It’s been three days since Taehyung’s heat had started and Jeongguk hasn’t heard a single word from anyone about the situation. He’s been agonizing over the situation since it had started and he has no clue what was happening. Had Taehyung gone to see a doctor about this? The omega had seemed to be in considerable pain and the heat was obviously due to his misuse of the suppressants. It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t fucking fair.
Taehyung was his mate and Jeongguk hadn’t even gotten a single text about his condition. Was the omega better and well enough to tell him but had chosen not to? Had Jimin and the rest of them just chosen to keep him in the dark? Why did everyone hate him so much? Jeongguk knew that he had majorly fucked up in the past, but Taehyung was the one who had rejected him in the end. Jeongguk had tried his hardest and was still trying even now. His self-confidence had never been at such a low.
He was just sitting on the sand on the beach by himself now, looking like a total rejected loser. Nice. Real nice. Talking to Taehyung and attempting to make peace with him had been his first plan when he found out that Taehyung was certainly not ready to restart their relationship after that letter fiasco, but now even that seemed far off. It was always so awkward with the omega and it seemed like all the fault was still placed on him. At least he didn’t go off with some other person just a year after everything… He really didn’t mean that much to Taehyung, did he?
It all seemed so odd to Jeongguk. Omegas were supposed to be more bound and affected by mating than any other ranking. They were supposed to be loyal to the death, unable to betray their mate no matter the circumstances. If that was true, how was it so easy for Taehyung to just move on? Jeongguk knew that he would be angry but not the point to throw away all the letters he had sent and get a new alpha. That was just plain cruel. Something was off. Something he needed to figure out soon.
The alpha turned his head to the side just slightly as he heard some soft footsteps in the sand. His hair gently blew against his eyes and he brushed it away with his fingers. He blinked when he saw Hoseok, one of Taehyung’s alpha friends, coming to greet him. Unlike Jimin, this alpha had a huge smile and actually seemed to radiate happiness and comfort. Well, at least Jeongguk knew he wasn’t about to get yelled at.
“Hey, Jeongguk! How’s it going?” Hoseok asked with a grin, plopping down right next to him and causing a puff of sand to go flying up. Jeongguk had to eye the oddly colored outfit the other alpha was wearing. It… certainly reflected his personality.
“Not so well. Is Taehyung okay? Has anyone called a doctor for him?” He hurriedly asked. He could care less about himself; Taehyung was the one he cared about right now.
Hoseok nodded and leaned down on his elbows. “Yeah, yeah. Taehyung’s in a stable condition so don’t worry. His heat ended and he’s in good health.”
Jeongguk sighed in relief. It felt like all the weight in the world had fallen from his shoulders. Taehyung was safe.
“The doctor said that the heat was caused by his overdosing of the suppressants and your sudden appearance as well. I think we’re all in agreement that Taehyung shouldn’t be taking those things anymore. I mean, if he keeps taking them, it could be it. That’s what the doctor said. It could mess with his system that badly. Needless to say, everyone freaked out and we basically stole all of Taehyung’s suppressants before he could hide them. He won’t be able to get any more of them from his doctor either, so that’s the end of that. Taehyung is a bit upset about that but his health comes first.”
“It was about time. Those things were terrible for him.” Jeongguk huffed. Anybody in their right mind should be able to figure out that taking those hurt both alphas and omegas. At least it was over.
“His scent is crazy though. Now that he’s off those suppressants, his scent has just spiked. He’s also a lot clingier. You should go see him.”
Jeongguk lips pouted out just slightly and he tried to hide it by looking down. Taehyung was being clingy with other people? Other alphas? Jeongguk could have been there for him. Could have held him and pressed kisses against his cheek and tummy. Whatever. Doesn’t matter. Jeongguk doesn’t care at all.
“I don’t even know where he is. Taehyung hasn’t texted me.” He muttered. It was true. Taehyung had gotten better and hadn’t even thought to tell his own mate. Even though he was the one that Taehyung had come to, he was the one who had called Jimin, he was the one who had been calling and leaving numerous voice messages.
“…Oh.” Hoseok said.
Jeongguk nods slightly. “Yeah.”
