Notes: Please let it be known that I have no idea where this is going, and that I wrote it almost entirely on a whim. Also because of the wonderful shenanigans of Team White Coroner during PWD.
Also, if you're not aware of what Omegaverse is, you may want to look it up. I'll offer you this: It's full of male pregnancy and has very unsubtle dub con issues. If either of those things squick you out this may not be the story for you. I tried as hard as I could to take out the dub con vibes, but depending on who you are you may still see it.
Warnings: Language, adult situations, vague dubcon vibes, Mpreg (Male pregnancy.)
Day One: Accidental Fertilization and Accompanying Panic
Birth control for Omegas is still ridiculously touch-and-go, especially considering scientists have been at the plight for the better part of twenty years. Some of the birth control that works for female Omegas does not work for male Omegas, some of them visa versa, and none of them—absolutely none of them—have higher than an eighty percent success rate. That means every Omega that takes any birth control is stretching the odds each and every time they go into heat. Some birth controls only promise a sixty-forty chance, and others as low as fifty-fifty.
Of course, it comes with the territory. The ridiculous rush of hormones that go through an Omega's body during Heat is hard to find a supplement for, considering that birth control itself is a mix of different hormones, most of which may as well be rendered obsolete when an Omega's pheromones really start flowing. There have even been some birth controls designed for the Alpha to take, because the hormones are a bit more predictable. But they soon found out those had spermicidal qualities and had a tendency to cause long-term effects that may inhibit later fertility. Needless to say, an Alpha's fertility is a big portion of his own ego, and the pills had their patents revoked and were taken off the market almost before they appeared.
Some Omegas mix birth controls. They figure taking two with an eighty percent success rate reduces the odds of pregnancy. Of course, any chemist would tell them otherwise—that, in fact, it's dangerous to mix birth controls and may cause very peculiar Heats. Peculiar heats, of course, that may confuse Omegas and enrage Alphas. No one, even in modern times, pretends that a great number of Alphas are volatile and could cause harm to their Omegas if they detect anything peculiar about their scent. Other than that, it may even increase fertility depending on which ones you're mixing.
Basically, mixing birth controls is a big, huge DO NOT DO that every Omega boy and girl is taught in sex education in school, is on the back of every birth control carton, is flashed all across internet medical websites, and is something any doctor, chemist, pharmacist, psychologist, gynecologist, university professor, mother, father, and librarian will tell you.
Yet people still do it.
Sherlock Holmes: Chemist, detective, and Omega; laughs at them. Every time John comes home and tells him some Omega got themselves in a bad way by mixing birth controls, he has himself a chuckle and shakes his head. John calls him cruel for it, but Sherlock just says fools are meant to be laughed at.
"Not all Alphas are okay with using condoms, you know," John remarks on one such occasion, after telling Sherlock about a woman who had come to the surgery worried about how two Heat Times had come and gone with no sign of a change. She had thought she might be pregnant, but four pregnancy tests had told her otherwise. Finally, after blood tests courtesy of John's surgery, they told the woman that the combination of hormones in the birth controls she'd been mixing had effected her in such a way to block her Heats for several months. John had assured her that her Heats would return, but they may never be the same, so she may want to warn her Alpha.
In response to this—John's statement, that is—Sherlock shakes his head and says, "People like that live in the past."
"Yeah, I know, but they think it's…well, they think it's the Omega's job to take care of stuff like that. Some of them just don't like birth control at all. They think it's…insulting."
"Yes, I'm aware that some Alphas are under the impression that they are God's gift to mankind and that Omegas should realize they exist just to carry their children. But the practice of Omegas sitting at home and setting up shop as breeding machines was left in the last century and I think that's where it should stay."
"What I'm saying is, it's not the Omega's fault."
"That they're stupid?" Sherlock lifts the goggles he's been using—it had been a compromise; wear the goggles and you get to install a fume hood—and uses them to push back his hair so he can wipe his brow. The kitchen is rank with a chemical smell that John vaguely recognizes as having hints of ammonia. John hopes it's just the smell and not the actual fumes that are in the kitchen.
"No, that their Alphas are misogynistic gits."
"There are receiving-partner condoms."
"Yeah, but those are more a beta thing." John sighs and shrugs, sitting down. "There's a reason they used to be called female condoms." Female betas are usually just sexed as 'female,' and the same with male betas.
"I don't see why gender matters."
