Title: The Heat Game 1/2
Pairing: John/Sherlock, John/surprise
Disclaimer: I do not own Sherlock, and I do not make any money from this fanwork.
Summary: John is a beta on leave from military service in Afghanistan. Except when he's kidnapped, strapped with explosives, and brought to a public pool he goes into heat. Not a beta, then. One question though: who is his true alpha?
John wakes with a groan, his head pounding where that alpha behemoth conked him in the head with the butt of a gun. Just goes to show him that he shouldn't try to act like a goddamn hero. He should have immediately called for the police, rather than trying to stop those men from abducting that little old lady.
The sharp tang of chlorine burns his nose and throat as John takes a deep breath, and he tentatively flutters his eyes open to the fluorescent lights of a public swimming pool. Great, just great. What kind of criminal abducts a man just to drop him off at a public swimming pool? Although the smell and the bright lights are torture to his pounding head. John self-diagnoses himself with a moderate concussion. Just what he needs.
He struggles to sit up. It is so hot, he feels like his blood is burning. Sweat pools at his temples, under his arms, at the small of his back. He can feel a bead of sweat drip down the back of his knee to his calf. No wonder he's dying of heat: this ridiculous parka his apparent kidnappers dressed him in is heavy and cloying in the humidity of the pool.
Too heavy for a regular parka. John looks down.
He has explosives strapped to his chest underneath the open parka, and a laser sight covering the explosives. Sniper, then. John looks to where he expects the sniper to be, but he can't see anyone. Just darkness. Well, at least this explains what kind of criminals abduct a bloke just to drop him off at a public swimming pool: the kind that wrap their kidnappees in explosives and heavy parkas, apparently. Right now he would quite like to get rid of the parka: it is all too hot in here.
"You're awake," a man states dully. It is the hulking alpha from earlier. Haircut and bearing practically scream military: likely one of the many mouthy alphas that can't take orders well enough to stick around. John's met quite a few of those in his day. He just keeps his beta head down and waits them out. They never last very long. The man hands him an ear piece. "Put it on."
John looks down at the ear piece. He is incredibly tempted to throw it at the man's head, but instead he controls himself and arranges it so he can hear the voice on the other side. He doesn't know what kind of game these criminals are playing. It's not like John has money or connections. He's just a normal, average beta bloke in London on leave from military service in Afghanistan. One stupid enough to try to interfere on behalf of a little old omega lady being harrassed by a bunch of alpha meatheads with guns.
Really. Who even has guns in London these days? Certainly not John: not during leave.
"Hello, Johnny boy," the voice on the other ends practically sings. His voice - because it is certainly a 'he' - is lilting with a soft Irish accent. There's a sort of steel behind his words, though. The leader, then. John thinks he'll call him 'Voice', at least mentally. Nothing else to go on, and he's certainly not going to ask the man's name.
"Hello," John replies mildly, mind racing. How does the man know his name? Oh, of course: they probably checked his pockets when they knocked him out. Not a big leap to guess they took his wallet. John idly wonders if he will have to worry about identity theft if he survives this, then mentally shakes himself and tries to focus on actually surviving this. Maybe his concussion is worse than he thought? John is finding it difficult to think. It might not just be the concussion, though. His brain might be boiling from the heat. It is a wonder the beefy military alpha isn't sweating all over the place.
Well, he's not wearing a parka, after all.
"You're going to repeat everything I say, exactly as I say, and nothing more. Otherwise I'm going to blow you up," Voice threatens cheerily.
"Understood," John says, leaving off the 'sir' he almost wants to slip in there just for the sheer cheek. Again, not a good idea to piss off the likely-insane criminal. No one should be that cheerful while threatening to blow someone up. Just isn't done. "Can I take the parka off while I'm doing all this repeating?"
A beat. There is silence on the other end, and then...
Yes, this criminal is definitely insane. That is John's official medical diagnosis. He doesn't even need to see the bloke.
