Pairings/Characters: Arthur/Eames, Yusuf, Mal
Word count: 7,019 (this part)
Warnings: heat, underage, knotting, mpreg, dub-con, violence, character death (non-canon characters)
Summary: Werewolf!AU. Arthur is sixteen and completely oblivious when he first goes into heat, only saved from it by charismatic senior and other fellow werewolf Eames... and that's not even the most complicated part.
Written for cherrybina's Kink Fest 2.0
Betaed by the lovely kansouame
For the next few days, Arthur went over to Eames's house to search for information on omegas, but there was too much ground to cover and not enough time. Eames insisted Arthur stay away when the rest of his pack was around, and while Arthur didn't understand why, he didn't question it. He trusted Eames's judgment.
Eames kept watch over him during school. Sometimes he'd even approach like he wanted to talk, but then he'd usually be dragged away by some of his friends (Arthur assumed). Arthur was surprised to find he started to miss his company, but he didn't have time to really dwell on it too much.
His workload was starting to increase as they moved deeper into the semester, and Arthur was starting to feel buried under it. He was exhausted all the time, and he constantly had to go to the bathroom whether to piss or vomit (he still couldn't seem to kick whatever was making him sick). Worst of all, he had developed a horrible and distracting onslaught of soreness in his chest. He thought the muscles might even be swollen.
Despite the random attacks of nausea, he still felt bloated and was suffering from a rather awful bout of heartburn more often than not. He figured it had something to do with his constant craving for spicy foods followed by sweet foods. Admittedly, he had been eating a bit more lately... Maybe he was actually just gaining weight, which was weird because he'd always been a bit of a bean pole.
He checked himself out in the mirror one morning after he got out of the shower, running his hand over his body and discovered it was indeed a lot softer than it had been. As much as he wanted to blame it on poor dieting habits and stress from school, there was this weird feeling that he couldn't seem to shake saying that it was something else… but what?
Then, one afternoon, he was just leaving class and was grabbed sharply by the arm. Before he knew what was happening, he was being dragged down the hallway and out of the back of the school. "What- I- Eames?" he stammered, trying to keep in step with him. "It's- I've still got two more classes!"
"Get in the car," Eames said gravely, and Arthur did. "We're going for a quick drive. I need to talk to you."
It was then that Arthur noticed how ashen Eames was in the face. "What's... what's wrong?" Arthur asked.
Eames swallowed thickly, pulling out of the parking lot. "I've been continuing research for you since you couldn't do it. I felt like I owed it to you, and all that, but ah… I ah... I think I found something."
"What did you find?" Arthur asked, pleased until he saw the tremble of Eames's lip. Suddenly, he was terrified.
"Well, ah... I found an old book on omegas. See, ah... you don't understand just how rareyou are. I didn't either… I um… Oh, how do I fucking put this? Ah… Did you know that all werewolves used to be male?"
"No... I didn't know anything about werewolves- but... Hold on, wait, that's ridiculous. How would there still be werewolves if they were all guys? Are we immortal or something? Did you forget to tell me we're immortal?"
Eames's hands were shaking on the steering wheel, and Arthur realized he was witnessing the ever cool-headed Eames losing his cool. It was alarming to say the least. "Um... well, ah... it's complicated but, I mean... we're different, you know? We've got the alphas- the leaders, the betas- the middle ground, and the omegas... the ah... um..."
"The bitch males?" Arthur asked flatly.
And then Eames looked at him, licking at his dry, plump lips.
"Wh... what?" Arthur asked, feeling a shiver roll down his spine. That weird, niggling feeling he'd been having since the heat had passed came forth with new strength.
"Um... yeah, right, uh..." Eames stammered, looking away. "I just... I need you to know that I didn't know any of this before. I had no idea about any of this stuff, and when I read it, I didn't believe it myself. When I met you, I didn't- I thought maybe I had been wrong, that maybe you were just a beta with omega tendencies. I've seen that before, but ah..."
"Eames, what's... is something wrongwith me?"
"Could be," Eames admitted. "Ah... let's uh... let's say... the idea of them being 'bitch males' wasn't just an expression?"
Arthur snorted. "Wasn't just a- well, then what exactly would it..." he trailed off as he started connecting the dots.
Arthur's eyebrows furrowed. "You're... you're fucking with me. That- that's impossible. I've taken a biology class you know- an anatomy class. I sat through the video in middle school. You really expect me to believe that-"
"I don't know," Eames interrupted. "That's just what it said, all right? The book's in the backseat. See for yourself."
