Actions

Work Header

Got the Eye of the Tiger

Chapter Text

"Coral!" the sound of his father mispronouncing his name for the millionth time rang out in the atmosphere around the boy, making the omega shoot up from his spot on the cold hard ground. About 10 walkers were walking right up to their small camp deep in the woods, and a couple were just five feet from Carl. 

The boy quickly grabbed his gun and shot at the heads of the ones closest to him, his silencer making good work of keeping the sound from drawing walkers from all directions. The rest of the group was grabbing anything of importance and value while Carl continued to shoot at the walkers that were too close for comfort. It was amazing; a few years ago it took Carl two hours to become fully awake, and now here he was shooting walkers with dead on accuracy, having just woken up from a very deep sleep less than 20 seconds ago.

"Carl, lets go!" Michonne hollered at him from a few feet behind, important luggage in one hand and sword in the other. Carl shot the Walker that somehow was able to make it within a five foot range of him before turning on his heals and running with the rest of the group. 

Things had been like this since the apocalypse started. It started out differently though; when it first started, his father had recently gotten shot by another alpha that was trying to kidnap an omega, so he was stuck in a hospital bed and presumed dead when the apocalypse hit. When the walkers started chewing on everyone and turning them into the undead, his mother packed up their suitcases and they both went to go find Shane, they ended up in the city after that. They were promised a safe haven with shelter, food, and medicine, but all they found was more rot and ruin. After a happy ending to the beginning of the apocalypse where Rick was reunited with his wife and son, Rick was appointed group leader, since he was the strongest and smartest out of all of them.

His mother was a beta, and his father was an alpha, and Carl presented as an omega shortly after he turned 11. Sounds young, but in the old days before society became more advanced with school, government, and technology, omegas were given and married off to Alphas after they presented as an omega no matter how young they were. Because they could make babies as soon as they hit their first heat, and thats what powerful alphas wanted. Back then, omegas were like slaves, they had no rights and would often be punished if they refused to have sex with their husbands. It used to be completely legal to rape an omega as long as they were their alpha's property. It was only considered assault if an alpha was attacking an omega that did not exclusively, and legally, belong to them.

Omegas were considered weak, and for a good reason. Omegas were not known to ever overpower an alpha, or even a beta. They were seen as pathetic bodies that weren't capable of gaining muscle mass or an excessive amount of weight, they couldn't even speak over the voice of an alpha when they were talking because their biology made them insecure and timid.

Luckily for Carl's time as a young child, he grew up in a time period where marrying off freshly presented omegas was very illegal, and not only considered child abuse but also sex trafficking. Any family that tried to sell their omega child was given a sentence of 30 years in prison, and they wouldn't even be given a trial, they would just go straight to jail. If an alpha were to ever rape an omega, they would be given 20 years in prison and they would have to be monitored by a specialist in omega protective services for the rest of their life. They would never again have any privacy, and they would have a restraining order to any and every omega within a mile radius to them. Meaning they would often have to find themselves living in a special placement home offered by the government, or live out in the country where almost no omegas lived.

Carl was lucky to have grown up in a time where parents loved and respected their children enough to protect them from Alpha's that meant them harm. His father had always been very protective of him, sometimes even over protective. Even before Carl presented as an omega, his father would never let him sleep over in houses with alpha's, or with friends who had an alpha for a parent. His mother was protective too, and she would never let Carl walk to school by himself, nor would she ever let him stay after school with a teacher who was an alpha for tutoring. 

Carl had always thought his parents were over bearing, annoying, and often embarrassing.

That is until one summer when Carl had just turned 11 and woke up at 3 am one morning feeling very ill, and then the pain hit. His father had smelled his scent immediately, but was unaffected by it's naturally hypnotic odor due to the fact that he was blood related to Carl. Shane however, was not. Shane was Carl's godfather, who had been his fathers best friend since high school. He had been spending the night the morning that Carl started his first heat, and was instinctually drawn to the room for reasons other than the painful screams and whimpers that Carl couldn't hold back.

His father had quickly wrestled his 15 year best friend, and partner in the police force, to the ground of Carls bedroom just before he violently threw him out of the house. His mother had gone to Carl's side as soon as they both entered the room to protect him, gently shushing his pained wines with soft and comforting words. She had told him everything was going to be okay, that it was normal to feel pain, and it would pass after some time.

Those were the worst 4 days of his life. After that however, his heats were never as painful. Every now and then he would have a particularly painful heat after a long and stressful six months, but more often than not, the pain that comes from his heat would be relatively tolerable. 

Suppressants were used to shield an omega's scent until it was more like a soft cologne, rather than a powerful odor that could knock out any alpha around them. They couldn't hide the scent completely, so all that would be left was a barely there smell that was socially classified as "just smelling good," instead of the old "tramp stamp" that the smell used to represent back before omega rights went to court. Carl took them every day after his first heat, his mother had gone to the drug store just a few hours after that first morning to get them. Alpha's could still smell him 30 feet away if they really tried, but more or less the scent would be soft and only noticeable to those standing within a couple feet away.

Nowadays though, Carl was forced to OD on suppressants every day. It wasn't enough to mask his scent with just the recommended dosage, that much was clear if what happened last year was anything to go by. 

Omega's were now very rare, since they were biologically too weak to survive in the world as it is now, which was full of the dead and corrupted by survival. They would either be eaten due to not being strong enough to fight off the walkers, or they would often be raped and left for dead.

Carl almost learned the hard way what that was like.

Last year after they were forced out of a prison that they were using for shelter and sanctuary, their group got separated. It wasn't so bad at first, a walker here, a thuggish survivor there, and there may have been some emotional instability towards his father on Carl's part for a bit, but it more or less wasn't so bad.

And then the claimers stumbled upon them, drawn in by a scent that they had been craving to smell since the last omega they raped and murdered.

There had been at least six of them that Carl remembered, and with their guns they overpowered their small group in seconds. Michonne had been with them at the time, and Daryl was apparently traveling with the claimers, unknowing to their demonic and inhumane ways. The leader was able to beat Carl's father up while another one kept Michonne at gun point. Daryl was in the middle of getting beaten to death by three of their men when Carl was forced out of where he was hiding in the backseat of their trunk.

A fat man was the one who apparently had first dibs on him, because as soon as he was dragged out of the truck he was forced to the ground where the fat smelly man climbed on top of him. Carl could still remember every second that he tried to fight against that man. He still remembered the weight of 200 lbs on his lower half, the sadistic smirk and laugh, the rotted ugly teeth, and the putrid smell of armpit. He remembered feeling helpless, and like every other omega that was forced to the ground on the daily by thirsty alphas. He thought that was it, that he would finally be treated like every other omega that was unlucky enough to cross paths with the wrong alpha. He was scared terrified, couldn't stop screaming, and was nearly brought to tears purely from panic.

His father had gotten to him in time, and Carl would never forget the image of his dad biting the leader of the claimer's throat out. Nor would he ever be able to escape the memory of his father slashing his almost rapist from his gut to his heart while watching the life leave his terrified eyes. The man had begged for his life, but his father was merciless to anyone who dared touch Carl. 

Carl knew now how far his father would go to protect him. It was scary actually, how protective his father could be, and how angry he could get at anyone who tried to touch his son. But it was also very comforting, that his dad would do anything to protect him, would always be there to save him. Always had, and always would. 

If only the omega's that had suffered every day had a father like Carl's, then maybe they wouldn't be nearly extinct.

Back before the apocalypse, omega's weren't supposed to take more than the recommended dosage of suppressants, or they might suffer horrible side effects.  It can cause them to go sterile, slip into depression, cause uncontrollable mood swings, and often force them to demonstrate physical aggression. It would also force them to endure stronger, longer, and more painful heats due to them being suppressed for more than the normal 6 month cycle. This would often cause death due to the heat being so painful that they slip into a coma where the body would shut down after a few weeks from exhaustion.

Which was why Carl had only started taking more than the recommended dose after that one night when the claimers almost took advantage of him. It took three times the recommended dosage before his scent was almost completely masked. Unfortunately the suppressants couldn't conceal his unnaturally powerful scent without Carl being fatally overdosed from medication, so Rick would have to scent him by dressing him in his clothes until all that he could smell was his own alpha scent.

Stupid hormones. Carl hated how inconvenient they were. The more stressed out he was, then the stronger his scent, and since Carl was an omega living in a world of the undead where people had to kill other people in order to survive, and one bullet would often mean the difference between life or death, he was very very stressed out. 

It had been almost over a year and a half since his last heat.

His father would often tease Carl about it when the mood was light and they were feeling particularly happy for no reason at all other than the fact they hadn't had trouble for more than a few hours. Carl would always blush and hiss angrily at his father to shut up about his second gender, but everyone else in the group would chuckle at the expense of a little of Carls dignity. They all loved him and did it lightly though, and Carl knew that. 

He was the only Omega in their group of 13 people, everyone else was either an alpha or a beta. They hadn't seen another omega in a couple years now, but nobody brought up the implications unless they were trying to get it through Carl's thick skull that sometimes the boy would need their protection.

Their group consisted of Maggie and Glenn, who were happily married and both beta's. Then there was also Carl, of course, his father Rick and his mother Lori, and also his little sister Judith. There was Daryl, who was an alpha and their designated hunter and tracker. Shane was still around protecting everyone as second in command of their group right below Rick, and they also had just met Michonne, Tara, Rosita, Abraham, and Eugene. Tara and Eugene were beta's and the other three were alphas. Female alphas were supposed to be rare as well, but here they were with 2 in the group, how funny. They sure were an exotic little family.

After running in the woods for a few minutes, his group finally made it back to the road, panting and out of breath. They each grabbed their water bottles and took a few controlled drinks, that was all they would be able to drink until afternoon.

Carl was disgustingly out of breath, and he resisted the urge to bend over and put his head between his knees. He refused to show weakness, he would not be a liability, he would not allow his biology to make him the weak link in the group. He would stand up tall with his chin up and his chest out, and catch his breath like every other person in his group.

They started walking on their continued rout towards Washington after a minute of catching their breath. The silence was only disturbed by the occasional walker, or a not so quiet coo from a certain 2 year old that was being passed around from person to person every half hour. Until Rick walked up beside Carl and handed the 16 year old his suppressants.

Carl looked down at the 3 blue capsules with disinterest, he hated those things with a burning passion, but he knew he needed to take them. Sometimes he would instinctually struggle against taking the pills because of his biology not liking the fact that his heat was being forcibly suppressed, it wasn't behavior Carl could control if he was overly stressed, depressed, and/or tired. Times like that, his father would have to order someone to hold Carl down while he forced him to swallow the pills. They couldn't risk any alpha smelling him, nor could they risk his heat coming on at this point. 

It had been too long since Carl had his heat, he had already skipped at least 2 already, and who knows what would happen if he didn't take his pills one day and his heat came along. They doubted he would die, though he would go through hell, but they couldn't risk attracting every alpha within a 20 mile radius. Omega heats were so powerful that the only way an alpha can resist is if they are forcibly removed from the viscidity, or are unconscious. And that's just normal heats, they couldn't imagine how powerful Carl's heat would be after going through the rollercoaster of emotion, and mood swings, and suppressed biology for so long. His scent was already abnormally potent as it was.

Due to the fact that Omega's were practically extinct now, suppressants weren't hard to find, which was very lucky for Carl.

He took the pills from his father's hands and swallowed them down with a little bit of his water.

