The letter was waiting for Kaminari when he got home.
It waited for him at the bottom of his mailslot like a venomous snake, the red seal shining at him in the dim light of the entryway. He’d hoped for the life of him that it was anything else, but everyone knew what a letter from the Council looked like. He’d picked it up with shaking fingers, half-frightened it’d explode in his hands. When it didn’t, he carried it over to the kitchen counter and carefully set it down. And then he sat himself down in front of it, right on the edge of a barstool.
Every other year, the Council sent out the letters. Fertile, of-age alphas and omegas that were unmated would be picked through a random lottery system and forced to mate, and the letters that arrived would tell you who your… partner was to be. It was, of course, not as random a lottery as the Council wanted everyone to believe. Genetics were a factor, as well as class—but they never mentioned it. Never wanted to, it seemed.
Kaminari had always hoped that he would never be picked. Or that he’d find a mate before the Council had the chance to pull it out of their mechanical hat. There were so many people in the city, he’d felt like a drop in the water—but not anymore. Now that the heavy, unmistakable envelope was sitting in front of him. Taunting him. He didn’t want to open it, but he had to.
He swung his legs around and stumbled off the barstool, nearly tripping into his couch. Kaminari had to call Sero. He had to tell him about the letter. Sero would know what to do.
You know what to do, his mind whispered. Open the envelope, call the number. He shook his head, desperately not wanting to. He took a deep breath and searched his pockets for his phone. Kaminari couldn’t remember if Sero was at work tonight.
“Y’ello,” Sero answered. “What’s up, Denki?”
“Are you… are you busy?” Kaminari asked, shifting from foot to foot. “I need to talk to you.”
The end of the line went quiet. “What’s wrong?” It was like flipping a switch. “Need me to come over?”
Kaminari shook his head, even though he knew that Sero couldn’t see him. “No, I… I got the letter. Today. It came in the mail. I haven’t…” He squeezed the phone in his hand and looked up at the ceiling. He tried to take a deep breath, only to have it rattle around in his chest like someone was playing his ribs like a xylophone. “I haven’t opened it.”
“Oh shit, Denki, man.” Sero’s voice trailed off. “Man, I’m so sorry. Fuck.” Kaminari nodded again, beginning to chew on his lips. “Do you want me to come over?”
“It’s late,” Kaminari said, tapping his fingers against his thigh. “You have work tomorrow night, you should sleep, not… I mean, it just came out of the blue.” He ran a hand through his hair. He could feel himself shaking under the sudden pressure of the situation. He couldn’t just ignore it—it wouldn’t go away. The alpha on that card owned him now, in the worst way—he’d be forced to face it one way or the other. “What should I do?”
Sero was quiet for a moment. “I think…” His voice hovered in the air for a split second. “I think we need a boys’ night in. I’ll be over in twenty. You wait right there—don’t go anywhere, you hear me, Denki? You better be in your pajamas and ready to answer that door when I get there.”
Kaminari was about to argue, but Sero had already hung up. He pulled the phone away from his ear and stared at it. After a moment or two of unintended apathy, a wave of relief crashed down around him. He did need a boys’ night in. As long as Sero didn’t force him to open the letter, he couldn’t think of anything he needed more.
Twenty minutes later, without a second later, there was a rushed, uneven knocking. Kaminari had assumed the fetal position on the couch after pulling on a pair of loose sweatpants and an oversized, faded t-shirt—he was loathe to leave the position, but forced himself up. Sero knew where the extra key was hidden and wouldn’t hesitate to use it if he didn’t move fast enough.
“Did you look like shit before you got the letter, of has it been just a progressive downhill slide?” Sero asked when Kaminari opened the door. He had a grocery bag in one hand and a twelve pack of sapporo gripped in the other. Kaminari stepped back to let him inside. “I brought a god-awful amount of stuff, so feel free to dig through—holy shit, are you crying?”
Sero swung the beer up and put the pack on the counter, alongside the grocery bag. Kaminari brought his hands up to touch his cheeks, realising he was crying. Sero wrapped him in a tight hug, bringing him in close.
“Hey, it’s okay. It’s going to be okay.” Sero pet his back awkwardly, rubbing the palm of his hand in-betwixt his shoulder blades as Kaminari let out a soft hiccup. “They filter all the candidates. Right? And, uh, you’re guaranteed to get some good dick?”
Kaminari pressed his forehead against Sero’s shoulder, fighting a laugh. Sero continued. “I mean, do you know how hard it is for me to get good dick? I mean, specifically good alpha dick? Alphas don’t want betas. I can’t get a knot, and it’s not for a lack of trying.”
He was actually laughing now, wiping his wet eyes against Sero’s shoulders. “You didn’t open it yet, did you?”
Kaminari shook his head. “No, I… I can’t. Not right now, not yet, not even with you.”
“No, that’s great.” He clapped his hands on Kaminari’s shoulders. “You’re not going to open it tonight, I mean it’s late. You just got home, let’s say you didn’t even check your mailbox.” He walked over to the paper bag and started to pull things out. “And yeah, it’s Thursday, but you don’t work tomorrow. You can get completely smashed without judgement.”
Out came cheap face masks and nail polish, body scrubs, some sort of foot soak and a hair treatment that Kaminari didn’t recognise. At the very bottom was a tower of DVDs and a slew of food take out menus that already had items circled.
“We’re having a spa night,” Sero declared. “I’ve already ordered the food, and you should be halfway through a nice foot soak before it arrives. I’m paying.” He smacked a hand on it. “Pick out a movie, grab a beer, and get settled on the couch. Go.” Sero nudged at Kaminari with his shoulder. When he didn’t move, he nudged him again. “ Go. And hey, maybe your alpha will call and take the pressure off of you, huh? I hear calling is the worst part of the ordeal.”
“God, I hope not,” Kaminari answered, shuffling over to the stack of movies. “I hope he finds a last-minute omega that’s not me.” He absentmindedly yanked at the cardboard and pulled out a bottle of beer. It was surprisingly cold. “Did you get these from the cooler?”
Sero nodded. “Didn’t think you wanted to wait for them to chill in the fridge,” he answered. He pulled a bottle opener from his pocket and handed it over. “I didn’t forget the most important part, I promise.” Kaminari took it with a shake of his head, chest feeling hollow from his brief cry.
The beer was cold and a bit bitter Kaminari took a sip, but it was a familiar taste. It reminded him of late night at college, pretending to study when they were really ogling alpha/omega porn and laughing at how ridiculous most of it was. Kaminari kind of wished tonight was the same.
“Don’t look so down,” Sero told him, grabbing a beer for himself before loading the rest of them into the fridge. Kaminari noticed how hard he was trying to keep his gaze from the tan envelope still sitting on the counter. “If you do, we’re going to have to turn the phrase from Debbie Downer to Denki Downer.” He pointed the unopened top of his bottle at Kaminari.
Kaminari pressed the beer bottle to his forehead. “I’d accept it as a compliment,” he muttered. “Second-gender roles have come a long way, but I could be married up. Married up means I could be expected to… you know.”
“Take a back seat?” Sero asked, coming over to sit beside him. “Nah, I don’t think that’ll happen.” The couch let out a breath of air as he sat down. “Moving up is a once-in-a-lifetime chance sort of thing.” He grabbed the bottle opener and listened to it hiss as he removed the cap. “Besides, most alphas are pretty understanding these days. You’ll get a good one.”
“How do you know?”
Sero shushed him immediately and aggressively. “Don’t. Don’t say a word or you’re going to break the magic of it. Just let me work, okay? You’re going to get a good one. Even if you don’t believe that, it’s not worth worrying about. You’ll just get all anxious and upset, and make yourself sick.”
“I have never worried myself sick,” Kaminari argued.
“Week before prom, senior year. You didn’t think anyone was going to ask you,” Sero began, dramatically draping himself across the couch. He threw his free arm over his eyes. “You almost vomited.” He uncovered one of his eyes to stare at Kaminari judgmentally. “Next day, three alphas and a beta asked you. Including that uh, that Kirishima guy that everyone in class was drooling over.”
“Okay, one time,” Kaminari conceded.
Sero opened his mouth to disagree, when the doorbell rang. Kaminari popped up out of his seat, nearly stumbling over his coffee table as he did so. “I’ll get it. Where’s your wallet?” Sero rolled his eyes, but fished around in his back pocket to pull out the same, beaten up leather wallet from middle school that he was bound determined to keep until… well, Kaminari didn’t quite know. Forever, probably. It was currently held together by more duct tape than cow, and it smelled constantly of unwashed jeans, but Sero claimed that it was no use throwing out a perfectly good wallet.
Kaminari caught it mid-air, answered the door, and then went about paying for the takeout without further incident. It felt so normal he’d almost forgotten about why Sero had come over in the first place—that was until he turned around and saw the envelope again. His heart dropped into his stomach, thudding like church bells at a funeral.
“We should have a couple more orders on the way, just keep it by the door.” Sero tossed his arms over the back of the couch. When Kaminari didn’t come back over, he gave him a long, inquisitive look. “Everything okay? I mean, considering the situation and all.”