"Because, when an omega is in the middle of heat, do you really think the ones whose Alphas won't wear condoms are going to sit around and wait for them to insert a receiving-partner condom?" He leans back and loosens his tie, unbuttons two of the top buttons, shucks his cardigan. "Same goes for that dissolving spermicide stuff you used that one time."
"Uhg, don't remind me. It wasn't one of my shining moments." It had worked, but it was messy and had to be reinserted after every bowel movement, and after every two bouts of intercourse which, considering an average Heat for Sherlock was five days, numbered at about eighteen reapplications after which time they had to sit around for fifteen minutes and wait for it to take effect. He'd gone through two cartons of the stuff in just under a week and the constant reapplication had caused irritation in a place where it was really rather unfortunate to have irritation.
John shrugs, never having really blamed Sherlock for the incident. It had been two years ago, one of the first Heats they'd careened through together shortly after bonding, and they were still trying different things. Hadn't quite figured out what worked for them. Eventually (And after a pregnancy scare that really redefined scare for Sherlock) they decided condoms, dependable and fool-proof as they were, was the way to go.
After the air in the room becomes a bit less acrid, Sherlock turns off the fume hood, caps all of his chemicals, moves his lab supplies onto the counter designated for them, and puts on the kettle. Sits down next to John and waits for the kettle to boil. He's still in his dressing gown—John wonders if he's showered today, kind of hopes he hasn't—and loose pajama pants, so it's perfectly comfortable for him to pull one knee up to his chest and lean his head upon it. One would think that at the age of thirty-three, Sherlock would have started losing some of his natural flexibility. It doesn't look that way, though.
"Speaking of Heats," Sherlock says, "mine is coming up soon."
"Mmm-hmm." John noticed the gradual increase in pheromones yesterday morning. They've probably been getting higher for about a week now (Sherlock's cycle is roughly forty-eight days, although it's gone as long as sixty and as short as thirty in the past) but it hasn't been noticeable until now. Which means the Heat is probably almost upon them. "What about it?" They go through it every two months, so it's not as though it's something they really need to prepare for. Maybe stock up on groceries. Make sure the condoms are plentiful. Leave a note for Mrs. Hudson—she likes to go stay with her sister when Sherlock's heat happens ("My boys need their privacy.") and appreciates it when they give her warning. She's a beta. She's not as in tune with pheromones as Alphas and Omegas.
"Just thought about it, that's all." That's not all, John rather thinks, because Sherlock has that pinched-up look he gets when he's not saying something—verbal constipation, John calls it when Sherlock isn't listening—but figures it's best not to push the issue. Sherlock will tell him on his terms. Never good to try and force things out of Sherlock.
Three days pass. Sherlock goes into Heat while John's at work. He gets a text between patients that says nothing but IT'S HAPPENING but, unlike Sherlock's first few Heats, it's not as urgent, and he can finish his shift. He drops by Sarah's office on the way out and tells her he's going to need the rest of the week off for Estrus Leave—he gets a week of it every month, which is brilliant because he knows some employers allow as few as three days a month—and she says alright, calls him a lucky bastard, and smirks at him. Sarah's a Beta, but even she knows an ovulating Omega is one of life's greatest pleasures.
On his way out the surgery, John does what he daren't do while still on the clock—checks his phone. The first few were obviously sent when Sherlock was still in the first stages of heat—Wish you were here, take the rest of the day off, then: No, wait, ignore that one. Sorry. Then: Feels like I'm burning, always feels like I'm burning.
They get a bit racy after that, also a bit incoherent, so John merely texts ON WAY HOME. BE IN BEDROOM. and tells the cab driver as he gets in that he'll get twice the fare he deserves if he gets him to Baker Street within the next twenty minutes. The cabbie smirks into the rearview and says, "Your mate in heat or something?"
"Yeah, he is," John replies, a bit of a growl on the end even though he knows the cabbie is a Beta, that they have to be under British law, and even then his actions are irrational because Sherlock is at home waiting for him, not some random cabbie. The cabbie, probably used to it, takes it in his stride and manages to get John to Baker Street in fifteen minutes. John tosses a twenty at him, which is not quite double the fare but the cabbie isn't about to complain.
The scent of estrus hits him the moment he gets the door open, and he immediately closes it behind him lest anyone on the street get any ideas. His possessive, protective, paranoid Alpha instincts are already starting to set in with the smell of an Omega—his Omega—in heat. Not wanting to keep Sherlock waiting any longer, he charges up the seventeen steps to 221B, drops his briefcase at the door, and continues through the kitchen, into the bedroom.
