Pairings/Characters: Arthur/Eames, Yusuf, Ariadne
Word count: 8,426 (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
Around four a.m., Arthur got up, grunting with the effort, and opened the bedroom door, peeking out at Eames's figure sprawled out on the couch, looking quite uncomfortable.
Arthur swallowed and moved to shut the door, guilt smacking him in the face when Eames's voice said, "So, you're still awake too."
"Yeah..." Arthur said so softly he himself barely heard it. "You can... you can come back in here with me... if you want..."
Eames sighed and sat up, but he didn't make a move towards the bedroom, not yet. "Arthur, do you know where I was today?"
"No. You didn't tell me."
"I was..." he sighed. "I was at my house. I went home to my pack. I... I had the intention of telling them about all of this, smoothing everything over, trying to get us accepted into it together without the fighting and violence... but they smelled you on me, and they already know, and now I'm enemy number one for keeping it secret."
Arthur shifted awkwardly on his feet.
"My entire family is out for blood now, yours and mine. I had to roll myself in dirt and dive into an ice-cold river just to throw them off of my trail, and I ended up leaving my car there too. I ranhere, and though it's not much of an effort for an alpha, I felt perhaps you should know that... and the moment I get home, tired, freezing, wet, hungry... you start screaming at me. How do you think that makes me feel?"
"I'm sorry..." Arthur said, voice wobbly. "I didn't... I just..."
Eames sighed in exasperation, standing. "Don't cry, jeez."
Arthur wasn't sure what the point of saying that was other than to make him feel even worse, since he already had tears getting stuck to his eyelashes. "I'm sorry..." he said again, uselessly, and pressed his forehead to Eames's shoulder when he approached.
"It's all right," Eames exhaled. "Let's just to bed, yeah?"
Arthur sniffed and stepped as far aside as he could to let Eames through. "I don't... mean to make you feel awful," Arthur said softly. "I didn't know that you could feel my emotions."
"It depends," Eames mumbled, flopping down onto the bed, "how close I am to you, physically, and how strong the emotion. It also doesn't mean I'm incapable of feeling my own feelings. Get into bed. It's chilly in here and you need to stay warm."
Arthur crawled under the covers, curling up close to Eames and, as a peace offering, said, "You can fuck me if you want to..."
"Perhaps tomorrow," Eames mumbled, kissing Arthur's forehead. Both of them went to sleep.
The next morning, when Arthur was pretty much kicked and beaten awake from the inside, Eames had already left.
He got up, stretched, and took a shower. He blowdried his hair, brushed his teeth, shaved, and then fixed himself breakfast. Afterwards, he studied for two hours, and then started surfing the internet for information on breathing exercises and such. It wasn't as if he could go to a class like everyone else, so he had to teach it to himself, all on his own.
...and while he was sitting there, practicing and feeling like an idiot, Arthur couldn't help but remember that this time a year ago he'd never thought his life would ever be anything like this. He never expected to be squatting in a sort-of friend's dad's guest house with his sort-of-not-really-don't-know-what-to-
He hated it.
He hated living this way, in fear of what was going to happen tomorrow. He hated not knowing how long it would take before he was found or ifEames would come to save him once they were separated enough for him to realize how annoying Arthur was. He sort of wanted Eames to stop liking him completely and leave him.
He wasn't completely sure why.
Arthur spent a lot of his time talking to Jude (he was calling him that whether Eames liked the name or not; he'd already decided). Jude couldn't exactly respond back with words by any means, but Arthur had really started to think that they could understand each other. Arthur could just sort of read the difference between a positive nudge or kick and a negative. It was very weird but... oddly cool.
After he finished his exercises, he looked around online for forums of teenage parents, or teenagers who'd lost their parents, but honestly he couldn't look for too long before he started to feel overwhelmingly depressed and shut the computer down.
He studied some more, watched TV.
He napped mostly, at least when he could. Snacked.
He texted Ariadne. How's school going?
It took ten minutes before she replied. Boring as hell. How r u?
Arthur responded: Gigantic
Ariadne: poor thing
Arthur sighed and texted I'm really lonely but decided not to send it. He erased it and typed instead Have you seen Eames? How is he doing?
He looks really tired
Arthur sighed again and decided to go back to sleep.
When Arthur woke up, it was to the feel of a dip in the bed. He didn't move, didn't open his eyes, waiting to see what kind of mood Eames was in.
A moment later, a hand curled around his stomach and a soft kiss was placed to the back of his neck. Arthur turned towards him and the kiss traveled up the side of his jaw to his mouth.
"How are you feeling?" Eames asked when he broke away, eyes stormy gray.
Lonely. Insane. Worried.
"I'm okay," Arthur said scratchily. "You?"
Eames half-hummed-half-growled into Arthur's neck and then nibbled at the skin. "I missed you."
No, you didn't.
"Maybe I can make it worth your effort?" Arthur asked.
"Maybe," Eames said. "Let's find out, shall we? If you want to, that is."
"I do," Arthur said, offering a slightly wobbly smile.
Eames tugged his shirt over his head, and Arthur took a long moment to appreciate his lean, attractive frame, remembering when he too was once lithe-limbed. As Eames pulled Arthur's shorts down, tugged off his socks, and stripped of the rest of his own clothes, Arthur suddenly felt terribly insecure.
