This story is using the characters from Haikyuu, and is set in the OmegaVerse.
Before you read this, please read THIS, as it explains my interpretation of the terms i use in this story.
If you have questions about anything in the story, feel free to comment on the story, or message me on twitter!
Without further ado, here is part one of Status!
Thanks for reading!
The squeak of shoes against the gym was deafening to Hinata as he lay on the bench, one arm draped down to touch the floor, the other holding his stomach. He has a stomach ache, and Daichi had him lie down. He would have been able to relax, if not for the stares he was getting from Kageyama. He knew Kageyama would be upset that he either let himself get sick, or that he was resting. He couldn’t win either way.
Kageyama looked over at Hinata occasionally and scowled. They needed to be practicing, and he was complaining of a stomach ache? He probably ate hus lunch too fast, or he was gasey, or something stupid. And now he was just resting? “Damn Beta” he grumbled, grabbing a ball from the cart and motioning for Asahi and Noya to start a spike drill.
Noya looked back at him, and perked an eyebrow as he got into position across the net. “He’s not sick cause he’s a Beta you know” he said, smiling over at Asahi, who was stepping back to jump. “he’s sick cause he has a human body. and we all get sick at some point. Not all of us are robots like you” he laughed before diving for the spiked ball. “Rolling Thunder!” he roared, his voice filling the gym.
Kageyama clicked his tongue and looked back at Hinata, and tossed the ball again. His aim was off, and it ended up arching and smacking Tsukishima in the back. Kageyama raised a hand in apology. Tsukushima was an Omega, but his personality was that of an Alpha. He could get real scary. Kageyama had seen 4 seconds of a video showing Tsukushima in Heat, and he still wasn’t back in his good graces. The video was interesting though, he didn’t know what an Omega Heat looked like. He looked over to Hinata. Everyone assumed he was a Beta, because he clearly wasn’t an Alpha, and if he was an Omega then Suga or Daichi would have told them by now like they had with Tsukishima.
“Oi! Watch it” Tsukishima shouted. “If you break my glasses your buying me a new pair” he walked out of the gym to get his glasses case from his desk.
Hinata groaned and clutched his stomach more, it felt like there was a horse stepping on his belly but he wanted to get back to practice. He tried sitting up when Suga came over and lay a cold compress on his head, having him lay back down. “Hey Shoyo” he sat on the floor next to the bench, so they were eye level. “hows your stomach?”
“it hurts” he whimpered, reaching for Sugas hand, rubbing it on his scent glands, the touch soothing him a bit. Suga hummed and rubbed his back with his free hand. “how’s home? Are you getting enough Touch?” he asked. Hinata was always a bit cuddly, and being needly was okay when you weren’t feeling good. Hinata nodded but he didn’t stop the touch. Suga was so comforting, he was really happy, and the Touch Scent Marking was making his stomach hurt less.
“homes good. Mom and dad are thinking about having another kid” he said with a shrug, closing his eyes at the touches on his back. Suga moved his hand to Hinatas stomach, pressing his bare hand to the flesh. Hinata didn’t react negatively so he wasn’t touch starved. “Maybe its growing pains?” Hinata said suggested.
“You think your getting taller?” Suga smiled optimistically. “that’s cute” he kissed his forehead and touched his hair, playing with it slightly “you might be, you’re a Beta, right?” he asked, “maybe you’ll be my height”.
Hinata tilted his head, “Beta? No, im an Omega” he said. “my mom and dad are Betas though, and they think Natsu is too. Im the weird one in my family, all clingy and stuff” he pouted. “Natsus okay with it, cause it means more play time” he looked up at Suga, whose eyes were wide. “What? Did I say something wrong?” Suga had stopped playing with his hair and looked upset. Did he say something wrong?
Suga shook his head. “Nothings wrong Shoyo” he smiled softly. “do you take any medications? Like the suppressants?” he asked. “cause it has to be on the info sheet Kiyoko has if you do”
Hinata shook his head. “I haven’t had a Heat yet, so they don’t have me on the suppressants” he said. “I was gunna tell her, I swear. But I wasn’t taking anything yet” he moved Sugas hand to continue playing with his hair.
