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Follow Me to Nowhere

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Shinya woke up around midnight to the sound of sirens. He smelled smoke in the air and groggily got out of bed to see if he needed to worry. He went over to the window and looked outside. At first he thought he must still be dreaming, because the sky was painted orange from fires. Just a few blocks away a building was completely enveloped in flames, and as far as he could see, fires lit up the city. When he looked down onto the street, he saw people everywhere, like little ants scurrying here and there.

Shinya lived in a suburb up in the hills, and his view over the city from the 9th floor was quite impressive. More impressive than he’d like, tonight. What the hell was going on? He picked up his phone, glancing down on the screen to check the local news sites. No signal. Rubbing the sleep out of his eyes, Shinya started to get anxious, and his bladder was telling him he had somewhere he needed to be.

As he stepped into the bathroom, he realized two things. One, he couldn’t turn on the light. And two, his annoying dripping faucet wasn’t dripping anymore. He flipped the switch a few more times before he gave up and tried the faucet. No water. Fear started to creep up on him as he realized things were more serious than he thought. He quickly relieved himself but didn’t flush, and then took a quick round in the small apartment. It didn’t take him long to realize power was out in the entire city, and that the smell of smoke hung heavily in the air. Down on the street, there seemed to be a commotion. He couldn’t quite make it out from up here but there seemed to be people looting the convenience store on the corner. And was that a fight on the other side of the street?

Seriously scared at this point, Shinya tried to decide what to do. He could hear neighbors moving in the corridor and voices yelling. It seemed people were getting the hell out of here. He returned to the window and looked out over the town. Impossibly, even more houses were on fire now, including one just down the block. Whatever it was, it was coming this way. He began to understand why his neighbors were getting out of here.

Shinya stood by the window for a minute, trying to make up his mind. Should he stay here and hope his house was spared from the fires? Or should he take his chances down there, and leave the relative safety of his own home? A loud crash from the street, where people had started breaking windows and torching cars, was enough for him to make up his mind. He quickly sorted through his things, taking out his largest backpack and stuffing it with warm clothes, a knife, and bits and pieces his scared mind thought he might need. He started to pack all the food and drink he could carry, but soon realized he didn’t have room in his backpack. Throwing some of the clothes out, he stuffed the food down. Lastly, a small photo album got shoved down a pocket on the front.

He dressed in as warm and sensible clothes he could, putting on layers to be able to bring as much as possible. He was always cold anyway, so he didn’t mind wearing extra sweaters and winter boots despite the fact that spring was here already. A glance out the window made him hurry even more – things were getting worse by the minute down there. He was almost done and out the door when it hit him – medicine! He didn’t have time to go through it, so he quickly sacrificed yet another sweater from the backpack and swiped down all the bottles from his medicine cabinet into the bag, topping it off with band aids and scissors. He stuffed his phone into his pocket, in case he could find a signal later. Then he pulled a woolen hat down over his blond hair, and was out the door.

The corridors were filled with confused and frightened people, and at the end of his corridor some neighbors stood outside the elevator, arguing about whether it ran on emergency power or not. Shinya opted for the stairs instantly, and held on to the railing tightly as he was pushed this way and that by running people on his way down.

Once he reached the street he was happy he had gotten out when he did. A crowd of rowdy alphas with some omegas in tow were just about to set fire to the store on the corner. Shinya turned the other way and tried to make himself as invisible as possible as he made his way down the street through the crowds.

He had a clear goal in mind. His friend Satsuki lived a ten minute walk from Shinya’s apartment building and right now, Shinya didn’t feel like being alone. Getting there was easier said than done though, and he had to stop several times and go around to avoid fires or violent gangs. The walk took him nearly forty minutes, and when he finally stood in front of what had been Satsuki’s house, Shinya felt like weeping. The house was in flames, and there was no chance anyone still inside could be alive. All he could do was hope Satsuki had made it out in time.

But where would his friend have gone if he had? Shinya tried to think. He was pretty much a loner himself and had only a few close friends, but Satsuki had quite a network of people he surrounded himself with. But who was he closest too? And who lived near enough so he would try to get there? While he was going over the list in his head, trying to remember names and addresses, he didn’t notice that someone approached him from behind.

“Shinya?” The voice startled him badly and he jumped, an undignified yelp crossing his lips. He spun around and was met by a familiar face, now scrunched up in worry.

“Yuki!” Shinya exclaimed with infinite relief. A friendly face was just what he needed right now, and it seemed he wasn’t the only one as Yuki threw his arms around him and hugged him tight. The omega was a friend of Satsuki’s, and though he and Shinya weren’t close, Shinya liked him. They’d met on enough parties and movie nights, dinners and concerts, for Shinya to know him pretty well.

Yuki was shivering slightly as he let go of Shinya and threw his arms around himself for comfort. “What is happening, Shinya? This is all crazy!”

Shinya just shook his head in answer, he had no idea. He looked around, searching for familiar faces and trying to figure out where to go next. “Have you seen anyone else?” he asked, looking back at Yuki.

“No one. I’m on my way to Hiro’s, and figured I’d try Satsuki since he lives on the way. I had no idea it would be this crazy and take so long to get anywhere. Do you… Do you think Satsuki got out ok?” Yuki studied the burning building behind them with a worried look on his face.

Shinya nodded. He had to believe his friend got out ok. But where would he go? Maybe to Hiro’s as well, the alpha lived further out in the suburbs, in a house of his own. He wasn’t sure where, but Yuki obviously did. He hoped the omega was ok with him tagging along, but was a little shy to ask.

“Shall we try Hiro’s place?” Yuki asked at the same time, and Shinya nodded with a relieved smile. Maybe Hiro’s neighborhood hadn’t been affected by this madness? He let Yuki take the lead through streets that were quickly filling up with rubble from fires and looted stores. He couldn’t believe this, what had gotten into everyone? With wide eyes, he and Yuki wandered through battered streets of what used to be a quiet neighborhood, looking at the destruction around them.

“Did they burn your house too?” Yuki asked quietly, as they stopped in front of a burning car that blocked their path. Shinya nodded. “They were about to. Yours?” The look on Yuki’s face answered his question without words.

“I didn’t even have time to find anything more than what I’m wearing before I had to get out,” Yuki whispered, pain in his eyes. Shinya suddenly remembered that Yuki had a cat, and realized where the pain came from. He put his arm around his friend’s shoulder and gave him a hug, the only thing he could think of to do. Words had never been his specialty, and he wasn’t good at finding the right thing to say in moments like this. That didn’t mean he didn’t care though. Yuki hugged him back for a moment, and then he shrugged, drying a tear from the corner of his eye. It was strange to see the usually so cheerful omega with tears in his eyes, and Shinya looked away so his friend wouldn’t feel embarrassed.

The motion turned out to be a stroke of luck, as it made him spot the two alphas before they were upon them. He cried out and quickly took a step back, Yuki reacting at the same time, the two taking up a defensive position. The alphas stopped a few feet in front of them. Now that they had lost the element of surprise, they were in no rush to finish this.

“Hello boys,” one of the alphas said, grinning at them. He reminded Shinya of a predator. “Are you sure you should be out here all on your own in this?”

“Stay away from us!” Yuki exclaimed firmly, scared but not about to back down. Shinya glanced around, looking for escape routes, while the alphas started closing in.

“Oh no, sweetheart, we couldn’t do that. What if someone came and tried to hurt you? We’d better stay and protect you.” The alpha looked terrifying, and as he stressed the word protect meaningfully, Shinya felt a chill run down his spine. They had to get out of here fast, or that would be the last “protecting” they ever had. The fear gave him courage he didn’t know he had, and suddenly he felt his foot connect to the balls of the alpha on the left, sending him to the ground clutching his groin. The action stunned both the other alpha and Yuki, it was such an unexpected turn of events. The alpha quickly recovered though, and lunged towards Shinya with a growl. The omega stumbled and fell on his back, the backpack breaking the worst of the fall. The alpha was over him in a flash and raised his arm to deliver a hard punch.

By now though, Yuki had recovered and took the opportunity to kick the alpha in the side. The alpha grunted and missed, the punch landing on Shinya’s shoulder instead of his face, and though it hurt like hell he could still move. The alpha turned to face Yuki, and Shinya took the opportunity to scramble to his feet. The alpha realized he had no backup from his friend, still down, and growled as he faced the two omegas. He was apparently not ready to let them go, but he couldn’t grab them both. As his eyes darted between them, trying to decide whom to go for, the two omegas started drifting in separate directions slowly, forcing him to choose. He ultimately went after Shinya, but the omega proved too fast for him as he ran for his life. In the corner of his eye he saw Yuki running with him, the alpha lagging behind and stopping after a block, panting and yelling curses after them.

The two omegas didn’t stop until a few blocks later, panting heavily as they caught their breaths. Shinya wondered if he looked as spooked as Yuki, but realized he probably did considering how he felt. What the hell was wrong with people tonight?

Chapter Text

 

They were soon leaving the town center behind and made their way out into the suburbs. If they had thought it would be better out here, they were mistaken. There were fewer fires, but people were breaking into houses and looting homes while their owners tried to stop them. It was madness.

Shinya was getting really worried about what they would find once they reached Hiro’s place, and so he was utterly relieved to find the house standing and in one piece. Several people were outside, armed with makeshift weapons, and he recognized Hiro and the two other alphas, Satochi and Hitsugi. Yuki ran up to Hiro straight away and threw himself in his arms, startling the alpha, but he soon wrapped his arms around the omega and stroked his back in comfort.

Shinya held back. The way people acted tonight, he wasn’t about to trust anyone, not even people he thought he knew. He looked around but couldn’t see Satsuki. Hitsugi and Satochi were talking between themselves, and a very pretty omega stood next to them, looking around nervously. He had soot on his face and a torn shirt, and Shinya guessed he hadn’t had an easy time getting here either.

No one seemed to mind Shinya much, except Satochi who gave him a long appraising look, but at least they didn’t seem to have gone crazy. Yuki finally let go of Hiro after a long while, but the alpha seemed unwilling to let him go. He put his arm around Yuki’s waist, holding him close as he turned to the rest of them. For the first time, he seemed to notice Shinya and nodded politely at him. Shinya bowed back, but didn’t say anything.

“So,” Hiro started, “do you guys come from downtown? What’s it like down there? Same as here?”

“It’s awful, fires everywhere,” Yuki said. “People fighting and attacking each other, looting stores and…” He hesitated, looking faint.

“And what?”

“We were attacked by two alphas,” Yuki admitted. “They were going to…” He swallowed hard before continuing. “But we got away.”

The alphas exchanged angry glances, and the young omega blinked, his big eyes filled with fear.

“Hey Kazuki, come here,” Hitsugi said and pulled the omega into a comforting hug. “I’m here to protect you, ok?” Kazuki nodded, looking calmer now that he had the alpha’s arms wrapped around him. So this was the Kazuki that Shinya had heard his friends talk about, the pretty boy on everyone’s lips when he arrived to town a few months ago. Seemed Hitsugi had claimed him for himself, but Kazuki didn’t seem to mind.

A loud crash and screaming up the street startled them, and the alphas gripped their weapons harder, looking for any signs of trouble coming this way. It seemed whoever it was decided to head in the other direction, and they relaxed again. It was obvious that the calm wouldn’t last for long though, and the alphas looked at each other.

“I still say we get out of here,” Satochi said. “This is getting worse by the minute, and they will be coming here soon enough.”

Hitsugi frowned. “And I still vote for staying. This can’t last for long, right? The military or someone is bound to come bring some order to this soon.” Yuki nodded, apparently agreeing with Hitsugi.

Hiro looked uncertain, but eventually he sighed.

“I have to agree with Satochi. As much as I hate the idea of abandoning my home, I don’t think we can hold off a bunch of looters on our own. There aren’t enough of us to cover every door and window. And what if they set fire to the house with us in it?”

Shinya felt a chill run down his spine at the thought of that, and Kazuki shook his head violently.

“I’m not going inside to get burned,” he said nervously and rubbed at the soot stain on his chin.

“So that makes three for leaving and two for staying,” Hiro concluded and looked at Shinya. “So what do you say?”

Shinya wasn’t prepared to have everyone’s eyes on him all of a sudden, and shifted uncomfortably under their gaze as he thought about it. Staying meant friends could come, and maybe Satsuki would show up. But it also meant others could come, people like the ones he had run away from earlier. How was he to decide? Another crash up the street tipped the scales for him.

“Leaving,” he said shortly, his eyes flicking up the road.

Hiro nodded. “Ok, so we leave. If you guys want to stay, I’ll give you my key.” Yuki shook his head, leaning into Hiro’s embrace, not ready to leave the alpha’s side. Hitsugi sighed, but made a gesture as if to say Go on, lead the way. Hiro looked to the house.

“I’m just going to finish packing. We should carry as much as we can. Who doesn’t have a bag already?” Yuki and Kazuki raised their hands, and Hitsugi held up his half empty backpack. Satochi and Shinya kept guard outside while the others went in to pack up as much as they could in backpacks, concentrating on food, water and warm clothes. Hiro also handed a flashlight to Satochi and kept one for himself. For a weapon he picked up an axe, and handed out knifes to those who had none. Finally, they were ready.

“Where to?” Satochi asked, picking up his bag.

“My grandma’s place,” Hiro said. “It’s about five miles outside of town. A small farm, we can hang out there until the military have this mess cleaned up.”

“Shouldn’t we at least leave a note for friends who might come looking?” Hitsugi asked, still not entirely happy about leaving.

“I don’t think any of them know where the farm is, and I’m not about to write the address on the note,” Hiro said. “Let’s just hope they find shelter until the morning. It can’t be that long before this is over.”

Everyone nodded in agreement. As weird as this was, it wouldn’t last. Shinya pulled his phone from his pocket and checked for reception, but still no luck. He looked around at the others, but they all just shook their heads. Communications were down for now, and they would just have to wait for them to be restored. In the mean time, Shinya shut his phone off to conserve battery. It wouldn’t do him much good if he ran out of juice before communications were back up.

It seemed they left just in time. They had only just turned the street corner when they heard crashes and screaming on the street behind them. Hiro looked like he wanted to run back for a moment, but a glance at Yuki made him stay. The two held hands as they quickly walked down the street, westward, out of town.

. . . . .

They walked in silence for a while, keeping an eye out for looters or violence, but the further they got from the town center, the more quiet things became. They saw a few people leaving on the same road they did, but mostly it was deserted once they reached the countryside.

“I’ve never regretted selling my car more,” Hiro muttered at the front, as another car sped by them on it’s way out of town. He and Satochi took point. Shinya ended up beside Yuki, and Hitsugi and Kazuki brought up the rear.

“So,” Shinya started quietly, “you and Hiro?”

Yuki blushed. “Yeah. I hope so. It’s pretty new, we haven’t even… It’s not like he’s said he wants to be my boyfriend or anything yet.”

Shinya smiled and grabbed Yuki’s hand. “I’ll keep my fingers crossed.”

The omega smiled back at him shyly before glancing at Hiro with a dreamy look in his eyes. Shinya couldn’t help smirking as he saw the obvious crush reflected in Yuki’s face. Ah well, good for him. Hiro didn’t seem to mind the idea, judging from what Shinya had seen in the garden before they left.

Behind him, Hitsugi and Kazuki were talking quietly while walking hand in hand. Apparently, new couples were the thing. Shinya almost felt a slight sting at the thought. He was notoriously bad at relationships due to his shyness, and it had been a while since anyone had shown interest. Well, the right kind of interest anyway. It happened that he was cat called on the street of course, like any omega, but actual romantic interest in him? That was a rarity, and on occasion, it stung a bit. That didn’t stop him from rooting for his friends, but it did bring some longing for himself.

He trudged on, watching the others as they went, and once they reached the exit that led to the farm, the first morning light was coming through the grey clouds.

As they walked up to the farm, Hiro called out to his grandparents. No reply. Hiro frowned as he went up to the door and knocked. Still no reply. They tried peeking in through windows, but eventually Hiro just fetched the key from under a flower pot and unlocked the door, letting everyone in.

“Grandma? Grandpa?” he yelled, as they all piled into the kitchen, tiredly sitting down round the table. Shinya’s legs and back ached from the long walk on asphalt, and he was happy to set down his backpack and rest while Hiro went to look for his grandparents. As the alpha went upstairs, the rest just sat in the kitchen, looking uncomfortable at having walked in without a proper invitation.

A loud gasp from the top floor made them stir. Satochi ran up the stairs, while Hitsugi stood uncertainly by the door, unwilling to leave the omegas alone. A few minutes later, the two alphas came back down. Satochi looked upset and dispirited, and Hiro hid his face in his hair as he stepped out on the front porch, alone.

“What…?” Hitsugi started, but Satochi just shook his head a little.

“They’re dead. Both of them, in their bed. They’re not even cold yet.”

“What?” Yuki exclaimed, looking out the window at Hiro who stood with his back towards the house. “Did someone break in and kill them?”

“It doesn’t look like it. It seems they’ve gotten ill and just… died. Hiro says they were old and a little weakened, but this…” Satochi swallowed hard and shook his head. “What the hell is going on?”

They all looked at each other, shaking their heads. Fires, people dying in their beds, all the aggression they’d seen. It was so weird. Without news it was hard to do anything but speculate, but there was just no logic to it. Yuki quietly got up from his seat and went outside. Through the window Shinya could see him putting his arm gently around Hiro, and Hiro hugging the omega back, leaning his head on the other’s shoulder.

He looked at Satochi, bewildered. The alpha was just about to say something when Kazuki opened his mouth. “Does… Does this mean they got sick from some virus or something and we could get infected too?”

Hitsugi paled, but tried to put up a brave front for the omega. “No, probably not, they were old like Hiro said. But maybe… we should go just in case.”

They picked up their gear and went outside, standing a little bit off from Hiro to give him his privacy while they thought about what to do. Kazuki’s face was pale, and he seemed very nervous. He leaned on Hitsugi and chewed his lip while the alpha stroked his back, a worried expression on his face. Everyone just seemed to be lost, standing there looking around, not knowing what to do next. Shinya’s eyes met Satochi’s and for a few moments, they just looked at each other, trying to make sense of everything. Then Satochi straightened his back, and looked at the rest.

“Ok, guys, let’s find somewhere to sit down for a while. We need to rest. How about over there, in the garden?” He pointed to a set of benches in the garden, and started to carefully herd the rest over there. After a while even Hiro and Yuki followed, and they all sat down, resting their tired limbs. No one spoke for a long while, everyone’s heads filled up with the events of the last ten hours. Kazuki cried quietly in Hitsugi’s arms.

After a while, Satochi got up and moved to sit down next to Shinya. The omega lifted his head and looked at him questioningly.

“Hey,” Satochi started. “How are you holding up?”

Shinya shrugged and looked away. He didn’t really know what to say. How were you supposed to feel after something like this? He felt empty, uncertain and oh so tired. Satochi studied him for a bit before he put his arm around the omega’s shoulders and gave him a quick squeeze.

“Ok, just let me know if there’s anything I can do, ok?”

Shinya nodded and gave the alpha a small smile, grateful for the concern but unsure what to do with it. Satochi smiled back, before he ruffled Shinya’s hair and got up.

“Ok, guys, we have to make some decisions here. Hiro, I’m very sorry about your grandparents, and I wish you could have more time to grieve them, but we have to figure out what to do.”

Hiro looked up, his eyes rimmed in red, but he nodded. Yuki reached out and nestled his fingers with Hiro’s, giving his hand a squeeze for comfort and was rewarded with a tiny tired smile.

“You’re right,” he said, his voice a little raspy but strong. “Does anyone have any ideas?”

“Do we have any reception yet?” Hitsugi asked and checked his phone. They all dug out their phones and Hitsugi also pulled out an iPad. A quick check showed that they were still all dead.

“It’s still early, the military is probably still clearing up,” Satochi said. “There’s probably still a curfew. Does anyone have any idea how this started?”

Shinya shook his head, whatever it was, it had already been in full bloom when he woke up. Yuki also shook his head, and the rest looked uncertain.

“I went out clubbing last night,” Kazuki offered, “but I went home early. There was a weird tension in the air, people started fights and stuff. I mean, more than the usual drunken brawls.”

Hiro nodded. “I talked to a friend downtown over the phone last night, and he said the same thing. People seemed angry and more easily riled up than normal.”

Satochi frowned. “Yeah, but from that to this? A full riot and burning the entire town? That seems just weird.” No one had an answer to that, it was weird all right. Shinya sighed and wondered what had happened to Satsuki. He was often out partying, had he gone to a club and gotten stuck in the weird mood of the evening?

“I want to go back,” Kazuki offered suddenly. Everyone turned to look at the omega, who looked determined even though his cheeks were wet with tears. “I’m tired, and we can’t stay here, and all my friends are back there.”

Hitsugi put his arm around the omega’s shoulders protectively. “Are you sure?” he asked. Kazuki nodded, and looked at him. “They must have stopped by now, right? And where else are we supposed to go?”

“Everything is still probably burning,” Satochi said. “It might be wiser to wait a while longer while the fires are put out and order is completely restored.” Shinya nodded, that made sense. He still shuddered when he thought of what those two alphas had tried to do to him and Yuki, and the smoke still clung to his clothes. He didn’t want to go back. And it was awful about Hiro’s grandparents, but two old people getting ill and dying was completely unrelated to what happened in the city, so it was safer here. It must be.

“I don’t care!” Kazuki got up and looked angrily at Satochi. “I want to go home!”

Hitsugi sighed and got up as well. “And that means I go with him. Do you want to stay here or are you coming?”

The others looked at each other, but just as Hiro opened his mouth to say something, Kazuki wobbled and dropped his bag. Hitsugi grabbed the omega just before he fell, and gently sat him down on the ground.

“What’s wrong, sweetheart?” he asked, heart in his throat. “Are you feeling alright?”

Kazuki lifted his head and looked at Hitsugi, his eyes unfocused and his face flushed. “I don’t feel too good. I want water,” he whispered. The alpha quickly got him a sip from his bottle, before he put his hand on the younger omega’s forehead and gasped.

“He’s burning up!”

The others looked shocked, and Shinya wasn’t the only one to glance towards the house. But Satochi quickly found his cool and looked around the farm. A small guest hut stood at the end of the garden, and he pointed at it.

