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There were nights Aziraphale woke up in a fit because the nausea hit him, full force. He was pregnant; five months pregnant, to be precise, and the morning sickness refused to be a morning exclusive joy. It happened at any point, whenever it felt was best. Often, it was in the middle of the night. Those night episodes were okay. Aziraphale even preferred if Crowley didn’t wake up, or if he did, that he wouldn’t come clambering out of bed to make sure everything was fine. Aziraphale could handle a bit of vomit every now and again, especially for the sake of their child.

There were nights Aziraphale woke up in a fit because the nightmares were so vivid, he couldn’t keep himself asleep for a moment longer. Those nights, he always woke up with a shout, sweating and panting, his hands gripped into the collar of his nightshirt like anything else would have meant he were dead. He wasn’t dead. He was still in bed, wearing the silken nightshirt Crowley had bought him as a spontaneous gift; something to match his own pajama set. Crowley was right there beside him, still sound asleep.

If it had just been an onset of nausea, Aziraphale would have ducked off to the bathroom and dealt with it, Crowley left undisturbed. This was not sickness. This was panic. Aziraphale’s hand shot out to grab Crowley by the shoulder, shaking him right awake. The time didn’t matter. The moment Crowley was awake enough to tell Aziraphale was in distress, he was awake. Not just a slow grogginess, but alert and jolting up to a sitting position.

“Hey—hey, Aziraphale.” Crowley took him by the shoulders almost instantly, pulling Aziraphale into his chest. “You’re okay,” he promised. “You’re okay.” He held Aziraphale loosely, but in just the right position that he could stroke over their bond mark. Crowley kissed the exposed spot on his neck, nosing into the spot a moment later. All with one intention—to calm Aziraphale down. It was the fastest way to calm him down, remind him that he was safe, and his alpha was here.

“Oh, Crowley—” Aziraphale gasped, but his voice was caught in his throat. Crowley continued to stroke his skin, kiss him. Anything to calm him down. It was a slow process, but eventually, Aziraphale’s breath began to even out. Once he finally found a steady rhythm, Crowley let him go in turn for shifting, that they could face each other, and cupping Aziraphale’s face.

“What happened?” Crowley asked. “You need to talk about it?”

Aziraphale gripped loosely at Crowley’s fingertips. “I—I was dreaming about him. Oh, Crowley, when do these nightmares just end?”

Crowley shook his head. “Don’t know, dove. For you, though, I hope it’s soon.” He pulled Aziraphale against him again to wrap him up tightly in a hold. “You can talk about anything you need to talk about.”

Aziraphale offered up a weak smile, gripping into Crowley’s silken shirt. “I keep dreaming that you weren’t there that night,” he admitted. “That I was forced to go through that, and Sandalphon let that entire room of alphas just rape me—” as Aziraphale’s breath quickened, Crowley stroked the back of his neck, resting his head against Aziraphale’s. Trying to keep him calm.

“You’re safe,” Crowley assured.

“The others aren’t, though. How can I ever move past this knowing that I’ve left them there?” Aziraphale suddenly pulled back, as if Crowley’s comfort and affection somehow offended him.

“Others?” Crowley had to ask. He had to know.

Sandalphon had other omegas. Those omegas had all already suffered through their Mounts. Some of them even had children. Some of them had multiple children, but Sandalphon was still trying. As the rumors went, no omega had yet produced him an alpha heir. His litter was full of betas and omegas.

Sandalphon had five other omegas. Rachel, Gabriel, Mary, Uriel, and Newton. Newton was the youngest, and Aziraphale had worried for him enough to make himself sick. At sixteen, Newton’s mount had been just months before Aziraphale had been found by Sandalphon. Aziraphale had seen what wretched state Newton had been in upon his arrival, but at the time, he’d been too naive to fear for his own safety. Still, as he and Newton had grown closer, Aziraphale had grown more worried.

Aziraphale had been close with all of them, which meant he knew things. He knew his real worry was rightfully placed. All of Sandalphon’s omegas had given him children. Even Newton, who had only been nineteen when Sandalphon fucked him pregnant. There was one omega who hadn’t, though.

“It’s Gabriel,” Aziraphale said, his voice beginning to shake. “He—he was Sandalphon’s second omega, and still hasn’t had a child. He’s—” Aziraphale swallowed. “He miscarriages. I was there for one of them, and when Sandalphon found out—oh, Crowley, you should have seen how awful it was. He beat Gabriel within an inch of his life, I swear, and—”

“Just relax,” Crowley coaxed. “Breathe, dove.”

“My dreams are simply plagued by him. I’m so worried something will happen. To all of them, really, but what good is an omega who can’t have children?” Aziraphale asked, suddenly curling his hands protectively around his stomach. “Gabriel—he’s not going to even be able to try for much longer.”

“What do you mean?”

“I believe his birthday was in the summer. He’s thirty-five, then, Crowley. He’s getting old, and soon, he won’t be able to have children at all. I fear that Sandalphon might kill him, Crowley.” Aziraphale collapsed face first into Crowley’s chest, grasping at him and breathing deeply. His scent was calming, manufactured perfectly for a moment of relaxation.

“I can’t imagine,” Crowley muttered, rubbing Aziraphale’s back. “We’ll do what we can to see these dreams gone, okay? But you have to worry about you.” Crowley pulled Aziraphale up to look him in the eye. “You have a baby to worry about, which means you have to worry about you.” He pressed his hand into the firm swell of Aziraphale’s stomach.

Aziraphale nodded. “I’ll try. Thank you, Crowley. For listening to me. I—it’s been quite lovely.”

Crowley smiled and coaxed Aziraphale back down in the bed. Instead of sleeping on their opposite sides, as they tended to do just to give the growing child some space, Aziraphale settled right up against Crowley with his head tucked under Crowley’s chin. Crowley held him, just like that, and drifted right off back to sleep.