“I believe you” Suga kissed his forehead and removed his hand. “Im gunna go talk to Daichi, okay? Ill be back in a moment.” He lay a water bottle next to Hinata. “Drink up, maybe that will help your belly”
“Hinatas an Omega?” Daichis surprise matched Sugas. “And he hasn’t gone through his first Heat yet” he frowned with concern. “And you think this belly ache is part of the Phasing?” Suga nodded and leaned against the outside wall of the gym. He didn’t necessarily want to be overheard.. not that it would be a secret much longer. They had to disclose this to the pack, especially with 3 unattached Alphas inside.
“he seems fine otherwise, but id like to take him home before it becomes a full Heat. If its just a bellyache then he should be fine, but its risky to have him out and about if he’s Phasing” Suga saidbefore adding, “He smells a little different today, but I figured it was just sweat and everyone mixing together” he said and sighed.
His sigh was matched by Daichis. “Two Omegas, neither one attached” he rubbed his forehead. “just our luck” he lay his forehead on Sugas shoulder, pulling him closer by his waist. “okay, take him home, talk to his mom, ill talk to Tsukishima about Hinata” he paused, running his thumb across Sugas scent gland. “He scented you?” he chuckled. “Damn Chibi” he smirked and pecked Sugas lips. He wanted Suga to smell of him if he was going to be away from him for a while.
Suga blushed and looked up at his mate. “only platonically, and he needed the touch” he said and ran his nose across Daichis scent gland, scenting him as well. “You are my mate” he felt Daichis hand touch the Mark on the back of his neck, cut deep into his skin. “my forever mate”.
Noya had come looking for Daichi to replay a message from Coach Ukai, and stopped short of interrupting the pair. He peeked around the corner, seeing the little moment. He was jealous. He had been courting Asahi for a while, but the big oaf was too shy to accept him. So, they had been dating for a few months now, which was kinda already an acceptance, but they hadn’t had sex yet, and Noya was kind of okay with that. Of course, he wanted to be with Asahi. He wanted to ravage him and drain him and watch that cute Beta body under him curl and writhe in pleasure, but sex might end in a Marking, and Asahi wasn’t ready. So, for now they would hold hands, kiss, and go on dates until Asahi is ready.
While he waited for Asahi to give in, he watched other Alphas with their mates. Daichi, their Pack leader and Suga, the mom of the Pack, were very open about their Bond. Suga wasn’t just a Beta to Daichi. He was his one and only, and he treated him like it. Noya had tried employing some of their cuddly tactics on Asahi, but it just flustered him. He got away with being a bit cuddly by claiming to be touch starved, an over-exaggeration by a lot of means, but the sentiment was real. He was touch starved for Asahi. Whether or not Asahi knew he was fibbing, Noya didn’t know. Asahi sure didn’t give anything away if he did. He let the tiny Alpha curl up in his lap and sometimes even crawl into his sweater.
Suga pried himself away from Daichi after one more kiss, and headed over to Hinata. “Daichi could smell you on me” he chuckled. “He also said that I should take you home. Is that okay?” he asked.
Hinata frowned. “cause of my stomach ache? But I feel fine otherwise” he said, but his face was a bit red. Suga frowned.
“I actually think you’re Phasing” Suga admitted, “I think your first Heat is about to start, and being in public is not a good idea, especially around Alphas” He slid an arm behind Hinata and helped him stand up. “If you’re not Phasing and you feel fine tomorrow, then you can come to practice tomorrow morning. I just want to make sure you’re safe” he said and set him on the chair outside of the changeroom. “Im going to get your bag, drink that water okay?” he said and waited for a nod before slipping into the room.
It was once he was in the room that Hinata doubled over in pain, his stomach burning. He groaned at the pressure in his stomach that spread up to his chest, unaware that the entire gym had gone silent. Noya, Tanaka, Kageyama, even Yamaguchi and Ennoshita stood still, looking over at Hinata with wide eyes.
Noya was the first to speak. “Sh-shoyo” his voice gave away the longing he was feeling for the boy, driven by his instincts. Hinata had finished phasing and was in his Heat, surrounded by Alphas. The smell of him spread across the gym, capturing the Alphas, who weren’t sure what to do. Noya lifted his head, taking a deep breath. He let out a small growl, but looked over when he heard a footstep.