His mother rubbed his shoulders affectionately as he put his water bottle away again. She couldn't imagine what Carl's body was going through, she could only offer as much comfort as she could, knowing that was what Carl's biology craved. Omegas couldn't handle life without comfort, or compassion, or without being loved by at least one person in the world. They would slip into a depression after a while and die. It was just how their bodies worked, it was unavoidable.

His mother always worried about him due to that fact, and she tried to protect him from that by showering him in affection and telling him she loved him every time they spoke. She even scolded his father when the man doesn't give him enough attention. However attention was not Carl's main concern and though he instinctually loved the affection his mother gave him, he hated how overbearing she could be. They lived in a world where they had to kill to live, to scavenge for even a little bit of food, they had to keep one eye opened while they slept for fear of someone attacking them, or for fear of the undead sneaking up on them. They lived in a world were it was survival of the fittest, dog eat dog. Carl's first priority was survival, staying alive, keeping the group safe, and to just keep on keeping on. He couldn't care less if his father forgot to hug him a few times.

But a mother was a mother, and Carl knew he and his sister took priority over all those things in Lori's eyes.

"We have about 50 more miles to go," Shane said as he glanced down at the map, "We should be there in the next couple weeks."

"We need to stop at the next town," Rick responded lightly, "Gather some supplies." Shane knew what he was talking about. He was just as protective of Carl as Rick and Lori, and would also keep track of how many represents Carl had left. None of them would allow his supply to fall below 2 bottles, and at the moment he was down to 2 and a half. He needed to take 3 every day and there was no telling what kind of obstacles they could possibly come across.

Carl hated that he forced his family to go through such stress, and that would often trigger the depression that constantly tried to over take him. He knew it was just his biology though, and did everything he could to ignore the temptation to think about things like how much of a liability he was to the barely surviving group.

Shane nodded, "Yes, I'm aware. The next town is just a couple miles up, I'm sure we can find some stores there with food and water." The group was hopeful, and Shane's optimistic attitude was motivation enough to keep everyone walking at a constant pace.

They all kept their guns on them as they walked, the people on the outer edge of their formation watching the woods around them for any trouble.

Carl dreamed of a safe place to live, a place where they would be separated from the rest of the world, where they could raise Judith and go to bed every night without having to keep watch. A safe place where Carl could have his heat and release the built up tension. He needed to have his heat some times soon or it would be too late. He was sure his father and the others knew that. He could tell by the way his father twitched and flinched every time he caught sight of his son, as if the he was painfully aware of the danger his son was slipping into every day that went by and was starting to get rather desperate for an answer to the problem.

And then one day they were presented with an answer.

It started out just after they went through the town and gathered all the supplies they could, restocking on suppressants and gathering all the snacks they could find.

Unfortunately that only consisted of a few granola bars and an expired bag of twizzlers. There was no water anywhere to be seen which caused the group to become very anxious. They all only had what was left of their personal water bottles and the few snacks that they had left.

That is until about an hour after walking from the town they came across at least 30 sealed water bottles right in the middle of the road.

Totally not suspicious at all. Nope.

They refused to drink it for fear that they were drugged, poisoned, or contaminated by something. They didn't know who put them there, or why, and they weren't willing to allow themselves to fall in a trap. So they left the water where it was despite their desire to drink till their mouths didn't remember what dry was, and started camp in the woods a few miles away from the pile. It was a barn that looked safe enough, and had walls and a roof to protect them from the storm that hit. They locked the barn doors and settled in for the night with Daryl on guard duty.

Carl always had to sleep very close to his father, who was still afraid that the alphas in the group might try to hurt him, but Carl didn't mind. His teenage brain told him he should be embarrassed by this, but his Omega wanted nothing more than to be surrounded by people that loved him. He felt like a child in need of a teddy bear as he held Judith in his arms and laid down between his mother and father, but he didn't care. His parents comforted the omega in him and soothed the nerves that came with the over dosage of the suppressants, and that was all that mattered to him.

He was sleeping fine that night until he was awoken by the sound of loud, hungry moans. Judith was crying in his arms were they both lay in the hey stack, and the storm was still going strong. The thunder was loud but even in the darkness he could see the entire group attempting to keep the doors of the barn closed. They appeared to be struggling to keep it closed and in a panic that Carl didn't know he could feel, he put Judith down next to him and ran over to help them all hold it closed. He knew if the walkers made it inside, they were all dead. There had to be at least 50 of them outside and there was no way they would be able to kill them all without someone dying.

He wasn't sure how they were able to keep up the stamina to keep the doors of the barn closed, but by early morning the walkers had lost interest and had wondered off in search of an easier meal. Only a few people were able to sleep again that night.

It was the next day during Daryl's hunt for food when they come across a stranger.

Daryl had cornered him against a tree with his crossbow aimed, and ready to fire, as Rick ran up to them. The man was about 30 and had raised his hands in surrender, telling them he meant no harm. But the man blew his cover and revealed that he knew about the group, so Rick and Daryl forced him to return to the barn with them.

Shane and Lori were obviously upset that Rick made the call to take the stranger back to the rest of the group where Carl and Judith were, but Rick assured them that they weren't in any danger.

They held the stranger at gun point as they interrogated him about why he had been fallowing them, where he came from, who he was with, all those good questions. Judith started winning at the tense atmosphere that the interrogation and the stress from the group members created, and Carl started rocking her to keep her from crying. They couldn't risk any walkers close by hearing her.

Carl shushed her as best as he could, but he knew that she was hungry and upset, and she was going to start screaming soon.

Then the stranger pointed to his bag, saying he had baby food in it.

Quickly and with curiosity, Rick opened the man's pack and not only checked for weapons, but also the food that he apparently had.

The pack was loaded with food and water, which Rick confiscated just before he pulled out the jar of what looked like apple sauce.

After forcing the stranger to take the first bite to make sure it wasn't poisoned, and after the stranger pleaded with him to believe that he would never hurt an innocent child, Rick felt it was safe to give it to Carl to feed Judith. They were all relieved when she enjoyed the food and stayed quiet.

"I have a sanctuary, called Alexandria." The stranger said when they were all free from the danger of Judith attracting walkers, "we have food, supplies, water, houses and walls. Look in the side pocket of my bag," the stranger seemed very nervous to be under the intimidating glares of 6 alphas with very deadly looking weapons all aimed at him. Rick did as the man said in curiosity and opened the side pocket, pulling out the many photos that were stored in there. They were all of the giant steel walls that protected Alexandria.

"Sorry about the quality, it's really hard to find a good camera nowadays." The stranger said, it was almost amusing to see an alpha so afraid of the people around him. If Carl wasn't so suspicious about the turn of events, he would have been able to laugh at the man's pale face. "Nobody is getting through those walls, your family would be safe there."

Rick examined the photos but didn't release the stranger from his intimidating alpha glare as he contemplated the man's proposal.

But Carl was shocked when his father refused the help.

Everyone's eyes widened when their leader turned the offer down, and they were quick to argue with Rick.

"Rick," Shane said, "My man, you know I'm with you." The man rubbed his bald head, "But we should at least check this place out, see what's going on there."

"Rick, think of your son," Lori said angrily, aware that her husband was very stubborn, "He can't last much longer on those pills."

"If anything, we can go just to raid their pantry." Daryl suggested.

Rick was still skeptical, after everything they went through in Woodbury, and in Terminus, he couldn't imagine just walking up to the front door of a strange new town.

"Well if there rises a problem," Maggie said, "you could always burn the place down like every other place we've run across. Your really good at that."

Rick looked at Maggie, obviously about to argue that he doesn't set every place on fire, but he just laughed softly when reality hit him.

He looked at his son where he sat in the hey feeding his sister, knowing they wouldn't last much longer at this rate.

And that's how they ended up at the front door of Alexandria.

Rick gave Carl a sniff before humming to himself and removing his shirt, handing it to his son. "Put this on, we don't know these people." His dad had nothing else on other than a plain white undershirt now, and the soft bite of oncoming winter made Carl feel bad, but he did as he was told and slipped it on. His Dad gave him another whiff and nodded while his mother put an arm around his shoulders just as the doors to the town opened.

They were greeted by an old lady, and by the way she smelled, they knew she was a beta. Her red hair was straight and ran passed her shoulders, but her smile was the prettiest thing about her. She looked kind enough as she walked right up to the group and shook their hands, introducing herself as the President of the town.

Her son walked up behind her and offered them all a just as welcoming smile. He had clean shiny teeth and was obviously an alpha, but he made no move to assert dominance over anyone.

"Hello, my name's Spencer." He said introducing himself, "Welcome to Alexandria, we have already prepared two houses for you, and I would be happy to personally escort you to them." He waved his hand for then to fallow, but Rick stopped him.

"Hold on," he said, his voice gruff, and his beard making him look a hell of a lot more intimidating, "we want to look around first."

Spencer looked slightly taken aback at the distrust that Rick showed, and everyone in the group wondered how long he had been safe behind the walls. But Spencer nodded, obliging to their request for a tour.

His father purposely kept Carl in the center of their group formation as they walked along the streets of Alexandria, taking in the sights. There were families taking their children for walks and older kids were playing and having fun together around every corner.

It took a good amount of stalking the place before Rick was satisfied that there weren't any hidden bear traps and allowed them all to be escorted to their houses.

One house ended up housing 7 of their 13 people, including the Grimes family plus Shane, Maggie, and Glenn. Everyone else stayed in the second house, and they each had their own beds, but they did have to discuss who would be sleeping in the same room with who.

They were all able to take showers, and no matter how suspicious they were of the town, they couldn't help but feel like they were in heaven when the hot water came out of the shower heads.

It took them weeks before they felt safe enough to stop assigning people to watch duty every night. And a few more weeks before the Grimes family was comfortable enough to take Carl off the pills.

All Alphas had been forced to vacate the premises and stay in a temporary house on the farthest end of the town. The president was shocked when Rick told her that his son was an omega, but she promised him she would take every measure available to help protect the boy through the heat cycle, and that's what she did. Rick was grateful that she was so understanding to their predicament, acknowledging the heavy fact that Carl had been on an overdose of suppressants for a year now. She had been amazed alone by the fact that an omega had survived all this time, and even more amazed that he was still alive after going so long on 3x the recommended dosage. She vowed that they wouldn't come across any trouble while taking care if their son when they took him off the pills.

Carl had been beyond afraid to stop taking the pills, he knew he was really in for it now. Everyone in their group, besides his father, who was a beta stayed in the house with Carl for the week and a half that he went through his first heat in over 36 months. They protected the house from any alpha that had the bravery to step foot anywhere near their house, and took turns trying to comfort the omega in the boy.

Carl had slipped in and out of consciousness for the entire 10 days that he was in heat, and the only thing he could remember from the ordeal was screaming from how bad it hurt. He remembered the pain, oh boy the pain, it had been worse than he had even imagined. He honestly thought he was going to die just from the pain. Every time he fell asleep, his father would wake him up after a few hours to make sure he didn't slip into a coma. A full 36 months of stress, anger, depression, and suppressed gender biology came pouring out of him in those ten days and made his life a living hell.

It was an agonizing experience that he was happy to be rid of the morning he woke up with a significantly less amount of pain. Just a day after that, all the alphas were able to go back to their original homes and the alphas in their group were able to come back.