"No, no. I'm afraid that would ruin the big reveal," Voice tells him, a giggle still in his voice. "Now be good for Sebastian. He's going to be one of the snipers ready to blow you up. Wouldn't do to make him trigger happy. You seem like you could be fun."
The military man grabs his arm and pulls him just outside the doors leading to the pool.
"Stay until boss tells you to move," he says, pulling out a handgun and pointing it at John's chest. He stands just far enough away that there is no chance that John could wrestle the gun away before the man - Sebastian, if Voice was honest - shoots him. Although the other man would have to be willing to get blown up, too.
From the dead look in the other's eyes, John doesn't think this would be a problem. He doesn't chance it. Better to wait for a good opening.
"Walk through the doors," Voice orders him. "Make sure your parka is nice and closed."
It is the last thing John wants to do, but he closes the parka over the explosives. God, he's so hot. He's dripping with sweat. The pool is right there, surely Voice wouldn't mind too much if John jumped in to cool off a bit?
Best not to risk blowing up, John decides regretfully.
John walks through the doors, Sebastian likely still aiming the gun at his back. There's a man waving around a memory stick and saying something about games and dancing. He looks like an alpha: the challenge in his eyes, the swagger in his step. John wonders if the man - John decides to call him Eyes - is a bit off. He has crazy eyes, and he's wearing a ridiculous three-piece suit and not even sweating. Is John the only person in this pool that is dying from the heat?
John ignores Eyes as he glares at John and calls him 'Moriarty'. John also ignores Voice, which might be a mistake because there are snipers in the rafters, but he doesn't care right now.
This can't be happening. He's twenty-six! Very firmly beta age, thank you very much. The army doesn't let (supposed) betas sign up until after their twenty-third birthday. That's the age in which undeclared dynamics are deemed betas if they haven't experienced heat. Sure, there are sometimes exceptions. But they are extremely rare. Less than one percent of one percent of declared betas go on to experience heat and be revealed as omegas.
John liked being a nice, boring, beta bloke. He might not get to have children, but after he turned seventeen and hadn't developed a knot, John thought beta was the best he could get. If he couldn't be an alpha, with all their privileges and power, better to be an oft-ignored beta than an omega drawing a lot of the wrong attention.
It hits him suddenly that he will never go back to Afghanistan. The army doesn't let omegas in its ranks: too 'distracting' for the alphas. John is going to be trapped in the monotony that is London city life. Worse, he's going to be trapped as an omega. His alpha will have legal control over his property, his career, his body.
John stumbles back against the lockers and slides to his arse. One of those alphas - one of those alphas harassing the omega lady must have been his alpha. They wouldn't recognize him right away, of course. Heat isn't sudden onset. It's triggered by an omega's true alpha, but it takes a while to build. The omega usually knows the possibilities for his true alpha, of course. Any new alpha he's met since the start of heat. Sometimes that's just one, so the omega can identify his true alpha pre-knotting, because omegas cannot recognize their true alphas by scent. No, that's for the alpha to declare, after he scents the omega's heat.
God, one of the snipers with his sight trained on John's chest could be his alpha. Sebastian could be his alpha. John blinks blearily up at Eyes, who is now staring down at him with a shocked expression. Everything is blurry, and too hot. He shrugs the parka off, ignoring Voice yelling in his ear. The lasers immediately turn to his chest. John supposes Voice can't hide the fact that John's just the mouth-piece any longer. Eyes stumbles back, looking haggard and… scared? Why would Eyes be scared? He can just run away. He's not the one wrapped in explosives and about to be blown up.
Oh, Eyes is talking too. His voice is melting together with Voice, and John can't tell them apart.
"Oh. You're… you're not Moriarty," Eyes says, sounding faint. John doesn't think Eyes deserves to faint. If anyone deserves to faint, it's John. He's hot and in heat and he's just found out he's an omega and his life is over even if he doesn't explode, because his alpha is a meathead criminal who might at this moment be pointing a sniper rifle at his chest.