Arthur leaned over, wincing a little at the way the seatbelt caught on his sore chest and grabbed what looked to be the tome (if how old and weathered it appeared was any indication), laying it open on his lap at the bookmarked page.
Out loud, Arthur read, "Omegas, before the lycan race acquired females through the use of turning, were the main source of the bearing of young. The births were so difficult on their bodies that many did not survive, and lycans turned to human women, turning them and having them bear their young. Omegas are now extremely rare and are a prize among packs because they bear purebreed..."
Arthur trailed off and looked up at Eames, suddenly as pale as him. "I'm... I'm gonna throw up-"
Eames slammed on the brakes and Arthur hung out the window, puking up the chili he'd had for lunch.
When it was over, he looked back at Eames, eyes wet, and he asked, "Are you trying to tell me that I'm—that Iam…"
"It... it explains my protectiveness of you," Eames offered pathetically.
"How? How does that explain anything?"
"I... I mated with you."
"What the fuck?" Arthur cried out, tears falling free. "Are you fucking kidding me? Please tell me this is fake! That's not how it's supposed to be!"
"I'm sorry!" Eames said. "I didn't know- I swear I didn't know, and don't panic because there's no guarantee that you're... I mean, you know—I mean, we don't know yet, so ah—"
"What, so I'm supposed to go to a doctor? 'Hi, I'm Arthur, and I know I'm a boy, but you know I've been thinking this guy at my school knocked me up!' I'm sure that won't sound fucking insane," Arthur blubbered, and Eames started driving again since a line of cars had picked up behind him and started to blare their horns in agitation.
"There are werewolf doctors. They know about omegas, I'm sure they do," Eames told him, voice shaking as if he too was holding back on tears. "I can take you to one, and they can-"
"Can what? Get rid of it? You are aware that I'm a boy right? I've already been bullied enough! Now they really will think I'm a freak!... A-and, that book- that book said I might die. DIE!"
"Look, would you just calm the fuck down?" Eames bellowed, and Arthur shrank back in his seat, sniffling quietly.
Eames sniffed, lowering his voice and staring out at the road. "We may have nothing to worry about, all right? I know this man, Yusuf, who can look at you. He's not a werewolf, but he studies them. He has no ties to any packs. He won't tell anyone... and we'll figure out where to go from there. All right?"
Arthur wiped at his eyes, slumping in his seat. He ran his hand over his stomach and felt like it was so much larger than it had been. "This can't be happening..." he whimpered, shutting his eyes, only opening them again when he felt a warm grasp on his hand.
He looked up at Eames, who was squeezing his hand, and Arthur realized that he was just as terrified… It was oddly comforting to discover. He didn't feel so alone.
Arthur swallowed thickly and looked out the window. "S... so, where is this Yusuf? Are we going there right now?"
"No," Eames said, and Arthur realized they were pulling back into the school parking lot. "We don't want people wondering where you went. Finish class and meet me here as soon as you're done, all right?"
"Okay..." Arthur said, crawling out of the car and starting slowly back up to the door on shaky legs. Eames drove off to find a parking space.
Arthur made it to class just in time.
Class was torture. During his last class he found himself staring at the clock, sick with worry, unable to take his hand off of his stomach. That tiny, tiny swell... When the teacher was writing notes on the board, he dug out his science book and started looking through the pages that covered pregnancy and was mortified to find a few familiar sounding symptoms. Fear wracked through him, and he could hardly breathe. He couldn't think of anything but what this possibly meant, and he kept hearing one sentence playing over and over in his mind.
The births were so difficult on their bodies that many did not survive...
It took all of Arthur's physical and mental strength not to hurl all over his shoes, sob, or rock back and forth in his desk. He felt like everyone was looking at him, like everyone knew. He couldn't bear to do anything but stare at the top of his desk and desperately count the minutes.
Finally, finally the bell rang, and Arthur shuffled out of class, avoiding eye contact with everyone.
Eames was there waiting, just like he'd said, and Arthur's eyes were instantly wet again with a strange combination of relief and fear. He held back on the tears and crawled nonchalantly into the car, and they were off to Yusuf's.
Arthur was silent most of the drive, staring at the floorboards, trying not to panic.
The clouds were thick and gray, and Arthur kind of just wished they'd burst open with loud thunder and streaks of lightning...