Carl was then put on the normal dosage an omega is supposed to take and his emotional state went back to normal. It was refreshing to not feel an overload of anger, and to have a more consistent mood. He no longer felt a heavy pressure in his chest trying to get out, and he no longer had to worry about hiding his scent too much.

It was over. His heat was over with, and they were all safe from it for at least another 6 months.

But that doesn't mean he was free from omega discrimination though.

There was only about 3 other kids his age around Alexandria and 2 of them were alphas. They hadn't seen an omega in years, and boys being teenage alpha boys, they had asked Carl if he wanted to mess around with them.

Obviously Carl had violently refused, telling them to fuck off and punching one of them in the face when they tried to grab him. After that though, they treated him badly, not taking rejection well. They were horny teenage boys who wanted to play with the opposite gender, and the only girl in town that wasn't a small child or an ugly old woman was Enid. A beta that refused to talk to anyone.

Carl paid them no attention, and stayed careful not to be alone anywhere that they could be, instead staying with his mother and sister when everyone else in the house was on a supply run.

Life proceeded softly from then on, or at least as soft as the apocalypse would allow, and they eventually warmed up to their new home, feeling very safe in it.

Carl even started going to class with some of the tutors that had survived, relearning math and practicing his English. His father said it was important that he get an edgucation so that when the apocalypse blows over, if it blows over, he can start his life the way he should have.

Shane even started teaching him how to fight, saying that he needed to know more than just how to shoot a gun. Carl was an excellent shot, but everyone knew he was still very weak physically.

Carl was once again angry at his second gender. There is always an obstacle. Omegas were physically incapable of gaining too much muscle mass, or even too much weight. Once they hit a certain weight, they stopped gaining, and they couldn't get any stronger than their biology would allow them. So Carl would never be stronger than any alpha, not even a beta. It just wasn't in his genes and it was hopeless to try.

So Shane had to teach him how to fight without muscle, teaching him pressure points, defense, and strategy.

"A man can be stronger and bigger than you, but if you are smarter than them, you can get away." His godfather instructed just before he taught Carl how to get out of an attackers grip if they were to grab his arm. It was so basic and yet Carl had to practice it a few times before he was able to get out of Shane's almost painful grip on his wrist.

After a long few months of training with Shane in the safety of Alexandria, he was able to get out of most of Shane's attacks. He was even able to spar with him and win a couple times.

But it wasn't for a few weeks after he perfected it with Shane, did these techniques come in handy.

His father, Shane, and most of the people in the house were out on a supply run, and against his mother's better judgement she took Judith and left Carl alone in the house to visit a new friend that she made. They had felt safe in their home for a long time now, and Lori was comfortable enough with the community to leave Carl alone for a few hours.

But apparently someone in the community couldn't handle the trust given to them.

Ron, the son of the friend his mom went to visit, snuck into the house just an hour after Lori left.

He was one of the teenagers that had been bullying him for the months that Carl had been there, and the one that Carl had to strike in order to get away from his advances that time when he made Carl an offer for sex.

Carl didn't notice him in the house, and at the time he had been in the kitchen trying to make himself a sandwich when Ron grabbed him from behind and shoved him face first into the fridge.

Carl had screamed and thrashed, all the defense techniques that Shane taught him flew from his mind for a moment and he forgot what he had been taught. It was so different than sparring with Shane. This was real. This was a real attacker that was unbuckling his belt and trying to get his pants down.

The omega in him had wanted to submit to the alpha, and Carl couldn't stop screaming for help. He knew that there was no one in the house to protect him, and he was literally about to get raped if he didn't help himself. It was that realization that forced the defenses that Shane taught him to suddenly rush back to the front of his brain. 

He shoved his hips backward with all the energy he could muster, forcing Ron to take a step back and creating just enough space for him to get out of the alphas grasp. Carl ran, but he hadn't even made it to the front door when Ron grabbed him by the shoulders, but this time Carl didn't hesitate. He swung his left arm up and over Ron's outreached arms, breaking the hold he had on his slim shoulders, and then used the leverage to elbow the other kid in the face. Just like Shane taught him.

He ran out of the house with a very angry alpha running after him until he caught sight of Abraham. Carl ran up to him in relief and told the redheaded Alpha what was going on.

All Abraham had to do was turn around and glare at the teen that pursued Carl and the kid stopped in horror, his nose bleeding profusely down his pale face. Ron tried to run away and pretend the event never happened, but Abraham grabbed him by the back of his shirt and walked him to his mother's house.

Ron's mother Jessie, a gorgeous looking blond woman, and Lori both shot up from their spots sipping tea and eating cookies with Judith when Abraham walked in the door with Ron firmly gripped in his hand. Carl fallowed in shyly behind the redheaded Alpha and looked at his mother's worried and horrified face.

"This kid was trying to attack Carl." Abraham sealed Ron's fate.

"What?!" Jessie yelled angrily at her son. Abraham shoved Ron forward and Jessie hissed at the older man angrily. Her son may be in trouble, but that didn't mean she would allow him to shove her son around like that. Her eyes were drawn to the boys bloody nose and she looked up at Abraham accusingly.

"Don't look at me like that, he was like that already." Abraham said as Lori ran up to her son to check him over.

"Sorry, that was me," Carl apologized to Jessie, "had to get away, you know?"

Jessie couldn't be mad at Carl; no kidding he would defend himself. She turned her angry eyes on Ron and started yelling at him to go to his room and that she would talk to him later.

"I'm so sorry, Carl." She said hugging the boy in apology when Ron went upstairs. "I had no idea he was capable of that, I'll keep him far away from you from now on," she promised as Lori thanked Abraham for helping. The man nodded and left.

Lori looked at her son in concern and shock. "Tell us what happened." She said, knowing it was important for both parents to hear the story before anything else happened.

Carl explained. Telling them that he was alone in the house making a sandwich when Ron snuck up from behind and attacked him. He apologized again to Jessie for busting Ron's nose, not because he regretted doing it, but because he actually liked Jessie and didn't want her to hate him for making Ron bleed.

She assured him it was fine and if the story was true then Ron had it coming and deserved it.

Lori hugged her son again, proud and relieved that he was okay. "Wait until your father hears about this." It was shocking, horrifying, and liberating to hear about her omega son fighting off an alpha that meant him harm. She couldn't imagine what she would have done if Carl hadn't been able to get away, she knew that she wouldn't have returned for at least another hour or two, and her husband wasn't due back until later. How would things have turned out if Shane hadn't taught Carl those moves? She was afraid to think about the answer, but the conclusion jumped to the front of her head anyway. Images of going home to a broken and bloody body laying unconscious on her kitchen floor flashed across her mind and she couldn't help but hug Carl closer.

Carl huffed, knowing he would never be left alone again.

His father was angry at Ron to say the least. But Jessie begged him to let this one go, telling him that there was no excuse for what Ron tried to do, but what else could they expect.

"Rick please, he's only a boy and he doesn't remember how to control himself around omegas." She pleaded for forgiveness on Ron's behave. She didn't want the Grimes family to press charges on her boy, nor did she want them to have any hostility and possibly attack him in the future. 

A few hours after she had a talk with Rick about Ron's behavior, she brought her son over to their house.

Rick answered the door and growled when he caught sight of Ron standing a few feet behind Jessie.

The woman greeted him carefully. "Hi, I believe my son has something to say to Carl about how he acted this afternoon." Her tone was stiff and motherly, and if Ron's expression was anything to go by, Jessie had given him a good talking to.

Rick decided that the number of Alphas and betas currently in the house was enough to protect Carl from a teenager, and agreed to allow Ron to apologize.

"Carl!" He called into the house, "Come here for a minute." He turned back to the blond and her son and nodded for them to come inside. They did and soon the hall was packed with the Grimes family- minus Judith- and Shane.

Ron looked up at Carl and glared.

Shane whistled loudly in appreciation at the sight of a giant purple and blue bruise on Ron's nose, he had already been filled in to what happened and was containing his own anger, "Damn Carl, you got him good." Shane praised proudly.

Jessie smacked her son in the back of the head when he didn't immediately start talking.

Ron's eyes rolled but then he made eye contact with Carl, "I'm sorry, Carl. What I tried to do was horrible, immature, and ill judged. I hope you can forgive me." Short and sweet, his mother nodded in satisfaction.

Carl expected to feel fear when he saw Ron's face, but he wasn't scared at all, and he was unsure why. He nodded when he realised they were all waiting to see how he would respond, "Yeah, okay." Was all he said.

Jessie nodded again and grabbed the back of her son's shirt, escorting him out the door to leave.

Rick stopped them though.

"Hey kid," he said.

Ron turned around and looked up at the very tall, very strong, and very intimidating alpha in slight fear as he caught sight of the pure anger in the man's eyes.

"How old are you?" Rick asked.

"Rick?" Jessie started to ask, but Rick put a hand out to assure her he wasn't going to hurt her son. She stayed put in respect, trusting Rick wasn't going to touch him.

"16." Ron said tentatively, suddenly aware that his mother wasn't going to get him out of this talk.

Rick nodded. "You know back before the apocalypse, people your age who committed crimes like the one you tried to commit were treated like adults in the eyes of the government police force, and were given the same treatment in prison. Do you wanna know what happened to the last creep who tried to touch my boy?"

Ron slowly shook his head no, fear creeping up heavy in his throat. Maybe attacking Carl wasn't such a good idea...

"I bit his fucking throat out." Rick said in Ron's face. "I cut him deep from his gut all the way up to his heart. I watched the life leave his eyes, with pleasure, as I stabbed him in the chest repeatedly."

Ron looked horrified as Rick continued. Jessie stared at Rick with a new found perspective as he threatened her son.

"So I'm going to tell you now." Rick's tone was gentle, but Ron knew he was putting a large amount of rage in his words. "I will treat you like an adult, and I will not hesitate to fucking kill you if you go near my son again. I don't care how young or old you are." With that, Rick walked back into the house and shut the door.

Jessie was old enough and wise enough to see that while on the road before they met Alexandria, Rick had seen and done a lot of things. Had killed people. Had watched people die. And was very capable of killing again.

Purely out of fear, she grabbed hold of Ron's arm and pulled him down the street to their house.

Ron had pissed himself.

Chapter Text

It was really strange how fast things could change in such a short period of time.

Carl kneeled on the ground, his palms on his knees, and his mouth slightly open to allow his breath to flow in and out at the pace it needed to be at to keep up with his breathing. He was panting slightly as he looked around himself, the only eye he had was hooded by his long bangs and no one around him could really see it clearly.

His father was sitting in a similar position a few bodies to his right, looking around himself similar to how everyone else in the group was. They were surrounded by the people who called themselves the saviors, each of them had machine guns and riffles in their hands and had already confiscated the groups weapons. None of them could believe that their asses had been thoroughly whooped in such a short amount of time, but here they were now in a line, on their knees, in front of a trailer like they were waiting to see a king.

Carl could smell the amount of Alphas surrounding him, and he was afraid to make eye contact with any of them. He knew he reeked of omega; he had only taken 1 pill today, and with the new events that were happening, Carl was stressing the fuck out. 

He could smell one alpha, though he couldn't see them, but boy did it smell strong. He was terrified when he realized that it smelled stronger than even his father, and his dad was the strongest alpha he had ever met. Carl wasn't ready to meet a stronger one, especially not under these circumstances, with at least four guns pointed at his head and ready to fire at any sudden movement. 