Arthur didn't stop Eames from tugging off the shirt, but once he had he averted his gaze, flushing in embarrassment.
"Oh... why so coy, darling?" Eames asked, mouthing at his neck.
"Don't even pretend you haven't seen how massive I am," Arthur mumbled, tilting his head to give Eames more access. "It's like having sex with a big, ugly, fat guy."
"It is not," Eames said, lapping and nipping along Arthur's collarbone and then taking one of his nipples into his mouth.
"Ah!" Arthur gasped, not realizing just how sensitive he was there, entire body tensing up, and then he moaned relaxing under the pressure of Eames's tongue.
"Ah, you like that, do you?" Eames asked and reached up to tweak the other.
Arthur whimpered, squirming. "Y-yeah... I... I like... I like that, ohh..."
Eames released his hold on him and put his mouth to Arthur's instead, tasting surprisingly sweet. "Want to save some for the little one, hmm?" Eames said, and Arthur licked at his own lips, realizing he was tasting his own produced milk.
"I don't think he's quite ready to come out of the oven just yet."
"Still don't want you to run dry," Eames said and kissed down his stomach. "Roll over for me, love, would you?"
Arthur did, grunting at the shift in gravity. "This is harder than it used to be." It was also absolute murder on his back, but he just wanted things to be fine with Eames, so he decided to endure. It wasn't so bad.
Enduring, however, was more difficult than he expected. As Eames rolled his hips, sliding in and out, Arthur's entire body started to ache, and he was starting to cry out in pain rather than pleasure, even when Eames took hold of his cock and started to stroke him.
He knew Eames was trying to make him feel good, and it did, but soon enough the aches he received from his too-heavy body overwhelmed any feelings of pleasure, and Arthur just wanted it to be over.
Finally, it was.
Eames pulled out before he could knot with Arthur and tugged on himself a few times until he splattered come across his back. Arthur came too, though it wasn't terribly enjoyable.
He slumped to the side, gasping at the air, barely aware when Eames left the bed until he returned, wiping Arthur clean with a wet washcloth. Jude was kicking angrily at Arthur for the struggle.
"Thank you, darling," Eames chimed, rubbing gentle circles against Arthur's shoulders. "Are you hungry?"
"Mm-hmm," Arthur said, stroking at his stomach in an effort to calm the child down. He was already achy enough.
"Anything you have a craving for?" Eames asked.
"Something warm..." Arthur mumbled, curling up.
There was hesitation and then, "I didn't hurt you, did I?"
"No," Arthur whimpered. Eames hadn't hurt him, but it hadhurt, and he hated that the one thing he could do for Eames was now so difficult.
Arthur waited, felt Eames's hand brush against his arm, and then the weight lifted off the bed and Eames was gone. A few minutes later, Arthur could hear him clanging around in the kitchen.
Well, that went awfully.
By week 31, breathing was getting more difficult. Whenever Arthur waddled from room to room, he'd wind up winded and had to sit down. Being weighed down by his own body made keeping out of Eames's hair much more difficult, and it seemed that both of them were growing progressively more agitated at one another.
It was still cold, but the snow had long since melted, and there was a terrible storm booming outside. Arthur was stuck, curled up on the couch in front of the weather channel, waiting for Eames to get home. Since he'd lost his car in his escape from his parents, he'd been taking buses and taxis around town. He had also had to dodge out of school more days than he got to go because his family was hot on his heels, as well as, apparently, other wolves.
It was only a matter of time before he got caught.
The door opened, and in stumbled Eames from the storm.
Arthur cried out as the smell of blood overwhelmed him and watched Eames collapsed to the floor, dead-
Arthur gasped, blinking awake at the sound of a slamming door.
"Eames?" he said shakily, pushing himself up from where he'd fallen asleep on the couch.
Eames was drenched, and his coat had been ripped. There was an unpleasant line of gashes across his left arm. "I'm okay, I'm all right," he assured immediately as he shrugged out of the tattered coat.
"Little skirmish, nothing to worry about," Eames said, dropping the soiled coat to the floor and hissing from the wounds.
Arthur rocked himself to his feet and batted Eames on the nose when he attempted to try and lick at the wound. "You won't reach it, you know," Arthur scolded. "Sit down."
"You shouldn't be on your feet. I can handle it," Eames offered.
Arthur had already made his way into the bathroom, gathering up the first aid kit. He settled next to Eames, eyebrows knitted together, and pressed a cloth to the wound.
Eames growled, instinctively jerking the arm away.
"Stop it," Arthur said, yanking the arm back and continuing to clean the wound. "You'll make it worse."
"It didn't hurt so much until you started doing that!" Eames complained.
Arthur huffed through his nose but didn't respond otherwise, knowing Eames was just aggravated because he was in pain.
Arthur popped open the case, a first aid box that Eames himself had prepared, and removed a sterilized needle and threaded it, sewing the wounds shut with slow, precise effort. A bead of sweat formed on his brow and rolled down to his jaw, and he chewed on his lip, focused on not damaging him any more than he already was. Even Jude had gone still, as if he knew Arthur needed the moment.
When he was finished, he wiped away the blood and circled his arm in bandages. He then slumped back into his seat, exhaling. "What the hell happened?"