There was an awkward pause in their conversation where neither of them knew how to come back from that. Hoseok must have assumed that Jeongguk knew what was going on. He must have wondered why he hadn’t gone to visit Taehyung. It was weird. The waves from the ocean soothed Jeongguk however and he was able to calm down just slightly. The salty air smelled good. It felt nice to be back here. He just wished he could share it with a certain somebody.
“It just… I don’t get it.” Jeongguk finally spoke, sounding quite defeated. He really was.
“I know what I did was shitty. I regret what I did that day every minute. I’m a terrible person for breaking Taehyung like that and telling him all those lies about how I felt about him. But… He moved on. He was the one who went off with another alpha and I’m the one who was left in the dust. And yet everyone still hates me.”
Hoseok blinked and he gave Jeongguk a weird look. Jeongguk was about to keep going but Hoseok quickly stopped him.
“Woah. Hold up. Repeat what you just said.”
Jeongguk looked and him and sniffed. “And yet everyone still hates me?”
Hoseok shook his head. “No, before that!”
“Uh… He was the one who went off with another alpha and I’m the one left in the dust?” Jeongguk repeated, not sure why Hoseok was giving him such a strange eye. Like he was starting to figure something out.
“Yeah, uh… Taehyung wasn’t with another alpha. Ever. Never ever.” Hoseok slowly said and Jeongguk looked confused.
“What do you mean? Wasn’t he with Bogum? Taking a trip with him to Daegu to visit his parents a year after I left?”
Hoseok stared at him for a second before bursting out into laughter. “Bogum?! Hell no! Now, Bogum and Taehyung did take a trip to Daegu but certainly not to go visit his parents. They were just there on vacation; Taehyung was travelling around a lot after you left to take his mind off of everything. While they were there, Bogum did try to shoot his shot but failed miserably. Taehyung didn’t want him and hadn’t moved on from you yet. He…” Hoseok shook his head and gave a sadder smile this time.
“Taehyung wouldn’t do that to you. He wouldn’t because in his mind that would be cheating on you, even after you left. We all tried to hook him up with some new people but… Even though he was so furious at you, he was very firm in the fact that you were still mates. He was done.”
Jeongguk looked like somewhat had just crashed a plane out of the sky and landed on him. His face was a bit red and he clenching his jaw tightly. Hoseok seemed to notice his anger and change of scent. He swallowed and tried to continue. Wouldn’t that knowledge had made him happier? Knowing that Taehyung hadn’t moved on with some other alpha?
“H-How did you even know about Bogum? Taehyung didn’t have social media back then and none of us posted a single picture? How did you find out?”
The alpha’s eyes had a reddish tint to them and his hands were shaking. He could barely think clearly. All he felt was that ire inside of his chest about to erupt.
“Jimin told me.” He managed through gritted teeth. “When I came back after a year to see Taehyung again, to talk to him and see if he would forgive me, Jimin showed me that picture and told me that Taehyung had run off with some alpha and moved on from me. Jimin told me.”
Hoseok’s mouth dropped open. Jimin hated Jeongguk, everyone in the friend group knew that, but… He wouldn’t have done that. Right? He would put Taehyung before his own opinions, right?
He swallowed. Something was terribly wrong here. Jimin wouldn’t have done such a thing but Jeongguk was obviously telling the truth. Hoseok could tell by his scent and clear fury. He could only fear what Jeongguk was going to do to Jimin after discovering this truth.
“…You came back? You came back for Taehyung?” Hoseok quietly questioned. How bad could this be?
Jeongguk just seemed to become even angrier with that question and he finally stood up from where he was sitting, stabbing his finger in Hoseok’s direction. Everything was starting to make sense; a cloudy mist being cleared away.
“Yes! I fucking came back after a year! I wrote him all those letters, sent one every day, and he didn’t respond! I had explained everything in there, why I had to leave, the arranged marriage, my father threatening to press charges, the fact that I would be coming back! So I came over to see why he had never written me back!”
Hoseok’s mouth was gaping wide open and he looked around like someone else was listening to this. “You wrote him letters every day?! And what the fuck?! That thing you had with that omega was arranged? And your father was going to press charges?”