 

When Aziraphale next awoke, it was in a calmed and groggy state simply because it was time to be awake. It was much more peaceful to wake up this way. Aziraphale sat up in bed, stretched, and then shifted to sit on the side. Crowley was already gone for the day; he was always quiet in the mornings to ensure he didn’t wake Aziraphale too early. A pregnant omega needed their rest. In the six months they’d been together, Crowley had gotten himself a real job. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to pay the bills and support them.

Aziraphale started his morning as he always did—with a shower and brushing his teeth. Then, his intention was to go downstairs and find himself some breakfast. He was famished as it were, but having a child made that hunger almost entirely insatiable. He took his morning slow, though, and instead of heading straight for his breakfast, Aziraphale sat back on the edge of the bed to properly dry and dress himself. He never had this much peace within Sandalphon’s home. Crowley gave him free reign, and he reveled in it.

Once dressed, he did finally head downstairs. He had an extravagant breakfast that consisted of pancakes, sausage, and eggs. Afterward, he made sure to clean up his mess. He cleaned the kitchen, too. Crowley worked, and Aziraphale stayed home to take care of everything else. That included all of the chores. As it was Thursday, Aziraphale had planned to clean the two bathrooms they had. After that, he would settle himself down in the living room to continue working on his baby planning.

He had an appointment soon. Crowley had arranged to get off from work early on the following Friday so he could take Aziraphale in. Aziraphale rightfully couldn’t go on his own. This was going to be the ultrasound where Aziraphale finally caved and wanted to know something. Crowley was dead set on having it be a secret, but Aziraphale was practically vibrating at the thought of knowing just what he was carrying. He longed to give Crowley the perfect alpha pup, and this was the only way to know if he had.

Aziraphale thought about it while he cleaned. Carrying Crowley’s alpha pup would be the most exciting piece of news in his life. It would be nothing short of an honor, really, to finally culminate their relationship like that. Crowley was even talking about marriage, after the pup was born. Marriage sounded so silly, but Aziraphale would be lying if he said he didn’t like the idea of it. Marriage was for betas, because they had no other way to lay claim to each other. Crowley had bitten Aziraphale and somehow still wanted more.

Love was a rare thing. Even rarer between an alpha and an omega. But Aziraphale felt loved. He wanted to do everything he could in return for Crowley’s care and his love. Crowley didn’t ask him to clean the house or cook the meals, but Aziraphale took his duty seriously. If it’d been Sandalphon, he would have done anything and everything to disobey and try and run. For Crowley, he would get down on his knees and accept his alpha’s cock straight on command.

Aziraphale finished cleaning the ground floor bathroom and the master en suite. Then, he set up with his magazines and his books at the coffee table, ready to begin his work. Something caught his attention before he could—today was the day he picked colors for the nursery. Omegas weren’t generally permitted to have phones, but Crowley had gotten Aziraphale one. It was going off, vibrating loud enough that Aziraphale could hear it from where it was sitting on the kitchen counter.

If he’d gone through with his Mount and become Sandalphon’s omega, he would have eventually gotten a phone. He’d seen the other omegas there with them. The phone had exactly two functions—calling and texting. Even then, the numbers it could contact were limited. This phone that Aziraphale now had had absolutely no restrictions, and though he didn’t much know how to use it, he was quite thankful for the trust Crowley placed in him. He didn’t know who could possibly be contacting him, but they were sending several texts at once.

Aziraphale went to his phone to look at it. After a moment of struggling to get the phone unlocked, he opened the messaging app to see what this influx was about. He heard Crowley talking about spam every now and again, so Aziraphale felt safe in his assumption that’s all this was.

But it wasn’t.

[Sent: 11:30] This is Aziraphale, isn ’t it?

Aziraphale, of course, hadn’t responded.

[Sent: 11:31] I hope it is. This is Gabriel.

Aziraphale’s eyebrows raised, his eyes widening. He perked up all of the sudden—how had Gabriel found him? He would have responded, but another message came through all of the sudden, longer than the ones before it.

[Sent: 11:33] I don ’t know what’s going to happen to me now, but I’ve outlived Alpha’s patience. Might be done. Hospital.

Aziraphale waited. His heart had sunk straight into his gut. Hospital? Was Gabriel in the hospital? How did he even know this was Gabriel? All Aziraphale knew was that panic was beginning to rise up in his chest, which wasn’t good. Not for him. Not for the baby. But what about Gabriel? Did he really think he was going to die? Had he died? No new messages came through. Aziraphale knew how fed up Sandalphon was with Gabriel, but would Sandalphon really go so far as to kill him?

No. Aziraphale wouldn’t believe it, even if his breath were caught up in his throat as he struggled to breathe. It didn’t matter how legal it might be for an alpha to dispose of a lackluster omega; Sandalphon wouldn’t do that. As much as he hated Gabriel, as much as he couldn’t stand Gabriel’s very existence, Gabriel had always had a use. Even if it wasn’t a good use, but rather just a sick satisfaction of Sandalphon’s particularly disgusting whims, it was still something to keep him around for.

Gabriel had to be alive, but he wouldn’t be for much longer. Not if he went back to Sandalphon. Aziraphale had to call Crowley. He didn’t know what he would say, only that he needed to hear Crowley’s voice to keep him from tipping over the edge into a living nightmare. He couldn’t do that. Aziraphale fumbled with the phone, his fingers shaking almost too bad to press at the screen, but he managed it. Crowley was his only contact, lovingly marked with a heart and a snake—his favorite animal.