“What if it’s someone I know from school or something? A client from work?” Kaminari asked, trying not to sound panicked and failing. “Or a friend of the family’s son? Like, I don’t know if I can handle that.” He ran a hand through his hair, disrupting the already messy nest of blond locks.
Sero let out a grunt as he stood. He padded over to Kaminari and wrapped an arm around his shoulders. He drew him away from the counter so he couldn’t see the envelope.
“Either way you look at it, you’re going to be nervous,” Sero told him. His voice had softened. “If you know them, if you don’t know them. The point of tonight is to forget about it. Don’t bother opening it until tomorrow morning. Just get hammered with me.” He shook Kaminari by the shoulders.
“Ugh, but it feels so much like… a last hurrah. A last night of freedom,” Kaminari whined. Sero shrugged his shoulders. “Thanks for coming over, Hanta.”
“What kind of best friend would I be?” Sero asked, faux offended. “We don’t have to actually keep drinking if you don’t want to. I mean, I’d prefer we eat the food at least. And cry over a couple shitty romance movies. But if you don’t want to drink, I understand.”
Kaminari snorted and shook his head. “What, not pushing for any of the, uh, beauty products?” he asked.
“Oh, no, those were never an option,” Sero said. “You are going to relax with a face mask at the very least.” Kaminari set his beer aside and blew out a breath. Sero nodded at him. “Sorry.”
“What are you apologising for?” Kaminari asked.
“Well, sometimes life just sucks. I’m apologising because I don’t like seeing you have to deal with some of the sucky bits. You don’t deserve it. I mean, you’ve been a good enough person that the sucky bits shouldn’t apply. We should get a sticker for you.” Kaminari rolled his eyes at Sero. “Come on. Just forget about it for a little bit. Or try to. It’ll make you feel better.”
“I’m just going to have to wake up and open it tomorrow.”
“Or you’ll wake up to a phone call tomorrow,” Sero pointed out. “Either way, it’s for tomorrow you to figure out. Today you? Today you went to work. Leave it at that.” He pulled away from Kaminari. “Come on. Let’s go watch Love, Actually.” He hesitated for a moment before entwining his fingers into Kaminari’s, like they used to do when they were kids.
Kaminari lifted their interlocked fingers up. “Already playing the supportive beta best friend?”
“I could play the stubborn one, but I don’t think I’m much of a match for an alpha,” Sero replied, tugging him toward the couch. “Come on.” He gave a tug, and then another sharper one. Kaminari sighed and dragged his feet, but let himself be pulled over to the couch. Once there, Sero pulled his hands free and pressed his palms to Kaminari’s forehead.
“Begone, thoughts of alphas and ominous letters. Let only thoughts of a very young, very hot Hugh Grant fill your mind.” He frowned thoughtfully. “And Marine McCutch… McCutcheson?”
“It’s Martine McCutcheon. You’re so fucking gay.” Kaminari grabbed Sero’s hands and pulled them from his head. “I’m going to put the DVD in the player. You start dishing up, before stuff goes cold.”
Sero easily obliged. “You don’t have to tell me twice.”
The early evening bled into night, and when Kaminari checked outside, an unexpected layer of clouds had covered the stars and blocked all but a sliver of silver moonlight. He frowned—there hadn’t been anything about rain in the forecast, but today was full of surprises. Sero was already passed out on the couch, half-drooling onto its cushions.
Kaminari quietly padded to the linen closet and pulled out an extra blanket, knowing that it’d get chilly in the living room. He threw it over Sero and almost laughed when he grabbed it and instantly tucked it under his chin in his sleep.
He quietly surveyed the mess left behind in the living room—there were empty plates and packaging, and their undrank beers sat, now warm, in the sink. He considered leaving the mess for the morning, but the idea of waking up to it haunted him. Kaminari could clean up the trash at the very least.
After a quick, somewhat quiet clean up, he made his way to his bedroom. The letter was clutched tightly in his fingers; the envelope wrinkled slightly in his grip but he didn’t have the mind to care. He set it down on the end table, keeping his eyes focused anywhere but on that same seal that had winked at him earlier.
Kaminari didn’t expect to fall asleep right away, even at such a late hour; it never felt so good to be wrong. The cold sheets combined with the heavy weight of his blankets had him wrapped in a tight cocoon of cosiness.
It felt like he’d barely closed his eyes when he was being shaken awake. He batted a hand out, smacking Sero.
“Ge’ off,” Kaminari muttered, rolling over onto his side. “I’m sleepin’.”
“Look, I know,” Sero hissed, soundly oddly awake. Kaminari turned his head toward him, staring at him blearily. “But there is some guy at your door. I don’t know who he is, but he looks big enough to break it down.”
Sero didn’t have to say it. Alpha. Kaminari’s alpha. Kaminari reached out for his phone.
“Didn’t call. I would know, your cell is in the living room.” Sero rolled his lips between his teeth, looking nervous. “I, uh, you should probably answer the door. Soon. Before he gets impatient.”
Kaminari heard the knock this time and he all but threw himself out of the bed. He flinched when his feet hit cold wood and nearly slammed into the mirrored sliding door of his closet.
“I… oh, god, I’m wearing the shittiest pajamas ever,” he hissed, hopping past Sero. “My hair is a mess, isn’t it?” He ran his hands through it, yanking his fingers through several knots. Sero shoved the envelope into Kaminari’s hands. “What? What’s this? I don’t need to open this if that’s—”
“ —There should be a picture of the guy in there,” Sero explained. “Right? Make sure you’ve got the right guy before you go calling him alpha, okay? At least know his name, fuck.” Sero slid into the abandoned bed, tugging the covers up and over ahead. Another knock. “Pretend I’m not here.”
Kaminari stared at him for half a second before stumbling into the living room, ripping open the envelope and shaking out the contents onto the kitchen counter. He shoved away the paperwork, feeling his stomach turn at the idea of it and picked up a glossy printed photo.
And his heart stopped.
Kaminari didn’t recognise him, no. But that gleaming, happy-go-lucky smile had his heart stuttering in his chest as he shuffled to the door, more zombie than human. His mind went blank—gone was his fear of answering the door in his pajamas, with unbrushed hair and morning breath.
“Oh, uh, sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you,” the man said on the other side of the door, his smile turning sheepish at Kaminari’s dumbfounded expression. Every bit of tension that had been building up in his body broke, all at once, and melted down into a pinprick of heat in the centre of his stomach.
The man thrust a bouquet of bright, yellow flowers. Kaminari couldn’t identify them, but he took them all the same. “These are for you.” Kaminari stared at him, and then looked down at the picture in his hand. He slowly flipped it over.
“Thank you, uh...Kirishima,” Kaminari stuttered out, bringing them to his chest and trying to hide his face in them. This was too much, all of it was too much.
“I didn’t know what flowers you liked so I just got you some that matched your hair,” Kirishima told him. He was fidgeting with his hands now that they were free, as if he didn’t know what to do with them. “And you can call me Eijirou, you know, considering that we’re…” He trailed off, and when Kaminari looked up at him, his smile widened. “Your picture really doesn’t do you justice, you know? You’re really beautiful, Denki.”
Kaminari’s cheeks flushed a dark red and he buried it further in the flowers. They smelled as beautiful as they looked. He kept his eyes down for a moment before taking a step back. “Come… Come on in. It’s a bit of a mess.”
Kirishima came in, shoulders slightly hunched with a glint of curiosity in his eyes. An omega’s home was similar to their nest, in some ways. It smelled like them, told stories of how they lived. Kaminari jumped when he caught Kirishima’s scent brush over him. It was rich and heavy, smelling like the perfect day of summer, complete with sticky, cherry popsicles and it made Kaminari’s head buzz like it was full of dragonflies.
Kirishima’s eyes went to the letter that was simply torn open and dumped onto the counter.
“I’m- I’m sorry,” Kaminari apologised. “I just. I got home late, and I was so tired, I didn’t… I was really stressed out.” He pressed his palms to his forehead.
“Oh no, don’t worry, don’t worry at all,” Kirishima was enthusiastic in trying to calm Kaminari down. Kaminari’s shoulders relaxed. “It’s okay. It really is. We have plenty of time to read, you know, go over the paperwork. The Council has done most of it anyway.”
Kaminari pulled the flowers from his face to look back at Kirishima. “I… I have a vase somewhere, let me get it.” He moved and nearly ran into Kirishima. He was hovering so close and Kaminari was sure that he was trying to catch a whiff of his own scent. Kirishima jumped back, cheeks burning and looking apologetic in the most adorable way possible.
He retrieved the vase and filled it with water without incident. “Did you want to go out somewhere?”
Kirishima beamed. “Yeah, if you’d let me take you out.” Kaminari took a moment to admire the suit he was wearing; he looked comfortable in it. He guessed that Kirishima would look comfortable in just about anything he wore. “There’s this great little breakfast cafe I know downtown, if… If you haven’t eaten yet.”