“Of course! Why don’t you know this?! Did Taehyung not tell you…?” Jeongguk was shaking his head like he couldn’t understand. “Does everyone still think that I left him for no reason? That I don’t care about him?”
Hoseok swallowed and tried to think of what to say. Jeongguk was here looking at him with desperate but angry eyes. Eyes that easily showed his agony and confusion. Hoseok wasn’t entirely sure what was going on but he did know that Jeongguk wasn’t this dick of an alpha that everyone thought him as. There were so many misunderstandings that needed to be figured out. The only problem though was that Hoseok now knew. He knew that this was Jimin’s fault. He wanted to deny it as much as possible but it was now obvious. Jimin had sabotaged any attempt that Jeongguk had made to apologize or come back. That was… terrible. He couldn’t deny that.
But, Jimin was still his friend. His really close friend. Jeongguk was surely going be furious when he found out the total truth. Actually, everyone would be mad. Hoseok was mad. Most of all though, what would Taehyung think? They were best friends and yet Jimin had made the last five years of his life a living hell. And for what purpose? Because he didn’t like Jeongguk? Their friendship could be ruined.
Taehyung and Jeongguk deserved to know the truth, and even without him interfering, Hoseok knew that they would find out sooner or later. Mates… were destined to be. You couldn’t separate them unless death took one of them. It just wasn’t possible. That was one of the reasons why everyone had been so shocked when Jeongguk had supposedly left Taehyung in the dust. They were mates, and they needed to know. That was the most important thing right now.
“Jeongguk… I need you to listen carefully…” Hoseok started, standing up slowly and putting his hands out to maybe calm the other alpha down. Jeongguk’s red eyes were fuming and Hoseok knew that alphas tended to be a bit violent when angry.
“The thing is, I don’t think Taehyung knows.”
“Taehyung doesn’t know what?” Jeongguk seethed and he seemed to grow taller and more intimidating.
Jimin was so fucked. So so fucked.
Hoseok awkwardly laughed for a second and his voice shook a little. “Um… none of it?”
Hoseok flinched from the wrath dripping from that one word. Jeongguk looked like he was about to explode, body going into total alpha mode. True alphas were a bit scary, even for Hoseok.
Jeongguk was suddenly a lot closer and Hoseok had to step backwards when the alpha jabbed a finger into his chest.
“He doesn’t know about any of this? He doesn’t know about the arranged courtship? He doesn’t know about the threats my father made?”
Hoseok shook his head widely. “N-Not that I know of… And I don’t think he got any of your letters either…”
The waves that gently rolled onto the beach and the peaceful setting didn’t seem to fit this situation at all. Hoseok felt a drop of sweat roll down the side of his face. Jeongguk was very quiet. Like the quiet before a storm exploded and raged. A seagull cried above them and Hoseok was pretty sure that he could a vein bulging on Jeongguk’s temple. Shit, he was so angry that he was going to give himself an aneurism.
“…Why.” Jeongguk quietly asked, though it sounded more like a threatening demand. Hoseok would have to answer even if he didn’t want to. Jeongguk’s alpha voice was terrifying. Hoseok wasn’t sure that there was a single alpha out there who wouldn’t have to submit to him.
“T-Taehyung was always travelling when you left. He needed to get his mind off of everything. J-Jimin was there at the apartment though. I think… I think he took them. Because Taehyung doesn’t know about any of that stuff that you mentioned. Things would have been a lot different had he known… He would have responded because…”
Hoseok swallows. He remembers the memory like it happened yesterday. Taehyung had made him swear to never tell but this seems important enough to break that.
“Please don’t ever tell Taehyung this because he would be super pissed that I told you but uh… Maybe about a month after you left he drunk texted me this entire rant about you. About how much he missed you and how he wished you would come back for him. He said that it was humiliating but that he still wanted you. I think Taehyung would have understood whatever was happening in that letter. I think he would have responded. That’s why I think Jimin took them. Because, well, we all know that Jimin has the worst grudge against you. For some reason. So yeah.” He squeaked out, voice going a little high at the end.
