This is an Alpha/Beta/Omega AU so I totally understand if you skip it if it isn't your thing! Thanks so much.
John stood outside St. Bart's waiting for his mum to come pick him up. He shivered in his thin, borrowed jacket causing his stitches to pull making him gasp in pain. He flushed with embarrassment as people crossed the street to avoid walking near him. He knew what they were thinking. They could smell it on him.
He waited while his mother's old station wagon pulled up and parked so she could help him get into the car. She pulled him into a quick hug, loading his meager belongings in the back before easing him into the front seat. He leaned heavily against the window and closed his eyes resting his forehead on the cold window. His abdomen and hips ached and the pain meds they'd given him seemed about as useless as a placebo. He felt empty and alone and so very tired.
"Did you want to stop and get something to eat, darling?" His mother whispered at him.
"No thanks." John said blandly. "No real reason for it."
"Johnny…" She said sadly.
"I'm sorry." John answered. "I'm just not hungry."
"You'll be fine, honey." She said almost like she was praying for it. "You'll see."
"They took it out of me." John said, fighting back tears. "They took everything, but I can still feel it."
"It'll get better." She said; her voice cracking. "Your father's at home waiting for us. He set up a nice little nest for you to rest in my sewing room."
"Okay." John said. "Is Harry coming over too?"
"You know your sister." His mother answered, traces of exasperation coloring her tone. "She called to say that she was at an integral part of her writing process and had to focus on the manuscript for the next 56-84 hours."
"She's completely mental." John said thankful to finally feel something other than desolation. The irritation felt good. He seemed to grow lighter with the new emotion.
"She is at that." His mother answered wryly.
They pulled up to the worn out house and John's father bustled out to help John inside. He pressed a gruff kiss to his son's shaggy blond hair before going back for John's bags. John shifted to find a comfortable position on the couch as his parents returned to perch near him on the opposite loveseat.
"Did you maybe want something to eat?" His father asked. "I could whip up some pasta."
"He's not hungry, dear." His mother answered for him.
"Oh." His father said searching the living room for topics. "Did you want me to switch on the telly? Or maybe you're tired? Did you want to get some sleep? We set up the sewing room real nice for you."
"Sleep sounds better than anything." John said heavily. "Thanks for this. Both of you. I know you don't have a lot of space."
"Nonsense." His mother cut in. "We're more than happy to have you back. You had to leave when you were so young. It'll be nice to have you around."
"Yeah." John answered. "Umm, I'll need help with changing my dressing."
"Of course." His father answered. "We spoke with your doctors yesterday. They're sending a packet of information for us as well the name and number of an endocrinologist that you have an appointment with next week."
"Right." John said suddenly feeling so overwhelmed he was having trouble breathing.
"Don't worry." His mother cut in sensing his anxiety. "You have all the time in the world to get this straightened out. No rush."
"Yeah," John said. "My whole life."
"God, look at you." Sam breathed as John exited the shower. "You look gorgeous."
"My ankles are swollen, I've got stretch marks, and these hormones have given me acne." John complained. "I would hardly call this gorgeous."
"You're so wrong." Sam said, prowling up to him and rubbing possessively on John's distended stomach. "You find out today, right?"
"Yep." John said leaning up to steal a kiss from his Beta. "They'll give me the due date at my appointment."
"This is everything." Sam whispered fervently still caressing his stomach. "Everything I've ever wanted."
"I'm glad." John said feeling happy and content and so full of warmth. "I'm so lucky to have been given this."
"You deserve it, John." Sam said. "You deserve every good thing for giving me a family."
He stood naked in front of the full length mirror in the bathroom and felt bile rise up in his throat. He was hideous. The scar from the surgery cut right across his lower abdomen bisecting his stretch marks making him look like Frankenstein's monster. His stomach was flabby and lifeless and his chest was slowly deflating. His penis had shrunk with the influx of pregnancy hormones leaving him looking like a sexless freak.
Logically, he understood that he wouldn't look like this forever. His hormones would stabilize, his skin would firm up, and his scars would fade, but the physical evidence would still point to his overlying problem. He was a useless Omega, a brokenbonded nobody, an Omega who would never get pregnant again.
He jerked as someone knocked on the door lightly.
"Son, your appointment is in an hour." His father called. "We have to get going if we want to be on time."
"Okay." John called. He turned away from the mirror and began systematically covering up his failure.
The appointment was with a nice Beta named Dr. Sawyer. She had long, brown hair and kind smile. He went in alone and left his father in the waiting room.
"So, John." She said, gesturing for him to have a seat. "Dr. Rhame sent over your files just this morning. Seems like you've had an extremely rough couple of weeks. How are you holding up?"
"You don't have to…" John said awkwardly. "I've got a therapist."
"John." Dr. Sawyer said firmly. "I care about my patients. I want to know how you are so that I don't overwhelm you with the information that this conversation includes."
"I'm fine." John answered, flushing slightly.