"I had a run in with my uncle. They're getting more ruthless."
Arthur wiped at his nose, unable to get the smell of blood out of his nostrils. "You tried to fight him?"
"No. He clipped me when I was trying to escape. Not that I couldn't have fought him with the proper incentive, but he wasn't alone and I'd rather avoid a bloodbath."
"You should've been more careful."
"You think I'm not being careful?" Eames countered, jaw set. "I've been doing everything I possibly can while trying to keep up the image of a completely normal life. You think that's bloody easy?"
"I didn't say it was-" Arthur tried to counter, but Eames interrupted.
"We don't all have it as fucking easy as you do, you know, sitting around here watching the tele all day!"
"Excuse me?" Arthur shrieked, jumping to his feet, and Eames leaned back from the force of Arthur's shout. "You think I've been enjoying this? I'm aching all the time- I can barely get through doors! I get winded every time I move around! I'm constantly dealing with beatings inside while you are constantly berating me on the outside! I spend all day here all by myself and I can't even go outside and I'm starting to go insane, and you think this has been a fucking vacation? I didn't ask for this, you know! Fuck you!"
Vertigo hit Arthur so suddenly that he stumbled and nearly fell, and he had to sit down, eyes shut, and take a few deep breaths. He thought for a moment that Eames made a move to reach out to him but changed his mind.
Arthur slept alone again.
For the next several weeks, it seemed that they had the same argument every few days. One of them would cave and apologize and there'd be kissing and making up, but then it would start in again all too soon, growing gradually more biting and hateful until there were far too many things said that shouldn't have been.
They were currently giving each other the silent treatment at week 36.
Arthur was more miserable than ever. Not only was he thirty-eight pounds heavier than he had been before all of this happened, feeling stretched to the limit and ready to burst, he was also three days without sleep, unable to relax or breathe well with the weight on him. The room was too hot, and it was as if Jude knew something was wrong, kicking at Arthur as if trying to give him the message. Though, he wasn't really kicking so much now as he was squirming, but it was still painful. Arthur had a feeling the boy would inherit his sharp elbows.
Yusuf arrived on schedule, looking bewildered. "I've seen at least seven wolves on the way in," he said.
"We may have to move again before the birth," Eames said, dismal. He never sounded happy anymore.
"Let's see how things are, shall we?" Yusuf said, and from the tenseness in his shoulders, Arthur could tell that the heavy air hadn't been missed by the doctor.
They went through the motions, Eames meandering aimlessly through the too-small prison they were living in, and Arthur just wished Yusuf would offer to take him with him. At least Yusuf was pleasant...
...not that Arthur wasn't to blame for a lot of this. He knew the only reason Eames was even still there was because of Jude. That had to be it... but then... Eames had barely talked about him. Did Eames even care?
"You're almost there," Yusuf announced. "I'd say within two weeks, you'll have a brand new baby."
Arthur was a little relieved for a moment at the idea of finally being free of the thermal heater attached to his front and making all of his clothes look ridiculous, but then the anxiety returned, and it was stronger than it ever had been.
"I... I don't know. I don't think so. He- he'll stay in there longer," Arthur assured him.
"I doubt that," Yusuf said. "You'll be lucky if he doesn't decide to make his move in the next few days."
So, the wolves were closing in, and Arthur was at his absolute most vulnerable.
As if reading his thoughts, Eames returned to the living room, and said softly, "I can fight them off."
Arthur just stared at him, lip quivering with unspoken words.
"I have a safe house you can come to for the birth," Yusuf said. "I'll have it cleaned up in three days."
"Thank you," Eames said. "I'll bring him."
Yusuf nodded and left before the air got too thick to breathe out of.
There was a long time where neither of them said anything.
Arthur sipped at a glass of milk, staring at his laptop screen but not really reading it. He could smell the werewolves in the area, distant but there.
Eames could smell them too, nostrils flaring every few minutes as he continued to pace around the house.
"They won't get to you, you know," he said after a long, long moment.
Arthur didn't respond.
"I won't let them. I'll fight them off."
"Mm," Arthur replied noncommittally.
"You don't believe me," Eames stated flatly.
"I didn't say that."
"You think because I've been evading them that I'm a coward?" Eames growled. "You don't think I can fight them, do you? I'm a fucking alpha! I can fight them if I bloody need to!"
"Fine! Then do it! Fight them! Start a fucking war! See if I care!" Arthur shouted.
Apparently, they were fighting again.
Arthur wished the fighting would stop.
"I'm fighting them for you, you twat!" Eames yelled. "The least you could do is be fucking grateful! Oncein a while!"
"I DON'T WANT YOU TO FIGHT THEM!" Arthur screamed, getting to his feet, and tears pricked at his eyes.
"THEN WHAT THE BLOODY HELL DO YOU WANT? WHY THE FUCK NOT?"
"BECAUSE I DON'T WANT YOU TO DIE AND BE FORCED TO LIVE WITHOUT YOU!"
There it was.
The reason why Arthur had been so anxious.
They'd killed his parents, and they were two wolves. Eames was just one.