He reminded of Kaminari of a dog, excited at the prospect of going for a walk. Kaminari pinned his top lip between his teeth. “I just woke up,” he answered softly. “I… I could definitely go for breakfast.” He tucked a loose lock of hair behind his ear. “Just let me freshen up? I’m not one to go out in pajamas.”
“Well, if you wanted to, I wouldn’t mind. They’re pretty cute.”
Kaminari felt like he was going to explode. Kirishima took a step closer, eyes sparkling brightly. He was so much taller than him. And god-awfully handsome. Before Kaminari knew what was happening, Kirishima was dipping down, pressing their mouths together in a soft, chaste kiss.
His hands came up and curled around Kaminari’s face, his calloused fingertips careful as they felt under his jaw and then smoothed down his neck, briefly touching his scent gland. Kaminari let out a soft, barely audible moan and swayed forward.
“Wow.” Kirishima pulled back. His voice was breathless. “You smell amazing. You taste amazing too, but… Wow.” He brushed his thumb over the corner of Kaminari’s jaw. He pressed their foreheads together, smiling the entire time. “I’m sorry, I should’ve asked, but, I just wanted to smell you.”
Kaminari swallowed, eyelids fluttering. He was half as drunk on Kirishima’s hormones as Kirishima sounded. “I… I get it, I mean. We’re due to be mated, and you’re excited, and you want to smell me. I’m glad you like it. Guess it’ll make things easier.”
He raised his hands and lay them over Kirishima’s, trying not to shake. God, this was weird. It was weird that the two of them had slotted together so well, without so much as a question. Kaminari supposed this was how it worked. He hoped it wasn’t simple fascination on Kirishima’s part.
“Oh, hold up kiddies, no making out in the kitchen,” Sero said, breaking the two of them apart—Kirishima put an arm in front of Kaminari, a low growl already rolling up through his throat. Kaminari and Sero snorted in time, even though Kaminari found it oddly romantic as well as unneeded.
Sero held up his hands. “Woah, big guy. Beta. Not a threat. Nice to meet you, though.” He had redressed and was grabbing for his wallet. “And as the two of you seem like you’re getting awfully friendly, I think I am going to jump ship. You two have fun doing… You know, what alphas and omegas do. Just don’t make any babies until you’re actually mated.”
Sero slipped out the door before Kirishima could ask. He turned to Kaminari, who shrugged and pushed past him, heading for his bedroom. “I’m going to change.” He wanted to get away before Kirishima cornered him again, made his guts do any more twists and turns that he was unfamiliar with. He was sure he imagined the low whine that left Kirishima as he walked away.
Once safely in his room, Kaminari pressed his back to his door. Butterflies were congregating in his stomach, fluttering about—he couldn’t tell if it was nausea or...or something else. He’d met alphas before. He’d smelled them. But Kirishima was just...
Kaminari squeezed his nightshirt between his hands. Was it because he was handsome? Was it because he thought it was some predestined duty? Kaminari tugged his shirt up and pressed it to his face, angrily growling into it. And then he tugged it over his head and tossed it away, trying not to think about it. It didn’t matter. It was a good thing, in the moment.
“Is this what omegas feel like? In all those romance movies?” He kicked his feet against the carpet as he went over to his closet. He wanted to dress nice, but now that Kirishima was waiting for him, he wasn’t sure what was nice, what was cute, what was anything really. Kaminari wasn’t even sure what was up from down right now.
“God, I’m so nervous.” Kaminari stuck his head into his closet as soon as he opened it, peering into the darkness before yanking his head back out. “Oh my god, what do I even wear.” He dragged his hands down his face, not even looking at the plethora of clothes in front of him. “I mean, he’s seen the pajamas, it can’t get any worse.”
And he kissed me, Kaminari thought inwardly. He kissed me, we met like, ten minutes ago. This was insane. He closed his eyes tight and took a deep breath. Breakfast. That’s all he had to worry about right now. Breakfast. That was a start.
Song for this fic:
I'd Pluck A Fair Rose by Mike O' Connor
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Chapter 2: A Good Match
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The cafe was, thankfully, within walking distance. Kirishima had looked for Kaminari’s hand, extending his own with that same bright, silly smile on his face. Kaminari had been flustered, for a moment, before taking it. Kirishima squeezed gently, tugging him along—he looked about ready to burst with everything he wanted to say.
“Did you think you’d be picked?” he asked as soon as they were sat down. Kaminari grabbed at the menu, flipping it up to look over the choices. He couldn’t meet Kirishima’s eyes right now. Luckily, he didn’t have to. Kirishima picked up his sentence before Kaminari could answer. “I mean, you hear about it, but I’ve never seen it actually happen. Let alone think it could happen to me. ”
“I’ve only heard of it,” Kaminari answered. He furrowed his brow, unable to focus on the menu, distracted by the question. He put the menu back down to look at Kirishima. “I… It’s a lot to take in, you know?” He ran a hand through his hair, wincing as a burst of static electricity shocked him.
Kaminari fidgeted with the place mat, looking off to stare at a napkin that had fallen below a nearby table. “It’s pretty scary. Not you— I mean, you’re not that scary, but…” he spread his hands out in front of him. “...The situation.”
Kirishima reached a hand across the table, fingertips barely touching Kaminari’s. “I understand. One day you’re single, next day you’re not.” He curled his fingers against the table. “And I wouldn’t blame you if you found me scary. I did kind of show up unannounced. I’m sorry about that. I should have called ahead.”
“I probably wouldn’t have heard it,” Kaminari admitted. His stomach growled insistently at him, and he cleared his throat to try and hide it. “I’m a pretty deep sleeper, to be honest.” He tugged his bottom lip into his mouth, staring at the menu, unsure of what to get. There was a desire to impress Kirishima by ordering something light, but at the same time he was starving.
“Then I guess I’ll have to be extra diligent. Make sure that no boogey-man tries to nab you,” Kirishima teased. Kaminar’s cheeks lit up. “You’re probably pretty hungry. Get whatever you want. My treat.”
“You don’t have to,” Kaminari said. “We can split the bill if you want.”
There was a moment of silence and Kaminari looked up; Kirishima looked puzzled, if only for a brief second. He shook his head.
“I insist,” he replied. Kirishima continued before Kaminari could protest (not that he was going to), “And not because you’re an omega, or even my omega? Cause I know you can pay for yourself, but I just… I want to.”
Kaminari couldn’t help but notice the way he spoke with his hands, vibrant and cheerful with every movement. “You don’t have to tell me twice,” he agreed. “Thank you. For treating me.” He brought the menu back up. Kirishima seemed understanding enough, and Kaminari needed a carb-heavy meal to rely on through this stressful situation.
“Do you think they serve their lunch menu right now?” Kaminari asked. He was looking at the pasta. “I’m starving.”
“They might,” Kirishima replied. “Only way to know is to ask?” He seemed puzzled, staring at Kaminari for a moment. He then cleared his throat. “So, uh, I don’t know much about you. What do you do for a living?”
Kaminari frowned. “Well, I…” He cleared his throat, trying to think of the best way to explain what he did. It was a good job that paid well. But it might not be a job that Kirishima, or any alpha really, might not appreciate him holding.
“I work for Alphas Illustrated,” Kaminari said, reaching for the glass of water the waiter had given him upon arrival. He resisted the urge to look up at Kirishima, not sure if he wanted to see his reaction. “It’s the—”
“ —The number one omega lifestyle and entertainment magazine,” Kirishima finished. “Wow. What do you do over there? Do you get to hang out with all those oiled up alphas all day?” There was nothing resembling jealousy in his voice, only amusement. “I’ve heard that the entire place is run by omegas—it actually sounds kind of dangerous, being around all those alpha hormones all the time.”
Kaminari opened his mouth to answer, but the waiter swung by; they did indeed serve lunch, and he took advantage of it, ordering a large pasta bowl with a coffee.
“You eat alfredo with coffee?” Kirishima asked after the waiter left.
“You work late enough, you eat anything with coffee,” Kaminari replied, taking another drink of his water. “And Alphas Illustrated is run by omegas. We do have a few alphas and betas in the office, but not many—and the alphas that come in to be photographed are required to be on suppressants for a week before they come in. We can’t smell them, they can’t smell us.”
“Wow, I didn’t know that.” Kirishima sat back in his chair with a whistle. “It’s kind of impressive you haven’t found an alpha you like, all the same. They’re pretty hot—” He looked away, cheeks a bright red. He looked embarrassed. “I used to look through Alphas Illustrated all the time. My sister had a subscription.”
Kaminari laughed. “I looked through it when I was a kid, too. I just edit articles now, though.” He found himself relaxing. “I don’t know why, but I’ve never been too interested in them. Might be the lack of scent, but I honestly don’t know.” He blinked, staring above Kirishima’s head, momentarily distracted by a pigeon that was waddling under a nearby table. He shook his head to clear it. “What about you? What do you do?”
Kirishima looked behind him, trying to find what Kaminari had been looking at. He couldn’t find it, judging by the look on his face. “Uh, tea,” he replied, swivelling back to look at Kaminari. “Not that exciting—I’m being trained to take over my dad’s company. Doragon Tea.”