Jeongguk… Well, Jeongguk was still eerily hush. But it was like Hoseok could see a dark cloud whipping about him, waiting to storm.
“Where are they. Taehyung and Jimin.”
Cold, detached, dominant.
Hoseok wasn’t sure if he wanted to say. What was Jeongguk going to do? Hoseok knew that he was going to be angry but this was on another level. Jeongguk looked like he was actually about to kill someone. Jimin specifically. Taehyung and Jimin were together as well and the omega might try to interfere. Jeongguk might scare him, it was likely. But, Hoseok couldn’t disobey. Jeongguk’s icy glare seemed to pierce through his skin and his knees wobbled. He had to submit.
“T-They’re both at Jimin’s apartment…”
Jeongguk didn’t waste another second before turning on his heels and walking away at a swift pace. Hoseok knew where he was headed and he jogged for a second to catch up with the other alpha.
“Jeongguk, wait a second! I know that you’re pissed and you have every right to be but maybe you should stop and think for a while before making any rash decisions. As an alpha myself, I know that it’s hard to control ourselves sometimes but you can’t do anything too crazy right now. Taehyung is in a sensitive position right now and you don’t need to make it any worse than it already is!”
“None of this would have happened if Jimin didn’t make a rash decision which led to me and my mate being separated for five years. Of course Taehyung was upset to see me, of course he didn’t want to even talk. He thought everything I said to him back then was still true. The truth was ripped away from him by his so called ‘best friend’. Disgusting.”
“I know, trust me. Anyone could see that you’re in the right here but please. J-Jimin is a good person underneath it all. He loves Taehyung, he really does. Ji-“
Jeongguk suddenly stopped and brooded over Hoseok. “I’ve been away from my mate for five years because of him. If you try to prolong that time, then I’ll consider you as a threat as well. Stand down before I make you.” He growled.
Hoseok could only stand and watch as Jeongguk walked off again, small clouds of sand rising from each step he took. Was it his place to have told him? He isn’t so sure now.
Jeongguk storms on, unable to restrain or control his inner alpha anymore. Everything is falling into place and apart at the same time. Taehyung could have been his for years now had Jimin not done anything. Had he been a decent fucking person and not stolen private letters that were addressed to Taehyung and Taehyung only. It infuriates him to know that it was Jimin who opened that first letter, Jimin who read about Jeongguk’s guilt and regret, Jimin who denied Taehyung the truth.
He’s usually a calm alpha. Sensitive and emotional. Open to forgiveness and compromises. But, this is was too far. Too far for him to even try and stop himself. Jimin deserved to be put in his place.
Somehow his feet take him to where he needs to be without any conscious thought. Jeongguk is too busy agonizing about the wasted years to see where he’s going, to see the people jumping out of the way in fear of an enraged alpha. He thinks about how he and Taehyung could have been living together by now. Thinks about how they could have had a family by now. Thinks about how he could have woken up this morning holding the omega in his arms before their pups jumped on their bed and caused a ruckus of laughter and love. Five years down the drain over Jimin being a selfish prick with unexplainable motives.
That stupid yellow door of Jimin’s apartment was so fucking ugly right now. Taehyung shouldn’t be in there; he should be with Jeongguk. Jeongguk should have been the one who helped the omega through his heat. When he knocks on the door it feels like it might fall off its hinges. Jeongguk’s fists were balled up and his teeth bared.
How dare Jimin try and fool him like that. Lie straight to his face with that smug little smile about how Taehyung had already found a new alpha and moved on. If Jimin was going to act like a bitch, then he was going to get the bitch slapping of his lifetime.
It wasn’t Jimin or Taehyung who opened the door, but Yoongi. The beta’s eyes widened when he saw the alpha. Jeongguk knew that Yoongi was aware of the truth. It was Yoongi who walked with him the first day when he came back and Yoongi who had nodded in understanding when Jeongguk talked about everything. Yoongi who didn’t tell him what really happened. That his mate was a cowardly liar.
“Move.” Jeongguk hissed and Yoongi quickly moved to the side with a look of fear. A beta like him stood no chance.
