped him to pick out fabric to make a quilt. Yura would start and then his needle would still.
His friends tried to get him to talk...and Yura could call them friends. Leo and Guang-hong seemed very attentive, fussing over the boy. He didn’t really have the patience for Keni’s energy. Finally, he opened up about the letter. He wanted his Beka, he felt...pushed aside. He knew better. He knew his Beka wanted him and wanted to make a better life for them. The young alpha had never broken a promise to him. But his omega was crying inside.
“He thought...he could come home after training. But there won’t be time...they are sending him immediately. He leaves in less than a month.”
The other two squeezed his arms reassuringly. “But when he gets back…” Leo began.
Yura shrugged and slipped away from their side, seeking the solitude of his home.
Yura continued to mope and the residents and staff worried over him. As Otabek’s deployment date approached, the more agitated the little blond became. Yuuri frowned as he checked the little blond’s weight. Two pounds down. As Yuuri checked his blood pressure, he frowned once more. “You need to relax.”
Those green eyes lifted up to him and Yuuri found he missed angry. “I’m trying. I don’t want to lose our baby...or die. I just...I feel…” He shrugged, slipping back into his despondent state.
Yuuri sighed, finally making a decision. “Why don’t you go help Sara in the kitchen today?”
Yura narrowed his eyes and started to argue. “I think I’d prefer to be alone.”
Yuuri knew it wasn’t good for him to spend so much time alone. “Everyone in this home rotates chores, and that sometimes means you work with someone. You’re in the kitchen this week with Sara. Now go,” he shooed the boy away with a firm hand and put his stethoscope around his neck. He watched him scurry to the kitchen before putting his plan in motion.
He rarely went back to the family once they relinquished their charges. They became his once they stepped through that door. But this one had him worried.
He was putting on his shoes and had his keys in hand, when he poked his head into the office. “Care to go for a drive with me?”
Victor’s elegant silver eyebrow raised at the invitation. “Sure, what do you have in mind?”
“A, ah, home visit. I thought you might contribute.” Yuuri led Victor to his car, the deep blue Studebaker gently loved through the years. He smoothed his hand over the body, a quiet hum as he appreciated the engineering. “This was a splurge but he taught me how to drive and I didn’t want that to go to waste. He taught me a lot, my mate. I am sometimes surprised by what all he taught me in our short time together.”
“Were you happy? Did you want this marriage?” Victor moved to the other side of the car as he waited for the answers.
“I was...and I did. He offered me the world, much more than my family could give me. I don’t regret my decision. I still...feel his loss.” Yuuri tilted his head and Victor could see the sadness in his smile. “I was young. Like Yura. But I knew my heart.”
“Is this home visit concerning Yura?”
The midwife nodded. “I’m worried and I want to talk to his Grandfather. I have an idea but it would require his approval.
“And you think I would help how?”
“You were there...when he first received word. I don’t know.” He laughed but it was self-deprecating. “I just really didn’t want to go alone.”
“Don’t worry...I’ll go with you, Yuuri.” They climbed into the car and soon Yuuri had it roaring to life. Victor watched the smile settle on Yuuri’s lips. “You like to drive.”
As Yuuri put it in gear, he nodded. “Sometimes...I just drive. No particular direction. It’s an escape. I love the speed of the road and the worries blissfully falling away. I never go for long. Too many things weighing down on me. But this...it is one of those singular joys in life.”
“Do you maintain it yourself?”
Yuuri’s smile widened. “I do. I have help. Takeshi sees to it when I can’t...but I can handle the maintenance. My father had me following him around while he fixed things at the onsen including his old truck and the work van as I grew up. That’s why Seung-gil thought I would be good at nursing. A good eye for detail and fine motor skills.”
“He seemed to be right about that. How long did you know each other...before you mated?”
Yuuri laughed warmly. “Only three months. It was very rushed...my parents thought I was going too fast. But Seung-gil had a practice to get back to and I knew what I wanted. I’ve always known my own mind. In the end, they let me go. I came here, studied for my exams, practiced along side him. And...I was happy. We’d fall in bed exhausted. It’s a wonder I ever became pregnant. But...he would hold me and I felt...at home. Safe.” He turned down a street and Victor saw the nicer neighborhood give way to poverty. “I want that for my residents.”
“You don’t call them patients. You didn’t call me a patient.”
“You’re more than that, though. You live there, you become a part of our small community, and in your case, you stay.”
Yuuri shrugged. “I delivered Yuuko’s triplets. She showed up, thrown out of her house, the family convinced she brought shame. I took her in immediately. She and Takeshi...they fell in love while she was there. Phichit never settled in other nursing assignments. So after working with him, I brought him in. Minako looked out for me and she brought Celestino along.”
“Why did he never…” Victor faded out as Yuuri pulled to a stop.
“Make an honest woman out of her?” At Victor’s nod, Yuuri laughed. “Because she is too independent to give up her freedom. They seem at peace and have been together for as long as I remember. Minako was my mother’s best friend and delivered both me and my sister.”
They got out, and Yuuri couldn’t help the shy smile as Victor placed a protective hand on Yuuri’s back, the nurse leading the way up to the apartment. Yuuri knocked and waited for the door to be answered.
The old man’s eyes widened with worry upon seeing them. “Is my Yura okay?”
“He is,” Yuuri quickly reassured him. “I was wondering if we could talk. I’m concerned about his blood pressure.”
“What can I do?” Nikolai Plisetsky ushered them into the room and offered them a worn but clean seat on the sofa.
They took the seat, Yuuri’s expression opening up with his concern. “Yura received a letter...from the baby’s father. We have noticed signs of...an informal bond. He...behaves as if abandoned by his mate. And it’s starting to affect his health.”
“What can I do? The boy took off for the Army. He was a good boy...but he wanted to make a better life for the two of them. I didn’t know until it was too late that they...had done that.” He sniffed back then reached into his pocket for an oversized handkerchief. His body began shaking with sobs, dropping his head into his hands. “His mother, Yelena...she died soon after he was born. Her heart was broken. I don’t want that for my grandson.”
Victor leaned forward, placing a firm hand on the old gentleman. “We don’t want that either.”
Yuuri began again. “If you approve of the mating, would you allow him to travel to meet with Otabek before he leaves? It’s soon and we need to decide sixteen.”
“He’s so young.”
Yuuri nodded, his lips thin. Omegas often married early. With a good alpha, that’s not a roadblock but for many, it meant they were caught in the endless cycle of pregnancy and raising children. “I...was sixteen. I learned to be a nurse after.”
“No, no...not that,” he assured them. “My own wife was young. I was barely nineteen when we mated. But to go so far. In his condition. I would hate for someone to take advantage of him.”
Yuuri nodded with understanding. “We won’t send him unaccompanied. I can spare my groundskeeper for the duration of the trip.”
“We don’t have any money,” the old man lamented, looking around the sparse and humble home.
Yuuri reassured him gently. “I’ve got it covered. If we don’t do this, he’ll continue to weaken. And...it’s such a small window of time.”
“Is this groundskeeper...is he omega?”
“Alpha...to keep him safe. He’s mated and has children of his own.”
“I don’t like the idea of him traveling alone with an alpha.”
“I can go with him,” Victor volunteered. “I...wouldn’t mind.”
Yuuri looked up at him sharply before nodding in agreement. “I’ll send them both. He’ll be safe. But I need your written consent.”
Nikolai’s hands shook as he signed over his grandson. “Will you bring him to see me when you return?”
Victor nodded in agreement. “I’ll see to it.”
“He’s all I’ve got.”
Yura came to Yuuri as the midwife studied him, offering the seat next to him. “Do you want to be with your Otabek? Mated? You’re very young and that decision will stay with you for the rest of your life.”
“You married young. Do you regret it?” the boy challenged.
The midwife shook his head. “I don’t. But the circumstance was different.”
“Because I’m pregnant?”
Yuuri nodded, reaching out to take his hand. “That and...he’s far away. Your future is uncertain.”
“Your mate was rich,” Yura concluded, glancing around the room.
Yuuri couldn’t deny it. From the boy’s perspective, it probably appeared quite wealthy. “We did well together,” he agreed. “Is this a commitment you feel you can make at fifteen?”
Yura considered it before nodding. “I already feel married to him. We didn’t bond. But it feels like...something more.”
“There is something in between. Not quite a bond...but a connection. But when...you are away from your partner, you can feel it acutely. Like a bond.”
“What should I do? I don’t want to be this way.” Yura wrung his hands, looking small and hopeless.
Yuuri thinned his lips as he studied the boy. “Do you want to be with Otabek? Bonded?”
Yura nodded. “I do...but it’s impossible. And where would I go after? If I go home, I might not make it. My mother had so much trouble having me.”
Yuuri remembered what he said about his mother and had checked into the story, learning that she had become despondent about losing her mate. He didn’t want that for Yuri. He wanted the young omega to feel safe. “You can come back here.”
“But this is a home for the unmated,” he argued, still seeing roadblocks.
Taking the boy’s hands, he gave them a squeeze. “Once you are mine, you are always mine. We are not going to put you out on the streets or send you back home. Not if that’s not what you want. But...I want what is best for you. And that’s what I’m trying to determine.”
“I’d...like to belong to my Beka,” Yura decided, squeezing Yuuri’s hands firmly as he held the older omega’s eyes.
Yuuri didn’t expect the feeling in his chest as he watched the three of them climb onto the bus. He chalked it up to his worry over the boy. He hated to lose even one and would do everything he could to prevent that. But he felt as if it was something more. He felt Phichit wrap his arms around Yuuri as they watched the bus pull away. He knew he was glad he wasn’t alone. Turning, they walked back towards the maternity home.
“What do you have planned for the night?”
“I’m on call with the midwife station,” Phichit groaned. “And it’s a full moon.”
“Well then, I might need to get ready as well. Let’s get some rest before it begins.” Yuuri glanced back, his expression troubled. I know you’re in good hands. But an uneasiness settled in. He knotted up his hand over his heart. “Would you mind...if we stop by to see him?”
“Of course not.” Phichit continued to hold onto his friend, knowing his moods well at this point. The detour wasn’t long and then they were opening the creaky iron gates that led into the cemetery. Phichit continued to walk with Yuuri to the well loved graveside. “Do you want to be alone?”
Yuuri nodded. “Just a few minutes, please,” he held the hitch back, the knot in his throat knowing Phichit wouldn’t go far. He needed this. Reaching down, he pulled away the weeds. They grow so fast. He straightened an overturned brick that edged the grave. “Hello, darling. It’s not raining. I guess I don’t come as often as I once did. The maternity home keeps me busy...and I’m trying to keep going. I...I needed to talk to you.” He sniffed back his tears. “It’s just that...it’s been so long since I felt this heaviness inside. You once told me hearts were so heavy and I’ve taken care of my charges, made sure they were well fed, clothed, and had the medical care that they require. Just like we talked about. But...there has been an emptiness inside for so long. And now, that feels heavy. And I want to know. Is it okay...to move on? To let go?” He let his tears fall, his hand resting on the grave marker, his fingers digging into the name of his mate. “I love you...but now...now I think I need to love someone else.”
When he straightened, his hands went down to brush off his knees. Phichit wasn’t far but gave him the privacy he needed. Ever the attentive friend, he offered Yuuri a handkerchief as he came to Phichit’s side. “Are you okay, there?”
Yuuri nodded. “I will be.”
For those who have something against those who marry young...well, I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for early marriage. In fact, I broke the tradition of the family by waiting until almost nineteen. My grandmother was fourteen when she married, my mother fifteen, my sister sixteen...so it happens. And in the 50s, it wasn’t unheard of. I like how Yuuri went to gain Yura’s grandfather’s permission.
Also, who would be interested in a Yuuri/Seung-gil prequel?
Chapter 6: Nerves
Dealing with relationships...
***There is a suggestion of intimacy with a minor in this chapter***
Okay, world building question. It was asked by more than one why is omega-omega relationships considered bad (and someone suggested I implied it was worse than alpha-alpha).
Okay, so homosexuality in this world is alpha-alpha, omega-omega, beta men, or beta women. The thing that makes omega-omega relationships trickier is that they can get pregnant. Both of them. Which means if they slip up and trade roles, then they cannot hide and say one is omega and one is alpha. Yakov and Lilia have successfully deceived the community into thinking Lilia was omega (although there are rumors that suggest otherwise, they are unconfirmed). Yuuri can't pass as an alpha. He is too well known as Dr. Lee's omega mate. Victor, on the other hand, is not known in this community as an omega. He didn't put it out there except at the boarding house. And he didn't really know anyone there. If we are in 1950s UK, then homosexuality is illegal and they could be jailed for indecent acts. If in the US, well, there were movements but they were still being shut down. However, in 1958, One, Inc., a gay publication was protected by the Supreme Court under freedom of speech.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Yura bounced his knee nervously while he rode the bus all the way to the military town. Always by the window. Always with either Victor or Takeshi between him and the aisle. But it was almost time and he worried. What if he doesn’t want me after all? All of this money? This trip waisted? He was scared to be certain.
Victor would try and calm him, a mother hen fussing over him. Takeshi glared at anyone who made even an untoward glance in the direction of the two omegas. And then they arrived and he guided them both off the bus, Victor with a protective arm wrapped around Yura, his eyes sharp as he watched for anyone who would cause trouble.
They stayed the night and Takeshi was able to get word to base that made the connection to Otabek’s commanding officer. Victor made sure Yura showered then rested. And then they were called before the commander. Otabek stood waiting, dressed sharp, facing forward.
“It seems you have some unfinished business you failed to submit on your papers, Recruit Altin.”
“Yes, sir,” Otabek responded.
“He didn’t know,” the omega argued, his words more emotional. “We just...we…”
The commanding officer studied him. “Do we have permission from the minor’s parent or guardian?”
“Guardian, sir,” Takeshi answered, imitating Otabek’s response. He handed over the document.
The commanding officer studied then nodded sharply. “What do you say, Recruit?”
“I would make this right, sir.”
He huffed, frowning. Reaching in his desk, he pulled out a form. “You have one day. The chapel is open should you have need of it.”
“Thank you, sir,” Otabek answered, saluting before taking the paper. As they were dismissed, the young alpha relaxed and finally turned towards Yura. “I can’t believe you did this.”
“It was Yuuri. He made it happen. I...I wasn’t doing well. He suspects there is an incomplete bond.”
The alpha frowned at those words. “I scraped my teeth against your neck. I may have...I’m sorry, Yura.”
Takeshi cleared his throat. “We don’t have much time. Do you want to do this?”
Otabek swallowed, taking Yura’s hands in his. “Your grandfather would want a Rabbi to be there.” Yura nodded, stepping forward. The young alpha enfolded him in his arms, the small omega settling into his embrace. “Let’s go. See what the chapel offers.” He nodded towards the other two. “Thank you for watching out for him and bringing him here.”
Victor smiled softly. “My Yuuri says I grow too attached. He does the same and wanted to make sure no one would harm him.”
Takeshi placed a reassuring hand on Victor. “Yuuri is very protective over his charges. You can be assured we’ll look out for him in our care.”
With a sigh, the young alpha nodded. “The chapel is this way.”
They walked a bit and finally arrived at a simple white chapel with a steeple. Yura hesitated but then followed. A chapel was waiting and apparently had been informed of the situation. “Good morning. I’m Chaplain Eckerman. This charming lady is my wife and partner...and a wonderful photographer. I was informed by the company commander you’d be coming.”
“Are you a Rabbi?” Yura asked, his eyes hopeful at the sound of the name.
“As a matter of fact, I am. Shall we do this?”
The ceremony was simple, the marriage recorded. The chaplain’s wife promised to send photos to Yura. Victor and Takeshi took the shy couple away so they could have some privacy. As they left them in the hotel, Takeshi leaned towards Victor. “Want to go find some trouble to get into?”
Victor snorted. “With your wife? I wouldn’t dare. But maybe something to eat.”
They lingered at a nearby diner for a couple of hours. “Do you think they are okay?” Victor fussed, playing with his food.
Takeshi chuckled. “More than okay. They are making sure this one holds them until he returns.”
“Do you think we were right to do this?”
“Why do you ask?”
Victor looked out the window. “He’s so young. At fifteen, I didn’t even want to know an alpha, let alone bond with one.”
“Everyone is wired differently and we mature at different rates. Look at Yuuri.”
Victor hugged himself, nodding. “I am...and his heart is broken.”
“His heart is healing. He’s been different over the last few months, laughing more, his eyes all happy. Yuuko and I’ve both talked about it. And don’t think I missed that my Yuuri you said earlier.”
Victor blushed. “I’m omega.”
Takeshi huffed at that. “The way I see it, the heart wants what the heart wants and if you are both adults, it ain’t nobody’s business.”
“We couldn’t have...what Yura had earlier. Yuuri deserves a mate he can marry.”
“There are ways around that. Talk to Old Doc Feltsman. He could tell you a thing or two.”
He shook his head. “Why would Yuuri even want that? Want me, even? What can I offer him?”
Takeshi took a long sip of his coffee. “This is Yuuri. He wants someone that will let him be him and not try to put him in a mould. He would want a partner. He already has his dream. He just needs someone to help him keep it alive...and keep him from getting lost in his head.”
Victor considered those words. “I won’t ever be a doctor.”
“Does Yuuri look like he needs a doctor? He handles things just fine without one. And if things get a little dicey, he calls old Feltsman.”
Hours later, they arrived at the room to find Otabek leaving, his uniform in order. Yura stood near the door, tears in his eyes. “Is everything okay?” Victor asked, going past him to wrap protective arms around the boy.