"I d-don't want them to kill you," Arthur blubbered, tears sliding down his cheeks. "I don't want you to die because of me... I can't... I can't deal with it again... I can't, I can't… I know you hate me, and I've been nothing but awful to you, b-but… I can't stand the thought of losing you, not now or ever, and I don't want to be the reason… I can't take it…"
Eames seemed frozen from shock.
"You should've left me from the beginning… You shouldn't have put yourself in so much danger for someone like me…" Arthur whimpered, turning away from him and opening the door. "I can't let you die for me... I can't..."
"I won't..." Eames whispered hoarsely.
"No... you won't," Arthur said, and he left.
He summoned all of his strength reserves to run and did so, body screaming in pain, and he wasn't sure where he was going. He just knew he needed to get away from Eames before they came for them both and he watched him die. He couldn't, he couldn't...
He ran for a good half hour before his strength gave out, slumping against a street lamp, sweating against the warm spring air. Now that he was away from the argument, away from the fear and anxiety and from the smell of other werewolves, his head cleared and he cursed himself for being so stupid.
What the fuck was he doing?
He'd been so upset that he wasn't thinking. He hadn't been thinking of himself or anything really, but he now realized he was out in the air, and while it felt good to breathe fresh air, he was immediately aware of how out-in-public he was (in a neighborhood with no one around, but still). He was immediately aware of the danger he'd put Judah in by selfishly running out.
He didn't think this could get any worse, turning back to try and seek out his path so that he could go home even though he was positively unbearably aching.
It couldn't get worse. It couldn't.
And then he felt a pop and a gush and found a puddle pooling at his feet.
Arthur stood there, frozen, embarrassed at his wet pants, wincing at the ache in his stomach that was slowly fading.
This couldn't be happening.
He swallowed thickly, looking around uselessly for a sign of someone, anyone who could help him, but he was all alone.
...and then he smelled someone.
He definitely smelled Eames. Eames was coming for him. Eames was coming.
...but there was another smell. That smell and the matching hand on his shoulder, reached him first.
Eames chased down Arthur's scent, panic settling in at the smell of nearby wolves practically everywhere. Arthur's scent nearly got lost in all of it, but Eames could feel Arthur, could feel that he was in pain.
He found himself in a neighborhood, and he knew Arthur had been there not long ago. His scent was all over, and...
He sniffed at the light post, smelling Arthur but also something distinctly separate from Arthur, something similar but not the same.
He recognized it.
His son. Their son.
"Oh, God," Eames whispered, turning towards the wind.
Arthur struggled against the grip of his captor, but when the shooting pain in his abdomen hit again, he lost all his strength.
"You're awfully tiny," the man said as he dragged Arthur through the woods. Arthur noticed a distinct English accent. "It's a little disconcerting. Here I expected something more beautiful and mysterious. You're just a scrawny little runt."
"P-please," Arthur stammered, pain hitting him again, and the time between the fading in and out seemed to be shortening. "Please, just... please- you can do whatever you want to me, but please don't hurt him- please don't hurt my son-"
"Hm," the man said, immediately dropping Arthur.
Arthur sprawled on his back, howling in pain, scrambling.
"My nephew really doesn't know how to pick them. I really expected an omega to be more impressive... I guess your smell and your arse makes up for the rest of you."
"Please don't hurt him..." Arthur whimpered.
"Hurt him? Oh, please, of course not," the man said, and the pain cleared enough from his eyes for Arthur to see him.
He bared similarity to Eames, but only distantly. His hair was graying at the temples, and his lips were thinner and framed by thick facial hair, but his eyes were the same steely gray. He was bulky-framed, pure muscle, hairy, with big hands and dressed in a pale colored shirt tucked into belted jeans. His teeth were pointed, and his scent was overwhelmingly strong.
"Please don't..." Arthur stammered again. "You can do whatever you want to me... just please don't... don't hurt him... don't hurt my son..."
"I've already told you that I don't intend to hurt him," Eames's uncle said lightly. "He's useful."
Arthur stilled from his struggle against the man's hand that had been planted firmly to his chest. "Wh-what?"
"You've been mated. You're absolutely useless. You won't breed with anyone else. My idiot nephew could have tied with you without mating, but he's not smart enough to realize what he's doing."
"Don't talk about him like that," Arthur croaked and then cried out as another shooting pain hit him.
"No matter," the uncle said. "He bred you, and that's what we're after, so just hold still and it'll all be over in a minute or two."
"What do you mean?" Arthur asked, panic rolling through him.
Arthur, where are you? Fuck!
Fucking wind... fuck... fuck... this is all my fault.
It was Eames.
It was Eames, and he sounded distressed.
Arthur could hear him but...
Fuck, why didn't I immediately go after- why couldn't I have just stopped being such an arse-
He couldn't see him anywhere...
I call myself a fucking alpha? Fuck, I've been nothing but a coward... but I don't- I don't want to die either. I don't want Arthur to have to do all this on his own... If I die, he won't be able to fight them off, and I... I can't stand the thought of losing him and...
Arthur realized that he was hearing Eames's thoughts.
Yusuf was right.
God... where are you?... Fuck, I never should have... Please be okay, please be okay... I love you.
They really were more connected than he realized.
Arthur tried to hear more, but suddenly his entire body jerked, and for a long second all he saw was red and all he heard was the ringing in his ears, and when he came back to his senses he was screaming.