Kageyama took a step forwards, his eyes flashing between Hinata and the other Alphas. He was trying to judge who was going to make a move first. His head was clouded, it was never clouded, but it was clouded now with that scent, that sweet, beautiful, delicious scent. He wanted to grab Hinata and strip him and pound right into that delicious scent. He wanted to see Hinata underneath him, he wanted the pearly skin of his neck to be exposed, ripe and plump for the biting. He wanted to claim that Omega as his, that scent as his. He was an Alpha, it was his right to that Omega!
Tanaka was aware of every miniscule movement in the room, from Noyas nose flaring at the scent, to Kageyamas steps. He wasn’t going to let them have Hinata though, that sweet scent was his, he was an Alpha, it was his right! He bolted towards Hinata, his heart pounding as he got closer. Even if the others started now, he was faster than all of them. He would claim Hinata first! The sweet little body would soon be his. He would soon be prying it open to devour its secret treasures as soon as he got his hands on him.
“HEY!” a voice jarred the Alphas and Betas from their trance, just as Tanaka was reaching for Hinatas clothes. Daichis growl filled the gym, and he walked over to Hinata, pushing Tanaka away from him. “Control yourselves!” Daichi growled again, his leaders growl resonating throughout the Pack members. He stood in front of Hinata, and stole a small sniff for himself. Fuck, Omegas smelled great.
Daichi wasn’t as affected by the Heat pheromones because he was attached. But these unattached fools, they had no defence. Where was Suga? He looked around for his Mate, who was supposed to be taking care of this. Daichi could smell the Heat scent from outside, damn this was the worst timing!
Suga emerged at the sound of Daichis anger, school bags in hand. He was confused, what happened? He looked around and saw the Alphas all hot and bothered, frozen and turned to see, “Hinata!” he gasped. “Oh no, I knew it” he dropped the bags and called for Tsukishima, who was nowhere to be found. Suga gathered Hinata in his arms, and carried him out of the gym, leaving the Alphas for Daichi to deal with.
They seemed to still be intent on having Hinata, their gaze needed several redirections from their leader as Suga carried the boy out.
When the source of the scent was gone, Noya snapped out of it, and looked immediately for Asahi, whose eyes were wide at his actions. He had just seen Noya almost go feral on his friend. And that was scary. Would Noya go that feral for any Omega? Betas don’t go into Heat, and Noya just seemed so.. into it.
“Asahi!” Noya called after him and ran to him, burying his face into his chest, gripping his shirt. He pulled Asahi down to his level, shoving his face into the crook of Asahis neck, trying to drive Hinatas scent from his mind. “Im sorry” he whispered, feeling so un-Alpha at the moment. “im sorry” he said and looked at Asahis face.
Asahi was pretty shocked still. “I guess that’s what Alphas are programed to do” he said quietly. He kept seeing Noyas expression change, from smiling to serious, and it scared him a bit. That serious look was so fucking sexy. Would it ever be turned towards him? Or just the odd Omega?
He slid his arm around Noya and kissed his forehead. “don’t apologize” he said. “I know its an Alpha thing.”
“And the moment he was gone, I came for you” Noya added, poking Asahis chest. “I don’t want to screw this courtship up. I like you. And you’re a weenie so I thought you would misunderstand” he said and sat on the ground only to scoot into Asahis lap. “that reaction will go away after I Bond you” he looked up to meet Asahis gaze. “look at Daichi, he wasn’t fazed” he pointed to the Alpha. Daichi was dealing with Kageyama at the moment. “ill be like him when I Bond you, so be annoyed, so you’ll want me to bite you sooner” he said, crossing his arms.
Asahi chuckled. “Nah im good for now”. He looked down at Noya, ruffling his hair. he would want to see more of Noyas expressions later. It turned him on to think of that possessive, needly look directed at him, so full of desire and Alpha instincts.
Kageyama growled back at Daichi, challenging him. Why shouldn’t he run after the Omega and Beta? He was an Alpha, who was to deny him who and what he wanted! Kageyama made a move to follow them, but Daichi caught him every time. Even after they were out of the room Kageyama wanted the scent. It was in his mind now, and he wanted it so badly.
“Don’t even think about it” Daichi growled, closing the door to the outside.
“And why not? Its an Omega, why shouldn’t I go after it?”
“Because that Omega is your teammate, your Packmate, and you were going to rip him apart right here on the gym floor. You need to calm down, and sit down” Diachi got real close. He was taller than Kageyama, which added to his dominance.