He was just glad that his mother and Judith were back at Alexandria, boy would his mother be worried sick sitting here under the tense stares of at least a dozen other alphas. There were too many different scents for Carl to be completely sure how many there were exactly.

He sat next to Eugene at the moment, and beside him was Michonne and then his father. That's about as far as he knew the line that they were in, the lack of a right eye kept him from being able to glance over and check.

The door to the trailer swung opened, and Carl's head raised just enough to get a good look at who it was, knowing it was the strong alpha he smelled. Carl knew, as soon as he saw the confidant stride and the smug smirk on the alphas face, that this man would be big trouble for them. He knew this must be the guy, Negan, that they had been hearing about, this guy was too strong and too cocky to be anyone else. He was handsome, sure, at least on the outside and for someone who had to be in their 40's at least.

"Oh boy," Negan said as he looked across them, fallowing the line of people that kneeled under the armed gazes of his men. "Are we pissing our pants yet?" The alpha swung a very threatening looking bat around him as he strode up to the line. He didn't seem to notice the way Carl smelled, and if he did, he made absolutely no indication, hadn't even really looked at him yet.

His father stayed very quiet, but Carl knew that he was more angry than when Terminus turned out to be a trap. Everyone could smell just how angry he was, and though it caused the people from Alexandria to shiver in memory of his wrath, none of the saviors seemed to be affected.

Carl was dangerously sticking out right at the end of the line, and every alpha in the group wanted nothing more than to grab the boy and huddle around him, protecting him from the lustful eyes of the alphas that stared at him. They were being forced to hold still though, because with the barrel of a gun pointed right between their eyes, any sudden movement could mean immediate death.

"Which one of you pricks is the leader?" The guy with the bat asked, his voice deep and gruff and leaking the dominance that overpowered every person currently present. His heavy footsteps were loud, and his boots left behind large prints in the dirt as he walked up to Rick and smiled with triumph. "It's you isn't it?" He pointed down at Carl's father with the end of his bat, the thing covered in barbed wire and looking stronger and harder than rock. "It is, I can smell it on you."

Megan squatted down in front of Rick so he was at eye level with the man, still grinning at him like a sane lunitic as if the ex police man was insignificant compared to his own power. He seemed to be day dreaming about squashing Rick like the bug he thought he was. "I'm Negan."

Carl finally looked up and around him at the people aiming guns at him. There were at least 4 people that he could see, without turning his head too much, that were staring at him. He winced at the hunger in their eyes and put his head back down, wishing he hadn't looked up.

"Rick, I do not appreciate you killing my men." Negan said after saying hi to Rick, "Also when I sent my people to kill your people for killing my people," he pointed an accusing finger at the alpha leader kneeling before him, "you killed more of my people. Not cool. Not cool. You have no idea how not cool that shit is, but I think you'll be up to speed shortly." The alpha stood up, and the smile left his face and was replaced by one of anger, "You are so going to regret crossing me in a few minutes." He licked his lips as if he was plotting on the spot against Rick and was having fun doing so.

"Today is career day, and the new policy is so simple even a dumbass like you, Rick, will understand; give me your shit or I will kill you." Negan smiled sweetly as if he was talking about a lesson plan in an elementary school. "You have shit? You give it to me, that is your job." The alpha was so confidant, as if the possibility that he was putting his own foot in his ass was non existent. 

Anger was radiating off of Ricks frame along with a slight bit of fear. Everyone in the group was anxiously waiting for the opportunity to fight and get their weapons back. The didn't know what Rick was going to do, they had absolutely no room to try to plot something, they were all just sitting ducks waiting to find out what the leader of the Saviors had in mind.

"This might be a great big nasty pill to swallow," Negan continued, "but swallow it, you most certainly will." The alpha walked around some more and for a moment, they were all hitting a peak of fear when he walked closer to Carl. "You are not safe." He confirmed the obvious.

Carl looked up slowly when those heavy boots stopped in front of him. Negan wasn't looking at him but at his father, "This your kid?" he asked while pointing the bat to Carl's head.

"You leave him be." It was the first thing that Rick had spoken to Negan, and Carl could hear every ounce of anger that the man felt in his voice. Carl shivered, flashbacks of the claimers slipping across his mind. His father was practically growling at the stronger alpha.

But the stronger alpha just chuckled, amused. "This is definitely your kid." Carl looked back down at the ground before Negan could see his face, but his attempt to avoid eye contact was demolished when the man squatted down in front of him and grabbed his chin. Carl hissed and his father growled loud when Negan forced his face up to look at him.

Carl's only eye widened when his blue eye met twin hazel ones. Time froze and Carl knew coming on this trip to get Maggie to hilltop was the worst fucking mistake of his life. He could feel his entire body tingling and he knew that this man would definitely be the death of him. He couldn't breath, all thought escaped his brain, his palms got sweatier than already they were, and there was a cold heavy rock making a home in his throat. Carl hated his second gender, and everything that had to do with it. His biology sucked worse than not showering for over a year.

His blue eye narrowed in anger and he jerked his face to the side, breaking Negan's hold on his chin in complete outrage, but the older man wasn't having it and he grabbed his face more forcefully. Carls mouth was now covered by the alpha's leather gloved grip on the bottom half of his face, and the boy had to breath harder through his nose to keep oxygen flowing into his lungs. A heavy weight planted itself in Carl's chest and all he wanted to do in that moment was go home, crawl into bed, and never get up again. Instinct wanted him to submit to his alpha, but he refused, and the amount of depression he suddenly felt was so overpowering that he knew everyone could smell it on him as his scent got stronger.

"Shit kid." Negan said smirking at him with his salt and pepper beard and pearly white teeth. If the alpha felt anything like the tickling heat that Carl felt, he didn't show it. "Lighten up." Pheromones were being forced into Carl's senses now that he couldn't breathe from his mouth, and Negan reeked of them stronger than anything he had ever been forced to smell. The scent was overpowering, hypnotic, and smelled so good. "At least cry a little."

Carl eye narrowed in anger as his nose scrunched.

"I said leave him be!" Rick started yelling as he attempted to get up and tackle Negan away from his son, but three of the men who had been standing around him started beating and hitting him, forcing him back in line as Negan stood up and smiled at him.

"Rick, Rick, Rick Rick Rick." Negan sucked his teeth loudly at Carl's father. "You know what? I'm going to let that one slide, because I get it. It's all very emotional, a little frightening, so that was your one free pass. Next time though, that shit won't fly." Negan pointed the bat at him and glared in warning.

He smiled and walked away from Carl, but the group was just happy to see the distance between the two increase. "Now, what should I do to punish you pile of assholes for killing my men?" Negan stared up as if the starless sky would offer him an answer. "Oh I got it, I'll just play me some eeny meeny miny mo, and then beat the shit out of one of you with dear old lucile here." He pet his bat affectionately as if it was the head of a woman that he had loved and cherished for years.

The group looked nervous, and Carl was brave enough to look around at the people who came with them on the trip to hilltop. Glenn was the farthest from him, with Maggie looking sicker and sicker by the moment next to him. Then there was Rosita and Daryl fallowed by Tara, Shane, and finally Abraham.

"Enny," Negan started, pointing the bat at Carl before walking down the line. "Meeny, Miny, mo. Catch a tiger by the toe." He continued with the rhyme until he had gone down the line at least three times. The amount of fear and anticipation was strong in the group, and everyone wanted nothing more than to get up and beat Negan to death where he stood. They couldn't believe that they had just gotten up from their cozy beds just this morning and now here they were, with one of them about to die by this strangers hand. They should have seen it coming, they should have been more careful, but Maggie needed medical attention and they needed to get her to hilltop. They had been caught off guard, a rare chance of vulnerability on their part, but apparently Negan had taken the chance to take thorough advantage of them. This vial man deserved to die, and they couldn't wait to put a bullet in his head.

Each of them felt their fear grow as Negan walked closer to them, scared that he would stop on them and they would be the one to die. Natural instinct told them to be scared, but a choice few of them were hoping it would be them as long as it wasn't someone they loved. 

Then Negan stopped, pointing his bat at Abraham. Rosita burst into tears as Negan made an irreversible decision to beat him to death. "Anyone moves, gouge the kids other eye out and feed it to his father. You can breath, you can blink, you can cry. Hell, all of you are gonna be doing a lot of crying." Negan was aware of people screaming at him to stop, but there was no way he was about to show weakness by going back on a punishment. So he rose the bat over his head and smashed it down on Abraham's big red head.

There was a satisfying crunch as the bat hit the top of the man's head, and Negan smirked down as he watched the alpha take the blow and then straighten himself up again. "Damn, taking it like a champ." He praised appreciatively, he could always admire someone who took a beating like a man. 

Some of the people in the group burst into tears when Abraham was beaten until there was nothing left of his head except for shards of his skull and a mess of blood and brain. When Negan was finished smashing his bat against said pile of blood and brain, he allowed his bat to touch the ground by his feet and sighed. He didn't appear to be tired and didn't even need to take a minute to catch his breath, even though the beating looked to have taken a lot of energy out of him. The group was reminded of just how strong Negan was.

Negan whistled as he looked down at his handiwork, the darkness of night doing nothing to obscure his vision, the light of the trailer was enough. "Damn, what a mess," he glanced at Rick from the corner of his eye and shrugged, "least he won't come back."

Daryl suddenly got up and ran towards Negan, who didn't skip a beat as he turned around to watch as his men wrestled the hunter to the ground before dragging him back in line. Dixon didn't even get within 5 feet of Saviors leader before he was underneath four guys, and all Negan could do was laugh.

He sucked his teeth again, "Didn't I tell you that shit wouldn't fly?" Negan took a few steps backward towards Glenn, not taking his eyes off Daryl.

Maggie screamed as loud as her sick body could when Negan swung himself around and crashed the end of his bat against Glenn's head. She didn't stop screaming even as the alpha continued to beat the bat down just like he did Abraham, until Glenn was also reduced to nothing but a headless twitching body, covering the ground in blood and brain matter. Maggie's cries of anguish only brought anger to the rest of the group, coupled along with their sadness. Never before had they all felt such a flurry of emotion in ten minutes. Most of them had known Glenn for years, had loved him like family and had done everything to protect him like he did for them every single day since they met.

Rick couldn't believe that the asian dude who used to be a pizza guy was dead, splattered across the ground like water spilt over a counter. The same little asian guy that had saved him that day he entered into Atlanta only to get trapped, was now gone. Nothing left but a memory of who he once was, who they had once cared for. All those times where he had Rick's back on a supply run, or when they encountered an enemy, were now nothing but a distant memory, a wisp of the brave man he had known.

Megan hardly gave anyone an opportunity to recover from their shock. He walked right up to Rick, grabbed him by the front of his shirt and yanked him up, dragging him over to the trailer. "You and I are going on a little trip, Rick." He opened the trailer door and threw Rick inside before turning to look at his men. "Take the hunter and stick him in a truck, make sure he can't get away." He then glanced at Carl, who now wasn't afraid to make eye contact with Negan. Megan smirked as he watched the kids only visible eyebrow and nose twitch in a vast amount of palpable anger, he could smell how angry he was, and could almost feel the hatred that was dripping from his youthful pores. 

It smelled intoxicating.

Negan looked around to his men, noticing all the lustful stares they were giving the omega. "If anyone so much as touches the kid while I'm gone," He spoke loud, throwing dominance and threat into his warning, "The two dead pricks on the ground will be nothing compared to what I will do to you." All of his men shivered at the threat, and looked down at their feet away from the object of their desire.