Otabek nodded. “My leave has been pulled. Our departure date has been moved up. But...it’s done.” He turned back to Yura, his expression soft. “I wish…”
The blond found his strength and waved him off. “Just go...I don’t want you in trouble for my sake. I’m good.”
“Watch for my letters.”
“I save every one.”
They watched Otabek go down the stairs and then into the cab. Turning back to their charge, Yura drew into himself, curling up to sleep. Takeshi gave Victor the other half of the bed. He took the chair.
The next morning, they were on the bus back. Yura curled up against Victor feeling tired and small. “It will get better,” Victor promised.
Yuuri retired from his day which began quite early. Three deliveries later, and he only wanted a bath and sleep. He washed, he dressed in his robe and boxers, and he curled up on the couch. He heard the door open and close and recognized Phichit’s scent as he checked on Yuuri.
“You should rest tomorrow,” the younger midwife pronounced.
“Elena and Georgi are both due,” Yuuri groaned in protest.
“Let Minako and I see to them. You don’t have to do them all.”
“You were busy with the residents...and it was my day.”
“And tomorrow is mine. Besides, all you ever have to do is ask and we’ll help.” Phichit lifted the blanket stretched over the back of the sofa and spread it over his friend. “Rest, love.”
He didn’t hear the bell later, and the arrival of the rest of his charges. He didn’t stir until the door to the private sitting room opened quietly. Brown eyes opened and he saw Victor come into the room, setting his small suitcase down by the wall. Yuuri sat up, searching out and finding those blue eyes as he pushed up off of the sofa.
He was on his feet and they found their way quickly to Victor, and he was enfolded in the younger omega’s arms. His eyes studied the silver hair, the blue eyes, the line of his mouth. And his expression hid nothing, open, full of need and love. Then he tipped up on his toes and his lips found Victor’s, the other omega’s arms tightening in their embrace.
As they parted, Yuuri looked down and away, stepping back. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be...please. I don’t want to be a mistake,” Victor answered softly.
Yuuri looked up, taking him in again with that gaze. “I didn’t ask...I just knew what I wanted.”
Victor took a step forward, his hand reaching for Yuuri, hovering just beyond his cheek. “And what is it that you wanted.”
“I...I want you.”
“I’m yours...all of me. I’ve never wanted anyone before...but I want you.”
Yuuri studied him, before closing the distance, kissing him desperately. Victor’s hands clutched Yuuri, needing him close, needing to know him. Yuuri continued to kiss him. As Victor broke free, he murmured, “I need to bathe. I smell like the bus.”
Yuuri nodded, shakily letting him go. “I’ll...be here. Waiting.”
Victor fought against the urge to step towards him again. “I won’t be long.” Victor retreated, reluctance in his movements. He hesitated by the door. “I’ll hurry.”
Yuuri huffed. “Well, go already.”
Victor nodded and exited the room, swiftly moving towards the bathroom. Yuuri watched the door close in his wake and stood up, wringing his hands nervously. What am I doing? He blinked back tears. He went to the door of his bedroom and opened it, fussing about the interior. What is he going to think of this nest?
He tugged and pulled until it, fussing with the twists and turns of fabric, the filling in between. He’d began building that nest the day he returned. Oh, he’d strip it down and wash it on a regular basis. He’d rebuild it, rescent it, tuck in his treasures...but it has only been for him for a very long time. It only held his scent. Not that of his husband whose scent long faded. Not that of his child who never breathed.
He didn’t hear the door opening to the main chamber. It wasn’t until he heard a tentative knock on his open bedroom door that he realized Victor had returned. Victor leaned against the door facing, watching Yuuri’s telltale body language, the hesitance, the nervousness. “There is no hurry,” he murmured softly.
Yuuri turned his way, swallowing his sob, seeking courage in movement. “I want this.”
Victor never missed a move when it came from Yuuri, walking up behind Yuuri and running his hand along Yuuri’s back. “What...does this mean to you? What do you want?”
“I-I want to be with you. I know...I know that we will be judged harshly and that doesn’t scare me.”
Victor listened, his hand running up and down Yuuri’s back. “What does scare you?”
“I’ve been Yuuri Katsuki-Lee for a very long time. It’s how I identify myself. I know what it’s like to be alone...to t-tend to my heats on my own. I...don’t know how to let you in. But I want to.” The sob came, Yuuri covering his face as the tears slid down his face.
Victor, tired and exhausted from his trip and from holding Yura together, turned him in his arms and let Yuuri weep in his arms. It appeared his night wasn’t over yet. The body shook against him, hands fisting into his nightshirt. And he waited until Yuuri settled. And when it happened, Victor rocked him back and forth, swaying as he soothed the older man.
“I’m such a mess,” Yuuri finally stated.
“I suppose we both are,” Victor put forth. “But perhaps together, we can hold each other together.”
Yuuri cast a glance towards his nest. “I haven’t been...that way with anyone since him.”
“I haven’t been that way with anyone...not willingly. But I trust you.”
“Because you have a gentle but fierce heart.”
Yuuri’s breath hitched and Victor pulled him back in to catch the next round of waterworks. Rocking him back and forth, he ran his hand up and down Yuuri’s back. Yuuri sniffed and finally settled once more.
“I cry...a lot.”
“I noticed...although you do well under pressure. It’s just when you have privacy.”
Yuuri nodded, his head still resting against Victor’s shoulder. The swaying motion continued and it almost felt like a dance. “What if this doesn’t work?”
Victor pressed a kiss in Yuuri’s hair. “Then I’ll have to go...but that’s not going to happen. I’m going to give you all of the time you need.”
Yuuri groaned. “I’ve had ten years.”
“You’ve had ten years where you never gave yourself permission to move forward.”
“You sleep...and tomorrow we talk. With a clear head and a well rested heart.” He then turned Yuuri towards his bed. “Now, tuck in. I insist. A tired body is quick to tears.”
Yuuri laughed, feeling more moisture gathering but not nearly as distressed. This wasn’t how he expected his confession to go but with Victor, he felt safe to be himself. He crawled into the nest, turning to face Victor. “Maybe...you could sleep next to me?”
Victor hesitated. “Are you sure?”
Yuuri nodded. “Just sleep. I don’t think I can bare another night on my own.”
Victor hesitantly followed Yuuri into his nest, settling back with Yuuri curled around him. “Your nest is lovely,” he murmured.
Yuuri scoffed at that. “I’m sure you make a much better nest.”
Victor shook his head. “No, I...I’ve never really had the opportunity. I moved too often. I like this, though. It feels like you. Dark and mysterious...velvet with sparkle. And it is covered in your scent. I love the cinnamon and...some kind of flower.”
“It’s a cherry blossom.”
“Now I love cherry blossoms,” Victor smiled, turning to look at him. “Especially with warm brown eyes.” They kissed and then Victor settled them down, pulling a blanket over their bodies. “Sleep now. Everything will be clearer in the morning.”
Keep talking to me (and next chapter, we get a date).
Chapter 7: Date Night
Date Night...and one thing leads to another...
Warning...nsfw content involved
NOTE: Victor was raped and some of his responses during sexy times stem from that incident. (that seems like a cold, harsh word and I'm not making small of it)
At the end, you'll find the links in which I'm known for and a small commentary on the times based on my research.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Victor eyes fluttered open, the difference in lighting pulling him from his sleep early. His first awareness was the warmth curled up beside him, the soft breathing from that sleeping body, the way the hand knotted up in his shirt as if to keep him in place. Yuuri. He then noticed the dark colors, the sultry nature of the nest, deep velvets, dark colored sheets, black chiffon scarves dressing around the windows, and a pop of red in a chair in the corner. Yuuurii. And then he noticed with a smile that the room sparkled in the morning sun. Small crystals hung from the fringe on the window scarves, the curtains on the bedposts, and woven around some of the baffles in the outer nest. To add to the sparkle, prisms that looked suspiciously like the crystals from a chandelier hung down the center of each of the windows casting rainbows into the room.
The younger omega never had the luxury to do more than a loose, half-assed nest. He didn’t have treasures to tuck away. Not that he didn’t want these things, it just wasn’t something he could indulge in. He had to survive.
He remembered working as a sales clerk before everything fell apart. He was charming and could make sales. He started building a nice wardrobe and taking better care of himself. He made friends with Chris who he met when he came to buy a suit. Victor was flirty but there was a definite boundary and Chris picked up on it, respecting that line. He’d lost that since...everything fell apart. But with Yuuri, he felt more together, more himself, more stable. With Yuuri, he felt more complete than ever, a promise of life and love dancing in his future.
He watched those eyes dancing under those eyelids, long lashes against his cheeks, and wondered about the dreams that he entertained.
Yuuri stood in the fog, the ghost of a memory watching him from the start of the bridge and he stood just beyond. “I’m scared.”
“I know, darling Yuuri. You’ve never let fear hold you back before. Remember when you left your home to follow me to an unknown place and start a new life? You are braver than you realize.”
“Now you make me into Pooh bear.”
The warm, familiar chuckle made him shiver. He was the only one that could break through that cool exterior of his husband, that could bring a smile and a laugh. Both always brought him pleasure. “I called you that more than once. I think I told you why.”
Yuuri looked down at the ground, shuffling his feet. “What if...what if I lose everything?”
“Is he worth losing everything?”
That question caused Yuuri to pause, looking up to meet those eyes that could look straight into his soul. “He has nothing...not that that matters to me. It doesn’t. But if I lose everything, how will I take care of us?”
“You are overthinking, my darling Pooh bear,” the ghost chastised gently.
“I am,” Yuuri admitted. “I-I never worried about whether or not I’d be taken care of with you. I just trusted you to do what was necessary.”
“And do you trust him to do what is necessary?”
Yuuri paused at that, thinking about how Victor always stepped up to meet him where he was, how he always pulled some of the load off of his shoulders even when Yuuri failed ot recognize he needed it. “He does.”
“Then why are you afraid, my dear Yuuri?”
“I-I’ve held onto you for so long.”
“It’s time to let me go. I can no longer take care of you, nor can you take care of me. It’s time to let someone else in.”
“But I love you. I promised you always.”
“And I will always love you...but you can also love another. You have time...and there is so much love in you.”
Yuuri felt tears falling on his cheeks. He sniffed, fussing. “I’m always crying.”
“That’s just your heart opening up. Now let in the light.”
He felt fingers brushing over his cheek, wiping away the tears before he fluttered open his lids. He realized the bridge in his dream represented change, represented moving on to Victor. He allowed himself to smile as he blinked up at the other man. “Hi.”
“Good morning, solnyshko.” He smoothed Yuuri’s hair back, watching him with concern. “The tears...are you okay?”
Yuuri brushed away his concerns. “Just a dream. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I cry. A lot.”
Victor smiled warmly. “Then let me be your safe place for tears.”
And as if all barriers were lifted, he mentally ran into the other’s arms, crossing the bridge in his thoughts, and clinging to him as he released the weight on his shoulders in tears. Victor smoothed his hair, holding him, soothing him with soft words, half of which were in Russian but they settled him just the same. “I don’t know why I’m like this. You’d think after ten years…”
“Grief has no timeclock. I’m not threatened by your grief. I will walk you to the cemetery and watch over you while you put flowers on his grave.”
Yuuri blinked up at him, his expression soft at that thought of someone loving him, all of him, so completely. “I think I’m ready now,” he whispered.
Victor nodded hugging him once more, pressing a kiss onto his forehead. They moved out of the bed and Yuuri moved towards his closet and pulled out his outfit for the day. Victor crossed the sitting room and entered his own room, taking out a casual suit and dressing with care. When he emerged, he saw Yuuri in some jeans cuffed at the bottom and a button up tied at the waist. When it came to traditional roles, Victor couldn’t help but think that he was the alpha in the relationship. It was something they needed to talk about but seeing Yuuri’s pallor, he wanted to get the other omega downstairs to eat.
A whistle escaped Phichit’s lips as Yuuri entered the dining room, causing the other omega to blush, his eyes rolling. And if anyone noticed Victor’s protective hand on Yuuri’s back, they said nothing. Yuuri stopped at the table where Yura ate and knelt down to check him briefly, touching his forehead.
“I’m eating better,” the little blond promised.
“Good. I want to give you a thorough check up in the morning. Okay?” Yuuri fussed.
Yura nodded before turning to Victor. “Then I can go see my Grandpa?”
“Absolutely,” Victor promised.
Satisfied, he turned back to his food and friends and the other two moved onto their table to talk with Phichit, Manako and the others. “Did Takeshi get any rest?” Yuuri asked Yuuko softly, as he settled into his chair.
“After the girls quit wollering all over him. Don't let him fool you, though. He enjoyed every bit of it.” She took a bite of her eggs before setting the for down, her expression worn.
“The girls taking too much out of you?” Yuuri asked quietly, studying her with knowing eyes.
Yuuko avoided the question, studying her eggs intently. Yuuri and Phichit exchanged glances. Finally, Phichit broke the silence and asked, “So, what are you going to do on your day off?”
Yuuri thought about it for a moment before suggesting, “Maybe that southeast supply closet…”
The entire table groaned. “Yuuri, that is not a day off. That’s chores.”
“It’s just...it needs to be done,” he argued.
“I guess I’ll start on that pile of paperwork on my desk if that’s the case,” Victor countered.
“No, you need your...rest.” He stopped, nibbling his lip. “Oh.”
“Why don’t the two of you go take in that new picture show?” Minako suggested.
“Oh, North by Northwest . I wanted to see that,” Yuuri agreed, turning to Victor to see how he felt about the plan.
“I’d love to see a movie with you, Yuuri,” he answered, his tone silken and causing blush to rise up in Yuuri’s cheeks.
Yuuri glanced down at his plate, his hand shaking as he took a bite of eggs, fully aware of all of the eyes upon him.
Victor settled a light jacket on Yuuri’s shoulders as the smaller man toed into some flats. His storeroom plans thwarted, he changed into a pair of striped pants, a white button up and a sweater over the top. Yuuri wasn’t opposed to a little light makeup and when he wore earrings, it was either his diamonds or pearls. Victor wanted him in sapphires and wondered how much they would cost.
Victor himself wore slacks, white button up, narrow tie, and a cardigan. He felt very alpha in his appearance and in his mannerisms as he placed a protective hand on Yuuri’s back and guided him out of the room. He had no thoughts of driving, however. The Studebaker was Yuuri’s baby and he settled into the passenger seat next to him.
“It’s been awhile since I just went to a movie,” Yuuri fussed. “The last time was with Phichit...and I think it’s been over a year.”
“I’ve...never been to a movie,” Victor confessed.
Yuuri blinked at that turning to look his way. “Never?”
“No...I never had the time or money to spare. I was just scraping by.”
“We’ll have to change that. I love a good movie. And popcorn. And a soda. And...the entire experience. I see myself as an Aubrey although Phichit says I have a have a little Marilyn in me.”
Victor smiled as he thought about those doe brown eyes. It wasn’t like he hadn’t seen pictures of the stars. He just didn’t get to see them act. “I think that’s fair,” he agreed softly.
“You, though...you can be so sophisticated. Where does that come from?”
“My grandmother...before they lost everything. She said she came from royalty. Not that that means anything in Russia. In fact, it might not be a good thing to claim at all.”
“That’s why I see you as Grace Kelly. Although, you definitely have some Lucy in you.”
“Lucy? From I Love Lucy ?” Victor snorted at the nod of Yuuri’s head. “Why do you say that?”
“Because...you can be a bit corny at times. You make me laugh and aren’t afraid to be silly to do it.”
Victor shrugged. “Laughing is good for you and doesn’t cost a thing.”
Yuuri parked the car and Victor opened the door for him, once more placing a protective hand on his back. They went to the box office and Victor paid for their tickets, the attendant deferring to Victor like an alpha.
“You didn’t have to do that,” Yuuri fussed.
“It’s a date, isn’t it?”
Yuuri blushed, his chin dropping, a soft smile on his lips.
During the movie, they shared popcorn, fingers brushing one against the other. Once the popcorn was finished, their fingers slid into one another, the cover of darkness giving a certain amount of intimacy. And as the movie ended, neither wanted that intimacy to end.
But they were both hungry and not ready to go home. “Christophe’s?” Yuuri suggested and Victor nodded readily.
Inside the pub, Victor definitely maintained a hand on Yuuri, keeping him close. Chris noticed, motioning for them to come over to the bar and take a seat away from some of the crowd. “I see you brought your best omega by,” he teased his friend.
Victor regarded Yuuri with a smile before nodding. “What will you drink tonight?”
Yuuri hummed thoughtfully before asking for a mudslide. “I shouldn’t,” he added, his hands going down to the softness he was showing.
“I think I prefer you a little squishy. Give me a Pink Squirrel,” he added, turning to Chris.
“So what have you two been up to,” Chris teased as he brought the drinks.
“Movie...Victor’s first,” Yuuri said before yumming his way into the mudslide. “This is the best, Chris.”
“Thank you, mon cher ,” the bartender/owner purred with pleasure.
Yuuri considered him a moment before turning to Victor. “We should introduce him to Phichit.”
With a laugh, Victor suggested, “Perhaps they already know each other.”
“Do you know Peach?”
Chris shook his head before adding, “Why don’t you bring them around sometime?”
“Maybe I will,” he promised, his brown eyes sparkling.
They were just the right amount of buzzed as they walked into the door of the maternity home. Yuuri looked over the log while Victor hung up their coats. He came up behind the nurse and slipped his arms around his waist, pressing a kiss into the turn of his neck. “Everything alright?”
“Looks like it’s been a quiet night.”
“Then come with me upstairs.”