Yusuf's office was out in the middle of nowhere, even further away from civilization than Eames's ridiculously oversized house. Arthur had never been so far from home.
Yusuf himself was a bearded man in earth-toned clothes, and he really didn't look at all like a doctor. "Would you prefer I put on a white coat?" Yusuf asked when Arthur mentioned it.
"Just... look me over?" Arthur asked, frowning.
"Eames already informed me of your situation. Come, sit down, and I'll examine you."
Arthur was led down a long, carpeted hall to a cold room with a table and medical instruments. There were also different colored and weirdly shaped bottles lining the counters, making him feel like he was at some sort of wizard's tower or mad scientist's laboratory instead. "Lie down, please," Yusuf said, and disappeared for a long moment.
He returned with a machine Arthur did recognize, an ultrasound machine, and politely asked Arthur to move his shirt out of the way.
His stomach was coated in goo, and Arthur grimaced at the feel of it on his skin. "How old are you?" Yusuf asked, pressing the wand to the stomach.
"Sixteen," Arthur gulped. "That's really cold."
"Ah, so that must have been your first heat. Interesting, interesting… No worries, it'll just be a moment..." Yusuf said idly, staring at the screen. "Ah... there. There it is."
"There's what?" Arthur asked, rising up on his elbows.
"Right there, see that?" Yusuf circled it with his finger. "There's your pup, right there. My, that is fascinating."
Arthur felt like he was sinking into the table.
"I'd say you're about eight weeks along, more or less. That is just astounding. I never thought I'd witness such a thing."
"Oh, God..." Arthur moaned, falling back onto his back, eyes stinging. "So- so it's true... F-fuck- please- there's got to be a way to stop it."
"I think you've long since missed the boat on that one, mate. I'll get you on some prenatal vitamins and a steady diet plan, and... you all right?"
"NO!" Arthur sobbed, throwing his arms over his eyes.
This couldn't be happening.
"Mr. Arthur," Yusuf said gently. "This is miraculous. Tell me you know how miraculous this is. There hasn't been a sighting of an omega on this side of the pond in over fifty years. The fact that you exist is incredible enough, but this is extraordinary!"
"It's horrible!" Arthur cried out, trying to sit up but flopping back down when Yusuf went about cleaning Arthur off. "What the fuck am I going to tell my parents? How am I going to hide this from my classmates? What if Idie? You don't seem to understand!"
"Arthur," Yusuf said again, pressing against his shoulder softly, "that book that Eames has been reading from is ancient. We've come much further in medical technology. You're not going to die. You'll be fine. I'll take care of you."
"That doesn't answer my other two questions," Arthur whined.
"Well, baggy clothes, I suppose- that will work for a bit of time anyway, but at some point you'll need to stop going to school. It'll be too much of a strain on your body to be on your feet that often."
"What am I gonna do?" Arthur asked, looking up at Yusuf hopelessly. "This can't get any worse..."
Yusuf helped him down off of the table. "Have you been having any problems?"
"I've been nauseous..." Arthur sighed. "Heartburn, weight gain... I'm tired a lot... and my chest hurts."
"All common problems," Yusuf said. "How's your diet?"
"Um... just... food, I guess. I've had spicy food cravings and sweet food cravings..."
"I'll get you set up on a proper diet plan and the vitamins... You're so young so I want you to have the best care possible. Can Eames drive you out here for checkups?"
"I... I don't know- I don't know- we... we're not exactly all that close..."
"Well, he's your mate, isn't he?"
"Well... I mean... I guess, but- he just... I was in heat, and he-"
Yusuf nodded, seeming to understand Arthur's garbled not-sentence somehow. "Shall I fetch him for you?"
Arthur looked down at his feet, and suddenly all he wanted was for Eames to be there. Eames was the only one who understood him even a little, and even though he was terrified of his reaction, he couldn't say no.
Yusuf left and returned a minute later with Eames, bustling him into the room. "I'll give you two a moment alone, hm?" Yusuf said and quietly shut the door behind him.
Arthur stared up at Eames, ashamed. "So, uh..." he said softly.
"You are," Eames said, and Arthur nodded.
Surprisingly, Eames slipped his arms around him and pulled him close, and Arthur just fell apart in his arms, sobbing. "It's okay," Eames told him. "I won't let anyone harm you. I will protect you."
"You don't have to do that," Arthur blubbered.
"It's mine too," Eames told Arthur, resting his hand against the nearly non-existent swell of his stomach. "I'll take care of you and it, I promise... Somehow, we'll manage."