With that, Negan entered the trailer and shut the door, driving away a minute later and leaving everyone alone in the clearing.

...

The familiar stench of blood and death was heavy in the air as it forced it's way down everyone's sinuses and turned their stomachs. It was a relief that they were all used to the smell, or they may have been sick with the disgusting odor.

Carl looked around, the morning light making it's way through the trees and illuminating the faces around him. There were 49 men that he counted, standing around watching their group like a hawk does a mouse.

He didn't know how long his father had been away with Negan, but he knew it had to be hours. He wished that they had an opportunity to attack the people around them, but they were badly outnumbered and didn't even have a knife on any of them to fight. Even if the Savior's were tired of standing around, they still wouldn't stand a chance; at least one of them would surely be killed.

Where was his dad? What was Negan making him do that was taking so long? Surely Negan wouldn't leave his men alone for too long, right? Especially not if they were guarding prisoners.

Carl looked towards Shane, who was looking at him with massive concern in his eyes. The boy knew that even though he wasn't looking at the people staring at him like he was a piece of meat that they wanted to devour, Shane was painfully aware of exactly how many alphas were doing so.

Hopefully Negan's warning/threat to his men was enough to make them too afraid to make a move, but that didn't stop the hungry glances that Carl caught whenever he looked up.

Maggie was still crying, and Carl saw that Rosita was actually able to scoot over the couple feet between them just enough to pet her back comfortingly. Carl could hear her trying to shush the beta's sobbing, but they all knew the death of her husband would do nothing to quiet her sorrow. Nor would the fact that his mutilated body was laying just a glance away.

Finally, after what seemed like forever, the trailer was heard coming back. The rumble of the engine and the snapping of branches under the wheel broke the silence and put everyone on edge.

When it parked, Rick was thrown out the door a minute later. The man looked more bloody than he had left and had a haunted look on his face, making mouths dropped open at the sight of him.

Megan stepped calmly out of the trailer and dragged Rick by the back of his shirt over to where he wanted him. Ricks feet dragged across the ground as he unsuccessfully tried to gain his footing on the loose gravel. Negan glanced over at Carl and smiled around at his people. "Were we good dogs?" He asked.

There were a few nods and affirmative noises from the Savior's, but Negan didn't seem to believe them so he looked at Carl. He smiled when he saw the look of hatred the kid was throwing at him, as if Carl was hoping lasers would shoot out of his eyes and chop his head right off the top of his leather jacket. "Were they good puppies, kid?" He smirked and winked, "cause I'll beat the shit out of them if they weren't."

Carl didn't answer, too busy thinking hard about how he would kill Negan if given the chance.

Negan's lips rose to a wide smile and he huffed in amusement, dragging out a happy awe. Rick looked between his son and Negan, wanting nothing more than to assert dominance and tell him the stop looking at his son the way he was.

Negan squatted down until he was at eye level with Rick, and asked the most screwed up question. "Who are you?"

Rick looked Negan in the eye, knowing that the alpha wanted him to claim himself as one of the Savior's just like every savior has in the past. He looked at the cocky and laid back expression that Negan had and hissed in the stronger alpha's face, "Rick." He spat, wanting that smirk to disappear.

Negan would never own him, or the rest of the Alexandrian's.

Negan sucked his teeth, but the amusement didn't disappear from his face, as if he had been expecting the resistance. "Oh, Rick," Negan scratched his scruffy chin, "Rick, Rick, Rick, Rick, Rick." He stood tall on his feet and stared down at Rick as if the alpha was a small child he was about to scold on the importance of respect.

Carl's breath caught when Negan looked over at him again, only this time the man seemed to stare deep into his soul.

"Kid," the alpha said as he held out a finger and crooked it, beckoning him over. "Come here."

Carl absolutely did not want to move from his spot, and he fought the instinct to do what the very strong alpha instructed.

Negan's eye brows rose as if he couldn't believe that Carl hadn't moved, omegas had always done what he said. He put a little more authority in the command this time, "I said, come here kid."

As if Negan had grown an arm long enough to reach across the ten feet of distance and grab Carl by the hair, the omega was forced to get up from his spot. He couldn't subdue instinct when Negan spoke to him that way, it was like trying to suffocate himself simply by holding his breath; eventually his brain would force him to breathe.

His body stood up without his permission and walked over to Negan. The man was still staring at him with that half smirk that reminded Carl of a jaguar stalking prey.

He tried to contain his fear when he saw Negan unbuckle his belt, but his shoulders betrayed them as they shook and his brain immediately jumped to the worst outcome possible. "You a lefty?" Negan asked.

Carl's eye brow crinkled in confusion, that was a strange question to ask.

"Answer me when I'm talking to you kid. Are you a lefty?" Negan didn't need to growl or raise his voice, the simple command was enough to make Carl answer.

"No," He hissed angrily. If he was going to be forced to acknowledge Negan in any way, he was going to make sure the man knew just how much he hated it.

Negan nodded and grabbed Carl's left arm, ignoring the growls that he heard from a few people in the group. He used his belt and wrapped it tightly around Carl's bicep. "Does that hurt?" He asked, never taking his eyes of Carl's.

Carl continued to force down the depression he felt, instead focusing on his ravenous anger.

"No." He said bravely despite the fact that, yes, in deed the pressure on his arm hurt.

Negan's eye brows rose again, and it was becoming increasingly annoying to Carl. "It should." He tied the belt down so it would stay with one last jerk and tuck, "It's supposed to." His voice was low and sultry as he spoke to Carl, making the boy wonder if the alpha was bipolar.

Negan patted his shoulder as if they were buddies discussing the weather, "Get down on the ground next to your father."

Carl did, hating that he was forced to do exactly as the alpha said. He got down carefully and stopped when he was on his knees, but apparently thats not what the alpha meant when he said, 'Down on the ground,' because a firm but almost gentle gloved hand pushed him the rest of the way down until his face was pressed up against the rocky ground. Carl laid flat and looked up at his father, who still sported that haunted and fearful look at he looked between his son and Negan.

"Good boy," The alpha purred to the omega, making Carl's shoulders tense as a warm shiver ran down his spine at the praise. Stupid omega instincts, he was sure Negan did that on purpose.

Negan asked someone named Simon for a pen and said alpha threw one over. The omega could hear Negan kneel next to him as a marker was uncapped. "Sorry kid, this is gonna be cold," was all Negan said as the tip of the black marker was dragged against the exposed skin on his outstretched forearm.

As Negan stood up again, Rick started begging, "please don't, don't hurt him." Carl hated the sound of his father pleading with the horrible human being, it sounded so pathetic, so unlike his dad. "You don't have to hurt him."

The leader chuckled as he looked down at Rick's pleading eyes, loving how he looked like he was about to lose his shit over the prospect of Negan hurting his son. He just chuckled as if it was the funniest thing he had heard all day.

"I'm not going to do shit, Rick." He turned and started walking around to the other side of the alpha before throwing down an axe next to Rick's hand. "Rick, I want you to cut your son's arm off, right on that line."

Carl's heart dropped further than it already had, and he wasn't sure how he hasn't passed out from so much shock.

As Rick looked between the axe and Carl's arm with the most scared and hopeless expression Carl had ever seen, Negan continued, "Now I know. Your gonna have to process that for a second, that makes sense." Fear and hopelessness didn't look good on his dad. "Now this may be a screwed up thing to ask but you're going to have to make it clean, sort of a 45° angle, give us something to fold over. We got a great doctor, you son will be fine." But then he snickered and added, "probably."

Shane started rambling, "You don-you don't have to do this man," he said. Shane pleading with Negan was so out of character that the reality of just how hopeless the situation was struck Carl like lightning. "We understand! We understand" Shane claimed, but Negan interrupted.

"I know you understand, yeah, but I'm not sure your boy Rick does." He looked down at Rick and for the second time the smile was gone from his face, "Rick I'm gonna need you to pick up that axe and chop the kids arm off, or everyone in your group is gonna die. And then Carl. Then everyone at home. And then you, eventually. Might keep you around for a few years so you can fester on this."

Rick looked at Carl's arm as if it was the only thing in the world. How could he hurt his boy so badly? How could he possibly cut off the arm of the son that he had been living to protect? He thought about the 9 miles that he had to run through when Carl got shot that day so many years ago, how he hadn't stopped at anything to get his boy to Hershel, how he had given Carl so much of his own blood that he almost suffered cardiac arrest. He would do anything to save his boy, anything to protect him, anything to keep him alive.

How could Negan make him do this?

Negan bent down again to look Rick in his horrified eyes. "Rick this is gonna have to happen now." He brought his bat down to hover by Carl's face, and Carl couldn't take his eyes off the blood stained barbed wire. "Or I'm gonna crush the little fella's skull in myself."

Carl hated himself more than he hated Negan. Why would his second gender pick this guy out of all people? How could it pick someone so cruel and heartless? 

"It could be me." Rick started trying to haggle with Negan, hoping and praying to any higher power out there that Negan wouldn't make him do it, that he would choose to take Ricks arm and not his son's. "It could be me." He repeated, hoping that there was even a scrap of humanity left in Negan. How could someone fall this deep into the apocalypse that he would force a father to shop of his son's arm with a bloody axe?

"No," Negan said, not even considering the proposal, "this is the only way." He seemed to be growing impatient as his voice changed to becoming more commanding, dripping with the dominance and power that he possessed. It made Carl shiver, as if his body wanted to obey even though the command wasn't meant for him. "Rick, pick up the axe. I'm going to count to three and if that kids arm isn't being chopped, then I will start killing people, starting with the sick looking one." He pointed over to Maggie, who was watching the whole thing looking pale and sweaty with tears in her eyes.

"3," Rick hadn't even let Negan finish shouting the number at him before he started sobbing. It was precisely at that moment that Rick knew there was no getting out of this, nothing was in his favor and he couldn't do anything but beg.

"Please." His voice dragged as he sobbed, he couldn't even look at Carl anymore, feeling like he was personally betraying his son somehow. "Please don't make me." The sound of his father crying broke something in Carl, but the boy knew that if his father didn't do what he was told then everyone was going to die.

"2."

"Please! No." He looked up at Negan, hoping the tears and the begging would trigger something in Negan to change his mind. Negan stayed cold though as he got down on his knee and grabbed Rick's face.

Negan forced the alpha to look into his eyes, and all Rick saw there was cold, empty eyes that showed no mercy at all. "This is it."

As Negan stood up, all Rick could do was scream.

"Pick up the damn axe Rick! This is your last fucking chance." Negan was finally yelling at Rick now, and the father fumbled to grab the axe and his son's arm, his vision blurry from the amount of tears in his eyes.

"Dad," Carl whispered just loud enough for Rick to hear. He knew the better option was to take one for the team and lose his arm. He probably wouldn't need it much anyways... "Just do it." He accepted what was going to happen and prepared himself, turning his head away and closing his eyes.

He didn't see when Rick rose the axe above his head, he could only hear the terrified moaning coming from the man. Everyone knew that if Rick did this, then there was a chance that Carl wouldn't survive, even with a doctor's help. They didn't know how good the doctor was, what sort of equipment he had, if he even had equipment for this, or even if Negan would go back on his word to even let the doctor take care of him.

Negan grabbed Rick's arm before it could make it journey down.