Yuuri hummed, taking the hand and following the other up the stairs. As the door closed behind them, Victor began kissing Yuuri in earnest. The other was becoming rather riled up when he pushed Victor away. “We don’t...we don’t have any sheaths up here.”
Victor blinked at those words. “We’re both omegas.”
Yuuri leveled a gaze at him. “Do you know how many residents I gain who thought they couldn’t get pregnant because they were both omegas?”
“It’s a myth, Victor. Sooo...there is a supply closet downstairs.”
“It has sheaths. We make sure our residents are educated and have some to start with before they leave us.”
Yuuri led the way back down the stairs, keeping his movements stealthy and quiet. He found the key in the nurses station and motioned him back down the hall. There were several rooms, a few Victor knew as exam rooms but then Yuuri opened up one and it was a butler’s closet. Inside, a series of shelves held the supplies that they used with their charges and in the back corner sat the Durex box. Yuuri reached in and snicked a few, hearing a shift in one of the outer rooms, he turned to Victor with big eyes and a smirk. “Run!” he hissed.
When they reached their room upstairs giggling, Victor shut the door and turned his sparkling eyes to Yuuri who held up two packages. “I thought I grabbed four.” He then snorted, and they giggled as they continued on towards the bedroom.
However, entering those doors, things became more serious. Yuuri felt Victor’s heavy gaze as he leaned against the door facing. Victor stood across from him, a gentle hand sliding down his arm. “Are you okay?”
Yuuri shook his head then hesitantly nodded. “You?”
“About the same...let’s take this slow, okay? I’ve...never done this with anyone and it’s been awhile for you.”
“Only him,” Yuuri whispered. Then Victor’s words caught up to him and sank in. “No one?”
Victor shook his head. “I sometimes wonder if I was meant to be an omega.”
Yuuri thought about how Victor tended to him throughout the day. “Oh.”
“Is that a thing?”
Yuuri nodded. “It’s talked about in medical journals. It...happens.”
Victor leaned towards Yuuri, and the other met him in the middle, their kiss building slow until they closed the distance, pulling the other into their arms. Yuuri’s hand slid up his back, tangling into his hair. Victor’s slid down to his ass, his fingers enjoying the plush feel as he squeezed, swallowing the resulting moan.
Yuuri stepped further into his arms and the taller man found his hand sliding down that thigh as Yuuri wrapped his leg around him. Victor gasped as he felt the easy grind of his partner’s hips. Yuuri leaned back, breaking the kiss, still holding himself in place with his leg. “Is this okay?”
Victor nodded. “I’m okay.”
Yuuri studied him, his lower lip between his teeth. “Let’s move this to the nest.” He then spun out of Victor’s arms and the other watched him as he easily removed his clothes, letting them fall to the floor, his pants requiring a little shimmy and a kick. But Yuuri buck naked had Victor transfixed. As he climbed up into the nest, his ass on display, the older omega turned to look back over his shoulder. “Are you coming?”
Victor thought for a moment, I’m very close to it. But then his brain caught up and he nodded. He pulled off his tie, unbuttoning his shirt as he approached the bed. Yuuri, ever impatient, met him back at the edge of the nest, and his hands were working the buckle of Victor’s belt and the buttons on his pants, easing them over Victor’s hips before moving up his body to kiss him, needy hands helping to push his shirt off. Then Yuuri was backing up pulling Victor after him and settling back into the pillows.
“What...what do I do?” Victor asked, his hands exploring the man’s body beneath him.
Yuuri smiled, his expression open and beguiling. “You’re doing it, your instincts know what to do.” He scooted down, spreading his legs, his heels settling in the middle of Victor’s back. “What do your instincts tell you, sweetheart?”
Victor felt his body buzzing. He didn’t know where his shy Yuuri went but this Yuuri full of sexual energy, full of eros, had Victor shook. “Y-yuuri…” Victor’s hands shook as he slid down his lover’s thighs. “Fuck.”
“Mmmmhmmm,” Yuuri responded, reaching for the sheath. “Do you know how to use this?”
Victor stared at the rolled up rubber sleeve before shaking his head. “I haven’t…”
“Luckily for you, I teach classes on it.”
Victor’s breath then caught as he felt those small hands wrap around his length. The younger omega rutted against the touch, his breathing quickening. He’d not had the pleasure of another’s hands on him in such an intimate manner, and in the case of Yuuri, he was coming undone quickly. Then his eyes widened as Yuuri, leaned forward and teased the tip with his tongue, Yuuri’s eyes closing in pleasure. “Mmmmm.”
Victor was speechless, he didn’t know how to respond. “I’m in trouble when we share a heat,” he realized.
Yuuri’s eyes crinkled in the corner. “You have no idea.”
Victor groaned, and nearly lost it as that mouth closed over him, sucking him deeper. Yuuri palmed his ball, before tracing back to teasing Victor’s entrance. The younger man’s eyes widened and he shook his head. “N-nooo,” he responded and Yuuri retracted the hand, warm eyes studying him with concern as he pulled off of him.
Yuuri sat back and studied him thoughtfully. “Are you okay?”
“I-I don’t think I can do that.”
Yuuri nodded with understanding. “Okay...we don’t have to. Is it...just that or did anything else make you feel uncomfortable.”
Victor was breathing through his moment of panic but then reached for Yuuri’s hand, placing it on his hip. “I think...just that. I-I was enjoying it until...that.”
Yuuri thought about it before nodding. “If anything else makes you feel uncomfortable, I want you to tell me. We can then decide how to approach it or if it is a no go.”
“More than okay. There were a lot of things I wasn’t sure I wanted to do at first...and I was able to ease into them as I became more comfortable with my partner. However, in your case...it might be that penetration is off limits.”
“Pene-penetration,” Victor shook his head. Even the name made him feel nervous. But then he thought about Yuuri. “But...what about you?”
The older omega shrugged. “I’ve gone ten years with just my own hand and a few toys my husband gifted to me.”
Yuuri nodded as he thought about just how innocent his new partner was...and understood where Seung-gil was coming from with him. “Toys...later. For now, we need to see how we respond to one another’s touch. If you don’t like something, speak out. Just like now.”
“O-okay,” Victor agreed. He then moved closer to Yuuri, settling between the older man’s legs. “I liked...what you were doing before.”
Yuuri smirked. “I bet...let’s...try something more mutual. Lie down beside me.”
Victor did as he was told and then followed Yuuri’s lead, the Japanese man reaching down to stroke his own length. Victor followed suit then his eyes widened as Yuuri reached back to grab some of his slick with an exploring finger and then smoothing it over his length. “Can you touch yourself like that?”
“I-I...don’t know.” He reached back while Yuuri waited, closing his eyes as he felt the sensation of touching himself but then jerked his hand back. “I-I can’t.” He was breathing hard but then he felt a hand in his, and words started washing over him. It’s alright. Let it go. Don’t worry. And finally Victor settled.
Yuuri then moved Victor’s hand onto his hip. “Try me...and if you can’t, don’t worry. Small steps.”
Victor’s hand shook as he slid over Yuuri’s ass and then tracing the cleft before finding Yuuri’s entrance, his slick pulsing out to meet his touch. He felt Yuuri’s breath still as he slowly slid his finger into that wet silk. “Oh...wow.”
“Mmmm...are you okay?”
Victor thought about it a moment before nodding. “Can I...two?”
Victor smiled at that, easily slipping two fingers in. “You touch yourself a lot,” Victor observed thoughtfully.
“Y-yes...once you know pleasure, you have a hard time letting it go. I just...wasn’t ready to let anyone else in.”
“Until you,” he answered with a moan, grinding into Victor’s touch as a third finger slid into place. “Oh, god…”
Victor watched Yuuri, captivated as he gave himself over to pleasure. But then his eyes widened as he felt fingers flutter over his length, and then he was held by that grasp, those small hands wrapped around them both and the friction created by that touch. “Fuck, Yuuri…”
Victor stared captivated at the body next to him. “H-how do we do this?” He hesitantly withdrew his hand.
Yuuri nodded, not quite having his spoken words together yet. He wriggled up and picked up the sheath. He then slid it onto Victor’s length with practiced ease. “U-use my slick over the surface.” Once satisfied, Yuuri thought about the easiest approach, turning over, his back towards Victor. “Y-you need to hold it steady while you push into me.”
Victor found his entrance once more, lining up his length, and then slowly breached Yuuri and sank into his heat. “Oh, fuck.”
“Mmmmm, yes...fuck me, Vicchan,” he groaned.
Victor stalled at the nickname and then leaned in to suck a mark into Yuuri’s shoulder, smiling at Yuuri’s moan, pulling back to kiss it, then pressing his cheek against it. He then pulled almost out before pressing back in, Yuuri’s ass pressing back towards him. “You are amazing.”
Yuuri scoffed at that. “Best you’ve had.”
Victor snorted, kissing his mark once more, his tongue licking out at Yuuri’s scent gland. He began to suck on that gland greeted by a long moan. He continued to rock into Yuuri, the other grinding into him, and god, did it feel good. “You’re all I want,” he murmured.
Yuuri was quiet, not in that you said something wrong kind of way, but in that processing Victor’s declaration kind of way, his hands finding Victor’s on his hip, squeezing, grounding himself. And it took Victor a long moment to realize Yuuri was crying.
“Yuuri, lyubov moya ,” he whispered. “Don’t cry.”
“It’s just...it’s just...been so long.”
Victor pressed a kiss into Yuuri’s shoulder. “I know. Love me...and let me love you.”
Yuuri sniffed and nodded. “Okay.”
They continued to move into one another, clinging to each other and afraid to let the other go. Yuuri cried out first, his body tightening, and Victor trying to hold on for another moment as the tremors on those walls vibrated along his length. And then he let go, the warmth filling Yuuri.
They held onto one another for some time until finally Victor knew he couldn’t stay within Yuuri’s warmth much longer, withdrawing that last couple of inches, holding onto the sheath as Yuuri instructed. Finally, he set to work cleaning up his lover, thankful that the wash bason wasn’t merely ornamental but held water in the pitcher. Yuuri shivered as the cool cloth washed over him, looking up in Victor’s direction, spent and sleepy.
“Stay with me,” he whispered, not wanting to lose the warmth of Victor’s body and the comfort of his scent.
Victor couldn’t think of anywhere else he wanted to bed, crawling back in bed once clean and tugging the blankets around them. He pressed a kiss behind Yuuri’s ear. “Sleep, love,” he whispered.
Waking up, they both felt shy, hesitant to leave the blankets, the bodies naked and in full knowledge of the other. Yuuri turned and drew his knees up but snuggled his head under Victor’s and the Russain wrapped protective arms around him. However, they had a long day ahead and with a groan, could hide from the world no longer.
Yuuri and Victor joined Minako and Phichit for early morning tea, both looking worn out from their late night exercises. Phichit sat across from them, a smirk on his lips. “I think someone broke in last night.”
“Mmmhmm,” Minako agreed. “Strange...they dug around in the supply closet...knocked down a couple of boxes of sheaths, and then left a trail of them down the hall.”
Yuuri felt his hands shake and forced himself to put his drink down. “Maybe one of the residents?”
“Could be...we thought a mouse, too,” Phichit agreed, his face practically glowing with mirth. Phichit should never play poker.
“Of course, the residents are already pregnant...so a little too late.”
Victor crossed the room sitting his cup down as he answered, “I thought you only dropped two.”
Minako and Phichit almost spit out their drinks at the confirmation. “You owe me,” Phichit told her.
“You bet we had sex?” Yuuri asked in a strangled voice.
Minako snorted. “Nope...we already knew that.” She let the implication of those words settle before adding, “We bet on who would fess up.”
Yuuri glared at Victor who shrugged.
“It’s not like we are going to be able to keep it secret.” Turning towards the others, Victor asked, “Are you okay with this?”
“Why wouldn’t we be okay with it?” Phichit asked, blinking in confusion.
“We’re both omega,” Yuuri pointed out.
“Oh...I guess that is a thing. Umm...it’s no big deal to me.”
“Me, neither,” Minako agreed but she wasn’t so naive to think that the rest of the world would mind their own business. There was a risk in this relationship. “But what are you going to do?”
Yuuri held Victor’s eyes and finally the taller omega put forth his idea. “I...am not a very omega omega...I prefer a more alpha look. Cleaned up. Stylish. But still very alpha. So...we’re going to suggest I’m alpha.”
“I think that people will start assuming over time...and we’re going to let them,” Yuuri added remembering their night out.
“You don’t think your scent will give it away?” Minako asked.
Victor shook his head. “They will assume I’m wearing Yuuri’s scent.”
“People see what they want to see,” Yuuri added.
Adding to Victor’s need to take on the alpha role, he’s not sure he could let anyone penetrate him. He’s healing and in that time, there isn’t anywhere he can turn. Except midwives like Yuuri who take care of those involved in reproductive care.
Looking up in history, there wasn’t even an anti-rape movement until the 70s. A lot of the changes intersect with gender rights, meaning that when women were seen as property, it was viewed as a property crime or no crime at all (sad). However, mental heath care in the 50s for those who couldn’t cope was deplorable.
What are you thinking? Fast, I know...but? And did you notice the Eros in his nest?
Chapter 8: Another Day in the Maternity Home
Yuuri goes through his day at work.
I haven't forgotten you all! The real question is...will I get to the Christmas special in the story by Christmas? I'm pushing fast, though. I hope you're loving this. Leave me some words below. And if you're traveling for the holidays, safe travels.
Yuuri sighed as he hung up the phone. “Shorthanded at county. I’m on call and several patients are due any moment.”
Phichit’s eyes widened. “You just did three back to back, please tell me you’re not the only one on shift.”
He shook his head. “They have two but wanted back up in case another went in labor. I guess I’d best get my exams in process. I have Yura and Sara today.”
“I want to check Emil. And then we’ve got a new intake.”
Yuuri looked up from the logs. “I don’t see it in the notes.”
Phichit frowned and flipped the log page twice. “You’re further behind than you realized. Busy day yesterday.”
Yuuri flipped another page then hummed as he found the entry. “Georgie?”
“It has a y-sound. Georgi. And he comes to us with a broken heart.”
Yuuri hummed thoughtfully. Don’t they all. “Let’s situate him as far from Yura as possible. I suspect he’s still recovering from his trip and I want to give him a chance to find his feet again.” He then thought about what Phichit had said earlier. “What’s going on with Emil?”
“I’m thinking Braxton Hicks. He’s also very sympathetic towards Sara and she’s only a month from giving birth.”
“Has she talked to her brother again?”
“Daily visits of late. I kind of wonder if it would help for the alpha to come and she properly turn him down.”
Yuuri groaned. “She shouldn’t have to. I’m not a proponent for forced or coerced marriage.”
Phichit smirked. “Speaking of...marriage...you and Victor…”
“Are a long way from marriage.”
“You married Dr. Lee after three months,” Phichit pointed out.
Yuuri blushed, shrugging. “I mean, there’s no hurry. Victor’s not leaving for another country anytime soon.”
And Phichit didn’t catch onto any hints, likely on purpose as was his nature. “Are you going to share your Christmas heat with him? I’ve heard that his birthday is December 25th.”
Yuuri hadn’t even thought that far ahead. He blinked, looking up sharply with a blush filling his cheeks. “I-I don’t know? He was born on Christmas?”
“According to his chart. Gotta be lonely so far from home.”
Yuuri shook his head, a frown on his lips. “He...doesn’t have anyone back home. He just has us...and a friend in town. Chris.”
Phichit sighed, his lips dipping into a frown. “No parents?”
“They passed away and he came here. Kind of like you.”
“I have you,” he chimed, hugging Yuuri who chuckled.
“Yes, you do. All of us, really...in this mismatched family.” Yuuri hugged him back. “I’m glad you found us.”
Yuuri walked into the exam room where Yura waited on him. The young omega sat nervously on the exam table and Yuuri went up to him with practiced ease, warming his stethoscope before he started his exam. “How well did you travel?”
“There wasn’t near enough pee breaks.”
Yuuri agreed. “I had to take a long journey while pregnant. I wonder if I hadn’t...but that’s neither here nor there.”
Those green eyes watched him, not missing a thing. “You...lost your baby.”
Yuuri nodded. “There were a lot of things involved...the large part of it being the loss of my mate. I was alone here, though there were plenty willing to help. But...I decided to return home and the comfort of my mother’s arms.”
“How far along?”
Yuuri hummed as he thought back. “I made it to six months. I had been at home for a month.”
“Will I…?” The little omega chewed his lip with worry.
“You...are looking fabulous!” Yuuri reassured him. “I can already tell the difference in your expression. You’re...smiling a lot more. You have a happiness in you.”
“I just realized...I want this piece of him if I can’t have him right now.”
“And we’re going to help you bring them into the world. Don’t you worry. Now, I need you to lie back.” Yuuri supported him into the reclining position. “Legs apart. Let’s see what’s going on up there.” He couldn’t help the smile at the blush on the blond’s face but the boy complied just the same. Yuuri made sure the uncomfortable part of the exam was quick and then he felt the abdomen. “Ah, there they are. Perfectly on schedule. You are doing beautifully. Now for a little listen.” He pulled out the Pinard horn pressed against Yura’s tummy. “Oh, what a healthy heartbeat.” He then ran his hands over Yura’s legs with a frown. “All of that sitting has your feet swollen. I want them up as much as possible for the next three days. I’m afraid, no on your feet chores.”
“I could fold the laundry of someone brings it to me,” Yura suggested as he sat up and pulled the gown back down. “I don’t want to do nothing.”
“So you shall. Let’s get you settled in the sitting room and I’ll have the things brought to you.”
Yuuri helped him down from the table and left him long enough to dress before leading him into the other room. “Would you like something to read?”