He was screaming and in the most unbearable pain he'd ever been in.
Hopelessly he tried to move, but he couldn't. He watched as Eames's uncle, no longer a man but a wide-shouldered beastclawed into Arthur's stomach and womb, ripping him wide open.
For a long second, all Arthur heard was his own heart beat in his ears, voice dying as he screamed it completely away, tears mixing in the dirt with the rapidly pooling blood.
...and then he heard him cry.
Eames's uncle returned to human form though he was still spattered with Arthur's blood, and by the left ankle he lifted the screaming child into the air.
"Let... let him go... leave'm... alone..." Arthur rasped through blood-filled gasps for air. "...please..."
The man stood and looked down at Arthur, emotionless, and then he walked away.
Arthur realized he was being left to die, just like his parents.
Eames had fallen to the ground, spasming over the sudden onslaught of phantom pain, clawing at tree bark as he tried to stand and howling and rolling about, trying to get it to stop, and then it faded.
He could still feel the pain at the back of his mind, but he was distracted from it by his own senses... by the distant fading echo of a scream... and the absolutely overwhelming smell of Arthur's blood.
Eames scrambled to his feet and ran faster than he had ever run, twigs and branches tugging and ripping at his clothes. He ran and ran until the smell was so strong that he was sick with it, and then he slowed to a stumble, and...
"Arthur!" Eames cried out, voice cracking as he fell to his side.
Arthur was curled up with his arms wrapped around his stomach, skin and clothes all stained red, and there was a pool of blood around him, turning the dirt into bloody mud and sticking to him.
"Oh, God..." Eames choked, grabbing Arthur under the arms to pull him away from the smell. He didn't want to believe it was Arthur's blood.
"Eames..." Arthur rasped, wincing and whimpering as Eames tumbled onto his ass, Arthur sprawled ungracefully across his lap.
"You're alive... you're alive," Eames said shakily, barely believing it.
Arthur opened his eyes, his gaze distant and glassed-over. "He... he took'm... y'gotta... save'm..."
"Darling..." Eames panted, tears hot and stinging in his eyes. One slipped free and Arthur lifted a shaking, bloody hand to swipe it away. Eames could see the carnage that had been committed on his mate then, and suddenly he wasn't so sad...
He was angry...
He was enraged.
He didn't think he'd ever been so maddened by rage in his entire life. He couldn't breathe; couldn't think.
"Come on, love, easy does it," Eames said in a carefully controlled voice, lifting Arthur into his arms. He stared at the puddles and streaks of blood on the ground, and it just angered him further. "We're going to get you some place nice and safe and get you taken care of, all right?"
"I d'care b'me..." Arthur garbled, eyes rolling back in his head. "Save'm... E'scared... n'hungry..."
"I will- I- I'll bring him back to you, but you've got to be alive to see him," Eames said, voice starting to tremble.
"You have to stay alive, Arthur, do you hear me?"
"Love you... too..."
By the time Eames arrived at Yusuf's clinic is was nearly dark.
He kicked at the door mercilessly and howled and shouted for him to open up. Arthur never moved, unconscious in his arms, breathing shallowly. His skin had gone gray, making the redness of the blood seem even brighter.
Yusuf finally answered the door after several unbearable seconds. "What's the-" he fell silent immediately and stepped aside to allow Eames in, staring in absolute horror. Eames knew it must have been as bad as he feared, because Yusuf was never really fazed by anything.
"What... happened...?" Yusuf asked as Eames sprawled him out on the table.
"My uncle got to him, and he took our son, and I have to go get him, and youhave to save Arthur," Eames explained quickly, wiping his hands on his shirt.
"You think I can bloody save him?" Yusuf asked.
"You'd better," Eames growled, sounding remarkably less man and more beast.
Yusuf shrank away. "I'll... I'll do everything I can... but there are no guarantees."
"I'll be back," Eames said, stopped, amended. "I'll be back with my son."
"Good luck," Yusuf squeaked, and Eames left.
By nightfall, Eames arrived at his house, staring at it lit up in all its glory. There was a celebration going on.
Eames had every intention of crashing the party.
He ripped the iron-barred gates open with no effort, punched the fountain so that it crumbled as he passed, leaped onto the hood of a car and dented it nearly to the ground, and kicked the door so hard that it burst off the hinges and fell apart.
The next few minutes was a blur as he hunted through the house, searching for his pack until finally, in the dining room, he found them. The whole room was dripping with the smell of wolves as they passed meat and wine around to one another, laughing and carrying on as if no evil had been carried out. Eames saw his mother near his uncle's side, pouring him a glass of blood red wine, his brother on his other side and sucking up as always.
"Well, looks like there's a birthday party going on," Eames said loudly, and the entire room fell silent and looked at him. "Bloody awful that I wasn't invited considering it's my son."
"Eames," his mother said, shocked. They'd all been so distracted by their merriment to smell his approach. He didn't care.
"I'd say it's best if you hand him over right now, and I won't be forced to kill you all."
The betas in the room shifted uncomfortably, but his uncle, sitting at the head of the table, didn't flinch. "Eames," he greeted, mockingly congratulatory. "So good of you to join us. You're just in time."