Aziraphale clicked it and pressed the phone nervously to his ear, clutching the collar of his button-up shirt and trying to breathe. The phone rang exactly three times before it clicked, and Crowley’s voice followed.

“Aziraphale?” Crowley sounded confused. Aziraphale didn’t give him a second more to question.

“Crowley—I—I don’t— No, no. Something’s wrong—” Aziraphale could barely formulate the sentence through his heavy breaths, but he could hear how Crowley reacted.

“Hey, hey, calm down, little pup.” Crowley’s voice took on that low quality it always did when he was trying to be calming, supportive. “Take some breaths for me. Can you do that?”

Aziraphale sucked in a deep breath and swallowed, releasing the air then. He did it again, listening to Crowley’s breath in his ear. He tried to match it, to follow Crowley’s inhales and exhales until he was breathing normally. It might have even been calm.

“What’s going on?” Crowley asked, then. “Are you okay?”

“I—I’m fine,” Aziraphale managed. “I got a—a message. From a—an omega I knew at—with him.”

“It’s okay, pup,” Crowley said. “Just keep breathing. Take your time.”

Aziraphale took another deep breath and told Crowley what he could manage. Most of it didn’t matter, save the part where he was so terrified that Gabriel was going to die.

Please, Crowley,” Aziraphale breathed. “If he goes back to him, he will die. Don’t you see?”

“I understand, dove. I do.”

“You have to do something! I don’t know; I don’t know what, but you have to. Please, Crowley. He—”

Aziraphale swallowed before he continued. Gabriel had always been his friend, and he never blamed him for a thing. Gabriel had been the one who found Aziraphale who brought him to Sandalphon. Aziraphale had been lost and naive. Crowley could never understand what it was like to live this sort of life, being something with only one purpose but not desirable enough to ever be able to fulfill it. Every omega Sandalphon added to his collection fit that bill, which made them easy.

Gabriel hadn’t even thought about it, when he’d brought Aziraphale there. He’d seen another omega struggling like himself and was so far deep into whatever garbage Sandalphon had been spewing at him for half a decade that he didn’t know any better. Aziraphale didn’t blame him, and never would. Gabriel hadn’t stayed that way, but the more he understood what he’d done and the situation he was in, the more he found himself on the underside of Sandalphon’s shoe. He didn’t deserve that treatment.

“Okay, okay,” Crowley said. “Calm down, dove. I’ll do something. I don’t know what, but I’ll do something.”

Aziraphale nodded hastily into the receiver. “Thank you, Crowley,” he breathed.

“I’ll be home when I can. Love you.”

“I love you, also.”

They hung up after, and it was all Aziraphale could do to not drop his phone right there. His fingers were shaking.

 

Crowley knew people. He knew a lot of people from all of his time in odd jobs. Now, he was working in some entry position for a local tech company. While he couldn’t rush home without a second thought, he could continue to call around while he worked. Somewhere in his contacts, he was pretty sure was the contact of some hot nurse he’d fucked half a decade ago. It wasn’t exactly the most cordial call to make, but she’d been agreeable when Crowley knew her. Hopefully, she still was.

All it took was one call, and she agreed to look around for him and call him back. They’d been friends for a time; the fucking had come later, and only once. It hadn’t soured anything, apparently, but they’d both just moved in opposite directions a bit too fast to keep connected. This was no beginning of a reconnection, but she was amicable enough to do his bidding for him.

It was sometime near the end of Crowley’s shift when she called him back. He’d spend the last five minutes before clock-out talking to her and hope that no one noticed. The higher-ups didn’t notice much of anything unless it interfered with the work, and Crowley worked fast.

“You found something?” Crowley answered, not even bothering with the niceties. He was packing up.

“Only because I have that kind of pull, Anthony. They don’t usually just hand information like this out.”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever. Tell me what you found.”

He could practically hear her roll her eyes. “There was a Gabriel Engles signed in yesterday. He’s an omega, but I really can’t say for sure if he’s the one you’re looking for. From what I could gather, he came in pretty beat up. Alpha said he got himself into some trouble with another omega.”

“Great,” Crowley said. “Thanks. I owe you one.”

“I’ll keep that in mind, should I need it. Catch you later, Anthony.”

Anthony hung up and knew what he had to do. He made sure to pack up his stuff as quickly as he could, and on his way out of the office building, he stopped in the bathroom to straighten himself up. If he was going to pretend to be a proper alpha, he needed to look the part. He swept his hair back, straightened out his shirt, and buttoned those top few buttons he usually didn’t bother with. He had a tie and a coat in the car; those would complete the look, and he wouldn’t have any problem making some beta nurse bow to his authority.

Gabriel Engles. Crowley didn’t know the name, and certainly didn’t know if this was the Gabriel that Aziraphale was talking about, but it was worth the trip to the hospital to find out.

 

The drive took Crowley nearly twenty minutes, but he arrived at Mercy’s Hospital regardless. After a moment in the car to make himself presentable—the sports jacket and the tie—Crowley stepped out and headed for the entrance. He already knew exactly how he was going to play this. Though he didn’t color himself to be a typical alpha, he still knew how to act like one. He knew how to bare his teeth and growl at the right people to get what he wanted. Most people didn’t ask too many questions of an angry alpha.

A deep breath, then Crowley stepped through the front door. He pushed his sunglasses up on his forehead and settled into the angriest and inconvenienced look he could manage. He was playing a role, here; it only had a chance of succeeding before he needed to give up and check out, but it was the only thing that even had a chance. Any sort of nicety wouldn’t get him very far. It never had.

Crowley approached the front desk, peering down at the beta woman there. He could smell it on her, how plain she was. Betas were harder to growl into submission, but they would fold just as any omega would.

“How can I help you?” The woman asked.