Yura shrugged. “I’m not much of a reader.”
“I’ll send Celestino in here to get you caught up on your lessons. And then we can work on chores as you requested. Okay?”
The boy nodded but Yuuri couldn’t help but see the loneliness settle on his features.
“Sara, look at you! I think baby has dropped.”
She groaned, “Me, too. I complained before about not being able to breathe and now I’m praying a toilet is nearby.”
“Let’s see how you are doing,” Yuuri encouraged her up on the table. Many of their female omegas preferred a female midwife but Sara was fine either way. She liked Yuuri and he made her feel comfortable, independent...she felt herself with him.
She grunted then rolled her eyes in amusement as Yuuri helped her up. “This one has grown so much in the last month.”
Yuuri hummed in agreement. “This one has been growing quite a bit throughout the pregnancy. One wonders if they are twins.”
“Oh, lord no...please no...it can’t be twins.”
Yuuri smirked. “You’re a twin,” he pointed out.
“I know! I don’t wish that on any child. My brother has tried to control my every move.”
“I have an older sister...she watched over me.”
“But did she control your every move.”
Yuuri laughed. “Hardly. But she bailed me out a few times when I got myself in trouble.”
She huffed. “I wish my brother didn’t feel the need to bail me out of my current predicament. I...don’t like the guy and I didn’t...enjoy it.”
Yuuri thinned his lips as he finished up his exam. “Do you enjoy your heats? On your own?”
She shrugged, blushing. “I mean, yes...as much as I can surrounded by family. I just...I wanted out but then I realized I didn’t want out that way. Were you trying to escape? You know, when you first married?”
Yuuri thought back but shook his head. “No, I fell fast. We met at the beach, both of us had dogs that ran up to greet each other and he asked me if I’d show him around. I knew my parents wouldn’t approve so I didn’t tell anyone. But...my sister figured it out within a couple of weeks and she challenged him.”
“Oh, no. And you were just showing him around?”
“I mean, that’s how it started. But the more time we spent together, the more we just fit. And I’m a bit of a romantic so…” He shrugged, “I loved everything I learned about him until he consumed my thoughts.”
Yuuri blushed. “I didn’t know you knew about that.”
“ Everyone knows about that,” she pointed out.
“Do you think...can we convince everyone he’s not omega?”
She hummed thoughtfully. “I mean, you learn things about how people lived their lives when they die but we record things as they like. But...it is done. More than you realize.”
Yuuri seemed to sigh in relief. “I don’t want anyone to hurt him.”
Sara thinned her lips and nodded. “He was hurt when he came here, wasn’t he?”
“I...can’t answer that.”
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have asked. It’s just, he seemed...lost. For a long time. I think...this is good for him.”
Yuuri hummed as he thought about it, helping her to lie back. He measured her abdomen and listened to baby, moving the Pinard horn to listen from another angle. “I’m thinking we need to prepare for twins, Sara. I can’t guarantee it but...all indications point in that direction.”
She groaned. “PopPop is going to have a fit.”
“You’re grandfather is going to love you no matter what,” Yuuri argued warmly as he helped her sit up after the exam. “I’m putting you on watch, though. If they are twins, we could be seeing them sooner rather than later.”
“But who will look out for Emil?”
Yuuri laughed softly. “I believe that’s our job. He’ll be fine.”
“He...doesn’t know where to go.”
“I promise we won’t put him out on the streets.”
She sighed and nodded. “I know. It’s just...he doesn’t have anyone.”
“You can still visit...and hey, those babies aren’t here yet.”
“Baby. One. Just one,” she argued.
“I don’t think so,” Yuuri sang as he helped her down.
Victor studied the figures thoughtfully and projected where they would be at year end. He’d have to ask Yuuri if there were more funds expected. He’d gone through the grants to make sure they met the deadlines and had them laid out by the month. He didn’t quite understand the organic method of filing that Yuuri used.
Speak of the devil, the beautiful omega came into his office and closed the door after glancing around to make sure no one was watching. Yuuri then came around the desk and climbed into his lap, snuggling his face into Victor’s neck. “I’m on call tonight,” he warned.
“So I may have to sleep alone.”
“Possibly...you can keep our nest warm, though.”
Our nest. That sounded wonderful. He loved that it was ours . “Okay. Do you know where you’re going?”
“Nope but we have four dozen births due in the next week. And possibly one here.”
Yuuri nodded, finding a comfortable spot in his lap. “I could be wrong...but I’m rarely wrong.”
Victor pressed a kiss into Yuuri’s messy hair and held him in his lap for some time, letting his…. mate ? Could he say mate? Letting Yuuri gain some rest before his long evening. Finally, the other man groaned and climbed out of his arms. “I have to get back to work.”
“Okay...grab rest where you can.”
As predicted, Yuuri headed out around nine. Victor fussed because he didn’t like the neighborhood where Yuuri was headed. “That’s where the people are that need me,” Yuuri argued quietly as he pulled on his coat.
“I could go with you.”
“No, you can’t. This is my work, Victor.”
“Vitya...you should call me Vitya.”
Yuuri paused at that, blinking in his direction. “A...familiarity?”
“A diminutive. It’s one of the things I still hold onto from Russia. But yes, a familiarity.”
“Okay...Vitya. You can teach me all about them when I come home.”
“I could call Chris.”
“Chris is at his pub and I’m not going to disrupt his business for something I’ve done hundreds of time. I’ll be fine.”
Victor nodded, his fingers holding onto Yuuri’s lightly before letting him go.
Yuuri came home and found Victor asleep in a chair waiting for him to come home. After hanging his outerwear, he went to the younger man and gently brushed his cheek. “I’m home,” he whispered. A glance at the clock read close to three in the morning. It was a quick birth, mother and baby both healthy.
“I’m sorry,” he answered in a sleepy whisper.
Yuuri shook his head. “We’ll talk tomorrow. Let’s sleep for tonight.”
Chapter 9: Kittens and Babies
So many things...okay, first of all, the last chapter held some tension between Yuuri and Victor. Think about this world's version of the tension between Yuuri and Victor at Cup of China. Well, maybe not to that extreme...but things get serious...but then we have kittens and babies.
Hello, all...I have to chaperone a dance tonight. So give me words! I hope you love this. I'll take my computer in case I get bored manning the door.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Victor was sitting in the sitting room, hugging his knees anxiously when Yuuri rolled out of bed. He walked in, rubbing his hand into his hair while yawning, the other hand scratching his tummy. He looked completely worn, yet he still stopped and studied the picture of Victor on the sofa. “Did you eat?”
The younger omega shook his head, tugging on his sleep shirt.
Yuuri blinked his direction uncomprehending, then his eyes widened as he remembered the previous evening. With a sigh, he kicked the stool over and sat down in front of the other man, taking his hands into his own while he worked out his words. “Have you slept much at all?”
“I’m not mad. I want you to know that. I am concerned that you are worried about history repeating itself, except with those you care about.”
“It does. And I know if the worst happens to me, I am loved and you will help me pick up the pieces. But I am a nurse and a midwife. That means I have to go to my patient. Wherever they are.”
There was an unmistakable whine, and Yuuri could hear his fear. He waited for Victor to give it voice. “Can’t you just treat the ones that are here?”
Thinning his lips, he knew he had to be firm and gentle at the same time. He kept his voice low but warm as he spoke. He had to set the boundaries here...but he didn’t want to fight about it. “So I should send Phichit and Minako out when I’m unwilling to do so? Our patients come first, Vic...Vitya. This is how we live our lives. I do have the safety of my car and most people don’t bother me because I’m in uniform.”
Victor blinked at that. “The uniform protects you?”
Yuuri shrugged. “Everyone knows someone who was delivered by a midwife. I’m not saying I’m perfectly safe...but I’m insulated. And even if someone starts to give me a hard time...while in uniform, someone usually steps up and intervenes.”
“Has it happened before?”
Yuuri nodded. “I’ve been hassled a time or two.” He sighed as he thought about what he should tell Victor and what he should not. “In the worst neighborhoods, I keep a can of hairspray in my pocket. If I spray that in someone’s eyes, they are going to back off. I also know how to take care of myself enough to get away. My sister made sure I knew that early on. She worried when I presented as an omega. I don’t want you to lose sleep with worry.” He then leaned forward and pulled him into a kiss. “You need to trust me to know what I’m doing. Okay?”
Victor nodded. “I didn’t...I thought maybe you hadn’t considered the dangers.”
“You’re not the first patient I’ve had that was forced, Vitya. I’m well aware of the dangers we omegas face in the world. That’s why this place exists. I wanted to create a safe place where they can find their feet again.”
“You have...I just think I’m not quite there yet.”
Yuuri squeezed his hand, a worried wrinkle in his brow. “I pushed you into this. We’re going too fast.”
The other omega shook his head. “No...I think I’d be more lost without you. I want to be here in your arms, your nest...I just kept thinking about what if it happened to you. I don’t think I could handle it.”
Yuuri rubbed circles into the younger omega’s hand, his expression soft with understanding. “I think...if it meant taking care of me, you’d handle it. But I also believe it’s not healthy to dwell on things that haven’t happened. So let this go, sweetheart. This thing that did not happen.”
“I’m trying,” he whispered, a sniff and then his hand pulled free to wipe away some tears. “Sorry.”
“You can cry as much as you need. My mother always said tears were for healing. I don’t expect you to be better overnight. It takes time.”
“Thank you...for not being mad.” Victor dried away his tears with his fingers, accepting the handkerchief Yuuri offered him and smiling tearily at the intricate design of embroidered daisies.
“I knew...last night, I knew. I just had to take care of my patient. I wanted to help you through this last night but they needed me.” Yuuri felt the regret of not being there for the one he loved seeping in.
Victor shook his head, pushing it aside. “It’s okay. Really. I wasn’t going anywhere. Phichit checked on me and made sure I was okay. I think he might have heard our talk.”
“Phichit’s a good friend...and often listens into conversations. But he has a good heart and wants to help everyone be better.”
“Please don’t feel bad because I became upset. I didn’t expect all of those emotions to come on me like that.”
Yuuri took a strained breath and nodded. “I’ll try...and you try, too. Together, we can do better.”
The day resumed after the first morning’s tears but it appeared the hysterics were not complete as Yuuri finally encountered Georgi who was crying his eyes out and Phichit looking like he was pushed beyond his patience. Yura kept casting glares from his corner. Guang Hong asked Leo if they should check on him, the other making an eager shake of the head. Emil took Sara’s hand and left the room. The other residents were quickly scattering. Celestino had given up any semblance of holding class and moved on to the kitchen. Finally, Yuuri stepped over and intervened.
“Hello. You must be our new resident, Georgi.” At the nod, he continued. “It’s a beautiful day. Why don’t we take a stroll outside. Things are better with a bit of sunshine on it.”
The garden was now full of fall blooms, mums in several colors, strawflowers, daisies, blue lobelias, pansies, asters, dianthus, violas and black-eyed susans. Yuuri bent down to brush his fingers through the petals. “It’ll start being cooler in the daylight before long.”
Georgi found a bench and had a seat. “Have you ever had your heart broken?”
Yuuri smiled, letting his own hint of sadness appear in the lines of his face as he took a seat next to him. “It’s been awhile, but yes. My husband passed on ten years ago.”
Georgi huffed, his attitude alone letting Yuuri know he felt this was different. “Forgive me but...he didn’t leave you alone and pregnant.”
Yuuri sighed and leaned forward and picked a posey, wrinkling his forehead when he spotted a bit of fluff darting under the bench. “I was...and he had no choice but to leave me alone.”
“I’m sorry...I just assumed.”
“You will find most residents here have a story, some of whom will not share, but keep quiet about it. What you need to learn is how to find your own fortitude. If we are overly reliant on an alpha, we may have a hard time picking ourselves up should they fail us.”
“It’s just...I was about to tell her about the baby and I walked in on her with another. She just looked at me like I was a nuisance. I...I didn’t tell her.”
Yuuri nodded thoughtfully. “That is your choice and we don’t force our residents to confront their alphas. But...you need to think while you’re here...do you have a plan? Where will you go from here?”
“I was in theatre. She played across from me and we shared the leads. Tale of the Sleeping Prince . I couldn’t get a role in the next play and she went on without me. I guess...I wasn’t enough.”
Yuuri clicked his tongue at that harsh pronouncement. “Now, you hush that kind of talk. If they didn’t step up and do the right thing to begin with, stringing you along, then they weren’t enough. As for you...you’re here and we’ll help you find yourself again.” He then jumped, feeling something brush his ankles, leaning down to pick up the ball of fluff. “And what have we here?”
The gray kitten mewed, blinking bright blue eyes in response to Yuuri’s inquiry. The midwife thought about it for a moment before he decided. “I know someone that could use your company.” Standing up, he offered a smile towards the new resident. “Take your time but remember, you’re not the only one picking up the pieces. Be gentle with other feelings...and they will with yours in return. Come in when ready.” He then turned, holding the kitten in front of him and talking sweet words. Entering the home, he called out to Takeshi who was sitting with Yuuko on their break. “Would you put together a box for this little guy? Something to hold his leavings?”
“I’ll pick up some kitty litter later in town but we’ve got some sand at the back of the garden until then,” he offered.
“Good...and although I think this little guy will bring joy to our residents and to one in particular, I don’t want them handling the kitty litter. I read some journal articles that lead me to think that it could be harmful to the baby.”
“Then perhaps the midwives should refrain from handling the litter as well,” Yuuko pointed out.
Yuuri nodded. “It’s not fully determined but I want to keep things safe for our mothers and babies.”
He then carried the kitten through. In the corner of the room sat Yura, reading quietly and working on his lessons but avoiding everyone else. Yuuri sat across from him and settled the kitten in his lap. A pair of green eyes rested on the gray fluff. “Is that a kitten?”
“So it seems. The little one seemed quite alone in the garden.”
“Can I see him?” Before Yuuri even had a chance to answer, he scooped the gray muff into his arms. “He’s bigger than he appears.” Teasing his mouth, he added, “Weaned. Perhaps someone left him after the mother pushed them away.”
“Perhaps. Takeshi is going to help us get the little guy settled. Do you have some ideas on how we can do right by him?”
“You’re going to keep him?”
“I think it would be good for the mice that come in during winter from the fields.”
Yura nodded. “My cat back home is a good mouser. I think I can help encourage this one to hunt.”
“Good. I’ll leave it to you.” As he stood up, he turned and added, “Let Takeshi or Yuuko clean up any accidents. It might not be good for the baby.”
Those green eyes blinked and then he nodded. “Okay.”
Days passed and Yura had taken the kitten in hand, and a smile that once ghosted over his lips came much more frequently. Phichit leaned in and murmured to Yuuri, “You’re a genius.”
“It makes me start to believe in a benevolent god...I’m not sure if it’s their god...or maybe one of the many we have back home.”
“It doesn’t matter...it’s nice thinking someone is looking after us.”
Georgi still cried a lot but he noticed those around him and learned to see other people’s pain. He now sat with Emil and asked him about his story and Sara felt she could finally let go and let someone else take her place.
And maybe that was what made her labor finally break through. Yuuri came up to her room as her labor moans filled the hall. “It’s too soon,” she fretted.
Yuuri shook his head, “No, they are right on time.”
“One,” she insisted.
Yuuri chuckled. “I’ve never been wrong on this. Twins. Now, let’s get you comfortable. We’ve got a day’s work ahead of us.”
Sara was on the floor, leaning onto the bed as she groaned through her pains. She was courageous like many before her, finding strength by digging deep. Yuuri kept her spirits up with continued banter and words of encouragement. “That’s it, Sara...you’re doing beautifully. Number one is about here.”
Phichit and Minako were running the house somewhere beyond those walls but at this moment, his world narrowed to his patient...and friend. He’d known her for some time before she came to the maternity home and she’d insisted on Yuuri for her care. He knew Victor was also doing his work, and although it lay in the background of their operation, it was vital...and it pulled so much weight off of Yuuri’s shoulders.
Yuuri knelt down to take a look at the progress of the baby before nodding. “One more push and baby’s head should be here.” And then it began with a deep guttural cry only known by those who have pushed through childbirth. “That’s it...that’s it...keep going...there...we are almost there…” and then a second push brought the baby the rest of the way through. “Oh, look at you...look at you. You have a girl. Good work, good work.”
“Let me see her, let me see her,” Sara insisted and Yuuri brought her forward wrapped in a towel, watching Sara’s face transformed at the first breath of motherhood. “She’s so perfect.”
A knock at the door admitted Minako. “Is that a baby’s cry I hear?”
Yuuri nodded, as Minako leaned forward to tend the baby. “Number two will be here soon.”
“No, no...I have one beautiful daughter. Let’s leave it...oh...oh…” Sara’s eyes widened. “Good god, Yuuri...you would be right this time, too.”
Yuuri offered her a cheeky grin. “I usually am in these matters.”
“He’s always had these annoying instincts, Sara. Don’t hold it against him,” Minako added as she tended the first baby. “Have you thought of a name?”
“I thought...I thought...Francesca.”
“Beautiful name...nicely done. Now, let’s make short work of the next. Listen to Yuuri and trust me with this one until you’re done.”
Yuuri ducked down and frowned. “One more time, Sara. Are you ready?”
“You tell me,” she responded, breathing in and out as she prepared for the next push.
Yuuri chuckled warmly, up once more, his hand on her back. “Okay, soon you’ll have the urge to push once more. Let your body tell you what to do. You’ve already done this once.”
Yuuri could tell the moment her determination wavered, the moment her fears crowded in. “I know...I’m not ready! I can’t do this. There’s supposed to be just one.”