“ Doragon? ” Kaminari asked in disbelief. “Wait, the Doragon? The big tea company that’s literally in every store?” He was staring at Kirishima, unsure of what he’d just heard. That one in a million chance was him. He was marrying up.
Kaminari rose his hands to cup his face, fingers working into his hair.
“Yeah,” Kirishima replied, looking puzzled. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, yeah I’m fine.” He had sank down in his chair slightly, mentally cursing Sero. He’d brought this upon him. “Just… Wow. Wow. I didn’t think that… I don’t know.”
“I’m not actually in charge yet. I won’t be for awhile,” Kirishima told him, as if that was supposed to calm him down. “Five, ten years? My dad wants to give us some time to get used to the married life before I take on that kind of responsibility.”
Kaminari tried to calm down, he really did. He straightened in his chair. “Wow. That’s… that’s really impressive. I’ll have to thank your dad when I meet him.” Which he would. He’d meet him later this week, if they followed the typical timeline laid out by the Council.
“Does it bother you?” Kirishima asked. “It must be a pretty big thing to take in. On top of the whole newly-engaged-to-an-alpha thing. Knowing that I’m also, you know.”
“I… I don’t think so?” Kaminari answered. “I can’t really tell right now.” He ended his sentence with a smile. “I honestly need some time for it to sink in and all. I… I’ve just heard that sometimes, when omegas marry up, they sort of… They have to give up…” Kaminari twisted his fingers together on the tabletop. “...The alpha wants them to kind of give up their previous life.”
Kirishima shook his head. “No, no, no.” He reached across the table and placed his hand over Kaminari’s. “No, never. I mean, my dad is kind of weird about the whole grandson thing but no, it’s fine. I’m not going to do that to you.” He sounded so sweet in his reply. “I promise.” He squeezed Kaminari’s hands.
Kaminari’s nerves settled and he let out a sigh. “Thanks. I’m sure I’m going to have a dozen more questions.” He tried to pull one of hands away, but found both of them gripped by Kirishima; he brought them to his mouth and pressed a kiss to his knuckles. Kaminari cleared his throat and spoke again. “I’m not saying that…” He took a breath, changing the subject. “...What’s your favourite movie?”
“Jurassic Park,” Kirishima answered, letting him drop the question.
“Oh, I love Jurassic Park,” Kaminari said. “Which dinosaur is your favourite?”
“The t-rex,” he said. “They did such a good job on the animatronic in that movie.”
Kaminari cocked an eyebrow. “Who said it’s an animatronic?”
Kirishima gave a faux gasp at the question. “No. It might be good, but it’s definitely not a real dinosaur.”
“I’m just saying that it’s a pretty convincing dino.” Kaminari sat back as his pasta came, mouth watering at the smell. He clapped his hands together in delight, watching Kirishima brighten. “This looks amazing.”
“It does. I’m kind of jealous,” Kirishima admitted; his own dish was set in front of him, some sort of herb-crusted fish. “But it’s good to know you’re comfortable eating around me,” he paused. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that out loud. I just… I’m glad that you eat well. Yeah, that’s weird.” He looked down at his fish, grabbing his fork.
Kaminari nodded. “Yeah, it’s weird. But not too weird? Only a little weird.” He took a big bite, appetite only growing at the taste. “Did you think that… Am I what you were expecting? Before you opened the envelope, did you wonder about it?”
“I didn’t think too hard,” Kirishima replied. “I mean, I was expecting an omega. I’m actually surprised I got such a pretty one.” Kaminari could practically feel him wiggling in his chair. “Most omegas are pretty, but you… You’re stunning. I really think you are.”
Kirishima knew just how to make him blush. It wasn’t an alpha thing—Kirishima was honestly delightful and sweet. “I don’t mean to make you feel awkward.”
“I don’t feel awkward, I just… It’s part of the not knowing how to process everything,” Kaminari told him. “And you just seem so calm. How are you so calm? I mean, I’m going to change your life.”
“I guess this is—and don’t take offence at this, please. It’s really a big weight off my shoulders. My dad wanted me to be mated years ago, and this gets him off my back, too.” Kirishima ran a hand through his hair. “I guess it’s different for you. Not really a relief.”
Kaminari focused on his food for a moment or two, thinking about it. “It’s different, but I guess you’re right. It’s kind of freeing.” A realisation hit him, and he laughed. “I haven’t even told my parents,” he admitted. “It was kind of late when I got home, but I… I should’ve called them.”
“I’m sure they'll understand,” Kirishima said. A playful glint entered his eyes. “We could tell them together.”
Kaminari nearly choked on his food, trying to imagine his parents reaction to him bringing an alpha home. Kirishima was up and out of his seat; his hand went to Kaminari’s back, smoothing over it, while his other hand brushed his hair back.
“Are you okay, Denki?” Kirishima asked. Kaminari nodded, swallowing hard. “I’m guessing that’s a no.”
“My parents are good at overreacting,” Kaminari admitted. “I think I should prepare them first.” He felt a kiss pressed to the top of his head and he grunted. He tilted his head up to look at Kirishima. “Wow, you're close.”
Kaminari swallowed and tried again. “Everything okay?”
“I could ask you the same thing. Are you alright?”
“Yeah, I’m fine,” he replied. Kirishima returned to his seat, pacified. He screwed his mouth into a frown. “Can I ask you something?”
Kaminari nodded, staring at his food. “Yeah, sure. I don't see why not.”
“That guy, this morning.” He was fiddling with his hands. “Are you two… Are you a thing?” He sounded nervous even asking.
“Sero and me? A thing? Nah, he's just a good friend.” He couldn't believe that Sero had given off that sort of vibe. “Neither of us work today, so we decided to hang out.”
Kirishima visibly relaxed. “I was worried I was breaking up a happy couple for a moment there.” He ran a hand through his hair, tugging at it.
The rest of breakfast was a combination of small talk and sharing tidbits about themselves. Not enough, Kaminari thought, to marry someone over. But a start.
He called his parents when he got home, Kirishima lingering in his kitchen like a misbegotten ghost. He looked like he was itching to explore the apartment, but was afraid of upsetting Kaminari.
Kaminari got the answering machine, which wasn't uncommon, and left a message for his parents to call as soon as they were able. As soon as he hung up, he noticed Kirishima eyeing his bedroom door.
“It's not as exciting as you think,” Kaminari said. Kirishima jumped and tried to stammer something out, but only managed something incomprehensible. “Just a bedroom.”
“I disagree. You can tell a lot about someone by their bedroom.”
Kaminari let out a thoughtful hum at the idea, picking up one of the loose papers from the envelope. It had the suggested timeline printed on it, the black words intimidating against the stark, white paper. According to the “proposed” first day activities, they were supposed to stake a claim, or in other words, scent one another.
“You can go in if you want,” Kaminari told him. Kirishima jumped at the chance, kicking off his loafers before scooting himself across the well-traveled carpet, no doubt building static electricity with each slide.
“You should come with,” Kirishima said. Kaminari looked up from the paper. Scenting. The bedroom smelled like him. It might be a good place to start the process, actually. “It'll be fun.”
Kaminari squared his mental shoulders and followed Kirishima, squeezing in front of him to open the door to his bedroom.
It was rightfully messy, partially from his panic earlier that morning. Kirishima didn't seem in the mood to judge, too busy prowling around the room. The paper from the council was still gripped tightly in Kaminari’s hand.
He cleared his throat as Kirishima was inspecting the tiny plants living in his windowsill. Kirishima turned his head toward him within seconds, eyes focusing on the paper in Kaminari’s hands.
“What’s up?” Kirishima asked.
“This says that we should… Scent each other.” Kaminari flashed the paper, sure that Kirishima had already read through it. “On the first day. What do you think about that?” He really needed to get a hold of his nerves. It was like trying to herd cats. “I think we should.” He furrowed his brow, looking back at the list.
Kirishima’s brow furrowed in time with his. “I… Yeah, let’s do it.” He turned his head up, smiling at Kaminari. “But only if you really want to. Don’t think we have to because of the list.”
“No, I… Well, that’s kind of what I thought. But there has to be a reason it’s a first day thing.” Kaminari stepped past Kirishima to put the paper on his end table. He took a deep breath and then let it out. He then turned toward Kirishima, smiling at him. “Let’s scent each other, Eijirou.”
Kirishima nodded—his cheeks were a faint pink, but he seemed enthusiastic as Kaminari came over to him. “How do you want to do this?” He asked. They were just staring at each other, roughly two feet apart.
“I… I don’t know, the only time I’ve ever been scented, or have done any scenting was in heat,” Kaminari answered. “I thought it’d be just a natural thing. Have a bit of fluidity to it.” He took a step forward, tilting his head up slightly. Kirishima’s eyes flicked to his neck, staring at it.
“Have you had an alpha in your past heats?” he asked, head cocked as he stepped forward. He flinched at his one question. “Of course you have, you said you’ve been scented. Guess that means I have some competition, huh?” He laughed, mostly to himself.
Kaminari blinked at him, confused; Kirishima’s smell was suddenly thick in the air around him. “Huh?”