Kageyama tried pushing past him, but Daichi slammed him back, and he ended up on the floor. “Test me again, and I wont go easy” he snarled.
Tsukishima opened the door and walked in, noticing the odd atmosphere. He turned to Daichi. “Who died?” he asked with a smirk, before pausing as a shiver ran up his spine at the look Diachi was giving.
“Did you see Suga?” Diachi asked slowly, and Tsukishima shook his head slowly. “Then go find him please. He’s taking Hinata home” he pointed to the door. Tsukishima backed out slowly, and closed the door.
He pulled out his phone and texted Yamaguchi. “What the fuck happened?”
“Hinatas an Omega. He went into Heat, right here in front of everyone”
“WHAT?! Suga has him though? Did anyone Mark him?”
“Tanaka got close. He would have if Daichi hadn’t stepped in, he’s so cool”
Tsuki closed his phone and walked the route to Hinatas house, and found the two at Ukais store. It was dangerous to walk around with Hinata, so they were going to borrow Ukais car.
“ill drive you” Ukai offered. “hop in the back” he said.
Hinata was still clutching his stomach, gasping and breathing heavy. He had felt a flash of Heat before, and it seemed to mellow out a bit more now, but he was so hazy, he didn’t know what was going on. He just felt so hot.. everywhere.
Tsuki crawled in, and he let his Omega instincts take over, he had to take care of Hinata now. He had to make sure he was safe, from the Alphas. “How did I not know” he growled to himself. “of course he was an Omega. No one that small…” he paused. “well Noya… okay so if he was smarter he could have been an Alpha, but he’s a dumbass Omega, and I should have noticed”
“No ones blaming you” Suga said softly, starling Tsuki. “The gym was full of Alphas and Betas, one of us should have noticed as well” he rubbed Hinatas side. He was sprawled across their laps in the back of the car. “I thought he was a Beta, im pretty sure everyone did”
“I still should have noticed” Tsukushima said and clicked his tongue. “He could have told me, I wouldn’t have turned him away. I could have fucking protected him.”
Suga cooed. “Protect him? I didn’t know you even liked him” Suga teased. The two were constantly at odds, and to see Tsukushima pull a 180 was interesting.
“I don’t, but an Omega living alone in an Alpha world.. it’s a recipe for disaster. So, we stick together, we protect one another, we notice when one is going into fucking Heat” He stroked Hinatas hair, gripping it for a second in frustration, to punish Hinata a bit for being so fucking stupid. “but no one got to him, right? He wasn’t bitten?” Suga shook his head. Tsukishima sighed and leaned back. “When we get him to his home, do you want to talk to his mom, and ill take him upstairs?” he asked.
“Sure, I want you to know, im not going to jump him. If your worried-“
“Im not worried” Tsukishima said. “Not about you. About nearly everyone else, yes. Absolutely. The team right now is a danger, and until this Heat is over, none of them can be around him. Especially Kageyama”
Suga nodded. “Why specifically Kageyama?” he already figured he had an answer, but had get Tsukis take on it too.
“Kageyama probably likes Shoyo” he said, using his first name. “and Shoyo probably likes Kageyama, the last thing they would want is to be Bonded when they’re in the Heat of the moment.” He frowned. “and with Shoyo like this, Kageyama will jump him without a second thought” he said.
When they arrived at the Hinata house, Suga took care of Mrs. Hinata. “Your sons fine, he went into Heat at practice. He’s fine, Tsukushima is the other Omega on our team, he’s going to take great care of him” he said and sat with her as long as she needed him to.
Tsukishima carried Hinata to his room, and lay him on his bed. He arranged the bed pillows around him, and stole the pillows off of his parents and sisters beds as well. He stripped him from his gym clothes, opting for boxers and a light tee. It was like dressing a toddler. Hinata was always moving, arching his back, and mumbling. He honestly looked so helpless Tsukishima couldn’t help but feel a companion in Hinata. He remembered his brother going through the throws of Heat, and his brother had it bad. He remembered the sweats, the moans, the lack of pillows. He had been so mad at his brother for stealing his pillows, until he entered his first Heat. Then he felt that nesting urge. He stole every pillow in the whole house, decorative or otherwise, and all the blankets. Tsukushima was more mobile during his Heat, he was able to tend to himself just fine. He nested and bathed and cleaned up his own vomit. Not like he really had a choice.. but he survived. “You will survive” he whispered, and wrapped Hinata up in the blankets.