Five steps were all it took for Jeongguk to see where his mate was. Sitting in the living room, looking pale and weak after the previous events, wrapped tightly in a fluffy blanket. And of course, Jimin right by his side, a treacherous arm wrapped around Taehyung’s shoulder. He didn’t deserve to touch his mate.
Taehyung glanced up and his lips parted when he saw Jeongguk standing there. He looked surprised and he blinked when he saw the state that his mate was in.
“Jeongguk?” He whispered, unsure why he was here and what was happening.
But Jeongguk didn’t answer, his glare set on the alpha who had ruined everything. He could tell from the expression on Jimin’s face that he knew. Knew that Jeongguk had figured out what he had done. His cheeks went flush and a look of trepidation passed over his features. Jimin stood up, looking like he was about to say something but before he could utter a word, a fist went crashing into the side of his face, whipping his body to the side.
Every noise became a blur and Jeongguk could only hear the sobs that had escaped Taehyung when he had first left him that morning. The cries that must have been made some lonely nights when Taehyung couldn’t stand it anymore.
He couldn’t hear Taehyung crying out to him to stop, tugging at his shoulder and trying to get his attention.
Suddenly, they were both on the ground, Jeongguk still pummeling his fist downward. Blood marked his knuckles and he barely noticed how Jimin wasn’t even trying to fight back. He just laid there, taking the beating without a struggle. Yoongi eventually was pulling his left arm back, desperately trying to pull him off.
“Jeongguk, stop! Why are you doing this!?” Taehyung cried.
The fact that Jimin was just lying there made Jeongguk even more furious. Looking up at him with eyes that Jeongguk couldn’t recognize. Something akin to understanding. What the fuck did he understand?! This was all his fault!
“Why did you do it?!” Jeongguk yells, voice scratchy and nearly broken.
“Why did you lie to me? Why did you lie to Taehyung? We could have been together! You didn’t have to make us suffer!”
Taehyung looks at him in shock and tries to look down at Jimin for an explanation. Yoongi is quiet and slowly pulls away.
“Did you hate me that much? What did I ever do to you? All I ever wanted was to be with Taehyung… was that why you resented me? Why? You have your own mate. You have everything. Why did you have to take this from us?”
Taehyung shakes his head and his hands tremble. “Jimin, what is he talking about? What’s going on?”
“Go ahead. Tell him. Tell him about the letters I sent. Tell him how I sent a letter every single day after I left trying to explain and apologize. Tell him about how I had to go home because I was stuck in an arranged courtship with an omega I didn’t even know, my father was threatening to disown me and cut my education funds and press charges against Taehyung that would put him in debt for the rest of his life. Tell him that I had made a plan with Jieun to fake our love before being able to break it off for a year. Tell him that after a year of no response that I flew over here to see him again. Tell him how you told me that Taehyung had opened the first letter and trashed every other one because he had already moved on with some alpha named Bogum. Tell him that I lived in anguish for years thinking that he hated me even after I had tried my hardest to come back. Go on. Do it.” Jeongguk demanded coldly, though tears had already started to drop from his face down onto Jimin’s cheeks.
“Tell him the truth.”
Taehyung couldn’t breathe and his face broke as he looked to Jimin. “Jimin… That’s… That’s not true, right? You wouldn’t do that. You wouldn’t do that to me… He’s lying… Y-You wouldn’t.” The omega’s voice wobbled.
Jimin’s face was a purple mess, bruises starting to form from Jeongguk’s fists, blood streaming out of his nose. But, Taehyung could tell from just one look. Jimin looked terribly sad and that was all it took for a sob to leave him. He fell backwards and he leaned against the couch, breathing starting to go unsteady.
“I-I’m sorry.” Jimin spluttered out.
Taehyung couldn’t believe it. In a matter of minutes, the truth he had believed in for five years had been shattered into pieces. Jeongguk had come back… Jeongguk had come back and Jimin had never told him. Jimin had told Jeongguk all those lies to separate them and Taehyung couldn’t understand why. They were best friends. Best friends didn’t hurt each other like this.