"Hand over my son, Uncle."
"You dare speak to the head of the pack like that?" Eames's brother cried but yelped and fell silent when Eames glared at him.
"Well, considering it's rightfully my position, I think I'm entitled," Eames said darkly and turned his gaze back to his Uncle. "Give me my son and I'll make your death as painless as possible."
"I'm not afraid of you. You've had plenty of opportunities to kill me and you couldn't get up the nerve. You're an alpha, but only in blood. Face it, Eames. You're nothing but a coward."
"You're wrong about that… I was never a coward. I just never had anything to fight for. I'm a good-natured bloke," Eames replied, jumping onto the table and walking towards him, shoulders widening, eyes shining gold, "but you've just woken up my bad side."
"Now I'm shaking in my boots," his uncle said flatly.
Eames moved so quickly that his uncle didn't realize he'd been clawed across the chest until a moment later, touching at the bloody wounds in stunned silence.
Eames stood back on his haunches, transforming, and he howled.
All of the betas scrambled away from the table.
Eames's uncle stood and joined Eames on the table with the crashing of dishes, transformed as well.
All Eames saw was Arthur's wet eyes.
"You really mean to kill me?" his uncle barked. "You don't have the bollocks."
"You have no idea what I'm capable of if I set my mind to it," Eames replied, and he pounced.
The battle didn't last long.
Eames's uncle was more bark than bite, but even if he hadn't been, nothing could have stopped Eames's rampage. The only reason the man was even still alive for the fight to start with was because Eames wanted everyone to be clear on how much he meant business, wanted his taking of the proverbial throne to be done fairly and thus not ripped out from under him in some loophole (after all, the wolves still had human sides and had learned how to use that part of them as well)...
…and of course, he wanted to make the bastard suffer.
Some of the others jumped in to protect their leader when Eames quickly gained the upper hand, but none of them lasted long. He tore them apart with ease, anger and determination fueling him. He no longer cared who they were. Every one of them was his enemy…
This wasn't just about mates and packs and alphas and omegas anymore.
"Love you... too..."
This was Eames's family. His real family.
"Please… don't—" Eames's uncle begged, blood pooling in his mouth as Eames hovered over him, ready to lay down his final crushing blow.
"Is that what Arthur said?" Eames asked him coldly. "Did you listen to him?"
"I am," he replied, and finished him off.
Eames stepped away from the fight, and he returned to his human form. "I'm your leader now," he announced. "First order of business- this pack is disbanded."
"You can't do that!" Eames's brother cried, holding to his wounds.
"I can," Eames replied, wiping his hands on a dinner napkin a bit uselessly. "I refuse to rule you bastards who would dare to take my son from me and try to kill my mate. You are traitors to me."
"H-he did all that... We didn't have the power to stop him..." Eames's mother offered.
"That is the reason I've let you live," Eames replied, jumping off of the table. "You have all hunted us with intent. You can now go join with another pack, and I shall let you go off as you wish with no repercussions under the one condition that you never. Ever. Ever. bother or attempt to harm my family again. Are we clear?"
"F-family? Eames, we'reyour-"
"Are. We. Clear?" Eames asked, claws going sharp.
They all stepped down under his authority and within minutes had cleared out of the house.
With them gone, Eames easily sniffed out Jude, the only lingering smell, finding him upstairs in a basket, crying.
Eames was momentarily taken by him... His head of dark hair and teeny body, his familiarly plump lips and slightly oversized ears...
He was beautiful.
"Oh..." Eames whispered, hoisting him into his arms as he wrapped him in the basket's blanket, and his screaming quieted a little down into tiny mewls. "Hello, there, love. Hello..."
The baby sniffed and whimpered and cried, the sound so tiny and innocent and so brand new.
"Let's get you out of this scary place," Eames said, pressed a kiss to his forehead, and left behind the house with no regret.
When Eames returned to Yusuf's clinic, Arthur was still being worked on.
He settled the little child into a chair and stripped off his bloody clothes. He cleaned himself over the sink in Yusuf's exam room until he no longer smelled blood on himself and then changed into a pair of scrubs. They were a little too small, revealing his ankles and feeling tight across his chest, but he didn't really care.
He gathered the baby into his arms again, holding him close, sat down, and waited.
It took probably the whole night. Eames wasn't sure. He'd dozed in the chair.
He awoke to the feel of his teeny son suckling on his finger, using it for comfort. Yusuf was just walking through the door, removing his mask.
"How is he?" Eames asked.
"The surgical staff I called in has got him closed up," Yusuf said. "His organs weren't terribly damaged, but his blood loss was substantial. We've got him hooked up to more blood, so it's looking hopeful, but it's touch and go for right now."
Eames nodded, looking down at the child.
"So... I'm assuming everything is over now?" Yusuf asked.
"In the fighting sense, yes..." Eames said quietly.
"So, your life with your family is over," Yusuf said.
"Oh, no..." Eames said, looking up, a small smile on his face. "It's only begun."
Yusuf let Eames stay in Arthur's room, and for the next four days, he didn't leave. The baby wouldn't eat, no matter how much Eames tried to feed him the formula and constantly struggled towards Arthur's sleeping form.
They ended up setting up his little crib next to Arthur's bed because at least then he would sleep.