All Arthur could do was cry.
When they left the office, the sky had opened up, and buckets of rain poured down upon them. Eames draped his jacket over Arthur's head and shuffled him off to the car, getting him settled in the seat.
Once they were puttering down the road, Eames leaning over the steering wheel to see through the rain (the windshield wipers were doing practically nothing), Eames asked, "Are you... okay?"
Arthur wanted to scream at him that of course he wasn't, but Eames didn't deserve that. "I... guess..." he said dismally. "I'm just kind of numb now..."
"Arthur, I... I'm so sorry... I... this is all my fault. I understand if you hate me, an' all that... If I'd found the information sooner, maybe we could have- fuck, if I'd controlledmyself, this wouldn't have-"
"Eames," Arthur interrupted. "It's fine... Well... it's not, but... we're both at fault here..."
"Are you scared?" Eames asked.
"Only a lot," Arthur said smiling self-deprecatingly. "What the fuck am I going to do? I can't hide this from my parents... They've already been suspicious of the change in scent, so I've been coating myself in body spray and really strong deodorant and shampoos. It's been giving me a headache."
"I've noticed. It's ridiculously bad," Eames chuckled. "The smell. It's so strong."
"I had to do something... but now I don't know what to do... I can't hide thisfor long," he gestured to his belly.
"You'll just have to tell them, I suppose... I'll be there with you if you need."
"No, no way. I'm not telling them. Not until I absolutely have to. I just... I need to think about what to say... I mean, yeah it's bad enough that I went against their wishes and sneaked out, but I… Well, I suppose it's sort of theirfault since they never told me any of this, but I probably wouldn't have believed them anyway… God, how am I going to tell them?"
Eames reached out and took his hand again. "Everything will turn out all right. I'm not going to leave you like this. You're my mate now... and I don't mean that in a 'friends' sense. It was all a big accident, I know, but if it had to be anyone... I'm glad it was you."
"Why?" Arthur found himself asking.
"Because... you're funny, and you're smart, and... you're the only person who knows me for who I am. The way I am at school, this big superstar- it's all a big game, you know? I can't let them know what I am... but you... you're like me. You're the only one outside of my family that I've met that's like me... and you are quite possibly the nicest guy I've ever met."
"I'm really not that nice..." Arthur sighed, but it did feel good to hear. "Thanks... Eames."
"No need to thank me, darling."
When Eames dropped Arthur off, Arthur moved to return Eames his jacket.
"Keep it," Eames said. "You need to stay dry."
"Keep it," Eames repeated. "I'll keep looking up information on omegas, and I'll um... tomorrow's Saturday, so ah... would you like to meet up with me somewhere? We can... talk about what to do."
Arthur shuffled his feet. "I don't know... I mean, I'm not usually allowed to go out on weekends..."
"Here, let me see your phone," Eames said, and Arthur handed it over. A few moments later, he handed it back, his name and number filed into his contacts. "Ring me up. Anytime. Anytime at all. All right?"
"Okay..." Arthur said slowly. "Thanks. I... I will."
Eames waited for just a moment after Arthur crawled out of the car, just staring into his eyes. Arthur hunched under Eames's jacket and waved a weak goodbye, and then Eames disappeared into the storm.
Arthur slept that night underneath his blankets and Eames's jacket, hand laid across his abdomen.
The sun came pouring in across his eyelids, and he found himself awakening with a grunt and rolling onto his back. He stared up at his ceiling fan, wishing it had all just been some awful dream... but when he checked the drawer next to his bed, the vitamins and written down diet were still there, and so was the...
He took a deep breath and let it out and crawled out of bed. He padded to the bathroom, tugging off his t-shirt and just looking at himself in the mirror. "It's so weird..." he mumbled, poking at the slight distention of his stomach. "It doesn't even seem like anything right now..."
But he wasn't stupid enough to assume it was nothing. This was a big deal, possibly the biggest deal he'd ever been dealt in his entire life, and he was at a complete loss... But all he had to do was think of Eames's promise, and he felt better.
In fact, his words made him feel warm and tingly all over.
He sighed again and went back into his room, flopping back into bed. He figured a couple more hours of sleep couldn't hurt.
Arthur didn't call Eames. He wanted to, but he didn't. When they saw each other at school on Monday, Eames tried to bring it up, but the whole idea of it always seemed to come back to I don't know what to do.