“Well, I’m not your first alpha.” Kaminari shuddered as hands lightly settled on his hips. “So I have to make up for that.” He took a deep breath, pressing his face against Kaminari’s neck unceremoniously. “Man, you smell good. Like, I don’t know, a thunderstorm.”
Kaminari thought it was fine to follow suit, pressing his face against Kirishima’s neck; he could feel the shudder that went through him—Kaminari smoothed his neck over Kirishima’s in an experimental attempt at scenting him. The fingers on his hips tightened, keeping him in place. A low rumble spilled out of Kirishima’s chest.
“That’s such a weird feeling,” he mumbled. He stroked his neck against Kaminari’s, and the burst of scent was enough to have Kaminari reaching up to cling at Kirishima’s arms. His scent was so powerful. It was all around him, swallowing him up in memories of summer.
Everything seemed so easy from there—they scented each other slowly, each stroke languid and careful. Kaminari was fully focused on the activity, so when Kirishima pressed a knuckle to the underside of his chin and turned his face forward, he jumped. He couldn’t ask, didn’t know how at the moment with the constant buzz in his head.
He squeaked when Kirishima pressed their mouths together, fingers stroking his neck, and then protectively closing over his scent gland. Kaminari’s eyes closed, remaining that way even as Kirishima pulled away to rub his cheeks over his jaw. There was no space between them now and he could feel the happy purr that was rolling out of Kirishima’s chest.
“We smell good together,” Kaminari pointed out, breath airy and light. Kirishima pressed a kiss to the corner of his mouth. He turned his head and cracked an eye open so he could find Kirishima’s mouth—he captured it, this kiss a bit longer than the last, with a bit of pressure behind it.
“We do,” Kirishima agreed. “A sign of a good match, right? If we smell good together.” Another kiss, with barely parted lips and an inquisitive, flicking tongue. Kaminari opened his mouth, whining when Kirishima’s tongue unfolded into it. He should’ve tasted like fish, but no—it was as if Kaminari was kissing the embodiment of a hot, sticky night under the stars.
I’d like to spend a hot, sticky night with him., his mind supplied, almost too eagerly. Kaminari didn’t have the energy to scold himself, couldn’t even think of why he would. Kirishima was an alpha, after all. His alpha. It was okay to get caught up in his scent like this.
“You look like you’re going to pass out,” Kirishima teased between kisses. Kaminari didn’t answer right away, staring at Kirishima with a dopey grin on his face. “Denki? Have I lost you?”
Kaminari shook his head, slipping a hand up to match the hand on his neck. He tugged Kirishima back to him, slotting their mouths together again—Kaminari smiled against Kirishima’s mouth as he quickly took over the kiss. His tongue was thick and blunt, exploring with an eager, enthusiastic hunger. His free hand curled around Kaminari’s waist, as if he could press them tighter together.
“Is this normal?” Kirishima asked with a huff. He kissed at Kaminari’s chin, and the hand he’d placed against his neck slipped down to join the other. “Wanting to make out during a scenting session?”
“I don’t know, but I’m not complaining,” Kaminari replied, wondering exactly how dumb the look on his face was. He shook his head a bit, but he couldn’t quite clear it. “We could Google it. After we’re done here.” His suggestion was met by another kiss, and then what was quite obviously a nuzzle against his scent gland. “I think it’d be a normal thing? I mean, scenting is pretty intimate.”
Kirishima shushed him. “We don’t need to question it.” He straightened, looking down at Kaminari. “It could just be because you’re really beautiful.”
“Yeah, it doesn’t hurt that you’re hot either,” Kaminari admitted without thinking. He cleared his throat almost immediately. “You are really hot.” He pulled his hand away, suddenly feeling awkward. “Sorry.”
“You’re apologising for giving me a compliment?” Kirishima asked with a cock of his head. His red hair swayed like a curtain as he did so, and Kaminari was temporarily mesmerised by the color. “I think we’ve done a pretty good job so far,” he muttered after a moment. “But maybe—”
“ —We should definitely make out some more,” Kaminari interrupted. “You know, and scent each other a little bit more. For safety.”
“For safety,” Kirishima agreed with a nod of his head. He was trying to hide a playful grin. “Safety is important—have to stake our claims, make sure that no one tries to nab us.” He poked at Kaminari’s side, lighting up when he laughed. “Are you ticklish ?” he asked, running his fingers over Kaminari’s side.
“No,” Kaminari denied, vehement. He laughed again as the fingers attacked his side, kept in place by the Kirishima’s other hand. He tried to push it away, once and then twice, getting free just long enough to dash for the bed. He slid across the covers and then kicked as hands found his sides, tickling him mercilessly.
“Stop, get off,” Kaminari squealed as he was rolled over onto his back, body shaking. Kirishima growled at him playfully, exposing his throat to show he was no danger. Kaminari wiggled underneath him—he’d just met this man today and yet here they were, essentially play wrestling on his bed. Like teenagers.
The tickling stopped and was followed by an impromptu scenting, which Kaminari returned with ease, still giggling. The scenting turned to kissing, and the kissing turned into their bodies pressed tightly together, almost locked together like their mouths. Kaminari half-expected Kirishima to start rutting against him, and he almost would’ve welcomed it.
But being kissed silly was also enjoyable. His hands found Kirishima’s hair, twisting into the bright red locks and keeping him close. The kisses slowed and soon he found him brought close into a tight hug, wrapped up in Kirishima’s arms as if he intended to keep him safe. It was cute.
He furrowed his brow again, looking at Kirishima’s face; it looked familiar, now that he had time to take a look at it without panicking. He let out a grunt and sat up—Kirishima, who’s eyes had closed, shot up in a second.
“What’s up?” he asked.
“You look familiar,” Kaminari muttered. “But I can’t quite place it.”
“Huh? I mean, I guess I could have one of those faces?” Kirishima offered, leaning back against the bed, looking far too comfortable for his own good. Like a cat who’d had his fill of cream. “Or we might’ve seen each other in passing?” He shrugged, folding his hands behind his head. “Heck, maybe we were mated in a previous life? And you’re just remembering your past life.”
Kaminari blew a raspberry at the idea, searching his brain for where he’d seen Kirishima. After a moment or two, he flopped back against the bed, folding his hands over his stomach. Everything about this day had been weird. He didn’t know how he felt about it. He was pretty sure there was a nugget of relief in there, somewhere.
Kirishima was talking again, and Kaminari tuned back in.“Do you want to grab dinner later? I made some reservations at Oak Tree last night without thinking—you don’t have to go, but I would love to spend the rest of the day together. You know, just… Getting to know each other. We can order in lunch, or we could go shopping, we could… I’d be just happy to follow you around while you do whatever you normally do.”
“I don’t remember what I had planned for today,” Kaminari replied. “Maybe grocery shopping? Though I don’t know how long I’ll be in this apartment. What were your plans, housing-wise?”
Kirishima rolled onto his side to look at Kaminari. “Not to be too archaic, but I thought you’d move in with me. If that’s okay.” One of his hands stroked Kaminari’s arm. “Actually, my dad, when I first presented, bought me a house. For when I found an omega.”
Kaminari laughed; he didn’t mean to, but he did. It was a half-choked noise that wasn’t quite human. “Excuse me? A house?”
Kirishima nodded, as if it were normal. “Yup. I thought that we could go check it out sometime this week, if you were up for it. We could always look for something else—”
“ —I feel like that would be an insult to your father,” Kaminari interrupted. Kirishima paused, as if thinking about it. “Wow… A house. I never thought I’d live in a house. Why did he buy you a house?” Sero would lose his shit when he told him Kirishima got a house as a sweet-sixteen present. “A house? Seriously?”
“Yeah, a house,” Kirishima replied, apparently amused at Kaminari’s bafflement. “I think you’re right though. My dad would be pretty upset if we turned down his offer, especially since he’s putting it in my name today—he’s pretty old-fashioned about how this is supposed to work. I guess the house is supposed to impress you.”
“Well, it worked. Consider me very impressed.” He let out a breath. “Goddamn, a house.”
“Do I need to leave you alone with the idea of it?” Kirishima teased, poking at his side again. Kaminari looked at him, faux scandalised. “Okay, okay, I’m sorry. I’m not going to tickle you again. You just look crazy cute with that look on your face.”
Kaminari felt Kirishima’s thumb brush his bottom lip, tracing his pout. Kaminari blew another raspberry and Kirishima laughed at him. His hand slipped up, sinking into his hair and teasing it slightly with this fingers.
“Do I really look crazy cute?” Kaminari asked.
Kirishima nodded. “Yeah. Super crazy cute,” he replied as if it was the easiest thing in the world to say. “Like I said, your photo didn’t do you justice. You’re gorgeous. ” He raked his hand through Kaminari’s hair, dragging his nails over his scalp.
“You’re not half-bad yourself,” Kaminari stuttered out. Kirishima was full of compliments. It was almost too much. “I’m surprised that you haven’t found an omega before now.”
He shrugged. “I guess fate just had something else in store for us, didn’t it?”