“Hiro, do you have the key for that hut as well? Is there a bed in there? We’ll put him in there for now.” Hiro looked stunned but got up and led the way towards the hut, getting another key from a hiding place under a rock and unlocking. Hitsugi gathered Kazuki up in his arms and carried him inside, laying him down on the bed.

Hiro quickly got towels out from a cupboard and carefully poured some water over it, handing it to Hitsugi to dab at Kazuki’s forehead. Then he came out and joined the others, all standing there looking lost. After a moment of silence Satochi carefully spoke.

“Ok, so now what? Do we think it’s contagious?”

“If it is we’re all already exposed,” Hiro offered quietly, looking guilty. “If I hadn’t brought you here…”

“Stop it. You couldn’t know!” Yuki grabbed Hiro’s hand and looked at him insistently. “Besides, we’re not even sure it is the same thing. I mean, it would have to be extremely contagious for Kazuki to get ill less than an hour after being exposed.”

“He’s right,” Satochi said. “So the best thing we can do now is wait, and try to take care of Kazuki as well as we can. Now, I’ll go into the house and see what kind of meds they have, ok?”

“No. I’ll go. I know where they keep it,” Hiro murmured between clenched jaws, still looking guilty. He turned and walked into the house, Yuki looking nervously after him. He soon came back with medicine for fever, which he handed to Hitsugi. Then he came back out of the hut, looking helpless.

Satochi looked at the others and then pointed at the benches. “Come on. Let’s get something to eat. There’s still no power, but they could have canned food in the house. We’d better eat that now before we start digging into our backpacks just in case. I’m not sure we should eat any of the fresh food, just in case. Shinya, will you help me?”

Shinya hesitated for a second, glancing at the house, but nodded. It didn’t matter if it was something Kazuki had caught on his own, or if it was Hiro’s grandparents, he would already be exposed so going into the house again wouldn’t make any difference. It made sense that the food would be ok as long as it was in a can. Since they hadn’t touched any food before Kazuki got sick it seemed unlikely to be the source of the illness, but he didn’t feel like taking chances. He gave a brief thought to trying to get the omega to a doctor, but quickly gave up on the idea. They had no means of transportation, and carrying Kazuki would take too long. After a night like this, the hospitals were probably crowded, even if they had any way of getting there.

He helped Satochi look through the cabinets for any packaged food that hadn’t been opened, and brought it out to the benches where they sat down and quietly ate breakfast. Hiro brought Hitsugi and Kazuki some food, but shook his head when he got back.

“Kazuki looks worse,“ he said. “It’s fast, whatever it is. And… I’m not sure, but I think Hittsu looked a little pale as well. Grandpa had some penicillin so I told them to try that, but I don’t know…”

Shinya swallowed nervously and glanced around at the others. They all looked shaken by the news, and he guessed he wasn’t the only one who suddenly started feeling for signs of fever. This was not a time to get hypochondria, but it was easy enough to start imagining things right now. He felt overwhelmed, and felt a tear run down his cheek before he quickly dried it off.

Suddenly, Satochi’s arm was back around his shoulders as he was drawn into a comforting hug. He stiffened, not used to getting hugged by alphas, but soon relaxed and gave in to the overwhelming emotions and let himself sink into the alpha’s chest, sobbing. Satochi kept his arms around him without a word, and just gently rubbed his back until he had calmed down. When he finally let go, he looked Shinya in the eyes and let his fingers gently caress his cheek, as he offered the omega a smile. Shinya felt himself go beet red, and turned away before the alpha could say anything. Oh god, was Satochi interested in him? Or was he just being nice? How was he supposed to react to this? Satochi gave him a curious look but left it at that and turned to the others. Yuki and Hiro were also locked in a hug, the alpha comforting the slightly trembling omega.

“Ok, I don’t feel anything, yet anyway. How are you feeling? Any signs of illness?” Satochi asked and looked around their small circle.

Shinya shook his head, and so did the pair in front of him. He felt relieved that Satochi was ok, the alpha seemed to have taken control of the situation and Shinya felt safe under his command. He didn’t know him that well, had met him a few times but never really talked to him. But there was something about the alpha that instilled trust in people, and Shinya was more than happy to have him around at a time like this.

With a sigh, he sat back down on the bench. All they could do now was wait and take care of their ill.

. . . . .

It was over surprisingly quick. It didn’t take long for Hitsugi to realize that he too was sick, and it was with fear in his voice he asked the others for help. They did what they could, taking turns caring for the two, but when evening approached they were both slipping into a fever-induced coma. The other four spent the night on the floor of an outhouse, not feeling ok about sleeping in the house with the bodies of Hiro’s grandparents upstairs. Hiro fetched extra pillows and blankets from a cupboard in the house and they made themselves as comfortable as they could. They took three hour watches where they did what they could for Kazuki and Hitsugi, trying to keep them hydrated and cool to get the fever down.

But when morning came, Yuki woke them after his watch, tears in his eyes. It was clear to everyone what had happened, no words needed to be spoken. Hiro just got up and threw his arms around the omega, who immediately broke down and sobbed loudly in the alpha’s arms. Shinya sat up under his blanket and put his arms around his knees, holding them close to his body. He felt himself shivering, and threw a glance towards Satochi, silently hoping he would offer comfort like he had yesterday. The alpha caught his glance and scooted closer without a word, pulling the omega into a hug. Shinya leaned into Satochi and closed his eyes, trying to find some calm place within himself but coming up with nothing but turmoil. The alpha’s arms around him felt like the only thing steadying him and keeping him from breaking. This was all so insane!

It wasn’t that long since the first sirens had woken him up, but it could just as well have been weeks. His home was gone, the whole town was burning, he didn’t know what had happened to most of his friends and the ones he did know were dying from some unknown disease he might have as well. He couldn’t stop the shivers, and he barely noticed when Satochi put a blanket around his shoulders to keep him warm. In a daze he heard Satochi talk to Hiro and the word “shock” filtered through into his brain. Was that it? Was this what shock felt like? He felt all numb, like the world was embedded in cotton, and when Satochi pulled him back into his arms he hardly reacted, just shut his eyes against the harsh morning light.

It had been 31 hours.

Chapter Text

Shinya opened his eyes again. His head felt clearer, though he felt disoriented. He was leaning on something warm, a heartbeat beneath his ear. Satochi. Crap. He scrambled to get up and out of the alpha’s grip.

“Sorry,” he mumbled, blushing furiously.

Satochi looked surprised at the omega’s sudden escape from his arms, but slowly got up as well.

“What for?”

“For freaking out and making you take care of me…” Shinya looked at his feet, uncomfortable with the whole situation. He wasn’t used to freaking out, he wasn’t used to relying on others, and he didn’t even really know this guy all that well. Satochi just smiled and reached out, gently letting a finger pull Shinya’s hair behind his ear.

“It’s ok. This is scary shit, and there’s no shame in it. I’m just glad I can help and take care of you when you need me to.”

Shinya blushed even more and nodded, glancing at the alpha.

“Thanks,” he mumbled quietly, before looking around for the other two. He saw them through the open door, on the courtyard, where they were talking to some people Shinya had never seen before. An alpha talked animatedly with Hiro while two omegas stood behind him, looking tired and dejected.

“Feel good enough to join them?” Satochi asked, and when Shinya nodded he gently took him by the hand and they walked out on the courtyard. He wouldn’t admit it for the world, but just holding Satochi’s hand made him feel safer.

“… and now I don’t know where to go!” the unknown alpha concluded just as they walked up to the others.

“What did we miss?” Satochi asked, nodding a greeting to the newcomers.

Hiro turned and looked at him, looking exasperated.

“Oh, Satochi, I didn’t hear you come out. This is my cousin Ryo and his friends, they just came from town. He says it’s still chaos there. No military or police or anything!”

“What?!” Satochi stared at the alpha. “What do you mean? They must have started to clear out the looters by now?”

Ryo sighed and shook his head. “And that’s not all. I haven’t even told you guys the worst part yet. People are fleeing the city, but we met people on the road going the other way from neighboring towns. It’s the same there. One talked about everyone in his town falling ill, and another said the same thing about fires and fighting that we’ve seen.”

Everyone looked at each other, shocked to hear the news. Shinya took a deep breath as he fought the feelings of panic coming back. Instantly he felt Satochi’s arm around him, grounding him and allowing him to breathe again.

“That can’t be right!” Hiro exclaimed. “How can this madness go on at more places than one?” Yuki looked horrified, shaking his head and holding on to Hiro’s arm like it was the only thing keeping him upright. I know how he feels, Shinya thought as he leaned into Satochi’s chest and took a deep breath, the alpha’s strong scent bringing him some sense of comfort.

“I don’t know. Some guy we met said he’d heard it was a failed bio weapons test. How else would an entire town get ill at the same time? He said that on his street, only eight people out of about sixty didn’t get ill.” Ryo sighed, tired and upset.

“But the fires and the violent people then?” Satochi said. “It doesn’t make sense that it’s a bio weapon if people react differently in different towns.”

“Do you have a better explanation?” Ryo asked.

Satochi hesitated, but then shook his head and sighed. “I guess not. I have no idea what’s going on. We’ll just have to wait and see when the government comes and fixes this.”

“How can you be so sure they will?” Hiro asked, quietly. Everyone’s eyes turned to Hiro, as he pinched his nose, and then looked around at the rest with tired eyes. “How can we be sure this isn’t some nation wide thing? At least three affected towns, and we have no way of knowing anything beyond that yet. This doesn’t sound like something that’s easy to contain. And if the military were planning to do something, shouldn’t we have seen some sign of it by now? Helicopters flying over, trucks rolling in, something?

Satochi shook his head. “I have to believe someone will come to help. If it’s nation wide, then another country will help. Someone has to.”

“If they didn’t start it,” Ryo said. “It could be some act of war.”

While the alphas discussed, Shinya kept his eyes on Yuki. The omega looked like he was about to break down again, and Shinya felt like he was on the verge of doing the same. He decided quietly that neither he nor Yuki needed to hear more of this. The alphas would decide what to do and take care of whatever needed to be done. Right now, Yuki needed to sit and eat something and keep his mind off of what was happening. So he carefully let go of Satochi to check if he was steady enough on his feet, and then gently put his arm around Yuki’s shoulders. When the omega lifted his head to look at him, he smiled and pulled at him gently, indicating with his head towards the benches in the garden. Yuki looked unwilling to let go of Hiro at first, but the alpha quickly realized what Shinya was trying to do and gave Yuki a quick kiss and pried his fingers off of his arm.

“Go on, babe, go with Shinya. Sit down and get some rest, I’ll be right here if you need me. Ok?”

Yuki glanced at him with unseeing eyes and then let himself be led away by Shinya without protest. He stumbled and Shinya had trouble getting him to sit down without toppling over. Once they were seated, he got some food from the bags and tried to get his friend to eat and drink a little. He got Yuki to drink a few sips of water and eat half an apple through constant prodding and persuading, but soon enough Yuki just turned his head away, refusing to eat. Finally, he gave up and pulled his friend into his arms so that Yuki’s head was leaning on Shinya’s shoulder, gently stroking the omega’s hair while he finished the rest of the apple himself.

After a little while, Hiro and Satochi came over and sat down next to the omegas. Ryo and his friends went to sit on the porch, talking among themselves.

“Hey, come here, sweetie.” Hiro sat down next to Yuki and pulled him into his arms, giving him a gentle kiss on the forehead. The omega let himself be moved into Hiro’s arms, but didn’t really seem to notice what was happening. Hiro noted his empty stare, and looked up at his friends, chewing his lip.

“He’s in no shape to be going anywhere,” he said, looking meaningfully at Satochi who nodded.

“You’re right. You’re probably as safe here as anywhere else, so you should stay and look after him while I go.”

“Go?” Shinya couldn’t help the question slipping out, quickly raising his head to look at Satochi with wide eyes. Satochi smiled and took Shinya’s hand in his.

“I’m gonna go see if I can find help. There’s a military installment not too far from here, maybe just over a week if I walk quickly. In the mountains, do you know of it? I’m sure there’s someone there that can help us.”

“No, don’t! I… I don’t want you to go…” Shinya admitted quietly, glancing at Satochi. The alpha smiled, and squeezed the omega’s hand reassuringly. Then he leaned in slowly and oh so gently pressed his lips to Shinya’s, just a quick peck on the lips but enough to make Shinya’s breath hitch and his pulse start racing. He looked up at the alpha, wide-eyed. The alpha seemed pleased with the reaction to the kiss, smiling softly at the omega.

“Yuki can’t go anywhere right now, so I’ll go first and you guys come after when he’s better, ok? And you’d better come. I don’t want to give up the chance to see where this is going,” he added, the slight emphasis enough for Shinya to understand what “this” meant. He felt himself blush again. Could it be the alpha actually liked him? It sure seemed like it, and Shinya felt his heart beat hard in his chest at the thought.

Satochi got on his feet and started getting his backpack, and Shinya watched him get ready with increasing anxiety. He wouldn’t feel safe without the alpha here, not with Hiro having to take care of Yuki and Ryo with two omega friends to care for. Besides, he had to admit to himself he wouldn’t exactly mind seeing what this was either. As the alpha was getting ready, he made his decision.

“I’ll come,” he said, the words rushed so he wouldn’t have time to regret them half way. He stood quickly and reached for his own backpack, as Hiro and Satochi both turned to him in surprise. Satochi looked at him, a worried frown on his face.

“Are you sure? We don’t know anything about what’s out there.”

Shinya nodded, he was sure. “We don’t know what’s coming here either. I’ll be fine,” he said with more confidence than he felt.

Satochi hesitated for a second, sharing a look with Hiro, but then he nodded slowly in acknowledgement. “Ok, if you’re sure. Do you have everything?”

Shinya nodded. He had food for at least a week, a water bottle and warm clothes. He would be fine. Still hesitant, Satochi studied him for a long moment, before he sighed and closed his eyes for a second.

“Ok, let’s go then.”

He reached out his hand and Shinya took it, the pair walking out of the farm grounds and onto the road towards the mountains.

. . . . .

Shinya couldn’t believe what they were seeing once they got back on the main roads. Everywhere people, walking or resting by the road. There were a few cars but they had problems driving because of all the people milling about on the road. Fights broke out here and there, and Satochi made sure they stayed clear of them as much as possible. Shinya felt overwhelmed by it all and held Satochi’s hand in a tight grip, afraid to lose the alpha in the confusion.

They passed a young omega who sat staring out over the road in much the same fashion that Yuki had, with unseeing eyes. Next to him, an alpha was resting. He was lying in an odd angle though, his head downhill and his eyes…

And suddenly, it hit Shinya what he was seeing. He gasped in shock, the alpha by the road the first corpse he’d seen with his own eyes since this started. Satochi looked at him when he gasped, and followed his line of sight to the dead alpha by the road. He quickly grabbed Shinya and pulled him away from there, stepping between the omega and the sight by the road. They walked for a few minutes before Shinya had to stop, bending over by the side of the road, emptying himself of his breakfast. Satochi held him while he threw up, and then gave him water to rinse his mouth with.

“Do you want us to head back? I can drop you off and go alone if you want,” the alpha offered sympathetically. Shinya shook his head. He couldn’t give up already, he just needed a minute.

A few minutes later, they continued walking. Satochi made sure he was between Shinya and the side of the road from now on, holding the omega tightly to his side with an arm around his waist. That didn’t stop Shinya from getting glimpses of what undoubtedly were more bodies, and he shuddered, forcing himself to keep his eyes on the people moving on the road. Maybe he would see someone he knew?

But as the hours passed, they met no one they knew and had to avoid more and more fights. It seemed people were getting more aggressive the more tired they got, and finally, Satochi pulled them off at an exit and chose a smaller road. It was a longer walk, but it seemed safer. They passed through a village, or what had been before fire consumed it. Outside were more corpses, and the stench of burned flesh lay thick in the air. Satochi pulled off his scarf and tied it over Shinya’s mouth and nose, and then pulled his own shirt up over his face to keep the worst of the nauseating smoke out. Once they were through the village, they had to make another stop while Shinya lost the piece of bread he’d had for lunch. Satochi held on, but his jaws were tightly clenched and his eyes black.

When evening came, Shinya’s body was aching and his feet felt like they were made of lead. He felt weak from throwing up twice, and not eating enough. Satochi looked around nervously for somewhere to stay, but they soon realized it wasn’t exactly like they could rent a room somewhere anymore. The houses that were still standing and inhabited were locked and safely guarded by people who were very suspicious of strangers. The rest were burned or filled with looters, fighting and wreaking havoc wherever they went.

Finally, Satochi led the omega into the forest, where they took cover underneath a large tree, wrapped in blankets and tightly cuddled together in order not to freeze to death. The spring nights were still cold, but thankfully it didn’t rain. They didn’t dare light a fire, considering the amount of people who were out on the roads and the less than friendly tendencies they’d seen. When morning came, they were sore and cold, but alive.

Satochi got up and pulled Shinya to his feet, massaging the omegas hands to get some heat into them and get the blood flowing. They jumped a few times on the spot to warm up their chilled muscles, and then set out again.

It had been 54 hours.

Chapter Text

Progress was slow. The amount of people on the smaller road had dwindled, but they also saw more corpses. Some seemed to have died from fights, some from the illness and some from the cold of the night. Shinya started to feel numb again. He couldn’t take in the number of people dead or dying, and he needed to shut them out or he would collapse. So he entered his own little bubble, keeping his sanity only through the touch of Satochi’s hand, as they walked side by side without speaking.

He almost didn’t notice the alphas that blocked the road in front of them until Satochi grabbed him and stopped him mid step. He looked up to see three alphas standing in front of them, blunt weapons in their hands. Satochi quickly pulled the omega behind him, and looked warily at the men in front of them. The guy who seemed to be their leader opened his mouth.

“Your food. Give it.”

Satochi shook his head firmly.

“No.”

“Listen buddy, you will give us your food. If you don’t, we’ll take it. And that pretty omega you’ve got as well.”

Shinya stiffened at the mention of taking him, and he swallowed hard. Satochi pulled himself up and stared back at the alphas. He was muscular and had broad shoulders, not a target anyone would pick. But he was also alone against three. The strangers apparently didn’t think much of Shinya’s ability to fight as they focused solely on Satochi.

“I said no. Now move to the side and let us pass.”

The leader snickered, before he suddenly launched at Satochi, raising a club that had probably been the leg of a couch table at one point. Satochi quickly stepped up and blocked the blow, tripping the leader up so that he fell to the ground face first and dropped the club.

“Shinya, run!” Satochi yelled, as he picked up the club and turned to the other two attackers quickly.

Shinya backed up a little but didn’t run, he wasn’t going to leave Satochi alone in this. As the other two alphas attacked, their leader was trying to get up from the ground and get back in the fight. Satochi fought hard but was taking some beatings from his two attackers – he wouldn’t be able to manage with the third back in the game. Shinya looked around desperately and saw a rock by the side of the road. He ran over and picked it up, hesitating for a second when he held it in his hands. It took both his hands to lift, and he almost let go when he saw that the leader alpha was up on all fours. The adrenaline pumped through him, his heart beat like a drum in his ears, shutting out anything but the will to survive and save Satochi.

It was even worse than he thought it would be. The sound of the rock hitting the skull, the blood, the sound the alpha made when he lost his breath for the last time. Shinya dropped the rock and stumbled back, staring at what he had done, the world spinning around him.

He didn’t notice that the sound also reached the others, making the alpha’s friends gasp and lose focus enough for Satochi to beat them down. He didn’t hear Satochi calling his name. He didn’t feel the alpha grabbing his shoulders, shaking him. It wasn’t until the alpha picked him up and hauled him over his shoulders, so that he no longer saw the crushed skull, that he realized something was happening. Satochi was carrying him away as fast as he could, Shinya dangling from his shoulder like a puppet.

“Wait,” he finally mustered. “I… I have to…”

Satochi paused, setting the omega down on his feet but keeping his grip on him. The alpha looked him in the eye, trying to assess his state. Shinya looked at him with wide eyes, a little dazed, and suddenly turned over and threw up once again. Satochi glanced back for any sign of the alphas, as he gently held Shinya until he was done. The omega tried to stand back up, but his head was spinning and he couldn’t tell which way was up or down. His vision was starting to shrink, black creeping in from the edges. He took a step, and then collapsed in Satochi’s arms, unconscious.

. . . . .

It was cold and black all round him when he woke up. He found himself rolled up in blankets, lying on a hard wooden floor. It smelled of dust and dirt, and as his eyes got used to the light, he saw the outline of tools against a wall. A shed.

Leaning towards the wall next to the window was Satochi, keeping watch. His eyes glinted in the moonlight as he looked for signs of movement outside. Shinya shifted a little, the blankets rustling and alerting Satochi that he was awake. The alpha was at his side immediately, sitting down on his knees.

“Hey there. How are you feeling?”

Shinya sat up slowly, shrugging a little. He didn’t know what to say. He had killed someone with his own two hands, and he wasn’t sure how to handle it. The alpha seemed to understand, because he just nodded and caressed Shinya’s cheek softly.

“You did what you had to do. Don’t beat yourself up about it. It was self defense.”

Shinya wanted to cry. Yes, it had been self defense, but the sound, and the blood, and… He couldn’t stop a violent sob, and threw his hands over his mouth to try to muffle the sound. Satochi sighed and pulled the omega close, caressing him slowly and pressing his lips to Shinya’s hair. They stayed like that for a long while, until the sobs subsided, and dawn arrived.

It had been 79 hours.

. . . . .

In daylight, Shinya could see that Satochi hadn’t come out of the fight without damage. He had bruises all over his body from the clubs, including a huge black eye, and he had gotten a cut over one arm. He had washed it with water while Shinya was out of it, but it was red and swollen, and didn’t look good at all. The omega pulled out his bag and dug around for the medicine he had brought from his cabinet back home, and found a bottle of disinfectant and some cotton wipes that he used to clean the wound. He pulled out a clean bandage and put it over the cut, trying to let the wound breathe but still keep it covered from dirt.