Eames was sinking in worry and fear, having not slept or eaten since before all of this had happened. He worried that Arthur would pass, and he worried that his son would too since he absolutely refused to eat, even when forced.
He paced the room until Yusuf made him sit down, proclaiming he would create ruts in his tile.
Eames slumped into a chair, staring out the window, hating himself and everything he'd ever done that brought them to this point... He couldn't stand listening to his son scream for food, refusing anything but the milk that he wanted. It was just so loud... and it hurt his heart so bad and...
The room had fallen silent?
No... no, it wasn't-
The baby had stopped crying... and...
"Hey Jude... don't make it bad... take a sad song and make it better..."
Eames turned, eyes wide, as he listened to the hoarse, barely-whispered singing that had calmed the child down.
Arthur had reached out, hand pressing gently against Judah's cheek, stroking it with a fingertip. His eyes were half open, and he was still pale, but some of his color had returned, and he was still singing. "Remember to let her into your heart... then you can start... to make it... better..."
Eames's eyes filled with tears.
"Hey Jude," Arthur sang, a little bit more strongly as Judah start suckling on his fingertip. "Don't be afraid... you were made to go out and get her... The minute you let her under your skin... then you begin to make it better..."
He looked up at Eames, weak-eyed but smiling and said, "I can't remember the rest right now."
"Arthur," Eames whispered, sniffing as a tear slipped out of the corner of his eye. Arthur reached up and swiped at it gently.
"Can I hold him?"
"I don't know if you should," Eames said, but Arthur huffed.
"Let me hold him. I'm okay. I'm a werewolf, more resilient than humans."
Eames used the buttons on Arthur's bed to set it to a more reclined position and helped adjust him, obsessively checking to make sure none of his stitches had ripped. Arthur kept assuring him that he was fine, clearly anxious to get the boy into his arms.
Finally, he got what he wanted.
Arthur gasped a little as Eames gently lowered him into his arms. "Almost a week old already, huh. Time flies and all that," Eames said, and his voice wobbled with emotion that he just couldn't seem to control anymore.
"He's so beautiful," Arthur whispered, astounded at the sight before him. "He looks like you."
"I thought he looked more like you, but well... he does have my mouth."
Arthur smiled, cheeks dimpling, and Eames watched as the baby smiled too, giggly, and two little dimples appeared on each of his cheeks as well. Eames wasn't sure why that made tears fall from his eyes, but he laughed a little as he wiped them away.
"You're probably starving to death," Arthur said. "Poor thing."
It was astounding how easily he latched on to Arthur, drinking his fill. Eames had always heard babies were supposed to be difficult about that, but, well...
It didn't matter.
"Oh, see? This? This is nice," Arthur said, leaning his head back as the child ate. "I can sleep while you do this. That is good, good news. I like that."
"Arthur, I- everything I've done-" Eames started but Arthur waved him off.
"We've both made some mistakes. I'm stupid, you're stupid... but don't worry about it. We're teenagers. We're supposed to be stupid."
"I don't think we're teenagers anymore," Eames said.
"No... no, I suppose we wereis more correct, but... seriously, forget about all that. This... what's happening now? Me, you, and him? This is all that matters."
"I love you," Eames said.
"I love you too," Arthur said, offering a sleepy smile before drifting off.
Arthur and Eames and Judah moved back into Arthur's house. No wolves dared to threaten them now.
For quite a few weeks Arthur was bedridden from the surgery but he was as resilient as he said and before long was back on his feet like nothing had ever happened.
Eames marveled at his bounce-back ability but not nearly as much as he marveled over how incredibly good he was at taking care of his son. He'd read that omegas were naturally good with pups, but he still felt like Arthur was special. He was fussy as a hen, never letting Judah go outside without the proper clothing ("He'll catch a cold!" or "We don't want him to get wet, Eames, jeez!" he said), and he would only by the top shelf foods and other supplies ("You get what you pay for" he said). He'd take extra care when bathing him and putting him to bed and would even go an entire night without sleep if he needed to, just to rock him gently or sing to him when the child was difficult.
Yes, Arthur was a sight, but even moreso was Judah who was quite possibly the cutest, sweetest, absolutely most wonderful-est of wonderful things that Eames had ever witnessed (and okay, maybe he was a little biased). Sometimes he would be sitting on the floor (he was already sitting up!) and just look up at Eames who was sipping coffee, and he'd just smile, and when he'd just smile Eames would just melt. Arthur seemed to notice this weakness about Eames and had thus taken to the time that Eames was at school to teach Judah entirely too cute things.
Arthur had taught him to rub noses when he said 'eskimo kisses', and when they did, and both of them smiled and giggled like it was the most wonderful thing ever, it took all of Eames's strength not to liquefy into his shoes.
Eames graduated at the end of spring with a full-ride scholarship in theatre (somehow), and Arthur was hot on his heels, having completed. his school work from home. He was nearly done with his own high school classes by the end of summer even while taking care of the little one all by himself (since Eames had to work to provide for Arthur's expensive tastes and didn't mind a second of doing it either).
Ariadne came by a week before school started back.
"I'm kind of late on all of this, but my mom insisted we go on vacation," she said, holding out a gift basket to Eames when he answered the door. It was full of toys and other baby things. "Congratulations!"