Rick looked up hopefully at Negan before looking down at Carl's arm, as if he needed to process for a second that it was still there, still attached to his sons body.

"You answer to me." Negan said, it was a command and not a question. "You provide for me. You belong to me. Right?"

Rick nodded his head, but Negan didn't like that.

"You use your words when you answer me!" Everyone knew that he was only doing this to make sure Rick knows who is the stronger alpha of the two. He needed to make sure Rick knew that what Negan says goes, and if Rick had a problem with that then there would be consequences. Asserting dominance was Negan's favorite pass time.

"I answer to you," Rick said as if he was under a trance. It was at that declaration that everyone lost hope of ever overpowering Negan. If Rick wasn't strong enough to defy the alpha, then none of them could even start to.

"Right." Negan had a euphoric gleam in his eye, like he just won a battle and was ready to party. He pointed at Rick, "that, is the look I wanted to see." Referring to the complete submission in Rick's eye's. Carl's didn't dare move from his spot, nor did he bother to look at his father. He couldn't stand the sound of his heavy breathing or the sight of the look in his eyes.

The man stood up and looked around at his men and the rest of Rick's group. "Today, was a productive damn day." He paused as if he needed to take a second to take in the sorrowful eyes of the people around him. "Now I hope that you get it now. Whatever you had going for you, is over now." He pet a very silent Rick on the back, "Ahh, welcome to a bright new future you sorry shits." He said it proudly and with the enthusiasm of a football coach. "I'm gonna leave you a truck. Keep it, use it to cart all the shit your gonna find me." The alpha started walking away, and relief started bleeding it's way into the hearts of the group to watch him go. "We'll be back in one week for our first offering. Until then, ta ta."

Carl finally sat up as the Savior's started loading the guns into their vehicles. Negan had kept his word and left them an empty truck with enough gas to get them to hilltop and back home. But none of them moved from their spots lined up on the ground until all of them were gone, and for a few moments, not even then. 

Carl watched an ant crawl across the ground as he waited for the saviors to pack up and leave, thinking about just how alike they were. Ants only had a few concerns in life; finding food, making shelter, staying away from things that want to eat them, and being careful not to get stepped on by anything bigger than themselves. Just like Carl and his group. Only they had been squashed, stepped on by the biggest, heaviest boot in existence. Unlike the little guy currently making its way across the gravel.

It wasn't until Carl got home, and was in the safety of his room did he allow himself to cry. He had been holding his instinct back the entire encounter with Negan, and when he was finally alone it was like a dam broke.

When it did, he cried hard. He hadn't cried this much or this hard in years, the last time he remembered was when he was 12 and he got shot by that man while he was looking at the deer. He was worried that the people in the house would smell the amount of sorrow on him, but he knew they at least respected him enough to leave him be.

Rick and Shane were downstairs with Lori and Judith when the smell hit them.

They each looked up at the ceiling as if they would be able to see Carl through it before looking at each other. They had been in the middle of having a discussion with Lori about what had happened when they realised how upset Carl was.

Rick knew that Carl would be upset, but he couldn't imagine why he was that upset. His boy had seen people die before, had even killed people before, so it wasn't like Carl to be so melancholy.

"Lori." Rick said to his crying wife, she had burst into tears when her husband told her of the death of Abraham and Glenn. "You need to go check on Carl," he hadn't told her yet what Negan almost made him do, and he wouldn't ever if he could help it, but he did tell her that he was an alpha so strong that even Rick couldn't overpower him. He told her all about how they belonged to Negan now, and how things were going to have to go from then on, and how Negan would be coming in a week to get the supplies that they gather.

Lori looked up at her husband before sniffing the air. Betas were never affected by the scent of Alphas or omegas, but that doesn't mean they couldn't smell them at all. Though it was more of just a fragrance to betas, and not something that could really control them.

Lori could smell Carl though, and knew what the alphas were talking about, drawing the same conclusion as them that there was something very wrong with their son.

She composed herself and straighten her hair out, standing and picking Judith up in her arms before heading over to the stairs.

Carl was laying face down in his pillow when she quietly opened the door to his room. Lori swallowed her worry and put Judith down on her feet, Carl didn't seem to notice their arrival.

The little girl cooed before walking carefully across the floor on her own feet, and Carl's head picked up to look at her when he heard her little voice.

When he saw the smile on her face as she walked over to him, he quickly wiped his eyes and smiled back at her. Judith was reaching for him, and he held out a hand for her to grab so he could pick her up and give her a hug.

"Hey, Judith," he smiled, she looked happily at his face and reached a hand up to grab his hair, completely innocent to the sorrow the boy felt.

When he caught sight of his mom silently waiting by the door, they made eye contact. It was then that Lori saw just how much pain Carl was in, all that she needed to see was in Carl's eye and she was across the room holding him in seconds, begging him to tell her what was wrong.

Carl quieted his sobs long enough to tell her, "he's my mate."

Lori immediately knew what that meant for Carl, and her face paled as realization hit her. "No," She shook her head, looking at her son as if he was already dead.

Carl's felt like he was signing his death warrant as he nodded, remembering the powerful surge of energy he felt when Negan and he made eye contact.

Lori put a hand over her mouth in shock. "Negan?" She asked just to make sure, and she hugged him tighter when he shook his head yes.

Everyone in the world had a mate, and as long as they were both alive, they were destined to find each other no matter what. It didn't matter if they were born on opposite ends of the globe, they would eventually find each other. Back in the day before the apocalypse, people could rest easy knowing they would have a chance to meet their soulmate one day in their lives. Only now during the apocalypse, it was a curse, especially for omegas. 

Alphas and betas could live with the fact that their mate was most likely dead, they could even live with the fact that they may end up being star-crossed and have to live without them even if they were to meet them. 

Omegas however, could not.

There wasn't an omega alive, even before the apocalypse, that was able to meet their mate, only to have some force keep them from being together. They always ended up dead from depression, because their second gender couldn't handle the pain from a love sick and broken heart. It was like trying to reach for the sun as if your life fully and completely depended on it, but it was unreachable no matter how desperately you reached. 

Just like the chances an omega would survive a lonely heart.

In Carl and Negan's case, it was like the alpha loaded a gun, aimed it right at Carl's heart, and fired. Only the omega would die slow and painful until the misery was too much to bear, and then he would just... slip away.

It was a reality that was unavoidable, and Carl was scared to find out just how painful it would be. 

Why did Negan have to do something so unforgivable? Thing's probably would have ended fine if he hadn't killed his friends and humiliated his father so irreversibly. Negan had been so cruel, almost forcing Rick to cut off his own son's arm. The threats to Carls life made his omega whimper, the dramatic rejection causing him to feel more pain than he thought was even possible. Negan was sick, merciless, a fucking demon, a plague that would infect them and kill them off one by one as time marched on. He was terrified and his omega was already wanting to give up, knowing the situation was hopeless.

Things would have been better if they had never met in the first place. Sure, Carl would still eventually die when his omega lost all hope of ever finding his other half, but nobody expected that to happen to Carl for years. Still, at least it would have been years instead of months.

Carl's tears stopped, but he was still unable to breath slowly as he buried his face in his mothers neck. Judith was sitting on his lap, looking up innocently at her brother wondering why he was so sad. 

Lori pulled him away so she could see his one eye, "Carl, you listen to me." She forced him to look at her, "You are strong, and you will beat this." She held his face and wiped away a fresh tear, "You hear? You will beat this."

Carl nodded, knowing he had to fight it, because if he didn't, he was as good as dead. 

"Your gonna be fine, baby," Lori was crying as well, so scared to lose her son. She remembered an old friend of hers who was a private tutor, and who also was an omega. She remembered in their first sessions that Mrs. Sampier was so loving, so compassionate, and so gentle and warm. As a little girl she loved holding her tutors hand because it was always so soft, and the heat she would feel reminded her of her mother. 

Lori was too young to understand why Mrs. Sampier couldn't be with her mate, but she remembered her parents telling her quite often that her tutor was in the hospital again. They didn't tell her why, but she remembered crying her eyes out until her parents took her to go see the omega. She also remembered asking her parents why there was always fresh stitches on her wrists, but they always told her they were fake. Being the young girl who always believed everything her parents told her, she believed them every time.

She understood when she got older and Mrs. Sampier had been long dead. Her mate had died, and she had lost herself in depression.

There was almost no hope, but her boy was special. Whatever pain that would come to him in the future, she knew he could fight it. 

She remembered in great detail what happened to her tutor, how she had been so happy at one point. Lori could still remember the last time she saw her. She had looked so tired, and had barely been able to look Lori in the eyes. The little girl could see that they were still the chocolate brown that they had always been, but they had turned ice cold. They had lost the warmth that she remembered and were completely vacant of any life, and she had cried to her parents asking in complete horror why her tutor couldn't see her anymore.

She couldn't watch the same thing happen to her boy, no. Not her pride and joy. She couldn't imagine Carl ever possessing the same far away and almost dead look that her tutor had. It was too horrible, even now as Lori remembered every glassy millimeter of her tutors eyes that day, she could still feel the bottomless dread that she had felt at the sight. 

Carl would have to fight this for the rest of his life, if he ever lost himself the way her tutor had, she wouldn't be able to handle it.

Eventually, Carl fell asleep. It was hours later, but Lori knew it couldn't be later than maybe 4 in the afternoon. She lay her son down, and made sure a napping Judith was secured tightly in her brother's arms so she wouldn't fall off the bed.

When she got downstairs, Shane and Rick were talking about something, but she didn't pay attention to what exactly. She was too busy trying to figure out how to tell them the news.

Lori decided it was best to just blurt it out. "Carl and Negan are mates." She didn't even bother trying to gain their attention before she attacked them with that little sentence.

The reaction was immediate, and both alpha heads shot up towards her. The sentence was so small, and yet held so much power that it was like a punch in the gut from the Hulk. Shane looked to have gone into shock, freezing in his spot with his mouth dropped open and his eyes unblinking, while Rick's face dropped completely as he grabbed the side of his face with his hand and used the other to steady himself by the kitchen counter. They both looked incredibly stressed out, but Lori just crossed her arms, having already gone threw the first stages of shock and was now feeling quite pissed off.

"When did you say Negan would be here again?" She asked Rick as the man stared at the ground, still trying to process the prior information. He seemed unable to do so, because he stuttered and became a complete spaghetti brain who was incapable of providing Lori an answer.

Lori looked to Shane, but the man hadn't moved, hadn't even blinked in his spot with his mouth still hanging open. She rolled her eyes, not about to wait for anyone, and walked up to him to slap him across the face. "Snap out of it, Shane."

The man rubbed his face before looking at Lori with a hurt look in his eye, but the sight of the embodiment of anger and determination in front of him kept him from voicing his complaints.

"When will Negan be here again?" She asked again slowly, using her eyes to tell Shane how little patients she had for the two alphas at the moment.

"He said he'll be here in a week." Shane answered, wondering what was going to happen to Carl in the future. He knew what usually happened to omegas in similar circumstances, but Carl was different. The little guy was a fighter, and had survived this long despite the stereotypes, he knew that he could survive this too.

Lori nodded, "We have to do something about this. We need to try to form some sort of peace treaty."

Rick looked up at his mate as if she was crazy, "And how do you expect that to happen, Lori? The man did not seem to express any sort of desire for peace." 

Shane agreed, and that was putting things lightly. He remembered how ready Negan had been to bash Carl's brains in with the same bat that killed Glenn and Abraham. It didn't seem as though the alpha had any intention to let them all live happily.