Arthur would have liked to avoid Eames altogether, actually, no matter how warm and tingly he felt when Eames said nice things. He wanted to just bury himself in schoolwork and pretend all of this wasn't real, but the problem was that Eames hadn't let up on his patrol. In fact he'd increased it, keeping eyes like a hawk (or a wolf more appropriately)on him and no longer keeping his distance about it.
Arthur tried to change his routes to class, but Eames always found him.
This cat-and-mouse routine lasted about three weeks and then Eames caught him on the way to class, literally caughthim and dragged him into the boy's bathroom. He checked all of the stalls and then locked the bathroom door, and Arthur shrank into a corner, expecting to be yelled at.
"I know you've been avoiding me... and I don't know why..." Eames said softly, not looking at him. "If you want me to leave you alone, just say so..."
Arthur stayed silent, not sure how to respond.
"...but..." Eames said, looking at him, and his gray eyes seemed so heartbrokenthat guilt slammed into Arthur. "Are you doing okay? How are you? Please, at least tell me that."
Arthur gradually peeled himself away from the wall, exhaling. "I'm sorry..." he mumbled. "I'm just... freaking out about all of this. I'm just..."
"Trying to pretend it's not happening?" Eames asked, closing the distance between them so Arthur tumbled back to the wall. "You really think you can keep doing that? Hiding your smell may keep your parents at bay for the moment, but you won't be able to keep this," he brushed his hand over Arthur's stomach, "hidden for too much longer. How much have you gained?"
"Five pounds..." Arthur said weakly. "I don't even know if- if that's good or bad, or... I don't know anything about it, Eames. I never thought I would need to."
"I know, pet, I know," Eames cooed, pulling Arthur close, and just being surrounded by Eames's scent made Arthur want to melt in relief. He didn't realize just how much he'd been missing it until then.
"I can't even really read about it because people will ask questions," Arthur said, muffled into Eames's shirt. "I'm not good under pressure... I'm not good at lying..."
"It's all right," Eames assured him, rubbing his back. "We can go talk to Yusuf, and he can tell you what to expect, all right?
"I just want this to not be happening," Arthur mumbled. "I just want this not to be real..."
"Well, look, I... I need to talk to you, all right? Will you allow me?"
Arthur nodded, and Eames pulled away from him, slouching to the floor. Arthur followed suit, letting Eames put an arm around him. "S...so, what's going on?"
"I've been reading up on it. On omegas, that is. Listen, ah... there's some talk going around. Omegas are even rarer than I thought they were."
"Y…yeah… Yusuf said that I was probably the only one stateside, but…"
"You're probably one of four alive. Worldwide."
Arthur's jaw slackened. "S-So?"
"Word is getting around that there's one in the area. Some of my pack have gotten whiff of your scent. They're going to start looking for you."
"Why? What do they want?"
"To claim you as their own."
"Claim me?" Arthur asked, skeptical. "I think you already did that."
"Ah... yes, I sort of maybe did. However, from my readings, I've found that once omegas became a rarity, the ones that still existed were part of huge power plays between different packs. They would fight over where the omega belonged so that they could use it to breed purely or to claim their children."
"Well, that's wonderful," Arthur said sarcastically.
"You don't understand. There have been all-out warsover this. Loads of bloodshed, death tolls in the thousands."
Arthur paled. "Why would they want an omega so bad? What's so different about purebreds?"
"Should they breed an alpha, it would be unbelievably powerful. A purely-bred alpha could lead all packs. Whoever owns that could own everyone else."
"Oh... Well, what if it's not an alpha?"
"Odds are likely that if it's not an alpha, it'll be an omega, and that means they can breed it. They can keep breeding until they get what they want."
Arthur squirmed a little, leaning closer to Eames's warmth. "So... this could be really bad... This is probably why my parents have been so overprotective."
"Your parents probably left their pack because there was even in-fighting about you. Packs have been dissolved over who has a right to what."
"So, do I have a say in all this?"
"Unfortunately, when werewolves get angry, no one really gets too much of a say. There isn't a lot of talking going on."
Arthur pressed his knees together, chewing on his lip. "So... this is bad... What do we do?"
"I'll protect you from them," Eames said, curling his arms around him as if to prove it. "No one's going to hurt you if I can help it. I... I've been thinking about talking to my Uncle. He's getting up there in age, and I was thinking I should ask him to step down and let me take lead of the pack. Then, you can... if you wish... you can stay with me and be a part of my pack."
"I don't know..."