“I’m here to pick something up.” Something. Crowley swallowed his wince. “Gabriel Engles. Real ugly omega: you can’t miss him.”

She clacked at her computer, unfazed by Crowley’s comment. “Oh, that can’t be right. He’s only been—”

“Did I not make myself clear?” Crowley sneered, slamming his hands down on the table. “Look, let me level with you—if you can even understand a thing I have to say. That bitch’s alpha pulls me out of my job for the day to come down and pick it up. I got better things to be doing than carting around filth in my car, but we all gotta do what the boss says, don’t we?”

She offered a nervous smile, shoulders hunched. Still, she nodded. “Y-Yes, sir. It’s just that he suffered fractures—”

“Unless you’ve suddenly found a miraculous way to heal fractures in the hospital, it can heal at home, can’t it?”

“I-I suppose so. Th-there’s just something else you should know,” she said, hurrying around the desk to find paperwork. This wasn’t an unusual request. Omegas were pulled out of proper medical care all the time. This situation was just slightly special. “H-he was in surgery,” she continued. “And—well. This is the type of information we prefer to give to their alphas, but—”

“Spit it out,” Crowley commanded. She jolted and continued.

“He was pregnant, sir.”

Crowley’s eyes went wide, heart dropping.

“He couldn’t have been more than two or three weeks along, too early to really tell. But it didn’t survive the accident.”

“I—I’ll pass the information along.” Crowley tried not to lose his composure, but that hit deep. Aziraphale was at home right now, five months along with their own child. Things like this wouldn’t have rattled him six months ago, before he had Aziraphale. But this—Crowley barely stomached it as he took the paperwork. He signed what she asked him to sign in some illegible chicken scratch that didn’t even spell a name; they wouldn’t know who he was.

“We’ll have him ready for you in a moment.”

“I’m going back there,” Crowley said, and she didn’t argue. She simply grabbed the closest nurse to escort Crowley back.

Crowley followed the new nurse quietly, a beta male. Strikingly, Crowley could see a scar on the back of his neck. Betas couldn’t bond, but the sentiment behind a bite so hard to try and force one was almost more powerful than marriage. The beta led Crowley right back to a room and let him inside. Inside, they were working diligently to follow a rude alpha’s request. But Crowley paid them no mind, because his eyes landed on Gabriel. He hadn’t had any expectation of what he would see, only the knowledge of Sandalphon’s penchant for undesirable omegas.

But Gabriel. He was gorgeous, and he wore his age well. Aziraphale had said he was thirty-five, and he looked it with the beginnings of wrinkles under his eyes and on his forehead. His hair was jet black and disheveled, and his eyes were quite a stunning purple. Crowley could see right away why he’d be undesirable—he was big. Tall with defined muscles on what parts of him Crowley could see. Most alphas were looking for short, curvy omegas. Gabriel didn’t qualify, but Crowley couldn’t help but thinking that was a good thing.

When Gabriel saw him, the awe was not returned. He looked—terrified wasn’t the right word, but he didn’t look pleased. Confused, maybe, but something with just a healthy dash of fear. Crowley understood it. He was being removed from care on the whim of an alpha, which was horrifying enough, but to learn that it was an alpha he didn’t even know was probably worse. Still, Gabriel wasn’t stupid. He kept his mouth shut. Nothing more was exchanged between them but a wary glare.

Crowley simply waited until they were finished. Gabriel needed help getting dressed, and it became increasingly obvious that his fractures had been ribs, as he didn’t have any casts. He was beaten black and blue, but Crowley really tried not to think about that. He just watched. Waited. And then they were done. Per policy, Gabriel had to be wheeled out, but then he was being released right into Crowley’s custody. An alpha he didn’t know and had no reason to know.

Gabriel didn’t speak as they moved towards the hospital exit. He just sat there with his nails digging into the armrests of the wheelchair. Once they reached the exit, Gabriel still didn’t speak. He simply stood on shaky legs and waited while Crowley brought his car up; at that point, they were finally left alone. Even as Crowley opened the passenger door, Gabriel didn’t move.

“Who in God’s name are you?” Gabriel asked. “You can’t just expect me to get into your car.” He was a feisty omega, too, apparently. That never went over well.

Crowley sighed and stepped onto the sidewalk. “My name is Anthony Crowley. Everyone just calls me Crowley. I’m Aziraphale’s new alpha.”

Gabriel’s eyes suddenly went wide. “Aziraphale? He got my message?”

“Cried about it on the phone, actually. So, you can get in the car, and I can try to figure out this mess before they figure out that I’ve kidnapped you, or we can sit here and argue about it.”

Gabriel still hesitated, and in a sudden moment of exasperation—because Crowley was sure it wouldn’t be long before the hospital was calling Sandalphon to inform him of what happened—Crowley tore his phone out of his pants pocket and pushed it into Gabriel’s face. The screen lit up in front of him, and Gabriel could see the picture Crowley had as his lock screen background. It was a picture of him and Aziraphale, wrapped up in each other’s arms and smiling.

“Okay,” Gabriel said. That was proof enough that Crowley was telling him the truth. The way that Aziraphale looked in that picture was enough to have Gabriel calming, too. That was the face of a happy omega, not one that was beaten within an inch of his life on a frequent basis. If Crowley was willing to risk that to come and help Gabriel, then maybe this wasn’t a bad idea.

Though it hurt to do so, Gabriel slid into the car with an arm around his stomach. He was going to need a substantial amount of time to heal, but he wouldn’t be able to do it in a hospital. Not if he wanted any chance of getting away from Sandalphon; his choice was painfully simple. Though he sat stiffly, he had no intentions of leaving. An alpha he didn’t know was less a danger than the one he did, and that was saying something terrifying.

“They took my phone,” Gabriel said. “I imagine they would have sent it back to Sandalphon. It wasn’t with my things.”