Eyes drops to his knees in front of John, reaching forward to stroke his jaw lightly. He's likely enticed by John's pheromones, even though John isn't his true omega. Unmated alphas can't help but be attracted to omegas, even if they aren't mates. John almost feels bad for Eyes, because he's probably going to die because he's listening to his stupid alpha dick rather than running away from the dangerous explosives. Really, it's a wonder alpha stupidity hasn't driven whole human race to extinction.
Another man strides through the doors on the other side of the pool. His gate is almost meandering. Then he speaks.
It's like surround sound.
It's Voice. Another man in another expensive suit. He's on the small side for an alpha, but Voice is unmistakably an alpha. He has crazy eyes too, but it's too late: John already knows him as Voice, and Eyes as Eyes. Besides, Voice's eyes aren't quite as striking as Eyes's eyes.
John has the vague thought that, between his concussion and his heat, he isn't thinking too lucidly anymore. It's a shame, because if he's about to die he ought to at least have the chance to have his life pass before his eyes. He really can't dredge up the energy for that sort of thing right now, though.
"How interesting, Sherlock," Voice says to Eyes - to Sherlock.
What kind of bloody name is Sherlock? Maybe that's why Eyes has crazy eyes. John would have crazy eyes too if his parents named him Sherlock.
"How did you know?" Sherlock asks. He sounds calm, but his hands are shaking nearly imperceptibly. John can only tell because Sherlock is still touching him. "How did you know?"
Voice blinks, clearly a bit surprised and not enjoying it.
"I didn't know Johnny boy was an omega. It even says 'beta' on his ID. Must have met his true alpha amongst my men. Which means I can't kill him anymore, of course. It isn't good to be known as a mate-killer, after all. Well, not a mate-killer of one of your loyal men, at least. No big loss. Just means there won't be an explosion, tonight. Still have quite a few snipers ready," Voice says with a smile.
The little red dots disappear from John, just to refocus on Sherlock.
"He's mine," Sherlock hisses, taking a threatening step forward towards Voice. He's seemingly unperturbed by the snipers focused on him: he takes a gun from his pocket and points it at Voice.
Sherlock just claimed John. That doesn't make any sense, though. John didn't meet Sherlock today. John has never met Sherlock before in his life. Sherlock can't be John's true alpha.
Well, Sherlock can't be John's only true alpha.
John bangs his head back against the locker.
"If… you're not going to blow me up… can I take these bloody explosives off?" John asks, panting a bit.
The two alphas break their death stare to look at John. Voice walks towards him with an insane smile, then stops dead in his tracks when he's about five feet away from John.
"No!" he practically yells, his smile twisting into a grimace. "No!"
John lets his head fall back. Well, Voice seems really determined that John not take his explosives off.
"Step. Back," Sherlock orders firmly, moving to place himself between John and Voice. John vaguely wonders if there are actually snipers behind those little red dots, because there has not been even the threat of a shot yet.
"He's mine," Voice hisses.
Well, that's a turn up, isn't it? Voice must have come into contact with John while he was unconscious, initiating John's heat. So his pre-destined mates are an Irish criminal and a tall bloke with crazy eyes whose parents hated him so much they named him Sherlock.
"So can I take the explosives off, then?" John asks. The alphas ignore him this time, refusing to break their death glare. John imagines that the snipers won't shoot him, what with him being their boss's mate and all. He gently pulls the explosives vest off and throws it into the pool.
The alphas immediately turn to face him. Their pupils are extremely dilated, and they are starting to sweat. John is maliciously pleased that he is no longer the only one feeling the heat. At least the pheromones are good for something.
"One of your better fuck me soon," John says, trying to keep his voice conversational but knowing he likely just comes across as desperate. "Because I'm just about crawling out of my skin."
This is the cue for all hell to break loose.