"Alright." Dr. Sawyer said firmly. "Shall we get started?"
"Sure." John said wearily.
"You've recently experienced some trauma that resulted in a late second trimester miscarriage. Your reproductive wall took significant damage during the procedure that left you unable to ever bear children again. Only a few days later the Beta you were bonded with requested a blood scrubbing procedure to effectively sever your bond due to your inability to bear offspring. This procedure was completed ten days ago and since then you were discharged into the care of your parents. Did I leave anything out?" She finished.
"No." John said reeling from having his last month laid out in detail. "That covers it."
"So, John." Dr. Sawyer began again. "You're only nineteen. You have your entire life before you. Regarding your endocrine system, you will function normally. Experiencing several heats throughout the year like you have been. Will you be returning to the Institute?"
"No." John said firmly. "A representative visited while I was in hospital. They don't actually have any clients interested in a brokenbonded Omega who can't have children."
"Right." Dr. Sawyer said sadly. "I'm sorry."
"Yeah." John said feeling something painful clog his throat. "I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do. I'm a bit worthless as is."
"Come now, Mr. Hannigan." Dr. Sawyer chided.
"It's Watson, now." John said firmly. "He took that too."
"Right." She said. "You're not the first patient I've had to experience something like this. There are options."
"Really?" John asked. "Like what?"
"John Watson?" The man asked tentatively.
John glanced up from his book and coffee. He'd been sitting in the Institute's café waiting for his potential mate. He'd been told the day before that they found a potential match for him and he'd been restless for hours, hardly able to sleep the night before. He smiled and stood as the tall, blond man approached. He seemed a bit older. Probably closer to thirty than John was comfortable with considering he was only seventeen, but he looked friendly. He met dark brown eyes before his chaperone made her presence known.
"Mr. Hannigan?" She asked politely.
"Please, call me Sam." The man said barely able to glance away from John.
"Hi Sam." John said politely. "I'm John."
"It's so great to meet you, John." Sam said with a brilliant smile. He gestured to John's neck. "Can I?"
John glanced back to get the nod from his chaperone before turning back and nodding himself. Sam approached slowly wrapping an arm loosely around John's waist and leaning into to nuzzle into John's neck before taking in a deep breath. John felt the other man shiver in appreciation before Sam pulled back.
"You smell amazing." Sam said sounding strangely in awe of John.
"Thanks?" John said with a grin. "Did you want a coffee?"
"Sure." Sam answered.
They sat and chatted for most of the afternoon. It was a little awkward but they eventually found topics that they had in common. They chatted about football and the best place to get chips in London, where he lived, and slowly they got around to why Sam, a Beta, was at the Institute hoping to find a bondmate.
"I've always wanted to start a family." Sam said with a special light gleaming in his eye. "That's always been my goal and my dream. I want to have children and care for them and care for the person who gave me those children."
"But why an Omega?" John asked prudently. "You could easily start a family with a Beta without all of the hoops that you have to jump through with the Institute."
"Unfortunately for me," Sam answered, sounding sad. "I seem to have an incredibly low sperm count. The doctors say my best bet of having children and having several of them would be to bond with an Omega. That's why I'm here."
"Oh." John said. "I see."
"It's worth it." Sam said firmly. "More than anything I want a family. I don't care about the price or the effort. I'll do anything to start a family. And I hope I can start that family with you, John."
John felt his insides swell with hope.
This could really work. He thought. This could be it. I could be bonded.
"A Beta?" Ella asked.
"Yeah." John said calmly. "It's just an idea. I could pretend to be a Beta. Hormone suppressants, body wash, things like that."
"How long have you been considering this?" Ella asked.
"A couple weeks." John said. "Dr. Sawyer told me about it."
"John." She said earnestly. "I've been seeing you since you first entered the Institute at 14. You've always wanted to get bonded and have a family. You love being an Omega."
"I did love being an Omega." John said firmly. "But I'm really not one anymore, am I?"
"John," Ella said. "Being able to be knotted and have children are not the defining characteristics of being an Omega."
"They're the only characteristics that matter." John said.
"You're upset and suffering from terrible loss." Ella said. "You have every right to be angry. What Sam did…"
"Made sense." John cut in. "Having children is always why a wealthy Beta comes to the Institute. It's different with Alphas. They have that urge to bond. When we first met and all through our courting and bonding, all he wanted was to be a father. I was what he wanted because I could give that to him. And I can't anymore. Of course he chose to break the bond."
"So you want to give up everything you've wanted for the past five years and just pretend to be something you're not." Ella said. "This isn't the dark ages. Omegas can get jobs. Look at me."
"Bonded Omegas can get jobs." John said. "They wouldn't even consider me."
"I could make a few phone calls, John." Ella said.
"Yeah." John said. "A pity job doing what? Answering phones? Making copies? No thanks. If I have to accept that everything I ever wanted and had is gone, I want to at least do something worthwhile."