Yuuri once more ran his hand over her back. “You can do this, Sara. I have every confidence in you. Now, let’s do this.”
She nodded, her determination moving back over her countenance. “I trust you, Yuuri. I trust you.”
This baby came easier than the first, the older sister preparing the way. With a great push, Yuuri laughed as he had to dive to catch them. “Look at you. Look at you.”
“Is it another girl? A boy?”
Yuuri’s expression was soft as he settled the baby in his arms. “A boy, Sara, a boy.”
“Luciano,” she supplied. “It’s probably good it wasn’t another girl. I didn’t have a second girl name in mind.”
“Francesca and Luciano...those are good, strong names,” Yuuri pronounced. “Just like their mother.”
Sara nodded with determination. “My Pop and PopPop will have them quite spoiled...but that’s okay. I’m...going to go home.”
Yuuri laughed softly. He knew she would as much as she wavered back and forth. “Well, let’s get a rest in first. I believe we can roll in two cribs.”
“I don’t know where to begin,” Sara fussed.
“For now, rest. All three of you.” And as Yuuri settled her into bed, he tucked both babies in her arms. It didn’t take long to clean up, as practiced as Yuuri was in the process. He stepped out to find Minako and Phichit already waiting with cribs to roll into the room. He held the door and soon, they left Sara to her bed.
Victor rubbed Yuuri’s back as he stretched out in bed. “I feel like I haven’t seen you in days,” he groaned.
“You’ve been busy and i’ve been reorganizing the office so...it kept me busy.”
“Was it a mess? I never knew what order it should be in.” Victor leaned in on a particularly tense spot and Yuuri moaned. “Oh, there...you’re amazing at that.”
“Don’t worry, it seems to come naturally to me.”
“The office work or the massage.”
“Could be both,” he chuckled.
Victor made long movements up and down his body and Yuuri found himself falling asleep. Victor stretched out beside him, holding the body to him. Yuuri curled into him, breathing in his scent. Victor tucked him closer and pressed a kiss into his dark hair. “Sleep well, lyubov moya .”
So we're in fall at this point and headed towards Christmas. And then this story will take a break while I focus on wrapping up my others. I just wanted to do this so bad and it was very much an impulse decision.
(I live vicariously through my characters!)
Petticoats and Lace
Victor was out and Yuuri and his friends were enjoying a moment of respite as the other residents napped, read, and relaxed themselves. Phichit and Yuuko stood close by as Yuuri hauled out a box from his closet. He wanted something...special. He couldn’t put his finger on what but he needed something.
“I’m thinking for this heat, I might take another direction.”
“Such as not spending it alone?” Phichit asked, waggling his eyebrows suggestively. Yuuko through a pillow in his direction and he caught it with ease.
“Be nice. This is a big move for our Yuuri.” Refocusing her gaze on Yuuri, she asked, “So...when are you going to ask him?”
“I...how does one do that?” Yuuri paused as he held a sheer wrap in black lace. It was one of Seung-gil’s favorites. He thought about that and cast it aside. Do I have anything intimate that wasn’t you and I?
The omega focused on Phichit and realized he hadn’t heard what he said. “It’s time, isn’t it? Time to move on?”
“That’s for you to decide,” Yuuko reassured him, a gentle hand on his arm.
“I mean...it’s not like we haven’t...been close,” he suggested quietly. “But this...my last shared heat was with him...and then I lost him.”
“And how do you feel when you’re with Victor?” Phichit asked, keeping his voice soft.
Yuuri thought about it as he pulled another thing out of his closet, discarding after a moment when another memory intruded. He shook his head. I need a clean slate. Turning to Phichit, he answered, “I feel...like I’m where I belong. But...it feels greedy. Like I’m taking something I shouldn’t. I mean, he was my patient. And then I watched over him as he healed. I...I should have put him elsewhere but something deep inside me needed him close.”
Yuuko and Phichit exchanged glances as if they had shared that very same conversation. Finally, Yuuko asked, “Why do you need him close?”
Hugging a yukata, remnant of his life before Seung-gil, he answered, “I want to take care of him. More than anyone else.”
“That sounds like a mate,” Phichit pointed out.
Yuuri nodded, before looking at the item in his hand, laying it in a pile of things he planned to keep. “I think I need to go shopping.”
“Well, I’d love to go with you but the girls will be home soon. Perhaps Phichit can help you out with that and to...get rid of these old things.”
Yuuri nodded. The pile of discards had grown and Yuuri realized it was everything that was intimate between him and Seung-gil. He looked up at Phichit. The other omega bent down to gather the things. “I’ll take care of this right now.”
Yuuri watched his friends put the things into a box to take down and donate or trash. He began reassembling his closet and assessing his needs...with a little room left for wants. Finally with a determined nod, he headed downstairs.
“Do you want to go shopping with me, Peach?”
The younger omega grinned. “Of course.”
Victor sat across from Dr. Feltsman, the old man finishing his yearly exam with a thoughtful frown. “Your pheromone levels are shifting.”
“H-how do you know?”
The old man touched his nose. “Alpha nose. Forgive me but it is useful for diagnosis. However, you have every indication of an omega that’s chose his mate.”
The tall, slender omega nodded. “It’s just...unconventional.”
The old doctor looked at him sharply as if Victor had confirmed what he’d suspected. “I see...I thought I recognized the scent you were wearing.”
“I heard...there are rumors...about you and your wife.”
He huffed at those words. “There are always rumors. And I let them think what they want. All that really matters is what my wife and I think.”
“And...Yuuri and I think the same. It’s just...I think I could appear as an alpha.”
Yakov Feltsman studied him thoughtfully, taking off his glasses to wipe them down with a handkerchief before speaking. “It’s harder than you think at first. You fight against nature...and a lot of ideas you were brought up believing. But in the end, instincts are about survival. And protecting your mate goes both ways.” He put his glasses back on and gave Victor a hard look. “Is this what you want? To be known as an alpha? Or is it simply you don’t wish people to judge you as an omegan couple.”
“I mean...can it be both?”
“There is a difference in the two desires. If you truly wish to be alpha, it’s a process of transitioning but there is no reason why you can’t start to live as an alpha. There is a doctor working on how to transition one’s primary gender and I suspect secondary will be available soon. They are looking at various therapies to assist in the process. However, if you wish to avoid being termed as homosexual, that’s understood as well. This world is harsh for those they judge outside the mainstream, although there are more of us than they realize.”
Victor smiled, a blush on his cheeks as he heard Yakov’s subtle confession. “Is that why you and Lilia do it?”
“I worried it would affect my practice and we talked about it before becoming a couple. Lilia wasn't so hung up on being seen as an alpha and so...we let people see what they wanted. We were both in a new town and after introducing her as my mate a few times, most just assumed.”
“I worry, and I’m sure Yuuri does as well...he always worries, that it will affect the maternity home and the support it receives.”
The old doctor nodded quietly as he took out a document and wrote out an affidavit. “When you update your identification, take this with you. Just explain that the person who processed you into the country made a mistake.”
Victor took the paper, his eyebrow raised. Male. Alpha. He looked up with wide eyes. “What about my scent?”
“Ask your Yuuri how to hide that. He knows of ways including covering your glands. But as I said, your pheromones are already changing. Most don’t delve much further than ascertaining that you are taken.”
Yuuri stood outside the lingerie shop, Petticoats and Lace . They had to go to the next town, a popular local shopping district with a number of options. It wasn’t the city, but it was better than a catalog. Yuuri went inside, wincing as the bell on the door announced their entrance. This shop provided for male as well as female omegas and female betas. There was a decided feminine feel to the wares within but that was what drew Yuuri to its doors to begin with.
The owner Adelaide, Addie to those who knew her, came up to greet Yuuri like an old friend. Phichit always found himself surprised at the people that new Yuuri. “It’s so good to see you in my shop once more.”
Yuuri blushed and shrugged. “It’s been awhile.”
“Oh, you don’t have to explain to me. I can smell him all over you. I bet you’d like to find something pretty, just for the two of you.” She looked over towards Phichit. “Friend or shopping for yourself?”
“I think, maybe...both?”
She spread her lipsticked smile wide. “That’s what I like to hear. Now, let’s see what beautiful things we can find.”
Yuuri tugged a list out of his pocket. “I went through my closet and these are the things I lack.”
She looked over the items and nodded with determined satisfaction. “We can definitely find what you need.”
As they walked beyond the racks towards the back, Yuuri was drawn to a pretty baby blue ruffled robe . He reached for it and they stopped, Addie taking it off the rack and offering it to him. He slid it on over his shoulders and wrapped it around his body. “Does it make you feel beautiful?”
Yuuri nodded. “I think...I want this.”
“Good...that makes my job easier.” As he took it off, she folded it and handed it to an assistant. Now, let’s start at the bottom of things. Bloomers. Black, nude, and maybe a surprise?”
Yuuri blushed but nodded. “I prefer the short pettipant for work. Something simple. I’ve worn through everything and you don’t get the same fit and quality out of a catalog.”
“I’ve said that for years.” She reached onto the rack and grabbed a couple of pairs, one in beige, one in black. “ This is a style I recommend for the work day. Serviceable. Comfortable. And considering how you have to be able to move in order to see to those young mothers, I think you’ll like the subtle stretch in them.”
Yuuri nodded as he felt the smooth fabric with his hands. “It’s lined.”
“Sometimes our bodies don’t cooperate and we...leak a little. Down there,” she responded, pointing in an intimate direction. “It’s to keep it from being nearly as embarrassing.”
Yuuri nodded in agreement, satisfied with the choice.
“Now I’ve got some cute little French knickers over here.” She nodded towards Phichit. “You might like these. They add a little dimension to your curves.” And then back to Yuuri, she pointed out, “For you, it will merely highlight your assets.”
Yuuri laughed softly, feeling his cheeks redden a little. “I wouldn’t mind a bit of lace.”
“Good, let’s find you some sleepwear. This season, it’s all about the babydoll. I have this in the blue of the robe you picked out.” Yuuri took the piece of chiffon and lace, holding it to his form. “I’d pair it with some white panties, maybe with some lace.”
“Oh, look at this one with the ruffles !” Phichit cried out excitedly.
Yuuri smiled as he turned towards his exuberant friend. With appraising eyes, he added, “You should get that.”
“You think?” He was already holding it to his form and Yuuri nodded with approval.
“I do believe you have a sharp eye,” Addie agreed with a nod of approval.
Yuuri and Phichit picked out a few more pieces with the owner’s guidance and then they were parceled up and carried out to the car while they paid. As Yuuri went out onto the sidewalk, he breathed a sigh of fresh air. “I feel...like I’ve moved further into the future and away from my past.”
Phichit smiled warmly. “Are we meeting Victor for lunch?”
“Yes, he and Chris are meeting us at Mary Jane’s diner.”
He noticed a look on Yuuri’s face. “What are you plotting?”
“Nothing much...but MJ said she might be looking for some help after the new year. I was thinking about Guang Hong.”
“And Leo?” Phichit asked.
Yuuri shrugged. “I’m not sure if that one will stay still long enough. A bit of a free spirit. And he has no family to anchor him here. But Guang Hong...he has a mother and a sister to look out for him...and help him with the baby.”
The words were harsh but Yuuri dealt in harsh realities. Leo had already talked to him on more than one occasion about giving up his child, worried about being unable to care for them. Yuuri assured him there was no shame in that decision and that good parents would take the child in. He still hadn’t made the final decision and Yuuri didn’t want to lock him into one before he was certain.
The diner was lively and Yuuri spotted the other two men as he came through the door, leading Phichit back. “There you are.”
Yuuri kissed him automatically as he sat down next to Victor, the older omega blushing as he realized what he did. He hid in Victor’s shoulder as both Phichit and Chris laughed warmly in his direction.
“I guess I don’t need to guess what Yuuri is feeling,” Chris commented teasingly. “I’m Chris, by the way.”
“Phichit, although my friends often call me Peach.”
Chris’ smile widened. “I love that, Peach,” he purred.
Soon, they had burgers and fries in front of them as well as shakes. Victor was amused as Yuuri kept stealing his fries. He teasingly pointed out he had a bit of a preheat appetite. Yuuri blushed heavily and hid once more, Victor apologizing profusely. “I’m sorry! I shouldn’t have said anything!” He looked at Phichit for help but only received laughs in return.
As they left, Victor climbed into the back seat, noticing the purchases. “Good day out?”
“Yes, I cleaned out my closet,” Yuuri explained. “Several things were quite worn.”
“I love to shop if Phichit’s not available. I mean, I’m not used to having a lot of means, but I’ve got a good eye. I worked in retail before...before…” He trailed off and started looking out the window. He missed Yuuri’s glance back in the rearview mirror.
Back home, Phichit once more joined Yuuri in his room who was now wringing his hands. “I can’t ask him,” he hissed. “He’s not ready for..for...that…”
Phichit sighed, watching Yuuri fold the same piece of lingerie once more. “I think...you should let me do that before you wear it out from refolding it over and over again.” He took the bloomers and began reordering Yuuri’s now unpacked clothes. “I think you owe him honesty. You can ask him without pressure. And he’ll respect you for that. He’ll be glad you’re not treating him with kid gloves. That is maddening over time.”
Yuuri sighed and nodded. He agreed with Phichit on his analysis. He did find it maddening when others did that for him. That’s why he was glad when Minako pulled him from his grief. He needed occupation. He finally offered a determined nod. “I’ll ask him tonight.
Victor didn’t know where Yuuri disappeared to after dinner but he found himself in the kitchen helping with dishes and talking with Minako. “I think I upset him.”
“How do you mean?”
“I suggested that he was behaving as if in preheat.”
Minako looked towards the ceiling as she thought about it. “It’s about that time. He usually has his last heat of the year around Christmas. He’s pretty clockwork. March, June, September, and December.”
Victor thought about that and recalled that he moved out for a week in September and stayed down the hall. He hated the distance but he couldn’t be around the heat pheromones yet. “I’d forgotten. Do you think he’s mad?”
“Probably just embarrassed for being called out like that.”
Victor determined to apologize to him and was working it out when he entered their rooms. As he closed the door to the sitting room, he realized there was a soft flickering glow from the bedroom. He wasn’t prepared to walk through the door of the bedroom and find Yuuri sitting in the middle of his nest on his knees wearing a black polka dotted babydoll . Victor swallowed. “Y-yuuri?”
Those eyes turned his way, batting as they took him in, his expression sultry with a touch of lipgloss and lined eyes. “I wondered when you’d come up,” he whispered breathily.
A sound came from Victor’s throat and startled the omega as he recognized the whine. “I-I didn’t know you were waiting on me.”
“Come here,” Yuuri commanded, in that equally breathy voice and Victor couldn’t do anything but obey, stepping close to the foot of the bed. Yuuri rose up on his knees as he took Victor’s tie in hand and pulled him into a slow, smoldering kiss. As he let go of the tie, he smoothed out Victor’s shoulders with a smile before reaching up to wipe away the gloss with his thumb. “I need to ask you something.”
Victor could think of nothing Yuuri would ask that he’d deny and he wordlessly nodded.
“Will you share my heat? It’s over the holidays and...I hate spending Christmas alone.”
“Th-that’s my birthday.”
Yuuri’s eyes widened in fake innocence. “Is it?”
It was then that Victor’s brain caught up and he smirked. “You knew that already.”
Yuuri shrugged, his fingers starting to work Victor’s tie loose. “Maybe...but the question still stands. I won’t be upset if you decide not to.”
“N-no...I can. I will...ummm...I’ve never done this.”
Yuuri thinned his lips and then sat back, letting go of Victor’s tie that now hung loose around Victor’s neck. “I guess...I should have just asked and not...do all of this?”
“I mean...I’d still say yes. But this is nice. I’ve just never shared a heat.”
Yuuri nodded. He knew that. Victor had never been with anyone willingly. He motioned over his outfit before he continued, “Sometimes my confidence falters and it helps me to dress up into a role to find it again. I guess...it’s false confidence. I mean, I’m not me, but the personae.”
“Did you do this with Dr. Lee?”
Yuuri swallowed and nodded. “I don’t know if he ever caught onto what I was doing. I was young and it was easy to chalk it up to playful youth.” He smiled wryly. “I probably look pretty silly.”
“N-no...you...you’re breathtaking. I think…” He reached for Yuuri’s hand and guided the older omega closer. “If you smelled me, you’d realize that I was very...interested.”
Yuuri crawled to the edge of the bed and tucked his nose into Victor’s neck, breathing deeply. “Oh,” he whispered.
“Wh-what did you have in mind? After the tie?”
“I-I was going to unbutton your shirt.”
“Okay,” Victor agreed.
Yuuri hesitated, not sure how to respond, and his hand trembled as he started to unbutton the top button, slowly working his way down the other man’s chest. As he pulled the shirt free, he tugged the undershirt up and over Victor’s head revealing the chest hairs, thin but present, narrowing and disappearing only to pick back up in contrast just beneath his belly button. Yuuri leaned forward and teased the left nipple, sucking and nipping, his tongue whirling around it. HIs hand rested on the center of Victor’s chest, feeling the beat of his heart until he reached a point of reassurance, maybe due to the unrestrained moan that escaped Victor’s lips.
Yuuri’s hands then slid down to find the button on Victor’s pants while his lips found the other omega’s lips. As the pants fell to the floor, Victor kicked them free, never breaking the kiss. Fingers hooked into his boxers and soon they joined his pants and Yuuri started to back up into the nest, Victor chased after him, not wanting to lose the kisses until Yuuri settled back into the nest.