It helped to focus on someone else instead of the memories of what he had done, and when he was done he felt a little better. Satochi convinced him to eat a little, in tiny bites so that he wouldn’t upset his stomach. After their breakfast, they quickly packed up and got ready to go. Shinya picked up his backpack and hoisted it onto his back, turning to find Satochi standing there, looking at him. He paused, looking at the alpha, a little uncertain. The alpha reached out his hand, touching the omega’s hair briefly, and then smiled with a hint of regret.

“Maybe I shouldn’t have let you come. I don’t want you to get hurt.”

Shinya frowned, shaking his head. “ I might’ve been hurt if I had stayed as well, you don’t know that. And besides, I feel safer with you, despite…” His voice trailed off.

“Despite what?” The alpha leaned his head sideways, peering at the omega while he fiddled with his jacket and looked at his feet.

Shinya almost whispered. “Despite what happened and what I did.”

Satochi sighed. “I told you, you did what you had to do. If you hadn’t, I would probably be dead and you would have been caught by those assholes. And I don’t even want to think about what that could have meant, ok?”

Shinya swallowed and nodded. He would feel guilty about this forever, he knew he would, but he also knew he had to try to move on if he wanted to survive. He suddenly felt Satochi closing in on him, and he looked up just as the alpha leaned down and slowly let his lips touch Shinya’s. The omega shivered in surprise, but didn’t move away as the alpha let the kiss deepen a little, carefully letting his arm slide around the omega and settling on the small of his back. The kiss was soft and unhurried, and Shinya let himself get caught up in it, his arms coming up around the alpha’s shoulders. When Satochi pulled back, the omega’s face was flushed and he blinked slowly, a little stunned. The alpha smiled softly and caressed his cheek.

“You are so pretty,” he whispered, pressing his lips on Shinya’s forehead. “I think that will be your new nickname.”

The omega looked a little confused at that. “What will?”

“Pretty.”

The alpha grinned at him, and then turned to carefully open the door to the shed, peeking out to see if the coast was clear. Shinya blinked in surprise behind him, standing still for a second before he moved to follow. Pretty?

. . . . .

The next few days passed without incident. The walk was slower than expected, and Shinya battled with thoughts of the horrifying moment, and sometimes it made him keel over at the memories. There were a lot fewer people now, and they had learned their lesson and kept an eye out for trouble, getting out of the way and hiding when they heard someone approaching. The only direct contact they had with others was with a lone alpha, and old man sitting outside a burned down house they passed. He was sooty and had an obviously broken leg. The pair stopped to see if they could help, but the alpha waved them off.

“Keep what you have for yourselves, you are young and need it better. My time is here anyway,” he said calmly when Shinya tried to offer him food or painkillers.

“Are you sure?” Satochi asked, uneasy about just leaving the elderly alpha to his own devices.

“I’m sure. The aliens will come get me anyway, better you young people hide and fight back,” the alpha said, nodding to himself.

The pair glanced at each other.

“Aliens?” Shinya said, trying to keep the doubt from showing in his voice.

“Mm-hmm, that’s what they’re saying anyways, the people coming by. It must be aliens. I mean, you come from pretty far, eh? And it’s bad all the way? They put the whammy on us, and soon they’re coming to take over the planet.”

“Oh.” Shinya didn’t know what to say, and when he glanced at Satochi, the alpha just shook his head slightly. No point in arguing. They said their goodbyes and moved on, the alpha waving after them.

. . . . .

Closed gates. No lights. No people. The military installment was just as dead as everything else.

“I was so sure,” Satochi mumbled. He had kept them on track for over nine days now, making them keep on going even when the omega stumbled and wanted to give up. Despite running low on food and walking on small rations, he had kept their spirit up and led on. Standing in front of the gates had killed all that. His face all of a sudden looked more tired than Shinya had ever seen anyone before. He took the alpha’s hand and leaned towards him, trying to give the alpha support without knowing how.

“They’re not here.” Satochi looked about ready to give up completely. “They’re not here, and we have no more food.”

Shinya looked up at him, pain in his eyes. He didn’t like the feeling of the alpha giving up. Satochi was his support and the one who had gotten him through all that had happened. If he gave up, the omega would too.

“There’s probably food inside anyway,” he offered, trying his best to find something to focus on to get them through. “Maybe if we can find our way in?”

Satochi sighed, a shiver going through him as he pulled the omega close and hugged him hard for a moment. Then he seemed to collect himself, taking a deep breath and letting Shinya go.

“You’re right. Come on, pretty. Let’s go see if there’s a way in.”

Shinya still found himself blushing a little at the nickname, despite the fact that the alpha had insisted on using it for days now. They hadn’t done much more than hug since the day in the shed, and he got the feeling Satochi didn’t want to come on too strong. He gave the omega the occasional chaste kiss to the hair or the forehead, and made sure to let his hand touch Shinya in some small way most of the time. But he didn’t press on, and for that the omega was grateful. He needed this to be slow, to get used to the idea of someone wanting him.

The omega hid his blush behind his bangs as he followed Satochi towards the gates. With no electricity, climbing over the gates wouldn’t be a problem. Getting into the mountain would be. There were two giant doors in the side of the mountain, large enough for trucks to pass through, and a smaller door to the left for personnel. No windows. A few small huts for guards and storage, but the guard hut held nothing of value and the storage shed was securely locked.

“Ok, we need a way to get in. We don’t have a key, and the code lock is not gonna work without power. Any bright ideas?” Satochi asked. Shinya thought about it, but had to shake his head. Breaking and entering wasn’t exactly his expertise. The doors were sturdy, and even if they had the tools, he doubted they would be able to get them open. While the alpha tried to get the storage shed open to see if there was anything in there they could use, the omega looked around the area. His eyes shifted upwards and he suddenly noticed a vent outlet in the mountain wall. It was too far up for them to reach, several meters up, but it was big enough to be able to climb through. He went over to Satochi and grabbed his arm, pointing to the grate.

“Shinya, my pretty! You are a genius!” Satochi laughed and turned to the omega, cupped his face in his hands and leaned in for a big, happy kiss. Shinya blinked in surprise, but couldn’t help leaning into the kiss a little. Satochi stilled, realizing what he had done, and immediately sensing that the omega didn’t mind what had happened. He pulled back a little, smiling, his hands caressing soft cheeks. Shinya met his eyes, a shy smile playing in the corner of his mouth. He lifted his chin a little as the alpha leaned in for another kiss, this time slow and deep, while his arms snaked around the omega’s waist. Shinya felt his knees growing weak and he trembled a little with the emotion, but he let Satochi guide him through the kiss, leaning into the alpha and inhaling his warm, musky scent. It was enough to make him light headed, and he stumbled a little as the alpha drew back with a last quick peck to his lips.

“You’re so, so beautiful. You really have no idea what you’re doing to me, do you?” Satochi whispered softly, his hand playing with a lock of the omega’s hair.

Shinya didn’t know what to say to that. Hell no, he had no idea. This was all new to him, and he didn’t know how to act. He was afraid of saying the wrong thing and ruin the moment, and so he said nothing, just leaned his forehead on the alpha’s chest and took a deep shuddering breath.

“We should probably try to get in before it’s dark,” Satochi said with regret in his voice. “We don’t want to risk anyone else coming by and surprising us, and we need light to see what we’re doing. And then, we can continue this later, tonight.” The last sentence was spoken in a husky voice, promising things that made Shinya’s breath hitch, and he quickly looked away before Satochi saw the glimpse of desire in his eyes.

The two started to look around for ways of reaching the vent. There was nothing to climb up on, nothing in the wall they could step on. Standing on each other’s shoulders would only get them halfway.

They soon agreed that they needed to get into the shed, to see if there’s anything useful there. A ladder would be ideal, but they would settle for anything. It was a sturdy shed but it had an ordinary padlock, telling them that whatever was inside couldn’t be too valuable. After some stubborn prying with a metal bar they’d found in the guard shed, the lock broke and they got the door open.

And there it was. The ladder. A normal pull-out ladder, just long enough for Shinya to reach the grate when he stood on the top step. Satochi held the ladder steady, while the omega did his best to get the grate out without loosing his balance. After some work with the metal bar, the grate popped loose. They had a way in.

Shinya looked down at Satochi, swallowing the nervous lump in his throat, as he carefully heaved himself up and into the small vent shaft. It was a tight fit, too tight for the alpha, and Shinya just hoped he would find a way through and down so that he could open the door. He did not want to think about the possibility of getting stuck in the pipe or worse, being stuck inside without any way of getting out or of getting the alpha in.

Satochi watched as the omega’s legs disappeared into the wall, holding his breath. He counted the minutes, more and more nervous, until he suddenly heard a noise from the door. The lock turned slowly, and a very relieved omega stood in the doorway, dusty and dirty but with a huge smile on his lips. Satochi felt a weight fall off his shoulders, as he quickly handed their bags to Shinya, before he pulled the ladder in and stepped inside. No point in leaving something outside that could let others get in as well. He laughed and smiled at the omega.

“Now there’s something we wouldn’t have been able to do if the military was here,” he grinned cheekily. “Breaking into a military compound without getting shot, now there’s a first.”

Shinya chuckled a bit at the alpha’s silliness, stepping aside to let the alpha in. Once the door shut behind them, darkness fell. Shinya handed over Satochi’s flashlight and the alpha grabbed his hand, pressing it to his lips before he took the lead into the complex.

It was a big place, and Shinya had felt scared at first while they were exploring it in the dark. But after they found a storage with more and larger flashlights, he felt better, the beams of light filling the corridors.

It was clearly deserted. It was clear that no one had been here since what happened, and everything was a little dusty but kept in good order. It took them about half an hour to find the barracks, rows of beds filling up a large room, and another ten before they encountered the kitchens.

Row after row of cans and freeze dried foods lined the walls of the storage room. No water, but they had enough for the night and they had passed over a stream just a little while before they reached the gates, so drink wasn’t an issue. Even the stoves were working, as they had gas flames and didn’t rely on electricity.

“So, not the help we were hoping for, but salvation in another way,” Satochi said as he stood behind Shinya and let his arms pull the omega flush against his chest. Shinya leaned the back of his head on Satochi’s shoulder, just watching the food, feeling the tension slowly drain from his body. They were going to make it.

It had been 11 days and 18 hours.

Chapter Text

After eating they searched the rest of the compound, trying switches and looking for electrical centrals, hoping to be able to find some kind of emergency backup. But nothing worked, no matter what they did. Generators wouldn’t start, backup systems permanently failed.

“Maybe an EMP shock? I don’t know what else could kill everything like this,” Satochi muttered as he tried yet another switch.

“What do you think happened?” Shinya asked while he looked at a large control panel, randomly flipping switches to see if anything would happen.

Satochi shook his head. “I don’t know, pretty. I really don’t. I’m pretty sure it’s not aliens, but other than that…”

Shinya snorted. The idea of an alien invasion was certainly unlikely. But what was it?

“Do you think we’re at war?” He felt his throat constrict at that. Atomic war? Maybe radioactive downfall? He took a few quick shallow breaths, feeling the anxiety rising. A second later, he felt strong arms around him and the alpha’s breath against his neck.

“I don’t know, pretty. But if we were, don’t you think the military would have seen it coming and would have been here, fighting back? Let’s just not think about the what ifs, ok? Let’s just relax and work with what we know.”

Shinya took a deep breath to ground himself and nodded, thankful for the alpha’s support.

“And what we do know,” the voice in his ear said, the suddenly husky tone making the omega shiver, “is that we have a safe place all to ourselves tonight. With real beds, and food waiting for us when we wake up tomorrow.”

Shinya felt fingers slowly making their way in underneath his sweater, gently caressing his stomach. At the same time, hot lips pressed against his neck, and he moaned involuntarily as electrical currents shot through his body from the kiss and touch.

The alpha took his moan as encouragement, and started getting more adventurous, nipping and kissing Shinya’s neck and jawline while letting his whole hand slip in under the sweater and caress it’s way upward over the omega’s chest. Shinya tilted his head to give Satochi better access to his neck, as he melted into the alpha’s touch. His finger’s almost lost their grip on the flashlight as he forgot his surroundings and just let himself enjoy the touches. The second before the flashlight fell to the floor, Satochi’s hand closed around his, grabbing the light and lifting it to light their way. A second later, Shinya was in the alpha’s arms, as he was carried through the corridors to the barracks, the flashlight leading the way.

Satochi didn’t waste any time trying to find the perfect bed. He set Shinya down on the first bed from the door, taking the flashlight from the omega’s hand and putting it on the simple nightstand next to the bed. It gave just enough light for them to get clothes unzipped and unbuttoned, and for eyes to meet in desire.

The alpha took his time, slowly and sensually undressing Shinya, spending time kissing and caressing each new piece of skin that was uncovered. The omega squirmed underneath him, gasping and moaning at every little kiss and nip.

“I can’t believe how beautiful you are,” Satochi breathed in his ear as he let the final t-shirt slip over Shinya’s head, leaving the omega’s chest bare before him. “I can’t believe I get to touch you like this.”

Shinya whimpered at his words, glad the low light hid some of his blush. It made it easier to bare himself for the alpha. It had been a long time since Shinya had let anyone come near him like this, or for anyone to offer for that matter. And for it to be someone like Satochi – strong, beautiful, gorgeous body and a good soul – made him come undone faster than he’d like to admit.

He eagerly helped Satochi out of his shirt, his eyes feasting on the sight of the hard muscles. They kissed for a while, hands roaming over each other’s bodies. Satochi was a god with his hands and tongue, and Shinya mewled as the alpha lavished attention on his nipples.

Suddenly, he felt those hands travel down to start unbuttoning pants. For a second Shinya nearly panicked as his insecurities washed over him again. What if he changes his mind when he sees me like that? What if he doesn’t think I’m good enough? But Satochi seemed to sense his emotions and leaned back up for a passionate (and very distracting) kiss. When he pulled back, Shinya was breathless and so very unprepared for Satochi’s quick maneuver, pulling the omega’s pants and underwear off all at once. He blinked in shock, but he didn’t have time to get nervous again as the alpha let his hand trail over his thigh lightly, looking at him.

“So incredibly gorgeous.”

Satochi’s softly spoken words soothed him a little, if not completely. The alpha raised his head, letting his eyes take in the omega’s body as they trailed upwards until their eyes met. Shinya was breathing heavily by now, his arousal very clear between his legs. Satochi licked his lips as he sat back, tugging at his own pants and finally pulling them off, revealing that he was just as aroused as the omega. Shinya closed his eyes in relief for a second, trying to mask his reaction from the alpha. He opened his eyes and realized he had failed, as Satochi watched him, his head cocked to the side.

“Didn’t think I was turned on by you?” he asked incredulously, laughing. “I thought it would have been obvious by now that I want you so, so bad.” He leaned down to kiss the omega, the soft touch full of emotion. When he pulled back, he smiled and whispered in Shinya’s ear, as he let his groin roll over the omega’s.

“You really don’t give yourself enough credit, pretty. You’re unbelievably hot, you know.”

Shinya was completely speechless by now, unable to form words. The touch of groin against groin had his head spinning, and when the alpha reached down to caress his cock he whimpered loudly and bucked against the hand, hornier than he’d ever been before in his life. Soon the alpha’s fingers trailed down between his legs, teasing his hole. Shinya spread his legs immediately, all insecure thoughts gone by now, replaced by pure need. He whined as the alpha pushed his legs further apart and grabbed his wrists in one hand, holding them above the omega’s head as he let his cock slide inside the slick warmth. They both groaned, the alpha setting a slow and languid but firm rhythm as he licked and nipped the omega’s neck. He changed his grip on the omega’s wrists, sitting back on his feet and pulling the omega with him in so that Shinya sat in his lap, that gorgeous cock still lodged inside. The alpha’s knot was slowly swelling inside him, sweetening the sensation for the both of them.

“Ride me,” Satochi ordered, his voice rough and firm. Shinya felt a shiver of desire run through him at the order, and quickly started to move his hips, picking up the pace. A moan left him at how incredibly good this felt. The alpha’s cock was bigger than any other alpha’s he’d ever been with, and he enjoyed the amazing stretch and the feel of the other deep inside of him. The bed shook underneath them as they moved violently, the alpha holding the omega’s hips as he started pounding harder into him. Shinya’s cries of pleasure echoed in the room, and he felt the alpha tighten his grip possessively as he groaned, grinding their sweaty bodies together and reaching for a hungry kiss.

Suddenly the flashlight fell off the rattling nightstand, hitting the floor with a thud before it went out. Shinya yelped at the sound and the sudden darkness, but Satochi drew him in and quickly made him forget his fear with another searing kiss. He relaxed again in the alpha’s arms, letting him guide him as he continued to fuck Shinya roughly. The omega soon found that the darkness somehow enhanced his senses, not knowing where the alpha would touch him next making every brush of fingers or lips even more exiting.

Shinya knew they were nearing the end, there was no way they could hold back for much longer. He was bouncing hard on Satochi’s cock, his head thrown back and mewling as he felt the passion coiling in his stomach. Oh god, that delicious cock moving inside him was the only thing that existed in his world right now. He nearly screamed when the alpha suddenly lay him back down on his back, thrusting into him so hard he thought he was going to break. He was balancing on a thin line between extreme pleasure and pain, the pleasure winning. It only took a few thrusts before they both came hard, the alpha’s come filling him while his own shot out in thick white ribbons over his stomach. It was absolute bliss, an amazing high, and Shinya never wanted to come down from it.

When the world slowly came back into focus, he found Satochi leaning over him, breathing heavily, his forehead on Shinya’s shoulder as he tried to catch his breath. For his part, the omega was completely blissed out, his pulse racing and his heartbeat thumping loudly in his ears. He barely reacted as the alpha shifted them on the bed so that he could reach the flashlight on the floor, giving it a good whack so that it came back to life. He set it back on the nightstand before he grabbed the omega and rolled over on his back, Shinya draped over him as a washed out cloth as they waited for Satochi’s knot to shrink so he could pull out.

Satochi affectionately caressed Shinya’s back and played gently with his hair while they rested, the omega still dazed with pleasure. Finally, the alpha spoke.

“That was amazing, pretty. Thank you.”

Shinya had to fight to understand the words, and then it took him a few more moments to put words together in a sentence to answer.

“Mmmm, so goooood,” he mumbled, eyes hooded and sleep coming quickly. “Thank you, yourself.”

Satochi smiled at him, but the omega didn’t see it. He had already fallen asleep.

. . . . .

When he woke back up, nothing had changed. He was still lying in Satochi’s arms, it was still dark apart from the cold led light of the flashlight, and the world was still shot to hell. But yet, somehow, everything had changed. His head rested on the alpha’s chest, strong arms held him tight. Satochi’s deep breaths of sleep made him feel so safe and comforted for the first time since all this started, and he snuggled even closer, careful not to wake the alpha up.

Could this really be happening to him? It was a strange feeling, this mix of deep horror and bliss that had been the reality since that night a week and a half ago. He knew he wouldn’t have made it through this without Satochi. All those times he was about to break, and the alpha’s embrace had been the only thing keeping him together. He felt a mix of gratitude and something else, a warm and slightly edgy feeling he wasn’t used to and wasn’t sure how to interpret. All he knew was that the alpha made his head spin and filled his stomach with butterflies.

The alpha shifted, his eyes fluttering open slowly. He yawned and drew Shinya closer, burying his head in Shinya’s hair.

“Mmmm, you smell so good,” he mumbled sleepily. “How do you manage to smell like roses when we haven’t been able to do more than wash up quickly outdoors on the way?” he teased. “I for one need more than a quick rendezvous with an icy stream to pull off something like that.”

“ I do not smell like roses,” Shinya protested with a giggle. “You’re delusional!”

“Am not,” Satochi said with a grin.

“Are too!”

The alpha laughed and gave Shinya a quick kiss on the mouth to shut him up. “We sound like two kids right now.”

Shinya giggled and hummed in agreement. True, they did, but it felt good to be a bit childish after all the seriousness of late. His stomach growled, reminding him of something else that would feel good. Shinya blushed, but the alpha just laughed at him and sat up.

“Come on, let’s go get breakfast.”

. . . . .

With the constant darkness inside it was hard to know what time of day it was, but their watches told them when to sleep and eat, and they worked on getting the place ready for when Yuki and Hiro would come after them, taking inventory of the food and everything else they could find in the storages. On their third day, they finally found the keys for the front door, making it possible for them to go outside both of them at the same time without one of them having to wait inside to let the other back in. They were careful though, not wanting the wrong people to find out what they had. Therefore, Satochi took down the signs that let people know it was a military installation, hoping that would make it look less interesting to outsiders and more like a boring old garage in the woods. They also replaced the grate in the vent, making it look untouched, and looked carefully through a crack in the door before they opened it fully to go outside for water and sunlight.

The darkness got depressing awfully fast, and Shinya was relieved when they found oil lamps and barrels of oil to light up the rooms so the didn’t have to rely solely on flashlights. They put lights out here and there in the corridors to lead their way through the building, but Shinya knew it wouldn’t be enough in the long run and so he also made sure to go out for some sunlight every day.

A week in, they found spray cans and came up with the idea to put graffiti on the outer doors to let Yuki and Hiro know they were there without being obvious to everyone else. Satochi claimed Shinya was obviously the more creative of the two and put him in charge of the spray paint, but not before showing some creativity of his own in a completely different field that required less clothing.

His clothes were still a bit ruffled and his hair was a little on end when Shinya was finally let outside, giggling a little to himself as he sprayed Yuki + Hiro forever in a big heart over one of the garage doors. He added a few tags here and there as well to make it look less conspicuous, and did his best to dust it over to make it look older and not freshly painted. He got really into what he was doing after a while, enjoying doing something that took his mind off things (like the fear of radioactive downfall, dangerous alphas or the memory of a certain sickening crunching sound). He spent over an hour spraying and weathering the surface after, enjoying himself immensely while Satochi was doing his best to wreck up the guard hut, to make the place look deserted and uninteresting.

In the end, Shinya couldn’t help himself. He really couldn’t. He was so wrapped up in what he was doing, enjoying feeling childish for a while. Grabbing the spray bottle, he chose a spot next to the door and started writing. When he was done, he took a step back and watched the words, suddenly scared of what he’d done. Maybe this was a bad idea. What if the alpha…

“Oh, is that so?”

