A/N: I am so, so sorry.

can't turn off what turns me on

Profile: Sand_Scavenger
Designation: Omega (Female)
Age: 22
Location: Seattle metro
[picture of freckled woman squinting up at the Space Needle]
Seeking: Alpha assistance for non-suppressed heat cycle
Dates: August 8-11
Preferences: Willing to remain on blockers, hotel-only, casual-only.

Rey's profile is on the UPCOMING HEAT NOTIFICATION list for less than ten minutes before the inbox deluge begins.

Knot pic. Knot pic.

Message: Hi sweet thing. gettin slick?

Message: short notice but for a hard heat i'm totally dtr

Knot pic. Dick, balls, and knot pic.

Message: Hey. Like to do you. Let me konw.

Knot pic.

Rey bangs her head lightly against her phone.

There is no part, absolutely no part, of being an Omega that she does not hate, but heat matching apps? They are the fucking worst. Worse than the stained panties, worse than the uncompensated work loss, worse than the shitty free-clinic suppressants that barely do jack shit compared to the high end stuff that Omegas with halfway-decent health insurance get access to. All those things suck, but motherfucking heat matching apps are the absolute goddamn worst.

She's cranky. So sue her.

Message: your perfect. Thirty seconds later: hello? Thirty seconds later: bitch.

Dick pic. Knot pic. Lower abs pic with the tattoo Alpha Ride and an arrow pointing downwards.

It's midnight. Her heat's due in barely twenty-four hours. She shouldn't have left finding an Alpha until the last minute, she knows that, but it's such anightmare finding someone new.

(Why did Poe have to go and fall in love? After two just-bone-me-and-shut-up Alphas in a row - and before that, The Time She Didn't Talk About - Poe had been great. He was good to her: arrogant, of course, but he followed her rules, kept her satiated, and always made sure things were light-hearted. They had three really good cycles together. But then they got friendly enough that they started hanging out outside of heat… which is how Poe met Finn... which is how Rey lost both an Alpha and a roommate.

They just adopted a cat. Finn sent her a video earlier today.

She's happy for them both. She really, genuinely is. Just... not right now.)

Knot pic. Knot pic - and from the look of it, the owner needs to see a medical professional immediately. Tomato emoji, eggplant emoji, three water emojis, winky-face emoji.

Oh, for God's sake.

Her glands are already itchy and she's changed her underwear twice. Unless she wants to spend three days in writhing misery, she's going to have to swipe right on one of these prize winners.

Message: Hi. I saw your post. I would like to have a conversation with you, if you're willing.

Rey pauses.

Correctly spelled words, accurate use of conjunctions, capitalization in the right places, and no up front request for nudes?

On a matching app, that's basically a unicorn.

"All right," she mutters, shifting on her sofa. (Rey rescued it from a curbside three years ago, and it's still the most comfortable thing she's ever owned.) She clicks through to Mr. Good Grammar's profile. "Let's see what's wrong with you."

Profile: Kylo_Ren
Designation: Alpha (Male)
Age: 29
Location: Seattle metro
[picture of dark-haired, unsmiling man in sunglasses]
Seeking: Omega to assist in heat cycle
Dates: N/A
Preferences: N/A

Well, he's not picky, she'll give him that. And he's dressed in his profile pic, so… that's a nice change.

She kind of likes the look of him, too; Rey's not sure she'd notice him when walking down the street, but the longer she examines his picture, the more there is to see. Then again, it might be her hormones talking. Before much longer any Alpha's going to look like God's gift to Omegas.

He's online, too.

She swipes.

Sand_Scavenger : Do you go into rut around hard heats?

Waiting. Waiting.


Kylo_Ren : What do you mean by 'hard heat'?

Sand_Scavenger : As in, not a soft heat. Obviously.


Kylo_Ren : I don't know what that means.

Kylo_Ren : I haven't done this before.

Kylo_Ren : I hope that's all right.

Huh? Rey checks his profile again; it was only created two days ago.

Oh. She winces, suddenly feeling like a jerk. It took her weeks to figure out the shorthand; months passed before she realized 'dtr' meant 'down to rut', instead of 'define the relationship' like on the Beta app Tinder. If Kylo_Ren hasn't used a heat matching program before, it makes sense that he's a little lost. (It also makes sense that he hasn't give up apostrophes yet.)

Sand_Scavenger : Soft heats are for Omegas on Concealatrex. The new pills with the variable hormones. So those 'I'm extra horny but a good dildo will do the trick' heats are called 'soft' on here.

Sand_Scavenger : Like softcore porn.

Sand_Scavenger : It's kind of derogatory.

Sand_Scavenger : But any Omega who can pay for the latest suppressants can survive a little mocking.

Kylo_Ren : I see.