Victor’s hands then began to explore the omega. He gently eased past the delicate material of the nightie, fingers finding Yuuri’s nipples, thumbing them into rosey buds while Victor’s lips moved down his cheek, sucking and nibbling at his ear and then down the column of Yuuri’s neck only to stop at Yuuri’s scent gland. He nuzzled into it, licking at it to increase the release of scent. Yuuri’s body responded to him in every way as the older omega gave into him.
Finally Victor pulled the nightie over Yuuri’s head and smiled at the pail excuse for underwear that remained. Yuuri’s length was barely obscured by the fabric and demanding attention. Victor kissed his way down Yuuri’s chest to tease and mouth the omega through his panties. Victor’s fingers were already dipping into the elastic and soon Yuuri was lifting up his hips and letting Victor pull him free of those polka dotted sheer panties, watching as they fluttered to the floor just beyond the nest.
Victor kissed and sucked along Yuuri’s length even as his fingers tugged and squeezed the smaller omegan scrotum, one finger tracing back to find his leaking entrance. His finger sank in with ease and Victor looked up to the blushing omega above him.
“I-I wanted to be ready for you,” he whispered.
Victor slid in a second finger and then a third with ease before he was satisfied that the smaller omega was indeed ready for him. Victor went up on his knees, palming his own length and watching as Yuuri pulled the sheath free of the pillow it was tucked under. Yuuri then leaned forward and rolled it onto him, satisfied with VIctor’s coverage with a nod. He then hooked a leg over Victor’s shoulder and the other around his hip as Victor moved forward, his eyes wide at the flexibility shown by the other omega.
“I took dance when I was younger,” he explained with a smirk. “The flexibility comes in handy in more ways than one.”
“I see,” Victor answered in a whisper even as he teased Yuuri’s entrance with his length. He then slowly breeched the omega, watching Yuuri’s face, eyes, drooping in pleasure, mouth going slack as Victor slowly filled him. Yuuri was a sight with his sex face and Victor knew he never wanted anyone else to see that expression on Yuuri. Victor moved slowly with purpose as he thrust with deliberate teasing slowness causing a glare to come from the other omega. He smirked and eased out with equally unhurried movements before sliding back in hard. Yuuri groaned, his eyes fluttering, his head falling back. Victor at that moment wished he knew how to work a camera and could photograph and preserve Yuuri’s expression. So perfect. So beautiful.
He felt Yuuri wiggle in impatience and chuckled, finally settling into a regular pace, intermittently slowing and speeding up, watching Yuuri settle into focused abandon, lost in the feelings Victor was creating in him. And he knew when Yuuri was drawing close, without words, Yuuri’s hands starting to fist on his shoulder. He leaned forward and kissed those tightened fingers. “I’m ready,” he whispered breathlessly.
Yuuri nodded, panting, his body damp with sweat. “Me, too.” And then Yuuri’s eyes closed as his body shook with his orgasm. Victor felt it all around him. And soon he was coming undone into him. He eased Yuuri’s leg off of his shoulder before collapsing into him.
“I’m a mess,” Yuuri fussed.
“My beautiful mess,” Victor argued, before sloppily kissing Yuuri. He then reached down and held the condom in place before withdrawing from that body. “Do you think we can sneak into the bathroom for a bath?”
“I’d put on a robe,” Yuuri suggested, following him out of bed. They found thicker robes that covered their bodies and giggled as they shot down the hall and into the bathroom shared by everyone on that wing, namely Minako and Phichit.
Victor filled the tub while Yuuri peered at his reflection in the mirror. “I look worn,” he fussed.
“You’ve been working a lot these past few weeks. I’m glad you took the day off.”
“So many babies born around this year. It’s because couples are cooped up in the winter with nothing else to do.”
Victor chuckled but warmed up at the thought of snuggling with Yuuri all winter long. “I mean, I can think of worst past times.”
Yuuri raised his eyebrow. “I do not want to get pregnant in the winter. That means I’d be miserable in the summer and basically useless when we are shorthanded with midwives.”
As Victor handed Yuuri into the tub, he moved into the space next to him. “Does that mean you want to have my babies?”
Yuuri stilled at that thought. Did he? Was he ready for that? “I...I…”
Victor chuckled warmly, leaning up to kiss him. “You don’t have to be ready now...but maybe...one day?”
Yuuri swallowed before nodding. He did want those babies. And he wanted Victor.
Yakov was talking about Victor’s pheromone patterns. He was not saying he was developing alpha pheromones (because that would be impossible) but that of a protective mate. Yuuri is doing the same as their relationship builds. I hope I didn't botch up the discussion about transgender with the old doc. In this world, the more visible transgendered person is in opposition of their primary sex. Victor is questioning his secondary gender. A mated couple are much easier to transition emotionally because one will take the role of the alpha and one the omega. This is what is starting to happen with Yuuri and Victor and people are starting to see them as an alpha/omega couple. People see what they want to see.
Chapter 11: December
It's drawing closer to Yuuri's heat and emotions are coming to the surface.
One more chapter and I'll close out this season, but not this series. So make sure you subscribe to the series. Remember, I'll be taking a break to focus on my other works before coming back to this but I wanted to get this through Christmas.
I hope you are enjoying this series. Please drop me a line in comments to let me know. I admit, though, that this is a guilty pleasure for me. And I'm loving it so much! :)
The month of December arrived with cold winds and frosty mornings. A tree went up in the main parlor and the residents were making gifts to go underneath. Yuuri smiled at the steady stream of activity in and out of the handicrafts supply closet. Blankets were being made. Cosies for feet. Ornaments for the tree. Stringing popcorn. Even those who didn’t typically celebrate Christmas joined in on the festivities, although Yuuri encouraged them to celebrate their own holidays. It was more about being part of this makeshift family.
Victor was working on a cold and holding himself away. Yuuri kept checking on him while he locked himself away in the office, bringing him a cup of tea or some hot chocolate. “You don’t have to stay shut away,” he fussed.
Victor smiled weakly. “I don’t want to make those mothers sick. Several are about due. I’m fine. And you shouldn’t fuss so much about me. It’s just a cold and you need to save your energy for those babies.”
“You’re important to me, Vitya...I want to know you are well.”
Victor smiled softly, taking Yuuri’s hand in his. “I’m going to be okay. I’ve been resting a lot upstairs and coming down when my energy is at its peak.”
Yuuri sighed, leaning in to kiss his cheek, Victor avoiding a kiss of the lips during his cold. So Yuuri settled himself by tucking a blanket around his shoulders and making sure he was warm. Kissing his forehead, he huffed. “You’ve got a temperature.”
“You told me that fevers were to help the body heal. Let it do its job,” Victor pressed, a smile on his lips. “I’m taking it slow and staying inside.”
“I’m going to change out the nest. I don’t want to incubate your illness.” Yuuri stood up abruptly, leaving the room.
Phichit walked in to Yuuri disassembling the nest. “So close to your heat?”
“I can’t have Victor getting sick again during...during...I...can’t lose him, Phichit.” He collapsed onto the floor and soon he was wrapped in the other omega’s arms.
“It’s just a cold, love...it’s not like before. I knew something was going on.” He smoothed Yuuri’s hair.
The outer door was open and Minako walked by, peeking in at the two omegas kneeling at the inner door. “Oh, Yuuri,” she whispered, hurrying in and hugging him close.
Yuuri wept hard into her shoulder. “I took care of him, and he seemed better but then he took a turn for the worse and slipped away in the night. I can’t lose this one. I don’t think I could find my feet again.”
Minako pressed a kiss into his hair. “That’s for your mother.” And then another. “That’s for me. Now you listen to me. Seung-gil’s death was not your fault...and he passed from more than just a mere cold. I’ve checked on your Victor myself. He’s going to be fine.”
Yuuri sighed, settling his hands. “I still...want to wash everything.”
Minako nodded in understanding. “Do you need help?” She stood up and dusted off her pants. She only wore the required nursing dress off site. She often talked about how ridiculous it was that male omegas could wear pants and females were relegated to dresses.
Yuuri let his eyes slide back to the nest built over time. “It’s been some time since I completely dismantled it. Perhaps...it would be good. I can reevaluate what goes into it.”
“And maybe you and Victor can build the new one up together,” Phichit suggested.
Yuuri shrugged. “He’s never really nested beyond a comfort nest. But...maybe?”
“He’s got more reason these days. I think that would be a good thing for the two of you,” Minako added.
As they started to slowly pull the swaths of fabric free, small treasures tumbled out, the three omegas carefully gathering them and setting them on a nearby shelf. Sometimes, Yuuri would pause and take the item in hand and then set it somewhere else. “It’s part of my past. I need to let it go.”
“That doesn’t mean you have to rid yourself of the memories. Even Victor supports you in this.”
Yuuri shook his head. “I have plenty of things to remind me of him.”
“These were things important enough to tuck away into your nest,” Minako pointed out. “Perhaps put them into a box for later.”
“I want to move forward,” Yuuri argued.
Both Minako and Phichit came around and hugged him. “We know you do, sweetheart,” Phichit answered softly. “These aren’t holding you back...but I think it’s too soon to toss them since they came out of your nest.”
“What’s going on?”
They all turned to see Victor in the door. Finally, Minako answered, “Yuuri is wanting to rebuild his nest and we’re trying to discourage him from throwing out things...from before. Even if he doesn’t want them back in his nest.”
Victor studied the older omega before he asked them, “Will you leave us for a few moments?” Both omegas slipped into the outer room and Victor closed the door. He moved closer to Yuuri, sniffing back and hating his cold at this moment. “Why are you doing this? Your heat is around the corner.”
Yuuri choked back and then the sob broke free. “I just...I just...I want…”
Victor pulled Yuuri into his arms, pressing a kiss into his hair. “You don’t have to know why...but I agree with the others. If you can’t articulate it, you need to wait until you know for sure before you get rid of things you once held dear.”
“But I...I...you’re dear to me.”
“And holding these things doesn’t make me feel less dear to you. It doesn’t hurt...to wait, Yuuri.” He rocked the other man in his arms, pressing more kisses into his hair.
Finally Yuuri pulled back and looked at the half dis-assembled nest. “I still want to do this. I...I want this to be our nest, not my nest. I want parts of you and parts of me in this nest. Is that...okay?”
Victor smiled softly. “More than okay...I’ve never wanted to build a nest before...but with you, I want to build a life...and that starts with a nest.”
Yuuri sighed, leaning in to rest his head on Victor’s shoulder.
They tore the rest of the nest down together, Victor lovingly taking the treasures that Yuuri no longer wanted in his nest and packing them away in a hat box that went into the top of Yuuri’s closet. Linens were laundered and they spent the night in Victor’s old bed. Yuuri admitted he’d never slept in there and his husband rarely did when they were together.
Yuuri woke up coughing. “Ugh! I think I’ve caught your cold.”
Victor chuckled warmly. “It’ll pass with time.”
“Hopefully, before my heat.”
Phichit examined Emil with a frown. “I think this baby is going to come before Christmas.”
“I don’t have any place to go,” he fussed. He’d tried reconciling with his parents but they put him out for good. He wasn’t welcome back.
“Don’t worry. We will find you a place before you leave us. I promise. Yuuri never lets someone leave without a place to go.”
“I wish...have you talked to Sara?”
“Yuuri was over checking the health of babies and mother just before he became sick. Would you like to call her?”
“I-I don’t want to be a bother.”
“Nonsense. Sara is your friend. She was reluctant to leave you behind. Let’s go and make that call.”
He nodded, following Phichit out the door after he put himself to rights. Phichit placed the call on the house phone and soon he had Sara on the line. “Hello, Sara? I have Emil here wanting to speak with you. He then passed the phone over to the waiting omega.”
“Hi,” Emil greeted anxiously.
“Hello, Em, how are you doing?”
“I’m...getting close. And my parents still won’t talk to me.”
Sara huffed. “Some of us are luckier than others in parents. I tell you what. If you don’t have some place to go after baby comes, you come here with me.”
“I-I don’t think I can do that.”
“Why not? We have plenty of room. Or are you squeamish about the funeral stuff? Because all of that is downstairs.”
Emil did shudder but then he regained himself. “No, I’m fine about that. I just...don’t want to be a bother.”
“What good is it being friends if we don’t bother one another? You’re coming and that is that. What is one more baby in the mix?”
As he handed the phone over to Phichit, he said, “I’m going to stay with Sara after the baby comes.”
“Good. You’ll be in good hands.”
“But Mickey...he doesn’t like me.”
“Maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t. He’s so busy running people off from his sister, he doesn’t know what he likes.”
Emil blushed and looked away. “No one else is going to want me like that.
“You’d be surprised,” Phichit answered cheerily. “Now, let’s get into the living room. I believe there are some handicrafts in the works.”
Emil laughed. “I’m making a blanket for my baby.”
Phichit smiled warmly. “Nothing like a handmade blanket to keep a baby all toasty from the chill.”
Yuuri looked at the light colors Victor brought to the nest, a beautiful lavender, pinks, soft whites and soon Yuuri mingled a deeper purple and navy into the mix. The fabrics moved in and out around the cushions that surrounded the cozy interior. More deep blues and lavenders went up over the windows.
Victor looked around as he considered the soft surfaces. “It needs your sparkles.”
Yuuri looked his way, his face lit up. “You like that?”
He slipped his arms around Yuuri from behind. “I loved your nest, what you built up over time. But I love this, too, what we are building together. I never really had much of an opportunity to do this.”
“I’ve always had a nest. Even before I presented. My parents knew I was omega at age five.”
Victor chuckled warmly as he imagined an adorable, pudgy five-year-old Yuuri curled up in a nest of his own making. He couldn’t help but squeeze Yuuri in a hug and nuzzle his scent gland.
Yuuri turned and wove his arms around Victor’s neck, seeking a kiss. “I love you,” he whispered as their lips parted and they stilled, realizing it was the first time the words were spoken aloud between the two.
Then a tear slid down Victor’s face. He drew in a shaky breath as he studied the Japanese man before him. It had been a long time since someone said they loved him and at this moment, it felt like a gift. And he knew in his heart, he felt the same. He leaned in and kissed Yuuri once again, pulling back so that their noses and foreheads touched as he whispered back, “I love you, too.” His voice was gruff with tears but he didn’t care. He felt overwhelmed by emotion.
Yuuri’s fingers played with his hair as he stared into Victor’s eyes. Just like the moment he determined he would be Seung-gil’s mate, he knew. He wanted this. He finally blinked and stepped back. They needed a little space but that didn’t change Yuuri’s heart. He turned and went to a basket that held the velvet length with crystals attached in a diamond pattern. He lifted it, hugging it close. This...was part of Yuuri’s bridal nest. Is it wrong to use it here?
“Do you not want it?” Victor asked quietly.
“It was...something I used when I first built a nest here. Something I shared with him.”
Victor was quiet for a moment as he studied the omega before him, thinking about his words. “I think that your time with him helped to shape you into the person that you are today. This velvet may have begun as a part of the two of you, but it is you now. Rich, sparkling, warm...vibrant. The nest will feel naked if you strip away everything from your past just as you will be devoid a part of yourself. I love you, with the pain, with the mourning, with the shadow of him. I love you, all of you. Don’t hold parts of yourself back. You are amazing, beautiful...and I feel like more being in your presence. You are the life and love of this home. It would not work without you. And that was in part his influence.”
“You’re not...upset that he’s so entwined in who I am?”
“No...to hate that would be to hate you...and I could never do that. So...let’s add the velvet.”
They started at the top corner and began spiraling it around the nest, the velvet helping to hold the other elements tight within its embrace. The purples and misty gray blues would peek between the strips of velvet in one section, the pinks and lilacs in the next section. They tucked it in at the other top corner. Then Yuuri tucked in the velvet pillows at the top of the bed. The dark sheets, the dark cotton pillow cases, the curtains hanging from the posts and rales at the top now a mix of velvets and shear fabrics in the colors of the nest. Yuuri then found ropes of the sparkle and they wound it around the rails connecting the tops of the posts. Victor stayed beside him, making sure he didn’t fall while he worked the top of the nest. Then Yuuri let himself fall down, bouncing a little with a giggle and that little bubble of joy was the finishing touch to that nest.
The room felt lighter.
The nest felt as if it had woken up from mourning.
And Yuuri began squirreling in little treasures into the folds. “You need to bring bits of you to add. What do you treasure?”
Victor didn’t know beyond Yuuri. “I don’t have much. A few things from my parents.”
Yuuri nodded. “Bring them. It creates the heart of the nest, the things we love. My family is wound into this nest. It’s our nest, though, so it should have you in it as well.”
Victor ducked away, entering the other room as he thought about what he’d want in the nest. He carried everything he had in two suitcases. He had a photo in a tarnished silver frame of his parents, a handmade bunny his mother had made him as a child, a handkerchief that was his father’s, and his mother’s pearls. He carried these treasures back and presented them to Yuuri.
Yuuri knew he had little and knew every item before him was precious. He took the frame and set it on the nightstand that had become Victor’s side, closest to the window. The younger man had taken that side and would wrap himself around Yuuri as if protecting him from the world. The soft things were easy and he showed Victor how to incorporate them into the nest. “It’ll grow the longer we’re together.” He lifted the pearls thoughtfully before circling the frame. “I don’t want these to be damaged. We’ll find a box to protect them.”
“My mother made the bunny. The handkerchief was one of my father’s.”
“I think those are great representations. I know you haven’t had the opportunity to accumulate much. It’s hard to come overseas.”
“I left with my two suitcases and that’s all I’ve carried with me. I...never felt grounded and kept moving until I came here. I made my first friend in Chris and then this place. I came here under the worst circumstances but...felt more at home than I had in years.”