"Thanks," Eames said with surprise as she shoved her way inside and made a beeline for the little one who seemed to be attempting to pounce on his stuffed rabbit.
"Oh, my God, he's so cute!" she squealed, and Judah gave her a very Arthur-like look of surprise as she picked him up (Eames was pretty sure he had Arthur's eyebrows). "What did you guys name him?"
"Judah," Eames said. "Jude for short. Just like Arthur said."
"He's precious. How old is he now?"
"Almost four months."
"Wow," Ariadne said, bouncing him a little in her arms, and he squealed with delight. "He's such a big boy now," she babytalked at him, and normally Eames would tease, but it was kind of hard not to talk like that to him. He'd caught himself doing it so many times by now that he'd begun to wonder if he'd get stuck talking that way forever. "Aren't you such a big boy? Such a pretty boy!"
Arthur entered then with his nose in a textbook, notebook stashed under one arm, "Eames, what did you want for dinner to- oh. Oh, hi," Arthur said, realizing they had company.
"Hey," Ariadne greeted, nearly drowned out by the way Judah squealed and reached out for Arthur.
Arthur set his book and notes down on the table and took him into his own arms, giggling when he rubbed noses completely of his own decision.
Ariadne almost melted too, Eames saw it.
"I wanted to congratulate you guys," Ariadne said. "You said in your email it got kind of complicated?"
"Was it ever simple?" Arthur offered, and he was just beaming like the proudest man in the world. Eames wondered if Ariadne was having trouble connecting him to the shy, awkward, hunched boy of her past.
"Good point," she said. "How are you guys doing on your own?"
"We're getting by," Arthur said, settling Judah into his high chair. "He's already stopped feeding off of me at least, so now I look like a boy again."
"Isn't that a little early?"
"Oh, no," Arthur said, waving it off. "He's just switched to regular formula now is all. He's moving up to solids too though."
"He's a fast learner like Arthur," Eames supplied, settling his hand on Judah's head as he walked by to tousle his dark hair and make him giggle, "but he's all personality like me, so I think he got the best of both of us."
"Your personality can be a bit much sometimes," Arthur teased, kissing the baby's forehead and mixing up formula.
"So, you're starting college in a few days, right?" Ariadne asked Eames. "How are you managing all this and working?"
"I sold my house and the valuables in it," Eames shrugged. "It brought forth a pretty penny, and that's helping us get by for now."
"We still both intend to be college graduates," Arthur said, lifting Judah into his arms and pressing a bottle to his lips which he took gratefully. "I'll likely just have to do my classes online like I've done for my high school courses."
"People have been talking about you guys," Ariadne said. "You've been seen buying baby stuff you know. They must think you went crazy and adopted."
"That's alarmingly less crazy than what actually happened," Arthur said, laughing. "You haven't told anyone, have you?"
"Ariadne!" Arthur cried. "I told you not to tell anyone!"
"I couldn't help it! It was Mrs. Cobb! She kept hounding me, and she swore she wouldn't tell anyone else."
"That explains why she recommended me for a full-ride scholarship," Eames offered, chuckling. "I'm shocked she believed you."
"She demanded I bring pictures," Ariadne said.
"Oh, Eames has plenty of those," Arthur smirked. "He's hoarding them in a hat box upstairs."
"Not hoarding. Collecting. Once I buy a photo album, it'll be bloody organized, all right? I just keep forgetting."
"He forgets the album but never the camera," Arthur snorted and Ariadne laughed.
"Good thing I brought one," she said, removing it from the basket.
"That's not going to hold all of them," Arthur laughed. "He took pictures every time he moved in his sleep the first week home."
"We'll pick a select few," Eames said, not daring to deny it when they both knew it was true. "You look at that face and tell me you wouldn't do the same, Ariadne."
"He does have a sweet face," Ariadne said, smiling warmly. "So, are you guys going to have more kids?"
"We haven't even talked about that," Eames said, paling a little at the idea of it. "It's a bit too soon to dare thinking of such a thing."
"We don't even know if I still can after the attack," Arthur said distractedly. "I'll ask Yusuf when we go in for his second round of immunizations next week."
"Have you guys even gotten to boink at all?" Ariadne teased.
The two looked at each other as if trying to remember. "Well, there was that time in the laundry room last week-" Arthur started. "Wait... no. No, we didn't really get to finish that."
"On the beach- no, wait that was a dream," Eames said.
After a few minutes they both decided on the answer, "Not really, maybe, I don't remember."
"You guys are so cute," Ariadne said, badly holding back on a grin. "Do you guys even have a picture of you all together?"
Again the answer was discussed before settling on, "No... we don't, do we?"
Fortunately Eames had his camera on him (surprise surprise), and Ariadne took a picture of the family on the couch, Judah sleeping in Arthur's arms.
...and though Arthur had lost his family, and Eames had left his, they weren't alone at all. They'd come together, made a new family, and neither could be upset about anything for long, not with that sweet little smile.
They didn't know if he was an alpha or an omega yet, but neither cared.
They were a family and that was all that mattered.
I know, I know-- that's the end. D: However, don't worry because I'm planning an extra special *CODA* just for you guys. :D It should be up soon, but I have to write it first.