Lori looked as though she was trying to find a half assed solution on the spot, and instead of thinking things through logically, she threw ideas at them both hoping one of them would stick. "We could talk to Negan? Convince them both to at least talk to each other for Carl's sake? They could start courting. Carl is a sweetheart and very persuasive, maybe-maybe he can convince Negan to give you back some control?"

Lori didn't understand like they did, because she hadn't been there, and neither of them had told her just how cruel Negan was. How he had threatened Carl's life. How he had threatened all of their lives.

When neither of the alphas answered her, she got desperate, and her voice cracked while a tear fell from her eye, "I won't lose my boy, Rick." Carl needed Negan. He needed him like they all needed water every single day, whether anyone wanted to accept that very real fact or not. "I won't lose him."

Rick got up and hugged Lori, an instinctual reaction to seeing his mate cry, and the beta clutched him for dear life as she cried. "I won't lose my boy, Rick," she said again as her alpha shushed her gently, promising her she wouldn't.

"Carl is strong." Shane said as he hugged them both, "He can fight this."

Lori was aware of that, "But for how long?" was the question that was really causing her to suffer in fear for her son, and she croaked it out with all the pain that she had.

Neither alpha was able to answer that question.

 

Chapter Text

His heat wasn't supposed to come for another few weeks, but Rick supposed that the amount of stress Carl was under had triggered it to come a bit early. It wasn't necessarily unheard of for omegas to go into heat early, it was just slightly unhealthy; it meant there was something very wrong with Carl's omega. Whether the problem was physical or emotional was hard to determine sometimes with the world the way it was, due to the lack of trained omega physicians. However due to recent circumstances, Rick thought this case was obviously emotional.

Rick should have seen the heat coming; because in the fallowing days after Negan and Carl met, the boy had been tense and mostly quiet- that only ever happened when he was about to hit his heat.

It should have been obvious, however it came as a shock. Nobody expected Carl's heat to happen three weeks early, and the town had a little bit of a hard time evacuating the alphas to the opposite end of Alexandria. 

Luckily this heat didn't come as intense as the last one since they had been keeping Carl on a normal dosage of suppressants, so they only had to evacuate the alphas on their block. The president had evacuated the alphas as quick as possible with the help of good strong betas that were trained for it, and give or take a few dazed alphas heading over to the Grimes house that were quickly redirected, they didn't have much incident.

It made things easier and less stressful for Rick, given that Glenn was no longer there to help him protect his son, and Maggie was currently being watched by the doctor at Hilltop. With all the alphas unable to stand within 30 feet of Carl without instinct trying to control them, the only people available to help Rick protect Carl was Tara, the cowardly Eugene, and Lori.

Rick had all the faith in the world for the three betas, but he knew they couldn't overpower a team of alphas for too long, they were just betas with good aim after all. Only the problem was, the law of Alexandria kept them from being able to shoot to kill, so their aim did almost nothing for them. 

He was a little skeptical of Eugene, since the beta was so afraid of confrontation, but Rick had to have faith in the man. It was all he could do, because it wasn't like he had another option.

The alpha would just have to make sure that he doesn't leave his house; he wasn't sure how strong this particular group was together without at least one alpha around.

Rick knew Lori would definitely not hesitate to shoot anyone who tried to come in the house. Her motherly instincts would not allow anyone any sort of opportunity to cause her son harm, regardless of what the law said. He didn't really blame Lori, but if Rick knew his mate like he knew he did, then she would probably shrug and tell the president that her finger slipped and she "accidentally" emptied her clip into a citizens head. Then she would take whatever consequence President Deanna gave her with no complaint.

Which was why Rick had her safely in the room with Carl, and far away from any trouble that may or may not occur.

Carl squirmed in his spot on his bed, his mother shushing his pained whimpers and petting his hair out of his sweaty forehead. He had his eye patch off at the moment, having been taken off by his mother when she saw how uncomfortable it was making Carl. 

The teen couldn't even think straight, the only things his mind was processing was how hot it was in the room, how much pain there was, and the needy slick that was leaking from him. Carl was currently gone, and in his place was the unmated omega that demanded that his alpha take him. Every moment that passed by without being mounted was another shock of pain scorching its way through-out his body. Now that Carl's conscience was completely absent in his head, all his body wanted to do was find Negan. But he couldn't smell him nearby, and he didn't know how far he could get while in so much pain. 

He screamed as a particularly painful shock pierced through him. It was worse now that Carl had met his mate, especially since Negan rejected him and the omega refused to act on any of his impulses around the alpha. This just made his body feel even more uncomfortable, because it didn't understand why he couldn't be with his mate. 

It didn't feel like how people described- like there was a part of them missing, no. The part of him that was Negan was definitely there, burning bright and passionate, but his mates absence was making that part of him inaccessible. It was like trying to catch a falling star; it was so magical and beautiful to watch, that you want to hold it in your hand forever, but it was so far that it was impossible to get close enough to do so.

Lori hissed as her son became hot to the touch. She could hardly put a finger on him without feeling like she was being burned, the boy was generating too much heat. It was normal for an omega to be like a furnace while in heat, but to radiate it like he was the sun was not natural.

There was something very wrong, and she had no idea what to do. She had heard about omegas being dangerously hot back when she was younger, but it was rare, and she cursed herself for not paying more attention during that home-ec lesson. She knew it had to have something to do with Negan, but she had never missed google so much during the apocalypse.

Meanwhile Rick was sitting on the porch in front of his house, completely recked with worry at the strength of his son's scent, when a beta ran up to him panting and out of breath.

"The saviors are here." They said when they finally got close enough to Rick so he could hear.

Rick's jaw dropped, "Now?" His eyes were wide in disbelief as he looked up at the second story window of his house, completely in horror now. 

The beta ran off, and Rick got up to shout at Tara into the house that he had to leave because Negan had shown up early.

Negan was already in the gate waiting for him when Rick arrived, and when he walked up to the stronger alpha, Negan smiled like an idiot in love with a high school sweetheart. "Hello there, Rick."

Rick's fist shook, aware that he could still smell Carl even from all the way to the gate, he had no idea just how strong it was until right then. "You said a week, you're early." He said to Negan calmly.

The smile didn't leave Negan's face as he spoke cockily to the alpha, "I missed you." The father watched as Negan seemed to sniff the air, and Rick also noticed how the mans pupils dilated for a couple seconds as he glanced in the direction of the Grimes house.

"Well, holly shit." Negan drew out the words as his eyes went back to normal and he looked back at a very nervous looking Rick. He pulled his bat up so it was resting on his shoulder as he regarded the ex police with something almost like amusement, but Rick could see that the expression took some effort from Negan. "Is that your boy I smell? God damn, that is delicious." Rick started growling angrily at the alpha, but Negan let it slide with an amused chuckle.

Negan turned back around to see that his men were having a very hard time keeping themselves grounded to the spot. The only reason they did so was for fear of Negan, but the man knew that they were all actively resisting the temptation to head on over to Rick's house. "Any one of you sick dogs move from that spot, I will make sure your face is ironed when we get back," Negan threatened just to be safe. 

Rick hated this man with everything he had, but he was grateful that Negan didn't seem to have any interest in allowing his men to have their way with his son. He was still wary about what he did though, and was sure not to piss Negan off for fear he might allow one of them to do something as a punishment.

"Do you have my shit, Rick?" He asked as if he didn't smell Carl at all, and Rick was amazed with the amount of self control the man possessed, unlike the dogs behind him looking like it physically hurt them to stay put.

A few of the Savior's tied handkerchiefs around their faces while the others started breathing through their mouths in an attempt to rid themselves from the tempting smell invading their senses, but some of them seemed to be rooted to the spot looking out towards where the scent was coming from. Rick was just happy there was a good amount of betas with guns who would shoot on Negan's command. The alphas wouldn't dare try anything when there was the possibility of getting a bullet in their cranium, right?

Rick was just being hopeful.

The ex-cop nodded, "We were able to find some things." He kept his face expressionless, keeping an eye on everyone that was there, silently counting to himself how many there were.

Negan was saying something in that same confidant voice that he always had, but Rick wasn't listening anymore. He noticed that the saviors all had the same faces that he saw in the last encounter, so Rick assumed Negan had brought the same group of people, but something didn't seem right. "Forgive me for asking, Negan," he interrupted, "but weren't there 50 of you?"

Negan didn't even bother getting mad at Rick about cutting him off in the middle of his sentence. The question Rick asked put him on immediate alert as he realized that, yes, there was supposed to be 50 of them there behind him.

Negan looked behind himself and did a quick head count, only counting 49 saviors including himself. "Where the hell is Simon?" His anger was palpable as he noticed his right hand man was no where to be seen. Rage radiated off of Negan as he caught on quickly, there was only one place that Simon could be, and the leader cursed himself for only just noticing that Simon's scent was getting weaker and weaker the farther away that the man got.

"Oof, Rick," Negan smiled, knowing Rick was going to eat this up, "my boy Simon's got man sized balls," he said as he pointed towards the source of the tempting omega scent.

Rick's eyes widened in anger and immediately, before anyone could react, he was running off in the direction of his house. Years of training in the police academy boosting his alpha stamina and making him run faster than most people. His alpha instincts were screaming at him that his boy was in danger, and rage shot through his pores as he ran.

He was scared that he wouldn't make it in time, but when he turned the corner onto his street and saw the son of a bitch booking it to his house, Rick saw red.

Rick watched as the man disappeared into the front door, before shots could be heard firing along with Tara and Eugene's screaming. Rick didn't remember seeing a gun in Simons hand, but that didn't mean he didn't have one, and Rick was driven to run faster at the sound of his friends struggling. He prayed to whatever god that was out there that it was the beta's firing weapons and not Simon.

When he ran into the house, both Tara and Eugene were on the ground with blood dripping down their heads. Eugene was unconscious and Tara looked drunk, but other than that they would be fine. 

Rick definitely wasn't though, especially when he heard Lori scream from upstairs coupled with the terrified screams of Judith along with a lot of thumping. The alpha ran up the stairs, horrified and increasingly scared at the sound of shattering glass and gun shots. Judith was screaming louder than he had ever heard her, and he didn't even realize he was at the bedroom door until he was busting through it. He didn't waist a second before he was tackling Simon, who was currently making his way to Carl's bed after knocking Lori out. 

Rick had no idea he could be so blind with rage as he started beating the shit out of Simon, punching him in his turkey resembling face and throwing all the anger he had for Negan and the Saviors in his fists.

Simon didn't allow Rick to have too much fun however, and the alpha jerked his knee up and kicked Rick in the crotch before throwing his heavy weight off him. Taking the stronger alphas moment of pain to his advantage, he grabbed the gun that Lori dropped and hit Rick in the head with it.

It slammed against Rick's head with a painful crack, making the man disoriented for a brief moment. In that brief moment, Simon got up and started advancing on Carl again, who was unconscious from the pain of his heat.

Simon didn't seem to care that he was in the room with another alpha who breathed protective instinct, nor did the man seem to remember who he was as he advanced on an omegan child. It was like the alpha's brain was lost, replaced by carnal desire and blind lust that would not be satisfied until he took the omega.

Rick would not give the other alpha the chance to though, he would never let anyone hurt his boy. He got up, completely ignoring his dizziness, and tackled Simon out of the room with an angry holler. No one would ever touch his son again. The claimers had gotten close, too close, and Rick wouldn't ever let anyone get so close again.