The words from behind made him cry out in surprise, his breath caught in his throat. He didn’t dare turn around to face the alpha, afraid to see rejection in his eyes. He swallowed hard, feeling himself tremble slightly as he instantly regretted what he’d written. Gods, how could I be so stupid? He’s probably gonna kick me out now. Shinya suddenly felt like crying.

Strong arms suddenly wrapped around him from behind, pulling him into the alpha’s chest. Shinya felt Satochi’s lips on his neck, and then the alpha leaned his chin on the omega’s shoulder as he watched the words on the wall, written in Shinya’s beautiful handwriting.

Shinya loves Satochi.

The omega felt the alpha pull him even closer, hugging him tight as he pressed a kiss to the side of Shinya’s head.

“Satochi loves Shinya too,” the alpha whispered softly in his ear. The omega felt his knees buckle and almost give way as relief flooded through him in huge waves. He felt the alpha’s arms shift around him and then he was lifted and carried back into the base, the door swinging shut behind them. They knew their way around by now and Satochi made his way to the barracks in no time, dumping Shinya unceremoniously on their bed. They made quick work of their clothes, desperate to feel each other’s touch.

Satochi climbed onto the bed, his eyes fixed on Shinya’s with a predatory smirk on his lips. He stretched out over the omega, using his weight to pin him down as he let his hands trail along Shinya’s sides, and then let them grab and guide his arms over his head. Shinya gasped as he suddenly felt something soft being wrapped around his wrists, and looked back to see the alpha deftly tying a rope around his wrists. The rope was already firmly tied to the bed. He’d planned this, the bastard.

Somehow Shinya couldn’t feel annoyed though, not when his stomach flipped with excitement at the feeling of being completely helpless at the hands of the alpha. He looked back at Satochi, who studied him intently, looking for signs of fear or discomfort in his lover’s face. When he found none, he smiled and leaned down for a hungry kiss, pushing his tongue into Shinya’s mouth, easily taking control. Shinya bucked against him and moaned, wanting to throw his arms around the alpha but incredibly turned on by the fact that he couldn’t.

Satochi started moving down over his body, licking, nipping, sucking. He seemed to target all of Shinya’s sensitive spots, making the omega writhe beneath him to try to get more of those teasing touches. He latched on to a spot just beneath the ribs that he knew was extra sensitive to the omega and sucked, working up a nice bruise before moving on to the soft, pale white thighs. He bit into the left thigh, hard enough to leave a mark but not hard enough to break skin.

“I love marking you,” he breathed. “I want the world to know you’re mine.”

Shinya whimpered at the words, and again as Satochi moved up from the thighs and let his tongue drag over the omega’s cock, starting at the base and working his way to the tip where he flicked his tongue over the head teasingly.

“Oh god.... God, fuck me, please, I can’t take it anymore. I need you,” Shinya whispered, straining to buck his hips even as the alpha’s hands held him down, licking and sucking lightly. Satochi finally lifted his head and grinned at his lover.

“What was that you said? What do you want?”

“Fuck me. Please god, just fuck me, I’m burning up…” Shinya wasn’t above begging, he’d gladly beg if he got what he wanted. Satochi smirked and slowly, infinitely slowly, made his way up the pale, thin body until his lips were once again claiming Shinya’s in a deep kiss that quickly grew desperate as Shinya tried to get as much of the alpha’s tongue as possible. He pulled at the ropes, feeling them strain against his wrists and keep him in place firmly. And then, finally, he felt the alpha guide his big cock into him teasingly slow. Shinya groaned at the feeling, meeting the alpha’s hips as well as could in his position. Satochi had apparently been holding himself back, because his cock was incredibly hard and leaking with pre-cum already, and he had to give a hard push to get the already swollen knot all the way in. It didn’t take long before they were both nearing the edge, Satochi fucking Shinya into the bed as hard as he could considering the knot only allowed for short thrusts by now. He was leaning close, providing Shinya’s cock with delicious friction as it slid between their sweaty bodies. A well-directed thrust to a certain bundle of nerves made Shinya lose it, his cum spilling over his stomach and making a mess between them. His muscles clamped down involuntarily around Satochi as he came, and the alpha grunted as he too came hard.

They lay still in a boneless pile for a while, too tired to move, before the alpha reached up to release the omega’s arms and then flip them over so that Shinya was on top. The omega snuggled contentedly against his lover’s chest, letting his fingers tiredly trace around the alpha’s nipple. A hand cupped his chin, lifting it up towards the alpha for an affectionate kiss.

“I love you.”

Shinya felt his heart pound even harder (how that was even possible after what they’d done) at Satochi’s words, and he looked up into the alpha’s eyes, seeing the truth there.

“I love you too,” he whispered, relishing in the feeling of those words leaving his lips for the first time in his life. He felt such a closeness to the alpha, something he’d never felt before, and it was so incredibly easy to open his mouth and say those little words that he was shocked at himself. He’s had a few relationships before, but none had felt this serious, especially not so fast.

It had been 19 days and 17 hours.

Chapter Text

The weeks passed, but still no sign of Hiro and Yuki. They were both getting a little worried, but Satochi tried to keep up a positive front for the omega’s sake.

“They’re probably just waiting for Yuki to feel ok again before going on a long trip, taking it slow so the walking won’t tire him too much,” he tried to calm a fretting Shinya.

“But he should be better by now if it was just shock. Are you sure they know where to go? They couldn’t have become lost?” Shinya asked nervously.

“I’m sure, baby, Hiro knew where the place was. But I know he cares a lot about Yuki, and he probably wants to be 100 % sure he is ok to travel before they leave.”

Shinya hummed a little skeptically. He was terrified something had happened to the only friends he knew he still had left, and he half wanted to go back to find them. At the same time, going back out into the craziness didn’t exactly seem like the best idea. The bodies must have started rotting by now, spreading diseases, and the smell…

“Do you think they’ve become ill?” He suddenly turned to Satochi again, eyes wide with fear.

“Shinya, my pretty, you really need to stop worrying. It won’t help them or you if you go around in a state of half panic, ok? We don’t know anything, and so it’s better not to guess, because we’re most likely to be wrong. You hear me?”

Shinya sighed and nodded, he heard and understood. He knew the alpha was right, but he couldn’t help the nagging worry constantly at the back of his mind.

It didn’t help his fears that every now and then, people came to the doors, trying to break in. The doors weren’t soundproof, and the two listened at the doors, tip-toeing quietly up to them every time to not let anyone know they were there. Had they heard normal conversation by normal people, they had agreed to open the door and feel the newcomers out. They couldn’t sit on this salvation alone when others needed it as well, but they couldn’t let just anyone in either. And so they listened, and if they were outdoors, watched from a distance, hidden in the bushes, as they assessed their visitors.

90 % were alphas, travelling in groups, sometimes with an omega or two with them. The omegas looked scared and the alphas looked rough and violent, and the ones they heard talk through the door did not give a good impression, screaming at each other, making rude comments about each other or omegas, and generally just sounding like testosterone filled assholes. Shinya was becoming more and more scared of the world outside after each new visit, and soon he refused to go outside unless Satochi was with him.

A little over a month after they had come, a group of three alphas approached. They had been in the barracks when they heard loud banging on the door, and quickly made their way to the entrance. They had found a weapons storage a while back, and Satochi had armed himself with a gun for safety, which he now held at the ready. Outside they heard three voices argue loudly about the best way to break in.

“It’s not worth the effort, man,” one of them said, his voice a bit rough.

”Shut the fuck up, of course it is,” a whiny thin voice answered.

“Says who?” A third voice, deep and dripping with disdain.

“Says me! Listen, this is military, right? I know it is! And who do you think is more likely to have food stashed than the military?” whiny voice said.

“So? We’ll just steal some from someone we meet, big deal. I’m still saying we should go to a bigger city and hit a mall,” the first voice said.

“Oh come on,” whiny voice continued, “sure we can get food, but there’s something else in here we need to get food, and a sweet omega ass at that.”

“Oh yeah, and what is it we need? I seem to get as much omega ass I want with only my bat to assist, thank you very much,” the disdainful one said.

Shinya shuddered and grabbed Satochi’s hand in the dark, the alpha squeezing it back. These people were not getting invited in, that was for sure.

Outside, the conversation continued, interspersed with loud bangs at the door now and then as someone did their best to kick and hit at the door to get it open.

“Guns, man! Guns! Imagine what we could do with guns?” whiny voice said excitedly.

The first voice laughed shortly. “He has a point,” he said.

“Yeah,” the third voice said, “but do you have any idea how hard these doors are to open? Military doors aren’t exactly made out of wood, man. And that is no ordinary lock. I’m not wasting time on this door without the proper tools, like at least a damn good crowbar or something.”

They continued arguing for a long while, the door shuddering now and then from attempts to get it open. But as the disdainful alpha had said, this was one sturdy door, and eventually the three gave up and let the door be. However, they seemed to camp for the night in the shed outside, and Shinya didn’t relax until next evening, when it had been quiet for a long time outside and he was sure the alphas had moved on.

After that, Shinya refused to go outside for more than short moments at a time. He felt unprotected and exposed outside, and went back into the bunker as soon as Satochi would let him. It was clear to them that nothing had changed outside thanks to the conversations they overheard through the door. If anything, things had gone from very bad to horrific, judging by what they heard and saw from their hiding place in the bushes. It just made Shinya more nervous for the sake of Yuki and Hiro, and he was starting to doubt they would ever show up. As much as he loved Satochi, and the fun and games the two did to keep themselves occupied (and satisfied), he was starting to long for company. They had run out of things to do, read all the books they had found (even the boring military ones) and explored everything thoroughly. Shinya had unpacked all his bags and put his winter clothes away neatly as spring turned slowly into summer, trying to make this feel more like a home and less like living out of a bag.

Satochi was as restless and worried as he was, and even though he did his best to tell the omega everything was fine, Shinya could see that he too wanted something to happen. Thankfully the base had a gym with weights and benches were they could blow off some steam, and even Shinya’s slim body started to show faint signs of muscles after they had been at the base for two and a half months.

Shinya was in the kitchen, looking over the food supplies to try to determine if it was possible to bake a cake on what they had, when it struck him why he had felt so warm and uncomfortable the last few days. He always had a regular schedule of medicine he kept up with, and so he had never really felt this before.

His heat was coming.

Oh god, oh god, oh god. All thoughts of cake left his head as he breathed deeply, trying to calm down. With everything that had happened, heat suppressants hadn’t been the first thing on his mind. He had them with him of course, as he had stuffed his entire medicine cabinet into the bag before he left his apartment so long ago now. If he took them straight away it might be enough to stave off the heat, but he wasn’t sure as he’d never let it go this far before. He cursed himself for not realizing what the signs had meant. As he looked back on the last few days, his horny clinginess had been a dead give away if he’d stopped to think about it. But he hadn’t. And now he found himself having to choose, and quickly. As difficult as it was for him, he needed to talk to Satochi about this.

. . . . .

“Yeah, so?” Satochi said, looking a little surprised at the omega’s nervous fidgeting.

“So… what do you think I should do?” Shinya asked quietly, his eyes firmly fixed on his feet, arms around his waist. He heard the alpha get up from his seat at the table, where he had been trying to see if he could get a com radio to work. No such luck. The alpha’s hand under his chin forced him to raise his head, large scared eyes looking into concerned ones.

“What’s wrong, pretty? Why are you so nervous about this? We’ve been together for a while now, we’ve had plenty of sex, so why are you so scared? Is it because you’ll be dependent on me while you’re in your heat daze? You know you can trust me, I promise to feed you and take good care of you.”

Shinya sputtered, horrified that Satochi thought he didn’t trust him. “No, of course not, I trust you more than anyone! I know you’d take good care of me, that’s so not it.”

Satochi still looked concerned, if a little relieved that Shinya so eagerly protested that he did trust him to take care of his every need.

“But what then? We’re safe in here, no one is getting in.”

“I know,” Shinya said, looking back to he floor. “It’s just that…”

“What?” Satochi asked softly, reaching out to tenderly caress the omega’s hair.

“I’ve never had a heat before.” Shinya whispered the words, a little ashamed to admit that he had never experienced something so basic to many omegas. That was, omegas in long term relationships or non-shy omegas with trustworthy fuck buddies. In other words, omegas that weren’t Shinya.

He felt the alpha’s hand pause in surprise, but he soon continued caressing his hair slowly.

“Ok, I see. That must be a little scary then, not knowing what to expect?” he said carefully, getting a shy nod in response from Shinya. Satochi sighed a little, and then he pulled the omega into his arms.

“Shinya, do you trust me?”

The omega nodded again.

“I’m glad, because I love you so, so much. I swear I’ll always take good care of you, no matter what. And if you choose to take the suppressants, that’s ok, it’s your choice if the heat is too scary right now. I get it. But if you choose not to, I would be honored to guide you through it and take care of you while you’re in a daze. It’s your decision, pretty, either way is fine with me. As long as you’re doing what feels right for you.”

Shinya let out a sob against the alpha’s chest, making Satochi look down in horror at the thought of making the omega cry.

“Thank you.” The whispered words made the alpha realize where the tears came from, and he placed a comforting kiss on the omega’s temple. It pained him that his lover had so much pent up emotion over this, that he had been so scared to even talk about it that he was trembling. They just stood there for a long while, while Shinya’s tears soaked through Satochi’s sweater. Then he finally pulled back and lifted his chin, drying his eyes on his shirt sleeve.

“Ok, so what do I need to do to prepare?” he asked.

. . . . .

Cans of soup were lined up in the kitchen for Satochi to heat up gently when he needed to feed Shinya, and extra water to last them a week stood in large bottles next to it.

“Just soup?” Shinya asked.

“Believe me, pretty, you won’t have the patience to chew anything once you’re really into it. Trust me on this, soup is the way to go since we don’t have any heat supplements here. Just warm, not hot, or you’ll burn your throat when you drink it.”

Shinya just shrugged. The alpha had done this before, while he, embarrassed as he was by it, had not. He also found himself caring less and less about such practical things, and growing more and more interested in the alpha’s movements, those hard muscles playing beneath his shirt, the glimpse of skin on the small of his back as the alpha leaned down to pick up a dropped spoon on the floor… He slowly reached out to poke a feel, letting his long slim fingers caress the skin, his breaths growing deeper. Satochi stood back up and grinned knowingly at the omega who was lustfully eyeing his crotch. He set down the last can and turned to grab the omega by the shoulders and turn him around.

“Come on, pretty, I think it’s time we get you off to bed,” he smirked, quite looking forward to the coming week as he gently led his lover through the corridors to the barracks.

. . . . .

The days seemed to disappear in a haze, Shinya not really remembering anything other than extreme need and just as extreme pleasure, rising and falling as the feelings replaced each other over and over in what seemed like a never ending loop. The first day he also vaguely remembered being annoyed at the alpha making him pause to drink some soup, and he gobbled it down quickly so that they could continue with more exiting things. Now and then he got too tired, and they slept for a little while until he woke up again to a burning need and climbed on top of the alpha, grinding their hips together until Satochi woke up to tend to it.

On the sixth day, he woke up feeling a little less out of it and a little bit more like himself. He shifted next to the alpha and noticed two things. One, he was sore in every single muscle in his body, and two, he was hungry. He stretched, yawning widely before he turned to snuggle the alpha, poking him gently until he woke up.

“Hmmm?” Satochi mumbled sleepily as he lifted his head. “Time for another go?”

Shinya giggled a little. “I’m glad you’re ready for it, but I’m actually kind of hungry.”

“Oh, look who’s able to form words again,” Satochi teased as he reached out a hand and ruffled Shinya’s hair a little. “Good morning, pretty. Nice to be able to have a conversation with you again.”

Shinya huffed at that and punched the alpha lightly in the side and then yawned again. Satochi just grinned at him and swung his legs out of bed, sitting up.

“Hang on, I’ll get us some real breakfast. Unless you want soup again?” he smirked.

“Never again!” The omega’s grimace made Satochi laugh and lean over for a kiss before he rose, padding off to the kitchen to find something they needed teeth for. While he was gone, Shinya stretched out on the bed, relaxing his sore muscles and dozing off a little. It felt good to have finally done this, to know what it was like, and with Satochi at that. He would never have believed it if someone had said a year ago that he and Satochi would be together now. Someone like him didn’t get the hot guys, he was too shy to make an impression on people. So this… it was a dream come true. To feel completely at ease with someone, to feel loved and to love. It was beyond amazing.

When the alpha returned, they ate and then rested a bit more, lazily talking about all and nothing while their hands caressed each other. They talked of past friends and memories from Before, and eventually Shinya got out of bed to retrieve his photo album from his backpack. He settled down next to the alpha again and they looked at pictures from parties long gone. There were a few of Satochi, group photos of people around tables, standing at the beach or getting ready to bowl.

“Look,” Satochi said, pointing at a photo. “There’s you that time when Satsuki tried to get everyone to sing karaoke.”

The omega looked at a photo of himself wearing a red shirt, and true enough, he remembered the occasion. Satsuki had been really drunk and insisted they crank up the karaoke machine. He then proceeded to sing loudly and rather slurrily all night while everyone else tried to keep clear so they wouldn’t have to sing with him. But that had been, what? Two years ago?

“How did you know it was from that night?” he asked, looking at Satochi curiously. He could see nothing else on the photo to indicate when it had been taken. It was just him in close-up, looking a bit awkward and trying to avoid the camera.

“I remember thinking that red shirt fit you so well, and that you should wear red more often,” Satochi said calmly as if it was completely obvious. The omega stared at him.

“Wait, you mean you noticed me? Enough to even remember it now?!”

Satochi looked almost amused at the omega’s surprise question. “Of course I did, pretty. I’ve been looking at you ever since the first time we met. I just wish we had seen each other more often, so I could have made my move on you sooner.”

Shinya couldn’t believe the words, his jaw hanging open. “I… uh… wow. I… had no idea,” he mumbled, stunned.

“I know, I noticed,” Satochi grinned and nibbled a little at the omega’s earlobe. “But you were so delicious, how could I not notice you?”

He pulled Shinya in for a deep kiss before he lay back again, resting his head on his arm. “You know, I’ve never been so relieved as when I saw you that night, and I knew you were ok.”

The omega was at a loss for words and just snuggled in closer, leaning his head on Satochi’s shoulder. The photo album lay forgotten on the bed as hands started to wander and breaths quickened once again.

. . . . .

Another few weeks passed, and still no Yuki and Hiro. They were both very worried by now, and Satochi was getting restless. Finally one day he slammed down the book he was reading into the table.

“This is crazy. I can’t just sit here not knowing if they need help. I have to do something.”

Shinya looked up from his photo album. He’d taken to looking through it a lot, trying to keep his friend’s faces fresh in his mind.

“What does that mean?” he asked, not feeling too good about where this was heading.

“I have to go there and try to find them. See if they need help and try to get them back here with us. Maybe even more of our friends have arrived there by now. I can’t not know.”

Shinya looked down on his hands. He wasn’t at all keen on going back out there, despite the fact that he was as worried about their friends as Satochi. He felt like such a coward, but every time he thought about the walk here, his mind replayed that sickening crunch of a rock hitting a head, and he just wanted to throw up. He couldn’t even bring himself to go outside for more than ten minutes at a time, and he didn’t think he could stomach decaying corpses. Satochi noticed his silence, and got up from his chair to come sit by the omega, wrapping his arm around his waist. Shinya leaned his head on his lover’s shoulder with a sigh.

“You’re not coming, pretty. I’m not taking any chances with you out there, ok?”

“But you can’t go alone!” Shinya protested.

“Yes, I can, and I will. 9 days there, 9 days back, a day tops to help them gather their stuff and get on the road. I’ll be back soon enough.”

Shinya shook his head violently, tears beginning to trickle down his cheek.

“Please don’t. Don’t leave me here alone,” Shinya begged, his sobbing making the words come out muffled. “I can’t be without you. I’d rather come with than have you leave me.”

Satochi sighed, pulling the omega close and pressing his lips on his forehead.

“I’m sorry, my pretty, I don’t want to leave you. But you will be fine here. The door is locked so no one can come in, and I just can’t stand the thought of you getting hurt because I dragged you out there.”

“But what about you then? What if you get hurt?! Did you think about what that would do to me?” Shinya was crying violently now, clinging to the alpha desperately.

“I won’t, pretty. I’ll bring the gun, no one will hurt me while I have it. Ok? I promise I'll come back to you even if I’ll have to crawl on my hands and knees to get here. Please, Shinya, don’t cry anymore. I have to do this.”

But Shinya didn’t stop crying until long after Satochi had packed his bag, grabbed the gun and left. As he stood in the doorway, watching the alpha’s back disappear around the bend, a final kiss blown over the wind, he felt a stab in his heart. He slowly lifted his hand and gingerly touched his lips with his fingertips as if he could still feel the alpha there.

It had been 3 months and 14 days.

Chapter Text

9 days there, one day to pack, 9 days back. It was Shinya’s mantra, and he scratched the passing days on the wall with a nail. Counting down, he fought to keep his mind focused and his gut calm. 5 days there, one day to pack, 9 days back. 2 days there. Packing. 7 days back. 4 days left.

By now his nerves were driving him crazy, but he knew it wouldn’t take less than 19 days, so he forced himself to remain calm and not expect too much too early. When the 18th day came around he took to sitting just inside the door, waiting for sounds from outside. He brought his photo album, a book he’d read twice already and a flashlight. He only got up to get food, and only ventured outside when he really had to.

On the 19th day he sat leaned against the door, jumping high at every little noise. Summer had come and the door was warmed by the sun as he leaned towards it. He couldn’t concentrate on anything else but waiting and listening.

He spent the night between day 19 and 20 on a blanket on the floor, too scared to miss a sound to dare go get a mattress to sleep on. He did the same the night after. By day 22 he was getting frantic, but fought to keep calm. Maybe someone was hurt so walking took longer?

As the days slowly rolled by, Shinya thought he was going to lose his mind. He hardly ate, he slept a shallow fitful sleep, and he fought to keep the panic down every second of the day.

After 26 days he packed his bag, taking great care in filling it with food and medicine instead of clothing in the summer heat. He brought it to the door but didn’t get any further than that. He was scared to outside, and scared to leave in case Satochi would go another way and they’d miss each other. And so he stood for a while, the hand on the door handle, before he set the bag back down and lay down on the blanket, crying silently until he ran out of tears.