Crowley nodded. “You can use mine if you need it.” He unlocked his phone and handed it over again before he started the car, but then they were off.

Gabriel didn’t know what to do with the phone, really. He didn’t know if he should text Aziraphale. He didn’t know if he should correspond with anyone; that might be dangerous. But it was Crowley’s phone. He opened the messaging app and clicked on the first contact there which was clearly marked Dove with a heart.

[Sent: 5:49] Coming home.

That worked well enough. Aziraphale would think it was from Crowley, but from the way Crowley seemed to talk, Gabriel’s message sounded just different enough that maybe Aziraphale would know. He did always seem so clever.

The rest of their drive was silent. Crowley couldn’t bring himself to tell Gabriel the news, but he obviously didn’t know. If he did, Crowley could only imagine what his response would be. It wouldn’t be this dead, curious sort of silence. Gabriel didn’t get out much, so everything he saw on the road was interesting. Everything in Crowley’s car was interesting. Even Crowley’s phone case was interesting; Crowley noticed how Gabriel fiddled with it. He was nervous, and Crowley didn’t blame him.

Crowley’s phone going off caught Gabriel’s attention again, and he flipped it in his hands to look at it. It was probably an impolite thing to do, but he couldn’t help himself. It was a reflex. What he saw made his eyes go wide.

“You—you let Aziraphale shop?” He asked, turning to look at Crowley. Crowley had one hand on the wheel and one hand holding up his head, elbow propped against the window.

“Yeah?” Crowley didn’t look away from the road. “He’s got his own card. I hate to say I give him an allowance, but I do, because he likes to shop. I’m not rich, or anything. Can’t afford it.”

“Still. He—he said he’s out shopping and will see you when he gets home. Shopping. Sandalphon never let me leave the house, let alone the property.”

“Aziraphale can do whatever he wants, as long as he’s not going to hurt himself. Wouldn’t want that.” Crowley took a turn into a neighborhood.

It was a stark opposite of what Gabriel was used to. Sandalphon’s house was huge, settled on nearly ten acres of land. He lived in a manor, and Crowley appeared to live in a two-bedroom hut. Still, when Gabriel stepped out of the car to see it, he was in awe. No matter how big Sandalphon’s home was, Gabriel had always been confined to the single suite he kept his omegas in. Crowley was already saying he would give Gabriel the second room; it meant sleeping on a pullout couch, but it was better than nothing. It was his own room.

Crowley led Gabriel inside and gave him the short tour. The living room, kitchen, and dining room were all right on top of each other. There was a laundry and a bathroom in the basement, which was mostly unfinished and used for storage. Upstairs was another bathroom, a closet, and two bedrooms. Crowley just pointed to his bedroom, then showed Gabriel the second one. Aziraphale was not to be found anywhere, which meant it wasn’t a lie. Crowley really did give his omega free reign.

“Sorry about the mess,” Crowley said. “I wasn’t really expecting company.”

“It’ll do,” Gabriel said, stepping into the room. The pull-out couch was already pulled out and haphazardly made. There was a messy desk with a laptop on top of it and several bookshelves filled to the brim with old, tattered books. But it was perfect. Gabriel sat down on the edge of the pull-out bed, slowly, so he didn’t hurt himself further.

“I’ve never had my own room,” Gabriel said.

“Look,” Crowley sighed, leaning up against the door frame. “I’m not going to pry, alright? You don’t have to tell me anything that you’ve been through, or anything that happened. You’ll be here until I figure out what we can do. When Aziraphale gets home, I’ll tell him you’re here.”

Gabriel nodded. “I’d like to see him.”

“You will.” Crowley promised. “Get some rest, alright? Call if you need anything—and I mean it. I do not want you fucking up those ribs more than they are, okay?”

Gabriel wasn’t going to argue, not with the rise in Crowley’s voice. He just settled down against the pillow, leaving his meager bag of things on the floor.

“Aziraphale will make dinner when you’re ready for it. Might just order out at this point. You like Indian food?”

“Whatever you want is fine.”

“Yeah, but I’m asking what you want.”

Gabriel stilled for a moment. This was new and different. “I’d prefer a burger,” he said after a long, uncomfortable silence. “I haven’t eaten a burger in years.”

“One greasy double-pounder coming right up.” Crowley offered a salute and stepped out of the door. “Closed or open.”

“Closed.”

Crowley closed the door and left Gabriel to himself. It was the first time in years that Gabriel had this sort of silence. Being alone usually meant a punishment was soon to follow, but this aloneness was altogether different. It was peaceful. Gabriel even dared to let himself feel safe amongst these sheets. Everything smelled so unfamiliar, but Sandalphon’s scent had never been comforting. Even if his body responded to it, Gabriel knew that was by virtue of nothing more than the bite on the back of his neck. In reality, Sandalphon terrified him, but that mark meant Gabriel submitted to every single horror he’d been put through.

 

Sometime after, Gabriel had fallen asleep. It wasn’t until there was a knocking at the door that he jolted awake, trying to sit and rush to answer. Reflex. All he did was hurt himself and groan as he laid back down. He had to remind himself, consciously, that this wasn’t Sandalphon’s house. There was absolutely nothing wrong with not being able to answer the door. Crowley had even told him to just lay here, so it had to be fine.

“Come in,” Gabriel called.

It was Aziraphale who stepped through the door. Aziraphale, who looked happy, healthy, and pregnant. Gabriel’s eyes dropped right to the swell of his stomach and felt something strange stir inside of him. It wasn’t jealousy, but it still tasted bitter.