The omega clutched his chest in pain, everything collapsing. Underneath it all, his heart and omega was celebrating over the fact that Jeongguk hadn’t completely left him that day. There was a reason why he left and he had sent a letter every day to try and explain why. Jeongguk was still his mate. But right now, all he could feel was the pain of betrayal. Jimin had lied to him so many times.
“Why?” He managed to choke out and before he knew it, Jeongguk was cradling him in his strong arms, pressing gentle kisses against his hair. The act helped his breathing steady but he could still barely function under the shock. Jimin was trying to sit up and Yoongi helped him. Did Yoongi know about this?
It hurt him to see Jimin all beaten up and a part of him wanted to throw Jeongguk off, but he couldn’t. His omega cried out in joy and his body instinctively fell into the alpha’s embrace, cherishing every second. Too bad the rest of him was suffering.
“I don’t have any good excuse.” Jimin softly said.
Taehyung shakes his head and more furious tears fell from his puffy eyes. “Why didn’t you tell me? You must have known that we would figure it out eventually.”
“When Jeongguk came back… I-I knew that you two would eventually find out and be together again. I… I was selfish. I knew you would hate me when you found out what I did so I stayed quiet until now. I just wanted to be with you until then.”
Jeongguk’s rage is still there, pumping through his veins and tearing at his skin. But, he cares more about Taehyung right now. He holds the omega tightly, unable to let him go. His mate is hurting and he needs to protect him.
“I don’t understand!” Taehyung sobs. “How would you do this to me?! You of all people knew how much I suffered when he left! You were the one who would hold me at night when I cried for hours even though you were the one who was preventing us from being together! You lied to me at every turn for five years! You let me live in misery without a single care! How can you call yourself my best friend? How can you even live with yourself knowing that you did something so terrible?”
Jimin is quiet and can’t even bear to look Taehyung in the eye anymore.
Taehyung trembles in Jeongguk’s hold and eventually looks down as well. His heart is broken once again by an alpha he had trusted.
“Where are the letters? Did you throw them all away?” He asked after several moments of silence. Jeongguk looks down at his mate and sees the pain. He wishes that none of this would have happened. Taehyung only deserved happiness but instead this was what he got.
“Upstairs in my room. Bottom drawer underneath the jackets. They’re all there. I kept them.” Jimin quietly said. Jeongguk isn’t sure why he’s being so… he doesn’t know how to explain it. He’s just acting strange.
Taehyung swallows before moving and trying to get back up on his feet. He feels terribly weak. First he just recovers from his heat and now this. He can barely stand but Jeongguk helps him up, holding him to his side. Taehyung isn’t embarrassed to lean on him as they walk away.
The omega turns around one more time to face Jimin.
“I trusted you.” Is all he can say before turning away.
A part of this feels like a dream because it’s so sudden. Taehyung wonders if he’ll be waking up soon. He pinches himself. Nothing.
Like Jimin had said, the letters were all there. Tied together in small groups by a rope of string. Taehyung looked at them in shock and a new wave of grief hit him. There must have been hundreds of letters. Jeongguk had truly written one every day. His heart beat once again.
Jeongguk reached in and searched around before pulling a letter out. It looked a bit older than the rest and Jeongguk sadly smiled before handing it to Taehyung.
“This was the first one I wrote.”
Taehyung lets out a shaky breath as he holds the envelope in his hand. He should have opened this long ago. He sniffs as he pulls the letter out. The envelope has already been opened before, by Jimin. A shiver runs up his spine.
Jeongguk watches Taehyung carefully as he reads the letter, eyes gauging every reaction that his mate makes. Will Taehyung forgive him? Is he still angry? What else does he need to do? Jeongguk will do anything. Anything.
He wasn’t sure what he expected but when Taehyung is done reading, fat tears fall again and Jeongguk bites down on his lip. There have been too many tears shed today.
Taehyung places the letter on the ground and falls onto Jeongguk, holding onto him like a lifeline, sobbing into his chest.
Jeongguk holds him and whispers apologies into his ear. He’s so sorry. He truly is. All of this shouldn’t have happened.
“We’ll be okay. We’ll be okay.”
Taehyung holds onto him a little tighter.