After 32 days he finally heard a sound outside. He leapt to his feet, listening intently. It sounded like people walking and talking, nearing the door. His heart beat like a jack hammer, his mind racing. Was it Satochi and his friends? Had his lover finally come back to him?

And then he heard it. The whiny voice, and the disdainful one. And they had brought company, and also what he heard whiny voice call a big-ass fucking crowbar. His heart stilled as he heard them ruffling around outside the door. No. They can’t. I’m safe here. They can’t get in. The sound of a crowbar starting to work around the lock sent him into shock, and at first he could hardly believe what was happening. Then a loud screech when the lock protested, and he suddenly snapped out of it. They’re actually getting in. He scrambled to pick up the blanket in one hand and the bag in the other, running the short way down the hall to a janitor’s closet. He slipped inside and locked the door behind him at the very last second. The loud clang of metal breaking echoed through the base as the door finally gave way and took away his safety.

He could heat the voices as they came in, laughing loudly, pumped by the success and the thought of the treasures they would find in here. Shinya had no illusions that they wouldn’t notice someone had been here, and soon. And as soon as they did, they would start searching the place for him. He had to leave, now, but how was he to be sure they had all gone in? They could have left a guard at the door. He listened, straining his ears, but he couldn’t make out anything over the shouts of the alphas exploring the place. Anytime now they would find the barracks or the kitchen and realize… Oh god. He had to take a chance, or he was done for.

Shinya carefully opened the door and peered through the crack. He couldn’t see anything, but the door opened so that he looked into the base, not out towards the door. He carefully opened it a little more, sneaking a careful peek around the door. The base door was standing slightly ajar, letting in the sunlight, and Shinya had to squint his eyes to see in the suddenly bright light. No one there. With the blanket in one hand and the bag on his back, he silently snuck out into the corridor and through the broken bunker door. And then he ran for it.

. . . . .

He ran through the woods for fifteen minutes before his blanket suddenly snagged on a bush and he lost his footing and fell to his knees. He spun around and tried to get the blanket loose frantically until he slowly realized no one was coming after him and finally sat back, panting hard. He had gotten away. Shaking from effort and fear, he sipped some water from his bottle as he tried to catch his breath and get his mind back in working order.

He didn’t dare rest long though, and got back on his feet, got the blanket free of the bush and packed it as well as he could in the bag. He stared a little at the packed bag, feeling strangely empty. If he hadn’t planned to go find Satochi, he wouldn’t have had the bag packed. Small mercy. But now he was getting lost in the woods, and had to find the road again so he could make it back to the farm and Satochi. He didn’t know what else to do, so he picked a direction that he hoped made sense and started walking.

An hour later he had found his way back to the road, and was following it back towards his hometown. He kept close watch for people so he could get out of the way and hide, but also looking for any signs of Satochi or his other friends. There were a lot fewer travellers now than when he and the alpha had gone the other way, and he was almost shocked at how empty the world felt. Only once that day did he meet travellers, and he hid in the bushes watching them as they passed. It was two alphas with their omegas, but no one he knew, and he was too scared to make himself known to them.

He spent the night in the woods, thankful the summer warmth made it bearable. The next morning he got up by first light and continued his journey, the goal clear in his head. Satochi would be waiting for him, he felt it. He had been held up by something at the farm, that was all, but he would be there with his warm embrace, welcoming him home. And so Shinya walked on, day after day, trying not to look when he came across corpses by the road. He held his breath and quickly ran past, staring forward to see as little as possible.

He was still there. The one he had killed. He had been pulled into a ditch by the road, but it was clearly him. Shinya would never forget the jacket, the hair color, anything. He made himself look at what he had done, hoping it would help to face it head on. It didn’t. If anything, it made the nightmares worse.

Satochi would make him feel better about it. He would wrap his arms around him and tell him he had only done it to save the alpha, that it wasn’t his fault, that everything would be ok. He couldn’t wait to feel those arms around him again.

. . . . .

After nine days of walking hiding walking sleeping walking he was finally getting close. The longing for his boyfriend had kept him moving, and the final part of the way he ran, exited at the thought of finally being in Satochi’s arms again. He full on sprinted around the final bend, a big smile on his face as he came in view of the farm house.

And stopped dead.

The farm house was no more. It was burned down, a bare skeleton remaining of what had once been a beautiful white house. The guest house was equally burned. The yard was dead quiet. Not a soul in sight.

Shinya couldn’t breathe, couldn’t move. This wasn’t right. It couldn’t be. It was a cruel joke, haha, this is not the right house, you’re looking for the one around the bend, don’t you remember? But it wasn’t a joke. And this was the house. Had been the house. God. All his dreams came crumbling down around him, and only fear was left to fill the gaps. If they weren’t here, where were they? What had happened, and where had they gone? Where was Satochi?

“Satochiiiiiiii!”

He heard someone scream his lover’s name, over and over again, and to his surprise, he realized it was him. His body moved of its own now, without asking him first. The omega dropped his bag to the ground, taking a few steps toward the house slowly, then picked up the pace and started running again. He starting to look around for any signs of the alpha or anyone else he knew, his mind still in a sort of daze while his body went on auto pilot and did what had to be done.

The sight of a body underneath some rubble made his breath hitch in fear, until he recognized the clothing as something worn by one of Ryo’s omega friends. It was awful, his mind told him numbly, but it wasn’t Satochi. Or Yuki, or Hiro. So he stopped caring as soon as he turned his back on the corpse.

There was no one else here, dead or alive, and Shinya let out a deep breath. Of relief or fear, he didn’t know. He sat down beside his bag on the road, his legs buckling under him and folding without him even noticing. He sat for a long while, just staring in front of him, letting it all sink in. When he finally roused again it was almost dark, and he was sore from sitting in exactly the same angle for hours. He got up from the ground, groaning as his muscles protested, and tried to make himself think. Now what? Satochi wasn’t here. He wasn’t in a ditch along the way (Shinya might have tried to avoid looking, but he wasn’t that blind). Where could he have gone?

After some deliberation, Shinya decided to try Hiro’s house in town, or Satochi’s old apartment. If they weren’t there, he’d go around to every place anyone he’d ever known had lived, looking for him. He had to be somewhere there.

Taking out his photo album, Shinya looked through it and found the picture of himself in the red shirt that Satochi had remembered. He looked at it, thinking of Satochi’s words as he had looked at it. He almost cried at the memory, but pulled himself together and dug out a pen from a forgotten bag pocket. On the back of the photo, he carefully wrote Went home to all of us. Find me. Underneath the words he drew a heart, and then he placed the photo on the stairs of the house, making sure it was shielded from rain. He didn’t write his name. Satochi would know who put it there.

It was getting dark, and Shinya didn’t much feel like walking at night, so he went up the road a bit and camped in the woods for the night. He didn’t want to see the house, didn’t want the thoughts and the what ifs and where is hes. But his mind disagreed, and he slept fitfully, dreaming of Satochi with blood on his face in a burning house.

. . . . .

The town was very different from what he remembered. With all the fires and mayhem that had been, he could hardly find his way on some streets. It all looked so different. There were more people here, he saw a few at a distance and quickly ran away in the opposite direction, but it was still a ghost town, far from the bustling place he’d known Before.

There was no one at Hiro’s. Actually, there wasn’t even a Hiro’s anymore, and as Shinya watched the ruins he felt a little relieved despite everything that they had chosen to leave town that day. There was no one at Rei's either, or Takumi’s, or at any of their other friend’s houses. At the end of the day, Shinya was desperate. He had tried all the places he could think of, and now he was standing at the last place he could search, their standard ramen restaurant. This is where they’d usually end up at the end of blurry nights when the stomach growled, or when they were too tired to do anything special but still wanted to hang out. Now, it was empty, the door broken and windows smashed. Night was falling, and he had no idea what to do. Eventually, he climbed through the broken window and went to the corner booth, climbed into the seat and then threw his arms around his knees as he started to cry.

It had been 4 months and 24 days.

. . . . .

Days passed, and Shinya was out every day, looking all over town for his friends and his lover. He spent the nights at the restaurant, hoping against hope that someone he knew would also remember it and try to find him there. The evenings were spent looking through his photo album, looking at the pictures of Satochi. He touched the alpha’s face longingly, clutching the photos in his arms when he slept.

After a month, food became an issue. His stash from the military base was of course long gone, and he had looked through all shops for food. He got by on food he found in homes, but just barely. If he had been thin before, he was very thin now. All the muscles he had gained while working out at the base was gone, and he was back to being scrawny Shinya. Finally, he decided it was time to move on. Satochi wasn’t coming, and he was becoming restless. He started thinking that maybe Satochi had gone back to the base after all? Maybe that first hour in the woods when he ran was enough to miss the alpha going back the other way? Or they had taken another road to get there. They had passed him in the dark when he was sleeping. It could be anything, really.

The more he thought about it, the more certain he became that the alpha was at the base, waiting for him. And so, he decided to go back. He spent three days going through houses to find enough food to last him the trip and then he set off again. He stopped by at the farm, just to be sure, and found his picture still untouched. Instead of breaking his spirit, it strengthened his resolve to go to the base, certain his lover would be there to welcome him with open arms.

. . . . .

Except he wasn’t. The alphas that had broke in weren’t either. The base was abandoned, empty, and wrecked beyond belief inside. Cupboards had been turned over, every storage rummaged through, every crate emptied on the floor in search for guns and other things. The barracks were turned upside down, beds thrown around The food was gone, except for a stash of freeze dried vegetable soup that apparently had been deemed too disgusting to eat. Half eaten, now rotting cans of food had been thrown around everywhere and the omega frowned at the waste. How could anyone in this new world not value food higher?

The last of the old Shinya broke that night. When the truth finally struck home, that he would never see Satochi again, he fell apart into a million pieces. He ached with all that he was, his heart shifting back and forth between beating too fast and hardly at all. He cried until he had no more tears to cry, screamed until his voice broke. He curled up into a little ball on a mattress on the floor, releasing all the pain and longing and love and fear that he had felt during the last few months and pushing it away. He had tried so hard for so long to tell himself it would be fine, that he would be reunited with his lover. All the lies he had told himself seemed pathetic now, and Shinya shut them out together with all his feelings . He drowned his old life, and came up to the surface a new Shinya. Not necessarily better, just different. Maybe a little harder, not tougher but with a higher wall between himself and those feelings inside. When morning came, there was nothing left of him.

. . . . .

The vegetable soup eventually ran out, and Shinya had no choice but to move on. He didn’t care either way anymore, just did what he had to do to survive. Fall was coming soon, and then winter. Looking through the base, he found his winter clothes in one piece. They had apparently not been deemed worthy even of destroying. When he tried them on he got the first real glimpse of how much he had changed. He had always been skinny, but this was ridiculous. The clothes hung off of him, and he had to make several new holes in his belt in order to keep the pants where they were supposed to be.

He made sure he had his heat suppressants, a year’s worth from his own stash and also finding lots more in the base’s medbay. Once again, not of use to the alphas, so they had just had fun with them and spilled them all over the floor, and Shinya spent several aching hours picking up all the blue pills he could find. There was no way he was ever getting a heat again. Never. And so he had one small bottle of pills and one unopened big pack as he left, enough to last an omega probably ten years or more, stuffed into his jacket pocket. A map from the base in hand, he set out to the nearest town to find food, walking down the middle of the road, hardly looking where he went.

Behind him, a photo album lay abandoned on a mattress. It didn’t belong to him anymore.

It had been 6 months and 27 days.

Chapter Text

He couldn’t really remember much that happened for a very long time. When he thought back on it, he realized he must have taken stupid risks, walking wherever, whenever, without even looking around for enemies. Life just… was. He survived, got food when he could, slept, walked, slept some more. Sometimes he fell and got hurt, but it healed again, and so Shinya didn’t care much. Once he had gotten a beating by two betas who caught him stealing food from their house, and several times he had vague memories of being pushed against something until it hurt, hands wandering unbidden over him, an alpha’s scent sifting through vague recollections of pain and fear. But he pushed it all out, let it drain from his mind as if it hadn’t happened and just kept moving.

All he knew was that it was winter again for the second time, and that there had been warmer times in between, so that must make it another year passed. When he looked down at his hands, he absentmindedly noticed that the rope tied around his wrists had frost on it. He cocked his head to the side, watching the icy particles melt as the sun rose higher, warming the rope slightly and drops of water falling from it onto his hands.

He sat on the floor of a house with only three walls and half a roof. His back was leaned against the back wall, and he tried to make himself as comfortable as he could with his hands and legs tied together. Next to him, sleeping with his head on Shinya’s shoulder was another omega. He was small, unusually short even for an omega, willowy and very pretty with large dark eyes. When Shinya had been caught and brought back to the group a week ago, the omega had instantly glued himself to his side whenever he could. His name was Hikaru, he said, and when Shinya didn’t give his name in return, the younger omega eventually gave up and called him Niisan.

The fact that Shinya hadn’t said a word all week didn’t deter the omega from talking, and the older omega guessed it was to calm himself. Hikaru finally had someone of his own kind around again, someone who would be more likely to be on his side than on the alphas’. Just his presence seemed to comfort the omega, and Shinya didn’t mind. He was warmer with the omega leaning against him than he would be on his own, and so he just let it happen. It seemed the closeness was slowly pulling him out of his daze and inner fog, and even though he still didn’t really care what happened to himself, he found that he cared a little what happened to Hikaru.

So far, though, not much had happened. The group consisted of him and Hikaru, and three alphas. Hikaru had been with them for three months, he said, and it wasn’t hard to guess that it hadn’t been easy for him. He was bruised and cowered as soon as an alpha came near, and it wasn’t hard to guess what the alphas used him for when they felt like it. What they would use Shinya for. He guessed he should be thankful that the week that followed his capture had been spent on the move, everyone too tired and cold to have energy for other things.

The three alphas were pushing them to move faster, apparently to reach a town as fast as possible so they could find a house and be indoors for the cold nights. They had left the last town before the last cold spell began, and even though they had food (the omegas’ share smaller than the alphas’) the cold made their days and nights hard to handle. Hikaru was allowed to walk without bonds, he knew his place after three months. But Shinya was still an unknown entity, more likely to escape, and so his hands were tied most of the time and his legs were tied up during the nights. Soon, the sun would have gone up enough for them to move again, and Shinya looked forward to being able to stretch his legs a little. It was hard to move after being tied up in the cold, and it would take him a while to walk properly again. Two of the alphas were still asleep, buried under blankets. The third sat watch, his side to Shinya. The omega watched him surreptitiously as he waited for the rest to wake up.

The alpha had a scarf tied over his face to protect it from the cold. He had a hat pulled down over his head, leaving only the eyes visible. Even in the day, he never took it off enough to show his face, there was always something covering his nose. He seemed not to like the other alphas much, but Shinya couldn’t tell if it was because they wouldn’t let him have his fun with the omegas or if it was genuine dislike. Apparently, the shorter of the other two alphas had caught Hikaru and claimed him for his own, but sometimes letting his friend have a go. Shinya had been caught by the friend, the tallest of the three, who immediately stated that Shinya was his and that the other could get his own if he wanted one. And so, the alpha on guard duty was the only one without an omega to play with. From what Shinya had picked up, he wasn’t too happy with the other two not willing to share their possessions with him. It seemed to create tension in the group, and seemed to be another reason for the week without any forced sex.

Shinya was very happy about that, but not as happy and relieved as Hikaru was. The omega seemed to think it was because of Shinya’s arrival and hailed him as his savior. Shinya unwillingly took on the role of big brother to the smaller omega, sensing that he needed it, and despite himself and his inner fog he genuinely liked the boy. He enjoyed having the boy next to him, the warmth and comfort of another body against his, and he found himself caring about the boy’s wellbeing. He also didn’t like the fact that Hikaru was claimed as a possession, even if he knew that was the norm nowadays and that he was lucky not to be the same. Until now, that was.

Suddenly the alpha turned his head and looked at Shinya, and the omega quickly lowered his eyes, pretending to look at his hands. He heard the alpha move and steps coming toward him, and still he pretended not to notice. He shouldn’t have studied him, it could provoke the alpha and mean trouble. He felt the alpha kneel next to them and tried to put himself as a shield between the alpha and Hikaru, without being too obvious about it. He glanced up just in time to see the alpha reach down and grab his chin, lifting it roughly and pressing his lips violently to Shinya’s. The sudden kiss was not what Shinya had expected, and he gasped as he felt his lip get caught against his teeth and the taste of blood in his mouth. Sudden terror cut through his daze, waking him up inside. He shifted to get away as much as he could considering the ropes, and his squirming made the alpha grit his teeth and yank him back, forcing another harsh kiss on the omega as his other hand gripped Shinya’s crotch so hard the omega screamed in sudden pain. The sound and movement woke Hikaru, who gave an involuntary yelp as his head fell from Shinya’s shoulder and banged into the wall.

After that, it was all a flurry of angry voices, screaming, swearing and fighting, as the other two alphas woke up and realized someone was trying to help himself to their omegas. The two omegas curled up together in the corner as far away from the fight as possible, Hikaru with his arms around Shinya and his large eyes full of concern and fear. The screaming match went on for nearly ten minutes, accusations flying every which way, about who had the right to do what and who owned who, and if they should share or not. Then, the alpha who had kissed him made a rude gesture before he grabbed his bag and stomped away, leaving the others behind.

The omegas looked at each other and back to the two remaining alphas. Hikaru’s arms around him tightened slightly as the tall alpha came over and crouched down next to them. The alpha grabbed his chin and inspected his lips, noting the little cut and frowning, before he let go and stood back up.

“That fucker, he nipped him. He’s got a cut in his lip now. Fucking asshole, who does he think he is, trying to steal my omega?”

His friend shook his head in disbelief.

“I told you he was bad news when we met him. We shouldn’t have let him come. Remember how he tried to get at Hikaru all the time in the beginning, and even took him once before I finally beat it into him that Hikaru’s mine?”

“Yeah yeah, I know. But it’s been nice to have help with the guard duties though,” the tall alpha said and sniggered. “We’ll just have to keep an eye out so he doesn’t try anything later.”

“I don’t think he’s the type,” the other alpha answered. “I think he’s the running away type. But I’m gonna make sure he won’t get Hikaru either way.”

The omegas exchanged glances. What did that mean? Hikaru swallowed hard, and Shinya leaned his head on the smaller omega’s to try to comfort him as he was still tied up and couldn’t do much else. He hoped it didn’t mean what his creeping suspicions thought it did.

. . . . .

Four more days of walking led them to a town, and a house with four walls and a complete roof. There had been no sign of the alpha, but the other two made sure to keep watch at all times just in case. One of the alphas was always on the lookout, keeping an eye out for attackers. Which was why Shinya was spared, when Hikaru was brought into another room by the shorter alpha. He heard the omega cry, and then a scream that could only mean pain. He flinched at the sound, wishing he could go help the boy, keep him safe from harm. He wasn’t stupid though, he understood what the scream meant. He knew it was too late to help Hikaru, and the thought made him cry.

The other alpha watched him, a smirk on his lips. He licked his lips a little before he leaned over Shinya, making the omega cower.

“You’re next, you know, maybe tomorrow. I’ll make sure you’re mine. Can’t have people messing with what’s mine, now can I? And once it’s done, you can finally be let out of these ropes. Now won’t that be nice, huh? Aren’t I taking good care of you?”

Shinya looked up at the alpha through a curtain of tears, and wanted to scream at him, to tell him to let him go. But he said nothing, and the alpha soon lost interest as he went back to his guard duties. Five minutes later, the door to the other room opened and the shorter alpha came out, a pleased grin on his face. Behind him, Shinya could see Hikaru curled up on the floor, his small body shaking with sobs. His heart broke as he watched the boy slowly get up, blood trickling slowly from his neck, and crawl over the floor to Shinya. He curled up as well as he could towards his new friend, his cheeks wet and his eyes red and swollen from tears. Shinya lifted his arms over the omegas’ head and pulled the boy close, hugging him as best he could with his wrists still tied up. Hikaru clung to him as if his life depended upon it, and Shinya did his best to support him. The alphas watched them from the window, the shorter alpha looking smug and the taller eyeing Shinya hungrily.

For the first time in over a year, Shinya was scared out of his wits. First the alpha who tried to assault him, and now this. He had spent so long in a daze, just moving on without a thought to what could happen or even caring. But now, sitting here with a friend who had just been mate-bitten against his will, it felt as if he had been pulled from the pit inside and slapped until he was awake. This would be him tomorrow. He would be bitten, and it wouldn’t be to a nice alpha, no. It would be to an asshole who would use him as he wished, hurt him without a second thought. For a brief moment Satochi’s face blinked before his eyes, but he immediately pushed it away. Satochi was long gone, and it did no good dreaming of what he could have had, had things been different. He closed his eyes and concentrated instead of holding Hikaru as close as he could, offering support and comfort over something that could never be comforted.

. . . . .

They slept tightly together, and when he woke up in the early hours by something poking him in the side, he couldn’t grasp what was happening at first. But then he realized it was Hikaru, and that the omega had his eyes fixed on the alpha keeping watch. Shinya followed his gaze. The tall omega was sleeping, snoring loudly, and the shorter alpha was keeping watch on the chair by the window.

Only he wasn’t. He had nodded off, his head leaning on the window frame. Shinya looked at Hikaru, the boy’s eyes wide in the dark. He realized the other omega was already untying the knots around his legs, massaging his ankles a little to get the blood flowing until he moved on to Shinya’s wrists. He nodded silently to the door to the other room, and motioned for Shinya to follow. Infinitely slowly, they moved as quietly as they could into the other room, Hikaru grabbing Shinya’s bag on the way. The omega closed the door behind them before he pointed to a door out onto the back terrace, and gently pushed Shinya towards it.

“Go,” he whispered. Shinya shook his head, pulling Hikaru with him insistently. The younger omega looked sad and gave his friend a quick hug.

“I can’t, remember? The bite won’t let me.”

Shinya frowned and tugged him with him anyway. He hadn’t said a word for over a year, and it took a few tries before he managed to croak out a quiet “Try”. Hikaru looked like he would start crying again, but shook his head.