There Sherlock lays, curled up on his side. He's shaking and his body has a thin layer of perspiration. John can see the wetness on his thighs; he's positively leaking for John's cock. Immediately, he begins shedding clothes, watching as Sherlock comes out of his stupor and says, "Oh, thank God," and springs out of bed, attaching himself to John.
John's hands go to Sherlock's bottom, that ample bottom, waiting for him. Lifts Sherlock up, encouraging his legs to go round his waist, and growls into Sherlock's neck, "You ready for me? Ready for my big, Alpha cock? You better be."
Sherlock's reply is not so much words, but it is verbal; a long, drawn out groan as John carries him to the bed and throws him upon it. Kneels between his spread legs and pulls off his belt, undoes his trousers, and pushes them and his pants to his knees. Foreplay is something that does not exist during Heat.
"Condom, condom!" Sherlock yells with his last shred of sense, gesturing wildly to the bedside table. John growls and lunges for the drawer, retrieving the entire carton and removing one before tossing its brethren to languish at the foot of the bed. As he rolls it on, he says, "One of these days you're not gonna want to use these. You're going to want to have my babies, Sherlock."
"Babies, yes, someday just get in me," Sherlock groans, wrapping his legs around John's waist. They're positioned awkwardly on the bed, John still bracing himself against the floor with one foot and Sherlock splayed widthwise along it. They're going to regret this when knotting starts and they're forced to hold their positions for nigh on an hour, but for right now Sherlock doesn't care less, is completely incapable of forethought, just wants relief.
John moves a hand down, pushes two fingers into Sherlock and says, "Fuck, you're wet."
"Please, John. Please."
He slots himself between Sherlock's slick thighs, lifts him by the bum, and slides into him all in one thrust. Sherlock cries out, scrapples along the bed and grips the sheets. "Yes, yes John, oh God!"
Already having forgotten the condom, John thrusts savagely, biting at Sherlock's neck and growling, "That feel good, Sherlock? Does my cock feel good? Soon enough I'll knot you. I'll knot you good and proper and fertilize that little egg you've got, the one that's making you feel like this and smell so good. I'll give you a baby, Sherlock, and you'll carry it around. You'll get big and huge and everyone will know who put that baby in you, Sherlock. Everyone will know why. You'll have to fucking waddle from place to place, you'll be so huge."
"Oh god," is all Sherlock says, perhaps with a squealing noise on the end that denotes his first orgasm. Everything ripples, fucking everything, and Sherlock contributes a small shot of ejaculate to the growing wet spot on the sheets. When he's lucid again, when the very whiff of Sherlock's smell does not send him into a frenzy, John will change the sheets and perhaps go downstairs and get Sherlock a pudding cup or an orange. For now it's a vague thought at the back of his mind, where the sensible John Watson has taken up residence. For now the manic beast, Alpha John is out in full force.
"Bet you're already pregnant," John tells him. "Bet that baby of ours is already growing. Can you feel it, Sherlock?"
Although Sherlock cannot focus on anything but John's penis pillaging his nether regions, Sherlock cries, "Yes!" to appease him and pulls back his knees to his chest, changing the angle and saying, "Please John, I need your knot, knot me John…!"
In more sensible moments, John might have told Sherlock that he can't orgasm on command, thank you very much, but in the madness of Heat, all he can do is growl and thrust into Sherlock harder, faster, until Sherlock is screaming out another climax and John can feel the knot coming into existence. It takes him three tries to push it past Sherlock's muscles, at which point stars explode behind his eyes and Sherlock's muscles clamp down on him.
Stuck together for the foreseeable future, Sherlock drops his arms and legs and lets his muscles rest and tries to catch his breath. John runs soothing hands over his stomach, his chest, and over both thighs. Tuts, because the dried fluids are tacky to the touch and probably aren't very comfortable to be covered in.
"I," Sherlock says, sounding supremely displeased, "am in the wetspot."
"Well, there's not a lot we can do about that right now," John sighs, although his leg is starting to really bother him. He glances over at the pillows and says, "On second thought, get your heels on the end of the bed. Yeah, good. Push back, slowl-ow, slowly, Sherlock!"