“Spill,” Sero demanded the next day, after Kirishima had gone home. Kirishima and Kaminari had made plans for the rest of the week— starting with Kirishima’s parents. They were chomping at the bit, almost demanding they get to meet Kaminari immediately. Kaminari couldn’t blame them, Kirishima was the heir to a very, very big company.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Kaminari grunted, keeping his tea close to his chest. He’d called his parents, again, this time with his mom answering in an ecstatically frantic tone. He’d then called his job, explaining the situation, and they too, had been happy, telling him they’d find someone to cover, no problem. This was an important step, and one he couldn’t have planned for, or so they said.
Sero got close, keeping his voice quiet. “Did you two fuck? How big is his dick?”
Kaminari nearly choked on his tea at the question. “Hanta.”
“Come on, don’t leave a guy waiting. I need to know. For scientific purposes.” There was a whine in his voice. He was desperate to know. “Every alpha in a ten mile radius is looking at you like you were dipped into a vat of his cum. You have to tell me what happened.”
“We scented each other. We didn’t have sex,” Kaminari told him, reaching out a hand to pinch his side. Sero yelped and batted at his hand. “You’re nasty.”
“I’m not the person who was playing tonsil hockey in the kitchen.”
“It’s my apartment,” Kaminari argued. “Not ours. You can’t be disgusted by me kissing in my own kitchen.” He elbowed Sero, who snorted. “Rest assured, as soon as I see his dick, I will describe it in full detail. For you.”
Sero perked up. “Seriously?”
“No. Gross.” He took another drink of his tea. “I’m going to go meet his parents this weekend.”
“Bet they’re frothing at the mouth at the idea of an omega for their spoiled rich baby boy,” Sero said; he was running his teeth along the outer rim of the plastic lid on his tea, occasionally catching it between his teeth and biting down. “Gotta say, I never thought you’d marry up. The Council must think you have some pretty good genes.”
Kaminari shuddered. “I don’t like the idea of other people thinking of me as a baby-maker. Especially the government.”
“Heard. I’m glad betas don’t have to deal with the mysterious matching ways of the government. Though I wouldn’t say no if they wanted to hook me up with an alpha.”
“I’m sure if the government is ever looking to help a size queen, they’ll pick you,” Kaminari said, pressing the button for the crosswalk. “You’ll find someone someday, Hanta. I know it.”
Sero nodded, though his expression declared him unsure. “Thanks. If there’s one thing to hold onto, it’s hope. Hope that I can one day just… Get my hands on an alpha willing to train a beta to take a knot.” The people with them in the crosswalk looked puzzled, if not outright grossed out at what Sero had said, but he ignored them. Kaminari looked at his tea as they passed, wondering if Sero would ever learn to keep his mouth shut in public.
“Does this Kirishima guy have a brother or something?” Sero asked, taking a sip of his tea. “Man, you know, he looks really familiar.” He avoided the cracks in the sidewalk as they made it to the other side of the street. “His name is pretty familiar too. I just can’t place it.”
“Same,” Kaminari agreed. “I don’t know where I’ve seen him before, but I feel like I know him.” He scratched at his chin. “Probably just in passing? I’m not sure.” It honestly had him confused—he knew that face, but from where ? “His name is definitely familiar, but family names…” He held his hand out, shaking it from side to side. “It’s really a crapshoot.”
Sero snorted. “Ha, can’t believe that’s a word. Crapshoot.” Kaminari rolled his eyes at him. “I doubt you saw him in like, the grocery store or something. Especially if his dad is a Mr. Moneybags type. I legit don’t know, but like. He’s so familiar.” He pressed his palm to his forehead, humming softly. He stopped in the middle of the sidewalk. “I got it, I know why he looks familiar.”
Kaminari looked at him, curious. “You do?”
“Yeah,” Sero agreed proudly. “Kirishima, highschool.”
Kaminari furrowed his brow, and then shook his head. “No, he had black hair,” he muttered. Sero seemed to think it over for a moment, before sighing in defeat. Kaminari offered him a smile. “Sorry for bursting your bubble.”
“I thought I had it, too—to be honest, I can’t even remember his first name. It wasn’t Eijirou, I don’t think. Don’t even think it started with an E.” Sero rubbed the back of his neck. “Ah, well, regardless. I’m glad you aren’t ready to fake your own death to get away from him. I would help, and I’m sure I could do a great job acting at your funeral—”
“Hanta, be serious for a second—”
Their conversation was interrupted, if briefly, by someone running directly into Sero, knocking him over. His tea flew from his hand and landed with an almost artistic spray across the sidewalk. Kaminari went to help him up without really looking at who’d knocked him over.
“What the fuck,” hissed a voice. “Watch where the fuck you’re going.”
Kaminari jerked his head up to glare at the man who’d spoken, only to realise he was extending a hand to Sero to help him up. Sero was torn between Kaminari and the man, looking between the two.
“Take my hand or have your fucking friend help you up,” he growled. Sero grabbed at it, shooting an apologetic glance at Kaminari—Kaminari internally sighed when he saw Sero mouth ‘alpha’ and ‘ dick’ quietly. Sero brushed himself off as he stood, staring at his tea with an almost lovelorn expression.
“A brave warrior, lost to the cause,” Sero whispered.
“Oh nothing, hey, has anyone told you that you’re an asshole?” Sero asked, going to pick up his plastic cup. Kaminari hesitated, wondering if he needed to step in. Everything about the blond screamed alpha. Sero picked up the now filthy, slightly muddy lid and straw off the ground and popped it back on the cup. He then wiped his hand on his jeans.
The alpha looked...well, Kaminari expected him to be pissed. Instead, he looked contemplative, like Sero was a puzzle that he couldn’t quite find all the edge pieces too. Kaminari frowned. That could be anger, Kaminari lamented.
“What the fuck does that mean?” the alpha asked.
“It means that you were the one with your headphones jammed so far in your earholes that I’m surprised it wasn’t coming out of your ass like a tail,” Sero snapped. “You made me drop my tea.”
Kaminari let out a hiss. “Hanta, we can… We can go get another,” he said, skirting around the angry alpha. “Come on, let’s go.” He grabbed at Sero’s arm, trying to tug him away. “You don’t need to start a fight with him, come on,” Kaminari proceeded to whisper.
“You think I can’t take him?”
“Yeah, that’s exactly what I think,” Kaminari ground out. “Come on.”
The alpha narrowed his eyes. “You’re pissed about that fucking sewer water you call tea?” he asked. “I can buy you another fucking tea, if you’re going to be a shithead about it.” He’d turned his head away, like he didn’t want to look at Sero. He pointed at the tea cart across the street. “That where you got it from?”
“Yeah,” Sero replied without thinking, looking for a trashcan.
“What are you drinking?”
“Sewer water,” Sero replied drily. Kaminari looked at the alpha, surprised to see the corner of his mouth twitch into a half-assed smile. Sero gave him a once over, pinching his lips together. “The name’s Sero.”
The alpha snorted. “Whatever.” He headed toward the crosswalk in a huff, shoving a headphone back in his ear. Sero watched him go with an unhappy hum.
“Why do you have to get into a fight with every alpha you see?” Kaminari asked.
“I’m jealous of their big, fat dicks,” Sero replied with ease. He crossed his arms over his chest, watching as the alpha went up to the tea cart. He gestured at Sero from across the street and then fished out his wallet. “I don’t believe it. He’s actually replacing my tea.”
“And not with sewer water,” Kaminari muttered. He offered his tea to Sero, who leaned over and tried to take the straw in his mouth. He failed the first time and clipped his lip the second—when he eventually took a sip, it was with the alpha staring directly at him.
Kaminari pulled it away after a moment, also taking a drink. “He’s coming back,” he whispered out of the side of his mouth. The cup in his hand was carried carefully, not at all what Kaminari expected. With how volatile he was, he expected something… Well, something different.
“Here.” On the cup, Bakugo was written. A number was scrawled beneath in barely legible chicken scratch. “If you want some real tea, I know a place. Better than this watered down fucking garbage.” He thrust the cup at Sero, who took it in his hands, face lighting up like he’d been handed the holy grail. And then Bakugo was gone, stomping back down the street like nothing had happened. No goodbye, nothing.
Kaminari looked at Sero, and then at Bakugo’s retreating figure. “I bet he spit in it,” he tried, nudging Sero.
Sero smiled, almost dreamily. He turned to Kaminari. “I wouldn’t mind.”
“Oh, that is nasty.”
Hey there! welcome to the end of this chapter. I'm posting it a little later than I expected too, but that's mainly because I've forgotten what time is!
Song for this fic:
Peach by Broods
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Chapter 3: Parental Guidance
There's going to be an extra mating chapter =w= later though.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
It was time to meet Kirishima’s parents.
Kaminari was sure they’d hate him. He wasn’t exactly a rich omega, and he didn’t think that his genes were any better than the next person. Kirishima, on the other hand, was sure that they’d love him. It didn’t matter either way, since they didn’t have a choice in the matter.