“I can’t. It won’t work, I can feel the bond forming a little already. I’m sorry, Niisan, I’m stuck here. I wish I wasn’t, but I am. And I can’t let this happen to you too. As much as I want you to stay, it isn’t fair if you have a chance out there. Please,” he whispered, eyes looking earnestly into Shinya’s. “Go, before they wake up.”

For a few moments they just looked at each other, and then Shinya grabbed Hikaru and pulled him into a tight hug, tears running down his face. The omega hugged him back, before he pulled away and reached for the door. Together, they opened the door as quietly as they could, and Shinya slipped out into the grey dawn. He turned and looked at Hikaru before he rounded the corner, but the door was closed again and his friend was gone.

He heard faint shouting when he was a block away, and started running as fast as he could. His backpack bumped up and down on his back as he ran for his life. The sound soon disappeared in the distance, but he ran for a long while more, trying to avoid the patches of snow on the ground so he wouldn’t leave footprints that could be followed. Luckily, even though it was cold, there hadn’t been much snow this winter, and he could slip away without much trace. His mind never stopped thinking of Hikaru as he ran, and more than once he wanted to turn back to help the omega. But just as he hadn’t been able to save him from the bite, he couldn’t help him now. He felt the guilt smoldering in his gut, but still he ran. He had left the town behind before he stopped running, and found himself on a small dirt road, his chest heaving.

He looked back at the town for a moment, saying his silent goodbyes and apologies to Hikaru, before he turned and started walking away on the dirt road.

. . . . .

Two weeks later, he was hungrier than he’d ever been. He had found some food here and there, but not enough, and now he was all out. Several times, he even considered going back to try to find the alphas and Hikaru – at least they had had food. But it wasn’t really an option, even if he had known where they were, and so he moved on.

He finally found himself in a small village, huddled under the blankets in a bed, with no more energy left. There was no food here, the village had been cleared of anything edible long ago, and he was too tired and hungry to continue. So he curled up on the bed, burying himself in blankets to try to keep at least a little warm, and settled in for what he knew would be the long sleep. He was too tired to even care that it was all over, as he closed his eyes and let himself sleep.

Chapter Text

Something was shaking him, and he tried really hard to ignore it and go back to sleep, but the shaking wouldn’t stop. A voice filtered in through the haze, and he cracked an eye open to see what was going on.

An alpha was standing over him, shaking his shoulders, trying to wake him up. He had dark curly hair, and looked well fed and well clothed in a warm jacket, hat and gloves. Shinya gasped and tried feebly to get out of his grasp, fighting weakly with the last of his energy. The alpha immediately let him go and took a step back, putting his hands up as if to show he wasn’t dangerous.

Shinya shook in the sudden cold from when the covers had been pulled away, and he stared wildly at the alpha, taking in his scent and noting he was bonded to an omega.

“It’s ok, relax! I won’t hurt you, I promise,” the alpha said. He turned his head and called out into the hallway. “Toshiya! In here!”

Another alpha suddenly filled the doorway, this one taller but just as healthy looking. He looked at the other alpha questioningly, before he noticed the shivering omega on the bed. He blinked in surprise and exchanged a glance with the other alpha, before he took a step forward and reached out towards the omega. Shinya tried to get away, but he was too weak to do much of anything, and all he could do was watch intently as the alpha got nearer. To his surprise, the alpha grabbed the blankets and pulled them back around the omega, tucking him in deftly.

“Poor thing, you’re shaking! There, is that better? It’ll warm up soon,” he said gently. Shinya just stared at him. The alpha looked friendly, and smiled a little at him, but he didn’t smell bonded like the other. Was he looking to change that?

“I’m Toshiya, and that’s Kai. We’ll help you, ok? What’s your name?”

Shinya just stared, he didn’t know what to do. Toshiya seemed unperturbed by his silence, and just kept chattering. “Are you hurt? No? I bet you’re hungry though, aren’t you? I’m sorry we haven’t got anything warm to offer you, but you’ll get that later. We’ve got food anyway, so we’ll get you something to eat. Kai, can you hand me something?”

The other alpha opened his bag and pulled out a piece of grilled meat and a boiled egg, which he wordlessly handed over to Toshiya. The alpha took it and offered it to Shinya, who stared at the food in the alpha’s hand. Could he? God, he was so goddamn hungry, but to accept food from strangers... But then again, a little while ago he had gone to sleep not expecting to wake up, and this could hardly be worse. He gingerly reached out a hand and took the meat, biting into it greedily. It was cold, but it was the best thing he had ever eaten, and he hardly gave himself time to chew properly as he ate. Toshiya peeled the shell of the egg for him while he ate the meat, and handed it over with a smile.

“That hungry, huh? Try to eat a little slower or you’ll get a stomach ache. Don’t worry, you’ll get more later, and warm too.”

Warm food? That couldn’t be. As his mind slowly started working again, Shinya realized that he had just eaten food that had been warm at one point, and not too long ago either. Meat he could understand, if they knew how to hunt, but boiled eggs? How did they even get eggs out here?

And the more important question, why were they sharing it with him? He eyed Toshiya, his warm smile and open face somehow reassuring. Kai hung back a little as if not to crowd him, but he had an equally reassuring smile. The omega felt himself relax just a little, but still watched them closely as they began moving around in the room. Kai rummaged through a cupboard and pulled out two extra pillows and blankets, which he shoved into his large bag. Toshiya opened a chest of drawers and pulled out some clothes, holding them up to check the size.

“What do you say? Should fit a few of them, don’t you think?” He held a sweater out to Kai, who nodded.

“It’s too small for Uruha, but definitely Ruki, and Yuuki as well. At least after the baby arrives.”

Shinya looked between the two alphas, wondering who they were talking about. The sweater was small, obviously made for an omega, and they were talking like there were at least three omegas where they came from. And one of them was pregnant as well. Did they have a harem locked up somewhere? Shinya felt the fear creeping up on him again, as he realized that if they wanted to bring him to wherever these other omegas were, he was helpless to resist. The food had made his head clearer, but did little to convince his body to move just yet.

He watched as Toshiya packed some clothes in his own bag, and realized suddenly that their bags were rather empty to start with. They didn’t carry around blankets, or medicines, or any of the things that were vital for survival. That meant that they had a place to stay, safe enough to leave things behind. He blinked, as his mind processed this information. He didn’t have time to think it over though, as Toshiya put the backpack back on and then came back to crouch next to the bed.

“Hey,” he said, smiling softly at the omega. “Wanna come to our place? We’ve got lots of food, and it’s warm in the houses. You’ll be safe there, I promise, and no one will hurt you or make you do something you don’t want to do. There are omegas there so you can make new friends as well. What do you say?”

Shinya blinked, not sure what to do. But the alpha seemed nice, and he hadn’t hurt him yet. And without them, he would die. He knew it, like he’d never known anything before. If he didn’t go with them, he would die right here in this bed, maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow. But it would happen, if he didn’t take his chances and went with them. And so he swallowed hard, looked the alpha in the eyes, and nodded.

Toshiya smiled at that and stood, reaching out a hand to support the omega. Shinya carefully crawled out from under the blankets and stood. Well, he tried to. His legs buckled the second he stood up and he would’ve fallen to the floor if the alpha hadn’t caught him. Toshiya’s smile changed into a worried frown, as he gently sat the omega back down on the bed.

God, no. He didn’t have enough strength left to go with them. He would stay here and they would leave, and he would die anyway. Shinya looked down on the floor, feeling that flicker of hope disappear and despair fill him as he waited for them to give up on him and leave. When Toshiya pushed him back down on the bed, he closed his eyes to keep the tears in. But to his surprise, he felt Toshiya wrap him up tightly in a blanket, and then he was hoisted up into the alpha’s arms. He looked up at Toshiya’s face, stunned, and then to Kai who just watched them for a second before he shrugged and put his own backpack on. He leaned down and grabbed Shinya’s bag where it stood by the bed, and then led the way out of the house.

It was cold, and Shinya couldn’t feel his nose or feet after a few hours of being carried by Toshiya. Sometimes the alpha had to put him down for a while to rest, but he never gave up on him and left him there. Shinya soon felt his head grow heavy again, and he put his head down on Toshiya’s shoulder. He didn’t wake until he was gently put down onto something hard. He lifted his head groggily and looked around.

He was in a boat. Four alphas were climbing in. Toshiya and Kai took the oars closest to him, and two unknown alphas took the front oars. For a moment, he panicked, but Toshiya caught his eyes and smiled at him, reassuringly.

“It’s ok, we’ll be there soon. Just rest,” he said. Shinya sighed and leaned back down, still wrapped up in the blanket so that he could hardly move. The sound of the water and the rhythm of the oars soon lulled him back to sleep, and he didn’t even wake up when Kai lifted him and handed him over the side of the boat to Toshiya on the shore. He slept through the walk past many smaller cottages up to a big house, and he slept through a brief examination by a nurse. He even slept through being undressed and redressed in pajamas by two omegas. He would have slept on through the night if Toshiya hadn’t shaken him gently. He found himself lying in a soft bed in a small room with a lit fireplace, the alpha sitting in front of him with a bowl of warm soup in his hands.

“Here, let me,” the alpha offered and helped Shinya to sit up, before he held out the bowl so that Shinya could drink from it. The omega was grateful, as he felt too weak to even lift his arms right now. The warmth from the soup was heavenly, and he felt himself warm up from the inside as well as the outside. When the bowl was empty, Toshiya gently put it down to the side.

“Tatsurou, that’s our nurse, said you shouldn’t eat too much at once or you’ll get sick. You’ll get more later. He’ll come by to check on you now and then, so don’t worry if you wake up and there’s another alpha here, he’ll take good care of you. For now, you should try to sleep some more.”

Shinya nodded, happy to have warm food in his belly and a warm bed to sleep in. He hadn’t been this warm and comfortable in ages, and he sank back into the pillow, letting himself slip into dreamland once more.

. . . . .

When he woke up next time, an unknown alpha held his wrist in his hand. He snatched the hand back as if it had been touched by a red hot poker and shied away from the alpha, trying to crawl closer to the wall to get away. The alpha seemed caught by surprise by his sudden actions, but quickly took a step away from the bed.

“Hey, it’s ok. I’m just taking your pulse. I’m a nurse, my name’s Tatsurou. Did Toshiya tell you about me?” The alpha looked earnest and Shinya slowly let out his breath, his shoulders losing some of their tension. “Can I?” Tatsurou asked, making a gesture towards his wrist but making no move to grab it. Shinya hesitated for a second, but then gingerly held out his arm towards the nurse. The alpha smiled at him reassuringly, and slowly went back to taking his pulse.

“It’s higher now,” he said, “but I guess I gave you a scare. Sorry about that, you’ve been sleeping every other time I’ve checked on you. Are you ready for some more food now?”

Shinya felt his stomach growl and his mouth water in response, and his eager nod earned him a little laugh from the alpha.

“Ok, I’ll send Toshiya in with some food, he’s been wondering how you are. Is that ok, or would you rather an omega brought you food?”

Shinya frowned a little as he thought about it. But Toshiya had been nice to him so far, and he had been the one to carry him all the way here so it would be ungrateful to ignore him now. So he shrugged a little, indicating that either was fine, and the nurse left the room. A few minutes later, Toshiya appeared in the doorway carrying a tray with a steaming bowl of stew and a mug of tea in his hands. He set it down on the nightstand and then sat down gently on a chair next to the bed. The omega wanted to keep an eye on the alpha and be polite but watchful, but he couldn’t keep his eyes from sliding to the plate every other second. Toshiya grinned at him.

“Just eat, don’t let it get cold on my behalf.”

That was the last straw to Shinya’s self control, and he greedily reached out for the plate and shoveled a large spoonful of stew into his mouth. It was almost too hot, but he didn’t care, the portion was gone in two minutes flat, and he all but licked the bowl before he set it back down and reached for the tea. It wasn’t until he had swallowed at least half of the amazingly warm fluid that he looked up and met Toshiya’s eyes. The alpha had a concerned look on his face, but seemed relieved the omega was feeling a little better and could sit up on his own.

“You must have been so hungry. I’m glad we found you when we did, if we hadn’t... Anyway, don’t worry, you can get well here. And then when you feel better you can look around and see if you’d like to stay with us. I would like it if… I think you’ll like it here.” Toshiya looked a little embarrassed, concerned and hopeful all in one, his cheeks a little pink as he looked down at his hands. Shinya was a little confused by the alpha, but didn’t say anything as he sipped his tea and watched him over the edge of the cup. After a few moments, Toshiya looked up again, chewing his lip a little.

“Do you… Will you tell me your name?” Shinya hesitated for a second, but then nodded, looking around for some paper and a pen. Toshiya opened the nightstand and pulled out a pen. There was no paper around, and Toshiya looked around for a second before he handed the omega his hand.

“Here, write on my hand instead, it’s faster.”

Shinya blinked in surprise. Was he serious? But the alpha just held his hand out closer and smiled encouragingly, so he grabbed it gently to steady it and carefully wrote his name in ink on the pale skin. Toshiya smiled as he read the name out loud. “Shinya.” The omega felt his cheeks flush as he heard his name spoken for the first time in a year and a half. It felt strange, but in a good way.

Toshiya watched him for a second, and then he changed the subject as if he sensed the omega’s emotions. Instead he launched into a description of their community, laying out the basics of this new place he’d ended up at.

They had a working community, 36 alphas and omegas lived and worked here. It was an island, and they all lived in either the house he was in now or in smaller cabins. The couples and alphas had cottages, the single omegas stayed at the big house. They had a few kids here, and another on the way. Everyone contributed to the society here, working in whatever way they could to keep food on the table and roofs over their heads. Toshiya stressed that no one was forced into anything, but that they had a code of conduct that had to be followed if you were to be allowed to stay on the island. He also added, giving Shinya a pointed look, that it included the rule that no alpha was allowed to do anything to an omega without his consent.

Shinya listened to Toshiya tell him about this new life he was offered, his eyes going wider by the minute. When he was done, Toshiya couldn’t help smirking a little at the omega’s incredulous look.

“It’s all true, I swear. I’ve heard from travellers that our way is not always the way out there, but it works for us. So far, no one wanted to leave this place after they got a taste of what we have to offer.” He was silent for a second, before he added softly, almost as an afterthought, “I really hope you’ll want to stay too.”

Shinya felt himself blush a little. It was too weird, this alpha was too nice. The offer was too good to be true. He promised himself silently to make sure he checked every little thing before he agreed to staying, no matter how good it seemed on paper. His thoughts were interrupted by a yawn, and Toshiya hurriedly got up from his chair.

“Oh, I’m sorry, I’m so rude. Here I am, chatting away when you want to sleep. I’ll leave you to rest and see you later.”

Shinya shook his head at that – the alpha wasn’t rude at all. He was being really nice to him, for the first time since… An image of Satochi’s smiling face flashed before his eyes, and he swallowed hard and closed his eyes, his fists clenching momentarily. Toshiya eyed him uncertainly, the omega’s mixed signals confusing him. He smiled nervously at Shinya, and then quickly excused himself and left the room so the omega could rest.

. . . . .

In the next few days, he got visits from Tatsurou twice a day, the nurse humming approvingly at his recovery. He also got a visit by two omegas who introduced themselves as Subaru and Yo-Ka. Yo-Ka seemed a little taken aback by his silence but accepted it, while Subaru hardly seemed to notice as he chatted away about the island and its inhabitants. Soon Shinya had heard everything about Yuuki’s pregnancy, Natsu’s crush on Yukke, Daichi’s unknown talents when it came to giving massages and Ruki’s ways of getting Kyo to do his bidding. His head was spinning with information about these people that he hadn’t even met yet and their personalities, and what seemed to be most important to Subaru, their love lives. After about an hour, Yo-Ka took pity on him and pulled Subaru with him to get started on dinner, the omegas waving goodbye with a promise to come back to visit. Tiring as it had been, Shinya felt better afterwards. There was no way a guy like Subaru could be a liar, he was too open and happy, and his description of the island did seem very alluring.

And then, of course, there were the visits from Toshiya. He usually came by to say good morning and bring Shinya breakfast. Then, after the work day was done, he returned and kept the omega company for a few hours every night. Sometimes he spoke, telling Shinya about things that had happened during the day or general things about the island, but sometimes he just kept the omega company in silence. Shinya found himself looking forward to these visits, and when Tatsurou declared him well enough to get out of bed for a while and join the others for dinner, he felt very uncertain until Toshiya assured him he’d stay with him in case he needed something.

The alpha had become his safety blanket in a way, and he clung to his arm as he was led into the big dining room with a number of tables, all filled with people. When everyone’s eyes turned his way, he almost wanted to turn and run, but Toshiya’s warm hand over his gave him the courage to walk into the room. Toshiya led him to a table and helped him sit down before he fetched a full plate for him. Shinya glanced around the table, where a few people already sat, and bowed his head politely while he chewed his lip a little. Kai was on the other side of the table, and an alpha Shinya vaguely recognized but didn’t know from where. Subaru sat next to him, and smiled happily as he introduced everyone. The alpha he recognized turned out to be Subaru’s boyfriend Die, and he had been on the boat the day Shinya was brought to the island. Next to him was Yuuki, the pregnant omega and his mate Ichirou, and then Kai sat next to his mate Uruha. Uruha excused himself after a short while to go check on the kids sleeping in a room next door, just as Toshiya returned with Shinya’s plate.

The food was amazing as it had been all week, and Shinya tried to eat calmly while his mind screamed at him to devour everything as quickly as possible. Everyone at the table was nice to him and no one tried to force him to speak, even though he could tell they were a little confounded by his silence. But he was still a little overwhelmed by everyone, the chatter in the room almost deafening after being alone in mostly silence for so long. After he had finished dinner, he looked around a little wide-eyed, trying to take everything in while at the same time fighting against the urge to run from the room and the crowd. Just as he was about to crumble, he felt Toshiya’s hand rub his back a little, reassuring him, and when he turned his eyes to the alpha, he was met with a smile and caring eyes.

“Are you about ready to go back and rest? You look exhausted, we wouldn’t want to tire you out completely on your first time out of bed for a week.”

Shinya nodded gratefully and smiled back, leaning into the alpha a little without thinking. He nodded goodbye to the others and let Toshiya help him up and support him on the way back to his room. Once there, he almost melted into the bed and closed his eyes, welcoming the softness and silence of the room. As if he understood, Toshiya didn’t say anything. Shinya felt the alpha rearrange him on the bed so that he could pull the blankets up over him. What came next was such a complete surprise that he froze in shock. Gentle fingers stroked his hair back behind his ear, and then lips were pressed onto his forehead in a quick kiss, before the alpha leaned back up and silently left the room, closing the door carefully behind him.

What just happened? Shinya’s thoughts created a whirlwind that he could not control, and he fought to get a hold of himself. Did he enjoy what just happened? Was he scared by it? Should he do something about it? And if so, what? He spent a good half hour thinking it over, without his confused mind reaching any conclusions. The exhaustion finally caught up with him, and cut his musings short by sending him into a deep sleep.

. . . . .

Toshiya didn’t make another move for a week, visiting him just as he had before, but without any touches or kisses that were more than friendly. Shinya was allowed out of bed more, and he soon felt stronger than he had in a long while. He was shown around the island, and got to help with some easy and light tasks. After two and a half weeks on the island, he was starting to feel more at home and safe. Toshiya was still his security, but he also walked around on his own a little. The others had gotten used to his silence, and spoke to him a little but mainly let him be.

He had all his meals in the big hall with the others now. Who sat at what table seemed to change every night, sometimes he alphas and omegas seemed to separate naturally and sit at different tables, sometimes the mated couples grouped together, and sometimes everyone mixed freely. It had confused Shinya at first, but once he grasped the dynamics of the group, it made him relax and worry less about doing the wrong thing or sitting down somewhere he wasn’t allowed.

Usually, he sat with Toshiya anyway. Subaru had kept his promise to keep visiting, and he sometimes sniggered a little at their connection. “Toshiya’s so into you it’s crazy. It so cute how he follows you around like a puppy! I’m so glad you two are dating, or his heart would be broken,” he blurted out one night to Shinya’s surprise. Dating? Was he and Toshiya dating? He really hadn’t thought about it that way, he just felt safe around the alpha and was grateful that he had taken the omega under his wings here (not to mention that little detail about saving his life). Subaru laughed at his expression, but apparently didn’t realize the reason for it as he said “What, didn’t think anyone would notice? You two are attached to the hip, for god’s sake!” Shinya blushed deep red but didn’t do anything to deny it. He was too confused himself about what was happening, and he just let the omega think what he wanted. After this, he kept a closer eye on Toshiya and his reactions though, and noticed that the alpha was extremely attentive. Also, any time Shinya looked up unexpectedly, Toshiya’s eyes were on him. Shinya wasn’t quite sure how to feel about it.

Chapter Text

About three weeks into his stay on the island, he was having dinner with Toshiya, Subaru, Yo-Ka, Kei, Natsu, Die and Tatsurou. They were all chatting while Shinya remained content to listen, as usual. Suddenly Subaru, in his usual blunt manner, turned to his new friend.

“So, have you decided where to stay yet? Do you like your room or do you want to change it? We still have two more rooms available upstairs.”

Shinya looked up, startled by the question. He hadn’t been asked to stay since he first came here, not really, and his eyes darted uncertainly to Toshiya before he shook his head just a little. He suddenly got nervous. What if they wouldn’t let him stay, if they thought he was too weird? What if they told him to go back out there?

“Hey Baru, take it easy on the poor guy,” Die teased. “He hasn’t even decided if he wants to stay yet.” Toshiya shuffled a little, looking rather embarrassed.

Subaru frowned at that. “What, don’t tell me you haven’t even asked him yet?” he exclaimed, glaring at Toshiya. “That’s just rude, Toshiya!”

Shinya shook his head, eager to show that no, it wasn’t rude at all. Toshiya had been nothing but good to him. But the alpha grabbed his hand, and looked deeply sorry as he mumbled “I’m sorry. I Just didn’t want to rush you or make you feel like you were being forced to choose. But I’d… we’d really love it if you wanted to stay here with us.” Toshiya’s eyes were hesitant, and he looked very nervous as he looked Shinya in the eyes. Shinya swallowed deeply, extremely aware of his hand currently lodged in the alpha’s firm grip.