Somehow, they manage to get themselves semi-lengthwise on the bed. Sherlock's head is nestled in the corner between the bed and wall, and John's feet are still hanging off the bed, but it's better than nothing.
"Feel okay?" John murmurs, back to his normal self—for the moment. The worst part has passed, but the mating period will still continue for four or five days, considering Sherlock won't actually be impregnated and the Heat will have to run its course as if Sherlock hadn't mated at all, but it will make things much more bearable and John won't quite reach the level of psychosis he had at the first whiff of Sherlock's estrus scent.
"Nice feeling in your tummy?"
"It's a stomach, John." Sherlock nips his ear and shifts, making the appendage still inside of him brush against his over-sensitive prostate. He winces. "You know, someday I'll invent something that reduces knotting time. This is ridiculous."
"Mm. I know."
Sherlock ends up dozing on John's shoulder while John caresses him; shoulders, back, bum, and thighs. The room still smells heavily of sex, and will for at least a week by the time they're done. It's not so bad now, but it will be a few days from now when the smell goes stale. He makes a note to invest in some of those automatic air fresheners.
Finally, at around five o'clock, roughly an hour after John arrived home, he feels the knot go down. Sherlock groans as his own muscles loosen, then pulls away. John watches him, half-lidded, intending to get up and go get some fresh sheets. That plan, however, is completely derailed from his train of thought when he glances down between them and witnesses small amount of white fluid slide down the backs of Sherlock's thighs. He's stock-still as it drips onto the mattress, fervently chanting this is not happening inside his head. Realizes it must be happening when Sherlock moves a hand back and catches some of said fluid on his fingers.
"Shit," he chooses to hiss, and sits up. Pulls off the condom and realizes there's a massive hole on it. Swears again. Sherlock sits up as well, turns around to face him, and takes the condom. Does a bit of swearing of his own.
He sits back, against the headboard, and folds his hands in front of his face. John takes the condom into the bathroom and throws it out, then comes back in with his own head hung and perches himself on the edge of the bed. Places his head in his hands. Sherlock is still over at the headboard, staring straight ahead with his fingers pressed against his pursed lips. Eventually, he says, "You're going to have to go get me an After-Heat pill. My Heat has stopped but I'm still going to reek of it."
"I know," John says. Cautiously, he ventures, "Think you're pregnant?"
"I don't see how I can't be," Sherlock sighs. "Granted, I don't think one can be considered pregnant until the blastocyst implants in the wall of the uterus. Right now the sperm won't have even reached the egg. Although every moment we sit here and talk about it, they get closer so John, I need that pill."
"Yes, of course I'm…" Sherlock trails off, staring at John and narrowing his eyes. He lowers his hands, placing them on the bed and scrunching the bed sheets. Says, "You don't want me to take an After-Heat pill, do you?"
"No! I just want to be sure…you know. That you're…well, you know."
"Are those ridiculous Alpha hormones still scrambling your brain?" Sherlock demands. He moves to the edge of the bed and slips off, standing before John, naked and cross. "You know as well as I do that we can't have children. We agreed. Two years ago we agreed that children was something that would never happen."
"I know, I know. Just…well, if we were going to do it…now would be the time." He sighs, reaches forward and cups Sherlock's hips in either hand. Pulls him forward and leans his forehead against his mate's stomach. "Don't you ever…feel like we could do it? Like we could be parents? When we're having sex, don't you ever think that having a baby wouldn't be so bad?" He plants a kiss in Sherlock's pubic hair, inhaling deeply the still very prevalent scent of Heat. Perhaps that's what's making him say these things.
Sherlock's fingers card through John's hair and he says, "Sometimes. But that's during sex. It's an altered mental state; we're programmed to think 'baby now.' This is…I would be an awful parent, John. I know that, you know that…the greater London area knows that. What would people think if I got pregnant? God, they'd probably take the child away just on principal."
"Think you'd be a great father," John breathes against Sherlock's navel.
Sighing, John stands up and nods. "I know. Really, I know. It's just sometimes I get to thinking and…I don't know." He shrugs and starts heading towards the en-suite. Calls over his shoulder, "Can you strip the bed?"
The 'yeah' he gets in return sounds small and discontent, and John wonders if Sherlock is sulking, angry, or just upset.
He goes to the shop, and the woman at the cash register is obviously an Omega because she stares dazedly at him the entire time she's paying. He must still be releasing the pheromones associated with Heat. She quickly realizes, however, given the product he's buying it's not time to try and chat him up. Instead she says, "This shouldn't be taken with certain types of female Omega contraceptives."