“You’re so beautiful,” Kirishima told him, standing on his parents’ doorstep. “You’re going to blow them away the moment you walk in.” He gathered Kaminari’s face in his hands and kissed him. It was soft and sweet, just like Kirishima—he was so gentle. Kirishima was too good. Kaminari was sure he’d lucked out, and he was near close to sending a thank you letter to the council directly.
But only close. He’d never actually thank them. They were still every bit an awful institution in ninety-nine percent of cases.
“Relax,” Kirishima soothed when he felt Kaminari tense at the sound of the doorbell. He slipped his arm around Kaminari’s waist and nosed at his scent gland; Kaminari relaxed immediately. Kirishima kept him close as the door opened, revealing a black-haired woman, lips curved into a bright and delightful smile. Just beyond her was a man that had to be her husband, hands stuck into his pockets. Also dark-haired and trying to make himself look as small as possible, despite his hulking figure.
“Mom, Dad,” Kirishima greeted, equally as excited as his mother. He turned to smile at Kaminari and then led him inside when Mrs. Kirishima took a step back, welcoming them into their home. It was decorated in a very modest fashion, which surprised Kaminari. “This is Kaminari Denki, my omega.”
Kaminari blushed at the sound of his name. He thought Kirishima would have added something about him being court approved, but he didn’t. Not that it was needed. He raised his hand in greeting, keeping his eyes low so as not to offend.
“No need to be shy,” Mrs. Kirishima soothed. Her voice was far from dulcet and soft, but more like a rolling of thunder. Even in her softness, it was powerful. Kaminari looked up at her and offered her an awkward, unsure smile. “There’s that beautiful face that Kirishima’s been going on and on about.”
“Thank you,” Kaminari piped up. “I, uh, I’m sorry, I’m kind of awkward.” He stumbled over his words, but managed to get far enough away from Kirishima’s side that he could offer a hand. Mrs. Kirishima took it, and then him, pulling him into a hug. He grunted, but eagerly wrapped his arms around her. She was so soft. It was incredible.
“This is my dad.” Kirishima barely waited after Kaminari was free from his mother, dragging him over to the sheepish looking alpha waiting by himself. “He’s afraid of scaring you, but I know you don’t scare that easy.” He gave Kaminari a hip bump and an obvious wink.
A low, unimpressed grunt came from Mr. Kirishima. “The two of you haven’t bonded yet. I don’t want my scent all over him, especially if you intend to…” He trailed off for a moment, taking the time to size Kaminari up. He was so big, Kaminari was sure he could eat him up in an instant if he wanted to. He cleared his throat.“...If you intend to consummate your mating right away.”
“Dad, no sex talk,” Kirishima scolded, but only playfully.
“It’s an important thing to talk about,” Mr. Kirishima argued. “I’m sure your mother would love some grandchildren, especially after seeing your new mate—Kaminari—” He bowed his head, almost apologetic that he hadn’t referred to him by name at first. “ —The two of you will make beautiful children, I’m sure of it.”
If Kaminari’s face could’ve gotten any redder, it would have. He turned and buried his face into Kirishima’s shoulder, relieved when a hand moved up to instinctively rub his shoulders.
“I’m sorry.” Mr. Kirishima’s apology was sympathetic and genuine. “I know the two of you have just met. Children are probably a far cry from your minds at the moment.” Kaminari nodded against Kirishima’s shoulder, wishing he had more of a backbone. “Come, Emiri has made lunch.”
Kirishima’s parents were wonderful, once Kaminari got past the original embarrassment. Any time that Kaminari tripped over his own words, they barely noticed, and Kirishima urged him on with a smile and a soft squeeze of his thigh. It was like they were a puzzle, and he’d been the missing piece they’d been looking for the entire time. That’s how comfortable it was, being with them. He loved it.
“Surely the two of you will visit and move into the house soon,” Mr. Kirishima stated. “It’s a rather beautiful thing, two stories.” He turned to Kaminari with a kind smile, one he’d been wearing all night. “I’m sure you’ll find it suitable to raise your future family in, when you decide to have one.”
“Not to mention it’s close to shopping and a diverse selection of schools,” Mrs. Kirishima agreed without a second thought. “It’s really rather impressive.”
“Is it haunted?” Kaminari blurted out without a second thought, and he saw Kirishima press his lips together, eyes glinting. He was trying not to laugh. His parents stared at Kaminari, baffled by the question.
“Ah, no, not that I know of,” Mr. Kirishima said. “Why do you ask?”
Kaminari swallowed and pushed around the leftover pie on his plate. Mrs. Kirishima had insisted he take a large slice, and he knew it was to fatten him up for better pupping. But it was sweet, and the pie tasted amazing. “Oh, uh… I just mean that you don’t have to sell the house to me. Kirishima showed me photos. It really looks nice. I mean, uh, it looks really nice. And not haunted.” He sank down in his chair.
“That’s great to hear.” Mrs. Kirishima bounced back in no time at all. “So, when will you be moving in?”
“Denki has a big photo shoot coming up for his company, so we don’t know yet. I don’t want to stress him out over moving and settling into a new home when he has so much work to do.” Kirishima ran his fingers up to gently cup the back of Kaminari’s head, carefully stroking his hair. “Maybe after?” His father nodded sagely, as if it made complete sense.
“If I might say, you don’t need to work,” Mr. Kirishima said. “My son—your alpha—can easily support you. An omega such as yourself needn’t work at all.”
“Dad,” Kirishima hissed.
He put his hands up. “I’m just saying. Kaminari is under no pressure to work if he wants to quit his current occupation. He’s no doubt a hard worker, but you remember what your mother and I taught you?”
“That omegas deserve to be pampered,” Kirishima replied with an eyeroll. “Yes, Dad. I know. And he will be, I promise.” He turned to Kaminari as he said it. “But he’s allowed to work if he wants to.”
Kaminari turned to look at Mrs. Kirishima as the bickering continued. She cupped a hand to her mouth and whispered ‘alphas’ under her breath. Kaminari snorted and nodded. She gave a wink and then cleared her throat, getting the attention of the entire table.
“I think we shouldn’t talk about him like he isn’t here,” she interjected. “Leave their relationship to them.” It was an order, not a suggestion, and both alphas quieted. “Now, I know it’s a bit of an odd time, but we had no idea when we’d see you again.”
Mrs. Kirishima got up from the table and dusted off her immaculate dress. In went her chair, and then she bustled over to a nearby, oaken cabinet. Mr. Kirishima was up within seconds, clicking his tongue at her. She smiled and stepped back.
“We’ve got mating gifts for you,” he rumbled proudly. “We didn’t want to overwhelm or overload you, as we didn’t know what car Kirishima would be bringing, however we couldn’t let you leave empty-handed.”
“Oh, but you’ve already been so nice,” Kaminari stuttered out, eyes wide. He looked at Kirishima, who remained nonplussed. He’d expected this.
Mrs. Kirishima waved her hand. “Nonsense. We’ve hardly done a thing for you, and that in itself is rather shameful.” She came over to the other side of the table, offering her hands. Kaminari looked at Kirishima, who nodded, and then he took them. “If you need anything, we will always be here for you.” She gave a brief squeeze. “You are part of the family now. A beautiful omega for our baby boy.”
“They’re so weirdly overbearing,” Kirishima complained. They were at his apartment, sitting on the couch. It was nice, though Kaminari’s head swam with the scent of his alpha. “I’m sorry. I really am. But they love you, you see? They really do. They’re crazy excited about our mating.” He gave a soft laugh. “I’m sure my mom has already started calling around, looking for caterers to book for our eventual wedding.”
“They’re great,” Kaminari replied vehemently, clinging to the alpaca coat they’d given him. “And not just because they gave me presents.” Kirishima laughed again, butting his head against Kaminari’s and letting out a cheerful trill. “They’re your parents. And I already like them. A lot.”
Kirishima wrapped an arm around Kaminari, nuzzling forward and pulling the jacket from Kaminari’s arms. He let it happen, and then snorted when Kirishima filled the space, nosing at his jaw. “I’m so glad,” he whispered. “They’re super good people. Sweet.” He nipped at Kaminari’s throat and then sighed softly. “They were super interested in grandchildren.”
“Well, I’m sure they’ll get some,” Kaminari thought out loud. He didn’t notice Kirishima tensing. “You’ve got a dick and a knot, and I’ve got a womb. Seems like it’ll work out.”
A low, aroused growl left Kirishima, and he pressed a single kiss to Kaminari’s adam’s apple. “I already love you,” he whispered into his skin. It was rough and almost hungry. Kaminari shivered. Kirishima calmed instantly, rubbing his face against Kaminari’s scent gland.
Kaminari was frozen for a moment, before he too calmed. He brought his hand up and buried his fingers in Kirishima’s hair. It was thick, soft, and absolutely divine to touch. Kaminari sighed and leaned back, trailing his fingers down the side of Kirishima’s face. This felt too much like a fairytale, in his opinion. But he wasn’t about to complain.