“So, what do you say? You’ll stay, right?” Subaru’s voice brought him back to reality, and he turned his head to see everyone at the table looking at him, waiting for his answer. He was shivering when he finally nodded slowly, receiving a happy smile from everyone and a big hug from Toshiya.

“Great! We’ll go see if you want to choose another room or keep this one after dinner, what do you say?” Toshiya beamed at him, and the omega felt his cheeks turn red as he nodded again, embarrassed by everyone’s attention on him.

Tatsurou smiled at him from across the table. “I’m glad you’re staying after all the work I’ve done to get you on your feet,” he teased. Shinya blushed, but the alpha just laughed and waved it off. “No, but seriously, since you’re staying it’s my obligation as a nurse to ask you if you feel comfortable leaving any meds you might still have with me? I’ll keep them safe and make sure you get what you need. Is that ok?”

Shinya nodded, of course he wanted to give something back for all the help and kindness he’d received here. He actually had quite a pharmacy with him thanks to everything he had found in the military bunker. He hadn’t used that much, only some painkillers, bandages and of course the suppressants when needed, but he still had lots left. At the thought of the bunker, Satochi’s face suddenly appeared in his mind, and he swallowed hard and pushed it away, his eyes firmly squeezed shut.

“Hey, are you ok?” Toshiya’s hand on his shoulder made him glance up at the alpha’s worried face. He smiled faintly and bowed a little to excuse himself and then left the table, hurrying back to his room. He closed the door behind him and leaned against it, a sob forcing it’s way out. He had thought Satochi would be out of his mind by now, but he slowly started to realize he hadn’t actually processed what happened, he had just shut himself off and kept it from his mind. And now it was creeping back in, and he didn’t know how to handle it. It’s not like he could talk about it with anyone here. They had all had reasonably happy lives here from the beginning, and even those who had come by later seemed happy and ready to move on. He wasn’t sure he was.

And then there was Toshiya… Sweet, kind Toshiya, who seemed to like him so much. And Shinya liked him back, he really did. The alpha made him feel things again that he hadn’t in a long time, but at the same time, he had a hard time letting himself go and give in to his emotions. What if Satochi was still out there somewhere? What if the alpha would come back to him? And if he did, would it even feel the same after all this time? All sense said that his alpha, his first love, was gone from this world. Shinya, even with all his insecurities, didn’t believe Satochi would have left him if something hadn’t happened to him. Sometimes he wished they had mated before Satochi left, so he would know where the alpha was and if he was still alive. And he couldn’t count the times he had wished he had gone with him, that he hadn’t been so afraid to go out there that he had let his lover go alone.

What was done was done, and he couldn’t change any of it. But for the first time in ages he cared enough about his future to want to start to deal with the emotions and sorrows of his past. He knew things had happened to him when he was out there, things he couldn’t quite remember, apart from the stink of an alpha and a horrible pain between his legs. Memories started to resurface now and then, and he fought against them, but realized he had to accept and move on instead of trying to fight them off. He just didn’t know how.

A knock on his door made him jump, and he heard Toshiya’s voice outside.

“Shinya? Are you ok? Did we upset you?”

Shinya felt the tears running down his face. He didn’t want the alpha to see him like this, and so he just waited until he heard steps leaving the door. He hated himself for being so rude to Toshiya, but he couldn’t bear anyone close to him right now. On weak legs, he hobbled to his bed and sank deep into the pillows before he started crying his bleeding heart out.

. . . . .

When he woke the next morning, he was still in his clothes from the day before and lay curled up on top of the bed. His eyes hurt a little from crying, and his whole body felt stiff and uncomfortable. It took a second to realize that a knock on the door was the reason he woke up, and then he heard Toshiya’s voice.

“Shinya? I’ve brought you breakfast. Can I come in?”

As Shinya struggled to sit up, he heard the alpha shuffle a little outside the door. And then, low enough that Shinya could hardly hear him, Toshiya mumbled.

“I’m really sorry if I made you feel unwelcome by not asking you to stay sooner. Please forgive me.”

Shinya looked at the door in shock. The alpha thought this was his fault? When he heard the breakfast tray being settled on the floor outside the door, he quickly got off the bed and opened the door just as Toshiya turned away. He desperately flung his hand out and grabbed the alpha’s arm to stop him from leaving. When he turned back, Shinya felt his heart beating hard in his chest at the sadness and worry he saw in those beautiful dark eyes. He shook his head violently, but Toshiya just looked uncertainly at him, unable to understand what he was trying to say. He omega struggled to get the words out, his voice coarse and low as he whispered “Not you.”

Toshiya stared at the exasperated omega for a second, before he caught himself and reached out, gently rubbing Shinya’s shoulder in comfort. “Not me? What do you mean?”

Shinya was almost in tears again, how was he going to get out of this?

“It’s not what you said.” He fought with the words. “I’m sorry, I was rude. Don’t make me leave. Please?” He gazed up at the alpha through his hair, tears of desperation threatening to overflow.

Toshiya looked stunned, but brought the trembling omega into his arms. “Oh Shinya, of course I won’t make you leave. Why would you think that? I want you to stay, I really do. I’m sorry if I made you think I didn’t.”

Shinya shook his head at that but let himself be embraced and leaned his head on the alpha’s chest, feeling the warmth of those arms around him and the steady thump of Toshiya’s heart beneath his ear. He sniffled a little as the tears began to fall again, unbidden. Toshiya just held him for a moment, before he took a step back and guided the omega into his room, bringing his breakfast tray with him and setting it down on the bed next to Shinya. He sat down on the bed next to the omega, who was trying to be as small and invisible as possible as he looked down at the hands in his lap.

“What’s wrong, sweetheart? Was it Tatsurou asking for the meds? It’s ok if you keep them with you if it makes you feel safer.”

Shinya just shook his head and continued looking down into his lap. How was he going to explain this? Toshiya was looking more confused and worried by the minute.

“Is it anything I’ve done then?

“No.” It was barely audible, but Toshiya sighed a little in relief, before he reached out and took the omega’s hand in his. He just sat there for a while, caressing Shinya’s hand with his thumb while he waited to see if the omega would say something else. Finally, eyes full of sadness met his. “It’s… memories. I was reminded of someone.”

Toshiya squeezed the hand in his and then let go so that he could put his arm around his shoulders instead. Shinya let himself be guided towards the alpha, and sighed deeply as he let his head lean on a muscular shoulder.

“Someone important to you?” Toshiya asked quietly, stroking the omega’s hair with his free hand. Shinya nodded quietly, hiding his face in the alpha’s shoulder.

“What happened?” The question was asked softly, and he felt Toshiya tightening his grip a little as he placed a kiss on the omega’s forehead. He struggled for a while to answer, but eventually settled for the short and straight to the point version.

“He left and didn’t come back. Long ago.”

Toshiya sighed and held him close as Shinya felt his body trembling a little, the memory of how Satochi’s arms felt around him being mixed in with the feeling of Toshiya’s. He felt too confused and carefully pulled himself back, looking apologetically at the alpha to make sure he realized it wasn’t his fault. Toshiya let go of him with a final squeeze of his hand, and smiled softly in understanding. He nodded towards the food on the tray.

“Go on, eat your breakfast, and then we can take a tour to look at the rooms and go outside for a bit. It’s a beautiful day, spring is finally here, you can smell it in the air.”

Shinya smiled, grateful that Toshiya let it go for now, and turned to the tray. The breakfast was soon gone. He washed up a little while Toshiya waited outside the door for him to get ready. At the last second, he turned back and started digging through his backpack. He gathered all his medicine and then finally added the heat suppressants. He always kept them in his jacket, not daring to leave them in a bag that could be lost. He still had plenty of the pills, and he was a little nervous at handing them over, but he trusted Tatsurou to give him his dose when he needed them. He stuffed it all into his woolen hat and used it as a bag. Then finally, he opened his door and stepped out.

Toshiya stood waiting for him, his back leaning towards the opposite wall. His face lit up as he saw the omega. And there it was again, that little twinge in Shinya’s chest that confused him whenever he was around the alpha. But when Toshiya reached out and offered his arm to the omega, he couldn’t help smile a little at the gesture and grabbing it.

“So, rooms first?” Toshiya said.

“Tatsurou,” Shinya said, indicating to his makeshift hat bag.

“Are you sure? You can wait a little if…” Toshiya started, but Shinya ignored him and started walking. The alpha chuckled a little and let himself be led to the nurse’s room. Tatsurou was there, talking to Kei who looked a little nervous. The nurse was just taking out a bottle, carefully shaking out a few pills in the omega’s hand. Small blue pills. Shinya shared a look with Kei in understanding. He also couldn’t help but notice that the bottle was mostly empty, and that Tatsurou was looking a little concerned. He looked up when the pair entered the room, and the two alphas exchanged a look that spoke more than a thousand words.

“Supply trip?” Toshiya asked quietly, without expecting an answer, and Tatsurou just shrugged in response, patting Kei’s shoulder reassuringly. The omega looked worried and also a little guilty at taking the pills, the mood in the room a little tense. If Shinya had needed a reason to hand over the pills, he had one now. He opened the hat bag and stuck his hand down, rummaging around until he found the bottle of heat suppressants. He took it out and handed it wordlessly to Tatsurou. The nurse looked a little surprised and slowly accepted the bottle, turning it to read the label. His eyes widened when he realized he was looking at a big pack bottle of heat suppressants. He opened the lid and let out a surprised sound as he looked into it, seeing it was almost full. Kei leaned over and peered into the bottle as well, and gasped at the sight. Before Shinya knew what had happened, the omega had pounced him, hugging him tightly. He slowly raised his arms to hug back, and was rewarded with another tight squeeze before Kei let go of him.

“You’re a life saver!” Kei exclaimed happily, and bounded out of the room with light steps, clutching his pills in his hand. Shinya smiled at his back, happy to have made the omega feel better, and when he turned back he saw the two alphas smiling widely at him as well.

“This is amazing, Shinya. Thank you,” Tatsurou said earnestly, and Shinya blushed again. Toshiya beamed at him and leaned down to kiss his cheek quickly in thanks. Quickly, so that they would stop looking at him, Shinya shoved his hat toward the nurse, who took it questioningly.

“Wow, you mean you have even more meds? Are you sure about this?”

Shinya nodded, and watched as the medicine and supplies was poured out onto a small table. Tatsurou gasped a little and Toshiya let out a low whistle as they took in the sight. The nurse turned the bottles and boxes, reading labels, his smile growing wider by the second. He turned to Shinya, an incredulous look on his face.

“I don’t know what to say, this is so incredibly generous of you. It will be used wisely, I swear. I know of those who really need some of this stuff right away. You’ve made a huge difference for us today,” he said, and Shinya smiled happily in reply. It felt good to have done something for the people here after everything they’d already given him. He felt more like he had earned his place here now, and that felt amazing. Toshiya hugged him again, and Shinya giggled as the alpha lifted him up and started spinning him around in some version of a happy dance. When they left the nurse to look at the rooms, it felt natural to grab Toshiya’s hand.

Chapter Text

Toshiya had been right. Spring was definitely here. As they strolled through the village hand in hand, a breeze caressed his face and brought with it the smells of the world waking up. The alpha pointed out the sights, showing him where they would work the fields later and showing him the cottages. He pointed to the one closest to the big house.

“That one’s mine. I used to share with Die, but now he and Subaru have found each other they’re sharing a cottage of their own. That new one down there, see it?” Shinya nodded, looking around at everything and trying to memorize who lived where. Toshiya showed him where they had built some new cottages, three still empty and waiting for people to move in when needed. Outside one of the newer cottages, a grumpy looking alpha stood, trying to untangle some kind of net for fishing. When the two passed, he looked up and grunted a small greeting, his eyes lingering a little on the omega. Shinya felt something stir within him as he met the alpha’s eyes. He knew those eyes. But from where? He couldn’t place the face at all, but it left him feeling uncomfortable and he pulled at Toshiya’s arm, wanting to go back to the house. The alpha complied, but frowned quizzically at him as they strolled back.

“What’s the matter? Do you know Reita from before?”

Shinya shook his head slowly, hesitant. He didn’t, did he? But there was something about him, and it didn’t make him feel good. He turned to Toshiya, mumbling quietly.

“When did he come here?”

“Reita? Hmm, a week or so before you did I think. He’s our newest member before you. Why?”

Shinya shrugged, he didn’t know how to explain this feeling of unease so he let it be. Toshiya watched the omega from the corner of his eye, but let it go.

“I’m not sure about him,” he confessed. “Yukke and Aoi brought him here, they met him out there and brought him back. And I love those guys, I really do, but they’re not the best judges of character either of them. It’s not like he’s done anything wrong, and he always follows the rules and works with what he’s supposed to. But there’s something about him I just don’t trust. I can’t throw him out just like that when he knows all about us, but I don’t like this feeling of uncertainty.”

Shinya looked up at him, surprised, but he nodded at the alpha’s words. He was glad Toshiya felt he could confess his thoughts to him, and he felt relieved that he felt the same way about Reita that Shinya did. If he could only figure out why he felt familiar?

. . . . .

“Subaru thinks we’re dating,” Shinya said later that day, when he and Toshiya sat on the porch of the big house, relaxing. It was Sunday, and everyone was allowed to do what they wanted, the only work done was what was needed for food and warmth. The omega still hadn’t really gotten used to people talking about weekdays and time just yet, and he was surprised they had managed to keep check on time since Before. But he supposed that was possible when you didn’t wander around the country looking for food and shelter day in and day out for a few years.

The alpha turned to him, caught off guard, and eyed him curiously. “That sounds like Subaru. He’s a born matchmaker if I’ve ever known one. Does it bother you? Should I tell him to stop?” he asked, a hint of regret in his voice. Shinya smiled, before he shook his head.

“It’s ok. Let him.”

The alpha let out a breath, and reached over slowly and let his fingers tangle lightly with Shinya’s.

“So,” he started, his voice soft, “does that mean we are? Dating, I mean?”

Shinya swallowed deeply, a sudden feeling of guilt sweeping over him before he could push it down. Satochi. He jumped as he felt Toshiya squeeze his hand a little.

“It’s ok. No rush. Take your time, and if and when you want to, I’ll be here waiting.” The alpha got up from his seat and leaned down to kiss the omega gently on his forehead before he released his hand and walked into the house. He left a stunned Shinya sitting on the porch, deep in thought, until it was time for dinner.

. . . . .

A few weeks later, Shinya had settled into his new life quite comfortably. Tatsurou had embarrassed him greatly at dinner by proposing a toast in his honor, as a thank you for all the medicine. His ears and cheeks were burning as everyone cheered and toasted, and he leaned into Toshiya’s safe chest to hide his face from view. The alpha laughed and put his arms around him, and Shinya melted into his chest, feeling a sense of calm wash over him.

After that day, things had slowly evolved with Toshiya. He even went as far as telling the alpha that he thought that maybe, perhaps, if Toshiya still wanted to, then maybe, maybe they could say they were dating for real? The kiss that had followed had taken his breath away, and he breathed heavily as their lips parted, blinking at Toshiya’s ecstatic face. They took it slow, and the alpha never pushed him, but rather let him take the initiative when he felt ready to touch or be touched. They made out a few times, but never went further. Shinya was scared to go all the way, the good memories of Satochi as well as the hazy bad memories of alphas after that all made him flinch if Toshiya came too close to touching him that way. And the alpha listened and took note of his reactions, never going further than Shinya was comfortable with.

Subaru of course had a field day with their budding relationship, and soon he had excitedly told everyone on the island. Neither of them minded, but that didn’t stop Shinya from blushing every time someone brought Toshiya up in a sentence using the words “your boyfriend”. He felt more and more comfortable around the alpha, and they spent their evenings together, talking or just sitting in comfortable silence. Shinya still didn’t really talk to anyone else, though his voice was improving from his chats with Toshiya. He had gone as far as to use the words “yes” and “no” in conversation with others sometimes, when they were absolutely needed, and the first few times he startled the people he talked to badly. Yo-Ka later confessed, head hanging in embarrassment, that he had thought Shinya was mute.

Today, though, Toshiya was off the island and Shinya did his chores, waiting for the alpha’s return when Subaru bounded into the kitchen, Die following him with a few rabbits in his hand.

“… and if you think I’m gonna skin those you’re crazy. They’re too cute, I can’t cut into them! Besides, skinning animals is yucky. You will have to do it.” Subaru babbled, Die listening patiently to his boyfriend with a small grin on his lips.

“Shinya! Have you heard? Two new people have arrived!” Subaru said excitedly. (Shinya sometimes wondered if Subaru had any other mood than exited, but so far he hadn’t seen it.) He smiled and turned to them so that the couple could tell him all about Die’s old friend Hazuki and his cute new boyfriend Koichi, who Toshiya was showing to their new cabin as they spoke. And would you believe it, Koichi had pink hair?! Subaru was in awe, and Shinya had to laugh at his friend who was almost jumping on the spot as he gave the news.

That evening, all omegas circled the newcomer, eager to feel him out and know more about the world outside. They had long ago stopped trying to get anything out of Shinya, and now they saw their chance. Shinya watched as Koichi tried to be friendly and answer their questions, while he was dying to run away and hide from all the people. Shinya recognized the look in the boy’s eyes from his own when he first arrived. Overwhelmed by all the people, shocked by the food and anxious to please so he wouldn’t be forced to leave.

He noticed how Koichi skillfully avoided answering some questions about what it was like out there, how he focused on other things – the lack of food, empty towns, lots and lots of walking… Not a word about fighting, fear, death, even though it was clear to Shinya that the omega’s broken arm and the scars on his face weren’t from “an unlucky fall”.

He watched as Koichi nervously searched for Hazuki with his eyes every now and then, to make sure his boyfriend was still there, and he saw Hazuki’s reassuring smiles back at his lover. That could have been me if I had come with Satochi instead of alone. The thought made him look down and shut his eyes for a second, taking a deep breath before he looked back up. He had Toshiya now, and he liked him. Liked him a lot, actually. But the memories were hard to push away, and he felt the guilt again – not only toward Satochi anymore, but toward Toshiya for not committing fully to him. He sighed inwardly. Toshiya deserved better than him, deserved better than his hesitation and fears.

As he looked back up, he caught the long look between Koichi and Reita, and the omega’s small shiver as he tore his eyes away and turned back to Hiyuu who asked him something. Did the omega know Reita from somewhere? Or did he just feel that strange vibe off of the alpha? Shinya tilted his head, keeping his eyes fixed at Reita as the alpha got off his seat and left the room, that disdainful look seemingly etched into his face. As the alpha left, he looked back at a stuttering Koichi who was starting to look exhausted, trying to answer two questions at once. Subaru was asking him a new question almost before he had answered the first one, and Shinya took pity on the pink-haired omega. Just as Subaru opened his mouth to ask another question, Shinya took a big chunk of meat and shoved it into his friend’s mouth so that he had to stop and chew. Everyone laughed, and Subaru playfully punched Shinya’s arm as he fought to swallow the meat. Once he was done, he laughed as well and threw his hands up.

“Ok, ok, I get the hint. I’m sorry Koichi, I talk too much, everyone knows that. Though some of us are a bit more subtle with the scolding,” he laughed. “I’ll be quiet now and let you eat!”

Shinya smiled at Subaru before he turned to the new omega and got a small but very grateful smile in return. There was a definite connection there, and Shinya felt like there might just finally be someone here who understood him.

Shinya took it upon himself to stick around if Koichi needed him, and the two got along fine without saying a word to each other. It was like they knew instinctively that they had the same experiences behind them, and that they were different from the rest because of them. As the weeks unfurled, Koichi seemed to relax and settle down. He was still a little nervous and jumpy, but Hazuki was there for him and Shinya saw right away that the bond between the two was strong and loving. That made him feel better as well, and he stopped being quite as vigilant about watching over the omega, trusting that he’d be ok.

. . . . .

Meanwhile, his and Toshiya’s relationship kept going as it had before. They saw each other all the time, making out now and then, but mainly talking. Granted, Toshiya did most of the actual talking, but Shinya chipped in now and then, and he had started to feel very comfortable around the alpha. He even visited Toshiya in his cabin some evenings, and though he knew Subaru thought differently, Toshiya kept his promise to wait and let Shinya take the initiative.

Tonight, they were discussing plans for the summer repares of the house and the possibilities of building another shed for storing the crops they were hoping for. They had become pretty skilled in building houses after all the cottages they had made, and though they were rough and not the prettiest houses in the world, they were functional and kept the warmth in and the cold out.

Toshiya was stretched out on his back on the bed as he spoke, gesturing with his hands as he tried to describe how to build a sturdy roof. Shinya sat in one of the chairs, watching him with a tender look on his face. The alpha was very good looking, and when he got into something like this, he could be very intense and passionate. Shinya felt his heart pound harder in his chest and almost as if someone else was guiding his movements, he found himself rising from the chair and moving over to the bed, crawling over to Toshiya. The alpha stopped in the middle of a word, surprise flitting across his face for a second before he grinned and pulled the omega into a hot kiss.

Shinya felt his body react as the alpha’s hands started roaming over his body, one hand caressing his back and the other burying itself in his hair, holding the omega’s head in a firm grasp as their tongues danced together. His breathing started to become heavier, and when Toshiya’s hand experimentally gripped his ass he couldn’t help the small moan that left his lips. Encouraged, the alpha kept caressing him, eventually letting his fingers find their way to Shinya’s crotch, rubbing lightly at the bulge he found there. Shinya groaned and buried his face in the alpha’s neck, as Toshiya rolled them around so that he was suddenly on top.

“God, Shinya, you’re so beautiful…” Toshiya’s voice in his ear made him gasp and arch up at the alpha, and when he felt fingers slipping in under his shirt at the same time as a hot tongue licked his neck, he almost lost it. God, he hadn’t been so horny since last time he was about to go into heat. Something clicked in his mind at the thought. Oh shit. His heat was coming. Never again. The words bounced around in his head as he remembered the promise he had given himself when he left the bunker. He would never go into heat again. Satochi. Oh god.

Suddenly feeling sick, he tried to push Toshiya off of him, and in the two or three seconds it took the alpha to realize that his boyfriend had changed his mind, Shinya almost panicked. As the alpha finally rolled off of him, confusion in his eyes, the omega scrambled out of bed, almost hyperventilating as he gripped the chair with whitening knuckles.

