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In a world where everything keeps falling apart

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Thankfully before Rick's state developed visually, they found the shelter. It was a prison.

They succeeded in wiping out the walkers in a certain area and took their own cells. Everyone was happy at the moment.

However, after a few days they found out they were not the only survivors in the prison. There were some prisoners who had been hiding in the kitchen since the outbreak.

Since both group didn't trust each other, the atmosphere was a lot tense. To make matters worse, there was an alpha named Thomas, who noticed Rick's status in an instant and sneered at him.

He didn't seem to like the fact that some omega was bossing him around. So when he agreed to move to another section under the condition of assistance, and therefore in the process of taking the area, he pushed a walker onto Rick deliberately in the middle of battle. 

So Rick got out of the walker's grasp and put an axe on his skull. 

Suddenly he felt the urge to put a hand on his own belly, but resisted it.

After that, several months passed.





Rick was sitting on the bed him and Lori shared.

It had been three months since he went out on the last run. After that all he had been allowed to do was sit inside the cell or help others' indoor chores. It had been unbearable and suffocating, but he understood it was inevitable.

Herschel said that though the due date is five weeks from now, he should be careful at any moment.

He turned his gaze from the wall and looked down at his swollen belly. 

Since he was a male body with more muscles than females and this was his first pregnancy, it was merely a small bump. But to his eyes it was enormous. Too big to hide inside clothes. Too big to pretend that he was not what he was.

Omega. The word which sounded like a curse he cannot escape from.



-You needed an alpha to take care of you.

Shane's previous words still haunted his ears.

-You were meant to come under my roof, spread your legs for me and bear my children.



The worst thing about that rape was not the rape itself, but the person who committed it. That it was Shane. Who was one of the few people Rick considered as his ally.

Every countless moment when Rick was harrassed and leered at by other alphas during the work, Shane always jumped in and beat them to death, or shouted at to go fuck themselves, not caring about the suspension.

Rick thought they were selfless acts of friendship. By those behaviors, he had given Rick the hope. That there would always be at least one person in the world, who would take Rick's side.

But now Rick knew that all of those were for nothing more than marking his territory. To declare that this omega was claimed.

In retrospect all of these signs were so much clear.

Some voices inside his head started to whisper. You should not feel betrayed, because there was no friendship from the start. He saw you as his possession, not as his equal. You were just too scared of facing the truth. Scared of being left alone.

His eyes started to sting. He desperately suppressed the urge to cry, not wanting to feel any more weaker than he already was.

He really needed to stop thinking about Shane.



Suddenly a sound of footsteps echoed through the hall, approaching to this direction. Rick jumped and hurriedly wiped off his tears.

When he turned his head to the entrance, Carl stood there in the doorway.

He was about to take a step forward, but took one look at Rick's face and stopped immediately.

"..Are you okay?" Carl's voice was hesitant, and somehow heavy.

Rick cleared his throat and answered as calmly as possible, praying that he would sound normal.

"I'm fine."

Carl didn't seem to believe the answer, but said nothing.

Feeling thankful for that, Rick tried to smooth down the emotions swirling around him moments ago.

Carl just kept standing there, not coming any closer, silently staring at his father. His expression was unreadable.

By the time Rick calmed down, Carl opened his mouth again.

"I just wanted to inform you that today's run went well. We got several ammos and also some foods. Mom will explain the details later. Also, the dinner's at seven."

After finishing the sentences, he turned around to leave.

It had been like this these days. It almost seemed like his son was reluctant to draw near to him. It was subtle and there was no sign of anger, but Rick wanted to know the reason.

"Carl, wait."

His son stopped immediately and turned to Rick.

Sometimes it felt almost foreign looking at him. Despite the shortage of nutrients, Carl had been growing up fast during those past months. 
At the age of 16, he was almost as tall as Rick, and his features became more masculine.

He hadn't represented yet, but Rick assumed it's gonna be soon. Since Alphas were mostly born under the pair of alpha and omega, and Omegas were rare births, it was certain that he would end up a Beta like his mother.

On top of those he no longer needed Rick's guidance or assistance on handling guns and going out on runs. It seemed the world gave him no choice but to grow up early. It made Rick sad but also relieved, because that at least meant his son would survive well on this world.

"You... seem a little off lately. Is everything alright?"

Rick was afraid that his son's distant behavior might be because of him. That seeing his father in this state might have caused Carl distress.

There was a momentary shift on Carl's face. But it was gone as soon as it appeared.

"Just a little tired. That's all."

It was apparent that Carl didn't want to confide in him, so Rick had to leave it alone.

He felt the earlier depression start to come back. He knew he was being emotional, but decided to blame it on the hormones.

"Okay. Have some rest."





When the night fell, Lori returned to the cell. Rick noticed a few scratches on her skin, which had been in the cycle of healing and reappearing since she started going out on the runs with others. It had been a while but Rick's heart was still wrenched witnessing them.

Lori had changed after that day of Rick's first retching. One day she asked him to teach her how to shoot, and started to join on the short runs which were not too dangerous but realistic enough to build experiences.

Now she had become a fair shot and as skillful as Maggie at knives. It seemed she and Carl replaced his previous position together. He was proud of them, but on the one hand still felt guilty. That he couldn't protect them enough.

"How are you feeling?" Asking the sentence, Lori's eyes fell on his stomach.

"Not bad."

Rick couldn't help but recall the time when Lori had Carl. How anxious and happy he felt looking at her round form.

When Carl turned two, he sometimes thought about having another child, but didn't have courage to tell Lori. The budget was tight and they were already too busy with one kid.

He still hoped one day he could discuss it with her. To have more children, listen to their giggles when he was back from work, and watch them grow up together.

How ironic his wish became true in the twisted, grotesque way.




When they got in bed, he put an arm around Lori and buried his face in her hair, praying that everything's gonna be alright.