"You really are considering this?" Ella asked.
"Yes." John answered.
"Tell me what it's like." Sam breathed into his neck as they were curled up on their couch naked under a blanket.
"What?" John asked. "My heat?"
"Yes." Sam said running his hands over John's chest.
"I don't know." John said cuddling closer to his Beta. "It's like intense and primal and terrifying and wonderful. But I've obviously never been with someone else during one so it could be completely different."
"I can't wait." Sam said nipping at the mark on John's skin where he'd make his bondbite during the Heat. "I can't wait to smell you and fill you over and over again. How much longer?"
"Another week or so?" John said. "Did you want to try for children right away? I mean, we've only actually been bonded together for a few weeks."
"But we've known each for almost a year." Sam said sounding miffed. "Don't you want to get pregnant? Isn't that why you we went through the bonding ceremony?"
"Yes!" John reassured him. "Of course, yes. I just wasn't sure whether you wanted it to just be you and me for a bit first."
"We've got the rest of our lives for that." Sam said firmly. "I want us to start a family now."
"Alright." John answered, smiling as he shifted and felt his bondmate's interest in this conversation press firmly against his lower back.
"You know, John." Sam said running his fingers lightly over John's own cock. "I feel like we should practice, ya know, for the main event."
"Practice makes perfect." John breathed as arousal slid through his body. "Shall we retire to our bedroom, Mr. Hannigan?"
"I believe we should, Mr. Hannigan." Sam said dragging John to his feet and into the bedroom, John giggling the entire way.
John lay curled up on the small mattress that his father had set up for him in the sewing room rubbing his hands over his childless stomach and struggling to keep the sobs quiet. One month. An entire month since he'd been tripped and fell down that flight of stairs. A month since he felt movement and kicks and he took folic acid and people would give him their seats on the Tube. A month since he'd curled up with his Beta and they'd whispered about their plans and their family and Sam would hold him close and promise to care for him forever. A month since he'd been in their nursery, since he'd curled up on the sofa and read the baby stories and researched his role as a mother. A month since he'd been able to tell their baby that he loved him. An entire month since everything had been ripped away from him and he was left empty and alone and useless.
He reached back and felt the bite mark Sam had given him during his first shared heat, his only heat with his bondmate. He was marked. Practically property of another human being and it was supposed to be forever. They were supposed to have kids together and raise them and send them off to school and then have the rest of their lives to grow old together and love each other. He wasn't supposed alone and empty and worthless. No one would ever want him again.
"Yes, I get it." Sherlock practically shrieked. "Thanks."
"Sherlock," Mycroft chided softly. "It's nobody's fault. These things just happen on occasion."
"On occasion?" Sherlock shouted, pitching his phone violently at the nearest wall. "Six times! Six! That's not on occasion, you plumpy imbecile."
Mycroft ran a hand over his eyes trying to ease the tension building between his temples. This wasn't going as he'd hoped. This was the sixth Omega that his little brother had been paired with and the sixth time the Omega had politely but firmly told him to bugger off. He could practically hear Sherlock's synapses firing rapidly searching for solutions and reasons.
"Sherlock, we talked about this." Mycroft tried again. "You know that most Alphas don't attempt to find an Omega to bond with until their mid-twenties. We both know that you are incredibly gifted in many areas, but you're only sixteen. Maybe the Omegas are hoping for someone more stable to bond with at this time. Why don't you try again in a few more years?"
"I am stable!" Sherlock bit back. "I've got more plans and more brains then that entire population of that bloody Institute."
"Why do you want to bond so early anyway?" Mycroft asked curiously.
"Because I need someone." Sherlock said firmly. "Everything will be perfect, everything will work out if I have someone with me."
"Are you saying you want to start a family at sixteen?" Mycroft poked at him. "You might want to wait for that trust fund to mature first."
"Not that." Sherlock scoffed. "That doesn't occur for at least a decade in The Plan, but there has to be an Omega right now who isn't immediately interested in reproduction. I need that one."
"You do realize that life doesn't work like a chemistry equation." Mycroft scolded. "Just having all the correct parts does not a success make."
"What do you know?" Sherlock snapped. "You studied Maths. And what does that bloody representative know anyway? She probably studied drama. Bloody cow."
"Sherlock!" Mycroft said frustrated. "What did she say exactly?"
"Some complete rubbish about not being personable or easy to get along with or too stop being so weird…" Sherlock said deflating. "Complete rubbish…"
"Can we at least agree that you should make the attempt to wait a bit longer before you try again?" Mycroft said softly. "Maybe a few years will make you seem more…desirable…to potential bondmates."
"Alphas and Omegas are supposed to be together." Sherlock muttered. "That's how it works. I'm supposed to have someone…"
"You'll have your Omega eventually, Sherlock." Mycroft said, trying to comfort his desperately lonely younger sibling. "Give it time. You'll see. Someone will choose you when the time is right."