“Oh, it is you,” Aziraphale crooned. “Crowley said, but I—” Aziraphale didn’t finish his statement, and instead just rushed across the room. Gabriel was sitting by the time he made it, and Aziraphale dropped down to sit beside him, wrapping him up in a tight hug. Gabriel grunted, but after a brief apology, they hugged again. A real hug, with Gabriel’s arms around Aziraphale’s shoulders.

“You’re very pregnant,” Gabriel said, when they pulled apart. “Did he—?”

Aziraphale shook his head. “No, no, not at all. Crowley has never forced a thing on me. He doesn’t even force me to get out of bed in the morning.” Aziraphale laughed, squeezing Gabriel’s shoulders. “Oh, Gabriel, he’s wonderful. I told him about you and look what he did. He went and found you.”

Gabriel offered his own smile, much weaker.

“You look awful, dear,” Aziraphale said. “What happened?”

Gabriel shook his head and slumped forward. This was the weakest Aziraphale had ever seen him, and he positively ached. He ran his fingers back through Gabriel’s hair, very purposefully avoiding his bond mark as he reached the base of his neck.

“He—” Gabriel started, but his voice cracked. Then, he shook his head. “He just beat me. It doesn’t matter why. He does it all the time. He’ll do it again when I go back.”

“You can’t go back, Gabriel. You—why would we let you go back?”

“It doesn’t matter what you do,” Gabriel barked. “That bastard wraps me up in his lies for years and then steals the rest of my life from me! You can’t undo that. No matter where I go, I’m never going to be anything more than Sandalphon’s worthless fucking omega. I can’t even—fuck,” Gabriel grumbled, dropping his head into his hands. “He’d hate me less if I could give him a child.”

“You’re away from him. Unless he finds you, you can do anything. What if—” Aziraphale swallowed, but when Gabriel looked at him, he knew he had to continue. “What if someone broke the bond?”

“Someone—what?” Gabriel frowned. “Doesn’t that just put me in the same situation with someone different? What kind of an alpha breaks an omega’s bond just so that omega can go fuck off into the sunset like this is some happy ending?”

“This one,” Crowley’s voice rang through from the door. His arms were folded, and he was leaning against the door frame again. “Aziraphale wouldn’t stop talking about it when he got home, and I don’t dislike the idea.” Crowley shrugged. “It’s not like I’m looking for a harem. New bond just means you don’t have to go back to Sandalphon.” He hoped, anyway. “Doesn’t come with any obligations.”

Gabriel swallowed. “You would just let me leave?”

Crowley nodded. “Unless you want to stay. Doesn’t matter to me.”

Gabriel looked at Aziraphale, and then he looked at Crowley. He could tell Crowley meant it, and Aziraphale seemed to trust him enough to have his child. Gabriel pressed a hand into his abdomen and winced. “I don’t—”

“I wouldn’t.” Crowley promised, because he knew more than he let on. “Condoms are a part of the deal.”

Gabriel nodded. “My heat is pretty irregular, but it’s yours.”

They agreed. They wouldn’t be able to wait long enough for Gabriel’s ribs to heal—his heat wouldn’t wait for that. But it didn’t matter. They three knew how awful it was going to be, so healing ribs didn’t matter. This wouldn’t be a fun heat; breaking a bond was never easy. There were stories everywhere of omegas dying from trying to do it or lashing out so irreverently that they wounded—even killed—the alpha trying. It was dangerous, but Gabriel’s ready acceptance showed just how desperate he was to be rid of the bond he had. The moment his heat came, he’d let it happen.

 

Gabriel was nothing more than a stoic mess. He didn’t do much, rightfully with his current condition, but he also didn’t talk much. Presuming that he survived a change in bonds, Gabriel was leaving right after. He didn’t want to talk, because that provided the opportunity to get attached, and he couldn’t get attached. That would make it harder to leave, and if he didn’t leave, that just made it easier for Sandalphon to find him again. The problem was, he couldn’t avoid conversation for long, especially not when things started.

Not all omegas had a pre-heat, but Gabriel had never been particularly lucky. Not only did he look the way he did, but everything started getting hot and sticky before it even needed to. Which would have been fine, except it brought Crowley into his room the day before Gabriel knew he was about to go completely mad. Just the scent of Crowley had bile rising up in Gabriel’s throat, so Crowley didn’t come any closer than the doorway. It didn’t stop the initial gag, and Gabriel eventually just covered his mouth with his hand.

“I’ll go in a minute,” Crowley said, visibly guilt-ridden for what response he caused. “I just want to make sure this is something you want. You know what could happen.”

“It’s fine,” Gabriel muttered into his hand. “Either I die, or it works; I’m free either way.”

Crowley’s heart sunk, but he nodded. He looked at Gabriel for a long, ill-painted moment and wondered if he should tell him. No doubt, knowing he’d just miscarried would be more stress than it was worth, and as selfish as it might have been, Crowley was still hoping for the optimum outcome. With that in mind, he decided against sharing what he knew. Crowley left.

 

When Crowley returned, it was the following day with the scent of Gabriel’s heat so deep and potent that Crowley faltered right at the door. Gabriel smelled so good—better, really, than anything Crowley had ever smelled. He hated to admit that to himself, too, how perfect the scent was. Like lilacs. Something underneath of that was sour, and it set the reminding tone of just what Crowley was walking into. Gabriel wanted this, and Crowley knew he wanted this, but instincts alone would have Gabriel fight it every step of the way.

Crowley’s steeled himself for what he was about to face, but more than that—what he was about to do. He pushed through the door and shut it again, locking it before he really let himself just melt into the scent. Doing this on a pullout couch wasn’t exactly either of their dreams, but it was as neutral a place as any. Doing it on Crowley’s bed would have just made it worse; the comfort wouldn’t have mattered. At least now, Crowley could at least smell one lasting shred of want.