“Wanna go to bed?” Kirishima asked, nuzzling his neck again. Kaminari swallowed, anxious at the question. “Wait, no, not like that,” Kirishima insisted, popping up and looking at him with wild, wide eyes. “Not in the sex way. I just… It’s been a long day and I’m sure you’re tired because I’m tired…” He trailed off and looked down, cheeks a bright red. “Sorry.”
“Thanks. I’m not really ready for…” Kaminari let his hands sink between his thighs. “...Maybe after we move into the new house? If that’s okay.” Kirishima could legally force him, at this point, though Kaminari doubted he would.
Just as he expected, Kirishima nodded. “Of course. I’d never ask you to, you know. Before you were ready.” He carefully rose a hand and brushed his knuckles against Kaminari’s cheek. “I know it might be a couple weeks until we’re ready to move in, but we should at least go see the house in person.”
Kaminari nodded and went to stand, ready to take up Kirishima’s offer. It had been an exhausting day, no, an exhausting week. Kirishima stood with him, scooting up close and nosing at the side of his face. Kaminari turned his head and hummed in delight when Kirishima kissed him.
“You need something to sleep in?” Kirishima asked, smoothing his fingers down Kaminari’s sides.
“If you want me to wear something of yours, you can just ask.”
Kirishima grew redder. Almost as red as his hair.
“Oh. Okay, I… Do you want to sleep in one of my shirts tonight?” His question came out stuttered and he couldn’t look Kaminari in the eye.
Kaminari bit his lip and then nodded. “Yeah. I’m really going to smell like you, you know.” He looked around the living room. “Where’s the bathroom? Is the laundry hamper in there?” He was already stripping off his shirt, and was half out of it when he felt hands press against his skin. They were burning hot compared to him, stretching out to touch as much of him as possible.
“You’re so pale, ” Kirishima said in wonder.
“You should see me when I spend too much time in the sun without sunscreen,” Kaminari teased. “I’m like a lobster.” Kirishima’s hands slid down, mapping out the muscles under his hands. “No groping.”
“A little groping?” Kirishima pleaded, fingers stopping right above the curve of his ass. Kaminari pulled away from him, facing him with a stern yet playful look. Kirishima looked like a kicked puppy. He put his hands up. “I’m sorry.”
Kaminari nodded. He knew that. Well, he was somewhat sure he knew that. He’d just met Kirishima after all. But there was something so intensely honest about him. “You’re forgiven. Just remember. No groping.”
“No groping,” Kirishima agreed.
Kaminari woke up halfway through the night, needing to pee. Kirishima had him clutched tight to his chest, wrapped up tightly in his arms. He seemed tense, face twitching as if he was having a bad dream. Kaminari pressed his cheek to Kirishima’s chest and took a deep breath—and then he tried to wiggle away, only to hear Kirishima growl. His eyes flickered open and then his grip eased.
“M’sorry,” he rumbled, voice rough from sleep. “Go ahead.” He rolled over and flopped onto his back, arms spread wide. His face was still tense and Kaminari frowned—he’d ask about it when he got back. He didn’t get the chance, because as soon as he returned, Kirishima had passed back out, looking more stressed than before.
“Is that just your sleeping face?” Kaminari asked quietly, reaching for his phone on the nightstand. He was surprised that he wasn’t tired, and found himself snuggling up against Kirishima’s side with his phone in his hands and on the lowest brightness he could. Kirishima flopped over and wrapped and arm around his waist.
Kaminari looked over at him, noticing he’d relaxed slightly.
“Are you worried about me?” Kaminari asked playfully. “Worried I’ll slip away in the middle of the night or something?” He poked a finger at Kirishima’s jaw, and then squeaked as he was rolled on top of, squishing him against the mattress. Lips kissed against his cheek and Kirishima nuzzled against him, letting out a soft purr.
Kaminari was fascinated. He’d never heard an alpha purr before, despite knowing that they did. Kirishima purred again, louder, when Kaminari pressed a kiss back.
“You’re already so clingy,” Kaminari teased. Kirishima looked to be relaxing, and Kaminari opened his phone, flicking through the various notifications. He opened his texts from Sero and blanched at a photo he was sent. “Oh come on,” he hissed, turning to look at Kirishima to make sure he was still asleep. It was a picture of Sero beside a sleeping, naked Bakugo. Bite marks littered Sero’s neck and shoulders.
Did you score? Sero had asked directly after. I’m so fking sore, it’s amazing
Kaminari’s cheeks turned a bright red—he yelped and dropped his phone as Kirishima nuzzled his neck suddenly. Kirishima woke up with a concerned noise, nosing at Kaminari’s neck.
“Everything okay?” he asked, sitting up.
Kaminari gathered his phone, face bright red and eyes wide. Kirishima furrowed his brow and then looked away. “Did I try something? I’m sorry, I—” The poor, sleepy alpha looked so upset.
“No.” Kaminari was quick to stop the guilt train before it left the station. “No, you just surprised me. Sero, he, um.” Kaminari stared at his phone like it was a poisonous snake. “He hooked up with someone tonight and he sent me a picture. I was so stunned that when you moved I kind of…”
It took a minute, but realisation soon dawned on Kirishima’s face. “Oh. So, it’s…” He cleared his throat. “It’s a photo of him and his partner…”
“...Naked, yeah. He normally doesn’t like, take full body nude shots, normally it’s just the face, but he’s really proud of this one.” Kaminari opened his phone and grimaced, quickly closing the photo. “It’s an alpha and he’s got this weird size kink.”
Kaminari pretended that Kirishima’s tone was completely inquisitive and not jealous.
“Yeah, some blonde guy that bumped into him on the street. I think Sero wants to make it into a long time thing? And I don’t want to say anything, but he is a beta. Most alphas, you know.”
Kirishima nodded. “Yeah, I know. Can I see?”
“I don’t know if that would be polite to Sero. I mean, even taking the photo was rude of him.” He hoped that Kirishima wouldn’t push the issue. “I’m probably just going to delete the text.” Kirishima didn’t argue, instead shrugging and wiggling close to Kaminari.
“Okay. Alpha knots are pretty hot though, I can understand why he wants one.” He winked at Kaminari who puffed out his cheeks in indignant embarrassment. “You’re so cute when you’re blushing.” He made an exaggerated kissing sound and Kaminari stuck his tongue out at him in response. Kirishima laid a hand over Kaminari’s lap and yawned. “You going to stay up for a bit?”
Kaminari nodded. “Yeah. Not too tired anymore.”
“You can watch some television or play the Playstation if you want.” He was snuggling up to Kaminari, pressing his face into his side. “Or raid the fridge. Everything of mine is yours. Just don’t delete my saves.” He shifted down and pressed his face into Kaminari’s stomach—he was quiet for a moment, and Kaminari had thought he’d fallen asleep—until he blew a raspberry against it.
Kaminari burst into laughter, which continued as Kirishima did, making ridiculously fake fart noises and rubbing his face into the shirt Kaminari was wearing.
“What are you doing?” Kaminari asked, rolling over so he was on top of Kirishima. Kirishima beamed up at him, making another kissy face at him as he pouted. “Go back to sleep. Exhaustion has made you silly.”
“I agree,” Kirishima said. He laid back against the pillows. Milky light filtered in through the window, passing over his face. “Thanks for being here. For coming with me. I’ve been a wreck these last couple nights.”
Kaminari rolled off of him to lay at his side, curious. “Is everything okay? This is a pretty big change.”
“It is. I guess that first day it really hadn’t hit me yet. But we’re about to get married and mated. We’re going to spend the rest of our lives together. You’ve met my parents. It’s so crazy. And scary.”
“Crazy scary,” Kaminari agreed. “But we can take it as fast or slow as you want, you know. Pretend we’re not married for awhile, go on dates. That sort of thing.” He propped his chin up on his hand, staring at Kirishima. He felt bad for waking him, now. Middle of the night conversations always turned serious.
“I… I don’t know what I want. I want to go slow, but I also want to—I want to…” Kirishima laid a hand on Kaminari’s side, smoothing over the wrinkled shirt. “I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going on in my head right now. It’s so confusing. I have this instinct to protect you, but at the same time we both need space to get used to this. To us.”
Kaminari nodded. It made him feel better to know that Kirishima was confused about this too. “Yeah. It takes awhile to get used to being around another person constantly.” He wiggled a bit closer and relaxed as Kirishima laid an arm over his waist and pulled him close. “But we've got this. I mean, no one that’s been paired has ever been unhappy. Not a single divorce.”
Kirishima chuckled. “It’s okay,” he soothed. Kaminari had started to sound worried without realising. “It’s alright. You’re right. We’re going to do good.” He pressed their foreheads together. Kaminari relaxed, body responding to the sudden release of soothing pheromones that rolled off of Kirishima.
They wrapped themselves back up in each other and Kaminari giggled as Kirishima purred softly, rubbing his chin against the top of Kaminari’s head.
We’re going to do good, Kaminari reassured himself inwardly. I just know it.
Don't mind me, I'm gonna soapbox for a moment. Cause like. Fuck everything. Everything sucks and I hate it and I'm tired and I can't write just about anything and ugh.
Anyway. Thank you for reading!
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