“I wanted you to feel at home here.”
Victor smiled, his fingers sliding over the many textures. “I feel at home with you.”
Yuuri slid a hand up his back and Victor turned in his arms, Yuuri kissing him warmly. “I think...you should consider taking the other closet in this room. It’s silly for you to go across the sitting room to get your things.”
“Are you sure?”
“This...is our room, our nest.”
It didn’t take long for Victor to gather his belongings. The closet held his two suits, a couple of casual changes of clothes, a few other layers to change up what he had. A drawer at the bottom of the wardrobe held both of Victor’s pairs of pajamas, his small cache of boxers, his neatly folded pairs of socks. A pair of dress shoes sat on the floor of the closet. Yuuri frowned at how little Victor got by on. His closet was full even after cleaning it out. He would have to see to providing Victor with more. But Victor never complained of his lack. No one would really guess by his manners.
Then Yuuri smiled as a small tea set was added to the nightstand. “Your mother?”
Victor nodded. “It was her favorite. I had to sell practically everything else. There were encumbrances on the estate when they passed. After paying everything off, I had just enough to book passage here. So I visited their gravesite and said my goodbyes. I knew I’d never be back but I also knew my parents would encourage me to follow my heart.” He then smiled up at Yuuri and shrugged. “And now I’m here.”
Emil’s labor came on suddenly and both Yuuri and Phichit sat with him, Phichit as his main midwife, Yuuri offering comfort with the lack of mate. He massaged Emil’s back and offered soothing words. Phichit kept his eyes on things and gave direction and encouragement. It had been a long labor and they traded places but Yuuri always gave way to Phichit, who was very possessive over his patients. As fun-loving as the midwife could be, he was serious when it came to his work and his patients.
Emil finally settled on his knees, leaning against Yuuri for support. “Is this okay?” he breathed between the deep keening that midwives knew was a mother preparing to give birth.
“If this is how you are most comfortable,” Yuuri murmured. “Our instincts tell us the best position.”
Phichit was kneeling close to the mattress, looking up to ascertain if he was ready. “We are presented. When you feel the urge to push, then do so. Everything looks good so far.”
Emil nodded and then his breath quickened and he began to push, Yuuri supporting his weight as he elongated his back, pushing hard with a long moan.
“That’s it...that’s it...good work,” Phichit encouraged. “You’re doing beautifully.”
And then the head was free. And Phichit looked up with a teary smile. An omega’s work was fraught with emotion and the pheromones often affected those involved in the business. Yuuri nodded to Emil, swallowing his own tears. “Just a little more,” he whispered. “Just a little more.”
And then with another push, the shoulders were free and the baby slid out. “Oh, it’s a beautiful baby boy,” Phichit pronounced. He wrapped up baby in a towel, the little one sputtering and complaining against the chill.
Emil looked upon his son with great emotion, a quivering smile. “I did this?”
“Yes, you did...and it was an amazing job,” Phichit praised.
They had a little more to do, and then the work was done and the bed was cleaned up, Emil settled back in, his baby in his arms.
“I feel like I don’t know how to do anything.”
“You’re mothercraft lessons will come back to you as needed,” Yuuri reassured him.
“One of us will sit with you while you both learn how to do the latching process. Don’t worry,” Phichit promised.
“Sara...will someone call her?”
Yuuri smiled warmly. “I can take care of that.”
“Hello, Sara. Emil wanted me to call you,” Yuuri greeted.
“Is he okay?”
“Yes...he and his baby boy.”
“Oh, he’s given birth! I’ll be there as soon as I get a free moment. I’m sure PopPop will watch the twins.”
“I think...he’s needing family and you’re the only one he has, Sara,” Yuuri stated quietly.
He heard the sigh across the line. “I can’t see why a family would turn away their child like that. But don’t you worry, Yuuri. We’ll take good care of him.”
“I’m not worried. You all took care of me when I found myself alone.”
There was a moment of quiet and then she asked, “Are you happy?”
Yuuri laughed and pushed away his silly tears. “I am...very. I...I told him that I loved him. We...built a nest together.”
“Oh, Yuuri...I’m so happy for you. I hope you two find every happiness.” Shouting in the background and Sara groaned. “My brother is such an ass. I’ve got to go but I’ll be by later.”
It was days before Yuuri’s heat and he’d been checked out by Phichit and declared in good course for his heat. He was restless, however, and wanted out. Victor offered to take him but Yuuri felt he needed to do this alone. Well, almost alone. Phichit came with him. He leaned against the door of the shop while Yuuri looked over the things. “It’s a gift. For Victor.” he explained.
“Of course. For Christmas, or his birthday,” Phichit supplied.
Yuuri hummed with agreement as his eyes slid over the gold bands. It was December and they had one that was particularly lovely. “Can I see this one?”
The jeweler pulled it out, and Yuuri studied the engraving. Handing him the string where he’d measured Victor’s size in his sleep, he said, “Make the...make the alpha ring in this...and the other...for me.”
He could hear Phichit’s gasp but the other omega didn’t say another word, not wanting to break the spell. Soon the box was brought to Yuuri, wrapped with a red ribbon. The omega settled it in his pocket and turned to his best friend. “I just know...you know?”
Phichit nodded. As they left the jewelry store, Phichit shrugged and pointed out, “It’s been more than three months.”
Yuuri snorted, giving him a playful shove. “You’re the worst kind of friend!”
Phichit laughed and returned, “I’m the best kind of friend.”
They walked back as snow started to fall gently around them.
There were male nurses in the 1950s although not many because recruitment mainly focused on women. So I struggled finding photos of a male nurse’s uniform. Here is one based on a Danish series set in the 50s of a coed nursing school. No, I haven’t seen it but I may have to see if I can find it in English. This article talks about male nurses throughout the 1900s.
So here are a series of male uniforms:
And this is what Minako would have to wear:
And she would rather be in pants: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/d6/4f/63/d64f63214860da87691ff3b128b65b20.jpg
And new nurses before they earn their caps:
And a nursing graduation photo. Notice the men are dressed in more traditional graduation wear as opposed to women in nursing uniforms with their caps. Some said at one time there were stripes on their caps to indicate how far they were in their training. But these are all white.
Chapter 12: Relentless Christmas Special
So Yuuri bought some rings last chapter...let's see what is gold and round for chapter twelve!
Merry Christmas! I just finished up this gift for you today! Love you all and I hope you are enjoying this little world I created.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Yuuri woke up feeling achy, groaning as he turned in Victor’s arms, the other omega wrapping him up and tucking him into his warmth. “I know...take it easy today,” he murmured.
Yuuri pouted, knowing that wasn’t possible. “We have the community Christmas party. I have to attend, it raises money for our program.”
“What about Minako and Phichit?” Victor suggested, knowing they would be there.
Yuuri shook his head. “I’m the one who founded this program...they expect to see me. Just...stay by my side.”
Victor kissed into Yuuri’s hair. “I wouldn’t dream of leaving your side.”
They joined the others downstairs preparing to go to the community center. The residents were excited for an outing and some were planning to do some last minute Christmas shopping, tucking their pin money in their pockets. There was an excitement in the air and Yuuri found himself relaxing, especially with Victor’s hand on his back. I can get through today.
He knew there would be a children’s program and he loved those, watching them put together a new rendition of Christmas stories. This year was another nativity and Yuuri would smile as he watched the towel wrapped heads and little ones wearing their parents’ bathrobes as they told this story of Christmas. Yuuri loved the pageantry even in the simplicity of families who had little.
He knew he was better off financially than most of his patients. But he used that to make their suffering easier. He knew, however, he couldn’t fund the maternity home. He could live there comfortably. He could run a midwife post out of his home, housing the ones that didn’t have a place to go. He had thought to do that in the beginning but instead partnered with the one existing in the next town over. He served the current town and they, in turn, supported the maternity home, Yuuri’s passion. It was a give and take relationship.
Of course, it helped that everyone loved Nurse Yuuri (or Nurse Lee, depending on who you asked). Everyone was charmed by Nurse Phichit (some called him Nurse Peach, seeming to struggle with his name). And then there was the calm confidence of Nurse Mina. However, it was still a stretch to meet the needs in the community and Yuuri hoped they would raise enough to support the addition of another nurse.
Victor walked with Yuuri into the community center, moving in to help with the finishing touches. Their charges would return later after they finish browsing through the stores. The nurses and other employees spread out and began helping where help was needed. Doctor Feltsman watched as his wife Lilia worked to get the children in line. Victor came up to him and they talked quietly about Victor’s concerns about Yuuri’s heat. He hadn’t had his own.
“You could be aligning with your mate’s heat. I wouldn’t be surprised if yours didn’t kick in during Yuuri’s heat. Be prepared for when the haze set in.”
“I just...Yuuri’s not ready for any...umm, surprises.”
“Well, there’s no pill to prevent it. Otherwise, the maternity home wouldn’t be as much of a necessity in this county. I hear they are working on one, however. So maybe one day. You might double up on a Durex heat kit. I sent Yuuri home with one during his check up the other day but stop in and we’ll see how you are doing.”
Victor laughed weekly feeling a little overwhelmed. “Umm, can we...tomorrow?”
The doctor considered his appointments as he stroked his chin. “I think we can manage tomorrow. Pop in and I’ll make sure we work you in for a pre-heat appointment.”
Victor nodded, sighing with relief. If he were honest, he wasn’t ready for any surprises either. It was too soon and Victor felt a little raw. But Yuuri had not yet sought to...well, he’d fully assumed the alpha role and they didn’t seem to be switching any time soon. It was probably for the best. He wanted to keep Yuuri safe, and that included the maternity home and everything he worked for. If that meant Victor had to wear an alpha’s persona, so be it.
He found Yuuri helping with some of the last minute decoration and the older omega was thankful for the help. Victor loved the many shades of Yuuri and right now he wore a long sleeved turtleneck with blue plaid pants. Across the room, Phichit was hard to miss with his fuschia asian influenced shirt and black slacks. Minako stubbornly wore slacks as well and Victor couldn’t help but smile at the green sweater with black pants. Victor was dressed in one of his two suits and now felt inadequate in his limited wardrobe. Since he’d had so little, he found it hard to spend money on himself. Maybe Chris could help him out. He needed to pick something up for Yuuri anyway.
The community started filling the space, donations coming with every patron giving as they could. Yuuri knew they couldn’t give generously. Most were just getting by and could only drop a single bill into the box. However, there were a few wealthy community members and they would add a more generous donation. Those were usually written out in advanced and tucked into a colorful envelope.
And then the audience took a seat, children filed in and shared their parts, their costumes handmade and simple, the set created by volunteers in the community. A reception followed and the host of the event called Yuuri to the front. “We want to thank you and your team for all you do for the community. We hope that this somehow helps to meet your needs for the coming year.” And the box was placed in Yuuri’s hand who offered a shy thank you.
As the small bus started loading up to take Yuuri and the rest of the residents and staff back to the home, he felt Victor hug him from behind. “Will you be okay if I grab a drink with Chris? I won’t be able to see him again until...after.”
Yuuri leaned over and kissed him. “Of course,” he answered as his thumb brushed away the lipgloss.
Victor met with Chris and they walked downtown. “So what are you thinking?”
“I want something that makes me think of Yuuri and I’ll know when I see it. His scent is like cherry blossoms and cinnamon. He loves stormy colors. And he surrounds himself in sparkles. So...something like that.”
“Have you considered...something of the more intimate nature?”
Victor rolled his eyes. “I don’t think...I mean, Yuuri loves things like that...but…”
“I’ve shared heat with someone a couple of times. I always brought a heat gift, something to make them feel appreciated and special. I’d do something like that and maybe...a tennis bracelet for those lovely ankles?”
Victor thought about those suggestions. “Where would I even look?”
“I know a place.”
“Of course you do.”
Chris took Victor to a small shop tucked away and entering, the omega wouldn’t guess it’s purpose but the person in charge led him to the back. He turned to Chris with wide eyes. “This is a…”
“Yes, it is...and they have a few selections you can’t find elsewhere...for perhaps later. But come with me.” He guided Victor through to one corner of the shop that held intimate wear and Victor found himself immediately drawn to a smokey blue chiffon robe with a silky belt. Looking deeper, he found a matching pair of boxers. Chris grinned like a Cheshire cat. “I think you found what you were looking for.”
“You don’t think it’s too…”
“Personal? You are sharing the boy’s heat with him. It’s not too personal.” Chris nodded towards the associate who wrapped the gift. “Now, is there anything else that catches your attention?”
Victor let his eye wonder, the wares more than he ever imagined available. However, he felt like this was far beyond what he and Yuuri were ready for. Maybe one day...when he could bring Yuuri himself. So he shook his head, paying for the gift and they left the shop and continued down the street. Victor then veered into the jewelry shop. He did love things that sparkled for Yuuri but worried he couldn’t afford a tennis bracelet. He spoke with the owner who smiled warmly. He knew Yuuri and could make several suggestions.
Those suggestions included a beautiful sapphire and diamond bracelet set in 14 ct. gold. “How much?”
The jeweler gave the price and Victor paled. He didn’t make much and spent very little. Most of his needs were met at the maternity home. But this would take quite a large amount of his savings. He looked over at Chris who was frowning as he considered the options. Finally, Chris spoke up, “My friend’s budget is tight. Can we perhaps work something out?”
The jeweler considered Victor and where this bracelet would end up. “I can knock off a third of the price. Consider it a Christmas special.”
Victor nodded. “I can do that.” The transaction was made and the gift wrapped in a velvet box of navy, a white ribbon around that.
As they exited Victor sighed. “Easy come, easy go.”
Chris bumped his shoulder into the other man. “I mean, if you need extra, I can get you some shifts at the club.”
“I’ll keep that in mind. I just...Yuuri’s done so much for me...and to love me besides...I haven’t had that.”
“He’s a good man. I’m glad you found each other. Now, let’s get you home.”
Victor arrived in time for dinner and promised to help with the dishes since he missed helping prepare the food. Minako took the gifts and started to add it to the tree when Victor asked if she could put it upstairs instead. Victor and Yuuri had a small tree in their suite and another little box, white with a red ribbon sat waiting for Victor.
Yuuri came out of his room where he was reworking things in his nest, his preheat making him restless. “What’s that?”
“You’ll have to ask Victor. He just asked me to bring it up here. He’s helping serve dinner.”
Yuuri wrung his hands with worry at the two packages elegantly wrapped. “Oh...I didn’t expect...he doesn’t make much.”
Minako huffed at that. None of them did. And Yuuri barely took a salary, well set up as he was from his mate. The older omega wouldn’t be surprised if Victor’s salary came from Yuuri’s salary. “And he’d give every dime to you and not regret it. So be thankful for what he has done for you.”
“I-I am. I mean, I’m thankful for him. I don’t feel deserving.”
“And he likely feels the same. Just love each other silly.” She then stood up and studied him for a moment. Behind Yuuri hung the portrait of Dr. Lee. “He’d want you to be happy. I didn’t know him well but I knew he promised you happiness when he married you and that was what he wanted for you.”
“I-I was happy. With Victor, it’s different. We both know we’re broken...but we’re okay with what we each bring to the table. We meet each other halfway.”
“That sounds rather ideal. You should keep him.”
Yuuri smiled, a happy blush rising into his cheeks. “I think maybe I will.”
Yuuri sat next to Victor in the community room, the different residents chatting about holiday plans. Some were expecting family to visit. Others would not but seemed to band together in some form of solidarity. The Japanese omega noticed Yura quiet and agitated, keeping the kitten in his arms and with a sigh, slipped away from Victor’s side to see what was going on.
“What did you end up naming her?”
Yura shrugged but then answered, “My cat back home is called Potya. I thought maybe Svetka. It means little star .”
“That’s a wonderful name,” Yuuri praised. “I feel like it’s been so busy with the holidays that I haven’t checked in with you.”
“It’s fine. I’m not really going anywhere and...well, Grandpa is under the weather and staying home.”
“Has the doctor looked in on him?” Yuuri inquired.
The teen nodded, a sigh escaping him. “I-I normally enjoy celebrating Hanukkah with my Grandpa and the family next door. And last year, Beka joined us. It’s just not the same. Everyone feels so far away.”
“My family is in Japan. Minako came back with me when I returned but I’m very far from home. I haven’t been back for seven years.”
Yuuri shrugged, spreading his arms wide. “When my husband lived, I shared this dream with him. As he was slipping away from me, he pushed me to follow my dream. So...I returned to open this home. I don’t regret it, but I do miss my parents and my sister.”
“Is Minako family?”
“Like family. She was my mother’s best friend and has been like an aunt to me.”
“How do you get through the holidays?”
“I enjoy the company that I have and make friends where I can. It’s hard, but not as hard as it can be.” Yuuri nodded over to the mail slots. “Have you heard from your mate of late?”
“I received a letter last week and made sure I sent one. Yuuko helped me put together a care package with holiday cookies in a tin.”
“That sounds wonderful.”
The boy shrugged. “I’d rather him be here.”
Yuuri smiled softly. “We always miss someone around the holidays. That’s why it’s important to focus on the ones that are here. And soon, you will have someone new to teach your traditions and to make new ones.”
Yura blushed and nodded, his hand smoothing over his pregnant belly. “I can’t wait...and I’m scared at the same time.”
“Every new mother says the same. You will do beautifully. And Celestino said you might be ready to take the high school equivalency exam by February. So you are working towards a brighter future. Do you know what you want to do?”
He shrugged. “I want more than what my Grandpa can give me. I don’t mean any disrespect but piroshkis won’t carry us through as a family. I thought...maybe learning to be a nurse?”