Gabriel was still entirely dressed, curled up on his side with his arm bent under his head so he could cover his bond mark. Trying to ignore that it was there in his last moments of clarity, but those moments were fading fast. Crowley could smell the slick on him, the heat rising up. Gabriel may have had some expert control over himself, but he sorely lost it with every step closer Crowley came. Gabriel could smell Crowley, too, and for as much as he wanted, he heaved forward.

“Don’t—” Gabriel gasped, but Crowley touched him, anyway. Crowley’s hand felt like fire on his shoulder, and Gabriel tried to get away from it. He reached up in one jolt to grab Crowley’s wrist, but Crowley grabbed his just as fast with his free hand.

He pulled Gabriel’s grip off of him and pinned that arm down to the bed. Gabriel struggled against him with a growl growing right from his throat. And therein laid the problem—Gabriel was everything an omega wasn’t supposed to be. He was big. He was strong. He moved faster than Crowley did. Before Crowley could pin down his other arm, Gabriel struck him right across the face with the flat of his hand, with sharp nails.

Fuck—” Gabriel gasped. Crowley was too caught up with the sudden fact that his nose was bleeding to notice, but Gabriel fought himself back down to the bed. “I’m so sorry,” he muttered, and his apologies just repeated. Crowley wiped at the blood with the back of his hand and shook his head.

“You got an arm on you,” he said; it was meant to be funny, but Gabriel looked horrified. He could smell how strong of an alpha Crowley was, but it was in genetics alone.

“I don’t want to hurt you,” Gabriel rasped. “You have to restrain me. If you don’t—”

“I’m not—”

“You don’t have a choice,” Gabriel hissed. It broke off into a shattered groan as his hips bucked into empty air. The smell of slick hit Crowley all over again. “Please,” Gabriel whispered. He was practically shaking, and it was from no innate pleasure, but from exertion. Trying to keep himself in check, because all his body wanted to do was fight this.

Crowley just bit his tongue and did what he had to do. He ripped his belt out of his pants and ignored the sudden stench of distress, of pain. Through a bout of pure alpha strength that Crowley could no doubt keep up, he man-handled Gabriel onto his front, face forced into the pillows, and strung the belt around his wrists and secured it tight. There was nothing to tie Gabriel to, but just having his arms twisted behind his back left him defenseless. Crowley ensured he couldn’t struggle by straddling over his thighs, using his own legs to keep Gabriel’s still.

“Does it hurt?” Crowley asked.

“What the fuck do you think?” Gabriel hissed; his eyes closed tightly. Of course, it did. It wouldn’t matter what Crowley did, it would hurt. Gabriel’s body didn’t want this, even if he did. It wasn’t about pleasure. It wasn’t about feeling good. It was about wiping this nasty mark off the back of his neck.

Crowley thumbed over it, and Gabriel jolted, trying to fight against Crowley’s hold. His touch. It was searing, but Crowley didn’t relent. Instead, he closed his eyes and took one deep inhale. He could smell Gabriel’s heat on him, and he let himself just revel in it. The smell of an omega in heat, the slick that Gabriel already had dripping in his trousers. Crowley leaned down and nosed right along Gabriel’s neck, even if it made him squirm and snarl. He took that scent in deep, licking right over those potent smelling glands.

Gabriel tried to struggle, but Crowley had bound him well. When Crowley pulled back, he let go of Gabriel’s arms in turn for tearing at his trousers—Gabriel couldn’t get out of the bonds. Couldn’t get away. The moment Crowley had his trousers down, his underwear, Gabriel practically writhed. He fought, but Crowley’s ankles were hooked over his own to keep his legs still and spread. Crowley ignored all of it and kept his focus right where it needed to be—right between Gabriel’s thighs.

“Fuck,” Crowley groaned. Gabriel was dripping in his own slick, and even pressed down onto his front like this, Crowley could see the size of his cocklet. It was large—nearly the size of a proper alpha’s cock. It was no doubt a reason Gabriel was so unwanted, but Crowley couldn’t help but harden at the thought of having that thick shaft down his throat. The sounds he could have Gabriel making.

Now wasn’t the time for that, and Crowley swallowed his pleasures and got to work instead. With a hand holding tight right at the base of Gabriel’s neck to keep him still, make him submit, Crowley dragged his fingers through Gabriel’s cunt. The slide was so easy, so slick. His hole practically quivered each time Crowley passed over it. Gabriel struggled through every swipe, grunting and groaning into the pillows. But it was there, right beneath the pure scent of pain building up—Gabriel enjoyed it.

“When was the last time a real alpha took care of you?” Crowley crooned. Gabriel’s only response was a long string of no. Crowley couldn’t stop, though. Not until that bond was gone. He could get rid of it, but still. He didn’t want everything to hurt. That wasn’t him.

He stroked through Gabriel’s folds, spreading him open. Gabriel’s hips jolted, and he buried his face into the pillows. Crowley knew just where to touch, just how to touch to make it feel so good, and still, there was bile rising up in Gabriel’s throat. This wasn’t his alpha. His body didn’t want this. He gasped, then, somewhere between something horrified and something left in complete awe as Crowley’s fingers brushed around his clit. Crowley surrounded the little nub and gave just the lightest squeeze.

Gabriel’s body lit aflame in equal parts please as it was disgust.

“Stop, stop,” Gabriel just sobbed. “Just get it the fuck over with—please, I—” Gabriel shifted underneath Crowley, trying to get him off, but Crowley would not be moved. If anything, he tightened his grip on the back of Gabriel’s neck.

“If you insist,” Crowley said, dryly. He didn’t have to be particularly aroused for his cock to still work.