There may have been some curse words exchanged between the two alphas, but neither of them were conscious in the head enough to know what it is they said. They were both so overcome by instinct that their alphas were controlling their every move at this point. Neither of their human heads were in it with this fight.

Simon tried to throw Rick off and down the stairs with his legs, but Rick grabbed a hold of Simon's shirt before he could fall too far back and they both tumbled down the stairs together.

Their bodies created loud thumps as gravity forced them against wooden stairs, it was painful as hell, and if either of them were in the right mind, they would be affected by the pain. Only they weren't, so they kept fighting even when they landed. Rick was aware that he probably fractured a rib on the way down, and Simon's head was really suffering after the attack from Lori with the glass vase and now having Rick's full weight on top of him as he had fallen down the unforgiving staircase. Neither of them stopped to recover though, and Rick was able to get the upper hand, taking advantage of Simon's weakened state with a banged up and bloody head.

He climbed on top of Simon, punching him in the face again and further busting his already broken nose. Simon tried to push Rick off, but the ex cop was doing a good job keeping him from being able to move. He had both of Simon's hands locked under his knees and he was heavy enough to keep the weaker alpha from rolling over.

Tara tried to get Rick off of Simon, aware that he was going to kill the Savior if she didn't, but Rick was too far gone in his instinct to think about the consequences of killing a savior and he shoved her back. Nothing was going to stop Rick from killing the pathetic waist of life.

He grabbed around Simon's neck and squeezed, putting all the pressure that he had the strength to put, staring down at the man in satisfaction as he started pathetically trying to breath through the pressure. The sound of his choked gasping was the noise that Rick wanted hear, and he marveled at how much this must hurt the alpha. Never again would this man go near his son.

Rick was watching the life leave the alpha's eye with a familiar pleasure that he only ever remembered feeling once- that night when he murdered the claimers in the most animalistic way possible.

And then Rick was yanked off by the only other alpha that has ever been able to overpower him, and Simon choked on his breath.

...

Lori woke up just in time to hear loud thumping going down the stairs, and she picked herself up to look over at Carl in panic, remembering that the last thing she saw before passing out was an alpha that meant her boy harm.

She sighed in relief when Carl was still there on the bed resting just as she remembered him, untouched and only bothered by his heat.

She had to hold the wall beside her to keep from falling down, and Judith's loud crying was making her damaged head hurt worse than when she had stumbled into her parents house drunk after her 21st birthday. She dizzily stepped out of the room to look over the wall down the stairs to see what had happened and felt a load of relief when she saw her husband on top of the other alpha that had attacked.

Carl squirmed from behind her, and she quickly turned around to see him trying to get out of bed. The shock she felt had her crossing the distance between them and she tried to push him back down, but he was acting like a hypnotised puppy who needed to run to his master.

"Negan's here," was all Carl said as his pupil dilated until Lori could hardly see the blue of his eye. The boy started trying to push her out of the way, not really looking at his mom but out the door to his bedroom. As if his mind was mapping out a gps tracker that would take him straight to his alpha. Carl wasn't in that eye, just his omega, and Lori knew that talking to him would have absolutely no affect on him. His omega had taken over and all the kid knew now was instinct.

'Oh shit,' Lori thought as she forced Carl back down by the shoulders, smelling the air and detecting a scent that was stronger than her husband's.

This was not good. A random alpha that wanted to take Carl as theirs, they could handle. An alpha stronger than Rick, who was also Carl's mate, who was so close to them in the middle of her son's heat? They could not handle that at all.

Carl kept mumbling insistently that, "Negan's here," over and over as he tried to push his mother away, and Lori lost track of how to handle this. She couldn't let Carl get out of bed, but she couldn't stand there and continue to hold him down like this either. She looked around herself for a fix, and saw the dresser on the other side of the room where she knew Carl kept his belts. Lori looked down at her son before deciding that she could make it and booked it over to the dresser, yanking the right drawer open and pulling out the first belt that she saw. 

Carl was able to move surprisingly fast as he got up and was able to make it all the way to the door before Lori grabbed him around the stomach and started pulling him back to the bed. Her son started thrashing, trying to pull himself away. The desperation the boy felt making him just strong enough to cause Lori to struggle with the effort to keep him from braking from her hold. Carl yelled at the top of his lungs, sounding masculine but tortured and youthful, but it was never in his biology to be able to overpower a beta and didn't stand a chance against his mom.

He started sobbing his eye out when Lori forced him back onto the bed, and with renewed agression, Carl started clawing and scratching at anything his nails could reach. He even went as far as to bite Lori a couple times, but it wasn't as if he was really aware of what he was doing, he was only aware that his alpha was in the house and this person was keeping him from going to him.

Lori grabbed both of his arms and forced them above his head, "I'm sorry baby," she said solumly as she used the belt to restrain him to the head board, tying his wrists together and to the bar above his head, "I'm so sorry, baby." Heat poured from Carl's frame as he whimpered weakly and cried before passing out, probably in a wild amount of pain that wasn't supposed to be there.

The beta could smell the amount of stress and depression that Carl had as she kissed his forehead in apology. She couldn't believe that for the first time ever, she had to do something that was typically considered child abuse. She didn't have any other choice though; she had no idea what Negan would do, or how bad he would hurt him if she allowed Carl to do what he wanted. She sighed and looked around for the gun she had dropped, finding it near the door and picking it up a moment later.

She walked down the stairs with her gun in hand, pausing before she came into view of the two alpha's talking in the living room.

There was blood on the floor and the alpha that attacked them was nowhere to be seen, but she looked between her husband and an alpha she had never seen before. Considering the way he smelled though, she figured he had to be this Negan she had been hearing about.

"I do apologize Rick, I promise that was not supposed to happen." Negan was saying to her husband, "Believe me, when we get back to the sanctuary, Simon is really in for a good hard punishment." He seemed less apologetic and more angry that his man had snuck away and disobeyed a direct order.

"You just keep your people away from my son." Rick said immediately, wishing that he could have killed Simon himself.

"Rick," Negan didn't look happy about being told what to do, "I know the events that just happened was a shitty shit storm that shouldn't have happened," he leaned in closer to the weaker alpha as if the shorter distance would put Rick further under his boot, "but I don't appreciate being told what to do." Negan sniffed, "Now how long is your wife going to stand there staring at us?"

Lori's eyes widened, she forgot that the alphas could smell her and didn't need to look over to know that she was there. The beta stepped out from behind the stair case, figuring she might as well do so since she was discovered, and both alphas looked over at her.

Negan smiled, "Well hot diggity dog, you got a gorgeous wife, Rick."

Rick didn't answer, just looked between Negan and his wife, unsure and afraid of what was going to happen.

"Your Negan?" Lori asked just to confirm, the man looked poised and assertive as he kept up his dominance with an arrogance that she thought only existed in drama movies. 

Negan did that lazy laugh that he always does when he's amused by someone. "Hi," was all that he said.

Rick had a nagging suspicion that Lori was going to try and engage a conversation with the evil alpha, and he quickly walked over to her, blocking Negan's view of the girl. "Lori, I need you to go back upstairs and take care of Carl and Judith." He tried to turn her around towards the stairs again, but Lori wouldn't budge, not even at the sound of their daughter still crying harder than ever from fear.

"Rick," she whispered like a rooster when the sun peeked out from the horizon, "we need to talk to him about it." 

Negan could hear the two arguing, and his smile grew wider, knowing they were talking about the omega upstairs who was currently invading his senses. In the house, his scent was powerful enough that it was like Negan could almost taste him. He closed his eyes and allowed himself to really inhale it, cracking his neck and ignoring the tightness in his pants. 

It smelled as sweet as milk and honey and had a certain spice to it that was almost like cinnamon, it was tarty in the best way possible and was more hypnotic than any omega he had ever smelled. He had never had to work so hard to control his predatory hunger, but damn did he want a taste of that.

Lori and Rick's argument seemed to have hit a climax because Lori got frustrated, and shoved her husband to the side just hard enough for her to slip passed him. "Lori, no," Rick commanded behind her harshly, but Lori was a beta and Rick's alpha control didn't affect her.

She looked Negan in the eyes, "You and Carl are mates," she said bluntly.

Negan's eyes widened and his half smile never left his face as he looked at Lori like she had the head of a chicken. He knew that the woman was going to try to talk to him about Carl, but he wasn't prepared for her to actually attack him as if she was his mother scolding him about eating his vegetables.

"Yeah," Negan said as if she had just told him that mustard was a condiment, "I'm fully aware of that. Your point?" He was interested to know what the lady had to say.

Lori looked like she couldn't believe the lack of acknowledgment Negan had for her boy. The outrage and shock on her face was so bad that Negan wondered if Rick had done him justice when telling his wife just how much compassion he lacked for their son. Negan realized Rick must not have told his wife about what happened during his and Carl's first encounter.

He huffed in soft laughter.

"'My point'?" Lori asked as if she couldn't believe that Negan had said that to her. "My son is going to end up dying if we all continue to live on different sides."

Negan blinked, but decided he would humor her, "And just what exactly do you propose we do about it, sweetie?"

Lori threw her hands up, "I know that you killed two of our group members, and peace is going to be very difficult at this point. But for Carl's sake, you two should at least talk to each other, and we should try to form a peace treaty."

Negan looked between Lori, and the very angry alpha behind her who looked to be having a lot of trouble keeping his mouth shut as he shook his head and stared at the ground. The leader of the Savior's looked back at Lori and took a step closer to her so she could see clearly just how serious he was when he said, "And what makes you think I give a shit about Carl, or even peace for that matter?"

Her jaw dropped, how could that be? She thought.

Negan had to be lying, there was never an alpha in history that didn't feel some sort of possession towards their omega. Love would come way later, but Negan should have felt at least a flicker of desire for Carl. But as she looked into the alpha's eyes, all she saw there was deep hazel pools of ice darker than the deepest parts of the ocean. It was so cold that she felt like if she didn't look away, frost would fester and bite away at her insides. He was serious.

Lori stuttered, "B-but, he'll die without you, you're okay with that happening?" She couldn't believe the conversation had gone like this. She had expected to be able to just wave Carl's life in his face and he would show at least a little mercy.

Negan scoffed, "Listen sweetie, this isn't high school. What, did you think I was going to just march up those stairs and ravish Carl like a princess? Proclaim my undying love for him, and we'd both ride off into the sunset on some valiant steed?" He leaned just a few inches closer to her so he could talk as soft as he wanted and she would still hear him loud and clear. "Not a chance in hell," he almost thought it funny how speechless Carl's mother was, but he didn't laugh, didn't even smile.

"Listen, chick," Negan continued to Lori's wide and horrified eyes, "if Carl isn't strong enough to overcome a little loneliness, then he doesn't belong in this world." And with that comment that seemed to do nothing but damn them all to hell, Negan turned to leave the house, shouting at Rick that he was picking up his shit and leaving. 

Rick passed Lori and looked at her on his way out, he was definitely mad, but he wasn't enraged anymore. However, he did look like he wanted to say something like 'I told you so,' as he walked passed Lori to fallow Negan, but he didn't.

Lori only moved from that spot when she heard Judith's loud screaming again from upstairs, and she was suddenly horrified for reasons that had nothing to do with any alpha or omega.

She couldn't believe she had left her baby girl up there to cry alone and scared.