After all was done, he went downstairs to speak to his mother. “Im staying over until he’s through this, pardon my intrusion” he gave a small bow.
Mrs. Hinata looked at him, inviting himself over. “Okay” she said. “If it’ll help Shoyo..”
“It will.” Tsukishima nodded. “I’ve taken care of my brother during his Heats, and his were rough. He couldn’t do anything for himself.” He reached for a water bottle, taking a sip and grabbing one for Hinata. “Don’t come into his room without knocking, and wait for permission please. Sometimes Heats are embarrassing, if I need help, ill ask” he said and grabbed a couple pillows from the livingroom. “ill be needing these” he headed back upstairs, closing the bedroom door behind him.
Suga sighed. “Sorry about him, he’s.. not the gentlest person to speak to” he chuckled and took her hand. “But he’s smart, and he was telling me about an Omegas instinct to take care of one another” he smiled. “Once he learned Shoyo was an Omega, he started using his first name” he chuckled. “He doesn’t even call his best friend by his first name” he said.
Mrs. Hinata smiled. “If you say so, ill trust you” she squeezed his hand. “and thank you for bringing him home. He’s a late bloomer. We only found out last year about his status, and I’ve never really been around Omegas, so I wasn’t sure which precautions to take without hindering him. He’s so independent already”
Suga smiled. “We all work together as a Pack, we will always have Shoyos back” he smiled. “Im gunna go check on Tsuki, ill be back down in a moment, okay?”
She nodded and Suga headed upstairs. He knocked softly on the door. “Tsuki?” he asked, waiting for the door to open. Tsukushima looked calm, and allowed Suga into the room. Hinata was moaning in his little nest, one of the couch cushions wedged between his thighs. “So, what’s going to happen to him?” He asked, touching Hinatas forehead, eliciting another moan as he moved towards the touch.
“He’s going to be hot, and produce slick, and make the house reek” Tsukishima said. “In a day ill know if he’s going to have bad Heats or okay Heats. With my Heats its like a cold, where I can move on my own and feed myself, im just really hazy and really hot” he said. “But all of us have had this day” he frowned and rubbed Hinatas back. Touch was still going to be important to the little Omega. Going touch hungry would only make him horny and depressed, and that would end up in probably a random stranger Marking him. He shivered at the thought.
Sugas phone rang, it was Daichi. “hey babe” he answered cheerfully. “How’s the boys?”
Daichi snorted. “Kageyamas a pain in the ass” he said. “Noyas focussed on Asahi, and Tanakas shocked at himself. But I’ve got them handled. I’ve asked Kiyoko to keep an eye on them for a moment” he said. Kiyoko was like his vice-Pack leader. Suga was his mate and his partner, but he wasn’t an Alpha.
Suga nodded. “That should make Ryuu happy. He’s still moonfaced over her, when he found out she was attached I swear I saw his heart break” he chuckled and looked to Tsukushima. “Everything on this end is good, we’ve got a really good Pack here” he praised the Omega, touching the top of Tsukushimas head, whispering “Daichis proud of you” before continuing his report. “Hinatas in full Heat now. So, no one can come by. Especially not the Alphas, and Kageyamas banned” he said.
“He’s going to fight us on that. He was trying to follow you guys today as it is” Daichi groaned. “He’s definitely an Alpha, with that attitude of his. He said he was entitled to ‘that Omega’. Suga gasped.
“That bad?” he looked to Hinata and bit his lip. “Although, don’t you think that they’re eventually going to end up together? Could that have been the Alpha instincts, amplified because of the attraction?” he asked.
“I don’t care right now, im not going to have one of our Pack members hurt on my watch, in my gym, by another member of the Pack” he said. “id suspend him for practice for a week, but he might take that free time to go seek out Hinata” he sighed. “either way, come home when your done there” he said and Suga agreed. “ill see you soon. Love you, bye” he hung up and turned to Tsuki, kissing his forehead. “Are you going to be okay?”
The boy nodded. “Yea, I have my homework.” He said.