He tightened his grip impossibly more to keep Gabriel right where he was, then pressed two fingers right inside of him. Gabriel gagged, strained. Oh, he tried to get away, but there was nowhere to go, and Crowley tried not to look. He pressed down with all the strength he had, keeping Gabriel still as he worked his fingers in deeper. Gabriel all but choked as he felt it, fingers working inside of him. This wasn’t his alpha—wasn’t his scent. Nothing about this was comforting, anymore.

Gabriel clenched down around Crowley, trying to force him out, but what could he do? What would he accomplish? Crowley didn’t stop, and soon his slow press turned to a hard, rapid fuck of his fingers. He spread them apart, stretching Gabriel open and holding there so he couldn’t tighten back up. Couldn’t make it worse for himself. Gabriel’s quiet whimpers turned to outright sobs as Crowley pushed another finger into him.

“You can do it,” Crowley urged, but Gabriel wasn’t listening. His face was scrunched up in pain. His whole body was trembling, and every fuck of Crowley’s fingers had him jolting, struggling to get away from the touch.

Crowley tried his best, massaging Gabriel’s inner walls until some of the shaking was reluctant pleasure. Crowley peeled his body apart touch by torturous touch, finding any spot he could that pulled a trembling moan from Gabriel’s throat instead of a hissing growl. Even an angry omega couldn’t resist certain touches, and Gabriel cried out as Crowley brushed around that spot inside of him. His moan was straggled, and tears streamed down his cheeks. His body hated this, and he just wanted it to be over.

But it wasn’t over. Crowley worked a fourth finger into him, and Gabriel nearly lost what little lunch he’d managed to swallow. Every added finger was a promise that Gabriel would be loose, no matter how much he didn’t want to be. Crowley stretched him, all thoughts of pleasure thrown aside, and removed his fingers the moment he figured it was enough.

He didn’t even bother to get undressed. Crowley just pulled his cock out and stroked himself. He was achingly hard, and apart of him was disgusted with it. But the alpha in him didn’t care. The alpha in him saw a needy, helpless omega in need of a good fuck and reacted accordingly. Crowley groaned, bracing himself on the small of Gabriel’s back as he fucked into his own fist. His fingers were wet with Gabriel’s slick, and he spread that down his own shaft.

Then, he took only a moment to ensure he could roll a condom down his length. Crowley didn’t give any warning as he pressed the head of his cock between Gabriel’s thighs. Gabriel thrashed in response, crying out at the feeling. No—no, he didn’t want this, but Crowley wasn’t listening. Crowley couldn’t listen. He kept Gabriel as still as he could and pushed forward. Even for the stretching, Gabriel tried to clench down, close up. Crying, begging for this to stop. Practically screaming with it, but his screams all died out as he choked instead.

The initial breach of Crowley’s cock had Gabriel gagging into the sheets, spitting up at first. And it didn’t stop. Crowley kept pushing into him, and Gabriel couldn’t swallow fast enough to keep himself from vomiting. Crowley did the only thing he could and dragged his fingers through Gabriel’s hair, petting. Trying to calm him down, but there was nothing to be done. When his hips started moving, Gabriel gagged again and just let himself go limp.

“Soon—” Crowley promised, trying to swallow the pleasure in his voice. “It’ll be over soon.”

Gabriel didn’t respond with anything more than a defeated gargle. Crowley looked down and just grabbed Gabriel by the hips. He fucked into Gabriel—hard, fast. There was no sense in dragging this out longer than it needed to be. He was achingly hard, and the pleasure was building fast. Guilt-ridden pleasure as Gabriel clenched and spasmed around him. Gabriel was tight, hot, and Crowley couldn’t help himself but just tremble with it—white, hot pleasure.

Crowley groaned and ground his hips into Gabriel’s, working in as deep as he could before pulling back and slamming forward. He rolled his head back, letting his eyes close and the feeling just take him. It shot up his spines in waves, electric, and just spurred him to go further. Bury himself into that tight heat over and over again until he was coming.

The second his orgasm struck, Crowley surged forward, planting his hands down on Gabriel’s shoulders and forcing him further into the pillows. Quieting his cries. Crowley leaned down, hunched over something like a monster, and sunk his teeth right into the back of Gabriel’s neck.

Gabriel screamed. He screamed, and he thrashed, and he kicked. He couldn’t beat Crowley off of him, out of him, and Crowley’s knot caught right on the edge of his hole and stuck. Crowley just bit down harder, grinding into Gabriel as he did. His nails dug into Gabriel’s shoulders, but still, Gabriel tried to fight it. He couldn’t.

Once the new bite took, Gabriel was gone. He passed right out, and Crowley couldn’t get away from him fast enough. He had to wait for his knot to deflate, but once he did, he pulled away from Gabriel like he’d just been burned. He barely had the mind to shed the condom and tuck himself back into his trousers before he was fleeing from the room—fingers shook against the lock, but he did it. He got out, closed the door, and fell back into it. Crowley sucked in a deep, heavy breath before he just collapsed to the floor.

Aziraphale was in the hallway a moment later.

“I—” Crowley tried, but his breath caught in his throat, and Aziraphale just shook his head. He eased himself down to the floor, a bit difficult with the size of his stomach, but he managed.

“You did what you had to do,” Aziraphale whispered. “When he wakes up, he’ll tell you the same.”

Crowley shook his head, but he didn’t argue. He had to tell himself that it was for the best. Gabriel had agreed. He’d wanted it. It would free him from something much, much worse than Crowley trying to make torture comfortable. Still, he couldn’t see an immediate future where Gabriel’s screams didn’t haunt him.

Aziraphale promised he would take care of the rest. He’d clean up and look after Gabriel—Crowley needed to shower and rest. When Gabriel’s heat was over, they would all sit down and talk about it like reasonable, rational adults. After that, everything would be fine.