"You don't have to decide that right now," Eames said and kissed the top of his head. "I just wanted to tell you all of this so you'll know to keep your eyes peeled for suspicion. If you smell someone unfamiliar, don't hesitate to escape. I've been keeping watch of you... I'll keep my distance if you want, but I'll be around to stop anyone from hurting you."
"Please..." Arthur said, pressing his face into his neck. "Please don't go away... I... I'm sorry, I'm just scared, but... but I need you... I'm so scared..."
"It's going to be all right," Eames whispered, tugging Arthur into his lap.
And no matter what happened, when Eames said it and was holding him safely like that, Arthur believed it.
It wasn't two days later when Arthur first started to notice the distant new smells of other werewolves. They had yet to zero in on him (after all, he'd been trying to hide his scent), but they were getting closer.
He tried to just stay inside when he could, and Eames had started to insist that he drive him home every afternoon. He'd also taken to riding the bus in the mornings, despite the crowds and horrible smells. He just sat by himself in the back with his headphones on.
He switched to some of the baggy clothes he'd had in order to conceal any suspicion, but by the time he was about twelve weeks into this whole fiasco, he was starting to worry. There was a definite distention of his stomach now, one that would be noticed if someone felt him there or if his shirt got wet or most definitely if someone saw him without his shirt on. He'd gained about seven pounds total, and while a lot of the weight gain was just from the general malaise he was suffering from and the constant hiding out in his room from his parents, he knew that wasn't all of it.
At least his morning sickness had slackened off some. It had been getting difficult to hide his nausea from his teachers.
He found himself slumping down as he walked into the cafeteria for lunch that afternoon, having forgotten his brown bag of suggested foods from Yusuf's list. He didn't really like the school food, but he was starving, and he piled his tray high with spaghetti and three chocolate milks.
As he turned away from the line, he very nearly ran straight into his favorite teacher from last year, Mrs. Malorie Cobb. "Oh!" she cried, taking Arthur by the shoulder to prevent him from falling on his ass (he still hadn't quite adjusted to the slight but new weight on his frame). "Arthur! My, it's been some time hasn't it."
"H-hi," he said awkwardly, fumbling with his tray. "How are you?"
"I'm lovely, thank you," she said. "I was headed off to my classroom to eat. Would you like to join me?"
Arthur looked around at the crowded cafeteria tables, mostly students who lamented his existence, and immediately agreed.
Once they were alone in Mal's classroom, Arthur settled into a desk and started shoveling food into his mouth.
"You've got quite an appetite," Mal giggled, and he couldn't be offended by her. He just nodded, mouth full of food.
He swallowed and opened one of the chocolate milk cartons. "Yeah, I guess."
"You've put on a bit of weight. That's good. You've always been so thin."
Arthur kept his you have no idea how much weight I'm going to gain to himself. "I guess so... Maybe like, five pounds or something," he shrugged. "Haven't been getting much exercise. Been too busy studying."
"You're a wonderful student, Arthur. I'm sure you don't have anything to worry about."
Arthur snorted before he could help himself.
"Is there something wrong?" Mal asked. "Are your grades slipping? Perhaps I can be of assistance."
Arthur's grades had slipped slightly, but nothing severely, and he suddenly found himself wanting to explain the situation to her. Mal had children, a little girl named Phillipa and a baby son named James with her architect husband Dominic, and Arthur would have loved to have some sort of advice on the matter... but he didn't want her to get the wrong idea, to realize he was a freak and to stop liking him.
"No," he said hoarsely, looking down into his plate and moving his spaghetti around on it with his fork. "Nothing's wrong."
"Are you sure? You can tell me anything."
"I'm fine," he croaked.
She nodded, clearly not believing him. He devoured his meal until the plate was empty without looking at her.
"Well, if you need anything, all you ever have to do is ask," she told him softly, reaching out to squeeze his shoulder.
"Thanks, Mrs. Cobb," he said, offering her a watery smile. "I'm just going through some things right now. I'll be fine. Don't worry."
"Are you still being bullied?"
"No, nothing like that," Arthur said, standing. A whole war might break out over my body. Oh, yeah, and there's the fact that-
"Arthur," Mal said, standing as well and pulling him into a loose embrace. Arthur felt panic surge up his spine as his stomach pressed against hers, but she didn't really seem to notice it. "Take care of yourself, all right? I worry about you."