“Shinya, sweetheart? What’s wrong? What did I do?” Toshiya’s deep voice was full of worry and regret, and it made Shinya’s heart ache. He tried to speak, but his voice had choked up, and all he could do was shake his head. He felt a tear roll down his cheek before he could stop it, and the alpha almost freaked out as he saw his boyfriend crying.

“God, baby, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you or scare you. Please forgive me, I didn’t mean to, I thought you wanted it as well. Oh god I’m so sorry,” he rambled as he reached out to touch the omega and then hesitated, scared that he would make it worse. Shinya looked up at his boyfriend’s face, and the guilt he saw in those beautiful eyes felt like a stab in the heart. Shit, he had hurt the only one he really cared about anymore. He reached out his hand and grabbed Toshiya’s, trying to convey that it wasn’t his fault with his hands when his throat refused to work. The alpha seemed to calm down just a tad at that, but he was still upset, tears running down his cheeks as he gently caressed the omega’s hand.

“Will you forgive me?” Toshiya whispered, those dark eyes full of fear.

Shinya sniffled and stepped up to the alpha, leaning into him and throwing his arms around his waist. After the slightest hesitation, he felt Toshiya’s arms snake around him, holding him tight. Tears wet his hair, as the alpha couldn’t seem to stop crying. Shinya tried again, willing his voice to work.

“I’m sorry, it’s my fault. I just panicked, it’s not your fault,” he whispered into Toshiya’s chest. The felt the alpha shake his head before he spoke.

“No sweetie, it’s mine. I should have known you weren’t ready. I’m so sorry.”

Frustrated, Shinya pulled back and glared at the alpha. Why couldn’t his boyfriend just let him take the blame for once?

“It’s. Not. You,” he articulated slowly as if he thought Toshiya was deaf. “It’s all my fault. Stop being so kind all the time.”

Toshiya looked at him for a second, confused, before he suddenly let out a chuckle that made Shinya frown. Now what? Toshiya shook his head in disbelief.

“Do you realize we’re fighting over who gets to take the blame for being the worst?”

Oh. Right. Shinya couldn’t help a chuckle as the absurdity of the situation hit him. He leaned back into the alpha, his body suddenly shaking with laughter. Toshiya embraced him and laughed with him. When it finally subsided, Shinya felt lighter than he had in a long time. He hadn’t laughed in such a long time, not really full-out laughed, and it felt really good. The panic and sadness was blown away, and when he turned his head up at his boyfriend, soft and warm lips met his. Things were as they should be again.

. . . . .

They talked it out, and even if Shinya kept some details to himself he told most of the story. He told Toshiya how his last heat had been just before his former lover had left, never to come back. He told him of the promise to himself to never have another heat again. And he told him how he was scared to let go and let himself fall completely in love, because somewhere deep down he was terrified Toshiya would leave him and not come back.

Toshiya cried again, hearing Shinya finally tell him how he felt and why, and he held the omega in his arms for a long time after he had fallen silent.

“I would never leave you, you know that right?” he asked softly, stroking Shinya’s hair.

“That’s what he said,” Shinya said, his throat constricting at the words.

“I know, sweetie, and I’m so sorry. I’m sure he tried to keep his promise to you, but he couldn’t because of something we will never know what it was. But I will keep my promise. We’re here, together, safe, and I won’t let anyone get to us.”

Shinya didn’t answer, and for a long time, they just sat there, holding each other. It was long after dark when Toshiya stood in the doorway, watching Shinya cross the lawn and take the short walk to the big house. The omega turned in the doorway, waving at him, and it wasn’t until the door was firmly shut behind his small frame that Toshiya went inside and closed the door behind him.

The day after, Shinya made his first trip to Tatsurou, blushing as he asked for some of those small blue pills.

Chapter Text

The weather had been rough since midday, and Shinya frowned at the clouds through the kitchen window. Toshiya was out hunting with Kai, Yukke and Hazuki, and Shinya felt a knot in his stomach as he tried to ignore the worry. Toshiya would be safe even if the winds got even worse. The alpha wouldn’t leave him. He couldn’t. He had promised.

He wasn’t the only omega to fret – Uruha made his kids crazy by fussing over them more than usual to cover up his nerves, and Natsu kept looking out the window down towards the shore. His not-so-secret crush on Yukke was usually a source of amusement to the others, but today Natsu found himself reassuringly patted on the back by omegas passing him by, a gentle hug from Daichi making him blink and look away quickly. Koichi had excused himself a while back, waiting for Hazuki in their cabin. Shinya had given him a quick hug before he left, and their eyes met, expressing all they needed to say.

The winds got worse before they got better, and the rain started pouring down. Everyone had gathered in the big house, and as the evening progressed Shinya felt that knot in his stomach coil tighter and tighter.

He was in the kitchen with Kei and Hiyuu, helping prepare the food, when he heard footsteps. He looked up at the door and saw Reita come in, looking around for something warm to drink. He was soaked, probably from working to secure everything outdoors so the strong winds wouldn’t blow things to pieces. He was wearing a scarf around his face to protect himself from the rain, and as the alpha turned and looked at him, Shinya suddenly felt his breath hitch. He took a step back as Reita watched him, his intense eyes boring holes in the omega.

Suddenly it all clicked into place. He hadn’t recognized the face, because he hadn’t seen it properly. He had only seen the eyes, as the alpha kept watch in the morning cold of winter, with a hat tugged down and a scarf wrapped around his head. He had hardly glimpsed the face as the scarf was pulled down so that the alpha could kiss him, hard on the mouth, enough for his lip to split. He could almost feel the hand groping at his crotch, hurting him. Oh god. His eyes widened at the realization, and he saw in his eyes that Reita knew he had been recognized. The alpha took a step forward, but at that very second Aoi entered the kitchen with Asanao and Kaoru in tow, and Shinya let out a sigh of relief as the alpha quickly retreated and left the kitchen without another word.

His breath was unsteady, and he felt his hands shaking. He suddenly couldn’t get his muscles to obey him, and he felt his legs give way as he sank down on the floor. It was if that other world had suddenly come back and hit him in the head, and all of a sudden every emotion he had pushed away and hid behind lock and key came crawling back. He was hyperventilating again, and he hardly noticed Hiyuu’s worried voice, asking him if he was ok. He faintly heard some commotion, and then Tatsurou was there, pulling the omega up into his arms and carrying him off to his sickroom.

It wasn’t until a while after Tatsurou had given him some water and a white pill to swallow hat he started to feel more like himself again, his thoughts no longer one big swirl. He had a blanket wrapped around him to keep him warm, and as he lifted his head he noticed that Die and Kaoru stood by the door, watching him with a worried frown. Tatsurou crouched down in front of the bed and looked him over, instructing him to follow his finger as he moved it in front of his eyes, and when Shinya apparently passed the test he rose and nodded at Die who came over and took his place.

“Hey,” he said softly. “Are you ok? Will you tell me what happened?”

Shinya looked at him, a lump in his throat, and he couldn’t stop the tears from running down his face.

“It’s ok, in your own time.” The alpha hesitated. “Would you rather I fetched someone else you could talk to? One of your omega friends?”

Shinya shook his head and pulled himself together as best he could, before he hesitantly opened his mouth to speak.

“Reita,” he whispered. Die frowned a little and cocked his head.

“Yeah? What about him?”

“He’s… he’s not nice. I met him before… before I got here. I just recognized him, because of the scarf. He had it on when he…” Shinya tried to keep talking, but he couldn’t get another word out. He remembered the harsh kisses, the taste of blood in his mouth and the pain in his crotch when the alpha had gripped him hard, and how the other alphas had said he had gotten to Hikaru once. Oh god, sweet little Hikaru. How had he felt when Reita seized the opportunity? And with the memories of Reita, repressed memories of all the others came tumbling in, the ones that hadn’t been forced to stop at kissing and grabbing. Shinya suddenly felt sick and desperately looked around for a bucket. Tatsurou quickly handed him one and he threw up, shaking violently.

Die’s usually friendly face was contorted in anger now, and he rose, turning to Kaoru. The other alpha looked just as angry, and he was just about to say something when they heard shouting from the front door, Tatsurou’s name being shouted loudly. The nurse looked at Shinya quickly, but Kaoru waved him off and came over to the omega.

“I’ll watch over him, just go,” he said, and Die and Tatsurou left the room hastily. The shouting continued and got even worse as whoever it was moved into the dining room. A loud crash followed by a scream made Shinya jump and Kaoru turn to the door, a worried frown on his face. God. What if it’s Toshiya? Shinya hastily set the bucket down and gathered the blanket around him, rising on wobbly legs. Kaoru reached out a hand to steady him, about to tell him to sit down again, as Shinya looked up at him with pleading eyes.

“Toshiya,” he whispered. “I need to know.”

A second’s hesitation, and then a nod. Kaoru held his arm and steadied him as they made their way to the dining room. The sight that met them was horrifying. A chair was tipped over by the closest table, apparently what had made the large crash. And as for the scream… Koichi was lying on the table, barely conscious and with blood all over his face. He was babbling incoherently as Tatsurou and Yukihiro tried to get his wet clothes off of him so that the nurse could assess his wounds and so he wouldn’t catch pneumonia from the cold. The omega made sounds that sounded more like they would come from a wounded animal as he tried to sit up and fight the alphas off. Tatsurou pushed him back down gently, and Koichi made a noise as if he was choking. It tore at Shinya’s soul. The nurse quickly reached for a bowl that Kei handed him, and held the wounded omega over the side of the table as he threw up into the bowl.

Koichi seemed to pass out again after that, and Tatsurou ordered for the bowl to be taken away and one with hot clean water to be brought in, together with a towel. The nurse worked quickly and calmly, but his jaws were clenched and he radiated anger in a way Shinya had never seen him do before.

He looked around the room. Everyone was in different stages of shock, he realized, and he felt weak. Kaoru helped him over to a chair to sit, and fetched him a glass of water before he got into the argument that slowly had started in the middle of the room. From the conversation, Shinya could piece together enough to understand that Asanao had found Reita trying to rape Koichi, and that the alpha had got away. The fight now was about whether they should go out to find him now or not, but Shinya stopped listening as one sentence repeated itself in his brain.

Reita did this.

He felt the guilt wash over him again. If he had recognized the alpha sooner, he could have stopped this. If he hadn’t recognized him now, the alpha would probably not have run out to end up hurting Koichi. Either way, it was Shinya’s fault. He pulled the blanket closer around his shoulders and looked down onto his lap, feeling the tears running down his cheeks again.

The room fell dead quiet all of a sudden. Shinya lifted his head, and followed everyone’s eyes to Hazuki, standing in the doorway. A second later, the alpha was at his lover’s side, but Shinya didn’t look at them. He was watching Toshiya. His beautiful Toshiya, who had come back to him.

The alpha stared from one to the other as he took in what had happened, and then his eyes swirled around the room to find Shinya. A strange calm came over the omega as he watched Toshiya’s shoulders fall a little in relief as their eyes found each other’s. This was his alpha. He would keep him safe, and he would come back to him every time, just like he promised.

The fighting started up again, Hazuki angrily preparing to go after Reita, and the pair broke eye contact as Toshiya stepped in to try to calm them down and be the voice of reason.

“Guys, please. He could surprise us and attack in the darkness, or we could fall and break our necks because we can’t see where we’re going. We could even pass by him and not see him in this weather!” Toshiya pleaded. “Hazuki, I understand how you feel, believe me, I do but…”

“No you don’t,” Hazuki interrupted, furious. “You don’t understand shit. I promised him I would keep him safe from all the fucking rapist assholes out there. I promised he’d he safe here, that he’d never have to go through that shit again, and I… he…” The alpha lost his voice there, unable to go on, and he buried his face in his hands.

No one spoke, as they suddenly put two and two together. Shinya looked around the room, seeing shock on everyone’s faces, and when he looked back at Koichi, he knew without a doubt what the omega would want his lover to do. Still a little unsteady, he rose and let the blanket fall off his shoulder before he walked up to Hazuki slowly and grabbed his hands gently. The pain in the alpha’s eyes cut him, but he knew what Koichi would want, and he had to convince Hazuki. The alpha needed to stay by his side, he couldn’t leave him and risk not coming back. So he pulled gently at Hazuki’s hand, reaching down to lift Koichi’s small hand and put it in Hazuki’s, closing his hands around theirs for a second to make sure the alpha wouldn’t let go.

“He needs you now. He won’t forget what happened any faster if you kill Reita tonight. He will carry it with him, dream about it at night, see them…” His voice faltered for a second as a flurry of faces from his memories invaded his mind, and he fought them off before he continued. “He will see them do those things to his friends and feel them do it to himself at night for years to come. He doesn’t need someone to get revenge tonight. He needs someone to chase the dreams away when he wakes up screaming tomorrow.”

He heard people gasp behind him, but he didn’t care. He had to make Hazuki stay here, he just had to. If he left and got hurt, if he didn’t come back because of Reita, Shinya would never forgive himself. Hazuki looked him in the eyes as the words seemed to sink in, his shoulders dropping a little as the tension left them and he sighed deeply.

“So you too? I’m sorry,” he said softly, looking sad. “But you’re right. I will kill Reita for what he did, but not tonight. Thank you.” He squeezed the omega’s shoulder before he turned to his lover, pulling up a chair and sitting down, kissing the small hand softly.

Shinya watched them, relief coursing through him. At least Koichi would have his alpha with him tonight, and right now, that was all he could do. After a few moments, he turned around only to find Toshiya standing behind him. The alpha’s eyes were filled with tears, and Shinya swallowed as he looked up at his boyfriend. He had left, and come back, and Shinya never wanted to let him go again. He took a step forward and flung his arms around the alpha’s waist, burying his head in his chest as he let himself breath in that amazing scent, warm and safe. He felt Toshiya’s strong arms wrap around him and pull him close, his face buried in the omega’s hair.

They stayed like that for a long moment, even after Tatsurou and Die started shoving people out of the room with orders to stay at the big house and squeeze into the rooms the had, setting up guards. After a while, the nurse’s calm touch finally made them let go of each other enough to look up.

“You two can take the bed in the sickroom. I think you need some time together alone,” he said gently. Toshiya gave the alpha a quick hug before he tugged Shinya up into his arms and carried him back to the room. Without a word he took the used bucket outside and made sure his boyfriend had everything he needed before he crawled into the narrow bed with him. They snuggled up close together, Shinya’s head on Toshiya’s shoulder and the alpha’s arms holding him tight.

Before they fell asleep, Shinya told Toshiya his entire story, including the repressed memories from the hazy year, leaving nothing out from what he could remember. The alpha cried but didn’t say much, as he held the omega tighter and kissed his forehead. When all was told, Shinya glanced up, apprehension creeping in a little. But he needn’t have worried, Toshiya just gave him a soft kiss, and looked into his eyes, sad and loving at the same time.

“I’ll take care of you and protect you, I swear. And I’ll always be here, and I’ll never leave you. You have my word,” he whispered gently, letting his fingers pull back Shinya’s tousled hair so he could see the omega’s face properly. They fell asleep like that, in a close embrace, safe and warm in each other’s arms.

It didn’t even occur to Shinya until the next morning that it was the first time they had slept in the same bed.

Chapter Text

Reita was dead. The next day a search party found him drowned after trying to get off the island alone in a boat made for four. Shinya watched the corpse being carried up to the house, seeing the face of the man whose actions had scared him enough to pull him out of his daze, and for the very last time. He didn’t exactly know what to say or think, but then again, neither did anyone else.

A few days later, a collective uneasiness slowly dissipated from the islands inhabitants as they accepted that it was ok to be relieved the alpha was gone for good. As the weeks went by Koichi was starting to do better, and Shinya had finally faced his guilt and confessed to his friend that he should have recognized the alpha sooner, that it was his fault. Koichi told him that he was stupid and that if he saved his voice for saying such stupid things, he’d be better off not speaking at all. He gave Shinya a big hug and turned on his feet, going off to find Subaru who was calling for him from another room.

It was a relief to be forgiven (which in Shinya’s head, Koichi’s reaction had been meant as). He started working on accepting his memories as well, talking it over with Tatsurou since he didn’t want his boyfriend to have to bear all that pain. He hated seeing Toshiya cry because of him, and as he had discovered, his alpha was a rather emotional being. So he happily agreed when Tatsurou offered his ear, and after a while he started to feel a little better. The memories were a part of him, but he could finally look forward and not have that weight pulling him down.

As he and Toshiya sat talking on the bed in the alpha’s cabin one night, Shinya told him how he felt. That things were easier, that the past wasn’t such a burden anymore. The smile Toshiya gave him could have replaced the sun, and he found himself pulled into a tight hug. He hugged the alpha tightly back, and then, tentatively, he lifted his head so their lips could meet in a soft kiss.

Toshiya was slow and careful as he lay Shinya down on the bed, and the kiss soon deepened. Shinya felt the alpha’s tongue gently prod his lips, asking for a permission he eagerly granted, as he opened his mouth and let their tongues meet in a sweet dance. The alpha took things slow, making sure to keep an eye on his boyfriend’s reactions so the omega didn’t feel scared or pushed into anything. Although the care the alpha showed was sweet, Shinya soon found himself longing for more. He whined into Toshiya’s mouth as he pulled at the alpha’s t-shirt, trying to get more of that body he’d only seen glimpses of. He got a chuckle in response and then the alpha sat back, pulling his shirt over his head and revealing a chiseled torso that made Shinya’s mouth water.

Teasingly, the alpha opened the top button in his pants and stroked his own cock through the fabric as he eyed the omega stretched out on the bed beneath him. His actions brought a high pitched mewl from Shinya’s lips, and he reached out for the alpha, wanting his hands back on his body. Toshiya licked his lips before he slowly stretched out over the omega, letting his hands slide up his shirt and caressing the soft skin underneath. Shinya was panting by now, desperate for his boyfriend’s touch, and as his shirt was finally pulled off he arched up at the alpha and eagerly drew him down in a hot kiss.

The alpha’s touches had been careful up until now, but it soon became apparent that he had problems containing himself the more the omega squirmed and begged for him. His kisses were becoming harder and his grip firmer as he kissed his way down the omega’s chest, caressing his nipples and letting his fingers play around the edge of his boyfriend’s pants. He teasingly cupped Shinya’s crotch in his hand, rubbing it lightly as he let his tongue explore the omega’s pale belly. Finally, when Shinya was starting to go crazy from want, he unbuttoned the omega’s pants and pulled them off in a swift movement, leaving the pale body beneath him dressed in nothing but boxers.

Shinya gasped as his lover leaned down and mouthed his cock through the fabric. He reached out for the alpha’s pants and eagerly started tugging at the buttons, trying desperately to get them off of him. The alpha pushed him back down on the bed firmly and then stood up, yanking his pants and underwear off, revealing his excitement to his boyfriend. Shinya mewled at the alluring sight, the cock thick and veined, hard as a rock for him. A second later, the alpha had disposed of Shinya’s underwear as well, and he grinned as he eyed the omega’s hard cock.

“Is that because of me?” he mumbled into Shinya’s ear as he leaned down and let his tongue travel up the omega’s neck, at the same time lightly stroking his cock. The omega bucked his hips and whined at the teasing touches.

“Yes, yes, it’s all for you, just for you,” he panted as he felt a hand snake around his waist. Suddenly, he was yanked around, lying on top of the alpha, his heated skin rubbing up against his boyfriend’s body. He was pulled into another deep kiss, and he was breathless by the time Toshiya let him go and grabbed his ass, massaging it firmly while their groins rubbed together. Shinya let out an involuntary whimper of need and worked himself against the alpha’s hard cock, loving the feel of it against him, but needing more.

“Please,” he panted, “I want you in me.”

Toshiya let out a grunt and flipped the omega over again, spreading his legs and moving him so that he was lying on his back, the alpha positioned between his legs. They were both breathing heavily by now as Toshiya leaned over his lover, his weight on his elbows, head just an inch or two away from the omegas face. They stayed like that for a second, just looking into each other’s eyes, before Shinya lifted his chin, silently begging the alpha to kiss him. Toshiya gave in quickly and pushed his tongue firmly into his boyfriend’s mouth, taking charge of the hungry kiss.

A moment later, Shinya gasped into the alpha’s mouth as a hand slid between his legs and caressed him, fingers slipping into him. He didn’t have to wait long before the fingers were replaced by the hard, heated flesh of the alpha’s cock. He threw his arms around the alpha and bucked against him, wanting more, faster, harder. Toshiya complied and started a hard rhythm that made Shinya’s eyes lose their focus and loll back in his head, as he lost himself in the moment. It felt too good, it was too much, he wouldn’t be able to hold on for long like this.

The delicious drag of the alpha’s cock and the stretch of his growing knot was driving the omega crazy, and he finally lost it completely after an extra hard thrust. The white cum seemed to pump out of him forever before he was empty, and Toshiya watched him hungrily as he thrust a few more times and then joined the omega in orgasm.

They lay panting in a large heap for a long time, arms wrapped around each other. Shinya felt like he was floating on clouds, enjoying the stretch of the alpha’s knot still inside him. Toshiya had his face nuzzled in his boyfriend’s neck, and all of a sudden the omega felt something wet against his cheek. Startled, he turned his head to look at his lover.

“Toshiya? Are you crying?” he asked, suddenly nervous that the alpha hadn’t liked what they had done. “Did… Did I do something wrong?” he mumbled, voice trembling a little.

Toshiya lifted his head and smiled warmly at him, tears running down his cheeks. He cupped the omega’s face in his hands and kissed him softly before he answered.

“You did everything right, baby, I’m just so happy I finally get to be with you like this. I’m so glad you trust me enough, and I loved every second of it.” He kissed Shinya again, his lips conveying all of his emotions towards his lover, and Shinya melted into the kiss.

“I’m happy too,” he whispered, wide eyes looking into Toshiya’s. “And I’m sorry it took me so long, but I’m all yours from now on, as long as you want me to be.”

“So forever then?” Toshiya said, his lips twisting into a teasing smile, but they both knew that it wasn’t really a joke. Forever seemed pretty good to the both of them right now.

It had been 2 years, 4 months and 17 days. It had been long enough.