"Not a problem," John replies, and exits the store before she can attempt conversation again.
When he arrives home, Sherlock has deposited himself on the couch, wrapped up in his dressing gown and clean pajamas. Sporting damp hair and a smell not unlike that of clean cotton, John knows he's taken a shower. Hands him the bag from the chemist's and says, "Take one dose now, and take the other twelve hours from now. If you feel nauseas, that's normal, although if you vomit less than two hours after taking the pill you're going to have to take another one."
"Thank you, Doctor Watson, but I can read," Sherlock mutters, examining the back of the package. Instead of snapping back—they're both still high on hormones and adrenalin and Sherlock's probably a bit scared—John drifts into the kitchen and puts on the kettle. Leans against the counter and stares at it until Sherlock comes in, gets himself a glass of water, and proceeds to stare at the two pills in the punch-out packaging. His thumb hovers over one, as though waiting for a command that doesn't want to come.
John presses a hand to his back and says, "It's okay."
Silence wraps around them, uncomfortably tight, as they both stare at the package in Sherlock's hands. The kettle whistles for five seconds before the automatic shutoff silences it, but John makes no move to make use of the freshly boiled water. Finally, Sherlock says, "Do you want children, John?"
He wants to say no—knows that this whole staring contest with a packet of emergency contraception will stop if he just says no. But for some reason he fumbles and mutters, "I…don't know. I mean, I always thought, before I met you, but…It's not as though we can…"
"John, I'm asking you a very simple question." He holds up the pills and says, "Do you want me to take these? Keeping in mind that if I don't, we're signing ourselves up for eighteen years of…dripping noses and crying and state education and…"
"Sherlock, really. I'm not in a position to make the decision. It's your body. You do what you think is best, and I'll support your decision either way." He has to admit that something terrifying yet exhilarating happens in his gut when he thinks about it. Allows himself to think about a future containing a pregnancy and a baby, what that will be like.
Still the staring continues. They must stand there for fifteen minutes, staring at the packet, and several times Sherlock's muscles tense as though he's going to make a move. Then he stops, sighs, and ends up not moving after all. After the fourth or fifth time, he mutters, "If we did…it's so sudden. How would we…?"
"Well we've got nine months to think about it," John remarks, and he can't help but think is this actually happening? because if Sherlock is at the asking questions stage, he's already gotten himself halfway convinced. It's insane; this morning he never thought he'd be standing here right now, contemplating the possibility of letting a broken condom propel them into parenthood. It's no wonder it's happening like this, though; they've always been rash.
"I'm just afraid," Sherlock says, "that if I do this, I'll regret it."
John stays silent, aware that anything he says right now is going to bias him in one direction or the other, and he doesn't want Sherlock to think he's rooting for either option. He's bent on having no opinion. Is keeping his mind carefully blank to avoid it. Whatever Sherlock decides, he will support the decision.
"I would be a horrible father."
"You wouldn't." He can't help but comment on that. Tries to keep his voice as neutral as possible. Rubs Sherlock's back.
Sherlock sighs, shakes his head, and mutters, "I can't believe I'm doing this," before tossing the pills into the trash. He stares at them for a minute, foot still pressing down on the peddle to keep the lid from closing, then very decisively lets it fall closed and sits down at the kitchen table. Looks up at John and says, "What do we do now?"
Frankly, John doesn't know. It feels like the world has tilted on its axis but there's really nothing they can do. He says, "Wait."
It's not a satisfying answer for Sherlock; John didn't expect it to be. But he's completely lacking in any other response. He watches as Sherlock gets up from the table, plants himself on the sofa, and draws his knees up to his chest. John turns back to the kettle, pours out the lukewarm water, and puts on some more. Doesn't come into the living room until he has two cups of tea, and places one in front of Sherlock. Joins him on the sofa and stares ahead at nothing. The telly isn't even on.
"Alright?" John murmurs eventually, settling down his cup and rubbing Sherlock's thigh. Kisses Sherlock's cheek. Wants to tell him he did the right thing, but doesn't know how without implying that the wrong thing would have been to take the pill. So much confliction.
Sherlock takes a deep breath and leans into John, muttering, "We're having a baby."
"Yes." John smiles into Sherlock's mass of curls. "We are."