"You don't have to," Arthur told her. "I'm being taken care of-" He found his eyes inexplicably drawn to the classroom door just in time to see Eames pass by it, looking in the window. Eames must have smelled him, he thought. "Um... hey, weird question, but uh... didn't you have that student- Mr. Eames as a student?"
"Hm? Oh, why yes," she said. "Why?"
"Um..." Arthur said and found himself actually blushing. "Uh... so, uh, what did you think of him?"
She raised her eyebrows and studied him for a moment before saying, "He's very intelligent and very funny. I enjoyed having him in my class, even if he was a little bit disruptive from time to time."
"Oh, so um... so you like him?"
"I do... Why?" she asked, and a smile broke out on her face. "Do you?"
Arthur shrank a little, heat creeping further up his face. "I... I mean- that is uh... well, we're kind of- we're..." Boyfriends? Lovers? Mates?"We're... I don't know exactly what we are, but..."
"Well, congratulations, Arthur," Mal said and kissed his cheek. There was no way she could know how fucking complicated all of this was, how misplaced her congratulatory praise was.
"Don't tell anyone, okay?" Arthur said. "I already get a lot of flak for being gay, and I don't want his friends to give him any trouble."
"I won't tell a soul," she assured him, and Arthur found himself looking passed her at the picture of James and Phillipa on her desk. Would he have pictures like that? Would he be able to love this thing growing inside of him and turning his life into a living personal hell?
He looked up at her and opened his mouth, closed it, opened it, then looked at his feet. "I should get this tray back to the cafeteria," he mumbled, hating himself for being so spineless. "I'll see you later, Mrs. Cobb."
"See you later, Arthur," she said and carded her hand through his hair before he left.
Arthur skipped his next class in favor of locking himself in an unoccupied bathroom and keeping his face pressed into his knees.
Arthur met Eames in the parking lot after school, exhausted from carrying around the weight of his thoughts.
"Are you all right?" Eames asked when Arthur crawled ungracefully into the passenger seat.
"Yeah," Arthur sighed. "Just a little stressed."
Eames drove for a bit, but then pulled off onto a shaded road, parking the car behind some trees.
"What are you doing?" Arthur asked.
"I just... I wanted a moment alone with you," Eames admitted, as if he was embarrassed.
"Do you need to tell me something?" Arthur asked.
"No," Eames said, turning to look at him. "I just... I..."
Arthur's nostrils flared as he caught whiff of Eames's smell. It was almost like he could read his thoughts in the scent. "You missed me?"
"Sort of," Eames said, smiling sheepishly. "Your smell... I mean, you've been covering it up, and I miss it... I feel... weirdly lost without it."
"Eventually covering it up will be pointless," Arthur admitted with a sigh. His hand fell unconsciously to his stomach. "I haven't been avoiding you on purpose this time. I just ah... I didn't want your friends to get the wrong idea and start alienating you."
"My friends?" Eames snorted. "No one knows me that well, Arthur. I seem popular, but that's just a facade. I don't give a shite about any of them."
"Oh... well... I mean, reputation's important to most people... so I just thought..."
"As an alpha, I naturally draw people to me. I'm a natural leader. However, I don't care about them. They're not my pack, they're barely my friends. I docare about you."
Arthur's heart skipped a beat momentarily. "Y-you don't mean that."
"Of course I do. You're my mate. You're-"
"But that's the only reason," Arthur interrupted. "If you hadn't accidentally mated with me, you wouldn't even remember my name."
"Arthur..." Eames said, and he actually looked hurt. It made Arthur feel guilty. "I'm sorry..."
"I... no..." Arthur said, looking down at his lap. "I'm sorry. I keep treating you like crap, and you've been so nice to me."
Eames unbuckled his seatbelt and leaned over, embracing Arthur. "Darling," he said softly. "I know... I can't possibly understand how hard this is for you. You've got so much on your plate, and it's all my fault. There's really nothing I can say or do to make this better, but I can still try."
"Thank you... Eames..." Arthur said, voice suddenly wobbly with tears.
Eames loosened the embrace but only to lean in to kiss him gently. Arthur kissed back clumsily, still awkward, but instinct took over and Arthur just opened up for Eames, letting him lick his way into his mouth and taste him.
Arthur gasped against his mouth, moaning a little when Eames sucked on his tongue.
Eames pulled away only when both of them were breathless, but only long enough to get a breath before pressing gentle kisses down Arthur's neck. "I'd like to... if you'll allow me..."
"Out here?... Right now?" Arthur asked. "Isn't that dangerous?"