Okay, yeah. Rey's definitely acting like a jerk. Which isn't a good sign for their compatibility. But, then again… it's not like he's actually said anything to make her feel bad. She's just ranting at him for no reason. Stupid hormones.

She continues:

Sand_Scavenger : I'm on the cheap stuff where if you don't have an unsuppressed cycle every six months you develop immunity and it stops working at all. So the 'if you don't fuck me raw and tell me I'm a good girl I'll lose my mind' heats get labeled 'hard'. Which is what I'm stuck with.

Then, to make amends for her abruptness before:

Sand_Scavenger : Don't feel bad. Took me awhile to figure it out too.

Sand_Scavenger : And I'm sorry for being crabby. I promise I'm usually more pleasant than this.

Kylo_Ren : No need to apologize. The day before an Omega's heat cycle is a biologically tempestuous time.

Sand_Scavenger : You sound like you're reading from an instruction manual.

Kylo_Ren : I am.

Rey cracks a smile, in spite of her mood. All right, he's funny. Point in his favor. (The other point in his favor is that her message box is still pinging with notifications, and if she reads 'show me ur slick' one more time she's going to hand Finn a butcher knife and beg for a hysterectomy.)

He's typing again.

Kylo_Ren : With regards to your original question, I'm on very strong blockers. As long as I take them, I don't go into rut. Even around unsuppressed Omegas in heat.

Kylo_Ren : Which is not to say Omegas in heat don't catch my attention.

Kylo_Ren : Or that you wouldn't catch my attention.

Kylo_Ren : I'm sure you would.

Kylo_Ren : I assume that's what you want.

Kylo_Ren : My attention, I mean.

Sand_Scavenger : That's kind of the idea, yeah.

Okay, he'll do. Rey swipes back to the app's main screen, changes her notice to 'filled' (ha-ha), and deletes all the other messages clogging up her inbox.

Sand_Scavenger : I want you to stay on blockers the whole time. That's a deal-breaker. Do you agree?

Kylo_Ren : I do.

Sand_Scavenger : Do not come near my mating gland. Do not touch it, do not smell it, do not put your mouth ANYWHERE near it, no matter what I say at the time. That's not me, THIS is me, and the mating gland is 100% off-limits. Understand?

Kylo_Ren : Yes.

Sand_Scavenger : And the short notice isn't a problem?

Kylo_Ren : I'm between jobs at the moment, so no.

Sand_Scavenger : There's a decent heat hotel on Takodana Avenue. I'll send you the address. We can split the cost.

Kylo_Ren : I'll pay.

Sand_Scavenger : You just said you're between jobs.

Kylo_Ren : It's not an issue. Alphas tend to Omegas in heat. I'll pay.

The independent, I-take-care-of-myself-just-fine part of Rey wants to protest. The Omega, I'm-almost-in-hard-heat part of Rey likes the assertiveness and the promise of her needs being met.

But, in reality, it's the practical, I-don't-have-a-new-roommate-yet-and-hotels-are-expensive part of Rey that gets the deciding vote.

Sand_Scavenger : All right. You pay.

Sand_Scavenger : I'm off work at 6, so tomorrow at 7, then? Shouldn't start full-force until the next morning, so we'll have a few hours to ease in.

(Working that close to her heat will be miserable, but she can't afford to take off a single hour more than necessary. She's going to be eating ramen for the next month as it is.)

Kylo_Ren : 7 is fine.

Sand_Scavenger : Okay. I'll see you then.

Kylo_Ren : Wait

Kylo_Ren : You're logging off?

Rey pauses just before closing the window. Frowns at the message.

And replies.

Sand_Scavenger : Was there something else?



Kylo_Ren : No. I suppose this is the customary level of communication.

Oh, right. First time with a matching app.

Sand_Scavenger : Yeah, usually. I mean, I'm an Omega going into heat. You're an Alpha looking to fuck an Omega going into heat. That's pretty much all anyone needs to know about each other on here.




Kylo_Ren : Yes. I imagine instinct takes care of the rest.

Sand_Scavenger : Exactly.

But because that feels unsatisfying, Rey adds:

Sand_Scavenger : But we can talk about our favorite movies during those couple sane minutes when we're knotted. Sound good?

Kylo_Ren : Sounds good.

Kylo_Ren : May I know your name before we meet in person?

Kylo_Ren : Unless it's Scavenger.

Rey snorts.

Sand_Scavenger : No, that's an old joke. A bad one. From when I was a kid.

Sand_Scavenger : But sometimes you have to make fun of the past, because if it weren't funny, it would just be true, you know?

Kylo_Ren : Yes. I do.

Sand_Scavenger : I'm Rey.

Sand_Scavenger : Who are you?

Kylo_Ren : I'm Ben.

Sand_Scavenger : I'll see you tomorrow, Ben.

Kylo_Ren : I'll see you tomorrow, Rey.