When they were alone, Tsuki lifted Hinata out of bed and into the bathroom. He was getting pretty sweaty, and he didn’t need a cold on top of all of this. He ran the bath, and showered with him. It was easier than just washing him from the sidelines. He looked at the back of Hinatas neck a lot, the soft skin, unblemished, unscarred, clear for any and all Alphas who wanted it. He could hear his brother in his head, the moaning and whimpering, the scream he let out when he finally was bitten. It had been a deep bite, and apparently a painful one. Tsuki didn’t want that. He didn’t want to be bitten, or find an Alpha.
Speak of the devil. His phone buzzed with a Line message.
“Hey Chicky” Kuro had messaged, adding a chicken sticker. “There were no crow stickers”
Tsukishima didn’t respond at first. He set his phone down and pulled Hinata from the bath, and towel dried him and slid new pajamas on him. He borrowed some of Hinatas father’s pajamas, which were massive on Tsuki, but they were better than Hinatas little shorts. He tucked the Chibi into bed and rubbed his back for a moment before grabbing his phone.
“Yo” no sticker attached.
“Yama messaged me, he said you were taking care of another Omega, Chibi right?”
“yea, he went into Heat. Baka didn’t even warn any of us”
“Tough. What’s the King doing about it?”
“Kageyama? Apparently, he’s going full Alpha, demanding ‘that Omega’ as his entitlement”
“cheeeee” Kuro sent a laugh sticker. “well he’s always been too uptight. No wonder he snapped”
“well boo hoo for him, despite what Alphas think, Omegas aren’t just pieces of meat”
“Im an Alpha you know”
“oh geez. I had no idea” Tsuki rolled his eyes. “If the arrogance hadn’t tipped me off, you courting me sure gave it away”
“Hurtful!” he sent a dead sticker. “Im just saying, not all Alphas let their instincts rule them. Id never demand anything of you, or any Omega. Least of all your Bond”
“Thanks” Tsukushima put down his phone when Hinata stirred, arching his back and breathing heavily. His eyes opened a bit and looked around the room. “Shoyo?” Tsukushima whispered, to which the boy’s eyes focussed on him. “How are you feeling?”
Hinata groaned groggily. “Hot” he answered, rubbing his eyes. “like I sat on a campfire”
Tsukishima let out a small chuckle and stood up, helping Hinata sit up. “You’re in Heat, so that’s to be expected” he said and offered him the water bottle. Hinata took it, thanking him and drank. He still looked a bit dopey, and Tsuki was worked he’s just fall back and hit his head.
Hinata set the water bottle next to him and started rearranging the pillows on the bed. “This isn’t right” he whimpered, placing pillows in different places, but ending up with a similar nest to what Tsukishima had set up. “that’s better” he pulled a blanket around his shoulders and sat quietly.
Tsukishima waited for Hinata to stop moving, before standing up. “are you hungry?” he asked, and Hinata shook his head. “Thanks though.” He smiled. “So why are you here?” he asked. “N-not that I don’t want you here.. Suga said he was taking me home, I don’t remember everything that happened..” he said in defense.
“Suga brought you home, and I came to take care of you. Omegas do that, we take care of one another” he said. “Shoyo, you went into Heat in the gym, and Tanaka was almost your mate” he said. “Why didn’t you tell me you were an Omega before?”
Hinatas eyes were wide. Why was Tsukishima being so nice? And… “Shoyo?” he tilted his head.
“yea, your first name, im calling you Shoyo now. You can call me Kei.” He said. “Answer my question”
“I just..” he shrugged. “I didn’t mean to not tell you.. we just never talk and it never came up before. I didn’t think…’
“That’s right. You didn’t think” he frowned. “Next time, any time, if you need something, or have a question, come to me first, okay?” he said. Hinata nodded and moved to the end of the bed, and reached for Tsukis hands. He pulled them to cup his face, rubbing his scent glands.
Tsukishima took the hint and rubbed his thumbs over the sensitive area, getting Hinatas scent on him. He moved closer so Hinata could touch him, and hummed at the feeling if the small warm hands on his skin. He actually got goosebumps from how warm Hinata was.
Hinatas mom knocked on the door a few hours later, and by then Hinata was more hazy than coherent again. She offered Tsukishima dinner, and thanked him again. She brought him a futon, but paused when the topic of pillows came up. She looked awkwardly at the bed full of pillows, unsure if she could offer her guest one of those or…
“im fine” he smiled at her to reassure her. “he needs them more than I do” he said, taking the pressure off of her.