Yuuri smiled, tilting his head thoughtfully. “It’s hard work but I think you have the necessary tenacity. If that’s your path, I’ll help you find your way.”
“It would be my pleasure.” Yuuri then spotted the other three omegas that often checked in on Yura. “I think you should find time and company of friends.”
Yura turned and shrugged. “Yeah, they wanted to play a game this evening. I’ll talk with you later?”
“If I’m unavailable, talk to Phichit or Minako. But I never mind.”
Returning to Victor, he leaned into him. “I need to go. I don’t have much longer.” Victor nodded, following Yuuri up the stairs.
Closing the outer door, Yuuri spotted the water in buckets, the tea kettle next to a hotplate, the pile of towels by the inner door. He knew that Minako and Phichit would take turns bringing food in for them, a table set aside with a bell to signal Yuuri to its arrival. Satisfied with the current provisions, he went into his bed chamber, but turned as Victor fell away from his side only to return with a box.
“I don’t know that one is supposed to do when asked to share a heat. But I thought...this might make you feel...loved.”
Yuuri looked at the box, his mouth open in surprise. “I...didn’t expect this.”
“It’s okay...I wanted to give you something.”
Yuuri sat on the end of the bed, taking the box gingerly in his hand. He pulled the ribbon, making note to hang onto it. As the ribbon slipped to the floor, he began unwrapping the paper. He saw the stamp of the shop on the box. “Latimers?”
“Chris showed it to me. I’d never been.”
Yuuri blushed. He’d been there once with Seung-gil. “They have some rather...interesting wares.”
“I didn’t look too hard at them, but I saw this and thought of you.”
Yuuri opened the lid and gasped as his fingers grazed over the whisper of smokey blue chiffon. “Oh, Vitya...this...this is lovely.”
“I’d like to see it on you,” he whispered. “I’ll step out while you change and warm the fire.”
“O-okay,” Yuuri agreed softly. Victor backed out of the room and closed the door. Yuuri undressed, dropping the day’s clothes into the laundry basket. He poured water into the wash basin and began to wipe off the day’s sweat, freshening up his body. He then turned and pulled out the robe followed by the nightie, sliding his fingers over the silk. He always loved the way silk felt to his fingers, and soon donned the beautiful piece of chiffon and lace. He pulled on the matching panties and then settled the robe on his shoulders, letting it hang open as he tied satin the belt around his waist.
Opening the door, he couldn’t help the smile as Victor waited for him in a pair of boxers that matched the robe. Yuuri moved into Victor’s space even as the other man watched him, his lips parted as he took in the vision of probably the sexiest omega he knew. And then Yuuri was in his arms, reaching his hand around the silverette’s neck to pull him into a kiss. As it broke, Yuuri nuzzled into Victor’s scent. “You make me feel beautiful,” he whispered.
“You are beautiful,” Victor breathed. The temperature was rising and the Russian doubted it had anything to do with the stove. Swallowing, he turned his mate towards the bedroom. “I need to see you.”
Yuuri sashayed back into the bedroom and that boy did have the loveliest of asses. Victor followed, closing the door behind him as Yuuri loosened the belt to his robe and let it flutter to the floor. As Yuuri climbed into the nest and crawled across the mattress, Victor was awarded a better view of that ass, the panties fluttering with each crawl forward.
Victor didn’t stay behind for long, entering the nest as Yuuri turned to look back. Yuuri settled to one side, making space for Victor. And then the other man was in his arms. Yuuri lifted a hand to stroke the side of his face. “I know you haven’t shared a heat before. We’re in this together.”
“I’m okay...as long as I’m with you.”
Yuuri leaned in and brushed their lips together. “If something gets to be too much, I need you to talk to me, tell me what’s wrong. If I try to push you too far, if I ask you to do something you can’t or don’t want to perform...I want you to ask me to stop.”
“During your heat?”
Yuuri leaned in and breathed in before answering, “During our heat.”
Victor slid his hand down Yuuri’s side. “I wanted to focus on you.”
“I don’t think we have much choice...are you okay with this?”
Victor nodded. “I’m okay with you.”
Yuuri leaned in to kiss him experimentally, Victor responding, his hands tightening on Yuuri’s hips. “Now, some people will tell you that you lose complete control when you share a heat with a partner. That’s bullshit. We start by making love and everything is just more...turned up...our refractory period shorter allowing increased stimulation.”
“Refractory period...the space between orgasms where everything is...too much.”
Yuuri rolled Victor back, sitting astride him. “Is this okay?”
Victor nodded, his hands settling on Yuuri’s hips. “I want to know every way you love.”
Yuuri nodded even as his hands started freeing Victor of his boxers. “If you start feeling trapped…”
“I know...speak up.”
Yuuri smiled, his hands shaky. “I haven’t done this…”
“In a long time...it’s okay.”
Yuuri nodded, his hands resting on Victor’s hips, thumbs tracing the line of the bones. “My slick…”
“God, this is going to be a mess.”
Victor chuckled, his hands ruffling under the gown, shifting his weight enough to roll Yuuri onto his back. “You’re a beautiful mess.”
“We’re a beautiful mess,” Yuuri echoed, his hand going up to slide into Victor’s hair. “Now...I need you. Kind of now.”
Victor snorted, reaching down to help Yuuri out of his panties, his own boxers kicked over the edge. “Sit up.” Yuuri did as he was told, lifting his arms as Victor pulled the gown over his head. Then with a groan, he moved in to breathe Yuuri in. “My beautiful Yuuri.” A hand slid down to pull Yuuri’s leg around his waist before exploring that wet entrance. His fingers slipped in with no resistance. “Oh, my Yuuri…”
Victor stared up at the beautiful omega sitting in his lap, Victor buried deep inside of him, Yuuri taking his pleasure from him once again. He didn’t feel so hazy and lost in his heat, focused on taking care of his partner, warmed up to Yuuri’s complete trust in him. The rise and fall of those plush omega hips, the permanent blush across the surface of his lover’s skin, the bite of those teeth into his full lips...Yuuri could only be described as beautiful.
“Mine,” Victor whispered, as Yuuri’s hand ran down his chest, stopping to play with his nipples.
Yuuri’s eyes, glazed from passion, seemed to focus on him at that very moment, his lips murmuring, “Yours,” in reply.
Yuuri’s body stretched beneath him, his knees holding his ass in the air as Victor bent over him. Victor filled him with ease, his erection holding strong in his own heated state. He kept a steady pace as he continued to slide into Yuuri at just the right angle to bring out that moan. Leaning forward, he scraped his teeth over Yuuri’s bonding gland.
They both froze, were they ready for that? Victor kissed the surface almost as an apology, resting his cheek against the heated skin.
“I want that,” Yuuri whispered. “Not now. Not in the heat of the moment...but I want that.”
Victor kissed up the back of Yuuri’s neck, murmuring in the other omega’s ear, “I love you.”
Yuuri slipped out of the nest, his body achy after three days of sex. Victor was still sleeping and Yuuri needed to clean up. The cloth baths were no longer enough. He wanted to soak in the tub. He tried to figure out how many days it had been and realized they had come out of their heat fog on Christmas morning.
The noises of the house felt distant, but there was laughter and warmth while Yuuri slipped into the bathroom and ran his bath. Soon he slipped into the water and let it fill and cover his body. The heat helped ease his aches. Lying back into the embrace of the clawfoot tub, he soaked for awhile before finally washing down. He dressed in his pajamas, not ready for company. He still needed his private bubble with his...mate. Victor’s claim on him was incomplete but no less real. One day I will feel your teeth in my skin.
He stood near the radiator and absorbed the heat, a thick robe, pajamas, and socks protecting him from the chill. Outside the window, fresh snow blanketed the garden. Yuuri drank from his cup of tea as he watched a couple of the residents outside throwing snowballs, laughter cutting through the shush of the snowy day.
Victor emerged, his house sticking out in multiple directions. Yuuri chuckled warmly, coming over to settle the strands. “Do you want me to run you a bath?”
Victor groaned. “Do you mind? I’ve not ached like this in...ever.”
Yuuri nodded, handing him a cup of tea. “I’ll be back in a moment.” He padded across the hall, bumping into Phichit. He instinctively stepped back and Phichit did the same, respecting Yuuri’s space.
“Are you okay?” his friend asked him, his voice filled with gentle concern.
“I am,” Yuuri answered. “I’m running a bath for Vitya.” He winced. “I think I wore him out.”
Phichit smirked. “I always knew there was a very sexy omega in you.”
Yuuri shrugged, hugging himself. “I just...I’m different...in there, with him.”
“You’re not different, Yuuri. You just let him into more private places.”
Yuuri nodded, his hand now resting on the bathroom doorknob. Phichit took the hint and moved on to his room. As Yuuri went into the bathroom, he saw to the filling of the tub, finding the hot water wasn’t quite as warm as he liked, ducking back into the room to grab the tea kettle and pour the boiling water into the tub, running his fingers through the water inside to decide if it would be warm enough. He decided on a second kettle as he turned off the water, adding in some epson salts to help with the aches of their recent activities.
He reentered the room finding Victor fussing with his robe and nervous. Yuuri came to his side, wrapping his arms around him. “I left you too long,” he murmured, the other omega nodding into his neck. “I’m sorry, my darling. Let me put some more water on to heat and we can cuddle while it heats up.”
The kettle in place, Yuuri gathered him to his side on the sofa, and made note of how Victor stayed close to his scent. His hand stroked Victor’s back and soon the other omega settled, a soft purr slipping from his lips. “I’ll do better next time,” Yuuri promised, realizing Victor needed continued contact right after their heat.
The tea kettle started whistling and Victor whined as Yuuri started to stand. “You can go with me and I’ll stay while you wash. Okay?”
Victor nodded, taking Yuuri’s hand and hugging into his arms. Yuuri thought back at their past interactions and realized that he should have known Victor would be clingy when he felt most vulnerable. Picking up a towel, he lifted the handle to the kettle and led Victor to the bathroom.
Victor sat on the toilet a hand knotted in the skirt of Yuuri’s robe while the older omega tended to the tub, pouring in the water and swirling it in. Setting the kettle on a pile of tiles, he helped Victor out of his robe and into the tub. Yuuri then slipped out of his robe and pajama shirt, reaching into the tub to bathe his mate. Victor watched his movements, the sure strokes that settled the younger omega and let him know he was well cared for. “Thank you,” he whispered. “I didn’t know...I would be like this.”
Yuuri reached up a hand and brushed through his hair. “How could you know?”
He shrugged, moving forward so Yuuri could wash his hair. He sighed into the massaging movements of Yuuri’s hands and accepted Yuuri’s loving care. Once Victor was rinsed, Yuuri handed him a towel to wipe his face.
“Do you want to soak a little longer?” Yuuri asked.
Victor shook his head, accepting Yuuri’s offered hand to help him out. Yuuri even dried him off, sliding his robe back into place before letting out the water. Finally redressed himself, he led Victor back to their rooms.
Victor sat on the sofa as Yuuri moved to the tree, his fingers playing with the ribbon of the gift he purchased. “Are you ready for our own private Christmas?”
Victor nodded. “I want to see how much you love what I got for you.”
“I already feel spoiled after the nightie and robe you brought to me. You didn’t need to do anything else,” Yuuri fussed.
“It was two different occasions and I’m at peace with my choices.”
Yuuri swallowed as he settled in the floor in front of Victor, looking up at him. “I hope...my choices please you.” He then handed Victor the box.
Victor swallowed, his hands shaking as he pulled the ribbon. He trembled as he pulled the lid off revealing a ring box. “Y-yuuri?”
The older omega took the box and opened it, revealing the two rings. “I know what I want...and I hope you’re ready to take this journey with me.”
Victor nodded, his eyes wide, his hand shaking as he held it out for Yuuri.
“I chose the alpha ring for you because you expressed to me your desire to take on that role. I support you in that but I want you to know that if you prefer to face the world as two omegas, I’d stand with you in that as well. I never want you to be anything other than your true self. It is you that I love, alpha, omega, or somewhere in between. Will you be my partner?”
Victor nodded vigorously. “Y-yes!” Yuuri slid the ring onto his hand and Victor finally pulled it up to study the design.
“It starts with a dandelion because I feel like we grew into one another. That dandelion takes flight and turns into a snowflake. I want you to know I’m here for you every season, through hard times and good times.”
“Yuuri,” he breathed, looking up at the other omega. “I don’t know what to say.”
Yuuri handed him the box, and Victor saw the smaller omega ring. Pulling it out, he whispered, “This is for you.”
“We’re partners, I want us to be seen as linked together. In the future, we’ll bond, and I’ll carry your mark with pride and love. For now, these rings serve as place holders to let everyone know that we are claimed.”
Victor swallowed, nodding. In the still of the morning, he slid the smaller ring on Yuuri, his thumb smoothing over the surface before bringing it up to his lips and kissing it. “I don’t know what more to say. You’ve expressed the moment so well.”
“Just say that you love me.”
“I do. Very much so.” He reached to his side where Yuuri had placed the other gift. “I also have this...because I wanted you to know how much you mean to me.”
Yuuri took the box, smiling at the jewelers box. “We’ve kept O’Neil in business this Christmas.”
“I hope you like it,” Victor worried.
Yuuri pulled the white ribbon and opened the lid to the box. He gasped at the contents. “Victor! This is so much!”
“I could say the same about your gift...but...I love you and I wanted to give you something beautiful.”
Yuuri freed the sapphire, diamond, and gold bracelet, handing it to Victor. “I’ve never had anything so exquisite. How could you afford this?”
Victor shrugged. “It’s not like I have much to spend my money on living here. It’s just been collecting.”
Yuuri leaned in on his knees, capturing Victor’s lips in a slow, lingering kiss. “I love all sides of you,” he whispered as their lips parted.
“I’m glad...because I think...I’m in that place in between. I don’t mind being your alpha...in fact I want to be. But I don’t think I could fully deny my omega side.” He kept his hands on Yuuri as the older omega sat back down on his knees, listening. “Maybe here...I’ll embrace that side of me and when the world comes in, I’ll lean towards the alpha side. Is that okay?”
“More than okay,” Yuuri agreed softly, his hand cupping Victor’s cheeks lovingly.
Noise filtered up the stairs and through the door, penetrating their bubble. Yuuri closed his eyes and then glanced towards the door. “I don’t think we can hide much longer. Shall we get dressed and join the world?”
VIctor agreed, following Yuuri to the bedroom where they pulled out their clothes for the day. Victor pulled on his slacks and a button up before donning a red sweater with a snowflake design design.
“Where’d you get that?” Yuuri asked with a grin even as he pulled his own clothes out of the closet.
“Chris. Gave it to me as he brought me home the other night.”
“Hmmm...I may have something that works with that.” Yuuri found a cardigan that fit slim on his body, a gray background with red reindeer on each side. He paired it with black slacks and some alpine design socks .
Victor chuckled. “I don’t have the socks but I admire your dedication.”
As they entered the living room, the residents were mostly back and lively as they weighted for Yuuri and Victor to join them. And yes, there were a number of waggling eyebrows, causing Yuuri to turn and hide in Victor’s shoulder. His hand with the ring went on Victor’s opposite shoulder, with Victor’s resting around Yuuri’s waist. That brought everyone forward, admiring the rings.
“So you both are committed to this?” Kenji asked.
Yuuri nodded. “I know it’s...untraditional.”
Several of them shrugged that off but then Georgi pointed out, “That’s an alpha ring.”
Yuuri and Victor both nodded. “The world isn’t near as kind...but it seems that those who have casual contact with us see what they want to see,” Yuuri explained quietly.
Yuuko, who was leaning against her own mate, smiled softly towards the new couple, her own girls sitting on the floor. “I suppose that our gift for the two of you makes more sense now.” She moved to the tree and pulled out a box, setting it before the two of them. “We’ve all contributed a little to this, including Sara and Emil and a few of the others that have left over the months.”
The two omegas opened the box and then Yuuri’s eyes widened as Victor gasped, his hands covering his open mouth. They carefully removed the quilt from the box and began opening it up, studying each and every block. “H-how did you know?”
There was a collective snort throughout the room. “Oh, honey,” Phichit teased. “We’ve seen how this was going to go for awhile.”
Minako knelt down and pointed out a few blocks. “These come from your mother and sister and her mate.”
“You contacted my mother?”
“I’m always keeping your mother up to date about you. You’re a terrible letter writer,” she teased, ruffling his hair. “She’s happy for you.”
“You’ve told her everything?”
Minako nodded. “I knew you would want to know but not know how to ask.”
Yuuri nodded, leaning into VIctor whose arm went around Yuuri automatically. Noticing that everyone had their eyes fixed on them, soft expressions, Victor suggested, “You should continue opening your gifts. Thank you for waiting for us.”
Then gifts were being passed around the room and paper was flying as they shared their Christmas. Phichit noticed the bracelet and came over to admire it and the ring. There were surprises that came through the mail, including a gift from Beka to Yura who felt like crying but the tears were happy at the little outfit sent for their baby. Leo picked up his guitar and started to play, joined shortly by Guang Hong. Carols were sang and then brunch was served by Celestino. Yuuri couldn’t imagine a more beautiful and warm Christmas. Victor felt full to bursting.
So the robe was closer to the color I had in mind.
Who do you think will come on board as the next nurse?
Just so we know the coming due dates for our more prominent residents (there are more but who can focus on them all?):
Guang Hong Ji Mid-January
Leo de la Iglesia First of February
Yura and Kenji First part of March
Georgi End of March
And we’ll be visiting all of those births during the next season. So make sure you subscribe to the series. :) I promise not to leave you waiting like a second season of an anime.
To be continued...season two.