"How is it-" the clouds seemed to clear from Eames's vision as he remembered what they were dealing with. "Ah... oh... you're right. You're right."
Eames settled back into his seat, and Arthur looked from Eames's fly to his own, both of them uncomfortably tight. "Just... uh... we should go somewhere with a bed. You've never... on a bed- just uh... on the ground and in the library."
"Well, we can't go back to my flat. My family is there."
"You can sneak in to my room," Arthur offered. "I've... I've never had anybody in there before. My parents never let me invite anyone over."
Eames cleared his throat, blushing, and said, "They won't find us?"
"Eames," Arthur said, smirking, "You've kind of already knocked me up. What difference does it make?"
Eames snorted and shook his head, smiling. "You've got a point there."
Arthur thought Eames might have just had the greatest smile in the world.
Arthur went inside the house and searched for his mother and father. His father was still at work, and his mother was asleep in her room downstairs. He left her a note, claiming he was studying and didn't want to be disturbed and then made his way up the steps.
As he shut the door, he turned to find Eames climbing in the window, rather ungracefully.
"Shouldn't you be more poised than that?" Arthur asked, grinning.
"You try doing that with a hard prick."
He didn't give Arthur time to retort, crossing the room in a few quick strides and pressing him up against the door, kissing him. Arthur was very nearly lifted completely off the ground from it.
Eames kissed him until Arthur was clawing at his chest, begging for air, and then walked him across the room and to the bed, lapping at his neck.
"We have to- we have to be quiet-" Arthur croaked.
Eames hummed and kissed down Arthur's chest through the fabric of his shirt, working at the button of his trousers.
Arthur whimpered as Eames pulled the denim and cotton down, pressing a kiss to the head of his cock and then taking his time to remove his shoes and socks. He crawled on top of Arthur then and moved to pull his shirt off, and Arthur cried out, "Wait- wait... I..."
"What's wrong?" Eames asked.
"I... um..." Arthur said, flushing in embarrassment, unable to look directly at him. "It's just... I... look silly..."
A corner of Eames's mouth turned up, and he huffed as if Arthur was being ridiculous. He lifted Arthur's back off of the bed and pulled his shirt off, tossing it to the floor with the rest of his clothes and then smoothed his warm hand down his chest, pausing to cup the slight roundness of his belly. "Beautiful," he said.
Arthur bit down on his bottom lip, blushing for a different reason.
He'd never been called beautiful before.
Eames quickly stripped out of his own clothes, but still he took his time, kissing Arthur over every available inch of skin. "I'm going to make sure to relax you," Eames purred.
"Y-yes..." Arthur hissed, arching up into his touch a little. "Puh-please..."
Eames slipped his fingers down to Arthur's entrance, and even though Arthur lubricated himself, he worked him open until Arthur was mewling and moaning.
"Shush," Eames reminded teasingly, and he swallowed the rest of Arthur's sounds in a kiss as he pushed himself inside, slowly.
Eames fucked him slowly, lacking all of the roughness of the last times, and Arthur thought it was both weird and wonderful, sighing and whimpering, legs curled around Eames's back.
"Darling, darling," Eames panted against his neck, slipping his fingers into Arthur's mouth to suck on in order to help him stay quiet. His rhythm increased until it was frantic. Arthur had to grab hold of the headboard, mouth falling open in silent groans, and then Eames froze, growling low in his throat as he started to swell inside of him.
Arthur's eyes rolled back in his head, clenching down on Eames, and he came without his cock ever being stroked.
As soon as it was over, he slumped into the mattress, and the next thing he knew, he was asleep.
When Arthur awoke, it was to the feel of Eames pulling out of him. He whimpered, achy and sore, and Eames kissed the line of his jaw. "Just rest," Eames whispered, and Arthur heard him moving about the room for a moment before crawling back under the covers in his boxer shorts and socks. "You need your rest."
"M'hungry," Arthur grumbled into a pillow.
Eames chuckled, breath warm against the back of his neck, and his arms wrapped around Arthur's waist, hand falling over his stomach. "So..." he whispered. "When do you suppose it'll start moving?"
"Dunno..." Arthur mumbled sleepily. "Ask Yusuf... Need t'... need t' go see Yusuf again..."
"Mm," Eames agreed. "I should probably go before they find us."
Arthur rolled around so that he was facing Eames. "I wish you could stay."
"I'll come back again. Leave the window unlocked, all right?"
Arthur was asleep before he could watch Eames leave.