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"Choose love! Choose love! Enter the rose garden. Let your soul make peace with the horns."

- Rumi -

There are benefits to having an alpha friend.

For one, Louis has a human furnace to warm him up whenever he's cold. He also has a personal bodyguard to scare away insistent alphas and make sure Louis gets home safely whenever they go out together. And someone to calm him down when he gets too anxious because his omega emotions are all out of whack. Not only that, but Harry offers a certain dynamic to their friend group they just wouldn't have without him, kind of like the big dumb alpha who isn't really dumb at all but sometimes he pretends just to make Louis laugh.

Of course Louis would like Harry just the same if he wasn't alpha, but. Maybe even more so than he does now, because then there wouldn't be awkward moments between them brought on by their secondary genders. Like the one time Harry accidentally scent-marked Louis because his rut was coming up and he was feeling protective, or when Louis got really possessive a few days ago and snapped at the omega server for flirting a little too obnoxiously with Harry. Harry had only laughed, the bastard.

Still, there are definitely perks to being friends with an alpha. Specifically, during heats.

Not real heats, but soft heats. Heats suppressed by medication that aren't really heats at all, but just a period of time lasting seven days long when Louis is particularly cranky and sensitive and really needing to cuddle with someone. Most of the time, a regular beta just won't do.

It's not that an omega will die without a bit of physical contact during a soft heat, but it's quite an annoyance. Being single is difficult for omegas and Louis despises that. He doesn't want to be cornered into a relationship just to relieve some of the nuisances of being a single omega, but sometimes it just seems so tempting to bond with the first alpha that shows interest in him just to get all the inconveniences out of the way.

It wouldn't be hard for Louis to find a willing alpha, either, and that's something he tries not to take for granted. He's always had a lot of alphas interested in him, because they think his scent is special or something, somehow particularly sweet and desirable. Louis doesn't like that very much at all, couple with the fact that as a male omega he's quite rare, especially with his body which is curvier than most. Having a sweet scent and a good bum seems to be the key to getting attention but it upsets Louis when he thinks about how superficial those two traits are, and he has to be faced with the fact that alphas only pay so much attention to him because they want to know what it's like to knot him.

Regardless, Louis' soft heat is approaching. Right now he's trying to suppress the urge to build a nest because he isn't pregnant, god damn it, and what's the point of a nest if he isn't pregnant and doesn't have any pups?

The entire bus ride home from work, he ignores the alpha strangers rudely sniffing the air and staring at him with dark, heavy-lidded eyes. He knows the scent of his heat—the heat he won't truly experience, thanks to his suppressants—is clinging to him, but that doesn't mean anyone has the right to sniff him so rudely like that.

All the while he keeps his mind busy by telling himself he isn't going to start building a nest when he gets home. Instead of building a nest, he's going to eat dinner, take a shower, and go to sleep for the foreseeable future.

There are benefits to having an alpha friend, but most of those benefits aren't realized when Louis is too shy to ask Harry to come over and ease some of the annoyances of his soft heat. His face burns with embarrassment just thinking about asking Harry to come over tonight, cuddle him on the couch, and maybe even bring an extra sweater over so Louis can smother himself in alpha-scent, which seems to be the only thing that will appease his inner omega at the given moment.

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